Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Recovery Program

Well, I think the kids have recovered from the crazy Christmas rush. We had five separate gift-exchange/family get-togethers in 3 days. It was great to see everyone and spend time with all our family members. We love being close to those who live in this area and wish we could be with those who don't, more often.

As usual, there are more toys than places to store them now, so I'll have to start re-organizing. One gift that takes up more than its fair share of space, but will be lots of fun, is Isaiah and Miriam's new pet turtle, Scotland. (Isaiah named him.) Thank you Myrna.

Our house is clean, and we're just enjoying being together since Aaron has the week off from work. The kids love having Daddy around, and I love having the extra help with the house and general mental and spiritual fortitude. There's a lot to be said for those who are fortunate enough to work from home. I'm not complaining though. I feel particularly blessed this time of year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Where do they get it?

Last night it took quite a few trips to get Isaiah down for the night. Like any good two-year-old he kept toddling back into the living room for one thing or another. The first couple times he and Lillian just wanted to say "hi" I suppose. Then he needed a drink of water, then a trip to the potty. (He only asks to go to the bathroom when he wants to avoid sleeping.)

The next time he had to tell me he wanted to play Dora (video game. He's already beat it twice but he won't give it up.) when he woke up. We discussed it briefly and I took him back to bed. We were probably up to about 5 trips at this point. Then he sneaks quietly in with his finger out and tells me,

"Mommy, I got a booger." Great, just what every proud parent wants to hear. He's got a skill. As Aaron pointed out, at least he came and told us instead of devising his own disposal methods. We took care of the booger. When Daddy took him back to bed he mentioned that he'd like spaghetti for lunch the next day.

"Yeah, fine, ok spaghetti. Now go back to bed, please!" But here he came again.

"Do we eat broccoli?"

"Yes, we do, but not at 9:45. Now please, please go sleep!" We added broccoli to the lunch menu. Then there was another trip to tell me that he'd like water to drink with his broccoli and spaghetti tomorrow.

His last journey out to the living room was to tell me he wanted to go to New York. Yeah, I don't know either. When he was done in New York he would fly in an airplane back to Corn.

"Great. Glad to hear it. We'll miss you while you're gone. Don't forget to see the Statue of Liberty. You can't travel without a good night's sleep, though."

I think that was it. I think he finally went to sleep then. Maybe I should cut out his naps, or maybe someone slipped something caffeinated in his burger at supper. In any case, I can see the next few years being frustrating and very, very funny.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Finding the 99

Once again nap time is sheep fest here in our little home. Isaiah finally fell asleep after I found several different sheep for him. They were all on his bed, but because his room is pitch dark Mommy had to find them and tuck them in before he was satisfied. First was Lillian; then he wanted Vivian, who is a huge toddler-sized sheep. In the process of getting Vivian up where she was supposed to be I heard the plushy thwomp of another animal hitting the floor, but hoped he hadn't heard it. No such luck. As I left the room I heard him calling, "Who fell? Mommy, who fell? Who is down there?" So I had to go check. As I handed him the little sheep that fell I said, "Here, it was Lillian." He tucked it up under his chin and rolled over, saying, "No, it's Evelyn." He was right, of course. I mispoke. I guess the shepherd really does know his sheep.

This picture is from the other night when Isaiah was pretending to be a shepherd. He had the blanket up over his head for most of the evening. Pretty cute. The Sheep featured is Lillian, who is probably the favorite.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Caveat Emptor

I'm reading a book by Dorothy Sayers called _Letters to a Diminished Church_. It's tough going, so I can only read when the kids are asleep, but it's definitely worth the effort. Her main point is that the church is afraid of being boring by preaching it's main doctrines (dogma), but is hurting society and the Christian world by not doing so. She wrote this during WWII, and she's British, but the points are still definitely powerful and personal.

I was most struck by her section on the seven deadly sins, which explained what each of them really are, and how they are affecting modern society. The sin of gula (gluttony) really made me sit up the most and say, "Hey, that's me. That's my whole society." If she could see our world now, she'd be livid. It's interesting because I figured the gluttony section would be the one I could read through and ignore, as I don't like to (can't) gorge myself on food, and I don't drink, smoke etc. It was especially pertinent, though, because of the Christmas season and my spending habits.

I love buying things for people. I absolutely love it. I'm terrible at Christmas because here's my excuse to buy anything and everything. Part of the problem is that "gifts" is my primary love language, if you go in for that kind of thing; but most of the problem is that I have no self-control. Since Aaron has a good job, and spends very little himself, I can go crazy for almost a month before the credit card bill comes in and shocks me (and my poor spouse) back to reality (and further into reality, respectively). We pay it off every month, which is why it seems especially shocking.

