Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick, help me out intrawebs!  The hair salon in town called me up and they actually have a spot for me tomorrow (I’ve been on their waiting list for 3 months now, grrr) so I am totally getting my hair cut and highlighted!  Woohoo!  But how???  I loved my last cut with the bangs and layers and such, but Husband was just mentioning how he apparently dug the cut I had when we first met (see above pic, the story behind it is here) and I’m torn.  A bob takes a lot of work and I’m not particularly good at it.  So quick, before 12:25pm tomorrow give me any opinions at all on what I should do.  I mean, ANYthing is better than why I have now (overgrown crazylady hair that’s been stuck in a ponytail for months).

Okay, go!!  Merci in advance!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

awesome. um.

Imagine you were a retired musician wannabe-rockstar violinist.  And you got an e.mail from your old celtic trio who are headlining this adorable Scottish games in north Georgia and need a fiddler.  And your husband makes sure you can actually make it happen.  Would you die of sheer joy?  Or would it suddenly occur to you that the last real celtic gig you played was a year ago and you don’t know if your arms and fingers can still bring the burn for 5 shows in 3 days?  And that there is NO way that you’ll be able to fit into your kilts in a month and a half.

AK.  YAY.   AK.

Improper use of punctuation drives me insane. I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box but this is ridiculous. The pizza’s what?? The pizza’s deli??? The pizza’s parking space??? Arg!!!!!! Courtesy of my local not-so-supermarket.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is from December 04, 2006.  This conversation is still so vivid to me and often I’ll think of it and giggle.  These two sisters were my saviors in Brasil.  Kind, loving, and strong - Bel is fighting cancer, and Betiane is a widow raising 3 children.  But they worked so hard to help me get through those most difficult months in my life.  I just cry thinking of them.  Neither can speak English, but they didn’t seem to notice and chatted on constantly to help me feel welcome and loved.   I can’t begin to describe the numberless sacrifices and kindnesses they gave to me… someday I might chronicle them all to you, they are absolutely amazing.  But their unconditional full-blast friendship was the greatest thing they gave to me.  Despite all their struggles, these women LOVE to laugh, and tell it like it is.

A conversation in my kitchen (all in Portuguese by the way – I even understood it all!) with two sisters, one large, one not:

Bel: “My sister is soooo fat!”

Betiane: “It’s true! I’m fat!”

Me: …. “You can’t call her fat!”

Bel: “Why not? She’s fat!”

Betiane: “It’s true!”

Me: “But in America, you can’t call people fat, it’s verrry offensive.”

Betiane: “Aren’t the people in America the fattest in the world?”

Me”……………… yes…..”

Sisters: “You guys are crazy!”

It’s true….

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I used “OoooooooooOOH, SNAP!” in my adopted Georgia accent last night in my photography class and the Wisconsinites looked confused then amused then confused again.  I wonder what the Midwestern version of  ”oh snap” is?

(via rjwalker, ilovecharts)

GPOYW - grateful edition.  Grateful because there is almost nothing my husband can’t solve.  Two of the three people this house were in tears (just the female ones, go figure) and he just called and in one five minute phone call calmed us down, created order in the universe and even talked Ikea with me.

I’m so glad he made me marry him.

Monday, April 26, 2010

FYI - according to almighty Facebook, today (April 26th), is National Kiss A Mormon Day.  I got this one, you can go find your own.

to try

This weekend was… urglfarphblegh.  Not easy.

It was stake conference (for you non-LDSers, our church is divided into wards, like a parish, and groups of wards make stakes, like a diocese - we have 15 wards in our stake, so twice a year we meet together) and because we live so far out there and we’re in the Madison stake, going to all our meetings over 2 days would be about 5 hours of driving time.  The Saturday night meeting is just for adults, but since our usual baby-sitter couldn’t make it, we were going to have to take both kids with us.  Even if we could find another sitter, I couldn’t leave WonderGirl with a stranger for 5 hours.  I’m not worried about WG - it was more about the sitter.  She’s not someone you inflict on amateurs.  So, the solution was to get a hotel room down in Madison for the night.

