Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Pictures

As promised, here are some of our Christmas pictures...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Again? Really?

Tuesday was Travel Day, Part 2, as we headed back to NC. After waking up and seeing no snow or ice on the roads, I figured we were destined to have a more relaxed trip back than we had on the way in (read earlier "Travel Day" post for more info).

Macie awoke at 6:15a, giving me plenty of time to get ready for our target 9a departure from Mom and Dad's house in Jeff City. Figured that leaving at 9a would get us to the airport by 11a, which is plenty of time before our 1p flight departure.

We actually left the house around 9:20a. Not bad considering the hectic last-minute packing of diapers, clothes from the washing machine, new toys, etc. The drive to the airport was reasonably uneventful, although Nina would probably not agree, since she had to entertain Ivie the entire way. Ivie in a car for 2 hours, without a movie to watch, and following a week of sleep deprivation is not a pretty sight. Shoot, it doesn't even have to be 2 hours. Even the 15-minute car trips around Jeff City the last few days were an adventure in trying to ignore the whimpers and annoying screams emanating from the "big girl" car seat up front.

Got to the airport around 11:30a. Dad stayed in the car with the kids while Dale, Mom, and I lugged the 2 50-pound bags into the airport (curbside check-in wasn't open - bummer). Actually, upon weighing them, one of the bags was 51 pounds, the other 44. We weighed them when the attendant wasn't looking, and I decided to chance it and not move some items over. Surely, with the long line of people behind us, the lady would see that we obviously had room left in the other bag, so she would just let the 1 pound go...

WRONG. She actually said to us, "You'll need to move 1 item from that bag into the other one." I wanted to look at her and ask her if she was kidding, but I could feel the stares of the people behind me, so we just cooperated and did what she asked. We then had to go get the girls out of the car, because they wouldn't give us their boarding passes unless they actually SAW the kids. Whatever. So we went out into the 40 mph winds and temperatures in the teens and got the girls into their respective strollers. After saying bye to Mom and Dad, we were on our way back inside.

After an adventure trying to get to the gate level via elevators (they really should mark the elevator buttons with at least 1 sign that says "Gates", instead of just assuming that people know that, at this particular airport, the gate level is the same as the "Baggage Claim" level), we finally hit the security line, which took just as long this time as it did on the way out. Longer, maybe even, since this time they had to have me open, one at a time, each bottle of breast milk (there were 5) and run a litmus test on each one of them that lasted about a minute each. That's a long time for 2 kids to sit still in their strollers and wait. Particularly when they are both starving...

OK. Through the security line by noon. And not too stressed, as we still had 30 minutes to grab a bite to eat and find a bathroom for me to pump. And since the battery pack had worked when I "tested" it after the last fiasco, I was safe to not have an outlet. We were still in good shape.

As destiny would have it, the only place to eat down our end of the terminal was Jody Maroni's. You guessed it, another hot dog. Which ended up being choked down yet again, this time without a bun (as the hot dog place had run out of hot dog buns - go figure). As Dale and I quickly ate, Macie was screaming for her bottle, Ivie was crying and claiming she didn't WANT a hot dog, and the clock was ticking...

Macie cried herself back to sleep, Ivie decided that she would eat a few bites of my hot dog along with her banana, and we were off to the gate. I took Ivie in her stroller with me to the bathroom to pump, and Dale headed to the gate with Macie to find out if there were any empty seats we could claim.

Ivie and I snagged the handicap stall in the bathroom, which is still a really tight fit for a stroller and a woman who has to pull out all the pump stuff and make it functional. But I got situated and began the process. For about 1 minute. Until the battery pack decided, yet again, that it wanted to stop working. So it did. I just sat there, looking at Ivie, with an apparently very upset look on my face. She looked into my eyes, very concerned, and patted my leg with her little hand, saying, "It's okay, Mommy!".

So I packed away all the stuff, trying to decide what to do next. After taking Ivie's stroller out to Dale (whatever I was going to do, I wasn't going to be able to do it with her in tow!) and headed back to the bathroom with my pump. In the corner of the bathroom, right above the last sink, was an outlet. So I swallowed my pride, sat the pump on the nasty bathroom floor, knelt down (because I certainly couldn't maintain a catcher's squatting position for 10 minutes), and, with my back to the people rushing in and out, set to work pumping. Thankfully, I wasn't able to see any of the looks on the faces of the folks wondering what the heck I was doing. The even better thing about this is that they didn't see my face, either, so I was saved from any future embarrassment that might result if they would have seen me in the terminal afterward.

