Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I take not one iota of credit for the fine young man and outstanding older brother that typical little boy has become. This Christmas Jeremy's gift to Colin was a piano composition he had written for him. I burst into tears. It was laminated and spiral bound -- the perfect gift for a somewhat hard to please little brother who runs through the house naked and only eats chicken. Later that day they went sledding. I watched them from Grandma's window going up and down the hill, rolling down in the snow, laughing. Sometimes Jeremy would pull both sleds and Colin up the hill. I wanted to take pictures but I was afraid to move, afraid they would stop or that they would start hamming for the camera instead of enjoying each other and the moment. It doesn't matter anyway. It's a picture carved in my heart.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
My sister lives near the elementary school Colin attends and Baby D and I go there to wait for him after school. Yesterday as we were leaving a mailman I did not recognize came to the door to deliver Sarah's mail.
"I won't take that from you," I said. "And commit a felony."
"Oh," He said. "I know you. You're 30 . . ." and repeated my address.
Why, yes, I am.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Instead I had everyone fill out a short questionnaire. That way each family member was responsible for his and her own stupid answers.
Our lives are amazing! The baby is exceptionally gifted! He says "Aye" which as you may know is a most ancient form of agreement! I think he may have a career in foreign politics! Shelby STARRED in her first college production! Her fellow chorus members said they didn't know how they would have done it without her Jeremy is composing his own music! His variations on "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" brought the house down! Brent and I travelled, travelled, travelled all the way to the next county and back! Can't wait to see it all again!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
It's all right. Most everyone has been kind and supportive. I know they mean well. I have been very honest about Colin and autism. I have felt it's only fair to him and the people he interacts with to understand that what they get when communicating with him may not be what they expect.
It's a little hard, though. Why couldn't he be good just for having been good?
Than I talked to someone at a holiday party last night who does not know about Colin. He greeted me with this opener:
"Whoever started the standing ovation for Colin should not have done that. It made it difficult for the others."
What -- as Colin's mother -- should my response be to this?
(A) Oh! It was me! (It was not me.) I just can't help standing for my children!
(B) Wasn't that awful?! I am having Colin write a letter of apology to each and every participant!
(C) What an excellent point! Why don't you come over and explain that to him. You'll need to start from the beginning because he neither noticed or cared, really.
I'm not sure. I said," Uh-huh. Excuse me."
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
"What?" Ernie responds.
"Titanic. Titanic is a sad movie."
Then Bert goes on to list a variety of sad movies -- Doctor Zhivago and I can't remember what all.
You see, I'm with Bert. Sixth Sense sent me to bed for three days. Was I afraid of ghosts? No. Was I afraid I was talking to dead people? No. I was intensely sad that Haley Joel Osmet had not found the friend and adult mentor he needed but was, indeed, seeing a dead person in Bruce Willis. I was shocked and betrayed.
I watched Titanic about three months after Colin was born. Remember the scene where we see the dead mother holding the frozen baby? No? I do. In fact I sat in the rocker next to Colin's crib and cried and cried and cried for this actress in white makeup floating -- very much alive -- in a tank in Hollywood or wherever it was filmed.
I am better at reading sadness than watching it movie style. Although I will have to admit, when I was getting my English degree I did have one professor who required a journal reflecting our response to the depressing readings in modern lit he assigned. This professor caught up to me on campus one day because he was a little concerned over the tenor of my writing after reading these tomes of married women who took apartments to escape their lives and just sat in the dark in them. I mean really. How is one supposed to respond to this literature?
My friends and loved ones know of my trouble with sad movies and often offer screening advice. Sylvia, my friend the actress who lives in Hollywood, has been especially helpful.
"You cannot watch (insert name of movie here). Deep sadness."
This is a friend indeed.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
So anyway in one of the last episodes the vicar tries to start a book club. The first book to be discussed is On Beauty by Zadie Smith. (On Beauty was on the short list for the Man Booker prize in 2005 but lost out to The Sea by John Banville. Apparently if we are going to win prestigious prizes for fiction, we need to start thinking of short titles.) No one at the Dibley book Club reads this book so they have to think of a book they have all read and end up debating whether or not Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh has made a conscious decision to remain depressed. So, funny. It would be an interesting discussion though . . .
I am now reading On Beauty and so far it's a very well written book. No deep sadness yet as is so often the case with award winning things of all kinds. More on my inability to deal with deep sadness later. . .
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
When I started dating Brent I was really at a loss. Here was a good guy pretending to be . . . well, nothing. He was just good.
And good boys, I have found, make good husbands.
Friday, December 7, 2007
I got my first tree when I was a sophomore in college. My college boyfriend had a family tradition of drinking a lot during tree decorating. I don't think those were my tree's finest years, but as soon as I graduated from college (and that boyfriend, bless his heart) I started getting really serious about my tree. Then I got married. Have mercy, I became yoked to a colored light tree man. I can't recall if we alternated by year or something for a while . . . then I got my own tree. For a while I experimented with a prelit tree. These are fine as long as they light. When they start to go, it just breaks your heart (and really the environment because you're buying a new tree).
My tree is as tall as my ceiling will allow. (Don't think I didn't consider that when house hunting, but cathedral ceilings are hard to come by in my price range.) It displays my collection of antique ornaments, Bavarian glass, trinkets from travels, an assortment of birds, little ballerinas pirouetting down the branches -- all precious, all delicate.
And then there was Baby D. The climber. The destruct-o boy.
My beautiful tree lies in the garage this year. My ornaments are still safely packed away. A 3.5 foot prelit pine graces a table in the living room high, high above curious little fingers. Colin decorated this tree with his collection of ornaments from Sarah and Brennan. There's representative ornaments from things that are important to us.
There will be another year for my tree, but this year, it's a tree for Baby D.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
My piano playing leaves a lot to be desired so it really adds to the overall mood of "In the Bleak Midwinter." It's my goal to one day play a piano piece in public. I don't think anyone should really be listening. Perhaps I am at the mall or background music at the party or the pre-pre-pre prelude, but it's definitely on my list of things to accomplish. Be sure to be on the lookout for a nervous looking late 30 something playing a depressing song about never ending winter. If you love me at all, you'll walk on by.
Monday, November 26, 2007
". . . I think housework is far more tiring and frightening than hunting is, no comparison, and yet after hunting we had eggs for tea and were made to rest for hours, but after housework people expect one to go on just as if nothing special had happened." She sighed.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This year we had mother/daughter cookie bake the next day so the after clean up had to be finished Thanksgiving night. The cookie bake was strangely fun too. Mom and her friend (our surrogate mother) Bonnie got into the cranberry cocktails from Thanksgiving and -- whoops! it was a party. (In the photo, Mom and Bonnie are showing you that they have stained their hands with food coloring in dedication to the cookie making process. Way to commit, girls!!)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I am a little concerned it was a sympathy ovation for the "special" kid. I don't think there was too much of that. It was good, even if I am a little biased and we have been through a lot, but . . .
I am torn between feeling amazingly proud, slightly embarrassed and horrified that we have a kid on our hands who God created for a purpose so much bigger than our little life in West Central Minnesota. We'll just have trust Him to work it out. That always seems to be the best and least complicated plan.
So as corny as it sounds, I am thankful for my family today and the amazing jouney that I am on. It isn't the one I envisioned when I was small, but it is just right.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
"We are so proud of you!"
"Wow! Who knew a Chinese dragon and sombreros could be incorporated into Shakespeare?"
"I think my favorite song was 'I Come from the Land of Betrayal.'"
It wasn't the cast. Truly it wasn't. It was the show. Bless their hearts.
Oh my stars! I have just looked it up on Wikipedia. It won the Tony for best musical in 1972. I will be darned. It just goes to show . . . something, doesn't it?
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
The real problem, of course, is the grocery list. I always felt so cool, so Mom-on-the-go with my Palm list, but I sort of didn't like it because you have to hold the Palm in one hand, the stylus in another and you have to keep tapping it on. I felt buried in the Palm with no free hands to reach for groceries. I didn't really want to set it in the cart. It's expensive. My jeans may be of a certain size, but my pockets aren't big enough for it. I don't know.
I have been experimenting with lists on the web. Grocerylists.com is the winner so far, but they're a little weird. They want you to leave the list in the cart so someone else can mail it to the website. Apparently they get a strange sort of kick reading grocery lists. Cozi.com is my experiment this week. I have just downloaded something to the computer my husband will have to clean off later if I don't like it. Poor man. If only I would just do what he suggested in the first place.
