Tuesday, June 29, 2010

it's like wild kingdom around here!

Hand to God, we've had three baby bunnies playing tag in our yard and our neighbor's yards. We've had a female mallard dining on bird seed under my feeder while house and yellow finches cavorted (Blake has permission to chase off any blackbirds, red-winged or no). And upon walking back towards the back door, a small field mouse darted back under our little patio, to peek out at us three or four more times before deciding that our talk of "traps" and "killing it" made it want to stay hidden.

All this happened within a ten-minute span while I started up the grill. Holy moly!

Monday, June 28, 2010

the problem is that's not going over too well either

At what point does protecting my new-born nuclear family become selfish?

At what point do I know I am doing enough to care for the feelings of all the families I am related to? When do Rob and I get to decide how much seeing of everyone is enough, how much is not enough, and how much can and should be done from our home base?

My head and heart are spinning and hurt and confused about all the people I want to come through for, make sacrifices for, and bend over backwards for.

The problem is that the two men I live with are getting lost in my shuffle and my need to meet everyone else's expectations. And so I quit. I'm not traveling anywhere without both Rob and Blake, not for long weekends or get-aways, not for camping or meet-ups or drop-offs. I'm tired of feeling widowed all over again when I have to go somewhere without my husband, and I'm tired of Blake's time looking more like that of a child of divorced parents. I quit.

Come to us. We just can't go anywhere right now.

UPDATE: And praise God for understanding from those I am disappointing. Just to be perfectly clear about that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

context omitted, for your reading pleasure

S: You and your dummy are on fire!
I don't know why I like saying that so much... DUMMY.

B: You learn from a black guy.
A: That's what she said.

S: You don't believe me, but I AM REALLY TIGHT!

B: Yeah, I'm tighter than a Target Q-tip.

L: Let's BOTH do it, H!

A: It feels good. I like it.

M: See, that's why there's wet spots!
H: Because we're cheaters.

C: She's bisexual? Well, if you're gonna screw up, go all the way.

B: Are you my chicken goddess?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

how the hell am i supposed to be?

We have this sweet little speaker in our living room that streams Pandora (advert-free!). I was skeptical at first, but RobRob won me over, and I do really like it. Blake likes it even more than me - "I think we should be listening to some music now, Mom." - and often requests the station I created special just for him: Black Eyed Peas Radio.

It's a pretty fun mix to dance around to (and yes, I absolutely shake it - Gloria Estefan was right: the rhythm really IS going to get you), and Blake generally likes the most inappropriate songs. So much so that, when I finally can catch the lyrics and gasp and skip it, he's usually got the chorus memorized and can horrify anyone else who knows enough of the rest of the song to know what he's quoting.

We'll get everything from vintage Michael Jackson to the latest by Kanye West, but my absolute favorite is Usher's "Yeah." Why? I laugh and laugh remembering this scene from Hitch, which is a movie I should own just to watch the extra footage of this again and again.

open invitation

I am going to Montana Shakespeare in the Park's showing of A Midsummer Night's Dream this week. I plan to go Thursday, but I want company, and Rob isn't available (don't feel badly for him - he gets to be in Billings, which is not here, which makes him happy!).

I need two things: company (come one, come all!) and a babysitter. I'm using the blog to fill my social calendar and meet my needs. I also use Facebook. Both are wonderful problem-solving tools surpassed only by my Magic 8-Ball.

Just kidding. The fairy that lives inside my Magic 8-Ball has been fired because the blog and Facebook are MUCH BETTER social problem solvers. "Ask again later" is not very helpful. I might start saying that to B, except his concept of time is so screwed up. "Later" could mean two seconds, two days, or two weeks. If he hasn't done something in a very very long time (weeks or months), he emphasizes the length of time by how hard he pronounces the wrong period of time: "I haven't done that for A WHOLE DAY."

But back to my problem: who wants to come with me? Picnic dinner with a bottle of wine on the lawn in the MSU Grove (behind the duck pond), starting at 6:00 for good seats. Show starts at 8:00. And who wants to play games with Blakesteramicus?

Monday, June 21, 2010

how we do what we do

a little glimpse of crazy

I am enjoying a very delicious salad, and yet I feel like a failure. Why, you ask? Why would eating my leafy greens and veggies make me feel as though I have failed at anything?

Because all the veggies in my delicious salad are GREEN. It isn't colorful enough, though the green pepper, green cuke (I first spelled that cucke, which make me think naughty things), and green avocado taste very good with the green spinach. No red, orange, or yellows, but besides tomato or fruit, anything else I add would be... bell peppers. That is a LOT of bell pepper, which I won't do (it messes with the ratio in my bites of perfection: a little of everything in the salad in EACH bite, and three kinds of peppers in each bite is just, I think we can agree, TOO MUCH).


