Thursday, April 29, 2010

me likey the bunko girls

Just to note: Rob worried that my quote list would ultimately mean I would be barred from Bunko. I reassured him that most of the girls gleefully laugh and holler "Addie, did you get that?!"

H: How can guys do that?
L: Just bend it.
C: Like a hose? Kink it like a hose?

A: If you performed like I did...

S: We should do something crazy and unchurchlike.

T: I lubed your mechanism.

M: Can you press in more?
L: I can't unless I stand up.
M: But it feels so goooooood!

H: It's SINFUL. But I like it.

M: Not so rough!

C: If you leave it, it just gets runny.
A: Oh, really?
C: (wickedly) It just goes limp.

A: It's okay. You can touch it!

M: I was at that table. It was disturbing. Addie will probably like it.

A: So I'm keeping score?
E: Well, you're the one drinking, so I'm sure you'll do fine.

A: Can I use your bathroom?
M: No. Outside.

L: You may have pushed it in too far.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

it's not that kind of questionable content

Statcounter reports that three to five people reach my blog each week via the search words "cheerful porn." This has been consistent enough that Rob finally Googled it too, and it turns out that my blog is the first result when searching that particular phrase.

Weird. I know precisely why a search turns me up - I posted almost a year ago about the ring tone on my new phone, and how it sounded like a cheerful porn soundtrack, and that I cannot help but dance whenever I hear it - but it's odd that I am the FIRST result for a phrase I used once. Of course, I couldn't help but post about the results on Facebook, and my blog hits off the keywords "cheerful porn" more than doubled overnight. Thanks, FRIENDS.

I imagine this post will only complicate matters, though I'm not sure how I could be any higher in the search results than I already am. It's all strangely funny, especially the responses to my post in FB, but I do hope that those who get here from there are disappointed when they arrive and promptly leave.

Otherwise... um... EWWWW.

Friday, April 23, 2010

no spitting in the house

We're entering a new phase. On the sinful side, it's been characterized by rebellion (ignoring our instructions and arguing with almost EVERYTHING), selfishness (constant interruption and worse), and anger (pouting). Unfortunately, his preschool has reported some of the same, and the rebellion there included some experimental spitting during nap/rest time.

Oh dear.

We've pulled out a new book for the new phase that involves even more heart work than the last parenting book we leaned on heavily. Have yet to read it, but we are trying to be creative in how we discipline. These new habits took time to adopt and will take time to unlearn. Rather than a one-time discipline for each little infraction, we've taken a sweeping methodology that will require long term obedience to get the good consequences he desires.

The discipline? We took away all his Star Wars and superhero t-shirts. He was very, very sad about this, which I think is a good sign. He also thinks all his other t-shirts are boring, which I think shows a lack of imagination. At least we didn't limit him to white wife-beaters.

The good consequences? Get good reports about behavior at school and work on arguing and interrupting at home, and he can earn up to one shirt back per day. He got his first one back yesterday, and it's looking good for him to get another back today.

My initial suggestion of just giving him swirlies was rejected out of hand, and when I protested, Rob mentioned that Blake might have gotten the arguing part from me.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

sums it up nicely, i think

I'm embracing my white spandex even more these days.

Monday, April 19, 2010

kids these days

He came running out of his room and said, "Mom, I have something really cool to show you." It was very difficult not to smile or laugh, because he's in a "take me serious" phase, but he did agree to let me get it on camera. I should note that he blessedly does not know any music to go along with these moves.

that's what he said

B: I like your purse.
E: Thank you!

B: I'm a fan of candy.

B: I'm really hungry now!
A: You'll just have to wait. It's almost dinner.
B: Why don't you give me something to tight me over?

B: MOM! Look at these cool Star Wars shirts!
A: Those ARE cool, but you already have about a hundred, so that's plenty.
B: Mom, I think I need a bigger closet. Then I can buy a TONS of shirts.

A: (after a ten-minute cooling period) Blake, I am sorry that I lost my temper and yelled at you. No matter how disobedient you are, I need to have self-control in how I speak to you. Will you please forgive me?
B: (looking down seriously and raising his arms to wrap them tightly around my neck, then whispering right at my ear so that it was very loud and hurty) Mom, I will always forgive you.

