Friday, February 29, 2008

Time To Say Goodbye

You're probably thinking I came here today to say goodbye to Blogger. Rather, it is much worse. Toby's folks left for Haiti this week and life has not been the same since.

No more, "Hey kids! Let's go to Grandma's house," and then watching Janae's light up as she says, "Gamma!"

No more phone ringing with a Grandma calling from just 2 minutes away.

No more, "Can I have your kids for the day while you get something done?"

No more extra family close by.

I feel lonely and all alone. I forgot for the 5 months they were here that this way of life is actually normal for us... I've just got to find that normal now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kid Klips

Yeah Right
"Hey Court!" I heard Landon say as I walked out of the room. Turning slowly and silently with an aire of reproval on my face, I looked at him. He grinned (read, smirked) and quickly said, "I was talking to another Court."

Little Parrot
Toby often talks to Janae in an encouraging and soft voice when she deserves praise for something. He calls her endearing things like "sweetheart" at the same time as well. One day I overheard Landon and Janae playing and Landon was just doting on his little sister with the most affectionate tone of voice... "Good job, Sweetheart! That's how you do it Sweetheart! Hey Sweetheart..."

The Guy in the Brown Truck
Landon found a package on the table and knew exactly where it came from.... "Oh! the SRP came to our house!" (UPS)

A Language of Her Own
Janae: "Caucky" (said in a squaky tone of voice and implies coffee)
A hair bun is called a "bum."
Her new mud boots are called "boops."
"Na-niKe!" (Good night)
"I sick." (when she gets full prematuraly during a meal time and would just really like her dessert)
Basketball and popsicle are said the same.
For being a chatty little girl, her language skills are pretty much set in their own way and are very minimally at best the dialect of most English speaking people. It makes for interesting moments of communication.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Definition of Catastrophe

The following story is not based on a true story; it IS a true story.

I stepped out of the room for approx. 30 seconds. I had to tell Toby an important detail or piece of information that is totally failing my memory now. It must've been important at the time though because I was sacrificing my constant vigil on the kiddos in order to tell their dad something interesting for 27.9 seconds.

So, I finish telling him, and then wearily muse to myself (but out loud) that I had to get back to the kids because somebody was probably dying by now.

Landon heard me and said, "What? Somebody is dying, Mom? Who's dying?"

I didn't have time to answer because I looked into the living room and saw Alex (8mo. old) laying on the couch on his belly with a pillow on top of him while he chewed on my shoe.

Okay, when I left Alex, he was safely sitting on the floor with a blanket several feet from the couch.

I don't leave my shoes on the couch.

I don't put the baby on the couch and then leave the room.

I don't put pillows on top of the baby while he lays on the couch when I'm not in the room.

And I definitely don't let him chew on my shoe.

Landon was very quick to inform me that he put Alex there and by the look on his face, I could see he thought it was a great idea.

"Mom, I picked him up really tight," was his explanation that I guess was supposed to help me not be alarmed by the situation.

As if this wasn't enough excitement, I decided to go tell Toby what happened.

I came back through the dining room on my way back from Toby (I was gone for about 7.5 seconds that time) and what should I find but Janae awkwardly lumbering about in boots on the wrong feet.

I told her to take the boots off.

She turned around to do that (or so I thought) and took off running, tripping, falling and landing with one boot flung off, one boot stuck on and one very sore foot. Oh, and she was in tears too. Lots of tears. Loud tears, by the way.

This time, Toby came to the situation (the tears were loud, remember?) so I didn't have to risk anybody else's life in order to inform him of the family happenings.

And then, to end our story, let me tell you about what happened next.

I was blogging here for just a moment. Alex and Janae were both feet away from me right in my line of vision. What should happen but Alex started choking and coughing and gagging and gasping and eventually swallowing something mysterious.

I'm not even going to tell Toby this part in our story today but trust he will just have to find it on this blog; I can't risk blinking my eyes for a second let alone leaving the room for 2 seconds.

That's why I blog. So Toby (and the rest of the world) won't wonder what made me go crazy the day I end up in the nut house. And it also keeps him (and you) updated on the unbelievables that actually happen behind our closed doors.

Commenting on Comments and a FYI about Xanga we're sound asleep and at exactly 3:00[am] our computer starts blaring this music!!!! It's NEVER done that before!... So we've now decided to never read your blog again lest all your posts come back to haunt us.

That must be my problem too. Thanks for pointing that out. I will never read my blog before bed again. Not that I normally do but really, reading it at any time of day is obviously before bed. I hope you realize that too and will stop losing sleep over music at 3 AM. Isn't that an awful experience?

Should I move to Milford?

The never ending journey that so many young people find themselves in a perpetual state of asking: what should I do with my life? But, this young reader has stepped one step beyond her peers by asking the highlighted question above instead. The question that obviously purposes the idea of moving out of her "state" in finding what she should do with her life. To all you single girls out there, maybe get specific about what you should do by asking something very defined like this young reader did. Because, watch this: I will answer that question now, giving the asker no reason for doubt or worry: YES. See how easy that was?

