Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Wife: “Do you like my hair short?”
Wife: “What color should I dye it next?”
Wife: “I’m just tired of it, you know?”
Husband: “Hair requires a lot of upkeep and effort.”
Wife’s thought bubble: “Huh?”
So what does he do when I scream, “BUG”? Well, if UGA is not playing at the time, he gets up, rolls his eyes at me, grabs a flimsy mailer and scrapes it off the wall.
Do you know what happens when you scrape a bug off the wall instead of hitting it as hard as you can with your shoe? It falls on the floor and runs behind the nearest piece of furniture. And it laughs at you the whole way. What does your big strong man then do? He looks at you and says, “Well, there you go.”
I’m sorry, there who goes? How did that help?
You did not just take care of the problem. I try to explain to him that now there is a live bug hiding in my house. I will spend the next two days sitting with my back not touching any of the furniture, never being barefoot, checking the ceiling corners, shaking out my shoes and looking under the covers because somewhere, someplace there is a non dead bug in my house…who now knows we are looking for him.
His retort has something to do with me smashing bugs until it looks like there’s been a shooting at our house.
Truthfully, I feel quite deceived that I unknowingly married a man who wouldn’t sit at the front door of our log cabin in the Minnesota territory with a shot gun across his lap, our dog Jack at his side in an all night vigil so that he can fend off the wolves from our land and keep the family and our chickens safe from harm while I prepare flapjacks on the cook stove and darn socks. By the way, please don't ask me what a flapjack is or what it means to darn.
One year, he was out mowing the lawn and edging around our patio when he came across the world’s smallest snake. Did he bludgeon it to death with a hoe like I would have preferred? Did he grab it by the tail and crack it like a whip in order to break its neck like my great grandfather used to do to Water Moccasins? No, he backed up, dropped the edger and left it there. I have not been in the backyard in 18 months. My son is really starting to resent me.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I certainly never envisioned it as trying to take a shower at 1AM when Sam wakes up, comes into the bathroom and stands staring into the back of the shower screaming "get out" and trying to hand me my shirt, crying and shaking like he was just pulled out of the Atlantic after Titanic sunk. Nor did I picture me, trying to wash my hair, soap in my eyes, screaming back that he needed to go to bed and mommy wasn't drowning.
Alas, this was the scene Saturday night as I was racing around trying to get ready to go out of town for three days for work. Andy came home while this scene was playing out and it was grand to get to finish my shower with the entire family in the bathroom like it was some sort of Dr. Phil prescribed family time.
There I was trying to take the worlds fastest shower, my husband was comforting my traumatized son who was sobbing and muttering something about "Mama no shower," and I thought back to the times when I didn't have to craft a clever Ocean's 11 type scheme to score a few moments alone to groom.
Oh, the good old days.
Tonight, I tucked Sam into bed and we said our prayers:
Me: Now I lay me
Sam: Down to sleep
Me: I pray the Lord
Sam: My soul to keep
Me: Guide and watch me
Sam: Through the night
Me: Wake me with
Sam: the Morning light
Me: Okay, good night.
Sam: (still praying) God bless Mama and Daddy, Nina and Papa, Tiggy and Pop
Me: Aww, how sweet
Sam: Help Nanny Coot to feel better
Me: He is going to be an evangelist...this kid can pray on his own.
Sam: And thank you for Aunt Nina
Me: Wonder if theres a box to check for genius prayer warriors on his chart. This is probably because he was formula fed.
Sam: Thank you for Samuel. Thank you for spaghetti and pizza.
Me: Okay...it's good to pray for things we love. God created everything.
Sam: God bless dinosaurs and bunny and dinosaur train and Scooby Doo
Me: He's being a bit of a Pharisee with this prayer.
Sam: Thank you for sky and birds and trains and cookies and sprinkles and mama's car. And Now I lay me down to sleep...
Me: Okay, he's looping back to the beginning...this is a Code Red, classic bedtime stall tactic. Good night Sam...God heard you the first time.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Today we revisited the zoo. Two years ago, I attempted to take my newly walking 10 month old to the zoo. It was stressful, disasterous and way more money and trouble than it was worth. He refused to ride in his stroller, but he was not yet a good walker, but he was already a promising tantrum thrower. It was the type of day that gave you a migraine and made you go into a coma that evening. So bad were these memories, that after that when I saw any kind of signs, commercials or ads about the zoo, I immediately broke out into a sweat.
