Thursday, February 28, 2008


What I said: Eldest, would you make sure Charming isn't playing in the potty?

What I meant: Eldest, would you make sure Charming isn't playing in the potty, and while you are there would you check to make sure the toilet is flushed, and the lid is down. Grab Charming, bring him out of the bathroom and shut the door. Please. I'm in the other room folding laundry and you are standing at the door of the bathroom an arms length from the baby whom has recently become fascinated with yellow water.

What I got: "No, Mom, he isn't." Followed by that eerie silence that tells me the baby has dropped the block he was playing with and has become interested in something naughty.

What I found: Charming, up to his elbows in yellow water, swishing a tinkertoy eyeball and Eldest, eyeballs glued to the television, three feet away.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Note

Dear Mom
I Love
you But
I Be
and I'm

This, my friends, is why I continue to get up in the morning.

The Answer

An unequivocal no.

My shower cannot be redeemed.

After two hours with bleach, a toothbrush, comet, soft scrub, those green scrubby pads and an old sock, (as well as sore muscles in both my arm and my butt (my butt? I know!)) it it clean, but still moldy.

I'm going to have to re-grout.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Because I have to look too many of you in the face someday, here is the edited version of what I can't stand to leave up

Somewhere along the line, like when I was cleaning puke chunks out of my washer while a screaming baby was hanging on my knees, pulling down my pants, I snapped.

I simply cannot do it all.

And here's the thing. I know most people wouldn't think that I even approached "doing it all." I don't have a job. And I don't do the wife/mother/housekeeper/cook job very well either. But that which I do do? I can't do it.

(whine, whine, whine, whine, whine)
(controversial, touchy subjects that I shouldn't post)

I have no idea how to parent my kids. They all need something different. And I'm at the end of ideas. Why does my son save all his awful behavior for me? Why am I the only person in his life that doesn't deserve respect? And what about Princess? When does it get to be her turn to need me?

Is there even a chance that I can recover my shower from the mold growing on it?

If we have this many ants now, what does that say for summer?

Will I ever cook a healthy meal that my family will actually eat? Or will they just continue to stare at what I set before them like I'm trying to poison them?

Why do I feel compelled to write? I never did when I was younger. I was a math and science girl. If I totally gave up writing today, why do I think that I was giving up on a dream? This wasn't my dream. My dream had more to do with curing cancer and other noble goals. Can I just quit and walk away? Because I think that now I only write because I feel like I have something to prove. Like I admitted to people that I wrote a novel and now I can't not write because I don't want to be a failure in yet another area. I didn't want to write a novel. I wrote one because a publisher asked for one. That they didn't want it should not make my life a failure. But that's what I see anyway.

My heroine was based on me. And every reader calls her whiny. I hate her.

And what's up with the people who are sharing opinions but do it in such controversial, combative language? Would that I had such confidence that I could just say what I think and assume everyone around me would naturally agree.

And I think I'm a huge disappointment to God. I'm always hearing that God put these "talents" in me and that someday I'm going to die and find out all I should have done that I didn't do. But I'm doing so much poorly that I can't even see the things I should do. And I read all the devotionals and books that tell me I can't do it all and should just give up trying except that I shouldn't give up trying and


It makes sense when I'm reading it and then I try to apply it and I'm incapable. And I consider myself a relatively intelligent person. Sometimes I think we know too much anymore to even grasp faith. No wonder our world is going to hell.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Closer Than Your Skin by Susan D. Hill

Like the vast majority of Christians, author Susan Hill felt frustrated in her search for spiritual intimacy, unable to bridge the gap between knowing about God and personally knowing Him. Closer Than Your Skin traces her journey beyond the trappings of faith to an everyday companionship with God.

Through stories of her awe-inspiring experiences, Hill assures readers that knowing God is more than spiritual rhetoric; it’s a genuine, tangible reality when our eyes are open to his presence. With undeniable honesty, she vividly captures the experience of genuine intimacy with the Creator and reveals how to move beyond obstacles that stand in the way.

Readers will discover that divine encounters aren’t reserved for moments of crisis or the select few. Through these unforgettable insights and the interactive study guide, they will find that God is standing at the door, knocking, asking to be allowed in.

Jamie here: I tell you what, this book is something. I started dog earing pages so that I could share some of the insight this book contains, but I found that I was dog earing nearly every page. I was especially touched by the chapter titled "Never Good Enough; The Trap of Condemnation," although "Exposing Martha; A Lifestyle of Overdoing," had its place in my current situation. Though that will come as no surprise to those of you who have been hanging around here lately.

But she teaches by example that God is everywhere around us, speaking to us, showing Himself, revealing Himself, if only we'll look and listen.

And it is your lucky day. I have an extra to give away! But it will require a comment from you. I'll draw one winner and notify you in about a week, which reminds me, I have another drawing from last week to do. I'll try to post that tomorrow. Assuming that puke doesn't prohibit it.

Anyway, don't wait, hoping to win my copy, buy Closer Than Your Skin here.

When it rains

Princess just woke up puking.

I Kid You Not.

This after I spent the weekend thinking Charming had chicken pox. I'm still not sure he doesn't, but if he does, it is such a light case, I can't ever say with certainty that he's had them. He definitely had something.

So let me just say it now and without exception, there shall be no more sickeness in my house this winter. I simply have HAD IT.

Nosey Neighbor

I find it positively eerie that I can predict, with relative certainty, what is going on outside my house, without looking, at any give point.