Sayers had an excellent section on how the world of industry and production is taking us all for a ride, telling us that we need all these things that we didn't even know existed mere minutes before we saw their advertisement. It really hit me hard, because I am such as sucker for a good ad. Especially all the cute little toys and paraphernalia advertised in those parenting magazines.

This is just my notice to the whole world that I'm going to change. Partly because I hate the fact that someone is taking advantage of my lack of self-control, (which is pride, I suppose, not repentance) but mostly because I really do want to be the best kind of person I can be. So, all this to say, Caveat Venditor.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Babes in the Wild

I think my children are the type that would go feral and live with the coyotes if left on their own.
I've noticed that other mothers use this interesting and effective tactic of pretending to leave without their children when they want them to come or follow. It seems to work well for them, and I would use it myself, except it has no effect whatsoever on my children. Here's the scenario:

Me - Ok kids, let's go, I mean it. Really. Come on. Come with Mommy. Come on.

(My children ignore me)

Me - Ok, then. I'm leaving and you can just stay here.

(My children look at me as if to say, "See ya")

So I have to go pick them up and drag them wherever we are going.

Aaron and I tried a little experiment tonight. We were on a family walk, and it got dark, but the toddlers were too busy taking apart seed pods, picking up rocks, pointing at dogs and other intellectual activities. We just kept walking, to see if they'd eventually say, "Oh, look, our loving parents have moved on. We should join them." But no. They just kept on doing whatever they were doing. We got a full block away before we decided we'd better go get them. Isaiah joined me first, and Aaron waited, hidden, to see what Miriam would do when she noticed we'd left her "alone". All she did was calmly finish decimating her seed pod, and then get up and start walking. Aaron says she did call our names a couple times, but didn't seem too upset.

So I've decided they'd probably do fine on their own. Eating hapless strays, playing wherever there was a big pile of rocks, whatever. I should've suspected that they didn't really need me. The first time I ever held Isaiah upright in the hospital he was leaning back so that he wouldn't have to snuggle on my shoulder. Never once did he willingly lay his head down on my shoulder as a baby. Only if he was very, very sick, or sleeping. As he's gotten older he's slightly more willing to snuggle, but only briefly and in a very wiggly manner. Mim's no better. Even when they're crying because they've been hurt, they don't want me to hug them like I feel I should. They'd rather point out he injury, wail, sob, and then run play again. I need the cuddling, but they sure don't. Maybe they'll grow out of it. Or maybe I will.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Home Improvement

It is stunning how much money one can spend at Lowes. Everything is fairly reasonable, or, at least, there are fairly reasonable products in every category. Altogether, though, the total is shocking every time. It doesn't help that we're buying things like lumber, doors, windows, flooring etc. but it makes my poor husband flinch and quake every time we check out.

It's so hard, too, to make a decision, because there are so many options. Choosing ceiling fans was particularly difficult, because they have so many cool fans. (We ended up buying some boring alternatives.) There was a pink one (Would've looked great in Miriam's room) a bright colored one (Would've been great in the playroom) and one with two fans and a light between them. (Would've looked cool anywhere.) But, oh well.

I'm not sure how much will end up going into this house, but I think we'll have to live in it for a long time to make it worth all the blood, sweat and tears. Luckily, we don't have any plans to live anywhere else, so, God willing, we'll be here for awhile.

Update: We are still living in the dorm. We'll move into our "new" house in May when school is finished.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Isaiah and I were both up by 6:00am today. I'm afraid I've passed the early-bird gene on to my son. That's got its good points and its bad. On the bad side, as any mommy knows, is the loss of that relaxing time in the morning, when one could theoretically read, bathe, eat and all those other luxuries. On the good side, I won't be the only one up every morning for the rest of my life.

Let me tell you, it's not all a bed of roses for the early risers of the world. (so to speak) Slumber parties, for instance, are all but pointless. I would go to bed early, because I was already exhausted, and then sleep a few dangerous hours while everyone else was running around hyped up on adrenaline and Dr. Pepper, playing Truth or Dare with Caboodles full of cast-off make-up they'd collected. Any girl who survived the Jr. High years will understand why my being asleep during that time was dangerous. (Anyone else remember Caboodles?) Then, at about 6:30, I'd be up, and the rest of the house would be silent. I usually got to know the family pets, brought a good book, and helped my friends' parents fix breakfast. Now that I think about it, that's probably why I ended up being closer to the parents than the children in some instances. I remember waking up early at one friend's house and helping her dad milk the cow, which was actually a lot of fun. Another annoying thing about being an early riser is that my friends always insisted I wake them up in the morning so that we could play. I would tell them they didn't actually want that, but they would insist, so I would try. I don't know why I bothered. No one ever got up when I tried to wake them; not for more than a few tense seconds, anyway. (You weren't the only one, Bramblerose)

Well, I guess Zaya's not much company yet, since he's just watching Blue's Clues, but I've got a lot to do this morning anyway. We're going to OKC to be with Aaron's maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. It's going to be a busy day.

