Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Humble Pie

Humility. Jesus lived it. Christians strive for it. Most fail at it.

This weekend was the lesson of humility for me. Huge error occurred. I have a great list of excuses, as I am queen of giving them.
"Too much going on this weekend."
"Juggling too many balls."
"My husband was gone for 2 days so he couldn't help."

But, bottom line....I messed up.
I put the wrong date on the invitation.
I did not double check.
Can anyone relate?

Deep sigh....and rewind to the beginning of Saturday when the lesson of humility began.

CPR class in the morning. All was good. Saved "Annie". Certification renewed.

Afternoon was spent baking a cake.
Matthea's Circus birthday party was going to be awesome with all her old classmates from last year. I was riding on the success and fun from last years party without a care in the world, except that a Boy Scout ceremony loomed in the late afternoon. So, not much time to do all the final touches.

3pm, the phone rings and guess what....guests for the party have arrived at the school. Frantic, Uwe and I looked at the invitation and sure enough....the date was the 12th, NOT the 13th.
What to do? What to do?
Boy Scouts starts in a an hour.
Cake is NOT iced.
No party favors.
Not Ready! No way to wing it, nothing to do but to suck up the pride and apologize.

Uwe bikes over there and talks with them. Apologizes profusely. We both feel like idiots at this point!
They CAN come back tomorrow. (whew!) But, they want to play with Matthea for awhile.
No problem, that can be done.
Uwe races back home.
I pack a mini bag with things needed for the Scout meeting (clothes for me, clothes for Matthea, diapers, etc.)
I race over with Matthea and see everyone.
Aplogies made over and over again as Matthea plays with her friends. I'm feeling a bit better, but at this point I've accepted the "idiot tag" I've put on and be grateful for their graciousness.

Half hour later, Uwe shows up with the other two kids and we take off for the Scout ceremony. I dress Matthea in the taxi. I dress at the place where the ceremony was held (wasn't THAT desperate!). Get the Scouts ready and sit down. 2 hours later leave the ceremony.
Kids fed.
Kids in bed.
Tears finally come....

Humility, being humbled sure doesn't feel good. But, I also learned that it isn't beating yourself up. It's accepting grace. Am I a humble person now? Probably not to the fullest. I am a continuing project for the Lord to work on. Praise Him that He won't give up.


How did the party turn out on Sunday? It was wonderful and loads of fun. But, if you want to know more details, you'll have to wait until the next posting...as I've run outta time and probably space.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Why I Don't Like PK"

OK, the title is a little misleading, as it isn't me that doesn't like preschool....it's my daughter Meg. The first week was a little rough for her, but it has gotten so much better. I thought I'd write down the reasons she doesn't like to go....and the mishaps that have happened on the way that probably didn't help matters.

Meg with Uwe in front of her classroom.

1. "I don't like it when you leave me Mama." (after Day 1)

2. "I don't like my teachers." (morning of Day 3 in the elevator) "Why?" I ask. "Because, because, hmm, because their hands are dirty." (this can't be true as the fear of H1N1 has caused all people to wash hands more)

3. Day 3&4: Meg smelled of wet pants. I found out that she wasn't wiping properly and threatened to send her in a diaper to school. Day 4 same thing, so when we told her that she was wearing a diaper the next day she screamed, "But there is NO toilet paper in the bathroom. It is on the outside and I have to walk out in front of everyone!" (Ahhh, light bulb comes on!) After getting her calmed down and convinced that she doesn't have to wear a diaper, I tell her the secret to Chinese bathrooms......get the toilet paper before entering the stall. (Ahh, another light bulb goes on!)