I know the sound the neighbor's truck makes and when he leaves for work.

I can tell you if it was the UPS truck or the FedEx guy that just drove past.

And I know if the mail truck has a different driver than usual.

I can tell my kids, without looking at the clock, whether they are behind schedule in the morning by the school bus schedule.

Remember I do all this by sound, not by sight.

I think this is a girl who spends far too much time in her kitchen watching the world outside live.

Either that, or I've lived here too long.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Date Night is Underrated,

I could come on here and extrapolate on how inadequate I feel or...I can tell you about the date I had last night.

Yes! I said DATE!

I think it is the first one I've had in a year. The last one ended on a negative note when Hubs dumped me for a KU game with his dad. This one almost didn't get out of the blocks because of the same combo, but patience prevailed. I got to go on a date!

I have decided, yet again, that Hubs and I are just not normal. We had the greatest time, but I don't think what we did will impress anyone.

We started out at this bar-like place called Gerts. It has the same menu as a place we used to enjoy when we were in college. We were rather humored because we live in the burbs. This place is a college bar, but the college is a juco. So the place is not exactly hopping on a Saturday night. I think it may very well be the only place I know that has a cheaper menu for evenings and weekends. The food was fabulous, just like it has always been. The place was not smoky at all even though it is still technically a bar. (They have a non-smoking glassed in booth. Totally cracked us up.) One waitress took care of everyone including being the barkeep. I was thrilled. The one we went to in college was always packed, super smoky and poorly waitressed. (Though we tolerated it for the food.)

I'd checked movie times. After dinner we had 30 minutes before the supposed start of the movie. As we drove directly past our favorite bookstore, I suggested we stop, "just for a minute." In our rush, we still managed to find two Encyclopedia Brown books, one paper airplane book and one book on finding Timbuktu.

But the theater parking lot was PACKED. We finally found a spot in the back of the theater. The sky had opened and snow balls were falling. (half ice, half snow, part rain...) We, um, missed the beginning of the movie (because I apparently looked at the times for the wrong theater (bummer for me because Hubs questioned me several times if I was "sure"))and the next one wouldn't start for another 45 minutes (putting us home too late for the baby back home).

Frankly, I didn't care.

Onward to ice cream.

We have this place called Sylas and Maddy's that makes the most incredible ice cream, sorbet and sherbet. After sampling several kinds, we both decided to get a five scoop sampler.

Hey, they were little scoops.

Best of all, we laughed and joked all night. (But the ice cream was a close second, the sandwich a super close third).

One the drive home, Hubs started to crack up. "You know where we spent the most money?"

The bookstore.

Except we didn't quite. $11 for dinner. $10.50 for books. $7 for ice cream. Free babysitter.

It was a good night.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is having a big year. First Josey, now Rafe. I don't know how the woman does two series at once. She's amazing.

And take a look at that guy. Hubba, hubba. Honestly I was nearly embarrassed to carry around a book with that hunky cover to my kids' ballgames! Then again, it wasn't a steamy cover. But if people didn't know Susan and what she writes, I dunno, that title and that cover, oh, my! what those covers could contain. Off topic. I do know Susan and what she writes and so I guarantee it is a safe read. ;)

This time we read about Rafe Noble brother of Nick. You don't need to know Nick's story to read Rafe's. But if you have read it, you might like to re-skim quickly because you won't get a re-do within Rafe's story, just some of the same characters.

So, Rafe is a bull rider with a dark past. Katherine is an heiress who wants to maintain her inherited foundation effectively. Lolly has a past to hide and a love she refuses to acknowledge. John loves Lolly anyway. Bradley is hiding something that you can't quite put your finger on. Hmmm, is that all?

Leave it to miss Susan May Warren to make a romance not only a romance, but a double romance plus some mystery...I guess you wouldn't call it suspense (that's more creepy, right?).

We've already established I like this author so I don't suppose I need to repeat that ad nauseum, but I will say this was yet another great read.

And it made me LOVE my Hubs. I looked at him today and I just bubbled over with lovey thoughts. He's just a good ole boy. And I adore that about him. He's not slick New York Bradley; he's my rugged cowboy. Farm boy. John Deere Tractor Boy. Whatever. You get the idea.

It takes a good writer to make you read a romance and not be annoyed because your prince isn't one, but because he is better than.

Here's the first scene.

You can buy it here.

Trailers here.

And a super fun contest!

And can I just say I'm so excited to see that we get Stefanie's story soon?

I'm Willing to Admit I May Just Be Tired

I've had at least one sick kid every week since before Christmas. Sometimes I have two or three at a time. Like yesterday. Eldest woke with stomach cramps in the middle of one of the rare nights when Charming slept for more than two hours in a row. So I had him home from school drinking Lemon Lime cola and Frodo wanted some so he complained all day that he needed to throw up. I didn't have enough cola to go around so he didn't get any.

Turns out he wasn't lying.

I've had a sinus infection for two weeks. It has stayed in my left sinus cavities, but moved around. I had an excruciating sinus headache last weekend, but now I just have what feels like a major toothache.

Charming wakes nearly every time the heater kicks on. Considering we are in the middle of a cold snap, that is often. Even though I set my heater pretty cool. He also has quit napping more than about 30 minutes in the morning. And if he does decide to take a long nap in the afternoon, he will start it at 3:02 and I'll have to leave at 3:11 to pick the kids up from school (should any of them be healthy enough to go).

My house if filthy and well, I suppose I'm the one to make it better. With one arm and 22 pounds on my hip.

