Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's good to be loved.
I am not big on sappy stuff. After 16 years of marriage, the Husband knows that expensive bouquets would only make me swoon because I could think of better ways to spend the money. In fact, I don't accept gifts of any kind well. If we're talking "Love Language", gifts isn't mine. (Words of affirmation, that's the ticket.) So today I got my "Love Tank" filled with words of love from the gentlemen in my house. Fortunately, I don't have to wait for one day of the year to be told how much I'm loved.
I hope you don't have to wait that long either!
Today, I told my 4 yo Sunday School class about St. Valentine and we made heart-shaped crafts..and we sang Jesus Loves Me. They LOVE that song and it certainly was fitting for today and everyday.
-Peace and Love

Friday, February 12, 2010


Reminders come in many different forms.

Sometimes it's a list. Sometimes it's a person. Sometimes an event or story.

Lists only work for me if I remember to look at the list. People are good reminders, if they remember to remind you and events or stories are usually accidental reminders.

Yesterday I had an accidental reminder. One of my college friends wrote on her FB account about gently relocating a flying squirrel that was eyeing her attic (already inhabited by hard-partying squirrels.) I imagine that my friend looked out her window one day and spotted this squirrel looking at her attic space with a glint in its eye, with a tape measure in one paw and a copy of Better Nests and Burrows grasped in the other. Her story led her to share how she had previously captured a bat in her kitchen, been bitten and suffered the subsequent (Yes, really that painful) Rabies shots.

And that story is what reminded me of my own bat story.

When we were just a family of three, and J wasn't quite 2 yet, we lived outside of Philadelphia, PA in an apartment where my mostly nice neighbors were the only thing going for it. :) One night I awoke and saw a bird flying in our bedroom. I woke up my husband and told him. He flipped on the light to prove to me that I was dreaming. Instead, he dove back under the covers. "IT'S A BAT!"

Being a huge wimp, my first thought was to call directory assistance and ask for the non-emergency police number. (At least I didn't call 911!) I wanted a trained professional, animal wrangling type person to come and capture the bat (who had hotwinged it to parts of my home unknown when the husband turned on the light.) At this point, I should point out that my husband was willing to seek and remove the critter...I just wanted case it came with friends, ya know!

A kind policeman arrived with a net to capture our creature. He searched in all our closets and bat. (Later I wondered if they were so eager to search because evidently the previous tenant was a drug dealer. I have other funny stories about how we discovered that, but I'll save that for another time. :) )

We figured it had gone out the way it came, through our bathroom vent, which was now hanging by a wire. We got the maintenance people to fix the vent. They were supposed to get a pest management company in immediately to be sure there wasn't an attic full of bats hanging out there.

That night, we were lying on the living room floor (because I was too skeeved out in my bedroom) when the bat made an appearance and began to make swooping laps around our living room and kitchen, occasionally resting by hanging upside down from our blinds. EEK! I took J and hightailed it to my awesome neighbor's house (Thanks Andrea!)...and she went upstairs to see our "pet". Being a Friday night, the police were kind of busy so we called our maintenance guy. Before he arrived though a police officer stopped by and caught our friend in a brown paper sandwich bag. (It's like a cave and they will fly right in!) Shortly after, our extremely inebriated maintenance man arrived, weaving and slurring as he carried a net he had fashioned from a broom and a pair of purple sweatpants. (Oh how I wish I had captured that sight on film.!)

[At this point, in our area rabies shots were not recommended for such an experience. A few years later, when we were living in upstate NY, the same experience would have resulted in a strong recommendation to get rabies shots. Also, bats were/ still are? protected, so they can be relocated but not harmed.]

Looking back I think, "what wimps we were!" (OK *I* was a wimp...the husband wanted to just capture the thing but noooo..I had to call in the troops!) And I laugh at how freaked out I was. I also admit that I still get very creeped out by the idea of having any critters (other than my two legged beasties) in my home.

