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Showing posts from February, 2010

When "the talk" drops in unexpectedly.

Lat night as I was tucking her in the Girl suddenly asked, "What parts am I missing to be a lady mom?"

Not sure I was understanding properly I asked, "What do you mean."

"Like in the first Princess Diaries when Mia says she doesn't even have all her, her, her, um lady parts yet. What parts am I missing?"

Swallowing a laugh I knelt next to her bed and said, "You already have all of the parts inside you, and when you get be 12 or older those parts will start changing and growing until they are woman parts."

"Yeah, I know my boobies will get big 'cause right now I have just nipples, and I will get hair down here," she said, gesturing appropriately.

"Yes, and also on your armpits and your leg hair will probably get coarser too."

Since we were already there I figured I would take the plunge and tell her everything. "And your hips will spread and get wider to make room for a baby and you will grow breasts so you can fe…

the Internet is Cool, and so are you

Wow, thanks for the really thoughtful comments on that last post. I honestly expected there to be more discussion/disagreement than there was. This leads me to two possible conclusions. Either you guys are truly my people, those who get me right away and we're all on the same page, which, considering the numbers just seems unlikely, though that is the magic of blogging, finding your tribe in the midst of a huge crowd. Conclusion number 2 is that y'all are just too polite to disagree with me here in my little space on the internet, which is also awesome and rare, and I think you may be the best readers on he planet.

That said, I don't mind you know. I love a healthy debate from time to time. I expect people to disagree with me. One of the most interesting discoveries of my adult life is finally understanding that people really aren't just like me on the inside. They have totally different fundamental assumptions and, wow, that's really interesting.

Twitter is a grea…

Modesty Protects? Since when?

His name was Dennis, he was schizophrenic. He was sleeping in the makeshift room in our basement that my dad set up so he would have a place to bring people who needed somewhere to stay and a helping hand. He stayed with us all that summer. My mom didn't like having him there, though my father overruled her. For some reason, unlike the many other people who came through our house, her gut told her that having him there was a bad idea.

She watched him diligently, especially around us kids. She warned and cautioned and kept guard.

Every night when she sent us to get ready for bed, Dennis went outside for his smoke break.

I was 12, maybe 13 already that summer. I remember that my body was changing, my breasts were forming, my hips were starting to curve. I remember taking a few moments every night as I got ready for bed to look at myself in the mirror, to explore, to run my hands over my changing body, trying to familiarize myself with it.

Every so often in the mirror I would catch a…

Play contracts would clear up so many things for those lacking common sense.

Dear Neighborhood Parent,

As it has become apparent that your child wishes to play with my child and that my child enjoys the company of yours as well, it seems it would behoove us therefore to formalize the terms of their relationship from this point hence in order to avoid misunderstanding. While it is unusual to take such measures, past experience has taught us that this is the best way to continue amicably as neighbors for as long as we remain so.

We understand it is possible that we will never meet, as you have yet to be present with your child when we encounter him/her, so please review and sign the attached contract and return it with your child at the next occasion of his/her coming over to play.  Failure to do so will result in a canceled play date as we cannot any longer permit play without a contract in place.

We look forward to a long summer of fun for our children. If you do not sign, please do not take it personally if we prevent your children and ours from playing toge…

Deep thoughts from my pregnant brain.

I distinctly remember, a few weeks after discovering that I was pregnant having the thought, almost unbidden, "This is a good opportunity to practice going through suffering in a way that is a participation with Christ in his redemption of the world."

Yeah, loaded phrase. I don't expect it to be clear at first because there is a wealth of thought and reading behind it. Most of it not my own. (Thanks Aaron.)

Suffice it to say, there is this thread through the letters of Paul that seems constantly to indicate that it it possible for one who has the spirit of Jesus in them to endure suffering in a way that is in fact redemptive, can in fact change thing for the better, just as Christ himself did as he endured suffering. Now to be clear, I don't think that suffering is sent to us by God for this purpose. It's a shitty enough world that it will happen to us all if we just live long enough.

(See there, I said shitty and talked about deep theological ideas in the same p…

A little rant on lying to children

"It's time to come in," I call, "bring in all the toys and clean up for dinner."

"No, mommy," Little protests, "I am waiting for Carwa. She is coming WIGHT BACK."

"Honey, she hasn't been back in over an hour, I don't think she's coming. Time to come in."

"NO! SHE IS COMING! SHE SAID SHE WOULD COME BACK!"

"Come in sweetie. Maybe you'll see her tomorrow."

She comes in with much sobbing and spends the next several minutes fruitlessly trying to convince me to to take her for a walk to find Carla, the young teenage girl she just adores who sometimes likes to carry her around, and often wants to go off and do teenage things so leaves with a promise that she doesn't intend to keep.

On another day I call them in for dinner again. The Girl, suddenly realizing the time yells, "But Mommy, so-and-so was going to come over and play with us and she never did. Her mom said they would come and visit aft…

One Thousand Gifts-Week 44

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I sort through the flotsam of the day, sifting the hours through the light of gratitude, searching for the treasures, the gifts that are always right there, waiting for me to see them. They don't look like much to anyone else I suppose, yet I know their worth. They are gifts, perhaps roughly presented and surrounded by the mundane, yet they shine all the same when I hold them up to the light, and I see again how abundantly I have been blessed.

