Mairsy Dotes

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

Sisters August 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:39 am

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...

 

Odds ‘n Ends August 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 1:19 pm

*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:

 

Recess Monkey Pictures! August 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 1:45 pm
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

 

To Kindle, or not to Kindle? August 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 11:18 am

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. 😉

 

Paging Penny Lane… August 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 7:35 pm

So. Today we went to the other Recess Monkey show. We walked into the library, and my cute musician boyfriend the drummer saw us and shouted, “Hey! You’re back! It’s great to see you!” We were early enough that they were doing their sound check, and the girls danced to that. Then the bass player and the guitar player took off to coffee up, and the drummer hung out with my girls. They chatted with him, I thanked him for being so great about Linnea’s behavior yesterday, and he joked, “Oh, don’t worry about it! It was fun–it was like “The Mid Columbia Library Association presents Linnea and Recess Monkey!” We were just her back-up band!” Sarah pulled on his shorts, and told him that she liked his drum. Then she showed him how she practiced playing the drums at home. So he went and got his sticks, sat down on the floor with her, and let her beat out rhythms on the carpet. *swoon* So neat. So cute. So fun.

If you ever get the change to go to a Recess Monkey concert, I highly recommend that you do so. Just keep your hands off the drummer. He’s mine. 😉

 

Support your Local Li-berry

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 7:59 am

 

 

Because if you’re lucky, they will bring in kick-ass kid’s bands like Recess Monkey.  I had never heard of Recess Monkey, but one of the women who works with M Facebooked me and told me about them. They were playing at the library the next town over, so the girls and I hopped in Pearl, the Iron Goddess of Mercy, and set off for wonders unknown.

It’s just fun music. Parents can enjoy it. Kids certainly do. All the guys are early-elementary school teachers in Seattle, so the way they interact with the kids is just fantastic. I think I could, officially, become a Recess Monkey groupie.

But I would have competition. Right from the get-go, Linnea was boogying down like her little life depended on it. When the band saw her, they let the audience know that there was a dance area cleared on the floor in FRONT of the stage. So what did my little groupie-in-training do? Charged right up on stage to dance beside the band. About 20 kids followed her, but she was up there first–and damned if the library staff could get her to come down from the stage. She danced, she jumped, she boogied, she stage-dived, she (apparently) played the drums and some guitar. At one point in the show, BOTH of my daughters were up on stage–Sarah stage left, and Nea stage right–dancing as though the only thing they ever wanted to do in their entire lives was dance to Recess Monkey.

As we were leaving, the drummer stopped me and asked if Nea was my daughter. I said yes, and apologized for the way she stage-crashed the show, explaining that I was unable to get up to get her because of the crowd. He said, “Are you kidding? She’s GREAT! We LOVED it!” I mentioned that we were maybe going to come to one of their other shows at another library, and he said, “Which one? We’ll look for her!”

So, now I’m not only a fan of their music, but I’m crushing on their drummer for being so cool about my ill-behaved child. I should probably just change my name to Penny Lane and get it over with.

 

Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere August 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 7:52 pm

I have been complete rubbish about reading to the girls as they’ve grown up. Other parents would gush about how much they loved reading to their children, and that SO didn’t resonate with me–which always struck me as odd, since I am a voracious reader. But I didn’t particularly enjoy reading to them, so I let other people read to them while I knitted or blogged or facebooked, or what have you. But now that I’m home with them all the time, I had to read to them. I couldn’t very well say “No, wait until your father gets home.” seventeen times a day. And it’s a good way to kill some time, get them calmed down, and just rest.

But still: I struggled with reading to them, because I didn’t like the books they had. So I’ve started restocking their little library with books that I enjoy reading to them. They have a TON of books, but not a lot of GOOD books, y’know? So I’m working on that. Our favorites are:

  • Bread and Jam for Frances I loved this book when I was young, and I still love it. I love that there are a lot of words on the pages, but they are engaging words so the girls don’t get bored. I love the rhythm. I love the concept. I love the illustrations. I am always happy when the girls want to read this one.

 

  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is just fun and silly, and lets us talk about what we like to eat and how weather effects us, and frequently leads to dinner ideas. They are making a movie of this book, and I’m hoping that it’s well done and does the book credit.

  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is a new one for us. M and I picked it up years ago, but didn’t really feel like it was appropriate for the girls at the time (I think M just didn’t want to give them any ideas). We read it for the first time tonight. Judging by the way Nea just melted into me while I was reading: we’ll be reading it quite a bit more often. Fun! Plus, I am just a HUGE fan of Neil Gaiman, and will pretty much read anything that has his name on it. We just bought Coraline on DVD–now we’re passing on our Gaiman-love to the next generation.

  • Zen Shorts and Zen Ties are two separate books, about a very Zen panda named Clearwater. What endears this books so completely to me are the illustrations. The Zen stories are cool, too, because they make the girls think without realizing they’re thinking. But I will always love these stories because of the watercolor illustrations inside.

  • Pete and Pickles is just a fantastic, fantastic story about love and loss and sacrifice and joy and what it means to care for one another, written and illustrated by the brilliant Berkeley Breathed of Bloom County fame. I’ve blogged about it before, so I won’t go over-long here, but one of the best things of this book is the way he’s incorporated famous pieces of artwork into the story, and given them his own spin. Fabulous!

  • Harriet, You’ll Drive me Wild! or really: anything by Mem Fox is going to be a favorite. We like Koala Lou, and Whoever You Are, Wherever You Are, and Possum Magic, and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge–if I come across a Mem Fox book: I buy it, because I know we will read it to pieces. If I can find one in hardcover: so much the better, because those paperback versions just get shredded.

  • Goodnight, Moon is one I’m sure we’re not alone in loving. But bedtime just isn’t bedtime without Goodnight, Moon. We’ve all got it memorized. We all “read” it together. They know when I read a page wrong. They correct me. We had a tiny little board book of GM that someone had given us when Nea was born. That got read to bits. Then we found a BIG board book of GM at Costco. Now we read that before bed. It’s easier for everyone to see the pictures they have memorized. 🙂 Incidentally, there is a sequel to Goodnight Moon. I would NOT recommend it. Not nearly as sweet, and actually so dated as to be mildly offensive to this liberated woman. Sad.

 

I’m also wanting to get into reading chapter books to the girls–or at least Linnea. I think once she’s in kindergarten, her reading skills are going to truly take off (as she’s taught herself to read quite a bit already). I’ve got a couple Junie B. Jones books, which are fun and funny; some Ramona books; and Tale of Despereaux–but does anyone (Jules, Jess?) have any other suggestions for good chapter books for young readers? I’d like to craft a library that will grow with them, rather than having to replace the books every few years.