Friday, November 28, 2008

that's what he said

My dad: "Looks like you two are finally bonding."

I was vacuuming. Rob was grinding coffee.
After I showed him my freshly painted lips...
B: "Maybe when I really big, I can have hot lips too."
A: "Not if I have anything to say about it. I'll paint your toenails first."
B: "Okay!"
Grammie G: "I think I'm going to be a dandelion."
B: "I'm going to be a geek."
After inadvertently taking Rob to his house...
Matt: "Oops. I guess you want to go home to your wife?"
R: "Ummm... yes?"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving... don't put that in your mouth

First off, happy Thanksgiving. I'm particularly grateful for my family and friends, the abundance of the Lord, and the way that God keeps me on my toes by continually throwing me curve balls.

Ok, I might not be exactly grateful for that last bit. But Blake has been a super-sweetie the last two days, and he is SO PLEASANT to be around when he's behaving and obedient and has a good attitude. We've been having a great time with lots of hugs and kisses. Rob has even been included, whether he likes it or not!

The latest curve ball (the one I'll divulge to the internet, anyway) is the news I got yesterday. Just in time for the holidays, yessir. I had some blood work done last week, and the results came back. The lab was testing for food sensitivity - as in, which foods induce my body to produce IgG antibodies? These are not allergies, but sensitivities, and the doctor guessed that some of my symptoms are due to unknown sensitivity to foods that I eat at least regularly, and that cutting them from my diet could help with the acne I've been experiencing, as well as some of my back pain and general fatigue (among other things). I was willing to give it a go, since I saw a different doctor months ago to try to get the same test done. He sent me to a dermatologist.

After sitting down with me, the doctor (Amy) said she'd never seen a workup like mine. This, naturally, reassured me to no end. She showed me the results and sat back.

Now, there are four levels of response: None, Very Low, Low, Moderate, and High. Her advice is usually to give up all foods that elicit anything above "None" for three months to see how your body feels, then gradually and slowly add back some of the "Very Low" to "Low" foods to see what happens and how you feel. She cannot recommend this for me, because I would have exactly nothing to eat. She sympathetically advised me to start with the "Highs" (because they are "banned for life" kinds of foods) and possibly the "Moderates," but said it was completely up to me.

Here's how it broke down and broke my heart:
High Reaction
  • Artichoke (I LOVE artichoke!)
  • Apple
  • Cabbage
  • Celery (WHAT? This is just water in green form!)
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce (Again with the green water.)
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Tuna (I only eat it in sushi, but it's all I like for sushi.)
  • Pork
Moderate Reaction
  • Grape
  • Papaya
  • Pear
  • Avocado (This will never work.)
  • Beets (Well, I'll give these up. If I HAVE to.)
  • Green Pepper
  • Onion
  • Spinach (Seriously, no more salads for me.)
  • Sardine (See beets, above.)
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken (See beef, above.)
  • Turkey (See beef, above.)
  • Corn
  • Pecan
  • Soy
  • Cashew
  • Millet
  • Watermelon (Ok, so this time the water's pink, but STILL.)
I won't get into all the stuff I still CAN eat, just because those are slightly less interesting lists (rye?). And technically, I shouldn't be eating them either. Amy said she's never seen someone react to EVERYTHING, and her guess is that because I eat the bold stuff very regularly, my body has enough inflammation to react to any little thing. Now I'm wondering what it would be like to drop all the High/Moderates and see what my blood work came back with after three months.

I took some consolation in the fact that the foods I was most fearful of having to give up (milk, bread, beer, coffee, grains, cheese) got off easy with Very Low/Low ratings. And generally, I already notice that eating some of the above foods makes my mouth hurt... but I just thought it was due to acidity or something. My biggest problem is my protein options: I have none. Looks like scrambled egg whites and lamb stew for Addie from here on out. And I need to start hunting again, since they don't test for venison.

Turns out ignorance really IS bliss. Humph. Who knew?

P.S. I'm having turkey today. Yes, yes I am. Also, apples, onions, and pecans. It might kill me in the long run, but I WILL DIE HAPPY. And blissfully full and grateful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

two ski resorts within an hour, old chicago, a three-foot playmate, and me

So far, Rob's batting 1000. We've done growth group, a date at AleWorks, a meeting with my discipler, church, and one dinner with friends. I've gotten to cook and bake for him and have gotten rave reviews. He plays with Blake darn near endlessly, which is both helpful for me and sweet to watch. He updated my network so I now have wireless* (for his laptop, not my desktop) and even took out the trash last night. *(N-series, no less. Great for MacBook Pros and iPhones.)


