Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Simple Gifts


I love to make a big, hairy deal out of birthdays. This weeks was Guy's.

I messed up.

Due to lack of planning on my part, and low funds due to a waylaid check, I had nothing to give to him as a gift. To make matters worse, I had placenta-brain on the day I was planning the big church activity and forgot to schedule the building. Had I done so, I would have known well in advance that a wedding was planned for the same day. By the time I caught on, the only date we were left with to have the activity was... yup... Guy's birthday.
.
He swore it would be fine with him.


He also teased me mercilessly the entire day.


I thought I would make Guy an nice breakfast, but Joanna invited us to their house for waffles, and I knew that nothing I could make would be as good as her waffle-extravaganza with fresh strawberries, bananas, cream, chocolate chips and the best bacon ever.
Who could resist? Not us.
(Thank you, Joanna!)
We made a homemade card with the kids spelling out the special message,
"We love you, Dad!"
(here are my favorite letters)





I am afraid there was no time to do something special as a family that day. We hurriedly cleaned the garage (ok, not cleaned, but we moved the junk around until it looked a little organized) and then loaded the van to set up at the church.
.

Our activity was a rummage drive for the church thrift store, which provides jobs and donations to those in need. The bonus was, we let everyone take home a few "treasures" that they found.


I told Guy to go pick out a present.


He found the Star Trek movies in VHS. The perfect gift.

(Waffle makers in action (but not making waffles... they do other stuff too), William and Joanna)

At the end of the night as we loaded the donation truck, I found myself putting my own son's shirts into a box. I could see him in my mind's eye wearing them to death, his old favorites, now too small. I got almost weepy as I saw the things, simple little things that held such memories for me. It was hard to close the box.
.
At home that night, we gave Guy his card and sang to him. Then, in turn, we each told him what is special to us about having him in our lives. Tessa stood in front of him and listed all of the simple things she loves about her daddy with such sincerity and love we were all smiling ear to ear. We gave him all we had; hugs, heartfelt love and appreciation.
.
I saw him dry his eyes as I wiped the tears from my cheeks.
.
I appreciate this man so much. He is the father of all of our children, those that are with us and those that are not. He works so hard and is so honest and good. He is kind and tender and generous, and asks nothing for himself.
.
We are the ones gifted.
.
That night as we lay in bed, the baby in my belly began to move, and hopefully, I took Guy's hand and placed it on the spot. The baby kicked against his hand and he felt his child move for the first time.
.
Happy Birthday, Sweetie.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Rest of the Way


Yesterday was twenty weeks. Halfway.

I had planned on celebrating, really making a big deal out of getting this far in the pregnancy. My confidence has grown leaps and bounds over the weeks. The baby’s kicks several times a day remind me that all is well. I smile and say, “Thank you, Baby.” after each little thump. I really had begun feeling that I had arrived.

Three days ago I realized I had not felt the baby move all day. It had been a busy day and so I told myself that I probably had been too active to notice. By six PM I was in a bit of a panic. We had the baby’s heart tones checked. Thunk-a thunk-a thunk-a. All seemed well.

–ish.

For just a few moments the baby’s heart slowed down, then popped back up. It happened twice. Then resolved and became the little metronome that every mama wants to hear. Assurance was given (that I would have -and have- given to other moms…); babies are not robots. They often have little shifts. If we listened to babies’ heartbeats continuously throughout pregnancy the cesarean rate would be 100%, because at some point we would hear something so alarming that we would rush mothers in to rescue their little ones from that precarious-seeming nest. I often tell moms that babies like to stick things in their mouths and bite down, and that on occasion they might do it to their cord. I imitate a dizzy baby in the womb saying “Whoa! Dude! I ain’t doin that again!” It always gets a laugh.

I was not laughing.

Faith is a fragile thing. Confidence is fickle when its foundation is unstable. Joy becomes a visitor.

I prayed for kicks, vigorous, comforting kicks. Occasionally there was a weak flutter.

