Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Here I am trying to write a policy newsletter. My job depends on my ability to get this done by every Wednesday afternoon.

Meredith is supposed to be napping. Instead she is loudly singing: “The mommies on the bus go wee-wee-wee all through the TOWN.” Don’t ask me why she sings it this way. She likes to take parts of songs and then make up her own stuff.

Oh wait, now she has switched songs. Now it's “Kwinka-kwinka little star, up above the world so high …”

There you have it. A little girl who refuses to nap and a mommy who is not prepared to deal with it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The end of the day ...

It’s the end of a long day and to unwind before bed I thought I’d read some blogs I don’t normally frequent.

The first blog link was sent to me by Kevin’s aunt, who personally knows the authors of the blog, and it really encouraged my faith. As parents we all go through emotional roller coasters and journeys. I truly admire the faith and perseverance of these two particular parents, expecting quadruplets any day now.

The second blog link was sent to me by Kevin, who found it on a friend’s site, and made me laugh my head off for at least five minutes.

It also confirmed my decision to wait until Meredith is at least five years old before I start potty training. (Okay, I’m exaggerating slightly.) But, seriously, I’d much rather change diapers than have potty training become a battle and drag on forever and ever. I’ve heard many tales from mothers about this happening. Well, it’s not happening to me!

In other news, Meredith is trying to give up her afternoon nap. I don’t know how on earth I’m going to be able to accomplish everything in my typical day if she starts doing that. I understand the idea of “quiet time even if you don’t sleep.” It’s just hard to explain that to a wide-awake 18-month old who loves to sing and talk, mixed with crying, at the top of her lungs in her crib.

In really cute news, Meredith now sings nearly every animal and animal sound in Old McDonald Had a Farm. Her favorite part is E-I-E-I-O, of course. I love to hear her sing, especially in the car. And especially NOT when she’s supposed to be sleeping. (But even then, I confess, it makes me smile.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Spanking Ban

A lot of you have probably heard about California's proposed spanking ban, which would send parents to jail for a year if they spank a child under age three. The (irrational) logic is that all spanking is necessarily child abuse.

The author of the bill, Assemblywoman Lieber, does not have children herself but she does have a cat named “Snoop.” (Appropriate, I think, because of her fondness for government meddling.) Ms. Lieber does not spank her cat and rationalizes that, “If you never hit a cat, you should never hit a kid.”

This is one reason I love working in California policy. Probably half of the legislators out there think that you can make perfect analogies between animals and humans because they are the same thing (except for preborn humans, which are nothing). And I'm not kidding.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Eggs, Towels, and Scotty Dogs

Yesterday morning I laughed so hard after hearing a dialogue between Kevin and Meredith. He was changing her diaper when she informed him that she wanted to eat an egg for breakfast. He said, “Okay, we’ll go ask your mommy to make you an egg.” She then informed him, that no, “Daddy cook! Daddy egg!” She wanted HIM to make her an egg.

Usually Meredith runs into the bathroom after my shower and says “All done!” This morning, in addition to that, she grabbed my towel off the rack, brought it to me, and said, “Towel?” I could get used to this type of service.

Meredith is getting so picky about what clothing she wears lately. When Kevin was dressing her for church, he described the butterflies on her dress, saying, “Look how pretty!” She then replied, “Dog!” She wanted to wear her church dress, which is now getting too small, that has the Scotty dogs on it. She would not take no for an answer. It looks like the clothing wars have begun.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Turning Blue

Wasn’t that an amazing game last night? Condolences to my New England friends!

When I lived in Sacramento I was always amused at how fanatic people were about the Kings. But that’s nothing compared with the solidarity and passion I’ve seen displayed by Indianapolis residents for the Colts these past few weeks. People all throughout the town have been wearing jerseys and flying flags. It’s the buzz at every gathering place. Fast food establishments have signs cheering on their team. And blue thumbprint cookies and blue-icing doughnuts can be found at the grocery store.

I’ve never claimed a football team as “my own” because I’ve never been that into football. I think I’m becoming a fan, however. I’ve immensely enjoyed the last two Colts games. I’m proud to have finally found my team. Maybe I’ll go out and buy a jersey so I can be a small part of the frenzy too.

I think sports can be taken out of balance and be unhealthy but I also think there’s something to be said for the way it unites us. And, of course, it’s fun.

Go blue!

Friday, January 19, 2007

New Word, Islam, and the Bride Returns

None of us taught it to her and we have no idea where she picked it up. Meredith has started saying “mine!” I figured it would happen eventually but hoped it wouldn’t be for a while. She usually says it about ten times a day, even though she has no siblings to compete with yet, and she always yells it out. The terrible-two phase has started early in our household.

Last night Kevin and I went to an incredible study on Islam, given by our pastor. I feel like I left with a better understanding, not only of the religion itself and how it compares to Christianity, but of history and current events. It was really eye-opening.

Megan has arrived home from Beijing for four weeks of concentrated wedding planning, before returning for a final semester of teaching. It was good to see her late last night, and share her Wendy’s hamburger. (Or was that someone else’s I ate?) Anyway, it was good to see that she is happy and well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just when I was ready to quit ...

Several times in the past few months I’ve threatened to quit M.O.P.S. because I’ve felt like my life is out of control and I probably don’t have time for it anyway. There have been two weeks in particular that I’ve felt like skipping—the meeting right before Christmas and today’s meeting.

Ironically, the two meetings I felt I didn’t have time for, but went ahead and attended anyway, turned out to be the biggest blessings to me.

At each of these two meetings I was very encouraged, felt very loved and supported by my new girlfriends, and heard messages from amazing speakers who really made me think more practically about my walk with God.

Today the speaker talked about busy moms making times for devotions. She had a lot of good things to say, helping me to think creatively about fitting this essential thing into my overloaded day. She reminded me how important it is for Meredith to see me walking closely with God and how vital it is for me to teach Meredith to walk with God too.

I’ve been having tremendous guilt lately for having hit-and-miss personal devotions and a practically non-existent prayer life. Several times during the session today I felt near tears, thinking about how I need to be better. Yet, along with the conviction, came the reassurance that it’s okay to be honest about what my life is like right now. Devotions aren’t about trying to impress God or earn favor with Him. He created this phase of my life and understands my heart. God knows how genuinely crazy my days can be—like the fact that sometimes I don’t get a shower until 2 p.m. because I haven’t had the chance. Thinking about all these things made me nearly tear up again.

(Yeah, I know, I’m a hormonal pregnant woman right now. Give me grace!)

Anyway, I’m encouraged to stick with M.O.P.S. God has me there for a reason. The more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s absolutely necessary for my mental and emotional health right now. And I’m definitely glad for the much-needed spiritual encouragement too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Today is the type of day I wish I could sit somewhere near a window, read a good book, and periodically look outside at the beautiful falling snow. Unfortunately there is no time for that luxury today.

This morning Kevin tried to make me excited about the blanket of white on the ground but I was too groggy. It wasn’t until he left for work that I really started to appreciate it.

But like I said, today will be too busy to spend very much time taking it in.

Here’s something for my hall of shame. I still haven’t unpacked from our trip yet!! I’m just now starting laundry. Meredith has been sick and wants to be held constantly. Today is the first day she’s seemed more autonomous. Plus, I have a work deadline fast approaching and that tends to take first priority around here.

I’ve never been a working-outside-the-home mom, and I’m sure that brings its own set of challenges, but my theory is that it’s just as difficult, if not more difficult, to be a mom working from home. The reason is because all your spheres of duty overlap and intertwine. I often find myself having to juggle everything at once vs. being able to leave one thing at home and escape to an office where I can sit at a desk with limited interruption.

So, anyway, I’m not trying to gripe right now. But working at home with a toddler, and trying to meet a deadline, is a really difficult thing at times.

Okay, off to do laundry. Maybe in between trips from upstairs to the basement, where the washer and dryer are located, I can catch glimpses of that beautiful falling snow.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Seven Sunny Days

We got back last night from Los Angeles where we enjoyed every drop of sunshine that was generously sent our way. People kept asking us what we wanted to do for the day. Our answer was always: “We want to be outside!”

The day after arriving Meredith spotted a Friberg picture my parents have hanging on their family room wall. It’s of our first president kneeling in prayer. We asked Meredith to say “George Washington” and she complied. Every twenty minutes thereafter, for the rest of our trip, someone asked her to say it. She was always happy to do so.

We enjoyed walking around both Huntington beach (where Kevin happily ate his fish tacos) and Newport beach and going to IKEA with Betsy. We also went to the Ronald Reagan library, which was fantastic. A highlight of the trip for me was playing kickball with nearly the whole family. I haven’t played kickball in years. Another highlight, which is something we always enjoy, was having my dad make fresh squeezed orange juice from the tree in the backyard.

My family is more scattered now with Christy living in Hollywood and Betsy always being out of town. I was grateful to see all of my family on this trip, including my grandma who flew in from Missouri.

Here are some pics …

At Huntington Beach with the fam.

Games, games, games. This is mainly what David and Melissa want to do while we are in town. As you can see, Kevin is the "rule man."

Did I mention games?

At Christy's new apartment.

Air Force One at the Reagan Library.

View from the back of the Reagan Library.

At grandpa's church - I hadn't heard him preach in years.

Melissa enjoying her horse back riding lesson.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Here are some Meredith-isms as of late.

She goes hysterical when she gets a piece of hair in her mouth. She hates nothing more than to have hair in her mouth. She cries “yuck” and spits at the same time, while taking BOTH hands and furiously wiping them at her tongue. It’s the funniest thing to watch!

When daddy comes home she always insists that he promptly take his shoes off.

She doesn’t always obey the first time around but whenever we ask her, “Are you being obedient?” she immediately runs to us and says “THANK YOU!” (As if, “Please don’t spank me mommy, I’m such a good girl.” She definitely knows what the word “obedient” means.)

She pays attention to where we are going when she’s in her car seat. She always notices if there is a playground outside, especially if there is a slide. Whenever we pull into our driveway she yells, “HOME!”

Her absolute favorite song right now is “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” She sings it whenever she wakes up from her nap and also throughout the day. She sings: “Happy and you know it … ah, ha, ha!” Then she claps her hands. Then she repeats this over and over and over.

We are starting to think that Meredith is OCD. She has become obsessed lately with having certain toys lined up in a row and having certain things in their place (like her water must always be in the cup holder in her stroller, etc.).

Meredith smiles and laughs all the time and loves to sing all day long—no matter where we are. The other day we were at the mall and she was singing in her stroller, without any inhibition or regard to who was listening.

I know I’ve talked about her strong will but lately Meredith has had such a sweet and thoughtful spirit. Over the weekend I babysat a little boy who was a little bit forceful toward her. She was so good to him, shared all of her toys, and kept wanting to give him hugs and kisses (which he did NOT want). Whenever he cried for his mommy she would cry too, out of empathy.

We love this little girl so much. Whenever we think it’s not possible to love more, we find that, yes, it is.

I miss food.

This weekend was the first time I cooked a decent dinner in weeks. I’ve been much more nauseous this time around than my first pregnancy. The thing that’s worse (well, almost worse) than the nausea is my intolerance of food.

Let me just say that I MISS FOOD!!

I want my old life back … the one where I used to love food. The one where I would appreciate food and it would appreciate me.

Do you know how awful it is to be hungry but to not want food? Do you know how horrible it is to eat because you have to and not because you want to and you enjoy it?

[Note: To those who haven’t experienced it, pregnant-nausea is different than sick-nausea. With sick-nausea you don’t want to eat and that’s okay. With pregnant-nausea, oftentimes you have to eat to make the nausea go away. So, the thing that will help you is the thing you cannot tolerate and do not want. Ugh.]