Monday, August 25, 2008


Lately it seems as though the only purpose for my jewelry is to entertain Miss Haven. She shakes and chews on all of my necklaces. Obviously this limits my choices each morning. I not only have to choose jewelry that matches, but some that is reasonably sturdy, too. If it jingles or clanks that's a bonus that will add 30 minutes of happy play time to Haven's day (thus adding 30 minutes of hands free work time to my day).
Bracelets are to be taken off and chewed upon. They never stay on my wrists for more than a few minutes before she discovers them and demands that they be turned over. Haven likes to chew on them, wear them, throw them, shake them, and even put them on her head or feet. Suddenly, all of my hand-beaded bracelets are off limits!
Earrings are also taboo. This is for both Haven's and my safety! I would prefer not to have them yanked out of my ears AND they are what the Dirks kids call "chokeables." Rings are fine, though. I always wear the same two and I don't think Haven realizes that they come off, so she only plays with them on my fingers.
I had forgotten what it was like to be a constant source of amusement and entertainment for a little one. She keeps my hands full and my jewelry options limited, but what fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Snips and Sails and Puppy Dog Tails...

Haddon keeps me constantly astonished at his lack of personal hygiene. I wonder, how could he have grown up in this house and be so gross? When he was a toddler, he ENJOYED wearing his poopy diapers and cried when I changed them. He decorated his whole body with a marker when he was three. When he was four, I asked him once if he had used soap when he washed his hands (seemed like a suspiciously quick hand washing to me) and he replied, "You didn't tell me to use soap!" Thereafter I had to say, "Haddon, please go wash your hands...with soap." Even though I'd explained that washing your hands without soap is called "rinsing," I didn't want to take any chances. It was like a flashback when at 5 he told me that he didn't know he was supposed to wash his hair with shampoo! In the days leading up to kindergarten my son and I had many conversations about wiping yourself adequately. "But how many times do I have to wipe?" he'd ask. "At least 3 times, son, but wipe until the toilet paper is clean." I hoped he was doing a good job, but at times his underwear belied his ability to clean his own bottom.
Although he is eight now, and nearly nine, Haddon doesn't seem to be improving on his personal grooming habits. Sunday when he was wrestling around with a friend after church I caught a glimpse of his underwear...which looked suspiciously like the underwear he'd been wearing the day before. As if that's not bad enough, they were the same underwear the day before that I'd confirmed with him he'd been wearing the day before that and had admonished him to change at his earliest convenience. I didn't want to embarrass him, but was feeling pretty perturbed. I pulled him aside and asked if he'd put on clean underwear after his shower. "What do you mean?" he asked. Well, that took me a back for a moment. How many things can "did you put on clean underwear after your shower" mean? I rephrased, "After your shower, did you put on the same underwear that you were wearing before your shower?" He admitted that it was so. Gah! Why, why, WHY would you put really dirty underwear on your clean body??? He said he wasn't sure if they were dirty!!! "Honey, you've worn them for at least two days and now most of three. Trust me, they're dirty!" He knew I was not happy. I decided that maybe he just needed some new underwear since he seemed to prefer the boxer brief, so I bought him a package. He was pretty excited about them and put a fresh pair on in the morning. Unfortunately, after his shower Monday night he looked at me, pointed at the underwear he'd so recently taken off and...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Going For the Gold