On top of that, my husband's paycheck as been as inconsistent as a poorly disciplined teenager...or rather that teenager's parents when she was three. On the upside of that, considering he works for himself and he does usually eventually get paid, I should be thankful. We have had years where he didn't get paid at all. (Which in some ways was easier because I KNEW I couldn't afford anything, so I didn't buy anything rather than buy and hope for the best.)

And I'm not saying all that so that I will get a poor baby. I'm saying all that because it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I feel so ugly about life right now because I'm just flat exhausted. So when all that ugliness comes out in posts, please give me a bit of grace and read weary into it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Know it Makes No Sense

I've been following Shannon's blog as she traveled to Uganda and back to promote the sponsorship of Compassion children. This post has especially been on my mind as I walk through my home (why, with all the other stuff she's said, this one? Dunno.). And I didn't even go and have to go through re-entry.

Anyway, I've felt an urgent need to get rid of stuff. As if somehow ridding my home of unappreciated toys and clothes will feed a child in dire straits.

I don't know, maybe I'm hoping it will at least make us appreciate what we have more.

Tell Me Why

Someone, please tell me why I keep a back-up hair dryer just in case my main one breaks when I almost never dry my hair with a drier anyway?

And the list of questions grow.

He Does It Again

So last night I participated in what was basically a verbal warm fuzzy. You'd think something like this would make me awaken this day with a sense of hope or maybe a remnant feeling of good but no, I'm swimming in self-loathing. I feel worse about myself and my life today than I did before people were put on the spot to say something nice about me. And all I wanted to do was "check out." Not in the suicidal way, but in the curl up in bed, drop out of everything and let my house go to pot way.

And instead of saying all that, I was going to come on here and make some inane comments about shopping for jeans (I'll do that tomorrow or later today). But first I checked my email when what do I find in my inbox from Kim Potter but this:

I was talking with a friend the other day about how we walk through different seasons and some seasons can be really tough. Some seasons are wilderness experiences.
The Bible says that God leads His people through the wilderness to see what is in their heart, to see if they will continue to serve Him, even in the wilderness.
In my own life, I have found that there is always a time when my faith is confirmed. A time when my faith is put through the fire of the word of God. It's really like an open book test. We already have all the instructions. We have the outcome already written out for us - all we have to do is listen for the voice of God and obey it. When we do that, we are promised that no matter how hot the fire gets, we will come through without the smell of smoke.
We have a promise from God declaring that He will lead us through the wilderness and bring us out into an abundant place. But we must come out to enter into that abundant place. We can't make camp in the wilderness.
That is what I find many people do - they get in the middle of their wilderness and decide they don't want to do it anymore or it isn't working for them - so they pitch their tent in the wilderness. And when you pitch your tent in the wilderness - you have to live from the wilderness, with all it's dry places, lack of food, lack of water, lack of rest and you will labor for everything you get.
Don't pitch your tent in the wilderness - keep walking. Keep talking, keep saying what the word of God says. Just keep moving. Don't stop. If you are going through one of the worst times in your life, why would you stop there? Keep walking, it has to come out somewhere. And as I said, we have a promise, it comes out into an abundant place. The Promised Land. All God's promises are there for you. Those who endure to the end, who hold their confidence steadfast to the end - they have a reward and that reward is exactly what God has said belonged to them.
I love the scripture in Philippines 3:13-15 - it talks about pressing on - keeping on - to keep on moving toward the prize. Let me share the Message Bible translation with you: Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision - you'll see it yet!
I have gone through seasons where I would have loved to have given up. I would have loved to quit. But there was something in me, urging me on - that something was God - beckoning me on - reminding me what was at the end. His promise for me was at the end.
There were months when my mouth was declaring what I knew by faith and I continued to speak faith. But on the inside, my flesh was wanting to lay down and give up. Yet something in me, God, would not allow me to quit. So, I was off and running, I would not even look back.
The Bible says God is doing a new thing - don't look back. Remember what happened to Lots wife when she looked back? Don't look back! There is nothing for you there - the promise is ahead of you. Your future is bright! God has already paved a way for you through the blood of Jesus. Press on. Press on toward all He has for you. Refuse to look back - refuse to turn back and whatever you do, don't set up camp in the wilderness. Every day that you continue walking in the word of God brings you a day closer to your promise.
When you go to sleep tonight, remind yourself that you made progress today - you are a day closer to all God has promised you. Do you hear that voice beckoning you on? That voice is God and He is calling you forward - to Jesus - the finisher of your faith. In the end your faith will speak. In the end, your faith will show forth what you have been declaring - in the end, you will see it with your eyes.
Press On!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear

When a man turns up dead in a teddy bear costume, Ginger and the other ladies of the Bargain Hunters Network learn a lesson about trusting in God rather than in wealth as they try to solve the crime and clear one of their own.

Chaos here: some of you might remember this post in which I raved over an author who knows a good deal when she writes one and I had the privilege to read another of her books last week.

So, okay, yeah, Ginger has more than her share of dead bodies and you might start off wondering what kind of bad vibes this woman is carrying around with herself. And yeah, some of us don't think that outlet malls are such a good deal. (Though we might under the right circumstances.) But there is just something about the way that Sharon Dunn writes that makes her books can't-put-'em-down good.

This was a highly enjoyable cozy mystery. I love her "bargain talk." You know, an everything-is-a-quarter-garage-sale type statements (Though she doesn't use that one. It's one I'd use.). And you can't quite put your finger on who the bad guy is and why, which is nice. She does a wonderful job not rehashing the first book. So much so that I forgot many things I should have remembered....but I wouldn't take the rehash over not having the rehash.

