Sunday, February 28, 2010

Scenes from a birthday weekend

This weekend was exciting and tiring and wonderful.  I'll share all about it but thought you guys deserved some photos right away.  There is much more to come.  Also, if you haven't commented on baby goat's blog game and increased our donation you should do so!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby Goat's Birthday Game

There is a sense of shock and awe over here in the Goat household today.  Today Baby Goat is 1!!!!  It is hard for me to get my head around really.  How can he have been here a whole year?  Despite that it doesn't make sense in my mind there is visual proof of a full year so I'll just have to accept it.

I'm sure I'll have much more to say about it and the coming celebrations in the days to come but for your Friday fun baby goat has a little game for you.  Below are 13 pictures of baby goat, monthly from the day he was born to today.  Can you put them in order by month? (aka birth, 1 month, 2 month, etc). 

A.
  
B. 
C.
 
D.


E.








F.

G.

H.

I.

J.

K.

L.
M.
Can you get them in the right order?  I was going to do a giveaway for baby goat's birthday but the more I think of it I want to have a bigger impact on this special day.  So for every person who comments and plays the game I will donate 25 cents to the Samaritan's Purse to buy a share of (what else) a goat.  A goat (or other dairy animal) will be given to a poor family in an underdeveloped nation - like Haiti, to provide, milk, cheese, and income to another family.  Will you play baby goat's birthday game and help another family somewhere around the world today?   (Comments will be open until Friday, March 5) (EDITED TO ADD:  If you don't want to/can't play you may still comment and I will count your comment towards the donation!)

Happy Birthday Baby Goat!  You make me want to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better person.  This year has been a joy and a blessing.  I love you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Random Thoughts

* Did you know that the Pope used the term "precious dust" in an Ash Wednesday reflection?  And here I thought I had coined the phrase!  What would all the Catholics think that the Pope is stealing from a little ol' Lutheran in MN?  (I am just kidding of course.  I'm sure the it has been used before and will be used again.  And honestly I'm more than a little flattered!  You can read the Pope's reflection here, or my own here.)

* I keep finding myself shocked that at this time last year I was already in the hospital and sick.  This year is so very different and strange and how can I have an *almost* one year old!  For some reason my mind can't wrap my head around this.

* I've done 14 loads of laundry since Sunday and STILL have more to do.  Will it never end?!

* Vanilla or Chocolate Cake for baby goat?  Or both?  Mr. Goat is calling for the traditional family checkerboard cake which would be both, hmmmm....

* I'm trying to figure out a simple birthday tradition to start with baby goat.  It could be meaningful or goofy but I'd like to start something - even if he's too young to know what is going on now.  Any suggestions?

* I am prepping for my once-a-year preaching at church for a Lenten service.  For some reason this year has me more nervous than most, even two weeks away.  I hope I'll feel better about it once my sermon is written.

* We are in the process of figuring out how to give up cable TV and find a cheaper internet service.  I'm sort of overly crabby about this.  I know it is the right thing and it is just TV but I keep thinking of the shows I'll miss - Twins games, Project Runway, the whole Food Network, etc - and I get all wishy washy.  Is it sad that I'm that addicted to TV?

* Baby goat seems to be teething and has been for months but we have the same 6 teeth we've had since the end of Nov.  I wonder where the new teeth are coming and when they might decide to show up.  Tonight baby goat went in to give me a kiss and decided to bite my lip and use it as a teething ring instead.  Ouch.

* Emma, from Divored by 30 was nice enough to give me a blog award - my very first blog award ever!  I am really enjoying reading her story and it was so nice of her to share this award with me.

The rules of the award tell me that I am supposed to share 7 unique or interesting things about myself and then pass it on to 7 other bloggers.  Why not?  My problem will be narrowing it down to seven (bloggers that is, not interesting facts!)  So here goes:

Seven random facts about Mrs. Goat:
1.  I slept with a Teddy Bear until I got pregnant myself - and yes that includes plenty of married years.  His name was Mistletoe and he currently guards baby goat's room.  (I think being pregnant finally convinced me to grow up and switch to a less embarrassing pillow!)
2.  It really bugs me to get to the entrance ramps (the kind with two lanes and lights) to choose the "wrong" line and have someone who was behind me get in front of me.  I don't know why but I get really snarky that I got it wrong.
3.  I had 3 majors in college - Math, English and Religion.  It was hard to choose just three!
4.  I've been to 4 continents (if you count the Middle East as Asia) - North America, South America, Asia and Europe.
5. I've played trumpet for over 20 years now and have missed playing only a handful of Easters, the most recent being last year with baby goat still in the NICU.
6. I am an introvert but can still turn on the "Morgenstern" charm, to the point where a childhood nickname was ShowBizLiz
7.  I think I enjoy playing with baby goat's toys as much, if not more, than he does.  I'm looking forward to his inevitable lego phase!

