Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Please don't keep stepping.

Today Dyami gave Lucy a strip of pink bubble wrap to play with. She spent a few minutes walking over it, then took a bathroom break. When she came back, she said, "I keep stepping on my poo."

Startled, I looked up. Nothing about this sentence was good. "Keep" was perhaps the worst part.

Then she continued. "I keep," she repeated. "Stepping on my poo-roo dah. My poo-roo-dah." And picked up the bubble wrap.

Crisis averted.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

note to self

  1. When visiting the nursing home with the children, remember not to let Lucy wear the long dangling jewelry (or "jewelries", as she calls it) that she loves so much. Because some of the residents have iron grips, not unlike Lucy's baby sister, and like Julia, they do not really know not to grab the necklace around the three-year-old's neck and hang on for dear life.
  2. When you do allow the child to wear the dangly jewelry, and said grabbing occurs, stay calm, and smile at the resident, and gently (and then not-so-gently) pry their hands off of the plastic beads, and then let their hand grab onto your hand, all the while prattling cheerfully so the three-year-old doesn't freak out.
  3. Once the resident has been escorted away by the very nice staff, remove all the said jewelry, along with the long dangly earrings you put on to please the child who loves jewelry. And then breathe a sigh of relief.

Monday, June 28, 2010

we OD! Why?

Lucy spent last week at our church's camp. She had a fabulous time. One of the legacies of the week is a CD of the songs they learned. All of the music is basically bible verses set to extremely perky rockabilly music. I have mixed feelings about this.

Plus: Scripture memorization! For all of us!
Minus: She likes playing each song five times in a row, and so on for the whole CD. And then starting over.
Minus: I am humming perky rockabilly music all day! And in my sleep!

Today, in the car, Lucy was singing the verses from 1 Corinthians 12:12: "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."

She basically got all the words right. Wow.

And then the chorus goes, B-O-D! Y ay ay ay! B-O-D! Y ay ay ay!
Except she sang "We OD! Why???? We OD! Why???"

Why, indeed.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I like my men like Elmer's glue

Lucy wanted to make a butterfly today. She'd made one at church with an egg carton body, pipe cleaners pushed through for antennae and construction paper wings. So I drew her some wings, cut out some egg carton bumps and got down the pipe cleaners.
But she wanted a bigger, better butterfly.
1. The pipe cleaners were going to have fuzzy little puffs on the end! Which she was going to attach with Elmer's glue!
2. She wanted to attach the very wobbly egg carton segment by herself. With Elmer's glue!

I mean, I like Elmer's glue, but I was skeptical. There was not much for either item to adhere to. The church crafters used a hot glue gun to attach the body. And the puff balls on top of pipe cleaners? Please!

So I told her I didn't think it would work, but that she was welcome to try.

Then I sat back and watched her do both jobs successfully with Elmer's glue.

Which brings me to two points:
1. Why did I bother telling her it wasn't possible? Because I clearly didn't know what I was talking about.
2. Elmer's glue: versatile, strong, and um, crafty.

So I like my men sort of like Elmer's glue.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

low expectations=magic

Here's my goal: finish this post.
Fold laundry, exercise, toss junk mail.
Eat a dark chocolate square, slowly.
Finish unpacking one (just one!) box.
Listen to my daughter's fairy tale,
starring Princess Frosting (a mean princess)/
"Stinky Dragon with a Stinky Attitude".
Pray. Read one psalm. Breathe in.
Breathe out, and repeat that again.
Taste the salt in the air.
Be present reading stories to Lucy,
then patient waiting in the dark,
listening to my daughter fall asleep.

These six-word lines brought to you courtesy of six-word fridays, over at making things up. Come on! Be brief with us!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

there is no negotiating with an eight-month old.

Today we went to a restaurant with two children, and were there until Julia's usual bedtime.

I know. I know.

Thankfully, the restaurant has a lot of ambient noise, so Julia's protest squawks were muted. I had brought a few toys to hand her as I stuffed food into my mouth, in hopes that I would run out of food before I ran out of toys.

I did not.

I scoured the table for options. Chopsticks? Not safe enough. Spoon at the drink station? Twenty seconds, then flung to the side. Napkin? Too shreddable.

