Thursday, December 18, 2008

Animal Instincts and Other Random Thoughts

I have been noticing of late that I eat A LOT. No really, a lot. I could also sleep for days if I weren't responsible for two li'l girls...who are stinking cute, by the way. So I am either pregnant or I am getting myself ready for the long winter months. Maybe I was a bear in a past life...hibernation suits me.

Why is it that my almost 15-month-old insists upon roaming free while out shopping - refusing to be confined to a shopping cart or her mother's arms - and yet, when I want her to go play and run around at home she insists that I hold her?

The other day we were cleaning up breakfast before EM went to preschool. She said to me, "Mom, your hair is crazy. You really need to fix it before you take me to preschool." She is already embarrassed by her crazy-haired mother! How does a 3-year-old whose hair is ALWAYS crazy become concerned with how her mother's hair looks in public?

I am so glad that I finished my Christmas shopping the first week in December...I had to go to Wal-Mart for some random non-Christmas item, and there is not an ounce of Christmas spirit in Wal-Mart the week before Christmas. Then again, it was Wal-Mart, and even when it's not Christmastime I can't think of a single pleasant experience I've had shopping at that store. Regardless, I am making a mental note to do my Christmas shopping early from now on (and also not to shop at Wal-Mart).

Some days I look at my girls and for a brief moment my heart heart heart heart pounds. I can't adequately describe the feeling, but it overwhelms me. I am consumed with love for these two little munchkins. The rest of the 23 hours 59 minutes and 50 seconds are spent losing my temper, pulling my hair out, scolding, reprimanding, saying "NO!", losing sleep...but in those 10 seconds none of it matters. They are the most perfect things I've ever laid eyes on, and they belong to me, forever and ever and ever.

Friday, December 12, 2008

GOOD Intentions

CW arrived home from work, and I promptly sent him back out (with both girls in tow) to purchase a gingerbread house kit. I try hard to be festive...even though it doesn't always work out for me, what with two small children who don't always cooperate. He came home with the only gingerbread kit they had left...a Disney princess gingerbread castle. How perfectly fitting...we're big princess fans in this household. We bribed EM...she had to eat ALL her dinner before we could build the castle. She ate every last bite, and when she was done she had one protruding belly. But interestingly enough she did not request a bowl of cereal, piece of bread, and/or glass of milk before bed. I think we're on to something here!

We began our building and decorating with gusto...visions of a princess' dream castle danced in our heads. By the time the four walls were glued together with sugary paste, the enthusiasm was already starting to wane. Instead of making a castle fit for a Disney princess, the girls were more interested in:

Just like their momma, they can't pass up sugar in any form. We'd made it this far...
and EM was no longer interested in painting the castle walls pink. I could not manage the sticky goo, and was making even more of a mess than my 3-year-old. So, I graciously took LuV to the bath...leaving CW alone to create "our" masterpiece. What a GOOD sport...not even his idea in the first place, and left to finish the job. And finish he did. Our gingerbread castle may not win any awards, and in the end the girls were more interested

in their bowls of mint chocolate chip ice cream
(and who can blame them?),

reading Skippyjon Jones,

which led to tickling,

which led to snuggling,

until it was time to go to bed...which both girls did without complaint.

but it was a splendid evening, nonetheless. Mostly because I didn't stress about things that are irrelevant. Things that I normally have a hard time letting go. Who cares that our princess castle turned out nothing like the picture on the box? Who cares that EM lost interest after 5 minutes of gingerbread castle making? We were together, we were happy, and EM thinks our princess castle is beautiful, so what else really matters? And yes, CW really is the superdad he appears to be in the photos. He does it all, and he does it got a problem with that?

And here is CW's finished project in all its pink, snow-capped glory....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Economic Hard Times

Even the deer are struggling in this time of economic crisis. ALL DAY LONG, nine deer feasted in our backyard. They must really be hungry to come this far down off the mountain, and to stay all day! The crazy animals weren't even scared of us. In fact, I think they were a little annoyed that we'd invaded their backyard. And still one deer remains....(s)he has apparently decided to stake a claim for breakfast in the morning. See, CW, our house isn't THAT bad....the deer like it better than any other house on the street. Aren't we lucky?

