Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Problem with Babies

When my kids were born it seemed like I just couldn't get anything done. I consoled myself that it was normal. After all, a woman goes through childbirth which is a pretty significant experience. And then she's making milk (moo!) and recuperating, while she's changing diapers and doing extra laundry and sunning the baby and all the extra duties associated with new mommyhood. I thought that's why I couldn't get anything done.

But now I know better.

Now I'm the grandma, and I didn't go through childbirth last week, and I'm not making milk, and I still can't get anything done with a new baby around.

The problem is that they are just SO cute that you can't hardly do anything but sit there and gaze upon their cuteness. Oh, isn't she cute when she's asleep? Oh, isn't it wonderful to make lovey-dovey eyes at her? Oh, isn't it adorable when she's looking at everything and taking it in?

Good grief? Who has time to do anything else when the enchantress is enchanting?

So all you new mommies out there,
I've just handed you one doozy of an excuse to ignore the housework ...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dancing in Church

When Jenny talks about the dancing during the Divine Service in Africa, we know it's okay. So why is it that I get squeamish when I hear about liturgical dance in our country? Is it just a cultural thing? Is it some hang-up I should get over?

As Nathan was talking this week about one of his sem classes, we realized something. Usually, in America, when we hear about dancing in church the focus is not on Christ. The focus is on my excitement about what I'm hearing in church. Or on our joy. Or on our feelings of love. Or showing people that we're not staid and stuffy but can express our emotions of love for our Savior.

But in some places, there is NO focus on me whatsoever. If people are dancing, it is entirely focused on Christ. And I don't think that's something we can decide to "copy" from them or "learn" from them. If we try, then we're actually back to looking at ourselves and our reactions again.

Canned Vegetables

This week we have discovered a way to improve the texture and taste of canned veggies. Instead of tossing the contents of the can into the saucepan and heating it, it helps to drain the liquid into the saucepan and heat only that. When it's boiling nicely, the veggies go into the hot water and cook just a minute or so until they're heated. They don't come out mushy this way!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

And More Pictures

Nathan's first poopy diaper.

Doesn't she look so alert?!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wednesday's Sunbath

As per Maggie's request:
This is the blanket that she and Olivia sewed and quilted together. Nice job, girls!

As per Gary's request:
A picture of the grandma. You can see the evidence of global warming: me in a tanktop in November. (Let's just ignore that heavy snow a week ago.)

Monday's Sunbath

Warning, Mom -- You probably don't want to click on this picture to see it up close. It's from Katie's camera and will take forever to download because it's much better quality (as far as pixels) than what my camera takes. But, boy, the face on Alia is just SO cute!

Cute Little Hands

Little missy sure does enjoy being up late at night, gazing in wonder at the beeeeautiful lines and letters and colors on the Periodic Table of Elements. She loves the Superman poster in her room too.

When she went in for her check-up yesterday, the doctor was in agreement with the grandma [grin] that, yes, she is jaundiced, but no, not bad at all. Even though the doctor says jaundice will resolve easily enough on its own, the grandma still thinks that sunshine and fresh air (on these awesome Indian-summer days!) is good for a little girl. Besides, then we have an excuse to sit out in the sun beside her.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Warm Day

Thankfully it was warm enough today to take a nearly naked baby out in the sunshine. We want to knock back a bit of that yellowness. The jaundice isn't bad. Alia had to make a quick trip back to the hospital today for a heel prick (for those tests she didn't get because she left the hospital too early) and none of the nurses complained about her color.

And Maggie, there has been no need yet for the blanket you and Olivia made. That's a nice warm one, and when it's warm enough for your niece to be dressed thusly:

we're going to hold off a bit longer on hauling out the toasty blankies. That's why I don't have a picture of your craftmanship yet.

Indiana 2

Driving through the country is a lovely, luscious, restful thing!

My plan on Friday was to drop off Maggie with my folks, having met south of the Chicago-metro area, and then head northwest to Valpo, entirely skirting the metro area by driving on Indiana 2. It was BEAUTIFUL! Fields and combines and even old old tractors hauling obsolete hay-rakes. Elevators dotting the landscape. (Why is it that it's so comforting to see fields upon fields, with the elevators popping up on the horizon periodically?) The trees were still changing, so the colors added to the scenery.

And then the detour which sent me back north to the metro area, and the construction zone on the detour, full of Friday afternoon Chicago drivers. Boy, that can suck the joy right out of the drive!

But now that I'm here, wasting oodles of time just watching Alia be cute (oh, so cute!) instead of working on my editing, the stress of driving through busy areas has faded, and I'm again able to remember the gorgeous part of my drive across county roads and state roads in Illinois and Indiana. Y'know, one of those people who wrote songs like "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" should write a song about elevators.

Unplugged Brain

Do you see that?

The appliance on the left? Yep, I saw it too. It's for opening cans, right? Yep, I knew that.

Do you see this?

As I struggled yet again to open yet another tin can with this little hand-operated can opener, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why Katie & Nathan don't have a better can opener. Especially with Katie's arm. This little booger is too much work. A better-quality hand-held opener would be SO much easier for Katie. Or even an electric one ....
An electric one?
What's that thing sitting by the deep fryer?
I am stupid.

Alia Napping

Sorry to load up the blog with pictures, but Mom & Maggie don't do so well with downloading photos on the dial-up. The blog is easier for them to get the pictures. So the pictures abound.

Those little hands by the face, squirming, and holding her cheeks, and rubbing her nose and ears. Her arms are long enough that Alia (unlike any of my kids) can reach her arms up and have her hands touch above her head.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What We're Voting For

On Jeff Wagner's afternoon show Friday, he was taking calls from undecided voters. He wasn't trying to convince anybody of anything, nor trying to promote one candidate over the other. He just wanted to explore the mindset behind those who haven't yet decided.

First observation: The callers had no idea who they'd be voting for. But they perceived that it was their civic duty to vote, and they took that obligation seriously. Granted, I agree that it's important to vote. And yet, I disagree completely that those who have no opinion, or those who can't make up their minds, or those who are essentially flipping a coin, should be going to the polls. These undecided voters were saying that they try to follow what's going on in the election, but that they really won't know who's going to get their vote until they're in the booth pulling the lever.

This is scary. This is NOT what it means to do your civic duty and vote. In fact, I think those who are this undecided have a civic duty to refrain from voting.

Second observation: When asked how they'll be making their decision, almost all the callers said they're trying to figure out what each candidate is "going to do" for them. Oh, one candidate says he's going to do thus-and-such for families, or thus-and-such for the middle class, or thus-and-such for business. But if I'm not a businessman, and I'm single, and I'm more well off than the middle-class, then what's he gonna do for ME? When that becomes our standard for voting, the country is done for.

Even if the more conservative candidate wins on Tuesday, unless he wins in an 80-20 landslide, this attitude ("what will government do for MY benefit?") is going to take down the nation, sooner or later, but without fail. A nation cannot survive when government is seen as the doler-of-goodies. But that's what we're looking for. God have mercy on us.

More Alia Pictures

Three weeks:

This is one of my favorites:


For Maggie, who needs more and more pictures...

Look at those skinny legs,
and look at those long long feet!

Family Picture

Giordi checks out the intruder:

Grabbing a snooze-for-two: