Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Do we not remember how to start, cultivate and grow friendships IRL any more? Has our human-ness atrophied this much?
Often this type of community seems so cheap and inauthentic to me. My personal persuasion is that I only become online friends with people I already know IRL. I'm not really in the market for shiny new, surfacey, dollar-store friendships based on me driving a Honda Odyssey van, currently reading Diane Mott Davidson, listening to Christmas music on iTunes, or because I enjoy cooking, travel, and discovering new places.
And I'm even more __________(verb) with people who keep seeking out these disposable friendships and forsaking the real life people right in front of them.
What? You don't have U2 listed as your favorite band anymore? Ba-bye. You decided Apple is not the almighty? Blasphemer--I can no longer IM with you. You didn't like the comment I wrote on your blog and I'll never hear from you again? Um...OK? You misread what I was trying to tell you in an e-mail and you deleted me off your Facebook friendlist?
Or--on the flip side. I don't have any friends, I think I'll go buy some. Hm--if I decide to go to space camp to become an astronaut I'll instantly have tons and tons of friends who are also going to be flying to the moon. Yeah, I like that idea. I'll do that. I don't have as many friends on Facebook as __________(insert name), I'd better fill out more personal information so more people will find me and I can beef up to become a super-friend. People haven't been commenting on my blog, I'd better read and comment on theirs to drum up some traffic. Or maybe I'll re-design, or move to a new "location" and start over.
I think I'm just really disgusted with people these days who are living virtual lives instead of real ones. I mean, heaven forbid the power go out or the internet go down for a few hours or days--some people just about lose their lunch when they're so "unconnected" to the "outside world".
I'll be the first one to raise my hand and admit I've gone through times of addiction to virtual community. It's so empty. I've never been one to look at or be addicted to porn, but I have a feeling it's on the same plane and a lot more justifiable and a lot less taboo than porn. Shame on me. Shame on all of us who fall prey to the cheap electronic relationships we seek and pursue online deceiving ourselves that they will be just as fulfilling IRL as well.
When we step away from our computer screens, we're awfully exposed, aren't we? Are you practicing your human-ness so that if the network ever implodes you'll still be able to converse with people, and want to? Can you still hand-write letters? Communicate with and comprehend people's non-verbals? Weather the rough times with people rather than just signing off and changing your screen name, getting a new e-mail address or blog, and clicking on "Register me now" for a new life?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Growing up, our family counted down to Christmas using a special advent…piece…my mom had cross-stitched just for us. There were 24 plastic rings sewn onto this piece to hold tiny candy canes. Each day, one of the four kids would rotate getting to take and eat a candy cane off the calendar.
As we got older (and wiser?) we demanded better candy than tiny, boring old candy canes. I’ll never forget my mom Scotch-taping holiday colored Hershey’s kisses to each ring by the little Hershey’s kiss flag in each candy. Or the fact that our dog, Cinders, ate all the candies–wrappers and all–while we were at church one Sunday.
Last year my brother, Greg, brought home a Starbucks advent calendar complete with tiny numbered red drawers and stocked with milk and dark chocolates. We all enjoyed eating our way to Christmas, but it was so short-lived and meaningless to me. I had the creative urge to tap the potential this $14.95 little calendar was tempting me with. (They’re $15.95 this year–yikes!)
So, this year, when I pulled out the advent box, my kids started the chorus of, “ooooh, caaaandy!”
But I quickly squelched that dream. I told them that instead of candy this year, we were going to pull out little pieces of paper that would tell the Christmas story day-by-day throughout the month of December. They weren’t as excited about that idea, but they were intrigued. I’ll take intrigued and run with it.
I have visions of a hand-made storybook with kiddie-drawn pictures illustrating each day’s snippet of the new-to-them odyssey. Of my kids really getting Christmas. Of them being able to recite the story from Luke 2 by memory just a few short years from now. Of them looking forward to reading the familiar story every year and if filling them to the brim with excitement and giving them goosebumps every time they read it. Of Jesus is the Reason for the Season being more than a clever rhyme.
I’m offering a FREE advent calendar complete with kid’s version of the Christmas story to one lucky LAB reader. If you are interested in winning this prize, you’ve got to hurry as Dec 1 is just around the corner! Leave me an insightful comment and I’ll pick the one that strikes a chord with me most as the winner on Friday December 30. I’ll either deliver or mail the calendar to the winner!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The nice thing about Wordpress is that it will answer those questions by letting you know who is referring readers to your posts.
I clicked and almost wet my panties. LAB is linked to a Wall Street Journal article today!
I can't take credit--it's linked to an article Diane wrote. She deserves all the credit. Nice job, Diane! Congrats on being published on LAB, and linked to the WSJ online!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This week at D&W and Spartan Stores, if you purchased 10 General Mills products in one purchase, you would get 2 free tickets to go so Bee Movie. That’s an OK deal–but that’s a lot of [expensive] products. Thankfully, select General Mills cereals and fruit snacks were on sale this week–10 for $20. Still a little pricey, but with additional coupons and my re-used brown bags, I ended up walking out of the store with 9 boxes of cereal, 1 box of fruit snacks, and 2 free tickets (up to $24) to see Bee Movie for $16!
Now I just have to hive off a friend to go with me to see Bee Movie. If you’re buzzed to see a honey of a film with me for FREE, leave me a comment on this post and pick a number between 1 and 100. I’ll have my antennae up to see who is closest to my number and will get to bee my Bee Movie friend! Contest ends November 20. (Please, no stinging remarks about my waspish use of puns)
Meijer was also running a special–if you bought a Rival roaster oven for $30, you also got a free chef’s knife and free turkey. I got the roaster oven, but they were sold out of the chef’s knives. I did get the 17 pound turkey, though. Using a $20 Meijer gift card from an ICR taste-test, I left Meijer with a new $45 roaster oven [wish I could brag about the $10 knife too, but oh well] and $25 turkey for just $10 out of my pocket!
Combination and planning. Find a deal, a sale, plus all the coupons you can muster, return soda cans and bottles, re-use brown grocery bags, and you’ll walk away from a store with more stuff and more money!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Ohhhhh...I've got the first chap-flap of the season.
You know, when your lips get chapped and you get that really big, hard chunk of lip skin that your front teeth are instinctively trying to grasp onto and rip off and leave a large, painful gaping hole of raw flesh exposed. That sticks up and gets caught every time you close your mouth our rub your lips together. That practically snags your tongue while you're talking.
It's taking all my willpower not to rip it off, but I know how painful it will be as soon as I do it. I keep putting on chap stick to help soften it, but I know it's there and every now and then I find my teeth creeping out to grasp the little flap.
