Saturday, August 18, 2007


so it's not really been my week.

Tonight the dryer was still running after I put a large load of whites in it this afternoon. We got our used Maytag W&D from a girl who had them in storage, complete with a packed lint trap and a load of her clean, dry clothes. When we moved, we found out our washer had a small oil leak that apparently wasn't big enough to worry about, according to our appliance-handy friend, but was still big enough to leave a ghastly mess behind. Our handy friend did say the set was probably on its last leg(s). And I'm growing more skeptical of the washer every week. Two days ago it was lub-dubbing along, and then some pesky GRUNGHs and skaweeeeeeeeeeeeeks began issuing forth. It's been awhile since it's done my favorite noise, though, the--KACHONK-KACHONK-KACHONK-KACHONK--that signals an unbalanced load. That's a fun noise. That means I get to drop whatever I'm doing, run to the laundry room, push the washer back into place and sit on top of it until the cycle is over. It's of no use to try to redistribute the load; the machine is too picky. So tonight I was extremely bugged by my dryer as well, until I remembered that I had never reset it to "High Heat," and it was still churning away on "Air Fluff." Grrrrr. However, lest anyone be smirking, last week, with all the right settings, that old almond Maytag DID take over an hour to partially dry a load consisting of two bath towels, a hand towel, a couple of kitchen towels and a handful of washcloths.

This week I called Jason while he was working.

"Hey--you know how we're always so busy?"


"Well, I went ahead and took care of one thing for us."

"What's that?"

"Uh, well, I deleted our e-mail program off the computer."

Yes, our computer lied its hiney off to me. I was trying to clean up some programs that we never use, since we are running out of room on our hard drive, thanks to all the pictures I've been taking. I thought I was deleting some other stuff, and somehow, Outlook Express got thrown into the mix. And seeing as how our good ol' computer friend Leo is in China for this right now (Congrats, Jon & Kimberley!) , we're up the creek without a paddle.

In feel-good news, I made a chocolate peanut butter pie today for Jason and he loved it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Need Hangers?

Last summer when Helen was still a bean, I had a fabulous wardrobe. Maternity clothes used to be just awful, but thanks to our friends at Old Navy, Gap and Motherhood, a woman can now carry a child to term in style. Thanks to Lynette who let me borrow her preggy clothes, and to a few other women who offloaded their wardrobes on me, I had some cute, fashionable clothes to wear during a time most women don't feel cute and fashionable.

And I snickered to myself the whole time, comparing the up-to-dateness factor of my maternity clothes with my regular clothes. My normal clothes lost. Big time.

When we moved, our closet space was cut at least in half, if not more. I was forced to go through my clothes. With much glee, I tossed. Out went the old stuff that I hadn't worn for a couple of years. And the stuff that was just hanging there, good for nothing, not even paying closet rent, that I knew I wasn't going to touch again. I didn't listen to the voices in my head that said, "Oooooooooh, you'd better keep that... maybe some time it'll be just what you need to make a perfect outfit." Yep, I ignored that voice. Because if I felt stupid wearing it the last time I wore it because it was (slightly faded, slightly out of style, a bad cut, the wrong color, all of the above), it for sure wouldn't be enhancing my feelings about myself the next time I wore it EVEN IF it gained back the privilege of gracing my body. I also got rid of some of my *gulp* favorite things that I found out Jason HATED.

What I had left wasn't much. So THAT'S why Joyce kept wearing that purple T-shirt! And I discovered something. I thought I was going to feel like I had a hard knock life, like I was greatly wronged or mistreated by not having a closet full of all the right clothes, poor lil ol' me. I was so wrong, misled by my emotions or by culture or by all the lies I'd been believing about what I HAD to have to be happy. And interestingly enough, I felt a new freedom. Freedom from stuff. And a very practical freedom, too. For instance, if I had to get ready to go, I didn't lose time picking out clothes. (Guess it'll be the purple T-shirt. That was a good buy!) I even found myself able to genuinely compliment others on their new cute clothes and not be jealous, but to truly be happy for them. (For me, that's a wow.) I also didn't panic about getting new clothes or have what-if-I'm-stuck-with-this-purple-T-shirt-for-the-rest-of-my-life visions, because I knew that God would provide what I needed when I needed it.

Well, I really didn't have very many clothes, and Jason knew it. I couldn't believe it when he sent Owen to me the day before Mother's Day with a card, and a hundred dollar bill fell out! And Helen gave me a card too--with another chunk-o-change!!

