Archive for December, 2010

Clean Underwear for Yife

December 11th, 2010 at 4:49 pm » Comments (7)

Today I stood at the Laundry Table and folded clothes forever. It’s supposed to be a ‘breakfast table.’ But no one eats breakfast there because it is always covered in laundry and we’re all about saying it like it is around here, so we call it the Laundry Table.

While I stood there and folded, the boys were playing some sort of Wii game with tanks. Nothing realistic, very cartoon-y and nothing gory or bloody or graphic or anything else along those lines. Little red and blue tanks who shoot in unrealistic looking perforated lines across the screen. No people.  But shooting noises, which irritate me. And worse than that, the conversation of 3 boys that goes something like this:

“Aw, man, you killed me. I died.

“Here, I’ll kill myself and then you can shoot at that guy.”

“You’re dead!”  (gleefully spoken)

And on. And on. And on.

Finally I stopped them. I made them (gasp) hit the pause button and listen to me.

“Boys.  I’m your mother, and I gave you LIFE and it hurts me to hear all the casual talk of killing and death and I really can’t stand it. Do you HAVE to talk like that?” (There’s definitely a reason this sort of talk bothers me more than it should. I know what it is, and sorry, but it’s still there. This talk is perfectly normal with 3 boys and a tank game. I know. But it still freaks me out.)

The boys stood across the room from me, and were apparently under the misconception that if they spoke to one another without moving their lips, I would not hear them.

Caden-6yr says, “Is she serious? It’s a tank game. And you HAVE to shoot and kill.”

Ethan-10yr, “Uh, yeah. She… she just gets like that.”

Seth-5yr: “She gave us YIFE? I think I only got underwear.”

Seth. I gave you life AND I gave you clean underwear. I’m pretty amazing like that. Stop with all the violent talk or no more tank game.”

I turn back to the Laundry Table and Caden-6yr quietly says, “I’m six. That was kinda a long time ago.”

There was a silent scream at the Laundry Table at that moment.

That particular child  was NINE pounds when he was born and then slimmed on down AFTER birth and stayed on the svelte side AFTERWARDS because HA, take THAT for some timing, Mom.

So they humored me. And I appreciated the effort.

“ha HA! I’ll really… um, GET you here in a second.”

“My tank is going to take out that other one…”

And my personal favorite for creativity, “Ha! Game OVER for YOU!”

Identity Check

December 9th, 2010 at 5:59 pm » Comments (8)

I’ve been snippy. Irritable. I know what’s been bothering me, but I thought just telling myself to get over it a few hundredy times might work, and you know what? It didn’t. Or anything else really.

I got my feelings hurt over something and could NOT let it go. (Yeah, I’m phrasing it that way on purpose. Someone else did not hurt my feelings; I allowed them to get hurt. Choice.)

I was talking to someone I’ve known for a long time, and the person wanted me to list what I do for them. As in, could you please  outline your value as a person in some tangible ways for me… because I’m… just… not seeing it… and a list might help me out here…

It’s been a few years since I’ve watched The Apprentice. I’m not up to speed on it. But it seems to me like that’s the sort of thing Mr. Trump says right before he does that thing with his hand and says, “You’re fired.”

The very nature of the question offended me. And I didn’t want to answer, and at first refused. It was re-asked. Repeatedly.  If I’m not doing anything at all that is noticeable, appreciated, or has value… whoah. Something is really wrong here. And maybe it’s me. And maybe it isn’t. But something is definitely off.

I can think of at least three things of value that the CAT does for me, and that’s without really trying.

(I mean, without ME really trying. I’m sure the cat is trying REAL hard with all the effort and the purring and the furriness and all of that. The cat totes gets credit here for all that difficult feline stuff he does. You should see his long, pretty fur. And he LICKS it to clean it. You think that’s easy? Nuh UH, that is not easy. This pretty kittyboy is not sitting around popping catnip bonbons, yaknow? )

So eventually I did answer with a few things, and I wish I hadn’t. Because ever since then, I’ve thought of all the other things that were better that might have demonstrated a bit more worth. And then I hate that thought pattern, because yikes, THAT is pathetic. It’s so… defensive. And I don’t need to defend. I want to… but I don’t need to.

In any case, important lesson learned. Do NOT place any sense of your self worth in human hands.  No matter who that human is. The operative word there is human. Someone could build you up in all sorts of ways you do not necessarily deserve. Or tear you down in ways you shouldn’t allow. Or, more likely, just be all human and do something in between.

If you let them.

