Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Pocket of Peace

Over the past five months or so the boys have been going through a season. A SEASON. The kind of season that puts knots in your neck, fire in your eyes and grit in your teeth.

I know (in my head) that it is just a season and it is warming me up for adolescence but recently it has been wearing me down. My prayer life has begun to consist of these gems,
"just get me through without yelling. Please."
"I need your strength. NOW."
"Make it stop."

But it doesn't really stop, it just ebbs and flows. Some days they take turns whose day it is to drive mommy to her knees, other days, it is double barreled.

Recently after a breakfast in which warnings, time outs and tantrums occurred I was doing devotions with them. Quite honestly, my heart was not in it. "What's the point? They are just going to tune it out. Why bother?"

But I kept going. I'm stubborn. I am not going to be beat by a pair of preschoolers. We will be reverent whether they like it or not.

And then, after prayers I had a boy on my lap and a boy laying beside me and neither was fighting. I was holding and patting and they were letting me. And I started to sing. No one piped up "no thank-you" they just let me sing. So for ten minutes we sat there, wrapped in each other and enveloped in hymns.

It was a pocket of peace. My soul drank it in, was nourished, calmed and strengthened.

Eventually they tired of the sitting and life continued on. They were still as combative as ever but I was changed.

I realized this is the way life goes. Every so often I am blessed to happen upon a stream in the desert, I am refreshed and continue the journey. I'm still in the desert, but now I can go on.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guess What?

I am a guest blogger.  On someone else's blog.

The level of my sheer geekiness is evidenced by how excited this makes me.

Head over to Motherscribe to share my joy.

Or at least read how packrats give me the heebies.

(For those of you with technological issues, just click on the word motherscribe.  This will take you to her blog.  Not that any of my family readers are technologically impaired.  Mmmm Hmmm.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Interview with A Spud

I stole copied this interview from Heather of the EO.

It was fun to do with Spud and truly reflects the kinds of varied responses I get to my questions in a day.

#3 made sense and then he got on a roll with 6-13 and I started to think that maybe he was really into it.

Yeah, not so much. Without further ado, an interview with my son.

1. What is something your mom always says to you? Movies

2. What makes mom happy? A video camera (books and chocolate baby, not electronics.)

3. What makes mom sad? Spud whining

4. How does your mom make you laugh? Loves you

5. What was your mom like as a child? A new video (Well of course. Isn't everything like a new video? It's a giant metaphor for life.)

6. How old is your mom? 92 ( I tell my kids I am that old when they ask. It seems younger than my real age.)

7. How tall is your mom? Mommy's taller than a big, big girl (Not so much. Mommy's taller than a 9 year old. Usually.)

8. What is her favorite thing to do? Love Spud and Sprout. (This answer made me cry. It is so totally true, I just forget sometimes.)

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Washes the dishes

10. What is your mom really good at? Loving us. (Still crying)

11. What is your mom not very good at? Making pancakes (Huh? Then why did he eat 5 last time?)

12. What does your mom do for her job? She does what mommies are supposed to do

13. What is your mom's favorite food? Chicken and Rice (Actually it is steak and baked potato but rice and chicken is cheaper and easier.)

14. What makes you proud of your mom? Some big castles (This answer also made me cry but for very different reasons.)

15. What do you and your mom do together? Play a game while Sprout sleeps

17. How are you and your mom different? A big big book (I like to think this one has some hidden meaning. It probably just means he was getting bored.)

18. How do you know your mom loves you? She loves me very very much

A truer word has never been spoken little man.

Monday, August 25, 2008

An Update of Sorts

1. The remote is still AWOL. My guess is that after viewing Bob and Larry for the umpteenth time it lost the will to live and hurled itself out the window.

2. For the second time this year I was wrong. My brother was NOT trying to throw me off the jetski. If he was, I would have fallen off. He is as pure as the driven snow and I shall nevermore malign him here. I stand corrected and want to offer my brother my deepest apologies.

3. I won an on-line contest. The hours I spend on-line are not wasted. I now have a book. Thank-you Antique Mommy!

4. I have now lost 3 whole pounds by starving myself for a month. Bring on month two!!

5. Yes, sarcasm is still my favorite literary device. Why do you ask?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Customer Disservice

Recently JCK commented on the rude comment I received at La Senza from a sales clerk. She couldn't believe that someone would actually say that. The incident happened two years ago and would now be considered great customer service. The Twinkie spoke to me AND she answered my question.

