Thursday, November 29, 2007


I have been fighting nausea for the past couple of days now. At first, I thought it was just all a part of my fibro crap because I get nauseated from time to time. But by Tuesday night, my stomach burned and was almost tender to the touch. I just feel soured. That is such a gross word. It is either what Madalyn had last week or a freaking stomach ulcer. I just feel absolutely blah. Blah, blah, blah. Of course, Scott doesn't even want to be in the same room with me. Funny, he shakes hands with dozens of people a day passing millions of germs by the minute, and he won't come within a ten foot radius of me when I am slightly ill.

This morning was an adventure. And, note to self for next year, I do not intend on taking both the children in for their flu shots at the same time again. This is David's first year to have one. Please do not call DHR. I have always kept David's other immunizations up to date, but I never really believed in the flu shot. Madalyn had one from the time she was able because of her nasty, germ infested brother coming home from school and breathing all over her. But this year, since David was hospitalized with that asthma flare up, he needed one. Since it was his first time, he had to have a booster thirty days after the original. Well, I didn't even tell him he would have to go back until last night. He absolutely freaked out when they gave him the first dose. I had to threaten calling his father if he didn't calm down. So last night, I broke the news. He was not pleased. But I told him that this time, Madalyn would have to get one too and I needed him to be brave for her. Well, that was an idea, but definitely not reality. He was okay until he saw the syringe. He wouldn't lay down on the table, he was crying, and the nurse and I both had to hold him down so she could give him the shot. I was so embarrassed. Of course Madalyn was fine until the actual stick. But once the tears started, I didn't think they would ever stop. Then I took them back to school for their teachers to deal with them. I cannot believe the flu shots had to interfere with my few hours off for the week. But it was definitely necessary. We got the flu last year, and I would be willing to do most anything to prevent that occurrence again.

But next year, I think I'll take them one at a time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

But what does it do?

The common conversation around households everywhere, I am sure - Mom or Dad to little child, "Look at this. Isn't this cool?" Child's response, "Yes, but what does it do?" It doesn't matter if it is a perfect replica of the White House down to every doorknob and window pane, if it doesn't light up or make hideous noises, they don't believe it is of value. A couple of weeks ago, my mom and me and the kids made our annual trek to the Hallmark store to purchase ornaments. My mom has bought me a Winnie the Pooh Christmas ornament for I don't know how many years. And even though my adoration for the Pooh Bear is waning, I still look forward to the ornament each year as well as unpacking my entire collection. I guess it is just the little girl that still breathes somewhere deep inside me. So this year, David was having major decision issues. He really wanted the ornament that was a PlayStation controller mainly because that's what he really wants for Christmas. And that would have been perfect, but they were out of that one. Then he starts looking at all these crazy ones. One was an ESPN TV that played that goofy little tune when you pressed the button. How ridiculous, I thought, but how wonderful was David's response. I told him he ought to pick something that meant something, that signified a part of his life for that year. And then I showed him this adorable little golf cart ornament. You see, David played in his first golf tournament this past summer, and what better way to remember it by than with a Hallmark Keepsakes ornament (I can't believe I didn't get paid for that last statement). And his freaking response was, "But what does it do?" Are you kidding me? It is a Christmas ornament not an entertainment device. Is this how far we've come? Has it really come to this? So then I had to explain the purpose of an Ornament - to adorn the tree, not make noise and light up - and after about fifteen more minutes of his internal deliberation, he finally picked up the golf cart and sealed the deal.

It was brought back to my mind as this morning, I had to explain an age-old concept to Madalyn. You see, the power inexplicably went off. What made it so funny is that it went off midway of shutting the power operated garage door. So I had to get the step stool and manually pull it down. Of course little Madalyn was so confused. "What you doing, mama?" She has never really experienced the power being out, or at least has never been fully aware. And I knew there would be hell to pay when she discovered that she couldn't watch Dora. I had to go around from room to room showing Madalyn that nothing worked. Not the lights, not the fans, and certainly not the TV. And then, she looked at me with those big brown eyes, and I could tell she was thinking, "Well, what the heck am I supposed to do now?"

