Monday, September 22, 2008

Hunger Pangs




My Mom's group is currently studying a DVD series entitled "Organic God". It isn't about how God would choose to shop locally at Farmer's Markets, or would choose foods without additives - although I do have a hunch that he would have. I just can't see God munching on a fruit roll-up. I think He'd just eat an actual piece of fruit.

No, this series is encouraging us to strip the toxins from our relationships with God. The toxins that can invade and taint our walks with God, thus restoring our relationship to the freshness that we desire.

Toxins? What? Well, I don't know what your toxins are, but mine are a bunch of nasty chemical's called "shoulds".

I should have an established quiet time every day. I should pray a certain way and have a really long and organized list to show for it. I should, I should, I should.

And, actually, I should . . . but not in the manufactured or contrived way that I can fall into just as easily as I blink.

The idea of praying for a spiritual hunger is prevalent throughout the series, and I must honestly say that this idea startled me a bit. I have indeed experienced a time in my life, prior to having my precious children, where I tore into the Bible and scribbled furiously in a journal every morning while planted at Newport Coffeehouse - my stop on the way to work at Trinity every day. I read and wrote and wrote and read and prayed and pondered and drank coffee, and discovered incredible nuggets about God that left me full up inside. I never prayed for spiritual hunger. It just . . . was. It was natural.

Times change and life phases change and with those changes come a shift in how we meet with God. Gone are the 60 minutes with Bible and journal and pen in a coffeehouse every morning. Arrived are the spits and hurried moments where God still graciously meets me. In these fractured and scattered attempts to seek Him, He continues to share with me the way He knows I learn best: in black and white.

So today, as the women shared together in small groups, I realized that perhaps I should be praying for a new spiritual hunger. Should - in a good way, rather than a pressured way. I want to. I'm not feeling obligated to, as if doing so is merely an errand to be checked off on a list of other random "to do's", but rather, I'd really like to see how God will respond to my asking this of Him for myself. And for George. And for the kids.

I realize that all too often when I need an escape or relaxation, I default to getting lost on the internet, in my blog, on facebook, or on-line newspapers. I default to another cup of coffee. I default to reading. I don't necessarily default to God when I need refreshment. And it's not that I want God to necessarily be the default . . . but I must wonder why He isn't even that for me on on a daily basis. Why do I not escape with Him? Even for five minutes?

I don't want a hit or miss relationship with God. I want true refreshment, where I can actually sit down and enjoy a meal, rather than settling for a quick snack while standing at the counter.

I would like to see God become my "go to" rather than my "resort to".

God is no spiritual rebound guy.

As my small group then pondered loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, He spoke to me. Clearly. A picture of a pumping heart entered the movie screen of my head. Not a red Valentine's Day heart. An actual beating human heart. Pumping blood throughout the body. And then. It slowed. And stopped. The body went cold. With the stopping of the heart, the soul vacated, the mind quit firing, and all strength was gone.

Yes, we should love the Lord our God with all of our being, and yet, for me, right now, God is saying, "Love me with your HEART. For if your HEART fails, all else fails. Without a beating HEART there is no soul, there is no mind, and there is no strength. Soul, mind, and strength leave the physical body when the HEART stops beating."

And this thought made me hungry. Hungry to rekindle my emotional relationship with the one God who gave His blood for me.

So, this is now my prayer for myself. And for the members of my family. And for my friends. I pray for a new spiritual hunger. A hunger which finds refreshment and fullness from deliberately seeking God, rather than merely resorting or defaulting to Him as an afterthought. A hunger which starts in the beating heart and pumps life giving blood to the rest of the body. It's a simple thought, really.




"Organic God. It's like falling in love all over again."

Out With the Old, In With the New

On Saturday, we celebrated what we like to call "Bed-O-Rama". With the help of our friends, Myron and Alyssa, (or as Zane likes to call them: Myron and Syron), we successfully dismantled Zane's crib, which was then handed over to soon to be parents, Myron and Syron, moved Harper's twin bed into Zane's room, and built Harper's loft.

