Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Non-Date

Tonight, -  instead of cooking, instead of doing more laundry, instead of staying home - I took my family out on a date.

When they arrived home from school, I hopped in the car. "Hey guys, wanna go on a date?', I asked excitedly.

Z's eyes glowed with surprise and astonishment. "Yeah, let's go!"

We stopped for dinner (a rare treat these days) and discussed my interview, Z's school day and the fact that the Hubs got to take the day off paid.

After dinner, we headed over to the cheap movie theater to see Rango (very cute, by the way). Z does so well at the movies, I am really not sure why we don't do it more often. 

As we left the theater, I asked Z what she thought of our date and she began to cry. "Momma, this was not  a date. A real date has music and dancing." 

By the time that we got to the car it was a full blown tantrum, she was so disappointed by our non-date that she cried the entire way home.

I guess next time, I will have to figure out how to take her out dancing on a Tuesday night.

Or maybe we will just stay home.

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Monday, May 30, 2011


This is the week.

The week that this job ends and everything will change. Even if I maintain a job within the company -  this week, I will drive my last commute to the office, I will have my last out of the house lunch hour. Even if I stay, everything will change.

Change has always had a way of freaking me out a bit, setting me off-kilter, making me feel just the slightest on edge.

I have made a conscious decision to do something a bit different this time around.

Instead of focusing on the negative, I am looking only at the positive - the great.

On Saturday, I played to win a year's worth of free gas. I did not win, but it got my family out of the house, we had some fun, won some t-shirts and free samples of gum and new sodas. We ate boiled peanuts in the hot, hot sun, splashed in the kiddie pool that was filled with ice water, played hide and seek behind the trees at the edge of the building. It was unstructured, unscheduled and great.

In my Sunday school class of 2 and 3 year olds, I went off of the scripted lesson plan and while we did review the first chapter of Genesis, discussing all of the awesome things that God created - instead of cutting out pre-made paper dolls of Adam and Eve - I asked my kids to draw their favorite thing that God ever made. Most of the kids had the same idea (my mommy!) and the majority of the drawings were little more than abstract scribble - a few of these tiny kids really opened my eyes - colors, wind, my big brother, my baby sister, my daddy (with rainbow hair and purple eyes!). Hanging out with a group of eleven 2 and 3 year olds will help you to change your perspective on a lot of things.

After church, the Scare Bear decided that she and I should take the kids out fishing. In her world, we don't need fishing licenses because (duh!) we're girls. It was a bit emotional at first (when Z was born, my father claimed that the reason that God had allowed him to live to meet her is because he needed to teach her to fish - he died when she was 8 weeks old) but I had forgotten how fun, relaxing and calming fishing could be. Even though we didn't catch anything, Z and Blade were excited about every piece of bread they threw over the rail, every lizard, butterfly, frog or minnow that they saw. It was a good day.

Finally, today, the Hubs, Z, Blade and I went to the local swimming hole. We splashed, we played in the sun, we rode on the river boat tour. We barbecued, we talked and laughed and celebrated the beginning of summer - and it felt SO good. Good to be able to let go of all of the stress, the worry, the fear and just splash and play and run with the kids. I snapped pictures, explained the things that caught their eyes and laughed at the insanely funny things that came out of their mouths.

At the end of the day as I talked to the drowsy children that were draped across my couch, I asked them the what the greatest things about the day were. Their lists were identical and are ranked in order:

  1. Swimming in the swimming hole.
  2. Riding on the river boat
  3. Seeing a real live alligator
  4. Lunch
(I did miss my community group today because the Hubs got called into work, even though he was scheduled off, and, while I do feel bad about missing it - I really needed to rest after chasing after a 3 and 6 year old all afternoon.)

Their wants, their desires, even their needs are so much simpler and so much greater than our own all at the same time. 

My plan is to restructure my life to be able to more greatly appreciate the small successes, the small greatnesses that happen everyday - to really focus on the little things. 

And when the big things come my way - it won't be "finally", it will be "WOW!"

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Sunday, May 29, 2011


Not too long ago, the Hubs quit his job and for the better part of a year took to our couch and hung out. Dishes were still unwashed, laundry was still undone, and the bills were still unpaid. While I worked two jobs Monday - Saturday from 7 AM until 9 PM each day, he watched a lot of TV, played a lot of video games and hung out with his other friends that had no jobs.

I tried to be patient, to hold my tongue, to not let him know how upset by his actions I was - and while I  was busy trying to hold it all together, no one else was mentioning it either. In fact, we barely heard from family members that live less than 20 minutes from us. No phone calls, no random visits, nothing.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I have received several phone calls and e-mails from certain members of our extended family wanting to know what I was going to do, how I was going to fix this problem for our family. Should I mention a desire of wanting to just take a few months to just hang out with my daughter, or be a stay at home mom, I am met with with silent judgement before the next statement comes spilling through the phone, "You need to work, your family is in no position to have you not working, you need to find a job."

How is it that the same person that they raised, is not only allowed, but encouraged to not work - and yet, if I mention a threat to my position in life, I am met with criticism, cynicism, and judgement - as though I have somehow earned this problem?

Honestly, right now, I need people to have faith and trust in me. I need them to know that I can handle this problem the same way that I have always handled issues that have cropped up in our life. I need everyone to back off and let me be the adult that I have been raised to be. It's all that I know how to be.

Please, if you cannot do that, please just leave me (and my family) alone for a bit so that I can do it - because negativity, judgments, criticism have no place in my process.

The end.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Friday 5

Here are the 5 things that I am most grateful for on this particular Friday.

1. That it's Friday. I can't tell you how thankful I am for that.
2. Blogger is working for me again, FINALLY
3. That my kid is the funniest person I know and she works hard to make me laugh. For instance:

4. That I am one of the finalists to win FREE gas for a YEAR! What what!
5. That you are not going to stop reading my blog because I just said "what, what!" (or at least I hope not, I am usually very careful to not go around throwing out interjections, but due to the excitement of a 3 day weekend - I felt it might be appropriate).

