Monthly Archives: July 2010

Wandering Waldo

Today I’m a guest blogger for the Delta Society in the Seattle PI.  Here’s the link:

For those of you who are TOO DANG LAZY to click to a different site, here’s the text:

Growing up, we never purchased a pet. We never even officially adopted a pet – they always adopted us. I think our house emanated a “WE’RE SUCKERS FOR UNLOVED ANIMALS!” vibe that broadcast out to all the homeless pets in a 30-mile radius. They’d somehow make their way to us, whether they were dogs, cats, iguanas or tarantulas, as if on a pilgrimage to the Promised Land.

That’s how we got Waldo, a gorgeous beast of a black lab. I don’t remember the day he showed up; he just sort of integrated himself into our family as if he’d been there all along. We didn’t realize at the time that this was his modus operandi – wandering from home to home looking for someone to shower him with love, in the form of food.

My mom put up flyers and called local shelters, trying to find his original owner. During all of this, my brother and I secretly hoped no one would contact us because Waldo was turning out to be hugely lovable and entertaining dog. We never got the call from his owner so we took Waldo to the vet, gave him a collar and ID tag and welcomed him to the family. And then the calls started coming in.

We lived in a fairly unpopulated area and the dogs were free to roam during the day and we’d put them in the fenced pen at night. It turns out that Waldo was making the most of his free time during the day. We were getting calls from people MILES away saying “We found your dog! He must have been missing for a long time because he was STARVING! “ The calls usually came in around 10 am…and Waldo was last seen at our house eating his breakfast that morning. I think he must have mastered public transit to cover the distances that he did.

These poor people told us how Waldo would wander into their garage looking pathetic and they would feed him dog food or cat food or in one case, burgers straight off the grill. It finally dawned on us that this was Waldo’s shtick. Even though he was large and CLEARLY NOT STARVING he had the pitiable look – you know, the look – down pat and he used it like a professional panhandler. That dog would do anything for more food.

Mom promptly got him a new ID tag that said “Wandering Waldo. Please do not feed me. My owners will pick me up,” and listed our phone number.

Waldo learned quickly that he wasn’t going to trick people into feeding him anymore so he advanced his game and started walking up to the Safeway a couple of miles from our house. During the summer months, they would keep the economy sized bags of dog food outside of the store and he’d just help himself to them. Mom and the store manager became well acquainted during her many trips to Safeway to pick up Waldo, and pay his bill after his feeding frenzies.

We’d watch their homecoming, mom behind the wheel looking appropriately annoyed, and Waldo sitting in the passenger seat looking through the windshield with a sheepish grin on his face. I’m not going to lie; my brother and I got a huge kick out of Waldo’s shenanigans!

Waldo REALLY tested mom’s patience when we got a call at 2 am from the Safeway deli manager informing us that Waldo had escaped his pen and wandered up to Safeway. This time, he figured out how to use the automatic doors, made his way to the deli section and was helping himself to packages of fresh meat. That was an expensive trip.

At the time, I didn’t understand why my mom would get so irritated with Waldo. I thought his antics were hilarious and I loved the “Whoops, guess I really screwed up again!” face he always put on when he returned home. Of course, I wasn’t the one driving around the countryside picking him up a couple of times a week, or worse yet, getting the 2 am call from an angry deli manager.

It’s amazing what we put up with from our pets. But we do it because they’re ours. Our family. Our charges. Our hearts. And they return the favor 100-fold every single day, by overlooking our faults and showering us with unbridled enthusiasm and unconditional love. I am blessed every time one of those goofy critters adopts me – should everyone be so lucky!

If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook, Twitter or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!

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Book Review – River of Doubt

I’ve spent the majority of my life with my nose in a book.  So much so, that my elementary school librarian took my best friend Becky and me out for a special lunch because we completely dorked out over the summer after fifth grade and read a staggering number of books.  We read so many books that it IMPRESSED A LIBRARIAN.  I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Having a child has significantly cut down on my reading, what with all the feeding and changing and shrieking.  The result is that I’m a little more selective about what I actually read.   Fortunately, I was recently adopted by a fabulous book group called Dessert First.  Seriously, how can you NOT fall in love with this group?  Dessert gets first priority, and then we (gasp!) actually discuss the book.  Five thumbs up.

At our last book group we were all lamenting the fact that we’re having a difficult time remembering the details (or even titles) of the books we’ve read and enjoyed.  When someone asks for a book recommendation, or even asks what I’ve read recently, my mind goes completely blank.  The titles I come up with are usually a children’s picture book or something I’m terribly embarrassed to admit I read.  With that in mind, I decided I would post occasionally on great books that I think everyone should read. 

First up, River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard.  Holy crap, this is an awesome book.  I’d like to end my review there but I’m guessing you’d like a few more details.

The book is about Roosevelt’s ill-prepared and utterly insane journey down an unexplored tributary of the Amazon known as the River of Doubt.  I am a HUGE fan of Teddy Roosevelt and have read a couple biographies by him (fine, one of the biographies is still sitting by the side of my bed only half-read, but I got through the first seventeen thousand pages) and I don’t recall reading anything about this extraordinary adventure.

The expedition was led jointly by Roosevelt and Brazilian explorer, Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon — a fascinating man in his own right. Rounding out the team was Roosevelt’s son Kermit, naturalist George Cherrie and a team of “comaradas.”  The ambition of the trip was to put the uncharted river on the map and although ultimately successful, the expedition was plagued by disease, near-starvation, piranha-infested waters and relentless insects. Oh yeah, and Cat 4 rapids in giant waterlogged dugouts.  Good times!

Millard does an exquisite job of illustrating both Roosevelt’s motives to embark on this journey after his crushing 1912 election defeat, and his personal history that forged his strong convictions.  She also weaves an astounding amount of information about the history, indigenous tribes, flora and fauna of the Amazonian jungle into the story.  In a word, FASCINATING.  The research that went into this book blows my mind. People, it’s like a text book, only interesting!

Check it out, or better yet — support your local bookstore!!

Side note:  I was very pleased to find out that Millard is currently working on her second novel about the assassination of President Garfield.  Alexander Graham Bell also plays a central role in the story.  Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook, Twitter or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!


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Caught in the Act!


I knew he had been quiet for FAR TOO LONG.  Silence for anything longer than a few seconds usually ends in a large disaster or a quick trip to the ER.  Or, you know, the unravelling of a whole roll of toilet paper and a pile of unwrapped tampons.  And check out that face.  The kid gets goofy drunk on knowing he’s doing something he’s not supposed to do.  Remind you of anyone?


Filed under Roper

Little Shredder

We took Roper on his first mountain biking adventure on Wednesday.  Not on a nice smooth, wide path or anything like that.   We don’t want to BABY the kid, for goodness sakes!   We took him up Meadows Loop which starts at the end of Number 2 Canyon Road.

First, I should mention that we didn’t warn the rest of our Wednesday biking group that we were doing this.  We just showed up.  LATE.  And I hate to be late.  Being even one minute late puts me on the verge of a nervous breakdown and I can’t think about anything other than the fact that the world is going to EXPLODE because the Steeres are running a few minutes behind.  Apparently, I really do think the universe revolves around me.  Charming.

So we’re late, and OH YEAH, WE’RE STRAPPING OUR SWEET, INNOCENT CHILD TO TOBY’S BACK.    Did I mention we’ve never done this before?  Never tried it out in the driveway.  Never thought through the logistics.  We don’t do that.  We just come up with a Best Bad Idea and run with it.

Luckily Jeff and Rich, the seemingly most patient people on the planet (and boy did we test their patience) were the only other riders on Wednesday.   

So we start off up the dirt road, which I already have a bad relationship with because the beginning is steep and rocky and dusty and just plain unfun.  It’s like that really bad boyfriend you keep going back to because there’s just enough fun times to make you forget about the SHEER AWFULNESS of it all.

Roper seems vaguely content riding along on his dad’s back.  He squawks occasionally but then settles into a nap.  One of those “FINE, apparently this is going to suck balls so I should just sleep to get it over with faster” types of naps.   I, on the other hand, am NOT content.  Within ten yards my legs seize up – maybe it was the leg-heavy workout the day before, or the fibromyalgia flare-up I was in the middle of, or the fact that it’s hard to pedal THIS MUCH WEIGHT up a hill.  The only thing I know is that I was falling behind and then…I couldn’t breathe.

