Thursday, July 31, 2008

I was going to write about needing a haircut. But honestly, do you care? I didn't think so. SO I will go all alone and get my haircut and then I will probably tell you about it. What cut I decided on, and if I went to Great Clips and just took a chance, or went WAY cheaper and spent 5 hours at the beauty college letting a student destroy my hair and then the instructor could fix it with a really good cut. You may or may not see that financial constraints are the issue here.
Well, kind of. Really, though, even if I was a gazillionaire, I don't know if I could handle paying the big bucks at a salon. Anyways.

There is a good possibility I will be fasting le blog next week, so here's a shot at a Smartypants column.

Ms. Smartypants is eager to answer your romance, political, socio-economical, or etiquette questions! Submit your questions today, and if the muse strikes, she will answer at least one tomorrow
(some Smartypants archives here and here)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Over the weekend, we went to a new church. Revival historians may remember the Smithton Revival back in 199?. Well, that church relocated to KC after they outgrew their old space.

So I'm reading an article about a church having a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit and miracles and such... I google the address and it's about 4 miles away. Doh!

So off we go to World Revival Church. It was a Saturday night, and we arrived about 30 minutes early to try to get a decent seat.
When we walked in the door, an enthusiastic greeter in a suit held the door for us and had our names and a synopsis of our life stories before we made it to the foyer. This guy was fast.

We then sort of wandered through the lobby trying to pick up clues as to where childcare was. Another greeter snagged us, and another and another. If we were in a movie, it would be like when they sweep the camera around you really fast in a circle.

Before we knew it, we had given out our address and phone number. Then an enthusiastic youth worker walked us out to the children's building.

This 2 year old class makes ChuckECheese look lame. I mean, slides, ball pits, cave of wonders, whatever. The worker explained to us, "We have three hour services. We like to keep them busy." Toby (usually a bit of a leg-clinger) didn't even say goodbye. The baby class had a line... probably 10-15 walkers and Exersaucers, plus a sort of giant padded room/pen in which the diapered variety were cavorting with blocks and drool and so on. Bean was a little nervous but she stayed.

Kids 6 and up stay in the service, so we took R2 with us... The sanctuary is not huge in the number of people it seats, but it has about 40 foot ceilings, and just super cool design, as well as a crazy cool hanging screen... I can't explain it. It's a giant rectangular video screen that appears to be floating above the stage.

Worship services can be difficult for us sometimes, since that's what we do and all, and it's kind of like speaking someone else's language at first, especially since their worship leader was doing all original songs. Over to the side there is a lineup of maybe 10 backup singers, all beaming and doing wildly expressive arm movements. And then the big screen and it gets a little overstimulating... but these girls could walk out of there and do Broadway, easy.

I'm being quite snarky, but it was good... really sweet, friendly people, and genuine worship.

When the pastor got up, he talked just for a minute and then said "If you need healing, come NOW!"
People took off running... seriously, it was so compelling I almost tucked R2 and bolted up there. Really gave us an understanding of the Pool of Bethseda in the Bible. So we got Richy and moved up there pretty swiftly, and the pastor, Steve Gray came by and laid his hands on Richy, and held my hand.

Folks... I was shaking. I don't know if I've ever felt the presence of God like that. It was intense. He stayed with Richy and Richy for a while, asked his name and such. It was pretty wild up there with people falling out and healings happening, so we cleared out and went back to our chairs. R2 was poking his forehead for about 10 minutes afterwards... maybe he felt something in his brain, we don't know.

We were able to stay for a little of the message before baby church paged us... the Princess had had enough.

I went back Sunday morning. Richy was playing guitar at the HOP, so it was just me and R2 in the service. We had to leave again before they prayed for healing, but we are definitely going back. It was VERY cool.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The continuing historical series about our journey together as a family. The first two archives can be located over on the sidebar, under "The Story of Us".  I am skipping some chronology here, we actually went to Bible school next... but  I haven't finished that one yet. 
Our plan was to wait 5 years and then decide if we wanted to have kids. We were so happy doing ministry and so very busy with the youth, we really didn’t see how we could give any attention to a child.

