Monday, April 28, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
You'll never guess.
It's called "My Beautiful Mommy" and it's written by a plastic surgeon to help alleviate children's fears when their mommy comes in for a "mommy makeover" - a tummy tuck and breast enlargement combo. (A combo!)
I have so many thoughts about this that it is hard for me to put them all into words, but I'm going to try. Our society has such an obsession about looking a certain way. Why do so many people want to look like twenty year olds who don't have kids? Twenty year olds who are hungry all the time and cold, too, because they aren't wearing enough clothes and have no protective fat layer. Except on their breasts. But it's fake fat, so it doesn't keep you warm.
I don't know about you, but being twenty wasn't half as much fun as being thirty. And while being single was sorta fun (I guess - I wasn't "single" that long), it's nothing compared to how great it is to be a wife and mother. I love my husband, and having kids together is the best thing we have ever done. It's a blast to be parents. Our kids are our greatest joy. Why would I want to erase the effects of the best thing I've ever done?
The other thing is that how do people with little kids, kids who read picture books, how do these people afford plastic surgery? It's expensive. Just a thought, but I'd love to see some research on this: How many of these "mommy makeovers" are on working moms who's kids are in daycare? How many of these "mommy makeovers" are paid on a credit card? And a year after, or five years after, how many of those mommies still have flat tummies?
Because in thirty or fourty years, guess what? We will all be senior citizens. And you can get your fat sucked out and your face lifted and implants put in your but so it doesn't sag and hair put back in if yours falls out and all this work won't ever make you happy if you can't be happy just the way you are right now. And all this work on your body won't matter when your body ages to the point that you can't do anything about it anymore. It's who you are that is important, not what you look like. Or what age you look like.
And what message does this send to our kids? Our little girls who are starting to mature and are unhappy with their changing bodies? Are we still going to try and teach them to love themselves just the way God created them? Are they going to get that message with a book like this on their shelf?
Things like this bother me most when I consider the little girl in Samuel's preschool class who was diagnosed with leukemia last month. Her world, and her parent's world, just turned into a surreal nightmare of hospitals and doctors and long words that they don't understand and blood transfusions and fear of infection and chemotherapy and bad days and worse days and counting the days . . . . . I hug my kids and let them snuggle into my flabby tummy and almost weep with gratitude.
I think instead of a flatter tummy and bigger boobs, these women need new eyes. They need eyes that can see how blessed they are. They need eyes to see how much better their lives are because they have grown older, have grown babies inside of them, have laughed so much that their faces are lined with wrinkles. They need eyes to see themselves as beautiful, just as they are today.
Rant over. Thanks for reading. Comments always welcome.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
While restocking the bookshelf after the carpet was installed -
Me: "We have a copy of Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Did you know that? Foxe's Book of Martyrs!"
Him: "Yeah." (as in, Duh.)
Me: "Have you read it?"
Him: "Yeah." (as in, Duh, I own it, of course I read it.)
Me: (long pause as I take this information in) "I love that about you!"
Yarn is Berroco's Comfort in Sachet Mix (I used 3 full skeins, and a few yards from a fourth skein)
Monday, April 21, 2008
The flip side is much prettier: I've stopped compulsively buying books. I've started to give books away, too. The bookshelves are not filled to bursting. Somehow, this completely justifies my library craziness. (My mind can be a dangerous place.)
In other news, I finished Clapotis last night (while watching Becoming Jane, which ended sadly and was FANTASTIC and I highly recommend it), and it is pretty. I have some ends to weave in, and then I'll try for some pictures. I've had a great morning - got the kids off to school and went to home depot to (finally) buy the wood for the new planter box for the backyard. I even had the foresight to have them do all the cutting at the store, and five foot boards fit in the car SOOOO much better than ten footers. Plus, now I don't have to use the power saw. I only have to use the drill and the power screwdriver, which I think we can all agree are much less dangerous than the power saw.
Now I'm off to finish up some little jobs before the kids get home from school. Happy Monday!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
We did go swimming on Friday, although I don't think what I did can technically count as swimming. Sally and Samuel went swimming. I walked in the shallow end and gasped repeatedly. It was very cold.
