Friday, April 30, 2010


A few weeks ago I took Jonathan to the Battlefield. We had a great time.  The Battlefield is an intricate part of my childhood. I spent countless hours there in all seasons with my family, and friends and even by myself. In fact if there was any place as important to my growing up more than my home and possibly my church, it would be here.
I fell asleep under the stars on a blanket every summer listening to bluegrass music. In fact the day I slid off my bike and impaled my head on a piece of gravel, after a trip to Urgent care, I ended up on a blanket under the stars staring dreamily at a stage full of musicians in front of a patchwork quilt.
I waded in the creek as far as I dared, and threw rocks just a few feet more.
I spent my summers swimming in the concrete pool with it's rickety, spider-ridden bath house.
I hiked the trail to the top of Prophet's Rock.  I found a nest of snakes. My brother, and sister and I scraped together enough spare change to buy my mother a bottle of Lilac perfume at the museum. I lingered in the coolness of the nature center, staring at eery stuffed racoons on the wall and fat squirrels gorging on birdseed through the window, to avoid going back out into the stifling summer heat.
I collected leaves for my school leaf collection.
I had countless picnics
played pooh sticks over the green painted bridge.
Got my senior pictures taken at the edge of the creek.
Photographed my sister for her senior portraits, my parents for their 25 wedding anniversary, the birth of a new baby, friends for pure amusement. I learned how to take pictures there.
I heard, and memorized the story of Tecumseh and the Prophets and their valiant yet futile efforts to preserve their way of life.
I went to Vacation Bible School, and Girl Scout Camp.
Spent time alone with God. Prayed.

Sat around in a picnic shelter discussing theology with my high school friends.
Picked violets for my aunt.
Witnessed the union of two of my dearest friends under the sycamore trees at the edge of the creek.
And a hundred more memories.

I intentionally took Jonathan there alone, so it could be a memory I had of us together. But only a few minutes  sitting on "the rock" I had sat on so many times before, I couldn't resist calling my mom. Sadly she was working.
Carrying only my little point-and-shoot camera, I did my best to capture the experience.
These are the stairs leading down to the creek.
There are two ways-and only two ways to go down them.  1. The slower more cautious approach where you plant each foot on each step, giving you steady even footing. the other method...
2. One foot per step. The steps are just close enough for this to be possible, but wide enough that to take this approach gives one the feeling of recklessness and near flight.

Jonathan chose the two-footed method., he is cautious, like his mother.
This is the rock at the banks of the creek. The rock we climbed over and kept our shoes from getting wet, while we walked barefoot in the water, and sat on while we waited for our toes to dry.

This is the path that leads to the edge of the water.

Jonathan was enamored with the bridge.

I suddenly had new respect for my mother. All those years she watched us lean over, climb over, sit on the ledge of that bridge! That terrifying, unsafe concrete bridge.
 I saw with new eyes that day.

Jonathan loved it.

There are likely dozens of pictures of me on that rock.
Jonathan had a little trouble not sliding off!

Thus begins the series of rock throwing. Jonathan was ambitious. He chose rocks the size of his head to toss.

Right here, this is where two of my oldest, dearest, most like family friends, got married.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Shall Blame my Mother

Or at least I shall try.
A few weeks ago we had a dinner party. Now it wasn't a fancy dinner party, but it was a dinner party nonetheless.
This is a rarity. Why? I will tell you why. My family is turning out to be quite large. With a sizeable contingecy of young children. Young.. energetic children. And whenever we get together, it just seems like the right thing to do to use paper plates and sharpied solo cups, unless it's a holiday and holidays are at my grammas. This is not negotiable.
And you cannot have a dinner party if you use paper plates. You simply cannot. It goes against nature.
The other reason is, all of my friends have young children and require paper plates and large jungle gyms to get together. Someday we might have a dinner party. Someday.
But a few fridays ago, a missionary visiting our church and some other church friends came over for dinner.
I spent the day preparing.
It was a great day. Everything went off without a hitch. The house looked good, the tables were set up, dinner prep was going well.
I had made broccoli salad the day before, as well as the Asian slaw dressing. The pork chops were cut, seasoned and ready to be grilled. The pototoes were roasting in the oven and the blackberry cobbler was ready to go in next.
Things were going so well, in fact, that I poured myself a glass of wine (I opened it for the potatoes..geesh).
I blame my mother for the events that followed.
In all the advice she has given me, she never mentioned it was unwise to drink while wielding a knife.

I continued in my preparations, at this time Everette was finished working and was downstairs helping me, and entertaining Jonathan (or you could say, just helping me).
***********Warning! The Following is NOT for the weak and faint of heart.*****

It was 5:56, and I began to slice the bread, to warm it in the oven.
At the exact moment, my son decided he had to poop (seriously, some day I am going to search my blog archives and count exactly how many of my posts mention poop-it must be some kind of record). So Everette took Jonathan upstairs.  I heard them walking up the stairs as I began to cut the next slice of bread. The knife was sharp. So sharp that I was all the way through the side of my left index finger before I realized what happened.
I gasped.