Fortunately for us, I was too scatterbrained to remember to take a pill every day. We started suspecting I might be pregnant in January. I failed a home pregnancy test and I was so sad. That was when we knew we wanted to have a baby. Which was a good thing, because I was pregnant. I have learned since then that I don’t get a positive with an HPT until I am further along.

We were giddy. I told my dad, “Daddy, I’m pregnant!” and his response was guarded. “Did you want to be?” I had to reassure him and then he was excited. That night we told the youth group and they celebrated at Taco Bell well into the night. I craved strawberries. I bought a ton of pregnancy books, and a fetal heartbeat monitor. We were giddy.

When I was about 20 weeks, I started noticing a strange cramping feeling. Research in all my books left me unconcerned... I wasn’t having any symptoms of miscarriage. So we went on with our normal lives for another several weeks. We went to the Star Wars prequel opening... and 3 high school graduations.

Yes, we were that cool

On Tuesday, June 1st, my water broke. I was 23 weeks pregnant. We rushed to the ER, where they sent us to Labor and Delivery. Our doctor met us there and told me I was going to have a baby today. I was absolutely in shock. That was the first time I realized my pregnancy was over, but I had no concept of what would happen next.
After a couple of hours, they had me doped up enough that the contractions were pretty stable, and I was transferred to Houston.

I spent 4 days on bedrest there with little amniotic fluid, and then on June 5th I got a fever and went into labor. I was 24 weeks pregnant, just 1 day beyond what the hospital considered a viable baby. In other words, they would not have resuscitated him if he had been born earlier. 

Day 1

He was 1 pound... He was 12 inches long, you really can't imagine how small that is... it's as long as a Barbie doll. He was so skeletal and his skin was really red... his epidermis wasn't very thick yet. The first time I saw him, I panicked. He didn't look human and I was so scared. I had Richy wheel me out into the hallway where I melted down. My mom was waiting out there and gave me a stern talking-to. "That's your baby in there! Now snap out of it and go talk to that baby."
After the infamous "snap out of it" talk

It was good advice. I went back in there and talked to him. Then I sat 
right there by his incubator from about 10 am to 11 pm every day, for 4 
months. I read books, mostly. With all of my babies I haven't had a whole lot to say in their NICU stages, but I felt like my presence was enough, and that I should be right there and hold them as much as possible. Richy was there as much as possible, too, although he had to go back to work 

Our first time to get to hold him- 20 days old

I don't know how much to post about his NICU journey. Multiple times, the next thing happened that was supposed to kill him. And it didn't. One night we went back to our hotel and waited for the call to come say goodbye. It never came. He made it through crisis after crisis. He was, and is such a fighter.

We learned quickly not to think too far ahead. We took on that day's crisis, and hoped tomorrow would take care of itself.

After 4 months, we brought him home. He came home on an oxygen cannula and an apnea monitor. His head was huge, swollen from hydrocephalus.
For us, though... he was just our baby. We thought he was cute and sweet... took jillions of pictures and we were so thrilled to finally get to bring him home. I think I'll stop there for now because this is already a very long post.

The NICU journey has TONS more, medical, spiritual, emotional. I'm just condensing for the sake of my readers. If there is something you want me to expound upon, let me know.

Next part here

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kansas City, MO
An area woman is smelling especially ripe these days after offering her shower slot to her three small children. “I’m no hero,” she opines. “I just did what anybody would do if their child was covered in oatmeal.”

Clark originally planned to schedule in shower time after her children were bathed. She was surprised to find that her husband had also not showered, and was in desperate need. “I was all greasy,” claims Richy Clark, a 30 year old singer/songwriter. “I was out on the porch drinking my coffee, to get away from the kids. It’s hot out there, you know?” The shower opportunity was again sacrificed for the sake of a family member. The Clarks are one of the few remaining American families to only have one bathroom.

