Friday, March 29, 2013


Sometime about 5 and a half years ago my brother gave me a sort of box kit to make silly sock creatures.  I never made one, even though the kit came with all of the materials necessary to do so because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to follow the directions right and mess the whole thing up.

Alas, the other day I was cleaning out my sewing room and Hallie found the box and began poring over the pictures of the various creatures you could make.  And then she began begging, and begging, and pleading and pleading for me to make one for her.

I didn't last long before I was sitting on the couch next to her with scissors and a needle and thread, and a poor pair of socks that was about to be terribly, terribly mutilated, sewn back together, and then stuffed.

And then the silly thing grew and grew on me even in his terrible imperfectness, because I really had no idea what I was doing, and I made one for Hanna. And then I made one for Heather. Turns out you can make these really, really fast.

 Hallie's creature, my first attempt.  I didn't understand how to make lips yet. 
This pair of socks came with the kit.
 Hanna's creature, second attempt.  Still working on figuring out the lips.  
This pair of socks also came with the kit.
 Heather's creature.  My mom gave me these socks ages and ages and ages ago. 
Thanks mom.

If you'd like a creature, just mail me a pair of socks and some chocolate. Or oreos.   I'm serious.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Grandma's Hands

I was daydreaming yesterday.  I imagined myself and Devin, sitting on our porch on a warm evening, maybe in early October.  We'd have those rocking chairs I've always coveted that you can get at Cracker Barrel.  I don't think we would talk much, enjoying that silence more profound than any words mankind has discovered.

I imagine what I would look like, in this daydream as I sit on the porch in early October.  Years have passed, and with them the colors of my clothing have faded into soft pastels and muted beiges.  The cuts of the fabric have blurred, not so distinct, not so sharp but wavy and curvy and making it sort of indistinguishable where one part of my body starts and another ends.  All of me, transformed through the years into one soft lump of pink and cream.

I think Devin and I revel in the silence, but our hearts quicken as we hear the sound of cars coming around the corner that we still live on.  The cars come into view around the bend and we see the faces inside we've been waiting to see.  Smiles echoed in multiples by the wrinkles on our faces brighten up the autumn dusk.  Our daughters, all grown up with families of their own, come to visit us.

They step out of their cars, each of them about my height, each of them so beautiful in the people they've become it makes my heart ache with pride - not for my mothering skills, but that they managed to become these people in spite of me.  Their husbands step out of the cars, and I imagine that I am a tiny bit in love with each of them, as if they were my own handsome sons.

The babies are next out of the cars - these would be my grandbabies.  And suddenly, the peaceful quiet evening Devin and I had been enjoying is over and the world once more becomes color and sound and explosions of energy bursting and darting and shimmering in our tired eyes.  But oh, how sweet each face is, how sweet and perfect and kissable and they belong to me, I am grandma.  I am the keeper of cookies and the teller of stories and the kisser of boo boos and the singer of songs and the drier of tears and the maker of smiles.

I will be my Grandpa Homer, teaching my grandchildren how to plant seeds and weed a garden.

I will be my Grandma Homer, teaching them how to can tomatoes and apples and pears.

We will eat pie after every meal.

I will be my Grandpa Boling, with the only clear memory I have of him being when he pretended to cut off his thumb under a napkin in a restaurant, but I knew he couldn't really have done it because of the twinkle in his eyes and the smile hiding in his cheeks.

I will be my Grandma Boling, and make everything pretty and have an aura of calmness that permeates the air around me.

We will eat cookies after every meal.

picture from image library

Sometimes when I look at my hands I can see how they will look someday the way my Grandma Boling's hands look now.  I always smile when I notice it, smile to think that I have hands like hers.

I know that I am romanticizing a lot of what it will be like, that I am overlooking the pains and aches of a body beginning to tire.  I know I am, but that's what makes this a daydream.  I look forward to it anyway.  I can feel the years between now and the time this daydream becomes a reality stretching out long before me, and I feel homesick for it, even though it hasn't happened yet.

And then even though it feels like they are stretching out so interminably long before me, I know that it will happen like waking from a dream, what you thought was forever was just the blink of an eye.

I am here, I am right now.  I am today, and tomorrow and the day after that and these days seem endless but they all add up to become this daydream, and it won't be so long in coming as it feels.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Vomit Curls

Did you miss the post that helps this post make sense?  Read it, here.

I understand that pictures of vomit curls may not be appealing to everyone.  Thus I will put other pictures first, with clear warnings of when the pictures of Hanna covered in vomit are coming you can retreat back to the safety of Facebook or Yahoo news or Stranger or wherever else you hang out on the internet.
I think maybe Hallie wasn't feeling so great that morning, either. 