By the time I'd finished, our flight was ready to pre-board those folks that "needed extra boarding time". Which we did, since we had both girls and, you guessed it, no empty seat for Macie. Boarding went fine. I had a pilot-in-training sitting next to me who had ear plugs and "a girlfriend who would be jealous" that he got to sit next to a baby. Of course it was freezing rain when we boarded, so we had an extra 15 minutes to sit on the plane and entertain the girls while our aircraft was de-iced (and the pilot-in-training had his training manual turned to the inclement weather page, studying up).

Then we were off! Macie ate her bottle, played for a while, and drifted off to sleep with about 30 minutes left to the flight. She didn't make a sound the whole time, so the man sitting next to me wore his ear plugs for no reason. Take THAT, pilot guy! Ivie watched a couple of movies, none for more than 20 minutes before asking Daddy to swap it out. And she only had to be told by the flight attendant one time that if she didn't sit down and put her seatbelt on, we'd have to head straight back to the gate. Lastly, instead of 3 poopy diapers, we only had 1. Macie. Which is to be expected when she eats a complete bottle on the plane.

We landed, got our luggage, and Dale headed to get the car with Ivie. We were then off to Hickory for more fun with Ivie's other "cuzins", Luke and Rod. Survived yet another chaotic flying experience. 2-for-2 on chaotic flights with 2 kids. I have a feeling the trend will continue. Maybe I need to lower my standards a bit. Either that or get to the airport 3 hours before the flight takes off...

I should mention, just so it's in writing for future memories, that Dale and I made it to Hickory by 6p, eastern time. Which was 5p in Missouri. My parents had dropped us off at the airport and headed back home by 11:30a. 5 1/2 hours later, when Dale and I were pulling into his parents' driveway, Mom and Dad were NOT YET home from the airport. OUCH. The freezing rain that caused the de-icing on our flight wreaked havoc on the roads that day. I-70 was closed down in their path, and the back roads were congested and full of other accidents, as well. Though it took them nearly 6 hours to get home, they made it there safely. And Mom got plenty of quality time with Dad. AND they got a Mexican dinner upon their return to Jeff City. So all ended well, both in MO and NC...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Been on a blog hiatus this last week. Previous Christmases I would have had an excuse, as Mom and Dad did not have high speed internet in Owensville. But they've moved to Jefferson City full-time now, and have moved into the world of technology, as well. Not only do they have high speed, but they also have WIRELESS. You rock, Mom and Dad.

We had a wonderful visit to Missouri! I'll give you some of the highlights now, and when I get home and get through the 217 pictures that we've taken so far on our trip, I'll do a post with solely Christmas pics. But for now, the highlights in words...

Runge Conservation Nature Center: Nina (my mom) took us to Runge one morning. It's a small, but very cool, nature center with several live reptiles (snakes, lizards, large snapping turtles), as well as several stuffed birds, etc. Once Ivie was sure that they were all safely behind the glass, she had a wonderful time getting close up to their cages to check them out. She left happy, with the visit made complete by the plastic butterflies that Nina purchased for her and Macie.

Jefferson City Mall: You wouldn't think that a mall would be a highlight of a trip. But when you put together 8 adults and 7 children, a mall with a play area and several food options is a wonderful place. We visited Jeff City's twice! The kids loved the Sbarro's pizza and running around the playplace, and the adults especially enjoyed the stop at Mr. Bulky's candy shop at the conclusion of visit #2.

Scott's Media Room: For those of you that don't know, my brother owns a custom home building company. Signature Homes, for those of you in the Jeff City area that are thinking about building a new home! He recently completed work on his own family's home, and Dale and I were able to see it for the first time on this trip. What a wonderful house! The ceilings are amazing with their eye-catching detail. But I think Dale's vote for the best room in the house would be the media room, in which they have a 100-inch high definition projection television screen. Absolutely amazing. It was here that we watched the Carolina vs. Evansville basketball game. I think Dale is pricing these things as I type, and trying to figure out where to put one in our house. Going to be hard to go back to our "tiny" (in comparison) television!

