July 1, 2009
Aw, bummer. Czarina has strep throat, and the Duke has an ear infection, the poor dears. Unfortunately, we've exposed at least two families to the strep throat, so I had to call and 'fess up. Boy, that is not fun. Because as much as the mom tells you, oh, don't worry, it's not your fault, these things happen... you know somewhere in the back of their mind, you're on the bad list. :( Or, at least, they "owe" you, and it's probably coming back in the form of a stomach virus or something later in the year. Nah, it's not that bad. I'll just feel pretty rotten if any of their kids gets sick because of us, you can't help it.
The Duke had to give blood today, because the doctor was concerned that his ear infection might not be caused by the normal bacteria. I'm not going to be alarmed by that, but it does seem strange to me. They'll call me with the test results, and hopefully, whatever it is will respond well to treatment. The actual blood giving-- well, let's just say we were ALL crying in the room. Czarina because she was feeling bad and had a fever of 103 at that point, the Duke was screaming and fighting the evil needle, I'm crying holding him down, and Chipmunk was crying because everyone else was. HeroBoy was the only one with nary a tear in his eye, happily munching down on a sucker while we were all in hysterics.
It weren't pretty. Nope.
But, I'm glad it's all done. We had such a bad night with the two kids, with no improvements today, so I knew not to ignore it. I'm waiting now on both of their antibiotics to be ready, so we'll start those this afternoon. And HOPEFULLY, everyone will be well in time for at least a little bit of 4th of July celebrating. We'll see. Gotta roll with the punches, ya know?
Good news though-- I actually feel good today. Thank goodness!! I don't think I could have handled all this otherwise. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the bad days.
Well, I'm off to check everybody, and dispense popsicles. (Doctor's orders) Happy Wednesday!
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:43 PM | Comments (5)
June 21, 2009
When we lived in Birmingham, we hiked a lot. It was our family past time, and we loved it! It was a great way to "commune with nature." Here in Louisiana, though... well, you don't hike voluntarily. It's hot, humid, the undergrowth is FULL of briars and snakes, and not to mention the mosquitos, which are often mistaken for BIRDS around here. You don't traipse around the Louisiana wilds unless Yankee troops are on your tail. Then, you 'git.
Sorry-- past life or something there.
Anyway, so, we've been missing our nature walks. However, we're recently discovered a new family activity, fishing! It's not as cardio-vascular as hiking, but you probably sweat off a pound or two in an afternoon. (A few more Saturdays, and I'll be back in my skinny jeans, pregnant or not!!) The kids are having a ball, and seem to have a lot of luck in the little pond near our house. King Pen has been busy baiting hooks and untangling lines for several Saturdays in a row now, and I do think he's a fishing convert as well.
The three oldest kids pile up in his old red Ford truck for the one minute drive to the pond, windows down, poles in the back. I follow with Chipmunk in the van so we can leave early if need be-- and here is what we do:
HeroBoy, waits patiently for his cork to bob:
Czarina with a tiny brim and a big smile:
The Duke and Chipmunk watch for turtles, or tadpoles, and amazingly, do not fall in (this time):
King Pen puts on another worm:
Chipmunk can't figure out why the fish aren't biting-- he IS wearing his fishing hat, after all:
And HeroBoy, still waits, loving every minute of it:
And me... well, I take the pictures. Although, I know what to do with a worm if King Pen's not around. I did grow up in the South, after all. But MY dad's truck was green.
Posted by WonderGirl at 8:47 PM | Comments (6)
June 3, 2009
This week, I've been toting the kids back and forth to Vacation Bible School, at a large Baptist church in town. I saw this as a great opportunity for them to socialize, have fun, hear about Jesus, and for me to have a few spare hours to myself. It didn't matter to me that it was a Baptist church, and that we are Presbyterian. I actually think that the exposure to the wider, broader Church is not a bad thing. We know pretty solidly what we believe, we do adhere to a certain denomination--- but we are all part of the body of Christ.
So, with that in mind, I knew that the topic of salvation would probably come up this week. And I was right! Excitedly, Czarina came home with the wonderful news that her little friend that we've been bringing along with us, prayed and asked Jesus into her heart today. Wow! I was so glad that Czarina got to witness that first hand, that she stayed with her friend in the room as she prayed. I expressed to Czarina what a blessing that was, what an exciting day!
It did give us an opportunity to talk about salvation. See, the teacher told Czarina that because she was baptized as a baby, she should probably talk to her mom about whether she is a Christian or not. I think this was a little unsettling for Czarina, but I appreciate what the teacher was saying. Not knowing enough about Czarina, she directed the topic back to her parents, and I am grateful for that. She didn't force theology on an eight year old-- she was as neutral as possible, and I was glad for her sensitivity.
Salvation for a child from the Reformed faith just doesn't fit the standard Protestant formula. We have raised Czarina to believe that she IS a Christian. We've always told her, you belong to God. We've taught her, this is what we do, how we worship, how we pray, how we behave as Christians. We've been training her to be this person from the instant she was born. It is our belief that by putting her on that path, it will be more difficult, more alien, to turn AWAY from that- than it would be to expect her to start out in absolute unbelief and find her own way eventually. Does that make sense? But it's more than just that. It's believing that the promises God made to us, the ones about being the God of our children-- that those are true. That they belong to Him, because He said they would. We don't have to wait around for them to reach a certain level of wisdom or comprehension-- they are His now. They will grow in their understanding of Him, just as we do as adults. They will work out their salvation, just as we do, every day for the rest of our lives.
It does not mean that there doesn't come a point of self decision. Everything we learn from our parents, we at some point decide whether or not to believe for ourselves. Every value, every priority, every principle-- we decide. And this is no different. It's a process that we as her parents are very involved in, because the conversations we have are ways that Czarina is "working out" her salvation. We talk, then we talk again, and then again. It is more of a linear experience, rather than an instantaneous one. She is consuming it, day by day.
Today, we got to a very meaty portion, probably the most solid and satisfying to date.
After telling me about her friend, she asked me with some uncertainty, "Mom, do I need to pray like *Jennifer did?" My response was, "Well, Czarina, what did Jennifer pray?" She told me that she did the ABC's. She Admitted that she was a sinner. She Believed that Jesus was the son of God. Then, she Confessed her sins and repented. And then she was "saved".
So, I asked Czarina-- well, do you know that Jesus is the son of God? Yes, of course, she answered. Do you know that you are a sinner and can't go to heaven without Jesus? Nodded yes, certainly. And do you ask Jesus forgiveness for your sins? Again, a confident yes.
I could see the understanding in her eyes. She knew that she, too, is "saved". She just needed to hear those things verbalized that are already in her heart. She understood that praying that prayer would be redundant for her, because she's believed those things for as long as she can remember.
I don't know that all of my children will have the same exact salvation experience as Czarina has. I do expect similarities, though, and I pray that I will have many conversations with my children over the years about what it means to be a Christian, and how that happens. It is my hope and prayer that it will all be a blur for them, that they will never really remember a time they didn't believe they were a Christian. I hope they remember conversations at the kitchen table, that grew more profound over time, in which they worked out their salvation.
I hope they never know a time apart from Christ, only a deepening relationship with Him through their whole lives.
Now, all that saying, I do not think that the Christian experience has to be defined this way. It obviously does not. God is a God who loves variety, and He is glorified by the many ways His followers come to know Him. Whether we are converted in childhood, in adulthood, at an alter call, or a garden stroll, or our mother's lap-- it is all to His glory and by His grace. I just wanted to share our perspective on it, because it is maybe a little uncommon in some of our circles.
Tomorrow, when Czarina goes back to VBS, she has decided to tell her teacher that she is already a Christian, that she has believed the ABC's for a long time. I'm proud of her, joyous of her confidence, and thankful that God has given my child a believing heart. My cup overflows.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:37 PM | Comments (5)
May 14, 2009
Yesterday was rough. I was out of sorts all day long. Off my game. But today, oh happy day!! I got enough sleep last night and I am present and accounted for this morning. Let the day begin!
Normally on Thursdays, we go to storytime at the library. But, with King Pen's truck in the shop, we're sans wheels. So, it's just school and housework today. (I know it's hard, but try not to be jealous.) King Pen will hustle home after work to take HeroBoy to soccer practice, and Czarina is hitching a ride with one of her friends to the Brownie meeting tonight. The truck should be ready tomorrow-- luckily it was just a minor repair!
Speaking of Brownies, our trip this past weekend was equal parts fun and uncomfortable!! I can't even relive the bus ride long enough to describe it to you- it was that bad. We left at 3:30 A.M. and arrived in Dallas at 8:30. I slept a few hours, or rather, went into some kind of bodily shock and came to a little later. It was rough. But the King Tut exhibit was something else. I really enjoyed it, once I got over the fact that what I was seeing was REAL and not just cheesy Egyptian props. It was very crowded though, so after a while, you started to feel claustrophobic. They didn't allow pictures within the exhibit, so that kind of stunk. My favorite relic was King Tut's toddler chair. It was so cute-- I could totally envision a little Tut perched in his fancy, big boy chair.
After King Tut, we went to the Dallas zoo, just to be extra exhausted for the ride home! It was nice as well. We were there when they were releasing butterflies in the children's area--- that was neat. All the kids got an envelope with a butterfly in it, and they opened them at the same time. It was lovely.
We watched a few movies on the way home, and finally I nodded off till we rolled in at about 11:30. It was a whirlwind trip, but it was a fun time. I enjoyed sharing it with Czarina-- watching her interacting with her peer group, being a big girl. I know it's something she'll always remember, too.
King Pen watched the boys that whole day, and graciously allowed us some girl time. It was very sweet of him, and I appreciate it. I think he enjoyed having just the boys. From what I hear, they didn't wear shirts all day long. A true boys day!
Anyway, those few pictures I posted are just a drop in the bucket. I saw the zoo as a great opportunity to practice with my telephoto lens, and I got some wonderful animal shots. Not so sure what to do with them now, but it was fun to get such clear shots! Next in the photo installment are some pictures I took in my mother-in-law's yard, which is a Southern Garden of Eden if ever there was one. I'll save that for another post though.
Have a happy Thursday, everybody.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:41 AM | Comments (0)
May 13, 2009
Oh, and also today----
It's the Duke's 4th birthday!! He doesn't know it, because we aren't celebrating it until Memorial Day weekend, but all the same. My little guy is four, and I'm so proud of him! Happy Unknown Birthday, Mister!!
PS... I love four. The mind of a four year old is fascinating and charming. I can't wait to see the Duke stretch his legs this year!!
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:42 AM | Comments (3)
May 10, 2009
Happy day to be
and sometimes mommie.
Happy day to be
the teacher, the fixer, the driver-
the washer and kisser and reader.
Happy day to be
tripping over love everywhere I step
Happy day to be
special to you,
who are so special to me.
Happy day to be
extra loved, extra hugged, extra kissed
Happy day to be
exactly what I want,
with exactly who I want---
a mother to you.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)
April 26, 2009
Busy, fun filled weekend 'round these parts.
We started out with HeroBoy's VERY first soccer game, first organized sport of his life, which King Pen's parents came down for. (Thank you, my inlaws! It was so nice to share that with you!) He made a goal, and he was so proud, he could have busted. They tied the game, and everybody was happy!
The Duke, for some crazy-but-very-Duke-like reason, decided to play dead in front of me during the game. Bid for attention, I'm assuming. He's very good at possum, I have to admit.
After the game, we hung out outside while King Pen tilled the community tomato patch. Czarina found two toads in a hole, all cozy and cute. So, out comes the camera.
We visited with our lovely neighbors, and the kids all played together. Chipmunk caught a ride in Clara's jeep. She zoomed all over with him, and he loved it.
And after church today, there was a safety day at the park, with all kinds of kid's activities and whatnot. Czarina made an enormous hat from what looked like a giant coffee filter. All true Southern ladies should have at least one sun hat.
I could have taken more pictures, probably better ones at that, but I just wanted to enjoy being in the weekend. It was relaxing and beautiful, full of family, friends, and sunshine. Couldn't have asked for a better one!
All for tonight, hope you all enjoyed yours as well.
Posted by WonderGirl at 8:51 PM | Comments (1)
April 24, 2009
A memory I want to keep: Chipmunk's head bowed in our mealtime prayer, God is Great. He only knows the one word "Amen," and he says it over and over, until it fits just right at the end.
"Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, AMEN!!"
Love that. Sometimes I feel that way myself. I don't understand a lot. There are people around me saying all the words, and I only know a few. I say my simple part over and over to God, waiting for it to fit.
I hope and trust that I won't always be there. Just as my son learns, I hope that I will, too. But even as I pray now, as I repeat my childish words to my Father, I know that He hears and understands them. He knows what I'm asking, what I need, even though my words are insufficient.
We pray because we are commanded to, not because we grasp the full nature of what we are doing. We pray first out of obedience, and by the grace of God, we learn to pray with understanding. It's a process that never ends, as we seek better ways, better words to give to God. As our comprehension grows, as we learn the meaning of forgiveness, repentance, humility-- as these words come into focus for us, we can begin to understand just what it is that we are asking for, what we're thanking Him for. Our prayers begin to make sense in new ways. Our many "amens" become rich prayers, full-bodied, and aromatic before the Lord. God delights in ALL the prayers of His people, though-- no matter how eloquent they may be. I appreciate that reminder in Chipmunk's first prayers.
Anyway, just a few thoughts for the day. My coffee's long cold, and the day waits for no woman. Hopping to it!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:51 AM | Comments (2)
April 23, 2009
Tiny tendrils-- so delicately curled around a stem... aren't they beautiful? That green is vibrant and young and perfect. Can a color be young? I think it must, for surely that is the newest, freshest green I have seen in a long time.
