Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Don't Quite Know How To Say This...

...but I think that I am done. Done, but what a good time I had!

Not really sure what the future holds for me, but I am grateful for the friends I have made, the conversations we have had, and the things that I have learned on this adventure. But my life has shifted a bit, and blogging isn't fitting in as well as it used to, and I don't think I should try and
make it fit. There may be a time in the future when I have an internet presence again, and if I do you will surely know, but for now...

toodles!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lessons

I have been a Relief Society teacher for about a year and a half now. I do the Teaching For Our Times bit, which suits me just fine. I am assigned a conference talk or three to pull my material from and I teach on the fourth Sunday of the month. It's been pretty great... last month was Elder Faust's talk, and the way it was scheduled, I taught it shortly after his death; it was like a tribute. This month the talks were Elder Uchtdorf's and Elder Nelson's talks, both of which were about repentance, and Saturday before was Yom Kippur.... how cool is THAT!?

On the off weeks I find myself substitute teaching in the Primary
, as often as not. So much so, that we actually have a place to put the various lesson manuals to be returned, so if the teacher of whatever class comes for it and I'm not here, Dadguy knows where it is. Or vice versa, he subs a lot too.

I love this calling. I love the Relief Society, heck... the women teach most of the lessons for me; all I have to do is come up with the right questions to ask 'em, and off they go. The only problem is this "fourth Sunday" bit. The fourth Sunday has been, with one solitary exception, the day that I'd like to take off from church, and stay home to quietly bleed to death. That one exception was last month, and I exulted in the freedom of over-emotional teaching! I hollered "hosanna!" and figured that my body was resetting itself, and that there will BE no more standing in front of a roomful of women when I'd rather be hanging out at home with a hot pad. YAY!

Naw, I was back to my usual situation this month... and it just isn't fair.

I think it's part of the way the Lord keeps me humble. Or perhaps, my body is a traitor. On the lighter side... it sure does explain me getting all het up and pissy last week. On the darker side... it's official; even if I get pregnant this cycle, I will be 39 when I give birth. I really had wanted to be done before that.


... and maybe that is the real lesson here: patience.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fiddle Dee Dee!

I said I wasn't gonna let this place become a "weight-loss" blog.

I said it, and I lied.

Because the act of figuring the points and chronicling every bite that goes in to my mouth is consuming (heh...consuming) , and I didn't have a super long attention span to begin with.

As of my weigh-in last night, I am down 5.8 pounds. While this is great and all, I don't quite know what to do with my excitement. I'm not sure how I want to go about celebrating my losses, because.... on the one hand, I'm working hard for it. On the other hand, I don't want the Chaos Girls to get some skewed picture in their minds about how "yukky" fat is and all the blahblahblah that comes with body image.

I intend to lose every ounce that I can before I get pregnant. How do I talk this up? What do I say in front of the girls that will convey to a one/three/five year old that mama is working hard and achieving goals (because I am proud of myself)... without planting seeds of pain for later in life? Without adding to the stigma and body-shame that our culture and media so gleefully heaps upon girls?

So far I have kept it on the down-low (not that hard... it's been two whole weeks, whoopee), but if it takes me a while longer to get pregs, and it could easily take months, I could be at this for a while. Months of Weight Watchers will mean going down a size or two... noticeably smaller. Smaller enough that a kid might eventually notice. There will also be after the future, theoretical pregnancy. There will also be my whole freaking life... The body, she will not let her layers of comfort and insulation go quietly into the night, this will be a fight that will become noticeable in many ways.

Why am I stressing about something that has not even happened? Well, it's what I do. It's what I do best! I am the mama.

So. My best idea is to find an athletic goal to work toward. Something to point all my excitement and sense of pride at. Something that I can do, or do quantifiably better when I am shrunken down. A thing that I can say that I am working toward, rather than a certain size of pants... it's what I would want for my girls. It should be what I want for me.

I admire but do not envy marathoners, triathletes, and endurance sport folks. Is cool what they do, but I don't really think it's the bag for me. What I admire and envy are the women who can fight. No small surprize that two of my biggest bloggirl crushes are MamaD and Elizasmom, I don't just love them and their brains... I love what they can do. They are queens of Tae Kwon Do and Karate respectively and I thinks that's the bomb-diggity, yo!

"Oooooo-oo, I wanna be like You-oooo!
I wanna WALK like you TALK like you, tooo-ooo!
You see it's TRUE-oooo
A mom like ME-eeee
Can learn BE
Baaa-aaad A@@ TOOO-oooo!"
(sung to the tune Human Too, from the Jungle Book)

But then, everything gets oogied up with this last kid that I am trying for; the whole unknowable factor of the timing combined with the known factor of just how truly vile pregnancy makes me feel. Wuff! Plus the obvious: no weightloss during pregnancy, ya twidjit! But there is no question of postponing this pregnancy. Not for me, and I'll tell you why.

Only not today. Tomorrow.

I gotta get on the laundry. Poor Dadguy lodged a formal complaint last night, as he scraped the two baskets worth of clean, unfolded clothing off the bed for the ten ka-spillionth time, just so's he could sleep. Gotta take some pity on the man, although, truth be known... it's been weeks since he has run out of clean underpants. Huzzah to me!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Retreat and Surrender

This weekend past was a Women's Retreat for our congregation. This meant that we would be gone on an overnight trip up past Heber, at a fairly posh campground owned by the LDS church. Did this same thing last year. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Last year.

Last year, however, I opted out of the ropes challenge course that was scheduled for the Saturday morning part of the retreat, and went on a leisurely hike with a friend. We were hardly the only ones who chose not to go, and I didn't feel badly about my decision. There was not a ton of pressure to do the challenge course; it was just one of several activities scheduled for the day. Cut to this year, and we got booted from the campground early, as they were opening the grounds for an open house... something they had failed to mention to the women in our congregation who had booked the camp. The ropes course turned out to be the only activity, and everyone was expected to go, and at least hang out.

Until ya got there, and then the course instructors took over, and the option to not participate became practically a doctrinal issue.

I jest, but only a little.

I was so not up for what followed, but then, I had not been up for what preceded either. That morning before breakfast, there was a bit of a stir, because one of the women in the cabin I was staying in(there were about fifteen per cabin), had gotten up and moved out of the cabin around four in the morning, declaring to her friend that a few hours of sleep would be better than none and she just couldn't take all the snoring anymore. I didn't think too much of it, even though I know that I do snore, as I was clear across the rather large room from her, and every time I had awoken that night, I could hear one or two other women snoring softly. Sister Gottagetsomesleep made sure to announce, to the entire seated breakfasting group, that I was the one who's snoring had caused her to move to another cabin. When other cabin mates objected and qualified, she took particular care to point out that it absolutely was me. I was mortified, but I tossed my head and let it slide on by.

I know her. She is a deeply unhappy and bitter woman, but I don't think she meant to hurt me in any particular way. Perhaps I am too good at my joking and capable woman facade, and she felt like I could take a few hard digs. Maybe some days I could just shrug this kind of thing off, but that day, it hurt.

Cut to the ropes course:
The first thing to happen when we get there is a brief speech in front of what was known as the High Course. This included explaining about the belaying ropes, carribiners, harness rigs and other devices that would keep us safe; so long as we were a particular weight or under. And I am not. But it was OK, they explained... us fatties would still be able to do most of the other activities. That's not what they said, but please understand, that's how my sore heart translated the rest of what was said. Not that I was much interested in the humiliation of dragging myself up the small rocks pegged into the side of one huge tree trunk, sliding across a high wire, or rappelling down another equally intimidating tree. But to know that I would not be allowed even if I desired. Hurt.