I say, "we", but I missed most of it, having spent the first half of "Bed-O-Rama" shopping for bedding with Zane, who chose a Transformer's theme for his comforter and sheets. No, truly, it was George and the Crockett's who did the heavy labor, and then I came in for the finish. And by finish, I mean finish. Every detail. I was whipped into an organizing fury. I wanted to make sure that every piece of both Harper and Zane's room was set for Night One in new beds.

We had a wonderful afternoon with the Crockett's: recycling never-to-be-used-again baby gear to these first time parents to be, eating way too many homemade cookies, moving toys, clothes, and furniture, watching a little football over lunch, and then putting the finishing touches on the rooms so that the kids could walk in and give me a big 'ole "WOW!"

I got the response I wanted. Zane was so enthralled and actually slept all night without a peep. Harper, home from a neighbor's block party, went absolutely ballistic, and spent the rest of the evening in her "nook" under the loft reading an A to Z Mystery.

And me?

I cried.

Seriously, the last of the baby stuff goes to consignment next week.

And while I do not desire to have another baby, there is definitely a feeling of intense closure happening in my gut. Just seeing Zane snuggled down tight in a bed twice his size, and Harper reading independently in her cool new digs, gives me a tiny sense of loss and makes my scar sting a little.

And as I think upon the words Zane shared as he crawled in his new bed for the first time, "Um, Mom, my legs can't reach the end", I can only imagine how very quickly his legs will be able to reach the foot . . . for zero to three flew by me. Thank God that this boy loves to snuggle.

Sleep well my treasures! Enjoy your new rooms. And yes Harper, Mommy will still be kissing you every night - a ladder can't stop me. And congratulations on losing that upper front tooth tonight!!!!!!


Tearing up.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Village? A Little Help Here . . .

There's kind of an unspoken rule at the playground.

Or so I thought.

I have always believed that when at the playground, one doesn't only keep a lookout for their own kid, but also the well being of other children.

If a kid trips at your feet, you help them up.

If a child can not find their parent, you assist.

If a little one is about to run into the path of moving swing, you either physically stop the swing, or the child - whichever you can reach more quickly.

I've been attempting to open my circle a bit by getting out to parks with Zane more frequently and striking up conversations with mother's and/or nanny's I've never met. As I have found that way too often I have met a new parent and shared a quick chat without ever really properly introducing myself.

Today, I had the good fortune of bumping into a parent who had taken my toddler tunes class with her daughter. She introduced me to her friend and we began a conversation about music classes in the area. I glanced over to see Zane playing with a broken branch - climbing it, etc. It was big enough for climbing, having been broken from a nearby tree during last Saturday's storm.

I wrote the name of an area music class that I would recommend on the back of my card and handed it to the mom I had just met for the first time, and then looked up to see that Zane was no longer on the branch. I turned. Turned again. Spun in a circle.

I couldn't find him.

I began jogging back and forth, glancing every which way.

I couldn't find him.

My two friends immediately branched out. The park was crawling with children, parents, and Nanny's, so I was certain that he was still in the area and that I just couldn't see him, but the painful fear that struck my core was almost paralyzing. An inner mantra of "Find him. Find him. Find him," ran on a continual loop as I realized that I needed help. So, I stood in the middle of the playground and yelled loudly, "Everyone! I can't find my son. Please start yelling, Zane!"

My two friends continued looking. A Nanny began to look. And the others?

They looked up. And then looked back down. No one else moved.

A dad even chuckled and apathetically "hollered" Zane's name.

I'm running back and forth, in and out of equipment, and up and down ladders, while the world just goes on.

Oh. My. God. Help me. Jesus. Please. I can't find my boy.

Finally, one of my friends said, "There he is! He's in that tree".

And sure enough, my son, dressed in brown's and sage green (brilliant fashion choice for a fall day), was in a tree - not very high - not even out of the playground vicinity, but definitely camouflaged by the brown bark and greenery of the tree. I doubt he could see or even hear the three of us running around and yelling . . . he was having too much fun and there was a lot of other playground noise to drown us out. It wasn't even a situation where I could scold him. He was completely in range. I just couldn't see him.

My friend came over.

"Are you ok?"

"Yeah. But I feel like my heart was just ripped out of my chest".


She continued. Softly.

"Why didn't anyone else stop and help you?"

"I don't know. I just don't know."

I thanked her.