B: I made a big pile of awesome.

Monday, April 12, 2010

the truth will out

Immediately after watching a commercial for V-8, where a man feeds his veggies to his dog, Blake said, "I love to eat my vegetables. I'm going to be stron."

I agreed with him.

"Mom, can I please have some vegetables?"

"Um, yes. I think. All I have right now is spinach. Do you want a bowl of salad?"

"Yes, please."

"Wow. Okay. Do you want avocado on it or the huckleberry dressing?"

"No, thank you. Just the salad."

And then he ate a bowlful of spinach leaves plain. !!!

"Mom, I ate them all gone. Because I want to be big and stron so one day I can beat up on Dad." (emphasis mine)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

happy anniversary to us!

Rob and I have been cheerfully hitched for a year now. Last year was rough, only because life was constantly pushing us around. Marriage itself was a great respite of fun and discovery, partly because we were still getting to know each other. And now we're at one year and thinking "WHAT?! I just met you!" because it's pretty much true. I can see that this year will be different. We pushed life back and sat on life's face and then Rob farted and life is giving the Bedford house a wide berth now. Marriage is still fun, but there are more frequent moments of "Why would you do it THAT way when THIS way is so clearly superior?"
So, I started this post this morning at 10:30ish. Rob asked if I wanted to finish it or if I wanted to help him paint Blake's bedroom. Clearly, I made the right choice, because all we have to do tomorrow is spot-check for coverage, put everything back together, and that's TWO rooms down (out of three - or four if you count our attached bathroom separately) for painting. It was a lovely day - Blake went to the rodeo with some friends, we painted like fools and spent good time together. Rob didn't realize how much his help with painting would bless me! Blake didn't realize that running off at the rodeo is a quick way to give Z and K a major panic attack! Funny that the child mortally afraid of being lost or left behind takes it into his head to bolt just before the rodeo ends, so that as our friends see him taking off, everyone else stands up and starts milling around. It was a misunderstanding (fully on his part) that he could go to the bathroom before the rodeo ended and ALONE. Silly boy.

Everyone made it home okay, K's heartrate evened out, and Blake meekly asked forgiveness for scaring the bejeebers out of her. We promptly left him with other friends and went out for dinner and a movie - rare treats. Trying to get him home was a trick, since he stubbornly refused to wake up after all the excitement of the day:
  • Rodeo clowns, bucking bulls, calf ropers, and being lost among a sea of butts at eye-level!
  • Star Wars LEGOs wherein he was told he makes the best sound effects!
  • Humming accompaniment to Chase's rendition of "I'll Fly Away" during spaceship playing!
  • Silly bedtime stories by Chase!
Sheesh. I'm wiped out too. Guess I'll open the nice bottle of wine I've saved for a year (HARD TO DO in this house!), grab the box of fancy chocolates I picked up yesterday (Blake's taste test: "They are okay, but not as good."), and snuggle with my fella on the couch.

And from my mini-quiet time this morning (new rule: quiet time before Facebook time - I think it will work well for me), emphasis added:

Psalm 108: 1-6
My heart is steadfast, O God;
   I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
   I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
   I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
   your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
   and let your glory be over all the earth.
Save us and help us with your right hand,
   that those you love may be delivered.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

a primer on loving those in fresh grief

A man I knew indirectly (though he was a friend of many close friends) died last night. He was my age, with two very young children and a young wife left behind. My heart aches for their family. As I read through some of the loving words posted in various places about him, I grew annoyed by our society's queasiness about death. We have so many euphemisms that do not actually speak truth: he went home, he is with Jesus, he passed away, etc. The widow will be spoken of as having "lost her husband," as though she misplaced him on her last grocery run. As if he were a set of keys.

The man died. The only thing that eases the feeling of loss and theft is knowing that he truly is in a better place. He suffered a great deal in his last months here on earth, and while his family is freed of watching him suffer, helpless, they now face the unenviable task of figuring out what life looks like when there is a raw gaping hole in it. In them.

Yes, he is dancing with Jesus. Yes, they will be reunited one day.

