Currently Me

A few weeks ago I wrote “currently” posts about Chica and Bubba.  I knew it made sense to write one about myself next, but sometimes as a mommy it feels pretty hard to separate what I’m doing from what we’re doing.  If they’re reading Elephant and Piggie and watching Momo’s World, chances are I am too.  But things have slowed down a bit lately, and it seems as if I might have enough of me back to write about.  So here goes…

Eating:  Homemade chocolate chip cookies and skim milk.  And by “homemade” I mean the break apart kind that are ready to go on the pan, because even the slice from the tube kind is one more unnecessary step I don’t need these days.  I baked them yesterday to prepare for a showing of our house in hopes that the yummy smell would linger long enough for our visitors.  A friend in our Sunday School class said that the fresh baked cookies on the table were a major selling point for him when they were looking for houses, so I decided to try his trick.  We had three showings, and only one cookie was eaten.  Oh well….more for me.

Reading:  Colossians 3.  I was challenged last week to memorize it, and I’ve made it to about verse 8 so far.  Verse 15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”  The person who issued the challenge wondered what life might look like if we actually went to work each day with Christ’s peace ruling us.  My mind immediately jumped to September and pictured how that would change my school day.  But just now, writing this, I realized there’s no need to wait until September.  Come Peace.  Come when Bubba refuses to get in the car seat and no one wants to eat any of the eight healthy lunch options I offer.     Come when I have to wash the sheets three days in a row and when nap time seems an eternity away.  Rule my heart then, ok?

Listening:  Billy Joel on Pandora.  Nearly every song conjures up some almost forgotten memory for me… dancing with hairbrushes in hand during a giggly sleepover, the marvel of a friend’s player piano in her basement, a mix CD Jay made me while we dating, or window-down drives to the Peaks Camp.  “Riding around with the car top down and the radio on….”  Mmmm.

Watching:  Well, Jay and I had been watching The Voice.  I was totally pulling for the quirky girl with the tight pants and huge glasses, but whatevs.  As is customary in our house, the reruns of West Wing have begun to play again…our fallback show whenever we run out of something else we can both agree on.  I never thought it was a show I would like or even understand, but now I think it gets better every time we watch it….and we’ve watched it a bunch.

Saying:    I’m going to run the 10 Miler.  Jay and I first talked about it on our bike ride this week, and I think we have a good time picked out that I can start to run regularly.  Today I told two different friends I was going for it, and now…umm…I’m telling you.  Maybe it will be harder to back out that way.  Hold me to it, friends!

Hoping:  That someone will buy our house so we can finally start looking for real, and not just online, at new places.  And so that I don’t have to keep hiding my soap and shampoo in the cabinet under the sink.  That and about a million other things that are annoying to a housekeeping challenged girl like me while our house is on the market.  This too shall pass, I know.     

Learning:  This.  Really, take a minute to read it…you’ll be glad you did.  I used to be the avocado mom just a little bit, I think, but now I’m the mom doing a little cheer if I can get them to eat chicken nuggets.  Forget the vegetables.

So, I’ve made some new friends lately, and I was tempted to think their kids were taking naps on a schedule at me and they were enjoying their big houses and flat yards at me.  But here’s the kicker:  “We can choose to see each other as competition or as fellow warriors – fighting the same fight on the same team. One goal – many paths. We can learn from each other. We can even ENJOY each other.”   Yep, I’m learning to let that happen.  One goal — many paths.  I like it.

So, what’s happening currently with you?

This post was inspired by Mama. Papa. Bubba. who was inspired by Sometimes Sweet who was inspired by MeganIsLove.  Pass it on.

On Turtles: Chica Challenge #2

No rest for the weary over here.

In the past three weeks or so we have gone from dreaming about a new house to putting our house on the market. Today!  Ah!  So I went straight from packing up my school stuff to packing up things here at home to move to storage.  Thanks to the help of our moms, two great friends, and their kids, our house is looking better than it has ever looked.  Bring on the buyers.

House 01 Irvington 09

I’m exhausted….and I know that we are just getting started.  So while I should be folding laundry or straightening cabinets or clearing out that one room that just never got finished, I’m sitting here instead.  Chica is sleeping, Bubba and Jay are watching TV (aka snoozing, probably), and I’m drinking wine, eating too much chocolate, and planning to write about yesterday’s adventures.  I earned the break, right?

