An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Monday, August 30, 2010

College Move-in Day

Had to go to Wal-mart today to get some stuff for the duplex. That's what I'm calling out house. The duplex. It's soooo not a permanent home but Andy has done his best to make it homey so it needed a name.

Wal-mart was a madhouse. I mean, ever minivan in the whole state of Montana was in the parking lot and every college freshman and their parents were in there getting stuff for their rooms. Move in day at the U of M is just CRAZY. I actually heard, one aisle over and through the dwindling supply of tiny trash cans, a mom yelling at her husband. "Harry, OH... MY... GOODNESS! She can NOT drink that water. Did you remember the Brita from home? I don't think you did! You better go find another Brita. She is not drinking that water..."

Let go, people. They are going to be fine.

I went to church and there was a very quiet girl there. She was black and that kinda stands out in Montana. There just aren't a bunch of black people here. She's from Kenya and she's here all by herself to go to the University and study MICROBIOLOGY. (brave...) Now that's letting go. I'm totally bringing her to my house for lunch and getting her away from the dorm and THAT WATER!

Hand in the Cookie Jar

For the church campout, Casey and I made a huge batch of chocolate cookies. Try them, they will change your life. Anyway, we had them in the back of the car and the kids could see them. They both (Sebbie and Abby) wanted one. They were sternly told by a ridged Auntie Callie/Mommy that there would be no cookies until lunch time and even then they had to eat all their good food first. Disappointed, they turned around to play in the back seat. I reached into the back to get the cookies and take them to the potluck table. The smell of chocolate wafted over my already slightly hormonal nose and I couldn’t resist. I stole one out from underneath the plastic wrap and took a delicious bight. Just then, Abby popped her head over the back seat and said in that cute voice, “Whachu doing, Mommy?”


I shoved the whole cookie in my mouth mumbling as clearly as possible, “Nothing, Baby,” as I rushed off, cookies in hand toward the tables. You never get to savor ill gotten goods…

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Gardeners - Neighborhood Exploration cont.

I feel a little like Sherlock Holmes as I scout out my new neighborhood, checking out all the yards and lawns and making my deductions. It's interesting to see someone's back yard. There is more about someone in the back. It's what no one else sees. Our backyard is up against two other backyards. I see the people come out every now and then to check their plants. There is Pat, a black guy in his 40's or so, who seems to do the majority of the gardening. He is married to Christine who is white and I rarely see at all. She must work or be away from the house for various reasons. I met them briefly and they encouraged me to eat whatever ended up growing on my side of the fence from their garden. There is also another guy, long white hair, bandanna with some kind of Asian symbol on it, same clothes every day, who comes out and tells Pat what to do sometimes. It kinda makes me laugh. He told me he's been in the air force most of his life. He does look like a Vietnam Vet that hated being there and turned hippie as soon as he got back. I call them the gardeners because they have alot of veggies growing back there along with stuff that is growing in a green house. I'm afraid to find out what that might be.

However, they have promised to give me some raspberry shoots come spring time because they know it grows well here and I need something for that side yard rock area.

I'm guessing the guy that lives in the other side of our duplex, who has the other yard visible from ours, is a single guy as he owns a very nice Mustang and a two seater truck. His back yard is mowed nicely but has no flowers or other plants. He has on the little slab of concrete in the back, only a small grill. Such a guy. Minimalist. Less to clean up that way and what do you really need when it's just you and you are working like a crazy person? I think he's single because no woman would let him live in this duplex and have that car. "You are selling that thing, mister. We need a bigger place..."

I think the guy across from us is single too. He left his garage door open and there was one bike, a hunting jacket and a tool box. He's got to be single or that chick would have the garage full of stuff.

You could deduce alot from our yard and garage also. The yard is already full of toys for babies. We have a stroller parked by the garage door all the time. There is tons of garbage filling our big can. There is also a ton of stuff in our garage, almost to the point that we can't get the car in.