Now, a comment for xanga readers...

Thank you to all who left your blog addresses recentely, especially you xanganites. I was pleased to make your aquaintance and sorely regret to say that my computer is not on good terms with the domain you use in which to blog (xanga) so I am unable to read your sites. Please do not be offended when I never comment on your sites: I go to them once in a great while but usually only when I'm in the mood for my computer to go offline unexpectedly. Trying to comment is next to impossible because of all the reconnecting I have to do, if I'm lucky. I can barely see your photos unless they quickly load before my computer disconnects.

So, my apologies for not commenting on your sites and for not putting footprints there. You all were so kind to comment here and let me know that you read my blog. I wish I could return the favor but I am unable to do so due to a technical difficulty... which is really a sad thing in this technically advanced world we live in.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Your Questions Answered

A few of you have asked questions in your comments and I have sorely neglected to respond. I decided to do that here and thought maybe if any of you have other questions, I'll just respond to them on a weekly basis or something. I may not have advice but I probably have an answer for you. Sorry for the delays but hopefully you won't have to wait so long next time.

(By the way, if you asked me a question and I don't have it here, ask again because a lot of them got lost in my inbox somewhere and I was having a hard time digging them up.)

Does Toby read your blog regularly?
Yes, he does. And he actually likes it when I blackmail him.

By the way, have a very happy anniversary. Is it today?
Thank you very much and it was Friday, the 15th.

awww! That fateful night in November....
I disagree. And you would too if you contemplated the fact that you would have no neice or nephews to photograph had your brother-in-law not proposed to his girlfriend: your sister.

I am just wondering if you are praying each week for an unmarried friend?
No, I pray for one a day. So far, no body is married but a couple have prospects that they didn't have at the beginning of my prayer resolution. The only problem is that the prospects are not the right ones. So, I am learning how to pray specifically... or stop praying altogether unfortunately.

Enjoying Motherhood but Burdened by the Work

Monday mornings... oh! I love them! Just kidding. I am not a I-hate-Monday-morning-kind-of-person but lately, I could do without them very much, thank you.

Today began in earnest around 6AM. The phone was ringing, the radio was on, Toby was running around turning on lights, getting half dressed to get a fax, couldn't find his cold-weather overalls and leaving his alarm beeping endlessly. After a night of fitful sleeping (thanks to a teething 8 month old) I felt rather shell shocked. Or like adrenaline had been surging all night and thankfully was still in effect. Or like I was stunned. Or dazed. I should've felt tired but didn't. It suddenly dawned on me that I needed to make coffee and Toby's lunch so I groggily realized the brevity of this Monday morning and faced it bravely while stumbling in the dark trying not to wake the baby. Again.

The baby is still zonked and the kids are still sleeping so at least it's quiet. I can make a slow adjustment to the day without feeling like I opened my eyes to the earth crashing down on my face.

The house was a wreck. Notice I say "was." Groceries still sat on the floor from the late night shopping trip the other night. Dishes still littered the sink from the late night shopping trip I was on while my family enjoyed supper at home. Laundry lay scattered everywhere from my late night shopping trip that I should've skipped in order to get the laundry done. Sunday School papers lay unread. The Sunday paper looked like it had taken over the house. It was a disaster. A few minutes of uninterrupted cleaning and picking up made the house look transformed.

And I guess that's what I was thinking about when I came to my blog today. How can I get everything done in a day that I need to get done when I have 3 little kids pulling me 3 different directions all day long? I can get up early and spend 5 minutes getting something done alone that normally would take me an hour to do after the kids are up but once they're up, a lot of stuff gets un-done. Even with constant surveillance! It is a source of frustration because it makes the effort I put into work pointless. Like I'm wasting my time trying to keep things picked up.

A few of the things I've tried:

A toddler "chore" chart.
(this takes a lot of MY concentration that it fails to really contribute to the day in a positive way.)
Locking all toys except Legos in a closet.
(literally, locked the door and forbade entrance to anyone but an authorized person.)
Do it myself.
(this fails to teach the kids personal responsibility.)
Repeat doing it myself.
(this also fails to teach the kids personal responsibility and can produce a lot of maternal frustration.)
Ignored the work and played instead.
(this can be relaxing for about 2 minutes but after that, the chaos it ensues is not worth the brief relaxation.)
Do it when they're gone/sleeping.
(this is the only thing that works but considering my kids are not usually gone and don't sleep all day, this isn't a very reliable choice.)

I noticed a lot of young moms with young kids put a comment on my "Knock, Knock" post. I need advice. What have you guys found to work? Any seasoned mother's advice would be great as well.

A few contributing factors would be:

-Toys are all stored in childrens' rooms; continually spilling into living room. Our house is small so this is a big thing-- toys seem to be everywhere and my kids only have a few they play with.