At any rate, have a very safe and happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I am gonna win some free gas (have I ever mentioned my wish to be able to run my car solely on the gassiness of the Hubs and Z? I think that would be awesome!)
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


We have had some rough mornings around the ol' homestead as of late.

Which is to say that my not sleeping combined with Z's complete resistance to bedtime (her recent bedtime ritual involves 15 minutes of throwing herself on the floor and screaming, 15 minutes of storytime, prayers and snuggles and then another 90 minutes of pulling all of the sheets off of her bed, screaming at the top of her lungs, bargaining, crying, throwing herself on the floor some more, pulling all of the shoes and clothes out of the closet and hurling them out the door until collapsing in the middle of her bedroom floor), have led to extremely tough mornings of yelling, threats and time-outs.

Monday, as I was ignoring the tears, the yelling and even the punches to my lower back and attempting to ready myself for the work day, she yells out (in a Kate Gosselin on a hay ride kind of way) - "HELLLLLLOOOOO, I am talking behind your back here."

I turn, slightly amused and interested in this statement. "What?"

"I am back talking you right now."

I stifled my laughter into a smile and responded, "And is back talking a good thing or a bad thing?"

She looked back at me exasperated and let out a long dramatic sigh, "Fine, I will take myself to my room. I am sorry that I back talked you momma."

And that's some pretty funny stuff to me right there.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bobble Heads


She looks at me, astonished by her sudden observation. "Momma!"

"Yeah, babe", I answer only slightly engaged as I reach under the couch to find her other shoe.

Her excitement is bubbling over now as she begins to speak too fast for the words to actually form coming out of her mouth. I giggle and slow her down, "What is it?"

"Momma, we both have GIANT heads! Isn't that great momma? We match! I bet it's because we are so smart and SOOOOO pretty"

I stifle my laugh and nod as the Hubs enters the room.

"Daddy, I am sorry, but you cannot be great like me and my momma - your head is too small. Did someone squish it when you were a baby?"

The laughter is pouring out of me now as I lay down on the floor. That child. That sweet, honest, strange child. She is all mine.

Big head and all.

Photo courtesy of JCZ Photography.
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Monday, May 23, 2011


I took a few days off from writing on the ol' bloggity blog. I needed to recharge my batteries.

I wish I could say that it worked

On Friday, I learned that 2 of the 3 jobs that I have applied for have been offered to other applicants. I knew it was dicey. I knew there was a very slim chance that I would be selected to stay with the company. I have expected to be told that I was not what they were looking for. 

But expecting and reality are two different things. To be told that you are not good enough, that you are not what they were looking for - well, it stings. It feels a lot like a break up. And, as much as you want to be vindictive and awful, it's just not the right thing to do. 

I am sitting in my office, facing a world of change that I am uncertain of how to navigate. And I am scared. 

On Saturday, the Scare Bear and I packed up our kids and headed out for a day of exploring and adventure. In that time, in that moment, I relished in the fact that my (unfurry) legs were catching some sun in shorts, that my weary bones were traveling through trails, that the biggest concerns were the slippery stairs going into the caverns and the mosquitoes that were intent on carrying off Z to feed upon. 

And since I wore the right shoes and brought bug repellent - they were barely concerns at all.

We talked, laughed, and trudged ahead following the squealing sprinters as they made the way through the woods and the caves. It was a good day. 

But, as it has in the past, the weight of my reality began to weigh me down again as we made our way back home. I was sore, I was tired, I needed to shut down.

A momma never really can.

Z, fresh off a nap, was excited and raring to go when we arrived home. She talked incessantly, demonstrating over and over how she can climb and navigate the back of the couch, the precarious bridge that she made with chairs and the coffee table. 

I begged, I pleaded, but it was no use, the girl would not go to bed.

And the momma, so disconnected from everything (out of necessity), slumped down onto the couch, grabbed a book and tried to ignore the yelling, the crashing, the whining, in order to obtain a small sense of sanity. 

I wish it worked that way. I need it to work that way. 

I need to not feel like crying. I need to not feel like a reject. I need to not have mysterious stress induced eczema cropping all over my face. I need to find me again, not just momma, but ME.

I am sorry for the melancholy. I am sorry for being the "Debbie Downer". I have ideas for the future, I have some greatness coming my way, but right now, today, I need to heal.

And I won't apologize for that.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Being a Girl

Z is such a girl.

Not about the bugs she slaps and kills with an open hand.

Or the thousands of pounds of sand that she carries into my home on a daily basis.

Or her love affair with sticks, leaves, and "special rocks".

She loves makeup, perfume, hairbows and dresses. Ruffles and sparkly shoes, anything pink, purple or glittering catches her eye and makes her practically swoon with lust. "I want it, momma. I NEED it", she pleads as I lead her from the aisle and on to the next "treasure".

Her grandmother, whose only child is the Hubs, adores buying her fancy dresses - the kind of dresses that rich girls wear to tea. And they are lovely with their delicate lace trim, embroidered flowers, sashes and bows - a bit too proper for everyday use, they are reserved for special occasions, or dress up time with the dolls.

Scare Bear, also the mother of a boy, brings her cute everyday dresses. She delights in the idea that she now has a girl that she can dress.

And Z thrives in it, twirling and dancing.

Right now, I am happy that she is girl. Even in diva mode, it is controllable, but I am cringing at the reality that in the not too distant future, she will be a teenager. A girl teenager, with raging hormones and a mind blinded by boys and drama and the taunts of the girls that are jealous of her.

I will be left to explain bodily functions to her that I only slightly grasp now. And that gossip is a sin, even when it seems fun. And that pimples and glasses and uncool clothes are all part of what every teenager goes through. And she will be mortified, she will be embarrassed, she will think that her life is over.