So, this is a stand alone sequel that I think you'd really enjoy picking up the first one anyway. Heck, they are both light, quick reads. Grab 'em both. You won't regret it.

Oh, and I have a spare to give away. Charming ate my copy and was highly attracted to the cover (he lunged every time he saw it). So, if you want to read it, or if you have a teether who likes to cut his teeth on bright purple books...leave a comment and I'll get one in the mail to you.

Which reminds me, mommy4life won 101 Cups of Water, and the lizness won Rattled. Congrats ladies!

Exponential Growth

How does a baby go from not eating anything but mother's milk to not nursing at all?

Do you suppose it has anything to do with the fact that he went from toddling a few steps to walking across rooms and around corners and standing up in the middle of the room with nothing to hold on to? To obviously preferring walking to crawling even when crawling is faster?

Could it have something to do with suddenly knowing half a dozen words? To standing at the bottom of the stairs and yelling, "DADDY!" when he feels left out of what is going on upstairs?

How about the fact that he now knows he can shove his little car over to the piano bench, crawl up on the car, crawl from the car onto the bench, and after playing for a bit, onto the keys and into the piano to play with the hammers?

This baby has grown up overnight. And I feel like I was only pregnant yesterday.

And, by the way, he only refused to nurse for one day and now is back to it. I'm a bit dismayed, but I do have hope.

Another Dream Shattered

I always hoped to be the cool mom. The house all the kids would want to come to.

I'm not.

Not only do we not have playstation, wii, nintendo, etc., I don't let the kids watch 43 hours of tv, I make them be quiet when the baby is sleeping and I won't let them eat piles of junk for hours on end.

I have become my mother.

I told Hubs that if we were going to be the house where kids wanted to hang out, we'd need to increase our coolness quotient. Right now we are at about negative 40.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


A note to the teenagers:

When I was a teen in the late 80s-early 90s it was all about the perfect tuck and tug. Mid-80s was the tied to the side t-shirt. Granted the early 2000s was the tummy shirt no matter whether you had the tummy to show so this new trend is better, but barely.

What's up with the tail?

Teens are now pulling their t-shirts tight into a ponytail...get this...on their butts.

I don't get it.

I am officially old.

So Not PC

Excuse me for a minute Democrats...

What is it with Democrats who make politically charged statements to complete strangers in grocery lines and expect the stranger to concur. I'm sorry. I do not think W robbed Kerry in the last elections. It is called the electoral college, people. Get over it. If we were a popular vote country, that would be a viable excuse. We are not. It's been that way for 220 years. Catch on.

And my fellow Republicans (better said conservatives. If there was a conservative democrat running, I might be persuaded to flip): I'm taking this as yet another opportunity to learn from the foolishness of others. Politically charged statements in the grocery line are rude and inappropriate. Not to mention that the person you are making them to quite possibly doesn't agree.

Interesting, I live in a flaming red state and yet I was trapped between two men who traded robbed election opinions back and forth for-EVER while we waited for managerial approval of my rain check. Ninety-nine sent Lucky Charms were not worth it. What was so bizarre is that they both kept looking to me with these conspiratorial smiles like I should agree with them. Unfortunately I'm a wimp and chose not to educate them on the electoral college system. gag. Sometimes I hate myself.

Speaking of politically charged statements: I'm getting these emails from a lady who thinks Obama is the anti-Christ. As much as I like the idea of a rapture...not sure I want to live in the end times. May she be very wrong.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cry Me a River

The problem with losing weight, not by diet and exercise, but because someone (not naming names but he is 22 pounds of spitfire) is sucking the lifeblood right out of you, is that what is left isn't a toned bikini body but a bunch of saggy dimply bags that just kind of hang there on a bony frame.

Must get off my rear and do something.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I did not know the font went all big and bold at the end of the next post. And I didn't bother to go on and check until just now. So, my apologies. I might try to go in and edit it, but I'm pretty sure it was already edited to not do that and it did it anyway.

Charming woke this am with a fever of 100.9 and I really, truly thought, "Oh, good. He's better. I CAN do the Valentine's day party at school today."

That just shows how fried my brain is. Or maybe how bad he's been.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In Which One Might Extrapolate on the Virtues of Their Loved One

It's nearly Valentine's Day. One of my least favorite holidays of the year. One of these days Hubs will probably do something to make me love it, but I'm not counting on it this year. I admit it is a losing battle. He'll have to surprise me with tickets to Hawaii to remove my bah-humbug attitude.

He did come home from work tonight with a dozen roses in my favorite hue. Yellow with the blush rim, whatever they are called. From Aldi, because he knows better. It was a nice surprise to get roses on February 13. Better, even, than the 14th.

Today stank. Charming woke with a fever of 103. I don't know when winter will stop, but it can't be soon enough. Roses helped.

Except I'm totally overwhelmed and overcommitted. And about to burst into tears by 6:59 tonight. Something about holding a burning baby all day when you have valentines to assemble and valentine boxes to finish, and dinner to eat, and roses to put in water and a class you have to lead at 7 and a baby that won't go to sleep, so you have to ditch your husband with three cranky, needy kids with unfinished projects and one hot, sleepy baby.

Yeah, Hubs and I are going through it tonight. We've been going through it together for a couple months now. It doesn't seem to want to let up.


