Thursday, May 29, 2008

Group Therapy by Gavin Gunhold

Group Therapy

When my psychiatrist went insane,
Only six of my multiple personalities
Were cured.
The rest of us want our money back.
--Gavin Gunhold

Yesterday was my birthday. When people who called to wish me a happy birthday asked me if it was a good one, I said something like, "Well it's turned out that way..."

It didn't start off as "good". I've been having trouble when getting up to feed the baby in the wee hours -- I keep imagining that there's a man who's gonna jump out and get me (in the closet, behind a closed shower curtain, outside the window, just behind me, etc...). When I got back in bed this morning, I wasn't even sure it was Peter there in bed next to me and had to poke him to find out. Nighttime obsessions are nothing new to me -- I've had them since I was little. But this particular form is suddenly recurring, and is very strong. It feels as scary as if I had actually seen this man and had the shock of fright as he's reaching for me, and then I have to convince myself that I didn't/won't.

I tell you about my night terrors as a clue to my mental state. I've been feeling some stress lately, as all new mothers do. I'm physically exhausted most of the time, and I'm struggling with the fact that the job is so 24/7. I've been feeling a need to express myself as an individual, not just an extra appendage of the baby. Mother's day was kind of disappointing, so when I woke up this morning, my brain was ready to be upset.

I suddenly realized as I thought about getting out of bed, that I was disappointed that Peter hadn't gotten up in the middle of the night and secretly decorated with streamers and balloons. Now, this was an entirely unrealistic expectation, since I hadn't told him I wanted it -- I didn't even know myself the night before. That didn't stop me from feeling let down, though. I thought about what I could reasonably expect for the day: some cards, a present or two, and maybe dinner. I had planned to go to lunch with some old friends in Newport, but they had postponed it because of scheduling conflicts. I knew I honestly needed more, and wasn't gonna get it unless I said something. I told Peter that I needed a cake. He said, "How does one usually go about getting a cake?" (in all seriousness, he genuinely had no idea of how to achieve cakeness for me). I told him about the miracle of bakeries, but after he went to work I was still feeling sad.

While feeding the baby, I turned the TV on (another sign that my mental state was bad -- I know there's nothing worth watching at 9:00 am). I stumbled on a documentary about the plight of women in Afghanistan, and then I got really depressed. As I was putting on yesterday's "not too dirty" clothes, I realized that unless I gave myself a major attitude adjustment, I was in for a lousy day. I took the clothes off, and took a shower, leaving Elizabeth to fuss. When I got out, I put on pretty, clean clothes, and started calling friends. I told them that it was my birthday, and that I was throwing my self a last minute party in an hour, and that they and their kids were invited if they weren't otherwise occupied. I made a pineapple upside down cake (you don't have to worry about cooling or frosting it) and put the laundry away (more fussing from Elizabeth since she wasn't getting all the attention) and finished everything just as the guests arrived.

There were two friends my age, Susanna and Jen, and about 5 or 6 preschool aged kids. We dumped out a box of toys, and let them go at it, while we talked. We ate cake, sang the birthday song, and opened some presents (they were very sweet to find something to give me with so little notice). When they left, I felt much better about myself.

That afternoon, I worked on my current Manga. I don't like this one as much, so it's slow going, and I'm behind schedule. Elizabeth ate and slept on the boppy on my lap. After a few hours, I thought, "She's sleeping so soundly, she won't notice if I put her down." but within thirty seconds, she was wide awake. Fortunately, she was in one of her "Happy to be alive" moods. When she's feeling well fed and well rested, she just grins and wiggles, and the world is great! It reminded me why it's OK for my world to revolve around her for a little while.

Since she was in such a good mood, I thought I would try feeding her some cereal. The books say that you can tell a baby is ready for solids once she can sit in the chair (check) and is reaching for your food (check) and seems interested in chewing on things (double check). I had been noticing that Elizabeth makes a chewing motion whenever she sees us eating, so I thought I'd give it a try. I strapped her in, made about a teaspoon of rice cereal, and offered her some. She pushed it around in her mouth for a minute, concentrating hard, and I wasn't sure what she thought. But when I offered her another spoonful, she lunged forward, eager to get it into her mouth. A fun, messy, few minutes followed. She ate the cereal all up, but got a lot of it on her face, hands, and shirt of course. She kept trying to grab the spoon or suck her thumb while chewing. It was very cute. We'll definitely do it again.

