May 31, 2008

Saturday Good-Byes and Monday Molars

We went very dutifully to Greg and Amy's Saturday morning on the unpleasant business of helping them move. The morning dawned bright and beautiful, a perfect May-almost-June day; too perfect, really, for us to be saying good-bye to our good friends. The ridiculous price of living in southern California (among other things, like, you know, a prompting from the Lord) is chasing them out-of-state. They are moving to Nevada.

I remember over a year ago, helping them move into this apartment. They were so excited for a two bedroom place; previously, they'd been sharing their tiny bedroom with baby Josiah, who was quite possibly the lightest sleeper in the world. Now they are expecting little Ezekiel in August, and are hoping to find a three bedroom near Vegas (where Amy's family lives).

My contribution to the efforts, other than watching small children and keeping them off stairs and away from moving furnature, was to hold the elevator door open while the menfolk moved boxes from the 2nd story to the truck.

Caleb soon tired of being cooped up in the apartment, so he decided to join the men as they marched back and forth. Doors being left open for the ease of moving heavy objects, there wasn't much I could do to prevent him. But, as Jason assured me, having Caleb part of the action was a good thing. He cheerleaded the guys as they moved stuff out, and hitched rides on the dolly on the way back in. All around a cheerful morning for the Bud, until. . .

Mommy and Miss Amy remembered that Caleb still needed a haircut. His first haircut, to be precise. Amy's been cutting Josiah's hair for months now, and I asked, in the bustle of the move, if she thought she'd have a minute to cut Caleb's.

Well, she did, so we did, and Caleb DID NOT like it. Not one bit. Not sure which was worse, the snip-snip sound of some unseen instrument, or the fact that Mommy was holding him still. But the hair is cut, and the boy is cute! Cuter even, if you can believe that, and so grown-up! So "little boyish." *sniff sniff*

Yes, yes, I can hear you clamoring for pictures now. And I will post some. Soon. Promise. Just as soon as my Mommy brings me back my camera. ;) Ah, that's always my excuse, isn't it? But this time, as indeed with all the others, it's true.

In the meantime, Caleb's four molars are still making their way into his mouth. Teeth sure do take their time, don't they? Sheesh! He's been trying to bust these out for nearly a month. In fact, I have decided to blame them for Caleb's fever and clinginess this morning, and for the fact that he's taking a "spotted" nap this afternoon. Spotted nap meaning he wakes up and goes back to sleep several times, instead of just sleeping straight through. Poor little guy!

More later, friends. Happy Monday!

May 28, 2008

Just a little bit o' luvin'

Ever tried to vaccuum with an arm full of pillows? No? Then you've never had a toddler.

Ever found Lightning McQueen in your underwear drawer and knew immediately how he came to be there? No? Then you've never had a toddler.

Ever memorized a library-full of storybooks simply because you've read them so. many. times.?


Then you've never been a Mom.

This is for my son, the eater of sponges, the driver of all things wheeled, the explorer of every drawer and shelf, the collector of rocks, the connessiuer of Veggie Tales, the joy and laughter of my days.

I love you. :) I'm so glad I get to be your Mommy.

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Honoring the men and women today who have lived, fought, bled, and died for our country and our freedom. I'd like to especially honor those whom I have known personally: Grandpa Waller, Uncle Jim, Uncle Paul, Grandpa Blaise, cousin Lawrence, cousin Jennifer, Grandma Dorothy, Jorge and Melissa Gonzalez, John Baker, John Neuhauser, and Grandpa Neuhauser.
We love and respect you all, more than we can say. Thank you!

May 25, 2008

Please Wear Hard Hats!

Because this site is under construction! The re-decorating bug bit tonight, and I've been on the web and Blogger for the last two hours giving The Inkwell a brand new look.

It's not finished, though. So please, wear those hard hats and bear with me as I figure out new color schemes and such.

The Bud Goes to Breakfast . . .

. . . in a booster seat! Yep! Caleb has graduated to the Big Boy's chair.

Jason moseyed into the kitchen this morning and asked where the booster seat was that we bought a couple weeks ago (it also doubles as a travel high chair). We strapped it to a chair, strapped Caleb into it, and the three of us ate at the table. All together. All very grown-up. :)

Need I say how much Caleb loved it? His face dripped with happiness (and other sticky things), and I started loving it when I realized how easy it would be to clean up. No more unwieldly, stubborn high-chair trays to have to clean!

