Sunday, March 30, 2008

now what?

Over breakfast today, Blake said, "Momma, I like to go see Daddy today."

I'm...still chewing on this one. And weepy.

How long does the grief feel like this?

While I'm thrilled that he sees big Blake's absence as such, I'm also heartbroken by the sweetly innocent way he expresses his dissatisfaction with it. I know I'm doing it well or right or however you want to categorize it, but my heart still hurts.

Is this pain holding me back from moving on with a new fellow, or is God keeping me from more pain by not allowing me to rush it? Forgive me, but three damned years doesn't feel like a rush.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

potty training

Helpful tips from Aubyn. She's just a fountain of useful information.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


A well-trained child and a well-trained dog can have a number of things in common: being housebroken, abiding by boundaries, not eating things they're not supposed to...

My son has the additional training of saying, "Sick...yucky...gwoss!" any time he sees a Marshmallow Peep. Target is using them in their Easter decorations, and since I live there, we've seen them a lot. He has yet to taste one, because, like a good mother, I keep poisonous nasty things out of my child's mouth.

And though Easter is about much MUCH more than silly eggs or bunnies or Peeps, it would be selfish of me not to share this.

It would, however, be much more selfish not to share this: Christ died for the forgiveness of sin (mine and yours), that we may have life everlasting...and HE IS RISEN.

Praise God and hallelujah!

Friday, March 21, 2008

that's what he said

I was driving us home when Blake asked if I heard the puppy. I turned down the radio and listened, but couldn't hear any barking or anything. After a short bit, I hear the tiniest puppy-like whining, and I turn to Blake, feigning excitement, saying, "I hear it! I hear the puppy!"

He went from coy to shared excitement, saying, "Momma, it's a puppy in my mouth!" then pointing while opening wide, as though I would see a tiny terrier if I looked hard enough.

During this same drive, my car was full of work computers (we are in the midst of a move). A box of computer miscellany was sitting right next to him, and when he finally noticed it, he grabbed out a keyboard, set it on his lap, and announced "Oh. I need to check my email," as he began typing away.

As my friend Catherine has already noted, Blake and Tjabe were playing the other day. Tjabe had one of Blake's toy drills, which actually turns when you pull the trigger. Blake will drill anything and everything in the house with it. Tjabe was calmly wielding the drill behind Blake, who was leading him into the bedroom, when Blake, very concerned, turned to say, "Don't drill me, okay?"

Catherine and I fell over ourselves laughing, comparing it to the 2007 Quote of the Year: "Don't Taze me, bro!"

If anyone is keeping track, so far Blake will be the following when he grows up:
  • Race car driver
  • Lawnmower rider
  • Soccer player
  • Basketball player
  • Baseball player
  • Football player
  • A member of the orchestra (Grammie tricked him)
  • A fire fighter
  • Spiderman
Currently, he is a baby monkey. He addresses me as "Momma Monkey," to which I must reply, "Yes, Baby Monkey?"

Every time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Blake grabbed his kiki and the chenille blanket off the couch, then buried his face in them while trying to run away with them, shouting,
"I really do love it, oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah!"

I discovered TurboTax today. Wahoo! I didn't know where I was going to find the time or energy to get those suckers done (since Daddy Blake died, my taxes have gotten very complicated, but for mostly good reasons). I used to do taxes on my own (which blew Daddy Blake away, until I showed him how easy it was), but the complications have led me to H&R Block for the last two years, out of necessity.

Well, NOT TODAY friend! Compared to the green square guys, I paid a wee fraction, and I feel pretty good about the accuracy of it all. Now, for those of you rolling your eyes and saying, "Well, duh..."

Why didn't you tell me?

Now, off for a celebratory glass of wine and chocolate.

Monday, March 17, 2008

it's about time!

Long overdue picture update. From Blake's 3rd birthday to present...

Birthday boy breakfast: waffles with chokecherry syrup, raspberries, and milk.

I picked Blake up early from daycare, and we headed to the mall. He got chocolate milk, a special toy, and $6.00 on the rides. His favorite is always the Superman Train. It's faster than a speeding bullet, you know.