In the spirit of the Olympics, our church picnic will feature "friendly" competition next Sunday. Included will be things like volleyball, sack race, three legged race, and the most grueling sport of all...the wife carry. Two years ago Jason and I were edged out of a win by Jason and Tiffany Biffle. It was a close race and they had an obvious size advantage (Tiffany is less than half of Jason where as I am about the same weight as my Jason and considerably fluffier). Last year Jason and I were unable to participate due to pregnancy (mine).
This is our year...I can feel it.
In order to clench the victory, we are adopting a rigorous training regimen. (Cue "Rocky" theme music...) I am going to lose about 25 pounds by Sunday. That's about 4 1/2 pounds a day, so my diet will consist of water and vitamins and my weight loss will be accellerated by about 4 hours of aerobic training daily. We are also perfecting our technique (check it out...we learned from the "experts" ...but beware: I'll take out ANYONE who copies our technique). Starting tomorrow, Jason will be running several miles a night over rugged terrain with me on his back. I'm going to spend HOURS upside down so that my eyeballs don't pop out due to increased blood flow to the head during the race.
Some people may think this is going a bit overboard. Au contrair mon frair...Tiffany brought this on herself by insinuating that she and her Jason were unbeatable. Well, may be skinny and your husband may be a giant, but Jason and I have heart and passion and the desire to win and THIS IS OUR YEAR! Now can you deal with THAT???

Friday, August 15, 2008

Skeleton Key

I have discovered the key to thinness. It's true. It hit me two nights ago as I watched the Olympics. Although I could probably sell my plan and make millions, I'd rather share it with you here!
Weight loss is a matter of simple mathmatics. 3500 calories makes a pound. So, in order for you to lose one pound, you must burn off 3500 more calories than you take in. As far as weight loss is concerned, all calories were created equal. 100 calories from carrots take just as much work to burn off as do 100 calories of chocolate. And how hard is it to burn off calories? Here's some more 30 minutes of: cooking you burned 90 calories (half a cookie), housework you burned 99 calories water aerobics you burned 135 calories (3/4 of the cookie now), ballet dancing you burned 202 calories and finally burned off that cookie, advanced pilates you burned 216 calories, high impact aerobics or backpacking you burned 238 calories, downhill skiing or biking 12-14 mph you burned 297 calories, elliptical trainer you burned 387 calories (almost 2 whole cookies...woohoo!), running 12 mph you burned 760 calories and can now eat a cupcake!
My plan does away with the whole calorie counting shenanigans. The best part is that it's absolutely foolproof! It is the same diet plan that Michael Phelps (Olympic swimmer extraordinaire in case you live in cave), Nastia Luikin, and other elite athletes use to maintain their weight. It's simple, really...6-10 hours of rigorous aerobic training daily every day with no breaks except for modified workouts in the case of the most severe injuries. Follow this plan and like Micheal Phelps, you, too, will be able to consume up to 12ooo calories daily and look slim and trim!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Barbara Supremacy

