Mairsy Dotes

"No faith is as solid as a wounded faith."

“Maba! Maba! Maaaaaaaabaaaaaaaaaaa!” May 31, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 4:58 pm

Thus spake Linnea. Repeatedly. Like anytime I’ve tried to go to the bathroom in the last 36 hours. Or anytime I’ve had the audacity to leave her in the room with her father. Or when I’ve even looked like I might possibly be thinking about getting off the couch, and leaving her behind. Did I mention that it was cool that when she was sick she only wanted me? Yeah. After a week: it’s getting a bit old. Really, Baby. Daddy loves you, too. He can snuggle with you. I promise.

I’ve got myself a sick girl. The Texas Double Ear Infection? Still there. She’s still feverish. Still incredibly fragile mood-wise. Will scream and go limp at the drop of a hat. And we spent ALL FREAKING DAY yesterday, laying on the couch together. Linnea was limp as a noodle, and about as steamy hot. Poor sweet baby. I hate it when she so clearly feels like shit, and I’m not able to do anything for her. Yesterday she was so “Maba Needy” that I had to ask M to go find me a pair of underwear to put on…she wouldn’t even let me out of her sight long enough to put on panties so I could snuggle with her without feeling all Micheal Jacksony. I had to sneak bathroom breaks when she was truly out for the count. Or, I had to bring her with me and sit her on my lap while I peed (speaking of feeling all Micheal Jacksony). All meals were eaten on the couch, while trying to coax my whining child to take bites from my food. The girl felt so bad, she even turned down ice cream. Now, my child got virtually none of my tastebuds. But the ice cream ones she got in spades, so for her to turn down ice cream told me she was feeling as miserable as miserable could be. Naturally, this all happens on a holiday weekend. That’s my girl! Never sick M-F, from 9-5. But then: I think that’s just kids in general. I wonder what pediatricians do M-F, from 9-5? ‘Cuz my money is that they’re not seeing sick kids. Kids don’t get sick then. 😉

Which meant that the big event on today’s calendar: a trip to Doc Handsome! Linnea’s pediatrician is sooooooo handsome! The first time we took Linnea to him, I was all post-partum hormonal, sort of cat in heaty. It was like, “Well, hellooooooooooo doctor! Want to check out my nursing cleavage? It’s spectacular.” So not only is this guy hot, hot, hot he’s freaking great with Linnea. So let’s just keep adding to the delicious crushableness of Doc Handsome. He observed her for a little while, said, “She’s really not herself is she?” (*sigh* He knows her personality. He’s so dreamy!) So he checked out her ears, at which point Linnea must have decided that threatening looking pointy ear thing was REALLY an instrument of torture, designed to take her arms and legs off, and she proceeded to scream, flail, and just generally raise hell. Doc Handsome offered her a cookie when he was all done, and she took it, glared at him and (still screaming) crushed his cookie to dust in one fist. (She’s also inherited the cookie tastebuds. For her to needlessly crush a cookie to dust with something other than her teeth is another clear indicator that all in not right in Linnealand.)

So we’re on new meds. Omnicept. We gave her one dose, and we’re already seeing an improvement. When we got home, M put “KOTH” in the DVD for Linnea and I to watch while we snuggled on the couch, but she squirmed down and insisted on dancing for the theme song. I think she’s on the mend. Thank ya Jesus! Hopefully now we can all get some sleep tonight.

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Heaven looks like this May 29, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:29 pm

M’s hometown was having a German festival the weekend we were there. It started out as a fun little small Texas town event, but since the “little small Texas town” has exploded to a city of about 16,000 people: the flavor of the festival has changed in the thirty years since it started.

What was once a parade of tractors pulling trailers full of kids in costumes is now pretty sophisticated. We’re not talking Rose Parade or anything, but not too shabby. Linnea was enthralled by the Watermelon Queen, the May Fete Queen, and the Milo Queen (and their attendant courts). She would point and say, “Maba! Pitty! Pitty!”

What was once an afternoon community-wide picnic with local musical talent bringing their instruments along for pick up jam sessions while the kids did potato sack races and egg races and (I kid you know) Guineahen Catching contests has now turned into a large carnival, with fair food, lots and lots and lots of beer (yum!) and quasi-professional musical acts on a central stage.

On Friday night, M and I were set free from all demands of parenthood to attend a concert with my SIL and BIL. The concert started at 10PM, and all four of us were a little skeptical of our abilities to actually stay up that late. I mean, we’re all parents now. It’s not only just that we don’t party like we used to. We can’t party like we used to.

