Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pop Fridge

It's been one of those days where routines and rituals haven't gotten out of bed yet. And since its already after lunch, a "normal" day probably isn't going to happen today.

It's blowing snow and wind outside up to 50 mph so that means my roofing husband is staying on the ground today. Actually, he's staying indoors and taking a vacation. And when he takes a vacation, then I think I should too.

If only the kids would think so though.

After brunch (we skipped breakfast altogether and had it for an early lunch instead) Landon sat in his high chair dissecting marshmallows. He'd take the tiny pieces and stuff them up his right nostril. After pulling a whole string of them out I made sure he blew his nose into a kleenex for good measure. I could see a white glob way up there (about where the nostril enters the head) and I really don't want to find out what marshmallows can do to a little guy's brain. The glob came out thankfully.

Toby and I had just been talking over our meal about what a genius Landon is. I think he was listening and decided today would be a good day to stuff his nose with marshmallows.

After cleaning him up, Janae was wailing on the floor with blood trickling out one corner of her mouth. I grabbed her and dashed to the bathroom and wiped it off. No poking or prying would indicate where the blood was coming from. I think she just poked herself or bit her lip or something. She's still alive and doing fine so I'm not too worried. She was playing with her brother for about 2 minutes so that explains a lot.

As I sat down at my computer just now, Landon asked for his bag of crayons -- what's left of them. Janae was sucking on one last night (unbeknownst to me) and promptly dissolved a bright violet pink crayon in her mouth. The quanity in the bag seems to be dwindling and now I know where it's going. At least she doesn't get them stuck up her nose.

So, I handed him his bag only to have him take it and hand it back. I closed the bag and gave it to him. He took it and handed it back. I opened the bag and set it on the floor behind me. He took it this time and kept it.

Toby just asked me if crayons are the greatest idea for Landon. I think they are because it keeps him occupied and out of trouble. Toby then asked about him marking on the walls but so far Landon just sets them on my desk, then on a table, then on the floor and then across the room to the shelves then back on the file cabinet. I've noticed his favorite place to play with them is on Toby's pop fridge.

Yes, Pop Fridge.

We just finished our new office and of all things that had to be in here was a fridge for Toby's pop. Now I'll no longer hear the endearing, "Hun, can you grab me another pop," from my dear husband.

Most women probably wouldn't like it if their hubby took advantage of them and always made them get up and go get the old man a can of pop but I've always liked it. Even when I was big and pregnant and could barely waddle anywhere, Toby would ask me to get him a pop. And I'd happily do it.

Now he can just swivel around in his chair and swing the little door open and grab a pop. The only way I know he ever wanted a pop is by the sound of the closing fridge door. By then it's too late to get it for him.

I told him before he moved it in here that I would fill a cooler full of pop every morning for him and set it in the office. He just shrugged his shoulders and went back to his book.

It's nice to be needed and to be a helpmeet to my husband but the stupid fridge is taking my place. He's living like a bachelor again. His mom tells me that when he was single, he actually bought this little fridge and kept pop in it right next to his desk. I used to ask what happened with that idea but smiled to myself that I knew why he didn't need it anymore: he has me.

In our vows, I remember saying something like "forsaking all others..." and I wonder how Toby would like it if I bought a fancy little machine to do all our yard work and he wouldn't be able to impress me with his own abilities and do the task knowing how proud I'd be of him. With this machine, I could have it all done for him by the time he got home from work, but he'd be out one whole chance of impressing me and showing me that he loved me enough to mow the lawn.

And he'd have that much more time to sit around and read books and drink pop.

Even when we're on "vacation" like today, it's nice for me to have a purpose and goal in life by getting Toby a pop. Not today. I have all this extra time to blog about him now. (it's my way of getting back at him.)

The other day, I put several sippy cups of juice for Landon in the fridge. I figured that I could somehow incorporate this fridge into our family by involving our son into it. You know, kind of a father/son thing. At least that way it would be serving more of a purpose and not a breach between my son's mother and father.

