Monday, October 31, 2011

why it might be time for a tour

I've been in a rut, writing-wise. Try saying that 3 times fast. How'd you like them seashells, Sally? Anyhoo. It's just been hard to think of what to write, although funny things happen to me all day long.

One problem is, the MOG has been home for weeks, and anytime that happens he starts getting crazy ideas about cleaning the bathrooms and covering the house in Windex. So he'll walk through, sighing loudly and interrupting my Facebook flow, and eventually he will convince me to join him in his quest for the sanctification of our home, and so I will leave you and take up my broom, and I'll sweep for a while, but then somebody texts me and I forget I was sweeping. Post-text, I'll wash a few dishes, but maybe something diverting occurs and I take to the web to share my joy in being shocked by a wire under the sink or what have you, and then Pinterest happens. 

Moments later, he tromps in from raking or some other manly cleaning activity, with his official work boots and paint-covered jeans, all decked out like a cowgirl's dream, and he is unsettled by my level of activity. So I get up and fold a few towels, but then he catches Tristan eating Cheerios out of my forsaken sweeping pile, and sometimes he has to take a cup of coffee on the porch, where it is clean, to recuperate. 

Chastened, I decide to clean, really clean. So I do some good work, sweeping and straightening and vacuuming. I even clean the kitchen floor, and I take a step back to enjoy one clean room. "MOM!" comes the victory cry. "LOOK AT OUR LEAF FORT IN THE SUNROOM! ON THE RUG! AND LOOK AT THIS ART WE MADE WITH PLAYDOH AND GLUE! ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL?

I don't doubt that someday, I will have a clean house. I have a few plans for how that might happen. 1) Become wealthy and hire a staff. 2) that's really my only plan. 



Chime in! What are some topics you'd like me to blog about? The brain, she are tired. 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

slices of life: for the voyeurs.

• I have a lazy eye, which means my right eye is really dominant, and I basically don't use my left eye. To sum up, I am not bifocal. This makes 3D movies an exercise in frustration, where things are still slightly blurry and I leave with a headache. Last night I watched Three Musketeers in 3D, which is like... 9? Multiplicationwise. Went to bed with a headache, had weird dreams. (movie review? sure. weak writing around what was a strong book, lots of logic leaps. pretty actors, lots of people getting "sworded" as Toby would describe it. It was still fun)
Also, the lazy eye crosses very slightly when I am exhausted. For celebrity examples of slightly crossed eyes, see Liv Tyler and Reba McEntire. I'm in good company. Or at least pretty company, I don't know them personally and cannot vouch for their character, so quit pressuring me about that.

• Today, in an attempt to glue a pumpkin stem on with Super Glue, (note to 4 and 5 year olds: pumpkins are not bowling balls) I inadvertently got Super Glue all over my hands. Now I am like a mannequin, like a mannequin that's been out in the sun and is kind of crackly and peeling, but definitely not human. In fact, I am typing with creepy mannequin hands as we speak, or as you read, rather. The only speaking I'm doing is "mmm-hmm, sure, yeah, okay." I may have just authorized something truly terrible, only time will tell.

• Tristan is a little bit sick. I took him to the doctor, because he told me he was dying, in baby language in the middle of the night, and she said he is getting some teeth, but nothing serious, and that it's "probably a virus". Y'all, I think I've told you about medical professionals saying "probably". I'd rather they just make something up. "Oh yeah," they'd say, looking at their medical book, "this is definitely an virus, called Poculathenesis. Seen it a million times. Just give him Tylenol every 6 hours." I'd eat that UP.

I CAN'T FEEL MY FINGERS.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

in which I fail to make a friend

I'm a friendly cat, born in the South, you know, apt to strike up conversations at Walmart or the doctor's office or whatever. And I can usually always find common ground with somebody, if I try. Every now and then, though, I (probably all of us) strike out. You try one ball, something easy, like a popular movie or whatever, and they're all awkward and they haven't seen it and their friend died while watching that movie, or something awful, or you refer to kids or a husband or a house or whatever, and you just keep striking out.

