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2006 August

Love Thursday

August 31, 2006

Today it is Love Thursday, again.

(If you are not familiar with Love Thursday you can read and find all the links from my post last week here.)

Imagine this scene:

It is 1:00am in the morning and you hear the pitter patter of little feet in the hallway. In less than a minute, which is incidentally less time than it takes to register this and protect your soft squishy parts, a toddler jumps on you in her quest for the middle of the bed.

Because you love sleep her, you let her climb into bed with her disgusting blanket that has been dragged all over hell’s half acre and probably has actual debris clinging to it. You lovingly put the blanket on the husband’s side of the bed. Reasoning that if he doesn’t wake up, he doesn’t get a choice.

It is now 3:00am. You have been drifting in and out of sleep for the past two hours when you are jolted awake by a 28 pound body landing on top of you. You open your eyes to see your 3 yr old daughter in the dark bedroom, lit only by a night light in the adjoining bathroom. She is taking off all of her pajamas. She rummages through the laundry basket of clean laundry that you have just folded earlier in the day. You see her flinging the clothing about willy nilly, but you don’t say anything because it is 3 o’clock in the morning and you love sleep her and figure you can refold the clothes.

She finally pulls out her princess nightgown, which judging from the amount of clothing that has been flung about, was on the bottom of the pile. She puts it on and returns to bed. A knee in your stomach as she climbs in. As you get her settled back in under the covers, and before she puts her fingers in her mouth, she says, “I told you I needed this nightgown.” Very well.

And a couple of hours later your one year old screams your name. And even though it feels like you just fell asleep, you get up.

Love is
: (more…)

Posted by Chris @ 10:08 am | 26 Comments  

It’s a hard life…

August 30, 2006

when you are a princess and your house is over run by dwarves. (more…)

Posted by Chris @ 5:15 pm | 25 Comments  

take me out to anywhere but a ballfield, please

Guess what today is?

Go on guess.

It is the first day of the Fall baseball season.

In the words of my 10 yr old, “Finally! I have been so bored without having baseball every. single. day.”(emphasis might be mine)

Oh yes my son, me too. My life has felt positively empty these past few weeks.

Posted by Chris @ 8:36 am | 23 Comments  

How to read a book to a toddler

August 29, 2006

Now in twelve steps, because I can never do anything in just ten.

1) You will know your toddler wants you to read a book when they come up with the heavy board book and smack you with it a few times

2) Open the book

3) Toddler screams “NO!” and grabs book out of your hand and slams it shut. You did not properly announce the reading of the book, point to the cheeky Thomas character on the cover, and the planets were not yet aligned properly

4) Begin again

5) if there is an animal on the page you must point to it and make the animal noise

6) If you have ever pointed something out on a page, you will have to do it for all eternity. Keep this in mind when you are reading a book for the first time. Unless you enjoy turning a five page board book into a half an hour reading event.

7) There can be no deviation in the prescribed reading of the book, unless initiated by the toddler. Remember this.

8) Toddler will randomly point and turn pages in any direction of the toddler chosing. Toddler is master of the board book domain.

9) Failure to comply with any of the toddler demands will result in screaming, kicking, and the tearing of the book out of your hands. Whereupon you will be forced to begin the book again.

10)And you will like it

11 )And you will do it because of a little face like this. A face which belongs to a completely unreasonable creature, who’s only survival mechanism is this face and the fact that it actually believes the sun rises and sets on your words:

I want to gobble him up whole

12) But then you will distract the toddler and discreetly hide the book under your shirt, in the back waist band of your pants, or eat it. Depending on how tired you are of the book. Method of distraction is solely up to you, but I have found this one to be effective.

Posted by Chris @ 10:43 am | 41 Comments  

a letter to my son at 20 months old,

August 28, 2006

Today I inadvertently read the news online. I hate the news. I hate reading about terrible things happening to people all over the world. Things that are completely out of my control.

I hate that now since I have children I see their face on the child in every story of abuse. Every child is my child.

Today I happened to read a horrific story in which the baby was 18 mos old. I didn’t mean to read it. I stopped after the first paragraph. But it was too late.

I could only picture your face. Your chubby little hands. Your chubby cheeks. Your voice. Your laugh. Your tears. The way that you seek me out for comfort when you are in pain.

A baby still, just on the cusp of being a child. Still unable to do much for yourself. Still dependent on others. Still unable to protect yourself.

You pushed your granola bar into my face and I unwrapped it for you. I am careful to leave the bottom the granola bar fully wrapped, they way you like it.

“Day-doo” you said and marched off with it clutched in your right hand.

I watched the back of your head walk away. Out the back door to where your siblings were playing on the swingset. I watched through the screen as you happily marched over there to play with them. Your left arm swinging with such purpose.

I wanted to go and grab you back. To make you stay next to me. Letting go of any of you, my children, is not always easy. But today it is you that I want to hold onto most of all.

