Friday, May 29, 2009

Funny Evie-isms

Scene-- Whilst sorting her strawberries into small, family-sized piles:
"That one's Auntie Gretchen. That one's Nico. That's Uncle Jon." (etc. etc. etc.) And then she laughs hysterically as she pops each tart little berry into her mouth and masticates with much merriment.

Scene-- Picking up a tiny scrap of scrambled egg that had escaped from her plate onto her high-chair tray, she cups it gently in her hand and strokes it tenderly:
"Oh, my tiny little baby. Don't cry, tiny baby." (inserts a convincing "waa waa") "It's OK, tiny baby. I love you." Kisses tiny baby. Then eats it. (Should I be scared for her wee sister?)

Scene-- finds a pair of her underwear in the (clean) laundry pile. This particular pair is adorned with little red fire engines and police cars. (Yes, I got them at a yard sale. And yes, they're for little boys. Give me a break--I'm doing my part to be green by buying used--I'm *sure* that affects my carbon footprint, at least a bit.) I turn from my computer to find that she has placed it neatly on her head:

"It's my firefighter helmet, Mama." Flame-retardant and all.

Scene--bangs her sticky little fingers all over the full-length mirror. Small child knows that this is a deliberate act of disobedience, but continues to grumbly defy despite her mother's sweet pleadings.
Mother: "Evie, are you being purposefully disobedient?!"
Evie: (gasps, clearly shocked and appalled by the suggestion) No, Mama!!!!!!!! I'm just whining!!"

Don't hate 'cause I have the coolest kid around. :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet the newest Strayer!!!

... or Strayer(s)...

I did that purposefully to see if I could get any google-reader people to actually come and look. (For the record, the wee babe is still tucked safely inside.) The chicks, however, are not. They never were. That would be weird.

As you can see, Chris re-did the chicken house into what I have called the MckMansion.

I'm not really sure why I like to call it the MckMansion; that conjures up images of me slaughtering above-pictured chickens, waiting until their headless bodies stop writhing about on the ground, plucking their feathers out one by one, and turning them into tasty breaded morsels. And if I can't even get over my aversion to eating poop-covered eggs (just kidding, I clean them off) then I definitely won't be able to turn them into nuggets. (For the record, I am pretty much over my aversion to the poop-covered egg part. I realized that Evie was covered in much worse things when she was born, and I still love her. A lot.)

So, inappropriate moniker notwithstanding, you will notice that the peeps are in a separate cordoned-off wing (kinda like the Green Room at Creation, except a lot more poop). I didn't want Ruby, Bustard, or Henrietta to think that they were tasty, breaded morsels and eat them. I'm not sure if they do that or not. But fish do. And chickens are gross. So there's probably not a whole lot stopping the chickens.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I am embarrassed to admit that I have never really been sobered by holidays like Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, etc. It was always just an excuse to get off of school or work. And to qualify my next statement, having never been in the military myself, I don't think that I will ever completely "get" it. But being a mama does really change every facet of how you view the world. Since my sweet baby was born (and as I anticipate the arrival of another), I am becoming more aware of the sacrifices that are made by our military. First and foremost, by the men and women who have given their lives-- and secondly, by the mamas who will never hold their sweet babies again... the wives who go to bed alone at night... the small children who will never be able to celebrate a carefree Memorial Day cookout with their Dads.

My mom shared this photo on her blog-- the young woman is one of my sister's best friends from high school; she lost a dear friend in Iraq. It was particularly moving to me.

There is no greater love. I am grateful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Channeling her inner Evie Grace...

I didn't think it was *possible* to give Evie a run for her money in the Chubby Cheek Department:

But her sister certainly seems to be trying:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ode to my Maternity Gauchos and other thoughts...

Chris recently gave me (at my request :) a gift card to Motherhood Maternity and an Evie-free evening in which to use it. Even though I asked him for it, I'm pretty sure I was doing him a favor. How could he not be tired of seeing me in the same ill-fitting black tee-shirt and secret-panel Mom maternity jeans day after day after blessed day?! I was sick of seeing me in this ensemble, and I don't even have to look at myself all that often (believe me, when you're 7 months pregnant and haven't had a haircut in 6 months, you try not to).

