Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Little Things

Tonight I am thinking about treasuring the little things.  Too often, life feels like a whirlwind.  It's good though, to slow down for a few moments, and appreciate the little things....

A baby grinning just at you, because you are the best thing in their little world.

A little sleepy toddler waking up from his nap and just wanting to be held while he snuggles in a big blanket and sucks his thumb.

Having a real conversation with your spouse, instead of the broken and half-hearted kind that usually occur when little children are around.

Being able to sleep in.

Having time alone to enjoy just one kid.

Being able to read whole chapters of a book without interruption...sometimes even just getting through a whole paragraph is pretty great!

A hug and a kiss.

Watching a good TV show all cuddled on the couch with the one you love.

Good food...that you didn't have to cook!

These are a few things I got to experience today, and it was really, really nice.  Some of those things I would have taken for granted in the past, but I am learning to treasure and value them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

MOPS

A few days ago I did something new and tried out a MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) group.  It was at nine o'clock in the morning, a time which I would have not considered getting up for in the past if I didn't have to.  Lately though, my boys have been waking up earlier and earlier, so now going somewhere at nine a.m. seems like a very viable option, possibly even a lifeline, especially in these cold winter months when we are all stuck inside.  We arrived somewhat on time, and I deposited each of them in their respective child-care rooms without a hitch.  I joined the other mothers, and tried not to be too intimidated by the fact that they all looked better at that early hour than I usually do when I'm going out on a date with Aaron.  Next, I had to deal with my continual internal conflict of insecurity.  It's kind of funny when I think about it, and I'll tell you why.  When I was in Junior High and High School, I was very quiet and very shy, and it was extremely difficult for me to talk to people I had never met before.  Thinking about going someplace like MOPS all alone, not knowing anyone would have been terrifying,and I doubt I would have even attempted it.  Now that I am older, I am more comfortable with myself and with other people.  It doesn't bother me much to be around people I don't know, and even though I am still pretty quiet, I am okay talking to just about anyone.  The funny part is that, where I used to mentally agonize over what I was not saying, I now agonize over what I am saying.  Often when I am talking, or after I have said something, there is a voice panicking in the back of my head, saying, "Why did I even speak?  There is certainly nothing worthwhile coming out of my mouth.  These people probably think I'm an idiot.  I should really just keep my mouth shut."  Even though I know that it is probably not true, it is still hard not to believe it.  The result of which is that I often feel a bit glum after meeting new people or people I don't know very well.  Actually, I occasionally feel that way after talking to people that I do know.  Part of this is because of where I am in life.  I am 26 years old,a nd I have three kids under the age of five.  Most other 26 year-olds don't have three kids.  A lot of them just had their first child.  Some of them only just got married.  And others haven't gotten married at all.  I feel like a bit of an oddball when I look at other women my age.  On the flip side, many of the women who do have three kids (or more) are at least ten years older than me.  This doesn't bother me.  My sister is fourteen years older than me, and we are good friends.  It does make me wonder, however, why they would want to hang out with me.  Most of the time, I think I couldn't possibly have anything to say--after all, what do I know about anything?  What could I ever tell them that they don't already know?  So these are the thought and feelings I am up against most of the time, and going to MOPS was pretty much the same.  The difference between who I am now and who I was in high school is that in high school I avoided situations like that, ones filled with uncertainty and insecurity, whereas now, I just know that life is filled with them, and you just have to face them.  Which means that I will be going back to MOPS, and I will be trusting God to help me beat down that insecurity, and know that it's worth going, because even if it were true that they can't learn from me, I know that I can definitely learn from them.

A Lesson From Life

Recently I was reminded of a time when Malachi was just a baby.  He was probably around seven months old, and I think he was teething because he was crying and I was holding him and attempting to calm and comfort him.  I remember him looking up at me with this disturbed expression on his little face, as though he held me personally responsible for his pain.  It was as though he was reproaching me, wondering why I was letting this happen.  As a mother you soon realize that babies, and even older children, but especially babies, hold you responsible for whatever is happening to them. 