And 7 fellow bloggers who are beautiful on their blogs and in person - inside and out!
1. Missy at Marketing Mama
2. Darcie at GustGab
3. Jen at Recovering Procrastinator
4. Samara at Simplicity in the Suburbs
5. Melinda at Getting Things Write
6. Val at Journey of a Dog Trainer
7. Jen at UnplannedCooking

And for the record, I had such a hard time picking just seven, I wanted to pick my whole blog reader full of awesome blogs and awesome bloggers, but the rules said seven, so that's what you get.

ReLENTless

So, I suppose you are wondering how Lent is going so far.  (Ok, so you weren't, humor me ok?!)

You guys, giving up multitasking is HARD.  I don't know if it the way I am wired or just the habits I have but I keep slipping back into doing multiple things at once all the time.  If I pause in an activity and look up at all I see something else that needs attention too and my hands and head gets all twitchy and I start thinking about finishing that up instead.  Poof!  My mental focus is gone just like that, just by looking up.

Maybe it is that I've been running behind for so long that I am scrambling to get caught up constantly.  Maybe I have ADD.  Maybe technology has brainwashed us to think that doing more things at once is better.  Maybe I have the TV on too often, but it is so hard.

But, despite my frequent mental derailments I am being more productive lately.  I don't know if that is the fact that I've had deadlines and events that force my focus or if it is the mindful attempt to quit the multitasking but it is there - a small increase in my productivity.

Already my attention span for this project is waning.  It seems hard and I question whether it is even needed.  My brain is playing the same tricks it does about dieting, or exercising, or getting to bed early - "its ok, just this once"

And I give in more than I should.

I'm resigned to the fact that this isn't going to be a perfect track record Lent, like giving up chocolate might have been.  Instead I'm going to keep climbing the hill even if my rock falls down it again and again.

How are you guys doing a week into Lent?

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Ralph Wiggum of Blogging

I love blogging.  I also love meeting new people despite my introvert nature.  I love to hear and read stories.  Tell me your stories!  (Maybe this is why my Google reader seems a mile long most of the time).  And I love opportunities that allow me to hang out with the awesome people, whose awesome stories I've come to know.

You guys it is such a joy to meet fellow bloggers.  They are so kind and open and wonderful.  Even in their snarkiest moments they are giving and joyous and I confess whenever I meet more of them I am a little in awe. 

It isn't anything that they have done to make me feel uncomfortable it is just my own confusion about how I can be a part of such a cool group of women.  Sometimes in those events I am so worried of the impression that I am making that I blurt out strange and random things.  Am I trying to be funny?  I don't know, I just am trying to be a part of the group.

I think I end up that way a lot of times in groups of women.  My perception is that I am just on the cusp of a really cool group and I want to be one of them.  More often than not I am accepted outright but for some reason I always struggle with the feeling that I'm outside looking in.

It is my own Ralph Wiggum syndrome.  Ralph is the character on the Simpson's who you look to for a dumb phrase or a joke.  He is beloved, in his way, but is more indulged than welcomed.  Now I should say that this is absolutely completely IN MY OWN HEAD, but I can't help but see these fabulous women and wonder how it is that I am a part of them.

I wonder if I should even post this.  I don't want to fish for compliments, it isn't about that, but as I am starting to meet more and more bloggers I find myself feeling this way more often.  It is just me, something I've always struggled with, but I don't want to feel left out because of my own feelings of inadequacy.

It is true, I will often be the smart-ass dumb joke teller in a crowd.  That comes from my father and is a long family tradition, but I have to find a way of feeling part and parcel of the others.  There blogs are so good.  I mean have you looked at them lately.

They are honest, and beautifully written.  They have beautiful pictures and professional layouts.  They have heart, and faith, and compassion, and kindness in spades.  They invite me to parties and volunteer events.  They are people like Missy, or Kim, or Samara.  Or Darcie, Beth or Kate.  Or Trish, Suzi, Roxane, and Jen.  And so many others...I cannot list them all.

They make me want to write more, and travel half-way across the country to go to blogging conferences, and buy fancy cameras.

But more importantly they make me want to be a more confident and fabulous me than I already am.

And that is what this post is about.

It isn't about being the outcast, it is about being welcomed even in the midst of my own feelings of inadequacy.

I'm by no means perfect, but I am still a part of this blogging community.

And I am honored.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mom's Grade tonight - D

I suppose that I can't call it a Mom Fail as I originally thought since baby goat is fast asleep and there was no harm done, but despite my best efforts I was not at my best this evening.  I had a great idea to encourage Mr. Goat to go out with some friends.  I worked late yesterday and all morning long so he'd had a lot of solo baby duty already this weekend so I thought I'd make him go have a little fun.

