Thursday, February 25, 2010

I just wrote a whole post - a beautiful, magnificent post - and Blogger ate it.

Where do posts go when Blogger eats them????? They have to be somewhere...

I don't have the energy to do it again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gambling

I was taught like any good Southern Christian young lady that gambling is wrong, wrong, wrong. And so is dancing - especially with a boy. And drinking. And mixed swimming - especially if you are wearing a two-piece bathing suit, and even if you're in a one-piece and aren't wearing a tee shirt over it. Then, all the sudden, I found myself grown up and looking at things through my own eyes...

I've been wanting to write a post about this for quite some time, so today seems as good a day as any. Our fair guvnah (that's Southern drawl for governor, in case you couldn't tell, which has three syllables in English and only two in Southern drawl), Bob Riley, of whom I've been a supporter for years now (as I am still a Christian Southerner and Republican) is kinda losing me here lately. This whole gambling thing has got me scratching my head... do our educated Republican elected officials really believe that gambling is that big of a societal problem in the state of Alabama???

I remember some years ago all the hoopla about the electronic gambling machines and the different criteria they had to meet to be in accordance with the law. And I cared about as much about it then as I do today. Gambling is not my thing, you know. Been to Biloxi, had a good time, but I am not a big gambler and not cashing in my family's life savings to go back for more of the action. I personally believed for years now that gambling should be legalized in Alabama - might as well earn a profit off what people will drive miles away and out of state to do. Sure, some people lose it all from gambling. But I would venture to say there are more people out there who have lost it all from something that is perfectly legal and found in easy abundance in our state - and that's alcohol. And then there's the other substances which aren't legal that have ruined the lives of many - and that's drugs.

When I first learned of the governor's raid on the electronic bingo halls, I was mortified and angered. As a mother, it angers me to know that our governor would pull all available officers off the the street to raid a bingo hall - that he'd waste all those resources and all that energy over some stupid electronic games that pay out in gift cards or maybe a little cash. Am I the only one out there that feels like we've got bigger fish to fry???

Our schools rank pretty close to last in the nation as far as education goes. There are children that go to school every morning who have no food in their home. Men and women die every day due to drug overdoses or at the hands of a drug crazed individual. And we, as a state, are worried about some gambling machines? And how much of this instant concern has to do with the fact that it's election year and the governor wants to make sure he maintains the support of the ultra-conservative vote?

Just my opinion. Some may not agree. And I do remain a conservative, just a practical one. There will always be evil out there. There will always be wrong. It just seems a little strange that I live in a state where I passed a brand new gentleman's club on I-59 North this weekend on my way to a baseball tournament, and that's completely legal, but electronic gambling is not. Just my thoughts...

Monday, February 22, 2010

In the strangest of moments...

In the strangest of moments come some of the most meaningful lessons of life. And in serving others out of the truest of love comes the purest joy imaginable.

I had the honor of serving my grandmother Friday evening at Jackson's Hospital in Montgomery. It wasn't penciled into my schedule at all. In fact, what I had planned for the evening was putting a carefully seasoned roast into the oven and being lazy at home after a little baseball practice. But when I talked to my mother on Friday morning, something spoke to my heart. And I am truly glad I listened.

Thursday morning, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital with a possible stroke. There's no way to know for certain what had happened - she had fallen and remained confused. Thursday night, she had stayed alone in the hospital room, the family feeling secure with her being there as she was hooked up to a bed alarm and had nurses to attend to her. But Friday morning when my uncle arrived to check on her, she burst into tears. She was frightened by a bad dream during the night. When my mother told me they were going to call the company that supplies sitters to my grandparents' home, I felt like it should be someone she knows and loves by her side, not a stranger. How would a stranger comfort her if she were scared in the night? Knowing my mom could not do it at this point in her life, I felt like the next best thing would be me. So I volunteered to stay with my sweet grandmother Friday night.

When I arrived around 6:00 in the evening, I discovered that she was in a semi-private room. Words cannot express the sheer panic that ran through me. No offense, but staying with an elderly person - truly elderly - brings about certain experiences that would make anyone uncomfortable. And I just wasn't sure that I could handle being in the room with one I loved dearly and one who was a perfect stranger. But when I being to talk to my grandmother about what was going on, and I realized how truly confused, disoriented, and frightened she was, I knew I could stay in a room of ten elderly people to make her feel more secure.