4. Morning of Day 7 she begins to like going. She stops crying and walks into her classroom all happy. Until Day 8.....I have to drop Marcus off at school this day. We take our bikes. I load my bike in the elevator with Matthea already strapped in. Meg walks in and stands behind me. Marcus gets his bike on. First floor...Marcus gets off; Meg can't, so I maneuver and get my bike out. Marcus holds the up button so the doors don't shut on Meg, only the doors shut anyway. I scramble to get the bike balanced and try to get the door to open, but too late. Door closes. Meg is gone. We hear screaming as the elevator travels down to the basement. A few minutes later it comes back up and a scared little girl runs out and grabs my leg. "Mama, you shut the door on me!" I tried to explain what happened, but it just didn't make sense to a 4 year old. But, she made it to school and went inside without crying....a miracle I do believe.

With all of this, she is still going without crying. The teachers say that she is trying to speak Chinese, which is a relief to my ears! My fears of the summer of having a kicking, screaming, clinging daughter for 2-3 months has vanished. She is totally ready for school and it is so exciting to see her have a love for it.
Thought you might like to see what my bike looks like with both girls on it. I LOVE it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perfect Smile Perfect Hair

The Perfect Smile

I love it when the two front teeth are missing, don't you?


The Perfect Hair

So glad that he is still a fun kid who likes to do goofy things!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Secret Code

Did you have a secret code with your BFF when you were a kid? Or with family?

Was there a signal or the *word* that only you and they understood? Like a game.

Or have you traveled to another country and you didn't understand the language. You feltl like they had the secret code that you just couldn't break.

Or have you watched the deaf "speak" to one another.

Even though my daughter hears perfectly, she is considered nonverbal. She has started speaking sounds and simple words, but for the most part she uses sign language (ASL).

I have loved learning this new language with her. I'm not fluent at all, but as a family we have our own little "code". And it is fun to use.

Like today.

At the waterpark with the kids. It is full...like water overflowing from a sink full. Kids were everywhere. It was sometimes difficult to spot the blond hair white kid amongst all the black hair Chinese kids. And when it was time to eat, I didn't want to drag the other two around the place looking for him.

But, I spotted his smiling face in the free flowing river of brown eyes. Fortunately, he looked at me.
I signed to him, "Want eat?"
He signed, "Eat now?"
Then we ate. I didn't have to yell at him or anything.

We have stories like this almost daily.

I never knew that learning sign language would be this much fun with my family. (and also helpful when they were not obeying in public)

If you are interested in learning it with your kids. I highly recommend this DVD series "Signing Times". It is very kid friendly and shows the signs clearly. Their website is: www.signingtimekids.com

Another good reference for looking up quick words is www.aslpro.com
Love this site as they give an actual video of the sign.

These are only two, but there is so much out there if you search the web.

With the Deaf Olympics happening next month here in Taipei, I sure wish I were fluent. We do plan to attend some of the games. It will be a cultural experience for us. I'm quite excited.
(FYI: It is one of the top most unreached people groups in the world.)

Monday, August 10, 2009


Identity can be found within family, religion, friends, culture, or a number other places.

I'm seeing my youngest starting to deal with it in minor ways.

Her hair.

It's black. No one else in our family has black hair. My oldest has the same color as my husband and my middle has the same color I had when I was young. But, her hair color is the same as....?

Michael Jackson.

This was her conclusion the other day. At lunch she told me that his hair was the same color as hers.


Then today on the bus she noticed other people...

"Mama look out there, that mom has the same hair as me!"
"Look Mama that boy has the same hair as me!"
"Mama, look LOOK that girl as the same hair as ME!"


I'm sure this is something that she'll deal with on and off for most of her life. She's adopted. Her identity is confusing. Even now...

"Both girls are your daughters? But, she has black hair and looks different," frequently quoted by various people on the street. (this could be turned into another posting all in itself)

Later...when she has to fill out a family medical history....?

As her mom, I sometimes worry about this. But, during these times I have to take it to the LORD.

I pray that her identity will be in CHRIST at an early age. That her struggles with this issue will not be a stronghold in her life; but a lifeline to others like her. That she would see how God saved her life and brought her out of the pit.

She's four.