Winter Wonderland

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...Walking in a Winter Wonderland...In the air there's a feeling of Christmas.

It finally feels like December! I finally have an excuse to stay cuddled up inside in my pajamas, and drink cocoa while watching Christmas movies with my girls. I'm finally officially ready for that we've got a blanket of snow covering the ground.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My TV "Type"

Is it just me, or do they look alike?

Okay, I cannot believe I am blogging about television, but apparently this is what my life has come to. So, CW and I have not yet joined the 21st century. We don't have DVR...what am I talking about - DVR??? We don't even have cable...or a flat screen...I know, how ever do we survive? Our bunny ears are bent and broken, our SINGLE television set's home is in our dark, dungeon of a basement, and the only station that we get decent reception for is PBS. That is why I am totally up to date on Curious George, Word Girl, Super Why, and Word World...but pretty much clueless as to what is currently going on in the rest of the sitcom/drama world. While I realize there are other GOOD alternatives to catching up on my shows - for instance, the Internet - I have chosen Netflix to fulfill my TV obsessions.

I actually prefer watching an entire season on my own terms. No commercials, no anxiety over what will happen in next week's episode, no frustration with writers' strikes. If I choose I can sit and watch an entire season in one sitting (that is, if I were childless and husbandless and jobless and had absolutely nothing better to do). The price I pay? Being a little behind the times in my TV "current" events. Has Jim proposed to Pam? What has become of the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815? I don't have to ask what House is up to - he's still antisocial, still cynical, still addicted to Vicodin, still a genius....just solving new cases that I've yet to see. So what if I find out a year later than everyone else?

I'd heard GOOD things about a new show (new to me, anyway) - Chuck. So, last week I received in my mailbox the first disc of the first season. Loved it. Loved Chuck. Now I have a dilemma. My absolute and only TV/Hollywood crush has been Jim Halpert (aka John Krasinski). How can I handle two crushes? How can CW handle me having two crushes? Who would I choose, if I were forced to choose...Jim...or Chuck?!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Handful of Attitude

I have been a bit lazy with the whole blogging thing of late. It's not that I haven't had things to say. Thanksgiving came and went with nary a word from me about all the GOODness in my life. My girls continue to grow up before my very eyes, and daily they do and say silly and adorable and wonderful and horrible things. Sometimes the idea of trying to put my thoughts into writing overwhelms me. I stress about it too much...which is why I was hesitant to even start a blog in the first place. Anyway, here I am, for better or worse.

We went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving....this post is not about the delectable food, the chaotic house filled with 10 grandchildren aged three and under, seeing Twilight with the girls, or satisfying my yearly quota for board games, but we did have a fabulous time. That is, aside from CW ripping the tendons in his finger while trying out for the Turkey bowl - my brothers are seriously serious when it comes to Thanksgiving and football. Poor guy has to keep his finger perfectly straight for eight weeks. This is no easy task, and I realize what a nuisance it must be. But he isn't complaining a whole lot when it's time to do the dishes or bathe the girls, and he is conveniently unable to help. Doctor's orders. He just complains the rest of the time. Love you, sweetie. As I said, this post is not about Thanksgiving, but what has transpired since we returned from Grandma and Grandpa's house.

EM has learned responsibility? She has manners? She is growing up?! Overall she has been an absolute angel this polite and helpful and full of praise for her deserving mother. We ran errands and she was obedient - there were no tantrums. She got her hair cut and she sat still and was pleasant to the woman cutting her hair. This cannot be my child. She tells me regularly that she loves me. The crying and screaming and throwing of fits has significantly decreased. She broke a bottle of mom's perfume (just a little mini sample vial...not the end of the world). She came and told me what she had done and apologized, when normally she would have tried to hide it until the aroma gave her away. Not to mention that once her crime was uncovered the old EM would certainly not have apologized without major coercing.

Heavenly. I like this new daughter of mine. Except that the accidents kept coming and coming and coming. Each time she was full of remorse and said exactly what I, as her mother, wanted to hear. It's awfully hard to get upset when she takes blame and admits that she did something wrong and that it was an accident and she's so sorry that she broke a candle...and another candle...and she wrote in pen on her dress...and she woke LuV up when she'd just barely gotten to sleep...and she broke the angel's wing from the nativity (again, not something I really cared about, but still...what if it had been?)...and I can't remember everything else, but I promise the catastrophes were never ending, or so it seemed. Perhaps it was just because this was the week that all the fun Christmas decorations got pulled out of storage. Christmas decorations that are not always kid friendly.

