Sunday, September 26, 2010

Butterfly in the Sky

Take a look! It's in a book!
I read books to Olivia every day. Olivia reads books to Olivia every day. Olivia quite often tries to read a book to Lucy or one of her stuffed animals every day. Or at least to show them the pictures.

And while I am getting extremely sick of "One Fish, Two Fish," and a few others, I do my best to read them in an enchanting fashion. I usually ask myself, "How would LeVar read it?" He definitely would not use a monotone style. (I was very surprised a few months ago when I overheard JB reading this way to Olivia. JB, king of sound effects and silly faces and voices! Perhaps he was just tired. Or perhaps he wanted to make One Fish, Two Fish so dreadfully boring to Olivia that she would never request it again--which unfortunately didn't work.)

Today was my turn to read scripture at church. The text was Daniel 6: Daniel in the Lion's Den!!! One of my favorite stories. Apparently I got a little caught up in the tale, because when I sat down after I read, JB leaned over to me and whispered,

"I can tell you've been reading a lot of stories to Olivia. You used a lot of inflection in your reading."

It takes a lot to embarrass me. I have had several snafus while doing the Scripture reading. Like discovering afterward that my fly was open the whole time. Or walking up and trying to read at the wrong pulpit while the worship leader is whispering loudly at me to move, which everyone else hears and understands, but me. Or walking up and almost starting to read (because the order of service said that I was next) only to be told to sit down again because there was some added thing that I didn't know about that had to happen first.

These things did not embarrass me.

But "children's story hour" left me feeling a little mortified. I never wanted to be one of those Moms who got stuck in kid mode when trying to interact with adults. Yet here I am.

Oh well.

Too bad LeVar wasn't there. He would have understood.

Weekend Update

In a galaxy long ago and far away,

my husband promised that JBandMe would be a JOINT blog. That he wasn't just luring me to join his blog because I was a more faithful poster.

I think he posts like once or twice a year.

And I can't always post, as evidenced recently by our faithful readers.
So I apologize for the long absence, but really, if you have a bone to pick over this, call my husband.

He wasn't the one living in agony for the past 3 months because of a foreign organism growing within me.

No. It isn't cancer.

But he sure is being mean like cancer.

Most of you already know this, but for the 1 or 2 who do not, I'm pregnant again.

Yes. Again. The first pregnancy with my daughter about killed me (but not in any sort of interesting or noteworthy way--just boring old pregnancy crap), and yet I still agreed to go through it again. And we both want more than two kids. Adoption is looking pretty good to me right about now...

This week starts the middle 3 months of the pregnancy, which was my grace period the first time around. A time when life is relatively unhindered by being pregnant. So I may post a little more on this. But no guarantees. Unemployment runs out in October and I've got a job to find!

There's work to be done! Quilting to do! A baby to grow! A girl who's turning 2!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where did that come from?

It's funny how children sudden have full blown personalities and conversational skill. Maybe not funny, more startling than funny. Case in point...

This Sunday morning April had a migraine on top of pregnancy sickness and something I had eaten was reeking havoc on my digestive track. Result? No church for us.

*Friends/family without children, you have no idea what a luxury it is to be able to rest and recuperate from an illness without a (nearly) two year old, bouncing up on down and demanding one's attention. You never know how good you it is until it's gone...*

April took the lion's share of child duties this morning and on my turn O continued to demand April's presence making it nearly impossible for her to rest.

In a last ditch effort I asked, "Do you want to watch a show?"

"No thanks. -pause-I can watch show. I guess."

I swear she wasn't expressing herself like this a week ago. Hard to believe she'll be two in a month...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tea Party

I was "checking my websites" right before Olivia's naptime. Usually I cannot get online during her waking moments, as she wants me to play YoGabbaGabba videos for her on youtube or something or other. 

So I was grateful but curious about whatever was occupying her so much that she'd let me go online. 

I kept hearing little feet running back and forth behind me. 

Little feet padding closer and CLOSER...silently standing behind me for a few seconds...and then little feet going farther and farther...silence...steps coming closer and CLOSER...

When I looked I saw that she had brought her entire tea set into the office, piece by piece, and set it on the floor for a Tea Party. She also brought Eeyore and her dolly Pipi to join in the fun. 

I forget that she always does that. Wherever I am, she hurries to bring in her toys so that we can play together. Oh, here she comes with Alphabet Caterpillar, her third guest of the tea party.