And baby goat and I had fun.  He's so much more mobile now that he takes all your energy to keep him contained and occupied.  We just got a bunch more baby-proofing stuff but we are still figuring out what and where he can get into and haven't put it all to use yet.

So baby goat was being a handful and heading towards the side table where I realize I've left a few diet coke cans, a kleenex and a purell bottle.  I take the cans and the kleenex to recycle/throw them away and moved the purell bottle to the back.

You see where this has going.  Apparently his arms have grown like 20 million inches since yesterday and when I got back 10 seconds later he was gumming the top of the purell bottle.  (BIG red checkmark on the Mom Test)

A call to poison control later I was reassured that with the bottle closed any residue wouldn't be enough to hurt him. Apparently several teaspoons would be needed to get a babe of baby goat's size seriously ill.  She said to watch him for an hour to be safe but really there was nothing to worry about.

Whew.

I guess I'll need to remember to put it back as soon as I use it now.  And I am glad it wasn't the pump bottle types but the type that is closed!

Later, after our hour of observation we get ready for bed.  At that point I realize that I have no PJs clean that fit him.  So we improvised.  Thankfully the 9 months still fit in the torso!

(Aside #1:  the rig that he is in is a Kerry Kuddler or Danny Sling.  It enables him to sleep at an incline due to reflux.  He's slept this way since we discovered he had reflux issues and it works wonders for us.  We are going to start reducing the incline pretty soon though as he is outgrowing the reflux.  Yay!)

(Aside #2: Baby wrinkles!  So cute!)

Back to business, I certainly wasn't in top form tonight but I'm glad that it wasn't more serious than it might have been.  I take comfort in the fact that I can't be the only one with embarrassing mom (almost) fails.  Right?  Please right? 

So please consider my cautionary tale of the evening.

Oh, and baby goat... he seems no worse for the wear:

Friday, February 19, 2010

My most precious dust

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I was one of the people putting ashes on people's heads at church on Wednesday.  One by one adults and children in my line shuffled forward to receive their cross of ash.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

A cross in ash smeared in acknowledgment of humanities true powerlessness and our startling ability to mess up things over and over again.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

A cross in ash signifying that without God's grace we are no more from the dust which we came.

I said it again and again, all the while thinking of last year's Ash Wednesday.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...

Swollen, sick, sicker than I knew.  I remember the 80 lbs of water on my frame. I remember lying on my left side, feeling all that water weight pool around me. The baby kicking his way away from the monitors.  The grim news that I couldn't do it much longer, that the numbers were too high.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...

Trying to keep up the energy for my visitors.  Trying to be positive with the nurses. Trying to keep the numbers down and the baby safe for another day.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...

A church family stopping by after Ash Wednesday services.  They brought communion and ashes for my forehead.  I remember those words...

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

...and I was aware for the first time in my life that they were more than just words.

I remember being afraid yet comforted.

I remember then next morning. "We've bought all the time we can, the numbers are all wrong, today's the day."  Then pain, confusion, chaos.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember strapped in a cross on a table.  The seriousness of the situation and the levity of a broken bed.  The joy of a cry, the sadness in the rush to the NICU, then suddenly I'm back in the room. Deflated, deflating, tired, pained, alone.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...


Back to reality,

In another line my baby receives his own cross.  Last year we were together with one cross, this year two, yet still connected.

Such strange things to remember.  It hardly seems real a year later.

Over and over again I say it to others and it consumes me.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

And I thank God for the opportunity to hear it again.  There is such joy to hear it again.  I thank God for my most precious dust:

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I've made up my mind

I've decided what to give up I think.  And what to take on.  In a way I'm choosing things that are much less tangible than giving up dessert or diet coke.  It is something that is harder to define and sometimes even considered a good thing.  For the first time I am not certain I whether or not I will make it through Lent without a few slip ups.  But I am going to try.

And what exactly am I going to try?  This Lent I am giving up Multitasking.

I think there is a certain tendancy to want to make the ability to multitask a plus.  We think we are being more efficient because we are able to get more things going at once, but more and more I find that it really keeps me from getting anything done.  I gives me a sort of ADD flitting from task to task with no focus or finish.

So for Lent I am giving it up.  I will try to do only one thing at a time, with purpose.  If I can I will do one thing until it is complete, or I will do it until a natural breaking point.  I do have a few exceptions that I am making however:

1.  I am allowed to read a book or be on the internet as I eat lunch.  I know it is bad to do things while eating but that is "me" time and I need it for my own sanity.

2.  I am allowed to do the same while I am pumping because pumping and sitting is boring and it is hard enough to convince/remind myself to pump these days.

