Saturday, January 31, 2009

People I admire... part 2

Wow, I guess I am doing a series. I'm impressed. The second installment in my "People I admire" series will focus on my friend Linda.
Linda and I met waaay back in the dark ages, when dinosaurs ruled the earth and we were in high school. Reagan was president and I actually wore legwarmers to football games. It was the 80's. We were both freshmen and had 2nd period PE. I think it was 2nd period. Anyhow, we had PE together, and as neither of us were particularly athletic, we gravitated together. I'll never for the life of me figure out why, in these PE classes for non-athletes, they insisted on having us play team sports. We don't do well in them anyhow, why make us feel even worse about ourselves by trying to get us to play them. I guess now they do other things like aerobics and stuff, but when we were in high school, we did basketball and volleyball and it was demoralizing (except for the rock concerts out on the tennis court).
Linda and I had a pretty typical high school experience. We were best friends, we passed notes (this was shortly after paper was invented, long before text-messaging) in every class, we drove all over creation in her little blue Toyota Celica, we sent shopping, we watched General Hospital and pretended she was Celia Quartermaine and I was Holly Scorpio. We had crushes on boys and went to football games.
After we graduated, even though we went to different colleges, we still kept in touch. I was maid-of-honor at her wedding and she was matron-of-honor at mine. We e-mail constantly and get together whenever we can.
There are many reasons I admire Linda. One reason is that she has strong beliefs. Of course, her faith is strong, but she is also very passionate about homeschooling. She loves it and believes it is the best thing for her kids and her kids are thriving in it. But, she's not dogmatic about it. Some homeschoolers think that homeschooling is the only way and people who don't do it are really going to screw up their kids. But, Linda's not like that. Linda's also passionate about healthy eating and living. She's even gone political with the whole Raw Milk Movement. I think that's so great.
Another thing I admire about her is her strong committment to her family and her marriage. In a day and age where marriages are falling apart right and left, and women are trying to "find themselves" outside their marriage and family, Linda is committed to her family and her husband.
Something else I admire about her is that she and I are still friends. She has such good taste. No, just kidding. She is a very faithful friend. She is completely loyal and I know I can tell her anything and she'll still like me.
Lifelong friends are hard to come by, but I must say, I'm one of the lucky ones who found a lifelong friend in Linda.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

People I admire... part 1

I thought maybe I'd start a few posts on people I admire. I hope I can write more than one post. It's not that there's only one person in the world I admire, but I've never really been good at keeping up a series of things. So, here's part one, and there may be more. But then again... there may not! (oh, and these people are chosen in no particular order)
In a previous post I mentioned my sister-in-law who called me on my birthday last year, but it somehow slipped her mind that it was my birthday. I wasn't offended, I thought it was kind of funny, actually. But, she did read that post and called yesterday to make sure I knew that she was thinking about me on my birthday, but didn't call because she knew I wasn't home that day. Well, as much as I like to give that sister-in-law a hard time, she is definitely on my list of people I admire.
I met this sister-in-law, obviously, when I started dating her brother. She and Hubby were very close siblings and she wanted to make sure that the girl her brother was so smitten with was on the up and up. I guess I passed, because she and I are really good friends now.
There are many things I admire about my sister-in-law, but the one main thing is... hmm, how do I articulate this? She has a way of staying true to herself and her convictions, but not being judgemental towards people who don't agree with her. She has such a listening ear and a kind heart, but she doesn't coddle people who are victims of their own foolishness. It's hard to explain.
She also doesn't really care what other people think about her. I know a lot of people SAY they don't care about other's opinions, but they really do, desparately. My sister-in-law doesn't stand out in the crowd in any way. She doesn't have green hair and twelve nose-piercings, so she's not that type of "I don't care what people say about me" person. She's just her own person and is content with that. I, on the other hand, care too much about what others think about me and am sometimes afraid to make a move without a public opinion poll.
There are so many other things I admire about my sister-in-law. She's terribly ornery, and she's so nice you'd never believe she was so ornery. But she is! She's a patient mother and a good teacher.
I am very honored to have this gal for my sister-in-law and I love her very much!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I am sooooo full!

We went out for dinner tonight for my birthday. My birthday is tomorrow, but of course, we will be spending it at an "Adopting from Foster Care" seminar. It's an all day seminar and my rear end is tired just thinking about it. Anyhow, we went to the North India Bar & Grill, and I must say it was the nearest thing to heaven my taste buds have ever experienced. We started out with the house salad - fresh garden greens with walnuts, cranberries, goat cheese and mango viniagrette. Then, we got the entree. Oh my stars. We had lamb with some kind of sauce that was just outstanding. We had Basmati rice and then a dish of veggies. The veggies were the only thing I wasn't raving about. They were good, but... well, you know. They served us this flat bread that had garlic and basil on it and in the middle of the table were these four little jars of stuff - one was a mango chutney, one was this mint/cilantro sauce, one reminded me of bbq sauce, but it wasn't like American bbq sauce and the other the waitress said was really hot, so we didn't try it. I'm telling you, I put those sauces on everything. I wanted to pack them up and take them home. I just wanted to keep eating, but I was so full I couldn't. The food was pretty spicy, but not hot. I could taste cinnamon, and I spotted whole cloves in the rice. It was just a medley of flavors unlike I had ever tasted before. So, this place is definitely a do-over in my book! Yummy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pink is my color!