"No, no don't do it", I scream inside my head. Think of the burning you will feel while trying to eat salt & vinegar potato chips around that gargantuan lip hole. Hot chocolate a little too hot straight onto raw, opened flesh-wound. Worse yet the dry, achey-cakey of trying to cover the hole with lipstick. Oh...resist! Resist!
Besides, we all know the little flap never tastes as satisfying and good as we think it will--even if it's Cherry flavor.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I have a friend who has recently contacted me about the possibility of having PPD. The crazy thing is, she hasn’t even had her baby yet? Isn’t that crazy? You can’t suffer from PPD if you haven’t had a baby yet, right?
WRONG! SO WRONG! HOW IGNORANT ARE YOU?
Anyone can suffer a perinatal (that means during pregnancy or after birth) mood disorder. I did during my third pregnancy. And I think my friend is too.
It’s hard to give advice on what to do. I listen to myself talking to her and bet my words are just bouncing right out of her overly-stimulated, feeling-all-clogged-up ears, or that she sees my lips moving but her haze-riddled mood-muddled eyes just can’t make out the words. She knows she’s not her, her brain is telling her that, but it’s also sedating her to the point where there’s nothing more she can really do about it.
I’ve been there too. That’s how I know. I remember. And quiver. Like when you remember having a terrible flu with violent vomiting. It makes you quiver, shiver, and wish you never have to go through it again. And that no one else will have to either.
I have urged her on several occasions to talk to her doctor immediately. She’s complacent and waiting until her next appointment.
I say “you don’t have to suffer, you don’t have to struggle”, yet she chooses to grit her teeth and claw her way through another disheartening day. We can only make choices for ourselves although if I had my way I’d drive her straight to her doctor and walk her into the office proclaiming the dire straits of her daily life and demanding some darn-good care.
But I can’t do that. You’d never let me. I might even spend a night in the slammer if I try a stunk like that. But know I’m on you like a HAWK, my friend. I’m not letting you get away with suffering when there are so many options, so many therapies, so much support and reasons not to suffer. That is one good thing about living here and now. You have options. There is help availble. You don’t have to suffer. Amen and than you Jesus!
I found grace in a lot of areas–praying friends, family, support groups, psychiatry, books, an understanding spouse, but most of all in a little blue pill called Zoloft. I hate that I have to have medication to keep me ‘balanced’ and normal, but that is the reality of my life right now. I’m not strong enough to do all the other things in my life to achieve the balance I really long for. Someday, when the choices I make are all my own, when I’m not ruled, run, and ravished by raising kids I’ll be able to be more proactive about being healthy. Drinking oceans of water, walking and exercising, preparing healthy energizing foods for every meal, eating every meal, getting copious amounts of sleep, initiating life-giving social interactions, reading soul-stuffing books, and maybe even writing one too!
But until then, I take my little (now it’s yellow because I’ve switched to generic because of the cost factor) yellow pill every morning and send up a prayer for a good day while the little yellow pill slides down my throat with a gulp of tepid water.
~Elli peeing (not just a little sprinkle-tinkle. Like adult-sized bladder emptying here folks) on my parent's brand new $1k pillow-topper mattress
~Addi pooping on the cushion of the window-seat at my parent's brand new home
~Rubbing in the "miracle cream" that doesn't seem to be doing jack
~listening to the breaks squeal and squeak each time I slow to a stop and agonizing over how the heck to make time to go get them fixed and then pay for them
~needing new windshield wipers
~watching Encore stagger around with an arched back, lame back end, and shake his painful ear
This is the good stuff that's not really lifting my spirits although it should be:
~Dan's day off
~iminent trip to the library
~full tank of gas
~parents in town
~LAB meeting tonight
~I have a van
~my family is safe and healthy
~we have food to eat and water to drink
~our internet is working right now
~Elli didn't need a shot today
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I left the house with bloodcurdling screams propelling me to the quiet of my Odyssey. Oh Elli, how can I help you?
Made a snack for tonight's CD-less release party. I made 100 pigs in a blanket, which cost us a total of $5.50. I love deals! The live music at the party was fantastic--so fun. I couldn't believe I attended a church that would throw a CD release party--how cool are we? I just told my parents there was an after-church pot-luck--they just don't get our generation.
Our kids are growing--as in out of their shoes. Elli got a pair of fuzzy pink boots for her birthday, Liam needed new sneaks, and needs new winter boots. He's 4 and wears size 12--the next size is boys/mens sizes. Gulp. Little dude isn't so little anymore.
Had the best time every with my friend Roxy at the zoo. It was moviesque to watch our kids play, talk, and interact with each other. Say goodbye as if they had always been and would always be best buds. Picking up where we left off and talking a million miles a minute the entire time and turning a 12 minute zoo into a 2 hour epic story-telling session of each others' lives to date. Rox, you are just the best!
Sparkly jeans are out for the season. Had to wear them tonight and masquerade as a rock-star. Someone asked me if Dan was singing tonight, and I said "no". I was really sad at that realization. I hope work/life slows down a bit so he can sing again--I didn't realize how much I miss seeing him on stage and singing along with him as he leads worship. He really knows how to worship God--something I hope to one day attain to.
Brrr..it's getting really cold in here. I can't spare gas to run the car/heater while I type, so I guess I'll end here. Goodnight cosmic void.
Friday, November 09, 2007
A melange of emotions showered me like the falling leaves. I can't decide whether I felt washed clean, or covered to drowning.
It was one of those "this was supposed to be 'the day'", but you both knew the anticipated arrival was not coming. Remembering an event that will never happen again in your lifetime--but only ever again in others'.
Reading words the writer and reader knew weren't true, yet both keeping up the facade and pretending each thought the other was telling the truth. Wanting closure and peace. Finality.
Being happy and celebratory while being "hit" every now and then with the remembrance of a memory that never even happened.
Being told "the numbers are really small and the chances are really against you, but sometimes it does happen".
Sitting around a table with people who were integral in an almost magical and surreal time in your life, then almost as instantly out of your life again--but back to remember and keep the relationship and the memories thriving.
Plans stopping and changing on a dime.
Running your fingers over raised print that probably only means something to you and one other person in the world, and relishing the feeling of the font.
Thankful for preservation, yet angry at injustice. Guilty for stupidity and outraged at unfairness. Sad and mourning, yet relieved and safe. Wondering what the lesson is and why the need for it.
Encouraged from every direction, and getting nervous that a shoe is about to drop because things are "too good".
There are more leaves deciding what color they will end up before making the leap from tree to terra. Maybe I should wait a little longer and see how they land before sifting through my emotional potpourri again.