Husband had a afternoon meeting without me, so I took the chance to head to Target and stock up on the essentials with the cranky kiddos in tow.  Then we headed to our meeting.  With the kids being kids, we had to sit alone in a back room and listen to it over the loudspeaker.  Then a night in a hotel with a kid and a baby is always a blast, right? … I just hope the people in the rooms near us wanted to be awake at 4am and 6am.  Needles to say, that plus forgetting to pack some things made me feel as dreary as it looked outside.  As we sat in our morning meeting, I felt so defeated.  Here I was, all dressed up so I could sit in a back room filled with other parents and their cranky children, straining to hear the talks but only managing to hear every other word while trying unsuccessfully to get my psychotic daughter to stop yelling and play quietly.   Why do I even try when it’s always so darn hard??  And I felt more isolated than usual.  Like this bumpkin vising the big city which just reminded how much I am NOT suited for small town livin’.  I NEED A SUBURB.  It’s my natural habitat.  I didn’t know a soul except my own family and two of them were acting horribly (three if you count my sour mood).  WG had just about the worst attitude I’ve ever seen and the Dude has awful allergies and is sick.  I kept thinking “what did I do so wrong as a parent to have kids that act like this in church??”  The Dude probably has allergies because I didn’t nurse him and WG is a terror because I’m a bad parent.  It was enough little things to make me just want to hang my head and cry.  Which, being Reva, I did.

And then by a small miracle (tender mercies, we like to call ‘em), there was a teeny tiny lull in the screaming and I heard this quote:

“Sometimes as parents we feel we have failed when our children make mistakes… Parents are never failures when they do their best to love, teach, pray, and care for their children. Their faith, prayers, and efforts will be consecrated to the good of their children… . No family has reached perfection.” - Robert D. Hales 

That right there made the weekend worth it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Greatest photobomb ever.

Wazzuuuuppp penguins?!?! Seals in da houuuuuse!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

wherein i say the funniest thing i have ever said and do not get the mad props i deserve

In my younger days (B.P. - Before Parenthood) I would sometimes call my mom on the psycho stuff she’d done to us as kids.  Typical character-building stuff, forcing us to learn useful life skills, and all the nutritional, healthy food she fed us.  I know, the horror!

Now I call my mom in tears, thanking her for all she gave us, but most importantly, for not killing me in particular.  How on earth she survived raising me I will never understand.  She’ll be the first to admit she had no idea what she was doing either, but she never stopped doing it and giving everything she had.  And even more amazingly, she still loves me.  This woman is freaking bionic.  But that’s not the point of this post.

So the other day, we were chatting and I was freaking out about parenting and she was comforting me and making me feel like a bazillion bucks.  It’s kind of our thing.  I asked her how on earth she could still love me after my significant amount of psycho as a kid, and she lovingly asked me how I could still love her after all her failings as a mother (pppfffft).

Instead of saying something sweet and kind about how she’s nuts, she was amaaaazing as a mother, I deadpanned: “Simple.  It was Stockholm Syndrome.”

…. okay, that was funny!!!  But of course my sainted mother started pontificating about that instead of laughing her buns off.  She’s just too good.  But when I told Husband my punchline later, he snorted once and declared, “That’s the funniest thing you have ever said.”

I know, right??  Smart, funny, it’s a punchline worthy of one of those comedy shows on my television-box.  But all he did was snort.  Once. 

So for once, intrawebs, I’m going to authorize copious amounts of “LOL” commenting.  Validate me, darn it.

* FYI, mom, you were and are AMAAAAZING.  I’m the luckiest crazy person alive.*

* Also, the new layout is still a work in progress, but voila.  Thanks to all my linky friends!!  You can still give me your link so I can plaster you up here and stalk you properly.  Link to the linkylist is to the right, merci! *

Weezer - Can’t Stop Partying Partying and Friday go together, right? This is typical Weezer, catchy and cool, and it’s even more catchy when you hear your 3 year old belting along with the lyrics she thinks they’re saying: ”I can’t stop… pottying pottying…!”

