Wednesday, November 30, 2011

House Rules

I have been told, on occasion, that we have some very unusual rules at our house.  I'll let you be the judge.  Here are some of the basics:

  1. We only kick the penguin or the ball.
  2. No sword-fighting an unarmed opponent.
  3. Don't climb the television.
  4. You may play with the telephone, but don't call anyone.
  5. The roof of the playhouse is not for climbing on.
  6. Only drop soft things over the balcony.
  7. You are more than welcome to run to your room and slam the door when you're angry.  Just remember that you will have to ask someone to come open it for you since you can't work the doorknob yet.
  8. Leave the diaper on your butt.  It does no good when you wear it around your knees.
  9. If you want to play catch, you have to warn the other person first.
  10. Between the hours of 11:00 and 11:30 am, the television will remain off, since you seem to have an uncanny knack for finding Barney and that horrid purple dinosaur is not allowed in my house.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bad Mommy Mondays

  1. When we go out to eat, I often get Miles a sweet iced tea if I am getting one, too.  It's the only way to ensure that I actually get to drink mine.  But please, feel free to lecture me on the sugar and caffeine content.  Because I'm a complete idiot and don't know.
  2. Miles also gets to eat candy and cookies on occasion.  And by 'on occasion' I mean about once a day.  Juice doesn't seem so bad anymore, huh?
  3. My 2-year-old still uses his pacifier a lot.  But, please, feel free to remove it and listen to him scream with the pain of the two-year-molars.  Just be prepared to take him elsewhere.
  4. No, he isn't potty-trained yet.  No, I don't know when we will tackle that particularly pleasant task.  No, I don't need your advice on how/when/why/where to potty train.  Thank you for your input.
  5. I rarely use time-out with Miles.  Because it's completely ineffective.  And when I do use it, I have to hold him down.  Please stop lecturing me on how to use time-out.  I have worked with children before and I am familiar with the concept.  I just happen to have birthed a particularly stubborn child.
  6. I apologize if your child didn't want that hug and kiss.  Miles tends to be a bit . . . overzealous in his affections.
  7. I apologize if your child did want a hug and kiss and was pushed away.  He's fickle.
  8. Yes, I do respond to simple commands from my two-year-old.  This afternoon, I successfully managed to come, sit, carry, dance, and become a horse on command.  You call it letting him be in control.  I call it . . . yeah, who am I kidding. . .
  9. My son plays with toy guns.  And swords.  And various other weapons.  You think that will make him violent?  Hmmm.  I think there are very few two-year-olds who know not to attack an unarmed person.
  10. Oh, yes.  I noticed that he just jumped off of the chair.  Yes, I know it is three feet off the ground.  Yes, he probably will hurt himself at some point.  Or, he'll learn how to land on his feet without breaking his legs.  Definitely a useful life-skill.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • Getting everything done before the holiday.
  • A toddler with the icky-sickies.  Heavy on the icky.
  • Not enough sleep, and a 2-year-old who can't sleep well in strange places. Like Grandma's house when we were visiting for the holiday.
  • A van that kept flashing low coolant lights all the way home. Even though it had plenty of coolant.


  • 3 relaxing days with family.
  • 3 delicious days of Thanksgiving.
  • A 2-year-old who was positively perfectly well-behaved.  Mostly.
  • Portable DVD players.
  • Did I mention the fantastic food?
  • And the time with family?
  • Time to sleep in. And time to relax at home. <sigh> :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


On this day of Thanksgiving, I have plenty to be thankful for.

My boys - Patrick and Miles.  Without them, I would not be Mom-mom.

My Tribe.  All of my family, and all of my friends who are family.  Whether I see them daily, monthly, or just occasionally, they enrich my life in so many ways.

The Festival.  It has changed my life so completely, and in such wonderful ways.

My life.  I have a warm home, plenty of food, and lots of love.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trucks, Trains, & Balls

Last night, as I lay on the floor, playing with Miles and his Duplo trains, surrounded by balls, and trucks, and I realized that this is my life.

 And dinosaurs.
 And swords.

And all the other wonderful toys that come along with my boy. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have a love-hate relationship with the last hours of our evening.  Putting an active two-year-old down for the night can be trying, at times, and downright exhausting at others.  It is the perfect example of my daily struggle between being too lenient and being too strict.  Do I read him one more book?  Or do I stick to my guns and turn out the lights?  What if he's teething and really just needs the extra comfort?  What if he napped late?  Or not at all?  Should I allow that to affect our bedtime routine?  What if his little nose is stopped up?  Do I give in and carry him around until he passes out?  Or do I insist that he stays in bed?

All these questions, and so many more, whirl through my head each evening.  Some nights, I try to enforce a strict  9:00 pm lights-out.  Other nights, like last night, I follow Miles' cues (to a certain degree) and let him stay up a bit longer in exchange for a happier toddler.

