Thursday, September 30, 2010

These are the laws given to the mothers of small children, that none may be unclean or sit upon an unclean surface or touch any unclean thing with their hands.

If the children eat oatmeal at the table, then that table is unclean. Let the priest examine the table and if the oatmeal is dried on the table, then that table is to be destroyed, unless the priest has a Magic Eraser or sandpaper. If the priest does, indeed have a Magic Eraser or sandpaper then the priest will urge the mother of the children to cleanse the table 7 times, and then it will be clean.

If the children eat Ramen noodles and the table overflows with Ramen noodles, and Ramen noodles remain upon the floor and the table and the chairs, the table and the floors and the chair are not unclean. If the priest will turn his face away from the evil in his sight, the noodles will dry, indeed they will become hard and may be swept up by the priest with a broom. The priest should not vex the mother of the small children because indeed, wet Ramen noodles will not be swept up, indeed they will make the carpet unclean if the mother tries to sweep up wet noodles.

If the children paint on the wall with washable paint, the wall is not unclean, and the paint may remain until the 3rd day of the week, or when a guest is expected. The mother of the children must wash the wall immediately prior to the guest’s arrival, while the priest sweeps and cries loudly to God for deliverance from uncleanness. If a stranger from a foreign land appears without notice, then the wall does not have to be cleansed, because the stranger asked for it.

If a young child is being toilet-trained, then that house is accursed. Every surface in that house will be unclean, indeed, if the potty-training continues beyond 14 days, then the mother of that house is also unclean, and the smell of uncleanness will never leave that house. Of all the things accursed, most evil in the sight of the Lord is the green turtle potty, for though you cleanse it with hyssop and myrtle leaves, and though you scrub it with Clorox wipes, it is an abomination to the Lord and must not be mentioned, lest He come and smite you with a curse worse even than potty-training.

These are the laws given to priests and to the mothers of small children, that their guests may not sit upon a surface that is unclean.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If you follow my facebook closely, you already know this story. It's a good one, though, so you can see it again.

Every night I wage an epic battle, me against the children for whom I prayed. That can't be English. Anyway, I set the timer, and then when it beeps I walk closely behind them like some kind of reverse mama duck, urging them to their beds. One goes easily, the other 2 have to be threatened, manipulated, and coerced up the stairs and then into their room. I, foreseeing conflict, fill their water bottles and make them go to the bathroom. I put the blankets on straight, because they " caaaaan't dooooo it". I close the door firmly.

Then, I usually go eat dinner and watch youtube while waiting for the inevitable I-spilled-my-water-I-can't-find-my-Curious-George-goes-to-jail-book-Brynn-is-touching-me-I-HURT-MY-FOOT-ELBOW-SHOULDER-HEAD-spilled-my-water-do-you-have-any-fried-chicken-I-don't-like-these-pjs. I ignore all requests except pain or reading lamp malfunctions. Eventually, things quiet down and they go to sleep, on the floor or in the wrong bed. Whatever. Fine with me.

Last night they were SO NUTS. They laughed for hours, which is so sweet except they only laugh like that whilst evildoing, and eventually someone always falls off the dresser or what have you and then it's screaming and chaos like the lake of fire. Still, the desire to not get out of my bed with my library book kept me in place until 10:30, when Toby called me to come open the door so he could go to the bathroom.

When I opened the door, they were both cocooned in their respective blankets, and popped up with underwear hats. It is moments like this that make me so, so glad to be a mommy. I laughed so very hard, and then I tried to make them go back to bed, but first an unnamed child went digging in the dirty laundry and put the wrong pair of undies on her their head, causing a crisis and baths at 11 o'clock at night. So there you go.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Do you ever feel like we're pushing them too fast? I mean, kids? I get it. On one hand, America is like, ├╝ber dumb and all of the other non-third world countries are kicking our butts and making all our toys and technology and stuff. So maybe we need to push them more and not less. It's just... I argue with myself, even as I'm writing this.

