Thursday, August 28, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I keep telling Hubs: I think you should read this. I think you would really like this. I think this would be appropriate for you in this time of our lives.
He keeps saying: Really? Ya think? That good, huh? and my favorite: Why?
Well, you know, only if you are happy Not Dying, rather than Living. Or Getting By. Or Making a Living rather than Making a Life. And any of several other catch phrases. (And some of those may be mine and not his, so don't shoot me if you don't see one in there.)
But catch phrases aside, he makes a lot of solid points.
Here's part of the intro:
Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect.
“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….
Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.”
This book has made me change the way I look at life and the way I pray. It has also made me very uncomfortable in my routine. And is part of the reason I'm losing sleep. But I think it is all for the better. So I encourage you to check it out.
And if you comment, you may just get a copy for free.
But I got my contract in the mail today, and I bet you won't be able to get me out of the clouds.
Enter Hub's mom who cannot let a cat go hungry, eldest son's protests be darned. Next thing we know, she's feeding the cat my leftover roast.
In-laws go home, kids take up cat feeding duties.
There goes my roast, my crackers and my homemade cookies.
I asked Hubs what I was supposed to do now. I can't have all my groceries going down the gullet of the cat. He humphed.
I bought cat food.
I take no blame. And he would never blame his mother.
The kids are elated.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Since his idea is cheaper and comes with far less stigma, I'll try it.
But if I lie awake all night tonight and worry about Every Little Thing again, I might hang it up.
And, I guess, that's all I have to say about that.
Because I don't dare say what I really think.
'Course part of the reason for that is that I'm too sleepy to bother typing it.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Ever since his homework on Monday (bring a bug to school on Tuesday), he's been catching bugs. Anything he can find. He found a nearly microscopic caterpillar. He's caught bugs I couldn't see before he showed them. He's cleared out my entire recycling bin for bug jars.
He comes and declares he's found a spider, but he needs my help opening the window so that he can get to it. (What does that say about my housekeeping?) I attend to his whim. We discuss the spider, which appears to be a female that has wrapped the smaller male (?) in a web and was feasting upon him. In the facing corner is a spider of same species that looks to be spinning an egg sac. Next window over (it's a three opening picture-esque window) is a third spider of same species that looks to be guarding an egg sac.
We concoct a plan. I'm to vacuum the spider and eldest will capture the sac so they can watch for the baby spiders in school. I eye the sac. It has buds on it. I try to determine if the buds are baby spiders and finally decide they are not. They don't move. They must be a different type of web to hold the sac in the web. We proceed with our plan.
First, don't plan when dealing with spiders. Smash 'em and be done.
Second, don't underestimate mama spiders' desire to protect their young.
Third, if you must plan, plan better than I.
On second thought, just keep your window closed. It isn't worth it.
We popped open the window which is nearly cemented closed with this web's seventy billion strands in 360 degrees direction around the sac...in every direction which has to be more degrees than 360. Mama spider freaks, scrambles, eventually sprints for the sac and yells to her babies, "Incoming! Run for your lives!" At which time all those little buds each take one of the seventy billion strands and obey their mother.
Of course my attic fan is on. So of course, they flew into my home.
I don't even want to know what kind of infestation I now have. I eventually got the sac and maybe 25 babies trapped in a ziploc. Of course those are all the learning challenged, or at least disobedient, children. Because all sixty-nine billion 999 million 999 thousand, 975 well behaved ones are now loose in my home.
I took a photo, but microscopic spiders don't photograph well when one uses a $125 camera.
And I won't be buying a new camera any time soon, because I'll be spending that cash on the exterminator.
I know, my skin is crawling, too.
In addition to McDonald's Homemade tasting Biscuits we now have Bud Light's BL with 100% Natural Lime Flavor.
What, I ask, is more natural than lime JUICE?
Crude oil, dung beetles, poison ivy: all 100% natural. Doesn't mean I want any of them in my beer.
OK, you got me, I don't want the beer either. But you get my point, right?
Who do they think they are fooling?
What looks like, smells like, sounds like, tastes like, spits like, and makes-my-hackles-rise like rebellion...isn't always.
It took four children and eight years, but I think I've reached wise(er) mom status.