“It’s becoming an epidemic,” said Helmut Oppelganger, MD of Los Angeles, CA. “These young women are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place.” Oppelganger recommends that mothers wake up earlier, or consider having a second bathroom installed.

The 29 year old mother of three hopes to take a shower in the near future. She talks as she cleans peanut butter off the wall. “Yeah, of course. You know, if it works out, and maybe they nap or watch Sesame Street or something.”


Friday, July 25, 2008

Yesterday, we went back to Wal-Mart. Again, you say? Yeah... we go through a lot of food. Anyways.

I like to look at the baby clothes that say stuff.... like Toby's "I still live with my parents" shirt. Or "I do my own stunts". I generally avoid the ones like "Little Devil" or "Junior Flirt"...

So yesterday I'm looking and of course I'm looking over in the pink area and they say things like "2 Cute" and "Sugar and Spice". A black onesie says "This is my little black dress." All of which are fine, in fact I might go back and get the black one.

What has, in the vernacular, got my dander up, was the boy onesies. In green "Genius in Training" and in blue "Future President".

Now look, I'm not one to get all activist and put my sons in a dress just to make a point. But seriously... is my daughter more than how she looks? I don't like the message. My sons have the world open to them, and their intelligence is assumed. It's not just this one time I've seen this kind of thing. Old Navy has girl onesies "Stripes are Slimming" for... you guessed it. In blue they have "Future Class President".

It's not that I want to dress my kids uni. Obviously I go overboard on the girliness with Brynn. I don't have a problem with flowers on girl clothes and trucks on boy clothes. I just resent that the assumption that is being fed to us is, girls are all about looks, and airheads. I was given more, I knew I could be anything. I picked ministry and motherhood. I love what I do, but I am fully aware I could be whatever I wanted to be, even now.

And I'm not feeding this pablum to my daughter. The sky is the limit for her.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I was reading a book last night about getting published. It's called Writer Mama... looks interesting. It's pretty practical, but it's written by a mom of one... I don't mean to be disrespectful... some people I'm related to had their hands crazy full with just one, not naming any names, or cats.
But she talks about having an off-limits work area, and kid-free time... and I'm like, wait....

Anyway, everything I read suggests pitching ideas to magazines first, and I'm all lame like... man, I don't know non-fiction! And then I think doy, I write non-fiction every day here on the old blog... I don't think it's journalism or anything, but I've been priming the pump for about 3 years... oughta be something to write about.

Do you know, writing for cash would be like a dream...

It's another one of those things, though. Something I dream about and poke at, but never really embrace because I don't really think I could handle it.
Like kids. I have three. And most days I am so overwhelmed and exhausted... I wonder if all moms feel this way or if I am missing something. But even with the insanity, I want more kids someday. (don't hyperventilate, I'm talking about adopting)

I just need to figure out how to be "the joyful mother of children".

So writing is like that. If I sold something, and then I was dealing with pressure and deadlines, would I hate it? I wonder. Definitely thinking about trying it, regardless.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We've been going up to the HOP every day around 10 or 11 with the family. That's a pretty noisy set, and nobody really minds kids being a little wild then. Most days it works pretty well. Today , Toby was demonstrating the reality of a child's sin nature for all the other kids. We did all our usual tricks but nothing worked, so we bailed pretty much right after he screamed as loud as he could on global TV. Thanks, we do our part to contribute.

We'll be coming back to Texas for a couple of days to rehearse for the Call... I am pretty excited about the unscheduled trip. The fast ends the day we get there, and I am planning on sending the old intestines into shock with an OD of Rancho Grande. I would just warn you not to get between me and my fork. People have died for less. Fasting might make me more humble, but it doesn't mean I can't still bust a little Texas on yer rear. I'm just sayin.


