Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It May Be Time To Find A New Pharmacy

I get my drugs where I shop. It's easy to drop off the prescription, get my groceries, and go. Everyone at our grocery store knows Z, so they usually expedite my order making it a fast and easy process.

It's fabulous.

A few days over a month ago, I told you about how I am all old and infertile. The doctor gave me a handy-dandy prescription to get things working again (and according to my most recent bloodwork, they are). My insurance won't pay for this prescription, but the pharmacy has a generic discount program so that I can still be able to afford my meds without having to hock the first kid in an attempt to afford the hope of a second one.

Apparently, on this discount program, you can't have an actual bottle for your drugs. Instead, they give you this:
Yep. That would be a generic sandwich bag containing prescription medication.
It's okay, though, the label is glued (and taped) to the baggie. 
This does not look shady at all, right?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Letting Go Of Facebook

As you may know, I have been on a Facebook fast for the last 20 days. And while my blog posts have been showing up there on the regular, that is due to nifty little tricks that my blogging friends and I call auto-posting. It's pretty awesome.

At any rate, I think I may be done with Facebook. I have found that anytime I remember anything about Facebook all I hear is the chatter of my 200 some "friends" in my ears. And sometimes it is just too much to try to concentrate on the constant chatter that is my own life, while reading the snippets of every one else's lives.

It's been nice the last few weeks to not have that constant chatter, to really be able to focus on my family and the things that I really love to do.  Like read. And create pretty things.

I made this Saturday morning. 

And this, on Thursday morning before work.
I need to have a mute button from all of the information (and non-information) that everyone is throwing out there.

Facebook does not serve any vital function in my day-to-day life that cannot be served in another way. (I know this all sounds crazy, right?) I have the blog, so you are all informed with how screwed up and messy my life is. I have a texting package on my phone so that you can talk to me directly (or, and I know this is a novel idea - you could just call my phone). I have Twitter (also on my phone). I even have Skype for those of you that would like to video chat with the munchkin and I.

All that the mirror of Facebook ever shows me is how I don't match up with other people's edited versions of perfect. How many times do you take the same picture before you post it? How long do you spend typing up that status feed? How much do you censor your real thoughts to sound cool to the 1% of your "friends" that you consider to be the cool kids?

Facebook has missed me. It has sent me 3 messages about notifications that have not been read and messages that have been received.

And, when I can login back in again on Wednesday, I am going to break it off permanently. I will still have the blog page, because I understand the importance of a blog having a Facebook presence (which means that you should probably click here if you want to keep notifications about future blog posts in your news feed) but it is time to end the relationship that I have with Facebook.

I would rather have a stronger relationship with the people that I walk with in my daily life, than to sacrifice that time to virtual friends that don't even nod in my direction when they see me in real life.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quick, Dorothy, Get In The Fort!

Last night, Z and I were hanging out watching the Big Bang Theory ('cause how awesome is that show?) when suddenly our regularly scheduled programming was interrupted by the National Weather Service. After the monotone-voiced man explained that a tornado was in our area and that at the current moment was less than a mile south of our home traveling towards us, I turned of the TV and instructed Z to get every pillow she could find out of her room.

I gathered bottles of water, books, my cell phone, blankets, the pillows from our bed, and the laptop. We then built a very comfy fort inside of the only room in the house with interior walls - my closet.

We waited in there for about 15 minutes when the sound of the wind died down, the rain stopped to a drizzle, and the cell phone and laptop confirmed that the emergency had passed.

But Z did not want to leave our fort. She liked it in there. It was cozy.

She fell asleep in there. At her normal bedtime. Without argument or crying, without screaming or conniving. She just lay down on the mountain of pillows, closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Is it wrong that I now want to build her a pallet in my closet and let her sleep in there every night? What ramifications could this have on her psyche? When she is finally old enough to go to bed without all of the normal angst that we have been experiencing as of late, will we be able to say that she is finally coming out of the closet? 

I know that she needs sleep. I know because I need it too.

Could the closet be my answer? Could I have been missing all of those nights of glorious, relaxing rest because I was blind to something as obvious as sleeping on the floor of a closet?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keep On Wishin'

When Z sees any candle she has to blow it.

Which means she needs to make a wish on it.

She speaks her wishes aloud.

"I wish I had a jaguar."

"I wish I had a genie."

"I wish I were a grown-up."

"I wish I were a baby."

"I wish I had a clean house."

Keep on wishing, kid. One of those days, one of those is bound to come true.

(By the way, 4 year old child of mine, I found the lighter and stash of birthday candles in your closet. You will never find them again.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baby Whisperer

Before I had a child, I thought of myself as a kind of baby whisperer. I had never met a child that I could not rock to sleep, soothe, or comfort. Babysitting jobs were easy, kids went off to bed when they were told and never really tested boundaries with me.

I was a much better parent before I had a child.

Our bedtime routine feels abusive - towards her, towards me. It is a constant, draining tug-of-war that has been rivaled on Super Nanny, but even when putting into play every stinkin' one of her tips and tricks, my kid will not go to sleep.