The TV came back on Thursday, and while the problem is fixed, there is now a new problem. Fortunately, this one is managable until it gets fixed, so we have a functioning TV. The kids have been celebrating the return of the Wii games.
I have been celebrating the return of the most effective reward and punishment system in the house: the Wii games. (The kids love and hate this, by the way. Works great. Got my kitchen floors cleaned today with the Wii Rewards System. I should write a book.)
Sally's soccer team won their game on Saturday, and it was all quite exciting.
Today, while driving home from the airport, I had an epiphany. I did not consult any map before driving to the airport, and I even know which lane I need to be in and at what time. I know how to get home. I know all these freeways: the 5, the 55, the 91, the 57, the 405, the 605, the 10, the 60, the 15. I know how to get to the three major airports (SNA, ONT, LAX) without looking at a map. (I knew the abbreviations to those airports without looking them up, too.) I know how to get to Disneyland, Angels Stadium, and the Honda Center - by freeway and by surface streets. That's when it hit me: I should know all these things because I have been living in Southern California for twenty years.
Twenty years. Where has the time gone?
Friday, April 18, 2008
five ducks in my pool.
I called the kids, who were thrilled. Sally and I got our cameras (always ready for a bloggable moment) and that's when I realized that two of the ducks were fighting. "Oh no, they are fighting over something," I said.
"No," Sally said, "I think those ducks are mating."
And she was right. There was one female duck and four male ducks, and three of them mated with her. In our pool. In front of us. (Now that I think about it, that other one may have done the deed before I got out there.) Nature can be brutal, but she's a great teacher.
After a few moments, I told the kids to head to the door because I was going to chase the ducks away. They spooked pretty easily, and all five took off quickly and splashed the kids on their way out. They haven't been back. (Then I went and turned on the super chlorinator and threw in some muratic acid for good measure. Crazy ducks.)
About four or five days after this, I was in the front washing my car and my neighbor asks me if we'd had any ducks in our pool. He told me to be sure to chase them out right away, because he had a family of ducks that came back every year in the spring to live in his pool and he could not get rid of them. I told him I let the kids watch them for a few minutes then I chased them off. He was glad to hear it.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I was fortunate to go on a weekend where my Uncle Paul, who lives in Colorado, was also there for the weekend. My Aunt Kathy lives in the same town, so we had a great time playing cards and talking and laughing. (For those of you who don't know, Paul and Kathy are my dad's brother and sister. I had to explain to Sally several times that they are not married to each other. She finally got it.)
We took the kids to the dollar store to buy some stuff, then to the park:
We went to lunch with some of my parent's friends. We had birthday cake to celebrate my dad's birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad!) and my uncle's birthday (Happy Birthday, Uncle Paul!). We went fishing:
and caught not one thing, but it was fun anyway.
Now I'm home doing the laundry (I don't care how long I'm gone - I always have a laundry day when I return. It's just like going to Costco and no matter what, you end up spending $100. It's inevitable.) and Samuel and I washed the car because it had about a million dead bugs smeared over the front hood & windshield. I've been thinking that I don't think I could live in Arizona. It's so dry there. I think I'd pick a place like Seattle, with all that rain and coldness, over Arizona any day. The desert is beautiful, and my parents have a great view off of their back porch, and there are quail and bunnies every morning to watch, but I just can't handle the dry heat. Also, I've been thinking that I love to travel, but I love coming home even more. I'm such a homebody these days. I was drying my car and feeling such a calming peace about being home when it made me think of heaven. If coming home to this house and my stuff that makes me feel comfortable and safe feels this good, can you imagine how great and overwhelming it will be when the peace of coming home to heaven sinks in? And - no laundry!
Here's a few more pictures. First, self-portrait at the park:
Next, Samuel and Grandpa:
Samuel is holding one eye closed to aim while he shoots his toy gun. He lost one of the suction cup darts in a tree within fifteen minutes of being at the park. Dad and I turned to each other and exchanged a look, sighed, and he said, "Well, that's a good lesson."
Finally, the kids goofing off at the dock: Mom, Uncle Paul, Aunt Kathy - if you have any good pictures, email them to me (mommychew (at) hotmail (dot) com) and I'll put them up.