It probably goes without saying, (what with all my recent picture posts) but I have been seeing life through my camera for the last week.
I have poured myself into it, I have been liberal with my attention to this one thing during all my spare moments. Blogging, writing, sewing, guitar practice... all have taken a back seat to what I can only explain as full blown puppy love. I voraciously read technical explanations, most of which still evade me completely. I browse Flickr, and photo journals, gleaning what I can, marveling at the talent out there. I fall asleep at night thinking about apertures and shudder speeds and white balances. I don't get it all, but I do know, I love taking a good picture.
It's instant gratification, a creative high. There are no lengthy compositions to edit, no painful chord positions to learn, no patterns to cut, hems to sew. I look, I snap, and it's there. Something beautiful. Something that says something. I can take a picture and just hold it up, and without any words on my part, I can say, "this is how I feel today," or, "don't you love this about life?" It's so utterly expressive. It's so what I need right now.
I am sure I'll get over the honeymoon phase of it all, I'm sure it will become just one of the many things I do enjoy. I don't think it will replace all my other interests.
But isn't this the great part? When you're falling in love with something? I love being in love. I love that I can't wait to get my camera back in my hands, that I'm thinking of the places I can go with it, that I want to know everything I can about it.
So, if I don't write as much lately, you know why. I'm just loving this new thing. I love the product, the picture... but I love the process, too. Being outside. Searching, watching, waiting. Seeing, capturing.
And all for the very best reason-- so that I don't forget. I don't forget them, who they are right this very moment, and so that I don't forget Him, whose Hand is evident in the curl of the tiniest tendrils of the vine.
No matter where my camera is pointed, those are the things I see.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:25 PM | Comments (1)
April 22, 2009
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:56 PM | Comments (2)
April 15, 2009
Today in history: WonderGirl discovers the portrait feature on her camera for the very first time. Czarina provides the gorgeous.
Posted by WonderGirl at 5:34 PM | Comments (2)
April 7, 2009
Not often, but sometimes, when there are no fusses over toys or chairs or shouts of "mine!"... these brothers are the best of friends:
Sharing a window, waiting for the rain to stop:
Posted by WonderGirl at 2:52 PM | Comments (5)
March 30, 2009
Good day, everybody! Seriously, good day. It is, isn't it? Even for a Monday, you can't help but fall in love with weather like this. It's bright and green, breezy, sunshiney. Perfect.
I've put my favorite Spring skirt on, flipflops, and a tanktop. It's my official Welcome to Spring uniform. I sometimes put it on too early, but this time, I'm optimistic. Surely this weather will stick? I even packed the heaviest jackets up today, and if I have to get them out again, I'll be surprised. And a little mad. Still, though, even if I do, I'm going to enjoy this balmy, lively weather while I can. The kids are down at the creek for a little before school fun, and I'm taking a moment to catch my breath.
It seems like forever since I've blogged. It's been a crazy busy month, running all over the place. Thankfully, we had a lowkey weekend, since we were still getting over the last dredges of illness. It was restful, and everyone is well now. (thank goodness!!)
Friday night, Czarina had her Girl Scout sleepover, and it went off without a hitch.
It's the first time she's spent a night with anybody besides family. I wasn't sure how she would do, but I shouldn't have wasted time worrying. She was awesome. She had her best bud, Tori, with her, and she couldn't get rid of me fast enough!
As hard as it is sometimes to see her growing, I am also so glad she's having these moments in her life. They are joyful to me, in a whole new way.
Anyway, besides that, the weekend was uneventful. King Pen was under the weather, so we laid low. He was better by Sunday, so we did steaks on the grill and had a lazy afternoon. Good thing, 'cause it's going to be a busy week.
We have tons of school to make up from Spring break and our sick days. It's a little overwhelming, but we'll get there.
HeroBoy has his first soccer practice Thursday. How excited am I? I can't wait. You all know I'm not a big sports person, but I come from a family that loves them. So, I'm used to sitting in stands, cheering-- and I cannot WAIT to see HeroBoy out there, doing his thing. I know how much he's going to love it, and it feels great to nurture that in him. We're doing Upwards soccer, which is a Christian program than encourages players to have strong values and positive team attitudes. I think they even do some scripture memorization. The season isn't too long, and they don't practice or play on Sundays, so it will be a nice introduction into the sports world for us. They're called The Little Flashes, and I'm sure that's all he'll be out there, just a flash of color.
What else? Oh, on Saturday, we are attending a crawfish boil with King Pen's friends from LSU. Now, that's something to be excited about! Yum, and fun! It's not far from Baton Rouge, so I'm thinking, maybe we'll stay overnight and visit our old church friends there on Sunday. (This is news to King Pen-- sorry dear, it just came to me this morning! Whatcha think?) I haven't seen Debby or Ann or any of those guys in three years. Well past time to visit!!
Okie dokie, artichokie. That brings you up to date. I'm way behind on the day, so I better get to it. Have a lovely Monday, folks, and I'll catch up with you later. I still plan to write about my Atlanta trip, just want to sit and do it justice when I have enough time. Stay with me, it's good.
PS: I just noticed, if you scroll up and down between that last picture of Czarina and the one below of me with my new haircut, we really look quite a bit alike. She's got my smile! :)
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:03 PM | Comments (4)
March 25, 2009
Alas, the Duke has fallen. On a positive note, he does seem to be able to aim for the bucket more than I expected. Czarina and HeroBoy are better. I fully expect Chipmunk to join the ranks soon, though.
I really hope it doesn't work it's way UP. Wah.
PS. I typed this is .06 seconds flat. Now I'll be running back to man the bucket.
Posted by WonderGirl at 7:23 AM | Comments (0)
March 18, 2009
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.
Today, Robert Frost says it best. Let us Spring forever, a million happy days like this one, a million moments to love life exactly as it is.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:40 AM | Comments (2)
March 6, 2009
The boys all got haircuts yesterday. HeroBoy got the pre-summer buzz-- not quite a buzz, but real tight! The Duke got his curls curtailed. His is a little longer, but nice and sharp looking. And Chipmunk, well, that poor baby got shorn like a sheep. The lady just kept cutting and cutting, and before I knew it, it was all gone.
Now, you know, we are not a long-hair-on-boys kind of family. Sometimes we let the curls grow out a little, but we like them to look like little men. But I have to admit, I wasn't ready for the big boy haircut on little Chipmunk. I suppose having it coincide with his second birthday was just a bit overwhelming for me. He looks cute, he looks like a little soldier. But I'm used to his magic curls, and I miss them. I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready....
It's become a mantra lately, with all of them.
You really can't think about it. You have to cloak yourself in denial or distract yourself with busyness, because if you stop for a minute and think about what's happening--- it hurts! Ouch! Double ouch! Owie, owie! Blow on it or something!!!
I suppose this REALLY obvious and unavoidable signal that my youngest is getting BIG, is an inescapable reminder of what I'm not ready to admit. My babies are growing, right before my eyes. My babies are almost not babies anymore.
Okay, I'm stopping. Back to denial. This post never happened. I'm not crying, why would I be crying? (Defense mechanisms fully in place.)
I'll take a picture of them with their new 'dos later, so we can "not" weep together.
PS. We're celebrating Chipmunk's birthday this weekend, and I'll post about that, too.
Posted by WonderGirl at 8:01 AM | Comments (4)
February 15, 2009
So, guess what Cupid brought to our house for Valentine's Day?
Nice chap, that Cupid. Czarina came down with a stomach bug, but it seems to be a 24 hour thing. She's improving, fortunately. She gets so pitiful when she's sick. :( Now, we wait to see who drops next! My money is on HeroBoy, because he's currently laying on the floor doing nothing. That is NOT a good sign. He doesn't ever do NOTHING.
Anyway, don't count on seeing me 'round the internets for a day or two or twenty. I'll be manning the spit-up bucket, and believe me, that's a job that requires diligence. Do NOT fall down on that job.
Hope you all had a great (read better) weekend than moi. (Except for the first part of Saturday, which totally rocked because King Pen sent me out for some ME time!! I went shopping, and it was fantastic. I am no longer ashamed to be seen in public.)
Okay, I'm out! If you don't hear from me in a week, then somebody please come to my house. Consider it an SOS.
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:44 PM | Comments (0)
February 9, 2009
Sometimes I worry about not remembering these moments hard enough. The sounds of their voices, the way Chipmunk holds his hands out for me, the funny jokes Czarina tells... I am trying as hard as I can to soak it in, but there is a part of me that knows it will never be enough. My memory will not do the moments justice. And I wonder, what will motherhood be as these days fade-- what will it feel like to be a mother to teenagers, and adults? I have become woefully addicted to the small, daily injections of utterly lovable moments. I am used to a certain amount of hugs and wet kisses and stick drawings. I am used to their squeaky voices. What would my day be without the smell of play-dough, the sound of bare feet padding down the hallway, or suspicious squeals of laughter from the back room?
This year, my oldest will be nine. I'll also have a six, four, and two year old. I realize I've got a long way to go before they're all up and out of here. But, NINE?? It's beginning, people. The trek out. And I'm not ready for it, I'm really not.
It is hard enough to pack away the baby clothes they outgrow. Take off training wheels, move out of car seats, put away sippy cups... To watch their star-shaped hands become long and lean, holding pencils, writing cursive words... I feel like I'm saying goodbye to something new every single day. And today, it makes me sad. I never knew motherhood was so full of farewells, when it starts out with such a grand hello. It's as if you hold your child that first time, and for a magical week or two, they just are. You are meeting each other, in a time outside of time. You are introduced. In love. You gaze at each other for hours that nobody is counting. But, as much as we would like to remain in that heavenly stasis, we do not, they do not. Without warning, they become kinetic forces, constantly moving forward. They hurtle headlong into life, whether you think they are ready or not. Whether you are ready or not.
It's a marvelous, scary thing to witness. It's achingly beautiful.
I sound blue, and I am, but I'm okay. Today it's just a little more bitter than sweet. Tomorrow may be the opposite. I'll just try, really really hard, to cement the here and now in my mind. Because I know, I'll be clinging to these memories for the rest of my life. I cannot stop the clock, but I can mark the days in hugs and kissed booboos and silly songs for as long as they let me. And later, we will learn to mark the days in different ways, and rejoice in those, too.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:09 AM | Comments (11)
February 4, 2009
HeroBoy is incredibly susceptible to marketing campaigns. Any commercial that stays on long enough is sure to convince him that WE MUST HAVE THAT THING. He is constantly telling me that I need to try out those new space bags, or that vacuum cleaner, that electric omelet cooker thing, or a Shamwow. He's told my grandmother that she should look into getting a Life Alert. (which was actually pretty decent advice.)
However, it ceased to be cute with his latest recommendation. The Body Fat Burning Pill.
Nice, HeroBoy. Verra smooth.
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:00 PM | Comments (0)
December 12, 2008
I overheard the Duke playing choo-choo train today, all alone. It lead me to believe that the conductor didn't get his cup of coffee this morning.
"All Aboard!" he calls loudly.
"I said, ALL ABOARD!."
Fed up now, he screams, "ALL ABOARD or I'm leaving you!"
I can't imagine why his passengers were reluctant. (And I'm trying not to wonder why my son's imagination was so grumpy-- not sure I want to psychoanalyze that one right now.)
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:25 AM | Comments (2)
December 10, 2008
HeroBoy, as much of a knucklehead as he is, can be very profound at times. The other day, he gave King Pen an unsual, but beautiful compliment. He looped an arm around King Pen's shoulders, and said with genuine affection, "Dad, you'll never change."
It doesn't sound like much, does it? But it had meanings within meanings.
God provides us all with earthly fathers. Some of us are fortunate enough to have them with us for many years. Sadly, some all too briefly. However it is defined, we know that relationship with our earthly father mimics the one with our heavenly father in so many ways. It isn't a perfect reflection. It's distorted, fuzzy, imperfect. But there are moments, like this one with HeroBoy, when it is clear and amazing.
For God will never change.
And just as HeroBoy took comfort and pleasure in that fact about King Pen, we can do the same about God. We will always know what to expect with God. He's not going to surprise us with some unexpected change of character. He's not going to turn into some completely different being one day. He's predictible- wonderfully and awesomely the Same forever. The promises He's made, He'll keep. The comfort He offers will never run out. As forgiving and merciful as He is today, He will be tomorrow. He is the "Great I am", not the "Great I Used to Be", or the "Great I Will Be". He is who He is, always, and He will never change. Everything He was to Abraham, to David, to Elijah-- to Paul and John and Simon Peter-- He is those things to us today. For He is Unchanging.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
One day, HeroBoy might say those same words to King Pen, "You'll never change, Dad" and not have kind intentions. I hope he'll always hold his father with more respect than that, but it happens. Because we're imperfect parents, and there are some things about us that NEED to change. But right now, HeroBoy saw the good in it, saw that being the same, being dependable and solid, is a thing to be lauded. He knows that his dad is a constant in his life, something he can count on and hang on to.
How much more can we say that of our heavenly Father?
Anyway, just a few thoughts on a wet, snowy day here in south Louisiana. Happy Advent to you all.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:57 AM | Comments (2)
December 2, 2008
Little known fact about Raphael, the Teenage Mutant Turtle. Sometimes, he cruises around town in the Malibu Barbie convertible. Cause, ya know. A real man -er, turtle- isn't afraid of pink.
I wonder if Ken knows about this? I'm guessing, no.
(This post must be linked to this one, for the sake of a reoccuring theme in my household. Oh, those wild and crazy turtles in a half-shell!)