In other news, Brynn's personality is starting to show... and she is funny and sassy and independent. (like me, the MOG says) I am having so much fun getting to know her. Cried my eyes out last night because she didn't really want to nurse, and I know the weaning process has begun. Which in some ways, is great for me. But my mommy heart is hurting... I'll probably write some sappy poetry about it soon.
<<<-----check out my blog list over here... cool. you can see I updated my pix blog yesterday, if you're into seeing cute kids)

Another thing I might write sappy poetry about: the demise of our laptops. Richy's is held together by duct tape, and the trackpad doesn't work anymore, so he carriesaround a mouse. He looks so cool. And me, my baby iBlanca is very sick. She works about once a day, so when she's up I am frantically transferring files. So, if anybody wants to start a fundraising drive to buy us new laptops, I am on board with that. And before you few remaining PC-ites speak up, these are OLD computers. We have driven them into the ground. A PC would have gone up in flames about 3 years ago with what we put our laptops through. So there.

And that is the news of the day. Come on, gimme some comments. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let's talk about the Call DC. For one thing, are you going? Because you should.

The Call is a massive solemn assembly. We gather and fast and pray for 12 hours... there's worship and prayer... that's it. And somehow, they are the most amazing events EVER. Something about thousands of people humbling themselves and seeking God... He is so there. 

So we have played at or before several of the Calls, and we will be playing at this one. You should go to the Call site and find a way to get there... there are buses coming from churches all over the place. Sleep in a tent if you must, but I wouldn't miss it! 

If you can't go, and you're not just a weenie saying that, then watch it, and engage. It will be streamed all 12 hours on or if you have Dish Network, the God TV channel. Conrovians- Freedom Fellowship might have a watch gathering- they did for the Call Nashville. That would be an awesome way to join in. 

August 16th, 10am-10pm on the Mall in Washington DC.

I am so excited.... plus, being the history geek that I are, DC is much loved by me. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Part II in a historical series about we the Clarks. You can read Part I here.

We got married in August of 1996. I was 17 and he was 18. My parents went to the courthouse to sign me away, and to the poorhouse to pay for the wedding. Fortunately, they made trips to the poorhouse and back all the time, so within a few months, they were rich again. Until the next round, anyway. RIP Cal Stanley, computer extrordinaire but a little weak on the bookkeeping.

We were doing youth ministry and didn't really have any desire to go to college... to us, it was a stepping stone to a career and we already had the job we wanted, ministering to kids. We have never regretted that decision.

We set off on married life and very quickly landed amazing jobs making lots of money. We were 18 and rich (for teenagers, anyway) and we lived in an apartment by ourselves. We were pretty giddy.

3 months after we got married, we brought home a kitty, and then a 16 year old. Andrew was estranged from his family.. he got invited to our home group (one of our kids invited him to a kegger, little did we know. He said he just kept waiting during the prayer and worship for somebody to break out the beer...) Both Andrew and the kitty (Chopper) lived with us for the next several years. We were working full-time, and doing youth services and home groups and it was crazy and busy but so fun.

We were either the same age or 2-3 years older than the kids we pastored... I got "carded" at more youth pastor functions than I care to remember. The pigtails and knee-high socks probably didn't help with my street cred.

Around this time, kids were just flocking to our youth services. It was a sovereign thing. We did very little promotion and no games. Just worship and preaching... and God showed up week after week and blew us all away. I quickly got an education in dysfunction. These were hurt kids, messed up kids. They were 14, 15 years old and in many ways on their own. My heart expanded and I LOVED them all. Even the ones who only came one time. I would look at them with their smeared eyeliner and scarred arms... and just see hurt little kids. They were beautiful. I miss those kids.

We gave ourselves body and soul to serving those kids for the next 3 years. During that time, Richy started writing songs... we had a hard time finding anything that really expressed our hearts and the movement, so he just started writing. More on that later.

We actually youth-pastored for 7 years, but I will stop here around the 3-year mark, because... 3 years into our 5-year plan, we discovered we were expecting our first mini-Clark!