He was so little, there was no way for him to understand.  I didn't want him to go through that pain, but it was part of life, and he had to experience it in order to grow up.  I was there to hold him and comfort him, and to love him, but he would still have to go through it.  I know that in those moments God was speaking to me, and in remembering them, He spoke again.

Last year there was a time when I was experiencing physical pain.  I don't want to take the time to go into detail, but it was very frustrating and I was more than a little angry at God for not doing anything about it.  

Through my memory of Malachi, He reminded me that my situation with Malachi was very simliar to my situation with God.  I didn't understand why it had to be that way, why I had to go through that pain.  I felt like God had sort of forgotten me.  But he hadn't.  He was right there, to hold me, and comfort me, to love me.  He could've taken the pain away, but he didn't because it was something that was just part of life, and I needed to go through it in order to grow up.  Just like Malachi had to experience pain so he could grow and get his teeth, I also had to experience pain in order to grow. 

I won't say that I fully understand why.  I wish it made as much sense to me as getting teeth in, but it doesn't.  Ultimately, I know that it was an answer to prayers that I have prayed for God to make me what He means for me to be.  That involves growing, and growing involves pain.

The most amazing thing to me, is that God has continually helped me work through it all.  He has shown me that He has never forgotten me, and that His love does endure.  He is always with me, even when things are difficult, and He is faithful.  Through it all, I have come to know Him in a deeper way, and I have been able to see Him a little more clearly. 

And in the end, what is any pain or suffering, compared to the greatness of knowing God? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Train Tracks

A few days ago, Aaron took the boys--all the boys--to get some pizza for dinner and a couple things at the store.  On those rare occasions when I have a few minutes alone, I usually read or do something else that is just more enjoyable when it's quiet.  However, on this occasion, I found myself strangely drawn to the wooden train track set that the boys got for Christmas.  I really ought to hate the sight of those wooden tracks, after all the times I have gotten them out, put them away, seen them scattered, picked them up, set them up, set them up again after they had been knocked down about twelve times, and had to deal with the boys either sitting on the spot where I'm trying to set them up or them driving the train on the track before I can finish, making it very difficult to, in fact, finish.  But I don't hate them.  Instead for some reason, I'm kind of itching for a chance to build them alone, with no interference.  Then, I feel, I could build a truly brilliant track, and the boys would come home and be amazed.  I suppose, really, that all I want is a little feeling of control, the illusion that I am still able to have a say in my life.  Because, as a mom, I generally feel that my choices are limited.  It's my responsibility to take care of them, and therefore, I get up when they get up, and I watch Kung Foo Panda again, even though I have by now seen it at least 12 million times (it actually is still funny though), and I do all the other things that moms do, whether I really want to or not.  So it's nice to feel like I still have a choice.  Even if it is a silly choice like playing with train tracks when there are a host of other things I could be doing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Picky Eater

Have you ever noticed the way pickiness extends only to food?  If a person doesn't like certain foods, they are labelled a "picky eater."  This is said with raised eyebrows and a knowing look, which implies, "Oh. You don't like broccoli. You're one of them.  A picky eater."  This attitude doesn't extend to other things.  Take colors, for instance.  When a person is asked what their favorite color is, if they say they like pink but they hate brown, no one bats an eye.  No one gives them a hard time and says, "Oh. You're picky about colors, aren't you?"  It's okay to not like brown.  It's not okay to not like cantaloupe.  This is the world we live in. 

The Glad Game

As a kid, I liked to watch the movie Pollyanna.  In case you haven't seen it, it's about a little girl whose missionary parents died and has to go and live with her aunt, a rich, stern woman who pretty much runs things in her small town.  Pollyanna likes to play "the glad game", which means that in every situation, she looks for what she can be glad about.  Slowly, her viewpoint affects the people around her and changes them, including her aunt, despite the fact that at first many of them were irritated by her insistance on seeing the good in every situation. 

