Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eclipse and Stand-Up Comedy

I am not sure how it happened, but tonight I am going to do something very non-motherish.  I am going to the midnight showing of Eclipse with a teenage friend who goes to a lot of midnight showings of movies.  I don't think I would have gone along except a lot of her friends that would normally go with her are on a youth retreat this week. 

Well, I suppose that's not the only reason.  I'm kind of still a teenager at heart.  I never wanted to age past seventeen.  It was such a great age!  Alas, I have now aged almost ten years past seventeen, and I am married with three small children.  For the most part, I don't do anything especially exciting. 

Occasionally though, it is still nice to do something that I would have done as a teenager.  Like see two movies at the theater in one night, or go see the midnight showing of a movie.  Actually, I never did either of those things when I was a teenager.  I would have wanted to, but I either wouldn't have had the money or my parents wouldn't have let me.  My mom is more of a practical person, and I can see her thinking that going to a midnight showing is ridiculous.  I think my mom skipped being a teenager. 

When I was seventeen, I stayed up late all the time.  If I spent the night at a friends house, sometimes we would stay up all night.  It wasn't a big deal then.  I didn't have to get up in the morning and take care of anyone.  Now, I go to this movie knowing that I will probably only get four hours of sleep and that I will be paying more of a price than just the cost of the movie.

I asked my mother-in-law if she could keep my older boys overnight, that way I could sleep in the next morning.  We tentatively planned on that, but they suddenly decided to go to Kansas and are leaving this afternoon.  Pretty suspicous, right?  Actually, they have family out there, so it isn't as strange as it sounds.  And they are taking Malachi, so that does help a little.  More than a little, actually, because Malachi is the early bird around here.

I am now trying to figure out the point of writing all of this, and I've decided there isn't one.  It's just what was on my mind, and I haven't written in a couple of days, even though I'm supposed to write every day.  It was either this, or I try writing comedy.  I've been watching Last Comic Standing and it makes me want to be a stand-up comedian.  I just really have my doubts that I am funny enough for that.  I can see myself standing on the stage making jokes that only I am laughing at, while everyone else is just sort of chuckling nervously and hoping that at some point I'll get funnier.  More funny.  Funnier.  Whatever. 



Saturday, June 26, 2010

Road Trip

If I could be doing anything right now...well, I would sleep, actually...but if I could be doing anything else, I think it would be fun to take a road trip to California.  I'd like to drive out to California, and start at the bottom and just work my way to the top.  I'd like to drive for as long as I wanted, with no pressure to "make good time", and the ability to stop at any place that looked interesting. 

For this trip, I would need unlimited cash, or at least enough to make me feel like it was unlimited.  I would also need either a convertible or a VW bus.  It just wouldn't be the same with any other vehicle. 

Oh, and let's not forget, I would need a sidekick/navigator person, who of course would be terrible with directions and frequently get us lost.  I would always forgive them though, because they would also have an ipod with like 4,000 songs on it, and the capability of hooking it up to listen to on the car radio. 

We would drive through California and try to find at least one movie star's house.  In fact, we would not leave California without at least seeing a movie star shopping or something. 

When we're done with that, we would just keep going up through Oregon and Washington.  We would stop in every little town and visit at least one locally owned shop and purchase a soveneir.  Maybe we would buy a postcard from every town also and send it off our friends back home, just to make them say, "Where?" and annoy them. 

We would definitely go to Seattle to see if it was raining like it's supposed to, and we would buy really extravagant umbrellas there.  And we would drink coffee, even though I hate coffee (and I'm sure my sidekick navigator does too).  I'm pretty sure there's something about Seattle and coffee. 

Most likely we would have to visit the town of Forks, to see if they really have vampires, werewolves and a police chief named Charlie. 

After all that, we would drive back home across Idaho, and down through Montana and Wyoming.  We would not bother with Utah and its salty lakes and mormons (obviously, we drove through Arizona to get to California, since we had to start at the bottom, and also to see the Grand Canyon). 

Finally, we would return home weary, but joyous from our road trip adventure. 

THAT is what I'd like to be doing.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Futon

My nephew Josh is staying with us for the summer.  He's seventeen, and he just graduated.  We are sort of like his "backpacking through Europe" experience, just not nearly as cool...or expensive.  He's staying in our spare bedroom, which happens to be right by the kitchen and dining room, and isn't really great for allowing a guest to be secluded from the noise and goings-on in the house.  


