Thursday, March 30


The guineas poo. A lot. I had no idea that three birds could produce that much waste. They used to do nothing but hang out on the porch, so you really, really had to watch your step anytine you walked out the front door. We had to hose it off every few days. Now, though, the guineas like to roam around. They like the deck, the yard, they follow us down the trail into the jungle, and they love to hang out at Gretta's house next door when they can't find us. They are truly social creatures.

But back to the poo. Here's one of the greatest things I've heard in a long time: 'POOB!!' That's right, poob. Not poop. The kids, especially Sam, say 'poob.' It's a funny word, in and of itself, but it is a very funny word when you hear a three-year-old yelling it at the top of his lungs. Evie does it sometimes, but it's much more funny coming from Sam. 'MOOOM, THE GUINEA POOBED!!' or 'DAAAD, there's POOB on the deck!!!!!' Gretta thinks it is funny that our children feel the need to tell us anytime a guinea poobs. However, she raised six kids and is about a million years old and gives me wonderful advice on pretty much everything under the sun and she know everything about all plants, ever, so she is allowed to be amused by this.

I am not amused. 'Poob' and the poob alerts got old after the first week. I can't wait until we get the damn coop built.

A quick side note: The Fabulous Book Club met last night, and I had the best time! I love everyone in that club, especially Melanie and Kim, and even Angry Mom. Who doesn't love talking about English prostitution from the 1700's and 1800's, and cholera, and The Trump's hair??? I mean, seriously!!!

More on my opinion's about that man's hair at a later date.

Tuesday, March 28

things that are very cute.

Today's subject will be Little Miss Evelyn. Evie, to most of you. She is very cute, and sometimes I think that, one day when John gets home, he's going to say to me, 'Ok, I see Sam, but where's Evie?' And I'm going to have to explain to him that she was just too durned cute, and I ate her all up. I just want to bite her cheeks sometimes!!! Sometimes, I bite her belly. Because it is big. And cute, like her.

A few nights ago, I took a quick shower before supper after John got home. I mean, quick. I put supper in the oven and had just enough time to wash off, throw some clothes on, and run back downstairs. I hadn't even had time to comb my hair yet, so it was wrapped up in a towel. Evie came back inside as I was pulling the dish out of the oven, and stood on her stool to help me make the salad and the veggies. All of a sudden she stopped, looked at my head, and you could just see the wheels turning. Then she put her hand on my arm, very gently, and said in the most wonderful voice, 'You look just like Nanno, sweetie!' And promptly went back to work washing green beans.

I had to work on not falling over with laughter right in front of her. For those of you who may not know, Nanno is my mom, and she walks around with a towel on her head when she gets out of the shower. I never do this, plus I always shower around 5:45, before Evie is up. Evie has seen my mom like this several times, and was able to put it all together that fast. Yes, that's right. I have the smartest kid ever.

And she called me 'sweetie'!!! I should probably correct that, but it was CUTE!!! She asked John if she could please have some more milk the other night at supper. When he handed it to her, she said, 'Thanks, sweetie!' without even looking at him!!! AWWW!!!! (And I got a very strange look from John that said, 'What have you done to my daughter?' 'Well, good sir, I ate her. That's what. She was cute, and I gobbled her up.')

So, pictures of cute.

The Cute Cleaning Evie

The Cute 'No, I'm Not On The Hood Of The Jeep And
You Can't Prove A Thing' Evie

The Cute, Double-Dipping, Librarian, In Her PJ Shirt At Noon Evie

But of course, who could forget her wonderful partner in crime, Sam-I-Am? If you call him cute, he will tell you that he is handsome, so watch out for that one. He is so wonderful, and he has the best sense of humor, too! And he's probably the best guinea catcher in the family. Sometimes, he throws things at Evie, and she cries, and when he hears me coming, he says in a very loud voice, 'Evie, what's wrong? Are you ok? What happened?' Yeah, try and tell me he's not the oldest ...

The Handsome, Yet Lazy, Muscle Man Sam

The Handsome PB&J-eating Sam

<big sigh>

I have such a hard life. :)

I am so crazy about the three of them!!! I heart John, Sam, and Evie!!

Wednesday, March 22

Things That Happen When You Try To Teach Yourself To Juggle

When I was much younger, I was able to do a very, very limited bit of juggling. As in, I could start out with three balls in my hands, each ball could be in the air, and I could catch them without a single one touching the ground. Just one rotation, but it was still cool. So today, I was walking to the trashcan with three oranges in my hands. They were most decidedly past their prime, and more than a little squishy. All of a sudden, I had this thought: 'If I could juggle, my kids would absolutely worship the ground I walk on, and more importantly, it would surprise the crap out of John, and I very rarely have the ability to do that. I am going to teach myself how to juggle!!'

