Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aaaand . . . Scene

So. I had this baby, and let me tell you he is delicious. Also a fabulous sleeper, eater and every other desirable quality in a six-day old. We named him Caleb. Boys names are getting harder and harder for us to find, not only because we have so many boys ourselves, but also because I have dozens of nephews. Every time we would go through the baby name book, invariably I would say, "Oh, I love that name." And Rhett would say, "Yeah, and so does your sister because, remember, you have a nephew named that?" Oh, right.

Anyway. Caleb is a doll. I don't want to brag or anything, but some of y'all have awesome cooking skills, or amazing decorating skills, or whatever. I used to think I didn't really have any skills that were useful in the homemaking arena, but people--I have a gift with babies. Here are some of my secrets:

1. If you and that baby are sleeping at the same time, baby will sleep better on your chest. You might not be able to sleep very well, in which case I have to mention that you can sleep really well in uncomfortable positions if you add a Percocet or two to the mix. Some people (ahem, lady in my ward who scolded me for extended period of time on this topic) say that this is dangerous, but if you've had a C-section, you can't really even scratch your nose without deliberate movement planning, so it's not like you're going to roll over your baby. At least not without thinking about it first.

2. Burping. Don't underestimate the importance of good burp performance. If you're having problems getting a burp, try lifting your baby up (under the armpits) and slowly raising them up and down three times. Then burp again. This always works for me, so if it doesn't work for you, you're probably defective. Kidding! Sort of.

3. Breastfeeding/bottlefeeding/pumping. I have a lot of experience in almost all of these categories due to wacky genetic conditions. Anyway. Do what you have to in order for your baby to eat. If that means pumping, great. If that means bottlefeeding, okay. If your baby is getting fatter, you are doing it right. I've personally kept lactation specialists in business in an attempt to get the latch right when it turned out it wasn't the latch at all. So then I end up pumping, which is inconvenient but works. Also, a little Percocet taken before breastfeeding? Totally helps you push through the initial latch pain. I'm just saying.

4. Have awesome babies. My mom swears that some of why my babies are paragons is because I hold them almost constantly, sleep with them on my chest, and spoil them miserably (I don't believe you can spoil a baby, by the way). But to be honest, I think it's more genetic. I don't have babies with tummy problems, which makes a big difference. But if you have to listen to your baby cry all night long because of colic? You know the answer here--Percocet.

In review, the secret to post-partum joy and happiness is clearly Percocet. And that darling baby, of course.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What You Will Miss

I won't be telling this baby's birth story here, mostly because I'm lazy, but also because I have C-sections and so the story is quite short: and then I got sliced open and the doctor pulled the baby out and set him on my chest with a warning not to touch him until . . .

But also, birth stories are slightly disturbing to me. I'm not opposed to other people sharing their birth stories, they are often touching, and lovely, and precious. But I do worry that all this introspection and fascination with how we give birth maybe overshadows the simple miracle of the fact that we do.

Ivy's was a normal birth (do you want to hear the story?), but Spencer's descended so quickly into chaos and birthing anarchy that ever after, I don't really mind that my birthing stories are short: the stitching up took longer than the birth. Because in my head, I'm just so grateful that this baby isn't dangerously quiet or blue in the face, or rushed immediately to NICU with talk of Flight for Life coming in to move him to a more advanced facility. I'm just so glad that Rhett is peering over the surgical drape saying inane things like, "Heids, your guts are all pushed up on to your belly right now!" or "This is awesome. I can totally see your fibroid cyst!" instead of being too late (I had sent him to dinner when I was in labor because there was plenty of time still, plenty!) to be there at all. I'm just so grateful that when they wheel me out of surgery, it's not into an empty recovery room with no husband and no baby.

I'm just so grateful to have a baby who breathes and eats and cries, that I can't be bothered to think to myself, this would have been much more poignant in a birthing tub. Maybe it would, I don't know.

