Sunday, November 28, 2010

that's what he said

B: Look at my belly! (pulling up his shirt) It's a little fat!
A: A very little.
B: Look! (patting it hard) It's a little jiggly!
A: Y-
B: Like yours!

B: (while watching The Neverending Story) Wow. He is REALLY enjoying that book.

A: What are you doing? (B keeps getting up during dinner and walking into the living room, then back to the table)
B: I'm tooting out my toots. I toot out my toots over there so I won't toot (waving his hands in little circles in front of him) in THIS area.

B: (running out from his room quite suddenly) Feliz Navidad!
A: Feliz Navidad! Where did you learn that? At school?
B: Nope! I changed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Spanish on my DVD player!

To be clear: he was watching movies in his room because we were both home sick, but I still had to work, so I brought in the portable player from the car. I get a ridiculous amount done while ending up feeling ridiculously guilty for relying on the one-eyed babysitter and rotting our son's brain.

A: Blake, do you want to try some sushi?
B: Yes, please. (eats a sliver of ahi sashimi)
R & A: What do you think?

B: Mom, I ate some ginger, and it made my hot stickers taste brand new!
R: It's hard to explain "cleansed your palate" to a five-year-old.

A: Because you're a child and you have no sense.
B: YEAH I DO! I have five senses: touching, hearing, smelling...
R: (under his breath) Busted.
B: ... tasting, and seeing!

cold hands, warm heart

In preparation for the bitter cold we have experienced over the last two weeks, I decided to try something new. When I first moved in, I made window blankets out of a thermal fabric to help insulate in the winter. They aren't a vapor barrier, but they kept the rooms a bit warmer than the alternative. They also make the entire condo an absolute cave of darkness to be effective in the daytime, and it was giving me the "Imma cut someone!" blues in the winter.

Based on a link Molly sent me, I taped up a layer of bubble wrap over the glass. I figured that the weatherization kits (a vapor barrier) would be swiftly popped by one of the two boys, ruining the entire thing, not to mention that we do not have a fully framed window to even USE them on. Bubble wrap, on the other hand, could handle a few exploratory poppings and possibly still keep some of the cold at bay while permitting light to shine through.

The window before.

The window after.

The window now, because it was FREAKING FREEZING in here!

I might move up to a heavier duty bubble wrap with lots more tape to get as close to vapor barrier as possible, but in the double digits below zero, ain't NOTHING gonna be warm. Except Rob... and he is mostly compliant when I warm my icy little fingies and toesies on him at night.

Seriously, the man sleeps so hot that I have taken to leaving our bedroom door open in the hopes that he'll warm the rest of the house a little bit. I am actually being literal here - that is what I do and why. Plus, it just gets too stuffy in there for me with my big manly space heater right by my side. I'm so glad we have a king-size bed so we can cuddle in Nebraska and rather abruptly break to our respective coasts when it's time to fall asleep.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

tumbling dice

M: What? Are you trying to POP it?!

N: You should just carry around a sippy cup.

K: The dummies are still waiting on the dummies.

A: You and me are like peas in a pod.

Did I say that out loud?

S: You gotta be discreet and just pop it out.


C: You didn't get any last time?
A: Nope.
C: Yeah... I didn't get any last night either.
A: Wait... what?

C: I like this song. Wait... do I?

Yeah. I think I like this song.

C: The nuts are all candied over here... THAT'S HOW I LIKE MY NUTS!!!

M: And then I heard, "Did he like the long nipple?"

that counts, right?

I saw this cute turkey cookie in the store and thought I'd give it a try. Isn't that so cute? This is out of the ordinary for me, because I'm very much a "from scratch" kind of girl. I save an insane number of calories every year because I cannot bring myself to eat store-bought cookies.

Then I make my own and it's all for naught as I trade in preservatives and artificial color for straight butter. Oh... butter. MMMMMMMMMM.

Also, I wanted to see how these things worked. If it was a roll I sliced, there was no way my turkeys would look as cute as that. So how was it done? I had to know.

Not quite so cute. Nor very appetizing. They are like wads of turkey dough.

Blake did not share my opinion and was eager to eat them raw if I would have let him.