That doesn't happen so much anymore. I don't blog about this much because I have a few (well two) American readers and I know your economy is struggling, but Western Canada is not. We are in a boom. Housing prices have shot through the roof and there is a HUGE labour shortage, especially in the retail sector.

Job applications basically have two questions on them now,
1. Are you breathing?
2. Can you start now?

I even heard last week on the radio that some employees are keeping people on that they KNOW are stealing from them. At least someone is minding the till that they take the twenties from.

We all have great stories of the lousy customer service we have endured but I have to share just a couple of my favorites.

1. I've waited ten minutes at customer service for the clerk to finish up an obviously personal phone call. Once she had arranged her party schedule for the evening then she was able to help me.

2. Way Cooler was yelled at by a manager at a fast food joint when he complained that 3 of our 4 orders were wrong.

3. I had to wait for an employee at a video game store to finish paying his game to serve me. Then he complained the whole time how totally unfair it was to have to work on his birthday. My birthday had been the month before, I had spent part of it in hospital recovering from a c-section. I really could not muster up any sympathy for him. At all.

But my personal favorite example of the labour shortage happened at a super-Walmart. There was a group of employees who were obviously in the middle of an orientation. The manager was busily explaining something to them. One future employee of the month caught my eye. He was wearing his i-pod. In both ears, nothing like a little Amy Winehouse to help ensure he is ready to provide stellar service.

So, tell me, anyone recently make you think "and you got hired how, exactly?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Think I May be Addicted.

I must say, I love blogging. I love reading blogs, writing blogs and talking about them. Way Cooler really loves the last one. Really Really. He is dying to know what you all are up to every day. Dying. At least I like to think he is. So I fill him in. I'm sweet that way.

I've added to my blog roll (and didn't screw that up, MIRACLE) but want to highlight just a few that make me smile.

A Long Way from the Theta House. This is written by a mom who lives and ministers in the inner city of Dallas. She is a fabulous writer and she writes about stuff that I can totally relate to. Like being the only white in the local Minyard. Not that I can relate any more, but it brings back so many good memories of my time in Dallas.   Just a note, while I did work in a predominately African American part of Dallas, it was not the "hood" that Melissa and her family live and work in.  Her ministry is infinitely more challenging than mine was.  

Life In Progress. She is flat out funny. This is truly one of my favorite posts of all times.

Our Little Tongginator. I could totally see myself sitting with her and having coffee. Except our kids would have destroyed the house in the time it takes for the coffee to perk and she lives rather far away, but otherwise, could totally see it. 

Laughter for Days To Come.  Jeana has done a series on extreme frugality that is SO worth reading, even if you don't feel the need to be frugal or think that you are queen of frugal.  It's one of the few frugality things on the net that I've come across that feels teach-y not preach-y. 
These are just a few of my new loves, but all the ones in my blogroll are worth reading. Just bear in mind, I think reading blogs with opinions quite different from mine is good for me. So, while they are on my sidebar I may not agree with everything they say, but I love the way in which they say it.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Warning - if you are male, you may want to find another post to read today. That includes you dad. Consider yourself warned.

Dear La Senza,

Two years ago I finally found the perfect bra. It fit right, didn't show much under my clothes and kept the nipplage under wraps. It was so great that I even forgave you for the 17 year old Twinkies who work for you that proclaim in the world's loudest voice, "Double A? We don't carry anything THAT small. Try the training bras at Sears." The bra is quite the wonder worker to help me forgive that.

I am part of a small group of women who wear a bra only because of social convention. We simply do not need the support. Quite honestly all we need is a couple of band-aids but a bra is more comfortable. (marginally).

That is why I was shocked and dismayed to see that you have now put an underwire in the ITEC bra. NEWSFLASH. Women who wear an A do not need extra support. There really is nothing to hold up in the first place. And the wire? It needs something to do. If it has nothing to support it begins to look for other jobs. With nothing to stand in it's way it begins to climb. Higher and higher.

Trust me. There is nothing quite like raising one's hands in church during a moving rendition of "Breathe" only to discover there is now a wire sitting on one's nipple. And it is stuck. There really is NO gracious way to fix that. So one must wait till prayer. Which is at least 17 verses of "Holy Holy Holy" away.