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:29 PM | Comments (2)
November 21, 2008
Such a great post (no surprise) over at Femina about why we teach our children to say thank you. Thought I'd share it here in case you missed it.
One of the central duties of parents is to teach their children to be grateful to God for all their many blessings. I remember my father teaching me that I could not even lift my little finger if it were not for God's power and goodness. That little lesson had an impact, obviously, because I still remember him demonstrating this finger-lifting.
So when you are teaching the little ones to say thank you and please, it is a lesson about their Christian duties that reaches beyond simple cultural expressions of good manners. It it teaching them to have thankful impulses. It is teaching them to speak the language God wants to hear from all His people all the time.
Our fallen, sinful impulses direct us to take notice of what is missing, what is lacking, how things fall short of our desires. This is why kids whine and moan and are given to complaining. But God has given parents to children to bring them up to better things. So we have to accompany our commands to our children (say please when you ask for things) with biblical teaching (God wants us to be thankful for everything all the time).
Children need to be taught to count their blessings: fingers, toes, parents, siblings, food, sunshine, rain, Christmas, and all the rest. And, as always, it comes back to the parents modeling such gratitude themselves. It is rather counterproductive to snap at your children with, "Say thankyou!" as though you want to add, "you little beast!"
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:30 AM | Comments (1)
November 16, 2008
Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. You just would not believe what happened Saturday afternoon. We were invited to an evening neighborhood barbeque (boy, was it FREEZING!!), and we'd been looking forward to it all week. There are not many children around, mostly retirees, so this was a good opportunity for us to network with some folks a few streets down.
Anyway, so we load up the kids, the er, homebaked brownies, and head across the foot bridge to the crowd. I'm mingling a little, watching the kids, warming myself by the fire, and a woman walks up to me and says in amazement, "WonderGirl?" To my utter astonishment, it's an old friend from college, Audrey. She was a fellow resident assistant in the dorms with me, a wonderful Christian girl who is one of the wittiest, sharpest people I've had the pleasure of knowing. I haven't seen her in twelve years, had no idea where she'd ended up or how life turned out for her. And here she is, MY NEIGHBOR. I can see her house from my front yard. Unbelievable. Just when I had resigned myself to the fact that there were NO friends to be had for me here, God plops one down right in front of me, all ready made. Not just in the same town, but within walking distance. How's that for provision? And of all the people He could bring back into my life, Audrey is one of the best. She's genuine, and instant-- she's never met a stranger. It was like I'd just seen her yesterday.
It blows my mind that in all the places she and I could end up in this world, we both live in a podunk little town in Louisiana, just yards apart. God is absolutely the author of this coincidence. I love it when He moves in big, obvious ways-- it's such a good reminder of His love and care for His people.
I cannot tell you how my heart soared to see a friend. I've been here for eleven months without one, and I had begun to despair. We hugged in disbelief, and joy, and it was a wonderful moment.
Of course, only minutes later, this beautiful moment was eclipsed by the site of my three year old peeing in the neighbor's front yard. Right by the tabled with all the food. Directly under the street light.
Life's full of the unexpected, huh?
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:15 PM | Comments (7)
October 20, 2008
I'm so in love with my family these days. Oh, of course, I always love them. It's like breathing. I won't and can't stop breathing till my days are done. Breathing is an involuntary, constant motion- and that's what loving my family is like. I couldn't NOT love them even if I wanted to, anymore than I could just quit breathing for a while. I need it, can't live without it, couldn't stop it even if I tried.
But some days, it's more than breathing. Some days, the air is so sweet. Fragrant, refreshing. There are places where the air is different, and simply breathing it in is the prize. It may mean climbing a mountain, crossing cold streams, perching on rocky peaks... all to taste that potent air, so rich and full. When you're there, you breathe deeply. Slowly. It's more than a biological function - it is a communion of the the senses. That's where I am right now. I am in a special season, of almost constant joy. I breathe fully, taking it in and holding it until I can't anymore. The moments with my children standout in such clarity, such heartbreaking tenderness, or innocence, or mirth. They are a sudden, brisk wind that blows on my face, and my breath catches at it's touch. It seizes me, grabbing my attention-- and I can't look anywhere but at them, and marvel at how wonderful this life is.
I know, it is a gift. I know, there will be other seasons, when breathing is harder. I know there are deserts. Places where the air scorches, and we must breathe shallow, painful gasps. But that is not now. No, now is the time for breathing- for tasting and seeing- that the Lord is good. It is a time of abundance and delight. My cup overflows, my heart is full, the air is cool and pure.
Seasons, they come and go. I pray this one stays, and stays, and stays some more. But while there is air to move beyond my lips, no matter how sweet or bitter, then I will thank Him for it.
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
He leaned down, gave me breath, gave me love, gave me life.
What else can I do, but sigh back in thanksgiving, praising him with the very breath He gave?
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:23 AM | Comments (4)
October 14, 2008
little splotches of life, random splashes,
those small, stray moments of here and now
i take them,
blending this instant with that,
blurring them together
hazy daze, crazy days
till the colors run helter skelter
i step back,
at the masterpiece before me
snaggletooths, piggyback rides,
balls, bunnies, noodle heads
brownies and airplanes up high
we look up
at the monet of everyday
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:06 AM | Comments (1)
October 9, 2008
HeroBoy, asking for a piece of the gum King Pen and I were chewing the other day, extolled the wonders of peppermint. "It makes your voice smell so good!" he said.
It certainly does.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)
October 5, 2008
Tonight, I try to memorize her voice. I etch the sweetness of her high pitched, little girl cadence into my mind as she reads aloud about a unicorn named Twilight who helps to rescue a kitten named Sparkle. And when it is my turn to read, and the kitten faces the dangers of a barn fire, I can feel her heart overcome with concern. And my own is overcome with who she is right now, right in this instant. She is unicorns and kittens and rainbows... it is funny and precious, and I want to remember it exactly as it is.
I open all my senses, making myself a blank slate for her to write upon. I will my mind to make a perfect memory of her, exactly as she is at this moment. Her still squeaky voice, her shiny curls clean from a bath, her long limbs with all the bumps and bruises of a tomboy, her nimble and elegant fingers fluttering the pages... I call upon everything in me, the billions of neurons hard at work, to make no mistakes in recording my child. Please, help me, I say. This is the most important job you have.
Because, I know, oh how I know. I will want this back.
As much as I look forward to in her life, as proud as I am to see her moving and growing... I will want this back. I know it in my bones, as you know it in yours.
It is this thought that has helped me reach a decision about whether to keep blogging or not. This blog is a lot of things, but it's most important function in my life is as a Keeper. This is where I hide my treasures. This is where I squirrel away the good things in life, building up a stash of all the things I'll want back.
So, I'll keep writing. It may change tone a little. It may be less frequent. But what's here will matter to me in ten years, more than having a little extra time to read or jog or sew. I am not ready to stop writing, not when there is so much inspiration around me.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:41 PM | Comments (5)
October 2, 2008
Now that you've seen my pupils, would you like to see my school room?
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:21 PM | Comments (3)
I'm just now getting around to posting our first day of school photos. I'm pairing them with the ones from last year, so you can see (and weep along with me over) how much they've grown in twelve months!!
Czarina this year:
Compared to last year:
HeroBoy this year:
Compared to last year:
The Duke this year (right before a much needed haircut. Yikes!):
And last year:
And last but not least, Chipmunk this year:
Twelve short months ago:
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:58 PM | Comments (2)
September 25, 2008
I'm busy typing away that last post, with Dora the Explorer on the tube beside me.
"Put the pumpkin in the wheelbarrow," she says emphatically from the screen.
"Why don't you do it YOURSELF?" yells HeroBoy in response.
"HeroBoy!" I say, swallowing back a shocked giggle, "That's not very nice!"
"Well, she never says PLEASE!"
He's got a point. Would it kill the girl to say por favor once in a while?
(Look at her, she's so busted.)
Posted by WonderGirl at 8:44 AM | Comments (3)
September 18, 2008
3 a.m. I'm sleeping peacefully, dreaming of no less than the gorgeous Destin beach. It's magnificent, y'all. I'm back on vacation again-- how much better can a dream get? When suddenly, I am snatched out of my slumber by the sounds of one of my children being eaten by a tiger. I know this, because of the horrific screeches and howling coming from the Duke's bedroom. So I abandon Dreamland Destin, and race to my poor helpless child's side in a surge of maternal fierceness. Mom to the rescue- back ye beastly fiend who seeks to devour my child!! I fly into his room, guns blazing.
Well, it turns out, he's just gotta potty.
Really? You let loose those ungodly screams because your bladder was a little bit full? I was pretty sure you were being eaten alive. 'Cause, ya know, that was the vibe you were giving off. Are you SURE there wasn't a man-eating, yellow-eyed predator eating you whole? No?
I left Destin for this, you know.
So I get back in bed, thinking "oh, the wonderous, amazing, totally insane brain of a three year old. I gotta blog about that."
Then, because I accidentally noticed that it was 3 a.m. on the clock, I immediately get insomnia. I proceeded, for the next HOUR, to compose a lengthy essay on all the ways a three year old is absolutely nuts. I was wide awake- it was that weird hour that totally befuddled my body. Are we up? Am I done?, it asks. My composition was interrupted by arguements with my body, desperate pleas for sleep, and finally, a nagging, relentless sense that now I needed to get up for the bathroom.
I, of course, did not scream about it. 'Cause I'm considerate that way.
Anyway, after an hour or so of tossing and turning, I finally fall asleep again.
Do I dream of Destin again? Oh no. This time, I am a waitress, working double shifts at some rundown bar, and my feet hurt.
He is SO hearing about this when he has kids of his own.
PS... Oh, and that hour long post I composed in my head? Well, this is not it. I, of course, promptly forgot it the second I closed my eyes. Grr.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:03 AM | Comments (5)
September 16, 2008
... of which she is a founding member.
Dear Little Bird,
Happy 8th birthday, silly girl.
I am in awe of you-- of how close you are to the sunshine- how sweet and wise your smile- how tender and true your heart. You are so beautiful in spirit, in form-- from your open, friendly nature, to those pink curls that tell us exactly how you're feeling--- we will never get over you. You are our sweetheart, and we are simply smitten with who you are. Your brothers adore you, your Daddy is devoted to you, and I am inspired by you. There aren't enough hugs and kisses and snuggles in the world that could show you how much we love you.
But we'll keep on tryin' anyway.
Happy birthday, delightful one.
Posted by WonderGirl at 7:30 AM | Comments (5)
August 28, 2008
Well, today we become official homeschoolers.
Today, we skate.
Every decent, well-respected homeschooled kid can tear it up at a roller rink. (Or so I've been told.) This is the first time my kids have ever been, and I can't wait. I have recruited my mom to help, because there is no way I can handle four kids on wheels. (I may be good, but I'm not that good! Ha!) I'll be taking my camera-- I must immortalize these moments forever-- Czarina's long, coltish legs in motion, HeroBoy's nonchalant, James Dean attitude even on skates, the Duke's itty bitty clumsy self and big curly head, probably pulling me down! (That's right, I'll blame it on the children. They make me do all kinds of embarassing things.) All to Michael Jackson's Thriller- which hopefully, the Chipmunk will be dancing to from the sidelines. If I can get all that on film, then I will be one happy mama. Does life get any better than that?
Only if I had the pom-poms on my skates. -wistful sigh-
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:33 AM | Comments (4)
August 26, 2008
The kids were agreeing wholeheartedly with me about something the other day, but I can't remember what it was. I do, however, remember The Duke's enthusiastic contribution to the conversation.
Me: I'm kinda hungry (or something like that).
Czarina: Me too!
HeroBoy: Me three!
The Duke: Two for three!
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:54 AM | Comments (2)
August 22, 2008
Hey guys... ever prayed for patience? You know how God answers that? Well, it ain't pretty.
I think I need a do-over.
Luckily, my children are EVER-EAGER to help me learn this particular lesson. I'm sure I'll have an opportunity in oh, 3...2...1...
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:44 PM | Comments (1)
August 19, 2008
This past weekend, King Pen was going through some old junk in the shed, and came across a little knife in some fishing gear. It was really grimy, but underneath all that, it was obviously well made, and to King Pen's eye, perfect for a boy's first knife. As he scrubbed away years of dirt and gunk, I could see him picturing his son traipsing out in the swamps with it. His eyes glazed over as he remembered his own, exciting knife-wielding days as a young lad, chopping through the Brimberry, killing snakes and shaving untold years off his mother's life.
(I've come to accept it. In time, HeroBoy, the Duke, and Chipmunk will all shorten my lifespan by at least ten years with their exploits into the wild. It's just a matter of fact.)
Anyway, so I see my husband, eyes shining in expectation and eagerness, and I think, oh, how sweet. He's envisioning this beautiful father son thing, circle of life and all that, and then, my eyes wander down, to my son. Who has practically sprouted wings-- his body shaking like a puppy, he's downright salivating over this knife-- and I realize, with horror-- my husband has just armed my five year old.
My mom alarm screams into action. Wee-ooh, Wee-ooh, Wee-ooh. Emergency lights blinking, panic in the streets, oh-my-gosh-what-has-my-husband-done-I'm-gonna-kill-him, I-gotta-sit-down-or-I'm-gonna-pass-out kind of moment.
Well, it was too late. Damage done, despite my feminine swoon. HeroBoy is now the proud owner of his very own weapon. Of course, there are a hundred rules, of which we were busy laying down. When asked to relate the rules back, this is the comforting reply I received:
He declares, with all confidence and seriousness, "Number one: No running!"