Part III here

Friday, July 18, 2008

Yesterday was eventful. Sheesh.
So we're strolling through Walmart at a leisurely pace, 'cause that's how we roll. Bean is in the front, and Toby rides in the back with the groceries. R2 jumps alongside.
We make it through, like an hour, because my kids are trained to stay in Walmart forever.
FInally we make it to the checkout line, and Brynn STANDS UP. In the FRONT. I am so alarmed I snatch her out of the basket and am holding her, when I notice (in slow motion) that toby is climbing to get in Brynn's recently vacated seat. And, before you could say "Ohhhh noooooooooooooooooo!" he is smashed on the floor.
I drop Brynn in the back of the cart and grab Toby off the ground. Part of judging child injuries is the gasp:cry ratio. We had probably a minute of silent sucking in before the screaming started. SCREAMING. Panic. And immediately people are surrounding me saying helpful things like, "Is he okay?" And the screaming. Oy. It was like Faust in there. At the time I was, of course, freaked out. So I'm just holding him trying to assess where he hit, and what might be broken. The help keeps coming.
Then some official types come around with clipboards and lots of questions. On the list of things I want to happen after my 2-year old falls out of a basket, officials with clipboards is like, number 7. Million.
So I am trying to comfort Toby, and answer questions, and reassure the general public, Brynn is standing in the back of the cart seeing if she can climb out, and R2 is concernedly pointing at his own head and Toby. Yes, Toby bonked his head.
Finally, Toby stops screaming and I put him back in the cart to sign some papers. Wal-Mart's legal butt is covered. A family stays and talks to me for a while, about how to know if it's a concussion and what to do and so on. They were extremely nice, but man! you just can't take somebody's word for it on stuff like this.

By this point I am internally freaking a little more. I don't externally freak, my kid has emergencies all the time... but internally. And now Toby is just blankly staring off into space, not answering questions. Someone says, "oh he's calm now..." and I'm thinking.... never. He is NEVER like this.
So off we drive, after a Wal-Mart rep walks me to my car. YOUR BUTT IS COVERED. I AM NOT GOING TO SUE.

And he just looked horrible and so pale and wouldn't talk, so we went to the ER. He was still sickly until we were actually back in the room, committed to staying. Then he snaps out of it and starts playing, and schmoozing with the staff, and having a great time.

No concussion... we were at the ER for about 3 hours. Sheesh.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One interesting thing about this fast... suddenly I have a desire to write again. I haven't even been fasting very well... I am loopholing like you wouldn't believe... on a commitment to myself, yes. It's like a sickness.

Anyway, I've been writing some poetry. I don't even know if I can really call my stuff poetry, since it doesn't have even rhythms and it never rhymes. Prose, maybe. Thoughts in cadence. Whatever it is, I like it. It's refreshing to put words to paper.

So I have decided to open a vein and let you read some of my stuff.

I'm not a pro, and I have forgotten most of the grammar rules I pretended to learn in high school. They are just my thoughts...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Today, I was notified via Twitter that, and I quote, "Lou just blew up a devotional set. Bam!" This inspired me to go rewind the webcast and watch the explosion. Who is Lou? maybe you're asking... Lou Engle is a friend and a man of prayer. He tends to explode things, in a spiritual sense. Anyhoo.

I went and watched it, and then watched a lot more... it was crazy in the prayer room today. Normally, it's fairly low-key in there. It's always good... it's consistent, day and night intercession and loving on Jesus... but it's not often that it's roaring. Today, I was so inspired by the webcast, I gathered my young about me and went up there. It was great. We only stayed 30-40 minutes before it got all quiet and devotional, but it was awesome. Toby waited until the opportune moment to yell out, "YAY!" and everyone started laughing and clapping and praising God... that's my kid, y'all.

I just, for the first time ever, hired a babysitter that I don't know. In fact, this is probably the first time I've ever paid a babysitter... I have had it good. We're leading worship for baby Livi's memorial service tomorrow, and I can't really bring Dynamo and his two sidekicks. So I searched high and low and found an IHOP-recommended sitter... wow. My kids have been doing great in kid's church and the YMCA, so it won't be a big deal for them. But I have to clean! A lot! Yikes!