So, I am asking you. Actually, begging just a little. Get rid of the wire. Bring back my flawless ITEC. And take the Twinkie while you are at it.


The Happy (but incredibly flat) Geek.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Oh Where Oh Where Could it Be?

This afternoon I have personally confirmed that the remote for the DVD player is not

In any of the 12 toy boxes
Under the couch
Behind the couch
In the dress-up box
Behind the toy shelves
On either bookshelf
In the blankets we store in the playroom
In the entertainment unit
Behind the entertainment unit
In any of the 6 billion trucks in the playroom
Hidden between any couch cushion
In the doll house (we are a equal opportunity family)
In any pocket that has been worn for the last 3 days.

I am seriously considering x-rays.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Game

Amy at Humble Musings recently wrote a post about the birth story game.  You know the one, where moms try to top each other in the re-calling of the agony of their births.  It was a good post but it got me thinking of how much I dislike that game.

It isn't because I never win, I am anything but competitive when it comes to games, which stands me in good stead for letting my toddlers win Candyland to just get it over with.  Trust me, I will never win at this game, I've never had a contraction and had a nap 20 minutes before my first planned c-section.  The nap alone automatically disqualifies me from the game.

No, I don't like it it because of some of those present when the game is played.  Cindy for example.  She has been waiting for 27 months now to hold her baby.  For reasons not fully explained the adoption process from China has slowed to an agonizing crawl and she can't even begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Meanwhile she is stuck at this shower listening to women go on and on when her 27 month wait puts 12 hours of labour to shame.  But she doesn't say that, she just munches her nachos and waits for the stories to end.

Then there is Beth.  No one know this, but she just had her second miscarriage after putting her body through the agony of IVF.  Twice.  She may be smiling and laughing outside but inwardly she wants to hurl the chip bowl across the room in grief and outrage at the sheer injustice of life.  The birth stories just mock the emptiness she feels.

Don't forget Kelly.  Everyone loves Kelly.  She's hosting the baby shower tonight because she is such a good friend.  She's hosted all kinds of showers through the years but has yet to have one thrown for her.  Kelly is still looking for Prince Charming but all she has ever gotten are a few toads.  She has learned to enjoy the life she has and does well for herself, but she would trade her condo, career and carefree lifestyle in a heartbeat for poopy diapers and a husband who often forgets to take out the trash.  She has heard so many birth stories she could tell her own and you'd never know it was made up.  But each re-telling reminds her again and again that she may never have her own.

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with sharing our experiences.  It's just sometimes a good idea to make sure that everyone present really wants to hear it.  Games are only fun when everyone gets to play.

Uh Oh.

I went to install the new code for the blogher ads and I think I broke my pretty blog.
Help is on the way.
Bear with me.
My poor blog designer.
She didn't know what the heck she was getting into.
If you know how to fix my blog, please leave me a comment.
Then send Poor Butterfly Kisses some chocolate. She could use some working with me.

Butterfly Kisses rocks.
Seriously, you want a blog makeover, she is awesome.
If she can fix what I break, she can do anything. 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Public Service Announcement #9

Should you be out of shape and decide that hey, you'd love to jetski across the wake of a trillion boats riding behind a brother completely bent on throwing you off, stock-up on tiger balm.

By the case-load. 

Friday, August 8, 2008


I don't talk about this one a lot, but Spud has a developmental delay. It's not huge, but it is there. The other day I was realizing how much I am focusing on the stuff he still can't do. I think this is normal, that is what we talk about at assessments, I need to know the stuff I should be working on with him etc. In fact it wasn't until I made a list of things he couldn't yet do that I realized that he was way behind and sought out early intervention.

HOWEVER, I now sometimes miss how much he can do and how much he has grown, all I see is the can'ts instead of the cans.

I sat down to make a list and was astounded at how much he has learned since we moved into this house in May.

Since then he has learned to:

* Wash his hands (including turning the tap on and off)
* Go to the potty completely on his own, performing ALL necessary tasks. (Praise God from whom all blessings do flow)
* Blow bubbles
* Pick out his own clothes
* Clean up his room without ANY help
* Pray his own prayers
* Play memory
* Play Candyland (Lucky me!)
* Put on his own shoes
* Dry himself after a bath
* The sounds of most letters
* Trace lines

I know he still has far to go but today I am just going to rejoice at how far he has come.

