Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things I Learned Today

I do NOT like it when a four year old says to me, "You're not the boss of me." Ummm, yes, I am indeed the boss of you. Now get in time out and stop hitting your classmates.

No matter how many times you tell 3 and 4 year old boys to stay out of the puddles, they will still walk right through the middle of every puddle on the playground.

In fact, if they are standing in the middle of a puddle and you tell them to get out of it, they will just stare at you like they've never heard the English language before. Puddle? What is this "puddle" you speak of?

3 jackets does not = 1 coat. The mom who sends her 3 year old to school in 3 spring jackets instead of 1 winter coat does not have to put 10 coats on preschoolers 4 times a day. Three jackets means 4 extra sleeves to turn right side out and 2 extra zippers per recess. And, by the way, wearing three jackets doesn't mean your child doesn't need gloves. Unless he wears one jacket and wraps the other two around his cold, pink hands.

Avatar totally copied Ferngully. The kids watched Ferngully today at rest time and I was surprised at the similarities. Human male changes into native forest inhabitant. Female rescues him from local fauna. Bad guys in bulldozers. Talking trees. Glowing flora. Basically the only difference is that in Ferngully they have wings instead of tails.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blessed Sunday

Today I was blessed to be able to take a nap with Josh. It's been a long, long time since he's taken a nap with me. I remember like it was yesterday the days I would lay on my side on my bed and tuck him under my arm next to me. I remember the feel of his tiny, newborn body and the smell of his sweet head. And the joy and contentment of being a new mom. Today he wasn't tucked under my arm. He can almost tuck me under his. And he doesn't smell the same. But that mom feeling? It was the same. Maybe even more so.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I am surviving without a microwave. It's tricky to cook without an oven or a microwave, but we've had hot meals every night thanks to the crock pot, deep fryer, and stove top.

Thursday I had to run into Target and took Julianna to the toy department. I was intending to buy her one of those little Furreal puppies that the girls at school have and she loves so much. She picked one out but then when we got to the My Little Pony aisle she wanted a pony instead. She chose a purple one and gladly gave back the puppy. Whatever she wanted was fine with me. Besides, the pony was half the price of the puppy. When we got home, she took her pony in to show her daddy. "Daddy, look at my birthday present," she said. (Umm...it's not your birthday, little girl.) He looked at the pony and said, "Oh, is it a My Little Pony?" "No," she replied, "it's MINE."

One morning on the way to school, Josh was helping Adam study for his spelling test. One of his words was miraculous, but Josh pronounced it miracle-iss. Adam said, "It's mirAculous. Not like 'Jesus was a miraclist.'" So like Adam.

Speaking of driving to school, we saw moose three mornings this week. Three one day and one each of the other two. What a place we live in!

I learned this week that you are only supposed to put one space between a period and the next sentence. What?!?! That is not what I learned in high school typing! And I totally just had to backspace once after that exclamation point.

I bought a new cup this week. I love it. It's the Aladdin To Go Tumbler. Just what I've been looking for. It's hard plastic with a lid and straw. And it has two layers so it doesn't sweat all over my desk. It's perfect for ice water. And it was clearanced at Target! It is this one.

I've discovered yet more joys to having a daughter this week. Among them are playing with girly toys like dolls and ponies and Littlest Pet Shops. (Which I would have totally loved when I was little. And kinda love now.) And buying pink and/or sparkly things. And watching princess movies.

I've even been looking for a Littlest Pet Shop horse for my...ummm, I mean Julianna's, collection.
Have a great Saturday! I'm off to watch Snow White with my daughter.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Show and Tell

This is my puppy and she's very special to me and her name is Heartflower and I like her a lot and she's a girl and she's very special and I got her at my friend's birthday party and he was turning one.

These are my puppies that I got for my birthday from my friend that I haven't saw for a long, long time. They're named Hailey and Puppy and this one is a girl and this one is a boy and they can do this. ("This" is to sit on her head.) Actually this one is named.............hmmm.............ummm..............Parley. And it's a girl, they're both girls, and I like them a lot and they're so cute.