I just had to mention that I really like this blog background. I think pink is my color, though I never really thought it was before. I just really like this background!

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's coming Saturday. My birthday. The big 41. Actually, 41 isn't that big. The big one was supposed to be 40, but my 40th birthday was somewhat anticlimactic. Hubby and I were never able to go out to dinner because of scheduling problems and babysitter problems and all that. I did get some cards from friends and family. And of course, the funniest thing of all was my sister-in-law called on my birthday and we were just chatting away and she never mentioned that it was my birthday. I'd assumed she called because it was my birthday, but we ended our conversation and that was it. Until a couple days later when she called, mortified that she'd forgotten it was my birthday. Well, she hadn't forgotten, but you know when you know what day it is, but you don't put 2 and 2 together. I do that all the time. So, anyhow, it will be my birthday in a few days and Hubby is indeed taking me out to dinner. He kind of wanted to go to Salsa's, which is our favorite Mexican restaurant in Clovis, but there's a restaurant I really want to go to and I'm insisting we go there. It's called the North Indian Bar and Grill. I'd heard a lot about it, and last summer we went to this Rotary Fund Raiser and there was probably 20 Fresno restaurants represented there and NIB&G was there, too. I had a taste of their food and it was soooo good! So, usually I'm not that picky about where Hubby and I go out to eat. Shoot, just the fact that we can go out to eat is good enough for me, I don't care where we go. But, I decided that since it's my birthday, I'm going to insist. I'll tell you all about it later!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pink Baby Guilt

I have been having horrible Pink Baby Guilt. She's haunting me. Last night I was scrapbooking after I put the kids to bed and I was working on Missy Lou's scrapbook. Wouldn't you know, all the pictures I had of Missy Lou, she was holding Pink Baby.
Yes, there were tears last night. A few. And no other dolly would do, even though she's got gobs of dollies. But, I guess this is just one of those things Mommies have to get through! I'll make it! I really will!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

She's lying somewhere in the Costco parking lot!

That would be Pink Baby. I am a terrible mother. I feel so bad. We went to Fresno this morning and I grabbed Missy Lou's blanket and Pink Baby. Pink Baby is the most horrible specimen of a baby I've ever seen. Her hands and feet have been chewed off. Her clothes are dirty and her poor little body is really droopy. But, Missy Lou loves her. She was lost for a couple of days, hiding under the coffee table. Last night I found her and Missy Lou's eyes lit up. She held her the whole time I was reading to her, stroking her little head and cooing. It was so sweet. And now, she's gone again. This time probably for good. I took both the blanket and Pink Baby out of Missy Lou's hands when I was taking her out of the car seat, and I put them somewhere. And now, Pink Baby is gone. She must have fallen out of the car. I'm usually good at spotting everything that falls out of the car - granola bar wrappers, stray legos, anything I see. So I can't see how I could have missed seeing a medium sized baby fall out of the car. But she's no where to be found - not under any seat, not under the pile of coats. I just feel horrible. I imagine her laying there on the pavement, cold and lonely. I know, I know, I've read "The Velveteen Rabbit" far too many times. And, while Missy Lou loves her, it's not like she's going to be traumatized for life because she's gone. But, I just feel really horrible that I lost her.

Friday, January 9, 2009

But what if...

Hubby and I got married a little later in life than most. We were in our mid-thirties, and so when we decided to start our family, we were already workin' the odds. After a not-so-great experience with one ob/gyn and then switching to another who turned out to be wonderful and I've kept her, we decided not to pursue infertility treatments. There were so many reasons why not - our ages, I was already running ragged emotionally after a year of "trying" and didn't want to put us through that again, but with the added "benefit" of medical help, and so on and so on. So, we went on to adopt. It wasn't a difficult decision, and we have three wonderful children and are trying to adopt another.

However, and there's a big "however" in there, there is really no glaring medical reason why we shouldn't be able to conceive. So, it is technically possible, though not very likely. But, technically.... And so, on those months when I'm a bit irregular, I worry. I'm kind of afraid to get pregnant. I am at peace with the way our family has come together. While I truly believe that pregnancy and childbirth is a miraculous and wonderful experience, I am also quite grateful to have been spared the indignities of said state of being. But my biggest fear (it's not that I think I'll love my bio children more than my adoptive children, actually) is that little Billy or Betty will come out the spitting image of Hubby or me and our kids (who look absolutely nothing like us) will some how feel inferior. I'm afraid of the people in the grocery store who say, "Oh look, little Betty has her mommy's nose. And who are these kids? The neighbors?" I don't want my kids to think they are less my kids because they didn't come from my body. So, sometimes I worry. And I know my worries may never really come true, and I know God has this whole thing under control, but... I still worry. Sometimes!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Situation in the park

I took the kids to the park late this morning. It was definitely not a park-weather day, but the kids have been cooped up all week and really needed to get out. I wasn't going to force them to play in the backyard, since it's so cold and pretty wet out there, so we went to the park. At least there are things to climb on and an all-weather surface.

When we got there, there were two little kids there with their grandma. I knew the grandma, at least by sight, she goes to my parents' church. I'd put the ages of the youngsters at two and a half and probably sixteen months, the younger being the girl. The first things I noticed about the little boy when I got there was that he wasn't wearing a coat or a sweatshirt and it was freezing out there. The grandma was busy following the little one around and she was truckin' all over the play structure. Finally, Grandma decided it was time that Buster put his coat on and he refused. She tried a couple times and then told him if he wasn't going to wear a coat, they'd have to leave. As she dealing with the boy, Little Miss was starting to climb on to the play structure again, and a flustered Grandma went running after her.

Well, needless to say, Buster refused to put on the coat, so Grandma gathered her things and made to leave. She was carrying Little Miss and tried the old "Well, we'll just leave without you" bluff every parent has done on Buster. But, he refused to bite. You could see the stubbornness in his face as he dug his little heels in. He knew she wasn't going to leave him but I could see by the look in his eyes that he wished she'd make him come. I know nothing about his upbringing, but he clearly has not been disciplined. His little will has not been brought under submission by firm but loving parents. I've seen this in children before, but I've never really sat and observed a scenario from start to finish and just watched this child who is so clearly crying out for boundaries, consistency, and maybe a good spanking every once in a while. Grandma did make it to the car with Little Miss. She buckled her in and then came back for Buster. She picked him up and carried him away from the playground, and somehow he convinced her to put him down and he came running back in. She followed him back in, but he didn't get a scolding, or a swat, or anything that would indicate that his behavior was unacceptable and he was going to get a consequence. I pity the grandmother. But, I especially pity this child who will no doubt be a holy terror and I pity us a society who will have to deal with him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Like I need another thing to take up my time...

Has anyone out there ever heard of Playmobil? I'd heard it in passing once, kind of had an idea of what it was all about, but never really gave it a second thought. That is, until my neighbor down the street called me a couple weeks ago and asked if we wanted this "playset, it takes a lot of time to set up, but it's really awesome! My kids played with it for years, we actually got it from my mother-in-law... yadda yadda yadda!" So, I said, "Sure!" Her daughters brought it over the other day.... Holy Guacamole, Batman! Now, granted this set is a probably 15 years old, but I priced it on Amazon and we've got to have close to $500 worth of stuff here. And it is highly addicting. I set the house up in my bedroom. There's tons of more stuff for a street with pedestrians and bums and policemen and all that, but I don't have room for that on my cedar chest. I just set up the house. It's amazing. Outrageous. Phenomenal! There's this piano - and it has sheet music, actual music - Beethoven. And there's this bust of Beethoven to set on the piano. And the cover for the piano keys opens and closes. So, anyhow, there's no way the kids are getting it at this point. I let them each go in to my room for ten minutes at a time yesterday and play with it. The stuff is pretty sturdy. I'm not afraid of them breaking it, but I'm putting all the tiny stuff away. Like the knives, forks and spoons for the table. I'll probably let them play with it for a while that way. Bubba only took one turn, he's much more interested in Legos, but Duh-duh and Missy Lou loved it and were very disappointed they only got two turns. There's a whole set of soldiers, and I'm thinking for the boys of getting a fort. You can get it on e-bay. See how bad I am already? Run away from this thing, before it sucks you in, too!
PS: I tried to put pictures, but something's wrong and pics aren't loading. I'll try again later!

100th Post

I wasn't going to post about this being my 100th post, because I didn't know it was, but, since it is, I'll say, "Happy 100th Post" to myself! I'm very impressed that I've written this month. Thank you to Christine Reed who pushed me to blog a little more. I really enjoy it. Now, on with my regularly scheduled post.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cuttin' off that old nose....

My second son personifies the saying, "Cutting off your nose to spite your face!" It took me a really long time to actually figure out what that saying meant, by the way. But, anyhow. It's really quite comical. This afternoon I was putting him down for his rest time. Bubba was going to rest on my bed and Duh-duh just couldn't figure out where in his room he wanted to rest. I think part of the problem was that I gave him a choice. All the child rearing books emphasize the importance of giving children choices, but this kid just agonizes over choices. He says one thing, then.... no, I want this.... no, I want that, no, I want the first thing, even though I said I didn't want it. Now, I realize there's times of childish indecision, but this is a way of life with this child. It's gotten to the point where we don't let him change his mind, especially when it affects other people. So, he first decided to sleep in the closet. No, I don't want to do that. I want to sleep in my bed. "Fine", says Mama, "get into your bed" "No," pouty tone of voice, "I want to sleep in the closet." "I don't care where you sleep, just decide," says an exasperated Mama. "No, I don't want to." "I'm kissing you goodnight." "I don't want a kiss." Mama turns to leave. "No, no, I want a kiss!" Mama kisses him on the cheek. "I'm wiping it off." Mama leaves the room without commenting. "No, no, Mommy, I want a kiss, come back!" Mama ignores the pleas. Can someone pass this child a band-aid?