I get it. She misses her momma during the day. She wants to spend as much with me as possible. And I want to spend time with her as well.

But, after a long day of work, the hectic parking lot exchange with the Hubs, a scrambled half-assed attempt at making a balanced dinner, leafing through a myriad of bills, and playing before and after dinner - I am exhausted. I want to go to sleep.

And, as evidenced by last week's fiasco, I cannot go to sleep until she is already in dreamland.

Yesterday, last night, should have been easy. She woke up at 4:30 in the morning. She had not had a nap all day. She looked and acted as though she were the most exhausted 4 year old on the planet.

9 PM - Story, snuggle, prayers, lights out.

9:30 PM - Needs a cup of water and the potty.

10 PM - Playing in bedroom, reminder that she should get in bed.

10:30 PM - Talking to stuffed animals - but is still in bed.

11 PM - Wailing, sobbing cries. "Momma, I waaaaant you. Hold me..."

11:30 PM - In bed, talking to animals again. Reminder to go to sleep.

Midnight - On way to bathroom, I notice small girl sitting in doorway. I sternly remind the girl that her momma has now turned into a pumpkin and the pumpkin is getting pissed.

Realize that the girl has, once again, purposefully peed in her bed in an attempt to make it unfit for sleeping. Change mattress liner, sheets, and comforter. Take away all stuffed animals. Give THE LOOK. Turn off lights and exit room.


Is she biding her time? Is she really asleep? Do I dare enter to test my theory?

1 AM - Still silent. Start taxes as a way to unwind from pent up anger at girl.

1:30 AM - Play a rousing game of Cut the Rope. This girl is sneaky, I have to be sure she is really asleep.

2 AM - Toss last load of laundry for the night into the dryer.

2:15 AM - Enter bedroom to find fully-awake-never-been-to-sleep girl jumping on my bed. Shoot her the look, lay down on bed defeated.

The Hubs came home, discovered the girl-child in our bed and went to sleep in her bed.

Parenting fail.

Marriage fail.

Everyone was sound asleep when I left for work this morning. Isn't that nice?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fighting for Kids

This past weekend, the Hubs and I had an amazing opportunity to go to the Love Worth Fighting For marriage conference. As referenced in a post from last week and yesterday, it was hosted by Kirk Cameron (of Growing Pains and Fireproof fame).

Which reminds me that I have never told you about my awkward day with Alan Thicke or my terrible encounter with the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls whose name eludes my too-lazy-for-Google-mind right now. 

Anyway, Kirk Cameron was there with Warren Barfield. I had not really ever heard of Warren Barfield myself - although I have apparently heard his music since he sings the main song in the movie Fireproof. What I learned about Warren is he is a VERY funny dude. Seriously, funny. And he can sing. And he is among the very small percentage of people in the world (that include the Hubs and I) that know who Bill Withers is and what he sings. (I am not giving you links today. I told you I am too lazy to Google stuff for you today).

Which reminds me of another story about myself, Jeopardy, and a joke about the useless trivia that is stacked, sorted, and filed in my brain. I'm not bragging, but to my friends, I was like the Google of the 90's, the Wikipedia of the Grunge movement, the Ask Jeeves of the X-Generation. At least in my personal circle. And the bar I worked in...

This Warren dude, was very funny, which I am sure I have already mentioned. And he started telling us about the children that he sponsors (and that he gave up some cable features and - gasp! - Applebee's) to be able to sponsor them. But something else struck a chord with me.

He was talking about a little boy that was standing next to him at a watering hole in Africa, waiting for someone to fight through the crowds of people to get him a 5 gallon bucket of water. And after that child of 7 or 8 got his bucket filled, he walked two hours back to his village with it.

And I thought, My toilet takes more than 5 gallons too FLUSH... which I know because that one night when the water pump on the well broke, I had to send the Hubs to his job with a cooler to fill with water so that we could flush the toilet because 4 year olds don't really understand the concept of toilets not flushing in America and so she didn't tell me that she was gonna do what she did and I didn't really have the nerve to leave that in there all night long. So he drove the 5 miles to his job and filled the cooler up and drove back and all of that took less time to get more water than what that kid got after walking for 2 hours in AFRICA for goodness sake.

Which got me to thinking, my kid loves to shower. Sometimes, she will take advantage of her ability to shower with both of her parents and will end up with two showers in less than 12 hours just because she loves to shower so much and who is gonna tell a kid that they are too clean?

What if we lived somewhere where she could never bathe? What if no one was willing to fight for my kid to have water? What if I didn't have the means to fight for her? Who would do it then?

And the answer is simple and hard at all at once. It is up to us, the parents of kids that have SO much, to help out those kids that have SO little. Warren Barfield works with an organization called Food for the Hungry (that's the only link I am giving you - see how that works?). For 32 dollars a month you can sponsor a child like that little kid from the well. The cool thing about Food for the Hungry is that you can go to the country that your child lives in and meet them. You can exchange mail, gifts, pictures, and love with a real child that needs your help desperately.

