Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Blog Year In Review

And now I give you the second annual Magically Mama Blog Year In Review.

For this year, I think I will type my favorite sentence from my favorite posts for each month.


14 I want to clear a space where I can feel more deeply and appreciate more fully these beautiful souls whose lives are continually flowing around and through mine.
18 I bought a roll of duct tape, made my way to the public restroom with two little boys in tow, took off my skirt and duct taped the tear together again.
26 I didn't know that I was raising such a socially conscious daughter.

05 Did I ever tell you about the time I stopped trying to be a perfect mom and began learning how to actually be a mother and more importantly, how to be myself?
13 A hostile enemy has been ravaging our household since Thursday.

01 And sometimes it's best to just take a deep breath, be gentle with oneself and buy bigger clothes.
09 I wish so much to spread my arms wide to embrace the immensity of all that I am, to touch and bless all who stand before and after me in just the way I have been blessed.
15 There are fleeting moments when I wonder why we think we have to wait to taste heaven.
30 So, um, I think I'll leave "Biggest Nerd in the World" title to Napolean, but I'm a little scared at how close I sometimes come to that title.

04 Okay, here's the first installment of 100 things about me. For the record, that second installment is still sitting, unfinished, in my drafts folder.
10 I think that treating others with dignity is one of the few things in this world that is inarguably right.
11 Warning! Google has misled you. You will not see Jennifer Lopez or any other females naked here.
13 My heart aches. For me, for others who have lost loved ones, for broken trust and difficult decisions, for lost time and a feeling of having so much taken, on so many fronts.

13 Embrace the chaos, embrace the chaos, embrace the chaos...
13 Real moms love their children fiercely, devotedly, desperately and would do ANYTHING for them, even if sometimes they would like to lock them in a closet.
18 I'm going to see my parents today and thought I'd stop by your house on the way to pay you for your uterus.
19 We birth professionals seem to be settling for the easy answers. The causes. The propaganda. The comfortable absolutes.
29 I loathe with a fury inexpressible in cold, dry words the twin dragons of mental illness and addiction.

01 So with all of my counting today, I'm trying to mindfully count the most important things -- my blessings.
13 There is not a pain, an affliction, a mistake in my life that I have not felt has been turned to a higher purpose, consecrated and made sacred.
17 I feel like I've been doubly blessed in the father department.
21 I just keep pausing and thinking how humorous it is that THIS is my life.

17 And then, he turned around and did his little bum shake. Nobody expected it and we all laughed like crazy.
18 For some reason that terrible experience made me realize that this skinny, blond kid was worth hanging on to.
26 Things are less than magical at our house lately.

02 I've always thought of JDub and I as two parts to a song. He is the rhythm. I am the melody.
08 I have not been able to reconcile this feeling that I need to take a break and let go with the passion I feel for this work, the way it has made me grow and blossom as a woman, mother and friend.
09 Confession: Last year I heard a bird in our fireplace, which was blocked off, and I
didn't let him out.

16 I told him that, knowing everything I know now about everything that has happened in the last ten years, I'd do it all over again.

04 I am free to explore the world, find the missing parts of me, concentrate on centering myself and building my home and family.
11 I can make my tiny soul a flickering and persistent light that the darkness can never quite put out.
14 I'm trying to savor the deliciousness of a future pregnant with possibility.
26 My dreams have tangled up inside themselves again.

03 Understandable, but how on earth is fungus meets frizzball a good haircut?
05 Murphy, you rascal, I love to hate you.
16 One of my favorite things about autumn is that it is finally cool enough to bake bread.
21 She is already noticing the ways society and Satan undermine women and she is talking back!

16 I realized a while ago that I've left a few loose threads hanging out around here. So, I guess it's a good time to wrap them up.
16 I will hope that the love I give and the life I live are fitting tribute to those who have given so much of their love and lives to me.
20 He is my best friend, my home, my grounding force.
22 I am so grateful just to be, to know that in this and in every moment of my life there is a deeper perfection than I will ever know or ever see fully in this life.

