Monday, October 31, 2011

bittersweet october




Bittersweet October.
The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking,
perfect pause between the opposing miseries
of summer and winter.

-Carol Bishop

happy october 31st

i am sad to see october end
november is too close to winter
but i have a half-eaten apple pie sitting on my stove
20 pounds of apples in a big wooden bowl on my counter
a corned beef in the crock pot
and beer bread in the oven
reminding me that autumn isn't over yet

Thursday, October 27, 2011

on cars and cardboard boxes








how is it that boys almost innately gravitate towards cars?

it was a couple weeks ago and my parents were babysitting Micah while we went to a friend's 30th birthday party.
my parents were simultaneously hosting a party and when we got back, they told us how Micah was enthralled by the cars my little cousin was playing with.
so she found a few larger ones for Micah to play with and he would moan and whine for them if someone (namely the little cousin) got jealous and took them away from him.

so the next day, i dug through some of Micah's toys and found the little set of three Ikea cars he got for Christmas last year when he was still tucked all small and cozy inside of me.
and low and behold he loved them and they are - almost two weeks later, still his favorite of all of his toys.

so the other day, after finishing off a box of diapers, i popped him, along with his three beloved cars, inside and watched as he played with those suckers - that is until he tried to overturn the box to get out. and then he shimmied up to my feet and then got all tuckered out right there on the hardwood floor...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

aquarium adventures


this past weekend we went to chicago to visit Curtis' parents.
i think the highlight of the trip for all of us was our visit to Shedd Aquarium.


even Micah was in awe as we held him to the glass of the various tanks.
mesmerized, he'd reach out and touch the glass, often to his excitement and bewilderment as a fishy would swim up to meet his finger
he'd look at the fish, then at us and then, with his little hands that never stop moving he's do that hand-flappy wave he does
those around us got a kick out of it.
and through the eyes of Micah i enjoyed the species of animal i really can't stand all the more.


even better was the fact that we bypassed the ticket line that wound down the street
for the much shorter wheelchair and stroller accessible line.
thank you son for savings us at least an hour of waiting!
as soon as we got in it was time to feed him so Curtis and his parents went to get coffee while i hunted down a nice quiet family bathroom or something


much to my delight, they not only had a private family bathroom, but a private and cozy
nursing room as well.
complete with a couch, changing table and sink - all that was missing was a toilet - but i'm not complaining.
we stayed at the aquarium so long that i got to utilize that room twice
world's away from nursing on the floor of a caribou coffee bathroom that i had to do later that day


the fish were incredible (even to me, a girl who can only stand to eat them)
the aquarium was broken down by regions of the world and while we didn't buy the pricey $25-35 tickets that give you entrance to live shows and stuff, our $8 tickets let us utilize most of the exhibits.


while there Micah even got his first tattoo.
we waited patiently as a pretty hawaiian lady was sponging temporary tattoos onto little arms.
Micah wasn't nervous at all and i chose a sweet little sea turtle for his forearm.
i joked with Curtis' mom that if he didn't have a onesie on, i would have asked her to put it on his upper back, right above his diaper, just to be funny.


after all, chicago was the place where both Curtis and I got our first (and only - so far) tattoos.
our "romantic" wedding bands that live under our real wedding rings.
a mistake to some (including my husband) but to me, still a sweet sign of our commitment to each other.


while there, we had a nice lunch with a fabulous view of the city and the lake.
sailboats were out and we enjoyed our food while Micah gazed out the window,
oblivious to his tat.


then we made our way to Michigan Ave and window shopped in the most gorgeous weather
the kind of weather you don't even notice. no warmth or chill to make you stop and think
i'm a little warm, or a little too chilly.


like every weekend, it came and went too quickly,
and before we knew it, we were packing up our car and heading home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pumpkin love

tonight i came across a blog post while nursing Micah to sleep.
i can't remember where i found it but it was a recipe for a pumpkin smoothie.
it looked and sounded so creamy and decadent, but healthy too, so as soon as i put the boy to sleep i whipped out the blender and made it.

here's all you need:

1 frozen banana
1 cup milk (i used vanilla almond milk)
1/3 can pumpkin (i used about 1/2 cup)
couple dashes of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
teaspoon brown sugar

directions: blend & sip - it's as easy as that!

when i brought it in the living room for Curtis to try he refused.
i finally forced it on him and he made a gagging face as he sipped.
he didn't like it - then he proceeded to tell me how they make pumpkin puree

he was like, you know, a cute old lady doesn't sit in the factory and peel and cut up pieces of pumpkin to puree right???

i was like, yeah, do they do it then?

