Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Words cannot describe...

I have never experienced anything like last night... never.

Late yesterday afternoon, Scott washed both the cars in the driveway as the kids played with a neighbor and I ran to the store and prepared dinner. We left the garage doors open as we enjoyed our family dinner in the back yard by the pool. The weather has been beyond perfect, and we try to eat out back at the table as often as possible. After dinner, I took the kids inside for homework and baths while Scott cleaned up all his car-washing stuff.

After the end of the evening festivities were complete, we sat down in the basement to watch a little TV. We were watching Billy the Exterminator which I had heard a lot about but never watched. It was fascinating, but the more I watched the more itchy and scratchy I became. I felt like I had bugs all over me. We put the kids to bed at their normal hour and continued watching. Scott and I kept noticing a mosquito here and there... they were biting Scott a lot more than they were me, but we were both equally aggravated and perplexed. Why were all these mosquitoes in the house? Scott killed close to ten in the bathroom, den, and garage downstairs. It was annoying, to say the least, but we thought, "Hey - it's time to go to bed. No big deal. Hopefully they will die off overnight..."

No such luck. We went to bed and the real siege against the Maw and Paw Blair began...

They were everywhere. One at a time, as though the plan was carefully constructed, they would fly down and buzz around either mine or Scott's face, land on whatever skin was available, and attempt to suck the ever-loving life out of us. Of course, it was pitch black, and we really couldn't see the little pests, but we could hear them and feel them. I can't say for sure how many mosquitoes were in the room. At times, it felt like there were hundreds. In reality, it was probably between six and ten. But it was like they were messing with us. We'd swat one away, close our eyes and be nearly ready to drift off to sleep, and then the buzzing would start again.

I had the covers pulled up around my face in hopes that would keep them off my skin and the buzzing out of my ears. Every minute or so, I heard poor Scott smack the heck out of his face or neck. I don't know if he ever killed one... probably not. At one point, he even went outside and retrieved the can of Off and sprayed his exposed areas. I refused the spray because I didn't want to smell it all night, and because I had just put fresh sheets on the bed and really didn't want to feel the need to change them again the following day. At times, it was borderline humorous. But as the onslaught continued, we moved further and further away from the border of humor and closer and closer to the edge of insanity.

Around 2:00 a.m., we finally decided to move. Scott went to the basement and put the ceiling fan on high and had a free-standing fan blowing directly on him. I moved to the couch upstairs, and I think I got about 30 minutes of solid sleep before they found me again. I killed four of them while on the sofa, and I really can't tell you what time I was able to get to sleep. It was awful... worse than any night I have ever had before. Worse than the night I had to call my mom at 2 in the morning when David was just a few days old and I couldn't get him to stop crying. Worse than the night I couldn't get my fever to break for several hours and thought I was going to die. It was one of those bad times when you stop in the middle of it all - silence and black all around you - and think to yourself, "Am I losing it????? Is this really happening, or am I dreaming it???" And then you hear the Lilliputian sized Kamikaze flight noise coming in again....

I have killed two this morning already. And, I'll admit, I called them absolutely wretched names while doing so. No - I am not proud of my choice in vocabulary, but they deserved much worse than a few choice words and death by the smack of the hand. If there was a way in which to torture the mosquito, I would take great delight in administering it. And if they show back up tonight, I might be on the next bus headed straight to the crazy farm...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mommy moment...

I don't have many mommy moments... I'm fairly forthcoming about how my kids get on my nerves and generally perturb me. Hey, what can I say? I'm honest.

But tonight, I glanced over at Madalyn who was lying on her back in our swing. It's a metal frame swing we bought several years ago at Service Merchandise when they were going out of business. So, she was lying on her back, legs propped up on the frame swinging herself from side to side with the push of her little narrow feet. Her big brown eyes scanned above and around her. Big brown eyes... looking everywhere, thoughts behind them, a little brain spinning inside. Scott looked at me and asked, "What do you think she's thinking about?" I had no idea. Still don't know. But I had one of those moments where her little tiny life passed before my eyes. Where the still and silent moments of motherhood raced through my heart and left me thinking, "Where has the time gone?"