I know that you are thinking that the economy is awful and this is just not the time and whatever. I know you are thinking it because it was what I was thinking too. Here's the thing - $32 a month to us is what? An item from the value menu every day for a month? A soda every afternoon after lunch? A trip to the movies once a month for a family of 4?

To us, it is so very little - for these kids it's the difference between living and dying. It is time that we quit pointing the finger at everyone else, and show children around the world that they are worth fighting for, that they are worth what we throw away everyday, that they mean something in this world, and that they deserve better.

Because I would want someone to do that for my child, because I want someone to do that for your children, because the children are the innocent victims here, and it's our job.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...

I am trying to remain optimistic and upbeat. It's hard when you have bills and bills and more bills weighing down on you. When you know that everyday is going to be closer and closer to that line of getting to work and not knowing how you are gonna get back home.

I am fully aware that the Hubs and I caused this month's mess. We're dealing with it. And I am going to be happy about living in it, because as my Daddy used to say, "You made your bed, now sleep in it soundly." Sigh.

Stress makes the girly bits of my body go insane and try very hard to flee my body in a mass exodus unseen since the days of Moses. You may be imagining that that has something to do with That Time of The Month, but it really doesn't. It has to do with me being 35, it has to do with the force of gravity being heavier on my body than ever before, it has to do with restless sleep, and an even more restless awakened state. It has to do with the girl-child running circles around me making me feel older and heavier by the day. I feel quite mannish on days like today.

Oh, girl-child, will you ever sleep again? 

I have never been on a vacation that didn't have extended family members involved. I have never been on a vacation that involved a tropical locale with fancy drinks served with colorful umbrellas. I have never been told to just lay on a beach, relax, and enjoy the view. I wonder if I will ever have any of those things on days like today. 

So for days like today, I am going to make a list of the things that I am grateful for:

  • I am grateful that I have grace so that days like today that are filled with annoyance and negativity are not held against me in the afterlife. I will apologize for them later, today I think I will just wallow in my own bit of self-pity. Come on in, the water is FINE...
  • I am grateful that I have a job. I now know, all too well, what it feels like to be on the losing edge of that equation - to have the security that you have always known, suddenly just disappear. It is frightening indeed. 
  • I am grateful that I have a child. I also know what it is like to want for a child with every fiber of your being and have it not happen, month after painful month. She is so worth that pain and I am so, so grateful. 
  • I am grateful for the Hubs. After years and years of telling him that he would marry me one day, I was still surprised the day that he told me that he loved me - and I still wake up surprised each morning that he is still around. 
  • I am grateful that Kirk Cameron is wrong about my marriage and that we will continue to fight for each other. 
  • I am grateful for good friends that show up on my doorstep at after-9 on a Saturday night with a box of hair dye, ready to talk it out. Or that are going with me to a certain concert preceded by appetizers as entrees at a fabulous restaurant that I only allow myself once a year. 
  • I am grateful that I am feeling confident enough in myself as a follower of Christ that I feel empowered to lead my community group that starts this Saturday. 
  • I am grateful for gift cards from Christmas that are allowing my pantry to be full this month. 
  • I am grateful that I thought ahead on those days that we weren't counting-pennies-broke to buy that Groupon for movie rentals. I think it is a jammies, junk food, and movies night for my house. 
  • I am grateful that the Hubs has Mondays off. It is by far the worst day of the week for me and knowing that he will be home to provide some backup is so very, very appreciated. 
Only 2 more hours and 50 more minutes. 

I hear my jammies calling me all ready. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Tall Drink of...WTF?

For the most part, I am a light sleeper. I get up and down throughout the night and should the child come to me crying about a monster, a shadow, a creepy noise...well, I am the one that gets up with her.

But, there are nights that I really need to sleep. Nights following a certain child's all-nighter that was sparked off by a 30 minute nap in the car, for instance.

And on those nights, well, on those nights I sleep. Hard.

Unfortunately, the kid, being the night owl that she is, rarely stays asleep for long. She has gotten to the age where she doesn't come racing straight into me at 1 in the morning. Oh, no, that would mean that she would be going back to sleep. And she definitely does not want to do that.

Instead, she busies herself with any one of her myriad of projects designed to drive me off the cliff and into madness. As if I have not gotten there well enough on my own, thank you very much.

When I awoke this morning, to find said child crumpled on the couch, I picked her up and placed her back into her bedroom. I came out to do a bit of the DANCE MARATHON FOREVER (or something, it's on Netflix) workout and noticed that there was an empty bottle of baby oil on the floor.

Come to think about it, the toilet paper was a bit moist in the bathroom.

I finished my workout (go me!) and decided to investigate. I found the Baby Alive doll, the one that she got for Christmas covered in glittery makeup and gleaming, shiny, oily hair. Ugh. I held back my rage and anger and instead took the doll and placed it up on the top of the bookshelf in her room. Daddy is gonna get a call about this later, I thought as I exited.