My friends like him. There was a line (small, but a line nonetheless) to meet him at church, and don't you think I didn't see your furtive nods and smiles and even teary eyes. I love you, my church/friends/family. Rob's been gracious and cheerful about the parade, still teasing me good-naturedly about anything and everything.

We had a dinner out at AleWorks, and when they made a small mistake that meant we couldn't play pool right away, they comped our appetizers and the three hours of pool we managed to play. We weren't even upset at all - they just bent over backwards immediately to make sure we were MORE than happy. Despite owning my own cue stick, I am rather unremarkable at billiards, so Rob even got to win* more than his fair share of games. *(Because Addie sunk in more 8 balls than I was able to put in of my own.)

Blake is in heaven, as he now has a wrestling buddy. Rob is perfectly amenable to being the jungle gym, car crasher, Spiderman accomplice, and bad guy in jail. He's such a great sport, and the only problem is that Blake's forgotten that I cannot be treated quite as roughly as Rob. I can't decide if I need to toughen up, if Rob needs to rein him in a little more, or if Blake just needs to recognize different levels of play given the person... but I don't think it's the first option. Probably a combo of the second two.

Yeah, that's it.

Finally, this long visit has allowed me to actually cook for my fella. Feeding others well is one of my love languages, and something I try to do regularly. Rob being in Spokane has been wildly inconvenient for this particular gift, so I am making up for lost time.
  • Honey baked French toast
  • Puffy pancake
  • Spaghetti
  • Grilled salmon
  • Pumpkin cake with brown butter icing
  • Lucky Charms
He loves whole milk and sugar cereal. I think that he and Blake are perfect for each other, and I will have to be content with my skinny jeans* and skim milk. *(And you look so HOT in them!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

that's what he said

B: "Mom, the cows are going away!"
A: "Actually, I think they are just moving to the other side of the field."
B: "Yeah, they're going to pass some new grass or they are going to poop."
A few months ago, I picked up some Batman and Transformers britches in one size bigger than what we have now. I told Blake that he could wear them when he was bigger and fully potty-trained, both as a reward and as reality: the child has no butt to speak of, and they were really too large. He's now pretty much all potty-trained during the day, and I pulled them out in one of my regular re-shuffling of clothing sizes. Thrilled, he would like to show almost everyone that he has these underwear on. EVERYONE. That poor, random woman in Target.

"I really have a big bottom, 'cause I wearing my Batman underwear. Want to see?"

After backing up to the mirror and looking admiringly over his shoulder, he looked at me and made fists, then, in a "YES!" motion with both hands (I don't know how else to describe it), said, "Optimus Prime! OH YEAH! I love it!"
A: "Want to read with me with the silly voices? You can be the big bad wolf, and I'll be the little pigs."
B: "No thank you. I want you to read because I just a dangerous fragile flower right now."
R: (not so silent laughter, pointing his finger at me) "That sounds like someone I know."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i don't give advice so much as throw it at you and hope it sticks

My cousin Hannah, her husband Jarred, and their wee baby Noah get to come to Montana for Thanksgiving! Hurray! They are going to Billings, not Bozeman, and I have no plans (yet) to be in Billings myself. Boo!

Still, it's exciting that they are closer than Seattle, I guess. I'll take what I can get. She expressed some concern about not knowing what to pack for the first plane trip with a two-month-old and was asking (probably) rhetorical questions about what to do. I jumped right in - are you surprised? - and my first tidbit of wisdom was to bring a change of clothing for herself and her son on the flight. She'd probably only need a spare top, but might toss in a spare pair of pants too, just for good measure. See, I learned this one the hard way...

Blake was four months old, and we'd been invited to come along with my friend Molly's folks to her graduation from seminary. In Philadelphia. I was a little nervous, but decided that with the help of J. and K., I could handle a plane ride. Well, the trip out was fine (at least, I have no memory of it, which is a good sign - J. or K. might disagree, but this isn't their story!). Thing is, K. was going to drive with Molly all the way back to Montana, so J. and I got to fly back together. With a four-month-old. That I was still nursing. Oh yeah, and J. is Molly's dad.


Close seats, but J. was sleeping during Blake's first meal, so no worries. I was all proud of being self-sufficient and private, despite being on a freaking airplane. I went to burp little man B, who had gastroesophageal reflux for the first, oh, eleven years of his life. I might be exaggerating, but when your baby spits up one-third to one-half of every liquid feeding, it doesn't seem like they'll ever outgrow it, or like you'll ever smell like anything other than sour milk. GER is like acid reflux in adults, and where adults can usually keep their food down, the sphincter on babies' esophagus isn't well-developed... but their stomach muscles are.

I learned to burp my kid while on a linoleum floor, standing very straight and/or leaning back a little. It made the mess easier to clean up and rarely required a fresh shirt on me.

