Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm having one of those weeks where I have so much to say that I'm not saying any of it. I guess I'm processing. Self flagellating. A little congratulating.

Lots of praying.

Meanwhile, I'm reading this book, Barefoot, in which one of the characters is diagnosed with lung cancer. 31. Young kids. Not a smoker. And she's always been a list maker. Now that she is dying, she only keeps one list. A running list.

Things which no longer matter.

I've found myself keeping that running list this week as I process and/or self-flagellate. Friends coming over when the house is a pit. Throwing out something someone gave me that I never used. Taking sloppy joes to a friend because there is no energy to take something more elaborate. Pitching half the contents of my baking cabinet. Letting kids go to bed grummy. Eating popcorn for lunch.

The thing is, I try my best. My best is never good enough and never will be. I will always say stupid things. I will never be the perfect person I want to be. And even in the rare moment when I am proud of myself, there will immediately follow a moment of self-loathing.

I guess that is why we have Jesus, eh?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Now that's scary

My ice cream doesn't expire until October 21st.


Now that's scary

My ice cream doesn't expire until October 21st.


Friday, June 22, 2007


Yesterday afternoon someone who could potentially be my daughter-in-law someday, was born. (Probably not, but you never know.)

Welcome little girl.

A Rose by any other name could never be so sweet....

The End of an Era

The Wonder Years ended last night and I cried.

Yes, yes, I know, it ended years ago.

But since Charming was born and I was entertaining my sleep-deprived self with television, I've watched the entire series. Two episodes a night, five nights a week. I've watched Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper grow up and fall in love.

And then, suddenly, last night, a Thursday, it ended.

And I cried.

I tried not to. I didn't want to cry. But I had to. And I don't think it had a whole lot to do with The Wonder Years.

I think it has to do with the fact that Charming is almost never awake anymore at 9pm. He goes to bed very shortly after his siblings. He sleeps until they get up in the morning. My life is good.

But my baby is growing up.

How is it, that he got so big? That enough time has passed that I could watch five years of TV since he was born?

I feel like I'm holding onto smoke. My kids are growing up and there is nothing I can do about it. And just like people told me, it goes so quickly. And this is the way it was meant to be.

Several years ago there was a family here who was washed away in a flash flood. All but the father died. A mom and five children gone in an instant. I remember it vividly because my sister and I drove the same highway with our (then) nine children just hours before. And it was surreal.

The father has since been on Focus on the Family and other programs telling his story. He is a believer and has an amazing testimony. One I hope to never have, quite frankly. I heard him speak in person. And in his telling, he reads an inscription that his wife wrote in a book that she gave him. It says a lot of things, but one that imprinted was "I love my life..."

When I heard him I was suffering terrible post-partum issues. I cried and cried. I cried all the way home from the event. But not because of what he lost (I cried over that in the immediate aftermath), I cried because of the guilt he made me feel. Or the guilt I chose to feel over what he said. He talked about living life to the fullest. And to really enjoy your children. Because it all goes so fast and you never know when it might end sooner than you think.

He wasn't trying to make us feel guilty, I'm sure. He was trying to encourage us. Which Hubs told me over and over. But I couldn't let it go for days. Weeks. Possibly years. Here I had these gorgeous (alive) children and I was so depressed and was such a horrible mommy and I couldn't say "I love my life." I hated it. I had to take pills to even get out of bed in the morning. And I'd had such trouble getting pregnant and I was certain that God knew what a horrible mom I'd be and that was why I couldn't get pregnant and that He went ahead and gave me three in less than three years to prove His point. (Because God is sadistic in the way that I am....(yes, that was sarcasm.))

And I realized in just the last few days how much I LOVE MY LIFE! I have come so far since then. One, I'm getting sleep and until recently I had everyone potty trained and I could go to the store and keep everyone happy and not raise my voice. And, as many people told me, I was probably just exhausted. Exhaustion and depression go hand in hand.

Anyway, I guess that's all that I need to say. But if you are where I was....hang in there, it WILL get better. Hopefully, very soon, you too will be able to say, "I love my life!"