Guess I should go have that delicious cup of invisible tea now...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Polkadot Sparrow is FOR REALS!

Well faithful readers, I have some special news for you!

Polkadot Sparrow, my quilting blog, is REAL. It exists. And not just in the fantastical recesses of my mind. It's floating around in cyberspace, too! 

I am excited for this new adventure. And also grateful to all of you who have supported me in my endeavor (Tommy for snagging my site and giving me technical advice; Aunt Helen, Sarah, and HeatherN for rooting me on; and all you others who thought that this was a good idea). 

I'm hoping it's a smashing success! And if not, I'm still pretty darn proud of myself for crafting my blog banner in Photoshop. JB and I were actually wondering about paying someone to make a professional-looking one when the Lord inspired me to make this baby:

No, I am not a professional web designer. This was just a pretty little divine accident.

Feel free to comment on it all you want if you'd like. I love comments! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Farewell Maggie

Maggie, my in-laws forever faithful dog, has taken her final bow. 

She was 14 and just done with this world, so last weekend I took her in to the vet and said my final farewell.

We were watching her and Lexi while M&M were in Tennessee. Maggie could barely walk outside to take a leak, and even if she could get out there without being carried, she could barely squat. She wasn't eating. Or even moving other than to waddle to the water bowl.

So JB carried her out to the car in his arms one last time.  A big ball of fur and bones.

"I used to carry you like this when you were a puppy," he said. And he set her gently on the front seat. 

On the way to the vet I reminded Maggie what a great dog she was and what a great run she had. She was mostly deaf so I spoke loudly so that she could hear me. I commended her on her great faithfulness and obedience. And her varmint catching abilities. I told her that she would run again in heaven. 

"I like to think that there aren't squirrels in heaven though, so you'll have to find something else to chase," I told her. 

I couldn't carry on too much conversation because it wasn't safe to drive with tears flooding my eyes. It felt right to take her in; she was miserable. But it's still sad to say goodbye to an old friend. 

I waited in the room at the vet's office for at least a half hour, stroking Maggie's fur and telling her how wonderful and good she was. I was able to keep it together for the whole procedure. I shed tears at the very end, but didn't sob. 

And I was able to keep my sadness at bay until Friday, when I was taking Olivia to M&M's. "We're going to see Grandma Marian and Grandpa Mark," I told her. 

O was silent and then said, "Maggie!!..."

"No baby, Maggie is not there anymore. She went to heaven."

"Yexi?... Maggie!! MAGGIE!!"

"Stop talking about Maggie, O," I squeaked out between my tears. 

It was official. I was going to M&M's and for the first time Maggie would not be there. 

Good-bye, Waggum McTaggums. You were a GREAT dog. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

April goes to Washington


A couple of weeks ago JB and I went to Washington D.C. to visit his bro Austin and our new(er) SIL Lauren. I had never been to D.C. before, and as someone who likes America and History and Family, I was set to have a good time.

And I did! (So did JB!)

Here's our Top 10, chosen by me (you'll be able to identify the usual suspects in most photos, but Lauren is the ghost in the long shot of the Lincoln Memorial):

10.) Went to a fabric shop in Fairfax, VA. Fail. The place was nice, but all the fabric was sorted by color. Which defeats the purpose of buying matching fabrics from a particular line! Which is what people like to do! The fabrics are spread all over the place and you cannot find what you're looking for. I got a few things. But it wasn't as exciting an experience as I hoped it would be.

9.) Watched the series finale of LOST with JB. We cried and cried and cried. It was a great finale. 

8.) Went to the MegaMall in Tyson's Corner. Money,  money, money. They had stores there that I've only seen in magazines. Like United Colors of Benetton. Naartjie. L.L. Bean. Shopping there really hammered home how downtrodden the Michigan economy is right now. This mall had big name stores, little to no sales or clearance racks, bright lights, and even brighter, happier shoppers. Michigan malls seem so funeral-like compared to that place. However, I still scored a megadeal at L.L.Bean. There was one lone sweater on the sale rack. One lone red cashmere sweater originally $100. I got it for $25. My first cashmere sweater. Or part-cashmere. I don't care. Even 10% cashmere would make me feel glamorous!

7.) Lost all four games of Ticket To Ride (Europe) that we played. I tried and tried and lost and lost! But you can't go wrong with building your own trains through Europe so it was fun anyway.