The whole next beautiful Spring day, a heavy winter cloud followed me threateningly. Though I had heard the heartbeat, my reassurance was only halfway there. As the day wore on and the baby gifted me with the occasional thump, I thought of all the women I know who have lost babies in their second trimester. For a tragedy that occurs only 1% of the time, I know an inordinate amount of women who were that 1%.

That evening, while I was on the phone, the baby began a kick fest. I wondered at the randomness of the timing. Why couldn’t you have done this yesterday, when I really needed you? I decided to accept the communication as having come when God felt I needed it, not necessarily when I thought I did. I was grateful, and began to announce every kick to the family. Comfort came with their cheerful responses.

But I know that my tender faith was tried. That dark place was too easily found, the terrain of it too familiar.

My halfway day was not what I expected. Though there were a few calls from dear ones with joyful, “Happy 20 Weeks!” ringing in their voices that forced me back to the here and now, to this current reality (the one where all is, really is, well), even though I had spent a day in an alternate reality, I was solidly reminded of the blessing that I should not, even for a moment, take for granted. I was also given a measure with which to clearly gauge the constitution of my faith. It cannot be a thing that I lose simply because the evidence before my mortal eyes calls me to question. God never told us to believe only in that which we see (or hear –thunk-a thunk-a-, or feel –kick kick).

Faith cannot be fleeting. It cannot be halfway. Either it is ours because it is planted firmly in our love of God and our knowledge and understanding of his love for us, or it is a house built upon the sand, buffeted by wind and wave.

I step out on the second half of the journey. The one where my feet learn to fall on a path that I trust will be beneath me, without having to look down to prove to myself that the ground will be there to meet my next step. The one that teaches me faith is not getting to the end of the path I want to be on, but trusting that God placed me on His path, regardless of where it leads.


(Photos by Adam)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sometimes, starting the day out right...

Means pulling on your favorite snow hat
before you even climb out of bed
for your morning snuggle.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Hygene Protest


When I tried to trim her nails this morning, Tessa was, let's say, resistant. She ran out to the hall and hid her hands behind her back.
She had logic on her side.
.
"But Mommy! When somesing is hard in my nose and I want to get it out and frow it in da' twash, it will be hawrd to get it out!"
(Please note her subtle attempts to persuade me that it would not be popped directly in her mouth. Stealth.)
.
(Pause to hide my laughter)
I explained that the petri-dish of bacteria she was growing under her soil encrusted nails could make her sick if she put her fingers in her mouth.
.
"But I wanna get sick, cuz den I will get Popsicles
like Ellie did."
.
I think I lost this one before I even
got out of bed this morning.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Suddenly I See

.
The fog of early-pregnancy has lifted these past few weeks. Now, suddenly I see things I haven't noticed in months. Looking past the accumulation of papers, dust and sundry patches of domestic chaos that will surely require some serious nesting to resolve,
I see this:


The little face I wake up to in the mornings. Always there, usually cheery. We eat together and read together and snuggle a ton. Yum. I wonder if the baby coming will change things between us. Will Tess be jealous? Will I suddenly see her as a big girl? Is this the end of our precious time together?

Tessa's unicorn mama nursing her babies. Somehow Tess has this innate sense about the perfect nature of things (even though it's been a long time since she nursed). I love stumbling upon these scenes.

Sweet Robin coming often, "tending" my heart. This amazing woman, mother of three, stays faithful and strong through so many trials. Her littlest spends more time in a hospital emergency room in a month than most of us will in our lifetimes (read her blog here). Yet she comes to my house with lunch and cheer and lessons on how to deal with little girl hair.

Ellie learning to finger crochet. We now have about 65 feet of yarn chain around the house. I see so much of me in her, including projects run-amok.

FOOOOOOOOD.
It is becoming wonderful again, and I have begun cooking again. With an oven (no not the microwave). And recipes.
.

Though it might not seem like a big deal, making my sweetie a sandwich (instead of him taking care of me) felt so good. Un-cured Canadian bacon (that's ham to us, but so soft and moist) under a slab of Munster cheese, all roasted under the broiler till the cheese was bubbly, piled on sourdough. Spinach, tiny tomatoes, shredded carrot and thinly sliced fuji apples, a crumble of garlic herb feta and dab of mayo.
.
But wait...