I don't know about you, but I would definitely be one of the annoyed people.  Misery loves company, after all, and the last thing you want when you are frusterated about something is someone telling you how you can be glad about it.  The thing is, Pollyanna's viewpoint is a very Biblical one.  There are countless verses in Scripture about being thankful, rejoicing in every situation, being content, and praising God in negative situations. 

I'm sorry to admit, that isn't my natural inclination.  This morning had a rough beginning, and it would be easy to let that color my day, but today, I want to take my cue from Pollyanna, and God, and play the glad game. SO here goes....

Even though I had to get up at 6:45 am, I can be glad that I wasn't up at five am.

Even though Izzy screamed at me because he was still tired (not that he'd ever admit it) and couldn't handle the fact that I couldn't drop everything immediately to help him find his blankie, I can be glad that he is healthy, and wasn't screaming because he was hurt somehow.

Even though Aaron had to go to work today, and had to work this past weekend too, I can be glad that he has a job to go to, that because he works, I don't have to.  I can be glad that I even have a husband, and that I still miss him when he leaves.

Even though Malachi threw a mini-fit because I made him eggs for breakfast when he wanted goldfish crackers, I guess I can just be glad that we have food, and that we can have a choice between eggs and goldfish crackers.

I can be glad that we are all safe, that we are all well, and that we have each other.

Most of all, no matter what else happens, I should always be glad that I have salvation in Christ, because no matter how bad things might seem, I know without a doubt, that without Him, it would be a lot worse.  Without Him, I would not have life, I would be an empty shell of a human being, and I would be miserable.  So I rejoice in Him, and in my salvation.  I rejoice in the love of God, and the peace that comes from finding satisfaction and completion in Him.

And lastly, I'm glad that I played the glad game.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Ingredients of Us

One man named Aaron who works hard, and has been working a lot of weekends, but still has time to be a great dad and take his boys to Chuck E. Cheese, which also gives his wife a break.

One woman named Tammy who stays at home with three little ones, and yet also tries to keep up with her appetite for reading, writing, and watching American Idol.

One four-year-old named Malachi who is obsessed with trains, loves TV, and tries to help mom, even though sometimes his help isn't very helpful.

One two-year-old named Israel, whom we call Izzy, who likes messes and Kung Foo Panda and likes to spin in circles in the kitchen while Mommy is cooking.

One baby Simeon who is trying awfully hard to crawl, but can't quite get himself off the ground.  Meanwhile, that doesn't stop him from scooting/rolling around and enjoying new foods such as fish, green beans, mashed potatoes and pizza (the pizza he sort of gums, seeing as how he has no teeth--it's very messy).

Put each one in a yellow house, throw in a little love and a lot of crazy, and you'll have us, the Miningers.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Movie Night

Tonight we attempted a movie night with the boys, complete with pizza, Dr. Pepper (well, apple juice for them), and the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  Taking into account that our boys are four and half, two and a half, and nine months old, this may have not been the best idea.  It certainly wasn't quite the fun, relaxing night I had envisioned.  It started out well.  Aaron took all the boys with him to get the pizza, then when they got home we brought in the high chairs and put them in the movie room in an attempt at mess-control.  We got our pizza, we started the movie, and everything was going great.  Then things began to happen.  Simeon was on the floor and started fussing.  I thought he might be tired, so I took him upstairs to put him to bed.  Aaron paused the movie for me, which was a big mistake because it gave Malachi and Izzy a chance to realize that they had been confined in one spot for more than two minutes.  As soon as I was back they were asking to get down.  I was just thankful that they at least finished eating first.  Or so I thought.  It soon became apparent that Izzy wasn't really done eating, as he kept trying to sneak pizza out of the box from the dining room table, which means that what's left of the pizza in that box became mutilated and/or devoid of all toppings.  Meanwhile, Simeon would not go to sleep, so I brought him back downstairs and let him have some pizza, which, I think, is what he actually wanted in the first place.  From that point, he sat in his chair eating quite happily, giving funny grins and going "Mmmm...mmmm!"  Izzy was wandering, which always makes me nervous (if you've been reading my other blogs, you know why).  Chi was the only one being still and watching the movie...the plot of which was becoming more and more chaotic, and a fairly accurate reflection of how our night was turning out.  All we were missing were giant pancakes falling on our heads.  Of course, this "peaceful" scene couldn't last for long--there is, after all, only so much pizza a baby can really eat.  Simeon soon tired of participating in our movie night and began to fuss again, this time because he really was tired.  Izzy kept trying to climb up Aaron's legs or stand directly in front of the TV.  Finally Aaron made him sit down, and then he started crying which meant we couldn't hear the movie at all between Izzy and Simeon crying.  There was maybe five minutes left, so I desperately hoped to hold them off until the end, but alas, it was not to be.  I gave up on watching the end of the movie and took Simeon up, once again, to get him ready for bed.  The movie ended about two minutes after I left, and then Aaron and the boys came upstairs too so they could go to bed.  Now that it's all over, I can undoubtedly say that it was the most exhausting movie night I have ever experienced.  Maybe next time we'll take it easy on ourselves and, I don't know, take them to a fine dining restaurant. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Feeling Quite Contrary

Today I have been feeling quite contrary.  It seemed like nothing was quite right, even though nothing was quite wrong either.  I had a hard time getting the boys down for naps, so I was running up and down the stairs trying to get them to settle, and then Simeon refused to take a nap altogether. Really though, I don't think I was upset about the boys, I think I may have been a bit bummed because Aaron had to go back to work today.  He was off for five days after having his wisdom teeth pulled, and even though it probably doesn't sound like it could have been very much fun, it was just nice having him home.  To be sure, there are moments when he can drive me crazy, but he is still my best friend and most of the time I'd rather be with him than with anyone else.  What's great about him is that when I am in a contrary mood like I was today, he knows just how to cheer me up, or at least smooth my ruffled feathers.  He always will come up with something unexpected that makes me laugh.  And then, he will do something like bring us all to McDonald's so the boys can play and I can sneak off and write a blog in peace.  It's pretty great of him, really.  It's enough to make a person feel...well, not contrary anymore.

Ode to Writer's Block

Sitting in McDonald's,
Trying to write a blog.
Instead I'll write this poem
Since my head is in a fog.

I have my new computer,
And (mostly) peace and quiet too.
I stare at this lovely screen,
But there's nothing I can do.

Writer's block is what it's called;
I have it all the time.
I'd like to write something really good--
Maybe the history of mimes?

Don't worry,
I wouldn't do that--
Write about mimes, that is.

"I'm sorry,"
You say, and pat my back.
"You'll do better next time."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Spiceman Strikes Again

It happened today at 5 o'clock.  The Mininger family was getting ready for company to come and eat dinner, when the Spiceman struck again.  The Spiceman, also known as Israel Mininger--Izzy, to his friends, has been involved in several other spice incidents, as well as a baby powder explosion, and an egg fiasco.  He has been described by a young friend of the family named Mary Joseph* as "a monster". 
In this particular incident, the spices he scattered were Mrs. Dash's Onion and Herbs.  The Spiceman, using stealth, and taking advantage of his parents being distracted with cleaning the house, snuck the bottle out of the kitchen and proceeded to scatter the entire bottle in the movie room, causing it to smell strongly of onion and garlic.  His mother, Tammy, was too angry to comment.
Fortunately, the Spiceman was apprehended by his father and put into a time out after receiving a spanking.  He appeared remorseful, and his mournful wailing could be heard for at least fifteen minutes after being caught.  Having served his sentence, he is now once again free, and one can only hope he has been sufficiently rehabilitated from his spicy inclinations.  Otherwise, it will only be a matter of time before the Spiceman strikes again!



