It’s the Great Flu Bug, Charlie Brown

 

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So, it’s Halloween today. World’s most divided holiday. (Well, Columbus Day is moving up in the polls on this, so perhaps Halloween will lose its ranking soon).

We celebrate Halloween, yes. Our rules are simple:

1.No creepy.

2. No scary.

3. No plastic knives with fake blood (see #1 and #2)

4. And all Reeses’ are subject to quality control sampling.

Anyhoo – we were all in the works for Halloween. So far this month we have had two birthdays, and something called Hyllingsfest which involves dancing and Swedish meatballs and Lord have mercy there were my boys in tights singing “Children of Our Heavenly Father” in SWEDISH and it was PREASHUSS.

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CAN YOU EVEN? I MEAN HOLY SWEDISH POM POMS. Also: note the ears. They hold up the hat. Of course. Such great little preshus earsie wearsies.

Also there’s THIS:

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It appears in this picture my cute little kid has had just a bit too much of Swedishness and has had to take so many pictures that he just snarls now. BUT IT’S STILL CUTE. IT IS.

Halloween also has the capacity for preshus. I give you, exhibit A:

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And then… Wait for it….

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The TAIL. I don’t even know how to use my words here. Which is kinda rare.

This Halloween, both boys wanted to be All Star Wars, All the Time. I was so proud. And then, that’s when I kind of detached myself from my reality, and said these fated words:

“Oh no, Blonde. Let me make you a Kylo Ren costume. I’m SURE IT WILL BE EASY.”

Yep yep yep. I said that. It’s about as scary and stupid as the girl who asks, “Is anybody there?” in the scary Halloween movie, right before she gets the big bloody heave-ho.

Do you know, that making a HOOD is not really all that easy? Like, if you don’t make it RIGHT, your kid starts to look sorta… like he’s part of the clan?

And I don’t mean caveman clans, people. My costume really really was taking a turn to the fascist, and that’s… well.. no. Just, NO.

So… then this happened:

“Mom? My head hurts. And my stomach. Also, my throat. And my arms. My arms are twitchy.”

Yes. Yes, twitchy arms are evidently also a symptom of MY KID HAS THE FLU RIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN.

I know. This is so scary. Basically it’s like the girl just asked, “Is anybody there?” And THEN she PROCEEDED TO WALK UP THE CREEPY STAIRS. (Why do we go for heights, people, when we are scared? Why? Has not anyone ever considered just turning your butt around and walking right out the door? Oh no. You have to saunter up the STAIRS because up THERE you will be safe and sound and not end up with body parts all over. Suggestion: There’s a Quick Trip down the street – get out, go get a cherry slushy and survive.)

But, I digress.

The kid was sick. Sickety-sick. This all happened on Friday and, as you know, moms never can live for longer than ten seconds without projecting something and then planning the heck out of the ahead, so I started devising.

And it went like this:

  1. My child is sick. And he might still be so on Halloween.
  2. Clearly the most logical thing is to convince the neighborhood to just have Halloween on Wednesday.

Totally should work, right?

When I presented my plan to the husband, I was met with a teensy bit of opposition. It went like this:

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

I responded gently, like this: “THIS IS OUR CHILD. THE FRUIT OF OUR LOINS. HAVE YOU NO SOUL.”

Red: “What are Loinds?”

Anyhow, the hubster, who has so very often found himself in this predicament before, JUST KEPT TALKING:

“Why don’t you just dress him up in his Grim Reaper costume and-”

“Excuse me? What? What did you say?”

“Um… just dress him up. He can answer the door?”

“In his WHAT costume?”

“Um… the Grim Reaper? The one who does the Reaping? No? No reaping? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Why in the world would you think I would dress my son up as Death? Have you really REALLY no soul? This post is really writing you in a dark light, dude.”

“Okkkkaaay. He’s not the Grim Reaper. So, he’s Hooded Bathrobe Guy?”

The rest of the conversation is not acceptable for our ears BECAUSE WE HAVE SOULS AND MY HUSBAND DOES NOT.

I would like to add that Blonde is all better. I didn’t have to reconfigure the time-space continuum for my neighborhood, so that’s good. My husband and I have worked through our issues and he has adamantly stated that this is the best Kylo costume in the galaxy. He’s a good man.

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Depend on it.

Linking up with my favorite writing community – Five Minute Friday!

The theme?

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I have to admit. The first thing that came to my mind were undergarments. We’re going to skip that one, ok?

In fact, I would like to forego any attempt at something spiritually encouraging. Instead, I would like to talk to you about my cat, Steve.