So here we are at valentines, a day when one might tell the world the wonder that her husband is. But valentines day isn't reality. And in reality I annoy him and he annoys me and our kids annoy us. And we get snippy. And we no longer kiss morning breath. And we aren't the hot little items that we fell in lust with.

And that is O-K. Because we have the other 364 days a year together also. And we have the commitment to keep on doing that for as long as we both shall live. Even when we are annoyed and snippy and when valentines boxes aren't done and when dinner is burned and when the baby is the only hot one around. Even in my long sleeved, long legged, not one iota sexy pajamas. Even with morning breath. Without dinner reservations and without diamonds.

So, to my valentine. Today, tomorrow, and always. I love you, anyway.

And he would say, "You love me because."

And he would be right.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Know This is Getting Old, But...

I decided last night that I was probably overreacting to Wal-Mart considering the time I went in and it was so horrible it was still during Christmas break. Wal-Mart is always terrible during Christmas season, what did I expect?

I packed the little boys up and braved it. Got a good parking place. Calmly entered the store. Made my return. No really awful moments.

And then I remembered why I don't go there anymore!

I won't extrapolate on all the stuff I've been saying, I'm just going to reiterate how much I hate it.

Yesterday I went to half a dozen stores and did half a dozen annoying errands and came home in a great "I conquered it!" mood.

Today I spent 45 minutes in Wal-Mart and I'm not sure my blood pressure has returned to normal yet.

My sister heard me rant about it just after I left the store. She gave me grief because I used to rant about people who ranted about Wal-Mart.

I know.

I can't make myself be the person I was two years ago, I guess. Because I've given in the the dark side.

Sis said she'd buy my coffee for me to keep my blood pressure low.

Monday, February 11, 2008

BLAST OUT BLOG TOUR for Trish Berg and Rattled

BLAST OUT Blog Tour for Trish Berg’s Latest Release… Rattled Surviving Your Baby’s First Year without Losing Your Cool!

Can you change a diaper faster than a rodeo cowboy ropes a calf? Need more sleep,
more laughter, and ten minutes in the bathroom – alone?

You must be a mom….Don’t let the clutter, chaos, exhaustion and Cheerio-dust get you Rattled.

With practical advice and scriptural reminders, author Trish Berg can help you not only survive the chaos and clutter of motherhood, but get back to the simple joy of being a mom.

I am excited to welcome Trish Berg, joining us today to talk about her new mom book, Rattled, Surviving Your Baby’s First Year without Losing Your Cool!

Trish is a national speaker for Hearts at Home, author of The Great American Supper Swap and Rattled. She has been published in Today’s Christian Woman, MOMSense,, P31 WOMAN, and numerous regional and national publications.

Trish earned her MBA before leaving the workforce for motherhood, then earned her Doctorate in Diaper Changing in Ohio where she and her husband, Mike, keep busy raising their four children on their family cattle farm.

Trish, welcome. Thanks for taking time to be with us today.

Thanks for having me.

So why is it so easy for moms to get rattled during their baby’s first year?

Motherhood is simply draining and exhausting. Hands down the toughest job I have ever had.

But moms are not alone, and I want moms to know that God walks with them through these exhausting years.

What stresses moms out the most?

I think moms put a lot of pressure on themselves to do it all by themselves, and to do it all the right way. They need to simplify, let go of many details, and ask for help, from their husbands, and from neighbors and friends.

Rattled actually begins by looking at the months of pregnancy. How can moms use this time to prepare to survive baby’s first year?

Nine months is not nearly enough time to fully prepare for motherhood. I am not sure there is enough time to fully prepare.

I remember when our first child, Hannah, was born, I felt that my world had been turned upside down. Hannah did not like to sleep, and so we spent many nights walking the floor, bouncing her up and down, trying desperately to settle her down. My husband, Mike, and I took turns walking laps around the house, like the Indy 500 with a lot more bouncing.

I am not sure I could have prepared for that.

But during your pregnancy, you can prepare in other ways. Like arranging for help. Ask your mom or mother-in-law if they can spend one day with you each week during the first few months. Just knowing someone is coming in the morning to help with the baby can make the being up all night not seem so terrible.

You talk about surviving motherhood. How do you help moms do that?

In Rattled, I talk about a mom’s survival kit. If you were thrown out into the wilderness, you would need FOOD, SHELTER, FIRE and WATER to survive.

Well, moms have been thrown out into the wilderness of motherhood, and to survive, they will need:

Water from the word (2 Samuel 22:3a) –To be in God’s Word.

A fire like desire for prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) – Moms can pray their way through their day.

Nourishment body, mind and spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13) – Love on all levels nourishes us.

Shelter from life’s storms (Proverbs 17:17)-Friends to lean on, trust, and support us.

In Rattled, I spend some time talking about how moms can use that survival kit to get back to the joy of mothering.

You spent a lot of time listening to what other mothers had to say. Share with us your best advice for new moms.

I would tell moms to relax. No one does it right all the time. Let the laundry pile up. Leave the dishes in the sink, and just enjoy holding your baby today.

Don’t worry about doing “it” right, just enjoy the moments you have.

That is sound advice...

But what aboud dads? Give us a few tips into what dad is going through during the first year.

Dads are just as insecure as moms are about parenthood. Even more so in many cases.

Moms do much of the baby feeding, diaper changing, and baby care. So dads can sometimes feel left out, and incapable of caring for their own baby.