So, I was in the midst of burping Blake, and he proceeded to spit up all over me, but mostly all over my burp rag. Success! Of course, he got it in my metal watch band and wedding/engagement rings, but those things will wash... so far, so good! He was still young enough to be a lap child, so I sat him on my lap, facing the very exciting seat in front of us. Most babies tend to poo immediately after getting a full tummy, and my child did not disappoint. He ripped a big one, and I was glad that our positioning muffled the sound a bit, right up until I felt dampness on my shirt.

I leaned him forward and was horrified to see the yellow stain of a breast-fed baby poop smearing up the back of his onesie. I'm not kidding, it was halfway up his back (liquid diet = mostly liquid poop). Oh yeah, and it had transferred onto my shirt.

I apologized to J., who may have been awake by now, but I don't recall, and got out into the aisle, firmly holding my son against my front. No WAY was I going to show off THAT mess. Everyone facing us smiled and cooed (Molly was actually taken aback by how many people stopped me on the street in Philly to remark on my beautiful baby), as I made my way to the tiny plane bathroom in despair. I didn't know how I was going to clean this up with no counter space, but I at least needed to cry in privacy if I was going to be covered in barf and shit.

Once in the bathroom, wonder of wonders: the whole back wall folded down into a changing station. It was gloriously big. I got him cleaned up and in fresh clothes (the offending clothes in a plastic bag carried for just such an occasion), then tackled myself. Stripping off the tank top, I praised God for having a zip-up hoody with me, then wiped myself off and just zipped up. Having created a shiny clean family and feeling more human, I decided that I was going to be VERY amazing. Rather than walk Blake all the way up to J. for holding so I could use the facilities, I figured I would just balance him over my knees and do what I needed to do, then put him back on the changing table/wall while I washed my hands.

Proud as punch and grateful for generally being over-prepared, I was peacefully balancing and practically patting myself on the back, when I felt something wet on my legs. Blake was spitting up IN MY PANTS.

Motherhood is so glamorous.

That beautiful baby (Molly has one of him in his banana hat - which I think is what got us stopped - and I can't find a digital copy to save my life):

Monday, November 17, 2008

why don't i do more laundry?

Why do all my socks and unmentionables (panties!) gravitate to the corners of a fitted sheet in the dryer?

I fold laundry, thinking the sock monster has struck again, aided and abetted by a panty raider, then I shake out the king sized sheet and pelt all corners of the room with the missing items, wadded up and slightly damp.

Yes, it's late. No, I haven't been drinking. These are the things I think up and find too irresistible not to share. I can't help myself!

blah blah blah

I'm eating roasted sweet potato and rutabaga right now. It's very yummy (and sweet/salty). I'm also eating a dip I made with edamame, garlic, cottage cheese, and lime. Also yummy, though better warm, which is weird for a non-cheesy dip. I'm dipping red peppers and bread in it. Deciding whether to drink a glass of wine (unwise in the afternoon) or a beer with it, because water is just so... boring. Plus, I might find out I have a food sensitivity to beer in about a week or so, and ignorance is bliss. I want to indulge all I can before I know what terrible havoc I'm wreaking on my insides.

I'm on three new supplements as of Friday and think I might already be seeing results (or it's placebo effect, but either way, I'm happy). I had blood drawn today, and Blake kept asking the phlebotomist "What are you doing to my mom?" He was all protective and cute - he knows blood - but was mystified by the quantity and how it was flowing into the tube, not down my arm. I couldn't look because I'm back to being rather squeamish about needles and my own blood leakage.

Funny how a woman who has delivered a child through sweat and tears and pain can find the poke of a needle in the arm nearly enough to make her swoon. My heart flutters, I feel light-headed, and it almost makes me gag when they remove the needle. Blake asked the phlebotomist if I was going to turn green, which made us all laugh and broke my concentration on how much I hate having blood drawn. After a little juice, I'm fine, but my arm is sore at the needle sites (I got poked twice). I'm such a BABY.

Mmm, I chose beer. It's yummy too.

Finally, I'm wondering where all my commenters have gone. I know that people read this (my statcounter shows mostly U.S., but here's a shoutout to my regulars in Canada, Kenya, Australia, and the Ukraine), but no one has anything to say? Do I need to be more inflammatory? Post even CUTER sayings by my kid? Post less frequently? I've been trying to post daily, both to keep up with all the stuff floating around my head and coming out of my son's mouth and because I know some people check this place at least that often. I figure you all care enough to read what I'm saying, I'm just not sure WHY. And yes, this is a shameless request for feedback. I'm not too proud to say it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

