Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, the boys and I stopped by Tuesday Morning to check out their puzzles. As we were walking through the parking lot on our way into the store, we saw an older gentleman in the driver's seat of a van. It looked as if he was waiting for his wife to finish her shopping. We all had a good chuckle because he was asleep and his mouth was open very wide. The boys found that quite funny.

Today I was cleaning the house and I could hear the boys playing in the living room. I walked through to see what they were doing. They had been riding their tricycles and had 'parked' them in front of the side door. They were pretending to be asleep and had their mouths wide open. Even though it had been a couple of weeks since we had seen the old gentleman, I knew right away what they were pretending and I laughed out loud. It was so funny to see them pretending this and also very funny that they remembered it to the point of wanting to pretend it a couple of weeks after we saw it. Very funny.

The boys were very good today while I cleaned, thankfully. I am trying to catch up on some much needed cleaning and decluttering. I got a lot done today but still have much to do.

I am very thankful that today was the last day of work for the dad for the next two weeks. Yay! It will be so nice to have him around and the boys are really going to enjoy it too. Also, his sister is coming to visit on Monday and will be staying for about a week and a half, so we are all looking forward to that. The boys are so excited.

As it turns out, I did not have a cold. I had/have a sinus infection and it seems that I have probably had it for quite some time and it just kept flaring up....or something like that. Anyway, yesterday was my worst day. I started taking some medicine yesterday morning and today I felt much better.

My mom and sister and nephew came for a visit yesterday. The boys had so much fun. The lady who does our post placement reports also came by yesterday. My sister put the boys down for their nap while I talked with the post placement lady (can't remember what they are called:). When the boys woke up, the first thing they asked about was whether MaMa, Aunt Kathy and Trenton were still here. When I told them that they had gone home, they cried. They are normally gone when the boys wake up from their nap but I'm thinking maybe we forgot to tell them this time. I felt so bad. Next time I'll have to remember to set their expectations better. They will get to see them more over the holidays though so that will be nice.

So we got the home visit out of the way for our post placement report and I already have all of the photos ready but still need to make copies. It is due by the end of January so we have plenty of time but I always like to make sure that we are early. I think our report will be ready around the first or second week of January so that should be great. After this one, we only have one more to do in January of next year.

I have also been spending a good amount of time knocking out pages for the boys' lifebooks. I am ashamed to admit this because, as much as I have talked about the importance of lifebooks on this blog, I'm sure people probably would assume I had them finished by now. I had done a lot on Ben's but I now have finally caught them up where Nick's and Ben's are at the same point. I am very close to being finished and will be sooooo happy when they are completed. I am going to try to spend some time on it over the next two weeks and see how much I can accomplish.

We are going out to dinner and then to do a bit of shopping, so off I go:).
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008

It seems we may have finally hit the bottom of the gas price drop, according to the news folks anyway. We'll see. I was really hoping it would get into the dollar-thirty-something range so I am a pretty happy camper right now. Now I am just hoping it doesn't go back too quickly.

In other news, we got a bunch of ice last night. The ground is covered with a sheet of ice but, fortunately, it did not cover the trees and bushes and stuff like it did last year. The dad went to work this morning and said that just 5 miles from our house there was no ice. So apparently it was pretty selective. The boys and I stayed in all day. It has been a cold one. I think the high today may have been around 17 or 15 degrees.

The boys and I put some water in tuperware bowls outside so we could see how long it would take to freeze but then we forgot about it.

Did I mention that I am sick again? I am once again so hoarse that I cannot even sit and read a book to the boys. It takes effort to talk, although it was worse last time. The funny thing is that I don't think I have ever had this sort of thing in my life before and now I have had it twice in just a few months. Maybe I need to start eating healthier. I seem to be catching colds more often than normal.....although I just finished a stressful four week stretch, with the dad away on a trip and then working extra hours while also spending a lot of time at church performing in a play. I don't do well when I go that long without getting hardly any personal time or any time alone. So maybe the added stress had something to do with it.

Well, I started writing this during naptime and now it is bedtime for me. It's been a long day.
Hope you are enjoying those low gas prices! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008

Just returned from the pediatric cardiologist and everything went great. Ben was a real trouper and did everything asked of him. They had Curious George on a small TV mounted up high so he was able to watch that while they did their thing. After that, we went to another room where he had his blood pressure taken and then they did an EKG. I forgot that they do that so I did not warn him ahead of time so he was a bit disappointed about having to do something again but he did it without complaint and I read a book to him while they did that. I also told him we would go for ice cream on the way home, which made him happier.

