Sunday, August 27, 2006

Why Apples And Little Boys Are Fun

Bright and early Saturday morning, three little boys and their little sister came over. I had 6 children age 4 and under. I couldn't believe how MUCH I got done that morning... swept and mopped the kitchen floor, vacuumed the entire living area, picked up everything and got the apples dehydrating. All the kids played so well.

By far, the most stretching thing for me that morning was answering the question why...

"Why are you putting the apples in that thing?"

"Why aren't the apples done yet?"

"Why won't the apples be done before supper time?"

"Why are those oranges (lemons) in that bowl of water?"

"Why do you put the apples in that water with the oranges (lemons)?"

"Why don't you have more apples in your fridge?"

"Why can't we eat the apples now?"

And the questions continued...

"How did you get all your stuff in this house?"

"Why do people live together that aren't married?"

"Why is Janae still sleeping?"

"Why can't we be here for lunch?"

"Why doesn't this tractor have a trailer?"

"Why are you going to have lunch with Toby later?"

"Why do you live in this house now?"

"Why is your swing set broke?"

"Why does Landon have his own keys?"

Lily was always smiley and happy as she crawled around the house and played with toys. Her favorite word is "Eeesh." I'm surprised she doesn't say why yet with as much as she probably hears it in a day.

The apples are done!

But don't tell Toby where they are. When I finished up the first batch, I brought him the bowl to show him my finished project and let him sample one. As I walked away and put the lid on, he said, "Hey, what are you doing with those?" As if I was supposed to leave them at his desk like I would a bowl of popcorn.

It was a fun and productive day and I got a taste of what life would be like if I had 6 kids right now. :)

Feeding Mosquitos

Landon seems to have a real problem when it comes to getting mosquito bites. He swells alarmingly big and each bite turns a very bright red. Incidentally, I think this is genetic because his five-year old cousin, has the same problem.

You can see on the side view how fat his forehead looks. He was only outside last night for about 20 minutes and got 5 bites on his face. Poor guy!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Managing My Home

The day was warm but not too unbearable. Just right in my opinion. But the man of the house was home doing book work and was absolutely sure the house was stuffy and needed a fan to circulate the air. And when he's home, he's the boss.

So, go get your fan Mister.

(No, I really didn't say that.)

I conveniently procrastinated on getting the fan. I despise the sound of a loud, obnoxious fan in my already crowded house. I dislike the idea of my children plunging their fingers into it's hungry blades. I do NOT enjoy the annoying way a fan makes it too easy to trip and fall around it's perimeter and I just really don't like loud box fans.

Toby's family on the other hand, lives, breaths, sleeps and eats with loud fans. And the louder the better.

After finishing what I was doing when the request was made, and then quickly wrapping up another thing and then making sure I didn't have to finish another project right then, I marched back to the bedroom and got the fan. My submissive spirit always defeats my procrastination tendencies eventually.

In the midst of getting the fan, my cell phone rang. I couldn't find the crazy phone so rudely dropped the fan in the livingroom and then dashed back down the hall towards the sound of the ringing phone. It was an old friend whom I hadn't talked to in awhile. We had gobs of juicy stuff to catch up on -- you know, babies, homeschooling, scheduling our days, being good wives, etc.

The one thing my friend discussed to great lengths and then encouraged me to look into was the book, Managers of Their Homes. A scheduling guide for the most busy and behind mother. I made a mental note to look into that.

At long last, the phone visit ended and I got back to my day. And I got back to that fan. During the phone call, I had totally set the fan request on the back burner. Unfortunately, the kids didn't though.

The other day I had bought Landon and Janae a very creative educational game. The game had 1 1/2" round, flat, wooden "candies" in an assortment of colors. Each "candy" had two holes so you could string it up with the strings provided. Each "candy" also had an upper and lower case letter. So, not only do your kids learn colors and letters, they also learn fine motor skills as they thread the "candies" together. All the "candies" fit into a convenient, plastic, candy-jar-looking container and a quaint little scoop fits in as well. It's the cutest little thing.

The kids had been enjoying this new game all morning and continued to enjoy it after I brought the fan out. They creatively figured out that each candy fit perfectly in the grid of the fan and would drop down to the bottom of the fan. One by one, the "candies" disappeared. My normally active and noisy children, were speechlessly involved in their project. The house was so peaceful and quiet during the duration of their activity.

