Monday, January 31, 2011

Writing to my Imaginary and Rapt Friends

It's so fun to have a blog. I don't know who I'm writing to exactly. Not anyone that reads it specifically. Not that I don't like people to read it. I do. I like it way more than any self respecting person would mention. But, I can't let myself think of any one person as I type. Then I might worry about saying this or that. I might worry that what I am typing is boring or annoying. Luckily, I am writing to a kind of real and kind of imaginary someone. Or, maybe multiple someones. I don't know who they are exactly. They remain kind of vague. BUT, they hang on my every word. They can't wait for another post, and they think everything I say is the very thing they most want to hear. They can't get enough of it.

Even little tiny things like -- Jesse. They really do want to hear all about the trouble he causes and how I really really love him and also really really want to curl up in a fetal position close to a wall so I can rhythmically bang my head against it while I cry when I think about him. But he's so darn cute and says, "See ya' soon, Mom. Lub you!" as he goes to wreak havoc. And he insists we let him pray and repeats his little prayers in such a heartbreakingly cute way.

Whoever I'm blogging to loves that. They understand it and don't think I'm a bad mom for saying all that about wanting to cry and bang my head against a wall. And they want me to tell them all about how he is now in the stage of wanting to do every single thing himself. "I wanna try! I wanna try it!!" And how it is kind of tricky, but also kind of cute when I have to trick him into thinking he is putting his crib sheet back on himself by having him say, "push push" with his chubby little hands as he sticks them down the side of the mattress as we put the sheet back on (the sheet he tore off and threw out of his crib himself -- incidentally).

Not everyone loves to read that sort of thing, but whoever I am blogging to really REALLY loves to read it. They wish I would write more about Jesse.

Then I bring up Goldie's ear infection and they are suddenly like, "Oh? What? Do tell! How exciting!" It is fun to be writing about an ear infection and know it is bringing edge-of-your-seat kind of excitement to someone (even if that someone is in my imagination -- it still makes it fun to write). They think it is very entertaining to hear how I dreaded having her start on the ten day (twice a day) course of antibiotics because she is quite awful about taking medicine, and I envisioned twenty nightmares trying to get it in her. Instead it has turned out quite lovely because luckily (well . . . luckily is a strange word to use here), but luckily I was diagnosed with strep throat the very same day. We bought a pack of Skittles and I told Goldie she had to be the one in charge of reminding us both to take our medicine every morning and night (which she has faithfully done -- and that is good because if you read my earlier post you will know that I forget things and she remembers things). It is quite a little production each time. We get her dropper all full and ready. Then we get her a little cup of water. Then we get out my pill and cut it in half (because it is too big and I think I will choke on it). Then we get my cup of water. Then we get out a Skittle for each of us for a reward. When that is all set up. Goldie makes me wait to take my medicine 'til she is done with hers (which she takes in tiny doses with a drink between each bit). Then I finally get to swallow mine and tell her what a great girl she is being about her medicine. Then we eat our Skittles. Everything is marked on the calendar and she gets a prize at the end, and as much as she hates her medicine, she told me the other day she'll be sad when it is gone -- she likes our little yucky-medicine-and-then-a-Skittle ritual and that we get to do it together.
Do you see why having a blog with my mysterious rapt reader(s) is so wonderful? Who else would ever want me to tell them all of that? This is great.

Also, they want to know all sorts of things about me. Like how I wonder why it is that I like one thing to overkill -- always. A song. A certain food. No moderation. I will just listen to it (or eat it) over and over and over . . . until I can't really stand it anymore. Why is that? I don't know, but whoever my imagination is blogging to thinks it's charming.
They also don't want to say "gag" or feel bad if I tell them things I like so much about my husband. They think it is wonderful. They think he is wonderful (and sometimes trouble -- which he is). And they like me being happy as much as if they were my own mother. They love knowing about the time I complained to Mike that our new budget was not budgeting in the fact that I needed some new perfume. Later that day Mike brought me home one of those perfume samples you tear out of a magazine that maybe have enough sample to rub a little on your wrist. We both laughed at the perfume our new budget allowed as he handed it to me and said, "I can't guarantee it hasn't been used." But it actually made me so happy because I loved that my husband, hours after I grumbled about perfume, was still thinking of me and remembering that I'd mentioned wanting perfume when he came across the magazine sample. A week or two later, when Mike was on a work trip, he used up a fairly large amount of his per diem to buy me two new bottles of perfume. I loved that, but I think his little teasing gesture with the magazine sample made me just as happy.

