Conversations with Cora

Cora: I'm going to be a doctor.
Me: Oh, really?
Cora: Yeah. (spread out over three syllables)
Me: That's great, Cora. You can be whatever you want to be.
Cora: Really?
Me: Uh huh.
Cora: I'm going to be a lady bug or an airplane.
Me: Hmm, sounds good.


Me: What did you learn in nursery (Sunday school) today?
Cora: I learned about, um, in nursery, I learned about...
Me: Did you learn that your body is like God's body?
Cora: Yeah!
Me: Do you both have hands?
Cora: Yeah.
Me: Do you both have feet?
Cora: Yeah.
Me: What else do you share?
Cora: We share dinosaurs!

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom

I used to have to be at work at 7:20. And look decent, too. I did it well.

Now I think having to be anywhere before 10 AM is a trial. Who cares if I get a shower? Hair is easily pulled back, and deodorant layers well.

My house is always clean, but not always tidy. You're smart enough to know the difference. But just in case you're not: germs don't thrive well, but clutter does occasionally* get out of control.

I'm good at doing laundry if that excludes folding it, but most of the time I avoid it because I know I'll have to fold it [and put it away] eventually.

The hours between 3-5 are insanely difficult. Every day. And I'm not even sure why. Perhaps we're all just sick of each other. But we're probably mostly just tired. Hmm, maybe sick and tired.

I'm better at structure when other people impose it. It's definitely something I've had to work on - something I'm working on. When it's just me, I look like my in-law's dog, Gabby, when she forgot how to swim for a few seconds in the middle of a pond: splashing and flailing about.

There are times when I hate the way I sound when talking to my girls. Like really, was that my voice?

I remind myself a lot to live in this moment. Right here, right now. Treasure these little voices, these soft cries, grunts and giggles. Treasure this special way they need me because they won't always need me like this.

I'm always wishing I was a better mother, as I'm sure every mother does. I've learned a million things about myself already, and I know I've got many more to go. The pull always comes when who I was/wanted to be pre-motherhood clashes with who I feel I am now. I'm trying to make peace with the two.

I know for sure that these two girls were sent specifically to me, and I don't want to squander that most precious gift. They are amazing, and I want to be the amazing mom they deserve. Because I love them.

More than anything.

And then some.

Mouse Hunt

We went to Jake's parents' home in Holdenville for fall break. It was a good time. Cooking, relaxing, laughing, good weather, family, eating too much, and no, I repeat, NO mice (we've had a mouse issue for over a month now).

We got home and the first thing we did was survey for new mouse droppings. There weren't any. Wow. We'd been home for a few hours, I went into the bathroom, was approaching the toilet, heard something, and turned in time to see a mouse run out underneath the door. Naturally, I screamed.

As Jake was preparing the traps for the evening, Clyde, our mouse, ran into the den where I was sitting. It's his nightly ritual. He runs in and out of the den for about an hour with Jake and I sitting right there. He comes up on the rug in front of the chair we're sitting in, rubs his rodent face in it's shag, and runs somewhere else for a while, only to come back.

Before we left for a break, I filled almost every little hole with steel wool (mice won't chew through it). I stopped when I sliced my finger on the stuff. Jake finished stuffing the holes we can see last night (a mouse can fit through any crack/hole the size of your little finger, or roughly the circumference of a pencil) (and Jake also cut his finger - even after my warning to use gloves).

This morning when I woke up, I found one of my steel wool stuffings displaced. Oh no you didn't, Clyde! Today I will be stuffing that hole with even more stuff.

I don't know how much more my heart can take. I'm a huge ball of jumpy anxious nerves. I have a baby, and she needs tummy time, but I don't like to put her on the floor, even on a blanket! Cora likes to throw things on the floor, and I have to constantly remind her not to because the mouse might get it. I even bought bleach! I never use bleach. We got a gallon when we got married, and I got rid of the jug still full of over half it's contents when we moved to Chicago. I don't do chemicals, but I do with Clyde around. And I hate to say it, but I will. I will just for the sake of illustrating what a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad situation this is: He has left droppings in more than one of our shoes! AHHHH!

So that's it Clyde, vacate or die. I repeat, VACATE OR DIE.

Some things are better left to the professionals

Or so I thought.

It all started after I had Magnolia. My highlights were growing out a bit, and I decided I wanted something new, or old. I wanted the same hair color I had in high school. You know, when I was outside all the time in the hot Arizona sun. I had lovely wheat blonde hair with almost as light as can be natural highlights.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. If I could do this myself, I would save so much money. The color was beautiful, minus about an inch and a half of brassy roots. Apparently, my pregnancy had caused some greater darkening at the roots, so they didn't process the same. I got a toner the next day. Eh. My roots went from fiery brass to banana yellow.

My next step was going a a bit darker to a medium champagne blonde. Still hints of brass. I concluded with a medium ash blonde, which I was okay with for a bit, and then it started to fade. I still have a brassy section, but my roots are my natural color again. Oh how I've missed it. I can see the beautiful light sections (much lighter than the shade my hair is now) coming in around my face, and the dark blonde making a comeback. I never realized how much I loved my hair (in its natural state), until it wasn't there anymore. I especially love it in summer time when the sun works its magic.