The fun did not stop there, but my facade of spunky fat girl did not slip once, not even when I forced myself to do the "trust fall" thing, so as to not be the only one who didn't, and to set a good example for the nervous sixteen year old girl who was with us.

"See? Even the fat old lady can do it... they didn't drop her, they won't drop you!"

I made it till I got home and got in the shower; the heat and the water dissolving my will, and my resolve, and my defences. Poor Dadguy could only sit and hold the mewling wife that he had so bravely sent off the night before, in hopes of getting a refreshed and uplifted spouse back. Even still, to my horror, I cannot see the monitor to read my words as I type this. Each new activity that day was shame upon humiliation. The activity of writing it all down is almost as brutal. Why I am posting this is entirely beyond my ken, except I don't feel like keeping this garbage to myself anymore. Y'all, I am doing Weight Watchers, but this is the story that is shared when the teller is millions of sizes smaller than when these kinds of things happened. I am maybe five pounds down from two week ago, and staring at the very real possibility that I don't have what it takes to get it off or keep it off.

But I am also angry at the thoughtlessness that went in to this activity. There is one overnight retreat a year, and we are gone from our homes and responsibilities for less than 24 hours... this is the best thing they could come up with? I was definitely NOT the only woman who opted out of doing the High Course (or were opted out because of weight... I didn't ask), and not the only one who struggled with some of the other physical challenges posed by the "Group Activities."

I will not be doing this again next year even if I am the fitness freaking queen of the world. I think I will be kinder to myself, and just hang out with people who will be kinder to me, and do things that are actually uplifting and that I enjoy. Although I will be sorry to miss the fellowship and the getting to know you portions of the retreat, I just don't have the heart for this anymore.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Pic: Ick!


Note to girls: Please store your pieces of weather beaten brown sidewalk chalk elsewhere.

Thanks
-the mama

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lifting of the Siege

Still trying to work out the tempo of my life right now. There is a theme of restraint and control overlaying most of it. Trying to fit it all in, in the proper way.

I started Weight Watchers last week, and this first weeks weight-in went better than I had hoped. I was careful, don't get me wrong, but with the hospital visits shoved in there, which included a visit to the lovely cafeteria and the bakery products; I was afraid I was too distracted to stick with it. Not gonna drag y'all through a weight loss bloggery... but when I hit twenty pounds down... I'm throwin' myself a party and ya'll are invited. I figure an Internet party is the best way to go, no one will be tempted to bring dip or chocolate cake. Is safer.

Before anyone gets too excited, twenty pounds is just the leftovers plus, from pregnancy number Pearl. I will then still have fifteen each from Birdy and LaLa to answer for once those are gone. Plus the initial ten or so that I picked up in my first year of marriage, and is never gonna be documented how far I am from my goals even then.

heh.... yeah.

And then there is the revamping of the budget. Or perhaps it would be better described as the introduction of a budget for our finances. That should be a right fun party right there! Whee!

You know, I feel like we are digging out from under. Emotionally, physically, financially recovering from the long siege of stress from the uncertainty and fear surrounding Pearl's sickness, capped off with a month long pitched battle at PCMC. Stress that caused Dadguy and I to start picking at each other for the first time in our marriage, the house to crumble into epic levels of slime-ary, and an overabundance of tv watching for the kids.

I just hope that we can stay here for a while. I like it here, feels comfortable. And even though I don't adore structure and discipline so very, it is nice to have that illusion of control.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The End

Y'all, we have reached the end of Pearl's saga. Clean bill of health, and if she has any scrub-o-phobia left, any lab-coat-freakout? You cannot tell by watching her. She was a happy little trooper during todays tests, and we are done.

Done.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Time and Stuff

I have the same number of hours in a day that everyone else does. That's what they tell me, and yet I cannot seem to accomplish a crappin' thing except the basics, and Dadguy may question whether the basics are being met. You would question too, if I let you see the state of my house. But I won't, so keep your nosey little nosey-ness out.

And I know better than this. I served a mission for my church (LDS) back before I got married, and the Mission President was a big time-management guy. He was, in fact a time management pioneer, and a honcho lecturer guy for the Daytimer folks. He trained every one of his missionaries in the proper use of Daytimers, and I was a time management freak.

You would never know this to see me in action today.

Then again, perhaps the list of stuff that I want to accomplish is probably too long. Some stuff that I want to do.

  • Write a novel
  • write poetry again
  • write lyrics for hymns
  • write lyrics for songs
  • paint
  • learn to belt like Aretha
  • learn Karate
  • learn Kick Boxing
  • learn Gracie Jiu-jitsu
  • lose weight
  • lose enough weight to run a credible mile or so
  • learn french
  • quilt
  • travel to Europe and do a big old Art tour

hey, it's MY dream.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Angels to Comfort Her

First round of tests are complete, and there was none of the anticipated and promised sedation, anesthesia, or fear. A few tears were shed over the IV insertion, but she was happy to be distracted by The Tooth Book. We even had a couple of good laughs over making toothy faces at each other.

When we got to the CT room, the nurse let her roam and check stuff out while we put on a Barney video and discussed what would work best. It was decided that we would go with the minimum of restraints; little more than a lap belt, and a foam wedge on either side of her head. I lightly held her hands and she lay there, still and serene. They spent less than ten minutes getting their images, a few minutes to make sure they were viable, thirty seconds to slip the IV out of her hand and she was off the table. She walked out the door without a tear in her eye, as a stunned technician gave her some stickers and a toy dog as a prize for being so brave and still. He kept raving about how he had never seen anything like it.

I have. But I've seen a number of miracles.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Blacker or Slogger?

Am just not feeling it lately. I think I mighta been thrown off my stride with the false start for school. Or maybe the feeling that everything is "on hold" till I get that final bill of health for the Pearl-girl. Or the fact that I am "trying " for that last baby, and I am late again this month- yet pretty DARN sure that I am not in a "family way." Grrrrrr!

Now I must waste perfectly good money on a pee-stick to tell me something I already know (not pregs), so I can go do something I really don't want to do (Pearl's CT scans). Again... am helpless to not do it. Must.

And I have to do it before tomorrow night (first Weight Watchers meeting).

The good news? My mama rocks!

Seriously, you all had good advise and lovely comments for me, but my mom sent me an e-mail that fixed everything, or rather, brought me peace. The most pertinent section....

"That she will have angels to hold her hand....maybe even my mama who underwent months and months of very bad tests (although she was an adult who could be explained to). I know she would be there anyway. and granny great and all the rest from both sides of the family whom we have not met in mortality. Their hearts are turned toward you. Plus the comforter will be there . for Pearl and you. Be sure to get a blessing from Dadguy for both of you. and in your case, the sooner the better. You might get guidance about whether or not to proceed or forget about it. Our hearts are turned toward you and your precious family.
Love, Mom"

A timely reminder.

Peace.