She was scared. She was paranoid. She had absolutely no idea where she was. And she began to cry as she told me she thought someone was doing something to her. I don't remember ever seeing my grandmother cry in my whole life. But the smile on her face was the biggest I'd ever seen when I asked if it would make her feel better that night if I stayed with her. Her response was this: "I'd love you forever!!"

So I settled into the vinyl recliner beside her bed after we had watched a few hours of TV together - the Olympics, not my favorite thing to watch at all, but what do you say to a 90 year old woman? I watched her as she drifted off to sleep for the first time of the night - I watched her movements, and in that moment I thought of my daughter. It's something about what they do with their hands and the way they hold onto fabric with their fingers that is so incredibly similar. It was just the strangest realization that they are so much alike without having been around each other that much. It was comforting to know that somewhere in our genes remains this common thread that's not quite as obvious as the color of the hair or eyes. Similarity. Sense of family. Relation to one another.

I thought back to my days as a child - when my grandmother gave up her job outside the home and began working out of her small third bedroom in the back of her house to take care of a nervous and scared little girl - scared to be left at daycare while mom went back to work, and so nervous about the whole ordeal that she began having physical symptoms of anxiety. Yes, my grandmother did that for me.

I thought back to the days I stayed at her house - the snacks she'd fix me. Saltines with real peanut butter on top with bananas. She'd fix me a boiled egg every morning. I thought back to the evenings I spent the night at her house - the palette she would fix for me on the floor and the way I would lie there listening to the strange sounds of a house not my own. I just kept thinking about the way she had loved me and taken pride in me all those years, and how I never could have imagined her in the state she is in now.

And so I listened to her every time she got up that night and left her bed. I listened to her fears and confusion and tried to calm her and bring her back into the reality of where she was throughout the night. I prayed for her, thanking the amazing God I have for all these years with her and for everything she had done for me along the way, but also asking Him to take her quickly - please don't allow her to suffer when the time comes for her to go home.

There were things that still surprised me about my feeble grandmother in the weakest state I've ever seen her. She was still trying to take care of me, even going so far as leaning over the side of her bed to pull the blanket over my feet to keep me warm. She also told me she didn't know how she'd ever repay me, and I just laughed inside thinking, "She wants to repay me for one night when she's done so much for me all these years." But that's just who she is - always thinking of others.

It was an amazing night with her - one I will never forget. To have the blessing of being a comfort to someone who means so much to you... it's just a joy I've never experienced before. If given the chance or the need arises again, I'd do it again. But what I hope comes of it is this - that she knows by my service to her how much I love her and appreciate her. Whether all that sank in on a cognitive level, I don't know. But I hope her heart read it - I hope her heart could feel what my heart was saying to hers.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Memories of my grandmother...

This morning, the phone rang at 7:20 a.m. on the nose. That's never good. Most people don't call at that hour of the day unless there's something pressing to share. I must admit that when the phone rings at those odd hours of the day, I immediately think about my grandmother. This morning, the news was about my sweet old grandmother. She had fallen again - one of many times in the last several weeks - and was extremely disoriented and confused. Her doctor wanted to admit her to see if he could figure out exactly what's going on.

She hasn't passed away, but she's already gone. Maybe that sounds weird, but she's just not the same as she was - as my grandmother was. My maternal grandmother, named Mattie Olivia, has been such a central part of my life from day one. Of course the closeness to your mother's mother is always a little different. So I wanted to take some time today and just remember her... who she was and still is inside and still tries her hardest to be in her 90 year old frame.

Nail polish. My grandmother was nail polish. Always polished. Always. As a little girl, I can remember watching as she polished those beautiful nails. Her nails were quite different from mine. Mine just grow straight out, but hers gracefully curved and grew beautifully. She kept them painted in the most delicate and muted shades - mauve, peaches, light pinks. And she'd paint mine sometimes, too, or let me do my own painting.

