Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Best Friends

Meg recently learned the phrase "best friend"--apparently from the movie Pooh's Grand Adventure. Yesterday she began telling us about the Pooh balloon (her Valentine's Day present) and his best friends, Piglet, Eeyore, etc. This morning she used "best friend" to talk about some of her stuffed animals, but when we questioned her, she seemed undecided on whether a particular bear or her brother Matthew might be considered her own best friend.

Today when I went in to get her from her nap, the matter seemed decided. She was just starting to scramble off of the bed when I lay Matthew down beside her. She stopped climbing down, curled up beside her beaming brother, and sweetly exclaimed, "Ah, Dees! Best friend!"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pink (by Meg)

We are really into it these days.

Sometimes I even like to wear pink on my face! OK, I may not actually like to do this, but when I'm dancing in the kitchen and I slip and fall down and wham my head on the edge of the open dishwasher, I end up doing it anyway. Like this:
Owie Meg
Yeah, that was an owie. But it's much better now (several days after the fact)--no more lump, and the bruise has faded to a dull yellow.

One more note on pink: in case you've been wondering about that rosy patch on my chin in all of the recent pictures, it seems to be my winter eczema flair-up for the year. It doesn't really itch or anything, so you don't have to feel sorry for me. It's really just one more way of showing my love for pink.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm It

Remember chain letters? When I was in elementary school I would occasionally get one in the mail. "Dear Cara," it would read. "This is a chain letter that has been circulating continuously since 1897. Over 17,000 kids just like you and me have received this letter and passed it on all over the world! Please copy this letter by hand and send it to 58 of your closest friends...". Well, though I always thought these things were sort of a nifty idea, I was inevitably the break in the chain.

However. Now we dwell in the digital era, where blogs and email and cut and paste keyboard shortcuts make chain letters look... well, as laborious as they really were. My Canada-dwelling friend Mrs. M tagged me for this meme (which is sort of like a chain letter, except it's actually somewhat interesting). This is a little off-topic for my blog, which I usually try to keep on the subject of my family rather than myself. But if you'll indulge me for just this one post...

1. Were you named after anyone? I was not—my parents liked “Cara” because of its meaning: friend or dear one.

2. When was the last time you cried? 48 hours ago, on the phone with my husband in the midst of a rough day with Meg’s and my own sin.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Yeah, it’s fine. In grade school I worked so hard at developing my own style, but now it just is what it is. Sort of half-cursive/half-print.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Lunch meat is mostly icky. I’ll eat it, but it ranks low on my list. I do enjoy tuna and chicken salad sandwiches.

5. Do you have kids? Yup! One girly, one baby boy.

6. If you were another person would you be friends with you? I’m really not sure. But it’s much more likely now than it would have been 10 years ago!

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Hopefully not so much as I used to—mostly to tease my husband.

8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes.

9. Would you bungee jump? Not in a jillion years.

10. What is your favorite cereal? Mmm… granola. Or raisin bran. Or cream of rice. Or oatmeal.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes, but I rarely wear shoes that tie.

12. Do you think you are strong? Nope! Not physically; not in any other way either!

13. What is your favorite ice cream? I’m not sure. Possibly orange sherbert with vanilla ice cream, but I love stuff like moose tracks too—stuff with chewy bits in it.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? That really differs from person to person, I think—and the context in which I meet or notice them. I love to watch people I don’t know, so it could be their tone of voice, a facial expression, posture or clothes that first grabs me and incites me to keep looking.

15. Red or pink? Pink, I think.

16. What is the thing that you like least about yourself? Uhhh… my sin? Oh, that’s too broad? Well, how about my laziness?

17. Who do you miss the most? Probably my Margie. I wish she could always be here and watch my little ones grow up. But I hope that she is able to watch from Heaven. As far as people who are still living, I would love it if my sister lived closer.

19. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Blue jeans (this is the case about 300 days of the year, I bet) and no shoes or socks (this is the case whenever possible).

20. Have you ever re-gifted? I am sorry to say that I have. Once. (I am sorry because of its reflection on me, not on the gift.)