Partly for that reason we were/are thinking about trying to turn part of our basement into a room of sorts for him.  Our basement is by no means finished, and at this time has a bunch of storage containers, boxes, and odds and ends in it (the nice way of saying it's full of junk).  Also, the stairs are a bit rickety and narrow and the door is kinda short.  I said all this to say that getting the queen mattress from our guest bed down there is highly unlikely.  


Therefore, we decided to look into getting a futon.  I know the right thing is for me to want to be frugal, but deep down, I like to buy new things.  Aaron, on the other hand really is frugal, and he wanted to look on craigslist.  So, I did.  I found a futon that looked decent and affordable and contacted the seller via e-mail.  He wrote back and gave his phone number, then we called him, went to look at it, and so on.  


After looking at it, we thought we would probably buy it.  However, a few things came up and we changed our minds about it because we didn't feel good about spending the money on it right now.  Then yesterday or the day before I got an e-mail from the guy asking if we were still interested.  He said he had a couple other offers, but was holding it for us.  I wrote back and explained that we weren't able to afford it right now, but that we might be able to in the next few weeks.  I told him that if he had other offers and needed to get rid of it not to hold back on our account.  


Today I received this response from him, "Thanks for having me contact you regarding this.  I have just lost 2 opportunities to sell it.  I wont sell it to you so please don't contact me anymore."  


I think I going through some kind of weird emotional thing, because it almost made me cry.  I mean, it was definitely not nice, but not really worth crying over.  I was really shocked that he would be so rude to someone over a futon.  


Then, after I got over wanting to cry and being shocked, I felt angry.  I felt like writing back to him something like, "Dear Sir, thank you for informing me that your futon is now unavailable to us.  After your last e-mail, I would just like to say that I wouldn't buy your futon if it was the only futon on the planet, that I don't want to so much as look at your futon, and you can shove your stupid futon where the sun doesn't shine."  Among other things.  


Fortunately, I didn't do that.  In fact I haven't written back anything at all.  Partly because I am afraid I would write something like that, and then regret it later, and partly because he specifically asked me not to contact him.  


Later, when I told Aaron about it, he wasn't completely surprised, because it turns out that Aaron told the man (before the other stuff came up) that we were planning on buying it, which I didn't know.  


Knowing that now, I at least understand why he was upset.  However, I don't think he needed to resort to meanness.  Also, if you are mad at someone for not buying your futon, presumably it is because A. you need to get rid of it, or B. you need the money, or C. both.  I really think that telling someone that you flat out won't sell it to them is not the way to meet those goals.  Particularly because it's not as though we just decided to buy another futon instead of his, we just felt we couldn't afford it right now.  Excuse me for not wanting to go into debt over a futon!  


I feel very frustrated by this, obviously, and also a little amazed that within one month's time I have had two different men be mean to me, which is more than I've had probably the whole rest of my life.  It bothers me.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing

This week the two older boys have been going to VBS.  This is the first time they are both old enough to go, and I am really enjoying having a couple hours to myself while they are gone in the morning.  However, yesterday as we were leaving VBS, Malachi decided it would be a good idea to stick a pebble up his nose.  I thought he had actually put two in, because I thought one had already come out.  He kept saying there was one in his nose and it was hurting him.  I wasn't sure if there was really one in his nose or if it just hurt from the other one that came out.  I told him to just calm down, that it was okay, and I would look at it when we got home.

Once home I tried looking in his nose several times with different lights, but I couldn't see anything.  I decided to call a friend of mine who has eleven kids. I though, surely she has had this happen and will know what to do.  

Not only has she not had this happen, but the other two moms with her hadn't either.  They put me on speaker phone and all listened to my problem.  After much deliberating they agreed that the best thing was for me to call the doctor and see what he said about it.  

This was unfortunate news for me because I generally hate calling the doctor with questions.  I usually get some kind of ridiculous answer like, "Well, if you're concerned and you think you should bring him in, then you should."  If I thought I should bring him in, I wouldn't be calling to ask them about it, I would just bring him in!  I really get so annoyed about that.  

In spite of that, I did what my panel of moms suggested and called the doctor's office.  The receptionist took a message and said they'd call me back.  Which they did, finally, around five or so.  I have to give my doctor points for calling me back himself.  Also, he is a different doctor than we've seen in the past, and seems to be capable of giving an answer.  He asked a lot of questions, and finally decided he should probably have a look at it, just in case.  I was just happy to hear such a definite answer, and gladly made an appointment.

So today, at three forty-five, Aaron came home early and took him to the doctor.  