that's what they said

"This is my teacher. She helps me to find my things."
"This is my grandmother. I love her because she has lots of shirts."
-both on drawings Blake did at preschool.
C: "E losing half his blood made him the perfect running partner for me."
B: "Hey Mom? Princess Leia loves butterflies."
A: "She does?"
B: "Yes. Princess Leia loves them so much and she hugs them."
(During timeout, from his room)
B: "Mom? Do I have to stay in here?"
A: "YES."
B: "Then I going to clean up my room because it was so dirty this last year."
(Watching him aggressively pick his nose)
A: "You diggin' for treasure?"
B: (removing finger momentarily) "Yes. I digging for treasure. But I only finding boogers.
(going at it again)
Oop, look! There's a big one."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

he gets that from me

Blake's been especially needy lately, for some unknown reason. He tends to get in my face and my space A LOT, and I hear "Hey Mom?" approximately one hundred times a day. He says it even when we're in conversation and he clearly has my interest, and it's quickly driving me nuts.

One of the things the teacher mentioned in the parent/teacher conference was that he tends to not respect other people's space, crowding them when he wants their attention. Yep, that sounds familiar.

I don't know if I've inadvertently taught him this, being distracted until he's rightupinmybusiness, or if this is something he gets to grow through and out of that he came up with on his own. Probably a little of both, though I'm not really sure how to correct it without dropping everything each time he calls to give him my full and undivided. Of course, that might teach him bad habits of a different sort, so I should probably just go on ignoring him.

The upside to all this is that he's also been SUPER affectionate lately, asking repeatedly for "lovins" at bedtime and every other time. Leaving his room without enough lovins (hugs and kisses) elicits tears.

"I just need some lovins. I just so sad."

He's gotten to be a really good hugger, too, nice and tight, sometimes wrapping his legs around my waist to really get the point across that I am being hugged and hugged well. He's seen me do this with Rob.

Or not. But we are affectionate when we're around one another, so maybe he sees that physical touch is something I respond favorably to? If that's the motivation, he is darn right. Touch is one of my love languages, and a good friend once accused me of being "aggressively affectionate." As in, "I'm going to give you a squeeze whether you like it or not."

Does that make me needy?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

fancy new underbritches

For your edification and education, I prefer the word "britches" when referring to my son's big boy underwear. I'm not sure why. I just like it. It's short, is easier to say than "big boy underwear," and is far superior to the choice my mother and aunt (both mothers of nothing but girls) are in the habit of using:


letting go

I successfully navigated my first parent-teacher conference today. Got Blake's first ever school pics on Tuesday.

Blake's pretty much on par with where they would expect him to be. He's one of the youngest in his class, so some of the skills that he doesn't get didn't surprise me a bit. Also, we've not been working on them at home because scissors? Are you kidding me? We have a leather couch! But recognizing coins? I can do that. Whew.

He is the only child in his class that is not potty-trained. I promised to work harder, because, truth be told, I had just given up. I figure he'd just decide to do it, then do it, and that it would require very little from me, since that describes most of my parenting experience so far, right?

He kept his Pull-Up dry all day, so we're trying out britches tonight during Bible study. I will probably excuse myself every thirty minutes to embarrass him in front of his idol, Eric, and ask if he's gone potty in the potty, then make him do it anyway.

As for the school pics, he looks so cute and big and almost awkward that I cannot stand it. I may have gotten a little teary about the new milestone I am crossing easily a year sooner than I'd anticipated. Yikes. Next thing you know, he'll be shaving.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

that's what he said

"Look Mom! There's Rob!"
(about some random, non-Rob guy in the Rockin' R Bar / Pickle Barrel where we were having lunch)
"Mom, I just need something very eatiful for dinner. I need something very eatiful and very yummy because I hungry."
A: "Whew! You smell like tinkle. You should go change your Pull-Up."
B: "Like Rob? Do I smell like Rob?"
A: "Uh, no. Rob doesn't pee his pants. Do you know something I don't?"
(when doing downward facing dog)
"Look! I stretching like a dog!"

My exercise video starts the cardio routine with a little "power yoga." He loves doing this part with me, because it's the only stuff he can keep up on or even come close to replicating. We roll out his "exercise towel" so he'll stay off my yoga mat (I step on him or he crowds me and we both fall over, which is less fun than it sounds), and he tries to match my poses.

"Mom, I have really big muscles," he says, as he trots off to play.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

would you could you with a mouse?

I hear a mouse in my walls. I think it's trying to chew its way through the drywall next to my dryer, because Lane and I sealed this place up good and tight from the inside (Dad and Justin H. sealed it up from the outside via the crawl space) with expanding foam. The few crackers I've left around to test for the presence of critters have gone untouched, which leads me to think it can smell the food and cannot reach it yet.