Some of you know Steve. He has his following. Steve is a large white cat who came into our family a few years ago. He adopted both boys as his own, and his large girth has been a well loved pillow, blanket, toy, attraction, distraction, and mascot, ever since. And then, he became quite sick.

Very sick.

I know. He’s just a pet. Just a furry white behemoth that lounges about and kind of reminds me of a slow-moving, furry barge. But there was this moment, when I was carrying him across the room to the bath, he looked up at me with such patient love. The poor dear was in pain, and tired, and covered in filth, and I had bathed him, without incident, a few times already. He never complained. He never fought. He allowed me to lower him into the water and wash his soiled fur, and then gently wipe him dry. He allowed me to administer pills at numerous times during the day. He watched me through all of it with a sigh and shrug, like, “All right, get on with it then.”

So, as Steve and I were working on getting him well again, I was reminded how much this small(ish) creature depends on me, for his food, for a warm place to sleep, for water in which I put ice cubes every morning, because God forbid my sweet babies not have nice, chilled libations for them.

He depends on me, and I am so very grateful for that. We call him Biggie Meows. Or, Sir Meows A Lot. And he depends on us.

This is a good thing.

Steve is all well now, and seems to have gravitated to my side more so than normal. He comes to me whenever I am seated at my computer, and sits next to me, waiting for me to pat his wide head. I swear I see a smile on his face when I do so.

I just love that cat. And that’s all. I have no moral of the story, or bible verse to tie in, or a Jesus moment for you. I just have this:

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Poor dear. He’s tired. And too big for the couch.

And that’s more than enough.

 

 

Women Who Move Mountains

I ask you, do you have any mountains you’d like moved?

I have a few.

Last month I kept a manila file in the office for far too long. It sat there and sat there, sullen and unopened, for far, far too long.

I’d really like to provide a gut-wrenching suspenseful scene here with something fascinating IN the folder, but well, it was our taxes. Receipts, forms, all sorts of paperwork, signifying money.

I let that file sit there because I was afraid of dealing with money. I cannot help but feel that as I file through all the papers and forms… that somewhere, a paper will flitter out, fall to the ground, and on it a statement:

“This is your bank statement. You are totally out of money. This means you will end up in a van down by the river and all is doomed.”

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Ok, I realize there are a few flaws in my thinking. Let me provide a short list:

  1. We have money.
  2. If we didn’t have as much money we’d still be okay.

This money thing is because money = stability. And, did you know? Stability means that

Everything Must Be All Right All of the Time No Matter What.

Catchy, right? I’m going to needlepoint that on a pillow.

Making sure that Everything Must Be All Right All of the Time No Matter What is rather tiring, did you know? Also? It’s impossible, so there’s that.

I recently had the honor of reviewing this book, and I would like to recommend it to you here:

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You guys. This book is super. There are so many things I like about it, but to be brief:

IT IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED.

Ok, the book addresses the issue of prayer – something I have always struggled with and for good reason. By this, I mean I tend to pray a lot like this:

Dear God – WHYYYYYYYYY CANNNNN’T YOUUUUUUUUU…. (fill in the blank) AND ANOTHERRR THING….

And so on.

Now, this is NOT bad. Praying + whining is acceptable to God. God knows. He made us after all, and if he made some of us, ahem, a bit more pessimistic and screechy than others? So be it. But when I whine/pray (Prine? Whray??) it just ends up with me feeling sad and twisty when I hang up with Him.

Detweiler’s book offers clear, practical advice on how to pray in solid, joyful FAITH. Yep. FAITH with BIG CAPITAL LETTERS. The kind of faith, that, well,  you know.

It moves mountains.

I highly recommend this book if your prayer life needs a little sprucing up. If you’re feeling like every prayer is uttered with all the verve of Eeyore. If maybe, just maybe, you have some mountains to attend to.

If you’d like to know more, or take a closer look at Sue Detweiler’s book click here, and get moving. 17903556_10155247020512206_6837944691568322308_n.jpg

 

 

I Just Wub You.

My kids. They used to be so cute. Allow me to show you:

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I  mean, that is some good genes right there. They have my looks and also, my adorable ability to make paper Valentines Hearts.

The cleft chins come from their papa.

All in all, my kids’ insane ability to blow the cuteness meter all out of the stratosphere is MOSTLY DUE TO ME. IT’S ALL ME PEOPLE. I MAKETH GOOD BABIES.

Yes. I know. Back away from the coffee, Momsie.

IT’S VALENTINES DAY. DID YOU KNOW? IT’S THE DAY OF LOOOOOOVE.