After I hung up the phone, I tried prying the "candy" pieces out of the fan but Toby quickly informed me a screwdriver would be better. I happened to have ran across a screwdriver while doing laundry earlier that day so I made a bee-line to the laundry room. Don't ask me how screwdrivers and dirty laundry have any connection. I'm not really sure how they do but on this day, they were actually very connected.

I retrieved the screwdriver and attempted to disassemble the fan. My two-year old, construction-aspiring son quickly confiscated the screwdriver and set to work on the fan. Soon, screws were scattered all over the floor and in Janae's mouth.

But, before the fan got put back together, I thought I should take the time to clean the blades and vacuum all the dust out. It was only wise to take the opportunity and clean it right then since the fan was already taken apart. And it's not like everyday we take our fans apart to take toys out.

So, I vacuumed and dusted and soon the fan was sparkling clean. I found another screwdriver and reassembled the fan while Janae looked on, sucking on the one screw I couldn't find.

The fan was reassembled at last but the load of laundry in the dryer finished at the same time and that over-rided the importance of the fan being plugged in and turned on. Plus, Landon was practicing his construction skills by attempting to tighten all the screws I had just put in -- a productive thing for him to do when I can't keep an eye on him for a second. So, while he did that, I finished up the laundry.

The air still wasn't circulating around Toby's desk. Unfortunately, all the activity that surrounded the simple task of plugging a fan in and turning it on, didn't account for too much air circulation. Maybe if I was a better manager of my home, I could simply use a fan without having to clean it and extract toys from it everytime my husband asked to use the thing.

Without further ado, it dawned on me that Toby had asked for the fan an hour ago and it was still sitting idle. I apologized for my negligence and plugged it in and turned it on.

Meanwhile, all morning, Toby was bemoaning the fact that he wasn't "getting squat done" -- although the stack of finished bills and estimates climbing on the top of his desk testified otherwise. He was trying to make me feel guilty for being the object of his distraction. I countered back to him over the drone of the annoying fan... "Well, it's not like I'm getting much done today either." So he wouldn't feel like the only one having an upside down day, I quickly finished with, "And, I don't get a lot done the days you're home anyway."

He just rolled his eyes and wouldn't believe me. But, considering it took an hour out of my day to mess with a fan all because he wanted it, I'd have to say I got a lot less done in that time than I normally would've. And besides, I had never planned on working on the fan when I got up that morning and was making a mental schedule of my day.

I wonder if Managers of Their Homes would eliminate frivolous fan situations like we had on this day...

"Honey, can you get me a fan?" The husband would say.

"My dear, sweet, honey bunch, let me check my schedule..." the wife would wisely respond as she gracefully retrieves her neatly organized planner. "There's no implication that a fan was included in my schedule today," she would inform him." I can perhaps work it in tomorrow though."

"Can't you just get a fan and plug it in?" the husband would ask again, attempting to make the task sound simple.

But any good manager of her home would know that as simple as that task sounds, it could change the whole direction of her day.

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Latest Project

My nephew just started back to school this week and what better way would there be to bounce into the new year except with frogs?! Their school room is decorated with frogs and I couldn't resist the urge to go all out with a pen holder and pens. Braxton (my nephew) was overly thrilled with this gift and wanted to know how I made it and all that good stuff. He's so cute and is making a brilliant second grader.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Hard Job

It had been a long day and the daddy-less evening was only making it longer. I had just walked into the kitchen and found Landon and Janae emptying the dishwasher. That is actually a very good thing but, before I had a chance to praise them on their hard working and get-the-job-done attitudes, I was alarmed at the sight of Landon holding a knife up to Janae's head as he lifted it out of the dishwasher.

Now, before any of you well meaning folks gasp and call Social Services for child neglect on my part, be advised to know that I had only turned my back for a second. Traditionally, I take all the knives out of the dishwasher once the cycle has ended and usually, they are put away before any little hands can reach in and grab them. This time, Landon was just trying to make my load easier by getting the knives out before Janae got them instead of making me have to worry about getting the job done.

Sometimes a child's idea of "helping" is anything but helpful.

As I finished unloading the dishwasher and the kids worked on sorting and putting silverware away -- a bit safer project for the little people -- the phone rang. And who would it be but a nice, friendly saleswoman.

