Thursday, February 28, 2008
Anyone who has had a baby in their home understands the fatigue that eventually catches up to you from night after night of interrupted sleep. In the midst of the darkness that is early morning, my child takes it upon himself to sound the alarm: IT IS FEEDING TIME! No warning...no whimper or soft alert. No, this is serious business and I must be roused immediately. I stumble out of bed, tripping over a stray shoe or toy in my path, prepare the bottle and retrieve my child from his bed.
This used to be a time of tranquility. Remember my 3:37am post? "There's nothing I'd rather be doing t that time of the morning...so on and so forth..." Well, recently those feelings have given way to "oh, why can't I just get one solid night's sleep? One teensy weensy little night?" And the frustration doesn't limit itself to nighttime hours. When I hit the mid to late afternoon hours and my energy is particularly drained, a cry of discontentment is like nails on a chalkboard. I feel so guilty even admitting that! I have a second child! I prayed for this! It is a blessing! I guess in my hours of fatique-induced yuckiness, I am a little more aware of my impatience.
Then, my pal Melissa wrote this post today. You must check it out. OK, so it did make me feel this big when I read it but it also made me remember what an honor it is to GET to care for a child...especially the sweet, happy boy that God blessed us with.
So, check it out. Gotta go rock a young man now. Can't resist!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Needless to say, I watched it no less than 10 times to make sure we he was well on his way to Dreamland before I tried to move him to his bed.
The American Idol Lullaby Collection...coming to store near you!
This really was a beautiful pefrormance. Enjoy.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I was headed home that weekend to visit my parents with the requisite laundry basket in tow. I walked in the back door, set the basket on the table in front of my animal-lovin' mother. She caught a glimpse of two paws sticking out from under an old ratty t-shirt and said, while shaking her head back and forth feverishly, "No way. Nope. Don't even think about it."
Fast forward a few years and you'll find Sam, or "Sambo" as my mother lovingly referred to him, cozied up on the sofa next to her as she did cross-stitch or watched her favorite television show. Her shadow in every sense of the word, Sam would trot along beside my Mom and, upon hearing the familiar voices of family and friends, would spin his tail around in a fierce circular motion-- affectionately to become known as "helicopter tail".
Sambo always had a twinkle in his eye and loved "his people" to the point of doing a hind-end wiggly dance every time we would come around. During my Mom's illness a few years ago, it was as if he sensed what was going on and became quite protective of her-- always lying at her feet or close by.
When Mom passed away, it was as if a little bit of the sparkle faded in Sam's eyes. His "person," the one whom he had shadowed and admired all those years was no longer there. For the next five years, he became good pals with one of the cats of the family and enjoyed many hours chasing butterflies in the backyard and playing the role of "tough guard dog" for passersby... giving those of us privy to his kind, gentle spirit quite a chuckle.
The years have rolled on and we lost Sam today. My Dad called in tears to tell me that they had to have him put to sleep. I didn't react the way I always anticipated that I would. Instead of tears, years of fond recollections scrolled through my head...all the times that Sam had greeted us or showered us with an unconditional love that only man's best friend can provide.
The next time I go home to Alabama, it won't quite be the same. The hind-wiggling greeting I've grown accustomed to won't be there and the house will seem a little more sad now that Sambo is gone.
And, although my beliefs won't allow me to place Sambo in Heaven with my Mom like I wish I could, I know there is a special place where he'll always be young, he'll always have a spring in his step and where he's leaping in wide open spaces with no end. In this place, the most special of places meant for the most special of dogs... there is a beautiful "mutt" of a dog, running free and remembering fondly all the times he greeted "his people" with a sparkle in his eye and a thick brownish/black helicopter tail spinning in the breeze.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Seriously, the transition "up north" began on Saturday when a truck pulling a U-Haul trailer pulled out of our driveway. D. and I waved goodbye and I wiped away a tear before turning to go inside. Sure, he's been on business trips plenty of times--as have I--but this time it felt different. And yes, he'll even be home on the weekends until we're all together...but it still felt different.
Even now. As I sit here at my computer in the wee hours of the morning, I can usually hear his soft breathing as he sleeps. But tonight, it's quiet. Very quiet. Deafening, almost. There'll be too much room in that bed when I crawl under the covers shortly and when I wake in the morning I won't hear his razor humming or receive my requisite good morning kiss on the forehead. I'm really quite sad.
