random thoughts from a camera-less female

our camera is broken and in the shop again. it's always been the same problem that they cant ever seem to fix this is its 3rd trip to the doctor in new york. this time there's the bonus that they are charging us $150 because the 1-year warranty is up. thanks, nikon, for failing to fix the problem when it was free and now "discovering" what the real issue is and, whoopsie daisy, your warranty's up, so please pay us. i think not.

i have spoken to a supervisor and an investigation is being launched. thinking of jumping ship, selling this bad boy, and joining team canon.

i've got no pictures to share, but i have a bunch of thoughts on my mind-grapes (tracy jordan, anyone?).

-we caved in to ourselves and did get a christmas tree this year, despite my vow to not have one while the terminator, layla, who is freakishly strong, mobile in three dimensions, and speaks NO english, continues her dominion of terror over our living room. our solution was duct taping the snot out of the tree stand to the top of our little coffee table. we always get a smaller tree and put it on our ikea coffee table to make it normal height. so far it has worked, and i am quite pleased with us for not letting toddzilla cow me into grinchdom.

-i bless the day two years ago that i up and decided to learn how to sew AND the day in his freshman year at college, that jesse decided to teach himself to play the guitar. these 2 skills have provided over a third of our income this year, and have gotten us through a very lean time as jesse's pay has transitioned to support-based. having a hobby that you love that can also put food on the table is a good idea. my kids will be attending carpentry camp.

-judah has been declared 100% potty trained. it's been a month since we first sent him to school in big boy underpants and he has only had 3 accidents, all of which happened en route to the potty. hooray! he still gets a pullup at night because i dont know how you deal with that, but the rest of the time it's just a thin layer of cotton and a 30 month old's bladder and sphincter control keeping things in their place. nothing is cuter than his little booty in those underpants and his little toothpick legs sticking out of them.

-after a reeeeeallly rough period of anti-mommytism by judah, we are coming out on the other side better than ever. it's in large part thanks to his 2 year old stall and manipulation tactics that i get called in after jesse puts him to bed, but i dont care. i was once called in as the way to get him to go to sleep, because rather than rock with me, he would just give up and say, "my get in bed. mommy go bye bye." now, jesse comes out and judah demands "mommy snuggle me." its the greatest moment of life. this kids is the ANTI snuggler, and would always pick jesse over me, so the fact that he demands that i get under the covers with him every night, sing our song (dixie chicks "godspeed") and hug and smooch him to my heart's content is euphoria.

-it also took/takes a heap of "fake it til you make it" self-esteem and bucket of grace from god to plow through the times when we was/is so mean and hurtful to me. i realized that acting hurt or offended with a two year old wont work if the goal is getting him to act like he likes me. he doesnt have the empathy receptors necessary for this kind of emotional manipulation (which is exactly what is was). all i was doing was making myself truly less likable in his eyes. he was mean to me for dumb unwarranted reasons, but by getting prickly and wounded, i was actually giving him a legit reason to like me less by becoming bitter mommy.

so against every emotional instinct, when he is rude out of the blue to me, i gird up my loins, remember the relationship i WANT to have with him, and constructively distract him, act silly, or ignore it. it is unspeakably difficult. it's like i am being boo'd off stage and have to put on a smile and deliver a brand new solo. my mom self-esteem is shot and i have to jump right back up and act like i am untouchable to provide him a positive outlet. yuck. vulnerability to the max. it is SO unlike me to not hold people immediately accountable for hurting me, but it is actually working. and when we get to a place where he is ready to listen he is SO much more receptive to hearing how his unkind behavior hurt me. lesson learned. nobody out-pouts a 2 year old. not even me.

-layla is getting SASS-y. she is starting to exert her will to an alarming degree. when we take something away from her she now charges us like a rabid rhino cub and has even hit us a few times. it is simultaneously hilarious and horrifying. i know she's not really trying to hit or to hurt us, because she has never seen that behavior modeled, and she is just acting out her frustration the only way she knows, but man it is intense and bizarre to see your "baby" snap and go all jack bauer on your ass. she is slightly intimidating with that big belly hanging loose and that warrior mullet flying in the wind.

-jesse is a sick freak and is thinking of training for a full marathon in the spring. i continue to enjoy a running-free existence and see no reason why i should go back to the dark days of running for any reason besides a predator being hot on my heels.