If you forget where your true value is and who you really are.

For  a whole week and get all snippy.

Don’t do that. Not worth it.

The next time you’re feeling a bit walked on (because you LET someone walk on you, or because you just didn’t see the giant boots coming your way, or whatever)… come back here if you need to. Bookmark this post if you think this sounds like you’re gonna need it.

Yesterday at an airport, someone swabbed me down for traces of gunpowder. I thought, ‘clearly you do not know who I am.’ And I did not take offense. This is the spiritual equivalent, nothing more.

Here is my quick link list of who you really are, with the One perspective that matters, so don’t you forget it.

more than a conqueror (personal fave)

custom made

this one made me cry

oh YEAH!

i come from..

love the last 6 words of this one



my leaves do not wither… but pass the eye cream



prepared (good one to end on)

By the time I was finished with this… I was MUCH better. I AM much better. Nothing like a little divine perspective tweak.

FYI, I happen to think you’re pretty great, in case you need or want to know. You’re ‘enough,’ just how you are. And I bet no one could make a list long enough to detail all the things you do that are worthwhile and valuable in this world that you probably never get credit for. And who has time for that sort of listmaking, anyway? You’re great. I pray that everyone in your life notices and loves you for it – but if they don’t, it’s still okay.

I know who you really are. God knows. YOU know. We got it covered.

aksumites, scorpions, teeth, eggs, hello kitty

December 7th, 2010 at 7:51 pm » Comments (4)

i should be studying. but my brain is fatigued with the whole aksumite empire thing. fatigued, i tell ya. see? no capital letters = fatigue. back in sept and oct, i tested out of thirtysix whole hours of various stuff. aksumite empire-ish stuff was not on the list. i wish it had been. but then i doubt i could have passed. that’s how i’m stuck with it now.

if you find aksumite empireish stuff to be fascinating, please excuse me. i respectfully disagree.

the latest on sweet little caden-baby, as we used to call him… and as i still do when i’m feeling maternal and guilty….  he’s having his front two teeth pulled tomorrow. he’s never even had a loose tooth, even though he’s almost 7. but he has an extra permanent tooth en route, and it needs some room. actually, he has to have these two little teeth pulled, then the extra permanent tooth pulled after its arrival, and then he’ll have room for the last permanent tooth that then we’ll let him keep forever.

sounds harsh, huh?

yesterday he told me he was having his teeth pulled. i said, ‘yeah, i know. i’m sorry about that.’

and caden-6yr said, ‘why? dad said it won’t hurt.’

me: ‘he did…?’

caden-6yr: ‘yeah. and it won’t be a big deal. remember when jaden pulled his tooth at lunch after church that day using just a fork? that was so cool.’

okay, actually i do remember that, and wish i could forget that because it was disgusting, and no it was not cool.

yeah… this won’t really be like that… and there won’t be a fork involved….’

ethan-10yr helpfully pipes up with how there’s a law still on the books in a town in rhode island that states that if the dentist pulls the wrong tooth, then the blacksmith has to pull the dentist’s tooth as a consequence…

mike and i tried to shush him before he could share this… but we were too late. and caden-6yr is very nervous and upset about the entire thing, blacksmith required or not.

i snuggled him and prayed with him and talked to him… and felt especially awful because mike scheduled it for the day i won’t even be here.

i’ll be with lala having a great time. and i really will – there’s no question. fantastic time while dentist digs out baby’s front two teeth while i am far far away. i’m working on learning the art of compartmentalizing. i think it would be really helpful right about now.

cadenbaby just told me mike dropped a bunch of eggs. i told him to tell mike he should take a picture. that’s what i do when i drop eggs. not that i know why. cadenbaby came back and said mike said no. then he told me it looked like i had baby teeth. but i refused to be offended. i didn’t even understand that observation. and then, because he was totally stalling against bedtime, he said that he wouldn’t take my red hellokitty folder even if i gave it to him. not that i offered. i didn’t.

i do not have baby teeth, but i will probably never outgrow hello kitty. or be mature enough to care about the intricacies of the aksumites.

today i was hardly mature enough to make it through a yoga/pilates class. we were doing some sort of scorpion move i’d never seen before and it struck me as thoroughly hilarious and i was biting the insides of my cheeks to stop from laughing. my tall, blond friend was a very serene scorpion – very graceful. eyes closed and everything. good thing, because if i’d caught her eye i would have definitely laughed out loud and caused peace issues. on the other side of me, my mom was scorpioning it up too. model students. and i was in the middle just about to fall apart in a very unscorpion-like manner. silently singing ‘rock you like a hurricane’ and biting hard to stop from being a very immature, disruptive scorpion.

ugh. back to the aksumites. it was nice taking this little break with y’all.


mike made eggs. yes. with the ones that crashed to the ground. he said they were salvageable. ew. it never occurs to me to do that, yaknow…? but maybe they’ll be good for cadenbaby’s toothless status.

Caden-6yr, You Have Your Mother’s Grace… LOTS of It.

December 6th, 2010 at 2:57 pm » Comments (8)

I should be studying history. I really, REALLY should be studying history. In my very lame defense…. I tried. But then it got all historical. And not in a good way. In a way that made me want to see if someone was selling something for dirt cheap on ebay because they didn’t know to list it as “Ann Taylor” instead of how it’s written on the label: “AnnTaylor.” Seriously. People make that mistake all the time. I take advantage of such people all the time. In my closet right now is a gorgeous little brown skirt with beige swirls that was $2 for just this reason. (yes. nwt. i know!)

I went to Amee’s Butt Class again. The intensity just wasn’t there. Disappointing.  I was looking forward to a little survival chat with God. For someone with a really cushy life, you’d be surprised how often I have those chats with Him.

Anyway. Since I’m not studying….

Saturday, at Caden-6yr’s basketball game, I had reason to be so very proud. So, “ooooh, that is MY baby right there.” Don’t you love those moments? He ran up the bleachers to where we were sitting, and then I told him to go back and sit with his team. And he – VERY LOUDLY – tripped and clunked and fell all the way down the stairs to the bottom. My mother was sitting behind me and had a better view. She said, ‘Uh – that was his right knee.’  And then? He popped up and turned and gave the crowd in the bleachers his very best, “I’m fiiiine” smile. Even though it had to have hurt. A lot.

Then, five minutes later, he did the ENTIRE THING AGAIN. With the tripping, the loud clunking on each step (BAM, CLUNK, WHACK on each step all the way to the bottom). And the smile. (Best part.)

That’s my baby. He got the whole tripping/falling/popping up  and smiling/no, not hurt thing all from ME.   What a sweetie. I wish he’d gotten my appreciation for silence instead.

Then, five minutes later, he came up to talk to us again, and everyone in the stands got a bit nervous. When he turned to go, I said, “watch your feet, please, and don’t trip, okay?”

His foot did the exact same thing it had the previous 2 times, but he held on and didn’t fall this time.  He wavered. Arms flailed enough to make us sweat. But he held on.

The home crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief.

He also had a pretty good game, but I was far more concerned with his off-court abilities. So was everyone else. It was like watching two, simultaneous and dramatic sporting events. A basketball game over here… and also for your viewing pleasure, we have a small child attempting to descend bleacher-stairs over here…  oh! it’s okay… look at that smile, he’s fine. He’ll try again… and again…. and on the court we have another basket for the home team… and that is the deafening, distracting noise of the small child taking a tumble again… but oh! he’s fiiiiiine.

And… here he goes again….

The Elusive, Stylish Spit Cup

December 5th, 2010 at 6:01 pm » Comments (0)

So Jennifer Sullivan says it’s called Pine Mouth when you eat rancid pine nuts and have the world’s worst and lingering taste in your mouth, and she gave me lots of suggestions to try in the comment section of the last post. And I’m grateful! I got up and went to a health food store Saturday morning and bought aloe vera juice, aloe vera caplets, and charcoal pills. I took two aloe vera caplets. This is the extent of my attempts to solve the pine mouth thingy. And discreet, at-home spitting. Meager, huh?

Well, also there’s an unfortunate strategy of eating that helps a little. SNARF super fast, just like you tell your kids never to do because it’s tacky, and the metallic aftertaste can’t kick in til you’re done.  I’m not a ‘here, let me take a pill or a vitamin’ type. Or drink anything besides water, diet coke and the rare coffee. (okay, fine, I had a bloody mary a few months back) So it was surprising I even went and got such items, but it would have been truly shocking if I’d ever actually fully employed them.  But if you have a weird symptom, come here and ask Jennifer Sullivan for help! I strongly recommend her!

As with all distasteful issues, I tend to just smile and say “I’m fine” until it goes away. I’ve defaulted to this for pine mouth. Of course, when you do this, you end up with a lot more distasteful circumstances in your life than are strictly necessary than say, if you actively eradicate them. I know.

