Open Season

This was my brain, a few weeks ago:

See how pink and shiny it was? You can almost smell the synapses firing merrily away.


But this is my brain now:

No synapses. Only a gooey lovey dovey swirling pink cloud of baby euphoria.


Crack cocaine’s got nothing on Baby Fumes. They’ll fry your whites and your yolks faster than you can say but I have to….wait…what was I going to do?

Admitting that you are powerless over your addiction is step one.


Hello. My name is Jenni, I am a hard-core baby-snuffler. In light of this, I am going to rely on  you, my friends, to help me out in my time of need. And I need subject matter.


I also need to say that what I am about to do is highly uncharacteristic of me in the Real World in which I (usually) live. Usually I am reluctant to even answer the question “So how many do you have?” at the grocery store, simply because I Do Not Want To Deal With The Shrieks. I do not want to then dodge (while my ice cream melts) a zillion and one rapid-fire inquiries regarding How Do I Do It.


But for you, my loverly readers, I am putting myself squarely in the cross-hairs. And because I know my ice cream is safely ensconced in my freezer, I will attempt to answer whatever questions you have.


This is your big chance! If you have asked me any questions in my comments before this time and I have not responded, please ask again! If you have been kept awake at night wondering about some aspect of my life, now is the time to unload your burden! If you simply want to know what size underwear I wear, by all means, throw that sucker in the mix!


But I reserve the right to say none of your freakin’ bizness to any of them.


Fire away!

Emma’s song

(sung to Cowboy X)

Your head is so cute!
Your head is so round!
Your eyes are so green!
I like them a lot!
Your nose is so cute!
Your hair is so soft!
Your cheeks are so small!
Your ears are so tiny!
And you have no teeth!
I can’t see your eyebrows!
Your socks are so tiiiiiiiiny!

The end.

Stupid is as stupid does

I used to be a moron.


Not that I can now claim to have completely escaped from the tangled web of morony, but from at least one thread I have won my freedom.


This sticky, deceitful thread was the one entitled “newborns are boring”. 


In years long past, I would gaze upon the face of my infant child and sigh at their helplessness. I wanted them to DO something. When would they smile? When would they sit up? When would they crawl? I checked the books and chafed at the interminable time it would take before they would be entertaining.


Moron. Card-carrying. Certifiable.


When they would curl their bodies into tight little balls as they lay upon my chest, drawing their feet up and tucking in their arms, a chrysalis of humanity encapsulated between my collar bone and navel…I didn’t find that particularly wondrous.


When their heads would lift off my chest, bobbing and weaving, eyes wide with unfocused wonder and mouths in tiny o’s of surprise, struggling to study my features before burrowing back into my neck in exhaustion…I didn’t think that was terribly interesting.


When they would twitch and squeak as they slept, eyes darting under delicate lashes as they sailed their ship of dreams, smiling suddenly, breath puffing out in the heh-heh-heh of a Lilliputian laugh as angels stood at the helm and told them of the adventures they would have together..I did not stand in amazement.


When they would wake in the night, nuzzling and searching for comfort, flailing and furious at the sensation of hunger, knowing somehow exactly how to be satisfied: nurse, swallow, breathe, repeat…I never saw the miracle before me.


But slowly, so slowly…I have learned. I have cut away the sticky demands, the tangle of impatience, the ignorant blinders that kept me from seeing all that my infants were.


They were fascinating. From the curl of their fists to their wrinkled soles, amazing. At two weeks (+!), my newborn has already changed monumentally from when I first laid eyes upon him. He does not smell like the breezes of heaven anymore, but of Burt’s Bees Baby Wash. He does not wear the infintesimal speck of size NB any longer. The cord has shrivelled and gone. Every day, he grows (faster, I think, than any baby has before).


I sit and rock him, and stare. I do not want him to sleep so that I can “get something done”. I do not hasten to lay him in his bed as soon as he is finished nursing. I do not wonder how long it will take him to smile at me in recognition. I kiss his wizened little old-man hand and do not want it to fill out into six-month plumpness. I am cherishing his tinyness. And I cry for the infancies that I wished away, in ignorance and impatience.


I wish I could have them back, just for an hour, to treasure them for all that they already were.


In this respect, at least, I am no longer a moron.

Twenty-Three Candles

A few pictures of two of the purdiest young ladies north of the Red River…

Emma carefully inserts six candles into her cupcake.

She contemplates her birthday wish…

This picture cracks me up. It looks like the flames are terrified of being blown out.

Kitty cat cupcake.
Cupcake impaled by seventeen candles.

Seventeen year old.

…and there go the flames…with one breath.

Just like the years.


Simply listing things that have been going on in one’s life as a substitute for a REAL post with a meaty theme and insightful, uh….insights….is just so common and lowbrow. No matter how sleep-deprived and baby-hazy I might get, I will never resort to such gauche techniques. No matter how crazy my life gets, planning weddings and baby showers and birthday parties and barn-raisings and Syttende Mai parades, I will resist the numbered list with the fiery passion of a thousand suns!