15 Perhaps I can give myself the gift of love and forgiveness that I have so desperately been seeking from everyone else.
29 "He's either just fine or he'll need a CT Scan," he said, "and we can't do anything for either one here."

Book Review 2007

My goal for 2007 was to read 50 books. I didn't quite make 50, but I think that 34 is a pretty decent effort. Following is the list of books I've read rated from one star to four stars and a little blip about each.

  1. Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card (reread) **** Loved this book the first time I read it and it didn't suffer at all from a second reading.
  2. Xenocide by Orson Scott Card **** I read Ender's Game for the first time nearly a decade ago, but could never really get into the sequels. Somehow, they hit me right when I picked them up this year. I especially liked this one.
  3. Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card *** And I like this sequel also, as a continuation of the story. But, judging it on its own merits it wasn't quite as good as the first two.
  4. Mitten Strings For God by Katrina Kenison (reread) **** Like a cherished friend, this is a book I will forever love and probably read at least once a year.
  5. Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher **** This was a frighteningly good read. Very well written and well presented, it echoed my experience as an adolescent girl years ago and motivated me to find ways to help my daughter weather the storms of adolescence. One of my top 3, most influential books read this year.
  6. Mystery of the Haunted Pool by Phyllis Whitney (reread) * I read this as a child and picked it up again for fun. It was fun, light, fluffy but nothing groundbreaking.
  7. The Mommy Myth by Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels **** I would rate this as another of the top 3 most influential books I've read this year. Amazing and biting commentary on the ridiculous standards we hold ourselves to as women and mothers.
  8. Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle *** As always, I love Madeleine L'Engle's books. This was no exception. A fun trip back to the beginning of time with Meg's twin brothers.
  9. Emma by Jane Austen ** I like the story of Emma. I like Jane Austen, but I almost clawed my eyes out trying to read this book. Too lengthy. Too many details. I kept thinking "T-t-t-t-t-today, Jane!"
  10. Troubling a Star by Madeleine L'Engle *** Fascinating trip to the antarctic with a believable and likeable heroine.
  11. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracie Hogg ** I've read this in chunks before. I keep re-reading it thinking I will find it more useful the next time I read it. Nope. Just doesn't sing for me. Not my style. (And her information on breastfeeding is a bit inaccurate.) Not to throw the baby out with the book, though. It is a quality book that some parents might find helpful. I would sooner recommend "Happiest Baby On the Block."
  12. An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle *** Of all the L'Engle books for young readers I picked up this year, this was the standout favorite. It was a delight to follow Polly through time.
  13. Family --The Ties That Bind and Gag by Erma Bombeck ** I've read bits and pieces of Erma's stuff since high school. She's always made me laugh. But I found this book to be a bit disappointing. Clever title though, eh?
  14. A Live Coal in the Sea by Madeleine L'Engle *** This should really be an ALMOST 4 star book. I was moved by her intertwining, multi-generational stories. And the message, that there is no sorrow or sin that is bigger than God's grace to heal, was wonderfully woven through the book. Not at all pushy.
  15. Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card (in progress) **** So far. I have never quite finished this book because every time I pick it up, I think of things I want to write about and end up writing instead of reading. If that's not a good review of a book on writing, I don't know what is.
  16. Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher **** Excellent! Has also inspired me to do some good writing this year. The same voice and presence I loved in Reviving Ophelia.
  17. Wicked by Gregory Macguire *** (Contains some questionable material.) Fascinating story. An interesting look at the other side of the story. I hear the play is even better.
  18. Mentoring : The Tao of Giving and Receiving Wisdom by Chungliang A. Huang and Jerry Lynch (reread) **** Brilliant, brilliant book. This is probably the third of my top 3. I have learned so much about new ways of relating to others from this book. I am now on my third reading of it and it still continues to inspire and change me.