Monday, November 12, 2007
We are so proud of him and know for certain that God is creating Colin to be exactly what He needs for his kingdom . . . and yet there is a part of me that still kicks myself in the rear. I knew something was a little off with Colin, but I come from a long line of quirky people. I married quirky. I am definitely quirky. It didn't surprise me I might have a quirky child. But I should have been more firm, made more of a fuss.
So Darling Mindy, the sweet and lovely early childhood special education elf has been here today to look at Daniel. She declared she would like to come back and work with him because he is so cute, but there is no need. She will come back in six months.
All right for now.
Friday, November 9, 2007
The past year and a half has gone so quickly. Newborn hats have been packed up and given away. The swing has been taken out to the garage. The crib has been lowered once and probably should be lowered again. All of it happening without much thought. We are too swept away in the necessity of daily function to notice.
And yet there is my last vitamin . . . the last vestige of pregnancy and nursing . . . the end of an unexpected time of blessing, excitement, promise.
Right now Baby D is upstairs wailing because he does not want to go to sleep, but I am the Mom and I say that 10 month old babies should be asleep at 9:30 at night. He is exerting his own will and his own thought. This little person who depended on me for his very life declares that he is not tired and will not sleep.
And here we begin the process of letting each other go.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Last year I got my very first flu shot and I remember thinking, "That was just a tiny prick of an immunization. I must be sure to do this from now on." One year later and I am thinking," Oh, my stars, where can I get a new arm?! How am I supposed to hold up my baby with this debilitated lump of flesh hanging off my shoulder?!"
I just know it's worth it. The only thing longer than a Minnesota winter is flu in the Minnesota winter.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I know global warming is a serious and terrible thing, but it's sort of hard not to see some of it as a benefit here in Minnesota. Winter is a long, frustrating event here. There's a pretty fall for four or five weeks and then it is cold and brown or cold and white until April. Prince had a song years ago "Sometimes it Snows in April." Yeah, it does. And even though we may not be the ice, frozen tundra all year round I imagine some figure us to be, winter is long and cold and dreary and, frankly, I don't look forward to it.
Well, thank goodness, I am not a prairie pioneer girl getting settled into my sod hut. At least I have cable.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
A couple of years ago we heard this same word uttered during the seven o'clock hour and I said to Colin, "That's not a nice word, okay, Colin?"
"What word, Mom?" he asked.
"The word that man just used. It started with B."
"Ball?" No. "Beans?" No. "Bull----?" Um. No. Although, you're right. That's not nice either.
So I am not naive. I know my child is hearing all sorts of things out on the playground, but we certainly don't need to hear it on television in our home. Do we? So I start again this time.
"That is truly not a nice thing to call someone, Colin," I said.
"That B word that man just used."
Well, now I have learned my lesson. I do not want to hear out of my precious boy's mouth all the bad words he knows that start with B, so I just go ahead and say it. "It was b---h. That is not a nice thing to call someone. Okay?"
"Okay, Mom. If someone calls me a bench, I will say, 'That is not a nice thing to call someone.'"
"Well, yes, honey, but I don't think anyone is going to call you a bench. It's b---h and mostly girls get called that and it's not nice."
I have this vision of my son, age 25 or 26. He is having his first fight with his lovely intelligent girlfriend. A la his father it's sort of hard to tell he is fighting but he's really frustrated and he turns to her and says, "You are just really being a bench." And she just laughs and says, "What?!" And the whole thing is over. Well, good for her.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I know that I sometimes appear more worried (or upset or excited or disappointed) than I really am, but for some reason, this event really had me sweating. My sister, as usual, nailed it right on the head. I just hate the unknown. I felt like had agreed to something without knowing all the details and I was expected to perform in a way I did not feel I was gifted. I was particularly worried about the games. But here's the thing: I found someone who was talented at that sort of thing and she took over. Before we left, she was even talking about what games we could play at Christmas. She even seemed excited about it!!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
It's easy to get behind the NDSU Bison. I think they've lost one game in two years or something. I get all excited and start yelling "That's another Bison FIRST DOWN!!" and "Go Thundering Herd!" and stuff. Plus there's pretzels and cinnamon almonds and a little green and yellow firework when they get a touchdown. What's not to like? I even found myself secretly cheering for the other team when they preformed what the announcer called the "old hook and ladder." Apparently it didn't work as well as it should have, but it looked impressive to me.