Weezer - Can’t Stop Partying

Partying and Friday go together, right?  This is typical Weezer, catchy and cool, and it’s even more catchy when you hear your 3 year old belting along with the lyrics she thinks they’re saying:  ”I can’t stop… pottying pottying…!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

throwback thursday

I’m going to start a new thing here on the blog - Throwback Thursday.  Ever Thursday I’m going to post an oldie entry.  I’ve been blogging almost 10 years, and even though most of it is an embarrassing mess of hormones and angst, there’s some laughs if you dig deep enough.  Why not walk down memory lane once in a while?  It makes me intensely grateful that I am not 20 anymore.  Sure, I miss my old pants size - but that’s about it :)

Today’s snippet comes from October 9, 2001.  I was in my (second) senior year at North Texas and was dancing it up every Friday night at church dances, just like any decent Mormon rockstar.


So away from the cats, my life rages on. I went dancing with Danielle Saturday night and had a marvelous time.

Except for one incident that I hope women everywhere will be offended by:

I was dancing with one boy for a few of the last dances because he happened to know how to dance. Not dreamy, tall or fit, mind you, but a good dancer (you’ll understand why I’m not being terribly complimentary in a moment).

We were discussing lifts and arials and the fancy swing moves I do with MatMunch and my brother Rhys, when he asked how much I weighed. To see if I was too big for him to try a stunt with, I think.

I wasn’t insulted. I’m not freaked by that question. At least I wasn’t BEFORE.

So, I answered 135 because yes, I’ve been packing on the pounds and it’s better than still trying for 130.

So the guy dips me, lifts me back up and says  - “no, you’re about 140.”


and I just told the entire internet world that I’m reaching 140.

I’m going to go drown myself in a chocolate shake.


Big thanks to everyone who has already submitted your link for me!  I’m still a-working of my new layout but you just made my life much easier!!  You can still add it if you want - because I want to be reading you.  You obviously have impeccable taste :)  Merci!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

GPOYW - it’s Wednesday already??? edition.  I could have sworn it was Tuesday.  Such is the glamorous life of a Wisconsin housewife.   On the docket today is mugging on the Dude, putting WonderGirl down for a nap, and trying to pack.  Is there anyone out there who LIKES to pack?  Because I’ll give you all my stuff.  You just have to come over to my place, pack it all up and then haul it away.  And then I will go to Ikea and buy more stuff.  The suburban circle of life… it’s so dang beautiful.

* Have you submitted your link yet??  Remember, no need to sign up for anything, just type in your url so I can link to your blog.  Instant intraweb infamy! (Holy alliteration, Batman!)  I want to be reading you!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I’m working on changing the layout of the blog again. I love what I have now, but unfortch the sidebar just isn’t cutting it. Too squishy. And has anyone noticed that my link list is actually 3 years old and in desperate need of updating? I mean, at least half those people don’t even blog anymore! And that’s where you come in. I have amazing readers, but I don’t have links to you and I WANT to. Even if you don’t comment (though you should… it’s SOOO much fun!) I want to know so we can be reading you!

So could y’all do me this wee favor and click on the link below? You don’t have to register for anything, just type in your blog name and addy and hit go. It’ll just take a second, and you’ll be famous foreverrrrr. Also, if your name is Natalie and you survived living with me in college for two years, puleeeeze gimme your link because I keep losing it and I love reading your blog, I do.


Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

I love this t-shirt. It’s the kind of shirt that I can wear on days that every other shirt in my closet is way too tight, and it lovingly pretends that didn’t just happen.  Ah, sweet, kind shirt!  But I don’t wear it very often lately… because I fear… does the design make me look like Jon Gosselin??   It’s not Ed Hardy but every time I look at it I wonder if anyone will think I’m a crazed divorced dad with 8 kids.  Please say no so I can go back to wearing it without fear!

Monday, April 19, 2010

over here! I exist!