Being the great mom that I am (HA!) I reminded her of the big wagon of mega blocks in her brother's room. She quickly agreed that was a fantastic idea. So we dumped them all out and combined them with the set that she has and we built a house for Cinderella and had a big time. But it does make you realize how dependent we have gotten on all the electronic things. I admit that even I was a bit frustrated when the power went out. I couldn't vacuum, I couldn't wash clothes. You just feel a but helpless. Thank goodness it only happens every once in a while! So we made it through the outage in time for Diego. And that makes any two year old happier than you can imagine!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Still pooped!

We had a great time in Auburn this weekend! The only thing that would have made it any better is a pair of fifty yard line tickets. But we didn't have that, so watching on a TV beside a cozy fire was the next best thing. And we really enjoyed it. I must say that there was probably a record setting crowd this weekend. I have never seen that many people in one area before. I would dare say that there were just as many people there to go into the game as were there just to tailgate. Some good friends of ours were also there, so we walked back and forth between tailgates and walked all over the campus and watched all the crazy college kids. We had a great time. But of course, we came home completely exhausted. I had forgotten how loud hotels really are. On Friday evening, our neighbors decided to sit up and chit chat until three in the morning. I couldn't understand what they were saying, but I could hear their voices and I could not go to sleep to save my life. Surprisingly, Saturday night was relatively quiet with the exception of the phone call we had in the middle of the night looking for Rex. Needless to say, last night, when we laid down in our bed at 9:00, I passed out and didn't wake up until 7:00 this morning when Scott woke me up. I think I could have slept until noon.

So today, my house is in complete disarray as I am putting away the pumpkins and pulling out the Christmas decorations. I have already got the tree up downstairs. We have a bonus room in our basement and my husband has made it his Auburn room. So last year I bought a white tree with white lights and I decorate it all in orange and blue. Too much fun!! And today I am working upstairs getting everything out. And of course Madalyn has been right in the middle of it all. This will probably be her first year to really be excited about it all. Last year, she really still didn't quite understand what was going on. And I know that our days of David believing in Santa are waning. He really started asking questions last year - Is he real? How does he get to every body's house? Is that the real Santa at the mall? And I am determined not to tell him. I plan never to tell him that Santa is not real. My mom told me that Santa wasn't real when I was five. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I sat in her lap, looking at the Service Merchandise book, showing her all the things I wanted Santa to bring, and instead of telling me that even Santa would not bring me everything I wanted, she told me the cold, hard truth. She doesn't even know it, but I don't think I have ever forgiven her for that. How could you tell a five year old that Santa is not real? Why wouldn't you want to stretch my childhood out as far as you possibly could? But, for whatever reason, that is what she decided to do. And I don't really harbor any resentment for it, but it has definitely been one of those things that stuck in my mind and helped me be the parent I am. No matter how smart David is, no matter how mature or disciplined he can be, he is still in fact a mere child. with hopes and dreams and a huge imagination. And he still believes in Santa. And instead of telling him that we don't have the money to buy him everything he wants, I just tell him that Santa knows what he needs, what he wants, and what he can handle. And that no one can have everything they want at any point in their life - Christmas or otherwise. So this year, I am sure we will have even more in depth questions, and I will answer the best I can. But I will never come out and say those words. I just don't think I will ever be able to bring myself to say it.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I am just plain worn out. From the minute I woke up to the time Grey's came on last night, I ran like a mad dog. But you know, I definitely stopped for my favorite show. And I am most grateful for the fact that Thanksgiving is over, and I won't have to do it again for a whole year. Everything turned out great, and we had a big crowd. But I am always glad to see them go and change into my sweatpants and get everything put away and then sit down. It is rewarding but exhausting. And I do wish that I could do it for just my family one year. This all started for Scott's family, and I still invite my parents and my oldest brother because they live close enough to come. But it would be great to have just my family together at my house. Or to be able to go to my grandmother's house. Those are really my fondest childhood memories - times spent at my maternal grandmother's house. But I have traded off with Scott about the holidays - I do Thanksgiving here for his family, and every year, no matter what, as long as she is alive, I will be at my grandmother's house on Christmas Eve. That's a part of this wondrous thing called marriage. Give and take. Compromise. Fun, fun, fun!