And there will be a boy whose attention she never gets. A boy that she will long for every single day as he dates girls that she thinks are better than her or prettier than her. And she will feel her heart breaking and it will hurt.

And that part of being a girl really, really sucks.

These experiences will make her grow. They will mature her, smooth out some of the rough edges, focus her on the important things in life. She will grow into a strong, assertive, confident young woman.

And as hard as it will be to watch it all go down, I will be right there, guiding her, screaming at her, and locking her in her room until she is 30 - because it is just too damn important and I can't handle the pressure anymore.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I don't know what it is.

The bear (I saw him the other night, I am now officially terrified).

Wouldn't you be?
The job.
Why does this feel like yesterday and so long ago at the same time? She couldn't even walk yet. 
The list of bazillion things that I need to do in the next 2 weeks.
There is more. So much more. I just didn't want to write it all down.

The fact that I haven't seen the Scare Bear or JoDene in what feels like ages.

The word "poop" (and all it's derivatives) seem to have taken the place of many other words in my child's vocabulary.

Quite honestly - the only picture of poop that did not make me gag. 
The fact that the procedure that was supposed to be my panacea, did not work, and, in fact, may have made it worse.

Whatever it is, I feel like it is just too much.

And all I can hear or think anymore is like static.

Do TVs even do this anymore? I know mine goes to a blue screen.
I am going to try to recharge myself a bit. Maybe shave my legs or paint my toenails.

I am running on empty and so on edge, that I am starting to scare myself.

Please do not be offended if you encounter me in real life, I am not trying to be mean or sarcastic, I am just trying to find my center.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The 90th Percentile

As I have discussed before, Z was in the 90th percentile for height and weight from birth.

She has maintained that ranking throughout her life.

In her school, she stands out as being in the top of her class. She knows her letters, her numbers, and can identify them. She understands the correlation between numbers and counting objects. She recognizes all of the shapes and colors. She can spin elaborate stories and articulate the scariness, the surprise or sadness in the stories that she weaves.

At her 3 year well child appointment, the doctor commented that she has the verbal and cognitive skills of a 6 year old and the impulse control of a 3 year old. According to the milestone guidelines put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics, she is surpassing a lot of the milestones that teachers and parents should watch for in their kindergartners.

I am not bragging, I'm just telling you about my kid.

I was a highly imaginative child and was always in the 90th percentile myself. In kindergarten and first grade, it was cool and fun to be taller than the boys, awesome to answer a question first or to be the star student.

But somewhere in my life, it wasn't cool or fun to be smart or tall. It wasn't good to be different, to stick out from the crowd. I hid my glasses, I sat in the back of classes so people wouldn't think that I was the smart girl (although without glasses and sitting as far from the board as I could get, I couldn't see anything!). I wanted so desperately to be "normal", to be "cool" that I often walked with knees slightly bent, shoulders slightly curled in to give the appearance of being smaller than I was.

I remember hiding my standardized test scores from classmates, claiming that I had scored equal to them when in reality I was in the top 10% in the state. I lied about my score on the SAT by 400 points because the boy I like had scored that much lower than I had (and he was the valedictorian of my class).

Somewhere along the way, the 90th percentile wasn't good enough.

Why do we allow culture, peer pressure, ideas of normalcy influence us to not feel good about our accomplishments?

It breaks my heart that my funny, charming, endearing, gigantic girl will one day try to hide her light, her intelligence, her beauty, her personality because of societal pressures. My one and only hope is that I am raising her to exude self-confidence, to know that she rocks, that it's great to be smart and charismatic, that it's awesome to share her faith in a dark world, and to lead the sisterhood of girls that will invariably follow her to not accept normal.

Because normal is so much less than what she is.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Life of a Doll

For my 8th Christmas, my aunt made Cabbage Patch dolls for my sister, brother and I. Each of them had our middle names as their names and they all had hair and eyes that matched our own.

That was at the same time that my love affair with Little House on the Prairie grew to a full blown obsession. 

I loved my doll. Her ruffled bloomers, her little white dress with tiny purple lilacs scattered about and deep purple ribbons on the bodice and sleeves. Of all of the dolls that we received, mine had the longest hair and I would spend hours styling it with braids, twists, pony and pig tails. I adored her and created a bed for her with a cardboard box, pillow and baby blanket.

She may very well have been my first and only doll, as I don't really recall having other dolls throughout my childhood. She was mine and I loved her, doted on her, read to her, at a time that other children may have already put away their dolls and moved on to other toys. 

And then everyone in Walnut Grove went and got Scarlet Fever.

My doll took to her bed for days. I kept cool compresses on her forehead day and night. I worried over her, singing little made up songs about what we would do when she got well until one morning, I woke up early -panicked. I walked quietly to the living room where I had quarantined her sick bed to so that she would not infect my brother and sister's dolls. She was dead. 

I packed her up into the box, dug a hole for her in our backyard and buried her.

That was the last doll I ever had (again, it was probably the only one).

Now that I have Z, I feel as though we have come full circle. She has a new little girl doll. She has never had a doll that wasn't a baby and she totes this doll around like it is her new best friend. When I asked her if she loved the doll, she whispered, "I love her, I really do, I think I will name her Heather". 

Heather accompanies us everywhere. The ride to school, the ballet, lunch. Wherever we go, Heather is there. 

I have made her a bed from a cardboard box - a bit more sophisticated than my earlier attempt, I admit. And she sleeps in my girl's room each and every night.

As long as we stay away from Walnut Grove - I think she will be alright. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Her Words

Z  amazes me everyday with her storytelling abilities and the manner that she can articulate them. With that I bring you a new feature: Storytime Saturday!

This week's story was prompted by the following discussion:

"Z, you should not wear other kids' hats or use their blankets."