I think we start kids in school too early and demand they learn things before they're really ready. I'm not hating on preschool, it's more the whole "grade" system. Is it possible that we could pay attention, and figure out what our kids are interested in and want to learn, and emphasize that, and everything will fall in place? I don't know. Is it right, is it Biblical, is it crucial that a 6 year old can read? I'm thinking if a parent/teacher was watching, and waiting, and reading with a kid, they'd see when that kid was hungry to take over.

And on my third of fourth hand, I say, well, lazy fat Americans are too irresponsible to teach their children and everyone will be idiots and all the other countries will take our money. Wait...

Somedays, I'm teaching Toby, and it is so natural. Everything is a discovery and he can take it in his hands and turn it around and see it from every angle and he KNOWS it. That's learning. Other days I am demanding that he understand something he doesn't want to understand. Here's the thing. I think he will, in time. I think he will naturally learn, when he's ready. I can prod a little, but only to see if he has any momentum in that direction.

You know what I'm saying? Sometimes it feels like we're missing right now, who they are, what they are finding, because we're pressing for some goal on a government spreadsheet. There is no normal! No "average" child! They don't look the same, think the same, learn the same... hey, is this a soapbox?

Then again, he's 4. So I'm just at the beginning of this journey. It's just, somedays I resent being told what to do, by "norms" or the government or whomever. I have brilliant, innocent, free little souls under my tutelage, and part of me (a big part of me) wants to just let them run, developmentally and educationally, and see what happens. Right after I finish forcing Brynn to be potty-trained because she's three, darnit!

I think, if we learn from them, we could learn a whole new way of discovering information and growing, of assimilating our surroundings and really understanding.

Also, we could learn how to party.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I've been in a little bit of a funk lately. Was it stirred up a little by dreaming of two little boys in sleepers and drool? Yeah, that helped the funk :)

It's a hard thing, wanting a baby. I have been so blessed to be part of an online community of women who've experienced loss, or primary infertility or secondary infertility. I'm not infertile, but the challenge of staying pregnant and having healthy babies has put me in the same boat as a lot of women struggling with secondary infertility, that is, having difficulty having a baby after a successful pregnancy. Anyway, I have cried with them, and they with me, over the last 6 years, while we were waiting.

During that whole process, I had Toby and Brynn, which by outcomes were successful pregnancies, although both the pregnancies and their first days and weeks were complicated and touch-and-go. But in between, I knew the ache. I waited and I wailed and demanded of God and eventually, gave up control.

C.S. Lewis said, "I gave in, and admitted that God was God."

Am I rambling here? I'm just explaining that it is a powerful thing, to long for a child. Rachel, from the Bible, told her husband Jacob "Give me children or else I die..."

And I am not ungrateful, I know I am overwhelmed with blessings. I have 3 living children that are my world. All I'm saying is, once the "want" comes, it's hard to turn off.

So I've cried, and I've held my miracles closer, and now I wait, patiently, again. There will be a baby. There will be a baby.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One of the last things I want to do is discourage anyone from the adoption process. I started to say the "last thing", but that's one of those universal statements... you know how I am about those. The last thing I'd want to do... geez. I mean, choosing which of my children to throw in a volcano, that might be the last thing. Or eating a worm. But yeah, discouraging you from adopting would make some kind of list. Like, discouraging you from adopting is on the top 2000 things I would never want to do. Probably.

The thing is, I am a bit of an early celebrator. In reality, most adopters probably don't talk about the maybe calls, don't notify the internets prior to an actual "match" with signatures on some kind of contract. We've never made it to that point, but I've notified the web and my poor family every time we get a potential match. I'm an optimist, sue me. I have a good feeling you wouldn't win.

Monday night, we got an email about a set of twins, 4 months old. We prayed and panicked and decided to put our names in. It looks pretty iffy now, and even as an optimist, I'm pretty doubtful it will happen. Gotta tell you, though, I got my hopes up and fell hard.