Today, I decided to get back on that horse, as they say. Sam and Mommy went to the zoo. It was 95% glorious and only 5% tired, opinionated toddler-ish. He was very interested in the animals, which is a breath of fresh air considering he's usually interested in doing the one thing, you could have done at home for no money (i.e. running, screaming and climbing on rocks). He loved the elephants and kangaroos and adored the petting zoo. We road the train which was the highlight of his day and although he loved the carousel, he was not interested in sitting on the backs of any of the animals. We were the ones sitting on the bench on the carousel talking about all the animals. It was a fun day. Of course, there were a few moments of differing opinions and we had to cut our day short with Uncle Chris and Aunt Jen who also happened to be there, but it was overall fun. I think I am reforming my zoo associations and the hives are down to a minimum.
I didn't get a lot of pictures today, and there is a reason for this. Some days, I take "moment capturing" burdens off of me and make sure I capture the experience and not just stress over pictures. So while I did pull my iphone out when I could, mostly, Sam and I walked hand in hand around the zoo enjoying our day.
Also, just so we can write this down on that dreaded chart...Sam is finally off the bottle! I was starting to feel like those women who brag about breastfeeding until their 5 year old self weens. (No offense...well, okay, there is no way that wasn't offensive so if you are nursing your 5 year old, perhaps this blog is not for you). Seriously, it was not as difficult as I thought, however, it did disrupt sleep for a few nights.
Now, I can also stop breaking out into a sweat at the pediatrician's office for fear they might find out about the deep dark bottle secret.
Other things are going on...too tired to go into them. I am over halfway through writing the book that I've always wanted to write. I'm very excited about it. It's a lot like my blog, only not really about motherhood...more about everything leading up to motherhood. So no chapters about how my birthplan was so short that I wrote it on a sticky note, but plenty of great stories from my childhood. It has been zapping a bit of my creative energy which is why the time between posts are getting longer and longer. I hope to tell you more about this soon!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Haven't heard from me in over a week? Well, I'm not going to lie to you, it's because I'm having anger management issues.
I’m fairly certain that this heat is, in fact, making me crazier than normal. At least that’s all I can figure. I actually yelled at two people at Kroger a few days ago. Yelled. That’s not how I was raised. I am a good Southern girl who never says that I think you are acting stupid to your face…I just status update about it later. Well, ring the church bells because I finally said it. In so many words I shared my “feelings” strongly to Gwen at the Customer Service Counter at the permanently-under-construction Kroger I go to and some random man waving a Western Union form in her face. In my defense…he did cut in line. When he did and I said, “HEY” seven times (loudly in his ear) and he pretended like he could fill out an entire Western Union form but couldn’t speak my language, I reminded Gwen that I had been standing there since Obama’s inauguration and she’d better wait on me because I was getting really close to selling my impatient two year old to the highest bidder (or just putting him in someone’s buggy when they weren’t looking). The balloon they had given him when we walked through the door had long since escaped to the ceiling and he was stacking Kit Kats on the candy aisle. Not that I really cared. It was when he ran over and began sucking on the packages of triple A batteries that I grudgingly intervened only to be reacquainted with Mr. Tantrum.
Gwen was appropriately condescending to me as she told the man to wait a second, helped me and then called me “mom” to get my attention. The man of course nodded in understanding to her request to wait because apparently Gwen is the Rosetta Stone of Kroger. I left there completely feeling like “that woman.” I got into my car and I burst into tears. I actually burst-ed. Ugh…
Hey, it ain't a pretty picture, but it's an honest one.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I left everything...including my new groom. My neighbor opened the door to my panic-stricken face (I am firmly anti-tornado) and stared at me for a few seconds. "Are you going to let me in?" I demanded. She just stared. I was annoyed...and panicked. "Where's Andy?" she asked looking behind me. I paused. Oh right, him. "There wasn't time," I yelled over the thunder in the background. Just then, my husband appeared behind me with his wallet, my purse, our wedding rings, the cell phones, the chargers and our passports. "Thanks for waiting," he managed as we made our way into safety.