This is what Heather looks like when you have the camera out and are taking pictures and you don't let her grab it to chew and taste.

Then Hallie got excited and wanted to take a picture of me and Heather.  I actually really quite like it.

WARNING: We are nearing the true vomit curls pictures.  This one is skating on the edge of it, having Hanna in the picture, but you can't really tell that anything is "wrong" with her, except the fact that Hallie wouldn't go any closer, citing "Hanna smells bad, Mommy" as her reasoning for keeping her distance.  Indeed, Hanna was quite stinky that morning.

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If vomit curls are not something you are comfortable viewing, please carry on with your day, and I hope it is a truly good day indeed.


 Can you see the chunks on her forehead, eyebrows, nose, eyelashes?  Yes my friends, in her eyelashes.  How you sleep through that I truly, truly, truly do not know.

And then we all jumped in the bathtub, where I had to wash her hair extensively twice before we got all the smell out.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break - Cruise to Mexico

The snow continues to haunt me.  I think it might melt away today, and maybe not snow again?  Should I risk even saying that?  Knock on wood...

 Well, I'm taking a journey back in time to my Spring Break trip to Mexico, I think maybe this was to Cozumel?  Yes, that sounds right.
First of course, we had to drive to Alabama.
I guess this was just sometime on our way, but I mostly post it because I miss those pants and that sweatshirt.  Where did it go?

 Dinners on the cruise - I look at these pictures and I think, where did all of those clothes go?  OOOOH yes, I remember, I gave them away in my huge clothing purge after Hallie was born when I didn't know what to do with my new strangely shaped body.

That's our cruise ship.

 On the beach.  I don't know what those crusty stairs are behind us...

I have to remind myself that this hot humid weather is coming our way to Nebraska soon, too.  It will be here and then I will be crying and moaning and complaining on this here same blog that it is too hot and too humid and it makes me sick and tired and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I'll try not to do that this summer.  Maybe this summer I'll try to embrace being sweaty and sticky and hot and uncomfortable. 

I can do that, if you'll just come out and play, Oh Mr. Golden Sun.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Break - Florida

Today it snowed again.  So here's where we're at:
1st Day of Spring - Freezing temps, no snow
2nd Day of Spring - Freezing temps, two inches snow
3rd Day of Spring - Freezing temps, one inch of snow

Looks like the score so far is Winter: 3, Spring: 0.  You'll get yours though, Spring, I know it.

In the meantime, remember those pictures that I recently found from my college Spring Breaks?  Yeah, I'm just going to pretend that that's where I am right now, and I'm telling you all about it and we'll all bask in the warmth of memory today, shall we?

 Having dinner in our little home away from home.  I put this one up because I think it is kind of funny that we cooked meals like a big family.

 But then sometimes we went out to eat, of course.  This was one night we got a little fancified to go out.

 And of course we spent much, much time at the beach.

 This was the only picture I could find of myself in the water, I think I got a little skittish after the experience with the dolphin?  Also, wasn't there some kind of insane jellyfish problem in the water that year?  Anyone remember?

 Random, but fun.

Good night, Florida. 
Good night, hot sandy beaches. 
Good night, soft warm breezes. 
Good night, gentle waves. 
Good night laughter and fun.
Good night, good night, good night.

And then, see, I remember all of those other moments in the pictures quite clearly.  But then a picture like this one comes along, and I think


Who are those guys?  Why am I in a picture with them?  What is going on here, and why don't I remember it? 

Anyone?  Anyone?  Anyone?

 I do remember that shirt though, it says "I (Heart) Nerds."  Classy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's Just Me

Being a mom is great, really, really great.  And being a mom is hard, sometimes, too.  And sometimes being a mom isn't really great or hard, it's just sort of a big mess and you're the only one around to clean it up.

There are moments every now and then when a series of events will occur that leave me looking over my shoulder, as if deep down inside I can't believe that no one is coming to help me figure out what to do, where to start sorting out the mess that has been made.  No one ever comes.  So finally a mother just has to roll up her sleeves and get to work.  It can be very messy, dirty, slimy, stinky, crusty, germ infested work.

This morning Heather woke up first.  She had a little breakfast with Daddy while Mommy snatched a few extra minutes.  Those extra minutes are my favorite.  Then he brought her to me, a squirming mass of pink ballerina pj's and kissed me goodbye.  Hallie came hopping in the room a few minutes later, and we all got up to have breakfast.  Hallie was telling me some story about how she looked in Hanna's bed but all she saw was chocolate.  I didn't listen much.  Heather was being clingy and cried when I put her down, but her four molars popping through notwithstanding, sometimes I can't make oatmeal with one hand.