It's no big deal to anyone else but me. It was a little piece of affirmation on a day when I needed to know that not everything is screwed up. And that something I enjoy doing is being enjoyed by others as well.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Driving two-thirds of my kids to preschool today, I was internally telling myself over and over again, it’s OK. You can do this.
I was envisioning myself telling the kids’ teachers–I’m having a bit of a psychotic break today. I wasn’t sure it was safe for me to be driving. I was aware. I was overly aware. I was dangerously stuck in hyper-awareness gear and it wasn’t a good thing.
My mind was racing with thoughts in all directions all at the same time. All I could think was manic. panic. manic. this is mania. i’m having a manic episode. I can’t slow down, yet I can’t go fast enough. I have so many things to do, I have to get so many things done. I need to go, go, go, do, do, do. I can’t slow down–there’s no time to breathe.
I thought–I can’t wait to write a post–get this all out. See if I can sort things out. Sit in one spot to write an entire post. I need to write. I need to sit. It’ll slow me down.
At group, we talk about doing one thing each day. Not a million grandiose things. One thing. Like getting the baby dressed. Like brushing our teeth. Like reading one page of a book or magazine. I need to focus on one thing, but I can’t seem to zone in on just one thing when there are so many things all vying for my attention.
I remember Diane telling people that during some of her worst times, family or friends would sit across the table from her and help her take just one bite of food. I wish I had someone directing me. Sitting me down. Helping me sort my muddled mind. Slowing me down. Helping me breathe, drink water, eat a meal from start to finish, a real meal–not just the crusts and leftovers off of my kids’ plates.
I have one hour before preschool pickup. Now that I have sat down and written, I’m feeling a little bit more centered. The laundry is in the dryer. I need to make a grocery list, clean up the basement, unpack from the weekend, make up our bed, clean up toys, rake leaves, edit this post, tag and link it, find a strawberry cake recipe, bank deposit, grocery shop, figure out dinner, and solve all the problems of the entire world–all within this one hour.
I know I’m causing a lot of my own stress, but I haven’t figured out how to take the money off my own back–I only know how to keep putting it back up on there.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
My daughter’s 3rd birthday is today. She saw a princess cake in Miejer about 6 months ago and declared that she wanted/demanded that cake for her birthday.
Being a good mommy actress, I flipped through the pages of the cake-book until I found her princess cake–really I just wanted to see how much it would cost. I’m not positive this is correct, but the number $29.99 sticks in my mind. Maybe it was $36.99?
I remember helping my mom make cakes like this for me when I was a little girl, so I figured I’d save us $30 and make the cake myself.
While in Toys “R” Us registering for our kids’ Christmas list a few weeks ago, I looked to see how much a Barbie doll costs these days. First of all, you can’t really find just a plain Barbie doll–they all have a theme, are dressed “as someone”, and/or come with an extra outfit/accessories (aka “unnecessary stuff”). The cheapest Barbie-looking Barbie I could find was $12.99!
Since $12.99 is more than 1/3 of the $29.99 cake, I decided to get creative. I asked my mom if she’d be willing to dig through a tub of old toys from when I was a kid and see if any of my old Barbie dolls were usable. She found one that I hadn’t given a haircut or wasn’t covered in crayon shavings and brought it out at her last visit.
We’re making a whole foods strawberry cake from scratch–I had to put out $3.99 for organic strawberries. I’ll make buttercream frosting–thankfully Spartan butter is only $1.77 this week and my mom bought a 5 lb bag of 10x sugar last time she was here. I have all the other ingredients on hand and will do my best with what I have in the way of food colorings, piping bags and tips, and lacy/pearly/shiny/princessy accessories.
Although I’m sure the $29.99 cake would be picture perfect, our $6 version will be made with cup fulls of laughs (I hope not too many tears?), a sprinkling of fond memories, and lots and lots of love. You can buy the cake, but you can’t buy the love at Meijer. (Unless your mom is the Meijer birthday cake-baker/decorator.)
A long time ago, I was asked to speak to the Spectrum Health Gift Shop Guild. Tomorrow is my "big day".
Apparently I'll get to eat lunch with the ladies from the guild, then I have twenty minutes to share with them about PPD. Twenty minutes is hardly enough to introduce myself!
Chris, the facilitator from the Spectrum Health "This isn't what I was expecting" postpartum emotional adjustment group, will introduce me then read an excerpt from Brooke Shields' book, Down Came the Rain.
I asked her to read the part where Brooke envisions herself throwing her baby against a wall, the baby hitting the wall, sliding down, and becoming a blob on the floor. I think it's probably the most poignant and startling section of her book that resonated with me, at least.
I'm not sure what I'll say. I hope I don't get up in front of these ladies and blubber. I hope I don't bore them into an alzheimatic disorientation. I hope I speak coherently, concisely, frankly. I hope I say things that will speak to them, give them insight into the world of today for a woman trying to overcome a temporary and mysterious mental illness, and spur their guild to allocate funds to enhance the care for new families dealing with postpartum mood disorder complications.
I'll let you know how it goes...
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
She's almost 3. We're already plotting the birthday cake. A strawberry cake "skirt" with a Barbie stuck down the middle of the cake. We're still waffling between blue or pink icing for her gown...I'm almost positive she'll pick pink--then change her mind and cry that she wanted blue as soon as I'm done frosting it with pink. That'll be par for the course.
Ellison Jennaye. Dan picked the "Ellison", and her middle name was going to be "Mabel" but because she was our "last baby", I wanted to give her a semblance of my name, so changed it to Jennaye whilst the Dr. was sewing me up.
I've had the hardest time bonding with Elli. Lots of reasons--most of them just for me to ponder and guard. And she's going through the most traumatic season of her young emotional life thus far. And I'm afraid we're really struggling and oftentimes failing at loving and parenting her in the way she needs us because we just can't understand what it is that she needs and I don't think she's capable of telling us what she needs yet, either. Hopefully, we'll just continue loving and being patient while we learn each others' ups and downs.
I pray that three will see dry all the way through the night. An easy transition to (paci)fier-less. More singing and dancing and less screaming, tantrums, shouting, and irrational and unnecessary drama. Confidence in herself. Standing up straight and facing fears. Learning more and more songs and lessons about Jesus, and feeling his comforting presence in her life even if she doesn't fully comprehend and understand who and why He is here. Being a peacemaker. Being happy. Being obedient right away. Being stubborn and strong-willed, but in a good way. Independence tempered with lots of snuggling, hugs, and "mom, I want you". No rash on her face, a few more pounds, inches, and a thick head of hair. But most of all health, stability, and the knowledge that no matter what, she is loved.