She's Chinese. She's American. She's German. (something my other two struggle with as well, since they were born in China and have grown up in the Chinese culture)

She IS a Maurer. There's no question in our minds about that!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Autobahn in the Summer

Being married to a German, I find that we travel between three continents (Asia, North America and Europe) at least every year or two. This summer we spent almost a month in Germany visiting family. This is only my second trip during the summer, so I learned a few things about German summers.

1. Summer weather is drastic....cold/rainy or hot. And that this weather can change back and forth within a 48 hour period.

2. Not all German cars have AC; only those that are made more recently do. The car that we had for the summer was older.

3. The famous German Autobahn may not live up to its fame during the high peak holiday travel season.

The last discovery, I did know from my previous trips. But, this particular road trip will be to me forever remembered as, "Bonding in Old Blue".

"Old Blue": 1994 Blue Opel Stationwagon. Driver's side window broken (can't be rolled down). Sun-roof. No AC. No radio. This might sound like a complaint, but it's not. Just stating facts...we loved "Old Blue" or "The Beast". He gave us independence and bonding time.

3 hour bonding time.

3 hours of hot German summer weather.

3 hours of no radio. (No hand held video games or portable DVD player, either)

3 hours with 3 children in the back seat. (fyi: ages 7, 5, 4)

Almost 3 hours too long.

It made me stop and think about the road trips my parents took with me to visit my sister who lived 3 hours away. Granted they only had 1 child to deal with and I didn't have to sit in a car seat or be buckled in. I stretched out in the backseat or on the floor when my other siblings were with us. I didn't have a DS, or other hand held video game. I had books.

That was 19--, (I'm not giving away my age!)
Back to 2009.

What DID we do?

Sang songs, listened to my wonderful husband tell a story about a dog (this was a favorite...kids asked for another story on the return trip home), and what every tired, sweaty, heat exhausted parent does...

bribe with ice-cream!

It worked. Got there and back.

even with the vapors rolling into our car from a convoy of semi-trucks..

even without the AC

even without a radio/video games/portable DVD player

even with 3 children

Do I recommend this?
Would I do it again?
Hmm, NO WAY (unless I had to, that is!)

Kids with "Old Blue" on one of our many day trips!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Clash of Cultures....part 1 of many I'm sure

Ahh, the clash of west meets east. It is always a grand site for one, such as I, who understands both sides of the globe. WRONG...I honestly only understand a scratch of the east and to be honest I don't always understand the west. But, I do enjoy watching clashing of cultures....it causes me to laugh at how fun God is. I'm always reminded of the time period when the people of the earth built a tower to reach the heavens. But, God thwarted their plot by creating different languages. I believe that moment in time was the first culture clash. God has an awesome sense of humor, doesn't He?
Well, I got to take part in such humor a week ago. But, it took me a few hours, ok days, to really laugh with Him. I so wish I had pictures of this day; I'm just not as good about remembering to bring a camera with me like many of my friends. So, I'll have to paint the picture a bit.
Place: Bethany School Flea Market in Taipei, Taiwan
It was a warm Saturday morning and I was determined to get rid of our "stuff." I got there early and set up the table, thinking I had it really organized. I had everything marked. Kids were playing. I had change ready. I watched others set up their tables and had time to chat with friends before it opened. Structure-wise I was ready for the crowds to come. Mentally, not even close.

At 10am the doors were open and a flood of people came in. Now I'm not talking 20-30, I'm talking 50-80 in a small semi-confined area. In the first 15 min. I had 15 people digging and all asking questions at the same time. Note and Hint: most of the talking was in Chinese.

Most of you know that I grew up in the US and have lived in Chinese speaking communities for quite some time. I can speak Chinese, but not at a translators level...more like survival level. And remember that I had marked prices on all the items.

Ok, here is where Ms. West meets Ms. East. Ms. West thought that it would be like garage sales in the US. People look, buy what they want and maybe ask a few questions. It is usually fairly calm and pleasant.
Ms. East saw a market. Markets are places to bargain for the best price. You must ask for a better price no matter how cheap it is. You must not just ask once, you must ask at least three times and maybe even walk off to see if the seller will come down in price. And markets are loud places, busy places. Not a place for small talk.

