Monthly Archives: April 2009

The continuing saaaaga of a mom who has gone to the dogs . . .

File this in the same category as my two girls with their apples and Sesame Street. Did I create a category for that yet? What to call it . . . Dreams Disintegrated . . . Good Intentions v. Brick Wall of Reality . . . Wonder-Mom, the Later Years . . .

Today’s installment?  What, exactly, constitutes a healthy lunch?

With Isaac, I thought out every morsel.  Processed white flour would never cross his lips.   Not on my watch, anyway.  (Well, except for the occasional sweet treat.  Mostly in the form of Krispy Kremes kindly brought by Auntie Marilyn.)  Each meal, planned.  All day, circling the food groups, round and round we’d go, accentuating the proteins, being selective with the carbs.

Do you know what Hannah had for lunch today?  Her favorite.  (Which, of course, indicates this is not a one-time thing.)  A ketchup sandwich with a pickle on the side.  Nice.  This is what it’s come down to, ladies and gentlemen:  counting ketchup as a fruit and pickles as a vegetable.  At least the bread is a grainy whole wheat.  But now I just let her wash the whole thing down with some old-fashioned salt-and-mush-in-a-can, reconstituted condensed chicken noodle soup.  I’m making no effort to get anything else into her.  I think I’m losing my steam.

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, do not think this has to happen to every mom.  I resented the people who told me when I was obsessing over Isaac’s diet that this is how things would go.  I still kind of resent it, because I didn’t ask, and I really don’t think it was inevitable.  I think it speaks more to me and the stage of life I’m hitting than moms in general.  And really, calorie for calorie, my kids still do really well.  But today?  In my current dissatisfied-with-life-in-general mood?  Yeah.  Hannah had a lunch of champions.  And I think I’m OK with that.

At least she used a spoon to eat her soup.  🙂

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Filed under being The Mommy, Family Life, silliness

My baby is two.

And I’m having a hard time believing it.  I think she aged tremendously, just this week.  I know two is still really little, but it’s also getting pretty big.

Poor Ruthie was sick on her actual birthday, so we postponed her family birthday party two days, to give her a chance to stop barfing.  You can’t enjoy chocolate cake while you’re barfing.  So, we had her aunt and uncle and two cousins and grammy and grampy up for a little shindig on Friday and Ruthie had a ball.

She was inside-out excited when she opened a package from my sister and her family and found a little Abby Cadabby inside.  She kept digging deeper in the bag to find Elmo, but to no avail.  Her disappointment over Elmo’s absence was short-lived however.  When Hannah brought out the new umbrella stroller, once again Ruth was over the moon.  She spent the rest of the evening running Abby around in the stroller.  And by running, I mean running.  And each take-off would begin with Ruth picking up the stroller and slamming it down.  Then zooooom!!  Ry hoped that Abby had taken her dramamine.  The girl just cracked us all up.  I tried to push Abby just a bit to get her started:  “NO!”  “Ruthie, Abby so sweet.  May I give her a kiss?”  “NO!”  Nobody mess with her Abby.

Cake time comes.  “Ruth, you want to come get some cake?”  “No.”  “Really?  It’s cake.  You want some cake?”  “No.”  “You can bring Abby with you.  Abby can come with you.”  “Cake!”  And off she runs with Abby in her stroller.  Abby sat in her stroller right next to Ruth, with Ruth looking over to check on her periodically and to chat with her a bit.  At one point, Ruth looks to Abby and says, “Watch this, Abby!” and proceeds to pick up her scoop of ice cream in her hand and eat it.