Yes, I aimed them all the same way. I knew I was going to take a picture, for crying out loud! It is my flock of turkey wads.

Ah, the turkey sugar cookie! Blake thought they were delicious, I thought they were still cute but nondescript in flavor. I will not be buying them again.

Lane wanted more photos of what's going on in our life. It's hard to take a picture of "the condo's off the market because I was going nuts trying to keep it showable and I just want to set up a puzzle or scrapbooking table in the middle of everyone's way and leave it there for about six weeks." Also difficult to frame up and zoom in on "we're starting the Rob-adopting-Blake process in an act of faith that God will continue to provide for us financially despite losing Blake's not-insignificant Social Security income."

I paint WORD pictures, guys. Still figuring out how to take good photos. Besides, if a picture is worth a thousand words, this whole entire blog is worth about ten thousand pictures.

Friday, November 26, 2010

i didn't agree before, but i do now

lane wanted more pictures and less words... JUST YOU WAIT!

Remember when I took a few armed walks early this month? In between those super-exciting hikes, my friends and I went to the Natural Bridge, which I grew up clambering around on and camping near. Lindsey said her brother-in-law had found this awesome hole/cave that you could climb into and dangle your feet over the precipice and maybe I would find that fun?

Oh, Lindsey. If by "fun" you meant "a way to induce panic in a claustrophobe who is also frightened of heights and is a big baby in general," then YEAH! Good times! I looked down it and promptly threw up in my mouth a little, then graciously declined.

"HELL no. You guys can go without me. Have fun! I'll pick up your broken bodies downstream."

LOOK AT HOW SCARY THAT IS! She is so tough, I'm surprised that she didn't just dive in head first. Her head would probably have done more damage to the rocks than the other way around.

Okay, I suppose it is not that bad. But now I am all impressed with them and they are impressed with me, the one who managed to browbeat and/or guilt Lindsey into going hunting with us (haha! I mean hiking - which she's totally cool with) as well as shoot guns FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE. Peer pressure: it's real.

I was not being helpful at pointing out which handholds to grab, instead opting to blind them with my flash as they tried to climb out. It was very romantic for them, I'm sure.

I don't think she shot this gun. I did and dropped the f-bomb because it kicked so hard (and I'm aiming at a clay pigeon that's about 10 yards out, lying on a stump... the ONLY way I'll aim at a clay pigeon, by the way). It's some sort of military grade shotgun that requires a certain degree of badassness to even pick it up. I'm not quite sure why I tried.

Also, I would like to note that those are Rob's jeans, which only stay up on me because of the wagon I'm draggin' and the fact that he has no butt worth speaking of (but hands off, it's MY non-butt!). That is my story and I am sticking to it. Also, I had a belt on. Blake thought my jeans looked "weird" that day, poking at the leg and saying "Mom, you have on wrong jeans. They are not sticking to your leg like normal."

Upon returning home, Rob and I prepared for a presentation given by BackpackingLight at a local gear shop (Northern Lights Trading Company). It was well-received by all except these two, who pretty much played with my iTouch the entire time, totally unimpressed by the Cuben Fiber tarp with ultralight trekking pole that sheltered them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

remember the wonders He has done and His miracles

I have been experiencing a lot of God's grace through remembering. I picture God bemused by my prayers that He would be with me at a given time, asking me "Where did you think I would go?" He's always with me, but it doesn't always feel that way. Or look that way. And I don't always act that way.

Reese deliberately structured her and Matt's wedding around remembrance as a means of experiencing God's grace by remembering what He had done for them. I have lately been surrounded - either accidentally or by my own design - by reminders of God's grace to me and to others. Remember. His faithfulness is demonstrated again and again in both my past and in pasts of others. Remember.

Remember this? And this? To recap for those who won't click through, dear friends of mine discovered at 20 weeks that their son could not survive outside the womb. They chose to induce labor so that they had the future option of possibly having another child (seriously, read those first two links - my synopsis doesn't do it justice), though they were by no means sure they wanted another child after this heartache.

J and I have talked often since then, about grief, about how it can unexpectedly drag you back into the ocean you thought you had escaped. We talked about our uteruses and our fears that pregnancy would cause our respective griefs to erupt in ways difficult to manage. And then we talked through her fifth and final pregnancy about God's faithfulness and healing.

