Thursday, April 30, 2009

Say What You Mean to Say

Yesterday Samuel was eating some raisins and M went over to him and was grunting for some. He pulled the bowl tight to him and said "no." She whined and came to me and started pulling on my leg. I would have gotten her some but my hands were wet with chicken so I asked Samuel to share. Here is how the conversation went:

J: Hey, can you please share with your sister?
S: No.
J: You need to share with your sister.
S: Why?
J: Because you love her.
S Well I don't love her that much.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm Screwed
It has become increasingly clear that Samuel is ready to dump his nap. At night, at his regular bedtime, he's seemingly not tired, he has a really hard time falling asleep and doesn't fall into a sound sleep for several hours. If he doesn't take a nap he gets pretty pissy by bedtime and so we've kept pushing the afternoon nap. Well today he just WOULD NOT nap. He played and played in his room and when I let him come downstairs he was happy and obedient. He had a great afternoon and wasn't a total crabby freak by the time bedtime rolled around. After reading and prayers he was out within 5 minutes...

Jeff and I discussed it during time outs of the Blazer and Beaver games and decided we'll try it for a couple of days and see how he does. Wow, my baby has grown out of his naps. Jeff asked me when I was going to grow out of my naps. I answered him with drooped shoulders and a sullen voice, "I think I just did."

Laugh all you want to. This effects you too. Without a nap there is no way I can stay up until 1:00am blogging. I will have to go to bed at a decent time like the rest of civilized America. Once again, these kids are seriously cramping my style. Today on Facebook I accused them of trying to sabotage my detox. And my sex life. And my social life. And my reality tv watching time. My friend DW remarked I should watch myself because they sound a lot like Republicans. Wouldn't that just serve me right?

*This picture has nothing to do with nap times or Republicans but it just cracks me up.

Note to Jeff: if you ever come home some afternoon and the kids are eating M&M's, watching MTV and I'm no where to be found you should check in the toy box first. Most likely they will have gagged, bound and duct taped me in there.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My dear Aunt Alice died yesterday. She was ancient old but it was sudden and she was precious and I'm thinking of her tonight. Aunt Alice was our family's historian; the sister of my mother's father, she kept copious notes of lineage, births, marriages and deaths and if you showed any interest at all in the family's history she would send you a manila envelope filled with photocopied notes, certificates, pictures and handwritten letters. Aunt Alice knew where she had come from and she understood that if a family's story wasn't told it would not live on.

My Uncle Bob is buried in Meeteetse, Wyoming along with all of the other Niles'. My Grandpa is there, my Grandma will be buried there and my Mom bought hers along with Bobby when they found out he was sick. I would love to be buried there also and am still trying to convince Jeff to let us buy our plots there (they are $100 a plot for out of towners but Mom thinks she can get us the $50 resident deal). Every Spring when I go to Montana, Mom and I make the 2 hour trip to Meeteetse and leave flowers for Uncle Bob and then wander around the cemetery checking out all the other Niles plots and linking them up with this person and that person. Just a few months ago we were discussing some family mystery and said that when I came out this Spring we would go see Aunt Alice and get some questions answered that my Grandma didn't know, as she had only married into the family. I am saddened beyond words that we won't get that opportunity. Even more so I am filled with regret that I will never get the answers about my great-Grandmother Christine that I had hoped for. What happens to Alice's memories now that she's gone?

I guess the application of this is clear: write your family history. Even if it doesn't seem like much to you now it may to generations down the road. With that said, I'm not writing this tonight to send a message or to help you see the light; I'm writing to give catharsis to my sadness and to pay honor to a woman whose simple life, simple values and beautiful spirit left an indelible print on my life.

May we all live a life that when we finally make it Home a great-niece, 60 years our junior, mourns our death.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

If Wishes Were Quiches,
I Mean Kisses

On the back end (haha) of the Mexican Swine flu, Samuel didn't have much of an appetite so I decided to make an old favorite: Crustless Quiche in a mini muffin tray. I've never made a crustless quiche in anything other than a Demarle pan so if you don't have one you're on your own for figuring this recipe out (maybe lots of non-stick spray?).

