Sunday, February 28, 2010

if you can't do something well, do it very, very badly

in front of many people. almost as if you had no choice.

i may be the most inept chorister you've ever seen. unless you haven't seen me, in which case you will have to imagine.

if you sing in a choir, or go to church, you may have heard that the chorister gives the organist cues, such as: what tempo to play, when to play the down beat, etc. this is not so! the chorister is the organist's puppet!*

*and when i say "puppet," it should be read as a polite word that takes the place of what i actually am to the chorister. again, you have to imagine. (i'll give you a hint. it's a five letter word that rhymes with--which key are we in again?)

our church organist is a truly gifted musician. she therefore has opinions that i do not question. she chooses the hymns. and i completely understand that she chooses obscure hymns not to torture me in front of hundreds, but to stretch our musical range and appreciation of the hymnal canon. and yet.

listen, i know my place. i stand up there and try not to flash anyone despite Liv's best attempts to disrobe me between songs, and i wave my hand back and forth. sometimes i hit on the right rhythm and we all just sail along. sometimes i pretend i had to swat a mosquito or wave to someone in the back, but really i just don't know how to do two things at once: stare at weird things people are doing in the congregation and also lead the hymns.

so i've have adopted a new goal, and that is to entertain. it's very simple. i'm like that weather girl who never studied meteorology, and who makes everybody sort of cock their head to one side and say, hm, does she know she's wearing that?

i am not a soprano, nor really an alto (because you can't really call yourself an alto if the only way you can find the alto note is to stand next to someone who's singing it really loud and then try to blend in, can you?). most of all, i'm not a soloist. basically i'm just a turd up there.

one of the things i like to imagine as i stand there, is what the bishopric is thinking. because if i were them, overhearing my quavering sopralto voice, i would be thinking of that beautiful (not) quaker hymn, 'how can i keep from singing?' and i would think, lady, it's easy. you should try it.

today we sang a hymn whose verses are printed in this order: you might wonder why this was so. as do i.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

she giveth & she taketh away

good news about fierce older sisters. they can also be fiercely loving, loyal and kind.

when there's Wee trouble, Little is often the first responder: first to soothe with a kiss or a toy; first to offer consolation by tough love {"shhhhh! the sun's not in your eyes, LIV!"... "MOM! LIV NEEDS YOU, MOM!"}.

Bim and i love her wily ways, her passion and drama at least as much as her more tender qualities. we both think that Little's fighting spirit could serve her well. really, what parent doesn't want her girl to be just as scrappy as possible when she's out there on her own?

i hope she never loses it. never becomes a pleaser. i'm not worried about her being kind because she is, oh, she is. and something tugs at me whenever i hear myself telling her to "be nice." she ought to look at me funny every time i say that. i'm sure i don't know what it means. do you?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"i'll be alice and you be mommy. and liv is the dog."

"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!"

"All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretense
Our wanderings to guide."

"I almost wish I hadn't gone down that rabbit-hole — and yet — and yet — it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life!

"I do wonder what can have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales,
I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!

"There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought!
And when I grow up, I'll write one."

"The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed 'Off with her head! Off—'"

"'Nonsense!' said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent."

"At last the Dodo said, 'everybody has won, and all must have prizes.'"

"Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out —
And now our tale is done
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun."

:: :: ::

(from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll)

harry potty, and other misunderstandings

my mom taught me that women who know how to use makeup well don't look like they're wearing much, if any. when i was little she wore pale brown nail polish that blended almost perfectly with her skin. i thought it was sooo ugly.

later on she started wearing bright red press-on nails and, when she lost her hair, she built a fantastic collection of sequined hats. i know she would approve of the way we use them now: as dress up clothes for Little and Wee. here they are dressing up as, "Harry Potty."

not sure what this name refers to. she's never seen Harry Potter (though PJ dressed as him for Halloween, so that could be it). yesterday in the car we were listening to "Everybody Wants to be a Cat," from The Aristocats --another movie she has never seen. when i tried to skip the lengthy jazz riff at the end and she cried out, "NO! I WANT HARRY POTTY!"

so. everybody = harry potty? we may never know.

as for the aforementioned "other misunderstandings," i will let Bim tell you. i enjoy their conversations (arguments?) in the morning (from the safety of my bed, where i wallow until breakfast is over) and shake my head. mentally.

some of this stuff truly couldn't be scripted without the help of a preschooler. i love it just so much.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

taking her medicine

funny how i have a lot of pictures of my girls doing fun things, laughing and smiling. funny because the ratio of laughter to tears is probably somewhere around 50/50, with "50" being the number of times i yell before 10am and "50" being the number of times i am answered with a "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" truthfully, i'd have a lot more pictures of those cry faces {because sometimes they're hilarious}, if it didn't seem so insensitive to reach for the camera instead of the child.

the result is a very imperfect picture of daily life around here. i've been thinking of starting a series of posts entitled, "not our finest moment." i have a philosophy on housekeeping that seems to apply here, and there are only two rules: {1} provide guests with a comfortable atmosphere, if possible, and try always to keep the powder room clean; {2} don't clean up your house so completely that guests think it always looks like that.

number two comes from a personal insecurity; i am not a gifted housekeeper. to pretend that i keep it all together would kill me, and at the very least make my kids figurative {if not literal} orphans. my mom wasn't crazy about houskeeping herself. she liked things clean, but they often weren't. she was creative, funny, and there. she yelled and took naps and {at least once} chased me through the house with a wooden spoon.

i loved almost everything about her. with all my projects, i sometimes feel like i'm trying to make my kids fit into my former life--the single life. i want to be a part of their lives, and when i forget that, we all pay for it.

just some things that have been on my mind.

{what to do when you're sick in bed: play candyland}

{my Little sickie:}

{& her rosy red fever cheeks}

{valentime from dad. it does say "godchild." she picked it out herself.}

{making balentimes}

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"they want to get out!"

Founder & President,
Children for the Ethical Treatment of Chocolate

the rainy days continue...

much to our fascination & approval.

Monday, February 1, 2010

feeling the love

the valentine month began perfectly today: with a big pink package on the front porch. and oh, what a "pack" it was.

{from grandma, of course}

there was more than the usual giggling in this house today.

thank you, from all of us.