Ahh, so after one grueling hour, I was exhausted. I had realized that I was in Culture Shock, but 1) was not going to admit it and 2) did NOT think it was funny. By noon, my prince in shining armor came and saved my day. He got me a Coke Zero. We compiled what was left and put it all into one tub. He made a sign that said "Everything Free" and we went home. We left behind the heat, the noise, and the clash of cultures.

Today, over a week later, as I sit here and think back to that moment I wonder if the people that built the Tower of Babel felt like I did at that moment I left to go home...tired, hot, and yet so glad to escape from the chaos.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Tooth Story

"Mama, Matthea is picking at her teeth, " shouted Megan from across the table.
"Thanks, Megan," answered her mother, "but you still need to use your inside voice even if we are in a noisy restaurant."

"Matthea, can you open your mouth so I can see your tooth?" asked her mom.
Matthea opened her mouth wide. Her short teeth were all straight except for one. It was leaning out, almost dangling.
"Oh great! Her tooth is about to come out," said their mom.

"Let me see! Let me see!" shouted Megan as she stood up in her chair and leaned across the table.
"Megan you need to sit down. You can look at it when we get home," said their father, "And, Matthea you need to stop picking at it. We can get it out when we get home."

They began eating again. Megan sat on her knees in her chair. She looked at her plate, then back at Matthea, and then back at her plate.
"Is that why Matthea can't talk?" asked Megan.
"Huh?" asked her dad, "Oh, no my little China Doll that is not the reason. Matthea was born with some problems. She'll always be slower than others."
"Oh. Why is her tooth loose?" asked Megan.
Her dad put his piece of pizza down and said, "Because a new tooth is coming in."

Megan moved her slender olive colored finger up to her mouth. She grabbed her top tooth and tried to wiggle it.
"My tooth is loose, see?" said Megan.
Her mom's shoulders bounced lightly up and down as she covered her mouth with a napkin. "Well, it isn't loose yet, dear. You will lose your teeth when you are, like Matthea. Maybe around the time you turn five or six," answered her mom.

Just then Matthea held up her hand. Pinched between her fingers like a small popcorn seed was her tooth. She smiled really big and laughed. The gaping hole where the tooth had been was red.
"Mama! She needs a Band-Aid, quick get a Band-Aid for her mouth!" shouted Megan.
She slid off her chair and crawled under the table. She stuck her whole head into the bag. Her mom took it from her and pulled out the wipes.
"Band-Aides, Mama. I said Band-Aides!" Megan said as she stood up with a little stomp.
Her dad caught her by the arm and pulled her towards his lap. "Listen, Megan you shouldn't talk to you mother that way. And you can't put a bandage in her mouth. The wipes will help make it stop. Don't worry, my brave princess."

When Matthea was all cleaned up, Megan watched their mother wrap the tooth up carefully in a napkin and place it in her purse pocket.
The drama was over. Supper was finished. They got their things and walked home.
At home while they were getting ready for bed Megan looked at her mom and said, "Mama, Matthea did cry at all."
"No, dear, she didn't," said her mom.
"She is a brave princess just like me," said Megan.

This little story was inspired by an event that happened tonight. Yes, Matthea did pull her tooth out at a restaurant tonight! It was horrible. I was just so thankful that I had put that new pack of wipes in the purse. Now, the rest of the dialogue was pretty much made up. Meg has told us various times that her teeth are loose, but they are not even close. But, I needed a way for the reader to understand why Matthea never speaks. I'm trying to explore in the area of the point of view from a sibling of a special needs child.
I've not really given it a title either...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Painted Wall

This has been the longest Uwe and I have lived in one apartment our entire 10 years (almost) of marriage. We've lived here for almost 3 years now. This is home #7.

Our first was a two bedroom place that we fixed up with what we had. Our second I re-painted the balcony(pint tai) and put up curtains and pictures on the wall, only to be moved a month later.

Inspired by Uwe's love of geography we put up a border of an antique map in our third home.