My outdoorsy friend is much braver than I could dream of being. I wonder if I can get over my shrieking wimpiness. I'd like to. Is it mind over matter? I mean I can birth children, change some scary diapers ..and live with people of the male species...that should have toughened me up a little bit...right?

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And really I know that this is true. It's good to remember that though, especially when I'm feeling a little less than brave, or strong or confident.

I hope you remember it too!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Invasion of the Cake Snatcher...

Two-year-olds are mysterious and crafty beings.

I could stop there. Maybe I should. After all, one of the other children might be jealous if they knew I was writing about the youngest of the brood again today.

But, they'll get over it.

Today I decided to bake a cake. It is a good day for a nice, moist yellow cake with homemade butter cream frosting, don't you think? I have been craving cake since I watched Cake Boss on Monday night.

Problem #1: although I greased and floured the pans..the bottom of both layers stuck to the pans. The silver lining...#5 son and I shared some scrumptious cake bits.

Problem #2: a taste of cake bits wasn't enough for the son we have dubbed "Captain Long Arms". I only wish I had a picture of him triumphantly shoving a fistful of moist and yummy cake goodness into his sweet angelic little mouth. :) There isn't a counter deep enough in my kitchen where a cooling rack is safe from his long and determined reach. One of my round (although definitely dented) cake layers now has a nice chunk out of the side. Oh well...whoever gets that piece will get extra frosting. :)

Funny thing...he didn't seem to have much of an appetite at lunch time. ;)


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


my 2 1/2 yo was a wild man...and a naturalist too! :) (I've heard that naturist is the "new" nudist, and let's face it, it sounds better than exhibitionist.)

I didn't grab the camera even one of the twenty plus (no exaggeration!) times I found my little guy running around with his pants around his ankles, sucking his thumb. At first, his diaper was still on, later he was bare-bottom and enjoying the freedom.

At first, his desire to drop "trow" was accompanied by my own excitement that he was ready to use the potty. Woo hoo, celebrations all around. He has used it occasionally, but maybe this was "it"! I happily brought him in to the bathroom where he was insistent that he wanted to sit on the toilet, not the little potty seat. He sat for maybe 5 seconds, reached behind him, flushed and washed his hands. OK. We leave the bathroom and I turn around to find my son with his pants around his ankles we/he tried again. And again. And again. For three hours we didn't go more than 5 minutes without "pants on the ground" and yet the child didn't pee! I put my foot down and wouldn't let him run around the house like pants = in the bathroom mister! Finally, around 11:30, he stood in the bathroom and peed...on the floor...with a shocked expression on his face..pointing to the growing puddle. After that, we put on a fresh diaper, he ate his lunch and took a nap. I think we were both exhausted by his new game.

Is he ready for the potty? Probably. Am *I* ready for this new game? Do I have a choice?
This is the fifth time I have entered this phase. And as a mom of 5 boys, I stand (sit really) before you to know what you learn by having more kids? You learn that every child is different, that the same things don't motivate or teach every child, and that the more kids you have the more you realize you don't know. I will stand proudly before you and say, I am no expert. I am a human being raising human children...the human thing always gums up the works...robots would be so much easier. ;)

I have basically good and healthy, intelligent children. I have tried to teach them right and wrong, to love God and love their neighbor. Guess what?! They are unique individuals and not puppets. I cannot control their every move and decision. Sometimes I say, "What were you thinking?" Sometimes I'm disappointed, embarrassed, overwhelmed (with frustration and with love). But through it all, I am thankful that I was blessed with these crazy little (and not so little) boys. I love them each so much, for who they are and who they were created to be. I pray that I am the parent they need me to be so that I can nurture their gifts and help them realize their full potential.

Sometimes I count to 10 when I want to yell (sometimes, not all the time ;) ). Sometimes I laugh when I could cry...because in the words of Jimmy Buffet..."If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."