3. My son will always take top billing and I can drop anything to attend to him.  Likewise I can also start dinner or other necessary tasks while caring for him.  I cannot however, watch tv or be online while playing with him.

We'll just see how it goes.  Honestly I'm a bit skeptical of my chances here as I am already prone to starting tasks without completing them.  But I am going to try.

And as for what I am taking on.  Each day I am going to try to consciously do one of the things I have a mental excuse/block about.  By this I mean I am going to choose to do one thing each day that I have the resources and time to do but the only reason I am not is because of my internal dialogue.  "I have a lunch here but really want to go out to lunch"  "I am really too tired to work out" "I can play one more game of bejeweled and leave the dishes for tomorrow"

My goal in all of these things is to begin to live more intentionally.  I think I often waste a lot of time and energy making excuses and doing too many things at once so I want to learn to live with purpose and focus about the things that I choose to do.  Because ultimately everything I choose to do is just that - a choice.

If last year's lent was all about control and patience, I am hoping this year's lent will be about purpose and focus.  We'll see.

If you don't have Lenten plans yet do you want to join me in my Lenten journey?  Do you have your own plans for Lent?  How many updates would you like to see about how I am doing?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Give and Take

The coming of Lent has me all aflutter this year.  It is no wonder given the experiences of  last year's lent with the sudden delivery and subsequent NICU stay of baby goat.  In fact, you will recall that he was born one day after Ash Wednesday and came home from the NICU one day after Easter.  It was truly an unexpected lenten journey.

Thinking back it was just what lent is supposed to be: Introspective, challenging and yet there is joy present.   I've been having flashbacks in the last few weeks.  They are flashes of my pregnancy's final days, of the hospital, and the NICU and those scary moments when baby goat was so small and so early.

At the time 46 days seemed like an eternity - and indeed it was his whole life at that point.  A year later it seems much smaller.  Already I can't quite remember the impatience, frustration and sadness of leaving him daily in the hands of others with wires attached all over.  I can't quite remember, yet I never forget either.

It is a tradition of the church and churchy folks to give up something for Lent.  It is an exercise in spiritual discipline and an acknowledgement of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross.  I've also tried to take on something each year as a way of growing as well.  Last year I was already in the hospital by Ash Wednesday and it was apparent that for Lent I was giving up control and taking on patience instead.  But I didn't have any choice in the matter!

Cut to nearly a year later.  Baby goat is thriving, almost one, and a handful.  I still need daily the lessons from last year of patience and a willingness to realize that I am NOT in control. Crawling babies are great ways to learn those lessons.

Now it is Fat Tuesday, the cusp of Ash Wednesday, and I am undecided on my Give and Take.  In many ways this journey means more to me than ever, and it would be wonderful to find a way to reconnect with God and to acknowledge more deeply the blessings I've been given this last year in particular.  On the other hand, my normal Lenten ideas seem woefully lacking.  Chocolate or diet coke just doesn't seem to have the same magnitude.  On the other hand, the thought of giving up those things and others still sounds impossibly hard too.

So I'm feeling stuck.

Stuck in rememberances of last year and the busy reality of this year.

Stuck in the weakness of clinging that I don't want to give up.

Stuck in wanting to take an easy way out and do something simple.

Stuck.

I give up.

Or rather I will give up and take up too.  I need to refocus, to recenter, to renew, to relive.  I know that last year defined me somehow in ways I only sort of understand.

I just don't know what.  But I better figure it out fast.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A long weekend: vignettes

Friday
Today didn't go as I planned.  I kept meaning to get work done (cleaning, work, papers, etc) and my attempts seemed to fizzle at each try.  I did meet M and S for lunch.  S was baby goat's first live in girlfriend in the NICU and it has meant so much that we've kept in touch.  They came to our NICU room in our final two weeks there.  I remember we'd been there for almost 5 weeks already.  We had a routine going, heck I was back at work in an attempt to preserve some leave for when baby goat came home.  Baby goat was gaining weight and while breast feeding was still a vain attempt, coming home was becoming a reality.

M was in a different place.  She was in the beginning.  She was in the guilt of delivering too early ( in her case at 35 weeks due to preterm labor) and the pain of leaving her child in the NICU.  I remember she didn't want to leave the hospital ever.  Her family had to remind her to eat for her milk to come in.  We would sit in our room with curtain pulled trying to breastfeed our tiny children, frustrated and crying, and we would talk.  It was cathartic to me to share our story and show how far we'd come.  When I felt frustrated I was able to say - look where we are now!    I hope it was helpful to her too.