Double Mint Gum. To this day, if I smell it, I think of her and her pocketbook. She always had gum in her pocketbook. If I couldn't find any there, she'd instruct me to look in her dresser drawer, and I'd successfully find the multi-pack she kept tucked away there. Sometimes there'd be Juicy Fruit - even better to me! And she'd let me chew as much as I wanted. And typically, I'd chew a piece for a minute until the freshness of the flavor and the powder of the sugar were gone, and I would reach for another. No telling how many packs of her gum I chewed over the years. And if she minded, it never showed.

Pins. I'm talking about straight pins, people. You know, the sharp ended little things that most modern women don't know how to use. Well, my grandmother was an exceptional seamstress back in her day. One thing was for sure - you never wanted to walk barefoot in my grandmother's house. Have you ever stepped on a straight pin? Well I have, and it's not pleasant at all. There were pins everywhere - on the floor, in between the cushions of the couch, even in the arms of her chair (she'd use it as a makeshift pin cushion - who needs the real deal when you have the arm of your chair to use?). But I can't remember the last time I found a pin in her house...

Spaghetti with mushrooms, homemade barbecue sauce, and cornbread dressing. These were the flavors of my childhood. Her spaghetti amazed me (and not in a good way). It had mushrooms in it. I can remember as a child eating Sunday lunch at her house and picking those mushrooms out of my spaghetti one by one and wondering if my grandmother was crazy or what to put such things in her spaghetti. In my little world - aka mom and dad's house - we didn't have weird things in our spaghetti. Just tomato paste and a little seasoning - and not too much, as my father didn't care for anything too seasoned. It wasn't until adulthood that I realized a ton of people other than my grandmother appreciated mushrooms in their sauce. She also made the most amazing homemade barbecue sauce you can imagine - I'd eat more chicken just so I sop it up in that sauce. And the cornbread dressing - never dry, always right on with the perfect amount of flavor, with the chopped up onion and celery. Of course, she always made two pans - one with onion and celery and one without for my dad and any other picky eaters. But that's just how she was and still is. She just wanted everyone to enjoy the meal.

Shopping. Usually on Saturdays, my mom and I would head over to visit my grandmother. Most weekends, we'd head out to do a little shopping, whether at the mall or Hancock's to look at fabric and patterns. We'd comb through pattern books, find just the right one, pick out the fabric and notions she needed, and return to her kitchen table to cut out the pattern. Or we'd head to the mall, traipsing through Gayfer's or Pizitz, looking at the clothes, shoes and housewares. Each Summer, she'd put some Fall things on layaway for me for the school year.

Kindness. Goodness. Grace. She was and still is all those things. If I can only be half the grandmother she has been to me... well, I'd be pleased. How I long for her to be restored to her fullness in heaven where one day we can paint our fingernails together again. Or cut out a pattern for the most magnificent robe...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Man it's cold...

Have you noticed that most of my post titles have ellipsis at the end? I am not real sure why, but I just do that. And I tend to use them a lot when I write here, in emails, and also when leaving comments on facebook. Why do I do that???? Something to think about... see, I did it again!

Anywho - (I like the dash as well)

It's really cold. And I'm really tired of it being cold. I don't think I've ever been so grateful in all my life to have a home and running heat. I don't know how the homeless survive in times like these. I know there are shelters and what have you, but I also know that there are probably some who are too stubborn to accept help or those that are in too poor of a mental condition to seek help. And for those people who are living on the streets today during all this coldness... well, I guess all I can do for them at this point is pray for them and be so very grateful for the home that I have. Because, to be honest, I am cold right now, and I'm in my warm house.

I can't get warm. I will wear a little jacket or fleece or wrap up in a blanket during most parts of the day. And when it's time to walk down the street to get David from school, I bundle up as best as I can and am still cold. I can't remember a colder winter here in the South, and I am highly anticipating the arrival of Spring even if it means cutting the grass and bug bites.

Today I started back on the P90X program. I did it for a week, then last week I was so unmotivated to do anything for several reasons. Last week was just an emotionally draining week, and I had nothing left for any program involving physical work. So today I started back, and I need to stick with it this time. It's incredibly challenging, which I do enjoy to a certain extent. I must admit, however, that I can't do a ton of the things they want you to do - push ups... so many push ups!!! But I do what I can, and hopefully I will feel myself getting stronger as I move along. That is if I can find the self discipline and motivation to keep at it.