The rest of the neighborhood seems to have some nice little families and a few dogs that are roaming free. That makes me a bit nervous but all in all, I think we are going to be fine here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Funny Moments

I decided that I wanted to get organized right from the get-go in the new place (we'll see how long it lasts... DON'T LAUGH!) and I bought clothes pins to attach all the correct diaper covers to the correct dresses. I have yet to do more than one and that one got worn already and is in the wash therefore, not attached anymore. I was inspired by my friend Larissa who has all her kids clothes on perfect little hangers and their closets perfectly organized all the time. I'm amazed she has the stamina to do this. It's all about priorities... Mine is definitely cooking and hers seems to be laundry. Anyway, I have all these clothes pins and Abby is trying to pin them on the screen of the laptop while I'm checking my facebook and one shoots off and hits her right in the nipple.

I could hardly keep from laughing.

She says, "Ow, Mom. Ow." Just like that. No crying. No whining. Just, "Ow." And then she says, "I need that for feeding my baby doll." Then she goes and gets her doll and uses the bruised nipple to feed the baby saying all the while, "I da mom and you da girl and dis my baby doll. She's drinka da milk..."

I love it.

Cate has a cold and is a faucet of snot. Yuck. I've been "bulbing" it out like a good mom. I came into the room to find Abby trying to bulb Cate's nose herself. It was interesting. Cate was just letting her do it. Little things like that totally get me.

Like when I asked Abby to give me some space when I was feeding Cate and she said, "Fine. Don't be my friend," and crossed her arms and turned away from me in the most adorable pout. I could hardly contain my laughter enough to be stern and tell her that was not appropriate behavior.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To Garden or Not to Garden

Let me preface this whole blog by saying something about my father (sorry Dad…). When my sister and I were young, Dad bought about 100 trees and planted them hither and yon across our large country yard… and then ordered US to water them every day. He will freely admit that his strategy for getting an oasis of landscaping in our desert domain was to plant as much as possible and perhaps something would survive. Mom also had some kind of plant-a-ton-and-then-make-the-kids-weed philosophy. Ever since then I have had a vendetta against any kind of outdoor work and really plants in general. I couldn’t even keep a cactus alive in college.

When we lived at Pisgah, Andy mowed the lawn but I never did anything outside. I did mow a couple of times just to get some exercise but I really hate doing it. In this new place, there is a yard with a tree in the back, a tree in the front and a lawn. Of course, Andy is out there mowing away. It’s required by the landlord for us to mow and trim and whatnot. I wonder if he was a kid that hated landscaping and therefore requires everyone else to do it but won’t do it himself?
Anyway, back to me… Ok, there is a little rocked in area right in front that looks perfect for a little flower garden. LITTLE! Like 2 6-foot rows and that’s it. So the question is: Will Callie give up her hard core hatred of all things horticultural and plant some flowers in her yard?

What even grows in Montana?

When Dad was sick and Mom was up in Denver taking care of him and I was all alone in their house, it once again fell to me to make sure the plants didn’t die. They have moved on from the straight up desert and into town. There is easier access to the plants from the hose. They have a new strategy for planting as well: pick something that grows well in the desert and nurture it. There are way less plants to take care of and I could get all the watering done in about 30 minutes. I still managed to kill the two front hanging garden thingies that apparently needed to be watered 3 times a day and have me whisper sweet nothings in their petals for them to stay living. Mom even left the price tags on everything so I knew how much I was costing them when I missed a watering. ($49.99 per hanging garden thingy! Dang… gardening is expensive.)

So… votes: What should be planted here?

10 Things I Hate About...

I realize it has been some time since I blogged last. I am blogging now over a weak internet connection and I don't know if it will last long enough for me to get this out over the lines to those who care enough to read this blog.