Guy's Pasta Alfredo with broccoli and sun dried tomatoes, topped with Parmesan.
Garlic bread.
Boston cream pie.
Good friends.
Double yum.


Reaching 19 weeks, and celebrating!

The return of the sun. Warm evening light pouring through the windows, lighting up the dust bunnies on the floor. I love this little dust bunny.


Playing outside in the evening light.

(notice her necklace)

Thank you day light savings. My days are symbolical getting longer, but I can cope if there is light. With the weeks passing by successfully, there seems to be more light in my soul.


This week:
the boys had pink eye (I spared you the pictures!) but we cured it with warm honey water.
.

We had a date. Loved "The Blind Side".
.

We had late talks. Love my husband.
.

I managed to get caught up with the laundry, for one brief moment in time. The first time in two entire months that the kids don't have to go basket diving for socks.
.

I have actually done few dishes, cleaned out a few drawers and cupboards, and planted a few flower seeds.
.

I washed a window, and read to the 1st graders.
.

There are no clothes on my bedroom floor.
.
.

I am starting to make plans.
.

Tonight I tell Guy I have a goal to get the garage cleaned out "before the baby is born." It feels strange on my tongue, before the baby is born.
.

"Are you planning to make the baby live in the garage?" he teases.
.

It's sure nice to be out of the fog.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hi Friday Followers!

Thanks for stopping by! Please enjoy looking around. If you enjoy my writing feel free to follow, but please don't feel obligated. I am not into "gathering followers", but sure love to connect with other writer-moms who inspire me!

Going Green


It has been said that Leprechauns are mischievous. Yesterday I forgot to wear green, and though I am nearly half Irish (if you scotch-tape together the random bits and pieces of my family tree that hail from the Fair Isle), they really took it out on me. This is how it all went down:

They started my day out by warming up Addy-boy's forehead to a toasty 102°, robbing him of another day of a stellar education.

Next, they whispered to Tessa that she wanted to watch her 3 hour satanic pre-school sing along video from HELLLLLLLL.

They tripped the dog, injuring his leg.

By the time Ethan got home from school they had given him pink eye (not their usual color, but they seemed to delight in the green discharge).

At 4:30PM they possessed Ellie entirely. At first they kept her from doing her homework by enticing her to play. Then, when I confiscated the homework page she wasn’t working on anyway, they got in her britches and pinched her bum until she stomped, screamed, thrashed on the floor and slammed her bedroom door repeatedly. It was sooo fun. Ooooh yeah.

Next, they turned the clock ahead, held the sun in the sky, and made us late for scouts. As we scrambled into the van, the little buggers kept making Tessa drop her seatbelt buckle, and when Adam tried to help her with it, the green beasties shoved her arm really hard, propelling the stick in her hand right into Adam’s open eye. They then climbed into Ethan’s boxers (was that revealing too much? Yes, boxers, not briefs. Sorry son, your secret is out), wriggled up his back and whispered into his ear to hum the stick out the window. Tessa LOVED that. Then they cranked up the decibels on all the crying that was going on for me. That was really fun in a small, enclosed space.

When we got home I decided I had had enough. It was time to take matters into my own hands. I set a trap, wrestled a half dozen of the little trolls into the blender with some sour cream and pressed purée. I baked potatoes, (sorry, no corned beef. My ancestors were poor Irish, we couldn’t afford actual meat), and poured the green innards of the mischief-makers right over the top.

The kids wouldn’t believe that I had ground up leprechauns.

“All of them?”

“Yep.”

“Even their poop?”

“No, of course not their poop. I saved that for dessert.”

Take that, St. Patrick.

Ellie prayed over the meal “…and bless me to stop throwing these terrible fits…”,

then later apologized for her earlier demonic possession. “Thank you, Mom, for trying your best to find something for your rude children to eat.”

Peace seemed to be returning. Maybe it was the pie.

