Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Oh Marley.

Marley: Did you pray for me before I was born?
Me: Yes, I prayed you would be pretty, smart, and brave.
Marley: Did you pray for Solomon?
Me: Yeah but he came out silly and rambunctious.
Marley: What is rambunctious?
Me: Energetic, off-the-walls.
Marley *very concerned face*: What does awful balls mean?


Baba: Knock, Knock
Marley: Who's there?
Baba: Interrupting cow?
Marley: Interrupting Cow wh...
Marley: Ok, ok I have one for you. Knock, Knock.
Baba: Who's there?
Marley: Interrupting sheep.
Baba: Interrupting sheep wh...
Marley: MOOOOO!
Marley: I have another. Knock, knock.
Baba: Who's there?
Marley: Interrupting ladybug.
Baba: Ok I want to see where this is going. Interrupting ladybug wh..?
Marley: MOOOOO!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh lovely day...

Went to church on Sunday with the kids, stayed for a short time at the picnic. They were eating a Solo mutters something through a mouth full of granola and I ask him what he said and he replies, "I SAAAAID MY HAIR LOOKS HANDSOME."

Oh. Right. Of course that is what you said. After that we went home and Gigi and Grandpa Bob were there. Dad was working on removing the defective tub from where he placed it just under 2 years ago. Marley entertained all with a list of house rules "Do not drop your shoes on the ceiling or your hair will fall out."

Then she told a story about a beautiful family with super powers named the Winslows. Awesome. But if you reacted audibly to her story you were violently shushed. Art-types.

Headed to Newport and visited the bookstore. After years and years of going to the library, it felt like being in a jewelry store. Tempting, foreign, and way over my budget.

Then Bob, Marley, Solo and I met Trent and Liz for dinner at Haufbrahaus. Kids have not been there since they were toddler/infant. They enjoyed playing in the gravel and eating more or less recognizable food while watching Trent stick french fries up his nose. Solo was having such a good time that he ran full throttle face-first into some guy's butt. Solo didn't seem to really notice, but the guy did. Hilarious.

Left Trent and Liz and went over to walk about a third of the way over the purple people bridge before I freaked out about my kids being so high in the air over water churning with hepatitis. Turning back we walked around and Marley decided she needed a duck call necklace like the other kids we passed. Turns out you get these by going on the duck-boat tours they have. Had no idea how awesome these rides really are. It is a tour in an open air boat with wheels. So one minute you're driving on the bridge and the next you're plunging at high speeds into the Ohio river, then you're floating slowly downstream listening to facts and puns. Kids made use of their duck calls the whole time. They loved it.

We had Cold Stone ice cream after that. Chocolate with sprinkles for Marley, Oreo creme filling flavor with crushed oreo for Solo, and a strawberry blonde for Bob. We sat at a picnic table by the river. The sun was setting through the clouds magnificently behind the city and the water was sparkling.

Bob and I shifted around nervously in our seats and I go, "So Marley and Solomon guess what? We're going to have a baby. You're going to have a new brother or sister."
Marley's eyes go round and she gets a big grin on her face. "What!? I'm going to be a big sister!"
"Well, you already were a big sister."
She gets up and starts dancing, Solomon starts to catch on that he is supposed to be reacting in some way other than shoveling ice cream into his face and he starts dancing. They both danced so much they almost fell down the hill next to us. Marley and Solomon both half-singing "I'm going to be a big sister."

Some notable reactions: 
Dad: "You're going to need that deeper tub."
Mom: *grasps a giant penguin statue*
Got these messages from Robyn after I dropped off Marley and Solo at her house (while I went to work) the day after they found out.
Robyn:  Trying to get Solo to tell Toby the secret while Marley is upstairs.  After much prodding and coaching...."Solomon, what is your mommy going to DO?"   "Eat more brownies!?"
Robyn:  Marley just told Toby "(big excited smile) is she in the hospital right now!"
(From Robyn via SMS) "I hope its a boy." "I hope its a girl." "I will take care of my sister or brother whatever it is." -Marley

Friday, July 12, 2013

I want to look confident, not pretty.

I got a compliment today. "You look pretty." It was meant to be a compliment and I took it for one, because of the spirit in which it was given.