So, yesterday, my oldest nephew came with my brother. The last time I saw him, he was not quite as tall as me. Now he is about two inches taller that me and will turn sixteen in a few weeks. Okay, first of all, am I really old enough to have a nephew that is sixteen? I remember when he was born. I was studying in the waiting room for my physical science exam. And it is almost like I blinked my eyes and now I have two kids of my own. It just seems so strange sometimes how my life has evolved. Sometimes it doesn't even seem like my own. I still feel like an awkward teenager inside sometimes, and I have to remind myself that I, indeed, am grown up. Anyway, I don't think I have the energy to get all deep and psychological today. I would really like to go and take a nap, but there is so much to do. Scott and I are supposed to be leaving tonight when he gets off work to go to Auburn for the weekend. We don't have tickets to the game; we are just going to be some of those crazy people who go just for the atmosphere. Actually, one of the managers at Scott's car lot has a son who played for Auburn several years ago. He and his family started a big tailgating tradition, and we went last year the Friday night before the game. Tons of food, tents, heaters, big screen TV, the works. And they are just really great people. So, somehow, we swung a babysitter, and I am really glad. I need to get out of this house and have a change in environment. I think we will have a good time, and hopefully we won't freeze to death!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Did you know?

Did you know that poison oak has this beautiful foliage in the fall? Doesn't seem quite right, does it? I didn't realize it myself until this year. It is amazing what one can learn when they slow down and pay attention to things. And it helps when your neighbor has an enormous growth of the pesky vine on a tree in his front yard. I have been watching it grow to mammoth proportions through the summer and was surprised to see it change to this beautiful color weeks ago. It was one of the natural ironies I thought I should share.

Anyway, you (whoever you are out there) won't be hearing anything from me for the next few days. I will be elbow deep in either vomit or turkey. Have a great holiday everyone!

The Importance of Vinyl Flooring in Our Modern Society

When Scott and I found our house, it was as near being complete as it could be without being so. The only thing that was not finished was the flooring. And we instantly fell in love. It had everything we needed, and most importantly, it could be finished and ready for us to move in in three weeks - the scheduled closing on our home in Montgomery. But we were disappointed when we found out that the builder had planned to put vinyl flooring in the kitchen and all the bathrooms. We really wanted tile, but changing the plans would cost us extra money and time, neither of which we had. So vinyl flooring it was, and still is today.

Not until this morning did I fully appreciate vinyl flooring. Its versatility, resilience, durability. Madalyn threw up all over the kitchen floor this morning. When I say all over, I mean all over. She emptied the contents of her stomach, which mainly consisted of strawberry milk and her own saliva. What an easy clean-up! Just a few paper towels - well, several paper towels - followed up by a cleaning with the Lysol Kitchen disinfecting spray, and voila! Good as new. No pesky grout lines for vomit to stick to and fester germs. May not be the best of quality, but it's definitely a good choice for young families with children who do not know yet how to hang their head over the toilet or trashcan to vomit.