For our anniversary gift to each other J and I went shopping today for a dining room set that would seat 8. Who would have thought it would be so hard to find a large table with all wooden chairs??? Our quest took us to Oklahoma City after we struck out early on in Woodward's two furniture stores. We first stopped at a HUGE furniture store (that shall remain un-named). As we entered the cavernous warehouse-like store, we immediately noted the ominous presence of sharply dressed sales personnel slyly waiting in every nook and cranny. Their glowing eyes bored into us as the drool dripped from their fangs. Okay, so they weren't that bad, but they were ready to pounce...and, really, J and I do not look like big spenders. You could smell the desperation in the air. Avoiding eye contact, we proceeded directly to the information counter and inquired as to the location of dining sets. The receptionist directed us upstairs and then suggested we take the elevator to our right. We were approached by "Bob" before we even made it to the elevator. "Heading up to children's furniture, I see," Bob said obviously referring to Haven who had accompanied us on our quest. "Dining set, actually," I said just as the elevator doors closed. Jason and I both expressed relief at having dodged our first over-zealous salesman...then the elevator arrived at the second floor and the doors opened. Sales personnel were huddled in small groups waiting, eerily resembling vultures just waiting for prey. We were immediately approached by "Barbara" who pointed us to the dining sets, but didn't accompany us there. What luck! Unfortunately, Bob was there lurking amid the tables and chairs. Maybe dining rooms were just his area? Jason and I passed a couple of sets, then paused to look at a possibility. "That's a good, quality brand," Bob, who was now standing only a foot or two behind Jason, piped in. J made the appropriate non-committal, almost verbal response and we moved on to the next set. I looked up from the price tag to see Barbara approaching at break-neck speed. "Okay," she announced, "I looked that up for them. How are you doing?" What? Looked what up for who??? Obviously she must be addressing Bob. But why was she looking at me, then? "I'm helping them," said Bob, following even more closely on J's heels. "They're my customers," insisted Barbara. "I got them when they got off the elevator." "I put them on the elevator!" exclaimed Bob, clearly miffed. "Oh, do you want them?" "Just forget it!" By now Bob was walking off in a huff. "Bob!" called Barbara. "Bob, I mean it, now, just come on back here!" But Bob was gone. I was so embarrassed I didn't know what to do. Really, I'm not sure why either one of them felt they had the right to claim us as customers...and what did Bob mean by "I put them on the elevator..."??? I'm pretty sure we got on of our own volition. We continued to shop, ignoring Barbara as much as possible. After narrowing our choices to two possibles, Barbara was paged and we slipped away.
We were greeted right away when we entered the second large store. We were both slightly disconcerted when the salesperson who introduced himself to us claimed to remember Haven. "You do?" I asked. "Sure!" he grinned. "From where?" asked Jason. "From the last time you guys came in," he replied. After an awkward pause, Jason informed him that we'd never been in the store before. "John" remembered helping a couple several months earlier who had a preemie on a monitor and had mistaken us. He turned out to be quite helpful and not at all pushy.
Fast forward to store number three where we were assisted by an effeminate salesman that Jason could not get away from quickly enough. He gamely showed us every fru-fru, overpriced table he had including their custom line. After we shot him down, he directed us next door to store number four. The salesman there must've had us pegged as cheapskates, because he told us right off the bat that he had nothing we'd be interested in. we've gone from having stalkers to basically being turned away at the door.
At store number five we were assisted by "Mary," an older woman carrying what appeared to be a see-through purse. Even though choice of bag and ridiculous shoes concerned me, we described what we were looking for and she (much to our shock and delight) led us straight to 3 sets that were exactly what we were looking for. On the downside, Mary must have been related to a hover craft. It was impossible to talk over our options because she was constantly there, offering input and even giving demonstrations of the worthiness of the table and its chairs. She offered us beverages, shined the wood with her sleeve, re-arranged chairs, tapped away at her calculator...her desperation embarrassed me, but we loved the table and bought it anyway.
So, we got our large table. It will seat eight and isn't "rustic." The chairs are not plain wood, but are covered in leather (which will wipe off). And all it took was 5 stores, 4 hours, 3 Dirks', 2 fighting sales people, and one fashion challenged sales woman to accomplish it! I need a nap.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jason's Girl

Jason and I have been married for 17 years today! I remember shortly before our wedding thinking about how much I loved J and how I couldn't possibly love him more than I did right then. Well, it's been seventeen years and we've seen better and worse, richer and poorer, been together through sickness and health, we've had highs and lows, we've had 5 babies together and lost some babies together, and I can honestly say that I love him more now than ever.
Through it all I've learned a thing or two about this man, my husband. He clams up when he's mad. He has high expectations for himself and those he cares about. He's a bike riding MACHINE (and looks mighty hot in his bike shorts, too). He's a small town boy who loves to get out in this big world and experience different places and cultures. He's adventuresome and fun. Sometimes he gets so tickled that he can't stop laughing. His hair starts to curl when he needs it cut. He thinks I'm beautiful. He has fun playing with the kids...real, genuine fun. He likes to hike, climb, and rough it. He doesn't like melon. He likes to read. He always orders the same thing at restaurants. He is a godly man. He's good at pretty much any sport you can think of and if he's never done it he will learn it and be better at it than you are! He is trustworthy. He carries a heaven burden of responsibility and does it admirably. Flocks of older women are in love with him. I trust him with my life.
Even though he got the short end of the stick on this marriage deal, he never makes me feel that way. He's my best friend. I'd rather do something with Jason than with anyone else on earth. I am so thankful for my husband and look forward to the next 17!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blogmuda Triangle