Clearly my husband was good at "us" thinking. I, on the other hand, needed a little more time to adjust to thinking about the welfare of someone other than myself...like in a tornado...during an evacuation to a neighbor's house.
When Sam was first born, I would get ready to go somewhere and allot myself the 10 short minutes it basically takes to get myself ready. I would grab my purse, check the charge on my cell phone and then look down at the baby looking at me from the bouncy seat. "Oh, right. You're going too," letting it sink in that I would need an additional fifteen minutes to gear up to bring a newborn and that thought hadn't even occurred to me. It wasn't that I had forgotten about him, I just wasn't, as I previously stated, doing a whole lot of "us" thinking.
In the beginning year of being a mom, I would foolishly make plans during nap time and think that a 'late' dinner worked great for me. That was "me" thinking.
I look at my life today. I see how intertwined the three of our lives, minds and hearts are and I can't imagine, at this point, NOT "us" thinking. The love and devotion to my family has (thankfully) grown over the few years we've had together and I'm so thankful that they are a part of my life.
I'm also thankful that Andy didn't hold the tornado incident against me and that Sam was too young to remember the maternal hiccups I had in the beginning.
And just for the record, I would shove them both in a tornado shelter before me...now THAT is coming a long way, baby!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
You see, changing seasons means changing wardrobes. It means going from jeans and sweatshirts to shorts and short sleeves. Each time we have to make one of these seasonal wardrobe transitions with my child, its traumatic...for everyone. It also means, that once you've won the fight, you can't go back. It doesn't matter if there is a cold snap in late May...you've broken the seal, gotten through the withdrawal symptoms over winter clothes and going backwards is not an option. He's just going to have to be cold.
Every fall, the fight is about jackets and coats. It starts off in early October by a weeks worth of chasing him around the house, pinning him to the floor with, let's face it, your knee in his back so he won't get pneumonia on the playground. He stops running away from you by mid November, stops screaming by Christmas and is bringing you his jacket in early March when you're matching up his summer short sets. Let's not even talk about hats and mittens. I just don't even go there. Yes, I have the kid on the playground with blue fingers and red ears. You come over and put gloves on him.
A few weeks ago, we had gotten him into shorts and t-shirts. It took some difference of opinion sharing (tantrums). He pulled at his arms crying and yelling, "no shirt" while I was- well sweating because he was kicking me. I find I sweat a lot with a two year old. I'm not really sure I even need a gym membership at this point. I was arrogant to think we had gotten through the worst part and so I decided to push it with a sleeveless shirt this week and some new sandals. It was Saturday, 9:05Am - perhaps you heard the screaming and wasn't sure if you should call 911.
The truth is, I have about 15 minutes of a stubborn mommy clock. I let him writhe on the floor, screaming, crying and, I think, foaming at the mouth. I say things like, "well, you're just going to have to work this out, Samuel." and "I wish all I had to be stressed out about in life were sleeves.". If he is still showing the same passion about his opinion after fifteen minutes, I think to myself, "If I had $5000 right now, I would give it to him to stop screaming because this is the most miserable moment of my entire life. I just want it to be over."
What can I say? Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Saturday, I lost. No sleeveless shirt, no sandals and no satisfaction when he stopped crying in the time it took me to say, "Okay, fine, you win," and skipped into the living room saying, "Max and Ruby."
The boy has got mad skillz sometimes.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Last night, despite the Olympic qualifier of an evening, we had an especially fun time. We went to see an IMAX show about Arabia. It was really interesting. Upon watching the film, I have decided that besides the obvious core differences between being Baptist and being Muslim, I just really couldn't be Muslim because the one trip you have to take to Mecca involves a whole lot of people in each other's space. I'm talking a WHOLE LOT of people in space that was NOT MEANT for that many people. I'm too into my personal space to go to Mecca. Does this make me culturally shallow? I guess I can live with that.