Ruth pretty much amuses us all to no end.  She’s just the funniest little kid.  Really.  Really really.  I know, everyone thinks they have the funniest little kid.  But I really do.  🙂  There’s nothing delicate about her.  She knows her mind and she’s not afraid to speak it.  Well, as best she can at two.  But somehow, she succeeds in speaking it, no matter how limited her vocabulary has been.  No one will mess with Ruth.  We once joked about how enormous Isaac will be and how no one will mess with Isaac’s younger sisters when they hit dating age.  We’re now thinking no one will mess with Ruth’s older siblings.  “Oo.  Have you seen that Isaac?”  “Yeah.  But don’t mess with him.  He’s Ruth’s brother.”  🙂  At the same time, she’s sweet and caring.  When Hannah is upset, she’s the first to stand by her side and rub her back and hug her.  And sweet Hannah is so comforted.  She turns to Ruth’s open arms and they hug each other for a while.  This is, of course, only when Ruth is not the source of the pain and agony, like when she’s yanking Hannah’s hair out.

I look forward to seeing who Ruth turns out to be, who God has created her to be.  In the meantime, we can’t imagine life without this third one.  Ry and I both come from families with only two children.  In our families–our extended families, even–three kids is a lot.  That leads us to reflect often on life with three, and what an amazing blessing this third one is.

Happy Birthday, Ruthie Ruth.  Ruth Ann.  Roofie.  Ruthie Ann Kadiddlyhopper (your mom’s personal favorite).  And your own name for yourself, you who know best who you are:  Ruth.

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Sooo . . . What silliness to talk about today?

Because silliness seems to be all I’m capable of today.

Well . . . there’s the fact that my dear husband made coffee again today.  While I was sleeping an extra 45 minutes, making up for the time I spent up with Ruth last night.  He also made hot cereal and straightened the kitchen some.  After thanking him, I said, “So should I blog about this, too?”  “It wouldn’t hurt.”  🙂  So here it is.  He’s the bestest man ever.  Really.  I got it good.

And . . . there’s the fact that as I write this my two girls are locked in the living room–one on the couch, one wandering around aimlessly–eating whole apples and watching Sesame Street.  Yep.  Exactly how I pictured my mornings as a progressive stay-at-home mom back when I had only one wee one to care for.  We used to have snack times.  We used to only eat at the table.  A toddler, especially, would never be out and about, wandering with food at random times.  And eating while watching TV?  Scandalous!  Certainly not!

Well.  There they are.  Munch.  Crunch.  Slurp.  Drip.  And here I sit.  Writing and drinking coffee I didn’t even have to make.  Barefoot, make-up free, dirty dishes scattered about me.  Nice.  I am Super Mom.  Hear me . . . yawn.

Ruth has been wandering around eating all morning.  I’m hoping the fact that it’s all healthy food will make up for the steady stream of calories entering her little body.  She already had breakfast with Ry before I got up.  A banana was involved, I’m not sure what else.  But then she starts helping herself to stuff.  Like we have a freezer-on-the-bottom refrigerator/freezer.  So she just opens that door right up.  Grabbing a bag off the door, she lifts it up, looks at it:  frozen blueberries.  “NnnoooooO.”  Sets it back down.  Next bag:  frozen raspberries.  “Rapbeyies,” as she lifts the bag up to me.  Sure, why not?  I grab the bag, she grabs the bowl.  Today I insist on the table because for the last week and a half she’s been eating her frozen raspberries while sitting on the little stool on the floor.  But we’re civilized people, so I insist on the table.  And she even insists on the spoon.  Nice.  I don’t know how she eats raspberries frozen.  I get brain freeze just looking at her.

Now . . . couple of minutes later . . . Ruth wanders back out to the kitchen.  Opens up the pantry cabinet next to the fridge.  Pulls out the bottom drawer full of cans.  “Hmm.  NoooO.  NoooO.  Oo.  Deans.”  Picks up the can of kidney beans, hands it to me.  I grab the can, she grabs the bowl.  Again I insist on the table.  Again she insists on the spoon.  See?  We are civilized.

Hannah, of course, didn’t partake in all this snacking.  So, when 10:15 rolls around, she is ready for a snack.  She’d like an apple.  Well, then.  Full-of-berries-and-beans Ruth sees the apple.  She too would like an apple.  So there they are:  apples and Elmo.  I didn’t insist on the table.  And you don’t need a spoon for an apple.  And civilization is highly overrated.

