Thursday, September 27, 2007

Marriage is not for sissies.

The guys in this picture left to right are Chris (my cousin's husband), James (my cousin), and of course Chowder and Meatball. Chris and James were hiding on the side of the beach house so they could be disgusting and dip. Chowder and Meatball are making fun of them.

Chowder and Chris, as I wrote before, are quite a pair. Well, truth is we both love him. Eily and Chris are two of our favorite people. When we are together we have so much fun and laugh until our cheeks hurt and we're about to throw up. It's so great going to family get togethers because we know we will have a great time. The kids adore both of them and Chris is just one of those natural fun kids guys. You know the kind. Eily is Ladybug's godmother. She's always been my "Crazy Cousin Eily."

and now they are getting divorced.

Chowder and I are just reeling from it. Nobody else knows (so Brother if you are reading this, keep your yapper shut.) We knew nothing of the problems until Labor Day weekend when we were in Chicago for another wedding. Chris ended up going home early. Eily told us everything. And Chowder and I felt a big hole open up in our chests because there was nothing we could do. The marriage is only a year and a half old and the very premise of it is flawed. Both of them were missing so much of the point. Both are to blame. We wanted to shake them both and tell them that they are missing it completely. Missing the work. Missing the joy. Missing the surrender. Missing the partnership. Missing the very key part that makes it work. that gets you through all the other stuff.

Both of them were too afraid to give it up to the other. And folks, you gotta give it up. I've done it both ways. I was married once before Chowder. Married for two and half years. But, I never gave it up and neither did he. We both wanted to hold onto our separate identities and not have to lose anything in the bargain. Well, we lost. we lost the whole thing.

I know it's not very hip these days to talk about giving up yourself to another person, but from where I'm standing the whole "don't lose yourself" thing is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. If you don't want to lose yourself, don't get married. period. The whole point is losing yourself and then combined you make something amazing. You make a marriage.

well, I won't wop all my philosophy on marriage on you. But, now what? Chowder and I are hurting for these two. We are hurting for what they have lost. For what they dreamed of but fell short because of fear. We frustrated because they could have been so great together. And there is our own loss. We lose Chris. We lose the four of us. That's it.

I'm going to go snuggle in with Chowder now. go hold on. go lose myself. because we are all about the "whole being better than the sum of its parts."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We all have been given special gifts...

by God and sometimes we just need to suck it up and accept them graciously.

scene: Dinner time at the Cakes house. This scene plays itself out the exact same every single night. We eat dinner at 5:00p. At 5:30p every night Porkchop excuses himself from the table and goes to the bathroom to take a poo. every night. And then every night Porkchop calls Chowder from the dinner table to come wipe his butt. There is no variation in this scenario. And I admit, that I encourage none.

Porkchop: Daaaaaaaaaad! Could you come wipe my butt?!
Chowder: Are you serious?! Why?! Why can't you wipe your butt?
Porkchop: Because. I neeeeed you!
Chowder: But why does it have to be me?! Why can't Mommy come wipe your butt?!
Porkchop: (clearly confused.) But. It's your job.
Chowder: How is that my job?!
Porkchop: (exasperated.) Because you are the Buttwiper!

yeah. so get to work.
hee hee. Buttwiper.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Photo catch up

I finally found my USB cord for my camera. Under the couch in the family room? of course.

So here is the first day of school and then Meatball helping Porkchop...

The front porch. Notice the column laying on the ground. A second contractor told us on Friday that "It couldn't be any worse." hmmmmm. thanks.

We've had a couple of birthdays...Skaterboy is 16! and Ladybug just turned 1. what the hell, folks.

and the squealing squeezes I got from this little one, got me through the week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


We had Chinese food for lunch today. The kids love their fortune cookies and take their fortunes extremely seriously. This is not a good thing for my OCD 5 yr old. His fortune today read:

You will enjoy doing something different this coming weekend.
Worse news couldn't have come to him. He has been in a complete panic.
"But I don't want to do something different this weekend! I like to do the same thing every weekend. Why do I have to do something different?!"

I have no idea what the "same thing" is that he does every weekend, but the mere thought of doing something different has him completely out of his mind!

poor little feller.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cakes Official Week of Self-Pity

You might want to tune out for this week. I've given myself this week to wallow in my self pity. Next week, I'll just have to snap out of it because...well hell, life goes on doesn't it? and I have a beautiful life of blessing that need tending.