So Friday we had lunch.  Baby goat went to daycare for their Valentine's party even though I was mostly home all day but I got to see little S.  She is 10 months old and a perfect doll - fiesty and precious.  She is Edward's first girl and M and I know the reality of leaving our children in room 4 in the NICU.  And we know the joy of not being there any more and of seeing our children grow and thrive.  It seems so far away now and just yesterday too.

Saturday
In a miracle of all miracles, Mr. Goat and I both had no immediate responsiblities on the same day!  So we packed up baby goat and went to lunch and the zoo.

Lunch was an adventure - sometime in the last few weeks baby goat's reach and dexterity has gotten good.  Too good.  Jars-on-the-floor, Kleenex-in-the-mouth good.  Also fast.  I felt bad for the poor staff at Red Robin.  At least one jar of baby food was shattered on the floor.  I learned the lesson of always bringing extra food with you - but baby goat did seem to enjoy his small bit of steak fries.  (no surprises there)

We went on to the zoo and he was more interactive than when we'd gone in August. He particularly liked the aquariums and the birds in the tropics trail.  It was a wonderful day doing toddler fun stuff which seems strange to me, but then I realize that we really do have a toddler now, or nearly.  Blows my mind.

Why hello there, do you come here often?

Sunday
Ah Valentine's Day.  I worked in the morning, like always and baby goat hung out with me too as Mr. Goat was singing in church.  Strangely baby goat was mistaken for a girl at least twice.  I find this a bit strange since 1.  I work at the church and his birth was public church knowledge and 2. He doesn't look like a girl at ALL to me.  Maybe it is time to give him a haircut?

Do you think I need a haircut?

After an afternoon nap we dropped baby goat off at some church friends who graciously offered to watch him for us so we could go have a nice dinner.  We went up to the Town Talk Diner which was perfect.  Casual atmosphere, yummy food, and wacky drinks.  Mr. Goat had a Bacon Manhattan with Bacon infused vodka and a Guiness float (yes, Guiness and ice cream).  I had a cool cocktail topped with Basil oil and a big chocolately milkshake with Bailey's, Fangelico and Coffee Liquor.  For having had drinks about 4 times in the last year it was very yummy!

The Guiness Beer Float

Beyond the food and booze, it was so nice to be out with Mr. Goat alone.  Upon reflection we could hardly remember what Valentine's day 2009 had been like.  It was less than a week before I ended up in the hospital and less than two until baby goat was born.  We had no clue of course but looking back I was already pretty sick.

It was nice to have a few moments to reflect on the roller coaster that was last Feb.  We've come so far in the last year and our hearts capacity for love have expanded.  No longer is it just love for each other, but for baby goat too.   I didn't know it was possible to love Mr. Goat more than I did when we got married, but I love him now as my husband and as the father he is to our son. 

It was great to have time to reconnect and talk about anything and everything again for several hours - not just spare moments caught before bed.  It may not have been a classically "romantic" date but it worked just right for us.  We may be far from perfect but I do think we are perfect for each other.

We were home in time to tuck baby goat in, a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Monday
If Sunday was sweet and Saturday was an adventure, then Monday was a bit of a trial.  Daycare was closed for President's day so I stayed home with him.  On one hand I love these days to just be with my baby boy, on the other I feel so inadequate by the end of the day to ever think I'll be a good SAHM.  He's just so wiggly and go-go-go these days and it can be a struggle.  I'd thought ahead and had a playdate scheduled which got cancelled (for good vomit-related issues) while we were already on the way there.  I didn't know where else to take him so it was back home we went to play by ourselves.  A bit of teething, an early morning rise and a cluttered house left me chasing him all day long.

These days make me wonder if I really do want to be a SAHM someday.  I think I do.  I want to be with my kids as much as I can, but I do like the ability to recharge away in an adult world.  As hard as a working mom is, a SAHM works just as hard and for far less credit.  Of course, maybe I am too hard on myself and I would be better than I think (it isn't like THAT's ever happened before, LOL).

I really do need to find some places to take baby goat on these days - particularly the cold snowy ones where it is more difficult to go to the park.  Our tiny apartment is getting to be a limiting space for our suddenly grabby and particular almost-toddler.

Still, I enjoyed my time with him today.  He was babbling up a storm and giving lots of open mouth slobbery kisses.  He woke up early from his nap and decided to finish his nap on my shoulder in an inpromptu 30 minute cuddle session.  We read books, rode our train and played catch.  As hard as it can be I still wouldn't choose anywhere else...but if there were a bit more sleep and a chance for him to run around - well it would be even better!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

20 Questions

I'm playing 20 questions with you all again today.  Please play along and answer any or all of the questions that you feel you can.  I love all your clever answers and responses - not to mention that you are much wiser than me most of the time!