So I'm wondering - did EM really figure out how to get away with all her mischief? Is she really that smart? And how did she do it? How did she learn this while at Grandma and Grandpa's, surrounded by children younger than her three years and eight months? Aha! There were a couple major incidents at Grandma and Grandpa's involving EM - a broken lamp shade and some excessive cutting of the ping pong table's net with a pair of scissors inadvertently left on the floor. Of course my parents were far more gracious than I would have been...they were much more forgiving than they ought to have been...What are grandparents GOOD for if not to be loving and forgiving even when we're at our worst?

Is this how she discovered that the punishment is less severe when she says and does all the right things after she says or does something wrong? Should I be glad for this? Is this a GOOD thing? This is what I hope she knows. If not now, at least some day. When she does mess up there is a proper way to make it right again. To recognize that she will make mistakes (and usually they happen immediately after she has been asked NOT to do something). It is better to accept responsibility and admit what she's done. To SINCERELY apologize. Try, try, try to be more careful next time.

I must admit I find myself a lot less frustrated with her, even though the mischief and trouble and mess is no less. So, I'll just be grateful for that...if I'm trying to be optimistic here.

And one last thing...where does this girl get her attitude?! It couldn't possibly be from High School Musical 2, which I let her watch with me the other day. She's definitely got the eye-rolling, exasperated tone of voice, two syllable "Mo-om" thing down pat...and she's 3??? Okay, she was born with attitude, but please, oh please let her get it out of her system now so that she will be a delightfully pleasant and obedient teenager.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sisterly Love

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings EM goes to preschool for 2 1/2 hours. I thought this was going to give me a GOOD break a couple days a week. I'd be able to clean the house, do laundry, maybe even read a book! Wishful thinking. For those 2 1/2 hours I am on LuV entertainment duty. With no big sister to play with, I get to attempt to replace EM. I don't do a very GOOD job. LuV walks around the house, calling "E? E?" It isn't as fun to read stories or play games when it's just the two of us. She misses EM and all her silliness. She's whiny and needy and 11:30 can't get here soon enough. At about 11:20 I announce that it's time to go "bye-bye" so we can get EM. Immediately her face brightens and she reaches for me to pick her up and get her loaded into the car. Today as we drove to pick EM up I looked back at LuV in my rear view mirror. She was looking longingly at EM's empty booster seat. We all agree, life is so much more fun with EM around.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh, the Hypocrisy

Last Sunday I taught a lesson in church to the 14 and 15-year-old girls on GOOD health habits. Me, a lesson on GOOD health habits. My health habits involve devouring an entire pan of apple crisp in one evening (nearly did so tonight). My weight fluctuates more than a politician's promises (don't believe me, look at my high school yearbook from sophomore to junior year). Okay, so my health habits have hopefully improved somewhat since high school, but still I'm not exactly an exemplary role model in this department. Since those high school yo-yo weight years, I have never been able to look in a mirror and see what I really, actually, physically look like. Ask my little sister. Back in the day I would drive her crazy asking her how I compared to passersby. "Am I bigger or skinnier than her?" Nowadays I just use a scale and how tight my jeans fit as a standard of comparison. I'm pretty sure CW would not appreciate me asking him to compare my weight to other women's. So what do I say to these girls? Do I tell them all my poor health habits and say, "Do as I say not as I do (or did)?" Or do I pretend to be Patty Perfect who eats only fruits and veggies and whole grains and meat sparingly and exercises daily? You really don't need to answer that question, but sometimes I feel like such a hypocrite giving these lessons to THESE girls. They are way better than me.

