Thursday, March 31, 2005

Whatever happened to...

Scary movies that made sense. Like, The Shining. [which is my personal favorite] I dig The Shining because it was multi-level horror. And since I read the book, I was pleased to have the filling part of the doughnut to amplify what I was watching.

Many people are disappointed by movies made from novels, I prefer to see it as having an inside scoop..and the movie being the sprinkles on top.


Last night Caleb and I watched The Grudge, and I also will be receiving the Japanese version Ju-on soon to compare.

I didn't like the movie at all. I mean, sure I was frightened. And much of it was pretty disturbing. [I wasn't at ALL happy with the tongue scene]

But why can't they just make one scary movie where there isn't a..."yes, and..." the end?

I guess I am a staunch supporter of resolution. For the same reasons that I don't like "The Ring"...I am not pleased with "The Grudge". Of course the majority of scary movies are cliffhangers...but I hate cliffhanger endings.

The movie left me with one question in my head at the very end..."What the..."?

[see I can do open endings too]

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Reflection in the Window

~1971, a slip on the ice, or the assault of a young pregnant woman, either way, a little girl is born--one month premature~

I sat in the car waiting for my mom. She went into the party store. It was a nice sunny day. I was half wishing she would bring me back a pop or some candy. We were on our way to grandma’s house. It was Saturday. I was 10 years old.

A man stopped her as she came out of the store. They were talking, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans. He was thin. He looked at me. I looked away thinking nothing of his gaze.
As my mom drove away she said “that’s your dad”.
I craned my neck looking back to catch another look at him. But no one was there.

Miles away from Michigan, a new life. Two children of my own… “Your real dad tried calling you a long time ago…your step grandparents told him to leave you alone”.

~2001, Fighting, screaming, struggling, then giving up ashamed that the only thing I can do is cry…9 months later my third child is born~

She’s looking out the car window. Her three-year old voice, filled with an exuberance that only young children can achieve, exclaims…. “Daddy”!
I crane my neck to look out the window…no one is there.

Each generation has a story, continuing a chain of events called cycles...cycles can be broken...this one has.


Since this photo, there has been a marriage proposal, a wedding, and a promise of adoption.

Happiness Is....

...friends who know you THAT well.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Cheers to Spring!!

To take the diaper bag or to not take the diaper bag...there is no question.

I am currently enrolled in two classes [having just completed my Accounting II class--passing with a B!], and both of my classes have homework problems geared towards the assumption that the student is working, and not a stay at home mother. It makes for some pretty interesting dilemmas in trying to get my homework done. For instance, when I need to interview my boss about how personal reviews are done in my company...I'm like, okay...anyway, I've been forced to get a little creative...and to prove my point here is one of my latest homework entries in my Statistics Class...

The Assignment:

Design and discuss a problem that utilizes expected value theory that you could use in your professional or personal life. Describe the context of the problem, how expected value can help solve the problem, and formulate a preliminary analysis (with data) and share with the group. Provide enough information about the problem and potential solution so that your colleagues understand the context.

My Answer:

Suppose I am going out of the house and I am bringing my child with me who is not yet potty trained. Normally I bring a diaper bag with me, but I do not expect to be gone very long, and the diaper bag is very heavy and cumbersome to carry around. Do I risk not bringing the diaper bag and be left unprepared for the possibility that my child will soil herself, or do I not bring the diaper bag and hope that she will remain clean until we get back home?

Diaper bag, no dirty diaper = 12
Diaper bag, dirty diaper = -7
No diaper bag, no dirty diaper = 18
No diaper bag, dirty diaper = -50 [this would be horrifying]

There is a 50% chance that my child will dirty her diaper while we are out of the house. [It's actually higher, but for this assignment I will give her the benefit of the doubt]

EV (take bag) = 0.5(12) + 0.5(– 7) = 2.5
EV (leave bag) = 0.5(18) + 0.5(– 50) = -16

Taking the bag is a higher value than not taking the bag, i.e. not taking the bag is tempting disaster. [-16 is pretty bad]
It makes more sense to take the diaper bag than leave it behind. Better safe than sorry.


No crap better safe than go out of the house without a diaper bag is madness. In fact, there is a higher probabilty that the child WILL poop her diaper if you leave without the diaper bag. I don't like messing with those odds AT ALL.

I am glad that I didn't wait until this assignment to figure out whether or not I should be taking the diaper bag with me at all times... [again it would be crazy to consider not taking the diaper bag]...I have somehow mastered the expected value theory in regards to diaper bags early on in my position of motherhood.

See? My business management classes DO apply to what I am doing right now. I wonder if I can get my employer to pay my tuition...oh wait...nevermind.

**I'm not exactly sure if my professor appreciated my creativity on this one...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Another Path

Okay, so I have been writing a lot about Jesus, and God and my faith for the past few days. And I am sure that a few people get kind of ooky feeling when the subject of faith is brought up.

Believe me, I understand where you are. I was there once. I used to get really offended when someone brought up the subject of infringed on my comfort zone big time.

Like I said, I am a new Christian...and I am not a liar. So, in all honesty...if you are reading this blog and you have all of a sudden been turned off by my frank expressions of faith...I understand more than you know.

I have found it interesting that I've been writing more about Jesus, and I don't want to seem a hypocrite, or a holiday writer/worshipper [being that most of my religious writing has revolved around the past Easter holiday] I've decided to start yet another blog. Yes, the madness doesn't end here...

I've added a link to personal journey...where it will log my progression through the book The Purpose Driven Life.I'm sure just about everyone has heard of it by now.

Caleb's grandma gave it to him a while back, and I have been wanting to read it. I haven't any real excuse to not read it, and like I said, with all of these thoughts of faith running around in my head...and the fact that our pastor talked about the book in yesterday's sermon...I figured now is as good a time as ever.

If any of you are interested in checking out personal journey feel will just be a blog about the book at and perhaps more on my faith if it turns to that.

Why keep it separate from Pink Dot? Because I have an experiment in mind.

I want to see if my writing changes, or is influenced by what I read...I want to mark any changes in myself for having read the book. And I also want to have a pure journal of my reading...without the interjections of my crazy brain.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Entering the Mission Field

My family and I recently made a change in where we go to church. Not because we didn't like our first church, but because of travel time, and lack of children's programs, we thought it would be best to make a change. It was a hard decision, especially since my husband grew up in the church that we had been attending, and that is where we were married. Needless to say it was a huge decision.

We took baby steps, going to the new church one week, and our "old" church the next. And while we would have probably done this for quite some time, it was our children that made the final decision. It was their enthusiasm for going to this new church that drove it home for us.

They now are able to go to a church that has many children attending, including some from their own school. They look forward to their Sunday school class, and have a desire to learn about God. I see a little fire in their eyes, a spark that wasn't there before.

Granted this new church is a lot different than the one we had been attending, A LOT different. It is much more contemporary. The music is something like you would hear on a contemporary Christian radio station. There is clapping, and swaying to the music. People are HAPPY and unashamed to show it.

It is unlike any other church that I have ever been to in my life...and while the differences take some adjusting to get used to...I appreciate those differences very much. It shows me that there can be joyous celebration for God that is still respectable...

Today, we had wondered if we should go back to our original church for the Easter sermon. However, we went to the new church...and I certainly was not disappointed with the message..."commit your lives to Christ"'s not an easy task by any means...but definitely a worthy cause.

I strive for it day by day. Though I am not perfect, and my old tendancies emerge...I have the knowledge and the desire to not fall back into those traps.

As we were leaving Caleb noticed the sign at the driveway exit:

"Entering the Mission Field"...

I felt happy to be a part of that creed, and I look forward to the day when it is no longer referred to as "the new church", but "our church".

He is risen

He is risen indeed

Saturday, March 26, 2005

I Have a Hero...His Name is Christ

Tomorrow is Easter.

It is strange to me to think that only a few short years ago, I had given Easter no thought in regards to its meaning or significance. This is because a few short years ago I was not a Christian.

It has been a long journey coming to the point of accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I know without a doubt that God was preparing me for the day that I would accept His son into my heart. I know because of the trials that I endured, and always with hints, as though through a hurricane I could still hear a whisper saying “here I am”.

However, as I had always been, I was more preoccupied with the storm rather than the calm. Too busy to hear the whisper amid the shouts. Looking back on all those subtle hints gives me greater peace and appreciation for the fact I am where I am in my faith. God is clever.

My childhood Easter memories were simply of hunting for eggs and eating candy. I had no idea what it was all about. Even 3 years ago, I had not celebrated Easter as I do now. That Easter soon after snoog was born, was not a happy holiday for me and my kids. It was the beginning of going through the motions of normal life…and knowing that things are falling apart underneath.

