20 April 2009

cobbler breakthroughs

I just wanted to announce that I have had a breakthrough in the whole housewife/homemaker area today.  Or else not so much.

I had toyed with the idea of not making the kiddo take a nap today because it's really getting to be hassle in that he wants to lay there and goof off for an hour before going to sleep. And, well, since I never helped him understand the concept of going to sleep by yourself, I have to lay there and pretend to sleep while he goofs off for an hour. So I was thinking maybe it's time for the nap to go the way of the dinosaurs (at least on some days), but then I decided I wasn't ready to give up my hour and a half or so of selfish mom time, so I laid down with him anyway.  After making special efforts with repeated This Little Piggy-s as well as singing Rip van Winkle from 25 down to 16 years, he actually drifted off in under a half hour. Not bad.

So, then it was selfish mom time and my initial thought was a very familiar one: "I'll get a shower." Because what in the world is better than a quiet house and a shower not interrupted by a 19 month old attempting to break down a baby gate using a shopping cart/ball popper/tractor/big wheel as a battering ram

But this is when the breakthrough happened and I had my very first Betty Crocker-esque homemaker-y moment: "I think I'll get a shower, but first I'll just throw together a cobbler." What, I ask you, is more homemaker-y than a cobbler, after all? And what makes it even more homemaker-y is the fact that I actually thought the phrase, "I'll just throw together..." And furthermore, I let the cobbler encroach upon my selfish mom time.

Now, next question: Why?

Well, I had a can of peaches in my cabinet and, while Paula Deen's recipe called for what I'm thinking were home-canned or maybe even fresh peaches since it said to bring them to a boil with water and sugar before putting them in the cobbler, I was fairly certain that a can of Del Monte sliced peaches in heavy syrup would do the trick without that extra step. Oh, and for those of you who don't habla Espanol, "del monte" means "of the monte."

For another thing, I've found that pregnancy is a time of great justification.  Early on it's like, "I'm pregnant, I'm going to order the medium instead of the small." And then later it's like, "I'm pregnant, I'm going to have a third helping." But then when you get down to the last few weeks and you find yourself regularly thinking things like, "I can't possibly get any bigger," or "Surely I won't get any more stretch marks," but then you realize you can and you have and then you think, "I'm pregnant, and I think I'll just throw together a cobbler."

So, I threw together a cobbler.

I thought the casserole dish looked a little full and I couldn't remember if cobblers had a tendency to expand so I fortunately did have the forethought to put a cookie sheet on the rack below it just in case.  Good thing, too, because if I hadn't then all of what ran over would have ended up on the inside of my oven and not just what ran over the side of the cookie sheet.

The recipe said it should cook 30-45 minutes, so I set it for 30 since my oven tends to cook things faster than the recipe says.  But after 30 minutes, it still was pretty pale looking on top, so I set it for another 10 minutes.  After those 10 minutes it was still somewhat pale in the middle but was starting to look pretty brown around the edges so I thought I'd rather err on the side of caution than end up with a burnt cobbler.  Because a burnt cobbler in addition to having stuff run over and scorch on the inside of my oven was not something my pregnant emotions were prepared to deal with.

So I got it out of the oven and willed myself to let it stand for a while before diving in.  I managed to distract myself for, oh, maybe 2 and a half minutes and then I went to get myself a bowl.  My first thought other than, "This must be what we'll eat in Heaven," was "Is it supposed to be this soupy?" But I figured that it had enough butter in it to solidify at some point, either in the fridge or later in my arteries, so I made the executive decision to forego added oven time.

My next thought as I took the first bite was, "Is the crust supposed to be this chewy?" And then I decided that maybe it was a bad idea to forego the added oven time.  But, in the end, the answer to either "Is it supposed to be this soupy?" or "Is it supposed to be this chewy?" is "Eat it anyway," because it's cobbler and it wouldn't really matter if you were eating the peaches out of the can, drinking the batter out of the bowl, and eating the butter like a popsicle.  Cobbler is good and its goodness covers a multitude of sins.

