Thursday, February 23, 2012


I was gone for seven days.  Before I left, I bought groceries, I did laundry, and I organized Morgan's clothes for the week.  I even warned Morgan's teacher that my child may look slightly questionable while I was away. When I got home, I encountered the following:

Fortunately, I also encountered this:
(I am pretty sure that's how I did her hair last Thursday)

I asked David at what point the tornado hit our house; he informed me that if he was a single parent, he would probably just live in squalor until something started to stink or his mom showed up for a visit (because you know the fear of mom dropping by can push any man into action).

When I told him that wasn't really a viable long term plan, he just looked at me and said, "I kept her alive, didn't I?"  Fair enough. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Little Mermaid

As you may remember, Morgan was not quite sure about the pool while on our vacation last summer. Compounding her uncertainty was the fact that several months later, she accidentally swallowed a bunch of water at a hotel pool and threw up a bunch of macaroni and cheese (We were alone. I scooped. Don't swim at the Salt Lake Marriott. I'm just saying.) -

Since then, we have been trying to build Morgan's confidence around water by letting her practice floating in the bathtub.  Morgan is now confident about three things: 
  1. Throwing up in the water ends poorly for everyone.
  2. While in the tub, Morgan is automatically a mermaid and we must call her Ariel. 
  3. "Swimming" actually consists of lying on your back in 3 inches of water. 
As a result of our recent adventures, I am also confident about three things:
  1. I am not a fan of the name Ariel.
  2. We are never buying her a bra made out of sea shells. 
  3. Throwing up in the water does indeed end poorly for everyone. 

Swim away, my little fishy, swim away (just watch out for the macaroni).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Power Couple

My dad had his knee replaced this week.  In fact, I am hanging out with my parents for a few days to serve as the family waitress, nurse, and errand girl.  It's a job I am happy to have.  You see, watching your parent go through major surgery does a good bit to put a little perspective in your life. 

I watched yesterday as my father worked his ass off just to walk down the hospital hallway.  My mother followed close behind, her brows furrowed, her hands wringing with worry.  I watched as sweat rolled down his forehead, the pain overwhelming.  But he did not complain. Instead, he laughed, reaching over to take my mom's hand, letting her know he was okay. 

We talked a lot yesterday.  About mortality, about aging, about the struggles people face.  We remembered my grandfather, and how hard my grandmother worked to take care of him after his stroke.  We acknowledged our troops, and the seemingly insurmountable wounds many of them overcome after returning from war.  We even laughed about how little my dad did to help my mom after her back surgery 10 years ago, and how you just don't always understand until it happens to you.

As I watched my parents write yet one more chapter in their lives together, I was grateful.  I was grateful to have two parents who love each other and understand that what they share is precious and rare.  I was grateful to see that this surgery is bringing out the best in them, and that they are being patient and kind as he recovers.  I was grateful just to be there.

Thank you Mom and Dad, for your strength, your love, and your compassion.  You two have a real good thing goin' here. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is In The Air

I am a happily married woman.  My husband is kind, thoughtful, and loving.  And I hate Valentine's Day.  I am not quite sure the source of my disdain.  Maybe it's the boy who broke my heart in high school or that one time in the fourth grade when someone gave me a Valentine that added the word "don't" next to Daffy Duck's little bubble phrase of "I like you."  -- or maybe, it's the fact that on our first Valentine's Day together, David bought me a stuffed teddy bear...from the grocery store.  The whole day is just too much effort.

However, I cannot let my jaded views spoil the day for everyone else.  So I rallied for some crafts.  Morgan and I made a cute little card for David, demonstrating that hand prints and finger paints can get you far in life.

We also had to put together something for Morgan's little friends at their party today.  I tried to be mindful that there will already be plenty of candy to go around - I also tried to be witty with the little notebooks I made.  You know, because toddlers really value a good play on words.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I awoke to find a sweet treat from David on the kitchen table (yes, I recognize the hypocrisy of that statement, but who doesn't love a little chocolate?!?)-

And although my child can't read, she sure as shit knows her name. It was just a matter of minutes before my token holiday acknowledgement had been totally commandeered. 

Then I realized I could use this as leverage to get Morgan dressed in her festive little ensemble. I told her that as soon as she was ready for school, she could pick any one of the chocolates out of the box.  The madness began.  There was jumping, squealing, and mad dashing to get out of her jammies and into her tights.  Before I knew it, she was back in the kitchen, her chubby little fingers caressing every little nugget with love (and germs, and probably boogers), until she selected the one piece that was going to make her day perfect.

Unfortunately, she selected the dark chocolate maple nougat, which also happens to be my favorite.  I briefly considered trying to convince her to try another one, but then I remembered that I hate Valentine's Day.  But I love my daughter.  And so I let her keep it.  Because she is my littlest Valentine.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Words To Live By

We didn't make resolutions this year.  I was tired of planning and thought we should just spend this year doing. While discussing this new commitment to not making commitments, Morgan randomly announced she needed to practice wearing her swimming suit (you know, because it's February) --

She then reminded me that fish swim in the ocean and that they make faces that look like this:

Quite pleased with her little observations, Morgan then reminded me that, "When the camera is on you, you do this:" 
By now, the novelty of the picture taking had worn off. We got back to the business of discussing our life plan for the year.  Not wanting to be left out, Morgan asked me what we were talking about. Since I couldn't tie the story back to fish or showing the camera your best side, I broke it down into the terms I thought she was most likely to understand.

So there you have it.  Clean up, pay your bills, and exercise. Words of wisdom from a kid who thinks going swimming in the middle of winter makes perfect sense. Come to think of it, Morgan may be onto something...not everything in life has to be quite so complicated.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Back In The Saddle Again

And we're back.  Morgan is no longer fighting the plague and everything appears to be back to normal at our house.  The weather, however, is another story.  We moved to Idaho for mountains, and fresh air, and snow.  As far as that goes, Mother Nature is currently letting us down.  Although I am a bit miffed about the whole thing, Morgan was pleased as punch to pretend it was spring.

The only nice thing about Morgan being sick was that she actually needed me.  Granted, it was whiny and exhausting, but she still wanted her mama. Now that's she's feeling better, I am back to being a thorn in her little independent side.  While outside on Saturday, Morgan decided she was going to make a  pedal run for it...

When I told her she'd gone far enough and that she needed to turn around, I was greeted with this stink eye:

But then she remembered that our house holds the food, and the shelter, and the fruit snacks.  So she practiced her first three-point-turn...

And decided to stick around for a while.