Someone has to set the standard, after all! Someone must keep to the high road and heed the rebel yell!


With that in mind, I will regale you with the minutia of my existence via bullet points.


Yeah, baby. Billy would be so proud.


  • Baby saw the Dr. today at 10 days old. He has grown one inch and packed on a pound since leaving the hospital. His cheeks are visibly filling out with each passing day, including those on his face.
  • Rose (DD#1) and her beau have set The Date for June 13th. Yes, of 2008. Yes, that’s SOON. Yes, that’s also FRIDAY the 13th. The idea of getting married on Friday the 13th causes Rose no end of delight. She’s a little twisted. No idea where she gets it.
  • I am planning a baby shower for my darling little Sister In Law. It is the first baby for she and my little brother, who was himself a baby, like, two days ago. I’m still trying to figure out the math on that one.
  • My Beloved went to the dentist the other day and discovered that his teeth are actually made of gypsum and fine china instead of enamel and bone. He is considering renting out his shiny pate for advertising space in order to pay for the repairs. Anyone need a billboard?
  • DD#7 and DD#3 both celebrate birthdays this week. We will have a party for both of them on Saturday. It will have a kitty-cat theme, and DD#7 might receive a Webkinz. Or twenty.


Phew! Pretty wild ride through the old bullet-points, wasn’t it? You didn’t know they could be so edgy, right? Don’t hold back, now…give a hearty YEEEEE HAW! to release some of that built-up tension! Who could blame you?


Hey! You! Yes, YOU! Wake up! Man, how rude is that, nodding off in the middle of someone’s carefully bullet-pointed list?


By the way, I am not actually planning any barn raisings or May 17th day parades at this time.


I have no idea how to end this post. “Quick and painless” comes to mind. Lord knows it’s been painful enough already.

Letters From Earthcamp

Dear Daddy,

          Well, I’ve been here a week and I’m feeling a little better. Two of the camp counselors are especially nice to me—the camp cook is my favorite. I really like the food here; she says you gave her the recipe. I’m not so cold anymore and I’m getting used to the noise, but there is so much that I still have to learn! I just don’t think I’ll ever get it all. My bunkmates seem to like me, although they’ve all been here a lot longer and stuff doesn’t seem to worry them like it does me . I’ll try to be brave and make friends like you told me. I miss you so much.

your child

Dear Child of Mine,

          I’m so glad that Earthcamp has gotten a little easier for you. I am proud of you for being so brave! I knew you’d like the food; it’s usually the best part of camp, at least at first. Your camp counselors and bunkmates love you so much; I picked them out especially for you, and they were so excited when I told them you would be coming. They will definitely do their best to help you out, so you should talk to them whenever you feel sad or lonely or confused. They are not perfect and they will let you down at times, but that’s only so you don’t depend on them more than upon me. You must remember that I am always thinking of you and that I have special things for you to do while you’re at Earthcamp; never doubt how important you are! Your letters bring a smile to my face, dear one, so don’t stop writing.



Spring growth in DD#1’s garden (strawberries! squeal!)




Examples of sheer determination in God’s creation (peas! squeal again!)






A week ago I was in the hospital…3 cheers for HOME!






This gorgeous hunk, who takes such wonderful care of all of us…





Watching the emergence of a Big Brother…








The Truth, The Whole Truth, You Know The Drill

Well, well, WELL! It was highly entertaining to read your guesses, my friends. Although, if you were astute enough to notice, fairly early on in the running my BFF decided to stop by and pretty much give away the true lie (SARAH, AHEM)! In the interest of full disclosure, however, I shall forthwith shed full light on all the minor points.


Whatever that means. Did that make any sense? I didn’t think so.


  1. True, people, TRUE!! Believe it or not, I am incredibly squeamish when it comes to wounds and other such business. I don’t mean minor scrapes, but anything beyond a minor scrape and I am completely incapacitated. Of no use to anyone. A year ago I even passed out at the vet’s office when he was palpitating our dying bunny’s abdomen with just a little too much vigor…so it isn’t really a blood issue, all the time. Wisely, I envelop all my children securely in bubble wrap every morning so we don’t deal with injuries too often.
  2. Very, very, true, to a frightening degree. I would sit in the middle of our acreage as a kid and will the little fuzzy critters to come to me because they simply must be able to sense that I meant them no harm, right? I mean, sure I wanted to hug them and squeeze them and call them George, but other than that? I was completely guileless! And as for Wonder Woman, well…she still rocks the giant black glasses in my book.
  3. Lie! Lie! Big, fat lie! Although I lived in Norway as a teen, I do not, in fact, speak Norwegian beyond a few phrases such as vaer sa god! and tusen takk! The sad truth is that everyone in Norway speaks English and if you even try to speak Norwegian to them they will stifle (unsuccessfully) their wry snorting and simply speak back to you in English.
  4. True. It’s the stuff of legends.
  5. Also true. His birthplace is Stratford-upon-Avon in England, and I went there on a Shakespeare weekend trip with my advanced literature class from Norway. And since this is the part of the blog where I shamelessly flaunt my extreme globe-trotter skilz, I will mention that I have also been to Denmark, The Netherlands, the Cayman Islands, and France. Yes, I saw the Mona Lisa. She was shorter than I expected.
  6. Sadly true. Later I even expanded the one name to be a clever play on words: Jamaica J’oan Destiny. If you decide to use this brilliant idea for one of your own children, I will expect royalties. Or at least credit.


