Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday Best

Bilbo Baggins, a duck, and Shoopie went to church with us yesterday. 

Grami made her (she?) and Scrunch matching dresses, and "Mam!" made Bilbo's tie. The duck pops up everywhere these days.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's like...

(You know you want to...It's okay. I won't tell.)

Raaaaaaa---iiiiiii----aaaaiiiiiiin, on your wedding day....

Um, yeah. So that's about enough of that.

I would spend a whole week Google-ing 'decomposed granite', 'interlocking pavers', 'mow strip' (I almost felt dirty Google-ing that), 'PA Blue Flagstone' we stain or stamp? arranging for bids, and getting all worked up in the anticipation of raised garden beds, spring plantings, and summer on the back porch. The landscapers have come and gone and now it might SNOW tonight?

Isn't it ironic?

Don't you think?

(And now you hate me. But admit it. You can't help but sing along.)

'And don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are! I couldn't help it!'..

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I think I'm smarter today than I was before this trip.

We made it to the Science Museum with our own personal tour guide, a.k.a. Aunt Goose the science teach. Scrunch liked it so much that after five and a half hours in the car she asked if we could go home to pick up our jackets and go back.

The stomach flu really does simplify things, you know. No more 'whites', 'darks', 'delicates', 'hand-wash', 'dry this and your dead'. It's either puke or poop. Easy peasy laundry day.

After eight years of marriage and a staunch "live five hours from any in-laws" stance, I'm ready for Husband to ditch the gig so we can buy the house next door. It was awesome. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. to wake up to the fact that my child had been kidnapped for some fun while I was taking afternoon nap(s). 

I can count every four rounds. And had I not run out of yarn two days into the trip, I'd have finished my Hemlock Ring. 

Everyone either talks about Northern or Southern California. Rarely does anyone mention the Central Valley. Ever wonder why? I don't.

I also now know the gender of my sister's gremlin. Let just say we hope the child does not inherit his mother's lisp. ;)

Friday, February 18, 2011


I pulled the tags off my new jeans at the same time smearing baby butt cream across my thigh. The thick, white kind. The impossible to get out of anything kind. As I rubbed and blotted with the closest towel, it only became darker and darker from the jeans dark wash. Shmoly! They aren't kidding about the "this ink could penetrate all lighter fabrics within a ten yard radius" thing. The white spot stayed put and the white washcloth took on a blue tinge. Damn. Damn. Damn. I was forty seconds from this being a bummer start to a potentially otherwise uneventful and ungrateful day, and I thought of Julie. In the last twenty-four hours I've thought a lot about Julie. It is the beginning of the same reaction I had for months after meeting Lynette. I start to feel ungrateful. Upset by petty things, and Lynette would creep into my thoughts.

Lynette lived in a dingy apartment, was on welfare, and was actively dying of liver failure. I sat in her apartment where we were accompanied by her two daughters, twelve and fifteen. I remember staring at them through the visit wondering what kind of life they'd had and imagining the worst.

It took all of my professional self composure to hold it together through the visit. When the sixteen year old split for something she saw as more important, clearly over her mother and her "drama", I taught the twelve year old about when to call 911. "Don't be scared about not knowing what to say. That's not your decision to make. If your gut tells you something's wrong, you just call. Understand?" We then programmed 911 into her phone. As I left, Mom jokingly looks up and says "So. Am I going to die today?" I usually joke back, but not today. "I've been doing this long enough to know that I don't get to call those kinds of shots. Your vital signs are stable."

A few blocks away I pulled over and cried. Things were just a little too close to home. Lynette was the name of the first birth mother who ever contacted us. And while I knew now that her baby was not our baby, and was never intended to be, the harsh reality of what that little girl's life was going to be was overwhelming.

Lynnette's life span would be shortened at best, and most likely from the same diagnosis as my patient. Unless a drug overdose or abusive relationship didn't end her first. I could only imagine the worst, and my worst case scenario would probably fall short of the pain and drama, and just plain nasty, awful junk her baby would be exposed to by the time she was twelve. It was a weird Twilight Zone/ Parallel Universe type of moment- to be in the home, seeing the results and consequences of what we had tried so hard to prevent only a few months earlier.