But as the time to leave for the concert drew nearer, I found myself getting little thrills of excitement. Put on a halter top and some capri pants. Painted my toenails. Did what my MIL calls my “pretty makeup” (as opposed to my ugly makeup, I guess). Felt a little surge of anticipation in getting all damn for M, and for going out for a night on the town and forgetting for just a little while that I am a grown woman, 30 years old, with lots of responsibility. Got damn near light headed with joy when I realized that no one in that crowd of concert goers would know that I was a pastor–and if they did know, wouldn’t give a rat’s ass. I could be as free as I wanted. I could swear as much as I wanted, drink as much as I wanted, hang on M as much as I wanted…suddenly, I was ready to party, whether I’m usually in bed by 10PM or not.

We went to see the band Reckless Kelly. I’d never heard of them before, but S/BIL spent many many hours in college at their concerts, so it was sort of like a trip down dating memory lane for them. We sat outside and drank beer, watched the stars and the lightening bugs, listened to pretty good music. It was a hot night, hot even for Texas and that cold beer tasted so good. So did the barbeque that we became ravenous for about half-way through the concert. We laughed and talked, watched my BIL forget that he was not in fact in college anymore (no matter what sort of music we were listening to) as he drank nearly a six-pack’s worth of good German beer, and talked about our girls. Because really: even on a night of freedom, they were never far from our thoughts.

When the concert was over, we piled into the car and headed for Sonic, for post-beer drinking snacks. Sat at the drive-in with the windows down, talked about pregnancy cravings (or not so much cravings), talked about how hard women are to live with when they’re pregnant, talked about when M and I might have another baby, and how T and G are so totally done…they think.

M and I went back to his parents’ house, still slightly tippled, bumping into things in the dark and giggling like teenagers getting away with something huge. Discussed making out, but when we got to our bedroom found Linnea snuggled in our bed, Monkey clutched tightly in her arms, her breathing slow and even. And realized that as much as we loved our night out, she was the one we were anxious to get home to. That we weren’t in college or seminary anymore. That we can’t party like we used to, and that in the morning we’d probably pay for our night of reserved debauchery. But that that was OK, too.

It was just a good night. Nights like that don’t come along very often, and when they do: you have to savor them.

 

He’s a good man, but every so often he needs a remote bounced off his head May 28, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:36 am

My FIL, that is. He is a good man. He’s kind and loving and gentle. He adores his family, and gets teary-eyed looking around the dining room table at his wife, his children and their spouses, and his grandchildren because his heart is so full it leaks out his eyes.

But all the same: there were several times when he nearly got his remote control bounced off his head.

The first (of many) was, as I related earlier, when he asked what I had done to give Linnea a double ear infection. My MIL, a nurse, tried to explain to him the anatomy of the inner ear to no avail. My FIL is convinced that something I did caused my daughter’s double ear infection, and he’d really like me to stop doing whatever it is that caused it. It’s not just me he feels this way about. He gives this same crap to my SIL whenever one of her girls gets an ear infection. He thinks we don’t dry them off well enough after a bath, and that we wash their hair too much. Did I mention that FIL is in his late 70’s?

The thing that is most exasperating is this: he can’t hear. And he refuses to wear his perfectly good hearing aids. They work well. You can’t see them. He can hear better when he wears them. But he won’t. Which means that when he watches his 16 hours of FoxNews a day, he must listen to FoxNews at about 54 volume, just to hear it. No one can visit over the noise, so we go elsewhere (at one point there were about five of us camped out on MIL’s bed with the door closed so we could actually hear conversation) and he gets mad because he doesn’t get to be in on any of the visiting. When a child cries (and with a double ear infection, we had some crying) he turns the volume up even LOUDER so he can hear whatever dreck FoxNews is serving up over the distressed child.

So it just wears on you, over the course of the week. You can’t escape it. He falls asleep, but wakes up immediately if you turn down the volume or turn off the television or (heaven forbid!) turn the channel so the screaming child can watch “Sesame Street” and relax a little bit. It doesn’t help that I loathe FoxNews with every fiber of my being, and that it’s the first thing to greet my ears in the morning and the last thing at night when I’m at the in-laws, just this constant soundtrack to everything else that’s going on. Bleck.

