Thoughts while Gift Wrapping

While wrapping several birthday gifts tonight listening only to the sounds of crickets chirping, distant dogs barking and my husband's snore (probably the cause of the barking dogs - telling him to please keep it down) I had some time to ponder many things. I will list for you some random thoughts below:

#1 - Even though I'm almost 21 WHOOPS, TYPO! ahem...almost 31, I still can't get over all of my perfectionistic ways. I actually cut tape off of a package and started over when the stripes of the wrapping paper were off by several mili-somethings tonight.

#2 - Wrapping gifts on a tile floor, in the very small space between the bed and the wall is probably not a very ergonomic idea. (Can ideas even be ergonomic, I wonder...)

#3 - Wrapping gifts on a tile floor in a very small space is not good for the appearance of the gifts. Random bits of who knows what on the floor make small dents in the paper and having no room to let the paper roll out results in more than a few unsightly creases. (Just something for all of you to keep in mind, should you ever be tempted to wrap gifts on a tile floor in a very small space between the bed and the wall.)

#4 - My mom used to own and - with the help of my grandmother - operate a gift wrapping kiosk in a mall in New Mexico - the mall which my grandfather built as the construction superintendent of the project. My grandfather also sometimes pitched in and wrapped gifts and I think that with his ridiculously analytically inclined math brain he learned just enough about gift wrapping to be dangerous. I'm just saying.

#5 - In case you couldn't tell by the time you have read this far, I had little sleep last night and by close to 11:00 tonight I am what you might call "a little loopy." It is definitely time to head to bed. Tomorrow I will be the mother of a five year old. YIKES!

Life With Lucas

So...this morning I set Lucas in his crib with some toys and left him there to play while I started a load of laundry and looked up some things online. He was talking to himself and playing and having a grand time. I had left him in just his diaper since he had had an accident and I planned to give him a bath before nap. I walked back in to grab him for his bath and nap and noticed he had something white in his hair. At first glance, it looked like a piece of a white bread roll. I then noticed there were "pieces" of this everywhere. All over his crib, toys, body, face hair, on the floor, on the dog who was standing at the end of the crib. This stuff was in and on everything. What was it? It was the wet crystalline substance from inside his diaper! He was pulling his diaper apart from the outside and distributing it as he saw fit - everywhere. Good thing it was bath time anyway!

I definitely think it's time to start some potty learning!

P.S. - Sorry there aren't any pictures to go with this! I wanted to get that stuff off of his skin immediately and also needed to get the dog out of the room before he started eating it, so it was a jump and run situation!

My Opinion of Opinions

My mom said the other day that the older she gets the less she feels the need to immediately offer a strong opinion on any given topic. I thought in reply, “Don’t go getting all wishy-washy on me now, Ma!” I just said aloud, “Mmmm….” It wasn’t until a few days later, after I’d ruminated on her words that I began to see the wisdom in them. For instance, I grew up in a household where the righteousness of the death penalty was a given and the astuteness of most Texas juries was considered astounding. However, in recent years, I’ve come to take a very different stance on that issue. I no longer believe that the death penalty is beneficial to anyone. But that’s another blog. My point is that sometimes the strong opinions of our youth turn out to be misguided if not erroneous and the older I get the more I realize how little I know. Of course, at thirty, I have a long way to go before I know nothing, but I suddenly realize how little I know about what I thought I knew yesterday.

In the book that I am currently reading with my husband called The Importance of Being Foolish the author, Brennan Manning, points out that he who is insecure “finds it exceedingly difficult to listen to the opinion of others. He is so uncertain about his own identity that he has to assert himself all the time, gripped as he is by the fear that in listening to others or surrendering an opinion he may lose a part of his own shaky identity.” As I read that to my husband I could see a clear application in my own life – there are some areas of my life where I feel secure in my belief system. I have tested and approved those areas. I feel no need to jump up and down on my soapbox and propound the virtues of them, though I’ll happily tell you all about them if you have asked. On the other hand, in the areas where I am most insecure, I will yell and scream and get red in the face in my attempts to prove to you (and to me) that I am right.

Of course there are topics that need no explaining of my security in their righteousness. If you suggest to me that murder is a viable and necessary action in certain instances, I will write you off as a kook and suggest to the authorities that they keep an eye on you. I don’t believe that Brennan Manning is suggesting that we give up all opinion and turn an open mind into a blank mind. Instead, I believe he was saying that living a life searching always for the security that comes from offering a “right” opinion is a wasted life. If, instead, we searched for ways to reach out to others, to listen to them, understand how they think, get to the issues of their heart, then would we be much better equipped for a life of servanthood and joy. As Henri Nouwen wrote in his book Here and Now:
As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their "right" place.