One of the hardest parts is simply having him as a back-up if needed. From brushing D.'s hair while I change J.'s diaper to helping in the kitchen or even taking out the trash... it's different without that "safety net". I likened getting ready for church this morning to one of those performers who tries to keep plates or basketballs spinning all at the same time. J. would start crying so I'd run over and retrieve his dropped pacifier just as D. was asking for help with his pants. As I run into D.'s room to help him with pants, the phone would ring and, as I answered the phone, J. would start screaming again...and the iron was beeping that it was ready...and D. couldn't find a shoe...and...and...and... it really was quite comical. And, truthfully, I missed having adult conversation as we got ready as much as I missed the extra set of hands. (disclaimer: I know many women may go through this even when their hubby IS at home...I'm extremely blessed to have a hubby that helps out as much as he does. He is a TERRIFIC husband. I guess that's why it's that much harder when he's gone.)
Although I am saddened to be leaving our home here so quickly, the feeling I have here alone tonight reassures me that we're making the right decision.
I miss my hubby and will be counting the hours until Friday.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I am honored that this post was chosen as the winner and hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I did living it. It's definitely a "restore your faith in people" kinda story...that's for sure!
Thank you Michelle at Scribbit and guest judge Sabine. I'm genuinely surprised at being chosen!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I must wax poetic:
Plans, they are a-changin'
I've learned not to use ink
When writing on my calendar
I'm almost at the brink
Of losing all my marbles
As I contemplate
All the balls we're juggling
It just must be my fate
To live a life that's crazy
I don't know what to say
I can certainly assure you
I don't plan it this way
It's not enough to parent
A newborn and such
Then add to that moving
It seems like too much
But God has a reason
For timing it so
I'll rely on His guidance
As I rush to and fro!
After our recent house hunting trip to Nashville, hubs and I have reached a (somewhat scary) concensus: the boys and I will be moving up to join him the weekend of March 14! Yes, I know that is 3 weeks away. THREE weeks. But, there is a great school there where we've decided to enroll the D-man and get him accustomed to going for a full day. There is also a fenced-in back yard with a great play set and, of course, DADDY. None of us were too thrilled with the prospect of being without each other for such a long period of time; therefore, we're at peace with our decision.
Away to preparing for the movers I go!
I couldn't get into TOO comfortable a routine. Why that would be unheard of! It would practically be.....oh, you know...... NORMAL.
We can't have that now, can we?
Friday, February 15, 2008
Now, I completely understand that JUST THIS MORNING I was lamenting my so-called "poverty" of spirit and how I longed to be dependent on God. You know, in the tough times.
Be careful what you wish for my internet friends. It's like prayin' for patience... there are just some things you don't do. Well, add talking about being spiritually dehydrated to the list. Cause I've been filled up. But, I sho' had a rough time gettin to that point today. One has to stop blubbering long enough to fully appreciate any spiritual growth taking place.
This is where I would normally preface a story with "I know there are people much worse off than me..." You know the drill. Well, I apparently forgot about that in the midst of today's happenings.
Without rehashing EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, suffice it to say there was some stress goin on. We were leaving for Nashville at 3:00pm. Today was my hub's last day at his current job and he had to turn in his company truck...so, for a week and half we are a one-car family. No problem. The plan was for me to pick hubs up at 3pm with the truck packed (I drive an SUV) and we'd hit the road.
Best laid plans, you know.
We've had painters in house for 3 days getting the inside spruced up to put on the market and the bill was coming to just under $2K. That's mighty pricy but fair for all the work they were doing. But, after having just adopted a child, anything over $29.99 is a stretch. They were due to be finished at 2pm and I was out running errands-- including an oil change cause I'd had a little leakage.
Fast forward to 2pm. It's my youngest child's feeding time and I have no extra bottle. I'm sitting in the waiting room of the mechanic and Baby J. decides (with his usual shriek) that is TIME TO FEED HIM NOWWWWWWWWWWWW. The mechanic walks out and breaks the news to me: I need a new engine...or a rebuild. Words like head gasket, oil pan, blown something-or-other... and then--the kicker-- $5000. Five THOUSAND? As in three ZEROS?
