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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baby Showers and Gratitude

I attended a surprise baby shower today, so the words ‘precious’ and ‘adorable’ keep floating through my head. Adorable decorations...Precious baby clothes...Really yummy desserts..It’s enough to make you want to have another baby, almost.

Actually, what I found most touching was the mommy-to-be’s reaction to the surprise party. With each card she read and every gift she opened, my sweet, African friend became weepy-eyed, overcome with gratitude.

I thought to myself, has any gift ever moved me to tears? Have I ever been that grateful? Now, I’ve received an abundance of extremely thoughtful gifts in my life. (I am an only child for those of you who don’t know.) But I’m almost positive that my reaction to every gift I’ve received has been more like “Lucky me!”

As my friend grew closer to opening my gift, I started to get nervous. All of these cards she was reading must have had some very moving words. My card was more like a tag, without the envelope because I realized at the last minute I spelled her last name wrong. My tag was cleverly labeled “Baby” on the front. And I filled the blank inside with a “To” and a “From.” Oh, I think I added “Can’t wait to hold the baby!” My daughter nicely mentioned, “Nice, Mom. And you’re a writer?”

So, Annette, this is for you…

May you and your family enjoy another great blessing. Our family is touched to share in your joy and friendship. We look forward to extending our love to your new baby. God Bless.

I considered googling a quote. But after observing you today, I’m attempting not to be so shallow. So those words may not be poetic, but they are genuine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Food Protection Program

Apparently, I needed confirmation from other mothers that it's okay to eat the last piece. I especially like Suzy's response -- just cut a sliver around the edges. Perfect! Okay, this is what prompted the survey...

The other night the kids stayed at my parents while Doug worked and I attended a meeting. Mom was hosting her Bridge Club, as the kids watched TV in the other room. When I came to pick up the kids, Mom was just getting ready to serve dessert. As usual, Alex and Cole dawdled, converting a two-minute exit into a fifteen minute trek to the car. Alex was particularly slow – and that is saying something because she is always particularly slow. It wasn’t until we were finally driving home when I felt the wrath of Alex’s anger. (Yes, this is my sweet, always full of sunshine girl.)

“Why couldn’t we have waited two minutes for the strawberry dessert!” Alex roared.

“Honey, that dessert wasn’t even for us – it was for Grandma’s guests anyway.”

“I’m SURE there would have been enough for us.” Then the pout began.

It freaks me out. My roommates (Doug, Alex and Cole) are SO passionate about their food. There are certain foods I won’t even purchase to circumvent combat. Zebra cakes? Nope. Powdered Donuts? Don’t need the mess anyway. Lofthouse sugar cookies. Don’t even go there.

Of course the problem occurs when only a crumb of a treat remains. Sparks fly! “Who ate the last piece? Dad! Did you do it? I only had, like, three of them!”

Of course, I usually don’t partake in any of it to avoid being implicated. (It helps on calorie intake as well.) But it still just blows my mind to see how protective of food they can be.

Well, some food. Only rich, fatty desserts come to think of it. There never seems to be an issue when I eat the last carrot. Go figure.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Now in a Podcast

So, I've been trying to figure out how to podcast and FINALLY found the website to help me. Alex and I had fun recording it on Garage Band. So, it's only a few minutes -- listen to a preview of Rubigunda! (Like below.)

Also, on the family side, here's a quick question for you all...Picture this. The very last piece of your family's favorite dessert is sitting on the counter. You haven't eaten all day. No one is around. Do you eat it? Or, do you save it for another family member? (Like those cuties above.) If you could post your response in the comments area, you'd be helping me out on this extremely important piece of research...

Okay, for the link to the podcast... Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Me Time

So, I was bragging to a few of my co-workers that I'd have, like, an hour or two to myself tonight. Doug was helping at Cole's baseball practice. Alex had dance. Wow. What would I do with my time? Read? Start a movie? Walk?

Okay, it's 6:41, approximately ten minutes before the boys get home. Here's what I've done..

Picked up groceries, put away groceries, went through bills, sorted newspapers, put away clothing, cleaned up breakfast dishes, started supper, updated my writing assignment (posted on my other blog , wrote this tiny speck of a blog, and will now sort through 69 emails that I've let go the last few days.

Wow. That was really relaxing!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter Egg Journal

Sunday Evening, 7:30 p.m.
“Mom, can we decorate our eggs now?”
“Not yet. I’ll hard boil the eggs right now and we can do it tomorrow night.”