So maybe I thwarted my own homemaker-y-ness by being pregnant and in a hurry to get that cobbler in my mouth.  And in doing so, I added a new level to pregnancy justification.

I'm pregnant, and I'm going to eat this whether it's done or not.


17 April 2009

not sorry

I've been thinking a lot here lately about stuff.  And when I say stuff I don't necessarily mean I've been thinking about a bunch of random here-and-theres.  I mean I've been thinking about material trappings and whatnots, how much we have and how much we actually need.

The Hubby has a good job that keeps us well provided for and comfortable, but things definitely get tight from time to time.  The biggest material thing I've been wishing for lately what with the arrival of Bebe very quickly approaching is a van.  Now, nobody need remind me that it was an amazingly short time ago when I said that you wouldn't catch me driving a van like ever and that I was going to be one of those cool SUV-driving moms.  But the prospect of a 3-foot wide door in which to load and unload my kids PLUS a whole extra seta for plunder PLUS a very large space in the very back for my new (and station wagon sized) double stroller... well, all of those things are getting more and more attractive to me.  And a DVD player doesn't sound too bad, either.

Regardless of all the minivan-ish goodness I can fathom, though, we just can't afford one right now.  And regardless of the rust and the ceiling liner falling down and the not-so-much-space issue and so on and so forth with the Pathfinder... well, it's paid for.  And I'm satisfied that we'll have it until we're forced to have it hauled away.

This week has been one of those particularly tight times.  You know, one of those weeks when I ask about going to the grocery and Hubby gets this uncomfortable look on his face and says, "Um, you'd better wait until Friday." I just want to say from the offset that no one should feel sorry for us, because our money issues are 100% self-inflicted and we both know that.  It's something we both know how to fix and something we work on from time to time, but we both still have a boatload of problems denying ourselves.  Stupid? Yes.  Immature? Definitely.

So, last night we went out with the in-laws (because they're generous and will foot the bill) and were admiring various vehicles in the parking lot of the restaurant as we left.  Later when we were driving home Hubby said, "I'm sorry I can't buy you a van... I'm sorry I can't buy you anything... I'm sorry I can't buy you groceries."  And the first thought that came to my mind was so odd and uncharacteristic that I know it couldn't have originated in me at all.

"I'm not sorry."

Yes, I'm sorry that we aren't good stewards of what God has given us and yes, I'm sorry for the poor example we're setting for the Kiddo.  I definitely want those things to change.  And maybe Hubby would have something to be stressed about if we really and truly could not afford to buy groceries, but the fact is we can afford to buy groceries.  Having to wait until Friday is not a tragedy and does not mean that we're going hungry.  Only being able to buy clothes for ourselves or our kids at certain times does not mean that we're cold and going around in rags.

The simple fact is that we are so blessed.  We own a great house in a nice neighborhood and have never been late on a payment.  We have 2 reliable vehicles.  We have nice furniture, we wash very few dishes by hand, and I've only hand-scrubbed about 3 articles of clothing since we've been married.  Even our station wagon stroller is evidence of how blessed we are because really, we bought the thing so I'll still be able to go to mall easily after Bebe gets here.

If we had only what we absolutely needed, we could easily live in a one-room teepee.  But look at what we do live in and how every nook and cranny is filled with stuff.

And so I'm not sorry, my dear, that you can't buy me a minivan.  I'm not sorry that there a few things here and there that we can't have or do right now.  I'm not sorry that it seems like there is never any extra left over at the end of the month because you I know what is there during the month takes care of what we need.  I'm not sorry that circumstances force us to deny ourselves sometimes since we seem to have such trouble doing it alone.

I'm not sorry.

Oh, and I'm married to the best and sweetest man in the universe.  But nobody tell him I said that.


14 April 2009

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday

I decided to share with the world a timeline of me and my awesomeness.  Ok, not really.  I just thought that since I hadn't done a (Not So) Wordless Wednesday in a while that these would make a nice switch from pictures of the kiddo.  Besides, I felt like going through a bunch of old pictures and I picked out my favorites to share and comment about.  Enjoy!