In case any of my two readers has not noticed, Madalyn has impeccable timing for her illnesses. She always has. And she is one of those whiny sick kids who wants you to sit and hold her and be with her all the time. And that would be fine if I didn't have like twenty people coming here day after tomorrow. But I guess it will all work out. It always does. Now, I just have to pray that the entire house isn't hugging the toilet by week's end.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cornbread and Laundry

The house is a bustle today with activity. I am getting ready for Thanksgiving in the midst of all the laundry that Monday always has to offer. I am already on my third load and I also have my third skillet of cornbread in the oven. I always prepare the cornbread on Monday so that it's out of the way. And tomorrow, Madalyn has her Thanksgiving Musical at her preschool. That should be interesting. She can be quite the entertainer in the privacy of our own home, but something tells me that when she sees all those people in the audience, she will completely shut down. One extreme or the other, though, guaranteed. David has his Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow, so Madalyn and I will get our dose of public school lunch food. Surprisingly, it wasn't that bad last year. The dressing was a little strange and runny, but the rest was quite good. Nothing like my feast however!

This will be the fifth year I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house and done the bulk of the cooking. I do turkey, ham, green bean casserole, veggies, and dressing, of course. I don't do giblet gray, however, and never will. I don't boil turkey innards and do anything with them. Despite the fact that I will be completely worn out by the end of the week, I actually enjoy it all. There is something so satisfying about planning and preparing and pulling off a meal of that magnitude. Last year was a light crowd, but this year we will be at full capacity. Scott's grandfather is suffering from stage four lung cancer, and this may be his last Thanksgiving with us. Very sad, but it seems a bit ironic because he has battled emphysema for over a decade now. So, I am sure that this year will be a special one. And I think that's what satisfies me most. That for one day of the year, my house can be transformed into a place of love and laughter. And these are the memories my children and the rest of our family will have forever.

I'm a loser, baby

If you are looking for something a little less intimidating, try my blog! I am surprised it rated as highly as it did seeing as my reading level still remains somewhere around the fourth grade. Isn't that average for Alabama though?
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cha Ching

I just got back home from my first Christmas shopping experience of the season! Toy's R Us has some great prices right now, by the by, on all the necessities of the season for this household. I racked up today, seriously. And it was so much fun! I love Christmas!!!!! It's one of the very few times of the year that - the only time of the year - that I just get giddy with excitement. I have so much fun shopping for my kids, though they both need absolutely nothing at all and play with the same things all the time. I love to find something that I know will be a big hit because I can imagine their excitement and smile as they see it for the first time. See, I really do love my kids. Just don't like them all the time.

I had been holding out on shopping, but Thanksgiving is next week and then the major countdown starts. I don't mind scavenging around for adult gifts. You can always give a gift card if need be. But the kids are different. They are what Christmas is all about. And with only one retail toy store in the entire Birmingham metro area, I had to come off the cash before everything gets gone! Scott had given me some money about a month ago earmarking it specifically for Christmas. So that's all that sits in our poor excuse for a savings account. And now even less sits in it, but that's okay. I don't know what I would do if we weren't broke!

One good thing about this year: This will be the first year in about three years that I will not have to purchase a freaking Power Ranger toy of any kind. Perhaps we are finally outgrowing the Power Ranger era of our life? Praise the Lord!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I don't understand the attraction or fascination with marshmallows lately, but David has definitely gotten out of control. Monday they became a huge issue, as he wanted to "build a structure" (which seemed an odd wording for a six year old) with them. Apparently his class did an "experiment" (one of David's favorite words right now)with marshmallows last week. They were given ten marshmallows and toothpicks and were to build a structure. This is right up David's alley at the moment - he is all about discovery, especially science, and was so excited about his structure. So, yesterday, I opened David's backpack to get his folder and things out for homework and found a ziploc bag with a smooshed marshmallow/toothpick structure. I just left it in his backpack and tried to ignore it. Now, I know that children take an enormous amount of pride in things they have done, and I really try to respect that. But the amount of crap - for lack of a better term - that comes home from school is a bit ridiculous, and the majority of it ends up in the trash. The teachers send it home, I believe, so that they do not have to face the wrath of eighteen angry children in the classroom upon finding their precious creations in the trash. It would be a revolt! And I am sure that the teacher would not come out victorious. I just could not believe that these now hard marshmallows were sent home. Thank you, 1st grade teacher, for sparking an argument between me and my sassy six year old this morning. As if we need any help in that department.

