Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Me Monday

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Okay, so we're at "Difficult Stage of Parenting #4,692" with the three year old, in that sometimes he needs a nap and sometimes he doesn't. This does not drive me absolutely insane. I am a good mom though, I would never judge whether it's a nap day or not by my own needs, rather than his. I'd never try to figure out whether I'd prefer an early bedtime or a peaceful afternoon, and I'd never ever enlist the girls to use whatever tactics they feel necessary to keep him awake if I decide that I'd rather the early bedtime route that day. (AND, if I did ever do that last thing, I probably wouldn't giggle at the lengths they'd go to!)

With Jim gone, I've also not gone on a chick flick binge. Nope, the plastic on my credit card is not being worn off swipe by swipe at the redbox machine, not at all. Hey, I figure if I'm not sleeping at night anyway, may as well catch up on my chick flick watching! Woohoo for movies in which no one gets shot, and there's no blood! (And as a reminder to the usual movie renter who is far far away right now -- having two people kiss at the end of a WAR MOVIE does NOT make it a chick flick. That sentence would mean so much more if I could remember the name of that particular movie!)

I am not STILL giggling at the middle child, who yesterday did this big huge dramatic presentation when asked to clean up the backyard. Yes, it was hot. Yes, it was humid. No, I did not ask her to trim the grass with scissors, nor did I ask her to complete a task that would take more than five minutes. She did not hold her hand against her head and collapse into a chair with all the drama that her eight year old body could muster. She did not spend more time and effort with her dramatics than it would have taken to just pick up the five toys that were in the yard. She did not, also, IMMEDIATELY perk up from the verge of fainting when the neighbors asked her to go swimming. Gosh, I love that child, dramatics and shrieking and all. And I would never ever giggle at her dramatics.

And as a bittersweet Not Me, I do not DAILY look at my oldest and wonder when this tall, beautiful young lady took the place of my little girl. I do not just stand in awe of her uncanny ability to know when I have just about reached my limit, and her ability to sweep in and take the pressure off of me, whether it's putting her brother in the bathtub or encouraging her sister to do something I've told her to do, or just asking what she can do to help. I have not been remiss in telling her how much she has helped out around here, and how much I appreciate it. (This, I will make right TODAY!)

Okay, I think that's it for today. What didn't you do this week?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week Three

Pin It Let me just say - I cannot keep going at this pace!

This week:
We took the day completely off on Sunday after the tire issue on Saturday and getting so hot and so mad. A couple of us stayed in PJ's all day long. It was kind of nice.
The girls went to VBS at First Baptist Groves and had a fabulous time.
Brendan and I got a new tire.
Brendan got to spend a couple of days with his bestest buddy.
We had lunch with a friend.
We had lunch with another friend.
We went to the pool in Groves on the hottest day of the year. Kids swam and had fun, moms sweltered.
The girls went to a couple of days of evening VBS at Southside Baptist Church and had a great time there too.
The girls got to connect with several friends they hadn't seen in a while.
Gabbi had a friend come spend the night.
Gabbi had another friend come spend the night.
I completed four days of the 30 Day Shred and went to Curves the one day I thought I would DIE if I even saw Jillian's face. (Woohoo for exercising FIVE days this week!)
I went to dinner with my SS class and am still giggling at how completely confused we made that poor waiter.
I had a friend come over for dinner.
Madelyn went to Splashtown with one of her best friends.
I decided it would be "fun" to take four children to run four errands. There was some weird multiplying thing going on because it really did feel like about 16 errands. Fun probably isn't the word I'd use to describe the day, but it wasn't bad.
We got the grocery shopping done.
We made it to church this morning with nobody crying.
Care package #1 was sent off to Jim.
Care package #2 is half full and will go out in a couple of days.
I fixed the drain in my bathroom all by myself!
I did eleventy billion loads of laundry and swept the floor 676 times.
I rejoiced in the fact that Gabbi can reach every shelf but one in the kitchen, and is therefore able to unload the dishwasher.