During the film, we sat a few seats down from Mr. Talkstooloud and Mrs. Everythingihavetosayduringthismovieisreallycharmingincludingmyreallyloudandobnoxiouslaugh but we'll call them Bob and Betty for short. Bob and Betty were clearly on a date, and they were really cocky about it. I desperately wanted to shush them. My husband really just wanted me to mind my own business and watch the movie. Since research shows that the loudest sound on Earth is someone making a shushing noise to someone else, I caved and became increasingly more bitter as I tried to concentrate on the windstorms and galloping camels on the screen. It was all I could do to not tell Betty that they were the rudest people on earth as we passed in the ladies restroom. You see, I have this fear, that if I tell someone off, like what I truly think of their behavior in a way that is just nasty (you know like I'm thinking it)...they will decide to visit my church next Sunday. I know, that statement is all kinds of wrong and Jesus would never snear something ugly at a woman on a date in the bathroom at IMAX, but I'm just being honest.
I'll pray about that later.
Afterward we went to eat at our favorite pizza place. I mean favorite because I truly think they put something in their pizza that makes you sit up in the middle of the night and crave it. I only feel this addiction to three things in my life: Coffee, Gold Canyon Candles and this pizza place. If you are planning an intervention for us...don't bother. We happily plan our dates around this pizza place any and every chance we get. At one point in the evening, I told my husband a really lame joke at which he rolled his eyes and told me it was the worst joke ever. Then I laughed at it for fifteen minutes. I could not stop. It was mascara crying funny...to me.
At 9:30 sharp we arrived home to my parents who were sitting in our living room without a thought bubble over their heads. However, IF they were to have had a thought bubble, it would have said something like, "Geez kids these days do NOT know how to party." And its true, we don't. But what I have always loved about my relationship with my husband is our ability to laugh at ourselves. We laughed more last night, than we did in all of 2009 and it was wonderful!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
My child seems to be one of the last of his age group to leave the crib and embark on the big boy bed journey. I have no idea why, but Samuel just never figured out or showed any interest or aptitude in the art of the crib escape. For this I am truly thankful, Amen.
At any rate, I realized that if we ever wanted to take a vacation with him, he would have to be able to lay down without being contained or restrained (haha just kidding) and go to sleep out of discipline and not for lack of a better option. Enter toddler bed, stage right.
I have to say that as far as this scary milestone goes, my fears were as follows:
What if he won't lay in the bed?
What if he gets up and trips over his toys?
What if I am up all night for the rest of my life, walking him back to his room?
What if he gets up in the middle of the night, comes out of his room, drags a chair over to the kitchen counter, pulls all the knives out of the butcher block and starts juggling?
Or my biggest fear: What if I wake up in the middle of the night and there is a toddler standing quietly beside my bed just staring at me like some horror movie and I scream? Or I think its really creepy. Then I feel bad for thinking my child is creepy so I try to buy his forgiveness for the rest of his life and he rebels and goes to Hollywood to be a comedian where he will surely do entire sets about his mother?
You know, basic, run-of-the-mill, normal motherly fears.
Well, I can say that four days into a toddler bed, none of these things have happened. In fact, nothing much of anything happened. Sure, he quickly realized he could come out of his room anytime he wanted to and has a few times being quick to come up with a really important reason such as "More Drinking?" "Max and Ruby?" or my personal favorite "I love you mommy." I have been extremely diligent to walk him back to his room, saying "It's night night time. Get in your big boy bed." Last night, he made it the entire night and didn't come out of his room until 6:45AM this morning. I am grateful that this went so smoothly although the idea that this little boy can no longer be contained is still hard to accept. As Andy says, "This is a game changer."
Here's to a smooth game changer!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tonight, we were racing cars and his truck accidentally knocked another car off his train table. Then I hear, "Oh No, Abbaleesia." You see, when Andy was teaching him the names of the cars, I told him I couldn't tell the cars by just looking at them. He told me that I could cheat and look on the bottom to see what the car was and call it by name. So I did this, with the car I had in my hand. All it said was, Made in Malaysia. So much to my husband's annoyance, I named the car, "Malaysia." Then I got Sam to start calling it this...but it comes out, "Abbaleesia." I can't stand it people, it's just too cute to have a two year old yell, "OH NO! Abbaleesia." And after all, cute is what lets them get to three, then four...
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Discipline. Consistency. Tired, working parent. Genius two year old. This kid is good. He gets it. I think when he runs away from me while I'm trying to get him into the car screaming, "Jesus is Alive," he knows how conflicted I am. Yes indeed, Samuel, Jesus is alive. It's wonderful. Jesus wants you to get in the car...he told me. So did Santa and the Kit Kat fairy.