Anyway... it may be a Happy Labor Day and all that in the US of the A, but my slacking off has extended to my housekeeping, and I gots to get up and rock the house. Or clean. Or something!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday

It's important too fall in with a good crowd, and make quality friends who will help you excel when school starts; it sets the tone for the whole year. This lesson is really hitting home since KindyG has started. I've hooked up with some other moms and we are all motivated to go walking every morning until the snow starts; and then we will be hanging with Billy and the like at the local church cultural hall. I might even get frisky and try some yoga. We have been hitting it like athletes this week.

I'm hoping Birdie and LaLa can swing some good pals too.

So, of course Birdie is home sick today. Poor kid, getting in her mama's way.

*************************

Last night Pearl had a straight up nightmare. She was sobbing hysterically, and I thought that she was hurt. I ran in to the girl's room to find her laying on her tummy, still mostly asleep. I patted her back to sleep; but something in me broke.

I'm telling you, I was wrapped in some sort of buffering material this May, that's the only explanation for how I survived the fear and pain my child went through. The closer we get to these tests, the more horrified I am getting. I have no way of explaining to her that these tests need to be done, and they won't hurt. Please, just hold still for a minute.

She is so afraid, and I am starting to question the necessity of these tests. If it were up to Dadguy, the answer would be a flat "no." And the only reason for that, is he doesn't use profanity except for when he's trying to make me laugh. Otherwise it'd be a resounding "____ no!" He supports my decision to do these tests to ease my mind, to wrap it up; but he doesn't think they are at all medically necessary. He has an uncanny sense of what is and what isn't; the man is rarely wrong when it comes to stuff like this. Sometime I wish he were the mom. If this had been up to him, it never would have gone on for so long; he would have pushed harder, made them look closer, it would have been found sooner.

...and yet, I still do need these tests. I need that stamp of approval. Fini.

Today I am calling the surgeon's office. I think we could manage to do one day of tests, but they are going to have to offer some highly compelling reasons to convince me that all of this must be done and split up into multiple days. Sorry to beat this horse to the pieces, but time has not eased some parts of the horrors of this spring.

Am horrified to make her do the tests... unable NOT to do them.


Monday, August 27, 2007

How She Sounds

My sister's cat had kittens about six and a half weeks ago, they are not gonna be hanging around her house for much longer. She hopes. Which, by the way, if you live in Utah Valley and want a darling wee kitty for free (even comes spayed for free)... drop me an email. There are two left. I promised the Sis, I'd do my part to find homes for the fuzzies.

That was my part, the end.

We will never have a cat, as Dadguy is horrifically allergic to 'em; we make do with visiting OPK. Other People's Kitties. So this morning the girls and I were all loaded in the van, flying down the freeway to visit the short-timers. I was trying to listen to my favorite playlist with the volume turn low, and only the front speakers engaged. I do this because Birdie loves my playlist and rock n' roll in general, and if she hears it, she will ask me to turn on the back speakers. But she insists on having it loud and LaLa does not approve. In fact LaLa will scream bloody murder that the music "HOOTS MAH EE-AHS!" The fact that she screams it five or six decibels louder than the volume of music, doesn't seem to make much difference to her. Logic and three year olds; or should I say logic and LaLa. Hmph.

To be fair, LaLa came out of the womb with a strong preference in music. Unfortunately, that preference does not include my singing. One of her first words ever was "No!" and it was in response to me singing. When that didn't do the trick, she moved on to "THTOOOOOOOOP!"

This morning though, Birdie was thinking.

"Mama.... I have two moms and two dads huh?"

"No baby, you have one mom and one dad."

"But I have two Grandma's and two Grandpa's?"

"Yup, one set's from Daddy, and one from me."

"But I also have Grandma Duke?"

"Yes," I said, "you have Grandma and Grandpa Duke, but they are your GREAT Grandparents."

"Oh. Yeah and Grandma Francis."

Driving and thinking how sad I am that my girls will never know my own Grandparents, especially my maternal GP's, Granny and Pa. My Granny died when Birdie was just barely two, and her sweetheart, Pa, went a short nine months later. I loved my Granny.

"Plus my Granny and Pa, and my Grnadma and Grandpa B, but they are all dead." I say to her.

"Oh! Yeah, I remember Granny!" she squeals.

"You do?" This surprises me. Thinking she has a specific memory I ask, "what do you remember about Granny?"

I remember how she looks and I remember her voice when she speaks!"

"How do you remember that?"

"The Holy Ghost helps me to remember how she sounds. I remember her!"

"That's wonderful baby... I am so glad you can remember." I swallow past the tight spot in my throat; I blink rapidly to see the road. I miss my Granny, but I can remember too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Freakout Post Advisory

In early September I take Pearl back to Primary Children's Hospital for a couple of final tests. Unfortunately, it will have to be over the course of at least two days... they won't do the various CT scans and the Esophagram on the same day. Something about the radiation and the putting under, and the swallowing of stuff, and the needing to be fasting, and the blah, blah, blah, medi-yakkity smak... the nurse who set up the appointments wasn't 100% sure. I have been calling these tests the "glamor shots" for the surgeons portfolios; and it may in fact be just that. But it's also a true follow up that will give them the (hopefully) final look at the healing of her throat. I don't think anything is wrong. It helps that she has been growing like a happy little weed.

I don't think anything is wrong. Still, I worry. I cannot help it. I worry.

There has been none of the stridor (noisy breathing) that had us tap dancing for a year. Ummm, except for the cold that she has right now. I actually resurrected her nebulizer three days ago, to help with her breathing. But I think that it's just the cold. I think that it is just the cold. But I have thought a lot of things through this pediatric extended episode of House M.D.

I want this to be the end.

Worry: The last time she had CT's done? She was one sick-sick-sickity little girl. She was having her allergic reaction to the drugs, but they thought that her surgical site was infected; or worse, her esophagus. When they put her under
(she was screaming and flailing) for the CT's she stopped breathing twice. They were ready for it, and had a nurse standing there with one of those squeeze-bulb masks that forced air into her lungs when she couldn't do it herself. While I know that she is better, and I know that even if it happens again, they'll be ready like they were when it happened... there is something uniquely horrifying about your child's breathing being compromised like that. Heart-stoppingly horrifying.

It has been months since we were there in the hospital for the hard stuff. I don't want to go back. But I don't dare NOT take her back for this, and both tests suck. They suck big time. Anesthesia for the CT's, and strapping her down with a feeding tube down her nose for the esophagram. Screaming and fear involved with both, and no, I don't think that I am borrowing trouble when I predict this. The girl screams and cries piteously when she sees someone wearing scrubs.

I wish we could just do it all in one brutal day, and have done with it.

September 5th... September 10th... you'd think this would be a cake walk after what we have been through.


She's going to be fine. She's going to be fine. We are all going to be fine, we just need to finish this. She's going to be fine. Of course we are all going to be fine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Odd

They say that memory is strongly linked to the olfactory unit. The sniffer, the snooter... your nose.

I'd buy that.

I am the queen of disorganization, and this year has been the worst; nothing like a big old medical thang to knock a girl off her stride. Combine that with the all-new-to-me jumping of hurdles and hoops of getting my eldest signed up for public school, and you have about nine trips to the elementary school in the past few months. I have walked those halls without a single twinge of nostalgia or weirdness.

I thought to myself, "La! There will be no problem with the letting of the Birdie to go offa to the schools!"

This morning school started for all of the district, except for the KindyG's, they started assessment testing. Birdie had her assessment test with her darlingdarlingDARLING KindyG teacher this morning at nine. Walked into the school... functioning and filled to the classroom gills with kids; the SMELL.