And so, to add insult to injury, I get a call Monday evening. From a member of the bishopric. I thought Monday evenings were supposed to be off-limits for such phone calls. I am speaking this Sunday in church. On prayer. I am not a perfect prayer. I do not have a perfect testimony of prayer. Now, don't panic anyone. I recognize the importance and need for it. I just struggle with it sometimes. And so, I get to, once again, preach my hypocrisy. This time it's not just in front of five adolescent girls. This time I get to preach it from the pulpit to the entire congregation! I know that I'm being melodramatic. I don't have to be perfect in order to give a lesson or a talk on a subject. How many times have I heard someone say, "I learned more from preparing this lesson/talk than...."? So, apparently I've got a thing or two to learn. Who knew? As it's the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I think it's more than appropriate to talk about prayers of gratitude. I can handle that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

A couple weeks ago I went to lunch with my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law. One of the topics of conversation, a topic that only other mothers can truly appreciate, was "mommy brain" or "momnesia." Apparently Oprah's very own Dr. Oz claimed that a pregnant woman's brain can shrink up to 8% while she is pregnant! Something to do with Omega-3 fats, but let's not get technical here. So in order to help grow back a brain you are supposed to take Omega-3 fats and get plenty of sleep. I have never taken Omega-3 fatty acids, and it has been well over a year since I got a full night's sleep. That reminds me, I forgot that I should be in bed right now. I think I will finish this post tomorrow. GOOD night.

Well, it is now days later, and I am debating whether to finish this silly post or not, but since I am a firm believer in starting what I finish (or switch that around)...So, some of you may have been aware that Tuesday was Veterans Day. I should have been aware, but apparently my brain has shrunk so much that I cannot remember a tiny detail for 48 little hours. The youth group from our church, of which I am supposedly a "leader," puts flags up on applicable holidays in order to raise money for various activities.

Tuesday morning felt like any other morning to me. It looked like any other morning. I wake up and lie in bed until it is absolutely necessary to get up and take care of my children. I feed them and dress them and do all the things a GOOD mother should. It was a Tuesday, which means that I actually leave the house to take EM to preschool. As I turn off my street I see a sight that makes my stomach sink. There are festive flags of red, white, and blue waving from the front lawn of every house, except the poor houses on my pitiful flagless street. Someone dropped the ball - big time. Sunday - less than 48 hours ago - an announcement was made. Meet at 6:30 a.m. to put up flags. My brain took that little piece of information and immediately discarded it. I didn't sleep in - I was awake at 6:30 (though not necessarily up and at 'em). I simply had no recollection when I awoke that morning that it was any other day than a normal Tuesday.

All I can say is thank GOODness it was a Tuesday! Most days the chances that I would have left the house at all, let alone by 9:00 a.m., are pretty non-existent. Looking out my window, all I saw were my neighbors' houses barren of their Veterans Day flags. I would have remained blissfully oblivious to the fact that just that very morning my group of girls stood waiting in the cold for their trustworthy leader to show up. Hope they didn't wait too long.

Needless to say, I cursed myself all the way to preschool. "I am an idiot." EM replied, "Yep, Mom, you are." Thanks, sweetie, love you too. Maybe she doesn't really know what the word "idiot" means, and that to her it is a princess-like creature who is loved by all and is practically perfect in every way. Let's just pretend.

I put the flags up, with the help of a kindly man who took pity on my idiocy. It was only three hours late. I only hoped the girls could find it in their hearts to forgive me. I wouldn't blame them if they decided to leave me on my own for President's Day, 4th of July, 24th of July, Labor Day, and whatever other holidays warrant a flag. I brought hot cocoa and donuts that evening when it was time to take the flags down. What else could I do?

So, who knew that senility begins in your thirties? I didn't think I needed to start posting post-it notes all over the place for at least another couple decades. I can just imagine it:

"your name is SaM, husband is CW and kids are EM and LuV"
"brush your teeth"
"dress yourself - preferably something weather appropriate and/or matching"
"your children will need to be cleaned and fed and clothed...and a billion other things"

Fortunately for me that last one is not a problem. My kids are very GOOD at reminding me of what I need to do for them. Anyway, it is now 11:21 p.m. and I am still not in bed - not GOOD for my brain function. I still have not rushed out to buy myself an Omega-3 supplement - not GOOD for my brain function. When, oh when, will I learn?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh Baby

I was talking to a friend the other night, and she asked me if I was still nursing LuV. When I responded in the affirmative, she called me a "baby." How rude! So, apparently it is not my 13-month old who's the baby, it's yours truly. She's right. I'll admit, I'm scared. It's going to be a battle. At this point it's just easier to maintain the status quo. But at what point do I draw the line, and say enough is enough? Six months ago I vowed that she would be weaned by her first birthday. Her first birthday came and went a month ago. I rationalize. She's only 13 months.