I could go on and on because I have many more small and insignificant things I could ramble about -- which would be fine because my imaginary reader (maybe I have an imaginary friend now?) would love all of it. BUT, sometimes, just for a second, you real readers out there come into my consciousness, and while I know you all enjoy me well enough, I suddenly feel a little sheepish about all my ramblings. That is good though. It keeps me somewhat in check . . . somewhat.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Goldie and her Mom

The other day Goldie made an interesting observation. "Mom," she said, "you forget a lot of things, and I remember a lot of things."

Here was another recent conversation:

Me: Thanks you guys for helping me earlier when I was sad.
Goldie: You're welcome. Why were you sad?
Me: Oh I don't know. I was just feeling kind of overwhelmed. That's when you feel like there is just too much you have to do and you can't handle it.
Goldie: I feel that way all the time! . . . When I have to clean my room.

It was comforting to see she knew where I was coming from. Although, I don't know if there two small moments tell more about her keen insights or my often scrambled state of mind.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Last night Mike talked to the kids about goals. They each thought of one and he wrote them down as they did. You might not consider the two goals below as worthy goals. In fact, looking at them stuck to our fridge with all the others makes me laugh. Who wouldn't want their child to read? Or to eat an apple for heaven's sake! But trust me these goals are two very necessary goals for the children who are pursuing them.

Family Portrait

I love Penny's drawings. There is something fairly distinct about the way she handles her markers that I always recognize as very -- Pennyish.
But what I most like about how she draws is that she doesn't feel the need to conform to any typical ideas about things like . . . oh . . . the human form.

Take this recent family portrait for example. See me? I'm the one there on the right with yellow hair and a rather corn-cob looking mouth. As you can see, she knows well enough the typical layout of the human body -- there I am: head, body, arms, legs and even my "church shoes" (as Penny informed me when I asked if I was wearing heels). And take a look at Goldie -- the blue girl at the bottom of the paper. She's fairly typical (although I admit her hair is blue and her eyes are a bit psychotic).
But then . . . there's Mike. For him, she decided a giant blue and red stripey blob would be more fitting. And, what about Daisy? She is actually sporting not one, but TWO pairs of wings. Wings I say! (And a tail?). Penny saw no need to explain why this would be. Only nodded that yes, those were wings on Daisy, when I asked.
Anyway, that's all that really needs commenting, but I will also let you know that Jesse is the small pink fella, Abe is the yellow and orange guy, and Penny is "wearing a gray crown that I bought for her [I haven't actually purchased her a gray crown] and wrapped in her pink blanky." I imagine a child psychologist could have quite a field day with this!

But, Penny has been particularly fun lately. She keeps sneaking out of her bed in the middle of the night. She doesn't try to bother us. I'll just wake to find her trying to make a little bed for herself on the floor next to our bed. Or, last night, I discovered her sleeping on the hard box springs that were left in the room that we just opened up and moved Goldie out of.
Plus, she just does and says funny things. When I was tucking her in the other night I asked her why there were all these small pieces of toilet paper sitting next to her bed. "Mom!" She said in a frustrated tone, "They're for my collection!" And the other night, as she was heading up to bed she said, "Say goodnight to my room 'cause my room can talk!" And then, in the deepest most frightening voice that made Mike and I look at each other and burst out laughing she said (speaking as her room), "Good night, Mom!"
And lastly, can I just say that sometimes I don't know what on earth I am even supposed to be explaining to my children? Recently Penny looked at me kind of seriously and kind of confusedly and said, "Did you know a prophet is in our tummies?"
"Ummm." I said, trying to think what she was trying to get at here, "Well. The prophet actually lives at his own house . . . but . . . sometimes babies grow in mommies tummies?" I replied -- hopefully -- wondering if this could be what she was after.
She only shook her head and said defensively, "Well. Something is in us!"
Hesitatingly I tried, "Our spirits?"
"YEA!" She shouted -- as if I'd gotten the right answer on a game show.
Whew. Tough.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Abe and Sunny-D

Look at my handsome freckled boy. Why so serious in the picture? I don't know. He can be so very . . . unserious.

