Posted by: beege | October 12, 2009

Allow me to re-introduce myself…

Hi! I’m Beege. I might look familiar, like someone who used to blog here. Yeah. I get that a lot.

A million and one apologies for just sort of up and abandoning the old Mairsy Dotes blog. I have no real good excuse, and a ton of little crappy ones. I won’t even humiliate myself with groveling. I’m just to get you caught up on all the stuff that’s been going on, ‘cuz baby: Beegaroonie has been doing some growing.

*I am the mother of a kindergartner. She loves it. I love it. And Jerod, a little boy in her class, loves Nea. Seriously. Jerod’s Mom told me that he will NOT go to sleep unless a rock Nea gave him at recess one day is on his nightstand. Jerod brings Linnea flowers–nothing fancy, only dandylions, weeds, and clover which are the most readily available flora in the schoolyard. Nea hugs him good-bye, and Jerod tells her he loves her. The other day, Linnea asked me what our phone number was, because Jerod wants to call her and talk. What on earth do five-year-olds need to talk on the phone about?! As cute as it is, as much as Jerod’s Mom and I laugh about it, and as much as I can remember vowing to marry Robby Freed when I myself was a kindergarten femme fatale, I still gripe about it, “Seriously, Lord? ALREADY?! She’s FIVE. She’s a BABY. She’s MY baby. I don’t know if I’m ready for this…” 

*Another thing I wasn’t ready for? Linnea coming to me and telling me her tummy is too big, and asking what she needs to do to make it smaller. Oy. Five. FIVE, and already looking at her sweet little body with a critical eye. The tummy that I still love to blow raspberries into, the body that I rocked and crooned to, and cried with through countless colicky nights in Kansas, the body that to this day brings me delight to see growing so tall and strong…this body is being looked at, and found wanting by it’s five year old owner. That pisses me the hell off. Who is telling her she’s fat? That’s what I want to know. To look at her, lined up with all the other kindergartners in their too-big backpacks that make them look like a herd of colorful turtles, she’s average. Not a string bean. Not heavy. My small daughter will never be willowy. Willowy doesn’t exactly run in the women in her family. I’m conflicted over how best to help her. Tell her how to get a smaller tummy? Pooh-pooh her concerns? I don’t want to contribute to this in ANY way, knowing what a life-time of body image issues can do to a person. But at the same time, if her tummy is causing her distress: shouldn’t a mother seek to help? I don’t know. I told her to run around and play more. It was all I could come up with at the time.

*M and I have been doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. My parents asked us to do it, and offered to pay half the class tuition fee. M and I were both reluctant, but (as I pointed out to my beloved) it was almost literally the least we could do, so: we did it. I have known people who did Dave Ramsey. They become almost cultish followers of all things Dave. I’d seen him on FoxNews and pretty much decided I wasn’t terribly interested in hearing more, thereby proving my fair and balanced opinion of the network. But, 5 weeks in: I’m a believer. Taking this class has been a radical paradigm shift for both M and me in regards to how we think about money, deal with money, and plan with money. None of what Dave teaches is difficult, but at the same time: we weren’t doing it. We didn’t even know HOW to do it. For years people would tell us, “Write a budget.” and we’d TRY. But we didn’t know how. So, now, this is the fair and balanced Beege recommending that if you ever get a chance to do FPU or any other Dave Ramsey program: do so. Last night we were supposed to cut up our credit cards. M and I don’t have any credit cards–some accounts were closed on us, and the rest we closed ourselves. One guy brought something to cut up, but it was a prepaid gift card that he’d already used–like a Visa giftcard he got from his cellphone company. And he was the only one who brought something to cut up (even if it was lame). Now maybe everyone else is in the same boat that we are, and no longer have credit cards. But somehow: I don’t think so.