6.) PUPPIES!! Puppies, puppies, puppies!! Took a harrowing car ride in and around curves, up and down mountainous road, to see Austin and Lauren's future black lab puppy (and 9 others). By the time we got there JB, Lauren and I were about to vomit. Austin was perplexed at our sickness. JB explained to him it was because he was the driver and was not subjected to the chaotic ride. He drove as carefully as he could on the way home. We all felt much better. Though perhaps we were just riding in on our puppy euphoria. 

5.) Smithsonian! There are a ton of Smithsonians. We hit up the American History one. Most of the exhibits were not as impressive as I had thought. Perhaps the hundreds of people milling about everywhere were the problem. JB and I dug seeing the Julia Childs kitchen and now he has agreed to do our next kitchen with all wood cuttingboard countertops. I am thrilled. My other huge memory from there was the Vietnam War exhibit. I saw an actual helicopter that had to fly in and out of the warzone chaos, picking up dead and wounded. It wasn't like the big helicopters that rich people buzz around in. It was dinky. Like smaller than my kitchen. Vietnam vets are some brave mother f'ers.

4.) Went to the Holocaust Museum. A great experience. Very disturbing, though. Why didn't more Jews or good Germans revolt??? How did that much mass murder happen in modern day?? I held it together until I walked through the boxcar that had taken Jews to one of the concentration camps. I thought of all the babies and little kids who had to squish in there and who died by the time they reached their destination. Imagined being a mom and a.) watching your child die in front of you, and then b.) having to hold that dead baby for days in a cramped car. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

(Did you know that Denmark refused to play the Nazi's game? They resisted till the end. Go Danes!)

3.) Walked through Arlington. I don't care what the liberals say: God Bless the U.S.A.

 2.) Saw WWII and Vietnam Memorials at night, as well as the Lincoln Memorial. If that don't make you proud to be an American, nothing will.

1.) Rode to the top of the Washington Monument: AT NIGHT. Tours are closed to the public at night. Unless you flirt with the security guard like Austin did. :) The view was amazing. Unfortunately the windows were clouded over on the outside, so I didn't get a stellar shot, but I'm sharing what I did get anyway.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fowl-mouthed Bird

I'm not a big cusser. Compared to some of my siblings I barely cuss. And compared to my Great-Grandma Minnie and Great-Grandpa Don, I am probably a saint. My mom said that those two used to cuss each other up and down so much that it would put sailors to shame (or something like that). Ironically, both of their sons served in the Navy. Perhaps it's because it's what they knew.

So while I do not cuss a lot, I do say, "shit" a lot. I tired of saying "crap." Shit just sounds better to me.

JB has warned me about cursing in front of the Bird. I agreed that it is not good to teach children to swear. That's a lesson better learned from their peers, leaving Mom and Dad to tell you that it's wrong. Even if Mom and Dad used to curse, too.

So I decided that the first time Olivia repeated a curse word would be the last time that I swear around her. Why didn't I stop sooner? I wasn't very motivated to find a replacement word to express my feelings. None of the other ones felt right. In short, I was lazy.

Olivia has been mimicking us for a while now, so I was surprised that she hadn't picked up on "shit." Then Saturday came. With it came Aunt Annie for a visit, and a desire for Olivia to try out her new saying, "Oh shit." She first said it when we were getting breakfast ready. Something caused her to say, "Oh no! Shit!"

Yes, it was very funny.

But then she kept saying it! And we kept trying not to laugh.

I thought that she'd try it out a couple of times and then move onto another saying. This little girl tries out lots of words these days, often abandoning them after a few tries. But apparently Shit just felt right. Because she said it again and again and again.

All weekend.

"Oh no! ...Happened? (meaning, 'What Happened?')... "Shit!"

Annie and I were able to keep the secret from JB until Sunday. Then he and Annie saw Olivia trip and fall to her knees.

"Ohh, SHIT!"

Oh shit is right.

She said it probably a dozen times on Saturday and nearly as many on Sunday. I've started to encourage her to say, "Rats!" instead, which she's trying out. I thought we getting in the clear until last night she yells the S-word out in front of our dinner company Joel, a college student at Calvin.

Now even though he goes to a Reformed Church college, he still thought it was funny.

But I don't think that everyone will.

And unfortunately, she is also learning about utensils and likes to say, "fork," randomly. Which she pronounces "foke" in her little baby voice.Which can sound like the f-word if you don't know what she's referring to.

Fokes, we could be up $&^* creek without a paddle...