November 2008

We woke up to a blanket of snow today anddecided we liked getting our tree in the snow last year. So off we went. Asher said, “wa yah tee uh uh,”which translates to,what the heck are we doing? Miles was a wee bit excited.Ryan picked up two trees and weighed the pros and cons. Then he proudly displayed his ability to make a quick choice when it’s cold. Asher really liked the tree Daddy picked. Now we’re at home, the smell of a roasted chestnuts candle in the air,rocking around our newly decorated tree. The End. Thank you for allowing me to pop up in your inbox and for reading my words, silly or serious. I appreciate you. ~Heather

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Calling the Holiday shots

November 28, 2008

This Thanksgiving I was struck with a startling thought. And then I even had an epiphany of sorts. I’m pretty sure it was divine intervention. I’ve noticed something through the years. It seems (and maybe this is just in my circles) that in most families, when it comes to holidays, the wives usually call the shots have the final say on where the family’s time will be spent. There’s usually that whole “compromise” thing, wherein the wife says that the holidays will be spent with her husband’s family the next year, but this often does not happen. She can’t actually bear the idea of not seeing her side of the family when push comes to shove. And husbands are usually a little more…easy-going about these things. Or maybe they’re…less emotional. (Like I said, this is not true in all cases. But it seems that it is in a lot of cases. Or maybe […]

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Beauty in Battles

November 26, 2008

I’m sitting in my Dad’s home office. The boys are at my feet, playing with paper clips. I’m letting them. (I’ll keep one eye on them to make sure they don’t eat them.) Miles could make paper clip chains for hours. I’m all for anything that occupies him for longer than one minute. It’s a busy Thanksgiving week for us, which is turning into a short blogcation for me. Ryan is in North Carolina for work, and I have a funeral to go to here in my home town. A life-long friend of mine lost her dad to cancer this week. It will be a sad day, mixed with the joy of seeing faces that have known mine all these years. My lovely friends and their families. People that know my history and I theirs. I love home. Even if our hard times are heavier for all the memories we share. I want […]

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I can see clearly now

November 25, 2008

Why is it that some people seem to think they’re invisible in their cars? CARS HAVE SEE-THROUGH WINDOWS PEOPLE!!! I pulled up to a stop light yesterday and turned to see a middle-aged, nicely coiffed woman with a beautiful scarf tucked inside her fancy wool coat. She was waiting patiently at the light in her Saab, and passing the time by picking her nose, her long painted fingernail hidden in her nostril for thirty seconds at a time. Sorry. But I’m about to disgust you further… She ate it. Twice. People aren’t always as put-together as they appear, right? I almost vomited right there on my steering wheel. I have no idea why I’m telling you this. Maybe I’ll turn this into a Thanksgiving post by saying, I am SO thankful I don’t do that. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Can you believe I just made you read this? Aren’t you thankful for […]

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MOMS ROCK

November 24, 2008

I’m so excited!!! I had an idea!!! Because MOMS ROCK!!! (By the way, I don’t believe that every woman needs to birth a baby to become that mother.Some mothers adopt, and others simply love and nurture those around them, in or outside their homes.) That said, Moms rock. And because Moms rock, I had this idea. I wanted the things women do to be recognized. At least on a small bloggy scale. I notice so many beautiful things Moms do as I peruse the blogosphere each week. Thing done to nurture, love, inspire, and create. I wanted to find a way (besides in the comments) to tell women that their work is noticed, and that it inspired me. A few months ago I asked moms to answer two questions- what is something you feel you’re doing well as a mother, and what is one area where you feel you’re failing? It was much […]

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He just keeps growing!

November 23, 2008

Miles went on his first solo trip this week. Well no, not ALONE. (Picture that-Miles off by himself, seeing the sights in New York City, hopping on the subway and grabbing a hot dog from a vendor.) But he did go on a little trip without Mommy and Daddy. My sister brought him home with her after she was here for Asher’s appointment on Thursday. He stayed one night at her house with his cousins and another night at Nanny and Bapa’s with cousin Max. He had a great time. When he got home yesterday, I was so excited to see him, I had to hold myself back from running to the car, snatching him out, and hugging him for the rest of the day. Oh, how I love that boy. Being away from Miles was a totally new thing for me. The whole time he was gone I kept thinking I forgot […]

