Monday, November 17, 2008

"I can't say, "I like you," because I have tea in my mouth.

I just said, "I like you," to Gertie.

She replied, "I can't say, 'I like you,' because I have tea in my mouth."
She had just taken a drink of tea.

She cracks me up.

We had a high school friend die in a hunting accident last week. His friend was getting out of the truck and the gun accidentally went off, shooting Lanny, who bled to death. He was in John's class and had helped us buy a few cars over the years. He sold cars. One was a cute little Mazda 323 turbo. I really did like that little car.

His wife was my best friend in the whole wide world when I was in middle school. She lived just a couple blocks down our street, which was the highway. We called each other every day many, many times. We had sleepovers. We coordinated our clothes that we'd wear to school. This was in the days of leg warmers. Should we wear the blue polo and the red leg warmers or the red polo and the white leg warmers? We babysat and dearly loved the Martin family girls for years together. They had Mandy, then twins, Katie and Kyla, and then Mara. While they were very young, they needed two sitters, but after a couple years, one of us could handle it, really. They gave us the option: We could take turns or stick together and each be paid half. We mulled it over (not for long) and decided to babysit for 50 cents an hour so we could keep doing it together. Boy, we loved those kids.

Anyway, it was a very sad occasion, and John and I both wanted to be there, so we began scrambling to make that happen. My friend Brenda agreed to take the big kids, including carting them all over high heaven to get them where they needed to be when they needed to be there. She bought a birthday present for Ethan's little friend's party that I forgot about. She is a saint. The previous owners of our dog took her in. They do that when they can. They are saints.

We took Gertie with us. She's a saint...well, not quite. She did a great job at the funeral, though, until she got hot. She had been very fidgety, but quiet for the most part. Until she got hot. Then she said in a whiny whisper, "I'm hot." I nodded. She said in a scream, "I'm hooooot." John took her out. I love that man.

We saw many friends from high school. Lanny's funeral was very well attended. You just don't think people you know are going to die so young. Very hard. They have three kids, 17, 15 and 12. Pray for them. They'll need those prayers.

Grace was in Alice in Wonderland and was a beautiful and perfect "Small Alice." I was so proud of her. Actually, all those junior highers did a great job. It was a fun play. But...I'm so glad it's over. Just in time for gymnastics to start.

That's what's on my mind. We are running these kids around like crazy. We want them to be in all the stuff they want to be in, but sometimes I feel like this just shouldn't be life. Ethan has basketball practice until 8:45. He is supposed to be in bed at 8 o'clock. It's just too late. And on December 1 we add wrestling. Crazy. I feel like I'm on the fast train and I can't bring myself to jump off. Things just must slow down a bit. What do we give up? Piano? Cello lessons? Gymnastics? Basketball? Wrestling? Church?

How will my children possibly become well-rounded happy adults without gymnastics and plays and church and piano and cello and basketball and wrestling? We. Must. Press. On.

Oh, please.

We will fix this.

Did this happen to you?

Don't let this happen to you.

This week I don't have to work. I am glad. I have tons of laundry and lots of errands to run. I've missed Bible study for two weeks because of work, and I've missed it. Genesis is so cool. I can't get enough. I eat it up.

Gertie is being so good, but I need to play with that girl, so I'm off.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We had our first snow this last week. It was actually beautiful, making the trees georgous and big, fat flakes. I always love fresh snow, and this was perfect, melting as it hit the sidewalks and roads. When it piles up and has to be shoveled and plowed it turns dirty and is much less appealing to the eye. Gertie made a few snowballs. It was fun.
Ethan is so pleased with this Lego tower he made. Can you all read it? I don't recall what the message was referring to, but the consequences of your choice certainly are severe!
Then we had Ethan's birthday party. We played a game called "Straight Face" where one person tried to crack the rest up, as they were desperately trying to break a smile. Grace made us smile. How can you not?
These are some ten-year-old boys doing what ten-year-old boys do. I said I wanted to take their picture, so the all simultaneously picked their noses. Lovely.

I tried to throw this party together on very short notice, and I think they had fun. Grace, my hero, helped me wrap gifts and bake and decorate a cake, and set this birthday table. I really felt like I couldn't have done it without her.

Gertie is sick, and she was yesterday for the party as well. We hated to cancel, and she wasn't coughing too badly, so we decided to segregate her and go ahead as planned. It all worked out because she slept through the whole commotion.