What else is going on??? Not much really. Still reading Isaiah. Still loving it and learning from it. Still praying for my mom and ready to see her start her treatment. She goes to the doctor on Friday to get her biopsy results. Other than that, I'm just hanging out, hanging in there, and trying to stay warm. Trying to stay warm proves to be the hardest part of all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The loss of a Valentine...

I used to have two Valentines... Scott, of course, who really has no choice in the matter anymore (if he knows what's good for him, anyway). And my second Valentine was my little man, David. But this year, I've lost the little one.

This girl in his class has been calling the house for several weeks now. I did my best to try to ignore it at first. We missed several of her calls (some literally because we didn't hear the phone and others because I heard the phone ring and saw that it was her and just didn't answer it or tell him about it - I know it's wrong, but I'm at least being honest about it), and she left a couple of messages. Yes - the girl actually left messages on my phone for my eight year old son.

At first, David really didn't seem too interested in her. But a couple of weeks ago, the love bug bit him, and he started asking if he could call her. And he started looking for her call around 6:00 in the evening - like, anxiously awaiting her call. And then he told me he wanted to buy her something for Valentine's Day. That's when I knew I had lost him...

Two weeks ago, I watched my little man peruse the seasonal section at Target looking for just the perfect gift for his new love. And he found it - a little stuffed dog with a bone-shaped candy holder full of bone-shaped candies. The outside of the bone said, "I WOOF YOU."

Dear me.

I remember those days - the crushes of my youth, and those feelings of wonderment and excitement. But it's just so hard to think of your own child having those feelings. I've always done so well in knowing that my kids are little people, but when it comes to him wanting a relationship with a little girl.... well, it's just hard to swallow.

When it hit me that my little Valentine was no longer mine at all but had given his heart away to another, I felt a little sad. I hugged him tight, and asked him if he still loved his Mama. To which he replied, "I love you, Mama. But I like her."

I can handle that. For now. But I know the day is coming that he will love another woman. And it's already breaking my heart.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Loving the Words...

I am just loving the words of Isaiah right now. I don't know why, but I was always afraid of the Book of Isaiah. In a way, I have always been a little afraid of the Old Testament... afraid I wouldn't understand it or be able to pronounce all those weird names. And most of my life I have considered it irrelevant because it was the Old Testament. But in my wiser years (ha! ha!) I have come to believe that every single word in the Bible was recorded for a reason and therefor holds importance and relevance even in these modern times.


So I have been reading the Book of Isaiah for the past several weeks, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It just seems to be a book of amazing promises and hope. This morning, I found this:


The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Isaiah 32: 17 - 18


I don't know if that strikes anyone else the way it struck me this morning, but all I could think was, "WOW." I've often heard of the peace of God - the peace that transcends all understanding. And to be honest, I just never got it. But I was missing a key piece - righteousness.


In my little Webster's dictionary that I've had since my freshman year of college, righteousness is defined as virtuous, devout. Well I'll be so bold as to say I've been none of the above in the past decade of my life. Maybe I've been devout to me, to my own agenda, to the desires and ways of this world. But I have definitely not been a devout woman of God. And that just may have something to do with the fact that I never have understood that peace the scriptures talk about... I wasn't living up to my end of the bargain.


I've really been challenging my way of thinking lately. Something is moving and growing within me - mainly my desire to live a life pleasing to my Lord and Savior instead of pleasing to the world. And to be quite honest, the promise of peace and confidence is reason enough to give it my best effort...


The promise in the scripture is so appealing - to live in a place of undisturbed rest. Undisturbed. I love that word - I think of it in terms of my kids and when I'm in the tub. Don't know what it is about me being in the bath tub, but the minute they hear that water running, a little light goes off in their head and they will either begin to fight or need something. But make no mistake about it, if my kids are in the house and I am in the tub, I will be disturbed. And it is not only disturbing but frustrating as well. I find myself saying, "Is there no place of peace for me - not even the bath tub???"