I turned around and very pleasantly, (although I was seething), announced, "Um, thanks everyone! We found him. It's all good!"

But it's not all good.

The playground is where we encourage our children to try new challenges. It's where imaginations turn tunnel-slides into boats, or in Zane's case, into a dog crate at the pet store. It's even the place to climb a tree. It's one of the developmental hot spots for children. It's their scene! It's also a tiny village: a gathering place for parents or caregivers and their children. It's where we teach our children to play nicely, take new risks, share, take turns, and respect others. Collectively. Parents working together.

I think we adults may need a refresher course in the village mentality.

And I'll be dressing Zane in bright primary colors for our next park outing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Willy, meet Zane. Zane, meet Willy.

And how do I know that Zane has a bit of a problem with chocolate?

Hmmm? Let's take his after-(non)nap snack for example.

I do allow a cookie or sweet everyday. Nothing extreme. Nothing overboard. Today, I only had mint/chocolate biscotti's. He tried one. He liked it. He practically hissed at me when I suggested he dunk it in milk. That would get the chocolate in the milk! And, oddly enough, Zane doesn't like chocolate milk. Would I seriously suggest that he turn a yummy treat into a chocolate-less, mushy, soggy mess?

Sorry. Must have lost my head for a moment.

And then? When it was all gone? Finished? Traces of chocolate lingering on his face?

He has the nerve to ask for a second.

The answer is no.

Harper suggests an apple. I suggest some crackers. Harper suggests "regular food".


Um, yeah. We hear you loud and clear, Augustus. Have a great time in the chocolate river, son. We'll meet up with you at the end of the tour.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Punch Line

My children.

Providing me with laughter. Daily.

Exchange with Zane:

"Zane, did you eat all the candy in your Batman Pez doodad?"

"That doesn't rhyme!"


Exchange with Harper, who is chewing on a miniature plastic bowling pin:

"Harper, stop it! What are you? A puppy?"



"Tina? Hi, this is your agent. We may have a gig for you!" PART 2

Ok, so I realize I'm not the only casting genius who saw this coming.

I just didn't realize it would happen so soon.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike and Tina

"We're in trouble!"

This is how George woke me up this morning while he furiously began to throw on shorts.

This, after I had finally slept peacefully the night before after dealing with a popped si joint that I kicked out of place on Wednesday as I was lifting Zane.

"What?" I had no idea that the rain that had begun last night, had continued throughout the entire night, flooding our street and backing up the drain outside our basement. It was 7:00 am and water was coming in our basement door.

You know what? The si joint mishap was irritating enough. Having it worked on and put back into place by a brilliant PT at Athletico was interesting, and yet, not completely comfortable. Inflaming the area a second time for which I blame my frisky husband, was unfortunate. Put your eyes back in your socket - no cheap thrills here - this is a clean site. George just tried to be all manly by coming home from work and picking me up to swing me around romantically. It was a lovely gesture. Poor timing, but lovely. And thus, it didn't quite illicit the response George was going for.

I screamed in pain. He apologized. Several times.

Scrapbooking with my cropping gals from 6:30-11:30 last night with a stiff back was fun and took my mind off of the fact that I needed help putting on my pants yesterday and couldn't pick items off the floor. And upon getting home at midnight, I was just looking forward to snuggling down into bed and sleeping in a bit.

It is now 9:30 PM. The rain only stopped about an hour ago.

We finished, well, George finished ripping up the majority of the carpet and padding in our basement - leaving a few sections that could wait until tomorrow. We then hauled everything outside, mopped, cleaned the couch (as Scout kept running in and out during the process giving the room the delightful aroma of wet dog), AND patched some holes behind the stove in the kitchen, as there has been some activity in that vicinity over the past couple of nights . . . of the small, furry, beady eye variety. Think: "If You Leave a Mouse a Cookie". As, apparently, I did.

Good thing I don't let the kids watch TV during the week. They had their fill today. I didn't bat any eye.

Props go out to our neighbors, who while watching George keep guard at the back door while sitting on a bench with a snow shovel which he used to bail the back up, came and helped us push back the pool of water on our lawn. Then, with the use of a boat pump, we were able to clear the drain.