-if you didnt see the new tab or sidebar announcement, i am going to offer ad space starting next year. i few people wrote and asked about it and i figured it was time to stop being a fraidy cat and just go for it. the worst that can happen is nobody being interested, and that hasnt bothered me these past 3 years anyway. if you or anyone you know would like to advertise here, just email me for more info and pricing at putapuredukes (at) gmail (dot) com.

-i have about 8 words with friends games that i am about to lose due taking too long to play my turn. this is sad, but also good because it means and i am really busy AND going straight to bed at night rather than laying submerged in increasingly cold bathwater and trying to craft wicked triple word scores like a motionless fleshy submarine who slowly prunes herself silly.

-we were hanging out with an awesome new church couple last night when i happened to ask them when they graduated high school. this is my brain's way of sorting out age through ye old, "i was a senior when you were a freshman" trick. they arent married so i was thinking they were on a different life schedule than us and were just finding each other later in life. um, no. they arent married yet because they are 22 and 23. the graduated high school in 2007. they were freshmen when my BABY BROTHER was a senior. they were 5th graders when i was a senior. lucky for them they are super cool and easy on the eyes or i would have stormed out then and there. fetuses! i was hanging out with undercover fetuses!!! is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? is this what is means to be old?!? am i too old to even be using the "what grade were you in when i was a senior" method of mental sorting? these are the things i need to ponder tonight as i am cleaning my dentures.

-sewing christmas gifts for the kids' awesome teachers tonight. they are so lame and un-wowing compared to the heaps of tiaras i would like to shower upon these wonderful women who parent my kids for 4 hours every day.

that's all for now. i'll let you know if we need to stage a protest at nikon HQ.

dukes out.


  1. go canon. you will not be sorry! or maybe you will because i've never handled a Nikon.
    you make me laugh keight :)

  2. I heard a great quote about kiddos.... "You don't have to teach them how to be bad, you have to teach them how to be good." Despite parenting a really bad attitude 3 year old right now and being horrified when he talks back to me, I have to remember that the ramifications of Adam and Eve are still so apparent today.

  3. Welcome to the bullet-point blogging train! I can never seem to quite get away from list-esque posts. Probably because I don't post enough to give each "point" its full due.

    In any event...your words about not being able to out-pout a toddler are well-received and I must remember them. The other night Annabel said she was "scared" of the paper lanterns that I so meticulously hung in her room in order to make it cute and make her feel at home. She "made" me take them all down. Hurt and offended much? Mmhmm. must.suck.it.up.

  4. Good idea on what to do when Judah is all anti-mommy. Mine is only 11 months now and I'd like to think he will be all googly-eyed about me forever... but I'm sure someday will be faced with that situation.

  5. Oh man! That whole paragraph about Layla had me rollin'!! And I feel your pain about getting old...I will be 29 in March and I work with college students who I have to realize are 19, 20, and 21...what?? When the freak did I get so old?! Do they look at me as old?! Because I feel really cool... ;)

  6. One: Hooray for Judah bunnying in the potty on a permanent basis!
    Two: You should jump on the Canon train. We love ours.
    And finally: I think I might be offended by your comments on your new couple friends from church. While Calvin and I didn't graduate high school in 2007, I still don't think being the class of '06 classifies us as anything but babies according to your form of measurement. Don't judge, I swear we don't think your old. And you're definitely as much fun as any of our "baby" friends.
    Ok, that is all. :)

  7. oh so sad that you're not running...I really enjoyed your running posts! Feel free to run once a week just so people like me can have a good read...I'd be fine with that! All kidding aside, your blog is a favorite of mine no matter what you write about!

  8. Team Canon.

    SO there on the 2 year old anti-mommyness. Brynlee went through that for awhile (and still does from time to time, especially when she's around certain family members) and it totally broke my heart. I'm learning not to be offended, but it is so hard when you pour your everything into these little people and then get rejected, peed on, or screamed at in return. Then, I think I might understand a minuscule fraction of the way God might feel by the way I treat Him on a daily basis...

    Also... the sassy 13 month old, hoo boy! I seriously thought the screamer was gonna bust my eardrum a few times this past week. When did they become little people with opinions?! That's not allowed.