This is my ds with a kitty game and I also have Walk Around the World and it's special and the Dora one is special but not that special--E. do you have a ds? Okay I'll give the Dora one to you.--and I just know that's its fair to share and I just thought that this one would maybe be a really good one and also it's a really good game and--Z. is really funny--and I went with my aunt and this is my show and tell and she bought that ds game for me and also I really wanted a xbox but everyone voted on Triple Play and I really like games but Triple Play was funner and it was a Christmas present from my aunt and--I have to say that Z. is so funny--and I just love it so much and it was just...and I got another pillow pet and its name is Molly and I have the same two pillow pets as Simone and Molly is my ladybug pillow pet and that's it.

These are my Littlest Pet Shops. I really like them and they are very special to me and I ordered this one and I got this one and I found this one and they're very special to me and they're very special to me and they're all girls and this one is Tigerlily and this one is Raina and this one is Squeaky and this one has rainbows around it and clouds and this one comes with a bubble head and it has a little cute tail like Z.'s hamster and her tail is very special and this one is very, very special to me and she has very sharp teeth and she has like little hairs coming out and a really wiggly tail and my hamster haves really tiny ears and one tooth and I really like it and that's it.

These are my Pet Shops and I have a kitten and I have my seal and there's so much accessories. I have a lot of accessories and Z. wants to trade and they are really special to me and this is something that goes on the head and then she can sing and this is the shower that A. plays with and the pet shops sing in it and this is the mirror and I bend it like this so it's like a sit down mirror and this is the hanger for all the things and this is a flower and its wooden kinda and this is a little hair brush and this is the blanket and I sometimes put it on my nose like I did with my sticker and it's really special to me and this is my favoritest seal and these two are best friends and they love each other and they are really nice and they won't bite--they're just toys--and I pretend they're real but they're just toys and the tiger comes up and says...nothing. And they are really special and they're so cute and they are really best friends and they like me so much...and I love A. the most. (A. is the only boy in class.)

This is my Zhu Zhu and it's very special and his name is Squeaky because he squeaks a lot and he's very special and I got it for Christmas and I always sleep with him and that's it.

This is my Barbie and I love her very much and my mom buyed it for me and she can sing and I always sleep with her.

Bonus show and tell: A.'s mom brought in their new puppy. The second most adorable chocolate lab puppy I've ever seen! The girls in class were oohing and aahing over her when Z. said, "She's so cute I could just marry her!" A. replied, "You can't marry her...you're a girl and she's a girl." No mention of the human/puppy issue.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday WORD

2 Timothy 1:7 (from various versions)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

God's Spirit doesn't make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control.

God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Heaters and ovens and microwaves, Oh My

A week and a half ago, one of the heaters in the living room stopped working. Then last Wednesday, the element in my oven went out halfway through cooking a pizza. Then Sunday night my microwave quit. No big deal about the heater. The working one keeps us warm. And the oven? Besides pizza what do I need it for? But the microwave? How did our grandmothers survive without one? So early Monday morning I called Sears to see what to do about it. Luckily we bought the extended warranty and it's still covered. So I was given my agreement number and told to take it to our nearest Sears store for a replacement. Cool. I can do that. So I took it to Sears, waited for a while to be helped, waited for another while for the girl to figure out what was going on, waited another while when she called the warranty place, and was then told that my microwave had to be sent away to see if it could be fixed or if it should be replaced depending on the cost effectiveness of the repair. Wait a minute. Sent away? Repaired? So I sighed a little, didn't say what I was thinking, and took my broken microwave to receiving to schedule a repair. And I waited. The guy finally came out and told me that they had to send it to Seattle and that they'd let me know the verdict. It should be back by February 3rd. "So how am I supposed to cook popcorn for the next 2 and a half weeks," I asked. He didn't think that was nearly as funny as I did. Maybe he thought I was serious. He probably gets yelled at a lot. But not having a microwave for 2 weeks? If that's the worst thing that happens to me this week I'll be happy. And if they do end up sending it back from Seattle, do you think I could get them to fill it with Ivar's fish and chips? That would make me double happy.