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 c. of heavy cream (I use nonfat milk though)
  • 1 c. shredded cheese (nonfat cheese works but it does make the quiche just a tinge rubbery)
  • 1 c. of breakfast meat (sausage, bacon, ham, etc. I use turkey bacon.)
  • Chopped veggies like spinach, tomatoes, zucchini (this is a great recipe for slipping in your pureed secrets like squash, carrots, etc)

Whip the eggs and milk. Fold in meat and veggies. Pour into your pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean. If not baking in a muffin pan but a regular casserole dish, bake for 35-40 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy with hashbrowns, fresh fruit and a big cup of coffee!

Friday, April 24, 2009

So I've been thinking about mountains tonight. Maybe its the Mexican Swine flu we've all had that has made me melancholy, but as I was rocking Baby Roo tonight I was thinking of mountains. Mountains of laundry. Mountains of bills. Mountains of dishes. Mountains of emails to reply to. Mountains of toys to be picked up. Mountains of guilt for being pissy with the kids, for judging others, for this or for that. Mountains that seem insurmountable. Mountains that cast a shadow and can rob me of my joy.

Now I grew up in Montana, a state that is known for its majestic mountains so I know mountains. I also know the Creator of those mountains so isn't it funny that I can allow myself to wallow in self-pity and shame? Self-pity and shame are dangerous places to linger because they can so quickly become places to stay. When we choose to listen to lies rather than Truth we find ourselves pulling up a chair and putting up our feet. A much wiser choice when we feel ourselves faced with insurmountable mountains of lies is to battle with Truth: I sought the Lord, and He answered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34: 4-5

And while I'm on a roll with my Truth battle, here's another one:
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Psalm 95: 1-7

That's good stuff isn't it? So basically I've destroyed those lies with promises that the Maker of the mountains is caring for me and that if I look to Him, He will cover me with salvation and take away my shame. Even a small town girl from Montana knows you can't beat that with a stick.

Let me leave you with this last thought, it has more to do with mountains than self-pity and shame but its good stuff nonetheless. Two years ago when my Uncle Bob was dying from pancreatic cancer I was heartbroken and doubting my faith. This song was popular on the radio and I made it my mantra. Tonight as I rocked Roo and saw the mountains rising I began to sing it quietly, holding its words close in my heart.

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear
And take my doubt

Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
of the mountains I can't climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes
to You

God, my God, let Mercy sing
Her melody over me
God, right here all I bring
is all of me

'Cause You are and You were
and You will be forever
The Lover I need to save me
'Cause You fashioned the earth
and You hold it together, God
so hold me now

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Both Exits, No Waiting
Call it the flu. Call it the pre-cleanse cleanse. Call it a slow death.

Friday night Samuel woke up with a 103.3 fever and was totally sidelined by Saturday morning. By noon on Sunday I had the fever and the gastrointestinal party that comes with it. By Monday Hot Jeff was feeling crummy and was fighting us for the bathroom by Tuesday morning.

I know hyperbole is my favorite rhetorical device but trust me when I say I can't remember ever being more sick than I have the last 3 days. I'm happy to report I haven't had any "action" in over 4 hours and I kept one half of a baked potato down. I'm thinking recovery is within my reach.

Samuel has had a great day of keeping food down and a little bit of energy return. Hot Jeff is still a mess and I expect he'll be out at least for another day. Here's the miracle: Emily has not gotten it at all! With Emily's already weakened immune system a flu like this could be very serious. I'm astonished by and thankful for God's protection of Emily.

So it goes without saying but the 14 day cleanse/detox has been postponed. We do, however, have a "wonderful" jump start on it! I've lost 7 pounds since Sunday. That's crazy. Sister in law Jodi has been quoting "The Devil Wears Prada" to me and saying that she's just one good case of stomach flu away from her goal weight. I'm like 9 stomach flu cases away and not sure I really want to go that route but I appreciate that at least there is a bright side to my near death experience.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Samuel is wonderfully clear about what he likes and dislikes; its one of the perks of being 3. Macaroni and cheese--like. Curious George--like. Baby sister--like. Wearing clothes--not so much.