*name changed to protect the innocent

Monday, January 18, 2010

Be Still

If you were me
Then you would see
Exactly how I feel
How every word
Grates on my nerves
And this does not appeal

Inside a little box I live
It seems awfully small today
I'm trying very hard to give
I know I have to find a way

Everywhere I go
Everyone looks taller
Because of this, I think--I know
That I am getting smaller

This isn't real
The way I feel
And yet it's very true
My remedy:
To say with you,
"Be still. Be still. BE STILL!"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

California Clementines

For some reason, I really enjoy peeling oranges.  Not just any oranges--california clementines.  "Cuties".  They really are cute little oranges, aren't they?  I think in part I like peeling them because the peel comes off so easily compared to a regular orange.  And if you do it right, you can almost get the whole thing off in one shot.  Maybe two or three.  It's just fun.  In some ways, I also find it sort of soothing, maybe even thereputic.  It really gives me a moment of sanity in an otherwise crazy day.  However, if you ever find me gleefully peeling a HUGE pile of cuties, it most likely means that the loss of my sanity has gone from possibility to probability.  Cuties are also quite tasty.  And they break apart just pefectly into little orange slices.  They do just what I want them to do without any hassle.  Unlike small children.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Eventfully Uneventful

For the people of our little family, this day has been both eventful and uneventful.

For Aaron, the day began quite eventfully this morning when he got two wisdom teeth pulled.  However, the rest of his day was rather uneventful, as he had to spend most of it in bed and on the couch, and is living off of milkshakes, pudding, and V8 juice.

For Malachi this day probably seemed very eventful because he got to bundle up and go outside, which he hasn't done in ages.  Also, Daddy was home, and had his teeth in a little envelope which he showed to both boys.  And at the end of the day, he got to leave on a trip to Kansas with his grandma and papaw for the weekend.

For Izzy, the day was probably fairly uneventful, unless you count him throwing himself on the floor, kicking and screaming because he wanted food and I offered him a  banana, an event.

Simeon had a fairly average day, but I suppose for a baby, small things like getting to try out some oranges and chocolate pudding (thanks to Daddy), and almost getting off the floor to crawl, might seem pretty eventful.

For me, it was a strangely normal and yet very abnormal day.  Aaron was home, but it was like he wasn't because he was semi-incapacitated.  So I did all the things I normally do, except that when I put the boys down, I got to go out and get some milkshakes (I had to have one too, of course) and various other liquidy things.  It was a momentary liberation that I normally don't get during the day--going somewhere--alone!

And that was our eventfully, uneventful day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pants

I have been thinking all day today about what I could write.  Several times I have considered sitting down and just writing something but I kept putting it off.  Tonight, after I put the boys to bed, I again had an opportunity, but I thought, "No, I'll watch American Idol first."  What could be more inspirational than a whole bunch of people going after their dreams of singing, right? 


And you know, it was very inspirational.


I now feel very passionate about people wearing their pants properly.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Powder and Salt

Without meaning to, I have now skipped two days of writing.  Last night I went to a Bible Study and then out with some friends afterward, but I intended to write when I got home.  I expected all the kids to be sleeping since it was after ten, but when I came in the front door, I could hear small voices coming from upstairs.  I wondered if Aaron was putting them to bed, and was surprised at how late he had kept them up if that was the case.  I moved on into the house, and as I went further in, I heard a static sound, like a vacuum cleaner, only not as loud.  Looking for the source, I went into our movie room, where I found Aaron asleep on the couch with Joseph: King of Dreams playing on the television, the sound of which was overpowered by...the static on the baby monitor.  This could only mean one thing.  The monitor upstairs was unplugged. 

In a flash, I knew exactly what had happened.  Aaron had put them to bed, gone downstairs, fallen asleep on the couch (which takes him approximately 30 seconds usually), and didn't even hear when the monitor went to static.  I hurried upstairs, knowing I would find some kids out of bed, and bracing myself for whatever else I might also find.  Reaching the top of the stairs, the first thing I saw was Izzy, out of bed.  The next thing, or things, I noticed were the cabinet in the hall open, cleaning bottles on the floor and powder everywhere.  I grabbed Izzy and took him downstairs and buckled him in his high chair.  I told him he was having a time out, but I really just wanted him to be contained while I figured out how bad the mess was upstairs.  Aside from the powder, it turned out to be not too bad.  I put everything back in the cabinet, got Malachi a drink, and then went back down for Izzy.  He got a spanking, and I sternly pointed out that Mommy did not like the mess he made, that it was not okay for him to do that, and put him back in bed. 