20 Questions on a busy Thursday

1.  What are your favorite cleaning supplies - green or otherwise?

2.  What book are you reading right now? (or the last one you read?)

3.  What are your plans for Valentine's Day?

4.  The new Valentine's Day movie - does it look dumb and sappy, or cute and sappy?

5.  Chocolate, Flowers, Diamonds or other?

6.  Are you going to watch the Opening ceremonies for the Olympics?

7.  If you could be an olympic athlete which sport would you do?

8.  Is it spring yet?

9.  How are you coping with winter so far?

10. Where would you go if you could escape for a week?

11. What do you do to save money?

12. Do I just randomly give baby goat cake on his first birthday or test some new foods with him first?

13.  Are you excited about Target Field and the baseball season?

14. Chocolate cake or vanilla cake?

15. How do you organize your toys?

16. How do you organize your bills/letters?

17.  How late is too late to send Christmas thank you notes? *blush*

18.  What is one of your favorite blogs to read (besides mine of course, lol)?

19.  If you have a fancy camera what kind do you have?

20. What is your ultimate comfort food?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

When...

When I am coughing my way through the day, feeling alone in an internet full of people, busy, stressed, tired, sick of snow, full of petty thoughts and fatty foods, then I come home to this:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing
And I feel better.

Monday, February 08, 2010

In a Drawer

In 1997, Mr. Goat's sister ( his junior by 10 years) gave him the following picture for Christmas.  He seems to recall that all the family got pictures from her that year.  Sister Goat was 6 and this was an important picture because it was her mother's real fur hat and muff from her childhood.


Two years later Mr. Goat went off to St. Olaf as a freshman.  He "forgot" his sister's picture in his desk drawer.  Luckily his then noisy 8 year old sister found it and brought it to him on family weekend.  She told her mother, "[Mr. Goat] must have forgotten my picture!]
Mr. Goat thanked her for bringing it to him and when they had left the picture went back in a desk drawer at school.
The next time they visited Sister Goat found the picture in the desk drawer again and put it on display in his dorm room. 

I was told this story early on in dating Mr. Goat and this 5x7 has gone with us whereever we've gone.  It currently lives on one of our bookshelves, obviously displayed of course.

Last January, Mr. Goat and I found ourselves at a wedding.  Being a winter wedding in MN the bride had a fur trimmed coat and a muff to go with her dress. 

A quick check in with the Maid of Honor at the reception led us to this:

So naturally we had to have it framed and on the week of Christmas in Christ Chapel this year we brought Sister Goat her very own picture to proudly display in her dorm room.

She was thrilled and said, "I love it!  I'll put it up in my room....or maybe in a drawer!"

Happy 19th Birthday Sister Goat!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Random Thoughts during the Super Bowl

* Man baby goat can MOVE!  Crawling is gaining speed and determination.  Standing is our favorite thing ever, and we are letting go without tumbling for seconds at a time.  As Mr. Goat and I say, we are DOOOOOOOOOOOMED!  In a completely good way of course.

* I haven't had a day fully off since MLK day on Monday Jan 18.  I haven't been completely well since that time either and my threatening cold is not entrenched.  My next scheduled day off - Friday the 12th.  I can't wait. Yes this is whiny - No I don't care!

* Despite it all I am in a good mood, go figure.

* Why are all the Superbowl commercials about emasculated males this year?  If a car will really make you feel better about having to be an equal partner with your wife you are already in trouble. 

* Google on the other hand wins for their commercial - that was sweet, simple and communicated their product well.  In fact, I *may* have teared up...blush.

* Mr. Goat and I both got out of the house last night and left baby goat with a non-family babysitter.  Not only did she take awesome care of him, introduce him to Wild Hockey, and get him to bed easily and on time, she also refused any payment beyond a piece of Sister Goat's birthday chocolate espresso cheesecake.  Awesome!

* Baby goat's favorite forbidden things are brought to you by the letter C - cat food, crumbs, cords.  He was described as the "puppy" of daycare this week - dashing everyone's crumbs.  I prefer to think of him as our little Roomba.  (No, we don't actually let him eat crumbs if we can help it.  Yes, we vaccuum.  No, I don't know where he finds them all).

* Sister Goat turns 19 today!  Happy Birthday Sister Goat.  I have a post coming tomorrow just for you!

* I got a pair of Born pink sandals yesterday for $20.  Nice.

* Baby goat gets to bring Valentine's for his daycare friends on Friday.  Somehow I thought this stuff wouldn't happen until he was older.  Not that I minded finding cute kids V-day cards.

* While it is sort of fun to watch the Super Bowl with baby goat, Mr. Goat and in my jammies it does make me feel a bit sad that we didn't have any super bowl party invites.  We need more friends who live in town.

