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Month: June 2010

I know I’m not the only one who feels the isolation.

I know I’m not the only one who feels the isolation.

A few weeks ago I was talking with some other ladies — mostly young mothers — about, you guessed it, the Twilight series. And when I say I was talking with them, I mean that I was in the room with them as they were talking. Having read only half of one book and seen none of the movies, I had little to add to the discussion. Mostly I was observing the phenomenon, again, and trying not to get too interested. So instead of listening to them talk about the movies/books, I just listened to them talk. And I wondered how on earth they’d had the time to go see New Moon. Twice. In two days. What did they do with their children? Why can’t I find the time to go see a movie? Ever. Of course I remembered that movies just aren’t on my priority list these days — I’d much rather listen/read to movie reviews than actually see one (that way I can say, “Well, it’s not really worth going to see that movie anyway, Mark Kermode says it is mindless drivel . . . . “). But I was still slightly bugged by the fact that these girls were going to see movies and I wasn’t. It took me a while to figure out why I was bothered that they were going to see a movie which does not appeal to me about a book which does not appeal to me (very much). And then I was sad because I realized that it was because I was not invited to go see any movies and, in general, I have had very little “girl time” at all in the past . . . 5 years.

The first few years were no big deal. I’d rather spend my time with Micah anyway. But since the menchildren have started taking up more of my time/energy/brain/life, I’ve started to crave more nights out. More time with my friends. All two of them. I have yet to organize a girls’ night for the 3 of us, and likely won’t have the chance until we get back from our holiday in Ohio, but I came across something the other day that has been helpful for me to think about in the meantime, so I thought I’d share it. Or parts of it. It is by Nora Johnson and was published in a 1961 issue of the Atlantic Monthly. It is called “The Captivity of Marriage,” although it isn’t really about marriage so much as it is about young motherhood. You can read the whole thing here or just the sections I’ve included below.

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Answers, not that you really needed them.

Answers, not that you really needed them.

The official riddle answers are:

1. A towel

2. Corn on the cob

3. Fire

4. A sponge

5. Breath

6. Ride each other’s horse

7. An egg

8. Your name

9. A riddle

Way to go Bente, Madison, and Lacy for getting almost all of them so quickly. I definitely take issue with #9 because I think it could be a mystery or a secret as easily as it could be a riddle, and Shelley makes a great point that #1 could be a sponge as well as a towel.

Well, that was fun. You may go on with your lives now.



The back of Oliver’s toasted oats box has some “wake up your brain” riddles on it. I was surprised at how hard some of them were. It took several meals for us to get them all. But it was kind of fun, too. So I thought I would share. I have typed them exactly as they appear. Take your guesses and I’ll post the answers on Sunday.

1. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?

2. You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat?

3. Give me food, and I will live; give me water, and I will die. What am I?

4. I have holes in my top and bottom, my left and right, and in the middle. But I still hold water. What am I?

5. I’m light as a feather, yet the strongest man can’t hold me for much more than a minute. What am I?

6 (The Early Riddle Challenge!) A long, long time ago, two cowboys were fighting to marry the daughter of the OK Corral rancher. The rancher, who liked neither of these men to become his future son-in-law, came up with a clever plan: A horse race would determine who sould be allowed his daughter’s hand. Both cowboys had to travel from Kansas City to the OK Corral , and the one whose horse arrived LAST would be proclaimed the winner.

The two cowboys, realizing that this could become a rather lengthy expedition, finally decided to consult the Wise Mountain Man. They explained to him the situation, upon which the Wise Mountain Man raised his can and spoke four wise words. Relieved, the two cowboys left his cabin: They were ready for the contest! Which four wise words did the Wise Mountain Man speak?

7. In a marble hall white as mil, lined with skin as soft as silk. Within a fountain crystal-clear, a golden apple doth appear. No doors there are to this stronghold, yet thieves break in to steal its gold. What am I?

8. What belongs to you but others use it more than you do?

9. When one does not know what it is, then it’s something; but when one knows what it is, then it’s nothing. What am I?

It’s fun and I like it.

It’s fun and I like it.

