Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9

Thirteen Reasons I Don't Like My Husband's Business Trips

1. I'm a people person. I need adult conversation.
2. Two toddlers, one adult, all week. Ugh.
3. My kids always get sick while he's gone.
4. I need someone to help me explain to the dorm boys why they shouldn't shoot pool balls from a water balloon launcher.
5. Bathtime is Daddy's time with the kids. We all need that time.
6. He's the good cleaner in the family. When he's not home, my motivation just withers.
7. I don't have anyone to put my cold feet on at night.
8. Why cook for only one adult? I eat too much junk. Ugh again.
9. Two words. . Baby Einstein. Over and over and over. . . .
10. When the little ones wake up in the night, only Mommy's on call.
11. Why does he get to spend a week in a nice hotel and eat out every meal? Why, why why?
12. I'm a worrier. I promise my acne is worse when he's gone than it ever was in junior high. Universal injustice, there.
13. I know he's missing us and would love to hear our kids say cute things and learn new stuff too.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Lousy Connection

My internet is acting up, and my computer literate spouse is in another part of the country for the week. Therefore, I can't promise regular posts for a few days, or that I'll be able to get out and read all my bloggy friends' posts. I'll keep trying, and do what I can when I can.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So, what are you thinking about?

"Hey, Zaya. What are you thinking about?"

"Umm...I'm thinking about Pikmin. I'm thinking about Pikmin 2." (a video game)

"Oh, that's interesting. Do you want to play Pikmin 2?"

"No. I'm just thinking about it."

And he did, too, for about 10 minutes. He just sat on the couch staring at the blank TV and thought about Pikmin 2.

The next day, the scenario played itself out again.

"Hey, Zaya. What are you thinking about?"

"I'm thinking about question marks."

(Stunned silence. Confused expressions. Finally, laughs. What else can you do?)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

No, Really!

David was made for crises, but he hadn't ever had one, really, so he tried to compensate by creating them. It took me a few times to figure this out, but once I did we got along just fine. David's version of a story was usually the first one I got, and usually wrong.

One day, early in our dorm-mommy/dorm-son relationship, Dave came running into the dorm and said,
"Eddie just got run over by a truck!" Well, of course I reacted as any mother would. Panic-stricken fear.
"What, where, who, when, how?" I sputtered like a frantic cub-reporter. Just then, Eddie himself pedaled his bike up to the front porch and walked into the dorm. Apparently, I hadn't gotten the whole story. It turned out that young Eddie had been "door-tagged". A particularly obnoxious boy from our town's rival school had pulled up beside my two bicycling freshmen, and his cohort had opened the passenger door as the pickup truck passed, knocking the (entirely innocent, it seems) Eddie off of his bicycle. Panic ensued, as Dave hadn't actually seen what happened, and leaned over Eddie, asking him if he were dead, and other useless questions. Everyone was fine. (They still talk about it, though, and I have no doubts it has regained it's first catastrophic proportions.)

Another sterling example of Dave's conversational style came a year later. The boys had all been down to the town caves. They had gone expressly for the purpose of exploring and getting dirty. When they all came trooping back in that evening, Dave says,
"We just about got tagged by a mountain lion."
Having been Dave's surrogate mommy for over a year by that point, I responded with much less concern. (Besides, they were all standing right there.) I said,
"Well, don't bleed on the carpet."
After talking to the other intrepid explorers, I discovered that they had found what might have been some kind of animal's resting place, and some large paw prints that may or may not have belonged to something from the feline family. That's it; not even a whisker, not even a meow.

Dave isn't here this year, and I'd have to say everything has been very calm. I miss him, though. He sure made things exciting; at least, for the first minute or two of every conversation.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Digestion Digest

Zaya loves learning about lots of different strange things. I know that this will get us into trouble someday. So far, he's only said embarrassing things in front of family members. So far.

Every Saturday my husband's Grandma K brings us fresh baked zwieback. (Like a sweet dinner roll with a little hat) She brings them in a brown paper bag and my children attack her like ravenous lions on a lame antelope. Mim calls out "Bee-baa! Bee-baa!" and starts tearing into it. It's fun to watch, if a little bit embarrassing. Last Saturday, as Zaya was stuffing his bread down his throat he told Grandma K, "When I eat my zwieback it goes down my esophogus, and then it goes into my stomach, then my small intestine and then it goes into my large intestine, and then it is poop, and I go to the potty." She thought that was pretty funny. I can't wait until he walks up to one of the deacons in our church and says the same thing. (rueful sigh)

Thankful Meme

I've been "tagged for a meme", which apparently means I'm supposed to respond. Kind of like a chain letter, but much more pleasant and requiring much less commitment of my time, energy, and postage. So, JennaG, Here goes.