The doctor said that he still has a tiny whole in his heart. It is only about 2mm in diameter so it is very tiny. She said it is smaller than it was two years ago. We have to go back in two years and do it all again and we are hoping it will be gone. The tiny hole should not impact him at all while he is young but when he is older it could make it more likely for him to have a stroke. She said if that happened, they would fix the hole at that time but it did not need to be fixed while he is young.

In other news, I have another cold, which is a real bummer. Off to fix dinner now.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

December 9, 2008

We just returned from the dentist for a cleaning and checkup. Unfortunately our appointment was at 2:00pm, which really pushed nap time back. They were very efficient though. We were finished and back in the waiting room to pay by 2:20 and we were home with the boys in their beds by 3:00. Not too bad really.

We had good incentive to hurry and to come straight back home because it is really yucky outside today. We started the day with temps in the 50's I think and now we are below freezing and it is windy and misting and very very cold. The wind chill factor must be quite low.

The boys did a great job. This was their third time to the dentist. The very first time, we were really disappointed in the dentist and his way with children. We switched to a different dentist in the same practice and she was really great on the second visit. This visit was the first time the boys actually went into the exam area without us. The hygienist came out and called their names and they both walked in a bit cautious. We were watching through a window. They talked them both into the chairs and showed them the tools, explained things to them and let them pick out the flavor of cleaning stuff and also a small ball to hold in their hand. So far, so good.

The problem came up when they wanted them to lie back in the chair. That was where it became a bit too scary. We could see Ben shaking his head no when she was patting the chair and trying to talk him into it. Nick actually started crying and then they waved us in. We were able to quickly get them back into a good place and they both ended up lying back and doing a great job after that.

They were given lots of stickers and small toys for their bravery. I had promised them a surprise if they did very well at the dentist so I am trying to decide which of their Christmas presents I want to go ahead and give them now.

Now they are both sleeping. They are really doing great with this new sleeping thing and I think I am very close to being able to move further away from their door. My next move will be to the couch in the nearby game room. Once they are doing well with that, it will be easy to move downstairs from there, I think. So, I think it won't be very long before we have two little guys who are once again very good about falling asleep without us in the room.

I forgot to mention what I decided to use for an incentive for getting them to stay in their beds at night. If they stay in their bed, they get a coin the next morning to put in their piggy bank, which is just one of those cheap, plastic food holders with a lid that I put a slot in so they can put their coins in it. They love it. Sometimes they get pennies, sometimes nickels, sometimes dimes and sometimes quarters. They tend to always want quarters though, I guess because they know that is what we use for those animal ride things at the mall or grocery store. When they have enough money, they can choose to use it to buy something at the dollar store or to ride one of the rides at the grocery store or mall.

Nick is one of these kids who has such a strong will that I have to be extremely consistent with him. If I give in on something just one time, he will test, test, push, push, trying to get me to give in again. I have to set very clear rules and boundaries and I have to be very consistent in maintaining them. He is such a great kid though. He has such a happy disposition and I love hearing him walk around singing. He also really enjoys getting a rise out of his brother though, which can be frustrating. He loves picking on Ben, taking his toys, pushing/pulling him, tackling him, etc. He is always doing something to Ben. Much of the time, Ben enjoys it but there are times when he does not, understandably. So I have been working on Nick on this.

Overall, behavior around here is very good right now, which I thank God for. When things were not going so well recently, I prayed and prayed that God would help me understand them and show me the best way to deal with the issues we were experiencing. I am happy to say that God is faithful and He always answers prayers.

With behavior so good these days, we are just having so much fun together and every one's attitudes are so good. I am loving this age too. They are able to carry on a conversation and they have such funny things to say. Their imaginations are simply wonderful and I love to watch them play and talk to themselves. Ben talks to himself a lot while he is playing and it is so cute. He has really gotten much better about picking up his toys and helping to clean up when asked and doing it with a good attitude. They are both such good little boys and such a joy to be around (most of the time:). It is fun that they are now at an age where they get some jokes/teasing and will laugh with me about things. I have a tendency to say 'you crack me up' or 'I cracked up laughing' about something funny sometimes and they have picked this up. It is amazing how quickly they learn. They were helping me fold some clothes this morning and Nick is actually getting pretty good at folding the washcloths.