Good thing I got up early.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow Day

Aaah, the runny nose of winter begins its long snuff. Zaya and Mim are already on outfit two, and the free-from-school dorm guys are running around in shorts because they got their pants wet looking for sledding fodder. (They even tried the top of Zaya's sand turtle, but it didn't work well, thank goodness.) We had our first snow of the season last night, and I gave my children their required 10 min. to run in the snow. Just long enough for a couple of runny noses and some wet legs. Oh, and some pictures, which was actually one of the main reasons I let them go out. Isaiah was out with the dorm boys for a while before Mim and I joined them. He loved it, and I had a hard time convinving him to come back into the house. I've been baking today, and feeling like a real "homemaker". I made hot chocolate for the Dorm guys and their friends and they'll get some of the sticky buns too, assuming they come out edible. This is my first attempt. I'm so proud of myself; I didn't even use the bread machine to make the dough.

Aaron drove to work this morning, and I sure hope he's able to drive home this evening. At least he has tomorrow off, so he won't have to worry about driving in the morning. I'm off to separate my tussling children. . .again. Isaiah is chasing Miriam around with a gigantic stuffed duck, and then getting mad when she tries to grab it from him. *sigh* the sweet bliss of motherhood.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Double yuck

I could use a prayer today. Something I ate didn't agree with me, and without going into details I'll just say I had a bad night. Aaron and Zay had a bad night too, since Zay's got another cold and the beginning of his ubiquitious asthma, and Aaron had to take care of it solo. My mother-in-law has my little cyclones this morning, but I'll be getting them back for naptime and the rest of the day. I think I'm fine now, but you know how it is when you've been sick. It just takes a while to get back to normal. Thank the Lord for family and a loving husband.

p.s. If you're reading and following the Saving Dinner books by Leanne Ely, never, I repeat, never, fix the Moroccan Fish Tangine. And if someone else talks about fixing it, beg and plead that they restrain themselves. My advice would've been the same even if I hadn't had direct cause to regret my culinary actions. That was just the nastiest thing I've ever eaten.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Young Shepherd Update:

I pulled out all of our Christmas decorations today. Included was a Little People Nativity with the "shepherds on a hill" expansion set. Isaiah promptly claimed one of the little plastic sheep and told me
"I am a good shepherd. I will take care of the sheep."
He's been running around the house talking to it, stroking its head, introducing it to his other sheep and generally being weird. He finally got distracted and I put it back where it goes. I can see keeping my set together is going to be a real challenge this year.

The picture is from VBS this last summer. Grandma had a small flock of sheep out in the "Bethlehem courtyard". We had a hard time getting him away from them.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Well, only one meal left to go, and this one will be the easy one. We eat as an extended family at Aaron's Grandma T.'s house every Sunday, so we're used to it and everyone lives close by. You don't have that feeling that you need to spend as much time as possible with everyone, because you may not see them for a long time. The only hard part about it is that Aaron's Grandpa died of cancer last year the day after Thanksgiving. He was in his bed in his room last year as we ate, and it was a difficult meal. It's hard to believe it's been a year now.

Friday we ate with my mom's side of the family, which was great because I hadn't seen so many of them in so long. My cousin and her family came from IL to be with all of us, and so we had almost everyone there. (Except my mom's oldest sister and her husband.) I suppose there are all sorts of things I could say about the three days we all spent eating and talking and trying to corral our kids, but half of them would bore anyone but family members, and the other half would tick-off family members. (Just kiddng =) )

I love being around lots of people, so I'm already excited about Christmas. I just wish the IL clan could come back.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Young Shepherd

Zaya has a whole flock of sheep in his bedroom. It started out innocently enough, with a cute little stuffed lamb from K-mart. I bought her in the hopes that he would leave his little cousin's lamb, Lilly, alone if he had his own. Because they were so similar, we named her Lillian. Then, suddenly, I had a sheep boy. He loved his other stuffed sheep with a renewed fervor, and any new sheep that came into the house became his. They all sleep on his bed, and we have to keep track of where all of them are, because you never know which one he'll walk into the bedroom at 2am asking for. He holds them, strokes their faces, talks to them, and worries about keeping them safe. He even asked Aaron the other night how he would protect them. Aaron told him his huge stuffed duck (Amarillo), and little stuffed Timber wolf(Lupe), would take care of everyone through the night. I know it's totally normal for a child to became attached to one stuffed animal, or special blankie, as a comfort object. But a whole flock? I guess I've always been inclined to go overboard, why shouldn't my children?