I was imagining telling the kids' teachers--"I'm having a bit of a psychotic break today."
My mind was racing with thoughts in all directions all at the same time. All I could think was "manic. this is mania. i'm having a manic episode. I can't slow down, yet I can't go fast enough. I have so many things to do, I have to get so many things done. I need to go, go, go, do, do, do. I can't slow down--there's no time to breathe."
I thought--I can't wait to write a post--get this all out. See if I can sort things out. Sit in one spot to write an entire post.
At group, we talk about doing one thing each day. Not a million grandiose things. One thing. Like getting the baby dressed. Like brushing our teeth. Like reading one page of a book or magazine. I need to focus on one thing, but I can't seem to zone in on just one thing when there are so many all vying for my attention.
I remember Dian explaining that family or friends would sit across the table from her and help her take just one bite of food. I wish I had someone directing me. Sitting me down. Helping me sort my muddled mind. Slowing me down. Helping me breathe, drink water, eat a meal from start to finish, a real meal--not just the crusts and leftovers off of my kids' plates.
I have one hour. Now that I sat down and wrote, I'm feeling a little bit more centered. There's laundry in the dryer. I need to make a grocery list, clean up the basement, unpack from the weekend, make up our bed, clean up toys, rake leaves, edit this post, tag and link it, bank deposit, grocery shop, figure out dinner, fix the tarp on the grill that keeps banging the side of the house every time the wind blows, and solve all the problems of the entire world--all within this one hour before I go pick the kids up from preschool.
I know I'm causing my own stress, but I haven't figured out how to take the monkey off my own back--I only know how to keep putting it there.
First time stung by a bee
First time using an airplane restroom
First time to Africa
First time wiring money
First time teaching a Sunday school class
First time felling a tree using ropes and an ax
First time I've written something every day (so far at www.lifeafterbaby.wordpress.com)
First time I've called a Senator's office--and I called 2!
First time to apply for a job I didn't get
First time to make a princess birthday cake all by myself
First time taking a child to the ER
First time to run a generator (haven't done it yet--but it's scheduled for next week)
I still have never used an ipod yet, though.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
This might be one of your last chances to listen to the leaves rustling in the wind. The corduroy cold it starting to settle in and there’s talk of snow whispering in my ears.
Enjoy the last few vestiges of fall while you can. Breathe deeply of the cool, refreshing air. Gulp in lungfulls of its freshness, for the time to go inside and hunker down deep for winter is coming soon. (thanks to Dan for this great fall photo)
Friday, November 02, 2007
I'm so bummed! Dan didn't upload the photo I wanted to use in this post.
Anyway--he captured a great shot of me with my hands held out cupped and one of the kids dropping in all the "banned" candies from their piles. Banned list includes:
~ Hard Candy
~ Caramel squares
~ Atomic Fireballs
~ Anything larger than "snack size"
~ Laffy Taffy
~ Bit O Honey
~ Mary Jane
~ Gummy fangs
~ Satanic tattoos (I KNOW--aren't I so totally closed-mided?)
~ Any lollies larger than a Dum-Dum
Some went to church with Dan, some went in the trash, and some went up in the "adult stash" of candy. Hey--you gotta do what you gotta do.
I just love that my kids have not asked for a single piece of candy. Halloween is so done and past for them. They are great kids. What Elli? Yes, you can have another Organic baby carrot. Hang on, Liam, I'm getting you another stalk of celery. Addi, it's OK, mommy can get more pesticide-free broccoli. What full-size pack of Kit-Kats? I'll take care of you later...
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Please call your senators TODAY. I have included our senators' numbers and a script. Even if you don't call today, call tomorrow, or sometime.
Levin (D) 202-224-6221
Stabenow (D) 202-224-4822
I am (your name) from (Your town) and I am one of your constituents. I am calling to urge you to co-sponsor the very important MOTHER'S Act to provide for Postpartum Depression Screening, funding, and research.
[If you would like to tell about your friend Jenna Scott who has suffered from perinatal mood disorders three times over, I give you all the permission in the world to do so.]
This is so important...please help us make a difference for all families and mothers:)
Friday, October 19, 2007
I thought "Somethin' Sexy 'bout the Ring" was one of my better pieces of writing. As I continue to hone my creative writing skills, I think I need to open myself up to the painful reality of feedback. I'm trained for technical/professional communication (like flight manuals, press releases, regurgitating information, etc.) so these pieces are a new experience for me, and one with which I must admit I have no further training than high school English.
I'm going to open this piece up to criticism from all sides. I'd appreciate specific comments. (Of course I'd appreciate positive comments, but I learn best from things I need to "fix" or improve)
For example: the phrase "husky, musky, dusky rollicking rhythms of country music" seemed too contrived. Maybe you could make it a little more smooth and natural by ______
thanx 2 alls of You for learning me on how's I ken rite gooder;
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
This has been the result of SEVEN YEARS of steadfast advocacy. The bill will now proceed to the Senate where it will join forces with The MOTHERS Act.
On October 24, I'll be posting a special blog here and on LAB with numbers and e-mail contacts to call or write our local senators to make sure they know we are interested in seeing this bill pass. I know I sure am. I would be thrilled to request some grant $$ to help fund LAB, and would love to see more research being done, more screening and more help for perinatal mood disorders.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
|What Kind of Reader Are You? |
Your Result: Book Snob
|Literate Good Citizen|
|What Kind of Reader Are You?|
Create Your Own Quiz
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
(A) about 50 cents if purchased in a box from the grocery store
(B) $1.50 from the ice cream truck
(C) $2-3 at an ice cream stand
(D) probably over $100 when dispensed from the Emergency Room at Metro Health hospital when your 4-year old splits his lip on the deck stairs of his grandparents' new cabin but thankfully he doesn't need sutures just a Popsicle
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I've been typing and mouse-clicking my wrists carpal the past week in order to not only get a post up each day this week, but also to have all my posts for next week written, illustrated, linked, tagged, and timestamped so they will be auto-published this coming week.
Now, I can sit back and enjoy my parents for the weekend knowing that my work is done. For now. I have to get back to the daily tapping again on Friday.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I was told, "you can't post that", "too much skin", "not in poor taste, but edgy".
What do you think? Have I gone too far? Have I said/pictured what everyone else was thinking but too chicken to admit? Or is this really in poor taste. I'm sure I could find a picture of the Country Crock hands touching that might be a little less skintimate?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Anyway. Besides wanting to be called "Cinderella" (I keep trying to call her CinderElli, but she inSISTS that it is CinderELLA) and prancing around 12 hours a day in the blue princess dress a friend from church gave us, here she is pretending to be "Aurora". More commonly known as Sleeping Beauty.