But I still hear it. It drives me nuts, knowing it's there, knowing that my neighbors' crawl spaces are NOT good and tight, and knowing that there are monsters in my crawl space, preventing me from going down and setting the poison and traps myself. I bought all this lethal stuff two weeks ago, in addition to a big flashlight (doubles as a club!), but cannot bring myself to actually enter my crawl space. Because of the monsters.

Now, I'm a pretty rational person. Stop laughing. I AM TOO. But in the middle of lakes or the ocean - and in crawl spaces - live monsters of a nefarious sort. I cannot describe them, but they are the same things I feared sitting on a porta-potty as a child. Heaven only knows what can grab you from depths you can't bring yourself to look in, much less see anything in if you tried. I've had two folks respond very sympathetically to this wildly irrational fear (one was Rob, the other Kellie), telling me that if they were there, they'd go in my crawl space for me.

On the one hand, I would see them as rescuers. Heroes of a noble and truly valiant sort.

On the other hand, I'm scared that I would never see them again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

rob's version of a love note

From our last Spokane visit. What do you think? My fella does good work, yep.

that's what he said

"Mom, can we buy a kitty today?"
I made lime Jell-O and dropped a large plastic bug in each Jell-O cup, for something fun and different (we tried it over Halloween, but did it too late, so Blake couldn't enjoy the result). "Buggy Jell-O," as I call it, is a big hit, and I'll try to take a picture of the last two in the fridge. Blake was eating some after dinner last night and asked what flavor the Jell-O was.

A: "It's lime. Green is lime."
B: "Oh! Lime! I love lime. Mom, listen to this rhyme:
I eat the lime
and the slime
is on my chime."
A: (open-mouthed shock)
Blake changes his own Pull-ups when they're just wet. He likes to open the diaper pail with his foot, pick up the Pull-up between his toes, drop it in, and close it with his foot. Immediately after doing so this morning, he smelled the green blanket that's folded and stored very near the diaper pail (smelling blankets is a mystery, but he does).

B: "Sick. This blanket smells dirty."
A: "Actually, that blanket is clean. I think you were actually smelling the stink that wafts up from the diaper pail every time you open it. Smell the kiki again."
B: (taking a deep whiff) "Great! This kiki smells great! I love it. Do you want me to cover you with it?"
"Mmmm, this hot chocolate is delicious." - said with all the enthusiasm of a foodie.
B: "Mom, there are no guns allowed at preschool."
A: "That sounds reasonable. Is that a rule they told you today?"
B: "Yes, there are no guns allowed at preschool. Guns belong at home."
A: "Well then, let's go home so you can do some shooting."
B: "Okay!"

Not two weeks later...
B: "Mom, there are no weapons allowed at preschool."
A: (nodding with understanding) "Oh. Did they make you put your light saber away?"
B: "Yeah." (nodding sadly)
A: "It's a good thing you still have your spiderwebs."
B: "Okay!"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

christmas lists

Despite my assurances that Blake and I want for nothing, I know that there are some out there who will probably get us Christmas presents. Hurray!

However, if you are floundering, knowing you want to get something but have no idea where to start, well, start here.

Blake Samuel:
  • Clothing, 4T to 6T, depending on the stuff. The kid is growing like a weed and is in 6T jammies.
  • A hard bottomed sled. The soft, roll-up thing I got last year bruises our bums and is no fun.
  • Star Wars DVDs, preferably IV-VI.
  • Light saber (found at Target these days, and I've resisted all his attempts at wheedling one out of me so far).
  • Luke Skywalker toy or costume (he has mentioned both and may not differentiate between the two).
  • Transformers that actually transform. He loves these, and I guess I could use the brush-up on the mechanics of how a toy can quickly drive you nutty insane, because he can rarely transform them all the way. And when I say "rarely," I mean "never."
  • Bike with training wheels. I think this is our year, which opens up all kinds of possibilities outside the small rectangular sidewalk outside our condo. Whee!
  • Weapons. I'm dead serious. Swords, guns, etc. would go over HUGE at the Morstad house this Christmas. I'd prefer wooden (even a short, painted dowel would be a great sword), especially for the guns, and nothing battery-operated unless you want me to send you something similar when YOUR child gets bigger. Because I will do that and raise the ante by also giving you a puppy.
I seriously debated adding "kitty" to the list, albeit one that doesn't poop or shed, but figured someone would send us a stuffed animal, which would not work at all. He desperately wants a cat, and I desperately don't right now... which leads to the first item on MY list:

Addie W.
  • A house with a yard in Bozeman.
  • Scrabble Deluxe, with the board that spins and has a grid so the tiles stay on. I covet my mother's, which I gave her, and might need one of my own.
  • Subscription to Radar magazine, which is irreverent, unholy, and wildly funny.
  • Gucci Eau de Parfum II - it has undertones of something spicy, which I think is rather appropriate.
  • Shirts from the Buckle, Gap, or Old Navy, because you can never have too many clothes.
  • Massages via Genelle... but you'll have to ask me for her number, because I love her too much to post it on the internet.
  • A decent cordless phone and answering machine (though I may be dropping my land line for reasons of cost - we'll see).
  • Candles of all shapes and sizes. So long as they aren't too smelly, I love burning candles all winter. Also, perhaps include new batteries for my smoke detectors. Just in case.
I'm happy to say that it appears the item on a list provided to my family two years ago has been provided by the good Lord. That item: Amanda Hugginkis

After all that, please know that if anyone gets us anything, it will be wonderfully appreciated. This isn't so much a list of demands as it is pointers for those who might want them. I love getting wish lists from others because I usually need the help. Forgive me for assuming the same of the internet as a whole!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

i have some pictures

Blake at one of the last great days in the park, sporting his new Transformers sunglasses and a hat from our Calgary visit (thanks, Grammie G!).

B: "Momma, what am I?"
A: "A walrus?"
B: "That's right! I'm a walrus!"

We got a visit from some Plentywood cousins...

and Blake decided to take pictures.

He loves using my camera.

He's just not very good at it.

Reese hosted a baby shower for Lane and Maddox in October, so a bunch of our friends could meet him.

Holding the little punkin - he's a cutie and very mellow, which I think he gets from his Daddy's side. (Sara, Naomi holding Maddox, Reese, and Lane)

Reese throws a great shower: food, talking, and NO GAMES. (Lane, Tracie holding Maddox, and Becca)

I came in after nap time to find that poor Mr. Snowman had been bad, so Blake tied him up in jail.

Friday, November 7, 2008

i'm game

If anyone has an excess of wild game in their freezers, preventing them from going hunting for more, I would happily take some of it off your hands. I would even help pay for the processing (provided I got some sausage), because I love wild game, I haven't hunted in years, and meat is expensive.

I'm just putting it out there. Also, Dad, what bribes are you taking to get your out-of-practice eldest out for a muley?

that's what she said

K: (fingering a bra at Victoria's Secret) "Look at all this padding! Wouldn't that just make you feel like, I don't know, false advertising?"
A: (checking out same bra) "HA! That's NOTHING! Let me show you what I wear every day. It makes my shirts fit better, and that way, my tummy or my nose aren't the first thing to enter a room."
K: "But..."
A: "'But' nothing. If anyone gets lucky enough to see the girls and mentions false advertising, you just PUT THEM AWAY. That'll show him."
Upon being greeted (while in the shower, no less) by a boy with a diaper in hand, wearing nothing on the bottom, saying "Momma, I pooped."

I have never finished a shower so quickly. This was easily a year ago, and Blake was no where near potty-training (because he's SO MUCH CLOSER now) and in diapers. I'd been coming into rooms and seeing that he'd pulled everything down to his feet, then smelling what he'd done, which was why he dropped trou. The messes weren't awful, but they weren't fun, either. Since then, I've had to ask the above question far more often than I would ever have guessed, but that first time, the answer was downright easy: all in the diaper. No where else.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

that's what he said

I used to be silly, but not anymore.
(long pause)
Not anymore, when I was fishin'.
(we were putting his coat on)
I want to listen to that one song. The one that Rob gave us this last weekend? Because I love it. It's the most beautifulest song today.
(Track 1 on the Iron & Wine mix given to us by - you guessed it - Rob)

halloween pics

We couldn't go to the party, but I wanted to show Rob how ready I was for it. I sewed the buns out of two pairs of pantyhose, some fiber fill, and a headband. The skirt, shirt, and belt were pre-owned, and a friend loaned me a paintball gun. I was a big hit... to a small audience, sure, but a bit hit nonetheless.
"This IS my princess look."

Forget Obi-wan. I'm helping MYSELF.

"Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well? DO YA?"

"Oh, see, now I feel silly."

Blake's jack-o-lantern, which we carved with Jasmine. My battery died when I tried to get a picture of hers. Boo.

My topless fellas. Blake would get a running start, then jump onto Rob's shoulders with his knees. Repeatedly. Rob finally helped him go from kneeling to standing and assured me that he likes being used as a jungle gym. I'm glad, because this one is TOO FRAGILE for it any more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Regardless of how I feel about Barack Obama's politics (and we don't agree on a number of things), I must admit that I am heartened by the state of our nation that America has elected a black president. There's something in me that thrills to that, even though I voted for the other guy. Congratulations, America (Democrats too)!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'll now wait patiently for Barack Obama to solve all my problems (thanks Jake!).

