Friday, January 30, 2009

that's what he said

(while waiting to go to preschool)
"Hey, Ellese, my dad toots."


B: "You have big burps."
A: "I don't burp. I'm a lady.
(confused look from B)
Okay, yes. I burp."
B: (decisively) "No, you don't. You're a lady. But I burp big, 'cause I'm a MAN."


"I used it all over my teeth. (pushing a finger around in his mouth to demonstrate) See? Sparkling clean!"


B: (when cleaning up) "Can I leave one toy out?"
A: "Yes."
B: "Ok, I going to leave this toy out (showing me) 'cause it's the best present EVER."

I will not mention what the toy was, nor the giver, so that all of you who have ever given him anything might think that YOURS was the best present ever. You are welcome.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

one more thing for me to do

Rob and I have officially started a wedding blog. We're going to post the critical details about the wedding itself, registry info once we figure more of that out, a count down until the wedding, and updates on what we're doing now.

What we're doing now: being total geeks on board with the digital age. Awesome, no?

Oh, and Rob started TWO blogs on his own. I'm so proud. One's personal, one's for work, and I doubt he'll have as much to say as me, which is why we get along so well: he lets me do most of the talking.

put a cork in it

Blake was sent home from preschool in a Pull-up yesterday and a fresh pair of pants, after peeing all over himself during nap time. I'm now to bring him to preschool in said Pull-ups until he's really and truly trained (through the night and naps).

He pooped his pants a tiny bit today, followed by the rest of it in the potty. I can't decide if I should bribe him, reward him, discipline him, or drink more beer and buy stock in Pampers.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

from the ball

I got a CD of pictures from Catherine yesterday, and I just checked it out. This is the best shot of both our faces, but there's a cute one of B. kissing me. Awww...

This is from September, at the formal ball, at which I ripped my wedding gown. Great fun (really), and I love this picture.

Friday, January 23, 2009

name change

the softer side of ooey-gooey
addie's happy heart blog
i got sunshine

I could list the things I'm still happily cynical about, including telemarketing, panhandling, and parenting advice from non-parents, but I'll leave it at this:

Rob is the "softer." I am the "cynical." While my circumstances are changing, my personality is not, though my outlook is certainly more cheerful. So the blog name stays the same!

At least I won't ever change it to Lane's original suggestion.

Hi Mom!

thoughts from a friend

My friend Hannah was originally the daughter of a single mom. When she was five, her mom met and married the man who became Hannah's dad. In the months immediately after big Blake's death, Hannah and I would do coffee and talk and cry. She helped me weed through piles and piles of baby clothes, do laundry covered in spit-up, and process the flood of emotions I was experiencing with some regularity, as well as give me insight into what it could be like for little Blake, starting life without a dad. I helped her by introducing her to Scrubs, making caramel corn, and showing her the difference between the aromas of spit-up and Dreft.

Rob's and my wedding has brought a bunch of her memories back of what it was like to be five when her mother got married and she got a dad. With her permission, I want to share portions of an email she sent me a few weeks ago:
Dear Addie,

I was blow drying my hair today and thinking about you. Specifically, I had just read your post (and commented) on little Blake's calling Rob 'Dad.' My head was spinning with my own memories of the whirlwind of blessings and love that occurred right before and after my parents wedding. I remember many things vividly - some fun and some just really sweet. Dad carrying me on his shoulders on a hike before their engagement (my hair getting caught in a tree. And I'm a wuss, so I was probably crying). Looking at my flower girl dress for the first time as we walked in downtown Billings. Being REALLY mad at Mom and Dad for going on a honeymoon right over my 5th birthday, and my mom getting me CORDUROY PANTS and not a Barbie for my birthday. If they HAD to be gone, they could have at least bought me off with a Barbie.

Anyway, my hair was about half dry when I fast forwarded to those weeks you and I would grab coffee and talk about big Blake and fears and Dad's stroke. Times when I would come over to help with little Blake however I could, and I distinctly remember some caramel popcorn. I not-so-distinctly feel as though you may have introduced me to "Scrubs." That's a lesser memory. (But funny, because Adam loves Scrubs and we're watching the first 6 seasons right now.)

Then I realized that I was really glad that I was able to meet Rob before Molly and JR and their wedding. I think because I have a memory of him, I wasn't nearly as tentative about your relationship as some of your other friends might have been early on. I was surprised, but God has done that to me 3 times now with friends and their spouses, so in being surprised I just looked at God and went "Figures. You're unpredictable that way. But it always ends up phenomenally better than if I had planned it."

And so, friend, I'm just so pleased for you. I love you dearly, and I'm so glad that God has created this little Bermuda triangle of weddings for you, me, and Molly. I certainly didn't trust him with my own life, and then he did the unexpected and fabulous. I'm very glad to witness his doing the same for you.