As I've watched my roots come in, I thought, hot dang, I'm going to have to find a good colorist to match my natural color, but there are SO MANY colors in my natural color, it would be difficult to get it spot on. I was thinking an all over dark blonde with some Balayage highlights.

But today I came across Ombre hair. Definition: Basically letting your roots go wild. I've never been a huge fan of roots, but this is trendy right now, and I'm growing my hair out anyway. I can get my natural color back without dying my hair again (doesn't that sound funny). It just has to stay trendy long enough for my super slow growing hair to get to a point where I can lop it off again. Here's a lovely example:

Bless this trend. And speaking of hair, here is Magnolia's (and mine). She would like you all to know that hers is coming in brown. And I would like you to know not to be deceived by the hue in this light. I'll see if I can dig up another in all of its brassy glory.

Ah yes, here. On Magnolia's blessing day.

(4-generations. Don't worry, Cora cooperated for a few.)

PS: Here's my natural hair color (in the middle of a Chicago winter). Yes, I was pregnant with Magnolia.

PSS: I got pretty close to my natural color with my last dye, but my natural hair is simply not an all over color.

Weekend Recap

On Friday, we went to Seminole, OK to watch Jake's cousin Kory play football. He's a senior, and this season had the honor of being named offensive player of the week. It was a good game, a GREAT fourth quarter, a pins and needles overtime, and a loss for Seminole by one point. They'd lost a previous game by one point as well. The other team had a crazy accurate quarterback with a good arm. Stigler (the other team) beat every other team they played by at least 40 points. One of my favorite movies is Elizabethtown and one of my favorite quotes comes from it:

"In that moment, I knew success, not greatness, was the only god the world served."

I suppose success in football is a win, but greatness is the entire Seminole team kneeling in prayer between the fourth quarter and overtime. I value greatness.

(I copied this from the school athletics site, can you tell? ;) Kory is #87.)

Cora left with Gram and Offey at half time. Jake, Magnolia and I made our way home. We decided we were hungry around Shawnee, but we didn't stop. Instead we stopped at Big Truck Tacos in OKC and took it to Crown Heights Park.

Yep. We were eating Big Truck Tacos at midnight at a park. It was like old times (minus the sleeping baby in the back and the fact that it was BTT because BTT didn't exist in our old times).

Saturday began with General Conference. Uchtdorf spoke about living simply, which has come to be a sort of motto of mine. I don't publish everything I write on here, but many are about living a simple life. I strive for it. I ache for it. I'm happiest when I'm great at it. Needless to say, his words sang to my soul.

In between sessions of conference, we picked up a Chipotle burrito to share and drove to Lake Hefner. It was the perfect day, and we found the perfect spot on a rock wall facing the lake with wind blowing through the trees right in front of us. I love that sound. Wind rustling leaves. And fall smells so good.

We picked up some mums and pumpkins to decorate with, keeping in mind Cora had decorated a pumpkin at Gram and Offey's. That evening, we watched Angels and Demons, followed by a National Geographic special on the Vatican. It's all so fascinating - and seriously cuddle worthy, for no apparent reason.

The highlight of Sunday was picking up Coco. We met in Shawnee at a park to picnic with Vaughn and Tracey. A park where a sort of medieval weaponry competition was going on (the weapons were made of foam). Youth and Old Age kept creeping through my mind as there were teenage boys warming up in one open area, and adults dressing in the full armor at a table on the other side (I didn't see the adults' weapons, but their protective gear led me to believe they were made of more than foam).

We didn't get to see what they were actually there to do, but in the midst of it all, a group of softball playing teenage girls showed up. The teenage boys really stepped it up a notch when the girls got there. The girls carried on with warm ups. After a while a few of the girls went over and the boys graciously let them hit them with their own weapons. It was so a scene out of a movie. Pretty soon more girls joined in, some taking photos, the boys posing as tough-like and proud as can be, until they were all just mingling. VICTORIOUS on the boys accounts. They were wrapped in black and red material, mind you. And those girls were cute. Really cute.

It felt complete to have our little family back together again. I loved some "alone" time with Jake. All in all, one of the best weekends on record in my book.

Last but not least, the reason why I thought I should write this post in the first place. As we were driving to the football game in Seminole, we could see a fire from some distance. I jokingly said to Jake "I hope it's not the stadium." Luckily, it was not the stadium. It was, however, an old school. This was the school for colored students in Seminole back in the days of segregation before every student could learn together in the school I was staring at across the field. As I sat in the stadium remembering the smoke in the air, and thinking of that old school burning to the ground, I wanted to do cartwheels.

(I also copied this picture. I like it. It is the current Seminole High School from the front. The stadium has an impeccable view of the back and its three stories of bay windows.)

PS: Cora's pumpkin was a "Junkin' Punkin'." It's awesome,so is her name. Cora named her SheenaCake, and it is so funny to hear her ask "Where SheenaCake?" Plus, it's fun to say. Try it. Out loud.


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