Anyhow. Memorable remote bouncing moment #2. Wednesday night we were over at SIL’s house, having pizza and beer for dinner because we were leaving Thursday morning. We had all the girls there, Meme and Bapaw, and Aunt G. Uncle T had a meeting that night. Bapaw got to the house, sat on the couch, and turned on the television. Loudly. M and I take care of the three girls over the noise. Aunt G comes home from work, we get the pizza out. FIL mutes the television for the meal. As soon as he’s done with pizza, it’s back to the couch, back to loud FoxNews. We take the girls outside, I browse through a PamperedChef catalog. The girls come back in, we give them baths and put on jammies. K, my 2 1/2 year old niece, is being a 2 1/2 year old. She’s got on a leopard print gown, and has the gown over her head so we can all see her “Dora the Explorer” panties and tell her what a big girl she is for going potty in the toilet. She’s prancing around, with the dress over her head and she trips. Cracks her chin on the seat of a rocking chair and puts her teeth through her lower lip.

Meme (a nurse, for crying out loud!) starts to shriek, “We’re bleeding! We’re bleeding! We’re bleeding!” and because I was sitting right beside where K fell, I picked her up, cuddled her on my lap and cupped my hand beneath her chin to catch the blood that was gushing from her mouth. Auntie G brings over an ice pack, settles K on her lap and proceeds to get her cleaned up so we can assess the damage. K, of course, is screaming like a wee banshee because she hurts and is scared. What does FIL do? Why, turn the television up even louder, of course! He’d hate to miss a moment of the televised city council meeting, bleeding granddaughter or no. S, K’s little sister, starts to cry because K is crying and Linnea is looking at both of them like they’re nuts, but also like maybe she should also join in because she’s apparently discovering her lemming gene…if everyone else is doing it, maybe she should, too. So M and I scoop up Linnea and S and play with them, trying to distract them from the bloodbath in the kitchen. FIL, annoyed at the additional noise, turns the television up even MORE. Auntie G decides (once K is cleaned up a bit) that a popsicle might be a good thing. K quiets down immediately at the word ‘popsicle’ and sits quietly so her mother can get a good look at what happened. FIL begins to lecture G about giving K a popsicle. I snapped, “It’s to help calm K down and help with the swelling.” His response was, “Well, I’m jest saying, when those babies cry y’all always put something in their mouth. You don’t have to do that all the time. Sometimes you have to find other things to make them stop crying.” At which point I walked over to the television, turned it off, and watched the little girls (and the big ones) visibly relax.

Gads. I just don’t even know how to deal with this man. I love him. But he’s so old. And he’s acting like it. And really: I think M and I should find him some headphones for Christmas, so he can listen to FoxNews all he wants and the rest of us can live in peace.

 

I’m it again! I’m it again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:27 am

Damn. You leave town for a little while and people get all meme happy and tag the crap outta you. 😉 This was a double tag from Dix and Poppy.

1. Total volume of music files on my computer? No clue. I do itunes, so I know I’ve got several, but nowhere near the volume that my music loving memers have.

2. The last CD I bought was? “What Do You Think of That?” by Laurie Berkner, “For the Kids, Too” by various artists, and Keane (who sound a bit Coldplayish to me, but I still like them).

3. Song playing right now: There isn’t a song playing right now. I have the house entirely to myself, so I’m just enjoying the sound of silence.

4. Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order): a) Million Dollars by Pat Green b)Desert Rose by Sting c)Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks d) ‘Mama Loves You’ (an original composition by me, sung to sqwaky Linnea to the tune of “Frere Jaques”) e) Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Which 5 people are you passing this baton to, and why? I’m not going to pass it on, just because I was double tagged on it, I figure everyone I know well enough to tag have already been tagged. 🙂

 

I’m it! I’m it! I’m it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:15 am

Sal tagged me on this, so now I get to play!

Here’s how it goes: I pick five of these “If I could…” sentences and finish them, then after I’m all done, I tag 3 more people to do it.

If I could be a scientist…If I could be a farmer…If I could be a musician…If I could be a doctor…If I could be a painter…If I could be a gardener…If I could be a missionary…If I could be a chef…If I could be an architect…If I could be a linguist…If I could be a psychologist…If I could be a librarian…If I could be an athlete…If I could be a lawyer…If I could be an inn-keeper…If I could be a professor…If I could be a writer…If I could be a llama-rider…If I could be a bonnie pirate…If I could be an astronaut…If I could be a world famous blogger…If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…If I could be married to any current famous political figure..

1. If I could be a writer, I would spend all my time writing wonderful books that people would want to read. Deep, meaty books that give people something to think about long after they’ve finished the last page, books that they talk to their friends about, books that bookclubs would actually read and discuss because they couldn’t help themselves.

2. If I could be a gardner, I would have a yard full of flowers–flowers spilling over from random containers and pots, flowers and plants slowly encroaching on the walkways. I’d have a cutting garden so I could put small vases of fresh flowers on the nightstands when I had company, and so that I could always have a bouquet of fresh flowers on the kitchen table. I’d have plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds and good friends. I would have night blooming jasmine climbing a trellis outside my bedroom window, and fall asleep with the scent of jasmine in the cool night air.

