Friday, November 06, 2009

At least we made it!

I took this with my phone about 10 minutes away from J's office Halloween Party. Both boys were so tired, and even when we stopped the car, opened the doors and started stuffing their warm & sticky little boy feet into their shoes they STILL didn't wake up. We had to use the c-word. ("CANDY!")

It was better than last year, when I tragically took too long to make a diaper box into a car costume for Toby and missed the party all together. That made me grumpy for a good week.

We had two ginormous pumpkins- in fact we still have their carcasses and guts all over our driveway. I'm sure the HOA is impressed. The are big enough that the boys can sit inside each and pretend they're on a train. Except Isaac is too prissy and doesn't like the feel of cold pumpkin all around him.

On another uncomfortable note... I spoke to one of the leaders of our church today. Ours is a church that believes over-programming is a real problem and that giving people pre-set ways to plug into a church can be detrimental to building true relationships among believers. I'm not sure I'm representing that fully, but there doesn't really seem to be a set statement available about this kind of philosophy. They use the word "organic" a lot and they emphasize connecting through House Churches. For our house church we go twice a month to a house about 3 miles from our own to worship, learn a bit more about the sermon and pray for each other. I love our House Church, but the reason I went to chat with the leader was that it just wasn't cutting it for me as far as bible study or connection with other moms in particular.

The chat I had went pretty much as I thought it would. She outlined their view again, and made clear that the church is not likely to change any of this any time soon. (I.E. They aren't going to let me start a bible study for moms and use their website to link people together.) I think at my most strident I said something about people with addictions and depression getting more help than young moms. But then I've been known to dabble in the dramatic from time to time, and I honestly did come around to their way of thinking at least a little.

It's true that if they provided a group for me to just show up and be a part of, I most likely would NOT be looking for relationships with people from the church on my own. And it's entirely possible that we would never have gone to House Church if I hadn't pestered J because I was going nuts without any community outside of tiny demanding people who share a large part of my DNA. So I would feel better and more connected but my family might not be and the church's vision for House Churches would become further from reality.

I am not fully convinced, but I'm willing to "give it six more months" as requested by the leadership. I still think parenthood, especially with preschoolers, is a demanding and challenging time. It's supposed to be a great time to set up habits and understanding of God in your child and I would love our church to give me direction there. We chose this church because of the fantastic preaching. Absolutely outstanding doctrine- and plenty of it each week to keep my own study lively just by looking into all the reference verses they give. You can find podcasts here.

Monday, November 02, 2009


The boys and I went to a little play-party with our friends from MOPs this morning. It was great until they brought out the snacks. Animal crackers made with whole egg and doughnuts are not safe for Isaac. I'm not sure the other moms really understand the feeling I have when diving across the room to prevent him from putting that stuff in his mouth.

Lots of people in our area are into this Naturopathic trend of calling yourself "allergic" to all sorts of things. They take a blood sample and put it through some tests to see if you have sensitivities. The ultimate effect of all this band-wagoning of false allergies for me is that when I tell the childcare people that Isaac is allergic to eggs I can just about see their eyes glaze over. Then I hand them the EpiPen and usually they perk up and realize this is not just a bourgeois badge. (As in, "My Caleb is allergic to water, flour and anything treated with pesticides or transported more than 100 miles. He can have some $20 Whole Paychecks triple-approved snacks served only in hand-extruded glasses if you have those lying around somewhere.")

So this morning turned out to be really fun until it wasn't. I'm just not a laid-back person anyway. I like to think of myself as passionate, but when I'm literally batting little animal-shaped foods out of my toddler's hand and can't focus on adult conversation because I am afraid, things are getting out of hand and I just feel like my freakishness is showing. So we left.

I came home and checked my email. A kid from the college where I teach just died of swine flu.

Being a mom is nearly impossible some days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Allergists need our prayers.

Isaac has an appointment today with a new allergist for his egg allergy. Allergists seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. There still isn't much hard science on the physical sources/causes of allergic response, let alone science that reveals the best therapeutic practices. Each new study reveals a whole uncharted territory rather than definitive answers. There is even debate on the exact mechanism that causes the system to freak so catastrophically.