This morning, as I opened his backpack and had my pretend discovery of said marshmallow whatever, I praised him for his efforts and expressed true admiration for his work. Followed quickly, of course, with, "You know we will have to throw this away." You would have thought I had cut off an appendage and tossed it in the trash. David has developed the most annoying whine since starting public school. I don't know if it is a part of the formal education or not, but if he received a grade on it, I am sure it would be an A+. And we can't forget about the huge attitude he has mainly toward me - his mother. I always try to explain things as best I can to David, despite the fact I want to just scream at him, "Because I said so and I am your mother!!" So I went into my spill about how marshmallows are made of sugar and that bugs are attracted to sugar and we just can't have that sort of thing sitting around in the house. I wanted to say, "You know, son, that's probably why your teacher sent it here. She doesn't want a family of roaches or ants infesting her classroom, same as I don't want them in my house. It's freaking gross." But I refrained from the latter and stuck to the purely logical explanation. And upon asking him if all of that made sense, he was forced to agree. But still the attitude. And then, in walks dad. "What's the deal? What's your problem, David?" So, we go over it and dad agrees with me. Luckily, when dad agrees with me, everything tends to go much smoother. I don't get that. Why does David think that I am a complete moron until his father agrees with me. Then I make perfect sense. I explained to him that it is simply unfair to me to get angry with me about things I can't control. I just can't wait until he's thirteen. I can't imagine what a joy it will be to have a conversation with him then if we are already having this much fun.

On a totally different note, I believe that Celine Dion is taking over the world. I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, so I thought I might put the warning out. She's everywhere. Every channel. Every meaningless show. And it has made me realize, though I never knew I had a formal opinion on Celine Dion, that I only like her when I cannot see her. The sight of her singing and moving in her robotic sort of way just makes me nauseated. But listening to her on the radio is perfectly acceptable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rise and Shine!

I had an interesting start to my morning today. Madalyn hopped in bed with us around 5:45 this morning toting along her blanket, piggy, and cup of morning strawberry milk. She cuddled up with me, as usual, and sucked down the entire cup of milk. And then, she began to cough. And cough, and cough, and cough. And then she gagged. I suppose she has inherited my hatred for vomiting because, somehow, she maintained composure and did not toss the cookies. Or, should I say milk? But then I could hear her holding back and gagging in her throat, and I knew that it was inevitable. So I made her sit up and I got a towel and told her that if she had anything in her mouth, she needed to spit it out. I was trying to prevent the vomit from ending up all over me. So she sat up and coughed some more, and out it came. All of it. All nine ounces of strawberry milk mixed with a lot of mucous. Beautiful way to start the day. And I know that my husband got incredibly irritated with me. He thought I was being a little rough on her. Perhaps I was. I had to get a little loud with her to make her sit up. She is so stubborn. I can't get her to blow her nose, so everything is just rolling down her throat and going to her stomach. And just the thought of that is enough to make me want to throw up.

I just feel like I am losing all control. I honestly feel like I am in a fog right now. I am in the midst of a "flare up" of my beloved fibromyalgia - a diagnosis that I received almost two years ago, and that I don't talk about that much at all. I first noticed that things were different after David was born. I just never felt like anything got back to normal. The pregnancy fatigue lingered, and at first I chalked it up to having a new baby. But after six or seven months, I knew something wasn't right. It took four years and many, many crazy tests to get to the bottom of things. And I wanted to resist a formal diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I wanted something that could be fixed. I wanted the doctor to give me the magic medication to make me feel good again. But that's not what I got. Not at all. And so I will live with this crazy disease for the rest of my life. And that's fine; I feel so relieved to know that whatever is going on inside my body is not causing any permanent damage to my organs or joints. But during times like these - when I haven't been taking care of myself, when I am feeling the most fatigued, when I am wanting to just lie in the bed all day - that I have no patience. And I always take it out on my children. And that is something I am definitely not proud of. And I am praying about it and searching my soul. Because I know that the patience is there. I know that God has given me everything I need. But during these times especially, I feel like I just can't tap into it. But I will get through this one. And I will feel better, and I know my kids love me despite my imperfections. At least, I hope they do!