So, I was a little sad when Jeremy said this is his last year in marching band. He has one more year to go, but he feels like he's put in his time. As the Bison head into college football big time, there are going to be changes in the marching band program -- a full-time athletic music director, new uniforms and such. Jeremy has always preferred his music without a lot of pressure. I respect that, but I'll probably miss the call to "feel the thunder!"
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I'm picky about it too. I don't want to pay too much for it. It is, after all, just mascara, but I want it to perform well. I don't want it to clump. The brush can't be too thick, but my eyelashes are very sparse so the brush can't be too little either or it will take a lot of effort to get it on. For a while I was into this mascara that painted on . . . or something. You had to work it off with your fingers. It came off in little tubes. Weird, but it really stayed on. It can't smear. That I think is even worse than clumpy lashes. Raccoon eyes. I know the world loves Maybelline in the pink tube, but I don't. I've always got to be bucking the system.
Today I tried a sample of Dior or something I had gotten from Sephora (Is there any where else? Don't answer that, Brennan.) and suddenly this lovely odor came wafting to me. If you pay big, big bucks ($23) for your mascara, it comes scented!! I may have to rethink that bookkeeping job.
Nope. Maybe I'll try Maybelline again.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
My bookkeeping motto at the paper became, "Pay what you owe -- no more, no less." It did not come as a surprise to me that there would be costumers who failed to pay, but there were customers who would just pay random amounts -- plucked out of nowhere. At first I would try and figure out how they came up with this amount as opposed to the amount they owed, but after a while . . . well, I just didn't care. I would credit them and move on, rebilling them the next month.
When Dad sold the paper I worked another four or five months and left. It wasn't the job for me under the guilt laden eye of my father. No way was I doing it for a stranger. Needless to say today I said, "Thanks, but no thanks."
Monday, October 22, 2007
We just got home from a long weekend up on the North Shore. A great time was had by all, but it was raining or thinking about it the entire time. That's okay; there was plenty to do. We shopped. (I bought woolen mittens and got all excited to read about them on the tag only to discover they are made 30 miles from my home.) We looked for moose. We drank coffee and ate fish. We looked at waterfalls.
One thing I love to do when we are "Up North" is build a fire. My parents had a Franklin stove and since I -- for whatever reason -- got up at 5 a.m. to do my homework, I got very good at fire building. So I am in charge of the fire. Our cabin had a fireplace (which we laid all the chairs in front of so Baby D could not get near) and every night we built a fire. Well, the first two nights went pretty well, but by the last night I had run out of dry fire wood. I anticipated this problem and began drying wood by the fire the first night, but we were also out of dry kindling and it was just tough going that last night.
Unfortunately, this was the night I declared we were going to roast hot dogs and marshmallows by the fire and so a fire had to be made to feed my family. As I was slaving away trying to get the fire going, Brent was out at the truck -- doing whatever he does out there, picking up crumbs or some such thing. Colin came in and said he was heading for the bathroom. Fine. I kept working. I heard Colin begin the bathroom process and didn't think much about it until I started to look around for Baby D. Colin, for some reason, had decided to pee in a half crouch position facing away from the toilet (I think he was thinking about sitting later). Baby D had pulled himself up onto the toilet and was leaning into the toilet to watch the waterfall. I wasn't sure whether to laugh, cry or take a picture. I wish I had done the latter.
I got my fire built. Colin declared he did not like hot dogs roasted on the fire. I offered the non-burnt one to Brent. He took it. I ate the burnt one. It was time to come home.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I have an uncle who died today. He had one arm, the other lost to a potato picker. I have a vague memory, as a small child, of being warned when he first came around, that he was missing the arm. I think I was scared of him for about a second. I don't remember now. Looking back as an adult everyone was probably scared of him. He was going to marry my Aunt Lois, who hadn't really brought any other boyfriends around. He was a lot older than she. He had one arm. I remember them making each other laugh. Prior to that point I thought I was the only one who could make Lois laugh (probably due to the near spelling of our names Lois/Lisa). I thought it was a good thing for Lois to laugh.