Finally, I had to do a genogram for my counseling internship, talking about the relational and emotional affects of our family dynamics. This particular assignment also included a slide show of photos, and so my mom scanned some of me and my parents during the time of the wedding and before. I'm attaching them, to share with you. My favorite is of me and my dad. I think that was the day we got back from the adoption proceedings. I'm praying that Blake has that look on his face whenever he looks at Rob.

I love you,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

that's what he said

"God made good guy Transformers to fight the bad guy Transformers because He liked them."
A: (after pulling over twice for B. to pee on the side of the road) "Please don't swallow water at swimming lessons."
B: "But there aren't crabs in it."
A: "Right, but you still don't swallow water."
B: "But crabs live in the ocean."

(long pause of at least a minute)

"But if there were crabs in the swimming pool, they would hurt my feet and my hands, and I would be a crabman. And I would wear my costume."
A: "I don't know what to say to that."
B: "Mom, I have to go potty."
B: "Why is Grammie in Bozeman?"
A: "She's here to help me with wedding stuff so Rob and I can get married."
B: "And then he'll live at our house? And he won't have to live in Spokane?"
A: "That's right."
B: "Oh, that will be great!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

see that girl, watch that scene

I got this email last week from a dear friend who wanted to encourage me. It worked:

So this is your mission, should you choose to accept it. Get a babysitter, go pick a new bottle of wine you've never had... in fact... pick it purely by the looks of the label. Close your blinds, blast the music, drop your pants, and start the revolution. That's right, get snockered, turn up the music, and dance your naked butt off. LOL. I dare you.

I love you babe, and as much as I can do from here, you can count on me.

Now get it on, dancing queen. ;)

I haven't done this. Yet.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

best find today while cleaning house

Apparently I made an overhead in college (you remember overhead projectors right? anyone? are those crickets I hear?) as a visual aid for a speech. I vaguely remember doing this, and I think I had three. I know that one quoted Kenny Rogers. That's right: I gave interesting speeches, even if I WAS a business major.

The overhead I found today reads:

"Ha, ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!
The most famous is

never get involved in a land war in Asia;

and only slightly less well known is this: Never go in against a
Sicilian when death is on the line!"

I wish I could remember what the speech was about.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

we have a winner!

Thanks to those who've offered their dresses, used the f-bomb in emails to me (because, as Heather said, my mother isn't reading my email!), or sent me links to pretty dresses from all over the place. I got a good night's rest and spoke to Rob, who helped to clear my bad case of the grumples. I tried on Reese's wedding dress and sent a pic to Rob to get his opinion.

Side note: Because I've had a wedding before, I've gotten to do it all just the way I wanted, for the most part. My dream wedding now is pretty much whatever will please Rob and get our "importants" done. So long as he thinks I look amazing, I feel presentable or even pretty, and we're married by the end of the night, I'm good. We're shooting for simple and big, as silly as that sounds, and everything else to this point has been fun and interesting to plan - I know we'll be skewering the expectations of lots of folks (the DJ, the planner at the Emerson, and our pastor, at the very least). For some reason, the dress part made me lose my shit. Rob, my wedding touchstone, helped me find it again. Seriously, I should marry this guy!

Rob's response to the pic of me in Reese's gown was perfect: "Uhm... Wow. I'd totally go for Reese's... That's amazing! You .... look so hot."

Hurray! Problem solved in a way that didn't make my head explode, I get to wear a gorgeous dress that cost me nothing, and my sweet man thinks I look amazing in it.

Mom and I went to the Emerson so she could see the ballroom and all its accoutrements, and she agreed that it's lovely and will need little by way of decor. We're pulling things together, which is fun and exciting, and Rob's still not scared off by my crazy.

It's been a great day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

it's all fun and games until i kill someone

I went dress shopping today with my mother, Blake, and my sister Reese. Well, Reese got to drop in late and leave early. Note that I refer to that as though it were her privilege. I, on the other hand, had to stay the whole time.

What was fun up to this point got unfun today, mostly because I'm the anti-bride (thanks for the new word Molly!) and refuse to get sucked into the wedding establishment that dictates all kinds of crazy things. For example:
  • Reception sites should cost over $2000 not including food or drinks.
  • Wedding dresses are made to order, and out of fabrics such as duchess satin, organza, silks of various finish, etc.etc.etc. Such dresses take weeks or months to receive, so you'd better not plan on a short engagement or you'll have to (gasp) buy off the rack. Then people will feel sorry for you.
  • Wedding dresses not only take months to actually have in hand, they must cost LOTS of money, or they will not make you look pretty enough.
  • There are rules to invitation wording or decorating or feeding people, or they won't really be celebrating with you as much as they will be criticizing you.
  • All the seating at the wedding should match OR there should be enough seats for all your guests or they won't be comfortable.
  • Weddings must involve sermons. Long, long sermons.
  • There are rules to weddings.
Well, I am just going to say this:

Rules, schmules. (I wanted to drop the f-bomb regarding rules, but my mother reads this. So does my grammie. And I love them enough not to do that to them... at least, not today.)

