Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm all guest bloggin' and stuff

Shaz asked me to write a post for her about marriage. And since I adooooooore Shaz, I happily obliged. But, I must say I'm kinda nervous. It's one thing to spout my self-righteous banter on my own blog but to subject your friends to it? that's another matter entirely!

You can read it here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Whaddya' Think?

I needed a change. I'm getting into those winter blahs. I'll be tweaking the sidebar and stuff (I lost all my widgets), but I I really like the colors. And I had to add the pets because my children saw my blog and were indignant that I didn't have the pets' pictures up there with us. So, there they are. I need more distinction between the posts, too. I'll work on that later.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The one about the college visit...

I don't know why it has taken me so long to post about my visit to St. Mary of the Woods. I guess I'm still processing it all and trying to get myself all brave and stuff. The open house was both informative and a bit discouraging. But now, I think that was good. If I am really going to go through the work of getting my degree, then I'm really go to have to fight for it. I mean, really.

The biggest obstacle I'm running into is coming to terms with my past. I want to just pretend that I never went to college. I don't want to have to explain everything. I'm worried about sending my transcripts and all of my failures. It was just very disheartening. I have A LOT of F's. I know I had a lot going on, but still. A LOT of F's. I actually lied during my conversations with the admissions woman when we were talking about all the paperwork I needed to get together. I asked her what documentation I would need if I hadn't gone to college. (lie.) I know. I know. I would rather give up the few credits I do have just to not have to face the embarrassment.

And then when I started talking to the woman from the English department, she asked me how many kids I had and what ages. After I told her, she blurted out, "You'll never have time to do all this." Not meaning it in a bad way, just an offhanded observation about the busyness of my life. But, I came close to crumbling into tears. I mean, how am I going to do this? But, then I chucked myself under the chin and said, "When exactly is a good time? I've been waiting for the perfect time to go back and now 15 years has gone by. No time like the present." but still...that doubt.

After leaving the library, I decided to take a drive around the campus. I discovered that they have a labyrinth. So, in the dark, cold evening I parked my car and set out for the labyrinth. Labyrinths are ancient spiritual prayer tools, the heart of which I usually equate with God or Truth or Sainthood. The walk takes us on a journey that is eerily similar to our own spiritual journeys. I love them. I haven't walked one in awhile. I didn't really want to this night, but forced myself.

I only half-heartedly walked the path at first. "It shouldn't take long. And then when I get to the middle and accomplish that goal, I can move on to my next task." And that is where a labyrinth kicks you in the pants. You walk for a little while. turn, turn, walk, turn and then you are facing the center and walking toward the center and you're feeling good about getting to the center and then you veer off away from your goal. I took a little pleasure in the metaphor and kept walking and turning.

At one point I thought, "Just stop. Walk to the center and go home. It's freezing out here." But, I stayed on the path, frustrated because I walk and turn and find myself almost exactly where I was a few minutes ago. I thought I had covered this ground and now here I am again. With another turn I found myself all the way back at the outer edge. I just wanted to be done so I started running (dork!). And then I simply resigned myself. "I am an idiot walking around in circles in the cold dark. Good plan."

When I hit the outer edge again, I finally looked up. All this time I had been watching the path. watching my feet. Once I looked up I saw that I was surrounded by a beautiful wooded park. There was snow falling and trees and a shrine. "It's about the journey, stupid." I felt good about this. I was opening up to God and his plan. I was facing my past.

I walked and I turned feeling light and peaceful. I found I was walking toward the center where I could rest with God for a little while. "This is finally it." I sighed. But suddenly, I turned. I was at the outer rim again. I walked, I turned. I was sooooo done with this whole little exercise. I walked and I turned and finally walking parallel to the path that brought me into the labyrinth, I finally reached the heart. I sat, drained by the walk and I cried. I can't keep trying to pretty up the past. It was what it was. Admit it. Confess it. Receive absolution. and know that God was there, too.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Peek-In-Monday...failure.

My photo program is not transferring my video clips! I'm so angry! I have a couple of great clips and they aren't even showing up!

So, here are some still photos of our day on Saturday. So, no video but this is what the video was from. Hopefully I can get it to work and post it later. In the meantime, head over to see Gem's adorable Peek into her morning.

Post yours if you got one!





Saturday, January 26, 2008

If you are offended by circle of life and all that...don't scroll down

Finally Po-Po has begun fulfilling his mission. Not bad for 6 months. I can't tell you how excited I was when he brought his gift to The Meatball. I was so proud. You have no idea how those little bastards are driving me crazy! I went to get a dish towel out of the drawer and it had little turds on it. I had to re-wash all the towels in the drawer!












Friday, January 25, 2008

Fridge Friday!