As if that weren't enough, he also wants to sleep with his little beach ball with the globe on it. Last night as Aaron put him back into his bed for the fifth time, surrounded him with sheep and gave him the ball, Isaiah said, "Daddy, where is Antarctica?" Which he knows, actually, it's just more comforting when you're sure Daddy knows too. Luckily we're learning a few things, and Aaron didn't rise to bait. He finally went to sleep.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Life of Mimsy

Mim absolutely loves ketchup. My mother started it by giving her some a few weeks ago. Now, when we go to Arbys she sits in her little highchair and says, "chup chup" in increasing volume until someone hands her a little tub of ketchup. Then she dips her curly fry in and sucks all the stuff off, and keeps doing that until you give her that look and tell her to "just eat it!" Then she eats that fry, grabs another one, and starts the chup-chupping all over again. If left to herself she will try to drink it from the tub. I don't see this as the babyhood of someone for whom haute cuisine will ever be an issue.

Her favorite things to play with are markers, remote controls, telephones, anything Isaiah has, and anything someone else has. Followed closely by candles and potpourri. If Isaiah is playing with something (ie video game controller) that she wants she sidles up, grabs it when he's not suspecting anything, and then runs off with what I would swear is an evil grin on her face. If you catch her and take the item back, she throws herself down on the ground, totally heartbroken, as if she didn't know that's what was going to happen anyway. It's crazy.

I also think she's going to be a mountain climber someday. I really do spend a significant portion of my day telling her to get down from one thing or another. We even have all our dining room chairs bungee corded together in an attempt to keep her off. She's fallen off of the back of our couch because she was stretching to reach the light switches.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I have issues with raisins. I mean, really, who was the first person who thought, "Oh, look, my grape dried up into something small and nasty, that looks remarkably like rodent poo. I think I'll eat it, and maybe put it in all my oatmeal cookies." I have the same questions/problems with prunes and other kinds of dried fruits. I'm supposed to provide healthy food for my children, but I don't really like healthy food, not if it's exemplified by dried fruits.

I love the idea of making my own healthy snacks for my family, growing fresh fruits and vegetables, owning a cow, a few goats and a flock of chickens, but when it really comes right down to it, I'm lazy. If it takes more than 10-15 minutes to prepare, I'm not interested. When I'm hungry, I'm just hungry. I get weak, tired and nauseous, so there'd better be something quick in the cabinet. Then I'm full, so I've got no interest in preparing some nice whole-grain cookies to store for the next time I'm hungry. Who wants to cook when they're full? I think I need to pray that God gives me. . .what?. . motivation? Maybe a sense of perspective. Maybe a kick in the pants. Those are dangerous prayers, though.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Scrappy booking

Scrapbooking is one of those things I swore I would never do before I became a mother. Partly because it has become a verb, which bothers me. It just seemed like an incredible waste of time and paper. Then the pictures started piling up, and my son's baby book started looking woefully inadequate. Now I go to a friends house once a month for a "workshop" which is basically a time to sit down with all my scrapbooking paraphernralia and round the corners on my pictures and try to remember what month they were taken. Zaya is now 32 months old, and Mim is 15 months old, but their scrapbooks are a little behind, so I'm always playing catch up. There's this incredible variety of things that one can use to scrapbook. Stickers, die-cuts, stamps, borders, and various unholy combinations of same. Then there's the paper, and all the gadgets to make the paper look different. Cutters and stencils, rounder and punchers; and the end goal is to put your pictures on a page that looks pretty and decorative.

I think that's really the key to my problems with scrapbooking. (And I still have them, whether or not I'm officially an initiate). I just don't do pretty and decorative. That doesn't describe me, my house or any of my projects. I think I have a disability. Scrapbooking, and other activities of its ilk, constantly remind me of my incredible inadequacies as a woman. I think I'm supposed to get excited about arranging flowers and dressing my children in cute little matching outfits. All the little stickers and borders and layers of shaped paper cut-outs in my scrapbook are supposed to fill me with contentment and bliss. They just don't. Probably because right there beside them I have my written comments about the pictures (called "journalling" in scrapbook jargon) in the handwriting of a neurotic 13-yr-old boy. I come home from my workshop to my dorm parent apartment that is still decorated in newlywed-garage sale modern, even though we've been married for 6 1/2 years and have two kids. My pictures are placed with care and precision precisely wherever there were hole and nails left from previous tenants. . .I could go on. I guess my entire point is. . .I need woman lessons. Does anyone offer those?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Really simple?