I have a friend who also has C-sections for medical reasons, but every birth is like a big tragedy--like her body has failed her and she mourns the loss of the midwife and doula who could have attended her birth and hypnotized her into only half-feeling the pain. She feels cheated by her own body, like she's lost the opportunity to truly be a mother because the baby doesn't travel the birthing canal in the prescribed, traditional fashion. I don't have this kind of introspection in me--to worry about whether this is the right way to give birth--I'm just so damn grateful to have a baby. Because if there is one thing that Spencer's birth story taught me, it was that none of that is guaranteed. No one guarantees you that when you get to the end of the ten month pregnancy, there will be a cozy, bubbling birthing tub, a brush with the kind of pain that makes you more self-reflective and less selfish for the next three months, a final gasp and push and flash of joy. No one guarantees that there will even be a baby there to hold.

So, my point here, is that you won't get all the details of the slice and dice that is my birth story. (Do you really want those details? Because I fear I'm often too drugged up to actually get them right anyway.) I'll be too busy (hopefully! God willing!) being grateful for the miracle of birth. Even when it happens the wrong way.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Two Weeks There Will Be So Many Children Here They Will Surely Be Neglected

I am not a good blogger. Let us establish that immediately, and then please feel free to leave comments to the effect of how much you've missed me. Those kind of things do wonders for my sense of self-importance. (Rhett will wonder how much more self-importance I could possibly acquire, but I think we have also established that Rhett is not a reliable source for insight into my character. Except one time he did say to me that even though we have always maintained that we could split amicably for the children's sake if the need ever arose, he personally believed I would maliciously key his car and destroy his reputation, which quite frankly, was very astute of him. Because in the recesses of my soul, I think I might be pretty vindictive. Especially if our split were due to cheating on his part. I'm just saying.)

Anyway. I am having this fifth baby in two weeks. Did I mention it is a boy? Another boy? Like, my fourth boy? At first this was a source of bitterness for me, but then I remembered how I did this to myself by claiming repeatedly during childhood that I wanted to open a school for boys just like Jo March in Little Women (and sequels, of course). And so, here I am--living my childhood dreams. Lucky, lucky, lucky me.

But honestly, I just found out that my insurance here gives me FIVE days in the hospital for a C-section instead of the standard four I usually get. Quite frankly, I'd give birth to an elephant calf for that extra day.

Also on the bright side, (I'm trying to avoid complaining, as Rhett prefers me to save all my complaints for his ears only) the kids and I saved the life of a loon the other day, that had become entangled in mesh landscaping netting. Actually, I'm not sure if we saved it or not, since we free released it into the pond behind our house and hoped for the best, but I did cut off all the mesh stuff before we did that. I was going to take it to the Alabama Bird Sanctuary (or something like that) but that was an hour and a half drive away, and I'm not that committed to loon preservation. I'm not even sure they are endangered, actually. Probably they are super common.

If there were a topic to this post, this paragraph would be off-topic, but it's been making me smile for weeks now, and should really be documented somewhere. Spencer has been receiving love letters from a girl we know through school and church. He told me he wanted to write her one back. I glanced at it after he was finished and it read like this: "Audre--please don't try to ciss me. Also you should know that my name is spelled SPENCER--not SPINSER!" He looked at me knowingly and explained, "I think she spells it Southern." If you have ever heard his very Alabamian teacher say his name, I think you would have to agree.

I have so many more BRIGHT SPOTS in this pregnancy to document for you, but alas, it is time for school pick up. Just living my childhood dreams over here. You understand.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The List

A few items you should know about:

1. I have fallen in love with our John Deere lawn tractor/mower/whatever-thing. To be honest, I could count on one hand (maybe even one finger) the times that I have previously mowed a lawn, but now, Rhett can't get on that John Deere lawn tractor/mower/whatever-thing except to retrieve Jakers from the neighborhood. I think I present a pretty awesome picture of life in the South when I'm out on that thing, more than six months pregnant and also toting a less than two-year-old child on my knee, all while bouncing happily along and cutting the grass, too. Y'all. I am awesome. (Sometimes I wear my denim skirt because modesty? What?)

2. I am getting a new couch. It will almost be sad to say good-bye to the old one (if you consider good-bye moving it to a different room), but then I remind myself of the numerous pen marks, marker marks, frequent urinations, etc. that make up my old couch, and hmmm . . . not so sad at all.

3. Our dog. She is darling, and I love her, and if it were she and I living alone in a house, we would, of course, be in paradise. However. She jumps on the children (but only when I'm not present). So I keep hauling the kids out there to do "training sessions" with me and the dog. It is family fun for all, as you can only imagine. The dog, by the way, loves me with the kind of devotion that all the world should learn from. My devotion to her comes nowhere close.