But I wouln't describe last night as going so well. She was up frequently. She was so hot. She was crying and needed me to be sleeping with her. She needed a drink. She needed to me hold her. She needed me to not touch her. At one point she said, "I don't want your jammies." I thought, "Well, that's fine. You don't have to wear them." Then she said, "No. It''''s fuzzy. I don't like them. It's fuzzy and you have to take them off. It's fuzzy and I don't like them and you have to take them off." Apparently the same thing I love about my pajamas is the same thing she hates about them. They had to go. I'm hoping for a better night tonight. You know, my own bed. A solid night's sleep. Keeping my pajamas on...
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stinky Attitude

We are driving home from dropping my basketball star off at practice number two this morning and Gertie finds a loose packet of Skittles in the car. She starts telling me how she wants to eat them. I tell her no. She starts crying that she wants to eat them. I tell her no. She starts screaming that she wants to eat them. I tell her no. And then...

Me: Your attitude is very stinky right now.
Gertie: Stinky, what does that mean?
Me: Bad. Your attitude is very bad. It's a no-no.
Gertie: You mean my attitude is bad and it's stinky?
Me: Yes, that's right.
Gertie: Well, I don't even understand what that means!

Don't you love that?

The Halloween Report

Oh, isn't Halloween fun? I was just feeling a bit blah yesterday, which is too bad, but that's the way it happens sometimes. After I ironed 6000 shirts for John, I laid down on the bed and started to read Water for Elephants, which I am really enjoying so far.

My sweet husband took over and roasted the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin carving yesterday. He even delivered me some in bed. We always roast them, and I always don't like them very much. But it's a tradition, right.

I recruited Grace to help Ethan with the French hobo costume, which I don't think my son had given a bit of thought to. She was all over that, though. She found some older pants and destroyed them, same with a shirt. I finally came downstairs and Ethan just looked like a kid with torn up and dirty clothes. It was the face paint that did the trick. I thought he was actually pretty cute. Gertie decided to go with the Tinkerbell costume, over the bumble bee. That suited me just fine. Our sitter and friend had donated those costumes for her, and nothing could have been easier. She woke up from her nap on the crabbier side yesterday, so it was a bit of a challenge getting her into the costume and out the door, but we finally got it.

Grace had asked to go trick-or-treating with her friend across town. Both John and I were disappointed to lose her, but I guess we both understood and remember being that age and wanting to go off with your friends.

I took Gertie and Ethan with me to drop Grace off, and figured that could be our trial trick or treat. Gertie said trick or treat, but it was below a whisper. She didnt' hold her bag open, she just stared at the big girls and the rest of the family. And with some prompting she said thank you.

This could be interesting...
We decided to hit our old neighborhood first, because if Gertie pooped out, Ethan could still go around our neighborhood a bit. The first house we went to there was a woman all dressed up with pink spiky hair and pink and silver sparkly stars painted all over her face dishing out the candy. Gertie walked up, whispered trick or treat, and then did a combination of dropping and throwing her bag toward the woman. It was like she really wanted the candy, but wasn't going to get too close. We picked her bag up and said thank you and went on to the next house.

At each house she'd ask me if they were going to be scary. She actually was doing such a good job with her manners after a bit that I let her walk up with Ethan alone. She would come running back to me jumping and giggling and telling me that she got a piece of candy. She loved it. Although, really, what kid wouldn't. Think about this holiday. We teach our kids to knock on doors and get free candy. It is quite the score. Anyway, one day a year...I really don't know what I'm doing with my camera. I turned it to night-time setting and took this picture. Apparently I lose auto focus when I swich settings, and my hands are just too shaky, not to mention the moving people I was trying to photograph, but I thought this picture looked kind of cool. Kind of like I had super-imposed this family of mine into this shot.

Ethan faithfully said "Treeck-or-Trreat" (that is my best attempt at his French accent) at every house. One guy said, "What are you? A hobo or something?" Ethan said, "A French hobo." The guy roared with laughter and loved it. He said that was the best one he's seen so far. He made my son's night.

We came to our home where we had stocked up on a huge bowl of candy to give out, but at the end had decided that we wanted to both go trick or treating with the kids, so no one manned the door here. I feel badly about that not only because now we have a huge bucket of candy on top of three way too big collections of candy, but also that when we pulled up to our house, we had left the porch light on, so I bet we had lots of eager knockers and then no one here to answer the door. We decided that next year we really need to keep one of us at home. It's just that each of us hates to miss it. A friend of ours said he saw some big bowls of candy just left out on the step for help-yourself trick-or-treaters. There is an idea.

It was a good time for our family. And when we picked Grace up, she had a big bag full of candy, and a wagon full of non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army's Food Shelf. These girls had split their time between candy and a service project. This idea had never even occurred to me. I was so proud of them.

Happy Day to all. Oh, one more thing. For a Minnesota Halloween, we couldn't have asked for more. The day was probably in the low 60s. It was beautiful.

Now I need to pack up all this Halloween stuff and get ready for Thanksgiving.