Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hello, Old Friend

To me, some books are like old friends. I seek them out every now and then because they help me remember who I once was, some of which has changed for the better, and some parts that need to be reclaimed.

Old favorites are generally restful to me as well. I love new books, but all, even the good ones, are tiring to me. The bad ones are tiring just because they are such a chore to get through...each page read with an energetic hope that it will get better, that there will be something redemptive and worth the effort. The good ones are tiring because I have yet to learn how to pace myself. When I really like a book, I read it voraciously, greedily taking in every word, staying up until my eyes burn with weariness. It is, oh so worth it, but tiring nonetheless.

So, an old book is pulled out every now and then. It's a bit of a break. I know how it ends already. I anticipate certain parts with full knowledge of how they turn out. There's no wondering, no waiting, no hurry. Just an enjoyable kind of knowing.

I've been re-reading The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. What a great book. I first read it a few years ago and it made such an impression on me. There is so much in it about the deep desires of our hearts. Our desires for connection, to be known, to be loved unconditionally, to understand why we are the way we are, and to live out of a place that is alive to all of those things.

I can remember copying page after page of this book, highlighting the passages, and pasting them into my journal. "This is how I feel, " I would write. And I did. And some of it still rings true today. Here is a particularly significant passage:

What is my civil war about? Is it the fear of being held in familiar love
versus the fear of running through the fog, searching for love? Each holds its
own terrors, extracts its own pound of flesh.

Flesh. Now we draw closer. The question is: can I love Connor, who will die someday, any day, the smell of his shoulders becoming only a memory? Can I soften to love, with full knowledge of the suffering I welcome in? Thomas Merton said the love we most cherish will, of necessity, bring us pain. Because that love is like the setting of a body with broken bones.

But I want to stage the setting; I want to direct all the scenes.

So, for now, I'm curling up with my old friends, the Ya-Ya's. And it's good getting reaquainted.

Who are your old friends, fellow readers?

P.S. Yes, they made a movie out of this book...the book is better.

Monday, February 23, 2009

This is proof positive that our Southern Baptist roots are alive and kickin' in Colorado. Loren has been teaching Hope this song at night before bedtime and she asks regularly for us to sing, "The Trumpet of the Lord" as she calls it. I love that he is teaching her all the hymns we grew up learning. She's pretty much got this one down. Have a listen. This one is especially for you, Papa J.

Incidentally, this video is also proof positive that my southern accent is alive and kickin' as well and being passed onto to my unsuspecting children. " called up Yondrrrrr." I love it. See, it's not completely gone, yall'.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The strike is over...for now. She pooped in the potty. Who knew that this kind of thing could make me cry tears of joy. I know it's not a done deal, but we are celebrating. Yeah for my big girl!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cutie Booty

Some of you may think I'm crazy. We are potty training Bella. That's right. She just turned two at the end of December and so I know she is fairly young for all of this. But, because she has been interested in the potty for soooo long, I decided we would give it a try. I would commit to it for a few days and if it seemed like she was catching on, we'd move forward, if not, we'd put the diapers back on. This, alone, is a huge feat for me because once I decide something, it's kind of hard for me to let it go. This is both endearing and frustrating to those who know me. But, I promised myself, and those around me, that I would not let this make me crazy. That if she wasn't into it, that would be that.

Well, as it turns out, she's all about it. Actually, she has done really well. In only two days she mastered the teetee thing (teetee is what we call pee around here because, as my mom says,"girls don't PEE, that's just gross"). She hasn't had an accident of that nature in the last three days. That's pretty huge, right? She is also holding it so that we don't have to go every fifteen minutes, only to get a small trickle, which is then rewarded by a gummy bear that is probably twice the size of the amount of urine that she just put out. We have even ventured outside of our home successfully. This is progress.

She does however tend to fake us out a lot. We hear, "I go potty" A LOT. And so, guess what I have learned? Bella is a liar. Yep. My sweet little girl is a liar AND a manipulater. She has figured out that we are not yet brave enough to call her bluff and so she says that she needs to go, even when she doesn't. It is no coincidence that she often has to "go" when she is not satisfied with her current situation. Buckled in the car seat, buckled in her booster seat, in bed, riding in a shopping cart through get the idea. I'm not really sure what the solution is to this little problem, and I'm pretty sure that she knows she has outwitted me at this point. That is not a good feeling. Luckily, the sight of her cute little booty in big girl panties pretty much makes up for the fact that SHE IS A LIAR.

Now, I should probably mention that she has not yet pooped on the potty. She, in fact, has exhibited complete and total control over her bowels and holds it until my back is turned, at which point, she hides...and poops. Gross. Luckily, the holding it makes it fairly solid and fairly infrequent. I am thankful for these, the little things. I am also definitely in the market for ideas on this one, if you have any.

So, there you go. That is what is going on in the Kolman household. That is really ALL that has been going on in the Kolman household because it is ALL-comsuming. And that's really okay, for now. Cause Hope reminds me that all too soon, it'll be a distant memory.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Okay...Just One More

Tonight, I gave Bella a small glass of Sprite as a little treat. Hope quickly came into the kitchen and said, insolently "Hey! Can I have some Sprite?" She had this look on her face.

To which I responded, "Not with that look." (We currently have a no tolerance policy on whining in our house, which includes this face. This face, in fact, is the bane of my existence at the moment.)

This was the next look I got.

A: "Yeah that's not gonna work either." Then came this one.

(Raucous laughter.) "That's not gonna do it, either. But it IS pretty funny."
Finally, she had mercy on me and asked very sweetly, "May I please have some Sprite." Then she gave me this look.

Now that's more like it.

More From Hope

H: I think Daddy's heart is probably pounding right now.

A: Why?

H: Cause I am afraid that he accidentally saw the surprise Valentine I made for him and he is not supposed to. He knows I will be very frustrated.

A: (giggling a little) You think daddy is scared of you?

H: No! (eye roll) He just knows I don't want him to see it.

A: I'm sure he's fine. (Imperceivable eye roll. Then...curiously.) Does your heart pound when I'm frustrated with you?

H: (laughs...a little too hard) No! It only pounds when I'm scared!

I guess that's good...right?

And Now...A Word From Hope

H: Pretty please, with a chili on my head.

A: (Confused) What?

H: Pretty please, with a chili on my head.

A: With a cherry on top?

H: What?

A: A cherry on top.

H: Okay, can I have it? Pretty please, with a chili on my head.