Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

I can say right at the start of this letter that in the past year we have not added any children (or pets) into our family, we live in the same house, drive the same cars, and Super B still works for the same company, albeit in slightly different position. We even took the same vacation (Disney) this year. The only P that has really changed much this year is Dalton (1). Last year at Christmas he was cute with lots of potential, but not doing much besides nursing, crying and looking sweet as he snoozed. While Dalton still loves a good meal, a good cry and a good snuggle, he is otherwise completely different. He runs all around the house trying to keep up with his siblings and is very busy as only a toddler can be. It makes me equal parts proud and sad that he is growing up so fast.

Our biggest highlight of the year is that in the Fall both Ashby and Reese chose to make professions of faith. I am sure you can imagine how cool it was to see my two oldest children baptized together. I think I missed most of the actual dunking due to the tears of joy and, quite frankly, perhaps a few tears of relief too given the crazy things my kids have done through the years. Baptism might not make them perfect, but at least they are forgiven! Luckily we got it on video so I have been able to watch with mostly dry eyes since then.

Otherwise the kiddos are energetic and my house is still always messy and loud. Reese (8) and Ashby (10) are both doing Scouts and choir and Reese is into soccer. His team, led by our very own Coach B, had a few wins in the spring and an actual winning season this fall. Ashby is a reading queen but has really gotten into cooking this year, a hobby I am definitely encouraging! Wes (4) goes to speech twice a week which we call “little school” and enjoys the pleasures of a more relaxed kind of life.

Super B is still at X. He worked crazy hours much of last year but recently moved to a new position that seems less time intensive. He has a fancy title, but I admit I have taken to telling people he runs the vending machines at his office. B would have me insert here that sadly he has never been allowed to remove a single quarter from the machines despite the fact he thinks that sounds fun. However, he does manage the contracts for food services among many other comptroller duties.

As for me, I continue to passionately love being a mom, attending births as a doula and occasional work at a local birth center. There I have added some clinical midwifery skills to my repertoire, which is a thrill for me. It took me well into adulthood, but I am completely thankful that God has brought me opportunities to find and follow my passions of being both in the home with my family and being a birth advocate for others.

We may be pretty boring, not changing much from year to year, but Christmas is a time to be different. Starting from the way Jesus was born (I am no stranger to out of hospital birth, but a stable is out of my league) to the way he died, it was all different than what one might expect. I don’t know what the next year holds. Perhaps next year we will be called to do something totally different, or perhaps the plan is to just continue getting up (way too early in my mind) each day to love and serve others. We are looking forward to finding out.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year y’all!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Go Cowboys?

Yesterday Super B and I went on a date. Sadly this is very rare for us. One of B's suppliers gave us 2 box tickets for the Cowboy football game. It wasn't the best date in terms of quality time together as technically B was "working" and we didn't have real time to just chat. I actually originally turned down the chance to go because I didn't feel the hassle and expense of dealing with childcare was worth it, but eventually B wore me down and I am so glad he did. Not because I just love football mind you, but it was fun and different...and free food was involved. Plus my date was kinda cute.

So yeah, Cowboy's Stadium is crazy. Between the 100 yard long TV, the retractable ceiling, and an ad on anything that had a semi-flat surface, the stadium is one big testament to humanity's bent to excess. I am not slamming excess, the stadium provides gobs of jobs, it really is beautiful on the outside, and the mongo TV inside is just jaw dropping, but I still do have to's football, just football (and I hear the occasional concert and monster truck rally). I know it is mega simplistic to say this, but if even a minuscule part of that effort was put into an orphanage, how cool would that be?

I don't want to down play that it was fun. I enjoyed the spectacle quite a bit. I ate and drank liberally from the buffet (we were in the Pepsi suite so B had to remind me not to ask for Co-cola which is my generic term for all soft drinks...). However, I will not be painting my face blue and silver anytime and worshipping at the feet of previously mentioned mongo TV screen. However, I was given a really nice Cowboy's t-shirt from the supplier who invited us and I am wearing that today. Hopefully that walks the line between excess, idol worship and having a good time.

By the way, the Cowboys lost. Big time.

Writer's Block

I am a semi-insomniac. Don't get me wrong, I love to sleep, but I have some trouble falling asleep almost every night. Of course no problems with sleeping in the morning, I could sleep in every day if the reality of life allowed such luxury. However, I don't navigate the transition from wakefulness to oblivion quickly most of the time. I do many things in that hour(s) resting in my bed. Sometimes my time is spent poking Super B to stop him from taking up the whole bed but other times I find myself productive and I create much needed to do lists, I pray or I rearrange the house's furniture in my head. Recently I have found myself writing blog posts. Perhaps this is my brain's way of processing my life or perhaps it is just because I enjoy writing and have such little time to do so these days.

Considering starting a blog about doula and birth stuff specifically because I am would like to blog about my kids for my own enjoyment and memories and then write about birth because I just need to get the words out...would love to throw some faith stuff in the mix too. Oh course this is all fantasy at the moment, but sometimes I wonder if I could write more if I could sleep easier (or at least earlier...).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Catching Up On PIcs

Sorry, crying (by D not me...) has interupted this post.

