Feb 26, 2010


Alrightey, it's the end of the week! We totally kicked the week's butt and had an awesome time. Tipped off the weekend by volunteering in MAPS (Mothers and Preschoolers) childcare this morning...ten two-year old boys.

Enough said.

Feb 24, 2010

The scent of nilla wafers

Wilder has this lovely perfect spot that I kiss obsessively...the nape of his neck where wafts of nilla wafers and baby wash linger. I trimmed his hair a little, since he was looking shaggy and being called a girl, so now the curls aren't as long at his nape. Nonetheless it is this precious place that I have best access to while reading to him. I kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss it. I remember Momma doing that with us girls...
This morning he was entertaining himself while I prepared for lunch...a bit of a rarity as he prefers to be with me at all times. He was playing with his barn set, looking down at the animals. And there was his nape. His cute, cut hair, his dirty orange cast.
These are the moments that take my breath away--that reprieve from the "going bonkers" state. Could he really be mine? He really is mine. Will I be able to handle the years ahead when I can't protect him, when we will inevitably hurt each others' feelings, and when his feelings will be hurt by others?
The orange cast is a reminder that all I want, more than anything in the whole world, is for him to be safe, healthy, happy, and at peace. Something as small as a cast is enough to break my heart. I said to Shawn, "babe, all I want to do is protect him. There's so much out there that could potentially hurt him. Someday it will, and there won't be anything we can do." He responded, "well, we can try {to protect him} for a little while, can't we?"

Yes, Babe. We can try. If only for a little while.

Until then, my mommy mantra to "make today Wilder's best day ever," seems to be working just fine.

Feb 23, 2010

Quick escape

We were overdue for a road trip, so Wilder drove us out and away in a sparkly green semi...

Shawn's sister Andrea, and her husband Brenden, don't live very far away, and we owed them a trip; they've been here multiple times to help organize the nursery. It snowed most of the weekend, but we managed to get out and shop/eat/play. Since the guys hogged the TV to play xbox, Andrea and I caught the Dear John movie, which I enjoyed. I snorted and snarbled (ok too much Dr. Seuss) into quite the supply of tissue.

Andrea's a darn good cook...she made nachos with the works, ham/beans and some kind of organic corn muffin (delicious), and pumpkin waffles. Eenie Meenie was well-fed...Wilder didn't do too bad himself. Around the dinner table I "forced" everyone to voice their least and most favorite parts of the day. It's a habit our family of 3 1/2 is quickly forming; guess I'm trying to get others to catch on.

Nap beckons. Went to bed at 11pm but didn't conk out til 4am...what's up with that?

Feb 22, 2010

Love You Forever

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be

~from Robert Munsch's Love You Forever children's book (have tissue in hand)

Feb 18, 2010


What I am reading:
What I am cleaning:
Who I am kissing:
What I am folding:
Who I am pulling (and kissing, and carrying):
What I am eating:
What I wish I could touch:

Feb 17, 2010

Doing today well

For a brief spell I was transported to my former workplace...I decided to take Wilder after our library time today--he likes to show off his "peg-leg". With my makeup and hair done I felt like I could make an appearance...oh, dear, why am I so silly about that?

Being there, seeing the familiar artwork, smelling the officey smells, passing by my old cubicle, visiting with former coworkers, reiterates that my stint there seems a lifetime ago. Even though it literally wasn't.

We can become so immersed in our experiences, good and bad, that it's seemingly impossible to picture any kind of end to it. I really made the most of my time at work, through the highs and lows, knowing I was in just the place God wanted me. Let's challenge ourselves to live each hour, feel each breath, because someday, what we were going through will seem like a lifetime's distance from the next place we go.
Life's a conglomeration of endings and beginnings, new opportunities, rebirth.

We're not stuck

All the more reason to relish my time with my sweet family. Inevitably, I will wish to return to that time of "oh so inconvenient" breastfeeding, or of sharing things so novel and exciting with my children (like nature and the museum and dinosaurs...). Our wedding? A lifetime ago. College? A millennium ago. Career person? Not sure when that happened.

I am thankful for today. Today is something I can, will, and want to do.
Once I've laid my head to rest, usually at midnight or so, there is no more today.

There simply isn't.
Mommy and W at Meetup's Valentine's party--W may have a lazy eye like me when photographed...but he's still my adorable baby.And some chocolate--adds no editorial value to my post, but who cares? It just looks so gooey.