As luck would have it, for me, not her, she decided to wake up early this morning. I talked to her about what she had done wrong. Had her demonstrate how she removed the child proof cap (she is a super-genius) and explained to her that I was very, very, very disappointed. I also warned her that next time would be a spanking and took the doll away (back to the closet with you Baby Alive!)

I then filled my water bottle, located my phone, purse, and keys and high-tailed it to work. On my drive, I took two big gulps of my water before I realized that that smell was not coming from my hands or clothes. My water (half chunk of ice, I keep the water bottles half-full and frozen until I use them so that the water stays cold) had been infused with baby oil.

As in, someone went in the freezer, opened the bottle, added baby oil, put the bottle back in the freezer, and then went about her merry way.

I may be going mad quicker than I thought I would.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

With God, I Can Be A Mermaid

Z has learned her very first Bible verse. "With God, all things are possible" - Matthew 19:26

We have been working on her memory verse, discussing how it applies to the things that we do in our daily lives. The other night, I was giving her some examples.

"Can Momma stay up all day and all night?"


"Can Momma and GOD stay up all day and night?"


"Can Momma clean the whole house top to bottom in two days?"


"Can Momma and GOD clean the whole house top to bottom in two days?"


Z liked this game and decided to come up with a few of her own.

"Can Z be a mermaid?"


"Can Z and GOD be a mermaid?"


"Can Z be a puppy?"


"Can Z and GOD be a puppy?"


We are called  to have a childlike faith, and while I am not sure that God is in the business of turning small children into pets or mermaids, I do need to take a lesson here from my little girl. Nothing is out of the scope of her faith, EVERYTHING is possible in her mind.

When I look at my day, the things that need to be accomplished, the plethora of guilt and stress that is building up on a daily basis - I need to turn all of those things (even the ones that I have shame - okay, especially - the ones that I have shame over) to God because to him, nothing is too large, nothing is too out of scope, NOTHING is impossible. Then, I need to sit back and relax without letting worry, guilt, shame, or stress override them.

God has this.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Playing Your Cards Right

Today is January 16.

Z's toys have continued to sit in the closet.

We are having such a good, productive morning. The bedroom and playroom have been cleaned and continue to stay clean more than 12 hours since I vaccuumed. Laundry is being done. I was in an exceptionally good and loving mood.

Breakfast has been had by all and we have even gone outside to play.

Upon re-entering the house, I say to the girl, "If you play your cards right, you may be able to get one of your toys out of the closet today..."

I return to the laundry duties. I hear a little voice behind me. "Momma, when will we play cards?"

I answer that we can play a game after lunch.

While I am cooking lunch, the small child says to me, "Momma, when I win the game? I get my toys back, right?"

"Huh? What game?"

"When we play cards. You said that if I win, I get my toys back."

"That's not what I said, I said if you play your cards right... Oh."

The Hubs is in the other room, laughing his head off at me, at her, at the conversation.

We played Crazy Eights. She won twice. She got one toy back. She may have enough toys in that closet to get us to another Christmas.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Learning to Play Your Cards

We all have cards that we play. I have the wife card and the momma card, both of which can be powerful (DO WHAT I SAY!) or manipulative (please, will you do your poor, overworked, tired wife/momma a favor), demanding (we need to get this done) or subtle (I think I might really like it if we did x, y, or z).

Z has cards as well. Due to her being the only child (so far), we may have allowed her to use the baby card for too long. She also has the only child card, the cute card, the screaming banshee card, the good girl card, the super smart card, and the bad girl card. There are times that she will also steal the guilt card and wield it with a mighty fist. Thank goodness that she has not learned to play that card as well as the Hubs.

As you can tell, the cards are stacked against me and the Hubs. (The Hubs has cards too and at any given moment can strike me a near fatal death blow with a GUILT card, I think my father may have willed that card to him. It's devastating.)

On Christmas morning, Z was playing with her new toys, I was attempting to read a book and the Hubs had gone out to run some kind of errand. In an attempt to not overwhelm our house with STUFF, I had only taken two of her gifts out of the manufacturer's maze of twist ties, plastic, cellophane, and clear rubber bands. The rest of the boxes were stacked neatly under the tree waiting for her to tire of, and put away, the other toys that she was playing with.

"Momma, can I play with Strawberry Shortcake (and her infitesimally small pieces of food and serving utensils), now?"

"Put away your other toys and I will open Strawberry." I didn't feel that this was necessarily a bad statement, just a statement that I had been making for what felt like the whole month of December. It set her off and the cards came flying.

BAM - Good Girl - "But momma, I really want to play with her..."

I shake my head and  turn back to my book. I have learned not to feed into this...

BAM - Cute - "Mommmmmmmyyyyy, it would make my Christmas so gre-e-e-e-a-t....

I smile to myself and continue to read.

BAM - Screaming Banshee - "MOMMMMMY!!!!!! GIVE ME MY TOYS NOOOOOOOW!"

"You can go to your room. Thank you for playing. Take your toys with you." I look back to my book as the crying and screaming continues down the hall.