Today it is your face that will flash across my mind in quiet moments. Today it is you that I will silently worry about growing up. Today it is you that I will find myself staring at without even realizing I am.

And it is days like today that I wish I were religious. Days like today when I wish I could throw up my hands and say, “Oh it is all in God’s hands. He has plans for you.” And feel comforted by that. But I can’t do that. And I can’t pretend that I do.

And so today I will hug you a little more. And I will tackle you down to the ground outside in the soft wet grass. You will giggle as I smother your chocolaty face with kisses. Until you grow tired of the kisses and push me away. You will run away from me looking over your shoulder laughing all the way. There is a whole world for you to explore. And my eyes will well with tears.

Because there is a whole world to cause you pain. But it doesn’t stop me from wishing the worst thing that will ever happen to you is your granola bar falling in the dirt.

No one ever told me that letting my children grow up would hurt.


And I will pray to that god I want to believe in to please keep you safe. Please keep all of you safe.

Posted by Chris @ 9:42 am | 42 Comments  

i wish for a do-over

August 25, 2006

It was one of those perfect summer days. Where by the early evening you feel happy, tired, but at the same time refreshed. If that makes any sense. We had gone to the beach, caught little fish in buckets, and then gone for ice cream. One of those days where no one fought, or at least they didn’t fight much, this is reality after all, and things just seemed easy.

It was one of the days that I thought parenting would be solely made up of when I signed up for this mothering gig.

We got home and were sitting on the front porch steps. I felt like we could be in one of those Country Time Lemonade commercials. Sticky with ice cream, smiling, colored in sepia tones.

My 7 yr old hugged me and thanked me for all the fun he had, and especially for the ice cream. “Remember when we had all those wishing dandelions and we made lots of wishes? I wished for a perfect day… just like today. My wishes came true! What did you wish for, Mommy? Did your wish come true?”

On Mother’s day he had given me a “wishing dandelion” from our yard. He told me my present was that I could have any wish I wanted. If I were smarter I would have wished for a day with my children just like this one.

Instead I wished that all the dandelion seeds would blow into the neighbors yard, because we have enough of those damn yellow weeds already.

What a waste.

Today has started off as a less than stellar day and I really wish that there were some wishing dandelions out in the yard that I could go pick. I would wish for a do-over.

Posted by Chris @ 12:41 pm | 32 Comments  

home again, home again, jiggety jig

August 24, 2006


I am sitting in the chair, reclining. My arms are folded over my body, hands clenched tight. My eyes are shut tight. I am wearing a paper bib and large sunglasses.

The hygenist picks up the tools. She begins to tell me about them. I wave my hand.

“I don’t need the details. It just prolongs the inevitable agony.”

“Are you in pain?”

“No. Just anticipating it.”

And so it began.

Turns out I needn’t have worried so much. There is no metal poking scraping thing anymore. It was like a high powered water pick that she used to clean my teeth.

Then after the cleaning she went around with that little tool to measure you gum recession or something like that. I am not sure exactly because I was busy practicing my deep Lamaze breathing, through my nose, to fully pay attention.

I did really well on the gum test. If they were handing out gold stars, I would have gotten one. The hygenist said that I had the healthiest mouth she had seen in years. Then the dentist walked in and she reiterated her statement.

“My teeth may be disintegrating out of my head as we speak. But damn my gums are good.” I said.

I started laughing. And the denstist started laughing. We had tears streaming down are cheeks we were laughing so hard. The hygenist did a little nervous laugh, but really she had no clue what was going on.

Finally we clued her in on all the work I have had done over the past 18 months and how it has cost me the equivalant of the gross national product of a third world country, not even neccessarily a small third world country. I’m not sure why it was so funny, just that it was. Perhaps there was a nitrous leak.

But it was good news. Good news that I needed to hear.

I immediately came home and told Rob that all the flossing he considers “excessive” has paid off.

Posted by Chris @ 7:22 pm | 13 Comments  

Love Thursday

From the blog Cookooloonks:

Happy Love Thursday, everyone! I so enjoyed visiting all your images and words about love in all its forms last week — I figure we should make this Love Thursday thing a tradition, don’t you? To reiterate how this works:

1. If you have a blog, post a photograph, or a painting, or an image of art, or a story about love on your website today. Remember, it doesn’t have to be romantic love — it can be love of family, love of friends, love of pets, hell, love of a good meal. It can even be a deformed Cheerio that looks surprising like a heart. Seriously, anything — so long as it brings to mind love.

2. Once you’ve posted your image or story, feel free to return here to Chookooloonks (or the site of my Love Thursday Partner-In-Crime, Irene Nam) and post the permalink to your post in the comments. And by the way, if you post a photo or other image, please consider adding it to our Love Thursday Flickr Pool. It’s a wonderful place to visit and see real evidence that love is, indeed, all around us.

3. If you don’t have a blog, don’t let that stop you from sharing — feel free to post your story about love in the comments here.