Everette: What happened?
Now I am not sure about you, but in the following seconds after I injure myself- I am unable to speak. My body is assessing the pain, and all of the screaming rage is welling up inside me. I guess truthfully, I could speak, but if I opened my mouth during those few seconds streams of profanity and incredibly vile and offensive language would spew out of my mouth, along with several previously eradicated diseases. So I must keep my mouth shut. To Everette, however, this means something must be really wrong and his natural response is to ask again.
Everette: are you ok?
(This only brings more poisonous venom and boiling rage to the surface).
more pause
Me: I cut myself (as I quickly step to the sink and grab a paper towel.

Everette (hollering down from upstairs): Are you ok? Do you need to go the emergency room?
Me: I don't think so 
I then take off the paper towel and look, before I could even get a good look, blood started dripping into the sink.
Crap! maybe I do need to go to urgent care. Did I cut through an artery? Do you have arteries in your fingers? uhh this is bad.  Maybe I should go to urgent care. Nooo! People will be here at any minute! Who will bake the cobbler!?!?!  OK Megan, get a grip, assess.  You have seen eleven seasons of ER, your mom's a nurse.  Ok-the blood is not spurting (as in with my beating heart) that's good. Pressure, you need to put pressure on it. OK where are the band-aids?

I walk to the bathroom to get the band-aids and peek out the front window, the first guest is here. Crap! This is the one time dinner guests are on time! 
I run up the stairs passing Everette on the way down.
Me:  People are here!
Everette: are you sure you are ok?
I ignored him as I ran upstairs.
I wrapped it in one band-aid but before I could even get it completely on, the blood started squeezing through the air holes in the band-aid.
So I slapped on another one.
Then I raced down stairs, to find that thankfully there was no blood anywhere to be found in the kitchen. Wouldn't that have been a lovely welcoming.

I took some Tylenol and kept my hand elevated, and somehow managed to make it through the evening.
But in the morning when I removed the band-aid and it started bleeding again, I decided I had better go to urgent care.
So I drove myself to Sigma Immediate care.
The doctor looked at my finger and after I told him the story, asked where the rest of the skin ended up. I looked at him.
"Seriously? " I said. " I am guessing down the sink or in the garbage."
"Well, I thought we might have tried to graft it on." he said.
"uhh sorry" I said.
So he told me he could cauterize it with Silver Nitrate.
I asked him if it would hurt, he said "yeah some." But then I remembered that Jonathan got his belly button cauterized when he was several months old and he did seemed to be too bothered. So I said go ahead.

HOLY FREAKIN' COW!!! That was some serious, serious, serious pain. I mean serious!! Like old-school-take-a-swig-of-whiskey-and-we- will-reset-your-bone pain. Only there was no whiskey and it took longer.
The doctor, when I was done told me that it was pretty much like a cigarette burn.
To which I replied, "thanks, I had always wondered, and now I know."
Then they left me alone to whimper in private.
Of course, because I love you guys I busted out my phone to take some pictures. But since I was quivering in pain, and trying not to pass out or lose my lunch, they were pretty much too blurry to see.
But never fear. I took some later!!

Don't look if you are a weenie. 

This is probably the best over all picture. It was taken several days later, trust me this is an improvement.
The center is the actual cut, and the lovely dark part on the outside is otherwise healthy skin, a casualty of cauterizing.

I like to think the whole thing looks like an eyeball and I am just making finger puppets. Surprise! I was just practicing my "smokey eye" makeup strategies.

At this particular moment, I had a very slight infection going on down in there, and you can see the slight radiating red on the lower part of my finger.

And well... this one, I just like the artistic lighting I had going on here. So I figured you would too, and I really hate to disappoint all four of you. It is kind of like an artsy portrait.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I am a photographer, and I am available for your wedding or family photo shoot.
Thank you all for listening.
And remember, mom, this is all your fault! Who knew knives could be so dangerous?!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beef-It's what for Dinner-

I have a plethora of ground beef in my freezer... and of all meats-ground beef is not my favorite.
But I need to use it... Anyone have any great ideas??
Here are things I make already...
burgers (duh)

I was looking for something a little more outside the box...

p.s. I do not like meatloaf,and I will not make it no matter how much you tell me its the best meatloaf you have ever had and you don't meatloaf either. It ain't happenin'.

back in the day

Remember when the blog was supposed to be about my adorable son. And I would share super cute stories and post adorable pictures.  Before I comandeered it with my own boring thoughts and social opinions.