-Another thing that is an issue is the size and set-up of our kitchen. I used to have Landon (Janae was still pretty young) "help" me in the kitchen. He would stand on a chair at a work area and peel potatoes, dump flour, stir dough and batter, "cut" veggies, etc. I have no work place in this kitchen so the only thing I can have the kids do is line muffin tins with papers... out in the diningroom. Otherwise, if they bring a chair into the kitchen (make that 2 chairs now since Janae likes to "help" if Landon gets to) there is hardly room to work let alone counter space to work at. It is a good source for frustration.

So, I am greatly looking forward to a new kitchen. We had even contemplated making a work counter below standard in order to make it more "kid friendly" but decided against it since they'll grow into a standard height soon enough. I can't imagine having all those counters to work at and can hardly wait to make use of everyone of them just for one meal. It will be glorious.

In the meantime, I am looking for ways to incorporate my kiddos into the daily affairs of this household and not make them just another "thing" on my to-do list. I think a 3 yr. old has a lot of capability for small chores but it's been a challenge to figure out how to do those without losing order somewhere else. Bear in mind that anything Landon does, Janae has to do... or at least be distracted somewhere else while he does his work. Also, a baby added to the mix makes me feel pulled in 3 directions at once. Sometimes I simply function on reflex and put fires out all day instead of being a step ahead of the kids. I need creativity and tact. My kids need order.

What would you do?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Anniversary Tid Bits

A few interesting facts about our fifth anniversary...

-- this was the second anniversary that I wasn't 9 months pregnant, or 8 months pregnant or 6 months pregnant. In other words, I am usually pregnant on our anniversaries.

-- this was the second anniversary we spent without eating out.

-- this was the cheapest anniversary we ever celebrated.

-- this was the first anniversary I didn't get flowers.

-- this was the first anniversary that I got a set of china instead of flowers. (my idea.)

-- this was the first anniversary that Toby made the dessert for. (yes folks, I am serious.)

-- this was the first anniversary that grandparents kept the kids.

-- this was the first anniversary and time in history that we stayed home by ourselves with no kids for the night.

-- this was the first anniversary we spent in this house.

-- this was the first fifth anniversary we have ever celebrated.

-- this was the gazillionth time I've muttered to my husband with my arms around his neck as he sweetly looked down at me (11" of height difference gives him the advantage to "look down" at me all the time) "Can you believe we're married?"

After all these years, I still can't believe it happened to me. To us. Marriage is wonderful. And anniversaries are so fun. Especially fifth ones.

Off To A Good Start

It was wonderful. The celebration of our fifth wedding anniversary was spectacular. Reminded me of our honeymoon: no children. And quiet.

Toby's folks had all three kiddos for the night and we stayed home and made supper and ate candy and relaxed without kiddos. The house was almost deathly silent. I loved it although I don't think I would like that sound for very long. I remember now why I wanted to have that first baby so badly.

Everything went well until during the night around 3 am or so. I became awakened. I knew Alex didn't wake me. Or any of the other kids. So, as I layed there in sleepless frustration and not feeling very comfortable, what should I hear but the radio!!

I hate to be quite so blunt in my frustration so let me just say that I hate hate hate waking up to the radio at 3 am. It is the most annoyingly surreal feeling. It leaves you stranded between sleep and waking up. I can't sleep. But, yet I can't fully awaken. It is entirely annoying. To me it's synonomous to having sand in your bed. Or crumbs. Or even as bad as waking up to a sick child puking on you. It is terrible.

I told Toby my perils this morning over a romantic breakfast. I firmly stressed the point that he must not ever turn the radio on ever again during the night again. It makes no sense to me why he'd want to have the radio on anyway. I mean, if you're sleeping, why listen to the radio? The reasoning here is beyond me.

Not wanting to make him think this was optional anymore (we've had this discussion several time in the last 5 years), I told him I was just going to start sleeping in another bed. He didn't like that idea. But, then I got another idea that I knew he'd like even less...

"I'm going to a marriage counselor for this," I stated emphatically.

"Not a marriage counselor?" he asked me in shock.

"Yes, a marriage counselor," I was glad he was feeling the brunt of this.

"Yep and when they give me that card with a list of marriage issues on it, I'll rate them all at a 10 except for the radio question," I informed him poignantly. "That one will be zero at best."

"Oh," he said, knowing full well I know nothing about marriage counseling let alone if they give you a card to rate your marriage on.

So, I guess the next five years of our marriage is off to a good start... if I get rid of that radio. Or go to a marriage counselor.

Being married to the one I love is so fun. Notice I said I'd rate all "marriage issues" at a 10 (on a scale of 1-10) and I truly mean that. We fit together so well that when we do have a little rift (the radio is the biggest thing I can think of) it is more hilarious than anything.

No fears blog world: if we went to a marriage counselor, it would only be to cheer him up and let him see that not all marriages are bad.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Marriage Insights To Commemorate our Anniversary

It's been 5 years. 5 whole years since I began to live my life with a man. My man. 5 years since I pledged my life to him. 5 years since my life changed. And 5 years since I began this exciting experience called: marriage.