Is it something I said?

Wow. I just got my sitemeter report. Holy smokes have my stats taken a hit.

I used to never really think about how many people visited. But when I had Charming, my stats jumped. And then that letter to Hubs caused another jump. And then between last week and this, my visitors dropped by half.

I can see a slow tapering. Especially if I wasn't posting regularly. I don't really think so highly of myself to really believe that millions of people would want to read what I have to say anyway.

But when you see a smack down like that, you have to wonder what offensive thing you said.

Well, that backfired

There are things I never knew about being the mother of boys. Like underwear. Boys, like mommies, decide they need privacy when they are in their underwear. So things like underwear being too small may slip some less aware moms.

Like me.

And then one day you see your kid in his underwear and realize they are W-A-Y too small. And you look at the tag the next time they come through the laundry and, WOW, has it been that long? Like since you were potty training? My almost-seven-year-old literally had a pair of size 2 underwear he was still squeezing into. Now, the elastic is shot (as you can well imagine) so when you hold them up to the 4s and 6s they don't look like a 2, but you know...

So I confiscated all his underwear, told him that they were no longer his, and I would get him some. (The better ones got passed down to Frodo who had been swiping them for several weeks anyway. Spiderman, ya know.)

Meanwhile at Wal-Mart....

I found fancy pants for my kiddo. A whole new stack. And right next to the underwear were some Spidey t-shirts that I thought he'd get a kick out of. The kid is so picky about clothes. It takes him more than a year to get used to something "new" and it is often too small, and passed down to Frodo, before he decides he likes it. At which time he wears it. Too small.

I want to put a sign on his back that says, "I really do buy his clothes to fit, he just won't wear them!"

So I thought, "Yeah, I'll buy him these new underwear, these two new shirts and these camo shorts (loves camo) and I just know he'll wear them."

Yeah, right.

So Frodo, this morning, wonders why he didn't get anything. Well, Frodo, you get all of Eldest's "new" unused clothes. You don't need anything. Besides, all you wear is PJ pals anyway....

Next thing I know, Eldest is still wearing Frodo's USA shirt from 2003 (used to be his) and Frodo is decked out in Eldest's size 7 brand spanking new Spidey shirt and underwear.

One could say that Eldest is being compassionate. Which he is. He saw the envy and took care of the problem. He even let Frodo pick which shirt and underwear he wanted. (Is this even my kid? Makes me feel really selfish and petty.)

All I see is that there is NOTHING I can do to get him to wear clothes that fit. Either one. Frodo is always in clothes too big and Eldest in clothes too small. I may as well just put all their clothes together and let 'em at it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Crossing the Line

Yesterday I was nursing Charming when I was nearly overcome with love for him. He is fabulous. He is a treasure. I can't imagine my life without him.

I argued with God over whether I should have him.

No, not after conception. Before. God and I argued for nearly two years. Well I argued. God, He just kept saying His piece.

Now I wonder what I potentially missed. I mean this started long enough ago that I could be missing a whole person. Because it is easier for me to contend with, I'm going to assume that God knew I would fight Him for two years and that is why He started so soon. Because I want to, I'm even going to believe that there is a two year old brown girl out there that will soon find her way to our family to fill that gap. But that is another story for another day.

So, after I put little Charming down in his bed I was still thinking about how great he is and how glad I am that I finally let God win. And then I thought, basically, "But it's the last time."

After several years of infertility I made all kinds of resolutions that I'd NEVER use birth control again (this coming from someone who used it all of three months. NFP, yes, "real methods," no), but when I got to the point that Frodo was potty trained and would basically follow me around the store, etc., life got pretty easy. Like last summer. I just knew that this summer I'd be able to go to the pool with the kids and sit and read a novel.

(I think God is snickering.)

Nope. I'm hauling around a sweaty little baby. Dodging from one patch of shade to another so as to not burn his sensitive skin. Cramming my post-partum flab into a swimming suit that is so not attractive. This is not what I had envisioned.

I got off track again. Baby brain.

