Monday, March 30, 2009

The Big Friendly Giant

Do you ever imagine you're being spied on?
Sometimes it makes me be a better person.
Sometimes it just encourages the sparks of a budding temper (someone saying "yeah, I'd be so annoyed, too" just doesn't help).
Yesterday I imagined Roald Dahl's BFG somewhere out there hearing our pleasant conversation from miles away. I imagined him telling little Sophie that the Wahlquists really love each other. He knows because he's heard their kind words--in fact, he'd say, at this very moment the wife is gladly ironing her husband's shirt as dinner cooks. The husband is helping with the baby, who keeps getting into things (naturally).
I didn't like the idea of the BFG hearing me get cranky with Ender.
And even though this is all very silly, it helped me decide to be spied on in a good way and "inspire the listener" instead of letting the listener inspire me.

Do you all think I'm crazy now?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Button-Pin Collection

I went to a Flea Market on Saturday and passed a booth where a girl was selling handmade button-pins. Some stupid but most pretty funny. I thought how I'd like having one or two of them just because the art was cute or the phrase was clever, but I don't really "do that" because it's too much of a statement (I like to make my own). Then I remembered how my brother Reed liked pins and collected funny ones... "I know Karate and ten other Japanese words." He might have gotten one just for fun. And something happened to me that never has before, not really like this... I missed his company. I felt like I'd just seen a semblance of his personality, and even if it was the tiniest bit of one, it made my eyes mist over and my throat bunch into a ball. I wished so badly that he was alive. Reed died when I was four, so I have a small handful of memories. Each one self contained, like a button-pin picture of love. This little collection will never be added to, but it means more and more to me over the years. I can never forget any second of these bright memories. I have always felt the loss, but it's been a calm sadness most times.

I had to move on to another booth so the girl wouldn't see me cry over funny button-pins.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bedraggled Puppet

Leaving the little red house is hard. Or maybe easy, just sad. I looked around tonight after cleaning...the gleaming hardwood floors, vacuum-lined carpet, spacious rooms, sparkling kitchen and blindingly clean bathroom... It's just sad that the house got the most attention now that we're leaving it. It should have been so clean and wonderful while we lived there. And I wanted to start over, move in again with less furniture and less junk so I could love it more. I feel jealous already of whoever moves in next. Part of me thinks but it's my house. I want to keep it.

Also, I am sick of cleaning. Sick in every way. I bent over the tub scrubbing till I thought I'd throw up. I vacuumed and revacuumed and swept so much that it made me ridiculously outraged to feel the slightest dust on my bare feet. I believe in leaving a place cleaner than you find it. To be honest, we could have gone away without dusting anything and we'd be clear for that--it was bad before we moved in. But I'm something of a perfectionist--that and perhaps proud? I couldn't leave it dirty because that dirt had my name on it. I lived there, so in the minds of the Next, it was all mine for the blaming. So I cleaned a lot. A LOT.
And now my "new" house is a wreck from moving into it. Oh, this process. I love my mother more and more. When I was a kid, I really only had the fun things to think about with moving. Yay, I get my stuff back!
Please don't think I'm complaining bitterly; this has all turned out as an enormous blessing to our family, and I'm grateful that I haven't contracted the flu-like head colds that Michael and Ender have. I've been well and capable for all this taxing, gross work.

I kind of want a break.

But I hate to have my house so yucky! And right now it smells like TUNA! EW! I think it's all because I drained the tuna cans over the dirty dishes (mountains of them). I knew this would happen...but the smell has infiltrated the entire house. It kind of hits you like a boxing glove when you open the door! Maybe I should wish my nose was congested like the boys'! Woof. The darned womanly impulse. Or qaitly impulse. Whatever. I feel like...I don't know, maybe imagine some bedraggled puppet all ripped at the seams and stinky and limp. It's ready to be thrown away. But no! There's one more act! It must go on! And maybe the poor little bedraggled puppet wants to, even. It just has no more umph.