If I had known at the beginning of our marriage all I know now, I have to wonder what I'd be learning today. So, to all you single people our there or for those of you that are in your early years of marriage (that would be any number less than 5), let me share a few insights I've had to learn through experience.

#1: If he suggests it (and "it" could mean anything from wanting a cup of coffee to wanting to sell your house), don't treat it as a mere suggestion; his "suggestion" is more serious than the laws of the Medes and Persians.

#2: Never under any circumstances leave a man waiting for anything. Never.

#3: Guys are next to impossible to buy gifts for. And by next to impossible I don't mean they're on this side of impossible; they are actually a step beyond impossible. Boughten gifts are typically very difficult to get if you really want to impress a guy. I mean, really, a shirt is easy to buy but most guys don't get all gushy about a shirt. The best thing I've found to get a man is... um... well, I really can't think of anything right now. After 5 years of marriage I have learned that it is impossible to have a good "stand-by gift" for a man.

#4: You remaining calm in stressful situations (i.e. the two year old spills an entire glass of red koolaid all over the white dining room carpet) is equal to everything good in a marriage. This really impresses men. Obviously, the contrary is also true.

#5: The longer I'm married, the more complicated I believe that men get. They don't like to be usurped over yet there are some things you better be in charge of OR ELSE. They don't like it when you throw leftovers out yet they can get tired of the same thing, day after day. They may not like ice cream with their dessert but mention Dairy Queen and that sounds good. They like to have peace and quite and be left alone sometimes but at the same time not want you to leave. They are complicated. But, that can be so fun because of the creative situations you can create in order to get around their complicatedness. I love that challenge.

#6: Marriage is a bed of roses... without the thorns.

#7: Seriously. Being married is one of the best situations I have ever found myself in. It is fun. Fulfilling. Satisfying. Blissful. And honeymoons don't have to end.

#8: Oh and if you ever disagree with your spouse, that disagreement can do one of two things: pull you apart or draw you closer. In a good marriage, it will draw a couple closer together. (So bring on the disagreements right?... of course not but you know what I mean.)

#9: A husband reveals the bad in you... and the good too.

#10: To have a good husband you have to be a good wife. (Ignore this point all you husbands! Your wives may kill me for saying that but really, it is very true.) And no, I have not seen the contrary to always be true.

#11: The longer I'm married, the less advice I have.

#12: (read insight number eleven again.)

I'd like to take this time to make a little speach and say that I married a good man who makes everyday an adventure. I never thought being married would be this good but ever since I met Toby, he has proven that some things in life are better than they appear they could be. Or should be. Seriously. Sometimes I feel bad for enjoying life as much as do because of my husband.

As we enter the "year of grace" in our marriage (number 5 = grace), I look forward to it with joy and know it will only get better.

I love you Honey!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

An Important and (often) Forgotten Date

I know it's far from November 24th but I thought it would be good to remember that day as we approach the date of our wedding anniversary. And what better day to do that than on Valentines day.

Let me explain.

In the early hours of the evening of November 24th, 2002, I heard the sweetest thing anybody had ever said to me.

"I want you to know that I do love you," I heard from the driver's side of the Ford Ranger I was in.

"And I want you to be my wife," the words went on to say for the first time in my life.

"Will you marry me, Courtney?"

I said yes. I married him. And I am glad.

Months later, we laughed about this proposal; it was so short and to the point. I assured Toby that I thought it was sweet. Plus, he is not the get-down-on-one-knee kind of guy so I really didn't mind that he simply asked me to be his wife without including a bunch of fanfare. I like originality too and since no man had ever asked me to be his wife or told me he loved me before, whatever way Toby did it would've been meaningful and original.

Plus, I've never heard a couple say they were engaged in a Ford Ranger pick-up truck while making a quick trip home from Church. That just seems orginal to me.

We still drive down that dusty gravel road where he asked me to marry him. And I think it will forever invoke a flair of nostaligia everytime we make the turn where he slowed to a crawl and told me he loved me for the first time.

I've learned through marriage that a happy woman doesn't need things to make her happy. She doesn't even need a thoughtful husband who thinks of any way he can to surprise her and impress her with his ability to demonstrate love. Her only need is to be loved. Simply loved. And to know she is needed and wanted.

And Toby is good at loving me and showing me that I am needed and wanted in his life. I am content. Helplessly content.

Although he's dashingly thoughtful in so many ways and can remember what I wore the day we met and that the dress had a tiny wrinkle down by the hem, I still marvel over the fact that he never can remember the exact date of our engagement. It's been this way since before we were married -- and we were married 3 1/2 months after this proposal. To this day, he needs me to remind him that, Yes dear, it was indeed the 24th that you proposed to me on.