Jason is usually the instigator of such changes in our home; I tend to get stuck in a rut when it comes to routines. For some strange reason, Jay can tell when our little boy is ready for something new, something more "grown-up." Maybe it's a "dad" thing; maybe it's that male bond those two have going on. Or maybe it's just that being a SAHM, for all its wonderful advantages, leaves me just a bit myopic. Whatever it is, I'm thankful Jason has it.

Cuz otherwise, I'd be cleaning a high chair tray right now instead of typing this. :)

May 23, 2008

A little venturing

The rain is coming down in waves outside. I'm thankful it waited till after my grocery shopping this morning. Caleb is down for a nap, and since that last episode of Robin Hood was particularly dissatisfying, I've decided to step into Ijandra, one of my alter egos in the wide World of Warcraft. Perhaps it will not be so stormy in Stranglethorn Vale. . .

Ahhh, the sun shines today in the Vale. True, Stranglethorn is a jungle and it rains here often, but today is warm and hazy and very un-wet. I will be sad when my time here is through. Today I have but one quest on my mind: to find the raptor Tethis. Hemet Nestingwary Jr. wants me to find the beast, kill it, and bring him back a talon as proof.

Personally, I think the dwarf's just lazy. He's got a gun; why doesn't he hunt the dogdy raptor? But as my sisters have advised me, never question someone willing to pay the bills. Imara and Ilyssa have both had dealings with the Nestingwary family, and both of them have faced Tethis before. If I am lucky, he will be missing three talons by day's end.

-much later-

Tethis was a ridiculously easy kill. From all of Ilyssa's teasing, I had imagined a monster. Serves me right for listening to a mage, I suppose. The tales she tells! AngryWhenWet and I are none the worse for wear, and I salvaged some meat off the beast to feed him later tonight.

Alas, Tethis was my only quest in the jungle today and I am at this moment on a bird flying to Menethil Harbor. From there, I hope to catch a boat to Theramore, a port city on the eastern coast of Kalmidor. I have several matters to attend to there, and I am hoping they will lead to more jobs, perhaps in Kalmidor or perhaps back home in the Eastern Kingdoms.

-much later still-

Well, I was right. People were literally jumping for joy when I mentioned "hunter for hire" around town. I have several jobs now; most of them require me to travel into Dustwallow Marsh to find a mage woman named Tabetha.

-even later-

Now I know why Imara and Ilyssa curse this place. Who on earth would want to visit, let alone live here? The weather is ghastly; rain and mud and more rain. And the land all looks the same: swamp and weepy trees and mud and spiders and crocodiles. And mud. Did I mention mud already? Without my tracking skills, Angry and I would have lost instantly. What a dreary place! Imagine mages coming to train here with that odd woman Tabetha! I did some work with her apprentices today, and was sent on my merry way to Mudsprocket, a new goblin establishment to the southwest. The goblins have plenty of work for me though, so I shall try not to complain. They offered to let me stay the night in Mudsprocket, but I had better things in mind.

Now I'm curled up in front of the fire at the inn in Theramore. It's much more homey here than in the Marsh. I have a Rumsey Rum, and Angry's purring. Poor dear! His fur is only just starting to dry out. I'm thinking long and hard about whether I'll stay here for a few days or hearth back to Stranglethorn. There's plenty to do here, if I can bear the dreary surroundings. . .

*Yawwwwn* Stretch. Blink, blink. 4:30? Already?? Goodness, I should get dinner started. Caleb's still sleeping. I suppose all the shopping this morning wore the little fellow out. :) Me, too. *yawn*

May 19, 2008

The Prince Won't Go To Bed *edited*

We love books here at the Neuhauser house. One only has to look around our apartment to see that it's true. We have bookshelves stuffed into every little corner of our apartment. Two floor-to-ceiling ones in the livingroom, one shorter, stouter one in the bedroom, and a small one in the kitchen for cookbooks. Then there's the moving box full of books in the closet, the books that lie homeless on dressers, tables, and desks. And a diaper box full of children's books in our office, under the little VCR/TV.