Friday, September 21, 2007
The Painted Veil: One of the most poignant portrayals of love and human nature I have seen captured on film.
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers: This depiction of his life was so bizarre it HAD to be true--no one could make that kind of stuff up. Geoffrey Rush is surreal.
Cellular: Unfortunately, I lost signal after only 25 minutes and had to "hang up" on this one. (Alt- "You lost me at hello"--eh?) Kim B--what are you doing?
Because I Said So: A lot over the top, but I just really like Diane Keaton as an actress. Mandy just isn't my kind of candy.
White Oleander: Riveting, hauntingly dark, revealing, mind-bending, heart-rending. Michelle P is beautifully wicked while Allison L knocked my shoes, socks, and toenails off with her performance.
The Prestige: Oh, I was watching closely. How can you not? Fantastic.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
~Conditioner first, then shampoo. Conditioner, oh, what a treat!
~Should I close my eyes and try to find things just by feel in order to challenge and wake up my brain? Probably not. I'd probably drop everything and have Dan and the kids worried that either I was having a temper tantrum and throwing things in the shower or that something was wrong and I had keeled over in the shower
~What's something fun I can do with the girls while Liam's at school today? Paint nails? No—too much work and mess. Make banana bread? Mmmmmmmm...banana bread.......
~(that led me to) Bread—best bread I've ever eaten....hmmmmm...has to be a grilled cheese sandwich on thick-sliced homemade sourdough bread slathered in butter with melty Canadian cheddar cheese at a pub in Stratford—that I split with my friend Abigail because we were in college and so darn poor that's all we could afford off the menu. We split meals the entire week—I've never been so hungry in all my life!
~Stratford—that was so much fun. Seeing the guy who played “Gilbert Blythe” in the Anne of Green Gables movies live on stage as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. It was a slight letdown that he was kinda old, hair getting sparse, and had a beer belly—but all the girls were still swooning anyway. “Aw, Gil.”
~My friend Abigail and I were brilliant for skipping the Shakespeare history play in order to explore the town. I remember finding coat hooks in the shape of horseshoes for my mother's “Colorado room”, a mug that says “KING” on it for Dan—I almost bought “Queen” for me, but again the money factor and I didn't want to presume anything in case this relationship didn't pan out—as well as a whimsical jester-ish looking Christmas ornament to give Dan for Christmas. Funny how in those days all I wanted to do was buy things for Dan—I think my love language is giving gifts.
~At the Stratford Festival (besides today my wearing the white undershirt Dan started out with but I ended up wearing in bed last night) was one of the last times I remember wearing Dan's clothes. I borrowed some nice heavy sweaters from him to “keep me warm”, but really because I liked smelling him on my clothes and thinking of him while away from him. Those were some great sweaters—but I think we got rid of them all because they were so huge—they were during his “wear everything big” phase...
~Hi Elli—what's up? Do you need to go potty? No? Oh, Okay. Yes, I'm taking a shower. Yup, I just washed my hair. Yes—that's my towel. No, daddy won't use my towel, he wants one that's fresh and clean all for himself. Oh, you liked your purple Shrek yogurt for breakfast? Yup—I'm all done. I turned the water off. Oh, thank you for handing me my towel. OK—I think daddy needs you in the kitchen. I'll come out when I'm dressed.
~Face and body lotion—this is going to be one great day!
Monday, September 17, 2007
So I took a day at the library to do all kinds of LAB stuff, and worked really hard on writing this book review. After I was done, I started inserting the pictures and somehow got an extra box in there, and while trying to delete it out of the HTML code I somehow accidentally deleted half of the written content! D'arvit! (Anyone else read the Artemis Fowl series?) So, I re-wrote what I had deleted, but it wasn't quite as good as it was the first time around, but it's still OK. Take a look.
Warning: This book (and review) contains adult sexual content.Is There Really Sex After Kids?
When this book started out with,
Hi, I'm Jill Savage. My husband, Mark, and I have been married nineteen years, nine of them happily.
I smelled honesty. I knew I would enjoy reading the truths that were sure to emanate from the ensuing pages.
I almost skipped the first chapter, "God Created Sex!" (I thought--oh this is gonna be boring), but I'm glad I didn't. It was a good reminder that sex begins with "Into Me See" (intimacy)--the non-sexual side of your relationship rooted in conversation, trust, and vulnerability. And how juicy the book of Song of Solomon is--and that's in the Bible!
Jill honestly lists the most prevalent intimacy inhibitors (aka "excuses") and gives suggestions on how to unpack them. Here's a quick list--see if any of them apply to you:
* Media--movies, novels, magazines, and TV setting up unrealistic (s)expectations and scenarios that you and your partner will never meet
* Slang terminology--words and phrases that dirty up, cheapen and demean the sexual relationship. (That doesn't mean you and your spouse can't have secret pet names or secret vocabulary that you use in private conversation--whew, right love muffin?)
* Parental instruction about sex (sorry mom and dad)--things like:
o "We don't talk about that in this house"
o " You don't have sex before you get married"
o "Sex is something you endure, dear"
o "Sex is okay before marriage as long as you are responsible"
* Baggage that comes of previous relationships--such as anger, jealousy, fear, shame, guilt, mistrust, or previous sexual encounters
* Religion--no one ever discussing the "elephant in the room" or giving an unbalanced view of how a sexual relationship is designed to work
* Poor conflict resolution skills such as sulking at lack of attention, "ice queen", slamming doors, cutting remarks, "every thing is fine" when it really isn't, passive-aggressive behaviors, withholding sex or affection, never admitting a wrong, refusing to say "I'm sorry; will you please forgive me?"
Jill also stalwartly introduces the major challenges that abortion, sexual abuse, affairs, pornography and sexual addiction, and men who refuse to seek help proffer.
In the chapter called "And then I had kids", Jill gives it to us straight. Being the nurturer or being touched all day, fatigued, sleep-deprived, nursing, experiencing sexual side-effects (aka "numb from the waist down") of medication, in a birth control dilemma, distracted by your children, physically or mentally feeling unattractive (aka un-showered or still harboring baby weight), or having a hard time switching from "mom" to "wife", are all legitimate excuses and inhibitors to intimacy. But an unacceptable way of life. Jill encourages us that:
While you and I might want to push "pause" on the marriage button during the childbearing and childrearing years, we cannot succumb to the temptation. Building intimacy in our marriage must be a priority during these years. How do we do that? Turn to the next chapter and let's find out.