Well, enough of all of the gushing:). I must go find a surprise for the boys.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 08, 2008

December 8, 2008

Lots of stuff going on around here. The other night, I accidentally super glued two of my fingers together. I think that was the craziest thing I have ever done. It took me a while to get them apart and it really hurt. Don't try this at home folks. It was not fun.

The other crazy thing I did the other day was, I was cleaning up the kitchen, wiping down counters and the table. The boys and I had eaten some Christmas cookies at the kitchen island and some of the little sprinkles were there so I picked them up and ate them. Yummy;). Then I went over to the table and started cleaning up there. I saw what looked like a sprinkle and, without thinking about it, picked it up and put it in my mouth. I forgot that the boys had been playing with play dough at the table, not eating cookies. Yuck! It was quite a yucky surprise.

I ordered a series of workbooks from Kumon recently and we started using them today. We have the cutting, folding, stickers and pasting, coloring, mazes and tracing books. I think that's all of them. The boys really enjoyed it. When we finished and we were eating lunch, Ben told me that he wanted to "do school more often". We have been spending more time sitting at the table "doing school" lately, at their request. I basically leave it up to them to lead it and we quit or change what we are doing when they want to, for the most part. We spent 2 straight hours in the morning on "school" a couple of days recently and they just keep asking for more.

I am using these new Kumon books to work on having them listen to and follow directions. I am also using these books ("our special books") to persuade Nick to try and hold his pencil a little better. Today he did very well. I only make him try on two of the books, when we are using pencils to do mazes and tracing. If he doesn't want to try, he can color or cut and paste or whatever using other books that we have but he can't do the Kumon mazes and tracing books unless he tries to hold his pencil correctly. As I said, today was our first day and they were very excited about these books. They are very fun books so he was quite motivated to try. Both boys did a great job at all of the things we did today and we all had fun.

I still would like to put together some type of schedule for us to follow but I have not gotten around to it yet:). I am normally not a New Year's resolution type person but this year I think I will have some new goals for the new year. One of them is to start working out again and lose some weight (as a friend of mine said recently about herself, I am quite the chunky monkey these days and I'm not liking it one little bit). Another one is to have a schedule for us to follow and, most importantly have a time set aside every day for quiet time with God. I have been flying by the seat of my pants for too long now and I think the boys are old enough to slide in to the right schedule easily enough.

Tonight we have the Christmas party for my husband's office. It is a family Christmas party and it is always very nice. We have to get there a bit early because we will be caroling with a group of folks, as everyone enters the party. We did that two years ago (before we had kids!) and it was fun. Last year the party was cancelled because of snow and ice, or something like that. I am really looking forward to this tonight and I love that they include the whole family. They have a kids room with toys and they serve a dinner buffet and some of the wives bring the desserts. I am bringing brownies (yeah, I know, very exciting, but that's all I had time for) but I think they might be over cooked. They were not done before I got into the shower so I set them for 10 more minutes and asked the husband to take them out when the timer went off. When I got out of the shower, he told me that he did the toothpick test and they had to cook for another 25 minutes before they were done, according to his toothpick test (he even started to explain the toothpick test to me; what a funny man:). So, I am pretty sure they are way over done, since he cooked them about 30 minutes longer than the directions indicated. I know our oven tends to cook a bit slower than most directions call for but I think that is stretching it a bit:). Oh well, it is what it is but I think I will tell everyone that he cooked the brownies:). (just kidding).

We also have a dental appointment tomorrow for dental cleanings for both boys. Later this week we have a follow up visit with the heart specialist for B's heart condition. I can't remember the name for this but he has a small hole in his heart. We had it checked when he first came home and they said it may heal itself but, even if it doesn't, he should not require surgery. But they also wanted us to come back for a follow up. And then next week, we have a follow up visit for the scar on B's face.  It will be interesting to see what the surgeon thinks of it. I hope they do not recommend doing it again. I can't imagine putting him through that again and, also, the scar gets a tad bit bigger each time. So, I am hoping the surgeon will say it will continue to look better and better over time.

Well, I must get up and get moving. I have some ironing to do before we go to the Christmas party. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5, 2008

I am on the night watch and I am sooo tired. I woke up around 2-something this morning and could not go back to sleep. I finally got up and did a few things and I have been going ever since. Unfortunately that does not make for a very happy mommy tonight. My patience level is right about at 0.0, which does not mix well with two little three year old boys.

The good news is that they are adjusting to our new situation, with me not sitting in their room while they are falling asleep. The first two nights Nick was a bit hyper vigilant, calling out to me to make sure I was still sitting in my chair outside their door. Tonight, he seems fine with it and has not called out to me like that yet.