This is a Thankful meme. I think I'm supposed to give three things for which I'm thankful. Difficult. There are so many, really. I'll avoid the obvious big three, while acknowledging their dominance. (My savior, my spouse, my family- immediate and extended)

Three weird things that give me the warm fuzzies. (ie Thankfulness)

1. Cute baby shoes. I mean really, who doesn't love those tiny little sneakers and sandals.

2. Breezy, warm spring days.

3. The lovin's of two sticky fingered toddlers.

Can't promise I'll "tag" anyone, but maybe I'll give it a shot.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8

13 Reasons I don't "Just write a bestseller" as per the instructions of my loving spouse.

1. I have no idea what I would write about.
2. Everything's been done. Over and over and over.
3. What if people hated it?
4. What if people loved it, and I had to come up with more?
5. Publishers receive thousands of manuscripts. They wouldn't even read mine.
6. I'm not sappy enough to write Christian fiction, and I'm too inhibited to write secular fiction.
7. I don't have time.
8. Someone might make fun of me/my work.
9. I don't know any literary agents.
10. I'm lazy and undermotivated
11. My mother has to publish her trilogy, first. (Only fair, Mom)
12. I've had very few life experiences from which to learn.
13. I have a lousy signature for the book signings.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Lillian the Lamb Learns Baseball

Click here for more Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A serious question

This is a question for all of you mothers of more than three. I know not many of you read my little bloglet, but hopefully some. And yes, Lisa, these are the same questions I asked you, with some new ones, and I value your advice.

When I was young and childless, I made this very foolish bargain with God. I told him that if I could just have good pregnancies and deliveries- no morning sickness and regular birth- then I would have lots of kids. This was stupid on many levels. First, why did I assume that he would want me to have lots of kids? Second, why did I assume that the pregnancy and the delivery would be the hardest part? I have to aske these questions now, because I did have very easy pregnancies and deliveries with both of my children. Yes, I thanked God over and over, and still thank him. That wasn't the hard part. It's raising the children after they're already here that's the hard part! I should have known that. Why was I so stupid? Why?

Ok, that's the background. Here's my question for you super-mommies out there. How do you do it? How do you ever sleep? When the new babies come, where do you put them? I really do like the idea of having several children, but several babies. . . I just can't hardly fathom the idea. I love my children fiercely, as all mommies do, but I won't pretend that I enjoyed things like nursing and midnight feedings and tantrums and weaning from the bottle. . you get the idea. It's no fun taking care of one child with a virus. How do you handle four, seven or nine?!? The thought is absolutely overwhelming.

Also, how do you handle the physical changes to your own body? Without going into details I'll just say that even my two little babies changed my body considerably. I don't have trouble with weight, thank the Lord, but there are a lot of other things that are definitely factors. How do you deal with that?

I'm not good at cleaning. I'm a messy. My husband likes things to be clean and uncluttered, and goodness knows I try, but I'm just not good at it. He is a tremendous help with the house and kids. I can't imagine a husband being a better partner. But still, with two kids under three it's been tough; how on earth do you do it with more? Does there just have to be a few miserable years until you get enough kids through the pre-school years when they can't help much yet or are there special coping strategies that you've discovered?

So many of you out there do everything. I read your blogs and think, "Wow! How on earth can they possibly get all that done in one day!" You homeschool, bake your own bread, keep your house clean, raise animals and vegetables. . . how do you do it? I'd love to have a little advice.

Monday, February 19, 2007


One of our dorm boys has gone home with mono. Fun, fun. "Eddie" was sickish all last week, but it was his swollen neck that gave us a bit of concern. I sent him home Friday morning, and sure enough, his doctor said it was mono.

So now I'm thinking. . . was that Ed's pop that Mim wandered around the lobby drinking? When she played with him on Tuesday, did he cough? I've read that little ones are unlikely to catch mono, and I've had it before, but still. . .those nagging doubts.