I digress... while out on my excursion, I stumbled upon a pair of black maternity gaucho pants. Maybe not the most flattering thing for a girl of my girth to be wearing, you may be thinking. And that would be an accurate assessment. But merciful host of heaven! these things are a dream come true. As my wizened old father would say, it is like an veritable angel dancing on my tongue hips. If it weren't for the logistical considerations that would complicate such an ensemble, I would seriously consider wearing these gauchos while giving birth, in lieu of an epidural. They will, at very least, be my postpartum pants of choice. (So now Chris can look forward to the next 2.5+ months of seeing me in gauchos and aforementioned ill-fitting tee-shirt day after day after blessed day.)

I love Lancaster County. I love hearing the horse and buggies go by at night, and picking up Amish-made whoopie pies at the local farmer's market. So imagine how I rejoiced at the simple pastoral scene I observed on a farm near our house the other day: teenaged boy, bedecked in straw hat and black overalls, sitting on his plow in a field taking a well-deserved break, among his yoke of oxen... texting on his cell phone. What's next? Police breaking up Amish hymn-sing-a-longs because of illegal drugs being distributed?! Oh, wait...

In chicken-related news, Bustard, Henrietta, and Ruby el Segun are an accomplished egg-making trio; Evie and I have quite the adventures going out (several times a day) to check on the "ladies" (Ev's words, not mine). Here's the problem: I seem to have an aversion to eating said eggs. I'm not sure-- observing un-hygenic chickenly habits and scraping poop off of their eggs seems just a bit too close to nature for me. Yet another reason why I'm not crunchy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Exercise in Humiliation Humility

So it's that time of year again, when our thoughts turn to the hot-ness of Bigsby the lush, rolling hills of Orbisonia's Agape Farm. Since I was a wee little babe in my mama's belly, I have been a faithful Creation devotee. I even met the infamous Chris Strayer there (he was a total punk back in those days). And when I was offered the opportunity to get a free meal pass and an all-access badge marry the love of my life, who works each year for the festival, I jumped at the chance.

To be completely honest, I'm not really sure why I still go. Ever since my fiance former DC Talk member Kevin Max stopped perfoming, and Jennifer Knapp decided that the Lilith Fair was a bit more up her alley (in more ways than one), I'n not so much into the bands anymore. There was that one year (I think I was fifteen) when I wanted to marry Joshua Harris, mostly because he wrote what one friend calls "The Fat Girls' Guide to Dating". (I was a fat girl, so I was pretty sure he'd date me. Except he didn't date. So there's that.) Another year (I was thirteen), I pledged to marry Michael Guglielmucci --an accomplished youth pastor/musician. (He ended up lying about having terminal cancer for years in order to divert attention away from his porn addiction... so, probably good that didn't work out either.)

But I digress. All of this witty banter mindless musing talk isn't the point. One of the highlights of my summer, maybe even my life (tee-hee) is that two of my nieces and my nephew make the trek up from NC to attend the festival as well. (Goodness only knows why. Can I refer back to the hot-ness of Bigsby?) I suggested to my niece Katie , a precocious home-schooled 7-year-old, that she might consider making a "Creation Memory Book". I thought it would be a good creative outlet, help with her reading and writing and cognitive skills in the long summer months-- 'cause, you know, I care about things like education and creativity (hence letting my daughter watch PBS Kids till her eyes get red and pussy). I referenced the Creation Memory Books that I made with my best friend, Christina, when we were roly-poly, DC Talk-obsessed, cowpie-picking-up, giggly preteens. My sister, being the ever-vigilant home-schooling mama that she is, asked for a sample of my work-- possibly so that she could give Katie the best possible example of template, meter, cadence, etc. (I did, incidentally score a perfect score on my 10th grade writing test... a feat accomplished by only 20 other students in the state of NC... so really, she couldn't ask for a better tutor.) So without further ado, I bring you a sampling of the Chrissy/Melody Creation '95 Memory Book. Enjoy. (You should be able to click on the image if you want to see even more gory details.)