Its no so much that I have a problem with him running around naked, doesn't bother me, however, when we're at Aunt Shannon's house playing with Jackson, Kate & Claire and Samuel appears from playing upstairs with only his shirt on then we may have a problem.
In an ongoing attempt to put my kids in therapy, that night we were sitting around the living room playing and I said, "Samuel did you know that someone else lives in the couch with Alice?" He looked up at me with an excited grin. "Yes", I went on, "In the couch with Alice is a penis snapping turtle. He preys on little boys who leave their penis out and when they least expect it, SNAP, he bites their penis off".
Samuel looked at me with wild eyes. I waited for him to go running to the bathroom to retrieve his underwear and pants. He continued to just sit there, Lightning McQueen in hand and eyes firmly on my face reading my every expression, he threw his head back and laughed maniacally. "You just teasin'" he confirmed. "There no penis snapping turtle with Alice".
Hot Jeff sat on the opposing couch shaking his head; well that didn't work.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quite possibly more than I can bear...
So I've shared a little bit of my struggles with depression, fatigue, mood swings, generally being a crazy person... and after we met Dr. Chapman who has like single handedly healed Baby Roo, Jeff and I really felt like I should talk to her about some of my "issues". Long and boring story short, my thyroid is a bit out of whack, I'm super-duper vitamin D deficient and my birth control pills may be doing more harm than good. I'm taking some vitamin D injection and drop therapy, getting off the pill (which was going to happen anyway as Jeff had the snip!) and then taking small steps from there. So with that said, lets get to the nitty-gritty.

Dr. Chapman suggested I do a 14 day body cleanse to get things started. I'm starting on Sunday and Hot Jeff is going to do it with me. We're excited about it (in a sick body cleanse sort of miserable way) but the crazy thing is she's making me go off Diet Coke. What??? Go off Diet Coke? "Um excuse me Dr. Chapman, did I hear you right?" Diet Coke is my life blood? I love that tangy little drink first thing in the morning with a little turkey bacon and toast. I love it in the afternoon when the kids are being feisty and wanting their Dad. I love it with dinner. I love it all the time. I know Dr. Chapman has been to medical school and has initials after her name but seriously? Does she really think its wise to take me off Diet Coke? Does she not value human life? Mine? Samuel and Emily's? The paper boy's? Here's a woman who has taken the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm yet she takes me off Diet Coke? It just doesn't make any sense. Well I mean besides that aspartame makes you grow a 3rd boob--that makes sense.

So here we go. As if I'm not crazy enough I'm going off Diet Coke (but not until Sunday). God help us all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just when you think you can't be any happier something comes along that rocks your world and reminds you that pure and total elation is just a purchase from Walmart away.

I was headed to Portland for my first date with Leah. Shannon had talked me into wearing a shirt that was perhaps just a fuzz too tight for me and for my back fat. To remedy it she told me of a little secret called a slimming cami. She got hers at Costco but when I went they were all sold out of the camis and only had the slimming underwear. Lord knows I could use them both but was solely concentrating on back fat.

The morning of my date I asked my mother in law, who was watching the kids, to come over 15 minutes early so I could run to the Walmart that's just a mile or so from my house on my way out of town. I headed into the dressing room with 3 or 4 different brands and quickly tried on the first one. I slipped my arms through and tried to pull it over my head...the stretchy spandex material was stretched as far as it would go and wasn't budging over my shoulders. Shannon had warned me of this, "You have to step in to it and then pull it up" she had advised. I pulled my arms out and balanced on one foot while I slipped the other one in. The heel of my sassy black shoes caught on the material and I lost my balance and fell into the wall making a loud thud. The lovely Walmart attendant questioned from outside the dressing room door, "Everything alright in there?" "Everything is great" I answered out of breath.