Our fourth I dared to paint again. Except this time I tackled Marcus' room. I painted a thin blue horizontal line about midway down the wall. Using sponge stamps, I stamped out red ABC, 123. Then enclosed that with another horizontal line. Then I painted thick blue stripes leaving thin white stripes from the base of the border down to the floor.

Our fifth and sixth I don't believe I touched, except for hanging up pictures. I left the walls white. I had plans, but I guess having another child and moving put my mind on other things.

For the past two years home #7 has had white walls, except for the race car border put up in Marcus' room. I've wanted to paint the rooms and I have plans to paint each room. I've collected magazine pictures for years with ideas for me to pick and choose from. And with that, I've already picked out the color scheme for most of the rooms. I just hadn't bought the paint.

I'm always haunted by the thought, "But, why paint if we are only going to move?"

Well, two weeks ago I had had enough, we went and bought paint for the girls' room.
You see, those two little artist of mine tried to draw a mural with their crayons probably about a year ago. But, after scrubbing the circles and squiggles with Goo Gone, it is still showing. I know I'm pathetic!

Today I painted a wall. I put on two coats of Spring Green and I felt accomplished, successful. I had a feeling of pride in my work. Granted there was paint all over me (guess that is where my kids get the messy painting?) and some on the floor. But, that all cleaned up fine.

I was just starting to clean up the brushes and put my paint away for the day when Uwe called.

"What do you think about moving?" he asked.

I'm looking at the sticky wet spring green wall and think, "What do I THINK about moving?"

Sighing, I answered, "I painted one wall today."

"Oh," was his comment.

After the phone call, I actually started laughing to myself. Of course, we are going to move. I just painted a wall. I should have known this.

I finished cleaning up. I washed out the paint brushes and began praying. Was it a waste?

I concluded that if we do move I need to paint immediately so that we can enjoy the painted walls longer. I cannot be plagued with that thought anymore, "But, why if we are going to move?"

BTW, we decided not to move. It is not needed, "Whew!" I'm going to get to those walls tomorrow or the next day. The quicker I get them done, the longer I can enjoy them. Then onto the next room...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just a Mom

Having a child with developmental issues is not always easy, I will admit. I don't ever want people to feel sorry for me or have pity on my daughter. We all have struggles in life, just some are bigger than others. With that said, I want to express my gratitude towards the volunteers that came and helped out at the "I Am A Hero" Games this past Saturday. Without you all there, my day would have been ok, but not wonderful.
Maybe I should explain a bit. You see, my week usually consists of hospital visits and usually more than one a week. But, other parents of special needs children go more often than that. We are always the ones to push our children to get them to the next goal, which is usually as simple as sitting or eating. Their therapist and teachers are right there beside us helping us, but we have the the burden of getting them to the goal. Our child is the one that drools, gets laughed at, grunts or makes strange noises in public. Somedays are really hard.
So, on Saturday morning I was sort of expecting to have to be Matthea's buddy. I probably thought this since I helped organize and the expectation I put on myself to help that day. Anyway, I didn't. I cheered with with the others. In fact, it was great to see everyone cheering for the "Little Heroes" participating. I took pictures and videoed just like a regular mom. I can't express all that I feel into words...probably because I process things forever. But, I wanted to say thanks on behalf of all the parents there to those who came and sacrificed a beautiful Saturday morning. You allowed each of us a chance to watch our child succeed. They finished a goal at each event and that was wonderful.
Thanks for letting me be "Just a Mom"!

On a side note, many of the volunteers were students from MCA Taichung and Bethany. You all continue to amaze me. If anyone reading this sees any of those students, please tell them you heard great things about them from me. "My Little Hero"

Two Poems

Tonight I've tried my hand at poetry. Well, I'm not sure I should be so proud to call it that. Anyway, it's words/thoughts put down on paper. It's a sum of my last few months with the kids. Humoring myself...