"Why, momma?"

"Because if you ever get lice, I will shave your head."

And this is the story:

"If you shave my head, I will shave your nose and your eyes and your ears and your lips. And the bugs will move into your eyeballs and they will hatch eggs and then you will have worms everywhere. It will be disgusting and scary and I won't be able to love you anymore. Because you are the mean mommy that shaved my head. And I don't like that."

I don't know where she gets these ideas, but apparently her imagination is just as scary as my own.

It's gonna be a long, scary ride.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, Friday

My child knows the words to the Rebecca Black hit "Friday". My 3 year old.

And that proves what a bad parent that I am.

The End.

My daughter won me a prize for having the funniest photo during a contest at the church's big mother day event.

Further proof.
She told her grandmother that I won because I had the most awesome daughter on the planet.

It's true.

Sometimes, I will take a week off from work and clean my entire house top to bottom while the Hubs is at work and Z is at school.

It's amazing when that happens.

A true miracle.

I take cell phone pictures and send them to the Scare Bear as proof.

And then I come home to this.
Why, oh why, is she cradling a wire coat hanger?
My mother-in-law gave me 2 cases of girl products after I had Z in 2007.

Not boxes, cases.

I just ran out. (To be fair, I didn't start back to needing them until 2009.)

Why does it cost SO much for them now? Have we suddenly had a shortage of cotton and thread? Is it because they have decided to add messages to the wrappers? Inspirational things like, "What's your game plan"?

Since I am about to not have a job anymore, I think I will take to sitting shiva for those 5-7 days each month, much like the women of the bible.

Pretty sure the Hubs is not gonna be down for that one.

That's all I've got for the day, I am pretty sure that my 3 year old singing that song has stolen every last one of my brain cells.

Have a great weekend!

Oh, and to the guy that decided to google "daughter eating mom out" and wound up at this post: I am certain that your wife or mother is so very thankful for me today you disgusting pervert.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Living The Dream

When we first moved into our home a little over 4 years ago, I found the bunnies hopping through the front yard charming and cute...

So cute, so deceiving
...until one of our cats chased one into my sewing room and slaughtered it underneath my sewing table. I didn't realize that this had happened until one evening I sat down to sew and laid my foot down on something soft and squishy rather than the power pedal for my sewing machine.

Poor, poor bunny
There are a lot of great things about living in the country.

Farmer Brown next door has 5 acres of land - when we first moved in he had a couple of horses, he traded them for a cow - now he has chickens. Chickens that like to chill out in my back yard and perch by my bedroom window to make sure that I get up in the morning.

The dog breeders that used to live behind us moved out of their 5 acre property and were replaced by a lovely, quiet couple that don't have pets. Every now and again, I may hear them talking on their porch, but other than that, I have never seen them and have never had any issues with them.

The old hippie and his wife that live across the road like their weed and love to play their music loud. It's the music I grew up with and if I am in my house, I cannot hear them.

They are ALWAYS home - I wonder what they are growing in their garden.
Z and I can go on walks and look at flowers in the spring and talk about the birds, bunnies and squirrels.

I will admit that it is kind of pain to have all of your neighbors so spread out, especially if you have an emergency and really need some help - it's a pretty long walk with a kid to find out someone is not even home.

I will also admit that the first time a tick bit me, I flipped out. Big time. I am not one to be afraid of bugs, but the idea of a bug that just latches on and stays there drinking your blood as long as it feels like it kinda freaks me out, especially since if you can't remove it correctly, just the head can survive UNDERNEATH your skin as the body REGENERATES ITSELF. Ummm, freaky.

In the last 24 hours, I have learned a lot about the country that I live in due to the pamphlets and handouts that the Florida Wildlife Commission gave me yesterday morning.

Apparently, I live in BEAR COUNTRY!

In all of the movies I have ever seen, I have never seen Florida touted as bear country. I have never heard of Grizzlie Adams taking to the wilds of Florida (for pete's sake) to live amongst the bears.

According to the pamphlet, as long as the bear is finding a food source they will keep coming back for more food. The challenge here is to take away the bear's food source. The suggestions that the pamphlet gave me were to request a bear proof can from Waste Management. Waste Management said that their contract with our county does not require them to offer the bear proof cans, so that option is not available for my area. They suggested that I contact the Board of Commisioners to ask that the contract be ammended. I have not yet received a response to my rather crazed voicemail to the assistant of the assistant to the Commissioner.

According to the pamphlet, if I encounter a bear, I should NOT play dead (it's a good thing that I read the pamphlet - that was TOTALLY my plan). Instead I should talk soothingly and reassuringly to the bear while walking slowly backwards.

The actual conversation should go like this:

Me: "Oh, hello Mr. Bear. It's okay, I am not going to hurt you, I am your friend. See how I feed you with my upside down trashcan? You are a good bear that would never think to eat me or my family, right?"

Bear: Growl.

Me: "I am glad that we have this understanding Mr. Bear, you see I really like to not be mauled by bears in my front yard and it would kinda ruin my kid's life if you were to hurt me."

Bear: GROWL.

Me: "But Mr. Bear, I have explained to you that I feed you and that my kid needs me to not be hurt, if you will just let me make it back into my house, I am sure I could find you something truly yummy to eat. It will taste much better than I do - do you like brownies? I made some really great brownies - I could whip you up a batch."

During this encounter, I should be sure to not motion with my hands and keep them limp at my sides, should I raise them I could enrage the bear and he would attack. This is a lot to remember. I will probably be mauled by a bear.

I am really not sure that this approach is going to work, but apparently the other alternatives, walking away from the bear and running wildly from the bear are not the way you should handle these matters. Evidently, turning your back on a bear is a huge insult to their self-esteem and they will kill you for it - kinda like deaf people. I know some deaf people that will smack you down for turning your back on them in a heated discussion.