I was glad to see him playing with his crayons on it today. The little white fridge is getting marked up with blues, pinks and greens but that's what makes it look less bachelorish. Not that there's anything wrong with being bachelorish -- I did marry a bachelor, you know -- it's just more warming to have this cold, white bachelor box becoming a more family friendly item.

Our vacations will be more relaxing for both of us. He won't have to ask for a pop and I won't have to get it for him. I hate to say "have to get it for him" because I really did like to get to get it for him.

Relaxing or not, I liked our old vacations better.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Are We Ready Yet?

Toby and I have been thinking about venturing into the possibilities of adding another addition to our already growing family. Our littlest baby is almost 8 months old already and the other baby is over 20 months so our time right now isn't as consumed with baby stuff like it was a few months ago. We're just not sure though if either of the kids are ready yet.

Or if we are, for that matter.

We've discussed the pros and cons, the ins and outs and all the perspectives of such a life changing decision and just haven't come up with a very conclusive conclusion. Neither a boy or girl would really matter although I do think that there's pros and cons with either. I guess that's where the pros and cons come in that we've discussed lately.

Since we've already had 2, it wouldn't really be a big adjustment if we do decide to go ahead with this possibility. Although, in a lot of ways I personally think that maybe we should wait since it could be quite a stress for all of us and would increase our responsibilities to yet more demands and duties. I'm sure it would be worth it in the long run with either choice we make. I suppose that means there would also be drawbacks with both decisions.

Since we had Landon and Janae so close together, that kind of effected a lot of our other plans. That year of taking care of Landon while being pregnant with Janae was pretty exhausting. I'm still trying to catch up from that. And then to add more on top of that just doesn't seem wise yet.

The last time I brought this up with my husband, he said he just didn't know. The time before that when I asked, he was researching possibilities, finances, health issues and alternatives. Since then, his conclusion is that we should wait until Landon is older (which also means that Janae will be older too) and see how we feel about it then.

I agree with the waiting choice.

But then one of us will bring it up out of the blue and we'll talk about it some more.

We do have the house. The yard. The ideal location. I am a stay at home mom and our finances wouldn't be effected that much. We just wonder if timing wouldn't be better if we waited.

There would be the added feedings, daily and night time care, bed, potty training, teaching lessons, playtime, baths, cuddles, etc. etc. And all would have to be covered and taken care of by the first 2 years.

Of course it would be a rewarding experience but still, are we ready for this again?

We've talked to other people about this; most encourage us to wait while others strongly urge us to go ahead. Bringing more people into this is just making this personal decision more complicated. Anyone have ideas?

Man, getting a dog is a big decision.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Manna From Heaven... well actually, Minnesota

This morning, while juggling a thermometer in one hand, a fussy/sick baby in the other and chasing a little boy all over my dusty house (Toby's drywalling our new office), I heard a sharp rap at the door and looked up just in time to see a delivery guy walk off the porch.

I opened the door and picked up the package and read the label. The address was ours but the name wasn't. By then, the delivery guy was gone.

Then I read the return address: Lena's Lefse in Minnesota and I could smell the aroma coming from the box. I immediately wondered what it would be like to eat lefse in Nebraska and if I would be tampering in somebody's mail by opening the package since it had my address on it but somebody else's name.

Every holiday season, I go through our grocery aisles and search intently for lefse. I asked around a bit the first year and the only response I got was, "Excuse me?" And then they'd ask, "How do you spell it ... l-e-f-t-s-u-h...?"

Wrong suh! It's l-e-f-s-e.

"Hm, you say that 'lefsa'? Never heard of it. Is it food?"

And then I'd try to describe to them in words the scrumptuousity of this delicious Norwegian potato tortilla.

They just look at me like I'm nuts or definitely Norwegian -- which I probably am both.

So, with this fragrant box sitting on my counter, I called our friendly neighbor lady who also happens to be part of the neighborhood gossip party and asked if the last name on the box rang a bell. She said she'd ask her contacts and get back to me.

About 6 hours later, I got a call from her. She said she asked several other neighbors, looked in the phone book for the name and even asked the mailman but nobody recognized the name. She advised me to call the post office.