Note to moms: If you plan to pick your kids up from school and surprise them by going directly to the park because the day is lovely, bring snacks. Yes, most of you knew that. Work with me here. I've never been a big snack mom. I packed them snacks for school and assumed they had recently had one and could wait another 30-45 minutes for another.
So we come home from the park and children wish to watch movie. Mom says "No, but now is the time to have a snack." Child, having a meltdown, doesn't heed mom's advice. Children play a bit outside. Child asks for ice cream. Mom says, "No, but you can have popcorn." Child, mad about the no, doesn't heed mom's advice. Fast forward 20 more minutes, clearly creeping up on the dinner hour. Mom tells children to pick up. Child has meltdown.
drum roll please.
Mom (not freaking out, not yelling, not sending child to room, not threatening all types of evening torture like no dessert or going to bed early, not spanking) calmly tells child:
Get your rear into the kitchen now and eat a banana before you get into trouble. You are clearly hungry and need some food in your system.
Child eats, picks up and is helpful the rest of the evening.
Thank you, thank you very much.
There was a day, not so long ago, that I would have had an hour long (or longer) battle with said child. We would have had great weeping and gnashing of teeth. I would have wielded my right to be obeyed and he would have wielded his great lungs, but in the end, I would have won. Neither of us would have felt good about our day and daddy would have come home to a very unpleasant home.
But I've learned. Blood sugar hits a low that is too low for child to obey. So what looks, smells, and definitely sounds like rebellion is sometimes just hunger.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
And when it continues after I've scrubbed the trash can, the culprit is the potatoes.
Shew, those are nasty when they rot.
But no. My house reeks of rot. I've checked in most of the crevices. Not all, I know because I have yet to find the rot. The potatoes are all clear. The trash can is only typically stinky. I've bleached all the towels and the sink and the garbage disposal.
I just know I'm going to find a moldy watermelon rind here any moment.
It would help if I could zero in on exactly where the stench is coming from.
E-gad, I'm sorry.
Pregnant people avoid my house at all costs.
My house is really quiet.
The possibilities are endless.
I've already cleaned out under my kitchen sink. The dishes are next. Maybe a load of laundry.
Maybe a nap???
This is the first series of moments that I've had Charming down for a nap that I didn't have something urgent to attend to.
It is liberating.
Is this my life?
Maybe I will write that second novel, after all.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Little Cub awakens one morning with some important questions on her mind: What is heaven like? How do we get there? Will we eat in heaven? Will we be angels?
During a delightful day spent wandering their arctic world, Papa gently answers each question, assuring Little Cub that heaven is a wonderful place, “a million times better” than she can imagine. He explains how God has made a way for those who love him to enter their heavenly home forever after their lives on earth are over.
Reuniting the best-selling author-illustrator team from God Gave Us You, this gentle story provides satisfying answers for a young child’s most difficult questions about heaven. Parents, grandparents, childcare professionals, librarians, Sunday school teachers, and others will appreciate the gentle approach to a topic that’s on the minds of so many “little cubs.”
Through captivating, full-color illustrations and tender, biblically sound storytelling, young readers and those who love them will find reasons to rejoice in knowing that God Gave Us Heaven.
And, in two new books from best-selling children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall, clever rhymes and delightful illustrations help young children, ages three and up, understand God’s huge love for them and his joy in creating them. These enchanting picture books from the writer-illustrator team of Dandi Mackall and David Hohn will instill awe in young children as they revel in each page. Parents alike will appreciate the engaging stories that communicate God’s perfect plan and his divine purpose for little hearts.In When God Made My Toes, kids are drawn into the wonder of their creation by God. Their masterful artist who fashioned them just right for amazing and delightful adventures, such as roller skating, finger-painting, doing flips, and drinking cocoa. Children will come to an understanding that God shaped each part of their amazing bodies with joy, delight, and humor. In God Loves Me More Than That, children learn that God loves them deeper than a wishing well, wider than a semi-truck, louder than thunder, and softer than a kitten’s sneeze. Each question, presented with charming child-like faith will help young ones grasp the great love of God through comparisons and descriptions they can easily understand. In short, they’ll discover that His love is bigger, wider, higher, and deeper than anything they could imagine!