Next year, I’m gonna be ready. I’ll either wear green or I’ll set the traps early.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How to ineffectively beat a dead horse

I have been finding new ways to explain words like ‘spoiled’ and ‘brat’ around our house lately, without actually calling the offending child (not to mention any names—Ellie) a brat to their face.

Laura Ingalls Wilder has been helping, though she doesn’t know it.

I tell Ellie, “Oh, my, Laura would never do that” or “What would happen to Laura if she talked to her Ma like that?” (I am so sly).

When her room was a mess, I would say “Laura always kept a tidy space in the attic.”

When she pouted about sharing a room, I would caution, “Laura not only shared her room, but her bed and blanket with her sister.”

And each time she complained about picking up her toys, I scolded, “Laura only had a corn-cob doll wrapped in a scrap of flour sack cloth to play with!” (that was my favorite.)

It worked like a charm for about 6 days. And just as the Great Creation of the earth came to an end on the seventh day, so did Laura’s help. Geez, thanks, Laura.

Ellie got cheeky with me, and I, beating the dead-prairie horse, crooned “If Laura talked to her Ma like that, she would get a switch to the behind.”

Ellie shrugged passively.

“Yeah, I don’t wanna be like Laura anymore.”

Dang. I pushed it too far. Now I am all alone. Laura has abandoned me. I need some new ammo. Or at least a new literary figure I can unscrupulously manipulate as a pawn in my diabolical scheme.

Any suggestions for what book I should read to her next?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Edgewood and Round Lake,

I once signed up for Facebook. At first it was curiosity driven, and of course there was a learning curve. It took me a while to figure out that this was not like a giant email-type hub of communication, where I would meet up with old friends and we would really connect. The first few long winded, catch-you-up-on-the-past-twenty-years, heartfelt messages that I sent out quickly taught me that this mode of communication is a drive-through snack from the value menu, not a sit-down-meal with fixin’s -when it comes to connectedness. I felt duped, and have seldom gone back.

Then I began to write essays for myself.

I had heard of these things called blogs where people put pictures up of their pudding-faced kids to share with Grandma in Ohio, and though the notion turned me off (honestly, who cares how many times little Joshy pooped in the potty today?), I thought it might be a format to use as motivation to keep myself writing regularly, polish skills and mature my thinking.

I shared my blog address (all the while refusing to actually say the word “blog”, opting for “bloggety-thingy”) with a few friends. Some of them shared with a few others. At first, Rebekah, Jackie, Steph and Melissa would often comment. It felt nice. I enjoyed the strange way that I could float my thoughts out into the atmosphere, and was tickled that anybody at all cared enough to comment on them.

I ventured that I perhaps would like to connect my thoughts to other women who might think like me and just not be the types to type about it. Reluctantly, I began venturing to what I believed were sites that would help me connect my blog to readers who share my world view (that of laundry and dishes - small, untidy world that it is). Here is what I have learned:

There is yet another culture out there. One like the culture of people who sign onto Facebook and say yes to every bloomin’ friend request, hoping to gather a big ol’ sloppy pile of ‘em. Only in this other culture, bloggers rush from blog to blog, leave a comment like the old “Ziggy was here” graffiti-ed on the wall, and become a “follower”. Then off to the next blog, all the while holding out the expectation that once they click ya’, you’ll click them back.

I kinda feel cheap, lika a girl who maKes out with a guy because he bought her dinner.

There is a children’s story by Max Lucado called “You are Special” where in a puppet creator makes beautiful and unique puppets. These puppets circulate through their little village giving each other stickers; gold stars to those they like, grey dots to those who, for whatever reason, have fallen out of favor with the giver. In the story, one puppet has learned that it only matters to her what the puppet maker thinks of her, and knowing that he loves her dearly, the stickers of judgement cannot stick to her. A little puppet, tired of the dots and the way they make him feel, goes to see the maker in hopes of being taught the secret of not letting the stickers stick. The maker simply tells him, “You are special because I made you, and I don’t make mistakes.”

All the clicks on my blog have felt odd to me. Odd, because the comments from my dear friends have always come from a place of love and understanding, while these new remarks somehow feel like dots and stars.