*I am back pastoring again! Quite unexpectedly, the bishop asked me to serve as a “bridge pastor” for a congregation who’s interim pastor needed to leave, but who probably won’t have a called pastor until the end of the year. It’s a large congregation, and I’m working there 3/4 time as the lead pastor. Yesterday was my first day, and the interim’s last–so while I had to be there ALL DAY LONG, I didn’t actually DO anything, so it was pretty exhausting. Today, I go in and get my keys, the alarm codes, and set up my office. I’m excited! I’ve missed this everso! But I’m finally in a place where I can see that coming out of Kansas: I was in NO way, shape, or form ready to be in the pastorate. That I really needed these four years of being on-leave from call in order to heal from the candidacy process, internship, M’s exceptional ordination, and those years in Kansas. I suppose that it’s only taken 4 years to undo a decade of hurt is a miracle in and of itself. But it is a joyous thing for me to finally be back in a place where I can say without reservation: God is good!

*My best girlfriend had a baby last week! Marcus. He’s so ridiculously adorable! I just want to nom nom nom on his cheeks. I wish I could apparate to Green Bay at will, just so I could get a good baby-snuggle in from time to time. Ah, babies…

So that’s about it. Running about, being a school mom, getting our financial life on track for the first time EVER, loving on Boog because she’s my baby, and getting back into the pastoral mode. That’s pretty much what I’ve been up to. :)

Posted by: beege | September 3, 2009

Everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten

I just got back from taking Nea to her first day of kindergarten.

She’s ready. And because she’s ready: I’m ready. But I’m feeling a bit emotionally tender for all our mutual readiness. Not tearful, but more like a mild toothache. It only hurts when you think about it, but because it hurts when you think about it, you think about it all the time.

She is in afternoon kindergarten. She told me after lunch that her tummy hurt a little bit, so she thought her hot dogs were yucky. I told her maybe her tummy hurt because she was a little bit scared of going to school. She said no, she wasn’t scared, but that her tummy probably was. I confessed that I had a little tummy ache, too, because I was going to miss her so much while she was at kindergarten. Then we snuggled.

She ran ahead of me the entire time we were walking to school. Joyously shrugged out of her backpack to play on the play equipment. Excitedly greeted the classmates she met last night. Quietly, and slightly nervously stood in line, waiting to go into her room. Flashed me the “I love you” sign repeatedly, as I stood with other parents a short distance away. Smiled when I flashed it back. Tried to speak Chinese to the Asian girl standing ahead of her in line. I wasn’t close enough to hear how that went.

Once Nea was safely in her classroom, Sarah and I went home. Sarah wanted to be carried–a rare event for my uber-independent baby. I think we both wanted some comfort and closeness, after watching our beloved Nea walk fearlessly away from us, and into a bright and shining new world–a world that we will only exist on the edges of.

The odd dichotomy of parenthood: raising them in such a way that they are able to do the very last thing you want them to do–grow up. And now, I’m off to have a bit of a cry. nea Birth

Posted by: beege | August 24, 2009

Life is good.

Momcation? Wonderful. Restful. Decadent. Luxurious. The best idea I’ve had in a long time.

Coming home to a grateful family? 100 times better.

This Mama has some thank you prayers to say.

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Posted by: beege | August 22, 2009

Ahhhh…so relaxed…

Things I have done so far on my Momcation:

*Discovered that cork poppers are freaking expensive, and that it’s much cheaper to just go ahead and buy a box of wine. I’ve also discovered that box wines are not too shabby. I’ve certainly had worse wines out of bottles. In addition, I’ve discovered that the Coke glass McDonald’s handed out with their extra value meals hold a lot of wine. I had two of them last night, and boy howdy: felt it!

*I’ve gotten to do some writing, which was fabulous. I haven’t written beyond my blog for…God, MONTHS. I’m working on a story about Mary Magdalene. I’ve been working on it for a long time…well before the Magdalene was trendy, and then once she got trendy I kind of put it away because if there’s anything I want to NOT be, it’s an author of a bandwagon trend. Magdalenemania seems to have calmed down a little bit, so I’ve got it back out and dusted it off. Got rid of some of it, kept some of it. Got other ideas for the story. Discovered that I need to write with a specific soundtrack in mind. It’s been good.

