Thursday, April 29, 2010

Juicy Secrets

So, the other day, Scott says to me,"My mom said she liked the picture of the chickens."

I said, "Oh, good!  I thought it was pretty cute."

"You know, she reads your blog." 

He said this like it was breaking news.  I blinked.  "Yep.  So does her sister.  And my sister.  And maybe some other family, too.  I don't say anything unflattering, I promise."

"Oh, I'm not worried about that.  I don't care what you say, I haven't read you blog in forever.  Since the 2008 election."

And that pleasant and nonchalant exchange, I believe, equals permission to write about whatever I'd like to write about.  That I secretly wish I was three inches taller.  Or that my daughter ran around last night with just one pigtail in.  That I think Brad Pitt is a terrible actor.  Or that I think dark chocolate is da bomb.

It's just too damn bad I have no juicy secrets...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feelin' Like Photos!

Here's the swingset in all of its completed glory!  No, this photo isn't the box top -- I took it this morning.  Sure is pretty!

Believe it or not, but Scott and I raised that left tower as it is in that picture.  By hand.  By ourselves.  Yes, we are He-Man and She-Ra.  Really, we are.

The master builder and all-around awesome guy, Scott.  Love that man!!

This is what happens when mommy sinks a screw -- right THROUGH the board.  D'oh!  I really am She-Ra, see?

When Violet meets static electricity -- who needs fancy gadgets when a plastic slide will do the trick?

My happy happy boy boy!

Aren't these just the cutest country kids you've ever seen?  Yeah, I thought so...

Side view with the monkey bars that neither children can do without assistance yet.  Note how nicely the slides coordinate with the dandelions.

What's this?  This isn't a swingset, is it?  Nope -- it's the foundation for the chicken coop.  We've managed to keep all 25 hens alive for a month, but they are quickly outgrowing the basement box/kiddie pool set-up.  Scott and I have learned the "Oh, no!  I fell out of my home and am now running around on the basement floor confused and lost!" squawk of the birds.  When we hear it, one of us says, "Oop!  Got a runner!" and we go find the escapee and put her back where she belongs.  I'm looking forward to them getting their own home.  Yep, I am.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hey, Mom! Discovery

Walking Milo to school this afternoon was just what my spirit needed -- ten minutes with the joy of discovery.  After being initially reluctant to head out the door, he perked up the minute his feet hit the sidewalk.  Talking a mile a minute, stopping low to peer under bushes, dancing randomly, dashing ahead of me to peer between his legs, grinning.  Meeting his classmates happily, exclaiming over the equipment for an obstacle course.  Reading six or seven other student's names as he skips to the peg with his name atop.  Such lightness, such fun, such joy...

Here are some of the things he said as we meandered through campus to his school:

Hey, mom!  Why are the steps so tall?
Hey, mom!  These pink flowers came from that tree!
Hey, mom!  Why does he have short pants and long sleeves?
Hey, mom!  That guy looks like Will's dad!
Hey, mom!  What would happen if I ran down that hill?
Hey, mom!  I can jump over this crack really high!
Hey, mom!  There's paper on the ground!  That's rude!
Hey, mom!  What is this?  (seed pods from a tree)
Hey, mom!  If I plant them, will a tree grow?
Hey, mom!  They're playing frisbee!
Hey, mom!  There's a ball under this bush!  And a can, that's rude!
Hey, mom!  Those people are smoking!
Hey, mom!  Do you know any of those people?
That's good because they're smoking and that's gross!
Hey, mom!  I can count by twos!  Two, four, six, eight, ten -- like that, mom!
Hey, mom!  Let's go this way today -- I've never been this way!
Hey, mom!  I want to wear my backpack upside down!
Hey, mom!  Is that the building with your office?
Hey, mom!  I don't want to wear my backpack upside down anymore!
Hey, mom!  Can we listen to "Rolling on the River" again on the way home today?  (Proud Mary, naturally)
Hey, mom!  We're right on time to school!
Hey, mom!  There's Ben's name!  And Lucy!  And Evan!  And Moorea!  And Lydia!  And Ben N!  And mine!
See ya later, mom!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Socially Inept Mama Braces for Impact

T-30 until Milo's first non-family birthday party.  He's been invited to a classmate's celebration.  Beyond excited, he exclaimed, "Mom!  let's go now!  I want to be the first one there!"

