Friday, July 31, 2009

that's what he said

B: Mom, how does Daddy Blake come alive again?
A: Well, um, we have a lot to teach you about Jesus and Heaven, but when Jesus comes back, you'll meet Daddy Blake.
B: How will he get to our house?
A: Right now, he's in Heaven, so he won't come to our house, we'll go to Heaven.
B: And pick him up! And then we'll all get in the car and drive to our house.

(That wouldn't be awkward at all.)

B: Mom, can we listen to Woman King?
A: Sure! I'm really proud of you for remembering the name of the song you love.
B: Well, I'm an artist.

A: Did you know that it's Ellese's birthday on Sunday?!
B: Yep. I know.
A: What? Really? How did you know that?
B: Well, I'm an artist.

B: Mom, Dad got my black toy box dirty.
A: Oh, I think he sat on it last night after being in the crawl space. We can brush it off.
A: Ok. What should we do about it?
B: (leaning in conspiratorially) I think we should knock him into next week.
(running back to Dad's desk) Dad! I'm going to KNOCK YOU INTO NEXT WEEK!

Also of note, Blake's hit the "know-it-all" and "hot lava" phase of life. First, you cannot tell him ANYTHING he wasn't already aware of, and he's convinced that the source of his wisdom is due to the fact that he's an artist. Second, if you step on a crack incorrectly or if you are a bad guy, you will fall into the hot lava and die.

The "I know" response is increasingly irritating, which means I should probably stop using it on Rob. We're working on his attitude a lot these days, and while I appreciate that Blake doesn't throw loud tantrums, the quiet sulks with his head hung while he sits cross-legged on the floor facing away from you are really the same sin, different display. We're encouraging talking (not arguing) and trying to be patient, but there are definitely days I want to just quit with the verbal run around and skip straight to beating him and shoving him under the bed.

The "hot lava" brings back fond memories of my own near brushes with death on the playground at Rimrock Elementary. Go Rams!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

we got engaged!!!!

Yeah, so it was in December, not July... but Rob got the video whipped up a few days ago.

The narrators are JR & Molly, the folks we can hold responsible, blame, and otherwise point fingers at for our lifelong comedy pairing. We sure love you guys!

Oh, and to be clear: Blake loves Rob for his iPhone, not because he's fun. It's hard to interpret toddler-while-chewing-gum when you're not exposed to it daily.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

myers girls make cute babies

I think we get it from our mom. Click on a pic to get a NICE BIG VERSION!

Maddox, putting on the charm.

Smith was AMAZED, Maddox and Grammie amused... I'm not sure what caused such a reaction, but we've near identical pictures of Reese. It was her signature face for a while.

Look at those cheeks - simply scrumptious! Maddox is pretty cute too.

"Hmm, now where shall I begin?" (Smith)


We spent the weekend at a cabin on the Stillwater, and they had this dear little playhouse for their granddaughters. The boys loved it and made a lot of coffee... but weren't great at sharing.

Smith, Blake, and Mason, pouring the coffee (which the twins call 'hot').

With only two mugs, Blake gave Smith a pot rather than give up his own mug. He then helpfully poured...

... and bottoms up! Or, in your face. It's so hard to tell.

Smith looking pensive.

But it's all good! Dad's here and has a cheesy grin too!

not to put too fine a point on it, say i'm the only bee in your bonnet

In case anyone thinks we're in dire risk of defaulting on a mortgage or selling off a kidney/Rob's plasma/my eggs, let me just say that we are tackling the money thing head on. We're fine-tuning our budget, making sure all the bills come straight to me for payment, arranging for budgetary counseling and outside wisdom with sticking to it, putting Rob's house on the market (hopefully we can pay for an ATV out of the proceeds), and pursuing work for Rob that is both video and non-video related.

We're going to be okay. It's just kind of fun to wallow in the self-pity and try to rope in as much sympathy as possible. However, I imagine God wants to use a phrase on me that I often laughingly used on a wailing infant Blake who was fed, in a dry diaper, and cuddled in someone's arms:

"Waaa, waaa, waaa. All my needs are met! WAAAAA!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

my Knight in shining armor arrives again, except He never left

I've been praying regularly that God would use my life to bring glory to His name. I've also been reading Psalm 19 regularly, focusing on verse 14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

God is answering my prayers (I think) by revealing to me how I idolize comfort. He's also answering my prayers by making me incredibly uncomfortable, and I have to say, I don't like it!

