on this my 31st birthday i am making an illadvised and noncommital return to this space.

this is a hard day. it is almost 100 degrees and i weigh twice that. went to the library and freddy got chased by a dog. went to chikfila and had to do the walk of shame on my way out with 3 screaming children...

and i just feel like:

coming soon raiford's birth story in which i endeavor with all my might to not say the f-word.



so hot right now to make easter all about gardening...

and i nailed it...

i present ikea vegetables in a soil of kraft paper calendar pages from 2013 tucked around bubble wrap, glued with spray adhesive. 

so not hand sewn felt produce in a jersey garden. 

i do not know if the boys will have fun with it or if it will even withstand play. 



... yeah, freddy is over 2.5 years old, but somehow the sleeplessness and total lack of alone time is just hitting me now.

i'm just in shock from facing the facts of my life. for instance i woke up at 5a today like it ain't no thang. in fact if CFW sleeps til 5 it's a relief!! that is just indecent.

the other day JB gave me 25 minutes for a QT and I am almost died from <3 palpitations. 25 minutes ALONE!!!!!!! when did that become an untold luxury?? pre-kids i could journal for like 2 hours a day!!

i am NOT a morning person, so to be honest it always made me sick to read about moms setting an alarm to get some alone time before the babes wake up... and to be honest with the 5a wake up call i'm already getting, setting an alarm isn't going to happen anytime soon... BUT i will admit that now i see the need to get my head in the game BEFORE it starts.

i'm getting jealous watching jared leisurely get ready for work each day. putting JUST his own possessions in his bag... thinking JUST his own thoughts... responsible for JUST his own clothes and bladder and blood sugar levels etc

lol a few days ago after breakfast he put away the cereal before I even poured my bowl.

i could complain about fred barging in the bathroom EVERY TIME i dare close the door (fritzy can't work the handle yet so he just bangs on the door and yells). but honestly it doesn't really bother me. sure freddy, let fritzy in, let percy the steam engine right on in, join the party! ok it does bother me if we have company... a fine distinction lost on frederick lee.

it's just like AHA, this is what all those cliches feel like. it's not like i didn't know what SAHM-dom involved... i just didn't knooooowww. and if I didn't knooooowww, no one was gonna tell me :)

in conclusion, as jared always says, "it's an honor to serve."


my thursday (includes repeated TMI)

i woke up thursday morning to see that the hickey* JB accidentally gave me on my face the night before had not abated.

freddy was getting over a cold, fritzy had a cold, and i was coming down with a cold (jared had a cold, blew his nose one time, and was well). i was scrambling all morning to get my act together to grocery shop for JB since he was leaving for his annual guys' camping trip at "Butt Lake" the next day (AND had volunteered to give a meal to someone in need that night... great jared, thanks for being a good person).

right when i get home and am unloading groceries the apartment manager rushes up "perfect timing the cable guy is here he was about to leave, i thought you were going to be home i left you like 3 voicemails" -- well yeah, you told me the cable guy would maybe but not likely make an appearance that afternoon and it was like 1158a.

so he tries to fix whatever is wrong with the only cable jack in our downstairs. after a two-week runaround from comcast we currently have a death trap cable running from the boys' room all the way down the steps through the hallway to the TV so JB could watch the pirates in the playoffs. :( sorry JB.

he can't fix it. he doesn't knows what's wrong. he stays past naptime about which i am a NAZI. both boys start to fuss and freddy really wants to read this special book from his grammy + grumps that has a recording of their voices reading the christmas story and expressing their desire that freddy + fritz love and obey the lord Jesus Christ.

i really don't want him to play it because i am ashamed of the gospel.

but my desire to shut his fussing up prevails so i let him play it.

when it talks about "the savior was born" freddy starts saying "xavier" over and over and over. I THANK THEE LORD that the apartment manager had left by this time because xavier is his son and freddy's friend, and freddy has him majorly confused with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. so that's kind of a problem.

i can't just let it be and try to explain it all to the cable guy. he's all "suuuure..."

eventually he is convinced that yes, you are right, the jack does not work. so he leaves. and the hazardous cable stays.

then i remember i never covered up the hickey.

i rush the boys to naptime and then prep for my women's Bible study that night.  i'm loving the time like crazy but the book is very challenging -- it's a short, repetitive devotional that does NOT translate well to group discussion (elyse fitzpatrick's Comforts from Romans. i like her Comforts from the Cross better.)