I think that is IT. We are having a very easy week this week, so next week's review will be short. There's something to be said for staying busy, but there's something to be said for resting too!

(btw - these posts are mainly for Jim's benefit, although it's an enormous blessing to look back over the week and see how many times the word FRIENDS pops up, to see how the Lord has blessed us with these friends!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

May I Rant for a Moment?

Pin It I'm fed up with the media.

Over the last two weeks, how much have you heard about Jon & Kate, South Caroline Governor Mark Sanford, Farrah Fawcett, and of course Michael Jackson? Yesterday the news was continually 50 minutes Michael Jackson and 10 minutes Mark Sanford. I get that these are important people in our society. I get that our society has elevated celebrities to god-like positions and that people are interested in the news as it develops. Still though -- all day? Continual coverage? Seriously?

Did anyone hear this story on the news?
Afghanistan: Soldiers Killed in Attack on US Base

It WAS actually on the news. I think it had a 20 second blurb. I'm not usually the biggest news watcher, so I was surprised when my mother in law called me earlier in the week in a near panicked state. (It didn't take long to do the time change math and realize that I had talked to Jim after this attack had happened, so my stomach dropping fear only lasted a few seconds.) Jim's fine, but two soldiers aren't, and there were six wounded also.

It just amazes me that there are serious things going on in our world, yet we as a society are more interested in whether Kate spanked one of her children in anger, or what Michael Jackson's autopsy results will reveal.

I'm angry with the media about it, but I guess it's not even their fault; they're just giving the people what they want. Granted my perspective is a little different now than it was a couple of months ago, so filter this rant through that, but I'm still just horrified by our society, and our media right now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thinking ugly thoughts

Pin It edited to add ... day 2 done. My feelings for Jillian have reached an all new low. I just thought yesterday was bad. Oh my oh my, how out of shape am I, anyway? (Don't answer that.) 28 days to go, then I BETTER get some kind of award. Like jewelry.

Thinking ugly thoughs, oh yes, I am.

And they're aimed at a specific person.

Who is that person?

Jillian Michaels.

I've got several cyber buddies doing the 30 Day Shred. So, since I've been seriously lacking in the motivation department lately, I figured maybe it would be a good thing to just jump in and give it a try. You know, because baby steps are for weenies. I'm all for jumping in from nothing to a serious workout. Yep, that's just the kind of girl I am.

(As an aside - in my cart with this DVD was a box of pop-tarts, beef jerky, string cheese, starbursts, cookies, m&m's, swedish fish, hm ... a few other things. I'll just bet the friendly Target employee wanted to point out that maybe if I didn't have all that other stuff in my cart, I might not need this dvd. All that other stuff was stuff for Jim, except for the one little package of swedish fish. And maybe a couple of starbursts. Okay, and the chocolate covered espresso beans. I call those BREAKFAST. And I'll only have a few per day.)

Anyway ... so two days in a row I've eaten pretty well. Much better than in the last month anyway, so maybe there's a little bit of motivation running through me again. Or maybe a death wish considering how I feel at this moment!

So, I pull out this DVD. You should know I was exercising very regularly up until the time Jim got his leave date. Then I went on a six week "I don't care" attitude. No exercise whatsoever, and I haven't really cared about what I've eaten either. So, I'm praising the Lord that I'm feeling motivation.

Okay, so I did it. I didn't know if I could or not at this point. I had to modify a little - all the jumping jacks and jogging type stuff had to be done on the trampoline, which makes it a little easier I think, but still, I did it.

I'm having to retype this over and over because I'm still so darn shaky that I can't even type, but I did it. I'm going to have to crawl to bed tonight, but I did it. I may very well not be able to get out of bed tomorrow, but I did it. I'm hoping (as are my children, I'm sure) that the feeling of accomplishment will outweigh the grumpiness that I get every time I get hot and sweaty.

Is it a bad thing to pray that some unspeakable horror happens to that DVD overnight? I'm not entirely sure I'm going to be able to face it tomorrow.

