Aug 152009
 

This is Amanda- our youngest.

When Amanda was born, she flew through the birth canal at such breakneck speed that she was a little…rough upon arrival. Actually, she was dark purple and quite swollen from head to toe. All the nurses looked down at her and cooed and pretended to notice that she looked like me, or Craig…but it was painfully obvious that the only human she came close to resembling yet was Rocky Balboa.

Besides the little appearance glitch, I assumed that all was well until Amanda returned from her first bath with a sign on her bassinette that said, in huge block letters:

“I HAVE A BRUISED FACE.”

When I asked the nurse why mine was the only baby with her shortcomings advertised, she told me that since Amanda was so purple, they were afraid that a nurse might panic and start to perform CPR on her. I was distraught. Every time I looked at that sign I felt like Amanda was being forced to wear a baby dunce cap. I imagined all the other babies pointing at her and giggling in the nursery, scootching their bassinettes away from hers so as not to be associated with the “bruised face chick.” Stupid Snotty Jerk Babies. When the nurse suggested that I might be over-reacting, I asked her why Amanda would be crying so much if not for the fact that she was terribly embarrassed.

Clearly, the Percocet hadn’t kicked in yet.

But Craig was smart enough not to suggest more drugs when I talked to him about it. He had a more creative approach to the problem. The next morning when I woke up, I noticed that another sign had been added to Amanda’s bassinette. Now above her teeny purple face it said:

“I HAVE A BRUISED FACE”

“BUT YOU SHOULD SEE THE OTHER BABY.”

And since Amanda was named after the most relentless and graceful fighter we’ve ever known- this was a fitting start to her little life. More on her namesake later..when I can find the words.

Aug 172009
 

We’ve been members of lots of churches on our faith journey.

Right after Chase was born, we started going to a cozy little Methodist church. The congregation was old, wise, and gentle. The elegant minister peppered her simple sermons with “God is good,” to which the whole church replied musically…“All the time.” I think this may have just been her way of keeping those closest to heaven (the kids and elderly) awake, but I loved the steady reminder. I also loved the part during the service when people would stand up and ask for prayer about whatever was on their hearts…a granddaughter’s piano recital, a daughter in-laws breast cancer, a lonely friend. We were doted on like grandchildren there, and we felt valued and adored, like everyone should feel at church.

There were too few children to teach a separate Sunday school class, so the minister would call the kids to the altar and use a parrot puppet to teach them a simplified version of the day’s message. After the parrot lesson, the children scurried back to their parents in the pews and the minister delivered the adult message.

One Sunday, during the grown up sermon, I looked down at Craig’s hand in mine and his fancy church shoes and my mind started wandering.I marveled at how handsome he was and how fantastically mature we were to be in church, together, by choice. Like I always do, I felt like I was just playing grown up, complete with my costume of lipstick and heels .My day dreaming caused me to lose track of the sermon, and when I tuned back in, I was lost.

I leaned toward Craig’s ear and whispered. “I’m lost. What is she talking about?”

After a long pause, Craig whispered out of the corner of his mouth:

“I have no idea. I only listen to the parrot part.”

Aug 232009
 

Ah…it’s Sunday. The day I don’t blog, launder, sweep, or cook -you know, out of love for Jesus. And utter exhaustion.

Today however, I must break my Sunday rule. Because something happened yesterday that I can’t NOT tell you about.

Yesterday, I sneaked out of the house at the crack of dawn to go to the grocery store. I don’t even change out of my pajamas to do errands anymore… it has come to that. I just brush my teeth, grab my purse and I’m out the door. Okay, I don’t always brush my teeth, but I use mouthwash every time.

So as I’m walking up and down the grocery aisles, I notice this distinct, mildewy, putrid odor following me. And I keep looking around for the responsible party, until I discover that she is me. I stink.

When I get home, Craig rolls out of bed to help me with the groceries and I say “Honey, smell me. I stink.” And he sniffs my shirt and says without surprise, “Yes, you do.” And I say “Well, what IS that? It’s disgusting.” And he says the following:

“It’s mildew. All our clothes smell like that. We always stink.”

I’ll just give you a few seconds to digest that information. I know I needed a little time.

“WHAT? WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME, HUSBAND?”

“I was scared to tell you. You get sensitive about….housekeeping stuff.”

“Oh. So let me clarify here. You’d rather reek all day at work and allow Chase to be THE STINKY KID IN CLASS than risk me getting mad?

Yes. Yes, I would. Definitely.”

Kay.

I left the groceries on the counter and immediately drove back to the store to buy some fancy detergent, the kind that costs more than five dollars. I smelled them all until I found one that reminded me of flowers and every popular girl I’d ever met. Then I came back home and started washing each Old Navy t-shirt, Dora panty, and pair of yoga pants in this house. I’m still not done.

I learned two very important things yesterday, and I’d like to share them with you, just in case you are in the Laundry and Wife Remedial Classes, like I am.

#1. Okay- this is, apparently, how laundry works. Say your laundry day is Wednesday. You cannot put the laundry in the washer on one Wednesday, and then wait to put it in the dryer until the following Wednesday. You must finish it all on the SAME Wednesday. It’s unfair, but true. If you don’t, your family will smell like dead mice.

#2. You must be sweeter to your husband so he is not afraid to tell you that your entire family reeks.

Sigh.

Housekeeping and marriage are complicated.