Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Big Boy Bed

So a few weeks ago we got Little goat his big boy bed after spending labor day weekend trying to make a decision. Little goat loves it and transitioned in a split-second beautifully. We now have no more trouble with bedtime than we did before. A fact that makes mama very very grateful.

The bed most often looks like this:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just Write Again

The wagon seems to rolled off and left me in the dust. I stand in the rutted road at a perpetual fork. On the one hand a road of health...muddy, full of potholes, and snakes waiting in the weeds. On the other a road of the easy way - lined with chocolate bricks, edged by cheese mountains: a candy-colored paradise. The colors of the easy way are bright and distracting. They speak in gollum-y whispers. "Waaaaait. There is always tomorrow. Come to the dark side, we have cookies. My preciousssssss."

If, when, no if, I stop to look closely at the easy way path the colors become a little too bright - like an evil queen's apple laced with poison. The hologram of the easy way shimmers a bit as if to remind me it is only an illusion. The end of the easy way path becomes very hard after all.

Still the brightness distracts me. Who doesn't long to frolic in Willy Wonka's factory? One little detour can't hurt me...can it? Except it can, and it does. It wounds me and wraps its claws through my brain - rewiring the system while its up there.

Then time passes and the dust clears and I look up from a mess of wrappers, blinking, trying vaguely to remember what happened and how I got here, again, or if I ever really left at all. And looking up I still stand at that damn fork in the road.

I look off at the wagon tracks that have rolled into the distance, obscuring my recent hope of success. There are friends on that wagon I know. Sometimes I wish I could just get them to slow down a little in their own success so I don't feel so alone at the fork. Or do I just want them to justify a bit more poisoned apple? But I am happy for them and cheer them on from behind, hoping they still hear me way back at the horizon.

And I stand at the fork. Again. For the First Time. Again.

The road to health, following that wagon, is messy. It is icky. It is so much harder than even the last time. Every time I look away it seems to get longer, stretching on for months, years, a lifetime. I never seem to be able to look for very long.

But deep down it is the road that I want to travel: to take each step through the mud and the muck and mire and away from the illusion.

Don't look down, don't look away. Try to forget the candy colored whispers of the other path.

Take a step. One step.


For the first time.


Because Heather said to just write, and my heart needed to remind me today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Things I love today

Things I love today:

* Pancake breakfast with my son on a Monday after our early morning dentist appointment.
* The way little goat took a spare piece of Mr. Goat's "real" model train track and prefers to run his trains along it instead of the wooden train tracks that came with it.
* That How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory are back on the air.
* The Packers are 3-0.
* Really good books.
* Words with Friends (I'm Lutherliz)
* Clean sheets available when needed
* Iced nonfat hazelnut lattes
* Productive Mondays

Friday, September 23, 2011

Out of the loop

Whew.  I think I need a nap.  It goes without saying that fall is a crazy time for families and for those of us with Children's programming (school, church or other) it is just as crazy.  I've been up to my ears with evening meetings, trains, and all sorts of important things.  When I haven't been at work I've been trying to make up for the "solo parent" role that Mr. Goat has been forced to take on.  All in all I'm exhausted.

As always the first thing that goes is being online.  The blog goes silent.  So does twitter and facebook and I feel bad that I feel so out of the loop with my blogland friends lives. I want so badly to be up to date with everyone and to have lovely things to say....hopefully soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

1 in 45 seconds

I've got to tell you, there are tons of worthwhile causes out in the world.  Lots of people and groups who need someone with money, power and the network to really help.

I don't have the money, power or the network but in preparing for our Sunday School Mission this year I learned a startling statistic that has stuck with me for weeks and I think you should know it too:

1 child dies of Malaria every 45 seconds.

One child every 45 seconds dies of a completely treatable and preventable disease.  Most of those kids are in Africa, but can also be in Southern Asia, South America and other areas.   Typically non-wealthy countries.

I don't know what to do with this knowledge yet, or knowing that it used to be 1 child in every 30 seconds.  It's progress but it doesn't seem like enough somehow.

I'm a numbers girl, let's look at them:

43200 seconds in a day
960 children who die from Malaria EVERY DAY
350,400 kids who die each year from this disease.

and did I mention is is treatable and preventable?

I'm glad our Sunday School kids are doing things this year, in tandem with the ELCA Malaria Campaign, but I feel like I should do more. So I am putting it out there for you, I do have a blog to share my sadness about this with you.  I know you are asked for many many things but if this statistic disturbs you as much as it does me I hope that you have a few dollars to spare for the children.  No giveaways, no pats on the back, just the knowledge that you helped someone halfway across the world.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I made it to 50

Somehow or another I've made it to 50 books already this year, with over 3 whole months to go!  You should be impressed particularly since I've had enough trouble finding blogging time over the last several months in particular.  But I've made it so far and I'll keep the list up through the rest of the year.  I wonder where I'll end up in my totals this year?

If you want to know some of my favorites so far this year here they are: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, The Fiddler's Gun and The Fiddler's Green by A. S. Peterson.  But really there are a LOT of good books on this list!

And of course, book recommendations are always welcome!

50 Book Challenge 2011

1. The Lacuna: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
3. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
4. Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey

6. The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
7. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
8. Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother and Daughter Journey to the Sacred Places of Greece, Turkey, and France by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
9.  A View from the Back Pew: God, Religion & Our Personal Quest for Truth by Tim O'Donnell
10. The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen
11. Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales by Gregory Maguire
12. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
13. The Unquiet Bones: The first chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon by Melvin Starr
14. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
15. Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps by Dave Isay
16. A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel: The Second Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon by Mel Starr
17. The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel by Kathleen Kent
18. The Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson
19. The Fiddler's Green by A. S. Peterson
20. Stories: All-New Tales

My Name Is Child of God...Not "Those People": A First Person Look at Poverty

The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment
The Kane Chronicles, Book Two: The Throne of Fire

Viola in Reel Life
Viola in the Spotlight

42. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
43. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
44. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
45. The Shape of Mercy: A Novel by
46. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
47. Fractured Fairy Tales by A.J. Jacobs
48. The Year of Living like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do by Edward G. Dobson
49. Bossypants by Tina Fey
50.  The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Write

Just Write
A blank page and a blinking cursor.

Why is it that when taking the time to write, to share, the mind goes blank.  It is far from blank at midnight when it goes a mile a minute.  Then it tumbles over itself. Frantic.  Did I?  Remember to.  What about?  Don't forget!

But given a moment in time and a chance to think and process and create...


Yet, when you sit in silence you begin to notice that the silence isn't quite.  There are ghost notes of thoughts shimmering in your brain.

I reach, grasping for them, bringing them down to where I can hear them.  Tuning them in on my brain waves, searching in static.

Listen to the hints of melody and then just write:

This morning little goat woke up 10 minutes before my alarm would start going off.  Instead of an alarm, and a snooze (or three), I am coaxed awake by the smallest voice calling from his room.  "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy"

Relief, he calls for Dad first.  My wake up can be moments longer as I fight off the cobwebs.  There wasn't enough sleep last night, it seems there never is.  In the world of introverts the time to sit often becomes more important at night than to crawl into bed when one ought.

Still alarm or not, I hoist myself out of bed.  I'm on daycare duty today so I hop in the shower.  Those ten extra minutes become the ability to shave my legs and to breath under the water before facing the day.  But before I can face the day I look down to a face peering in on my moment.

It hits me then, my moment as not the part about being alone with my thoughts, but the moment instead when he comes to look for me.  Daddy he calls, but he knows Mama is there ready to be found.

Sometimes I look for those moments alone.  It isn't avoiding others, but finding myself again.  But in my own finding I can be hidden as well.

But he always comes to look for me.

I am found.
In a moment.
Mama once more.

Just where I wish to be.  Found within and without.  Moments intertwined into identity.

It is good to be found.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Random Thoughts and live blogging the final 2 minutes of the Packer game.

* Go Pack Go.  There are 2 minutes left in the Packer game...I'm hoping we hold it out but have been fairly pleased with the game so far.  At least our offense looks great.  I ended up in four fantasy leagues this year and in one I have Rodgers, in another Brees, in yet another Greg Jennings and another the Green Bay defense.  Luckily I always cheer for the Packers over and above all fantasy stats.