Meet Naomi Rose. Her name means "beautiful, pleasant, delightful," she was born November 8, and she weighed 9 pounds 9 ounces.

I got to hold her and laugh with J shortly after Naomi was born. "It makes me so sad when people assume J2 and I are upset that she's not a boy. When I think 'What could be better than three girls?' I always answer it with 'FOUR girls!' Your dad probably understands - it takes a special guy to be a father so many daughters, but daughters are SO MUCH FUN. Not only can you go to the ballet and play with dolls, but they might grow up to introduce their husbands to hunting, right?!"

They are all thrilled, though clothing the not-so-little Naomi is a trick. All the other baby clothes and blankets have been commandeered for use on innumerable dolls. One adorable tiny top ended up as a belly shirt, so J's hoping I have a little (well, smaller than 9 lbs 9 oz) girl for her to pass it on to me.

The family of six, with a hook in Heaven to anticipate meeting and enjoying. Samuel would have been about 13 months old, and while he is not replaced, J is rejoicing that God answered her heart verse in such a tender, loving way:
Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife [Hannah] and say, "May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one [Samuel] she gave to the Lord." 1 Samuel 2:20

Friday, November 12, 2010

we studied ephesians 4:1-16

With Rob's blessing and encouragement, I broke one of our rules at the end of October and drove to Spokane without my fellas. Beth Moore was in town for a live event, and I got to go with Rob's mother, Joyce, and my friend Esther. I've only been in one Beth Moore study, but it was wonderful, and I own a few of her books.

Her relationship with Christ is enviable, and the way she speaks of Him fills me with longing. I want to love Jesus like that, enthusiastically and exuberantly. To be winsome in my faith and so full of love for Him that I cannot help but love others - what a goal!

I now want to do another study (Breaking Free, Esther, Believing God, Daniel, The Patriarchs, Jesus the One & Only are just a few), if only to have some joyfulness rub off on me, to immerse myself in a more charismatic way of learning than I currently have. Maybe after BSF is done this spring... but pulling together a bunch of women with busy schedules and children is a right joke and very difficult. I think it would be 100% worth it!

In an effort to reacquaint myself with a joyful Jesus, I've been listening to more praise and worship. Is it just me, or can it be hard to find really GOOD worship music? I usually quit listening because the quality of music/lyrics are just so poor I can't get past it and end up feeling like a douchebag for singing along. Any suggestions? Who do you love to listen to?

Monday, November 8, 2010

typhoid Mary

That is what I am. Between me and Blake, we've unwittingly exposed an entire kindergarten class and two families to impetigo and several good friends to strep.

He has impetigo. I have strep.

To the friends helping me try to fill my deer tag on public land Saturday, after a brutal hike: "Yes, you can have some of my water, but be warned I've had a wretched sore throat, so drink from the threads of the bottle and not the straw, which is what I use."

To the friends watching Blake while I was away: ____________

I didn't know! I thought he had the last vestiges of a cold, but was nothing to worry about. When he woke me up three times Saturday night (after a hunting trip that is best described as taking armed walks in the country) with a sore ear, I took him to Urgent Care on Sunday for a suspected ear infection. The doc was much more concerned with his crusty nose and advised me that my son is a public health risk for the first 24 hours after his first round of antibiotics, which, because of his sore ears and impetigo, are strong enough to combat STAPH, just in case.

I woke up with a throat that felt like I'd been swallowing knives for the fifth day running, and decided I had given up and would hope it was tonsillitis or something so that I could get antibiotics and start to feel better. The 800 mg of ibuprofen I've been taking regularly hasn't even TOUCHED the rawness in my throat, so I'm pretty miserable. The doc thought I had throat surgery in the not-distant past due to how inflamed everything is back there. Apparently the old throat looked like scar tissue.

It doesn't help that pretty much all the deer we saw Saturday thumbed their noses at us from private land, so I STILL haven't filled that darn tag, despite mulies being dumber than a box of rocks. They just stand there and look at you, and the inner monologue I imagine for them is "Hey! Whatcha doing? Ooh, that's a pretty shiny black thing. Are you taking my picture when you point it at me like that? Wha- OW! OW OW OW! That hurts! Why would you-" and then they die.