I'm watching one of those little advice shows this morning. (By "watching" I mean it's on as I go about getting breakfast.) It reminds me of all those magazines that come out these days for women and mommies, such as Parents, Parenting, Better Homes and Gardens and, of course, Real Simple, which is the show that's on right now.

I have to be very careful when I'm reading one of these magazines, or watching a similar show. It's so easy to suddenly start believing what they say, or thinking that's the way the world really is. Of course I need $35 stripey tights to go with my daughters $65 sweater and that cute little skirt she'll only wear once. Oh, but isn't everyone's home decorated for the holidays with natural evergreen garlands, stunning floral displays and antique Victorian ornaments from Pottery Barn? Sometimes I have to just get up and throw a magazine away. Why do I read them? Good question. I don't know. For ideas I guess, but for every idea I've found in those pages there were thirty assaults on my Christian sense of priority and my common sense. You think I'd learn.

My problem isn't trying to keep up with the Jones. Around here, we're all pretty similar in our beliefs and income levels. My problem is thinking every now and then that I haven't really "made it" until I'm keeping up with the Penobscots, Harrisons, Kennedys and Winchesters that take their shopping advice from the Williams-Sonoma catalog and Wondertime magazine.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Extract of Wisdom

Isn't it amazing how being in the dentist's chair brings back all of our primitive childhood fears? Really, it's no wonder. It takes an incredible amount of trust to just lay there with your mouth open and let some relative stranger stick all manner of sharp, pointy objects into your mouth; not to mention the drills, or the pliers. Don't you think dentists probably have a warped view of people? Can you imagine staring into people's open mouths all day everyday? Talk about close and personal. It's kind of embarrasing for someone like me who still battles acne. (Yes, I'm 26 not 12, but my skin didn't get the memo.) I guess there are several members of the medical profession who have a slightly warped view of the rest of mankind. Most of them end in -ologist. I'll just leave that to your imagination.

It was only the dentist's pliers I faced today. I had a wisdom tooth that was sticking sideways in my mouth, about as useless as a poodle on a farm, so I had it pulled. (After avoiding the issue for 5 years) I was pretty nervous about it all, but everything actually went pretty smoothly. I suppose I am now 2/3 as smart as I used to be. Yes, I can do math. I only had three wisdom teeth to start with. They just don't show up sometimes in our family, which really explains quite a bit.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh yeah, I remember. . .

Talking with a friend today about our children's births and early babyhood, I was reminded of a couple of funny incidents about my labor. Don't worry, these aren't gross.

When I was in the process of delivering Zaya an old re-run of I Love Lucy was playing on the TV in the delivery room. It just happened to be the episode where Lucy has her baby, little Ricky. Of course, because of the era, it was totally and completely unrealistic. I would imagine a show today would have all the gory details, but she just suddenly had this baby. She looked about the same before and after, and the baby already looked a couple months old. Needless to say, I was quite disillusioned.

Aaron and I had a country station on the car radio as we were driving to Weatherford hospital for Mim's birth. They were playing the song Two of a Kind by Garth Brooks. I don't think I yelled, but I know I told Aaron in no uncertain terms to "turn that stupid radio off!"

Just some funny memories that cropped up.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's time to start getting ready for another day of rest.I'm a preacher's kid, so the idea of crazy Sundays is hardly foreign to me, but I'd have to say it's a little different being the bustler instead of the bustled. Just getting the family ready is crazy enough, but once we get there, my list of responsibilities expands greatly.

It's not that I'm whining, really. I think that everything I'm supposed to do is worth doing, and beneficial to the kingdom of God. But how beneficial? Sure playing the drums helps our worship time to go a little more smoothly and sound a little better, but is it really service to God? I don't know. Teaching Sunday School is obviously something important, yet there's certainly nothing about it in Scripture. Originally, Sunday School was created to get the very poor and troublesome children off the street in England. While my class can definitely fall into the latter category at times, they're hardly street urchins. Watching the nursery is invaluable for the women who are trying to listen to the sermon. I know that's true because I have two cute little distractions all my own, but being on the nursery committee? That involves a lot more than just watching children every now and then. The list could go on, but that's a healthy example.