Today I met a new mom at gymnastics, and she asked me about Halloween, and I said we basically ignore it, and she was all like, can I ask why? And then I'm all awkward because I try to explain in a non-judgmental way, that it's all the death and gore and plastic corpses hanging from my neighbors tree and neighborhoods full of sex offenders. And children dressed like prostitutes or serial killers, with no shame or horror at murder. And the weirdness of panhandling at stranger's doors. I said that really nicely, but it was still kind of awkward. And then she was like, we're being a princess... and a scarecrow and a pirate... and I was awkward in return. And I tried to say, we like costumes, and candy, all year round, but that point I was already the Judgmental Lady, all in her house and judging.

Then somehow she brought up going back to school and working out of the home, and I was trying to be all supportive and stuff, but somehow it sounded like I was saying she worked for fun, like she wanted to get out of the house, and she was all like, I work for money. I don't know. It was just not smooth at all, and I hate that kind of thing, because I can make friends with anybody, usually. I'm surprised she didn't try talking some politics.

And if you trick-or-treat, don't get all offended because seriously, I am a nice person, unless you have animatronic witches in your yard and dress your 4 year old in a Pretty Woman costume. Stop that.

Friday, October 21, 2011

validation and being an accepted mess

One of my favorite things about blogging is the community of it. I love to say something random, like "There is nothing grosser than wet cardboard", and someone responds and says, "Yes! Yes, that is the grossest thing! I validate your opinion!" On second thought, maybe that's not a totally healthy reason to love blogging. Nonetheless, I love that. I've come to realize that most of what I feel is shared, not normal, per se, but there are more people than just me who would rather have a root canal than talk on the phone for 20 minutes.

It's a fundamental human need, to be understood. I was such a lonely kid, because I was weird, and there were only 60 kids, maybe, in the whole school, and none of them were like me. Eventually I figured out how to find things in common with people, and it got easier after that, although there were strange corners of my brain that only got to be explored when I met random other kids, usually who had been homeschooled by hippies or something, or when I talked to their hippy parents, or my own hippy parents. 

There are those moments, as an adult, that I feel alone in the world, usually because of R2, and his disabilities. There are tons of people that love him, but I carry a special burden, because I'm his mom and surely I should be able to fix him, or at least know what to do. I don't, though. I feel like I'm improvising half the time and phoning it in the rest of the time. Once a month, I get to go to a support group for moms of special kids, and it is always a relief, just to say, this is how I feel, this is how it is, and they say, yeah, that's how it is. And none of us really have an answer, but sometimes, having somebody say, yeah, that's how it is, is enough. 

I'm not saying you can only be friends with people who have similar problems, or that people without significant problems are lame. I'm just saying it's nice to be understood, and that you and I are not alone in our human experience. And that's good. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

schedules and neuroses

In the morning, I have such good intentions. Not every day, mind you. Some days I wake up and think, I'm not going to do a darn thing today. I am going to lay here (or lie here, if I'm feeling all grammatically correct of a morning), and I am not going to get up, even if Toby launches a rocketship made of common household materials, right off my roof. Those days, not such great intentions. And they never work out, anyway, because if Mohammed doesn't go to the mountain, the mountain comes and gets in Mohammed's bed with birthday cake remnants in their hair, complaining about Flash errors, or app update passwords, or reporting unauthorized defecation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the new kid

Teenagers are different from kids. Also, they are the same as kids. But different. There's not really any point questioning me, you just have to believe whatever I say, because this is the internet.

But one thing that is different is, teenagers are almost adults, and as such, you can't really write blogs about them, because maybe they don't want their business on the internet, because they look hideous and everyone thinks so. Or whatever. And maybe you think they look great, and maybe you miss being a size 1, but you're an adult, and a relative, so you're required to think that. So.

My point is, I have to figure out how to talk about my semi-temporary 5th kid, because I am adjusting just like I do every time a new person joins my family, but I have to figure out how to talk about all the transitiony (don't question me) stuff, without embarrassing the new addition, who can read already.

It's so weird how kids grow up, and this niece who I clearly remember as a baby is taller than me, and is right on the verge of adulthood, and she's interesting and so smart and funny. It makes me a little bit less panicked about my little kids growing up, because I think I will like them even more as teenagers.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

thirtythree


As of today, I am 33 years old. Well, it's my today, your tomorrow, which will be your today, which makes my birthday yesterday. It doesn't really matter. The point is, I am 33.

I am 33. Can you believe that? I remember my oldest sister (who is not old) talking about a show called thirtysomething, back when I was knee high to a grasshopper, and I remember thinking 30 was ancient. Now I am thirtysomething, and I still have absolutely no interest in watching that show.

I am feeling my age, a little. I've been a parent for nearly 13 years, but my oldest is more like a toddler, so I am just getting a crash course in parenting a teenager with my Teenager-in-Residence. Today we met with the high school counselor to make a plan, and the 50something counselor made reference to "people our age". She backed up and said something about me being much younger, but it made its mark.

You know what, though? It's not that big of a deal, getting older. I am figuring out that I grow every year. I get fatter, but also, in a philosophical sense. I understand the value of time more and more. I know what a year means, what a year of hardening my heart and hiding from the world feels like, what it produces. I also know what it feels like to try to push my boundaries and love people, regardless of whether that is comfortable. When I look back on a year like that, I feel exhausted, but rich. So I want to live that way. I want my heart to expand every year, and when I am old,like 90, I want to be deep and generous and wise and still giving.

I also want to be a gazillionaire.

33. Holy moly.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am frightened to death, and discover I am weak

Sometimes, you come face to face with your humanity. You know? You power through unbearable obstacles, and survive. You struggle and you fight and you win, over and over again, and then are suddenly brought low by something much lesser than the battles you've won.

I have chipmunks, in my house. They, like me, live here. I want them to die. Back when they lived in the backyard, we were at peace. Even when they occasionally made appearances in the sunroom, but bolted back into their secret hellholes, I basically ignored them. Now they've started chilling in the real house, where I live. Today, I saw one run through my kitchen and disappear into the house. Where did it go? I wondered, panicked. Is it in my bed? 


Monday, October 10, 2011

rememorating: a year ago

reposting from a year ago:


I didn’t sleep last night. Did you?

I was dreaming about your baby. Is that weird? Did you dream about him too? Did he keep you awake with his kicking? There’s a bag by my bed with three onesies and 6 tiny pairs of socks. I think, even in the dark, I was aware of it.

Read the rest of this post
here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

enlarging our borders: workout for the heart

I'm starting to get that feeling. It's kind of like a soul itch, to try to put it in words. It's this feeling, this sense that things are about to change, and it used to scare me pretty bad, because I'm not such the fan of change. You scoff at that, because I change my hair color every 6 minutes, but that's different. I used to not like major change. In fact, I think I still don't. But I've jumped enough times now that I know what it feels like to be led by God, and caught by God.

There's kind of an exercise I like to put myself through, though... just thinking about what I could do, would do. I think about taking in foster kids, sibling groups.  I think about adopting special needs kids. I think about adopting a little girl from an orphanage in China. I think about writing a book, about renovating a house, about blowing the lid off of the widespread abortion of special needs children, I think about doing more, being more. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

mommy guilt

I feel relatively guilty about not blogging for days. On the guilt scale, maybe a 3, though. Not blogging has to get in line. I have a lot of things to be guilty about. ("Oooh," you say, sitting up straighter, "scandal!") I'm sorry, I have a pretty weak amount of scandal around here. No, I just have this slightly overactive guilt complex.

I've never been analyzed by a professional, although the MOG casts doubt on my sanity on a regular basis. "You're acting NUTS!", he says. "Well, you're MEAN." I counter. Jess: 1, MOG: 0.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

and we don't sound, like Madonna...

When the MOG is not cleaning the kitchen with dishtowels or eating cereal in my bed, he's usually on the road with a band of musicians and intercessors, praying, preaching and making music. They also make CDs, and every one is a labor of love, love for God and the church. I'm really proud of this album, I think it's so good, and I don't even care if I'm biased.

Go check it out on iTunes and then buy it! Or if you're more analog and you want a physical copy for your 4 year old to stick in your VCR (you said you were analog), then go over to radiantworship.com and order one!


Radiant Worship: Boldly Close on iTunes

and share the love! Post or tweet this on your various social networks!
Just released!! "RADIANT WORSHIP - Boldly Close" on iTunes!  // buy it, review it, share the link, share the love.

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