Friday, July 23, 2010

Moving Status Update- The Final Chapter (sort of)

Well, here we are in Des Moines (don't know a nickname, but I did find the translation: "of the monks"). We've been here a few days and are slowly getting settled. I think we're really going to like it here. Everyone has been amazingly welcoming with moving help, meals, and thoughtful extras (someone brought us muffins, someone else brought a church directory, two people thought of things like TP and paper towels and trash bags before we moved in, several people have left their phone numbers in case we "need anything"). And the town is really nice. There are lots of charming old homes (kind of like the one we're in) and sidewalks everywhere. I've already hunted out a Target, a library, and a grocery store. The grocery store is a mile away. A mile, y'all! People are outside on bikes, running, strolling, or driving by at all hours. It's a beautiful thing.

When I visited Arkansas, I jumped every time a car drove by. I would ask my sister, "who's here?" She would just laugh and tell me that it was just people driving through the neighborhood- a totally normal thing for almost everyone but completely foreign to me after living at the house on the hill. For two years, if I heard a car, it meant someone was coming to see me. I wondered if I wouldn't have to really get used to the sound of cars driving by again. It's been a welcome sound, and one I hear often enough that it hasn't taken getting used to at all. However, when I am walking by a window and see a car, I still sort of wonder who it is. Then I remember that I don't know anyone in Iowa and that we live on the corner of a four way stop.

Well, I need to get back to the unpacking, but I'd love to catch up with anyone who wants to chat. Here's the thing though, no one knows my new phone number. That's because I don't know it. And I can't call anyone because I have yet to unpack my phone directory. Soooo, if you'd like to catch up, just email me your phone number and then I'll call you, and then you'll have my new number in your caller ID so you can call me sometime too. Otherwise, just keep checking back here. I'll try to be posting more regularly again soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Moving Status Update- Volume 3

I'm back in "The Gateway City" for one last week of VBS, packing, and birthday celebrating before the big move next Monday. Amabel's birthday is Friday and I have no idea what to do about it. I am thinking I will just have to get over the mess and the craziness and have a bunch of nine year olds over for pizza and cake. Anyway, the trip to my sister's was a good time. And now it's time to kick it into high gear.

I can't believe it's finally time to leave St. Louis. I think I could have liked it here if I wasn't always supposed to be here temporarily. And then, the city held me hostage for two years past the expiration date! But, as ready as I am to get going, it is nice to know that we'll always be able to visit. We have family here, so when we come see them, we'll still get to swing by the zoo or catch a Cardinals game or meet some friends at a favorite restaurant.

Honestly, I think the thing I am most sad to leave is the St. Louis County library system! I am not too sure how the Des Moines libraries will be. It seems like, from what I can tell online, the libraries throughout the entire state of Iowa may be linked, so that will be awesome! But I'm not sure if that's really how it will work. And of course, besides access to an amazing selection of books, we will miss friends. I am used to "long distance relationships" by now though. And I'm excited about the new friends we'll make in Des Moines.

I'll try to check in sometime during the week, but if it gets to crazy (it will be crazy, but sometimes writing helps me regain sanity), I'll be in touch once we get settled up yonder. Have a happy week!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Short Vacation

We're off to Arkansas this morning to take our dear Jimmy Blue Bean (almost always just "Blue," but George spent a lot of time choosing the full name eleven years ago) to live with his Aunt Sarah. Y'all have a good week- if there are any of you left!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Ellie P.

Elspeth Peace (aka Ellie P.) did several really hilarious things a while back that I neglected to blog about and now I have forgotten what they all were. This is my post to remember my growing up way too fast, so cute I can't stand it, gets into more trouble than my other two ever did combined, just walked in the room with a boisterous "Ho! Ho! Ho!" three-year-old darlin' later on.

One little episode was when I had sliced some cheese one day and put them in the refrigerator and shown her. I told her that we were out of string cheese, but that she could have the cheese slices for a snack later. Assuming she remembered this the next day when she asked for cheese, I told her yes, to just get it out of the refrigerator. Some time later, I spotted her walking around with an entire "pear" of mozzarella with tiny little bite marks at various intervals. To let you truly understand the visual (and to remind myself later), the mozzarella I buy comes in a pear shaped pound lump. I had grated about a quarter cup's worth off when making pizza or lasagna, but besides that, it was pretty nearly an entire pound of cheese that this child was walking around with, biting into it as if it truly were a pear. Have I mentioned that she loves cheese?

