The Sweet Luxury called a Shower

I know it's going to be a good day when I get a shower in the morning.

While showering, I kept hearing the fridge open and close. I've been brought some unusual things while in the shower - like juice and a cup [first it was just juice. I recommended the cup]. This wasn't new. It's more of a "What'll it be this time?"

Showers are sacred to me. I do my best thinking in them. If there was a waterproof computer, I'm certain I could have published several novels by now. Though these days, I'm always hoping I can stay in long enough to get wet, or that I've past that point where catastrophe doesn't strike in the middle of washing my face or while I have shampoo in my hair.

Aside from the fridge opening and closing, I kept hearing little things dropping, but no screaming. We're good.

Enter crying. Oh, there's the screaming.

"Cora, come into the bathroom, mama's in the shower." [Still crying. Becoming more frantic] Coco, come on, come to Mama." [There was already a water trail from the bathroom to the office when my shower was interrupted the first time. I heard some banging right after I got in. She was trying to plug the computer charger into her phone, and in frustration that she couldn't make it work, she started wrestling the charger until it became twisted around her ankle.]

She finally comes in holding a cracked egg. "It's broken, Mama."

It's more than cracked and less than all over the floor. I jumped out and saw 11 other eggs lying in the hallway, a rolls distance away from their overturned carton. Afore mentioned egg is in the bathroom sink, and I'm in the hallway surveying the damage. I find two with hairline cracks and everyone else is okay. Phew. If she was sad over one puncture wound on an egg, I can't imagine what more egg devastation would have done to her.

But alas, I got to take a shower before breakfast, and a cute little blonde I know got to eat two eggs for that very meal.

Dear Magnolia

Every time I look at you, I can't help but feel happy.

And sometimes I don't want to be - happy that is. Like when I'm tired and you're awake.

And as hard as I try to avoid looking at you, I always give in. And your eyes light up, and I light up. And then you smile, and I get giddy and say "Goo." And you say "Goo" back, and that's it. I'm gone. The happiest person in the whole wide world, just because of cute little you.

And I love you. I love you. I love you, like never before.

PS: I'm sorry your allergies are bothering you. I'm sorry you have allergies. But you are my daughter, and I'm afraid I am a severe allergy sufferer.

Dear Cora

I swear your legs grow a little more each day. And I'm certain your mind grows even more. I was looking into some activities on to try and avoid repeats of two of the four days so far this week. It's been a little lazy. I'd like to change that.

At any rate, I was looking at the activities that you should be doing at your age, and let's get right to the point, they were lame. You are beyond them. You match better with kids who are at the end of four, rather than the middle of two. It made me feel this huge responsibility to keep that going. You're smart. Really smart. And I'm not just saying that.

You are sweet and kind and have a strong stubborn streak. I love that streak because I know it will be great for you in the future. I know you'll know how to put it to good use, even if sometimes I wish you would just go get your shoes at this tender stage in life. I love it just the same.

Dear Jake

The lawn looks great. I'm glad you mowed today, even if I wanted to. It's just after 5:30, 5:32 to be exact. Cora and I just finished our pancake dinner, as per her request. Whole wheat buttermilk pancakes sans buttermilk syrup because I just couldn't bring myself to eat all that syrup, even if it is divine. I also discovered that the perfect pancake setting on our stove is 4. My last two batches haven't been my best work because it seems I have no recollection of how to cook on an electric stove top.

At any rate, I feel like you should have been home at 5:15. Working until 6:30 is an adjustment. I suppose it's because we've been so used to our 8-12-5 food schedule. Cora is taking a bath in which she is "making" you some salmon chili. "I'm making salmon chili for Jake." Nolia is waking up, so she's about to join her big sister.

Have I told you lately that I love you? There's no one else above you. You fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness. Ease my troubles, that's what you do.

PS: Cora's also "making" you some pie.

Easier than I thought

Cora is potty trained. Thank you, 3 Day Potty Training by Lora Jensen, and thank you, Connie Burton, for sharing it with me. It didn't take all three days. It took one little dribble of an accident and she knew what to do (she finished going on the potty, mind you). No nightmare stories, no loads and loads of extra loads, just a sweet little-big girl in big girl panties. This is day 9 of only panties.

Cora also spent her first night away from us. She stayed with Gram and Offey (Jake's parents), and did really well. Better than me. I cried when we left their driveway. Not too much, hmmm, not to many tears at once, even if did happen on more than one occasion.

Magnolia is getting so much better at taking naps. She used to wake up the second she was put down. Now, she falls asleep and stays asleep after we put her down. I thought this day would never come, however, Cora is trying to give up her nap. 3 PM is a trying time in this house. Everyone is tired, and no one is asleep. I've decided to start doing something around 3. Today, we're going to the grocery store. Maybe. Irony of all ironies, I haven't heard Cora since the second sentence of this post. She has gone almost 3o minutes without making a peep before, so I'm still not convinced.

I'm currently uploading a video on facebook. It highlights Magnolia and her cute round head and sweet face. I recorded it about 2 weeks ago. About 21 seconds into it, she toots. Those who know me best know how (I just heard Cora) much that makes my heart sing.

"Hi, I'm 25, and I still think flatulence is just about the funniest thing ever." [And I hope it stays that way because everyone needs something to be that funny to them.]

I watched it over and over with Jake, and we were laughing so hard we were crying. Well, I was crying. Jake doesn't cry. Did you know that? We've been married for 6.5 years, and I've never seen a single tear fall from his eyes. If I didn't know how awesome and in touch with his emotions he is, I would think it was weird, but alas, it has become normal. And back to the video for a second: I'm so amazed at how well I was able to hold it together.

