Wednesday, October 28, 2009

about me

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging?

the carcassases of my blogging competition

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
sugar

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
farm

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
cleaning up the children's rooms - futile task

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
Brooke Shields

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
staying at home, but having a few people over

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
Gladiator, Braveheart, the Patriot. notice a theme?

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?
sleep in it. when I am wearing it.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
I sing.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
putting my makeup on without a mirror.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?

He walked up to a girl he didn't know and said, "I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather passing away." I saw his empathy for those around him and thought, "now THERE'S a great guy." Or, maybe he was just hitting on her


12. What is something you love to smell?
grass

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
my constant singing

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?

I use $1.72 of it to get a drink and churro at Costco. Then, I am a nerd with a Quicken budget spreadsheet, so I put it in the bank.


15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?

loud

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?

Costco. I always feel like I'm getting a great deal. They've marketed their overpriced bulk merchandise quite effectively.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
read the Bible and CS Lewis and GK Chesterton

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
frugal

19. Who is your favorite character of all time? 
Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia series

20. Would you want to be famous?
for curing cancer and birth defects? you betcha. it would mean that they were cured.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dear Lucy

Dear Lulu,

The other day I bought you a red Ariel wig.

Your squeals of delight were quite memorable. You could hardly wait to bring it home, to be the first to touch the virgin strands of a hairpiece that had last been touched in China. You asked that I put your hair in a pony tail so you could affix this bit of wonderment to it.

You jumped up and down so that the hair would hit your back. You came into the kitchen and stated, "Mom, um...I think mine is bigger than yours," indicating that my pony tail was no longer something to be coveted.

Earlier, in the car on the way home, you asked, "Mom? Do we know anyone with red hair?" I responded that we did, Tristan's little sister, Lani.

"Well, how did Lani get to be a girl?"

"God decided she would be a girl when she was in her Mama's tummy."

"How did she get in her Mama's tummy?"

Blinker sounds click, we turn onto our tree-lined street and I pretend not to balk.

"Well, her mom and dad did the happy baby dance."

"How did the happy baby dance get her in there?"

"God put her in there."

At this point, I realize I'm probably doing more harm than good, making you more confused than you have ever been in your cotton-picking life. You can call a spade a spade from about a mile away. I allow a rush of air in lungs and poise myself to grant you the truth.

"Ok, here's what happens. The dad puts his penis in the mom's vagina, and sperm comes from the penis into the egg that is in the uterus. That's how a baby grows!"

silence

"Well, I don't think I will ever have kids." That is strange and kids are noisy."


It's so often these days that I look at who you are and my breath gets stuck in my lungs. I feel we are being given days we never expected to get, and it leaves me in awe.

You like to stomp around and throw your toys when you don't get your way. Each time, I tell you to go to your room and sit on your bed. Each time, you cry your eyes out and yell, "Mama! I need Mama!" I stay downstairs, clipping my toenails or watching Lifetime Television or peeling Cheerios off of the kitchen floor. Soon, when you are ready, you come downstairs again, all feelings of angst forgotten.

You are forever singing one song or another. You are happy one minute, crying the next. If you weren't four, I would be signing you up for psychotherapeutic intervention. Instead, I see your father turn to me and say, "You DO realize she is absolutely like you, don't you?"

About a week ago you asked me all sorts of questions about heaven, and God, and why I couldn't force you to be a Christian. Your questions often leave me feeling a bit inadequate. I wonder how you could be such a thinker at such a tender age, and then I remember having these very same questions when I was very young.

You love oatmeal, Barbie doing anything in a castle, and asking how you can make your hair grow longer this instant. You detest bedtime, hearing sad news on the radio or on tv, and your enemas and catheters.

We joke around with you in a sarcastic way, but I think it's starting to backfire on us. You will tell people that you don't like them, with a grin on your face. We know you are trying to joke, but these things are hurtful, so we won't be using sarcasm any more. We want you to be sweet.

I wrote this while I was pregnant with you, 3 short days before you were born:

My dear baby daughter Lucy,

Today in Target I saw a mother and a daughter - the daughter was about 15 years old. The mom was inspecting her necklace, asking about the red bead in the necklace she hadn't noticed before. The two talked like friends.