Speaking of bugs, if you read my Thursday Thirteen, you might be wondering why someone would put them in a microwave. That was Jaimie. He had a bug collection that year (So did Ed and Dave) but he decided that the freezer took too long to kill his bugs, and the alcohol smelled too strong, so he put them in the microwave. The smell was horrendous, let me tell you. The other boys (especially the four seniors) absolutely refused to eat anything that had been cooked in that microwave until I made Jaimie clean it thoroughly with disinfectant, soap and water. Twice. Even then they were all threatening to microwave Jaimie.

Friday, February 16, 2007

More Tales of Dormy Wonder

Dorm Boy David had a couple of CDs hanging on his bedroom wall as decoration. I didn't question this interior design idea. Firstly, because I have no sense of style myself. None. You would believe this if you could see my house. Secondly, because the dorm boys have a notoriously terrible sense of style.

My husband and I made a sad and misguided attempt to decorate the boys' lobby our first year here. We repainted the walls (which were dreadful) and bought several M.C. Escher posters to hang. (With magnets. All the doors and walls are metal.) The boys promptly added their own personal touch. Specifically, four or five hubcaps, (suspended from the ceiling with fishing line at various semi-strategic spots against the wall and front windows) several emblems from old vehicles, and a grill from a pickup truck, suspended over the door to the kitchen. They were so proud of themselves. I left it all up. Why bother?

So when David had several extremely beat-up (I thought) CDs hanging on his bedroom walls I just figured it was the newest trend in testosteronic fashion, and left it at that. Being young and stupid, it never occurred to me to question why they had such an awful lot of lines and cracks all over them. Finally, at the end of the year, I smelled a suspicious smoke smell (Again. See rules 4, 8, 11 and 12) out in the lobby and decided I'd better go check it out. (Again)
"All right! What are you guys burning out here now!?"
A young innocent dorm lad looked up at me and said,
"Oh that was just Dave. He microwaved another CD."
As you can imagine, I went through all those motherly stages of confusion, disbelief, shock, and then. . no, it didn't get all the way to anger. Mostly just confusion and shock. When I questioned young innocent David, (Who, by the way, was responsible for rules 1,2,4 and 13. Not exclusively, but mostly) he said that it made a really cool pattern, and then when you let the sun shine on them, it reflected light all over the room in interesting ways. Okay, while that's very creative, surprisingly aesthetic and probably true. . .
"I don't know. You just can't!"
"Woman's intuition! The big sparks and crackling flame noises! I just refuse to believe it's good for the microwave. And it's not your microwave. Stop!"
He wasn't happy about it, but he stopped. Boys, I tell you what. . .

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tell it like it is!

Check out this post by DK Raymer at A Flyover Blog. Wouldn't it be great if all the florists were on our side?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #7

I've been a dorm mommy for 2 1/2 years now, and there are a few things I've learned about teenage boys. Here's a small sample of some of the rules I should've made, but didn't until it was too late. Every single one of these things have happened. (Some of them more than once)

Thirteen Rules We Should Have Made

1….No Tarantulas/snakes in the dorm.
2. No dead/live animals of any kind in the dorm (Except the boys)
3. The idea of a trash bag is to line a trash can. Use it!
4. You may not microwave cds.
5. The kitchen is not a skating rink. Leave the soap for the dishes.
6. You may not box/fight anyone who has not been awake for more than one minute.
7. I don't care where you found it, if it's not yours, don't eat it/play with it/read it/videotape it.
8. Smoking cinnamon sticks does not look cool. It looks (and smells) stupid.
9. If you need to take medicine, take ONLY the recommended dosage.
10. I don't care if I'm your dorm Mommy, I did not give birth to you and I don't want to see you running around in your skivvys. Go put some pants on!
11. You may not light fire to ANYTHING!!! (Including the clothes you're wearing!)
12. You may not microwave bugs!
13. Spray cologne is not the same thing as air freshener. The next person who empties a can of Axe into a room will have to die. End of story.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

But you didn't say. . .

I'd have to say I've learned a lot being a mom of teenagers for the past few years. Probably more than I've taught the boys, sadly enough. We used to joke about all the rules we should've made, instead of the rule we did make. We don't joke about it anymore only because they would cover the walls by now, so it's pointless. I'm sure all of you parents of teenagers can relate to the general idea, if not the specific story. Here's a small sample of how those boys could outwit a justice of the Supreme Court.

