Monday, May 18, 2009


Guess what? I like my husband! And he likes me, too!

I know that seems like a silly thing to say, but I must admit to having been a bit of a basket case the last couple of weeks. Pete shares little in terms of personality with his father. Regardless, having his dad leave wife #3 did give me panicked moments wondering when I'm going to come home someday and learn that Pete doesn't want to be married anymore.

It's wrong for me to doubt Pete like that. He certainly doesn't deserve it. It unquestionably annoys him. But sometimes having so much divorce in his family gets to me.

But I had a revelation on Friday that I think put those insecurities to rest. We must have a good relationship - because there's no way I would be THAT excited go to out with him if we didn't! And he was just as excited! It was like we were actually DATING again!

We got Elizabeth to bed first (Dana probably isn't quite up to dual bedtime yet) and then took off. A brief stop at CPK (right next to theater) for our favorite spring rolls and a beer and then off to the movie.

Star Trek was really quite good. I must admit to being a bit of a Trekkie. I had three geeky older brothers who introduced me to the first series. Then in high school, when Carrie was out on actual dates, I spent WAAAY too much time watching The Next Generation in my basement with Jared. Pete and I watched Enterprise when we were dating. I don't own any costumes, but am far from the uninitiated.

But I think even someone without these experiences would like this movie. It reinvigorates the whole Star Trek concept. The actors playing Kirk and Spock did a fantastic job of bringing in nuances of the originals without stepping into mimicry. The supporting characters provided much-needed comedic relief to an intense plot. Frankly, one of the better movies I've seen in awhile.

We were still home before 11 - and early night for the old folks - but it was probably the most fun we've had on a date in a long time. Now we just have to decide what to do THIS weekend!

As an aside - I let Kate put lip gloss on, and she is trying to talk without touching her lips together. Try it. It's pretty funny.


Has anyone noticed that the "boy" cow on Back at the Barnyard has udders?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Date Night!

Pete and I have a date tonight!

Since we had Kate, we've not been terribly good about such things. I really didn't want to leave her - almost ever - until Elizabeth was born. I don't know if that was brought on by our struggle to have her, or by the three months I had her in daycare. All I knew was that being away from her caused me physical pain.

Somehow, with Elizabeth in the picture, that went away. Maybe I mellowed out. Maybe I just trust the world in a way I didn't before. I think part of it is likely just that I'm not leaving them "alone" - they have each other. But either way, I've been itching to get out more lately. I've been wanting more time to focus on Laurie the Person instead of just Laurie the Mom.

Add to that the very real evidence we've had at what happens if you don't nurture your marriage, and I couldn't get a date planned soon enough! Thankfully, my niece Dana is eager to earn spending money for our family trip this year. Tonight we'll do a quick dinner and catch the new Star Trek movie. Next week I'd like to just do a more sit-down dinner and just talk. We haven't had "dates" two weeks in a row in over three years! I'm so excited!

John Deere

I mowed the lawn last night. Ahhhhh. I mowed our lawn growing up (and a couple neighbors' for a few summers) and I always enjoyed it. I love tuning out and enjoying the fresh air and smell of the grass. I love the instant gratification. I love singing my heart out and knowing no one can hear me (yes, they can see me, but I try not to think about that). When I was a high-schooler, it was something my dad actually let me do - and thought I was good at it. Taking care of the yard was one of the very few things I was totally entrusted to do. It makes me feel free and young and alive and competent.

Pete's been working a ton lately, so I wanted to do this to try to take something off of him. We're a team, so if his workload is higher, then mine needs to be, too. My goal was to do this so he could spend more time with us on the weekend. Little did I know that I would be transported back 15 years in the first five minutes. I am reclaiming my seat on the John Deere.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Kate's "best friend" Molly came over for a play date this morning. They are only 11 days apart in age and they play together really well. Today we all sat down to play Cariboo. Molly doesn't have this game, so she always wants to play it here. I, however, try to avoid it because I go crazy that she still doesn't seem to get the game. (I know, control-freak much, Laurie?)