Last night, I played with him for fifteen minutes, read him two books, turned out the lights, sang two songs, and whispered good-night.  I was rewarded with a sleepy "Lubba Mom-mom" [love you, Mom-mom] and a child who went right to sleep.

Now, if only I could get to bed at a reasonable time instead of staying up trying to beat the next level of Angry Birds. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bad Mommy Monday

It's back! And it's a few hours early. :)

Here are this week's entries for the Bad Mommy award:

  1. I laugh hysterically every time my son asks to watch Shrek because it sounds like the f-bomb.
  2. My son loves to play catch and then fall over.  I find it funny to throw the ball at him and watch him collapse.  Hysterical.
  3. Miles will occasionally get huffy and go upstairs to his room and shut the door.  I leave him alone for a few minutes before I go check on him.  I think it's important to allow him a moment to calm himself before I rush after him.  Given his age, I am told this is a bad idea.  But, it works for us.
What can I say?  I've been avoiding judgmental people. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Battles & Blessings

  • A serious case of Zero Motivation.
  • Fighting off some sort of sickies.
  • Zero energy, and vast quantities of lethargy.
  • Trying desperately not to give in to the temptation to leave the television on 24/7.
  • Late mornings, and lazy days.  My off-season is beckoning.
  • Miles is listening and helping out so much more than he did even a week ago.
  • Date day with my hubby yesterday! :)
  • The doctors figured out my mother's dizziness issues and fixed them (mostly).  Big sigh of relief.
  • Thanksgiving is coming up - my favorite holiday!! :D
  • An evening of fun, games, warmth, and stew with friends.
  • An amazing husband who allowed me to sleep in this morning.  Glorious.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Photos - Vacation Edition!

Last weekend, we went to the Ozark Medieval Fortress in northern Arkansas.  Here is a small sampling of the fun we had there. :)

Miles communes with the sheep (or 'Baah-baahs' as he calls them).

Meeting the mule/lawn mower and his handler.

Standing in the arrow slit in one of the towers.

Tossing rocks into a small pool of water that had collected.

A view of a castle-in-progress. Truly amazing.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Current Words & Phrases

Just a sampling of some of Miles' cutest words of wisdom:

Mom-mom? Tiny bita cake, pease? (First words when he woke up this morning) :)

Pop-sickie [popsicle]

Fock [Shrek]

Hej [Over the Hedge]

Uffy/Ah-jeh [Buffy/Angel]

Uh-ooooh (which he says every time something falls)

Cah, pease? [Call, please - he wants to play with the phone]

Orsie [Horse]

Canny [Candy]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Vicious Cycle

It's 1:00 pm, and I am absolutely wiped out already.  My to-do list is so long, I can barely see the end of it.  Last night, after Miles (finally) went to bed, I managed to check off two of the most urgent items before falling in bed somewhere just shy of 1:00 am.  I woke early this morning, in an effort to get more done, and managed to do a load of dishes before Miles awoke.  Then, we ran errands, as I fought to keep my child entertained and free from meltdowns.  Now, we're home, and he's napping, and all I want to do is fall asleep, too.  But my to-do list is still so very long, and if I nap, now, it will only get longer, and I will again be up late, fighting to make some progress.  And then, I'll feel the need to nap tomorrow, and fall further behind.


Sometimes, adult-hood sucks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • My mother has been in the hospital all week due to unexplained, long-term vertigo.  She is better than she was, but there are a ton of tests in her future.
  • My PPA kicked my butt a couple of days this week.  Little things can send me into a tailspin.
  • Trying not to blow our budget, even though I was stuck in a super Wal-Mart for two and a half hours while they fixed my car. Not so successful there. . .
  • Energy.  Even when I am well-rested, I can barely keep up with Miles some days.
  • Mommy-guilt reared its ugly head again.  Nothing new there.


  • Evenings spent with my family, cuddling, watching television, working on projects, or simply being in the same space.  Positively beautiful.
  • Branson with our core family/friend/Tribe/Kumpania this weekend.  And beautiful weather to enjoy it.
  • Being reminded of a favorite prayer that I hadn't thought of in awhile.  Quite inspirational.
  • A husband who loves me unconditionally, and protects me no matter what.
  • A son who loves me unconditionally, and whose laugh makes my heart feel full.
  • Projects.  And the beginnings of Christmas shopping.  And other me-time activities. 
  • Lunch yesterday with Andrea and her darling children.  Absolutely what I needed.
  • A renewed confidence that I can continue each day, even when it feels like I'm slipping.
  • Long conversations with my husband.
  • A restored sense of peace and contentment.  I am re-finding my balance.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Photos!

Dinosaur vs Elephant in Extreme Jousting

Practicing ABC's with Daddy


Mommy's happy boy. :)
We are off to Branson for two days of relaxing, quiet fun.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


A few evenings ago, we loaded up the Boy and drove to a nearby park.  The air was warm, with just a hint of chill in the breeze.  We all wore jackets, but Patrick and Miles probably could have been just fine without them.  As they chased each other in lopsided circles, occasionally sword fighting, or tossing a ball, I lagged behind, breathing in the perfect weather, and the beautiful autumn colors.