And running from a bear is like engaging them in a twisted game of insult tag (kinda like foreplay). They can run faster than you, hit harder than you and judging by the claw marks in the tree - they WILL win.

I think  I might be coming down with a case of agoraphobia...or at least a case of  "I-am-not-leaving-this-house-until-Noon" when I know that all of the critters will be asleep because it is too hot to do anything else out there with a fur coat on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kevin Costner's Daughter is Eating My Garbage

During one of my recent fits of insomnia, I was surfing the Netflix trying to find something lame or boring to lull me into sleep. I stumbled upon a Kevin Costner movie called the New Daughter. It was in the horror section and I thought, O, the horror, Kevin Costner made another movie. Surely, it wouldn't really be scary it's Kevin Costner for goodness sake.

This is the scariest movie that I have ever seen and it has very little to do with Kevin Costner's acting. The possessed teenager in this movie is so convincingly evil that should I see her ever, ever again, I may have to vanquish her or at least wish that someone would vanquish her as I cower under my bed. That chick is freaky scary.

So so so SCARY!

Of course, I was watching this movie by myself in a very still and quiet house in the woods, which may have added to the horror of it all. By the time the Hubs came home from work, I was perched on the edge of the couch, heart beating faster than I have ever felt it, hands shaking, eyes unblinking, begging the youngest child to GET BACK IN THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW.

The movie ended and as the Hubs and I stumbled our way to bed, my mind could not leave the movie behind. I flopped and turned throughout the night wide wake thinking about what could have been done to change the circumstances for this family.

Needless, to say, I did not sleep AT ALL that night.

Fast forward to this morning. I wake up, go to the porch to check the temperature and see that our garbage can (a huge hulking beast of a can) has been tipped over and the contents have been dragged into the woods surrounding our home.

As I cleaned up the carnage, I realized that the bags were not torn as they had been dragged, it's as if whatever it was actually carried each bag to a specific location and then tore open the bag. That's when I realized - we either have a bear, a panther or Kevin Costner's daughter living in our midst.

A bear or a panther would have left tracks in our sandy driveway, but there were no tracks. That possessed demon girl is sneaking into our yard and eating our garbage!

I am not sure what I should do. A bear or panther could be caught by animal control but evil teenagers are a whole other story. I have read Stumbling Towards Perfect - I know the treacherous depths of their hearts...

Perhaps we should set up some kind of altar for her and leave her offerings so that she will leave our garbage in the can where it belongs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Sleep Perchance to Dream

3:29 AM

3 - friggin' - 29 AM.

Apparently, my body and my brain have conspired against any chance I may have of getting any rest whatsoever. Every single night for the last few months, I have stared at those numbers in bright glaring red on my alarm clock. 3:29 AM.

I have tried everything.

In bed at 10 PM, blissfully laying down after a hard day? 3:29 AM - wide awake.

Falling asleep on the living room couch in front of the TV? 3:29 AM - wide awake, crick in my neck and shivering cold.

Falling asleep while reading Z her bedtime story? 3:29 AM - stumbling down the hall, crick in my neck, shivering cold and angry that the Hubs is either not home yet or decided not to take me into bed.

Stumbling into bed at 1 AM because of a good movie or book - 3:29 AM trying to figure out the deeper meanings to the movie or book.

It's not just waking up at 3:29 AM - it is being so wide awake at such an awful time of the morning. Staring at the clock as the minutes that seem like hours blink back at you without reprieve. Mind swirling with what-ifs and have tos. Body aching with desire for more sleep or itching with boredom to get up and do more laundry, run to the grocery store, wash the dishes, clean the playroom, setup new website and on and on and on.

Some nights (or mornings) I am able to lay there long enough listening to the Hubs snoring and the ticking of the clock that I can actually fall asleep - right before my alarm begins to blast that it is time to start yet another day. Other nights seem to drag on forever and I can accomplish so much before having to wake the Hubs and child for the day.

The refrigerator has never been so clean, the laundry has never been so done, the kitchen floor could double as a dining area - but by Noon all of that strength, all of that awakeness is sapped out of my being and I am left limp, useless and exhausted.

I am at a loss for explanation of why my body has chosen such a random time to set as it's alarm. I would just like to sleep again, maybe have a few dreams, and wake up refreshed, ready to begin my day instead of growling at the alarm clock.

Any ideas, tips or pointers?

Monday, May 9, 2011

What If?

I am in a new position in this new world. For the first time in my life, I am at a clear crossroad that instead of working for "da man", I could work for the good of all mankind. And it's kind of exciting, exhilarating and bigger than me scary all at once.

Of course, being me, I have a whole list of what ifs circling around my brain so I am going to share them with all of you in the hope that I get some clarification on my thought process.

What if I could use this time to volunteer, to really help people, to take to the streets of my hometown and bring light into even the darkest areas?

What if I could blog about it in a secondary blog? A blog that would offer advertising space and paid reviews?

What if I could raise enough money to support my family while actually being able to serve my fellow citizens?

What if I could snowball this into a movement? A movement of moms working to make this world a better place for their children and the children throughout their cities?

What if one mom could inspire others to greatness, to humility, to self-sacrificing works of good?

What if one mom could change the world?

What if I could be that mom?

This is what I am thinking, ladies. It is big, it is so much more than I may have ever thought possible, but what if? 

Please share your thoughts and ideas on this - I would love to know what you think (and if you think I have gone stark raving MAD).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nothing less...

I can't wait for Father's Day, 'cause, man, the Hubs is gonna get it.

First, I will make sure that he has to wake up super early to do something very mundane - like, I don't know, fix the water heater.

Next, I will make sure we take two cars to church so that on the way to lunch I will have a chance to swing by a drugstore and pick one of the last remaining Father's Day cards. Of course, I will sign it while driving so it will be largely illegible - but I know he will love it. I will stop at the nearest gas station and find him something completely irrelevant to our life. A can of baby formula or a Scorpio key chain - something that has nothing to do with the life we lead. And of course, it will cost no more than $5 because, well, just because.