They noticed me staring at them, and the daughter all of a sudden got uncomfortable and afraid she wouldn't look cool. She told her mom, "Mom, you're such a dork! You don't know anything about fashion!"

The mom responded, "Yes, I am a dork! I never know anything about fashion!" Then they both laughed.

It was pretty funny. It reminded me of my mom. I had so much fun with your Nana, Lucy, growing up. We'd go on shopping trips to Target together and always get in fights...I wanted a skirt that she thought was too short, or a shirt she thought was too expensive, or candy she thought would rot my teeth...and yes, there were many times I'd say, "Mom, you're such a dork!" And she'd laugh knowingly.

I wonder, my dear, if I'll be worthy of being your mother. I wonder if you'll love and cherish those memories with me as much as I cherished those memories with my mom. And I wonder, most of all, if you'll say, "Oh mom, you're such a dork."

I hope so. It's only how things are supposed to go, right?

Then in the parking lot I saw a dad and his little boy walking. The boy must have been about 3. The dad had both his hands in his pockets, and wouldn't you know the boy had his hands in his pockets the SAME way. I know you'll look at your daddy the same way - wanting to be just like him!

What a lucky girl you are to have such a great dad. I love you so much, Lucy, and I am so glad you chose us to be your parents. We can't wait to meet you in 17 days!

Mamma

***************

I love watching who you are becoming, and I love remembering who you have left behind - perfect newborn clutching blanket, doe-eyed toddler affixing perfectly good postage stamps to a door, newly-minted preschooler in shoes a size too big. Most of all, I love the way your skin smells when you're drifting off to sleep, how passionate you are in everything you do, and how you remind me of your dad, every minute of the day.

It's in those moments that I am more determined than ever to do this job, and to do this job well.

You're right. Kids are noisy. Life is messy.

I hope you'll rethink your decision on never having children.

You'd miss out being the one who gets to front the money for the Ariel wig.

Love,
Mama

Friday, October 23, 2009

here

You are not there. Somewhere in the future, suffering for something that hasn't happened yet. You are not there, in a place where all your worries manifest.

You are not there. Somewhere in the past, reliving your old mistakes and regrets. You are not there, in a place where memories resurrect.

You are here. Right here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the wish has been fulfilled

I can die now...I was the first caller on Dr. Laura's show today!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Satan IS a jerk

My heart's been full of anxiety this last week, and I have had a hard time dispelling it.

I often attribute this mood to my own failing at getting control of OCD. But you know what I KNOW it is? Satan attacking me. The Bible says that Satan is bent on "stealing, killing, and destroying." So why would I think I would be immune?

Satan wants to take my joy away, to allow me to live in fear, to keep trying to wrestle back from God what worries are rightly His. I have seen this all in a refreshing new way ever since my surgery a month ago, and I am realizing how it will be a daily battle.

Read this.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

an explanation of sorts

I think my last few posts deserve some explanation.

Recently I found myself in a position where I could have either continued a friendship as it was, or told the person I was friends with that there was something I was seeing that wasn't right. The things I was seeing involved this person's child, and I didn't think the child was being attended to properly. This bothered me on a mitochondrial level, because where I come from, your children come first.

I thought and thought about this situation:

What should I say, if anything at all?
Do i just leave the situation alone and pretend everything's ok?

I am definitely the kind of person who likes to avoid confrontation. It is definitely easier for me to say nothing.

Well, I said something, and the proverbial excrement hit the fan. I was hurt, because I was coming from a place of love and genuine concern for this person and child involved. It was not taken that way. I was shut out, though not completely. This person still visits the blog.

When someone is upset with me, I hate it. I am learning, though, that not everyone is going to be happy with me, all the time. And, well, if everyone is happy with me all of the time, then I am most likely:

a. dead
b. in a coma
c. just being a people-appeaser

(by the way, if everyone was happy if I were dead or in a coma, I think that might be a problem, too.)

moving ON.