So I think about how nice the days are when I can bathe in silence. May sound silly to some, but that is the most peaceful time to me. There's nothing else going on. The bathroom is quiet, and I can just think about my day or whatever's going on and pray on things. I long for a quiet bath time. So when I read the words undisturbed places of rest it pulled my mind into a beautiful bathroom with a tub filled with warm water (almost hot, but not too hot) and silence. That's where my mind went. And to think that I can carry that place around with me in my heart forever and that's exactly the state of mind my Lord wants to give me - well, that thought is so exciting to me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I don't know how this post will turn out today... I'm in a bit of a weird place, so bear with me.

I went to visit my mom in the hospital today. She is good, stable, and amazingly strong. The surgeon removed a sample of her cancer for biopsy yesterday, placed in a tube for draining the fluid that has collected, and put some sort of powdery substance to inhibit the growth of the cancer. Everything went well and as expected. A lot of fluid has drained out already, and they wait until that flow slows down to a certain rate to remove the drain.

It feels almost surreal to be talking about all of this. About my mom. I looked at all the fluid coming out of her this morning when I was there to visit her, and I was amazed - at what she's been carrying around with her, at how exhausted she must have been feeling but not wanting to show. And I was angry - angry at that stinking fluid. I wondered if the cancer was in that fluid, too. I thought about ways I could get back at it - I could chunk it out that 9th floor window, throw it into a fire, or flush it down the toilet. I just couldn't stand the thought that some of the cells that threaten to take my mother away from me were right there - right there in that stupid container in front of me and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it.

Not a damn thing.

I'm just angry.

I went to my mom's house on Sunday afternoon and did what any good Southern woman would do for another in such times... I mopped her floors. As I mopped and cried, cried and mopped, I thought about how stupid it was really to think that it was helpful to go over and mop your mom's hardwoods. But it was just all I could think to do - to clean up a little for her, to make something, anything, a little easier. And I left her candy, too, and that's what any woman wants when she's not feeling well - her favorite sweets.

Here lately it seems that I go to bed praying for her and wake up praying for her. And I find myself at odd hours during the day praying for her, too. I guess some people may think that even more stupid than mopping her hardwoods, but I find it necessary. I talk to God about it. He's the only one who knows every burden on my heart right now, and He's the only one who can see how it all ends. So I find some comfort in knowing that He's working on a bigger picture right now - one I can't quite see at the moment but will hopefully make perfect sense in His magnificent timing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

And let me just add a little more...

I'm so sorry, dear peeps, but you'll just have to bear with me as I get some things off my chest.

And another thing about my kids in the house here lately... the radio and TV. First, every flipping TV in the house stays on all the time. There's no point in turning any of them off; as soon as I do, one of the kids' little power usage radar thingies in their brain detects a change in electrical flow in the house, locates the TV that has been turned off, and promptly returns it to its appropriate state - ON. And I do believe that David has hearing issues. For one, the doctor will ask me from time to time when looking in his ears if her has recurring ear infections as a baby, so that must mean that things don't look quite right in there. And the other reason that makes me believe he already should be fitted for a hearing aide is the decibel level at which he listens to the TV and radio. It's really quite unbelievable. The worst part of it is that he'll turn the TV or radio on in his room - at a level which the neighbors could enjoy - and then go downstairs to do something else. I can't hear myself think or the TV program I'm trying to watch, and David is nowhere around to even listen to whatever it is he had to turn up so dadgum loud.

In case anyone can't tell, my kids are getting on my nerves a little here lately. After the sentimental post last weekend about Madalyn, it may seem that a demon has run in and possessed my heart. But none of that's going on... they just drive me crazy sometimes. I just feel that I'm losing the battle every now and then. I try so hard to teach them respect and courtesy, even to the point of feeling I'm too hard on them sometimes and expect too much. And then to see such a disregard for respect at home, with me or with each other, well, it's just disturbing. And frustrating.

It's hard to maintain my cool with David these days who wants to act more like I'm the kid and he's the parent. News flash - I've already been the child. David's turn is not up yet. Like today, for instance, while we were leaving Target where we had to pick up a few items, I headed a different direction than the way home. And here's what I get from Mr. David, all eight and a half years of wisdom and maturity under his belt...

"Oh, great. Where are we going now??"

Of course, I can't accurately depict his not-so-pleasant nor respectful tone, but I can surely tell you my reply.