Uh, sorry, sweet potato, your socially inept mommy doesn't want to be the first one there.  It's my first birthday party, too...  Am I supposed to stick around?  To drop you off?  To hang out with the other pre-school moms?  Only a couple really talk to me...  I'm an anomaly -- the working mom who drops her kid off at school.  The other working moms don't.  I know this because the "daycare mom" arrives with four of them in tow. 

Am I dressed OK?  I probably shouldn't wear my cute kitten heels, What Not to Wear be damned -- the party is in a gym.  Oh, I hope they don't ask me to do anything athletic -- as you recall, I'm quite the klutz.  Gotta go brush my teeth.  Should I wear lipgloss?  My hair's not quite dry, but if I were to dry it I'd look like an electrocuted Ewok.

I have always had birthday party anxiety.  I remember one party, when I was 7 or 8, the host forgot to give me a spoon or fork for my cake and ice cream.  Too embarrassed to ask for one, I ate with my fingers -- even the bite that had a burnt match stuck to the bottom.  I didn't eat the match, but some of the ash stuck to the cake and as I swallowed that bite, I willed myself not to vomit in front of everyone, thank goodness that worked.  If I couldn't manage to ask for a fork, barfing in front of a room full of kids might have sent me into hiding for longer than J.D. Salinger...

We've reviewed birthday party etiquette.  He signed his name to the card and wrote the birthday boy's name on the front.  When did my kid learn to write the alphabet?  He says he can write every letter but K and Z and I believe him because he randomly wrote the A-J, and L-Y the other day.  Not scratched on my car with a stick, though, he saved THAT trick for his name.  In case he forgets which side of the car holds his car seat.

OK.  T-22... 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wanna Live in My Swing Set?

So I have referenced the "Swing Set the Size of a Small House" a couple of times, either here or on facebook or one of my mommy boards, but here is a photo of the model of swing set that my darling Scotty (with a little help from me) has installed in our back yard.  I supposed that I should state that this review wasn't solicited by the swing set manufacturer or distributor -- it is just our experience with the product.  So, yeah, I'm not paid to review this product in any way.  I hope that works as a disclosure...

This took him the better part of the week to put together, but we're thrilled with the result and can't wait for the wood to dry out enough for us to stain it.  We've heard tale that these particular swing sets, the Playstar Superstar Gold model, are tough to put together and might have doomed more than one marriage, but my very handy fella had few troubles with the directions and didn't need to re-do anything that he installed.  Rock on, Scott!  He did, however, comment that "The instructions were clearly created using AutoCAD; I wish they included the electronic file so I could rotate the image."  I'm guessing that his skill level might be a touch above the average consumer...

It was pretty interesting to see us right the tall tower -- Scott said "Lift from your legs!" and I sure did -- I could feel those legs for three days after playing He-Man and She-Ra.

On to the chicken coop!  The hens in the basement ran out of space in the brooder box, so we had the surprisingly fun task of sorting the flock into layers and broilers.  Layers are for laying eggs, and broilers are for, ummm... eating.  There was one hen that Scott and I had decided (separately) was the first candidate for Broiler of the Year.  She's the aggressive one that pecks at us when we tend to her box, a straight-up chicken-bitch.  She's gonna be yummy...