I love the next chapters. First Jill suggests we all go out and buy a copy of “Sex Begins in the Kitchen: Because Love is an All-Day Affair" for our guys! Kitchen time is an intentional plan to set aside time each day--despite the demands of children--to talk, communicate, reconnect, and plan out the rest of the day/evening. She's also a firm believer in weekly or bi-weekly dates. I have friends who do this religiously and I give them kudos for making each other a priority--it takes work and money to make these dates happen--but the marriage payoff is priceless.
In the juiciest chapter of the book, "Let me Please You: Understanding the Concept of Pleasuring", came my greatest revelation. Let me quote:
Did you know that God gave you, as a woman, a part of your body that has no other purpose than sexual pleasure? While doing research for this book, I ran across this statement by Dr. Rosenau, "the clitoris is given to the female solely for sexual pleasure." I reread this over and over---struck by its significance. Did you realize how important this is to understanding God's design for sex, feeling comfortable with our sexuality, and moving past inhibitions? We need to know that God created a part of our bodies exclusively for sexual pleasure. That little sentence says a lot! Clifford and Joyce Penner put it this way: "The fact that the clitoris in the woman is unique in its function of receiving sexual stimuli...is confirmation that God intended women to be intensely sexual beings, not just 'vaginas' as recipients of the man's sexual expression."
Now that is not something you've ever heard in church before! I also appreciate the honesty and thorough explanations Jill gives about "touchy subjects" like orgasms, the mess of sex, sex during menstruation, oral sex, quickies, masturbation, anal sex, and what's "not okay" in bed.
I definitely recommend that you read this book if you, like me, have struggled to feel sexy, sexual, desirable, or just plain have the energy it takes to be mentally and physically intimate with all the demands and challenges children bring into our homes. An easy and honest read, Jill gives great practical advice on things both you and your partner can do to deepen intimacy (aka great chats over steamy mugs of hot cocoa resulting in a sparkle in your partner's eye and and a racing heartbeat of your own!)
I'm listening to the tones in his voice and the responses he's giving when I realize he's talking about me. And the love and gentility with which he's responding to whoever he's talking to touches me to the core of my being.
I toweled off and dressed as slowly and quietly as I could so as to listen in as long as possible. I could not figure out who in the world he was on the phone with and what in the world this conversation was all about.
I emerged from the bathroom and mouthed "who is it?" to Dan. He tipped the phone away from his mouth and mouthed "my mother" to me. Then, I got quite choked up.
I realized that this was a big moment for me. Let me back up a bit.
A few weeks ago Dan's sister and brother-in-law came out for a visit. I corralled them into helping me with childcare for a LAB meeting. When they returned to NJ, they relayed what they had done and a little bit about the LAB group and meeting they had witnessed that evening.
On a subsequent phone call Dan's mom asked Dan a little more about the group, and Dan mentioned that we even had a website up for the group. Little did he know his mom would look it up and start reading.
Back to this week's after-shower phone call. As Dan's mom was reading, she simply felt that she had to call. She said she was crying, smiling, and just moved. She previously had no idea what all the postpartum "stuff" we were going through entailed, and she wished she had known while we were in the throes of it so they could have been praying more, helping more, being here more.
She said what we were doing by starting a group and sharing our lives on the blog was so brave, so commendable, that my writing was so good. You will never know how much these accolades mean to me unless you know about the rocky start to my in-law relationship, and how amazingly far this relationship has healed and grown thanks to God's unfathomable grace. I never thought we would be friends or that I would be able to call her "mom", but both of those have happened so organically.
I'm so relieved to know they know. And now I know that they know I know they know, I have a new arm of support that I can lean on and be authentic with--for better or for worse.
Monday, September 10, 2007
So I'm sitting here typing and looking at old pictures while Dan is washing dishes.
Having a working dishwasher is wonderful too, though...
Saturday, September 08, 2007
We could have called a repair person and probably paid well over $100 for them to come trouble-shoot, replace the part, and pay for the labor (and these days everyone is charging an extra "fuel surcharge"--what's up with that?). But instead we ordered these dog agits online for $5 and thought we'd try to fix it ourselves before putting out the big bucks or risking having to view a plumber-butt.
It took us about 45 min to remove the old, worn smooth dog agits (we couldn't find the washing machine manual anywhere, so we just had to figure it out how to remove them on our own).
It me took 45 minutes and a skewer to replace the new ones. It would have been a lot less time if I could have remembered which direction they needed to face...oh well! Lots of trial and error.
Now the washing machine is humming along on the first of many...many...many loads to come. There are at least 7 piles downstairs waiting. But at least we didn't mess up the budget for this month with an unexpected plumbing bill!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
cinnamon raisin toast for breakfast
got kids dressed
went to farmer's market
got landscaping advice
chowed a bite of lunch
made sausage egg casserole
made homemade cinnamon rolls
one load of laundry
trouble-shoot and take apart washing machine
talked to Dad on the phone
cleaned up glass
send Dan to store for milk, creamer, vinegar and library for movies
chopped veggies for pasta salad bar dinner
“assisted” Liam and Elli in cleaning their rooms
vacuumed first floor
vacuumed lower level
CLR and vinegar through coffee maker
CLR and vinegar through dishwasher
1 load of dishes washed and put away
scoured kitchen table and counter tops
shook out rugs
called brother to plan food tasting prep schedule
reorganized pantry shelves
kids in PJ's
take out trash
e-mail LAB volunteers
swing with Addi on swingset
write LAB post
police getting-out-of-bed kids
make excessively long list
eat cookies and watch movie
sleep...I hope...there's so much more to do tomorrow!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Come and go throughout the evening as you like--we'll open the gates to the backyard around 4:30.
We have main dish, water and iced tea. So far friends have offered to bring stuff for s'mores, and potatoes to go with our main "dish" (weather permitting hot dogs on the fire, or weather not permitting chicken & pork chops on the grill).
Let me know if you're coming so I can prep enough main dish.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
SO, Yesterday one neighbor dropped off all the food and paper goods. Another used his chain saw to cut the tree we felled last weekend into firewood, and another helped go get tables and a tent to erect.
Dan's worked his tail off power-washing the deck and we split the big job of mowing the lawn. I've got food prep well under control. I'll spend an hour cleaning the bathroom that nosey neighbors will "need" to use in order to come see our house, but we're not stressing about making everything perfect. We know our yard isn't a landscaper's dream and our house isn't spotless. But we're ok with both of those.
(We keep telling ourselves) What matters is that we are willing to make sure everyone gets a chance to be together over a bite. Lets hope all the bites are made into food, and not comments. We're anticipating lots of "advice" on improvements...and comments on weeds...and...and...and...oh well!