Granny and Papa's House: The Schaeperkoetter clan had their traditional Christmas get-together on Sunday. Several years ago, we started a tradition in which Granny gives each of us money for Christmas, and we each go out and purchase our own gifts to bring to the celebration. This way, we each get what we want/need, and Granny and Papa get the fun of seeing what we all chose. Everyone's happy! This year, in case you're wondering, Ivie got a matching game and a doll with a carrier that converts into 5 different seats (front pack, feeding chair, rocking chair, etc.). She carries it everywhere and loves to feed her baby with the included bottle, just like she watches Mommy do with Macie. Macie got a "Dunk and Cheer Basketball Game" that was too big for us to bring back on the plane. So Mom and Dad will ship it out to us. She's got a couple of months before the 6M age on the toy, anyway! Dale and I put our money together to get new sheets for our bed. Not very exciting, but certainly very necessary!

Nina and Papa's House: This is where "it all happened". Even though Mom and Dad have downgraded in the size of their home, it was still plenty of room for us all to congregate over the trip. Scott's clan, who live in Jeff City, too, were able to come over pretty much every evening. And Sarah's clan arrived on Saturday and were still there when we left yesterday. There was enough amazing food to feed our small army for the week (thanks for all your hard work cooking, Mom!), and plenty of toys for the kids to work on "sharing". We enjoyed an evening visit from Gary, Chris, Molly, Abby, and Betsy Alfermann. And we had a very chaotic, yet very fun, present-opening session on Sunday evening. When we left the house for the last time Tuesday morning, Ivie was VERY sad to be leaving her "cuzins".

West Gate Lanes: The Entertainment-of-the-Trip Award definitely has to go to the bowling alley on Monday night. There were 5 adults and 5 kids bowling, with 3 moms (Nina, Bobbie, and me) and 2 too-little kids (Gavin and Macie) just observing. The first 30 minutes or so was pretty much standard bowling (as standard as bowling with kids and bumpers can be!). But when night-time hit the bowling alley, that all changed. The main lights were cut off, and the dance music and strobe lights kicked in. It was ... hilarious. The kids all started break-dancing on an adjacent lane (we pretty much had half the bowling alley to ourselves). I've got some video of this that I will try to post later, as well. It was, quite simply, the absolute best place for our family of 15 to spend our last evening together.

So those were the highlights of our trip. Wonderful times spent with family over the holidays. Quite a blessing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Travel Day

Yesterday was our travel day to Missouri. And, as you can imagine, flying with 2 kids is going to result in a few stories. So here are mine from yesterday...

We actually flew out of Charlotte (2 hours from home) instead of RDU (15 minutes from home), because: a) direct flights were cheaper on US Air than on American, and you can BET that if we can fly direct, we're certainly going to, and b) we are going to end up back in Hickory (only an hour from Charlotte) on the back end of the trip anyway. So, on Tuesday afternoon, we packed up the car and headed for Hickory, where we spent Tuesday night.

Yesterday morning, the plan was to leave Hickory at 8:30a to drive to Charlotte to catch an 11:20a flight. The thought was that this would put us at the airport by 9:30a, leaving a solid hour and a half buffer to get situated, get lunch, etc.

We left Dale's parents' house at 8:45a. Not too far off schedule. And, right on target, we pulled up to the airport at 9:45a. Still plenty of time to do what we needed to do.

After getting the 2 50-pound checked bags out of the car and safely sent away ($34 later, after checked bag and sky cap fees), I headed inside with Macie in her stroller and a couple of the carry-on bags. Dale kept Ivie in the car and went to park. As I got inside, knowing that it would take them 10 minutes or so, I decided to make great use of the time and head to the bathroom to pump (since I was going to have to do that before the flight, anyway). Got to the bathroom with Mac, got everything set up, turned on the pump, and... NOTHING. Great. Apparently the batteries in the seldom-used battery pack had decided to die on me just in time for this trip. And, of course, there were no outlets to be found in this airport bathroom. Guess I was going to have to go to plan B, which was either find some batteries or find an outlet once we got through security.

Bummed out, I headed back into the lobby to wait for Dale. He arrived shortly and we headed to security. Security with a toddler and an infant is NO FUN. Add in a breast pump, breast milk, medicine, several jackets, 2 cell phones, and 2 laptop computers, and it's even LESS fun. 20 minutes later, we put on the last of our shoes and went in search of the US Air "Club", where the security guy had suggested we go to plead for use of an outlet in a private area...

The lady there was nice, and only hesitated slightly before directing me into the "dressing room" in the restroom. It was super nice, complete with a nice countertop for all my stuff. So I set to work...

