what i can do

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I can punish myself (or maybe sabotage is a better word) with negative self-talk. “I can’t do this. I won’t do it right. I don’t have the skills. I don’t have enough time. It’s too much….” Well, let this be the week of I CAN. Here is my current list of awesome skills that I have learned in the past few months:

1. I can caulk well. My thumb makes a wonderful smooth line that covers a multitude of “sins.”
2. I can work that spackle until it looks like the creamiest frosting you’ve ever seen!
3. I know how to apply three layers of spackle properly (not an expert by any stretch, but I’ve got skills).
4. I can sand a wall so that it’s smooth as a baby’s bottom.
5. I can roll paint onto a ceiling and leave NO LINES.
6. I can spackle corners that look pretty good… not professional, but pretty darn good.
7. I can remove baseboard that has been caulked and nailed into place without tearing any paint off the wall. I can even remove it when there is tack strip in the way.
8. I can nail trim into place without putting any dimples in it with a hammer, because I know how to use a nail punch.
9. I can clean up a room, wash down the walls, apply primer, give the ceiling it’s first coat, cut-in the wall color, and apply ceiling second coat in 6 hours flat (with help from my step-mom, of course).
10. I can juggle kids, meals and all this work AT THE SAME TIME, baby. That’s right. I can. 🙂

25 Things

I have been tagged for this list more than three times in the past 2 weeks, so I suppose I should get to it.

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. I am hugely afraid of small, tight, dark places. Can’t imagine how I ever went spelunking in college, but I did.

2. My elbows and knees are double-jointed. I can, therefore, make some really odd shapes with my arms and legs.

3. Probably due to #2, I have dislocated both knees multiple times.

4. …and had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee when I was 14. The first time I dislocated that knee, a bone chip came off my kneecap and was floating around in my joint.

5. I threw up a lot after being under general anesthesia for that surgery. Ick.

6. I never threw up while pregnant. No morning sickness at all, not even nausea.

7. I never dreamed of being a mom when I was a little girl, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world now (most days, haha)!

8. I did dream of going to seminary someday. It’s been a great opportunity to fulfill that dream at Biblical!

9. I hate shopping- food, clothing, stuff for the house- seriously, I only do it because I have to.

10. I have more guy friends than girl friends.

11. I wanted to marry MacGyver when I was a young.

12. I used to take calculators and other toys apart when I was a kid, and it drove my mom NUTS.

13. There was a point in my life when I was closer to my dad than my mom.

14. I have a freckle in the palm of my left hand, which we all called “my treasure” when I was a kid.

15. I also have birth marks on my left leg and the bottom of my left foot. I have always wondered why my left side was “cursed.”

16. I hated, hated, hated the fact that I had a boy’s haircut growing up… but now, having a girl with long-ish hair, I understand why mom kept my hair short.

17. I was actually pretty good at basketball in 6th grade. A kid who was my arch enemy throughout elementary and junior high school actually called me the rebound queen.

18. I lost all athletic ability after 6th grade… really….

19. I think I am partially addicted to coffee because it’s a connection I still have with my mom, who was also a total coffee junkie.

20. I have never doubted God’s existence, but I have doubted his character.

21. I believe in tackling problems head-on. Mom used to call me her bull dog.

22. Once in a while, when I think about calling my Dad, I forget that mom is gone and think how good it will be to hear her voice on the phone.

23. And then I remember she’s gone and there is an ache in the pit of my stomach… even after more than four years.

24. I learned a lot of my philosophy from Star Trek: the Next Generation, but only realized this when I took a philosophy class in college.

25. My family teases me because of my sensitivity to justice issues. The running joke, when I go off about something I believe isn’t right is this: “Ah, Kris Anne’s just cause number 83, 294.” (or some other random number)

Honestly, most of my friends (in the blogosphere and on facebook) have done this list already, so I really don’t know who else to tag!