Just yesterday, I warmed her bottle in the middle of the night and held her close. She made the most precious baby noises when she drank her milk. I can feel the gentle pat of her chunky baby hands on my arm or the tug on my shirt. Her tiny fingers would latch onto any fabric it could find and pull. Not a hard or aggravated pull, yet one of discovery. Of softness. Of cling to the fabric of peace. She still does it at five. She finds the perfect spot on her blanket with her fingers and runs it in between, feeling each thread one by one, soaking in all that the sense of touch will allow. I can see her eyes - those big brown eyes - scanning the room around her as she drinks her bottle. The same brown eyes that read today. The same brown eyes that watch Hannah Montana and pick out her favorite outfit to wear to school. The same eyes that roll back at my request for her to clean up her room.

I can't help but think about who she was. Who she is today. Who will she become? No matter what, she'll carry those big brown eyes, full of wonder and delight. No matter what, I will always remember every step of the way. No matter what, she'll always be my baby girl. No matter how loud she yells, how tall she gets, how many tears fall from those eyes, she will always be my baby girl. Always. And I hope that five years from now, I'll think back on this night and remember seeing those big brown eyes gazing into the dusky sky. I hope those eyes will still sparkle as bright then as they do today...

A post with a touch of whine (not to be confused with wine)...

First things first... my husband's extended vacation has been interrupting my writing time. It's got my schedule all discombobulated. (I cannot believe I spelled that word right the first time, nor that it's actually in the spell check program.) Not that I have a rigorous schedule to begin with, but there is a pattern to my days that I follow throughout the week, some more loosely than others. And my pattern has been affected. But I am not complaining about that - the fact that Scott has been at home with me for over a week and we're both still alive and speaking to one another and laughing a lot speak wonders. Unemployment definitely looks good on our marriage.

What I will choose to complain about today is running, or my lack of ability to do so right now. I have jacked up my shins in a bad way. And, in all honesty, I don't think I can blame it entirely on running. I wore these nifty little shoes all day last Saturday... walking and walking and walking as well as jumping up and down with excitement, frustration, and glee (if you actually watched the Auburn game last Saturday, then you will understand the wide array of emotion). Probably not the best choice of footwear for anyone, especially one with irritable shins and large bunions. But, hey ~ I obviously didn't purchase them for sensible reasons... I mean, who in the world would sensibly purchase orange and blue, tiger-striped, over priced wedge shoes? ME.

Sunday, my shins hurt all day. Monday, when I woke up and got out of the bed, I wanted to drop to my knees and holler out all kinds of obscenities that shouldn't be said in your head much less out loud. I wondered if a little lime green alien had come into my room in the middle of the night and cut out a portion of the complex working of ligaments and tendons that make up the shin and sewed it back together tighter than ever. I can deal with pain, but not when it's with every stinking step you take and it pulsates and throbs even when sitting still. And that's what I've been working with all week. Pulsating, living pain.

I know things could be worse. All I have to do is look around me and know that things can always get worse. My pain is minimal compared to what some are going through right now. It's just one of those things I have to deal with. One of those things that slows down the progression of my goal to run. Hopefully, if I rest the shins a few more days, I'll be able to get back at it. Hopefully my shins will agree with me. We'll see. In the meantime, I'll whine a little about it, but not too much. And I'll definitely avoid wearing the fantastically tacky shoes I wore last weekend. I do love those shoes...

Other than the shins, running has left other marks on me as well. Yes, the muscles in my legs are tightening up nicely, and if I could ever stop eating like a horse and actually lose some of the fat atop the muscles, I think I might have a beautiful physique. But running has also provided more zits - on my face, in my hairline, on my chest and even on my back. I thought when one sweats they sweat OUT the impurities. With the way I've been sweating, I would think that there were no more impurities in the skin to form a zit. My skin - from head to toe - should be glowing like my five year old little girl's skin. But no... my skin looks more like a 15 year old boy that refuses to use the Oxy pads his mom bought for him at the drug store. Oh well. I'll keep scrubbing and medicating and hoping that eventually my skin will figure out its real age.