Pain is part of the process. That's life, though. If it doesn't hurt, it probably wouldn't be worth it. You know? All that to say, it's worth it, to stretch yourself, take some risks and some falls, and grow.

And I might tell you again, about a maybe-baby and then it might not work out. I'd rather celebrate early.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I've had this ear problem for a couple years maybe. How's that for a sentence? I tell you, I just grab hold of the English language and MAKE it do my bidding. What I was trying to say was, and is, that I have consistently had problems with my left ear for an indeterminate amount of years. It would get clogged, and then closed, and I would try cleaning it various ways and maybe doing that whole push-on-clogged-ear suction method, and it might open up for a while and then close again. Dashed inconvenient, losing an ear. Me and Van Gogh were like this.

This was the weekend, the hill I wished to die on, my Waterloo. At Walmart, I bought a box of Disney Princess panties for Brynn and an "Earwax Removal Kit" for myself. Capitalism. At home, I put in the little drops and waited for magic to happen. Nothing. I consulted the packaging and saw that a truly desperate person could attempt flushing the ear via bulb syringe, which was confirmed by that most accurate source of medical information, the Google. I dug around and found an old bulb syringe, and rinsed it with hot water and then plunged away. I shot water in my ear with a vengeance, and then vacuumed it out, and again and again. It was very satisfying, at the moment, hearing the "slpppppppppppp" directly in my ear-hole.

Post-plunging, I was dissatisfied with the lack of openness in said ear. Later that night, the ear started throbbing, followed closely by TWO DAYS OF DEBILITATING PAIN. So much better than a clogged ear!

Yesterday, I lay around in agony all day long. Seriously. It was like a drill running into my ear canal. With flames. And explosions. And insanely loud toddlers. The MOG held the world together, cleaned the house and rearranged our bedroom. I prayed for a meteor.

Today, I had enough and went to the Urgent Care clinic, where they don't care at all, about anything, ever. For 100 dollars. The doctor couldn't see in my ear, because of wax. The wax I had plunged and suctioned and NOT defeated, evidently. So I had to have an irrigation procedure, so he could make sure I didn't bust my eardrum or some such.

Is it unladylike to talk of earwax? I apologize.

Is it a little goofy to call vigorously squirting water in one's ear a "procedure"? Well, yes.

Is it a little goofy to almost pass out from slight pain during said "irrigation" and great fear of pain? No, that's totally reasonable.

I can hear now, like my left ear is miked. I haven't heard this good in years. So, totally worth writhing in pain for 2 days and an ton of cash. I think.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What? You want to hear MORE about potty-training? Fuggedaboutit. I'm sick to death of thinking about it myself. I'll say this much. We've had moderate success and great failure all day long. Not giving up. I have a strategy of not putting a diaper on her, except for bedtime, ever again. We shall see.

In other news, I have a new post up over at Bound4Life today. 

In domestic news, I am baking a small ham. I have plans to make some mashed potatoes to go with it, and I am expecting it all to be more work and take longer than planned, look kind of weird and taste pretty good. Also on the domestic front, finally put together toddler beds given to us by Leah and Nate in like, January, and Bean and Toby are very excited about a) Bean being in a big girl bed b) having matching beds and c) sleeping in the wrong one. So far, though, they're sleeping a half hour later than usual so win, win win. 

Got any questions? Topics of interest? Shoot me a comment, because the good Lord knows I am not thinking of much material myself...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

There is an interesting thing that happens when you become the parent of a toddler. Multiple things, really, but the one that I'm talking about is you suddenly care deeply about toilet training. I just lost 10 male readers. Hey, hang on! I'm not gonna be graphic, sheesh.

But really. There comes a point where you are changing diapers and the kid is narrating. That's too old to be wearing a diaper. The problem is, pee. They just pee everywhere, like animals. Is this too graphic? I have lots of friends who talk openly about numero dos, so you should be thankful I'm a Puritan.