* I've had Sunday School teacher training the last two nights.  It is always hard to have back to back meeting nights and miss all of bedtime.  But, I really enjoy getting to meet and plan and pray with my Sunday School teachers too.  Still, I'm glad that the fall preparations only come around once a year!

* I go get my eyes checked tomorrow for the first time in like 5 years.  I'm really dreading the dilation part as I still have LOTS to accomplish after my appointment tomorrow.  Hoping my vision is still on point though...  with the exception of my crazy crossing eyes.

*  Eek, the Saints are going to get the ball back....

* Confession time: I ate fries in September despite it being my September health challenge.  But in my defense, I thought it was still August (not September 1st).  I have decided to confess to you all and continue on with the challenge (I've been good the rest of the month so far) and add and extra day into October to make up for my error.  It feels good to clear my conscience.

*ACK stop them!!!  One play left....whew, this is always stressful.

* I want to shout out to my sister who turned in her Ph.D. dissertation this week.  Now all she has is her defense and the reviews and she is done.  I am so proud of her!

* PASS INTERFERENCE?  Nooooooooooooooooooo!

* He didn't get in!!!  He didn't get in!  Hooray!  Go Pack Go!  Packers WIN!

* Little Goat's big boy bed should be here early next week.  Does any one have any tips for switching from the open sided crib to the bed?  Or just make the switch and go for it?

* Now it is late.  Football games are intense, but I'm so glad that the season is back.  But I think it is time to stop the randomness and head to bed.  Yay bed!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day Weekend: Family Sabbath

What a wonderful weekend.  Why was it wonderful you may ask?  For a very special reason...there was NOTHING on the calendar.

For months the Goat family has been going, and going, and going.  It's been a fun summer but not a very restful one.  I can't remember the last time we didn't have something on the docket for a weekend and the rest of September is a mess of meetings and appointments too.  But this weekend was a glorious rest from our labors.

Which isn't to say we rested, but in all we did we did it together as a family - just the three of us.

  • We shopped for and ultimately chose Little Goat's big boy bed.
  • We went to the St. Paul Farmers market and feasted off the spoils all weekend long - tonight Heritage Pork St. Louis Ribs, Fried okra, fingerling potatoes, and homemade cucumber dip.  Yum.
  • I got caught up on laundry, and throwing away junk mail.
  • We played with little goat and spent lots of time being silly.
  • We attempted to get little goat back on a sleep schedule.
  • Mr. Goat and I spent nearly 4 hours staring into a firepit after little goat's bedtime last night staying up too late talking about everything.
  • We went to church and sat together as a family for likely the last time until Christmas (the perils of having a singing husband and working for a church).
It was lovely.  A few times we attempted to invite people over for a BBQ...we had tons of food, but everyone was busy on such short notice.  Still, I think that was for the best.  Prior to this weekend little goat was showing signs of wear with us being gone more than he'd like.  It was nice to just sit and be as a family.   It doesn't happen nearly enough and I think all of us needed the break.

Tomorrow starts with a bang and we are into the church "school" year.  For about 3 weeks my head will be a pinball machine in full TILT.  But for 3 days we sat and rested and were together.  And I am grateful and blessed for that time.

I hope you all had a rest from your labors this weekend. 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Conversion of Mr. Goat

For as long as I've known Mr. Goat, he has thought a particular food pairing of mine to be odd.  Now mind you it isn't THAT odd.  It isn't peanut butter and hot dogs (my friend Mark) or a lot of other peculiarities that people like.  It is actually relatively common I think.  The pairing?

Maple Syrup and Pork - Maple sausage, bacon dipped in maple syrup, maple glazes...yum.

In fact, Maple can go on just about any breakfast item in my mind.  Sweet and Savory.  Yes, I've been known to put it on my eggs too, which may be a touch weirder than most.

But really maple and pork doesn't seem that strange does it?

Mr. Goat thought so.  My breakfast choices would make him cringe.  He just didn't like the combination, though he loves both seperately.  So I was resigned that I would have to have my maple/pork when were were out or when I was alone.

And I've managed for the 12 years we've been together to keep my love seperate from family meals.