So in over thinking (like I usually do) this whole appliance failure thing, I think I've learned a lesson. I've been a little angry at God lately and let him know it. Maybe he's showing me, somehow, that I should let it go. Give it to him. He takes such good care of me. And he loves me. And everything will be okay if I just wait. Just like I have to wait for my tea water to heat up in a kettle on the stove.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Someday Too

Someday I will wake up to an alarm clock instead of a sweet little voice saying, "Mommy. Hey, mommy!" Someday I will go to the bathroom and look for little fingers to peek under the door and not see them. Someday I will sit on the couch and be cold because I will not have a kid or two or three sitting next to me or on my lap. Someday I will sit on that same couch with no one to tell me how they don't want to get up because it's so comfortable using me as a pillow. Someday I will watch tv and miss the best parts because no one will say, "Mom, did you see that?! Rewind! Rewind!" Someday I will go to bed without having read picture books, sang songs, tucked anyone in, or laid next to snuggly little bodies. Someday it will be too clean and too quiet. Someday. But not today.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Someday my house will be clean and stay that way for longer than 2 1/2 minutes. Someday I will only have to worry about if I need to go potty. Someday I will cut apple slices and peel oranges and eat them myself. Someday I will be able to watch movies that are not animated. Someday I will open the pantry and not have fruit snacks and granola bars and Lucky Charms fall on me. Someday I will walk through the living room and not have to step over Legos and Pokemon cards and plastic horses and sippy cups. Someday I will have time to read something other than Biscuit's New Friend and Dora's Birthday Surprise. Someday I will pour a glass of Diet Coke and not have to hide it or share it. Someday. But not today.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

10 Things Thursday

10 great things about snow days.

1. Snow days are like getting a bonus. You don't know they're coming so it makes them that much sweeter.
2. Nothing is planned. You were supposed to be at school, so nothing else is scheduled. Nowhere to be. Nothing to do.
3. It's the perfect excuse to stay in the house all day.
4. And a perfect day to stay in pajamas all day. (Not like I need a snow day for that, though.)
5. Lots of free time to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of chai latte and a good book.
6. All day long to play with and love on the cutest little 2 year old in the whole world.
7. Time to catch up on all those hours of dvred shows with the family.
8. Time to catch up on a few chores that tend to get missed in real life.
9. Not having to drive on treacherous roads.
10. A nap. A long, sweet nap.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Every time some tragic event happens like the one in Tucson last week, it makes me sad. So sad. Not only for those who lost their lives or are fighting for them at this very second. Not only for the mommies and daddies who are grieving lost children. Not only for those who will never again be able to hug the someone they love most in the world. But sad, too, for the senselessness of it all. I've thought to myself in times like these, "What could possibly possess someone to do such a thing?" And that's just it. They are possessed. Possessed by demons either real (scary, I know) or in their heads.

During the discussions about this latest tragedy in Tucson, the subject of mental illness has come up. The thing about mental illness is if you've never experienced it, you can't comprehend it. And even if you've been through it with a loved one but haven't lived it yourself, you can't fully understand. The words "mental illness" sound so scary. That's how they describe those people in institutions or wandering the streets muttering to themselves. Not someone like me. A wife and mom and daughter and sister and teacher and Christian. How could I have suffered from "mental illness?" But if you look at the definition of mental illness you find this:

any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma; any of various psychiatric disorders or diseases, usually characterized by impairment of thought, mood, or behavior.

Abnormal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning? Check. Environmental factors? Check. Impairment of thought, mood or behavior? Check. And yes, it was scary. Scary in my head. Scary to deal with the symptoms. Scary to see how it affected those in my life. Scary to admit the problem. Scary for those going through it with me. Just scary. Throughout my troubles I never ever in a million years thought of hurting anyone else. But I am fully aware that my brain was not working the way it should. I had other thoughts that were not "normal" and know all too well that when you are completely out of control of your thinking, anything can happen. Does being mentally ill mean you aren't held responsible for your behavior? No. Does it mean you can do whatever you want without consequences? Certainly not. But really, I can't help but feel sympathy for anyone who suffers with mental illness, either temporary and curable, or chronic and harder to control.