And I have a set to give away! Leave a comment. You never know if they will soon belong to you!
And then I left.
Now I want to skip through the aisles at Staples. (Many thanks to Meg for finding and posting because I still can't seem to do so.)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I thought I was looking forward to sending them off. Let someone else listen to them fight all day. Except at school they are each other's best friend and have each other's back 99.3% of the time. They do most everything the teacher asks. They work hard. They are attentive. They are compassionate. They compete to be the best behaved.
It drives me crazy.
They save all their bad behavior for me. My mom says it is because they know I'll love them no matter what and they aren't sure about the rest of the world. I don't know.
Hubs says I'll be really pathetic when Charming starts school if I'm freaking out about Frodo. Except is isn't just Frodo that is getting to me. It is the teddy bear that Eldest earned in Kindergarten that is choking me up from the living room floor. And he's growing up so fast and is such a great helper with Charming. It is that all three can now tie their shoes (we did that Friday when I decided seven is old enough to be ridiculous and Frodo just learned along with them).It's those big puppy paws of his. When he came out, we thought he'd weigh more than he did, because his hands and feet were huge. He was 24 inches long, that 9lb 4oz boy. And now he can tie shoes onto his big feet.
And there's Princess that I'm sending back into that den of boys. She likes me. She wants to spend time with me. She isn't embarrassed by me. That's gonna last, what, couple more years. And she is missing her two front teeth as of Friday.
Oh, how she made me laugh today. Several times. We were singing this song in church this morning that was "worthy, worthy, worthy" and she turns to me and whispers, "it sounds like she's saying whirly, twirly, swirly." She was right. And this afternoon, on a 20 minute ride, she memorized her 3 times table.
So my stomach is flipping around like I'm about to give a speech in front of the HHS student body for Stuco elections. And I think I might collapse into the ugly cry any minute.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Despite my doula training (which I've never really used), I'm usually stuck behind a video camera, quiet, in the corner of the room (so as to not get kicked out during transition).
Today things went a little haywire and I ended up in the thick of the action. Goo and all.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I witnessed a miracle. A series of them really. And I feel so honored.
It was an amazing experience.
Welcome little one. We're glad you are here.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
They leapt from couch to couch until their daddy told them to cut it out.
Then they walked on books until their daddy told them to cut it out.
Then they walked on trash, etc.
And then Eldest came up with this:
Which eventually morphed into this:
You've got to appreciate the creativity that shows up when you turn off the TV.
Assuming, of course, that you survive the "I'm bored"s and the "there's nothing to do"s and whining and wheedling and complaining that comes first.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
They've both been jammed into my foot in the last 24 hours.
The steel rod is 9/10 buried in my side yard and the color of dirt. I came down on it full force on the arch of my left foot.
I groaned and gasped and whimpered and have since hobbled.
Until today. I unexpectedly walked around the corner, into my kitchen and somehow jammed a toothpick a centimeter into the ball of my right foot.
Broke the toothpick.
Couldn't get the other half out of my foot.
Really freaked out my kids.
I think Frodo is having nightmares about it. All day long, he shuddered at the mention of "toothpicks."
Me to. My whole foot aches. My toes ache. Makes the bruise on my left foot seem trivial.
Currently glad I had that tetanus shot last year.
An hour ago, my neighbor that I've not met came over looking for her son. The last time he went missing he was in my back yard. I wondered about the woman who would let her kid play somewhere she didn't know the adults. I know WE did it when we were kids, but that was then and this is now, right? Too many weirdos. Turned out she didn't know he was over and was frantically searching for him. Oops. Now when he shows up, he has to play in the front yard. On the flip side of that, she did come to our house today when he disappeared. Maybe she does know where he is when I don't know if she knows.
I freaked out. We've had LOTS of strangers around lately with all the new roofs going up. Lots of utility vans. A kid could go missing. Eventually even Hubs got concerned enough to go looking.
Turns out he was hiding.
For more than an HOUR.
If one of my kids pulled that gig, oh man...
In the words of Wot (Walt??) of A Night's Tale: Pain! Lots of pain!
No sugar! No TV! No fun! No friends!I don't think they'd be allowed out of my line of sight for months. Pain! Lots of Pain!