I am hoping that after a few more days of this, I can move out to the game room, which is just down a short hall from where I am sitting. I have the monitor with me so I can hear what they are doing or if they need me. The only thing is that now I can tell them to settle down without getting out of my chair. I won't be able to do that if I am in the game room, although I could watch a little news. I am hopeful that within a couple of weeks, we will no longer be required to hang out upstairs until they fall asleep.

I think I might fall asleep before they do tonight, here in my chair. I am so sleepy.

My sister is spending the night tonight. She went to a Christmas concert that my niece is in at a nearby university. After it is over, she is coming back here to stay the night and will hang out with us for a little while tomorrow. I am so looking forward to having a little help. I have basically not had any help now with anything around here all week. I did get to have a break one day at the beginning of the week. My friend came over and watched the boys so I could take a little break. I had an hour and a half and I used it to run some errands. It was a much needed break. Very sweet of my friend.

Thankfully, it sounds like they are falling asleep a bit early this evening....which probably means they will be up at 6:00am. Oh well. As tired as I am tonight, I'm OK with that trade off. Hopefully I can head off to bed soon.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

December 4, 2008

....once again I am sitting outside of the boys' room. I just over heard Nick saying:

"Samuel! Samuel!" and "I did not call you. Go back to bed." as he was pretending the Bible story of Eli and Samuel. They are too funny. They pretend about 20 million things in about 5 minutes, from riding motorcycles (the pillow), to playing drums (pounding on the rail).

Last night when I was trying to tell Nick to quit calling out to me to ask me what I was doing, he was going through a list of things to try to keep me in the room, including "I need to go potty" (he had just gone) and "I bleeding" :). He wasn't bleeding, in case your wondering but I did think it was pretty funny.

Wow, I am so tired. I think I mentioned that the dad is in this play at our church. They had a dress rehearsal on Monday night and their first performance on Tuesday night. Wednesday night they were off so I was really looking forward to having a little bit of a break but it turned out he had to work late because there were two admits at the hospital that he had to go check out before he came home. So he didn't get home until around 8:15pm. They are having another performance at the church tonight, they have another one tomorrow night and then they have a matinee performance and the final evening performance on Saturday.

Since he is also on in-service duty at the hospital, he will have to do rounds on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sometimes morning rounds can take until noon or later to finish so, depending on the number of patients, he may have to hurry to make it to the play on time. Last Sunday I was really surprised because he made it to church by around 10:15 or 10:30. I didn't expect that at all so it was a pleasant surprise.

Well, tonight has not gone quite as well. Nick has gotten out of bed a couple of times and both boys have been loud and rowdy at times. They are still going strong and it is 9:00pm. They are usually asleep by now. If they sleep in tomorrow, I won't mind so much but today Nick was downstairs by 6:15am. Since he was not around to wake up Ben, Ben slept in until 7:30. It really is not so bad just having one of them awake early. Having one of them is so much easier than having two of them together. With just one of them, everything is calm, we cuddle for a while, sit and eat breakfast and talk and it is very nice. As soon as the second child arrives on the scene (and this is true regardless of which one wakes up first) they sometimes, though not always, start with the bickering.

It seems there has to be a battle over anything blue these days. Ben was the one who first decided that blue is his favorite color. It didn't take long before Nick decided that blue was his favorite color also. Unfortunately, before they decided this, I had already bought a few things (shirts, cups, etc.) where one item might be blue and the other might be brown or purple. So now, we have this constant battle over who gets blue.....and people wonder why I dress them alike so often. It never fails, if I buy two different colors of shirts, they both end up wanting one of the colors and neither of them wants the other color. It is just so much easier to buy things alike, not to mention that it is very hard to find cute boy clothes anyway.

Final status: I finally had to start telling them to quiet down. I started by yelling it through the door, from my chair:), but eventually had to go in and tell them in person. As I came back out of their room, I had a smile on my face because I remember hearing those words quite often myself when I was a kid. This is the way I want it to be for them. I want them to hang out in their beds, as they are winding down from their day, and pretend and play and laugh and joke and get a little loud and rowdy (but not too much) and to have to be told a couple of times to quiet down. Doesn't that bring back good memories? Isn't that what bedtime should be like for little kids? Though I will like it even better when I no longer need to sit outside their room.