So I was thinking about the fever I get after I give birth. I get it every time. I don't like it. It isn't easy. I don't want to do it again. I want to adopt (have I mentioned that?:D). And just as quickly I thought, "but he's worth it."

And, just like that, I know I've crossed the line. I can't think of a single reason bad enough to stop me from having another baby. Which means I probably will.

I crossed the invisible line to the "larger family" corner with Charming, but I think I've crossed another line in my mind. I'm terrified. And I'm excited to see what God has in store. It's an unusual life in today's society. But God never promised that we'd be normal, did he?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Eye Saga Continues

This morning I did something out of the ordinary for me. I went for a third contact.

I wear disposables. And as my old college pal Ann would say, I don't change them often enough. I think they are two week contacts and I generally squeeze six weeks out of them. I'm cheap and I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about my contacts unless they are bothering me. They generally bother me at about six weeks when they get dry and I change them. Which I told you yesterday.

So I changed them. And the replacement pair was crummy. So I tried a second. Which was crummy and I decided it was my eye. (That was the recap.)

Yesterday I wore glasses most of the day. (I put in contacts to go to the pool. They drove me nuts. I took them out as soon as I got home.) So this morning I did a crazy thing for me. I tried my third contact in as many weeks.

No eye problems.

I am so kicking myself for suffering for all that time.

You could say that it was because I wore glasses yesterday. Maybe. I think it is the contact.

Which begs the question: should I get a refund for the two crummy contacts? Two in a row. What is the likelihood?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dinking around

I've hit the point in my blogging career that I think I need a new look. I'm gonna play around for a few days and see if I can figure out how to make myself unique. Interesting in theory. We'll see if anything comes of it, or if I continue to look like a blogger template girl the rest of my life.

Vanity, thy name....

My eyes are driving me crazy. Ever since the morning I left for Philadelphia, I've had trouble with them. The night before I left, they were really dry (my clue that it is time to change my contacts) so the next morning I put in new ones. The left one bothered my eye so much I went around with only one for a while. Kept trying and finally gave up and put in a new new one (thinking it must have a tiny tear in it or something) which also bothered my eye...but not as much. I climbed on the plane expecting my eye to get used to it when the irritation from the phantom tear wore off.

Two weeks later it still hasn't worn off.

Maybe it is because I'm so vain. Yes, I'm trudging all over Philadelphia where no one knows me but my mom and sisters (all three intimately familiar with every ugly thing about me physically, mentally, spiritually, etc., etc.), but I continue to put in the blasted contacts rather than wear my glasses.

Could it be that my glasses are from 1991? Possibly.

Could it be that I don't see the optometrist as often as I should, don't change my contacts as often as I should, and don't rest my eyes as often as I should? Yes.

But I can't stand it anymore. I want to claw my eyes out. So today I'm wearing my glasses. I even wore them a lot this weekend with all my in-laws in town. I didn't apologize for my ugliness, I just wore my glasses. And they didn't make fun of me.

Frankly I'm surprised. They mercilessly teased Hubs about his ugly glasses until he got new ones (that they funded for his birthday last year). Personally, I think he prefers his old ugly ones (for seeing, not for public appearances. There the new ones win, hands down). I suppose I was spared because they never see me in glasses and might think I actually like these.

Surely not. Surely they think I have better taste than this. (I know I tend towards tacky sometimes, but these glasses...ugh.)

Anyway, I'm not wearing the glasses to the pool this afternoon. I'm too vain. And I have to wear sunglasses if I don't want a headache. But other than that, I'm putting my vanity on the shelf. I have got to get my eyes healed up.

The first thing I do when I have a spare million dollars is have my eyes lasered. (Unless I just spring for the new glasses.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Big Shoes to Fill

Today, Princess was repeating, "I'm Grandma!" From my vantage point I had no idea what she was talking about. All I could see was her decked out in her bling (as she would call it: her "bedazzler" birthday girl shirt, sparkely shorts and princess birthday crown.). Nothing Grandma about it.

As I trudged up the driveway, her feet came into view. She was wearing Grandma's shoes.