Baby is screaming, D. is asking when we can go home, painters are at my house waiting on THEIR money and the mechanic says I should not drive my car. Hubs has no car. My head is throbbing. We're supposed to be on the road to Nashville to look for housing since K. starts his job a week from Monday. My head started reeling and I asked for my keys and swore I would only be driving home--only a mile away.
Fast forward again...I'm sitting in a hotel in Nashville typing this. All my guys are asleep in the bedroom and I have just finished a long, hot shower and am comfy in my pj's. How did we get here? Well, I have an optimistic hubby who refuses to freak out. He calmly called for a rental car and came home saying that we will find the money somehow. This rental will get us through this next week and we will just DEPEND ON GOD for the rest.
I have a lot to be thankful for this evening. I'm thankful for a husband whose calm, even-keeled nature balances me beautifully. I'm thankful for two boys who slept the whole way here and are now sound asleep again. I'm thankful that we made it here safely and are now ready to explore this soon-to-be new town of ours. But, most of all, I'm thankful for my God...a God who hasn't given up on me and has blessed us with resources when we need them...far beyond what we deserve.
Goodnight, y'all. Here's hoping tomorrow will be a tad less eventful!
That's when it hit me.
D. has so many toys, I am sure that he has forgotten he even has many of them. And, trust me, he doesn't have even a fraction of what some of his friends have. I have been in play rooms where the abundance of toys, games and gadgets is so great, one has to clear a path by wading through the sea of items strown about the room. Believe me, my child has PLENTY.
Then I read this.
It hit me like a brick between the eyes. We are suffering from our own form of poverty. We may have many things but do these things distract us from forming a true appreciation of and relationship with God? I can attest that many of the THINGS in my life are a barrier to my dependance on Him. I'm connected in every way a person can be. Internet, email, fax, cell phone and, yes, this blog...all ways of keeping in touch with family and friends. And, I could argue that the internet has opened my eyes to issues that rekindle my desire to be close to Him (like the story above). But do any of those enrich my dependance on God? No.
Like the blogger above, I do not wish poverty on my child. But, I do think that the simple pleasure of a roughly-fashioned pull toy in the hands of that Ugandan child is an image I'm not likely to forget.
I may not be materially impoverished...but I do think I am at least a little spiritually dehydrated. I want to depend on God for my needs.
And, you know what? He wants that, too.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I wanted to do something special for you this Valentines Day. The easy thing would’ve been for me to buy something from a store, but I wanted to give you something you can hold on to.
Although the posts on your blog tell a lot about you as a person, they only tell your side of the story….I’d like to take some space to let everyone know my side of the story by thanking you for just a few of the ways you have made my life wonderful…
Thank you for taking a chance on me 15 years ago.
Thank you for your honesty and bravery during the storms of life
Thank you for making our house a home
Thank you for making me want to come home to you everyday
Thank you for teaching me to find the beauty in the everyday things (like the sound of a rainstorm)
Thank you for challenging me to become a stronger person
Thank you for believing in me
Thank you for allowing me to follow my dreams
Thank you for keeping me grounded
Thank you for being a wonderful mom to the boys
Thank you for wanting to be the kool-aid mom
Thank you for wanting to be a better mother even though you know the challenges that lie ahead
There are so many more things for which I could say thank you, but this space just doesn’t have enough room. I just wanted to share a very brief glimpse of the person who makes my life complete.
Happy Valentines Day. I love you with all my heart.
PS I forgot to thank you for the boat you said I might get to own one day, maybe...
Do you have a favorite memory...a particular time when you felt loved and that everything was alright with the world...where you felt, most of all, safe? I have that kind of memory. And, when life feels a little overwhelming and uncertain, I turn to this memory like a well-worn blanket...a little tattered and faded but soft and familiar.
It was 1999 and my Mom had decided to go along with me on a business conference in San Diego. She didn't get to travel much and, since the lodging was paid for, I thought it would be a treat to bring her a long for the ride. We had a blast.
But, on the last evening of the meeting, I developed a migraine and became pretty much incapacitated. We were both disappointed because the closing entertainment that evening was Kenny Loggins performing at a venue on the water a few blocks away. We had so looked forward to going.