  19. He Did Deliver Me From Bondage by Colleen C. Harrison (in progress) **** So far, so good. I am only about halfway through this book as I try to work through the exercises and make the changes it invites me to make.
  20. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (reread) **** As good the second time as the first.
  21. The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen *** Very interesting. It inspired me to be more creative with our finances and to commit to living the way we want to live.
  22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling **** (Wow, Wow and Wow!) I thought this was a fitting end to the HP series. I am a true Potter fan, and though this book wasn't perfect, I finished it feeling highly satisfied.
  23. I Believe in Water, Twelve Brushes With Religion Edited by Marilyn Singer **** Another WOW book. Twelve short stories exploring many world religions. Taught me a great deal. Incredibly fascinating. Probably #4 on my list.
  24. The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey ** Good read. Interesting characters, story and plot. A little too obsessed with sex.
  25. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer **** I have to make a disclaimer here. I picked up "Twilight," the first in this series, when I was in Ghost Ranch, NM last November. I had NO idea what the book was about. I just thought the cover was pretty. I read the first few chapters there and fell in love. Then, I came home to find out that it was HUGE. I reserved it at my library and was like, 213th on the waiting list. Whoa! I love this series. I loved this book, though not as much as the first or the third.
  26. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer **** Yep. Loved this one, too. If you'd ever told me I would be in love with a vampire AND a werewolf, I would have never believed you. But I am. Stephenie KILLED me with the ending to this book. Can't wait for #4. Guess I'm just part of the crowd.
  27. Learning to Swim by Ann Turner *** Beautiful, touching, gritty, powerful poetry. A good read.
  28. Women I Have Known and Been by Carol Lynn Pearson **** (WOW!) I loved this book of poetry more than any other I've read in years. Genius. I found myself in this pages over and over again.
  29. Appetites by Geneen Roth **** Okay, I have to retract my earlier statements. One of my other top three has to be bumped down one. This book was soothing, beautiful, comforting and such a learning experience. I think it was my #1 book for the year. So, so wonderful.
  30. Schooled by Gordon Korman ** Fun read about a teenager who has grown up in a commune alone with his grandmother being suddenly dropped into a modern middle school experience. Much of what happens is highly predictable. But, because of the main character's guileless, genuine and generous personality everyone in the story ends up better off after the experience.
  31. First Meetings In Ender's Universe by Orson Scott Card **** For those of us who can't seem to get enough of Card's Enderverse, this book hits the spot in a big way.
  32. Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card *** It's Card, so it's good. The moral and ethical dilemmas woven throughout are superb. The theoretical science is highly intriguing. The glimpse into a possible past is enlightening. Very worth reading. The only reason I didn't give it four stars is that I felt it took too long to get to the climax and action of the story. I don't know how I would have done it differently, but it just felt a bit lop-sided.
  33. Circle of Light In a Smelter Town, New and Collected Poems by Elaine Ipson **** Tender, bright, articulate poetry. I enjoyed this book immensely. And it certainly didn't hurt that Elaine grew up in my hometown and gave me a tiny glimpse at what it was like years before I was born. It shed a lot of light on how relationships and personalities and ways-of-being have developed in my home town. A lot of "Aha!" moments. And it would have been thoroughly enjoyable even if I didn't grow up near Vine street like Elaine.
  34. Rachel and Leah by Orson Scott Card *** Good read. Compelling, interesting. But I didn't love it. Perhaps because it's only the first half of the story, but I think it was also because the main female characters didn't seem nearly as authentic as I would have liked.
So, that's my list for 2007. My goal for 2008 is to read 25 or more books. Much less ambitious because this year, instead of spending most of my time nursing a baby I'll b chasing a busy toddler.