It seems like we're all still trying to meld the Old Testament concepts of "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy" with the New Testament concepts of "work out your faith with fear and trembling". (The "fear and trembling" part would be my Sunday School class.) The two don't mesh well. I suppose at least I'm only worrying and working about the things of God on this day. Maybe that's the key. I still feel like I'm missing something critical. I'll just do my best to worship the Lord despite all of the things I have to remember to do. After all, the pastor seems to do that every Sunday, and he's definitely "involved".

Friday, November 10, 2006

Anyone Can Comment

Just a note for all my blogless friends and family. My friend Kilikina just showed me how to let anyone comment. (I should've been able to figure it out. Oh well) Anyway, now you can agree/disagree/criticize/applaud without having to jump through any hoops. At least, I hope so.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just one more

I've got one more night to get through before Aaron will be home. Actually, he won't be home until tomorrow evening, but the night is what I worry about. Becoming a mother has given me a healthy respect (some would call it an unhealthy obsession) with a good night's sleep. I lie awake thinking of the what ifs. What if Mim wakes up and doesn't want her bottle to go back to sleep? What if Zaya wakes up and throws a fit which wakes up Mim? What if one of them wakes up sick? What if they never go to sleep in the first place!? While some of those have happened in the past, I've always gotten enough sleep, so why am I so concerned (paranoid)? I almost always give myself heartburn, and then I really can't sleep. I chug mylanta, munch pretzels, drink water, and hoist myself back up on my two pillows and wedge. Sometimes several times. It's so ridiculous.

If I can't even give something as simple as my night's rest over to the Lord, what's going to happen when I really hit some of life's trials? I suppose, to a certain extent, I don't have so much of a problem with the big stuff. When Zaya was wheezing, I never doubted God's hand of protection. It's the little things, the worries and stresses of being a mom, that I consider too trivial for Divine intervention. If I were ever really able to turn those things over to God, I might even get that good nights rest I'm so worried about.

Fun, fun

The funniest thing I saw yesterday was a farmer using his bib overalls and a stuffed wolf cub to play peek-a-boo. It was my father-in-law, and he was entertaining Zaya in the ER, while I held a breathing treatment mask on his face. We both laughed and laughed, which was a nice change from all the stress.

Zaya was really having trouble with his asthma yesterday, and by evening he was still wheezing after all the breathing treatments I had given him. The only option, then, is the ER. I called my mother-in-law when I wasn't sure what I should do. They arrived ten minutes later at about the time I was calling their cell phone to ask them to come. I'm very thankful today for my In-laws. My own parents live a little farther away, and pastor a church, so getting them on a Wednesday night wouldn't have been feasible, but Aaron's family really jumped in to take care of us. My father-in-law went with Zaya and I to ER and my mother-in-law stayed home with Mim. It was great to have someone else drive since I was pretty stressed out, and it was a big relief to have another adult to talk with while we waited (and waited, and waited). Mim had a nice relaxing time with grandma, which is always fun.

Everything's fine now. Zaya took two different treatments to stop wheezing, but by the time we got home he was doing well, and he woke up this morning with no wheezing and no fever. Praise God! He even slept all night after inhaling an incredible amount of jittery medication. (He woke up a few times, but I just took him back to his bed and he slept again.)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blessings in the middle

God certainly is blessing me while my DH is away. (See prev. post) It's crazy, because things aren't actually going very well, but I'm just not stressed. Usually I'd be freaking out, but I'm cool today. I even put on make-up this morning, which I never do unless I'm going to church. (Isn't that crazy? If anyone knows what I look like without all the war paint, it's the Lord.)

My son has asthma which only kicks up when he catches a cold. We thought he was over it. Well, of course, he caught a cold the day Aaron left. Apparently he isn't over the asthma, he just didn't have a cold all summer. He and I spent a lot of time up last night doing breathing treatments etc. and now he's feverish. My dorm boys' washer went out while one of their loads was in it, so I've got Jr. High boy clothes all over my living room. (He had tried to cram two loads worth into one because he didn't want to pay for the machine twice. They included his darks, whites, bright blue uniform socks, and nice khaki slacks. You can imagine the repercussions. Men!) Other things have happened which would normally have me up in arms, but instead, I'm just resting in HIS arms, and everythings going to be fine. I know it is.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Stepping solo

My husband headed to California today. He'll be back Friday evening, but that seems so far away. I don't handle being on my own very well. I'm very high maintenance. By the end of the day my kids are driving me crazy, the house is falling apart, and I've neared the end of my very short rope. My DH is my sanity.

At least I know he'll be back soon. It gives me a very, very small taste of what so many wives go through all the time. I can't imagine sending my husband off to war, or away to an oil field for months. I know God has a special blessing for any woman who is parenting on her own. I hope I get a tiny little share of that blessing this week. I'm going to need it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

If I see one more ad. . .