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

better than smelling smoke all summer

I love rain. I love the smell of fresh rain on hot asphalt, I love the greening of the world, I love the darkness midday, I love the lightning and thunder, I love the rainbows and scrubbed look of the air and mountains afterward.

HOWEVER, it has now rained so much here that the asphalt has never been given the chance to dry and get hot. It is as though winter slid very very slowly into soggy. No spring. No hot asphalt. Rather than smell refreshing, it smells like worms here. True story.

Aside: I do not know how I know what worms smell like, but this leads into a coming post about how ridiculously sensitive my nose is. It is a super-sniffer.

One of the up sides of all this rain is that I haven't really had to water my plants much (though the soggy flowers are awfully limp and listless, and the plants I have in the ground have not really done any growing without sun). With Blake's new rain boots, puddles are now especially exciting. It also drives all the slugs out of the earth (and away from my poor, non-growing plants) so that Blake and I can squash them.

Aside #2: No news on the condo sale (it isn't even showing, so let's pray for that, okay?), which means that while we've found a few homes we LOVE, we can't do anything about them. It is frustrating until I remind myself that God's got a plan and there's something more perfect for us out there, or with better timing, or something. I think RobRob is pretty bummed though.

I am hoping for some electrical storming tonight. I love rain at night, especially when it's accompanied by white flashes that make the bedroom look weird and eerie and deep rumbles that are majestic and mysterious. Otherwise, rain: I hate you. We are through. Excuse me while I go wring out my hair.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

too big to contain in words - my heart HAS exploded

What a strange day this has been! It started at church, where I was on the worship team this morning. A friend told me about a conversation he'd had with mutual friends that went something like this:
J: Well, Addie mentioned that I should tweak the design to make it look less phallic. She wouldn't want people to think she had a dildo on her kitchen counter.
B: Who is this Addie person?
J: She is one of the most foul-mouthed Christians I know.
S: Actually, she is THE most foul-mouthed Christian I know.

At first I laughed, because I know that I am not always appropriate, but I'm often memorable. Then I pondered it more and was pretty bummed out by my own sin. J told me the story to entertain, not hurt me, but it's my own actions that I find objectionable, and my heart has been heavy much of the day.

Tonight, after getting Blake in bed, I popped in briefly to put some laundry away and heard a song I used to fall asleep to back when I was a kid, so I started singing along (he gets a CD at bedtime). "Yet to all who received Him / to those who believe in His name / He gave the right to become children / children of God." And Blake asked, "Mom? How do I become a child of God?"

I explained that we are all born sinners. I asked if he was a sinner, and he nodded. "Me, too," I said, and went on to talk about Jesus's death on the cross. Because we sin, we are deserving of death - sin cannot exist or stand before a purely holy God - but Jesus took that death and punishment upon Himself. And if we trusted Him and asked for His forgiveness for our sin, He would cover over our sin with His sacrifice. Because of his never stopping, never giving up, always and forever love. And Blake wanted that.

I prayed and he repeated after me, and I fumbled and repeated a few things a few times because I wanted to be sure I did right by this dear little man, and then I decided I wouldn't let my need for a certain order of words get in the way of his open-hearted running towards the God of the universe. And after "Amen," Blake's eyes snapped open and he grinned widely and said "I'm a child of God! I'm SO HAPPY!"

Such a huge, life-changing moment, and it just took place in a few moments of prayer at bedtime. And Heaven (and his Daddy) are rejoicing. Me too, but I'm also leaking copiously about the eye areas.

that's what he said

B: (while I was tickling) Don't you DARELY try to grab my feet!

B: Mom? All you have is freckles and all I have is muscles.

B: This all tastez (I'm not sure how to spell this, but he turns "tastes" into two syllables) delectable. Everything you cook is delectable. The stuff I don't think is tasty is even delectable...
(chewing thoughtfully)
to you. And maybe only halfway delectable to me.

B: I want to talk just like C does. I want to have a stutter. (This made my heart melt, because C's stutter is definitely a cross he has to bear. Blake wants to bear it too, mostly because he wants to be just like C.)

B: Ernie? Do you want to hear something that's true?
E: Um, yes?
B: Women live longer than men.

B: Here's something true: If you are carrying something that is heavy all by yourself, it's very heavy. But someone else helps you, then it is not as heavy.
A: That's pretty true, because you are sharing the load, not because the weight changes. Where did you learn that?
B: Curious George.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

but i can't talk about it

I have a lot to say. Little of it is about me right now, or at least is JUST about me. Enough is about others or involves others so that I have very little to say HERE. I like to think that just because you have the misfortune of knowing me shouldn't mean you should read about yourself here. Unless you're related to me. HAHA! Gotcha there!

Non-relatives: You're welcome. But I'm sorry for the rest of you, my avid readers. All ten of you (hi, mom!). This isn't my journal or anything like that, and YES, I learned that the hard way. I just don't have very much to say here right now.