But, that's okay. I like to feel needed in such an important way in his life. Plus, he hasn't ever forgotten that I am his wife and that I did indeed say yes. So, it's alright.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Occupation You Can't Get A Degree For

I love that store in the mall, Motherhood Maternity. You walk in and the clerk greets you with, "Welcome to Motherhood." It always takes me back and makes me smile. How theatrical it would've been to hear someone say that the day I stepped into the real life of motherhood. But nobody needed to say anything; reality was screaming it and has been every since.

I thought I was ready to get married and start a family when Toby asked my dad if he could court me. I thought I was. In many ways I was. I was good at what I did and compared to a lot of girls my age, I was more than good: I was experienced.

I could cook. I could cook without a recipe. I could cook meals and put them in the freezer. I could plan menus. I could by food in bulk. I knew the best prices. I could can the food I cooked. I loved cooking and baking.

I could clean. I could clean fast. I could organize and clean. I could disinfect and clean. I could bleach without getting it on my clothes. I could clean charred ovens by hand. I could clean toilets and loved it. I could clean grimy sinks and loved it. My two favorite things to clean were (and still are) toilets and sinks.

I could do laundry. I could run a top loader with a sud saver. I could run a top loader without a sud saver. I could run a front loader. I could do 14 loads of laundry a week in a wringer wash machine and then hang it by hand in the basement. I could make laundry soap. I could be frugal about laundry.

I could babysit. I could babysit for days on end by myself with no adults around. I could take care of kids without flinching. I was a natural with small children.

I could change diapers. I could change disposable diapers and cloth diapers. I could make home made wet wipes and use them. I could change diapers for years on end without thinking twice about it.

I could give bottles. Take temperatures. Administer breathing treatments. Look for good color in a baby's skin. Feed children. Garden. Farm. Milk goats. Sew. Quilt. Organize. Run a household. etc.

And then I got married. And had a baby. And I found I was a novice. Completely unprepared. I had no idea motherhood was as heavy a load as it is. Not that it doesn't have it's joys and blessings (it has more than I thought possible) but it is the hardest occupation anyone can pursue.

I had this comment in my comment box recently from a reader who's daughter-in-law is in the throes of motherhood right now....

"She had a problematic day yesterday. All was going well, and in 5 minutes everything fell apart. Is there a high school class for this profession?"

I couldn't agree more. There should be a class for it. Or an entire school. Or at least some time in a boot camp. Seriously.

If a man is going to cut into your brain, he will first go to school for it. If a woman is going to draw blood from your arm, she will first go to school for it. If a man is going to fly to the moon, he will first go to school for it. If a woman is going to teach your kids their ABC's, she will first go to school for it. If a man joins the army, he will first spend weeks of intense training before going into battle. If a woman is going to decorate your house, she will first go to school for it. If a man cooks you a meal at a fancy restaurant, he will first go to school for it. All these occupations require training, learning and provide the student with much information. They also usually guarantee some type of retirement so that in the end, you're prepared to live off your past income.

But, if you decide to spend the next 25 years of your life working night and day, everyday of the week putting on band aids, enduring pregnancy and labor, explaining to your 3 year old why the moon can't sit in the back yard, cooking three meals a day, taking care of your house, saving the life of your 2 year old five times a day and staying up most of the night with your baby, you're on your own. There is no school for you honey. If you can't figure something out, sorry. Just keep trying; you'll get it at some point. Whether you succeed or fail, you won't be paid with money either.

Though motherhood is not a job you can get a degree for beforehand, it's definitely a school within itself; the School of Learning. And we all know we can never graduate from Learning. From what I've learned though, it's the most rewarding job a mom can have. I'd have to admit that though Motherhood is hard and can be unsuspecting at times, it's highly under rated. You have no idea the joy at the end of the day when you look at the day behind you and see what all it held. "Her works shall praise her," is enough of a reward for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Definition of a Normal Day

I looked downstairs in time to see a child spilling laundry softener all over a table. If I thought that was bad enough, I should've held my breath for what came next.

I told the child to let it go and leave it alone.

The child then stepped back and explained they were catching the spilled softener through a crack in the table. And what should he be collecting it in but an upside-down toilet plunger.

As if to add to the excitement, the baby was screaming, the cat was in heat and letting the whole neighborhood know and my hair still wasn't fixed at 10:30 am. UGH.

Then, Janae came upstairs with dirt caked boots and Landon begged to play with "cabinets." (they're actually "sticky rocks" or magnets but he gets his words mixed up sometimes.) By begged, I mean he insistently pleaded. While the baby cried. While the cat meowed. While Janae vigorously kicked her boots off all over the kitchen floor.

The worst part about it isn't that my child was holding a germ coated toilet plunger. Or that I am about ready to kill the cat. Or that Janae's boots meant dirt all over the floor. Or that Alex's crying is at about 257 decibles. The worst thing about this situation is that I used that laundry softener when I was pregnant with Alex. I vowed to never smell the stuff again. Ever. Again. That smell always puts me right back to those sick, pregnant days. I get sick just thinking about that smell.