About five minutes and 9000 failed attempts to juggle more than one rotation, the orange remains were in the trash, and I was cleaning up a good deal of orange innards off my floor. So, what does happen when you try to teach yourself how to juggle, you ask? A very big mess. I'm just glad I didn't get this bit of inspiration while I was holding eggs. Eww.

Welcome to Texas, ladies and gentlemen. I was in short sleeves on Christmas and New Year's Day, but seeing how last night was the second night of spring, it was in the mid-30's here. Eh???????

We are planting a butterfly garden!!! It is going to be so very cool. We prepped the area yesterday, all around the pond and 'river,' and bought some of the plants today. I'll put some pics up tomorrow when we get everything planted. We have found a couple of very cool indie nurseries in this area, and have been very pleased with their prices, so far. And one of them keeps a flock of guineas for bug control, which made me laugh. I loved it!! Oh, those crazy hippies ...

I have reached the conclusion that I enjoy dancing to bad music. And 80's music. But most of all, I love dancing to bad 80's music. The songs I danced to yesterday and today in my kitchen while backing about a zillion different things:
White Wedding, by Billy Idol
Wild Thing, but not the one by the Troggs, the really dirty one
several different songs by Bon Jovi (ok, confession? I totally have a thing for Bon Jovi)
Magic Carpet Ride, by Steppenwolf
1999, by Prince
I Love Rock and Roll, by Joan Jett
the Joker, by the Steve Miller Band
I Will Survive, by Gloria Gainer
lots and lots of the Clash (love the CDs I have!!)
and last (but not at all least) Friends in Low Places, by Garth Brooks.

And there were ever so many others, but those are the only ones I could think of. I love to dance. But not if anyone else is around. John walked in and caught me dancing to Baby Got Back the other morning (seriously, I thought he was still out in the Jungle with the chainsaw and I had the radio up really loud so I didn't hear him come in the house) and I almost DIED of embarassment!!! So, let's just keep this dancing obsession between us, ok, and not let my secret out?? Thanks.

One of the managers John works with just had a baby; well, his wife did, and on John's request I made the mom a 'happy' basket today. It had Healthy Cookies, Whole Wheat Banana Bread, two kinds of tea that are really good for nursing moms, a cute tin for the tea, Burt's Bees lotion (I LOVE that stuff!!), a few little baby toys like ones that my kids loved, and I think John was going to pick up some flowers on the way to work. I have so much fun doing stuff like that! All the things had my little angel stamp on them, and I wrote her a note, too. And, I made a giant batch of banana bread, so I have lots of that leftover for us to have for breakfast the next few mornings. Woohoo!!

On that note, I'm missing Law and Order right now (and my house is in decent shape and my kitchen is clean, so I can watch guilt-free), so I'm off to go see whodunnit! New pics in the next few days.

Oh, and let's not forget something very, very important:


Saturday, March 18

the one where I cough. a lot.

Well, I seem to have caught Sam's coughing cold. Woooohoooo!!! Not really. I felt awful yesterday, but am feeling surprisingly human today. Yea for me. Cough.

Wes went home on Wednesday, and we were so glad to have him! Here's a picture of him with (a very dirty and always-bruised) Evelyn.

They're watching Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. By the way, if you have not seen this movie, you must go out and rent it today. It is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, animated or not.

The other morning, when the kids were at Mom's, John and I woke up to find a snake on our porch. It was a little thing, and it had a few little flesh wounds. We're thinking it was a gift from the cats. Anyway, since guineas are supposed to just absolutely hate snakes (that's one of the many reasons we got them), we thought it would be a good time to introduce the Stooges to the snake. It was just a rat snake, by the way, so we weren't worried about the snake biting them.

Now don't get me wrong; I love the Stooges to death. I think they are very funny, and would be sad if anything ever happened to them. However, they are stupid. And I don't just mean stupid. I mean, they are STOOPID!!!! It took them about 5 minutes just to notice the snake, after I'd picked it up and placed it in front of them several times. I put it on top of Curly, just they just couldn't be bothered with it. It finally died about an hour later. Then, about 30 minutes after that, La Stooges realized that there is a snake on the porch, and we do not like snakes, and we should attack the crap out of it en masse and kill it several times over, and then try to eat it, but wait we do not actually eat snakes so we'll just go ahead and put it on John's shoes.

