Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Flaco gazes upward as he contemplates Romans 6:1-2

When Lucas was dedicated at church, our pastor* began his sermon by saying that it's hard to believe that someone so small and sweet is still a sinner. Lucas, who had been sitting there cuddled in a little curl, upon hearing this, let out an indignant wail. A shriek!
I was reminded of this the other night as Matt and I were brushing his teeth. Of course he hates it and clamps his little jaw shut and shakes his head no. Of course I jam my washclothed-finger through and scrub the backs of his teeth anyway. (Matt generally says "Hazmelo a mi! Me encanta, me encanta!" which makes Lucas want to have his teeth brushed for approximately .6 seconds.) On this particular day, though, I stuck my finger in his mouth and snap!, he bit down. He was like a tiny 8-toothed crocodile. "Lucas!" I said. "Eso duele! Me lastimaste!" (You hurt me!) He looked at me with his huge chocolate eyes and said (to my complete surprise) "Perdon." (Forgive.)
"Oh Lucas!" I said. "What a nice boy! I forgive you, I forgive you!" and he was so excited he heaved forward and back (causing Matt to almost drop him), shrieking a happy shrill bleat of a noise. He hugged me. He kissed me. My face was covered in his spit. And then he bit me again.
"Perdon" he said, looking at me expectantly. Timidly but trembling with excitement.
I didn't know what to do, but Matt**, who is much more clever, said "Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!" Unsure of what else to say, I just nodded very solemnly. Lucas said "Okay" (in his long drawn-out way of course.)
We tucked him in and went to bed, pretending that he understood, whispering (as always) about what a wonderful wonderful wonderful little Boo he is. Sinner though he may be, wonderful.
*who is reading this! Pastor Steve, I tip my hat to you. You are the coolest. And I ain't just talkin' for talkin'.
**who claims he knows no verses,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Flaco would have done it better.

For Kelly's birthday I decided to make her a decadent homemade chocolate cake, the recipe of which called for methods of baking far beyond my skill level. (Matt was sure that I would finish the recipe and then turn the page and find a paper that said "Surprise! You have completed a potion to raise the dead!") I had to fold and stir and whip and cream some six bowls at once, and at one point the batter was supposed to double in size while I beat it in a glass bowl placed on top of a boiling pot of water. The batter was like this incredible meringue that smelled like Heaven, and all that was left was to bake it. At last! I greased the pans and as I turned to pour out the bowl, what did I discover but that the batter was bubbling bubbling bubbling and deflating deflating deflating 'til it was nothing but liquid. When I poured it out, it barely covered the bottom of the pans! What could I do but bake it? Twenty minutes later, each layer came out a round, hard, swiss-cheese textured disc. I wept. Lucas looked at it and said "Cookie!" which made me weep more because he also knows the word cake. In the end, I made a box-mix which apparently tasted fine but to me tasted like nothing but bitter defeat. Does this story have a moral, you ask? Oh yes. Here it is: if your son has a smart little baker's suit*, you should just let him do the baking.
*I assume, of course, that you do not have a son who has a baker's suit, therefore limiting this moral to myself. I can only assume that you bake delightfully. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

No time

to write something cute, clever, or poetic. All I leave you with are three brief observations:
1. My parents have been married for 33 years and rain shame upon the statement "marriage kills love."
2. I love to make breakfast. Homemade orange-apricot waffles*! The secret ingredient is wearing an apron while cooking.
3. Tiny umbrellas make ever festivity more festive. I cannot get enough.
*But do you think the Flaco requests waffles for breakfast? Oh no. All he wants, day after day, is rice and tuna. "Arroz. Atun. Please!" Also the occasional raw onion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some things

need to be put into context. Take this picture, for instance. Training to be an imam? Calling down hail from the heavens? Gesturing toward distant cherubim? Interceding on behalf of Abu and Monsita?
If your guess was "none of the above," you are correct! Click and see what this Flaco was up to. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

One of the greatest compliments

a mother can give is to say she hopes her boy grows up like you. I don't know if Benny or Nathan will see this, but just in case, I will say that I think that you are both fine young men*. I hope that Lucas is brave and disciplined and strong like you. It makes me so proud that you are what many Iraqis will think of when they hear the word "American." God bless you when you go back!**

*The tio in the picture ain't half bad either. ;)
**Speaking of when you go back, do you think you could buy me a tiger in the market and ship it this way?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sonrie, Flaco!