Anyway, we were playing again today and Molly was just going through and opening the little flaps without drawing a card first. I kept reminding her to "Draw a card, Molly, draw a card!" when Kate looked at me and said, "Why are you being so mean, Mommy?"

"Mean?" I asked, incredulously. I thought my tone of voice was OK, I was really just being a nag more than anything.

"Yes, you're being mean about making Molly draw a card."

"I'm sorry, honey. I was not trying to be mean. Molly doesn't have to draw a card if she doesn't want to."

"Okay. That's better."

And more than my shame at the fact that I was bullying little Molly, I was flooded with pride. Not only did Kate sense I was getting frustrated, but she called me on it. She stood up to me to protect her friend.

So how can I tell her to always do that? Always and forever?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A very depressing thought

Dinner went fine tonight. He mostly played with the girls while I fixed dinner, and then Pete got home. I wonder if he hears the crickets chirping when he tells us some other "awful" thing about her. We don't want to be unsupportive, but we just don't know what to say. He seems to be doing well, though, and that's the most important thing.

One of the hardest things for me about this whole situation is that the entire M clan barely seems to care that this woman won't be part of the family anymore. I think they've been together 10 years - they've been married 7 1/2 - and not a single person seems to care she'll be gone.

The same thing happened when Pete's sister got divorced a few years ago. I thought it was just the guy. But now the same (non)reaction about Marilyn. In fact, in both cases the family almost seems glad that they're gone. With so much divorce in the family (only his grandparents and one aunt/uncle have NOT been divorced) perhaps it's to be expected.

As someone who married into the family, it literally makes me sick to my stomach to think that they would react this way if it were me. I think of them as my family - I genuinely care about them and enjoy seeing them. Would I just get a half-hearted shrug, too?


Jim's coming over for dinner tonight, and I begged Pete to try to be home early so I didn't have to be "alone" with him for too long. Don't get me wrong - I love my father-in-law. But I just don't know what to say. What do you say to a grown man going through his third divorce? Whose wife claims to be totally taken unawares? There are plenty of things I could say, but probably none I should. (repeating to myself: "This is not my problem.")

Jim tries to explain to us what happened, and most of his "reasons" are the little things. The peccadilloes we all learn about when we live day-in/day-out with someone. My personal opinion, he just decided he didn't want to be married anymore. And I don't know if that's a good enough reason to walk away. But there's no way to really know what that marriage was like, so I'm really trying not to make assumptions - trying to withhold judgment. That's so hard for me to do.

After Marilyn's son's abuse via Facebook last week, I de-friended them both, and asked Marilyn to stop emailing me. If by some miracle they reconcile that may be tough to explain, but I just needed to get out of it, and fast. I haven't heard anything from them since, thank God.

This whole thing gives me a pit in my stomach.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Singing along to the Beatles -

"I get by with a little help from muffins."

Oh, honey. Don't we all.

Pillow Talk

"Mommy, can we be mamas together? Oh. No, I can't be a mama, I'm too little. But when I grow up I'm going to be a mama!"

"Oh! That's great, honey. Being a mama is a wonderful thing."

"Or... maybe I could be an ice cream truck driver. Then I could give out ice cream to other children and eat some, too!"

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Good thing I am so grateful for being a Mom.

Because I got totally shafted today. No gift, no card, nada.

Oh, I got to sleep in an extra hour, during which time Pete cleaned the kitchen. I guess that counts for something?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Juuuuuust Great

Now I'm getting chewed out publicly by Marilyn's son on Facebook. (well, me, Pete, his sister, etc). Apparently they think we've known for months this was coming.

How the HELL is this becoming MY business???

New Rule

Infants and children in diapers should not be allowed to eat asparagus.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


If you ask me, Minnesota weather doesn't get any better than it is today. Since the girls are both still feverish (but otherwise OK) we skipped school and my dentist appointment (so sad). I piled both girls in the BOB and we headed off on a long walk, with a playground stop in the middle. This weather is like heaven on earth.