One thing moms can do is encourage dad to be involved. But in doing so, moms must let go of “their way” of doing things, and let dad discover his own way.

For example. When Hannah was a baby, every time Mike would change her diaper, I would criticize the way he changed it. I tried to teach him how to put his fingers under the leg elastic and make sure it wasn’t bunched up, preventing a future leak.

But every time I criticized him, he stepped back and became less involved. And you know what? Even when I did the diapers the “right way” they still sometimes leaked.

So I had to learn to let Mike change her diaper his own way. I let him put her to bed his way, bathe her his way, and be the dad God wanted him to be.

That can be difficult for moms who can tend to be slight control freaks when it comes to baby care.

But let me just encourage you that the help you will get from dad if you can let go of those details will bless you in more ways than you can imagine!

In Rattled you’re very open about the loss of your own pregnancy in 2002. How has that loss changed your outlook on motherhood?

I in the 2nd trimester of my fourth pregnancy when I went in for a regular check up. I was not having any problems at all, and went in alone.

My OB/GYN performed an ultrasound just to check for twins, and suddenly my world turned upside down when he could not find a heart beat.

I was completely devastated. Mike and I had two weeks of further testing before we had assurance that our baby had died. And through it all, I prayed for a miracle, my miracle, that my baby would be alive again.

But in the end, God’s miracle was not that my baby survived. God’s miracle was the reassurance that He used me as a vessel to bring a tiny soul to Heaven.

A year later, I lost another child to miscarriage.

Today, I have a greater sense of love and appreciation for my four children here on earth whom I hug with my arms, and a closer tie to Heaven where my two babies are waiting for me, whom I can only hug with my heart for now.

Today you’re the mom of 4 happy and healthy children. What do you see as the greatest blessing about being a mom?

I would say learning patience, but my husband would laugh out loud at that…since I am probably one of the most impatient people there is.

So I guess I would have to say enjoying the journey. I live Psalm 118:24 every day of my life.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Life is messy. Things break. Kids get sick. But moms need to remember to enjoy the journey no matter where the journey leads.

Today at the Berg house, our washing machine is broken. Our mini van needs new tires. We are hanging onto Mike’s 1986 Jeep on a wing and a prayer, hoping it makes it another year or so.

There is mud on my kitchen floor, crumbs on my carpet, and I can honestly say that I love my life. Just as it is.

Now, I certainly have moments where I get stressed and discouraged, and can even lose my temper (just ask my kids), but I am also learning to enjoy each moment of every day as a gift from God.

And thorough it all, my simple hope and prayer is that I can be the mom that God wants me to be.

Where can readers learn more about you,
Rattled, your other books, and your ministry to moms?

My website at offers tons of FREE resources, links and downloads for moms, as well as mor information on my books and ministry.

Moms can also purchase their own copy of
Rattled by clicking here.

And I will be speaking at all 3 Hearts at Home Conferences in 2008, I would LOVE for you to join me there. The National conference is in March in Illinois, and in the fall there is a conference in Michigan and Minnesota. You can get more information and register at

Thanks, Trish, for joining us today. What a joy to meet you and learn more about your new mom book

Thanks for having me. Blessings to you.

You can catch up with Trish all week long on her BLAST OUT BLOG TOUR by going to the following sites. There will be FREE book prizes, and great moms to connect with at each blog.











Chaos here: Isn't she awesome? And I assure you her book is also. Sure Charming is 11 months old, but much of her encouragement still applies. Her section on miscarriage really is honest and wonderful as are all the others. Part devotional, part encouragement, part humor, part serious, all good.

And I have a copy to give away! I know there are expectant mommies that read this blog (ahem, Liz) and mommies with little ones so leave a comment and one lucky reader will get a copy.

What I Did Today

1. Cleared off my dresser in a desperate attempt to have some clean flat surfaces which required that I...
2. Mend my shirt that I LOVE, but came with a small tear that I didn't catch at the store and when I went to return it, they didn't have another. The mend isn't great, but I'm probably the only one who will know it is there.
3. Packed up my mill that broke on Friday (made my flour smell like stale cigarette smoke). It has a lifetime warranty.
4. Called the mill people to get details on the process (hey, phone phobic, it's big news).
5. Called the humidifier people to order a replacement tank for mine that broke. The replacement costs $20, but the whole thing cost $70 so I guess it is worth it. The dude on the line was totally clueless, so I...
6. Filled out the necessary stuff to order by mail and mailed it.
7. Loaded up my little boys and went to the post office to mail some tapes to my sister and my mill to Utah and bought stamps.
8. Went to JC Penney and returned some pants on day 88 of the 90 day return policy.
9. Went to the jewelry store to have my wedding rings re-soldered.
(10. Went to the Disney store and the Rainforest cafe to throw pennies at the alligator--Frodo was getting twitchy)
11. Went to the Christian bookstore to buy a shower gift, but they didn't have it in stock.

I had it on the agenda yet to go to Walmart and return a Christmas gift (I know, it's February), but Charming had had enough so I'm home with a napping baby.

But talk about getting a bunch of monkeys off your back, huh?

It Was Bound to Happen

Charming discovered the potty. Of course, the water had to be yellow when it happened.

The kids decided to try to make me forget it was a school day today by playing nicely and quietly in the basement. As if. If it was Saturday they would have awakened me with an argument by 6:30 AM. I kept up the ruse as long as I could though. Couldn't resist with that nice quiet playing.