Where they found absolutely nothing.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Opposites

Being inside and outside
At the same time
Is painful

Those opposites
Don't go well
Together

Like feeling alone
In the middle of a crowd

To be two things at once
Is wearing and sad

It's confusing
To be both up
And down

To be loved
And ignored

To be a friend
And an outsider

Like the moon
Circling the earth
But always 
At a distance


My Funeral

I am not sure why, but this morning I was thinking about what I'd want my funeral to be like.

I don't really care whether I'm cremated or buried--whichever feels like the right thing to the people left behind.  Well, I guess to be honest, I would rather be buried.  But if it's easier to cremate me, I say go ahead.  I'm not going to care at that point.  

I don't want anyone to wear black to my funeral.  I want it to be like one of those old-fashioned wakes where there is lots of food and people laughing and remembering my life, not my death.  

And I want The Princess Bride to be playing in the background, because it is pretty much the best movie ever and I can almost quote every line from it.  

I want the funeral programs to have two Bible verses on it.  The first is 1 Thessalonians 4:12 & 13, "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus."  When I die, I will be with Jesus.  Nothing sad about that.

The second verse is Psalm 63:1, "Oh God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water."  This is my life verse, and it defines the core of who I am.  God is as much a part of me as the heart that beats in my chest.  I take Him for granted sometimes, just like I take my heart for granted, but the reality is that I know I can't live without Him.  Trust me when I say I have no wish to die, but I know that when I do, that will be the day I thirst no more.

I realize this may seem a bit morbid to some; a twenty-six year-old writing about her funeral is a wee bit creepy, I'll admit.  Well, all I can say is don't read too much into it.  I don't have a fatal illness or even some sort of strange premonition.  I just think about weird stuff.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sublime Aquaintance

We're friends that are more like strangers

Sun and moon aquaintances

Politely sharing orbit

We smile and nod       
         
                 smile and nod

                           smile and nod

As we pass by with all the niceties observed

And cordial phrases uttered at timely moments

Oh, what a lovely game of pretend

Like little girls sitting down to a tea party

But the tea is only water

For we couldn't handle anything stronger

Or we might break

I could say that I adore you

I only wish I didn't find you

           so profoundly inaccessible

We have everything in common

And nothing to talk about

It's fortunate we are forced to share the sky

Else we might never be friends

For now you can just be

My sublime aquaintance

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just a Day

Here I am writing at 11:30 pm, just barely meeting the daily requirement.  How procrastinatory of me.  No, that's not a real word.

I don't know what I did today, really.  It's all a blur.  I woke up with a very stiff neck after not sleeping well, and it hasn't gone away all day.  I keep thinking of how God would call the Israelites a "stiff-necked people".  At least I think He did.  I think what He meant was they were a pain in the neck, what with all that wandering around and grumbling.  It makes me wonder if I wander around grumbling too.  It's highly probable.

Simeon had an eventful day.  First, he got hit in the head with a toy truck by his habitually violent brother, Israel.  It actually bled, which slightly freaked me out, but I put a cold washcloth on it and it stopped.  Of course, it was just a tiny little scratch, completely disproportionate to the amount of blood that came out of it.

After that he discovered a baby swing, which he is almost too big for, that he never liked when he was a baby.  Now that he is heading out of babyhood and into toddlerhood, he thinks it's great, and happily sat in it for like ten minutes.

He also fed himself with a fork, a great accomplishment.  I did help him out by getting the food on the fork, but then I would hand it to him.  He is always very deliberate.  He would hold the fork and just look at it for a minute, like he was studying it and calculating the trajectory or something.  Then he would open his mouth really wide and sloooowly put the food in his mouth, and then close it.  It was quite an adorable process.  I was so proud.

The best part of my day was not having any company at my house finally after six days of family visiting.  Not that I didn't enjoy having my family here.  I enjoyed it a lot.  But I am the kind of person who needs a little quiet time to herself to recharge, and I wasn't getting that.  Of course, my nephew Josh was here with us, but I don't consider him company since he will be here for the summer.  I see him more as my fourth son.  Or fifth, depending on how you look at it.

Now here I am eating Doritos even though I know it is so bad for me.  I was sure there was "nothing" else to eat until after I ate them and then realized that I really could have had fruit or cheese or even a glass of milk and it would have been much more wholesome for me.  Oh well.  Maybe next time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm Back Now

Okay, so you may have noticed that I haven't been writing anything for the last week or so.  The contributing factors to this were numerous. 

Last week we were getting ready for my parents to come for a visit, and for my 17-year-old nephew to come for an extended visit.  At the same time, the internet stopped working.  Actually, I only thought it stopped working.  In reality, the internet search engine "Google Chrome" stopped working.  I finally figured that out, and went back to "Internet Explorer", which is unfortunate because I like the other one better. 