That is why I am writing to you, Round Lake and Edgewood. You, (whoever you are… do I know you?), read my words (I have a little map that tells me when you have come) and though I don’t think you have clicked to “follow”, seeing your town name over and over as weeks go by makes me think that somehow I am writing something that might matter. At least to you. Thanks.

I have a favorite blog, one that I read every day, written by a woman I will never meet. I neither “follow” nor comment on it, but because of what I find there, my life has been uplifted.

Round Lake, IL and Edgewood, MD, I hope once in a while I uplift you. Because sometimes when I write, I try to picture you.



Friday, March 12, 2010

Someone to watch over him


He's a big guy now.
.
He left this afternoon for another camp out, and I don't really know if he's safe. It's been pouring rain tonight, but I don't know if he is warm. I can't make him wear his jacket, or be sure that he's eaten. I don't know if the older guys are treating him mean, or if he's lonely...
.
(or maybe just wiped out after a hike).
.
I can't keep him clean...
(or keep him from playing with fire, or even sitting in the actual fire pit for that matter!)
.
But thankfully there are a slew of good men up there watching over him. I have to trust they are taking care of him, or at least keeping him from catching himself on fire. It is a rite of passage, I guess, sleeping on rocks, eating charred hobo dinners and peeing in the embers.
.
I know for sure he doesn't tell me all that goes on. I know this, not because my husband was in scouts (he hated camp outs for all the above mentioned miser-abilities). I know this because I have brothers who told me all the mayhem and horrors they committed whilst scouting that my mother never knew about.
.
I think I don't want to know.
.
But right now, I kinda wish he was here in his bed, safe and sound. It makes me project into the not-so-far-off future to a time when he won't be here every night. He might be tromping around in a foreign country as a missionary, or on a college campus, or, as he tells me often, in the service.
.
Am I fast forwarding a little too fast?
.
No.
.
He is.


.
Thanks to scout leader Eric for the pix, and for watching over my boy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kickin' it up

I was pooped, and decided the only way I could possibly make it through another hour was to do it from the bath. That meant story time for the girls would happen from my watery lounge. As I began One Fish Two Fish, another little fish, one that up till now had only swished a time or two each day, decided to give me a gift.
.
15 minutes straight of little kicks. Maybe it was my buoyant belly, the echo of "red fish, blue fish..." against the tile, the noisy chatter of the girls, all amplified by the water. Baby, little being within, celebrated 18 weeks with me as we floated in the bath with a dance that made the water surface break in tiny ripples, made us giggle and cheer, and made me ever more grateful.
.

The painting is one that I did as a gift for dear Melissa years ago. Love you, Melissa.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recipe for a Great Afternoon


Begin with:

2 tired boys straight home from school

1 little-sister-free afternoon

1 hour delay on homework

Melt together and simmer till just turning golden:

1 stick butter

1 ½ c. sugar

1 tsp salt

In a big bowl, pour over:

8 cups popped popcorn

Stir quickly. Dump into a large paper bag. Microwave for 1 minute then shake bag vigorously. Repeat 3 times, shaking each time till all kernels are coated. Dump back into bowl. Smack boy’s hands from snitching while popcorn cools, separating clumps with a wooden spoon. Finally give up and put the bowl in the middle of the table. Fight over the most scrumptious morsels by snatching them from each other’s fingers. Laugh a whole bunch. Try not to eat the whole bowl full, but do it anyway.

Promise to do it again soon.

Yields: 2 content boys and one very cheerful (and slightly sugar-high) mama.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Bird in the Hand


Kathy magically appeared at my door the other day. I say magically, because she is magical to me. This amazing woman, the mother of Seth (read about them both here and here), is among those dear ones that roam this planet who I hold closest to my heart.

There was a time about two years ago when she was so sick I thought we would lose her. I would visit often, never knowing quite what to say or do, so I’d massage her back and hug her and listen to her talk about faith and her love of God despite her many trials. At times she spoke in a whisper, barely able to keep her head up, and she would tell me how grateful she was for her life. In her fragile state, she was so amazingly strong.

