Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thoughts of a lanyard

On the second Sunday of every month, my sons, instead of having regular Sunday school, attend a presentation by missionary(ies) that our church sponsors. Every time they attend this "Second Sunday" they are supposed to bring their lanyard. I think this was instituted last year sometime, and prior to the change in the regular schedule I recieved a note in the mail explaining what this "Second Sunday" was all about and to make sure my children bring their lanyards with them on that Sunday. What the heck is a lanyard? I didn't bother to look it up, probably some minor crisis erupted in the house that I needed to attend to at that very moment I read the note. My children came home from their first second Sunday with a bright yellow lanyard hanging about their necks with some laminated tags dangling at their bellies, but really I didn't know that was what that thing was called, so for a few months, being still clueless I failed to send my children to church prepared.

Last week as I rounded the exit ramp on I-83 on our way to church, I realized, "We forgot our lanyards!" but we were running late already. Upon depositing the boys in their class I had a brief exchange with another mom who also had forgotten her child's lanyard, and I admitted that had it not been for Second Sunday, I wouldn't have known what a lanyard was.

On Friday night, I spent the evening in my sewing studio working and listening to the poems of Billy Collins on a cd that I had borrowed from the library. It had been quite a while since I had laughed so heartily, but it was his poem The Lanyard which really touched me. I could easily relate to the imagery of ricocheting through the room...I've often found myself lost in the dictionary after looking up one word and then just continuing to read like it was a novel. I couldn't decide if the tears I shed while listening to The Lanyard were because of my own feeble attempts at offering my mother tokens of my appreciation, or because now I am the recipient of such things. Perhaps it is equally both.

Wanna learn how to make one like Billy's? Here's how.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Would you, could you, with a mouse?

While I sit here tapping away at the keyboard, there is another tapping/scratching going on in the house. No, it isn't the children, they are snuggly nestled in their beds, I believe we've got ourselves a mouse in the house. I can't be certain, since the scratching and chewing(?!) sounds seem to be eminating from the dryer duct. The really weird part is that today it was about 83 degrees and I just had the dryer going about an hour or so before I started to hear the noises. It's not like the rodent needed to warm up, it's pleasantly balmy out tonight... The real question is how to let the little critter free. It's obviously trapped in the vertical ducting. And the other questions are, how adventurous am I feeling tonight? and can I sleep with all that noise right outside my bedroom door?

In other critter creature news, today K received part II of his birthday gift from me, two Fire Bellied Toads. One is bright green and the other is brown. K hasn't named them yet, but I'm hoping he comes up with something a little more interesting than "Browny" and "Greeny", which I think he was considering on the way home from the pet shop.

Alright, I just detached the flexible ducting from the verticle tube and lowered it to a cardboard box...maybe the mouse will just crawl out now and I can set it free... I guess I have to wait this one out. I don't want it running around freely.

update: I think the mouse is actually trapped between the walls! So what now? Just let it starve to death? Gross! And I just whacked a ginormous spider that scurried by. That one was big enough to charge rent! Oh, what a night.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago today, I faced the closest thing to my own death in the birth of my first-born son, K. It was a fairly easy pregnancy, however towards the end there were some concerns about the level of amniotic fuid, and the large size of the baby. I needed monitering regularly for the last few weeks to make sure he wasn't under stress. My doctor decided it would be necessary to induce labor at 38 weeks (2 weeks early). I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am eager to deliver, a little nervous about the procedure, but anxious to see and touch my son. I was hooked up to IVs, and various other equipment and then I just had to wait...the contractions would slowly increase to push the baby down and out...Twelve hours later I was told it was time to push. After three hours of pushing and complete exhaustion my son was laid on my chest, but I was too weak to support him. Then they weighed him 9lbs 5oz! It was another hour before I was "patched up" again and then I was told to try and nurse him right away, I wanted to, but wasn't sure how to do it. A nurse helped me. In the lobby many relatives were waiting to meet this new person for the first time. I wanted to sleep and not be bothered by anyone, but allowed them all to come in in groups of twos and threes. It was overwhelming. Too weak to move, I was gurneyed to the recovery room as midnight approached; I hadn't slept or had a meal for thirty-six hours and was famished. My mother procured a grilled cheese sandwich from the cafeteria which I nearly swallowed whole and after sending my newborn precious son to the nursery, promptly fell asleep until about 5:30 am. I woke with a start, panicked that I hadn't nursed him enough but when I called for him they told me he was still sleeping. I was bed-ridden, still catherterized, because the staff decided I shouldn't have to get up for a while...they were right. Moving was the most excruciating experience (worse than the labor itself) and I was petrified at the thought of sneezing or coughing. The post-natal pain gradually decreased but lasted for months.

But that was seven years ago, today I am totally healthy, and fully functional. I have a very active and healthy son who can ride a bike without training wheels, can read, write, do addition and subtraction and is creatively expressive and thoughtful. He is, and has been since his birth, an easy going, mellow child- totally worth the effort and the pain. I am tremendously thankful to God for bringing this child into my life, and for his brother and sister (and that their births were virtually effortless compared to his).

Happy Birthday, K!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Two wheels good!

Today, K finally got the bicycling thing down! We've been working at it off and on since last Spring and it's just completely frustrated him. It warmed up enough for me to actually want to be outside, and I got my bike out, filled the tires and rode around the parking lot while the boys rode their scooters and Prettiness pushed a stroller around. Without prompting, K took his bike out too and tried riding it with the kick-stand down. When I suggested I hold on to his seat and run alongside, he was hesitant. I was patiently persistent, and finally he agreed to try. Once he got moving I didn't need to hold on, but I was giving him confidence, like Dumbo's feather. After a couple minutes, K said, "I know you aren't holding on anymore," so I stopped running. Just like that, he got it. I've never seen him prouder.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I had a good time in Philly with Tif again. We missed the First Friday galleries, because we couldn't find a place to park that was close enough. We drove around for about an hour was really, really cold Friday night. Tif said, "The artwork is good, but it's not that good," to want to walk ten plus blocks in booger freezing cold weather. I was disappointed though, I drove up early with the sole purpose to see the galleries. Then we walked to the Standard Tap for some warming pub fare, but discovered there was an hour wait. We were too hungry to wait, so we walked over to a place called "Azure" where we ended up waiting almost an hour anyway. At least the food was really good. But we did get to meet up with a some fiber artists on Saturday and check out their wares, and I realized that I need to nurture the creative/artist part of me more. (Apparently there are lots of fun things I can make with drier lint that I never knew about.) Just being in the city helps to recharge that creative spirit within me.