The layers were relocated to a kiddie pool from which several have escaped.  So now when I approach the basement, my first task is peeking at each group, counting heads.  Fortunately the ones we selected as layers were selected because they were less excitable, friendly, even.  One in particular always comes running when she hears me approach.  I've been calling her "Curious" because she watches my every move, then ducks her head under my hand for a pet.  Yep, I've been petting chickens.   Will the wonders never cease?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jock Itch

It should surprise no one that I am not, umm, athletically gifted.  I'm a complete klutz -- and I'm not really exaggerating.  Oh, sure, I have really good body awareness and rhythm -- I did ballet for 15 years and figure skated and have a blue belt in Aikido -- but when it comes to sports involving balls, nets, racquets, goals, or bases I am useless.  I'm totally OK with that.

Scott isn't a natural athlete, either.  He admits to being fairly average when it comes to athletic prowess.  He's fine with that, too. 

Unfortunately, this has led to a deficit regarding athletic instruction and our children.  They don't know the rules for baseball, basketball or football.  They've never played Minnows and Sharks on a soccer field.  Milo has a baseball glove, but has never used it.  He steps with the wrong foot when he throws.  It just hasn't been a priority for either him nor us. 

Are we doing him a disservice?  Milo has never expressed any interest in learning athletic things, but I'm starting to feel like I need to give him a crash course in Catch to keep him from being the last kid on the bench.  This weekend he had a playdate with a preschool classmate, who stands a full head taller than Milo and probably outweighs him by 15 pounds.  And throws a football better than either Scott or me.  Definitely better than Milo, who was embarrassed and frustrated. 

As a kid, I had opportunities to participate in group athletics, and I did, though I greatly preferred my music and dance lessons.  I had more fun chatting with my teammates and cheering for them than I did actually playing the game.  I wasn't aggressive or physically competitive with the kids and my hand-eye-coordination was appalling.  I suffered through gym class the way other kids suffered through spelling. 

We have tried hard to model for our kids that there is not one be-all-end-all defining characteristic in people -- that just because you enjoy doing something it doesn't mean you can't enjoy doing something else, too.  You can like BOTH swimming and playing the guitar.  You can go skating AND like painting a room.  We do work at a liberal arts college and have always connected with the liberal artist's mindset -- that learning about everything in the world is better for your mind and spirit than just focusing in on one thing.

I'm pretty sure that we're raising a couple of nerds-in-training, but I guess I'm hoping that they won't be the last nerd chosen on the team.  With that in mind, I think I'm going to have to find my ball glove and teach the kids the very, very little I know about sports.  So they can soundly kick my butt in any game they take up.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Getting My Revenge

This was inspired by my lovely friend and frequent commenter, Vernetta.  If you ever get the chance to meet Vern, take it!  She's a great and generous person and super mom to the cutest red-heads ever and she has a damn perky little bum, to boot!

Listed below are several ways that I am plotting to get revenge upon my offspring, please feel free to leave me some more ideas in comments...

When they invite me to dinner, I will reluctantly approach the table, stomping my feet and whining. When my food is in front of me, I will glare at them like they have put poison out for me to eat and 'cweam "I don't LIIIIIiiiiIIIIIIKE this!." And then eat all of it because I totally forgot that I do like it.

I promise to balk going to the car, then dash over when I realize it's a race, then cross my arms and insist, "It's not fair!" when Scott beats me into his carseat. Because "I waaaaaaAAAaaaaated to be first!"

When we go out to eat, I will loudly insist that I "weally DO want ticken nuggets," then, when our food comes to the table and I realize their food is better than mine, I will whine until they give me half their salmon. Which is, of course, what they proposed when they suggested we share before I decided I wanted "ticken nuggets."

I will dance around naked, dash away from them when I'm slippery and wet out of the bath, then blame them when I slip on my own wet feet and bump my head. They should have toweled me off sooner, fer corn's sake!

I will have a fit when they are getting dressed for work, demanding they wear turquoise "flop-flops" to work because they match their turquoise shirts, regardless of the 18 inches of snow on the ground.

Finally, any time they try to introduce me to someone they like, I will bury my head on their butt-cheeks and pretend to be their third leg. Double points if I tug so hard on their skirts that I expose their undies.