I woke up this morning to find my last post was featured at Today in the Bloggernacle.  Holy validation, Batman!  It’s always such a lovely shock to know perfect strangers read your corner of the web.  Blogging is my most favoritest vice.  That, and making up words (I’ve been reading Seuss to WonderGirl lately, can you tell?).

So to pay it forward, I want to alert y’all to one of the most insightful and awesome blogs I currently stalk - Dad-isms.  Notes from a 38 year old dad to his 3 kids.  He has a unique and sweet perspective as a father and husband who also is/was a widow (now remarried).  If you REALLY want your stomach to turn to mush, he has another blog filled with simple love letters, the kind of things we should remember to say to our spouses every day.

Isn’t the interweb grand??

Friday, April 16, 2010

the gist of things

When Husband was talking to me earlier this week and called me “well-accomplished,” I was really flattered, but struck by the tense of the word.  No one ever calls someone “well-accomplishing” - it’s always in the past tense.

That’s exactly how I feel.  Acomplished.  I’m really proud of what I did.  But now… well, I don’t do much of anything.  (And yes, I KNOW being a mom isn’t nothing, but really, compared to how hard I worked my butt off for the first 26 years of my life, I kind of feel like I’m on some weird vacation.)

I’m finally coming to terms with it all.

Back in grad school I was dating this uberloser who told me I was selfish for getting a masters, because I should be focusing on preparing to be a mom.  

Yeah…  I think I swallowed my gum.

I was so hurt and confused.  Selfish??  What I was doing was REALLY HARD.  I knew plenty of people my age who weren’t doing anything nearly as difficult (him included - he was a waiter.  I sure could pick ‘em) and I knew full well I could give up right then and drop out.  I already had my college degree, I didn’t have to do it.  I didn’t even really want to - it was the worst 2 years of my life.

I was doing it for my kids.  I didn’t know if I would ever get married, or if I’d ever be a mom, but I knew that when my dad was laid-off when I was a girl, my mom had the education to step in and get a job good enough to keep our family afloat.  I knew an undergraduate degree in violin performance wouldn’t do much in the world - there are gazzillions of people out there who play far better than me - but if I got a masters, I knew I would have the ability to get jobs that could keep me and a potential family financially taken care of.

I also wanted a graduate degree for my theoretical daughter.  I respect my mom for her insane work ethic, her brilliant mind and all she’s been able to do with her degrees.  I wanted my daughter to look at what I’d done and know she was capable of doing the same thing.

I tried telling the moron that, but instead he dumped me.  Thank heavens.

So I graduated, got this crazy demanding job across the country, had a whirlwind romance and got married, joined a band, recorded an album, quit the job and became so in demand as a private teacher I had to stop answering my phone so I wouldn’t have to turn any more people down.

Then, there was this crossroads… stay in Atlanta and try to keep doing what we were doing, or take this insane leap and move to Brasil to make a huge gamble at furthering Husband’s career, while giving up mine.  

As I sat in the airplane about to take off, 8 months pregnant, I suddenly realized I’d left my phone in the airport.  I knew it wouldn’t work in Brasil, but I frantically ran to the front of the plane to see if anyone could get it for me.  It was gone.  I sat in my seat sobbing.  The last piece of my former life - the cell phone that rang incessantly with gig offers and students - was gone.  I felt… empty.  Completely disoriented.  I had nothing left but my husband at my side and the luggage we were carrying. 

Nothing has ever been the same since that moment.  I became a mom and went through that storm, then returned to the states a different person.  I was now completely dependent on my Husband, and I was a full-time mom.  I’d never in my life considered that I’d ever be a full-time mom, but now there was no other option.  I got back into gigging and teaching, but it wasn’t the same, and 2 years later I found myself leaving it all behind again.  

As I sat in the car driving away from Atlanta last summer, I felt something similar to that dark moment in the airplane.  I again had given up things that I’d built for this unit we’d created, this family.  It was still insanely painful, but I didn’t feel as disoriented.  I had this little girl in the seat behind me, a new life in my tummy, and a Husband who loved me and knew - and appreciated at the deepest level - what I’d given up.  That he appreciates it… that makes all the difference.