Isaac's had just one reaction, and we've been to an allergist twice- once for testing and once so the guy could demonstrate that he was terrible at taking notes in charts and had no memory of us whatsoever. I have a lot of sympathy for doctors. At the beginning of each teaching term when I have my usual 15-18 students plus 3-5 more plus all the folks I've signed up to other teacher in our academy... well, for a few weeks I live in fear of calling people by the wrong name. Luckily Jonathan is very patient when I give up and just call him Sugar Daddy. I really do understand that it's impossible to remember all your patients, even when they are as fabulous and superior as Isaackle.

Today we're going to a new guy, and hopefully he can help us figure out how to keep Isaac immunized. The MMR is formulated with egg, as are all the influenza vaccines. Lewzers. Processed food companies find all sorts of wonderful ways to avoid using real ingredients- why can't pharmaceutical corps?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So, it has been absolutely forever and a day since I wrote anything on here. I miss it. I enjoy the challenge of arranging my thoughts (or at least letting them spill out).

I think I'll do NaBloPoMo. (National Blog Posting Month) in November, that thing where I try to come up with something to write about every day for a month.

Lots has happened since I last posted. I started a new business, won a little audition and am trying to get connected in our church. Isaac figured out walking, shrieking, pushing my buttons and shoes. Toby still loves hot wheels but now he can put together a complex train track and likes legos, too. J is busy fulfilling my every waking need.

More about all of these is to come. Isaac just destroyed some lego thing and Toby is wailing. Nap time!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Placeholder post

I have fallen off the face of the internet, but this time it's good.

We had Jonathan's family visit over the long weekend and it was AWESOME. The weather was wonderful and we got out and did a bunch of fun stuff. I apparently missed the best room at OMSI every time I've gone there. This time Toby and his Grandma pretty much spent the whole morning there exploring all the neat, touchable stuff.

I've been practicing, too. And teaching an extra day at a very inconvenient school packed with awesome families. And I finally started moving my butt again. I had to after eating out every meal for five days in a row. Frightening!

So there may be something here soon. I really like having this chronicle, and it makes me sad when I slack off. After all, I need proof that my brain cells occasionally fire enough to make complete sentences.

See you soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Date weekend!

We are heading out of town tomorrow to celebrate those five long years I was telling you about. Some one else will have to teach the boys how to share, take turns, refrain from damaging one another, etc. That some one will be my parents so perhaps some prayer out their way in in order...

Toby only ever gets to play with his stuff on the floor like this if Isaac is sleeping. Poor, sweet, testing every one of my rules and boundaries, dear Toby. He's upstairs tearing around his room during nap time as I type this. I am NOT going up there.

They are getting better at playing with the same things at the same time, but still... you have to watch out when they are off their leashes like this. Isaac is surprisingly stubborn and noisy about wanting stuff. He has developed into a shrieker. Happy squealing, anticipatory squeaking, displeased screaming. We are going to sleep until 10 all weekend.

Isaac can find danger anywhere.
Not my problem! Ha ha, gramma-grumpa!

They are alllllll yours.

I'll need phone pictures and emailed updates every hour or so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's not what you do...

Some friends asked me this week why I write this here blog and pony show. One answer I'm coming to realize is more and more motivating for me is that it saves my marriage. Without this I would drive my husband even crazier, and vice versa. On Friday we celebrate five years since our wedding day. People say this all the time, but I really can't believe it has been so long, because it totally has that new marriage smell. It's still so much fun.

One thing I'm personally working on lately in a very Oprah kind of way is that the day to day details of my life haven't had the sparkle they once did. I think dust and moths have gotten in. I asked J the other day what he thought was the biggest sin in his life and he said, of course, not worshiping his wife nearly intensely enough. His God, I mean, not his wife. Snort.

Anyway, back to me. I think for me the biggest sin and dust and moths are mostly shaped like worry and fear. I am a world class worrier. I remember my Grandma Norma once grabbed my hand and squeezed it and told me I would always be a worrier. I was about 4 years old, no lie. She was right, though; even her prediction made me worry. And lately I have things going on that seem to justify all sorts of grave concern. Isaac is strongly (deathly is not hyperbole) allergic to eggs, Toby's going to have eye surgery and is testing my ability to restrain my smacking hand daily. (Lookout, boy, or I'll come after you with my smackin' hand!) Also, the plague is back with a vengence and the financial world is weeping: in case you haven't been watching CNN the sky is actually falling, people. Costco had a book on survivalism on sale for $11.98. I would have bought one, too, but when I flipped it open and read, "How to Find Water in Desert Terrain" I realized we are all just incredibly doomed. Not even Costco can help.