Now, back to my coffee.  And my mess.  And tomorrow I’ll be a better mom and homemaker.  For afterall . . . tomorrow is another day.

And for today’s visual:  Ruth in the Living Room of the Perpetual Mess.

For the record, she has lovely silver and pink with bangles dress-up shoes under that blankie dress.

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Filed under being The Mommy, Family Life, homekeeping, Ruth, SAHM, silliness

Upon Request from the Man I Love . . .

I came downstairs this morning to a freshly brewed pot of hot coffee.

“Hmmm.  Thank you!”

“Yeah.  I want to see a blog about this.”

So here it is.  I hope you’re laughing, because we sure were.  The man just cracks me up.

And I didn’t even need to use any womanly wiles.  Unless you count broadcasting to the world his new get-out-of-making-coffee scheme.

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Filed under Coffee, my husband, silliness

Ok. So apparently I’m addicted now.

Nice.

It’s been a while since I had a coffee post, and, after 25 years (or maybe it was 1.5 months) of dwelling on death, I figured maybe it was time for a coffee post. So here it is.

It was right around this time last year that I began drinking this stuff.  And I have come to be utterly enamored with it.  Even as late as last week, I burst out in gratitude to my husband:  “Thank you, thank you, thank you for the Coffee!  For persisting in encouraging me!  For never giving up on me!  Thank you thankyouthankyou!!  I was wrong.  I was so very wrong!”  No kidding.  And in a deadpan that is as dead as only he can make it:  “Yes.  You were wrong.  And you’re welcome.”

So, on the one hand, my passion for the stuff has only increased with time.  On the other hand, with the newness wearing off, I’m finding the whole act of making the coffee a bit tedious.  Actually, it’s not the making that’s so bad, it’s mostly the cleaning of the percolator that’s getting annoying.  So while the coffee maker was once entirely Ry’s domain–I never touched the thing–we now, in all fairness, should share responsibility for the pretty pot.  And I was excited to step up.  For a while.  Now I understand the drudgery of which Ry would speak.

So now, being the perpetual adolescents we are, we’ve joined in a new game together.  Avoidance.  Ry is particularly adept at the game, but now I’m on to him.

There’s always about a cup of coffee left in the pot at the end of the day, and of course we don’t clean the pot out at night, so now Ry has taken to simply starting his day with the leftovers.  That gets him going, he’s set.  But then I come down to the kitchen.  Ry is drinking his first cup of coffee without making any–without cleaning the pot and brewing some new–and I’m left with an empty mug.  So, what do I do?  I make myself some coffee.  And then, of course, Ry fills up his sippy cup with the brand new, fresh stuff.  Nice.

So.  Today I said, enough of this.  I’m just not going to make any coffee for myself.  I’m too tired to clean the pot and I’ve made it for days and days in a row, and Heck!  I never even used to drink the stuff.  I don’t need any today.  I’ll be fine.

Well.  I’m not.  I’m not at all fine.  All morning I had this dull little feeling in front of my eyes, in front of my foggy brain.  Everything a little dull. Hunh.  After a year of coffee drinking, it seems I am now addicted. Didn’t see that coming.

So, it’s now two in the afternoon and I did clean up the coffee pot and make new coffee and I’m sitting here pepping myself up to go outside and play.

Part of me doesn’t like the whole idea of being addicted to something.

But that’s just a teeny tiny part of me.  The rest of me sits here saying, “Mmmmmm . . . Cahfeeeeeee . . . ” and tries to devise a scheme to rope Ry into making coffee more often.  I might have to use my womanly wiles.

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Thinking about death . . . (part 4) Christian Hope.

I’m realizing I want this to be bigger than I can make it. Trying to trim down and remember my context. Frustrated theologians are so . . . well . . . frustrating!

Christian Hope. That was the difference between the two funerals I attended.