Bottles lined up,
One by one.
Green, purple, clear, pink

Who are they kidding?
Flavors of lime and grape,
Smells of bubble gum,

One for coughing, one for sneezing,
One for symptoms too vivid in name

Six days
Three times a day.
You've got to be kidding me.

"Bronchitis Blues"

Runny nose,

Doctor's office,

Liquids and rest,
And medicine, too!

Weeks later,
Coughing, sneezing

The Easter Tree

Traditions in our house are mixed between German and US cultures (and sometimes Chinese, too). Easter is no different. The German's have an Easter tree. Ours is always a palm leafed type of a tree/plant. One year I think we didn't have one, so Uwe found palm fronds somewhere and we decorated that. Anyway, this year we have a palm leafed plant that I brought in from the balcony. If I was a green thumb or anywhere near a horticulturist I could tell you the name. But, sadly, I did not get that grand gene from my mother.
We decorate our Easter tree with painted eggs. Some are store bought decorated plastic eggs sent from Oma and Opa. Others are ones that we decorate ourselves. You know the blown out egg type. Then we paint them in various colors. I have been able to save a few from the past years. Two are from our first year in Wuhan. Can you believe they made one move within the city and a move across the strait?

Matthea loved painting. Maybe too much. I couldn't get a picture of her in process because I was holding her egg, so here is the after shot.

Little Megs was so funny to watch. She liked mixing colors to explore the art of making new colors. Fortunately, she did not go too

Marcus in deep concentration. I think that this will be one tradition that he won't outgrow.

The girls Easter morning in front of our Easter tree.

All three kids in front of the Easter tree.

Easter Trees, would this make a good article piece? Hmm, I'll have to research this a bit more. Maybe could even be a short children's piece on it too. Ahh, the joys of discovering story ideas and plots from my personal life....

Friday, April 10, 2009

3 Kids, 1 Mom, 14 Eggs

OK, I was a bit of an over achiever with the eggs and the bowls of dye (as you can see in the photo). Looking at this photo, I think I had as many bowls of dye as eggs...what was I thinking? The coke on the table was what kept me sane. But the kids had fun. I'm so thrilled that Marcus still likes to do this. Soon, he is going to be "too cool" or "too old" or both. Dreading that day, so I need to enjoy each moment I can while I can.

This was Matthea's first year to be allowed anywhere near the dye. She has a strong belief that any water, no matter what, should be splashed and splattered. But, this year she was able to control this urge a bit, so I let her have a go. She did throw the egg in the bowl and shove her thumb through the shell, but overall she did great. She loved putting the stickers on after the eggs had dried. Which was much easier to take pictures of.

Megan, dear Megan. First, to answer questions regarding her glasses...they are not real. They were sunglasses that the lenses were taken out. She, seriously, wears them all day and only takes them off at night. Yes, we get comments about them all the time.
This is her first year to remember Easter. We hope and pray she will learn the real meaning in the midst of all the fun. She loved dyeing eggs and wanted to do more, of course. She just wanted to do purple and pink eggs, her favorite colors. We got her to expand out and do a yellow one and blue as well.

Our eggs turned out great. We only got dye on our hands, face, table, floor, and I'm sure hair and clothes. We hope to paint eggs with Uwe tomorrow. I'm pulling in recruits for that project.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Did You Look at a Map?"

That would be what my eight year old asked me as I realized we were on the wrong MRT train. Guess I should start at the beginning...

Marcus had been invited to a friend's house for the afternoon. Matthea had Speech Therapy at one hospital and then at another hospital a foot scanning session (story in itself). The plan was for all four of us (me and the 3 kids) to go to Speech with Matthea. Then we'd take Marcus to his friend's house via MRT (subway); then take Matthea to her foot appointment; then back to pick up Marcus before heading home. Sounded easy to me.

The MRT system here in Taipei is really great. But, to get from hospital number one to the friend's house we had to change trains twice. This doesn't sound too bad, except one must remember that changing trains means going up and down escalators with 3 children (which 2 of them are just learning how escalators work).