Now, here she stood in my living room looking vital and alive. She smiled and laughed and poured out her love to me. She is a walking miracle. She had heard at church, though she is in a different congregation than I am, that I was struggling with this pregnancy. In her hands she held a small brown box.

“The spirit told me to get this for you. It had to be this one, only I didn’t know for sure that they even made it. I just sent Steve and told him if they had it, to get the one called “Peace”.

I smiled and pointed to the shelf behind her at the gift Adam had given me for Christmas, a metal design of my favorite word; Peace. I have that word in a prominent place in each of the rooms I frequent most. On a small etched stone in the bathroom and one by my bed, on beautifully embellished cards by Steph in the kitchen and studio, and scratched in Sharpie marker on a 3x5 note card, tucked in my dresser drawer.

That word calms me like no other. It says, Hush, its ok, breathe...everything is going to be okay.

I opened the box and removed the figurine, a slender woman in white holding a bluebird near her heart, and my eyes filled with tears. “Come here, I have to show you something.”

I took her to the studio. There stands a large, half-completed painting of a woman in a snowy field. On her shoulders rest four bluebirds, one for each of my living children. In her hands she holds an empty nest, and though they are not painted yet, on the ground is space for four broken eggs. I began the painting shortly after the last miscarriage, and stopped. I couldn’t move any further, not knowing how many broken eggs would eventually be on the ground.

Only a week ago I decided I would, could, paint an egg in the nest.

And here, Kathy had brought me “peace”, and a woman holding a bluebird in her hands.

I guess many would say it is coincidence, that I saw only what I was looking for. And I imagine that is possible. I have pondered the possibility of this being a message with spiritual origins. Wouldn’t God have plenty on his hands without worrying about my feelings? Why now, after so many hurts and losses would the feelings of one small person on this planet matter? I don’t really know for sure, but I choose not to see this as mere chance. Somehow, my friend was able to bring something that meant something to me, a deep personal symbol that she could never have known about.

I choose to see meaning.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” -John 14:27

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lessons From Tin Man, by Ethan

Ok, I admit it, I have been whining a bit. The other day amid a menagerie of new found discomforts, I made my heartburn face, (something akin to "tasting cough medicine" mixed with "getting a whiff of wet dog") and Adam asked what was wrong. I generously ran down the list for him: "heartburn, headache, nausea, sciatica, dizziness..."

.

"Sometimes I wish I could just go to sleep for the next five months and wake up when it's time to give birth." I lamented with a syrupy dose of self pity.

.

Ethan chimed with his I'm-almost-a-teenager-I-know-more-than-Einstein voice on his way to the kitchen. "That would be too easy."

.

"What do you know about it?" I asked.

.

He sang, then, nice and loud, a line from a song in the musical Wicked, "If she'd let him fight his own battles when he was young, he wouldn't be a coward today!" The last notes echoed from the kitchen as he headed out the back door to go play.

.

In his funny way, he is right. I might not appreciate this experience for all that it can be if it were easy. Certainly up till now it hasn't been a cake walk, but as I find the fear of miscarriage going from a thought I have 2,000 times a day down to 20 or so times a day (no joke), the residual empty space has been filled in some measure with both gratitude and a little belly aching.

.

I once read a book that talked about people who had endured natural disasters. It said that interestingly, after the initial horrors were over, in therapy these folks tended to worry as much about their current and far less tragic woes as those losses they had endured from the disaster.

.

In the song Ethan sang, the familiar Tin Man explains why the Lion is a coward... he had not needed bravery, because opportunity to learn it was taken from him when it would have done him the most good.

.

I appreciate the subtle 12 year old wisdom. I guess I'll stay awake.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Soul Sisters

Tessa, forever in love with mama's arm
.

Holding my hand in hers, she looks up at me with adoring eyes.

“Mama, when you will be a littol guwl again, I will pway wiff you.”

“I would love that! If I was a little girl right now, do you think we would be best friends?”

“No!”

(laughing as though I have somehow missed the obvious)

“we would be sistahs.”

.

