July 28, 2010


Happy 81st birthday in Heaven, Daddy.

I miss you.

Steps, Head First

It's nice to have a video camera in my phone. Even if I only take 1 minute movies of my baby. I'm not intentionally ignoring the other 3 children in my life necessarily. It's just that the baby is always underfoot. And doing super cute things, like, for example, talking like an adult.

Or surfing the steps, head first.

July 24, 2010

Deja Vu, Shoes

So this sucks. Shoes cancelled the visit. B was at the house when he called; we'd just tucked the kids in to bed so we could get them up at 5am.

Shoes talked to Trevor first. Then, Andy. He told them he wasn't taking them and that was it. Trevor laid in a sobbing lump under my arms while Andy ran downstairs and jumped in B's lap.

So, we got all 3 of them up again and put in a movie. B wrestled with them and loved on them and Trevor came downstairs to join in. He was super happy that he was given permission to say "pissed off" as often as he wanted. Because he was pissed.

Trevor and B had a moment when I left to go get ice cream.

It was a sad night until we made it a happy one. God saw this coming. And He saw fit to make sure B was there to help turn it happy.

I am not pleased to have a repeat performance from last year. I am incredibly irate that my children are hurting because of that man. But, God doesn't make mistakes. I am beyond grateful to have them for the rest of the summer. God knew they should be here, apparently.

That's all for tonight. Thank you for your continued prayers.

July 22, 2010

The One With Barbie Buttcrack

Today is a rough day. It is rough because I worked 18 hours yesterday and 18 hours the day before. Tonight I'm going home to clean up my house (which looks like a tornado hit it), do laundry, and pack suitcases for 3 little people who are going back for another 3 week visit with their dad on Saturday (prayer request? Thank you!)

So, I'm tired. Pooped. Utterly amazed that I am sitting here awake just now. Eating a blueberry Poptart and drinking tea. Sounds classy in a Rachelish sort of way, but I assure you I feel like straight up ass.

Sorry. Did that offend? If it did, you don't want to read the rest of this post.

I'd like to share with you a little story from our weekend involving little Thelma here.


We were happily enjoying our evening as 6:

- Trevor was alternating between reading Harry Potter 6 and playing his DS
- Andy was alternating between watching Disney and chasing H around the house
- H was alternating between pushing her babydoll through the "grocery store" and teasing Andy
- Moo was alternating between pushing her Barbie dolls around the house and getting distracted by anything whatsoever
- B and I were standing in the kitchen, discussing life and sneaking kisses

Now, it had been a big weekend. We were all tired from working on lawns, running through the SlipNSlide 2,978 times, cleaning house, making plans, and working. More than one of us was whiny. Tired. A certain one of us kept misplacing her binky, too, so that wasn't helping things.

B and I were happy to steal any moments we could to stare at each other and whisper giggly things. Sort of trying to keep things laid back and quiet.

Suddenly, the Moo starts bellowing. LOUDLY. Both B and I turned toward Mabel, but all we could see from our side of the counter was the top of her head. She wasn't hurt; she was frustrated.

She stood up and started really hollering and flailing her hands around. I moved toward her... hmmm...no bugs (or wadybuds as she calls them). In fact, I couldn't see anything but her and her Barbie.

B glanced over, too. "What's wrong, Mabes?" But she wasn't talking, she was yelling in some foreign chickenese language. Then she'd quiet, we'd go back to talking, and 30 seconds later she'd start all over again.

Finally, B's heartstrings were yanking him over to where she was still crouched on the floor with her Barbie. She was hollering something fierce, jumping and flailing like fish on sand. [Sidenote: do you ever laugh at your kids? I mean, not when they are truly injured, but when they do something so lacking in common sense or innocence that they put themselves into an entirely hilarious situation? No? Well, then you're going to hate this.]

B started laughing.

Moo was still flopping and flailing.

"Hold still, Mabes. I'll get it!"



B was still laughing.

I couldn't see what in the heck was going on. Mabel was a mess of pink fluff (did I forget to say she was wearing a pink tu tu and Barbie heels?) and sweaty curls, still bellowing like a little cow, and there was B, sitting on the floor holding his stomach.

Finally, he bent over her hands, and all was quiet. Moo sniffled. Hugged B like he'd saved her life, and then stuck her Barbie doll back in the doll stroller and walked off in her tu tu.

B walked back into the kitchen, still laughing his ass off. Seems Moo had pinched her finger while playing with her Barbie. Not sure if she was dressing her or repositioning her or what, but she'd gotten her little finger plum stuck INSIDE the Barbie's butt crack.


You know, the seams between Barbie's plastic booty? Yep. Right there. Wrenched right in there. B had to bend that Barbie doll in ways he refused to describe to get her little purple finger to pop loose. And that doesn't sound the least bit pervy.


So then I started laughing. Belly laughing. Like, hard. I haven't quit since!

Note To Self: Get The Effing Motor Fixed

So as I have previously mentioned (because I never whine or complain), I worked a LOT this week. That isn't normal for me. I mean, I work hard - I work diligently - but I do not generally put in long hours very often. It's been a blessing my entire motherhood that I have the exact profession I do. I digress.