In other news. I can hardly move. In a good way. 4 other people and I went to the kickboxing class on Friday night and it was gloriously, wonderfully, excruciatingly difficult. (for ME. not for those other 4 people who are in way better shape.)  I was afraid I would have forgotten how to do everything. Or that I’d hurt something. Or that I’d find that class has lost its ability to erase my emotional issues. Only that last one needed to be a concern, but it was sort of that one that meant the most to me. Maybe next time.

I have three REALLY out of control kids in the living room, one disgusting taste in my mouth I don’t want to address in a meaningful way, and poor motor control due my odd choice of how to spend a Friday night. I think it’s time to strap them into seatbelts and go look at Christmas lights. My arms are sore, so not sharp turns allowed.

Also, my car needs a spit cup.*

*What IS a spit cup anyway? Where would you buy such an item? Are they marketed under a title less disgusting, and I’ve seen them before and just didn’t recognize their true purpose? I’ve never seen a silver, engraved spit cup at Things Remembered in the mall… have you? I’m picturing those adorable little Dixie paper cups my friend Christal had in her bathroom back in 1980.  Those would be disposable and darling. And spit cups sound so revolting that of course, they should be darling. Except I haven’t seen those little dixie cups since… 1980.

The Pine Nut Incident

December 3rd, 2010 at 2:35 pm » Comments (9)

A year ago my sister sent me an article about rancid pine nuts. She’s really helpful like that. She knows I eat them. Pine nuts. Not rancid pine nuts. Usually.

This article described how you can eat pine nuts, and they might taste fine, but then maybe for days or WEEKS afterwards every time you eat or drink anything at all you’ll have a disgusting metallic nasty bitter aftertaste. And that, y’all,  is a symptom of having eaten some rancid pine nuts. Which seemed fine and not rancid at the time. But really they weren’t fine. At all.

Mike bought pine nuts at the store last week. He’s helpful like that. He knows I eat them.

Well. I used to eat them.

Now I don’t eat much of anything, and I spit a lot (which is real ladylike), and brush my teeth constantly, and wonder how it is that even water can taste bad.



I am, gasp, not really very good at spitting. Men where I live are REAL good spitters. They open their pickup doors and just STHWACK and there’s a glob on the street in front of you and then you have to drive through it and picture it on your tires. Or swerve.

But when I try it, since the Pine Nut Incident,  it ends up all over my chin. I could never just STHWACK right onto pavement like that.

I’ve never really admired that ability in anyone before.

But this could be a long few weeks overcoming this rancid pine nut aftertaste, and by the end of it people behind me might be amazed at my ability to pop open my car door, lean out and STHWACK right on the pavement in such a neat and orderly way that I didn’t mess up my lipgloss.

They’ll have to drive through it, picturing what rancid pine nut spit looks like on their tires.

Or swerve. I won’t be offended.


it would be confusing if you’ve never met me…. since i tell you absolutely everything and all… so it MIGHT shock you to hear that i’m a way private person who won’t even put on lipstick in public. much to the amusement of my female relatives. there’s a lot of private spitting of pine nut nastiness going on here, so i actually would LOVE to be able to do it better – but I won’t ACTUALLY make anyone swerve with public pine nut spitting. (that’s what tumbleweeds are for.)

The Unanimous Protocol of the Guhl Blink

December 2nd, 2010 at 7:21 pm » Comments (7)

The boys have their own, odd culture. It includes language, pronunciations, values, customs, and disgustingness that is unique to these three brothers.  They can lapse into a conversation that only the three of them would understand, and any onlookers are baffled at how none of them needs to stop and explain or clarify to another brother.

Today I was that onlooker. I often am. It’s a privilege. I hereby extend the privilege to you as well.

The boys got in the car after school and Seth-5yr announced that “a yot of people got tow-yees.”    [tallies, a form of disciplinary warning]

I asked if he had gotten a tally.

“Uh… I don’t know.”

“Yes, you would know. Why don’t you tell me why you might have gotten a tally.”

“Because Tyler was MESSING with me.”

I can totally relate. I’ve about had it with people messing with me, too, and I’m about due for a tally myself because I am fast running out of patience. Not that I said that to Seth-5yr. I’m just saying that to you.

What did he do?”

“He BYINKED at me.”

[byinked = blinked]

“Uh…? Seth-5yr? Tyler HAS TO blink. He’s a human and his eyeballs will dry out if he doesn’t. Don’t you think you could have ignored this?”

Ethan-10yr and Caden-6yr have been in the backseat, silent. They have matured past the age where they accidentally rat their own selves out about tallies, and want nothing to do with this conversation. Until now.

