Thursday, December 27, 2007

300 miles/Sir Topham Hatt's Pimp Hand

My husband is awesome. I submit to you as evidence, Exhibit A:

We're lollygagging in Jackson's room, playing with blocks. Tim is burning some vacation days this week lest he lose them at the end of the year.

Me: So what do you want to do today?
Him: I dunno. What do you want to do?
Me: I really want a cream slush and some cheese tots.
Him: Is there a Sonic here now?
Me: No, the closest one is in Peoria.
Him: How far away is Peroria? (He can't say Peoria.)

Me: PEE-OR-EE-UH. It's 2 1/2 hours away.
Him: Hmmm. What else is there?
Me: There are museums and stuff. It's a pretty big city.
Him: Hmmm. We should call and make sure they're open. They may be closed for the season.
Me: Giggity giggity!

He goes to the phone and calls 411.
411: City and State, please
Him: Perora, IL
411: City and State, please
Me: (yelling from upstairs) PEE-OR-EE-UH!
Him: Peeoreeuh, IL
411: What name?
Him: Sonic.

Information is then dispensed, he calls and they are open until 11. W00T!!!!111! And a road trippin' we go.

3 hours later, we arrive here:


Be still my heart.

One extra long chili cheese coney with onions (yes I ate "meat" and yes it was delicious), cheese tots and an orange cream slush later, I am a fat and happy girl.

And he would drive 300 miles
And he would drive 300 more
Just to be the man who took me to Sonic.
(insert "dada dadat da's" and guitar riff here)

It was a good day.

On the way home, Jackson got a little fussy so we turned on his DVD player, which had a Thomas video in it.

Tim: "I don't know how Sir Topham Hatt keeps that business together. I mean, there are always trains derailed and trains that are late and trains spilling stinky cheese. How does he ever get any business?"

Me: "You know Sir Topham Hatt doesn't actually exist, right?"

Him: "I'm just saying. I mean, I would never hire his trains. Then again, I guess he has a monopoly on freight since he has the only train line on the Island of Sodor."

Me: "The Island of Sodor isn't real. Thomas the Tank Engine episodes are not true stories."

Him: (completely ignoring my truthiness) "Yeah, he has a huge monopoly on all the freight so he can charge whatever he wants and if your stinky cheese gets spilled, oh well who else are you going to ship it with? Man, that Sir Topham Hatt. His pimp hand is strong."

And that's when I laughed really hard, and loved him just a little bit more. Any guy who will drive 300 miles in one day to fulfill my desire for cream slushes and cheese tots and then can pull off a sentence about a cartoon in which a pimp hand is referenced...that guy wins my heart every time.

It was a very good day.

And as you can see, Ladies and Gentleman, from my examples given here, my husband is awesome. I rest my case.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Does this thing Clark?

Hysterical thing happened today that I had to share:

So I've been going crazy sewing pj pants for Jackson. First I got some moose print flannel. Those came out darling! So then I made shorts of the same stuff. Super cute! I found some monkey print flannel at Joann's that was regular $6.99, on sale for $2 but it was the very last of the bolt so they gave me selvage price for it, which is half off so it was $1 a yard. Yippee!

Dummy me didn't even consider that I would require additional notions to complete my project when I scored monkey fabric for a buck a yard. I was too happy to have monkey pants to make.

I decided this afternoon that I wanted to make the monkey pants while Jackson napped. I laid out the fabric and pattern and learned I had enough to make 2 pairs of pants and 2 pairs of shorts. Yippee! Monkey pants for Moose and maybe one or two of his friends! (If your kid wears a 2T, let me know.)

I asked Tim to please go to Joann's for me to get me thread and elastic
while I pinned and cut . He comes back a long while later, exasperated from traffic and choosing the right thread.

Him: "I didn't know what kind to get. Is that kind okay?"
Me: "Yes, it's great, thank you so much for going for me."
Him: "They had all these different kinds, quilting thread, heavy duty thread, all purpose thread, and something called coats and clark. I didn't want to get that kind because I know you're not making a coat and I don't know if your machine clarks. The one I got said coats so I was worried it was the wrong kind."
Me: "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

After laughing so hard I cried and nearly peed myself, I explained that "Coats and Clark" is a brand, and it is not specifically for coats. Also, "clarking" is not a sewing machine function.

But upon further review, my machine does make a decorative scalloped stitch, which looks like a big "C" so I'm going to officially call that "Clarking". ;)

Merry Christmoose!

P.S. I didn't get a chance to write Christmas cards this year, so don't take it personally. We might do Happy New Years cards instead!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Story of Us: Part Three. Merging = Being Nice To People You Don't Know

So sorry for not updating this in so long. We had an internet service outage. It was NOT Comcastic! Our cable was fine, but our internet was out because "the signal was coming into the house too strong". Tell me if that doesn't sound like a load of hot, steaming BS. Ugh. Anyway, back to our story.

It was November of 2004. November 9th, actually. (I also remember what I was wearing, but that is immaterial to the story). The Bridge, Jason, has decided that he can't live if livin' is without me. He weeps over losing me. I feel nothing. I didn't fall madly in love with him and want to spend the rest of my life with him because A) he wasn't the One for me and B) that's why I was with him in the first place, because I knew he would never want to be married or have kids, so he was a safe choice to go out with. Love was off the table, or so I thought.

I had finally decided that I had enough of feeling alone, enough of feeling like I'm still one half of a whole, and decided I'd go put myself out there and see what I could find. What I found first was Mike. Mike wasn't really that great looking but he had a good smile and seemed charming at first. Then we sat down, I ordered a drink and asked him if he wanted anything (because I was all into being in charge at the moment - this pays off for me later in the story) and he said, "No, I can't drink as part of my probation I just got out of jail for child molestation." And then he died laughing, like that was the BEST LINE EVER. I looked up at the waitress and said, I don't think I'll need that drink after all. I stood up and said, "I'm an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and I don't find joking about it funny AT ALL" and walked out, with my head held high, my amazing tits leading the way out (in a very cute and well cut top) and my ass jiggling just enough to make it hurt him. Fricking idiot. (Please note: the post-baby body bears small resemblance to the 11/09/04 body).

Then I went to The Ram. I found a cute boy there with blond highlights, blue eyes (I am such a sucker for bright blue eyes!), perfect teeth, and the perfect height for me. Yummy.

This is a good time to explain my 6-6-6 Theory of Husband Finding. The minimum requirements for my match had been reduced to this: 6 feet, 6 inches, 6 figures. Yes, that is horribly vain, shallow and materialistic but by this time in life I was 30. The Lady knows what she needs and wants. I knew what would keep me physically attracted and financially secure. A younger and stupider, more naive version of me had married for love before. It worked out poorly. If I was ever going to do it again, it would be for love with someone I knew would provide for all my needs in every way.

So I walk up to Yummy Boy, and say "I want a Sapphire and Tonic, and I think you should buy it for me." He says okay, and gets me a drink. Because he's naturally mellow and easy going, and seriously I am rocking the hell out of my cleavage tonight.