Love you all.

Feb 16, 2010

Flapjacks, eggs, bacon--of the felt variety

For some reason our calendar doesn't get busy until Thursday, so Wilder and I have been getting creative with things to do. By that I mean we've mostly gone shopping (groceries, new baby stuff...). Ok, maybe some beauty products too.

I really needed that mini-facial at the Clinique counter.
I'm a Mary Kay die-hard but Shawn and I share Clinique's Mild cleanser because it doesn't dry us out in the winter.

On another note, I've been anxious to talk about Wilder's new felt food. It came in the mail from my bloggy friend, A, during the 2010 Great Deluge of Crummy and Unfortunate Events, Harris Edition (by this I mean Shawn's sickness and working loooong hours and Wilder's leg stuff, and other stuff). So...one would think felt food would bring cheer, not tears, but I was so overcome by this act of kindness that I did indeed cry. Thank you just doesn't cut it, A.

I fell in lust with the felt food showcased on A's blog in December, and left several comments
begging for her to make some for Wilder--and I would pay for it. She can do pizza, pasta, and quesadillas, too. Oh my word the cutest playfoods ever.
But she sent breakfast "on her" as she's still perfecting her art...although I think she's practiced enough and needs to open an Etsy store.

What do you think?

Wilder (and mommy) loves his breakfast set!

Feb 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

It wouldn't really be all that nice to brag that I got breakfast in bed this morning, then was given permission to roll over and sleep a little longer.

It wouldn't be that nice to tell ya about all the heart stickies/sweet notes all over the house, either.

It'd be even less tactful to tell you we danced in the kitchen to Mr. Sinatra, with our spaghetti-stained kiddo curiously watching.

So far that's been my Valentine's day (thank you for letting me brag), and I'm so, so thankful for these wonderful things, and for the man I married.
Our ride as parents has met some valleys, and indeed it is challenging to keep Shawn before Wilder. We're working so hard on it.

To keep it real, our date Friday night got totally botched, but we still had fun. We (I) wanted to see Valentine's Day, and since we were in a hurry to be at the movies by 8, we drove through Sonic for some burgers. Once we got to the theater, the tickets were sold out (opening night). As plan B we couldn't go sit in a booth at some fancy dinner place because we'd already eaten. We did the next best (or better?) thing and snatched some donuts at the Donut Whole..they had live music so we stayed awhile.

And we only brought out the iPhone twice. For baby name search purposes...
Today's heart picture:Baby and I, at 25 (!) weeks. I did an edge blur and sepia treatment but that is the only editing. My nails are uneven, fingers becoming sausage-like, my belly button's a little ugly, I have a scratch on my hand, and sandpaper knuckles (winter). This is me, an imperfect mommy.

I won't always, or ever, have my nails done
In fact I've grown to biting them
Must be fretting or stress
You know the best
Know these hands always mean well
They are most beautiful entwined in yours
I promise I will put my ring back on
When it's not so tight
I promise to try not to pinch your nose
As much.
I promise to cover my mouth with these hands
When I can't say something nice
To rub your back
When you're weary
My hands may not be pretty
But they will love you forever and a lot
I won't always, or ever, have my nails done
I wash a lot to keep germs at bay
My hands may not be pretty
But I promise they will love you
Well and alot
Rub your neck when you're tired
Hold your hand at the doctor
Wipe your bum when it's dirty
Stack blocks like a nerdy
Share cookies flip books' pages
Stir mud pies bandage owies
Drive you here drive you there

Wave goodbyes, embrace you in hellos.

Feb 12, 2010

Giving marriage a kick in the rear

There's a church here that provides a MAPS (Mothers and Preschoolers) program twice a week. The basic premise is for mothers to get away for a little girl time and spiritual encouragement while their children are in the hands of trustworthy, trained caregivers. The cost is only $25 a semester, and the other obligations are bringing breakfast items twice, and volunteering in childcare once.

Every Friday I anticipate a yummy breakfast, dynamic speaker, and enlightening breakout sessions. It's tough to be out the door by 9am, but is worth the early rise. Wilder's able to have some independent time, and I get to relax!

All this to say that many of the talks are infused with reminders to love and cherish our husbands. Today, especially, we focused on the struggles we have when it comes to prioritizing marriage while in the midst of rearing little ones, or at any time for that matter.