About 2 minutes into the 7-minute session, I gasped. Not sure what had made me think of it, but I realized, with a start, that I had FORGOTTEN the base to Macie's car seat. And for those of you that know Graco infant seats, the seat itself is not worth much if you don't have the base to strap the seatbelt through. Wonderful. So, while pumping, I placed 3 desperate calls. First to my dad to make sure he hadn't left home yet to come pick us up. Next to my brother, Scott, hoping that he still had Gavin's car seat base and that it was a Graco. He didn't answer, so the third call was to his wife, Bobbie, to ask the same questions. She didn't answer either. What the heck do I do now?!?

Thankfully, Bobbie called back seconds later. And then Scott did, too. Between the 3 of us, we figured out that we weren't sure what type of seat they had, but that they thought they could direct Dad to it in their house, and that he would just bring along the entire thing so that we could use it instead of ours if it wasn't Graco. Phew. Problem solved. Thank goodness for family...

By the time I finished pumping, this problem was solved and I was feeling a bit better. Nothing else that I could have forgotten would have been this bad, so I was through the worst. Right?

Well, yeah, probably. But by this point it was 10:40a, and we still needed to grab some lunch, walk to the gate, hopefully get moved to a row with an open seat (we hadn't purchased a seat for Macie), and eat. Before boarding, of course, because there would be no extra hands during the boarding process to carry food. The next 30 minutes before we got on the plane were a blur. We choked down hot dogs that tasted like they'd been made the day before, swallowed as much soda as we could, and were 4 of the last people to board the plane. We were actually going to make it to Missouri!

The flight itself was fairly uneventful after the lead-up saga. That is, if you define uneventful as changing 3 poopy diapers during a less-than-2-hour flight. One for Ivie, two for Macie. All three changed while sitting in our row of seats. All three changed without getting poop on any of our clothes. Success.

We landed, found Dad, found the car, got the car seats installed, stopped at Sonic for a Watermelon slush (YUMMY!) and made the mostly quiet drive to Jefferson City. After a fun dinner out with Scott's clan, we dragged 2 very tired little girls back to Mom and Dad's house. One of which went the very first day of her life (all 2 years and 8 months of it) without taking a nap. Based on her attitude by the end of the day, I'm hoping it doesn't happen again for a few more years!

Chalk up another travel day. Glad we don't have to do it again for a week. Let the Christmas festivities begin!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

In Exchange for a Co-Pay...

Headed to the doctor with Macie this morning. I thought, going in, that she just had a good ole fashioned cold, but wanted to check to be sure, since our Christmas travels begin soon. Came out of the visit with that official diagnosis, but also with the news that she has the start of an ear infection. So we've got antibiotics for her now, too...

But here's what ELSE I learned at the doctor's office this morning:

1) I do not have strep throat or the flu. Dr. Joe asked me if I'd taken my sick self to the doctor. I gave him the motherly look that says, "Moms don't have time to go to the doctor unless they're REALLY sick." So he said, "Well, let's just test you for strep to be sure." The test was negative. And he said the flu isn't "out" yet, so it's not that either. Just a yucky case of the cold, I guess...

2) Babies don't get strep throat. Who knew?!? The nurse said the youngest child they'd seen it with was 18 months old. Seems weird to me, but whatever! Good to know...

3) There's medicine for diarrhea! Not sure why I didn't think to at least ask the pharmacist at Target about this. While with Dr. Joe this morning, I mentioned to him Ivie's 5-day case of diarrhea that does not appear to be ending. He agreed that it was most likely associated with the antibiotic she's on, and then nonchalantly asked if we'd tried Florastor. I said, "What's that?", and he told me it's an over-the-counter medication for intestinal issues (he used bigger words, of course). There's now a box on the island in my kitchen just waiting for Ivie to get home... But I would suggest not using this every time you've got diarrhea issues - stuff's expensive! There are 10 packets in the box (it's a sprinkle that you mix with apple juice, applesauce, etc.), and it cost $11.50. Wow. Over a dollar a serving. But we'll save much more than that in the millions of Pull-Ups we've been going through...

4) Diaper rash that is caused by diarrhea, which is caused by antibiotics, is probably yeast. Dr. Joe also told me to try some of the Nystatin I have (from Macie's bout with thrush) on Ivie's diaper rash. I'd actually thought about giving that a shot this weekend, but I laughed it off, thinking that surely those two problems are unrelated and I might do Ivie's diaper rash more harm than good putting yeast infection medication on it!

5) Macie weighs over 14 pounds! She weighed in at 14 pounds, 3 ounces this morning.