BUT, I have all the means to whip up a great white mocha here at the house, and I've recently discovered how to (easily) make challah, so there's a fresh loaf on the counter. Holla! We have Netflix streaming on our TV, Blake is chipper and playing in his room, and a friend is visiting at 1:00 with whatever my heart desires. I've started my first round of amoxicillin and am eagerly looking forward to my first Vicodin tonight, to help me sleep. Strep and impetigo are not the end of the world, but I've asked God that I would quickly learn whatever He's trying to teach me here, and if He could just put it down on paper, I'll be sure to read it later.

Friday, November 5, 2010

impossible cuteness and a pooping face

I cannot remember what I was cooking, but it was very steamy - probably spaghetti. Blake called me over to see his artwork and at first I thought "NO! I have to clean that!" and then I remembered that we took the condo off the market, so I cheered him on and asked for him to pose with his handiwork.

The pooping face. It's the fakest smile I've ever seen on the kid, so I'm hoping to have better luck on retake day! The photo of the photo doesn't look as bad as the original, so maybe you'll have to trust me!

A Halloween dinosaur/dragon!

Joel the monkey, Kale the dragon, and Mason and Smith, the hunters. Blake was a ninja (all black on Halloween with no glo-stick or reflective tape?! -10 points for Mom), but was finishing dinner and did not make this shot.

Our first trick or treat house. They came running down the steps to all the parents: "We just rang the bell and said 'Trick or treat' and they gave us CANDY! Can we go to another house?!" And from then on, it never ceased to amaze and surprise each one of them that all they needed to do was go to the houses with lights on, be cute, and come away with free candy.

You can barely see the ninja!
We got home and discovered a very very slightly loose tooth, leaving Blake breathlessly declaring to me, hands clenched into fists that trembled with the force of his words: "TODAY IS THE BEST DAY EVER!!!"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

pondering today

I've been a little crazy lately, in a way that's got me feeling like I've been violently shaken, and I cannot get my bearings nor effectively rate life's tasks in order of priority: blowing my nose is as urgent as putting out that grease fire in the corner. Everything's pressing, nothing's motivating.

In this whirl of reluctant consciousness (and overconsciousness - I did not fall asleep until after a tearful 1:00 am last night) where I cannot really put my finger on anything and I speak mostly in analogies, these have floated to the top recently:
  • A: "We'll see. I hate change. I'm not good at it and I cry the whole time." R: "You DON'T hate change. I'm going to refute that right now. You just cry the whole time until you get your feet under you. You EMBRACE change better than many people I know."
  • Resting at my work and working at my rest. I can spend a discouraging amount of time on fruitlessness.
  • Being married is bringing out facets of healing in my life that I didn't expect. It is hard, but Rob is wonderful - patient, understanding, and kind - oftentimes more so than those around me. I am trying to remember that the opinions I need to be most occupied with are God's, Rob's, and little Blake's. No one else has to understand (BUT I WANT THEM TO!), no one else has to be on the same page or agree with how Rob and I are walking out these new areas where I need healing and help (BUT I WANT THEM TO!). I alternate between wanting to tell others to take a long walk off a short pier and wanting to say "WAIT! Come back! I love you, I don't mean it, love me back and approve of everything I do."
  • I am trying to view God as the loving Father He is, one who gently takes my hand and calls me "honey" instead of "beloved daughter" (because no one I know talks like that). Any time I revel in my son and my love for him (even when he's naughty, but especially when we are enjoying one another because there are times I really get to just DELIGHT in this sweet boy!), I try to stop and remember that this is how God loves me. This emphasis can be difficult, however, when working through Isaiah in Bible study.
  • I really really love the people I get to work with, even when I want to take one's computer away just so that one can stop emailing me with new tasks. I have never felt so loved, appreciated, and meaningful at a job before.
  • That's all!
Also, because this may be too melancholy for some and make them wonder at where my heart is, perhaps you could pray Psalm 139 over me (that's what I'll be doing later) and trust for me that everything will be okay even when that is sometimes hard to see because my focus is so short-sighted and even when I use run-on sentences despite being a very picky editor.