But I did it.

And I'm still thinking ugly thoughts about Jillian.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The first two weeks

Pin It We have survived the first two weeks. I originally said two weeks down and was counting how many to go but decided that was way too depressing and I'm all about putting a positive spin on things, so we're just saying two weeks down.

It's actually been an okay two weeks. We've been so busy that I haven't really known if we were coming or going, but that's been kind of nice. We had VBS at our church last week, and my nephew was here, so I got some time without children climbing on me. The kids love their cousin John, so it was fabulous having him visiting. He'll be here permanently in the fall, and we are all excited about that!

We're becoming professional VBS attenders. The girls are going to another VBS this week, and as we were driving home from that today, a friend called and invited them to an evening VBS this week. We'll miss a couple of days of that one, but the girls are excited about it.

I'm sleeping a little better. Still not fabulous, but better. I think there is something to be said for getting up early. When it's bedtime, I may stay awake until midnight or later, but I do eventually fall asleep, and once asleep, sleep well.

I suspected that the children were starting to worry about whether the stove and oven still worked, so I actually cooked a meal last night. WOOHOO, go me. We pretty much took the day off yesterday after a stressful Saturday and since I barely even bothered to get dressed, I figured I'd change things up a bit around here and cook. I'm sure the kids were wondering who I was and where their mother was!

(btw - since it is Monday, it was NOT ME that let her son stay in jammies all day yesterday, and then when he fell asleep watching a movie, I didn't just leave him in them. I'd never let my dear son wear the same thing for like 36 hours straight. That would be gross.)

Here's what we accomplished in the past two weeks:
We went to dinner at a friend's house.
The girls went to a sleepover and I grocery shopped with just one kid.
We went to a friend's house to swim.
We went to the splash park.
We went to visit my parents and pick up John.
We helped decorate for VBS.
We enjoyed John's visit.
We baked 60 dozen cookies over the course of the week.
We met a friend, let John babysit Brendan, and took the girls swimming.
We went to dinner at another friend's house.
We went to dinner at another friend's house (MAN! I have great friends!!)
Gabbi spent the night with a friend.
The kids went fishing with a friend, and can't wait to go again.
I got to help out some friends in need.
We met my mom to return John.
We had a blowout on the way back.
A friend came and sat with us while I hovered on the edge of a panic attack.
We used the $3/mo roadside assistance that I've been paying for since 1996 and never used before.
I got really angry at a Sears employee.

AND, I probably forgot a lot of things!! I told ya we had been busy!

I really do have some deeper thoughts to share. I hope to get to them at some point in the next couple of days. For now though, it sounds like the laundry is ready to be switched around. Laundry: a race with no finish line.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

He Is With You

Pin It My friend Michael played this song for us at Sunday school last Sunday. What a fabulous reminder that no matter what life situation we may be facing, He is with us!

This is "He Is With You" by Mandisa. I came home and bought the CD.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Various updates

Pin It I forgot to update a little ...

Jim arrived safely in Kuwait and we got to talk on the phone a couple of times this weekend. I haven't heard from him since he left Kuwait for Afghanistan, but I assume he has arrived safely there. I'm expecting a phone call or email or something today or tomorrow. I didn't think it would be so rough for me when he left Georgia for Kuwait, I mean away from home is away from home, right? Well, not so much. I was a mess on Friday. Since then, I've been okay again. Trying to take one day at a time, which works pretty well when each day is jam-packed with stuff to do!