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YOU

November 20, 2008

Last night I went to the Twilight movie with Sabrina of Superfluous, K and K of Waiting for a Little Vlachster, and our friend Mackenzie. Dare I say it was SO entertaining? In the I-can’t-believe-this-is-really-happening-twilight-zone-pun-intended-please-help-me-this-is-so-awful-what-are-we-doing-here kind of way. WOW. That is all I will say. WOW. When I got home, I checked my email before going to bed. After seeing what was there, my head hit the pillow with a big smile on it. Why? Well. I’m in awe of the blogging community. I have made friends that I know I will always have. I have connected with people I’ve never seen before, and feel a kinship to so many of you around the world. It’s an absolutely amazing thing. As we walk through this stressful time with Asher, you guys are seriously astounding me with your selfless acts of kindness! I can’t even really wrap my mind around it all. We’ve received […]

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What you learn while waiting your turn at St. Paul Children’s hospital: 1. Miss Minnesota is a very pretty volunteer. And she’s nice. I’m pretty sure you have to be nice to be Miss Minnesota. I almost snatched the tiara right off her noggin, but I restrained myself. 2.You can wait over an hour past your appointment time and still live. Even if you’re with a one-year-old during his regularly scheduled nap time. 3. Latex gloves make excellent balloons (if you carefully seal the opening around your mouth and blow REALLY hard.) These balloons can entertain your one-year-old for seconds or even minutes. Because you can blow them off your face dramatically, letting them fly across the room, smacking your husband in the groin. Fun for everyone. 4. If you want your child’s name to finally be called, just go to the bathroom and take your sweet time, washing your hands while singing […]

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A File System

November 20, 2008

I’ve been spinning circles all morning, doing all I can to console a miserable little Asher, cleaning up, getting Miles off to preschool, and forgetting to let the dog out. I get all worked up, frantic that I can’t ease the pain for my boy. I’m scattered with a tizzy of thoughts ranging from how many calls I’ve forgotten to make, to worries that something has gotten worse overnight with Asher’s hydrocephalus. He’s just so uncomfortable. Then Ryan makes me laugh. He has the best sense of humor, that husband of mine. He takes Asher for me as I spew something quickly about wanting to change the crib sheets. He sits with Asher in the recliner and they read the paper together. Asher starts to calm, pulling and ripping at the pages while Daddy tries to see over the noggin. I come flying back into the room with a crib sheet thrown over […]

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Hairdresser Infidelity

November 19, 2008

Click on Suburb Sanity below people! You’ve got to see what she put up today. :)How can one person be this funny? That’s what I ask you. When I came across Suburb Sanity;laughing…and still going insane, I knew I’d found a blog to love. Debbie is one of the smartest bloggers on the web, in my opinion. And my opinion counts! And I don’t mean smart like, tricks you into reading her blog no matter what she writes. I mean smart like, she’s that good. Just the right humor with just the right well-written words. Her posts leave me hiding the giggles from my husband every day. (Because it’s kind of weird to laugh hysterically at your computer all by yourself, right?) Go over there and check her out (if you’re WAY behind and haven’t already). She’s just simply excellent! Thank you for being here today, Debbie!__________ I’ve decided one of the hardest […]

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I am terrible at taking a blogcation. I have a couple more guest posters lined up and then I’m back at it all on my own. It must be this way or like I said, my head may explode. Taking a blogcation helped me to see how much I love to write. And even though life is busy, it somehow refuels me to read loads and loads AND LOADS of blogs. You people rock the party. So many of you graciously offered to guest post, and here I am cutting the blogcation short and totally dissing you. (Yes, I just said dissing-because it’s 1994 and I’m totally awesome.) But, I’m keeping the list of all who offered so next time I need to run and hide under a rock, you’ll be the ones I’ll be begging to take over for awhile. Do you know what you can do on blogcation?You can file stacks […]

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Can we escape going ape?

November 17, 2008

Today’s post is brought to you by my real-life friend, Kelly. She blogs over at Waiting for a Little Vlachster. Kelly’s blog has a growing following for good reason. She thinks of the most hilarious things to write about, which means her posts are always loads of fun. She and husband Kyle are waiting for their daughter, coming (hopefully soonish) from China, and Kelly blogs about their life “in the meantime,” while keeping us all up to date on their adoption process.It is because of the way she looks at life that Kelly can turn everyday adventures into great stories. She has a positive perspective and an inspiring attitude. She is one of the most accepting and genuine people I know. I’m so happy she’s posting here on the EO today. Thank you, Kelly!_____________ I am really excited to develop our own Christmas traditions when our daughter from China arrives, in hopefully a […]