The smell. Gaghk! There was something about the smell of that building during an actual school day, that took me back and stopped me dead in my tracks. School. Really and for truly... going to school.

She starts next Tuesday, then LaLa starts pre-school the Tuesday after that.


Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Pic: Pony and Cat


Birdie requested I draw a picture of her stuffed kitty Garfield the other day. At some point it disappeared along with a piece of tape. Yesterday morning there was some sort of kerfuffle in the toy room... mostly wailing from LaLa, but I don't tend to run and police every single little dust-up that the girls have. I try and step in if it gets out of hand, or they don't seem to be able to settle it out themselves. I DO keep a general ear on the proceedings. I gathered enough to figure out that it was to do with there being no equal space for LaLa's pony. Birdie suggested something, and then they galloped off to the kitchen to draw.

Found this in the toy room later, and I understand now.

Apparently Birdie drew this for LaLa's pony. A space of it's own, and I don't think a mama could be prouder than I.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Now With 40% Less Angst

I was having a conversation with Elizasmom via email the other day. We were discussing some of the books we have been reading, and she dropped a line that really resonated with me. It captured into words, an idea that I had been trying to understand. She described a sense that one author had captured.

..." teenagers' sense of the world as this perpetually near-apocalyptic place."

Growing up, I certainly had that sense. It felt like society was absolutely on the brink of collapse, thermonuclear war was tomorrow, and the world's inequities and injustices were so horrifying that everything just had to STOP.

Oh... it FELT. Everything felt so horrible and so much was hopeless, and I was positive that the adults around me had gone numb. They couldn't feel anymore and had shut down into the little niches they had carved for themselves... like they had created these identities as a protection, but then forgot who they really were and started to cling to the persona's out of habit.

Heh. ahem.

First I'd like to acknowledge that I may be a person who is a bit... mmmm, oversensitive? There is this little personality test thingy that is making the rounds of the bloggernet. It's a personality test that gives you the straight dope on who you really are, in terms that are not so flattering. Like Borefest, Scumbag, Crackpot and Loser. It's based on the four main Jungian categories of personality... and I have taken that sucker five times trying to see if I could jigger that thing about to get a different result than the one that I got. Every question that was not an absolute, I tried other answers... and yet every single out come had me labeled as an ESFJ. A Sap. A Crybaby.

Excuse me... I had to go blow my nose.

Just last week I was out to eat with some friends, one of whom was my own sweet sister. For some reason I informed my friend sitting across from me that I could take her out (beat her up) if need be. First, it should be said that there is no question in my mind... I really would win if it came to throwing down with any of the women who were there that night... with the notable
exception of my sis, and then I think it would be a pretty good fight. I made my statement for a laugh, I like to clown around a bit, but my sister started snorting, and informed me that I was a sap, and couldn't hurt a fly!

Huh.

I'm thinking that it may be true, and I am a sap. I have vivid memories of crying a lot as a kid. One time in particular was when I was about six or seven, sitting on the lower bunk in the room that I shared with my brothers. I was, of course, crying... and I was trying to remember a day, any day, when I had not cried, and I couldn't recall one single day.

But then, how clear are the thought processes and memories of a kid that age? I don't know, but I was probably just feeling sorry for myself. In any case, I have never been suicidal. Although once after my divorce, I had a moment or two when I felt bad enough that I admitted I could understand why some folks DO consider it.

Wow... this is a whole load of introversion for a supposed extrovert! Is that a bit of lint in my navel?

This whole post is a lead up to informing you that you may be subjected to some poetry soon. I can't help it, it's on it's way... it's bubbling around in my innards and it will come OUT! I figure it's best to give in to the need to poetry in small doses, so that it doesn't all come spewing out on some poor, unsuspecting soul. Take comfort in my adulthood and deadened sense of near-apocalypse, hopefully it won't all suck too bad. And if it does? There is always that little red "X" you can click.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rejoice, Mourn or Puke?

Coming up on the end of an era; this time of my life that I have had all of my children, all to myself. I could hold onto this time and home school Birdie for at least her first few years.... but that's sort of where the "rejoice" portion of this whole "era" bit kicks in.

Kindergarten.

I was fairly sure that I would not get maudlin over kindygarten, and indeed, I may not yet. But I'm feeling sort of odd about my eldest girlee being in the "system." They have her inoculation
records and have inspected her birth certificate. I am a card carrying member of the local PTA. That odd feeling that I am feeling? Could be me mourning, but I will admit nothing.

They are growing up.

I have been busy reading fiction these past few weeks. Chomping down book after book. Slurping, relishing and hoarking down whole. It's a combination of things that fuels my literary consumption, this slight bit of freedom that starts to happen as your kids get a little older. Pearl is starting to be a fully functioning agent of Chaos, and is accepted into the ranks of destructo girls, and their play. And instead of getting a handle on the household everything that I am, as "the Mama" ostensibly in charge of.... I have been playing too.

In my defense: we are trying for our fourth and final kiddo, actually HAVE been trying since the beginning of the year. Well, technically trying. There was the whole "pneumonia" debacle, followed by various less-than-fetus-friendly medications that went on for a few months. Then the part where I hung out at the hospital for a month with the youngest. But all the fun times are over and I have been feeling a pregnancy in the air.

no... not right NOW! Soon.

That's why I read now, because once I get pregnant? It's all over for me. Everything, and I mean everything shuts down for the Mama when she gets knocked up.

Sigh.

I know that it is all at an end for me, just by virtue of the fact that Dadguy and I went on two dates together this week. Two. Dates. Like, without the kids. PLUS, he got to go see The Simpsons Movie with a buddy, and I went to the Eclipse book release party on Monday night. This all happened this past week. It is so very OVER for me.

But then... I think I feel a similar set of feelings about being pregnant to those of sending the Bird to KindyG. Confused.

Do I rejoice, mourn or puke?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunday Pic: Photshoot Progression

Grandma P wanted to get the two older girls a pair of school shoes each. These suede confections were what they wanted so badly, they nearly wept for joy when they saw them. They have pink pom poms on them.

I thought they were so dang funny looking, I got Pearl a pair as well. No one is allowed to wear them until school starts (that's why they are still with their tags), but I wanted to take a pic to try and justify my own purchase, as well as letting Grandma spend perfectly good money on such an item. Pink overload, and I don't care. The photoshoot disintegrated in such a typical fashion.... I had to include all the shots.

In my defense, I have discovered that I will get every dimes worth of wear out of shoes the girls love. Not so much when I insist on a style they don't love. So yeah, I'm being "frugal."






Sunday, August 05, 2007

Art (Continued)

Part of my problem with Art and the Art world, was the nasty shock that I got when I realized that I would have to get out there and peddle my biz in the real world. The real world, as seen from my admittedly limited student eye view at State college in Albq NM, was not pretty. First, I was active in AA almost my entire higher educationated career, and the bulk of the profs handing out the A's, holding the hands, and coddling the careers of students were doing so primarily... with those they socialized with.

And by socialized with, I really mean partied with. As a recovering alky, I didn't party, and I didn't get the A's except for the ones I eked out with sheer guts. (please note: it couldn't possibly have anything to do with me sucking at art. No problem with ego HERE!) Nobody held my hand, and when I ran into a road block, I don't recall any one but my parents even blinking when I dropped out. At the end of my Junior freaking year.

