Friday, October 22, 2010

A Void In My Interests

CNN reported this morning that the latest moon exploration just discovered an enormous crater with enough water to fill 1500 Olympic sized swimming pools. I could care less. I was never that interested in space as a child (that I remember) and am becoming more hostile towards space now that I am a tax paying adult.

The money NASA spends to continually remind us that space is *BIG* is (forgive the pun) astronomical. 17.3 billion (in 2008) was the budget for NASA which they spent on bigger and better space vehicles, astronaut training, space explorations and research. I feel like the "space race" was already done, and I cannot remember the last time anyone discovered anything new or significant in space. With the exception of crushing every 5th graders hopes and dreams by declaring Pluto not a planet anymore. Unless they find aliens or a gaping black hole that we can dump all of the garbage from earth into, I would prefer to find other uses for that 17.3 billion. Like grants for international adoptions or subsidizing local farmers so that produce that travels on a flatbed truck rather then an airplane doesn't cost 3 times as much.

I know I sound judgey, but everyone is about something. Mine just happens to be something practical, like outer space.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reusable Grocery Bags

I forgot. Again. It would actually be more accurate to say that I simply never use my reusable grocery bags because after using them once and forgetting 7 subsequent weeks, I don't even know that counts as actually possessing the bags. I literally got out of the car and was going around to get Purs out- looked at the trunk and thought "Ohh- I need to get my bags out!" then put Purs and her car seat in the cart and went in the store. What happens?? It is so much easier to bring in the groceries in the reusable bags because they hold so much more and I only have to take one trip in the house. For some reason grocery clerks like to separate groceries as much as possible- I was once putting away groceries and discovered a bag with a lone jar of nutmeg in it because it was the only spice I happened to purchase that day. No wonder the earth is choking and dying on plastic bags.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fortunately and Unfortunately

My daughter is already showing the signs of a strong willed person. At 6 months I don't have to work very hard to figure out what she wants. Her cries are distinctive, her body language is direct and often forceful, and she grabs my face when she wants me to look at her. She is stubborn when she isn't tired and has no problem inching her way back to the side of the blanket that I have moved her from a dozen times because she wants to grab the table leg.

She is stubborn. And I admire that. I am also relieved because I don't think that being strong willed is something you can teach a child. They are either okay with someone taking their toy from them or they aren't. I think you can teach children to be thankful, imaginative, respectful, and obedient but I do not think you can teach that dogged determination that gets you what you are going for. I am relieved because being strong willed as a woman is a huge asset. She will be less likely to be taken advantage of, succumb to peer pressure, or need affirmation from the wrong places. Hopefully she will go after what she wants just as much when she is 15 as she does now. I think my daughter is going to be a strong amazing woman.

My job as her mother will be to make sure that strength of hers does not end up destroying her life. I need to teach her to be kind so that she doesn't walk over other people. I need to model respect for Grant, the church, my friends so that she learns to be teachable. I need to teach her how to apologize- and forgive- so she does not expect perfection from herself or others.

I know exactly where she gets it from. Grant and I have laughed many times that stubbornness is not a recessive trait in this family. She didn't have a choice, really.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Not an Altogether...

This is a note I wrote in March of last year- pre Purslane. The great thing about this is that I still love spending Saturday nights like this... reading it made me feel like even though life has changed in a thousand ways, I am still the same. And this morning for church I am going to wear that same brown dress and vintage necklace.

This evening I found myself sitting on the front porch with a bottle of Shiraz (French, which the man running the cash register assured me was a "fine region for Shiraz" in reaction to my dubious gaze and judgmental diatribe about the best Shiraz grapes coming from South America), Triscuit Rosemary and Olive Oil crackers, the CD player with some band Grant discovered a few weeks ago that I have been trying to get into, Elliott, and the first seventy degree evening in too many months. I put on my Chacos and a fleece and put my feet up on the railing.

It was brilliant.

The only missing piece was Grant, who is working late tonight. But he called and I chatted to him with my eyes closed imagining he was in the chair next to me.

A few minutes into my bliss, I realized something in my left boob was scratching me, and I pulled out a twenty dollar bill that I had stuffed in my tank top earlier this afternoon. This is a long story.

I called my friend Tiff, who was free and able to chat for a few minutes about nothing. She is fantastic to talk to, as her vocabulary is broad and littered with frequent cussing. We go back and forth from important to ordinary with the skill and ease of two people who have nothing to hide and are just happy to be around on a Saturday evening.