I definitely think all that knowledge was worth the $15 co-pay! I can tell you that I don't always feel that way!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Mom Song

This is how I feel after a day at home today with two sick girls. Moms, you have to watch this. Dads, you should watch, too...

By the way, I've now got a sore throat that has been evolving all day to get to the point where it is now and I can barely swallow... Not to mention the headache that popped up around 3p and hasn't gone away...

And did I forget to add that our power went out for an hour tonight, right at dinner time, so we had to scrounge to find the flashlights (my mom would NOT have been proud, being that I could tell you without a second's hesitation where they ALL were at 811 Oakbrook Drive growing up, right, Schaeperkoetter clan?!?). We were saved only by the decorative (and now partially burned) Christmas candles that we KNEW were sitting inside the doorway to the living room. So we ate dinner by candle/flashlight, with Ivie asking every so often if we could please "fix" the television, as she was missing Max and Ruby... And of course I was stressing that the power would be out long enough to effectively render my 3-weeks-worth of frozen breastmilk useless, so I'd placed multiple calls to friends to find out if their power was out and, if not, if they wouldn't mind storing some of it for me...

But here it is, 8:10p. The power came back on around 7:00p (thanks, God!) just in time for bathtime for both girls. And now they're both quiet in their rooms. Ahhhhhhh. Time to catch up on Biggest Loser.

Watch the video. I mean it. It's worth it!

A Wreck...

Both of the girls are home with me today. This was not planned. The plan for the day was for Ivie to go to school (she much prefers school to a boring day at home with Mommy!) and for me to catch up on some baby time with Macie, who has been to school the first 3 days of this week.

But, as luck would have it, Ivie got hit with a bout of diarrhea last night that has continued through this morning. Not much fun when you're trying to potty-train! We've gone back to the Pull-Ups until the illness passes through. But I've been so proud of her so far - she's trying with all her might to go to the potty EVERY time she has diarrhea. Tough to do every 5 minutes! Even with her efforts, we've been through about 5 Pull-Ups so far today.

Macie had a nasty diaper this morning, too. I'll probably get in trouble for mentioning it, but it was the first diaper that caused Dale to physically gag while changing. Brought back memories of before Ivie was born, when Dale was really concerned that he wouldn't be able to handle the dirty diapers because of his gag reflex around such nastiness. But I don't remember him ever having a problem with it after Ivie arrived. It's amazing how your body adjusts. But this morning, Macie got the best of him! I quickly took over for fear of having THREE sick people in the house!

So you should see our house right now. Looks like a tornado hit it. It's noon right now, and breakfast just got cleared off the table. And only so it could be replaced by lunch. Ivie's alphabet puzzle is scattered all over the first floor of the house. Both TVs are on, same channel (Noggin, of course), but with a slight delay on the one in the living room, resulting in an annoying discrepancy of sound that appears to only bother me (not Ivie).

Ivie is eating her lunch (chicken noodle soup). She's only eating it because I told her that if she doesn't eat and keep her energy up, we'll have to go back to the doctor. As you know, Ivie hates the doctor. Macie is happily playing on her play mat. Check that. Just took a break from blogging and peeked in on her. She had fallen asleep on her play mat while playing. So now she's upstairs in her crib for what will most likely be a standard 40-minute nap...

Here are some pictures of the mess. Looks like I'll be spending Ivie's nap time cleaning up around here!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Zero Means None

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are in the process of potty-training Ivie... We, admittedly, haven't had the time to concentrate on it since Macie's arrival, so I guess she finally decided to take matters into her own hands. On Thanksgiving Friday, in Hickory at Dale's parents' house, she randomly just started going to the "big-girl potty" several times throughout the day. So we figured the time had come.

The potty part of the training is going well. She's pretty much got it down. But poo-poo..., not so much. So, in an effort to further encourage her, we've started rewarding her with M&M's when she successfully uses the potty. My brilliant idea - 1 M&M for potty, 3 (or maybe more!) for poo-poo.

Ivie has made it known that she does not think that one M&M is a sufficient reward for potty. She continues to ask for "a lot". To try to make her realize that she's lucky to even get one, I said to her, on several occasions today, "Ivie, you can either have one or zero. How many do you want?" And she answered, with enthusiasm, "I WANT ZERO!", clearly thinking that zero has GOT to be more than one, since one is... well... only one!

Realizing that this had not had the desired effect, I launched into yet another word lesson. I explained to her, "Ivie, zero means none. It means you don't get ANY. So do you want zero, or one?" Sometimes she caught on and said "one". Other times, she continued to be adamant about zero, and the definition game went on for several more minutes.