Except that I make AWESOME jam and rhubarb is my new favorite and no one is coming to look at the condo so I'm getting lazy with the cleanliness and the snow earlier this week drove me nuts and I just want my flowers and fruits to bloom and flourish and maybe that means I will have to live in Hawaii or Billings instead of stupid Bozeman where it's winter ten months out of the year. Also, my kid is awfully cute and maybe I do have a post in me about that and all the crazy things that come out of his mouth.

Yep. I think I do.

Friday, June 4, 2010

it's all in the specifics

The potential buyer is looking for a three-bedroom unit, so our condo is out. I'm not terribly surprised - he wants a place to fill with renters until his kids enter college, and I kind of figured our place was just plain too NICE, not to mention too small.

The tour of realtors went fabulously, and I got a gushing call from our realtor:
+1 for the fresh flowers dotted around
+1 for having all the lights on so they didn't have to figure out how to light each room
+1 for having Bach Pandora radio on (+1 to Rob for that one)
+1 for the pots full of flowers on both porches

Except that no one else has called for a walk through yet. We have a short open house scheduled for Sunday, so we'll see how that goes.

We've toured a few places, which is fun and a little horrifying because I get all embarrassed for the homeowner and the fact that they clearly do not watch nearly as much HGTV as they should (that is, as much as I do). I fell in love with a house that had a creek on an acre out near the airport until we realized two things:
  • Rob's priorities for renovation/sweat equity are not the same as mine, and neither are all that modest: "First we'd knock out this wall... " "Uh, no. First we'd rip out all the flooring and countertops... " "Uh, no. First we'd install sprinklers in the yard... " "Uh, no. First we'd update all the windows... " In unison: "Uh, no."
  • The address says Bozeman, but the school district is Belgrade. If we stayed there as long as we'd imagined (20+ years), I'd be driving children in the absolutely wrong direction. Or sobbing like a baby as I put them on a bus. Not good options.
We've moved on to pinning our hopes and dreams to two separate houses that look pretty good and are about equal on paper. We've been through one and it's mostly turn-key, close to schools and works, etc. The biggest downside is that there are condos across the street, and apparently you just never know what that means in the future, but we think we'd be content to live there. We like it, but we don't love it.

The other is in a neighborhood we both like quite a bit more, has more room inside but less yard, and is a much better price. We get to see the inside tomorrow, but the outside (I drove by again today) is cute as a button! My biggest fear now is that someone died in there and it smells badly, or that someone else will buy it out from under us. I am working on my fear by getting really really really well acquainted with it.

Of course, any offer we make is contingent upon our home selling. Our prayer is that this little condo will meet someone's needs beautifully, and it will be a blessing to them as it's been to us. Blake's prayers are more specific: "Thank you, Jesus, for this food and bless it to our bodies. Please help us to buy a home with a swing, and room for a pet, and a creek so Dad and I can build a bridge, and a trampoline."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

showing today

Lights are all blazing, saying "Welcome to this cozy home!"
Febreze has been sprayed, saying "Fresh! Yummy! The owner didn't have time this morning to bake cookies to set out for you!"
Bach is quietly serenading the home that has fresh flowers in each room.
Garbages are empty, closets are tidy, flat surfaces are scrubbed and bare.
There's a homemade pennant that reads "Repair in progress" artfully tucked into the hole in the floor in the dining room, which could not be repaired to our satisfaction in time.
Things that couldn't be suitably put away are hidden deeply enough that even opening a cupboard won't reveal them, and there's a laundry basket in the back of my car filled with the rest.

Backing up... there are two showings today. The first is for potential buyers, checking out condos for their kids to live in while attending MSU (our place may be too nice for such use, to be honest). The second is our realtor giving other realtors a tour so that they keep our place in mind for their own clients. And even though I have left the condo in showable condition any time I've actually left, there's a difference between the "maybe" and the "you'll need to be sure to be gone." So I cleaned HARD. Laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, windows & mirrors, counters/sinks/toilets/showers, garbage, filled the bird feeder and weeded the "yard," mulched the pots and attacked Blake's closet.

I went to TOWN. I even cleaned the window wells. I was on fire! Blake helped by blowing bubbles outside rather than inside!

And then I woke up this morning and my back was on fire. I'm not sure what part of all that frenzy did it, but I stood up, then laid back down and thrashed around whimpering for a few moments. I apologized to Rob for suddenly being old and broken. He asked about a return policy.

"No returns!" I cried triumphantly, thrusting my pointed finger into the air. "God said so."

I stood again and carefully adjusted my posture so that my lower back didn't hurt as badly, looked in the mirror at my new crouch, and said, "This is not great news." From nubile lass to crotchety bag in less than twenty-four hours.

I think this is the sign I needed. Time to get a cleaning lady!