Monday, December 9, 2013

About Me

Since I'm new here, I thought I'd post my "About Me" page as an actual Blog Post.  I thought this would save me having to write a new blog post today, but...I kind of rewrote the whole thing in the process.  So here it is:

Here you will find the slowly-accumulating musings of a young Christian wife and stay-at-home mommy seeking to worship Christ in spirit and in truth. A semi-crunchy woman who longs to cook with grass-fed beef but usually just buys the cheap cuts. Who dreams of making her own homemade cleaners but hasn't taken the plunge.  Who has boards and boards of great ideas on Pinterest, but actually I burn scrambled eggs and have a floor covered with baby toys and actually, I never dust anything unless company's coming.  (Shhhh...don't tell anyone.  Wouldn't want to put that out there on a public forum or something like that.  Oh.  Wait...)  

I'm learning and growing and trying to cherish each moment of being a wife and mommy, by the grace of Jesus. I often find the best way to do this, for me, is to write down and savor the humorous points throughout my day.  Because there is so much joy in this time, if I stop to notice it when I'm in the midst of laundry backlogs, mountains of dishes, endlessly-runny noses, sleep-deprivation...you mommies know what I mean.  Most of my writing will probably involve the humorous side of life, and yet I may get on the occasional soapbox, or delve into some Bible study, or share a new recipe, or...well, who knows.  I have tried to write blogs that fit into some specific genre and they never work out for me.  So here I am, doing the Everything Blog...because that's probably what you'll find here...a little bit of everything.  But I hope that, above all, you will find Jesus in these lines of mine.  Because He is, really, all that matters, and nothing has any meaning apart from Him and His miraculous birth, death, and resurrection.  He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  To Him be glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Now.  To introduce the players in our story.  First, there's me...the author of said blog.  I'll probably usually be referred to as "Mommy" as any stories I tell on this blog because, well...that's who I am.  Otherwise, call me Tiffany.  My husband will probably get to be "Daddy" much of the time, for similar reasons.  There are all kinds of sappy things I could call him since I'm crazy about him and all, but most of the time I'll probably call him Manly Man.  Some call it sappy; I call it a statement of the obvious. He swept me off my feet 5 years ago, and I've been his biggest fan ever since.  Well, maybe except for the kids.  The kids think he hung the moon, and I love that they love him so much.  Just reminds me why I love him so much! 

Now for the littles.  For the purposes of my blog, I have given my babies pen names, and decided to go with a bird theme.  Partly because it's cute, partly because I like birds, but mainly because...I just wanted a theme.  Yeah, I know...earth-shattering.

Hatchling #1: Rosefinch, 4 years old.  You'll usually find her referred to as "Rosie."  It completely suits her happy disposition, as well as her rather romantic tendencies.  She is imaginative, dramatic, helpful, mature, intelligent, 100% girl, and my little ballerina.  She "reads" books by making up her own stories, usually involving high stakes and much Getting Lost In The Woods and getting rescued by One's Parents while many people Nearly Die in the process, but all ends happily at last.  She's got conflict and plot resolution down pat, I tell you.  Besides that, she loves to talk about all kinds of things and has the most beautiful, funny little thoughts that just thrill me to hear.  I am loving having her old enough that we can talk together about Life and Jesus and Everything Else.  Also?  She has the memory of an elephant.  She never forgets anything.  It's awesome, and freaky.  Her favorite color is purple, she loves dogs and cats, and she hates all food unless it is a dairy product or a chicken nugget.

Hatchling #2: Sandpiper, 3 years old.  I will usually refer to her as "Piper."  I originally called her this because she has the lungs of a powerful opera singer and the scream of a ring wraith.  No, really.  She used to employ it quite regularly back in her babyhood, but it still surfaces on occasion and reminds me that, yes, she does have a crazy set of pipes.  She learns tunes quickly and can sing them with gusto, and she is my other little ballerina.  She does, however, like to throw a little jazz or something into her moves.  I'm not sure what it is, but it's awesome.  She is an intense, all-out, tenacious, affectionate little person who gives giant hugs, huge kisses, and plays as hard as she can.  She is afraid of nothing except monsters after I made the mistake of letting her watch "Monsters, Inc."  Oh, that and butterflies.  And singing Christmas dog toys. Go figure.  Her favorite color is pink, she loves horses (and dogs and cats are right on up there), and she loves all food unless it is a dairy product.  Be it Thai, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, or all-American, she will devour it all with gusto.  One day it's chicken nuggets, the next day it's guacamole and chips.  She also likes to experiment with culinary combinations, such as dipping tortilla chips into apple juice, or pouring her cottage cheese into her cup of coconut milk and stirring it together.  She has been my introduction to the world of food sensitivities, however, for though she loves it all, she has weird reactions to wheat, milk (not all dairy), and some nuts.