And drinks turned into appetizers, and appetizers turned into dinner, and dinner turned into dessert, and dessert turned into after dinner cocktails until basically they kicked us out. And while we sat there, we talked about everything. My work, his work (IT consultant, working on an SAP R3 conversion - salary minimum met!), our volunteer work, religion, our divorces, family, our desire for a family, adoption, foster parenting, pets, politics, sports (I'm the sports fan, he didn't know what a field goal was), cars, fashion (he has a strong love for all things Versace), plastic surgery (we've both been under the knife), just...everything. And as I sat there, I kept thinking over and over, "this guy is such a great match for me!". I mean, in every way he totally is. I probably could have been persuaded to bend the rules on one or two of the 6's. Thankfully, I didn't have to.

He walked me out to my car, gave me a hug and then a sweet small kiss goodnight. I called my best friend and told her I was going to get married again. Just as too many people had advised me in the past: when you meet The Right One, you just know. I just knew. I didn't feel like I was just one half of a whole anymore. I had found that other half - the one whom as Jerry McGuire put it, "completes me".

The next week, he asked me out to dinner Friday night. I picked a Japanese teppanyaki place. We had blue Hawaiians and steak and shrimp, then went back to his place to watch a movie. Before too long, it was nearly midnight and I had to get back to my place. I had the cable guy coming out between 8 am and 1 pm (so specific!) but in the event he showed up at 8 am, I wanted to be awake for it. Before I headed home, he asked me if he could take me to the movies the next day, after the cable guy was done. I told him I'd check my schedule and let him know (still trying to maintain an aura of cool and not act too eager).

We saw the Incredibles on Saturday afternoon, and after the movie we went back to his place to figure out dinner. We wanted to stay in, but it was obvious that there hadn't been a trip to the grocery store in a while. This was when I slipped into Kitchen MacGyver mode and made a garlic cream sauce with veggies over pasta. I found a bottle of wine and voila, it was dinner. Tim was amazed. He didn't want me to leave, but night fell and I departed after dinner.

The following Monday, the conversion project at work that he had been prepping for kicked off. He began working literally around the clock. He'd leave for work at 7 am and get home around midnight, nap for a couple of hours and then leave to do it all over again, 7 days a week. He missed me, so he gave me a key to his apartment and asked me to stay there a few nights a week, so he could at least see me and talk to me for a little while, half asleep, before he passed out of exhaustion. I missed him too, and I knew that this crazy period was part of the conversion when he said he was going to do it, so I obliged.

Thanksgiving came. We went together to the Lincoln Park Community Shelter to prepare turkey dinner for 50 homeless people. It was a really beautiful experience, and we did it for two years as a part of Singles Social and Service Chicago. Then we weren't single anymore, we got pregnant, and now we're forging some new family traditions together. Anyway, back to the shelter. We were working on some twice baked potatoes and talking about the ravages of cancer treatment. I said, "If I lost all my hair, would you still love me?" And he said, "Of course." And I said, "A-HA! You DO love me!" And he was all ashamed and blushing and said I tricked him. Ha ha.

Christmas came. Tim is from Maryland, and he has no family in Illinois. He moved here for his college sweetheart who is now his ex-wife. The tradition in my family is that we gather on Christmas Eve, have a fabulous feast together, then wait until midnight and open our gifts in one massive, wild frenzy of flying paper and ribbons. My cousin Tracy usually hosts, and I called her to ask if I could bring my new boyfriend. I told her he was really special and I thought he was The One. She was all excited to meet him, so I brought him with. All of my cousins had bought him gifts so he could have something to open during our gift exchange, and Tracy even made him a stocking to hang with the rest of ours. It was so sweet how my family loved and accepted him without even meeting him. They really made Tim feel like part of the family right from the beginning. My cousins are awesome women.

That night, we got back to Tim's apartment and unloaded our loot. At that point, we were technically not yet living together. I still had my apartment, but nobody slept there, including my two cats. We just hadn't yet made that leap yet, although I was ready to. I didn't pressure Tim, because it was nice to know I still had my space if things went awry.

We sat on his living room floor, noshing on Christmas cookies and talking about how wonderful our first Christmas together had been, when he asked me to move in. He said he was certain that we were supposed to be together and he wanted to build a future with me and be with me and I'm already there anyways, so let's move my stuff out of my apartment and get my mail forwarded. After he became a part of my extended family that night, he didn't want to leave and he didn't want me to leave his house either.

I moved out of my apartment at New Years. It was a good thing too, because by the end of January my position had been eliminated and I lost my job - I wouldn't have been able to afford my own rent on unemployment anyway!

We co-habitated from that point on. On October 3, 2005, we had just returned home from picking up burritos from our favorite tacqueria when in the kitchen, Tim asked me if I would share burritos with him forever and he presented me with my super awesome beautiful 2.5 ct 3 stone engagement ring. Of course I said yes, and we've been sharing burritos ever since.

And that is how one year, one month and one day after we first met, we got married, barefoot on the beach of St. Thomas on December 10, 2005. One thing we both wanted more than anything was to start a family - which we had discussed at our very first date - and once we were married, we started trying. On February 13, 2006 (the day before Valentine's Day), we found out we were pregnant.

Jackson Phoenix was born September 28th, nine months and three weeks after our wedding. And just like that, in the wink of an eye, everything I have ever wanted for my life came to be.

And that, my friends, is the Story of Us.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Story of Us: Part Two - Take 'em to the bridge!

Ah, The Bridge. The Bridge was a Pharmacist from San Francisco. He was funny and cute and charming. We shared a love for the 49ers, which is why we originally spoke to each other. He introduced me to the wonders of the Ben Stiller Show (years after it was cancelled), made me fall in love with The City (but not enough to live there, I'm a Burbie Girl), made me laugh, made me cry, and made me believe that A) I deserved more and that B) Good guys existed, and I could find love again.

He tolerated my penchant for $30 lip glosses and let me teach him culinary skillz. We loved music of all kinds, and we enjoyed seeking out new artists to share with each other. We loved Joss Stone before anyone had ever heard of her, and swayed together at HOB for her first tour. She was so charming and humble and cute - she couldn't believe that so many people paid to hear her sing. On Sunday mornings, he'd go get us bagels and tea and the Sunday Trib, then we'd lounge on the rooftop of his Lakeshore apartment, reading, noshing and sipping and watching the world drift by. We'd go out dancing with my cousins, and made up stupid dance moves like "Driving The Bus" and "Doing the Momo" (an imitation of my cat trying to scratch the side of the couch). That "teaching the dumb white guy how to dance" in the movie Hitch? They totally stole our smack.

After quite some time of spending my life with him, the lesson he taught me had been learned. I deserved more. I wanted more. I wanted more, but not more of him. I wanted the house in the suburbs and dogs and babies and it was painfully obvious to me that this guy wasn't going to be the one I experienced that with.

We went out to see The Polar Express in 3D IMAX, and as I drove him to the Blue Line station, I told him. We weren't going to be a we anymore. We promised that no matter what the outcome of our relationship, we would always be friends and I sincerely wanted that.

He was crushed. There was crying. He said that he had finally decided that maybe he could try to do the house and the marriage and the suburbs (he never wanted any of that, which is why he was "safe" for me) but that if he ever did that, he would only do it for me.

