Wednesday, December 17, 2008

From the ashes of germ carcasses

I feel like we are constantly shoveling dead germ bodies around the house, and since my last post, we have been hit back to back with those "it's going around" germs that become unavoidable with young offspring. Jake was coughing, I was coughing, Iain was coughing and Fiona was coughing for the past two weeks or so. Add in a sinus infection for me, some fevers for some of us, and pumping lots of fluids, sometimes drugs, and soup through our veins we were on the mend until Monday when Iain decided to shows signs of a GI bug.
Our Monday started out with a lovely, yet fast and furious, trip to Iowa City to see the grandparents and great-grandma for the day. Iain ate at least five prunes for breakfast, and my mom was convinced that was explanation enough for what would follow throughout the rest of the day. Iain ate heartily at his Grandma's house, showing off his little vocabulary by asking for "cheeeese, berries" and other one syllable food items. We scurried home as quick as we could to have a frozen sausage pizza for dinner with peaches and a handful of cashew nuts for the little fella and then off to bed!

The poor little man was very distraught at about 3:30 in the morning with another messy diaper, and by 4:00am I had brought him into bed with us. He was very sad, and I couldn't bear to see my little elf's body so distressed by crying and clutching at me. We were all delirious at the hour of day, but some brow stroking was hypnotic for both mother and baby and we were asleep again for only 45 minutes. I awoke to a screaming child sitting next to me in bed, and I couldn't think fast enough because the heaving warnings did not last long before we were all sitting in a puke puddle in our bed. Our snuggy, snowflake, flannel sheets and our beautiful Asian duvet that we bought after our wedding, our matching elf pajamas and the precious ducky blanket were all hit with the acidic fluids and undigested dinner.

Jake somehow got through unscathed, but Iain was now hysterical and trying to wipe his face with the puked on ducky blanket. I started barking orders as I stripped out of my own pajamas. It was quickly decided that Jake would bathe Iain, while I tied up everything in an over sized hobo bag and lugged everything down to the basement. I called my mother whom I knew was awake to ask her what to do with the linens. Should I rinse everything out? "Throw everything in the washing machine and just keep washing it until everything is gone. You might have to run a couple of loads through, but then just shake off the chunks before you throw everything in the dryer." I was confused because I heard my aunt's voice in my head saying, "Always rinse out the chunks, or else they get stuck in your washing machine! Take the time to rinse out the chunks!" I hiked back upstairs to get a rubber glove to help me with my task. As I picked through all of the linens I thought I should be more sleepy, but the stench was keeping me awake and alert as I discovered my toddler doesn't chew his food very well.

Jake and I piled into the guest bedroom, and we tucked Iain into his crib. Within the hour, I heard the screaming and the puking again. The poor little man was just devastated. There is a reason why we have back ups in the sheet department, but we don't have a back up mattress pad since it is on Fiona's crib. The little Fiona angel slept through the entire drama, sawing logs!

I was able to accomplish very little yesterday with a whimpering little boy attached to my hip. We had a non-stop Veggie marathon, and a community nap session all in the guest room. My mother-in-law gets a huge gold star since I canceled a coffee that I was hosting for her friends and instead she brought Pedialite and laundry soap over to help with the day. The biggest surprise was a beautiful Christmas cactus, heavy with cerise blooms. My Christmas cactus has had no flowers this year, so this flashy splash of color brightened everyone's day including the sick boy who kept pointing and whispering about the pretty flowers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Busy Thanksgiving Week

We have been out of the house every night this past week! Tonight will be our first night at home with our normal "routine." Even though we run a very unstructured life around at the Little Josephs, we realize that we have more of a routine than we thought we did when those little babies are tired for naps and the comforts of their own environment.

