Thursday, July 31, 2008


Lanie and I were cuddling together on the floor while Erin played nearby. I held Lanie close and said, "We used to do everything together all the time."

She looked wistful.

"Why don't we do that anymore?" I asked. I was thinking it was because whatever I suggest, she suggests the exact opposite. Her answer surprised me.

"It's because that silly, clumsy Erin came along. Why did she come here?" she said this matter-of-factly.

"Because God gave her to us. And she's not silly and clumsy." I did say this lovingly. And I know that Lanie adores Erin, and Erin adores Lanie. They do grumble over toys ... and who gets to sit in my lap ... but all day long they do stuff together and the house is filled with squeals of happiness and laughter.

Still, when Lanie said this, and it's not the first time she expressed her world came to an end because of Erin, I couldn't help but think of a woman I know whose kids are adults and the oldest still blames the youngest as the sole cause of her life's unhappiness. I hope that my kids don't feel that way about each other.

"You two are going to be best friends. When you guys are older and have babies of your own, Erin will be your best friend!" I encouraged.

"You're my best friend, Mom. And when I'm a mommy, you'll still be my best friend. Forever."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beloved Noonoo

When Erin was a tiny baby, about 6 or 7 months old, I noticed she liked to take a blanket and rub it against her cheek while she was nursing and trying to fall asleep. Having had a special blankie myself, I thought I should get her something more durable than the lovely crocheted keepsakes we have ... because once those are gone, they're gone. Irreplaceable.

A great (insanely expensive: Chasing Fireflies, I think it's called) kids' catalog had these Noonoo blankets in them. They looked exactly like something Erin would love. I bought one to test out. And she adored it. So I bought another one. They are her favorite things. Her go-to comforter and bedtime snuggler. And also affordable and replaceable.

They are made of felted lambswool and have a kid-designed embroidered animal/bug. The blanket is a patchwork of fingered squares. Erin seems to have favorite frills, because there are spots on her blanket that seem the most loved. After washing, the blanket has a returning, unexpected scent. It kind of reminds me of a man's cologne. It's rather pleasant.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It shrank

Shane decided to clean out his side of the closet. He has a huge wardrobe ... from the 80s! He bagged up five bags of stuff for donation. He held up some cycling pants, "Are these yours or mine?"

"It doesn't matter," I said. "It's not like they would fit either one of us anymore."

"Speak for yourself!" he said.

He held up a pair of shorts and said, "Are these too short?"

"No," I replied. "They look good."

He tried them on. "Are you sure they aren't too short?"

"No, they look fine."

He wasn't buttoned in. And when I saw him pull on them to button up, he said, "They shrank."

I ran to hug him. "Aww, I still love you! All mine shrank too!"

After he finished bagging up his things, I did a quick survey of what's on my side. I'm pretty good about going through clothes and weeding out my closet. I have held onto some skirts that I wore fifteen years ago. I think I use it as a measure, like a favorite pair of skinny jeans. Not that I've been able to wear these clothes, but from time to time I try them on just to see if I still can get into them. For now, I can't. But there was a brief time in 2004/2005 that I could. I'm still hopeful. I'll keep them around.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Super Surprise Friday (bust edition)

Last night I told Lanie not to change out of her pajamas when she woke up in the morning. Instead, I woke Erin up shortly after Lanie woke up and the kiddos and I went on our surprise mission in pajamas (mine really being what I wore yesterday and fell asleep in).

Now, don't start thinking that McDonald's is a regular part of our lives or diet. But when I was thinking what might be fun for a kid, having breakfast out in pajamas sounded good. And since there is no reasonable place within reasonable driving distance from our house, my choices were McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts. I figured she'd stand a pretty decent chance of having a better breakfast at McD's, so that's where we went.

As I pulled up in the parking lot, Lanie asks, "McDonald's?"

"Yep!" I said, pretty pleased with myself thinking that she would think I was the coolest and most original mom ever. But instead, I was far from it.

"I only eat the same things at McDonald's, Mom," she says cautiously. Was she wondering if she'd have chicken nuggets for breakfast?

"They have breakfast stuff here. You can get pancakes--"

"I don't like pancakes." For the record, yes she does.

This was the SSF bust. We went home instead. I made breakfast here and we're still ironing out the bumps of a bad mood--both of us! So, not every SSF turns out the way you expect or hope. Still, it's a beautiful day. I'm sure we can make the best of it!

Thanks to Christy and Ashlyn, we were able to enjoy donuts with sprinkles when they super-surprised us during a playdate today. You know, I had prayed God's blessing on our house and our family today. Sometimes blessings come by the dozen. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer day

Yesterday was pretty nice out. We played outside. We went to the fountain pool at the gym. We played outside some more and ate freezie pops (a.k.a. surprise). No shots of Erin at the pool. I was holding her while taking pix of Lanie. I tried to get a picture of the two of them together, but Erin howled because I took her out of the pool.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Super Surprise Friday

Lanie and I super-surprised this day without Erin (she got a fun day with the babysitter). Shane was glad it was just us big girls today, he felt Lanie really needed some special mom time.