But, did you know? I used to kinda hate this holiday. As a bit of backstory:

I didn’t get married until I was 36. I know. I was so old I could barely make it down the aisle. They had to set me up with some oxygen and one of those scooter thingies. Also, I don’t think Brian remembers the event at all because HE WAS A WHOLE YEAR OLDER THAN ME AND I WAS ALREADY REALLY OLD so… you know. For him, dementia had set in.

But anyhow. We were married. And it was freaking awesome. Even though we were so old.

Also, though? Kind of not. Kind of not awesome all the time. In fact, today, even, as I tried to make conversation with two wee cherubs at 6:30 in the morning about whether or not they can have chocolate for breakfast… And I’m there in my robe and praying for the coffee to perk faster so it can catch up with the nutball children who TALK SO MUCH IN THE MORNING… I thought, “The awesomeness is not strong today. But hopefully the coffee will be.”

I ask you. How DO they talk so much in the morning? How? It’s a medical mystery.

Here’s my point (The lawyer, who has been absent a lot from my posts lately because of paycuts, gets to finally, FINALLY, add his “WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME.” to this post):

Valentines Day is a day to express love. The apex of love is NOT marriage. It’s not even kids although we all know they can be rather consuming in that department. I mean, did you SEE the picture above? Who could NOT love that? But also, might I add? The blonde one just spent a better part of this morning, walking around the house in aimless circles singing the Star Wars theme but with the word “Poop” interjected as lyrics. So… not so cute, huh? This moment was also accessorized by Red bending over and adding sound effects and you will thank me for not going into any more detail than that.

I’ll just let your imagination fly.

Ok, so back to my point. Valentines Day.

Love is not about sex or making babies (also sex ) or getting married or even, dare I say, the passionate weirdness I feel for my cats that means that every time I pass them I must grab them and hold them close, to check their furry status and all that. This is harder to do with Bob, the small nervous one who tenses up so much when I pick her up that I think she might break into a million tense and furry pieces.

ANYHOW. What I’m TRYING  to say, is that Valentines Day is about recognizing where all that love comes from. God created us to be like Him, after all.Which means…

He loves us like crazy. And, as I had observed this morning with the Poop Musical going on in my foyer, His crazy love is very apt for what He has to deal with on a daily basis.

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Also this: When my boys were little they used to come up and hug me and say, “I just wub you, mommah.” It’s one of those sweet things I remember, as a well-folded, frayed at the edges Valentine that I keep tucked away in my memory. All moms do this. We store them up, a memory box of adorable reminders.

I wanted you to know that I wub you too, my readers. You have been such a blessing to me.

And a tiny extra shout out to:

My dad. Who reads each and every post.

My mom. Who reads each and every one and then writes me letters and comments back. 🙂

Christy. Super Friend. Super Editor. Super Everything.

Julia Putzke. Super Friend Who I Have Not Actually Met Yet But Thank You Internet for Introducing Us.

 

I just wub you!

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Common

Hooking up with my happy place – Five Minute Friday.

The theme today?

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Ok, it’s totally obvious that I could go for the higher ground here. “Common.” Like in:

Common ground.

or

Common Cause.

or

Common sense.

or even, if you are me, talking to my kids EVERY the morning,

“COMMON! We’re late!” (har har har. Clever momsie)

But, as I have already established: I VERY OFTEN AVOID THE HIGHER GROUND, PEOPLE. I AM A LOW GROUND KINDA GIRL.

So, today we’re gonna talk about:

THE BLEEPING COMMON COLD.

My husband is sick. And before I say ONE more word, I would like to provide a quick disclaimer:

I really do love my husband. And, pretty sure, he loves me too. We’re married, you know. So, that means, we’re in it for the long haul. We’re on the same team. We are in it to win it. I don’t know how many more cliches I can throw at you before I am penalized, so I’ll just end here: I asked him, “How often can I throw snark your way on my blog?” And he was all, “Darling, I love you . I know you must write your feelings, because feelings, and airing them for thousands, is really important to you. I am here for you. I am your snark-ee. I believe in you, my dove. Besides, I totally deserve it, every time.”

Disclaimer to the disclaimer: MMmmkay. That’s not exactly what he said.

Ok, so back to this:

My husband is sick.

Oh holy kleenex, get a grip, man.

He has a cold. And this is what he does: He puts on this huge hoodie and pulls the hood up all over his poor smushy cold face, which kinda looks like this:article-2110001-1205B578000005DC-592_306x423.png

Yes. It’s a dog. In a hoodie. Very, very close in its likeness to the hubster, I promise.