Monday night we hit up the Jolly Holiday Lights Lighting ceremony. We were all dressed up in our matching Hannah Anderson outfits that Grandma and Nanu Griebahn spoiled us with, and everyone was enthralled with Iain and Fiona. It was very touching to see many people cooing at her, but keep your hands off people!! The little girl does not like strangers touching her! The event is to support the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, and we drove through the lights with the songs of the season playing on the radio. We had the babies in the front seat with us so that we could point everything out to them, and crawling along at a snail's pace we thought that they would both be glued to the lights. Fiona is probably still too little to focus on everything going on outside the car, but she did very well. Iain was desperately trying to keep his hands off of the steering wheel, radio, power window and locks, so when he could no longer contain himself we pulled over and put everyone back in their restraining car seats.Tuesday night we dropped Iain and Fiona at a friend's house and headed downtown for the Festival of Trees and Lights Gala. Mom and Dad had bought me a beautiful formal gown and I was decked out with my wedding shoes and jewels. Jake and I looked good together, and we had a great time looking at all of the beautiful trees all decorated with different themes and visiting with people. The gala benefits Blank Children's Hospital and the Child Life Program at Blank Children's Hospital. Although our experiences at Blank have been traumatic for us, I was especially thankful for the Child Life Program that helps distract children when they are in the hospital. When Iain split open his eye and needed sutchers , the Child Life team talked with Jake and I about what we could do to help Iain while they fixed him up. They played with him and blew bubbles to distract him during the work that they had to do.Wednesday we celebrated Becky's 58th birthday at Graze. We had a good time with all of the family, and Fiona snarfed down the ice cream cake that they brought for dessert. After dinner, we went to the Josephs for some stale leftover birthday cake. I only mention this, because I was planning a beautiful German chocolate cake for her birthday, but they decided to just eat the leftovers that were already 3 days old. We then watched Joseph home videos of B.J., Trisha, and Jake growing up in order to indoctrinate Sable (B.J.'s girlfriend) or at least give her fair warning into the true life of the Josephs growing up. *wink wink* Speak now, or forever hold your peace! and peas!We spent Thanksgiving in Des Moines this year and had all of the usual dishes that go along with a "Traditional" Thanksgiving meal. I was excited to find a twist on an old favorite: Tex-Mex Green Bean Casserole. Trisha brought the GBC this year and added corn to the mix and substituted Chicken Tortilla Soup in place of the cream of mushroom that is the standard. In place of the nasty onion rings, she crushed red tortilla chips on top. It was very tasty! My pies, even with the mistake, were quite good and mostly gone after the day. I requested the turkey "frame" and I am making a delicious "Turkey Pot Pie" soup out of the left overs. Iain ate all of his turkey salad and half of mine for lunch today. Sometimes he is so fussy about food, but when he is hungry he just clears the table!I am very excited to cook again tomorrow in preparation for the Griebahn dinner that we will have in Iowa City on Sunday afternoon. I am making a spice cake with German frosting (the sticky stuff with coconut and pecans) and I am also going to sneak in a maple, pumpkin cheesecake as an alternative or accompaniment for dessert. I will be starting before 10:30 at night this time, and hopefully will NOT make any tragic blunders that would ruin the outcome of my desserts and send me into bed in hysterics! The Griebahns are not as forgiving as the Josephs in the culinary arts that we all attempt.

Jake and I have so much to be thankful for this year, and although we like to count our blessings throughout the year, it is a wonderful reminder each November to search your heart and find contentedness .
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His
presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD
he is God: it is he that hat made us, and not we
ourselves; we are the people, and the sheep of
his pasture. Enter into His gates with
and into his courts with praise: be thankful
unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD
is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth
endureth to all generations.~ Psalm 100

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Photo Bulletin

Today is an update on pictures, and there might be words later. For now....

I think their smiles are very similar. Like father like daughter.
But these two look as though they are from the same pod
Iain is already busy with paperwork...all over my paperwork
What is this thing that people do with twisting their heads to the side when in a photograph. Is there something I don't know about? This doesn't appear to make my face look thinner, but definitely makes my neck look fatter!
100% adorable
100% adorable
Joel the chunk Chisolm at Lonely Wives Night
Lucy & Fiona sitting and playing together at Lonely Wives Night
Daniel Chisholm (a.k.a Fiona's betrothed??)
Iain & Daniel sizing each other up in the playroom for LWN

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Motherhood Doldrums

We are having one of those weeks where the laundry is growing exponentially by the hour, the kitchen has not been clean before dinner all week, and we keep eating all of the food in the refrigerator which means constant trips to the grocery store. Iain and Fiona have drippy noses, the kind that start dripping right after I have wiped them. Iain thinks it is funny so he laughs and blows more snot onto his little "mouthsill" (like a windowsill, but you know that part between the nostrils and the lip...that area that can collect food, dirt, dust, snot, and is appropriate for things like milk mustaches). Fiona does not think that the snot is funny and dashes her head away from the Kleenex that I must use to grab that snot off of her. I really am not an uptight mom about the runny noses. Trust me! I will allow a little to hang there on the mouthsill, but when it is a stream of "tasty cakes" as Husband likes to call the situation, we must take measures to clean ourselves up.

Jake has coughed up almost 87% of his lungs for the past 3 weeks. He is out of the cough medicine with codeine that he was prescribed last year, and I was devastated to realize yesterday morning when I found the bottle abandon in the sink that there will be no more codeine induced sleep for him (and me). The coughs shake his entire body, and mine, and the rafters on the house and since this has been going on for about 3 weeks, I have had all about I can handle. I need to get on the husband website and find out if there is a patch that has been released for this version.

Our adventure in potty training was a short lived two day ordeal. Iain was very excited to pee in the toilet, and any time he heard a tinkle would exclaim "Whoa!" He would push and push to get a little dribble out, even if I had taken a saturated diaper off of him. I caught one official poop in the toilet followed by a few more pee trips, but now he is traumatized about the whole thing. I have tried to get him to sit on the toilet, but instead of shouting "Whoa!" he is whimpering, "Owww!" and starting to cry when we try. So I am done for now. When he shows interest again, we will be back at square one. I need to do some more reading on methods before I go down this road again, because I am sure that I made many mistakes, one of which could have been premature potty peer pressure.

