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.