Here it is: Flaco's first-ever caught-on-film fake-smile. I think he does it rather nicely. Lips curled up, teeth beared, jaw clenched tightly, shoulders braced, eyes gazing at the camera with an intensity not commonly associated with merriment. When my grandma Lola was in the hospital, the doctor told her to breathe regularly so he could listen to her lungs. I translated and immediately she started this weird almost polka-beat breathing. Some things just don't come out the same when you try.
(Nonetheless, I'd say it's just about the cutest little grimace I've ever seen.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Her room looks like sherbert!

Or like fruit punch!
Many things to do before little Lentejita (not her name of course) is born: Matt is working on writing her lullaby and I must finish her painting. I'm halfway through my seventh month which means she'll be here in no time! I can't wait to meet her and cuddle her and dress her up in frills and comb her hair and lay her on a blanket under the apple tree!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009


When we pray at night with Flaco, we always pray for the kind of man we hope he'll grow up to be. We pray that he be faithful to God, for him to be brave and strong, for him to be wise and compassionate, for his heart to break for the things that break that heart of God. Most often, I pray for him with words that at first felt strange on my lips. I pray for my boy to fear God. I prayed it at first without knowing what I meant, choking a little saying these words over my tiny son. But Good Friday is a day covered in the thickest hush, and as I thought again about the words "'twas grace that taught my heart to fear" I realized my heart has known for a long time what my mind couldn't understand. There are certain moments when a person feels the weight of awe, when you feel a small slice of what true reverence is, and it brings you to your knees and causes you to lower your head and dropped down before Him you feel the most beautiful wonderful fear. And you know that nothing is more right and everything in you cries "Holy! Holy! Holy!" I cannot wait for the day when I see my son bowed before the LORD Almighty.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Give him his knapsack! He's off!

Now this is just altogether too much. Maybe you think my bragging has reached its peak. Maybe you think I have gone too far. Let me tell you something (I'm almost embarrassed to say it -- oh, who am I kidding. It's too rich!) Today I translated for 4K (four year old kindergarten) screening and get this: my little Boo would have passed 3 of the 5 tests! He would have!
Now it's not like I'm saying he's Doogie Hauser (his hair is not even curly) but what I am saying is this: If he keeps this up, he's headed far in life. And if he doesn't, he'll sure as heck pass kindergarten. He sure as heck will!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Oye Flaco, como es la vida?

"Dura" contesta el.
(My new favorite thing he says: you ask him "Hey skinny, what is life like?" and he says "Hard.") One day my dad was holding him, and then he had to go back out to work, so he put him down. Oh, how he cried! How the tears rolled! I scooped him and said "Oh Flaco, that's just how life is. It's very hard" and my babyboy in his wisdom seemed to understand, and sniffled, and said "dura." Ever since then he's remembered this important lesson, which seems to make even taking medicine a little more bearable for him. "Dura, dura" he says. When I accidentally slide both of his legs into one pant leg and don't notice until he tumbles? Uy, dura.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

this is how he gets

when he plays with his daddy. wild! crazed! at night he runs around the living room with his head covered in a blanket, running into things (and saying "Uy!" when he inevitably falls over). he squeals and flaps his arms like a bird and does everything he can think of to make us laugh -- and generally he is quite successful and elicits not a polite "tee hee" but a real "what on earth is he doing?" laugh. his eyes water, his cheeks get red, his somber little face breaks into an enormous grin nearly too big for him to contain. he's like this right up until bedtime, and then matt lays him in his cunita and plays him a song on the guitar, and just like that he's out. (or sometimes if he's too awake, he lays there singing to himself after matt leaves -- often "happy, happy, i'm happy" or "vaca, vaca.") we have it too good i think. i really do.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Why oh why

oh why is he so cute? I love his little sparkly eyes and his little picaro face! Normally I try to disguise my boasting as something else, by sounding a bit off the cuff when I actually just want to say over and over again "Look at my son! He is the best little thing in the world!" I tried to think of how I might do so today but I could think of nothing. So I will just point out yet again how wonderful he is, and did you know this? He is saying sentences now! My favorites are "Ven aca Fyo!" (Come here, Fyo!) and "Good boy, Fyo!" This is not a sentence but when I sneeze, he says "Salud!" When you make a plan that he finds agreeable, he says "Okaaaaaaaaay!" (in his little accent -- oh how I love his accent!) If I understood the phrase "apple of my eye" I might say that he was. As it is, I'll just say he's stolen my heart, and every time I think there wasn't anything more to steal, I find he's taken a little more.