 And sighed again at the passing of the seasons.  I will miss these spontaneous excursions, and the breaks by the waterside.

Oh, Autumn, how bittersweet you are. . .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I have come to a startling discovery:

Patrick and I are terrible at naming toys.  Like, ridiculously awful.  It's a miracle that Miles wound up with a decent name.  Let me give you some examples:


is Bear.  This:

 is Horse.  And this:
is Pillow Pet.

We have two teddy bears named Bear, two dinosaurs named Dinosaur, two dolls named Baby, and assorted Duck, Whales, and so on.

We really suck at this whole toy-naming thing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


No, not potty training.  Mommy training.  I now respond to the following commands from Miles:

  • Mom-mom! Come!
  • Sit!
  • ABC!
  • Look! Airtane!
  • Mom-mom! Park!
  • Walk!
  • Carry.
  • 'top it!
  • Dance!
Yes, training is coming along nicely. 

Monday, November 7, 2011


Today, I woke refreshed from a peaceful sleep.

Today, I jumped out of bed, full of energy and ambition for the day ahead.

Today, my mind is clear of the fog that sometimes invades it.

Today, my body is clear of the lethargy I often fight.

Today, I am awake.  And whole.  And happy.

And I fear that tomorrow will be different.

This is my on-going battle.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Litany of Cuteness/Awesomeness

A random list of a few of the cute/awesome things Miles has been doing:

  • Saying his ABC's at random moments.  He consistently misses about five of the letters, but he is 25 months old and knows his alphabet! I'm good with teaching him that there are letters between L and P.
  • Also, he recognizes every letter by sight, and will say them when he sees them.  He confuses E & F, and has trouble deciding if an N is actually a Z on its side, but again he's only 25 months old.
  • He now builds towers as tall as his head with whatever blocks/toys/random objects he can find.
  • Drawing and coloring, then pointing at the scribbles that look vaguely like letters and naming them.  
  • Climbing on the back of his rocking horse and jumping off.  Just like the jousters at Festival.
  • Randomly running into people's legs and falls over with a dramatic 'oof'.
  • Looking at the person that he ran into and saying, "Stop it!"
  • Stringing words together into somewhat-intelligible sentences.  For example: "Ki-ey go dunsair" [Kitty go downstairs], or "Mama, ook! Big chuk!" [Mama, look!  Big truck!]
  • Sword-fighting with anyone who is armed with a wooden sword.
  • Arming guests with a wooden sword the moment they enter the door. 
  • Knocking on his bedroom door when he's ready for us to come get him in the morning.
  • Giving overly-dramatic kisses. "Mmmmmm-waaaaaah"
  • Asking for "Emmo" [Elmo] and "Uff-ee" [Buffy] with equal regularity.
  • Helping carry things.
  • Holding my hand at random moments (and of course when we're in parking lots, etc.).
  • Asking very clearly for "can-nee" [candy].
  • Rushing to see "Gampa" Maestro at the office. :)
  • Roaring like a dinosaur.
  • Crashing his cars/trains/random other toys together repeatedly.
  • Putting his action figures on dinosaur- and elephant-back and jousting them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Power of Books

Books have always had a major impact on my life.  I honestly don't remember learning to read.  In my memory, I have always had the ability - and the absolute, physical need - to read.  Books move me in ways that little else can.  They make me think.  They transport me.  They force me to analyze the thoughts, feelings, experiences, motives of people beyond my immediate circle of friends/family.*

Beyond that, though, they remove me from the world for awhile.  They alter the way I think about things.  When I read a book about a dog with an almost-human understanding of language, I wondered for weeks whether my pets really understood more than I could imagine.  It's fascinating, and wonderful.  And sometimes, mildly frightening.

Because I really can lose myself in the world of a book.  While work beckons, and projects sit unfinished, my mind returns time and again to the world that only exists inside of the pages of my latest novel.  It consumes me, making it impossible to concentrate fully, until I finally close that back cover with a sigh of relief, knowing that the certainty of the ending will allow me, once more, to return my focus to the real things I need to do.

This pull is even stronger when the story arc is continued throughout multiple books.  If the story is particularly compelling, I can whiz through a series in a matter of days.  And when reality interferes with my quality time with that series, it is almost painful to resist the pull of the written word.

Books affect me.  And change me.  And fulfill me.  And though I feel guilty admitting it, sometimes, I know that I am not alone.

*I really need to invent a new word that means friends/family - a term that encompasses all those I love and care about that I consider family, whether they are related by blood, by marriage or by choice.  More on that later, I'm sure. . .

In case you're wondering this post was inspired by the Hunger Games series.  They really are fantastic, but a word of warning: set aside a weekend to read through them all.  Because you won't want to put them down.  Promise.