The truth is Jonathan is growing up so fast. Everette was out of town at the beginning of this week so Jonathan and I had some alone time.
For the first time as we spent time together and he seemed to be just a little grown up.
In fact here is a list of things Jonathan can do all by himself.

1. Sleep all night in a Big Boy Bed without getting up.
2. Move chairs around the kitchen to reach objects on the counter.
3. Fill the dog bowl with dog food.
4. Carry his own booster seat to the table, place the booster seat in the restaurant booth and climb up all by himself.
5. Throw large boulders into the creek.
6. Push the shopping cart.
7. Run a 5K
8. Identify almost all the letters in the alphabet.
9. Find Goldbug on every page of Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things that Go faster than most of the grown up, including his dad, the reigning Goldbug Champion
10. Lasso a calf in 3.6 secs flat.
11. And finally, every mother's dream, my son has learned to burp on command.
I wish I could tell you I was joking. He discovered this ability all on his own. He hasn't completely refined his skills yet. I would put a video up but the truth is while I find it hilarious, it is not something I really want to encourage. But please take my word for it.
Jonathan can seriously burp on command... and end the national recession.
but has yet to master the potty.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The last box of Thin Mints

So we are down to our last box of Thin Mint Girls Scout Cookies, and I am sad to announce they will be our last. Ever.
A few days ago a friend sent me a link to an article from the Washington Times about The Girls Scouts and a UN forum.
I realize this article is written by the President of C-FAM (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institutes), and is pretty bias. But I did a little (emphasis on little) research on google, and the truth is I couldn't find very much disputing the articles claims. Other than the Girls Scouts flat out denying it. (Which if it's true for them, what else could they do?)

In fact what I did find were a few more articles along the same lines (from similar sites I admit).
Life News

an opposing view

Regardless of whether the pamphlet (more on that later) was actually distributed. As a parent I am uneasy with any organization banning the presence  of parents (i.e. me).
Let me just say if my daughter was on a field trip to a UN conference, and I was asked to leave the room. You had better believe my daughter would be leaving with me. (Everette and I have already come to the realization that if we do have a girl, she will totally hate us, because she will be dressed in a sack cloth and won't be allowed out of the house)
So the pamphlet... I found a copy of the alleged pamphlet.
There is a lot of BAD advice. The pamphlet  is targeted to youth who are HIV positive or involved with someone who is.
But the truth is there is some serious bad advice for ANYONE at any age or any background period .
Read it for yourself if you don't believe me.  The pamphlet is entitled "Happy Healthy and Hot". The dream of every mother of a preteen daughter.
And if anyone ever presents this to my kid as solid factual advice... you are going to see a whole lotta fury from this momma bear. I am not going to fight the political fight about sex education in schools. The truth is.. in a secular world... this is what makes sense to them. I'm not saying it's right for them, I am just saying it makes sense to them.
But I am going to fight the fight when it comes to what my children are taught. While I am not sure how that will play out in the future, I fervently believe it is my right and responsibility to talk to my kids about sex and what God thinks about it.  Sorry, this is one of those platforms I like to stand on. But hey-it's my blog!!

At the very least Girl Scouts have been linked repeatedly  (and the YMCA as well) to Planned Parenthood, which does a lot of things I am not cool with.
 So anyway back to the cookies... When I was teaching I chose not to join in the Union., in a school that was HEAVILY unionized. Emphasis on heavily... I was one of three nonunion, I know  this because if you were not in the union there was a  big loud sticker on your mailbox. And I was repeatedly pressured to join.  My decision was in large part because the NEA shares some of their funding with some organizations I am not interested in sending my money to.
So in light of that decision, I now had another choice. I could pretend that this whole Girls Scout debacle isn't important and that it doesn't matter and keep buying Girl Scout Cookies or take a personal stand and choose not to support something I don't agree with.
It is a hard line to straddle between being too crazy militant, and being completely apathetic.  But the truth is Everette and I don't consume enough GS cookies to significantly hinder our neighborhood girls cookie sales. But if I stopped buying them, I don't have to feel guilty stuffing my face with Thin Mints knowing I am telling girls casual sex will make you happy.
So Everette and I decided we're done buying Girl Scout cookies.And truthfully, they really don't taste that great all of a sudden anyway.
And for some reason, I was unable to keep this decision to myself.   So I had to purge myself and spew my personal and political beliefs all over you. But  its my blog and I can if I want to.
so there.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Mom, I have fum at da Brachiosaurus."

I realize that this post might not be as late as some of my others, but I was already in bed, and got up to post. So that has to count for something.

Have you ever had one of those days, that was just so perfect, it was almost surreal?
 Today was one of those days, and I cannot stop thinking about it.

"Mom, I have fum at da Brachiosaurus." This is what my son said to me in the car moments before he completely passed out.