3 years ago I had set out baskets and hid eggs, but it was all smoke to hide the fact that nothing was good. Kind of like a hollow cake that is being held together by the frosting—if you cut into it, it falls apart. Soon enough we felt that cut…I remember that Easter being just as empty as those cheap chocolate rabbits you can buy at CVS—not even chocolate could make things better.

No, Easter has not meant a lot to me in past years. But it does now. Much like Christmas it has taken on a new meaning for me and my children…though we are still learning. And with each revelation, I am in greater awe. I still have the scenes from The Passion of Christ in my mind, etched, burned, engraved…I won’t ever forget how that movie was able to bring to life what I could only imagine what Christ endured for me….for me.

No one has ever done that before. No one ever will. Sure, many people will proclaim their undying love for one another, even go as far as to say “I would die for you”…[where did we get that expression in the first place? Why is that expression the be all end all of true love?] But when it comes down to it, we can’t rely on those five words from anyone…except Jesus.

So, when I think back on the broken promises of all those years…

promise of friendship, promise of love, promise of faithfulness, promise of protection, promise of trust, promise of safety, promise of acceptance

…made by people who came in and out of my life…I realize that I was searching for a hero to save me. Aren’t we all in one way or another?

The difference now is that I know who that hero is. Now, when I hear a song about undying love, and being lifted off the ground and swept away, of joy and love so strong…I no longer feel the pangs of yearning…I no longer wonder when will it by MY turn? When will I be rescued from all of this hurt?? I don’t have to search any longer...

He died for me. Tomorrow…it’s not about colored eggs or fuzzy bunnies. It’s about a hero. The one who saved me…from myself.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

You Can Never Live Too Far Inland.

I just got done watching Open Water for the first and last time.

I can't believe that I actually finished watching the movie. I don't know why I do this to myself.

I watched in abject horror as two people went through the slow process of death by consumption [and no not the friendly pulmonary tuberculosis variety ]. Slow because apparently sharks like to play with their food.

Caleb and I have both made a solemn oath that if we ever do decide to vacation in the tropics...we will NOT be scuba diving, and leaving our lives in the hands of people who are unable to do a proper head count. one will ever convince me that sharks and people should swim together...we just do not mix well--hence the metal cages. Of course, I would have to say that anything that has BLACK EYES is evil. But that is just me.

Yes...this is me...the one who is afraid. to. swim. in. the. swimming. pool. because. there. may. be. a. shark....watching yet another terrible documentation to reinforce my fears. Oh...and thank you I didn't really need to have a visual of what it might be like to "happen upon" shark infested waters...

Why why why?

Because now I have a it worse to be eaten by one big shark or many smaller ones?

Early Morning Escapade [Escapee]

This morning I woke to the sound of a young child crying.

No, that isn't very unusual. Kimi usually wakes up crying every morning. The difference today was that it was not Kimi, Abi, or Zac.

My bedroom window overlooks the parking area in our townhouse community. So everything that happens in the parking area I can hear it from my bedroom. This is particularly aggravating at 3:00 in the morning when our neighbors are fighting.

At any rate, the crying was panicky, so I popped my head out of bed and looked out the window. I didn't see anything at first, so I strained to listen...maybe it was Kimi and I had misheard. But when the child cried again, I knew for certain it wasn't Kimi, and that the cry was definitely from outside.

My rational mind figured that someone was getting their child in the car to take them to daycare, not unusual, but I am and always have been concerned when children cry. It is always best to be safe in that regard. It's like I have sensors out for whenever a kid is hurt or scared, and a need to make sure that they are okay.

Then I saw her. She was in nothing but a diaper and a t-shirt, running up the sidewalk.

I was out of bed immediately shouting to Caleb that there was a baby outside by herself, and running out the my pajamas.

A group of kids getting ready for highschool were peering out at her from their doorway when I reached her. I immediately scooped her up and told them to call 911 and gave them my address.

The little girl couldn't have been more than 3 years old. She was frightened and cold. So, I took her in, clothed her and we tried to console this little frightened girl.

It was about 15 minutes later that a police officer arrived.

Time enough for me to actually get dressed into something more bit more appropriate...

Time enough for me to wonder if perhaps someone was hurt and needed help, and that is what prompted her to leave her house.

Time enough for me to wonder what would have happened if...

Thankfully, that wasn't the case.

After the officer arrived, we both went out looking for where she could have come from. Asking people if they knew her, and no one seemed to recognize her from anywhere.

However, the officer noticed that one of the townhouse doors was open, and proceded to investigate. Apparently one of her siblings left the door open after leaving for school, and she wandered out after them. Her guardian was sleeping, and had no idea. Imagine waking up and learning that you lost your 3 year old??

I know what this feels like, I merely have to think back on when I was 16 and my sister became lost at Disney World-she was 4 years old. I found her, crying with a group of people who were asking her questions. I remember seeing her, and her seeing me. The feeling is indescribable.

Zac and Abi, thankfully were home to see all of this...why would I want them to witness this? So that when I told them that the very same thing could happen to Kimi, they would understand the gravity of the situation.

And it isn't so much making sure that the doors are locked that struck me was the fact that had the little girl's door not already been ajar when the officer went to investigate where she may have come one would have known where she lives.

We live our lives in little boxes with blinders on...this alerts me to the necessity of knowing my neighbors.

Caleb and I both felt bad for the lady, waking up to this scenario. Caleb suggested we bake her some cookies...I think it is a good idea.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Two Burns and a Chip on the Kitchen Counter.

Well, I am not sure what this proves, or disproves...perhaps my insanity.

I had an interview for a job tomorrow morning. 8:15 AM to be exact. It was a position at a local truck company, doing data entry...need I say more? But it was a j.o.b.

So what did I do? I stressed about it all night long--to the point of burning myself twice during dinner prep [one on my eye...MY EYE] and having a hissy in the kitchen-- at which point my husband told me I shouldn't go.

Then I I shouldn't go. If I am going to spend $1000 a month in order for me to go to work, it better darn well be a job I actually like...and definitely not data entry. [I loathe data entry]

Ok, but in reality do I have the option to be choosey? I suppose not. However, for what it will cost me to actually work [time away from the kids and many inconveniences on top of the $1000] maybe I can at least get away with being slightly more picky than normal. I mean...I'm not quite to the point of desperation--yet.

So I called the lady up and told her I would not be able to make it to meet her. She asked me if I wanted to reschedule. I told her..."no I believe I will take myself out of the consideration as I do not feel I am quite ready to start a new job yet". She thanked me for calling her...and that was that.

Can you believe I actually said that?? Well, to be sure, at least I didn't just not show up. I would have hated myself for being unprofessional--and weasely.

I think that this whole "let Caleb take over as the breadwinner idea" is going to be much more difficult a concept than I first suspected.

It sucks to be a control freak, it gets in the way of wanting to be a good mother, homemaker, and wife...

And the Winner Is....

Coveted Golden Chicken

Little did the chicken know that it's fate was determined by a few good die rolls...


The Coveted Golden Chicken is a prize given for being Most Valuable Player for the evening. I was surprised and honored that I was chosen...especially since I mostly remember Houdini puking in his bowler hat.

Though, admittedly...I have to thank my dice for gracing me with their favor...and not BOTCHING every roll.

Yes, this is all in code, and no one but my [extremely cool] geek friends will understand.

Taunting Chicken

Coveted Golden Chicken

During lasts night's game I was able to catch a rare glimpse of the Coveted Golden Chicken. It was peering at me with one of its round black eyes. As if to taunt me and say "you want me...but you shall never have me"...

If you look closely you can see it sitting just beyond the candles.

One black eye...staring.

Casualties of War

A little over a year ago, two good friends of mine had a huge falling out. Without going into any great detail about it…they decided to part ways seemingly forever. Forever is a long time I would think to myself. There may be many years yet that will chance an opportunity for reconciliation. Me being ever hopeful decided to not get involved in the dispute one way or another. In a way, remained Switzerland.

The problem with Switzerland is that France and the United States would call upon her to find out what the other one was doing. So Switzerland puts her foot down and says “no”…I am NOT getting involved. But I am hosting an event with Scotland would you like to attend?

The United States: “sure”…I like parties.

France: Are the American’s going? If so I am NOT attending.

Switzerland says: Yes the Americans are going…they like to party. Besides I thought you like my parties and it is important…does it really matter if the United States is going?

France: No…[not wanting to be shown up by the Americans]…I’ll go….but can I bring Germany?

