Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And Sometimes There's Screaming

Last night Matt took over Jane’s bath time duties. I lit candles on the fireplace mantle, turned on our little electric “pookins” (Jane-speak for pumpkins), and snuggled into the couch to watch TV. I was also really happy to dodge washing Jane’s hair, as she had taken particular delight in smearing her cheesy dinner into every possible strand near her face.

Mabel flopped happily in my lap and I flipped channels, listening to Matt and Jane’s scintillating conversation.

“That’s a blue cup.”


“That’s the green cup.”


“Oh Jane, you’re so smart.”

And then, screaming.

Not Jane.


“Ahhhhh! I, uh, I, uh…. AHHHHH.”

I debated getting up, so warm and cozy were Mabel and I in our couch nest.

“Do you need me?” I called, hoping the answer was no.


Slowly I got up and walked into the bathroom.

Matt was holding Jane up by her armpits over the tub.

She saw me and started to cry.

I glanced down at the churning bathwater beneath her (churning because of how quickly Matt yanked her up) and noticed it was tinted brown. With tiny bobbing brown chunks in it.

“Pooooooop,” Matt screamed in my face, and Jane cried even louder.

He put her down on a towel, “I turned around for one minute and there she was, playing with poop!”

I started wiping her hands off, and Matt ran little hyper circles, back and forth through the bathroom door.

“Go get a plastic cup and scoop them out,” I told him.

“And do WHAT with them!” he yelled.

“Put them in the toilet and flush them,” I said, trying to keep Jane’s flailing arms away from my face.

He returned with a cup and I took Jane to the sink to wash her hands.

“We’ll have to clean the tub and give her another bath,” I said.

But Matt wasn’t paying any attention. All his steel y reserve was concentrated on Jane’s bobbing poop floaters, and with each swipe of the cup he let out a horrified screech.

Jane held out her hands for me to hold her, upset and confused about what the pandemonium going down in her bathroom, which had moments before been a fun place, only now reduced to an apparent horror show for her father.

“ACCCCHHHHH,” he screamed as a floater eluded his cup.

“See, Daddy is funny,” I pointed to him and Jane gave me a tiny smile.

“EEEEEEKKKK,” he yelped again, as it plopped into the toilet.

“See, Daddy sounds like a little girl,” I said, and this time her face broke into a wide grin, tears still on her cheeks.

“Matt, tell her you’re not upset,” I instructed him, trying my best not to lie down on the floor and have a laughing fit.

He turned, roused from his panicked state, a shimmer of sweat on his forehead, “I’m ok , Jane. It’s ok.”

Then we all laughed in the crowded apartment bathroom that smelled like poop. We laughed because it really was ok. But mostly we laughed because it really is funny when Matt screams like a girl.

Monday, October 29, 2012

What I Was Wearing, What Was Going On

I remember at this particular moment I was thinking, "Hmmm... should have worn a slip with this dress." Remember back in the days when we never wore slips? Or only when our mothers badgered us into in on a Sunday morning? Now I'm the queen of slips. I have five. They hide a multitude of sins (puckers, panty lines, dress-riding-up-on-tights). Hip hooray for slips.

Here I was thinking about Jane. I was thinking about all her bite marks and head bumps and puffy eye marks. I cried on the way to work and my mascara was all smudged. As it turned out, her first day in her new daycare went great and she was happy as a bug when I picked her up.

I was thinking how happy I am to wear sweaters again.

I was thinking about my favorite tv show (at the moment) Once Upon A Time and how I miss my short Mary Margaret/Snow White haircut.

I was sitting in the doctors waiting room on this one. They've decided to pull me off my migraine medication due to some side effects. I'm headed into uncharted territory, since I haven't been in an un-medicated state for over a year and we don't know how the vertigo will react.

Somehow, being in this place, un-medicated, transient house stuff, crazy daycare happenings... it's all reminded me (again, and again) how NOT in control I am of my life. For a while there I thought I was, again. But I'm not, and never will be. Oh how wonderful, oh how marvelous...

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still."
Exodus 14:14

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Day

We had to find Jane a new daycare. Too many bites and face injuries. Their solution?

"When she starts biting back it will stop."

Um. No.

So it's been a rocky week, complete with a doctor visit and shots this morning. Here's hoping that things start looking up tomorrow. We toured her new daycare, which is very big and impressive, and she clung to my neck , so intimidated.

My mommy-heart is hurting folks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boo *cough cough*

I've taught Jane to say, "Boo."
It was an important thing to learn in this house.
The two of us also have the crud and are sick,
snotty, and coughing all over the place.
Why do I always get sick during my favorite month?

Matt has also declared that this lamp is the ugliest lamp ever.
I thought it reminded me of something on the set of
"Once Upon a Time."
I'm keeping it.
I'm also consuming a lot of Burt's Bees throat drops.
Those suckers really work.
Pun intended.
Cough. Cough.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zoo Time

One thing I can say about my kid:
She isn't easily impressed.


She gave them all the same stare.
She was like, "O.K. You're cool. Next please."