I have exercise induced asthma and don’t pack an inhaler.  I’m an IDIOT.   So now I’m having a hard time breathing and I’m falling farther and farther behind and I start freaking out.  Because the only thing I hate worse than being late is holding people up.  So I do what I do best.  PANIC!   Followed by HISSY FIT!  Only, with a constricted airway I sound like I’ve just inhaled a bunch of helium and in the back of my mind I know that if someone else was having this high-pitched panicky hissy fit, I would totally mock them. 

We’re now approximately 20 yards up the road.

Eventually I get myself calmed down enough to breathe and we’re able to carry on.  Slowly.  But then I totally geek out and have to take pictures at various places because it’s Roper’s first mountain bike ride and it MUST BE DOCUMENTED.  But my camera’s memory card is out of space so I have to delete a bunch of pictures and I can’t decide which pictures to delete.  At this point Jeff and Rich are wishing they had packed headlamps and are probably looking for a good area for an emergency bivy.   

Finally, FINALLY, we make it to the single track.  And my world becomes a very happy place.  There are very few things I love more than downhill single track.   Roper is awake and babbling and we’re stoked to see how he’ll take to the trail.  Jeff heads down the trail first, followed by Toby.  I’m next just in case, you know, the baby falls out or something.

The screaming and wailing (Roper’s, not mine.  This time.) is immediate.  Toby pulls over and I follow suit.  It turns out that on the downhill, Roper is pitched too far forward in the back pack.  “I think his face is hitting my helmet,” Toby says.  I tell him to go slower and be more careful and quickly hop back on the trail so Toby can’t get in front of me and impede my speed.  MOTHER OF THE YEAR!!

We bob and weave down the trail and I’m able to catch a little air on some of the terrain and fervently hope that Toby is not doing the same.  At the bottom of one section the three of us watch Toby make his way down the trail and I realize that he’s about to go off a little drop that he’d normally sail over, but he won’t be able to navigate smoothly with Roper on his back.

SMACK!  Roper’s head collides with Toby’s helmet.  This is where Toby and I differ in descriptive words; he would have said Roper’s head “tapped” his helmet.  All I know is that there’s screaming and a little monkey bump is forming on the side of Roper’s head.  I’m already imagining what I’m going to say to the authorities when they ask me what the hell we were doing mountain biking with a ten-month old.

But Roper immediately settles down and doesn’t seem any worse for the wear.   We carry on, scooting through the high meadow grasses and trees, having a blast.  When we get back to the car I expect Roper to be upset and needing his mom.  Nope, he’s totally relaxed and intent on getting back to eating his Cheerios.  He’s a keeper!

THE POINT:  Roper is already a much better, much tougher mountain biker than me.

If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Best Bad Ideas, Parenting, Roper

Same Intent, Different Words

I think we’ve established the fact that I’m the official swearer in the family, right?  And I’m married to a good man with sensitive ears who truly doesn’t like hearing his wife, and the mother of his child, cuss like a sailor.  Weird.  So, out of respect for Toby, I try to tone it down a little.

But don’t think Toby is all sweetness and light people.  I can totally provoke him to drop f-bombs.  I know EXACTLY which buttons to push.  (Insert evil laughter here)  Oh dear, I was just reminded that it’s barbaric to push people to go against their values JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN.  My bad.

Back to my point.   It’s been my argument that a word is just a word – it’s the intent of the word that makes it powerful.  So when Toby launches into a string of the following “Toby-isms”…

Bolshevik Rebellion!

Son of a Gunderson!

Argosy Tours!

Mother of Pearl!


Holly Balls!

Ball Peen Hammer!

Balls on a Heifer!


….I’m pretty sure the intent behind them is the same as when I launch into a string of words that Shall Not Be Posted.  The only difference is that his words make me fall into a fit of giggles.  How can you be mad at someone shouting about various forms of BALLS and the Bolshevik Rebellion?