Then we heard Hanna's footsteps.  Down the stairs she stomped, and down the hall to the kitchen where we had congregated.  She walked into the light of the kitchen, the rest of the house still shrouded in winter morning darkness, and I almost dropped Heather, who I was again holding.

She had something brown and crusty smeared all over her pajamas, and her hair had bits of the chocolate?  in clumps here and there as well.  In addition to the clumps her hair had gone wild, like a tiny person with dreadlocks.  And she excitedly proclaimed, "Mommy! There's chocolate all over my bed!"

Except that really, it didn't smell quite like chocolate.  Hanna is a recent graduate of the school of potty training, and I wondered if maybe one small lesson had been overlooked.  "Hanna, did you make a poo in your bed?" I asked, holding my breath, praying, and crossing my fingers that she would answer in the negative.

"No, Mommy, but I was just getting worried that I would make a peepee, so I need to go sit on the potty."  I sighed a deep sigh of relief, and told her to go sit on the toilet while I looked at this so called chocolate on her bed.

Up the stairs I trudged, Heather in tow, my body weary from p90x and this mysterious cold that won't go away, and oh did I mention it was snowing outside, a white blanket covering the earth?  Happy Day After the First Day of Spring everybody.

And then I saw her bed.  Bits of brown chunks were everywhere, strewn about as if they had been propelled from somewhere with explosive force.  And then I noticed the chunks of spaghetti noodles.  We had spaghetti for dinner last night.

This is me.  This is my job.  I stand there staring at it, imagining what the morning will look like.  I get to clean that up, and clean up Hanna, all the while trying to keep Heather from getting in it, listening to her scream because she wants to be held but I can't hold her and clean up dried and crusty vomit, and Hallie telling me every story she's ever heard, wanting me to respond but I can't think of reasonable responses to stories about her imaginary friends that go on and on and on and have no beginning and no end when I am knee deep in the smelly result of someone's sickness.

I closed my eyes, and took a deep breath.  It's just you.  That's it.  You are the first line of defense around here, and the last.  You are the peace keeper, the maid, the cook, the janitor, the referee, and this mess will not go away unless you do something about it.  Square your shoulders. Straighten your spine.  Get to work, mommy.

But first I went back downstairs where Hanna had just finished using the potty.  She was starving, so I thought it couldn't hurt too much to let her eat a little bit of breakfast, and then put her in the bathtub while I cleaned up the mess.  Sitting across the table from her I stared at her wild hair, teased out in vomit curls.

Eating breakfast with a little girl with vomit curls.  Yeah man, the vomit curls.  I don't know if they were the best part of the experience, or the worst.

I am the mom.  And for most of the day, it's just me around here trying to keep it all together.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So Young

I have too many things on my mind, too many words forming and I can't keep them all straight.  I'm filled with thoughts about family, springtime, Easter, brownies, plyometrics, love, and a hundred other random things that all come together when I'm rocking Heather in the darkness of twilight, but that I can't sort out when I'm in front of my computer.  It may seem like a week since I've written a blog post, but trust me I write five in my head every night.

In the meantime, while I get all that stuff sorted out, guess what I found?  Pictures.  From assorted experiences ranging from my Spring Breaks when I was just a wee bitty little college student at Ye Olde Purdue University to visits with my sister in Utah.  And so I think I'll post some of them, and pretend that I got to go somewhere sunny and nice like in the good old days.  But for now, since it is late and I am tired, how about a few teasers?
 I have no idea why my sister and I are posed like this on the streets of Provo? I don't know where we are.  Also, my dad hated it when I made that face in pictures, and now that I am older and wiser I can totally see why.

 And then Stacy was tired after driving to Alabama.

My sister and her new man Jeff.
And then they got married.
And she just had their third baby.

 The gang, at Panama City Beach.  Yes, the locale of both the shark story and the cage dancing story.

 One time, my friend Marc picked me up from the airport dressed like this, and holding that sign.  Maybe the coolest thing that ever happened to me?  Well, that makes me sound kind of lame, so I'll put it in the more vague but still true category of one of the Top Five Coolest Things That Ever Happened To Me (and it might be number one.)

 Just another windy day in Mexico.

 And then this happened.

 And I fell asleep in the car on the long long long long drive to Alabama.

Some pretty cool kids here, just hangin'.