Then, I will insist that we go to a lunch at one of the priciest (and busiest) restaurants in town and then forget my debit card so that he will be forced to pay for my feast. While at lunch, I will make sure that Z has lots of sugared up drinks to make sure that she is ultra-jumpy

As a surprise, I will give him tickets to something that he is not really that interested in. Something like a tractor pull or drag racing. For that afternoon, because who plans these kinds of things really? Who cares that he is wearing nice church clothes? All the better. No one will judge.

Of course, I will only give him two tickets so that he will have to sit in a dark and precarious place while Z throws tantrums and attempts (several times) to hurl herself down the balcony stairs and he will have no back up. She will subsequently scream as he tries to wrestle her back into a seat before collapsing into a sugar-induced un-wakeable coma so that he will have to walk through the blazingly hot summer parking lot carrying all 45 pounds of her dead weight.

Finally, when he thinks that he may be able to relax when he gets home, I will make sure that I am at a friends house for the afternoon. One of those friends that lives deep in the country where there is no cell phone signal. Just to give the two of them some quality time on his special day.

It's because I love him SO much. He makes me feel SO special and SO wonderful, that I would give him nothing, NOTHING less than what he deserves.

What I Want...

What I want for Mother's Day is simple.

It's easy as can be. 

I want my husband to lift things up when in search for a shoe or a brush. 

Watching him pace around, can really be too much.

I know that all he's trying to do is get me to find it.

But at 7:30 in the morning, it makes his approval ratings plummet.

I would love to have the girl know how to brush her hair

Instead of me having to chase her down in just her underwear

I would love to have the car cleaned out as there is a sippy cup in the backseat

That has gone rotten and the contents smell like feet.

I would like for the Hubs to put away the towels 

Instead of leaving the basket on the floor where I stub my toe and howl.

That's all I want for Mother's Day, I have set the standards low

and I hope through all of my complaining, each one of you will know...

That I love you


I cherish being a mom and wife to both of you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thank You

I want to let you know how very appreciated you are.

When I was nervous that this was not the right outlet for my feelings, you were there encouraging me.

When I wondered who would ever be interested in anything that I have to say, you were there reading, praying and commenting, letting me know that you were not just interested - but invested in what I have to say.

When I was anxious that the sky would fall down over me, you were there assuring me that life experiences do not kill us.

When I fretted over yelling at  and punishing my daughter, you were there giggling at me and making me feel better.

And now, when I am worried and afraid, when the rug has been pulled out from underneath me, you, dear readers, have shown me the kindness of strangers and the power of the blogosphere.

I am still working out the details of what my next step will be. I promise that I will keep you posted on my plan, once I get it all sorted it in my own mind. Just rest assured that you will be included, the blog will continue and that I appreciate every one of you more than you could ever know.

Happy Mother's Day and Thank You!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Difference of a Day

When I posted yesterday, my main worry in life was how I would find time to do clean my house, socialize and spend time with my girl.

And an hour later, one of my unknown fears identified itself.

My priorities have shifted. I am numb and still reeling from this news. I am searching to find God's plan in all of this. I am trying to figure out me in all of this.

And I am struggling against my desire to eat all of the brownies that I made last night.

I want to scream.

I want to yell.

I want to say all kinds of bad things about my company.

But that's not me.

Instead, I will persevere, I will pray, I will ask you all for prayers and I will probably cry some more.

I have a month (two, really) before the money runs out and we are living on the street. I have some time.

And today. Today it's a new dawn, a new day and I am gonna make a new life for me...

...and probably eat the last of the brownies (sorry, Momedy ladies, they were REALLY good).

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Sorry, but there will be no Thursday Blog Hops anymore. It wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be and, honestly, the people that were hopping over were just trying to increase their stats and didn't really seem all that interested in reading the content that I have posted. 

Now that that part is over, I thought I would instead explain my stance as a working momma who has little to no time to socialize.

I get invitations to do things with and without my child, I get asked to join groups, play dates, this thing or that thing - but I turn them all down.

GASP - What? Why? Don't you need the interaction with adults? Don't you want your child to be socialized with other children? Why on Earth would you not want to hang out with other fabulous women and do fun things?

I have several reasons but rather than list all of them out for you, I am going to reveal my simple truth.

I am grounded.

I am grounded until my house and yard gets clean.

I am grounded until the laundry is completely done and put away (because no matter how many times the Hubs tells me that he has done laundry - if it is just sitting in the dryer or in a basket on the floor - it is NOT done).

I am grounded until every last dish (even the ones littering the bedside table or hiding behind the couch) are clean (and, again, put away because sitting in the dishwasher is NOT done).

I am grounded until the pole saw that has been perched precariously on my porch for OVER a year is either taken to the dump or used and put away (are we seeing a theme here?)

I am grounded until the shards of broken toys that litter our driveway are picked up and thrown into a trash can (since some little princess is intent on flattening all of our tires).

I am grounded until the grape vines that are taking over the west end of our house are chopped down and off.

I am grounded until the cardboard boxes that were taken out to the burn pile in the fall are finally burned.

I am grounded until every toy in our house finds their respective home (and at this point, I am seriously considering Goodwill as a great new home for all of them).

I am grounded until every last stitch of 3T and 4T clothing in our house finds itself a new home.

I work full-time. After leaving work, I make a mad dash for home where I cook a nutritious and delicious dinner that only I eat (because a certain 3 year old has already gotten some snacks from the fridge and a certain 31 year old has also had some snacks and is about to leave for work).

Z and I will play together for a while and before I know it is 10 PM and it's time for her to go to bed.

I get a very small window of time to hang out with my girl each day. On weekends (the only time that I am really able to clean), I am so busy trying to fit everything in - church, friends, activities, projects, 3 meals each day - that I am exhausted by the time Monday rolls around.