Except what will I be saying when she's 18 months? Or two years? Heaven forbid I end up one of those mothers who's still nursing her kindergartner! I don't know if I'm ready to quit (okay, if I'm being honest, I was ready to quit six months ago). I want LuV to be ready (okay, if I'm being honest, she may NEVER be ready). So what does one in my predicament do? She is not a great eater. She does not drink cow's milk or soy's milk or any other milk than momma's milk. I know she won't starve to death, but sometimes it feels like pulling the plug on nursing is literally pulling the plug. After all, I am her life support, am I not?

So to my faithful readers, all three of you, (and I apologize to any of you who may be uncomfortable with this topic) I ask, what age is too old? At what age does the thought of a child STILL nursing repulse you? When will I become the topic of family discussions (where I am conveniently not present)? "Did you hear that SaM STILL nurses LuV? How disgusting! She really needs to stop." I don't want any of you throwing up in your mouths, not even a little bit, when I am the topic of conversation. When do I become one of THOSE moms, that even I have talked about, rolled my eyes at, made judgemental judgements about, and thought to myself, "I would NEVER nurse a child that long...that is just so wrong."?

And then, once I have my answer of when, where to even begin with the HOW?!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Evolution of a Nerd

In high school a POPULAR boy called me - not for a date - not to chat - but because he needed the answers to a school assignment.

I took the ACT three times and the SAT once.

In college I would come home from class and recopy my notes until they were perfection (sorry environmentalists).

I won the Freshman Chemistry Handbook Award.

I love taking standardized tests! In addition to the ACT and SAT I took the MCAT and GRE (and I was so looking forward to help CW study for the LSAT and/or GMAT until he decided it was a no go).

My secret indulgence is doing MATH PUZZLES and LOGIC PROBLEMS - I am totally addicted once I get started!

I have always been and will always be a nerd. What makes you a nerd?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Happy Halloween! We have been anticipating this day for weeks. EM was so excited to be Jessie, the cowgirl from Toy Story 2. That was until she went to preschool Thursday, and saw all the other kids in their costumes. She came home telling me all the things she REALLY wanted to be. That girl has a serious case of the "I needs." Who knew a 3 1/2-year-old would NEED a box of tissues, simply because it's Disney princess?

Last year's Halloween experience was not everything I had hoped it would be. I don't know why I try to force my children to enjoy holidays they are too young to really understand or appreciate or care the least about. But, I continue to try and I continue to be disappointed. At least there's hope - at 3 1/2 and 1, we've got a few Halloweens to come. If I have my way we'll have a GOOD Halloween someday. If CW has his way, we'll forget the holiday all together. I'll get my way.

So, what happened last year? CW took EM trick-or-treating. At the first house she got a pink candy. What could possibly be better than a pink candy? Apparently not a granola bar. It was only the second house, and already she had made up her mind what was GOOD enough for her. She threw that healthy, non-pink granola bar right back at our new neighbors. EM came home from her first trick-or-treating adventure with a single pink candy.

This year I coached her. What do you say when you get to the door? "Trick-or-treat." What do you say when they give you the candy (or granola bar, as the case may be)? "Thank you." I was anxious to see how the evening would actually play out. CW took EM out trick-or-treating with her cousins (this time we weren't in our own neighborhood, so if her manners failed her again, at least we had anonymity on our side). EM returned home dragging her trick-or-treat bag on the ground it was so heavy. Must not have been too much throwing of candy back into the face of the giver. I asked EM how it went. Her report back...I said "thank you." Such a perfect child. I'm her mom, and as such, I have magical mom powers, so I know that's not how it really went down. This is how I see it playing out: she gets her candy, she turns her back and starts to walk away, when she's no longer facing the person and is too far away for anyone to hear her she timidly whispers the words to the sidewalk. That way she did what Mom told her to do, but she was still able to avoid making eye contact or actually speaking to an adult - GOOD grief, that is just asking way too much.