I learned after Daddy Blake's death to be more careful what I prayed for, and would qualify my request that God would reveal Himself to me with "but not at the cost of any of my loved ones' lives. PLEASE Lord, spare me that." And while it seems a little silly now, I meant it fervently and sincerely. If getting to know Jesus meant that more of my family would die, well, He and I could be on less intimate terms for the time being, and that was really okay with me. God clearly trusted me with far more pain than I would have ever submitted to, and I wasn't really willing to plumb the depths of that any further.

Just takes time, I guess, for God to trick you into requesting His loving hand. The good news is that He's like a surgeon, only seeking that which is perverted, distorted, sinful, black, and gangrenous in my life. The bad news is that He's still cutting me!

Boy, do I love being comfy. I love knowing that my financial future is stable and secure. I love knowing that my and my family's health is good. I love knowing that my car starts in the morning and is pleasant to drive. I love having friends and family who love and care for me.

Now, I realize that losing much of that is squarely in the "FIRST WORLD PROBLEM" camp. Still, I live in the first world, not the third. Also, I've gotten used to those things over the past few years, and retraining habits is hard, no matter where you are. And those who cheerfully try to sympathize with "I remember eating Ramen and being so poor we couldn't pay attention! Ahh, good times!"

Yeah, well, my guess is that you newlyweds were about twenty, not thirty. And that you didn't have two mortgages, and maybe you had kids, sure, but I bet it wasn't very many (I guess I don't either, but I think one of my kids is 31!). Also, if you or your husband was in medical/law/engineering school, it doesn't count.

So, Rob and I are navigating many of the same things most newlyweds do, but we have some additional hurdles due to life and age and grownup stuff like owning really big pieces of property that we still have to pay someone else for. Praise God that He is faithful even when I am faithless, because I have run crying to Him again.

"Daddy, it's broken! It's all messed up and yucky and too real. People are hurting, and I can't fix it, and we are struggling with parenting and finances, and I just want to snuggle in with You where it is safe."

And He welcomes me with open arms and gently begins preparing for surgery to help me be well. So I pray "God, may my life glorify You, in whatever form that takes. May my marriage be a comfort to Rob and bring glory to You. May You give us all the wisdom we need to parent and protect this dear little funny boy, and may He know and love You from an early age. May my friends and family who live without You come to relationship through Your Son. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

I'll let you know how it's going. I bet I start to curse less.

Here's hoping!

Monday, July 27, 2009

july is for LOVERS

Happy anniversary!
Dad & Mom, 33 years on 7/24/09
Matt & Reese, 5 years on 7/23/09
Bing & Lane, 1 year on 7/27/09
(Pete & Naomi, Sam & Sara, Josh & Becca are in there too, but I'm not related to them.)

Click to enlarge... and laugh and laugh.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

also, we had to stay the night unexpectedly, due to rained out roads, and let's just say that b now calls maxi pads "pull-ups"

A few weekends ago, some friends invited us up to a family cabin. There was a possibility for single-track biking, and while I was game for it, I warned Rob that if he broke anything while riding, I would break the rest of his uninsured ass and leave him up there.

It must be really exciting to be married to me.

Well, he took me so seriously that, when the four-wheeler he was riding began to flip and roll down the hill, he leapt from it, tucked, and rolled out of the way. While he was uninjured other than some bruising and tenderness, the four-wheeler was totaled. Damage to relationships has yet to be tallied.

First, seeing my husband so broken over the latest in a string of missteps or accidents was immensely softening to my initial anger. Second, I've been in the scenario where all the equipment returned intact, and the man did not. Third, this was not our four-wheeler, but belonged to a family that has been very generous to me over the years. Fourth, due to a series of unfortunate events immediately following the rolling ATV, two others were damaged.

Evidently, when someone you know goes flipping an ATV down a hill, it's natural to jump off your own and run towards your friend. Locked or not, ATVs don't stay in one place when stopped on a hill, and the surrounding trees helpfully kept those two wandering machines from going too far. Not so helpful: trees don't step on the brakes and gently slow things down. Trees go crunch and stop things rather abruptly. We're still working out how to make this right and how to ensure that relationships are preserved and (somehow) blessed throughout. Thankfully, the owner of said ATVs was relieved to hear that Rob was uninjured and enormously gracious about the whole thing.

But it's still hard. We can't just write a check to fix things, because we have no money. No one else can fix it for us, and so we're just in a really uncomfortable place that we're still figuring out how to extricate ourselves from. Oh, and rely on God and stuff. More on that tomorrow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

speech derapy

I've mentioned this before, but Blake doesn't pronounce the "th" sound correctly. If it's at the beginning of a word, it's either an "f" or a "d" sound.