What can I say? We love books! And even though we can't fit our collection on our shelves, that doesn't stop us from aquiring more. No siree. ;) What I'd like to highlight for you today, however, is an adorable book by Dayle Ann Todds I found in Barnes n Noble a few weeks ago:

(picture from

I knew I was going to like this book the moment I spied it. The title caught my attention and imagination. And the actual story? Wide-grinning-smiling cute. Here's a sample:

"The castle was in troube. Nanny scratched her head.
'The King and Queen are at a ball and the Prince won't go to bed!'
She bounced the Prince upon her knee. They played pat-patty cake.
Then Nanny said, 'Now go to sleep. . . ' That was her big mistake.
For then . . . (turn the page with me, please)

"WAA! WAA! WAA! I will not go to bed!" the teeny-tiny, itty-bitty little Prince said.

"Perhaps he needs a bath," suggested old Lord Gerty. "It's clear to me a Prince can't sleep if he's soiled and dirty."

And so it goes. The cook, Squire Frat, the royal guard, court musicians, and others at the palace try to get the Prince to sleep, but to no avail. Until, that is, Princess Kate (the Prince's big sister) comes to the rescue with just the thing. :)

I l o v e this book. And I'm not the only one here. Caleb loves it too. Even if you don't have kids, look this one up next time you're at the bookstore. I guarantee you'll enjoy yourself.

So, last night while getting Caleb ready for bed, I decided I would read two short stories to him instead of the Prince Won't Go to Bed. It's kinda longish, and I wanted short and sweet. I picked out two books, went into the bedroom, and called Caleb for story time. And as I turned around, here comes my son, toddling up to me with that BIG, longish book in his little hands, a look on his face that plainly said "Read this one, Mommy! Please?????"

What could I do? So the Prince Won't Go to Bed we read. :)

May 17, 2008

The funny thing about needs...

"And my God will meet all your needs, according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

Need. That's a funny word, isn't it?

"I need a drink of water," says a sick, thirsty man, and we're inclined to believe him.

"I need a new purse," says one well-dressed woman to another, and perhaps we're not so inclined.

Some needs are real; some are imagined. For everyone, they're different. But everyone has them. And everyone has various ways of getting them met. For me, I tend to rely on my husband and close friends. Oh yeah, and sometimes God.

These past few weeks, that verse from Philippians has been burning in my mind, daring me to test it and see if it's true. The lady who's been leading the women's bible study at our church challenged us with it over a month ago.

"Who do you depend on to meet your needs?" she asked. "What do you do when those people fail you?" Then she gave us Phil. 4:19

"My God will meet all your needs. . . "

Not some of them. Not one or two. All.

And note the verb tense here: will meet. Future tense. But a definitive future tense. There's no maybes about it. Not grammatically speaking, anyway.

So why was I hesitant to see if it was true?

Because I didn't believe it. Not really. I mean, yeah I trusted God to meet my need for salvation and my need for a Savior. But could I really trust Him to help handle Caleb during a difficult day of teething and no naps? Could I trust Him to help me deny my anger and increase my patience? Could He help find a parking spot at Wal-Mart on a hot day? Could He help us make food budget week after week when money was tight?

Did He even care about those sorts of things?

He dared me to test this verse and see. So I did.

Two months ago, Jason and I took a hard look at our finances, and decided to cut back in some areas to help us live within our means. We cut our food budget by $20 a week and I pursed my lips as we did it, because I didn't believe we could eat off of so little. But I dutifully made my grocery list the next week, and as I drove off to Trader Joe's, I prayed that God would help me spend exactly what I had and no more.

And you know what? He did. Five weeks now we've made budget, and even had a little extra for fun things like cookies or iced tea.

I guess He cares. :)

Last weekend, I drove up to the desert for Natalie's baby shower. Jason was supposed to come, but at the last minute had to stay for work. I called several friends to see if they could watch Caleb during the shower since I would be busy, but no one was available. So I prayed again.

Lord, you know how active and curious and tasmanian-devilish Caleb is. You know I can't bring him to the shower. (visions of old ladies' purses gone missing and cake all over the floor danced through my head). And you know I can't watch him. I will be too busy. Can you meet this need?

And you know what? He did!