4. Rhett announced tonight that he is sick. I am half-annoyed, because I announced this morning that I was getting sick. Now he has preempted me and I'm going to have to take care of him and pretend to be super sympathetic instead of the other way around. I have not much of the nurturer in me for adult illness.

5. Veevs has called home four times this school year with fake illnesses (shortness of breath! which magically disappears as soon as an interesting book is being read! and stomach pains! which also disappear as soon as we get home!). I have not much of the nurturer in me for fake childhood illness, either, because I told her the school was much better equipped to deal with any fainting spells or asthma attacks than I was. So tough it out, sister. There is an irony in this situation because I spent probably twenty percent of every school year faking sick.

6. I'm pretty sure four kids was the limit for what I could handle without falling into a malaise of Mrs. Bennett proportions. I will now, with the impending addition of number five, be spending the rest of my life uttering fluttering statements like, "Oh, my nerves!" and "How can you have so little compassion for your mother?" It shall be epic.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rhett and I have a new deal going: we're going to start assuming that neither of us are very good mind readers. When I put it like that, it seems stupid, like, of course, neither of you are talented enough to be mind readers, but when you've been married for elevenish years you start to think that you can stop actually telling your spouse what you're thinking because shouldn't they know by now? If they loved you? Really?

Turns out, no, Rhett still can't read my mind. And vice versa. This has become exceptionally apparent because we are making a final push to get everything organized (read: unpacked) in this house (it's only been four months!) and our priorities are clearly different. Because I am roughly the size and usefulness of a beached whale, a lot of what needs to get done (hauling heavy stuff, hanging pictures, transforming closets with shelving, etc.) is firmly on Rhett's to-do list.

Unfortunately I assume he knows what is on his to-do list. He does not. So I get mad. He gets frustrated. The kids run wild (That's not actually related, just regular Hadley madness). Finally he turned to me the other day and said, "So why don't you just tell me exactly what you want me to do today?"

It's totally solved our problems. Mostly. I mean, there's still the problem of me being a crazy, bossy wife, but that can wait for another elevenish years.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Laidback Parenting

I have a friend who is maybe slightly neurotic (her words, not mine--because you know I use tactful phrasing like "careful parenting" to describe her actions). The other night we were visiting and she shared the story (I don't think she'll mind me sharing this with you) about the time her children were found playing with a dead bird and she freaked out a little bit and called the Center for Disease Control, informed them that her children probably had bird flu, and then saved the bird in a Ziploc bag so that appropriate testing could be done should her children suddenly be struck down.

(This sounds extreme, but I am reminded that she and her family were single-handedly responsible for introducing swine flu to the state of Idaho, so maybe she's justified?)

I think the difference in our parenting styles could best be expressed by the fact that my reaction to finding my children playing with a dead bird would probably be, "Okay, guys, two more minutes with that dead bird and then we need to throw it away."

And you?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer? Bah.

Yesterday we took a day trip down to the beach. Despite spending the majority of the time under the beach tent thing, I am still sunburned. Unfortunately, I also am a pretty crappy sunscreen application specialist, because Logan has a giant red blotch around his left eye. In my defense, do you know how long it takes kids to stop crying after you accidentally get sunscreen in their eyes? HOURS! I know because once my sister got it in my nephew's eye at the zoo and we all heard the resulting misery. For hours.

It was a calm ocean, I must say, although the flag was yellow. Even Logan could go safely out in the surf without fear of being knocked over. Veevs came up to me midway through the afternoon and said, "I hope next time we come the waves will be a little more promising for body boarding." Um, okay?

I am not depressed, exactly, but I am not exactly functioning on full capacity, either. I blame pregnancy, of course. Everything that goes wrong in my life for these nine months gets blamed directly on pregnancy. Lost shopping list? Pregnancy. Lost child? Pregnancy. Lost mind? Pregnancy.

On the lost child thing, Rhett came home the other day and the kids were out riding their bikes all over the neighborhood. "So what," he asked, "We just let our kids run wild outside now?"