Seconds tick by, she is standing in the living room now. By the Christmas tree. Sniffling, she reaches under the tree as I repeat that she needs to go to her room.

WHAM! Her face is still, shocked. The crying has stopped. And in those seconds the silence is deafening. She has picked up a Christmas toy, still in it's box. She has thrown it at me. And it has hit me in the head. I rise to my feet as she shrinks to the floor. I feel like a 10 foot tall giant now, looming over her.

Get it together, momma. Don't flip out.  It's Christmas. 

I pick up EVERY toy. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I carry them into the office (a room that she is not allowed in). I put them on the top shelf of the closet and I slam the door. She is following behind me, crying (loudly) as I operate in silence. I unplug the Christmas tree. I take all of the ornaments off. I put Christmas away.

She goes to her room now, sobbing. I go to the porch.

The tears start to drip down my chin as I dial the Hubs.

Maybe we all lost that round.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


My kid loves Barney.

Nope. Not this one. 

Not this one either. 

Yep. That's the one.
Over the Christmas holidays, the Hubs and I discovered How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. 6 seasons of How I Met Your Mother. I had heard good things, as had the Hubs so it became all that we watched for the 2 weeks following Z's birthday.

It was a lot of episodes. 

And Z, well, Z fell in love with Barney. She sees him everywhere now, repeats of Saturday Night Live, The Chew yesterday, and this little gem that I was also able to find on Netflix. (Oh, please, please, please do watch that. It is so insanely funny and great and wonderful all rolled up into one....you will thank me later.)

I can't say that I blame her much, as I prepare to go to a marriage conference hosted by none other than Kirk Cameron. If there were some kind of health seminar hosted by the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris - I am certain that I would go to that as well. 

And take pictures of with him.

To show the kid. (Just like I did when the Hubs and I went to Disney World last year. And took pictures with Mickey and Minnie. For her. Not for us.)

It's not about a high school crush at all

It's for the kid. 

I swear.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lyrically Speaking

Do you know all of the lyrics to LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem? How about all of the words to the 1-800-411- PAIN song? Okay, okay, then you must know all of the words to Katy Perry's  Extraterrestrial...

I am guessing that no adult listens to music the way that 6 (almost 7!) year old Blade does. And none of us are soon to forget them, the way that he chants (repeatedly) all of the words to his favorite songs. I used to do the same thing, except that I was changing the words to Madonna's Material Girl to words that actually fit my status in life (Cheer-i-oooo, A Cheer-i-oooo Girl...).

The other night as we are doing a super fun project with the kids, Blade begins singing Extraterrestrial, sometimes changing the words from "Kiss me, K-k-k-k-kiss me" to "Kill me". I look up at the Scare Bear. "Have you actually listened to the words of that song? I can't even listen to that song."

"No, they play it on the radio, it can't be that bad right?"

Here are some of the lyrics to Extraterrestrial:

Kiss me, ki-ki-kiss me
Infect me with your love and
Fill me with your poison

Take me, ta-ta-take me
I wanna be a victim 
I'm ready for abduction

It's not even that these are the words that are being sung by Katy herself, it's the words that Kanye uses (I am not going to put them on here) in his rap that make me feel all dirty and oogy inside. This is a song that is catchy, kids have really latched on to it (not just Blade) and the best I can tell it is a woman asking to be raped by a willing participant (alien or not). I just don't know that this is appropriate music for a 6 (almost 7!) year old boy to listen to or know all of the words to.

Before I had Z, I was all about the freedom of artistic expression. I purchased CDs with the parental advisory labels, I listened to loud, angry, rap. I criticized radio that I had thought had gone too far in the censoring of some songs and questioned why others were played at all when the majority of the lyrics had been edited.

The world was a different place when I was a kid. Sure, we listened to Puff the Magic Dragon, but we didn't know that it was a song about pot. We rallied with Pink Floyd when they demanded that teachers leave those kids alone and I was probably about 7 the first time that I saw Tommy.

Kids are so much smarter now than we were when we were that age. By the time that they are 7, they have been on the internet for years (it hadn't even been invented when I was 7), they use gadgets and devices with ease. We could pass him knowing these lyrics off by saying that he doesn't understand most of what is coming out of his mouth and he is just regurgitating modern poetry - but does it seem like 6 year old Sophia Grace doesn't understand the lyrics that she is singing?

I think it would be unfair to assume Blade's innocence and not have an open discussion with him about why these lyrics are inappropriate - not just for him - but for everyone (save for the college girls at the clubs on Friday nights).

The only question that I am left with is, if a 6 (almost 7 year old) cannot listen to pop music on the radio - what is left for him to listen to? Have we come so far in stealing music away from children that they are now reduced to not being able to listen to it at all? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Unexpected Crazy in the Longest Month Ever

Does anyone else feel like this month is almost over? 


Okay, well, like the cheese, I will stand alone with being surprised every time I look at the calendar and realize that it is really only the 12th day of the longest month of my life. There is definitely something wrong with this month, or me, or both...