Anyway, yesterday was an 18 hour workday. I was up by 5 and at work at 6. I ran meetings with our Ethiopian liasons every hour on the hour from 7am through 5pm. Then I had a dinner meeting that lasted all together too long. I was downtown and by the time I left the restaurant, it was almost 10.

And also, it was pouring. Siamese and Scotty dogs were falling from the sky-pouring.

And then I remembered that the rear windshield wiper motor on my truck has an electrical problem (which we found after the alternator and 2 batteries and hours of work on the bugger), which necessitated the temporary removal of the first fuse in the under dash panel so that it would stop draining the power from the battery.

Fuse 1 also controls the front windshield wipers.


Did I tell you I was wearing a dress? Yep. Was. And 3" heels.

Nevertheless, I grabbed the needlenose pliers and found the tiny fuse in the console. I'd put it in and taken it out in the garage several times. How much worse could it be on the side of the road? Downtown? At night? In a hurricane?

Turns out, it freaking sucks.

I left my heels on because I couldn't see the ground in the dark and didn't want to step on something dangerous or unseemly. I climbed over the center console and sat on the passenger seat. The fuse panel is directly under the dash, tucked in the corner between the footwell and the door. I pulled my dress down about as far as I could get it, took a deep breath, and opened the door.

The rain hit me like fat pellets. The wind gusts blew my hair everywhere. Still, I was resolved to do this myself. Was going to pop it in the slot and then call B to brag about my automotive prowess. He would be proud! He would love my gumption!

And then the back of my dress blew up and exposed my ass to half of downtown. I know my ass was showing because I was wearing a thong yesterday. The water was pouring down so hard and the wind blowing so much, that my hair was still getting wet under the dash. The needlenose pliers slipped in my hands and I dropped the fuse.

Did I mention that the fuse is smaller than a dime? About the size of a contact lens, I would say. Thin, smooth plastic. The kind that slips through your fingers when they are wet.

I used the light from my phone to illuminate the crevice where the fuse was supposed to go, but again, the rain washed it out of the pliers' grip. I pulled my dress down and shoved my hand inside the wall well and scooped around until I found it. The next time I dropped it, it went under the floor mat. It was a matter of time before it fell out the door and into the thick stream of water racing toward the curb.

More than once, I'll admit, I jumped back in the truck, slammed the door, and yelled a few obscenities. I'm human, you know. And at that point, I was one pissed off human. And I was cold and wet. And had shown my hiner to half of downtown. Which was also wet. My hair was pasted to my face and my dress was dripping when I picked up the phone, dried it with a McDonald's napkin, and tried to call B.

I wasn't sure if I was going to cry damsel in distress, bitch it out, or cry... but it didn't matter because he was sound asleep on the other end. He fell asleep waiting for me to call, so I was on my own.

Again, I opened the door and steeled my resolve. Again, my dress blew up and my butt got wet. Literally, People. I'm not sure you realize how humiliating that part was. My hide was chapped, as it were. Again, I laid on the footwell, put my knees and toes on the dirty pavement, and craned myself up under the dashboard. With one hand, I turned the phone on for light and with the other FINALLY slid the Fuse 1 home.

It had taken more than 25 minutes.

My drive home was also awful, but I've complained enough for one post. The moral of the story is: if your back windshield wiper motor is broken and you have to pull the fuse in order to not kill your truck, GET THE EFFING MOTOR FIXED.

Now, how about a random photo to make you feel better? I know it worked for me.


July 19, 2010

Nicknames Requested


I can't get past Pink Diddly up front and Kid Rock in the back, but there must be something more clever out there.

Any ideas?

PS: I will be out of commission for a couple of days. We have some folks in at work for our deal going in Ethiopia and I get to run the show. I worked at home until almost 11 tonight. B was there until 8. OY!

POSTSCRIPT: B christened our girls Thelma and Louise. I'm still on the fence, but it's sticking for now.

July 16, 2010

The Moo Is Big

Have I mentioned that my third spawn keeps growing?

Yes, this one (who got into the freezer and found B's cookies & cream ice cream).

"Mama, I has ice cream?" she said. How could I say no?


Last night, we spent some quality one on one time together, Moo and I. We took and bath and painted her toenails hot pink, purple, green, and blue. She chattered away the entire time and danced while the paint job dried.

Then I made her go outside in her mismatched pajamas and put on a show. Sort of like Flashdance arms and Barney legs.

Nana, you're welcome.

July 14, 2010

Stewarding (Is That A Word?)

Last week B and I cooked and served again for a benevolent organization in town. The same four people came with us from work, and then hours later 30 more coworkers joined us to serve the 480 people that came hungry that night. 101 children came through the line and many of us (this was the heartbreaking part) recognized the same children from last time. It really humbles you.

We cooked chicken with garlic cream sauce, bowtie pasta with herbs, steamed vegetables, garlic bread, and sherbet. And when I say we cooked it, I mean it - we cooked it. Almost nothing is packaged; it is made by hand. Our hands.

We arrived and got 400+ chicken breasts in the oven. Boiled the pasta. Oiled a thousand pans.