Well, yes. I do. And I call it childhood. (Rhett will probably want me to tell you that Logan, who is only 19 months old was running around on the street, and that was a small oversight, but really: pregnancy!) I am trying to let go of some of the anxiety I have about letting my children play outside by themselves and instead give them the gift of the kind of childhood that I had where we ran wild through the neighborhood--riding bikes, playing hide and seek, digging through trash (once I discovered a disposable razor in the neighbor's trash and amused myself for nearly half an hour running my fingers along the blades. I was nothing if not safety-minded.)--and no one really cared as long as we got home in time for dinner. I am quite a bit removed from that kind of nonchalance about my children's whereabouts, but it's a goal to work towards, no?

Also for the record, Rhett had this kind of childhood, too, which makes me wonder why my generation is so much more uptight about having our children in our line of sight for every waking moment than the previous generation? Rhett and I both loved being able to explore and wander, but freak out when we don't know exactly where our children are.

The other day as my friends in my book club were arriving at my house, we (and by we, I really mean Rhett) suddenly discovered that we (again, the we is generous, here) didn't know exactly where Jakers was. I had a good guess, as he has a penchant for the construction lots in the cul de sac across from ours. However, the ladies in my book club good-naturedly joined in the search, and then to my everlasting amusement, Rhett pulled out of the garage on his lawn tractor to go and search for him. He tooled that thing down the cul de sac and came back moments later with Jakers perched triumphantly on his knee. Who in their right mind thinks that their lawn tractor is the best tool for that particular job? His car was right there. So was mine. And his legs, also, they are not broken. But Rhett pulled out the lawn tractor. I was secretly chuckling all night.

I don't want to admit this, because most of the blogosphere is extolling the virtues of having their darling dears with them at every moment and discussing what a joy it has been to be spending time with their sweet, precious angels, but I'm ready for school to start. First, of course, the structure. I always pretend that I want summer to end because the structure of school and bed time and such is good for my children (which I think is true, of course). But in my heart, it's really because, hello, they are driving me crazy. I love them, it's fun for a little while, this constant togetherness thing, but then, oy vey, let's move on, shall we?

This summer my kids went to little day camps, which was delightful for everyone. They are sponsored by our local university, and I will pay hundreds more dollars than I actually did pay for the service, because it would still be cheaper than a psychiatrist for me. The camps kept me sane, and were really fun. My kids went to these camps: Lego camp, Nature Art camp, Under the Sea camp, Fishing for Fun camp, and CSI camp (I had no idea my sensitive, delicate little flower Veevs would show such a powerful interest in blood spatter). Next year I will probably double the number of camps we go to, because it was like paying for sanity. MY sanity.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two Bits

Veevs has just decided to set up a lemonade stand. The street on which we live has not-so-much traffic, and I was tempted to tell her that, but then I remembered the many hours I spent peddling lemonade to uninterested passers-by, and thought, Oh, what the hell. Go to it, girl.

I'm always amazed at how much I want her to not experience disappointment. I am constantly having to argue myself out of thwarting all her desires just to save her the sting of failure. Silly.

She has recruited her brothers: Spe gets to hold the sign, Jakers gets to hold the cups (manly, really). In just a minute, I will have to go out and fake a devastating thirst and buy three cups so that they can each pocket a quarter. Although knowing Veevs, those boys have been less employed and more conscripted.

Another one of her projects that I was tempted to quash was her desire to write a book based on the Warriors series about feral cats living in the forest with strange clan names and apprentices and all sorts of wacky stuff. I wanted to tell her it has all been done, to find her own story and write that, but then again, I convinced myself to file it in the What the hell, girl, go to it place in my mind. Why do I care, really, when it means forty minutes more of quiet?

The thirst. It is unbearable. Off to quench.

PS--I went out to find that they were selling lemonade for a dollar a glass. It seemed like highway robbery to me, so I gave them all a short lecture on market forces. They ignored me, and I returned twenty minutes later to find that they had sold seven glasses. Market forces, my foot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I can't think of a title, most likely because I have no idea what I'll be blogging about. It's the same spontaneity that makes me Rhett's nightmare in a dollar store.

There was a period (which may have coincided with the depression mentioned previously) where we were living in The Residence Inn while our new Alabama house was being finished. I have determined that it is impossible to be cheerful while living in The Residence Inn with four children, a husband, and morning sickness. But our house is finished now, and the kids are loving being able to play. Outdoors. Of course, we do miss the complimentary breakfasts and "manager's receptions" (read: dinner), but the return of my humanity cannot be dismissed.