Add to this, the semester that I found my "voice."

Remember last post, the Advanced Painting instructor? He was the MAN according to everyone who was anyone, and when I started that semester, I kow towed to the "process" the man preached. And I got "A+'s" on my first three paintings. BUT, then I took to heart his preaching about finding my own "voice" so I started looking for it.

What I found, was my original palette, and my first instincts. The way that I first painted, before my "education". There was not one single prof at that school ever even talked about glazing, or realism, or master studies... or anything classical. If you figured out how to make a human being LOOK like a human being, you lucked into it or found it somewhere, or from someone else. Maybe from a book. A portrait? It was too passe- what were we? Some bunch of "hack portrait artists" sitting on a sidewalk, trying to swing a buck? NO! We were ARTISTS of HIGH ART. At least that seems like the subtext, between what was taught and what was notably absent from the curriculum.

In retrospect, I went back to my first instincts, because... why the crap not? It's not like I had been taught anything better. It's not like I had anything like a honed craft, or any craft at that point. Art was purely a mental and verbal exercise for me by then.

So me with my "voice", thinking I'm all that and a bottle of Liquin, hits my final critique. Which is funny, because I don't have any recollection of the critique going south. I recall the prof not saying much, I recall it was a pretty cut and dry affair... and I recall thinking that I had done "A" work straight down the line. And then I got my grades. According to the paperwork, I'd pulled down a "C" in that class.

Slammed.

Devastated.

Destroyed.

Starting to get a little angry. I'm fairly sure that I would have left it, except I had a scholarship to keep, and that semester, I was walking a fine line with my GPA... I needed a "B-" to hold onto the scholarship. I went to the profs studio to talk to him about the grade. First I asked him about his grading scale... seven paintings, I knew the first two were "A+'s", the next was an "A"... what the CRAP went on that I limped in with a "C" after grades like that? Why hadn't he indicated to me that I was blowing the course?

He told me it was just a judgement call, and that if I disagreed, he'd change the grade. Please imagine my horror and how furious I was when he handed back my "change grade" slip, to find that he'd written in "B+." Judgement call? From a "C" to a "B+"? I was so angry I started crying, and then I was so mad I was crying... I just left. Truly, the beginning of the end for me.

Since then I have learned more on my own, and through books. I have started working from a bit more of a sophisticated palette, and I do what I do for a reason. Or... rather, I DID, before this child induced hiatus. But I can tell you for sure that I will never get my sorry can out there and peddle my biz. I'm lazy, plus I really don't feel like I have much of anything original to say with art... and what I DO say don't sit so pretty over the sofa, if ya know what I mean.

Reading back over this, it seems like I am saying that I was done dirty... and yeah, to an extent I was. But I also know that I was the one to walk away, and that I did not have to. The fact is... it was a choice. There was simply not enough in that version of the world of art to hold me there. The world of Academia and University Art Departments are hardly the be all of anything, no matter how mucho serioso everyone involved seems to think they are. Today there are so many outlets for my creativity, brains, and sense of humor; not the least of which is in the raising of three little artist girls of my own.

Birdie has entered into a stage of progression that is far less about observed reality than it is about the story aspect of art. Her figures have reverted to a simplified form, the expression of the face usually being the only detail given notice. Her drawings are the vehicles of speech and thought bubbles filled with laboriously spelled out words. Although she has decided that eyes are not just round circles... she says they are pointy ovals, and she fills them with irises and pupils, giving them a fringe of lashes. LaLa has started into people and ponies with teeny heads and colorful bodies... sometimes twelve legs, and Pearl is all about the process of sitting down in LaLa's booster seat, and calling out "pih-tuh!" until I fetch the paper and crayons. She will then go through every color she can get her dimpled hands on, and color every square inch of her "payy-puh" a muddy rainbow. When they crayons go in the yap, we are done.

The many daily drawing sessions with Chaos are such a frenetic affair, with the fetching, sharpening, the spelling, and admiring going on all at once- I never get past sharpening a pencil for myself before it is done. But I really cannot regret where I am right now. As y'all have pointed out, I get to quilt and make cakes and garden... these things scratch the worst of the itch,and the rest will wait till later. And the rest that waits? Who knows whether it will have much of anything to do with paint and brushes?

Cause, I am thinking about that novel... and for some reason, the idea of peddling my writing biz does not turn my stomach the way that peddling paintings did. So yeah... fie upon Art.

Friday, August 03, 2007

My name is bon...

...and I am a recovering artiste.

Twenty years ago in High School, I was all about art. I was good at it, enjoyed it, and I defined myself with the term of "artist." I took art classes at the community college because I disdained the calligraphy heavy art courses the HS offered, and was a little creeped out by high saturation of Wrestlers and Stoners who took the Crafts course: essentially a ceramics class taught by the wrestling coach (although I gutted it out for a year and learned some interesting vocabulary). I hung out with kids who called themselves Punks, Wavers, and Mods and I knew that was "who" I was... an artist.

I don't do that much anymore, label myself as an artist.

People who knew me then are always surprised, when they meet me nowadays, to find that I have very little to do with the visual arts any more. More than once, I have felt that I have let them down. The feeling doesn't last long, but it's not fun while it's here.

What a strange place I am in, and in some ways it makes me a little sad; this diffident relationship I have to all things "art" these days. We are strangers, but for the love of crayon and glue that my girls have. Strangers, and I was not even aware that we had slipped completely out of touch until I read a recent post on Feminist Mormon Housewives the other day. The post was regarding balancing the love of art and still keeping to LDS standards. An interesting read, and something pertinent to my life... but HOO! The comments started to get off into the realm of "what is true art" and some commenter's started labeling the bulk of mainstream LDS art as "propaganda" and "cheesy." If your interested, go read the comments for yourself... for my part, I started to feel annoyed at some of the dismissive and arrogant stances some of the folks were taking about "art". Attitudes and ideas that I suspect a nineteen year old "bon" might have subscribed to.

On many levels... art annoys me. Especially art that considers itself ART, and I am trying to figure out how I ended up here, and how long I'm a gonna stay at this point in my relationship to (esp.) the visual arts. Visualize the face a two years old would make upon biting in to a piece of baking chocolate.... expecting sweet-yummy, getting bitter-yukky. THAT'S the state of the relationship.... on my side at least, because ART, and the art world? Could not care less that I no longer love it.

There have been specific points in my road to disenchantment with the art world, and I may catalog a few in a different post, but mostly I am sick to death of the elitist attitudes that so many involved in art seem to sport. The idea that all real-and-for-true art must "challenge" us and make us "think." The dismissal of beauty for beauty's sake. But mostly the dismissal of people... any people who do not get it, or do not care for high ART.

Perhaps it is sour grapes from hour long critiques, and long winded and blatantly BSed discussions on the artistic process.... maybe it was the gleeful, half-ironic attempts of my fellow students in trying to start the UNM Eff-You-ist movement. Perhaps it was the semester I learned that the Advanced Painting instructor, who was ostensibly trying to get us to find our own "voice" and "expression," really only wanted wanted us to do it within HIS version of the artistic process.

And then a few years later while working at the local art supply store, assisting that same instructor and coming to realize that the man knew jack about the chemistry of his own craft, and was barely cognizant of archival issues. Teaching. Advanced painting.

I learned almost nothing that I wanted to in school.