Wearing his birthday crown, playing with his John Deere tractors from Grampa.

Surprise visit from the Jordan family (Chase seen here, plus the corner of Ryan's head). They brought us birthday TacoTime and chocolate ice cream!

The weekend party - my folks came up for the afternoon party. We started with two friends at McDonald's in the tunnel and slide area. By the time we finished lunch, hordes of other small children descended, and we broke for naps. Everyone reconvened at our house, the Myers grandfolks and Schuylers came, and we had cake and a few presents. This is Mohawk Mason chilling with Papaw.

Birthday Mud Pie! The kid has great taste. Also, I redirected from "a blue one" to "one with ice cream." He loved it and had two helpings.

The only shot I got of all two mini-guests (forgot my camera for McDonald's). Ellese is on the left, Tjabe is on the right. They later regaled us with a parade from Blake's room to the kitchen and back. And forth. And back. Everyone was, of course, riding or pushing sort of wheeled contraption.

New birthday jam-jams from Grammie. I don't know what he's watching, but he's content.

"Why, yes. Yes, I AM Superman."

We got to babysit Tjabe the other day, and they were happy as could be reading quietly in Blake's room. I was also happy as could be, watching trashy movies and drinking in the living room. Excellent.

Blake, snuggled into snoozing Grampa. It was dear to see how he recognizes his grandfolks, and he was pretty attached to Grampa in particular. I don't think Steve minded. Much. Also, you can see my most recent haircut efforts. I was going for a mohawk, but ended up with a jarhead.

Cheerful, beautiful faces, making dinner. From left to right: Margie, Rachel, Erin.

Rachel and Erin were big hits, playing car wash with Blake as he dashed back and forth, his hair standing straight on end due to static.

Blake and Grammie G - he's got his eye on the waffle she's making for him in the hotel.

We have lots of trucks. Also, a very smoochable little man.


So, last Tuesday, I headed in for work, as I had four babysitters eager to take the helm. Blake was in MOST capable hands, and work needed a few more, so I planned to spend a handful of hours there, then mosey on to a coffee shop, where I could read or do a crossword in peace (yes, I'm THAT girl).

Five hours later, I stumbled from work, dazed by the fading sunlight, aware that I had promised food to the visiting family, and with only about an hour to whip the Swiss enchiladas together (while also stopping for some necessities at Costco & Target), I was frazzled. BPL had a seconds sale, and the order volume and neediness created by almost 300 pieces of gear at ten to forty percent of retail (not OFF retail: OF retail) was ridiculous. We were putting out fires right and left, and it was quite nice to know that I could stay as needed to take care of things (Ryan & Stephanie were on "vacation" - even though I know from a reliable source that Ryan worked almost as much on "vacation" as he does here.).

Tired, willing to just order a pizza, I opened the door to my condo to find three lovely ladies in the kitchen. The Swiss enchilada recipe that I'd left out on the counter was well on the way to completion. Steve and Blake were snuggled up on the couch, and I was handed a beer and shooed out of the cooking area.

Have I mentioned what a blessing this family is? HUGE BLESSING. Rachel later apologized (can you imagine?) if she'd stepped on my toes by taking over my kitchen. Ha! I told her that I'd fly her out to step on my toes some more, special. She can have my kitchen.

The enchiladas were done to a turn, I got a little downtime after a long day, and we enjoyed a big family meal around my two little tables. It was wonderful.


After rummaging through my garage for some clothing for Rachel (she didn't have any of big Blake's trademark button-up shirts), I came back into the house and sat on the floor with a small stack of very familiar men's XL tops, then promptly burst into tears. Erin, sitting next to me, grabbed me into a tight hug. Little Blake, on the other side of the coffee table, immediately dropped the John Deere he'd been playing with Grampa, and, with a dead serious expression, practically elbowed Grammie G and Rachel in his haste to get to me.

Flinging his arms around my neck, he asked, "Momma, you okay? You sad?"

"Yeah, sweetie. I just miss Daddy."

"Oh, I miss Daddy too. Daddy's in heaven with Jesus?" he pulled back, looking concerned. "You gonna be okay?"

"Yes, Momma's gonna be okay. Thank you, precious."