It wasn't the Saturday I had intended to have. But, we all worked together. Our basement is fine. The furniture is fine. Nothing damaged other than carpet. We'll go with area rugs from now on. Several friends of ours weren't so lucky. Our basement remodel was nothing compared to what I was hearing from others in the area.

In no way do I mean to escalate our minor frustration and hassle to the level of Ike's wrath.

I have, however, given a name to our little storm.


Friday, September 12, 2008

"It is better to LOOK good, than to feel good"

And Mrs. Palin, "You look mahvelous!"

According to the little gaggle of women I overheard at an area coffee shop this morning, you are "very pretty"! And that is sooooooooo exciting!

Seriously, folks. I think I should be a private eye. I just blend right in with my latte, biscotti, and reading material, which is currently, "Understanding Girls With ADHD". No one would ever suspect that I have a bionic ear.

As I listened to the "political" discussion at the next table, I was embarrassed to be a woman. And this, from a woman who actually sells lipstick! To pit bulls! And pigs. NOOOOOO! That was NOT directed at anyone in particular. Just calm yourself down already.

Although, I must add that lipstick sales are UP! Thanks, Sarah! Thank you, Obama.

Ugh. Digression. Sorry.

Here's how the discussion went down.

Lady #1: Are you excited about Sarah Palin?

Lady #2: You mean our next Vice President! Yes!!! I mean, I really don't know anything about her, and I haven't watched any speeches, but she is fantastic!

Lady #3: And she's really pretty!

All: Yes. Oh yes. Isn't she so pretty. Tee hee, tee hee, hardy har, har, har.

WHAT?????!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is your criteria? Quit sniffing and/or swallowing the product you are purchasing from me. It's not meant to be ingested!

I have watched every speech. I am reading everything I can get my hands on. I am watching every interview. This woman has been so coached to deliver the scripted and "approved"answers she has been rehearsing since the RNC, that she has to refrain from even blinking during an interview (a good sign that you can tell her head was spinning to retrieve the correct, manufactured answer located in the information Rolodex in her head, and yet she didn't want to lead on that it was spinning). Take it from one who used to coach speeches, interviews, and monologues. Sarah Palin did not look comfortable. Her eyes were transfixed, almost vacant, overdoing the eye contact, (which is what one does when they are relying soley on memorization), her hand wagged on each point as a crutch to help her remember the answers, and not even dropping a "Charlie" every so often to create a sense of relationship really worked in her favor. She didn't look relaxed.

But, yeah, she looks really pretty.

Doesn't that make you feel good?

Gut Reactions

Yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of that fateful September 11th. No need to explain. We all know what happened that day. In my first blog, which can no longer be accessed via the web, (of which I do have a copy of on disk - thank you Julie), I wrote about that day. My clearest memory is holding Harper and falling to the ground and weeping.

It is now 7 years later.

There have been 7 anniversaries of the attack. So why, yesterday, did it stop me cold?

I took Zane to Great Harvest for a free slice-when it came to me.

Bring bread to our local fire department. At first, it seemed cheesy. But then, knowing that God speaks to me with spurts of ideas in my gut, I followed my instinct and decided that we would indeed bring a fresh, warm loaf to the firehouse.

I chose New York Marble Rye (which seemed appropriate) as a "thank you" to the men and women working at our local fire department. Had I been thinking better on my feet, I would have also brought one to the police station as well, but I wasn't that quick. I felt foggy and sad. A few women overheard me telling Zane why we were purchasing the bread, and commented on how thoughtful it was.

"Yeah. I don't know. It's kind of hitting me today" was my answer. They nodded.

Zane and I visited our local department and were shown around by a female firefighter who let Zane play with all the bells and whistles, and let him pump water from a 5 gallon portable tank. Together, they aimed at targets in the garage. Zane was thrilled that he could hit the target with the water from the hose. There didn't seem to be anyone else there, but she assured me there was, jokingly sharing that she was of the lowest rank and thus "manned" the office. I liked her. My sister could have easily been a firefighter. She reminded me of her.

I eventually met the others and we thanked them for their service to Evanston. Zane gave them the bread and we moved on.

Later that day I witnessed a conversation that increased my body temperature, had me break out into small hives, and after consult with George and a friend of mine who works for the government, had us contacting Homeland Security.