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Falling isn’t Failing

November 16, 2008

My heart hurt as I watched my one-year-old struggle to get his body to do what his head was asking. I stood and watched as he slowly made his way across the room. He was crawling, then moving up on his knees, then putting one foot out in front of him in an effort to pull himself up and walk. But his weak little legs wouldn’t let him. He cried out in frustration and looked up at me, his eyes asking me to do something. I smiled at him and told him it was okay, that I knew he would walk soon enough. I see the reasons why he struggles more clearly than he does. I’ve known him since before he was here with us, growing and changing by the day. Because I know him, I know it will take some time for him to walk, and I don’t mind a bit. I […]

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Translation:“And he finds me that way and I love him doing that.And he rocks me aroooound and he rocks me and he rocks me…Daddy can you say YAY?(Daddy cackling)And he rocks me around. No, let’s turn it off.I’m all done.” Before you start to question our parenting abilities (or music taste) let me say that I have no idea where the lyrics came from. I don’t often say “he rocks me.” Not that often anyway. So I’m just not sure. (Also, Miles currently looks about ten. This is a bit of an old video, but I had to share it.) __________We were riding in the car recently and Miles asked about marriage. Kind of.Miles – “But why do they live together?”Me- “Because they’re married.” Miles- “But why?”Me-“You mean why do people get married?”Miles- “Yes.”Me-“Well, people get married because they love each other and it’s a way of making a choice to always be […]

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Translation:“And he finds me that way and I love him doing that.And he rocks me aroooound and he rocks me and he rocks me…Daddy can you say YAY?(Daddy cackling)And he rocks me around. No, let’s turn it off.I’m all done.” Before you start to question our parenting abilities (or music taste) let me say that I have no idea where the lyrics came from. I don’t often say “he rocks me.” Not that often anyway. So I’m just not sure. (Also, Miles currently looks about ten. This is a bit of an old video, but I had to share it.) __________We were riding in the car recently and Miles asked about marriage. Kind of.Miles – “But why do they live together?”Me- “Because they’re married.” Miles- “But why?”Me-“You mean why do people get married?”Miles- “Yes.”Me-“Well, people get married because they love each other and it’s a way of making a choice to always be […]

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Translation:“And he finds me that way and I love him doing that.And he rocks me aroooound and he rocks me and he rocks me…Daddy can you say YAY?(Daddy cackling)And he rocks me around. No, let’s turn it off.I’m all done.” Before you start to question our parenting abilities (or music taste) let me say that I have no idea where the lyrics came from. I don’t often say “he rocks me.” Not that often anyway. So I’m just not sure. (Also, Miles currently looks about ten. This is a bit of an old video, but I had to share it.) __________We were riding in the car recently and Miles asked about marriage. Kind of.Miles – “But why do they live together?”Me- “Because they’re married.” Miles- “But why?”Me-“You mean why do people get married?”Miles- “Yes.”Me-“Well, people get married because they love each other and it’s a way of making a choice to always be […]

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Translation:“And he finds me that way and I love him doing that.And he rocks me aroooound and he rocks me and he rocks me…Daddy can you say YAY?(Daddy cackling)And he rocks me around. No, let’s turn it off.I’m all done.” Before you start to question our parenting abilities (or music taste) let me say that I have no idea where the lyrics came from. I don’t often say “he rocks me.” Not that often anyway. So I’m just not sure. (Also, Miles currently looks about ten. This is a bit of an old video, but I had to share it.) __________We were riding in the car recently and Miles asked about marriage. Kind of.Miles – “But why do they live together?”Me- “Because they’re married.” Miles- “But why?”Me-“You mean why do people get married?”Miles- “Yes.”Me-“Well, people get married because they love each other and it’s a way of making a choice to always be […]

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The Intoxicated Noggin

November 14, 2008

Asher had his MRI today. (Taking a closer look at his hydrocephalus.) Here’s the picture story:We arrived at Children’s and were treated with nothing but kindness.Asher thought the toys were cool. But he didn’t like the big blankets they put on his feet.(They did that to warm them and prepare for the IV.)He tried really hard to take them off. Daddy held him and tried really hard to keep them on.For the most part, Asher just let it all happen, not making a peep.Then they put the IV in and it hurt. Asher cried. So did I. When the medication was administered, he was out in about 4 seconds. That was overwhelming. Because a passed out Asher was then wheeled away on one of these:Good practice for the surgery, I suppose.He came back to us like this:(Looking exactly like his cousin Max and dreaming)When he woke up, he was the funniest drunk baby […]