Caleb woke up the day of the shower at 6 am. He NEVER wakes up that early. By the time we arrived at the church, he was exhausted and cranky. I put him in his play pen in one of the sunday school rooms, closed the door, muttered another prayer for help and . . . he went to sleep. For 3+ hours. Slept through the entire shower. Not a peep.

In a sense, I suppose you could say God babysat him for me. At the very least, He handled my need.

I guess He cares.

Now I'm not writing this to say I've got this need thing all figured out. Nope. Cuz I don't. But I've been excited to discover how much Jesus really cares about our lives and how much He is willing to help us out. Even with small, everyday, nobody-else-but-me-really-notices details.

Two things the bible study lady said have stuck with me, and I'm continuing to ponder them and what they mean for my life:

1. God may choose to meet your needs through other people, and He may not. Do not be angry with others when your needs go unmet. Instead, take those needs to God and watch as He answers them.

2. Often, when we give our needs and requests to God, we realize that what we thought was a need really wasn't. Don't be surprised if a need goes "unmet"; God may be trying to tell you it's not really a need at all.

Just some thoughts for ya'll this hot and humid Saturday afternoon. :)

May 16, 2008

More Random Vignettes

My son eats strawberries! A week ago, he detested them. This morning, he was pointing at the carton as I sat munching at the table, and making his "uh-uh" sounds. I sat him in his high chair, gave him a small piece for starters, and voila! He ate it! Then, he wanted more!

If you're wondering why this has me so excited, please remember that toddlers are notorious for being picky eaters. Anything "new" is highly suspect in their small eyes and therefore considered contraband until proven otherwise.

Yeah, ok, so it was fruit and it was sweet . . . but I'm not letting that rain on my parade. No siree.
Remember my brilliant epiphany the other day? The one about the bookshelf? Well, here's how that turned out:

And in case you're wondering (although if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you really shouldn't be), this is not a one time occurence. Nope. I wish. Every morning, Caleb attacks his book shelf with gusto and decides that books are so much for fun to play with when they're on the ground.
And since I'm sick. and. tired. of picking them up, on the ground they stay.
I'm starting to rethink my epiphany. Suggestions welcome.
In other news, my dear friend Heather is down from Santa Barbara for the weekend! Woohoo! She is interviewing for an internship down here at the moment, but this afternoon, with her work far behind her :), we are going to see Prince Caspian! She and I have been fellow Narnia nerds since Point Loma (and probably before), so it's only fitting that we see this movie together. :) I'm excited. Can you tell?
Happy Friday, friends!

May 14, 2008

Random Vignettes

I believe my not-so-baby baby boy is weaned. He hasn't nursed in about two weeks, though on the occasional morning, he still looks longingly at our "nursing" chair in the office. A sippy cup full of juice contents him, however, and he is quick to toddle off to play with a car or book.

Not sure how I feel about that.


Why is it that the house gets dirtier with a toddler living in it? I used to mop our kitchen floor once a month or so. Now I must mop every week, or else face major foot-sucking stickiness. I missed mopping last week, due to all the preparations for Natalie's shower and my trip to the desert. Yesterday, when I finally had a moment for cleaning, I ended up using four swiffer clothes to clean my little kitchen. Four, friends. *rolls eyes* I should seriously buy stock in a cleaning supplies company. And Pampers. And Carters. And . . .


The organizational bug is biting here at the Neuhauser house. At least, it's biting me. Monday night, after Mr. Caleb went to bed, I rearranged our bookshelves. Now before you write me off as eccentric, let me explain. There's this one shelf that Caleb can reach and we are forever telling him not to touch the books (yeah right... that's like asking a fish not to swim). So I had this brilliant epiphany: why not put all of Caleb's story books on that shelf, and put all our books up higher? I also had a few other objectives in mind: putting his dvds where he can't reach them, creating a small shelf section for my many notebooks, and finding room for the books I had just brought home from Dad's.

So, with the Bourne Ultimatum and then Ratatouille playing in the background, that's just what I did. :) And I love how everything looks now. So does Caleb. Now he can pull his books out at random and sit and look at them. :)


That's all for now, folks. Today's our last women's bible study for the summer and Caleb's doing his happy dance while chewing on a poker chip. ;) Happy Wednesday!

May 13, 2008

Some thoughts on Motherhood

Caleb was up around 5am this morning. Teething. Need I say more?