By then my parents had already arrived.  We spent most of the day on Friday at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs (which is THE coolest zoo and I HIGHLY recommend it). 

Then on Saturday my mom and went out to lunch and shopping for a little mother-daughter quality time. 

Sunday we had church and dedicated all three of our boys.  Later that night we introduced my parents to The Rio, which I have come to love, and I think they do too now. 

Monday, I went up to Estes Park (they like to pronouce it "Estees" because they are from Ohio). 

Tuesday we had a big cookout, and today they are flying home. 

Meanwhile, my niece, nephew, brother-in-law and his dad also arrived Friday night, and they also left today, except for my nephew who is staying the rest of the summer.  I'm happy he's staying, although I'm sure it will be a change to have a teenager around here all the time. 

I was sad to see my niece leave, though.  She is basically my twin.  It is almost scary how much alike we are, especially since we live in different states and see each other less than once a year.  I really enjoyed having her around the last few days. Maybe in a year or two she will be the one staying for the summer.

So that is basically what has been going on around here lately.  Now that things are semi-back-to-normal, hopefully I will get back to writing every day like I'm supposed to.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Smuggler

So, I have a confession.  I am a smuggler.  And I am proud of being a smuggler.

What do I smuggle you ask?  Food.  I smuggle food into the movie theater.  And on Friday night, I achieved what I consider my greatest feat of smuggling yet.

Friday night I had a little girls night out.  I met my sister-in-law to shop for matching outfits for all of our boys, but she had to go home right after.  Since I had the most horrendous week, Aaron said to go ahead and just have a night to myself.  In fact he encouraged it.  

I decided to go see the movie Letters to Juliet, which started at 7:25 pm.  When I left Target, it was about 7:15.  I really wanted to go, but I also hadn't eaten dinner yet and I knew I couldn't wait 'til after the movie.  Since I wasn't about to pay the exorbitant prices for movie theater food, I opted to get Del Taco and smuggle it in.  

I have a big purse, so the food is not a problem.  The drink was the tricky part.  If I would have had more time, I would have gone and bought a bottled drink somewhere.  Instead, I tried my hand at smuggling it in a regular cup with a lid on it.  I am happy to report that it worked.  I successfully got the drink into the theater, without it spilling all over the inside of my purse!  

I feel that this opens a whole new world of possibilities for me when it comes to eating at the movies.  At least until they start searching everyone's bags, which I am sure will happen somewhere in the future.  Then I will have to find other ways to sneak the food.  That's right, I am a dedicated smuggler.  I won't give up easily.  

I am sure there are people who would view my smuggling as being wrong, but I view myself as a sort of Robin Hood, fighting against an unjust system that robs the people of their right to eat cheap food.  You know, it's an act of protest, sort of like those people who tie themselves to trees they don't want to be cut down. 

(Oh, and as a side note, I absolutely loved the movie.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Before and After

Before I became a mom, if someone had told me about all the things that would happen to me after I became a mom, I really don't know if I would have still wanted to have kids.  

I mean when you look at it from an objective standpoint, it just doesn't sound too good.  Think about it.  

These have been my experiences as a mom so far: long, miserable pregnancy, swollen feet, heartburn, painful labor, painful childbirth (hey, those are just given), waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night, getting up way earlier than I would ever choose to since I am just going to stay at home anyway, cleaning up food spills, poo, vomit, dirt and various other things, painful breastfeeding, screaming toddlers, whining, children who run away at the park, and at home, children who kick other kids in the face, little boys who start fighting with each other almost as soon as they wake up, crying, arguing, demands which they expect to be met immediately even if I don't have the juice that they seem to so desperately need, refusal to play outside, break-downs because they have to stay inside, bath times where more water ends up on the floor than in the tub, mountains of laundry, a house that is never clean, and increasingly smaller amounts of time to myself.  I could probably go on, but I think you get the picture.   

I said earlier that if someone had told me all that before I became a mom, I might have second thoughts.  There's a good chance that in my youthful naiveté, I would have laughed it off and thought, "Oh it can't really be all that bad."  Well, it can be that bad.  And it can be worse.  

Now here is the mystery of it all.  After going through all of that and actually being a mom, if someone gave me a chance to go back and do it over, if I had a chance to change my mind and do something else instead of being a mom, you'd think I would jump at the chance.  But I wouldn't.  