It was never my intention to try to force him into the mold of what I wanted in a husband and partner. He would have been sacrificing too much of what he loved in order to try to make me happy. We all know that never would have worked.

And so we parted ways. It's taken awhile, but we're cool now. In that slow, magical way that time soothes hearts, the painful and ugly parts of our past have melted away and only good memories remain for both of us. He's back in San Fransisco now, caring for his ailing mother. And I'm married and happy and have the house and the dogs and the baby and the life he made me believe I could have. The life he gave me permission to demand.

And I demanded it. From that very first moment I spoke to Hubster, and told him I wanted a Sapphire and Tonic and thought he should buy it for me. But that, dear friends, is a story for another day...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Story of Us: Part One. Where We Came From

Hubster and I were both previously married.

GASP!

But divorce is a SIN and God hates divorce and how could you???

Well, divorce is a sin but so is a husband abusing and being unfaithful to his wife. And as much as God hates sin, I think He also hated that I was suffering and miserable and hurt and scared. God never wants His children to suffer if there is a way to make it stop.

My ex didn't beat me. I wish he did. It would have hurt less. Instead, he told me stuff like how I was completely worthless, I should have been aborted, I was an idiot, stuff like that. And when I told him that you don't talk to people you love like that, he told me that if I didn't like it, I could leave.

So one day, I decided that leaving sounded like a perfectly good idea and I left.

After my departure, he started going on online dating sites to meet someone new. We were ostensibly in marital counseling when I discovered he had been dating another woman. The counseling was over, and papers were filed. Done and done.

Enter: the bridge. The one who got me from there to here. The one who made me believe in love again. The one who tickled my funny bone and loved my big, sexy brain and made up crazy dance moves with me just to make me laugh.

After Dave my ex husband and before Tim, the best person I've ever met there was Jason. He was The Bridge.

I'll tell you all about him...another day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two

Today is mine and my husband's second wedding anniversary. This one is much improved over our first wedding anniversary, which was spent taking care of our newborn son as he recovered from major abdominal surgery.

Yes, this year is far better.

This year, our Christmas tree is up and actually half decorated. The upper half is decorated. The lower half has fallen prey to tiny, curious hands. I don't think there will be any presents this year, which is fine. We have both already exchanged early Christmas gifts. I got him a fancy dancy learning remote control. One remote to rule them all, you might say. This is better than a universal remote, it is programmable (via USB connection to a computer!) to control stuff like your home's lighting too! He got me a new sewing machine. It's electronic, does blind hems and overlocks. This is quite the big fat hairy deal to me and I'm really excited to set up my sewing room.

As I look around my little home, I am struck with thanks for my wonderful little life.

Finally.

It was quite a journey to get here. Maybe I'll tell you The Story of Us in the next few weeks. It will help you understand our long journey Home.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes...

These are a few of Jackson's favorite things (to eat):

1) Anything with garlic. Preferably, lots of garlic.
2) Sushi.
3) Odwalla Superfood juice. Benefit of feeding a baby: he doesn't know that green juice looks nasty.
4) Freeze dried peas. I swear, probably 75% of his vegetable intake is in freeze dried pea form. (And a great deal of the balance comes from that green juice!)
5) Blueberry anything.
6) Cream of Wheat. Oatmeal is the white death to him, but he can't get enough farina.
7) Baby Goldfish crackers. But not the normal ones, only the "Baby" ones that are half the size of a regular goldfish cracker. Tiny is the new black.
8) Good milk. Moose has become a milk connoisseur. Dean's Milk Chug? Sister, please. Jackson requires that his milk be fresh from the farm, unhomogenized, VAT pasteurized, from organically pastured Jersey cows.
But not Holsteins, only Jersey cows need apply. Preferably, local Jersey cows. This emphasizes the freshness. (His milk of choice is Crystal Ball Farms' whole, in a glass bottle please.) In his defense, I have side by side taste tested his preferred milk and regular grocery store milk and his fresh organic milk is WAY better. I guess if I drank a quart of it a day, I'd prefer the good stuff too.
9) Shrimp. Fried shrimp, shrimp kebab, shrimp cocktail, shrimp salad (insert your own Forrest Gump joke here). You get the picture. Homeboy loves shrimp. I think he likes shrimp more than my former cats do! (Shout out to Coupon Chris, who is now the loving mama to my former furbabies.)
10) Hyland's Teething Tablets. This one cracks me up. Now I lay them out for him and he gently picks them up with thumb and forefinger, and delicately places them on his tongue for a interlude of melty and sweet teething pain relief. We call them "Toothies". I'll say, "Do you need Toothies?" and he will sit and wait for aforementioned Toothies to be dispensed for him to savor.
11) Gerber "Meat Sticks". When I feed these to him, they make me shiver with guilt. Meat Sticks? MEAT STICKS? Really? Marketing couldn't come up with anything else more palatable sounding - like, say "Little Sausages" or something?

There are plenty more, but these are all I can think of right now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

In Your Eyes

It snowed yesterday, and it made me cry.

As you may or may not remember, my favorite season is Spring. But before the Spring, Winter must come - and with it, our first snowfall.

Is there anything more beautiful than that perfect, pristine, first snowfall? As I peeled back the blinds on the patio door last night to let the dogs out, the spotless perfection of my back yard struck me. "This is how God sees me now" I thought.

Before we ask for His forgiveness, all He can see in us is our dark and sinful heart. All He can see is that deep, black blot on our soul that is keeping us from Him. But after accepting His grace, salvation and love, we are washed clean and from that day forward God sees us through Christ - perfect, pure and pristine. He doesn't see the sins of our past. He doesn't even remember them. As soon as we are forgiven, they are gone and the furthest thing from His mind as He looks down upon us.

How amazing is that?


Friday, November 30, 2007

An excellent, evil, awful idea

Satan works in Marketing. At Nestle. How else can you explain this?

Only the Devil himself would place a 40 ounce TUB OF COOKIE DOUGH in my refrigerator.

Get thee behind me, Satan! And pass the cookie dough and a spoon! ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rap Charts

These are great - they reminded me of the Indexed blog. Here are some popular rap songs, with their lyrics charted/graphed out for those who appreciate a visual presentation over an aural one. My favs are the first two and the last one.

P.S. If you've never heard Ben Folds' cover of "Bitches Ain't Shit", I implore you to download it posthaste.













Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Invisible Mom

This is long, but worth reading and saving for a rainy day - you know, those days when you doubt if all the work you put into being a great mom is ever going to be noticed. The days where you think, "Oh, I used to be brilliant and cute and I used to look really good in jeans!" Save it for that day. Or if you're having that day today, get your hankie out before you read on...

This is to all moms - and moms to be ---------

"Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible"

I'm Invisible

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.


Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'


In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The More You Know....

When trying to research how to grow a vegetable garden in pots on your patio, do not Google "pot gardening". What you want is not going to come up.

Also, when trying to shop online for sporting equipment, dicks.com is not the website for Dick's Sporting Goods.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Me and Daughtry

I'm going home.

I'm so excited. After a season of blondeness, I am really ready. I am ready to wear my lipsticks again. Ready to not look washed out and tired. I am ready to return to my God-ordained, brunette beauty.

I shall never roam again.

