Why I heart Etsy (giveaway alert!)

It’s fun to be crafty. It’s no secret here that I am a big fan of craftyliciousness, and that I love to play hostess to the Craft Muse (her name is Kenoo-perseia, by the way, which is loosely translated “empty checking account”) whenever I get the chance. Sometimes, however, I’m just not able to entertain her and I have to hide behind the couch as she pounds on my door and tries to peek through my curtains to see if I’m home.

 

Luckily, old Kenoo is always at work somewhere, and if she doesn’t break down my door she moves on to more fertile ground, which is why Etsy is such an awesome place. I’m always amazed and delighted at the wealth of craftyliciousness that I find there. If you haven’t ever visited the site, you’ve obviously been living a sham of an existence and I suggest you high-tail it over there.

 

No, not right this second, in a minute. Geez, you people take me so literally.

 

One of the things I adore about Etsy is the fact that normal (non-independently-wealthy), unassuming (modest but talented) people (mothers) can have an outlet through which to hock the beautiful fruits of their crafty labor without having to construct their own brick and mortar store or website (which can be every bit as daunting). Thus, these normal-non-independently-wealthy-unassuming-modest-but-talented-people-mothers have an opportunity to make a little cash and perhaps stay at home with their offspring, if they so choose. I have an Etsy shop myself, and I would be encouraging you to peruse my wares right now if not for one tiny problem.

 

There’s nothing in it. It’s an entirely ware-free Etsy shop.

 

But no matter; there are plenty of other wonderful shops to peruse. One such shop that I recently became aware of is called Aliyah’s Hope Chest, and it’s run by a lovely lady by the name of Laurie, who just happens to be the sort of stay-at-home mom I was alluding to above. Unlike me, Laurie owns a sewing machine and actually knows how to use it.

 

I KNOW! Crazy, right? Little did I know that sewing machines are more than abstract ideas with theoretical uses.

 

But use it she does, and with adorable results. I mean, just check out these duds:

 

 
 

 

 

You get the idea. It’s freakin’ cute.

 

If you would like to win a $20 gift certificate to Laurie’s shop, simply hop on over there, decide what your favorite item is (good luck with that), and come back her to tell me in my comments what you picked. I’ll draw a name from the entries on Sunday night and let you know who the winner is!

 

Also, it’s Bob Hope’s birthday today.

 

Yes, that was random. But it bore mentioning. Because here at my house we love all things Hope-ish. And so I’m off to celebrate his 105th by watching a movie of his. Or ten. Because here at my house Bob Hope is frequently referred to as The Greatest Actor Ever.

A Few Gentle Suggestions for George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on How to Improve their Latest “Movie”

(George’s original script) External Scene, desert: A convoy of military vehicles drives towards an isolated army base. Upon exiting the vehicle, we see that the occupants of said vehicles are actually Russian agents with dubious accents led by Galadriel, bent upon procuring the remains of an alien from Area 51 because he (she?) possesses psychic powers with which they can rule the world.

 

Indiana Jones is produced from the bowels of the trunk, dons his trusty fedora, and proceeds to reluctantly assist in the finding of the alien remains, whereupon he attempts to escape on his rickety getaway sticks, dodging bullets and eventually getting the crap beaten out of him by a large Russian grunt while strapped to the front of a test missile.

 

(my helpful variation on the plot) Suddenly, and with an infusion of AC/DC, IronMan appears and torches the Russians with his twin-flame-throwers, smiling engagingly all the while. Indy uses the respite to take some Geritol.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

(George’s original script) Internal scene, Indy’s house, as he speaks about where he will go now that he’s lost his job due to circumstances entirely outside of his control:

 

Indiana (please say this line as woodenly as humanly possible for a man previously known as an actor of some caliber): “I never should have doubted you, my friend.”

 

(my helpful variation on the plot) Someone vigorously punches Steven Spielberg in the face for allowing a line this bad to ever make it out of the cutting room alive.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

(George’s original script) External scene, jungles of South America: Indy has been joined by a young hoodlum who we never suspect for a moment might be his own son and Karen Allen, who, unlike her costar, is still cute. A jeep chase with the Russians ensues.

 

Young Hoodlum: Hey! you forgot about me here in the trees! Nevermind! I’ll just take my cue from some of these monkeys and swing to you like Tarzan!

 

Indiana: Good idea! That’s totally entertaining and completely feasible!

 

Karen Allen: I’ll drive the jeep and smile serenely!