3. If I could be a painter, I’d paint Linnea. Actually. I’m going to change that. If I could be a photographer, I’d take shots of Linnea in all her moods…sweet ones, stormy ones, quiet ones, silly ones, active ones, still ones. She moves too fast for painting. 😉

4. If I could be a bonnie pirate, I’d make Orlando Bloom my first mate. Yo ho-ho, indeed.

5. If I could be an architect, I’d design buildings that were in harmony with nature–one with lots of light and natural materials, that used alternative energy sources, ones with lots of windows that invite the beauty of the outdoors inside.

So, since I’m getting to this late, I’m going to figure that most people have already been tagged. But just in case, I tag: SaraJoy!, Jess, and Zoe.

(Snort! I see that Zoe was already tagged on this by Dix. But I’ll just leave those three.)

 

The Chicken Whisperer OR Thoughts on Parenthood May 27, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 7:25 pm

Linnea’s MeMe and Bapaw live on a farm, out in the country. It’s not really much of a farm anymore, since my FIL isn’t really able to keep up with it, but they have some chickens, a rooster, and some guineas.

Linnea was enraptured the chickens. Particularly the rooster. She’d follow them around the yard, crowing, “R-r-r-r-r-ooo!” in her little voice. The damn rooster would crow anytime, day or night, including naptime–and as soon as she heard him, she’d parrot back, “r-r-r-r-r-ooooo!”. She’d hover at the windows when we cruelly forced her to come inside and separated her from her love, hoping to catch the slightest glimpse of him. It was pretty funny. It was like she’d never seen a chicken before. And, upon thought, I guess she hadn’t. My biggest fear was that she’d equate the “r-r-r-r-roooo!” and the “bocka bockas” with the chicken we were trying to get her to eat, but apparently that was too quantum a leap for her mind to make at this point in her development. One evening at supper, the rooster wandered past the kitchen window and Linnea waved hello with a chicken leg bone in her hand. Must have been a grisly sight for Senor Rooster. Heh.

So we dubbed her “The Chicken Whisperer” because by the end of the week, the chickens and roosters were coming to the house when she came outside, instead of keeping their distance from the chicken-appendage wielding fiend.

On Sunday, she woke up with a mild fever. I was half expecting it–we had taken her to the dayschool on Friday to visit with her cousins, and some sort of 24 hour gastro-intestinal bug was going around. Symptoms include: low-grade fever and diarrhea. When we got to church on Sunday, she’d had a seriously poopy diaper, and then all through church she just sat on my lap, rested her head on my shoulder and dozed, totally oblivious to her cousins sitting just down the pew, her grandparents, or any of the other people. The only person to pique her interest for a moment was Baby Cole, a 4-month-old little boy who sat behind us and who Linnea wanted to bring home with us. But such lethargy is SO not my girl. Normally, she’d be squirming around, trying to climb the pews in front of us, and when that failed: crawl under. She’d be shouting to her cousin, throwing things on the floor, getting fussy if the sermon got too long–you know: a typical toddler in church. But no. She just rested, slumped against me. I still wasn’t too concerned. According to the highly scientific “kiss on the forehead test”, she was still just a low-grade fever.

We went out to breakfast after church and she pitched a fit getting into the highchair, and wouldn’t calm down until she was in MY arms. Not Daddy’s. Not Meme’s. Not Auntie G’s. Mama’s. Which was sort of cool, I’ll admit. My girl wanted ME. Specifically, unequivicably: me. It took her all of 5 minutes to fall asleep in my arms in a noisy, busy restaurant. Once again: SO not my girl. And Mama is still not worried.

Sunday afternoon the entire clan came over. We had about 30 people there, all of them M’s relatives, all who wanted to see Linnea because they hadn’t seen her in a year. Which was cool, because baby girls are RARE in M’s family, and much fuss is made over them. Linnea’s cousins get fussed over all the time–I figure it’s just Linnea’s share. But she was so lethargic, so clingy, and so still…and increasingly warmer. So I went to the back bedroom with her and laid down and noticed that her breathing was rapid and shallow, and that she was beyond “slightly warm”, had barrelled past “a bit feverish” and had somehow arrived at: 103.6 in a matter of about an hour. Luckily: my BIL is a medical office manager and has connections, and used them to get us in to see a doc at 5PM on a Sunday. I was so worried…her fever got so bad, so fast! Her eyes were glassy, she was pretty much unresponsive to stimuli. Not unconscious, just REALLY not caring. The doctors were talking about doing blood work and I just held my baby and said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all the times I thought she was a bother, and all the times I got annoyed when she woke me up at night, and I’m sorry for being short-tempered when she was teething and cranky. I’m sorry for all of it, just make her better. Just make her safe. Just make her my girl again.”