"You're welcome!" he said, turning back to his tractors. His work here was done.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

strong coffee

I've gotten four loads of laundry done, run the dishwasher twice, uploaded a bunch of stuff to, wrote half a dozen thank-you notes, filled my bird feeder, downloaded a bunch of pics (will edit, get printed, and post them tomorrow), cleaned out the fridge, packed up the 2T clothes and hung up the 3T, ironed two pieces of clothing (I NEVER IRON), stripped & remade the bed, etc. etc. etc.

Oh, and I have to be at church at 8:10 in the morning. I can't decide if I like to help with worship because it is a ministry, or because I like being the center of attention. Probably a bit of both, as ministry alone likely couldn't drag my sorry butt out of bed in the wee hours of a Sunday morning. Good thing God loves folks like me.

Friday, March 14, 2008


We're in auto-pilot, after three+ days with all my in-laws (When I say "all," I mean the immediate ones - if it was truly "all," I'd still be hung over, as I married into the two biggest families in Montana. Seriously.). The visit was good - Blake's getting old enough to be plenty of entertainment, though he also had some attitude with Rachel, big Blake's sister who has seen him least.

For some reason, this visit was harder to prepare for, and I'm not sure why. It could be due to seeing all the immediate family at the same time, which can be exhausting for me. It could be due to some random seasonal thing. It could be due to my heightened awareness that every time I see all the Morstads, I'm doing it without my very reason for knowing them. I love my in-laws - we were plunged into deeper relationship with Daddy Blake's death, which was a blessing in horrific circumstances - but my emotions are always mixed when seeing them. They love me back, praise my parenting, and are not overly unreasonable with the degree to which they want to spoil little Blake (well, at least they are no worse than my own parents). And yet there's a "but..."

It's hard to pinpoint, hard to acknowledge, and hard to talk about. Perhaps it just puts my aloneness in starker contrast to what it should be.

I do look forward to times when Erin & Rachel and I can have one on one time together. Every time I talk to them on the phone or in person, I get a sense of the potential in our relationships. I think we could be more than just in-laws - I truly think we could be good friends. I look forward to developing that kind of intimacy with them, though I know it will take time.

Until then, God's given us a lot of grace for one another. They look past my strictness with their grandson and nephew, and I look past their need to sneak him treats before dinner. God's blessed me with an amazing family, and I'm proud to call myself a Morstad. I just wish there were one more here...

So, tomorrow we are off to get ourselves some coffee or hot chocolate, and I'm going to start training little Blake on sorting laundry. Or sweeping. Or back rubs that don't involve him actually walking on me. That, or we'll plug in something mindless and cute and rot our brains in front of the TV. It all depends on how strong that coffee is.

Monday, March 10, 2008

eating crow

I actually know one very cool person who drives an Element. While I don't take it all back, I admit that there are exceptions to every rule.

Friday, March 7, 2008


When fingering the calf-hair strap of my new (from Vegas) leather purse, a friend asked if a cow had to die to make my accessory. I said, "You bet your ass it did."

She was kidding.

I was not.

I've been eye-balling a t-shirt that I find hysterical, but can't quite bring myself to purchase (first seen on dooce, my patron saint of blogging). It reads: Meat is murder. Tasty, tasty murder.

a matter of taste

Today, between my home and World Market (for the chocolate equivalent of heroin), I saw four Honda Elements. In the space of five minutes and about three miles, FOUR examples of overly ugly, plain, boxy design.

There can be only one of two explanations:
  1. The owners are blind (which brings a whole new subset of problems to mind).
  2. They were giving them away somewhere. Probably at a home improvement store after they set up the new display refrigerators.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


When calculating how long Kellie and I have known each other, we are somewhat aghast at the number of years.
K: "'I haven't seen that person in ten years...' - who says that?!"
A, sighing: "I don't know."


I put a gem on a comb given to me by a friend (that's another story), and quickly wiped the Super-Glue off my tweezers, as I have inadvertently glued things like that together before. I mention this to my friend Kellie, who promptly concurs. "There were weeks I had to say, "Well, I guess I'm not going to snap for a while.'"