Friday, January 30, 2009

Hark! I've added a playlist. And big news from the homefront.

It's down at the veeeeeeeeeery bottom of the page and it is so worth the scroll.

And watch this:

I love this music video for Her Morning Elegance, Oren Lavie. It's brilliant and you will not feel like you've wasted your three minutes. Promise.

And we have news: Li'l P. can crawl! And he will, if enticed properly with Mommy's glasses or dangling tubing from a nebulizer. His current long-distance record is about 6 feet. I don't think he's quite embraced his freedom yet, but the winds of change are blowing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's hereditary.

He was kneeling beside the black folding chair, quietly coloring.

"L, you can't leave your markers strewn all over the carpet with the lids off."

"I'm an artist. Artists do that."

His very own real desk was less than a yard away. He put the lids on the markers...after he saw the ring of blue around the baby's mouth and smeared on the baby's cheeks and shirt and light-grey sweatpants. Osh-Kosh-B'Gosh!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Your House is Definitely Cleaner than My House

Just to illustrate that sad state of my housekeeping:

4 y.o. L.: "What are we doing today?"
me: "We have to do some major cleaning."
L.: "Why? Who's coming over?"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Best Birthday Ever

I started on this post last night, but was too sleepy to finish it. It was my last night on earth as a twenty-something. Today I joined the ranks of grown-ups everywhere whose children will someday remember when their parents were thirty-somethings. Adulthood. I have arrived.

The rest of this post will be so self-indulgent. Grab a puke bag. I understand if you can't stomach it (unless you were one of my roommates. In that case, here's to you, Baby!)

Freshman Year: After hiding the fish in the cupboard for cleaning checks, we then forgot about him for TWO WEEKS. The little bugger was still alive, but in very murky water when we remembered him. He was re-Christened 'Trooper.' I say "the" fish, because he wasn't my fish and I refused to have anything to do with him. (Read: clean the fishbowl.) Half-way through the year, we acquired a new roommate. It wasn't long before we knew Heaven had smiled down us. xoxoxox, Cin.

Sophomore Year: Four roommates stayed together and we added two more. We lucked out again.

Our best buddy lived two doors down and we happily shared him. Really, really happily. New York Dave never forgot any of our birthdays. He gave us treats and decorations for every holiday. We were at BYU and couples' engagements were often announced in our ward bulletins. One day in my absence, NY Dave was perusing the announcements. (I'm sure he was often amused at the Mormon-mini-culture because he wasn't LDS.) The following week's bulletin ran our engagement. He even gave me a ring carved out of a peach pit to commemorate the event and I still have it. Another time, Nat made him pee blue in honor of his newly-dyed hair. We had a long-standing war of pranks and Nat was waiting for the perfect time to whip out her secret weapon: the ethylene blue. When New York Dave dyed his hair neon blue, we just had to celebrate it with a blue cake. Stubborn as a mule, he flushed the evidence before his roommate could judge its blue-ness.
NY Dave said he was an atheist. I mention this because I'm so used to gauging goodness and morality using a religious barometer. But he kept watch over us like a brother.

To see crazy used as a noun, read on.

We kept a quote board because we were HI-liarous and history-making. Katri (crows caw and you climb a tree) probably had the most quotes without even tryin'. It must have been the fermones (I'm sure she can tell me how to spell that.) She is a swimming fool. Well, after her nightly swims, she often ran into a certain Crazy from upstairs who would smell her and ecstatically say, "Aaaah, fermones." Yikes.

And I kissed a boy again. And it was about freakin' time. And it was seriously a mistake.

(and now I'm thinking, "what if he ever reads that?!" "He won't. Get over yourself.") *

My junior and senior years kind of meld together in my memory: I started working at the Museum of Art Cafe. I would walk to work around seven in the morning when it was still pretty dark outside. I remember one particular morning: the sky was dark blue and the stars were out and a sliver of the moon was visible. I felt such love all around me; for me and from me for God's creations.