(I would like to say that Chrissy and I got so caught up in the stalking of K-max worship music that we forgot to faithfully log our body-cleansing rituals. But that's probably not true. I was kind of a gross kid.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What happens when you wake up at 4 AM...

...because you don't feel like sleeping anymore and then you play outside all morning while Mama has a yard sale on the front lawn?

I'm glad you asked. You fall asleep en route to the toy box, with your granola bar (which you tearfully INSISTED on having for lunch) midway to your mouth.

Moral of the story: be thankful you didn't insist on ice cream for lunch.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ruby el Segun, Henrietta, & Bustard Mustard

My husband's family has had a handful of egg-laying chickens in their backyard since he was knee-high to a grasshopper (or roughly around that size). We have often talked about how fun it would be to have some of our own. Well, finally because he got so tired of me forgetting eggs at the grocery store because he loves me so much, he built a little hen-house and stole bought some Rhode Island Reds from a local Amish farmer.

And no, because you asked, they are not free-range and they are not organically fed. We're not crunchy like that.

They arrived to their new abode this morning, and Evie and I promptly spent some time christening them (as they christened the pristine springtime lawn with chicken shieza... they really are nasty little creatures). I knew right away that the little one had to be named in loving memory of Ruby, the friendly little bantam hen that lived down the road from Nana and Granddad. She was a great favorite of the grandchildren, who, according to local legend, met her untimely fate at the long end of a butcher knife. (We thought it would be disrespectful to her memory if we just named our chicken Ruby--- hence the "el segun".) Henrietta is the big bossy one, and Mustard is the one with the silvery wings. (I think Evie got confused when I asked her what she wanted to name the chicken; she thought I asked what she wanted ON TOP of her chicken... but the moniker stuck.)

I'm not quite sure that I have the nerve to open up said chicken-house to remove our tasty brown eggs... or to change the water or the feed. So Ruby el Segun, Henrietta, and Mustard may meet their untimely fate at the long end of my negligence. But that's just what I like to call the life cycle, folks.

(First rule of urban defense chicken-raising: approach from the perimeter. Second: always keep one eye on the chicken.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My crunchy kid...

We've already established that I am the antithesis of the term "crunchy granola"; Evie, on the other hand, may be a little hippie-mama-in-the-making:

*she's WAAAAYYY into co-sleeping. I'm pretty sure she'd be on board if we decided to sell our bed on craiglist, set up a futon mattress on our bedroom floor and enjoy the family bed until she's sixteen. NOT that there's anything wrong with that...

*the kid FLIPS out if I don't provide "toppy" for her yogurt, strawberries, etc. And by "toppy", I mean wheat germ or ground flaxseed meal. She uses her thumb and her pointer finger to then scrape all the toppy off of the particular food item and eats it plain. Blech. ME, on the other hand? Give me aspartame any day.

*She could go indefinitely without bathing and totally be fine with that. Maybe she's joining the no-poo movement?

*She would possibly also be on board with the idea of breastfeeding until she is sixteen, kinda like this kid. I, however, am not. (NOT that there's anything wrong with that...)

*She loves tie-dye.

*She's very into the concept of "gentle discipline". In fact, if we just indefinitely scrapped the idea of spanking, she'd be a happy girl.

Then again, she also imbibes mass quantities of "bustard" (read=mustard) by the spoonful, could watch PBS Kids till her eyes get red and pussy, and enjoys any kind of brainless, made-in-China toy that goes 'zip' when it moves, and 'pop' when it stops, and "whirrrr" when it stands still. So maybe I'm infecting her with my toxic philosophies after all...

(Sporting her organic cotton tie-dye shirt and smiling for the camera. Just kidding, it's not organic. And those marks on her arm? NOT tribal henna markings, just non-homemade paint.)