Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's A Horse! It's A Frog! It's....It's....Flaxseed?

There's something caught in my throat. No, I mean it. Literally. Something small. Something sharp. Something very, very tenacious wedged behind a tonsil or something. And it's driving me CRAZY!

Seriously folks. It's about to do me in. Stupid, fancy, whole-grain Norwegian bread with all its unrefined bits of cereal flotsam! Caught in my throat I tell you! I've been hacking, gagging, gargling, retching all day long trying to disgorge the offending nugget, but to no avail.

Help me! How do I get rid of it?

In other news--there is no other news. In fact, lately I've been giving serious thought to shutting down this two-bit operation due to the exhaustive thoroughness of my lack of news.

I guess I could always turn this into one of those newsy, updatey types of family affairs (which, granted, I guess it is anyway) where I do nothing but recap the weeks events from EM's first day of Jazz dance (loved it) to my record breaking run around Kalandsvatne (rocked it). But, honestly, who the hell cares?

From the very beginning I thought it would be more interesting to focus on single moments of whimsy or snark worthy folly to keep you all in our family's loop rather than a more pedestrian run-down of the weekly minutia of our life. But lately, it seems my radar for these rarified gems and vignettes has gone off. Or, more to the point, my ability to write about them as gone down the toilet.

To wit, I spent three days last week writing a long entry about how EM's 101 questions about God and his ilk have finally filtered down to The Boy, and how my artless avoidance of the subject has now got Poor Boy in such a theological muddle I fear Thomas Aquinas himself couldn't set him straight. But by the time I got through the whole piece, I realized that rather than conveying how charming their curiosty is versus how hapless I am at fielding these awkward religious matters, I only sounded like a grumpy atheist. Worse--a grumpy atheist with a thesaurus.

I ended up dumping the whole thing in the recycle bin, and left to find nirvana in a yoga class instead. Which is pretty much where I've been since.

Oh, and hey, speaking of which, if God could be said to be found in a really deep hamstring stretch...there ya' go EM! Two hands to Jesus! I'm a believer! It felt just.that.good.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


It's been a while since I shared any of Elder Miss's daft yet oh-so earnest truisms.

So without further ado:

"Mom, you are my greatest love. Without you I would die. But don't ever tell my friends that I kiss you."

"Boy! You always get it wrong! If it's two foots, it's feet. If it's just one feet, it's foot. Get it right now, k'?"

And finally, this, which I found stuffed in one of the three dozen notebooks she keeps scattered around the house:

Which reminds me--Alpha Grandma, as far as my memory serves, you didn't read my diary. You read a spiral notebook you found while helping me clean out my desk. And clearly, snooping through notebooks is part of the job description. Stop beating yourself up already. You're off the hook.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Little Freedom Is A Dangerous Thing

Is anyone out there sufficiently compulsive enough to save, rewash, and reuse plastic ziplock baggies?

If so, do you happen to have any sort of brilliant advice on the most efficient way to dry them?

Since school started, I find myself making three packed lunches everyday, and my conscience (not to mention my wallet) just can't tolerate tossing all that perfectly evil plastic into the garbage day after day. I've been washing them, but I have no idea how to get the insides dry enough to reuse them the following day.

Mister talks longingly of the days when we didn't have half a dozen baggies hanging off every cupboard door in the kitchen, and it's only the fourth day of school. Please, help me to help him stop whining.

Friday, August 17, 2007

This One's For Jilly. Everyone Else--Avert Your Gaze

We didn't really get to say good-bye.

That's okay. I'm fine with that. Good-byes are not really my thing. All that awkward, compulsary hugging--in my vast, intimate experience with leaving-taking--has a tendency to lead to tears. And crying in public, my dear Jilly, simply will not do. So I will say my final farewell to you here, in my space, under my terms, where hopefully I can make you laugh instead of cry. Because, ultimately, that's how I hope you will remember me. Laughing. At you.

I, in my turn, choose to remember you this way--flesh colored kneehighs and goofy red polkadot converse, with that crazed, histrionic glint in your eyes--on your way to find more tequila. Bless you.

I will remember your birthday: the Scissor Sisters, and the strange eager boy who kissed me in the cold because you wouldn't let me go home when I wanted to.

I will remember the Samsonite.

I will remember last winter when you made Michelle stop talking about her sister long enough to hear that I was tired and lonely and in need of diversion.