And now, I feel… accomplished.  Past tense.  I go through every day by the skin of my teeth because I have no idea what I’m doing.  I know most of us are.  I don’t do the one thing I actually know how to do.  I literally can’t - the Dude is a freaking tank and carrying him around has made my arms hurt so much that I can only play my violin for a little while before my muscles demand I cut it out.

I feel like the jury is still out on what I’m accomplishing now.  What I accomplished in my former life took about 26 years, so I shouldn’t expect results for this new life after only 3.  

But I’m okay.  I know I made my decision.  It was me or us, and I chose us.  I’m just so deeply thankful that I did accomplish so much before I became a mom.  Because when things get hard, and they do every freaking day, I know I can do it, because I’ve done HARD, and I can do it again.  It makes me feel like I’m worth something.  I have a friend whose knowledge of her worth comes from the fact that she delivered 3 babies naturally.  Every day when she feels overwhelmed with the life she has with 3 little boys, she reminds herself that she knows hard.  She can do this.  Boo-ya.  As for me, I’ve got my masters and epidurals.

And thanks Mom and Sanny, if you’re reading this.  You are the reason anything got accomplished.  


So that’s for my last gasp of verbosity this week.  Hope I haven’t bored anyone, I’m back to attempting to be all snarky-like next week.  I’ve been feeling isolated (duh) and I needed to have someone listen to all the crazy swimming around in my head.  And y’all are the best listeners in the world.  Thank you, thank you for all the comments and compliments and commiserating.  I am the luckiest bloggerist there is!!!

Napoleon Dynamite Soundtrack : Suitwalk It’s only 36 seconds, so get on up, and get your swagger on. It’s FRIDAY!!!

Napoleon Dynamite Soundtrack : Suitwalk

It’s only 36 seconds, so get on up, and get your swagger on.  It’s FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I’ve run into a few people in this life… well, a lot of people actually, who just don’t like me.  I’m starting to just let it roll off my back. Maybe because I have a whole bunch of hotties back at home who love me.

I had an exchange recently between myself and someone who apparently thinks little of me, and I told Husband about it when I came home.  The next day he came home and told me had a hypothsis about the whole thing.  I almost didn’t hear the rest of what he was saying because I was like “Whoa - he was listening yesterday??  Sweet!”   But the gist of his idea was that she was intimidated by me.

“Huh?” I said.  ”That’s ridiculous.  Who would be intimidated by me?”

“Well let’s see,” he said.  ”You’re well-educated, you’re incredibly accomplished, you are super hott and you have a mind-blowingly attractive husband.   That can intimidate someone.”

“But that’s not what indimidates me,” I pressed.  ”I know intimidating people, I’m not one.  I’m nice.  And I’m a mess.  Intimidating people do not go out in public looking like I do.”

“Whatever.”  He’d made his point and didn’t feel the need to argue it further.  

Thing is, I really am a mess.  My house, my life, my hair.  How in the world could anyone find this pile of me intimidating?

I’ll go with it though.  It sounds way better than annoying!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

GPOYW - Ahhhhhh edition.  Husband burst through the door this evening with a kite.  WonderGirl loved it, the Dude loved it, and I just loved every minute of it.  Hello world.  I’ve missed you.

How cool is it that I have a husband who rushes out to get a kite when the weather gets awesome?

I think I’ll have to start a segment here titled Please Dress Me, Intrawebs.  You guys are freaking geniuses when it comes to clothing advice.  Today’s episode features my black dress.  The comfy tee dresses this season are ridiculously short, and I’ve been hankering for an uber casual dress to go shlep the kids around town in that doesn’t show off my caboose or anything else I’d like to keep under wraps.  Something no-frills and comfortable.  So I found a simple pattern and got a lady at church to make it for me.

I think I need to have her bring it in a wee bit in the waist, but here it is.  A blank canvas, if you will.  The possibilities are endless, and I love that!  I threw on some teal tights and some ballet flats and I’m pleased with the bit of pop.  But I feel like it’s missing something… an applique something, a pocket, I dunno… no belts, unforch.  They and I just don’t mix.  My mid-section is shaped weird and I don’t like drawing attention to it because it makes me uncomfortable, which is the opposite of what I want.