So on a day like today when I wake up feeling underemployed, unprepared, invisible and annoyed all at once, I figure typing a few words onto the internet isn't such a bad option. It's an outlet and it saves Jonathan from becoming the customer service center for my whole life. This is not to say I'm not praying. This very afternoon I prayed out loud several times in the car and again as soon as I had locked Toby in his room put Toby down for a nap. I also tried screaming into a pillow, though I forgot the pillow. At least Isaac laughed.

So many things bug me about myself lately I can hardly stand it. I'm afraid the way I discipline will screw the kids up. I'm really tired of these 25 pounds, and feel true shame about that, then realize how vain that is and feel worse. I am being really lazy about chores and then I get grumpy because J is, too. I don't practice consistently and then wonder what the point is since there aren't going to be any more gigs what with the world ending and all. Classical music at times seems already half dead in Portland, but that's a whole other post. Maybe two.

As you can see, I have a tidy pile of junk I can use to cover up any glimmers in the good part of my day. I use this heap all the time as a distraction from my own responsibilities and capabilities. I have all this "stuff going on" so if I couldn't practice/run/study/clean the bedroom, well, I'm parenting toddlers so who can blame me?

Thing is, skipping all those things just feels awful. And I know that. I just haven't figured out how to change my behavior on any of it. So instead of getting up to go do some stuff, I sit down and write about it here.

And suddenly I feel a little better. So that's why I blog: To put off doing stuff and to desperately achieve a false sense of accomplishment. Ta-dah!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I tried a women's day thing at church today. It was fine, thank you. Very polite. I met two people. Whatever. We made jewelry.

My dream version of today would have involved forced group interaction, maybe making collages about our inmost thoughts. Perhaps staging a short skit. Does that shock you? It does me, quite a bit. Since having the boys I have had trouble really developing and especially maintaining deep friendships. I have some wonderful local friends, but we all have at least two kids and that adds up to a lot of distractions. Factor in the number of times each of us cancels a get-together due to childhood infirmity and there you have it. We might as well be internet dating each other.

I could do much more to foster those relationships. The most effective would be to forget about my vanity over the house long enough to just invite them over already.

People talk about juggling priorities as a parent. For us, the dilemna isn't determining how much to give our kids (answer: everything we've got), the problem is how to balance the activities we most want to fit in otherwise. Studying to love God more, practicing that old viola, moving my body before it completely seizes up on the side of the road. I've felt keenly the truth that failing to fit in all those things shorts the kids in the end anyway because I'm such a complete grumpy mess.

Every part of parenting that should be obvious keeps smacking me in the forehead while hissing, No- really, Miriam! Remember when we used to say No DUH!?

This necklace has a train charm, just to make Toby love me more.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Best. Mother. Ever.

When I went into Toby's room first thing this morning, he said "HI MAMA! I WANT ONE OF THOSE!!" and showed me some tiny little cupcakes in the corner of a picture in his Richard Scarry book which he had lugged up on his bed. He made as if to pluck them right off the page, so we ate a few imaginary cupcakes as a breakfast apertif.

Later, I took him downtown to a local rockstar cupcake shop and bought him exactly what he wanted (mini no-frosting vanilla). On the way we saw both a train AND a vintage muscle car (silver, with chrome everything) plus we sang the ABCs and had a happy shrieking contest with Isaac. We had to go to the cupcake hipsters anyway, to pick up a gift certificate my minions the Viola Society gave away as a raffle prize, but he didn't know that. As far as he knows, I love him that much.

Aren't I just the best?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I am a marshmallow.

Maybe a Peep?

I bawled in church today. Not because it's Easter and not because of the message.

It's these words, and the act of trying to sing them with a group of people:
How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
It's especially those italicized verses that make my throat tight and hurty. The fact that my husband drives straight home, gets out his guitar and figures out the chords is pretty awesome, too. This year, I have that wonderful Christmassy feeling at Easter instead. It's probably better that way, really.

It's not that we prepared especially. We certainly don't have an Easter tree, and my mom had to buy all the egg decoratin' gear for Toby to have any memory of this year's holiday at all. We did stop at WalMart this morning and snag the very last bag of malted eggs in the whole state, apparently. We didn't even do lent despite my fascination with it. I guess you could say it's a pretty distant fascination, sort of like the way I feel about people who run ultra marathons or play in the Met Opera orchestra.