The senseless part of it is that there is help. It's just that it's so hard to recognize and then admit that there's a problem that you need help with. And so often I think that those around someone who needs help are afraid to say anything. "I think you have a mental illness." Yikes. I don't want to be the one to say that to someone. I know there are other ways to say it. More loving ways. More helpful ways. And I hope that all those who know someone suffering with mental illness will have the courage, and the kindness, to help them in whatever way they can.

I am grateful every day, every single day, that I'm better. My struggles with anxiety, panic disorder, and depression were the hardest days of my life. And surely ones I never want to repeat. But I am also grateful for the hard won understanding for those who also struggle in this way. I don't claim to know anything beyond what I lived. But what I lived gives me a tiny glimpse into the minds of those with mental illness. I no longer judge. I no longer shake my head in disbelief. I'm just sad. Sad for them, those who love them, and those who are forever changed because of them. And I hope and pray that someday anyone who suffers in this way can get help without shame or fear...or insurance.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lost and Found

Have you ever wondered what babies dream about? I have. But how could Julianna, at 2 1/2 years old possibly understand, let along describe, her dreams? But this morning, she did just that. When I went in to get her out of bed, she told me that she tried to cover her "Huggy Buggy" (a stuffed purple butterfly) with her pink blanket but it was lost outside her crib.* But that she then found it and put it back in her bed and covered it up. It took me a minute to realize that she was telling me about something she dreamed. (She can't get out of her crib and even if somehow she did, she couldn't get back in. She's tried.) It was so matter of fact, the way she said it. Her little brain doesn't know real from dreams. To her, Huggy Buggy was lost and then found. Oh, to have baby dreams. So simple and harmless. Meaning nothing more than a lost toy. Not like the dream I had last night about a Greek god-like giant with a whip turning everything around me to stone. Weird. I know. And I don't even want to know what it means. It can't be good.

*Yes, my daughter still sleeps in a crib even though she's old enough to be in her big girl bed. I know it's time, but I think I'm fighting with the idea of my last baby turning into a big girl. Maybe soon she'll move into her lovely, handmade big girl bed. Maybe not.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

10 Things Thursday

10 fines for silly crimes. (From MSN.com.)

Anyone who's gotten a traffic ticket knows how frustrating it can be. But considering the $290,000 speeding ticket issued in January 2010 in Switzerland, where traffic fines are calculated based on the offender's wealth, you might consider yourself lucky. Read on for some of the silliest reasons people have gotten tickets.

1. Swedish law says the court can disapprove of names that aren't suitable for "some obvious reason." In 1996, a couple was fined 5,000 kronor (about $755 today), for not having named their five-year-old son. They named him Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (pronounced "Albin") in protest. The court rejected the name and upheld the fine.

2. Everyone knows drinking and driving is a huge no-no, but what about doing your hair while stuck in traffic? In England, it's a good way to have a brush with the law. Stephen Lynch of Hertfordshire was slapped with a £30 ticket (about $48 today) after a cop claimed he was grooming his mane for at least 20 to 30 seconds without focusing on the road.

3. Daniel Horne was walking home when a police car drove onto the pavement and crushed his foot in Beddau, South Wales. After the cops took him to the hospital, Horne was issued an £80 fine (about $127 today), for denting said vehicle in the collision.

4. In England, driver Michael Mancini was hit with a £60 fine (about $95 today) for grabbing a tissue while at the wheel. The policeman (nicknamed "PC Shiny Buttons" due to his overzealous approach to the job) claimed Mancini was not in proper control of his vehicle while he blew his nose. “I thought they were joking,” the driver has said of the ridiculous incident.