Later, I found out from Aaron that Izzy had wanted him to stay and lay down with him, but Aaron decided not to. 

In a seemingly unrelated incident, last week I was in the shower and I had locked the door, so Izzy wasn't able to get in.  When I came out, I found Izzy in the kitchen dumping out ALL of the salt.  All of it.  On the floor and the counter.  I was not happy. 

I have now come to the conclusion that when Izzy doesn't get the attention he wants...or just doesn't get what he wants period...he makes a mess. I cannot always give Izzy what he wants.  Sometimes he will have to be disappointed.  That is just life.  Life isn't fair.  That's what my mom always told me, and she was (of course) right.  Izzy will have to learn this, just like I did.  But that doesn't mean I can't help to ease that learning process along the way.  I have to remind myself that he is only two and a half.  He will still get a spanking for dumping out salt, but maybe I can do more for him to keep that from happening in the first place.  I am sure I will fail.  Repeatedly.  But I can try.  And I know God will be helping me and giving me the wisdom I need, if I will only ask him.  And eventually, Izzy might just learn not to make messes when he is upset.

Until then, I will be buying a lot more salt.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Potluck Life

Sometimes life is like a potluck.  And the people in our lives are like the food.  At a potluck people bring all kinds of food--main dishes, finger foods, desserts...and mysteries. 

Sometimes we find that someone has brought a dish that looks and tastes absolutely delicious.  We serve ourselves a helping with anticipation of its goodness, and when we finish, we immediately go back to see if there's more.  It's a likeable dish, and we enjoy it immensely. 

Other times we find that the dish we thought was going to be delicious is actually not so great.  We thought it had chicken in it, but it was really tuna.  We thought the green stuff was peas, but it's something unidentifiable.  And the person who made it clearly has no knowledge of what spices go with what because whatever they combined leaves a terrible taste in our mouths.  The dish we hoped to enjoy has let us down.  It wasn't what we thought. We have mistaken the sour cream for whip cream and are now paying for it.

Then there is the dish that looks questionable, but we try it anyway, only to find it is the best thing on the table.  We savor every bite.  The joy of eating it is only intensified by the fact that we have found a treasure in the least likely place.

Let us not forget the food that we have to eat whether we want to or not, which can either be tasty or the kind of food we need a glass of water nearby to wash it down.  Relating it back to life, this is even more difficult when we have God saying to us (so to speak), "You must eat this food and you must love this food.  You can't just throw it away.  You can't avoid putting it on your plate, because I want you to have it and have specifically put it on your plate.  Nor can you try to "fix it" and make it taste better.  You have to take it as it is." 

The nice thing is that He makes sure there are plenty of the other kinds of food on our plates as well.  And sometimes, I think He helps us eat it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thank You

I have never noticed before how nice it is to get a Thank You card.  Especially when it is from a friend.  I don't think it matters as much when you get one from a distant relative you sent a wedding present to or something like that.  Maybe I'm wrong.  But I have received several Thank You cards recently, so very thoughtful, and every one of them made me want to write a Thank You card back.  I almost did, but I talked myself out of it because it is a bit silly to write a Thank You card for a Thank You card, and besides that, then that person might feel they needed to thank me for thanking them, and I might feel like thanking them for thanking me for thanking them...it could on on like that forever. 

Sadly, I am absolutely horrible about writing Thank You cards.  I believe I managed to do it after my wedding, but after that, I have just gotten worse and worse.  Partly this is because I don't like to write them.  I always feel so awkward about it.  I want them to be sincere, but in my efforts to make them sound sincere, I feel like they actually sound more fake.  Perhaps I'm overthinking it, but there you have it.

In any case, if you are reading this and have sent me a thank you card recently, know that it meant a lot to me.

And on the flip side, if you are a person who never received a Thank You card from me and you should have, know that I am very sorry, and I am sincerely thankful even though I didn't write it.  (See how fake that sounds?  But I really do mean it!)