What about you? What books did you read thid year? If you want to make a list on your blog, let me know and I'll link to it here. Otherwise, just list your favorites for the year in my comments.

Any ideas of what I should add to my list for next year?

Sunday, December 30, 2007


A late Christmas gift from me, to you. Enjoy.

Christmas Feasting
by Heather Duncan

The banquets are in earnest now.
I am surrounded by delicacies,
sweet and savory tokens
of neighbors' esteem.

Chocolate melts friendly
down my throat
like laughter.
And still I hunger.

This year of abundance
and over-abundance
has left my spirit famished.

Here, at the end and beginning of years
I close my eyes,
see the babe born in Bethlehem
reaching out to me.
He came to be the end and the beginning.

I open wide my broken heart
and fill myself up with Him.
I believe His promises
that those who let Him in
will never hunger,
never thirst.

This is the season I learn anew
to feast upon His love.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Can You Say Hematoma?

Or "OUCH!"

We took the kidlets to see "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" last night. Don't ask me for a review of the movie. What I saw was quite fun, but I didn't see much.

It was a fiasco from the beginning. Just as the movie was starting, the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder and handed me Mashuga's shoes. Apparently Mashuga had taken them off and dropped them behind his seat. Then, a little later I looked over and he had no pants on. None. What the?!? So, I handed Coco off to JDub and proceeded to look on the floor for his pants. I found them almost behind our seats, because apparently he had gotten stuck between the back of the seat and the front and his pants came off when he wiggled his way free.

Then, Kaitybean was kicking the back of the seats and kicking her legs and being entirely too fidgety.

Then Mashuga started to do the same and when I tried to get him to stop he exclaimed, very loudly "But, I'm playing!"

Then there was the part where Coco wouldn't sit still for more than 2.5 seconds. He was spinning around on my lap and trying to get down and going back and forth from me to JDub. I'd forgotten that little ones reach the age where you can't take them to a movie and expect them to stay still and go to sleep. Coco has officially reached that age, so we will be hiring a babysitter for him next time we go to a movie.

Because Coco was obviously not up for a movie, JDub and I took turns out in the foyer with him, letting him wander around. When it was my turn, I decided to let him walk around a bit in the back of the theater where there were no seats. It worked well for a while, until he decided to make a mad dash for the aisle. I grabbed him, but he was going too fast for me, so I only got his legs. With his momentum, this meant that he fell forward and hit his head on the hard, sticky floor with a loud thump. A few people gasped and I hurriedly scooped him up and went out of the theater.

He was mad! He screamed and wailed and cried. I took him outside because I was afraid he'd upset everyone in every movie. As soon as we went outside, he calmed down a bit. Then, as I walked back in I looked at his forehead and saw the ginormous bump. Now, I've been a parent for almost ten years now and I've NEVER seen a bump that big on one of my children's heads. Especially one that developed in less than two minutes.

So, I freaked out. I went into the theater and told JDub that I needed him immediately. He came out and was also a little disturbed to see a large golfball sticking out of our son's forehead. He took a couple pictures, then gathered the other kids so that we could take Jack to the doctor.

We called JDub's brother (who is a chiropractor) on the way and he said that it was normal for small children to get large lumps on their heads after a fall and that we should probably just watch him for signs of concussion. I decided that, though he was probably right, I'd prefer to have someone look at him just for my own peace of mind.

Sure enough, by the time we got to the Instacare, the bump had lessened a bit and Coco was walking around and acting normally. They didn't even check us in or charge us a copay. The Dr. just looked at him for a minute, shone a light in his eyes and told us to keep a good eye on him and wake him up every 2 or 3 hours during the night.

"He's either just fine or he'll need a CT Scan," he said, "and we can't do anything for either one here."

So, we drove home and put our sleeping children to bed. Coco is fine this morning. You can barely tell he even had a fall. So, that goes to show that first time parents aren't the only ones who freak out over their children's injuries.

And at least one good thing came of all of it. I'm sure that the people who were sitting near us during the movie were very happy to see our family leave the theater.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Summer and Fall of Weird Part 3

Here I am with the continuation of Summer and Fall of Weird. Click here for Part 1 if you missed it. And Part 2 can be found here.

And I must begin with the obligatory thanks to marvelous Brillig and Kate, the mothers of SOS. Thalia's Child is hosting Soap Opera Sunday this week, so if you're not too busy, head over to her site for more soapiness.

And so we continue...

As I said, the summer was mostly fun. Jeremy and I got to be good friends. We both played soccer, so we did that quite a bit together. We attended each other's games. He'd bring me cocoa at my early morning practices. He let me drive his car a lot, which ended up being rather comical since it was a standard and, um, I wasn't even very good at driving an automatic yet.

He really was a good guy. We really did have lots of fun together.