And then he's stumped. He pauses, thinking hard, trying to recall what any of the other rules are, knowing his status as Knife Owner hangs on accuracy, "And uh... number two...No killing!"
Oh, that's entirely comforting.
PS... For the record, he is only allowed to carry the knife in it's sheath when he is with Daddy. He can't take it out without permission, or cut anything, or use it in any way unless he is under the watchful eye of an adult. He just gets to carry it, until he's eleven or twelve, when he can have it to keep. It is not in his possession at any other time, not in his room, not anywhere accessible. BECAUSE HE'S FIVE.
Heaven help us.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:02 AM | Comments (7)
August 18, 2008
After church, before lunch,
After worship, before resting,
and bike laps
After His table, before ours
Dressed up, soon messed up
Another Sunday, before Monday,
Communed and 'fessed up
Smiling, and cheesing in beautiful sunlight
Life is pleasing, heart is squeezing
The Lord's day held tight.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:21 AM | Comments (6)
August 12, 2008
Thanks for the comments on the last post, guys. I feel better today. Yesterday was much improved. I decided to spend more time with the kids, so that I could intervene and correct behavior as it cropped up. So, I got less accomplished around the house, but I don't care. We needed some extra contact with each other! We just hung out most of the day, and I gave more hugs and positive reinforcement. I could see the difference by the end of the day, and King Pen agreed. I plan to repeat that today (and everyday!) and I believe it's going to make a difference.
Motherhood is a form of homeostasis. We're always trying to find that perfect balance, where everybody is getting what they need. Watching over them, looking for places you need to make adjustments in your schedule or your activities or your words. Finding that perfect combination of things, the exact formula for each child- (each one requires something different)-- that's the crux of it all. We are constantly tweaking the machine, so that is running at it's optimum capacity. This is a tall order even when you're single and have only yourself to keep straight. Add in five other people- and it is a neverending! I don't mean that in complaint. I mean, you have to be so diligent, constantly aware of where everybody is and what they need from you... and not forget to ENJOY it!!
But, God blesses our efforts, definitely beyond what we deserve. I'm going to be imperfect, there's no doubt about it. But I'm not a team of one. I, very fortunately, have a completely perfect partner (and sorry King Pen, I am not referring to thee). It's hard to imagine, but God loves my children even more than I do. I am certainly not alone with their rearing. He is steadily working within them, shepherding, pruning, tending-- reaching places I can't. He covers my stumbling, He goes beyond my primitive efforts, He helps and heals and guides in ways I don't even comprehend. It is a great comfort to know that they are in better hands than even my own. The covenant God made with His people is good, so good. Becoming a parent has brought new meaning to the security and joy to be found in His promises to us. I am grateful and humbled, and oh so calmed in His hands. But even more grateful, humbled, and calmed, knowing they are in His hands.
Anyway, just thought I'd follow up on my earlier post. I appreciate all your comments and encouragements. It's wonderful to have such good friends in my life! I do wuv you all.
Okay, I'm off for the morning. Stuff to do, kids to hug, yada yada yada. :)
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:58 AM | Comments (4)
August 11, 2008
Okay, I'm headed to bed, I really am. In just a sec. Seriously.
I just wanted to write about what's been on my mind all weekend. It's HeroBoy.
He's going through something, and I don't know what. One day, I have a sweet, tender-hearted, fun-loving little boy. And the next, I've got a prickly grump who can't stop causing trouble. He's picking arguements with the other kids, just doing things to irritate them. Just being mean for mean's sake. He's being destructive for no reason, getting into stuff he shouldn't. He is being sulky, grouchy, and has gotten in more trouble for talking back and having a bad attitude than he ever has before.
I mean, it's like the five years of good training we've done with him are nonexistant! Where is my child?? Of course, all these behaviors are unacceptable, and he's being disciplined for them, but where is this coming from? Why would he suddenly think he's going to be allowed to act this way? And what caused it? The first thing you do as a parent is ask yourself, what am I doing (or not doing) that is precipitating this behavior in my child? You run through the possible causes, contributing factors, etc. Am I being neglectful? Is he sick? Is this normal? You don't want to make excuses for him, but you need to understand so you can change it.
I've noticed a small weed or two of this over the summer, and corrected it as it happens- but it's like it all came to a head this past week. He was in Monroe visiting family and got sick, and couldn't ride in the car, so he stayed with his grandmother while recovering. There was nothing unusual about any of that, and I could see how maybe he got a tad spoiled just from the circumstances, but that's it. The rules weren't different, he wasn't indulged in bad behavior or anything. Nobody did anything differently from how I would have. But he just came back so out of sorts and unhappy, and can't seem to get over it! Of course, I feel quite guilty over it. Maybe he's too young to have gone away from me by himself? Maybe I have missed teaching him something he needs? Maybe I have been too busy with everybody else and he's trying to get my attention? Maybe I haven't hugged him enough lately?
That last one really makes me sad.
I suppose what is most worrisome to me about it though, is that even when we are correcting his actions, I can see a stubbornness in his heart. A resistance. He may submit with his hands, but there is still rebellion in his heart. And I'm not sure how to reach that. I am praying about it, and I am going to be diligently seeking ways this week to help him through it. I know this is one of those moments that is big, one that matters, one we've got to get right.
I know he's going to get older, I know that he'll change and maybe won't be so open and affectionate (sad, but you expect boys to pull away a little more). But the one mistake I do not want to make is believing that this kind of thing is a "stage" that he'll outgrow. I don't want to excuse it because "he's a boy" and that's "just the way they are". I feel like I would be failing him if I didn't fight for him, if I didn't help him through these moments and back to being a happy child.
I just never expected to have to do it this early. Moms of boys, can you relate? Czarina being my oldest, my only experience comes with a girl. And she has a natural desire to please, and a gentle spirit that just hasn't required much more than encouragement. So, I'm in new territory here with HeroBoy. I need some advice.
With that desperate plea, I'm going to bed. Drown me in comments, people! I need ya!
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:38 AM | Comments (7)
August 7, 2008
So, the Duke is officially potty-trained.
I wasn't keen on waiting until he was three years old to master this skill, but it was honestly the best decision. It was MUCH easier waiting until he was ready. For the last couple of days, we've managed that last hurdle of training (numero dos, people) and the matter is now settled. And how do I know this, you ask? Well, the Duke told me so.
"I'm a Pooper!!" he exclaimed proudly today.
It was, my friends, music to my ears.
Thus concludes my brief blogging foray into pottyworld, at least for two more years.
Posted by WonderGirl at 2:57 PM | Comments (2)
August 5, 2008
than a disposable diaper that makes it's way through the wash cycle. GRRRR, I fume, when I see the bulbous globby mess with which Pamper's has bombed my laundry. It creates a gel from hell (at least it rhymes, though) that adheres to EVERYTHING. It's like the Greek Fire of Disgustingness. Once it has established residency in the machine, and on every single item of clothing inside... well... let's just say it completely justifies an 11 a.m. glass of wine.
Can I get an amen?
As an aside, I am looking into the G Diaper as an alternative to the disposable ones. I don't want to make the full-fledged leap to cloth diapers, (because I am a little bit eco-lazy) but this seems like a good compromise.
Okay, I'm off. Gotta go get in my hazmat gear to clean up the washer. Grr.
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:05 PM | Comments (9)
July 24, 2008
HeroBoy was on the potty today, doing his business. He sent the Duke to me with the message that the mission was accomplished, and he was ready for my assistance. (Um, yes, I still participate in this event, because the alternative is not pretty, trust me.)
Anyway, so I head to the bathroom, and see that he has assumed the position. (Is this funny to anybody but parents of small children?)
Me, laughing: So, I see you're ready, huh?
HeroBoy: Aye, aye Captain. --pause-- I'm reporting for DOODY!!!
**It occurs to me that sometime in the future, he may not appreciate detailed potty accounts published on the world wide web. Hm.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:46 PM | Comments (5)
May 29, 2008
...is on my brain these days. (Oh, I do love misleading headlines!)
Anyway, it's crazy, I know. There are days when things flow so smoothly, days when hardly anybody cries, days when I feel like we're almost out of the trenches-- and I couldn't IMAGINE starting all over again with another child. As a matter of fact, many times I whisper a "thank you, Jesus" prayer that we've come so far. Because those are fantastic days- and they're happening more frequently lately. They're almost enough to squash that baby urge all together. But not quite. Because there's still a sliver of something in me that just can't believe I'll never be pregnant again, never breathe in that sweet newborn scent again, never have impossibly tiny fingers wrap around mine. And when it hits, it hits hard.
It's not that I feel as if our family isn't complete. I'm very happy with the dynamics of four kids- our quiver is certainly full. It's so full, in fact, that I wonder how we'd accommodate anything extra. But still... this feeling.
I suppose it would be there after the last baby, no matter how many children I have. Because it means, this is the end of this part of my life. A chapter is finished, a really BIG chapter, the best one so far. And now as I approach the end of it, I don't know how to turn that last page. So much of who and what I am, so much of my purpose- is wound up in bringing forth life. We can't help it, as women. We've been playing "mommie" since we could hold a baby doll. It's not just a mindset, it's a biological force that we've dealt with since adolescence. Moving beyond it, denying that function, is a wrenching decision.
I will be 33 this year, and in many ways, I'm ready to hand off the torch to the younger women, let them have the babies. Because it's tough, and I'm a little bit tired. But my fingers hesitate, and my heart is torn, and I wonder if I have stamina enough for just one more run.
If I don't, if I've given everything I have to give, then it means I must have a different kind of strength- the kind to say, Okay. I'm done.
I'm not so sure which of those is harder.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:01 AM | Comments (8)
May 19, 2008
No matter how I tried to stop it, the Duke broke my heart by turning three on May 13th. Ah, fleet-footed time! Slow down!! He didn't know it was his birthday, because we decided to celebrate it over Memorial Day weekend, when we will be hanging out with extended family. At three, it's best to keep things simple. I'm yearning to write his birthday post, but I'm going to hold off until I have birthday pictures to go along with it.
Let's just say, I love him to bits.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:15 AM | Comments (7)
May 16, 2008
Czarina is her father's daughter. When something interests her, she is quick to grab her pen and pad and try to capture it with lines. Here are a few pages from the mind of my seven year old.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:07 PM | Comments (11)
May 5, 2008
Driving home from my inlaws, we take winding country roads for the first leg of the trip. We put down the windows, and revel in the fresh air and the sunshine as we bump along. This time of the year, Louisiana is a wild, unruly tropic. The jungle of trees and grass and bushes and briars is interrupted only by the long, manicured fields of corn and cotton. There is so much life here, lush and nearly impassable at times. It always makes me think of the effort it must have taken to civilize and cultivate this land into a livable place. Quite a formidable task!
Anyway, Louisiana becomes transformed at this time of the year into a world of green. It is a spectacle, a wonderment- that was best summed up yesterday by Czarina as we drove down a shady, cannopied road.
"Mom, do you think God's favorite color is green?" She paused, thinking deeply before answering her own question. "I think it must be, because He used it everywhere!"
She's got a point.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:50 AM | Comments (5)
May 2, 2008
No, don't look over here! Just listen.
*lowering voice We both know I should be doing something else right now. But we're not gonna mention that, yeah? You don't tell anybody I'm blogging when I shouldn't, and I won't rat you out for mindlessly surfing the internet when you've got laundry to fold and papers to file.
Mhm. Conspiracy of the procrastinators.
Okay, so just look straight ahead like you don't even notice I'm here.
So, what's everybody's weekend looking like? (Oh, you didn't think I actually had anything important to talk about, did you?) We're headed up to the inlaws for a little relaxation in the country. (Since we're such big city folk and all.) We are enjoying the ability to make the quick weekend trips to see family since we've moved closer. I am happy to see relationships deepening between the cousins, glad to spend time with everybody that isn't squeezed into a chaotic holiday. And maybe, just maybe, we can actually renew some old friendships around this part! I may gripe about central Louisiana from time to time, but the proximity to family and friends makes it all worthwhile. (Unless I get West Nile virus. Then I reserve the right to throw a very public, very embarrassing hissy fit.)
Let's see... what else?
I heard this story through my mother-in-law, who was here for a day visit the other day. She watched the kids for me while I took Czarina to the dentist, and was chatting with my next door neighbor, ML. ML loves my children, and often talks with them throughout the day as they play outside. Anyway, ML told my mother-in-law that she adores my kids. She said she got tickled the other day because the kids were hovering over a pile of roly-polies, chatting and laughing. When ML asked them why they thought there were so many roly-polies, HeroBoy responded enthusiastically, "We don't know, Mrs. ML, but we think they're having a festival!!"
Cute. Cute. Cute.
And I wanna go. Don't you know the Roly Poly Festival has to be the most happening event in bug world? Can you envision it? Can you see the roly-polies riding the grass blade ferris wheel? Eating seeds-on-a-stick?
I'm thinking about this too much.
I suppose I can't justify a rambling post about rolie-polies any longer when there are suitcases to pack. -sigh-
Okay, off with ye. Back to work, friendsters. Roll it on outta here. And do not, repeat, DO NOT, tell anybody I have been blogging today.
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:52 PM | Comments (3)
May 1, 2008
Sweet time, these days with you- they are memories I will hold clearly forever. They are the places I will revisit when my bones are old, when I sit on the porch and wait for you.
Will you have slivers of these memories hidden in your heart? Will you remember breezy rides on the grocery cart in the parking lot? Will you feel the playdough in your hands, smell it, and remember the funny creatures we made? Will bluegrass music make you think of me, and how we danced in the living room? When you eat homemade bread, will you see us around the table as a family, sharing meals and stories of our day?