Argh. Why do they always call at suppertime??

She wanted to sell me insurance. Had it been life insurance, I probably would've signed up right then and there for Janae. Considering she has a big brother, that just might be a wise investment for her.

But it wasn't life insurance so I wasn't interested. Actually, I wasn't interested in anything except figuring out how to politely say goodbye and hang up the phone.

Her insurance speel was interrupted when she got off talking about kids. She could probably hear my kids in the background and so made a friendly comment. From there, she asked me if I stay at home with my kids.

Yeah, I'm a stay at home mom.

"Do you ever get a chance to just get out and get away from it all?" Was the first question she asked me. "You know... get a break?" She squeaked sympathetically.

I laughed and said that today I had actually done that and was I ever ready to get back home and stay home. I don't call leaving home a break. When I'm on the go, it just seems harder not easier.

She applauded me on the fact that I like to be home and was glad I was happy. I told her I love it and wouldn't want it any other way. To have to be gone working all the time, would be misery for me. And I don't even have to get a degree to do what I enjoy doing.

She told me when her second baby was born, she was home for a little while. It was nice, she said, but she was so glad to get back out of the house and get back to work.

I was dumbfounded.

"But you know," she went on to say, "You as a stay at home mom have a lot bigger work load than I do."

I do???

"Oh yes!" She reaffirmed. "What you do everyday is a lot more work than what I do."

Wow. I never knew that. I always thought a working mom carried a heavy and hard load. But to hear from a working mom that I'm doing the bigger and harder job, was encouraging to me.

So, here I am feeling sorry for all the ladies out there who "have" to work and be gone away from home and away from their kids and away from everything they couldn't wait to grow up to do and they think MY work is harder and heavier.

I love being home and I don't just stay home because I have to; I stay home because I want to.

But I have to laugh because while I sit at home enjoying my husband and and children tonight, that poor insurance lady is calling everyone in the phone book pleading with them to buy her insurance.

And I have the hard job? I think not.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Thankfully, this plant hadn't been watered in awhile.

"No touch, Jeabob!"

Looks like a safe place for a busy girl. She was such a rag-a-muffin today. Check out the wild hair, tennis shoes and no clothes.



Two to go

Stitchless Bunting Curtains

These curtains were so fast and easy to make. Here are the step by step instructions...

You will need:

1 1/2 yards per window of soft, 45" wide cotton fabric
Small handful of raffia

Tear the fabric and make the edges fray, for best results.

Drape fabric over rod, lightly gathering it away from the very edge of the window. If your window is wider, don't bother gathering.

Gather up the very center of curtain all the way up to the rod (as shown).

Fasten with a single strand of raffia.

Select remainder of raffia.

Thread through the first strand of raffia, tying into a single knot (not double). Let ends hang.

Finished results.

Use coordinating fabric for shelf scarves, doilies and table clothes.

Of course, fraying all the edges to add a unique touch.

Not Our Anniversary YET

Just to make sure I didn't confuse anybody with my "Four Years Ago Today" post (scroll down), Toby and I will be married 4 years in February.
Four years ago today, Toby was still a complete and doomed bachelor with not even a speck of hope in sight that he just maybe some day might get married in the far and distant future.

But, in less than 6 months from four years ago today (in other words, three and a half years ago), Toby became a happily, married man.

And I of course, became a happily married woman.

Who would've thought that this cautious and contemplative 28 year old bachelor would meet a girl and marry her 4 months later?
"There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea;
and the way of a man with a maid."
Proverbs 30:18-19

Another Picture...

I came into the kitchen the other day and found this. They seemed to be having a grand ole' time with their pickle snack that Daddy had so thoughtfully given them. Not surpisingly, Landon smelled like a pickle himself for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Week In Pictures

The night before Britt left

Grandma Gail's birthday at Valentinos

The cousins and the youngest uncles sitting at the same time. A real Kodak moment. (Quick! Snap that picture!!)

To sick to even hold her own bottle...

What to do with all that hair! (this is very fast and easy -- if you do it during her bath.) This was taken AFTER her sickness; not during. (Incase you were worried.)

A perfect place to sit... Janae loves her grandpa Nels. :)

My Love and I

"What God hath joined together..."