But things started to get really strange when he started talking about our "future" together and speaking about "us" as if we were a certainty for many years to come. I had not and never would think of us in that light. We were just having fun together, in my mind. I had no intentions of us becoming more.

I told him so.

He kept coming around, so I assumed that he understood what I meant and it was okay with him.

Then, one day something happened that ended it all for me.

One day, after a soccer game, a few girls from my team invited Jeremy and I to go to lunch with them. Jeremy was excited. I was trepidatious, to say the least. You see, these girls were not my friends. They were not Jeremy's friends. Well, let's back up. There was K.A., someone I had known and been friends with on and off since Kindergarten. Then there was S.E. She and I had been in a play together, had taken drama classes together and basically got on quite well. I liked her.

So, where was the trap? The trio was led by E, who we will call the Queen of the Cats. You know this girl. Popular, but not in the "I'm nice and everybody likes me" way, but in the "I wear the right clothes and go to the right parties and everyone is afraid that if they say anything I don't like, I'll crucify them socially" way. Even people I normally liked and trusted were scary to me in this girl's presence. Friendship for her seemed only to be thinly veiled, candy-coated contempt. Which is exactly why she and I were not friends. I hadn't any patience for cattiness.

So, back to the story...

After the game, Jeremy and I are getting into his old gray Honda when The Queen of Cats and her kittens roll up next to us in her jeep.

She leaned her head out the window, "Hey do you guys want to come to lunch with us?"

"Sure," Jeremy blurted out in surprise.

"Meet us at Taco Bell," she said as she drove off, her long blond hair trailing out the window.

I punched Jeremy in the arm. "Why did you say yes?"

"Why not? They want to have lunch with us. Isn't that cool?"

"No, Jeremy. It is not cool. I do NOT want to spend an hour talking to her."


I stammered. I couldn't find words for the fear in the pit of my stomach. It's the kind of knowing girls seem to have and boys just don't. I could tell by the hungry look in her eyes that there would be more than tacos eaten for lunch that day.

I still don't know why I didn't just walk home and let him go by himself. Maybe I knew that it could possibly have been worse if I weren't there to defend myself. Who knows why I went, but I went.

When we showed up they were already seated. They smirked at us as we came in and ordered our food.

We sat down across from them and before I could even take a bite, the Queen of Cats looked at Jeremy conspiratorially.

"So, Jeremy, we've been wondering. It seems like Heather always has a boyfriend at our games. Since you're the latest and you're one of us I thought maybe you'd clue me in. Are you dating Heather because she puts out?"

I almost fell down. I was torn between wanting to punch her and wanting to throw my Mountain Dew in her face.

I didn't do either. Nor, to my dismay, did Jeremy. He just stared at her. He said NOTHING. I'm sitting there thinking, why aren't you defending my honor here, scumbag.

Still, nothing. He just started eating. Cat woman's friends kept eating. They stared out the window, squirmed, looked guilty. I felt so betrayed that they were in on this. One of them I'd known for forever. I was there for her when her dad died. We had been friends much longer than she had been friends with this girl, even if we hadn't been close for years. I felt betrayed, betrayed and doubly betrayed. I wanted to scream or cry or run or hit somebody.

Now, to clarify, yes. There had been kissing between Jeremy and I. KISSING! And the kind of kissing that I would be only mildly embarrassed by if one of our parents had walked in on us. To me, "putting out" meant sex. I could tell that this trio of catty girls thought the same thing, that they were hoping for ammunition in order to tell everyone what a slut I was. But Jeremy and I hadn't gone anywhere NEAR that line.

Still, Jeremy said nothing. I was seething.

And I will continue this next week with the end of this gruesome, awkward conversation. And what I did next. And the end of this relationship, or WAIT, what should have been the end of our relationship.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

As the Colors Mix and Flow

I made someone late for work this morning. The phone rang to interrupt my sleep and the instant I heard it I remembered. I'd made a promise. I'd have JDub pick my BIL up for work at 6:30.

But, JDub wasn't home when I got the call last night. And then he came home from a date with Scud and fell asleep and then I fell asleep.