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Hot, Pink Mess

November 13, 2008

Do you read Write Stuff? The woman behind that blog and this guest post, Melanie J, is so much fun to read! Get over there and “follow this blog.” Melanie is an excellent writer. (I suppose that’s why she writes books.) Every post is more than interesting and always either funny and/or thought-provoking.(Do I put a hyphen between thought and provoking? I’ll have to ask Melanie.) In all seriousness, I love this lady. There’s just something about a girl who has an intimidating talent for writing and keeps it real and hilarious at the same time. Thank you for being here today, Melanie!___________ I’m not socially awkward. I just act like I am 90% of the time. Take the last two days, for example. I have been wandering among the ranks of dozens of New York Times bestselling authors and hundreds of wannabes—like me. Much like lipstick on a pig, I packed my […]

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Let it snow, bro!

November 12, 2008

Look! It’s Becky of On top of the world (or at least really far north), guest posting! We’ve finally worked out the kinks. Becky is authentic, she has a great sense of humor, and I look forward to her posts every day. As she points out below, she and I have been reading each other’s blogs since July. It seems longer to me because she’s a blogger I instantly connected with, and haven’t missed a post since. Welcome Becky, my Alaskan friend! Visit her site, you won’t be disappointed. (No pressure Becky!) _________Wow! This is my first time as a guest blogger. I feel a little nervous. I also feel a little disgruntled that the hair and makeup guys who were present in my guest-blogger daydream (which was oddly similar to “A Makeover Story”) aren’t real. You’d think they’d understand what a big deal this is for me. Sheesh! I did a little […]

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The Waiting Game

November 12, 2008

beep beep beeeeeeeeep…”We interrupt this blogcation for a service announcement”: “You need to pay your fees for this program to keep running.“ Oh wait. NO, you don’t. There are no fees. This is all free. Isn’t that the best part of blogging? I mean, imagine if the price was going up like the movies, we’d all have to quit. Anyway. Poor Becky of On top of the world(or at least really far north). She is so full of wit and insight and yet her guest post refuses to post here on the EO. Or blogger refuses to post it. Error messages are not my friend. So while Becky and I work on making her post postable, I will update you on the EO family, how ’bout that? Asher has not had surgery yet. I was under the impression originally that things would move quickly, but…not so much. He has his MRI on Friday. […]

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The Un-Multi-Tasking Mama

November 11, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am humbled and honored to present The Happy Geek! I don’t remember how I found her, but it was love at first post. The Happy Geek has one of those blogs that you just have to keep reading. It’s insightful and hilarious. HG is honest, smart, and really attractive in a rarely worn black dress. I love a blog that can make me smile and burst out laughing while teaching me something, all at the same time. The Happy Geek is the perfect place for that. So enjoy today’s post from the hilarious and humble, Happy Geek. And don’t forget to visit her. Every Canadian needs some American visitors every now and again, don’tcha know? ___________________________I get to be on Extraordinary Ordinary. How very cool. I have been reading EO since the summer. I love Heather’s thoughtful reflections on motherhood, personhood and finding balance. She has talked a lot […]

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A Conversation Exercise

November 10, 2008

Today’s guest post comes to you from the brilliant Tonggu Momma of Our Little Tongginator. Her blog is always a joy to read as she chronicles daily life with her Little Tongginator, sharing their stories with wit and wisdom. Tonggu Momma often has me in stitches. (She gets herself in lots of trouble-accidentally flashing the babysitter for example. Or almost scaring off trick or treaters with a dead bird.) This lady knows how to tell a story. She keeps it real, expressing the difficulties of grief after the recent loss of a dear friend, and sharing the trials of the bumpy road to adoption. All the while, she sprinkles her words with humor and expresses a great love for her family. She’s an inspiration! So go over and experience the talent of this lovely friend of mine. You won’t be disappointed!___________Hey there, y’all. This is Tonggu Momma here, filling in for Heather during […]

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You better just do it…

November 8, 2008

My priorities are all out of whack lately. They’re so out of whack that I’m not even sure what I mean. But I do know that the addictive nature of blogging is taking a bit of a toll. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop blogging. Remember? I said it’s addictive. And I freaking LOVE it. I love to write. I love to read. You guys rock the party. But I’m still going on a blogcation. Is that what we call it? I think it will be good for me to just pretend it isn’t there for awhile and try to remember what I did with my free time in the past. You know, things like talk to my husband, do laundry, and work out. (Okay I didn’t really work out that much, but I should try it.) I just need a breather, even though I might shake and feel […]