One of my kids will likely never be toilet-trained, despite the valiant efforts of his teachers at school, who send home bags of soaked clothes every day after failed attempts all day long. It's not his fault, it's his brain's fault, and I can take that.

But there's one more kid here at my house that needs to be trained. And really, she's not because I give up too easily. So, I'm turning over a new leaf, again. Tomorrow we go cold turkey. Probably.

Because there's this part of me that thinks, oh, she'll figure it out by herself when she's good and ready, and then another part of me that thinks, holy moly, I am passing the window of opportunity and ruining her life.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We've decided. We are going to stop shacking up with our house and MARRY it. (if you loooove it so much, why don't you marry it??) You know, bloggerati, that we have been tossed by the winds and whatnot for the last couple of months. We decided to try to buy this place, and then the mortgage guy was all, like, well, you have enough MONEY, and you are legal, tax-paying citizens, and all, but your debt:income ratio tells me that you are NO GOOD.

So I quit thinking about buying this house. We can pay off this and that, and reorganize, but not by October 1st. Funny thing, though. Evidently my landlord and landlady read my blog. Hi guys! :) And they were gracious enough to allow us another 6 month lease while we get qualified to buy it. That changed everything. There's no question we qualify, it's just lining up all the numbers.

I'm excited. I've never lived in my own place, that I could change without someone else's permission. Of course, I'll still have to get approval from my priesthood head. (New here? I got that term from a FLDS tell-all book and plan to use it as much as possible) I'm on a rampage in my mind, knocking down walls and painting things.

Yesterday, we went to Lowes and bought some handles, and I mentioned offhandedly that I am painting the kitchen yellow, eventually. Back story: anyone who has sat on my couch has probably heard me say I'm painting the kitchen yellow. I have had multiple conversations with the MOG re: painting the kitchen yellow. Still, there he stood in the handle aisle at Lowes, looking at me with scorn and derision. It seems SOME people think I'm not painting the kitchen yellow. I'm so submissive, I shall wait until he goes on tour before I paint the kitchen yellow.

I guess we'll be homeowners in Missouri, and my grandchildren will be idiots.  All of you people, except the psychos, should come visit and bring a hammer and a paintbrush.

You know what else is great about this? We are homestudy approved in this house, so there won't need to be any more paperwork and such to stay adopting-able. Shut up, that's totally a word.

Monday, September 13, 2010

They say your personality is set by the time you turn 20. That's probably true, although to me it seems like it would be even younger. I've taken my share of personality tests, but they're often hard to answer. 

For example: At a party I am most likely to:
a) find a corner and try to avoid detection 
b) get in the middle of a crowd and tell some jokes 
c) find one or two friends and stay with them or 
d) hold a flaming Bible aloft and assign them all to hell. 
or some such. Insert eye-rolling here. What kind of party? Do I know everyone? Do I know NOone? Is everyone but me drunk? Does anyone in the room read my blog? What am I wearing? What time is it? Have I had anything to eat? Am I broke? Is this real life? 

The variables make all the difference. If I am at a party full of drunk people I don't know and they all read my blog, and I am not wearing a dress made of meat, then yes, I am going to get in there and tell some jokes. I love drunk people. (NOTE: I AM NOT ENDORSING DRUNKENNESS. I AM ENDORSING HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH DRUNK PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE HILARIOUS AND THEY WON'T REMEMBER IT.) I digress. 

The point is, well, really there is no point, per se. It's more the subject of the ramble is personality. And actually, that's not even it, so much. What I was wondering, 300 words ago or so, was are habits set at a certain point in life? Like, do I have to get Toby to stop picking his nose by the time he's 5 or he'll do it in college? Or, as it relates to me, can I become a neat freak at 31? Old dog, new tricks and all that... 

