Friday, January 30, 2009

What My Son Teaches Me About being a child of God

For some reason today was not a good day for Jonathan. He was grouchy and difficult to please. Best exemplified at lunch today. After he woke up from his morning nap we trekked downstairs for lunch. I sat him in his high chair and he immediately began to cry. So I grabbed some cheese and broke it into pieces. The cheese, however, was not what he wanted. No matter how delectable it usually is, today it was not right. And crying began again. So I tried crackers. He ate one and then began to cry again. (This was not the usual whining. There were real tears). So we tried a drink. No. Then another cracker. That seem to work momentarily. But it was obvious it was not really what he wanted. We tried several other things. Some he ate, but some he did not. But regardless there was no satisfaction. I was cutting an apple for myself, so I cut some up into bite sized pieces for him, and he wouldn't touch them. So in an attempt to eat my own lunch in peace, I get him out of his high chair hoping freedom was what he sought. No. He stood at the edge of the table next to me, reaching fervently a seemingly randomly. I tried to guess-I handed him his cup, no. I handed him other objects on the table. Not right either. It was obvious his lack of language skills were making this even more difficult. Finally, I realized he wanted my apple slice. I gave it to him, knowing that a whole apple slice would be difficult for him to manage. He went away happy (notice strong parallels to The Giving Tree--my favorite book EVER). Until he saw me eating pudding. He came back with the entire apple slice chewed up in his mouth trying to eat pudding. So here he was standing under me face tilted up, mouth so full of apple he could barely open it, crying for pudding. Naturally he choked on the apple. I swiped some of it out, but it wasn't enough and he gagged and up came the apple slice and the crackers he ate earlier, into my hand. Which I then proceeded to dump onto my mostly empty lunch plate. joy :) Frightened he began to cry. So I jumped up to get a cloth to wipe his face. Then I picked him up and held him and talked to him--he quickly stopped crying and flashed that heart-melting grin.
So here's my point. Remarkably, I found myself in a great place mentally and emotionally as all of this was taking place. While my frustration was mounting, I wasn't angry nor did I yell. In fact, I pitied my poor son who was unable to decide or communicate what he wanted and so desperately wanted to give him what it is that he wanted.
As my son looked up at me with his face full of apple crying for more. Thinking of all I had already given him, I suddenly realized how God must feel so often when He deals with me. Countless times I have stood at the feet of my Father whining for this or that, only to find that when I received it, it left me completely dissatisfied. Leaving me whining for something else further disabled by my mastery (debatable) of only one language. My face crammed full of blessings begging for more, until I choke. Finally realizing that simply all I want and all I have ever wanted was more of Him, to be in His arms.
The parallels are many. But most poignant, was the realization that when I am acting this way God so desperately wants to make me happy. He is not angry, frustrated-maybe, but patient. Not that the God of the Universe needs my approval, He simply loves us so much that he longs to bless us. He, however, is perfect and knows my needs better than I. It made me think of all the times he gave the Israelites what they begged for even when he knew they would soon want something else (a king, deliverance from slavery, return from exile, rebuilding the city, a savior). It seems that the answer may not be what else can I get, but to be so grateful for what I have, and ask what am I to do with it?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who doesn't love presents!!

Lucky you!

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year. {might be a little while}
4. You have no clue what it's going to be.
It may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may draw or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!

*Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hockey, Dolls, and Mike Prangley

...or Mike "brennley" (as my nephew calls him) or p-dawg (as he is referred to by other members of my family, or Mike (as my dad addresses him at the gym where they work out together).
This post promises to be a hodge podge of things.
First Hockey-
Last week Everette and I and My brother, sister-in-law and nephew all went to an Indiana Ice game at the Pepsi coliseum. Hockey has a special place in my heart for two reasons. 1. I fell in love with Everette on the way to and from an Indianapolis Ice game (back in the good old days of ghetto hockey)-also my first hockey game ever. Everette and I frequently go to games to celebrate things or just to be together.
2. What other sport do you get to throw down in the middle of the rink? You might say ultimate fighting-but I would argue that it isn't as great because sadly that is the only point of ultimate fighting. Hockey-is actually a game with sport, however, if someone on the other team checks you a little too hard or shoots their mouth off too much, you can throw your gloves down and punch 'em back in line and amazingly the refs let it go on at least for a while. It's violent, I know. But I say it's better than guns. Anyway, Elijah had a great time at the game. He was totally into it the whole time. Although he was not such a fan of the fights. Sadly the Ice were not at their best, but the game was fun nonetheless.
Here ae some pictures!