*Slept in. Until I woke up. Hogged the whole bed. Didn’t have to fight for covers (or fight to get rid of them). Didn’t have to get up even ONCE. Didn’t have a small orange cat sleeping on my head.  Didn’t have any body trying to snuggle me–2, 5, or 36 years old.

*I have consumed three bowls of Crunch Berries, which is my cereal guilty pleasure. It has probably been years since I’ve eaten them, and I had forgotten how much they cut the crap out of your mouth. Tasty, but dangerous.

*For dinner, I will be making myself chicken marsala, which I love, but no one else in my family does.

*I went into town this morning and did a little mall walking (keeping up on the 30 minutes a day!). Managed to buy a nice little “Thank You” negligee for M. Went into Vic’s Secret and NO ONE would help me. I had to ask for a fitting room, and then they never came and checked on me. I realize I’m a chubby girl, but seriously: I still fit into their stuff! Rude.

*I spent a glorious hour wandering through World Market. I love that store. I bought a crap-ton of coffee. Some wine (a varietal I’d never heard of, but it’s the really light white wine. It almost looks like water in the bottle. Can’t wait to try it!). Some nummy chocolates (Chipotle Chocolate, and Bacon Chocolate), and some little gifts for the girls.

*I wonder if my brother deliberately placed his television in such a way that it was visible from the toilet. Prior to this weekend, I would have said that that was a total guy thing. But given the fact that it’s placement has enabled me to continue watching my personal “Weeds” marathon: I’m thinking the attraction is more universal than I had originally supposed.

I have so needed this time. I will be happy to head home to my family tomorrow, but I’ve needed this time. Time to reconnect with myself, time to remember who I am when I’m not “Mama” or “Mommy”. To answer to no one but myself.

Tomorrow, I’ll gladly be Mama again. But I still have about 15 hours to be whatever the hell I want. :)

Posted by: beege | August 21, 2009

I’m Going on a Momcation!

cocktails-on-the-beach

Nothing this glamorous, I’m afraid. I’m going to camp out/hermit up at my brother’s vacant college apartment. It’s a nice apartment–clean, quiet, no roommates. But it’s no tropical vacation either. As we establish this as a tradition, and our budget expands a bit, the Momcation may get more exotic. It might also become a Fab Girls Road Trip. But this year: I just need to be alone.

My mother seems completely bamboozled by my need to have time to myself. This is the same woman who is completely bamboozled by my desire to have time alone with my husband on our anniversary. These are things that if one doesn’t inherently understand the need of and for: all the explaining in the world will not clear it up. And it makes me feel sorry for her that she doesn’t understand where I’m coming from, because it says a lot about her relationship with herself (and her husband).

My plan for this blessed 36-hour break? Reading. Writing. Knitting. Blogging (yay! You get to come along with me!). Eating what I want, when I want. I’m pretty sure that Cap’n Crunch: Crunchberries will be involved in some way, shape, or form. I will drink wine, as much as I want, when I want. I will listen to the music that I want to listen to, and if I want to listen to Barber’s Adagio on repeat for 36-hours and sit and drink wine and weep: so be it. I am going to take TWO Excedrin PMs and wear earplugs, thus ensuring that I only wake up when I’m ready to do so. Or when my bladder is full.

Speaking of bladder being full: I will void myself without an audience, just to see if I still know how to do it without my girlish support group. “Mama? Are you pooping? It’s KINDA smelly.” Yes, dear one, well, you’re the one who followed me in here. You can just turn around and march your critical fanny back out again.  

I might go into town and do a little shopping. Or I might not. I’ve vaguely considered going out for a lovely dinner, all by myself, but I’m not sure if I want to. And if this weekend is about anything, it’s about not doing anything I don’t want to. Maybe I’ll get dressed tomorrow. Maybe I won’t.

I need this. I SO need this. I don’t need much of it. But I do need it. No matter what my mother thinks.

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Posted by: beege | August 19, 2009

On the bazillionth day: God gave motivation.