Okay. I'm done now. I've done all the complaining I'm going to do for the day. Well, that may not be entirely accurate, but I'll try not to whine any more today... I'll try real hard. I promise.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time with Lilly...

For those of you who don't write, you may think this post is a little weird. But I'll write it anyway...

I've always had an imagination. Always. I've always looked at the world through the eyes of that imagination. I played with Barbies until I was 10 or so... I remember sitting in my bedroom floor in Zachary, Louisiana making out a Barbie sized village with shoe boxes and fabric and little furniture and carrying out a life with pint sized people with exquisite long hair and itty-bitty waists. I still have the imagination, but as an adult it's different. I can make up a story in my head, but I am no longer able to reenact the plot line with Barbies as I did when I was a child. Trust me; I know this as fact. My daughter asks me to play Barbies quite often, and it always ends with me sitting there in the floor wondering what the heck my Barbie is supposed to do or say.

As I have shared here before, I am working on a novel. It almost makes me laugh aloud as I type the words... I mean, I am writing a novel. When I think of a novel, I think Wuthering Heights, or A Tale of Two Cities, or Pride and Prejudice. So, I guess I could rephrase and say that I am writing a manuscript or a book. That sounds a little less pretentious. In the past week and a half, I haven't had much time for writing. With Scott being home, it's broken my normal routine, and today is the first day I have sat down to work on it in a while.

Here comes the weird part... I have missed Lilly, the main character. To me, she is a real person, flesh and blood, though no one (including myself - I promise I am not hallucinating) can see her. She has a personality equipped with goodness and flaws. She has dreams and wishes. She has hurts and memories. And I have missed writing about her, discovering different pieces of her, and trying to figure out where she will go next. I have also missed the closeness she provides me to the Lord. I feel like every time I sit down to write about her, I am learning something from God. Like He is teaching me as I write... teaching me as He puts things on my heart to share through her. It's a very strange thing to experience, but it is real.

Like today, God put on my heart a passage from Matthew 6 (don't be too impressed... I had to Google it to find the location in the Bible, but I knew the gist of the passage I was looking for).

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30

First, I just love the word splendor. I found it often in Isaiah and in Lamentations, and I truly adore the word. I'd like to study the Hebrew word and its meaning and all - you know, if I were a wee bit smarter and I wasn't writing a book and raising two kids. Maybe one day.

But also, I love the passage and how it reminds us that God has the whole world taken care of down to the very basic. I just love the thought. And, right now, when times are so uncertain for so many, we can rest in the thought that God will take care of us no less than he does the lilies of the field.

Anywho... so I am writing (or trying to carve out time to write) and learning (always trying to find the lessons in life) and listening to God (some days I am a little more deaf than others, but this morning I've heard Him loud and clear). Just living it day by day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Moving in SLOW.....MO......

I feel like a DVD stuck in slow motion... slowly moving forward frame by frame. I can't tell what's moving slower today, my brain or my body.

Friday morning, I went to boot camp. If I haven't blogged about boot camp, let me begin by saying that it is definitely an activity Satan should consider for the pits of hell. When I say that I sweat during boot camp, it is the understatement of the century. I sweat so much while doing the boot camp exercises that it pools up in my ears and runs down the tip of my nose. Disgusting. This past Friday was tough. I mean, it was beyond difficult. I don't know if she was trying to kill us or make us stronger - I have learned there's a very thin line between the two. All I know is that I am still sore on Monday morning, and I am guessing I'll still be a little sore tomorrow.