Thursday I got spend the afternoon with my niece Mary. And we got to do something I have been looking forward to all year (school year not calendar year). Mary is totally into all things girly-clothes, makeup, cheerleaders, dolls. Specifically American Girl Dolls. Her parents have (rightly) determined that she is not quite old enough to have her own yet (she is four). But I have one. When I was young and the dolls had just come out, my mom made me read all of the Molly Stories and my sister had to read all of the Samantha stories, then one Christmas we got the dolls. We would have most likely only have had the outfits they came with because the clothes were outrageously expensive, if it were not for my amazing Grandmother. She is an incredible seamstress. I mean incredible. Please allow me to digress for a moment and list a few of her accomplishments: at least four incredibly lacy flower girl dresses(two practice, and two real), several Christmas/Easter dresses, at least one high school formal dress, at least two 8th grade graduation dresses, several bridesmaid dresses, a Barbie wedding dress, my mother's wedding dress, and my wedding dress-not to mention a complete crib set and oodles of furniture slip covers. Now to the point. Every Christmas/birthday for the next several years we got more outfits for our dolls. You could never tell that these outfits were homemade. They looked EXACTLY like the ones in the catalogue. My gramma even made a rain coat and rain hat.
Ok to the point. I have a large box full of outfits and accessories for Molly McIntire, and I spent Thursday afternoon going through the box with my wide-eyed niece revisiting one of the most magical parts of my childhood.Mary and Molly and my gramma's handy work. No she didn't' make the umbrella or the boots.

Saturday morning my son woke up and I entered his room to find he had been replaced by some wild child. He was standing up in his crib with hair like this...
Which is funny since I distinctly remember combing it before he went to bed. Talk about bed head! Of course he spent the rest of the day looking like this causing me to break into hysterical laughter everytime I looked at him. Trust me the pictures do not do it justice.

And so finally after a lot of boring text. I come to Mike. I love snow!! So does Everette. We are a bunch of snow lovers over here. I figure if it is going to be cold and dreary it might as well be snowy. Everette and I have been severely disheartened at the lack of snowfall this year. Snow is magical. Snow, as much as anything can, slows the whole city. People are "all snugged up" in their homes. The ice storm in the 90's is seriously one of the most magical weeks of my life to date. I felt like a character in a novel (can you say Laura Ingalls Wilder?). It seemed like the whole world stopped. So back to Mike. I secretly think that Mike LOVES snow. When he gives the forecast, he secretly hopes for buckets of snow to fall. Just like us! He is rooting for schools to close and kids to have snow days. I love listening to Mike "brennley" weather forecast-the hope of every kid in the county.
Like last night. He predicted 3-5 inches, then he said "possibly 5-10". That was Mike Prangley hoping for a snow day. Of course his optimism often leaves the Mills family incredibly disappointed. Like this afternoon when we were cursing the forecast that said 1-3 inches. But then hope springs eternal-and it turns out p-dawg was right. we are getting snow! Buckets and buckets of it! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!
On that note here are some pictures of my mom and Jonathan and me on our walk this afternoon in the snow.
Jonathan's blanket was a little snow-covered.

Monday, January 26, 2009

So much for Armageddon

Where does the time go? Seriously it has been several weeks since my last post. I will have to post something worthwhile soon. Thankfully I have pictures and stories to tell soon. Maybe I will catch a few minutes later this evening!

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Armageddon!