I shimmied, yanked and pulled the cami up over my post-2-baby-belly and my twin D's wondering if maybe I should have read the directions because perhaps they recommended rubbing olive oil on myself before putting it on. Just as I was about to curse it and Shannon I looked in the mirror. I gasped. I had gone from sausage to svelte. Oh yeah baby.

I asked the attendant outside the door, "If I pull the tag off this can I leave it on and you walk me up to the register to pay for it?" "Its that great, eh?" she asked. "It is", I answered back, "And I don't think I can get out of it" I added.

Dressing room attendant lady walked me up to the counter and handed the tag to the checker, "She's wearing it". The checker looked me looked me up and down and I just smiled back knowingly.

Once in the car I called Shannon, Cary and my Mom to tell them of my find. I was so excited I had to share the news and even now, 37 hours later, when I speak of the cami to Jeff my voice raises like 3 octaves. I am totally incapable of speaking of it in a normal tone of voice: its that fabulous.

My mom wanted to know where the back fat went. What do I look like? A scientist? I don't know where the back fat went, I don't care where the back fat went. I just know it was magically gone but unfortunately and mysteriously reappeared last night when I put my pajamas on.

My favorite part of the cami is the brand name and tag line: "Work It. Work it without working out." How funny is that? I think the only thing that could possibly make that promotion any better would be a picture of me wearing the cami and eating a sausage Mcmuffin.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Childhood Truths
by Samuel

The Bedtime Trump
Mom and Dad call them stall tactics; I call them necessities. After we read our devotion and say our prayers they turn out the light and say 'goodnight'. At about that same time I decide I need a drink of water. They always say I've already had water. Then I remember I need to brush my teeth. They say I've already brushed my teeth. Then I tell them I need to call Nana. They say Nana is in bed. They have left me no choice. It is time for the bedtime trump: I have to go pee. Silence. Long pause. Unison sighs. "Fine, hurry up and go pee" one of them says while the other one rolls their eyes. Aha, ha, ha. Works everytime. Suckers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tuesdays With Traci

Tonight I went over to a friend’s house and had some accountability time. It was wonderful. She is younger than me and I got to see much of myself in her. It was neat to see where I’ve come and how I can share with her from my past experiences. It didn’t take long, it didn’t cost any money, but I came home with a different outlook. When I got home my husband sent me directly up to the girls’ room. My oldest, who is rarely affectionate, was crying for me to give her a hug and kiss. With me not being there they actually missed me.

In leaving my family I become a better wife and mother for them.

The person who comes home acts and thinks different that the one who left AND I’m missed and appreciated more when upon my return.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Samuel Turns Three
Mom rarely takes me serious. Like when I tell her I want candy for breakfast: not taken seriously. When I tell her I can't like naptimes anymore: not taken seriously. However...when I told her I wanted a "Cars" birthday party: serious. Sweeeeet!

Lookin' so cute in my Lightning shirt from Nana,
Mater hat and Cars birthday banner.

Kate told her mama she wants to marry me.
I say lose the 'stache and trim up those brows and we'll talk.

Plates were merely a technicality...
We ate birthday cake like savages and the way God intended:
straight off the tray with our forks and fingers.
Wheels. Yes! Now that's what I call being taken serious!, Here I come!
In the spirit of self-promotion (versus the self-loathing I'm also great at) I'm going to write about the Lightning McQueen/Racing cake I made for Samuel's 3rd birthday this weekend. As with so many other things revolving around his birthday, Samuel was pretty clear he wanted a Lightning cake. I snooped around on and found some Cars and Racing cakes that I thought would be pretty easy to do in my novice-ignorant cake decorating state. I picked aspects of the many cakes on the site that I liked and came up with this one. It was super easy to do albeit very time consuming as I piped every little blade of grass on that darn thing.

I started with a basic chocolate cake mix and baked as directed. After cooling I flipped it out on my fancy-schmancy tissue-papered cardboard. I frosted the cake with vanilla frosting and outlined the 3 with a toothpick. Earlier I had blended oreo cookies (minus the icing in the middle) to replicate track asphalt. I filled in the 3 with the oreos. It was a little messy but I knew I would be icing over it so didn't sweat it.