Right now it's fixing to rain (see how Southern I've become?) and I can hear Spe yelling at Jake who is continuing to ride his scooter despite the downpour, "Jacob, do you want to get killed? Then come inside! You will DIE!" I am unsure where this bent to the dramatic comes from, but I'd better blame my dad. (If you knew my dad, the most taciturn, unflappable man possible, you would get the joke.)

We got a dog from the humane society, a beautiful terrier mix kind of thing. She is half black and half white, and so of course, my children have named her Oreo. I can only comfort myself that it is better than their first choices, which were "Blackie" and "Whitey". It is only their naivete that makes that okay.

We had some awesome visitors last week, our old best friends from Texas. It was like Christmas and spring time and a four-day hospital stay all wrapped up in one. And then, as if that weren't enough to make me happy, I left all my children behind with their father and went to visit my brother in Baltimore. It was seriously like a four-day hospital stay (joy!) because I read books all day, stayed in bed for as long as I wanted, and had delightful conversations (hospital nurses are rather delightful once you get them talking, you know?).

If I were a horse, I would imagine that I would be described as getting fat and glossy with this pregnancy, but as I'm a human, I can only say that we are well on our way to breaking a total weight record with this baby. Since I always look about like I've swallowed a small car with every pregnancy, one can only imagine the beauty that will be mine shortly when it looks instead as if I've swallowed a Suburban. Some people say every pregnant woman is beautiful, and I can only say that they have clearly never seen me. I don't say this in the spirit of self-denigration, but rather just to be honest. I don't hate myself when I'm pregnant, because it's totally temporary and quite frankly, I don't have enough iron in my pregnant blood stream to allow for any extra emotions during pregnancy. It's just, you know, I can acknowledge the truth: I look disturbingly large.

Well, the baby has woken up from his nap and Jake has come inside (fortunately he escaped death from rain) and the children are building a fort, and something tells me my presence will shortly be required. I know this because it is quite peaceful for a few moments, and I know what that means: impending chaos.

And now I am proved right by the shrieks of discord. Until next time?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some random conversations between my children and me over the past little bit:

Jakers: So, when we have our new baby, can we still keep Logan?

Me: Yes, of course.

Jakers: So we'll give away our new baby?

Me: No, we'll keep Logan and the new baby.

Jakers: What? We keep all our babies?

Me: Yes, yes, we do.


Spe: Mom. I have a secret to tell you.

Me: Okay.

Spe: I really love Barbies, but I'm afraid everyone will think I'm a jerk.

Me: (Insert ten minute conversation about how he can like whatever he wants, and if he wants me to buy some Barbies to play with, I will buy them for him, and no one will think he's a jerk, because girls and boys are allowed to play with whatever they want . . . ad nauseum)

Spe: Oh. I was just kidding. I really hate Barbies.

Me: (weakly) Oh. Ha ha. That was really a funny joke.


Veevs (in the car): Mom, can you turn it to NPR?

Me (secretly proud of my news-loving, urbane child): Of course.

She listens for a little bit.

Veevs: Geez, I just wish they'd talk some more about Anthony Weiner!

Totally urbane, that one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Is There Anybody Out There?

Heidi is on hiatus...for now. She's fallen back in love with 200 books that were in storage for the last 4 months. This is her husband...don't expect anything substantive from her anytime soon related to keeping her blog current...I'm not...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Number 5

I am pregnant again.

The news is fabulous, exciting and wonderful (more so because this is definitely the last one).

The timing leaves something to be desired.

The sickness has already hit and the accompanying grumpiness is in full-swing.

However. A new baby. So sweet.

I keep reminding myself that nine months of misery equals four days of hospital bliss.

This is how I get through pregnancies.

I can read a lot of books in four days (all while holding a new baby).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again

Well. For the last three weeks I have suffered (suffered!) with a state of depression. But depression really seems like too mild of a phrase for the way I felt. It is more like I was sucked into a black hole of helplessness, hopelessness and anxiety, and then someone had the nerve to also pull out all my toenails and fingernails, too. Just to add to the misery.

