Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Shrimp

I didn't thing this would turn into a tale. It started innocently enough.

7:10 p.m.
I had just finished putting Beckett to bed and headed downstairs to clean up the kitchen while Joel said prayers with Eli and tucked him in. In the bottom of the dish sat two pink shrimp and lonely slice of chicken & spinach sausage. The remains of a pasta dish. Not enough to save, but silly to throw away. So I ate them. And Joel appeared in the kitchen.

7:19 p.m.
"Hey, Eli wants you to come up and say goodnight."

After a quick rinse, I tucked the bowl into the top of the dishwasher, happily heading upstairs to leave the rest of clean-up to Joel.

Eli and I have a little routine. I lay down next to him, he scoots over, then tells me, "Mama, I made room. Get under the blanket so you will be warm." Then he wiggles his little feet under my leg and we chat for a few minutes. Then I tell him, "I love you very much, and you are my favorite Eli in the whole world, and I will see you in the morni-" which he quickly interrupts to say, "One more minute," and I say, "Okay," and we lay there quietly for a minute. I kiss him on the forehead one last time and say, "Sweet dreams buddy" as I walk to the door.

This particular night seemed now different than any other. As I lay down next to him, I could hear him sniff, and then pause. "Mama, you stink. What is that smell?"

For a moment, I was shocked. Huh? I know that 3 year olds can be painfully honest, but I couldn't place the source of offense that was causing such a strong and instant reaction. Then I remembered. The shrimp. I explained that I'd just eaten some shrimp and a piece of sausage before I came upstairs.

"But it is smelling Mama. Oh, it is AWFUL!" He was covering his nose.

I tried holding back the laughter, knowing that if he got a reaction, sleep was nowhere near.

"You ate a sausage? And a shrimp? But why did you do that?"

"Don't worry honey, it will go away," I reassured him, and then waited, letting the quiet settle back in.

"Mama, you can go downstairs now. It is smelling in here."

7:23 p.m.
Again, trying to keep the laughter contained, I told him good night and shut the door.

7:27 p.m.
Eli appeared in the family room. He knows he's not supposed to get out of bed, so he had one of those cautious little grins on his face. Joel took him back to bed.

7:32 p.m.
We heard the faint sound of a doorknob turning on the baby monitor. Then silence. Maybe he went back to bed. Minutes later, he appeared again in the living room. This time, with his bike helmet on.

"Mama, it's stuck. I can't get my helmet off."

We're holding our breath to keep the laughter in. Eli was not fooled. Joel took the helmet off, then carried him back to bed.

7:43 p.m.
Eli, downstairs again, declaring that he is not tired. Joel took him back to bed, where Eli then told him, "Mama ate shrimp, and it made her mouth sick."

7:50 p.m.
He was up again. Bike helmet on, and stuck, again. It's still funny, but we decide on a more firm approach.

7:58 p.m.
Joel returns. Apparently, Eli told him that I made his room smell. We debated and discussed which approach to take with this.

8:04 p.m.
Eli's back. Suddenly, I had an idea. I told Joel that I would get this one, and we sent Eli upstairs to his bed. I brushed my teeth and swished a quick dose of Listerine. I walked into Eli's room.

"No Mama, please don't come in here."

"It's okay honey, the shrimp is all gone."

I lay next to him and could tell by his rigid body that he did not trust me one bit at first. Then he realized, the smell really was gone. His breathing slowed. He grew drowsy.

"Sweet dreams buddy."

"Good night, Mama."

8:13 p.m.
I left Eli's room, and we didn't hear from him the rest of the night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The other day, Eli was coloring. I asked him if he was done.

"Yes, I'm all done. And now, I can turn it over like this (gesturing by turning his open palm from face up to face down) to reduce waste."

I was pretty sure I was hearing things.

"To what?"

"You could turn it over like this, to reduce waste,." he repeated.

"Oh. Did you learn that at school?"

"No, from Miss Rosa on PBS Kids. She says, 'When you are done, turn it over like this to reduce waste. You can learn more fun ways to reduce waste and help the environment at PBS Kids dot org. ' "

Well okay then. I guess he was listening.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


105 degrees. A very hot summer day. Fine for cooking. Not good to see on the thermometer after taking your child's temperature. Especially when he just finished 10 days of antibiotics and is 2 days into his second round. When he is already on Tylenol and ibuprofen and ear drops. He feverishly wimpered, then smiled, then cried, then laughed. He wants to be happy and content, to feel better. It's frustrating to not be able to fix things on our own.

Today, we headed back to the doctor. The ear infections are still going strong. They gave him a shot of antibiotics in each thigh, and referred us to the ENT. His fever is down. We're thankful for medical care, insurance, doctors, technology, prayer, experienced parents who've been down this road, and God who heals using any and all of these things or none of them. We're thankful that it's only ear infections and nothing more serious.

We're eager for Little B to feel better. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't craving a full night of sleep.

Monday, January 5, 2009

big sky

All four of us were in the car yesterday...

E: "Did God make the sky?"
M: "Yep, he made the sky."
E: "Wow! God is really tall, huh?"
J: "He sure is."


J: "Well, that's one for the blog."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

now showing

I remember my mom telling me that everytime they finished landscaping their yard, they moved. And lots of similar stories from friends over the years. "We've finally got our house the way we wanted it, and now we're moving." Or, "We got our house ready to sell, and now we wonder why we didn't do this stuff earlier when we'd be here to enjoy it."

We get it. We've been primping our house for months now. It's not perfect, but we did get rid of all those "little" things that loom and linger. Baseboards are no longer scuffed, but gleaming white. That chip in wall at the base of the stairs from when Eli launched his Bobcat from the top stair, spackled and painted. The sidewalk, patched. Doors, painted. Windows, replaced. Staged, photographed and now, For Sale By Owner.

We put up the sign in November. Then we decided to replace the tragically-fake fiberglass false stone siding with white siding to match the rest of the house. So now it looks like this:

We bought an MLS listing November 17th, to allow agents to show it. Eight showings later, we got our first offer on December 23rd. This Saturday, 3 more showings, and today another "not the one" offer. But we're encouraged. And wondering if '09 will become "the year we moved."