After outlining the 3 with white icing I started the tedious work of piping on the grass. It was well worth the time and tendinitis as it gave the cake depth and detail, if I do say so myself.

14 hours later... (ok, only 30 minutes) after the grass was on I outlined the 3 in white again and added the little road stripes. Finishing touches were checkered flags (top, left), 3 candles and Lighting McQueen baby!! I love that a little matchbox car made this a Lightning McQueen cake. Voila. Oh sweet Samuel, you're so easy to please.
What was awesome was that after we sang him 'Happy Birthday' he, without prompting, stuck his whole face in the cake. How great is that? Its documented on video to blackmail him with down the road.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oh yeah, our kids should just sleep great tonight... before we put them down we got their Easter baskets out of the closet and the eggs we colored out of the fridge and set them by the door for the Easter Bunny. Ok, how creepy is that? "Tonight while you sleep an oversized rabbit is going to come into your house and take and hide the eggs you colored. We're not sure which window he comes through, probably yours, but the good news is he leaves you candy. Right after he rifles through your drawers. Nighty-night."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wild Goose Chase
In keeping with the recent goose theme of the Henderson household, tonight after the kids went to bed I went out to find the Lightning McQueen scooter that Samuel is dying to have for his 3rd birthday on Sunday. Samuel is truly a product of his generation as he first saw this scooter while shopping online at He can't even say computer (he calls it a "peter") but knows how to use a mouse.
Samuel is in love with all things Cars and has wanted a scooter since January when he saw his neighbor and one true love, Olivia, riding one. At that time he wanted a pink one but has since switched it up on me and wants a Ligtning McQueen scooter. I went all over Salem tonight looking for it: Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer...Toys R Us was already closed but I'm checking there tomorrow. I will be so screwed and tatooed if I have to order it online and pay for shipping for it to be here before this weekend. Let this be a lesson to you my readers: do not wait until the last minute to buy your 3 year old's Lightning McQueen scooter.
I was on the phone with my Mom tonight as I was driving all over town like a crazed woman and she was telling me about the time she searched all of Montana, high and low, for a Cabbage Patch doll for Christmas. I still have that Cabbage Patch doll, Andy, safely tucked away in my hope chest so I can only hope for such results for Samuel. Wish me luck and if any of you have any strings to pull in the Lightning McQueen scooter arena let me know!

Tuesdays With Traci

My oldest daughter is in Cubbies (Awana) and has been learning Bible verses about Jesus and his resurrection, forgiveness, love, etc. But this week we’ve really made an effort to tie them all together and paint the complete picture of Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. I know, it’s a lot to explain with stick figures. The part I was most hesitant to explain was the death on a cross. I didn’t want to say words like death, die, killed, crucified, and cross because I thought it would scare her. But eventually I just swallowed and told her the story and figured I would deal with her fears as they came. You know what?! She didn’t even flinch. She didn’t doubt. She didn’t cry and question her own death. She just accepted it - and then asked me questions about my pictures (evidently I’m more of a Picasso than a Rembrandt).

Luke 18:17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

I’ve read and sang this verse many times but this week I’ve really let it sink in. Kids are so simple in their understanding and so quick to accept. They simply say, “The Bible says it, I believe it.” And that’s how God wants us all to be. Our children are good teachers sometimes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blog or Blah-g?
Sorry I haven't posted anything in a few days. I've been uninspired and nothing funny has happened to me lately. I am however, in the words of Montana Traci, becoming an internet sensation with the Submissive Chicken. Many of you have tried it and are promising me gifts of your first-born children (which I don't want) and things like that. I'm going to write a post here in the next couple of days (once my sense of humor gets back from vacation) with a follow-up to Submissive Chicken so email me your turn-outs so I can write about it.

One funny thing happened yesterday (and not so much funny as cute): my kids got cowboy hats in the mail from their Montana Nana. Pictures soon to follow.

If you want me to come back from this Blogging Blah you need to send me some topics to write know I have an opinion on everything.