January 30, 2012

Here

Here necklaces hang on door knobs and music plays on a CD in the kitchen. Potatoes bake in the oven and I can smell that I used too much olive oil, and some ran off the pan that's going to be a mess to clean up that I'll forget about the next many times I cook something.

The boys school their younger brother about Kid Jail. "Yeah, Juvie, yeah, see." "They make you eat really gross food."

"I heard you have to eat chili every day."

I place a threat with my eyes. If you throw another paper airplane at my neck I swear I'm going Google the closest kid jail, dude. 


And what is it with little boys and the incessant need to hit their mom on the butt?


I got my bloodwork results back a few days ago and they were normal.

This is where I write a bunch of serious things about how I'm doing and what I'm feeling and about treatment and my faith, about being broken while pretending not to be (and however then could I -we- be fixed when we do that), but then I cut and pasted it somewhere for maybe later, because I just can't go there right now.

What if I look foolish, what if I misrepresent, for saying what I said. But if I can't write the truth about my life

I will not write at all.

Maybe later when I'm ready.


Lately I've been wishing for more than what we have here. For the first time I'm antsy, not as content as I've always been in this tiny house this town. I need more space, more rooms, more places to put stuff.

With a view.

I want windows lots of windows and a breathtaking view. Out in the country. Trees, or at least one, you know the one that reaches with hands and shades and gives you something to write about. Something to look at, sky anything. But a good drive will do, for now, we don't have to go far, we pass trees and beach and stretch and land and then we are back home to here

and it really is more than okay.

linked up - just write

January 29, 2012

Sand in my pocket

There's still sand in my pocket and in my shoes.

twinsies
Twinsies.

We spent the day with Mommal, to get her nails done, to lunch, to the lake, and to Poppal's grave. We take a rock to him every time we go. It was one of his favorite places. And all the rocks from before are still there. Even the one with googly eyes.

shadow dancing


She shadow danced at the nail place.


gif maker


flying


She ran with arms out like wings.

hearts in the sand

She drew hearts in the sand.

winter beach


She claimed that the water was going to wash all the winter away.

winter beach walk

And I believed her.

January 24, 2012

Let's go down to the mermaid cafe

MERMAID 009

"Let's stay here forever," she said.

We had made a tent out of a quilt on top of my bed, and hid inside, light from the window made all my favorite colors. And her words meant the world. And that she said them right then, there was no doubt she was just like me.

MERMAID 019

One day Ivy came up to me so sad, with bottom lip out and she said, "Mom, I really wish I were a mermaid."

MERMAID 029

So I knit her a tail and she wore it to bed, and she even wore it to grandma's. And earlier when she brushed her teeth the fin peeked out from around the bathroom door.

MERMAID 006

She learned to walk up and down the stairs, holding the tail beside her. If you want anything bad enough, you figure out a way.

MERMAID 027

Did you know how many things you can make and spell with party beads?

MERMAID 031

MERMAID 032

Knitting pattern- "splash" from New Knits on the Block

January 23, 2012

Piece of my tooth

I vacuumed out my purse the other day.

And today I was tentatively diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I go to the lab for blood tests in the morning. Something is not right.

I sat at dinner, and looked at my family, and wanted pen and paper right there so I could start listing all the things I really love and how I so desperately want to do more of them. Like eating together. And what I won't miss. I just don't think I'll ever look back and think "I wish I watched more TV," or "I wish I spent more time on Facebook." I know I won't say I wish I did more laundry. I don't think that's possible anyway. And  I hesitated when it came to my writing. Do I wish I wrote more? Because when I don't write, I don't miss it.

Seriously I wondered if I'd finally gone and just wrote myself right off this blog. That maybe the only words I'm left holding onto were my whole truth and I'm still not ready to let them go. As good as a story I know it would make, many things are better left unwritten. And little pieces of my truth will always be more than enough.

Carter left a note under his pillow for the tooth fairy, "Piece of my tooth" with the broken tooth Scotch-taped underneath. He said he figured he should get at least a little something for it.

