Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fear of public religion.

Tonight I had a discussion about religion despite efforts to change to "more polite" topics. Is it good or bad that religion stirs emotions so intensely? God saw fit to instill in me an intense faith. Unwaivering in the belief that Jesus is the Messiah.  I know that this gift is to His purpose and it humbles me. Sometimes it leaves me speechless but then He gives me the words. God my prayer is to live not only a faithful life but a bold one. Thank you God. I love you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy birthday Jesus!

Stars smooshed up together become a great big moon. -Marley in her native tongue that I call Singsong.

Last night I took a look back at my blog entry from last Christmas and aimed to replicate it as best I could.
I prayed for an impossibly smooth running family day and mostly I got it. Marley and Solomon even slept fromtl their respective bedtimes until I woke them up at 8 when I got up. (I woke them up by running into each room to make sure they were there and alive). I think this is the first time this has ever happened, possibly second. Unbroken sleep is so foreign to me it makes me feel weird physically... awesome.

So we got up and Bob started Big Breakfast. French toast, bacon, sausages, eggs, strawberries... no biscuits and gravy though. Somehow we survived without. Mom and Dad joined us for breakfast and opening presents. Marley got paints, a dress, socks, a squishy toy, toothbrushes and a leap frog explorer with a princess game. Solomon got a car book (which he broke), an airplane (which he broke) a car (which is supposed to come apart so it survived) and of course toothbrushes. His favorite thing is a toothbrush. After that we got dolled up and went to second service where brother Greg showed a clip from Talladega Nights about baby Jesus. Hilarious. Marley and Solo were in Toddlerville together with Gigi and Grandpa Bob. I love them being in there together. Then we went home and Solomon napped (I consider that our second Christmas sleep miracle). Bob made delicious beyond reason green bean casserole. Heavy cream, penko, green beans, craisins, garlic, onions, almonds... so... good. Then to my folks' house for dinner with Grandpa, Michael, Jan, her daughter Jessica, Mom, Dad, Duebbers x6 and us. The amount of presents under the tree was insane. "Under the tree" was more like "filling half the room". Honestly though, my favorite part this year was the food. My mouth is watering just thinking of it now. Roast beast, roasted potatoes, green bean casserole, corn pudding, rolls, frozen pink salad. So delicious and working in perfect congress to satisfy my noms. My favorite present this year was a stamped metal necklace my sister made & gave me with Marley, Solo and Bob's. Names. But I am really looking forward to trying the countertop paint my parents gave us. Solo got a rocking horse thing from my parents which he is in love with. Oh and the birthday cake for Jesus from St. William's bakery also delicious. Happy birthday Jesus! (To drive home my point about my kids sleeping so long being a miracle let me say in the time it took me to blog this out Solo has woken once and Marley twice and Marley is now watching me type this out on my phone.) (The pix are gifts bonanza, Marley at the dinner table and Solomon in Toddlerville demonstrating his rocking horse skills.w

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oooh that.

Marley saw a person in a wheelchair being lifted onto a bus on a lift and she asked me what the lady was doing. I told her the lift allowed her to stay in the wheelchair while loading onto the bus. Then Marley asked me what was wrong with the lady and I explained to her some of the possible reasons people may need to use wheelchairs and what wheelchairs allow those who need them to do. She listened to my long speech and then said, "No. Why does she have short hair?"

Leave it to me to complicate.
Leave it to Marley to correct me (and disapprove of anything not socially perceived as feminine).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Being a mom perk #9,147

Marley has told me she enjoys having blonde hair but when she grows up she wants to have black (she mixes up brown and black) hair just like mine. Makes me a little misty. Reminds me of a For Better or Worse comic about the mom and daughter where the mom as a kid secretly watches her mother brush out her hair in the wind and then she as an adult does it and her daughter watches her from the window. That probably makes no sense without the images.

We have a Winslow Christmas party today. Sharon, Jackie and her friend, Jenny, Ralph and Debbie will be joining us for dinner and presents. Very excited :)
Marley keeps saying how much she misses her Winslow family members so hopefully her painfully shy stage is short lived.
I am super excited about the gift giving portion of Christmas this year. We never have much money but we always manage to give something to each of our family members. God provides. Sometimes He is subtle (like with a free tire from Tire Discounters) and sometimes the source of God's grace is plain to see (like Ralph taking care of our car engine issues).
God is good! All the time.
I am also enjoying that Marley is beginning her comprehension of what we are actually celebrating on Christmas. Baby Jeechus!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A thankful soup.

Tonight when I was doing my part of Marley's bedtime I started with my usual "What should we pray for?" and Marley's answer (though normally they are "a squishy curtain" "how about Daddy?" or "how about myself?") was a little different than what I was expecting.

She said "how about the soup I ate?"

I was taken aback because I had no idea how to ask God's blessings and assistance for wholly consumed soup. Then it dawned on me I was not suppose to ask for blessings. I was suppose to be thankful for blessings giving.

Thanks Marley. <3

(If you're wondering about what soup is good enough to pray about I will tell you. It is Campbell's condensed Harvest Orange Tomato soup. Yes, orange. I know. It is DELICIOUS. Not a far cry from the regular condensed tomato soup they offer but just a little more curb to the acid and something else different. Whatever it is, I love it.)

(So does Marley obviously).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh Marley

Marley: Umm did you just eat the hay?
Marley: umm... yes.
Marley: Umm... ok.
Marley: (as a wiseman) Princess Goose (peacock) don't take my crown!
Marley: I'm stealing it for God. (Baby Jesus)
Marley: (whispering) Baby Jeechus be quiet or I am going to put you on the roof again.I

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I have lived in my house for almost 2 months and I still can't find the dining room light switch.

When I try to trust math it backfires.

I have been praying daily for God to humble me. Previously I was too terrified for such a thing because it happened without me praying it and several times it was painful (mentally). But now I long for that seperation between my God and I to be closed. God humble me.

Here are a few things I am thankful to God and in general for: (not in this order)
Marley. Solomon. Bob.
Grandpa. Uncle Mike and Jan. Uncle Labron. Uncle Larry.
Granny. Popop. Jenny. Jackie. Sharon
For the memories I have of Grandpa Winslow and of Chris and of my Aunt Carol and my Grandma Marjorie and Marian. And for the memory of little Brayton, gone so soon.
Murphy because he helps me by eating all the flying baby food so I don't have to clean it up.
My fish for staying alive and being pretty and shiny.
For plants that I can bring indoors that remind me of life when it is winter.
For clean jokes that are actually funny.
Harper. Lafe. Rob. Rachael. Lindsey. Erin.
For all of my ivillage mama friends who have kept me sane the past 4 years. SO THANKFUL FOR THOSE LADIES.
For all my friends, past and present.
For heating and air conditioning. The power to control the weather inside my own little world.
For my house here in Westwood. The result of grace, mercy, faith and love.
For the beauty of nature, the change of seasons.
The amazing transformative joy of the holiday seasons.
For the zoo, the museum center and the library. Supporters of moms everywhere.
Paint. Markers and safety scissors.
For video games, the internet and email. Helping me sending a thousand unrefined and mostly unfinished thoughts to people who can more or less interpert them as they choose.

So many little things make each day possible, bearable and enjoyable.
Thank you God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lafe's birthday party

Just got home from Lafe's birthday party and it was fun. I've gone out pretty frequently recently thanks to either Bobby or the Duebbers watching Marley and Solomon. It has been a great and needed reminder that I have friends and that I can make new friends. People who enjoy my company and vice versa. Motherhood can be an alienated state sometimes and while I always have a circle of mom friends I can count on to commiserate and advise, it is something else to know that there are perhaps likable qualities about me that are not my wonderful children.
A vanity surely but it greatly benefits my self esteem, Which any 20 something mom will tell you, takes a hit when you have kids and few of your immediate peers do.