Running out of Glasses

Here is a slice out of our life.  Last night, Aaron was giving the boys a shower, and I was trying to make dinner (we'll save  the discussion of the pitfalls of giving small children a shower before they eat for another time).  Simeon had been on a sleep strike since earlier that afternoon, and I guess a happiness strike too, because he wouldn't stop crying unless I held him and carried him around everywhere with me.  At some point, the boys finished their shower and everybody was in the kitchen.  I was trying to carry Simeon around in a baby carrier to keep my hands free.  The problem was that his hands were also free, and while I was trying to heat some rice in the microwave, he grabbed a glass on the counter which promptly fell to the floor and shattered.  Aaron told the boys to get out, but Malachi felt the need to grab a toy truck first and got in trouble and then started wailing.  Then the rice in the microwave exploded.  Aaron and I tried to recover our frayed nerves without getting mad at each other.  Aaron swept up the glass and tried to explain to Malachi why it was important for him to obey immediately in that situation.  As he was talking I noticed he had missed a piece of glass, and just as I opened my mouth to warn him, he stepped right on it. 

In the process of trying to write this, Israel threw a glass at Malachi because he had a toy he wanted.  The glass, of course, broke, and shards went all over carpet.  I lost my temper.  Izzy got a time out and a spanking.  I picked all the big pieces of glass, and as I was plugging in the vacuum, I discovered that "someone" had smeared chocolate on the wall--undoubtedly chocolate they were not supposed to have in the first place.

It's been a tough week...and now I'm running out of glasses.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

That's the Story

For the last three or four years I've been working on a story that I hope will one day be a book, or maybe even several books.  It's been an interesting process.  I have the bones, but it's been rather difficult putting some flesh on them, so to speak.  I get inspired and work on it from time to time, but I keep getting stuck.  I get stuck on names sometimes.  I'm sure it would be wiser, or certainly more convenient to just give a character a temporary name and move on, come back to it later.  But, for me, that would be like having a child and naming it when it turns ten.  It just wouldn't be right.  So I try different names, and I think one is right and then  I decide it isn't quite right after all for whatever reason.  I also get stuck on point of view.  I have written the same thing three or four different ways, trying to find the right point of view.  I haven't quite found it yet.  I think it's partly because I just haven't found the right current.  I've written other stories, and I can feel when I've found it, that current that takes me exactly where I need to go, without a fight.  But I haven't found it yet for this story, which makes me think that either A) I will never finish this story, B) I will finish it, but not til I'm about seventy-three, or C) I need to start all over.  Maybe a combination of those is the actual truth.  I'm not sure who this will actually be interesting to, but I did warn you that writing every day might lead to some days being a little more...tedious...than others.  In any case, that's the story on my story.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What I Tell Myself

 This morning was frusterating, right off the bat.  Izzy, being two, can't whisper to save his life, so when he comes into my room in the morning he announces his presence full volume.  Since I am not a morning person, this would be bad enough if I was the only one sleeping in there, but Simeon still sleeps in our room, so I am always worried about him waking up.  This morning Izzy came in as usual with Malachi.  Aaron hadn't left for work yet, so I tried to send them downstairs while I put on some socks and such so they wouldn't wake the baby.  Malachi went right down, but Izzy got it in his head that I needed to carry him downstairs, and he absolutely refused to go down by himself.  Finally, I grabbed him up (probably more angrily than was necessary) and plopped him in front of Daddy and then went back up to get my glasses and the other things I needed to begin the day.  It is beyond my understanding how the kid can walk out the front door and down the street all by himself without a qualm, and yet he can't go down the stairs alone.  This morning was one of those mornings when I questioned the sanity of having children.  The weird thing is that no matter how crazy it feels at times when I'm with them, I always know that I'd feel more crazy without them (just in a different way...like a quieter way).  On a day like this, I remind myself that in twenty years, or even ten or five, none of this will matter anymore.  They'll all be bigger, older.  In twenty years they'll have their own lives.  And if I'm lucky they'll have their own kids.  Kids that are JUST LIKE THEM!  And then I'll just sit back and laugh and say it was all worth it.  That's what I tell myself.