You women, with your play groups and clubs - where do you find the time? Where do you fit in going to the gym, running marathons, taking exquisite (professional style) photos of your perfect children, being involved in community and charity groups, having your kid enrolled in every extracurricular dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, tee-ball, karate thing that comes up?

Please tell me your secrets.

Because it looks like I am going to be grounded forever.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Explaining The News

As Z was getting ready for school on Monday morning, I turned on the news as we do nearly everyday.

"Osama Bin Laden is dead..."

If I told you that this news did not give me goosebumps or a sense of relief, I would be lying. I think for every American, no matter gender, political affiliation or financial status, this news brought some kind of closure to that fateful day nearly 10 years ago.

For that reason, I am grateful to the soldiers that serve our country, however, when my child looked up at the screen, she did not see the sovereignty that one normally sees when someone has died. Instead she was greeted with the confusing images of college students chanting, "USA, USA", met with a cavalcade of reporters smiling as they reported the actions of the Navy SEALS.

While I understand the jubilation, I do wonder how this barrage of confusing media and the knowledge that the White House is allegedly considering releasing the picture of a dead Osama to the public, will affect my child and the children of this nation.

To explain to her that this was a very bad man, that did very bad things to thousands of people does not seem as though it would be enough to justify the killing and raucous celebration that has ensued. To tell her about the images that are burned forever into my soul and psyche because of the leadership of this one man does not feel as though it gives any justice to what she is now seeing on a daily basis.

The death of this one man (no matter how many trillions of dollars it has cost this country), does not make me feel any safer than I did on Saturday. It does not change what happened to this country on that day, it does not bring back the thousands of lives lost (on our soil or theirs) and it does not right our current economic situation.

He was an evil man, but he was one man among thousands of evil men in this world. To trivialize the worldwide importance of his death with raucous partying and inane celebration, makes us a larger target to his supporters.

And to a mom, trying to explain to her 3 year old why him dying is a good thing but Grandpa dying was a bad thing, the seriousness of this threat and this circumstance cannot be taken too lightly.

I know that I am raising some controversial topics here, but I would love to hear your opinions.

How do I teach my child that revenge is wrong, when the news media seems so intent on making it look justified?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All the Details

I have left you guys out of so much of what has been going on in my life lately. I elude to it and then jump to a new topic and leave you, my faithful readers, hanging in the dust. 

Research Would Have Been Helpful

My procedure on last Thursday was for a nerve block in my abdomen to try to alleviate some of the pain and occurrences of pancreatitis that I have been experiencing for the last 3 years. While no one really seems to be able to pinpoint why I have this disease - they all agree that something must be done to alleviate the pain.

I know that it is naive and kind of dumb to blindly follow a doctor's urgings, but I was so desperate for relief that I didn't really do any research into what they would actually be DOING on Thursday. I had googled nerve block a few times but everything I found was about back pain and since that is not me, I didn't really read into it.

I really just thought that this would be like getting a few shots. No big deal. They underestimated my pain threshold when they told me to take the day off from work, that's all.

Scare Bear (my responsible adult) picked me up at 6:30 that morning (it was still dark!) and drove me over to the Pain Institute.We arrived before the facility had even opened so as we waited we talked about skin disorders, husbands, tornadoes, and children. Finally, my name was called and I left the Scare Bear on the swanky leather couch in the waiting room.

My nurse, "Linda" took me back did the weight, height, blood pressure thing and then led me to the procedure room. She left for a few seconds to retrieve her "tool box". Imagine my surprise when she re-entered the room and it really was a tool box! She unloaded about 12 vials of medication, along with several syringes and a set of 10 of the longest needles that I had ever seen.

She left the room again and I sat down on the table, trying to not focus on the thickness and length of the needles that lay before me. In my mind's eye, they seemed to be growing longer and thicker as time progressed. I looked at the clock on the wall and realized that although the sky was pitch black, it was really 7:55 at this point.

The lights began to flicker as the thunder and lightening outside started. Linda and the doctor came in and quickly closed the blinds. "Let's get started."

I laid back onto the bed as Linda placed the pillow behind my head. The doctor began to identify the places in my abdomen that he would place the injections. That's when I realized that this was going to be more than just a few shots - skeletal, nervous, muscular, fat, skin - they were going to have to pass through all of my layers to get to the nerves!

He had Linda "freeze" my skin while he talked idly about the storm raising up outside, rain on the south side of town.

"Tell me what kind of pain you have - sharp, crampy, aching, stabbing, etc"

In went the first injection.

I grasped Linda's hand and moaned. "Sharp, sharp, cramp, cramp, CRAMP..." Linda told me to breathe and patted my hand.

"Damn it, Linda." The doctor said. "You are not a life coach, freeze her skin or she is really going to start screaming." She giggled nervously and blasted my skin again.

There were 20 more injections - 3 in each of the 7 injection sites.

When they finished, I lay sobbing on the table, ice pack held over my abdomen, sobbing like a college girl that had just had sex for all the wrong reasons.

And then the lights went out, snapped back on. Linda came in and retrieved me.

The phones and computers were down so they could not make my follow-up appointment, but that was okay - I just wanted out of there. I walked down the hallway, opened the door at the end and walked straight into a darkened linen closet. Damn.

I walked around the corner, made it to the exit door and retrieved the Scare Bear and walked out into a Thursday morning that looked like Armageddon.

"The Hubs called. He wanted to know if I had you."

Apparently, the Hubs forgot that I had an appointment that day, forgot that I would be gone when he woke up and forgot that he would have to ready Z and take her to school.

My skin had already started to bruise before we even left the parking lot. We drove into the blackened horizon as Scare Bear complained of men not doing their jobs, of fathers saying that they are babysitting rather than caring for their children.