Did you know that I was on my way to a church function today and had my hair all straightened out, cute outfit on, etc., and couldn't find my makeup? I mean, is that just the saddest, or what? So I went without makeup. I looked a bit sleepy.

And when I got home, I told Scott there was a craft fair in the hallway, where you could buy things if you wanted to.

"Did you pull a Jesus in there and tip the tables over?"

He may smell in the morning, but he sure is funny.

Anyway, where was I?

Ah. yes. I have to be ok with my own decisions and actions, even if they anger or agitate others.

I am letting this go...

I am letting this go...

I am letting this go...

Letting go doesn't mean giving up, it just means accepting that there are limitations to human relationships.

Friday, October 16, 2009

rant

Does it ever annoy you that people you are no longer "friends" with, for one reason or another, still read your blog?

It annoys me, because it feels like they know more about my life than I know about theirs. It's almost like there's a peeping Tom in my window. I mean, if we don't have a relationship any more, why are you still reading my blog? See, I can be hopelessly petty at times!

Bitchy rant over.

dreamin 'about Gramps

Last night, Scott was out of town on business, so I let Asher sleep with me. Then I turned on the radio freak show that is coast to coast AM, and this woman was talking about how, because we are so easily accessible in our dreams, sometimes those who have died before us try to come and talk to us in our dreams. They tell us they are OK, etc.




Being a Christian, I have some real problems with this, because my Grandpa is in heaven, and I doubt he can be busied with visiting me in my dreams.


Ah, what the hay, I gave it a shot. I thought, "Grandpa, come visit me in my dream.

and I dreamt that Ashton Kutcher was running a cotton candy stand in Great Britain, and his girlfriend kept digging her Lee-Press-On Nails into my arm and losing them in my sleeve.

There was also a vampire who kept arguing with me about socialized medicine, while we rode an escalator to get to a movie theatre.



0 for 0 on that one.


***********


To come: the story of our "family night", where we all painted mugs. It was quite hard to tell which ones were masterpieces of the 30-somethings, and which were done by toddlers. Asher spent most of the evening painting Scott's arm.

****************

Asher is, well, a spirited child. This morning he asked for butter on his toast, and when I put butter on his toast, he pulled an Exorcist. He kept pointing to the counter, and because I Don't put things away while I am cooking, I thought he wanted rice. So I started getting the rice out. He screamed harder. Then, I asked him to tell me what he wanted. He kept screaming, then finally calmed down and said, "Please, mom!"


I realized that he was calling peanut butter "butter", and the problem was solved.


I think alot of his anger comes from not being able to communicate anything.


Or maybe I am just making excuses. Anyone out there have a kiddo that went through this? It is frustrating.


***********


I am starting to wear my hair down and straightened, like this:























Yes, those are pills on my sweater, and I am not matchy-matchy. Did you also happen to notice that I am standing in a public restroom? I suppose I should work on cleaning my own so we don't have to actually drive the car to bathe my 2 year old in a public bathroom sink.

Or, I was at the Cracker Barrel with a friend, and told her to take my picture, all avante garde. By the way, WHO still goes to the Cracker Barrel any more?

I do, that's who.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

not alone

Alot of times in the last few days I've come on here to write something, but don't really have anything to write.

I suppose there's plenty of inspiration, but on a rainy day like October 15, there are mainly just memories.

Take today to let someone who had lost a baby know you care. It could be something as simple as an email, a text, or just a phone call to tell them you lit a candle on a dreary October day.

I wonder, sometimes, what sending two off to preschool would have been like. I watched Lucy today, completely ecstatic that it was her turn to bring "Buzzy Bear" home from her class. She was bubbling up laughter and enthusiasm, and even though the rain hit my eyelashes, it made me smile.

I wonder if Camden would have had Lucy's hair color or her quirky sense of humor. I wonder who my miscarried babies were.

My dear friend who is pregnant with a sick little boy looked me in the eye the other day and said, "I get it. I get it now, why you were so, so, scared before Asher was born. Until you've gone through this, you just can't know."

I guess that statement made me really realize how much I have survived, my heart and (most of) my body intact. I will always be mindful of all God has led me through. I will never apologize for it, or try to have "normal" feelings in regards to all things pregnancy and birth.