She left him a dime.

And he was elated.


linked up - just write

January 22, 2012

A Bedtime Story: The Karate Princess

Maybe someday I'll write again. Until then...


January 17, 2012

One Hand Larger

I am waiting for my tea to steep. And I'm still waiting, at the age of thirty-five, to feel less misunderstood. Finally realizing that this might just be my albatross. So on the upside I now have some clarity about something.

fingerless mitts

I made one hand larger than the other. Not on purpose, I've actually tried to convince myself that they're fine this way (but they're not) and hopefully I'll rip out the too big one and knit it all over again. Even though the more I wear them I kind of don't notice all that much.

The days are so long, and the piles are so high, and my energy is so, not. I tease myself about new ideas and am reminded by the glare of everything else that still and will always need to be done, and so.

Knowing better, yet so frustrated that I won't even allow myself the pursuit -of so many things, stumbling upon their purpose. And shame for how behind I am on everything that came before. "Focus on something more motherly, more Christ-like," more not where your heart bows even though you can hear your own pulse tell you to follow that bend.

And you couldn't fathom your own child struggling with a similar voice. You can do anything you can do anything you dream!


But I really have to locate the source of that wet dog smell. And I herd and I feather and I do feel fulfilled and inspired and good for a little while again.

linked up- just write

January 16, 2012

You could win prizes! (or not)

Ok, so I said I was going to start posting more videos and then I never did. I really am going to be doing a lot more soon, as a featured vlogger at SheKnows.com's Mommalogues starting next month. Thankfully I have all this time to practice (and I'll need it) and can you please ignore all my "but, ums" okay?

Anyway! I get to sneak away this weekend to Chicago for the Kenmore Blogger Summit, and they have a bit of a challenge going on for the attendees and our readers. Watch the video below and see how you can possibly win Sears gift cards! I get to pick 5 of your videos that I will then submit to Kenmore by Wednesday January 18. Yeah, not much time, but you don't even have to post them on your blog or anything (and as you can see from mine, I didn't even bother editing it, keep it real!) just email me your short video demonstrating an unusual way you use an everyday household appliance. Easy and fun.



More details:
  • Open to US entries only
  • Prizes will be $100, $50, and $25 Sears gift cards (Kenmore will choose the winners)
  • Important: you don't have to have a Kenmore appliance to participate but you must cover up other branding so that it doesn't show in the video (I did that for my fridge... ahhh... see?)  
  • Email your video to me no later than 5PM CST Wednesday January 18 via stephanie.precourt@gmail.com



And of course, if you don't have a video camera and still want to share your kitchen secrets, feel free to do so in the comments below. They won't be eligible to win prizes, but I still might have a chance to share them with Kenmore this weekend. And it's fun and stuff.

ED: I am so tempted to delete this post but I'm leaving it up because I love the kids in it. But, I was very disappointed that after doing the video and taking the time to upload entries to Kenmore at their request, they didn't even acknowledge my video or even say thank you. Or even act like they even watched it. And I have a feeling no one even did. I'm just bummed about it and well, that's all. After the summit, I don't plan to work with Kenmore again and wanted to keep it real here. Thanks for understanding.

Disclosure: I'll be staying at a hotel courtesy of Kenmore on Friday night and provided with meals and other goodies at the summit.

January 15, 2012

Save the date!

LTYM-June-performancew

Well, I had a meeting at the Memorial Opera House on Thursday for the 2012 Listen To Your Mother show and it went smashing!

I literally skipped out of there in my Uggs, in the snow, and floated the rest of the day. And listen to this... within the hour after the meeting I was getting emails from Adam, received a phone call from Heather just to chat, and then I ran into Megan at Target! How wonderful is that.

And now... the big reveal: This year's Listen To Your Mother show here in Northwest Indiana will be on Thursday May 10 at 7 PM.

stage



Find all the info you'll need about the upcoming show.