And finally, I'm glad our secure home network is up and running again so I can get back to really important things like facebook, blogging, and checking my email. I dreaded making the phone call because it took about an hour and a half with ATT when I was canceling/restarting service. This call only took 1/2 hour, and the outcome was successful.

Dear Blog

I'm glad you are okay. The window that popped up saying you had been removed made my heart sink.

I gathered a laptop, my wallet, and my phone and headed for the closest secure network I know - OCU. (I love you, OCU, and your secure network.)

I promise I won't log into my google account from an unsecured network ever again. I couldn't help it. Our internet at home wasn't working. It was a bad decision. Maybe we can save more people from doing the same thing.

Your password is changed. You are better protected, and I'm going to start backing you up. I love you too much to not do so. If I could hug you, I would.

Here's to a long, lovely life together. And also to getting our home internet back up and running soon. Until then, Over and Out.

Baby Facts and a Burning U-Haul

Cora and Magnolia went to the doctor this morning. I think I'm really going to like their new doctor. She's young, totally put together, has an 18-month-old daughter at home, and is expecting twin boys at the end of November. Oh, and her husband stays at home with the kids. I love non-traditional family dynamics. Both girls looked great.

Cora weighs 31 pounds, and is 36.9 inches long.
Magnolia weighs 10.2 and is 22 inches long. She also got three shots. Oh man, I had to choke back the tears this time.

On Saturday, we were driving back from meeting Grammy's sister, brother, and granddaughter (Hannah, Leo, and Sarah) at a McDonald's between OKC and Tulsa. Traffic came to a quick slow, and we saw shredded rubber from a tire, and broken lights strewn about the road. I looked ahead, and there was smoke. We came upon a caravan of cars pulling smaller U-Haul trailers, with the big one in the front. It was missing the front driver's side tire, and the bottom of the cab was on fire. There was a man in the door of the cab scrambling to get things out. Jake pulled over, and so did my mom in the car behind us. Jake and Don ran back to see if there was anything they could do. Semis were pulling over and running back with their fire extinguishers. One trucker had several gallons of water than Jake and Don were throwing on the fire.

My heart was pounding as I thought about our recent move, and how nothing went right, but at least what happened to that family didn't go wrong with us. It just cost us a boat load of extra money. When the tire blew, the wheel cranked hard to the right, and pulled the driver's hand with it, injuring it in the process. It crashed into the barrier between lanes of traffic, and somehow he was able to pull it over to the shoulder. We drove past just as his wife, in the car in front of him was getting out. They were moving from Michigan to Texas, and no doubt had family following in the little caravan. I can't imagine what it would be like, standing on the side of the road in the middle of Oklahoma and anticipating all of your possessions burning up right in front of your eyes. The active fire was put out while we were there, and I don't think it reached the trailer. The fire truck was on its way, and luckily it had rained a bit the day before so the grass of of the shoulder didn't burn like it could have.

I've been thinking about that family, and hoping they're settling into their home in Texas and that his hand is feeling better. And I'm feeling grateful that despite life's inconveniences, I still have all of the things that matter most.


As soon as I found out I was pregnant the first time, I told everyone with whom I crossed paths. I got the confirmation phone call at school, so many of the first to know were members of the OCU community. One response I clearly remember was given by the administrative assistant in the Humanities office.

"Aww, now that perfect little body is going to go to $h#*."

I was a little caught off guard, being that was her first reaction, but I was on cloud nine, so I didn't think much of it. Six weeks later, I miscarried. No poopy body that time. And after Cora, I held onto those "last 10 pounds." And after Magnolia I'm holding onto those last 30 pounds. I know she's only 3 months old (in 2 days), but fo' shiz. I counted it a victory that I didn't have any stretch marks on my tummy, despite the fact I have them on my sides, hiney, and thighs. I've read that women are much more inclined to the pear shape while in child bearing years because that is generally where the body stores fat for breastfeeding. Mine is storing a lot of it.

And so I've gone on two little runs for the past two nights. I ran the whole way, yes indeed. When I got home last night, I couldn't wait to take the car out to see how far I'd gone. I was hoping for a mile. To my delight, the odometer read 1.6 miles. Tonight I ran the same path, only backwards. And it was fabulous because the remnants of Hermine were over my head. I love running through puddles and in rain.

My path takes me for a loop around Northwest Classen. Every time I see that school, I am in awe. I don't know the specifics on who designed it, but kudos. It's a fabulous example of Mid-century Modern. Perfect details on an overall simplified exterior, like the overhangs one drives/waits under. As I ran around the sidewalks, I felt my connection grow. It's the place I took the exams to become a teacher, where I student taught, and where I had my first teaching job. It is more than just the great students. It's alive to me.

If I've always thought flowers had souls, I most certainly think buildings do. I've also been making little housekeeping notes as I round its corners - the piece of awning on the west side that is loose at the top, the namesake sign on the marquee that is slipping down (and that fact that there are no announcements on the marquee), the ivy that can't decide if it wants to grow or die along the fence, etc. I try to imagine what it was like when it was brand new. Especially since I think it's still so glorious. I wish it didn't fall victim to the kind of fixes school districts do in order to save money, mostly on the interior: dropped ceilings, some blocked transoms, big black internet boxes, intrusive air/heating units. Those four things alone have drastically altered the feel of the interior, as far as I can imagine, from what it originally looked like inside. I wish it could be fully restored. I wish everyone could see how beautiful it is. Every classroom has a whole wall of windows, a whole entire wall, and the afore mentioned transoms let the light spill out into the hallways. And there's a courtyard, and a smoke stack, and I loved getting to walk the halls every day.


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