Archive | February, 2010

Poetry Wednesday – February 24, 2010

24 Feb

Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday.  A few years back, she fought very hard for an extra birthday- and one after that, and one after that.  She is a lovely, supportive woman who loves her children more than anything…except for maybe her grandchildren.  You are certainly the heart of our family, Mom.

Portrait

by Louise Gluck

A child draws the outline of a body.
She draws what she can, but it is white all through,
she cannot fill in what she knows is there.
Within the unsupported line, she knows
that life is missing; she has cut
one background from another.  Like a child
she turns to her mother.
.
And you draw the heart
against the emptiness she has created.
.

Find more poems and Enanoslivo…and leave a link to your own!

Started Out Strong, but Fading Fast

21 Feb

I’ve had quite a few friends ask me how I do it – work, raise Adeline, keep the house in order, and go to school full-time.  I usually skirt the issue and say, “Oh, you make it work, you know?”  But the truth is, sometimes it feels like it just doesn’t work.

It should be pointed out that I work part-time.  I have a semi-flexible schedule and a flexible boss, but I also live at my job.  People get my personal e-mail and work e-mails confused, sometimes knock on the door to ask a work-related question while I’m playing Dance Party, or gripe at me about something-or-other (that I ought to get paid for listening to) during a community dinner.  There are trade offs.  I’m taking a long weekend so Matthew can be away, but will put in a lot of extra hours for our prospective student weekend coming up.

I also have an amazing, amazing husband.  I wish I could tell you what it means to me to know that Adeline is being taken care of while I’m away as well as I would take care of her myself.  We are so like-minded in our child rearing ideals (good thing, huh?). Our schedules are such that she never has to be without one of us – poor girl!  Matthew does all that I ask of him, eventually, and usually does more than I think to ask.  He really does make this situation work.

When I started school in the fall, I had no idea what to expect.  I felt like my brain had atrophied since I was pregnant with Adeline, already didn’t have enough time to do all the things that I wanted/needed to do, and couldn’t imagine getting the grades I expect of myself while keeping my life together.

Turns out, I did fine.  I was as diligent in my studies as I was during my residential undergraduate years.  As soon as Adeline was in bed, I’d run downstairs, tidy up a bit, and hit the books.  I maintained my good GPA through the first term and in the second, the house stayed in as good of condition as it always had (read into that statement what you would like), and Adeline is as beautiful, smart, and strong as ever.

But me? I’m fading fast.

One of my classes (a 100 level, mind you) has broken my will this term.  It’s not a difficult course, but an extremely time-consuming one. I’ve struggled with time management, and certainly with desire.  When I take the time to really clean the house, I fall behind on my homework and feel like I haven’t parented Adeline as best I can.  When I spend the time I want to spend with Adeline, the house is a disaster and I struggle to finish my coursework.  You get the drift.  And, I just plain don’t feel like doing homework any more.  This is where the pity party starts.

First I stop by the Wish I Didn’t Run Out of Money in College party, then briefly drop in at the I Never Even Got to Party in College shindig, and then I spend the rest of my night at the I Just Want to be a Stay-at-Home Mom bash.  While I’m wallowing, I’m not spending time with Liners, writing about the implications of liberal views of human rights on today’s society, or scrubbing the bathtub for the first time in…I’m not saying how long.  Oh, look, another technique that doesn’t work.

This coming week, finals week, promises to be a difficult one.  I’ve procrastinated/chosen better things over my papers for too long, our prospective student weekend at work is coming up, and I’m feeling a little drained.  Your prayers are appreciated. December (my anticipated graduation date) cannot come quick enough.

So, here’s where a decent conclusion should be.  But the child is now crying out in her sleep, and she is one priority I don’t have to question.

Forget-Me-Not Friday – February 19, 2010

19 Feb

–  Adeline used to prefer showers, but lately she loves taking baths.  Maybe a bit too much.  Early this week I was running her bath and she was standing next to me (she had already finished throwing her bath toys in one by one).  The next thing I know, I feel her pushing on my arm. I looked over and found that she had over-zealously climbed into the bathtub with her dress and tights on.  She was mad we made her get out and disrobe.