M is notoriously reluctant to do to the doctor. He likes to self-medicate whenever he can reasonably get away with it, for as long as I’m willing to tolerate the vast array of OTC pharmaceuticals, humidifiers, herbs, ointments, rubs, heating pads, cooling pads, nose strips, homeopathic nasal sprays, Ricola herbal lozenges, etc.

But you know:  there are things  you really need a doc for. Like…oh, say, something really threatening like a physical. I finally got his draggy ass into a doc over a year ago. The doc ordered base-line labs. M finally had those labs drawn a couple of weeks ago. And his doc’s office promptly started phoning, “Hi, this is so-and-so from Dr. K’s office. We really need to see M in the office as soon as is convenient.”  Being quick-witted, I quickly surmised that something alarming showed up in his labs. Being similarly quick-witted, so did M, and he dealt with the issue by NOT calling Dr. K’s office.

Finally, I made him do it. Stood there, tapping my foot, wearing my very best “Mom Face”, while he dialed and made the appointment. And thank God he did.

His blood pressure? Through the roof. His cholesterol? Taking in the view with his blood pressure. He’s young. Not even 40. He shouldn’t be having these issues. All the other labs came back fine–sugars in line, a little overweight, but not too bad, etc.

So his doc put him on something for his cholesterol, has him on a low-to-no-sodium diet, and ordered him to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. He’s hoping that the lower sodium and exercise/resultant weight loss will bring M’s BPs in line. Because M swears he has white-coat hypertension, he also wants M tracking his BPs at home. This will be easy, because M has his very own automatic BP cuff, to help him self-medicate.

The excerise decree came down from On High on Monday. We walked Monday night, and we walked last night. And I may have finally found the motivation to exercise regularly: I’m motivated to put off being a widow for as long as possible. That boy is walking every damn day if I have anything to say about it. Even if I do look fabulous in black.

Posted by: beege | August 14, 2009

Sisters

Conversation overheard at breakfast this morning.

Sarah: Good morning, Nea!

Nea: Morning, Sarah!

Sarah: I got on big girl panties! See? See my big girl panties? (lifts nightgown to show off panties)

Nea: Sweet! You have to keep those dry, like me, OK?

Sarah: OK.

Nea: Give me a high five!

Sarah: No, hug! (ecstatic hug follows) I missed you so much while I was sleeping!

Nea: I missed you, too!

(Hug causes girls to fall off their bench, where they lay silently on the floor for a moment to see if they need to cry, then decide to giggle.)

Sisters...

Sisters...

Posted by: beege | August 13, 2009

Odds ‘n Ends

*I saw this picture on a design blog this morning. I REALLY like the idea. I even like the song. I think it’s Depeche Mode, which means M will like it, too. Not crazy about the pink, but that is neither here nor there.

Depeche Mode

*I’m wondering if it’s considered poor form when someone gives you money, and asks you to go buy them something very specific, and you agree. But then sometime between your agreeing to get them that very specific item, and bringing that very specific item back to them, you change your mind and use their money to buy them something COMPLETELY different. Like asking for underwear, and being given galoshes or something.

*I’m introducing something new to our marriage. A Momcation. Just a small bit of time (perhaps two nights) where I can get away, by myself. No husband. No children. No friends. I have no huge plans of what to do with this time–no shopping sprees, meals out, etc. I just need some time alone. I need and want to revel in my introversion. Nurture it, and let it know I haven’t forgotten the fact that we are introverted, even though my life so often requires me to act otherwise. I want to sleep until I wake up, rather than sleeping until woken up. I want to get up, pee, come back to bed and drowse or read. I want to watch the movies that *I* want to watch, rather than whatever Boy Movie M and I are able to compromise on. I want to knit, without having to stop mid-row to mediate some altercation between my girls. I don’t want to have to worry about where Sarah is, what Nea is doing, what I’m going to fix for dinner, what just got flushed down the toilet, if that mystery goo will come out of very fine girl hair, or if we need to go visit Miss Jana, how much of an issue naptime or bedtime will be, etc. As I explained to M, “You can say that I can sleep until I wake up, and you can say that I can get up, pee, and come back to bed to drowse or read, and you can say that I can have a day just to myself–but the reality of my life as a mother is that as long as I’m around, the girls will want to be where I am. This is good. This is natural. This is the greatest joy of my life. But it’s not what I need. And even if, by some miracle, you were able to keep them away from me, I can’t just turn off my Mom radar. I can’t EVER tune my children out, so even if it was ‘My Day’–I’d still be on duty, whether I reacted to the situations or not. I’d be listening to how you were doing, thinking of ways I could do it better, thinking of suggestions for you to try. Not restful. Not what I need.”