Four Years Ago Today

Dear Toby,

Four years ago today, you were a lonely bachelor living a lonely bachelor’s life. Your life was boringly filled with predictability and your days were all the same. Every morning you’d awake at the same time and never was your sleep interrupted before your alarm went off. You’d dress for work, read your Bible, check the news, eat breakfast and put your shoes on before you left. Your shoes always stayed where you last took them off – you never had to dig in a toy box for them, four years ago today.

Your days were filled with hammers, compressors and shingles. A packed lunch was always tucked neatly in your lunch box. Your cell phone rang only with business calls. You were never asked to pick up diapers on your way home from work, four years ago today.

You’d come home from work to your mother’s good cooking. A stack of bills would lay on your desk waiting for you to open while you waited for supper. You’d peruse the mail, file away business contracts, mentally estimate how long book work would take you that night and you were never off on your timing because interruptions never invaded your plans. You would then head to the table for supper and sit down at your own leisure. You never worried about interruptions, four years ago today.

You’d eat your own food and feed only one mouth at each meal. You never had to look out for another’s dish of food. You never had to tie a bib on someone and you never had to make sure somebody else finished their food. You never told someone to stop throwing their food on the floor. And when you were full, you were done at the table, four years ago today.

Your evening would be spent at the computer and no one really seemed to notice. You would work on book work until your work was done and then you’d tidy your desk, grab a good book and head to the bathroom. No one ever cared how long you spent reading and they never complained that you read a book more than you talked to them. You then showered and went to bed with nothing else demanding your time, four years ago today.

You’d lie in bed reading and listening to the radio until you were ready to go to sleep. You never had to get up and help with a sick child nor did you have to tell a noisy child to quiet down and go to sleep. You slept all night long, four years ago today.

Four years ago today, you laid in bed with a itchy back with no one there to scratch it for you.

Four years ago today, your books would always eventually end and the light would shut off followed without a friendly “good night."

Four years ago today, no one intruded on your sleep by tossing and turning in the same bed.

Four years ago today, you never had to worry about someone turning the fan on just when you were about to drift off to sleep.

Four years ago today, when you got up to go to the bathroom during the night, you never checked on any little people one last time, just to make sure they were still breathing.

Four years ago today, at night, your blankets stayed just as you put them and no one ever crowded your pillow.

Four years ago today, when your alarm went off and you sat up in bed, no one ever kissed you good morning. Your itchy back was never scratched as you contemplated getting dressed or laying down for one last rest. And you never kissed a girl goodbye before you left for work.

Four years ago today, you were not a husband. You also were not a father. Your life surged with consistency and predictability. You did the same thing, every day and every night. Interruption was a word you had seen once in the dictionary and you wondered why they would come up with such a definition. You never changed. Life never changed. Everything was the same all the time, four years ago today.

I hope you don’t mind how much your life has changed from four years ago today. I know I’m sure glad it changed.

Love you Always, your wife Courtney

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Every post I've blogged lately, has had countless attempts made towards posting pictures as well. But, none will publish.

If you only could see my picture bins, you would know that I do actually have pictures and would love to post them. Wish blogger would let me...

If you want to see pics of my kids, this blog has several recent ones. Check them out before they get outdated!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

On Bladder Infections and Banished Ideas

As I sit here trying to properly express this blog moment, I'm confronted with a repeated task. Landon has a basket of small quilts he's enjoying playing with. He continually unrolls this certain quilt, brings it to me to put back together, squeals with delight when I hand it back to him, tucks it in his basket, picks it up and then promptly starts the process all over.

If that quilt starts wearing thin and looking a little antique, we'll know how this heirloom quilt came to be.

So, I get a bright idea: popcorn.

Landon and I always are the popcorn makers around here and tonight is no exception. Usually just two bowls for the popcorn suffice us all but tonight, Landon needs his own.

Which is fine except a 2 1/2' little guy traipsing and tripping all over the just vacuumed carpet is not such a pleasant idea. Oh well. At least he's not making me roll quilts anymore.

As if rolling quilts and popping popcorn isn't enough, he comes over and bends over my lap requesting me to, "Tickle my back, mommy."

And then he asks to take my popcorn and leave me his.

"Noooo... you keep your popcorn, Landon."


(He has no clue what the word means. Or so I like to think.)

