Thursday, May 29, 2008

On the road again

During Anaya's first two years of life, we logged 79 flights, all over America and the world. Then Seth was born, and it started costing to fly Anaya...and our traveling took a dramatic dive. Plus, shortly after Seth was born, I had Skyler (less than 16 months later, to be exact), and our SOCIAL life took a dramatic dive. Then we moved, and I started inviting a whole university over to our little home sweet home.

But I haven't been doing a lot of traveling since. The biggest trip was Tennessee-Minnesota-Texas at Christmas, followed by a hair-raising twelve-hour drive (which we broke into two sections) returning to Tennessee after winter break. And then we decided, traveling wasn't the best thing to do with kids at this age. Especially driving.

So why am I "on the road again"? Well, on an impulse, Alan and I decided that it would be best for me to skip the first few weeks of his prophecy seminar in South Carolina, and instead drive 12 hours (yup, you got it, 12 of 'em) with the kids to Arkansas to see my family. I found someone who could ride along most of the way (thank you, Lindsey!) and set off last week.

And I could write a book about the trip...but I won't. Suffice it to say, Thank God for snacks, and portable DVD players (the latter of which enabled me to make the last two hours of the trip without going insane--completely, that is). And it could have been worse. We drove about 4 hours at a time, then took twenty-minute breaks chasing each other in happy circles in rest areas.

And I still have no idea how I'm going to get back, with no one to help. Anybody who loves me, pray for me. Or volunteer to ride along....

But anyway, I don't have internet access or even a landline where I'm staying, and I'm out of cell minutes, so I am kinda laying low, communication-wise. But we're having a great time with Grandma and Grandpa, and the aunties and uncles and cousins. It's great, and I definitely am glad we came out here.

Even though I have 17 hours' drive (gulp) between me and my wonderful husband, and I don't know how I am going to get there....

Bible time again

"Mommy, can we stay with Kirsten and Craig for as long as we stay with Grandma?" Anaya asked me today.

"Well, no, but we can stay with them for about as long as we have been at Grandma's already," I answered.

Anaya threw her arms in the air in delight. "Bless the Lord!"


Anaya was contemplating what to name her new doll the other day. Then her face lit up as she announced, "His name shall be called...Jesus!"


I don't know what he was so happy about, but Seth looked up at me last night with a big grin on his face and shouted, "Hal-a-woo-ya!"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

...Hurrah! Hurrah!

The ants are not marching anymore.

At least, they are being slowed dramatically.

This has to do with my extensive research and finally my order for ant poison from somewhere overseas. It came about two weeks later, from Malaysia, with carefully worded English directions explaining how to use it and what it would do to the ants.

The instructions assured me that the ants would carry it home so that everyone could partake of the bounty. Then, they would all start hallucinating and killing each other. (They did carry it home, and now they have largely vanished from certain areas of the house, so it must be doing something like that.) But don't worry, they asserted confidently, it is not toxic to humans or animals except in large quantities.

Now, I do have a few questions. First, how do they know the ants will hallucinate? I mean, killing each other, that someone can observe. But how do you know what's going on in an ant's brain? That means, to me, that somewhere out there, someone was smoking this stuff. Then while they were busy hallucinating, the ants got into it, and as they say, the rest is history. But I have a little tiny worry that someone from CPS is going to wander into my house randomly, taste the powder lying (safely out of children's reach) on my counter, instantly recognize it as something dangerous or illegal (don't they do that in the movies? I don't watch those kinds of movies, but I seem to remember seeing that kind of thing somewhere), and turn me in. "SURE you put it out for the ants...and the little guys are hallucinating, you say...?"

"Well," I told Alan, "at least the ants go out with a bang. I mean, if I'm going to kill them, isn't it kinda nice of me to at least let them go out having fun? They're having a blast, thinking they're Indiana Jones or something." But then I realized, yeah, probably only one in ten goes that way. For the rest of them, it's more like, "Hey Pete, how's it goin'? Pete? Hey, Pete, it's me, Joe! PETE! What are you--"

Even though I'm not going to leave it where it can be reached, I'm glad it's not too toxic to kids. Because if my kids started hallucinating and attacking each other, I probably wouldn't notice anything unusual.


Yesterday Anaya was looking at my Veggie Wash bottle in the kitchen, trying to figure out the letters spelled out with vegetables. "W-A-S-H..." she guessed. Then, with a little prompting and explanation of the "sh" sound, she read the word. "Wash!"

"You can read it!" I shouted.

"I can read!" she shrieked, leaping into the air with her arms lifted high. "Now I can read the Bible!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Down to earth

"Mommy, come quickly! Jesus is coming!" Anaya squealed in make-believe delight this afternoon. "He is coming in the clouds! There is a cloud the size of Sethie's hand!"

I ascertained that this was a "pretend" heaven and played along, introducing her to a little four-year-old pretend friend who could "go to heaven" with her while I fixed supper. (I know, I'm shameless in my use of her imagination. But surely I have to make supper sometime.) Anaya was satisfied with this new development.