But now? Today? This first day that the sun cruelly rose without him here on the earth? His family misses him. There is a very real permanence to death, at least for those who still live. They never get to speak to him, never get to hear his voice, and not acknowledging the profundity of that pain does them a disservice as grieving Christians who believe in life and hope hereafter.

So to those friends who know E and love her and get to speak to her, be kind. Let her miss him. Do not say that he is in a better place. She knows, and that knowledge still doesn't remove the ache of the fact that the place is, for now, unreachable by her. Do not quote Romans 8:28 (and we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose). Tell her stories of her beloved. Share pictures she may not have of him. Cry with her as she yearns to see him again, even in a dream. Empathize with the sheer loneliness of a future without him. Do not feel the need to say anything. There will be times she'll need to be surrounded by the busy-ness of life in order to be comforted by the normalcy. There will be times she'll feel like it will never be normal again. There may be many tears over the new "normal." And God will be there with her, every step of the way, mourning with her even if she does as I did, shaking her fist at Him and asking why He didn't change things.

E'en for the dead, I will not bind my soul to grief. Death cannot long divide.
For is it not as though the rose that climbed my garden wall has blossomed on the other side?
Death does hide, but not divide.
You are but on Christ's other side!
You are with Christ, and Christ with me.
In Christ united still are we.

Friday, April 9, 2010

my touchdown dance

I'm rockin' two out of two Scrabble games with Rob. I'm not sure if it's the layout (it's not really Scrabble - it's something for iPhone/iTouch that's just different enough to avoid a lawsuit), or if he thinks I'm adorable at winning, but I have really quite handily spanked him in the scores.

I'm also not a great loser - where DOES Blake get it? - but would agree that my winning dance is rather awkward and adorable.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

no qualifying "for his age" here, because that's just unnecessarily insulting

I am collecting all the immediate family's birthdays so that they quit sneaking up on me, because those sneaky birthdays give me giant WEDGIES when they catch me. And then they pull my pants down to my ankles. The birthdays. Not my immediate family... because I would no longer be SPEAKING to my immediate family, must less celebrating their birthdays, if they were pantsing me all the time.

That would be very embarrassing, and I will not stand for it. Therefore: birthday collecting. I'm trying to be good and get the actual year people were born, so that when it's a big-un, I can send an appropriately inappropriate card that mocks them for being really young, being really old, or constantly wetting themselves (Aislynn, I'm looking at you here!).

I have resorted to stalking my own family (and Rob's and big Blake's too) on Facebook. I already have almost all the details on the Morstad and Myers sides of things, so really, I'm collecting the Bedford side of things, and only the IMMEDIATE family, because if I added aunts, uncles, and cousins, I am not sure that my Excel spreadsheet would expand to fit all of them (same goes for the Morstad and, heck, the Myers families too).

THAT'S RIGHT. I SAID "EXCEL SPREADSHEET." Seriously, I'm anal and organized. Why don't you get that?

I found my father-in-love, Cec's (his name is pronounced "cease") profile and his birth year and exclaimed:

A: Your dad was born in...
R: Nineteen blankety-blank on the nose! I hope I look as good as him when I'm his age.
A: I hope you do too!

In hindsight, I said that last part a leetle enthusiastically (and I concealed the real birth date, because Poppa Cease did not sign up to have his personal details broadcast to my tens of readers). But the point remains that he's a good-lookin' man, and I married into that family.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

being jane: AWESOME

I clogged the sink tonight. Nothing, not even holding my breath and using the plunger, would help.

Backing up thirty minutes...

I bought a bunch of food last week. Like, a ton. Fresh ingredients for all the great soups and pastas and whatever, large cuts of meat, blah blah blah.

For one reason or another, I have made exactly ONE of the five meals I had planned. Not that this is bad - while I love to cook, I also love not cooking while still being fed (that last part is key in enjoying the first part). Because Rob's in Missoula for some training today and tomorrow and Blake went to bed really early tonight, I have time on my hands. Do I go out with the girls? Crack open a bottle of wine and watch sappy movies? Have friends over for Super Mario Brothers marathons?