Tomorrow I am going to wear my brown dress with my knee high boots and vintage necklace to church. I should probably shave my legs and have something more then coffee for breakfast.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Philosophy of Marriage

Grant and I have been married for over 6 1/2 years and our philosophy on how marriage succeeds and survives has remained staunch. (like Winston Churchill- unrelated to this conversation but I have never been able to use the word "staunch" without having an image of the sober man pop into my head)

It really comes down to two things. Do you have the same faith and do you love hanging out together.

Regardless of how you define the word, the idea of faith is a spiritual reality that governs an individuals entire life. Faith determines a persons worldview, direction for their life- basically governs every decision a person makes every second of every minute of every hour of every day. If two people don't have the same faith, daily decisions will constantly be at odds. And over time, the little separations become two different roads leading you to different places. Even though Grant and I came from different backgrounds and attended radically different churches when we met- we had the same faith and even before we married each other we formed a "shining barrier". This is the hanging out together part.

This idea comes a book my older brother Daniel gave me called A Severe Mercy, which is one of the most incredible stories about the exclusivity of relationships I have ever read. The Shining Barrier is a series of cords a couple builds around themselves through daily decisions to make one another their only love. The first and obvious is to exclude all other romantic loves and only the two exist for each other. When Grant and I met we had actually very few things in common- we both loved music, smoking, hiking and camping, and road trips. We also liked making out and were horribly attracted to each other. Other then that- he spent his evenings eating take out and drinking beer, was fresh off the Ivy League school boat, drove an SUV for his camping gear, made fun of hippies and yuppies and was staunchly (Winston again) Presbyterian. I was an Anthropology major at the University of Colorado, long term vegetarian and organic foodie, hadn't shaved my legs in 3 years and read exclusively SARK and Brennan Manning for my theology texts. We were all wrong for each other.

But we had the same basic faith and we loved hanging out together. We were so attracted to each other that he pretended to enjoy going to Red Rocks with me to take pictures of flowers, and I ate crappy pub food just so we could be together. By the time we realized that our differences were going to make a relationship very complicated we had already created a thousand cords around ourselves and formed a Shining Barrier. We couldn't imagine it being this good with anyone else.

So that is how we think of marriage. It really isn't so complicated. We decide every day to stay together and make our relationship better. And the days we don't feel like it we keep the promises we made anyway. Because there is nothing like hearing that person walk through the door and realize how much you have been wanting them to come home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The "firsts" just keep on coming. Last night I was at work and in the middle of signing off orders for a blood transfusion on a patient when the first wave of nausea hit me. I toughed it out because if I learned anything from being pregnant it is that the human body can always handle A LITTLE MORE. So I kept going.

Two hours later I was running towards the bathroom (a quick walk actually because the unwritten rule is that you never run in an ICU- people start grabbing the code carts..) and puking up the spinach salad I ate for lunch... 7 hours prior. Gross.

They sent me home at 9 and I walked in the door to a husband running to the bathroom. We spent the night trading off in the bathroom but the most miserable I think I have ever been in my life was being roused from a sweaty sickness sleep by a crying baby at 1AM wanting to eat. WebMD said the best thing was to have someone else feed her my expressed milk and stay away from her myself, but Grant was in worse shape then I was so I said a prayer and went in to feed my baby.

So this is what it's like to be a family. I don't think Grant and I have ever been sick at the same time- usually one of us is getting better while the other one is getting worse. This morning I have kept down a cup of tea and 4 grapes and he is sleeping. I keep seeing little germy microbes dancing and laughing on my sheets and the bathroom floor.. I might be hallucinating.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Next Great Adventure

It is time. Purslane has been hungry after nursing, watching Grant and I eat with great interest, and putting everything in her mouth. We are ready for solid food.

If I lay out my commitment, you can hold me to it. I am hoping never to buy a jar of baby food. I want to make everything she eats, thus ensuring I know exactly what she is eating and that she is getting enough of everything she needs. My dear friend Rebecca bought me a book called "Top 100 Baby Purees" and not only do I love the family of pears prancing around on the cover, but the entire Introduction lays out exactly how easy it can be and the benefits of making your own baby food. I love information, so my commitment was strengthened.

Let it be done. I bought a small food processor and also plan to spend some time today on Ebay pricing food mills. I also want a yogurt maker- those things are fantastic and if I could make Pursy homemade yogurt I would feel like a successful Mom even if she turns out to be a serial killer.

This morning she ate a bowl of banana and rice cereal- and I plan to always feed her naked. Amazing how quickly those little hands can move and once they are in the mouth along with the bite of banana the game is over. Next up- bath time.