Saturday, February 28, 2009

Penny Penny Quite Contrary . . .

Penny is now 21 months, and she has become quite a contrary little soul. She spends a huge portion of each day yelling, "Don't" and "No" and "No don't" and "Hey!!! Don't!" at all of us. I've heard her say these phrases as someone simply passes nearby -- as if giving them a gentle warning; I've heard her say them to her doll; and I've heard her saying them when she is all alone -- apparently just practicing. She also gives us a "no" following most anything we say. Me: "Abe, could you come empty the dishwasher?" Penny: "NO! Dishwasher." Me: "Penny, do you see the pretty flowers?" Penny: "NO!!! Pretty flowers."
The good thing is, at this age, it is actually and oddly rather endearing. Even when she shouts, "Bad girl!" at one of us (a phrase she learned from Goldie by stealing Goldie's toys, breaking Goldie's toys, or throwing Goldie's toys at Goldie's head) I can't help but smile.

I can't help it, I've said it before, but this toddler/just learning to really talk stage is by far my very favorite. it is just such fun to see them trying to be a real little independent person and about 3/4ths of what they do seems very cute and funny (the other 1/4th of the time they are doing things like throwing all the food off their high-chair and then putting their dirty bowl on their head).
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Penny does have her sweet spells between her "don'ts." She has the cutest ever shy response. If someone is talking to her or if she is walking by someone she might be nervous of she either closes her eyes to a tiny half squint, covers her eyes altogether, puts her hands up to the side of her eyes like blinders, or simply tucks her chin in and stares straight down at the floor completely motionless. She even put on her blinders each time she walked past a duck at the duck pond Mike took her to the other day. She isn't yet interested in TV, but she will go and sit herself in Abe's lap when the kids are watching a show -- just to be a part of things for a minute. She will occasionally lie in my arms or next to me and let me tickle her arms and feet while I sing a little lullaby. When I finish she will quietly insist, "again," over and over. She often goes about singing little lullabies loudly to herself. A favorite starts high and loud with "Lullaby! Lullaby!" then gets a little lower as she sings a lot of mumbling nonsense and then ends on a low and quiet, "Jesse." Here was some beautiful singing she was doing in her crib after waking from a nap the other day. I had to film the monitor and not her or she would have stopped to shout, "No! Don't!!!"
video

And now, I must get down a few more things I love that she is doing at this stage.

She runs everywhere she goes. It is never walk to get a toy, it is run. She even has a little game she plays all alone where she runs back and forth between the front door and family room shouting, "Go! Go! Go away! Go!"

She translates things she hears into her own language. For example, Abe was watching a cartoon and someone said, "We are sitting ducks!" Penny, from the other room said, "Quack quack. Sitting quack." She also simply narrates much of what is happening around us, "Baby coughing." "Door shut." Etc.

She seems to think that the source of all sorrow in the world comes from "bonked heads." The other day I was getting her out of her crib when she heard Goldie begin to cry about something downstairs. She looked at me and said with great animation and wide eyes, "Goldie bonk head!" Another time, Abe went to his room and shut the door to wail about something gone wrong. Penny spent a few fruitless moments trying to get in before she sadly said, "Abey sad. Bonk head."

She is actually not a bad little helper. She will go about finding little left behind wrappers to throw away or help clean up her blocks. She is so good at it that she even managed to throw away several Christmas presents that didn't look "presenty" enough for her.

She loves shoes and cell phones. We can be at a family party with a million kids around and if anyone's cell phone or shoe goes missing we all know where to look -- wherever Penny is. She has even taken to hiding herself in the pantry closet when she gets ahold of Mike's work cell.

I am already excited to see what little Jesse will be saying and doing during this stage. I know many people get baby hungry, but I think I only get toddler hungry.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fixer Upper

Lately I have been falling to little pieces physically. I don't know what is going on exactly or just who on earth my body thinks it is going all skiwampus at its every whim. It's as if every system has just thrown in the towel. I was grumbling about it to Mike the other night complaining that I felt all old and washed up. "I don't want you to have a washed up wife," I whined.

"Oh, you're not washed up," he reassured me, "You're just a fixer upper. A little white wash and you should be good to go."