I asked her if she said "trick-or-treat." "Next time, Mom." I'll take that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baby Steps

LuV is walking! Or almost, sort of, trying to, if only she had just a little more coordination or confidence or both. She is definitely taking steps, and she is so proud of herself...and I am a proud mommy. I love watching her test her newfound ability. She is still unsteady and slow. At best she can take four or five steps before she loses her balance. What I love most is that even though crawling is much easier, safer, and quicker, she insists on trying to walk. I love the smile she gets on her face, knowing that she has accomplished something great. That smile that says, "Look at me, look what I can do!" It is full of pride (GOOD pride), happiness, freedom, satisfaction, and accomplishment. She can succeed at anything - she believes that, and I hope that she continues to believe that for a long, long time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Note to Self

I don't have anything terribly important to say, but it's been a while, so here I am. Lately I have had to do a lot of baking for various reasons...pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, pumpkin spice cookies. Have I mentioned that I love autumn? I love autumn. For several reasons. Many of these reasons involve food. Soup. Apples (already mentioned in a previous post). Pumpkin. I love pumpkin - cookies, pie, ice cream, seeds, anything pumpkin. Anyway, back to my baking frenzy. Yesterday I was frosting sugar cookies when EM came into the kitchen. Our conversation went something like this.

EM: "Mom, I need a cookie."

Me: "You can have a cookie after we eat dinner."

EM: "Mommy, I just need one cookie, I don't need five."

Take that, fatty. She had, of course, observed me during the day snacking, and munching, and tasting, and nibbling the unfrosted cookies...I ate way more than five. I know she noticed, because at one point she informed me that I was going to eat all the cookies if I didn't stop. Maybe some day I'll be able to restrain myself to just one, but I'm not counting on it. If only I were so lucky as to have been born with some self control. Side note: EM did get her one cookie before dinner. She's too cute to resist sometimes. (And according to CW, I'm already helping her on her way to her own little sweet addiction. So sorry, my dear.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Like Two Peas in a Pod...Make it Frozen Peas

Let me preface this post with a brief description of EM's relationship with her dad. She was born her daddy's girl. As soon as she was able to voice her preference, she has clearly made it known that she prefers dad...always, in any given situation, with no exception. Mom is no substitute. When she has to make do with me, it's always with the anticipation that daddy will soon be home to make her world complete. For the most part I am okay with this. I love that CW is such a GOOD father, the kind of dad that makes his little girl adore him. But, come on, I'm a mother...there is a part of me that longs for my child to long for me. So, when baby #2 came around, I thought maybe this time I could be the favorite.

Well, fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, in the long run) LuV came from the womb with a strong distaste for bottles. And so, as her sole provider of nourishment for the first months of her life, I am indeed her preferred parent. Sadly the reasoning for this preference is based on her need to survive...but I'll gladly take what I can get.

And so we finally arrive at the present day. Today was picture day. My friend had agreed to be our family photographer. In eager anticipation I awoke and immediately laid all of our outfits on the bed, just like it was the first day of school. It was going to be a beautiful day, we were going to look stunning in our family pics. I went downstairs to change the laundry. I heard a thud, followed by crying...nothing major, but crying that warranted my attention. It's hard to get a straight story from a 3 1/2-year-old, so I'm not exactly sure what happened, but LuV had a nice red circle (that would then turn to a bluish/purplish circle) on her forehead. I refused to let a little bonk ruin our photo session - everything was still set to turn out gloriously. A few hours later, yet again in the laundry room, I somehow managed to whack my head on the sharp corner of the door. Seriously, what is wrong with me? It was painful beyond belief. I had to assess my condition to be sure that I was not concussed. It throbbed, it ached, it pulsated...I had to medicate myself. But first I had to see how bad the damage was. Make-up covered up the redness, and if you looked at me head-on it wasn't so bad. But get a shot of me from any angle, and I looked seriously deformed. Half my forehead protruded like I was sporting some sort of abnormal growth.