The princess fairy tales are fun to read, and I've had my movie-worthy moments. How could I not with a totally cool hot babe like Shawn? But reality is much different than what we see on
The Bachelor, or in the typical chick-flick. What blazed prominent today was that expectations become off-kilter and instead of looking at what our husbands do so well and beautifully, we try to "be their Holy Spirit" and remind them of what they're lacking. I can tell you right now that I had to be in charge while Shawn was sick (I wonder if it wasn't H1N1?), and it was kinda stressful.

The trash pile has been bothering me lately. There's no reason why I can't take it out myself. It's just so cold and slushy outside. Rather than focus on this task remaining uncompleted, I choose to be thankful that Shawn scraped the ice off my car, bought me a modern bouquet for Valentines Day, and sang nursery rhymes to Wilder (the most precious sound I've ever heard). The trash issue dissolves in light of those sacrificial acts of love.

With young children to raise, it can be difficult to maintain the God, husband, children hierarchy presented in the Bible and by some more seasoned couples. As we are addressing children and chores, the needs are very physical and apparent. The child has a runny nose, so I wipe it. The child needs dinner, so I feed him. The laundry is piling, so I wash it. The trash is piling, so I, uh, take it out.

The needs of a successful marriage seem to lie in a more invisible realm. Needs exist at every corner, but not in a loud, screaming out sort of way. We usually find ourselves cruising along until it's time to have a "big, long talk" in which we discuss what we need to work on. I'd rather have little intermittent talks so it's not overwhelming.

So what's a girl to do? I am compelled to see what will happen when I put Shawn's needs before my own. Would he appreciate a warm towel after his shower (someone suggested running a towel to the dryer so it would be warm)? Have I asked him about his interests lately? Have I encouraged him to have guy time and stayed mum if he decides to play video games?

I'm a firm believer in egalitarian marriage (50/50), even have some feminist tendencies (so the towel thing seems kindof ridiculous but I am willing to try it), and am so thankful when Shawn meets me halfway. It's just that we do the darn nicest things for our friends, or for complete strangers, yet turn a 180 when behind the comfort of home.

Self-challenge: keep Shawn high on the list, which means hugging him more, going on dates, leaving sweet post-its on the mirror, etc. I want to know him once our kiddos have left home.

Indeed, he will still be my boyfriend and roommate. Oh, that makes me happy!

Today's heart pictures--a growing Valentine's shrine:

Feb 11, 2010

Heartathon, Day VII (I think-is anyone keeping track?)

This came in the mail today:
It's perfect. I don't know who it's from but I know where it's from: stupid.com. Never heard of it. Has lots of blinky flash icons and annoying stuff.

The packing slip reads: We hope you enjoy your stupid purchase. Thank you for shopping with us.

Shawn, is this from you?

Look how cute it is with jelly!
Aren't gift-bearing mail days the best?? Specially when you're feeling sorry for yourself because you have a peg-legged pirate kid struggling to get around? My poor baby. A little toast with a sweet message from mommy should make him feel better.

Feb 10, 2010

Heartathon Day VI even though there's no heart picture

I'm not doing a heart picture today. But I'll give you some pictures of Wilder, who is, in fact the heart of my heart and beat of my beat. These pictures are brought to you courtesy of my friend E, who watched Wilder so I could go to my OB appointment. I dozed while waiting for my doctor to come in. I kindof didn't know what to do without Wilder there and even fidgeted a bit.

I thought we were out of the woods with the leg thing, but after seeing an orthopaedic doctor today, they decided to cast WildMan (since his tibia is a little bent and the stress reaction area was still there, she thinks there may have been a hairline fracture that didn't show up in his 4,006 xrays...because sometimes they take a week to show up). He screamed during the casting process and the only thing I knew to do was sing softly in his ear.
Today, that's really the only thing I know to do.

Feb 9, 2010

Ham and cheese

What I'm looking for is simple, really.

It's for you to be my blanket, a warmth and protection.

For you to be bread for my being. My sustenance.

For you to sing sweetly to me, if even off key.

And hold my hand when I can't do the hard stuff by myself.

It's simple,


Feb 8, 2010

I am...

my mother's daughter.