He kinda slump-walks around, with his hood all pulled down, and sadness just seems to follow him, like a germy, despairing cloud. He flops down. He sighs. I follow him with hand sanitizer and I have been known to surreptitiously spray the couch with Lysol as soon as he gets up. He turned, when he heard the spraying sound, but since he is SO VERY SICK he turned all slowwwwwwwly. Kinda Vincent Price style. Therefore I had plenty of time to hide the Lysol can behind my back and offer him some soup. He kind of squinted at me, like the cold was causing an onset of sudden blindness, which totally makes sense. Whenever I get a cold I lose my eyesight as well.

But somehow I still manage to walk around the whole house and do laundry. Also cook. And go to the store. And clean the bathrooms. While blind.

I do these things, WHILE I AM SICK AT THE SAME TIME.

Anyhow, the husband has now realized he left his water glass outside in his car. I know this because he has just croak-whispered to me,

“Cup… in car… must have water…” And then he curled up in a germy fetal ball on the kitchen floor. One of the kids stepped over him without even a comment. And guys? I so would have offered to get him the cup. I LIVE for getting the cup.

Like, seriously. Marriage law #345 = YOU GO GET THE CUP.

However. I had my hand stuck up inside a whole chicken. I realize this takes the blog for a hard veer, but I was making chicken soup for my plague husband. This involves getting really, really personal with a chicken. Like, you and that chicken are going to really get to know each other, and the clean up afterwards is rather extensive. It’s all so gross.

And so, as the husband was gasping his last breaths to me, I slowly turned, all Vincent Price, with a chicken-hand. And I gestured:

“Hold on just a few minutes, dear. I have a chicken-hand.” And as I gestured, the little floppy chicken wings seemed to actually point at him.

It was clear to both me and husband that the chicken was on my side.

Because, also? I was kinda sick of the sick husband. Just a little. I had grown weary of him sounding like Johnny Cash whenever he spoke, and how he seemed to be dying all the time. I get sickness, I do. But there is another law of marriage:

Marriage Law 346: IF YOU ARE A GROWNUP YOU GET ONE DAY OF BEING REALLY SICK. AFTER THAT YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. I HAVE CHILDREN TO FEED.

Soooo. The visual of me with a chicken ON my hand startled the husband enough that he actually went out to the car to get the blessed cup. And, when he came back, he had donned his sunglasses. Which made him look kind of like this, minus the mustache. Unabomber-sketch.png

And that’s when I started referring to the husband as “Ted” for the rest of the afternoon.

I know. The snark is strong in this one.

The common cold. It will not break this marriage, to be sure. But it will give me lots of material to blog about. Thank you, Ted, for that.

 

*Final disclaimer: No husbands were harmed in the making of this post. They were brought soup with saltines, and cuddled with on the couch, and they got to watch football for hours on end, and there was ice cream. And I know I used the “they” like I have multiple husband and holy matrimony, ain’t nobody got time for that.

And also, I have a cold now, so there’s that.

 

 

This is Marriage, Episode #4557

A few weeks ago I was cleaning the mirrors in our bathroom because my children like to spit toothpaste on them. Target practice. Anyway this tall blonde guy followed me into the bathroom, too.

Perhaps I should stop here. Perhaps you are thinking one of two things:
“Wow. That is just a really monumentally bad way to start a blog post.”

Or maybe…

“Wow. YOUR KIDS TOO? WHAT IS WITH THE SPIT ON THE MIRROR, THING?”

Tall Blonde guy needed to, uh, use the facilities. I KNOW. I’m so sorry. But just stay with me, ok? And AS he made it kind of CLEAR that he needed to, uh, use those facilities, I did this:

“What are you DOING? EW. Get OUT of HERE. THIS IS JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE. WE ARE NOT THIS! THIS IS NOT US! WE ARE NOT THE PEOPLE WHO USE THE FACILITIES TOGETHER! I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOUUUUUUU JUST GO AWAAYYYYYYYY.”

Blonde guy backed away slowly. He looked confused. He often looks confused but that’s because he’s married to me. And he said, “You know me. I’m your husband. Brian. Remember?”

And I said, “I can’t even remember your eye color, and now you’re all Mr. Bodily Functions on me? The last time we spoke was two weeks ago about weather stripping the windows. It was such a horribly boring conversation that we both gave up in the middle of it and started eating cookies instead.  So, now, we are like carb-loaded ships on the night, I tell you. You are Offsides in the Bathroom Ship.

Ship #2: Dude, using a football metaphor for my ship name? That is so romantic.

Ship #1: And I am Repetitive and Rather Shrill Ship!

OITB Ship: Yes. That makes a lot of sense.