When my brother loaned the boys his sparring gloves I made the rule that they could only box someone who was also wearing sparring gloves. I thought I had been very clever, and spoiled anyone's plans to hit an unsuspecting dorm brother. No such luck. The target for that specific year was a young man name "Jamie". He asked for it, I have to admit, but he also got it. A lot. Jamie was smart enough not to agree to box with the other boys, but they got around this by waiting until he fell asleep in the lobby, gently slipping a glove on his hand, then smacking him. It finally got to the point where they would just lay the glove on his lap, and then yell, "Jamie!" The poor boy would wake up, and if he saw a glove anywhere near him, scream and duck. Of course, I didn't find out about this until Jamie had left the school. (Not because of any sparring incidents.)

Stay tuned for more Tales from the Halls of Terror. If I wrote them all in this post it would be interminable. (The picture is not of Jamie. It's of one of our current boys with Zaya. They're boxing with the gloves we bought the boys for Christmas. Those gloves came with a page covered in rules. I don't presume to think I've covered every contingency this time, but just about.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Birth Stories?

One of the blogs I like to check out from time to time is Our Seven Qtpies. This amazing mom of seven(!) is having a little contest. Read about it here. This Birth Story Contest reminded me of one of the funny things I've noticed about women who give birth. There are things that I don't think we would normally ever share with other people that we just can't seem to mention enough when we've had a baby. Specifically, our first and right after the child is born.

We were in the pediatrician's office the other day, and this little girl (I think she was very young, but maybe not.) was sharing with an aquantaince she'd just met about her recent delivery of the baby in the carrier at her feet. She was going in to great detail about the progression of her dilation, when they broke her water etc. etc. You could tell her poor friend had not ever had a child because the look on her face was a combination of disgusted and horrified. I watched smugly from my side of the room, until I started wondering how many of those same details I had been giving to long-suffering friends and family after I had my little boy.

There was also a lady at Wal-Mart who was telling those of us in line, and the cashier, about her daughter who was in the hospital at that moment with her new baby. This woman was telling (loudly) not only of how and when her daughter dilated etc. but also what cm. size blood clots she was passing. Eeeek! I guess the closer we are to a situation, the more normal it seems. I only hope for this woman's sake that those of us in that line never meet her poor daughter. (Who had only sent her for a Barq's root beer, after all, not a couple rounds of public humiliation.)

Anyway, all that to say, head over to Our Seven Qtpies and tell your own birth story! (But if it's been recent, stop and think, "Hmmmm. Is this something I would sit down and tell my Pastor?")

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Separated at Birth? You Decide!

My husband gets slightly miffed when my daughter calls Steve "Daddy". I had to break it to him that he did look a little like Steve. Of course, Steve is a very handsome man, so that shouldn't be an insult! He doesn't see it that way.

Please Pray for Little King

My real world friend, Kilikina, has had to take her baby boy to the ER. He recently had surgery and is now spiking very high fevers. He has a double ear infection, but his pediatrician fears worse. Please pray for him and his exhausted, stressed out mommy and daddy.

Update: The hospital says the fever is from a very bad ear infection and possibly strep throat. He's already on the antibiotic, so hopefully it will all be over soon. Please continue to pray for his recovery.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #6

13 songs on my son's mp3 playlist: (And I'm not kidding. He listens to these on our computer for 20-30 minutes at a time. He listens to a lot of different songs, but these are the ones he always comes back to. It all started with the first two on the list. You can see he's branching out a bit by the end.)

1. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
2. William Tell Overture
3. Bach's Toccata and Fugue
4. Caprice No. 1 (Paganini)
5. Autumn Leaves (sounds like Mancini)
6. Gaudeamus Igitur (British march)
7. The Imperial March (Yeah, from Star Wars)
8. Hall of the Mountain King
9. Oh Fortuna (from the Carmina Burana)
10. The Barber of Seville (by The Great Kat)
11. The Anvil Chorus
12. Four Seasons-Spring (Vivaldi)
13. Kako Kolan Da Se Vijem (Balkan rock)

Check here for more Thursday Thirteens

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One of Those Days

It's strange how different my attitude towards my children is from day to day. For instance, yesterday afternoon they were both so cute. I remember naively thinking, "Why don't I have more of these? [kids] They're so much fun. Just look how cute they are!" It was one of those moments only a mother would love. Zaya, with a flower clip in his hair (his sister's) and his pants practically falling off (big boy pants don't take up as much room as his diaper did) was wiping up Mim's hands and face, because she was drinking (read dribbling) the leftover water and ice from Mommy's Arbys cup. It was such a cute little moment. Then Zaya was teaching his skunk how to check his lion's heartbeat. Too funny! What darling little angels I have!