The kids do that a lot. Strap on a pair of adult shoes and play grown-up. "I'm Mommy!" "I'm Daddy!" "I'm Poppin!" "I'm Granny!" "I'm Gramps!" Yet they don't change one other thing.

I think that whoever it was that started the expression, "He has big shoes to fill" had been watching children.

Happy Birthday baby girl. I have every confidence that you'll fill out those shoes nicely. I'm so proud of you.

(And I'm still so glad I'm not in labor!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I may not have been a boy, but....

He taught me to shingle and to hang rain gutters.

Much to my neighbor's dismay as he is constantly trying to talk me off a ladder. As if. (huff!)

He taught me to take pictures and to develop them.

Much to my dismay, no matter how I promised I wouldn't get antsy stuck in that dark room, I always did. I started too young and have positively no memory of how to develop photos now, but he did teach me.

He taught me how to ride a bike, steal a basketball (during a dribble), and to stop on a dime.

Literally. He put a dime on the street and made me practice stopping ON IT. In his truck that didn't have power anything. (He still drives it.)

He taught me that I never want a dog. He does, but he made sure I knew how much work they are and I won't be fooled by any cute furry faces. I won't. Much to the dismay of my chilren.

H taught me every landmark between Liberal, Kansas and Stone Wall, Colorado.

Be still my heart, those ladybugs that positively covered the bushes on the rim of that volcano that you were finally talked into stopping at. What was it called again?

Thanks, Dad, for everything.

Especially for the father of my children, which you so kindly pointed out tonight, that I only know because of you.

Can I Just Say?

I'm so glad I'm not in labor.

I'll be saying that for a minimum of 23 more hours.

I'm glad I'm not watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon also. It may just be due to the fact that I was in labor, but I'll muster a guess that it was really just that bad.

But, my Princess, you are worth it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

An extension of himself

I have proof. Hubs really does think that his computers are an extension of himself. More so than anything else I can think of. I'll explain.

Hubs and I don't often verbally spar. We snip. We gripe. We grow irritated. We "discuss." But the raised voices? Not so much. After 11 years, I guess we've figured out that doesn't really do much good.

Insert computer.

I've mentioned my woes this week. Hubs is rebuilding it, slowly but surely. I'm cranky about the situation. (Did you read that correctly? The SITUATION.) However, God in his merciful wisdom, warned me of the impending crash. I got multiple "blue screens of death" before the real blue screen of death made its appearance. Hubs coached me over the phone while I saved all my word documents onto an external hard drive. (This should have been my first clue.) But he kept getting annoyed. I was panicking, I'll admit it, but I couldn't figure out why he was annoyed when I couldn't make the computer say what he told me it would say. I finally told him, "We are obviously speaking different languages and neither of us have time to translate. I am going to hang up now and try to figure out what you are trying to say [without you repeating it over and over in my ear]."

I figured out how to do what I was supposed to do (and the computer never did say what he told me it would say, but I did get my docs saved).

It never occured to me to be irritated at Hubs for the computer crash. I was irritated that my computer was crashing and hopeful that it would hold off until I got my stuff off. Okay?

Fast forward to this weekend when my computer blue screened for good. While I kept trying to restart it, Hubs kept trying to restart it and kept (what I percieved as) being irritated with me because the computer wouldn't work. As he was home for the weekend, I used his computer to blog and check out my email remotely.

Something about that was irritating me. I think I was having a hard time getting into blogger because I kept trying to sign in with my old blogger username and I forgot that google uses my email for my username...which I forgot because I had my computer set up to remember names and passwords. No irritation at Hubs or his computer AT ALL. Irritation at me.

At my first exclamation of "huff!" (half sigh, half snort, insert your spouses sound of annoyance here) he got snippy.

"What now?!" (nothing, Love, just having a hard time getting signed into blogger....)

There's another clue.

So, the man bought me a hard drive. He put it in my computer. He is slowly getting my stuff back on it. Knowing the importance of internet access to his adoring spouse he got that on there for me and will probably get Outlook and Word (the semi-less urgent "needs") on this weekend. I am happy with this.