Happy Fridge Friday!! Check out Crinkle McSunshine perusing the choices. LOL! Yes, that is five 4-packs of yogurt in there. They were 10 for $10 plus I had a $10 off $50 coupon. That made them $.80 each! My kids will have devoured them by the end of the week. And yes, that is another couple slabs of ribs. They were marked down again this week $1.29 a lb plus the $10 coupon. I promised Chowder I'd make more ribs for the his Super Bowl Party. (You know what that makes me? Winner Wife!) Yes, I shopped in three shifts this week to use the coupon three times. But that's $30 off! Why wouldn't I?



And my other food picture this week is our Y2K stash. This is where I store my bulk purchases. Like the 10 for $10 jars of peanut butter that came out to $.80 each or the ten boxes of Extra Creamy Mac and cheese that was $.45 a box. The drawers are packed with bulk baking supplies. When flour goes on sale for $1 a bag or cheaper I buy 10 bags, choc chips, sugar etc. The crate holds my potatoes, onions, garlic, etc. This week I bought three boxes of Rice Krispies and 3 bags of marshmallows. You know what that means...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Cozy Corner...ok not really a corner but very cozy.

Monkey Giggles invited me to join her Cozy Corner contest. While not a corner, this is where I go to get cozy. I am a nap girl. I love love love my naps. I take a nap everyday. every. day. This is my where I snuggle into the soft, soft flannel and burrow under the weight of the two quilts that have been made for us by the loving hands of church quilting groups... and then I sleep.

It also helps that this is where I get to cozy up to the man I am crazy lucky to get to spend the rest of my life with. And these days he has some extra coziness to him!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My name is Cakes and I'm a social buffoon...

Don't you love the word "buffoon?" Can anything describe itself so well? I mean it's almost an Onomatopoeia! (and yes, I had to look up the spelling of that word. I thought it started with an "A.")

If you have added me as a friend on various social networking sites, thank you. That was very kind. But, now what? I'm a total introvert anyway, and in real life I have a handful of good friends that I hold close and with everyone else? well. I do the best I can. But, I have to admit that my best is not very good. I'm awkward and stumbly when acquaintenceships get past a certain point and I can come off as either a loud, ridiculous know-it-all or else as standoffish and smug. And now I'm trying to get my bearings in the cyber socialsphere.

So, if anyone wants to guide me through the expected behaviors that I am supposed to be doing I would really appreciate it. I have a Blog 365 page and some very nice women have "friended" me and I'm not sure what the social protocol is. I, of course, accepted the invitation to be friends but do I then add them? I enjoy looking over their pages and have added some new blogs to my daily reads, but what about these comments? What do people normally do here? Someone help an old gal out. I'm afraid I'm coming across as a pompous ass or a cold fish or whatever and that's not the case, I am just an idiot.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Peek-In-Monday...

technical difficulties...

I'm so mad! I just lost the video of Skaterboy making french toast for everyone!
I'll post another video a little later. sorry.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

When Will Scientists Solve the Real Mysteries?

As amazing and fascinating as I think it is that doctors have brought a rat heart "back to life," and as thrilled as I am for what this could mean for the development of heart transplants, I feel like many more lives could be saved, and many women could maintain their sanity, and many children would not have to grow up alone because their mothers are in prison if only they could solve this one neurological disorder...


Not too shabby for a non-college grad, huh?

blog readability test

I stole this from my friend Dani...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fridge Friday!

It's Fridge Friday again!


Alright, this was from Fridge Wednesday (obviously shopping day.) I opened the refrigerator and seeing the spaceship, aliens, and dinosaurs, may or may not have shouted, "What the hell is this?!" Jellybean walking past the kitchen, rolled her eyes so hard I thought they would get stuck in the back of her head and replied, "It's Jupiter." As in, "Could you be more stupider?"

So, if anyone was lamenting the fate of the dinosaurs, fear not. They appear to be thriving on Jupiter. That little earth dude is going to get quite a surprise when he drives his little moon buggy around that jug of apple juice.


This is our fridge today. Very excited this week! There was a big sale on spare ribs ($1.09 a lb!) Check out my two slabs! (bottom shelf) So, on Sunday we're having ribs! Wahoo! ok so it takes 4 hours to cook them but maaaaannnn is it worth it. mmmmmmmmm. I also got whole chickens for 65 cents a pound. So, I bought three. I'll be pot roasting two of them tonight. One of our family favorites.

And just so Shaz can make fun of me some more...
our week in cereal



and a triple batch of rice crispy treats

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The beauty of the Internets

I have loved reading all of your responses to my post about major life impasses in marriage. Your stories have all touched and encouraged me. Life is like that, isn't it? Relationships are like that, aren't they? We do our best to muddle through with grace and love.

***************

Whenever Chowder goes looking at jobs, even international jobs, chances are that I have a "friend" there or near there. It is very comforting and makes the prospect of leaving my community not so scary but more adventurous!