Which is a good thing, since I could use the distraction from my idiocy. I sent out an email to family about Elizabeth's 1st birthday party, and forgot that the email address I had was for Jim AND Marilyn. Marilyn got it. She's now sent me three emails about how shocked she is, how much she loves the girls, etc. I have no idea what to say and really just want to stay out of the whole mess. That's what I get for sending emails late at night when I'm exhausted.

It is SO nice to not have anything going on today. We're over-scheduled this semester (yes, for my 3-year-old) and it's gotten really old. So I'm classically over-compensating and have nothing but swimming lessons scheduled for summer. I'm really looking forward to it now but will probably be going stir-crazy by mid-June! But I can't wait to get up and go to Elm Creek Park and take a long walk and then go swimming in that fabulous swim pond!! I am SO ready for summer!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stream of consciousness update post...

Hey. You've been warned - this will ramble.

Long time no... well... anything. I'm so out of the loop that I just found a card from Meigan from a month ago wondering where I'd disappeared to. Oops. Sorry, Meigs. I'm alive! I will email you this week!

Remember I posted awhile back about getting over myself? Well, that's generally gone quite well. I sort of burst through the post-baby-blues and suddenly started taking care of all kinds of business. The result is that I've been keeping myself busier than I have in a long time. My house has been clean enough most days that my MOM could come by unannounced and it would be OK. (For those who know my mom, that is saying something). I also am having on-going carpal tunnel issues. If I'm on the computer too long in the evening my hands are so numb and tingly I can hardly sleep, so I haven't been on too much. Should probably see a doc about that someday, but I'm sort of in denial about it.

Today I am the only one in my family not sick. I'm actually not sure if it's a cold or the flu. Pete just has a bad headache. Kate woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and bad cough. Neither of us really slept. Elizabeth woke up from her nap with a fever. I'm going to see what plays out. I'm quite proud of myself, really, because I had a couple of weeks there where I was so freaked about "swine flu" that I was starting to stockpile food. So far, the fevers are mild and they are generally "normal" so I'm just taking it hour by hour, as you do with little ones who are sick. Kate fell asleep on the sofa about a half hour ago. I'm trying to decide whether to try wake her up for a bath (never works) or just let her sleep through til morning, when she'll get up at 5AM.

I've been really busy lately helping plan festivities for my parents upcoming 50th anniversary. We are all taking a trip (all siblings, nieces, nephews) in August and we are also throwing them a party. So far, I'm pretty much doing everything. I'm not at all resentful of that, but I am thrilled we finally got this vacation figured out because it was exhausting me to do all of this research and have my parents change direction with the wind. Now I just have a pit in my stomach about how much it is costing them (they insist on paying for us all, which is absolutely insane). I guess now I can start focusing on their party.

Since I have this trip coming up with my 3 size-4 sisters and 1 size-2 brother's-girlfriend, I have gotten moving again on the weight loss. I lost about 10 lbs. in March, but totally lost steam in April, so now I've got 13 weeks to shed as much as I can. I will still be an elephant compared to my family, but at least I'll hopefully fit in my swimsuit.

Speaking of anniversaries... or NOT having anniversaries... we found out last night that Pete's Dad is getting a divorce. Not a huge surprise - Jim has dropped lots of hints - but it's still kind of big news around here. They had a prenup so hopefully it won't be too protracted. Now we just need to figure out how to explain to Kate why she doesn't have 3 grandmothers anymore. It's not like we're close enough to Marilyn that we'll stay in touch, really. But she has been there Kate's whole life, and I think she will be very sad to not see her anymore. I have no idea what to do on that. Do we tell her upfront? Do we wait for her to ask where Grandma Marilyn is?

Elizabeth is tired of being ignored. Since we're the only ones awake right now I should probably give her some attention. Just wish me luck that tonight I will get some sleep, and avoid this illness myself!