This morning reality set in and I thought, "Oh yeah, this is why I only have two kids." It seems like they were just extra whiney, extra clumsy and extra disobedient. Everything we did today seemed to go wrong. They didn't talk to the librarian at storytime, they didn't clean up their toys when I asked (again). They didn't nap well. . .Here's my thought. I bet that the only difference in the two days was me. I think I started my day in a bad mood. When Zaya couldn't get to sleep right away for his nap, I overreacted. When they were wiggly and not the perfect children at storytime, I overreacted. When they didn't eat the lovingly prepared hot dogs and cheese at lunch (yeah, yeah) I overreacted. I'm trying to calm down, but behind it all is guilt and fear, I think. Fear that my children are not going to turn out the way they should, fear that they will be unable to respond to the world in acceptable ways, fear that they will be suing me to pay their therapy bills in 20 years, and guilt that the lawsuit will be justified because it will all be my fault.

I just have to tell myself, "Take a deep breath. There has been nothing happen today that every mother in the history of the world has not faced. Get a grip, and get in there and do those dishes." And I convince myself, I think.

I really should get in there and do those dishes. I mean, we have a dishwasher for Pete's sake. How hard can it be?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

When you've got to go. . .

I just heard an interesting piece on the Today show. They say that cities experience big drops in water pressure during halftime of the Super Bowl because everyone gets up to use the bathroom during halftime. They're urging (hee hee) everyone to go to the restroom before halftime so that the water systems function better through the evening.

Bet that's not something you've thought about! It must be depressing for whoever does the halftime show, knowing that everyone's in the can while they're performing! (That word was for you, Uncle E.)

Friday, February 02, 2007

One and Only

Antique Mommy recently posted about her aunt who has just passed away. Her tribute reminded me of the pioneer women in my own life. (Comparatively pioneer, anyway.) The way her aunt caused fear and dread in the heart of chickens everywhere reminded me especially of Grandma K.

My husband's grandmother is a fascinating dichotomy between "everyone's grandma" and "The "one and only Grandma". She is a mother of four children and has lived on a farm all her life. She was recently widowed, in the fall of '05, but still lives out on the farm and takes care of everything. She's an avid gardener, and cooks for the whole family every Sunday. I mean the whole family. When we're all there that's 17 people, give or take a couple. Absolutely amazing. That's the "everyone's grandma" part of Grandma K.

Here's the part I find hilarious; the "one and only" part. Grandma K is death to small animals. She defends her flower beds and vegetable patch with fierce resolve. She keeps a large spade handle (sans spade) outside her back door, and has been known, more than once, to rush out and beat some unsuspecting critter to death. I've threatened to videotape the massacre, just so that future generations will have proof of their violent heritage. She just rolls her eyes at me and tsks. (Actually it's a lethal combination of "tsk" and "pshaw")

Grandma K is also an avid reader. She's always providing her family with fresh reading material; from magazines, to old tractor books, to cookbooks, to (I'm not kidding) a book about boogers. She loves to come up with interesting new things for all of us to read, and tailors her selections (from the nearby thrift store, where she volunteers)for each family member's specific interests. She introduced all of her grandsons to Sci-Fi, and reads it herself. I can't think of any genre that I haven't seen Grandma reading, or at least providing for someone else to read.

I suppose this little tell-all is the surest way to ensure that Grandma suddenly decides to look at my blog. Oh well, I've been tsked before, I can take it!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Always Learning

Here's a new way to look at cleaning.

My son was watching Curious George on PBS and George had been launched into space by seemingly normal adult humans who, nevertheless, showed the same lack of pattern recognition that all people on that series seem to have. Anyway, I was scrubbing and running a sink full of water in the kitchen, and Zaya turned around and said,

"Hey, Mom, I'm learning about space! Are you learning about water?"

Well, I suppose I was. I was learning what water and Mr. Clean magic eraser did to my ceramic cooktop. Maybe cleaning won't seem like so much of a chore if I think about it as "learning"; or maybe not.