We got off at the first train switch. We followed the crowds up the escalator. Walked a ways, then went down another escalator. I saw a train coming to a stop and thought, "Perfect timing. We'll jump on and be there soon." About two stops later I heard the announcement for the next stop. I looked at the MRT map on the train and realized....we were going the wrong direction!

The next stop we got off. This was when my son asked the question, "Didn't you look at a map?" To which my answer was, "Well, yes briefly." Guess it wasn't well enough.

At this point I made a fast decision that a taxi would be faster. So, up another escalator or two we went and found a taxi.

Off we raced to the friend's house. We made it there a bit late, but we made it. Now, that was just half the trip. The girls and I headed to the next hospital which was another trip on the MRT.

Matthea got a free pair of tennis shoes with arch supports. She was asked to help in a research study regarding arch supports. They have a computer that scans the bottom of your foot that they are testing as part of the research. Well, my little pumpkin wouldn't even put her feet inside the bag to get the picture taken. Fortunately, they had other means to see the pressure points on her feet when she walked. We did leave with a new pair of shoes and insoles that help her stand straighter. We go back in 2 months to see if there is any change.

So, back to the MRT we went to pick up Marcus. We made it home all in one piece. Extremely tired, but in one piece. The whole plan took 5 hours. And to think I could have saved a little bit of time had I gotten on the right train.

Supper? No problem, my wonderful husband had it all taken care of. He had grilled.

Things I think I learned:
1. Stop glancing at maps and study them, especially when I'm not sure where I'm going and when I have the kids.
2. Don't plan so much in one afternoon...(I have the hardest time with this lesson, I keep repeating this mistake over and over.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sickness in the House

I feel as if I've been nurse these past few weeks. Two of my children have been sick, as well as, my husband. But, in the midst of it all I came up with a new story. It was inspired by my daughter, Matthea. She come to me with her blanket in hand wanting to sit and be held. This piece is still in draft form, but will probably send it to a magazine when I have time.

Title: Untitled at this point
Age Group: Young Children (2-5 years)

“Mama, I don’t feel good,” said Gill.

Gill’s mom felt her warm head and sighed, “Oh dear, you have a temperature, honey.”

“What’s a timber chair, Mama?” asked Gill.

“A tem-per-a-ture is a fever. I’ve got some medicine to make it better,” said her mom.

“I think that if I sit on your lap I’ll feel better, Mama,” said Gill.

“Well, you can do that after you take the medicine,” said Mama.

Gill’s mom poured pink liquid into a little cup. Gill looked at the liquid and said, “I’m feeling better. I don’t need any medicine.”

“Oh, really?” answered her mom, “I think that you should still take the medicine anyway. Here’s some water.”

Gill slowly reached up and smelled the sweet bubble gum scent of the medicine. She tipped the cup up to her mouth. She immediately grabbed the cup of water and gulped it down. Her mom took her hand and led her to the rocking chair where she held her and rocked her.

The next morning, Gill still had a temperature with a cough. Her mom decided that she needed to see a doctor.

“But, Mama, I have a better idea,” said Gill.

“What is that?” asked her mom.

Gill answered, “You can sit in the rocking chair and rock me. That worked last night, remember?”

Mama smiled, “Well, yes I remember. How about after you see the doctor we rock?”

“But, I don’t want a shot?” said Gill.

“Oh, I don’t think that you will have to have a shot. Why don’t you get your medical kit and I’ll show you what the doctor will,” said her mom.

Gill went to her room and got out her medical kit. Her mom opened it and pulled out a long cord with ear plugs on the end.

“Gill, this is called a steth-a-scope. The doctor will use this to hear your heart and to listen to you breathe,” said her mom as she put the ear plugs into her ears.

As she put the round part up to Gill’s chest, she asked her to take a deep breath. Then she pulled out a small hammer with a hole in the middle out from the bag.

“Gill, this is called an ear scope. The doctor will use this to look in your ears,” said mom as she looked in her ears.

“Oh, this is fun,” said Gill.

“Yes, this is fun and seeing a real doctor will be fun too,” promised her mom.