* I cannot be trusted to go to the store, after work/church, before lunch, and with a cold.  The result - LOTS of junk food and full tummies.  On the other hand, ICE CREAM!

* Congratulations Saints!  Who Dat?  You Dat indeed!

* In other news...19 days until baby goat's first birthday.  That is way too hard to believe!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Blast From the Geeky Past

I'm pulling an old list for this Thursday blog post. It has been a crazy week with Mr. Goat and I like two ships passing in the night, passing baby goat off to the other as we go to meetings, rehearsals, work and whatever else.

So I thought back to my 5 years of blogging to think of something geeky and fun to give me something to keep my blogging on a role. I did actually change the list somewhat to be more true to me now and I hope people will forgive the cop-out and enjoy it! I have somethings rolling in my head still that need typing out that I hope to get there this weekend.

So without further ado:

Thirteen Fictional men that Mrs. Goat would really like to meet. (Originally posted May 22, 2008)

1. The Tenth Doctor ~ Dr. Who ~ Oh the Doctor. Doctor Who is currently on the top of my favorite current show list. He is cute, and noble and loves to learn new things. And of course, the fact that he is played by the adorably cute David Tenant works too! The ninth doctor was good, the tenth is better!

2. Jean Luc Picard ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation ~ Of all the Star Trek Captains he is by far my favorite. There is something very alluring about his character and of course being played by Patrick Stewart is wonderful. I saw Patrick Stewart do some Shakespeare last year and man, he knows his stuff. Plus I liked that the Captain was NOT the womanizer for once in a Star Trek episode!

3. Dumbledore ~ Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling ~ Who doesn't want to know Dumbledore and have that twinkling eye cast upon them? A great eccentric, loving, brilliant Grandfather, Dumbledore really helps cast the morality and tone of the whole series, even as the tale is really about Harry Potter.

4. Gandalf ~Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien ~ I guess I have a thing for grandfatherly wizards. They can kick butt when they are mad, but can laugh and love and see wonderful potential in even the smallest of God's creatures.

5. The Hobbits ~ Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien ~ I'd particularly like to meet Bilbo and Sam but really all of them have places in my heart. I'm always amazed how you can truly come to love characters from books and movies. To know them and love them and cry for them when they experience loss. The hobbits in the LOTR seem to embody the human qualities I love best - loyalty, love, bravery, love of food *grin*, and a willingness to do what it takes to ensure their way of life. They exceed everyone's expectations of what is possible and that is exactly how I'd like to be.

6. Harry Potter ~ Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling ~ I would love to meet Harry Potter. In fictional years he would be about my age and it would be so interesting to hear about being the "chosen" one directly from him. To hear about Voldemort and the love of his friends. I'd love to meet the whole set of characters really but Harry choose to do good even when all seemed lost.

7. Mr. Darcy ~ Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen ~ Yum! It takes a strong woman to be able to turn down Mr. Darcy. At least he didn't give up on Lizzy!

8. Han Solo ~ Star Wars ~ The ultimate bad-boy goes good. He may seem like a scoundrel but deep down you know there is so much more.

9. Daniel Jackson ~ Stargate SG-1 ~ The uber-geek meets action adventure. Sure he needs saving sometimes because he isn't as good with the guns and stuff, but who else can translate languages at the drop of a hat and takes time to philosophize about the nature of the universe while being chased by aliens.

10. Peter and Edmund Pevensie ~ The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis ~ To know and defend Narnia sounds wonderful. They are loyal and yet still bicker. There is sibling rivalry but still they know what is most important. Once a King or Queen of Narnia, always a King or Queen of Narnia. Does that mean if I married one of them I'd get to be a Queen of Narnia too? :)

11. Indiana Jones ~ Indiana Jones ~ The hat! The whip! The archeology! Who can go wrong!

12. Sheldon Cooper ~ The Big Bang Theory ~ My very favorite uber-geek. Theoretical physicist, neurotic roommate. Love him and the whole BBT gang.

13. Aragorn ~ Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien ~ The rightful king of Gondor disguised as a lowley ranger. Protector of hobbits and lover of elves, Aragorn is the hope of humanity. He singlehandedly decides not to let man simply to be barbarians siding on with evil but brings the nobility back to us. Plus he's good with a sword.

Honorable mentions: Barney Stinson ~ How I Met Your Mother, Legolas, and Elrond ~ LOTR, Data and Wesley Crusher ~ Star Trek:TNG, Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi ~ Star Wars, Captain Jack Sparrow ~ Pirates of the Carribean, and probably lots lots more!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It's not easy being Green

And I'm not talking about Kermit the Frog here.  Nor am I talking about saving the planet though that is great.  Instead I'm talking about the Big Green Monster.

JEALOUSY

Do you know it?