Where's my stand-in? Who will be my stuntwoman?

*I nearly forgot to mention--and how could I??--that we had so much help from the family today! Aunt Denise helped sweep and clean/polish the floors, and the men of the family helped move furniture and miscellaneous loads with their hulky cars. Mom watched Ender for us the whole time. We do so appreciate all of their loving, willing help.*

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pack Till You...crack?


The morning began slowly.
And a little painfully, because it took me hours to fall asleep last night (torture...except I ended up designing a gorgeous gown for myself--I'll draw it nicelier soon enough). Really, hours. But we had a large and very scrumptious breakfast! Deliciously buttery blueberry muffins. Soft. Perfect bacon and cheese omelet. Frothy fresh orange juice...and a few weird sausages, but they don't matter because everything else was SO good.
I packed up the kitchen/emptied cabinets while Ender slept (at the red house). He had been asleep already for 3 hours, but when I brought him to the red house, I rocked him because I've missed that. *we've been in the process of moving* He was so cuddly. And he just fell asleep again! He has been miserable today. Even after napping 2 1/2 more hours, all he wanted to do was lie in his swing with his binkie. Michael and I tried several times to get him to drink some apple juice. Ender was content to watch us pack everything. We finally did get him to drink by the time we were nearly done, and that helped him perk up and start talking to us.
In fact, he perked up enough to have a blast in the bathtub...a poopy blast. From the kitchen, I heard Michael laugh the hardest he's laughed in a long time! And then he called for my help.
We're exhausted from packing and lifting (Michael lifted, I packed--my back doesn't like me when I lift too much). I'm so glad I'm not sick! Michael's feeling pretty rotten, so both my boys have had a rough and yucky day. It's the worst Ender's ever been sick besides the time he couldn't stop throwing up. :(
This evening I made those oreo gourmet balls. They're good. And I'm tired.
Tonight I had better not have time to design another outfit. Or redo my dreamhouse. Or imagine up crazy scenarios. AGAIN.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sitting Pretty in Sweats

I won't let it get to my head,
but I've had lots and lots and lots of compliments this week. Ladies of varying ages have told me that I look like a celebrity, a person you'd see on TV, and a movie star. They've told me my hair is lovely, beautiful, gorgeous. My MK Director, Tammy, stopped in her busy conversation tracks to say "Qait, you look really beautiful."
Please don't think I'm on a boasting rampage--
The best thing about all of these compliments is that I said "thank you" honestly, and I really felt beautiful. FELT it. Inside, unstoppably, goodly so. Even better is that I still feel that way, with my dirty hair frizzed on one side from chilling on the floor with Ender. Even while I sit here in a gargantuan sweater and cutoff sweats. This week, somehow, I've been able more than ever to forgive my stretch marks and extra post-baby skin. I've even been able to ignore the manly hairs infesting my legs for lack of time to shave!
Michael always makes me feel beautiful. On another dimension, however, it's really nice to look nice to other people, too. Especially when I'm trying not to be absorbed with the details only I know, such as:
"but this is towel hair,"
"my mascara is a day old,"
"this outfit is totally thrown together last minute"
and "but I have this mammoth zit blaring in your face like a stop sign, don't you see it?"
I think this plethora of compliments have come as a confidence booster when I've been feeling so sick I'm paranoid I'm pregnant and as tired as someone with mono. Why is moving so hard? Why am I exhausted from the first blink of the day till the last?
So you see, it's a really nice blessing that other people have been so kind and gracious to me when I've's welcomingly unusual to feel pretty in sweats.

Princess and Her Prince


I think I did next-to-nothing useful today. I've learned my lesson: never even think of picking up a Patricia Wentworth mystery novel until all the necessary things have been done for the day! And only then if it's not bedtime already!
You know, I have The Most Patient Husband. He came home to see me curled on
the couch with "The Benevent Treasure" and instead of drawing guilt out of me*
for letting Ender be a wild man (why not when so little is off limits for him
finally?), he remarked at how cute he finds me with a book. It honestly doesn't
happen as often as I wish, but when it does it's as if I'm in another world.
Ender gets his diaper changed, and I play with him and get him fed, but the
house gets no such attention. Michael is never upset with me...dear, loving
husband. Every girl would believe her daddy's claim that she's a princess if she
had such a prince as my man. I love him, and he never leaves room for me to
wonder if he loves me back.