Switzerland: Of course you can.

So Switzerland’s party is great fun…and a good time is had by all. It is like a World Summit with good food and dancing.

Time passes and all is well or so it seems. Switzerland and Scotland are getting along very well, and the United States and France have stopped asking about one another to Switzerland.

Anyway, one day out of the blue France says something particularly offensive to Switzerland with no provocation…you know that French humor can be so dry. And Switzerland’s fragile sensibilities were a bit wounded. Apologies are stated, but it is determined stipulations should be made regarding further communication to avoid such breaches in the future.

Then one night, France calls Switzerland to “chat”. Switzerland takes the call…

France: I can’t be friends with you any longer.

Switzerland: Why not?

France talks and talks, because that is what France does…and the bottom line is that France no longer wants to associate with Switzerland because Switzerland is still associating with the United States.

Well…this is absurd! How do you STOP associating with the United States? You have been friends for a good long time, and besides…the United States is the home of Hershey’s chocolate…and Switzerland is the home of Lindt chocolate…!!

So…what is Switzerland to do? France is adamant that it just won’t work. The United States has caused them too much grief over the many years of their acquaintance and therefore to remain friends with the United States is to declare enmity towards France…and well France likes to hold grudges…

To be sure, Switzerland was decidedly upset over the conversation. Until Switzerland realized that France was acting like a 13 year old GIRL. While Switzerland wishes no ill will towards France, and hopes that France has a happy future. Switzerland has decided that she hasn’t acquired a taste for French whine.

The End

*This post is by no means intended to offend the actual countries of France, Switzerland, The U.S. or Germany. The countries names are pseudonyms for real people in order to protect the identity of those involved. The broad generalities and stereotypes intended to describe the behaviors of said individuals.

**I like France…the actual country…and the wine made therein.

*** I am not from Switzerland, nor do I have a Swiss bank account.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Blogging on Caleb

Me: Caleb...I blogged about you again...

Caleb: Whyyyy?

Me: Because you are an endless font of material.

All I Want...

Tonight we took the kids to Toys R Us so that they could spend their birthday money. Afterwards, we planned on going to Kohl’s…and if everyone was patient enough with me, we would go to Wendy’s for some Frostys.

In Toys R Us after walking around for an hour helping the kids pick out what they wanted...

Caleb: It's time to go...[impatient]

Me: What's wrong? Did you find anything you want?

Caleb: No...everything is too expensive...

Me: Are you always whine that you never get to get anything for is your chance.

Caleb: No, I just want a Frosty.

As we are walking to the entrance of Kohl’s…

Son: Mom what are we going here for?

Me: To look at bras…
[understand this is the response that I always give my son whenever he asks where we are going]

Son: Ha Ha mom…no really, why are we going here?

Me: [serious] No really…bras

Son: dang it, I should have waited in the car...

Caleb: So after this we can get a Frosty, right?

My family endured waiting a ½ hour while I tried on these seemingly harmless contraptions. And finally I was able to find three that didn’t feel as though my bunnies were being constricted or twisted into play-doh molds.

This marks Caleb’s first excursion in bra buying. He wasn’t as thrilled as I was, but he was remarkably patient.

At the cash register my son hands me a bottle of water as Caleb wrote a very large check in order to purchase said bras…

Me: Thanks for the water, trying on bras is thirsty work.

Caleb: Just as long as I can get a Frosty…

Cashier: [giggles]

In the car, I forget that my husband is a man, and I am yammering on and on about my new bras and how great they are…and that I was disappointed that I couldn’t find the color that I really wanted…and then I look at his face.

He has a blank stare in his big blue eyes…the one where it looks as though he has lost all cognizance. And I realize that I really need to do this type of shopping with a girlfriend and not my entire family.

Caleb: Frosty?

We drive home in relative silence. Me thinking about my new bras, the kids thinking about their new toys, and Caleb thinking about the Frostys we just picked up at Wendy’s.



Caleb starts his new job today!!

Both of us are excited and nervous. Hopeful that all goes well.
While, it isn't his dream job, it is a good job for our family. I feel that it is the job that God wants him to have right now.

My unemployment benefits will end right when Caleb will be receiving his first now it seems the roles are reversed and HE will be taking care of ME. I have not been dependent on anyone except myself in a very long time, giving over that control is a very humbling--and scary.

On the other hand, I also feel a bit of relief [and wonder]...because I feel that our lives are getting back on track according to Gods plan. Of course, sometimes I really wish that God would let us in on the finer details of what He has got going for us...but that isn't the way it works.

What I DO know is that God has blessed us with some really incredible friends. And with their help we have survived another winter.

I also know that God has given Caleb the ability to make me feel as though I am not any less of a person because I will be at home instead of in the office [at least for a little while]. He has told me that this new job is OUR job and that he needs my support in doing it. [!!]

So, it is time to give Caleb the mantle of breadwinner, he certainly has worked hard, and endured a lot for it.

I know that I am not the easiest person to get along with. But he does...and if anyone can thwart off my super villain powers of "razor tongue" and "ice stare" and then come back for more...they must be Superman.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Feel the Love...

Him: Where do you want this shelf hung?

Her: I already showed you.

Him: But that was just a general area...where do you want me to put it?

Her: Up your butt.

Him: I can't do that, with all the things you've told me to put up there, I don't have any room left!!

Her: I didn't expect you were actually listening to me.

Saturday, March 19, 2005



For some reason when I looked at this photo for the first time, I suddenly realized that my daughter is no longer "adorable"...she is beautiful.

Somehow, somewhere along the way...she became a young lady. In this photo I can almost see the lovely young woman she is going to be.

Maybe it is the expression on her face that brings to mind what is yet to come...she is anticipating sharing these cupcakes with her friends...and the cake that I have baked her for later on...she is also anticipating the gifts that we have for her.

Whatever it is, my perspective of this snapshot translates her anticipation into an expression that allows me to see peeking through her smile, the face of a more mature Abigaille.

Storm of My Heart: Eight Years of Joy

My Favorite Photo of Abi

Abigaille, first born girl.
Tiny storm and gentle rain.
My eyes delight in your smile
Mother of a daughter now
I’ve never been the same

The test came back positive. I remember clearly the doctor letting me know that there was a possibility that the child I was carrying would have Down Syndrome.

In order to be sure I would need to go to Seattle, the nearest military base hospital that was equipped to do an amniocentesis. I was in Idaho. I would need to fly. By myself and pregnant—fly.

4 months pregnant, I watched as the airport disappeared sending me far away from my son. What if I didn’t return? Why do I always think that way?

I stayed in small room on the military base. I remember thinking to myself what it might be like to live on my own how nice it might be. But there was no escaping what was to come.

At the hospital I was told to wear a green gown and lay down in a semi reclined hospital bed. I remember them telling me that I could refuse the test, that there was a chance that I could have a miscarriage if I went through with it. But I was here for a reason…we wanted to know. So I said yes. A local anesthesia was applied.

I saw the needle. I couldn’t watch. I didn’t feel it, but tears streamed down my face anyway—pure fear—on so many levels. Holding onto the bed rails because I couldn't hold my swollen belly. Alone with nameless doctors--me and my baby enduring this together from two different worlds.

The fluid from my womb was taken; it was a clear yellow color. I wondered if they took too much and my baby was hurting because of it. I was told that my body would make more fluid--not to worry. They would test it and then let me know the results. They sent me back to Idaho.

I now had to wait twenty four hours to find out if I would miscarry. And then I would have to wait another week for the results of the test.

The relief of finding out that my baby was healthy was only surpassed by learning that my baby is a girl. The amniocentesis was undeniable. No guessing this time. We decided to not tell anyone. Let it be a surprise. That lasted a week. A GIRL!! Girl names were tough, when she was born I didn’t get to name her because I simply couldn’t decide.

I’m in labor. But not for long. I was at the hospital and giving birth to my baby girl in less than two hours. I opted for the epidural, but a little too late. This one was arriving NOW. The doctor barely had time to get his gloves on.

She was so tiny. She has such soft skin. The hair on her head was like down. I brushed my lips to her forehead all the time to smell her baby scent and to feel that soft hair on my face. I did that so much that her hair rubbed away…she looked like a balding old man…so I stop to let her hair grow back.

She didn’t want to breastfeed, and she was so petite already. I tried for two months and then gave up. She was losing weight. I wanted her to grow. To finally be fed. She didn’t cry, she screamed. Always hungry…My body couldn’t give her enough.

3 Weeks old. She has to see a cardiologist. She may need heart surgery. The heart murmur is very large…and she is so very small.
We won't go to Japan if she needs surgery. She is monitored…and eventually the murmur gets smaller as she gets bigger. Why is she so small?