Friday, April 16, 2010


If you're stopping by from the Ultimate Blog Party 2010, here's my party post!

We survived Kindergarten Round-Up!  I am thrilled with the way it went last night and so very proud of Milo! 

You see, he can be kind of hesitant in unfamiliar situations.  Like the first week of preschool when he cried every time I dropped him off?  Yeah, like that.  In fact, when we talked about how the night was going to go (all together in the gym, then kids got with teachers, then kids come back from teachers) he flat out told me that he "didn't want to leave me and would be shy if he had to."

I patiently told him that he was going to be fine, that his friend L. was going to be there and she would love to sit by him, that all they would do is go play for a bit and have a snack, etc.  And he was still balking.

On our drive into town, he sat alert and silent in his car seat, his hands tightly clasped in his lap.  He looked very, very nervous.  He said he was nervous.  This made me nervous, though I tried not to show it.

We came in practically at the same time as L. and her family, so we sat near them in the gym.  Milo and L. chatted a bit until the principal came in with an introduction.  After introducing all of the kindergarten teachers, he dismissed the kids.

This was it,  I was fully prepared to have to nudge my little buddy into going, to pry his clinging fingers from my hand and hand him over to the teacher, apologizing profusely and reconsidering our decision to send him to Kindergarten even though he'll be young in his class.  I turned to him and...

He was gone.  He was skipping happily to the outstretched hand of the first teacher in line.  He called over his shoulder to his friend, "C.mon, L.!  Let's go to Kindergarten!"  She followed and he left the room at the head of the line, smiling from ear to ear.

I looked at Scott and saw some of the same amazement reflected.  Did he just go away willingly?  Happily?  Eagerly?  And first in line?

After the presentation by the principal (who thought he was doing stand-up comedy), school secretary, and school counselor, the kids returned.  Milo came back beaming with a paper sack full of stuff from the evening.  "Mom, dad, we talked about bugs!  See, I made bug shapes and colored them.  This one is a spider, see all of his legs?  Then I put stickers on this page..."  He went on and on and on.  While he was explaining this, the teacher whom he followed approached us and told us how excited she was to have Milo in Kindergarten next year.

Scott teasingly said, "Wow -- you must have talked a lot about Star Wars to get him to talk so much!"

She smiled and shook her head, "No!  He was eager to participate and excited to learn.  He answered all of our questions cheerfully and was just charming!"  I think my jaw bruised my knees when it fell into my lap.  Mr. "I'm going to be shy" was confident and charming?  Yay, Milo!

As we left, he told us, "I thought I was going to be scared, but it was fun!  I like Kindergarten!"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wayback Wednesday: Kindergarten

If you're stopping by from the Ultimate Blog Party 2010, here's my party post!

Tomorrow is Kindergarten Round-Up for my lil' fella. He also got his first invitation to a classmate's birthday party. And he thinks one of his teeth is a wee bit wiggly. Yeah, that screech was the sound of my heart stopping a bit when I realized that my baby ain't no baby any more...

Which brings me to my kindergarten year. Sigh... I'm going to go ahead and admit that I was a precocious little snot who didn't play well with others. At all.

In fact, once I realized that none of them could read, I was pretty much done with them. Why waste my time on those immature, stupid little booger-eating Neanderthals?

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how I thought knowing how to read was a prerequisite for Kindergarten. And telling time, doing basic math, writing and all the stuff kids learn AT school. But that's what I thought, and because I thought that, I just knew my classmates were all dumb.

Apparently the teacher called my mother for a conference when she realized that it wasn't that I was too shy to talk to my peers, it was that I was simply too stuck-up. Bet that was a fun phone call...

This was pretty much the beginning of my whole good-girl/teacher's pet thing. I never really tried to be that, in fact, in college, I would slump in the back row of a 35 student class, trying to hide behind some tall guy, pretending to not listen. But it never failed, the instructor would say something that sparked my interest and I'd make eye contact and BAM! That was the end of anonymity. Every darn class. My papers and tests would come back with "Insightful" or "Great image" or "I think you would be a brilliant English scholar!"