That was the one and only time I saw that patient. I found out later she died that night. Her daughter called 911.

Over the last three and half years I've tried hard to understand what the whole point to our encounter with Lynette, the birth mother, was. And I still don't really know. There are countless reasons, and so many of them so interconnected and entwined that it's hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. It was one of the greatest lessons of Choice and Free Agency- beyond just a schmancy sounding Sunday School answer I think I could experience, or thought I could experience in this life. But then... To be a participant in another woman using her Choice and Free Agency to choose us to parent Scrunch. It is overwhelming. And sacred.

I think, for me, Compassion is one of the primary reasons we're on this planet. When we have Compassion we are less likely to judge, we have a greater understanding, and a greater capacity to love. Compassion took on a whole different meaning after Lynnette. For as much as I hated her weakness, and most of her choices, I also loved her. No matter what. Something along the lines of Christ-like love. And to love like the Savior means we can be more like Him, just a little at a time. One person at a time.

So you can see how when I heard about Julie, I was moved. It has given me pause. Caused me to reflect and think on something a little more heady than whether or not I should be putting eye liner on my bottom lid or how organic I can make my kid's snacks. I think it is worth the twenty, thirty, or forty minutes you will spend reading and witnessing her story. It hits so close to home on so many levels. Where do I even begin?

I'd love to know what you think/thought. And what you keep thinking. Because if you're anything like me you wont be able to get it out of your head. In which case Darcy's mission will have been accomplished.

See The Julie Project by Darcy Padilla.

Like most of my blog posts or links, this is not for kids unless Mom has checked it out first.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dead Man Walking

"Hon, just leave it. I'll take care of it."

Really? Even the bathrooms?

We'd all taken turns paying homage to the porcelain gods and the task would be no less than totally yucky, and the view anything but divine. I wouldn't have done it for less than a ten spot or at least a foot massage. (All my negotiations include a foot massage.) I almost felt bad.

But then I started packing, which of course includes trying on any number of combination of outfits. This is where the fatal mistake occurred.

I believe his exact words were, "Wow. You look really good. And you're not even wearing Spanx."

I'll see you next Wednesday! Don't forget the baseboards and the shower stall. Make 'em sparkle!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On the Road: Crafties Week 2

If no one pukes for twenty-four hours we are headed to Grami's in the morning. And if someone does puke, we're still headed to Grami's. It will just require more frequent stops along the side of the road. We are not strangers to the stretch of road between Northern and Southern California. Scrunch was three weeks old the first time I drove South with her by myself. Both my kids have made the trek along the 5 more times than I care to recount. Luckily, Grami's house is placed just so that when you think you can't take another mile, you descend from the Grapevine and you're there!

This week's crafties are a little bit of a stretch, but you'll see. I can work hot glue into just about anything, including a vacation.

This is where I confess that I'm a little bit of a freak when it comes to packing for Grami's.

When Scrunch was a baby I came across an idea somewhere in the blog-o-sphere for keeping kids occupied in the car, that works! For every hour that we plan on being in the car she gets a baggie with a snack and some trinket. I am a fan of Michael's dollar section and Dollar Tree. The key is to actually separate them into separate baggies. There is something about the anticipation of getting a new baggie that makes the time pass and for ten bucks I don't have to listen to Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang or Finding Nemo  over, and over, and over. Does this count as crafting? Probably not, but slap a sticker on it and it's practically scrapbooking.

My sister once made a comment that my children only wear new clothes when they go to Grami's and now it's turned into this thing. I usually buy clearance a season, or two, or year ahead and I use Grami's house as opening day on a new season of clothes. This includes crafting because little chicas are surprising hard on head adornments, so the week before involves making bows/hairclips/headbands to coordinate with new clothes. I'm a freak, I know it. And it's contagious. I've called Jess twice? thrice? about clearance sales and she doesn't even know what she's having. Keep the receipt. It's either a girl or a boy.