5. Looks like social media has gotten the better of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. The player was fined $25,000 by the NFL for posting updates to his Twitter account during the team's 2010 preseason game versus Philadelphia. (The league bans social media on game days from 90 minutes before kickoff until after postgame interviews.)

6. In 2007, a six-year-old girl faced a $300 fine in Brooklyn, New York, for decorating the sidewalk in front of her home with chalk drawings. Her neighbors reported the so-called vandalism, and the girl's parents received a letter from the Department of Sanitation warning them to remove the graffiti from their property.

7. After Vandana Gurjar filed for divorce from her husband, a court in central Madhya Pradesh, India, slapped her with a sizable fine — 200,000 rupees (about $4,524 today) — for saying her ex was impotent. Gurjar's husband felt the accusation "rendered him unmarriageable and sullied his prestige," so in retaliation the shamed fellow sued her for defaming his manhood.

8. If you're visiting Singapore, where cleanliness is maintained by famously strict laws, be sure to double-check the toilet before you exit the bathroom. Failure to flush can leave you saddled with a $150 fine.

9. In what his neighbors have called "Cabbagegate," Steve Miller of Clarkson, Georgia, was fined $5,200 for growing too many vegetables in his backyard. The farmer had been growing veggies and selling them at local markets for 15 years, but the police fined him because it's illegal to grow that much food where he lives.

10. Keep your amore under wraps if you find yourself motoring around Eboli, Italy. This particular town in the notably passionate nation has outlawed kissing in cars, and violators face a jaw-dropping €500 fine (about $699 today).

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Today is I's birthday. She is turning 6. It's very exciting when you're turning 6. And there's cupcakes. Always cupcakes. With tons of frosting and sprinkles and some kind of little plastic thing on the top. I's little plastic thing is a balloon that says Happy Birthday. And today looks much like all the other birthday celebrations in our kindergarten class. Except that I. isn't your average kindergartner. As soon as she walked in this morning, she looked at me and said expectantly, "Happy?....." "Oh, yeah," I replied, "Happy birthday!" From then on she did that to all of her classmates and a few of the teachers. It was so funny. And so like her. So happy birthday, I., and many, many more.

And by the way, I'm totally doing that same thing on my birthday.

Monday, January 03, 2011

First Day Back

I just have to say that I made it through the first day back to school after Christmas vacation. I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to change out of my pjs. I didn't want to drive the icy roads. I didn't want to go over blend ladders again. I didn't want to. But I did. And I'll do it all over tomorrow. And I might not want to, but I'll be glad I can.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Last night as I lay in bed at 1ish,* I felt for the first time in years, actually excited for the beginning of a new year. After a few years of more downs than ups, I'm ready for a fresh start, one way or another. I'm looking forward to a year of changes for the better.** So I fell asleep with a smile on my face and hope in my heart.

Then at 4:30 Jules woke up coughing and wanted to snuggle so I did what all mommies do, I got up and got her out of bed and headed to the couch for a few minutes of comfort. As I walked down the hall I noticed that the dogs, who were in because of the freezing temperatures, had gotten one of Julianna's toys and I knew that if Piper had a chance, she'd chew it up. So I sat Jules down on the couch and walked into the kitchen to move the toy out of reach. Just as I went to kick the toy away from the puppy, I realized that I was standing in something wet...at that same moment my feet slipped out from under me and I fell with a hard thud onto the kitchen floor. Into a puddle of...wait for it...puppy pee.

All I can say is, if the beginning of my new year is any indication of how the rest of the year will go, I'll just be in my room until 2012. Really, falling in a puddle of pee can't be a good sign.

*I was up past midnight mostly because we were watching movies. Avatar, which I liked a lot more than I expected. Maybe liked it even enough to buy it for our collection. And to see the next one at the theater. And The A Team, which I'm not ashamed to admit, I loved. Bradley Cooper is a really good Face.

**Please pray for a new job possibility that Arrty has right now. We really, really, really want this job. Please pray. And then pray again. Thanks.