And so my sister called me at 6:50 this morning to see what was going on. JDub, wonderful man that he is, threw his clothes on and went to save the day. But my good Brother in Law was still late for work. It was my fault.

Yesterday I had an interesting interchange with a friend. She did something that bothered me and when she asked whether or not it had bothered me I told her the truth. She seemed hurt. But, I decided it was best to be honest. I was not unkind and I tried to reassure her that I wasn't at all angry with her.

She didn't do anything wrong. She was impeccably gentle and good in what she had done. Which might have been worse. Because it made me feel worthless and criticized. I felt like a terrible person for letting it annoy me.

So, this morning I couldn't sleep anymore.

I got up and painted instead.

I painted an image of a face with closed, crying eyes and yellow skin, it's mouth open wide with red, angry lines flying out in all directions. There was a brick ceiling above. A purple circle surrounded her, blocking her from any good thing that could get in.

And as I painted, words flowed through my head.

"You are good for nothing. I can't believe you made him late."

"There are people who go to work, usually on time. And then there are people who paint."

"There are people who do worthwhile things. There are people who are worthwhile."

"You're not one of them."

This is why I paint. As I let my brush flow over paper, I learn things about myself that I seem unable to see otherwise. The images that come to life surprise me, they bless me with new knowing -- the sight of an inner eye that can only see when my hands get messy.

What did I learn today? I am terrified of making mistakes, of being criticized, of people seeing (and, heaven forbid, pointing out) my many flaws. This is fascinating to me.

It is an interesting paradox.

No living person could ever be as unkind to me as I am to myself. It is simply not possible. My days begin and end with an inner invective that would put any drill sergeant in "Full Metal Jacket" to shame.

Yes, I am most certainly an artist. I have perfected my work in the medium of self-loathing to masterpiece level.

As a consequence, the one big thing that makes me bristle more than anything is when someone even implies that something I'm doing is wrong. Even if they don't say it, but could possibly, possibly be thinking it. Especially if I have done something that really is wrong and merits complaint. Or if my children make a mistake and hurt someone and it's possible that it is because I haven't been a perfect parent.

I can barely stand it. This morning I think I figured out one reason why.

Facing my mistakes, knowing that other people know I make mistakes and I am horribly flawed gives this nasty voice inside of me more power, more ammunition. If I am flawed enough that someone else notices, then that means that this witch inside me could be right. There are worthwhile people. I am not one of them.

This bitter abuse I put myself through is juxtaposed with a wisdom that fills and envelops me. I am good, beautiful, kind, generous. I love deeply. I am a daughter of God and if I were nothing else on my own, that is enough to make me wonderful. I am worthy of love and gentleness and forgiveness.

I am deeply loved by many. JDub came home this morning to see me hunched over my painting, tear drops splattering in the tempera. I continued to glide the brush over paper after paper as I told him of my new discovery. I know I am good. I know I am loved. But, for some unknown reason, I hate myself.

He tried to reassure me, told me how much he loves me and how wonderful I am. He is not the only one who loves me this much, who believes in me. I am blessed with friends and family who trust me, love me, enjoy me.

Still, somewhere inside is a voice that keeps welling up and telling me that the virtue others see in me -- the beautiful wholeness I know is there -- isn't who I really am. My goodness is only ever temporary, a pit stop between foibles and blunders and inadequacies. This voice tells me that I am not worthy of being loved.

It is no wonder that it hurts so much when I am criticized or when I let others down. There is a part of me that cannot see a way for anyone to forgive me or love me wholly if I am not perfect. How could that be possible when I can't even stop putting myself through hell for every mistake?

So this morning I continued to paint. I painted rain and lightning and broken ground and broken houses and broken relationships. I painted until the fiend inside my head grew faint and quiet. I painted away a bit of her power.

At last, through all the angry images, came one of peace. A dancing willow, branches and tendrils spiraling gracefully through the sky.

Someone once gave me the warrior name "Dancing Willow". It was one of the greatest gifts I have received this year. It meant that she saw in me the things I know are there, things worth loving -- joy, strength, beauty, protection, nurturing, wholeness, big-ness. These are the things that I know are true.