And one morning, when I stayed in bed all morning like a spoilt, rich princess, he just felt glad for me that I could enjoy some time to myself and be pampered like that. He's all the handsomer for his gentlemanly lovings.
*he'd never, I'm just saying...

Gourmet Goodness

We've been moving down the block this week; it takes lots of umph! Sometimes more than I've got to give!
Such a happy thing: our new ward meets in an old chapel...the one in which Michael and I first met. [pictures soon, I promise!] We had an aural skills class together in one of the classrooms, and he gave me a ride to retrieve my forgotten books from across campus. :D And again. Day after day! As in, a ride to classes every day--I didn't forget my books every day.
Our ward is very little, and I LOVE IT. It feels so cozy and welcoming! And in the Relief Society, they're trying to promote a cookbook everyone has contributed to, so they pass treats out. Today's treat:
D ~ E ~ L ~ I ~ C ~ I ~ O ~ U ~ S.
I melted. Or fell in love. Or died and went to heaven. I don't know.
It looked so deceptively gourmet and fancy, I was amazed to find out it's actually easy to make! No baking, even! Here it is from Jessica, in all its simplicity:

  • Get a package of Oreos.
  • Also get a package of cream cheese.
  • CRUSH AND COMBINE! Yes, the entire oreo, filling and all. Put in fridge.
  • Melt almond bark--mmmmmm! Also melt a little white chocolate for garnish, if desired. Makes it look super fancy.
  • Roll the oreo stuff into little bite-sized 1-inch balls.
  • Dip oreo droplets in melted almond goodness and lay out on cookie sheet or large serving plate. When cooled, swiggle white chocolate over the little chocolate treats.
That is it! And it tastes divine. Absolutely deluxe.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Dumbest Post Ever

So I was doing this party a while ago and felt some gas creep up. Oh dear! What to do?! I moved stiffly and at one point had to bend for something. The prisoner escaped! A thunderclap! I didn't even blush. I kept the same half-smile from before the incident and moved on as if nothing in the world could stop me. My behind-the-scenes eyes scanned the faces of the girls, and they behaved commendably.

Nothing happened here...

Mr. Boogeyman Has the Wrong Victim

It's been a kind of funny day...
(and I sat for a minute or two wondering what sentence comes next).
I mopped the kitchen floor again to get rid of some mysterious Ender gook. But when I came back probably five minutes later, Ender was leaving yet another trail--only this time, it was worse than mysterious gook. It was obvious gook. Gook that I smelled before seeing. That kind of gook.
It made me laugh. And mop again. Ender turned his bath into a shower by pulling the little faucet trigger and thought it was hilarious! He's such a goofball!

I had three parties lined up for this evening, and they all cancelled. Sort of. Two did...and the third? Never heard back from those awesome girls (we're good friends), and I'm not quite sure I ever found the right address. Who can get lost in Rexburg?! I really do fine with directions, but it's a different story in the dark. Dark dark dark. When I drive at night, I talk to myself way more than usual.
"Well if there's anyone in the car, at least you get to come to a Mary Kay party!" And then I imagined Mr. Boogeyman shaking his head and deciding I just wasn't the right victim. Too confident, too daring.
It's still a good day, and I have several more parties in the books.