And lastly, I will add this: Do any of the rest of you nearly gag if you have to swallow multiple pills one after another? I can take one fine, but lately I am taking 4 each morning and 4 each evening and I find myself dreading it. I hum and haw and then finally take them only to end with gagging and shuddering and sputterings of “yuck” and "yeck" and a few more all over body quivers. It isn't like I taste them. I don't know what the problem is. Maybe I have just finally found a quirk, but really, I do not like it at all.

Hey Little Guy,


You are way too darn cute.


He is a great little smiler, but the camera seems to put him in a trance, so I can't ever catch them on film.


Jesse is off the charts on height but only average for weight, so he's kind of a scrappy little guy.

Yes, solidarity my son. Keep that fist held high.


Seriously, I keep trying to look at him objectively and think, "Do I just think you are the cutest thing in the universe because you are my son?" But no, any way I look at him I just am certain that no one could think otherwise.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Charts Charts Charts

This morning Abe showed me a little behavior chart in a Bernstein Bears book that he thought we might want to try. It basically listed certain behavioral offenses and what the associated punishment would be. For example: Hitting – Sweep the floor. “Sure,” I said, “We could make a chart like that for family night.” And then I began thinking just how many charts we have had during the short span of our child rearing years. There have been chore charts and posters and jars for filling with good behavior beans. There have been treat boxes and potty charts and everything in between (those last two lines totally sounded like a Dr. Sues poem. If I was feeling adventurous I'd continue this whole post in that vein, but I am not).

I don't know why we have been so fickle with our charting. They start out strong and eventually lose steam. I won't say they have done no good. They have. We have had bouts of success with various things such as trying different foods, being unselfish, finishing daily chores. Occasionally they have curbed some poor behavior before it got too out of control. But in the end, they all sit and sit unused and are eventually tossed out.

Our most recent “chart” was me saying that I was now giving them points for each time they did something (like get dressed) the first time I asked. It worked wonderfully for about two days – kids were running to brush their teeth or put away their pajamas before I could even think to ask again. Eventually, however, the fact that points were neither being recorded nor rewarded seemed to halt the momentum we'd been gaining.

Another one that faired mediocre at best was the cup for beans. Every time they were unselfish and let the other person have their way I would add a bean to the cup – when it was filled they'd get a trip to the dollar store. It too started out great with Daisy insisting Goldie sit where she wanted, and Goldie happily handing over toys to Daisy, etc. Unfortunately no one reckoned on just how many hundreds of beans it would take to ever fill that darn cup and so, about an eighth of the way full it too lost its novelty. If it was going to be ten years before the dollar store anyway, may as well selfishly get what you wanted once in awhile.

Anyway, I am totally making this new chart with my kids come Monday night. They will love it, and for about three days I am going to have some really good kids or else a whole lot of cleaning done. I love a good chart.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Little of my Goldie Sadness

Today Goldie and I had a little conversation in the car that was light hearted and cheerful but that made me cry all the same.

A few months ago we found a few bald spots on the back of Goldie's head. I probably wouldn't have even thought much about them or worried that they meant anything except for the fact that my sister, my father, and a cousin all have alopecia -- an autoimmune disease where your body's immune system attacks your hair follicles. Doing a little research I quickly realized that there is not much else that causes your hair to fall out in round patches -- radiation treatments, ringworm, tension hair loss from tight ponytails, nervous habit of pulling out hair and . . . alopecia. None of the others apply so unless it is a total fluke, she most likely does have alopecia. Many people that get alopecia only ever have patches here and there and nothing more. Which would be what we hope for. Some lose all the hair on their body (like my cousin) and others lose all the hair on their heads (like my dad and sister). It is just a waiting game now. Both my dad and sister had patches for many years before losing all of their hair. Needless to say, this has given us a lot of anxiety and stress over our little Goldie. The thought of her losing her sweet little blonde locks, dealing with the trauma and insecurity of being bald, and the unthinkableness of any kid ever making fun of her makes me sob every time I think about it in any depth. My family has been wonderful though (as has Mikes). Knowing somewhat about how difficult it is to handle (from witnessing my sister dealing with it), they have all been praying and praying for her. Praying that she might not lose her hair, and that IF, for whatever reason, she will have to have this trial, that the impact can be softened -- that it can happen in a way and at a time that would be the least traumatic.