Examples: over dere, free, firty, dat

Rob and I have been working with him on a few specific words so that he's aware of the correct pronunciation and aware of how to make his mouth form the words. Ounce of prevention (watch my mouth) is worth a pound of cure (speech therapy just doesn't sound fun). He's been catching himself and correcting himself, especially when counting:

B: One,two... THa-ree, four, five... (and on) twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-free... twenty-THa-ree, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, firty-one, firty-two, ONE HUNDRED. One hundred and firty-two DOLLARS.

I think he's going to be an accountant.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

also good: their rockumentaries, 1-4

I'm having a full day of work at home, in between sipping gin/mint limeade and browsing YouTube. And baking for a camping trip this weekend, though I haven't officially started that part.

I'll get to why later (maybe), but it's been a discouraging day, mostly because some things that should just be Rob's and my dumb shit are, to put it mildly, inconveniencing other people. And there's nothing I can do about it but be sorry and hope that we can fix things somehow, and then I came across Milli Vanilli's Blame it on the Rain and giggled. Because we could kind of blame it on the rain.

And then I started finding and watching a bunch of fun stuff by the David Crowder*Band. Including this one, which makes me cry, even as I wonder what I would think of the crazy dude doing this in the middle of New York City.

ain't no glue to fix this

A: (feeling his forehead) How you feeling today, honey? You seem like you're still a little hot.
B: Well, remember last night? When I didn't feel good and my belly hurt and my head hurt and I had a fever? I just broke that fever. So I feel better.

And then, to anyone who asked about it, he told them about his fever and how you have to break it with water and Jell-O and medicine and a banana.

I think he's going to be a doctor.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

he'll pull through just fine

Blake had a bit of a fever this afternoon when he got up from his nap, but nothing major. I gave him Tylenol, he laid low, I went about my day, no big deal. Went to spend time with a friend that I've not seen in too long, and when leaving the house, this conversation ensued:

A: Bye guys! I'm off!
B: (running from the bedroom, Superman cape flying) Wait! I have to give you a hug and a kiss goodbye. You look beautiful mom.
A: Well, thank you! I sure love you.
B: Where are you going?
A: I get to go hang out with Stephie tonight.
B: Ooh, I can come there. That would be great.
A: Not tonight - the boys are gone, so it's just us grils.
B: Ok, but first I need another hug and a kiss. (does so enthusiastically) Have fun mom, I will be glad when I can go to Chase's house too!

I got home, and Rob gave me a synopsis of the night, which included an unusually subdued Blake and a little emotional frailty. Concerned by the description of B moving towards bed on his own because of how tired he was and how mellow, I went to check on him. One touch told it all.

As I woke him to take both some Tylenol and his temperature, his little body spasmed into what looked frighteningly like the seizure he had back when he was 18 months, though he quickly woke enough to sit up and sip the medicine. Still, his hands trembled violently, and I pressed some Jell-O on him to help his blood sugar in case that was the problem. Quite suddenly, after two bites, he cheerfully told me that he felt better now, the medicine was working, and that I could put the Jell-O back in the freezer, he'd eat it tomorrow. Also, could I please bring him the ice pack for him to sleep with?

I dutifully put away the Jell-O, brought him a water bottle and the ice pack, and settled in to comfort him back to sleep. He proceeded to prattle on about everything and nothing, telling me about his day, about how his head and stomach had hurt him when I was gone, but he was so glad that I was back now, about Luke the Skywalker and Anakin and Superman and Batman. I began to worry that he was delirious, so I asked him his name.

B: Blake.
A: And your middle names?
B: Bedford.
A: What comes between Blake and Bedford?
B: Uh...
A: One of them starts with an "S."
B: Bedford.
A: Sssss...
B: Samuel.
A: Yep, and the other one starts with an "M."
B: Bedford.
A: No, what was your name before? And mine? The same as Daddy Blake's?
B: Uh...
A: Morstad.
B: Morstad. Blake Samuel Morstad Bedford.
A: That's right!
B: Wow, I have a big name. That's huge.

Monday, July 20, 2009

he gets that from me

Blake knows the words "shart" and "going commando."

You're welcome, world. I won't let him say "fart" because it sounds awful out of the mouth of a four-year-old, we don't let him watch SpongeBob SquarePants because it's so crude, and he knows to excuse himself if he burps or toots.

He does, however, correctly identify the occasional smear in his britches that often (when in public because I don't carry back-up) precipitates him going sans britches under his shorts. Why do things that don't sound funny out of my mouth crack me up to no end when he says them?