18 hour flight. We are in Okinawa. I hated the mosquitoes. The…mosquitoes carry diseases that cause neurological problems. She kept getting bit. I was sick with worry all the time.

18 hour flight back to Idaho. Driving from Idaho to Michigan. On my own with my children… come what may. She yelled the entire time. Zac and I played travel games…and yelled along with her.

Four years old…I’m working full time. She attends daycare. Thankfully at the home of a good lady. She is growing so fast. I am missing so much. She won’t be small forever.

Today Abi turns 8 years old. She is my little firecracker.

She says she'll never leave me. She will take care of me forever. She says that she can't go away to college because she wants to live with me. I tell her that she will probably change her mind...she cries and fiercely denies my claim to reality. As much as I know that someday she will grow up and leave, I am happy for the fact that she is so strongly set against it right now.

…she adores Jesus…she has a beautiful laugh…she cries when I cry…she has a terrible temper…her sense of humor is amazing…her wit is surprising…she loves to live…she is generous...she is still small…but her heart, the weak one that God gave her…is strong with love…there is nothing in the world like a daughter.


Friday, March 18, 2005

Princess Cocoa Puffs

I could not get the two year old interested in eating food yesterday, because she isn’t feeling well. I also could not get her off the couch…not that I tried. She was pretty content to lie there all day long either me holding her reading or her sitting watching T.V.

Caleb and I made “breakfast for dinner” [the kids favorite] and I didn’t offer any, not wanting to disturb her rest.

Afterwards I was cleaning up a bit, I heard her little voice telling me she wanted dinner. She stood in the kitchen doorway with her big eyes staring at me. I was surprised that she actually got off the couch and came to the kitchen.

Relieved that she finally wanted to eat, I began by asking her if she wanted some noodles “no” soup? “no”, sandwich? “no”. All she said was “Dinner”... as though she couldn’t believe I was that dim.

I made the noodles anyway and presented them to her royal highness, to which she threw a royal fit… [I swear I heard her curse under her breath “stupid peasant”]… and then pointed her scepter towards the kitchen and emphatically demanded “DINNER”!

Then it finally occurred to me what could have lured the young princess away from her throne and jester [the couch and Sponge Bob] when she isn’t feeling well.

The chocolate muffins that Caleb the baker had just taken out of the oven…of course. She smelled chocolate. So her royal highness had a dinner consisting of chocolate muffins and milk and she was the envy of all the court.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


I spent most of last night consoling a sick little girl. She cried for momma and I picked her up and brought her to my bed. She was burning with a fever and not responding to the medicine. She woke me up every hour or so asking for water in her small baby voice. I’m sure if it had been any other reason than sickness I may not have held my patience.

Today she has lain on the couch most of the day, oblivious to much of anything. I gave her more medicine and cuddled her. I gave her a cool bath to clean away the sweat, and bring her temperature down just for a little while. Afterwards she slept some more.

While she sleeps away her fever she is unaware of the fact that I will have to return to work. Today I learned that the extension to my benefits will not be granted, and I will need to go back. This time at home with my children, it seems, will soon be over.

I haven’t been the perfect stay at home mom. It was such a transition from the power worker mentality that I had developed over the past few years. I got that way out of necessity though. Single parenthood is not easy. Sacrifices have to be made. However, I had not realized until I was forced to stay home what sacrifices those were.

My children I found out…need me. They need someone to come home to after school and let them know what they are allowed to have for a snack. They need someone to pick out their clothes, and get their breakfast ready. They need someone to make sure that they wear hats and gloves in cold weather, and that they aren’t dressing like orphans. They need someone to read to them, and cuddle them when they are sick. They need a mom.

Yes, all of those things I have mentioned can find someone else to do…pay a child care provider. But I have learned that there is a huge difference between me and that paid child care provider...they are a stranger, I am not. They will not think to take a picture of them as they head out the door, or listen to them when they are having troubles...or not let Caleb eat all the pudding. All the things that I know are important to them.

It is bittersweet that I should find myself coming full circle to the ideals that I adamantly denied ten years ago regarding stay at home mothers. This time instead fighting the very thought of it…I am aching to embrace what little time I have left.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Happiness Is...

Finding the two-litre of Coca Cola that you squirreled away under the sink three weeks ago and promptly forgot about.

Dilemma: Do I open it now or save it?
[looking at the red and white dressed bottle as though it were a Bordeaux]

Solution: I can't possibly have popcorn without Coca Cola.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Switching Gears

So, I found out early in the evening that my husband wasn't actually going to go out.

Here I am psyching myself up for drinking tea, knitting, watching The Scarlet Letter, maybe listening to Depeche Mode.

Instead, I decided to pop some popcorn and snuggle next to my husband watching a movie entirely dedicated to poop.

What can I say? I'm versatile.

Any Last Remarks?

Here are some that have been said today....

Aunt Lynda: She's looks like a little hellian [referring to Kimi]

Caleb: Oh you think so? I think she looks just like Kassi

Aunt Lynda: Exactly

Aunt Lynda: I had a big GMC Blazer and the kids would sit all the way in the back, and when they started acting up I told them that if they didn't stop I would smack them. And so they would start up and sure enough I could reach them...

Kassi: I remember could reach had arms that would extend...[in awe]

Chad: [whispers] Yeah, once I think I heard her say "go go gadget arms"...seriously!

Caleb: You should tell Scott to buy a kilt for the Highland games [sincere]

Scott C.: Yeah...I can get a Utilikilt..[with sarcasm]

Kassi: I'm writing a new song titled "Men in Skirts"

Caleb: Kassi do we have any mozarella cheese?

Kassi: Yes, there is a block of it in the fridge

A few minutes later....
Caleb: Kassi, I don't think I should eat this cheese.

Kassi: Why not?

Caleb: Because there are things growing on it

After inspecting....
Kassi: Oh yeah, there ARE things growing on it...right out of the dog hair that is in the cheese....

Kassi: Zac if I weren't proud of you I wouldn't tell everyone about your good grades, I want everyone to know you have good brains.

Zac: My brains aren't good they are kind of pudding-like and mushy

Kassi: Your brains aren't pudding

Zac: Yes they are, they are chocolate pudding...

Kassi: Really?!!

Kimi gets very excited at the mere mention of my cousin Chad. Today we saw him and of course, Princess Kimi took center stage...YELLING his name over and over. As though he should save her from her wicked parents.

Kimi: That's my Chad [telling everyone matter of factly]

Kassi: How does it feel to be owned by a three year old?

Chad: eh...[shrugs shoulders]

Caleb: Welcome to my world.

Caleb: No really, you should get a Utilikilt and wear it the the Highland games...[sincere]

Scott: How about I wait until I get there and you can help me pick it out? [with sarcasm]

Caleb: Okay, but I am not sure if they have them there...[sincere again]

Kassi: I'll lend each of you one of my handbags it will be cute.

Caleb: Woman do as I say! [quoting Rob Roy]

Scott: [laughter]

Kassi: Hey I'm not the ones planning a shopping spree...

And last but not least, my favorite of the day:

Scott C.: By the way, I've been clicking on your google ads.

Kassi: Thank you for clicking on my googles...

Scott C.: Okay, don't say that any more...

Kassi: Why not? I'm getting half a penny for each click!

Learning to be Content with Me

He knows I get upset when I am not able to go out and have fun with him. It makes me feel left out and put aside. Especially, since we haven’t gone out on a “date” in a very long time. Last night was his first performance with a new comedy troupe he has joined. I missed it. I was disappointed, but only a little. Maybe I am finally resigning myself to what is.

He doesn’t know that for as much as I grumble about it, sometimes I am already looking forward to putting on my favorite shirt and jeans and curling up on the couch with either a good book or a good movie that only I would be interested in. In my mind the tea is already made. The children have already had their baths and are tucked in. In my mind the dishwasher and the washing machine are the only things hard at work.

There have been many times that I’ve pulled out my comfy clothes and nestled in for the night. And though I know I am missing the laughter of friends and shared experiences with my best friend [my husband], and I would like very much to be there. I am learning to be content here.

For tonight, once again the babysitter had to cancel, so I have already put on my Depeche Mode concert t-shirt and my worn out jeans. I’ve already selected the movie and I may take out the knitting basket, just for practice. Something tells me I may want to listen to some music at some point. I am mercurial that way. My company won’t care though…I have a date with me.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window

This book turned out to be very surprising. When I borrowed it, I was skeptical as to whether or not I would like it, since the only thing I knew of it was that it is the memoirs of a well known Japanese actress.