If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Uncategorized

Molly Versus the Computer

I think I was born in the wrong century.  Electricity gives me the heebs.  Seriously, I hate moving electrons.  And don’t even get me started on TV.  That stuff is black magic with bad juju.  No matter how many times people explain it to me, I just wipe it out of my memory.  It ain’t right.   (I guarantee you my mother is currently pulling her hair out and wondering why her daughter, with AN ENGINEERING DEGREE and A GOOD HEAD ON HER SHOULDERS would feign ignorance AND use the word ain’t.  In the same paragraph, no less!  It’s my job to shorten your life mom.)

What IS deliciously right is the fact that I can watch TV shows, email people, take calls and update my Facebook page on my phone.  ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  Technology is a love/hate relationship.  I love it when it’s serving me and I hate it when it’s exposing me for the ignorant user that I am.

So I’m (barely) competent with basic website updates but I needed my friend Amy Lewis to come over and help me with my networking and website problems.  If you’re in the Wenatchee area and have any computer questions…consult Amy.  Seriously, she fixed our network by just standing next to our desktop computer.  I don’t know if she was rubbing her naughty bits on it or what, but it’s been working for us ever since.   That’s some good rubbing!

The website was a bit more involved.  I tried to move my blog over to a different domain, but my web hosting company had apparently time-warped itself back to 1990 with their “Beta” control panel that was completely unformatted and took over a minute to load each page.   There are eleventeen things in that last sentence that make my hair stand on end.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not a patient person AT ALL.  Slow talkers are enough to make me want to remove my eyeballs with a spoon just to distract myself from FINISHING EVERY SENTENCE for them.   I don’t wait.  I can’t wait.  It is best for everyone if I don’t have to wait.  And it’s certainly best if I don’t talk to customer service because people, there is no customer service any more.  And every phone call ends with me swearing and hanging up on them which, incidentally, doesn’t really encourage them to help me out of my predicament.

So Amy took over.  She’s one of those people who doesn’t allow drama and craziness in her life.  She doesn’t even fight with her husband.  I remember her telling me that a fight at her house goes something like this:  Scott (for the third day in a row) “Did you pick up any tortillas for my lunches?”  Amy “Oh crap, I forgot again!”  Scott sighs really big and then they go back about their business. 

You can see why this is the woman who should be making phone calls to the web hosting company instead of me.  Because if Toby sighs a big sigh, you better believe I hear “you’re an incompetent wife who forgets everything and wants me to STARVE TO DEATH” and I start looking for something to throw at him.

The point of this post (what, you didn’t think there was point?  I’m handing it to you on a platter RIGHT HERE) is that this blog is now parked on my original domain thanks to Amy.  Woohoo!  Tell your friends.  Seriously.  The more traffic I can generate, the easier it will be to convince an agent that people really do want to read essays about butt clapping and other Best Bad Ideas by yours truly.

On that note, I’m totally enamored by the fact that strangers have subscribed to this blog.  That proves to me that it’s less of a charity case and possibly even content based.  Or YET ANOTHER stalker situation because I’m fly paper for freaks.  Let’s just hope its normal people who are entertained by my mishaps…

If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Uncategorized

Hello, My Name Is…

I apologize for the low volume of blog posts recently.  Thank you for your emails and (not so) gentle reminders that I’m supposed to be posting things.  I KNOW.  My head is hung in shame.  I love that you’re checking the blog.  I wish I could give out stickers (of puppy dogs and rainbows… even unicorns) to all you regular readers!  Maybe I’ll start a sticker chart.  

So, if you’ve hung around me long enough you’ll know that I name things.  All things.  If it’s a noun, I will most likely have a name for it.   

Yes, I realize people and animals ALREADY HAVE names, but I can only remember the names I give them.  Take the stray cats at this apartment complex for example.  Sweet Fancy Moses, the cats!  I’m pretty sure we could open our front door at any time of day and shoot at least four of them with a BB gun within one minute.  Not that we’d do that sort of thing. Not that we sit around discussing, planning and prematurely celebrating that sort of thing.  No.   But we COULD.   