But instead we were room-bound and my Mom's maternal instincts kicked into high gear. Using her traditional comfort method of Vick Vapor Rub slathered under my nose and a warm compress soothing my temples, she gently laid my head in her lap and slowly squeezed my head to help relieve the pain.
We had ordered room service as well as a movie and decided to make a night of it as my headache slowly subsided. I'll never forget what a special treat it was for her when room service arrived. The pomp and circumstance of the waiter wheeling in our table, setting it up ever so carefully between our two beds and finishing with a fresh flower in a bud vase... well, that thrilled my Mom to no end.
After dinner, we happened to walk out on our balcony just as the post-concert fireworks burst into a kaliedescope of colors in the night sky. We stood there, side by side, in awe of this exciting end to our evening. If I close my eyes, I am instantly transported back to that special night.
Even as an adult woman, I encounter situations in life that make me want to run and duck for cover. Feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty and even physical issues like headaches encourage me to return to that room and that night in San Diego. Nearly a decade has gone by but the impact it had on my life is fresh in my mind. It's my warm and comforting blanket, enveloping me with the feeling that I am loved, I am safe and everything will be OK.
And, although I can no longer see those fireworks, each one of the brilliant colors displayed that night is a reminder of all the ways that special lady loved me. I miss her so.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The yellow tree swing.
Last summer, our son's only wish was to have a swing on which he'd soar over the deep creekbed in our back yard. So, that's exactly what we gave him. Hubs installed a bright yellow rope swing with a round plastic seat. It has since served our son and his friends well as they've flown through the air bellowing their finest tarzan-like yell...
As I got out of the car, I stood there gazing at the swing. I know there will be other yards for us. There might possibly be other swing-worthy trees, too. But the sight of that yellow seat surprisingly made me a little sad.
Sad to leave.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
You see, I have these grandiose dreams of me creating these scrumptiously beautiful baked goods that make people swoon. Cakes, desserts, cookies that melt in your mouth... but it ain't happenin' folks. And trust me, I don't use the word "ain't" without good cause so you KNOW it has to be bad.
Three o'clock rolled around this morning and the hungry cries of my 9-week old awoke me and, unfortunately, kept me awake. So, after I put him back down I decided to make my son's cupcakes for his school birthday party. Simple enough, right? Cupcakes from a box of cake mix. Directions on the back. What could be easier?
Um, lots of things, apparently.
By four a.m., I pulled out a muffin-tin-full o' cupcakes that looked more like muffins cause the tops had run over the sides. "I can salvage these," I reassure myself. Minutes later, I'm trimming the edges causing irrepairable damage to said cupcakes. I did try to ice one and...no...no...no... it was NOT A PRETTY SIGHT, MY FRIENDS.
So, I have some leftover batter and, since I resigned myself to the fact that I must now purchase (gasp) store-bought cupcakes, I'd get creative and make mini-loaves that I could then ice into a cake for the birthday boy. I can't handle cupcakes but suddenly I'm going to attempt a cake?
Mistake. Big mistake.
Yes. I took an uneven lump o' mini-loaves poorly iced it and then "spruced it up" with TINKER TOYS to look like truck parts. It is a sad, sad day in the cake world my friends. Wait til' the Food Network gets a hold of this one... there will be a new reality series called "Worst Cake EVER."
You see, I have a baby. And a house to sell and a full time job and...well, frankly, my level of creativity these days has gone the way of those 10 I.Q. points I insist I lost the day I became the mother of a newborn. It's not that I don't care. It's just NOT THERE anymore.
So, in the spirit of the fabulously effective cook Pioneer Woman, I shall document the glorious journey that resulted in my child's birthday cake:Step 1: Wake up at 3:00am to do this:
Step 2: Take a box of this:
Step 3: Your sink will probably look like this:
(OK, so the pots were from boiling some hard-boiled eggs. Unrelated culinary footage)
Step 4: And you end up with this:
There you have it, my "I-trust-you-not-to-mock-me-in-my-Comments-section" friends.
Don't ask me why it needed a mouth. I was desperate. It was 4:00am. I can't explain my actions.
But you know what? He loved it.
Will the wonders of parenthood never cease.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
(Well, north for us, anyway!) My hubby has accepted a new position at a company in Nashville, Tennessee! Right now, we're just north of Atlanta and, although I've moved many times, this one has me a little woozy.