Caden-6yr says, “Well, no, Mom, he couldn’t have ignored it if it was a guhl blink.”

[guhl = girl]

Ethan-10yr, apparently needed no explanation of what this meant.  ”Right.”

I look in the rearview mirror and ask what a Girl Blink is.

Caden-6yr raises his eyebrows, rolls his eyes clear back into his head, and then flutters his lashes. It’s CREEPY. And I can see how such a thing could not be ignored. But, as a girl,  I do object to this being labeled a Guhl Blink. I’ve sure never seen any girls doing such things. Or boys. Until today. And today I saw it a yot. I mean, a lot.

Seth-5yr is seated directly in front of Caden-6yr and cannot see what his brother just demonstrated, but also is not in need of this visual aid anyway.

“Yeah! THAT is what he did to me!” And then Seth-5yr raises his brows, rolls his eyes clear back into his head, and then flutters his lashes.

“Okaaaaay. I still think you could have ignored this and stayed out of trouble.”

Caden-6yr seeks to clarify the finer points and protocol for me: “no, Mom. You CANNOT ignore it when a boy looks at you and does a Guhl Blink in a snotty way. You CAN ignore a guhl doing a guhl blink at you, but it canNOT be ignored if a boy does it. See? We’ll show you.”

And without ANY whispered preparation with Ethan-10yr, Ethan-10yr demonstrates a perfect Guhl Blink and Caden-6yr bugs his eyes out and pretends to try hard to look straight forward but his head is compelled – against his will, so it seems – in Ethan-10yr’s direction.

Then Ethan-10yr’s eyes, eyebrows, and lashes return to normal. Caden-6yr shrugs and says, “See? can’t be done. You canNOT ignore a boy doing a Guhl Blink if he’s doing it to be snotty to you.”

“Oh. Well. Okay.” This wasn’t much of a comeback, but I was kind of caught off guard. I drove on, silently thinking how great it must be to be one of three brothers.

Then Seth-5yr casually said, “I tooted a yot today.”

Caden-6yr sighed a deep sigh and said, “Yeah. Me too.”

A few miles down the road after no one had said anything at all, Ethan-10yr said, “I didn’t.”

Survey complete.

Boys are weird.


December 2nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm » Comments (3)

This morning I heard beautiful words. Words I’ve waited more than a year to hear from Mr. Knee Surgeon. “You may now proceed to kick the crap out of stuff.”

Okay. He didn’t use those words. But that’s what his boring words meant, and I’ve re-worded out the boring for better readability.


NOT kicking the crap out of stuff has been sooooo hard. I had no idea when I had that surgery that it would mean a year of waiting. I don’t know if Mr. Knee Surgeon told me that upfront and I wasn’t paying attention… or if he just truly didn’t mention it until after the surgery. But I do very clearly remember the day he told me that because I held it together just long enough to get to the parking lot and then I fell apart. Mike gave me a pat and then left. Not interested in a breakdown that morning.

But that was fine. Because this ‘no kicking for  a year’ thing was SO devastating that I fell apart constantly for the next few days and there were many opportunities to be nice about it. The reason that was such awful news, is that I desperately NEED that punching and kicking thing. It’s not just a physical thing, but also pretty spiritual, and it’s what I do with all of the feelings I so very much do not want to feel. I go get rid of them. Delete. Erase. I push myself until I am discussing survival with God and considering my level of nausea and everything hurts, and when it’s over? I take off the sweaty boxing gloves and whatever I didn’t want to be feeling when I went into the gym is gone. It’s possible to go into the gym absolutely furious over something that is WAY BIG and come out having totally forgotten it. Who wouldn’t want that?! That’s awesome! That’s more than stress relief. It’s stress obliteration.

Taking that away for a year was scary. What in the world was I going to do without that? Nothing else worked. I know, because I tried. I never found a substitute. I just had to feel it all. The good, the bad, the uncomfortable, the everything. When I was hurt, I was REALLY hurt and I couldn’t just run to the gym and make it go away.

Not that it was all negative – but there were attachments and positive stuff I didn’t really want to feel either. I hugged a lady in a bakery. I don’t want to be someone who hugs ladies in bakeries. It was an uncomfortable year. I tend to think feelings are highly overrated. You use them as tools to better see the workings of a situation and then you let them go.  Except I couldn’t.

I’m wondering if now I can. If I can store all that emotional stuff and then go punch/kick it all out and then *poof* go back to the pre-injured 2009 status.


Ctl Alt Del.

Ohmygosh I hope so.