And now because my child is running all over this house with it coating his shirt sleeves, I can't get away from the smell. I feel pregnant now. And sick. I almost think I need to take a pregnancy test. Seriously. That smell is that bad.

Some days are just like this: you never know what will happen next. I have learned that if it's not a normal day, everything goes the way you expect it to. Today must be a normal day.

Thanks... all you who commented! It is always great fun to see some of who is peeking in here on a regular basis. (I say some, because not all of you commented... you know who you are. :) )

It was nice to see some of our family that commented as well. Not only do I know you but we're related! (I hope you don't mind... :) )

As has been mentioned before, my blog is an outlet for me. Where I express opinion, thoughts and a bit of my perspective on life. I want to remember some of these mundane details of daily life with three kids, three and under. It always surprises and blesses me when I get comments of other people who are reading here and finding what I write to be worth reading. I enjoy hearing what you think. So, thanks again for your comments.

Now we return to "regular" posting. A few things on the calender this week range from home improvement to a special anniversary. Hopefully, it will be worth you staying tuned.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Knock, knock... Who's there?

There is no special reason to do this again except for the fact that we did it a year ago. So I guess that would be one special reason. (We could make this National Blog Delurking Month.)

I am shy to do this though. The proof is in the fact that I've had this post in my drafts bin since last week. I hate pressuring people but here goes...

I am not a "comment on every post" kind of blog reader so I won't make you feel obligated to do that either. I understand your hesitency to even comment now incase you feel pressured to make a steady habit of doing so. I'm not asking for your allegiance. I'm not asking for money either. Or for a donation. Or for your commenting habit.

All I want is just a tinsy winsy tiny comment. That's all. Just one little comment on this post that you are reading now. Don't leave your bank number or your credit card number or even social security number. I don't need that (I can hardly keep track of my own the way it is.) Just a name and blog address (where applicable) would be nice.

And I promise, you won't have to do this again until the next time I ask. Seriously.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Kid Klips

Know-it-all Brother
Explaining to Janae that the bag of chocolate chips she wanted to open was not for snacking, Landon "read" the back of the package.... "For making cookies and pancakes..."

He's Had Enough
I told Landon to clean up his room quickly. He informed me in desperation, "I already cleaned my room plenty of times... plenty of times I cleaned my room, Mom."

A Good Excuse Not to Nap
Not wanting to take a nap one day, Landon listlessly layed in his bed, stared up at the ceiling and said mournfully, "Mom, I am starting to die."

Why We Dress Warm
(before going outside) Landon: Jea, put your pants on or your knees will get cold.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Gift of Today

Oh man. Some days are just strange. Like today for instance. I had all the ingredients for a good day -- 3 healthy children, full health myself, productivety, good marriage, tons of laundry (not that tons of laundry is actually a "good" thing but it does indicate that we are a healthy, bustling family that is alive and well), a borrowed afternoon housemaid, warm house, etc. misc. etc. -- but it was just not one of those top-of-the-list good days.

It probably had something to do with yesterday. Yesterday was supposed to be the best day of the year (so far) or at least the most relaxing or the most get-in-touch-with-yourself I've had in a long time days or basically, the most kid-less day I've had since having kids 3 years ago. But I wrecked it by (get this) spoiling the opportunity to be productive by spending my energies on a dress pattern. A stupid, no good, dress pattern. I have about decided to make a vow before a great congregation to never again touch a sewing machine, piece of fabric or a dress pattern again. In my life. Ever. Again. I will file for restraining order that will forever hereafter forbid me from entering a fabric store again. In my life. Ever. Again.

I really should do that because this morbid depression has wrecked one entire day of my life. All because of a dress pattern, two precious days of my life were wrecked. FOR NO GOOD REASON.

So. That day was shot and it should've been a good day. But actually, in truth, it really was a good day. I could sit in quiet and just think. I could sew without interuption. I could contemplate my surroundings. I could listen to preaching. And I could find out that yet another dress pattern in my pattern bin does not work. So, that's good. Never make the same mistake twice on a pattern when you spend all day working on it.

Then today came. Yes, today. Today was just "one of those days." I did not look forward to today before it even started. I guess that set the tone. I should know better than to do that but really, I guess I forgot. Dumb reason, I know. My attitude wore off on the kids and that is not good. Everything was a downhill battle. Eat your food (and it wasn't). Go to bed (and they cried). Clean your room (and she bit him). Don't go outside (and the dog came in and peed on the floor.) Play with your toys (and he got busy playing with a knife). Etc. Stuff like that all day long wore me out.