No. I cut up large quantities of fresh celery, broccoli, and carrots in order to freeze them so that I might easily use them at a later date rather than watch in vain as they spoil at the bottom of my fridge. Wheee! I think this means I am thoroughly domesticated.

After shoving all the carrot peels down the disposal, I turned away for bit, then looked back to realize that while the disposal was merrily churning away, the water wasn't going anywhere. In fact, the water that was running was simply bringing the level of the sink up higher...


I turned everything off and stuck my hand down there, but the disposal was practically empty. It was just whipping up a froth of carrot-colored dishwater. I ran water down the other side of the sink, and it drained readily, so I knew exactly where the clog was: in the straight piece of pipe connecting the disposal to the main pipe.

I also know how to loosen and tighten those nifty little plastic fittings on the pipes under the sink.

So I loosened them. But before you envision orange-carrot-water disaster all over under my sink, know this: I had on rubber gloves. I removed EVERYTHING from underneath that sink and set a mop bucket below the curve (pee trap?) I was about to remove. And then I got to loosening. Pulled off one part, and the clog wasn't present. Wiggled the straight part free to the point that I saw chopped up carrot peels. AHA! I grabbed a butter knife and starting poking and pulling.

The gush that was suddenly freed may have splashed a bit, but my mop bucket is tall, and lo, I was protected. Also, did I mention the rubber gloves?

Got everything nasty (NASTY) in the bucket, reattached all the pipes, cautiously ran the water down both drains to make sure the pipes were secure, and put my life back together.

I probably saved us about $200 by not needing to call the plumber. I may have washed my hands fifteen times since getting done (rubber gloves aren't MAGIC), but I feel kind of bad-ass. Sure, all I did was show basic "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" knowledge, but I am a semi-prim girl who did plumbery things and I think that counts for something, so I celebrated...

with a cup of hot tea. WATCH OUT WORLD! I'm getting wild.

Monday, April 5, 2010

dog poop: not awesome

And I'm on to you, neighbors. That time you told me that you picked up after your dog? The time I watched you watch your dog poop, noticing that you did not have a bag in your hand, and right before I drove away, I asked you SPECIFICALLY if you picked up after her because my child and I like to play in the snow sometimes, and dog poop really puts a damper on that? You said of course or something equally reassuring, and I drove away cheerfully, but noticed that there always seemed to be a pile or five that conveniently got covered over by the next snow, making the yard area a toxic layer cake of BLAKE, DON'T GO IN THE SNOW! Do you know how cruel that is to a five-year-old boy, being banned from touching the snow right outside his door?

Too bad for you, the snow is all melting and I can see that you are in fact a big, poopy liar! And that you possibly have not picked up MOST of the winter. I want to pile up all the rotten poo (hundreds of dookies) on your doorstep, but I'm afraid you might not get the message that I hate you a little bit, and yes I realize that this post is diametrically opposed to the post below.

Let me clarify: I hope you know and love Jesus as your Lord and Savior and that we can laugh about this one day in paradise, where no one ever poops or where they have people whose joy in paradise is poo-collection, which is clearly not your strong suit here on earth. In fact, you can do the loving Jesus FIRST, THEN pick up all the dog poop that is somewhat incriminatingly concentrated on YOUR SIDE of the laughably small lawn we "share."

Until I can catch your dog in the act and catch you NOT picking up, though, you have the law on your side (and by law, I mean I WILL CALL THE COPS ON YOU and hope that they do not roll their eyes at me). And yes, I will be THAT neighbor, the one peeping through the blinds with a camera in order to force change, or at least bring down the fire in the form of a pitifully small financial consequence for your actions. Because if YOU won't discipline you, well then I GUESS I HAVE TO. And you should be grateful that I know YOU are the problem here, not your dog, or I'd be aiming a pellet gun rather than a camera lens.