I've had mixed feelings about how to deal with it at present. Mike believes (and is likely right) that there is no reason to make her worry when we don't even know that she'll ever lose it. At the same time, it seems like in some ways it might be less devastating if it wasn't a sudden shocking surprise. I've read that children often cope with it better than adults because they are less conscientious about appearance issues, and part of me thinks that if she knew it was a possibility and we were able to just talk normally about it maybe it wouldn't be as bad as it could be if, say, it suddenly got bad in the middle of those rough and insecure teenage years. If it does happen, I would hope she could just be bold and confident -- that she could be unashamed in using it as a mark of who she is and realize the opportunity it would be for her to stand out and influence people who were struggling. That is how my sister is now, but I clearly remember how horrifying it was initially for her and how terrified and humiliated she felt at the thought of any boy she was dating discovering she wore a wig. Oh, but I mustn't type about those kinds of things because then I start to tear up again as I think of Goldie.
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Anyway, I haven't said anything specifically to her, but once, several months back, I just kind of tested the waters casually by saying something about how beautiful she was and how she would even be beautiful if she had no hair. I think that, because we'd been looking at her head a lot, she sensed something in that statement that she otherwise would not have because she immediately said, "But I don't want that to happen! I wouldn't be pretty!" I said, "but Shannon has no hair and she is pretty." "Yes," she conceded thoughtfully, "but I don't think a kid would look much good with no hair." I mentioned how I'd seen a lot of pictures of kids with no hair and that they looked very cute, but changed the subject because I didn't want to upset my little girl who had said, "Still, I don't want that to happen to me."

Then, out of the blue today, as we were driving in the car (it has been probably two months since that conversation) she said, "Mom, if my hair ever does do that -- fall out, I'd like to see some pictures of those kids with no hair so I can see if I'd still be cute or not."

"You'd be so cute honey because you have such a cute face and such a cute round head." I responded casually, "but I can show you those pictures on the computer sometime."

She still seemed interested in the topic so I said, "Goldie, do you know what is fun that some people do if they have no hair?"

"What?" She questioned.
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"Sometimes they just show their cute heads, and sometimes they wear all kinds of cute scarves on their heads that they hook things to like flowers, and sometimes they get fun wigs so that they can have brown hair or blonde hair each day!"

"Well," Goldie said happily, "I wouldn't much like the wigs."

"Just maybe the things wrapped around your head or just showing your cute head?"

"Yah."

"You know what is kind of funny. Sometimes people with no hair get very cold because hair keeps your head warm so sometimes, like Shannon, they wear snuggly little caps to keep their heads warm."

"Or" she said excitedly, "I could just put my hood on!" she paused then laughed, "If I always wore my hood, no one would even know I didn't have any hair!"

"Yah, you could just trick them. That would be silly, but also just showing your little head would be very cute."

"Yah," Goldie agreed, "I would just do that if my head was cold." She gave me her crazy wide eyed silly face and laughed, "'cause I wouldn't want my head to get cold!"

And then we were at our destination. I love my little girl. I liked how calm and happy she seemed having that conversation, but I feel extra emotional again because of it. She is quite the cutey I must say. I've been having a lot of fun giving her a little extra attention with Abe and Daisy back in school. Here was what she was doing today.

video

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Buillion, Slivers, and All Around Crazy

Note to self: bullion is by the soup. Remember this so that the next time you need it you won't walk very slowly up and down, and up and down the isle where the taco seasoning is and then up and down, and up and down the isle where the salt, pepper and other spices are like you do every single time you need bullion as you think to yourself, "Think think think. Where was that bullion."

And another thing -- does anyone know what happens if a little tiny piece of wood . . . like say the size of the very end of a toothpick gets lodged deep in the bottom of your foot? Because, well, that is where a very tiny piece of wood is. Very deep and very very tiny. Only my foot is all swollen, and I limp like a little fox whose paw got caught in one of those scary traps (well, at least how he would limp were he to get away from one of those traps with his paw still intact -- if he'd gnawed his paw off to get away, well, I wouldn't be able to compare myself fairly because it is not that bad -- yet). Tia, ask your doctor friend will you. Sure he may be a neurosurgeon (oh, I am so sorry I forgot just what type of a doctor your husband is), but what good is that if he doesn't know anything about slivers? I think they would have to cut my whole foot open and search and search to find it . . . which seems like a lot of misery for one very minuscule piece of wood. OH!! Oohhh . . . I totally know you are all going to use this in a lesson now about a little festering sin.

Anywho, toodle-lou. I'm clearly all crazy in the head right now and should not be blogging. No, this would be a much better time to work on my church talk for tomorrow. Hahaha. Oh how they'll love it.