I am absolutely thrilled that tomorrow is election day. Is it because I'm excited and honored to be a part of the great tradition of democracy? Is it because I'm looking forward to electing an excellent official to serve my region? No!!! It's because I am absolutely disgusted with all the political trash talk, and I frankly don't care one hoot if "Jim Bob Bubba Joe was rasied right here in the county and has down-home values"! My mailbox is flooded with oversize cardstock flyers, every other ad on the television is about why "so and so" would make a better "whatever" than "what's her face". They take one little comment by their opponent, give it no context at all, and then parade it around like a scarlet "A" hoping the voting community will recoil with shame. Well, I won't.

Frankly, I've come to the point where I don't believe a single thing any of them say. I don't believe they have "the best interests of Oklahoma at heart". I don't believe that their opponent is a money-grubbing, pandering nepotist. I don't believe that they have Washington values. I don't believe that they don't have Washington values. I know who I'll vote for, because I know what the basic party lines are and there are some I have moral problems with. But I won't be going tomorrow to draw my little lines to the arrows because I'm happy to be an American. I'm going because I will be celebrating the end of another disgustingly vicious political season. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. Maybe I need to go back to school and take some American history. Or maybe I ought to go to Iraq, and get a little wisdom and thankfulness from someone with a purple finger.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Christian Education

Why is it we can never say what we really want to say when the opportunity arises. Why do we lie awake at night thinking of all the sparklingly witty things we should've retored when x said y and z earlier in the day.

I've tried a couple of times, but I can't even relate the incident that has fired me up for the cause of the tongue-tied. It has to do with the small Christian school I work for and the mother of one of my dorm boys. Suffice it to say I did not show myself to be a stunning orator in my conversations with her on a certain subject. I probably just made matters worse. It took me forever to get to sleep because I kept thinking of all the things I should've said.

I'll give a different example. In one of my college classes, long ago, an English professor (male) said, "People who are pro-life don't really care whether or not babies are dying. They're just trying to keep women from being able to make their own decisions." I was shocked and outraged, but I didn't say anything! Nothing! I just sat there in numb silence with my mouth open at his audacity. Suddenly, the moment was over and the class had moved on. There was no going back to the discussion. If you know me, you know I never hesitated to speak out in class. I was sort of infamous for it. Maybe it's better that I didn't. I did try to witness to that professor, as he and I usually got along very well and I was one of his more faithful students.

I guess that's where the leading of the Spirit has to come. There are so many times when we don't know what to say. If I were closer to God and more willing to follow his leading, would I have had the retorts ready for the two abovementioned situations? Paul tells the Colossians, "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Col. 4:6) Maybe I need to get in the word a little (or a lot) more, so that His words are my words.

Amazing Steve

My son has never seen the Blue's Clues TV show, but I bought a Blue's Big Musical DVD for him from the Bargain Bin of Wonders here at our local Wal-Mart. I can't decide if that was a mistake or a stroke of genius. We have watched it, oh, about 387 times this week.

I don't know what my son has learned from it, but this is what I've noticed. That Steve guy is really good. I mean he must be a great performer. If you've seen the show, you know what I mean. He's got to be standing in front of a blue screen for the full performance. There is absolutely no other character or prop in the entire program that is not animated, except his notebook, pen and clipboard. Can you imagine trying to look at a camera, and then around at various points on a blue wall, maintaining the appearance of complete sincerity and total absorption in the task at hand? Of course, when the camera goes off, he doesn't have anyone coming up and tugging on his pants leg, or drooling on his socks and trying to eat his notebook. I guess we all have our strengths and our struggles. With God's help, the one will be enough to get us through the other.

Meanwhile, thank goodness for Steve and all those actors who are willing to make a fool of themselves for my toddler. At least they give me time to load up the dishwasher.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Bad Haircut?

A very nice lady from our church runs the tiny little beauty shop here in my tiny little town. I take my children there for their haircuts, and go myself when I need a trim. This last time I decided to let her layer my usually shoulder length hair to "give it more body". My problem is that I think it looks bad, and I don't know how to fix it without possibly damaging my relationship with the hairdresser. I don't really know much about fashion or style. Beauty in general is not my metier. Maybe it looks fine, and I'm just being a prol. But what if other people think I look as odd as I feel, and are just too polite to say so? Actually, that would be something I've always wondered on general principles, but that's beside the point.