I would prefer not to go into detail, as I've already shared the situation with a few friends, who, thankfully, didn't find me to be racist, or an idiot, and affirmed me for listening to my gut.

Women tend to blow off their sense of "gut". We have such a strong sense of pleasing people and being accommodating and friendly, we don't want to hurt the feelings of others, and yet God has given us a unique inner "gut" for our protection. Having read "The Gift of Fear", I believe I have a pretty good sense of balance between being paranoid and recognizing true danger. And while the situation I encountered last night did not place me in immediate danger, the verbal exchange I overheard did cause the red flags of my gut to flap furiously. Homeland Security also affirmed that what I had overheard was a conversation of concern, and yet, there was really no way to follow through. And I understood that. I also called the manager of the store, fearful that she too, would think I was either racist or insane. Thankfully, she had overheard the entire conversation and had put in a call to the home office to find out what steps one should take when these situations arise.

For they will.

I don't want to walk around profiling people. And I really didn't turn my head in the direction of the man until I heard the verbal exchange, so, in my heart, I know I wasn't just basing my concern upon his physical appearance. Why would I have? He was a good looking, young guy, who looked like a student. No cause for alarm. No cause at all, until the conversation got weird.

I think I did the right thing. And yet I struggled. Truly struggled with what I should do. My biggest fear was that I would come out looking like a racist American. Or a paranoid wacko over-reacting on 9-11.

It begs to the question, "What would you do if you overheard or witnessed a situation that sent your red flags flying high"?

My gut was right on with bringing a Thank You gift to our firefighter's, so why should I question so deeply whether that same gut was right in urging me to call in what I overheard while shopping?

It's the same gut.

I mean, really, if I could change my "gut" from hour to hour or day after day, I would certainly choose one with more defined abdominals. It would be way flatter than mine.

Nope. A gut is a gut. Is a gut.

That's what I'm thinking anyway.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If There Was Any Doubt . . .

If there was any doubt in my mind that selling Zane's 9 month old train table on Craig's was the wrong thing to do, as perhaps, one day, he would show interest in the thing, that doubt has vanished.

Harper adored her train table. We purchased a make it yourself table frame kit and the train set off of Ebay when she was just nearing 3 years old. For the actual train board, we made our own out of a board purchased from Home Depot on which George painted valleys, lakes, and greenery. It was a family project. We glued all the track and extras down on the board on Christmas Eve. Her response Christmas morning was, simply, "WOW!". We snapped a photo of the very moment. She immediately began playing with it and continued to do so everyday. She knew the names of the trains, made up her own stories, and re-created Thomas dvd stories using her own trains. To this day, she can still tell you the story of the morning she received her train table. At 4 she was still playing with it. At 4 1/2, her little brother climbed on top of the thing and literally tore the gorilla-glued tracks clear off of the board.

This should have been a sign.

We repaired the table time and time again, until finally, it could be repaired no more. Harper admitted that she had moved on, and yet we salvaged the tracks, extra fixtures (roundhouse, windmill, etc.), and the trains, of course, to be played with on the floor.

Christmas 2007 came, and I just KNEW that Zane would love a train table. Afterall, Harper did, right?

On Christmas morning, Harper played with the train table.

We kept trying.

The train table became a place for robots to stomp, cars to drive, and super-hero figures to pile up. We moved the table up to Zane's room, thinking that perhaps this would jump start his enthusiasm.

It was a nice place to lay his clothes.

I will take a moment to pat ourselves on the back here, as George and I are very good purger's. We could take you through your home and convince you that you don't need half the stuff you own. We cringe upon entering homes which have an entire playroom full of children's toys. We just don't like "stuff". It was time to purge the table. No doubt about it.

Craig's List to the rescue. And while the new table, board, train set, extra track, extra pieces, and extra cars (we removed Harper's favorite trains for "memory" as she puts it), didn't sell in 4 hours like our Camry, it did sell in 3 days.

Zane was all for "giving it to another baby to play with".

So today, during a visit to Hot Mama to pick up an isABelt, I noticed a train table in the back of the store. Zane wandered over and began playing. My heart sank. A little.