Happy Birthday Lafe! Glad you've been one of my best friends these 9 years and I hope there are 90 more where I can worry about you cussing in front of my mom.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This was overheard coming from Marley's room.

"...Now you go to your room. You're in time out!" Note 1
*slamming of kiddie kitchen oven door.*
Then she says under her breath N. 2 "stupid gingerbread." N. 3

Note 1. Marley has been in timeout maybe ten times in her life.
Note 2. Even things said under the breath are very very loud when it is a three year old speaking. Note 3. I have never called either of my kids stupid. Or... gingerbread.spe

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Shunammite

Reading 2 Kings 4 tonight.

Verses 8-37 are about a rich Shunammite woman who helps Elisha and is rewarded by God with the birth of a son. There are different parts of the story that struck chords within my soul. I am going to outline them briefly (briefly for me).

Verses 8-10 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal... 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room... then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

The generosity of this strikes me. Right away we are told that she is a rich woman. So maybe the natural inclination is to think "she's rich, it is easy to give when you have a lot". But I don't think this is true. I think God moves hearts according to His will. The natural human inclination is to protect our own interests and giving does not fit into that survival mentality.

Verse 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? ... She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

She asks for nothing in return. Almost every time I pray I ask for something. I have to make an effort not to ask God for things sometimes. Even then sometimes I forget and ask for something "Godly". "Help me to do Your will..." etc. How difficult it is to give without recieving. Moms have it fairly rough when it comes to giving/recieving. Kids say thank you but they don't generally mean it. They are being polite and politeness is a social construction of repetition that we use to propel ourselves toward the next thing we need. I give Marley a ham sandwiche and she says "thank you" but what she is really saying is "I will need another one later."
(Disclaimer: I know that sounds very pessimistic but it is really not meant to be. I think politeness is undervalued in fact. This blog isn't about that though).

Verses 14-17 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked. Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.” Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.” “No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!” But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

(Verses 18-27)
18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father.. He said to his father, “My head! My head!”His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.22 She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.”
23 “Why go to him today?” he asked. “It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.”
“That’s all right,” she said.
24 She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”

“Everything is all right,” she said.

Whoa! What? How is everything alright? Your kid just died? I had to read it twice to make sure I had all my "he said" and "she said" correct. Then I read on and understood a little better.

27 When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”

Do you ever do things that are completely insane? I do. Sometimes I can blame it on hormones, sometimes sleep deprivation, sometimes I "blame" God's plan. Why am I acting out of character so acutely? Why are some of my actions so completely out-of-line with my usual behavior? Why did Pharoah harden his heart against HUGE OBVIOUS signs of God's power? The obvious and sometimes painful answer is right in the Bible.

Exodus 7:2 (God speaking to Moses) You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”

God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Why? God knows. Why did the woman say everything was fine? God knows. God hid from Elisha that something was wrong with the woman and her son. God knows.

Here is the end of the story...

(2 kings 4 Verses 28-37)
28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”
29 Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.”
30 But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.
31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”
32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.

My only thoughts on this part of the story are that it is weird. Who knows why it played out that way or about all those sneezes. God didn't move my heart with this particular part of the tale but maybe he will explain all that to someone else... Though the mercy of God in the resurrection of the boy is amazing! Sneezes and all.

...The next part of this chapter incidentally is followed by a rather brief amusing story about pumpkins. You should check it out.

Solomon is better at spoon feeding himself than Marley.

But Marley is better at wrestling.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The quotable preschooler.

Marley: can I have this piece of candy?
Me: after lunch.
**minutes pass**
Me: can I have a kiss?
Marley: after breakfast.
**time passes and I relay this conversation to Bob**
Bob: smartie pants.
Marley: no. I'm not wearing pants.

I love this house. One of my concerns was the inconveinance and hazard of stairs but I think it has helped me be more attentive in all things. Once the fence is finished life will be even better. God is great! His love endures forever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Love them. Love him.

Marley and Solomon are awesome. I would bet on them in any cage fight with any opponent with any weapon.

Bobby may have made me a Winslow but he is turning a little Goodridge-y. Today we went to the pumpkin patch (rode a tractor, chose pumpkins, drank cider, ran helter skelter), he finished the garage roof, he worked on the chainlink fence with my dad. When we all came inside he looked antsy and said, "I think I am going to work on making that pear dessert so I feel like I did something today."

Some people may be offended. I am impressed.

Now he is on the living room floor drinking cocoa porter and sawing a wooden crate into a more pleasing shape to fit our media PC with a serrated butter knife.

NOW you're impressed too.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Darling smiles

When Marley smiles at you it is because you have earned it. When Solomon smiles at you it means you're in trouble.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I am freezing.

I had a really good hair day today. I went to IKEA with mom, Solomon and Marley. So a few people got to see my good hair but mostly I stayed home cleaning up dog poop and baby poop and unclogging a toilet. And people wonder why #2 is my #1 topicof conversation...

Still trying to make our lives make sense in our new house. Finding out what is good, what is bad and what needs a gentle tweek. And which misplaced tool we need to do the tweek. I'm a sour grape with that attitude.


This story is a little sad but it is sweet too.
This morning I woke up to Marley's wailing "Daddy daddy daddy daddy come back!" With plenty of sobbing. All top volume. I jump out of bed, careful not to disturb Mr. Cranky Solomon. I run into the hallway to find pajamaed Marley staring out the window at Bob's car as he pulls away for work. I pick her up and comfort her and she asks where he went and I explain he was going to work (as usual). Then as if her synapses all of a sudden made a bright shiny new connection she says, "Daddy goes to work so we can have pizza."

Then she and I and the Crankster all cuddled till I realized we were going to be late for library storytime. No way was I missing the merry go round song with Miss Colleen!

The photo is Miss Princess Marley of High Maintenance avenue in her royal carriage at IKEA.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Walker Winslow

Two days ago Solomon decided he would become the world's greatest living authority on walking. Granted it is a walk too silly even for the silliest ministry of silly walls but he does manage to stay upright for the most part and even more important he can stand up without assistance.

He also had his very first haircut yesterday. I took him to Cookie Cutters in West Chester. She did a mediocre job and did not demonstrate any particular skill with children. I even got money off for the botching she did above his ear. He still looks aggressively adorable!

I will post better photos later.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Night one

When you have young children and you have just turned their lives upside down by moving them to a new house an uneventful night is a blessing. Thanks to friends and family we have moved all of our furniture and boxes into the new house.

I was trying to think what Marley must be feeling. I remembered nights spent in new houses when I was a little kid. The one I recall most and like best was an evening we spent in the rental house on Bridgetown road while my parents' house was being built. I was in 2nd grade. The house had a wood burning furnace and it was a HUGE house. My whole family spent a night in sleeping bags in the living room. I don't really know why or if it was our first night there but I loved it.

I hope Marley and Solomon will have powerful positive memories like that one about these days in this house.

Praise God for His abundant blessings!

Location:Westwood manse

Monday, September 26, 2011

That is how M sees it.

Me: *crying noises*
Marley (from carseat): Are you sad?
Me: Yes. I'm disappointed. (because we missed dance class because of my devil of a cell phone). *more sniffling*
Marley: You need a wipe.
Me: *laughing*
Marley: Are you laughing and sad?
Me: Yes. It's ok to be sad and laugh at the same time.
Marley: That isn't sense.

Friday, September 23, 2011


God sees to my heart and sees where my words cannot go. He holds the pieces of my broken self until I go to Heaven where He can put me back together again. He blesses me over and over. He makes the blind see and see and see. He knows the desires of our innermost being and he does not judge us for them. Gently He guides us. Firmly He guides us.