Hatchling #3: Cord, 9 months old as of 11/2013.  Cord, you may notice, is not a bird name.  It is, however, the name that Rosie graced him with when she went with us to an ultrasound and the nurse pointed out the umbilical by saying, "Look, there's the cord!" And Rosie was forever after convinced that she was referring to the baby...so he was called Cord from that point on.  It is not his real name, and we use his real name more than "Cord" at this point, but I love it.  He is my cuddlebug, my happy ray of sunshine, and my high-energy, wriggly, bouncing manchild who roars and grunts and growls and blows raspberries and says "Dada" and "Mama."  We do not know his favorite color, but I have a good guess on animals: he adores dogs and is utterly unafraid of them even if they lick him in the face.  He just laughs.  He does not share the same affection for cats.  At all.  He isn't a big fan of solid food yet, but we're slowly convincing him.  He definitely prefers meats and sweet potatoes.  Such a man, I tell you.  He adores his big sisters and plays hard with them, crawling all over the place and cruising along furniture to keep up.  He always comes back to me for love and cuddles and kisses, though, and I'm so glad he loves snuggles.  He adores his Daddy and thinks that their secret Man Language is blowing raspberries at each other, apparently...so Daddy has had to brush up on his raspberry-blowing skills rather quickly of late.  Because whenever Cord catches sight of him, he starts blowing the raspberries and looking expectant - and is so delighted when Daddy does it back to him.  He uses this mode of communication with no one else on the planet so far, hence my suspicions that it is their Secret Language. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

And That Was Awkward

This was written in October 2013, but at the time I had no blog up and running to post it on.  So here it is, a couple of months out of season:

At Trader Joe's this evening, I ran in to pick up some yogurt. But since it is Trader Joe's, I didn't quite make it to the dairy aisle right away and ended up picking up a cinnamon-scented decorative broom. Useless, but it smells nice. I laid it across the shopping basket hooked over my arm and went on.

As I perused the chocolate aisle (I was, after all, shopping for yogurt), a 60-somethings man in a plaid shirt and a pronounced beard walked up and said, “What? Is that your – NO...are you carrying your car?”

I looked at him through my starved-nursing-mother brain fog and, I feel sure, gave him my most utterly, completely, I-was-looking-at-chocolate-WHAT-and-I-also-have-not-eaten-and-I-am-a-starving-nursing-mom-WHAT look of Pure Blankness. Truth. I had white noise going in my brain. I looked soberly at my basket and the broom perched across it and nothing was registering that could offer any explanation for what he had just said. So, naturally, I just looked back and forth from him to my basket a couple of times, while saying nothing whatsoever.

I think I embarrassed him. He proceeded to mumble unintelligibly for long enough that I was just about to decide he was cooky and hadn't even been talking to me (and I was getting ready to swiftly escape to another aisle), but then he began to walk away and gesticulated in frustration towards my broom. “You know,” he said, “The broom, Halloween...it was a broom joke...it was a bad joke...” and he shook his head sadly as he walked away.

I laughed nervously and looked at my broom, back at him, and then turned and walked quickly away as he walked off muttering. I felt badly that I spoiled his broom joke, but...well...it WAS pretty bad. At least for a literal mind like mine, I guess the stretch from “car” to “broom” was a little too much of a hurdle, especially considering that it had been 1.5 hours since my last dose of calories. (In nursing-a-baby-boy-world this feels the same way that one would normally feel after going for 24 hours without nourishment. For reals.)

It also didn't hit me until much later that he had basically just called me a witch.  Ouch.

But I blame him entirely for what followed. As I checked out, I was chatting in a friendly way with the cashier (not something I usually find easy to do, except at Trader Joe's) as he bagged everything up. He picked the broom up last. “Would you like me to try to put this in a bag, ma'am?” he asked.

I was apparently feeling very warmed up after our friendly discussion of how to fit all of the yogurt I'd purchased into my not-quite-big-enough insulated bag. And I never do have quick-witted responses to anything anyone says – the response always hits me hours later, much too late to use it. This time, I was feeling very jolly indeed. This time, thanks to the failed suggestion of the odd man with the beard, I had a comeback.

So of course I, who never blurt out with anything primarily because I just don't think quickly enough (not because I possess remarkable amounts of self-control: see Proverbs 17:28), blurted out with my comeback. “I'll just carry it,” I said. “I'm going to fly on it.”