Aha, I thought, in a moment of desperation. I pulled out my hair clip and handed it to Julia.

It bought me a precious two minutes.

One shudders to think: had I needed to stay in the restaurant, and she had been squawking a little more, what else would I have been willing to part with? Shoes? Cell phone? Car keys? Engagement ring? Well, not that last one.

It's a choking hazard.

Monday, June 21, 2010

that's what I said

Today I decided to roast a chicken. However, I had some errands to run, and couldn't stay home while it was cooking. But this is why I have a husband that works from home, correct? I could get him to whisk the chicken out at the correct moment and go on my merry way.

So. I put the chicken in the oven, got Lucy and Julia ready to leave, and was about to tell Dyami about the chicken and the 400-degree inferno when I realized he was on the phone with a client.

"I'll text him," I thought. I put the kiddos in the car and headed off to the errands.

After the errands, I got back in the car, and paused, just for a moment, to look forward to dinner. I love me a good roast chicken.

Chicken. Roast. Oven. Text. Ack!

"SH*&!" I said. And then in my head, I said it again, because I had a very observant three-year old in the back seat, and not even the radio to mute my potty mouth.

"Momma?" Lucy said.

I braced myself.

"Why you say, 'hush'?" she asked.

Yes, that's what I said, little girl. Exactly.

Post script: I called Dyami. "Did you hear the oven beeping?" I asked, frantically.
"Ah, no," he said. (Here, he was thinking, you forgot the oven again?)
I pictured the chicken, now cremated, downstairs. I told him to go check on it.
"There are two minutes left," he said.
Aha! See? I planned it, exactly.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

go for the gold

Dear Competitor,
Welcome to the Baby Parenting Olympics, the world's premiere "athletic" showcase of the skills of parenting infants. As a participant in this year's games, you can enter in a variety of challenging events to demonstrate your mastery of both standard and extreme sports:

Diaper Changing: Darkened Room
Baby's First Meal: Cleanup
Parenting: One Child
Parenting: Two Children
Parenting: Many (also in Extreme Sports)
Temper Tantrums
Figuring Out Baby Gear (Breast Pump, Sling, Car Seat)
Eating Something
Getting Sleep

Women Only:
Nursing while Standing Up
Nursing while using the Commode
Nursing Multiples
Birth (also in Extreme Sports)
Sanity for Stay at Home Moms

Men Only:
Mom's Out of Town (also in Extreme Sports)
Bedtime without the Boob (Also in Extreme Sports)

Extreme Sports:
Flu Season (one child, two children, or whole family)
Changing Diapers: Blindfolded
Long Waits at Restaurants

We hope participating in the Baby Parenting Olympics proves to be both challenging and inspirational. In keeping with the spirit of the Parenting Olumpics, no medals will be awarded, and none of the events end--they just turn into the Toddler Parenting Olympics. All competitors will receive a complimentary spit-up stained shirt and a diaper bag*. Please also enjoy the free Purell stations and the constant stream of kiddie music/videos. **

The Parenting Olympics Committee

*Diapers not included.
**Childcare not included.

Friday, June 18, 2010


New house means no water filter.
Now my tea tastes like dirt.
Muddy PG Tips? Not very appetizing.
Please, self: remember--buy the Brita.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I picked up a memoir called Lonely at the library the other day. It's good--a bit clinical, but the point it's making is very poignant to me. The author suffered from a long period of isolation, and found herself floundering--not just lonely, but also sick, anxious, and oddly, keeping herself from social interactions the more lonely she felt. Her research into her experience helped her identify how debilitating loneliness can be--and how little anyone talks about it in our culture.

I've told some people I felt depressed after Lucy was born, and I think that was part of it, but reading the memoir made me realize that a lot of what I felt was loneliness. And I think a lot of mothers feel that, too. Suddenly I felt locked in my house, away from my husband all day, too tired for him at night, unable to connect with friends and community in the ways I'd been accustomed. I had entered a period where I'd expected to feel connected--after all, I was a mother--but instead I felt alone.