(2 B continued)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Head Cold and Trivia

I keep thinking that this cold has to let up some. I came down with it on Saturday night, and the snot is still taking up so much room in my head, that I haven't thought coherently in days. Add in three little girls at varying stages of the same cold, a week tardy, but finally arrived set of menses, and regular life STILL happening? It's a freeping party, I tell ya.

Ummm.... hence it's been a little light on the posting around here.

I have a series of posts about "art" that I have planned, but before I can even dig in, I have to declare myself unable to complete any and all memes I have been tagged with. Can't do 'em. Don't know why. Mental block? Sorry.

Finally got Birdie signed up for Kindygarten, which is great on one level, and sort of a joke on another.... two and a half hours a day? Puh-leeeeze.

We got to meet her teacher yesterday. Once again, it was great on one level, but I wasn't planning on meeting anyone.... I just had to run in the to office and pick up some paperwork that I had accidentally left the day before. This was yesterday. Please to envision: no shower, sick, bleeding, no make-up, ratty clothes, kids with ratty hair and outfits they had chosen themselves (think clown princess). Ah well. At least her teacher will have no over-inflated expectations to disappoint.

Am a little sad that there is no "school supply list" to fill, just a $20.00 fee to pay. Reminder to self: go buy supplies anyway, nothing compares to scent of Elmers paste and a Big Chief tablet, and perhaps a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.

Dadguy got his birthday present a few weeks early this year... a GPS. We have been Geo Cache-ing a bunch this past week. I think we might, sorta, maybe suck at it. We have not, in any case, experienced much beginners luck. Pretty fun anyway, just need to remember to wear good shoes. There are a few drawbacks to Geo-Caching with little kids in a van... strappy IN, strappy OUT, strappy IN strappy OUT, ad infinitum.

According to Dadguy, this past month was the hottest in recorded Utah history. I have felt every last blistering degree of it. Or yeah, I would have, except I have been cowering in my house, hovering over the AC vents and snacking from my hoard of Otterpops.



tired. must nap.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

If I were a Simpson


TV

5 Minutes For Mom is giving away a flatscreen TV... go give it a shot!

Thanks Best Buy!

Canadians welcome, go Mama D, GO!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Winner!



Being a parent in catastrophic situations can change a human being for the better, if that human is open to that kind of change. By catastrophic, I mean.... the toddler experience. When Pearl was born...Birdie was three and LaLa was not yet two. For those of you who have never done anything like this, or lack imagination... I am talking about procreation that rates about an 8.75 on the Richter Scale. The entire month of May this year was another form of a catastrophic event in parenting. Day to day living with a narrowed scope of ambition, is also a form of erosion to my creative heart.

When I think about the ways that I am changing, I think in terms of a rough and shattered lump of stone; interesting yeah, but uncomfortable to hold in your hand, especially if you grip it hard. I think I am that stone, and motherhood is water. Oceanic water, river water, dripping water, rolling me and tumbling me and eroding the parts that stick out. Sometimes I miss those stick-out interesting parts, sometimes I miss my passions and pursuits. But I'll tell ya, my HOPE is that in the end, a heretofore unrevealed inner beauty will be revealed by way of this tumbling and polishing process. A vein of purple, speckles of green? Is there gold in my center? Maybe. But it is entirely possible that in the end, I will be left, a round, smooth and completely unremarkable bluish grey rock. Maybe by the time that happens, I'll be OK with that kind of end.

One of the best ways that this experience has changed me is by loosening my death grip on stuff. First thing to go was my body, and, while the longer I go on this way, the more I suspect that I wasn't quite as clever as I once thought I was... but, I'm pretty sure that my mind is slipped a few notches as well. Maybe a LOT of notches. Whatever degree of coolness I had achieved, was sucked away by the four millionth spirited rendition of Eensy Weensy Spider, or maybe it was the time I looked up the lyrics to the theme song for Scooby Doo at the behest of a two year old Birdie. So long.

Material stuff. Like furniture, DVD's and clean walls. It's a lesson I have to relearn every so often... but for the most part I get it, and when I encounter someone who is learning it the hard way, or insisting that their "stuff" is sacrosanct... sometimes it's amusing and sometimes it's down right annoying. Whatever. I'm just trying to get by with the minimal amount of destruction to... well, everything!

All in all, this has been an annoyingly pompous way of announcing that the quilt that I am giving away? Has a new new home! The winner is the lovely Jennifer of The Road Less Traveled

Congratulations!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Freebies


I finally figured out how it works, and I decided not to do it.

Don't get me wrong, it's a cool idea, this giveaway thing... but if I put a linky up at Rocks in my Dryer, then everyone and their pet dog would have a shot at winning this blanket, and I had envisioned this going to an actual reader of this blog. Again. Cool idea, so do go and check out these rockin' bloggers. I will just not be one of them. I'm still giving the quilt away, but it will be to someone who gets here via a more traditional manner.

I am trying to be a little more loosey-goosey about material things, but I really like this quilt... it's soft. And I really like my readers. So here is the deal:

1. If you got to my bloggy giveaway, it is via a traditional means so BY ALL MEANS, sign up!

2. You do not have to have a blog to win, just an email address.

3. Family and real life friends, please join in! Heck, y'all are some of my favorite readers!

4. I am going on a little vay-cay... so this post will stay at the top of this site, and you have until friday at noon to sign up.

5. Leave me a comment with an email addy down in my comments OR... if you are squeamish about being public, drop me an email at the following address.

bon(type in a period)mama(type in an @ sign)gmail(type in a period)com

follow the instructions in the parenthesis... sorry to be cryptic, but spammers have software that picks up email addresses and spams the hootie out of them!

6. Sit back and enjoy a week off from my whining, and tune back in on Friday noonish to see if you've won.




* again... since I'm footing the bill for shipping, only in US or Canada.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Pic: Pink

Another hard workin' week capped off with some Deathly Hallows does not make for a mucho-posting Mama. I am sure we will all survive.

With the kid-watching skillz of my sister and niece, I managed to paint the girls room a lovely shade of pink that Kwal Paints likes to call "Sacred." The first time I saw the color, the name of it was upside down to me, and it read like "Scared." I still like to think of it as "Scared Pink."

Chaos is in an ecstasy of little girl proportions. Now, you too can witness all that is pink and TDF, To Die For.










Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who Loves Ya, Baby!

So Rock In My Dryer is hosting a sort of blog party. It's for everyone who wants to have a giveaway on their bloggy, and everyone who wants to get some free stuff from those who are giving... check out the nifty doggy button in my sidebar. At some point she'll be linking to everyone who is giving stuff away, so even if you don't score my gifty, you could, maybe pick up some other offering. I will be trying to get some freebies m'self.

Once I figure out how this is working, I assume that you tell me via comment or email that you are interested, and I enter your name and put it in a hat. I'll be giving away this handmade (by me) baby rag style quilt. Stay tuned.



*since I will be footing the bill to ship it, I will restrict winning to just the continental U.S. and Canada. And YES, Canada specifically in case Mama D wins. If you live somewhere else you may petition me to soften my crabby old heart.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stigmas and Chaos


Lest there be any confusion... my Birdie is not fat. Perhaps by some sicko, anorexic definition she could be considered such, but people with that definition do not interest me, except that I wish them all the thinness they treasure. May they waste away to nothing.*

Wow. Usually I try to keep it a little more upbeat than that around here.