Take tonight for example. He was drinking a glass of Tampico citrus drink. Let me pause here, briefly, to say that I can imagine few things that might appeal to me less than the idea of drinking Tampico (basically Sunny-D). The thought of drinking such a thick (OK, I don't actually know if it's "thick") sugary fluid makes me shudder. And, lest you think I am a terrible mom for buying it, I'll have you know I bought it for Mike. He occasionally likes it -- bless his heart.

Anyway, Abe had a little cup full tonight. He took a swallow, grimaced, and said, "You know why I don't like this kind of Tampico?"

"Why?" I questioned (though it seemed to me there could be any number of reasons why one wouldn't).

"Because it kind of tastes like Sunny-D when I'm about to throw-up." (I guess drinking it makes him think of how he would feel if he were violently ill and was offered a cup of the similar drink).

I laughed. "Why are you drinking it then!?"

He shrugged, chuckled, and replied, "Because it's kind of good."

That boy and I get along pretty well. And, we have some good laughs together.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Look at this terribly overexposed picture. I realize that, photographically speaking, it is a complete wash out (hohoha -- yes, pun intended, aren't I the clever one). But when I looked at it on my camera, and later on my computer, I just . . . kept looking at it. The way my three littlest ones were heading off into all that whiteness -- unconcerned and unhurried as can be, but with no intention of stopping or saying farewell; only one last acknowledging look from Goldie -- made me feel sort of saddish. It made me feel like they were all heading off into the next life or into some unknown future . . . with out me. And every time I see it I want to say, "Hey! Wait you three! Stop! Don't leave with out me! Turn back!" And yet I feel certain that even if I did call they would do no more than smile comfortingly back and continue on . . . and that I wouldn't be able to follow them. Silly. I know. But I feel like I'm in a dream and that is happening whenever I see it. Then, somewhat comically, I think, "What's with the warm coats? Do you need to be all bundled up to go where you're going?"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I felt like such an amazing mom today. Let me tell you why: I was trying to find the few Tinkertoys that I'd seen lying out earlier -- so I could put them with the others, but only one of the three could be found. So I thought to myself, "Where would I be if I were a Tinkertoy . . . and I lived in the same house as little Mr. Jesse Frank?" Then, almost immediately I thought, "I'd probably be in the garbage disposal." And indeed, that's where they both were. Of course, maybe I'm not so amazing. I've also been thinking for some time now, "Where would I be if I were a TV remote and lived in the same house as Jesse?" And I've checked the heater vents AND the fridge AND the garbage disposal AND my makeup drawer -- all to no avail. BUT, speaking of Tinkertoys. The evening before my garbage disposal find, I found myself prying peas from dinner out of the little circles in the round Tinkertoys. They fit there quite nicely so I could see why it might seem a logical place for someone to have put them. All the same, I thought, "This is one of those things that never really occurred to me that I might be doing when I thought about my life once I was married and had kids."

And all of that makes me think that it is interesting how many of my recent thoughts have revolved around Tinkertoys. And one wonders why I sometimes don't recall a whole lot of information from my Chemistry and Biology days. Tinkertoys are pretty cool though. Both Penny and Jesse were gratifyingly appreciative of my skills when I built them the old Tinkertoy rattle (well, we just call it a shaker around here -- it's not really a rattle) and swing set last night. I'm not saying I'm the greatest Tinkertoy builder ever . . . necessarily . . . I'm just telling it like it was: they were greatly impressed.
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