Monday, August 27, 2007
I have indirectly been a recipient of one of these women. A nurse at the PPD support group I attend in downtown GR won this prize 6 years ago and is still using the $20k grant to provide books, resources, and massage therapy to the people who attend her group.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Quaint. Querulous. Queer.
Charming. Disarming. Alarming.
Expressive. Repressive. Excessive.
Moral. Banal. Floral. Torrid.
Scandalous. Spectacular. Supercilious.
About the author: Oliver Goldsmith (November 10, 1730 or 1728 – April 4, 1774) was an Irish writer, poet, and physician known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770) (written in memory of his brother), and his plays The Good-natur'd Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1771, first performed in 1773).
(He is also thought to have written the classic children's tale, The History of Little Goody Two Shoes, giving the world that familiar phrase.)From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Now, you must know, my mother is deathly allergic to bees. She has to carry an Epi-pen bee sting kit with her at all times and administer a shot within 20 minutes of her sting in order for her throat not to close and suffocate her. I have wondered my whole life whether or not I would have to do the same.
Back to my stinging story. I checked my arm to make sure the bee and stinger weren't lodged in my arm, then my adrenaline kicked in. I decided that even if I only had 20 minutes left to live, at least I'd make sure the bees nest was taken care of. I ran inside the house, found some Children's Benadryl in the medicine cabinet and took a way-too-huge swig.
I decided that if I was gonna take one for the team, at least I'd finish the game and come out the winner. With the clock ticking, I went back outside to the ladder, and armed with Dan's bike flashlight in my mouth and his wooden hockey stick, I wreaked havoc on the bees nests. There were two bee nests each the size of salad plates that I scraped out of the eaves, picked up with tongs and tied up in plastic bags, then deposited in the garbage can. I climbed the ladder once more, sprayed the area again, then climbed down the ladder to find someone to tell about my fatal sting when I realized I was breathing just fine, a little tingly from the adrenaline (and Benadryl), but not headed for the grave just yet.
And now I understand why Dan dances, screams, and shouts when he gets a sting, and why they are called a sting, those things HURT! But at least there are a few hundred less bees in our neighborhood.
Friday, August 03, 2007
God is definitely orchestrating the timing and placement of Life After Baby (LAB) support group. We are a Postpartum Support International (PSI) group, and so thankful to Ada Bible Church for allowing us to use their space to meet every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday of the month with the 1st Monday of every month especially organized as a "Family Night".
You are officially invited to our first meeting on Monday, August 6 at Ada Bible Church from 7-9pm. Ada's address is 8899 Cascade Rd SE, Ada, MI 49301. Nancy Roberts, RN from Spectrum Health who has founded the Spectrum Health "This isn't what I expected" support group has agreed to lead our first meeting. For comfort of new mommies with babies, we'll be meeting in the nursery, so access to rocking chairs, diaper changing, bottle warmers, sinks, bouncy seats, etc is right at our fingertips.
If you're an expectant mommy or daddy, we are especially excited to have you come and develop your support network before your little one arrives.
The purpose of this group is to provide an avenue for community, support, resources, education, and encouragement within the context of the truth of God's Word. Our mission is to help families cope with the stressful complications of welcoming new babies by providing a safe place for respectful sharing while maintaining utmost confidentiality in who attends and what is discussed.
There is no fee, no need to register, just come. Please spread this invitation to others you know who might benefit from LAB group. We are so thrilled to connect families to care and resources and help each other know that YES, there IS life after baby!
Jesus said "I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."
Friday, July 27, 2007
"Don't pee on Pooh" (to Elli, in reference to her clean Winnie the Pooh sheet post-peeing on her previous sheet)
"Maybe we can just donate him to science" (in reference to Encore and no one's adopting him yet)
"For years I would avoid saying "Mac", bad high school/college dating relationship, and now all I do is spend time with one" (a Mac, not the bad high school/college dating relationship)
"Maybe Addi only loves daddy and she doesn't love you, that's why she won't say your name" (Wise words from Liam)
"Ooops, the poopies all fell on the floor" (CinderElli)
"...then we're heading out for a little bit before our dance lessons" (phone message from my brother Greg)
"Stop kissing your brother" (whisper-yelled so the neighbors wouldn't hear--Elli is very into kissing right now)
"His name is Green Magina Man" (Liam, naming a Blue's Clue's character while Dan and I try to keep a straight face and suggest a different name)
"God, I Iove you every day." (Liam at prayer time)
"Addi, no more toilet" (moi)
"Mom, I know how to spank myself with the paddle" (Liam to me)
"Mmmmmm...Dove Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Bar" (Addi...after eating half of mine)
"Ummm...who dumped water in the strawberry jam?" (Me, after discovering an inch of water poured on top of my cooling homemade jams)
"Ok, who put Parmesean Cheese in my water?" (Me again)
"Why is my iced tea all over the kitchen table?" (ditto)
"What is this floating in the water dispenser? Oh, a pretzel? Oh, OK." (jah...you got it)
"Why won't anyone go to sleep?" (me to the heavens)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Just maybe spending an entire week living simply. It was organic and authentic. We were deconstructed to the point where all we had was time, unencumbered by physical things or mental schedules we bind and masochate ourselves with.
I'd love to say we've rid ourselves of more "stuff", become more content, find beauty and peace in this place of abundant blessing, but it comes and goes in nauseating waves. And ironically I more often feel more sick at what we do have than what we don't, and long to purge and expunge what is making me feel so bloated and unwieldy in my spirit.
I open our fridge full of food and just don't feel like eating. I get angry tripping over the myriad toys and shoes left all over the house. The pile of laundry up to my shoulder and the constant dishwasher full of clean or dirty dishes. It's just too much. There's stuff everywhere. I feel claustrophobic and suffocated by stuff. By people. By interactions. By responsibilities. By culture. By church. By me. By sounds. By everything. By nothing. By you.
For 30 years I've been in the habit of amassing, defining who I am by what I have, what I'm doing, how busy I am, and I think I've come to the point where I realize I've just been gorging all these years. It's time to binge, shed some weight, keep what's healthy in my life and stop nicking a little nibble of each and every "good" thing I come across, and only choose to feast on the best that life has to offer. Stop filling every day and week with so many events and errands that when I don't have something scheduled I don't know what to do with mysellf and am uncomfortable with the quiet, the un-busyness, the isolation. To stop giving tiny little pieces of myself out to so many people that I'm not giving any substantial pieces to anyone--especially those who most deserve and need those big pieces of me right now.
On to the oh-so-deep often asked question, "what does this life of healthful simplicity and contentment look like"? Well, if I knew what that looked like, don't you think I'd describe it? Do it? Live it? Not be writing this post?
