August 2009

Monday~August 31st, 2009The boys and I absolutely love to read picture books. I have a bit of an addiction to them, and love to hear of new authors and titles that I haven’t come across. So thank you all for your recommendations in the comments of this post. We’ve added some new favorites to our library, and we’re not even done working our way through your suggestions quite yet. I’ve compiled a list of the books we’ve read (or had already read) so far from your comments. I’ll do another post with more after we’ve made more trips to the library to read them. Obviously not all the recommendations were available when we looked for them the first couple of times. So, if you don’t see your recommendation, it will be coming in the next installment (I’ve only added the ones we’ve found so far in this installment.)The following has been painstakingly alphabetized […]

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It’s aaalmooost perfect

August 30, 2009

Sunday~August 30, 2009 The computer I use is in our kitchen. I’m rarely alone while at the computer, and let me tell you this…it’s almost never quiet when I’m at the computer. So I had this grand idea to use some open space in our bedroom to create a little office just for me. With a door. Our bedroom has a door, so I thought that would be cool. We’ve been keeping our eyes open for a desk of some kind and yesterday we hit the jackpot at a garage sale. So now I have a desk. Wanna see? I’ll need to clean it up a bit and slap on some new hardware, but I love it. It’s handmade and sturdy and purty. Just like me! Wait…forget that. Anyway. There is just one tiny little problem, which may have contributed to the exceptional price. Wanna see? Um…yeah. I realize this is a terrible […]

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5 Years of Sainthood

August 28, 2009

Friday~August 28, 2009 In an effort to give my husband just the right gift for our anniversary, I went to the store to pick up everything I would need for cupcakes. The man loves his sweets. I was checking out with my ingredients and the very young cashier said, “It looks like you’re making something.” So I told her that I was making cupcakes and she asked if it was someone’s birthday. Very inquisitive young lady, yes? I explained that they were anniversary cupcakes and she said, “Oh, is this your first anniversary?” “No, it’s our fifth.” “Oh…were you high school sweethearts or something?” Ah, bless her curious little heart. She thinks I’m in my twenties. Maybe even my early twenties. “No, no. We were both about 30 when we got married.” Blank stare. So there you have it. She thought I was really young. Then suddenly, she thought I was really old. […]

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Just One Word

August 27, 2009

Thursday~August 27th, 2009 I think the required training I attended was on tolerance. I was in social work at the time, so we had to fulfill a certain number of hours of training on topics regarding human relationships every year. To be honest, most of these sessions totally stunk, but I enjoyed this one. We professionals sat around the room in a semi-circle and were asked by the instructor to choose a one word description of ourselves. We were then asked to say it out loud, just that one word. The person next to me started. Then it was my turn, and because I had recently become one, I said “Mother.” The man that had started the exercise stopped the process by abruptly chiming in with, “Oh! That was a good one.” That struck me funny so I responded just as abruptly with my nervous laugh. My nervous laugh is loud. Everyone shared […]

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Opposites Attract

August 26, 2009

Wednesday~August 26th, 2009 Asher had a very long doctor’s appointment today. We saw his regular pediatrician and talked at length about what to bring up at his appointment with his neurosurgeon in a couple of weeks. We also talked about his eyesight and made an appointment for him to see a pediatric eye doctor in a couple of weeks. There’s concern that he’s having some vision issues due to the alignment of his eyes, and because he regularly mistakes one object for another. (And because hydrocephalus can cause some issues with eyesight.) I for one think that Asher would be adorable in glasses… After the appointment we headed home and while the boys napped, Ryan and I packed and got ready for he and the boys to take a trip up north together. Without me. (Cue dramatic music.) They woke up and my three boys piled in the van. I saw them off […]

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You take pictures in a mirror… and then you try to capture your child in the shot while hoping it will look artsy… while playing peek-a-boo… and standing on the toilet,totally confusing said artsy shot child. 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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The Witching Hours

August 23, 2009

Sunday~August 23, 2009I’m helping Asher because he’s eating a snack right before dinner and it’s messy and it’s everywhere. I take a towel and wipe his face and the towel gets all gooey so I throw it down the stairs. I’ll wash it later with the rest. I pick him up and think about how heavy he’s getting and we wash silky smooth hands at the kitchen sink. He starts to say fish, fish, fish, over and over while he watches the fish in the window above the sink. I need to feed the fish, I think. He’s begging and so I say no gum you just had some, as I pinch fish food. He cries with that deep crinkling line between his brows and my heart hurts but he still just had gum. There’s a mess on the floor from the late snack so I sweep it. I hurry because I hear […]

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Say What You Need To Say

August 21, 2009

Friday~August 21, 2009 We’ve been waiting for words. He’s been waiting for words. He’s still screaming and stomping, frustrated with our not reading his mind. We’ve been guessing and shrugging and apologizing for not knowing. We’ve been explaining his non-response to strangers with, “He’s not quite into talking yet.” We’ve been waiting with the doctor who said his words aren’t enough, we’ll see. The words are still a bit stuck in his throat. But he’s finally trying. A little. Scuuuse-E, he says as he tries to squeeze by. Mmm–hummm, he agrees and UH EH, he protests. And then just like that, he said two things that make the waiting the easiest thing I’ve ever done. ASH…ER, he said as he pounded his chest and grinned. ASH…ER, spoken like two words,two perfectly clear little brilliant words. Then later, as I carried him to bed, nuzzling my nose in his neck.Honey, I love you, I […]