Things got better, and then they got much better, and now, with two kids, I have the rich, connected life I thought I'd lost nearly four years ago. Surely this isn't the last time I will feel isolated, but knowing I've gotten through it once will hopefully help me to weather it in the future.

But reading the memoir, I keep being struck by this thought: in our society, there is so little that separates each of us from this loneliness. I think the bounds of community are so thin--people spread out over large suburban areas, moving cross-country, losing jobs after years of service, suffering divorces that leave families fragmented, enduring deaths of loved ones that people don't know how to handle--that I feel this urge to share the memoir, that we might all be more aware of how we connect. So that if nothing else, we can name this thing that happens to us, or our family and friends.

wait, scratch that

Yesterday, we were headed to the grocery store. You know, the one with the child-sized carts? (also adult sized carts, okay?) The ones that Lucy asked to use right before we left?

Lucy: (Sigh). Momma? When we get there, could you carry me? I'm just too tired to walk.
Mom: Well, um, honey, you are welcome to sit in the cart (Readers: adult sized). But then you can't push the kid's cart.
Lucy: But Mommy, I'm not tired. See how strong I am?

Of course you are, little bug. Why ever would I have thought otherwise?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

it's never enough

Let's do the math here.

Approximately five months ago, I was getting maybe two hour stretches of sleep at night. I felt soooo tired in the morning, and longed for naps and better sleep. All I wanted was 3-4 hour chunks of rest! Really!

Approximately two months ago, I started getting 3 hour stretches. But was still soooo tired in the mornings. I just needed a little more, like six hours at a stretch.

Now. I am getting six hour stretches. And a little bit after that. And I am still soooo tired in the mornings. I just need a little bit more, like nine hours at night.

Apparently my body is to sleep like a small child is to ice cream.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

it's like magic

Yesterday, we took a trip to Target to pick up about eight things. Halfway through, Lucy requested some flip-flops, which I'd been telling her we'd buy for her. So. We found some flip-flops, and resumed our journey through the store.
When we got out to the car, however, and she asked to put on her new, exciting flip-flops, I discovered that they were not in the bag o'purchases. Inexplicably. Since a meltdown threatened, we returned to the store to find yet another pair.
New flip-flops were quickly found and purchased, and we returned home.
Whereupon I discovered that the other four items I'd placed in the cart before the flip-flops were also not in the bag.
The obvious explanation was that I somehow switched carts when we were trying on flip-flops.
Except. I think Lucy was only out of the cart for about thirty seconds while we tried on the shoes, and the cart was right next to us.
So. How did I switch carts without switching kids too?

Wait. Perhaps I need to take another lookat the impish kid eating oatmeal at our table.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Lately, Lucy has been asking to make her own bowder. Also known as batter. This means throwing various ingredients in a big purple bowl and trying to get us to taste the results.

Dyami got her set up yesterday (flour, water, oatmeal, sugar), let her put it in a pie pan and bake it (400 degrees for 20 minutes, if you're curious). It turned out, well, almost edible--pretty good for three, working without a recipe. I'd also say it was better than the version with flour, cinnamon, a tablespoon of baking powder, and about a quarter cup of black pepper. Gesundheit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

check out my guns

How much can I possibly lift?
One baby. One sweatshirt. Diaper bag.
Keys, water bottle, red insulated cup.
Carrier holding baby makes: seven things.

And: Don't forget the two futures,
tiny throbbing hearts, soft sweet breath,
hands clenched around toys, flowers, snacks,
Millions of words not yet learned.

No wonder my muscles got strong.

Six Word Fridays brought to you by Melissa at Making Things Up! Come celebrate brevity with us!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

scary turtle

Today, Lucy tipped over Julia's bucket car seat and crawled underneath.
"I'm a turtle, and you're a scary bear," she said.
I crawled towards her. "Roar!"
"Booo!" she yelled.
"Roar," I yelled back.
"No, Momma, you're scared of me," she explained.
"Oh. Are you a scary turtle?"
"Uh-huh. That's because I live in China."


all by herself

Lucy came to Dyami yesterday, very proud of herself.
"Daddy! I got the ice cream down by myself and scooped out out!"
Dyami blinked. "Did you ask Momma if you could do that?"
"No! I did it all by myself! I got a chair, because it was too high, and I got it down from the shelf, and I used a spoon to scoop myself some!"
"Lucy, you need to ask one of us before you get a treat."
"But it was after lunch! We have treats after lunch."
Note: occasionally, if we have treats, we have them after lunch. As opposed to before lunch, which is usually when they are requested.