Eldest has his own style of music that he likes now. I'm pretty sure it goes something like: lots of drums, a strong beat, and loud. This morning it was 70s drug music. Yesterday it was Latin music. When we went to the store yesterday it was some peppy Christian music. Which goes to show, if you can find what they like in style, you can probably guide the words--at least for a while.

Feeling better. Thanks for all your well wishes.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Holy smokes, dudettes. (Dudes probably don't want to read this post.)

So yesterday I awakened with what I thought was a clogged duct. Which was annoying because, hello(!), I've been wearing the extremely non-sexy nursing bras for-EVER and they are supposed to reduce aforementioned duct cloggedyness and I've dealt with more than my share recently. (Not at all possibly due to overconsumption of caffeine and underconsumption of water.)

So I trounced off to Sam's (which, though boycotting Walmart, not it's annoying big sister) with my youngest two boys to buy a van load of dairy.

No sooner than I got home, I totally lost it. Charming was insisting on being on my hip while I unloaded the van. The hip he prefers was the sore side and he kept diving when I'd bend over to put the milk in the small fridge in the garage. The dive sent waves of pain through me. Enough to make me cry.

About that time I came down with the shakes.

I thought it was potentially the fact that the garage door was still open and though it was 40something outside, still chilly. Even though I was completely decked out in fleece.


Twenty minutes later my entire body is convulsing with shivers.

Oh, my goodness. I often wondered how people knew they had mastitis.

You just know.

Somewhere along the fiery pain in your chest and the fever topping the 101 degree mark, you kinda figure it out.

May I never experience that again.

(FYI: I still hurt, but not as bad. Still kinda weak, I finally killed the migraine that followed, and the fever is gone.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

cravings simplified

I never did find it yesterday, but I resorted to my customary craving solution. I made a pan of peanut butter rice crispy treats sans rice crispies con corn chex. It has solved my cravings for years. I think there is enough sugar, salt, protein and crunch to take care of whatever biological necessity promoted the craving in the first place.

By the way, I highly recommend the corn chex (store brand, that is) substitution when snowed in. I also like corn flakes. So much so that I rarely use rice crispies anymore. Cheerios are ok. Not my fav.

And the craving is the same it usually is when it isn't Mexican food: sour. I crave sour when I'm overtired like a maniac. Sour gummy worms. Cherry Limeade. Lemonade made with lemon juice (the real stuff). Unfortunately, Braeburn apples don't cut it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I am crazy hungry for something, but for the life of me I can't figure out what it is.

I hope I don't pound too many calories before I find it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Every Good and Perfect Gift

So last week, while I nursed the burning hot baby, I found myself with lots of time on my hands that I could only fill with PBS and books. Aside from the obvious that I didn't sleep and my baby was sick, I found the time rather well spent.

For those of you who are writers--have you ever picked up the book that you thought you wrote, and then discovered they did it better? Just one more confirmation that shelving my baby was a good idea.

I realize this book is as much about Alzheimer's as Infertility, but Sharon Souza handled the infertility with such humor and grace....and by putting it third person and from the friend's perspective, she bypassed the whine. Ah, well. No sense crying over missed opportunities. And no sense trying to resell what has already been done well.

If you're looking for a good and somewhat funny book about infertility, this is it. If you are looking for a good book about friendship, this is it. And, okay, I can't call it a good book about Alzheimer's, because that disease is far too depressing. But the end was satisfying, anyway.


Author of Every Good and Perfect Gift

1 . Your debut novel Every Good & Perfect Gift is releasing this month from Nav Press. Can you tell us a little about the book?

DeeDee and Gabby have been friends since the sixth grade, when headstrong and courageous DeeDee began mapping out their lives. But after twenty years with her husband DeeDee changes her plan. Nearing forty years old, she wants a baby - now! Two years of infertility, prayers, and outrageous behavior finally results in the birth of DeeDee's demand.
Gabby is present for all of it, noting the increasingly strange behavior of her lifelong friend after the baby's birth. Then comes a diagnosis that threatens to shatter their world. Gabby must find the strength and faith to carry DeeDee and herself through the dark unknown, but is she up for it?
2. What inspired you to write Every Good & Perfect Gift?

I wanted to write a book about a "Jonathan and David" type friendship between two women, knowing that I was ultimately going to tell the story of a young woman who is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's. I have a close friend who, at the age of 42, began to exhibit many of the symptoms portrayed in the book. Since completing the book I've learned that another close friend has been diagnosed with EOA. What are the odds?
In determining what course the friendship between Gabby and DeeDee would take, I asked myself: What is the greatest way one woman can express friendship to another? The answer: By helping her have a child if she's unable to, which one character is willing to do if it comes to that.

3. You've incorporated two major issues in Every Good & Perfect Gift: infertility and Early Onset Alzheimer's. Why not focus on one or the other? Why both?

The theme of Gift is extraordinary friendship. The foundation for the friendship is established between the characters in their childhood, tested through the issue of infertility, and exemplified through catastrophic illness. Infertility was the catalyst to get to that level of friendship expressed because of the illness. One character's growth was accomplished because of infertility, while the other character's growth came as a result of the Alzheimer's.

4. Why did you use humor to tell a story with such serious issues?

It's exactly because the issues are so serious that I chose humor to tell the story. Our life experiences are heavy enough without adding to them as we read for pleasure. That's not to say there aren't serious moments in the book, but hopefully the reader is buoyed by the lighter sections, rather than overloaded with the weightier ones.