Though Landon's every move seems to be demanding my attention, I'm resolved to never waver at my duty as a mom. I'm convinced that if a person survives the first 24 months of his life, his life expectancy improves remarkably.

Not only that, but the robust and rigorous fervor of my little man is a bright spot in my day considering my little girl is fairing quite the opposite. It's sad not to see the two of them traipse around together, tug-0-warring over popcorn bowls, pushing trucks together across the house, feeding Jea's babies their bottles together and just running and laughing together.

The last 48 hours have been pretty rough on Janae. She came down with a 102 fever suddenly on Thursday evening. I started her on Tylenol and some vitamins and immune boosters while pumping her with fluids. By the next morning, the fever peaked over 104.

I had to stay on top of the fever by going back-to-back with Tylenol and Motrin. That seemed to keep her comfortable but never took her fever away completely. And certainly isn't healthy.

This morning she seemed better, or so I wanted to think, but her fever continued staying high as soon as the meds would wear off. Finally, over her afternoon nap, I tried having her go without any meds.

Within an hour and a half, her fever peaked at 105.

We put her in a cool bath, started the Motrin again and tried to make her comfortable. In the back of my mind ever since her fever first came, I had a nagging suspicion that she had a bladder infection. I had been treating her as I would myself for a UTI but the fever continued to keep ahead of us.

Unfortunately, ever since Janae first came down with this fever, Toby's grandparents have been in town for a visit. His grandma has health issues that are dangerous enough and so she should definitely NOT be around sick people at all. So, Janae was promptly quarantined away from everyone else except for one exception one evening when all the family celebrated Toby's mom's birthday.

For 4 1/2 days, the family is all together for the traditional once-a-year get-to-gether and my baby gets sick. A variety of events were planned for this entire weekend for the whole family but we've had to keep Janae home and comfortable and away from anyone who doesn't want to get sick.

By this evening, we feared that her fever would spike again during the night so we decided to take Janae to a urgent care office just minutes from our house. (Oh the joys of living in town.)

The nurse checked her temp and would you know it was normal. I didn't believe it though because it was one of those ear thermometers. Just before we left home, her fever was around 102 -103.

Then the doctor came in and did a rather casual exam; checking ears, heart and throat. He hardly asked me any questions, never felt her abdomin or checked any of her limbs or diaper. He must've been in the "practice" mode of his practicing medicine occupation. He did find "puss" on her tonsils so had a strep culture done.

Another nurse came in to do that. She was bemoaning the fact that she was going to have to be the "mean" one and kept trying to sweet talk Janae while she got her swabs and tongue depressor ready. When she pried Janae's mouth open and stuck the swab on her throat, the poor nurse could hardly take the pathetic wail Janae let out. With tears in her eyes, she walked to the door, looked over her shoulder and said, "Oh, that makes me cry too!"

The initial strep test came back negative but the doctor said he would culture it for a few days before he ruled out strep. He stood in the room, clutching Janae's chart and a blank prescription pad, looking all like a defeated warrior. He seemed to wish he could function in the "medicine" part of his practicing medicine occupation by the way he practiced carrying the prescription pad in. But, he was stumped. Her high fever left him concerned that we were dealing with more than just a mere virus but nothing seemed to show anything.

I confessed my bladder infection fears, touching on a few symptoms I thought I had noticed and his eyes perked up. He asked me if I thought she would pee in a cup. (!) Oh yeah, sure, we do that all the time at home.

Of course not.

I remembered two sterile pediatric urine bags I found in a medicine drawer when we were packing before our move and assured this doctor that I had just the solution. He was relieved that I had the bags because they didn't have anything like that in the office. As he tucked his prescription pad under his arm and handed me Janae's chart, he told me he would feel better if we could get a urinalysis.

I thought we came to the doctor's office so Janae would feel better, not the doctor. Well, at least somebody would feel better hopefully.

So, I paid the bill, marched home and fitted the bag on Janae and waited for the specimen. I felt so professional having something on hand that not even this doctor had access to. I didn't even have a degree in medical practice and here I was praciticing to be a doctor. (or is it pretending?)

Within no time, her bag had results. So I dumped it in a sterile cup and drove back to the doctor's office. There was only about a 1/4" of urine to test so I was advised to get another collection for a culture. But the little bit she did give then was enough for a dip test.

And that came back UTI positive.