If you've been through the ordeal of babyloss, it changes you on a mitochondrial level. You don't view things through the same lenses anymore; and some days, the grief makes you feel so very, very alone.

But you are not.

That's the saving promise, isn't it? The thing that keeps your heart warm, though your hands are cold?

You are not alone.

Monday, October 12, 2009

judgement

By nature, I am a pleaser. I have problems when:

1. I think someone is angry with me.
2. I don't feel like I can meet others' emotional needs.
3. I think I may have offended someone.

For these reasons, sometimes when people ask me to tell them the truth, or even when they don't, I hesitate to do it.

What I have realized, though, in 30 years of life, is that sometimes, telling someone the truth in love is exactly what needs to be done.

After all, wouldn't it be easier just to let things go when I see someone else doing something that isn't right? No harm done, right? Why should I care, if it doesn't directly affect me?

The problem in having an attitude like this (and I think many people do, including me), is that it is not loving. When we see one of our brothers or sisters in Christ doing something we think may cause long-term damage to themselves or their children, shouldn't we speak up?

Speaking up is not popular, namely because when one does have the courage to speak up, they will often be labeled as judging, or a judger. The label is often used to simply close down the conversation. It's a very effective scapegoat.

Let's look at the dictionary definition of the word "judgement".

Judgement, n: the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning or comparing.

I don't see anything inherently evil in the act of judging. Without judgement, none of us would be able to make cogent, well thought out decisions. I think in our post-modern era it's easy to throw the word around because then we can simply and conveniently say, "Well, you're judging!" and throw out whatever the other person has said, without examining it with our hearts. I know I have done this in the past.

I don't know that we, as Christians, are called to live a life without judgement. Without judgement, we could not effectively:

a. decide who our kiddos should be allowed to hang around with
b. decide which activies are worthy of our very valuable and limited time
c. decide what to believe in the areas of world and national politics
d. discern what God wants us to do with our lives?

There are many areas in which judging is necessary, not evil. As I grow older, I see that.

I used to think that if someone was angry with what I brought to their attention, I had automatically done something wrong. "Oh, that person thinks I am judging. Judging is evil! I should live and let live!" I would often think, "Yes, I am being the stereotypical Christian that doesn't understand."

Most often, the visceral reaction brought about by a point made and not well taken points to something deeper. Usually, it's because that person realizes that there is some truth in what the other person is saying. And you know what? I think our world is full of posers who won't tell the truth on something they know is not right, simply to keep the peace.

Some examples from my own life:

Scott: You spend too much time on the computer.
my dad: You spend too much time on the computer.
Lucy: Why are you in such a bad mood today, Mommy?
a friend: You really need to buck up and just trust God with your worries, because you're being selfish as it stands. You're a bit immature in this area.

My natural reaction in all of these situation is to say, "You're judging me! You have no idea what it is like to be me! Stop throwing stones!" It would be so easy to find friends who agree with everything I say, who look away when I might not be doing something that is right. Ego-petters are a dime a dozen in this world. It is incredibly easy to find people who will agree with whatever you are doing, all in the name of tolerance.

But when I sit back and look at what each of these is saying, even if they don't fully understand, I realize that there are inherent truths in each of these statements. And I look at the person who is saying these things, and realize that they have my best at heart. They are giving me truths that, in order to mature, I need to fully examine.

So, yes, there are times when I am comfortable telling someone something they may not want to hear. If I want honesty from them, I know I need to give it.

Honesty may not always be comfortable.

After all, it's quite apparent to me now that I was not called to this earth to live a life of comfort.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Polly Pocket speaks

Before our crowd moved in this place

everything was clean

fresh and newly painted,

there was nothing left to preen.


The floors were finely finished,

the walls all newly done

until my son decided that

a marker was more fun.


The carpet now has stains

the grass now looks like hell

my husband, though great in the sack,

does not do lawn care well.


Matchbox cars sit out of gas

where carpet once was clean

When dropped they gouge a tender floor

and make this mama mean.