If your two and a half year old has been doing all these things since they were one, that's fabulous. You go talk about it on your own blog OK?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Random Random

I have all manner of posts in draft mode right now. The problem is they all sound a bit like "bras, blah, blah, blah," or "Sprout, yada yada yada" or "politeness, boring boring boring." Throw in a couple of misplaced commas and you have some serious brain melt. I have lots of ideas but they all sound unbelievably lame once I start typing.

So, I was tagged for 6 random things about me.

Random I can still do.

Thank-you Ellen!!!

1. I am quite addicted to good black licorice. I will fight you for a bag of Capricorn Liquorice. This does not fit well with my new lifestyle thing-y. Thin had better be worth it.

2. When I was in my late teens I was trying on some stuff at Bootlegger and noticed that there were security cameras in the dressing room. I did what any self-respecting teen would do. I mooned the camera. Not something I mentioned a lot during my stint as a pastor's wife.

3. It does not seem to matter what kind of earrings I wear, whenever I wear earrings my ears get hot, red and infected. Within hours. It's really lovely. Even the "hypo-allergenic, cannot possibly cause infection in even the most sensitive of ears" are no match for my dumbos.

4. After wearing behind the ear hearing aids for 23 years I really do have dumbo ears. I keep my hair long at all times.

5. I used to be terribly afraid of cops. If they were driving behind me I would start to sweat and stammer. I now have lots of cop friends so I can actually talk to them now but I still tense up at a unknown one in uniform. Stop laughing. I told you I was quirky.

6. I am totally addicted to "So You Think You Can Dance." This new commercial from Ikea made my week. Seriously. I've watched it waay too many times. Can't dance to save my life but sure like to watch those who can.

I don't tag, but feel free to partake if the sun has melted your brain as well.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Geek

I am currently on a diet changing my lifestyle to reflect more healthful eating and excercising choices.

It sucks.

They say that last 15 pounds of baby weight can be difficult to lose. "They" were not kidding. The baby is two. However, I have recently come to the conclusion that my eating habits may be more to blame than anything else. Shocking, I know.

So, now I am eating fruit and veggies when I want a snack, only having one helping at dinner, walking every day that I can and waking up in the mddle of the night dying for a Big Bacon Classic. Or at least a handful of Hawkins cheezies.

This had better be worth it.

Anyway, I have some questions. How do I cope with the incessant feeling of hunger? Does it go away? Any good excercise videos I can do for when the snow starts falling? And most importantly, is this actually going to work?

Becuase if I have to deal with toddler melt-downs on an hourly basis without the healing power of chocloate and I don't shrink a size soon I'm going to pitch a fit that is bigger than my rear end. And that is saying something.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Another Story from the OCD Files

I may have mentioned once or twice (or 652 billion times) that my sister has organizational issues.  ISSUES.  She reads organizing blogs for fun.  Not that she really needs to as order is her best friend and constant companion.

Anyway, because she is such a wonderful person I do try to restrain from airing all of her perfectly clean, folded and colour coded laundry (with socks matched according to wear on the bottom) out on the internet.

However, this latest story is much too good to let go by.  

When they moved into their new house she and her hubby (who is also slightly obsessed with perfection) needed to buy new appliances.  On the advice of our sister-in-law and myself they decided to buy a smooth-top stove.  We assured them they were much easier to clean and looked so good, they would never turn back.  

We did not factor the OCD into this advice.

For the past three weeks my sister has lived a nightmare.  She is obsessed about harming her stove.  She cleans it with the cleanser several times a day, keeps it covered with a dishcloth when not using it and has a minor coronary every time a pot slides around on it.  

I had never heard someone curse out a major appliance before.  Have now. 

It got to the point that family members were getting concerned.  It takes a lot to get us concerned.    She stores her kid's plastic glasses in the cupboard in the exact colour order that they come in from Ikea.  We are rather used to her kind of crazy.   

So this week she and her husband took action.  They called Sears and took advantage of the 60 day satisfaction guarantee.  They were anything but satisfied.  They may be the first couple in the history of modern appliances to return a smooth-top for a coil stove but my sister had a ring in her voice today that has been absent since the arrival of the "stove from hell."  (Her words, not mine.)  

Order has been returned to their corner of the world.  

And that's a good thing.