I wouldn't trade those wonderfully wild little creatures that are my children for anything in the world.  Don't get me wrong, there are moments when I could just about give them away to passing stranger ("Take them!  Take them!  They're driving me insane!")  But when it's all said and done, I love them so fiercely and so much, I would never let them go.  It makes no sense.  But there you have it.  God gave them to me, and I want to keep them.  And I want more!  Because those kids have been the cause of some of the worst moments of my entire life, and they bring out the worst in me too.  But those kids are also the cause of the best moments of my life, and I know that God uses them to shape me into the woman He's made me to be.    

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Playtime Nightmare


Usually when I have a crazy experience someplace, I call it an adventure, and later I can see some humor in it.  Today was not an adventure.  It was more like a nightmare.  And it was not funny.


I decided to take the boys with me to Big Lots today, and then go eat at McDonald's afterward and let them play.  I felt really good about it, and was looking forward to passing the afternoon that way.  They did pretty good at Big Lots, had a little trouble listening, but not too much.  And even McDonald's was okay until the very end.

Malachi was pushing Simeon around in the high chair, giving him a ride, and Izzy was playing in the tubes with the other kids.  I was talking to my nephew on the phone.  

Suddenly, I hear a man yell, "HEY!"  So I look over and there's this guy standing by the slide with his daughter.  "YOU NEED TO GET YOUR BOY!" he yelled at me, "HE JUST KICKED MY GIRL IN THE FACE!"  

I immediately told my nephew I had to go and hung up as the man continued to scream at me, "THIS IS BULL****!  IT'S PRETTY SAD THAT YOU LET YOUR KID KICK GIRLS IN THE FACE!"  At that point, I had zero reaction, but later as I was mulling it over, I thought, I "let" my kid kick a girl in the face?  Like I had been standing over Izzy cheering him on, "Go Izzy!  Kick that girl in the face!  Yeah, that's right!  Get her!"  Now that is bull****.  

Not to mention, the guy could have just as easily walked over to me and talked to me about what happened instead of screaming at me.   

I immediately climbed up in the tubes looking for Izzy, who of course climbed out of the tubes while I was up in them.  Frustrated by not finding him, and finally reacting to having a stranger scream at me in McDonald's, I started crying.  I absolutely hate crying in front of people, especially people I don't know.  But I couldn't stop myself.  I have never liked being yelled at, and it hasn't happened in a long time.  Tears are a pretty standard reaction.

I climbed back down and the family whose daughter got kicked was walking past to leave.  "I'm sorry," I told the mother, "he's only two."   

Let me just say, I am not one of those moms who thinks that their little angel would never harm a soul.  I had no doubt that Izzy did it.  And there was no doubt that he shouldn't have.  

I ran it all through my mind, looking for where I went wrong.  Maybe I shouldn't have been talking on the phone. Maybe that makes me a bad parent.  I don't know.  But I realized something: there was no way I could have stopped Izzy from kicking that girl.  

Even if had been climbing around in the tubes following him wherever he went (oh, and toting Simeon along too, cuz I can't just leave him sitting at the table all alone while I scramble after Izzy in the tubes, right?)--which, by the way, I haven't seen any other parents doing--I still couldn't necessarily have stopped him in that moment.  

Actually when you consider how much faster he would be than me since I would also have Simeon and I am not a spry little child anymore, I know I couldn't have stopped him.  Things like that happen fast, and you can't really predict what a two or three year old is going to do.

I think I pretty much freaked out my kids because I was crying so much and yelling at them.  Honestly, I don't know if I was yelling or if my voice just had no other option but to come out as a screech since I was so upset.  I think it would have come out that way even if I had attempted to keep my voice normal.

It is very humiliating to have a stranger scream at you.  I hope not to ever experience it again.  Even now I am having a hard time keeping calm and not crying all over again when I think about it.  I wished so much that there had been someone there with me, someone on my side.  Like Aaron.  But I realized that this would have never happened if Aaron had been with me.  

First of all, the boys tend to behave better when Daddy is around.  

Second, I wouldn't have been talking on the phone, I would have been talking to Aaron, and yes, we probably would have been more vigilant.  Maybe there had been some behavior that I just didn't catch earlier and if I had he would have kicked her, I don't know.  

And thirdly, there is no way in hell, heaven, or anywhere else that the guy would have yelled at me with my husband sitting right there.  I don't think too many guys mess with other men's wives when they're sitting right next to them.  

If there's any "modern women" reading this who think the idea of your husband being a covering or protection for you is old fashioned, sexist, or ridiculous, chew on that one for a while.

To sum it all up, it was a really horrible experience.  Just when I think there can't be anything worse, my boys find new ways of making my day turn out freaky.  I doubt I'll be going to McDonald's for a while.  At least not by myself.
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