Monday, November 12, 2007

My kids don't like to share...

So, I discovered this morning as I enjoyed the last few hours of my dear friends visit that my children do not like to share their crazy mama! On any given normal day off, the kids will wake up and watch cartoons and eventually eat some breakfast. We just relax and do nothing. Usually by lunch time, I have managed to look respectable and we may run out on an errand or go play outside. I am just not an entertaining type of mom. Never have been. So this morning was nothing new, except for Erika. The kids watched their cartoons, I actually made muffins - two different kinds, which is most impressive for me - and Erika and I, who were both feeling a little crappy, just sat on the couch and talked and drank our coffee and ate thirteen muffins. Perhaps thirteen is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the gist. David became incredibly irritated with me just out of no where. He wanted to make something out of marshmallows and toothpicks and I just didn't think that a very good idea with a two year old around. Toothpicks and two year olds don't mix very well in my opinion. And he was bored, he said, and he sat at the kitchen table for thirty minutes with his head laid down and sighing and the works. And then he laid in the living room floor between me and Erika and hit his feet on the floor so jealous of the fact that I, for once in my poor pitiful existence, actually had another real live human adult with whom to hold conversation. I mean get over it, seriously. Come on, kiddos. I live for you both! I can't take a crap without one of you in the bathroom with me. I can't sit down for a minute without your needs and wants being shouted across the airwaves. I can't think about anything for the noise and the whining and Madalyn's infamous shriek. So for a day and a half I get crazy and decide to think about myself and now I believe the whole family unit is compromised. David is mad. Madalyn is exhausted. And I am sure that I owe my husband all kinds of sexual favors for bathing the children and attempting to keep them out of my hair yesterday. All that aside, I had a great weekend with my buddy and already can't wait to see her again!

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Best Friend

I have been busy the last two days doing laundry and mopping floors and running errands. In case anyone who actually does read this blog does not know it yet, my best friend Erika is flying in tonight and spending the weekend with me. And , of course, I have to have the house clean to further promote the mythical belief in the All-American Housewife that is able to maintain spotless floors and wrinkle free clothing. But the most important thing is that I not have anything else to do while she is here. So we can hang out and do what most friends get to do, face to face. Which is talk, laugh, eat, shop, drink coffee, etc. This may not sound like much to some, but for me it is a part of friendship I truly miss.

I remember when Erika left Alabama for the chance at love and marriage with Larry. I was hopeful and excited about her future, but I hated to see her go. I was in my first marriage at that time, and she was the only one in the world that knew as well as I did that it would not last. She was probably the only person that hoped we would divorce, that I would find a way to get away from him. He simply did not love me, and already in our very fresh marriage had done things that were not acceptable. And I remember the day shortly before she moved when I took her a gift - a memory box. I felt so empty as I drove home that day. I felt so alone and so uncertain of our future as friends. I mean moving that far away meant that we would rarely see each other and when you are so young you never know what the future holds. We had always said in our naivety that we would get married and live next door to each other. Didn't work out as planned, as so many things never do.