I have named each of those cats.  There’s Frank Fescue, Tuxedo Jack, Tuxedo Jack 2 (I never said I was original), Bernie, TheTail-less Wonder, Dirty Butt, Kitten, and of course Dylan, our own cat.  Dylan actually lucked out with names – I simply named her after Bob Dylan.  One of the dogs I had when we were younger didn’t fare as well.  She was an adorable Cocker Spaniel, originally named Misty but my brother and I decided that didn’t fit her, or our family.  So we named her Commander Bob Thirteen Purple Thunder Air Watch One.  Bob for short.   

People get new names too.  Part of this might be because Toby and I are horrible at remembering actual names.  Seriously people, we won’t know when one of us has Alzheimer’s because we’re both barely keeping track of why someone else is living in our house.  You know, that new little being that’s crawling all over?  OH YEAH, WE HAVE A KID!  Total party foul.  

Part of it is because my dad does the same thing.  I can’t for the life of me remember my piano teacher’s name, only that we all called her Mrs. Bird Dog.  I SO want to give you more examples of dad’s names, but they aren’t appropriate…and this is a small town.   Usually I name someone based on a quirk or something I can’t stop staring at like Lobes (the guy with ginormous rings in his ear lobes) or Creepy Sideways Glancer or, you know, Future Serial Killer.  

Most major objects in or around our home are named.  At least the things I love dearly.   Toby’s old (brown) Ranger pickup was Old Blue, my winter coat is Lucille, my iPod is Grace, my computer is Paco, the deer hanging on the wall is Barney, and our current truck is Elvira (and on and on and on).  For two fairly anti-social people, it always sounds like a strange party at our house.  “I’m going to grab Grace and Lucille – you get Elvira going.  Did you say goodbye to Barney?  IS PACO STILL TURNED ON?!”   

The only thing I feel bad about NOT naming is our little ghetto Hyundai Elantra.  When I quit my job as a mechanical engineer to do this whole writing thing, one of the Very Reasonable requests from Toby was that I sell my Xterra (Timmy, the only male car I’ve ever owned) and buy a little commuter car that we could pay for outright.  Because apparently huge car payments don’t go well with teeny-tiny paychecks.   WHO KNEW?  

I think the overwhelming sadness of getting rid of Timmy made it hard for me to bond with the Hyundai.  Usually names come to me immediately.  It’s been over three years and I STILL DON’T HAVE A NAME for it.  The poor little car has grown on me.  Especially since I’ve made it my own with a wrinkled front bumper, lost hubcap, cracked windshield and gouged side panel.  I adore it now, but it needs a name.  Suggestions?  

Roper had several names while he was in utero...this being the most appropriate.


If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Uncategorized

Eat Your Vegetables!

I’m pretty sure I’m going to regret this post 47 ways from Sunday, but here it is.  As most of you know, I struggle with fibromyalgia and an autoimmune thyroid condition.  Fatigue and pain being the most debilitating symptoms, but with so many other irritating symptoms piggybacking on those two I feel like that poor elephant in the circus with seventeen sparkly ladies dancing on its back.

On top of that, The Summer of Molly has been postponed for several years due to two neck surgeries and an angry little parasite that turned out to be a happy little Roper.   When The Summer of Molly (TSOM) happens, it will involve lots of mountain biking, hiking, motorcycling, some shenanigans and definitely a little tomfoolery.   I’m still holding out hope that this summer will indeed be TSOM, but along with not feeling well my knee decided to speak up about the MIND BLOWING WEIGHT bearing down on it.  It’s not bad enough that the scale is screaming at me, but now my knee is all, “seriously woman, give a joint a break!”

I know…what a long string of whining.  Half the world is going hungry and I’m complaining about the fact that I have access to so much food that I’m too heavy for my knee.   POOR ME, right?  What a problem to have!

So I went to a four-hour seminar given by Whole9 at the Inner Circle Gym.   Awesome seminar, awesome gym.  I’m not going to go into the specifics, but the hope is that by following a 30 day program of eliminating particular foods, I will see less inflammatory symptoms from fibromyalgia.  I’m a desperate woman.  I just want to feel like ME again, but people, I am to eliminate all of my favorite foods like alcohol, grains and legumes.  Alcohol, grains and legumes!!  As in, MY THREE FAVORITE FOOD GROUPS.  And let me tell you, this girl loves her some beans!  (I’m trying to decide who is going to hit the comment board first with the fart jokes…)

Weird, I didn’t even mention that I’m supposed to cut out sugar and sugar substitutes.  Apparently the trauma of a candy-less future has caused dissociative amnesia.