My life has changed dramatically. Although I was pessimistic about ever getting back with my husband, we are here... in Montana. We have arrived. Andy found us a nice little two bedroom duplex. It's way small but we are contained. There is alot of our stuff in the garage and it might just stay there for the duration of our run here. We have a wood burning fire place, a tiny back yard and no money but we are going to make it. I'm excited about being back with Andy. It was NOT fun to be a single mom. All you who have ever done it alone (kinda... my mom was there for me through most of it), you are a bunch of saints and your kids should kiss the ground you walk on.

I have to admit that I hate living like this. I'm scared that we will never get out of debt after Andy is done with school and I'm also scared that something will go wrong and we will be stuck in this same lifestyle forever. BUT! Let's list the positives about this new place shall we?! Hating just makes us grouchy and nobody likes a Mr. Grouchy Pants...

1. There are no stairs. Sorry Pisgah... that situation kinda sucked with little ones. People having to troupe up and down the stairs into the mucky basement to do laundry, get to the guest room and answer the door. Not ideal. This is MUCH easier.

2. It's way smaller so there is less to clean.

3. There is a garage. I was afraid we would land in some apartment that didn't have any place for us to put the excess stuff that was bound to not fit in any room. By the way, after all those HUGE garage sales and us just giving stuff away at the corner, we still can't fit all our stuff in this place... grrrr...

4. Wood burning fire place saves on heating costs and Andy get's to look like a manly man when he wields an axe.

5. We already have friends in the Missoula area so... AWESOME! And thanks again to those who came and helped us get it together on the first day.

6. Linoleum instead of carpet under our table. Toddlers... 'nuff said.

7. Fenced in back yard. I can lock all the front doors and keep my kids contained. I was scared about moving here because we have always lived on Academy campus' and they are so safe and contained. Now we are in a neighborhood and it's a little scary.

8. We live literally one block from the emergency room. I can walk out our street and into the hospital. Awesome.

9. Starbucks is about 2 feet away. Actually it's a bit of a walk but I need that to walk off the Latte's I'm sure to consume on a daily basis.

10. I'm with my kids and my husband. Everyone is healthy and happy. We have awesome family and friends who are supporting our decision for Andy to go back to school and who love to help. What more could we ask for?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Postpartum Depression

I'm having a bit of postpartum depression. That's right. I'm putting it right out there.

1. I cry over the stupidest things. (Most recently, a box of cereal...)
2. I'm tired ALL THE TIME! I can wake up in the morning after 10 hours of great sleep and still be wasted. I need introveinous caffine just to function.
3. I have the weirdest aches and pains (that cause me to cry... refer to symptom #1.)
4. I get unreasonably mad about stuff that doesn't matter. (Like Abby moving one inch while I'm doing her hair.) Then I have to reason with myself for an hour before I react or I'm bound to say or do something I regret. This usually involved some crying.
5. I'm dehydrated and feel like I need to drink all the time. Is this really a symptom or am I just running out of fluids between breast feeding and crying?

So, suggestions? My mom thinks I need vitamins. I think that's a good idea.

Update on the status of our lives:

Andy is still in MT working out the last of his school stuff and loans and all that. I'm still here. There is no apartment yet but I think that will be worked out after some other things are worked out. We are still up in the air over so many things. I just hope we get it all together soon but really, I'm not that worried about it... today. Some days I'm crying over it and some days I'm content to just sit here and take care of the kids. I say "just" but we all know what a big job taking care of the kids is. Well, friends, I am sorry that I haven't been blogging lately but I have to get the kids down and cross the construction zone in the house to use the computer. Honestly, every spare second is used for sleep or laundry or such.

Update on Dad:

Dad is home, feeling alot better, and realizing what a long time it's going to take to recover from MAJOR surgery. He is getting antibiotics through a PICC line morning and night. It's interesting to see him down like this. I know how it is to recover. I also know what it's like to feel like since you aren't in the hospital anymore, you should be going full speed. It's just not going to happen. Get over it and get some rest. Easier said than done, right? Keep sending him your love. It's what keeps him going.

Don Kanen
106 Willowcreek Pl.
Alamosa, CO 81101