21. What are you listening to right now? Two baby monitors.

22. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Goldenrod. Because it sounds lovely and makes me think of beautiful countryside drives.

23. Favorite smells? Clean bed sheets, vanilla, and almond-scented soap.

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My sister Jacqua.

25. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Is anyone really going to answer this in the negative?? In my case, fortunately, I do sincerely like her, though I haven’t seen her in a little more than six years, if I am figuring correctly. And I haven’t spent concentrated time with her since I was… maybe 13 or so?

26. Favorite sports to watch? Basketball, live or on TV. Football on TV but not live. And baseball live, but not for the game’s sake.

30. Favorite food? Waaay too many to list properly. Hearty soups, green salads (no iceberg lettuce!) with my mom’s vinaigrette, summer fruit (berries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums) good bread with butter… and all sorts of sweets, especially baked goods.

31. Scary movies or happy endings? Definitely happy endings. Most movies that are even slightly scary are a big no-no for me if I want to sleep ever again.

32. Last movie you watched? Sense and Sensibility (one of my very favorites) on DVD

33. What color shirt are you wearing? Pepto pink.

34. Summer or winter? I would have said winter until I had kids. But it’s so fun to get outdoors with them in the warm weather… I’m now torn. But I love spring and autumn most of all.

35. Hugs or kisses? Kisses from my babies; preferably both at the same time from my husband.

36. Favorite dessert? See #30. Can’t narrow it down.

39. What book are you reading now? Last night I finished The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D.A. Carson (a bit scholarly and over my head at points, but still helpful). Not sure what’s next.

40. What is on your mousepad? A mouse! (Duh...)

41. What did you watch on TV last night? We don’t really have a TV. We watch movies on our computer occasionally.

42. Favorite sound? The front door closing as my husband comes home from work.

43. Rolling stones or Beatles? The Beatles, any day.

44. What is the furthest you have been from home? Jamaica, summer after ninth grade, for a mission trip.

45. Do you have a special talent? What’s “special”? I think my talents are all pretty normal. I like to write plays... maybe that's slightly unusual.

46. Where were you born? Doylestown, Pennsylvania--one of my favorite places ever.

I am going to tag Dave and Mari and Jessica. But don't worry--if you're too busy or you're just not the type of person who usually does these things... I completely understand.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Poopy Valentine's Day

Once upon a Valentine's Day, a Mommy had to go to a meeting at church. She couldn't take her Little Girl and Baby Boy with her to the meeting, so she took them to their Nana's house for the afternoon. The Little Girl loved going to her Nana's house.

When the Mommy and the Little Girl and the Baby Boy got to the Nana's house, they had lunch. The Little Girl accidentally dripped soup on her pink pants and made a bright red stain on them. After lunch, it was discovered that the Little Girl's diaper had leaked wetness through her onesie and pants. Since the Mommy did not have a change of clothes for the Little Girl, she and the Nana decided to take the Little Girl's onesie and pants off and wash them while the Little Girl took a nap. The Little Girl went to bed in her Nana's big bed wearing just her diaper and her sweatshirt. The Baby Boy also went down for a nap, and then the Mommy went to her meeting.

When the Mommy came back from her meeting, the Nana told her that the Little Girl had taken a very long time to go to sleep. The Mommy thought that meant the Little Girl would be asleep for a while longer, so she fed Baby Boy and waited. Much to her surprise, she soon heard the Little Girl crying very loudly. The Little Girl's Auntie went into the Nana's room and quickly called for the Nana and the Mommy. "She pooped all over!" said the Auntie.

Well, (not to be too graphic here) when the Nana and the Mommy raced into the bedroom, they discovered that the Auntie was not exaggerating. What they surmised in retrospect was that the Little Girl had been playing in bed before she feel asleep and that she decided to take off her diaper. After that, she probably drifted off and did some business in her sleep. While she slept and as she came to, she successfully wiped the soil all over her sweatshirt, legs and arms, torso, and yes, her face--chin, cheeks, forehead, eyelids. And her hair. Not to mention the Nana's bedclothes. This was the stunning and gruesome picture that greeted the Nana and the Mommy when they entered the bedroom.

