Saturday, February 27, 2010

chatty benny

ben is a talker. and a questioner. and a very interesting kid. here are some of our conversations of late.

ben: momma, when i'm as big as daddy will i still live with you and daddy and will max still live with you?
me: well, probably not ben. mommmy and daddy don't live with our parents anymore. you and max will probably have your own houses.
ben: nooooo. i want to still live in this house.
me: well, if it's God's will for you to still live in this house when you're daddy's age, that's fine with me.
ben: (looking upwards) God, can i still live with my parents when i'm my daddy's age?
(i was REALLY curious as to what was going to happen/be said next.)
ben: (very matter-of-factly) God said yes. (and then he walked out of the kitchen.)

driving home tonight from a wonderful evening with friends and family ben had several cute/funny things to say.

ben: momma, i'm really missing my data. (the way he says da-da sounds more like data because he runs it together.)
me: i know buddy. it's hard when daddy works so much. we can pray for daddy that he has a good night at work. and i'll pray for you to be strong, buddy.
ben: thanks momma. do you really miss your husband?
me: yes ben, i do.

a little while later, ben was chattering away and i really wasn't listening until he said, "oh, i'm sorry momma. i won't ask anymore questions. you need to focus on driving. right?"

and still yet later (because of course he couldn't just fall asleep like max)
ben: mom, i really want an attic at our house like in the penguin movie.
me: well, our upstairs can kinda be like an attic. would you like it if we pretend it's an attic.
ben: no. an attic needs to have a ring, with a string, that you pull down and steps come out. then you go up the stairs and there's a huge telescope there.
me: hmmm. i don't know about that, ben.

our life is never dull.

but i wouldn't have it any other way. i think. ; )

Thursday, February 11, 2010

hearth pants

this is the story of tim's dazzling pants and my husband, the designer.

our house is cold in the winter. we have an awesome woodburning stove that heats most of the house up really well, but we are lazy and keeping a fire burning constantly as the sole source of heat is a lot of work. well, it's more the wood collection that is the main issue, but, well, never mind. instead, we usually give in and rely on our inefficient furnace. at night, once the boys are tucked into their warm beds in their cozy rooms with thermostat controlled space heaters, we turn the heat way down.

tim does not get as cold as i do and gets tired of my whining and overall grumpy attitude about being cold. whenever possible i punish him for not collecting firewood by touching his bare back with my ice paws and wedging my cold feet into his knee pits in bed.

because tim is kind hearted, but still not motivated enough to get wood for a fire, we made me some "hearth pants" last winter. calling them hearth pants would imply that they are to be worn around a fire. not true. no, the hearth pants replace the fire. they are a pair of tim's sweat pants sewn together with the early 90's kstate rap pants i had gotten at the goodwill while in college. warm-yes. fashionable-no.

i resisted wearing them because nothing says frumpy quite like men's xL sweat pants worn under poofy at the top, tight at the bottom hammer pants. and they are heavy. wearing the pants was like wearing those subtle leg weights, but in bed. it was an effort to roll over.

(edited to clarify, per donkeyknight's comment about my "washcloth socks"--those washcloth socks are part of the hearth pants-the part i actually appreciate the most. they are the xL sweats that stick out the bottom of the rap pants and make for cozy slippers or booties. tim has to really stretch the pants to use the booties.)

but tim was off the hook. whenever i complained about the temp of the house, implying that he should get firewood, he would cheerily offer to get me the hearth pants.

i honestly only wore them a couple times-to bed when tim was gone and i couldn't stand shivering myself to sleep.

at some point tim realized that his fabulous creation was one size fits all and that he, too, could enjoy the luxury of such stunning pants. many a late night, the hearth pants warmed him as he gamed in the chilly family room. they are also his go-to pants for snow adventures, as shown in the previous post and the following picture.

(my guys preparing to go out into last winter's late march snow.)

this winter tim had somehow forgotten about the hearth pants, which i had buried in the bottom of his bottom dresser drawer. one night he was cold and was lamenting that he used to have a pair of sweatpants, but didn't know what had happened to them. when i reminded him that they were half of his glorious creation, the hearth pants, his eyes lit up. he gasped, "the HEARTH PANTS!! where are they??" he quickly unburied them and marveled at his genius for creating such wonderful pants.

the same night tim made the hearth pants, he also made me a "nursing tunic". again, my complaint was cold-based, chilled when i lifted my shirt to nurse max. so tim took an old undershirt of his (again size xL, hence the "tunic" part of the name, i suppose) and cut flaps for "easy access". the shirt was renamed the "booby buffet" but was never worn. absolutely no pictures were taken and i think i eventually cut it into rags.

tim has not added any more garments to his clothing line, but when he does, i will reveal them, and their wonderful names, here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

when it's time to change

(my guys enjoying the snow. note tim's pants. there's a great story about them. will i ever get around to sharing it-probably not.)