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Thursday~August 20, 2009 We Minnesotans (and former Minnesotans) have a lot in common.When we meet, we almost always have at least one mutual friend.We have (or had) the accent. MINNAHSOHTAHMany of us are blue-eyed blondes (or former blondes).And some of us blog.And then we meet.And it’s good. Meet Sara (in the middle) of Domestically Challenged.And then meet (on the right) Beth of Manic Mother. We met for dinner the other night.We talked like we’ve known each other always.Which means we talked a lot, and it was good. Uff da! Beth is no longer living in Minnesota (not for now anyway) so she’s here for a visit. I’m so glad I got to meet her. She has two boys that are the same ages as Miles and Asher (4 and 2). She brought her 4 year old along on this trip, but she couldn’t bring her 2 year old Ezra. He’s the beautiful boy […]

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Weird: A Picture Story

August 19, 2009

WEIRD: A PICTURE STORY Asher realizes something crazy is going on behind him,some kind of weird, dressed up madness… He can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with these people,but he knows…there’s obviously something wrong… He thinks on it, while the strange beings eat… And then he notices the chips beside him, so he eats instead of thinking… While eating he takes a moment to look down… Weird, he thinks. I’m wearing navy blue socks and green shoes…with shorts!!! Oh my…Where’s my Spiderman costume?And um…who dressed me like this? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We’ve had a fun-filled day of web-shooting and laughing and adventuring with Cousin O. (If anyone can guess what the ‘O’ stands for…well, I’ll seriously be shocked. It’s a uniquely lovely name…but I bet you can’t guess it.) P.S. I promise I won’t put socks with Crocs tomorrow. You’re welcome. UPDATE: Fine, I’ll tell you! He’s OTIS! And he rocks. Thank you for allowing […]

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The Stages

August 18, 2009

Tuesday~August 18, 2009 I have to admit something. I don’t really know very much about shunts. This contraption is IN MY CHILD’S BRAIN, and I don’t really know much about it at all. I know that we have the very best pediatric neurosurgeon, and I know that he puts me at ease every time we see him. I know that the shunt is a valve, opening and closing depending on the amount of fluid in Asher’s brain. And I know the shunt can malfunction for a number of reasons, but I don’t really know what all of them are. I’ve never googled “shunt malfunction.” I was too scared. I’ve been pretending that ever since Asher had surgery, he’s…well… fixed. Or at least a part of me is pretending that. Of course, when he vomits or seems exceptionally tired I think about a malfunction, but that doesn’t happen very often. For the most part, […]

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August 17, 2009

Monday~ August 17, 2009 We’ve been away. A long drive not making good timeto the cabinLaughing over I Spyand having treats Small stretched legs randiscovering and standing in awe Fresh airwalks through the treesand adventures down Main Street An afternoon movieduring a child’s long napCrease lines on faces fresh awake Restless nights in not-our-bedsSmall knees pressed close to my sideunder coversExhausted sighs in the night Early morning risesand a puzzle done in three hours There, at the cabin. Out to eat and then eat some more Rain on the roof and in the grassMud on our shoes and clothesChange the muddy shorts outsideand move on Nanny’s hugs and kissesBapa’s pocket with pencil and gum French toast and coffeeand then catching up on books Hard work, itching for releaseEscaping It’s good to get away. I tilted my head just like Miles doeswhen he stops to really think,my chin down just somy eyes wide and […]

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For My Friends

August 13, 2009

Thursday~August 13, 2009 I’ve always had amazing friends. For as long as I can remember, very faithful friends. These are the kind of friends that become family as they fluff their pillows and hang their memory pictures right here in my heart. There are a number of women in my life that came along a long time ago. They’re still here in their very own heart spaces, shaking out the dusty rugs below their memory pictures every so often. No matter what else they’re doing here, they’re mostly turning on lamps in the dark spaces and speaking a language only we know. The night before one of my friends got married, she gave me a card that said, “Tomorrow is happening largely because of you.” She wrote about how our friendship had taught her that a person can see the beautiful and the ugly, really see it, in someone else, and then that […]

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I want to fix you

August 12, 2009

Wednesday~August 12, 2009 Most of what I remember from when my boys were babies is a blur with flashes of emotion. I hate forgetting even the things that I try so hard to relish. Some of the things I do remember, I should probably forget, but then again, I don’t want to forget the things that hold us tight together for the enduring of them. With Miles I remember one particular day with crystal clarity. We were taking a nap when I woke up to strange gurgling and choking sounds. He was vomiting in his sleep, eyes slowly pulling themselves open, a look of nothing on his face. I sat up and turned him on his side and more and more the gasping and choking came, covering ourselves and the bed in wet. I picked him up and it just kept happening. I walked to the neighbor’s, asking if I was being a […]