God was the best colorist I ever had - who was I to think I could improve upon His immaculate design? A damn fool, that's who I was.

I have been gradually climbing my way out of a bleached abyss, going from warm dark blonde to chestnut. Now, a concoction of half "chocolate cherry" and half dark brown is on my head (my natural color has a lot of red undertones, hence the chocolate cherry) and in a half hour I will have returned to brunette glory. I can't wait!

Photos coming, once my transformation is complete...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Barack Obama's Address to the Jefferson Jackson Dinner - November 10, 2007

I really, really, really LOVED this speech. It has the same vital energy as his 2004 DNC speech.


I think I'd actually watch the State of the Union addresses if he were prez...

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Des Moines, Iowa

Thank you so much. To the great Governor of Iowa and Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. To my dear friend Tom Harkin for the outstanding work that he does. To the congressional delegation of Iowa that is doing outstanding work, and to Nancy Pelosi, Madam Speaker -- thank you all for the wonderful welcome and the wonderful hospitality.

A little less than one year from today, you will go into the voting booth, and you will select the President of the United States of America.

Now, here's the good news -- the name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot. The name of my cousin Dick Cheney will not be on the ballot. (We've been trying to hide that for a long time. Everybody has a black sheep in the family.) The era of Scooter Libby justice, and Brownie incompetence, and Karl Rove politics will finally be over.

But the question you're going to have to ask yourself when you caucus in January and you vote in November is, "What's next for America?"

We are in a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril. The dream that so many generations fought for feels as if it's slowly slipping away. We are working harder for less. We've never paid more for health care or for college. It's harder to save, and it's harder to retire. And most of all, we've lost faith that our leaders can or will do anything about it.

We were promised compassionate conservatism, and all we got was Katrina and wiretaps. We were promised a uniter, and we got a President who could not even lead the half of the country that voted for him. We were promised a more ethical and more efficient government, and instead we have a town called Washington that is more corrupt and more wasteful than it was before. And the only mission that was ever accomplished is to use fear and falsehood to take this country to a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged.

It is because of these failures that America is listening, intently, to what we say here today -- not just Democrats, but Republicans and Independents who've lost trust in their government but want to believe again.

And it is because of these failures that we not only have a moment of great challenge, but also a moment of great opportunity. We have a chance to bring the country together in a new majority -- to finally tackle problems that George Bush made far worse but that had festered long before George Bush ever took office -- problems that we've talked about year after year after year after year.

And that is why the same old Washington textbook campaigns just won't do in this election. That's why not answering questions because we are afraid our answers won't be popular just won't do. That's why telling the American people what we think they want to hear instead of telling the American people what they need to hear just won't do. Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we're worried about what Mitt or Rudy might say about us just won't do. If we are really serious about winning this election, Democrats, we can't live in fear of losing it.

This party -- the party of Jefferson and Jackson, of Roosevelt and Kennedy -- has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we led, not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we summoned the entire nation to a common purpose -- a higher purpose. And I run for the Presidency of the United States of America because that's the party America needs us to be right now.

A party that offers not just a difference in policies, but a difference in leadership.

A party that doesn't just focus on how to win but why we should.

A party that doesn't just offer change as a slogan, but real, meaningful change -- change that America can believe in.

That's why I'm in this race. That's why I am running for the Presidency of the United States of America -- to offer change that we can believe in.

I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists -- and won. They have not funded my campaign; they will not get a job in my White House; and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am President.

I'm in this race to take those tax breaks away from companies that are moving jobs overseas and put them in the pockets of hard working Americans who deserve it. And I won't raise the minimum wage every ten years -- I will raise it to keep pace so that workers don't fall behind.

That is why I am in it. To protect the American worker. To fight for the American worker.

I'm in this race because I want to stop talking about the outrage of 47 million Americans without health care and start actually doing something about it. I expanded health care in Illinois by bringing Democrats and Republicans together. By taking on the insurance industry. And that is how I will make certain that every single American in this country has health care they can count on. And I won't do it twenty years from now. I won't do it ten years from now. I will do it by the end of my first term as President of the United States of America.

I run for President to make sure that every American child has the best education that we have to offer -- from the day they are born to the day they graduate from college. And I won't just talk about how great teachers are -- as President, I will reward them for their greatness -- by raising salaries and giving them more support. That's why I'm in this race.

I am running for President because I am sick and tired of Democrats thinking that the only way to look tough on national security is by talking, and acting, and voting like George Bush Republicans.

When I am this party's nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don't like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is OK for America to torture -- because it is never ok. That's why I am in it.

As President, I will end the war in Iraq. We will have our troops home in sixteen months. I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century -- nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now."

America, our moment is now.

Our moment is now.

I don't want to spend the next year or the next four years re-fighting the same fights that we had in the 1990s.

I don't want to pit Red America against Blue America; I want to be the President of the United States of America.

And if those Republicans come at me with the same fear-mongering and swift-boating that they usually do, then I will take them head on. Because I believe the American people are tired of fear and tired of distractions and tired of diversions. We can make this election not about fear, but about the future. And that won't just be a Democratic victory; that will be an American victory.

And that is a victory America needs right now.

I am not in this race to fulfill some long-held ambitions or because I believe it's somehow owed to me. I never expected to be here. I always knew this journey was improbable. I've never been on a journey that wasn't.

I am running in this race because of what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now." Because I believe that there's such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.

I don't want to wake up four years from now and find out that millions of Americans still lack health care because we couldn't take on the insurance industry.

I don't want to see that the oceans have risen a few more inches. The planet has reached a point of no return because we couldn't find a way to stop buying oil from dictators.

I don't want to see more American lives put at risk because no one had the judgment or the courage to stand up against a misguided war before we sent our troops into fight.

I don't want to see homeless veterans on the streets. I don't want to send another generation of American children to failing schools. I don't want that future for my daughters. I don't want that future for your sons. I do not want that future for America.

I'm in this race for the same reason that I fought for jobs for the jobless and hope for the hopeless on the streets of Chicago; for the same reason I fought for justice and equality as a civil rights lawyer; for the same reason that I fought for Illinois families for over a decade.

Because I will never forget that the only reason that I'm standing here today is because somebody, somewhere stood up for me when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn't popular. And because that somebody stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand stood up. And then a few million stood up. And standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world.

That's why I'm running, Iowa -- to give our children and grandchildren the same chances somebody gave me.

That's why I'm running, Democrats -- to keep the American Dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity, who still thirst for equality.

That's why I'm asking you to stand with me; that's why I'm asking you to caucus for me; that's why I am asking you to stop settling for what the cynics say we have to accept. In this election -- in this moment -- let us reach for what we know is possible. A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again. Thank you very much everybody.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Love Thursday

I know I've been slacking with my blog entries, but at least I'm not as bad as Coupon Chris (ahem! slacker!) Yeah, I'll call you out if you don't post in two months.

So, this Thursday I love....No-freaking-vember, baby. Thank God October is over.

Let me tell you a little something about October. I HATE October. Know why? October is "Breast Cancer Awareness Month". It is miserable to be bitch slapped with breast cancer awareness every day for a month. As a formerly lumped individual, I am AWARE of breast cancer. Painfully aware. I have the scars to prove it. I don't need an entire month of pink ribbons and donation cans at the cash register at the grocery store to help me be freaking aware of breast cancer.