I was really involved with my practicums and classes. All of my classes were with the same 21 girls. I made friends with some amazing teachers-in-the-making; the kind of teachers I would want my little ones to have and the kind of teachers I would want to be. I love Early Childhood Education. Late one night, after my freshman year, I felt like I needed to change my major. I thumbed through a fat catalog of programs and came back to the Elementary Education page where I had started. Then my eyes rested on Early Childhood Education and I thought, "Of course." I closed the book, went to bed, and never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Maybe because I felt so full of purpose and vision, I realized that I would live a happy life regardless of my marital status.

The summer after my Senior year I started dating like crazy.

He was a visiting soccer coach from the UK. I met him when I picked up my nanny-charge from a practice. He was Catholic and beautiful in a red-headed-muscular-Irish sort of way. I imagine all men in pubs look exactly like him. When he called the first time, I lied and said that I had plans. He said with an English accent, "Well, tha's a damn shame, id'n it." And I was hooked. I LOVED him. Very, very briefly. When it ended, I was over him in two weeks flat. It was so freeing and exciting and exactly what I needed.

Here's to The Rebound. (Really, I was his rebound.) He was LDS. He was from my hometown. He was adorable and made me laugh. But. He wasn't affectionate in front of his friends. Attn: Single girls everywhere! This is very, very bad! So I broke it off.

Let me repeat that: I broke it off. (Applause.)

Everything that happened after that was the beginning of the rest of my life and the reason why this was my best birthday ever.

*(Added later) P.S. You'll never guess who befriended me on Facebook. And just to refresh his memory, if he does happen to read this: you thought it was a mistake too!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


(I wrote the title in all caps
because it's just so musculine and sexy.)
And here HE is, in his element:

And here am i:

I love hiking with my B.
He is so sure on his feet and he makes it so I can go places I could never go alone.

Is this one exactly like the first?

Happy 4th Birthday, Kiddo!

L. turned 4 this past November. Happy Belated B-day, Buddy!

When he grows up, he wants to be a construction worker.

or a shoe model...just kidding.

Out our front door in least he's clothed. When he's naked or in just underwear, he spreads his arms out proudly as if to say, "Look at me!"
Then, with a huge smile on his face, he says, "Do I look embarrassing?"
For his party we had a "Kids' Night at The Movies" with movie tickets for invitations.
We did pizza, pj's, and Disney's Robin Hood.

This one was a party-animal.

"One of these things is not like the other..."

My beautiful boys--all three of them.
P.S. It's like I'm the milkman.

(photo by Gaylene Erwin)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

a page from this chapter: an abundance of love

Before P. was born, B. gave me a Priesthood blessing. Within that blessing, one of the things I was blessed with was that I would have everything I thought I needed to feel okay. Shortly afterward, I was up in the middle of the night with false labor pains. They hurt. They were at regular intervals. But then they would go away. On the third night, the pain intensified, but the contractions were no longer at regular intervals. I assumed that I couldn't be in labor unless they were five minutes apart.

I was wrong. With excruciating contractions at 13 minutes apart and then 1 minute apart, we finally called a friend to come stay with L. and then B. drove me to the hospital. On the way there, I said I was thirsty. He said, "Do you want me to stop at a gas station and get you a bottle of water?" I know he meant well. :)

It was almost 5 in the morning when we arrived at the hospital and made our way upstairs. By the time the elevator dinged for the third floor and our stop, I knew with a dread I have never felt before, that we had waited too long. I knew the baby was coming very soon and I was terrified. As we slowly made our way down the hall, I held on to a handrail and muttered panicked prayers to God. I begged Him repeatedly, "Please, please let me have an epidural." I truly, truly thought that I my heart would stop and I would die from pain or fright or a mixture of both. I was not going to be okay.