This weekend a well like local man was killed in a head-on collision. I know (knew) both the victim and the 16 year old driver who ran into him. Michael in the permanence of youth apparently thought he could not wait for the truck in front of him. Now he knows that life is temporary too. So quickly both families changed forever. He should have waited. He knows that now.
Monday, October 15, 2007
It seems that in regard to vehicles I have married someone similar to my father -- whatever that means. Growing up, at least every year, Dad would drive home in a new car. We would go for a ride and ooh and ah, but never get too attached because you never knew how long it would be with us. Shortly after I got my driver's license he got a Corvette which thrilled me no end. It only lasted a couple of months until he declared it hurt his back to get in and out. I don't remember what he got after that, but I do remember I only got to drive it twice.
So Brent, as it turns out, is as bad if not worse. I knew we were in for it after Baby D was born and he started mumbling that there wasn't enough room in our vehicles for all his children. Now J and S are in college and the first time we have seen them in three months was this weekend, so, frankly we don't have a lot of call for hauling all the children around, but I respect his desire to do so.
The new SUV has a DVD player. I was opposed to the DVD player for a long time, but as you may remember during our trip to the Black Hills, I saw the light.
Oh . . . and . . .well, don't forget to recycle.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Now, you need to know that C's school doesn't have room mothers, so when I agreed to do this, I thought I was agreeing to cut construction paper pumpkins or police game time during parties. So imagine my surprise when Mrs. P came up to me at the third grade picnic and said, "I have the money for you."
"For what?" I asked.
"Why for the parties, of course," she said.
Turns out in the rest of the world that's what room mothers do -- they plan the parties. Every woman I have talked to about this in our district has been surprised, so I know I am not the only one who was in the dark.
Well, I thought, since God was calling me and God loves hospitality, I would have a coffee and all the volunteers could sit down and meet each other and volunteer what they would do for the parties. I had one -- yes, one -- lady show up today. Two others called to say they weren't coming, but that was it.
It's not like I don't already have issues about being loved and accepted by my peer group. But they don't even know me! Is it so bad I am rejectable without even being seen?!
Brent suggests I am taking it too personally.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Baby D is getting up at 4 a.m. for good. I am torn between thinking he is having tooth troubles and thinking he is training us to get up and entertain him. I know his teeth are bothering him. I wouldn't be surprised if all four first teeth came in at once.
When the boys go to sleep I get all excited about doing the important things I haven't been able to do because I am chiefly chasing Baby D around -- like playing on-line bingo. Then I stay up too late for a 4 a.m. wake up call.
Tonight this ends. Brent has declared -- and I am totally on board -- that we are going to bed at 10 p.m. even if we have to lay there and stare into the dark.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I'm not very good at finishing things, so I don't hold out much hope this will ever happen. My basement storage is full of plastic containers of cast off craft projects -- counted cross stitch, Christmas ornaments, a quilt. My favorite is a sampler I pull out periodically. It was a wedding gift. It says so far, "I am my beloved's and he is mine. --erta and Neil." I'm thinking they've been married seven or eight years now. I should probably think about another gift for them.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I think I would have sooner stayed single.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
- I have the most undergraduate degrees and currently have no job at all (for the sake of argument we will not count the exhausting task of full-time stay at home parenting a "job").
- I started the club.
We've never had an official meeting because that would be achieving something, but I would guess that Cousin Josh comes next as vice president for having the most graduate credits without an actual degree. He's in graduate school again, so we'll see. If he comes out with a degree and works at McDonald's or something (and that would be fine), he will probably be president. If he gets an actual job, we'll have to kick him out -- but again, that would require a meeting or something so he's probably safe.
Cousin Nate is not in the club and never will be. He is (oh, for the love of Pete) a micro chemist. I was browsing some of his journal articles on line and -- now I consider myself to be a fairly sharp cookie -- I could not even understand the titles. Permanent black ball status for that one.
In my favorite photo of our great grandmother, she is reclining on a sofa she has made for herself in the woods. There is a large farm to be run, men to feed, our grandma at her feet begging for attention, but Great Grandma is reading the newspaper on this couch.