The problem? I was still that little girl in kindergarten, still unsure around my classmates, still awkward and sensitive, and keenly aware of the daggers they would stare into my back when I set the curve on an exam for which I didn't study -- although, by the time I got to college I at least knew not to admit that. Even when I was trying to underachieve, to slack off, to just be average I was unsuccessful.

This is the baggage I carry with me into Kindergarten Round-Up tomorrow. I am trying desperately to not let my anxiety spill into Milo -- he is perceptive and intuitive, too. Sometimes I see so much of me in him... I just hope he has an easier time of it, that's all. That he makes friends and enjoys school. That he leads with his kind heart and sweet nature. That when the classwork is too easy, he doesn't complain -- at least not as loudly as I did.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Little House on the Prairie

If you are visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party 2010, click here for my post!

I have always, always, always, thought myself to be an urban chick.  I totally dig the city vibe, love the city sounds, the culture, the ability to get good sushi in minutes.  That kind of stuff.  I pictured myself taking public transportation to work, stopping in for yoga on my lunch break, and getting the chance to see limited-release films in a theater when they open and not through my Netflix cue.  Well, I probably imagined seeing those films on VHS because Netflix wasn't around 20 years ago.

But I find myself captivated by my life right now.  I can't wait to get home and shove my children out the door so that we can explore our yard, our world.  Our own little bit of Earth.  Maybe it stems from my girlhood adoration of the "Little House" books.  Maybe it is the push for Community Supported Agriculture.  I'm not sure, but I am awakening.

I have lived in Iowa nearly all of my life.  I have been surrounded by agriculture for 30 years.  It always felt like a backdrop, like the scenery for a play.  This is my life, it is set in Iowa and we know that because there are cornfields.  And livestock.  And tractors rumbling up the gravel road.  But the action of my life has always taken place indoors -- in a theatre, in a classroom, in my home.

I am suddenly so very excited to look into my summer -- to see my huge vegetable garden spreading wide, reaching deep into the earth to find nutrients, sucking them from the soil into their ripe flesh.  I hear the chickens clucking as Scott plucks their brown eggs from their nest boxes.  Serving venison stew from the deer that he and his brothers hunted.  I imagine entire meals cooked from ingredients we raised -- the vegetables, the starch, the fruit, the protein are all from our own hands.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that if I am not buying produce, chicken, stew meat or eggs, I can afford the fancy, organic, non-hormon-ed or antibiotic-ed socially responsible milk and cheese for my kids.  I don't have to walk by the organic whole-grain pasta staring longingly at it any more.  I wonder about what it would cost to buy a side of organic free-range beef or pork.  I think I'll research that tonight...  I imagine churning butter from organic cream -- I have left cream whipping in the mixer for just long enough that I accidentally made butter, what if I could do it on purpose?  Maybe there's someone who would barter milk for eggs?  Homemade ice cream with lusty red raspberries bouncing in the bowl.

My country life is bursting and bountiful.  At lease I hope it will be.  I could run completely out of steam when I need to weed the garden yet again in July when it is 95 degrees out and my allergies are insufferable.  Or I could thrive like the plants in this Iowa soil, no longer seeing my earth as a backdrop, but as an integral part of my identity.  I have always wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder, maybe this is my chance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Country Life on a Monday

If you are visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party 2010, click here for my post!

Here's a Monday update -- the chicks are about four times as big as they were when Scott brought them home a little over two weeks ago.  They are also starting to really get their feathers, so they are supremely gangly and awkward right now -- like us at 13 or so.  These are definitely not Easter egg chicks any more.  Their combs are starting to grow and they are bigger, so they make bigger poops.  Which means Scott has been addressing the bedding more frequently.