Here's a nice feeling: We finished with supper around 7, about half an hour ago, and John and the kids cleaned the kitchen for me because I'm still not feeling 100% (that, and the kitchen was mostly clean to begin with). I put a load of clothes in the washer, and came up here. I can now hear the Beatles playing downstairs, and Evie is dancing. John and Sam were dancing also, but then realized that Billy is on the prowl, so Evie is dancing alone, and the boys are lying in wait to try and scare the stripes off Billy. The house smells good, there's good music going, we've got fun stuff planned for tomorrow, and everyone is happy right now. It's just a very happy and content feeling.

Wait, you say. Who is Billy? Well, I'll tell you. Billy is our very fat raccoon that hangs out in this area and eats the outside cat food if we forget to put the brick on the trashcan lid.

So, I'll leave you with this. Please let me preface this by saying that the book Back to Eden has been a huge blessing to me in many ways, and I agree with about 95% of everything in the book. It's an old one, written originally in 1939, though it has been updated every so often. I was reading the Pregnancy section the other day, and here is what I learned.

Mental Attitude: If you want a cheerful, happy child with a sunny disposition, that is just how you will have to be during your pregnancy. Special effort should be made by the mother to avoid as much unpleasantness as possible. A fit of anger, great fright, or novel reading will have a very bad effect on the child. The surroundings should be made as pleasant as possible, and it is positively the husband's duty to bring this about, as far as it lies in his power. By proper living, care, and treatment, pain can be almost entirely banished at childbirth.


Wednesday, March 15

Busy, busy, busy

My mom watched the kids last weekend. Woohoo!!!!!! I took them in on Thursday, stayed Thursday night (and got to have tea with the ever-wonderful, ever-beautiful MOLLY!!!), and drove home Friday. It was awesome!! John and I had a very late breakfast on the porch at 8:45 Saturday and Sunday morning, and went to lunch Saturday. We also got the garden planted on Saturday, which is wonderful, because that's really been weighing on my mind. We've planted 27 garlic sprouts, 10 tomato plants (4 different kinds), 5 strawberry plants, and spearmint and lavender. Peppermint goes in later this week, along with squash and bell peppers. I really wish I could have a whole huge mess of green beans, but I don't think it's going to happen this year. I think I alerady have enough on my plate ... pun intended! But I digress.

I met Mom in La Grange Sunday evening, and picked up Sam, Evie, and Wesley! Wes is going back tonight, and it has been so wonderful to have him. I'm sure he's been bored, because if you're not used to being out here, it can seem a little slow, but I've had a great time with him. I took him to the Green Chi Cafe (can't find the actual website) this morning, and he really liked it. I luuuv the owner, Matt, because he's super friendly and makes great food. And he talks foor with me when I go in. The kids always say hi to him, too. Then we drove into Austin and went to Boggy Creek Farmers' Market and Whole Foods. We had a great time. I'll meet my mom in Colombus this evening, after John gets home, to drop off the kids. And I think I'm going to be completely wild and crazy and get some of those curly fries from Dairy Queen. Mmmmm, curly fries ...

Poor Sam!!! He is sick again! I don't think he ever completely recovered from last week's cold, and then caught another one. He has the worst cough. He's been drinking my cough tea a lot, which he likes and seems to help him, and taking my homemade cough medicine, too. But he still sounds awful. However, as of this morning, he seems to be a little better. So hopefully I won't have to take him to the doctor. I am really, really not crazy about doctors. I have an extreme distrust for pretty much all of them, to one extent or another. I do believe that God gave great men some great minds, and that many people would not be alove today if it were not for modern medicine. However, I think that we have abused the natural wisdom that God gave us, and over the last hundred years or so, have neglected the naural things that work to help our bodies recover on their own. Just my $.02.

The kids are up, and I need to call John and convince him to bring home some fajitas this afternoon. I mean, they're for Baby. Baby wants beef fajitas with extra cheese. Who am I to deny Baby what (s)he wants? Seriously.

Monday, March 6

Happy Birthday, Nanny!!!!!!

the one where I cried

It wasn't a great morning at my house. It started with Sam screaming for 45 minutes right after he woke up. I was trying to get all my herbs priced, so I could order them this afternoon, which is kind of a chore; I get herbs from about 4 different places. He woke up around 7:45, and I told him it wasn't quite time to get up yet. He knows exactly what that means, and normally has no problem, because he's allowed to turn on his light and play quitely until 8. Not so much this morning. He said, 'No, I don't have to.' I told him that he needed to stay in his room, and that's when the screaming started. And didn't stop until after 8:30. Not the geratest start to a day that I can think of.