At any rate, during this insane week of the longest month ever, I have lost water for a day (thank you, Land Baron, sir, for fixing that problem as quickly as possible, it is very much appreciated), lost power overnight during a freak thunderstorm that tore down a few branches on our road, and had my e-mail account hacked.

The Hubs called and alerted me to the issue almost as soon as it happened, I changed my password and all was right in the world once again. It's the e-mail address that I direct most spammers to anyway, not what I consider my real e-mail address anymore, and it is also where my in-laws send me all of those great e-mails about not using plastic, sleeping with onion and garlic all around you, not drinking Pepsi products or watching NBC because they don't believe in God and making sure that you wash all of your intimates in HOT before wearing them because you can get parasites and die. (Um, one, I am certain that I already have parasites remember? And two, why wouldn't you wash underwear before you put it on ANYWAY? People eat while they shop. They also like to touch things while they shop = nasty bacteria from mouths to fingers to panties to open air sources under bright lights....bad, bad, BAD!)

I had almost completely forgotten about being hacked until about 4:36 PM when the G-Daddy called me.

"Um, Heather? Uhhhh, I can't seem to open this link that you sent me in the e-mail earlier..."

(WTF? I didn't send him an e-mail. What the Hell has he been drinking today? Oh, shiiizzzzzzzllleeee...)

"I was hacked this morning. Sorry, please don't open that e-mail. I didn't realize that you were one of the ones that got e-mailed. I am sorry." 

Meanwhile, texting the Hubs as quickly as I can to run damage control with his mother. I know if the G-Daddy got it was only a matter of time...

Office phone rings, the caller ID is the Brown Grandma. Too little, too late.

Dear Al Gore, 

Is this what you had intended when you invented the Internets? I am sure that the our future generations will be thanking you for the laugh...


The Back Tracking Momma

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Thing About Tim Tebow

A lot has been said about Tim Tebow. They say he's overrated, they say he's a mediocre football player, they say that he's a religious grand stander. I guess that people can (and will) say whatever they want.

I don't care much about football (except for the Florida Gators), I think that a lot of athletes have lost the joy of what they are doing a long time ago and are now only in it for the love of money. They use their spare time to advertise deodorant, shoes, cereals, candy bars, car insurance, etc. and that has become more of their real job than the 60 minutes that they spend on the field each week.

Tim Tebow was a good quarterback at UF. He went out and did what needed to be done on the field and, although the media started to fall in love with him, he never really let it go to his head. He spoke of God and Jesus, he used his breaks from school to go on missions trips, and he always talked about the team effort.

When Tebow went to the NFL, I was certain that he would become lost in the sea of professional athletes much like Rex Grossman, DeShawn Wynn, and Tavares Washington (former well-known UF alumni that also went into the NFL). After all, the NFL is filled with incredibly talented athletes. Why would I have expected to see Tim Tebow back on a national stage? Add to that that he was drafted by the Denver Broncos, a team that had been under my radar for years. I was so surprised by the fact that he was drafted into the Broncos that I asked the Hubs, "Denver still has a football team?"

Needless to say, I thought that the next time that I would hear from Tim Tebow would be 5 or 6 years from now as a commentator for ESPN or on a commercial selling used cars from his very impressive showroom in downtown Gainesville (don't laugh, it does happen).

It was surprising to hear that he had become a starting quarterback. To hear of "miraculous" upsets in his following games was nothing new to those of who had followed his college career, Tim Tebow knows exactly how to manipulate the football field. And when he's on? That boy can seriously play some football.

But everybody has bad days. Sometimes, those days even fall on Sundays. And Tebow has taken the knocks, he has taken the blows to his character, his ability, and his reputation. The one thing that he will not rest silently on is the near-constant insults to his beliefs. And that is the thing about Tebow.

When I discovered "Tebowing" a few months ago, I blogged about how awesome I thought it was...

Tim Tebow is living the life that Christians are called to live. He is not embarassed of his relationship with God, he does not hide his love of Jesus, he is living - unashamed - in the spotlight of international fame as follower of Christ. He is not uncomfortable in that spotlight (and I can't say that I wouldn't be, if I were in his shoes).

This morning, I was amazed to see my Yahoo page:

The Number 2 Trending Now Topic? John 3:16
When is the last time that a Bible verse was a trending topic on any search engine? I am pretty sure that that has never happened.

The real thing about Tim Tebow is that he has opened a national dialogue about religion and having a relationship with Christ. To some, he has made being a Christian cool, to others he has proven to be a fine example of an authentic believer. When Jake Plummer, the former Broncos quarterback stated that he wished that Tebow would curb his references to Jesus Christ and his faith, Tim replied:

"If you're married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife 'I love her' the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity?