You are woven into me... your pattern and rich hues delicately stitched into the tapestry of my life. It is a blanket to wrap around myself in old age, the warmth of these memories will be a comfort, dulling the chill of coming goodbyes.
If I forget to tell you, if I miss a day of reminding you how special you are, and when I hurt you or disappoint you (because I will, little one, and I'm sorry already)... please see this image of me- a mother joyfully wrapped up in the fabric of four little lives. And if you struggle to remember these fleeting moments, if you forget the taste of the bread and the sounds of our music... then maybe this guy will remind you. Maybe he will spark your memories. And if he doesn't, then you will sit with me on the porch and I will tell you, because I am cloaked in each vivid moment. I will not forget.
I love you, all four.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:53 AM | Comments (5)
April 11, 2008
Oh. As in, help. That's about all I can muster.
Czarina started running a high fever night before last, and HeroBoy followed yesterday. I was up all night long with HeroBoy and ye old spit-up bucket. I am literally falling asleep standing today.
They are pitiful. I can't seem to get the fevers down. But thank goodness for cartoons and gatorade.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:05 AM
April 7, 2008
So, a break down was imminent. I could feel it brewing, like a hurricane, right behind my eyeballs. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately, like I'm starting out each day with a deficit. A deficit of patience, of time. My last thought going to sleep was my to do list, my first thing waking up was the same. All I could think of was all I need to do, am not doing, and the gobs of things just over the horizon waiting to be done.
Ever feel like that? That you're dropping balls all over the place, nobody's really getting all they need from you and you haven't got even a sliver left to give them? AND this is only the first leg of the race? Nothing tests your sanity quite like that.
Thank goodness for a sane husband, who could see the problem for what it really is. My boys have gotten woefully undisciplined. A combination of vacation time, grandparents, cousins around to play with, and just a little neglect on our part. Things have gotten chaotic. I have been constantly breaking up fusses, saying "no, no, NO!!!" and in general being harried and pestered and worn to a nub. This one part of the formula has been throwing off everything else in my life.
And I kept thinking, I've just got to deal. "Gotta deal" became a mantra I'd use to tell myself I could handle it. I thought the problem was my inability to cope, but that's not it at all! I AM up to the task! WHEW! I was really feeling in over my head. Luckily, my husband knows me better than I do, and he could see what was really happening.
I had accepted that this was just the way life was going to be, because I have young boys. But I shouldn't have asked that of myself, because my job as a mother is not to be a martyr to chaos. I'm not supposed to weather the bad behavior just because they are rambunctious boys. I can (and should) expect a certain peace in my house, aside from their natural energy. My husband reminded me that I know how to restore that peace, by consistent and diligent attention to the misbehavior. That I AM the captain of this boat, but I've been handing the wheel over to the mischievous deckhands.
So, it's Bootcamp week for the Trisler boys. I sat them down and explained it this morning, that we've gotten a little crazy around here, and we need to get back to normal. That if they break this rule, they can expect this reaction from me. So far, we're off to a good start. I haven't had to keelhaul anybody yet.
Being reminded that children don't just have to run wild was the kick I needed. I totally know that, but it got shuffled to the back of my mind somehow. I feel much better with a plan of action, with a loving reminder from King Pen, and a fresh, new week to sail into calmer waters.
Anyway, just an update on things 'round these parts.
Posted by WonderGirl at 2:35 PM
April 4, 2008
"Look, Mom! I have arms!"
I'm not sure if this was because A) he had a sudden, surprising realization, B) he thinks I'm the most unobservant human-being he's ever known, or C) my child is a certifiable knucklehead.
Posted by WonderGirl at 7:12 PM
March 25, 2008
that five year old HeroBoy calls the olden days, like the time of the dinosaurs and before there was t.v. - "The old back thens".
Posted by WonderGirl at 6:40 PM
March 11, 2008
Oh, it's be hard to be two years old. Too big to be babied, but too little to be big.
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:50 PM
March 2, 2008
HeroBoy broke a little bit of my heart yesterday.
He has a habit of spilling cups at the table. After the umpteenth ruined plate of food, my patience begins to wear thin. I try not to let that stuff get to me, but I have to admit, it happens occasionally.
So, he spills, and I didn't hide my irritation. "Well, go get a towel!"
He did, and began to wipe it up, but was making more of a mess.
"HeroBoy!" I sigh. "Nevermind, I'll do it. Just go outside and play."
There was no doubt, mama wasn't happy. I am not proud to say that. I should have been more patient. More gracious. More merciful. But I wasn't. I indulged my irritation, and I snapped at him.
About fifteen minutes later, I hear a knock at the door and I can just make out the top of HeroBoy's head. I opened the door, and there he is, holding out a big, beautiful azalea he picked from the yard, bottom lip trembling.
"I'm sorry, Mama. I'm sorry I made a mess," he said, with tears brimming up in his deep brown eyes.
Well, my heart just shattered. I was downright ashamed. Ashamed that I let my poor attitude over a minor inconvenience so profoundly grieve him. I forgot for that moment just how much I matter in his world. Forgot that I basically AM his world right now, and if things aren't peaceful between us, there is no solace for him anywhere else. That a moment that is so minor to me, can be everything to him. That me not being happy means he's not happy, either.
So I hugged him, a big, squeezy hug, made a big fuss over the flowers, and told him I was so sorry for getting mad. I told him how much I loved him, and that he is a good boy and I dried his tears while blinking back mine. Then we went to put the flowers in water, and left that hurt behind.
I can do that now. I can make it better, I can restore his heart to mine because he is young and he loves me and I'm his world just because I'm his mama. But it won't always be that way.
That's why it's so important now, for me to learn to parent with respect for my child. To really understand my position of authority in his life, that it must be gentled with the realization that this is a child of God. He is, in fact, my brother in Christ. It doesn't diminish my responsibility or my position in his life, but I've got to remember that my power doesn't come from me being bigger, or smarter. It doesn't come from me being more spiritually mature, from being able to keep my cup from spilling at the table, or even from being the one who grew and birthed him! It's a Divine appointment. I've been entrusted with one of His precious ones. That's huge. And it's hard.
It is these moments that remind me how vital the fruits of the Spirit are for mothers. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Self-control. Oh, I need those things desperately! Every day, every moment.
I want to display Christ to my child, the fruits of the Spirit, and less of my sinful nature. Oh, I know, I'll fail. I can't be perfect. I am going to sin against my children, because I am a sinful being. But when that happens, I need to repent, confess, and do better! Yes, even to a child! I think as parents we fall into a trap of thinking that we don't owe our kids an explanation for our behavior, or that an apology will undermine our authority. Or, maybe we think we are always in the right because we're older and wiser. OR that it doesn't matter anyway, such a little infraction against them. That being restored to each other in these small moments doesn't really matter. But it DOES matter.
For my child to see repentance and forgiveness worked out in their mother's life- not only to see it, but to be a participant in it-- what better teaching tool than that? Teach them to be repentant, by being repentant. Teach them to be honest, by being honest. Teach them the fruits of the spirit, by partaking of them together.
Anyway, just thought I'd share my thoughts from my weekend on this Sunday night.
Hope you all have a good week!
Posted by WonderGirl at 5:57 PM
February 21, 2008
Last night at dinner, Czarina was regaling us with the day's happenings, and she was especially tickled with one pretend game she and HeroBoy had played earlier in the afternoon.
"We pretended that we got on a bus," -giggle, giggle- "and we road it all the way to our own house in You Nork!"
"You Nork?" we ask, barely able to contain our laughter.
"Yeah! You know, You Nork City!"
Yup. I've been there. It's nice this time of year.
(P.S. Say it to yourself. It's kind of addictive. Much better than the original!)
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:28 AM
February 15, 2008
Tell me, how many dirty diapers can one baby produce in a two hour period? Seriously? Cause we're up to FOUR stinky packages for me so far. Enough with the poo already!!
(This is not counting one from my 2 year old also. His days are numbered, by the way. I am OVER the diaper changing thing... which I have been doing daily for the last 5 YEARS! 5 years of poo, people. That does something to you.)
Thank you. Just needed to get that out of my system.
And apparently, so does he.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:56 AM
February 8, 2008
On several occasions, Czarina has been heard grumbling after being told to do (or not to do) something. So I had a talk with her about it, and let her know that was unacceptable. That she should respond to those moments with a cheerful spirit even when it's not her favorite thing to do (or not do). That God doesn't want us to complain, etc. etc. I went on for some time about this, seizing the moment for some spiritual teaching, and so forth. I was quite pleased with the whole thing, actually.
Anyway... so later, when we hit that stressful time of the day, and I was fussing at HeroBoy for the very same thing, and perhaps a little less calmly and logically, because there was a lego lodged in the side of my head and fourteen glasses of spilt kool-aid on the floor- (How DID that happen?), I heard Czarina pop up with some advice for HeroBoy. (apologies for the run-on sentence, btw.)
Czarina: "I'll tell you one thing I learned today!"
My ears perk up, thinking to hear my words of wisdom from earlier passed down from child to child... and I warmed a bit at God's grace.
HeroBoy, using his cranky voice: "What?"
Here it comes-- oh, the spiritual growth in my children is such a blessing, I am thinking, such a balm to the mother's heart-- then
Czarina, with great conviction: "Do NOT mess with Momma!"
Well. That's not exactly the lesson I was trying to impart. Maybe I need to rework my delivery.
But hey, if it works, I'll take it for now.
As a matter of fact, I might have a t-shirt made up with that one.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:37 AM
February 3, 2008
Man, I am so behind on stuff. I feel like a chicken with it's head cut off these days! I have so many little details of things swimming around in my head- or not, I guess, if I'm the chicken with no head.
See? I'm mixing metaphors. You know it's bad when that happens. This may be an indication of permanent drain bamage. (ha)
BohoBaby is coming along, slow and steady. I set up my light studio for taking pictures of each sling. That was pretty fun. I have never been all that interested in photography, but I can see the allure. As an aside, for those of you with photography as a hobby- do you find yourself with a mild urge to wear a beret as your working? Just wondering if that's normal at all.
It was fun. I have A LOT to learn about that, and really, only a limited amount of time, and cranial space, for extra stuff. So, in with photography, and out with.. um... physics. Haven't used it in ages anyway. Just taking up space. As a matter of fact, calculus can go, too.
We rented "Stardust" last night- I've been wanting to see it for ages. I finally recovered enough from my husband's "Lord of the Rings" taunting to risk renting another fantasy-themed movie. And, I will confide in you, dear reader, that even King Pen liked this movie. He may not speak to me after that revelation, but it's true. My man liked this movie. I know because he only made two snide, MST3K-like remarks. If you have ever watched a movie with King Pen, then you know, this is progress. As Dolly mentioned the other day on her blog, it had a "Princess Bride" flavor to it. (And it's common knowledge that you can't be a decent human being and not like PB. It's simply mandatory.) So, go and rent, and be prepared to wish you were Claire Daines again just a little bit. (She's so loverly.)
Grocery Game update-- got my first Sunday paper to clip coupons out of, and I realize, two things. Number one, this is yet another thing for me to obsess over. Yay. But, I could save gobs, so there ya have it. At least it's a productive obsession. And number two, I like to cut things. I really do. Is that weird? The thinner the paper, the better... and the fact that I have a preference is a bit worrisome. Anywho, I'll go shopping tomorrow, so I'll letcha know how it goes.
And lastly, here are a few pics I took, playing around with lighting and whatnot. I shamelessly stole the picture frame idea from Dolly (whom I seem to be stalking these days, apparently). I'm doing the whole family, and if Dolly doesn't like it, she can just... uh... send me an email. Cause I'm stealing it, and that's that. I ain't a'skerred of her. I could take her.
(Sorry, Dolly. This is a direct result of the limited neuro-processing thing I was talking about earlier.)
(By the way, Czarina BEGGED me to straighten her hair, so don't panic, Mom. The curls are still there. My little comedian dramatically wailed after I had finished, "Oh no!! My curls are gone! That's where I get all my ideas-- now I can't think of a single thing!" I don't know where she comes up with that stuff.)
Oh, and here's a picture of a sling I took in my "studio".
Posted by WonderGirl at 7:00 PM
December 20, 2007
(At the church service last night, Czarina and HeroBoy singing in the choir.)
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:06 PM
November 30, 2007
Czarina has posted a slew of these:
(And yes, that's how we spell "way" around here. The wha it should be spelled.)
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:55 PM
November 28, 2007
Is it just my four year old that has suddenly lost all vocal modulation completely, or is this normal?
I swear, he is yelling everything these days.
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:33 PM
November 26, 2007
For future reference: Yes, you CAN get blue playdough out of your baby's teeth with a toothbrush. But he will NOT like it.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:48 PM
November 14, 2007
Guess who's walking, y'all?
He turned 8 months on November 3rd. I do believe I'm in for quite a ride with this little cowboy.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:12 AM
October 31, 2007
"Hey Mom! Guess what we're playing?"
"What's that, Czarina?"
"Mary, Jesus, and Ralph."
I'm not really sure where a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fits into the story of the birth of our Lord, but I just gotta see this one play out.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:47 AM
October 19, 2007
"Time to get dressed, HeroBoy."
"Yes ma'am," he answers, wandering off.
A few minutes later, he yells from the back room, "I can't find any underwear!"
"Look harder!" I yell back, reading directly from the Mom Script. I go back to cleaning the kitchen, waiting for the next phase. I fully expect to have to go find the underwear, which is undoubtedly, right in front of his eyeballs the whole time. But I have to make him look at least one nanosecond by himself. However, the second call doesn't come, and I continue washing sippy cups, assuming his behind is well covered.