Once her bath was done, she was ready to nurse. I got several phone calls from family members singing Happy Birthday, and Peter came home with flowers and a balloon. He wrapped the presents that had come in the mail that afternoon -- two of the books on my wishlist -- Lemony Snicket's Horseradish, and a beautiful hardcover edition of The Annotated Alice.

Then we went out to dinner at Claim Jumper, and I got their fabulous Pot Roast and Vegetables. They serve you enough food for three meals, and the flavor is amazing. I don't know why I had never thought of putting beef gravy on sweet potatoes or butternut squash, but it turns two foods I actively dislike because of their strong flavor, into two foods that I think I might cook for myself because they taste so good! The restaurant gave me a special birthday dessert too!

Though it started off a little rocky, and I needed to give myself an attitude adjustment, by the time the day ended, I could honestly say that I had had a Happy Birthday.

PS: Here's Elizabeth's first attempt at typing. She tried to grab the keys more than push them, but she'll get the hang of it eventually, I'm sure.

/33333333333333459jjjjjkkkkkk R555555 F NBBBBBBBBBHTGBHRFFF34QXC SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSFR nh9:25 AM 5/28/2008fgfgttfrg5

And here's a video of how much Elizabeth loves singing time.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Four Seasons by Doug Stay

The Four Seasons

The Days of Summer
Summer hot,
And summer not.

The Days of Fall

The Days of Spring
--Doug Stay

I hope that Doug doesn't mind me posting his poems here. The joke is a lot funnier if you see him performing them himself. First he declaims the title like you're in for some great profound epic. THE DAYS OF SUMMER! Then, in a nonchalant voice, he tosses off his little summer pun. Next come another dramatic title, and another casual pun. In this one, he lifts his hand in a gesture like Hamlet holding Yoric's skull, and says, "Leaves..." with a rising intonation. Then he drops both his hand and his voice with the word, "Fall." A third dramatic title, and suddenly your expectations are shattered when instead of a quiet casual pun, his whole body explodes into action with the "BOING!! BOING!! BOING!!" If you ask him what happened to winter, he give you a little smile as if to say, "I hope I don't have to explain that it's part of the joke to call it the FOUR seasons, and only have THREE poems."

It has always reminded me of the Monty Python bit:
  • NARRATOR: And so Arthur and Bedemir and Sir Robin set out on their search to find the enchanter of whom the old man had spoken in Scene 24. Beyond the forest they met Launcelot and Galahad, and there was much rejoicing.
  • ALL: Yay! Yay!
  • NARRATOR: In the frozen land of Nador they were forced to eat Robin's minstrels. And there was much rejoicing.
  • ALL: Yay!
  • NARRATOR: A year passed. Winter changed into Spring. Spring changed into Summer. Summer changed back into Winter. And Winter gave Spring and Summer a miss and went straight on into Autumn.
or the zen-like "Garden of Five Surprises" in The Terry Pratchett book Thief of Time (Look at page 45-46 in the Google reader if you haven't read the book)

It's been hot and not this last week -- getting up into the hundreds in some places for a few days and then back down where it's comfortable. People complain about the constant hazy cloud cover in early summer, calling it the "June Gloom" but it sure does keep the temperature where it ought to be.

When it did cool down, I opened all the windows and let the breeze cool the house -- we needed the AC even at night when it was hot. I even brought a fan into the office. Elizabeth thinks it's great! She gets surprised and sniffs through her nose every time it blows in her face. She wants to touch it, but I don't think that's a good idea. Today, sitting in the office with the fan off, she kept looking at it in a way that let me know she wanted it turned on. She was so pleased, I thought I'd post a video of her enjoying it.