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
The biggest excitement for me each year was "(1) who all is coming to brunch? (2) what can I wear to make me red, white, and blue from head to toe? (3) what shape will I carve the watermelon into this year?" [I was in charge of finding the water melon carving pattern, finding and purchasing the correct shape and size watermelon to carve as well as to cut up all the fresh fruit that would go into the carved watermelon].
My mom and I would mix up myriad egg strata casseroles, quiches, coffee cakes, and my dad would cook bacon and sausage on the grill. Of course there was the watermelon, and I'm sure there were--but I never noticed-- the bunch of baked goods that everyone else brought because my mom's cooking was so good why bother with anyone else's?.
Needless to say there have been many different 4th of July celebrations since these American Girl-type memories painted so vividly in my memory.
The past two 4th's have been especially effervescent for me. Last year we celebrated the Independence Day in Ohio with a rag-tag assortment of rarely-seen family. We got a true taste of old-time Americana as we walked past a family with their pet monkey settled in to watch the parade, the parade having to pause each time a train went over the tracks and cut off the next set of floats and bands, culminating with the parade turning around at the end of the street to come back down main street again--still throwing candy, waving, playing their hearts out 'cause in this town the parade ain't done 'til it's gone up and back again.
This year we packed our kids into our Burley and stroller and walked from our house up to the parade route. Liam's ears were ringing from all the noise (hence the hooded sweatshirt and hands clapped tightly over his ears), but how could your heart not melt at teeny-tiny little Elli wearing her "princess" rain coat and holding out her Easter basket in one hand to catch candy and waving like Miss America to absolutely every person who walked within 16 feet of her. And Addi in her red white and blue regalia with two red-ribboned piggy tails?
The "fun stuff" set up at Cascade library was indeed a blast for us--next year will be even more fun when Addi is a little more mobile. Elli and I enjoyed spinning our guts out on a carnie ride, then she and Dan slid down the BIG blowup slide, and she would've done every ride there but we were hungry and definitely in need of some grilled Ballpark Franks. But not before Liam and I had an adventuresome time in a lovely port-O-John.
I ransacked the library book sale (so did Heath--she filled a whole BOX!). All day I basically thoroughly enjoyed myself and my family, and reveled in silent thankfulness that I live here and now. Free. For that I am thankful and celebrate.
On July 2, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that the day "... ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Packing our bags for Africa yesterday was like something out of a James Bond movie.
B, can you see what I'm carefully wrapping in a towel here? To be carefully stashed in the bottom of my bag, intentionally surrounded by and covered with innocent-looking packages of stickers, rubber bands, T-shirts, band-aids, Play-dough, toothbrushes, soccer balls, hand sanitizer, Tylenol, sock puppets, fabric, baby blankets, and so much more.
Our trip is partly to transport things to MCF--like some much-needed (and slightly illegal) medical supplies, computers to network a satellite connection so MCF is communicado,
clothing, Bible materials, hygiene products.
Last time ABC tried to get computers to MCF, customs demanded a "$700 fee" to let them through, or give them 1/2 the equipment we were trying to take through. Having to give up so much stuff to greedy "officials" was a tough lesson.
This time, we're being a lot more intentional about
our packing, and going through customs individually rather than in pairs or even worse an obvious group. We got a pep talk on playing "dumb", being courteous, brief, and stalwart as we go through customs with our loaded luggage so that we can get every single much-anticipated and highly-needed items to MCF.
I can so play the part of an international secret agent.......
Monday, June 11, 2007
Yay! I'm so proud of you driving stick! The drive to church is a TOUGH one--lots of hills--you should be really, really proud of yourself for accomplishing that! Thank you Lord for green lights all the way.
We drove from Cleveland yesterday morning, stopped home for an hour, then jetted back to church to pack our 50 pound duffel bags for the trip. The packing was exhilirating. I'm working on a blog post about it, so keep an eye.
I thought I'd be really handy and start dinner--boil the rice then turn the burner off to let it just sit and steam (and save energy), but I forgot to turn the burner off and smelled an acrid, smokey smell. So...now we're having salad for dinner--can't burn that, right? Oh my....life...
Has the laundry been softer w/out the fabric softener? Elli helped me do laundry today, which means she put in way more laundry soap than I ever do, and there were a few clothes with clumps of soap still on them. Partly my fault, though, too, for really loading up the washing machine. Oh well, they'll shake off when I give 'em a good snap after taking them off the line.
My mom arrives at noon tomorrow, I think I'll really be able to focus on packing, getting prepared for this trip (mentally), as well as getting a few more things for LAB organized before I go...I'm already getting calls, e-mails, and people asking what it's all about...here goes!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
There are times when his funny comments catch me just right and we laugh and giggle like two best friends.
Then there are times when he pierces my heart.
On days like today when he wakes up with a predetermination to wreak as much havoc in as many people's lives as he can. Baiting his little sister to do something naughty, tattling on her for a biting that never occured in hopes that we'll spank her so he can laugh at her berating, breaking a lamp and shattering the light bulb into dangerous shards all over the floor, just a spirit of general meanness.
My aching mind agonizes over what inside of him is so broken or so empty to cause him to choose such mean things as his way of escaping, assuaging his pain and confusion. I cry at not being able to get through to fix whatever is broken in his little spirit. My hugs, prayers, love, encouragement, teaching, agony doesn't seem to be enough.
But this one thing we have in common. He loves to swing, and although it tires me to the bone, I will keep pushing.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The noise, frustration, and over stimulation really gets to me and sometimes I feel guilty, like we're torturing our kids. Strapping them into seats for hours on end.
But, since we and the kids are getting more and more comfortable road tripping, we've figured out fun things that we can all do to make the time pass more quickly, alleviate driver and passenger frustration, and make the journey as much or more fun than the destination.
We are, however, not fully equipped for the funness of the ride. So I'm blatantly asking for my local readers to loan us any of the things on this list you might have and be willing to let us use on a road trip.
- Cigarette lighter outlet chord (1)
- Rechargeable AA batteries--lots of 'em. We have a charger and 2 batteries, but need more batteries
- Portable DVD player--it'd be nice not to take Dan's laptop
- Little Touch Leap Pad w/ books and cartridges
- My First Leap Pad books and cartridges
- Etch-a-sketches (2)
- Magna Doodle, size large (1)
- Mini fridge
- Hand held video games--kiddie appropriate
- Lap pads (2) for coloring, snacks, reading
- Seat massager for driver (& passenger)
- Anything else that would be fun for kids for a car ride!
Thanks in advance for adding to our sanity and safety racking up lots of miles (and spending lots of $$$ on gas--ugh!)