We got to the house and there was Z - naked (of course) wet curls framing her face - she ran to greet me me and head butted me directly in injection site number 4. I doubled over as the Scare Bear grabbed the child and I made my way to the couch. The Hubs and I debated sending Z to school in the storm, but then decided after watching the radar that the worse was over and she should go - so I could get some rest.

I am sorry that I did not think to bring a camera and that I am not showing you pictures of my bruised and swollen belly. Trust me when I say that it looks as though I have been in a UFC Prize Fight with large deep bruises at each of the injection sites.

And the lesson here would be - always research whatever is going to be done to you.

And leave a note for your Hubs.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Teaching Points

Dear Daughter,

I know that in your 3 year old mind I am a mean mommy that is too bossy and domineering. I know that you wish I would just follow your little whims and do as you ask, but baby, there are reasons that I answer the way I do and someday (maybe when you read this) you will understand a little bit more about who your momma is raising you to be.

When you say, "Momma, he hit me" and I tell you to stop tattling, I am not telling you that you can never talk to me. I am teaching you that sometimes you have to choose your battles. I am teaching you that sometimes you have to learn to defend yourself and use your words, I am teaching you that sometimes you have to fight your own fight - I am not always going to fight it for you.

When you say, "Momma, I want" and I tell you to pray, it's not because I don't want to give you everything your little heart desires. I am teaching you that I will not always provide you happiness, that happiness can not be purchased at Wal-Mart or Toys R Us, and that the only provider of happiness does not live on Earth. It is not my job to make you happy 24/7, it is my job to keep a roof over your head, food in the refrigerator and to keep you clothed and bathed - anything beyond that you will have to pray for.

When you say, "Momma, carry me" because there is a large crowd that makes you nervous, and I say no and callously walk on - know that the crowd makes me nervous too, but I have to help you find the confidence in your own steps. I have to teach you to have faith in your own two feet to guide you into the crowd. I will not always be able to carry you, I will not always be able to hold your hand. And as much as it pains me to see you so worked up with worry and fear, I am not at all worried that you will be left behind.

When you say, "Momma, I can't do it" and I tell you that you can, it's not because I don't want to put on your shirt or socks or shoes. It's because I want to see the pride and confidence in your face when you realize that you can.

When you say, "Momma, cleaning makes me SO tired" and I nod my head and smile - I am not trying to tell you that cleaning is fun. I am telling you that I understand, I am tired too - the difference is I did not make the mess, did not have the fun that you apparently had, instead I was most likely at work to pay for all of the toys that are now laying scattered throughout my home, and I know just exactly how tiring cleaning can be.

When you say, "Momma, I wanna watch my show" and I say no - it's not because I don't want to watch the Siberian Tiger episode of the Wonder Pets (again). It's because if I do, men in little white coats will come and take me to a sanitarium and you will have to grow up without a mother (and I heard that stepmothers can be really mean when they want to be). You don't want that really - do you?

When you say, "Momma, please don't comb my hair today" and I tell you that I have to - I never really give you the real reason that I have to. I have to comb your hair because birds have been calling me about leasing opportunities and if I don't comb it out and put it up, they will begin squatting in your hair.

When you say, "Momma, smell this" and I refuse, it's not because I don't understand your fascination. It's because I really don't want to smell your fingers - I know where you just had them.

And when you say, "Momma, I love you" and I wrap my arms around you and squeeze you tight, it's because you are growing so frighteningly fast that I just want time, that moment, to freeze in place for just a little while.

You can't fault me for that - right?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Me vs. The Laundry

The mountains of dirty laundry in our home are planning an attack. They know that I want them washed and put away (or set on fire, because, really? I have 4 pairs of pants. 4. I am not the one that wears all of this crap and if I can make do with 4 pairs of pants perhaps other people in my house could make some sacrifices as well. WE HAVE TOO MUCH!) and they are formulating a sinister plan to take me out before I get to them.

They have sent in scouts to find out when would be the best time to attack. I can't tell you how many nights I have fallen asleep, the bed completely devoid of any extra clothes, to be awakened in the middle of the night by a stray t-shirt or sock entangling it's way around my leg or arm. It's getting a little creepy.

I am formulating a plan of attack of my own. I am devising strategies to de-clutter my house, my closet and to lose the dirty laundry mountains (and I think they are on to my plan).

The Game Plan

1. Lose the socks. We have a 3 and half foot tall laundry hamper that is filled with socks. I am going to go through that basket and any pairs will be matched and put away. Any socks with missing matches, holes or stains  will find itself unceremoniously discarded. On July 3rd (Hubs' birthday) and Christmas everyone in the house will receive all new socks. No one can open the new socks until all of the old socks have been thrown away. Then I will know exactly how many pairs of socks I am trying to locate and match. These will be the only 2 days of the year that anyone will receive any new socks. 

2. If it is out of season or for occasional wear, it goes into the office closet. Our bedroom closet is brimming at the seams with too many clothes. If it is a dress, skirt (we all know how often I shave) or a suit (the Hubs works in construction) or clothes for another season, it is going into another closet. I need to be able to see what is taking up so much room. 

3. If it is too small for someone in this house - send it to someone else. This morning, I took two bags of clothes and shoes that have been outgrown by Z to church for some of her playmates to wear. I need to do the same thing with some of my old (pre-baby) clothes that I have long since outgrown. The Hubs needs to do a lot of this, since we have t-shirts that he wore in high school hanging around. 

4. If it is in a box, either from our move 4 years ago or from my father's death 3 years ago, we will probably never use it and it should find a new home. It's not doing us any good to keep all those "momentos" if all they are doing is sitting in a box in the closet taking room away from other things. 

I am sure that there are more things that I can do. These are the first 4 steps that I am taking to de-clutter and organize our space. 

And hopefully keep the evil laundry mountain from suffocating me in my sleep.

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