Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bathed in laughter

Koleen dumped out the dog's bowl of water. I grabbed a towel and cleaned it up, and Matt refilled the bowl.

While he was putting the bowl back, he said, "Erin, you missed a big puddle over here."

Of course I said I had gotten it all, so Matt got a paper towel to finish the job. The paper towel proved I had missed some water, maybe a tablespoon of it. As we were laughing about that we heard a whoosh.

Yup. All our activity over by the water bowl had drawn Koleen's attention back to it, and she dumped it again. That girl is hilarious!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mama is Victorian about her grammar


I like to stay up to date on many things. I do not like to adopt every modern phrase and misuse of grammar that pops into common use. By the time you read this, more than likely I will have been correcting your grammar for years, and you probably will have heard me mention all these things.

In case you forget, I will write a primer of the most common grammar abuses in my world, or at least the ones that irritate me the most.

1. Texes. People use this word as the plural for text messages. I hate this one. If you don't want to say text messages, say texts. At least that is a real word. Note: Texes is also not how you pronounce the state. That would be Texas.

2. Adding "-age" to words at will. Signage is not a word. Verbage is not a word. Do you want to say more than one sign? Signs would be the word you're looking for. Stop using word vomit.

3. Using contractions improperly. Contractions were invented for people who were too lazy to finish two whole words by smashing them together. I love this invention. What I do not love are sentences that place contractions in compromising situations. Here is an example: Where's the kids? Here is what's wrong with it: "Where's" is short for "Where is." Now we all know saying "Where is the kids" is improper because "is" and "kids" don't agree in number.

Which leads me into

4. When nouns and verbs don't agree in number.

Which leads me into

5. When pronouns and antecedents don't agree in number. I know letters shouldn't be added to math, but numbers belong in grammar. Figure it out.

7. The abuse of "-ly" words. A word ending in "-ly" is an adverb. That means it is a word that describes a verb. One of the most common victims is "hopefully." You'll see it used like this "Hopefully she'll be feeling better tomorrow." What that person meant was "I hope she'll be feeling better tomorrow." Using it properly would look more like this: "She asked the doctor hopefully if she would start feeling better." Why is that one proper? Because "hopefully" is describing how she asked. Other common victims are "thankfully" and "prayerfully."

8. Ending sentences with unnecessary prepositions. I can't adjust to this one. Such simple phrases as "Where's it at?" end up in grammar train wrecks! A concise "Where is it?" is the way to go. Stop embarrassing every English teacher you've ever had and don't tack prepositions onto the end of perfectly good sentences.

9. Impacted. This poor word is extremely misused in my line of work, where people enjoy saying something impacted them, meaning something had great meaning to them. Here's the thing, "impacted" is an adjective. That means it describes a noun. The definition is "tightly or immovably wedged in" (thanks to for the definition). So if I say my pastor has greatly impacted my life, what I'm actually saying is he crammed my life into a too-small space. Hmm. I think what I mean is he had an impact on my life. I knows all these nouns, verbs, and adjectives can get confusing. If you need me to explain them to you, ask. Some English concepts are hard to grasp the first time you learn them. I'd love to explain them you. While we're at it, we'll diagram some sentences together. It's one of my favorite pastimes!

Which leads me to

10. It's a pastime. It is not a passtime. It is also not a pass time. 

Kole, in the long run, good grammar isn't life and death. What's most important is that you're loving, kind, and thoughtful. If you can express that in a way that makes Strunk and White smile, that's just gravy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Grampsy Day!

Koleen, today is Grampsy's birthday. Grampsy loves you with his whole heart, and you love him back.

when i was expecting you, Grampsy suddenly went through a lifestyle change. He stopped eating all the foods he loved most because they weren't healthy and he wanted to be around to see you grow up. That is amazing gift, Koleen. He lost somewhere around 100 pounds in 9 months.

I hope you learn from your Grampsy to stick with what you're passionate about doing. And i hope the needs of other people inspire you to do something.

From the time you were born, you and Grampsy shared a special bond. You have snuggled through many church services, looked at pictures, and looked at yourself in the mirror dozens of times. Grampsy always has time for a game of Pat-A-Cake, and always gets a smile from you when he walks in the door.

Last summer when you were only a few months old Grampsy watched you every day for two weeks while everyone else was at work and he had summer vacation. He even invited your dad and me to come eat lunch with the two of you.

Kole, when your dad and i were talking about what was important in our futures, this is what we imagined for you. You are blessed to have this close relationship with your grandparents. Not only do you have a strong dad in your life, you also have another strong man, to help model the love of God in an easy-to-see, easy-to-feel way.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday

This is a repost of my first entry in this blog. When we record things for a reason, revisiting that reason is a worthwhile cause.

My purpose with this blog is to share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences during motherhood. I named this blog after my daughter, an interpretation of her name, Koleen (a take on the Irish word for girl) Echo (repeated sound.) My greatest wish as a mother is to be a good example and to be someone my child admires. I have the benefit of having a wonderful mom with whom I love to be compared, so the legacy of being repeated is one of my greatest concerns.

Kole, this one is for you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Parents can be adults, too

Inappropriate baby products are not funny.

I'm not talking about the funny little baby onesies that say iPood. Those are kind of funny. Gross, yes. Immature, yeah. Inappropriate, no.

I have to wonder about the parents who dress their innocent bundles of joy in clothes that say swear words, almost swear words, innuendo, or alcohol labels.

You're parents now. The world isn't your party. Your baby isn't a frat brother.

I know it's a culture shock to become a parent. Life is upside down, and it's upside down because there is someone who relies totally on you, whose world you are responsible for making a safe place, who you are scrutinized as you care for, whose well-being you put ahead of your own. You want to continue your life, keep doing what you enjoy. That's OK, right?

Right, as long as that means adding a baby carrier to a hiking trip, a jogging stroller to your afternoon run, smashed up banana to your breakfast fare.

Let's face it, sometimes you can become  a parent and not be grown up. I like to play games, laugh, and do crafts. In some ways I'm not a grown up, or I resent the title. But when it comes to my child, I value her innocence.

You want your baby to look grown up? Dress him in a sweater vest, not a swear word.

Friday, March 8, 2013

10 months

A friend pointed out to me that Koleen's growing up blog was missing a chunk of her life. I apologize, little Kole. To catch up, I'll just hit the highlights of what you taught me:

Cheerios taste better off the floor.
I would do anything for you. If you ever doubt that, remember I sniffed your diaper in public because i didn't want you to get diaper rash.
Being a mom is scary. Not because you're a little person who relies totally on me, but because someday you won't be.
The cat likes to be petted, not tackled.
Ellie loves both.
You find the smallest things fascinating, and you're teaching me to do the same.
Modeling behavior. If i don't want you to do it, i can't either.
Saying "hi" to strangers in the store makes them smile.
adventures need to be interspersed with naps.