***************

At night when we pray with the children, or when we do petitions at church, my children always ask me who are these people I am asking prayers for and I get to tell them that they are special people I know from around the world. It's amazing how much of your goofiness, and your trials, and your joys, and your lives touch me and stay with me throughout the week.

***************

I'll post about my trip to college later, I have so many blogs to catch up on. My bloglines account is actually laughing at me, I think.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Peek-In-Monday/Men:They'll Drive you Crazy/Giddy as a School Girl

Peek-In-Monday rules...
Post a video of your regular everyday life. Just a little peek into the daily goings on of your life.

A little basketball action for your viewing pleasure...When the Cakes' family plays, we play for keeps!

video


********************************

He said: I said, "I probably don't want anymore babies."
He said: I just hate everything that goes into us trying to conceive.
He said: I'm worried about all the anxiety and pressure. about getting sucked back in.
He said: I'm worried about losing another one.
I said: me, too.

We'll revisit things again in May.

********************************

Today I go to the open house at St. Mary of the Woods. I'm crazy excited but really really nervous.
silly, no?


Sunday, January 13, 2008

about marriage and children and when you don't agree...

I know I am opening myself up here, but I know many of you that read my blog can totally relate to where I'm coming from. So, here it goes.

Chowder began to make comments to me a couple of months ago that he was done having babies. They were always wishy-washy and ambiguous. Then he finally made it more clear a couple of weeks ago. He is done having babies.

Please understand that I think this is a completely reasonable stand to take. I mean for crying out loud, I have 5 beautiful children! I respect and honor his decision...but I'm not in the same place. I always thought and expected we would have more. And he hasn't shut the door to more children, just to us birthing them. So, this is not a post about me wanting to persuade my husband to change his mind. That is actually the last thing I want. I'm not interested in having any, "Fine! You can have another baby." babies. I only want, "You know, I would really love to have another baby with you." babies. So, again. I'm not looking to talk him into anything.

Here is what the post is about. As reasonable and honest as Chowder not wanting to have children is, it is equally reasonable and honest that I do. And in agreeing to have no more babies, I have to grieve that loss. The loss, in essence, of my "fertility." (I use quotes because my fertility is man-made.) Ladybug has more or less weaned. I am sad. very, very sad. I have tried to talk to Chowder about these feelings but it's been pretty useless because he either feels guilty for "making" me feel this way or he feels emotionally manipulated and pressured into doing something he doesn't want to do. Do you see the rub? I'm not trying to illicit either of these responses, but by the mere fact of expressing these emotions to him, trying to share with my best friend what I'm going through, I am.

We are at a real impasse, my friends. And maybe some cannot understand this because I didn't realize the effect that this would have on me, but I am going through a major life transition and I am having to do it...alone. I'm not angry with Chowder for not wanting what I want, but I am angry at him for abandoning me in my emotional menopause. I have cried at night while he pretended to sleep. not knowing how to help me since he feels he is the "cause."

And this is effecting so much more of my life than I expected. I didn't realize how much I equated my sexuality with my "fertility," but I have them deeply intertwined. I have had no interest in sex since this has come up and for those that know me, know that very little gets in the way of my interest in sex. You would think that after the years of infertility treatments and the years of sex having nothing to do with my fertility, that this wouldn't be the case.

And then there is the little issue with my last little lost one. Rational or not, theologically sound or not, I still feel like this little soul is supposed to be with us. And I can't shake the image of her just floating around out there wanting to come home. morbid, anyone?

What worries me the most about this impasse, is that when a person goes through a major life transition one comes out a different person on the other end. And if Chowder isn't with me through the transition will we be together once I get through it? As together as we have always been?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fridge Friday!

Are you kidding me! I love this! Is there anything MORE up my voyeuristic alley?! Some genius thought up the idea of Fridge Friday. Here's the deal, every Friday you post a picture of your fridge. Add it to the Flickr group. And no sprucing it up before hand.

So here is my first contribution...


I grocery shop on Wednesdays so we've already gone through 3 gallons of milk, 1/2 dozen apples and oranges, a bag of salad, etc. I can't figure out why we have 3 open bottles of Ranch. We never use Ranch dressing. I don't even know where they came from! You can see some of my bulk buying, three margarines, 4 cream cheeses, etc. By Tuesday this thing is pretty much barren. I wish Chowder would get the basement fridge door fixed so we could use it. I hate having to go back out for milk. We go through 8-10 gallons a week but can fit 6 maybe 7 in the fridge.


This is out fridge freezer. We also have a big chest freezer in the basement that holds the bulk stuff. When I make my menu, I bring whatever I'm going to use for the week to the upstairs freezer. We may or may not have an addiction to edamame.

So are you going to play?

Poo Update...I can't make this stuff up.

Last night after Chowder and I got home from looking at dining room tables (and going out for a beer and hot pretzels) I was walking up the stairs to go to bed. And there smack dab in the middle of the 11th stair was a little turd of poo. Still fresh.