Being the thrifty shopper that I have come to be, I first let the money rest up in a cupboard for a while until I was able to plan a good shopping day. For a girl who usually uses her debit card, large denominations of cash are elative but sobering, inspiring awe and trepidation. (Do I really want to break my $100 on this?) Then I visited various and sundry places of business, scouring the clearance racks. I finally spent the last of it a few weeks ago. All the clothes I bought with this money were new. I got:

a white eyelet lace skirt--very cute
a white Liz Claiborne polo shirt
an orange tank top for layering
a black tank
a white tank
a black/white sleeveless top
brown dress capris
a polka-dotted top with frilly sleeves that make me feel pretty darn cool
casual brown capris
a Nike t-shirt
a supercute sundress with coordinating sweater
2 necklaces
a brown t-shirt
a red Reebok tank top
green shorts--that new really cool shade of green that I'm in love with
black running shorts that even have built-in undies in 'em
a swim suit (a sort-of halter top and a skirt bottom)
a black t-shirt with some cute feminine detailing
a black floral dress top (which I'm planning to return because I brought it home and decided it was a no-go)

I bought all that and even dipped into the cash for some babysitting money! And with some other money--a very paltry sum--I bought a few clothes at the good ol' Economy Shop and a few things off Lynette at her garage sale and a pair of gold sandals at a big box store that starts with W. I'm enjoying my new clothes, but my closet is pretty tightly packed. Soooooo, what can I get rid of now?? I'm trying to be discriminate.

Really, I believe that clothes should make you feel good about yourself when you wear them. But true happiness can't be found in your closet, either!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Today Helen pulled herself to a standing position (repeatedly). She just turned 9 months old on the 3rd.

Helen still hasn't put together your standard issue hands-and-knees crawl, but she is doing an adaptive army crawl which consists of her pudgy arms hauling her legs n' belly forward by sheer might. I'm sure the hardwood floor assists her. (And if we had wall-to-wall carpeting, could we say "carpet burn"?) She nearly went down the stairs the other day, because I didn't realize how fast she was getting at her army wriggle.

Helen reaches for people and squirms to get down.

Helen is giving kisses. Sloppy, open-mouthed, a little toothy, right on the kisser.

Owen and Helen can make each other laugh like nobody's business. They are quite the tag-team with their belly laughs. Owen splits a gut like nothing I have ever heard before. That boy can hardly maintain a standing position when he gets into it. It's like he loses all muscle tone and just melts into a puddle of funny. I'm sure he's wet his pants multiple times while laughing, because he sure has lost his manners (i.e. shot a bunny, stepped on an African barking spider) a few times during an especially great laugh. If I could find a way to bottle that laughter and market it, I'd be turning my thermostat down to 72! (see following)

Owen and Helen had their first swim of the summer at Ms. Kaiser's pool on Saturday. They used swim rings and LOVED it. We were able to let go of Owen, and he could handle the water by himself. Helen was irritated when we took her out of her floatie, and squirmed to get back into it. She loved Blueberry the dog until his overly aggressive doggy kisses knocked her over backward and her head met the cement--just after I grabbed that picture.

Owen loves music and request-demands it most of the time. He listens to his VeggieTales Christmas CD 3 or 4 times a day. He loves all musical instruments. He loves when Grandpa W. plays his violin, and makes pleading requests for encores. He loves to be in the worship service at church, and thinks it is his right to go up on stage afterward, because after all, his daddy plays bass. He loves our old piano and can pick out all the C's. His keyboard, a lovely handmedown from Aunt Les, finally ran out of battery juice--YES, thank you LORD!!

Owen likes to help me empty the dishwasher. However, for various reasons, I've only run it once since we took our Indiana trip. (One reason was an unmentionably high electric bill, which is also why our thermostat is set on 80.)

Owen loves thunder and roosters, both of which get a hand clap to imitate. Didn't you know a rooster clapped? Paw Paw's battery-operated, noise-activated rooster needs a nice, loud clap to make him crow.

Owen also has a fascination with all things mounted on the ceiling and walls. Lights, fans, doorbells, air fresheners, thermostats. Clocks and smoke alarms are his specialty. I'm seriously considering making his next birthday cake in the shape of a smoke alarm. He would love it. Tonight before bed, he gave Helen and me kisses and then trod right past us to stare fixedly at the smoke alarm. His dream came true when I set it off baking cookies today. (No comments from the peanut gallery.)

Owen got tucked into bed tonight with Elmo and a Little Tikes pipe wrench.
Night-night or "Naht-naht!" as Owen says.