This is me and my sister I'm guessing not too long after I made my debut given the hospital gown.  Either that or they had more stringent wardrobe rules in hospitals 23 years ago.

I think I was a couple months old in this shot.  I don't know where this was taken, but that faux fur lump I'm leaning on is fabulous.

And here I am a couple years down the road having a charming tea party with my football player width shoulder ruffles and 2 Cabbage Patch dolls whom I christened "Canna" and "Day." I just brought these guys?/girls? home with me from my parents' so the kiddo could play with them.  They are every bit as bald and every bit as naked as they were in this picture.  Hey, also if you look closely you can see I had on white knee socks and black patent leather shoes.  Oh so stylish!

This would be "Hayes Beach" and it consisted of the lawn chair you see there which was on of those made of plastic tubing (you know, the kind that your legs stick to and that leave a strange stripey pattern on your butt), a kiddy pool, an oscillating sprinkler, and my dad in blue jean cutoffs.  Oh, and apparently me in a yellow terri cloth bikini.  The plantation-esque place you can see in the upper left hand corner of the shot is my grandparent's house.

I'm guessing I was about 3 or 4 here, posing with my parents.  My mom looks thrilled and given my dad's awkward pose and how I'm looking at him, I'm guessing he set the timer on the camera and sprinted to get into position.

I think this one got out of order and should probably be back with the tea party picture, but I'm going to leave it here because it's too much trouble to move it.  This is one of my all-time favorite little kid pictures of myself mostly because of the bruises all over my knees.  I was such a delicate flower.

Christmas morning and new dress-up clothes.  And that's a box fan sitting next to my rocking chair.  Not so sure why that was necessary in December.

I think that this is one of the first of many trips to a traveling photographer who set up at Castner Knotts once or twice a year.  I think his name was Greg Montgomery and he was loud and probably obnoxious and he told me I was beautiful and played with my hair and I can't really remember now if it seemed inappropriate, but I'm guessing my mom probably would have decked him if it had.  Anyway, I loved having my pictures made and getting to visit with Greg.  My mom made the jumper I'm wearing in this shot.

Here's my dad and me either right before or after my sister's wedding.  I would have been 6 years old.  I have no idea what face I was making, but at least my little flower wreath head thingy was cute.  I wore pink sponge rollers to achieve the poof you can see there.  My hair does not poof without a lot of encouragement.  My grandmother made my dress and all the bridesmaid's dresses as well.  They were all that color and our shoes were dyed to match perfectly.

Here's another Greg Montgomery Castner Knotts shot.  Does anybody remember Castner Knotts? I assume it was a "chain" department store and wasn't just here in my town.  I'm thinking I was 7 or 8 here and I have to say my hair was stunning.  I wish it was still that long and soft and kid-like.  I don't know how my mom got it to stay in those long spiral-y curls.

Ok, fast forward about 10 years.  I don't know where all the in between pictures are, but I probably wouldn't include them anyway because... well, that was middle school... and I had a very extended awkward phase.  And several bad haircuts.  And this way we can just totally ignore the fact that I had a chubby stage.  So, here I am in 2002 and I would have just turned 17.  This was smack dab in the middle of mine and the hubby's pre-dating flirting period.  he took this picture of me in his green Jimmy.  That thing in my hand is a pirouette coffee stirrer thingy and not any kind of tobacco product.  We had just left a Thanksgiving church service.  This is one of his favorite pictures ever of me.  I think I look kind of like Casper with red hair.

I think this was sometime during the early part of my senior year of high school.  This was taken in my room and look how teeny-tiny I was.  I don't really like myself that teeny-tiny.  I think we were about to go to Wednesday night service.  Check out all that junk in my closet.