Friday, July 17, 2009

slightly harder to cuddle

A hand vacuum is better than a dog.
  • Cleans without leaving lick spots on the floor.
  • Cleans both food AND non-food debris.
  • Doesn't add its own debris to the floor.
  • Recharges without needing exercise.
  • Entertains Blake without being needy.
  • No vet bills.
  • Doesn't beg.
  • Stays tucked behind the couch when not in use.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

notches in my belt

I have had reason to talk about both big Blake and Rob in the same conversation a few times recently. It's not awkward, but I've run into a funny etymology question, because I find myself calling big B my late husband and R my current husband. Because evidently I plan on getting more, to be referred to as my future husband(s).

Or, I will say R is my new husband. Because I upgraded.

Ack! Any suggestions that don't make me sound so awful?

My living husband...

My redbearded husband...

My... husband.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

no phone calls tonight, please!

By the time he gets back, Rob will have been in Spokane almost four weeks. During that time, I've been there for one of those weeks, but it's still been frustrating to be separated for so long so early in our marriage. He's had good reason to be there, which I'll get to another time, including before and after pictures of the house and a love sonnet to a renewed friendship with a couple I've known for years, but it's given me a lot of time to reflect on missing someone who is simply elsewhere versus missing someone who will not be seen again this side of heaven.

I have been embarassingly unsympathetic with friends who have had to endure short separations from one another for whatever reason... because, well, I win. I've been missing big Blake for over four years now, and more painfully: no phone calls, emails, or online chatting. What a lame way to win. Though, in the back of my mind, it was as though he was on mainland China with no way of communication. I knew he still existed, but in no way I could reach him. It was comforting and maddening and surreal, especially because I half-expected him to walk in the back door at my folks' house any moment that first year after his death. Also, I kept coming across his shaving kit in a drawer or suitcase or wherever I'd put it - and he would have needed that, China or no.

Now, having Rob within easy communication reach but not within arm's reach and still being apart for quite some time is giving me pause about how cavalierly I disregarded my friends' feelings. The ache of grief and longing is a ceaseless and constant dull ache, sometimes sharpening into full body howls, but with no real comfort other than distraction and the healing power of time and God's hand (when I could tolerate it). I stayed up late so that I could fall into bed exhausted, surrounding myself with pillows to simulate non-emptiness, and sleeping poorly.

The longing of missing someone with whom I speak daily is not as painful as it is enormously irritating, like an itch I can't scratch. I'm not sad that Rob's out of town, I'm mad at the circumstances that have kept him away for so long. I'm plunged back into the busy-ness and lethargy of being a single parent. I stay up far too late because getting into bed alone isn't all that appealing, though I still surround myself with pillows and sleep poorly.

Missing someone and grieving someone are enormously different. I can be more compassionate now with my friends who are missing others, and still maintain my compassion to those in grief. I get it now, dammit.

He's just outside of Butte. He's almost home.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

even pat robertson

As Steve said, this might make you laugh or make you mad. It makes me happy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

that's what he said

I came across an old sheet of paper with a few quotes written down. Apparently, these are from when Blake was about 2 or 2.5 years old.
  • (to Milo, a friend's cat) Whatchoo gonna eat?
  • (again to Milo, with arm slung over the cat's "shoulders") Milo, you my friend.
  • (taking up a check-out divider in Costco and playing it like a guitar) Waa-waa-waa, waa-waa-waa.
  • (as soon as the firework we were watching was done, looking up at me breathlessly) I get some more.
  • (calling from his crib to wake me) Mornin'! ...Momma? ...Where you are?
  • (after a spanking) I love you, honey.
A: Is it good?
B: No, it's not good.
A: Is it too hot?
B: No, it's warm.

Slightly more recently:
B: I want to listen to that one song, the one that Rob gave us this last week? Because I love it, it's the most beautifulest song today.

And more recently (as in yesterday-ish):
A: Are you going to sweep and mop Grammie and Papaw's floor?
B: No. I'm too small. I can't handle that.

B: (after being offered a variety of snacks) Grammie, can you please offer me something that I will choose and then I will eat it? Like fruit snacks or ice cream.

A: You're a good artist.
B: (not looking up) Yes, I'm an expert.

B: (under his breath) I need a job.
I need a job.
I need a job.
I need a job.
I need a job.
A: What?
B: Nothing. I was talking to myself.

A: (after B finally woke me up by snuggling, but after G had come into the room) Ok, are you ready for me to make you some oatmeal?
B: (cutting eyes over to G) Well, Grammie's really good at it...

B: Mom?! I love ya. You're so beautiful. You're lovely.