so i'm all prepared and off i go!! everyone is already there(!) so we actually start on time which is v. unusual.  i ask a few of my questions and no one really bites... i look down at my little paper and IT IS LIKE A NIGHTMARE. i realize the bullet points i typed up are not really questions. just vague unfinished thoughts. AND I ONLY HAVE ONE MORE VAGUE UNFINISHED THOUGHT LEFT AND WE'VE ONLY BEEN GOING FOR LIKE TWENTY MINS.

so i just closed it and said "omg i'll do better next time, let's just share" which luckily we all LOVE to do and seems very satisfying for everyone there. except the one person who came in AFTER i had already crashed and burned and must secretly wonder what happened to the discussion (well, don't be an hour late and you won't miss the appallingly boring, ghastly uncomfortable and pathetically short discussion!).

reader, i was in shock!! while we shared, i boiled with embarrassment. i have spent my whole life doing the bare minimum and rarely** has my judgment failed me so completely on what exactly the bare minimum is...

("what would you think of someone who only did the BARE MINIMUM??
i am being 100% honest when i say that i hear this in my head multiple times a day 
as i go about my life's work)

then on my way home i remembered that i still hadn't covered up the hickey.


*jared gave me one other hickey, also accidentally, when we were newlyweds. the next day we had my parents over for dinner. i put makeup on and wore a turtleneck. my mom, THE mary kay martin, didn't say anything about it so i KNEW she didn't notice. after the meal she texted me, "thanks for the delicious dinner, the hickey didn't detract from the atmosphere at all"
i mean we even ate by candlelight!!!

**7th grade choir, at Christmas, anyone could go up and sing a carol for everyone. I got up and blithely chirped, "alfie the elf was santa's helper--***" and realized i did not know, and never had known, the next line, or in fact another single word of the song.

i just stood there while my face peed itself with mortification.

andrew sanders who i had a major crush on was sitting in the front row and took pity and fed me a few lines until i could end it all and sit down (do you remember this, rachel pratt nee johnson??)

***great song choice, jesse

an essay about urban poop, in vignettes

raising freddy (and fritzy of course but he has no independent motion yet) in this urban environment just a few blocks from scary parts of oakland is INTERESTING.

from my kitchen window i have seen 2 adult males and 1 elementary school age male peeing.

on our way to our apartment's little pocket park i saw (and then very quickly tried to UNsee) a person of indiscriminate gender in a pooping position... but the sounds were splashy...

at the pocket park there is a 100% chance of dog poop in the tanbark. but that's ok because there's this sign:

there are also mushrooms growing in the tanbark.

once there was an adult male sitting in the slide tower. it's a toddler slide.


then of course there was my guardian pigeon who lived on our porch and who jared tried to kill with a baseball bat many a time... i named him tom bombadil. i hate that character; jared loves that character. jared hates the pigeon; i learned to love the pigeon.

there was so much pigeon poop on our porch that our friends "victor" and "the zach" (the apartment managers) powerwashed it for us. that was a special memory for fred. and for me when i got to hold the powerwasher. and for victor when i sprayed him with the powerwasher. just misted him a little bit.

the pigeon is gone, the poop remains so we use the back door mostly. there is that much poop.


then of course there is the poop of my children. when fritzy poops it usually somehow gets up to his belly button (???)

freddy is potty trained so that is helpful. but the first time i put fritzy to bed upstairs and left fred downstairs to play, i came down to find him trapped under the table, weeping, and he had pooped his pants.  "lol."


i don't know. maybe fred will grow up and think nothing of the human feces and squatters-in-foreclosed-and-boarded-up-houses named paulette kissing him on the face and scaring the crap (get it?!) out of him yelling "i luv ya freddy" from a block away.

i feel a lot of anxiety about getting out of this environment before freddy goes to school and/ or finds a used needle. anxiety to get out in time, and anxiety about my self-serving desire to get out... anxiety about letting paulette kiss my boys, anxiety about raising them to ignore human beings the way i do...

poopy poop.



the long promised poop post is still sitting in my drafts but in the meantime here is what we saw just now at our apartment's little pocket park:

just past the park is a boarded up house. today there were couch cushions and a sleeping bag on the porch. 