By 8:00 a.m. we were out the door headed to Peaks View Park.  We took a short detour to check out the baby birds at Nana’s house because she warned they weren’t fitting in their nest much longer.  You’ll be fascinated to know (maybe) that Mama Bird is still taking care of business, quite literally.  While we were there, we saw one bird take what appeared to be his first trip away from the nest.  So cool!  Nana called us later to say that all four birds had abandoned ship by lunch time.  I guess we came just in time!

After Nana refueled us with goldfish crackers and chex mix, we headed out again to the park.  Let me just say that the overabundance of construction and closed roads in the Hill City does not help a directionally challenged girl like me.  Ugh.  So we ended up parking way far away from the playground, not by choice.  This, however, did make for a nice walk to kill some time and wear out little bodies.


On our walk, a maintenance man we passed handed us a box turtle.  Of course my budding naturalist wasn’t content to just observe and then leave the turtle, so she carted him the rest of the way to the playground.  Chica had two new, instant best friends (’cause who doesn’t love a girl with a turtle?), and they crowded around to wait for their new pet to come out of his shell.  After many reminders that yelling and tapping the shell aren’t the best ways to make a turtle feel safe, he finally emerged.  Within seconds of eyeing the crazy kids waiting for him on the outside, that sucker spotted a hiding spot, the mulch under a playground stair, and he was off.  Can you blame him?

As you can imagine, the questions were flying.  So, for those of you up for day 2 of the Chica Challenge, read the following, make your best guesses, then compare your answers to the best that YouTube has to offer (summarized below).

1. How do you know if it’s a boy or girl?
2. How old is it?
3. What does it eat?
4. Can we take it home as a pet?

IMG_01411.  Chica actually had this one right because of what she had learned from the fine folks at the Nature Zone, but neither of us were 100% sure of her answer.  Turns out that box turtles are the only known turtle species to have different color eyes according to gender.  Our turtle had red eyes, so we knew it was a boy.  Female turtles have dark eyes.  There are other ways to tell, like the shape of the underside of the shell, but the eyes seem to be the most obvious clue.

2.  Much like a tree, you can approximate the age of a turtle by counting the layers on a ring of its shell.  Chica had also heard about this from the Nature Zone, but she mistakenly counted how many different yellow spots he had instead of how many rings in one yellow spot.  I’m no turtle expert like Chica, but I’d say this guy is at least 8 or 9.

IMG_01403.  Chica and her new best friends really wanted the turtle to eat grass.  But despite their persistence, he just didn’t want any.  Turns out that box turtles are pretty much carnivorous and would prefer worms over leafy greens.  The interesting thing that we learned here is that a box turtle’s diet is a common misconception among people who take them home for pets.  They can slowly learn to be more omnivorous when in captivity, but this   causes problems when they are rereleased into the wild.  More on turtles in captivity next.

IMG_01474.  So though I listed this question last, this was of course her very first question.  I don’t do animals.  I mean, I love watching them in the wild, but I am so over having to remember to feed one more mouth that can’t remind me that it needs to eat.  And don’t get me started on the cleaning up part.  So I thought of lots of reasons why it was a bad idea….we don’t know what to feed it, we don’t have anything with which to carry it in the car, and most especially, where the heck are we going to put a turtle while we try to show our house?  But then one tiny part of me remembers my mom letting us keep baby turtles that we found in our neighborhood lake and how much fun we had.  So I was noncommittal and told her I’d decide when we got back to the car.  Thankfully, she decided about halfway back that she was tired of carrying his squirmy self, and she said goodbye next to the baseball field with a tear or two.  Phew.

Turns out the turtle documentary we watched supports my anti-wild-animals-at-home stance.  Box turtles are becoming an endangered species for several reasons:  habitat loss, being hit by cars, and–get this–unprepared people taking them home to keep as pets!  When they are kept in captivity, they can lose their ability to hunt, they can’t reproduce, and they can contract diseases that transmit to other turtles if taken back into the wild.  What good news for this momma.  Not such good news for the turtle protectors in the video we watched, but at least I’m helping them get their message out.  You’re welcome.

So….how’d you do on this edition of Chica’s Challenge?  If by some chance you got them all right (or even if not), then I present to you the Bonus Question…an actual question posed by Chica on our evening walk:

Is the love of your shadow the root of all evilness?

Yeah…answer that one.