I was surprised to find that the book was about her earliest memories of her school days. And even though it was written by an adult, the character of herself as a young child shone through in the way she captured the thoughts she had during her experiences, and the alternatively gave insight to what she feels about those experiences as an adult.

At the very first page I was enchanted. I think that I really enjoyed reading this for a few reasons. First, it immediately reminded me of when I read Beverly Cleary’s Ramona the Pest. I identified with Ramona very much when I was younger, and my daughter Abi is now the "Ramona" of my family. “Totto-chan” seems to be the Japanese version of Ramona.

Next, the story itself has an underlying message of how children need to be free to explore their world and learn without too much adult interference or criticism. This is because children are inherently good, and do not really mean to do bad things. And generally, if allowed they work out their mistakes themselves because they want to do the right thing.

The main supporter of this ideal is her headmaster at the elementary school she attended. The headmaster, Sosaku Kobayashi, was able to create a safe atmosphere for the children where they could learn without developing complexes about themselves. Even his school was unique and invoked creativity…it was composed of empty train cars. It was amazed to learn that such a progressive-minded school existed in 1937.

Third, the story takes place in the author’s youth, during World War II. There are distinct historical references to what was going on in the world at the time; however the Tatto-chan was not affected by these events until the the school was destroyed by incendiary bombs in the middle of the night and the people of her town fled for safety. It was important for her headmaster to let the children be children even in a very dangerous time.

The author, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, drew me into her world with the first word, and enchanted me completely until the very end. I loved that this is a true account; therefore all the characters are real. I think that this is a very worthy read as do many others. Tatto-chan is read in schools to grade school children so that they can learn from Totto-chan’s experiences and identify with her as well.

Totto-chan’s story has distinct elements of some of my favorite childhood books: The imagination of The Box Car Children, The innocence of Ramona the Pest, and the truth of The Diary of Anne Frank.

Overall, I would highly recommend Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window, if not for yourself then for your children.

Papa and The Kim

On April 8, 2005 Caleb and I will have been married for six months. Six months isn’t a particularly significant amount of time in regards to marriage, we’ve vowed to be with each other for the rest of our lives. However at the six month mark, Caleb will finally be allowed to petition the court to adopt Kimi.

There is no question about it for me. She knows him as her Papa. Caleb decided that he didn’t want her to call him “daddy”. But we both didn’t want her to call him “Caleb” when she was learning how to say his name. So, “Papa” stuck.

Will the court allow the adoption? Well, that contingent on whether or not her paternal father contests the petition. Do I think he will? Probably not. He hasn’t seen Kimi since she was 8 months old…much to my relief. I am honestly hoping that the adoption will pass by quickly and uneventfully. However, I can’t allow myself to be too confident.

The passing of her third birthday was a wonderful event, but not without trepidation. I am generally always worried that her paternal father will show up and demand to see her. There is nothing that I can do about it, it is his right. However, during her birthday, I wonder to myself if he is thinking about her more often and if it will prompt some sort of action on his part. Alot can happen in 4 weeks.

Caleb worries as well and in fact had a nightmare about it the night before her birthday. Of course, at the end of his dream he flew out of the window like Superman with Kimi in his arms…

I just hope that no matter what the judge will be able to determine in a few short minutes what I have known for the past 2 and a half years.

They belong together.

Besides, the family courtroom is located on the 12th floor...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Rainbow-Kimi: A Birthday Haiku

Your smile is sunshine
Peeking through cold blue-grey skies
Chasing away clouds

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Merlin the Siamese Fighting Fish

Merlin is a bright aqua blue Siamese fighting fish with a fair temperament. His home is located near the-center-of-the-living room. Because of his location Merlin is witness to a myriad of activities.

At this time Merlin is preparing for a mate. He diligently creates a bubble nest every week to which the large ape that feeds him and changes his water destroys. Merlin is persistent though, and immediately after the demolition of one nest, he goes about building another one.

*At first, the large ape thought that something was wrong with Merlin to be creating the slimy bubble masses, but later the ape consulted the oracle of knowledge and learned that Merlin is indeed just a healthy male preparing for a lady friend.

Merlin recently almost had a name change. He didn’t protest at the prospect because he doesn’t actually understand the muffled sounds that come through the glass walls of his home and aquatic environment. He can only discern the degree of intensity from one noise to the next. Regardless, he really only cares that no matter what they call him, he is fed dried worms at least every other day. These are his favorite.

Merlin’s home is located on what is called a coffee table. This allows Merlin a good view of the television, which he refers to as the prismatic box of moving colors. Sometimes he is sure that his soul mate is in the moving box of colors, and her name is Xanadu. Thinking about this incites zealous bubble creating. Though she has not arrived, he has hope.

Merlin is often visited by the small and rather noisy monkey from time to time. This monkey, at first would put its hairless fingers in his home, and then the larger ape would come and rescue him.

He has decided that the larger ape, though destroying his bubble nest is the most trustworthy of all the apes. Therefore, when the large ape comes near his home, he swims around and comes to the surface to greet it.

The small noisy ape has recently taken to spitting in his home. He would not mind necessarily if the small ape would just spit worms. But alas it doesn’t and the interruptions have become bothersome. Thankfully the larger ape finally caught the small monkey in the act and perhaps this will stop as well.

Lastly, there is the four legged hairy wolf that lives with the apes and monkeys.

[He doesn’t know how many apes and monkeys surround his home because Merlin does not have fingers, nor does he understand numbers]

Merlin knows about the four legged wolf because there have been a few instances during the dark times that Merlin has fell asleep and woke up with a much smaller area in which to move around.

He suspected that it was the four legged hairy wolf that has taken part of his home somehow, because the water has a strange taste to it when he wakes up in the morning.

This was confirmed in the wee hours of the night when he woke up to a lapping sound and a snout invading his space. He hid in his bubble nest and prayed for daylight, or one of the apes to get up and scare the wolf away.

Merlin has a relatively sedate life, aside from these minor inconveniences of having his bubble nest destroyed, being spit at, and the wolf drinking his home. Why, right now he is languidly swimming around watching the apes and monkeys do whatever apes and monkeys do. The small noisy monkey is being particularly loud…maybe the larger ape will take it away, so that he can watch the prismatic box of moving colors in relative peace and dream of Xanadu.

How to Avoid Homework at all Costs: The art of Procrastination and Avoidance Kassi-Style

I have a confession to make. My classes started on Monday, and I didn’t crack open any of my school books until yesterday evening at about 9:45PM. My homework was due by midnight.

I can’t really pinpoint why I procrastinated for five days and avoided reading my assigned text thereby sabotaging an chance I would have to prepare my brain to actually answer questions. However, I know what I did to procrastinate over the past few days in order to completely avoid reading about Statistics and Organizational Behavior.

First, we had a relative in town over the weekend…so we invited him over a couple of times. That seems valid enough. Also, I hosted a game on Saturday night…it was prescheduled almost a month in advance, so I couldn’t possibly cancel.

Next, Caleb was off of work on Monday and Tuesday, and when he is home I don’t get anything really accomplished, not even housework. So we spent Monday in Ann Arbor [we love Ann Arbor]...mmm...Bubble Tea and Pocky.

Then Tuesday I had to finishreading one of the books I borrowed over Spring Break, The Namesake,—once I start a book I am dedicated to completing it. Especially since as of late, I have had a voracious appetite for words…just not text book words. Tuesday evening I had another game, which also was scheduled in advance, and it would have been rude of me to not show up. Besides it was my one chance to get out of the house by myself.

Of course, after all this visiting, playing, and reading I had no time to actually clean the house…so the majority of Wednesday I was cleaning house and doing laundry. I even recall thinking to myself as I reorganized my meager CD collection, "this is something that definitely can wait, why aren't I reading my chapters?"...but by that time I had already resigned myself to my fate of doing homework at the eleventh hour--again.

So on with Wednesday evening…in which another game was scheduled. But I put my foot down and said “I’m only available until 9:30”. So at 9:45 I rush into the office and begin my homework. I am able to finish at the required time, as I usually do. I’m not quite sure why though; perhaps God was taking pity on me once again for my inability to manage my time properly even though I have taken classes in time management. Go figure.

Maybe it is that I work better under pressure. At least that is what I keep telling myself…because this is a repeated scenario, and the only thing I know at this point. I know part of my problem is that I cram too much to do into a short period of time and become overwhelmed and once I am overwhelmed I switch into “Kassi needs to relax” mode…and lately that relaxation has taken the form of reading books [not school books].