Each morning I get up 30 minutes earlier than I strictly need to. I do it to get myself dressed in a nice outfit and put on makeup and convince my hair that gravity is its friend and I do all this before I wake up the kids. This morning Marley woke up before I was done with the process. I was putting on my mascara and I could feel her eyes on me. It made me uncomfortable and I put on a cartoon in another room for her, so she would stop watching me.

Some of my desire for grooming privacy probably comes from my mother and I am not sure where she gets it. But that isn't the only reason; part of me is afraid that Marley will see this display of preening and feel she needs to do it too. That it is to be expected and necessary or that it in some way negatively effects her worth if she fails to do it.

Then I have to examine why I do it. Is it for a desire of compliments like "You look pretty"? No, though most of the time a compliment is nice to hear. It's a level of confidence that comes with being polished. It's something like being an expert in your field, or knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you're right about something. Those are both feelings that cannot be duplicated by any other confidence.

So in thinking of confidence as a thing with many different layers, it makes it easier to understand. You can be absolutely sure of your ability as a physicist while questioning yourself about whether or not you just completed a project correctly. Being a good physicist doesn't preclude sometimes being wrong about physics. So imagine the trifecta of self-assurance that comes with being a physicist that knows for sure that he nailed his last project, AND his shoes perfectly compliment his belt. Powerhouse. You don't need the grooming, but it can help you project the feelings of confidence you already have.

Layers of self-assurance each contributing to your esteem but being wholly independent of each other. So in other words if you are an excellent physicist, and you did nail that project, but your shoes not only don't match your belt but do not even match each other, fear not. You may still have enough belief in yourself to get through the workday.

So, in buffing myself to a semi-shine in the morning, I get to  enjoy the feeling of knowing that I am a good student and diligent worker and a mother who does the best she can, who fulfills nearly all her obligations, whose eternity is assured by Christ AND has perfectly groomed eyebrows.

So maybe, I will try to explain this theory of layered confidence to Marley, but I will probably wait till she's five. Which is in two days.

*Edited to say that I do LOVE to tell Marley each day that she is very smart, kind, thoughtful, and pretty. And some day I will rail against her if she tries to dye her hair or wear makeup in true mom fashion. Because you don't need make-up or false things to look pretty. Enough sleep maybe...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Stall tactics perfected.

"But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it." Genesis 9:4

I had an interesting conversation with Marley tonight. Organic in how it came about (although a bit gory). Her curiosity wanted to know how cooks get meat. I explained the process (farmer to butcher to cook). Then she said "it still has bones in it and we cook the blood out."

Then I (forgetting that what I was about to say was going to further stall bedtime) said that in the old testament God says we shouldn't eat meat with the blood still in it.

Of course, she wanted to know why. She's 4, she ALWAYS wants to know why. I said I didn't know. Think that answered suited? Of course not; she's a smart kid and a champion bedtime staller.

So I gave her the best explanation I could of why I didn't know. Of course this would sound criminal to secular ears. They want proof. But I'm blessed with faith and I've been charged with acting as witness. So I thought I'd share my little faith-for-four-year-olds analogy.

"Let's pretend you don't know what cavities are or how you get them. But I handed you a little brush and said hey, I want you to rub this brush on your teeth two or three minutes every day, once in the morning and once at night. You would think that I sounded a little crazy right? But I wouldn't be telling you to brush your teeth because I was crazy. It would be because I knew about cavities and that it can help keep you healthy and happy when you brush. I'd tell you because I love you, even though it made me sound a little crazy."

She got it. I can see God doing big things inside that girl's heart. To Him be the honor and glory forever!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

No bandaids for love.

Marley held up a Ty beanie baby Christmas bear (that looks like it was just purchased) and the lamb she got in her Easter basket from Gigi and Grandpa Bob during her first Easter.
"You know why this lamb looks so much older and messed up than this bear?"
"Because I've loved it more."

Can't wait to see myself in 50 years. That lamb looks pretty rough.

Puts me in mind of my own beloved and tortured blankie, Meme. It was pretty much down to being a yard of tangled yarn by the time I framed it after Marley was born. Thoroughly loved, an object of my total devotion. The only thing that saved Meme from being loved out of existence was when I transferred that love to Marley. So maybe, just maybe my grandchildren will save me from Marley.

<3 being a mom
<3 Marley
<3 My mom
<3 Meme
Solomon informed Marley in no uncertain terms, "I'm not Buddy, I'm Solomon."
"Do you know what's even better than stuffed animals? Family." -Marley