The one good potty day is in a long line of daily fads that we have experienced this week. Iain seems to obsess about one particular thing throughout the day, and by the next morning it is fish paper. Yesterday he was enthralled with the knick knack shelf in the dinning room. I was wiping months of dust out of the dining room, and he realized that all of the breakables were off of the shelf. He seemed confused that I was allowed to touch and move the little pieces of china and special tea cups. As I was dusting, I became aggravated that I even have a stupid knick-knack shelf like this in my house and as I wiped every item off I realized that none of the items have any importance to me at all. Iain was so excited to look at each thing, and he wanted to get them all back on the shelf I decided this could be a good lesson in being careful with little items. Since he has really enjoyed helping with chores (unloading the dishwasher and taking out recycling) he was very eager to place each little dust free piece of junk back on the shelves. It was very cute to see him gingerly arrange all of the little cups and plates and use his soft little voice to talk to each piece. There is a little porcelain couch and chair in the mix, and he felt that the couch was a piano, so he was pressing it and singing as if he was making his own music and my heart just burst! Before the knick-knack cupboard he was in love with his own home videos and watching himself as a younger baby.

After reading 1Corinthians 7, I was comforted by my position in the "trenches" of motherhood and I have been able to be content and seek joy with my calling as a mother. Verse 17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk and verse 20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called and I found peace especially in verse 34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, hos she may please her husband.

I was also encouraged by watching one of my favorite childhood films National Velvet. When I was a child, I loved the story of the horse and how Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney had faith in their horse to win the Grand National horse race in England. Watching it through my adult eyes, there is such a bigger story at play and I was able to learn from Mrs. Brown, Velvet's mother. The character reminded me to be content in the life that you are living and that there are seasons and experiences to be enjoyed and respected throughout our lives. She tells her daughter to enjoy her horse and her youth, but have the insight to know when to walk away and move on to the next thing. Mrs. Brown believes in her 12 year old daughters dreams enough to give her all of the prize money that she won in a race when she was 20. She cultivates and nourishes her zealous spirit, but also tells her that there is a time to take chances and to meet a challenge in your youth. There will be a time for marriage and children and it will be necessary to put those things behind you and to take care of your children and your husband, and it is great to look back on memories without living in the past.

I know I have some Mommy colleagues that occasionally read my dribble and thoughts, and we all love our babies and our husbands immensely! Maybe I am weak in regards to the rest of you in that I do catch myself thinking "What have I done?" when I look at these little people that I have been entrusted to raise into decent members of society. It only happens when I am cleaning up multiple barf puddles, folding baskets of laundry and preparing another thankless meal that I hope is nourishing enough for their little bodies. I want to be a SuperMom that graces the pages of a magazine or the label of the latest baby trendy clothing item "developed by a mom!"

Instead, I will attempt contentedness and not worry about inventing anything or writing a fabulous how to book, and I will not get in a dither if my chore list has no check marks yesterday and didn't even get printed out today. Iain and Fiona won't know that I am disorganized until they are much older and so that gives me time to get my act together and realize that this is my calling for this season, and maybe there still is a chance for me to invent something or write that book...just not this year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Facebook Phenomenon

Jake and I have fallen into the Facebook Phenomenon!! I am not as addicted as I was the first and second day, looking up old friends from my childhood and college days, but Jake...oh my goodness! The man is Facebook crazed! He uploads photos of the babies and family, his list of friends is HUGE, and when he gets home he posts his doings for the rest of the evening. They change as often as his activity changes. I am witnessing some nerd streaks that have been dormant for several years, or at least burried under diapers and his fascination with his beard.

It has been very fun to connect with old friends and with new friends who are just getting introduced to the Facebook community. I had heard from my little brother that it was "STUPID! A time waster! and very highschool!!" All of his comments were extrememly accurate, but for parents of little people who have very little social contact with adults and sometimes we don't even leave the house on any given day, this has been a fabulous reach into the real world! It is still out there! Everything has continued to go on with out us, and it is so fun to sort of be a part of it again.

During Jake's late work schedule last Friday, I packed up the babies and made a trip back to Iowa City. We had a great time hanging out with the grandparents and aunts and uncle. Iain knows his way around the house, and instead of a tumble down the stairs, only smashed his hand in the piano on this trip. He is learning the ins and outs at the Farm but his two most favorite things are: the book The Wheels on the Bus that has moving parts, and playing the piano. He calls for me to come and sit with him at the bench so that we can play together. "Ma! Maaaa!!" When I go to look for him, he is perched on the piano bench and when he sees me, dramatically pats the bench requesting me to sit beside him. He does the same thing when he needs me to read to him. I get caught up in the adult conversation with my family, and time flies by! When he is off on his own, I don't think of entertaining him, especially if he is fine by himself. It tugs my heart strings, to know that he misses me and wants some of my company-even when he is in a new place and proving his independence.