So I started this program on Wednesday.  I’m currently in the throes of withdrawal from All Things Good, but I’m seriously digging the fridge full of gorgeous veggies from the farmers market.  As much as I mock my diet, I’m actually a vegetable lover.  There is something so ridiculously PLEASING about a plate full of colorful veggies.  A proper stir fry makes me feel like I’m cooking up an actual rainbow and a little leprechaun just might show up to serve it to me. 

The seriously sucky part is that we’re heading off to a little gathering of friends and there have been emails flying about sangria and s’mores and other forms of Goodness that I don’t get to share.  So off I go with my Stupid Giant Salad and my Stupid Unsweetened Tea and pocket full of hope that I will be in less pain in a few weeks.   I want so bad to be good!  So if you drive by and see me standing on the corner snarfing snickers and a forty of Olde E, do me a favor and throw cans at me.  Cans of beans.

If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Uncategorized

A Perfect Ten

Little Bear,

You are ten months old today!  I began writing letters to you when I found out I was pregnant because I want you to be able to read them fifteen (or fifty) years from now and know how much you are loved…and why you are in such DESPERATE NEED OF COUNSELING.  Until last month, these letters were written in a notebook, kept safely in your room, but now they are posted on the dang ol’ internet for all the world to see.   But don’t worry sweet boy, I only blog about 3% of our lives.  The other 97% is, and always will be, kept personal.  I have a feeling this will not be any comfort whatsoever when you’re a teenager, but by then you’ll have SO MANY other reasons to be entirely embarrassed by your mom that maybe this one won’t matter so much.

ANYWAY, we immediately regretted awarding you the three-month contract within days.  Possibly hours.  You, of the delightful giggle, impish smile and laid-back attitude, turned into a flaming turd overnight.  You have earned the nickname The Loudness and apparently intend to keep that title until your vocal chords finally give out on you.   I threaten to leave you in stores or in the car on a daily basis.   Incidentally, you are not intimidated by my threats. 

And (AND!!!)   Apparently you read my last letter and realized you could break my heart into a million little pieces by going from a baby to a toddler in 2.5 seconds.   You started growing hair.  You got your first tooth.  You started crawling.  You started pulling yourself up.  All WITHIN 24 HOURS!  Your dad came home from work one day and you cruised right by him and started climbing the stairs and he was all “How long was I gone?!”   You’re a lot like your dad.  You took about a million years to figure all this stuff out because you couldn’t possibly start any project until you knew EXACTLY HOW IT ALL WENT TOGETHER.   

I thought I would be sad to see you leave the infant stages, but you’re too much fun at every stage to look back, you mischievous little badger.  The sense of wonder and delight on your face each time you learn a new trick is enough to ALMOST think about having another child.  And then you start shrieking and I have to call your dad at work and inform him that I will never, under any circumstance, have sex with him again until he can prove sterility.  And then I want a second opinion.  Possibly a third.  

I’m amazed that your dad answers his phone at work.   It’s never puppy dogs and rainbows waiting for him on the other end of that receiver.

Every day I’m struck by how proud I am to be your mom.  You lay that huge grin on anyone who acknowledges your existence, you chortle and giggle like a mad man when you’re tickled or carried upside down, you explore every corner of your world with intense scrutiny and you always make me laugh.   The best part is you’re now into giving fierce hugs.  You’ve always been a snuggler but now you grab tight to my neck, bury your face and then give me several hearty pats on the back.  I can’t get enough of it.  You’re such a Little Man.

I have to admit, I was very relieved when you started meeting all of the normal milestones for babies (ahem, MEN) of your age.   The doctors weren’t sure exactly how long you were without oxygen before you were born and this fact has always been in the back of my mind.  Every time I closed my eyes for weeks after your birth, I would see the image of Dr. Pitts walking back to the waiting Respiratory Team with your little, grey, lifeless body draped over his forearm.   That intrusive image earned the good doctor (truly, he’s one of our favorites) the nickname Pitts of Despair.  That, and the fact that his line of business makes for some fairly awkward meetings.