So the paint began the work today that I know will be long and painful. The problem is not my mistakes, everyone makes them. It is not my flaws, everyone has them. It is not other people and things they choose to do or say in response to or judgment of my actions. And the loneliness I so often feel, the inability to connect intimately with many people, is not a result of who I am.

I must learn to how to interact with this hateful voice that lies to me. Some days I'm sure I'll need to figure out how to ignore or silence her. Some days I'll need to hear what she has to say, acknowledge her good intentions, let her teach the truth she knows and teach her kinder things to say.

Perhaps I can figure out how to be as gentle with myself as I am with others. Perhaps I can give myself the gift of love and forgiveness that I have so desperately been seeking from everyone else.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Love This Girl

On Saturday she asked me, "Mom am I pretty yet or am I still just cute?"

I took her sweet face in my hands and said, "Kaitybean, you are very pretty."

BTW, late SOS post coming today. Sorry to have left you hanging for so long.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Summer and Fall of Weird Part 2

Here I am with the continuation of Summer and Fall of Weird. Click here for Part 1 if you haven't already read it.

Of course, we must give thanks to the lovely Brillig and Kate, the mothers of SOS. Other Soap Opera Sunday posts (including those that were really, truly posted on Sunday) are hosted at Kate's place.

Here goes...

There was no more random jewelry giving on this strange date. Thank goodness. Shortly after the necklace, Jeremy asked me whether or not I was ready to go home.

"Yes," I replied, perhaps too enthusiastically.

"Okay," he told me with obvious chagrin. Maybe he expected me to say "Oh, no. You just gave me jewelry. I want to stay with you forever!"

He dropped me off and to his credit, he did get out of the car and walk me to my door. I had half expected him to just stop at the curb and say goodbye.

I did hug him goodbye. Like I said, we weren't strangers. We'd known each other forever and had been friends off and on throughout our lives.

A few days later, Jeremy called me to see if I'd like to go out with him again. Yikes. What to do?

Well, I was bored. So I said yes.

Then I called him back.

"Jeremy, I'm still going out with you," I told him, "but on one condition. Don't give me any more stuff. Okay?"

"Um, okay," he told me, obviously confused. "Why? Didn't you like the jewelry?"

I bit my tongue on the whole I-could-have-gotten-it-for-myself-with-two-dollars-at-
the-grocery-store comment and opted for the high road and the real reason.

"It sort of freaked me out. As far as I'm concerned, gifts are for birthdays and holidays. Unless we're going out. And we're not. And even then, I'm just not that into 'stuff' like some girls are."

He seemed to understand and was actually really cool about it. We went out for lunch that Saturday. I gave him a baggie with all of the jewelry he'd given me. We went to a park and played soccer together. It was actually rather fun.

And much of our time together that summer, which ended up being considerable, was a lot of fun.

There was definitely the weirdness, which resulted mainly from the fact that he was obviously growing much more attached to me than I to him. For me it was mainly a friendship. Cough. Cough. Yes, with a few benefits. Cough. So, maybe I was sending him the wrong message.

Oh, but apparently the wrong message he was getting was nothing compared to what a few of my soccer teammates were prepared to think of me.

Tune in next Sunday (Yes I promise it will be next Sunday. It's already written!) to find out what our dear and awkward Jeremy says when the Queen of the Cats utters the words, "So are you dating Heather because she puts out?"

Monday, December 03, 2007

More Picture Catch Up

We love trees, especially ginormous ones like these.

Coco out on the town. He has been walking for 6 weeks now. Yes, he started walking at 9 1/2 months. Blew me away. I think I like my later walkers better. It's like 24 hour suicide watch around here.

Honestly, though, who would NOT want to spend 24/7 with this face? This kid is so much fun.

And this face? Also melts my heart. And cracks me up.

Another Mashuga. This is at our local courthouse. I'd never been inside before this day and it is really an interesting building.

And more Mashuga. He's fun to take pictures of. Probably because he's such a ham.

Halloween Pictures

Um, what do you mean it's almost Christmas? What does that have to do with anything?