Monday, March 24, 2008

the quest

For the past few days I have been OBSESSED with finding the perfect double stroller. Before Little Missy was born I went back and forth on whether or not I'd need one because at the time G refused to ride in the stroller. So Hubby and I bought a cheap double stroller that was terrible: difficult to push, nearly impossible to turn, and didn't have canopies on the top to shade the kids from the sun. So I rarely used that one. Then in one of our moves it got smashed in our trunk and we couldn't bend it back to it's original shape, so I glady said adios. In our new neighborhood we have sidewalks and interesting old houses so I love to take walks, walks much longer than either G or Little Missy is willing to walk. So I bought a stroller off craigslist that is ghetto (as in, when we go over bumps the back folds in and smooshes G. It truly is ghetto). So I really need a new one. And I want it loaded. I have never had a nice stroller (our single stroller for Gideon was the basic umbrella model) and I want a nice one this time: I want canopies for the kids, I want a basket underneath, I want cupholders for all of us. So, on three different days, I have ventured out with the kids to find the Perfect Stroller.

Day One: Babies R Us. I drag the kids in there. They want to run around and look at everything else, but I focus their attention on the strollers and we start taking them out and looking at them. Brandy, a very friendly associate, comes over to help. She shows me how they all break down to load in the trunk, how to switch the seats around, and lets me push my kids in all the strollers. Well, the one with all my requiremetnts is UGLY. I'm looking at it, knowing I shouldn't be so worried with how it looks, but I cannot spend $150 on a stroller that will make me cringe every time I look at.

"Does it come in any other colors?" I ask hopefully. Maybe they keep different fabrics in the boxes.

"No, it either comes in this one or the one next to it (which is a HIDEOUS alphabet pattern) or the French Roast."

She points to the French Roast stroller and it is very pretty. Hubby would even like the colors.

"But it's $70 more??"

"Yes, but see how the cup holders are different, also." Brandy and I both knew she had a weak argument.

So I left Brandy and all her helpfulness and went to Target. You all know how much I love Target. This Target would not let me pull down the strollers and push them around, and after the first double stroller I bought, I know to pull down the stroller and push it before plunking down any money.

Day Two: Once Upon a Child. Friends, this store charges almost as much for a used stroller as a new one. Except with the used one I get to wipe off the dust and try to clean out the stains. So we move on.

Next to a different Target. This one lets me get down the strollers to push them around. G and Little Missy are sitting in the Sit N Stand model when I crouch down to fix G's seat and the seat strap breaks. Obviously we left empty-handed.

Day Three: Sears. I get the kids out of the car, pull them through the wind to the store, convince them we don't need a shopping cart, get them successfully on and off the escalator, and over to the strollers where there is only one. ONE. And the floor model doesn't even have front wheels. So we're back down the escalator, past the shopping carts, and back out in to the wind.

Our last stop is Wal-Mart. Really, Wal-Mart was always my fall-back. As much as I dislike Wal-Mart, I just knew this is where I would find my double stroller for a good price. I get the kids out of the car, back through the wind, into a cart and push them to the back of the store. And there are the strollers. All the nice, fancy, SINGLE strollers. Not one double stroller. I pushed the cart in circles around the strollers, convinced I was missing it. But *it* wasn't there.

Now I'm at a loss. What do I do? How do I take long walks without my double stroller? Do I hold my nose and buy the double stroller at Babies R Us with the ugly color, the color Hubby will dislike even more than me, the color he will laugh at every time he sees it? I'm travelling to Austin in a few weeks and I suppose I could wait until then, but I really wanted the stroller for the airports, and I don't think my mom and sister will be enthusiastic about going to lots of different stores all over town just to find a stroller. All over town and to lots of different stores for a purse, maybe, but not a stroller. I'm not up to looking for a stroller anymore, either.

So now I'm back to the uncertainty of craigslist. And if you ever see someone from far away, pushing two kids in a stroller of a horribly-tacky color, that just might be me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is that? A BOOK?

Once upon a time I read books. Quite a lot of books. When I was a receptionist at Eby Construction I had stacks of books on my desk, present at all times, ready for whenever I had a minute. During this time of my life I read two books a week, many times in addition to the books I was already reading for class while trying to complete my degree in English Literature. I think this knowledge of literature is what helped me secure Hubby: he is very smart and still reads almost every night before going to sleep.