It's been quiet for a while now so I think I'm finally off duty. Off to bed I go.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December 3, 2008 Part 3

So today I started talking up the change in the bedtime routine with the boys. I moved the chair in their bedroom to just outside of their bedroom door. We talked about it several times during the evening. I moved their nightlight into their bedroom so their bedroom is a bit lighter than it was. (The nightlight was in the small adjoining sink room of their jack-n-jill bathroom.)

After we went through our night time routine and they were in their beds, I told them we now have new rules. I told them they have to stay in their beds but they can talk to each other and sing and look at books until they fall asleep. They just can't get out of their beds. When I sat in the room with them, I would tell them they needed to be quiet soon after we had shut off the lights and settled down. So being able to talk to each other and sing and laugh and stuff is a treat for them. This might be just the incentive they need.

I told them I would be right outside their door in the chair, which is where I am now. They are still awake. Nick is singing God Is So Good right now. At one point they were both singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together. It was absolutely precious. They have laughed and talked and generally it has been a very positive thing. Much to my surprise, neither of them have been upset or scared or sad or even had any objections to this change in our routine.

At first, they were yelling at me "mommy!", to see if I would come in when they needed something, as I had told them I would. And then Nick kept yelling "Mommy, what doing?". I had to explain that they were only to call me if it was an emergency, which I said was someone bleeding or throwing up:). I had to remind Nick to talk to his brother instead of yelling at me, which he started doing.

Now Ben is quiet and Nick is singing "...that your joy may be full" over and over". I guess he forgot the rest of that song. That kid loves to sing and I love to hear him sing. It always brings a smile to my face and frequently a laugh to my lips. We will be walking through a store and he will be singing at the top of his lungs "God is so good" and people will look at us and smile. He gets kind of loud sometimes and I have to remind him to sing a little softer. He can also hit some pretty high notes, although not always right on key, and when this is combined with the loudness, it can get a bit funny at times. I don't let him see me laughing though. They are now at that point where if you laugh at something they do, they want to repeat it to get another laugh so I have to be careful what I laugh at sometimes.

Well, the singer has stopped singing and all is quiet so I think our first night is a success. Now I have to set my expectations realistically and remember it probably won't go this smoothly every night. I hope we can get this new routine down quickly, to the point where we won't need to be sitting up here any more soon.

December 3, 2008 Part 2

When the boys were in their cribs and they were not yet able to climb out on their own, we could put them in their cribs, following our bedtime/naptime routine, and they would fall asleep on their own. They would normally have some fun in their cribs first, jumping around, playing and talking to each other but they would eventually settle down and go to sleep on their own. If they woke up during the night, they would go back to sleep on their own. If they woke up too early in the morning, they would normally either fall back to sleep for a little while or just play in their cribs for a little while.

That was then, this is now.

When the boys started climbing out of their cribs, we felt like we tried everything to get them to stay in. We put them back multiple times, we spanked them, we moved them to big boy beds and tried everything all over again and nothing seemed to work. We ended up taking turns sitting in their room (they are sharing a room) until they fell asleep. In retrospect, big mistake. I could just kick myself.

Then, I started singing to them at night because I thought it might help them settle down faster. Well, the dad always takes his laptop with him, when it is his night to sit with them, because he reads or does work while sitting with them. When I told him I thought they settled down faster when I sang to them, he started playing music for them on his laptop. Of course, they really really liked this so I started doing it to. They each got three song requests and then it was time to lie down and be quiet. As you can see, what started out as a mistake just kept growing into an even bigger mistake. Please don't try this at home, unless you want to spend an hour every night and a half hour to an hour at nap time helping your kids fall asleep.

I have been doing a lot of single parenting lately. We have had the perfect storm, with the dad recently in Puerto Rico and now on in-service duty at the hospital, while at the same time participating in a Christmas dinner theater play at our church. I encouraged him to do this when he showed interest but neither of us realized the amount of time it would require and we especially did not know that he would be doing in-service duty at the hospital at the same time.

So, since I have been doing a lot of single parenting lately, I have realized what a chore our night time / nap time routine has become and what a nightmare we have created. I could just kick myself because we had such a great, easy routine for the longest time and slowly but surely we let it slip away...and then turned it into a monster. I am determined to fix this but I don't know quite what to do.

So far, we have stopped the music and that happened pretty quickly and painlessly, so that is a step in the right direction. The next step needs to be getting the boys back to the point where they can fall asleep without us in the room and they will stay in their beds and I really just don't know where to begin with this one. N especially is a bit scared of the dark. We keep a night light on in their room but he still does not like it when the lights are turned out. I think he has become accustomed to having the the brighter light from the laptop screen. Sometimes when I am really tired, I just sit there in the dark with them and pray and rest. He will tell me to turn on my laptop and he is not too happy when I don't.