I was supposed to run on Saturday morning, but I couldn't. Well, I could have run, but then I wouldn't have been able to move the rest of the day. And since we were scheduled to go to the Auburn game that evening, I didn't think it would be a good idea. Glad I didn't. My shins are so sore today that I don't even want to walk. Seriously... I do not want stand on my own two feet and move. That's how bad the shins feel today. I am hoping to get a walk in later today, but I can't really make any promises.

Scott and I made it to the Auburn game. We had a great time and sat with some fantastically fun people (shout out to my Aunt Carol and cousin Leigh who I know are reading this!!) and cheered Auburn through the entire game and OT. Hello - long game. Jumped, shouted, drank 1,000 ounces of water, sweat out 2,000 ounces of water... and got home close to 1 AM. FYI - I cannot stay up until 1 AM anymore. I am WAYYYYYYYYYYY to old for that!!

So, today, I am paying for not having fun at boot camp and having fun at the Auburn game. Funny how he not having fun and having fun are no different in how they make your body and mind feel. Funny how I feel like I am 87 years old today. Funny how I plan to do as little as possible today....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ADHD

Okay... so here's the deal. I'm about to pull every single hair out of every tiny little hair follicle on my entire scalp if I can't get my son to adjust to the 4th grade. Seriously. That's how frustrated I have been in the last three weeks with him.

When I stop to think about David, his difficulty has been growing and building over the last few years. He struggles with organization (okay - got that from me) and with responsibility (I can't really take credit for that one, though) and remembering to bring things home from school. We've battled. I've scolded and fussed. Teachers have talked to him. But the behavior has increasingly become worse. He's not a bad kid at all. In fact, he's respectful and polite and charming (most of the time), but he's just having trouble living inside his own body.

David is like a little cyclone on the inside. His mind spins incessantly form the moment he gets up in the morning to the time he goes to sleep. He's bright and curious and interested in everything. But he lacks personal discipline to follow through with simple tasks. He's ADHD - I have become 100% certain of the fact. But the thing is that the very last thing I want to do is put my nine-year-old vivacious little boy on medication. So we are going to have to find a way to work with him and help him deal with the way he is created. If all else fails, I will meet with his pediatrician to see what she thinks.

I read up a little this morning about some strategies of helping children deal with ADHD without medication and it made perfect sense. I am going to give him notes every day in his assignment book to remind him of what is expected of him that day. At this point, school is the major focus of our work with him, but I am hoping to be able to help him be more organized at home as well. It will be difficult, but I want him to be a successful student and still be who God made him to be.

If any of you out there know of any good books or websites with information, please pass it on to me!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

God answers prayer...

God answers prayer... it's true. Sometimes, it isn't the answer we're seeking. Sometimes, it's precisely what we asked for. And, sometimes, what we ask for is so randomly insane to the outside world. Let me explain what my prayers have been for the past month... for my husband to quit his job.

It's insane; I know. Absolutely crazy. Especially in this economy and the ever-growing unemployment rate. I know anyone I told this to, including my husband, over the past month probably looked at me and wondered to them self, "What has she been smoking today???" I'll give you the back story...

We all know about the economic downturn. I doubt any family in this country has been unaffected by it in some way. The car business took a huge hit. Lenders were beyond edgy and unwilling to loan money. Some smaller lenders buckled and closed their doors. The lease went back to what it was intended to be and not for the average American family to afford to drive the gas-guzzling domestic SUVs. There were months around here that I wondered how we would make it. There was not enough coming in each month to pay the basic necessities, and it certainly wasn't any fault of my husband's. He was busting his rear harder than ever trying to make the most of every deal he had and getting things funded. There was no support at his company at the time for those starving; it was almost like the upper management was in denial of just how bad it was. The face of the company began to change, and Scott decided to go somewhere else to work.

Of course, it wasn't long until the home company wanted Scott back. He's one of the hardest working and honest car men out there. By the book. Trustworthy. After six months of working at another company, he went back to the place he felt like was home. And then the bottom fell out - some big-wig was hired to come in and shake up the organization. He blitzed in with big promises and big goals. And shortly after that was when I started this prayer: Lord, please get him out of there.