And ten years later after the move, we remain the best of friends. We have been through so much together, mainly over the phone. And it seems so strange to feel so close to someone that I never see. She is the one person that knows me beyond a doubt. We don't have to explain our comments to each other. We don't have to try. She is the closest thing I have to a sister. We are truly best friends. And I am so excited to hang out with her this weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In the Wee Small Hours

I woke to the sound of little feet around 1 am this morning. It was Madalyn, and when I picked her up, I could instantly feel she had fever. So we made our way to the kitchen and took a dose of Motrin and I then laid down with her in her bed. It's moments like these that are so sweet. The moments where she is my child, someone who needs me and wants me there. No yelling, no squealing. Just cuddling and digging her little feet into my legs. She can be so sweet. Of course no one likes to wake up in the middle of the night and deal with a sick child. But right now with Madalyn, I am open to any time with her that I can actually enjoy her. We laid there for probably an hour and she talked to me in the sweetest little whisper and showed me all her friends that sleep with her in the bed. And finally, when I could tell that her fever was starting to go down, I told her that I was going back to my bed. Of course she got up a few times to try to join me, but finally drifted back to sleep. She has become some a force to be reckoned with during the day that it was so nice to have such a positive moment with her at such an unlikely time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Conversation with my husband...

"I mean, you know you have to keep your eyes on her and make sure she's not getting into something. Because you know she will, right? You know she'll get into something. I am counting on you to hold the fort down for thirty minutes."

"I understand."

"I just want to make sure that you understand that you have to pay attention to what she's doing. This is why I don't walk on the treadmill while she's awake anymore. Because I can't hear what she's doing."

"I understand, Tamara."

"Just making sure."

I am amazed to report that the house still stands.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I need a break!

I just really need some time away from these children. More than a few hours. More than I have been getting. The days are getting longer and longer, and it's just me. There's no back-up, no second shift coming in to relieve me. It is me from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 at night. I am just plain weary. Scott will be taking his first day off (other than Sunday) in about a month on tomorrow, so that will be nice not only to have some time with him that I need, but to have another parent around that can fetch things and answer screams from upstairs and calm siblings entangled in war. I hate feeling this way. I feel like I get to a point - so rundown, so aggravated, so insane - where I become this horrible mother. Right now, there's not much about them I enjoy. Even bedtime has become a way for Madalyn to terrorize me. I am in and out of that room fifteen times before she will go to sleep. Oh, and that's at naptime, too. Every few days or so, I will tell Scott to give her one of his "peptalks". It is amazing how much better she responds to him than to me. And what is up with that? How insulting is that? I mean, we shared a body. I housed her in my womb, very uncomfortably at times, and then pushed her out... I'll just stop there. Why will she not listen to me? Why have I not figured her out yet? What in the hell makes her tick?????

She has started laughing at me. And it just makes me angry. There are so many afternoons that I just have to walk out of the room because I am afraid of what I might do if I don't get away from her. I try to remind myself of the things I was taught in my childhood. Imagine me saying this in the best southern preacher voice I could possibly do: "The Lord will never give you more than you can handle." Well, I just have one question. Do you reckon even he might get someone confused for someone else every now and again? I mean, there are a whole lot of people in the world. Surely this child was meant for someone with much more patience, much more energy, much more creativity.

As I write, the children are above me, running from room to room, and Madalyn is screaming, "STOP!!!! STOP!!!" And David and screaming back, "Be quiet!!" And I am thinking I agree with David. Also, a fly is buzzing around my head and won't leave me alone. I don't know which is worse, honestly. There is hope however, because my dearest friend in the whole world is coming this weekend. And the brightest, most glorious part of that news is that my children will be going to spend the night away that Saturday evening. I plan to be very selfish this weekend. And I plan to inform my husband of that fact. He is just going to have to play mama for the weekend. Minus the crazy, of course.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Today is my first full day of not being "thirty" but "thirty-something". It's a very strange thing turning thirty-one. I don't know why it feels so much older than thirty, but it just does. Last year was almost a relief - I am finally leaving those wretched twenties and entering a new decade, more certain of who I am and what I want. But thirty-one just seems like another year older and much less monumental. But leave it to me, and I'll make thirty-one as monumental as I can!