I did not answer my phone, no matter how much I love you. Because at that moment, you were a weight around my neck and I was really trying hard not to drown in this black hole of crappiness, so I couldn't be bothered to, you know, exchange pleasantries and say stuff like, "Oh, hey. How are you?"

I did get my kids to school. I got them dressed. I fed them breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All without ever really looking at them! I fed my baby a bottle while staring off into space instead of looking into his truly gorgeous face like I usually do.

(On the funnier side, my mother-in-law, on hearing that I was feeling "a little bit down" asked, "Is it because all your friends are South Korean?")

But, I turned a corner last week. This morning I fed my baby his bottle and looked into his eyes the whole time. I drove my kids to school without having to pull over to cry. I fed them breakfast without having to retreat to my room because why are they talking to me?

Anyway. There's not a real point to this story, except to omit this period in my life makes me feel a little bit dishonest (not that I am against a little dishonesty in life--sorry, Mel! Remind me sometime to tell you all about Mel. She's amazing. And she's one of my former students, so I take complete credit for her life. That's pretty much how I work. How dare you bring up my drug dealing former students! How rude!)

So anyway. The point, which is not a point, not even close to a point, is that I was depressed. I feel better now, but I thought you should know it's not all Barbie sing-alongs (hmm, maybe the origin of depression? Must consider.) and beach trips. Also, my house is a disaster.

And I am still awesome.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Essence of Jakers

Last week Rhett had Friday off work (one of the numerous perks of working for a company which produces enough missiles to destroy the whole world fifty times over is that he gets every other Friday off--Hooray for Missile Proliferation!), so we hucked the kids in the car and took off. We told them we were going to Atlanta (two hours away) to shop for furniture (they are innocent and will believe anything obviously).

Instead, we drove to the beach in Florida. It was, as my Korean friends said, very much excitement trickery.

We played on the beach, ran away from waves, and went out to eat at our favorite seaside taco bar. It was, quite frankly, super fun.

When we got back in the car after a whole day of merriment and splashing and sand castle building, Jakers said, So now are we going to furniture shopping?

Oh, sweetie, I said, We just said that to trick you so that you wouldn't know we were really coming to the beach. Wasn't that a fun surprise?

He screwed his little face up. He wailed, Why would you trick us? I really wanted to go furniture shopping!

And that is what it is like to be Jakers mom.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh, Barbie Sing-Along.

Today I found myself singing along to a Barbie movie with my daughter. Not just singing along as the movie played, because Veevs had gone to that sing-along section under the extras where they put the words across the bottom for you. Thanks, Barbie. I needed that.

We were singing to The Princess and the Pauper and if you're wondering how it is that my daughter has a Barbie DVD, well, so am I. But there I was, laying down vocals with my seven year old. Vocals like this: "If I want eggs, I snap my fingers, and the maid comes running in." I sang with joy.

After a particularly moving duet, Veevs put her little arms around my neck. Thanks, Mom, she said, I really love singing with you.

And suddenly, it really was joyful to be singing Barbie duets with my daughter.

UPDATE: Lest you think it is all joy and love and singing and Barbie at our house, this morning Veevs wailed to me upon completion of her hair, "Maaaa-uuumm. You braided it!" Like I am the village idiot. So, that's normal.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Do-Nothing Morning

This morning I woke up, and instead of taking on all my full responsibilities (breakfast, chores, blah) I felt like reading.

So I did. I read Haven Kimmel's new book She Got Up Off the Couch, and I loved it. I stayed in bed, leisurely reading. I got up off my bed whenever a child's voice got so strident that it interfered with my concentration. I got up off my bed to get everyone breakfast (cereal in a bag and an offer of a Go-gurt). I got up off my bed to wipe Logan's nose (a dozen times), and I got up off my bed to fetch some toys that would keep Logan happy until nap time. Here's the problem with my love of reading: once Momma starts reading, Momma can't stop reading until the book is finished. So, yes, I neglected my kids until I finished the book.

It was totally worth it.

My kids will look back on days like this (which I cheerfully named a "Do-Nothing Morning" and advocated liberal amounts of television) with fondness (I hope). Maybe they won't. That's okay, too. Modern motherhood, I'm convinced, would be so much more freeing and fulfilling if we would all just admit we're kind of crappy at this, save up money for our children's future therapy, and let it go.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I have not mentioned before (primarily because blog writing has been paralyzed lately by my desire to be both funny and completely inoffensive to every person on the planet--don't worry, I'm over that now.) but almost all my friends here in Montgomery are Korean women. They are all here because Hyundai has a plant here and their husbands have come to work in some related way to the Hyundai plant.