Two molars poked through his gums yesterday and two more are on the way. Which is why I made an emergency trip to Wal-Mart this morning for more berry-flavored Children's Motrin. This also explains why it's 9:30 and Caleb's already down for a nap. =p This mommy needs one, too.

I'm usually angry when Caleb wakes up uncharacteristically early. I was sorta disgruntled this morning, too, until I trudged into the kitchen to see what ungodly hour it was. 5:30 read the clock on the microwave. I decided to let him cry a while, because sometimes he will put himself back to sleep. And I knew he needed more sleep. (So did I ;) But twenty minutes later he was still wailing, so I went in, picked him up with his blanket, and sat in the rocking chair.

Now, my son doesn't usually snuggle. He's not the cuddling sort of guy. So when he lay quietly on my chest, head on my shoulder, for half an hour, I knew he didn't feel good. I said to myself: "Teething."

Mommyhood is more guts than glory. I'm finding this true as Caleb gets older. I've learned something else, as well. Motherhood is not about me. That may sound profound, but it's a bitter pill to swallow when you're used to being self-centered. Like me.

My dad got me this book for Mother's Day. It's called just MOMS and it's one of those quote-on-one-page-photo-on-the-other little square books. This one's really cute. All the pictures are of baby animals and their mommies. The quotes are good too. Here are a few I wanted to share with you for Mother's Day:

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." -- Leo J. Burke

"There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the mouth that bites you." -- Peter De Vries

"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out." -- Erma Bombeck

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." -- Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

"The fundamental job of a toddler is to rule the universe." -- Lawrence Kutner

"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease." -- Lisa Alther

"A toddler believes that if you love a person, you stay with that person 100% of the time."--Lawrence Balter

"You will always be your child's favorite toy." -- Vicki Lansky

"The toughest thing about raising kids in convincing them that you have seniority." -- Gene Brown

Happy Mother's Day to those of you, my friends, who are mothers. You know what it is to love your children at the same moment you are frustrated beyond belief with them. For me this morning, I'd rather have been in bed sleeping than rocking my unhappy son. But I realized, thanks to the grace and quiet whispering of God, that my usually on-the-go little boy was actually snuggling with me. Something, I may have mentioned, he n e v e r does. And I had to smile as I realized that, even though I was tired, I was enjoying that moment of mommyhood. I loved my son, and teething was ok, because I got to hold him and just be there with him.

Nothing in the world can top that. I know you fellow mommies can understand exactly what I mean. :)

May 6, 2008

Time Off

Well, I logged in this morning to share Sea World pictures with you, but then remembered my mom has my camera at the moment.

So I guess you guys will just have to deal with the black and white alphabet a little bit longer. ;)

Time flies, doesn't it? Especially when your time is packed with activities. I haven't been online much these last two weeks. On purpose. And yes, that includes WoW. Shocking, I know. I've been spending my time doing non-computery related things, like taking Caleb to the park, planning Natalie's babyshower, catching up on sleep (ha!), and getting small projects done around the house that I simply keep putting off.

Imagine what a revelation it has been for me to discover there is life away from the computer!

And a good life it is, too. :)

Yesterday, after shopping for said babyshower, I took Caleb to Lake Murray. I figured, since he was so patient with me while I oooed and awwwed over baby stuff, I'd let him run off some steam. And he did. Run, that is. Right into the lake. :)

In his defense, I believe he was chasing the Du-Du (or ducks, if you will) who were roosting on the beach. But then, he saw the water. And the Du-Du in the water. And he must've figured, Wow! how cool is that? I can get wet and chase water fowl. So he did. :) We were both dripping a little before I was able to convince him that wading in the lake was a bad idea.

But hey! it made for a great adventure story to tell Daddy when he got home from work.

I've really wanted to blog a lot more these last few weeks. I've certainly had plenty of posts trippping around my little brain. I think I shall write some of them down (the ideas and titles, anyway) and try to capture a few of them for Inklings. But don't hold your breaths for any eye-popping, heart-rending, belly-laughing-funny-haha posts this week. Caleb and I are leaving for Yucca Valley Thursday, so between now and then I'll be a very busy girl getting us ready for our trip.

I just wanted to let ya'll know I haven't forgotten about ya, or about posting, or any such nonesense.

Happy (rainy) Tuesday, friends!