We're managing pretty well around here. Yesterday was the first day since Jim left that I would have gladly given away one of my children. (I didn't.) (Even though I was tempted to about 75 times.) (Pray that this child has a good day and TAKES A NAP or I may not be responsible for my actions come this afternoon or evening.) We haven't had sandwiches every single day, and we're not all wearing clothes that are too big/too small. The laundry has been maintainted, not perfectly, but it wasn't maintained perfectly to begin with. The kitchen is staying clean ... and (get ready to gasp~!!!) THE FLOORS ARE VACUUMED!! I know, shock, right? (It's true - I detest laundry, but I *don't* vacuum. But I have been!! That's the task that I will gladly hand right back off when Jim gets back. Even for his two weeks ... hey honey, I'm SO glad you're home! Could you vacuum?) Anyway ... we really are managing pretty well right now. I think the kids have discovered that mornings are way more pleasant around here if mama doesn't trip over a toy or have to deal with dirty dishes. :)

In other news, since I know that y'all all prayed for my brother, I received an email from him. He's doing okay. I think good days and bad days. It really surprised me to see the email, and to be honest, I wasn't absolutely certain it was from him. It was though! :) Please, if you think about it, continue to hold him and his family in prayer. There are some things that I hesitate to put out there on the blog, but God knows the specific needs there. And of course, please pray for continued healing.

Okay, so there's our Monday morning update, now we need to get ready for VBS!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What On Earth?!?

Pin It Okay, warning in advance - random post to follow.

I was reading a thread on CMF regarding a new product.

Baby Bangs

Are you kidding me? A baby needs a toupee?? Okay, I never really had a bald baby, so maybe I am just not capable of "getting" this. (Okay, there was that time when Madelyn PULLED all of the hair out of one side of her head - no I'm not kidding - and then that other time when she had a MAJOR self inflicted haircut, but she was 2 and 4 at those times, so they probably don't count.)

I don't know, this product makes me laugh, and it would be a cute joke for a baby, but it also makes me a little sad. Oh - and just let me tell ya - it's not the hair or lack thereof that makes people think girl babies are boy babies. I had hairy little critters all decked out in pink and flowers and bows in their hair and I still got "what a cute little guy!" a few times.

And then last night as I was dozing off while kind of watching Food Network, a commercial for this product came on:


It's a medication you can take which will make your eyelashes grow. Yes, seriously. I think it said you start to see results in eight weeks. So, not only do you have to take this medication, you have to put some serious time commitment into it to start to see some changes.

May I just ask ... WHY is this necessary in life? Are there seriously people who look in the mirror and think everything looks just fine except for those darn thin eyelashes? I have a child who has fabulous eyelashes. Whenever I'm about 6" away from her face, I can't help but notice how pretty they are. More than 6" away? Can't really see them.

I was thinking maybe this product was supposed to be marketed to people who had lost their hair due to various medications or something. Again, I haven't been there, but I'd think that eyelashes probably wouldn't be up too high on the priority list in that case. Forgive me if that sounds disrespectful, it's not my intent. I was just trying to think of who would really be interested in this product.

Both of these are just crazy, in my not so humble opinion.

Just thought I'd share my random thoughts this morning.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What Scares Me

Pin It I find it interesting that people ask me the same questions or offer the same advice. A few weeks ago I heard the same piece of advice from several people, separately, and then interestingly enough, a sermon that said the same thing. It felt like the Lord saying "Okay, I'm going to repeat this to you SEVERAL times, so LET IT SINK IN." Message received.

In the past week, no less than five people have asked me what my fears are regarding Jim being gone. Oddly enough, his personal safety isn't really a fear I have. I don't know if that's denial, or peace from the Lord, or if I can't go there or what. It's kind of nice to not be worrying about that, though.

What does scare me though are the inevitable changes. What if he comes back not the same? I would think that things that he will likely experience will change him, and it has crossed my mind that it could change him significantly. Let me just say, in case you haven't figured this out yet, that the whole army thing was NOT my plan in any way, shape, or form. Before about a year ago, I didn't think it was his either, so clearly there has already been some changing going on.

I just kind of wonder if we will still recognize him when he gets back. Not only that, will he still recognize us? I mean, I know most of us will look the same (although - if the oldest changes as much in the upcoming year as she has in the past year, she may very well NOT look the same!) but things will be different here too. I'm wondering how to go from handling everything to letting go of some of the control.