No deep thinking today... my soul is tired.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So, yesterday I started a memoir of sorts on the ol' blog. Naturally, talk turned to tattoos and their scriptural or unscriptural basis. Today I will talk about tattoos and you guys will probably discuss the Tribulation.

There is, to my knowledge, one specific Scripture about tattooing. Leviticus 19:28. This site has some good info and context for that. I haven't checked out the whole site, and I'm not endorsing it. Just some good info there.

So I won't really approach it so much from that perspective.

My mom and I sat and talked about this when she was in KC. She had seen someone she respected had a tattoo, and it shifted her perspective of them a little. In her generation, women who had tattoos were "girls that do". You live on the edge, drink and party and get tats.

Not so much with us. We are a visual, creative generation. And many see their bodies as a canvas to express their hearts. Christians I know who are tattooed have symbols of praise, or pictures from Scripture or dreams... they feel they have marked themselves FOR God.

When the Jesus movement happened, many were disturbed by the hippies. They had long, unruly hair... ragged clothes and no shoes. They were accepted by Jesus, just as they were. He redeemed them. For some of them, when they walked into a church, they were misunderstood and rejected. They looked different. They looked like "the world". And they were beautiful... true and raw and captured by God. A lot of the church missed out.

Was it sin to grow their hair out? To be ragged? Or was it their culture, the generation they lived in?
I'm not saying we accept every cultural norm. I'm saying let's use discernment. What really matters to God?

In the eighties, the young and passionate found ways to express their love to God with loud instruments. They were FIERY and loud. The church shut the doors, in large part. Those gifted, powerful musicians found themselves outside, no accountability, little leadership. They were cheated. The Body was cheated. We missed it.

Now, you are standing face to face with painted warriors. They love God. They are creative. They are expressive and artistic. Weird hair, piercings, tattoos, strange music? Check. Power and passion? Check. Don't miss it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Today I begin a historical series on me and the Mister, and our travels through life. I will publish a chapter every now and then, maybe weekly, maybe not. They will be somewhat chronological, although not religiously.

If I leave a subject under-represented, let me know and maybe I can give you some more info, you Nosy Nellys.

It all began when I was born.

Okay, I won't really go that far back. I'll start with the story of me and the man of God.

We met in 1994, when he was dating an acquaintance of mine.

Richy had risen to some renown in 9th grade, when he and his brother had led a band through a Metallica medley of sorts in the school talent show. (see: moshing in the bleachers) They (the Toxic Crayolas) were such a smash hit that we continued getting devil horns in public for a good 5 years after we were married. He got saved when he was 14, 15, and 16. It stuck after 16.

I was raised in church and Christian school, and while I may have had a peek or two at objectional words in a dictionary, I was basically pure as the driven snow. Through a series of events probably having to do with being broke, I ended up in public school after 9+years of private. I immediately bonded with the freaks and deviants in the drama department, and for the first time ever, found people who "got" me that didn't live in my house.

We were having revival, or renewal or something at my church, and Richy came to get him some Holy Ghost. We hit it off immediately. I thought he was so cute and bad with his long-ish hair and earring and musical skills. He thought I was smart and funny, although awkward-looking.

I had never met someone so passionate about God. I had also never met someone so messed up. (since then, I have met MANY far more messed up, but I was sheltered) I came to an understanding of pain, and of mercy and hunger for God. Simultaneously, I fell in love.

We started officially dating in November of 1994. I knew by January I would marry him. We went to our junior and senior proms together. We also started leading a youth ministry out of our local church, along with our friend Josh. It was the beginning of an explosive season of God saving young people in our youth group. I was 16, he was 17.

You may recognize Josh and Shannon. This is an entirely different Shannon from the one Josh ended up marrying. Josh also ended up choosing different eyewear, which was a very wise choice.

We got engaged in January of 1996, graduated high school in May, and got married in August. But THAT is another post.

Part II here

Friday, July 11, 2008

So, the MOG has landed a recording job, which is great for multiple reasons. Number one being that money pays bills. He's recording a demo for some guys here.