Now it's evening. The kids are tucked in bed ALL THREE SLEEPING and looking the perfect pictures of innocence. I have my computer in my lap for the first time in a long time (it should feel honored that I didn't just throw it out in the snow bank) and I'm relaxing in a nice, big, soft recliner. I'm uncomfortable though and can't sit still. Toby would be going nuts if he was next to me right now..."Can't you just sit still?" He would say lovingly. And I would say, "No, I can't. I tried." And he would say, "Geeez, just hold still for 2 minutes." And I would say, "I can't; I must have that Restless Leg Syndrom." And he would say, "Just don't move your legs then." And I would say, "It's impossible; I can't get comfortable." And he would say, "You're worse than a little kid." And I would say, "I know." And he would say something I'm sure because he always says something and I would probably say something then since I always say something and we would be having this conversation not getting anywhere but feeling content that we were making important and valid points to one another.

But instead, I sit out here alone. With my unfaithful computer. Tossing and turning in this chair. Reclining and sitting up. Kicking my feet. Holding my feet still. My lap is too hot from this computer. My feet are too hot (they always get hot when I sit in this chair for some reason) My heel is cracked and throbbing. My toe itches (I hate that). My eyes are tired.

And tomorrow is another new day. Another day to be a mom. To be a wife. To run a house. To set the tone. To remember the better part.

To only remember that the better part is often in the most hidden places. The places that I overlook when a pile of dishes threatens an avalanche. The places that I can't see beyond that mountain of laundry. The places that hide underneath those mischevious eyes. The places that disappear when I lose patience. Yet I can easily find those special places when I remember the Source. And that I am a mom yes, but I am first His child.

Gone But Not Forgotten

It is time to commemorate a moment of solemn silence. A moment in which we reflect on what once was and now has passed on. A time in which we acknowledge our personal depravity. A moment to dedicate to a precious memory; the fragile fragment left of what we once cherished.

Basically, it is a time to regret as well. Regret our own stupidity. Our own habit of procrastination. A time to stifle the desire to shoot ourselves in the foot in order to help numb the pain of regret. The reality that we are here and that is gone and why why why? To squelch the mantra of whys.

Bad news always has good news and unbelievably, there is good news as we commemorate what was good and now is bad. The good news is my computer is fixed. The bad news (if you are standing, sit down now).... I lost all (are you sitting?) ALL our pictures (yes, brace yourselves folks) from our Christmas celebration this last year (please, someone shoot me.) The bad news is also that I had plenty of time to back them up but didn't. (I deserve a just and harsh punishment... at least send me nasty emails to make me feel better.)

I have more bad news (and this involves you dear folks -- not that you are bad news but let me get to my point). I lost my favorites list. The blog addresses of many dear friends (both the ones I have met and the ones I haven't met... only in the twenty-first centruy can you have friends that you haven't met). So, if you would be so kind to comment on this post and leave your addresses, I would be able to update my desolate blog list in my empty favorites bin.

The good news I mentioned above is hardly good to me. I don't even want my computer anymore. I don't even like it. I don't even want it to have an inkling of a clue that I may have possibly missed it in it's week-long absence. And I don't even want to upload any pictures to it. Ever. Again. It has been like an unfaithful, back stabbing, friend. Hardly the latter, actually.

With that, we conclude the morbid addition to our posting and resume normal topics... such as what's brewing for an upcoming anniversary... or, life with three kids three and under three hundred hours a day three thousand days a week... or, remodeling your kitchen with a three year old... or, tips to keep your hair while pulling it out (actually, I don't have any information on that one but I am researching how people pull that off... pardon the pun)... or, whatever else it is we normally blog about here when computers aren't the issue.

I just really have to get over that unfaithful computer that lost all those precious, priceless pictures.

Kid Klips

God And The Bible
Landon: Dad, does God have a Bible?

The Way To A Man's Stomach
I had just given Landon some prune juice. After he gulped down a few swallows he came over to me. "Hey Mom, look in my stomach," Landon said as he opened his mouth wide, "See my prune juice?"

One Thing God Can't Do
Landon: If Landon died, God could just make another one.

Landon's interpretations:
Train cars = hooks
Magnadoodle = write thing
Seward Walmart = the funny walmart

Have A Good Time/See Ya Later
Landon: Have a good later!

The Universal Headache
"I have a headache," Landon moaned from his car seat after church one Sunday. "Where's your headache, Landon?" I asked him. His response? "In my 'froat.' "

This Is The Way We Count
One day Landon was playing with 2 cars and I asked him how many cars he had. "Two," was his response. And then he went on, "See.... two, four, nine, six!"

Landon Millan
Brittney looked outside just in time to see the dog chewing on Landon's favorite shoes. "Landon, quick! get your shoe from Elly," she said, sending Landon out the door. Instead of taking the shoe and coming into the house which is what we assumed he'd do, he surprised us with something else. Just the night before, Landon had watched some brief video clips of Cesar Millan training dogs. It turns out that Landon had compiled his own technique on the matter. He implemented a few of them on are dense basset pup and then left his shoe on the deck. The dog never touched the shoe again.