So… any genius thoughts?  I love that I can wear about any sandal, flat shoe, huzzah.  But… something is needed…  okay intrawebs, shock me with your brilliance!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the internal dialogue that goes through my head when I'm woken up in the middle of night to change and feed the Dude.

Zzzzzzz… huh?  Is the Dude talking? uuuuuuggggg.  Maybe he’ll go back to sleep.  Dangit.  Okay, if he says one more thing I’ll get up.  

Okay one more thing after that.

Dangit.  Okay, getting up.

Slink out of the bedroom, down the hall to the kitchen.

uuuggggg I’m so tir-OUCH! Why is that box still in the hallway? Oh, cuz I left it there.

Open the fridge to grab a bottle.

AK!  The light!  It burns!!!!

Put bottle in microwave. Rest head on counter.

uuuggggg.  I need a cookie.  Why don’t we have any cookies?  I guess a handful of rice crispies will have to do.  Lame.  Tomorrow I’ll get cookies.  Lots of cookies.

Take bottle out of microwave, head to bedroom.

Why am I the one that does this?  I’m putting my foot down tomorrow, Husband has to take a shift.  I’ll bet he’s enjoying sleeping right now.  Jerk.  Sleep is so awesome.  I remember pre-kids.  I slept then.  uuugggg.

Enter bedroom.  Dude is talking to himself.

What on earth is he talking about??  This is only adorable when it’s light outside.

Pick baby up, lay him on floor, prop bottle in his mouth with a towel and one of my feet, and proceed to change his diaper while balancing on one butt cheek.

I have a MASTERS DEGREE.  A MASTERS DEGREE.  I wonder what everyone else with MASTERS DEGREES are doing right now.  Probably sleeping.  Jerks.  I love sleep.

Pick baby back up and continue feeding while holding him laying sideways on the fouton.

Just a few more minutes and I’ll head back to bed. As soon as he’s done I’ll head back to sleep for beautiful, beautiful sleep.  Oh, is he done?  Okay, back in the crib please please please please don’t wake up… jackpot!  Now it’s my turn!

Slink back into bed, quietly rearrange the sheets and get super comfy.

AAhhhhhhhh.  Now for sleep.  Dang I love sleep.  Sleep sleep sleep.  Good ol’ sleep.  Yup.  Lovely, lovely sleep. ………..  IIIIIII’m comin’ out so let’s get this party started… crap, what is that doing in my head???

Curse P!nk for 45 minutes because the stupid song won’t stop playing in my brain.  Finally fall asleep for 2 more hours.  Repeat

Is this seriously something women are supposed to put on their feet this year??  Seriously???  I can just see the conversation now - Fashion guru #1: Hey, what’ll you bet me that I can make this cut-up-piece-of-crazy shoe a super hot fashion trend?  Fashion guru #2: $100.  What woman in her right mind would wear that?

My mind can’t comprehend this.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Eu quero ser uma Brasileira

Let’s face it, I’m not through with being the “new girl.”  I did that in elementary school, high school, college, grad school, and then a whooole lotta times with all our crazy moves - it never ends.  Wherever I go, I meet people who have been there since birth.  Graduated high school there.  Plan on raising their kids there, etc.  This perplexes Husband and I.  How on earth does one manage to stay employed in the same place their whole life?  I mean, how is that even possible??  More power to ‘em.  Not our lot, apparently.

My community is my church, so everywhere I move, that’s my place.  Handy thing about being Mormon, you don’t have to choose your church.  I already did that at 8.  Now I just go wherever the ward boundaries are.  I’ve been to wards all over the world and we’re all the same.  And gaaahhhh.  Every time we move (how about this adorable tidbit, when we close on the house in a few weeks it will be our 9th address in 5 years of marriage.  We’re movers and shakers we are.) I get to walk into church and hope I make some of those you-can-drop-in-anytime-my-kids-dig-your-kids-and-let’s-go-shopping! friends.  And how easy is it to do that??  It takes about 2 years I’ve noticed, which is right about when we move.

