Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What to Do When Things Get Dicey

Photo by David

Did you ever feel nervous about having kids--wondered whether you would know what to do?  Well, let me tell...  Not to worry!  You'll know.  Trust me, you'll know.  When you're left all alone and a need arises, you will shine--you'll have to.

Take today, for example.  All was quiet in the house... nap time.  nobody stirred, except the dryer that was humming along, turning, turning, in a soothing rhythm and the fan whirring in Elliott's and Caiden's room acting as a poor man's white noise machine.  I was knocked out, laying diagonally across my bed on my stomach, feet dangling off the bed from my ankles down, still clothed and clod from our morning outing.  I had set my timer for 20 minutes (right, like that's gonna happen), but by the time it went off, I was asleep enough to know how good it would feel to not get up to the Miles Davis song alerting me that my time was up.  So I slept on... and on and on and on.  Sleeping, that is, until Elliott's wretchedly repititious cries for "Moooommmmy.  Mooommy.  Mooooooomy..." finally worked their way to the rational and conscious part of my brain. 

I groggily asked him, "What?" 

To which he promptly replied in a sing-song voice, "Wipe-me!" as he does in that way that only Elliott can do where he magically takes two words and somehow combines them into one.

I unwillingly pulled myself up off my stomach, wiped the drool from my face, and proceeded to fulfill my motherly duties.  When I was finished, I stumbled into their bedroom to attend to Caiden, who also happened to be calling for me.  I assumed that she too had been awakened from blissful slumber by Elliott's cries for help.  Still somewhat groggy, I reached down to get her, hoping to bring her back to my bed for a little snuggle, thereby buying me a few more minutes of down time. 

And that's when it happened.  She swiped at my bangs with her little hand and made baby noises as if to get my attention--and then I saw it.  Black-crusted fingers and hands, a smear of black across her forehead.  Then came the smell... and that's when I knew.  I had been subconciously trying to frantically think of an alternative reason for her to be covered in black gook.  I could find none.  It was poop.  Good, old fashioned, stinky, messy, pain-in-the-butt, disgusting poop.

At this point, I think my head swung instinctively side to side--just to make sure that I truly was the only one here which would mean that I alone would have to deal with this mess.  I don't know who I thought I might find lurking in our hallway, but I had to be sure.  After all, there was poop everywhere!  There might even be a little bit in my hair.  Now that's just not right!

Well, as I was saying at the very beginning of this post--once you become a parent something happens.  And that something just happens to be your kids.  Your kids happen...  And you know what?  When they happen, you respond, react, cry, whatever, but its just you.  Things will come up that totally surprise you.  Things you're not prepared to handle or expect; but you do what is instictual--you survive.  I did.  And I'm here to tell the story...  And so will you.

Good luck.

(Picture at top added for visual interest.  Fam in SF)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rows of (Red) Cotton

'Member when I told you about that cool yarn store in my town called Cast Away?  Well, we took another trip there--couldn't resist.  And Elliott decided he wanted me to make him a scarf and proceeded to pick out his yarn.  I love how entitled my son feels (as I've mentioned before)--makes me happy.

This is my first endeavor with knitting.  It was fun!  It was easy.  I know it looks amazing and difficult, but I'm gonna let you in on a little secret that grandmothers have been keeping for years:  all knitting really is, is making knots or loops.  Anyone can do it.  So don't let the complex appearance of a knitted object scare you off any longer.  You can do this!  I promise.  Here's the tutorial I used.  Check it out, claim your own victory, and let me know how it works out.  I love a good success story.


Could it really actually be Monday again, already?  I'm really surprised to see Mr. Monday here so soon...