Kinda like my feet.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Okay, but what's with McDonald's "buttery tasting bun" and "homemade tasting biscuits?" Do they really think they're fooling anyone? It annoys me every time.
Speaking of buttery tasting buns, I made a wicked grilled ham with pepper cheddar on sourdough for supper tonight. I have skilz. And I didn't use butter. I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Although I can believe it. But since I buy it for a certain overnight guest who hasn't been overnight in a while, I have been using it occasionally.
Would have been better to have butter, but it was pretty stinkin' good anyway.
And has anyone else noticed that both Obama and McCain use the same video clip of the windmills in their ads? Me either, but Hubs tells me they do.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I stayed home all morning and worked on it. I worked all of Charming's nap. Yes, the dishes were all done...for about three seconds...until someone asked for food. And, ok, part of taking back my kitchen was taking back my pantry so I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce to use up a pile of tomatoes on my counter. Which means my counter was covered in tomato sauce all afternoon. I worked on the paper that finds itself a home on my "ledge" over the stove. But I did not take down the mountain.
Then I took the kids to the pool. Hey, it's the last week of summer. And we are supposed to have storms all week. And I didn't want to waste what may be the last nice afternoon.
I forgot to mention that my day started at 5 AM. And not the kind of start that includes a quiet time while the rest of my family slept. No, more like the kind that I fight and fight and finally give up around 6:15.
When Hubs got home, I expressed frustration that I had ONE goal today and that was to take back my home (beginning with the kitchen). You know what he said?
"You did a nice job on the bedroom."
Yeah. That. Eldest made my bed and threw the dirty clothes in the hamper while I took a shower this morning. To surprise me.
Shhhh, don't tell.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
She's catching on that I think of it as a snack and NOT as a healthy breakfast.
She ate a bowl and asked for a second. When I teased her about it, she giggled and said, "Yeah, I'm a little bit addicted."
Guess who Hubs blames for that one?
You're reading her.
I didn't even realize I said it, but I'm certain I do...about twelve times a day regarding caffeine and sugar.
It sounds really sweet coming out of a seven year old's mouth. Much better than "Shut up."
Friday, August 08, 2008
To my fellow patrons of Hy-Vee, I apologize profusely that your shopping trip was polluted by my child's fit. However, I do not apologize for not giving in to his fit and your indications that I should possibly do something to SHUT HIM UP weren't helpful AT ALL.
See, the liberals among us have taken away my rights to spank my child in public. I believe they are the same people that are so annoyed by children that they won't have any and leave the future of this planet to "breeders" like me. You won't let me discipline my child, you don't have any of your own, and yet you dare judge me.
Yes, I'm certain that you "crying" at my child helped exceedingly. You are a very impressive human. Thank you.
Kids are not perfect and parents can not make every decision for them. If a child decides that he is not embarrassed to make a scene in the store, the child will make the scene. When you react to the scene, it shows them that they are in control. If I had given in to the scene, he would have made another one the next time he wanted to do his will rather than mine. And yes, I could have left my cart, gone home with my screaming child and come back later, but I don't have time for that nonsense. If I was at the beginning of my shopping list, yes, since all I had to do was check out, I think you will survive.
And to the nice gentleman and lady who checked me out and bagged my groceries, thank you. You were very pleasant. You may talk about me all day, but you were nice to my face and you deserve an award for courtesy. I may have to call you manager and let him know.
They are doing all the "right" things. Eldest got up uber-early, but played "quietly" in his room with the door shut. That being the problem as every stinkin' time he went in or out we all had to hear scrrrr-clunK because our foundation settled and none of out doors close quietly.
A moment of appreciation for those who own a new home.
The thing is, as long as Charming is going to believe he needs to be touching me in order to sleep well, preferably sucking on his living pacifier, no one will win.
And what kind of mother buys her kids sugared cereal and then snaps at them for only wanting to eat that until it is gone?
This is why I don't buy the stuff!
I blame the box top bureaucracy for my moment of insanity at the grocery store.
Frodo is doing dishes. Why is this annoying? I don't know. Except he's washing the dishes that could go in the washer and is "tired of washing dishes" once he's down to the nasty ones I have to do by hand.
I will be nice, I will be nice, I will be nice.