Cold Shower Anyone?

Last week our hot water heater died. Luckily it didn't explode or even leak, it just stopped producing hot water. So we bought another one and amazingly the hot water heater guy came the next day to install our brand spanking new source of non-cold water. He installed it in less than an hour and zippee do dah, we were on our way to hot showers and clean dishes once again. But.....

You have to have the installation inspected by the city government to make it "official". The inspection is not so important that we couldn't use our newly heated water, you just have to have a certificate on file somewhere in the boughs of city hall to say that your hot water heater passes inspection. You call, you choose a day for them to come, they come and if all goes well then they file it for you. For those reading closely, I said you choose a *day*. Not a time frame of 2 hours, not a time from of 4 hours. No, you pick a day and they will come with no advanced notice sometime between 9 and 4 on your chosen day.

Today was our day. I don't do much on Thursdays which is why I picked today, but I do usually leave the house at some point each day, if nothing else to walk down to the kids' school to pick them up. We were lucky, the water heater inspector came just after noon freeing up the rest of my day. He could not have been nicer chatting it up with Wes, remarking on our floor plan and my cute baby. He looked at the water heater for maybe 5 seconds and left. Apparently our water heater was installed correctly. Not that we were worried mind you, we paid a contractor $1300 for the heater and installation and it came with a 10 year warranty. But thank you City Hall for looking out for me.

Did I mention that we also had to add $100 on to the cost of our water heater to pay for that 5 second inspection and the certificate that is now making its way into a file somewhere in our government's big file drawer? I hope that is one pretty certificate, perhaps suitable for framing. Thankfully I don't work, so I didn't have to take a day off for the privilege of the inspection but gosh, for those who work and may have to take a day off (possibly without pay) to sit and wait for the kind inspector man as well as pay for the inspection and the actual water heater and installation, a new water heater is a pretty expensive proposition!

Taking a cold shower could have a whole new meaning!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Summer is just flying by. Actually I find summer to be a strange mix of being really busy and being really boring. Maybe I am the only one who feels that way, but we either have a lot going on (vacation!, company! VBS!) or a lot of hanging out in the house doing mundane stuff and trying to keep the kids from killing each other. Literally.

Yesterday I had to call poison control because Wes fed Dalton hand sanitizer. I don't usually keep hand sanitizer on hand (we like germs around here), but I found some small containers of sanitizer and thought I could drain them so that I could then fill them up with sunscreen to legally carry in our bags when we fly this weekend. So the sanitizer was draining into my sink when apparently Wes thought it would make a good snack for little D. Turns out you have to drink A LOT of sanitizer to really see any bad results but that was certainly some excitement I could have done without.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hanging In the Wind

Watching a few events going on in the periphery of my life has me thinking again about extended families... and how alone my family is. I have a friend whose daughter was in a near drowning accident and I have been following her blog. It is wonderful to read how the extended family rushed in and have moved heaven and earth to help with any and everything. Obviously it is a tragedy for all involved, but everyone is involved. I find myself weeping when I read the blog, not only for Claire but for the love the family has demonstrated to each other and quite pathetically on my jealous I am of that support system.

Then last week the mayor of our town shot herself and her daughter. It is horrible, horrible, horrible. I don't think all the details are known and they will never be understood but basically the father/husband died of cancer two years ago, left them broke and grieving and mom decided to end her life and that of her only child...a 19 year old daughter. There was no other family involved...this mom and daughter went through everything alone and didn't come out the other side.

When I look at my life I have a lot more in common with the situation of having no support. My own mother died when I was a teen and so she will not be flying in to help. My dad remarried a wonderful lady, but she is completely caught up in her own issues to pay much attention to us, and for that matter she insists that my dad stay caught up in her issues too. In many ways I feel like I have lost my dad, and that is a huge loss because my dad is amazing. Thank goodness for my brother and SIL because they would pretty much be the only joining members of Team Pokluda if we needed recruits.

Then there's Super B's family...I believe it's probably best to not speak ill about one's inlaws, however I will just say his dad is in a nursing home and his mom hasn't come to see us in years, mostly because she won't bother to make the drive. Needless to say, they are not going to be coming to anyone's rescue when life makes a sharp turn.

I believe God will provide what we need when we need it, but at the same time, the whole thing with the mayor really has upset me. It seems so unnecessary...where was her family? Then I think, where would my family be? Probably not here. I can't imagine that I would ever, ever, ever shot my child and myself but I also can't imagine going through the grief of losing a spouse alone.

I am picking up valuable lessons in what to do when my kids are grown. These seem like no brainers, but my life experience tells me it must be easier said than done.
1: Never-ever-never put clean carpets before relationships.
2: My DIL/SILs may not like me, but I need to work to make those relationships happen. If bribery is what it takes, so be it.
3: I don't need to live next door (though sounds like a fantastic idea) but I do need to get involved in their lives. even if it is inconvenient and uncomfortable.