Pirate hit it on the head in her comment...

..."No matter what, I think it's important that you learn to discharge the stigma that word has for yourself before you heap that on your own girls. They will read your confidence around this issue - if they sense that Mama has no baggage with this, then they will have no reasons to take on their own baggage... That's where the self esteem thing comes from. Love yourself first, your children will learn from you."

I have baggage with this word, and it shines right on through. By the time I was seven years old I "knew" that I was fat.

Dude. I wasn't fat.

I had been on at least two fad diets by the time I was twelve because I was "fat". I was a regular looking kid... not stick thin, but not fat by any far stretch.

Anyone around me that did not fall into the category of "model thin" looked fat to me, and that is a jacked-up way to live.

My brain works differently today, but I am faced with the task of raising Chaos, true and proper Chaos. The kind of Chaos that couldn't give a rat's hind end for "fat" or "thin," or any crappy labels. It's time to shed all the cringing and hiding I did growing up.

I gotta be busy raising Chaos like this!

...and this!

...and this!

* I do not wish ill for people struggling with eating disorders, I am only angry at those who would label a five year old girl as "fat."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Pic: And So It Begins...

I am frustrated. I have me a little rant, but I cannot find a way to get it out there without a pig's trough full of backstory and family dirt. So y'all are going to get the shortened, sanitized version.

There is a sweet little six year old girl who loves my Birdie, and we spend a bit of time with her, but rarely with her mother. Yesterday, in the course of the swimming fun , she dropped the bomb that her mama had said that Birdie was fat. She went on to inform me that she didn't think so, and that she was angry with her mom for saying it.

I calmly told her that I disagreed with her mother. She was satisfied and ran off to play with my darling Bird and LaLa. Not sure what my face looked like, but Grandma was there and informed me that this has been something that has been troubling Misssixyearold for a few days. She has brought it up to Grandma several times, and that Misssixyearold has said if anyone calls Birdie "fat" that she will beat them up!

Who knows what her mother said. Who knows if she said it to this little girl, or in confidence to a friend, and her daughter just happened to overhear. Perhaps her mother never said such a thing at ALL. She is six, after all, and kids don't always understand everything they hear. Whatever was said, I'm sure she never meant it to get back to me or to my little girl.

Whatever. That's not what has pulled my pin.

What matters to me, is the damage is done. The bullet is in the chamber. The arrow knocked. And in Misssixyearold's world, being accused of being "fat" is a fighting offense. To her, being accused of being "fat" is a terrible thing. She appears to be aware of every nuance of insult that comes with the labeling a girl "fat."

Frankly, I am as concerned for the poison that has been fed to this little girl, as for the poison that has been offered, and will be offered to my Bird and all of Chaos. The same poison that I grew up on.

Not all little girls are going to love my Bird, and I'm willing to bet that many of them have been schooled in the same attitude by their own mothers and society at large. These children who do not love my Bird, will be using their arrows. She will learn their definitions for "fat," and what it means to be called that, because she is not stick effing thin.

I really thought that we would have at least until first grade before this kind garbage... and I thought that it would be coming from the kids.

There will be no pictures of Chaos this week.... I had thought to post a photo of Birdie, she has lost a second tooth. But now I'll have to think about it, this world hardly deserves to be graced with such beauty.




Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Balance

If I could just figure out a way to want to do all the things that I need and ought to do.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Pic: Paint

So the joke is pretty much on me, and my sorry attempts to post pictures of all the hard work that has been done in Chaos in the past few days. I waited till the girls were in bed and I could pick up a bit before taking the snaps of my walls a la Tequila this evening. But you can hardly tell the difference in the before pics and the afters in the low light. Not that the color jumps out at ya in real life... but there IS a difference! The thing about this color, is it appears brown, grey, green or white as the light hits it. It ROCKS, but you have to look closely, especially in the sink photos.

The kitchen sink in it's before state, complete with dirty dishes.

The sink in it's after state... notice that the color of the walls and the sink itself now are different.
To the left of the sink.

To the right of the sink (look close, you will rarely see this much countertop).

The kitchen table. Yes, the blinds have a busted out slat in the lower left hand corner. Not replacing that thing again till it's even more beat than that.

Front room .

More front room, and I will add that the biggest pain in the patootie to paint was the freaking hallway... and it just looks white in all the photos I take. Will try in daylight tomorrow. My hands hurt. Goodnight.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sunday Pic: Tuesday

I'm thinking it would have behooved me to take a "before" pic. I didn't. Instead, I will show you about what we had in our master bath. This is the girl's bath, right off the hallway. The space is different, but the lights and mirror are exactly the same as what we had in our bathroom. Next I will put some knobs on the drawers and cabinets, but they are just plain, brushed nickel boring... and it may take me a while to get to it. So you get the "after" picture in a somewhat "before" state. And then comes the Tequila. That's the color of the paint people, the PAINT!


Taken while standing at the foot of our bed.


Taken while standing on edge of tub.
I'm thinking we could really use a spiffy new faucet, don't you agree?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Girls/Home Improvement


Before I had kids, I had always envisioned myself as the mother of a rangy pack of boys. Instead, I got girls. I love my girls, but I think it should be said that for all they cleave unto all things princess, they like the traditional "boy" stuff as well. There is not much in this household in the way of restraint, or shy and retiring. Nothing quiet about our home.

Turns out, this works for me.

I am glad to have my girls... I am glad that they are sisters, and such good sisters to each other. I know how important having sisters is, especially as I get older. There is much to admire in my own sisters. I have three sisters and two brothers, and much as I love my brothers... it's my sisters who sustain me. These women are on my mind today.

It's really kind of classic. The things they do, and their lives kind of baffle me. I don't see how they pull everything off with such aplomb, and I guess my own Chaos has them pretty much in awe as well. I feel this way about the women I call friends as well.

**********

Girls. Think little girls and lots of clothes. Lots of pink, purple, green and lots of sparkles. I am in over my head with the laundry, and I am thinking that at age five and three, the two older can start to be responsible for the putting away of their own clothes. Only, the chests of drawers they have are falling to pieces from the inside out. The center bar, and rails that the drawers slide on? Sawdust and unhinged metal. The slightest tug would pull the entire drawer out and THEN... picture a particularly untidy squirrels nest. Since we have put our plans to finish the basement on hold till next year (too many medical bills), it has freed up a little bit of cash for other projects. Goodbye old chests of drawers... hello Hemnes 8 drawer dresser in white! It's big, so they will be sharing.

I would insert a little Ikea rant here... but having read the blogs of Ikea customers in the past, I suspected that my own freaky experience would ensue with the purchase of Ikea stuff. I was not disappointed. Currently I estimate that I spent about 40 hours in the driving to and from, shopping at, returning, and returning, and putting together/ installing crap from Ikea. I figure that the experience is a kind of sweat equity for the furniture world.

This time estimate does not include the time spent absorbing and slavering over their catalog and website. I suspect that Dadguy cringes to think of me and the finishing/furnishing of the basement. I am a perpetual agony of "trying to get it right the first time," when facing a house project, and not an easy woman to live with in when I
am in project mode. I don't handle interruptions well, while in that mode... and my life as a mother of young kids IS interruption after distraction on top of frustration. Hoping for the best!