It's just that I feel the recent clouds- adoption failure, new baby haze, heinous church shopping, the various infections and medical mysteries the boys suddenly seem bent on collecting- have disipated. They're there, but it just feels like life and not so much like the other.

Yesterday I watched a community come together and celebrate a violist who was killed the year I moved here. I play some of her gigs, I have the priveledge of carpooling with some of her good friends. Preparing for the concert was a heavy responsibility and I found myself cherishing all the goofy things in my hectic and lovely life. It turned out to be fun, and fulfilling and I think she must have been quite something considering all the funny stories people were remembering. Sassy. I like that word even more now.

I love Easter. God bless you, internet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Inconspicuous Jesus

Okay, don't get mad. That title comes from a morning spent googling infant diseases and constantly coming up with references to a condition involving boy-parts. I'm not blaspheming, it's just running through my incredibly pious head. Hey, look, a picture of baby Jesus with, like, 16-pack abs! It frightened me at a Catholic church gig last month so I knew I had to show it to you immediately.

We're up against another non-negotiable problem with the church we thought we finally liked. The worship dude had a full sleeve and often pronounced things like that guy from the Decemberists, which tells me he's got to have at least some redeeming qualities. So that wasn't the problem. It was a boring theological thingamaBLEH that the pastor said in the middle of his sermon. J and I exchanged glances, zipped up our matching christian-fish-eating-darwin bible covers and backed out while hissing and speaking in tongues. Not really. We haven't sprung for the covers yet.

So I guess instead of finding a church we'll just have to start our own sect. To belong, you must like 79.4% of the following:

Mexican food (margaritas required)
24 or CSI
Violas above all those inferior instruments (that's a gimme- how could you not, you heathen? Also, if you say, "Isn't that kinda like a violin?" we will betray you for 30 pieces of silver.)
This American Life
Irony and/or Sarcasm

I feel like I'm forgetting something...

We're busy lately.

Mostly we are coated in play-doh, ketchup, finger paint or receipts from the pediatrician. It's a look.

Here we have Toby channeling Robert Smith. He's gifted, I tell you.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Isaac fell asleep on my chest on the couch yesterday. Neither of my kids has ever done that so far. Actually, except in the first few weeks I've never even seen either of them drift off since they do that in the privacy of their wee little beds.

I guess this was one of those new mom moments I somehow missed over the last three years. It's kinda nice to be able to say, without a doubt, that this is no parenting hormone gush. The sweet treebark smell of his hair, the warmth and weight of his chest, the light quick snore and smushy cheek undo me.

I hope he does it again soon.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Potty Tower*

Toby still shows no interest in toilet training. He's 37 months (3 human years) old.

Today I could tell he was in process and offered to take him to the toilet. Mom and dad were visiting so he declined on the grounds that he "Wanna play." I pressed a bit, telling him all sorts of people like Grandpa and Daddy do that on the toilet so they don't have to lay down in the middle of everything and have a diaper change.

He looked at me with this one very piercing look he has, not angry but startlingly focused and quietly but firmly said, "I know that they do," in a tone that informed me in no uncertain terms that our conversation was over.

If he's going to sound like an older man it would be nice if he picked up just one or two of their habits.

*He calls the Potty Power video we got from the library "Potty Tower".

Friday, February 27, 2009

Externally processing churchy things...

I still feel really out of my zone in Portland despite our living here for three years now.

I've been thinking about why I still feel like a stranger, and I think it has a lot to do with my misperception of church. When Jonathan and I met we were part of an amazing place, with a mix of ages and other socio-economic junk. The way they did the worship music built a community unto itself- anybody could play but you had to attend a regular Wednesday night rehearsal every week. If you weren't playing that week you'd study music or theology or sit around and eat donuts, but you were, forgive the Christianese, plugged in. At the time I just assumed other churches tried to do something similar.

As if.

We went to a church here called Imago Dei for two years before we started shopping again. Toby was dedicated there. Imago is famous for being post-modern, edgy, young: Don Miller's church. We loved the pastor, we loved the idea that creativity honors and expresses our creator, loved exchanging ideas for new tattoos, we even met a handfull (okay, three) friendly people there. I just ended up feeling completely unwelcome. I tried the membership class twice. Both times somebody asked "Why would God allow evil in our lives if he's supposed to be good". The first time the question came from an emotionally disturbed girl (a girl like the girl in The Breakfast Club but without the kissing and the emergence from weirdness). The teacher/pastor person basically said We Don't Have Time for That Kind of Question. I thought, well, maybe he's new to this and just wasn't ready to go there. He was following a hand out. But when it happened again, this time from somebody who had spoken to the church several times on Sunday and was on payroll there, I had had enough.