The ultimate. The Artist for whom it is nothing to cause us to exclaim for joy, gasp with happy surprise, to cry for the aching in our soul, He causes us to long for Him though we may rebel against it. He forgives us our violences, our idolatries, our innumberable offences. He loves each of us for the goodness He sees. He smiles when we do right. The ultimate. I am in awe of His imagination. Praise God!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One of my fears is what will happen to my kids if I die while they are young. Some of my reasons are noble and some selfish.
I know Bob will continue to be a great parent, he gets better every day (I hope the same is true for me) but Bob isn't a Christian and I want my kids to have a constant presence that provides Christian values and teachings. While Bob gives his best in this arena, he isn't therefore he can't.

Another reason is that my kids won't remember me. I'll be a distant photograph, my reality only occurring during the occasional anecdote.

The other day I was putting Solomon to bed when I was praying for him as he cuddled my neck. It occurred to me that whether I am physically there or not they will have a constant Christian presence just like I do. God himself. He who is, was and is to come. He IS.

As for being unremembered there may be truth to that but in Heaven God will know me and I will be well. I don't know what emotional range there is in Heaven but I believe I will be happy. Worshipping God and finding out all the things I have always longed to know. Then when the time comes I pray that my children will join me in that worship. That God will open their eyes and hearts (and Bob's) and they will see the amazing power of God's love and forgiveness.

The more I know about God the more peace I have.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Marley... What?

Marley and I are laying in my bed in the dark talking.

Marley: I love you forever. FRIENDS FOREVER!
Me: aww
Marley: oops I thought your face was gum.
Me: what?
Marley: were having a slumber party. We can't sleep, we have to talk.
Me: what do we talk about?
Marley: we sleep and we get up and tell our feelings... Can I nurse?
Me: no.

That is word for word exactly how the conversation went.

Solo's bedtime

Last few weeks I have been doing Solo's bedtime without nursing him and the bedtime routine that has resulted is an absolute pleasure. One that I would not relinquish the rights to anytime soon (ever).

I feed him solids and then we nurse out in the hustle bustle of the living room. Shortly after we bid Daddy and Marley goodnight. Hugs and kisses all around and Marley says "Goodnight Mr. Sol-o-man."

Then we go into his room, turn out the light, turn on the white noise and I give him his snarfer (pacifier) and he wraps his arms around my neck and snuggles his face into my hair and neck. Then I sing three verses of Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves me this I know
For the bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong they are weak but he is strong
Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me
The bible tells me so.

Jesus loves us still today
Walking with us on our way
Taking children on his knee
Saying, "Let them come to me"
Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me
The bible tells me so.

And my own made up verse:
Jesus loves us always
Through our nights and through our days
As we work and as we rest
As we build on our new nest
Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me
The bible tells me so.

The whol time I sing he holds me around my neck and pats my arm or back. My heart melts and then becomes solid then melts again. Making a big goopy emotional mommy.

I love him!
I especially love his smile. His teeth are so big and they are spaced out a bit and his grin is SUPER wide and it gives him such a rogueish appearance. Such a beautiful kid.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tired, happy.

Solomon's birthday was a smashing success. I am not only referring to his experience with his cupcake either. I was not surprised to find I have not one but TWO children who cry when people sing happy birthday to them. We still managed the birthday song, the Duebber birthday song and we experienced for the first time the Winslow birthday song.

We had 200 ball pit balls, meatballs and cake balls. Solomon had a good time and only cried during the aformentioned singing. It was nice to have a party here at the Milford house since I suspect it will be the last chance we have to do it.

Yesterday was also the "10th anniversary" of the tragedy of September 11. I have trouble calling it an anniversary since I associate that word with positive events. I remember sitting in American History class and finding out and watching the news as it happened and seeing the second plane crash into the towers. American history in the making. I did not get on facebook much or watch any TV (easy since we don't have cable) because I think that general media did a scandalous job of covering the "anniversary".

Yesterday was also Bob's mom's birthday. I believe she would have been 58. I remember when she died. I am sorry to have never had a chance to meet her. We have photos and some of the art she created on display (or we did till we packed all decorative items).

Today was Marley's second day of school. I already posted my favorite quotes.

We spent all day working on the new house. It was awesome because we had so much help today! Bobby, myself, Mom, Ralph, Harper, Lafe, Dad all working on one thing or another. We got a lot of painting worked on (the dining room and living room are completely finished!) Marley and Solomon's room are started. The most exciting accomplishment of the day was... the upstairs bathroom has all it's plumbing hooked up and functional! YAYAYAYAY!

No more epic power struggles with bathtub fixtures or fiberglass tubs... ok that is probably not true as there is plenty of tiling and greenwall craziness that is yet to come.
Me: were going to see poppop today.
Marley: he is so awesome! Will we see granny too?
Me: no she is at school.
Marley: does she have her backpack?
Marley: we made caterpillars.
Me: did you tell them about your pet caterpillars?
Marley: I surely did.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, September 11, 2011

That Path Traveled

A pang for something never known and lost
Dreaming of life upon some plane
Where mountains spring where the mind leaps
Rivers roll forth on the whim of fancy
In one moment running top speed through a field
Golden, not on fire, temperate under the sun
Running top speed, no shoes to cover
Pain born better under naivete
Stronger, brazen, curious
Next moment
Solemn, intense and silent
Connected to the earth
Parted by ceremony and dignity
Downcast eyes within a flawless brow
Talents unparalleled and unsung
A song spinning eternally into outer space unknowable but knowing
Last moment
Surrounded by adoration and the smell of September
Supporting another time, those who will be
Through those who are now and those who are going
Those who have left
Appreciated, coddled and laughing
Feathers full out and puffed up for protection
Whether the storm, proceeding despite the danger
Proceeding because of it
Different dreams
Dull aches falling each in their time
Unrealized but not useless
A life made full by flashes of longing

That path traveled only by imagination is never trampled flat. It is new each time and each time a revelation.

Hormone is a four letter word.

I am surprised that in the book of Genesis God says, "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

I feel like the real punishment is somewhat different although it may all be part and parcel. It could have gone something like this, "I will make your emotional agony, self loathing and social anxiety unbelievable; with the help of a tidal wave of hormones you will cycle through ages 12-50ish and then it will get even more complicated. Your desire will be for baked goods and revenge and they will make your skin bad and people hate you."

My intention is not to be blasphemous. God knows my heart.
ALSO I know that most of those things are caused by worldly evils but HORMONES DON'T HELP. If you don't understand you're a man. Now shut up and get me some oreos.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Preschool... tomorrow?

Every night I pray with Marley before she goes to sleep and every night I ask her if she has anything special to pray for and her answer EVERY time has been "a squishy window", "a squishy door", "a squishy castle"... Tonight was the first time in months of asking for special bedtime prayers she finally gave a non-squishy answer. "My teacher."

She said she wanted to pray for her teacher!

Bob and I both did bedtime with Marley tonight and Bob told her he was going to make her pancakes for breakfast before her first day of school and she says, "with bacon."

She is sweet but she is spoiled.

I don't know if I have ever documented any details about Bob's job or not but I just want to let it be known for the record. He gets to work from home on Saturdays, they give him a seperate work phone and laptop, he is more rested because he is on a more natural awake during daylight pattern.

more later

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Along the river

I drove down Columbia Parkway, 52 and 50 to get home tonight. I had my windows open because the steamy weather was making visibility difficult. I was rewarded by the smell of rain and the Sycamore trees that line Columbia Parkway. The views of the river, shiny and churning. Late night crews setting up for tomorrow's huge fireworks display. Dispersing crowds of young and young at heart people enjoying the respite from the 90 degree stuff during the day and only a few miles later a coyote ran across the road under a streetlight. Mariemont is the last charming display on the ride until you get to Clermont County. Terrace Park and the hidden paths that lead to Indian Hill lack charm. So concerned are they with their privacy as to disdain even a bikepath. I love my city.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saddness and hereafter.