Check out the Listen To Your Mother National site to find a show near you!

And I do hope you've watched our show from last year? Prepare to be wowed!

Photos are from Listen To Your Mother 2011, taken by Beth Fletcher Photography

January 13, 2012

celestial body

She finally broke down, "Mama, I'm sick." A cold got the best of her today, and I stroked her hair until she fell asleep. I mouthed the word magnificent, and hoped I'd remember to write this down. That is a good word. She was fine as long as she was touching some part of me and I was fine as long as her eyes were finally closed. Her face round like the moon, and I her earth.

Observation

I still don't mind it when she needs the comfort of me and my bed, because she still makes those little baby sounds and gurgles in her sleep. I don't remember when that stops. I mean, she's three, so I know this could be the last time I hear it. She laughed in her sleep the other morning -- she had slipped under my arm in the middle of the night again and hearing that giggle was all the best things I've ever felt. An absolute gift.

In the dentist office waiting room on Wednesday a mom couldn't get her son to put his coat on when it was time to go. He wanted to play with the big activity box thing and had no interest in anything his mom said. He was maybe three or four? And she said, "Don't make me spank you in front of these ladies. I don't think they'd like that." And I just looked down at my knitting and wished so hard I was invisible right that very moment. I hated that she brought me- a stranger- into this. Her kid didn't want to put his coat on. I deal with that every live long day. So you know, I go over to my child and just put the dang coat on. And if I have to, I physically pick them up and carry them to the car. But instead she left him, she said "bye" and she walked completely out the building and then I looked up and watched him. I wanted to tell him that he better listen to his mom, but really I wanted to hug him. And he still played until he raised his head and peeked at the door and then he ran. He ran to find her.

January 11, 2012

Hand-Knit: Big Sweater, Little Pockets



hand knit tunic - small style

I've been knitting at least one challenging pattern a week since the beginning of the year. I found the "Big Sweater, Little Pockets" tunic on Ravelry, and thankfully had all the yarn in my stash already. Oh and yes, I am now on a search for this in my size!

KNITTUNIC 001

The project I'm working on right now is blow your mind adorable! I'm hoping to be finished with it for next week's small style!
KNITTUNIC 012

also on ivy...
leggings- baby sara via zulily
socks- matilda jane
shoes- cienta via the mini social (also, use code NEWYEAR10 for $10 off a $50 purchase, and psst misha lulu is on sale right now, too!)


Linking up -- Small Style at Mama Loves Papa

January 9, 2012

Will I remember this?

Will I remember this, crouching next to her in the little firetruck bed. By dim light I knit because she awoke and said she felt too scribbley, and cried until she shook. We took deep breaths together and she woke her brothers. I had drugged them to sleep with a chapter of Tom Sawyer but now they rustled again. Shhhh.

When it was quiet, and I was sure they were out, I sat in the tiny bed and dared not make a sound. I looked around and pretended I was little like them. I saw the papers behind the dresser, the sock on the floor, the clock that ticks but tells the wrong time.

I knit until I didn't and just sat and mapped my move.

Even if I write it down I wonder what I'll really recall. Even if I memorize, will it still feel the same? Mostly I just hope they remember the feeling of having me here, sitting and waiting for them to drift off in the safety of my keep, the click of my needles, and the hum of my whispered song good night. Mostly I just hope they know how much I love them.

- linking up, just write

Everybody Loves Carter

everybody loves carter

Days before Christmas (and the ER visit and the lice) Carter had an awful stomach bug. I am thinking the loss of that one night, and the odd nights to come almost three weeks ago, is what set me so off kilter and only now I'm finally starting to see clear through the fog.

But, there was sweetness. When Gray heard Carter was sick, he ran to him and soothed, "Can I come rub your back to make you feel better?" and Carter said, "That would be wonderful."