And finally, word came down from on-high: double ear infection. Which I never would have guessed in a million years. Ear infections never hit her like that. But: goes to show you what I know. I’m a preacher, not a doctor. But I was so relieved that I held my sleeping, hot girl and cried. I just cried and cried and cried there in front of M, and my BIL, and the doctor, and nice nurse Debbie. I had gotten myself so worked up about all of it…and then to hear “ear infection”. Dude. We can totally fix an ear infection. And so that’s what we did. And she’s been more or less herself for a few days now. A bit more cranky than normal, but that could be because her entire routine has been shot to shit.

But it’s the most amazing realization to me. I make Linnea feel better when she’s sick. When she doesn’t feel good, I’M the one she wants to be with. It’s MY hand that makes her feel safe when it checks for a temperature or brushes her hair back. It’s MY voice that hums wordless tunes that help lull her to sleep. It’s MY arms that she can relax and rest in. In the midst of over 30 people, it was MY knees that she searched out so I could pick her up and rub her back and kiss her hair. When the nurses were poking her with thermometers and stethescopes, it was MY face her fevered eyes looked for for reassurance. Everything my mom means to me, I mean to Linnea. And that’s such a humbling thing, particularly when much of the time I feel like I’m only doing a so-so job at this whole mothering gig. But I think I could be one of the worst mothers on earth, and Linnea would love me because I am her mama. This is the power we have as mothers, and we must not abuse it and we must use it wisely. But I think God made it this way because we’re ALL going to mess up…parents, kids, whatever. But as long as the love is there: we’ll make it through.

We had another Linnea Milestone this trip. I bought her her first “real” baby doll. Her cousin had one and we almost had WWIII in my SIL’s livingroom because Linnea refused to return the babydoll to her cousin, much to the cousin’s pissed offedness (and she was certainly entitled to that. Linnea was not giving that doll up, no way, no how). So I bought her a very nice doll. It doesn’t do anything. Well. I take that back. When you lay her down, her eyes close, and when you pick her up, they open. But she doesn’t cry. She doesn’t “eat”. She doesn’t sit on a potty and go tinkle or poo-poo. She doesn’t say, “mama!”. She’s got a plastic head and arms and legs, and a cloth body. Her little pink dress has camels on it (which is so why that particular doll got the nod. How many dolls are there out there with pink camels on their pink dress????). She’s just a good, old fashioned doll. Linnea loves her. Smooches her. Hugs her. Pats her on her back. Feeds her crackers or cookies or grapes. Lets her drink from her sippy cup. Sings to her. The works. M and I were watching her, feeling goopily sentimental. M whispered in my ear, “She’s learned all that from the way you take care of her. She’s a good mommy because you’re a good mama.” At which point, BabyDoll got hurled violently to the floor and stepped on as Linnea went in search of another toy. So it’s not a perfect comparison. 😉

 

I’m back! I’ve got tons to report, but THIS is my most pressing issue needing feedback

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 3:44 pm

‘Cuz I’m just not sure how far my hackles should be raised.

M had a girlfriend before me. Heh. Lots of them. But one in particular. For six years. He was going to propose to her, but like the day before he did walked in on her and his best friend in bed together. Nice, huh? Anyway. Let’s call her “Yatch-face”.

She still lives in M’s hometown. Worked with MIL before MIL retired. Yatch-face’s mother worked with my SIL, and is retiring. SIL is the administrator of a church dayschool, and they had kindergarten graduation one night when we were there (Friday, I think) and YF’s mother was honored at the graduation because’s she’s leaving (and in this society we only honor people when they leave, not at random intervals which would make the honoring so much more effective). Now, YF hasn’t spoken with my SIL since M and YF broke up 10 years ago. YF found herself a husband, and settled down. Friday, she apparently came up to my SIL and was asking all about M, what he was up to, if he was happy, what was going on in his life, etc.

Later, I found out that YF is divorced. D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D. Dee-vorced. And, suddenly, after 10 years, asking about M.

I find this a little suspicious. And I’ve got this strong urge to go and pee on M to mark him as my territory. Not because I’m at all worried that he’d go back to her. But because I want HER to know there’s no way in hell he’d go back to her because he’s got ME.

So. Is this fishy? I mean: it’s not an immediate, pressing problem. She lives in Texas, and we’re swiftly moving toward Minnesota. But are my instincts that she’s sniffing on target, or am I over-reacting?