Another day, George found a handful of long, straight, fine, blond hair on the floor in our room. This could only belong to one child in our home. When he asked Elspeth what happened she said, "I didn't cut it. It just fell off."

Another day, I walked into Elspeth's room and it smelled very perfume-y. I couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from. Amabel has some strawberry bubble bath and lotion and things that she got for Christmas. I asked Elspeth if she had gotten into Amabel's stuff. No. Did she have lipstick on? No. What was that smell? She didn't know. Then I got up to her and realized she had smeared about half a bottle of shampoo into her hair. It took ages to wash out, but it was one of those things you just have to laugh at. But see, this is the thing with parenting. I want to be a laid back parent, the kind who laughs at things rather than freaking out. I'm horribly high strung and I hate it. So when I feel the urge to laugh, I usually go with it. A very long and bubbly bath later, all was right, right? Wrong. Because my little performer thought that if Mommy thinks soap in the hair is funny (even if she did also offer a stern-ish warning against doing the same again) then we should do it again! The second time- about two hours later if you were wondering- it was not funny to me. And I think part of my frustration was with myself because I recognized that I did sort of encourage her to do it again- even though I verbally discouraged her from doing it again. But again, it was just soap. And fortunately, it was Suave for kids instead of my shampoo or my Clinique liquid foundation like it was a few months ago.

I'm glad about Elspeth though, for all her stubbornness and naughtiness, she has taught me one invaluable lesson- don't judge other people's parenting by the behavior of their children. I have three children. I have two extremely polite, well behaved, almost perfect children. And then there's Elspeth. Same parent, different children. While I am quick to say that it is not for lack of much effort on my part that Elspeth still won't use the bathroom or that she does crazy things when my back is turned for a minute, I will also be quick to tell you that it isn't my doing that Amabel and August are so kind and good natured. I think you could take this idea to an extreme and say that kids will be kids and do nothing, but of course, I am not saying that. I am just saying that there isn't a formula. And that sweet little darlings don't always mean good parenting, nor do mischievous imps always indicate something the parent is doing wrong or not doing at all. I also think that for those of us parents who are trying, but still have stubborn kids (and I mostly am thinking of Elspeth's disobedience and not funny little episodes like the ones from this post), the Lord is faithful. Remind me of that when she's fifteen and smoking under the bleachers... Just a thought, and a little humor for your Monday.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Parenthood

So when I was looking up Robert is Bothered just now for the post below, I found out that the entire first season of Parenthood is available on NBC.com for this month only. We missed a lot of episodes due to crummy reception, so I am pretty excited about this. If you haven't seen the show, you should definitely check it out. It is really really well done. The characters are all very endearing (as opposed to the whackadoodles from the original movie the series is loosely based on). Any one of them would be cool to know in real life (though sadly, they aren't real, so that isn't possible). Ron Howard and all the folks both behind and in front of the scenes have done an amazing job- stories, dialogue, casting, acting, etc. It's smart and artful and delightful. I realize this is a really generic review, but I probably couldn't do it justice if I tried. I just love those Bravermans!

Bothered

Only if you followed my links to the Jimmy Fallon skits from a while back (or if you just watch Jimmy Fallon yourself) will you know how to pronounce the title of this post (with a British accent that is, ever so slightly, bothered). And really, don't watch those skits if you are easily scandalized by SNL type humor. I tend to overlook stuff that some people (Christians, in particular) might find offensive.

So why am I bothered? I have just been through a major fiasco trying to retrieve my password for this blog. For some reason, Blogger doesn't allow one to use her Gmail account for her Blogger account. This is more annoying than I can say. I used to have Blogger linked to my MSN account, but right around the time we went to Iowa at the end of May, I started getting really vulgar emails sent to that account every day. I am afraid it is from when I tried to access free Wifi from an unknown place. It was when we were on the road and had stopped for gas. I don't even know if it's possible that someone could have obtained my email address in that way. They didn't get my Gmail address... But anyway, I had to close the MSN account, but for some reason, I also changed my Blogger password, couldn't remember it, and the only way to retrieve it was to log back into the closed MSN account. No one is even following this. I realize that. I am just really annoyed about the whole thing.

I think I finally got it straightened out. I guess the point of this post is to vent and to explain why I didn't post yesterday. And this is all I have for today because I'm tired of being online after the aforementioned fiasco. But happy Fourth of July! I will try to post normal things again on Monday.

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