I couldn't find that number and plus they were closed so I decided to look Lena's Lefse up on the web. I'm so thankful for the internet.

Found the number and called and the lady I talked to remembered writing out the address. She said that since there were no people with that last name in Seward, we could just keep the box since the lefse wouldn't be fresh by the time I sent it back and she sent it to the right person.

I couldn't believe it. There were 25 pieces of 15" round lefse in the package. I thanked her wholeheartedly and emphasized it by jumping into a long-story-short speal about where I'm from, where I live now and how I can never find lefse here. She was pleased. I'm sure any of the rest of the neighbors would've thrown the stuff away because non-Norwegians don't usually care for it. Especially Germans. (Toby's German and doesn't care for it.) How our address got on there I'll never know but I'll never forget how we got lefse for the first time in Nebraska.

By the way, we shared some with our friendly neighbor and her husband because they've had it before and I knew they were one of few who would appreciate this Norwegian manna.

Side note: I noticed that not even my spellcheck recognized "Norwegian" or "lefse." This must be a German computer.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Tragedy Of The Lost Belt

This morning, my dear husband was busily getting ready for Church. He had selected a handsome pair of sage green slacks and a sharp white button up shirt and a white t-shirt for underneath. Black socks, black shoes and a black belt would top him off.

While I got the kids' clothes ready, I could hear him rummaging around and mumbling about his black belt. Usually it's the shoes he can't find but this morning it was the belt. He looked high and low and between each place he looked, he'd come and ask if I knew where it was. I assured him that the last place I saw it was hanging in the closet.

He'd go back to the closet and look in there again, searching the walls, floor, dark depths and the highest shelf. I noticed he never turned the light on in our bedroom so I mentioned that maybe if he shed a little light on the issue, he could see what he was looking for. He continued to grope in the closet like a blind man and never found the belt.

I mentioned checking thoroughly under the bed. He looked there.

I suggested the laundry hamper -- perhaps he threw it in still attached to the pants he last wore it with. He looked there and no luck. He even checked the baby's hamper.

I advised the towel hooks in the bathroom since his work belt was already hanging there. No luck. By now I was thinking either somebody broke in the house and took the belt or else it sprouted legs and walked out.

Finally, I went and looked in the closet where I knew it HAD to be and he walked off into another room wailing about not knowing what he was going to do. I wondered if the pants were on the verge of falling off but to me it looked like they fit well. I inwardly sympathized with him by putting myself in his pants, so to speak, and felt a sudden urge to grab my falling pants. Ugh, that's an awful feeling and to have to go to Church like that is misery.

With the light on, I groped through the closet, looked under shoes and behind a bin, double checked the hooks it normally hangs on and glanced under the hanging robes. No belt.

I admitted that I couldn't even find it as I patted him on the back that it was going to be okay and then went to finish getting ready while he got Landon up.

Shortly later, he was getting Landon dressed and I walked through the room and noticed a strip of black leather around Toby's waist.

"Hmm, so you found your belt?"

He gave me this strange look like I had lost my mind or something. Then he looked down and a light came across his face as his cheeks reddened.

"Aaaaaa...um...well...er...I guess," he sheepishly said.

"You mean to tell me all this time you were looking for your belt and you were wearing it the whole time?"

As he dashed down the stairs to breakfast he yelled over his shoulder, "You'll never know!"

He admitted it later and now I'm no longer in the dark as to why it took him 28 years to find a wife. I wouldn't be surprised if he started looking again forgetting that he already had one. Now I can see why wedding rings were invented and why some guys probably should wear them.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Dumber Than I Look

I haven't been posting lately mainly because the internet was down on my computer. I think it was only down one day altogether but as you can imagine, for one like me who is on a steady diet of the web, it took me a bit to get caught up with all my sites, news and research once I was off my fast.
Surf The Web

Plus, I've been greatly lacking in details to post about. Not much new and exciting has happened lately; except of course f or my internet being down.

Toby knew what was wrong when it first wouldn't connect to my computer. He told me to take care of fixing it since it was real easy. I don't mind doing Toby's work but I always know what happens: I start it and he finishes it. It makes me wonder what the use was in me even being involved in the first place.