A good portion (bad portion?) of my day passed in reading Nienie Dialogues. She's amazing. I get a strong mixture of feelings when I read about her; I want to be like her, and sometimes I want to so badly it hurts. I remind myself that my life has been a whole lot cozier lately, and I would never want the same trials. Mostly I find myself wishing we could be friends. And wondering if I have as much pizazz and color to my personality. I look around my house and feel like the decorations aren't as interesting as they should be, or that the kitchen is maybe TOO clean. Which I admit is pretty funny. :) You know, the biggest thing is that I hope I'm as romantic with Michael as she is with "Mr. Nielson." I love Michael and do my best to be affectionate. There are some days when my mind is so encased in its glass tunnel of focus (Maddie, you know exactly what I'm talking about) that I hardly take a moment to do nothing. The important kind of nothing.
Hahahha...and then I get a little jealous about the blogging. I get locked in the quicksand mindset that my entries must be deeply thought-provoking, epic, perfectly expressed documents.
Anyway, it was one of those times I had to remind myself that I really am cool.
*Michael has his headphones on and just bumped Ender's musical-tiger-with-felt-hair-who-catches-plastic-balls-in-his-purple-basket-and-whose-nose-lights-up-and-he-cheers-toy and didn't even notice when the bouncy music tinkled out. I love it when silly things like that make me laugh!*
And a blog post can be as short as I want. As DUMB as I want! *GASP!!!*

Just to prove it, my next will be quite dumb.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Elias Anders

He's one year old!
I've decided to follow the tradition of remembering a child's birth on their birthday because it was such a sweet experience.
A lot of times, I've told people that if I could skip the 9 months, I'd deliver as many times as I could. I kind of stopped telling women this when I realized the looks they gave me were absolutely disbelieving. Their experiences included crazed moments of strange, hormonal lapses of sanity where they said terrible (and now "funny") things or did what they'd never even consider otherwise. Probably the final time I realized this was when I remarked to a group of women,

"The pushing is my FAVORITE!"

All heads slowly turn to me. Every face with wide eyes. Shock. Silence. I shrug... One skeptical woman asks how long. "Two and a half hours," I reply innocently. Apparently, that's a long time.

So as I share this, I will make the effort to emphasize why it was so special. No details of the uncomfortable, embarrassing things linked to giving birth.

I received a blessing before my little boy was born that everything would be ideal. This incredible promise soothed my imagination monster back into its cave; it would all be smooth and perfect. Sometimes I wondered what ideal meant to Heavenly Father. Now, that blessing gives me quite a bit to ponder as I consider what indeed was ideal during the birth of our beautiful, energetic child. I was induced, and things progressed dreadfully slowly. Except for the pain--it came a little ahead of itself, bringing

blessing number one: my flawless epidural. The tiniest pencil prick in my back and soon all I felt was a gentle, tingling sensation in my legs.

Blessing number two: this let Michael and me nap on and off, chatting companionably when awake. I sipped ice water and watched the contraction graph spell out mountains I barely felt. After waiting
all day like this, the epidural began to wear off. Just in time for the pushing.

Blessing number three: I relished the pain. Compared to the hell of kidney stones, this pain came from heaven; the baby will be here! It's almost done! I wanted to push, more than the nurse would let me! I felt the power of the divine Hand give me life, and I thought in awed wonder "I can do this!"

Blessing number four: The doctor plopped a bloody baby on my chest, and my honest first thought was at his otherworldly beauty. Even unbathed, my son looked stunningly angelic. More perfect than any infant I had ever seen. This is mine? Yes, yes, yes. I bawled.

Blessing number five: I healed relatively quickly, as my blessing had also promised. Elias Anders Wahlquist showed love for us and life from the very beginning. Like any baby, he cried sometimes, and we had difficult moments when nothing could console either of us in the process of becoming mother and child. But always with a sweet ending. As most any mother feels about her child, I feel that Ender is particularly precious. His charm and charisma have a pointed destination and purpose in this life. His happiness is not only an answer to my prayers but an ingrained part of his soul. His quirks are delightful! I have no idea why he loves to carry a sock around with him, but I love it! It makes me laugh, and he loves that. He is a bringer of light and peace. I wonder sometimes that I get to be his mother. He, with his eternal potential, is perfect.