Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Warms My Heart

This morning Alida was all smiles.

And I needed all smiles.

Friday, March 25, 2011

For Sale

We began a journey last September, when Patric took the kids to their grandparents for Labor Day weekend while I dealt with this. It was time to deal with that. He greeted every person who came in our house through the front door. Him and whatever else that other mess was. Him and that frown. So menacing.
So my three days began.

Because everyone likes a personal touch in their decorating, but this wasn't what I'd been going for.

And over that weekend, I wound up with this.

And this!
And we thought to ourselves, that perhaps we could sell this house one day next year. Because now that all Stubers were potty-trained as of 2010, we were busting at the seams of our two bathrooms.

So I started to look at this about the time I was asked to consider re-locating for my job.

And I taught myself how to fix it.
And one of the realtor's said flatly we should tear it all down.
That is a good idea--for someone else.

Because we had spent our time instead dealing with the more yucky, very lived in, we've-brought-four-babies-home-and-raised-them-to-be-pre-schoolers-here carpet that if we were to sell this house would not fly.

And we turned it into this with the help of a friend who works at a construction supply warehouse.

This, by the way, is not nearly as ferocious as it appears.
In fact it was useless.

And around the time we started hauling things out of the house to a storage facility, we said yes, let's relocate.
Because the only thing holding us back, is this house. Our kids are still young. There will be great schools. The job is great. His job will transfer him. We'll be closer to part of my family. We loved it there before.
So we really dug in, and we cleaned the remaining carpets.
Then we had someone come in and re-clean the carpets.
Then I painted the rest of downstairs.
Then we had an electrician come by.
I painted the ceilings.
I painted the trim.
The evening that Benjamin flushed his own Superman down the toilet because Nicholas had fatefully swung at just the right moment and hit Superman out of Ben's hand, I just laughed.
Because why not call a plumber too?
(And it really was just a horrible, tragic-for-Superman accident. You can't really get mad at that.)

So we had the oustide cleaned and painted and re-caulked by other people because we were tired now.
And we listed it on the market.
One day as I cleaned up after dinner, Alida walked by with the dustpan exclaiming:
"All I do around here is clean!"
I think they are picking up on our stress.

Now we live in a house,

that we must have in tip-top shape every time we walk out the door.
Because you never know, when they're coming really.
Except that in the beginning there was a stampede of people.
And now, not-so-much.
And I hate selling a house.

Surprising to me--this is the hardest room to keep clean even though the room is all about keeping things clean.

Little known fact: I don't really like store-bought cut flowers as a gift. They make me a little sad.
Here Patric got me some in a pot, so that I would at least have the bulbs to plant when we get somewhere new. Yes, I don't say it enough, but the man is thoughtful.

So maybe, maybe in the end, we won't have to live in this because that fire isn't too warm, but we do own it out-right...

Thursday, March 24, 2011


They don't look exactly alike.

Yet they kind of do.

More and more.
It's kind of strange.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Elaine asks hopefully every evening if she gets to do homework.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Want To Make Alida Happy

Take her to the zoo for a ride on the carousel.
That's all.
She doesn't care a lick for anything else there.
(Yes, Aunt Lori, she lives in the boots now.)

But get her on her zebra--yes, same animal every time--and she is in heaven.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Has turned 3.
We ate.
Ben ate a lot.
We put on our party dresses.
We had a great time.

Happy birthday girl.
When we raced back into Tennessee to make a hair appointment. Our stylist, hearing we had just come back from Forrest City, said she must be a good friend.
Yes, she is a dear one.

Friday, March 18, 2011


This game that she is playing with him--it's timeless.
I remember it from when I was young.
We loved seeing you earlier this week, even if it was a short visit.
Hopefully we didn't get either of you sick since we seem to be trading our late winter colds around and around and around.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stupid Busy

Sunday afternoon, we had bubbles and an impromptu play date at the park and a little shopping.

With daddy in tow, which has been hard to do as he has been working to turn in his final grad school project and keep up with National Guard weekends. And the draft is in as of Saturday!
Here they are using the computer for what it is meant for--playing Superhero Squad.

And I've been furiously trying to clean the house up to get ready for this.
Because, hey, why don't we just decide to up and move to a new city in the midst of all of this.

And it has left us plain tuckered out.
But we're seeing the end in site, or the new beginning, whichever way you want to say it.
So, everyone that had a birthday between January and now, we're so sorry. I have a card for you; it's in a pile, somewhere...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Signs of Things to Come

Tucked away playing hand-held video games.

(pretending with an empty cup at least for now, although Alida actually likes it.)


Seriously tucked away playing hand-held video games.

The phone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It took us over a year to hook the iPod up in the robot van, but once Patric did music flowed.
And then this during Wagner on the way home from preschool:
From Ben: "TURN IT OFF!!! Daddy, it sounds like someone is going to die!"
From their father: "Well Ben, you're right!"
(and aside to me from Patric singing) "Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!"
Warner Brothers, bringing culture to my generation, one disjointed cartoon at a time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

There's Something About Emily

And her hand-me-downs.

And it's contagious.

Really catching.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mommy Away

Last week I had to be out of town for a few days, and it appears that video game playing was allowed at the table.
The kids were given food, so that's at least good.

And they seemed to like it.
And I would bet money that Alida lived in her Valentine's Day gift from grandma the entire time.

They were clothed, so that's at least good.

And there was bad weather, so they had to retreat to the storm center/laundry room at one point.

They were safe, so that's good.

And there was art time.
So their little minds were expanded, way to go Patric.
I love that Patric is so good with the kids and that I have no worries when I leave for a few days. He is an incredible father to these four, and we are so lucky to have him.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

As I put polka-dot tights under a striped dress and striped tights under the pajamas above and dug out the mis-matched shoes this morning, Elaine says:
"No mommy, I don't want to be all Wacky. Just the red Dorothy shoes with my tights. And I don't want my dress all backward."
Of course, because the rest of you isn't wacky girl.
Nicholas says: "No thanks mommy. I don't want my clothes on backward."
Benjamin would have worn whatever we put on him in whatever way we put it on him as long as we were the ones putting it on him.
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss.
My children are naturally wacky contrary to their own opinions of themselves.
And btw, have you tried to go back and read The Fox In Sox lately?
Makes me feel as grumpy as the poor guy being messed with in that book.