 

Galadriel: We’ll find some ants that are Entirely Too Large And Horrific To Be Believed, and at least two of my henchmen will be devoured!

 

(my helpful variation on the plot) Suddenly, and with an infusion of Black Sabbath, IronMan appears and sends a missile launcher into the Russians, picks up the jeep containing our heroes, and flies away to safety. Indy swigs some Ensure.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

(George’s original script) Internal scene, cavernous catacombs beneath Maccu-Piccu-like ruins where alien ship lies buried until final skull is returned to its alien owner and they all fly away into another dimension whilst the mountain collapses and Galadriel’s head explodes.

 

Indiana: Hey, triple-agent-who-was-my-friend-and-then-wasn’t-and-then-was-again-and-then-wasn’t-and-now-I’m-not-sure-if-you-are-or-not-even-though-you-keep-winking-at-me-as-if-it-means-something-significant! Stop stuffing your pockets with gold and take my hand, lest you be caught in the swirling vortex and forever live on as an example of why it never pays to be greedy!

 

Friend (or not?): No! I must stuff my pockets with gold and trinkets even though the vortex looms and I know that money will not benefit me in the afterlife!

 

Young Hoodlum: I lost my motorcycle and my comb! I should have stayed in school!

 

Karen Allen: I lost all my self-respect! I should have read the script!

 

(my helpful variation on the plot) Suddenly, and with an infusion of Some Other Heavy Metal Music, IronMan enters and collects our decrepit star, taking him straight to the retirement home and a lifetime supply of BenGay. Karen Allen and the Young Hoodlum breathe a collective sigh of relief that the general public is so doggedly determined to enjoy a film with the Indiana Jones moniker stamped upon it that they’ll shell out for it in spite of its lack of cohesiveness, charm, humor, excitement, plotlines, or basis in any form of reality, even of a fictional sort.

 

IronMan then crashes into the corner offices of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and throws them into the swirling vortex with the aliens they so adore, where they live happily ever after in CG-induced comas.

 

IronMan then swoops down and collects the entire beleaguered cinema audience and deposits them in the theater featuring HIS movie, where their desire to see actual acting by real people instead of cardboard standees is satisfied.

 

The End.

Sufficiency

My wee one stirs, snuffles, and begins to search. In short order he goes from Mildly Anxious to Greatly Annoyed. He flails and cries, buffetting the air with his tiny fists. Real tears roll down his cheeks until he is pressed close to me. His wails cease and he whimpers instead, rooting around in a tightly wound ball of desperation, like a man crawling across the hot desert sands towards an oasis.

 

Ah…success. His body stills abruptly, the frantic motion replaced by a long, shuddering sigh of contentment. The rain falling gently outside adds to the early-morning peacefulness as he snuggles in and drifts back to sleep, and I ponder the God who gives such everyday miracles as mother’s milk. I have spent over eleven years in the position of nursemaid, and yet His creativity still strikes me with fresh amazement.

 

There is an echo of the divine in every good and perfect gift, and this is no exception. Who is the One longing to supply our every need? It is El Shaddai, God Almighty. Shad is literally translated breast in Hebrew, and so He gives Himself the name of All Sustaining One. The pagans carve many-breasted goddesses and worship mother nature, ignorant to the fact that the woman with her nursing babe is created in the image of the One True God, not the other way around.

 

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it, He says. He has the pure milk, the answer to my soul’s hunger, the strength for my spirit, the fertilizer to my faith. All I have to do is come to Him, and yet I stand aloof, choosing what saps instead of what satisfies. My lips are pressed tightly closed in anger, or shut firmly in a pout of sorrow, and I refuse to be comforted. I am too proud to be fed.

 

It has not always been easy, this nursing process. There have been babies that rejected me, turning away in confusion, hunting for other means. Through my tears I continued offering, patiently persisting until the understanding dawned and, along with it, peace. Here too is a picture of my God, bending over His children, wooing them with kindness, waiting for their need to outweigh their misguided suspicions.

 

My newborn sleeps beside me, contented and consoled. Though he is just six weeks old, he knows better than I how to receive, and how to rest. With the rain still drumming on my windowpane, I close my eyes and pray that God Almighty, El Shaddai, will grant me the wisdom of an infant. 

What’s she doing with that thing?

Today I was helping my daughter with her vocabulary and we were discussing the word “improvise”. I was trying to get across the idea that to “improvise” was to take something usually meant for one thing and to use it in another way, in order to fill a need.

 

“Ah!” She said, brightening. “Like MacGuyver!”