Every time I catch myself smiling or happy I feel a little guilty. I know Aimee is hurting. When I look at Marley and she goes to school orientation the feeling is bittersweet. I know that life goes on even when the people we love have died but it is still difficult...

Solomon turns one tomorrow. How can that be? I feel like I just found out I was pregnant yesterday. He is such a blessing to this family. Even if babies are difficult to live with in general. His smile makes strangers giggle and he drives the preschool girls crazy. I love him. His drive to walk was strong today and he made several solid 2-3 step "runs". He also discovered that sitting in a chair is completely life changing (for an 11 month old).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chuckles in spite of it all. *edit to add pix and anecdote)

I should say first that I am not telling these tales to say that you should love my family members less, I consider these anecdotes to be reason why you should love them more.

Robyn and her 3 girls (Toby was at grown up school for adult kids who are too old for us) and me and my 2 were at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

We were around the area after you exit the glacier where all the fiberglass and concrete animals are. We were right next to the part where the unfortunate wooly mammoth is sinking into some brand of quagmire. Over the quagmire bit there is a thin layer of water that is very still. Some of us KNEW that this water wasn't water at all but a layer of plastic. Others of us KNEW that the water was water.
Me: Marley don't get in the water.
Robyn: It's plastic.
Me: Nope it's water.
Robyn: No it isn't.
And she takes a step over and STOMPS into the plastic. The plastic that is actually water and now all over her foot.
Her face was priceless. She left wet footprints.

Now onto the story about her parents...

Much (all) of the days free hours are being spent at the site of our new home. Which is undergoing alarmingly quick transformations (more on that later). One day I saw I had a voicemail from my mom. It was the standard "This is your mother." *click*

I did notice that she had called ten minutes ago and that there was a great deal of church bells in the background. So I call her back and the church bells are still going. She explains she is at the new house and the church 3 doors down seems to have a glitch with their bells because the sound had been going on for a long time. Hopefully they will fix it soon.

I hang up and I head over there. It takes me about 45 minutes. When I am walking into the house with Marley I notice the bells again from the driveway. They sound different. Quieter. Then as we walk in the door there is silence. Mom greets Marley and I and says, "Do I hear silence?" Then the bells begin again. It takes me all of a half second to diagnose the problem.

It was the doorbell.

Mom is incredulous. Probably wondering how she had gotten so tired as to miss that it was the doorbell. She tells Dad who seems maybe less surprised (and less sheepish) fixes it in about 8 seconds.

I'm sure my parents actually know why they are too tired to have caught it. They have been working on our house. God bless their little hearts. :P

Our house has air conditioning, heat, plumbing, a safe(r) deck, some doors, very little carpet left (had to leave it in Solo's room and the master because all there was beneathe was subfloor), we have a gas hookup for our stove, we have a plan for the appliances that came with the house, we have a lock on the garage (that also now has electric), lights work, electric has been run for the entryway... Did I mention that there are bathrooms? Yay! It is very beautiful.

Marley's meet the teacher is tomorrow. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Marley: I'm going to school! I'm going to have a teacher. I am going to make a picture for you! A pink bird and my teacher is going to cut it out with scissors. And I am going to be the good ballerina!




*Edit* I would just like to say that I am not immune to going on the occasional space cadet mission (I know, you're shocked). So I will tell what I did last week. I was changing clothes when I realized I had fed the dog but not let him out. Fearing poop I went to immediatly let him out. The tie out was wrapped around a tree about ten feet away from the door so I walked out to get it while holding Murphy's collar (he likes to run off). I had already retrieved the tie out and was hooking him up when I realized I was not wearing a shirt. To make things even better I went to later post about my ditsyness on my Firecracker playgroup facebook group (a pregnancy, birth club, playgroup I have been in since November 2008) and instead posted about it publically on my facebook wall. I had already recieved a few daring comments when I realized my error and erased it. Double fail, super awesome.

Monday, August 29, 2011

So soon.

Brayton Lester
June 30, 2008 - August 28, 2011

His life was a positive ripple. Affecting hundreds of us, making us want to be better, strong like him. Aimee, Destiny and Nikiya I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is full of grief.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


My friend Aimee's son Brayton has been in and out of the hospital his entire life. Fighting tooth and nail for his life. He is Marley's age and has TEL. Please pray for him, for his healing and for Aimee and Brayton's sisters.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My girl. Our House.

Marley (cuddling Bob and I): We are the family. Marley, My daddy and mommy.
Me: And Solomon.
Marley: Right. And Solomon and Murphy and my ZhuZhu pet.
Marley: Where is Moo the ZhuZhu pet?
Me: Is it in your room?
Marley: No... Yes.
Me: Ok... it's in your room.
Marley: Oh. Thanks.

Per Mom this was yesterday's house progress:
"todays list window repaired, utility tub in place with hot and cold water. furnace ductwork in, front lawn mowed, garbage disposal repaired, walls sanded, some cracks filled, half the shelves down in solomons room,working toilets,nail pops and loose boards fixed on deck. in case you want to publish"

Hope people are ready to help me move. I'm coming with guilt trips.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend One- Check

We closed on Friday.
There were guys on the roof sealing the chimney before we even got there afterward.

The locks have been changed. There is a new back door. The first floor carpet has been removed. The garage has a lock. The railing on the deck has been secured. The BIG hole in the living room wall has been patched (so has all the tiny holes). Unrepairable plaster has been removed and is ready for new drywall. Sinks have been purchased. The air conditioner now has enough plumbing to run (and it works!) The plumbers are there now making it possible to use sinks, toilets and showers.

There was more accomplished but I have to go look at light fixtures :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cartoon Dogs. Preschooler brain.

"Oh. I can't sleep. I need my heady-head (hammerhead) shark."
"Be calm. Be quiet."
"I get a cookie if I smile in the dining room."
"I am a mermaid and I live under the sea in a castle with a big kitchen."

All things Marley has said today (at me or at toys).

While we were playing "babies" (with little plastic animals who are almost all named Sugar or Chocolate but also include Pinky, Ham, Minty, Bird, Banana..) I said to her, "You are very pretty." To which she replied, "Yes I am."
I love that 'pretty' is just an adjective to her. Nothing complimentary about it. Just fact.

Solomon took his official first steps yesterday! He is SO proud of himself too. He can do it somewhat reliably now and he always signals me he is about to try. He looks into my face and gets pretty serious and then will free one hand then pause and then let go with the other. Then after taking one step he topples into me laughing and head butting me. What a boy.

He is such a good sleeper. He slept from 830p to 730a yesterday and I slept from 12a to 650a without interruption. It made me giddy. I couldn't even go back to sleep for the joy of it.

Strawberry Shortcake, WordWorld, Little Bear, Bearenstain Bears... just a few of the cartoons where animals can talk unless they are a dog. Why is that? Do we prefer to keep our dependent friends silenced? Are we afraid of what they would say? Hmm?

Of course in some shows dogs CAN talk. Scooby Doo comes to mind and I HATE that show. Jetsons was great but he couldn't REALLY talk.

When Bob and I pretend to be Murphy talking (that happens more than you would think actually) we usually use a french accent. Stupid humans.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bob says I shouldn't try to sleep until I am tired but I think that that would only work out if I could also stay asleep till I wasn't sleepy anymore.

I am in that beginning of transition time where I am trying to imagine and plan what my life will be like in a new place. Changing locations is unquestionably life altering. I'm going to pray that God is in control and that I don't bungle anything.