I have a lot to do today, dishes, laundry, vacuum, clean the bathrooms, go to the store for Kimi’s birthday present and some new shoes [for her], cook dinner and generally make sure that the house doesn't blow up.

I also have to do my taxes [another project in procrastination-ville], work on my grandma’s scrapbook, fill out invitations for the kids birthday bash, and of course, do some homework.

Lucky for me I have another borrowed book that I started reading last night….Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

How to Play Hide and Seek with a Snoog

1. Count to 10 and only to 10. They quickly get bored of counting and will come to find you and remind you that they are only going to wait so long. Also, they may count with you, making it easier to find them.

2. Bring a camera. Snoogs like cameras. As you can see this one is equipped with a disposable camera. Part of the rule is that capturing them on film is just as good as a physical capture.

3. Be prepared to pretend that you can't find them. They like the thrill of the chase.

4. Never expect to have your turn to hide. If you do, don't expect to be found...ever. They have short attentions spans and if you hide too well they will lose interest and you will be stuck beside the couch in a small space unable to get out...uh yeah...

5. Be especially excited that you found them...even if they were hiding because they wanted to go to the bathroom in their pants.

6. Don't be surprised that they went to the bathroom in their pants...and don't scold them, or next time they will find a better hiding spot.

7. If you can't find them, use your nose. If you still can't find is probably because they found something particularly valuable, fragile or technologically advanced of yours and have decided to forgo hide and seek to play with said item instead.

8. Be prepared to only play a few times. Snoogs lose interest quickly and if you engage in this activity for too long they will look at you with either a. annoyance, or b. disgust.

9. If you do either of the above, a. annoy, or b. prepared to be grievously injured. Snoogs have quick reflexes and instinctively go for the eyes or throat.

10. Snoogs are dangerous. Playing hide and seek with one is risky business, but when done properly they will greatly reward you with thier charming smiles.

I Found You!

Snow Zombies

Recently a group of paranormal investigators embarked on a mission to explore some unexplained activity at a local neighborhood. What they found was disturbing to say the least.

It seems that Michigan's bi-polar weather has manifested a strange phenomenon. The constant temperature changes, causing snow melt and freeze has instigated a peculiar set of events. Apparently the Snowmen, who, along side the living residents of Michigan, are sick of the weather changes and are seeking atonement of some sort.

The investigators are still unsure if the manifestation is malevolent or benign, as none are fluent in snowman speak. And the snowman abassador, Frosty is unable to comment due to the fact that he is currently two pieces of coal and a carrot.

The photo below should not be shown to small children due to it's graphic nature. Parents, take heed...if you have a half melted snowman in your ware.

Many are gathering themselves up (literally) you can see a snow zombie crawling its way across a gravesite.

Sleep of Reason: A Victorian Experience of Gothic Proportions.

Last night I spent an evening with friends around a table participating in an RPG entitled "Sleep of Reason". The game is set in a Victorian era with "real" or "fiction" personifications of that time period.

Around the table are represented; Christine Daae, Victoria Woodhull, Madame Blavatsky, Jack Dawkins, and Harry Houdini. An interesting collection of characters to say the least.

Currently, we are in a small village near London. All of us arriving at said location by different means and circumstances, yet somehow there nonetheless drawn to the same goal: find a murderer.

As the story unfolds we are met with an eerie setting and a bizarre cast of NPC's that we must deal with. The backwoods village is the home of an exclusive school for girls. The village itself is entrenched with a dark history written in the blood of it's inhabitants, to which they desperately cling to, and hide as though the secrecy of it will keep them safe.

The motley group of investigators as identified above have been set to finding various clues to the murders that have suspiciously taken place, during the full moon. Our speculations are that of a werewolf [of course] however, we are not ruling out witchcraft of some sort. Either way, the events are diabolical and our group, not seasoned witchhunters, are an endless source of blunders and amusement. Both in and out of character.

Quite honestly, it is amazing that the story even progresses, and I am sure it is mostly by accident, and the pity of our storyteller.

The game uses the D & D system, which many of you may be familiar with, as am I. Though seeing the system used for this particular setting is foreign. Last night Christine came upon a "magical book". She took it back to the inn with her to investigate further, as we were in someone's home without them knowing. After getting to her room at the inn she proceeded to open the book to which a loud obnoxious whooping sound came forth from the pages.

Obviously, it was an alarm, and the book had little signifigance other than to alert it's owner that someone was meddling. It was funny though, because this setting I was just as curious about what the content of the book was as Christine's player...however if this had been the normal D & D medieval setting, we would have probably deduced that it was only an alarm right off.

My point is that the story teller, Kevin, has artfully introduced a new game using old rules in a way that can surprise the players, even those familiar with such tricks. This "alarm" book was the topic of much laughter and jest for the rest of the game, and much to the chagrin of Christine's player, who is actually quite new to RPG, though you would never know because of his ability to step into the role.

Overall I am finding this game completely different than anything that I have ever played, and I am totally captivated. I am glad to have been invited to join.

I like the dark setting, and the possibility of squaring off with Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein, or Mr. Hyde at some point. I hope we get to meet the Great Sherlock Holmes, Captain Ahab or The Time Traveler. I like how as a group, we are discovering our characters strengths and weaknesses based on the research that we have done.

Perhaps one of the things I like the best about this game is the fact that I love reading historical fiction and I love dark fiction, this game is both combined. However, I am most pleased with the person I researched and finally decided to play. For one Tuesday a month, as if in an unscripted [and highly amusing] production,...I am Harry Houdini.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Being a stay at home mom, I have been trying to work with my daughter Kimi on such things as numbers, shapes, colors and letters. I don’t believe in structuring a 2 year olds day or sitting her down to actually “work” on these things…she’ll get plenty of that for the rest of her life, but I am aware that without the foundation of knowledge or at least introduction of these concepts I will be doing a disservice to her.

So…when the opportunity arises, we count steps and raisins…or we talk about the color of apples and her clothes…and we look at the letters of her name…etc. etc.

She likes to do this with me and often initiates these conversations herself. She also thinks the ABC song is the ultimate form of expressing happiness and love.

My youngest daughter at the tender age of two also loves candy…any candy, to include cake, ice cream, and cookies. In fact those are her favorite and most said words next to “fart” and “poopy”. And I am a bit embarrassed to say that it is my fault [about the candy]. I went against my rule of no candy until she is five. Actually, Caleb aided in this unraveling of this rule, but I am the mommy, so essentially it is my fault.

Recently in one of our counting sessions, to which she can count all the way up to four…Kimi introduced a new counting method to me.


Try as I might I could not convince her that “candy” was not a number. She wouldn’t cooperate with me and I could not coax her to say “three”…though I know very well she knows that “three” comes after “two”.

Well, to make matters more interesting, she will turn three this coming Friday. So I am wondering in her world…if three is actually candy…then perhaps she thinks she is going to hit the mother load at the end of the week.

Not a bad theory. In fact…if it turns out, I might just replace “34” with “Chocolate” so that I might enjoy my birthday this year.

When the night comes

Have you ever woken up from a nightmare, fear gripping your heart like a vice? I had this experience last night, as I do on many nights. And though as ridiculous as the topic might seem [because the probability of it happening is next to nothing], it still makes me quake.

I hate how in my dream world I am so very vulnerable. I am not sure if this is because it is how I view myself in real life, or if it is because I am transported back to a time in which I actually was vulnerable. Either way I am stripped of defense in my dreaming state.

At any rate my nightmare last night was about my ex stepfather as many of my nightmares are. How is he my ex stepfather? My mom divorced him eventually…but not before the damage was done to our family.

However…this time around it wasn’t me he was after, it was my daughter Abi. Trying to rationalize why I am afraid for my daughter Abi rather than Kimi, all I can say is that she is just at that age. An age that I can identify being myself…and in the situations I experienced. I expect that when Kimi reaches age 7 I will have more episodes of nightmares.

I awoke from this dream unable to breathe, because in my dream I watched on helpless to what was happening…as though I was restrained by my own vulnerability and uselessness that I could only call out to her to run. Though logically, she wouldn’t be able to get away from him, as he was much larger and stronger than she. I still called out to her as she tried in vain to climb a chain link fence to I stood unable to move, struggling against invisible bindings.

I woke Caleb up because I had a hold of his arm and was shaking it in my sleep. Poor Caleb…he gets woken up this way often enough…by my thrashing about, calling out, or crying in my sleep from some nightmare or another…usually about my ex stepfather. He has learned to accept my nocturnal turmoil in stride. He asks me what I was dreaming about and he consoles me afterwards. Though, honestly sometimes I just don’t want to say what I was dreaming about as though speaking it makes it valid.