I love my gene pool.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Everything was going perfectly according to plan. Older E was in charge of the wet ingredients in the mixer. Younger N was in charge of sifting the dry ingredients. I have a lovely, sturdy Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It is perfect for making all kinds of treats to delight the epicurious, but it does require a delicate touch at the control. (You see where this is going, don't you?) I rarely can get C to operate it because it doesn't take much to take it from "stir" to wheeling off its stand at number 8. Well, we were sifting and mixing and mixing and sifting and having such fun. I was giving E a little help which she was perfectly glad to get when adjusting the Kitchen Aid. Hooray! Cookies! Mmmmmm! Things were going so well, the girls decided they would like to switch jobs. Why not! We've made it though the tough parts of the egg and the vanilla. E dumped the flour into the bowl and N got ready.
"Okay, N," I said. "I'll just help you get it turned on" . . . at which point tiny, little 2 year old N gave that switch a big tug up to six. Flour . . . everywhere . . .everywhere . . . everywhere. For the first time since they had gotten to my house, there was silence.
At which point I threw back my head and laughed. Well, why not? What did I think was going to happen when you let a 2 year old at the mixer? And weren't we having fun?
Yes, we were . . . and eating mighty tasty cookies, too.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
SO, I've been coloring my hair since I was 16. If God had wanted me to keep my mousy dirty dishwater color, he wouldn't have invented Clairol. But He did and I do. This week I talked my hair stylist and aunt of my choosing (not my blood) Sharon (There's one aunt, in particular I would simply trade straight up and if you are my aunt and you have bothered to read this I guarantee it's not you, particularly if you remember where the Mississippi River is.) into dying it a variation on my own shade -- I think. (It's been a long time. I'm not sure what that shade is.) I'm into truth these days or a close proximity of it anyway.
Baby D and I have not nursed in a week. It's not going too badly. He's fine. I'm the one who needs to recover. My mood has gone from dark to black. Brent has packed a bag for me and it sits threateningly near the door. (Oh, not really.)
If I do take off, it will be to hunt down C's "social therapist." She's an odd little shadow of a woman who cannot make eye contact. Ironic, isn't it? Social therapist and all? I have discovered today that she has changed C's Individual Education Program (IEP) for the second time in two years without notifying us at all, much less the 14 days required by Minnesota state law. Honestly. She's the Social Therapist. Am I the only one who see that this is very, very wrong?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
We made it nine months which is longer than I thought we would. I would have been thrilled if we'd made it six months. (Maybe I have said all this already.) He still doesn't have teeth which may have played a significant role. The rational part of me suggests I should be proud of what I have achieved instead of upset at what I have not. Welcome to the story of my life. (Malmberg Cousin Underachievers unite!!)
So, anywho, now D and I get up at twice at night and for good at 5 a.m. This is not enough sleep for me. I need 8++ hours. I am deeply tired. (If you remember the show "Square Pegs," I am totally tired. Totally.) This does not bode well for my ability to function. In my mind, everything I do is not nearly good enough. My house is a mess. I weigh too much. I spend too much. My roots are hideous. I am lonely. I talk to myself a lot. Today a lady at Target tried to engage me in conversation at the clearance rack and I nearly told her she had interrupted my in-depth conversation with Baby D over what size he thought he'd be in six months.
I try to remind myself to be grateful I am not a prairie pioneer girl getting my sod hut ready for winter. Sometimes this works.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Remember in Genesis Sarah's reaction to the news -- straight from God's messengers -- that she would have a baby by the time they came back next year? She laughed. What kind of laugh I wonder. Joy? Bitterness? Hysteria?
Garrison Keillor in Sunday's newspaper (http://www.tmsfeatures.com/tmsfeatures/subcategory.jsp?catid=1945) wrote that becoming a parent again toward the end of your prime child bearing years brings a particular sweet sadness and heartache. (He says it much better and more subtlety than this.) I think he means to say that one is so much more sensitive to the preciousness of parenthood when you have one beyond age 35. There is so much more to give and yet less time to give it.
Part of me wants to shout at these girls, "You fools! Stop whining! It's over too soon. Watch it! Soak it up! Do what you can before it's too late!" But I know, too, that it's a long night with croup and the freedom they felt not so long ago seems miles away right now.