I'm praying for Toby and his family tonight too. Tomorrow starts a life alteration for them too. Real school. Propelling us all into 'the next stage'.

I read an article the other day about pregnancy during your 20s, 30's and 40's. It was all pretty interesting, summarizing on the basic and not so basic benefits and drawbacks for child bearing during different times. The most interesting thing I read was that one drawback to child bearing in your 20s is that moms tend to get a premature feeling of being old. I definitely relate to that though I try not to mention it in mixed company as it makes some people angry and I know it sounds ridiculous coming from a 23, 24, 25, 26 ish year old. In case your curious the article was in fit pregnancy magazine. They might have it online if you want to read more about it. I have praying to do.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

But I do know what love is.

Bob and I were just discussing the difference between my ability to communicate via blog versus my ability to communicate with words in person.

"I have been feeling this immense inexpressable sadness that has been weighing down my entire pysche this week."


"I don't feel good. Not in my belly. More in my head area place. No happy. Booo."

So if you don't know me in person and don't get to have the full Meghyn-trying-to-make-the-words experience. Be glad.

I'm not that kinda Thomas...

I just deleted the first paragraph I was going to write. It was too sad and I am too unstable for that much emotional goading. I will sum up.

I can understand why people have doubts about God, His love and His plan when something really terrible happens. I am not one of those people but I understand it.

I can understand that type of doubt. What I DON'T understand is the flashes of doubt and rage I have at God. They are SO unreasonable. I am such a BRAT. How can I be so unmoved by His awesomeness that I just despair so quickly?

Marley wakes up every 20-40 minutes every night from 11p to 4am. I am exhausted. I am trying to do everything right and be a loving and supportive mother at 2am. WHY WOULD GOD DO THIS TO ME? I'm in a crazed state of oh-woe-is-me because I am sleep deprived... just like every other mother in the entire world. But unlike the mother in the third world country who is sleep deprived and also starving. Ugh (that ugh is directed at myself).

I pray to God that He will give me a pet Bengal tiger. One that does not poop or need to be fed meat. I pray ALL night. Or at least from around 930 to 10pm. Next day? Nothing. What kinda loving God would deny me such a basic need? (True story. I can still feel the disappointment 20 years later).

I am a crummy friend. Sinful, ungrateful and untrue to a God who loves me to a degree I cannot fathom and for reasons I am too sinful, ungrateful and untrue to know. I am a pain in His holy and proverbial butt. I am as bad as all this but He loves me. He loves me. Even though I fall beneathe His will. He loves me. Jesus I'm so grateful for your Love.

Please click the link and listen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And do the work.

1 Chronicles 28:20
David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Home is where the rug is.

So Pameleen. It's my handle, it's my blog name, it is where my old house is. Now my house belongs to a women who moved from Williamsburg to be closer to Norwood. Lives are complicated. Since we left Pameleen to live in my grandpa's house in Milford we have not unpacked any family photos or art. Those who have been in my home know that it took a significant amount of box real estate to move all those frames.

Since we moved into Milford in January we have been blessed and blessed and blessed again. Over and over. So many that they overwhelm and stupify. I promise you that when I was reading through the tales of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that I started feeling like maybe I was favored by God because certainly He was kind beyond understanding to me. Weird, I know. I don't (exactly) think that anymore but...

Bob had almost 6 months where we were able to live off a tax return and he got to spend that time with me and the kids. Like a vacation without any good weather. I think Solomon has been able to bond to him better because of it. He then had a job that had some appeal because it was a work from home but the compensation was dismal. Short story abbreviated even more, that job is also gone. Good riddance.

On Friday Bob chanced to get an interview for posting in the field he is going to school for. God's hand again. They made him an offer today and he begins on Thursday at 930. Praise God.
For the last month and more my mother and I have been scouring the internet for houses in a certain price range. A price range that would allow us to be able to make the payments on a home of our own. I will tell you that with raised property taxes, health insurance rates going up and the loss of steady income from me when I got pregnant with Marley that our mortgage was over 50% of our budget for three years. It was not easy to make it work as long as we did. We had been treading water so long that when Bob lost his job we just froze up. It was time to stop.

Sorry I am all over the place. That is what happens when you wait too long to post about something so-ongoing. Too many hours, days and weeks of thought to sum up anything neatly (or cleverly).

SO... back to Mom and I on the internet. We visited many houses. Memorable among them (because we made offers on them) were 3001 Junietta, 3620 Darwin and my favorite 3846 Davis. Davis I had big plans for you. I hope your new owner removes that olive shag carpet and white washes your wide plank primitive hardwood floors. Many trips to the westside of Cincinnati, many urgent emails back and forth with my realtor (who is the best realtor in Cincinnati) Reg Goolsby. So disappointments have come and gone, hearts have been broken. Finding a wonderful house and being outbid or worse finding out there is already a contract on your dream castle.

Everyday new emails showing houses just listed in the desired neighborhoods, with the right number of toilets and bedrooms and for the right amount-ish. Finally out of the blue my realtor sends me one that did not technically qualify in our search parameters but since it was in his area of specialty (Westwood) he was wise to it. It had been on the market, went pending and then came back on the MLS.

I was still hurting from the last bidding war on Junietta so my interest was at first mild**. My mother and father went and looked at it at 10am on Wednesday and put in a bid at 5pm on Wednesday and I NEVER EVEN SAW IT (because I was in Hocking Hills with 13 other moms and 26 other kids) (Bobby saw it and LOVED it). So I come back to town to see the place and LUCKILY I like it too because on Friday night we get an offer acceptance.

The inspections happened today. No real surprises. There is much work to be done in all the areas we knew there was work to be done. I'm glad we will soon have walls to put my beloved photos on (walls that belong to us). This will be the first time Marley's bedroom won't have west facing windows***. Bob is planning his organic produce business. Solomon has yet to decide which paint chip tastes the best. The rug is still rolled up in the basement here in Milford but it anticipates a life of trod-uponness soon.

**: My realty MO is like some peoples' dating MO. When I fail to get the house I want I strike out at that house by looking for a house that is completely opposite. That is how we ended up in Pameleen actually. She was a rebound.

***: Our room and Solomon's room (which is currently used at a VERY large closet) will be west facing. It's our turn to see the sunset.

I've got a lot on my mind too Squints.

Marley starts preschool next month. I can't think long and hard on this without feeling queasy, ecstatic and OLD. I definitely can't write an indepth blog about it. My girl will always be my girl right? The lady working in the nursery at church told me her teenagers don't hug her very often. Sickened by the thought. Makes me want to go smother my mother with affection (look out Mom).

Marley's favorite thing this summer is basketball and soccer. She loves to play catch with the mini-basketball and kick it back and forth in the living room (we don't go outside in 99+ degrees when Mommy may be at risk of having to baby-wear). She is fantastic at catching the ball. Really good at throwing it too. We will have to work on her ball to net skills.

Solomon's teeth are literally straining his whole mouth. It looks painful. I should be surprised he does not cry all day long. His beautiful smile is still amazing though. It is so wide. People LOVE to talk to him because he always smiles at them. Amazing. His whole face is perfect. Can't leave the house without hearing about all the poor doomed women in the future. Weird it just occured to me that if Solo was Bob that I wouldn't be born for another 5.5 years. Strange.

Solomon can push this toy shopping cart we have all around the house. The depth to which he understands forward motion and what needs to be done to get the big awkward thing to move and how to get it unstuck amazes me. Marley was not one to master the physical skills (disregard above mention of basketball, I'm talking about baby Marley not grown up big girl preschooler Marley...), she was working on her understanding of society and her place in it and how to talk. Solomon seems to function under the assumption that the world is pretty much the world and it will adapt to him and that SOMEONE will more or less fulfill his needs eventually.