Are there any women who need to be made aware of breast cancer? I think not. I think we all know our titones are at risk, simply for being. Maybe more so if we have the genetic predisposition to cancer, but not having family history doesn't protect you.

You know who needs to be made aware of their risk of breast cancer? MEN. Yeah, they get it too. And it is nearly always fatal for them because by the time they notice a weird lump on their chest and go to a doctor for it, it's too late. Because men are stupid, and they won't go to the doctor when they're sick. They will only go to the doctor when an appendage is falling off, and then it had better be a pretty important appendage. You don't see anyone handing out waterproof shower cards to men teaching them how to feel themselves up every month to detect any errant tissue but they absolutely should be.

I say we scrap Breast Cancer Awareness Month in its current form, and totally revamp it. Aim it towards the young, the uneducated and the penised. And don't remind me day after day for a month, about that one time I had the same disease my grandmother died from. It's like giving me a paper cut and then pouring lemon juice and salt all over it. On my boobs.

Yeah, I freaking LOVE November.

Friday, November 02, 2007

First Steps!

Today Jackson took his first unassisted steps. He's been cruising and climbing for a while now and can walk as long as he's holding onto something or someone - today he took his first little wobbly strides towards me, across his bedroom.

I scooped him up and hugged him and kissed him and said "You did it! You're such a big boy! You did it!" And he said "Ah dee uht!" which sounded a heck of a lot like "I did it!" to me. Such an exciting event.

Of course, I cried.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

News Flash!

This just in...peppermint and eggnog lattes are back at Fourbucks! I had an Eggnog Chai Latte this AM after dropping off Hubster at the airport.

Yeah, Tim had to travel for work. I am so so so so so so mad! It's supposed to be a short trip, and it had better because so far I am not appreciating Sudden Onset Single Motherhood Syndrome. He just found out yesterday afternoon that he had to go to the East Coast office.

How come every year on my birthday he ends up having to travel for work? Just once I would like my husband home for my birthday. And this is a big birthday - it's my Christ Year! He should be home for this!

I have decided that to celebrate my birthday, we're going to the big, fancy, Champagne Brunch at the Country Club after church. Is it wrong to go get tipsy after church? Maybe just a little. ;)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yum of the day: minted hot chocolate

To make:

Brew a cup of hot mint tea. I really like Bieglow Mint Medley, a blend of spearmint and peppermint. Any mint will do.

Add 1 serving of hot cocoa mix to mint tea, stir to blend. Top off with a swish of milk if desired. Sip and enjoy.

I look forward to the mercury dipping each year just to enjoy this warm mug o'goodness. It's not as yummy to me in the summertime.

In other, unrelated news, I learned last night why I hate coffee. It smells like skunks to me. Last night, a skunk sprayed down the street and I smelled it in my living room. I kept asking, "is that skunk, or are you making coffee?" I am SO back to being a tea drinker only! Well, maybe tea drinker "mainly". I hate to rule out the possibility of a hot caramel apple cider at Fourbucks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

(insert your name here) who?

It's Autumn. Which means several altogether lovely things: apple picking, pumpkin pie, apple cider, crisp weather, piles of leaves to jump in, sweater weather and the new fall TV lineup. New this season is "Samantha Who?" in which Christina Applegate gets hit by a car, goes into a coma, wakes up and has amnesia. The show follows her character, Sam, as she tries to find out who she was before the accident. Sam learns that she hates who she used to be. It's really a cute and clever show. But anyways...

This week, Sam went back to her job. She discovered that she hates her job and wants to quit. But she can't, because she has bills. But instead of resigning herself to this awful existance (that she had previously thought she could escape out of by quitting, before discovering a pile of credit card debt), she decides that each day is a new beginning. Each day is a new chance to be a better person than she used to. She has a fresh start and a clean slate. She doesn't remember anything about her life before the accident. She can be as nice as she wants, for no reason. She can do really great things for other people. She can start all over again, every day, simply by choosing to do so.

It really challenged my heart anew to keep trying to be better and do better with every day I have. I may not have been bonked on the head, but there are pieces of my history that I'd rather forget. I can't forget them, so I'll improve upon them. We can all benefit from doing the same.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The pinnacle of Mommy Guilt

I started feeling a little post-nasal drop cold thing on Tuesday afternoon. Yesterday, it was a full blown sneezefest.

This morning, Jackson woke up stuffy and sneezing.

Is there any greater guilt than knowing you got your child sick? I think not. I kind of want to use my recalled Infant's Tylenol Cold Drops. For now, I'm sticking with the Hyland's Sniffles and Sneezes tablets.

I feel terrible, and not just because I bought a box of tissues. (Puffs comes now infused with Vicks!) I made my baby sick.

Someone please kill me and put me out of my misery, please.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Colbert '08

I'm not sure how I can continue to campaign for Obama now that Colbert has announced that he's running.

Must. Resist. Writing. In. Colbert.

The Tooth Factory

Moose is teething molars, it seems he's getting them all in at once. There's not a lot of sleeping going on in this house! Ugh.

In other, completely unrelated news, I went to Lush's Hair Party yesterday at Woodfield and had myself caca'd. Here are some things you should know about that:

1) They call it caca because it kind of smells like that.
2) Some of the colors have coffee in it to add brown tones.
3) Coffee can seep into your body transdermally.
4) When you put coffee on your head at 9 pm and can't wash it off for 3 hours, you get a lot into your bloodstream. Also, it leads to a propensity to chair-dance to Elton John's "Benny and the Jets".
5) Public chairdancing to Benny and the Jets makes people point and laugh.

So I had a great time, got totally strung out on caffeine and had to take some Benedryl to get to sleep. And my hair turned out so pretty! It's warm and chestnutty. It's also so shiny and soft. I'm loving the color payoff without the chemical damage. It's not as deep as I'd like it to be so next time I will mix caca brun mama with caca marron mama for a more brownish twinge. I'm assuming the brun has more coffee in it, so I won't be doing this at night any time soon.

I'll post pix later. Off to the hospitable to get some blood drawn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Damn Straight! *preens*

Here's a funny that I just got on email from the lovely Harriette. She's funny and smart and awesome. I love her!

--------------------------------------------------

I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?"

"No, I had to stop drinking years ago", the homeless woman told me.

"Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?" I asked.

"No, I don't waste time shopping," the homeless woman said. "I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive."

"Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?" I asked.

"Are you NUTS !" replied the homeless woman. " I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!"

"Well," I said, "I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight."

The homeless woman was shocked. "Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting."

I said, "That's okay. It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mooseapalooza Report

A good time was had by all, and photos have been uploaded to Snapfish (email me for an invite). Here's my favorite of all of the pictures:


Hubby's procuring me an 8 x 10 print of this, we found a beautiful frame for it yesterday after church at Blood Bath & Beyond. I can't wait to hang it!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

The party getting awesomer by the minute...


Here's the monster truck moon bounce in my backyard...it was too big to get the whole thing in the picture!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Moose Cake!


I picked up the Moose's birthday cake today.
I had to post a photo because it came out so great!

One

I've been half dreading and half looking forward to today.