–  Adeline  learned this week to (sort of intelligibly) say, “Good day!” while nodding at the person she is saying it to.

– I also figured out this week how to get her to eat a sandwich with meat on it.  I use a duck cookie-cutter to cut out the sandwich.  Works like a charm.  However, she now asks for a sandwich by saying, “Duck!”

–  We had an awesome “Just Girls” day today while Papa heads to Nashville – shopping, lunch, and playing in the ginormous playhouse in the living room.  In order to not feel jealous of Matthew, though, we’re referring to Nashotah as Nashvegas for the weekend.

Mama and Toupee-wearing Adeline

Photo: Life with a Toddler and Robbery Update

18 Feb

Do you do stuff like this at your house, too?

Also, if you remember the scary incident Matthew was involved in, I’ve got a bit of an update.  It seems there’s been a string of Gamestop robberies in and around Milwaukee.  It seems that in many of the incidents, the robber has been making people get down on the ground while he robbed the clerks at gunpoint.  That didn’t happen in the robbery Matthew was in.  Last night there was another Gamestop robbery.  This time the police pursued the robber, cornered him, and then he opened fire on them.  Ultimately he was shot and killed. Police believe he was the same person involved in the robbery Matthew was at.  Here’s a link to an article about the  crimes.

Poetry Wednesday- February 17, 2010

17 Feb

I’ve never pined for fame. I was not the child who sang to the crowds in her bedroom or even liked to have Happy Birthday sung to her prior to blowing out the candles on the cake.

However, I have spent most of my adult life considering and reconsidering my expectations for my life – what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, and how and why I never got there.  The dreams of arguing case law and teaching unruly pre-teens how to adore the meter of Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening passed, and that left me wondering who I was without being those things.

This poem has always helped put those concerns in a different light. It is who we are and who we are to others that matters in the end.

Famous

By Naomi Shihab Nye
.

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,

which knew it would inherit the earth

before anybody said so.

.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds

watching him from the birdhouse.

.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

.

The idea you carry close to your bosom

is famous to your bosom.

.

The boot is famous to the earth,

more famous than the dress shoe,

which is famous only to floors.

.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it

and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

.

I want to be famous to shuffling men

who smile while crossing streets,

sticky children in grocery lines,

famous as the one who smiled back.

.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,

or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,

but because it never forgot what it could do.

.

.More poems HERE.  Go and link to your own!  I’d love to read what you love to read.

Adeline Moore, you’ve got some explaining to do!

16 Feb

The Scene:  Bath-time at the Moore’s.

Papa (practicing for the future):  “Adeline, are you doing drugs?”

Adeline: “No.”

Papa: “Are you a drug mule?” (Not sure where this came from…)

Adeline: “No.”

Papa: “Do you run with a motorcycle gang?”

Adeline: “No.”

Papa: “What about an outlaw motorcycle gang?”

Adeline:  Pause… (Explanatorily) “Manash a toopa dash…

Good thing he asked.

Clean Monday

15 Feb

Today, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the beginning of Great Lent.  Called Clean Monday, today is the day that Orthodox Christians begin the Lenten Fast and strive to increase our spiritual and physical discipline as we await the resurrection of our Lord.

I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit daunted as we begin our first Lenten season as Orthodox Christians.  Because of physical restraints, our household will not hold the complete fast (meat, dairy, olive oil, and wine), but will each hold it according to our own ability. This will may make meal planning a somewhat difficult venture, but will also allow me to meditate even more deeply and frequently of those things not of this world, but of the kingdom of God.  Prostrations with the extra weight of a wiggling toddler ought to remind me of the gravity and responsibility of raising her in and teaching her the Faith.  Increased prayer when I already struggle to find enough time in the day for everything should remind me of my priorities.

So though I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed in the beginning of this Lenten season, and in this very new season of our lives, I pray “Lord, have mercy!” and thank Him that I know He will.

Many prayers for all of you who read this blog as you, no doubt, are on your own journeys (of many kinds, I’m sure).

A blessed Clean Monday to you, and a fruitful Great Lent.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red like crimson,

they shall become like wool.

Isaiah 1:18-19