Oh no. My baby is awake, and her nap wasn't half as long as it ought to be. That means psycho child until bedtime. I guess I'd better go do my patience homework for today.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Skid Row

Well, it's happened. The rosy glow of motherhood is gone. My toddler, my little mild-mannered angel, was a bad boy at the nursery last night. According to the nursery workers he shoved toys around in a vicious manner, pushed other innocent young victims. . .um kids, around, and refused to obey when told to stop. Oh, the shame, the heartbreak. As soon as I heard the news I thought I could see the future.

My little darling, kicked out of junior high for pushing the principal into a locker. My precious son, wearing earrings and a nose stud, is brought home by the cops from a raucous frat party and throws up his beer into my potted plant. Military school! Prison! The Chair!!!

Ok, so maybe it's not all that bad. I suppose all I'm really feeling is guilt. You know how it is. When your child is being good, it's easy to be judgemental of other mothers and their "discipline problems". Then, inevitably, the sin-nature rears its ugly head. I suppose this is only a foretaste of things to come. My friend, who has a very strong-willed toddler of her own, said it was just my turn.

In the meantime, Prince Charming is grounded from video games all day, and, the most painful cut of all (to him), Daddy didn't let him play with Mommy's new drum machine after church last night. Overboard? Maybe. But hey, I'm not perfect either.

Update: I have been informed in the cutest little toddler voice - "And I am not going to be a bad boy at the nursery anymore!" We'll see.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yourself Fitness

I've been using an Xbox aerobics program. It's great because it tailors everything for your personal needs, using your height, weight and various other fitness factors. It's perfect for a stay-at-home mom. Nevertheless. . .

I would have to say that one of the most pleasant moments of my day so far was watching my hoity-toity little Danskin clad aerobics instructor (yes, she's animated, she's still annoying) finish the last five-minutes of my workout all by herself. I enjoyed the sight of all those tricep dips I was supposed to be doing, and the thought of how relaxing it was to lay on my living room floor in my sunbeam. Maybe I have some cat in me somewhere.


I'm becoming less and less certain of my own opinions. Is that normal? I always assumed that by the time I was an adult, which I suppose I am now, I would have things figured out. It doesn't appear to work that way. For instance, my two-year-old is already a tech-head. I did not plan for that to happen. I'm sure I solemnly swore that he would not even see video games until he was in high school, let alone play them. He now plays game cube, xbox, and computer games, and loves to listen to music on winamp instead of a stereo. "What kind of mother allows her child to spend so much time in front of a screen?" I can just hear myself saying that three years ago. I still don't like it, and try my hardest to limit it, but there aren't a whole lot of things to keep a busy toddler entertained when you don't have a yard (that's my excuse). It seems like I might just be allowing my laziness to dictate my morals. It's pathetic that convenience is the deciding factor in so many of my decisions; like the decision to feed my children Kraft Mac & Cheese for lunch, instead of a delicious, nurtritious meal with vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. I've always had a theory that people's personalities harden along with their arteries. Doesn't it seem like our parents/grandparents are just as they always were, but more so? Did they have these same eras of confusion and uncertainty, or am I just strange? I think maybe my personality is losing density along with my bones, instead. That doesn't bode well for the future. Thank goodness I married a wise man.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I took my children to a Halloween costume parade at the local nursing home today. Zaya was a bumble-bee, and Mimy was an OSU cowgirl. I'm not really sure what I feel about Halloween. I detest its origins. So many of our traditions for the holiday are based in druidic lore. Jack-o-lanterns, costumes, the frightfests; all have direct correlations to ancient cultic practices. However. . . no one that I know is actually using the holiday to attract or scare off demons. There is no other time of the year when it is socially acceptable to dress-up in costumes and show everyone, not to mention all the free candy. Should I forbid the holiday entirely, or should I allow my children to practice the aspects that I have decided are acceptable? This is something I really ought to decide before they are much older. If I choose not to allow them to dress-up etc. for Halloween, we'll have to forgo activities like the parade this morning. Then, when my young mommy friends ask me why we weren't there, I'd have to explain, and that would sound terribly judgemental of me, whether or not that was my intent. Sometimes I think it would be easier if we just had a simple black-and-white list of rules that we could follow. I don't think I have the confidence or the wisdom to make this whole free-will thing work right. I suppose that's the way it's supposed to be. If we knew exactly what was expected of us, when would we rely on God? I'll just pray about my Halloween issues, instead of griping about the confusion, and see what happens.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Joining the Race

I've always been too lazy to journal, but I think I might just be motivated enough to blog. I hope that this will become a place to put all those thoughts that I "ought to write down" before they slip away into the oblivion of mommyhood. If someone decides to read it, well, so much the better.