I purchased the item that is destined to help my waist issues with pants, without the use of a clunky belt buckle which ruins the smooth line of my outfit (plug for product), and returned to Zane who, to my delight, was NOT playing with the train table as I had thought, but rather the little wooden people that came with the set. The firefighters were talking to the policemen about something. Zane had gathered all the wooden buildings from the set to one corner: the firehouse, the hospital, etc. and had set the "scene" with the wooden people talking at these locations.

Trains, shrains. He cared less about the track and the trains. No, what was really important was getting the little wooden dog some help for an injury.

And this is when I look around my home and hunt for more items to sell.

There's still that WWI sword.

But, I think the kids are still playing with that one.

Relax. Relax.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Vote For Me!

6:30 AM: Wake up. Chug coffee. Check in with George about the day.

7:00 AM: Get dressed. In workout clothes. Which ultimately go unused for their specific purpose.

7:15 AM: Check emails. Update financials. Drink more coffee. Check to do list for the day. Pack my bag.

7:30 AM: Raise Harper from the dead. Get her clothes ready, as somehow they didn't get laid out the night before. Help her choose an outfit. Help her choose a second outfit. Settle on the third.

8:00 AM: Zane is up. He awakes with a tummy ache. Doesn't want to go to swim class. Get him on the potty. Nothing happening. Try and convince him that the tummy ache will go away as I really want him to make his first swim class. George takes over so I can make sure Harper is eating breakfast.

8:30 AM: Harper is finally done, after several reminders to eat. She and I brush teeth. I do her hair. She finishes her chores. Pastor Dave picks up George. I double check Harper's bag, my bag, and Zane's bag. Check to see if her chores are done.

8:40 AM: Noah, our neighbor arrives. We all scramble into the car. Drop Harper and Noah off near the school at the crossing guard.

8:50 AM: Hit the bank to make a deposit.

9:05 AM: Enter the YWCA. Get Zane undressed in the locker room only to find that he is in the "process" of unloading. Rush him to the potty. Stand in the stall for a bit. Success.

9:15 AM: Get his suit on and walk out the pool.

9:30 AM: Sit for 30 glorious minutes with Terri Jo while our sons take their first independent swim class together. Wave, smile, two thumbs up, blow kisses, all while carrying on a deep conversation. Mothers have the unique ability to carry on intimate conversations with girlfriends while keeping all eye-contact on their babies. Or, sorry Zane, big boys.

10:00 AM: Wrestle a greased pig in the locker room and attempt to dry it off and dress it.

10:30 AM: Bump into old friend who asks about business. Actually remember to hand out my email gift card! Zane disappears with Terri Jo to the snack machine.

10:45 AM: Drive over to EAC to cancel unused membership. Glance at all the beautiful people and wonder why I can't fit this beautiful place into my beautiful life? Oh right. It's this new philosophy I've adopted that personal exercise should be FREE. Thanks, budget.

11:00 AM: Walk to Einstein Bagel to get Zane a snack and me more coffee. That's 3 cups now.

11:15 AM: Meet Terri Jo and Dmitry at a park. Run around with the children and hold another deep conversation all while climbing on and off an antique fire truck, now a playground toy, with cup of coffee in my hand.

11:45 AM: Something smells.

11:50 AM: Really.

11:55 AM: Really.

12:00 PM: Bad. Zane, and Dmitry, have obviously been "loosened" by the warm water of the pool.

12:15 PM: Leave park for home. Change monstrosity. Zane eats an entire can of Spaghettio's. I eat an energy bar. Complete phone in registration for Harper's tennis class. Begin choosing photographs for Friday night's crop and for Zane's classroom.

1:00 PM: CRAP! Literally, crap. I forgot my cardinal rule. After Zane eats lunch, he must, must, must sit on the potty. This almost insures that he goes. Too late. He sits anyway and I read him a book. I skip the last two pages . . . the end!

1:15 PM: Naptime!

1:20 PM: Not for me. Are you kidding?

1:30 PM: Read and sort mail. Straighten kitchen from lunch. Begin laundry. Call Harper's therapist to confirm appointment time. Try to reschedule another MD appointment. Consult family schedule with George. Contact customers via phone. Draft email invite for skin care customers. Send email. Return phone calls. Contact friend who just had a baby to answer questions about c-section recovery, etc.