Other Notes to Self:
1. Place the ice cream (well, soy cream, same difference) up high enough in the freezer that small eyes cannot see it, not just not reach it.
2. Taking post-lunch snoozes leads to preschooler independence.
3. Let's decide that ice cream is a vegetable.
4. Take more post-lunch snoozes.
5. Surprisingly, preschoolers will serve themselves very sparing portions of treats when you leave it to them. In Lucy's case: no more than 2 tablespoons.
6. Sometimes, say yes to post-lunch treats. I mean, why not? Besides, she's just going to have it anyway.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


We've been singing the classic spiritual, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" around here lately. Lucy likes choosing the lyrics. With some interesting choices for things God is holding on to.

"He's got the Daddies and the bathrooms in His hands,
He's got the mommas and the trash cans in His hands,
He's got the cars and the babies in His hands,
He's got the whole world in His hands."

Come on, everyone! Sing along!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Today we gave Julia a carrot.
Now, it was a whole carrot, with the thinnest part snapped off, and she has no teeth.
Needless to say: she did not get very far.
But the joy on her face was radiant. A carrot! She had a carrot, and so did her sister! Ecstasy!
She was cranky and overtired, but by gosh, I had a peaceful dinner, courtesy one orange root vegetable.

She had a look of concentration, as she gummed the carrot, as if to say, "Now, how do you make this thing disappear? It's like magic!"
Oh, child. Wait till you have ice cream.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Today is Six-Word Friday, inspired by Melissa of Making Things Up. Today's topic: messages.

My inbox has three unread messages.
Each one is from, well, myself.
Each empty but for the subject:
"The Mario Cart Cure," "Missing Neighbors."
"Trust for sleep"---each a reminder:
Essay ideas I will someday write.

But, for now, I choose this:
Write six words, make them exist.

I will start small, be patient,
And trust God for the rest.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

alone time

Just days ago, I was complaining to Dyami that I wanted some alone time. Because, sometimes, I just want to sit on the couch and read, or watch TV, with no family members asking me "questions", or wanting to "talk" or "play" or express "affection".

Okay, so the misanthropy was after a really long day, okay? And a very early morning. Usually I'm really a people person!
Ha ha hahahaha. I crack myself up.

Anyhow, last night I got my wish. Both girls were asleep in bed, and Dyami, feeling sick, fell asleep with one of them. I proceeded to sit and finish a novel in delicious silence. It was such silent silence. So silent. Except, it was a little too silent. A kind of creepy, empty silence. A very alone silence.

[Cue screechy violins]

I finished my book, set it down, looked around. I needed a few warm bodies to take the chill out of the summertime room. Went upstairs to go to bed early.

Because really, when it comes down to it, I like my alone time to be spent with my family.


When Lucy wants to make Julia laugh, she tells her jokes. Such as, "Did the ladybug sting you?" with the italicized part done in a super high-pitched voice. Or, "Did the blap sit on your drap?"

When I want to make Julia laugh, I say things like, "Are you my little fatty? Are you a little nozzleberry?" and blow raspberries on her belly.

When Julia wants to make us laugh, she smiles.

Baby: 1. Older People: 0.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

in praise of baby softness

Oh, my, these babies.
My, my.
Sometimes, when I give her little kisses on her fingers, I have a hard time not biting down a little harder on that soft baby flesh. Because it just feels so good. Like soft cake.
And the little baby smile, with the head ducking into my shoulder afterwards, to pretend that she's shy? Can one bottle that feeling, of the soft head nuzzling my breastbone? Because seriously, people, you know you would pay money for that.
Then there's the crowing with glee when one of us makes a funny face at her, or she manages to grab my shoe and suck on it.

Oh, Julia. You're right. There is a lot to crow about.