Polly Pocket's chopped off hair

now plugs the bathtub drain

She sighs, then turns to look at me,

"There's no use being vain."


One day I'll wish for graimy hands

to jack up all my walls,

I'll miss the days when "sticky" was

the most-used word of all.


And then my home will look as if

Martha Stewart did time here

I will buy her daisies

we'll sit and have a beer.


Some day there will not be water

flooding the bathroom floor

I will not cringe and want to yell

when someone slams a door.


Until then, I will try to think

of things that I will miss

Like little toddler morning breath

and a preschool goodnight kiss.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

transfer

Because we go to the pharmacy every other day for one medication or another for Lucy, I do a good bit of hunting for pharmacy coupons.

One time, I had FOUR prescriptions to fill, so I used my feminine wiles and aquired FOUR $25 gift cards to CVS.

I haven't been able to find them anywhere, so I thought I'd ask the little pharmacy man to help me.

MISTAKE.

me: Hi, um, could you tell me where I might be able to find those coupons for the $25 gift card with a new prescription?

him, not looking up: They're in the circular.

me: Do you know if they were in there this week?

him: I can't GIVE one to you.

me: I wasn't asking you to. But could you just point me to where they might be?

him: Ma'am, I can't give you a coupon for a free gift card. *scoffing now*

me: Listen, bastard. I can take my 89 prescriptions for medications, the names of which I will never be able to say, elsewhere. TELL ME WHERE THE DAMN COUPON IS.

OK, I didn't really say that. I said, "Oh, ok, I guess I will just look at the front of the store."

him:

me: OK, then. **shuffle toward the front of the store, trying not to cry** WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I wandered through the handicapped-accessable toilets, looking at price tags, because I was too afraid to just admit my defeat and go back to the pharmacy counter. At one point, I actually thought, "Well, I guess she doesn't really NEED her medication tomorrow. She could wait a few days until I get a coupon off of E-bay."

Again, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I wander around the store some more, carefully selecting some Fiber One for my constipated significant other. I wander back to the pharmacy, sighing in my defeat.

The pharmacist looked triumphant as he realized I had no coupon in hand.

Then, as I recited our new address, the one that clearly DIDN'T match the address printed on the prescription, and as he said, "Goodbye, Lucy! Thank you for shopping with us today!", I had a thought...

We are going to Target next month.

Monday, October 5, 2009

new again

Tonight I got word that a dear friend of mine will have to deliver her baby and then very shortly afterwards say goodbye to him.

Just last week we sat face to face at a little booth table in a nearly empty restaurant, and she told me she had peace. I said that I was trying hard not to be angry about alot of things, or at least trying hard not to let it control me. But her? She seemed calm and optimistic.

She said in her email, "Don't be mad at God."

I can't help but feel that exact emotion. I can't help but want to rage at the sky, to wonder why the gathering storm is choosing to rain itself on her. I wonder why this baby was chosen.

You know what's weird though? Despite all of the pain, I see it so clearly. I think of my grandfather's beautiful oak casket, all of us grandchildren looking at it in disbelief. Wondering how a life that barged through so many obstacles just quietly surrendered to a Night we all hate.

Wasn't he immune? Weren't we?

Sometimes I think we overestimate it - Death, give it a power it shouldn't have. Sometimes I think we give Losses too much of a foothold in our lives. Certainly we shouldn't blatantly deny the things that hurt our hearts. But should we hold onto them with fists so fierce that the fierceness pushes away any beauty we may have noticed had we not been straining so hard?

As my fists learn, and relearn, to release my burdens, I watch in wonder as those on this same path learn the same. Surely my friend will have many days where she is shouting at the sky. And surely, I will be there right with her.

But in the end, the clenched fists and the Night have nothing on the power that rains down on us every day. We have, in our arsenal, something that removes the luster from a shiny casket, that ignores the wilting of flowers at a grave. Something that shouts right back down, "This is not the end!" "Take heart!" "I know the world is a shit can right now, but something better is coming. And you can take THAT to the bank."

Everything will be new again.

It's a promise.

Revelation 21:5 - 6

And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."