Just lost my blog. Sure, I'd only spent twenty minutes on it, but that was MY 20 minutes! Ironically, it was a blog on business. Apparently my computer has developed a sense of humor...or irony...or whatever. That's what I need in my life...someone else who THINKS they are funny. So, I'm off to accomplish all of those fascinating things I so recently blogged about and if all goes well, you will probably never hear about them!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fly Guy

My family survived without me yesterday. In fact, they THRIVED without me! All through my excellent lunch at Olive Garden, school shopping at Mardel, and craft shopping at Hobby Lobby, I worried about how they were doing. I came home to a clean house, happy children, and supper on the table. The first thing I noticed is how darn shiny the kitchen sink was. Empty AND shined! Now why can't I seem to manage that? Apparently I married Mr. Fly. Deal with THAT, flylady!
I felt slightly let down that all had gone so smoothly. Even Haven sucked down two bottles like it was no big thing. Does nobody need me at all? Then Jason told me about Haven's near death experience. Both older girls had gone down into the cave and Haddon and Avery were glued to the computer. Jason and Haven were playing on the living room floor when he dozed off. The sound of Haven hollering (a new found skill) for him woke J with a start. He quickly ascertained that the baby was not in the living room. He followed the sound of her voice to the stairs where he found her about half way up, sitting sideways, and patting the edge of the stair as if trying to feel her way down. She got up that far and wanted to come down, but realized she couldn't do it without falling, so she called for help. (Yes, she's brilliant. She will also stop at the edge of a couch or bed and ask to be lifted down.)
So the Fly Guy fell from perfection...he almost let our 9 month old plunge to her death. Still, I couldn't help but feel a little comforted in the knowledge that I'D never let such a thing happen. They still need me!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Separation Anxiety

I'm leaving Haven today for the first time EVER. She is nine months old and I've never left her for more than 2 hours before. I have to go to OKC with my teachers and Haven will be with her Daddy for about 7 hours. I know she'll be fine. I don't know if I'll be fine. I've already had a couple of crying spells and we haven't even left, yet. What will I do when it's time to leave her over night? We have teacher's convention Oct. 20th in Tulsa that all staff are required to attend to maintain our accredidation. I can't even think about it. I'm having separation anxiety!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

When Panic Attacks

Addy is going through a very difficult time. We haven't talked about it with very many people because Ad feels very self-conscious about it, so please don't mention it to her or treat her any differently. She is having panic attacks. It's becoming almost debilitating. Her life is suddenly governed by fear. Mainly the fear of having another panic attack. It seems like almost anything can trigger them: sleep, staying with friends, separation, even songs. It's breaking my heart because she is so sad so much of the time. She's having a very hard time sleeping (due to fear) which I'm sure doesn't help at all as she's exhausted all the time.
We are fighting it, but don't seem to be gaining much ground, yet. She's on a daily exercise regimen (endorphins), lexipro (endorphin receptors), and has assigned reading to help encourage her faith. We've had long talks about how sometimes we can't trust our feelings, but must trust what we know to be true. It's hard because she KNOWS that intellectually, but the FEELING of fear is so sudden and pervasive that the thought process of reasoning with herself doesn't take place until the panic is starting to subside. She knows she's not going to fall off the earth, but she FEELS that she might. She knows she's not trapped at the swimming pool, but she FEELS that she can't leave. She knows her friends aren't going to kidnap her, but she FEELS that they aren't going to let her come home. It's absolutely gut wrenching to watch her struggle to overcome this.
Addy has more spiritual maturity, more kindness, more joy, more peace, more hope, more creativity, more love than any other person I know. I want to see her smile and hear her laugh. I don't expect her life to be easy, but I'd like it if every single day didn't have to be a struggle to merely get through. I don't know what's going to happen when school starts. I don't know if she's going to be okay.
If you've read this post please comment at the bottom (click comment button) so that I know that you know. We are trying to keep it as normal as possible right now and part of that is trying not to make Ad feel like a headcase! Please pray with us that Ad will fear not!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Organized People Are Just Too Lazy to Look for Stuff