After having this conversation about 4 times today, I think she's finally gotten it. How do I know? Well, as she climbed on the toilet the last two times this evening, she was talking about wanting an M&M (the reward is apparently working, though I'm concerned that we might be buying M&M's now for the next 5 years...). And after saying that she wanted some, she looked up at me, very sincerely, and said, "Mommy, zero means none. I don't want zero. I want a lot."

Bingo, Ivie. You've got it. Now just start going poo-poo on the potty, and we can hammer out the definition of "a lot"...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Show-and-Tell, Round 7: Grinch

The Christmas spirit is alive in the Herman house... We've got our tree up, along with various decorations, including Ivie's favorites - Hallmark's talking line of stuffed creatures. You know, press the button on the hand and it talks/sings/etc...

Today's choice for Show-and-Tell was the Grinch. This particular version tells a quick story of the Grinch and how "in Whoville they say, that the Grinch's small heart grew 3 SIZES that day.". Ivie chose him over the singing Rudolph and snowmen this time. Something tells me we'll see Rudolph next Friday...

Just for kicks, I'm including a couple pics of Ivie with our Christmas tree. Notice the big-girl panties. We're potty-training!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Bath Together

Dale was out of town last night and it was bath night for Macie; so out of necessity, Ivie and Macie took their first bath together. Ivie was so excited to take a bath in the "big" tub (mine and Dale's), instead of in her bathroom. We had to use ours to fit Macie's tub AND Ivie in at the same time!

I'm glad Ivie was with me as we headed upstairs. She said to me, "Mommy take pictures in the bath?". Yes, Ivie, THANK YOU! I've been wanting to get some pictures of Macie in the tub for weeks now, and have forgotten to bring the camera upstairs each time. Leave it to the kid who loves pictures to remind me...

Here are a few shots of the girls in the tub and immediately following. They'll hate me for these someday...

Fresco Tile, Part II

Worked on Macie's tile today... Another fun 1-day project to complete the "set" for my office!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Ivie has fully recovered from her bout with RSV pneumonia, and it seems as though the only lasting effect on her is an emotional scar from the saga of the nebulizer (known to Ivie as "treatments"). As you can see below, she wasn't a fan...

Dale and I have learned that the threat of the nebulizer gets Ivie to stop misbehaving almost immediately. It's amazing, actually. We discovered it somewhat innocently. On Friday, in Hickory, Ivie was throwing a fit (which included screaming and crying) about something, and I said to her, "Ivie, you better stop or you're going to get yourself all worked up and we'll have to do a treatment." The sobbing ceased, she looked at me and said, "I don't WANT to do a treatment, Mommy!", and she immediately began doing what I had asked her to do in the first place.

A lightbulb moment for Mommy and Daddy...

Fast-forward a couple of days. It was Sunday, and Ivie's breathing was back to normal. It was either nap-time or bed-time (I can't remember which), and Ivie was refusing to go upstairs with Dale. From the top of the stairs, Dale yelled, "Ivie, you better get up here right now or we're going to do a treatment!". Glancing quickly at me with a look of concern on her face, Ivie headed immediately for the stairs, muttering, again, that she didn't want to do a treatment.

Dale and I got a good laugh out of this. We've since, though, decided that the parenting books would probably advise against us using the nebulizer as a threat to get our child to cooperate! So we've stopped. But it doesn't hurt to have it in our back pocket in case ever get to the point where nothing else seems to work, right?!?

In Our Backyard

In the past week or so, our neighbors have been telling us that we've had deer in our yard every night. We were gone for Thanksgiving, and we're usually in bed by 10p, so we haven't been lucky enough to catch sight of them yet.

But this morning, as I was washing dishes, I saw 4 of them munching on the pine straw in the backyard. A mom and her baby were very close to the house, and 2 others were off in the distance a bit (visible, but not catch-able on film). I snuck out onto our screened porch to get some video, and then took a few pictures out of the window above the sink (both included below).

Unfortunately, when I turned on the sink to rinse the dishes, the 3 adults looked up at the hint of the noise, stared in my direction for a split second, and took off running. The naive baby? She didn't even stop eating! She stayed and was still munching away when I finished the dishes and forced myself to leave the sink and stop watching her (I think I could have stood there all day).

It's fun to have random interactions with nature while standing in your kitchen! Wish Ivie were here to see them, though I'm certain she would have scared them away much sooner with her squeals of delight!