The one bad thing about the trip was staying over. I was without my comrade...and therefore, double teaming the babies throughout the night. Iain had a bit of a croupe cough to start out, and then Fiona needed to eat. I had brought Iain in the big bed with me, but when I started to feed Fiona, he thought it was party hour and feeling much better decided to jump the pitch, black, dark room!! Being out on a farm without a security light, there is not a street light to even give a slight edge to the darkness (especially with the room darkening shades). Without my glasses on, I was feeding Fiona with one arm, and reaching for the desk lamp so that I could track Iain down. When the light hit, everyone thought it was party time! Brutus looked up from his bed, Fiona looked up at me and started to squeal and Iain continued to jump on the bed. I was exhausted! "This is not a party! It is 3:30 in the morning, we need to be quiet!!"There were a few more incidencies, so the drive home the next day was quite long for mom.

We had a fabulous dinner party here the following night with the pulled pork, fancy mac'n' cheese, and homemade apple pie trifecta. It was a great hit, and although I was behind on my cooking because the washing machine had backed up for the fifth time in two weeks! guests were very helpful and forgiving with dinner about 30 minutes late. There were five little men running around the house, and it was so fun to have a full house of people! Fiona was very excited since she could have her pick out of the four guests at some point in her life...she was safely kept in the exer-saucer while the commotion went on around her. All of the little men were enamoured of the baby for a little while, but then it was on to running around and pushing the car around the house.

After a great success, and fabulous left-overs for us the following day, I noticed a general malaise coming upon me accompanied by the chills. With as many cups of tea, thousands of miligrams ofvitamin C and viles of yin chiou being pumped into my veins, I was digressing by the hour and popped the Motrin IB down the hatch without a glance behind me. I am not a nap taker, but this violent bug was rushing over me quickly, and thankfuly Jake had the day off. I told him I would just lie down on the futon for a little while and could he supervise the babies. I fell asleep for maybe 15 minutes and the rest of the time, I was faking. There was a little man, who so tenderly kept coming to my shoulder and saying "Ma? Hi!" I think Iain was utterly confused as to why I should be lying down during the middle of the afternoon.

I could only eat a bite of my dinner, and after the surge from the drugs, it was time to go to bed. I fed Fiona an entire banana with some other components to make a big bowl of "baby gruel" The little pig-pig ate the entire thing!! I was so thankful! I couldn't get warm in bed that night, even lying next to my nuclear reactor bed partner. I started to feel waves of nausea, and even though I felt it was inevitable, I hate to puke. I am the type of person that would do anything instead of puking! I kept pushing the thoughts away, and tried to sleep in hopes that this would pass. If you are that type of puke hater, when you push it down for so long, it has to come eventually and then it is really going to make you pay! I don't know that puking can be a delicate thing for anyone, but just like my children, I am a violent puker.

I just wanted my mother, but it was the middle of the night. In his codine induced sleep, Jake didn't hear me until I started to whimper to him to please get me some paper towels to clean the bathroom and a washcloth for my face. He brought me a kitchen rag, and then rinsed it in cold water...he was barely awake, and I didn't have the strength to demand a nicer rag to wipe off my face. I realized again, that no one takes care of the mom like she takes care of everyone else. I guess no one would know the difference between a kitchen rag or a plush bathroom rag if I only washed them with kitchen rags. It is because I notice the difference and make the effort with my offspring and my husband that I would just hope that they could see in the linen closet, there is a difference. They are even on a different shelf! This is the same reason why I feel my babies should have a matress pad between their matress and the sheet, and that a bed should have sheets in order to be slept upon. Jake does not share this same attention to details...sometimes he does, and I am searching for an example. I will restate, in the department of linens, Jake does not see the importance of a washcloth instead of a dishrag. It is all very vexing. But "...he loves me, and that makes him man enough for me!"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Children's Music

My mom thinks it is funny that Iain and Fiona need to have music wherever they go. We are in Iowa City for a visit tonight and tomorrow, and the CD player in the guest room has given up the ghost and we are down to the radio. Fiona was very tired, but screaming her head off earlier in the afternoon, and I couldn't seem to find the classical radio station. I hit my favorite jazz station 88.3FM and within a minute, she was sucking her thumb and going to sleep. Grandma Griebahn said that they are very sensitive, but I just do what works.

On the wintery mix drive that we made today, I was really missing the Cadillac, but the CD player was very nice in the Honda. Iain is much more relaxed when we have some kiddie tunes playing, and he has become more vocal on the volume. If he can't hear it, he makes some moaning and groaning and hand flailing to let me know that it isn't loud enough, Mom! We were listening to Rocketship Run and it is by far his favorite CD right now. Some days in the morning, he wants to have his music turned on before he gets out of bed. He clutches the side of his crib so that I can barely reach him, and points to the CD player as his little command to me. Once the rocketship starts to take off "Five-four-three-two-one, BLAST OFF! Another rocket ship run..." he is bouncing and grooving to the music.