*I want to go on the record as acknowledging (for the umpteenth time) that I have the husband of all husbands, who not only accepted my expressed need, but helped me begin to brainstorm how that would work, and expressed admiration that I was being “courageous enough” to take the time that I needed.

*I’m not like at the end of my rope or anything. It’s not like if I don’t get this time I’m going to walk out and not come back until I’ve got my crazy out. It’s just I realize I need this, and I want to respond to it before it gets out of control. Because I used to have lots of time alone. Some time every day. Yesterday was the first time in I can’t even remember how long that I was in the house, alone. ALONE. And it was giddy.

*I am wearing 10′s today. I can’t remember the last time I fit into a pair of 10′s. Years ago. So I have dropped 2 sizes below the waist, and only one size up above. This is about par for the course. I’m so disproportional–I’ve got this big barrel chest, broad shoulders, and boobs. Well. I used to have boobs. Then I nursed. Now they’re not nearly what they were. I’m OK with that, mostly. Anyhow–TENS! And almost all of the shirts I bought while on vacation–cute, graphic tees that work well with crops and with khakis and with jeans–are too big. I’m swimming in them. Rar.

*My mom is making dinner tonight. I can’t remember the last time that happened, either. She’s making ho-made macaroni and cheese, with kielbasa sausage. I’m thinking I better not get rid of my 12′s just yet…

*There is a chaplain position at the non-profit where M works. This is the same non-profit that pursued me quite ardently last year. It boiled down to the fact that they thought I would be a FANTASTIC chaplain, they really liked me personally and professionally, but there were some in the group that wondered about the impact our marriage would have on the group. They wanted us to be “open” about our marriage, and consent to going to counseling. Ummm…what? What the hell business is it of theirs? Is everyone else’s marriage open for public discussion and comment? And I will be the one who determines whether or not my marriage needs counseling, and it will not be part of a public forum. At first, I didn’t think too much of it. But the further I got away from the situation, the more it pissed me off. So now I don’t know what to do. The chaplain gig is attractive–it’s 8-5, holidays off, weekends off, vacation, sick leave, 401k, benefits. But am I REALLY called to it? Would it feed me the way I need to be fed? I don’t know. It might just irritate the crap out of me, being around so many freaking navel gazers who want to know how my marriage will impact them. Huh. I may have just answered my own quandry.

*I gave myself the worst blister I’ve ever had in my life yesterday. Making clippies for Sarah’s hair. I was hot-gluing embellishments to the clippies, when the embellishment I was working with flipped over, and dumped molten hot glue all over the inside of my ring finger. I have drained this sucker FOUR TIMES. It was a good 1/4 inch above my finger and Mom said, “Drain it. Otherwise you’ll tear it, and then you’ll be REALLY miserable.” It doesn’t hurt as much as it looks like it should, which is a bit worrisome to me, since burns are supposed to hurt, unless they’re really bad and you’ve burnt the shit out of your nerves. Luckily, I was hot glueing right next to the kitchen sink, and got cold water on the burn within a couple of seconds, and aloe vera right after it. Maybe I just did good, nigh instant first aid.