Until we saw the fish.
Now THAT she got into.
She gripped the bars of the railing and watched them with the
intensity of a hungry cat.
In fact, I think she made them a little nervous.

It was a gorgeous day.
Not too hot, not too cold.

Sometimes, when we're pushing her stroller,
or I'm handing her a sippy cup,
I have to pinch myself.
I have a family.
A real family.

Everything is an adventure now.
Even a trip to the zoo that I've been to a million times.

This hard-to-impress little girl who waves at everyone,
says the word "no" even when she means yes,
and likes to pull on my shirt in public to show me where
my belly button is...

...has changed everything.

Friday, October 19, 2012


"See, there was this see-saw. And I was trying to crawl on top of it, but it flipped up in the air and..."

"BAM! It smacked me right in the eye. And I cried and the teachers held me, and I informed them that it was totally unacceptable that the see-saw didn't cooperate with my plans."

"But it turned out OK. Now none of the kids in my class try to take my toys away, cause I look tough. See my tough face? So tough."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waylaid in Anthropologie Land

How can I best put this? I don't think there's a "best" way, mostly because it's just an unpleasant thing to admit about myself. Not like muttering to my best friend, "Sheeze, I really should have Nair'ed my upper lip last night." Not like saying, "Yeah, I've gained five pounds." This is the kind of thing that I would rather shove to the back of a dark closet, shrug innocently and say, "What? I don't know what you're talking about."

Why? Because it makes me look bad. But even if I never admit it, even if no one knows, it's still there. It's still crouched in the back of that dark closet and I know it's there, and it knows that I know it's there. So better to fling open the doors and shed a little light on the subject because without that, there's no such thing as change.

Over the past six months we've had a lot of turmoil. House turmoil. Life turmoil. All that junk that I don't want to make a laundry list of. But needless to say, it's not been smooth sailing. And now that we're in a temporary apartment, and this little (well, not that little because I really have gained five pounds) woman is flailing a bit. I want a home base. I want some changes. And they're not happening. Sooo....

I've gotten materialistic.

I've shopped too much.

I've spent too much money.

And I didn't need most of it.

I shop because it's a nice distraction. It's so much nicer to surf the web and find good deals than sit quietly and think, "Wow, we're probably still going to be homeless at Christmas." It's a lot more pleasant to peruse the sale section of Anthropologie than contemplate how much of the work day I sit and miss Jane so much my chest aches. I'm by no means trying to explain away my guilt, it's just the truth, the simple nuts and bolts of this situation.

I've been praying lately for something. I've been praying so, so, so very hard. And I realized that if God says yes, it might not be for my joy or convenience. It might be because it's part of a plan that involves me working in his kingdom.

And ladies... working in the Lord's kingdom has NOTHING to do with a duvet set for sale on eBay.

So there it is, pulled out into the open. I shop too much. I do it because it distracts me from my worries, while I should be looking to the Lord for that. I should be happier with less. I should be praying for the Lord's blessing from an unshelfish place, a place with no place for excess. So that's why today, I reached back through my cluttered closet full of junk I didn't need in the first place, and drug this out into the open so you could look at it.

It's good to be honest. It's good to admit when I'm wrong. It's good because it stretches me and makes me uncomfortable. It places my focus back on him instead of A-line skirts with floral embroidery, or antique cookie jars, or extra pillows for new bedding.

It allows me to hide my credit cards away in an unusable place.

It allows me to ask forgiveness from the Lord, to ask for a new focus.

It allows me to move forward on the journey He has laid out for me.

I got waylaid in Anthropologie land.

Now I'm back.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I can remember my grandmother saying to me,
"I'm going to put a book on top of your head to keep you
from growing so fast!"
That's how I'm starting to feel about Jane.
She's trying to learn colors.
Except everything is "gween" right now.
And then she'll crack a smirk and laugh at herself.
Little joker.

She also likes to feed Mabel goldfish and cheerios.
Mabel isn't complaining,
but you'd think it would make her more charitable
toward Jane.
But it doesn't. She's still a grum-pot the rest of the time.

I've been waking up in the early morning and thinking
our air conditioner is on way too low.
It's only when I pull the covers up around my neck I
realize it's cold outside, and the air isn't even running.
It warms up quickly during the days,
but I love the anticipation of cold weather on its way.

We've got a pretty bare bones bedroom.
I miss having my own nest.
I miss decorating.
I'm pining for a place of our own.
it's a good problem to have.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


*I've gotten a few emails about our new bedding. It's discontinued at Anthropologie (Tessallae duvet cover and euro shams), but I found it for a steal on eBay.

* my view yesterday morning

Putting together a list of house "have-to-have's" is daunting to me.

It seems so concrete and uncreative.

3 bedrooms
At least 1500 square feet
Fenced backyard
Vintage character
Dining room

What I really want to give a realtor is an essay on what I want a house to feel like. If a house feels right, everything else (well, almost everything else) is flexible.

*the new Anthropologie bedding, hip hip hooray for ebay!