January 8, 2012

Blue



photo originally posted almost 3 years ago


Today I am anything but blue. It's my birthday and I've been celebrating all weekend actually, with more to come at lunch (Chinese!) today after church, which is good because I had to use a steak knife to cream-cheese my toast this morning. There are no clean utensils in this house. It's my birthday. I'm off.

Yesterday I actually locked my bedroom door while I knitted and watched movies. I'd guess that no less than every fifteen minutes there was a child twisting that knob or whimpering in the hall because I am so loved, and needed, and I still told them to go see Dad most of the time. Most of the time. Then I went out for sushi with friends.

I woke this morning to find out that Beyonce* had her baby and named her Blue Ivy Carter (or Ivy Blue Carter, still not sure) and I have to say that's pretty swell. Great tastes in names she has. Totally makes me smile real big.

*couldn't resist.


January 5, 2012

The Tree of Life

The lice comb-thrus are wearing me down. I hate to complain, I think it's more the nervousness I have each time we sit, my eyes burn as I hold back premature tears, afraid of what I might find. Not sure I can handle another stomach drop, another let down, another bump in the road. Which is quite the metaphor for my life and relationships lately, I'm not really sitting down with anyone or even being honest with myself, afraid of what I might find and what I might not be able to handle. I'm so sleepy but sleep won't have me.

I'm weepy and over tired and yet I looked inside my fridge this morning, as it overflowed with good food for my family, and the boys' new shoes, and I have so much. How could I be so sad? I'm just run down, it's all okay, really.

A bag of noodles sat at the bottom of the basement steps all day. It tumbled from the pantry down the stairs when I put away groceries this morning and every time I passed I had my hands full of laundry and meant to come back down to pick it up but something else always filled my arms, until this evening, I saw it again like it was the first time even though I'd passed it all day long. And I put it away.

Since I have been on a break from freelance writing, my jaw has been loosening its clench, and the ground feels a little more solid. Noah asked me late if I had a lot of work to do on the computer tomorrow and I said no, I am not working so I can be here more. Whatever and wherever "here" is, for me right now, it has so many meanings. I can't get these words by Sylvia Plath out of my mind, they splintered me when I came across them again:


"Sometimes I dream of a tree, and the tree is my life.

One branch is the man I shall marry, and leaves my children.

Another branch is my future as a writer and each leaf is a poem.

Another branch is a glittering academic career.

But as I sit there trying to choose,

The leaves begin to turn brown and blow away

Until the tree is absolutely bare."

-The Tree of Life, Sylvia Plath


I laundered a sparkly tulle princess dress today, on delicate, because it just wasn't made to be worn on the toilet. 


January 4, 2012

When I finally get to knit

I have been looking forward to knitting all day. In fact, last night I fell asleep thinking about searching for the needles I'd need for my latest project. But, it's already past eight in the evening and I've yet to even cast on.

This morning I had to put the garbage out, and then of course get everyone breakfast. I wanted to do another lice check since the kids go back to school tomorrow and... whattyaknow. Yeah. Thankfully the two little ninjas that slept on top of me in the middle of the night were all clear because ohmuhguh.

More washing and combing and bed-stripping and vacuuming -- You hear all those dings and clanks, guys? That's your Legos! -- and more sighing and not knitting.

By the time I get through all of this I take a look at the kitchen sink and decide, to celebrate their last day of break, we will have lunch via drive-thru. I also run inside the natural foods store for tea tree oil because this house is going down getting sprayed. I search the internet for how to make it, then spray everyone's hair, and all the beds, and then pretty much everything else. Oh somewhere in between all that I throw dinner in the oven for later.

I glance, longingly, over at my abandoned yarn and almost give it a reach and plop onto my chair just when Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz goes the dryer buzzer as it scoffs, bent over, hysterical at my idea. I've got more washing and bed-making to do. Then it's actually dinnertime. Seriously where did this day go?

We ate off the nice(r) everyday plates instead of the everyday plates because everything else was still in the sink waiting to be washed. I sat at the table with the kids and we made a plan about the new year at school. They'll listen better, and no more rushing through work. (Yes I noted this for my motherself, too.) Then I washed allllllll* the dishes and put them away (only taking a break for the last comb-through of the night) and then, of course, Bed Time.