as we make our way home, me wearing Fritz in my new infantino ergo knockoff and Fred on his balance bike, I straddle the dog poop on the sidewalk so Freddy won't step in it as he chirps "I want dog poop for lunch."


if you give a Jesse...

if you give a jesse six mini busts of composers that your piano teacher gave you every year growing up, she's going to want you to ship them priority mail from Carlisle PA to Emeryville CA. 

if you ship them to Emeryville she's going to want you to spray paint them (neon green, rose gold, or how about something more timeless, mustard) and build a shelf for them with L brackets.

if you spray paint them and build a shelf for them, she's going to want a piano. 


on the nightstand octopus and squid

here are a few pages of a beautiful book about friendship that i've been enjoying with fred. 

happy 4th of july whee

this morning at breakfast i made freddy laugh his head off by saying "today is independence day! the day america declared independence from great britain!" because he knows none of those words. oops! my civic duty!
mommy: "one if by land, 2 if by sea"/ "patrick henry"/ "the british are coming the british are coming"
freddy: [laughing til he chokes on his raisin bran]


we went to the concord parade with my besty from 6th grade and her family. pretty sure we actually went to this parade when i was in 6th grade, and i hated it then. i think i forgot to bring a book. but today was so magical!!

freddy ate it up. bands, dancing horses, the american flag which he's never seen before in his life, kung fu and chinese dragons, a lollipop (yaw-yi-pop).

when the belly dancers paraded by i said "freddy's not allowed to watch" AND JARED SAID "coming from you" because i wore shorts yesterday. omg.

the belly dancers were pretty talented. they wore bikini tops and straw skirts. normally i would be really offended and jealous about jared watching, but i dont know, i feel like the smiles on their faces made a big difference. happy smiles. and some of them were FAT (coming from me #postpartum) ...  serious balls, fat belly dancers. my hat is off.


i also kind of clapped the entire time?? we were at the beginning of the parade in kind of a staging area for the main street, so the audience was sparse and quiet, except for me, constantly clapping.

jared asked the knights of colombus (in suits and capes in the 90* sun) what color their capes meant, he told him, jared said thank you, and i clapped.

the sparse PRIDE cohort stopped silently in front of us (they really needed music or something it was awkward) and our friends are pretty conservative, and i clapped.

sanitation workers, i clapped.

no one in front of us, i clapped.


my arms got tired and i kept trying to stop but all of a sudden i would notice that i was clapping again!


my friend's husband has a garden and we ate some pretty delicious tomatoes with mozzarella and basil (tomatoes and basil from garden, mozzarella from target).  i want jared to plant a garden...  but we live in the concrete jungle, covered in poop.  more on that to come.

my besty's daughter, whose style, hair, and figure i'm madly jealous of... yeah i'm kind of messed up


he thought i was slutty for wearing shorts yesterday, but later my dress strap snapped lol


my besty's dog gave me a kiss but i only like kisses from these 3 people


jots and tittles from the past week or so ...

1. both boys slept until 7am on the same day! NEVER BEFORE. in fact frederick lee wenger has only slept until 7 two other times in his life.

2.  freddy is sick so i set up the shark tent in an attempt to keep tv to a minimum... he's not too into it. not as much as i used to be...


3.  my mommy is gone. i was glad to rip off the bandaid of their departure already after dreading it for so long! now i'm just licking my wounds and coming to terms with my feelings of rejection/ abandonment.   friends (friends with 2 kids of their own and no local parents) are taking embarrassing levels of pity on me and offering babysitting/ care packages etc... SO SWEET. i'm actually enjoying my work and my boys much more, instead of always lazing around waiting for grandma to come over so i can go on pinterest. it makes me sad to look out my window and be all alone on the prairie instead of seeing my best friend's apartment. has given me a few panic attacks. when i facetime with her i can hear choruses of birds chirruping and warbling in glorious praise of our Lord. meanwhile, here on san pablo ave, we have this.  

4. i just feel like my <3 is bursting. bursting with contentment and discontent. with pride in my work and shame. with courage and fear (JB is going out of town soon and we've been watching tons of CSI Miami ... SCARY).  

5. from my pinterest:

cobalt, so hot right now

totally nailed it, right??

6.  in closing.
"like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings,
catching them,
bearing them on its pinions" ...
God ... does ... something.  

i can't believe i didn't write down the rest of the verse lol.  but the point is, God wrote that verse, AND HE MADE EAGLES.  SO META.