I prepped a bunch of mini-greenhouses and will be starting some of the more fragile seeds: tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower tonight.  We've sort of figured out how we're going to lay out the yard -- Scott will till the garden area in the next two weeks or so and I'll get to planting the early seeds (carrots, radishes) and the hardy ones (corn, beans, squashes, pumpkins) soon after he's got out patch turned over.

In the mean time, we will be a-building!  Putting up a big swing set for the kids to play on and occupy their time while we garden and tend the flock.  Building a chicken coop.  I've asked that I can paint the outside as our house is white and square and our garage is white and square, so putting something colorful in seems right.  Maybe I'll ironically paint a chicken on the coop...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bring on the Pancakes!

Ok, not to be gross, but is there anything worse than having that nagging, rib-bruising hacking post-nasal drip cough while your monthly friend is visiting?

Yes.  When you have that awful cough, your monthly friend, and you're taking an antibiotic that totally rips up your gut. 

Thanks for letting me whine -- it's not polite to actually say any of that out loud, at least not when you're headed to your in-laws for a pancake breakfast.

Sunshine, Lillipops...

Hello!  If you're checking me out from the Ultimate Blog Party 2010, here's my party post!  

It is Sunday morning, and I'm awake at 6:37 for no real reason, so here's some Sunday fun!

This week, the kids and I took advantage of an unusual day off for me and went to lunch with a friend and her children.  Her daughter is in Milo's preschool class and er son is about 6 months younger than Violet.  After an enjoyable and humorous lunch, we walked with the kids the three and a half blocks to the preschool.  Well, we walked.  Milo and his friend ran up the street, stopping appropriately to wat for us at corners, giggling and holding hands, swinging their connected limbs like a jump rope.

They were so blissfully innocent, all pink-cheeked and shiny-eyed.  They looked timeless darting up the street -- this could have been me and my friend or even my grandparents holding hands and skipping.

Our town is pretty sleepy, but there were a few other people out for a stroll on a lovely spring day, including a couple of city workers, who happened to pass the kids just as Milo pulled ahead, calling over his shoulder, "Missed me!  Missed me!  Now you gotta kiss me!"  The city workers chuckled and smiled at them, clearly as charmed as we were.

The kids had so much joy, so much energy, so much life that they may as well been trailing a rainbow wake behind them, maybe one with unicorns and butterflies dancing along...  What a magical spring moment!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hello!  Although I am not really a new mom blogger (I have been blogging since August of 2008), I am a sort-of-newish public blog mama since February of 2010.  Don't ask me why I felt the need to suddenly go public with my blog, I'm not sure I really have a reason for it.  I do know that it seems like a fairly healthy way to have a midlife crisis, right?

Anyway, if you are dropping by to join the party, please overlook the dog fur and kid toys -- I've got two of each and trying to pretend they don't exist is pointless.  Grab a seat, but don't be surprised if my son begs to play Star Wars guys with you or my daughter drags you to the kid-sized table where she's sticking glittery stickers to a piece of pink construction paper.  Or if my husband kidnaps you to the basement where we're keeping our first brood of Buff Orpington chicks, at least until he gets the coop built.  Did you know that they have automatic chicken coop doors?  I didn't know that until yesterday, either.

My life is pretty ordinary, and I'm sure that is the biggest reason I didn't go public with my blog when I first started writing.  I was a good student, married my college sweetheart, moved to a mid-Atlantic state when he was in graduate school, returned to Iowa when he was offered a job about 35 miles from where he grew up -- a big surprise for us because he's a theatre designer and this is, well, this is Iowa.  We got a dog, bought a little house, gutted it, got another dog, and renovated the house.

Then we decided to start a family.  After an ectopic pregnancy, we had our wonderful son in June of 2005 and made him the big brother of a little sister in September of 2007.  We are currently battling unexpected secondary infertility.  I swallowed my first dose of Clomid about an hour ago.  I don't feel any more fertile yet...

This past November, we bought a big old farmhouse out in the country.  This has been a bit of an adjustment for us (mice.  Mice.  Mice!  MICE!), though we are eager to put in a gi-gundous garden this spring and, as I said, we have a small flock of chickens started in the basement.  Because organic brown eggs sound super, don't they?

