Sunday, January 29, 2006


As my Ella becomes more aware of the world around her, it seems she feels that anything within her reach could (and should) be hers. I think this is probably a common trait among babies. Andy and I worked in the church nursery today and you can see it in how the babies take toys from each other...or when one of them is having a book read, others want in on the action - although none of them can talk.

Now, I want to make a clear distinction between this "wanting" of the babies, and "wanting" of toddlers. This is before it really seems selfish or, sometimes, even malicious. This is more of a, "I see that thing, and obviously the person in possession of it is having a really good time, so I want it, too."

In Ella's case, if I'm holding my cell phone or typing on the computer or holding a cup (her three favorite things in the world) her little eyes light up, she gives an excited laugh (which still sounds like a cough) and lunges for it. Actually, I could be holding anything, and she would be almost as excited. If a magazine is in her reach, forget about it. She has ripped out at least 3 pages, and has stuffed at least a quarter of 1 of those pages in her mouth. Yesterday I fished out Jennifer Aniston's head.

I'm not quite sure at what point this becomes a "mine" battle (Lord, give me patience when that becomes her favorite word). As it stands, I'm just enjoying watching her total abandon to social mores, because she has no idea they exist. Pretty much every baby I've ever seen will smile at anyone they feel like, either not caring at all what the reaction might be, or because they expect a smile right back. I don't know the last time I graced a perfect stranger with a smile without a second thought. I often smile at strangers if our paths cross, but if they were to glare back at me, I would most definitely feel the sting.

Babies? Not so much. Is it because they are primed? Or because those kinds of insecurities have yet to settle in. Blast those insecurities. I feel there is probably some spiritual connection that could be made to this particular abandon and entitlement our tiny persons seem to possess. We are entitled to peace. We are entitled to fearlessness. We are entitled to neverending grace and love. These aren't just things we can hope we get some day. These are Ours. These are Mine. These are Andy's and Ella's. What would our little family (or community) look like if we lived fully in what is already ours?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

memoirs & a cuppa joe

today has been deliciously rainy and cold. something about a rainy sunday hits me just right. church becomes more cozy (although getting to the actual building from the car with two huge bags, a baby, and an umbrella is quite a challenge), and home becomes even cozier. after ella went down for afternoon nap #1, i curled up with my current read then promptly nodded off. not that that reflects the book in any way, i am thoroughly enjoying it. sundays, however, leave me no choice but to sleep.

the book is a memoir, one of my favorite categories if done right. this one definitely is. "a girl named zippy" by haven kimmel, who i learned from her bio, currently resides in my childhood hometown. it's interesting, funny, and well-written. i think if i ever even attempted a memoir i would have approximately 2 stories from my childhood that anyone besides my family would find interesting. she has a whole book.

the sky was still pouring when ella began her early-evening nap. perfect coffee weather. not just any coffee, mind you. i crave decaf grande mochas. which leads me to a very pressing question. can one be addicted to a non-caffeinated beverage? i guess it's just like any other craving, but i don't know how many cravings actually get me out of the house in the pouring, freezing rain to drive 7 minutes to the nearest starbucks.

it was well worth it. not just the coffee, but the entire 20 minute experience. sometimes 20 minutes is all i need to get rejuvinated. even now, sweet andy is feeding ella her dinner, and i can have a few minutes to call my own. i never dreamed how much a simple act could mean to me. so a solo coffee run is practically life-changing. lightning 100 set the mood (much to my husband's pleasure it is now a pre-set on my radio). i took off the insulated sleeve of my cup, just so i could feel the full force of the warm goodness in my palms. i reflected on how i wish i liked local shops' mochas more than "the man's" mochas, but i truly have looked and not found a more chocolatey substitute.

when i finally put my corporate america struggle on temorary hold, i then reflected on one of today's sermon points - to Be who i Am - and tried to wrap my little mind around it. upon my arrival back home, i got to talk to andy some about it. he's a wise one, that husband of mine. and awfully cute. good thing my baby looks mostly like him.

Friday, January 20, 2006


andy just posted a BUNCH of new pictures on our family site. check em out...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

and she's up

standing, i mean. at 10 months and 2 days, ella's whole world changed yet again. all the stages feel monumental, and i realize walking will be one of the biggest...but what i wasn't anticipating was how different life is now that she's pulling up to her feet! it's so fun to watch her pop right up and start trying to grab at anything in her line of sight.

therefore, we have entered into phase 3 of ella-proofing. today all the pictures on the endtable next to the couch went away. i suppose they'll be back someday when there's actually a point in trying to explain that they are not for grabbing, chewing, or just knocking down. we're trying to figure out those battles - i am currently in the "no, ma'am, no shoes in the mouth" phase. cause that's just plain gross. now that she's standing, she is even more fascinated with laptops, and has commenced pulling off the letter keys and (of course) putting them in her mouth. um, danger!

this curious little baby loves exploring, and has claimed a couple of spots for her own play. under the dining room table, and under her high chair. i like to think of them as her little forts, but whatever they are to her, she has a lot of fun.

and she Definitely knows how to wave now. well, wave her entire arm, but she knows she's doing it, and uses it appropriately.