 

Nailed it. The man who could take twine and tarpaper and earwax and fashion a parachute was definitely a master at improvisation.

 

Tonight we saw another example of the art when our elderly boxer, Tasha, discovered that her bedding was still in the wash. Her old bones were in need of something comfier than the tile floor. Fortunately, our other dog, Mini, the rat terrier, was already put to bed in her crate. Mini also has a bed, which was not in the wash.

 

 

 

Does this bed make my butt look big? 

Hunger

“Start getting him accustomed to less attention now” folks said about my 2 year old, a few months before the baby was born. “You won’t be able to hug on him so much, or carry him around, after the baby arrives.”

 

“He won’t be able to sleep with us once the baby is in here too” My Beloved reminded me. “He needs to get used to sleeping in his own bed.”

 

I knew there was merit to their arguments, but I just couldn’t do it. My Toby was simply so delicious that when he came padding into my room in the middle of the night, I did not hesitate to pull him up next to me and snuggle him close. When he would lift his chubby arms to me for a free ride to his desired destination, I did not refuse.

 

His sweetness was undeniable, irresistable, overpowering and heady, like a rich, chocolatey dessert. I could not say no. I didn’t want to say no. I knew he would struggle once the baby came, but I selfishly indulged in not less, but even more of his attention. I told myself that somehow he could stockpile the abundance of it in the silos of his soul so that the lean days wouldn’t be so hard.

 

But they were.

 

 

The first few days after the little intruder arrived were bewildering to him. He was escorted back to his own bed when he arrived in our room in the wee hours–comforted, yes, but still…his accustomed spot next to Mommy had been filled by another, tinier occupant.

 

When he needed a drink, or a snack, or a diaper change, these things were accomplished by other hands– just as capable, but not quite as desireable. When he was injured or sad, the arms he had always come to for reassurance were strangely unavailable, being taken up by the smaller suitor. At first he tried to insist, pushing his way up, hoping to find room, but finally settling for other laps and alternate consolation.

 

 

I knew it would happen. I knew it would be painful, but I didn’t try to prepare him for it. Our hearts fractured and broke simultaneously; we both shed tears.

 

 

Overnight he has had to become the Big Boy, the Older Brother, the Independent One. His life is one of different prepositions than before: he sits next to me instead of on me, he walks beside me instead of riding in my arms. He accepts love from siblings and Daddy more readily than before, and these have all worked their will inside him, transforming him from baby to little man.

 

(He is adjusting better than his mother.)

 

He is resigned. Content (most of the time) with this new version of my attention, happier to just be near me. Slowly a scripture floats to the surface of my consciousness, fighting through the churning sediment of to-do lists and dinner plans, anxiety and fretfulness.

 

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother. Like a weaned child is my soul within me.*

I was not still nursing Toby when Xavier arrived, but he had to be weaned of my doting care, nonetheless. He could not remain the baby; that role was filled by another, and he found within the sorrow a new status. He had to grow, and change, and so he comes to me now and does not clamor for what I am not offering anymore. 

 

 

Will I ever be able to say the same of myself, before the Lord? Will I ever learn to make my soul quiet and calm before Him, happy to simply be in His presence, instead of clamoring for His gifts? I want to desire the Lord for the sheer joy of Himself, not because I need something from Him. Will the day ever come that I arrive in the throne room just to sit a spell with my Savior, not driven there by my worry and fear? Will I ever move on from the milk to the solid food?  

 

My mama-heart breaks at Toby’s tears, but I know that he needs to accept the help of others and learn to govern his own soul. I know that God has a mama-heart also, and I have to trust that He is always and forever going to do what is right by me, though amidst pain. I grow when He withholds what I think I will die without, and I find that He has other means by which to feed me, if only I will listen long enough to learn how to receive them.

 

We have more in common than can be believed, this two-year-old and I. Both children. Both strangers. Both sojourners.

 

Both beloved beyond what we can comprehend.

 

 

*Psalm 131:2

Answers, Random edition

Here are some of the questions that I either forgot to include in the other posts, or that refused to be pigeonholed as one thing or the other, so you could also call this “Answers, the flotsam and jetsam edition” if you wanted to. But you don’t have to. It’s a free country.

 

I think.

 

I suppose it depends on who you talk to.

 

At any rate, Marisa asked “I do wonder if you and your husband knew when you got married that you wanted this many kids?”

 

Answer: Did we know that we wanted a whole tribe, a fleet, a pride, a clan, a gaggle, a mob, a horde, a throng, a veritable legion of children?