That's what he was planning on, right?

looking behind, looking ahead

My heart has been under some scrutiny lately, both by me and by a family member very close to me - close enough that she has permission to say some of the things she said, even if they made me cry (we talked it out and are all okay).

Here's the thing: I love two men. I probably always will, and because of my circumstances, there's no sin in that. Despite how messy my heart can feel at times, this mess doesn't affect how I feel towards the one who could most be affected right now. And the miracle is that he knows this. He gets it. Evidently, he instinctively understands what I find difficult to put into words and is not threatened or frightened or competitive with a past I cannot change (summary: happily married for two years, widowed when very pregnant). When I said below that he's not scared of my crappy baggage, I should have added that he's no more scared of my happy baggage... and I'm so grateful and amazed by his tender and enormous heart.

What this boils down to is that I have, without any external prodding, begun to make some changes in my home and in my behavior. I'm rearranging some of my photos so that, while I still have many of big Blake (the majority have always been in photo albums), I have slightly fewer scattered around my room. I stopped wearing my wedding ring over a month ago, with no fanfare. Though I still have his ashes, I finally know exactly what I'd like to do with them, which was keeping me from moving them up until this point. These and a few other things are helping me to move from the past to the present, and while they feel bittersweet, they also feel timely. My heart has taken longer than I would have expected to heal this much. Certain things still sting. They might always. I do not want to feel as though anyone is scrubbing big Blake from their memories or mementos.

The difference is that I have something - someone - else to look ahead with. That is both terrifying and exhilarating (probably to both of us) as we see where God is leading us. And believe me, I did my very best to scare him off. If he was going to be gun-shy, I needed to know early. I pulled out all the stops and wound up feeling almost nude in how vulnerable and exposed I made my heart... which is why I kept quiet about this on the blog-front for so long. I didn't know if I could trust the poor man not to run screaming for the hills, and I certainly wouldn't have blamed him if he had.

But he didn't. So now, the discussions about my heart and where it is can take a new direction. Feel free to ask. If you see a recurring sin, please point it out to me. But pointed questions about the state of my heart and its readiness for this new thing God is doing? You can stop and rest easy.

My heart is Rob's business now. It's in good hands.


When Rob and I arrived in Billings (in mid-October), we made sure to have on our blue shirts and brown pants. Blake too. This was in response to the following post on Facebook, from Aubyn:

"Just wanted you to know that I'm going to wear a blue shirt and brown pants to dinner tonight. I think it would be very embarrassing for our first meeting to be wearing the same thing. ha ha ha"

Batting 1000 so far...

There was a family dinner with all the family still in Billings: my folks, my sister Lane and Madnasty (Bing was working), my aunt Gail and uncle Todd, Aubyn, and us. Turns out the family that is no longer in Billings had collected their questions - one each - and emailed them in. Lane had two pages of questions from Bing. Everyone else chipped in until Rob was staring squarely down the barrel of a full-fledged interview after the meal.

I may have made a few comments to my family about not, in fact, interviewing him. My family, being themselves, made it a huge joke. Dad even took notes. My favorite question was Joy and Mike's:
"What's your definition of the perfect rack?"

See, they are climbers... but they know there are a MYRIAD different ways to answer that question. Before Rob could answer, Lane piped up with "34C." Rob eventually mentioned that the deer had to have a ten-point rack before it was worth shooting, scoring major points with my dad. He later told me that he would NEVER have brought up the bosom-definition of rack in front of my family... to which I replied "That's just because you don't know them well enough yet!"

Course, he is a Southern man, so his sense of refinement and propriety still needs to get shell-shocked by a Myers family Thanksgiving. Good times!

Todd said he knew upon seeing Rob's (blue) Atari shirt that he was good people. They proceeded to chat all evening about various things I made it a point not to listen to, including Rob's iPhone (quite a hot commodity in lil ol' Montana). Todd even invited us over for lunch after church, showing that he really really liked Rob. SCORE! I mean, almost anyone can win over the majority of my family. But Todd? He's a hard sell. It's why I like him.

We got to spend time with Molly and J.R., at whose wedding we met, and I hope we get to do that a lot more. J.R. and Rob were like giddy boys together, which was pretty entertaining, and it enabled Molly and I to enjoy some conversation. She and I are past the giddy phase of our friendship, but only just barely. We watched Ironman and Run, Fatboy, Run, which I still contend is a very funny movie, despite my folks' now fully eradicated faith in my movie-choosing abilities. Blake and Rob watched Transformers and shoveled snow together (photos already posted), and the rest is honestly a blur. Oh, but Rob beat me, Dad, and Mom at Scrabble, thereby gaining Dad's appreciation (he may no longer have to play) and Mom's respect.

Me? I'm still out for my own win, fair and square. Anyone want to practice with me?