The moment the words left my mouth, I thought...”WHY???” Because, first and foremost, I had just called myself a witch. That was kind of a big one. For another thing, we don't even celebrate Halloween or witches or any of that stuff. Which you wouldn't necessarily have guessed given that I was joking about it. I vaguely thought, “Annnnnnnd that is why I normally do not try to joke on the spur of the moment.”

While all of these thoughts flashed through my head in one second, the cashier was lending credence to my thoughts as he laughed most nervously. Mostly likely because he was realizing that, women being the delicate creatures that they are, there was nothing he could possibly say that would go well. After all, I had basically just called myself a witch. If he agreed with me, I'd probably lambast him with my extremely heavy bag of yogurt, and he had already seemed slightly taken aback by the fact that I had been able to carry all of that stuff in one little basket. I think he called my basket a “kettlebell.” (Ha. Hahahaha. Ha. I can't even open a jar of pickles by myself. So that was hilarious.) If he didn't at least act like it had been funny, though, he could offend me that way, too. Either way, he was getting creamed by yogurt. (Ha. Hahahaha. Ha.) :P

Anyway.

So the poor young man just laughed awkwardly and said, “Ahaaah, um, well, I don't think you're a witch, ma'am.”

By this time I had rethought my entire joke, given that I would not have wished in any way to compare myself with...well...a witch. Poor taste, on so many levels. And so I responded with a very nervous laugh and an inexplicably enthusiastic, “Um...NO!!” And I grabbed my bags, wished him a good night, and dashed out of the door before I could say anything else.


Sometimes I am reminded that it is probably a good thing that I'm on the quiet side around people I don't know well...because I would say really weird things allllll the time otherwise. ;)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Oh, Charlie Brown Garland

Here is my Non-Pinterest-Worthy moment (1/2 hour) for the day (so far):

20 minutes ago, I decided to haul out my 25-foot real pine garland from Costco.  I had some vague idea, you see, that I would hang it over the cabinets framing our refrigerator.  It looked so good in my head...the cherry-stained cabinets backed up by the lush green of the garland.

After I got the garland uncoiled, however, I realized that my spacial reasoning skills are sorely lacking.  25 feet was, shall we say, almost twice as long as what I had pictured.  But I thought those cabinets were really tall and wide, so no big deal - I'd just drape it over.  So I did (with great difficulty).  And...WAY too long.  That or those cabinets weren't nearly as tall and wide as I thought.  Either way I have spacial reasoning issues, if such a thing as spacial reasoning even exists.  See?  More issues.

After struggling to get it back down and folded in half on the floor, I cut it into two pieces.  Struggled to get it back up.  Stepped back to critique.  What had looked lush and green on the floor now looked like I'd taped together a bunch of Charlie Brown's Christmas trees and draped them rag-tag over my cabinets.  Stems were sticking out all over the place and a whole branch was pretty much blocking the doorway out of the kitchen.  For a fleeting moment, as I have a cold and was feeling much more like going to lie back down, I considered just leaving it that way.  But I realized quickly that having to swat a pine branch out of the way every time I wanted a cup of tea would get old in a jiffy.  So I sighed and dove back into the project.

"Well," I opined (See what I did there?  O-PINE-d?? Sorry), "I guess it will have to go outside."

Long story short, I went outside and wrapped the banisters.  Which I have never done before.  About the time I was stepping back to realize that it looked...well...even worse than it had looked hanging over the refrigerator, a neighbor drove by.  I quickly I assumed a highly critical posture, lest they should think I was actually pleased with this pathetic-looking endeavor.  After they passed, I quickly ripped it down and went back inside, muttering things about well-that-didn't-go-well-but-it-smelled-so-nice-BUMMER-what-am-I-gonna-DO-with-this-thing...you know.

The garland...now garlands plural...it's back in its box for now.  But at least my floor smells nice.  It's completely covered in pine needles and broken off pieces of pine branches.

Oh, and my arms are covered in scratches.

Lesson learned: I bought a Charlie Brown garland.  Didn't know they existed.  But now I do.  Don't do it again.

Next lesson: Garlands probably need to be tied down in several places if you're going to put them on a banister...to keep branches from sticking out and scratching houseguests on the way up your stairs.  Just make a note of it and buy some wire next time, 'mkay?

Final lesson: When you are trying to choose between swinging a garland over your cabinets vs. going downstairs, fetching your Christmas carousel display, and plugging it into an outlet...go with the Christmas carousel.  It sounds like more steps, but it's not.  Really.  Trust me on this one.