Never before have I had to give either one of my kids antibiotics so this came at quite a shock. When they asked if Janae was allergic to any medication, I could only say, I don't know: she's never had any.

I took the freshly written prescription that the doctor must've enjoyed writing up and filled it at the local Walgreens. While waiting in the drive-thru, I noticed a box of dog treats sitting next to the drive-thru cashier's register. I didn't have to wonder if the child in my back seat would be offered a treat before we drove off -- unless he was a slobbery panting dog hanging out the window and drooling all over the car, of course. What happened to the days when drive-thru's filled each child's seat with a dum-dum or sticker? I guess if you're not a Pluto or Rover these days, you don't get a treat.

Sad. Especially considering this drive-thru was giving me toxic and immune suppressing substances for my 16 month old baby. Can't they make it a little easier on a person by softening the blow with a sucker or sticker?

I'm still not off my anti-antibiotic stance, in case you can't tell.

By 9:00pm, she had her first dose and now I'm waiting for the infection to go down. We'll be busy next week pumping her with immune boosters, acidophulus and I'll continue the cranberry capsules as well. I couldn't follow the "natural" cure anymore with how high her fevers were spiking; she had to get this infection killed before it turned into a kidney infection.

I just collected her final specimen for the urine culture. Toby helped me take it off and properly dispose of it into a sterile container. His only comment was that he thought we should get a bunch of those bags and quit buying diapers. Good idea.

My little man just picked up that quilt again. Only this time, he needs one of Jea's babies to wrap up. I need to go check on the little muffin girl again and then move myself towards bed.

"Thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On Killing Bugs, Cleaning Bananas And Keeping Blogs

My blog has lacked greatly of posts -- even I admit that. But, to every thing there is a reason. (Or is it a season?) The reason for this blogless season is twofold: I have two children.

And that should explain it.

At times, I will be quietly tapping away at the computer with my brain swaying from the intense blog moment that hit me when suddenly, the silence behind me in the livingroom will impose on my nostalgic blog brain and invade the time I thought was mine.

The blog moment will be gone then and I'll wonder what I was just doing.

A glance over my shoulder and a "Landon-what-are-you-doing" will extract me out of my chair faster than a dentist can pull a tooth.

For, unbeknownst to this mother that I am, my children had seized this blog moment for a bit of their own creativity. Although, for some reason their brain storms tend to procure a lot more attention to details in cleaning up afterwards that sometime I wonder how worthwhile the creative part is.

On this particular afternoon, both of the little folks had agreed on an exciting project. With the full cup of milk I had just given Janae, both kiddos enjoyed the thrill of watching it drip and spray all over the couch while Landon thoroughly squeezed and sprayed it. It provided several minutes of complete silence as they stood their in awe at the abilities this simple plastic cup could perform.

Drip by drip a soon-to-be soured puddle of milk seeped into the cushion of the couch.

Instead of hitting "publish post" for my currant blog, I just hit "save as draft." It seems I've been doing that more often lately which I guess is fine -- it's not like I lose long hours of thought -- but so many people don't understand the efforts I do put into blogging when weeks go by and no new posts appear on here. If only you knew of all the ones behind the scenes.

Back to the squeezed milk...

I grabbed a rag and started to scrub the couch, making certain to collect the cup first. There's nothing like trying to eliminate the effects of a problem if you don't eliminate the actual problem in the first place.

Landon and Janae watched in wonder as I scrubbed and cleaned their afternoon project, making certain to point out that there was also milk on the semi, in the bed of the pick-up truck and in the truck's tool box. Landon efficiently pointed out ever squirt so I could clean it with my rag.

Meanwhile, I lectured on the fact that we don't squirt milk on the couch and that cups are not to be used for such things and that it is naughty to spill our drinks on the couch and that mommy was going to take the milk away and Landon and Janae couldn't have it anymore. Real scary stuff, I know. My words of instruction fell on deaf ears as the children were only intent on watching that rag and making sure I scrubbed up the very last drop.

A few days later, I was engrossed in another duty and my son was silently working/wrecking in the diningroom. This time, Janae was surprisingly occupied with other things so it wasn't double trouble for once.

I made my way over to the intense project he was working on and noticed he had one of his daddy's work shoes. If he would've had two shoes, I'd know from a distance that he was just trying shoes on. But one shoe indicated something of greater importance like a bug or something.