So after coming back from yet another thing where I feel awkward and lonely, I decided I could hide in my bed and cry, a proven winner, or just accept I’m going to be the new kid many many many times and I need to find some coping techniques that’ll work the next time, and the time after that.  Yes, everyone already has friends.  They’ll have them long after I leave.  I shouldn’t let it get me down, but everyone looks so comfortable and I’m so good at making people uncomfortable.  

*I have this adorable trait where when I’m trying to make small talk with people I don’t know well and things are just getting all weird, my brain goes “This seems awkward, I should just go ahead and say the craziest thing I’m thinking.  Just go for broke.”  I have NO idea why I do it.  It’s like a compulsion.* 

No sense having to learn the same lesson over and over and all that, gotta figure it out now.  I wish I was an introvert like Husband, but the longer I go without interaction with other people, the more exhausted and crazy I get.  It drains my batteries, whereas a good conversation makes me feel like the Bionic Woman.

After thinking all day yesterday, I couldn’t come up with a answer.  We (the family) were driving around town last night and dropped off a gift at a church person’s place.  After hello, here it is, it was clear we’d overstayed out welcome.  Then on a whim stopped by a friend’s place to drop a book off.  A nice Brasilian lady from church who lives with her mother and daughter.  They shooed us in and we gabbed and the girls played.  I yammered on in my crappy Portuguese with the grandmother until she got up and started baking us goodies.  I think we were there for a good hour or so, and when we left, they followed us to the car, giving us hugs and kisses along the way.  Quite the difference from our first stop with the Americans, but so very typical of all our Brasilian friends.  It’s just what they do.  Just like the lovely women who kept WG and I alive when we were down south…  And I felt FULL again.  All charged up, ready to attack.  Even the dishes. 

So I think my solution should be to find a Brasilian everywhere I move.  Funny - the one American I know who comes close to that mad love and acceptance is WonderGirl, who is also a Brasilian citizen.  I’ll take her along then ;)

Bah.  If YOU have the perfect solution for being the new kid, please share.

I’m feeling wordy this week.  Just a warning, my posts are going to be all verbose and junk.  Feel free to move on to the next page on the intrawebs.  Maybe

And then there’s the Dude.

So the last 2 times I went to my mommy group thingy, I sucked it up and put the Dude into the nursery.  He was the age of the other babies, and he was starting to get antsy in our meetings.  Of course I was a wreck, picturing how destitute he would be without me - I even cried.  Then when I rushed back after the meeting, I found the caregivers had actually been arguing over who got to hold him.  All the other kids cried and fought about, and he was smiling big the whole time, just happier than happy.  It’s his default setting.

It’s no secret that I wanted 3 girls.  Right in a row.  Two of my best friends come from families of 3 girls and I always envied their friendship.  I know life with sisters isn’t all roses, but there are good moments and oh, it was something I wished I’d had.  I have 3 brothers.  Sigh…  I wanted a girl for my girl.  I wanted this little girl who was remarkably like me to have what I always wanted.  I’d have boys after that, I promised God.  You just send me the girls - at least one more - and I’ll have a boy.  Yup, so with that letter sent to heaven, I decided to get pregnant.  

And the the ultrasound… we just won’t go there.  I had this whole life planned out for me and my two girls, and it was suddenly gone.  I don’t do well with my plans being dashed.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want a boy, I just didn’t want him yet.

* And let’s face it, they are gross.  And pee with aim.  Ug.*

Once I let go of that little world, I got ready for two kids.  I had other things to think about, the recession and unemployment, selling the house, moving, etc.  I was just trying to figure out how to survive.  I didn’t think about him as an actual person until he actually showed up.