So last night I was cleaning cleaning so that no one will know the truth, and he was arranging his basement to look more like a studio and less like a basement.

So he says to me... "Where can we get some rugs? Just crappy rugs like this", he says, pointing to my very favorite rug. I am shocked and offended.

"That's a great rug! Do you mean like cheap, cheap rugs? Like thrift store?"

"Yeah, just cheap crap rugs I can put drums on."

So I had my assignment and I am about to leave for the thrift store. He stops me.

"Just get something, like, brown, or some nice earth tone. Nothing ugly or bright."

"Uh... have you ever been to a thrift store? These rugs are probably going to have geese on them." He is horrified. I look at him with my Duh face.

"Just don't get anything ugly."

So I jet off to the thrift with no kids attached. After a fairly brief browse through my favorite aisles, I arrive at the rug section. There are a couple of these braided teal and tan goose-like rugs, which, if that's your bag, they're great! I just happen to think of them as hideous.

There was also a giant dirty cream colored one, and a few smallish tan and beige options.
I called his nibs..
"What do you mean, cream colored? Like what?"
"Like, cream. Beige-ish."
"Bright cream?"

I am silent. They are turning off the lights in the store, and I am just trying to process what color bright cream would possibly be.

I ended up buying a few of the tan-ish ones, and they are fine.

Next time on Martha's Studio, we talk about how a nice navy blue blanket can make a beautiful room divider just by using a staple gun and a little ingenuity!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My friend Amy is in labor now... Livi died in the womb a few days ago, and we've been asking God for a miracle. So far He has not answered how we would have hoped. Amy is 21 weeks pregnant. This is her 5th loss.

So my heart is heavy today. Is it God? Is it us? Faith, sovereignty, fallen world? I don't know. I have zero answers.
I know God loves Amy, and John, and Livi.

I'm not struggling so much as I am sad. I'm tired of death.

In other news, Toby and Bean are busy little toddlers these days.
They climb. He jumps, she gets stuck.
They share, and they steal and fight.
They laugh at each other and scream at each other.
Just now, we were driving, and he would say "Uh oh!" and across the van a teeny little "Uh oh" would echo back.... then they started roaring back and forth.
Richy rides in between them in the van, but at home he usually keeps a little distance. For one thing, they are probably going to get in trouble. For another thing, they are possibly going to be violent. Just a little safer up on the couch or a couple of feet away.

It's hard to fast when I'm sad. A good book or a vat of chocolate would be so helpful right now....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sometimes I really love the IHOP webstream... it's so peaceful.

We are praying for a miracle for my friend Amy's baby today. Her name is Livi. Please pray with us.

I have a lot on my mind and nothing to say. Funny how that works.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You may remember a long time ago, I don't know, 6 months, 7 months ago, I brought up the subject of potty training. And we worked on it for a little while, and then the novelty faded and too much nudity and pee-pee on the carpet and so on. Finis.

What happened then was Kai, inspired, tried it and figured it out. He is now potty trained. My sister tells me she hasn't changed a poopy diaper in weeks... I change 3 a day, generally. Sigh.

Well. I guess we're back in bizness. Toby has decided he prefers the potty for serious business, which is great with me. He's even told me at the doctor's office, or McDonald's, and we rush off to the potty. It's great. Number 1, not so much. In fact, very little luck. Until yesterday, for some reason he started taking off his diaper and peeing on the floor. I think this has to be progress.. I mean, he knows when it's time to pee on the floor! We just have to redirect! And mop. Sigh.

Anyways, that's what's going on over here.

and maybe because it's raining, or maybe because I am not so sated by entertainment, I am feeling a little sad today. And poignant. Everything changes, and it will never be like it was yesterday, ever again. Sometimes I just really want yesterday back.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I am typing this on the laptop, which is greatly challenging due to half the keys being removed. I just push real hard on the little key stubs, but it takes a while.