This is one of my senior pictures.  Probably one of the most photogenic couple of hours of my life.  And I don't think my hair looked that good ever before or after then.  Interestingly, we also took some outdoor pics around a pond and I stepped on a frog with no shoes on.  I mean I had no shoes on.  The frog might have, but I didn't feel any when I stepped on him.
Here's a shot taken in hubby's room at his parents' house.  He moved back in with them briefly before he bought the house we live in now.  I guess I was 18-ish here.  I see the edge of a classic Nintendo controller in my hand, so I must have been playing Tetris.  That's pretty much all I did when I was over there.

Fast forward a couple of years :-) Actually maybe not a couple... I was 19 when we got married.

This was taken my last day as Kindergarten teacher at my alma mater.  I think I was just barely 20 years old.

Sometime not too long after that modeling the outfit I was planning to wear to our church's Christmas program (maybe?).  

I was about to head to a career/life celebration for my old principal.  It was the closest thing to a high school reunion I've ever been to so far, so I was (for whatever reason) way concerned with how I looked.  Hubby was so impressed he took a picture.  I made some kind of weird cheesy muggy face and posed awkwardly.  Meanwhile, those white shoes make me think of Cousin Eddie on Christmas Vacation.

Riding on the luggage caddy during one of our many trips to Gatlinburg, TN.  Having a kid changes everything, man... we used to go multiple times a year and now we haven't been in nearly 2 years.  Oh well... I guess that's what retirement's for.

Awww... here I am pregnant with the kiddo.  This was when I was still at the cute stage and before I reached scary swollen hippopotamus ankles stage.

Another preggo shot with my best friend April.  This was more toward the hippopotamus ankles stage (7 months-ish) She and I hosted a personal shower/sleepover for a mutual friend and this was shortly before we went out for a while.  My chins and I were the unfortunate (and uncool) ones who got to trail along, panting, behind several more energetic and thinner young ladies while thinking about how much my feet hurt.

Because everybody needs a Facebook/Myspace picture...
This was several months after the kiddo was born and my face had returned to normal.

Here's my sweet little family in March '08.
And here's the most recent picture I'm willing to post.  This was when I was just barely pregnant with Bebe.  Have I ever mentioned that I had just started a running regimen shortly before finding out I was pregnant? I didn't realize how buff I was getting (ha).  Seriously, though, my tininess in this picture makes me depressed.  This was also before I had the unfortunate idea of getting bangs cut... which also makes me depressed.  Someday I'll be normal again.

And so there's a picture timeline of me.  And this took extraordinarily longer than I ever expected so it's nearly 1 AM and I still haven't done my Bible reading.  And my butt is asleep.


11 April 2009

late and probably off topic

First of all, why am I up at 12:52 AM on Easter morning when I have to be up for Sunrise Service in something like 4 hours?

Waiting for my nails to dry, of course.

Next of all, it seems that the rest of the blogging world is writing inspired-sounding posts about Jesus and the empty tomb and all the other amazing things associated with this holiday in various poetic ways.  And, although I have had these things on my mind more this year than probably ever before during this season, that's not what I'm going to write about briefly (we'll see) tonight.


OK, I thought better of it and deleted most of this post because it was a little too soapbox-y and angry sounding.  I left the good parts, though, so it may sound a little disjointed and odd, but this is how I wanted to leave it.  Alrighty then.

But anyway... my fingernail polish is dry and I should probably settle down and meditate on better things than this before going to sleep.

Like, for instance... the fact that that tomb is empty.  And that so many years ago, Jesus set the standard of resurrection that I will someday follow.  At which point and for the rest of eternity, I'll finally, at long last, be able to thank Him properly for what He did for me at Calvary.

And those things are a lot better to think about than pretty much every thing else.


07 April 2009

on the passage of time and foot pain

After all of this madhouse rush rush rush can't wait to have this baby and get it over with business, I nearly had a panic attack today when I looked at my "Countdown to Baby" thing on my other computer and saw that it said 28 days.  Because I'm relatively certain that it was maybe 2 days ago that it seemed to be stuck in the 50-ish days range.  So, of course, being the person that I am, I promptly set my focus upon making a list.  In less than a month's time, I have an alarming number of things to launder/clean/sanitize and probably an even more alarming amount of stuff to buy.  Especially considering the fact that we've been going to the doctor a lot these days and the hubby seems to keep forgetting to take the Flex Spending card with him.