The Brachiosauras is, to my son anyway,  the Indianapolis Children's Museum. In case you haven't been there in a while, they created a new entrance and there is a giant brachiosaurus peeking in the window. It is pretty amazing.

One of the greatest joys of being a parent is watching your child discover and fall in love with something that you yourself love.
Both Everette and I grew up going to the children's museum; our feelings toward the place are pretty mutual. And in 25+ years not a tremendous amount has changed. Of course there are new exhibits, but there are many that are the same.  I remember climbing up the spiraling ramp to the highest level to play with the locks, and getting lost looking at all the miniature houses and villages.

I remember the train.

I remember the water clock.

The Children's Museum is magical. It is a giant building filled with wonderful things, that invite you to touch and experience.  There are no ropes keeping you away from the glass, instead there are portals inviting you to crawl through and stand inside the exhibit.

You don't have to keep your hands to yourself or use your inside voices.  You can explore, and imagine, and build,

and dig, and learn, and wonder.

I will admit when we first came in, the new entrance was so different, I was sad. I was grieving a lost chance to share something with Jonathan, I remember so fondly.
But thankfully, the entrance was only a facade, and once inside the layout had not changed.
We began at the dinosaurs...
and moved to the trains, where we could have stayed for the rest of the day.

In fact, leaving the trains was the only moment, Everette and I wondered, if we were really up for this adventure. But we carried on.
We then climbed to the top level to play in the water,
 and the trains were a distant memory... but not forgotten.
 Quite honestly, I am not sure who had more fun.

and then the carousel...

It was at the carousel I had an epiphany.  We were scrounging around our wallets trying to find an acceptable form of currency to purchase our carousel tokens. At first, it looked like I would only be watching, as we were having difficulty finding what we needed. But we figured it out. Once we all had tokens we moved to the line, I read (for the first time) about the history and restoration of the carousel.
Our turn came quickly, and as I suspected, once we boarded the carousel, Jonathan (a.k.a Indiana Jones)

got a little uneasy. He was hesitant to sit on the horse.

Everette strapped him in anyway and stood close, while Jonathan clung tightly to his shirt.

I hopped up on the lion next to him.
The carousel started to spin and the calliope started to play and I thought about the history of  this beautiful ride. And I began to see the magic of the carousel. I thought about the millions of children, small and grown who had climbed aboard these horses and pretended to fly.
I am not sure I can explain what I felt as watched My son ride his first carousel and quickly overcome his fears and fall in love as he looked up at the twinkling stars. I can only tell you there was a lump in my throat and a few tears stung my eyes.

And then, as quickly as it came, the music stopped and the carousel slowed, it it was over.
We headed downstairs for lunch, and finished the afternoon with Big Bird and Elmo at the planetarium.
(We took this picture waiting for the show to start. I think it's hilarious!!!! And very telling of our deliriously happy day!)
Perfect for a tired two-year old.

Jonathan, I had fun at the Brachiosaurus too.

Please notice the cookie face to complete the day....
Everette and Jonathan thank you for sharing such a magical day with me!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dear Emily

Dear Emily,

Ten years from now when your mom tells you that your cousin is coming over for the afternoon, and you roll your eyes and sigh because your cousin is a pimply-faced prepubescent smelly preteen boy with braces and bad breath, who talks about playing dungeons and dragons all day. And you, are a spunky beautiful blond-headed ball of sweetness.

Please remember that you used to play together. You used to run together, and hold hands, and share, and laugh together.

You used to take tubbies together, and splash every bubble out of the tub, cackling hysterically.

Try to remember you used to climb all over things together, and share your toys, and your food, and your diapers and your clothes.

People used to think you were twins, as you giggled and toddled around.

Remember when you used to ride in the wagon together to go feed the donkeys

Try to remember these things when your dorky cousin comes to visit. Try to also understand that this phase will pass (I hope). Some day soon, he will grow out of his awkward goobery phase. He will grow up and stop talking about boogers and farts (well mostly... at least in public). And maybe then you can be friends again.
Maybe then you can teach him that girls don't like to be farted on, and that girls appreciate it when a boy takes the time to shower once a month, and maybe, just maybe, use deodorant. And that they like it when you hold doors open for them.

Maybe you can tell him when he has put on too much cologne, and when his room is beyond disgusting.
Maybe you can teach him how to be nice to girls.
And maybe, when your big brother is off to college, you can keep your cousin around, to keep those silly boys away.  Or drive you places (since he will get his license before you).
And maybe you can talk about how totally ridiculous and unfair your parents are being, when they never let you date (other people). Or you can roll your eyes together at family events.
Emily, this is your aunt talking, and I am invoking that special Aunt-Niece bond. I am begging you, please don't forget, that you were friends with that strange creature.
Remember that once you were friends.

Lots of love,
Aunt Meg