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Feast or Famine

November 8, 2008

Over ten years ago I stood in the city dump in Quito, Ecuador baffled by the stench of garbage and completely disturbed by the fact that people lived there. My heart hurt as the dark side of life sunk in. We were an idealistic group of Americans, and as we crawled out of our van and stood loaded down with loaves of bread, we let the children run to us, their dirty faces smiling. Radiant smiles. Pure joy, confidence, contentment, shone from their faces like headlights angled up a bit too much, blinding with bright. I was the deer in those headlights, dumbfounded and confused, unable to move for fear I might miss something, a clue as to why this awful place held so much happiness. That’s when I began to realize I was the one there to learn something. The aching need I thought would be expressed in those faces wasn’t there […]

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BANG! BANG! BANG!

November 7, 2008

Ready? AIM! FIRE!!! (Prepare for bullet points and while you read imagine popping and cracking and banging sounds cause that’s what’s in my head as I shoot them off. And ignore the fact that I don’t use punctuation that often. Thank you.) Some days I just can’t be patient and calm and easy-going and nice and creative and energetic. Today is one of those days. It’s snowing. I will try hard to find it pretty, but it’s also winter. I’m the kind of stay at home mom that cannot stay at home because we all go crazy but today I have no choice because my mom accidentally left with Miles’ car seat yesterday. So it’s two hours away. Obviously we can’t go anywhere with no car seat. The boys are insane today. Being 3.5 years old is making Miles a big meanie. And Asher has a headache and he’s always tired and I […]

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Life is so tricky. And interesting. And mysterious. And… You get the idea. We went to Asher’s appointment with the neuro-surgeon this morning regarding his hydrocephalus. We learned a lot about this condition after listening to the surgeon for over an hour. (I brought a little recorder, aren’t I a total geek? Why, you ask? Well, not only to be responsible and thorough, but also to prevent the husband/wife post-appointment argument where I say “NO, that’s NOT what he said, he SAID…” and then he says, “Heather, I KNOW he said…” See? Smart wife.) Anyway, I digress. The doctor also asked us a lot of questions about Asher’s history and observed his behavior. He believes that Asher’s hydrocephalus is congenital (rather than being caused by an injury, neonatal issue, or as a result of any other problem.) So most likely, since it’s congenital, it’s all Ryan’s fault. (Yes, of course I’m kidding! Like […]

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The Unspeller Revisited

November 5, 2008

From the archives… In my former life, I was a case manager, working with people struggling with mental illness. I had a favorite (yes, I had favorites!) client named Paul. He was about sixty-five at the time and the spitting image of Yoda. Only his head wasn’t quite as wide… but he was very short and super cute in an odd sort of way. His look was not the only odd thing about Paul. He showed up one cold night at Regions Hospital and ended up in the behavioral health unit (that’s the pc term for the psych ward). It turned out he’d been homeless most of his life and had never gotten caught up in “the system” before the ripe old age of 65. When I got him an apartment through the program I worked for, he had no idea how to live in it. He lined things up all over the […]

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The Noggin Speaks

November 4, 2008

Would you believe that Asher gave me a heart attack this morning? Of course you would. He’s been my 5am alarm clock for months, but today he slept until 7am. When I turned to look at the clock and hadn’t heard a peep from him all night, I panicked. I went to his crib and he popped right up and giggled at me. I was so relieved I nearly squeezed him to pieces. I realize it’s a bit irrational to fear he may never wake up, but I’m as hyper-alert and paranoid as the next mother. Most of the time I find myself strangely peaceful, reassured in the fact that his will be a routine surgery. But here and there I have a moment of fear. These moments sneak up on me on tip toe and trip me up. (How rude.) And now, here’s your real-life peek at Asher, one of the three […]

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The Noggin Speaks

November 4, 2008

Would you believe that Asher gave me a heart attack this morning? Of course you would. He’s been my 5am alarm clock for months, but today he slept until 7am. When I turned to look at the clock and hadn’t heard a peep from him all night, I panicked. I went to his crib and he popped right up and giggled at me. I was so relieved I nearly squeezed him to pieces. I realize it’s a bit irrational to fear he may never wake up, but I’m as hyper-alert and paranoid as the next mother. Most of the time I find myself strangely peaceful, reassured in the fact that his will be a routine surgery. But here and there I have a moment of fear. These moments sneak up on me on tip toe and trip me up. (How rude.) And now, here’s your real-life peek at Asher, one of the three […]

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