P.S. MMmm, I love Maddox Turkey Steaks. Just the kind you buy at the store and cook yourself. The kind that don't exist in other states. I'm going to go eat one right this minute.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Me? Who? What? How?

Every now and then, as I'm involved in some seemingly ordinary thing, I suddenly stop and think, "Huh?? When did this become me?" You see, I really still feel like the same me that was just finishing college. The same me that was just getting married while older, longer married couples smiled knowingly at my giddiness and asked to see my ring. I still see me as that early 20's girl just barely starting the "dream" I'd always imagined. Because really, from my very early teens on, I imagined (as most girls likely do) finding my one true love and marrying him . . . maybe having our first tiny baby, but the imagining stopped there. That was the destination.

Naturally I knew there would be more life to follow and sure, if someone asked, I would say that much of it would likely be grand, but it is just that the dreaming and imagining stopped at the point of the newly married me. Maybe I still feel that way because our relationship doesn't seem any different than when we were first married (except likely even better now that we know each other more), or maybe everyone gets stuck in their mind at a certain age and point where they continue to see themselves despite reality. But every now and then, I suddenly see me as someone else, as the me I guess I really am now. It is not unpleasant, in fact it even makes me smile. It is just . . . surprising.

Take today for example. I was standing at the kitchen table, pursing my lips as I labored over getting some scouting patches just right on Abe's new scout shirt. Well, "labored" might have been an exaggeration. Bless the scouts, likely in response to the increasing lack of homemaking skills, they have now made available some sticky material in the shape of the various patches so you can basically press it on the patches and then apply them to the shirt. Never even touching a sewing machine. Still, I was worried about gluing things in just the right spot. Suddenly I had one of those moments. "What?" I thought, "Is this me? Getting a boy's scout uniform ready? What do I know about scouts? What am I doing with a boy in scouts?" I can't quite explain what a strange sensation it is when I suddenly see me far beyond what I'd dreamt up to during my teenage years. It is a weird, sort of nostalgic, melancholy, but also very -- turn the corners of your mouth into a surprisingly happy but unbelieving smile -- kind of feeling.

Most of the time you just go about life living it with out thinking anything is odd, but every now and then, the reality of who or where you are surfaces quite shockingly. I'm sure I'll think the same thing some day when I am sewing my daughter's wedding dress, "Huh? How did I get here? I am only just married myself!" Well, I won't actually ever be sewing a wedding dress. (After all, didn't I just mention the glue on scout patches)! I'll be with her as she tries wedding dresses on. But, my mother DID sew my wedding dress! It was gorgeous with its rhinestones and pearls. And look there I am in it -- just as I still think I am . . . only with a scout and his four siblings surrounding me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oh The Confusion

Silly me. I started typing that last post and when I said the pictures of our house would "look like this," I was going to attach a picture of one of our spackled walls -- spackle spackle everywhere. And then I was going to say it reminds me of someone who did a horrible shave job on their face and had little pieces of toilet paper everywhere. Then I'm sure I had some more comments, but I was sidetracked and just pushed "save," or so I thought. Apparently I pushed "publish" because today I found all these comments emailed to me on a post I never thought saw the light of day. And I was a little embarrassed since I knew it was not finished and couldn't have made a bit of sense, but all is well. Jami and Tia reassured me that I am doing just fine, and that was nice.

Tia was right. I have a huge list of things I want to do -- get another bar stool, spray paint them to match the bar, organize the computer stuff, clean out the garage, find a curtain for the kitchen, get cute containers for the kid's shoes, organize the laundry room so there is a cute little basket for each kid's clean clothes so they will have to fold and put them away, try to decorate!

Tia said it just right when she talked about the progress at the get go. I made a huge amount of progress initially -- unpacking and all. If you'd seen the house when it was first full of boxes compared to now, you'd be amazed.

But then I got tired and life started again -- which meant more than just all day every day making the house all perfect, so it will be slow getting the rest all how I want it, but because I do have dreams (which reminds me of a part in a favorite cartoon my family loves called "The Family Dog," when the mom wails, "Do I have dreams? Do I have aspirations? No, but I have a toilet bowl that's Spring time fresh, and I'm more than happy to be short order cook to a DOG!" -- incidentally, that dog later turns into a "quivering, snarling, white hot ball of canine terror" and saves the family from robbers . . . and then joins the robbers for awhile). Which brings me back to my dreams. I have dreams for how I should make this home but am short on the money, time, energy and motivation, but somehow I feel like everyone that comes in here will think, "Doesn't she know that doesn't look right? Why wouldn't she fix that?" But what kind of judgemental folks do I think plan on visiting me anyway? Silly of my pride.