TV update: Now the nice guys at the repair shop say it is the TV's power source that doesn't work, and just my luck - this is the same price to fix as the board. So we've ordered up a new power source (no idea what that means, by the way) and are waiting to see if that fixes the problem. The kids keep walking past the empty spot where the TV usually sits and sigh loudly. Samuel's having Wii wthdrawals.
Next post - ducks in our pool. This is a great story. Stay tuned!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Samuel: "We learned about habitats!"
Me: "Habitats? Really? That's neat. So what is a habitat?"
Samuel: "Um, exercise."
Samuel: "And vegetables! Eat your vegetables!"
Me: "Oh! Habits!"
Samuel: "Yeah. That's what I said."
Samuel: "Q-TIPS! That's another healthy habit!"
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Yep. My morning has been thwarted. It started with an alarm going off inside my headphones that were not on my head, and thankfully that only made us rush around, but nobody was late. It continued with a car that did not pass smog. It finished me off with a tv repairman, armed with a brand new board for our tv, which he installed and sadly did not fix the problem. He un-installed it, put the old one back in for it was indeed still good, took a bunch of stuff apart and checked all the fuses, and then told me the problem was that the fans (three of them) were not turning on and he didn't know which board needed to be replaced or how much it will cost and they have to call the manufacturer to find out and will call me back.
This means I've spent my entire morning doing stuff that has no positive results, and I'll likely spend a big chunk of my afternoon calling the TV repair guys and bothering them until they have an answer for me. (Sadly for them, I don't believe them when they say they will call me back, so I call. And I call. And I call again.)
I don't know whether to give up and go outside and pound on the pile of bricks or try and redeem the day with good knitting. Maybe a game of spider solitare and a glass of water will clear my head. . . . .
UPDATE: TV has been picked up to do the repairs in the shop . . . I'm thinking this can't be good . . . . I have made it very clear that I do not approve any repairs until I have the cost in writing . . . . . I hear more tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Recipe by Sheila at musingsofamommy.blogspot.com
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour (or bread flour)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 cup egg product (like eggbeaters)
1 cup sugar
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
¾ cup orange puree** or applesauce
½ cup vegetable oil
8 oz package cream cheese
Chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans), optional
Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together except cream cheese and nuts. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Put 1-2 tsp cream cheese in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools, as it is very very hot. Makes 24 muffins.
* “Super-Duper” is a relative term and is not regulated by any government agency that we know of. In this recipe, “super-duper” refers to the more nutritional ingredients in this modified version – less oil, less sugar, more fruits and vegetables, and whole wheat flour. The author of this recipe would like to add that she has no intention of modifying the cream cheese, and using a low-fat cream cheese would, in her humble opinion, sacrifice taste and texture. Do so at your own risk.
**Orange puree is a mixture of cooked yams and carrots pureed in the food processor until smooth. I steam them until they are very soft, and then puree with some of the water left in the bottom of the steamer pot. Orange puree can be added to tomato sauces and baked goods. I got the idea for using orange puree from The Sneaky Chef, Missy Chase Lapine.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
New board gets here on Tuesday or Wednesday.
I made some suggestions about maybe doing without the tv, but the man and the kids looked at me like I was speaking greek. When I suggested perhaps a smaller tv, our mobile phone conversation suddenly was dropped. Oh well. Who am I kidding? I love that tv as much as the rest of them.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
The big TV is broken. We will find out how badly she's broken tomorrow, as I spend four hours waiting around for the repairman to come over. At least I've got something good to knit.
Modifications have begun on the pumpkin muffin recipe. I'm experimenting with less sugar, less oil, and more "good things" like unsweetened applesauce, pureed carrots, and whole wheat flour. I'll let you know what I come up with.
The husband scored big BIG (not just big, but BIG) points this week by surprising me with a license plate frame. Before I tell you what it says, just know that occasionaly he will be required to drive this car, and he still went ahead and bought this for me. Let that sink in, and I'll tell you what it says. Ready? It says "I love knitting!"
That's about all. It's a pretty quiet day. Hope you are well.