I'm working on not wearing that hat so often... except that I still do. Can't help it, apparently.

Monday, November 3, 2008

that's what he said

During our last visit to Billings (Blake gets up before me and hangs out with Grammie in the mornings):
G: "Why don't you go get your mom up?"
B: "My mom's not here."
G: "Go ahead and eat that second Hershey's kiss. Just finish the bowl off."
(B hides behind a chair to eat the second kiss.)
G: "What are you doing back there?"
B: "I don't think my mom will like this." (eating the kiss anyway)
B: (after kissing Rob goodnight) "You're really pokey."
R: "AWESOME. We just equated the Victoria's Secret catalog to the Bible."
After climbing onto my bed, snuggling under my covers, and wrapping me in a tight hug:
B: "Mom, I sure love your hugs and kisses."
After two graham crackers and a mug of hot chocolate:
B: "WOW. My belly's really big. (pushing it out even farther, if possible) I have a baby in it."
To our friends, who were babysitting:
B: "My daddy died. We going to buy a new one."
B: "When you sleep, your back goes up and down and your belly does. (sing-song) Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. (normal voice) Like a smokestack."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

just checking in

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I had a blissful three days without Blake early in the week (he went to Billings, and I laid very low), and I just spent time alone, not blogging. I had some time with friends, but I read, tried five new recipes (one of the keepers is posted below), fixed the toilet paper holder that was falling out of the wall, created homemade Princess Leia buns, left the house after 8:00 pm all three nights JUST BECAUSE I COULD, and so forth. Blake and I had gotten to the point that we were bickering like siblings, and I desperately needed to regain my footing as the mother. Reestablishing my authority was as simple as having lots of time to myself, and it always amazes me how much I can accomplish when not distracted by all the needs of one delightful child. I'm learning that I need to schedule such time more frequently so as not to go completely insane.

We're now in Spokane, and my son is so sleep-deprived that we'll probably miss the costume party for which I made the Leia buns (but we'll still take and post pictures) because it would be downright cruel to put him to bed any later than 7:00 pm, which is when the party starts. His too-big Superman costume is very fun and cute, though, and Rob's folks took him to "Trunk or Treat" at their church last night. I think that Cec and Joyce are rather taken with my boy, which just endears THEM to ME even more. Plus, he likes them right back. They are even letting me and B stay with them over Christmas, for a few reasons, not least of which I didn't want to kick Rob out of his own bed for that long (two weeks-ish).

I got to see one of the places Rob often works, even recording some audio for BackpackingLight while there. We went up to a pumpkin patch today to grab the gourds we'll carve tomorrow, and subsequently drove through some amazing scenery. If the rolling hills and pine trees were more indicative of what living in Spokane would be like, Bozeman might have some competition for my preferred location! Still, despite having no Panda Express and only two ski hills within an hour's drive, my heart will always belong to Bozeman, but especially to Montana. I just can't help myself.

Rob and I are learning more about each other, which is fun and a little scary. He's getting to know more of my taste in certain things, as well as my propensity to be rigid and OCD. Thankfully, God's giving me gracious words to express this, so what could be construed as hostile is simply me being honest about my limitations. At least, that's what I'm shooting for! I'm learning more about his ambition and ability to make interesting and detailed plans - which is why his house is in various stages of various projects. I think we complement each other: his great ideas and ability to DO things (he's handy), plus my organization skills to see everything fall into place and follow through to completion. I hope he feels the same way...

We're now watching a movie in jammies. Long distance relationships, with all the conversation (we talk at least an hour daily), just cannot hold a candle to getting to sit next to someone and hold their hand. I love being with this man, who is not scared of me or all my crappy baggage, who is amazing with my son, who is affectionate and kind, with a family as big-hearted as he is. As he said earlier today, "It feels very good to be in love again."

Promised recipe, which is less work than Mom's crepes and almost as good:
Puffy Pancake

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
4 large eggs, beaten (optional if not using lemon wedges: add 1/8 tsp nutmeg to the eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/8 cup powdered sugar
Optional: fresh lemon wedges

Heat oven to 425. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, milk, eggs, and salt. It's fine to leave the batter a little lumpy. Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet with a heatproof handle (if you only have a 10-inch skillet like me, divide the butter and the batter and make two half batches) over medium heat. When it's sizzling and just about to turn brown, remove from heat and pour batter into skillet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar and return to the oven for a minute or two (don't forget to use the potholder - OUCH!). Then sprinkle with lemon juice, if using, and serve immediately, passing around more powdered sugar and lemon wedges at the table.

Variation: To get in some fruit, saute two peeled, cored, chopped apples in the melted butter until tender. Add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon to batter along with nutmeg, then pour batter on apples and proceed on schedule.