Good heavens, I've made myself cry.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Most of the ladies came in and sat down with their Bibles and a cup of coffee. I brought my coffee, my notebook and my pencil bag containing pencils, pens, highlighters, a small scissors and a glue stick. (What can I say? You never know when you might need to glue something.) I feel a little like a huge geek and then again, so what? I will feel much worse if I am sitting there listening and I feel the urge to write, highlight, cut or glue and do not have the correct supplies.
I am leading one of the small break-off groups at this study and I was a little worried. I also led a group at this time last year and in my group was a woman who just wanted to say "black" if I said "white." I was hugely pregnant and ended up going to the Bible study coordinator in tears. We ended up combining my group with another and I was still the leader (I think I was hoping to be relieved of duty) and this seemed to irritate this particular lady even more. On our first day as a new combined group I had everyone go around and introduce themselves and say their favorite Thanksgiving dish (or something) as an ice breaker. When we got to this lady she introduced herself and said she was not going to name her favorite dish because it was a "ridiculous waste of time." At prayer time that day, we prayed in a circle ("Squeeze the hand next to you when you're done.") and she announced that we would have silent prayer during her time.
Makes a Christian sister want to act violently.
Anyway, today's group seems fine. So far, so good.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Dairy? No Dairy? Gluten? Chicken Pox shots? Good heavens, I stood on that hump in the backseat of my mom's purple Duster when we traveled. I'm not recommending that, but I am still alive. I didn't watch all that much TV though and I think it's made me a better, if not slightly addicted reader. (Be sure to check out bookins.com and say I sent you.)
Monday, September 10, 2007
He said something like, "We're old."
"Yes," I said. "But we have a much nicer stroller."
So, Daniel and I went to ECFE "Baby and Me" class today and I learned several things (not the least of which was I seemed a bit of a cult hero for managing a shower every day). I learned that:
* My in-laws pretty much leave me alone.
* Girls in their early 20s think very little can be accomplished past age 40.
* I have married a very nice man.
* I am more together than I think -- because in spite of the girls concern that women who wait until they are almost 40 to have children face an uphill battle, parenting at an older age brings a peace and a patience I would never have had until now.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I ask because I have just noticed a fly living in Baby D's exersaucer. It had a good life there. Lots to eat. I feel for the fly but have nevertheless scrubbed the exersaucer out. I need a few college level home ec classes. Heck, I need a few high school home ec classes. My graduate level work in Milton is doing me very little good right now.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning thinking about crabby Baby D and my beverage consumption yesterday. Lets' see one tasty Tassimo latte with the morning's email, two glasses of iced tea at lunch (each with two packets of raw sugar, yes!), one Caramel Cooler at Caribou (yum!). Huh.
C and I were done nursing at about five months. It was Thanksgiving and he refused to nurse but would take a bottle, held by himself in his bouncy seat in front of the Macy's parade. Baby D and I are at nine months and still going strong. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's not really any trouble, but it's no longer a loving moment of nutrition between a mother and son, but more of a wrestling match with pinching, pulling and biting. I'm still winning these matches but I don't know for how much longer. When I start to lose -- that's when we are going to be done for sure.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I responded with a headache in the upper right quadrant of my head. My sister "Nurse Practitioner" Sarah and my husband "Dr" Brent assure me that it is not a brain tumor (I am easily spooked), but probably a sinus headache. Sarah and Brent are not trained medical professionals, but truly missed their calling as such. They plan on opening a store front clinic some day. (Don't ask. We are an easily amused people. We like to make up creative if fictional plans.)
C seemed to have a good day at school. His paraprofessional said he did. He was in a good mood when he came home. His teacher this year is "old school." She had vowel flash cards on her desk when I went in and I signed a note saying, yes, I would be a "room mother." That's okay. I think C will respond well to structure. I thought my day would be super organized with him back at school, but with the crying and the headache and all . . . well . . . some days are just more productive than others. I just wish I were a little more go with the flow myself -- or there was a third grade teacher from the old school running our home.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
I never did get my South Carolina plate. Perhaps I will have to bring my sticker book on our planned Florida road trip in the spring. It seems cheating a little to hold a list over though. I guess I'd better find another sticker book or just start over with my Palm Pilot list.
(That's my Lila Marie tribute for the day, friends and loved ones.)
