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.