Which brings me to another topic...

Hubby is home, by doctor's orders, until Monday.  Why, you ask? Because he has a sinus infection in his foot.


I'm not joking.

He has some kind of ergonomic pesto fentibular tendonitis in the arch of his foot and I promise I'm not making light of it, I just know it has a long technical-sounding name that I can't remember at the moment.  And besides I have no room whatsoever to poke fun at his medical freakish-ness since I'm apparently the only woman in the known universe (or at least known to
 my seasoned vet ultrasound tech) who actually ultrasounds better when my bladder is not about to erupt Old Faithful style.  We both have our own fun little medical anomalies.  

So, whatever this foot issue is actually means that there's a spot in this particular tendon that is highly prone to inflammation.  He sprained his ankle badly while he was in college and for some reason went to the campus health center, where the doctor's will diagnose you with a case of strep throat or pregnancy, instead of a real doctor who might have actually not have been confused by his complete lack of a red throat or a uterus.  Regardless, his foot hasn't been exactly right ever since then.  The first big flare up he had with it occurred less than a week before our wedding.  His father (who is more competent than the campus docs, but still no MD) diagnosed his problem as "the gout" from having eaten barbecue.


Again, not joking.

A couple of other times, he's caused a flare up by climbing ladders or something else that puts pressure directly on the arch of his foot, but the most recent flare ups (this one included) have been more mysterious.  Last July, after having had an incisional hernia repair surgery, his foot started hurting to the point that he barely noticed the 6 or 7 inch incision down his belly.  We thought that he had injured it while trying to reposition himself in bed by pushing with his bad
foot on the bedrail.  Finally, an orthopaedic doc came to check him out and informed him that actually, when a person has an area of their body that is prone to inflammation, any type of trauma or stress throughout your body can sort of "settle" to that area.

And so, in the case of this foot flare up, a really bad sinus infection ended up "settling" in his foot and causing the issues he's dealing with now.  He went to our family doc this past Thursday to get meds for the sinus thing and he went back again today to get meds for his foot issue.  And, the doctor told him to stay off work until Monday.

Which brings me back around to the original topic.  I think the reason I spazzed out when I saw that "28 days" on my countdown was because I was really thinking, "28 days?!?!? And I can't even count this week!" Because whenever Hubby is home and for whatever reason, I totally shut down and go into vacation mode.

So, by the time the holiday weekend is over and he goes back to work on Monday, I'll have
 more like... ummm... 20-ish days to go.  And that is really terrifying.  That's almost down to teen numbers.  And since I know I'm not going to get much of anything done this week due to Hubby's unplanned "vacation," that leaves me a WHOLE lot less time to actually get my list of stuff accomplished.

So part of the time I'm moaning and groaning about how slooooooowly time is moving and how I'm never going to have this baby and now some other times I'm worrying about how time is going too fast and I'm not going to have enough time to get everything done that needs to be done before the baby gets here.  Oh, and the rest of the time when I'm doing practically
 anything (brushing my teeth, doing laundry, reading, just sitting doing nothing and piddling on the computer, cuddling my son...) I'm dreading the fact that pretty soon I'm going to have time to do NOTHING (at least not without being interrupted often or having a baby attached to me, literally).

In the end, what I'm doing is spending way too much time worrying about, whining about, and dreading everything and not nearly enough time enjoying the time I have left in what could very well be my last pregnancy as well as what time I have left to make special for just my big boy by himself.

And in my heart of hearts I know that the things I want to get done will eventually get done and even if those things don't get done, they'll still be here waiting for me, new baby or no new baby.  And I doubt when I arrive home with my new bundle that I'll be super concerned if the
 floors didn't get vacuumed promptly before leaving for the hospital.  And even more deeply I know that time does not actually move slowly at all and that the new baby who I imagine will probably look something like this...

will, after I turn around maybe twice, will suddenly look more like this...