 

No.

 

But we didn’t know much of anything when we got married, so that’s not very telling, in and of itself.

 

Heather asked What would you do if your doctor said you had to stop having children for health reasons?

 

Answer: I would get a second opinion.

 

she also asked “Why do you sometimes have what people consider to be bad language in your posts?”

 

Answer (sort of, but not really): Could you define “people” and “bad language”?

 

Sarah asked ” how do you handle the hormones/babyblues after birth?”

 

Answer: I have never suffered from severe PPD, but the hormonal fluctuations after childbirth can be daunting, for sure. I read scripture and remind myself that it will pass in time. I also remind myself that satan is a big fat dummy head and that he is compounding the basic problem of chemical flux by whispering his filthy lies into my ear, and that makes me mad and want to kick his ass (spiritually speaking, of course), which feels better than being just plain miserable.

 

Rebecca asked about bathtime, and also about how we store our toothbrushes and bathroom cups.

 

Answer: Our toothbrushes are stored in holders that keep them from undue fraternization, although I can’t say with any certainty that they don’t throw wild parties late at night when we are all sleeping, swapping bacteria til the dawn’s early light. I try not to think about it. We also have one bathroom cup. I know, gross. The little ones use it because they don’t know any better. The big kids get drinks in the kitchen from their own cups. I use my hand. So far we are all still alive.

 

Stephanie asked  “do you think you’ll have any more kidlets?

 

Answer: This is a tricky question to ask a woman who is still newly post-partum. The “correct” answer, according to our philosophy of family planning, is “Only the Lord knows; it’s in His hands and we trust Him unflaggingly” but in the back of my mind are the howling wolves of fear and doubt that threaten to devour me and pick their teeth with the splintered shards of my convictions.  

 

Julie Beth wanted to know “what people, authors, etc, have influenced your views of family, homeschooling, parenting, etc.?”

 

Answer: The Way Home by Mary Pride was the first book I ever read that opened my eyes to just how much falsehood I had swallowed unquestioningly throughout my life, and All The Way Home was the second. The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer is a beautiful book that encouraged me to see the beauty in the everyday (hm. need to read that one again.), and For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay kinda sorta defined our homeschooling philosophy. How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn was instrumental in “gelling” my attitude towards modern medicine, gave me confidence to recognize a true emergency from a scare tactic, and, as an unforeseen benefit, has saved us thousands of dollars over the years. That’s a quick sampling, drawn from my extremely (and hopefully temporary) synapse-depleted brain.

 

Johanna asked “what was the most healing thing for you in the process of recovering from your [miscarriages]?”

 

Answer: I’ve said before that loss becomes a part of you. I don’t say that flippantly or romantically. Anyone who has been through it knows just how it can blindside you, make you question everything you ever believed, and forever change your perspective on life. It all feels so negative when you’re in the midst, but looking back…I’m grateful for the changed perspective. I’m awed by how much I’ve changed over the past year and a half. I truly didn’t think there was anything left that the Lord could do with me (not as in “I’m perfect” but as in “I’m beyond hope“). He proved this was not the case.

 

So the obvious answer is Him. His presence was the most healing thing. Finding out that there was more to myself than I had previously believed. I learned how to give up on bitterness, strangely enough. Here I was, blessed beyond measure and yet holding onto bitterness, and along come horrible events and I let go of it. Plumbing the depths of my own trust didn’t leave any room for that baggage. Is God good, or not? Is God wise, or not? Am I going to serve God, or Baal? I had to listen to Elijah and finally stop trying to keep a foot in both camps. I wrote more poetry in 2007 than ever before in my life, which was a very therapeutic outlet that I hadn’t explored previously.

 

The love of a particular man was greatly healing to me as well. Twenty years earlier when he said “for better or for worse” to me, he meant it. Loss is a make-or-break time for couples, and never for a moment did he cause me to doubt which way this scene was going to pan out.

 

The comfort of those who had walked this way before was such a blessing as well. How amazing is the fellowship of those who can come alongside and shed tears with you because they have also been where you are and know the pain of it? It’s amazing, I tell you true. I was overwhelmed by the sweetness of the people I knew–some just acquaintances–who took the time to tell me I’m sorry. I know how it feels.

 

And Toby Mac’s Portable Sounds has my undying love and affection for possessing the ability to make me feel alive again when I was sure I was mostly dead. It’s the soundtrack to the most difficult time of my life thus far, and it rocks.

 

How about you, my friends? What, besides the grace of God, has helped you get through the valley of the shadow of death intact?