(he then deleted part of my blog post where i tell you how exactly they make the don't want to know...)

(now, this is where Curtis said i had to give the disclaimer that i used Libby's canned pumpkin and that he works for Nestle which owns Libby's)

but anyways...however it's made, i like that stuff.

not too sweet, and a thick, smooth, deep orange healthy-enough-for-breakfast, but indulgent enough for dessert.

just another way to enjoy some pumpkin goodness this fall!

another sip, yes please!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

on fear & forgetfulness


coffee jitters my fears awake this morning
the ones i put to bed last night with prayer

caffeine-laced doubts
but who am i kidding?
even sans the starbucks via that i'm sipping
when the coffee beans run out
i am still a doubting thomas
a peter sinking as he makes his way to Jesus walking on the water
i am afraid

so i read
instead of giving reign to my thoughts that lead to no-good places:

"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to your life?

...Therefore, do not be anxious [...] for the ungodly seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. 

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough cares of its own."

i have read it every morning for the last three days
Matthew 6: 25-34

i try to let it steep, soak in but i so easily forget like the Israelites
who'd rather return to Egypt's slavery than see the salvation of the Lord in the midst of the wilderness.

how quickly they forget
and how quickly i do too
we are a forgetful people

This morning on her {blog}, Ann Voskamp wrote:

"I was, and am still, his most fearful child."

and i am too.
fearful of the unknown, the what if's, the lack of

Yet, as Moses exorts Israel before crossing the Red Sea:

"Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today...
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still."

(exodus 14: 13-14)

and once they had crossed (on dry ground no less!) he sings:

"You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode."

(exodus 15:13)

Ann closes her post with these words:

"I stand in a kitchen with a list in hand.
A calendar on the wall.
Tasks pressing on the mind.
I take a deep breath, loosen the shoulders, stay fluid.
Let go and lean.
Lean back into Him.

There is this way of living: abandon all worries and abide in Christ — all is well. The relief’s in the release of everything into the hands of the God. Isn’t it all safer in His hands anyways? Abandon and abide — all is well.

Life’s an adventure when we move as He moves.
Standing in the kitchen I breathe deep and let it all ebb away into a smile.
Fluid and fully surrendered to Christ, I think I can feel it even here. The wild wind in the hair…."

so today, i choose not only to be still, but to trust that in the stillness He is still moving.
in my doubt, fear and forgetfulness, he remains unchanging and completely faithful.

and as Ann is known for ending, i write as she does:

All is grace.

Friday, October 7, 2011

an addition to our morning routine

story time

most mornings look something like this:

i wake up at 7/7:30
sometimes micah's still sleeping and sometimes he's awake, babbling to himself in his crib.
on mornings where he's still sleeping i head downstairs, eat a bowl of cereal and drink a cup of coffee then hop in the shower.
if i can do all three before he wakes up i know it will be a very good day.
the days i hear him up already, i choose between breakfast or a shower before i get him up.
on those days i typically hop in the shower and wait on coffee and breakfast until after he's eaten.

today i had all three before i got micah up at 8.
i even had a chance to get dressed, run a load of wash, unload and refill the dishwasher and 'slap some paint on the barn' as my mom likes to say.

at about 8 i head into his room, change and dress him (while singing rise and shine) then nurse and give him his big boy breakfast that usually consists of fruit baby food mixed with oatmeal and sometimes some fresh fruit.

and then we play for a bit and by 9:30 or so it's nap time. however, lately we've added something else to our morning routine that i hope will carry far past his babyhood.

we've started reading just a few pages of {The Jesus Storybook Bible} most mornings after his breakfast. it's so simple and well-written and every story (even the old testament ones) points to Jesus, which even i can use a refresher course in every so often.

the illustrations are really beautiful and unique and i have been really enjoying it despite the fact that Micah's attention span is short and he's usually more interested in trying to eat the book (or his toes) than follow along. but it's a good habit to get into together - reading the bible and praying together to start our days together.

this morning we read about Abraham believing God's promise that even though he and his wife were very old, that he would be the father of a great nation. it was just such a sweet moment, even if Micah doesn't understand it quite yet, to be able to sit with him and read with him and pray with him.

i hope this is one morning ritual that lasts a very long time. what a privilege it is to get to share the bible and its truths with our children. it is a privilege that i hope to never take for granted.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

on choking

my momma and me

i think i was about ten and we were at one of those wholesale stores like costco.
it was my whole family and my aunt, uncle and my two cousins.
i remember parts of the trip so vividly - others are a part of the blur that comes with childhood.

what i do recall, however, still gives me the chills.