Of liquid poop, birdseed and gravy boats

So here it is, my Thanksgiving post. It’s a few days late and actually, I wasn’t going to post anything about Thanksgiving. To be honest, I don’t find the typical Thanksgiving blog post interesting (“all the things I’m thankful for….”). I really don’t mean to criticize– it’s wonderful to remind ourselves of the countless things we have to be thankful for. But after I read about 5 Thanksgiving blog posts, they all start to sound the same. And if you know me at all, you know I tend to buck the status quo… for better or worse, that’s me. But after my family gathered for a belated Thanksgiving meal Saturday night, I just HAD to make my list! After you hear this story, you’ll understand.

My day started out very peacefully. I was rinsing the dust off my good dishes, getting out my punch bowl, had the turkey in the oven at 1:30… everything was going as planned. My kids were a little cranky, given that they didn’t have my undivided attention, but that’s to be expected on a day when one has a big meal to prepare.  My father and step-mother arrived around 2:00 and she helped me with some odds and ends. I was pleased with how smoothly all the preparations were going.  At one point we discovered that I owned no  gravy boat, and we chuckled over the fact that I decided to use one of my ceramic pitchers as a substitute– hey, we can just pour the gravy then… no spoon needed. Haha! I thought I was being rather clever (see me pat myself on the back).

My sister’s family arrived at 5:00, and we pulled the rest of the Thanksgiving side-dishes together and got everyone settled in their places. It was a lovely and delicious meal, thanks to Edith’s gravy, Jenn’s oyster stuffing and green beans and cranberry sauce, Dad’s mashed potatoes and my punch, cheeseball and crackers, turkey, corn and desserts (purchased of course!).  We shared stories and laughter and giggled about my gravy boat (it sure is unconventional, but it works beautifully!).  As often happens with big meals, the kids were finished first and ran in all directions in the house to play. At one point, while we adults were clearing dishes, I noticed that both of my children were in the downstairs bathroom while my niece was using the upstairs bathroom… hmmmmm… “oh well,” I thought, “Heidi will probably help Ben go potty when she’s finished. That will work out nicely. Then I can keep working in the kitchen.”  Haha, mommy, think again!  Not five minutes later I hear Heidi, “Um, mommy, i don’t really want to tell you this, but… um… Ben pooped NOT in the potty.”  Noooooooo…………. but, alas……… yes, yes he did! Apparently he couldn’t hold it until Heidi was finished. And this wasn’t chunky, semi-solid poop. No, this was runny, semi-diarrhea, liquid poop. Amid my lovely gagging sounds and Ben’s whining, we somehow survived the next fifteen minutes and sat down for dessert– not sure my stomach was really ready to handle that transition, but I deserved some pumpkin pie, darn it!

After some clean-up, my sister’s family was ready to head home. As the kids were gathering up their coats and shoes, I noticed my niece pull a bag of birdseed out of her coat pocket. “Hmmmm,” I wondered, “what is she going to do with that?” No sooner had the thought resounded in my mind, that her brother gave the ziplock bag a good squeeze– yep, you guessed it, a shower of tiny seeds rains down on our feet. If you aren’t familiar with a traditional birdseed mix, some of those seeds are as tiny as a pin head. Seriously. Now here is something to be thankful for– we were on a hard floor, right beside the front door. I got a broom and we swept the little seeds right out the door and then off the porch and into the grass! Problem solved. I’ll take birdseed over liquid poop ANY DAY and twice on Sundays.

With the help of my dad and step-mom, we had the house back in order before 8:30. Amazing. So here is my Thanksgiving list for 2008:

1. I am thankful for windows that open when there is uncontained poop in my bathroom.

2. I am thankful that I can breathe through my mouth instead of my nose when I need to.

3. I am thankful for the person who invited wet wipes. I would kiss them if I knew who they were!

4. I am thankful also for the person who invented brooms- what a genius!

5. I am thankful that my children will not always be preschoolers who cannot handle their own waste issues.

6. I am thankful for improvisation… including improvised gravy boats!

But mostly, this year, I am so very thankful for my family– who embraces my quirks and my intense personality, and helps me laugh through my stressed-out tears. You all “go right with my gravy boat” (inside joke) and that’s a GREAT thing!

Political Humor

I know I tend to be a very serious blogger, so I offer this, in an effort to lighten the mood (it’s a favorite at our house):