*I’ve discovered that I really like vintage pin-up art. Not like enough to decorate my house in it or anything (but maybe a bathroom…). I like the subtlety of the sexuality–a woman in a dress, sitting cross-legged offering just a peek of a garter belt and a knowing smile on her face. So much better than the sexuality we embrace these days–women should be creatures of secrets, their bodies undiscovered territory. We should respect ourselves enough to claim that birthright, rather than display everything to anyone who cares to look. A bare shoulder, slipped through the neckline of  a tshirt is so much more alluring than a spread-eagled crotch shot. Or maybe that’s just me. Heh. “How Beege would be as a Lesbian“.

*I found a cool knitting pin-up. It’s now my profile pic on Facebook. I also found pictures of women knitting naked, which is precisely as unattractive as it sounds. I also found this:

I’m kind of wondering what in the hell it is. And also, what in the hell she’s done to her breasts to make them fit in the little sleeves. What possible use could any woman (outside of a nursing mother, maybe) have for such a garment? People are bizaare. Truly.

*I’m ready for fall. The temps are starting to cool down (80′s, compared to 100′s). I’m ready to have summer over and done with. It’s probably my least favorite of all the seasons, probably because of my intense dislike of being too warm. Yuck. So here, for those of you who also are ready to welcome cooler temps, pumpkin pie, and big yellow schoolbuses:

Posted by: beege | August 7, 2009

Recess Monkey Pictures!

Sarh and Daron, finding some rhythm

Sarah and Daron, finding some rhythm

 

Nea and Daron, feeling the beat

Nea and Daron, feeling the beat

 

Nea is excited about the concert, while Jack talks with some of the other kids

Nea is excited about the concert, while Jack talks with some of the other kids

 

Daron (aka my cute musician boyfriend) in action...

Daron (aka my cute musician boyfriend) in action...

 

Drew shows the kids how you have to make ugly faces to make good rock 'n roll.

Drew shows the kids how you have to make ugly faces to make good rock 'n roll.

 

Linnea and Sarah shake what their Mama gave them.

Linnea and Sarah shake what their Mama gave them.

 

Promotional picture from the band’s website: www.recessmonkeytown.com

Posted by: beege | August 6, 2009

To Kindle, or not to Kindle?

A friend of mine was recently given a Kindle for a gift. She loves it. She gushes about it. It seems to work really well for her.

Personally? I’m not sure about Kindles. I kinda like the idea of having hundreds (thousands?) of books at my fingertips. It makes the thought of traveling anywhere with M a whole lot nicer, because he is notorious for bringing every single book he might slightly, even less than slightly, possibly, under some random circumstance need or want to look at. And I can understand the allure of not being completely over-run by stacks of books. If you can fit them all in a tiny device: you save yourself a lot of space.

But here’s the thing: reading is not simply about the story for me. It’s so much more than just reading words on the page–if that were the case, then reading digitized words on the screen of a Kindle would probably be OK.

But I love the entire experience of being a “book person”. I love the sound of the pages turning, or the binding cracking on a new hard-cover. I love the smell of the ink and the paper. I love the color of the paper, the texture of the paper, and the look of the font (I’m one of those people who LOVE it when they put a little snippet about the font at the back of the book).  I adore the way a well-loved book just falls open to the most-loved part of the story (“Is it Rilla my Rilla?”  “Yeth.”), the part that sometimes I just pick up the book to read that one single part, and then return it to the shelf. Speaking of shelves: I love the way a bookshelf full of books looks–warm, cozy. In my own house, there were books in every room. Bedrooms, living room, kitchen–even bathroom. My mother thinks of books as “clutter” and they are relegated to night stands, or her single bookshelf in the room over the garage.

I do not loan people books. I love my books too much to let someone borrow them, because I’ve not gotten them back a few too many times.  Unless I didn’t like the book. Then I give it to them. I also tend not to enjoy libraries for myself, because I like to write in my books,  underline passages, and if I truly love the story: I don’t want to give the book back. :)

I am a bibliophile in probably the truest sense of the word. Reading, and the world of books, are sensual experiences for me. The joy the existence of books brings to me couldn’t be replaced by the convenience of a Kindle. I don’t see myself getting one of these any time soon, though I might suggest M pick one up so he doesn’t have to travel with his entire theological library whenever we go on vacation. ;)

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