But this morning I was having trouble with my fingertip mousepad (I have a laptop (Hub's old one that he gave me for Valentines day two years ago (another clue)) because we haven't turned on our air conditioning yet. And though it isn't hot, it is slightly humid. And fingertip mousepads don't work very well when your fingers are sticky/sweaty. I'm not even sure I knew I was griping. I say stuff. I probably need to concentrate on what I say, but I have been married for a while and I don't guard my words so much.


Hubs snapped something along the lines of, "Well, hook up an external mouse then!" Really snapped. As in raised voice.

And I snapped something along the lines of, "Why are you yelling at me?"

And HE said, "Because everytime you complain about the computer, I feel like you think it is my fault. (emphasis mine) And it's irritating!"

And I said, "It has nothing to do with you! (note: I'm still yelling) I'm irritated because my HANDS ARE SWEATY! Sometimes I'm just irritated with stuff on the computer, I NEVER think of it as your fault!"

Yes, yes, I know. The things people fight about. But as I thought about it this morning I realized that most of the heated arguments we've had over the years have had a computer invloved and this morning I finally figured out why.

If Hubs thinks that a criticism of the computer is criticism of him well, it just goes to show he really does think it is an extension of himself. I've suspected that he felt strongly about his computers, but I had no idea how much he related to them. To me, they are a tool to do what I love (write and communicate) but I think to him they are more like a prosthesis.

Anyway, I hope what I said this morning took. I hope he actually heard me when I said my computer had nothing to do with him. But I'm also going to try to remember that he thinks it does.

And hopefully we can go back to "discussing" money where we know the problem. I think I need to spend less and he thinks he needs to make more. We both know the problem. We both know the solution. And if we both work toward it, surely we'll be okay.

As long as we leave the computer out of it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Things I've learned about God...take 2

It has been a really full day.

We had playgroup here, where better than 20 people graced my living room, most of them under the age of 10.

We, almost immediately, went to the pool after everyone left.

We watched a movie when we got home from the pool.

We ate watermellon.

We went to the library after we watched a movie.

We ate kid friendly food for every meal.

But was it enough? No. They are never satisfied. It is never good enough. And, as I was lamenting to Hubs that it is never good enough. No matter what I do. No matter what I go through (as if I want to hold a sleepy, sweaty baby, under an umbrella, at the pool, with my post baby body crammed into a swimsuit that is too small....ahem) when, lo and behold, I had another one of those God moments.

"Sounds familiar...."

I'm glad He has a sense of humor. Or at least that He puts up with me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

three days down...

and I don't have the shakes yet, so I must not be addicted.

I sure feel addicted.

And you'd think I'd get some housework, or something, done.


Can't read. Can't write. Can't check email.

It's raining.

Can't go to the pool. Can't send them outside. (Not really, anyway.)

I did clean two toilets. Didn't do the shower though.

When, oh when, will I have a computer again? All this high speed internet (wireless, too) and no way to use it.

Poor, poor pitiful me.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


My hard drive crashed. I saw it coming and saved most of my word documents (the writers out there will understand the importance of saving that rubbish), but didn't get my outlook and bookmarks saved quickly enough. I hope I haven't lost everyone. Sigh.

Looks like my blogging will be limited to times when Hubs is home with his computer. Sigh.

Email will be interesting.

So, in short, my life has been majorly altered. You realize how much of your life is lived online when you can't (don't read addicted into there. I've managed).

What I intended to write last week was that though my kids are a L-HA-HA-HA-HA-T of work, it just isn't home without them. When they walked through the door, all big, everything was right again.

Charming didn't think so. He adjusted quite well to his new life, thank you very much. He quite enjoyed being carried in his sling all day (side note: never, no matter how much the sling stinks, I repeat, never, wash a sling once you get it perfect. I hauled the kid all over Pennsylvania in that thing, but couldn't manage a simple Wal-Mart trip once I put it through the washer. Hopefully I'll get it back to fitting again soon), taking naps on mom, seeing her face as soon as he opened his eyes, never having to cry to be picked up, having four women dote on him all his waking hours, nursing from his car seat when he got bored. That was the life. This? NO this is loud and not Charming centric. Bummer for him.