And this is my submission for this week. Brotherly love at it’s finest.

Love is

Love is...

sometimes letting your little brother win.

Posted by Chris @ 11:06 am | 21 Comments  

rubber coated utensils would make the world a better place

I am getting ready to leave and go to the dentist. Yes again. I know I should just move in there I am there so often. My husband already his his paycheck directly deposited into the dentist’s bank account.

The funny thing is that my teeth look fine. I have people tell me all the time that my teeth looked really good, and they wonder why I am always at the dentist.

The short answer is that my teeth are weak. They don’t like to chew things that are hard or crunchy. And the back ones where I have the problems, are not the ones that are visible when I smile. And what problems are those? Large fillings that have weakened my teeth, which in turn have caused the teeth to crack, or chip, or break and have resulted in way too many root canals and/or caps. Back left molar, chipped when I carelessly tossed a handful of Halloween Nerds into my mouth and bit down.

But today I am just going in for a cleaning.

Which wouldn’t be a problem for a normal person. But I have already established that I am not normal.

I hate getting my teeth cleaned. I hate that pokey little metal thing that scrapes my teeth. It gives me the chills just thinking about it.

I am not sure if I have written about it before, but I hate the sound of metal scraping on anything. Metal spoon in a metal pan… could make my head explode. Or at the very least grab it frantically out of the stirrer’s hand and shriek, perhaps even use naughty words.

Fork and knife scraping against each other over a dinner plate. The first time I usually can refrain from saying or doing anything, but after that all bets are off. I might just reach across the table and grab the utensils out of your hand. And possibly stab you with the fork if you resist.

Anyway, wish me luck. I am hoping that I am not forced to stab the hygenist with the dental tools.

Posted by Chris @ 8:21 am | 33 Comments  

in which people with an olfactory fetish will be offended and boycott reading… and possibly auto mechanics, Simon Le Bon, and makers of fine leather shoes too

August 23, 2006

There I was driving all alone in the car. The little car, not the big van, which is a treat. A car I can park anywhere I want,to include parallel parking. I got to be all alone, listen to whatever music I wanted and have the windows rolled all the way down with the air conditioning on. And most importantly, with no one complaining.

As I was speeding down the highway I felt a drip on my right foot. Huh, I thought. That is odd.

But I pushed it out of my mind while I sped down the highway, hair whipping around my face, while I channeled my inner teenager. It was an 80’s flashback musicathon on the radio, so as long as I didn’t look at myself in the rearview mirror I could pretend I was still 14, listening to Duran Duran. I can still picture all the videos to those early 80’s songs, you know back in the day when everyone wanted their MTv so they could watch music videos all day, not whatever it is that MTV has on now.

Then it happened again, and I jolted out of my teenager tra-la-laing and became more concerned. Because cars aren’t supposed to be leaking fluids onto your feet while you drive. At least I don’t think so.

And then, because I am slightly crazy and know nothing about the mysterious inner workings of cars, my mind began to think of all the fluids in a car that could possibly be leaking onto my foot. And how the leaking of those fluids could be the cause of my untimely demise.

Perhaps it was a leak in a gas line, and it was dripping gas onto my foot and soon the entire car would burst into flame and my right foot would be gone. I hastily took my foot off the gas pedal and wiped it off behind my left calf.

I drove on a bit and felt another drop. Maybe it is the steering fluid. Isn’t there some kind of steering fluid that enables you to turn the steering wheel? I don’t know, but I bet there is something like that and it is all leaking out and soon I won’t be able to steer the car and I will crash and possibly DIE. I just hoped that I didn’t drive right over the median and into oncoming traffic, or over the side of the numerous small bridges that I must cross, because then I definitely would DIE. I decided that driving slowly in the right lane was probably my best bet.

Until I got bored of it and realized that I would be very late for my appointment if I kept it up.

But as it dripped again I suddenly thought, “I hope this doesn’t stain my shoe.” Careening into oncoming traffic or bursting into flame I could live with, but ruining a new pair of expensive shoes? No, that could not be allowed to happen.

So I decided to take my shoe off and drive barefoot, for good measure.

As I reached down and took off my shoe, I brought it up to my face to examine the fluid. It didn’t look out of the ordinary so I thought that I had better smell it. Just in case it is gasoline and the car is about to burst into a ball of flames. I could be prepared. And put the shoes in the back seat.

As I held the shoe up to my nose to take a whiff a car drove up in the left lane and the driver looked over at me. I’m sure he was wondering what sort of crazy person is driving the car that keeps speeding up, slowing down, and swerving all over the road.

And now he had his answer, the kind of person who sniffs their own shoes, that’s who.

updated to add: I think it was from the rain. That rain water was somehow leaking into the car. But it has never happened before or since and therefore my husband thinks I am crazy. Which I am. But I did not imagine this.

Posted by Chris @ 8:14 am | 48 Comments