Sizzle, sizzle…

Remember my brain? The one that was all goofed-up on baby fumes? Today it looks like this:

 

 

That’s a cast-iron skillet, and some oil. It’s extra-virgin olive oil, at least.

 

And then there are my nerves. Specifically, my last one. I took a picture of it:

 

 

It’s not looking so good.

 

Maybe some deep breathing would help?

 

Except the toddler next to me is spectacularly poopy, so that didn’t really help.

 

Is it too late to request a clone?

Answers, The Easy-Peasy Edition

I’m avoiding most of The Questions That Will Wring My Soul in order to answer some of these less-wrenching sorts.

 

No, no, really! I love the soul-wringing questions! Don’t apologize for asking; I told you to! But I think I should confess that I’ve taken to sucking my thumb again, and also my left eyelid will not stop twitching.

 

Not that I think that’s in any way your fault.

 

Jolyn asked “Do you ever go on vacation as a family?”

 

Answer: Yes! For a long time our vacations consisted of travelling to other states to visit family, but five years ago we took our first trip to another state in which no family existed at all. At least, none that were related to us. That I know of. We went to the Alabama coast and stayed for one week in a beach house directly upon the ocean. And I managed to foist my love for all things beachy upon every one of my children, plus my sister-in-law, Becca.

 

Two years after that, we spent a week in a house on Eagle Rock Lake in Missouri. That was nice too, because a lake is a Large Expanse Of Water Somewhat Like The Ocean, although not quite so amazing.

 

And then last year we spent a week on the Gulf Coast of Texas in another beach house. Lovely time, although not as lovely as Gulf Shores, Alabama. The water was, erm…rather an industrial color, shall we say?

 

Ruth asked “Why were you born in Alaska, and how long did you live here?”

 

Answer: I was born in Alaska because my father worked in the oil biz. I lived there until I was 3, and I don’t honestly remember much of it, except for when I was practicing standing on my head in our living room and I landed on my Dad’s cup of hot coffee. The people at the hospital were very nice. Then we moved to Corpus Christi, where visiting the ocean joined the coffee experience as one of my earliest memories. The ocean was better.

 

Ruth also asked “How do you find time to be crafty?”

 

Answer: Aw, shewt, you know the answer to this one. It’s the whole *you make time for the things you love* thang. Sure, other items (eating, sleeping, digesting) have to fall by the wayside to accomplish it, but I have said before that craftiliciousness carries a high price. When it’s in your soul, resistance is futile.

 

“Lisa Lavy” asked where I get my energy. And also if my children are “very laid back and gentle.” Susan also asked about my energy level.  Bekki asked if I have ever had a difficult baby, and if any of my children had special needs.

 

Answer: I have always been a pretty high-energy person. Or at least equal parts high-energy and a driven personality that carries me forth even when I’m going on fumes. I am a sporadic vitamin-taker. I have no magical formula for energy, but I will say that if you’re dragging through every day and nodding off for no apparent reason, you might want to get your thyroid levels checked. The thyroid can be a dicey buggar.

 

My children are actually very laid back and gentle, yes, for the most part. I honestly am not saying this out of pride because I don’t know why they are, but I have witnessed enough other children from other walks of life to say that yeah…my kids are pretty low-key. Not that they don’t have rowdy moments, but they don’t tear things up from sunup to sundown. When I yell at them to KNOCK IT OFF! then they do it, for the most part. If I’m working on something crafty, they stay away from it.

 

I have never had what could be characterized as a really difficult baby. Not in the traditional colicky sense. I’ve had some babies with more sensitive systems, and one in particular who made his daddy’s life pretty miserable through the first year because the second I stepped out the door he would begin to cry and would not stop until my sole came back through that opening, but other than that, meeting their needs has been pretty straightforward. Also no kids with special needs, although we have at least one who meets some Tourrette’s criteria. He’s…quirky. But hey, he’s also part of a way-huge family. Can you blame him?

 

Bekki also asked how many of my children still live at home.

 

Answer: All of them. For another month, at which point my eldest will fly away to something she keeps referring to as “my house” at which point my eyelid starts to twitch again.

 

“Linda in St Louis” asked me what I do for myself if I get a moment of free time, which was similar to “smilinmom22″s question about how I make time for myself.

 

Answer: Occasionally I will say to My Beloved “I need some time to myself” and he says “groovy, baby” and I take myself to Target or Panera Bread or out for a bike ride. I used to go to the library, but since declaring a jihad against it, I don’t go there anymore. I might also just sit and completely lose myself in a book, like I did last Christmas, but I can’t afford to do that very often because I forget who I am. Mostly, I blog.   