We also have our Bongo CD from Music Together class, but I have had to draw the line at the Elmo crap. I hate Elmo. He doesn't talk properly and it drives me nuts!! Why should we encourage baby talk to the babies?! When the babies talk in their little language it is very cute, but when a muppet does not use the correct syntax with his very annoying voice, and especially when I am trying to merge, I just really can't handle it. Thankfully, he hasn't missed the Elmo thing, because I refuse to play it enough for him to get attached.

After the Rocketship CD, they had both fallen asleep, and I was delighted to groove out to the Garden State Soundtrack which has some Coldplay, some Shins, some FrouFrou...I love it. Mom's music is good. There are certain things that you take for granted, but when little people rule your world it is OK to get excited about the simple things like:
  1. Your own music
  2. A small, fun handbag
  3. A fresh shirt that has not been puked upon also a non-nursing shirt
  4. Eating food at the temperature it was meant to be served at: Hot food is hot and cold food is still cold, not melted
  5. You have time to straighten your hair, if you fancy that look for the day
  6. A necklace can be worn without someone putting it in their mouth to be covered in saliva or baby barf
  7. Holding hands with your husband, and your other hand just free as a bird
  8. Watching a movie that has a sex scene or bad word, because it is a good story
  9. Going to the bathroom in private, where no one barges in to see what Mom is doing
  10. Going to the grocery store without the babies dangling from the cart.

Skip This One

If you are sick and tired of my political dribble, skip this one.

Last night the babies and I went to visit a good friend from college, Colleen, and her little darlin', Bridget. Colleen and I met on my London study abroad trip and became fast friends. If we could have looked into a set of binoculars to see what we are like today, I think we would have died laughing! We lost touch after college, but a mutual friend brought us together when we were both pregnant with our first babies and living in Des Moines. Bridget was born 3 weeks after Iain, so we were neck and neck, or belly and belly through our pregnancies. So we had a great night hanging out with the kids and Bridget and Iain are old enough to play nice with each other. Bridget was a trooper, since the Joseph kids invaded her quiet reverie of home life as an only child. She was excited to see Fiona, "Baby! Baby!" but quite puzzled when Fiona hit one of her full blown shrieking moments. Iain was a fun diversion but being the 100% boy that he is, was not civilized enough to sit still at the dinner table with us, and spent most of the night screaming like a wild Ubangi.

Colleen and I licked our wounds from the election and we mostly sat around shaking our heads. She outed me in college to some of our class friends and colleagues that "Erin is a Republican too!" The classmate we were talking to was shocked to disbelief, and literally walked away from us saying, "I don't know if I can handle this, I am so upset that you are a Republican!! I never would have thought that!" (It was so confusing to her because we always agreed with each others viewpoints...well actually, she always agreed with mine and the "way I put things" during discussions. Well, DUH! That's because they were normal assessments of life, and not the totally
liberal way that "everyone is dealt a bad hand" so the rest of us are required to feel sorry for them.) It felt very comforting to be sitting with a friend and fellow mother and to be able to say what we wanted without having judgement passed on us because we voted for the unpopular guy.So my brain started cooking last night, and throughout the election there were many things that bothered me but something that I haven't shared on my blog is lodged in my brain today. What is with the Obama propaganda signs? You know those signs that were around town, in some people's yards, and mostly on the Internet. Not the typical yard sign that has just OBAMA on across it or HOPE. I am talking about the propaganda style portrait that is reminiscent of a Mao Zedong or Stalin. It bothers me! It bothers me so much, I have been trying to do some quick research on this this morning, amidst feeding my babies and getting ready for my trip to the East this morning. I found this blog and since I can't say it better than Peggy Shapiro did back in April of this year, you can see all of the technical stuff there that I am trying to get across. I especially agree with her statement in regard to the artist who designed the Obama campaign signs: "Fairy's art also reflects a common theme of the Obama campaign: America is a nation that oppresses. It is the America in which Obama's wife Michelle can take no pride and that Obama's spiritual advisor damns. It is the vision of America and its place in the world by one who is unfamiliar with history and who has the luxury of American freedom to express his disdain for the country."I have confessed to some that I do watch the Oprah show on occasion. I do not like her, but I do like to see the people and pieces that she presents, because I feel like I can stay up to date on my pop culture as well as health and sex advice. I was completely disgusted by her post election show, because she made this election marathon about race. She was crying and ecstatic because a black man had become President of the United States. Why are minorities the only ones that can be celebratory when someone that they like get something, and I have to feel guilty if anyone white does anything good? I have a kalidescope of heritage, but just because my skin is white and my eyes are blue somehow I am lumped in the same category as the slave owners. I don't get it! There are other parts of the world where white Christians are killed and persecuted, but God has not chosen that I live there. Colleen gave me a quote from Mancow in the morning the day after the election, and it was something about November 5th as hopefully the last day for affirmative action. There shouldn't be anymore complaining about how oppressed the black man and minorities have been, because if a black guy can become president hopefully he has give his "HOPE" to the deadbeat father's that sit around and don't take responsibility for their lives and instead pump drugs through their veins. Interestingly enough Obama was raised by his white grandparents...hmmm. Let's hope that it isn't a requirement for the success of the black community to have any type of white influence so that they can all own their blackness.