It's hard because Chowder already seems to have moved past this loss. It was so much shorter than all of our others. A mere 6 weeks and we only "knew" for 3 days before the bleeding began. no ultrasound pics. no lingering heartbeat that we put all of our hopes behind until finally it just stops. no dreadful betas. just one little test. and one little embryo.

I, of course, have the constant reminder of what we have lost. (I hate these stupid pads.)
and I have the guilt.
and the emptiness. that vast hole of emptiness left behind once life has exited.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hi. My name is Cakes and I'm a Habitual Aborter.

It isn't a title I am particularly proud of. Not like "Destroyer of Dreams" that Chowder has dubbed me because of my need to insert common sense into his schemes. It was a crown I had hoped to have packed up in a box and put in the closet. I have Ladybug. She evened out my brood. 5 losses-5 live children. It was a lovely neat little balance. And as a bonus, we were ending our season on a win. not a loss.

We weren't trying to get pregnant. We have actually been working quite hard to avoid it. While working through my before mentioned panic, I stopped and realized that I really don't want to be pregnant right now. In a year or so? maybe. But, Chowder and I have also had a very strong stirring in our hearts toward adoption. I was at peace with where we were and where we were headed.

But, last month my cycle was very screwy and then this cycle, my temps were all over the place. We obviously got the timing wrong. But, I couldn't believe that we got the timing wrong. and then there was that peace I was feeling. and for me that peace always leads to that dastardly "hope."

Monday, September 17, 2007

to my 11th Darling 6th lost one

on holding you for the first and last time this morning, so quiet in your milky little bubble the size of a large bean.

I'm sorry.
I'm sorry your mother's body has betrayed you.
I'm sorry that I wasted a week and a half of knowing you because I was too chicken to find out for sure.
I'm sorry I misunderstood my own words about God's faithfulness.
I'm sorry.

Please know that for those 3 days we knew you were there, that your Dad and I giggled with excitement and fear. We planned where you would sleep. We planned your beautiful Spring birthday. Something we've never had! We worried about telling our families and hearing the negative responses (as if the 6th baby is less wanted than the first or second.) We played with names and wondered at your personality. We pictured your blue eyes and blond hair. I slept curled up around you, my hand holding you. wishing that my love could keep you safe.

But always in the back of our minds, starting each thought and sentence was "If."
"If this little one makes it..."

so, little Sweeting....

I just can't bring myself to say, "Goodbye."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another vote for uniforms...

Last week was the kids' first week of real school. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30-11:30a. So far they are loving it. I am amazed when I peek into their classroom. Amazed by their teachers. Amazed by how well the Montessori approach to education really fits each of the children for a different reason.

As much as Meatball is really growing from his time at school, the adjustment has also activated an OCD flare-up. Though he has never been officially diagnosed, it is only a matter of time. The first day of orientation week, Meatball insisted on wearing a button down dress shirt and a pair of khakis. I thought it was pretty cute and both he and Porkchop went off to school all dressed up. The second day I chuckled and they wore another dress shirt. how endearing. By, the fourth day they had run out of dress shirts.

This morning Meatball had a meltdown because he did not have a dress shirt ready to wear to school. He had to have one (I won't even get into the collar position and required buttoning procedure.) I ended up having a little meltdown of my own where I finished with my sobbing, "I will not be ironing everyday for PRESCHOOL!!"

Saturday, September 08, 2007

the confession

I was out for drinks with my girlfriends last night and two of them ordered fish tacos. I had to confess to them that it wasn't until I was 30 that this midwestern girl realized that fish tacos were an actual food and not...


a euphemism for the "girly parts"

Friday, September 07, 2007

At the table

When Chowder and I first got engaged, I had a dream. In the dream, Chowder and I were sitting at a dinner table. He was at one end and I was at the other. A little boy was sitting in the chair next to me and then there were six empty chairs. I knew that the little boy was Skaterboy and that this was our family-to-be. It filled me with a great deal of excitement and joy. We didn't know how God planned to fill the chairs and we were open to his possibility. Even when I was going through years of infertility treatments, I never doubted that the chairs would be filled. I just doubted that they would be filled by children carried and birthed by me. In the dream, the absence of the children at the table never elicited feelings of panic, it was more this feeling like they were out playing or they were at school and just hadn't gotten home yet.