"And that's how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ is that it is the most important thing in my life. So any time I get an opportunity to tell him that I love him or given an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I'm gonna take that opportunity. And so I look at it as a relationship that I have with him that I want to give him the honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity. And then right after I give him the honor and glory, I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory.
"And that's how it works because Christ comes first in my life, and then my family, and then my teammates. I respect Jake's opinion, and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner. But I feel like anytime I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise, he is due for it."
I love that this guy, with offers to endorse anything in the world is, instead, using this platform to endorse who and what he believes in. I love that he has so much conviction in his beliefs that he is willing to face daily persecution from fellow players, the media, and naysayers. I love that there is so much "controversy" revolving around his beliefs that it is causing him to be the headliner on every news story since Christmas. I love that in the face of everything our American culture is between the Kardashians and the Lohans, that this one young man is able to stand up and proudly proclaim our Lord and Savior. 
My only wish is that we could all feel the call of God on our lives so wholeheartedly, that we should all be able to live and proclaim our beliefs as eloquently and unashamed as he does. After all, it is what we have been called to do:
"No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." - Matthew 5:15-16

Monday, January 9, 2012

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

Back in July, I bought a 38 cent fish from the Wal-Mart. I figured it would be a few days worth of fun and entertainment for just a few dollars.

At first, Goldy  (We do not know Goldy's sex. Everyone that knows him calls him a he, except for Z who swears it is a girl) lived in Z's room on the table next to her bed. There were two rules, 1) we don't pet fish and 2) the fish never comes out of the bowl. If, only, in the mind of a 3 year old, it could be so simple.

There was the unfortunate instance of the Clorox Clean-Up. Goldy survived that and was then moved to the kitchen so that I could monitor the goings on of the fish. Z has a stool in the kitchen so that she can be my "helper" and she would stand for hours 20 minute intervals and marvel at how big and strong her fish had gotten.

Over the summer, he had a small ant infestation and in the course of spraying the counter, I am afraid that Goldy may have gotten some residual contact with the bug spray. After a thorough cleaning of his fishy bowl, he was again replaced to the kitchen counter to continue in his swirls about his tiny world.

Later, we received Oliver. Oliver is a cat that apparently likes to drink fish and rock soup with a side of plastic plant. Every day, several times a day we were chasing Oliver away from his entree new friend and redirecting his interests with toys.

After a week, I had had it, my hands smelled of catnip, the flipping cat knew all of our diversions and no one wanted to play this cat and mouse fish game anymore.

That is how Goldy has become the bathroom fish. He started on the back of the tank, but I decided that that was too cruel. Now he lives on the counter. And the only contact that he makes with people is when they are half naked. Or feeding him (do not be fooled. That is me, only me. I am the only apparent source of food for any single living soul in our household. Not sure how that works, but it is my job.)

They say goldfish only have a memory of about 3 seconds. Could someone explain why, every time I sit down and look over at Goldy, he looks like he is cussing me out? It's starting to really make me feel paranoid.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Silly Crazy Christian Girl

I do not like ambivalence. It's one of my least favorite words. I am either very, very passionate about something or extremely icy cold.

The Hubs mostly just toes the line. He is not very passionate about most things and just goes through life trying to just get along. It drives me batty, for lack of a better word. If he could just find that one thing that he truly loved...

In the Bible, Jesus talks about ambivalence. He talks about being either hot or cold, but about never being lukewarm because that will get you spit out of his mouth. I like how extreme this passage is, you are either good or bad but being both is something He can't even digest! If you want to read the actual words from the Man himself, you can click here.

At any rate, our church does a fast at the beginning of every new year to refocus our hearts, our attentions on God. Last year, I was preparing for my very first fast. Now, our church is not one to dictate to you what type of fast that you should engage in. It could be something small, like no electronics after 5 PM or a full out fast.

This was my chance! I was gonna show God just how much I burned for Him. I was gonna fast and pray SO HARD that there was no way that He would not know that I am His all-time favorite fan! And with that excited and dedicated heart, I stopped eating food.

For 21 days, I only allowed myself water and 100% fruit juice (it was supposed to be 28 but I almost passed out which caused my friends to freak out and force feed me potato chips until I quit sweating and started acting normal again). When I was supposed to eat, or would think about eating, or smell food, I would immediately sit down and start reading chapters out of the New Testament. "Did you hear that, God, I just read the Lord's prayer?", "Did you see that, God, I just finished Luke, you know you wanna bless me now, God, right? Right?" 

I was a praying and reading fool, but when my body failed me a week shy of my intended date?

I went right back to the way I always live. Putting off reading the Bible, shoving prayers off for another day, not being a disciple to others, not teaching anyone anything about the true grace and love of God. I just went back to being me.

Next week, we embark on yet another fast. A fast that is intended to draw us closer to God, a fast that will reset our prayer and reading time goals. This year is gonna be different...

I am looking forward to abandoning Facebook for awhile. It will be good for me. (Did you really think that I was gonna do the food fast again?)

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I am a stalker.

Not a real life stalker, I don't travel crazy distances wearing diapers to spy on people - not even the Hubs (although, there was a time there between 18-20 that I may have sat outside of people's jobs, but that was a long time ago and I am not that girl anymore).

I am a cyber stalker.