Some things I am loving about Manchild 1 these days:

1. That he places things on top of his floor puzzle so it doesn’t get away.

2. How he is learning to move his body: lots of twisting and spinning and jumping and hopping going on these days.

3. His rediscovered love of unlocking and locking every door and gate between our apartment and the outside world.

4. The little obsession he has with the illustrated New Testament we’ve been reading out of. (“What chapter are we on tonight, Mom? Forty-five or forty-six? Forty-six, I think.”)

5. The speed at which he learns new things . . . when it doesn’t even look like he’s paying attention. Like when we go to music class and he sits and reads a book the whole time and then comes home and sings all the songs that I have already forgotten.

6. How he looks in his new Sunday pants. Which are much too big. (You were right Sarah, but he’ll grow into them . . . if they don’t get holes in the knees first.)

7. That he wanted to take “Fox in Socks” back to the library because it says it is a dangerous book and he doesn’t like dangerous things.

8. The way he says, “Mom, mom, I want you,” and curls up in my lap when he doesn’t want to go to sleep.

9. How he asks Oliver for things (to borrow Oliver’s book or eat some of Oliver’s food) and then informs me that Oliver can’t talk.

10. Making stuff up. “We are going to put the cornmilk (cornmeal?) in jars, and then put them in the oven. And then they are going to be really really hot, so we will put them on the rug.” “And where are we going to get the cornmilk?” “From Auntie Becca. She got it from institute after she taught her class.”

Oh, and this:

Baked Alaska, not Big Disaster

Baked Alaska, not Big Disaster

Our Family Fun magazine came last week with a recipe for Baked Alaska. Since Simon’s best friends are states, I thought he might like to make a treat inspired by one of them. I told him maybe we could make it when Auntie Sarah came to visit, thinking that it would make a good send-off treat for her when she left. But as soon as she walked through the door on Sunday afternoon, Simon started asking about the Baked Alaska. So we changed our plans and had it for Family Home Evening last night.

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Doing the Worm

Doing the Worm

I find that if you are able to look past the rubber-band wrists (and the pacifier, of course), you can almost see the future he has in breakdancing. Difficult? Yes, but I, personally, think he’s a natural.



That’s my new goal. Starting this week, Simon has a music class at 9:30 on Thursdays and (possibly) a playgroup the same time on Fridays. We need to leave for church by 9:30 on Sundays and I have found that if I can get us all ready by 9:30, the world is our oyster. Meaning that I can usually get more than one errand done and still have time to take Simon to a playground before lunch and naptime. Which leaves our after-naptimes a little bit more free to do other fun things, like go to the playground again, or put together the big puzzle for the 539th time, or make dinner together. Or, more likely, go for a run. Because that’s the way we roll these days. And it leaves naptime open for me to work, guilt-free, on other special projects because I have been so productive in the morning that there is really nothing left for me to do but whatever I darn well please.

That is the theory. So far (by which I mean today), it has worked passably well. Yeah, we were shooting for 9:30 and didn’t get out until 10:15, but the line at the post office was non-existent, so we made up time there, and Simon wasn’t too excited about the playground so 15 minutes was more than enough time for him to play before we had to go to Oliver’s check-up. (During which we were informed that Oliver is a “completely normative” child of 18 lbs. 10 oz. and 27 inches. Way to be average, Kiddo.) And we still had time for grocery shopping before we needed to head home. Lucky day!

So, 9:30 is the goal. Hold me to it.

Now I’m just having fun

Now I’m just having fun

This is the latest installment in the 90-minute-shirt drama. Not that there is any drama anymore, now that I don’t make them for Simon. It’s more fun if I don’t have to bribe the child to put the shirt on. Of course, this took longer than 90 minutes, what with all of the handfeeding the needle around the cow’s spots. Blah. It made my hand hurt. But so worth it, right? And, yeah, I totally ripped of Sandra Boynton’s cow from “Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy.” I’m not very original, but at least it looks nice.

In case you are wondering about Oliver’s hair situation, it hasn’t grown at all since the day he was born. I cut off his little rat-tail months ago and it hasn’t grown a millimeter. Would someone enlighten me as to why his hair doesn’t grow? I’m puzzled. At least he is still pretty cute, even if his hirsuteness is minimal. Oh, and his (unfinished) pants are another of my repurposed t-shirt creations. Just fyi.