So, friends, when was the last time I read a book? Six months ago, and it was some silly Oprah recommendation. When was the last time before that? When I was pregnant with Litty Missy, and I Didn't Even Finish The Book. Now I can barely even concentrate long enough to read a magazine article.

I found this website - - and my plan is to deliberately and steadily plow through the list. I really want to know more about literature and less about

Sunday, March 9, 2008

happy anniversary, hubby. I Love You.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

-- e. e. cummings

Saturday, March 8, 2008

my obsession

Let me just say, I love HGTV. When we moved into our new house I decided that we shouldn't have cable so that I couldn't watch HGTV anymore. There were other channels on cable that I loved to watch, of course, such as TLC, the Discovery Channel, any channel that showed old Law & Order episodes, but really I watched HGTV most of the time.

Well, Hubby's gift to himself around Christmas was a pretty new flat-screen TV. And the resolve to have a cable-free home quickly flew out the window because you can't see NOTHIN' on TV if you live in Augusta, KS and you don't have cable. We even went to Best Buy and spent $70 (choke) on the biggest, fanciest, most high-powered antenna they had, and I can tell you that antenna did not help one iota once we put it, in all it's ugly glory, on our very pretty mantle. So I called Cox Communications, asked them pretty please, and they came to our house the next day with the most basic of cable, the kind where you can see channels 1-13. Dear friends, do you know why this story has a happy ending? It is because HGTV comes in for free on the high-def channels! Oh happy day. Hubby? Not too thrilled. The poor guy is a little tired of House Hunters.

Friday, March 7, 2008

the trials of sleeping

Hubby and I have a problem putting the kids to sleep. The problem is this: we have not trained them to go to sleep by themselves, so every night one of us lies down with them until they're both asleep and then we tiptoe out of the room. We had G trained for a while but then we moved and let him sleep in our bed because Little Missy was sleeping in our bed. At least now they are sleeping in Little Missy's bed and not with Hubby and I. We know we need to break the pattern, but we just haven't committed to doing it yet.

However, if I never slept with my kids I wouldn't know that G talks in his sleep or that Little Missy belly laughs in her sleep. Most afternoons, during their naps when I am lying between them, with their breath on my cheeks and feeling the rise and fall of their little bellies on my arm, I know I need to savor this, to drink it in and never forget that for a little while their whole world revolved around me and their Daddy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

my family, part 2

When I was pregnant with my son G, numerous women came up to me and warned me how having a boy first would spoil me because boys were supposed to be very affectionate while girls were very independent. The only people who disputed this were the moms who only had girls, so I kind of thought, what do they know? Then I found out my second child was a girl and I remembered the cautionary tales told me by those women two years earlier, and I admit I worried a little bit. My son G was precious and loving and I didn't know what to do with a child who wouldn't show me her love in the way I was used to receiving it.

Then Little Missy was born. That first night she was crying and I rocked her and swaddled her and cuddled her, but she wouldn't give in and go to sleep. After a while I decided to lie her down by herself and she fell right asleep. Sitting in my hospital bed, looking at her in her plastic hospital crib, I realized all those women from years before were right.

But they weren't right for long. Little Missy is actually wildly affectionate. If I would let her, she'd sit on my lap for hours and do nothing but look at books and play with my hair. One of my favorite memories is from around Christmas when Hubby's parents took the kids for a few days. Hubby and I went to pick them up and we walked into his parents' house but the kids didn't know we were there. Hubby found little Missy in another room and when she saw him she *screamed* "Oh DADDY DADDY DADDY!" and ran over to him with her arms up over her head and threw a huge hug around his neck. She gives some of the best hugs.

Like Hubby pointed out, the girl also withholds affection. When she is feeling stubborn or ornery, which is often, she loves to smile and turn away when I ask for a hug. She is stubborn and dramatic and loves to throw herself on the floor when she's not getting her way, and the knowledge of throwing tantrums is something she was born with, because she started screaming and throwing herself on the floor when she was only nine months old. On the flip side, she loves to share and to help. She loves to feed me her dry cereal, even if it's the last little bit and I haven't asked for any. She loves to "help" by closing the dishwasher, even if I'm still loading it, or throw clothes into the dryer, whether they're dirty, clean, or already folded. She also has some amazing verbal skills. At 19 months she's already starting her 3-word sentences. Really, she can't help but be a good talker with how often her brother talks!