Then Evie locked herself in the bathroom about 5 minutes later. She likes to turn the little button that locks the door, but then she shuts the door, while she is inside. And can't figure out how to turn the button back. It was after 9 before I got her out. The rescue effort involved a coat hanger, 2 screwdrivers, removing the doorknob, and some more using of the screwdriver. It was awesome. (That was sarcasm, by the way.)

By the time I had the kids' breakfast on the table, I was sobbing. I went into my room, cried for a while, almost strangled my cat when it clawed me, finally calmed down, washed my face, and came out and called my incredibly wise aunt, Rebecca. I love her. She was wonderful, reminded me that I am pregnant, have been sick (I'm feeling much, much better, by the way), and that I really would regret it tomorrow if I gave the kids away today.

After breakfast, I decided that no one needed to be in the house this morning, so we all went outside, with the guineas, until lunch. We actually had a great time, with minimal fighting and/or fussing.

The Stooges eating their 'treat,' white millet, out of one of Evie's toys.

Every time Evie sees this (below), she yells, 'No, guinea, don't eat your feathers!' in a slightly panicked voice. It's just too cute, and I want to eat her every time she says it.

As I wrote this, the kids were having lunch at the bar. Sam asked me if he could be excused, and I told him he could. As he was clearing his place, he dropped his plate, Evie's plate, and a glass cup. Everything broke.

I herded everyone outside for another hour, and pretended that there wasn't a foot-endangering mess all over the floor.

After being outside and playing with the guineas some more, it was my favorite time of the day: Nap Time!!!! Nap Time, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways ... (Nap Time was not so great yesterday, because neither of the kids slept at all.) I sent the kids upstairs to go to the bathroom while I started cleaning up the toe-threatening mess. Then,




People, I may go over the deep end if John gets stuck at work very late this evening. Pray I can get some sleep, or something. I'm not even all that tired, I just feel ... I don't know ... I feel weary. Is this normal when I'm pregnant? I don't even remember.

Sunday, March 5


I feel like crap. John gave me his stoopid cold, and I would really like to curl up into a little ball and DIE. Because then, I wouldn never have to blow my nose again. As things stand, I think my nose will fall of by the end of the day if nothing changes.

Ok, I'm not really that sick. I do feel like crap, but I'm not able to take anything for my headache, which is making me a tad cranky. But I think I'll live. I'm just extra whiney because John had to work all day yesterday, all day today, and all day tomorrow. Which means I have no help with the kids until around 6 each evening. Heaven forbid I consider the fact that he feels only slightly better than I do, but still has to work at least a 10 hour day. At least I don't have to change out of my pj's and actually be around people that iritate me. Which is most everyone. I'm not a big fan of being around other people.

I made jello yesterday, wild strawberry, and this is what happens when a very clumsy two-year-old eats jello and then puts on a funny hat that's about 2 sizes too small.

This is Sam, trying to show me what the feathers look like on the crested guinea. We had a long lesson about different types of domestic birds the other afternoon.

Ok, here's a huge pet peeve of mine: I go and actually buy a cd, which I do about 3 times a year, and some of the songe are amazing and fantastic, but then some of the songs make me feel like my brain is going to explode from the bad-ness. This happened with the last cd I bought, one by Jamie Cullum. He's a great musician, has a great voice, but some of the songs make me think, 'WHY?? Why would you do that? You seem like a relatively intelligent chap, so what are you doing??' Anyway, he's got one song where he describes going back through old pictures, and at one point has the lyrics 'when I look back at my ordinary, ordinary life I see so much magic, though I missed it at the time.' I LOVE that!

And now, for something completely different: a man with three buttocks.

On that note, I'm going to order a bunch of herbs, cause I'm running low. Got lots of care packages coming up in the future, and I'm going to have them ready early, for once ...

Friday, March 3

the house of ill ... people

You thought I was going to say 'the house of ill repute.' Get your mind out of the gutter.

Someone help me! It's bad enough when you have a little one who isn't feeling well, but when it's your husband ... Oy! John is really under the weather. He's actually considering calling in to work today. If you don't know how big of a deal that is, let me explain. John and I have been married 4 years, together for over 5, so we've probably known each other for about 6 years (wow! has it been that long?!?). In 6 years, he's called in sick once. Once, people! He's in bed, sniffling and coughing, and trying to sleep. I made him some hot tea earlier, with lemon and honey, so that should help his throat a little, and help him get some sleep. That failing, I'm also getting some Thera Flu at the store in a little while. Please pray for him!