But the St. Paul Farmer's Market was the scene of a shocking occurance today.

Picture a maple syrup stand with a crowd surrounding it wanting to taste the infused maple syrups (bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, etc).  I waited with little goat while Mr. Goat wandered ahead.  Finally I was at the head of the crowd and was rewarded with a little communion cup of bourbon maple syrup and one of ginger maple syrup.  I took a sip and called through the Farmer's Market for Mr. Goat to join me.

(Yes, I actually called for Mr. Goat too.  It is much more identifying in a crowd than his extremely common first name).

And I gave him my maple shots to try.

(Little goat got the remnants and he was trying to stick his entire face into the communion cup to get the last drops)

Folks we left with two infused maple syrups of our own and as we were driving away Mr. Goat casually remarks, "We should try that ginger maple syrup on the pork chops we've got at home"

Well, blogland, I'll admit it.  I think I may have cackled a bit.  And then whole heartedly agreed that it sounded delicious.

And wouldn't you know was.  Even Mr. Goat thought so.

It only took 12 years, but this just goes to show you:  Change is ALWAYS possible.

(Do you have any weird food pairings that I should try?)

Yo Gabba Gabba Live Winner!

Well, this morning I drew for the Yo Gabba Gabba Live! winner.  I wish I could bring all of the lovely people who entered but alas I just have a single set of tickets to give away.  And that winner is.... Comment number 13!  Or Liz Skokan who wrote...
What else can I say other than... There's a party in my tummy!!! It works wonders getting picky eater to try new stuff.
Congratulations to Liz, watch your email!  And thank you for all who entered our Yo Gabba Gabba Live giveaway!  For those who didn't win tickets for Yo Gabba Gabba Live can still be purchased here for their shows on Sept 15th at the State Theatre!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Two and a half

On my birthday little goat you also happened to turn two and a half.  TWO AND A HALF?!?!?!  That blows my mind.   I feel like each 6 months of your life end up being defining in some way.  For example:

1st 6 months - learning to eat and grow - you stayed home with mommy or daddy this whole 6 months and the whole time was  seeking to catch up from your slow preemie start.

2nd 6 months - I can MOVE! - sitting up, crawling, eating, etc.

3rd 6 months - TEETH! - transitions - new teeth, new walking, etc.

4th 6 months - Go GO GO! - moving from walking to running everywhere.

5th 6 months - Language - going from a few words into a huge vocabulary with mini sentences.

and now we are at the next 6 month period.  What on earth will these 6 months bring?

I do know a few things that will be constants based on what we've learned about each other so far.

  • If you do something you do it at full speed with 110% effort.  If you try to avoid something you also do it at full speed with 110% effort.
  • You are fearless.  And from someone who has fears quite naturally this puts me in awe of you.
  • So are so social.  You love people even if you are sometimes shy.  Once you know someone they are worthy of hugs, and playing together and being included in prayers.
  • Whoa to those who have to try to make little goat do something he doesn't want to do.
  • Vacation cemented one thing in your head - "Other people have fun once you go to bed" - and now you want to stay up for the party.  Because it clearly isn't a party unless you are there.  Consquently bedtime has been a real challenge lately, but when you do finally fall asleep you seem to sleep as intensely as you live.
  • The world is a better place thanks to Barney, Elmo, Blue and the Backyardigans.
  • If it has a plane, train, truck, boat, or car on it, with it, or nearby we want it.
  • You are by no means "bad" but you are always testing boundaries.  It has hard to be consistent when you are so much more stubborn and determined than I am sometimes.  Even when you don't know what you want, you know what you DON'T want very strongly.  I'm sure that all kids go through this but it is surprises me the strength - physical and mental - that you are willing to battle against something you don't want to do.
  • And yet, I can't help but thinking that we are very lucky and blessed with you.  Your stubbornness and tenacity still are positive qualities in so many ways.

We've come so far - this little threesome family of ours.  I hope you will forgive you mom and dad when we fail you.  We always try our best.  We wouldn't be the same without you.  We might get more sleep, the house might (might) be cleaner, but our lives would be a lot more boring.

Congratulations on being two and a half little goat.  I hope the next 6 months are the best ones yet!