The Little Girl was, understandably, very distressed. As the Mommy and the Nana rushed her into the bathtub and began scrubbing dried brown stuff off of her skin, the Little Girl sobbed and sobbed, screaming, "Yucky? Yucky?" at frequent intervals. Then, between her own consternation and standing unclothed in the tub for several minutes, she began to shiver violently. The mess was now all off of the Little Girl's skin, so the Mommy wrapped her in several towels and rubbed her skin to warm her while the Nana scoured the tub and refilled it with nice, warm water. After this second, very soapy bath, during which the Little Girl still was not entirely consoled, her Auntie came to the rescue with some of her own clothes for the Little Girl to wear. These included a Muppets t-shirt, which proved to be a tremendous consolation to the Little Girl. By now it was almost the Baby Boy's bedtime, so the Nana and the Auntie helped the Mama to pack the children up in their van. They drove home, leaving the Nana to continue cleaning the mess in her bedroom.

After the Daddy arrived at home that evening and heard the story, he and the Mama made quick work of eating dinner and giving the Little Girl her Valentine's gifts. They then put the Little Girl to bed early. After which, the Mommy was so exhausted from the whole ordeal and from coming down with a head cold that she celebrated Valentine's Day with the Daddy by falling asleep beside him at 7:30 in the evening.

The End

Valentines 2008 1
The Little Girl herself, enjoying a post-trauma pear.

Valentines 2008 2
The Daddy and the Little Girl with the Little Girl's Valentine's Day gift.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


This is Matthew getting hugged by Meg.
Hugs 1

This is a close-up of Matthew getting hugged by Meg.
Hugs 5

This is Matthew lying on his tummy getting hugged by Meg.
Hugs 2

As you can see, getting hugged by Meg is sort of a confusing experience for Matthew right now. "Is this supposed to communicate your affection for me? Or are you practicing to be in the WWF?"
Hugs 3

Well, at least someone gets joy out of it.
Hugs 4

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Five Months Old (by Matthew)

Matthew 5Mos 1

I'm five months old now, everyone, and I'm getting big and strong. Just look at how good I am at doing this...
Matthew 5Mos 5

...and this!
Matthew 5Mos 7

Sometimes I am a little too strong for my own good. Mommy has resumed fighting the nighttime rolling-over battle with me, as the pillows that I am wedged between are no longer a significant obstacle. In the middle of the night, I roll myself onto my back, wake up, and start cooing and whispering to myself like it's not 1:00 in the morning. And when Mommy comes in and peers blearily over the crib railing, I squirm and grin and get all ready for social hour. Then I feel very indignant when, instead of picking me up and talking to me, she just flips me back to my tummy and leaves. So I roll over again. And again.

But during awake time, rolling isn't such a bad thing. It allows me to do this, for instance:
Matthew 5Mos 4
This, in case the picture is unclear, is one of my very favorite activities. I call it Watching My Big Sister Do Whatever It Is That She Is Always Doing. And I am willing to twist and turn and stretch and roll and crane and do anything that's needed to keep my eyes on that very active girl. Boy, is she fascinating!

On the personality front, I continue to resemble two of the Seven Dwarfs: namely, Happy and Sleepy. As long as I'm well-rested, I will smile at pretty much anyone, and I'm downright giggly with Daddy and Mom. But let me get just to the other side of restedness, and allllll that happiness drains away. I'm still usually good for only about an hour between naps.

I am growing quite a bit more hair recently. It is very fine and very light brown, so it still doesn't completely cover my cradle cap. Mommy says more hair makes me look extra handsome. But you can judge for yourself.

Matthew 5Mos 8

Matthew 5Mos 6

Saturday, February 09, 2008


My David serves as the technical director at our dear Covenant Life Church. This means that he leads the sound, video, lighting, lyric projection and sermon duplication teams. It means that he puts in long days on Saturday, overseeing volunteers as they prepare for worship on Sunday. It means that, on Sunday, he gets up and leaves for church before I awaken. It means that he stays at church after our two services, tearing down equipment, meeting with volunteers, well into the afternoon every week.