If only he could get the dog to quit chewing on Janae!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

On Technology and Trying Times

I have been unable to keep up with my "regular" posting for one reason: my computer blitzed. Or crashed. Or broke down. Or the hard drive went bad. Or technically failed. Or basically, in simple english, it won't turn on all the way. I have so many "save draft" posts that I can finally blame on something... even though I haven't been in blogger since my computer froze up or broke or whatever it did and all those drafts were saved before this trauma came to my life in the form of a faulty computer. Who knows how many of those "save draft" posts I would've published had my computer been working.

So, I have been doing other things. Like, laundry, cleaning mud and snow and dirt, cooking and getting sick. For such an abrupt hiatus from the world wide web, I should be able to speak of getting more done in my life. You know, those projects we always talk about getting done the day we happen to have extra time? Well, I've had that extra time but I haven't really gotten much extra done. The day after my computer took sick, I took sick too and had myself a nice dose of the flu. That kind of effects one's overall productivity for the day: I was lucky to get dressed one day... let alone do the list of stuff I had planned to do that day.

Anyway, I said all that to say life has taken an unexpected sabbatical from life as I knew it since my computer crashed or broke or whatever it did so, if you don't see me on here much, you'll know why. We are working on resolving the computer issue... hopefully soon.

The reason I can blog today is because my husband (bless his heart) is working in the frigid cold of the midwest prairie on a high, steep roof (bless his heart) clearing almost feet of snow in order to save a home from perpetual leakage by replacing the roof (bless his heart) and with numbed, frozen fingers, he will personally place all of the shingles he himself installs on that roof (bless his heart) and of all the houses in that neighborhood, those folks will have the best roof... and the only roof without snow on it all because of my husband (bless his heart) is working so dilligently in the cold today. I said all that to say that if he was not out working today, I would not be on this computer; he tends to not be so generous with his computer when he's home (bless his heart).

As for the kids these days, they are well. Alex enjoys the night time schedule of getting up every 2-3 hours and getting some one-on-one time with his mother. I was so tired one night, I unexpectedly fell asleep and then woke right after he unexpectedly fell out of bed. I was hoping that somehow that unexpected miss-hap would help him understand that his bed is truly the best bed to be in at night but, nope... he resumed his schedule 3 hours later. And yes, he was fine and showed not a mark from the unexpected tumble.

Janae is good. Busy as ever. All female. The wheel that keeps her brothers running... sometimes literally. (You'd run too if she bit you.) She is such a charmer at the same time. It's like having two extremes in one package; it's hard to seperate the equasion. The other day I found a little khaki A-line skirt I had stored away for her when she got a little taller. Well, the day came when she got a little taller so I had her try it on. It fit perfect. And she was as pleased as ever to get to wear it. Landon called her "Hannah Wissmann" for the rest of the day. I guess they both were pretty impressed with the "new look."

Landon is good too. He got to help Toby and some friends slaughter a cow/beef the other day. I was glad to stay home and thought I'd (fortunately) miss out on the excitement at the butcher shop. I should've known that Landon was going to be like a sponge soaking up each detail when he got up that morning and informed his dad that he was "ready to go shoot some cows." He has told me every detail, both little and big, about the whole process of slaughtering cows. And he's full of questions. Why do they have blood? Why didn't the gun have fire? Did the cow want to live?

Toby is also doing good. After his own computer gave him some issues to deal with, he is back on track with his internet work and the other computer work he has to get done in order to manage their business. The homeshow is looming ahead of us and promises a lot of excitement for the rest of the week. Toby usually manages the prep for the homeshow and his brother usually manages the actual homeshow itself. It works out well for them since the they can keep the regular business work running before and during the homeshow and yet still complete the necessary set-up and mantainance for the homeshow. I have always been impressed with how those two brothers seems to have unwritten rules and ways of automatically doing things.

For those of you that have called our house recently and got a strange recording of high decible UFO flying by, do not panic: it is just our fax machine kicking in uninvited before the friendly answering machine. We are working on resolving the issue. What I mean by "working on" is that I have told Toby about it for the past 2 months and he agrees he needs to change the fax setting. So, it should be resolved in the next month. Or two. Maybe.

The caller ID still works... except when we are already on the phone. If you call while I am in the middle of another call, I will not be able to see your name so therefore, may likely ignore your call due to the increased number of salesmen that call us on a daily basis. I think they got our number off the Do Not Call list. Seriously.

And, if you call at mealtime while we're on the phone, I will automatically assume you are a salesman so will usually 100% of the time ignore your call. So don't call at mealtime like our salesmen seem to do. Ever since the internet threatened to take leave from our house earlier this week, and even after having the technician come out twice, not 24 hours apart, this issue began with the phone. We will work on resolving this technical problem as well.

In a nutshell, we are all doing fine, it's just all these technically advanced components of our household seem to be experiencing a set back. I echo the words of my wise husband: "I hate technology." There, that feels better to get that out.

As if to prove my point of technilogical errors, the spell check will not function on this post. I apologize for any misspellings and I assure you we are working on resolving this issue... hopefully soon.