"We're going where ever I want to go, David. So why don't you just sit back there and be eight years old and keep quiet."

Cause that's just it - you know? He's EIGHT. He doesn't get to get an attitude with me about where I need to go. He doesn't have the freedom to choose what we do and when we do and for how long. And he certainly hasn't earned the right to get a freaking attitude with me about ANYTHING. Just seems like he wants to bicker about everything here lately. He wants to put his two cents into every conversation I have with anyone around. He is constantly interrupting me while I'm on the phone to ask me what I'm talking about or who I'm referring to. It's just enough to drive me up the wall. It's as though he believes he's the man of the house when his father isn't around...

I've got news for the Little Mr. Blair. He is far from being the man of this house or any other house, for that matter. And if he'd like to see the day he is a man, he'd better start picking up his own darn trash, turning his radio down, and watching that little attitude of his. Just sayin'.

Okay - I think I've got it all out of my system now.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Taking Over

I feel here lately that the kids have completely taken over the house.

It's not that I don't want them to feel comfortable here and feel the freedom to truly live in our home. I want them to play and be loud and rambunctious and put their feet up on the coffee table (as long as they're not wearing shoes). However, it would be nice to be able to walk through the living room without finding a Silly Band or a little shoe or a matchbox car.

I know the day is coming - or so I've been told - that I'll miss the sensation of stepping on a Lego when I'm barefoot or picking up every pair of dirty socks from six different locations in the house or finding empty Ritz Bits bags in the corner. But I'm almost ready to experience those days of missing it, mainly cause I want to find out if it's really true - you know, do you really miss your disgusting kids once they aren't disgusting anymore or either don't live under your roof?

I'm just not sure I'm buying into it.

I used to think that little girls weren't as gross as boys. Until I had a little girl of my own. I have found over the past two years that little girls make just as big of a mess in the bathroom if not bigger. Absolutely amazing. When a girl misses the potty, it goes everywhere. Usually when a boy misses the potty, it's just a small puddle on the side of the toilet. How does a little girl miss the potty, you might ask??? By holding her urine so long that it spills out of her before she can sit all the way down... not only does it get everywhere, but it also gets all over her and her clothes.

Madalyn also has this thing about shoes and socks. As soon as she gets in the car from school or from going to the grocery store, the shoes and socks come off. So we always have a collection of shoes in the car. Kinda nice for a life on the go - sometimes. The biggest issue is in the house. Occasionally she makes it inside before stripping off the socks and shoes, and I will find them ALL OVER THE HOUSE. And I don't believe she puts the same socks back on twice in a day. So, for instance, if she has to put her shoes back on two more times in the day, she'll go to her drawer and pull out fresh socks each time. Completely aggravating.

David is simply utterly disgusting. He would absolutely live in a pile of dog poop, I'm convinced. At one point, over the Christmas break, I went into his room to ask him a question, and I was so completely taken aback by the condition of his room that I had to ask him, "Son, does it not bother you to be in this room when it's like this???? Does this not bother you AT ALL???" I think we all know what his reply was.

I feel at a complete loss as to what to do. I guess I could spend my days and nights screaming at them or blowing a whistle and demanding that they live a more pristine life around here. I guess I could take a big black trash bag - construction grade, of course - and put everything I find on the floor scattered about the house inside it and throw it all away. Or I guess I could just continue to deal with it as best I know how and dream of the day that I will miss my kids...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mary Blood

Are kids not the most endless source of entertainment in the world? I mean, when mine aren't getting on my nerves, they really can be quite enjoyable. Especially when I have one of the following type conversations with my now five year old daughter...

"Mama, Daaaavid told me about this girl, Mary Blood." (Please imagine the most Southern extension of a long vowel sound as possible for Madalyn's voice. Every long vowel is the longest long vowel sound you've ever heard in your entire life.)

"Mary Blood??? What is that?"

"You turn off the liiiiiiights, and you say Mary Blood, and she comes aliiiiiiiive. She's a real person." (Truly Madalyn has to be the single most dramatic person I've ever been around. If you've been around me, the answer to your question is yes... she's got me beat, hands down!)