When I walk down the halls of a church, I guess I would hope to see some people planted there. They don't have to wear a tie and shake my hand. They don't even have to say anything, maybe smile sometimes, but if I have a question or want a program or need some prayer it would be nice to not feel as though I'm messing up their clique. And if it's a staff member then my feeling is they are OBLIGATED to be nice, because it's not their church.

At Imago I served on worship, I tried the classes (including one whose teacher later said he had questions about Jesus' divinity), I tried a house church, I served in the kid check-in, and I almost served as the Women's Coordinator. I told them I couldn't do that last one because my husband's job was changing, we might have to move, we might be adopting and I was pregnant with my second kid. They said okay, we'll find somebody else and never asked me about any one of those things again. Is that community? We've gone back from time to time because there are a few people we love, but the last two times people walked past me whose homes I've been in without so much as a Good Morning.

I wasn't raised in a church, but I have come to believe it's really important for me now to be part of one. I need mentors and inspirors and I need to serve. It baffles me that God would make it so flipping hard to figure out where I should be doing that. Lots of things He does confuse me, I have tons of questions and I can't understand why it would be hard to find the answers. I've spent a lot of the last year doing my own (lazy) kind of wrestling with God, which really amounted to me not asking him out to coffee or hiring Him for any gigs for a while. He still showed me some stuff, but I figured if He was going to be all distant then two could play that game.

For about a month we've been going to a new place. The pastor is completely amazing. He includes a heaping pile of verses every time, he's memorable and humble and funny. He reminds me of our Madison pastor- a man who looked and sort of spoke like an accountant but gave sermons I remember to this day. The church seems pretty bare-bones as far as I can tell, but it's got all the essentials.

I've changed my requirements for a church. If I don't make a bunch of bff's there, I'll be a little disappointed but not shocked. If we find a way to get directly involved, great. If not, then I'm going to buckle down and focus on the teaching. Which brings me to the biggest shift in my thinking: I am the only one responsible for my knowledge of God. No church or school or study will fix the problem if I don't just do it, no matter how many verses they cover. It's like practicing. Or running. Or any of a million SHOULDs I love/dread every day.

I'm trying to thicken my skin, to look for my family where God puts it. I'm hoping this makes me feel more at home.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Don't we all...

Wish we could take a turn in somebody else's toys once in a great while?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If my head spins off...

... just give it a shove over this way, will you?

We are in the thick of Grandparent visit decompression. Toby misses the attention but doesn't know that's what is wrong, so he tries whining and being naughty to see if that helps. I imagine it does at times.

Poor little man. He's at that stage where if I said in a stern voice, "Toby, you have to eat that ice cream and then skip your nap so we can watch videos until your brains flow out your ears." He'd say, "Noooooo! I want candy canes!"

I don't have enough punctuation to show you the octaves that boy is reaching.

Pass the margaritas (and thank you, Grandparents who left the bottle here)!

And while I'm at it, can I just talk about nipples for a sec? I am seriously considering feeding Isaac from bottles for the rest of my sentence (March 24, March 24, March 24...) because he is TEEEETHING. He's miserable, I'm jumpy and miserable, it's not pretty.

That is all. (Pray for all of our sensitive bits, will you?)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Jona(than) in the belly of the fish

Fallen & pushed are not the same thing.

Sometimes people scare me. There was this one mom at the pizza-play place we took Toby for his birthday who must have fully committed herself to raising brats. Her kids were those kids. You know.

And when my mom kindly asked one of them to stop jumping on our kid seeing as he is 5 years younger and was starting to cry, he went and told on her to his own mother, sitting 50 feet away with her back turned. Brilliant mom then marches over and reprimands my mother for doing her job.

No big deal, right? You've heard worse.

It just makes it hard to let your kids out into the world, like, ever. The irony is that I think of myself as pretty permissive; I get a kick out of hanging back and watching the kids discover things and work their way out of stuff. But to do that I have to assume that the majority of the people around me understand and agree to uphold the rules of common courtesy and that is not true. It reminds me that there is evil around and it's going to get all over us. (See how fun I would be at your next cocktail party?)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Meme me (times 20)

This is recycling at its best. Here is a list of 20 things about me.