Anyway, I'll get back when I get back. Hopefully sooner than later. Hubs promised me a new hard drive very soon. I hope he defines that the same way I do. Like yesterday....

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Back to the Grind

My children are restored to me!

Due to some scheduling circumstances,


I started this 2 days ago. I suppose--enough said.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I have a blog, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Yesterday I spent a great part of my morning on the phone trying to iron out an insurance kink. A Catch-22 if you will.

You see, if I had given birth to Charming in the hospital, my insurance would have happily paid my doctor $8000. Now, as most of us know, hospital births are much more than $8000, so I would have had to pay above and beyond that, setting me back a good chunk of change. I, however, chose to have my baby at home. Midwife: $1300. Circumcision in the doctor's office: $468.08. (Let's take a moment and scoff at the audacity of that, shall we? But, I do want qualified hands cutting "down there," I must admit, and I THOUGHT the insurance would be more likely to cover the Dr than the Mohel therefore....). Grand total: $1768.08. That, to me, is a bargain.

But, oh no, not to my "share program." The share program that I joined, and stayed in, not only for economical reasons, no, but because they not only support, but promote, home birth. In fact, up until about a year ago, they only paid about $3000 per birth because that more than covers what nearly all midwives will charge. (Homebirth midwives, that is. Don't get me started on the hospital midwives, who are FINE, I'm sure, but pricey.)

Fast forward. Share program decides to join a PPO to lower costs. PPO makes rules in order to be joined. Share program decides that young couples are more economical than older couples and expands maternity payouts because young couples want epidurals. Suddenly Share Program doesn't cover home birth. Oh, they say they do. It looks good on their propaganda. But the midwives they have covered for several births (mine and my sister's) are suddenly unacceptable for the PPO because they are only "certified" and not "licensed" and the licensed midwives (nurse midwives rather than lay midwives) only deliver in the hospital. (But the Share Program doesn't hesitate to educate me about the fact that "why would someone hire a midwife to deliver in the hospital? Those midwives deliver at home....(crock of hooey).)

On top of that, even though I followed all the rules, Share Program doesn't want to cover Charming's circumcision because the doctor's office coded it as "routine." Because, let's say it together, CIRCUMCISIONS ARE NOT SOMETHING DIAGNOSABLE.


(Interesting. The tornado sirens are blowing. They match my mood.)

So, I have a couple people at Share Program that are supposed to be "trying to find a creative way to cover this." If they do, I'll happily tell you who Share Program is and tell you to join. If they don't? I will be smearing their name to kingdom come. You don't sign off every phone call with "God bless!" and not follow through with what you say you will do.

Oh, and the tornado sirens were the weekly drill. The weather here is sunny and hot.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In Short

We took a whirlwind tour of historic Philadelphia. We came, we saw, we conquered. What most people pack into a half day tour, we took three. (Though my sister says we did finally see everything the tour guide said we should see if we only had half a day...)

My mother would describe the weekend like this: "All we did was eat, eat, eat. I've never eaten so much in my life! If I ate like this everyday, I'd be the size of Pennsylvania! Where's the coffee?"

I would describe the weekend like this: "Oh. My. Gosh! I finally get to break fast. I swear, if I'd known we were only going to eat one meal a day I would have brought lunchables or something! If I keep this eating pace up I'll lose 10 pounds by the weeks end! Anyone seen a cheesesteak vendor anywhere? (And a Starbucks would be nice.)"

Sure, the history and scenery were nice, but unless they promise to feed me next time, this will be my first and last girls history touring weekend. (It couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that I hauled a 15 pound Charming all over heck and gone, could it? BTW, he was fabulous. Quite a trooper, and currently sleeping it off.)

And Melanie, my maid did clean while I was gone. If I hadn't been so exhausted, I would have fainted from shock. (He even loaded the dishwasher....gasp!)