Head goes down in dejection.

Monday Evening, 5:35 p.m. (shortly after arriving home)

“Mom, can we decorate our eggs now?”
“After I change and we finish supper.”

Head goes down in dejection.

6:37 p.m.
“Mom, can we decorate our eggs now?”
“After dishes are cleaned up. Hey, where are you going? You can help!”

6:45 p.m.
The egg decorating begins…Everyone is happy…

“I want black!”
“Sorry, no black, Cole.”

Alex attempts to avoid multi-colored fingers. Cole doesn’t mind the variety.

“Cole! You already dyed your eggs. Those are mine!”

Happiness begins to wane. Pouting. Begging. Begging. Just one more egg. For goodness sakes Alex, let him have the last one. A small pout from Alex. A big smile from Cole. I tickle Alex. She smiles too.

Brilliantly-colored eggs with hearts from Alex.

Dark (not black) eggs with bats from Cole.

Only one dropped egg! Cole eats it immediately. What? You like them this year? Except for the mold around the yolk? That’s not mold, really. You want another? Let’s wait a little while. Two digested hard boiled eggs make for a long night.

Alex , like the polite lady she is, saves her egg for later.

7:23 p.m.

Now off to watch either baseball or pre-game basketball. With any luck, we won’t be smelling any egg farts tonight.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Crusty Nickelback T-shirt

Cole begged and begged for us to take him to the Nickelback concert. After the Bon Jovi ordeal, in which we missed much of the concert, we swore off concerts for Cole until he was at least ten. So, to make up for not indulging Cole in the concert I asked my friend, Penny, if she would pick up a Nickelback t-shirt since she was going.

Needless to say, he was thrilled with the black tough-looking Nickelback souvenir. He wore it for three days after receiving the precious shirt. (Luckily he didn't have school, so his Cheeto stains were only noticed by his parents.) I finally made him take it off, so I could at least launder it.

Good thing too! Because he needed to wear it the following Monday. So, instead of washing it with my next load of darks, I decided to leave it in the hamper awhile. Then Thursday came, and Cole came walking out with the filthy t-shirt. (As all mothers know, a 7-year old boy can only wear a shirt once before a good Oxyclean-infiltrated washing is necessary.) "No way, Cole. Put a clean shirt on." Dejection. Luckily, he has five more black t-shirts that, at the very least, remind him of his prized t-shirt.

This weekend, I found myself washing darks, and threw old Nickelback in the machine. So, when I folded Cole's t-shirts, I carefully placed it in the bottom of the t-shirt pile, fairly hidden. As you might guess, this morning, as we were ready to leave for church, Cole comes out of his bedroom, wearing his trusty, Nickelback shirt. "Sorry, Cole. Let's show a little more respect for God today. Especially since it's our turn to give offertory."

Next time, Pen, let's pick up a few more Nickelback shirts -- perhaps one for each day of the week. Except for Sunday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Does anyone remember the song, Wonder by Natalie Merchant? It came out either in 96 or 97? After Alex was born in June of 1997, the song became our theme as I cried and rocked the baby to sleep while Natalie sang how her baby was one of the wonders of the world. Eventually my raging pregnancy hormones eked back down to normal levels (arguably, anyway) and I could listen to the song without a tear dripping.

Anyway, I just had a wondrous day with my mother at the ICAN Women’s Conference in Omaha. Rubi J Organic Clothing made their first appearance and drew a wonderful crowd to our booth! We met many enthusiastic mothers, grandmothers, and aunties…one particular mother left on impression on me that I won’t soon forget. She asked if we had any onesies in the size of 2 or 3 T. Unfortunately, the largest onesie size we carry is 12-18 months. Then she explained why she wanted that size.

She wanted to hide a contraption that her son had to wear on his hip. “Dane,” has a rare brain disease. His brain has not grown larger than that of a two-year old. He doesn’t have the ability to hold his head up, nor does will he be able to walk or use his hands functionally. This beaming mother told us that her son wasn’t expected to live past six months after he was born. Miraculously, he is now over three years old. Dane’s mother only spoke of the blessing he has brought her and her husband.

So I devote this posting only to express the blessing I feel for my children tonight. No complaints on their behavior. No gimmicky topic. I just want the world to know that Doug and I love Alex and Cole more than anything in the world. The are truly the wonders in our lives.