I want a house that feels easy, like open windows on a fall afternoon. There's music in the kitchenand a roast in the crockpot. A breeze blows the sheers in the bedroom, and a floorboard creaks underfoot as I put towels away in the linen closet. A dog barks in the distance. The beds are covered in piles of
clothes and the washing machine swishes in the back of the house, switching winter for summer wardrobes. The light comes in sideways through the dining room window, and Jane giggles and says, "Hi Muh-Bul" as Muh-Bul (Mabel) scuttles away cautiously from Jane's grasping fingertips. There are children's books lying all over the hallway. Matt will be home soon and he'll flop down on the living room floor while Jane squeals and crawls all over him, every now and then laying her head on his chest and saying, "Ahhhh" (Jane talk for "I love you").

It's getting dark outside, so I turn on a few lamps and light a candle. The whole house smells like dinner, and the floor is cold so I put on a pair of socks while Jane and Matt enjoy their mutual admiration society. Eventually we'll shut all the windows, forgetting to close the blinds. The windows will fill with yellow lamp light as neighborhood kids get in one more bike ride down the street before dark. They laugh, and we can hear them as we eat at the table.

That's where we want to live. Wherever that is.
That's what I want more than a list of "have-to's" or square feet numbers.
It doesn't have to be vintage.
Or big or small.
It just has to be ours.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hi Arkansans

Rarely do I use this blog as a political platform, but today I will. This isn't about political parties. This is about sanity. Please Arkansans, if you are given the opportunity to vote against this man, do it. Our state has enough on its plate without crazy people in the legislature.

And as a Christian I really wish people like him would stop speaking for me.
Scratch that.
I wish they would just stop speaking.


Perhaps The Most Awesome Weekend Ever. Ever.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I Wore Sweaters Without Sweating!

There's always a miraculous weekend that happens in October.
Storms roll in, yellow leaves fly through the air and the sky
turns midnight blue.
The temperatures drop.
After a long, hot, humid southern summer...
I consider this weather change a miracle.
It doesn't stay,
but it's a sign of wonderful weather to come.
That's what happened this weekend.
It stormed and the heat kicked on.
Jane and I wore our sweaters and didn't sweat.

I also got some new bedding off ebay.
It's discontinued Anthropologie and was so much cheaper than any
store price (or even sale store price).
This was the picture from the site,
but the colors in real life are much deeper, much more fallish.
Navy, linen, deep purple, mustard, magenta.
It's a whole new color scheme for me,
but I love it so much.
I didn't get the bed skirt though, or the king pillows.
I like a little miss-match.

So that's all our news.
Cold weather and new bedding.
We're also working a lot with Jane.
She won't walk by herself without holding onto
one of our hands.
I think she's just a big old chicken.
A cute, fuzzy headed chicken who now looks at us and says,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rear Window

It's just a temporary home,
but I'm decorating anyway.
How could I skip my favorite holiday?

We live across the way from our friends.
They snapped this picture of our windows,
and texted us the picture.
That's me in the red sweatshirt.
It's a little bit like Rear Window.
Brandon's text read, "We're creepy."
So Matt crept across the parking lot, snapped a picture
through their WINDOW blinds and texted,
"No, THIS picture is creepy."
I reminded Matt that was a good way to get shot.
And he reminded me that everyone isn't as
armed and "rednecky" as I am.
Halloween pumpkins and a little homage to Rear Window.
I love this month.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Craft Night

Does anyone else have a friend who has a house that is beyond cute?
Mel's house is adorable, but it has something else.
It has atmosphere.
And it smells like Volcano candles.

I'm very thankful to be in our apartment.
Don't get me wrong.
But I'm lonely for a house.
A place of my own.
So when Mel announced she was hosting a fall craft night,
I was excited to go hang out there.

I know we'll find our next house soon. Hopefully.
But until then I'll just enjoy my friend's houses.

There were lots of adorable painted pumpkins.

Although I didn't stick to the rules.
I thought I was going to have Jane with me,
and it goes without saying that paint and 18 month olds don't mix.
So I brought coffee filters and burlap.

Matt ended up taking care of Jane and I had time to actually do a craft.
I kept telling the girls,
"I cant remember the last time I did this!"

I may steal those chairs.
And Claire's adorable red pants.

I had the best time and it truly feels like fall is officially here.
I sent Jane off to daycare in a long sleeved shirt this morning.
We wear jackets in the early morning light to take Mabel on her potty run.
She's loving the apartment for just this reason, btw.
She gets a walk, our undivided attention, and I'm not sure, but I suspect she gets a laugh out of me picking up her poo with a plastic sack.
She has a wicked sense of humor, that dog.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pigtails, People. Pigtails

There are a lot of pivotal moments in girl's life.
Her first bike.
Her first sleepover party.
Her first pair of earrings.

But the very first one, in my opinion, is pigtails.
My little Jane wore hers on Sunday.

She was pretty proud and didn't try to
pull them out until after church.

My baby isn't so much a baby anymore.
She's a little girl with pigtails.