Yes, this is the life I always dreamed of.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today's Post is about Poo. Not the bear. You've been Warned.

Let me give you a round up of my evening:

5:30p go to sit down on the toilet to do my business in the downstairs bathroom. (Wiping with Clorox wipe first, of course because I live in house with 4 males and I'm tired of sitting in male urine. As a matter of fact one of my lower points of mothering involved me falling to my knees crying and begging my husband, and my then 10 yr old son who were innocently watching a football game, to please love me. "Why WHHHHYYYYYY don't you love me? I am your mother! your wife! Why don't you love me?! And don't tell me that you do love me, because if you did you wouldn't make your dear wife and sainted mother sit in your urine! Loving me does not involve leaving your pee on the seat to have me sit in it! I'm begging you to please love me and respect me enough to pee in the toilet!") Anyway, I'm sitting down and then I look over at the wall next to me and right in my face is a huge clearly defined hand smear of poo.

6:30p After I finish scrubbing and fumigating the bathroom walls, I take Ladybug upstairs to take a bath. I get the tub ready and go to put down the lid on the toilet so I can sit down. And there on the toilet seat? that's right another smear of poo. and on the floor in front of the toilet? You bet. A big glob of poo.

6:45p I barely have time to take my rubber gloves off when I look at the joyous and endlessly proud look on the face of Ladybug. I coo at her and then look into the tub. What's that floating in the water? bobbing in and out among the boats and bath toys?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lazy Post

Here's some more pictures from our winter's respite we've had this week. And also the reasons why I want to stay here in this house. This is my neighborhood. I absolutely love it here. Yes, there are problems but nothing beats the people.

This the kids with our neighbor Ainsley. She's 4 and the kids have a great time with her. I know you have seen pictures of her before.


This is the famous Sr. Jeanne pushing Ladybug. On the porch in the background is Ainsley's mom and my other neighbor Carol. She's pregnant after a brief bout with infertility. Luckily they found her issues right away. She will be giving us one of 3 new babies that will be making appearances on our block this year. YAY!


This is Keira, Ainsley's baby sister. Adorable!


And their pug, Presley...


and our old man, Fargo (just turned 12! yikes.)


Jellybean, Ladybug, and The Meatball...



And Chowder, Ladybug and I (taken by Jellybean, who also is responsible for the new pic of us in my sidebar.)



Last night we had thunder storms(!) and a deluge of rain (which probably washed away all the bulbs I planted on the slope by the school entrance!) and today is grey and rainy...sound like a good day for a nap. So, here I go.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Peek-In-Monday...

Ugh! Sorry, I'm late today. I have a lot on my plate this week. I'm trying to help start up a school and a brand new church start up and get ready for school and.... I'm not usually so busy. I try to limit all of the big projects I involve myself in, But I really believe in all of these so it's going to be a hectic couple of months.

On the plus side, it has been 65+ degrees outside.

video

Saturday, January 05, 2008

*deep breath* I'm actually going to do it...

A year or so ago, I requested information from St. Mary of the Woods on their Women's External Degree program. I swooned and fell in love. Nothing touches my spirit like education geared toward women. I loved my all girl high school and love that this is primarily still an all women's college. Their distance learning program was set up in 1973 for women just like me. Just paging through the beautiful brochure, I felt so at home and so drawn...but also so unworthy. My attempts at writing my essay for the application started at pathetic and moved on to reeking of desperation.

In the sixteen years since I quit college and became a teen mother, I have been unable to shake the judgment that society had put upon me. I thought I had risen above it all and told society to, in essence, "Bite me." But, it turns out that is not the case. I internalized every disgusted look and every sigh of disappointment. And when the time came to express myself as the self-confident, self-reliant, self-appreciative woman of purpose and humor with endless possibilities and capabilities that I thought I was, my facade that surrounded what I really thought of myself shattered and I was left with the aforementioned pathetic desperation.

So, I put away the glossy course catalog and my application forms and thoughts of finally getting my bachelor's degree. Then, this past week on the way to my brother-in-law's house in Indianapolis, we drove through Terre Haute. As we drove past the exit, I was pulled off the highway like there was a string tied around my heart. And on New Year's Eve 2007, I made the most important resolution I have ever made. One that I am destined to succeed at. I will be attending St. Mary of the Woods College this year. I will.

I just made my first step. I registered for the Open House that will be held January 14th. I know once I talk to these women and they talk to me, we will figure out how to make this happen. My stomach is churning and my chest is fluttering and my eyes are watering. It will probably take me 10 years to finish, but this time...I will

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Of course I know what that song is!

As I said, My son has chosen to rebel against me in the two most hurtful ways.

1.) He refuses to recycle.

2.) He plays Motley Crue and GNR

it hurts so bad.