Some of the awesome things about this:

1) They make me Korean food. All the time. Seriously, my calendar is filled up with lunch dates to taste a different Korean delicacy. I like most of the food. They never want me to cook, which is kind of a slam to my cooking, yes? Also, to American food in general. I invited one of my friends to eat lunch ("lunchee!" as she says it) here, and she said, "I cook? I bring food? No, you not cook. I not eat food."). I have to say, it doesn't make me feel like my cooking is valued in the way it should be. In fact, it is just like having my own kids react to my cooking every night at the dinner table.

2) They don't really speak English, so our communication is limited. But also, very, very enlightening. For example, today my friend told me that she no understand heads of foreigns because they no think Korea people and Korea people very difficult understand. I am not sure what this means exactly but I liked the thought, and I nodded wisely as if I understood.

3) I am the token white girl. I never knew this would happen to me, but yet, here I am. And I am reveling in it.

4) They find my little red-headed baby to be the most delightful piece of human flesh ever. But then again, so do I. Do you?

That's pretty much the high points. I like my new Korean friends, and not just because they're my only friends. They are also awesome. You should try the pork. It is delicious.

Giraffes and Such

I am sure that I am the only person still visiting this page, and even I only use it for the links to blogs, but still.

Tonight I was snuggling in my bed with sweet Veevs, who likes to have what we call "Talky Time" with me before she goes to bed. It is, in fact, time wherein we talk. Not much symbolic there.

Anyway. She had a few questions about mating, specifically, how it related to dogs. How, she wondered, could a dog get out of its own, safe, platonic backyard, pair up with a philandering mutt, and then come back pregnant with mongrel puppies? I never shy away from these questions, if I can help it, and while I am also expert at vague and not-so-informational answers ("When two people love each other very much . . ."), tonight it was clear that she wanted science, not platitudes.

So in two or three sentences I bequeathed upon Veevs sexual information that, if used in the right way, could make her queen of the playground (also, hated by other parents).

She thought about that for a minute. Wait, she said, is that the way all animals mate?

Yes, I said.

Another pause. That, she said, must be hard for giraffes.

I laughed until my sides hurt (but did not explain the finer details of the animal kingdom's prowess. Like National Geographic can't do it's share of sex education?).

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Indigenous People

A few days ago we were talking with someone in our church, and he was saying how much the congregation has grown in the last few years. I was half-listening (because this is how I go through much of life), when he dropped this little gem:

"Now the church is really taking off with the indigenous people in the area, which is really neat."

Just whom do you think the indigenous people are in Montgomery, Alabama? Muscogee Indians? Choctaw? Chickasaw? You guys. He was talking about African Americans.

If it weren't so disrespectful of the atrocities of slavery, I might have laughed at the awesome misuse of a word. Instead, I poked Rhett in the back, so he would know I was stupefied by the whole conversation.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hog Wild

One of the strange things about living in this corporate housing arrangement thing is that for the first time in both of our lives we have access in our home to more channels than the basic three. Holy, holy, holy. We are so enamored with it. Why didn't you tell me there were ghost hunting shows? Shows about home improvements (WITH VANILLA ICE!)? Shows about abandoned storage lockers? Shows about Big Foot? This is amazing!

The other night we watched a couple of shows called "Hogs Gone Wild". I was mildly interested in this show, what with the plight of neighborhoods overrun with wild hogs and the night hunting with dogs. Basically the show follows three sets of hog hunters (Texas, Florida, and Hawaii) and shows their struggles as they try to trap the pigs. But when Crystal, a cowgirl in tight wranglers from Texas, launched herself on to the back of a wild hog her dog had pinned by the ear, I was fascinated. And then, y'all, I'm not kidding, it got crazy. Crystal thought that pig was fixing to put the hurt on her dog, and she reached for her hip knife (sheathed in hot pink leather, of course). She knifed that thing in the heart. It was the most primal thing I've ever seen. And I am totally hooked.