I know they learn by doing, but for once I'd like "help" to actually mean "help."
BUT, since I began this post, I've had coffee, a nice morning walk, caught caterpillars and enjoyed my kids. So I suppose even surly mornings can be recovered to make for good days. And I'm going to post this anyway to remind myself and hopefully encourage someone else.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Probably because what I want to say, I know I shouldn't.
And you can only gripe about taking your kids to the store once a week at most.
And point out the idiocy behind some practices by people who should know better.
Hey! I know! My car only cost $223. Which, yes, is terrible, but everything else that has gone wrong lately has cost me at least a grand. $223 sounds like a steal. (NO comments from the "my husband can fix my car for free" gallery. My husband can fix a combine with baling wire. And fortunately my husband doesn't make me drive a combine but once or twice a year.)
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
This series is YA which probably says a little too much about my mentality, but I love to get into the heads of teens. Jenny really seems to have the pulse of teens, too. This is Christian YA, but she still drops topics in that are often taboo. But what to teen girls think about? The size of their chest. Guys. Kissing. Girl rivalries. Underwear. Or if you are Katie, your druggie mom that just reclaimed custody. Poor Katie. Made me want to do foster care. And though Katie makes her share of mistakes, she also has her share of repentance.
If you have a teen, or if you, like me enjoy YA, I encourage you to get hold of a copy. If not at Amazon, at your local library.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Famous last words that I refuse to ask.
I nearly made it to my dentist's office when I heard the "vrrr-eeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEE!!!!!" and said, "That can't be good."
I limped my van the four blocks to his office and went in for my cleaning.
I came out to a pool (not puddle, pool) of green running out of my van. Yes, my coolant was, unfortunately, empty. I imposed upon my FIL's relationship with my dentist to get him to play dad for me while Hubs called the shop. Step-FIL filled my radiator with water which immediately began to run out of my van. I hopped in and tried to drive away.
Didn't get far because by then my van was also saying, "grrrrrr-squeeeeeeEEEEE!!!!!-bwompbwomp!"
But in "All things work together for good" fashion, the tow guy came quickly and took me to the auto shop which is seven to ten blocks from my sister's house where my children were staying. I had a cooler in the back that is on wheels with a pull thingy so I strapped the car seat to that and walked to her house in 100 degree heat and didn't have to wait for the train which was blessedly short and she was able to bring us all home.
Yes, I'm exasperated, but what do you do?
I also discovered I don't mind walking in heat a bit if I don't have to push a stroller or hear that incessant whining about how hot the kids are. Must come from all of those years when I didn't have cable and played outside all summer.
I can now quit telling the doctor, "June...2006."
And I can now blame hormones for my bad attitude, whether or not that is true.
But seventeen months (or better, 25) was a pretty good run, don't you agree?
We should all be so lucky.
Monday, August 04, 2008
My house is trashed.
My kids have entitlement issues.
My kids aren't fixed contrary to promises made by a certain Popin.
So when I suggested that if they need money so badly (because they need toys so badly (because they need one more thing to NOT take care of)) that maybe they could help out around the house.
(We have an hourly rate to do whatever mom says to do.)
They didn't agree that this is a good proposition.
So I made another. How about Mommy lectures said children about gratefulness, VERY. LOUD.
Mama needed a margarita. Or a pitcher of them. Or some midol, maybe.
Or some words of affirmation. Which lifted my mood back up to the "bubbly" point on the scale.
Who needs a clean house when you've got someone out there in the ether of the internet to send you good news?
That and Eldest decided that maybe I had a point and helped restore one floor of my house to the status quo.
He even did a few windows.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Nothing I should brag about.
Except I'm so dang giddy about it, I can't resist.
I GOT COVER!!!
Something I wrote is worthy of being the cover story of not the main Focus on the Family Magazine, but of the couples edition which ain't too shabby.
I nearly bubbled over yesterday when I got my copies.
I'm honored. And Hubs is, well, joking that he made cover too....albeit his "failures" are what made the cover story. And as much as he's mentioned it, I'm not sure his pride isn't wounded a little bit (even though he approved the final draft). He's even talking about giving his next Toastmasters speech about having your dirty laundry aired on the cover of a magazine.