we must've all been walking around shopping and eating the samples. that i remember.
the next thing i can recall, we are all in the checkout and my cousin - maybe three or four at the time starts choking.

somehow, he had gotten a piece of hard candy as a sample as we were meandering through the aisles
and when we got to the checkout he started choking.

and this wasn't gag a little, then cry a little, then cough it up choking.

i remember him turning blue.

i remember the look of panic in my aunt's eyes as the heimlich wasn't working.
i remember hearing her swear for the first (and only time) in my life.

i remember standing there as a young girl, stunned and afraid.

and i remember the jittery wave of relief and emotion that rushed through me when the cashier was finally able to save his life.

it was horrible.

still one of the scariest moments in my life and the moment i attribute to my fear of choking.

to this day i still don't like hard candy and even the idea of a cough drop under my tongue while hopping down the stairs frightens me.

so you can only imagine my timidity as we begin to feed micah foods other than baby food.

first it was those puff things.

i would watch him like a hawk, uncertain if they really dissolved as quick as they promised. so i ate one. placed it on my tongue. the thing dissolved fast but still i was nervous.

but my boy loves food - just this week he's had chili put through the baby mill. it was spicy - laced with cayenne, chili powder, cumin red pepper flakes and cinnamon.

but every time i give him something new to eat i have this irrational (or rational?) fear that this will be the time where he'll choke.

it's called Pseudodysphagia and i think i have it.

however, i'm not letting it control me - or control the way i feed my boy. i let him feed himself, get messy, hold the spoon - but i think it's going to take me a while to give him anything larger than what i know he can safely swallow.

Curtis thinks i'm a bit irrational. i cut steamed carrots up into pieces he can barely pinch with little fingers, cut a peeled grape not into quarters, but eighths, maybe smaller. but the thought of having to ever give him the heimlich or cpr scares the crap out of me...

am i alone on this or is it just typical first child syndrome?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

color coded

color coded

when i was a school-aged youngster the thing i loved most about a new
school year was the new box of 64 crayola crayons.
the night before school started i'd open the box, dump them all out
and color code the little cardboard crayon holders
all shades of blue in one, greens and yellows in another, reds, pinks
and purples in another, and the boring greys and blacks, browns and
whites in another

i've always loved color-coding things, whether it be crayons or
skittles or shoes.
a package of sharpie permanent markers, color-coded while still in
their packages call my name in Target
OPI nail polishes, arranged by shade at the salon makes my heart skip,
a perfectly arranged, color-coded closet makes me sweat a little with delight

so it's no surprise that the colorful embroidery floss that i've been
using all jumbled up out of a ziplock baggie needed a bit of love.
so in came {Pintrest} to the rescue.
as did my little box of clothes pins used for line drying our cloth
diapers (yes, we've become 50% cloth diaper fans due to a steal of a
deal at a garage sale this summer!)

Mondays are for work, yes, but who says i can't take a little break
when Micah was napping to wind and wrap until my color-coded heart was

all i need now is a pretty glass jar to display them in.

embroidery floss

Sunday, October 2, 2011

what i've noticed on a sunday night

just sitting w/ Filmore the Frog

his eyes
not a specific grey or green or brown
look up and squint and smile in the dark of night that keeps creeping earlier and earlier 

chubby linked hands turn from baby to boy
with a semi-wave or superman-esque fly, tummy down,
head up and arms down by his sides, 
soaring, gliding like the superhero he thinks he is

those lips
the truest tone of chewing gum pink
with the sweetest up-curl smirk

that hair
not blonde or brown
scarce covers his scalp 
but is softest to the touch of clean morning fingers
this boy, who went down just minutes ago
wrapped in a white fleecy sleep sack baby thing
looked like a boy on his way to baptism or heaven

tomorrow we work, him and i
our monday tango of work and writing and diapers and playtime with Filmore the Frog

we'll probably skip showers and baths and stay cozy in our pajamas all day
perfect for naps and nighttime

that little crazy boy and i

Saturday, October 1, 2011

welcome october


micah & i just wanted to wish you a happy first day of october.

what we're planning to do today:

drink coffee
be crafty
take naps
spend time with daddy (the best part of saturdays!)
put micah to bed early
have friends over for sushi and catching up

what's on the agenda this month:

pick apples
make applesauce
feed micah said applesauce
carve a pumpkin with aunt jenni
meet micah's new 2nd cousin romy (we ended up meeting her last night - she's a doll!)
meet his new baby friend joshua
do some holiday gift planning
make some gifts ahead of the holiday rush
do some more embroidering
start knitting again
finish reading the novel i started in may
read the jesus storybook bible with my boy
rake some leaves and take some autumn strolls

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