I know that my experience was real for me, as I am sure it is for thousands of others who go through rough childhoods and teenage years. My family, meaning my mother, brothers and sister, do not know that I have nightmares about these times; it is not something that we ever talk about. In fact, I am sure that they have all but forgotten about it—or pushed it so far back as though pretending it didn’t exist.

For the most part I am over the hurt feelings of anger and betrayal…at least during the day. My nightmares won’t let me forget…not completely. The events that haunt me occurred between the ages of 7 and 16. These many years later I still feel the same as when I did at those ages, but only when the night comes.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Master Control Program

As you can see there are a couple of new sections on the side bar titled faves and raves. Well...I did that. My blog template doesn't actually have a pre made section for links...and because I want to show others what I find interesting...I PROGRAMMED those into the template. officially marks me as a first time programmer...I can't believe I did it. I have taken the first baby step to span that bridge between user and tech. I am brain just might explode. This must be how Flynn felt when he met Tron and realized he was on the inside.

Things I didn't know about myself

As many thousands of people realize…marriage often brings to light many things that ,as a single person, one did not know about oneself. I am no different and have become enlightened over the past few months regarding some things that I did not realize.

For instance…I freak out when there is no money to pay the rent. And because there is no money to pay the rent…and I am freaking out about it…and I am concerned about such things…all I think about is money.

Secondly, I have learned that I freak out when I don’t get to travel or go anywhere. I recently gave up an overseas trip in order to pay for my wedding, yet weeks later it was posed (hypothetically) would I get upset if someone (we won’t mention any names) took a trip to Scotland with his buddies (AGAIN) should he be invited? And because I freaked out about the possibility of this scenario...all I think about is the fact that I never get to go anywhere but (someone else) does.

The next interesting thing that I have learned about myself….and this is rather personal so you may want to shut your eyes while you read…is that because I want a healthy [and active] sexual relationship with my husband, and I freak out about it when we aren’t being affectionate (enough)…all I ever think about is sex.

I have also learned that because I get upset about no one offering to help around the house and I tell people what to clean or what not to clean, and I freak out when no one helps me out and in fact thwarts my efforts by putting dirty clothes into the clean clothes…all I think about is my obsessive compulsive need for cleanliness.

These are personality traits I did not know existed in me. Maybe this is why I have not been able to find gainful or fulfilling employment. I apparently have been focusing on the wrong skill set.

I wonder if the pay is good for cleaning professionals in France.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Glazed and Confused

Scenario: Caleb and Kassi sitting on the couch. Caleb is in control of the "clicker" they are watching everything on T.V. Caleb does a double take and clicks back to a previous channel that is showing the 11:00 news...then following conversation takes place:

Caleb: [incredulously] why is Martha Stewart being let out of jail at midnight?!

Kassi: [eyes glazed and staring blankly at the T.V., responding in monotone] because if the sunlight were to touch her skin she would turn to dust.

Caleb: [ponders for a moment and then resigns] Oh..ok.

Caleb happily continues channel surfing. Kassi falls asleep with her eyes open.

Family Photos: An Adventure in Mishaps

Yesterday I woke up extra early because I wanted to go see my daughter in her school news broadcast. She was announcing the lunch menu [Dominoes Pizza, Fish Nuggets and P B & J], and I wanted to see how all of her rehearsing paid off. She was cute as ever. She managed to look at the camera several times and she only chewed on her fingers a little bit.

She was happy that I was there, and Kimi was overjoyed to see Abi on TV.
It is one of those things, since having the opportunity to stay home, that I am glad that I actually did. I could have opted to stay in bed--I didn't.

However, my ambition didn't stop there. I decided that since I was up already I would get an early start and drive out to Rochester, an hour away, and go to my grandmother's house to pick up some of her old photos. I am putting together a scrap book of memories for her and I need some of her photos for it.

Then, my ambition grew...I would bring the dog...since she doesn't get out of the house very why not?

Then another bright idea struck me [more it possible?]...I would go visit my grandma at my uncles house since she is only moments away, she currently lives with my uncle because of her stroke, she can't manage stairs on her own. This way she could visit with Kimi for a little bit.

Great! My day was planned out.

I packed up the kids and the dog, I went to Abi's school, and watched her was only a few minutes and Roxy is ok in the car on her own for a little while.

After the broadcast I had to go back home to get directions from my grandmother's house to my uncles house . I know they are close, but I don't know the way. So...I came back home to print out a map, then I called Caleb at which a conversation about the internet usage and opening emails was the subject...and left both of us steaming.

So, right after we hung up I left to make the trek up to my grandma's house. I'm driving along, and winding down....listening to music...and that is when I realize that I left the map at home. I could easily turn around at this point but I do not...I figure I will just call from grandma's house to get big deal. However, I should have realized at this point...that the one small glitch was just the first step in the downward spiral. Because in my life...that is always the case. However, optimist and overestimator that I am...I continue on.

We, [Kimi, me and the dog] arrive to my grandma's house...and I am riding on E at this point. But I know that there is a gas station close by, so I will get gas on the way back. No Big Deal...right? Right.

It is at this precise moment that I reach for my purse that is sitting in the passengers seat and find that it is not in the passengers seat. And just then because even my photographic memory is against me...I get a visual of my purse sitting on the desk...right next to the map. Why does my brain hate me so?

Therefore, at 10:00 in the morning when most people are at work, I have found myself sitting in my car outside of my grandmother's empty house with no gas, no money, no key to get into my grandmother's house [key is in my purse], a two-year-old and a dog. NO BIG DEAL...right?

So I weigh my options...

Cry is on the top of the the sinking sensation settles over me because this is a totally wasted trip. But I am resourceful...and I endeavor to combine my resourcefulness and pitifulness...

I take Kimi out of the car and look around and try to assess if there are any neighbors that might be 10:00 on a weekday.

Thankfully there is...and upon spotting this I trudge over through the snow...with Kimi screaming in my ear "SNOW SNOW"....yes kid, it's snow.

So I gather myself up and knock on the door, not really knowing what I will say "Will you adopt me?" comes to mind...but upon further consideration I realize that this person would probably only be interested in adopting Roxy...because she is the only sane [and most loveable] personality among the three of us.

The lady comes to the door who turns out to be someone I recognize. After relaying my sad tale she takes me in feeds Kimi and I cookies and otherwise makes everything all better. She is a grandma...I can tell.

Eventually after a phone call, the maintenance people come and unlock my grandmothers house for me...without charging...and the lady sends me off with $10.00 for gas so that my poor lost [and extremely grateful] soul can make it all the way back home without having to compromise myself by either hitchhiking or selling myself to the maintenance people at my grandmother's community.

Thankfully Kimi is cute enough for this kind lady to overlook the fact that Kimi was dismantling her home.

So...FINALLY I get into my grandmother's house. And thus begins the search for my grandmother's photos. I searched the basement first...because I was certain that there were photos down there, and there was some flooding recently so I wanted to make sure that they weren't ruined. But all I found were some snaps that belonged to my mom. So then I headed upstairs to my grandmothers room to look. And I only found a handful.

[Mind you this search was punctuated by "Kimi Don't Touch" every few seconds that get louder each time until I am shouting and choking on dust]
The lack of photos struck me as very very odd. This is because as far back as I can remember my grandma has never went anywhere without a camera. I'm not kidding.

So there is a fortune in photos somewhere...That is when the hunt really began. I started searching in every possible place that a person would hide photos. Soon enough dust was kicking up...and my allergies were in full swing. So my search was now punctuated by "Kimi don't touch" and "sniffle sniffle sneeze" was getting miserable...and I was sure I had a dust particle the size of a golfball in my right eye.

So...the upstairs was clean...meaning no photos. Where did she stash them? So I went into the living room and checked the cabinets...what an idea, I amaze myself sometimes. And then I hit the motherload.
Seriously...I found two large bags of photos stashed behind her recliner chair...and about 8 photo albums in the cabinets.

My original intent was to just pick out a few photos and leave. Unfortunately, many of the photos were still in their envelopes...and the ones in albums...I'll get to those in a minute...regardless, by this time I could barely breathe. The asthma decided to add it's two cents to this adventure.

So...I boxed them all up and put them in the car [as I wheezed, coughed and sniffled]. Just before I leave I go to call my uncles house and learn that the phone has been turned off...duh, no one lives here any longer so the phone isn't needed. Which brings about a feeling of certainty regarding the matters of my grandmothers house. I spent most of my childhood loving to go there...and this little escapade may mark one of the last times that I will visit. I am sure my lungs and allergies are grateful...but that makes me sad.