I also thought I'd post a pictures of Elizabeth and Anna wearing matching outfits, since I did the same thing with Kate and the daisies.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
--Robert Louis Stevenson

I love this poem. What Stevenson does so well in his Child's Garden of Verses, is to put into words the everyday wonders and experiences of a child's life. My parents were never so callous as to make me go to bed while it was still light out (we stayed up till 9 or 10 ish most nights -- not like some of my cousins who were sent to bed at something like 6:00 and had constant battles with their parents over it), but I do remember wondering about how late the sun stayed out on summer evenings, and how dark it was on winter mornings at the bus stop.

We've been trying to figure out a good schedule for Elizabeth. I'd like her to be awake in the evenings when Daddy is home, but I'd also like her to be cheerful. Sometimes she naps for hours during the day, and sometimes she fights it even though she's obviously exhausted. The same can be said for her feedings. I'm trying to do things to encourage her to eat and sleep at the first sign of hunger and sleepiness, but it's not always easy.

Church, for instance is a big hassle. Since she has become super sensitive to distractions -- wanting to see and hear everything around her rather than eating or sleeping -- going to a big, fairly unfamiliar place, with lots of new people, and lots of noises, is just too much for her to take in. This week, even the mother's lounge was like grand central station. Every time she started to settle down, someone else came in to change a diaper. Then the other baby in the room finished eating, and the two of them just wanted to stare at each other. I'm thinking that I may give in and start taking a bottle again, since she can eat that while watching the other things around her.

She does like going on walks, and there, the constantly changing view and slight breeze seem to relax her. When she gets really wound up at home, we do have something she can do. A bath is also a good way to relax (for her, not me. Bathtime is hard work for the mamma). One thing that I think is interesting is that all the things I've been using to relax in the last year (music, TV, internet, etc) are essentially distractions to keep me from thinking the anxious thoughts. These distractions make Elizabeth anxious, and so I have to do away with them for the most part. On one hand it's good therapy to make me find internal ways of dealing with the stresses of life, but on the other hand, when I'm really tired and cranky and just want to collapse in front of the TV while she nurses off to sleep, it's frustrating that I can't.

On the positive side, some things are getting better. I haven't had a serious plug since I went on antibiotics for mastitis last Monday. I'm not sure whether bacteria could have been contributing to the problem, or if I'm doing a better job at regulating feeding and occasional pumping, or if my body finally got the message that it was producing too much and decided it was time to cut back. Whatever the reason, it's a huge relief, and I hope it continues.

Elizabeth's new tricks include sitting in a chair--a booster seat that we'll use instead of a high chair. The seat and its straps and tray support her well enough that she doesn't fall over all the time, but her neck and back muscles still have to work hard at keeping her head up since she hasn't figured out that sitting up straight let's the spine do the work. When she's in her chair, I put toys on her tray and she practices picking them up and dropping them. This is a pretty new skill since most of her toys so far have been hanging above her.

She has also started trying to be more mobile on her belly. If I place a toy just out of reach, she'll struggle and kick and wiggle and push until she gets to it. Of course, she's not very good at moving on her belly, and she needs her hands on the ground to push her chest up, so once she gets there, she kind of collapses in frustration on top of the toy. Once I can tell it has stopped being fun, I turn her over on her back and give her the toy to hold in her hands and put in her mouth as a reward for all her hard work. She doesn't seem much interested in learning to roll over by herself. She's done it on accident a few times, but it's not something that seems to occur to her when she's tired or frustrated on her belly.

Her talking is improving. She's showing a lot of emotion and is experimenting with different mouth and tongue positions when she talks, so she's getting a much wider variety of sounds. When she was sick last week after her immunizations, she did a lot of "blehhh...gehhh" noises to tell us that she was just plain miserable, but now that she's feeling better, they're getting more cheerful. I even think that I've noticed her saying "mamamama" on purpose when she wants my attention. I don't think that she's made the connection that I am Mama, but I do think that she notices that I say that word a lot while I'm narrating what I'm doing, and that I say it back to her when she says it.