Last night, as I parented Jackson to sleep, I held him close and whispered to him that one year ago today, we were in the hospital. One year ago today, he was still a secret pearl inside of me. One year ago today, we were so excited to meet him. One year ago today, I told him, we waited and waited and waited for him to come. I also told him he had to stop growing up and getting bigger, as he was to stay my tiny Peanut forever.

We fell asleep together like we do every night. As the hours passed in the middle of the night, angels came and kissed away his infancy while ushering in toddlerhood. Then the sun came up, and Jackson, as he does nearly every morning, rolled over me, gave me a hug and with an exuberant "Mwah!" administered a sloppy kiss to my cheek.

"Happy Birthday, My Moose!" I exclaim. "Mama Baba Naa!" he replies. I grabbed a bottle for him, and we snuggled together as he enjoyed his morning milkies. I guess some things never change, no matter what the calendar says.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Ileus Odyssey

So Monday night was not a fun night for the Powers family.

Monday night was prefaced by Monday afternoon, where I broke my toe. I thought I broke my foot. It was a freak accident. I was getting out of the car to pump gas, and my legs were out of the car when Jack screeched from the backseat. I whipped around to see what was the matter and my toe caught on the concrete base of the gas pump. I heard/felt a "snap" like a little twig breaking underfoot. But it wasn't a twig, it was bone and it wasn't underfoot, it was in my foot. By the time I had completed pumping gas, putting weight on my foot was unbearable. It was 4:00. Hubby's train doesn't get in until nearly 6:00...that was a long time to wait to seek medical attention.

I crafted a makeshift ice pack splint out of socks from my gym bag. I had one of those instant ice packs in the Jeep. I bought them after Jack was born, thinking that now that I have a kid I should have ice packs because kids get hurt. Guess what? Mommies get hurt too! I wrapped a sock around the ice pack then laid it on my foot then wrapped the other sock around my entire foot, using my flip flop as a splint to keep the whole rig steady. It worked.

I picked up some dinner, then waited for Tim's train. And waited. And waited. When you are in pain, waiting two hours for a train to arrive feels like forever.

We went to hospital 1, where we were told it would be a minimum 2 hour wait. Wait 2 hours again? I think not. They recommended I head down the road to a doc in the box. Fine. I hobbled out and we went to the walk in clinic. Rather, for me it was a "wheel in clinic" because by the time I got there, I could put no weight on my foot at all and a very nice EMT rolled me into the building in a wheelchair.

After intake, x-rays, and an exam I was told I had a spiral fracture of the biggest bone in the pinkie toe. Who would have thought a pinkie toe could hurt this much? They did a maneuver that I think has the most adorable medical name ever, "buddy tape" where they taped the bad toe to its next door neighbor. Then they fitted me with a very fashionable immobilization shoe and gave me a copy of my films with the instructions to call an orthopedic surgeon in the morning, as my fracture may require a pin be set in it.

OH GREAT.

Oh, and no fun pills. They said to just take Advil. What a rip-off.

We finally arrived back home around 9:45. We were all exhausted, our puppies were hungry and doing the pee-pee dance. As I let the dogs out, Tim readied Jackson for bed. And then...

Jackson started vomiting. Not just any vomit, projectile GREEN vomit. Bile vomit. Just like he did before he needed his surgery. It was all I could do to keep myself from crying as I called our family doctor and had him paged. He called me back and said that he's seen a lot of this horrible stomach bug lately, but given Jack's history he would rather err on the side of caution. So we packed up the car again and jetted off the hospital #2. On the way there, Jackson vomited and choked on it. We pulled over and when Tim got to the car seat, he found the baby not breathing. SCARY! I do not recommend this.

Our welcoming at hospital #2 was way different than hospital #1. I hobbled in with the baby and someone quickly whisked us away in a wheelchair. I was asked, "Who's the patient?" and told them the baby, then we were rushed to Pediatric ER. We saw a nurse, explained Jack's history and symptoms and were then wheeled into an exam room. A doctor came in, I explained again Jackson's symptoms and past GI problems and the doctor agreed to order a CT scan and blood work immediately. While we waited for the nurse to come back to put in an IV and draw some blood, the billing girl came in. Yeah. That's right. They actually treated us first before asking if we had insurance. I was dumbfounded. I kept trying to give every new person who walked into the room my ID and insurance card, and they were like "Later, we'll get to that. The baby is more important." Of course, I agree and I was duly impressed.

Holding your baby down to have an IV put in his arm while he is vomiting is no fun. We all ended up covered in bile, it looked like we spilled a bottle of French's mustard all over us.

Blood tests were drawn and we did the CT scan. Tim ran home and got me some comfy clothes. I was certain it was Jack's GI problem again. Right before discharging us from the hospital after his surgery in December, the surgeon told us that it was rare but it could happen that Jackson's malrotation could reoccur and we would have to watch out for that. As I paced, Jackson passed out from exhaustion. It was now 2 am, and we were all tired.

The doctor returned to the room to tell us that Jack had slightly elevated white blood cells but the CT scan came back clean. No malrotation. I didn't believe it, but I was happy to be wrong. We were instructed to follow up with our family doctor the next day.

We left the ER and picked up some anti-nausea medicine at the 24 hour pharmacy. By the time we arrived home, it was 4 am and we all collapsed, exhausted, into bed. And then Jackson puked all over me, his new comforter, the sheets, his teddy bear...you name it. Lord have mercy.

In the morning, I called family doc and made an appointment for Jackson. We went in and he reviewed the ER's records and examined Jack and called it good. We loaded up the car to head home, and just as we exited the doctor's office parking lot my cell phone rang.

It was a doctor from the Pediatric ER. Seems another radiologist had reviewed the CT scan and he disagreed with the first radiologist's reading. Jackson didn't have a malrotation or an obstruction, but he does have an ileus which is basically a narrowing of the intestines and was most likely caused by scar tissue from his surgical repair. So basically, his bowel is not obstructed yet but it's an obstruction waiting to happen. A-ha! Somebody's Mommy Instincts were spot on again!

I have an appointment with our original Pediatric Surgeon, whom we love, next week to review the CT scan and give us his input.

Until then, Mooseapalooza, Jackson's first birthday party, will go on unabated. I have ordered a giant, fantastic cake from my favorite bakery. It is half banana cake with chocolate whipped cream filling and half carrot cake with cream cheese filling. Decorated with moose. I'm having a moon bounce brought in tomorrow after my poo guy and hot lawn boys service the yard, and my fridge is barely able to shut with all the party goodies. Tomorrow I have to pick up the balloons, the beer and margarita stuff (yum!) and then Saturday morning the rented tables and chairs come. As long as I don't forget the ice for the coolers, we'll be good...I'll post pictures of our extravaganza! I'm taking the party down a notch and not doing as many homemade goodies as I had originally planned, because I have to stay off my feet. But it is still going to be a great time!

I'm bummed I won't be able to play in the moon bounce though. It is a giant inflatable monster truck - how fun!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pickin' and a'grinnin'

Sunday - it was my wonderful, amazing, cute, sweet hubby's 36th birthday! To celebrate, we began a daily aspirin regimen (ha ha) and took a family trip out to Kuiper's Family Farm for apple pickin'.