Deja vu. Flash back 6 1/2 years. I was engaged, and a bit stressed to boot. Our engagement was a short one...not a lot of time for planning and throwing everything together. My poor complexion showed just how stressed I was. It was hideous...not even my dear mother could think of something comforting to say about my condition. Engagement photos were put off for another day...and put off again. To no avail. That face of mine was stubborn, and the carnage was not going away...not soon enough anyway. And so, when I thought things just couldn't possibly get worse...well, you probably have already guessed that they did. I was living at my aunt and uncle's, in an older home. For whatever reason there was a towel rack in the shower. Need I say more? I hit my head hard on that useless contraption, leaving a goose egg to be remembered. I was not a happy bride-to-be during those engagement photos.

So, my question the photography gods hate me? I am not such a beautiful person that I need to be humbled every time I attempt to professionally capture this face. In fact, I am not a particularly photogenic person in the first place. It just doesn't seem fair does it? Are you wondering where I'm going with this post - random as it has been. Well, as I looked at LuV's tiny (in comparison) bump and my gargantuan tumor...I knew she was mine. She is my child, my baby girl, my daughter...clumsiness and all. As I held her in my arms before bed tonight, she snuggled into me, and she fit perfectly against my body. She was made for me. Just for me. (And CW, too, of course).

Thank GOODness for Diet Coke, Photoshop, Nielsen's frozen custard, and a new dress that hopefully detracted from the forehead.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Apple of My Eye

It is apple picking time. Our trees are heavy with sweet, delicious fruit. I love having a home with fruit trees. One of the few domestic tasks that I enjoy is preserving the food that is grown right in my own backyard. While I realize that my 18 precious bottles of peaches I canned or my soon-to-be homemade applesauce will not sustain our little family for feels GOOD knowing that I am doing something. A little something is at least something, right? So, as I've got apples on my mind, I've also been thinking about the apple of my eye. Lately I have felt especially grateful for my GOOD husband. Some days I can't believe he's mine. Let me tell you just a few of the reasons I'm so lucky:

1. He mows the lawn with a 32-pound child strapped to his back.

2. He eats anything and everything I cook, with seldom a complaint.

3. He puts EM to bed every night, from start to finish, with original CW stories, songs, back scratches, the works.

4. He took both girls to his parent's house (an hour drive away) last Sunday. All by himself. And he came home completely unfrazzled!

5. He takes walks every day during his lunch hour, just to keep his tummy nice and firm.

6. He spends his free time drawing simple house plans, because his greatest desire is to SIMPLIFY our lives.

7. He acts like I'm the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, which maybe suggests he should get his vision checked, but still a bonus for me.

8. He is always willing to play and have fun with his kids - he is definitely the favorite in our household. EM absolutely adores him, and if it weren't for the fact that CW is unable to produce milk, he'd be LuV's fave as well.

9. He is a GOOD sport about doing what I want to do...he knows who Rory and Lorelei are, he's seen the entire 5 hours of the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (more than once), he's played Dance Dance Revolution, he's spent our coveted date nights clothes shopping with me...what a guy.

10. He loves ME. Even when I'm mean and horrible and unlovable he doesn't judge me or criticize me.

If you are still reading, I am impressed. Not to worry, I am not prone to being overly sentimental or lovey-dovey very often, but some days it's GOOD to know you're loved. So CW, I LOVE YOU, and think you're as yummy as this apple EM's devouring. Plus, we have really cute kids!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Welcome Winter, Welcome Me

I cannot believe that I am actually joining the blog-world. Unfortunately, the perfectionist in me would not let me quit until I felt that my blog was satisfactory - at least somewhat presentable, not too terribly embarrassing. It is now very, very late. Tomorrow I will kick myself for allowing myself to become obsessed with this. But, before I lay my weary head to rest I wanted to welcome myself to blogging. I am in over my head, this I know already. I know that I will agonize over each post, wondering if it's clever enough, wishing I was more articulate, or that I had a witty sense of humor. So as I begin this new adventure, I promise myself that I will try not to stress (too much), to succumb to blog envy, or to over think what I want to write. I simply want to remember the moments along the way. Each day brings happiness in some form, and this blog is for me to record the GOOD in my life.

As we woke to the first snow of the season this morning, I watched EM, my 3 1/2-year-old daughter, delight in the wonder of nature. She could hardly wait to go out and experience the miracle for herself. Not until her hands were frozen stiff would she come inside. When did I lose my fascination with such simple joys? Thank GOODness for children who remind me of all that is GOOD, and who help me find pleasure in the world around me.

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