Here are some of my quirks:
1.  I like to be funny.  Sarcastic, even -- I know, SHOCKER!  If you don't want to read a blog where the author admits her shortcomings and pokes fun at herself, you shouldn't read mine. 
2.  I like to write.  I've never hosted a give-away, nor have I monetized my blog.  Yet.  If I end up pregnant with Clomid quintuplets, I might have to change that policy.
3.  I am a fan of the chain description: words-tied-together-with-hyphens-to-make-a-funny-run-on-point.  Yep.  I like me my hyphens...  And ellipses...
4.  I like comments.  OK, who doesn't.  I follow up diligently. Really, I do!
5.  I'm a lunch-hour blogger, so if my schedule gets keee-razy, I don't get a chance to give my blog or bloggy friends the love.  I hope you can forgive me, but I gots-ta pay the bills.  My hubby works in arts education, 'nuff said.
6.  I try to be positive and witty and clever, but the struggle we've had trying to conceive baby #3 has stretched my good humor to the limit.  Some of my more recent posts were a little darker than I would normally write.  But, since I am above all an honest blogger, writing something that was all cheery and rah-rah-rah when I was feeling blah-blah-blah was resoundingly fake, so I didn't do it. 

Here are some of my most favorite posts:
Malfunctioning Bedroom Devices
Brontophobia: Fear of Storms

In case my blog gets pulled for a prize, here are my top three choices:

US6 – Hand Stamped Personalized Necklace valued at $48 The Double Stacked A Lot Of Love.
Provided by: Kristen’s Custom Creations  I lved this design and don't have any mother's jewelry!

US97 – One winner will receive a beautiful handmade wire and colorful bead necklace from the mission-driven company, Ana Patricia!  just thought this was so much fun!

USC 10 – One winner will receive a beautiful handmade glass pendant with their choice of chain. The piece is made by me with care using glass and paper.  The design I will give away is called “Lilac“.  I fell in love with this -- so very pretty!

Other prizes in which I'm interested: US39, US44, US66, US110, and USC19.  My son is 4 and daughter is 2, so anything appropriate for them is fine, too!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Today Violet and I walked around the yard, peeking at the beginnings of green.  She gripped my right ring finger, tugging me gently from one mound of sprouting green to another.

"What is dis, mommy?"

"That will be a tulip.  It's a flower."

"Oh, my like it!  What color will it be?"

"I don't know yet -- it's too early to see."

"My think it will be ownge, or wed, or lellow, mommy!"

"You're probably right, sweet pea."

She stooped close to the tulip bud, he nose hovering a bout an inch above it.

"My can't see the color yet, mommy.  My want pink!"

We moved into this house in the doldrums of November, everything was dry and brown by then, so we do not yet know the treasures of our perennial landscaping yet.  I cannot guarantee that the tulip will be an acceptable pink any more than I can guarantee just about anything right now.

The lab results from our initial fertility testing have been returned.  All of my labs are within the normal range, a little on the low side of normal, but normal yet the same.  The results of my pelvic ultrasound were normal.  I am ovulating.  Unfortunately, though Scott apparently produces a prodigious number of sperm, only about 40% of them are moving.  The ones that do move are in great shape, so that's good.  I'll start Clomid tomorrow.  We'll schedule an IUI the next time I detect a hormone surge.  The nurse will rinse and spin the spermies, then thread a delicate catheter into my uterus, depositing the sperm there in hopes that the sleepy swimmers can get that much closer to my eggy goodness. 

Looking at the lush green all around us, who knew that fertility could be so fragile?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Begging for Death (not really)

I have been begging for death the last couple of days.  Why?  Wicked sinus infection.  The whole left side of my face has been hurting like there's a mule in there trying to kick it's way out.  Not pleasant at all.