Half an hour later, HeroBoy saunters in, naked as the day he was born and TOTALLY oblivious. He holds out a toy.
"Can you put the head back on my Ninja Turtle, Mom?"
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:42 AM
July 29, 2007
Chipmunk is on a Nap Strike. I don't know if it's an organized event or what, but for about five days in a row now, he absolutely REFUSES to take a nap. Yesterday, I even found a sign beside his bed that said, HECK NO, I WON'T GO (to sleep.)
He's five months old, by the way. I don't know how he made the sign, let along spelled it correctly and WITH GLITTER. But that's beside the point.
He needs his naps. And maybe even more, Mommie needs his naps. No matter what I do, he will lay in his bed and cry for HOURS if I let him. Nothing is working! NOTH-ING.
He MIGHT fall asleep in my arms accidentally, but the second I move him, he's wide awake.
He's my fourth one, ya know-- I feel like this is stuff I should have down pat. But he's giving me a run for my money. This child has a will of iron, and apparently needs less sleep than a grown man.
I don't know if I can find another baby willing to cross the picket line. The last one got bopped upside the head with a flying bottle and hasn't been back since.
Posted by WonderGirl at 6:22 PM
July 18, 2007
HeroBoy interrupted us at dinner tonight with a sudden, and shocking, revelation, "Look Dad! My eyes close ALL THE WAY!!" He followed up with an enthusiastic demonstration.
You could tell it was the first time he'd figured it out, too.
Maybe he knocked more than his tooth loose yesterday...
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:06 PM
July 3, 2007
Thanks to King Pen for passing along this "vintage" cartoon. It's one of my favorites. If I wasn't destined to marry King Pen (and I was born about forty years earlier), I would be Mrs. Tex Avery right this minute. The man was a comic genius. And that's hot.
Anyway. The little goat reminds us of the Duke, who is cute and mischievous, and occasionally has curls that look like horns.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:31 PM
This was a Sunday ago, before church. Chipmunk was too cute in his seersucker pants, and we had to snap a picture...
I don't know where you stand on the issue, but I am a staunch proponent of dressing boys like boys. I have plenty of friends who believe that babies should be dressed prettily no matter what their gender, and hey, it's their kid. They've earned the right to dress 'em up however they want. But for me, I like my boys in miniature man clothes. I am highly amused to see a little fella all dudded up like Daddy.
Seersucker is sweet, though, and as long as it's not in the form of a bubble suit, I can handle it.
PS. Ignore the slightly diabolical smile on my face in that picture. Don't know where that came from, especially since we're on our way to church.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:09 AM
June 30, 2007
One of my favorite days happened today, though you wouldn't know to look at it. It started yesterday, when Czarina noticed me reading an old diary.
"What's that, Momma?"
"This is my journal, Honey. It's where I write things I want to remember."
"Like how I feel, or what I did today, or special things that happen." I paused, wondering if this would be the moment I've waited for.
"Do you think I could do that?"
I smiled. Finally. "I think that sounds like a wonderful idea."
So today, in between running errands, going to the pool, doing our customary Saturday business- we bought her first journal. She examined the selection with care, eventually deciding on a small blue Beatrix Potter diary. We made an occasion out of it, celebrating with a chocolate milkshake.
This is a big day for me. King Pen has been drawing with Czarina ever since she could hold a crayon. I've always been glad for that, but a part of me longed to share the things I love, too. I hope she will find the pleasure and solace in writing that I have during my lifetime. If she doesn't, well that's alright. She's not me, nor would I want her to be. She will find her own way, I know this. But, I am happy for today, happy to share the excitement of a blank book, even if it is just this once.
On the ride home, she was quiet in the backseat. I asked her if she was okay, and she said, "I'm fine. I was just thinking of what to write in my journal."
So, what did you decide, I asked.
"I'm going to write: Today is a good day. Today I had a milkshake with my mom."
I think that's an excellent beginning.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:02 PM
June 12, 2007
HeroBoy today, flexing his impressive muscles, began bragging about his incredible strength.
"I can pick up the chair, and the house, and the sun, and the whole world!!
I can even pick up YOU, Momma!"
Gee thanks, kid. For a minute there, I thought I might weigh slightly less than an entire planet. Silly Mummy.
*Note to self... lay off the twinkies.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:34 PM
May 14, 2007
Happy Birthday, Mr. Man. Mama loves you.
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:08 PM
May 11, 2007
Time stands still for no man... or woman.
Every day, I see the signs, the long, little girl limbs of my daughter, the squaring shoulders of my sons. Time transforms them into the future right before my eyes. Some days it is sweet, and some days it stings. I miss who they were the day before, but I am proud of them today. The years begin to pile up around me, birthdays and Christmases holding more memories than will fit in my photo album. My life is full to bursting with these four people, the littlest details surrounding me like piles of golden coins. The way her hair curls, the way he runs, the freckles, the scars, the giggles, and the tears. They are my treasure, my life's accumulation.
It scares me that one day, I can't scoop them up in my lap. I can't hold that little hand to cross the street. I won't be able to lean down to kiss them goodnight and tuck them in, because they'll go to bed later than I do, and the dark doesn't scare them anymore. And one day, they'll be in another bed, in another house, in another life.
It's the natural course of things, I want those things for them. But as much as I prepare them for those days and watch proudly as they graduate from stage to stage, I mourn. Each step that brings them closer to what they will be, seems to take them farther from me.
Yes, yes I know... it is right and good, this growing up they are doing. But let me have today, let me have the tears, let me have the sadness. Because my best friends are changing, and in my heart I know that the suns that have risen around me will one day set. It is the way of things.
But not today. Today, they cast morning light, and evening is far away. Today I am the world to them, and they to me.
Today, every day is a Mother's Day.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:57 AM
May 1, 2007
HeroBoy: Hey Mom, guess how much I love you?
Me: How much?
HeroBoy: A hundred times!
Me: Aw, thanks sweetie!
HeroBoy: No, nevermind - not a hundred times. I love you sixty pounds!
Now that's love.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:40 AM
April 27, 2007
I love the way the Duke talks right now. It's so cute.
Rahrayrooruh (like Astro) - Hallelulah
Poobie - Pooh Bear.
Gook. - Luke
Talcum- Thank you.
Whalcum - Your welcome.
Doot doot- choo choo.
There are lots more, but those are a few of my faves.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:05 PM
April 11, 2007
I finally settled on an internet name for Solon. From now on I'll call him Chipmunk. He's got the cheeks for it, I promise.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:03 AM
March 27, 2007
The Duke is becoming a real comedian lately. Today he stuck a rubber snake up his nose and fell out in hysterical laughter. I couldn't help but laugh too, then I realized that the next thing to go up his nose would probably get stuck and we'd end up in the ER or something. Boys.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:17 AM
March 25, 2007
Today in church, Czarina drew a picture of a happy, fat queen bee and a cozy little hive. And beside that, she wrote "The Bee- now on DVD".
Posted by WonderGirl at 7:51 PM
March 5, 2007
Without further ado, I present the story of Solon's birth (pronounced "sew lun" but all one word.) Be prepared though, it's long. Oh, and boys, beware. I promise my feelings won't be hurt if you'd rather not read this one. It may even be TMI for some of you girls, so please, just skip it if you're not interested in details. The reason I decided to be so forthcoming with my birth story is because we made some choices that some people find unusual, and even a bit scary. Homebirths aren't typical in the United States, and a lot of people have fears and misconceptions about it. I thought the positive exposure would be interesting and informative. Anyway. Clicky click if you're still with me.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:59 PM
February 22, 2007
There is nobody on this earth quite like HeroBoy. For those of you who know him, you know there is a certain undefinable quality about him-- he's like a small, mischevious woodland creature. Not quite tame, entirely too cute, and full of unexpected shenanigans. Four years ago today, we welcomed him into our life, hardly knowing what we were in for. It's been a hilarious and challenging journey, guiding him from that wee little babe into the full steam ahead boy he is becoming. We are so incredibly lucky to have him in our life.
I love you, chipmunk. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and lots of fun on your country vacation.
As an aside, here's something I wrote about HeroBoy when he was about a year and half. *tearing up a bit*
July 19, 2004
Run Away With My Heart (file under maternal)
I love to watch HeroBoy run. He throws his shoulders back and leans forward into an aerodynamic position, arms out behind him. His chubby legs work hard as he stomps after a rolling ball. He is laughing and big-eyed, and enjoying the run. When stubby fingers finally wrap around his prize, he whirls around holding it out to me, and runs right back.
As I watch him, I freeze the image in my mind, holding onto it as long as I can. I know one day he'll grow out of his baby legs and his run will become longer and faster. He'll stop chasing after balls, and he'll begin chasing other goals. His stride will take him many places, and eventually, it will take him right into manhood. One day, he won't turn around and come back, and that will be okay. It will be hard, but some paths are meant to take you away. We are gifted with borrowed time, and all parents know this.
But for now, those little legs still bring him back to mama, and I am so very happy to be the one that scoops him up at the end of his run. I am blessed beyond reason, beyond what I deserve.
Thank God for that.
Posted by WonderGirl at 5:31 PM
February 9, 2007
Hello Friday!! Glad you could make it. Took ya long enough!
Yesterday was challenging, as far as the kids go. You have good days and bad days even when pregnancy isn't a factor, but being pregnant certainly didn't help matters. I am definitely more short-tempered and impatient than usual. Ugh. I'm a crankmeister. I had to apologize to Czarina at one point in the day, because I totally overreacted to something she did. True, it was a mildly irritating thing she did, but my reaction was out of proportion, and I knew it. I think it's important to treat your children with respect and dignity, too- and I didn't. It's one thing to discipline and train your children, which you MUST do as a parent, but being bigger and in charge doesn't give us the right to take things out on them or hurt their feelings. You know when you've crossed that line. It is possible to sin against your child, and when you do, you need to make it right. They need to know that even adults make mistakes, and when you do, you humble yourself and ask forgiveness the way God wants us to. We teach best by example. I don't think it undermines my authority, I think it emphasizes God's authority. What better lesson to impart than that? (This could be a whole post in itself!)
Anyway, I made amends, and tried to take deep breaths for the rest of the day. I was happy to see my pillow last night... but I told myself as I laid there in bed, I will make tomorrow better. So that's today's plan. Just be better than yesterday.
So, today, we're gonna do something the kids will enjoy. I'm gonna get the house straightened back up from the morning's activities, and then we're going to make valentines. Um, minus the glitter, because I am not that much of a glutton for punishment! But it will be fun, and different, and it makes me feel good to do something special with them. I realize how upside-down their worlds are about to be again, and they could probably do with a little Momma time, during which Momma is not a big, scary, go-do-it-because-I-said-so Monster.
Guess I should go get started on things. Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'll take a few pictures of our work and post them, (along with the van picture) later.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:16 AM
January 9, 2007
"Children should be seen and not heard."
Ya know, there are days when I could really get behind that philosophy.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:33 AM
December 1, 2006
The other day, I tagged HeroBoy as he ran by me and demanded snuggles from him. He acquiesced for a moment, cuddling up for a few precious moments. But adventure quickly beckoned, and he pulled away to pursue it. "Aww..." I pouted, and tried to hang on to him.
"Sorry, Mom!" he explained. "That's all the snuggles I got!"
Well, at least I got it while the getting was good.
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:54 PM
October 25, 2006
Czarina made a list of baby-related topics that she wants to think about, which I've thoughtfully transcribed for you.
baf and dipr ckangs... Bath and diaper changes.
naptim and ckangs clos... Naptime and changing clothes.
and eding and cring... Eating and crying.
and druleg and babe buk... Drooling and baby books.
and plaing and hugin and kising... Playing and hugging and kissing.
Ah, little one. A "To Do" list of love bordered in penciled hearts, evidence of your big sister's joy before she even meets you. Aren't you lucky to have such love waiting?
Posted by WonderGirl at 5:38 PM
September 28, 2006
Last night, we witnessed a milestone in Czarina's comic development.
We were eating dinner, which included homemade french fries I'd been craving, and Czarina had to go to the bathroom. She left the table, putting her half eaten french fry on her napkin instead of her plate. When she came back, she exclaimed, "Who put that there?"
"The french fry fairy, " I answered cutely.
She didn't miss a beat, and replied with a smirky little grin, "Oh, wishes really do come true!"
She got me. She totally wiped the floor with me on that one. It was so funny, King Pen and I had tears in our eyes.
I'm so proud.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:49 AM
September 22, 2006
Okay, so I don't know if it's a girl. And while I will love a boy or a girl, I'll admit I'd like to play dress up again with a sweet baby girl.
The SmockLady has had a pregnancy ticker on her blog for a while, so I thought I'd take her idea for the day. Cool! And yeah, it saves me having to write all this developmental stuff out for you. So I'm lazy. Sue me.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:24 AM
August 13, 2006
Yesterday, I went to a used homeschool bookstore. I was fortunate enough to borrow about half of the material I needed from my sister-in-law, which was great. I shudder to think how much money I would have had to shell out for teacher's manuals and whatnot! Thank you, Tara! Anyway, after digging for hours, I did find a few things at the bookstore. But I ended up having to order most of what I needed from the A Beka website- the student workbooks and tests, etc. It should (hopefully) be here in a few days. And guess what?
I didn't expect to be, honestly. We had the notion to homeschool our children well before they came along-- grand thoughts of a roomful of obedient and shining children, eager to learn. Then we actually HAD those children, and the idea seemed a bit more daunting. And when I found out I was pregnant with number four, well, it seemed downright scary. I came to terms with it, but I wasn't excited.