"Want to go to heaven with me, Avaya? In heaven there is lots of food. It is healthy food. There are apples and grapes, and lots of things. You don't have to sleep in heaven. And there are no bad people there. It is empty of bad people! There are only good people!"

"Now I want to go to heaven!" answered phantom Avaya.

"There are lots of things in heaven. You might even like heaven. Jesus is there! There will be no crying and no sadness and no sin. And you might even cry and be happy with happy tears. Don't you think that would be great? Heaven will be great with lots of flowers. It will be great! There will be no crying and no SCREAMING," she announced pointedly to Seth, who apparently had just been invited along to "heaven."

Anaya dashed down the hall, followed by Seth, and, apparently, by Avaya. I could hear shouts of, "It's great up here in heaven! It's so much fun being in heaven!" This was followed shortly by Seth running back to me. "Mommy! I need holp!"

I realized that evidently "heaven" was on my bed, which is too tall for Seth to climb up, and too high for him to play there safely. "Anaya, heaven can't be on my bed," I informed her. "Make heaven somewhere else."

"I guess I won't be able to be in heaven!" Anaya wailed sorrowfully. "'Bye, Jesus."

AL-cohol and other evils

Grandma has just visited us, and brought a deluge of delicious, unfamiliar foods that we now have to learn to avoid again. This morning Anaya asked, "Mommy, can we have ice cream every time we eat healthy food?"

"No," I responded. "It wouldn't help you to be healthy and strong."

"But we would eat healthy food too!" Anaya contemplated this for a few minutes, then launched into Story Time with Auntie Naya.

"Once upon a time," Anaya began, "MY girl found some AL-cohol. She thought it was water and juice, so she drinked some. And she thought it tasted very yummy! And then she drank lots of al-cohol, and--" she gesticulated wildly, "she started just doing whatever she felt like doing! [This is a reference to recent conversations about people who choose what to do based on what they FEEL, not on what they know is right.]

"Then, my girl listened to some music. It was bad music, and it made her feel like doing bad things! And then she didn't obey, and she did bad things. And THEN...she ate lots of CANDY! And she ate an' ate lots of sugar and did whatever she felt like doing. Then some bad people came, and made choices for her. [a reference to hypnosis] And she ate cookies..."

"I want took-ies," interrupted Seth, eagerly caught up in this part of the story.

"Well, I took away the al-cohol," Anaya went on, ignoring Seth, "and I gave my girl water to drink, and juice to drink. And then when she tasted the al-cohol again, she said, 'Yucky! No way!' And I gave her healthy food to eat, so she ate it. And then she wanted to eat candy, but she knew it was bad. So she ate healthy food."

"I want took-ies!"

Apparently the audience didn't catch the moral of the story. One wonders if the author did either.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Earth Day

To quote Wanda from the Baby Blues cartoon strip:

"Every day is Earth Day when you have a sandbox in the back yard."

When the Apostle Paul got spanked

"Do you know what happened to Paul?" Anaya asked me today at lunch. "I read about it in my Bible. Those bad people throwed him into PRISON! And then those bad people, they spanked him and his friend very hard with sticks." She paused for this to sink in for me. "Then do you know what? They did something very silly! They singed songs!"

Slug kisses

Everyone has their first kiss, and some are more wonderful experiences than others. Skyler has now had his, and I don't know how the experience was for him, but since I was on the receiving end, I thought you might enjoy hearing about it.

I had just picked him up and was holding him in my arms, when he looked up at me with this gleam of adoration in his eyes. Then he leaned over toward me and planted a slobbery smackeroo right on my lips. Of course, he was slippery with drool from his nose to the bottom of his chin, and all across his cheeks, so it kinda felt like the equivalent of being kissed by a banana slug.

I can pretty much guarantee you wouldn't have found it as delightful as I did.

I guess it's one more proof, being a mommy has turned my brain to mush. Or slime.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ten rules in our house (but not ones I wrote)

1. If Mommy shuts the bathroom door, drop whatever you are doing, go to the door, and beat on it. Howl.

2. If Mommy is on the phone, drop whatever you are doing and cling to her, bellowing. Or you can attack your brother. Either brother will do.

3. Whatever someone else picks up first is the only thing in the world you want to play with. Try to take it from the other person. Howl.

4. Trains are sacred to Sethie. All trains belong to him. If you are not Sethie, try to take them from him.

5. Everything pink and purple belongs to Anaya. This applies to dishes, clothing, toys, straws, etc. If you are not Anaya, too bad. You are too little to take them away from her.

6. Whatever Mommy makes for a meal is not the best thing to eat. Beg for something else.

7. If Mommy is in the kitchen, she is there because she wants to supply you with food. But she wants you to ask for it in a certain way. Cling to her leg and beg for it.

8. There's always something cool in the trash can. Peek in and find it. If there isn't, find something cool and throw it in. Your toothbrush is always an excellent choice.

9. Binkies must be squirreled away in unlikely places. Under the couch is not creative. 'Nuf said.

10. Mommy and Daddy's laps are the best places to be. Especially if someone else is already there.