But enough of that bittersweet stuff...

In the end, I know I just need to get over thinking about the passage of time and get on with enjoying all of it... even being big as a barn, laundry, and foot sinus infections.


03 April 2009

a category all his own

God has blessed me with a good husband.  Probably... no, definitely a lot better than I deserve, but don't anybody tell him I said that.

This July will mark 10, count 'em 10, years since he and I first met.  Way on back in the day when he was 18 and just out of high school and I was just a wee lass of 13 and fresh out of 7th grade.  Before you start looking up laws on unlawful interaction with a minor, let me clarify that we didn't start dating then or anytime soon.  I had previously met his cousin whom a friend and I had deemed "hot." My friend was interested in him, so since that interest was already taken, my curiosity was peaked by hot-guy's cousin... even though he was 5 years older than me and my friend had assured me that he was most definitely not in the same "category" as his hot-guy cousin.

And I should just interject here that I am oh-so-glad hubby was not in the same category as his hot-guy cousin since, however hot he may have been, one of my first questions about him was still, "Are you sure he's not gay?" That was his category.

P.S. He's not, by the way.  And that isn't his category anymore, thank goodness, since he's added a bit of depth to his character.


So, upon meeting the hubby back then when he could be nothing more to me than an alluring and not-attainable about-to-be-college guy, I soon realized that even if he wasn't in his cousin's hot-guy-although-sorda-queer-looking category, he was a really genuinely nice guy and we became fast friends.  And when I say really genuinely nice, I mean like the kind of really genuinely nice that was rare 10 years ago and is now headed for extinction.

So, for the next... umm... lemme add it up... 3 1/2-ish years we continued our friendship and were actually fairly close friends but never anything more.  He came to my baptism shortly after we met and went to lunch at Pizza Hut with my family afterward (with hot-guy cousin in tow, I might add).  We saw each other at church functions and often found ourselves hanging out with the same groups of friends.  He showed up at my parents' house at least once to get computer help from my dad.  We even went on date-like excursions (not really), just the two of us, to visit someone in a hospital in another town an hour away.

By the way, there might actually be something in one of those unlawful-interaction-with-a-minor laws about crossing state lines with an underage girl in your vehicle if you happen to be over 18, which he was.

We also went to Fuddruckers.

Meanwhile, my dating standards were getting lower... and lower... and embarrassingly lower with every.single.guy I had anything to do with.

It wasn't until the end of 2002 that we started spending a lot more one-on-one time together.  We talked a lot on instant messenger and I flirted with him a lot but not so much because I was definitely interested in him, but more because, well, that's just the way I operated.  It was also during this time that he uttered the magical line of, "Tell Curtis to sniff your butt for me." Long story.  Involving the fact that my dog always nosed him in the rear.  He also jumped up into his lap once for the sole purpose of belching in his face.  Anyway... regardless of all the time we were spending together, I still claimed to not be interested in becoming involved with him.  As a matter of fact, I have documented evidence in one of my journals where I actually wrote the words "of all the guys I know, Hubby is the only one I could never see myself with."

Ah, the irony to be sitting on the couch very obviously pregnant by and listening to the snoring of the one you could never see yourself with.

Finally, one night he invited me over to his parents' house for supper and as we sat in his dad's study watching the ever-so-romantic movie choice of Austin Powers (don't remember which one), he reached over and took my hand.  Not what most would consider an overt statement, but for him it was the equivalent of standing in my yard, boom box raised overhead a la John Cusack.

Thus began our crazy, up-and-down, back-and-forth story.  And the plummeting status of my dating standards took a sharp upward turn.

Things have never been perfect for us or anything even approaching perfection.  In fact, we've had some pretty darn rough spots during our dating, engagement, and short marriage, but I've never wondered even in the bitterest of times if he loved me or not or if maybe today he wouldn't come home to me.  There's never been a time, even when we've been upset with each other, when he wouldn't take me in his arms and try to make everything all better.

In this day and age of disposable marriage, I know that ours is not.

And that is definitely a blessing.