First, we got our nails done. I chose "My chihuahua bites" by OPI, and Lanie got purple sparkles and multi-sparkles. I mean, really, what else would we pick?

Then it was off to Walmart to get some school supplies. Lanie was immediately drawn to the commercial backpacks. Forget the cute original ones we saw in the Hannah Andersson catalog, or even the sweet butterfly backpack with matching lunchbox in L.L. Bean's critter collection. Nope. She went straight to Dora. And then chose a non-matching Princess lunchbox. I wondered if she would still feel the same about Dora in the middle of kindergarten, and questioned her choice. But she was adamant. And so it was (also significantly cheaper).

At check out, the front end supervisor chatted us up about school supplies. Asked Lanie what grade she was going into. Lanie, in typical fashion, scowled and ignored the woman (which is really ok with me--I'm rather glad she has apprehension of strangers, even if it borders on rude). I answered for her, "She's starting kindergarten this fall."

"Oh, full day or half day?" the supervisor asks me.

"Well, it's full day, two days a week."

Puzzled look.

"I'll be homeschooling her the other days."

"Why are you choosing that?" she asks.

"I like the benefits of both."

"Do you think that will mess her up?"

"Not at all," I replied. This is the first I've had of the world examining my choice to home school. So far, my friends have either been supportive, or, at the very least, polite. I suspect I will hear a lot more on this front. I'm not offended. Homeschooling is not a mainstream choice.

After Walmart, we headed to McDonald's for lunch. I called Shane and told him about the conversation about homeschooling. He laughed pretty hard, and much longer than I expected.

Then Lanie and I went to see "WALL-E," the Disney Pixar film.

It was a nice day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Super Surprise Friday

Last Friday was the last day of VBS, and the end of a busy week for Lanie. She was noticeably mellower on Friday, and, fortunately for all, looking and acting more like herself. So it was a pleasure after VBS to take Lanie and our neighbor's daughter (who was a helper that week for the church) out to Jimmie Cone for ice cream. Lanie and MK got vanilla cones with rainbow sprinkles and Erin got just a vanilla cone. I was able to get a few licks to satisfy my own sweet tooth. That trip, in itself, was enough for SSF. However, MK accepted our offer to join us for lunch at home and a run through the sprinklers.

I think we all had a few belly laughs that day as Erin manned the crazy sprinklers and aimed at Lanie and MK. And Lanie enjoyed getting thoroughly doused by pitchers of water as MK chased her around the yard. Even MK seemed to enjoy hanging out with little ones and laughing for a bit. Good day all around.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The fourth of July

Lanie says to me during breakfast (yesterday), "Mommy, what's today?"

Seizing the opportunity for teaching, I say, "Today is the fourth of July. It's a day celebrated all across our country, commemorating our declaration of independence from England--"
"No, Mommy. I mean, what's today? Is it Thursday?"
We had a fun time. Some new friends came over for dinner, along with one of our very close friends, Denise. I grilled, despite the rain showers. The kids donned bathing suits and slid down the slides on the playset. "Super fun" and "hilarious" they called it; the runway was slick and they flew down those slides. We enjoyed tasty treats, cold drinks, and even a fun game (Apples to Apples). The kids later watched Cinderella, until it was dark enough. Then the neighbors to the east began their fireworks show. We all went out to the patio to enjoy it. Shane started a fire in the fire pit and we roasted marshmallows.

I think it was one of the best fourths I've ever had.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


The euphoria/delusion that comes with an updated look has given me a big reality check: I am not twenty-five.

I decided to take the Ball and Weights class at the gym on Monday.

Isn't that self-explanatory? The Ball and Weights class ... ???

Don't let the gentle warm-up fool you. Because those happy little stretches are meant to keep you in the class just long enough for the doors to shut and then you can't get out. I felt bad for the one guy who decided to join the class of amazons, I mean, women. At least I didn't feel like I had anything to prove. I'm sure he felt he had to keep up with the instructor. He wisely chose a spot in the back of the class.

She starts us off with single leg squats with weights. Twenty reps. Each leg. Two sets. And yes, you must make the weights touch the floor. Unless you're me. So you're balancing on one foot and squatting every single chocolate chip/white chip cookie you've ever eaten, and then it feels like both of your kids are on your back while you do this.

It just gets harder from there. Unless you're me ... because I'm allowed to get away with lying on the floor looking at this hulk, I mean, woman, like she's out of her mind. And yet I still have managed to rip every muscle in my body. So that last night's stroller walk resembled a snail's marathon and the stroller was transformed into a walker. At least today, while still feeling searing pain, I think I can manage to pick stuff up off the floor. Including the fixings from last night's dinner that fell from my hands as I transferred them to the plate.

But the most painful thing is that I dropped my camera yesterday. On hardwood flooring. And it hit hard. The lens came detached from the body to the groans of those who witnessed it. Being the desperate optimist I am on alternate Tuesdays, I said, "It'll be ok! It'll be ok!" But it wasn't. I think the lens is the only casualty, as the body still allows me to turn it on and view my stored photographs. Still, I had vivid nightmares last night of taking it to the camera store. And instead of making the grocery run my morning priority, we're going to the mall as soon as it opens to assess the damage.