Toby's computer was still connected and had quite a healthy connection considering my computer's connection was more than lousy. So, he knew for sure what was wrong and what I was supposed to do about it.

He said it was simple: anybody could do it and that I wasn't too dumb to be able to figure it out. How promising. I think that meant that I was dumb but not too dumb.

He gave me my instructions. I was supposed to call our local telephone provider and get a number from them to call the router company (Linksys) that was supposed to have some code that started with 251-something and type that into the address bar and click go and then re-set something and then voila, I'd be good to go. I was in the dark and totally lost but thought for sure I could at least get the numbers.

I picked up the local phone book and started looking for Alltel (our phone provider.) After scanning all the "A's," I could find no "Alltel DSL Service 800 Number." I told Toby it wasn't in there. He sighed and said it was and then grabbed my book and started looking. (Toby's the guy who can't find his own shoes in the morning before work if I happen to put them away the night before in the closet. I can now understand why it took him 28 years to find a wife.) Sure enough, it wasn't in there.

He grabbed another phone book and started looking and found the phone number for me. So much for me even starting the job -- he was making the first moves and not only that, he actually found something.

He gives me the number "800..." Okay, got it and I reached for the phone.

"Did I say 800?"


"Make that 888; not 800..."

I transpose the zeros into eights and dial the number. Finally, I was doing my job. Really, it was still his job but at least I was doing something about the job he was making me do that was really his.

Thinking I'd have to wait forever on hold at Alltel as you usually have to, I was surprised to hear Harold's friendly voice pick up and ask me what he could do for me.

Instead of simply asking for the 800 number that I was supposed to ask for, in my surprise that I actually didn't have to wait 15 minutes before talking to a real live person, I delved into a long tale about all my computer woes, why I was calling, and what I was calling for; assuring him that that magic phone number to Linksys would solve my problem. "Certainly," and he gave me the number.

Toby was probably breathing a sigh of relief when I finally just asked for that number.

Oh Jeez

I call Linksys. I couldn't decide what number I was supposed to push when they gave me the options of what I needed help with so I was automatically sent to some guy in India. It said the phone call may be recorded for quality and whatever else they needed. I think what they really like is listening to smart computer wizzes like me and then posting them on the internet under "Customer Service Funniest Recorded Phone Calls."

Cramming the phone all the way into my ear, I strained to understand his English. He must've been used to customers like me and began to fully enunciate each letter and word.

When I gave him my email upon prompt, he repeated it back with, "d as in delta... i as in India, b as in Bangladesh, i as in ignorance..." or something like that. The words he'd use to define the letters he was questioning me on were hilarious. I corrected him on the "d" and said it was "t" as in tom. And he said, "yessss, tee ahz eeen telta."

Then he started making me do all these things that Toby had never told me about and I was going to parts of my computer that were deep and dark and quite intimidating. Immediately, Toby recognized the rabbit trail my Indian friend was bringing me down and started shaking his head and loudly whispering negative responses.

I'd wave at him and shake my head, hold my finger to my lips so as to emphasis the importance of staying quiet and then making the impact of the need for quietness, I'd ask the patient Indian guy to repeat what he just said.

Soon Toby was half way between his computer and mine. He was looking over my shoulder and was making stronger and louder commands and pointing and sighing and heaving and shaking his head.

I kept hearing, "NOOOOO, you DON'T have to do that... they always make you do that but it doesn't work..." I was beginning to feel like my efforts were fruitless.

My kind Indian friend repeated the same thing three times for me and then when I typed something in and it wasn't responding right away he said, "Jist wait a moment end an arrer missage wil come upp." I thought to myself that even he was losing hope in me.

I kept asking him for that 251-something number and he kept saying that we had to wait until we had all this done before we could get to that part. Between his instructions, I started typing in every connotation of 251- something that I could conjure up but that wasn't helping either. The service tech had lost me a long time ago so I figured my chances of helping myself were as great as his chances of helping me were.

By now Toby was sitting right next to me and Janae was wailing on the floor next to us.