My lesson from Veggie Tales is that I am living in a wave of Jonah emotion. I shouldn't be poised waiting for God's judgment on the Obama lovers and Democrats, but I am really having a battle right now. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything teach my little man (and myself) that Jonah's story is about mercy and compassion. These little cartoons have really challenged me to get into the Word because sometimes I think, That is a stretch from the Scripture, but they have done everything so perfectly! So the sour grape pirate with his very thick Long Island or New Yorker accent says that we have to have compassion and then mercy. You can't have mercy without compassion. I can sit around and talk about how awful things have been and how bad they could get, but God could very well surprise all of us and not have any kind of retribution. HE IS IN CONTROL! Through all of my spewing I know that He is in control, He is driving the boat, but just like a Father he sometimes steers the boat a little close to the rocks and instead of laughing at the rocks, I am a little scared and saying "Uh, do you see those ROCKS OVER THERE? Can we move back into some deeper water?"

The Ninevites repented, that is why God spared them. They stopped their fish slapping, and God gave them a second chance. The gospel song with all of the "black" asparagus angels that witness to Jonah sing this great song and the chorus is "Our God is a God of second chances." Jonah wanted God to wipe them off of the planet and really punish them, and I really have to stop wanting everyone to "get theirs." I am also partial to the Newsboys song "Jonah." So even though my blogs start out as doom and gloom and negative, I think I might be an eternal optimist at heart?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Girl

Fiona has had such a surge on her happiness meter and we contribute that to some solid foods that we were able to sneak some Baby-dophilus into. *Stir stir...she won't even notice!* She didn't notice except to be happy for maybe the first time in her life! Jake and I couldn't be more pleased! We have laughing, giggling, happy shrieks, and those adorable little baby kicks that are so exciting and show baby's delight in the world around her.I had to decide to not beat my head against the "You must breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first year of their life" mantra that I was getting from some sources. Although I know that this is the best thing for the baby, I don't know that a mother and father who are exhausted because the screaming baby keeps them up at night is a good alternative. I have been eating disgusting fermented foods, taking stinky Chinese herbs and even stinkier tea, drinking more water, eating more calories, nursing more frequently...all to try and help Fiona in her quest for nutrition and I was unsuccessful. At her 6 month check up when we found out that she had dipped in her growth chart, Jake became concerned and started shoving food down her throat even though I insisted on only breastfeeding, "It is better for her!" He encouraged her to eat the gruel we made for her and said "You will feel better if you can get some sleep." Husband was very right, and he did order the bacteria for her as well. Dad's know what is best for their Mamas and their babies too, and I am glad that we have come to a compromise for our family. We are still opposed to baby food for our family, but we feed the baby what we are eating along with some tasty goat milk contributed by Grandma Griebahn.She is officially at the seven month mark, and not only sitting up like a champ, we saw some crawling action last night as well. As long as Iain is occupied in another arena and not trying to flop on her little squirming body, she is moving across the room to get toys that she wants. We are calling this the G.I. Joe crawling because it really is just that, a little army crawl and not the movement on hands and knees. Christmas could be dangerous!

Election Depression

My day started out on the right foot yesterday (no pun intended) and Jake and I were excited to spend the day running errands and spending time with each other. One of our errands was hitting up our polling place which is less than a block away from us. We had music class and library books to return and of course the essential napping "schedule" that the children impose on us whether we like it or not. As I was fixing our egg breakfast, Jake came out all dressed in his black "Drill Alaska" Tshirt and handed me my matching shirt. Becky gave us these shirts to wear to the poles. It is always fun to have matching really throws people off.So we went to music class and had some comments on our shirts, and even though it was getting close to those naps and lunch, we drove back to the church to vote. Jake went in first while Iain played on the playground and Fiona enjoyed the brisk, warm breeze in her very fine hair. Jake came out triumphant that the line was not long and it was my turn. I grabbed my bag in case I should need my ID and headed inside.

I must interject my annoyance with the old broads that run this polling place. They are stupid! I understand that they see hundreds of people on election day, and they could be in "the zone" and make some mistakes. However, the last two times I have voted in Des Moines with my new last name as a first name, the lady running the A-K book seems to be very confused by my last name and does not trust my driver's license that I would be a female with the first name of Erin and my last name of Joseph is a male's first name. So she always starts to look under the E's instead of the J's. The first time, I was slightly embarrassed for her, and the following year for the primary elections, I just helped her out as soon as she started to look under E and told her my last name started with a J. She looked at me very puzzled, and I pointed out to her that my last name is Joseph, "If I am not there, then we will figure something out, OK?" So she flips to the Jo... and in disbelief finds my name there and my matching address.

