The Chimney of Death

Okay, before I tell you about the chimney of death, I must show you Daniel, playing in his very first gigantic rain puddle.  This puddle was more like a small pond.  The older boys were all pretending to fish in it (Joshua and company), but Daniel, being young and unbridled, just splashed right into the center of the thing.  He got a gooood bath when he got home, needless to say.  Thankfully, it wasn’t cold today.

Okay, now about our chimney!  I mentioned on my last post that the basement still smelled really bad, even after having removed the FIVE dead squirrels from above the flu.  Alan decided that must mean that there are still some more squirrel carcasses up there, so he donned his heavy duty work gloves and reached a little further, and more to the right….
two more carcasses and one more newly deceased.
I texted our land lady the story.  She texted back, “omg.  That is so gross.”
How bizarre is this craziness!!??  Did the older dead squirrels live in the chimney during the time we have been living here?  If so, I certainly never heard them.  Also, squirrels are very social animals, I think the chimney of death goes to show they will not leave a fellow squirrel forsaken.  Search and rescue teams will be dispatched.
I just hope that this will put an end to the neighborhood squirrel genocide being committed by our fireplace!!  I actually like squirrels!


The boys have been as hilarious as ever of late.
Daniel is allll about helping me in the kitchen, really helping me with anything and everything that I’m doing.  Now you may think that normal for a toddler, but it is new for me.  The other boys helped a little, Caleb mostly copied Joshua though, and Joshua was better at entertaining himself than Dan seems to be.  Since Dan is so good at helping with the dishes and wants to help with cooking, I have been thinking about getting him a little toy kitchen (in neutral colors of course) for his birthday.  However, in this masculine house of boys, I knew I’d have to run this by all of Dan’s elders first.
First, I asked the boys, “Daniel really likes helping in the kitchen.  Do you think it would be okay to get him a little toy kitchen, or do you think that it would be too girly?  I could find one that has like blue colors, not pink.  Do you think that’d be okay?”
Joshua and Caleb considered it a second, and then they both nodded their heads and said they thought it’d be all right.  Caleb also enjoys playing “kitchen center” at school.
That hurdle accomplished, I next took on the big man.   He didn’t seem to have any great objection to the idea.
Today I  took Dan to a consignment store.  If we are going to have four children, we need to trim some fat on the budget and start living more frugally.  I don’t have any immediate needs, but since consignment stores and thrift stores are constantly changing, you really gotta go often to find the good stuff.  If I wait until a need is immediate, I’ll give up and buy retail.  Well, there was a unisex kitchen in there, and I showed it to Daniel, but it was seriously tiny, so he didn’t seem interested.  I didn’t buy it.  He was very interested in a little pink toy baby carrier, but we left that at the store as well.   I decided that would definitely not go over…..


—Joshua’s teacher is now awarding good behavior with “double orange” rather than just “orange.”  She just started this this week.  Joshua proudly announced that he got double orange at school today.  Caleb, never to be outdone, proudly proclaimed, “Oh, well, I had even doubler double orange and fifty soar cards.”  Caleb has developed a little competitive streak.

–Every morning we walk to school, and the boys race each other to each cross street.  I make them wait for me at corners until I catch up.  Joshua is always, always, always faster than Caleb.  He’s just a faster runner.  Caleb knows and accepts this, but he doesn’t like it, so every day Caleb exclaims, “The SECOND person wins, and the first person is rotten!!”

–I was walking into school last week to pick up the kids from Mad Science.  That’s an after-school class that’s a fun version of science class, and they really like it.  In fact, Joshua was running around the house this week wearing his footy pajamas unzipped as a lab coat “being a scientist.”
It was just Daniel and me walking in, and a very nice fellow mother that I’d never met before was talking to me, and I said something about Daniel being a handful right now, and she said, “at least you don’t have twins!”  I thought to myself, “True, but Joshua and Caleb as toddlers/preschoolers was pretty much the same as having twins,” but since she of course doesn’t realize this I just said, “Oh, yeah, I definitely do not need twins.  I’m really glad I haven’t had that,” and she said, “Well, you work with what you have when you have two.”  For some reason it just struck me as funny. I’m about to have two little boys and two little bitties, making it a house of four little boys, but really who in the world–not knowing me–would expect me to be the mother of four boys!!??
I often meet moms that proudly proclaim themselves not girly at all and happy to be the mother of only boys.  Well, I just don’t feel that way at all.  I looooove being a mother of boys.  However, I will not be letting go of my right to girly-ness.  In fact, since boys need less variety in clothing and shoes and accessories, that simply means that I’ll just be buying all the cute clothes for myself….  After all, I will apparently be their only immediate familial reference as to what “girls are like.”  I guess they will think girls are awfully bossy!

By the way, my consignment store errand was a great success:  a beautiful Eddie Bauer wooden bassinet that rolls and swings, two Little Tykes stools, an “I’m a Big Bro” t-shirt for Daniel, and a little toy car, all for $63.

I was so excited about this find.  It’s so much sturdier than the one we used with Joshua that we paid the same price for!  Plus when I’m done with it in a few months, I can just take it back to the consignment store and sell it back.  We use the bassinet constantly that first month when I’m recovering from birth and don’t want to walk the halls all night.  With Joshua we used to roll it to whatever room we were in all day long. That little fellow never left our side in the beginning.  I’m really not sure HOW I will handle newborn sleep with all these kids running around this house all summer!  For the first few weeks, I fully intend to isolate myself on the third floor and give myself fully to surgery recovery and breastfeeding.  Weeks three and four I’m planning to ship the three oldest boys off to Alabama.  Weeks five and six I suppose the boys will return, but by then I will be semi-functioning again.  Hmmm….this is going to be a challenge!

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