After 200+ posts on blogger instead of livejournal I still try to fill out the "Current Music" section (there isn't one).

I am now making a seperate post to address a topic which has consumed most of my days for a month+ but has recieved no blog-love.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cute girls

Me: Aimee what is your favorite animal?
Aimee: A chicken?
Me: What do you like about chickens?
Aimee: Umm can you tell me?
Me: Marley what is your favorite animal?
Marley: Cows!
Me: What do you like about cows?
Marley: They have udders. That is where milk comes from!
Me: C what is your favorite animal?
C: Cows!
Me: What do you like about cows?
C: Chickens!

This conversation pretty much embodies everything I love about 2 and 3 year olds.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I was reading bible verses about love and the importance of forgiveness. I was going to tell Bobby about them but he fell asleep before I could so I'm mad at him.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Preschoolers are cute

I really want to be sleeping right now but sleep eludes me so I thought I'd write these anecdotes down before I forget.

The other day when Marley had her sleepover with Aimee we were doing prebedtime routine.
Me: ...Gigi is my mommy.
Aimee: is she in Florida?
Me: yes helping baba.
Aimee: I'm glad you're not in Florida Meme. ::hug::
This one happened today when I brought Marley a flower in from the yard.
Me: That flower is a Rose of Sharon.
Marley: No! It's my flower!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Road rage WILL kill you.

We had fun decorating cupcakes with Aimee, Cece, Baby, Toby & Ro today at Gigi & Grandpa Bob's house. Gigi and Grandpa Bob were not there so we missed them.

Now here is the frightening part.
We were almost home maybe a mile to go, in a 25mph zone and I was going 25 and this guy pulls out in front of me. He definitely cut me off but since we were going pretty slow and there was some room I didn't have to hit my brakes too hard. I didn't think anything of it until the guy who cut me off flicked me off. Not a subtle one in the rear view either. A big obvious hanging it out the window one. He holds it out to me for a moment and he is swerving all over the place. Then he starts making the motion with your hand like you are shooting a gun, over and over. I hung back pretty far since freak-show was acting crazy and swerving and I didn't want to get shot with stray pretend bullets. THEN I *clearly* saw him lift a case from his backseat to his passenger seat. It looked exactly like out poker chip case exact half the size. Then he was fiddling around in the passenger seat and swerving even worse. Now I was hanging WAY back. I don't like getting shot with real bullets either.

He pulled into the Rooster's across from my street and was doing a U-y (sp?) but I turned onto my street and sped to my house. Totally freaked me out. I have his license and car description and he looked like an older guy soooo... If I turn up dead... check my phone. The details are in My Notes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


From the time that I can remember being aware of the world
The place outside myself
My eyes feasted on the trees, the depths of the woods
I longed to translate my fascination to words
Have them on paper so that they might last forever
Remembered, impactful.

This ache I felt constant, demanding
To put something beautiful in sight
It was not till I grew older
Aware not only of the place outside me
But the effect of me upon it

With coincidence, chance, God's hand
The longing I've had within
I now know the answer
I know the song I was meant to sing
Lasting long passed the time when words forgotten, paper burned
You are the poetry I've longed to express.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Embarassing but true

I struggle with pride. Not in the traditional sense or in the positive I-love-me sense either. More that annoying what's-wrong-with-them-I-would-never-do-that way. It is wrong to think this way. I KNOW it is.

I look at people and I make little silent judgements. She is not working hard enough at her marriage, he is a slothful waste of space, her parenting is dispicable, he does not deserve to live, etc. Sound harsh? I agree.

I know that there is a right and a wrong. I can identify when other people do wrong but that does not mean I get to call them to the stand, or judge them. It isn't my job but yet I spend energy pouring emotional and mental energy into it.

Example I am willing to share: Kasey Anthony. (sp?) I have not in anyway followed this case outside what I inevitably saw on FB and randomly around the internet. Still I find myself angry at the jury for not convicting her since she is obviously guilty. The problems with that are 1. How do I know she is guilty when I have not even followed the case? 2. What makes me think I know the correct outcome to whatever she did or did not do?

I do know that God convicted ME to pray for the woman. So I do. I don't do it at bedtime prayers with Marley when it draws out my anger but later when I am alone, when the kids are asleep, I pray for her. What I pray is between God and myself but it has given me more peace. Putting it in His powerful hands, leaving it to the true judge gives me peace.

So that is one case where God triumphed over my nature. What about the rest? The tiny killings I commit in my mind EVERY day? How to stop those? The last few days I have had to start a mantra in my head. I am not better than her. I am not better than her.

God has convicted me of this in the past. When I purposefully ostracized a friend because she betrayed me. Several months later God hit me with great force with the message that I was NOT in a place where I could judge her and therefore punish her. Lesson learned. Behavior modified.

Still the little judge in my head speaks. "She brags constantly. Ignore her completly." "She is wasting her life and ruining her children, talk down to her, belittle her." "He is uninvolved with his kids, badmouth him." "He drinks constantly and abuses drugs right in front of his kids, talk down to him."
Each sin I see is assigned a punishment that I am capable of carrying out BUT IT ISN'T RIGHT.

My latest conviction just happened this evening. I have to be vague to protect my friend, her privacy and our relationship.(Months ago) I thought she is not working hard enough toward saving her relationship, she is making of it a mockery. I was not incorrect. Her behavior was not good but then I found out things I did not previously know. They didn't justify her behavior entirely but they made me realize that in her position I would have done much worse.

I'm not better than her. I'm in a better situation.
I'm sorry for all my silent judgements. I am not sure I can stop thinking all of them but I am going to try. I am going to try to make myself better by not thinking I am better than others. We're all human. We're all broken. Nothing without His grace, His mercy and occasionally His correction.
My job is not that of judge. I am called to be a fisher of men.

God, THANK YOU for showing me my errors. I am sorry I have to be reminded so frequently. I am glad that I do not have to live so long in this life with my inevitable sinning nature. I long to be close to You. Thank you for my children. The greatest gifts you could give me in this life. Be a light unto their path so that I do not cause them to stumble. Thank you for Your son who delivers me into Your hand.

"Meg, I give you your faults."
"My faults!" Meg cried.
"Your faults."
"But I'm always trying to get rid of my faults!"
"Yes," Mrs. Whatsit said. "However, I think you'll find they'll come in very handy on Camazotz."
-A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

Character building through trials.

Marley's 3 year check up

Went very well though when I found out a few months ago that she was up for an innoculation I was pretty nervous. I didn't want to prep to far ahead of time. So this morning we watched an episode of Sid the Science Kid about getting shots (SO GLAD WE DID) and I informed her she would be getting a shot at the doctor but that I would give her an oreo afterward.

She kept saying, "I'm getting a shot. It will hurt a little." (Just like they said on Sid).

So getting the shot actually ended up being easier than when the doc tried to look in Marley's mouth at her teeth (Marley proceeded to lock her jaw in a closed position). Nothing new there.

She got the shot and silent tears rolled down her cheeks and she asked for her cookie. My poor broken heart, I gave her four (she only ate three). She must be related to my mother because only my mom has that kind of discipline. I don't. I usually try to keep myself to one row of oreos.

So 32# and 38". Marley is delightfully average sized.

So we put that bid on that other house and it lost.
Hopefully by the end of the day (or by the end of the weekend) there will a bid on my favorite property. I won't mention any addresses since I don't want to give any creepo stalkers getting the jump on me. God will have to move to make this offer work so I am praying that this will align with His Plan (or what I think of as His Greater Good). That is another blog entry. One that I don't have time to write while supervising bathtime/dodging Marley's splashes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My little buttercup.

From being the non-sleeping nightmare to being the dream bedtime child.