Superman, I mean, the anesthesiologist, was already at the hospital because he had been called in for another patient. It all happened so quickly, that I signed all of the check-in paperwork and permission forms after giving birth.

In retrospect, I probably would have survived natural childbirth. But Heavenly Father did not bless me with what I needed to be okay. He blessed me with what I needed to feel okay.

Two Sundays ago, our bishop (and father of 5) spoke about our Heavenly Father's love for us. Drawing on the experience of his own fatherhood, he said (and I paraphrase), "After our first baby was born, I could not imagine being able to love another child as much as I loved her." He resisted having more children. But, "then our second child was born and I loved him just as much." Then he used the pie analogy: When you have more children, you don't divide the pie [your love], you just make more pie."

Heavenly Father has a whole pie for me. I feel it even as I type it. Sometimes I forget it.

I understand that this abundant love often blesses me with things that I need, but don't always want. But sometimes, His abundant love and plan for me includes the things I want for no other apparent reason than that I want them. I have heard, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." But sometimes, He, who knows the beginning from the end, just gives. And I am thankful for those rescuing moments. And as time goes on, maybe I will learn to see all moments as rescuing moments, even when He gives and takes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A page from this chapter: Lifesavers

We will be moving from Lubbock this Spring or Summer. I still have time and I'm not saying goodbye yet. But, I know the time is coming so I've decided to begin recording highlights (and lowlights) of our family's Lubbock Chapter. I hope this will be a series of posts. And please forgive the journaling and sometimes brutal honesty. It wouldn't be my blog without the drama.

When we came to Lubbock, I was pregnant with a capital P. We drove south on I-27 past the crummiest, most industrial area. All I remember was grey earth, grey buildings, and grey telephone lines. Presumably, that wasn't reality since it was a bright, blue-skyed summer day.

A few weeks later, I stood in an "office." (Read, "rented corner space in a run-down, strip mall; it's only neighbor a cigarette shop with bars on the windows.) I wore black flipflops and a red maternity top and white capris. I had an hour and a half to memorize that outfit as I waited in line to make an appointment with a Medicaid social worker. I was appalled at the plight of the already down-trodden with their fate resting in the hands of state beauracracies everywhere.

With the blinds drawn, I watched People's Court and waited.

Enter: Ray of Light. My Blue Sky Boy, born November 17, 2004. I was in love with you from the moment I saw you. You looked up at me with slate-blue eyes and a wrinkly forehead. You had me at Hello, Baby.

But I was sick. I didn't snap out of it. I couldn't think straight. I didn't even know I wasn't thinking straight. I was blessed to stay in love with you, but not with myself. I sat on the bathroom floor and made fists so hard, I pressed tiny half moons into my hands with my fingernails.

Lifeguard: A phone call. "Can I come over? Right now." C. shared her experiences and honesty and egg salad sandwiches with me. She brought the best bread and by some miracle, I didn't overcook the eggs. I began to understand the preamble to "Men are that they might have joy." (See 2 Nephi 2:22-25). As I talked about it, it solidified. I took a shower while she held the baby. She left me with wet hair and an opened view.

Lifeboat: Queenie invited us to Family Home Evening and introduced us to our first real pal-around friends. Finn made a small carrot cake just for me for my birthday one year. Hemingway gave me a tulip. Around Christmas time, Hemingway's J sent me home with his Sudoku games. Cat taught me how to make THE best raman with fresh vegetables. Pang gave blessings and called to follow up. After one Thanksgiving, we went for a walk. Pang said we could all live together and share the cocaine. (Okay, he actually said we could share the COOKING, but a boy from Hong Kong can be misunderstood.)

And I officially broke through the ocean's surface and breathed bright, fresh air.

P.S. I asked my B if I should publish this, and he paused and said, "Well, it's personal." If that's not a green light, I don't know what is! No, these experiences shaped the arc of of my progression here, so they're in.

P.P.S. The flipflops were "Locals." Hollah, Katri!