We both really, really, really, really dig people.
We both have round, childlike faces that shave off a couple years from our real ages.
Why, yes, I'm 25.
We both get frazzled. Not gonna lie.
We both use baby oil to remove eye makeup.
We each adore books--not only their content, but the smell of worn, or new, paper.
We each are experiencing new life in Christ.
We're both obsessed with our cameras and will have it in your nose at every gathering.
We're both aware of our stress levels and when we need to take a break.
We're both pretty perceptive and empathetic.
We both need our calendars. How else will we remember stuff?
We're both broken for the suffering of mankind.
We both give our dogs too many fattening treats.
Neither of us are fond of conflict or how to deal with said conflict.

We'd both do anything for our babies.

I guess I'm more like my mom than I thought.

What a lucky thing.
Mommy praying at Sissy's graduation ceremony last May.
Mommy and us playing with makeup. Megan was selling her Mary Kay at discount and we were all bidding...will you take five dollah, five dolla? Ok, five dollah, five dollah.
We laughed and snorted so much.
I knew that's what heaven'd be like.

Thinking back to work outside the home

I remember, when I was struggling in my corporate job, a poem Shawn emailed me that sucker soaked that day in healing. I printed it out and put it on my desk, but behind some papers. I wanted to be able to read it when I was feeling sorry for myself, but I didn't want anyone to see the secret words Shawn had sent me.

We're going through the office, purging and cleaning every cranny so we might create a calm space for Eenie Menie. We're not very organized, but I did wander across a crammed folder from work. It houses my resume, some atta-girl emails, my maternity leave proposal (which totally kicked butt), my letter of resignation, some other human resources odds/ends including information on the two graduate courses I took, and that poem.

It was a small bit of paper that spoke to me to not become defeated. To not give up on the daily grind. To not give up on doing my work as unto the Lord. To not give up on the people who needed my loyalty and diligence, and sometimes, a sprinkling of mercy.

Much like I wasn't ready to relinquish that poem, I'm also not ready to give up that tattered yellow folder. It holds memories of someone I was really proud of.

Begin Again

last stanza:

Every day is a fresh beginning;
Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain,

And, spite of old sorrow and older sinning,

And puzzles forecasted and possible pain
Take heart with the day, and begin again.

Click here for full poem by Susan Coolidge

Snow my canvas, the hardened earth my easel, by mh
It's Monday, sometimes the trickiest day of the week. Look in the mirror, like who you are, and understand that you matter. Give someone a mighty hug, phone a kindred, tell a tale, dance ridiculously.

Live the way you want to be remembered. ~Gracia Burnham

Feb 7, 2010

Heartathon Day V

I should be housecleaning.

I should be making cookies for SuperBowl tonite.

I should be working on Bible study homework.

I should be catching up on "correspondence."

I should be napping.

But I feel like a big poopy butt for not doing daily heart photos, so, here's today's, a Valentine card and a bookmark Wilder made for Daddy (at Botanica's Family Fun Fair; Wilder wasn't a fan; not quite within his age range):
And I got something awesome in the mail from my favorite aunt: vintage childrens' magazines. They are so going in the nursery:
Lastly, let's just say the nesting phase has officially, uh, commenced:
Seriously need some blackout shades for W's room. Lesson learned for the second baby. Toodles!

Feb 5, 2010

6 months pregnant!

Have I mentioned I'm just excited about this baby as I was with Wilder? It's different, of course (not as much time to bask in the moment), but I'm still really elated to have another little person to love on and raise. When Wilder was fussing yesterday, I told my mother in law, "that's it. We're only having two!" Decisions like that should never be made in the heat of the moment...
The first part of the pregnancy went really slow, but it seems to be picking up speed. We are four months away (I am 24 wks) which seems pretty significant some days, then like not a lot of time other days. I am very much itching to get going on the nursery. I had help (thanks A & B) last weekend organizing office stuff into keep, sell, donate piles. I even found a simple changing table for $10 on CraigsList. I've decided to go with an organic/naturey theme so we don't have to paint.
How I'm feeling: pretty darn good. Just that same pressure and some heartburn. I've even been able to sneak and sleep on my stomach about halfway. And we've been so busy that I fall asleep fairly quickly...no more worrying about Indians and semi-truck drivers. Gosh, I am so weird, and you're still reading my blog?

Here's today's heart pic:
His/Hers towel set from estate sale
Stone heart magnet from Europe (D, is it from Germany?)