we are doing much better since the last post. the boys and i are mostly well again-in body AND mind. we've had the luxury of spending a few FULL days with tim, which has been wonderful. it's amazing how much we took him for granted when he used to have a mostly regular 40ish hour a week schedule.

for those who don't know, tim is now working for freddy's frozen custard. this has been a labor of exhaustion (and some delish food and custard) because, while still fulfilling his duties at his old job, he was working increasingly more hours at freddy's. freddy's is an awesomely run company, in part because most of their managers start at the bottom as custard scoopers and steakburger smashers themselves. it's such a respectful environment and that attitude definitely transcends to the customers, or guests, as they are considered at freddy's. because of his hard work over the last couple months, he has now joined the management team and gets to supervise others as they smash and scoop. it's such a great fit for tim, who loves helping people and is such a fun and caring guy. the perk of yummy food doesn't hurt either.

although this big change has been hard on our little family, it's also had a lot of unforeseen blessings. we value our family time so much more now, the boys and i have gotten to spend a lot of time with our family and friends, and tim is refreshed and renewed by his new adventure. it is so good to see his spirit alive again. oh, and the food. it's good stuff.

my presence around this space could go one of two ways in the coming months. because of an increased commute to his new store and the frustration over his divided attention, i'm going to be taking over most of the responsibilities from tim's non-profit job. while i'm excited to resume the work i did before max was born, and thankful for the opportunity to provide for our family during this transition time, i'm hesitant. nervous about balancing my mothering time with work. and nervous about venturing back into this challenging work in a more visible way. so i might not be around this space much. OR i might be around more, avoiding paperwork and not having the boys around constantly. honestly, i'll probably be around as much as i've always been, lazily posting whenever i muster the brainpower.

any prayers or warm fuzzy thoughts would be appreciated as i put on my big girl face and head out into the world.

Monday, February 1, 2010


last week was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. the boys had horrendous colds and ben had the barking cough that pulls at my momma heart. both were in top whiney mode (i actually wondered if ben's voice had permanently changed to whine pitch) and max wanted to be carried non-stop. except when he didn't, at which time he would scream, arch his whole little strong body, and throw himself backwards. he especially wanted to show off that feat of strength in the early a.m. hours. max normally hates diaper changes, but last week was even worse. all the energy he preserved from not walking was used during diaper changes to resist, arch, flail, scream, and kick. maybe it's my fault for using sand paper baby wipes and acidic baby lotion. i mean really kid, i'm trying to help you.

we normally get out of the house a couple times a week, for the sake of all of our sanities, but last week we didn't leave the house once. i didn't want to expose friends and family to the cold from hell and didn't trust strangers at places like walmart to not make them sicker with something new. oh the pain of staying home. ben begged to go to the houses of everyone we knew.

about mid week, having had one too many coughs directed at my face and not enough hours of consecutive sleep, my body gave up as well. so fighting the cold and a few infections myself, we spiraled further into illness and despair. mostly despair. because it was at the same time that i got sick that tim had to start super training at work. my teammate was only home to sleep and receive a few hugs as he staggered out the door for his own exhausting days. i could see it break his heart to see us so miserable and him unable to help.

i really would have lost my mind if a few angels of mercy-our parents-hadn't rescued us. and i'm not being dramatic. i was ready to drop the boys off at a safe house and drive till i ran out of gas, living out my tortured days as the mysterious waitress at a truck stop in the middle of the dessert.

i hope to never have to move away from our families. i really don't know what i would have done without their help. tim's mom let me lay on their couch for most of saturday afternoon while she played with the boys, then fed me a yummy dinner.(my boys live on air.) sunday my parents came and stayed with the boys so i could go to mass and max could nap in his own bed. then we retreated to their house for another yummy dinner and i got to rest a little more. (my mom even picked up my house a bit while i was gone. yes, she really is the best. sorry, she's all mine. well, me and those other seven pesky siblings.)

this morning, having only been woken up twice in the night and feeling a little stronger in body and more importantly, in mind, my hope had been restored. we were going to make it after all.

the boys were markedly better today, i think in no small part because we had gotten out of the house. they are so social. and what better socialization than grandparent love.

i gained a new appreciation for my families over the weekend, and i already appreciated them oodles. i gained a new level of sympathy and respect for single parents and will be praying for them often. i'm so thankful i don't have to make a go of this life on my own. i tend to dwell on the negative side, and unfortunately for my dear spouse, think more about his deficiencies than his strengths. he is a great dad, a kind husband, and an overall good, good man.

and praise the Lord, when he is unavailable, God has blessed me with two amazing families. because of them i'm not pouring coffee as i chain-smoke out my days some where in the southwest.

no picture. the salt in my eight million wounds last week was that my camera is being tricky. not that you really want to see pictures of sick kids or me on the verge of losing it.