Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the upside of hail

Blake and I were outside in the early evening, made grey by the menacing, inky clouds looming low. He was on his trike, circling our little square of lawn area (poor kid needs a yard to play in, but that is another matter), and it very abruptly began to hail.

The hailstones started quite small and intermittent, but I immediately dropped what I was working on and called Blake to come back RIGHT NOW! He ignored me for a moment, I hollered louder, then he turned his trike and leaned over to pick up a few hailstones and eat them.

I ran over to him, grabbed the trike handle bars and pulled him VERY rapidly towards the garage. At first he squalled at the rapidly turning pedals, saying "Don't DO that Momma!" Within mere seconds of me getting to him, the hailstones doubled in size and just pelted us. I was getting stung on the back and arm, and Blake was shrieking in pain and fear as they nailed his head and hands. We made it quickly to the garage, and I held him until he calmed down. I explained that though he had disobeyed me by not coming "all the way, right away, and with a happy heart," his discipline wouldn't be administered by me - the painful hail was a built-in lesson.

We watched the hail from the garage door for a bit, and it came down with a fury that was kind of alarming. We made it back to the house (I shielded his body with my own), then pulled a chair up to the window for a weather lesson.

I snuggled his little cold arms close, opened the window, and we watched the hail come down. We talked about what hail hurts (us, crops at Grampa Steve's, trees, plants, etc.), and what it is (very hard, big snow, or very frozen, round rain). When lightning cracked, we waited in hushed silence for the "funder." It was pleasant to sit and enjoy a storm (I love them, particularly from the warmth of my home) with my little sponge of a kiddo.

When it was bedtime, he was reluctant to leave the window until I told him he could have the window open in his bedroom. He was thrilled: "I can have my window open and then I can hear the sounds!"

After the first roll of thunder without me in the room, I heard him clearly holler, "MOM? I NEED YOU TO CLOSE THE WINDOW BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE SOUNDS. They are too scary for me."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

working on my cardio

In the last few days, I've been convicted of the following:
  • I'm overbearing and bossy.
  • I have no discipline when it comes to eating, exercising, or sleeping.
  • I'm so self-involved that I might as well live in my navel.
  • I have a potty mouth...and a three-year-old. Talk about an explosive situation.
  • I talk far more than I listen.
  • I err on the side of judgment, not love.
  • I think I'm always right (well, a lot of times, I am...I can't help that!).
  • I'm getting overly impatient/overwhelmed by my son, leading to yelling in order to get his attention. I have not yet figured out how to quietly get the attention of hurricane force gale whipping through my life.
  • I love being the center of attention to a degree that is not winsome or charming.
  • I can wallow in self-pity until my fingers are all prune-y (or, as my son would say, "crusty").
Such revelations are not comfortable. In fact, I awkwardly squirmed under some praise lavishly given this weekend, because I was all too aware of the above. I'm frustrated by my self-idolatry and how small and petty it is. I'm confused as to which parts are sin and which are just an ebullient personality. When others gently (and rightly) point out little things that I could do differently, I'm embarrassed and ashamed far more than is appropriate (more of the self-involvement: overly focused on myself). So I'm inviting others to (gently now!) point out such things.

These are the Words I am working on for wisdom and discipline:
  • When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
  • Lord, I know that You are great - greater than all gods. You do whatever pleases You, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Although You are sovereign and You do what You please, You are righteous in all Your ways and loving toward all You have made. from Psalms 135:4 and 145:17
  • Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. Romans 14:13
I'm also praying for rest. My insomnia does not help any of the above. Blake telling me how much he misses his Daddy doesn't help much either. Apparently, his preschool focuses on family a lot (which is great!), family roles, etc. The downside is that he has way more Daddy questions, and neither the questions nor my answers seem to make much sense to him. The upside is that him saying, "I miss Daddy so much" doesn't always bring me to tears...I'm getting to used to it.

What a weird world is mine.

Monday, May 26, 2008

gender issues

Blake got a sock monkey from Peter's mother, Becky. It's blue stripes and adorable...and he named it "Fraggle," with Reese's help. He's added it to his small menagerie of bedtime animals, including a Pooh bear, a dog, and a snowman...but Fraggle gets to travel with us too, in the car. It's all very special!