Also, she experienced her first true family meal last night. again, the crock-pot was employed, and ella got some of the goods. potatoes and carrots, for the record. and one more record...ella got her first shiner. not exactly her eye, but her cheekbone. boo.

ella has just now pulled up on my leg, and i'm smelling something that Must be attended to.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

resolution check-in

we're a couple of weeks into the new year. let's take a look-see at how my resolutions are holding up.

i'm feeling pretty pleased with the blogging frequency. could be putting more time-sensitive things down for the record, but maybe i'll build back up to that soon.

i am Very pleased with my little cooking self. what's nice is we've had dinner provided for us quite a few times since my resolution, but on the days where we're on our own, i've fired up the stove, turned on the oven, and brought out the crock-pot. a new hit with the family? lemon-garlic chicken in the crock-pot...mmmm.

exercising? ha. i've gone on exactly two mini-walks with ella because it was just too nice of a day to stay inside. that's it. that's all.

bedtime...much better, thank you. haven't always hit the midnite mark, sometimes earlier, sometimes a tiny bit later...
of course last night i didn't get home til 1 am because i was at the late-night showing of "tristan and isolde." good story. good actors. not so good script-writing. there was also the comical prosthetic glove, that you just kind of have to see to appreciate.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

go ahead and shoot me, oprah

a family ritual has begun in this osenga clan. tuesday evenings we go to the library (followed by target and chick-fil-a, but those have nothing to do with this particular rant). we employ the ever-so-handy online book request, so that when we arrive at the edmonson pike branch, whatever book we want to read is there waiting. i'll admit that i quickly go through books, so i'm always on the lookout for a good suggestion. i look on the library suggestion page, i ask friends, i read reviews, i often read what my mom's book club is reading, and (this leads me to my point) i reference oprah's book club list.

i'll start by giving oprah some credit. she has picked some classics - i believe it would do every well-rounded adult some good to read "east of eden" by steinbeck. why? because steinbeck is genius. he has a dark side, yes, but the way he describes people and settings and develops storylines is so rare and wonderful it's worth a read. "Anna Karenina" - another classic. One of my favorite books ever. "The Poisonwood Bible" - written more recently than the other two, and definitely excellent. There are a couple others on the list that I enjoy and would recommend to people. Others I would recommend only if someone were looking for a reason to sink into depression and end everything immediately.

all of these books share one common theme - messed up people. now, i realize that we All are messed up people. that is the beauty and glory of having a savior. also, knowing that we are all messed up is essential to true relationship and community. the aforementioned titles have messed up people in them. messed up lives. i am not trying to live in any sort of bubble. but i have recently read a book that was an "international #1 bestseller" and i would tell not a one person to read it. why? because it is so Pointlessly messed up that i just kind of felt sick the whole time.

and i think that's my main beef with some of these books. that the depressing situations really seem pointless. maybe it's because it's an obvious fabrication. give me a memoir or documentary or a person who is sharing their story and i'll enter willingly into the pain. but i no longer want to enter into a crazy world where the oldest daughter runs away to new york city, becomes a lesbian, than her father comes to "rescue" her, ends up raping her, she become pregnant with twins, only to die in childbirth, then her younger sister takes the twins down to the river to baptize them, and one slips through her hands and dies, then two days later the mom/grandma dies by sticking her head in an oven, then the remaining girls grow up and their lives are equally distressing. that's the last book i read.

we're heading to the library tonight and, ironically, i'm getting another book "by oprah", as andy says. but this one has been recommended independently of her, so i'll give it a whirl. but if i want to slit my wrists within the first 10 minutes, i'm quitting. i've requested some non-oprah books, too, so hopefully i won't be going into ella's room in the middle of the night to hold her and tremble in fear that she'll grow up to be an insane person.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

everybody's workin' for the weekend

well, not me, i guess. saturday is technically about the same for me and ells as any other day. same schedule, same activities...but somehow i keep going to bed way too late every friday night. why? because the next day is saturday, and you can sleep in on saturday. right? except no one told ella, and she woke up at 7:30. thankfully she was just hungry and not quite ready to start her day.
but an hour later she Was ready, and i was especially glad and thankful that my husband was in town and could do the morning playtime with her. although i slept a few more glorious hours, i'm still exhausted...and this leads me to an addendum to my resolutions. one that i Must keep.

Go to bed earlier, dang it. at Least by midnight.

andy tried to set an 11pm goal for us last week, and that has been achieved not one time. so midnight is a good start.
what's nice is that ella still operates on 2 hour awake periods, so when i am dead-tired, i know a nap is not too far off. for ella, yes, but just as importantly, for me.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Double Fisted

that's how ella likes it. whatever she's doing or holding, it's preferable that both hands are included. if she's just hanging out with her toys, there's one in each hand.
pacifiers? if there is more than one around, one's in the mouth, the other in her little hand. my favorite is when she can't decide which one she wants to suck on (or maybe she just wants to double the pleasure...or perhaps it's a foreshadowing of her desire to include everybody) and about every 4 seconds she switches from one to the other.
mealtime is another example (by the by, she's eating big person food). let's say the cuisine is goldfish. she's got one in her right hand, and is eating with her left.

everyday with this baby is more and more fun. she's crawling like a champ (she started crawling a week after the doctor said she was a late-bloomer and i got nervous and started hounding my friends with kids for crawling testimonials). currently we're in a shrieking match. she'll shriek, then i will, then we laugh and start all over. she's halfway pulling up - meaning she pulls up to her knees, and if she stays there for very long she starts shaking and howling for help. i'm trying not to jump in too quickly.

she's loving books more and more, and likes to turn the pages. i've become a first-rate speed reader due to her love of the quick-turn.

speaking of quick, i should probably start posting when the tiny's's a challenge now that she's on the move.

Monday, January 02, 2006

I Resolve...

to act like I actually have a blog and update it more frequently. there are important things happening around here, and it would be a crying shame if there was no record of them.

to turn on my oven and cook. something. anything. and don't ask me what we eat, because i really don't know.

to exercise. america's #1 resolution (or so i was told on ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve). one that i promptly quit if i actually get around to starting it.

I could go on and on, but then around January 10 I would be sorely depressed because I will have failed to keep them all. But I really am going to work on the above. Well, at least the first two.