I am racking my brains for the best way to transition us back out of the room. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Maybe we need some kind of reward system. I have also considered trying to move my chair to just outside the room to their door and seeing how that would work. I have heard of moving the chair closer and closer to the door each night until you are sitting just outside the door but we can do that because there is not enough room. There is kind of a short little hallway when you walk into the boys' room because their closet is just inside their room. The chair is already pretty much as close to the door as it can be and it is probably 5 or 6 feet away, at least. So I don't think the gradual-chair-move approach is going to work for us.

The other thing we have done is we put their boxsprings back under their mattresses and put their rails back on their beds. I was thinking this would help a little, since it is a little harder for them to get in and out of their beds. They have done fine with this so far but then we are still sitting with them until they fall asleep.

So, that's our issue. Any suggestions?

December 3, 2008

I have been missing some funny happenings around here lately and I hate when that happens. Today we spent the morning at the play area at the mall. We had planned to go to the jumping place but it was closed. We met up with my friend who has the twin girls and we all had a fun time together. The kids played and played and my friend and I were able to visit and relax. We all had something to eat, rode a couple of escalators for fun and then went to see Santa.

The boys had been to see Santa one weekend with the dad. I think Nick stood in front of Santa and Ben was much further away. Since then, they have seen him from a distance several times and we have read some books about him so this time they wanted to sit on his lap. It was very cute. They both told Santa what they wanted for Christmas, which was anything they could think of at the moment. Nick said a truck and Ben said a tractor, which they already have. Santa gave them a little talk about picking up their own toys and not expecting mom to do it so I was ready to ask Santa what he wanted for Christmas. I thought that was very nice:). They got to pick either a Santa hat or small coloring book out of Santa's basket and they both picked the hat.

Then one of the twins wanted to see Santa but the other one was scared so I took the one who wanted to see Santa. She didn't want to sit on his lap but she stood in front of him and let him hold her hand. A little later, she wanted to go again and sit on his lap so her mom took her and she sat on his lap.

By the time we left Santa, both girls had the coloring books and both boys had the hats AND coloring books. As we were walking to the elevator, Nick started waving his small coloring book back and forth, fanning his face, and he said, "Whew! I hot! Whew! I have flash!" or something close to that. It was clear he was imitating my response to a hot flash, of which I still have too many. I found it laugh-out-loud funny though. Too cute what they pick up and a bit scary really.

Sometime last week, the dad decided to grill some chicken on the outside grill. It was freezing cold outside, so I wasn't very excited about the idea. I found very simple instructions for grilling chicken and it is really delicious so we do this every now and then and we normally cook a bunch so we can make several meals out of it. It is very simple. You turn on only one side of the grill and then you put the chicken on the other side, so it is not over the flames. Then you close the lid and let it cook for about 45 minutes. Then you open the lid, brush on your favorite bar-b-que sauce, close the lid again and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Then it is ready to eat. This is for bone-in chicken with the skin on. The skin keeps all of the juices in the chicken. I think it is probably the juiciest chicken I have ever tasted, and the most tender. We normally cook dark meat though.

Anyway, so he has been cooking the chicken for 45 minutes and it is still not done. He got a late start putting it on the grill so I had already fed the kids because I knew there was no way they could wait that long. I was hungry but I was waiting with him so we could eat together and I knew the kids would probably want to eat a little more too.

Anyway, so the chicken had been cooking for 45 minutes and it was still not done. He had gone out to check on it and came back and told me this, right around the time that I was giving the kids something extra to eat because it was taking even longer than expected. I thought it was probably taking a lot longer to cook because it was so cold outside. He said he was going to turn on the fire directly under the chicken, so it would cook faster. I told him I thought it would burn if he did that. I was helping the kids and not paying a lot of attention so I was not sure what he did next and I just forgot all about the situation.

A little bit later, he again went outside to check on the chicken. When he came back inside, he said, "Well, the chicken is too burnt to eat". I said, "How do you know?". And he answered, "It's on fire". You might have had to be there for this to be funny but, the way he answered after everything we had already been through, it really had me laughing. He brought a piece in and it was really yuck. It was solid black and the crispy black stuff was pretty deep. We found that underneath that, there was still some juicy meat but it tasted like smoke.

I had a couple of other things to write about while the boys are taking their nap but I am falling sleep in my chair so I had better sign off for now.