Moose's First Apple

Hayride on Mommy's Lap

Mommy Picking Apples





Friday, September 21, 2007

I didn't think it would effect me this way

I have just pulled the very last 3 oz. bag of frozen donor milk out of the deep freeze for Jackson. Our goal was to give him mother's milk until he was 1, and his birthday is next Friday (can you believe that ish? where did the time go?).

I really didn't think I would feel such a flood of emotions like I do right now. My heart is heavy with the knowledge that my baby boy will soon no longer be viewed as an "infant" but as a "toddler". I feel like I have to grieve for the passing of his babyhood. I feel like I have to let go of it, and it's sad and painful.

He has already had his 1 year checkup, at our new pediatrician. We switched to Homefirst (the pro-breastfeeding, anti-vax, pro-homebirth wacky zany ultra natural family living practice) and as I told the doctor all of Jackson's health challenges he just looked at The Moose in disbelief and said repeatedly, "This baby?" Like he couldn't imagine my healthy, hearty little Moose ever being small or frail or ill.

Oh, but I remember it. I remember it well. I remember every freaking heartbreaking moment of the first three months of his life that were stolen from us. I feel the anger rising in me afresh. I feel like I got ripped off. I want three happy, cuddly months of newborn bliss back! Instead I got three months of hospital stays and a baby who couldn't stop crying because he was in such severe pain, and doctors telling me how my baby wasn't sick until a test finally showed he was ill with a life threatening condition which required immediate surgical intervention.

I got such the bum deal on the babymoon.

My last bag of milk sits defrosting on my counter, and as it slowly transforms from ice back to liquid I feel Jackson's babyhood melting away...

...my heart hurts.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Love Thursday

This week, on Love Thursday I love....WEDNESDAY!

Yesterday was a rock star day. Let me tell you about it.

I arose around 7 to get my day started. I decided that while it was not a work out day, I still needed a shower so after dropping Hubby off at the train, I would start my day with perhaps a little swim and then a soak in the hot tub at the gym, and then take a nice hot shower. I guess a big love for me this week is GYM DAYCARE. I get 2 hours of complimentary day care service every day with my membership. This is making it much easier to work out every other day (and Jackson is in baby swimmy classes on Saturday mornings, so fun!).

So after delivering Hubby to the train station, I stopped and got a latte and my favorite breakfast (McD's Egg McMuffin, no canadian bacon, scrambled eggs instead of poached, extra cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper) and then headed to the gym. I dropped off Jackson with his now favorite day care teacher and proceeded to take a leisurely soak in the hot tub (all the lanes were full in the pool) then a nice, long hot shower. I shaved my legs, deep conditioned my hair, dried off, lotioned, then dressed, applied makeup, blow dried and perfumed. Then I picked the baby up out of daycare, where he was having a fabulous time playing.

After the gym, Jackson had a playdate with his friend John so on our way up there I stopped at Baker's Square for a pie to bring with us. Then we spent the day with John and his mom Christina who is awesome and sweet and fun. I taught her how to sew while the boys played. Super fun! We had pie and tea for a snack and then when lunchtime came we ordered a pizza and I had beer and pizza for lunch. Woo hoo!

As I was readying to leave our playdate, my brother called me. I hadn't heard from him in nearly a week and was unable to reach him otherwise, so I was so happy and relieved to talk to him briefly.

Then I got on my way to pick up Hubby at the train station after work, and my best friend from high school called me to let me know she was on her way over to share dinner with us and sleep over!

So we got home, my friend arrived, we ordered in a delicious dinner and watched Blades of Glory. Then after tucking Jackson in, dearest beloved friend and I sat up late and snacked on my stash of Just Tomatoes freeze dried fruits & veggies (which is WAY yummier than it sounds, trust me) and gabbed and gabbed in the guest room until way too late. Then I snuck across the hall, silently climbed into bed with Jackson and he rolled over to snuggle me. He's a sleep cuddler. I buried my nose into his precious curly head, which was still laced with the aroma of his lavender and chamomile scented bedtime bubble bath, and drifted off to sleep.

It was a nearly perfect day. I loved Wednesday!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Clutch

For all my emotional sensitivity, it has somehow fallen upon me to be "clutch" in my family. Whenever something bad goes down, I somehow end up policing everybody else. I mediate disagreements, I tell people to breathe when they're hysterical, I keep the cool levelheadedness necessary while everybody else freaks. I organize things, I collate, I make events happen. I am clutch.

Here's the problem with being clutch. When you're clutch, you don't get to have your own babbling hysteria moments.

A bad thing that I knew was going to happen happened last week to my baby brother. It is awful, horrible and totally deserved. We all knew it was going to happen someday, and it happened. We are all now desperately worried about him. My mother has been reduced to a blathering idiot, and it has fallen upon me to keep her shit together. She calls me crying hysterically and I spend 5 minutes telling her to breathe in and breathe out. She called out of work last week to spend a day with me and Jackson, and I made her soup and grilled cheese (is there any more comforting comfort lunch food?) and took her shopping. I've been distracting and encouraging and showing strength.

The problem is, deep down, I am a blathering idiot too. I just can't fall into hysterics when anyone is looking. I wait until the sun goes down, and in the privacy of my bedroom with my husband holding me, I pray and sob and beg for God's comfort and my brother's safety.

Then the morning comes, and my mother rings me at 8 am crying on her way to work. I am clutch again, and I have to be strong for her when inside I feel so small and helpless. I'm starting to resent being the keep it togetherer of the family, and I'm starting to wonder how much longer I can fake strength and grace under pressure.

In completely unrelated news, I changed my hair again and it's a darker blonde now, nearly light brown. It came out a little too ashy and I don't like it. I may dump a warm glaze on it later in the week.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fix You

It's not every day you find yourself rocking out to Coldplay at church, yet that's just what we did.

The music directer changed a handful of words, and it was beautiful. If you hear it and imagine it's God speaking to you, it's lovely. He's the only one who can fix you anyways...


When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I have died to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I have died to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will not remember your mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I have died to fix you.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Baby Boy Blues

The time has come to upsize Jackson's cloth diaper wardrobe. When he was wee, I invested a pretty penny in size medium FuzziBunz, which are a pocket diaper. They have performed very well for us and I have never had a single blow out with them. They've been workhorses. It's time to say goodbye to them now since my little man's thighs are so chunky (12" around each, compared to his 18" waist!). I'm going into some size large BumGenius 2.0 all in one's. I'm very excited to be terminating my diaper-stuffing career. The pocket diaper idea is great for its flexibility but the extra step of stuffing the diaper drives me absolutely bonkers.

When I got Jack his Fuzzi's, I ordered all boy-friendly colors. Blues and greens were at the top of my list. Now I'm ordering the Bums and I'm wondering if I should get him a couple in "Blossom", more commonly referred to as "pink".

*GASP*

PINK FOR A BOY???

Yeah, why not? Jackson is secure in his gender identity. He LOOOOOOOVES the ladies. His favorite little girl is Lora from our playgroup. Lora is gorgeous like her mommy, with a long, lean physique and huge green eyes and long dark curls. Before leaving for playgroup, I ask Jack if he wants to go see Lora and his eyes light up like he just hit the jackpot.