Of course, you have to give props to the, "I'm not ready to go to bed" Oscar winning performance. How do they cry crocodile tears so big? My favorite these days is a response to the phrase, "Samuel, you are driving me crazy." He immediately stops whatever he is doing, smiles up at me and says, "Okay Mama...I love you. I'm coming."
I have to admit...I wish I could manipulate people like that.
Most of all, I have to admit, I finally get what my mother was trying to communicate when she would say, "Rachel, I could pinch your head off right now." Yes indeed mom.
To that two year old genius at life I say, I love you, I discipline you because I love you...and one day I pray you are blessed with a pair of big blue eyes of your own who will put you to the test.
And, PS, stop screaming, "The Bible tells me so," when I'm trying to get the Sharpie away from you. The Bible doesn't even mention open-capped markers.
Monday, March 8, 2010
I have to be honest with you that Sam wasn't sure what to think of Nanny Cooke when she arrived (by the way, Sam calls her Nanny Coot). That first night when I took Sam over to see her at Nina and Papa's house, I held out my hand to help Nanny sit down and was quickly stopped by a green eyed little boy named Sam who yelled, "My mama" and tried to push Nanny Coot away. I was more than a little mortified. I'm a first time mom, of course my mind raced with the life of crime destined for a little boy who started pushing 84 year old women down when he was two. But of course, the other side of the mom in you swells with emotions that this little boy who is usually too busy to sit in your lap, got jealous over his mommy. Mommyhood seems to be filled with those conflicting "that's so wrong, but its so cute" moments.
After one hour and one Kit Kat offered as a peace offering by Nanny Coot, Sam was won over. Now we go visit her several times a week and Sam can always be expected to say, "I love you Nanny Coot. (pause, wait for it) Kit Kat?" Kids are smart. Of course, Nanny Coot is happy to oblige if she can get a hug in return. Everyone has a price.
We are so happy to have Nanny Coot in our lives and so close in proximity! Sam and I look forward to many more Kit Kats with her. We love you Nanny Coot!...Kit Kat?
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
All of these are true. All of these bring me a sense of relief and comfort. All of these bring me one more reason to be excited about heaven. I'm sure all of us have felt this way when we bury a grandparent. We have these conflicting feelings of great loss and a "shrug our shoulders" this is the natural cycle of life mentality.
No thoughts change the fact that I buried my Granddaddy, a man who was always bigger than life to me. A fascinating character (and I do mean character) who served his family, his country and his God (not necessarily in that order) until the very end. I thought he was invincible. I thought nothing could get the best of him. I thought I would have him forever. In a way, I'm still a naive little girl.
Last Sunday, he took his last breath. It was an 8 month struggle with Esophogeal Cancer. God granted His mercy. He did not really suffer long before he was called home. This act of God was an answer to a prayer, a plead from our family. God granted our prayer. I am grateful and empty all at the same time. God is understanding. I believe God understands how I miss him. How the thought of not hearing his deep, boisterous, voice on the telephone will hit me little by little over time. He understands that it makes me sad to know we won't have verbal sparring matches when I come to visit. He understands my broken heart that there will be no more visits...not on Earth at least.
I'm not sure that I will ever be able to properly convey how much this man meant to me, so I will simply leave you with a short biography on the life of a great man.
Hal Cooke was born on February 1, 1925 in Boone, North Carolina. He was a Veteran of World War II and Korea. In Korea he flew over 120 combat missions and was decorated accordingly. He was a pilot with Eastern Airlines for over 30 years. He married Polly Godfrey - a very wise decision - and they were three months shy of their 65th wedding anniversary when he passed away last week. He raised three great kids and has a host of grandkids and great grandkids. He was an adventurer. He was intelligent. He was interesting. He had an incredible sense of humor. Most of all, he faced his battle with cancer like a soldier. He never complained. He never cursed God. He died like a true hero.
He was a believer of Jesus Christ and he has now met God. If you remember nothing else, remember this. There is no hopelessness in death when we believe in Christ. I am sad, but not without hope. His journey started and ended before mine...we'll catch up one day. That gives me blessed assurance.