I think I'm borrowing a dress, and while I didn't want an overtly "wedding-y" dress... well... this one's free. Rob and I want simple, and I think that inexpensive can be simple, even if inexpensive has a few sequins.

After the stress of dress shopping, where shop girls hesitantly asked me if I were going to wear white at what would be my second wedding ("Maybe. Why do you ask?" while ruffling my son's hair), I went out with two dear friends to the local brewery to taste a few options for what we might serve at the reception. We laughed, we sampled, we talked about other things... I don't want "wedding" to be all that comes out of my mouth, because while it's fun, I am slightly more nuanced and complicated than that.

Aren't I?
It was loud at the brewery tonight, and some things got lost in translation...

A: "There are a few topics I think we could avoid in any wedding sermon, if we HAVE to have one. For example, the phrase 'two ticks and no dog' should not be mentioned."
A: (fingerspelling the word 'ticks' and laughing)
T: (laughing) "Oh..." (panicked look coming over her face) "Oh my gosh - don't put that on your blog!"
A: (gasping with excitement) "What a great idea! I TOTALLY AM!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

kids' games these days

The electronic alphabet game: "Find the letter that makes the sound "UH" - as in "underwear."

B: "Ew. Underwear."
A: "Did it really just say that?"

Blake presses the button again and, sure enough, the game will say the word "underwear" over and over again. Which I think is weird.

that's what he said

B: "And THAT'S a ho-towel, and THERE'S a ho-towel... We're going to stay at a ho-towel tonight."
A: "Why?"
B: "Because it's fun! And it's fun to swim in ho-towels, but they don't have toys there."

(Blake is obsessed with finishing meals first, in order to 'beat me,' which I think he picked up from preschool. He also likes to add an additional "ed" to the end of a past tense verb.)

B: "I beat you! I winneded!" (though he's clearly not done yet)
A: "Actually, I beat you this time."
B: "Well, I don't want you to beat me because I'm special."
A: "You ARE special, but you're still a slow eater. So I win."
B: "Oh, I hate losing." (with a careful look at me to make sure that this usage of the word "hate" is not bad)

B: (while playing an electronic alphabet game) "Hey Mom! Do you wanna watch me?"
A: "Sure."
B: "I think it's too hard for you. (getting a letter wrong) Do you wanna watch me do it?"
A: "Um, sure."

B: (while in the grocery store, of course) "Can you tickle my bottom when I walk by? (wagging said bottom at me)
A: "Why?"
B: (turning around indignantly) "Because it's funny!"

And finally, one of my own. I add "ers" to the end of some words because I'm silly. So I say things like "yeppers" and... well, nothing else comes to mind right now. When approaching the door of my male co-worker whom I still didn't know well, I casually leaned up against the door frame and...

A: "Knockers."
S: (slightly confused) "Uh..."
A: (bursting out laughing) "Oh dear. I don't know why I'm not taken more seriously as a professional."
R (my boss and good friend, stifling laughter from his office): "I know why!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

hey, out of towners!

I booked room blocks today. You have two choices (so far - I may call a third):

Holiday Inn

Wingate by Wyndham


Both are $85 a night plus 7% tax, and I know from experience that the Wingate has an awesome breakfast. It's where many of my in-laws stay when they come, and Blake loves the hot waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. Also, he points it out any time we go to Costo: "Look Mom! It's Grammie Gee's ho-towel!"

See, I'm making progress! Next up: beer tasting with friends at the Bozeman Brewing Company. How else will I know what I like?

I have to say that getting information out via the internet is just a little bit AWESOME. While we won't skip invitations entirely, I'm awfully tempted. And one of these days: a post about non-wedding stuff. I know. It's exciting.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

running in circles... with scissors... on a skating rink

I am on the edge, I tell you what. Rob, Blake, and I got back to Bozeman Wednesday night, and I've been going ever since, but I can't really tell that I've made progress anywhere.

Except that I did feed us the whole time he was here. I guess there is that. He left today and it is anyone's guess what we're having for dinner. My vote? Cereal.

I'm feeling the weight of keeping people informed, and the panic of inadvertently NOT informing such key people as friends who changed my diapers, friends who keep me sane, and my entire set of immediate in-laws. Each of these groups have been left out of one email/phone call or another, and I'm not sure why. Because I am a bad person? That's the only explanation that comes to mind right now... except that I'm also just a total space cadet. That doesn't help.