Sometimes I wonder about the nature of our spirits. Is it possible that the enormous soul crammed into the tiny body of this little child may have perhaps come into existence before mine, or at the same moment in time? What if, in the eternal scheme of things, she is older and wiser than me? What if she precedes me by a million years, or a billion, and I am the little child? What if we two were paired, perfectly matched for what one could give the other?

One thing I do know, certainly she came here to be my teacher.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Almost free

Before:

Remember that old dresser I found in a junk pile on the side of the road while I was on my temper-tantrum drive?
Here's the after...


I think it turned out so cute I just had to follow up with pictures of the final product. And the best part? Nearly free!

Dresser - free
knobs - $1 each on clearance
flowers - 22 cents each
White paint - about 5 bucks

OK, so not quite free... more like $15, but still not bad for all we got out of the project. We bonded, baby. It was a real group effort. Small price to pay for that kind of quality time.

The planets really aligned with this one. See, the old dresser had handles - the kind with two holes. They don't sell that particular size handle anymore accept for special order for about $8-12 a piece! At that rate, with 8 handles to replace, a new dresser would have been a bargain.

So I found these little wooden flowers at the craft store that nicely covered the holes, and while standing in the checkout line, what should I see? A clearance bin of very cute knobs!!! Score!!!

We painted, drilled and screwed it all together, - together. It was a real group project with every family member helping. The kids are so proud of their efforts. They each know which color of flower they painted, and they gained a hands-on understanding of one of their mama's favorite pioneer sayings:

"Use it up
Wear it out
Make it due
Or do without"

This dresser will never see a trash pile again.

*****

P.S. On a totally unrelated note, but a note that is note-worthy, baby celebrated our reaching 17 weeks on Wednesday by getting the hiccups for the first time.

Happy sigh. :) Love it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Presents Day


So Ellie comes in tonight
and asks,
"For Presents Day, will you give me an Ipod?"

"What is Presents Day?"

"You know, it's the day when everybody gives each other presents."

"Everybody who?

"You know, just everybody. All the people."

(How have I missed this one?)

"Um, who told you there was a Presents Day?"

"At school they been talkin' 'bout it all the time!"

(Ah-ha.)

"Do you mean, President's Day?"

(Mommy, laughing so hard I might piddle.)

"Oh."

(Ellie, feeling very disappointed in our founding fathers for their lack of foresight and imagination.)

(And no, I won't get you an Ipod. You're seven. Thanks for asking.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Positive Affirmations

Some mornings I wake up feeling very afraid. This is one of those mornings. I made the mistake of reading some posts last night about infant loss, and now my brain is there again.

I have been trying to take myself to a place where this dream child is safe and strong and growing, but it's hard. I've tried affirmations, but I can too easily start to argue with myself,

"Everything is going to be ok, ohm...",

"No, it might not. There was that one mom..."

"Yes it will, you, so be quiet (ohm!)."

It ain't workin'.

So these are my new affirmations: I am making gifts for our baby. Felted wool balls that will sit on the floor in the antique wooden bowl that was my mothers. I make them slowly, one at a time. While I make them, I picture a chubby baby, many months from now, scooting over on it's belly, reaching into the big bowl and dumping the balls everywhere on the floor. I see myself tripping on them constantly and being thrilled I have a little one making a mess. I see the baby picking them up and trying to lob them, and not having them travel further than their lap. I see this gorgeous, happy baby trying to bite them and crinkling it's nose at the tickly wool. I see, bigger now, a toddling babe trying to pick up more of the balls than arms will hold. And in every imagining, I am smiling.

I may make a dozen or so before I am truly able to embrace the growing possibility of this growing possibility.

Oooohhhmmm.

.........................................

Hello to all the lovely ladies from LFCA. Thank you for coming over in support. Please come say hi. Here are some of my recent posts about this pregnancy:

Duality - thinking about one of our lost babies on it's due date

Why I wasn't there for her- feeling remorse over not being there to support my dear friend in pregnancy

Hope- a three part post about seeing the first heartbeat after being told the baby was lost, then told it might be a tubal, and finally learning we had a healthy baby.