1. I have lots of beliefs & behaviors that people assume stem from some ideological decision. Decision? Rarely. They’re just my collection of wack-a-doo preferences even though they put me in a fairly predictable box. A box in which you might expect to see me sporting Secty-hair with an ankle-length dress and tennis shoes (shudder) and holing up on a compound in Alaska with some of our closest relations…

2. I’m a vegetarian. But my Papa was a trapper in Montana and my parents raise beef. I would LOVE to go elk hunting sometime, especially with my dad. I’ll kill it, dress it, pack it out and cook it… for you! I just don’t like the texture, smell or taste of meat. (You people EAT chicken? Have you touched it raw?) When I was 13 I thought I would try being a vegetarian while standing in line for a junior high cafeteria lunch. It smelled nasty, and I figured if I couldn’t kill it I shouldn’t eat it. That’s changed a bit, a la Xena the elk huntress, but I still haven’t eaten any for years and don’t see a need to. My inlaws and Papa like to tease me about it, but they’ve been very accommodating.

3. After the elk hunting revelation it’s probably no surprise that I’m a gun rights advocate. Whoa Nelly! In my circle of friends, profession and city that makes me a freak in four languages. This past weekend on the way to a lovely chamber music gig I picked Jonathan up from a gun show where he had purchased “the least PC thing there”. Think, “say hello to my leetle friend” and you’ll be on the right track. He also teaches a concealed-carry class. Sexy.

4. I have yet to discover a children’s show worth watching. I cannot stand modern Sesame Street. We do watch Veggie Tales (just see if you can get the monkey song out of your head) but the Pirates movie was a disappointing Disney sell-out. Speaking of selling out, as I type a truly insipid episode of Bob the Builder is playing for Toby. So I’m the worst possible kind of snob- one willing to sully her brain stem and make her children stupider for the sake of convenience and pure adoration.

5. I wish I had more shoes.

6. I still daydream about a Fetique bow I tried at a dealer showcase in Aspen in 2000. It cost more than our Jeep, even back then. For a long time I had a French bow that was worth more than my old viola, but a little less than a new Jeep. I kind of hated that bow’s guts and still wonder why I lost my mind and had to live with it for so long. Lots of non-string players are shocked that the stick makes enough of a difference to justify really shelling out for one. Bows are amazing, just look at them all curvy and lithe.

7. I’m allergic to stone fruits and tree nuts. That includes avocado, apricots, apples and my favorite food ever, cherries. I was perfectly fine eating all of these (though my mouth would get a little itchy) until I turned 19. Now they try to kill me. Between that and the vegetarianism, I cook an awful lot of stuff for my family that I won’t eat and I’m not very fun for the host of a dinner party. Though I will eat lettuce, cranberry sauce & rolls and call it a feast at Thanksgiving, so at least I’m not that kind of picky. (Mmmmmm, cranberries…)

8. I am going to talk about brrrrreastfeeding (roll that r, people). I seriously had never really given it a second thought before I had kids. Did people really do this before? With the hanging bits out in midair and futzing with strangely S&M looking boob-gear and public gnawings? Life is weird. Humans!
Anyway, because of all the stupid allergies, we (by which I mean me and the ladies) breastfeed our spawn for a whole year before they get any solid food. Toby didn’t seem to mind. Isaac, however, is beside himself at 10 months of age. He eats lint and will sprint-crawl if he sees a scrap of paper. When he sees us eating he smacks his lips and all but points repeatedly to his gaping pie-hole. He trolls around Toby’s chair at mealtime like a DHS-bound Lassie and sneaks chews on the leather handles of the antique trunk in our living room. So I suppose he won’t end up with allergies but he will contract Anthrax and have strange fetishes. Sigh.

9. I love crosswords and am really annoyed that Verizon doesn’t have a NY Times app for me to buy. Lewzers.

10. I’m frugal but not cheap.

11. I love doing laundry and dishes. Seriously. When they’re done, they’re done. Clean or dirty, no in-between. So unlike practicing the viola.