The girl who has been eating oreos since she was 6 months old. (sorry)

The sign that turned me around.

A girl who wows people with her politeness and perception.

Flesh of my flesh.

The one that looks nothing at all like me.

The one who suddenly makes it all seem worthwhile.

The dancer, the doctor, the musician in the Imagination Band, the princess, the blue fairy.

Little girl that I shared my wedding with.

My entertainment every day.
My excuse.
My cause.
My work.
My heart.
Clumsy, soft spoken and wonderful.

3 years I have been checking on you randomly to make sure you are asleep, breathing and safe. Preparing you an unbelievable amount of food. Laughing at your jokes. Being amazed by your abilities. Stunned by your depth. You hold me when I cry and you reach your arms out to me when you cry. You're my best friend.
Hapy Birthday Marley Marianne. I love you and I wouldn't change a thing.

"TWO minutes."
"ONE more time."
"Why you yes ma'am for?"
"Mommy... I looooove you."
"We are super princesses!"
So many things I pray I never forget.

Thank you for three years of spontanous displays of affection.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We (Bob, my parents and I) have been looking at westside properties. We have a pending offer on a place but the bank that owns it is stringing us along, dragging it's feet, trying to net more offers (we are already in multiple offers). Lame sauce. *edit* Just found we lost our bid. Good to finally know. Moving on...

There is another property that I love, right up the street. I want it. I won't close it's MLS tab in my browser because it makes me sad.

I've always been very emotionally balanced as you long term readers certainly know. *cough*

But actually sad is that this morning Brenyn left to move to Florida. I keep having emotional outbursts. Good excuse to skip makeup. <3 Baba

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lovely family

Solomon got his first tooth on Tuesday. Bottom (his) left. About time. Only took it an agonizing month to break through. Now 23 to go.

Marley's birthday party was yesterday and it was awesome. Most of the people we love were there and we had cake and a slip and slide. Marley loved that she got to wear a princess dress and a bathing suit on the same day.

Marley & the cake Robyn made at my request. AMAZING!

Brenyn leaves for Florida in one day :(

"Swimming" in the turtle.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I know that I have been on the receiving end of some unfortunate circumstances realty and financially -wise but really... I am so blessed by God's bounty through family generosity and blessings which are frequently called "luck" that I have been mainly spared the horrors that *could have* gone with our recent life events.

When I look at the housing market now I see something pretty cold and gruesome. If you look at a realty site most of the homes I see are empty and abandoned because of foreclosure. And if you look up the address on google maps to go with it you can see how things got the way they are. Houses now for sale in summer after being foreclosed on in spring can be seen on street view maps (taken in fall) with "Room for rent" and "For sale by owner" signs. People tried to get money and failed and they lost their home. Where did they go? Were they as "lucky" as me? I doubt it. How do they explain their displacement to their kids?

Depressed tonight.
Too many bad things going on to people I love or just in my general vicinity.
I know I can't heal the world through worry so I try not to. But the part that really chokes me up is that I know the world cannot be healed and that our only peace will come later in Heaven. But my kids have to live in this world so the only thing I can do for them is give them hope. Teach them that there IS something greater, show them there is a peace that passes understanding down in the depths of my heart. Where? Down in the depths of my heart.

Our economy may be a mess but I am thankful that I was born in this country. I am thankful to the men and women and their families who sacrifice their time and lives to keep me worrying about where I might end up living and now about how I am going to keep on living. Thankful for the parts of the system that do work that reward bravery. Thank you to my soldier friends and thanks to all the military wives I know who work so hard to keep the support going for our soldiers abroad.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Things Marley says "to me" (never with explanation)

"I turned the doggie's head inside out."
"I can put stickers on frogs whenever I want."
"Daddy is my sister."

I talked to Jenny on the phone tonight and She is adorkable.

Trying to get use to being with just the kids (I almost said alone). I am usually just fine but I tend to go back and forth between "ugh Bob is so lucky he gets to go to work and school" and "NOIWILLNEVERLEAVEMYBABIESNEVEREVER!"

After a brief reality check from my mother (maybe unintentional on her part) I am going to wait until the emotional ceizures of "NOIWILLNEVERLEAVEMYBABIESNEVEREVER!" stop before I return to school. Or at least until I can stop crying about it.

I know what you're thinking. She is insane. You're right. Just remember that it is completely exhausting to be this crazy all the time.
I have had a babysitter three times in 7 days. I think previous to this the record was three in 6 months. It was awesome. <3 Debbie <3 Baba <3 Ma

ERRRRRRRRRRRINNNNNNNNNNNNN I'm texting you right now. You are being very amusing. I feel like it had been too long since I called out to you via my blog.
How many books have I written in my lifetime?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Boy and his dog.

I am very sorry I do not have a video to post along with this story.

Marley, Solomon & I were sitting on the living room floor in Milford this afternoon, listening to crazy thunder and playing with toys. Murphy came up with his tennis ball in his mouth and then dropped it (intending for me to pick it up and throw it).

The place where he dropped it though, was right where Solomon was and Solo tried to pick up but it rolled out of his hand. Murphy went to it and picked it up and dropped it again. Solomon shrieks with laughter. Solomon "throws" it (picks it up and raises his arm and then the ball falls out of his hand and usually bounces off his leg) again. When Murphy grabs the ball, he (Murphy) shakes his head back and forth furiously to make sure the tennis ball is dead, Solomon sees this and starts shaking his head every time Murphy gets the ball.

This goes on for at least five minutes. Boy "throws" ball. Dog grabs ball. Boy & dog shake their heads violently. Dog returns ball. Repeat.

HILARIOUS. Marley and I watched the whole thing until Murphy ran off with the ball to finish the job of mutilating it completely.

My boy is amazing.

Economical Preschooler

Me: Do you want to have a birthday party where we invite all your friends and family and serve lots of ice cream?
Marley: I don't have any money for that.

Funny and sad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

No one to watch COPS with.

Bob has been in first full week of full time job and school. Saturday he will rest. He wakes up at 6am and gets ready and goes to school, finishes his last class and then goes to training from 315-1145. He gets home around 1230am. So on days he has class we do not see him... at all. Sad. :(

Luckily Monday is his last day of spring term and he has a week till Summer term begins. He still has to go to training of course but still... At least he will be home to make me lunch! :P

Marley likes to tell people "my daddy is at school" or "my daddy is at work" (even when he is, in fact, hiding in our bedroom taking an online test).

The summer term he is taking more classes and in a few weeks he will be on a different schedule and working from home. I have no idea what this means for our family. Less Bob or more? I will prepare for less and hope for more.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It is always about sleep.

Moving Solomon into his crib and out of our bed months ago has made me much much more tired even though I wake less often. Seems so counterproductive but I can't undo it. The kid is a squirmy kamikaze.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Since I was 6 or 8 weeks pregnant with Marley I have been a member of a forum for women who were due to have babies in July 2008. Those children (some who were born much earlier and some who waited till August) are called 'Firecrackers'. I went on a retreat last August and met 14 or so of them and it was fun to see faces where before there were only screennames.

Today I met another Firecracker (from WA state) named Taylor Hart and Marley and she played together at the Museum Center. I was glad I was able to get over my stupid stranger anxiety enough to meet the Harts because they were awesome! Wish WA wasn't a zillion miles away.

Tonight we did the thing we have talked about doing, attempted and feared for almost 3 years. We let Marley "cry it out". She is 35 months old (or 'about to turn 3' if you will) and her bedtime is longer and cuddlier then my son's who is 9 months old and breastfed. The first 40 minutes were absolute and total hell. I went in and stayed with her a few times till she calmed down and agreed I could go but it would eventually just crescendo back to the pitiful callings for her mommy or daddy. I won't even mention some of the things she cried because it is heartbreaking and I don't want to sound like the heartless b**** I feel like. I had already given in but I had Bob keeping me back, then he started breaking. So we found a compromise and things were better almost instantly. We opened her door so she could see the light from our bathroom coming in (she has a nightlight in her room too) and I explained to her that she was in her bed and I was in mine and she could see my light through the doors.