The point is that I’m thrilled you’re developing normally — as normal as possible, what with your parents being weirdos and all.   I love watching you ride in the grocery cart like a big boy, sitting with your straight back, one arm high in the air, giving some sort of VERY IMPORTANT oration to all who will listen.  Although loathe to admit it, I love watching you pitch one of your fits with your face furrowed up like grumpy old man and your back arching and legs kicking.  More than anything, I love seeing your delighted smile when I peek over the crib railing or walk into the room after being gone for more than five seconds.

YOU LOVE:  Eating rocks, eating your toes, eating ANYTHING, playing with your little friend Naomi, riding in the grocery cart, hiking in the backpack, (this might be transference…I really like hiking with you in the backpack) watching the turtles eat, climbing stairs, imitating noises, sticking your fingers into electrical outlets, wrestling with dad, banging on the table and listening to music of any sort.

YOU HATE:  All of the above when in a foul mood.

Roper, you bring so much joy into our lives.  And so much noise!  I can’t wait to see what you’re like when you’re seven and seventeen.  I would add seventy to that list, but we had you a little late…  I’m so in love with you that my heart threatens to explode on a daily basis.  I’ll continue honoring that extended contract if you’re up for it.


Your Mama

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Filed under Letters to Roper, Roper

The (Not So) Dutiful Wife and Mom

I woke up the other morning and realized I’m a married, stay-at-home mom who attends bible study.  WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!    I realize that it took several years and hundreds of decisions to get to this point, but it still came as a bit of a surprise.   Apparently I’ve been too busy trying (so desperately trying) to learn how to cook and clean to notice the demise of my irresponsible life. 

The problem for me is that these mom/wife roles involve rules and expectations.  I hate rules and expectations, societal or otherwise (you know those LAWS and whatnot)   Maybe it’s genetic or a personality disorder or just poor behavior, but the moment someone says “you can’t…” or even worse “you shouldn’t…” every fiber of my being vibrates with the need to do EXACTLY what I was just told I shouldn’t do. 

I don’t know if I’ve always been this way.  My mom has made mention on multiple occasions that I was a nightmare to raise, so I’m assuming the answer is an emphatic YES.

Get me in church or any place where a bit of decorum is expected and I develop some sort of expectations-induced Tourette’s and have to literally sing songs under my breath to keep from rapidly firing off f-bombs in a staccato fashion.  In contrast, while I was in hard labor for 36 hours and had every excuse to shout obscenities, I was intensely and very absurdly polite.  Why?  Because I was EXPECTED to turn into an angry wild animal in that situation. 

Every cell in my body rails against certain expectations.  I picture each cell methodically lining up for battle in miniature helmets, wielding tiny swords.  There might even be a little battle cry involved.   I wonder what the crest on their shields would look like…Martha Stewart with an arrow through her gracious little noggin?

After spending the morning doing a very poor impersonation of June Cleaver, I called Toby on his lunch break to inform him that I am absolutely NOT A HOUSEWIFE — that my happy home does not include family calendars, minivans, wiping butts and making cakes from scratch.   It involves beer, AC/DC, fast motorcycles and inappropriate comments.

This was not a surprise to Toby.  He calmly informed me that the only person not aware of this glaring fact was ME.  Apparently he’s tired of watching me try to push my big square self into a small round hole and then calling him up to announce that it’s JUST. NOT. WORKING. 

So, we’re both going to work on giving me a little room to be a mom and wife in a way that better fits my personality.   I love that Toby recognizes that I need to be deliciously irresponsible and take mad risks on occasion in order to feel sane.   However, he did not like my dream of hopping on the motorcycle and riding off into the sunset with the speedometer pegged.  Because seriously people, who would make his dinner?!

If you liked this post (or any posts on this blog), you can share it through email, Facebook or any other venue on the dang ol’ internet.  You would earn my undying gratitude, as I am continually trying to grow this site.   Comments are always welcome.  Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Parenting