G: You're my little man.
B: I'm not a little man! I'm a big guy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

my to-do list can no longer be my hobby, and this time, i mean it

From The New Yorker.
My Quiet Time, by Andy Borowitz

Q. What are some things you do to manage your time effectively?
A. I get up at 4:30 every morning. I like the quiet time. It's a time I can recharge my batteries a bit. I exercise and I clear my head and I catch up on the world. I read papers. I look at e-mail. I surf the Web. I watch a little TV, all at the same time. I call it my quiet time but I'm already multitasking. I love listening to music, so I'll do that in the morning, too, when I'm exercising and watching the news.
- An interview with Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, in the Times.

Whoever said that the early bird gets the worm could have been talking about me, only I'm a person, not a bird, and I'm not interested in getting worms, more like getting things done. But I do get up early. In fact, the secret to my success could be boiled down to three little words: my quiet time. It begins at 1 A.M., when I get out of bed, check my e-mail, brush my teeth, scan some documents, and floss. Then I'll surf the Web, maybe order a sectional couch or trade zloty futures. Last week, I bought a Swiss chalet and sold it at a twenty-per-cent profit while I was still in my pajamas. I wanted to high-five someone, but no one else was awake. Sometimes I can't remember if I've flossed already, so I'll do it again, just to be sure, while checking my e-mail and maybe sending a fax. Did I mention that the early bird gets the worm? That in many ways applies to me.

By 1:03, I've had two cups of coffee, I'm down in my basement on the elliptical, and my heart is pounding like a cheetah's. I know that cheetahs have a fast heart rate because I often watch Animal Planet while I'm on the elliptical, although sometimes I'll do the picture-in-picture thing so I can watch CNBC Asia while I'm watching the thing about cheetahs. It isn't always about cheetahs; it's about other animals, too, like meerkats. I just said cheetahs as a for instance. I do the elliptical naked. One time when I was on the elliptical, I patched myself into a conference call in Jakarta and accidentally hit the camera thing on my phone, so everyone wound up seeing me in the buff, all flopping around and everything. Another time when I was on the elliptical, I saw an amazing documentary about cheetahs.

While I'm on the elliptical and maybe ordering a hovercraft online, I'll drain a six-pack of Red Bull. Red Bull Red Bull Red Bullybullybull. Then I'll call London. I don't have any business contacts in London, but I have a London phone directory and I like to call people at random. It helps me clear my head. You'd be surprised, though, how some people in London will get totally honked off if you call them out of the blue just to say "What's up?" It's not an anti-American thing; sometimes I'll call them with a fake British accent and say "Tallyho!" and they'll still get pissed. They'll act like it's the middle of the night, even though with the time change and everything it's already 6 A.M. But even if they tell me to go fuck myself it recharges my batteries.

There's no end to the things I can accomplish during my quiet time. I have a fairly nimble contralto voice, and after I pop an amphetamine or two I'll work my way through the Metropolitan Opera repertoire, taking breaks to revise my will or maybe buy a fishing lodge. One thing I like to do is a controlled burn of dry twigs in the woods behind my house. I'll do the elliptical for twenty minutes, set fire to the woods, sing an aria from "The Magic Flute," then jump back on the elliptical. Now, here's something that honks me off: neighbors who call the fire department when you're in the middle of a controlled burn. Those sirens start wailing and, before you know it, there goes my quiet time. I guess the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who understand quiet time and those who don't. By the way, you know who really makes the most of their quiet time? Cheetahs, I saw a documentary on them one time and they are awesome.

a little like elly elephant

Feeling a little left out these days... wish that I weren't so busy that folks said "no" on my behalf before giving me the opportunity to decline invitations... wish life were a little more even-keeled and that I could give friends the kind of attention I love to give friends... wish I could accept the not-incoming invitations.

Click to enlarge.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I worked over fourteen hours today. I smell really, really bad, but the Haagen-Dazs doesn't care.

It's called five: mint. I recommend it highly.

Of note, the paint colors I can identify (and track what's where) in the house are as follows:
Fireside: red, in the front bedroom
Cozy Cottage: cream, in the front bedroom
Powdered Snow: white, ceiling color in front bedroom and bathroom
Stone Fence: slate, in the second bedroom and bathroom
Almond Cream: trim in four rooms
City Lights: trim in other rooms, plus original wall color in the kitchen/dining/laundry
Nutty Beige: warm brown, in the living room

I hope to be done with these colors in about twelve more hours. I sleep in Bozeman Friday night, then off to Billings, unfortunately without Rob.

I will probably have to comfort myself with five: brown sugar.