I was up all night Saturday because the pain was so intense.  I even considered taking one of Scott's Vicodin, but decided against it for two reasons: it isn't prescribed to me and I was the only parent at home and if the med incapacitated me, no one would be able to take care of the kids.

On Sunday night, I tried sleeping with my face smashed into a warm rice bag -- that helped as long as the bag was warm, but when it cooled off, I had to stumble down to the kitchen to warm it up again.  I did that four times.

On Monday I made it to the doctor.  Because we're trying to conceive, they could put me on a high-powered, knock the germies out with napalm antibiotic, so hopefully the one I'm on will do the trick.  I also tried a neti pot for the first time.  I didn't drown, so I think I used it correctly.  That's about all I can say about a neti pot as it didn't seem to make much difference one way or the other.

Last night, I was comfortable enough to sleep most of the night.  I didn't have to get up for more Tylenol, nor did I have to warm my rice bag.  I did get up to check on Violet, who had a coughing spell.  And there were thunderstorms that knocked our power out for a second or two -- long enough for me to realize that the power was out and then it was back on.  And Scott was an insomniac who turned the TV on three times.  So still not enough sleep, but at least the pain isn't horrific any more.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Grandparents Make Great Teachers

Live from Saturday Night it's...  ME!

Yeah, I'm not normally a Saturday night blogger, but we were in my hometown all day and that left my two very good dogs home alone in the house for 12 hours.  Thankfully, I came home to no messes, just some very eager-to-go-out Labs.  Then they both ate and went out again.  I'm going to hang out with them for a while so that I don't wake up to S.O.T.F.  As in Sh*t on the floor.  Our big girl, Tessie, injured her right read leg as a pup and has pretty bad arthritis in it now, so she doesn't do the stairs int he house anymore.  So she doesn't wake me up when she needs out anymore.  She's found a corner in the great room, thankfully not on carpet, and this last week I woke up to S.O.T. F. twice, grrr...  Once was so bad that I managed to smell it all the way upstairs through my closed door. Blech...  So not the freshly-brewed coffee and bacon scent I'd rather smell when waking.

I was in my hometown for an early Easter celebration with my parents.  My youngest sibling was in town with his newly-minted fiancee, they actually spent the night a our house on Thursday before continuing on to good ol' 52732.

I love watching my kids play with my parents, they love playing with my parents, and I believe my parents love laying with them.  Nothing warms my heart more than seeing my child turn to my parents with a wide smile, arms outstretched for a hug, climbing into their laps with a book, showing them how the little pink ponies climb the mountains of their knees.  I know I sort of fade into the background while this is happening -- I want them to know each other without my prodding or interference.  I want them to establish that relationship without me interrupting the magic.

There is something truly magical about the love you have for a grandparent -- nothing anyone can say ever tarnishes the special glow they have for you and you have for them.  They don't need to do anything but love a grandchild, and it is nearly impossible for a child to do anything that a grandparent dislikes -- at least in my opinion.  I have nothing but warm memories of my grandparents -- of exploring their homes in search of something hidden and interesting.  I loved hearing stories about when my parents were children in a time so very different than my childhood.  I loved to stare at pictures of them when they were my age, counting the freckles on my mother's nose and giggling at the stiff-looking coif in my dad's school photos, sure that his hair was as sharp as a porcupine quill.  I wondered what color their clothing was and if they wanted to have their picture taken on that day.

My kids aren't quite old enough to do that, though Milo has begun to ask me about what it was like when I went to Kindergarten and if I liked playing Super Mario Brothers.  I tell him that Mario didn't come about until I was in high school, but that I remember my younger brothers playing it and that I loved going to school because I loved learning. Violet insists, "My grow up to be a big ghoul like mommy!"  They both talk about being different things when they grow up, but right now Milo says he wants to be a teacher and give "test-es."  When told that Grandpa is a teacher who gives tests, he beamed, saying "I could do that, too!" 

Little man, I'm sure your grandparents would all agree that you can do anything you want to do.