Pretend it's Still January 3

Well, it didn't take me long to skip a day!  But I hope I will be forgiven.  Yesterday was just generally a bad day.  Aaron was working, and I was frustrated.  Lately I have been feeling sort of depressed because I realized that all the holidays were over and now there is nothing to look forward to.  Then, on top of that, Aaron has been working on weekends a lot lately.  When he isn't home, there is no weekend for me.  Every day feels the same as the last, an endless monotony of children and diapers and just being alone, yet not alone. 


On the bright side, I got to go on a date with Aaron to Olive Garden and to see Sherlock Holmes, which was a really good movie.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Get a Good Start

Today we got a good start on the New Year.  I mean, there's nothing like the cops bringing your two year old to your front door to really ring it in, right?

I was sitting at the computer and realized that Izzy was no longer in the room.  This usually means I will find him smearing toothpaste in the bathroom or decorating the kitchen floor with eggs.  After a moment, I think, I'd better go find him, even though I don't feel like dealing with it.  I sigh, get up, go look in the bathroom.  Not there.  Kitchen.  Not there.  Under the dining room table.  Not there.  Living room.  Not there.  Oh, great, he's probably wreaking havoc upstairs.  I look, but he's not there.  Hmm.  Maybe I missed him.  I go back downstairs and re-check all the rooms, plus the spare room.  He's not there.  Maybe I missed him upstairs?  Back I go.  Not in my room.  Not in the boys room.  Not in the baby room.  Not in the bathroom.  Oh boy.  Then I hear a knock knock knock.  I am relieved.  I think it must be our neighbor, Manuel, bringing him back.  The boys like to go over to their house because they have a little girl around Malachi's age, and in the summer they would give them kool-aid.  But when I get to the door, it is not Manuel.  Rather, it is a police woman.  "Do you know this little guy?" she asks me.  I do.  Apparently he took a walk down the street to 11th Avenue (which is a rather busy street).  I thank her profusely for finding him, and after showing her my ID and talking a little more, she leaves.  Then I lock the porch door, all three locks on the front door, and put a gate up between the living room and the entry way so he can't even go there.  I felt like my heart would fall out of my chest.  Soon after, the little escapee falls asleep on the couch.  His adventure has tuckered him out.

The funny thing is, this is not the first time this has happened.  He did the same thing while at a friend's house last spring.  What does it mean when your kid has had two run-ins with the cops and he's not even three years old yet?!  But really, I am just glad he's okay, and he's back with me, safe.  The little guy can certainly be a trial at times, but I love him, and I couldn't bear to have anything happen to him.  One of those weird paradoxes, I guess.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1

The problem with writng EVERY day is that I don't always feel like I have a lot to say.  I suppose that's why it will be good for me, force me to dig deep and all that.  Actually it's not so much that I have nothing to say as it is that I don't know what I want to say that I also want other people to read. 

Right now, I have two thoughts going on in my head.  The first is "Look I have now kept my New Year's Resolution for one whole day isn't that wonderful."

Secondly, as I write, I can hear Aaron on the baby monitor.  He's telling the boys the story of Moses and the burning bush, and he's telling them how God heard the cries of the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, how God hears us and He loves us.  I am struck by the beauty of it.  I wonder what they think, those little boys, hearing for the first time (or at least not remembering if they've heard it before).  I wonder what they think about God.  I wonder if they really know yet that He's real.  I think Malachi does.  Recently he had been complaining to his grandma that his leg hurt, and when she asked him about it another time, he said that it was all better because God noticed him.  God noticed that he was hurting and He healed him.  It's nice when God notices you...and He does a lot more than we think.  There have been times I have felt like He had forgotten about me...but He didn't.  He noticed me.  He noticed that I felt forgotten too.  He is really always working.  One of my favorite verses is Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."  I'm glad to know that.
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