When he finally told me to unplug my router from the power source for ten seconds, Toby had had enough. He was getting louder with his "no, you don't have to do that" that I knew I was going to either have to politely hang up on the guy or else kindly sit on my husband's head. Or, I could just throw out the whole computer and be done with it.

Throw Computer "Thanks Sir, I fixed the problem... Have a good day! Bye...." Click.

I instead compromised and interrupted the fourth direction in a row that my Indian had given me and asked him if my husband could just talk to him. I handed the phone to Toby, stood up and walked away. Toby took my place on the chair and proceeded to fix my computer.

When he hung up the phone about five minutes later, the only thanks I got was, "You are dumber than you look."

I retorted with something like that I didn't understand why he had me do stuff like this since he was always the one to take over in the end. I quoted back to him a saying I've heard more then once from his sweet lips when he was helping me do my work Laundry and I'd stand over his shoulder and give him unsolicited instructions over and over:

either you do this or I'll do this; there's no reason we both have to be doing this.

He just rolled his eyes and (I think) inwardly admitted that I was right. I saw him smile as he went back to his computer and I went back to mine.

The next day I told him we needed to order a battery for our camera. Guess who did it in the end? I actually did but not without the help of someone else. I'm thinking I should frame Toby's famous phrase and hang it here in the office.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Guys' Rules

This was probably intended as an email forward but I found it on the internet. I find most of it pretty accurate after living with my man for almost 3 years. Had to laugh at some of these. ~Court

At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down. We [men] always hear "the rules" from the female side, now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules!

Please note... these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, forexample, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer youdon't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discusssuch topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

-- A guy's perspective on everyday rules

Two Tragedies

Yesterday, I was made aware of two tragedies. The one is a tragedy of death in a family; the other a tragedy of a death of a family. The one was a physical death; the other a hypothetical death.

During the afternoon, I got a phone call that a friend of ours passed away unexpectedly leaving behind a close-knit large family. They were in a foreign country as missionaries for an indefinite time and their son especially had given his heart for it. After battling an infection that was thought to be serious but not deadly, he died as he was being life flighted to another country. I was shocked and couldn't quite grasp that it actually happened.

During the evening, my sister in law and I went to visit a lady and her two children who had become somewhat affiliated with our church through her ex-husband who had been in jail and had attended our jail ministry while there. Since then, he's had a rocky road back to a normal life and has recently pretty much gone to back to where he started. I understand the police have a warrant out for his arrest and he'll be back in jail. Because of lying, stealing and drugs, he has no house, no car, no phone, no job and no life.

I looked at the face of a wife who's husband left her for drugs and sex and only comes around to spend time with the kids once in awhile. I wondered how she can even get out of bed in the morning after having someone she loved, hurt her so bad.

This father of her children is anything but a dad and his words mean nothing because he lies more than he tells the truth. His child support I have to imagine is sporadic and inconsistent because his jobs seem to kind of conform around his bad habits.

Through looking at the house she's bought, the steady life she's provided for her kids, the job she commutes to at quite a distance everyday just to support her family and the way I could see she relates to her kids, I can see clearly that as best as she can she's picked up the pieces and has tried to go on.

Even if her husband did come back, renew his vows and make a 90 degree turn in his life, I would never blame her for not taking him back. The scars on his life from the multiple drugs and I'm sure the multiple sex partners would make it life threatening for her to love him as a wife should love her husband.

This morning, I awoke to my husband getting out of a warm bed and going out in the chilly morning to make a living to support his family. He'll come home tonight and hug and play with his kids, work on his house and show me that he really meant it when he vowed "forsaking all others and cleaving only to your wife."

This broken wife I visited last night, has no assurance of love and devotion. Her dreams are dashed and her hope is gone. Her love is dead.

The family who lost a son and brother can rest in the hope of seeing their loved one some day in heaven; this broken family (from a human stand point) has no hope of ever seeing their husband and dad restored. Both are tragedies and both are heartaches. The one sadness will last forever; the other, only for a time.

What a promise to know that when heaven is my home, earths joys and sorrows are diminished by eternity's light. How thankful I am for the promise of hope.