May 30, 2008

Un-ordinary day

Today was not an ordinary day. For starters, I gave Zion his first haircut. His stringy, sweaty mullet had to go. Since I am the family hair dresser, I got to do the honors in the front yard. The term "hair dresser" is very funny to me. It conjures up thoughts of someone trying to put a pair of pants on someone else's head. The term used here in Van Buren is equally comical. Here they call them "beauty operators."

Also today, Zion started drinking water from a sippy cup, all by himself. This was his first time to drink from anything but my breast. Quite a jump, but he made it. What a big dude! The water, paired with how much he still nurses, made for one heavy diaper when I undressed him for his bath. But it will make things a lot easier when I wean him later this year.

Also today, we all have pink-eye. Lovely. If you've never had pink-eye with little children, it is a NIGHTMARE. Their eyes itch so they scratch them, then wipe their hands on everything in the house, thus passing it back and forth to each other. Not to mention having to pin them down and pry their eyes open three times a day to administer eye drops. And then there's all the extra laundry, as it is necessary to change their bed clothes after each nap and night sleep. NOT fun. Not fun at all.

Then at the end of this un-ordinary day, a white van pulled into our parking lot and a woman stepped out with flowers, for me! The card read, "Just because I miss you. Love, Mom." Thanks mom.

Family is Forever

It was a bittersweet trip to Michigan this time. Bitter because I said goodbye to my 4-week old niece, and I won't see her again until she is dressing up like a princess and wearing her mother's high heels. But sweet because Dad has given us family like this. My cup runneth over.

p.s. Zion turned 1 while we were there, and Daniel and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.

May 27, 2008

Hang on tight

Well folks, we have our official university placement in East Asia, and we are on track to move in August! In fact, just yesterday we finalized our apartment arrangements. It has three bedrooms and it is near campus. We will start paying rent in July...for a place on the other side of the planet! That blows my mind.

This morning, in fact, Daniel and I were bidding on things that the present tenant is selling before he moves. We really hope we get the electric hand mixer, something that is otherwise available only in Thailand. We also hope to get the electric water heater for the shower, so we'll have hot showers during the rainy season when the solar-powered water heater doesn't always work.

There is so much ahead of us that is completely unknown. I feel somewhat like we are canoeing slowly downstream, pushing our way through the overhanging branches and squinting in the sunshine. Up ahead is wide open water rushing over a cliff, and the only thing for us to do is hang on tight.

May 07, 2008

Humor me

The other day, my friend Candace posted a list of little things that bring her great joy. Just to make sure the world wide web is in balance, I'll post a list of little things that drive me nuts (due to the fact that I've had the kids by myself since Saturday, I think I'm entitled this moment of cynical indulgence).

1. The can opener when it leaves that little piece of lid uncut
2. When Bright closes his mouth over the toothbrush while I'm brushing his teeth
3. The faucet (or pipes, or water heater - whichever is to blame) when the hot water takes a million years to get hot
4. Stubbing my pinkie toe on the foot of the highchair, which sticks out absurdly far
5. Loading up both kids in the car and driving to Wal-Mart, only to find that I've left my wallet at home
6. Myself, when I volunteer to bring a meal to a new mom while Daniel is out of town
7. The way an 11-month-old squirms like a wild alligator when I'm trying to wipe the poop off of his buns, and his legs, and his stomach...and now my wrists...ooh, and now my shirt
8. Trying to get my three-year-old to eat his vegetables
9. My hair
10. Being a single mom (even if it's just for a week)

NOTE: You'll be happy to know that Daddy gets home tonight, so my pleasant, uplifting blogs will be returning

May 02, 2008

The Wonder Years

As a kid, my favorite show was The Wonder Years. I loved the theme song, the cheesy life lessons, and the raspy voice-over. I was 10, but already I could recognize the good things in life.

Like yesterday, when Daniel and I sat in the middle of the parking lot outside our apartment, eating peanuts and drinking tea, watching our two small children ride bikes and push wagons in circles on the grease-stained pavement. As we held hands across the mesh cup holders in our camping chairs, I thought of the Corona commercials on TV. You know, the ones where the two lovers are on some remote beach, sitting in lawn chairs and drinking Coronas. As the viewer, I am to associate Corona with paradise. The thought made me smile. The closest thing to paradise in this life is being with my sons while they still want to be with me. It's putting down the laundry and saying "yes" when Bright says, "Mom, do you want to come in my room?" The truth is, we are racing toward the day when the only time I'll go in my son's room will be to pick up his socks while he is away at school or ball practice.

Right now, right here, in the parking lot, holding hands with my husband, both of us young and strong and free of physical pain and hearing loss and dementia, watching our sons totter around at our feet - right now I am living The Wonder Years.