Ok so this might be a little over the top, but it is two days in a row and I am blogging!! Yay or me! I think for me it is breaking the cycle of non-posting to open the blogging flood gates. Not to mention the opportunity to procrastinate. What might I be procrastinating you may wonder. The two most recent tasks Everette has asked me to complete. 1. Update our Quicken records (we fell a little behind during the holidays), and 2. file the crap ton of papers we have amassed over the year. In my defense I spent several hours working on Quicken yesterday and manage not only to reconcile several accounts but to kill several million brain cells. I know this because I saw them swirling around in my head. Like stars. I tried to catch them, unsuccessfully. Originally Everette agreed to be in charge of reconciling the accounts IF I kept them up to date. oops. This is great motivation to keep them up to date. I hate reconciling!! It seems like it would be fun and easy-because you "just have to click the items" and they highlight and place a checkmark by them-and it does all of the nifty addition and subtraction and everything is perfect and you end up with zero. This is only fun and easy when everything is up to date. again. ooops.
And as for the paper filing-I don't know why I have this job. I suck at it. I am very much like my mom when it comes to paper. I easily get overwhelmed by it. Everette has this amazing filing system in place. I just have to follow it-if only I can get over my psychological road block. Or just sit down and do it.
I guess when it comes down to it...I would much rather file the papers than file the taxes (talk about brain cell homicide).
Anyway-here is some more Jonathan cuteness. For those of you who might not know..
he is 15 months. He has 8 teeth. He does not walk (more out of will than ability). His vocabulary is expanding daily and includes: moh-mee, dah-dee, uh-oh (his personal favorite), Bob-bee ( a term he uses frequently around my parents), dog-gee, Bahy-bahy (this is supposed to be bye-bye but I think his Grammy Mills got to him too soon), no-no (as he shakes his head emphatically). And as of bath time tonight.... Duckey. He is 100% boy as his current favorite activities include emptying the contents of any nearby container-he doesn't just empty them he throws them over his shoulder. He loves to bang on whatever is available-pots, the fish tank, small babies, Daddy's head in the morning, mommy's face whenever is convenient. He has mastered up and down the stairs and loves to be chased either direction. Most recently, to our relief he has mastered backward dismount off of our bed. His previous method was head first kamikaze style. And of course here are some pictures.
ok this one is from a while ago-we were at a friends house and her daughter was coloringa picture at the table-or so we thought. Turns out she doodled on Jonathan a little too!
This is my genious invention! Jonathan is not to the stage where I can hand him a bowl of things and expect him to hold it and eat a few at a time. And trying to push the grocery cart, shop and hand him snacks a few at a time is tedious and only prolongs the grocery shopping experience. So one day at Meijer I took one of those handy stick-to-the-table placemats and wrapped it around the ledge on the cart (only at Meijer) then stuck it to itself below. Then I could pour a few snacks at a time into the pocket and they didn't fall through the slits and Jonathan didn't get all those nasty cart germs on him (well at least not as many).

Jonathan is finished being fed by someone else. He almost always refuses. He LOVES tomato based things-Spaghetti, chili (seriously eats it by the bowl full), soups-anything. This makes for many meals that end like this.

Jonathan being cute in the bathtub!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas Post II

Christmas Eve we went to church then spent the evening at my parents house. Where every year my mom gets out the beginner piano Christmas duet book and I good naturedly humiliate myself as I attempt to play duets with my mom. I play the easy part (well I try anyway). This year we drug my sister in so she could play one hand and I could play the other. It was hilariously pathetic. Jonathan played on the floor and was perfect. So perfect in fact that all of sudden we realized it was 11:30. So we packed up and took our baby home.
Here is where things got interesting. Traditionally Everette and I go to his family's house in the morning-but since we had already done that we invited them over to our house along with my parents for breakfast. Somehow (Ahemn, Everette's dad) it was decided to make cinnamon rolls. Correction-that I would make cinnamon rolls. I am a decent cook-not award winning but able to follow a recipe. But I don't (or didn't) do yeast. I have a bread maker, I used it once. Yeast is scary. And of course I hadn't made them yet. I was supposed to use Great-Grandma Little's famous recipe. But if you saw it you would not have used it either. I am pretty sure Gramma Little didn't knead a recipe (haha-I couldn't resist). There were important steps missing. And considering I had never done anything with yeast without supervision-this was a little too intimidating. SO I opted for the BLESSED Better Homes and Garden's recipe (cooking for idiots). So in the 5 AM quiet of Christmas morning, I got up to make the rolls. I found it refreshingly therapeutic to knead the dough. I also found that my ability to follow a recipe correctly carried over into baking with yeast. And if I do say so myself those cinnamon rolls were INCREDIBLE. I took a picture just so I could show you how delicious they are.
Don't you want one?!
Not too bad for being up since 5 AM.