I know it's a one day at a time thing, and that bridge will have to be crossed when we get to it, but it's a fear that I have NOW.

I think these things are even bigger fears for me than hurricanes, and that's saying A LOT. I'm nearly panic stricken at the thought of another hurricane, which is really silly when I think about it. We didn't pack alone for Rita, but we did leave alone. For Gustav, we packed with his help but left alone. With Ike, we did it all alone. And we managed to survive each time. I don't know exactly why the fear of a hurricane stays at the forefront of my mind, but it's there.

Okay, so now I'm rambling. I've just been thinking about what scares me lately, and people have asked, so there it is.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Okay, so the nights are rough.

Pin It I've gotten several emails and people asking me how we're doing. During the day, we're all doing well. We're staying busy with schoolwork and visiting with friends, and generally spending as much time in water as possible. Nights though ... that's where it gets a little more difficult. I've always giggled saying that I am slightly OCD due to things like being driven crazy by sippy cup lids not matching and the like. Now I'm starting to wonder though because I tend to check a few times more than absolutely necessary to see that all of the doors are locked. Maybe that's more of an anxiety thing though. It's weird because I'll be telling myself "I JUST CHECKED THE DOOR!!" and have to go do it again. That was typically Jim's job (and to be honest, I'd usually ask him more than once if he had made sure the doors were locked) so it's just weird to me to be responsible for it.

Like I said, we've been staying busy (and next week will be busy as well, with VBS) and I'm kind of worn out. I think during the day that I'm excited to be able to go to bed early or to sleep in, but I'm not able to sleep well at all. I used to not sleep well because I'd be getting up a few times per night for a certain bodily function (LOL) but some new medicine is fixing that. Now I'm getting up at night to make sure the doors are locked and just generally not sleeping well. Weird because I generally like sleeping alone. I like having the pillows arranged just the way I want them and having the fan at the proper speed ... and well ... super light sleepers like me enjoy the quiet. I'm up really late (for me, anyway) and I'm getting up really early. I think my cold isn't helping too much either, so maybe this is all a temporary thing, or amybe an adjustment thing.

The kids are mostly doing well. When we came home from a friend's house last night, Brendan didn't see Jim's truck and get excited that his daddy was home. He has asked me if his daddy was at work several times already this morning though. :( He is definitely missing his rough playtime, but should be able to fill up on that this next week because my nephew will be here, and he's GOOD at boy rough-housing! The girls seem to be doing okay. Gabbi has been such a help! I'll get tied up in something and look up to see that she has done the dishes or bathed her brother, or someting like that. Madelyn has had a bit of teariness here and there, but all in all she's doing well too. We're enjoying skype for the most part. We're all wondering how well that's going to work when Jim gets to Afghanistan in a few days.

Anyway ... so there's the "how are you doing?" update. I'm hoping to let some of the nighttime anxiety go soon and for the "this is our new life" feeling to go away and this to just become regular life, if that makes sense. I'm still going through a little shock over how all this happened, and still go between anger, sadness, denial, and being fine with it all. All in all though, I think this adjustment has so far gone as well as can be expected, and for that, I think I have the faithful friends who prayed to thank.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Bad Table

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I think I need this. Isn't it hilarious? I've been giggling about it all day, since I saw it this morning. Can you just imagine? AHEM ... you made a mess, go sit at the bad table! Uh uh, you kick your sister, you have to go sit at the bad table! Or maybe when mommy has a bad attitude, she can sit at the bad table. ALL. BY. HERSELF.

Look here for more fabulous and hilarious furniture.

Very random post, just had to share the bad table with you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not Me Monday

Pin It Just thought I'd share a few not me's of the past few days ...

It is not me who has chosen a new life's motto of "I DON'T CARE!" Nope, I care about details and such and would never decide that I don't care if my son peels a grapefruit and eats it for breakfast thinking it's an orange. Speaking of food, we haven't been waaaaaay lazy on the meals around here the past couple of days either. I care about nutrition and would not ever just open a can of spaghetti-o's and let the kids have at it. Or if I did, I'd probably not balance the meal with a bag of chips. Nope, not me.