We are a family that sits down to the table regularly. We eat almost all of our lunches and dinners together at the table. But during our infertility struggles, dinner tables began to frustrate me. We had a table that sat six. And every night we would sit around it and I would look at those empty chairs and my heart would hurt. It got to the point after one of miscarriages that I had to move three of the chairs (3 miscarriages) down to the basement so that I wouldn't have the constant reminder. And then I just abandoned eating at the table all together.

As the years have gone by, the dream has visited me once every few months. Slowly the chairs have filled and the dream again filled me with peace and joy. My table that seats six is full and Ladybug hangs at one of the corners. But, last month the dream was different. For the first time, the quiet assurance of the dream was replaced by a feeling of dread. Instead of knowing that the two little ones would be along shortly, I knew deep in my heart that they were...missing. And I woke up feeling desperate and afraid.

I suddenly felt this need to get pregnant right away. I have to get these two little ones to the table before it is too late! I want to just get my table filled and then I can sit down to eat and my life can go on. It is completely irrational and impossible to explain to Chowder, so I just didn't say anything at all. Instead I pulled into myself and clung to the children and filled with resentment toward poor innocent Chowder who had no idea what was going on.

I went to our pastoral counselor's appointment alone that week and tried to explain as best as I could what was going on in me. And he asked the most important thing that could have been asked, "Why are you doubting that God will fulfill his plan for your family? Hasn't he filled five of the chairs already?"

*deep breath* Well, hasn't he? Hasn't he been faithful? I am such an Israelite...whining. After I have been freed from slavery, after a huge column of flame has led my way in the desert, after all my needs have been provided.

Still, I doubt.
Still, I nag.
Still, I want to take control myself and do it my way. You know, the right way.

And what then of all the dinners that I'm not enjoying because I'm consumed by this panic? What about the conversations and the sharing that go on at my table everyday?

It's time to trust. And time to be filled with peace and joy, again. God is faithful. I am the one who is not.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I love Crisco!

I know. you threw up in your mouth a little bit just reading that, didn't you? sorry.

But, I do. A couple of months ago I started seeing recipes (including from darling Martha) that listed Crisco as an ingredient. I haven't seen Crisco listed since it became considered a poison in the 90's. Now that the new Crisco has no trans fats it can be used again. I'm sure it is still a poison but I don't want to know about it if it is. I just made the best damn chocolate chip cookies I've made in years! They have that wonderful crispy/flaky texture I remember from my childhood.

And these cookies are awesome. We gobbled them up!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Alright Kids. Back to life, back to reality, back to blogging...

Wow. That was quite an end of the summer rush. But, that was it. The pool is now closed, Grandmother and Grandfather have returned to Florida, the snow cone stands are closing up, the kids have started school with their little freckled cheeks and sun kiss still lingering, and today the temperature is finally in the 80's.

I really love the summer. It is just the perfect time to be a kid. It is not,however, the perfect time to be an organized parent. Every last lovely routine of mine goes right out the window. And for the most part, that's ok. It's summer after all. But, right about now my mouth is watering for some routine. For my sense of order. I get excited and nervous about fall the same way I did when I was a kid getting ready for school. I love collecting my new supplies. I love laying out my calendar and schedule. I love exploring all of the new ways of setting things up.

For the last few weeks I've been in the Getting Ready mode. I've been reading cooking magazines and bought a new cook book to help me get inspired to get back to real honest to goodness meal preparation. I've been at the library getting books on organization and home improvement. I've been reading (nerd alert!) Good Housekeeping and loving it! I've reviewed my trusted copy of Home Comforts.

I'm now entering the planning stage and then I'll get to go purchase my supplies. I'm beside myself with giddiness. I love love love order. Right now, I'm planning a new housekeeping routine, a new bible study, menu planning and grocery expense reduction (as if!), and some home improvements (meaning making our home more like us.) I'm so far behind it will take some catch up work to get me back to maintenance level but in a couple of weeks we should be up and running! YAY! It is odd to have this 3 hours 3 times a week to get this stuff done. I'm really feeling like I'm in control. Sooooo, you know what that means...