3:00 PM: "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" Is it time already? Wait? Is my hour and a half up?

3:30 PM: Harper is home. No homework. Share a snack. Chat. Can I watch TV? No. Why? We don't watch TV during the week. She disappears outside to play with Scout. Zane follows. Get ingredients out for dinner which George will make as I have a ton of photo's to get cropped via Ritz camera online - which I have got to wean myself from as their site takes FOREVER. Get all the photo's downloaded onto their site. Plan my day for tomorrow: School drop off for Harper and Zane, meeting for Moms R Us, possibly purchase my amp, tackle Humana after ignoring several bills from Children's. And to think I was supposed to have a 4:30 appointment with Harper today that got cancelled! Thank goodness for that time.

5:00 PM: George is home! Crop 60 photos. Yes, it takes just about an hour. Seriously, Ritz online is the pits.

6:00 PM: Dinner. Lasagna. Brilliant. He done good. Dinner all together. Zane won't eat. What's new? Leave him at the table after we're all finished. He eats the portion we ask him to eat. Dessert. Mrs. Mason, Harper's teacher calls! George takes the call. Apparently, there was a situation today where Harper almost got really upset (she was paired with a boy for reading time) and instead, she grounded herself, took a deep breath, and handled it. Was a "model student" the remainder of the day. Mrs. M wanted us to know how well she did. Harper tells us that she was able to handle the situation by imagining something that makes her happy. Scout. Then she shares that she was able to help the boy sound out words. Folks, so far, so good.

6:45 PM: George leaves for a meeting.

7:00 PM: Baking time. Sometimes, baking is the best activity at night as it keeps the kids seated! Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Hidden inside? Pureed banana and zucchini. Well, not very well hidden as Harper does the pureeing in the food processor. Put cookies in oven.

7:15 PM: Kids have gotten cleaned up and are in pajama's. Cookies are done. Time for cookies and devotions. Topic: Jacob meeting and marrying Rachel. Carefully explain that we no longer marry our cousins. (You're welcome, sis). Pray that we would be helpful to one another and share ways to do so. Harper begins wrestling Scout on the floor. Zane is Optimus Prime running in circles and capturing and jailing Megatron in the closet. Mommy loses it and asks them to sit down. We talk about listening and obeying. Harper responds by immediately going up to brush teeth. Zane, who mimics anything she does, also brushes teeth.

8:00 PM: Harper reads two books to us while we all sit on her bed. Scout joins us. Harper lays out clothes for tomorrow. I take Zane to his room. We hug and kiss for a long time. I give him a blessing. He thanks God for toys, toys, and more toys. I wrap him like a burrito in a blanket. Lights out.

8:30 PM: Lights out for Harper. Lot's of snuggling and affirming words.

8:45 PM: Straighten kitchen from Tuesday night bakefest.

9:00 PM: Write this post.

9:45 PM: Try with all my might to get up to bed to read and get adequate sleep in order to be refreshed for tomorrow.

10:00 PM: Run for Vice President!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Tina? Hi, this is your agent. We may have a gig for you!"

I realize that "30 Rock" is going well for her, but Tina Fey may just have to return to her old stomping grounds at SNL, should the election go a certain way.
I'd cast her.

So, Its Come To This?

Zane Atkins. You little blackmailer.

This potty training adventure that we've been on is getting really old.

And then, suddenly, you oblige. Twice.

But not without cost.

I should just hang a sign around your neck that reads, "Will poop in the potty for new Transformers."


"Will poop in the potty as long as I'm at SOMEONE ELSE'S HOUSE!" Like Justin Stein's.

Hey bud. First of all, I don't have extra cash hanging around to purchase you a new Transformer every time you unload in the pot rather than your pants.

Secondly, Justin is only home on tour for a few days and don't think I'm about to keep driving up to Glencoe just so you can use his bathroom. That's like . . . stalking.

Jellybeans used to do the trick. What happened?

You are just holding out for more loot and fame. I'll think about getting you that new Transformer when we see daily progress over several days. And weeks. Maybe a month.

And as for fame? Kissing up to Justin will get you nowhere. You are all cute with your singing along to his songs, but really, his back-up dancers have been hired.

"Thanks. We'll call you."

When you are POTTY TRAINED!


I love you.