Oh, and I was a double Sanguine in high school. I think that was the last time I had the patience to take the whole test. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

We were driving around a few weeks ago, halfheartedly looking for a rental house to move into.  After a while we found ourselves extolling the virtues of living under a bridge. Lots of fresh air, no commitments, a variety of cars to look at, any amount of cuisine to be collected from dumpsters! Excitement! Free shopping carts! Access to wildlife! Exposure to interesting people! and more!

Despite all that, we made the agonizing decision to rent a house, with walls and a roof. Now, we're just trying to figure out where. We looked at a townhouse yesterday, because the landlord didn't mention it was a townhouse. When you live in a recording studio, sometimes it's a better idea to not live in a house that's connected to other houses. Anyway, we looked at it, and it's really an interesting, artsy space that has a scenic view of like, other townhouses and a parking lot. It might be fun for 6 months, which is the lease we're planning, for now. But it's kinda worn, so maybe not.

We also looked at a real, freestanding house in a neighborhood we like. The lady let us in and then went to sanitize something, and we roamed free by ourselves. First, we went in the basement, as that will be the business/moneymaking space and it has to work. We quickly came to the conclusion that this particular basement would be ideal for torturing people. The rest of the house was equally creepy, with beautiful floors, and so we slipped away with our lives.

Basically, we need the house we have now. Since that's not an option, we're deciding what we're willing to sacrifice, like, do we need a yard when it's about to snow for 6 months... do we HAVE to have toilets? Kidding. So, more houses to see next week and then we move by October 1st. Lord willin.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Technically, this is two days without blogging. Some of you write on your blogs once a year *cough*lindsey*cough*, and so you might be like, ho-hum. But for me, I try to keep it moving around here and have posted, you know, a lot of filler just for consistency's sake.

The last day or two, I have had plans to write something. I almost wrote about Richy making me a chart to clarify something that made everything MUCH more complex.

Then I got a catalog! which had a lot of good items to discuss, like a coffee mug shaped like a toilet, because what says "Class" like a toilet mug? There were a LOT of quality items in that catalog. I'll probably give them a post or two in the future.

Then, we went and looked at some houses, and I thought funny things about that, soundbites, if you will.

Oh, and before all that I had to ground Toby from the computer for turning the toolbar back on and typing in youtube and then searching youtube for blues clues. What, your 4 year old doesn't do that?

and more. but everytime I try to write something I get terribly distracted and lose my moxie. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So. After 16 days, my husband is home. Maybe you're new here and you're all like... "ooh, SCANDAL! Where was he? Do you know?" Well, no. I'm not sure where he was. California, mostly, but it's not a small state, and also I know he was in Utah once or twice, maybe visiting his secret Mormon wives... I jest. He doesn't have any secret Mormon wives. That I know of, anyway.

So the last few days of a tour, I just hang on. I typically yell and cry at my kids during the first week, but by the beginning of the third week, I just give up and let them cut holes in the tablecloth if they want to. Whatever it takes to have them out of my bubble.

Sometimes, I get really territorial, after the climbing and the elbowing and the kneeing and the shirt-pulling. "This is MY couch cushion," I will say, drawing a line with my hand. "You can sit anywhere else in this house, but this cushion is for Mommy only." That buys me 30 seconds until someone reasons that that cushion does not include the cushion behind my back, and climbs up on the back of the couch so they can kick me in the head, saying innocently, "But you said that cushion!"

So he's home. They drove all night, so it might be 2 days before he's mentally awake, but you know, whatever. He's home and all is right with the world. I'm sure that's how his Mormon wives feel when he comes back, too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

There's a lot of sacrifice in motherhood.

If you grow your children, you sacrifice your body to pregnancy. Nothing will ever be the same. If they come to you another way, you give your energy, your plan, your way. 

You give your sleep, your mind to an infant. You learn to train away the anger and the frustration a helpless baby can bring. You learn self-control. 

You give your right to eat when you want. Like sleep, eating is at the mercy of tiny tyrants. 

You give an intrinsic piece of yourself, the mother heart. It takes part of you away from your husband, because you are no longer just a woman, you are a mother. 