Things certainly did not get better... my husband worked his fingers to the bone every day to make it work. To meet and exceed the numbers that were expected. To provide for his family. But what he didn't realize is that is was a vicious vortex sucking him in from the bottom, spinning and spinning, growing by the second. They wanted more and more, later and later nights, more cars, more money. I painfully watched my husband struggling to make it all work - watching coworkers be fired, feeling trapped in this place yet wanting to hang on. And that's when my prayer became: Lord, I just want him to quit. Please give him something else.

Here's the thing... it's so no worth it. And it's so easy to fall into the trap of the world. Of the making of money. Of the acquiring of stuff. Of the holding onto what you've acquired. I think it's even harder for a man who feels the desire to provide for his family. And I am so blessed to have a husband who wants nothing but the best for me and our children. So very blessed. But it's a delicate balance between work and home that has to be reached. I am reminded of a passage in Ecclesiastes 3... I know there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God. (verses 12 & 13)

I love the book of Ecclesiastes. I told someone that once, and they looked at me like I was crazy (and I am definitely CRAZY). To some, it may seem depressing. But to me, it was a highly poetic explanation of life and reminder that there is nothing on this Earth that is more valuable than God. No stuff. No good time. No job. No amount of money. It is the plight of man to work, to provide, but to enjoy and do good with what he has. Like I said... the delicate balance.

I am happy to report that Scott quit his job yesterday... he and two other managers who have history and many years with the company all left together to make a statement. And I couldn't be more proud of and happy for him. He has a couple of options already, and there will be no shortage of places that want him to come work for them. I anticipate the place he left will make changes and want him and the other two managers back. I can't say that I am 100% free of fear... I mean, as of right now, neither one of us have a job (YIKES!!!!!). But I mean it when I say it - I'd sell our house, our cars, find a job for myself anywhere for him not to be in the same situation he's been in the last several months. I have faith that God will see us through. He always has. It overwhelms me as I look back over our life together and see how God has been so faithful to us - how He has held us up even though we have failed Him so many times.

And, so, here's my prayer this morning: Lord, thank you for your blessings. Thank you for sustaining my family. Please carry my husband in your hands and place him with your mercy in the perfect place for him and our family.

Amen.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Where the magic happens.......

I've been busy with a little mini-makeover on the room in the house where all the magic takes place... get your stinkin' mind out of the gutter, folks! It's my computer room. You know, where I do all my brilliant writing and blogging and have been working on that soon-to-be life-changing best seller. I may be old, but I can still dream...

Anywho, thought I'd share some pictures of before..... (AGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!)



And after....


I mean, you seriously cannot even fathom the difference a fresh coat of a silvery blue made in this room. I've been looking at the same contractor's flat beige for SIX YEARS. That's flat as in flat paint, by the way, so I've also been gazing at six years' worth of fingerprints, Cheetos fingers, and pencil markings from Madalyn. Even when you scrub flat paint, it never comes clean. The only way to make it new is to paint over it...


I also added a book shelf to the room to give me a place to store stuff other than on top of an already too small to store anything on desk. It was like $55 from Target. Altogether, I think I spent around $100 and got a brand new room. Just can't beat that. And pay no attention to what's behind the screen... that's the cat's litter box.

This is also the room where I've been spending a lot more time on the DREADmill lately, so I hoping that lovely shade of blue will induce some sort of Zen-like state while I am trying not to curse out loud at the treadmill while running. Most of the time I can only successfully curse in my head because I am too winded to utter an intelligible sound. Lots of sound effects, I promise, but little actual words. And when there are words, they are not ones I'm proud of.

So that's what's going on in my world here lately. I'll try to be a better blogger this week. Really, I will. I am happy to report that I just ordered my first book from Booksneeze. Stole the idea from my old high school friend and fellow blogger, Carrie. Free books to read, and all I have to do is write a short review! Sounds like a winner to me!













Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Incredibly random thoughts...