If there's a bug in the house and the kids know about it, they'll both run to the nearest shoe, pick it up and lug it over to where the bug is, was or will be. Shouts of panic and excitement will alarm anyone who can here them (which is usually everyone in the house) and the death of the bug is imminent. You'll hear bangs and slams and gasps and yells. Upon inspection, a wriggling body of an ant will be seen limping away from the battle scene.

I was surprised that Landon's intent on getting this particular bug was unhailed by the usual response.

I quietly slipped over to him, noting that the shoe was on the floor and not in his hand while he intently worked on something by the window sill. His little hands were skillfully putting an end to something while he held his fingers close to his face in order to see the project at hand.

A quick observation told me that this bug was indeed dead since only a few ant-like parts remained on his finger tips. The little man had it all in order and there was no need to panic: the bug was dead.

The interruptions to daily work (and blogging) are constant and varied. They constantly vary too.

Like yesterday when I was working in the kitchen right after Landon got up from his nap. He had just found an exciting morsel of food left over from his sister's neglected snack: a half of a banana.

He carefully peeled the remainder of the peeling off and kindly placed the scraps in the garbage can, right where I was working. I could hear happy sounds as he gushed and exclaimed about this wonderful banana.

Suddenly, the tone changed as he got to the end and found a dark spot.

"It's dirty, Mom," he mourned. "Wash it, Mom."

"Oh... here Landon... let me take that banana," I said while reaching for a knife. I amputated the bruise off and told him we can't wash the banana but we can cut the bad spot off, impressing myself with the wise lesson I was teaching my son.

I handed the rest of the good part back.

"Thanks Mom... it's all clean now," he responded, apparently not taking to heart what I said about cleaning a banana.

Any minute now, I will hear a sleepy voice call down the hall... "I ready to get up in the morning, Mom." And I'll open the gate and let the little man out to kill more bugs and clean more bananas today.

If you wonder why I'm not blogging, that's why.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A True Stay At Home Mom

The longer I stay a mom, the more I notice a common career minded concept of mothering in many mothers. Even the most SAHM (stay at home mom) believing mom, can still own this thwarted perspective on mothering. I know that sounds harsh but I've seen it over and over unfortunately.

Here's a brief synopsis of my findings...

A SAHM can believe strongly on a woman not having a job but yet that same mom can run her home like a office manager.

A SAHM can have all the good intentions of being a homeschooling mom and maybe even instill brilliant heights of knowledge in her children's minds yet the last thing that child ever enjoys is school.

A SAHM can be thoughtfully concerned about her children's health enough to spend countless hours at the doctor's office and spend untold numbers of bills towards her child's health yet never would she "attend herself to know wisdom" in the area of at home pediatric health.

A SAHM can provide countless toys and fancy artifacts for the playroom yet hardly allow any of the toys to get out of order nor would she care to enjoy one minute playing with her children.

A SAHM can drive her household to order and beauty yet a little closer peak into the family's life would be one of chaos and dictating as to the constant upkeep on the earthly outward appearance of the "home."

A SAHM can thrive on schedules and projects yet overlook her children's individual needs to simple alone time with mom.

A SAHM can be degree-less, college-less and career-less, but yet still be away from her home and children as much as a career woman is.

A SAHM can fill her shelves with canning and other garden produce but yet never enjoy a quiet moment enjoying with her children the bounty from the works of her own hands.

A SAHM can dress her children in the finest and cleanest clothes but yet never think of the importance she needs to put effort towards in clothing her children's hearts with a spirit of Christ.

A SAHM can be very conscience of the cleanliness and order of her children's hygiene but never treat their hearts like the thirsty sponges they are.

A SAHM can provide countless hours of research and insight through a book or computer but never take the time to show the child the miracle of a tiny seed in the ground.

A SAHM can have a number of children but yet still live like a single girl with only her own well being and interests in life driving her.

A SAHM can even be a Christian and forget to pray daily for her husband and children.

A SAHM can do all wonderful things and still fail.

The reason she fails is tragic because she could easily do something to stop her failure. A SAHM is a stay at home mom. There is no way a SAHM can succeed unless she joyfully and tenderly embraces the joy of being exactly that: a stay at home mom.