After a relaxing Christmas Breakfast we got ready to head over to my Gramma's house. Where we had Christmas with my family. We had a great time and yummy food. Miraculously the Greene Family concquered Food Coma and played a boisterous game of Battle of the Sexes. The women stomped the men. We headed home-put Jonathan to bed at 6:30 and followed suit soon after (like 7:30-soon after). A marvelous Christmas!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Post I

Everette and Jonathan in front of our Christmas Tree. Jonathan LOVED being in his snow suit-obvious by his joyous countenance
So apparantly I have been reduced to once a month blogging. THis makes me sad. I am not sure why this is happening. I feel so "unbloggy"-Yes I made up this word.
So the holidays have come and gone. I am a tiny bit sad about all of this. I am protesting. This combined with the fact that I have felt more observational than conversational leads to not much blogging. Our holidays were quite honestly spectacular. They were not without a small amount of family drama-but mostly they were wonderful. Everette's brother Brad who lived in NYC came with his girlfriend Meghan (yes-I know this is weird, especially if you consider the fact that my dad and his brother both married Susans) on the 19th of December to celebrate Christmas early. The weather was slightly uncooperative so Everette and I ended up driving to O'Hare together to pick them up. It made for a really late night, but we got to spend a few hours alone together in Everette's parent's new Santa Fe. A nice ride-plus XM radio. Which Everette, naively or generously (I am really not sure which) gave me control of. This meant two hours of music glory--I rotated between the Elvis station, the ABBA station (I was VERY Excited about this), and four (count 'em FOUR) Christmas stations. The ride back provided a great opportunity to spend with Brad and Meghan.
The next night we borrowed a 15 passenger van and we had dinner at Mt Fuji's, then went to the Living Nativity, and to see the lights in Frankfort and Rossville.Uncle Brad and Meghan, Uncle Grant and Daddy in the backseat during our Christmas Light Extravaganza!

Monday we had what we have now termed "early Christmas" (we started with "fake Christmas" but apparently it didn't catch on) with the Mills. We opened presents and had our traditional breakfast-Cheese Grits, Little Smokies Wrapped in Bacon (affectionately termed "meat wrapped in meat covered in sugar"-trust me they are delicious), Ambrosia, and coffee cake. This is where tradition ended and new traditions were made-- we took Everette's grammommie out for margaritas at Don Pablos, then returned home for a prime rib dinner instead of Turkey.
So Grant and Brad have this tradition where they wrap their presents to one another in the most ridiculous ways. Not pictured here is Brad's present to Grant wrapped to look like a 3-D reindeer. THis is Grant's present to Brad-which I think takes the cake in disgustingness. He used Mary's old pantyhose and it had these gross tentacles on the top.

Jonathan got three super awesome gifts that day...1. An indoor playgym (from Gramps and Grammy) 2. Two awesome crawling tunnels (from Uncle Brad and Meghan) 3. a wagon full of MegaBlocks (from Uncle Grant)

We always knew Everette was "special" (Brad got a ski helmet from Mary and WL and Everette felt compelled to try it on).
We sent Brad and Meghan off (to her family in Missouri) with biscuits and gravy on Tuesday (are you starting to see a Mills family theme).
I had all of our shopping and other prep work done so the whole week right into Christmas was incredibly relaxing.

Jonathan playing and squeaking in his new play gym