The Boy crept into my room in the early morning and crept out again. When I rolled over to see I found an apple laying next to me, to eat before getting up, to help with morning sickness. Father and son conspired together in the early hours to take care of me once daddy left.One morning Little woke while Aaron was still home and I woke to her shrill voice piping with glee, "Mommy, daddy still home! Daddy is here!"The Girl running to open the door and look out every 5 minutes to see if daddy is home yet.The Boy making me breakfast, …

I will not fret...

...over school time starting late because the Boy made me tea while I was in the shower and then tea for himself and his sisters and they needed time to sit together and drink it.

...over dinner being so late because I finally read to the Girl instead of starting it, as I had been promising for over an hour.

...over the unfolded laundry because I replied to a friend instead.

...over the coat and clothes strewn across the couch that mean my husband is home for the night.

...over careless words that hurt, but were not aimed at me nor given that intent.

...over the endless and overwhelming list of things to do. I will simply do what's next.

...over the constant barrage of sound that comes from my children when they are having the most fun together, however grating.

...over simple meals to replace those I planned but ran out of time for. Their bellies are full.

...over late lunch and nap because the Boy was actually enjoying multiplication excercises and time got away from us.

...over…

I need some girlfriend advice

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So it's been what? 5 days since I posted. Um... I've been shopping. (What? I can only produce so many carefully thought out posts a month. There's sleeping and butt wiping to attend to.)

Well, and there was Sunday. It won't shock you to hear we did not attend any parties.  No, we did what all red blooded Americans do on Super Bowl Sunday, we went to the symphony.

One of the advantages of adding to our family a teenage daughter who happens to be an excellent violist is that we get to go and be all supportive of her while she plays stuff like Dvorak's 9th with an excellent orchestra. Here's a different orchestra playing the 4th movement. But my favorite has always been the 2nd movement.

Anyway, as you can see it's terribly awful but we do our best to bear it. We packed the kids off to Beema's too, so as to bear it better on our own.

Monday was lovely. There was sunshine, and the blessedness that is a visit with someone I like, who happens to have children…

The Stories We Tell

If there is anything that blogging has taught me, it’s that we all have a story to tell. Some of us use words, some images, and some video. Some of us make beautiful things, or show the Internet the spaces we’ve carved for ourselves in our own homes, sharing the work we do every day and our thoughts on the subject. Finally we have an audience for what Edith Schaeffer calls “The Hidden Art of Homemaking.” As we write about our lives we often come to see our story in a new way.

One of the most surprising aspects of blogging, for me, is the way my story changed with the telling. All of us live in a story. The scholarly types refer to it as a meta-narrative. A meta-narrative is the over arching plot by which we make sense of the story of our lives. It encompasses everything. That’s how it’s possible for 3 different people, with very similar lives to believe very different things about themselves. Just glance at a random selection of mommy blogs if you don’t believe me. One mother at home …

I once was blind...

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"You don't deserve anything," he said, and the words stung. "No one does."

"You aren't owed anything. Stop acting as though you are. You're alive. Everything else is is gravy. It's just an accident that you are in North America worried about getting the birth you want and not in Africa somewhere just hoping you live through the birth of your next child and drinking dirty water from a mud hole. You are not entitled to any more than anyone else. You are not more special than anyone else. Everything you have is a gift. Stop acting like the world owes you anything, it doesn't."

It took 7 years of marriage to get to this point, where I could hear, and he could say. Seven years of him enduring my complaining, restless, thankless ways. Seven years of my failing to see the love in action as he rose early and worked daily and stayed when he'd rather go sometimes. I complained that I didn't feel loved anymore. Seven years of me growing …

It was a hand made quilt by the way.

The story begins yesterday morning when I woke up in a puddle of Little's pee. She spent the night feverish and hacking and it culminated in the first accident she's had in months. She had climbed into my bed of course. It would be the first day of a 4 day laundry room closure due to renovations. Oh there's another room available for use, 2 blocks away. Did I mention I'm still nursing a tendon injury in my ankle and supposed to stay off of it as much as possible?

That wasn't going to happen. So I loaded the laundry basket onto the stroller, and my bedding wasn't all that needed washing because another child is coming down with the same thing and for some reason when they get sick they pee their beds. Fun! We walked to the other laundry room. Then we walked back home to start dinner. Then I walked back to put it in the dryer. Then I walked home to finish making dinner. Then I walked back to pick up the laundry, which was still a bit damp, so I have a bunch of ki…

One Thousand Gifts-Week 43

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Well, yesterday I turned 33. We celebrated at Friday night dinner with a cake that the Boy made for me, mostly, with a bit of my help. ("Sifting is hard mom, can you finish it?") Aaron assembled it and frosted after work. I was able to enjoy it without a whiff of nausea. It was a good night.

Yesterday after church we went for a picnic at a park that overlooks mission bay. It is a pretty lovely place to spend an afternoon. We got my one and only fast food craving for lunch, In'n'Out burger, and just spent the afternoon playing together. Of course, I forgot about my bum ankle that makes walking any distance painful, so I had a good little moment of frustration when everyone else set off on an impromptu mini hike and I was left sitting at a table watching the stuff. I got over it though, they came back and we had fun.

As I sit to write this there is a pile of stinky laundry to deal with. I woke up in a puddle of Little's pee, on my bed of course. The laundry room t…

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