And now I hope all the confusion of that last untitled post is cleared up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Several of you have asked to see more pics of our new house, but let me tell you why you are not seeing those pics. It is because you would see things like this. Wowzers there were a lot of dents, dings and holes in these walls! We also have these nice tall white baseboards, but when I look at them, all I can do is sigh and think, "More work," because they too are scuffed and marked every inch. Also, I think I've been a bit . . . I don't know . . . it is just this house is a very nice house -- you know the old granite counter tops, high ceilings, and other fancy shmancies, but I have not yet adapted my very minimalist style to match (minimalist style was a nice way of saying -- no style). I really am at a loss for what to do to make anything look as good as someone living in a house like this ought to know. I

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CatCHIng uP WiTH My KIdS

I love these two paper's Abe brought home from school. In this first one, I love the exclamation mark after what he might name his cat as well as "the 2nd or 3rd term of night." I don't know when that is, but I would hate to have to get up during either of those times.


In this one, I especially love the last sentence. (Also, note the fine handwriting for a second grader. Abe recently got an award for penmanship from his teacher).

Speaking of Abe, he is at that stage where it is pretty much impossible to get him to sit and just give you a plain old normal face for a picture . . . try though I might.





Here is Daisy posing with my little butched bang Penny.


Speaking of Daisy and posing. She is so fun. Most of my kids get very very angry if, perchance, they are crying or grumpy and I try to sneak a picture of them. Daisy, on the other hand, loves that I would find her so cute even amidst her tears and cheers right up. These three pics were taken consecutively yesterday after she claimed Abe pushed her.
What? Did Mom just get the camera out?

Why yes, it appears she did.

And lastly, my little Jesse has been robbed of pictures lately. I've been too swamped to get the camera out. So, it is time we catch up with my little man who turned 2 months just days ago. Lately he has been sleeping like 11 hours at night. What?? I know!




Monday, February 9, 2009

Homesick

I am so homesick for WA. That seems odd – that it would hit now rather than 5 ½ months ago when I actually left my WA life. But maybe not. The entire time we stayed at my parent's home we weren't thinking, “This is our new life,” we were searching and waiting for where our new life would begin. I think that until that new life started, I didn't really realize I'd left my old one behind. Now that we are in our new home, our new ward, our kid's new school, and our new neighborhood, I suddenly keep thinking of WA where I once had all those things so happily established.

My new home is fancier and bigger, but as I unpack and try to decide where things should go, I keep remembering their place in my last home. I miss my plain but clean and open little home. I miss the yard we had finally finished with its garden boxes and hole left in the fence so Abe's two backyard neighbor pals could come through. I miss the familiarity I had with my neighbors – the pausing to discuss simple goings on with them, the calls to borrow ingredients, etc. I miss my friends and having people close by who I was comfortable calling when I needed someone to watch a kid or two while I ran an errand or went to an appointment, and I miss their kids – my kid's friends. I miss my ward – the people I served with in my calling, the beautiful and fun Young Women who I got to know so well through countless meetings, activities and Sundays. I miss the familiar faces and the distinct personalities that were the backdrop of my daily life. I miss the roads I ran on and even feel a little pain in my stomach when I think of the familiar roads I drove and places I went. I miss my kid's school and the way they did certain things. I miss the parks and farm lands that were all around us. I miss the book group I went to that was made up of women who, for the most part, were old enough to be my mothers or even grandmothers but who were ready laughers and who truly enjoyed having me there. I miss planning vacations to the ocean.

Last weekend, I had just left a luncheon honoring my mother for a reward she'd received, when I got a message on my cell phone. Our backyard neighbors from WA were here on business and thought they might have just driven by our very house. These were the neighbors whose boys we left the hole in the fence for and whose daughters often babysat my kids. When I called them back, indeed, they had driven by our house (crazy, I'd only told them the city we were in – by total chance they had driven by and recognized our cars) and were now inside talking to Mike! I drove home hardly able to contain my excitement. I tensed up at every red light and had to watch my speed very consciously to avoid flying 100 mph. I was just so so desperate to actually have a few minutes with a little piece of my left behind life.