"Oh, okay......." (Isn't it nice to see that the legend of Bloody Mary is still alive and well in the 21st century. I have vivid memories of trying it out in the bathroom of my tiny little Christian private elementary school, and I feel pretty certain if we had been caught doing so, they'd have tried to perform an exorcism on us right then and there."

"She comes aliiiiiive and she's the bestest fiiiiiiiighter in the world."

"Oh. Well, Madalyn, if you bring her here, make sure you tell me before hand so I can be really nice to her."

"Yeah. I will have to be really niiiiiiiice to her, too. Liiiiiiike give her snacks." (Cause to Madalyn, nothing says I love better than a snack. No kidding. She is her mother's child. What can I say?)

As of just a second ago when Madalyn came down the stairs to update me, Mary is not alive yet. I'll be sure to alert the media as well as local law enforcement if she comes alive at some point in the evening.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Madalyn's Birthday Weekend

My baby girl officially turned five yesterday. I think this will be the most extended birthday we've ever celebrated in our home, however.

Saturday we made a trip down south to Montgomery to get our ears pierced. Yes, I said we, as in both of us. At 33 years of age, I finally got my ears pierced... people never believe me when I tell them I've never had it done, and they certainly never believe the different reasons why, so I'll spare all that info here and just share the story.

I have always said that when Madalyn started showing an interest in getting her ears pierced I would let her, but I wanted it to be something she wanted to do and not something that I had done to her. About a year and a half ago, Madalyn's closest little girl friend got her ears pierce. And, of course, at the first sight of sparkly earrings in her ears, Madalyn's desire was sparked. I mean, what's not to love about sparkly things in your ears??? Madalyn loves sparkly, so why not have them attached to every part of you - clothes, shoes, and ears as well. So I told her when she turned five she could do it for her birthday, giving us plenty of time to talk about it, think it over, and make sure it was something she was ready to do. Within a blink of an eye, that time passed...

When Madalyn started talking about getting her ears done, I realized what better time would I find to have mine pierced as well? I've always wanted to do it, and what a memory for me to have (and one that will perhaps mean something to her later in life). I'll admit, I was a little nervous. Well, maybe a lot nervous. And it made no sense, either. I've delivered two healthy sized babies, endured two epidurals (one of which took five attempts to get the needle in properly), had three surgeries, and I was nervous about getting my ears pierced. It's one of those things that only makes sense in your own mind at the time, but when you really stop and think, it doesn't even make sense there really. So I went first, and the lady reminded me that I couldn't act nervous or like it hurt at all or Madalyn would never get it done. So I smiled the whole time, and I must admit that it didn't really hurt at all. A little pinch, and then a little sting, and it was over. The worst part was the sound of the gun. I can still hear it in my mind, by the way.

Then it was Madalyn's turn. At first, she was ready to go, but when the time came for her to climb up in the chair, I could tell she was starting to second guess her decision. So I asked her if she wanted to have her ears pierced or not, to which we know she replied and emphatic, "YES!" I held her hands while two ladies did both lobes at the same time. She cried for a minute, but once she saw the sparkly earrings, she was good to go. It's been good that we had them done at the same time - she has no excuse for not wanting me to clean them as we do it together every day.

Yesterday, on her actual birthday, we had a very small family party. I baked a small cake and some cupcakes, and we had the grandparents and aunts and uncles come. It was a fairly quiet day, and Madalyn was the center of attention, and that's right up her alley! My mom's parents were able to come, and that's an amazing feat in and of itself. My grandfather is 91, and my grandmother is 90 - them just being alive to see my daughter turn five is amazing, but to see them slowly but surely making their way up the stairs to my living room is unbelievable. I hope that one day Madalyn will realize how truly blessed she was to have so many living grandparents. Right now, she could care less... her only question yesterday as the guests arrived was, "So, did they bring me a present???"

A week from today will be the big party. Madalyn and our neighbor's little boy, who are more like brother and sister than anything else, will be having a combined party at Pump It Up. It promises to be fun. And loud. And it promises to have Madalyn's birthday spread out about as far as I'd ever like it to be again...

A great weekend indeed... I can't believe my baby is five. Five is old, you know. Five is an "I remember that age" kind of year. She'll look back and remember getting her ears pierced. She'll remember a Pump It Up party. She'll start big school this year. She's growing up so fast. Oh so fast.