Yesterday, the looney lady who usually runs the book has been moved to give instructions on how to fill out the little paper that has our name and address and then our signature. I walked in behind two curly haired boys, who were in soccer shorts and flip flops and carrying a backpack full of their lives. The soccer boy turned around to quickly stare at me and give my shirt a good look. There was some hubbub between the polling broads about clothing that would be considered advertising for a candidate, and I started to get a wave of nervousness. I was prepared to stand my ground! The soccer nerd's counterpart turned around to stare at me and then I saw his Obama shirt. I was sure that they had to be talking about him, and not me. So the ditzy old lady has given the instruction to these boys, and starts to push a slip towards me, and then pulls it back quickly...she let out a little gasp and then a giggle. "You can't vote."

I looked at her and said, "Why not?" She says, "Well you just voted! You can't vote twice!" I scowled at her, "What do you mean I already voted?" She tried to get a little cocky with me but stuck in her grandma body, she giggled again, "You were just in here, I remember your Tshirt." I said, "No I wasn't just in here, but my husband was, and we have on the same shirt, is that a problem?" She looked at me very confused. "I haven't voted yet, but I would like to now." She slid the paper towards me, "Well are you from Alaska?" I blipped "Nope." What a busy body! Wouldn't the book checker realize that I had already voted, if my name had already been crossed off of the list? I know this woman is a Democrat.

I made my way down to the two men taking the registration slips and handing out ballots. "I like your shirt" said that slip guy. "Thanks!" I swung around and flashed my back to him, "It's bigger on the back!" He exclaimed, "Yes it is! I think we should have drilled up there a long time ago! It's time to drill there now." I walked over to a little voting booth and filled in my bubbles. It was nerve wracking to me. I knew in my heart that Obama was going to win, but I needed to put my tally mark on the McCain side and hope that the other Republicans would win their seats. The Obama boys scowled as they drove past me loading my precious babies in getting into my car with my McCain bumper sticker, and I had to stare back at them.When the votes were coming in last night, I knew what was going to happen and I just couldn't watch. We put in Rack, Shack and Benny the latest VeggieTale that I checked out at the library. Since I am close to deciding that everything in life can be learned from VeggieTales, I was inspired to stand firm in my beliefs and not go with this monster Obama popularity machine. Hopefully my children will not realize that I am physically ill over the outcome of the election and hold it against me later in their lives.

This country wants a king, and they have "elected" him. For the masses to rule, or be told that they actually have chosen this president makes them all feel good. The masses want the Obama rule in their lives and what they all need is a Lord and Savior to rule in their hearts. When I think about it, I can't be sad about this for a moment! However, many people in this country felt that we were living under the Bush regime. How dare they think that 1) we are living under a regime at all and 2) that our government allows one man to rule! Since they are confused about the fact that there are over 500 people making laws, passing laws and over 500 people spending our money and voting on if they need to ask for more money they continute to get their jollys up about this one person who has tangoed into their ears the "change" that he intends to implement on the American people.

Many people liked George W. Bush during his first four years of office. He spoke with passion after the attacks of 9-11-01 and the country rallied behind a leader who was offering protection the best way he knew how and was advised. Not only did we elect him President, we elected Congressman to pass bills and keep him in line. The demise of the economy can not be blamed on one person. Our government is not set up that way. This is a team effort. So if the crowd hates the quarterback, they are going to let him know and he is going to continue to screw up every time he is on the field. So we have a new QB and no one knows if he will do better than the last guy, but he sure has a lot of hype for someone who has never played before.Iain is sad that it is raining today, but grouchy because he didn't sleep well last night during the mild lightening and thunder we had. Jake raked up every leaf pile that I had made, so no more leaf jumping and playing. I put on some shoes and sent him out in his pajamas so that he would get an already slightly dirty outfit dirty in mud, but he just wanted to push his lawnmower on the block of cement in the back. He has not ventured out too far, especially since the dog poop incident (he stepped in dog poop barefoot and was freaking out as the poop was squished between his toes...this is the life of a little boy, right?)

Since my blogging is somewhat cathartic (when I do write) I am having a peace about the situation. I would say that I now have election annoyance instead of depression. "Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it."