I shined my sink today! Woo-hoo! (Refer to flylady post if you don't understand this euphoria.) I even kept it wiped out and empty until after supper when we rushed off to a birthday party and left dishes in it. I'm not going to get discouraged about it, though...ten hours of clean sink is probably a record in this house! It seems, though, that while I am striving to keep one area clean, all the others have gone to pot. I've come to the conclusion that flylady doesn't have 5 children, or (lets be honest here) even one. In fact, judging by her daily and weekly to-do lists, she probably stays home and doesn't have any hobbies other than cleaning and helping others become so anal about their own housekeeping that they keep rigid calendars and "control journals." People like flylady scare me.
I am always suspicious of perfectly coiffed mothers with clean houses. I feel sorry for their children. I imagine them nagging them all day to clean up after themselves and not touch this or that. They must be the kind of moms who make their children go up and change when they come downstairs in a green shirt and purple shorts worn backward. I imagine their children sitting perfectly still, looking perfect in their perfect houses afraid to make a mess or be a mess. It's a different form of neglect. They are the Nazis of clean. My method of parenting is somewhat different. Take for example Avery who literally bathed in sand at the birthday party. My philosophy is, "They'll wash." And, except for the odd occasion, could really care less if they match.
Perfect houses are often not comfortable. Have you ever been to one of those houses where you are afraid to sit on the wrong chair or use the wrong coaster? And heaven forbid you don't see a coaster for your sit on the edge of your seat awkwardly holding your glass so that you don't leave a ring on the shiny as glass coffee table. I find it uncomfortable when my hostess is cleaning up after me in front of me. Don't get me wrong, my idea of hospitality does not involve having to move piles of old mail off of furniture or mow years of pet hair from the couch before sitting. Surely there's a balance?
I don't want to be a slave to my housekeeping duties. I have interests and hobbies. I like to be outside. I like to play with my children. Sure, I have my areas of obsession where housekeeping is concerned...for example, all of our Disney movies are alphabetized according to title, I'm obsessed with keeping the counters clean, and I steam clean my carpet monthly. But for the most part, cleaning is something I do just enough of to get by and I'm not sure I'd really have it any other way.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lucy and Ethel

I know, I know, I've already missed a day blogging! I'm sure you're all crushed. Moving on.....

I took the kids and a friend swimming yesterday. I wore a suit that I seldom wear and have worn only once since Haven was born. It's a cute suit...on the hanger. On me it's just not very flattering. For one thing, the top can barely contain the girls, affectionately referred to as Lucy and Ethel or in tandem as the dinner plates. I constantly feel like I have to check to make sure they are appropriately tucked in so as not to scar small children who may be swimming nearby.
But, it was 103 degrees, and I couldn't wait to get in the water! Getting in, though, is always a challenge for me. I've found that much like ripping off a band aid, jumping in is the best way to do it. So after all of the sunscreening, direction giving, etc. I tromped directly to the diving board to make my grand entrance. Haddon and his friend, Jack, followed (not because they have any qualms about cold water, but because there had been much bravado in the van about who could do what off the diving board). When it was my turn on the board Jack urged me to do a back flip. I mean, really, what could be more impressive than seeing a fat, old lady who can still hang with the teenyboppers diving??? Always a show-off, I complied. Unfortunately, as I plunged into the refreshing water, Lucy and Ethel popped out of my suit with enough force to startle me! Thankful that I was still under water, I quickly tucked them back in properly and swam to the surface. Jack was duly impressed with my flip and I decided to dive again. It wasn't until I was standing at the board looking down at the last person who dove it that the absolute clarity of the water hit me. No doubt the entire line of 8th grade boys (if they were paying any attention at all) got a free peep show. To make it worse, a bit later, Haddon says to me, "You look different." What a guy. "Different good, or different bad?" I asked. "Good," he said staring at my swim suit, "your swim suit is pretty." Oh dear!