Monday, July 19, 2010

this is what happens... part 2

in the pool saturday maddy pulled my bathing suit out and peered inside. i asked what on earth she was doing.

looking at (owen)'s food, she said.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

this is what happens to someone who also forgets the 18 m well-baby exam

yesterday, alarmed that owen was in his second day of non-stop diaper runs, i racked my brain.

what on earth have i been eating?!

only after checking off everything i'd consumed the previous three days did it occur to me that one had nothing to do with the other.

owen is 21 months old, and i think he stopped nursing seven months ago.

Monday, June 21, 2010


big much and tiny bit she'll now say.

our new inside joke. how much i love my maddy.

the first time she said "tiiiiny bit" narrowing a gap between her thumb and finger until they almost touched, i gasped in laughter.

one very bad valentine's vern gave me a bear. it is white with a red shirt reading, "i love you this much!" his paws are clasped tightly together, held there by magnets in each. vern found it in the kmart check-out lane.

i love you thiiiiis much.

our old inside joke. how much my vern loves me. always announced as he squints with one eye through a tiny opening between his thumb and first finger.

me, too

maddy's first words were 'baby' and 'abby'. her first sentences were in fact her name said over and over and over again in varied inflection. eager for lunch, arguing with her brothers, cuddling. she was only ever saying her name on unending replay but what we heard was "feed me first!" and "caleb. back. off." and "i love you so much."

her first sentence containing two distinct and separate words was 'thank you'. she said it with such deep, genuine emotion that it would knock me back in wonder for how gracious a thank you could be. as if i'd never really heard a 'thank you' before. standing naked beside the toilet. she would throw her arms around me with such unrestrained joy that i had helped her pull down her panties to go pee. "oh, thank you, mommy!" taking the crust off her bread. finding her shoes.

when we told her "i love you, maddy" she would say in a soft demure chime "thank you."

it is the sweetest response i've ever heard to those three little words.

i taught her then how much i loved her. in maddy's language, "big much".

and then may came and one day i said, "i love you, maddy."

and she said, "no you not wuz me. i peed in my's pants. i hit nincoln. i not eat mines carrots. you not wuz me."

i could translate it to proper english, but then it wouldn't sound like maddy. she has the hardest time saying 'love'. it comes out 'wuz'. and since then i have been given at least three reasons i don't really love my baby girl each time i tell her i do.

i remind her i always love her, no matter what. and how much do i love her? from that very first day in may she has now said, pinching her thumb and first finger together, "tiiiiny bit."*

sometimes i ache for her innocent and free toddlerdom so quickly slipping away.

sometimes i get cold sweats fearing what is in store for us when she hits her tweens and discovers fully the great power of manipulation.

sometimes i wonder how much i sound like maddy in my prayer and response to His unconditional love.

i'm not really deserving Your love. i was an arrogant, crappy, nasty mom today. i was lazy. i totally neglected my husband. and my mom.



sometimes i practice feeling a thank you, Lord, as much as my two year old daughter does.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

i write

we spent weeks researching laptops last summer before investing in an hp hdx 16. the first time we turned her on, she froze. within three months, the 't' button had broken off.

i finally let her go to be fixed and in the month it took hp to repair and send her back, i lamented not going apple. though no one chided me for that. not that specifically. apparently every(non-mac)else has a dell and was shocked vern and i never got that memo. every(non-mac)else exclaiming, "what?! you didn't get a dell?!" totalling at least six people within our close network of family and friends and three of their entire offices.

plus one to each tally if you include vern and vern's office. vern who just brought home his own dell laptop from work. vern who sat in agreement with every(dell)else about how great dells are, and the speed of their service center. heck. most of them paid a little extra to have dell come to the house and the great value in that...

and let me repeat now how 'we' researched laptops for weeks.

a few days into our internet black-out, the bedroom's digital converter box blew and our living room tuner lost nearly every signal available.

i did not panic having lost the french open finals and call mediacom. no. i read. and read. and remembered how much i miss reading when not distracted by hot men on clay, yahoo news and facebook.

but more than that, i missed writing.