RSS Ship:  But, seriously, the last time I tried to actually connect with you was during Blue Bloods and I feel asleep in the first five minutes even before The Mustache showed up and  I AM BEREFT. BEREFT OF A HUSBAND I TELL YOU. I’M GOING TO KEEP USING ALL CAPS FOR A WHILE NOW.

This fascinating back and forth went, well, back and forth for quite a bit, until the bad Bathroom Ship did this:

HE TOOK ME HERE:

IMG_6013.JPGIT’S NOT JUST A ROAD WITH NICE CLOUDS. IT IS A BED AND BREAKFAST I WAS SO EXCITED.

AND THERE WERE THESE GUYS:

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AND ALSO THEN WE WENT TO THIS TOWN:

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WHERE I ATE PIZZA WITH SMOKED DUCK AND FIG JAM AND A SLICE OF BUTTERSCOTCH PIE AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD AND YES CAPS HERE TOO BECAUSE FOOD.

AND ALSO I READ AN ENTIRE BOOK AND NAPPED AND THEN WATCHED CHRISTOPHER WALKEN IN A JAMES BOND MOVIE. AND NO ONE INTERRUPTED ME. NOT ONCE.IMG_6036.JPG

We are no longer ships in the night. We know each other’s names again. This is always a good thing especially when you’ve been married for ten years.

Also, did you notice? Not once did I mention the children in this entire post. That’s a first. Did you know that we had children? Two, in fact. And we had them because we actually HAD conversations with each other at one point! Also, Lord love them, they are very cute but HOLY HECK LEAVING THEM WAS SO AWESOME.

And no, we didn’t just abandon them with some extra ham sandwiches and well wishes. They were well cared for, by Grandpa.(Translation: Spoiled rotten.)

Our children? They are most definitely NOT ships in the night. They do not pass by anyone undetected. Ever. I think of them more like small tanks with questionable hygiene.

Oh, and also this:IMG_6029.JPG

Happy Anniversary, sweet husband. I believe ten years is celebrated with a gift of tin or aluminum. This trip? Priceless.

This is Marriage. Episode #3446

 

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The other day, I was making dinner, and I remembered a conversation I had with my husband a long time ago, like Pre-Kids. Way back in the day when we actually watched movies past 9 pm without falling asleep.

The recollection forced me to stop chopping vegetables into the size of dust particles so my children would not spot them, and just for a minute I reveled in two things:

  1. My husband is the bees’ knees. I really have no clue what this means but bees are cute,  for the most part, and so is my husband. So there you go.
  2. I am amazed I remember this conversation. I mean, I don’t remember where I leave my cell phone at least once a day. And this is when I am talking on the phone.

Anyhow, since the conversation was so fantastic, I decided to share it with you, my darling readers*. It is just that fabulous. In fact, whenever the husband annoys me because he keeps lecturing me about the way the bowls go in the dishwasher and also likes to bring up filing taxes just as I am slipping off to sleep, I will dial up this moment in life with us. It is just that good.

So, here you go. *drum roll*

My Husband and I Talk About the Movie Pretty Woman

Me: Ohhhh!! I love this movie!

Him: Uh huh. Can I just-

Me: DON’T. YOU. TOUCH. THAT REMOTE. WE. ARE. WATCHING. THIS.

Him: Dear, when you use your Satan voice like that, but also cuddle up against me I get all confused. WHOA, those are weird boots.

Me: What? You like those? Why? Huh? I tell you what, just don’t watch this part. I’ll let you know when the boots are gone.

Him. Is that Sandra Bullock? Why is she blonde?

Me: Shhhh. This is when he shows up.

Him: Who? Is that Brad Pitt. What? WHAT? Why have I been wrong for the last three exchanges here? Can you please just write about me in your blog with a little more, uh, polish? Ok?

Me: Yes darling.

Him: Hey, it’s the dude from Roadhouse!

Me: You’re not giving me a lot to work with here.

Him: I want popcorn. Do you want popcorn?

Me: Wait! The dental floss scene! This is when he really gets a peek at the real Vivian.

Him: What? What is she gonna do with dental floss?  I thought this was Sandra Bullock? And he already got a peek. She needs to put on a jacket. Maybe a sweater.

Me: Dear. This is like the best love story ever. She wants the fairy tale.

Him: You know, me too. In fact, I wake up every morning with precisely that thought in my head.

Me: I want the fairy tale!

Him: Dear. She’s a prostitute.

Me: But WITH A HEART OF GOLD.

And then he got up and made some popcorn.

 

The End.

* It’s possible Momsie is having a slow day. This is all I could come up with. Pretty-woman-quiz-holding-shot