You give away privacy, modesty, secrets. They see all. After a few years, they tell all. 

You relinquish the right to be selfish, to look out for number 1, over and over and over. Number 1 changes ownership.

You might give away dreams, the you that was prior to children. Europe or the stage or business doesn't just take a back seat,  it disappears completely in the light of feeding and bathing and changing, and then teaching and learning and loving.

It happens naturally. One day you are this woman, the next day you are another woman. Once in a while, you will miss her, that pre-children you. You will miss her waist size, her smooth skin, her autonomy. But just for a minute. 

The crazy thing is, after they come into your life, they are your life. They consume your heart, your time. There is nothing that compares to loving a child. Nothing. The wildness of the joy will take your breath away. It is a glimpse of the heart of God, this passion. 

I would give anything to be where I am. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I think I'm cracking. Actually, I think I cracked last night. First, I hung up on someone in my marriage. I'll call him "Ricky" to protect his (relative) innocence. I called him back eventually and he said "Poor bunny" and such.

Then I sat on the couch and considered weeping for a while, but griped a lot instead. Got too tired to feed my kids real food, so I made them spaghetti noodles with a can of tomato sauce. That backfired because they ate it with their whole bodies, and I was too tired to bathe them, so I just lined them up firing-squad style and hosed them off with the removable shower head. Then I ate ice cream and watched mindless things on my laptop till I fell asleep.

Surprisingly, I woke up today with such an awakened sense of humor. I hit the wall, see? Now, it's just funny. I'm CRACKING UP! BATS IN THE BELFRY! FEW CLOWNS SHORT OF A CIRCUS! Really, I feel pretty good. I have no clue where we'll live in 3 weeks, or how we'll pay for it. The school wants to potty-train R2, which is great in theory, but it means I have to send 3 outfits every day and wash them every night, and dude. Every DAY? Oh, and I think I'm flunking homeschooling. And 50 other little random things that need fixing, or mailing, or paying, or what have you...

All will be well. The rent is paid, my kids are healthy, I love my husband and his travelin' self, and honestly, life is good. It ain't predictable, but it's good. All will be well.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I like to be liked. In fact, it really, really bothers me to have anyone dislike me. Being youth pastors for all those years, we did make some enemies, but as those "youts" grow up, they either a) forgive us or b) realize we were right or a combo.

Anyway, this whole wanting to be liked thing has really messed with the political side of me. I'm a conservative, Republican, basically. I have pretty much checked out of politics in the last several years, as my brain cells have been directed toward keeping my young alive, but, you know, I listen to talk radio, read the news, read blogs and try to keep up.

The thing is, I'm a relatively nice person, or at least I try to make people think that. So even if I think your political candidate is a demonized baby-killer hack, I probably won't mention it, except maybe right at election time, when I might say something along the lines of, "FYI: Your candidate was caught knifing a child last night in an alley outside a nightclub." just to keep you informed. But for the most part, I'll keep my mouth shut, and think dark thoughts about the other party and their policies and the eventual downfall of civilization based on your beliefs.

I'm just going to vote for a pro-life, fairly mainstream candidate who I think can win. And that's my right, as an American. It's your right to vote for whoever you want. I just don't like the invective.

You know? I mean, do I have to have your permission to like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin? To be okay with loving America, and not being totally against war? I feel like I have to HIDE this stuff, and that's bunk, because I have friends that are anarchists, and friends that are liberal, and friends that are libertarian, and friends that could identify every actor in Gossip Girl and not know the name of the Vice President. And maybe I think you're totally wrong- but I'm not going to be insulting and offensive about who you choose to vote for. Most of the time, anyway.

I don't know, maybe I'm just personalizing something that I should be objective about. I just feel defensive of having opinions that are mocked in the mainstream, even though I know a lot of people agree with them.

*edited to add an ending because it seems awkward to end there. So, there you go.
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