Rhett has his dirty secret (The Bachelor) and this is mine: I am hog wild about "Hogs Gone Wild." And I don't even like hunting. Or the outdoors.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I am now an Alabaman. Actually I think officially, I have to live here for a year to be considered a resident, but anyway. I am here. (And, unlike the governor of this fair state, I will consider you my brother or sister even if you aren't Christian. It's this kind of liberalism that gets me in trouble.)

The truth is that I like it here. When I first moved to Texas, I thought the people there were super nice and friendly (as compared to the people in Utah and Las Vegas, my previous places of residence). Holy crap, people, Alabamans make Texans look misanthropic sociopaths. Seriously, these people are so nice. (But maybe only because I'm Christian?)

We are living in temporary corporate housing (a furnished three-bedroom apartment), which is awesome, except for the kitchen, which is tiny. I am not complaining, however, because we are lucky, yes? Lots of people right here in this country would love to have our set-up, and don't even get me started on people in Africa. My point is: no complaints.

Veevs and Spe have been enrolled in the appropriate school. It is supposedly one of the best in Montgomery (and if the amount of homework Veevs came home with is any indication, it is certainly the most rigorous), so that's awesome.

Jakers and I are going to look at a preschool for him in just an hour or two (as soon as baby wakes up from his nap) and then my life will be that much easier.

I am still straightening and organizing and cramming things in nooks and crannies, but the big stuff is done and so I'm off to take a nap.

See, nothing to complain about here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Moving is More Than Just Initialing Papers. Who Knew?

Dear ones, I want to post on this blog, I really, really do. It turns out, however, that contrary to my previous post, my part of this whole moving business has expanded far beyond simply initialing papers.

Rhett said (rather dreamily), "You know, when we leave this house, I want people who are walking through here to think it could be a new home."

I can only tell you that this translates into a lot of work.

And also, why didn't you tell me that I had to practically preview every item in every room so that the movers don't end up moving empty bottles of hairspray and the like?

Also (there are a lot of alsos in this post, no?) because we are living in temporary corporate housing for about two months (or so), I have to pack for that, too.

There is a lot of unanticipated work going on here, and I have successfully sneaked away for the last five minutes, but Rhett's going to figure out that he's flying solo soon and then it's back to the grindstone for me. Good heavens, people. It's like moving is the worst thing ever!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Giving the Business

"Giving someone the business" is one of my favorite phrases. I actually never use it because it's not really one of my favorite phrases, but in the past 24 hours it has caught my fancy, probably because so much business has been given out over here, how could I not suddenly love it?

A recap of business-giving:

Rhett gave me the business because I had not found my cell phone charger from our trip and I didn't pull my laptop out because it was in my laptop bag (this makes perfect sense when you know how lazy I felt yesterday), so I was basically incommunicado. I sat thinking for a few minutes about how this could possibly be Rhett's fault (I am very good at this game, you know), and discarded several possibilities that even I felt were far-fetched ("You were, you know, the one who canceled the home phone over a year ago" and "If you need to talk to me every minute of every day, perhaps you are too attached?"). I finally owned responsibility and apologized, but only as a last resort.

I gave Spe the business because yesterday I specifically told him to go and hang his backpack up on the hook where it goes in the closet where it goes and make sure, sweet son, that you put it, you know, WHERE IT GOES. Of course, this morning there was a mad hunt for a missing backpack which was eventually found in the toy room, which I'm pretty sure is NOT where it goes. The business was given, and then all was forgiven. Until tomorrow's mad hunt.

Baby Logan, who is now a one-year old, gave me the business because I wiped his nose for the fourth time this morning. Apparently, four is the breaking point. I'm trembling because he really needs another nose wipe, but if the business is given at four, how will he escalate at five? Hopefully after a nap we can start the tally over.

I am giving myself the business because I am SO tired, and yet there is a whole room full of things to unpack and toys to find homes for (post-Christmas organization). And THEN I need to start working on getting ready to move. Although Rhett's company is technically moving us, my part of the deal is full of hard work like signing my name to lots of documents! And initialing! Deciding what we need for the next three months! Like clothes! And toys!

I just discovered I must go give a nameless one-year old the business for pulling all the toilet roll off the roll, and a nameless three-year old who just told that same one-year old to "Get your butt out of here!" I'm so busy! Don't feel bad for me!