Bean is sick. It's the saddest thing. She is sleeping most of the time, and then when she wakes up she's pretty listless. We took her to the doctor today. Now, normally we don't take our kids in for illness. R2 goes all the time for maintenance and stuff, plus the occasional emergency visit. But just puking or whatever... fevers, no. We wait it out, maybe a little Tylenol.

Different story for Daddy's girl. Day 2 of laying around not smiling and one big throw-up... I was requested to take her in. Some kind of stomach virus, she'll be fine. It's just funny how things work.

I'm trying to intensify my fast this week, as I basically just filled the empty spots with other diversions.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sometimes, I attempt crazy things. Things like washing the dishes, or writing a blog, or taking a shower. When I step out of the boat like this, bad things happen.

Wait a minute, you're saying... why are these all pictures of Brynn, Angel Bean? Because Toby is too fast to be photographed, that's why.
Like yesterday, for example. Attempted to flush an entire roll of toilet paper. For the third time this week.
I am starting to doubt punishment as a crime deterrent.
I googled, and found a TP saver, for around 5 bucks. It basically looks like a rubber band around the toilet paper roll.

(while I was typing that, I heard the kitchen timer, which is ON TOP of the kitchen counter. Busted a perp with his face in the raisin container. Claims to be a puppy.)

Back to the subject at hand. I don't like to pay for things that aren't worth money, so I made my own TP saver. It's a ribbon... works great so far. I busted Puppy flushing 5 squares of TP earlier. Now that's more like it. This fix is pictured in the picture of Angel Bean on top of the toilet.

I have locks on the stove, the refrigerator, some closet with scary furnace-related pipes, my door and all 3 doors to the outside. I have baby gates on my room and the kitchen. Still, I am no match for these, for whom I prayed.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Do I have a sign on my back that says "Kick Me" today? How about "Annoy Me"? Or is it just some secret signal that only children can hear?
Last night there was a thunderstorm, which scared Toby, whose screaming woke up his sister. End result: 4 people sleeping in a queen sized bed. I use the word sleeping loosely. Toby and Bean slept great, woke up bright and early ready to take on the world. I, on the other hand, am grouchy. I'm achy from sleeping on a tiny corner of the bed, and just tired.

This sets into effect the "Destroy Mommy" gene in which they go full force all day. Toby has reached the segment of tantruming that indicates a nap is in order. May it be so, and may it also be so for me.

oh, and Feliz CumpleaƱos to Fire-Breathing Tiger!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Today, in the continuing Medical Adventures of R2, we went to the dentist. This is the first time we have been to the dentist in years, as we were told that he would have to be sedated to be checked out... Only problem was, basically no-one sedates children. And the ones that do are booked out like, 18 months in advance. So our pediatrician's nurse worked magical magic and got us in to one.
And he did fine... I mean, he doesn't like to open his mouth. But if I kinda pull it open, he's cooperative. And he, unlike his siblings, is not likely to bite. Good visit, no cavities, no problems right now. In a couple of years they said we'll have to worry about crowding. (I feel pretty crowded as it is) So when he's older they may have to take teeth out to make room.
So now we're done with doctor's appointments for a few weeks. Sheesh.

Now: the topic of the day.
When Viking Granny opens a maternity home, which she will most likely do in the near future, what should she name it? Please comment some ideas for her.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm in day 2 of the fast here... already accidentally put bacon in my soup (fasting meat) and watched an episode of Jon and Kate while I was working out. Plus countless episodes of yelling at little people and just being ugly in general. (sigh) I need Jesus.

In other news, Brynn is developing skills ... rapidly. 3 weeks ago, she was just slithering around everywhere and could only sit up if we put her in a sitting position. Now, she can crawl on all fours, and get herself in a sitting position, and even pull to standing. She also does a very cool trick where she makes a triangle by straightening her legs to standing while still having her hands on the ground. We're all very impressed.

In other, other news, Richy's glasses are all the way broken. They just can't handle the abuse. We have another pair on order, but they are the same flimsy frames. I think we (or Visa) are going to buy the fancy flexo-frames out of pocket... what are these people thinking making thin metal frames for little kids?

Boring today.
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