I know, I know, there is adventure ahead, and I am excited about it (though I worry a little that it was the fact that I had no family up there that forced me a little more quickly to establish those relationships I am craving. I also worry that I am more limited in who I will meet here based on ward boundaries. When our ward took in our whole city and its surrounding areas, there were a lot of people I got to know who I would have never met had the ward cut them out a mile away from me). Still, even with adventure to come, there is just a definite sadness and maybe an almost poetic loneliness about something ending that you can never have back. It is somewhat like your little ones growing up – new stages are exciting, but you can't ever switch them back to the tiny infant or the just learning to talk toddler. Once it is gone, it is gone. I can't ever live in that house again, chat as casually with the same people again, even drive the round-about or the back roads to our church. Even if I visited, it wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't be my world anymore. And it is strange to me to think of those people and places still going on normally with out me as a part of them. That life is still there, but it is gone for me, and I feel very lonely for it as I embark on what will become my new life and my new comfortable.

Hearing Myself

Long ago I got tired of finding random notes scattered in drawers or tucked in books here and there through out the house – you know – thank you notes, birthday cards, notes from kids, notes from Mike to me or me to Mike, etc. So, I designated a special little box for my notes and a special little box for Mike's notes. My box is actually a nice little Tupperware, but then there wasn't another of those handy, so Mike's are in a Hillard and Hansen shoe box. I don't even know who or what that brand is, or whether it would have been a box of male or female shoes, but neither does Mike, and I don't know that he even realizes how nicely I have saved his scattered notes and carefully preserved them in that shoe box anyway – even if it has been in his nightstand drawer for some time now. Still, Mike does place a fair amount of sentimental value on things and would never intentionally throw a nice card or note away so I assume it would make him happy, were he to pause and open that shoe box, to realize I have done this. . . . Though, truthfully, he was probably fine with them scattered through out the house (just so long as they weren't in a garbage) . . . which is why, I guess, it is only fair that I get the Tupperware and he only gets the shoe box.

The point of all this was to say, that as I was unpacking the other day and came upon these note filled boxes, I began going through them because a note is such a happy thing (as I mentioned in this post about notes last year). As I read over some of the notes I'd written to Mike, I noticed something. What I noticed was this: I could hear me in those notes. No no, not me talking like on the movies when someone is reading a letter and suddenly you hear the sender's voice. I just mean, I could hear my writing voice. You know the one. The one you can hear RIGHT NOW! It was me, the writing me, right there in every one of those notes. And, to be honest, it tired me a little. Must I always sound – well, how I sound? You know that you know what I am talking about. The voice that I have cursed for being so hard to punctuate correctly. That same voice that is present in my emails or blog posts or any other thing I write. And that is fine, but when something is . . . how can I explain this. . . when something is so certainly a certain way each and every time, it can get old. If you like that way, fine, but what if it isn't really your style or you simply feel like something different that day? Then perhaps that voice can become maddening or even worse – annoying. Maybe once in awhile I'd like to type up something with a different voice. A voice that could be anyone in the world. A voice that wouldn't rub you wrong if you were tired of that same old voice. I used to worry the same thing when I taught Relief Society. What if sometimes you didn't want a distinct style. What if you just wanted good basic – something.

Anywho, maybe I'll try writing a few posts with different voices. I could even name them – I'll be like “A post about moving written in Beverly's voice” or “A post about life with five kids in Fernando's voice” – but who knows if that would even work. Even me writing that sounds to me like the voice I was talking about. Plus, you might just all start to think I have multiple personalities and that might even be more disturbing than hearing ME and exactly me each and every time I write. Oh don't get me wrong. I like me just fine and I'm sure you all do to, but do you know what I mean? Sometimes I don't want to be so predictable or even so pinned to one way of sounding. I want to be a little more versatile.

Still, I have written Mike some pretty good notes (and one day, when I am dead, and he finds them there in that shoe box, he will miss me all the more) and hearing my writing voice loud and clear was NOTHING as disturbing as when I was young and first heard my talking voice on a tape recorder. I liked the sound of my voice so well in my head, and then to hear it from someone else's perspective – not at all how I thought I sounded was quite disturbing! Blah blah blah . . . and this is all I have to say after my long blog absence?!
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