So, that was really fun for me.  
You want more?
Well, it's coming.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I was getting ready to go to a dinner at church tonight, and I accidentally reached for the waterproof mascara.  I noticed before I put it on, but I shrugged my shoulders and put it on anyway.  I never wear waterproof mascara, but I was in a hurry and didn't bother to switch.  In the car driving to the dinner I was so grateful for that waterproof mascara.

My sister had a baby two weeks ago, and I got to facetime with her just minutes after the baby was born.  It was a really special moment for me to see her and her baby, even though they were so far away.

Last week my sister moved from where she lived 7 hours away from me to where she lives now, 18 hours away from me.  I could practically feel the distance between us growing as the day went on and the car with her and her babies in it moved farther and farther east.  But just the other day I got a tour of her new home.  Thanks to skype I got to see the place that she is already making into a beautiful home.

Grocery shopping in this house is a full family event.  Every Saturday we pack up the troops and navigate the aisles.  Shania Twain was playing, and half without realizing it I was singing along, holding nothing back, as you have to do when you sing with Shania.  I felt like my sister was standing right by me, because how can I listen to Shania and shout along with her in the grocery store without my sister there?  I might have even been dancing a little bit.

But the girls just stared at me, and Devin said, "You do know you're singing, loudly, right?"  and my sister wasn't there.

My sister thinks she can't cook, but she makes the most perfect guacamole I've ever had.  And sometimes, late at night, or in the mid morning, or the early afternoon, I crave her tostados.  She makes brigadeiros that make me ten years old again and at my first Brazilian birthday party.

Growing up, my sister was everything that I was not, could not, did not know how to be.  And as I drove to the dinner tonight, a Celine Dion song came on the radio.  I smiled, turned up the volume, and began to sing along, of course.  The song is supposed to be about a lover, I realize that.

But if you had seen me, hunched over, sobbing at the red light, still singing my lungs out, I was crying for my sister.  And I'm not saying that's exactly what I looked like, just that it might have been sort of similar to how I looked.

Now, in the words of Celine Dion, this is for you, Meems.

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through,
Through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak (cue extreme sobbing on this line)
You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith cuz you believed
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all

You've been my inspiration
My world is a better place
because of you

Anyway, I love you.  I miss you.

I tried to find that poem that I wrote for you a few years ago, but I couldn't find a copy of it. Do you know the one I mean?

also pictured: her adorable boy Daniel, and our beautiful sister (in law) Rachel.

Girl Talk

Can we talk about girl kind of things, for a minute here? 

If you aren't sure if you want to keep reading, just ask yourself: do the very sounds of the words "girl" and "talk" make you uncomfortable?  This probably isn't for you, then.

First of all, the easy stuff. I've never liked my shampoo and conditioner.  I've never really felt satisfied that my hair is getting the results as promised by the advertisements and labels.  I've tried just about every brand on the shelf, but what do you love?  Is there one I should go back and try again, or do you know a secret that you'd share with me?

Second of all, my fingernails make me sad.  For most of my life my fingernails were strong, and sharp, and powerful, and could do anything.  Now, they are brittle and break and crack and they aren't pretty anymore.  I used to have strangers see them and ask, "Are those your real nails?"  Now, no one even notices them.  Is there a secret vitamin or something I could take to make my fingernails strong again? I have a suspicion that this weakening has something to do with hormones, either caused by pregnancy or the hypothyroidism, but I don't know.  Anyone know?

Third, and if you are still with me then this is where it gets tetchy. So if you're going to get squeamish about girlish things, then go. Go now.  Alright, here's the real truth: I've never had a bra that I liked.  Except for the one that Kristen recommended when I was nursing. Loved that bra.  But, of course, it is about twelve sizes to big in every direction now that Heather has weaned herself.  So, I'm back to bras that hurt, bras that ride up, bras that look lumpy and weird, and I just hate them all.  What bra do you buy, and do you love it more than you love chocolate?  That's what I need.

Thanks, friends.  Anything you'd like to talk about?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Make Things

Look, if you don't want to see pictures of the things I've made recently, I have this super cute picture of Heather for you.  You can just look at it, appreciate how adorable this tiny little person is, and then go on about your day.  I hope it is a really, really, really nice day. 

But if you are interested in what I've made lately, read on.

My sister Rachel who is super very crafty and talented made a little pony mat like this for her daughter Emily, and I copied her.  I was quite pleased with how it turned out, and the girls liked it too, so that's a bonus.

 Blankets for baby boy and baby girl.  These blankets turned out perfectly.  Absolutely the most perfectly best thing I've ever made.

I love these blankets so much, it was sort of physically painful to box them up and send them away.  Do you get like that, with things you make? Emotionally attached?  Ah...