Her last new trick this week is something that's very cute, and warms my heart when I see it, but I don't know if I ought to let it continue. She has started sucking her thumb. She's been sucking her fingers since before she was born, but this week she finally settled on her left thumb as the tastiest and most convenient appendage. She's even figured how to curl the rest of her fingers so she doesn't poke herself in the eye while she's sucking. It's so sweet to see her cuddle up with a blanket in the crook of her arm with a thumb in her mouth (any blanket will do so far--no favorites yet). At the same time, conventional wisdom seems to say that thumb sucking is a bad thing, and may be bad for her teeth as they grow in, and may be a hard habit to break if not nipped in the bud. I just don't know. My head says that it'd probably be best to stop her if I can, but my heart wants to let her have anything that will make her happy until it becomes something that makes her sad. Who knows, maybe she'll quit on her own before it becomes a "problem." Of course it's just as possible that she won't, and we'll have to paint her thumb with Dave's Insanity Sauce to keep it out of her mouth. Tough to know.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Often Go Walking by Phyllis Luch

I Often Go Walking

I often go walking in meadows of clover,
And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over,
Dear Mother, all flowers remind me of you.

Oh Mother, I give you my love with each flower
To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through
For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learn how to love them, dear Mother, from you.
--Phyllis Luch

This is the quintessential Mother's Day song for me. I know there are others, but this is definitely the best. I had been helping out in Primary, filling in for the chorister a few weeks ago, and taught the kids this song -- it was really cool because I knew that they'd be singing it for my first Mothers Day as a real MOM! I was scheduled to fill in again two weeks ago, but Elizabeth and I had a BAD night at the height of her nursing strike, and we couldn't even make it through Sacrament Meeting. I asked Peter if he would sub for me subbing for Rachel and he bravely said yes. When I asked him how it went, he said it was fine, except that he had never heard the second verse of that song before, and got all choked up trying to lead the kids in singing it. I said, "Yes, It's definitely a song that's designed to make people cry."

A few random bits of vaguely Mother's Day related news:
  • Heather's baby Anna is home from the hospital and can now breathe and eat on her own. Hooray for modern medicine giving her the few extra days she needed, and hoorayer for Heather for making it through this trying time.

  • My Aunt Dalita just had a baby too! That makes FIFTY grandchildren on my Dad's side. I know that there had been a lot of pressure to bring it to a nice round number, but because all Tim's older siblings quit having kids years ago, it mostly landed on him (and Dalita of course). Their last child was born in 2004, so most people had given up hope. I started hearing rumors a few months ago, but considering the source was somebody who's mostly deaf and has a bad memory, I wasn't sure I could believe them. This latest baby (as yet nameless) is Tim and Dalita's NINTH! Way to go above and beyond the call of duty there!

  • We went to see Ironman Saturday night as a kind of pre-Mother's Day couples night out. It was our first real date since the Baby was born. We hired a babysitter and went with another couple in the ward -- Peter actually suggested the whole thing. I could really care less about seeing the movie from the previews, but I figured that if Peter wanted to go, and wanted to spend time with friends, that I could sit through something that might be vaguely stupid. Well, it wasn't vaguely stupid. It was really pretty cool. I knew just about nothing about the Ironman story going in to it, but the movie's plot and character motivations actually made sense (if you could forgive some magical technology -- and if you can't, then why are you at a comic book movie in the first place). Then there were the explosions. They were big. I do love a good blowing-things-up movie.

  • Elizabeth has a new trick -- I call it proto-sitting. She doesn't have the balance to sit up by herself yet, but she's gotten to the point where she can make a kind of tripod by putting her hands down between her legs and she can hold herself up like that for a few minutes. I tried to get her to do this a week or so ago (I had seen a picture in one of my baby care books), and she couldn't do it. But now she figured it out on her own! She's also getting a lot closer to crawling -- she can scootch along a little on her belly, and is pretty good at holding her head and chest up in that position. There's still too much friction between her belly and the floor for her to get anywhere significant though. She has also started drooling profusely, which is new for her. Her shirts end up being constantly damp around the neck.
Well, that's all the news for today. Have a good Mother's Day everybody!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle by William Ross Wallace

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

The Hand that rocks the Cradle
Is The Hand That Rules The World
Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
--William Ross Wallace