I know that I do.  It rears up at strange times, secretly in the bit of your heart and head, when confronted with someone else's wonderful news.  It  could be the news of a pregnancy, or a raise, or a vacation to some place warm and tropical.  It could be diet success, a new house, the chance to be a stay-at-home mom.

The worst part is that it isn't even about them and what they have.  It is about me.  It is about wanting the result without the pain and effort to get there.  When I am jealous I remain truly overjoyed for my friends and I want it for them without a moment of doubt or regret.

Yet...there is a voice that says but what about you too?  It isn't a question of instead of, it is simply a feeling of being left behind.  Of being the only one still struggling toward their goals.

The reality is never so straightforward.  Those who move forward have setbacks and bad days, they are stretched sometimes beyond their abilities and have moments of doubt.  I am jealous of an illusion, a mirage...the perfect impossiblity.

The Green monster fades away after its initial attack.  The rational side of my head takes over and brings me back to reality.  The reality of the multitude of blessings around me.  The progress we make towards our own goals.  The love and joy for my friends and family.

The mirage shimmers away, but the guilt of the Green monster's whispers remain. 

I don't like that monster.  He doesn't define me or my love.  He doesn't change the imperfect perfection of my life.  But he's there.

I write about this monster to bring him into the light.  I am guilty of his presence and guilty of sharing his thoughts, even momentarily.  But all the Green monster shows me is that I want the easy way out - the lottery ticket to the dreams, even when my dreams are more than attainable by normal methods.

I want to "I dream of Genie" my way up my mountains but I know that isn't realistic or healthy.

Die Green Monster Die.  I will do it without your "help".

Monday, February 01, 2010

Top Ten Children's Books that adults should read!

It is no secret that I love to read.  If you are shocked by that, just see my 50 book challenges from the last years on my sidebar.  But while I love all types of literature I think that Children's Lit is some of the most powerful stuff out there.  If you haven't reread your favorite kids books as an adult you should.  Not only will you be able to relive a treasured part of your childhood but you will find something new to speak to you too.

So I've decided to share with you all my Top Ten children's books (and series) that I think all adults should read sometime in their lives. 

1.  The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling.  If you didn't see this one coming you don't know me very well do you!  This is my go-to series when I am in weird emotional places.  It is cathartic and beautiful and preaches loyalty and love in the face of overwhelming difficulty.  It was the only book I found I could read in those long days at the NICU this last Feb.

2.  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The Lord of the Rings are awesome but it is the Hobbit that I come back to first when I feel the need to visit Middle Earth.  It foreshadows the danger and emotion of the LOTR but with a bit more light-heartedness.  It reminds me that we always have an opportunity to change our lives and do something out of character but rewarding.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.  This book reminds me of the mystery and majesty of God, God's creation, and God's grace for us.  When God is hard to see in the sinful world, Narnia reminds me to see the wonder around me and the joy present in our lives.  And besides, who doesn't dream of adventures in a far away place.  Once a King or Queen of Narnia always a King or Queen of Narnia.

4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.  This is a newly discovered series and I can't wait to read this to my son as he gets older.  It reinterprets Greek Mythology in a modern world and it is well done and fun with enough character growth and development to make it a lasting series.

5. The Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle.  Starting with A Wrinkle in Time, this book set merges a sense of science, music, faith and teenage insecurities in a enchanting package.  If you haven't read these you must, L'Engle is a master with the written word and her writing is stunning and powerful.

6.  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.  This is a must for little girls growing up, although amazingly I didn't find it until I was an adult.  It is great because while it gives a glimpse of living in an earlier time all the themes of girlhood are there. 

7. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WIlder.  This is another series that I took up as an adult - though my sister read them when they were young.  What is great about them is that it really gives a sense of what it meant to live on the edge of the wild.  It reminds you not to take your life for granted, and the reading is quite easy for the young chapter book readers to take on.

8. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.  This is one of those fascinating survival stories that make such interesting children's books.  Karana abandons her tribes boat to save her 6 yr old brother who was going to be left behind.  What follows in a story of the ups and downs of learning to care for her and her brother.  It is not without difficulty and sadness as she surivives for 18 years on the island.  It even won a Newbery Award.

9. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.  Bring kleenex because you will cry reading this book.  This book alone is enough for me to find a way to give my son a dog.  There is something about the love between a boy and his puppies in this book that touches your heart, as a child but even as an adult. 

10. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall.  This is a recent find and just a charming book.  Like many of these books they involve precocious children who are missing a parent or parents seeking out adventures.  What I loved about this one is the relationship of the sisters.  There is love and frustration, comradery and competition in the relationships of the children, but ultimately they are sisters first and foremost.  There is a sequel to this book as well.


What children's books would you add to my list of books for adults to read?