“Can I take my medical kit along?” asked Gill

“Of course,” said her mom.

Later, when they returned from the doctor’s office, Gill climbed up into her mother’s lap and they rocked together until Gill fell asleep.

Well, that's it. I'll probably set this one aside for awhile and look at it later. I have my writing assignment that is haunting me with the due date.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cheddar Soup or Humble Pie

A trip to the hospital yesterday confirmed that the two older kids were sick, as well as, Uwe. Marcus went to school today, but Uwe and Matthea stayed home. With everyone feeling sick I thought I should be the good wife/mom and fix a nice cheddar soup for lunch. Meg and I walked to the store and bought the cream and bacon.
I returned ready to overwhelm my husband with my cooking ablilties. I began with pouring the chicken broth in the pot to warm up. I then got the starch ready to thicken up the liquid. Once the broth warmed up I added the starch and waited, and waited, and stirred, and waited some more. But, it never thickened up. I added a bit more starch and stirred and waited, but still nothing. Time was running out, so I gave up and hoped that the cheese would make it thicken up a bit. I openned the cream and added it next. After the soup warmed up again I addd shredded cheddar, stirring until it was all melted. It still was thick, but I thought it might be ok.
I was so excited to make a warm lunch for my sick husband. He is never home for lunch, so I thought it would be fun to have something nice. With this thought I poured a small bowl of soup and tasted it.
"Sweet?", I thought to myself, "Why is this sweet?"
I looked at the cream box. "Whipping Cream" it read, which doesn't mean it has sugar added to it. But, when I read the Chinese I knew what the problem was. It said, "Sweet Cream".
"Great!", I yelled from the kitchen.
"What's wrong?", asked Uwe.
I told him and he tried it as well.
He looked at me and said, "Well, I think it would be a great soup with regular cream and not the sweet one. Don't worry about it. I'll go to Subway and get a couple of sandwiches for us."
And off he headed out.
As I was cleaning up my mess. I thought about my "wonderful cooking abilities" and laughed as I realized that Humble Pie was pretty easy for me to make. So much for me being the wonderful wife today. Thank goodness I have a wonderful husband who didn't marry me for my cooking abilities.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Paper Towel Kind of Day

I should have known that this day was going to be at least interesting since both Marcus and Matthea stayed home from school sick. All was good until the afternoon. That was when the paper towels came in handy. Megan was taking a nap. Matthea was in her booster chair playing with cars. Marcus, engrossed in a comic book, was lounging on the couch with his legs crossed. He had his cup of hot tea sitting next to him on the red kid's table. Matthea was far enough away, but not far enough. She scooted herself over to the table. Then bending down, she picked up one end of the plastic table sliding the cup of tea onto the tile floor with a crash. Of course, I didn't see any of it in time to intervene. I only heard the crash of the ceramic coffee cup and the yell of my seven year old. The hot tea had spilled onto Marcus's foot and soaked his sock. His foot was ok. After getting him to go change I assessed the damage. The handleless tea cup lay on it's side in the middle of a puddle of tea.
"Why don't I buy paper towels at Costco," was the thought that ran through my mind as I scanned the just mopped floor.

To blog or not to blog, we'll see

"To blog or not to blog," is a question that I haven't been able to answer (or probably more accurately, not taken time to sit and do it). About four months ago I was in a discussion over a blog with some friends and thought, "Yes, this is just what I need to do. I love writing and what a great way to do it." Well, I checked out the blogspot website and found out that we, the Maurers, actually had an account. "What? When did we creat this? I sure don't remember this," was my first thoughts.
I read some of the blog and thought to myself, "Ahhh, yes. I remember this. I had orginally thought I would use it as a newsletter to keep people updated about us." OK, that was I think about 2-3 years ago.
So, today, after reading a friend's blog I got inspired again to try it. But this time I want to use it not as a "newsletter", but maybe as more of a place for me to practice writing through my life. So, here goes the first blog of a new series. Who knows, maybe I'll become a blogger after all!