The albums, I have realized were my great grandmother's. They are in really bad shape, but they are a wealth of historical information regarding my grandmother and her family. I have now seen photos of my grandmother and grandfather when they were young and in well as photos of her sisters when they were young girls. To which my son later replied..."grandma was a looker"!

I also learned that I look almost exactly like my grandma's sister Norma Jean. [Even though my uncle told me this a few months ago...I didn't really believe him] My kids thought it was me...and Caleb flipped out. It was so uncanny, the resemblence.

Those albums are so precious...and if my family lets me, I am going to repair them and put the loose ones in albums for my grandmother.

So reminiscing aside...I am just glad to have survived the trip. I wonder if I will ever learn to not pack too many things to do in one day? Probably not...I always overestimate. Always.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

How to Piss Me Off

Tell me that you never open emails from people that you don't know...((when I am in the middle of a lecture about it becaue my computer is apparently suffering from 98 VIRUSES)) that later I can look in your TRASH CAN and find two suspicious emails opened by YOU...and upon further investigation learn that these very emails opened by YOU are indeed infected files. THANKYOUVERYMUCH. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And yes, for those of you who have experienced the Wrath of IS shooting out of my head.

**I know Dooce has the corner market on "How to Annoy Me" I 'm using the more crass version. "Piss" isn't a swear it?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Red Tent

As I have indicated before, I borrowed a few books from some friends to tide me over during Spring Break. One of the books I have borrowed is titled The Red Tent. I started the book yesterday afternoon, and finished it earlier today.

One of the reasons that I was able to consume this book so quickly is because as a new Christian I am eager to learn about what it must have been like during the life and times of the people that wrote the Bible. More specifically, the women. [That, and I am a fast reader]

The Red Tent is a historical fiction, which means that the main characters were real, but the events written about them are circumstantial...may or may not have happened. We'll never know.

I could tell that the author did considerable research as to what it was like during the time of Jacob, his wives and his children. The fact that the story revolved around his wives made this book an interesting read for me as well because it dug deeper into the meat of how these people lived and what they may have thought about the conditions under which they lived.

The book is written from the perspective of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter. Not much is written about her in the Bible, so this book is suppose to describe her life and how she felt about her circumstances.

It was an extremely good read, insightful, captivating and startlingly sincere. Of course, this comes from a woman's point of view. I don't suspect that many men would find this book very interesting. [unless they genuinely wanted to have some insight about women] it is mostly about childbirth, moon cycles, secrecy, and dealing with the treachery of men and their egos.

All in all, not much different than what women experience and talk about today, just without the electricity [shopping was used as a means of escape even back then]. It was definitely a story of sisterhood and love among women...the deep bonds that are formed, sometimes in spite of men. Something that I am coming to understand myself, even at this stage in my life now that I am a mother of daughters.

One thing that has struck me in regards to Dinah's story, as told in The Red Tent, is that even in death, she longed for her mother. This story, fiction as it was, has given me more to contemplate in regards to my relationship with my own daughters...and how much our relationships with each other will mold them as women and mothers themselves some day.

Almost as if to prove this are John Mayer's lyrics:

"So fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters, too"

I would definitely recommend The Red Tent to all of my friends.

Thanks out to Erin M. for letting me borrow it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Terror Alert Bert

Terror Alert Level

According to this website we are at terror alert Bert...

Now I can understand a general fear of Muppets, though I am only actually afraid of half of them. The rest are cool...I don't think that Sesame Street is aware that there has been an actual alert out against Bert. I wonder if Ernie knows...

Perhaps they caught on that Bert really didn't like Mr. Hooper.
Maybe he is running around with a bottle cap shooter terrorizing small children. Maybe he and Bernice are trying to take over the world much like Dr. Evil. I don't know...but if I find out I will be sure to pass it along to all of the meantime be aware...we are at Terror Alert Bert.

[I personally would have used the evil Teletubbies ((terror alert tinky winky?)), or their minions the Boo Bah's for this particular alert...but hey, they didn't ask MY opinion]

For all of you who are not catching my sarcasm...I DO realize that this is someones way of making light of some serious world conditions...and I hope that no Muppets were harmed in the process.

Terrible Book Titles for Children

1. The "It's Your Fault Series"...tales in which children are to blame for everything bad that happens to their parents and relatives
2. Something IS Under Your Bed [and in your closet]
3. You are not Like Everyone Else...and That's Not Good.
4. I'm Not Your Mother: You Were Abandoned
5. Living with Gypsies: A Child's Tale
6. Everyone Hates a Tattletale
7. Your New Baby Brother is Better Than You
8. Your New Baby Sister is Cuter Than You
9. Nothing is Really Yours: A Lesson in Sharing
10. Nobody Poops But You [quote by Peter Griffin]
11. Your Babysitter is the Boogeyman
12. Dogs Are Scary
13. There Are Germs Everywhere
14. There Are Crazy People Everywhere
15. Good Night, Sleep Tight, Hopefully The Bed Bugs Won't Bite

Pulled Pork Recipe

As some of you know...I like to cook. So, when I come up with a new recipe I like to try it out on my friends and family. Whoever doesn't die, wins. here is my new pulled pork sandwich recipe. Actually it isn't's my lazy version from the original recipe.

Here's what you need:

Slow cooker
3-4lb pork loin
1 1/2 cups water
2 bottles of your favorite BBQ sauce [we used whatever was in the frige]
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Sesame seed hamburger rolls

Mix water, salt, pepper, garlic, and 1 bottle of BBQ sauce in a bowl. Put the pork loin in the slow cooker, pour mixture over pork loin.
Cook on High for 4-5 hours.

Remove pork loin from the slow cooker when time is up [save some of the juices] Pull pork apart with forks into small pieces.

Serve warm on sesame rolls with extra BBQ sauce to taste. Store in refrigerator with some of the saved juices.

Makes 5-8 servings.

This has received the best reviews from Caleb and the kids. So I expect that everyone who likes pulled pork will like this as well.

Color the World

One of my fondest memories is when I was five years old:

It was just a normal day in kindergarten...and we were getting ready for free play. I remember this because we started to get up from our chairs to go to the toys...and that is when I spotted them. They were sitting on the art table...brand new, brightly wrapped, and untouched.

I felt the excitement bubble up within me over the mere potential that these things held within their colorful wrappers. Unable to contain my excitement, I yelled out an alert to my fellow classmates, because news such as this should not be kept quiet.

I uttered two words...two words which brought forth such a frenzy of activity in the otherwise quiet and contented room that I realized I needed to ACT FAST. For a brief second everyone looked at me with wide eyed disbelief...could it be? Then realizing for themselves that I was not playing a cruel prank, dropped what they were doing and rushed towards the prize.
Mrs. Purdy scrambled to make sure that there was enough for everyone.

We were kings and queens that day in our own little worlds...the possibilities were endless...we could do anything. We had wax magic in our hands...and it was me who noticed them was me who was the herald of good news--all of us gave up our free play time because I shouted those crucial words: "NEW CRAYONS"!

I love crayons. I am not sure what child doesn't love crayons...and while I realize I am not a child any longer, it is one of the things that I consistently liked and have not grown out of appreciating. Much of my childhood was spent coloring and drawing and it is something that I still enjoy doing. It never fails when I pass the section of the store that has the art supplies, I look fondly upon those yellow and green boxes and reminisce on the wonder contained within.

On a side note: Mrs. Purdy was the teacher's assistant...for the life of me, I can't remember my actual teacher's name. It doesn't matter though, all the kids loved Mrs. Purdy because she smiled and laughed with us. I actually remember the scent of her perfume, and years later I figured out what the name of it was. She wore Ciara. It's strange how a scent can bring back memories of when I was five.

Spring Break officially begins today

While, for many people Spring Break started last Friday, I haven't actually been able to really relax until about 1/2 hour ago. I found out that I passed one of my hardest classes...thank goodness.

Anyone can tell you that I was agonizing over how well I would do or not do in my college math course. The thought of having to do algebra and trigonometry made me cringe. It still does. I am just not good at certain types of math. Maybe because it is like trying to rationalize with a babbling lunatic. I don't know.

But now that it is officially over, and I have passed, I can breathe...and enjoy the many books that I have borrowed from friends: The Other Boleyn Girl, Totto-Chan, The Red Tent, and The Namesake.

Of course, looking out my doesn't look anything like fact, right now it looks like January out we were dumped on last night.

But who cares? I passed my classes...and so that means I can move forward another step towards getting my degree that I probably will do nothing with! yippeee!!