Maybe I should do that anyway. "BAD owner!" (zing)


Then I would come running with a plastic bag for you. I'm nothing if not generous. I might even throw in a band-aid.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is risen indeed

Happy Easter! This is my favorite "holiday," because of what it means. The songs in church today were (obviously) resurrection themed, and I always get a little choked up at some of the lines, but today, I was a soggy mess. Without Kleenex. Thankfully, Rob's sleeve was very tear-absorbent. I don't want my life to be defined by the fact that I was widowed so young, but I was widowed SO young. And it profoundly changed the way I see almost everything, so maybe it's a part-way definition of sorts.

Jesus is the reason for the day, but I have hard time visualizing Him. I do not have any difficulty imagining my "hook in Heaven," big Blake. I can picture him just fine, and the promise of today, the promise of eternity and looking forward to seeing him again overwhelms me with emotion almost every time I really get to ponder it. It's not that Jesus isn't enough - He's quite plenty! It's that I have someone else with whom I'm eager to get reacquainted, one whom I have physically touched and known. I think it's one of God's mercies that He gives us frail creatures such touches of anticipation. He knows we cannot truly imagine Him as He is and all that He promises. We CAN imagine those people we love who have gone before.

There's a deep difference in how I celebrate Easter now.

As for our boy, not so much. He declared his belief in the Easter bunny, and while I'm not sure that I ever did (Mom? Care to weigh in?), I fondly remember the way my mom made celebrations special as a child. We'd come upstairs and see the dining room tricked out with crepe paper streamers, balloons, confetti on the table and our Easter baskets, full of goodies. The whole family would greet one another with "He is risen!" and "He is risen indeed!"

I've been pretty last-minute or nonchalant about some celebrations in the past, but I'm trying harder this year. We had three egg hunts (school, friends, home), we made resurrection cookies last night (eaten this morning and tasty), and we enjoyed sourdough pancakes and bacon before church. Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen!

Egg hunt numero uno with his preschool friends. They made the baskets out of milk jugs earlier in the week, we all had a hand to hold in order to troop across the street to the huge yard at the Story Mansion, and the kids were set loose. Some of the eggs were high enough that the teachers or I had to get on tiptoes to get them for kids, and we laughed about the giant man who must have hidden them, then were sternly corrected about the Easter bunny and his size.

Due to the heavy snow we woke up to on Saturday morning, the egg hunt was relocated from the Schuyler back yard to Sara K's first-grade classroom. It was great fun, and everyone did really well. Blake stuck to eggs he had to FIND, while Mason was dutifully and seriously patrolling the floor to snag the ones that were artfully set down all over the place. And with approximately ten dozen candy-stuffed eggs to find... we were done in forty-five seconds flat.

This morning's egg hunt, around the house. No competition, harder-to-find eggs, and MORE candy! In about four hours, he may very well lapse into a sugar coma.

The Easter basket and the "oh, shoot, I don't have a basket and I don't want to go to the garage at this hour" bag. I may have gone overboard, but it was really fun to find things I KNEW they would both love. Like Pop Rocks. HEY OH!!!

See, Mom? I'm getting better at this! Of course, B was mystified at why we'd have streamers and balloons for Easter. I mean, it's no one's BIRTHDAY or anything. And yes, that clock in the background says 12:30. At night. See why I was reluctant to head to the garage for a silly basket?!

We made the best of the snow situation. I had help from Blake, Lizabeth, Jack, Mason, Smith, and Kale. It was fun, even when Matt or Peter (not sure which) pegged me with a snowball. I wish the monster snowman's gaping maw showed up better. Next time: red food coloring. NOM NOM NOM!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

new music to check out (plus cartoons)

I heard a story on Jakob Dylan's (Bob's son) new album, Women and Country. First of all, I can't get his singing voice out of my head - very mellow and a tiny bit gravelly, but with a stripped down folk sound. Neko Case and Kelly Hogan provide his background, and they were in the studio with him, and everything sounded, just... amazing.

I really want this album, and I almost never want entire CDs anymore. It helped that both he and Neko were funny in the interview, in a laid-back dry way. I just watched the Tiny Desk Concert and I just LOVE his voice.

In wholly unrelated news, there's enough snow on the ground that I plan to take one of two paths:
  1. Curse roundly. I was enjoying wearing tank tops and ballet flats.
  2. Get out there before the neighbor dogs and create a Calvin & Hobbes snowscape.