It's funny how God can change your heart.
I wasn't looking to have an attitude change when I picked up the curriculum book. I was just trying to familiarize myself with the teaching method. But as I read, I started to imagine what my day will be like. How Czarina will listen to me, and how I'll explain things, and how I'll keep HeroBoy occupied with some colorsheets or playdo. I thought about setting up our school area, how we'll decorate and celebrate the seasons and holidays- how we'll have a "sticker chart" for good behavior. And I suddenly found myself eager to start the school year. I realize now that homeschooling isn't just another chore to add to my daily to-do list. It's a priviledge I have- to teach my child, to watch her learn- to be a part of introducing her to the world. Over the last week, God has given me an enthusiastic spirit- and I'm grateful for it. It's much more fun going into it with an excited attitude than the martyred one I'd been harboring. How fortunate I am to have this opportunity to share in my child's education! I am so glad that God knows when my attitude needs adjusting, even when I don't.
I'm sure I'll have my moments- we all do- but I believe this is going to be a positive experience for my family. I'll keep you up to date- as soon as our "schoolroom" is all set up, I'll take a picture of it. We're taking one more week to enjoy the summer, while we wait for the last of the books to come in. Seven more days of swimming, sleeping late, and being general lay-abouts... then it's off to school!
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:21 PM
August 9, 2006
Hey, baby! How's it going in there? Give me the run down.
* Nearly all structures and organs are formed and beginning to function.
* Fingers and toes have separated
* Hair and nails begin to grow
* The genitals begin to take on the proper gender characteristics - It will be just a few more weeks before your ultrasound can show if you are having a boy or a girl!
* Amniotic fluid begins to accumulate as the kidneys begin to function - This fluid, consisting primarily of water, helps provide a cushion for your baby while she's nestled within your womb.
* The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to practice contractions that digest food.
Your baby is about 1.61 inches (4.1 cm) long and weighs 0.25 ounce (7gm).
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:26 AM
August 2, 2006
Remember when I made a video of the Duke's first year? Well, here's one I made of Czarina's first five. Enjoy!
(It goes without saying that it's 6 pm and I'm still in my pajamas. This was an all day production! Ha!)
Posted by WonderGirl at 7:06 PM
July 25, 2006
Well lovies, I promised juicy news, and WonderGirl delivers.
Posted by WonderGirl at 2:07 PM
June 15, 2006
Czarina has gotten pretty imaginative in her artwork lately. She drew a caterpillar, inching along, and a girl hanging on to his back by one arm, hair flying in the wind, smiling as big as the sun.
It's the fastest caterpillar in the world, she explains.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:44 PM
June 13, 2006
I'm having one of those "I Should Never Have Been Allowed to Be A Mother" moments. Gah. One of those moments when you realize you're entirely too selfish, too self-centered, too lazy, too inadaquete, too everything to be anybody's anything.
I've been planning on homeschooling Czarina this year for some time now. But when we moved, I wanted to know my options, and I looked at the public schools. (GASP) For the record, they are very good here. I think if you're gonna send your kid to public school, this would be the place to do it. But, it's not for us. I may be a little more lax on the issue because I went to public school myself, but King Pen feels firmly that he wants to avoid the state educating his children. I can understand that. Private school is out financially for the moment, so I am facing the task myself.
Which scares the heck out of me.
I'll be honest- I'm afraid I'll do it all wrong, I'm afraid I won't have time to do it properly, chasing after two rambunctious boys, I'm afraid that to do it, my house will have to be a disaster, my writing will slip away, along with any remaining vestiges of my sanity. I'm afraid I'll be compared to other homeschooling moms, the ones who bake their own bread from wheat they've grown in their own backyards while standing on their heads, blah blah blah. I'm not that good. I'm just not. I'm no pioneer woman, and if you don't believe me, you should try my corn pone. And if I'm not shown up by the other domestic homeschooling goddesses out there, I'm afraid I'll be one of those that walks around with the Blank Stare. I'm afraid I'll have nothing left over of myself at the end of the day. Ya know?
I realize how I sound-- I know it's awful. I am ashamed that I feel any of those things. I should have it wayyyy more together than that. But I don't. Being a mom is tough sometimes- because it requires so much, not just of your time, but of your essence. Your creativity. Your emotional and mental energy. It doesn't mean I don't love my children- it just means that I am a person, and like all people, I am sinful and selfish. I don't want to relinquish myself, I don't want to self-sacrifice, any more than anybody else does. Sacrifice sucks. Sometimes, I really don't feel like making lunch. I'd rather finish reading my book. It's true. I'd rather do what I want to do sometimes. Though I know I will always choose what is best for my children, part of me fights it. Part of me rebels at giving up anything more. It is that part that disappoints and bothers me. It causes me to doubt myself- am I a bad mother? Am I missing some vital, maternal element that those "Great Moms" have and I don't? I have this feeling that if I was doing it all right, then I would be content and I wouldn't mind giving up my spare time and interests for their benefit. I'd happily lay it all down, cheerfully take on any task without blinking an eye. I know moms like that. They are masters of their craft.
What am I missing here?
That's not a rhetorical question- help a mama out. Even if you think what I need to hear is just "get over it, quit feeling sorry for yourself." It wouldn't be the first time I had a pity party busted up like that. Give it to me straight.
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:02 PM
May 20, 2006
After all the craziness of graduation week, we needed some down time today. So, we hung out at the Shaw Center for the Arts, playing in the fountains out front. We left when the cops finally came and chased us off. Kidding. The place was designed for giggling, squeeling children, I assure you. It was a blast.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:45 PM
May 16, 2006
I made a little movie about the Duke's first year. Yay me!
All it required was entirely neglecting my evening chores and making a scary casserole for supper.
(By the way, I was inspired by Momma Hagrid's video and totally stole the idea. Thanks MH!!)
Posted by WonderGirl at 8:53 PM
May 14, 2006
I don't do this often, but on Mother's Day, I felt it appropriate to indulge. When the Duke woke up tonight because his older brother and sister were playing too loud, I crept into his room, picked him out of his crib, and we both snuggled into the spare bed in his room. I had a bottle ready, but he wasn't interested in it. What he was interested in, was Momma. He was curious at this strange turn of events, I could tell. Normally, I have a strict bedtime policy. Momma does not play at bedtime. But tonight, I just wanted to enjoy his baby sweetness, just a moment longer. I can feel these times fading, as sure as the light through the window as we snuggled. There is a right time to break the rules, and this was it.
He patted my arm, tucked his head under my neck, and found that soft spot to lay that God only gave to mommas. As he sucked his thumb, he contented himself with a long strand of my hair to play with. I closed my eyes, and spent an hour in his world. I listened to his little noises, his babbley songs and chirps, listened as he clicked his tongue and giggled. I peeked at him out of the corner of my eye and saw him looking around the dim room, his eyes big and blinky, just watching the night come slowly upon us. Soon, I felt his body relax and his breathing become even and steady. Before long, my little love slipped into dreams of puppies and cheerios and being barefoot in the grass.
I was loathe to remove his warm little body from mine, loathe to let go. But I did. I placed his sleepy form into a cozy crib, and let him visit the land of winkin', blinkin', and nod on his own. It is the beginning of new days for him- new days for me, when being a mother doesn't mean diapers and bottles and onesies. Instead, it will mean t-ball, and sleepovers, and cups without lids. It's scary, and exciting, and fun, and sad. It's a million things, it's every thing. I never knew that. I had an inkling, a hint, before these three forces came into my life, but nothing truly prepared me for it.
I never knew motherhood gave you so much. It's ironic- this day we acknowledge our mothers and the sacrifices they've made for us, the love and support they've shown us since we turned their worlds upside down with that first cry... but the truth is, we mothers know-- we're the blessed ones. I am lucky to be here, with these three little lights flitting around me like fireflies. It is the very definition of joy.
Happy Mother's Day, everybody.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:48 PM
May 10, 2006
Found this book at the library, The Amazing Adventures of Bathman.
It's HeroBoy in hardback. He's totally Bathman.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:40 PM
May 7, 2006
Because sometimes one hat just isn't enough...
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:34 AM
May 5, 2006
Black and white pictures capture the smiling faces of my babies, of my happiness- time frozen in a flash and hanging on my wall. As I lovingly and carefully pack these years away, I pause to remember who I was then, young and in love with motherhood. I am full of the little ones in my life right now- they are under me, behind me, beside me, crawling up in my lap. I am covered in their love from head to toe.
It's not always easy- nothing worthwhile ever is. But without them, I would have empty walls, an empty life. I can't be anything but grateful as I see box after box filling up with these bountiful joys. Counting my blessings has never been so easy.
Posted by WonderGirl at 2:49 PM
March 29, 2006
Let's add one more to the file tonight, this time Czarina.
At supper tonight, she asked me, in her sweet little girl voice, "Mom- are you a servant?"
I am ever the opportunist when it comes to teaching my children. I perk up when I am presented with an opportunity to instruct my daughter, who will hopefully one day be a little Christian wifey and mummy herself.
"Yes, sweetheart, I am. I love my family, and want to serve them and take care of them. God wants us to be servants to each other."
"Oh good," she replies, holding up her empty glass. "I need some more tea, servant."
Guess I had that one coming.
Posted by WonderGirl at 8:09 PM
It's in moments like these that I am most grateful for the eyes in the back of the head that come along with motherhood. I just spotted HeroBoy with a tube of KrazyGlue in his hands.
Who knows what crisis we averted with that one!
And now WonderGirl would like her five o'clock toddy, please.
Posted by WonderGirl at 5:47 PM
"Come here and see, Mom!" calls HeroBoy enthusiastically from the other room.
My spidey sense kicks in, and I know trouble has been rendered this day. Steeling myself against the possibilities, I walk into my bedroom. There I find HeroBoy standing in front of a previously blank wall, now filled with family photographs, a collage of smiling faces beaming at me. And every one of them pasted on with toothpaste.
Well, at least the room is minty fresh now.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:36 PM
February 24, 2006
Following conversation over breakfast:
Czarina takes a drink of milk after eating her poptart, then turns to me and says: "You know what goes better with milk, Mom?"
Me: "What's that?"
Czarina: "Chocolate cake."
Me: "True that."
Me: "Uh, no, dear. No chocolate cake for breakfast."
And quit reading my mind.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:18 AM
February 23, 2006
Dear Mama Raccoon:
I am writing to inform you that through a personal investigation of the hospital we both gave birth in, I have come to the conclusion that our babies were switched in the nursery.
I have included a picture for your examination, taken right after we left the hospital. I know this is startling, but I am sure that if you look closely at your docile, calm, obedient, blondheaded, two-legged little sons, you will see that they do not resemble you or your husband. See? No "mask", no whiskers, no ringtail. Those are mine. I want those ones back.
And in return, I will send to you the two wild creatures that have been living with me since their birth. If I can catch them. To be honest, they are a little scary- clawing, climbing, snarling... I have to wear protective gear at bath time, for crying out loud! And the messes they make, oh my stars. Swinging from things, tearing up tissues into a thousand pieces, running around naked and wagging their rears at me... I am most certain these feral beasts belong to you. They couldn't possibly belong to me.
So please, pack up my sweet, angelic, perfect little boys, and all their highly educational, non-tacky, and well-taken care of belongings, and put them on the first train home. You can check the luggage car in the back of the train for a crate containing your own two babies. It will be the one marked: DANGERGOUS.
Be careful opening that one up.
Thank you very much. As an aside, you might want to call your HMO. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to be going to a veterinarian, not a obstetrician.
P.S. Don't be fooled by the opposable thumbs. Mine have them, too.
P.P.S. And stay out of the catfood! Sheesh.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:09 AM
February 16, 2006
To My Little Girl:
Today, you became a reader. I should capitalize that to show the strength of the title. A Reader. The letters and vowels finally came together for you, showing you their hidden secrets. The alphabet, which before had been simply a child's song, has now become an orchestra for you. It is rich and full and limitless. You can go anywhere now, be anything, learn anything...
I saw it in your face, heard it in your squeal of accomplishment, felt it in the tight little hug you gave me. You know what it means- even at such a young age, you know your whole life just changed. To be there for that was an honor, one of the brightest, shiniest moments of motherhood.
As you learn to read more about Gus and Pip and Pat... I pray that you will love them dearly. And as you get older and more accomplished as a reader, I pray that you will love also Anne, and Meg, and a black horse. I know you will find your own way, reading the things that call to you... but I selfishly hope you will find space in your heart for the books of my childhood, too. My greatest riches are not measurable, they are not found in banks or under floorboards. My wealth comes in chapters... that is the legacy which matters most to me.
We are defined in so many ways by what we read. I admonish you to read good things. You will know them when you see them. They make you think, they make you feel, they make you better. Read old things- they are more of a challenge, I know, but you will be surprised at the gold within them. Read about other cultures, other people- don't be afraid of the bibliography section of the library. Read when you don't have to, read when there is no report to give or sticker to earn. Read books, and you will learn to love many things- art, people, history, music, language. But most of all, read the word of God. And you will learn to love Him.
I love you, daughter. I am overjoyed to see you walking this world of words. I look forward to the day our paths cross and we enjoy the fellowship of a shared book.
Posted by WonderGirl at 5:28 PM
January 25, 2006
Status of the day so far: not so good. HeroBoy and the Duke are two sick puppies. Rabid, snarling, angry puppies. They both have high fevers, horrible UNSTOPPABLE runny noses, streaming eyes, and scary hacky coughs. HeroBoy even threw up this morning, but I think it was because the coughing triggered his gag reflex. We were up a good bit of the night, and started the day out very early, and it hasn't been pretty around here. Things are going down fast.