But there is no need for this to read like a eulogy. You are not dead to me, and the chance of us never crossing paths again is exactly nil. I'm very good at long distance relationships. In fact, much like a fine work of Impressionist art, I'm best viewed from a distance.* Something to do with movement and blending colors. Whatever. Clearly the charm of my writing does not lie in the strength of my metaphors. The point is, the stongest relationships in my life were built--or are being actively reinforced--from across continents and oceans both. Alas, our children will no longer be playmates. But you and I are solid.

Don't get me wrong. I still think you're a total bitch for leaving. I don't care how much tea you left me. I will eventually run out, and then what? Well, then I'll take what's left of M's stash. But then what? Plus, who's going to watch the girls while I sit vigil at Boy's nad-fishing operation? And I never did get to go running with you. And there's still the whole matter of Breakfast at IKEA which just won't be the same without you.


Life goes on.

I do wish you the best in this next phase of your life. I'm told that sheep-shaggers are some of the most special people in the whole world, so you've at least got geography on your side. And, just so you know, New Year's is still on the table.

Until then--and I say this with my whole heart--so long, and thanks for all the rum.

*If you really must compare me to a work of Impressionist art, please let it be a darkly elegant Degas. Or possibly one of the later Renoir portraits. But never a clumsy, clotted Van Gogh. Or worse, one of those sweetly prosaic Monet's that you find stapled to the walls of college dorm rooms the world over.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Self Discovery

Missy has discovered coloring.

She prefers EM's markers, but EM is disinclined to share her markers, and has a tendency to use voilence when repossessing property that she sees as exclusively hers.

That's okay. Missy is content with regular ol' Crayola's as well.

Over the past few weeks, Missy has spent countless, quite hours patiently filling in the pages of this coloring book which I picked up for her in Salt Lake just before we left.

Red appears to be her favorite color.

The character you see is Missy's very favoritest thing at the moment.

Her name, according to Missy, is

Hello Klitty!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I know all you're seeing is a baby wrapped in a pink blanket, but that is, in fact, Boy-- my boy--barely six hours old, five years ago today.

I must admit, his father and I were somewhat disheartened at what an odd looking duck he was during the first few months of his life. Ah, but did he ever flesh out nicely over the years!

And such a sweet, gentle little soul! A genuine pleasure to be around. You know...when he's not whining about Elder Miss touching him, or Missy breathing on him...

He can be a finicky, prickly little thing, but for some reason, seeing pictures of him as a baby--more so than seeing pictures of the girls, or even more than holding a real live flesh and blood baby--makes my ovaries tick, my boobs twitch, my arms itch for another one. Mostly I avoid the file marked "Boy" like the plague, but on this night of nights, I just couldn't help myself.

I never wanted a son. When I found out I was carrying one I was sullen, and disappointed, and not just a little apprehensive about the prospect of having to bond with such an alien creature.

How silly was I? His puppy-like buoyancy, his easy enthusiasm, and his screwy circuitous logic--foreign as they all are--feed me.

His Fairy Godmother, La Dragon, gave him a book for his baptism. It's kind of a sappy, hippy-dippy, this-is-your-planet-now-respect-it-in-all-its-infinite-majesty little elegy called "On the Day You Were Born" by Debra Frasier. From the very beginning, and still to this day, I have a hard time reading the last page without getting all teary-eyed and choked up. Please forgive my trite, hackneyed sentimentality as I share them with you:

"Welcome to the spinning world," the people sang,
as they washed your new, tiny hands.

"Welcome to the green Earth, " the people sang,
as they wrapped your wet, slippery body.

And as they held you close
they whispered into your open, curving ear,
"We are so glad you've come!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

See, The Thing Is

I've sat, and I've sat, and I've sat.

And I've mused, and I've ruminated, and I've pondered.

Still. I can't think of anything interesting, or even mildly amusing to write about.

I think I must be stuck in some sort of crippling, summer duldrums.

Drained by tedium of all energy and creativity, I'm left shuffling listlessly through the house looking for some quite corner where the frenzied, fussy bellyaching of the children's own ennui can't find me.

Jesus summer sucks!

And it's not just because we're in Norway, and it's cold, and it won't stop bloody raining--though these circumstances certainly don't help. August feels a little bit to me like God put the world on pause while He ran to the john, only He got stuck there doing a crossword puzzle that He's almost done with, and can't quite tear Himself away from. But in the meantime, we mere mortals are left hanging in animated suspension with nothing to do, and no one to do it with until: First Day of School: Act I, Scene I. Action!


Throw some comments my way. Tell me what you're up to.

Entertain me before I implode!