With a new baby, an event in April that I'm planning and a house to sell...my head spins at the thought of all there is to do! Getting the house ready to sell ("Realtor ready" as my Mom used to call it) while hubby starts his new job and I'm here with the kiddos and a crazy golden retriever is more than a little scary. I can't tell ya how many times I've said "I can do all things through Christ whom strengthens me..." but the proposition stills seems a bit daunting.
That said, we are excited about the opportunity and enjoyed getting to explore the area a bit when we went up last week for the interview. The job is actually in Brentwood which is south of Nashville and there are plenty of beautiful areas around there from which to choose.
So, if my blogging is a bit spotty for the next few months, don't give up on me. I'm either planning a meeting, changing a diaper, trying my best to get a burp, helping with homework, giving a bath, walking a dog or cleaning something.
But I will be back. I'm sure I'll have plenty of exciting things to write about from our new home. You know...line dancing lessons, lunch with Garth and Trisha... oh, all the regular ol' mundane stuff that I always share with you.
Hang in there with me, folks.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
But afterwards, we weren't ready to rush home just yet. Stop 2 on "Life Styles of the Young and In Love"-- FOOD WORLD. It's Saturday night and we're giddy and in love and...well, we needed baby formula.
Aisle 2 was a virtual clearinghouse...a menagirie if you will of pantyhose, moth balls, lipstick and diapers. This was the kind of aisle you wish to linger on out of sheer curiosity but you usually have a screaming child (or at least one begging for bubble gum) so an actual pause here for browsing is virtually unheard of.
On the way home, I read to him by maplight excerpts from a friend's book of published essays heralding the quirkiness of life in the south. I couldn't help but chuckle to myelf as I thought that this very evening would have been a perfect addition to the collection.
Pulling up in the driveway, we noticed a sky full of stars and a wooden swing just perfect for two anniversary-celebratin' lovebirds. But instead, we chose to head inside--admittedly missing our boys and the joy they add to our lives. We made bottles, tucked in little wound-up bodies, read a bedtime story or three and once again lost ourselves in the comfortable and familiar routine of parenthood.
Some people would not consider our evening very romantic, you see. But, I'll always cherish the magic, the content-just-to-be-together splendor that happened on Aisle 2 of a small-town grocery store. Forget about diamond pendant necklaces and champagne glass-shaped bathtubs. Our evening was relaxed, comfortable and provided us with plenty of together time.
Friday, February 01, 2008
I have always cherished our early morning time when it would be hubs, D. and I snuggling in the bed and talking about any ol' thing. Well, now that there are four people in our "familia", it's a tighter fit but a lot of fun.
This morning, we awoke in Selma, Alabama at my Dad's house. The topics of conversation were as vast and peculiar as usual but now we have a butter bean lying in the middle giggling at us all. In fact, just the mere sight of his big brother and J.'s face bursts into a smile. It really is the sweetest thing I have EVER seen.
This morning's "pillow talk" included the following deep-thought, betcha-never-considered-that revelations:
- George Washington is on the dollar bill, he chopped down a cherry tree and he had wooden teeth. But, of course, my child had to offer up the clencher question: "Did he have termites in his teeth that kept him from eating? Termites eat wood, you know." He does have a point there, folks.
- D. announced that Daddy is the only one on our "team" not on The Injured List. Mommy has a paper cut on her pointy finger, D. has a bruise near his wrist and J. scratched the side of his cheek in the middle of the night. Geez. Will we make it through the weekend?
- D. then corrected himself and added that another person on our team was uninjured and that would be God. Because, if He were injured then He wouldn't be God. I asked him what was the one time God had been injured and he replied, "never. Well, 'cept for the time he was whipped and hanged on the cross and all." Well, yeah, 'cept for THAT time.
Finally, we ended our session with a rousing thumb-wrestling match which is COMPLETELY unfair because hubs has much bigger hands than I and I can never beat him 'cept when I cheat which a precocious little almost-six-year old child is quick to point out. Hmmph.
Pillow talk. Our version may not exactly fit the textbook definition. But, at this stage in my life, it offers me the sweetest, most authentic glimpse into what life is really all about.
It really is my favorite time of the day.