So I did what any sane mother would do in her time of crisis- I hightailed it to the video store and loaded up on cartoons. I cleaned 'em out. No way am I facing a day like today without some serious ammunition. Toy Story, Bob the Builder, Tarzan-- I've pulled out the big guns.
The Duke, however, is unimpressed with such displays of power. He is inconsolable, even in the face of animated tractors and talking potato heads. The only thing that seems to work is... well, nothing. Nothing, do you hear me??
Okay- back into the trenches. If you don't hear from me again soon, for the love of pete, send reinforcements! And some good, strong whiskey while you're at it.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:56 PM
January 9, 2006
He just is.
I noticed about a week ago that HeroBoy's left foot was turning in a little (family trait) and I was concerned that he might need to see an orthopedic doctor. So I made the appointment, and had a few conversations with people about it. I made my usual round of calls, WonderMom, Echo Johnson (formerly Playdo Britt) my mother-in-law, etc. Well, he obviously caught a few of those, because I later overheard him telling Czarina he had to go to the doctor because his foot was turning in....TO A MONSTER!!!
Oh the horror!! The humanity!
The funniest part was that he wasn't alarmed by the idea in the least. I guess there's a pill for everything these days.
What a knucklehead.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:26 PM
January 7, 2006
I love the randomness of HeroBoy.
This morning, he karate chopped the air and proclaimed, HEY! YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT TEXAS!
Well, okie dokie then. Oh, defender of Texas (which we do not live in, and I was not disparaging.)
Czarina has her own brand of randomness, which usually presents itself at bedtime, when she's supposed to be sleeping.
"Mom--" she said, out of bed for the fourth time, "my knee stinks."
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:15 AM
July 17, 2005
Tonight at dinner, I asked Czarina what kind of birthday she wants. It's still a few months away, but I like to have plans in my head, and what kid doesn't like to talk about birthdays? As I expected, she wants My Little Pony. I was discussing with King Pen that we may need to have it at the park or something because we don't have a lot of room at our house, blah blah blah.
In the middle of our conversation, Czarina says rather matter-of-factly, "I'm inviting boys." She doesn't even look up from her dinner, just keeps right on eating.
Egads. She doesn't like them yet does she? Boys should be icky for at least another couple years, right?
Yeah, too early for that business. I think our little genius just figured out that the more people at her party, the more presents she'll get.
*insert big sigh of relief*
That was scary.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:11 PM
June 15, 2005
I win!! I have to admit I was worried there for a moment. My two year old son has a fierce will, and he had decided he simply wasn't going to be obedient this morning. We fought a battle that should be sung by bards throughout the ages. I am going to have a tapestry made to commemorate the event, and hang it in the halls of my home as a trophy. (Can you tell I've been reading a book set in the Middle Ages lately?)
Anyway, sometimes parenting is a like a battle. The stakes were high this morning. If I didn't come out victorious, then HeroBoy would be a little less of the person he is called to be. More than anything in this life, I want my children to be happy and good natured, and that is born in obedience to their parents, and ultimately, to God. It's my job to make sure he has the foundation he needs, so we waged war in the laying of it.
It's a tough job sometimes. It's no fun to be the bad guy. I'm not immune to my childs cries and discontent, and discipline isn't always easy to dispense. But now, I look over at him, and he's happy again! His bad attitude has been wiped away with the tears. Lines are reestablished, rules reinforced, and he knows the boundaries of his world again. It's strange- you'd think that giving your child the freedom to do whatever he wanted would make him happy, but it doesn't. "Bad kids"- and don't we all know a few-- have the least rules and are some of the unhappiest children. You can look at their faces and see it. And the parents, God bless them-- they're miserable, too. It makes me sad to see it.
I don't hold myself up in comparison though. When I start to lean towards pride, I am reminded in some painful and obvious manner that I am far from perfect. I'm mortally flawed, and I make mistakes. I ask myself all the time if I'm doing this right, if my kids are going to turn out okay. But, God knew me and all my weaknesses when He made me a mother. He has given my children grace to grow despite my imperfect parenting. They belong to Him, and He cultivates them in hidden ways, in unnoticed moments.
When HeroBoy's hands finally submitted to my will this morning, it was his heart submitting to the Greater Will that is cause for my rejoicing. His small, watery voice saying, "I'm sorry" wasn't heard by my ears alone, and the victory tapestry hangs in halls other than mine. But I don't go unrewarded for my efforts-- small arms curl around my neck and peace is made. I hold him tightly, as long as he'll let me, which is never long enough anymore. Before he pulls away, I kiss his forehead and wipe his eyes and give him a little thump on the nose.
I'll see you again, little guy, I think to myself.
But next time, I'm wearing armor.
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:23 PM
June 12, 2005
Ponies. They come by plane, train, and automobile to join Czarina's Coral, which is managed by our four year old equestrian expert, Czarina. Sunny Daze, Rainbow Dash, Sweetberry, and Honeysuckle Delight are just a few of the popular residents of this growing stable. Here at Czarina's Coral, our ponies get topnotch treatment. You'll notice that each pony is meticulously groomed. Bubble baths go without saying, as well as manes brushed and braided daily. But not only do they look good, they also feel good. We believe that a happy pony is a healthy pony, so exercise is important. Many of our residents find our sandbox to be very therapeutic, while others enjoy saddling up for a trot with our frequent visitors, some of which are celebrities like Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants! We also offer occasional field trips to places like Cinderella's castle and Grandma's house. And of course, picnics and playdates are permanent fixtures in our schedule.
For the shy pony, there is special one on one time with the trainer, including personalized nap times and afternoons spent coloring quietly. And each night, one lucky pony is chosen to snuggle in the big bed, as long as they don't kick in their sleep.
Spaces are unlimited, because, as Czarina says happily, "You can never have too many ponies."
And since they never stop smiling, we think the ponies are probably pretty happy, too. (They also never blink, which can be a bit unnerving. It doesn't, however, indicate that they are unhappy. Just... watchful, maybe. But that's beside the point.)
Czarina's Coral is a pony's dream come true. Be they pink or blue or green, all ponies are welcomed with open arms. (But to be honest, managament is forced to admit that the pink ones probably do get preferential treatment. Hey, we're not perfect.)
Posted by WonderGirl at 3:45 PM
June 3, 2005
Lord, grant me the serenity I once knew nine months ago.
Give me a blind eye to the clutter that now fills my home.
Grace me with ears that hear what is actually being said, and not what I think they meant by it.
Lend my hands strength to change the thirteen thousandth diaper, fill the juice cups at lunchtime, and still hug my husband when he walks through the door.
Give me a mouth that smiles and says good things.
Bless me with eyes in the back of my head and an extra arm.
Expand my heart to fit my world.
Grant me a clear head, with thoughts that are healthy and productive.
Give me a body that leaps with the morning sun, and the ability to greet each day cheerfully.
And when You have seen to all the imperfections of my body and soul, then bless the people around me. Grant my friends the ability to understand my weaknesses, and help me to be a friend like that, too. Give my family patience and perserverence during this temporary insanity, and remind them it's worth the effort. Shower my husband with special grace to face the unexplained tears and mood swings, and assure him that the woman he married is still in there somewhere. Fill my children with knowledge of their mother's unending love, and help them know that fun will be had again.
And if You have time after all that, I'd love to be able to get my hair done.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:29 AM
May 23, 2005
I promise not to turn this blog into all things The Duke, but these are going out by request of Grandma. I think she's in withdrawl, and really, who can blame her?
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:39 PM
March 11, 2005
It comes to my attention that I may need to expand my horizon when the most exciting phone call I make is "GUESS WHO PEE-PEE'D IN THE POTTY!!!!!"
After 4 YEARS worth of wiping butts, that is pretty dang exciting though.
If I'm lucky, I'll have a whole two month's break from the dirty deed, during which I will attempt to develop more interesting phone skills.
You may applaud me now.
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:44 PM
October 29, 2004
I've said it before, but I've got to say it again.
Be nice to your kids. Just. A. Little.
If they accidentally bite their tongue and start crying, have some sympathy. It hurts! Don't jerk them by the arm and tell them that they deserved it because they talk too much anyway. I know this is really hard to grasp, but children actually have feelings, and they are capable of being hurt. Why don't you just give them a hug? Is that so freaking hard? If they cry louder than you want, it's probably because you WON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THEM. Even a dog needs a bone every now and then. And if you can't swing a hug because you're totally coldhearted, just reach down, pat their heads, and tell them it will stop hurting in a minute. Take a second to care for somebody other than yourself.
And while we're on this topic, stop telling your kids that the policeman is going to come get him if he steps out of line. Argh! Can you see why this is wrong? No? Well let me tell you. You're making him afraid of cops and authority, for one thing. You're teaching him that a policeman is a scary thing, not someone to be trusted or called for in help. What happens when your kid gets lost or in an emergency situation? Is he going to be happy to see a cop coming? Secondly, you're trying to get someone else to do your dirty work. Your kid needs to do what you say because YOU'RE the one saying it. If you teach them to respect you, which means setting boundaries and consequences, being consistent, and get this-- MUTUAL respect (even to a preschooler), you won't need to call in somebody else to do this for you. You don't want a cop parenting your child, do you? I promise you that won't be good. Do it yourself, or that kid's going to end up disliking cops for a reason.
Good grief, people. It's so easy. And it matters so much. Get it right.
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:34 PM
February 26, 2004
Last night, my sweet, adorable, angelic, 3 year old daughter pointed to something on the floor and innocently asked, "What in the hell is that?"
Oh help me, it was so hard not to laugh, but I managed to fight the urge, and very, very sternly told her never to say those words again.
That's what you get when you let 'em watch The Simpsons, I guess.
But, problem dealt with. Hopefully, we won't have any more "surprises".
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:12 PM
January 19, 2004
So why is it that my 11 month old will eat absolutely anything he finds on the ground... fuzz... dirt... rocks... bugs.... paper... but if I try to feed him something new in the highchair, he acts like I'm giving him poison!?
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:51 AM
December 28, 2000
Today is my and King Pen's 4 year anniversary. In some ways, I can't believe how quickly time is passing! But, on the otherhand, my wedding day seems AGES ago! It's really kind of scary. I mean, my life is passing by so fast, time slipping through my fingers. . . I mean, sure, some individual days seem long, when I don't think it will ever be you-know-who's bedtime, but I know that's just an illusion. My moments seem shorter, fleeting. When I was a child, I had all the time in the world. My summers were so long, you could fit so much into a day.
I think having a child makes you more aware of mortality and time. I look at Czarina and know that someday she will be in my place, then where will I be? Looking forward to her future has suddenly put restrictions on my own. There will be a time when I am not here anymore. It's a new thought for me. As a Christian, I do have peace about it, but as a human, I still have the survival instinct. I have learned that we must treasure every moment - record it, memorize it, share it. One day, I will wake up and be seventy years old, youth behind me, heaven ahead. . . I don't want to be sad then. I want to say that my life made a difference, that I lived a life pleasing to God. I think I need to work on that. That's all for now. ~wondergirl
Posted by WonderGirl at 8:52 PM | Comments (0)
September 16, 2000
Czarina was born on September 16, 2000. She is my oldest child, and I enjoyed my pregnancy very much with her. We lived in Savannah, Georgia at the time, so my mother came in about a week before to be sure she was there when I went into labor. I had gotten pretty miserable, as I was ten days past my due date and it was HOT HOT HOT! Family and friends were calling every day to see how things were going, and I was always disheartened to report nothing at all.
We went walking on the beach on Friday, Sept. 15, eating watermelon and just trying to get things going. I was very tired, and that night mom made red beans and rice for supper. I had been doing stretches and other little tricks I'd heard to start labor but nothing was happening, so I finally gave up and went to bed.
Luckily though, I couldn't sleep, because I started having contractions! King Pen timed them for me and they were very regular and consistent. We decided to call the Birth Center, and they told us to meet them there. We got there at 4 am, and I had dilated 4 centimeters. I labored there using aromatherapy, the whirlpool, and basically just standing and walking around. At about 6:30, everyone else decided they needed some breakfast, so Mom ran out to McDonalds. They got to stop and eat while I had to keep working!! That was the only point I remember being a little cranky about the whole thing.
The midwife decided to check me at about 7ish, and my water broke when she did. I entered transition, and that was rough. I was still unmedicated, and this was the hardest part to me. I was sick to my stomach, and labored in front of the sink with the water running. It seemed to soothe me. At 7:30, the midwife told me I should probably get in the bed, and she was right, it was time to start pushing. I pushed on my hands and knees, letting gravity do all the hardwork. Since mom is a labor and delivery nurse, we decided to let her "catch" the baby...
Czarina was born at 8:21, and she was the most beautiful baby ever... all pink and sweet, so clean... When King Pen said, "It's a GIRL!!", it was like I had known all along, of course it's a girl. What else would it be? I never felt such a rush of love and devotion so fast in my life. I would've died for her right there on the spot if I'd had to.
She barely fussed, just looked all around. We got to do all the newborn procedures right there, and the midwife stitched me up (I'd had a small tear unfortunately) We stayed and snuggled with her and slept for a few hours. We were up and ready to go by lunch though, and we went home to recuperate and enjoy our new baby. I stayed in bed like a queen, and had all my friends and family "attending" me... that was pretty nice! Ha.
It was a very special and unique experience- I am so glad I had the opportunity to do it my own way. I learned alot about myself and what I am capable of, plus I became a mother of a wonderful baby daughter. I couldn't have asked for a better day.
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:00 AM | Comments (0)