In one we were encouraged to claim the promises of a savior who can be trusted to keep his promises. In the other we were invited to hope for the best, and if we all do the right thing, we will, maybe, see Adella again.

In one, we looked forward as a done deal to spending time with Sherrie as she ran and sang and rejoiced in the Lord. In the other, we were to be “comforted” by the vision of Adella at rest. At peace. Like this eternal sleep and quiet and solitude. I found no comfort in hearing over and over again about my vivacious, gregarious, life-embracing aunt being left in “peace” and “rest”. I found greater comfort in the words of her sister who envisions Adella waiting for her two older sisters at the softball field, ready to play a good game when they all finally arrive.

I guess that rest and peace thing is secondary to the hope component, but I think they fit together as hope set the tone for Sherrie’s funeral, and I think the lack thereof set the tone for Adella’s.

Some thoughts on Christian hope. . . .

Romans 5:1-5 1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 8:14-25 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Christian hope is not Disney hope. It is not, “When you wish upon a star . . .” It’s not meteorologic hope: “It looks like the clouds are going the other way, we can hope it won’t rain on Saturday.” It’s not parental hope: “I sure hope Ruth starts sleeping through every night very soon.”

No. It is sure. It is certain. In his Institutes of the Christian Religion (3.2.7), Calvin defines faith as “a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” Christian hope is that firm and certain knowledge extended into the future, applied to the things we have not seen. Just as sure, just as certain, just not yet happened. As we Christians. we are caught between an already and a not yet: already Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ is risen, and not yet, but some day, he will come again. As we sit in this liminal state between already and not yet, we have faith in the already and hope in the yet to come. We have a certain knowledge of God’s past and present benevolence toward us, and we are eagerly awaiting the full consummation of all that God has promised us.

That is Christian hope.

And that is, sadly, not what I heard at Aunt Adella’s funeral, and yet so much what I wanted my uncle and cousins to hear. Christian hope, true Christian hope, is something worth committing your whole life to, worth leaning into, worth everything. Some priest’s paltry wishful thinking about maayyybe getting to see Aunt Adella some day? Not even close. Prayers offered up to sanits, asking for them to “help” Aunt Adella find her way to heaven? Pitiful. Images of an eternally resting woman lying in a grave? So very disheartening. In the midst of this family full of people in desperate need of the Gospel, both in the face of death and in their day-to-day lives, I wept for the lost opportunity. For the failure of this particular church to have any real and lasting words of true Christian hope for a gathering so raw and so open to hearing God’s Great News. Instead, despite his claim to the contrary, the priest offered hope for this life only and it truly was pitiful (1Cor 15:19).

Such a stark contrast to the funeral from the day before. Sherrie’s funeral abounded in Christian hope. We were all invited to hope–actively, fully, confidently–in Sherrie’s glorification, in her new body, in her new life, in and through and with her Lord. This, my friends, is Good News. And in this hope, Sherrie’s brother was able to look more fully at her life in this world and recognize the blessing in it, see God’s hand all over it, testify to the witness to the Good News Sherrie’s own limited life was. Together we stood with a firm and certain knowledge that Sherrie’s life spent in so broken a body with so damaged a brain was not the end of the story, embracing our sure and certain hope that we would see her again in the form God, in his infinite love and grace, created all of creation to be.

So. This whole thing took me forever to finish. It haunted me, it stirred around and around in my mind as the weeks dragged on. But you know what? The project lasted all through Lent. How ironic. Or appropriate, really. My first days of Lent were spent learning of these deaths and preparing for and attending these funerals. As I finish my reflections, I’m just days from celebrating with gusto the day that defines us as Christians. I am within sight of Easter morning. I celebrate in faith, with joy, the resurrection of our Lord. And through him, in hope, I eagerly await his return when all will be made new, all will be as it should be, when we who have received a spirit of adoption and are children of God, joint heirs with Christ, are glorified with him. I eagerly await that day. Come, Lord Jesus!

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