Boy, I tell ya:  what with my cousin Grace here, overlapped by a lovely visit from David's folks, pre-empted by David and my own natural leaning toward a "hang out first, clean up later" regard toward life, our house was virtually in shambles.  You know the kind when you don't even feeling like spending a single waking moment in your house because its so chaotic?  That's how I felt, which resulted in one of the funnest(?) nights I've had in a loooong time.  I felt like I was seventeen again and full of passion and excitement about life.  Here is my recipe:


iPod (or similar device)
Some music that's rockin'
A massive mess


Put the headphones in your ears good and tight.
Crank up some rockin' music.
Get to work scrubbing and straightening.
Dance around while putting dishes away and occasionally slap your leg along with the beat.
Feel the music inside your soul so much so that you want to jump out of your skin and dance around.
Sing very loudly without regard to pitch or lyrics. (like yell them if you you have to)
Never mind what your howling probably sounds like to the other grown ups who might also be cohabitating with you.
Rock out.
Feel the passion.
Use this passion and energy to clean every corner of your house till it shines like a brand new, bright and shiny, copper penny.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blue, Green, and Yellow

Hi, from Dillon Beach, CA!

Photos by Grace Eliza Cook
Grace and I discussed the options for our day, today, and decided to hit the beach.  Since dear Grace lives in land-locked Kansas, she was pretty excited for the opportunity to see the big, blue, yonder.  It was a beautiful day--sunny and warm, although a bit windy out at the coast.  The drive was amazing with fields full of yellow blossoms as far as the eye could see, rolling hills and peaceful countryside sweep by, and then suddenly out from between the hills you can gaze down on the amazing Pacific Ocean surrounded by green sloping hills dotted with sheep, rock cliffs, and sand dunes.  It was absolutely beautiful and amazing.

We had fun digging holes, jumping off and down the sand dunes, and dipping our toes in the icy cold ocean.  Caiden loved the water and as you can see in some of the pictures, I had to keep running after her before she could plunge herself head first into the wintry water.  Crazy kid!  She kept at it, though, even though I'm sure her feet were just as numb and aching as mine.  Don't you just love winter?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not Much of a Girly-Girl

From CrynFiction

Apparently, I'm not much of a lady... Or so my four year old son tells me. We were sitting at dinner the other night and I was focused. My stomach had been seriously growling at me for the past two hours, so when I finally got the food on the table and ready to go, I was in the zone. Once I'm in that zone, good luck trying to get my attention for anything if you need something. Elliott was encountering this hungry girl phenomenon that particular evening, so Daddy was explaining to him like this, "Sometimes Mommy is just a really hungry girl, so you have to shout at her, 'Hey Cryn! I need a napkin!' like that, ok?"

That was when Elliott jumped in with his two cents. "But Mommy is not a girl!"

"Oh really?" I laughed. "What do you mean, I'm not a girl?" (Apparently I wasn't too hungry to hear this part of the conversation.)

"Yeah," Elliott replied, "You're not really a girl, because you do things that girls don't do..."

"Like what?" I was getting really interested in this, now.

"Like... wipe people... Like boys... and girls... Yeah, girls, like Allison and Rachel, can't really wipe people, because they're just girls. And you're not a girl."

"Oh, so what you're saying, is that I've got mad skills then?" I asked.


Okay, I can live with not being a real girl as long as he admits that I have some mad skills... Apparently my niche is wiping butts.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

So, here's a little peak into the random package I put together for the winner of my little package giveaway...

I love re-purposing glass baby food jars for use as little tealight holders.  I used brown bags to cover the outside and then a cool feather insignia stamp I found on Etsy to spruce up the brown paper a bit and then glued buttons on at the seams.  I felt the need to spruce up a few paper clips, too, so I glued some buttons on them as well.  I threw a bag of Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips into the mix (my favorite) and a few odd postcards and such.  Voila!  Random package ready to go!

I then delivered it all in that awesome bag that Grace and I found at this amazing yarn shop downtown called "Cast Away."  Enjoy your package, Jessica!

P.S.  While searching for links, I stumbled upon this old post with this verse...  Hope it encourages you as it did me!

"My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.  In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.  Trust in him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."  Psalm 62:5-8

And if you're in need of an extra dose of encouragement...  Check out these verses, too:

Psalm 46:1-3
Psalm 73:22-26
Psalm 52:8,9
Psalm 55:22