I peruse the Facebook pages of acquaintances (and sometimes their friends). I giggle over silly pictures of their children or cats. I read their status updates and comments to others.

I do the same on Twitter (when I am even on Twitter, which is rare because I just don't think that I am important enough to post 140 characters randomly through the day about what I am doing or fixin' to do or what I am thinking. I understand that it is a useful marketing tool for celebrities, but I am not a celebrity so it is not really a vital element to my day. And can't I just put it as my Facebook status? Who really reads the tweets anyway? Besides me, that is.)

My most effective stalking comes in the way of reading blogs. Blogs that I feel are so much better than my own,  humorous blogs that literally make me laugh out loud in my lonely little office, blogs about real life tragedies that rip my heart out as I read them, blogs about everyday life as a working or stay-at-home mom.

Even though these women do not know me (and maybe, rarely hear from me) they are part of my daily routine. They help me get back on the horse again day after day. They inspire me to try new things. They make me laugh when I am ready to cry or hold the good moments a little closer because you just don't how long they are going to last.

I consider these women my friends, even though we have never met in real life and they enjoy wine far more than I ever will. Maybe that is sad, but it's not like I don't have the Scare Bear, the Fairy Queen, and JoDene - they are real people that know me in the real world and know that I am not nearly as crazy as this post is making me seem.

I know how much I love comments, so it is perplexing that I do not give out more comments to the blogs I enjoy the most. I think, partly, it is that I do not want to reveal myself as the stalker that I undoubtedly am.

Just know this, blogging women that I have not freaked out thus far, if something that you say impacts me in anyway - I am posting it to my Facebook and my Twitter (even though I am pretty sure I am not using it correctly). Hopefully, it will help you reach even more readers and they will probably comment on your post. And, on the days that you don't post, I will be there reading your past comments and thinking - "Hey, I know that girl that posted on her site... I should look up her Facebook page and see what she has been up to..."

Because, after all, I am a stalker.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On The Way To Healthy

I don't care how much I weigh. I don't care what clothes size I am and I really never have. I am fairly active, or at least I think so and for the most part I am pretty happy and content with my life.

The Hubs loves me no matter what size I am, and his only complaint about my drinking soda is how expensive my habit really was. (Make no doubts about it, it is a very expensive habit, at a buck seventy for each 20 ounce bottle and 4-6 bottles a day, I was looking at a $6-$10 a day habit.)

But in the last few years, as my health has spiraled out of control, as my chronic illness has become more and more of a burden, as I was starting to consider placing myself on disability, I have come to the realization that there is little that I can control in my life. There is actually very little that anyone with a four year old can control about the world it seems.

At any rate, I can control what goes into my body. I can control the amount of activity (or inactivity) that I participate in. I deserve more than what I have been giving myself in the last few years and it is time that I take back control.

Yesterday, I began the Atkins Diet, although I do not like calling it a diet. I am changing the way I eat and my goal is to make this a lifestyle change, not just a temporary thing that lasts until the first cold, or first day without sleep, or the first bad day.

I did well yesterday, followed the guidelines and stuck to the plan. I did have a slight nagging headache by the end of the day, but it was nothing that couldn't be cured by a couple of ibuprofen and a good night's sleep. I also noticed that there was some pretty intense cravings for an after dinner snack last night and while I did not have anything in the house that I could snack on, I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied when I went to bed.

I don't think I was really all that hungry though, I think that it may have been boredom snacking as it was getting late, I was getting sleepy, and I was trying to stay awake.

I am not doing this to lose weight, although at 231 pounds, it is a nice side effect. I am doing this so that I can feel healthy again, so that I can not be so tired when I get home from work, so that I have energy to play with my kid and do the chores. I am doing this so that I will be around for her as she gets older.

What habits have you changed since becoming a parent? Do you feel that you are living the best life that you can?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 - I'm Important

It's 2012. Actually, it has been for 3 days but since the first was met with much sleeping in and laundry I figured you wouldn't necessarily care. And since the second one was met with much less sleep but even more laundry - plus a crazy awesome new blog header and design - today is technically my first day back into the blogginess of life.

I have alluded to my co-dependent tendencies and my need to take care of people great and small, capable and incapable. I resolve that this year is the year that I am important too.

I am important enough to purchase gifts for.

I am important enough to take care of.

I am important enough to treat every once in a while.

I am important enough to be healthy - spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

I am important enough to allow myself to get more sleep.

I am important enough to have a quiet time each morning.

I am important enough to learn how to sew adult clothing.

I am important enough to have pride in my talents, my gifts and myself.

I am important enough to love and be loved.

I am important enough to feel and be beautiful.

I am important enough to save money for the things that I want. Even if my visions differ from the Hubs view of our family, it does not make my dreams less worthy.

Parts of me are screaming that this is not the Christian way, that this is not what a "good" girl does. I believe that if I do not start placing importance upon myself (my sanity, my being) then it is going to be impossible for me to place the right amount of importance upon others.

What are your resolutions for 2012? Do you think you will stick to them this year?

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