Some of the sweetest parts of her are the way she loves her brother. If he's upset she'll gently say "Crying? Crying?" and pat him gently on the head. In the morning when she wakes up sometimes she smiles at him before she smiles at me. And she'll follow him around and copy whatever it is that he's doing. Watching the two of them play is what I like to do most.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


After Little Missy traumatized all of us at Johnny Carrino's we were walking to the car and I was holding her hand when G said "I want to hold her hand, too." Well, with how she'd acted in the restaurant I wasn't too sure she'd let him, and when he reached out to hold her hand she kind of shuffled her hand like she didn't want him to hold it, but actually she was trying to get her sweater out of the way because she did want to hold his hand. So my two beautiful sweeties held hands all the way to the car, which was in the hotel parking lot adjacent to the restaurant's parking lot. When we got home she was out of the car first and walked to his side of the car so that she could hold his hand on the way into the house. They make my heart happy.

busy busy weekend!

Our weekend started a little early, on Wednesday to be exact, when Judy came to pick up the kids and keep them overnight. Hoorah! I felt a little guilty with how excited I was to have an evening with just my Hubby and no kids, but still, Hoorah! Hubby and I drove 45 minutes, all the way to the west side of Wichita, to eat at Pei Wei. Mmm yummy. We loved Pei Wei in Tulsa and we have missed it since moving back to Wichita. Well they finally opened one, so hopefully it will do well enough that they'll also open one on the east side of town. Then Hubby and I went to Borders and drank coffee, read magazines, and made silly jokes. The evening was a nice refresher in how much we love to be together when it's just the two of us. Then Judy told us she was going to keep the kids Thursday night, too. Hoorah! So Thursday night Hubby and I got dinner and watched "Gone Baby Gone." Not a spectacular movie, but interesting enough. Again, it was just nice to be the two of us.

Friday morning I woke up at 4.30 in the morning, which is a time I have not seen since Little Missy was a newborn, and I drove to Oklahoma City to pick up my mom. Then we drove back to Augusta and gabbed the whole time, and when we got home Judy dropped off the kiddoes. Hoorah! It was so good to give my babies some hugs and squeezes. Judy headed home, and the rest of us promptly headed to Schlotzky's for lunch, then back home so that the kids could sleep. After the kids took a nap (and me, too, truthfully), we went to Johnny Carrino's for dinner with Hubby, G, Little Missy, my mom, my dad, my sister H and my brother-in-law T. Little Missy cried and whined the entire time we were there, but I thought after she got some good rest she'd calm down.

On Saturday Hubby had to work (drag) and after work the four of us headed to Sesame Street Live. Friends, I am not going to tell you how much I paid for an hour and a half show that only toddlers can enjoy because it is truly embarrassing, but I guess sometimes you have to cough up (and I do mean "cough" because the price makes you choke) the money so that the kids can have some memories. Little Missy was underwhelmed so Hubby and I took turns walking around with her, but G had a great time. We went with our new and fantastic friends the Yourdans, who have two precious little boys, the older one not much younger than G, so G really enjoys having them around. At Sesame Street Live it's nice to have other adults who can chuckle at the silliness of the experience with you. Last night we met up with my family and tried to eat out once again, but yet again Little Missy was a little monster and Hubby and I had to leave early because she caused such a scene. I am not exaggerating when I say I am still traumatized from the experience and I don't know when we'll make it to another restaurant. But the evening ended on a high-note with with Rock Band, the greatest game ever created. H and T are near-experts on the Rock Band guitars and Hubby is the best drummer out of all of us, but we all took turns playing the guitar, singing, and playing the drums. Everyone needs friends who own Rock Band.

Today Hubby had to work yet again so I took the kids to church by myself. It's always difficult getting all of us out the door without Hubby to help, but when we get there it's so great to have made the effort. I'm so happy we've found such a great group of people who aren't perfect but who are all striving for God and His goodness.

Now we're home, Hubby and Little Missy are taking naps, G is watching "Monsters, Inc." and tonight we make our first trip to The Alley for some bowling. Once I figure out how to post pictures I'll definitely do so. This will be G's second time bowling and Little Missy's first. Should be fun!

I hope all is well with you, my friends and family who read this!