(btw -- see those bananas in the background? NUTRITION!!)

I did not do approximately 15 loads of laundry yesterday. That could not be possible because I'd NEVER let the laundry pile up so high that it would take 15 loads to get it all done! (And nope, no pics of this ... trust me, you wouldn't want to see them.)

I do not send the boy outside on a regular basis armed with a water gun (that he does not fill with the dog's water) and tell him the dog needs a bath. This does not cause a big chase scene, running the boy exhausted and getting the dog some exercise. I do not suspect that the boy is getting wise to my scheme. Oh -- and one of my life goals is not tiring out the boy enough that he will take a nap. Every day.

Okay ... I seem to be needed (guessing the dog's water dish must be empty and the boy needs help filling his water gun ... um ... if I had sent him outside to chase the dog with a water gun, that is ;) ) so any other not me's will have to wait until later!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

So, it is done

Pin It Jim left yesterday and is on his way. Oh my heavens, it was TOUGH. I feel kind of strange today, almost relieved, and it feels disloyal or something to even say that. I AM relieved that the dreaded good-bye is done though. This last week was really good for our family. We got to spend lots of good fun family time, and Jim and I had some fabulous alone time, including a fabulous overnight date. (Thanks to those of you who suggested that! I would not have thought about it at all myself!) (Oh and hey, is it a bad thing that 85% of my fabulous rating for the hotel comes because it had really good sheets? I think we may have discussed my sheet snob tendencies before.)


We skype'd for a little while last night which was fun. Brendan was asleep and Gabbi wasn't home, so Madelyn and I got to chat with Jim. No -- I chatted, while Jim and Madelyn made funny faces at each other into the webcam. See, I told you she was 100% his.

We are okay. I've been on this "I don't care about housework" kick the past couple of weeks, but when we got home from the airport yesterday, I did some laundry, some dishes, and swept the floors. It's a start. Today our grand plans are to take it easy. It's 8:45 and every kid is still asleep, and I think it's much needed sleep, so we're even going to miss church today. Maybe I'll tackle the mountain of laundry that has been piled up for I'm not even going to mention how long.

I do wish to tell every one of you thank you for praying for us yesterday, and this past week. It really could not have been a better week. Well, unless "the army" called and said nevermind or something. Short of that, it couldn't have been better.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Let's Pick On My Middle Child

Pin It Ah, the sweet little princess. I love her to pieces. Sometimes I look at her and wonder where she came from, because as much as my oldest is just like me, my middle one is just like her father. JUST like her father.

We went to the zoo today. Here's the tale of Madelyn (aka Madalot) at the zoo.

The zoo, when you're one of my kids, is all about the snacks. We walk in the gate and Brendan starts asking for cotton candy. Madelyn wanted a snow cone, the other two got cotton candy.

I missed taking a pic of the snow cone on the ground when she knocked it over five minutes later. It spilled on her shoe, so she went around with one shoe for a while.

Then the monitor lizard came after her.

Then she decided that she looked kind of silly just wearing one shoe, so she took both of them off and carried them because her mother would not let her put them in the purse. (by the way - I should mention that her mother had told her several times by this point to put her shoes back on her feet. This is important in the story.)

Just a cute pic that doesn't really relate to the story at all.

Okay, it's getting hot and about time to go home, but let's stop off and see the monkeys first.

Oops, not THAT monkey, the REAL monkeys. :-P

Oh, that's right, I was telling a story here.
Why does she look sad now?

Notice something missing?

No? Let's look down, way down, over the edge, right outside the Agile Gibbons cage.

Yes, those would be the shoes she dropped over the edge.

Sending a big thank you to the Houston zoo zookeeper who took down an agile gibbon to rescue Madelyn's shoes. Okay, not really. She dropped them between the cage and the viewing area. The zookeeper did get them for us though.

This is one of those things that really would only happen to Madelyn.