I hope she comes into our room tonight and cuddles me :( I feel like a monster but she has to know how to fall asleep without being cuddled right? My poor Marley. :(

Solomon sleeps from about 8 to 5am straight. I didn't even know babies COULD do that. It is hard to have one sleeping kid and one sleep hating kid. Though not as hard as having two kids who hate sleep I bet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

“I thank you for the kind words ****** but I must confess I did not travel here alone.”

“Then who was your companion?”

He smiled, “I had several companions, each in turn. I left 2 days ago and on the first day I met with a sheep. A wild sheep that’s coat was tangled and full of mud and lice. He asked me to help him because he was very uncomfortable. I told him I had a message to deliver and that I could not be delayed but for a full day he walked with me begging that I help him. Finally when I was about to stop for the night, I relented. I took my knife and began to shear the sheep. He bellowed and bleeted for me to be gentle but his coat was too dirty. I told him it would take all night if I tried to be gentle. He begged me again to take care, so I did. When dawn was upon us, I was just finishing. As the sun passed the horizon, the last of the muddy knots came off and he tried to dash away but as he ran a pack of wild dogs came upon him and he was tired from being up all night with the shearing and so they caught him. So I took the wool and made this coat out of it,” He indicated his travel worn coat. Messengers would frequently move without tents for the sake of expediency, especially during mild weather. He probably slept in his coat in the dirt alongside his route, “Then later that day I was met by a beautiful bird who came and landed on my shoulder. He was golden with big white head feathers and he told me that if I took him where he wanted to go that he would give me one of his golden feathers and I could trade it for many things. He said men had traded just one of his feathers for a herd of camel. Camel as fine as these two here. I asked him where it was that he was headed. He told me he was going to the sea. No! I cannot take you to the sea. I have to deliver a message and I cannot be slowed. The sea is in another direction. Then the bird said but if you take me I will give you the feather and you can use it to fly right back here to where you have met me.”

“Why didn’t he fly to the sea?” asked **** too young to be deterred by manners.

“I’m glad you asked me that. You see this bird was very lazy. He had worked hard all his life to become very rich and then once he had very much, he no longer wanted to work. So I consented. Yes bird, I will take you to the sea but you must give me two feathers. The bird thought hard about my bargain, he put one of his claws in his beak while he considered. Alright he said you may have two of my feathers when we reach the sea. So I took off running for the sea with the bird on my shoulder. You may think that was not a difficult task for a bird does not weigh very much but I assure you that a golden bird is much heavier than your regular grouse. In addition to his weight he sang the whole time and believe me, in all his years of hard work none of the work went into practicing his songs. When after a full day we reached the sea, I stopped and breathing hard I said alright bird, here is the sea. I will have those feathers now. The bird was true to his word and gave me two feathers but only one of them was golden. When I saw the other feather was a dull gray and could not carry me back to where I had met the bird I protested but it was too late. The bird had flown and was gone, singing his awful song high in the palms. I took the golden feather and flew back to where I met the bird and when I landed the golden feather disappeared. It’s magic used up. I was left with only this,” He pulled a long gray feather from his carrying sack and the children stared. He lowered it back down to his side and he said, “And now here I am, at your camp with my message with two new lessons I have learned. From the sheep I learned that sometimes a dirty coat is better than no coat at all and from the bird I learned that I should never make a bargain with the lazy," he smiled down at ****, "Especially if it means I must endure their horrible singing in my ear.”

Monday, June 6, 2011

What did you say?

Marley was playing in the tub and Solomon was standing outside of it, standing up holding on to the side. She was making loud angry dolphin noises and he was laughing hysterically when he lost his hold and fell and hit his head (on the thick rug). He started crying pitifully and while I held him and rocked him and murmured soothing words Marley watched me the whole time, concern in her eyes.

After he had calmed down I reassured her, "He's ok Marley, he just startled himself."
Then she matter of factly said, "My dolphin hit his head. Solomon messed up the game."

Toddlers. Yeesh.

This morning at breakfast Solomon clearly tried to sign "eat". He repeated the sign (though it was barely reminiscent of the real sign) every time I said the word eat. He is amazing!

Yesterday at Scott's birthday party Marley suffered a cruel blow at the hands of the other kids. She was purposefully not included in their game because she kept saying "my" instead of "the" about the toy house. They wouldn't let her in and she started sobbing, then I went over and told them they needed to be kind to her and then they opened the door and she went in and then the ringleader said "Lets go swing without her."

Lucky for the little horde I am not a mother bear because I would have mauled them.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Marley likes to interject when Bob and I are talking.

Marley: Hey let me talk for a minute.
Me: Why don't you just keep talking indefinitely?
Marley: HEY! That's a good idea.

Bob took her to see her first movie in the theater today. Kung Fu Panda 2. She is a big fan even though she didn't get popcorn (Bob said it was $7) (that is insane).

Solomon and I went walking on the Little Miami Scenic Trail. He caused serious cyclists to gape and splutter at his adorableness. He rode in the stroller, alternating between his devil-may-care-foot-up-on-the-dash pose and his nothing-to-hide-hands-grasping-either-side-of-the-podium pose.

We saw an Indigo Bunting. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the bird. I thought it was a bluebird at first but it was much too dark. Electric Navy I'd call it. Very pretty song.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oh Ho!

I have the distinct feeling that I am being led. It is comforting and also terrifying. Earlier I wanted to make a chart to get the feel of the population numbers post-Great Flood and I flipped right to the page I needed without having an idea where to look (Genesis 10).

This seems a small thing certainly. UNLESS YOU'RE ME. Anyone who has watched me work on a project can tell you that small tasks are rarely accomplished with ease and certainly not without 4 letter words that would make sailors blush to hear. I cannot even unscrew something without dropping the screwdriver pointy side down on my foot, stripping the screw and then also dropping the screw never to be found again (and then not being able to replace the screw because it is a rare size created and manufactured by a now bankrupt company on Easter Island).
So flipping right where I needed to be, right when I wanted to be there
My immediate reaction as soon as I realized what I had done was that my jaw dropped and I stared at the ceiling and said (aloud) "You just blew my mind."
I'm sure God's reaction was something akin to, "You're easy."

Another reason I feel led was because I was letting my own desires get in the way of decision making and as soon as I KNOCKED IT OFF, made a decision and went about it I found so many details fall neatly and stupid ridiculously into place.

It really does not take much to make me a chipper body.

Realizing a hard truth...

Here is a fragment of my innermost thoughts while brushing my teeth this evening.

"Why do people like awkward things?! Why do I always end up with guys who love awkward?! Oh...."

I figured it out.

My Old Testament obsession is getting more and more out of hand. I find myself having 10 tabs open on my browser. 4 are wikipedia entries. 'Nimrod' 'Reu' 'fourth son of Noah' and 'Semiramus' (ok that is not OT technically); 2 are maps, one of Mesopotamia and the other of Babylon; 1 is and the other 3 tabs are facebook, gmail and a youtube page with a video of twinkle twinkle little star (ok those 3 are not OT either).

Not to mention that my bed is completely covered by Adams' Chronological Map of History and my phone is on and running my app.

I need a hobby from my hobby before someone makes me start going to meetings.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh Job.

For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground.

Yet man is born to trouble

as surely as sparks fly upward. Job 5: 6-7

If only there were someone to mediate between us,
someone to bring us together,

someone to remove God's rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Job 9: 33-34