Friday, August 31, 2007
So Brent and I have been happily collecting plates and our sticker book is nearly full except for several of those little northeast states and a few southern states. Last night I dreamed we were at a monument of some kind and I began a conversation with a woman who said that she and her husband had met someone from each of the 50 states.
"That's neat!" I said "We're collecting license plates. You're not from South Carolina, are you?"
Well, she was, and in my dream I collected South Carolina. Why it wasn't Hawaii, Rhode Island or the elusive Washington DC, "Taxation without Representation," I'll never know.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
"What am I going to do when he has to learn to use the bathroom?!" I cried.
"Well, there's Brent," she said. "He probably knows what to do."
And so began my journey as the mother of boys.
Yesterday we enjoyed a trip to Reptile Gardens. I don't mean anything sexist by this, I really don't, but you need only look around to notice the little (and big) boys are getting way more enjoyment out of identifying the objects in the snake bellies than the girls are.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I'm not convinced Baby D is going to be as cooperative. Granted he is only 8 months old and is in the rear facing car seat, but C set the bar pretty high for easy car travel. The journey across South Dakota took two hours longer than I thought it would. We had many stretching stops.
In desperation in the middle of the state, I grabbed the DVD player (a Christmas gift for C last year that has barely been used) and crammed it between the headrests.
"Did you bring any Blue's Clues?" I asked hopefully of C, knowing Blue is a little young for him these days.
"Yeah," he said handing me a movie clearly belonging to Cousin E.
"This is E's," I said. "How long have you had this?"
"It's okay," he said. "She can watch something else."
True enough but not really the point.
We are here at the very end of tourist season in Black Hills country. We stopped at Wall when it became clear we were going to need another break before the last 30 minutes of our journey. In my experience Wall Drug has been packed with tourists. We parked next to the front door, went inside and ate immediately -- something I have rarely done at Wall Drug because it takes so long. We had a terrific time sitting in the dining room alone, eating tasty fries and psyching ourselves up for the end of the trip. We are looking forward to a unprecedented quiet trip to Reptile Gardens today. We'll say hello to the snakes for you.
Monday, August 27, 2007
We are getting ready to pack up for the big cross state trip. What is it about getting ready to go on vacation? The work very nearly cancels out any fun that might be had. There's all that laundry and deciding what the weather will be like, making sure you have enough reading material, baby stuff, baby stuff, baby stuff.
Ah, but for me, it's all forgotten the moment the car starts -- the moment I turn onto the freeway and gaze at the Great Plain before me. All that open road. All those places to go. All those car snacks to eat and magazines to be read.
So little time.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
1. There wasn't much in there because we are going on vacation.
2. It needed cleaning . . . badly.
3. It didn't happen while we were on vacation so that we came home to a sticky, gooey, rotten mess. Hooray!!
It's still sort of a drag to juggle the milk in and out of three different coolers.
The repair man comes tomorrow. Bless their hearts our major appliance retailer only has one service man and he couldn't come until tomorrow. Last year, my fancy schmancy front loading washing machine had an identity crisis with its mother board and I got to know the repair guy pretty well. Believe me when the large pregnant woman starts to cry in the basement next to her appliance (like I did) things get done fast. So it will be a nice reunion for me and Repair Guy, I guess. Unfortunately, I am no longer pregnant and a non-pregnant woman bursting into tears next to her appliance is just sad in a pathetic way. I'll probably have to wait it out like everyone else.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I find myself at this line quite a bit with older son C who has autism spectrum disorder. Last spring his paraprofessional assistant and I stood dumbfounded at the school park not knowing what to say as we watched him stand in the center of the seesaw. It's a feat which requires balance, coordination, fearlessness and an abandoning of "the way things should be done" which plagues him every day.
It's that conundrum of parenthood that if we do things correctly, we will work ourselves out of a job by creating independent adults. It's a process of letting go which begins at childbirth. Who knew parenting would be so full of emotional negotiation?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I am starting month 9 of life at home with the new baby. I also have a 9-year-old and two stepkids ages 18 and 21. At least I know I am crazy.
It took me a long time to see staying at home full-time as a legitimate occupation. My mother and both my grandmothers worked. What does a stay at home mom do all day? Besides clean up spit up? I'm still not sure, but I'll tell you this . . . I sure am glad to be here.