Thursday, April 30, 2009


My Dad is fine. Turns out he was skipping doses of his blood pressure medication, but now he won't and all is well.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Please Pray

Please pray for my Dad, who is in the hospital for overnight observation after suffering a TIA. My Mom thought he was acting funny this afternoon and when she noticed that he kept repeating himself she took him to the hospital. An MRI was negative for stroke, but his blood pressure was extremely high when he was admitted so they're going to watch him overnight. I'll update tomorrow when I know more, but in the meantime I would deeply appreciate your prayers for both of my parents.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ordinary Treasure

Every morning, I grudgingly wake up and promptly start taking everything in my life for granted. I put the kettle on and grind the coffee. I expect the water to boil and the blade of the grinder to turn. I make Jack breakfast, usually oatmeal or scrambled eggs. I am not grateful to the microwave for cooking the oatmeal, or to the stove for heating the eggs. I open the dishwasher and reach for a clean coffee cup, assuming that the dishwasher has done its job. I open the fridge and get out the half and half for my coffee, confident that it is fresh and cold. I do not thank the refrigerator for keeping my dairy products from spoiling. I sit at the table with Jack while he eats and I pour hot coffee from the French press, and we talk while I wait for the caffeine to kick in and my brain to wake up. We talk about what we will do that day. Maybe we will go to the library and check out some new books, then head to the grocery store and pick up some things for dinner. I will swipe my debit card and the checker will hand me a receipt and a cart full of food, and it will not occur to me to call my husband at work and thank him for keeping us fed. On the way home, I will realize I don't have my cell phone with me and I will be bent out of shape over my inability to call anyone I know at a moment's notice while simultaneously doing three other things. I will have to wait a whole ten minutes to drive home, then use my cordless home phone to call my sister and complain that I can't find my cell phone, which I will do while making lunch and checking my e-mail. Then something will happen. A friend's baby will be hospitalized for a lung infection, a grandparent will pass away, someplace far away from my life will be struck by some natural disaster and for five minutes I will be grateful. Not for what I have, but that the unfortunate thing didn't happen to me. Except sometimes, it does. Two months before I got pregnant with Matteas, Aaron and I lost a baby to miscarriage. That same year, we both lost our maternal grandpas, and my oldest brother committed suicide. And each time something like that happened, I would resolve not to be so careless with my gratitude. I would promise myself to be more present to the wealth of good things in my life, to not feel entitled to a life of ease and convenience. And each time, I get a little better at it. My life, on a day-to-day basis, doesn't change a whole lot. But what has changed is that I try to notice. I notice that my coffee is hot. I notice that when I flip a switch, I have light. I notice that my boys have strong healthy bodies which enable them to get into all sorts of filthy mischief. I notice that I have clean running water to clean said strong healthy bodies after the aforementioned filthy mischief has been gotten into. I notice that my husband comes home hungry and tired after a long day, and that how he is received into his home can make him feel like a hero or a loser. I notice how much these two little boys love their Daddy, and how much they look forward to hearing his van pull into the driveway each evening. That sound inevitably sends Jack into a panic, and the first words out of his mouth are always "Where can I hide?!" Each night, the boys hide from Aaron and after Daddy walks up the stairs, sets down his briefcase and washes his hands, he hunts for them. They're never very hard to find, usually because they hide in the same places over and over, and part of them is usually sticking out.
Once the boys have been found, there is a man-storm of hugging and kissing and wrestling until it has to be interrupted by dinner. We sit at the table and scoot Matteas, in his high chair, close to us. He reaches out his baby hands to us, which he wants us to hold while Aaron says grace. We pray as a family, then eat and share our day. It's perfectly ordinary, and yet, not ordinary at all. I just have to notice.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

An Apology

I have been a very bad blogger lately. I got out of the habit for a while, and then Aaron and I took care of my sister Nani's kids while she took a much-deserved vacation with her husband and it's hard to blog with six kids. I have a lot to say, but because I know Grandpa Tom is long overdue for some grandson pictures I thought I'd let the pictures speak for themselves this post.
I love how the boys' friendship has blossomed lately; they love sharing snacks together at their own little table.
This is a train they made.
One day I got ambitious and we made our play dough. It was pretty satisfying.
Jack got a very cool Spiderman bicycle and matching helmet from Aaron's parents for his birthday. The helmet was a little on the snug side. Like, yarmulke snug. Fortunately it's a perfect fit for Matteas, who absolutely loves it. I'll post some pictures of our adventures with the Pattons later, but for now I'm going to put my own kids to bed and enjoy the silence.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meant to Be

One of my favorite things to do at the library is buy used books. A few months ago the library started selling books donated by patrons as a way to raise more money, and I think it's a great idea. I'd been looking for some books about sewing and gardening, and didn't like anything I found on the lending shelves. Then I checked out the "Books for Sale" shelves and hit the jackpot. These pages are from the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, which is exactly what I was looking for. I didn't have this book in mind when I went to the library, but I tried reading a pattern recently and thought "pictures would be nice." I'm a very visual person, and can learn just about anything if I watch someone else do it first. I have great hopes for this book and its role in advancing my clothes-designing ambitions. This little book is hilarious. It has some useful tips on stain removal and tricks for ironing odd bits of clothing, but I mostly bought it for fun as the content is pretty dated. One of the piece of advice for traveling was to use a small plastic salt-shaker with a snap-on lid to take your bath powder along. Honestly, who still uses bath powder? What is bath powder? Stuff you literally put in the bath? A polite, olde fashioned term for deodorant? For fifty cents, I decided it was worth solving the mystery. Jack's cold seems to have taken a turn for the worse today, so we are hunkered down with blankets, tea, and our library treasures. I'm feeling a bit head-coldish today myself, so I don't mind the slow pace one bit.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I am not a pet person. I don't like animal fur/poop/slobber around my babies, but fish don't have fur or slobber and their poop is pretty much confined to the tank. On Sunday, Jack really wanted to get our animal collection(for our future farm) started. It's livestock he's really after, but for now the fish satisfy him. Four fish and two frogs, to be exact. The best part was taking the boys to the pet store, where Matteas almost had a heart attack over the fish section. He is particularly fond of fish, and he had never seen so many in one place before. Two whole walls of the store with tanks stacked three-high. He felt compelled to announce this amazing discovery to the world, lest anyone miss out on the wonder and magic of it all. "SHISH!" he shouted to me and Aaron. "SHISH!" he yelled at Jack. "SHISH! SHISH! SHISH!" he yelled breathlessly to the employees. "SHISH!" he continued shouting to various passersby, running along the wall and pointing one little baby finger at each tank, touching it lightly like an aquatic version of duck-duck-goose. Duck-duck-SHISH! The shish are thriving so far, and the boys love the ritual of feeding them every morning and evening. They don't know where the fish food is so they can't make gluttons out of them, and they haven't tried to take the fish out to hold them yet. I'm hoping their respect for fish needs continues and I don't find any little fish raisins behind the couch.