If the post tally on my Blogger Dashboard is accurate, this post is my 444th post. That's a lot of seemingly meaningless thoughts mixed with witty antidotes and sarcastic quips. Just sayin'. No wonder why I don't get all those things done that my husband wishes I'd do (love ya, Scooter!!).

My heart and lungs are beginning to like running a little more. However, my legs are not. Today I felt like I needed to pull them up with my hands to make them run. Like I had concrete shoes on. Like a 92 year old woman shuffling through Walmart. But I did it - week 4 of the Coach to 5K program. At least I don't feel like I am dying of a heart attack anymore. I'll try to think of the positives.

I ate way too much incredible tasting but awful for you food over the past 72 hours. Yesterday, a friend of ours brought donuts. Yes, donuts. I haven't had a donut in life 45 forevers, so I ate two. I wished that I hadn't eaten any at all because now I will be dreaming of donuts for the next three weeks. My mouth is watering as I type. The best was the blueberry donut with glaze.

Perhaps my awful eating habits contributed to my lackluster feeling on the treadmill today. I am sure it did not help. Need to do better this week.

I am in a terrible mood here lately. My attitude sucks. I hate using that word - sucks - but it's really the only appropriate word I can find to describe my attitude right now. The attitude is about life in general. No one person or area of life in particular, and none excluded either. Doesn't make for fun times around the Blair Casa, if you know what I mean. And for that, I'd like to make the most public apology to my husband who has suffered the brunt of it over the past few days. I am sorry, dear. But just think of how much worse things would have been had I not enjoyed those donuts yesterday... :)

In reference to the above random thought, I feel attacked right now. I feel Satan's breath down my back. I have to say that this is probably the first time in my life I've ever felt this way. I think he'd rather me have a terrible attitude and be down on myself and things in my life than to use my energy to complete some works I've begun. I think he senses I am on the verge of a breakthrough via the main character in my book-in-progress. I think he realizes I am more in tune with God than he'd like me to be. I can't say that I've ever believed in Satan's power to pull me down personally or that he'd even want to. But the way I have been feeling the past few days is not of God. Of that I'm sure. So bloggy friends, please keep me in your prayers as I try to push through these negative thoughts and feelings in my mind about so many things in my life right now, from running (and running in my mother's honor on October 9th) to writing and telling a story if to no one but myself. I just need to keep my focus on positive and good things.

So that's a few of my random thoughts today. There are many more that constantly stir through my mind, but if I shared them all, I'd never get any laundry done.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Running...

Running... it's the hardest thing I've ever tried to do. It's physical, it's mental, and it's spiritual. On this one hand, I love it - it's provided me an outlet to release some negative energy and I can feel its positive effects on my energy level. On the other hand, I hate it - running looks so easy, and then you try it and realize how difficult it is to convince your legs to keep going, and your breathing to stay in line, and your heart to NOT pop out of your chest.

I am in week three of my "running" attempt. I have been following the Coach to 5K method which gradually increases the amount of time you spend running and alternates it with walking in between. Though I can feel an increase in my stamina, I can also hear my body screaming at me, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING????? WOULD YOU PLEASE SIT DOWN IN YOUR CHAIR AND MUNCH ON SOME DORITOS OR SOMETHING NORMAL AND LAZY??????" That's literally what my body would have me do - sit down. Stop with the running and the exercise and muscle torture and just sit down.

My muscles are tired. My shins are in a bad way when I get done running. I am fatigued. I've been doing it the "right" way - I am getting enough down time and I am well hydrated. But I don't think it matters how much you do right - if you exercise as much as I have then you will feel the fatigue set in at some point. And my point has been reached in the past two days.

I am scheduled for the old run/walk thing tomorrow, and I am glad to say I will be completely off for two days. I mean, not off work, cause we all know I don't have a job, but off exercise. Two days of muscle rest. Two days to stretch it all out and get ready for more torture next week. I am thinking that two days doesn't sound long enough...