And then he was here.  I was so wrong.  We didn’t need a girl, we needed HIM.  How did we live without his smile?  Every day, every thing delights him because he’s just so genuinely thrilled to be here on earth.  No strings attached, it’s all wonderful in his eyes.  Do you know how marvelous it is to have someone like that around all the time??  All he wants to do is gaze into your eyes and grin.  All day long, if he can talk you into it.

As soon as he was born another nickname popped out of my mouth.  (I’m not much for nicknames, but the two I have for my kids were completely involuntary). Without thinking, I started calling him BuddyBuddy.  The sound of Buddy repeated makes a happy bumping sound that he loves, but mostly he’s Buddy because he’s my friend.  He so genuinely loves you, he’s such a kind, safe friend.  My midwife commented on my silly nickname and I tried to explain it while she nodded knowingly.  ”I have one of those.  The moment I had one of my sons, I knew he would always take care of me.”

I feel the same way.  God gave me my dramatic WonderGirl for the one part of me that needed her, and He gave me my Dude to give me smiles when I desperately need them.

So I’m just sayin’… I have incredible kids.  I don’t know if I deserve them, but regardless, I’ll do my darndest.  So.  Awesome.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I have incredible children.

A few weeks ago, a friend watched my 3 year old WonderGirl emote all over the library like a contestant on American Idol and my 7 month old Dude enchant every female within 10 feet by giggling and cooing like the Gerber baby, and turned to me and said “Reva, your kids are… HUGE.”

I knew exactly what she meant without her clarifying, but she went on “I don’t think I’ve ever met kids with such … big personalities.  They just seem to fill a room - both of them.”

I often joke that since I don’t really like children, God had to give me only the best to assure I’d bond with them, but it’s not a joke.  I know it’s true.  

I’ve been thinking about WonderGirl today, how she came into this world already an old soul, determined to take the earth by storm but then was horrified at this helpless body that did not respond or communicate exactly as she wanted.  She was such a frustrated baby, unlike my perma-joy Dude.  She wanted to dance, learn, sing, be 18, but she hadn’t realized she had to do this pathetic baby thing first.  Eat?  Why would she eat when there were people to talk to - darn it, why couldn’t they understand what she was saying?  Sleep?  Why on earth would she want to sleep - there was so much else to do!

Far too often in that first year we would lay there on the floor next to each other, both of us crying like our hearts had been broken.  The transition to our new lives was hard on both of us - some days it felt like she was my only friend.  

She has not done anything small.  Every word, every stage has been A Big Deal.  She loves big, she suffers big and then she sleeps big.  Everything amazes me - this once ball of baby has sprouted these legs, these arms that aspire to move and never stop.  This girl that will climb on top of me while I’m trying to sleep and demand I tell her what animals migrate.

Other kids her age he meet are so much quieter, move much slower, and every now and then I think how much easier this mom thing would have been had I gotten one of those souls, but God knew I needed this spirit.  I have a nickname for her that just came out of my mouth the first time I held her - Sunshine.  I can’t help it, I have to call her Sunshine, because it’s exactly what she is.  She brings warmth to everyone within eyesight (and earshot) and if there is something clouding her light, everyone feels it.  She makes sure of it.

And here we are, both out of our element again in the Midwest.  Every now and then we both get so frustrated and lonely we lay on the floor and cry.  But then we get up again, and she stands on the table and sings the entire theme song of Dinosaur Train.  

This town is not big enough for this kid…

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Highlarious creepy picture, though of course I went ahead and checked out Leviticus and found it and at least 5 other scriptures referencing eating your family. Anyone versed in Hebrew slang that could explain to me what the heck it meant back then?

(via ihatemyparents)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

GPOYW- blegh edition. Easter was lovely, we got the house, and my mom was amazing. But the world is conspiring against me today. I just want a haircut and a trip to the dentist, why is that so hard to get??

As usual, I blame Wisconsin.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

GPOYW - You Wish Your Mom Was This Awesome edition.  Again, on a Thursday, but I have the excuse of being a little preoccupied with being adored by and adoring my mum.  It’s a full time job and I LOVE IT.

HEAR YE. I need to document the fact that I ran 3 miles and didn't feel like death.  So just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did...