I will need some good mindless knitting. Husband isn't going, so no knitting on the drive. I almost considered taking the train to remedy this, but chickened out. Knitting time will be limited to between movies, Wii tennis, and slices of hummingbird cake. Hemlock Ring and my recently frogged Citron should work.

There's a snowball's chance in hell I might get a quilt quilted while I'm there, but it's not likely. It's about time for a new lake quilt.

That's the plan Stan. On The Road crafting links.

Sippy Cup leash    I might have time for this...

 Please, mom? Whatever will I do if I drop my sippy cup?

Bows, bows, and more bows. If you can tie your shoes, you can make a bow.
Car Seat Organizer

Last week's Crafties

I already posted pics of the Baby legs and owl V-day stuff.

f.i.n.a.l.l.y. Scrunchs' nighstands are painted.

Owl Softie and hairclip- A birthday present.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love is...

There is a great, big, fatty of a difference between 'romance' and 'love'. And I guess it's a good thing I know it or yesterday might have been a total bust. Romance is fun, silly, spontaneous, and includes red and black lace. Love, on the other hand, is mostly puke. Yup. Puke.


Letting your wife sleep while you deal with the puke.
Leaving work no questions asked to bring home an arsenal of saltines, ginger ale, Sprite, and soup.
Washing puke off the couch, off the carpet, and the new skirt mom sewed.
Rubbing her back while she "pukes-up."
Cuddling while watching Sound of Music between pukes.
Long naps.
Being puked on.
Playing on the playroom floor so I can get a shower to wash the puke off.

No doubt. Love is mostly puke. And if you don't like puke then it can be poop, or pus, or colostomy bags, or suppositories, or jp drains, or anything else that makes your stomach turn because eventually it all comes around. I could have gone with "comes back up", but didn't. Are you catching on to the imagery that there was a whole lotta puke involved? That's how you know it's love. The real thing. They have either seen you puke, rubbed your back while you puked, or cleaned up your puke.

Love is Puke. Can I get that printed on a card? Etsy print? Anything?

How about, "Owl Always Love You?"

Puke and all.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Things I love this Valentine's Eve

Make ahead meatloaves (loaves or loafs when it relates to ground beef?) and any dinner I don't have to cook on days I work. Or any other day.

NPR's 'Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me'

Scrunch repeating her address when she wants to go home.

Using a hole saw.

The great debate between Martha Stewart's Flagstone and any other color in the Martha Stewart color line. It's been a year. Time to paint.

Sewing for Scrunch.

Messing around with Piknik.

Going to the zoo in February.

And that now that I have kids, pictures of them count as presents for Grandmas. In this case Grami.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I got a little bit of attitude from another Mom-chick a few weeks ago.

"Do you have just the two?"

What the what? Ugh. For the sake of me ripping your head off and using it in the next tether ball tournament we'll just go with, "Yes. I have two children." And I walked away.

JUST (insert MAJOR eye rolling, me biting my bleeding tongue and choking on a rant, a couple of expletives, and that she can kiss my white, lily...) my two children are keeping me on my toes at the moment.

You never know what is going to come out of Scrunch's mouth. The weekend was filled with hiding from "pink monsters". I practically had to wrestle the Tinkerbell wings off her to fit in the car seat yesterday. That's besides the multiple times she's asked me, "Mom, can I drive?" Oh, and how about after getting after her for something she turns, "How 'bout you be Scrunch, and I'll be the mom?"

The other morning after getting up at six am I told her she should go lay down and try to go back to sleep. "I can't. I have to play. I have all my ideas." Isn't that every toddlers response?

She also told me, "Mom. I speaked with the Lord."
"Uh. huh? What was that?"
"Mom. I speaked to the Lord."
Trying not to die laughing. "Well, what did the Lord say?"
"He said I'm here to find my family."
"Well, who is your family?"
"You're my family!!!" with all of the duh! look a three year-old can muster. This little conversation shut me up in a hurry. Oh, holy crap! I'm toast.

Then there is this little gem found on my husband's phone.