Also, despite my intent to remain calm and collected while running my life as normal, I've been up until 1:00 am every night trying to regain my footing around the house, or with my thank-you notes, or with my email, or with my wedding stuff. And I don't sleep well, long enough, or deeply enough. I am understandably really fun to be around right now. We should go to the park!

So here's the thing: Rob and I are getting married on April 11th in Bozeman. It will be an evening wedding, simple and not at all small. I hope to look fabulous, and I think Rob wants to be dashing. Or maybe I am projecting... but I don't think he'd argue. And while I am slightly panicked at the sheer numbers of folks we're inviting (except... oh, wait... I'M inviting the hordes), when I take a deep breath and look at my life, I am so enormously blessed that there might be several hundred people interested in witnessing the answer to all our prayers for the last four years.

I might get a little whiney on this blog and in your hearing, but I hope it's always wry and with a real sense of humor. Because "Waah waah waah - all my needs are met. A lot of people love me and want to celebrate with us. BOO HOO!"

Because gosh, there are a lot of you. And I should know - I made the guest list. It's frickin' huge.

I guess I would rather cast the net wide and give guests the option of saying no than cast too small and say no for you. I'm not oblivious to the fact that due to the traumatic events in my life, you've circled round me, held me up (sometimes physically, but most often in prayer), and taken a deeper care and interest in the future for me and my boy. As much as big Blake's death shook my faith, I know it shook the faith of many of you. And so I owe it to you. I owe it to the Lord. I owe it to little Blake and to Rob.

Look at what God has brought about! Rejoice with me, for He will restore the years the locusts have eaten.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

that's what he said

(after aunt Bethany made Blake a helicopter out of Legos and introduced him to a pilot friend who had trained at Moody)

AB: "You know, Jeremy flies planes for his job."
B: "So? I fly planes AND helicopters."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

panda express fortune cookie

Rob's cookie contained the following:

"Put up with small annoyances to gain great results."

He looked across the table at me and Blakester and burst out laughing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

tools of satan

  • long engagements
  • facebook - for wasting so much of my time
  • wedding planning checklists
  • decorated Christmas cookies that are thisclosetomyface
  • electronic toys, most of which I gave to my own son, thereby shooting myself in the foot (when I should have aimed for my ears)
  • caffeine dependency
  • feet and feet of snow without the time to play enough in it
  • driving over a bump so big that the topper to the truck FLEW OFF

Sunday, January 4, 2009

wild montana skies

I am ready to go home now. After a night of poor sleep (we had a slumber party at Rob's, and a wealth of little problems woke me up and kept me up for much of the night), what will be almost three weeks away from home, and the realization that I'll have lots to catch up on when I arrive, I'm just now feeling that pressure to get back, get settled, and get moving.

I haven't even seen any of my Bozeman friends since getting engaged. ACK! Unless a lot of snow has melted off in Bozeman, I'll have about two feet to shovel out before I can even reach my door. I need a little bit of privacy and slightly more organized time away from Blake (I love preschool). I need to visit at least one location we're thinking of for a reception, and need to start really planning the details with all my friends anxious to help... as I do not intend on giving myself stress-induced hives during this wedding planning. They were not fun for the last one.

I have a lot on my plate and am finding it hard to even think today (I need SLEEP), but figured an update was due.

I miss everyone. I miss my bed. I miss Blake's regular schedule. I miss driving myself around, and I miss my car. It will be good to be home, but it has sure been wonderful to be here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

just a whole lot of nothing

I generally do not like getting phone calls today. It's hard to know what to say to the people who are calling to see if I'm okay or just to encourage and love on me. This just isn't a day I want to talk about, either what happened four years ago or what is happening right this minute. The first is too painful and would be the equivalent of emotional cutting - why would I do that? The second seems too trivial and meaningless on my understandably least favorite day of the year.

So thank you to the folks who did not call. Thank you to the folks who called yesterday instead, and to the one who emailed full of grace and love and encouragement. Thank you to the friend who called and seemed easily unaware of the significance of THIS DAY for me, so I was able to encourage HER in a few things that were burdening her. Thank you especially to Lane, for her sweetly thoughtful text:

"I love you sister."

I love you, too.

should old acquaintance be forgot

Happy new year!

I'm doing fine so far, but I don't want to talk about it. And the sheer volume of snow here has finally smacked me with an awareness of its implications above and beyond inconvenient driving, especially since there was an avalanche on I-90 to the west.

Skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, etc: be safe, or I will KICK YOUR ASS. Big Blake gets it from me first, because I like to believe that God would allow a few smackdowns in heaven.