Me: "What's your monkey's name again?"
B: "Um, Fraggle. I really do love him so much."
Me: "Is it a boy or a girl?"
B: "I love Fraggle."
Me: "Is it a boy or a girl?"
B: "Momma, that's silly. He's not a boy or a girl. He's an ANIMAL."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

because there's nothing like unattainable aspirations

I have a crush on Cary Grant, the early years.


Friday, May 23, 2008


"Mmm, I so cold. Can I stand on the warmy place?...I really love this - it's so soft."

"Warmy place" is his name for the heat vent in his room.

Leaving the garage:
"We got to say good-bye to Diego. Diego lives in the garage. BYE DIEGO!" while waving.

Driving down the street:
"Diego is on the sidewalk! He's riding his skateboard next to the car...HI DIEGO!"

Looking out the window:
"It's a beefull day."

Thursday, May 22, 2008


"Cheese is happening to me because I can eat it and because it's so yummy. And also I ride motorcycles."

Friday, May 16, 2008

my life so far

God gave me courage today. I think it blessed a friend, which makes me doubly grateful.
Bozeman (and other areas of MT) are under a flood warning. Of all the crazy things...apparently the super high temps (in the 80s today!) after a long, wet, snowy spell (long = six months) leads to rapid snowmelt, excessive runoff, and potential flooding. On the up side, I get to finally put pretty flowers in all my pots tomorrow. At least I'm keeping things in perspective.
My Mothers Day included writing little notes to a few of the mothers I know and love, because I like to extend the mother love well into the week. As I told them, I think of it as "thoughtful," not "forgetful." We were in Billings to visit my dear friends and their wee preemie twin boys at St. V's. As I was getting ready for church, I heard a knock on the bathroom door....

B: "Momma? Mom?"

A: "Yes Blake?"

B: "Um, Mom?"

A: "YES Blake?" (we do this A LOT at home...he calls me over and over and over but never has anything to say)

B: "Well, can you open the door?"

I open the door to find him grinning from ear to ear, my mother behind him, helping him to hold the tray with flowers, card, coffee, and a few pancakes (artfully arranged with a slivered strawberry). "Happy Mother's Day!" he crowed, proud as could be. I oohed and ahhed, admired the card, and thanked him for my breakfast with a wink at Grammie. His expression turned from gleeful to annoyed..."No, Mom," pointing to the pancakes, "that's mine."
Blake's taken to calling me "Mom" more often than "Momma." I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure if I like it. It makes him sound like he's all grown up and ready to start shaving, disagreeing with everything I say, and moving to college in the fall. I don't think I'm ready for that...unless he's still not potty-trained, in which case I will pack all his bags.
I took a friend's advice and am giving Pull-Ups a try (as opposed to diapers). Apparently, it's supposed to be easier to change them, since you can do it all while they are standing up. Well, maybe it's easier when the kid is actually TRYING to be potty-trained. When they are not, there is nothing easier about changing a diaper while the child is standing. In fact, it can be a whole lot messier, and in all the icky ways that make me glad I own Clorox products. Also, diapers have little Velcro sides that you can then wrap the offending mess up in tightly...Pull-Ups DO NOT. I get everything all contained...and there's no way to keep it contained! Yelling "Stay!" at it didn't work, I can tell you that much.
Blake's started preschool, which he loves, and about which I'm ambivalent. I'm glad he likes it, but the barely controlled chaos (as I see it) has me a bit perturbed - not enough to pull him out, but enough to wonder if they could find my phone number if need be. However, in the two weeks he's gone, he's had lots more questions about daddies and brothers (apparently no interest in sisters). He's called a friend from church "brother's dad" or just "dad," which was just awkward for me and for poor John, who was surely simply feeling sympathetic for me and my confused kiddo...but it's still awkward. Another friend, when Blake was playing with his children, became "other dad." Just yesterday, he told me that Papaw was his dad.

A: "No, honey, Papaw's MY dad. Your dad is Daddy Blake, he loves you VERY much, but he's in heaven with Jesus, and we don't get to see him now."

B: "No, I BLAKE."

A: "Yes, you're Blake, but I named you 'Blake' after your daddy. Daddy's name is Blake too!"

B: "Oh, but my daddy died."

And so on. He gets it, but he doesn't get it. Our dear friend, Ellese, has apparently been asking more questions about it - having a daddy, she's trying to wrap her head around the idea of NOT having a daddy. She's asked Keli (her mom & my friend) why Blake's daddy wanted to die in the avalanche. Keli explained that one, and Ellese asked if Keli and Zach had known Blake's daddy.