 

“AM” asked about our childrens’ sleeping arrangements, and how many bedrooms our house has.

 

Answer: Our house has five bedrooms. One is mine and Beloved’s, along with the baby for now. One is for the two little boys, and one is for the two big boys. One is for the two middle and the two little girls. And the last one is for the three oldest girls.These rooms are not all the same size, obviously. 

  

AM also asked if my pregnancies have all been different. “Bonnie” also asked if I had had any *issues* in my pregnancies.

 

Answer: My pregnancies have all varied only slightly. Up until this last one, I puked my guts out every time (this last pregnancy was puke-free but full of other fun things like faintness and migraines) and had the normal compliment of fatigue and such. I have stretch marks, I have varicose veins. The VVs are by far the worst problem that I have. Overall, no GD, no BP issues, or anything else that you could call major.

 

Bubba’s Sis wants to know the names and ages of my children.

 

Answer: Rose (21 next month) Molly (19) Miriam (17) Caleb (15) Connie (13) Jordan (12) Josiah (10) Charity (8 this month) Emma Ruth (6) Gabriel (4) Tobias (2) and Xavier (1 month old, as if that is even possible)

 

Toni asked about my potty training philosophy.

 

Answer: My potty training philosophy has morphed over the years into something that goes like this: put diapers on the child until they rip them off their bodies and say something along the lines of “STOP PUTTING THESE THINGS ON ME, MOTHER! I’M USING THE TOILET NOW!”

 

I’m serious. It works. Don’t do the power struggle thing. Just don’t. None of my children has gone past the age of 3 in diapers since I began following this mentality. It also helps to tell the kid regularly “no, you can’t use the potty. you’re too little” because this makes using the potty seem like a big priviledge which they cannot wait to earn, like driving the car and watching Cloverfield.

 

“Sheila” wins the prize for asking me the most flattering questions, which are:

 

have you ever looked into getting paid for your writing?( if not you should)
-have you looked into getting paid for your pictures?(if not you should)

 

Answer(s): No. But thank you for the compliment. I have been published in non-paying venues before (Joyfull Noise before it went bye-bye, and Above Rubies), and I would love to finish&publish the novel that sits patiently waiting in my hard drive, but it’s in the Lord’s hands. If it’s gonna happen, He’s going to have to do it. As for the photography, I’m not really that great.

 

Carrie asked me what is the most difficult number of children to have.

 

Answer: One. Absolutely unequivocably. For me, the shock of going from none to one was never again experienced.

 

“Phylly3” wondered if I’d ever had any moments of reluctance or fear upon discovering that I was pregnant. And also whether I’d ever hoped for one gender more than another during pregnancy.

 

Answer: Before miscarriages, I was always excited and thrilled to find that I was expecting.  Always amazed. Always grateful. After miscarriages I was still all those things, with a fair amount of terror mixed in.  It’s never the same again after loss; loss becomes a filter through which every other emotion must pass first.

 

Never cared about gender. Never.

 

Happy Mommy asked “how old are you?”

 

Answer: I will be 40 this year. Can’t wait. Always love turning older. No, I’m not kidding. I think it has something to do with heaven being that much closer.

 

Johanna asked what My Beloved and I do for dates or time alone.

 

Answer: We go to the Caymans. Haha! Not really. Okay, once. Mostly we just go out to eat when we can. For normal upkeep, we lay in bed and talk until way too late at night.

 

The lovely and talented Jody asked “If you could have, or say had to have, plastic surgery what one thing would you have done?”

 

Answer: I love this question. This is a fun question, and actually one that I have thought about and asked other people too. It always has to be couched in the right terms, though, or people try to say something noble. So I always say it like this: “You have money that can ONLY be spent on plastic surgery, and it has to be ONLY for cosmetic reasons and it has to be ONLY for you.”

 

That’s what you meant, right Jody? Okay, then I’ll answer.

 

It was always a toss-up between my legs and my bosom. My legs have the bulgey blue ropey veins and my bosom, well, you can guess what that’s all about. But since my legs have gotten bad enough to actual necessitate medical intervention for which insurance will pay, they are out of the running. So the bosom wins. I’d like a lift, please. And I don’t even think I would feel guilty at this point because after all it’s done, it’s a charity case in and of itself.

 

And thus ends my fluffy and totally depth-less answers.