I don't know if I should be more concerned that my less than nine month old is trying to color on the wall, or that my husband is likely to just laugh and video tape his playing with matches.

It is so much harder than it looks to not laugh. Yup. I know it. I'm toast.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hoo! Loves you.

I used to have a craft day at my house every week. When Porkchop was born it just didn't jive with the schedule anymore, so I had to call it quits. Then Amy moved. Then Katie. And my weekly craft club dwindled down to just Scrunch and I and a glue stick. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I went a'craftin with a few ladies in the neighborhood and bingo! A fire was lit under my non-crafting slacker butt.

So, here's my plan. I'm going to have an on-line weekly craft day. That way Katie, and Amy and anyone else who wants to join can play and we can work on our goods while the kids are asleep, while wearing our husband's flannel pajama bottoms, and watching Candice Olson on HGTV. Or something like that.

I will have a theme each week with links to a variety of crafts that range in craft type and skill level. And then the next week I'll post my pics with the next theme/links. Follow? If you want to play leave me a comment as well as if you're willing/want to "host" a week by coming up with the theme and links.

This week I want to finish the Valentine's Day gift for my kids. It was inspired by a Tootsie Roll tin lunch box I found on clearance and this commercial.

Hoo! Loves You!

Knit owl by Amy Gaines
What a Hoot! Applique
Baby Legs from Socks
Chocolate Owls
Marshmellow Pops
Owl Hairclip
You're A Hoot Card
Owl Bunting

This is just a jumping off place. Do your thing...

This past week..A little lovin' in the doorway.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

This Week

Sunday: After visiting a patient- a single mother with bipolar-schizophrenia (along with her myriad of health problems) who was completely dependent and still managed to raise (if you can call it that) six children, I realized that I will never again let the media guilt me into feeling like I need to defend adoption.

Monday: Couponing, meal planning, grocery day. And the first of three trips to "Home Deal-o". I have fallen into the bottomless pit of home improvements which started when I insisted my husband rip the cabinets off the wall in the laundry room. Last Saturday we hauled seven wheelbarrow loads of river rock dug out by hand from one part of the yard to the other. Just for fun. And just because we can.

Tuesday: My first woodworking project, with a boo-boo to boot. I only managed to drill my index finger when tightening the bit, but I learned how to use the miter and the circular saw so it could have been lots worse. Tawanda!!

Wednesday: My Baby Llama, Llama Red Pajama was in fine form today. I could not, not, not, not read that book one more time. I blew the joint shortly after bedtime and went out for a Craft night. I got almost nothing done, but it lit a fire under my non-crafting butt and now I've got all sorts of plans.

Thursday: Went to work and realized that I will never really be able to quit my job. Just when I think I'm about to lose it on the laundry and the bathroom floors, I get out and come feeling like my house is clean, my kids are great, the problems are small, and we're the least dysfunctional family on the planet! A little dose of perspective is a mighty strong thing. And I get paid.

Ask Scrunch what Mama does when she goes to work. "You go take care of the sick man. Not the sicko. Just the sick man." Thank you, Papa. And what does Papa do when he goes to work? "He has to bring home the bacon. I like bacon."

Friday: I gotta Cricut! I gotta Cricut! I gotta Cricut hey, hey. Hey. Hey!

Saturday: When it comes to meals with friends, I prefer dinner at your place and breakfast at mine. And for purely selfish reasons. Showered, dressed, clean house, and fed before noon on a Saturday leaves the rest of day to think about moving more rock, painting walls, scraping old paint and ending up just taking a nap instead. I also came across several videos on my husband's phone that will serve as further evidence in my continual case that my kids are the cutest in the world.

So now you know. If I'm not blogging, it's not because I'm sitting around watching my soaps and eating Bonbons. I do, however, have a thing for RedBox and a Costco frozen yogurt in the freezer.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Funny Stuff

There's a little something to offend just about everyone. Casting on Hemlock Ring, watching Mompetition, and Modern Family = do not interrupt Mom no matter how loud the cackling gets from the next room.

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