loading the dishwasher, folding clothes, mopping the floor, trying to forget the tire of doing push-ups and really wishing that portion of jillian's shred was over with already as it's my least favorite bit of the workout... during these mundane activities so many random things i want to tell the kids when they aren't kids anymore spring to mind. about me. about what i don't know. about what i do. about them.

and this is where i write it.

on a blog kept public - resisting the urge to become by invitation only - because if i know anyone, at anytime, can peer inside... i don't know. i guess i feel what i say to my three carries more weight if i'm not afraid of someone else hearing me say it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

around here we grate our own cheese

there was a joke going around when i was a kid that i belonged to the milk man. an old joke that became overtly tongue-in-cheek when applied to me.

i did not like meat. especially the red meat my family raised. how else could one be born to a family of hard-working nebraska cattlemen and not appreciate God's cannery unless they were, indeed, the milk man's?

i used to object that i didn't like milk either.

grandpa did not know what to do with me. he could tempt me not with a hamburger. steak. prime rib. his signature grill was a three-inch porterhouse. we would sit together and he would look sadly from his dish, years cumulative hard-work, perseverance and planning perfectly marbled and medium-rare, to my plated cheeze-wiz sandwich.

i never would have survived had i been born a generation or two earlier, he would grieve.

i would correct him that i could have lived off berries.

it didn't help any that we'd have these discussions about what a shame of a prairie woman i would have made while looking out the window at a herd of grazing angus. my cousin that summer habitually failed to close a pasture gate and inevitably cattle would be found wandering around. peering in the kitchen window watching us eat... the them of last year.

so darn cute.

i didn't have trouble eating beef because it came from something so darn cute; i had trouble eating beef because i didn't like the taste. and moreover, i couldn't stomach the feel of raw meat. it's hard to shape a hamburger patty without touching it. hard to trim a steak. a chicken. wrap a roast. stuff a turkey.

i would cook with my grandfather and he would spy me acting all silly and squeamish. my grandfather loved me, but he knew i was just too lazy to have ever survived his generation. and he told me so. with love. and a little pity.

meat came from neat and tidy wrapped packages at the grocery store. cowboys were nearly extinct. people were turning vegetarian. the world was going soft, and i was its proof.

last week we stopped buying bagged cheese. i had read the ingredients listed on our package of shredded. i had uncovered my mother's old grater. i told my family, from now on we grate our own.

the first time i did so, the kids watched with awe. they didn't realize cheese came in hunks. they were fascinated to watch the slivers fall down and pile up. the soft, springy, salty pyramid of colby jack. i told them stories of my childhood, of when grating cheese was my risky job, of how careful i had to be not to grate my knuckles towards the end.

i reminded myself of my grandfather telling tales of butchering chickens.

i felt very pioneer-ish.

we don't grow our own, we don't butcher our own, but by george...

i felt like posting it above the sink in a hand-lettered sign. beneath the title of our weekly posted meal plan "the dine-n-dash menu" - that twice daily includes some sort of dried berry and rarely requires more than a boneless, skinless breast or fareway-prepared grill/slow-cook item.

...we grate our own.

Monday, April 12, 2010

sweet and heart

i sit all day. all. day.

i sit so much it is increasingly hard not to be in a sat position even when i can lie down flat.

there is not a lot of calorie burn in sitting. reaching. bending. my body can hardly make use of what i already eat in a day.

and yet there is a lot of extra cheap fuel sitting around in easter baskets. i do believe i spent all last week nabbing a reeses buttercup egg here, a chocolate bliss there, as i would pass by.

it finally struck me, and i considered my priorities and the mindless energy i was wasting. all those calories are going straight to storage, and i hardly take note how big my storage bill is until a few days later. when i become alarmed at how tight my jeans are on date night. that would be the 'finally' and 'struck' point.

little miss e gets her heart patched in a couple weeks. i decided if only i would swap a prayer for her and her parents, her surgical team and post-op nurses everytime i caught myself about to swipe another chocolate egg instead of actually doing so.

and so i have.

and wow. i go to rob my childrens' easter baskets more than even i realized.

i won't be noticeably thinner in two weeks. eisley's outcome will not be guaranteed because her aunt traded easter goodies for moments of prayer.

even so. this is is a bit of a work-out for me. this is energy very well spent.