Speaking of Evie, which we weren't, she's the little one who is under the weather. Luckily, she's not nearly as bad off as the husband. But she does have big, sad red eyes, and a runny nose, which she is constantly trying to wipe on my leg or shoulder, whichever she may be closer to at the moment. (I am actually a little concerned that the nose wiping doesn't even phase me. I am such a MOM now.) She has been a little off this morning, which has been just way too amusing for me. When she got up, she asked for tea, which I was more than happy to get her. The catch? She wanted to lay down in the kitchen. After pondering this dilema for a whopping 4.82 seconds, I consented. I got our big old comforter, folded it over, tossed a pillow down, and viola! instant bed-in-the-kitchen. She stayed there for about 45 minutes.

A few minutes ago, she picked up a green wooden ball that goes with one of her toys and said, 'Oh, there's my phone!' put it up to her ear, and started talking to someone. I'm not sure who she was talking to, I think maybe my mother?

We have a huge book called the Encylopedia of North American Birds; a large hardback number with a milliondy pictures that weighs about 65 pounds. Both kids love looking at it, especially finding the birds we have in this area. Evie was trying to find the owls earlier, and becoming very frustrated when she wasn't able to find any of them. She picked the book up to bring it to me, so we could find the owls, but she kept leaning over to one side, and stumbling like a drunk, because of the weight of the book. I tried not to laugh at her, but I was just about rolling on the floor by the time she got to me.

The weather ws so great yesterday tha we were able to take the guineas, Larry, Curly, and Moe, outside for several hours. They were just about the funniest things I've ever seen, and they immediately ate about 100 cutter ants. This is me with Larry, the trouble maker of the group.

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So, that's our life as of this morning. More pics of the kids this afternoon, or maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 1

the ongoing battle for world domination

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the battle of the hormones!!

In this corner, we have the underdog, logic. logic tries to see things through other people's eyes, think through all the consequences of words and actions, and behave rationally and somewhat unemotionally.

And in this corner, we have mood swing! mood swing loves to make rash decisions, thinks only of herself, does not think or plan ahead, and is an emotional nut job, plus a little crazy thrown in for good measure.

Ok, so here's a prime example of how a pregnant woman's mood swings can work. Yesterday evening, I asked John to clean the guinea cage, because I was feeling about as great as a monkey ass looks, but he politely declined my offer. (read 'What, are you nuts? They're not my guineas!') I didn't get much sleep last night, so I was a tad cranky this morning. I noticed that John had left his rinsed cereal bowl in the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher.

Enter the beginnings of a conspiracy theory, or How John Is Out To Destroy Brea's Life.

Earlier in the week, I meant to ask John if we could keep one of the trash cans near were we park the cars, so if I have any trash in my car, I can just toss before I go in the house. (If I don't do it right away, it's not going ot happen.) But I forgot to ask him. When we got in the car for Bible study, I saw a granola bar wrapper on the seat beside me. It was mine, from yesterday, but somehow, that all translated into how unattentive John is, and how he should have known that I wanted a trash can there, and then I started thinking about how much I hate it when he eats in my car, because he sticks french fries in the air conditioning vent to cool them, and one time a fry slid back into the vent, and my car smelled like stale Whataburger for weeks, and how he also doesn't throw away the newspaper when he reads it in my car ... By the time I drove by Chilis on my way into Austin, I was seriously about to pull in and tell him off!

Enter logic.

I realized I needed to cool down, because I like it when John likes me, and if I unloaded all the above-mentioned crazy on him, it would probably start us on the road to Where John No Longer Likes Brea Becaue She Is Pregnant And Crazy And Has mood swings. logic was telling me that I do, in fact, have a Most Wonderful Husband. He is not out to get me, and it is even possible that I overreacted just a tad to the cereal bowl thing. (I mean, after all, mine is still sitting on the table.) He cannot read my mind about the trash can, seeing how I never even mentioned it to him, and he hasn't done that french fry thing in a really long time. And if he doesn't ever throw the newspaper from my car away, not a single time, that's ok. There are worse things in life. He loves me, and he thinks I'm cute, and he's crazy about the kids, and he is really, really good in bed. I can live with the rest, because I'm so crazy-go-nuts about him, too.

It seems like logic has won out today. Let's hope it keeps on winnin'.

Oh, and we went to see the ever-wonderful, ever-fabulous, ever-cool grandmother today. That's right, NANNY!!!! Nanny happens to be the best-est grandmother of all time, and she sends really funny birthday cards, too. And she's got great feet, and always looks like she has had a pedicure. I aspire to be like her. She rocks.