So for me, Sundays are solo days--that is, it's just me and the kids. Get up, get clean, get dressed, get the kids up, get the kids dressed, get the kids fed, get out the door, get stroller out of car, get Meg to her class, get a seat in the auditorium. It's sort of fun, really. Doing it without Dave is a challenge, but it's a good challenge when I handle it correctly.

What I am learning--slowly (that's the way I learn everything)--is that handling Sunday correctly means I have to start on Saturday. Smart women probably do this even if they do have husbands around to help, but I am just starting to catch on. Starting on Saturday means that before the kids go to bed I:
-give both of them a bath
-lay out their clothes for the next day
-make sure the diaper bag is stocked with clean diapers for both of them and a change of clothes for Matthew

And before I go to bed I:
-lay out my clothes for Sunday
-lay out Dave's clothes for Sunday (so he doesn't have to stumble around in our dark bedroom at 5:30 trying to figure out what to wear)
-do any necessary ironing
-pack two sippy cups for Meg (one juice, one milk) and put them in the refrigerator
-pack breakfast for Meg--usually raisins/Craisins and crackers/a rice cake/dry cereal--in a plastic baggie and put it in the diaper bag (so she can eat it in the car in the morning)
-pack my Bible and notebook in the diaper bag
-write the tithe check (so that I don't have to do this with one hand as I am holding Matthew at church the next day)
-shower and wash my hair (so that all I have to do in the morning is rinse off and put my hair up)
-locate Meg's shoes and lay them in the entryway
-get out our coats and lay them in the entryway

This list continues to morph as I continue to discover new ways to streamline Sunday mornings. And I'm sure it will continue to morph as the kids grow and their needs change. For example, when Matthew starts eating solids for breakfast, I'll need to add baby food, bowl, spoon and bib to the packing list.

But, oh, the peace that this system is bringing to our Sunday mornings! Instead of a frantic, hurried, disorganized Mommy who has spent too long picking out her outfit and therefore has no time to speak gently and lovingly, my kids have a relatively calm, collected Mommy who can encourage them through our morning ablutions with faith and joy. Amazing!

Now I am working to develop a plan for preparing my heart for Sundays mornings, just as I prepare our clothes and food. Because I am finding that all of the practical preparation, though helpful as a means of getting our bodies to church on time, do not help my mind get ready to worship God! In all of the hustle of getting to the church building, I sometimes find that I am unable to do that for which I came! And that's not good.

So if you see me at church some morning and notice that I seem distracted or stressed, try asking me how my day-before preparations went. Because, chances are, if I'm not enjoying Sunday, it's because I didn't start on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This Is Just Because...

...I haven't posted a picture of Matthew in a while.


I love the thread of drool suspended from his chin. Yes, he's arrived at that stage! So cute... and so very slobbery.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Our Bedroom

For Christmas, my darling hubby gave me a bedroom makeover. That is, he gave me a Home Depot gift certificate (sounds romantic, right?) and committed to repaint our bedroom. This involved Dave taking three days off of work to get started. And start he did! As of last night, he had painstakingly completed three coats on all of the trim. (There is enough trim in this room to span a football field.)

My painter-man:
Painting 1

Just look at the way he handles the brush!
Painting 2

Perhaps you don't understand how much this gift of my husband's time and energy means to me. You see, this means that our bedroom will no longer be the "neutral" color that our home's previous owner slapped on all of the walls, ceilings and trim everywhere in the house before selling it. Don't get me wrong, it's nice that she repainted. It's just that the browny-beige with the faint green undertone that she chose is... um... well, let's just say we're grateful to be getting rid of it, one room at a time.

We're currently camping out in our living room, king-sized mattress and all, until the room is finished. When it is, it will be a very light blue (Behr's "Geyser" to be precise) with bright white trim. So exciting... can't wait to see how purty it'll be!

Thanks, my Love, for working so hard to get this project completed! I'm so very glad to be doing life by your side, tackling house projects and soul projects and parenting projects and church projects one at a time along with you.