With Mother's Day coming up, there's a lot of baby news floating around. First, my sister Heather had her baby, Anna Sophia Cosby on Saturday (I've been waiting for pictures before doing my post). If you read the comments on my blog, you may have noticed that just a few days ago, not on the last post, but the one before, this comment appeared:
Heather said...
Yay for babies! Just over a month to go!
The next day, she went to the doctor for her normal checkup and found that she was 50% effaced, and 3 cm dilated with about 4 contractions per hour. Theoretically, this stage of labor could have lasted for days or weeks, but Mom changed her flight just in case. It's a good thing she did, because the next day Heather's water broke and the went to the hospital. When they got there, they found that the baby was in a breach position, and they had to do an emergency c-section because she was so early. Heather and Anna both came through it all right, but Anna had to go right to the NICU to be put on oxygen. This is normal for a baby that's born prematurely (A lot of maturing happens for the lungs in the last month) and for a baby that's born by Cesarean (the fluid isn't squeezed out of the lungs during labor). The doctors all say that she should be just fine once she gets a little older, but it sure is hard on Heather to not be able to cuddle and hold her baby all day. I know it was horrible for me when we had to take Elizabeth to the hospital for the flu and see her hooked up to all those wires and tubes. It must be even worse when you haven't had 6 weeks of healthy and strong before that.

I will admit, and if you read my blog posts from December you'll see, that I really wanted Elizabeth to come early. All the books said that with modern medical technology, even very premature babies grow up to be perfectly normal. I was so ready to be done being pregnant, I didn't really consider that "modern medical technology" meant that the baby would be in a little isolette incubator with tubes and wires all over for the first several days. Hearing about Heather's trial, and how she had to go home without the baby, makes me really glad that I didn't get my wish.

Boy, this sure is turning into a depressing post. I hope Heather doesn't read it and get all sad. So let's all remember that Anna is HERE! She's been born pretty much safe and sound, and in a short time, she'll be bouncing off the walls like any other baby!

And for some more good news, My sister-in-law Helena has just announced that she's pregnant again! They had their first child, Kate, three years ago (while Peter and I were engaged) after trying for a looong time. I had hoped that she'd eventually have a sibling, but knew that there were more factors involved than just my wishing, so I never asked about whether they were trying again (I know from experience that no good can come from asking somebody if they're planning to get pregnant -- either they are, and something is in the way, or they're not, and they don't need you making them feel guilty for making that choice. Take my advice: NEVER bring it up. Let them announce it when they're good and ready).

Since Peter's other sister, Barb, also has a little one on the way, that means that Elizabeth will have three cousins all born within a year of her--and at least two of them will be girls. I know that having cousins your own age makes life a lot easier when you're at family gatherings, so I'm glad that things turned out so well for Elizabeth in that department :) I'll also have three close friends to share the joys of motherhood with, and to commiserate with about each stage the little ones are going through at any given time.

So in honor of cousins, I thought I'd post a pair of pictures that show that great minds think alike. When you see that many little daisies, the natural thing to do is take a cute photo of your daughter laying in them.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

For Such A Time As This by Wayne Watson

For Such A Time As This

All I have is now
To be faithful
To be holy
And to shine
Lighting up the darkness
Right now,
I really have no choice
But to voice the truth to the nations
A generation looking for God

For such a time as this
I was placed upon the earth
To hear the voice of God
And do His will
Whatever it is
For such a time as this
For now and all the days He gives
I am here,
I am here
And I am His
For such a time as this

You -
Do you ever wonder why
Seems like grass is always greener
Under everybody else's sky
But right here,
Right here
for this time and place
You can live a mirror of His mercy
A forgiven image of grace

For such a time as this
I was placed upon the earth
To hear the voice of God
And do His will
Whatever it is
For such a time as this
For now and all the days He gives
I am here,
I am here
And I am His
For such a time as this

Can't change what's happened till now
But we can change what will be
By living in holiness
That the world will see Jesus

For such a time as this
I was placed upon the earth
To hear the voice of God
And do His will
Whatever it is
For such a time as this
For now and all the days He gives
I am here,
I am here
And I am His
For such a time as this
--Wayne Watson

These song lyrics don't really scan well as a poem, but I love the message. The song is great-- you should click on the link and listen to a sample or even pay the dollar and download it. It really is worth it.

