14 November 2010


It is common knowledge among my acquaintances that I am extremely afraid of birds and other fluttering creatures like bats, moths and crane flies. And ever since I was 10 and watched about 100 birds land inside my neighbors' chimney where they had taken up residence, it has been a nightmare of mine that one of these fearsome creatures would find its way into my chimney someday. Imagine my utter shock and disbelief when this not only happened, but it was discovered in the middle of our playdate with Marilee and her girls Friday afternoon.

We had all gone downstairs (minus Lina who was napping in Toran's room) to give Marilee a tour of the basement. As we were heading into the laundry room, I noticed that Rory and Toran had opened the glass door to our fireplace. I decided to finish the tour before going back into the family room to close it...I figured there was minimal damage that could happen at the time as there was no fire burning in it. As I approached the fireplace a few minutes later, I couldn't help but notice how the light made it appear that there was a bat-like creature hanging from the outside of the wire curtain that was now completely exposed due to the open glass door. And the closer I got to it, the more bat-like it appeared to the point that heart-stopping fear prohibited me from taking another step.

Not wanting to appear ridiculous in front of my cousin, I asked her to come over and take a look...sure that it was just the light playing tricks on me. Unfortunately, her eyes told her the same thing that mine were desperate not to believe. "It looks like a bat," she said. And then we evacuated the basement. You may wonder why I didn't just close the glass door and trap it in the fireplace again. The answer is simple: I have been tricked by a bat before...appearing to be harmless and unable to fly when it was just luring me in waiting for the chance to open its horrible little mouth and utter its horrible screeching noise and swoop in for the kill...it's true...just ask Michelle. So I could not give this bat a chance to do the same thing.

I had just decided to call my awesome, faithful brother-in-law Erik and ask him to come take care of my bat problem when Kevin surprised me with an unexpected visit. So we went down to face whatever traps the ferocious bat had planned for us. As it turns out, my husband is a little nervous around bats also...but after much deliberation and pep talks, he managed to shut the glass door. Now for the best part of the story...closer inspection of the creature through the glass door revealed that it was not a bat at all but a dead bird who died stuck to the wire curtain thrashing about and had been there for quite a while as Kevin described it's carcass as "fried" and "mummified". Lovely. The good news is Kevin managed to detach it and dispose of it and there aren't any signs that there are more birds in the chimney.

29 September 2010


I have a tendency to spend part of everyday reviewing the mistakes I made that day as a mother. There are times I lose my patience, raise my voice, and occasionally lock myself in the bathroom for a few moments of reprieve. And I find myself wincing as I look back at the mistakes of the day wondering which ones I'll hear about during a counseling session 30 years from now.

Today, while I was busy wiping spaghetti sauce out of Toran's hair and nose and neck roll (you get the picture), Rory was busy playing with his trains. And after a minute I began to notice a little tune coming from his direction. So I stepped over to him and I heard, "My God is so BIG! So STRONG and so MIGHTY, there's nothing my God cannot do! TOOT TOOT!"

This he repeated over and over again for the better part of 10 minutes even after he stopped playing with trains and starting running in circles around the house. And I found myself humming the song as I changed the kids' diapers and put them down for their naps. And that sweet refrain continues to play as both boys are taking naps at the same time and I actually have a few minutes to myself. And tonight when I review the events of the day, I will remember my precious two year old singing his version of the song I taught him, and I'll remind myself that I must be doing something right and that my God is indeed strong and mighty!