***************

Oldest sister, R, and I have made a deal to help each other paint our houses (the interior). I hope to have some pictures for y'all by next Sunday Pic time. Can't promise much though, I thought for sure I would have a lovely photo of the master bathroom and it's changes (vanity light and mirror).... but I have not yet hung the new mirror. It will end up being a Tuesday Pic this week, I guess.

The color I decided to go with is Kwal Paints "Tequila." I have seen it in two separate houses, and I
lurve it! Cool and relaxing... and hopefully it'll clean up better than the builders grade, whitish paint we have now. Possibly I will have an accent wall in the front room. Looking at a slightly darker color for that. Undecided. One more example of the agony and indecision of teh mama doing home improvement.



I will be back to the bloggity soon... promise!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Random Cuteness

This morning Pearl got her paws on a band-aid. She showed it to me, asking "Nah-nay?" Which I could only assume meant "Mama, will you please put this band-aid on my non-existent wound?"

I asked her where she wanted it, and she poked her foot out and pointed at a general area of toe-ness. As I am peeling the paper back from the band-aid, in preparation to stick it on her foot, she begins a loud and contrived "waaaaah wah!." Because that's what you are supposed to do when you get a bandage on a boo-boo. Cry.

**********

We have been deluged with new toys lately. Among some of the new denizens of Chaos...

A stuffed lion that LaLa has named "Tiger-ee," and a stuffed turkey that gobbles, which she has named "Chicken-ee."

**********

LaLa and Birdie have been attending "school" at Grandma's house about twice a week this summer. The focus is reading, but they do science projects, and art projects as well. One of the things they have done, is made books out of construction paper. They cut pictures out of magazines and paste them in the pages, then dictate to Grandma, what they want her to write to go along with the vignettes.

Page one: A tightly cropped photo of the eye and a portion of the beak of a Toucan. The text reads "This is a toucan."

Page two: Photo of a Juan Valzdez looking Mexican peasant, holding his hat in his hand standing next to a burro. Text reads, "The man is taking care of the horse."

Page three: Underwater closeup of a smiling dolphin. Text reads, "The dolphin is swimming. going to eat a hammerhead shark.

I got that far and laughed my pants off.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

300

I have been putting off this post for almost a week now.. Partly because I have nothing to post, other than the standard blah blah blah hot blah summertime stuff blah blah. Partly because, as my 300th post, I thought I should have something a little more coherent to say than I do. Partly because I have chucked back two wildly different and powerful books.

One book: Gift From The Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Uhhh... why has no one told me of this book before? This should be mandatory reading for women, especially married women with children. Have you read it? Why didn't YOU tell me? Does everyone just assume that everyone else has read it?

Other Book: Twilight, by Stephenie Mayer. If you have teenage girls you already know all about this book, I am sure. If not... SQUEEEE! The world created by Anne Rice has nothing on Meyer's take on Vampirism, but be warned. Although this is considered Young Adult Fiction, it is powerful and heady stuff, containing the hottest literary kiss this side of erotica. And for all of that, it is conducted in a chaste if dangerous manner. But what do you expect from vampires?


... and oh yeah, blah blah blah hot.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Pic: Epiphany


I have come to realize something about myself... whether it is just the way I operate right now in my life, or if it has always been in play, I do not know. I make many, if not most fashion and furnishing decisions based on whether a thing make me laugh. Witness a streak of bright red, almost hot pink that I could not resist getting with this most recent cut and color. What can I say... it makes me laugh.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

News

Ahhhh! So which do ya want first? The good news, the good news or the really good news? Because somehow, I am waking up on my 38th birthday to a shiny, sparkly feeling...

Birdie's tooth? She had just preempted the natural process. Despite the jagged appearance of the root of the tooth that "Link" escorted out... there was nothing hazardous left in the gums. No harm, no foul AND my dentist didn't even charge me for the visit or x-rays.

Yeah... I know! Don't you just hate people who ask for your advice, and then do whatever the crap they wanted to do anyway? In my defence, I really thought that there was a splinter of root left, and I only had yesterday morning to take care of it... so I just hit up my dentist for a morning mercy visit. The "not paying" bit was all their idea. I suspect they didn't want to mess with the paperwork for five minutes and two x-rays. Or it could be because his wife is the Relief Society President for our Ward... and she wanted to cut us a break. Then again, I shouldn't discount the fact that they are just cool people! One way or the other.... WOO HOOOO!

And I love her new jack-o-lantern grin, but it also breaks my heart a little.... she looks like a school kid now.

The reason I only had the morning to deal with busted teeth, we had an early afternoon appointment up in SLC with Pearl's surgeon. Best case scenario. The G-tube is gone. All we are left with now is scar tissue, one final appointment in three months, and one or two small complications. Some other time I'll explain the complications, but... this is my birthday post, and I am only chronicling the bright side thankyouverymuch!

She ain't got no g-tube la-la-be-doo-bah!

Also... I had forgotten the unreasonable pleasure that comes with welcoming a new niece or nephew into the family. I say unreasonable, because I feel proud. I obviously had nothing to do with the guy, but here he is... breathing and slightly smashed looking. And I feel so pleased and proud, like I helped. One way or the other.... Welcome to the party baby M!

On the way home from the hospital yesterday, I took advantage of the fact that the older girls were with my sister, and stopped by the new Ikea. I am in love with it's huge, maze-y shopping goodness. I am in love with my new front room lighting. I am in love with Mr. Dadguy who will be installing it as the other half of my birthday gift! Meet my new 12" Fado... and wow, who'd-a thought that last bit would sound so NAUGHTY!

(the lamp is called a Fado, people... sheeesh!)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Pic: Gratitude

I spent some time this afternoon writing Thank You notes for folks who have assisted Chaos this past while... I'm not done yet... and I haven't got addresses for some of you. But we are some blessed folks. J.D. from Tripping Over Cobblestones sent out a care package with magazines for me, and some shades for the girlo. The glasses, which had rose colored lenses, are broken already... but not before LaLa had the opportunity of putting them on and remarking to me how big and pink my bummie was. Nobody sent Dadguy and I a gift certificate for iTunes... for new music to cheer us up. Elizasmom sent a GC for Amazon. The "mom" part of Mom and Pop came to visit bringing a book and a toy. Sarah came to visit, bringing cheer and good conversation. Jo of TangledMe visited with gifts.... and now Mama D has weighed in with gifts all around! These wands and wings for the older girls, a dolly for Pearl and some Aveda haircare products for moi!

Dude... that's just the folks who have websites that I can link to! Y'all are some huge-hearted and awesome folks.



I have also had some new people come by to visit the bloggy and leave happy and kind words of support in addition to my longertime friends. My only regret is that I am so disorganised and so much shorter on spare time that I don't get by to say hey back to them. Or leave regular or better comments on YOUR blogs. I feel like so much is being done on our behalf.... I hope I am not overlooking anyone and that if I have, believe me, we are sooo grateful for all that is being done.


Just one other thing.... I am looking for a good pediatric dentist. Somehow Birdie smashed/popped/levered out one of her bottom-front teeth, tonite after lights out. She says she was biting on a plastic, Happy Meal figurine of Peter from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Only she insists that he is "Link" from Legend of Zelda. Anyway she was biting on him when she tripped? Fell? Was jumping on her bed?

Almost the whole tooth is out, but it looks like there may yet be a splinter of the root left in her gums. So if you know anyone in the Valley....

Yeah, I know. The hits just keep coming. Wheee!