Now I'm here, smelling of all sorts of oils and other things, and I could totally knit, but man I'm exhausted.  Maybe tomorrow.

Wah.

*There are totally dirty dishes in my sink right now.

January FOUR

getting ready for the picture

I almost missed it by a day again. Totally thought yesterday was the second. But we made it. It's the January Four!

Cheshire cat
I love this one even though it looks like Noah's head is growing out of Carter's shoulder.

Pretend to be sad

So to get them to loosen up sometimes I prompt them to make a silly face or think about ice cream or something like that. Here I said to act like they were sad. They totally committed to the part!

January FOUR part deux

I think this is when I begged, "Smile like you love your mom!" and then Ivy must have thought I said pose like you're mom. And Gray? Well, that's Gray.

I've been hearing with the new year that some of you are also posting monthly photos of your kids, which is wonderful. Please link up in the comments so we all can visit, too!

I used to take photos of my kids on the first of every month, now it's on the fourth. Four for four... get it? You can see past month photos here.




ED: Two birds one stone Small Style


(l-r) On Gray: Tea Collection (take 25% off sale items with code 25OFFSALE), on Carter: Mini Boden tee + Old Navy pants, on Noah: school tee and Old Navy pants, on Ivy: Truly Mine dress and Baby Sara leggings via Zulily , headband from Gigi's.

January 2, 2012

I take the back roads

My car's battery died because we left the lights on. So we jumped it and then I had to drive around so it would stay charged. I just drove, by myself in the snow. I pretended it was 1996 and before I had kids. I almost believed it, so much that I didn't even realize I'd driven to where the road was dry and my wipers were still on. I listened to a new CD but it was still strangely familiar and the kids ruin my fantasy when they text asking where I put the Goldfish pretzels. I am a mom and I know where to find all the things.


I was having a good hair day. I wore my glasses again, they seemed appropriate for dusty book stores. My leggings touched the cold linoleum when I knelt for a better look and the shop owner talked sports with some guy so I just sat on the floor where they couldn't see me and shopped for books like they were groceries, hungry and with a list. The bottom shelf always has the good ones.

Sometimes I'd just let my finger land. When asked, I'd say I'm a writer but this year I'm a student. I move a stack. Reading what I've forgotten, and the writers who inspired them and the writers who inspired them. "I'm raising readers, too."


I got caught up in Midnight in Paris while I knitted all weekend. Like, I watched it about six times. And then I'd grieve in a weird spot -- my life that lives now instead of 1920's Paris. But I know, I know that it would have been an early death of me then. Living now saved me from being lost forever, if I'd been a gal in any other time. I don't think I'd have been able to refuse its allure. I barely made it out of my own era. I still want to dress like that though.

Last night I took the back roads and I think about that One Way and no longer see it as a highway. For sure it's more scenic than that. 

-- linking up w/ just write

January 1, 2012

Welcome, 2012

NEWYEAR 002

Less than a moment after this photo was taken, snow flurries came out of nowhere. 

We spent the day at my parents and yes we all ate black-eyed peas, and stuffed peppers. The dog peed and Gray got his pants wet and spent almost the entire time we were there in the bathroom. The first hour or so we sorta forgot he was in there. In my defense, I was playing the longest game of checkers, ever, with Carter.

And when we put Gray's pants in the wash he had said, "besides, I had to go number two anyway." So I kind of thought he was still going to the bathroom. We found him just sitting in there in his underwear staring at the wall. Noah gave him his DS to play with until his pants were finally dry. Then he came out of the bathroom and we went home.

Psst- Gray's pants (and his shirt, and Ivy's dress) are from Tea Collection, of course, and they have a huge sale starting today. Take an additional 25% off all sale items with code 25OFFSALE . Had to share. Tea has been our fave since Grayson was a baby.
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