Pink looks good with a baby blue shirt, too. (He frequently wears just a t-shirt and diaper at home).

Besides, I think there are some very important character traits and personal qualities associated with "pink" that wouldn't be so bad for my boy to learn: kindness and gentleness. It's great when a boy knows his way around a kitchen and laundry room. It's sexy when a boy knows art and music and how to sew on his own button. Most of these things are predominately "pink" or "girl" things, but I would be proud to teach my son how to be sweet, gentle, kind and self-sufficient as well as strong.

Yeah, he's going to rock the pink.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Baby's First Sushi

We felt like celebrating last night, after dancing with glee over Debbie's new heart.

So we took Jackson out for his first sushi meal, he loved it!

Here's the Moose scarfing down some akami.

La Passion Du Coton

We're just back from running errands, one of which was picking up my insulin refill. While waiting at the pharmacy, I remembered that I was out of little cotton pads that I use for applying my homemade witch hazel and tea tree oil toner. So I went in search of cotton pads, and found some on sale.

I pulled them off the shelf, and read the label to Tim: "Facial Cleansing Pads. For the Adventurous, Exotic, Sensuous, Free Spirited Woman."

Tim says, "Well, that's you to a T!"

So I got them.

I kid you not, that's what the bag says. Here's their website.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Feeling Pentecostal

Now I get it. We would joke in church about the people raising the roof for Jesus. Jumping up and down with ants in their pants that makes them dance all the way to France.

I get it now.

It's been so long since I've seen it, I forgot how amazing it is.

God heard our prayer. God answered and God provided and all of a sudden all I want to do is tell everyone how He heard.

Debbie got a heart. Hold on, I have to type it again so it feels more real.

Debbie got a heart.

Are you hearing me? Do you understand?

DEBBIE GOT A HEART!

A donor heart that was a perfect match for her became "available" (translation: its former owner passed and was gracious enough to be an organ donor) this morning, it was flown in today and her heart transplant started at 2 pm.

If I had a mountain, I would run to its peak to shout at the top of my lungs and tell the whole world how amazing my God is. He gave her a new heart. I don't have a mountain, but I do have a blog so I'm telling you all here. God gave us a new heart!

Each night Tim and I would pray for the family of the person whose heart He was preparing for Debbie. Each night we begged for God to please send a heart so Debbie can live. So she can see her youngest son graduate from High School, and her oldest son graduate from college. He's in his senior year of Pre Med.

There are not words to adequately express how overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement I have been this afternoon. It's bittersweet. Organ donation is the most amazing, selfless gift.

Debbie got a heart. Debbie got a heart! Debbie got a heart!!!! Praise God for always taking care of us. Thank you, Lord for always hearing us and always answering in Your perfect timing.

Every night we also pray for my dear friend who is going through the worst storm in life. Her husband has betrayed her in the most awful way, and she is in the process of picking up the pieces of what's left and moving on. Babygirl, if God can give Debbie a new heart please rest assured that He can and will absolutely positively heal yours. Because one of the many names of our God is Jehovah-Jireh. The God that provides.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Love Thursday Spectacularrrrrrrr: I Think. A Poem of Teen "Love".

For no reason today, the ode of undying love (ha!) that my high school boyfriend penned for me (allegedly, I would not be surprised if he didn't write it all) popped into my head today.

So in honor of Love Thursday, I shall share with you his epilogue of amore.

I Think

I think of you in the day,
When the sun is shining bright.
And I dream of you when I lie down
And fall asleep each night.

When I look at you, the earth stands still
My heart - it skips a beat.
I think you all day and night
And it makes my world complete.

I think you are a gift to me,
Sent from Heaven above.
I think that you're the greatest, and
I think that this is love.

--- Sir Jay T. Miller
a horny boy who thought this would get him some

The poem was presented to me written on a parchment scroll, which was tied with a red ribbon. He ceremoniously slipped off the ribbon, got down on one knee, read me the poem while gazing deep into my eyes and then pulled out a tiny little 1/4 carat diamond ring. It was like the Playskool version, My First Bling. It was a "promise ring", and the following week he left our little hamlet for college.

We ended up breaking up during his first break home from school. I distinctly remember taking his ring off and flinging it at his head in the middle of the woods. He was still paying it off, and it was lost for good. Boy, was he mad!

I don't remember what assholery shenanigans caused said diamond-flinging, but it must have been bad.

But I do remember his poem word for word.

I guess the pen is mightier than the sword. Or at least mightier than a small chip of diamond flung at your head.

And no, it didn't get him any. I know you're wondering. I'll bet that's what we were fighting about, come to think of it!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Kodak moments fly by way too fast for me to grab the camera!

Jackson was just climbing on Katie (she was laying on her side). He stopped and put his mouth on her mid-tummy and kept kissing her. He'd bob up and down going "Mwah, mwah, mwah!"

It was the sweetest part of the day.

Worlds Apart

What a journey the past two weeks have been. I've learned so much. I'm so grateful.

We decided to still continue on trying on churches to see if another one fit us better. I just wasn't feeling the Pentecostal thing.

We've been trying out this new "community church" that meets at the local high school. This is nice for us, because the high school is literally at the end of our street.

Church in a high school is odd. For one, it's really crowded. People like to mill around and chat, and it's like a traffic jam getting to the nursery. I really don't care for crowds, so that knocked off some popularity points right off the bat. Then the second Sunday we visited them, they moved the nursery to another wing of the building. I'm not a big fan of getting lost, so more negativity was festering once we finally sat down for the service.

They started out the service with some praise and worship, and then the served communion before the message.

I'm probably the only person in the world who likes them, but my favoritest band in the whole wide world is a Christian one called Jars of Clay. And as the ushers began dismissing us row by row to go take communion, one of my most beloved Jars songs began to play...

I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,
more abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
and wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
More and more I need you now,
I owe you more each passing hour
the battle between grace and pride
I gave up not so long ago
So steal my heart and take the pain
and wash the feet and cleanse my pride
take the selfish, take the weak,
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
the sin-soaked heart and make it yours
take my world all apart
take it now, take it now
and serve the ones that I despise
speak the words I can't deny
watch the world I used to love
fall to dust and thrown away
I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
so wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
so steal my heart and take the pain
take the selfish, take the weak
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
take my world apart, take my world apart
I pray, I pray, I pray
take my world apart

And as I sat and pondered everything the previous week held, it hit me. I needed a shakedown. I needed to be brought to my knees so forcefully and so helplessly that the only answer was God. It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day. So, so easy.

I was already broken, I just needed to surrender. I was trying so hard to not be terrified and to lean on my faith but it was so hard. It was then that I prayed, "Okay. I hear You. Whatever you want to happen, make it happen. If I need to be sick and maybe say goodbye to my husband and my son and You are taking everything away, that's okay. You can have it. It's all Yours anyway. Take it. Take my world apart."


And then I proceeded to live the longest week ever, as I waited for my test results to come in. I just got off the phone with my doctor's office. Everything shows "normal", but I am to monitor my lump and report any changes and if it's still there in two months we will do a needle biopsy.


Strangely, I have found peace with this lack of a diagnosis. It's not mine to worry about anymore.