I can remember watching a TV show called "Thirty Something" in my childhood, and then I used to watch its reruns on Lifetime all the time. Then, the show seemed like an imaginary world where adults had children and stressed about bills and worked through the difficulties of marriage. It was all foreign to me then. But now I find myself living in that world. I am thirty-something with all that comes along with this decade. The stress, oh, the stress of money and children and marriage. And this past year has definitely been full to the brink of all those stresses! But it has also granted me so many joys and so many blessings. And through it all, the one constant is my God. And I think the older I get, the more I realize just how solid and true the Lord is. He has carried me and my family through many trials and will continue to do so. Last year was full of adventure, and tomorrow holds even more in store for us I am sure. So here's to another year of laughter and tears, of joy and pain, of memories that will last a lifetime.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Just call me Grace

I just fell down the stairs. Don't be alarmed, if anyone is really reading this. I have done this about two or three times a year since we moved to a house with stairs. The first time I fell was when I was pregnant with Madalyn. Isn't that lovely? Just stepped wrong going down and down I went. You don't really think about it until it happens to you, but it is not that difficult to fall down stairs. I don't find any difficulty in doing it, that's for sure.

So today, I happened to be toting the vacuum cleaner in my left hand. I still can't tell you exactly how it happened, but there I went and I landed on my right side, like the ribcage area. And somehow hit my foot on the vacuum cleaner simultaneously. What skill and grace! As soon as I hit, I started crying. And then it went into one of those weepy cries. And the kids were just standing there looking at me. David kept asking what happened and I really couldn't get it out for all the weeping. And Madalyn just said, "You hurt you foot?" And they just watched over me as I cried and as soon as the tears subsided, they went about their business. It felt good to cry - not to fall, but to cry. Really cry. Just to get out some frustration and built up tension and worry that has seemed to consume me the past couple of weeks. I don't think you realize how bad you need a good cry until you have it. No matter what brings it on. But now I am exhausted and I think I will try to just lie down for a while and quiet my mind. If that is at all possible in a house with two kids and four TV's. On another day, I'll have to share my phone call I received last night from the credit card company. I had a good cry then, too. No wonder why I feel so exhausted.

Friday, November 2, 2007

"Canny, chwochwate, and loddypops!"

Those are the words of Madalyn, and I tried to be as phonetically accurate as I could be. Though I am sure my spell check will go crazy! That's what my little Cinderella got in her pumpkin on Halloween. At least after I convinced her that it was okay to get out there in the dark around boys and girls dressed in scary masks. Once she walked up to the first door and realized that they were giving out "canny", that was all she wrote! And David was in rare form. He woke up on a sugar high, I promise! His school, for some crazy reason, scheduled a field trip for that day to the Children's Theater. So he had twice the excitement pulsing through his veins for the day. I was sure that his head would pop right off or he would have to move his clip at school. I am happy to report that neither occurred.

We had a good time, as we went for the first year outside our neighborhood and trick or treated with friends this year. It is so strange now that David has begun to make his own friends. And I am especially glad that we get along great with his parents. Of course, would I really have allowed him to cultivate such a great friendship with a kid if I didn't like their parents? I think not. One of the advantages to having a young child - you can still control their life without them really realizing it. As usual, I always get a little blue around these types of "holidays". And I do use that term loosely with Halloween. I am always by myself with the kids. That is just the way it has always been. Scott is in the car business and that equals very long hours, especially at the end of the month when you are on the crunch to get as many cars out for the month as you can. He did make it there for the tricking and treating around eight, but there is always that time before he gets there that I look around and see all these families together and I just get a little frustrated. But what are we supposed to do? That is the life we have. And for the majority of the time, we do fine. But there are those times when I secretly wish that our lives were normal. That he just worked five days a week and got home by six every night. But if that were the case, I would probably not be able to stay at home with my children anymore. Everything's a trade-off, I always say. So I am better today after I vented all of my frustrations out on my dear friend's ears. And I just have to remind myself that even on its worst day, my life is truly wonderful!
And this is just a snapshot from yesterday. No, I did not allow my 2 year-old daughter to dress as a street walker for Halloween! I just let her do that in the privacy of our own home.