A few years ago, I was looking through the BYU bookstore's annual 90% off sale and came across a little pamphlet. It only cost a few cents, and it had an interesting question on the cover. "Is this what I was born to do?" I bought it, and read it, and filed it away in my memory, and didn't think about it until last night.

I was sitting on the box spring of the cushionless couch, trying to convince my hungry and tired baby that what she really wanted was to eat and sleep, wishing I could simply have a snack and go to bed, and not face the reason why my couch cushion was sitting naked on the floor behind me, while its cover sat in the sink preventing the dirty dishes from getting washed. You see, earlier in the day, I had finally gotten Elizabeth to sleep somewhere other than my lap, and was in the middle of making a quick sandwich when she woke up and started howling and kicking and wiggling. She's often very upset to wake up, but generally three sucks on a pacifier and Mom's calming presence will send her back to sleep. Not this time though. She'd had a diaper blow-out, and her kicking and wiggling had smeared it all over the couch cushion as well as her clothes (a brand new outfit that she was wearing for the very first time). I took her in to the bedroom to change her before tackling the couch, and once I got all her clothes and diaper off, she decided it was time to finish the job and pee all over herself. That meant she needed a bath, which though fun, is a lot of work for Mommy. By the time she was cleaned, and oiled, and dressed, I was tired out, and she was hungry, so I took her into the office where I fed her and she fell asleep on my lap again.

With one thing and another, I was able to avoid the couch till Peter came home, when he kindly wrestled the cover off the cushion (thank goodness the poop hadn't soaked through to the stuffing) and deposited it in the sink with the baby's dirty clothes. Then he helped me with a few questions on the Manga I was working on, and when we were finished, he was hungry, and so was I. So I made dinner, and we ate, but Elizabeth can only deal with being left on her own for a few minutes, so I had to scarf it down pretty quickly in order to pick her up and feed her again. That's how I came to be sitting on the couch, exhausted, at 10:00 at night, trying not to face the prospect of what lay before me, but knowing that putting it off till the morning would only make it worse.

At times like these, one's thinking becomes rather existential. One is tempted to start wondering, "Is this what my life has come to? All my hard work, graduating from college, my illustrious, high powered career in database design, and all my skills have boiled down to feeding hungry mouths and scrubbing poop put of things. Is this really what I was born to do? Isn't there some higher purpose that God has in mind for me?" OK, so I was feeling a little melodramatic, but I think I had the right. Anyway, I mentioned this line of thought to Peter, and he asked, "And what conclusion does one reach about those questions?" It was then that I remembered the pamphlet.

Essentially, Sister Marjoie Hinckley (that's who wrote it) tells the story of Esther and how Mordechi says to her, "and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" God obviously had a grand, higher purpose for her life. She contrasts that with stories of harried Mormon mothers who manage to keep their households running and serve in the church against all odds. She says that we may be tempted to ask, "Is this what I was born to do?" And essentially, her answer is YES. You are exactly where God wants you to be, doing exactly what he wants you to be doing right now, and that includes scrubbing poop, or working in the garden till you're exhausted and never want to see another tomato in your life. You are blessing your family in exactly the ways they need, and God will bless you for your sacrifices for his precious children.

I didn't need that particular message when I bought that pamphlet all those years ago at BYU. I haven't needed it for all the years that I've carried it around from house to house thinking that it hardly took up any space on the bookshelf. But I needed it last night, and it was right there waiting for me. I think that's confirmation enough that God is pleased with my efforts in the poop scrubbing department. Mother's day is just over a week away. Have you prepared a suitable way to thank your mothers and wives? We really need it.

P.S. After I finished writing this post, but before I got it posted, Elizabeth must have sensed that I was in such a good place about poop scrubbing that she'd gift me with not only another diaper blowout, soaking through two layers of her clothing, but also my pants and underwear and the boppy pillow. And when I stood her up to inspect the damage, she blorped spitup all down my back, so I'd get to change my shirt and wash off the chair too. She really loves me :P