5. What are your feelings about egg donation and other modern solutions that help women overcome infertility?

There are some things I might not personally opt for, but infertility was never an issue with me. If it had been I might have been willing to try anything. As it stands, I'm not opposed to in vitro fertilization or sperm donation, things of that nature. I don't find anything in Scripture that would cause me to be against it.

6. What are your feelings about a couple's decision to intentionally not have children?

Again, that wasn't my experience. I had three babies in quick succession and would not have done anything differently. But not every adult is cut out to be a parent. If an individual or couple realizes that they aren't equipped for parenthood, or if they feel their lives are full as they are, I don't' believe it's a sin not to have children. In fact, I think it's wise. That's not to say a person's feelings may not change in time, like it did for DeeDee. Then it's up to the couple to make the choice that's right for them.

7. What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

I spent several years in my early adulthood without a close friend. When the first one came into my life, I realized what I had missed and truly saw her as a gift from the Lord. But beyond that, I've experienced the truth of Proverbs 18:24: ". . . there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." In her darkest moments, Gabby learned that the Lord reaches out to us in compassion, spanning the gap between our need and His provision. That's been the case in my life over and over.

8. Do you base any of your characters on real people?

The concept of the story was based on a real situation in regards to the Early Onset Alzheimer's. But the characters are not based on real people. I do typically use people I know/have known and then take their personality traits/quirks to extremes--almost like a caricature--in order to make the character as interesting as possible. Almost always my daughters will recognize something of themselves in my make-believe world. It makes for fun conversation.

9. If the characters are primarily fictional, what about the setting? Is that someplace known to you?

I actually wrote the entire story in a fictional setting, without ever naming it. I just placed the town in the San Joaquin valley. My editor suggested I nail down the location, even a fictitious one. As we talked back and forth, I decided to use my real "home town" of Lodi. I grew up in the Sacramento area, but have lived in or around Lodi since my husband and I got married. There's some debate about whether or not "our" Lodi is the subject of the 1969 Credence Clearwater Revival song, "Stuck in Lodi." Right or wrong, I choose to think it is. But not for a minute do I feel stuck. I love Lodi.

10. What is your purpose in writing inspirational fiction?
I've had well-meaning friends ask why I write fiction at all. If I want to share the Gospel, why not write "the truth." Two answers come to mind. First, that "burning fire shut up in my bones" (Jer. 20:9) finds its release in fiction. Second, when Jesus wanted to get a heavenly truth across, He didn't deliver a three-point sermon. He told stories. My desire in writing inspirational fiction is that women who read my books will find them easy to share with other women who haven't yet come into relationship with Jesus, and that those women will be directed to the One who loves them with an everlasting love.


It is Pancake Day in Liberal, Kansas (My childhood home--but by the grace of God go I). The kids get out of school. There is a talent show that I was in more than once. And there are pancake races, where little children and adults strap on an apron, grab a skillet and race across town flipping a pancake. Here's hoping the weather is better there than here.

Speaking of weather. Sheesh. Yesterday it was 65 degrees when the kids got home from school. I took them directly to the park (I had already taken Frodo and Charming for a walk). While at the park I was walking around, HOT, when a gust of wind dropped the temp by a good 5 degrees, a second gust dropped it again. When we left the park less than an hour after we got there, it had dropped from 65 to 54 and was in a rapid decline. We are currently having a thunderstorm. On February 5. Yes. A thunderstorm, the second this month. The first was Sunday when it lightninged, thundered, hailed, then rained. (Followed by yesterdays loveliness). I suspect the rain will soon be ice balls and I bet thundering while snowing.

Charming awakened last night (not news) with another fever (news). We had the flu last week. We can't have it again this week, can we? The good news is that Hubs is home this week. Except it makes precious little difference because he still isn't actually at home and I still don't get a shower. Or sleep. He talks a good talk (at 2:30 "I'm concerned that you won't get any sleep") but when it comes time to walk it, he still drives off to work. I guess that is how the bills get paid.

I really am going to write this new "book." I don't think it will ever be anything but therapy, but I have so many ideas rapid firing in my brain, and it's been so long since that happened, I guess I'll go for it. Assuming that I can get the baby well enough that I can type for ten minutes at a time....and I get my contracted pieces finished and sent out.

After all these years I still can't spell pieces without spell check.

Target (Archer Farms) coffee still isn't as good as Walmart (can't remember the "brand" name). I'm going to have to go more expensive or cave and re-enter the Mart. I think I may go more expensive first. How is it that the cheapest coffee on the market is the best? I don't like folgers or maxwell house, but I love walmart's stupid french roast that costs four something a five pound can? So annoying.

Okay, I think Charming really is asleep so I'm going to attempt a shower. (I know, I know, it's only been three days, but I think I'll splurge.)

If he stays asleep, I'll do new book Tuesday in a while. If not, it will be tonight.

Monday, February 04, 2008


In all my murmuring and complaining today, I came up with an idea that I think will sell. However, I'll have to do it anonymously and could never tell my family that I sold a book. An interesting dilemma. But one I may just pursue.

Every cloud, silver lining, and all that.

Just Wondering

Do you ever get the feeling that if you were to suddenly die you wouldn't be missed for who you are, but for the services you provide?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Well, It's Not Coming Out His Wazoo

I just pulled a dollar and ten cents out of Charming's mouth. One gold dollar. One Nickel and Five pennies.

The child who won't eat food.

What I Really Wanna Do...

Is get on here and gripe to high heaven, but I'm not going to. I'm going to stop at letting you know that's what I WANT to do and leave it at that.