Then Steve [helpful benevolent organization manager who remembers me from the last few times] identifies me as the one who is in charge of the garlic cream sauce. B and I added frozen chips of garlic and cream into an enormous glycol boiler, at which point I may have lost my balance and flung a handful of garlic chips onto the stainless backplate. At which point B totally jumped back and pointed at me. Stinker.

Once melted, it had to be thickened with roux. B got that job.


Time to stir the 10 GALLONS of garlic cream sauce.


Steve handed me a paddle and (remembering that B and I come as a set) pointed to B's behind. Very funny moment. B pretended he didn't hear and proceeded to help our friends strain the bowtie pasta. Stinker.




B was also in charge of garlic bread. That assignment came back to haunt him later. And I love that I caught the exact same shot as last time, just peeking at his stewardliness through the spice rack.


Almost 500 pieces of bread were loaded onto trays, slathered and then?


Oh yeah. There they are. Grilling each piece. It took almost an hour. Flipping garlic bread. And the garlic fumes were going to their heads, too. They started dreaming about opening a hibachi grill with guitar music, or something. B2 Hibachi Guitar Bar, I think.

And also, they became hot and sweaty and stinky like garlic. I, too, smelled like garlic for quite some time. My bra smelled like garlic AFTER I washed it. Just sayin'.


I bet you're wondering who our friend is... I give you IT Jesus.


I realize we were giving and stewarding and such, but the Jesus pose was popular that night. Here is Homeboy Jesus.


...who later helped me clean that grill we used...


...before we sat through devotional, left holding hands, and went to have chicken wings for dinner. Because that's how we roll.

July 13, 2010

How To Get Rid Of A Binky

Be still my heart.







Turn her upside down.

Moo is still 2. Still 2 is okay in terms of pacifier usage, I think. But her birthday is looming. Looming because a) she(thinks she)'s going to be 10, and b) the binky is going bye-bye.

For now, B just tickles and tips. Works every time.

July 9, 2010

Aviators = Cool Nicknames

I give you Cooter.



And Marshall (as in Mathers - not that Trevor has any idea who that is).



And Dear B: On top of a most important weekend as 5, I don't know where to begin about last night. Amazingly wonderfully awesome? Will that do for now? Thank you for losing it when we touch, for being completely disarmed around me. Thank you for knuckle bumping me during our discussion. Props to Neil and Jack and Brad for the music that backed up our plans and enabled kitchen dancing, and to the apple juice that came through in a pinch.


I love that you want things simple. I love that you want things outside. I mostly love that you want me.

Tolerating It


Oh yeah. They love him all right. And he eats it up.


Even tolerates it when they lick him.

He listens to stories. Hears them say "butt" 147 times in one conversation. That's some toleration, too.


Makes them laugh.


And then I make HIM laugh.

I wish I could remember what I said... man, I love this face so much. This is his 'you shocked the crap out of me with that' face. Humor, flirty, and full of love.


Oh, Babe. I love you. You and your amazing green eyes and sawdust in your hair. I love all of your faces.


Oh have mercy.

Especially this face. I can't hardly tolerate it!


Holy Crap She Scrapped

The other night, B texted me. "What are you doing?" he asked.

"Don't laugh, but I am actually scrapbooking for the first time in TWO YEARS!"

I felt the itch dig me during the afternoon. Mindy and I chatted about it and I knew what was going to happen. That evening, I pulled the table over, put the mouse in my laptop, and plugged in the EHD. Opened folders that hadn't been clicked in TWO YEARS. Did I mention it had been two years? And I only did 2 pages on that day in Mindy's dining room two years ago. Prior to that? Another full year. I'd been really dry on creative juice when it came to scrapbooking. Maybe it was something about not wanting to document the empty I felt sometimes. Didn't have the perfect little family anymore, so what on earth was I going to scrapbook?

"Good for you, Honey!" B said. He knew that my creativity had been quietly lurking, waiting for something to set it free. Some comfort, some deeply settled-in love. And it happened.


love birds toledo

mo here determination

having fun

you are here


moo having fun

love you new chapter

All pages are digital. Most of the goodies used are by Paislee Press, but if you want to know anything specific, leave a comment!

Feels good to find the groove again.

July 8, 2010

Thursday Shoulder Footage

WARNING: Gratuitous upper body nudity in this post.

On Thursday of last week, B and I (mostly B) took a tree down for Habitat for Humanity's Brush Of Kindness program. He chopped and sawed and I snapped and stacked if you must know. We both ended up filthy.




Despite the eye protection, I had sawdust IN MY BRA. That's wrong in ten kind of ways. And I just loved how cute my chucks were in the green, green grass. And those jeans? Silver's from 2006. Just sayin'.


So after the tree fell, was chopped, stacked, the ground cleared, and the old lady left happy with sun again shining on her front porch, Homes and I picked up the kids from the sitter and went home to play.

Mabel decided it was time to practice on her tricycle. Her legs haven't been quite long enough to pedal until recently, so she was suffering something terrible until she got the hang of things.






Frustration (though, can I just say, that bare chest back there would chase away any of my problems!).


And finally, JOY!


Forearm check: Yo! Bonus shoulder footage.