So congratulations to all the correct guessers! I will put your names into a hat (except for SARAH! AHEM!) and pull one winner…just as soon as I can locate a hat.


Also, for those of you who guessed Xavier’s weight, I have not forgotten about you! No one guessed right on the money (8lbs2.5oz), but there were three guesses for 8lbs2oz and a whopping six guesses for 8lbs3oz (which was also My Beloved’s guess, but he has graciously declined to go into the hat). All nine of your names will be in the running for the non-umbilical-cord-stump prize. And now, the gratuitous, completely random and unwarranted pic-o-the-day:



I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Coming Up For Air

So how is everybody? What day is it? Is it still 2008? Who am I again?


Whew…I think there is a new-baby-space-time-continuum that seriously messes with one’s mental processes. It feels like a year ago that I entered the hospital, but at the same time an eyeblink, and all of it has taken place under several leagues of water.


Or something along those lines.


At any rate, we are all well. The milk has arrived in vast quantities and so Cowboy X is quite content. He is sleeping much better and has even decided that occasionally it might be acceptable to take a peek around, although judging by his grimaces he still doesn’t think much of the place.


With every new baby’s arrival there always seems to be one Little in particular who is smitten a hair more than the others…this time it is Emma, who thinks nothing in the whole world has ever been sweeter than Xavier’s little downy head…



And then there is Gabriel, whose expression needs no explanation:



Let’s see now, what was I going to do next…? Oh yes, there were some memes that I was tagged for, so until I can locate my synapses once again, I thought I might at least be capable of doing those!


First was the Six-Word-Memoir, for which I was tagged by both the lovely Toni and the gracious Jen…what springs to mind would be something along these lines:


Did All Things With One Hand


Doubted the Existence of Hot Food


or maybe


Gestated, Lactated, Counted It All Joy


Then there was the 7 Things Meme, for whom I was tagged by Soliloquy (who appears to have moved, so email her for her new site)…this one consists of telling 7 random facts about oneself…so here goes:


  1. I am terrified of these.
  2. I have eaten alligator.
  3. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska.
  4. I despise the cold.
  5. I do not miss being pregnant.
  6. At. All.
  7. I never, ever get motion sick.


And finally, the Six Things Meme, brought to me by Happy Mommy! Herein you will find six MORE random facts, but one of them is, in fact, a big fat lie. Yes! A fib. So then you ever-tolerant folks will try to guess which one is untrue, and I will send you a yet-to-be-determined prize. It will probably involve chocolate, if that makes a difference.


  1. I am squeamish to a really frightening degree. I cannot hear about, read about, or, God Forbid, lay eyes upon, wounds without promptly losing all grasp upon reality.
  2. I worshiped Wonder Woman and Grizzly Adams as a pre-teen. I wanted to be a combination of the two, somehow…Wonder Adams? Grizzly Woman? Wonder Grizzly? Whatever the case, I wanted the communion with all wild things and the invisible jet.
  3. I am fluent in Norwegian.
  4. I fell in love with and married my high-school boyfriend’s best friend, and my best friend went on to marry my high-school boyfriend.
  5. I have been to Shakespeare’s birthplace.
  6. When I was a teen, I thought the most beautiful name in the whole world for a little girl would be…Jamaica.


Okay! So have at it…hit me with your best guess! Meanwhile, I will do some excessively important items on my list, such as smell Xavier’s neck and photograph Xavier’s tiny ears.


Letters From Earthcamp


Dear Daddy,

                Earthcamp has not been very much fun so far. The trip was really long and not very comfortable. I was scared once or twice that I wouldn’t even make it here at all! I’m not sure that I like my bunkmates or the camp counselors. Everybody is really loud, and it’s cold! I know you said to give it some time and I’d get used to it—maybe even like it—but I really miss you. I want to come home. Are you sure I have to stay?


your child



Dear Child of Mine,

                I know it’s hard. It always is, and not only at first.  All throughout your stay, at times, you will wonder why I insisted that you go.  Just remember that I love you more than you will ever know. I also love hearing from you, so please talk to me often. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Earthcamp, so whenever you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask.



2 Corinthians 5:4