12. I didn’t vote for Obama, but I still respect his office and have hopes for his time there. I believe strongly that the government is a picture of inefficiency and should be used sparingly. If that makes me conservative, fine, but I have yet to meet a political party with which I identify.
What is with people being a-holes on either side? Why was Palin such a lightning rod for anti-mother, anti-special needs anti-family ugliness? It's fine to disagree with somebody but what's up with the personal attacks? What did people really know about her? That she was on the wrong side. A colleague said of her big family, “what CENtury are we in, anyway?” and it bit me. Because if you don’t have a nanny and two kids max you are a backwards idiot? I saw a bit of anti-Obama propaganda the other day and it also made my blood boil. He is the president, and that deserves some respect. Can’t you see me shaking my cane?

13. I like peonies best.

14. My mom is a welder and my dad regularly wins his age group at marathons. I hope when I grow up I’m like them. I’ve started running 1,972,358 times. J and I have done two 10k’s and a triathlon, but the last great endeavor was 2 years ago. We have a treadmill in the garage and as soon as I am getting more than 3 hours of sleep in a row I plan to hang out with that sucker every morning.

15. Noisy places undo me, and I get wander-y.

16. Jonathan is muuuuuch more sentimental. Not in a pack-rat kind of way, but in a touchy-feely, tearing-up, giving-a-crap kind of way. He is excellent at remembering that I mentioned I wanted a gizmo three months ago when it’s time to get me a gift. I am terrible at dates of any sort and have to count on my fingers how many anniversaries we’ve had. One year I nagged him five times a day all week to tell me what he wanted on his birthday. And then the day of? I forgot until evening and was cross with him in the afternoon. When we were dating I once forgot it entirely, completely. AND, AND!, the date is part of his email address. I deserve harsh punishment.

17. I hate the color yellow. When I was sick as a kid, I told my mom I felt yellow.

18. I am secretly horrified in a nauseated way of escalators and automatons. My nightmare is a busy shopping mall with Kenny-G Muzak, a bell ringer, a big Christmas-deer-robot display and banks of escalators with no stairs in sight. And it smells faintly of sausage. So basically, Clackamas Town Center.

19. I am an evangelical Christian. But wait! I think the way the Church has dealt with the following topics has been pretty much Evil: homosexuality, abortion, art, evolution.
That being said, I can’t just leave that hanging and am going to address abortion: I am not pro-Choice because I have seen empirical evidence that a fetus is a life and because babies are now surviving from as little as 25-26 weeks. There is no question that there are situations in which it is terrible for the woman to have to carry a fetus to term, and I’m not talking about medically terrible. But how can we say that it is okay for us to encourage that choice? And how about those first weeks? After conception there is no watershed developmental moment- it is all one big fast (very very fast) cascade from there. So while you are wondering about where the line is, couldn’t we just assume in favor of the fetus in MOST cases? I am not sure I’m for outlawing abortion, but I am definitely in favor of early ultrasounds and full information for those not at medical risk who are considering one. If more information is dangerous to a viewpoint, that viewpoint is likely biased for extenuating reasons and therefore is flawed.
But I will not think poorly of you for disagreeing.
Also, evolution and creation are not mutually exclusive. Both are still mysteries of which their own proponents admit we only know a weensy bit. If you you have spent time with a toddler lately you’ll agree that dangerously nutty stage makes no evolutionary sense whatsoever.

20. Well. If you are still reading, you must be my mother. How’s our wing of the compound coming?

Monday, January 26, 2009


I'm not sure why he does it.

The thing about parenting a nine-month old is that you can't take their word for anything at all. They could look perfectly fine and be hiding some horrible disease. I watch House. I've seen how a little tic here or an out of place cry there could be hiding an allergy to air or somesuch.

So when he wakes up at 11:15, 3:30, 6 and 8... well, it's confusing. He used to sleep. I remember the days, sweet and carefree and smelling faintly of milk and honey. (Not that he can eat either yet.)

It makes me sleepy and incoherent. And irritable. And prone to not blogging.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm not dead yet...

This is the price I pay for saying we don't really get sick very often. I've been sick for an entire month, and now know the intimate disgust that is a sinus infection. With a bronchitis bonus! I finally went and got some druuuuugs and I'm much better now.

The first day we were all feeling better (Isaac's got it, too) we decided to drive downtown since it was Toby's third birthday and ride the train. And Toby threw up all over the car, bless his little heart. Ironically I was telling J on the way in that I needed to ask the pediatrician what it means when he complains that his tummy hurts. I'm pretty clear on that now.

So that's where I've been. Look what my awesome Montana parents sent:

It helped me further clean out my works by giving me a good bawl, and I am not prone to that kind of thing.