Monday, November 3, 2008

578 other things to do

With my two busy little babies and my two little part time jobs, and a beautiful day to enjoy I chose to spend some time making (what I hope to be) a statement. Two nights ago some vandals swiped my yard sign out of my yard. Jake and I had a bet that they would get stolen either Thursday or Friday night since it was beggar's night and Halloween respectively. I asked Jake to bring in our $1 pumpkin and the yard signs that I so painstakingly acquired in support of our choice for presidential candidate. Since Jake is a gambling man, he felt the odds were in his favor if the signs got stolen, so he left them out.Sunday morning they were swiped and we were both aggravated, to say the least. This is our yard, and our private property. We just notice and ignore the Obama yard signs, and are astonished and cheer at the McCain signs in our neighborhood. I have never had any intention of destroying anyone's signs, just like I don't decapitate reindeer at Christmas time. So I made my new sign, for just one more day of exposure, and I have noticed that people are slowing down on our usually busy street. I am hearing the cars slow down and realize that there are break lights so that they can read my sign that now sticks out like a sore thumb.Yesterday in church, I was so thankful to hear the elder say, "If Barak Obama wins the election, our country will be fine. If John McCain wins the election, our country will be fine." He encouraged us to do our civic duty and vote, but "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whiterhsoever he will." Proverbs 21:1

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

...the worst of times

We definitely had one of those not so great days on planet Little Joseph. First off Jake and I have some kind of crappy germ taking up residence inside of our very tired bodies. The coughing and sniffing and snorting, headaches, sore throat...basically the symptoms on the NyQuil box. We've got that all covered. Jake has had this crud for a couple days longer than I have, so hopefully he will start feeling better so that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am such a wretch, instead of being sympathetic to him when he is breaking out with symptoms last Tuesday, I just keep informing him that I will be very angry if contract this illness that he has brought into our little world over here. He has to be the culprit because the rest of us don't leave the house on a regular basis, except to get the stink blown off in our back yard or a walk around the neighborhood.Iain stomping on the Hawkeye stone...(yes!)

We had music class this morning, and since neither of us felt like we could utter a note without breaking into uncontrollable coughing, we summoned the Grandma Becky to take the little man for his weekly submersion of music. He was quite excited to see her and escape in her pretty car. Fiona slept while they were gone, so it was time to get to work around here. I had pulled an Overnightman sweatshirt over top of my pajamas when she came to the door and it seemed to be quite cozy as I started into some bead stringing.There has been a grown up date planned for almost a month to get out and see The Dutchess. The date had been temporarily canceled because of the funds being spent on some early Christmas shopping on our last impromptu, non coffee, but errand date that we had Friday night. Wow. Thrills and chills. After two very friendly deliveries today, the first being the Isabel Bloom ladybug strapped to the "Rocketship Run" children's music album that is an important necessity for the daily functions here, and the second being a paycheck for my data entry we would be able to go to that movie afterall! I was very excited and ready to rake some leaves to make the yard a little less frumpy, and I was so efficient with my non pregnant body for the first fall since we have lived in the house and have the need to rake leaves. Jake was on top of the roof sweeping leaves out of the gutter, and the weather warmed up beautifully this afternoon.I was very excited to find a delicious crock pot squash recipe on the Internet, so I started peeling an acorn and butternut squash as a good healthy side to our dinner tonight. I had been marking off many things from my chore list and I thought today would be even better than yesterday. The house has been staying pretty orderly and that always makes me breathe better when the clutter and filth is at bay (or at least under control). I had time to finally get out of my pajamas that were hiding under a sweatshirt and get all prettied up for my date. I couldn't find a pair of pants that were fitting the way I would prefer...but I tried not to get depressed, instead just trying to find something to look good in for my date with my Hunny Bunny.Fiona starting breakfast

Grandma Becky was here when she promised and helped feed Fiona her dinner so that I could eat mine and get the popcorn packed up that I was planning to sneak in to the theatre all slathered with coconut oil. Jake was very concerened that we would get caught and thought that my brown paper bag was too big and noticeable. We had to get going because the movie was playing over at Merle Hay Mall and it is a hike for us. Jake was out waiting in the car and I jumped in with my contraband snacks (popcorn and water) Jake had put Fiona to bed already, and Grandma Becky and Iain were plugged into Jonah. I let Jake pull out of the garage so that I didn't have to wrestle with the stroller in the garage, and we were off to...Something not so cool happening....

The rest of the night was an ever bigger bust. We drove a long ways over to Merle Hay and then Jake didn't know where the movie theatre was, so we hit Aldi on the way home and called it a night. The night was doomed. So we came home and unpacked the groceries, relieved Becky of her Iain watching duties and settled in for the night with our already popped pop corn and a half started movie.

Iain learned how to flick spit off of his toothbrush and the good belly laughs he made seemed to wipe the entire mess of the evening away for Jake. I still needed some quiet time with some music and just realizing that if things aren't meant to be we can't push them. It would appear that we weren't going to have that date tonight, and last week we would get water in our basement three times and the babies fall down and pick themselves up again each time or the water boils over and the leftovers are rotten. Sometimes there is some crying, and sometimes there is some screaming, but we keep walking through it all. Along with the popcorn, tonight I opened up the atomic Bubba pickles that have been brewing for two weeks. There was a crap ton of garlic and tobasco festering in that jar and it seemed to knock some of that conjestion and depression out of me. I was probably in need of some garlic.