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Tuesday~August 11, 2009 The insides of my cheeks are really fat. I can hardly rest my top teeth on my bottom teeth because I end up biting my fat cheeks. It’s annoying. Just last night I bit my cheek while I was sleeping and it woke me up. Apparently I feel that this is exceptionally interesting blog fodder. While I’m at it… I only grow hair in one armpit. I’ve never grown hair in the left. No idea why. Sometimes I wonder if it’s growing and growing and growing under the surface. (Yes, I’ve asked the doctor. Something about no hair follicles in that part of my body.) It does save shaving time, which is how I see the silver lining around being this weird. I broke the middle toe on my right foot once, right after I saw that Charlie’s Angels movie with Cameron Diaz in it. I was trying to do […]

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Monday~August 10, 2009 What kind of cat is your favorite chocolate bar? KIT KAT!What kind of cat is connected to the engine of your car? CATALYTIC CONVERTER!What kind of cat hangs out with Batman? CAT WOMAN!What kind of cat facilitates a chemical reaction? CATALYST!What kind of cat is a great big disaster? CATASTROPHE!Those are just a few of my favorite lines from a song called What Kind Of Cat Are You. I wrote a post a few months ago, asking what non-crazy-making children’s music you listen to. The comment box filled with excellent ideas and I thought, Oh yes, another reason I love blogging, a never-ending sea of information from smart and lovely people, right at my fingertips. Anyway, I printed out all the suggestions and the boys and I went to the library. We had such a good time looking for all the new music that we’d learned about, but I was […]

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It’s that time…

August 8, 2009

Saturday~ August 8, 2009 There’s a possibility that my friend Susan thinks my house is some kind of catastrophe-inducing vortex. She and her two boys were over last night, both of our husbands were busy, so we decided to have a movie night together. Of course, four boys under 5 years of age don’t actually just sit and watch a movie. But it was Friday and Susan and I were tired, so we had high hopes for an opportunity to sit at the table, eat, have some wine and talk. We were making the mistake of desperately hoping that our four small boys would sit quietly and watch a movie. You know, for two full hours or so. But it wasn’t to be. I know, shocking. We tried, we really tried. We would start a conversation, standing in the kitchen and peeking in on the boys, wherever they had roamed, every few minutes. […]

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Friday~August 7, 2009 Controversial, confrontational, argumentative… things I’m usually not. I guess I don’t really have a problem with butting heads just a little, and I don’t mind when people have a perspective that’s different than mine, I just don’t like the feeling that takes over my gut when there’s a loss of respect. When I watch people totally not hear the person they’re arguing with, all stubborn and pig-headed. So I don’t really like bringing up topics that make that happen. If only everyone could act like a grown-up, take turns, be kind, and play nice. You know, with some true respect. But people don’t often do that. What usually happens is that one or the other holds so tightly to their perspective that they just simply cannot help but get all fired up, shutting their ears and heart down in the process. Of course, I’m guilty of this too at times, […]

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The Beach One

August 6, 2009

Thursday~August 6, 2009 If we get enough heatwe head to the beach our friends they look likean old picturein the beautiful hatand soft colorsat the beach I love old pictures The weeks are flying bybut sometimes the daysare very slow Not when we’re at the beachThe happy makes the day fast And from my viewI drink in the sightsand Asher tries to drink the lakeand I say stopthat’s yuckyso he eats sandand I say stop but mostlyI just drink in the sights Our friends are familyand we look out for each otherand we laughand we sayto each other’s childrenDON’T THROW SANDand that’s OKbecause we’re family the beachit speeds the dayfor the wanting to keep it goinguntil we strugglewith sand on skinreleasing it to the carhoping for more heattomorrow Nothing gets doneof the to-doand we are unpluggedwith our familyand drinking the dayat the beach Thank you for allowing me to pop up in your […]

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Wednesday~August 5th, 2009 I have this amazing friend. I met her right here in my kitchen almost two years ago. She is one of those people that has this way about her, a grace and charm I wish I had the words to describe. She inspires, that’s what she does, not only with her paintings and writings, but simply by being who she is. She’s beautiful, with her radiating smile and heart. On top of all that, she’s the kind of woman that is so down to earth and real, you can’t even hate her for all that other stuff. She just gets you, with her open mind and sensitive spirit. I’ve gotten to know this woman through her words, and even though we’ve never met outside the computer in my kitchen, I love her. I want to tell you (and show you) what she did for my family. I go out to […]

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In Your Eyes

August 2, 2009

Monday~August 3rd, 2009 Sometimes I don’t know how to keep up with his incessant questions, his intensity, or his volume. But most of the time, I revel in his imagination and innocence. This weekend, we played I Spy on the way to a movie, and then we car danced. One good song after another flooded the speakers above our four wheels, so we took turns calling out body parts in which to shake… Shoulder dance! (shimmy shoulders to the beat.) Finger dance! (wiggle fingers to the beat.) Elbow dance! (flap your elbows to the beat, like a chicken dance!)……. We watched the movie in 3-D, and we jumped when animation sprung itself at our special glasses. Then we had ice cream. On the way home, at a light, I turned to look at him and saw his wind-blown and sandy hair, his big and happy blue eyes. They are so bright, those eyes. […]

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