K: "Yes, we knew Blake's daddy, and we loved him. He was our good friend. You met him too, when you were very little. Blake's daddy even held you when you were a baby!"

E: "Where was Blake when his daddy died?"

K: "Blake was still in his mommy's tummy."

E: "Oh...that was a really sad time, wasn't it?"

The discernment of a three and a half-year-old takes my breath away. I'm puzzled at how to better explain this to my little buddy...but maybe it's better that he doesn't really get it. By the time he's old enough for it to all sink in, maybe he'll be better equipped to handle any grief he has to bear because of it. Like another friend shared, this isn't my story. It's his. While it just about kills me that he has a need I cannot fill or even do much about, I can't micro-manage everything that comes his way, prevent every hurt...and I especially cannot shield him from the minefield that I sense just on the horizon.

But God help me, I will try.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

These made me giggle today. I'm a bit loopy due to lack of sleep and a building sinus infection, but maybe they will tickle your funny bone too?

I want to do this, because I totally have room for a monkey.

Also, this rang true.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

the cute stuff

Blake pulled my Sunday church bulletin out of the trash (that's right, no three-ring binder for me - I toss 'em), opened it, and started singing Jesus Loves Me, pretending to read the words.
When talking to my mom on the phone recently, Blake proceeded to prattle on for so long that I broke in and asked for the phone back. He looked at me and paused long enough to say, "No, it's not ok to interrupt," then kept talking. After completely falling apart at hearing my own words sternly repeated to me by a tiny little dictator, I sat on the couch and tried to get his attention without interrupting. I poked him in the belly to make him laugh, but he just told me, in the midst of a story to Grammie, "Don't push my button."

He then walked over to the other side of the room and told Grammie I was being naughty, and that he had to go where I couldn't reach him. The kid talked for over five minutes, and when you can't really understand what's being said to you, five minutes of listening is an eternity.
My son is afraid of Band-Aids. I don't know why, though when asked (in an accusing tone) "Why?" by my mother, I couldn't resist telling her that I had wrapped one around his penis and pulled it off. She didn't think that was as funny as I did.

So, after Grammie gave him a box of Spider-Man Band-Aids to try to overcome the fear, he proceeded to use them as stickers.
Pretty cool. However, he's also gotten a number of scratches, slivers, etc. on his hands lately. His fear of Band-Aids having not abated, we pulled out a trick I used when putting salve on his badly chapped feet. I would slather cream or salve on his excema, which invariably stung badly. The first time it happened, I refused to wipe it off, but wanted to ease the I told him I'd put on a "sock Band-Aid." Slipping socks on both feet put pressure on the chap, took the sting off, and made him happy.

Well, now he wears them on his hands. To bed. All night. Walking into his room for the last cover check before I go to bed and seeing a tiny sock-covered hand up next to his face is quite possibly the dearest thing ever. Also, it keeps the Neosporin from getting transferred from the places it's needed, so we're all good.

Oh, and I use clean socks.


Oh yeah, and I'm not that good at keeping secrets...but I only told TWO PEOPLE. Is that so bad?


Last night, Blake used all the remotes as planes. He told me they were very good, yeah, and that he liked them. I found the first two really easily - to the radio and the DVD player - but couldn't find the TV remote.

I couldn't find it, couldn't find it - searched the flat surfaces, searched the toy boxes, told Blake it was a BIG DEAL that I couldn't find the remote, asked for his help...he was largely useless, but he did want me to change the channel.

Despondent at a future of schlepping to and from the television to change a channel - and no mute! - I threw myself onto the floor in a state of extreme distress.

I found the remote tucked JUST under the couch. Singing and dancing ensued.
I've been telling Blake stories at bedtime and other times, stories including dragons, trains, and a heroic knight in shining armor with blond hair and blue eyes. He always wins.

I throw in random stories of Daddy and Momma, and I try to make them interesting to a three-year-old. Tonight, after Blake the knight flicked the dragon on the nose and saved the day, Blake the insomniac played with me a little. I asked if I could have a kiss and a hug, and he emphatically shook his head no. I stood up and said, "Ok," and Blake quickly sat up and said, "No, Momma, I just need a kiss because we can't disobey God."

Yes, that's in fact what I was trying to teach you...kind of.