A mom who stays home not just to avoid the mainstream mindset of career woman but a mom who stays home because she knows that no one but herself has been entrusted with the precious children she has.

A mom who stays home not just because she knows its right but a mom who takes her role seriously as a wife and who can thoroughly focus on her darling, handsome boss: her very own husband.

A mom who stays home not just to homeschool her kids but a mom that enjoys the thrill of watching her children learn and grow in the avenue of knowledge.

A mom who stays home not just to save money on daycare but rather one who daily invests into her children's lives her very own life.

A mom who stays home not just to be home but rather lives out the command of being a true keeper at home.

Unless a SAHM can live in such a way, she will fail and the loss she experiences over time will weigh her heavy when with whitened hair she reflects on her life. Too late will be that day.

A true SAHM that thrives in her role, has no regrets if she has learned this one thing: a SAHM is a stay at home mom not for herself or for her church or for her home or even for her own husband but rather for her children. That is a true SAHM who understands this.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tentative Curtains

I've been involved with many complicated things lately. One of which was pack up our entire house in one single U-Haul one morning and have it fully unloaded by that afternoon.

In the course of a week, my entire new house was unpacked, settled and decorated. I even had several curtains hung, blinds changed and walls scrubbed. I don't mean to overemphasis on my lofty achievements; I only intend to express the fact that I can actually do complicated things. Unfortunately though, all went perfect until I decided to do the bathroom curtains. From then, everything went down hill from there.

I went to a store called Walmart and browsed their fabric department. Maybe that was my first mistake, now that I think of it.

A perfect pale yellow fabric was selected as I concocted creative dreams and visions of the future curtains that fabric would make.

Upon arriving home, I wondered what crazy dreams had invaded my mind: the perfect pale yellow fabric entirely clashed with the golden cream yellow of my bathroom walls.

I went to another store called Walmart and returned the PPY fabric.

Back to their fabric selection I scurried in search of golden cream yellow fabric.

Three yards of GCY fabric were bought and away we sailed home. A quick color match in the bathroom told us that the time spent between Walmart and home, had somehow changed the color of the bathroom walls. The color was indeed a soft butter yellow.

I was beginning to wonder if the bathroom was infested with chameleons.

After that disappointment, we chucked the yellow fabric idea (whether it was butter, golden or soft) before the bathroom walls would happen to suddenly blaze a neon yellow while we were at another Walmart. A simple plain offwhite was decided on instead, just for the safety of our yellow walls. That would surely make things simpler -- especially since one of the windows in the bathroom was already tentatively furnished with a nice offwhite tie back style. I say "tentatively" because it seemed like everything that had to do with windows in my bathroom, had resulted in short lived.

We then headed back to the first Walmart.

Our fabric hunting yielded a perfect match and we were soon happy shoppers bounding home with our $2 a yard buy, blissful at the impending prospects our bargain was sure to bring.

The color match was perfect and soon the sewing machine purred contentedly while it stitched out a delightful curtain at last.

A banging and a pounding could be heard from the yellow bathroom (it was still soft butter yellow thankfully) as black metal scrolls were fastened to the walls to hold the scarf-like curtain. At last the final moment arrived for the curtain to adorn it's window.

Quite the happy procession marched into the bathroom as Britt and I made our way to the bare window. With the curtain at the forefront, we were anxiously anticipating the fruit of our labors. A swish and a fluff and suddenly, there our much coveted after curtain was smugly hanging on the window.

I'm not sure if either the window changed shape or if the bathroom simply is refusing a curtain. Either way, the bright curtain idea just isn't evolving into anything worth looking at.

And definitely not in anything that would allow a bather to feel private inside the bathroom. I knew when I first looked at the crazy thing that my practical minded husband would probably throw an extra towel over the window the first time he walked in. Not a good way to impress your husband with your sewing abilities...

"Hey honey, what's that thing hanging on the window?"

"Oh, just something the cat dragged in."


My next plans are a little more solid than just tentative: we'll put card board up in the windows and call it good. That sounds refreshingly functional. Maybe even pitch the existing windows and put siding up on the outside and drywall up inside. Make it a little more permanent that way and hopefully eliminate any tentative part that might be left if we used card board.

But, tomorrow will probably find me heading back to that Walmart store searching for another piece of fabric. The good news is that Walmart is less than a mile away. (But maybe that isn't such a good thing after all...)