Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Ever have one of those months where you feel like you are experiencing extreme parental failure at every turn?  February has been that way for me. I do account for the fact that it’s the end of the winter and we’ve been sick around here pretty much the entire month. And then throw in the few personal trials that have occurred and affected our routine and my ability to “cope” and February is one for the tanker. I don’t like to wish life away because “The days are long and the years are short” but I am glad that this month is over.

I love the days where you wake up with your big girl panties already on and are ready to go the moment your feet hit the floor! I’m sad to report that the majority of this month I have had to put those big girl panties on and then stretch them up to my chin. Not to mention the fact that I’ve had to keep pulling them up all day long because they keep slipping. Maybe I’ve lost some weight or something and just need a smaller size.....

It’s been such a struggle for me to get out of the bed every morning lately. I have to make myself do it. I am ashamed to say that Olivia has played in her bed for longer than I like to admit most mornings and James and Audrey have jumped on me, shaking the living day lights out of me, more times than I’d like to remember begging for cereal because they are "starving and if I don’t get them any cereal they are gonna be so starving.” Disclaimer: I’m not talking 8:00 or later lazy, I’m talking 7:15-7:30 lazy. 

There have been so many scraps and arguments and ridiculous shrieking and hitting and pinching and far to many unnecessary tears shed. All between James and Audrey I might add, well just the hitting and pinching parts anyway. Ha! So much of the time I don’t know if what I did and said was the right thing to try and remedy the situation. I hate questioning my parenting techniques. Now, I am by no means saying that I have months upon months where I never doubt or regret what I’ve done or said because I am far from perfect. But I do have moments where I know what I’ve done was the right thing. And I know the words that I spoke were the right ones. Even if my measures were harsh, they were what was needed to be done or said at that moment. I wush my life, my parenting skills were like that all the time. I wush (as my Audrey says) that I had a play by play, step by step manual for these kiddos I call mine. But I guess we wouldn’t need faith if we had that, would we?

Housekeeping comes in at whole nutha level. I must say though that I have grown in this area. I don’t like to be lazy or too busy and fall behind in the housekeeping but there has been a little inner peace that’s been instilled inside me when the house isn’t in tip top shape at the end of the night. Used to I would feel so guilty seeing one room or lots of rooms in shambles when I made my way to the bed for the night. I don’t feel guilty any more I just feel disgusted that I have more work ahead of me tomorrow. Ha! I have found that if I wash 1-2 loads of clothes a day or sometimes every other day and fold and put them away then the laundry doesn’t pile up and I don’t have to waste an entire day catching up on that. I used to have one laundry day and I would spend the whole day folding and putting them away. I’ll never go back to that. It’s so easy to fold and put up 1-2 baskets full verses 6-7. I would always get burnt out and then there would be piles laying around for days and ones that needed to be ironed hanging on chairs for days and mismatched socks laying around. And there’s nothing that I hate more than socks that don’t have a match.

No no, Livi

That being said I have fallen grossly behind in the day to day chores this month. I have got to step it up next month. I have a crawler on my hands and even though I keep her corralled for the most part and don’t let her roam free unless I am right behind her watching her every move or my 2 big helpers to make sure she doesn’t put anything in her mouth or pull something on her head, I have got to step it up people!!! It’s all about perspective so much of the time and I am determined that March is going to be a fantabulous month around here!!

p.s. y’all don’t know how glad I am that I don’t live a reality t.v. life and there are no camera’s following me around for every one to see how many times I “drop the ball!” Just saying.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Of glamour technicians and back seat drivers

Audrey and James played beauty shop the other day. They were quite sneaky about it. They had been getting along swimmingly that morning, playing in their room together ever so sweetly. I got a little suspicious and peeked in on them on time and they were behind Audrey’s doll house playing like they usually do when playing with her doll house. So, I quietly closed the door and went back to whatever it was I was doing. A little while later while I was giving the baby her bottle Audrey came up to talk to me and I thought her hair looked a little “strange.” I knew I had asked Sis. Jenny to trim the ends off when they were with them last week but it just looked so weird. So I said “Audrey, did Sis. Jenny cut your hair?” And Audrey said “Not last time.” That’s when it hit me, SHE had cut her hair. So I shriekingly (my spell check tells me that “shriekingly" is not a real word....) said “” And she sheepishly replied “But James gave me the scissors.” I tried hard not to freak out but when I went in their room so she could show me the evidence, I found a ton of hair. And not just her hair. Strawberry Shortcake, Lemon Meringue and Blueberry all saw the glamour technician that day. The more hair I found, the shriller my voice got. It could of been a lot worse, I guess. She could of given herself a nice set of bangs straight across the forehead but she opted for the side swept look. She took 2 big chunks off the front up to her chin so my Peach is sporting a cute little bob now.

The evidence that I collected

The sassy little bob

James oh James. I love him. I do, really I do. But sometimes.....he can be so aggravating. Now I know he doesn’t mean to be that way, all of the time, but when he gets in these moods of it is his way or the high way you just about can’t live with the little guy. And you should try driving in a car with him. Oh good grief he will make you want to pull your hair out!! He is the world’s worst back seat driver. I just thought my daddy and uncles were bad. Last Sunday I literally threatened to leave him on the side of the road in the rain if he didn’t hush. We were like 20 miles from the church we were going to and we passed a church that he saw out his window and for the next 20 miles he insisted that I had passed the church and had to turn around. He was NOT havin that I knew where I was going and that we did not pass our church and that we did not need to turn around. I tried every volume and every tone of voice that I possibly have but there was no convincing him that "his mother knew what she was doing". So I eventually started saying “You are right honey. Ok, we do need to turn around.” And that would satisfy him until he saw that I was not turning around and he just got even more put out with me because I wasn’t turning around. I am not kidding you when I say that this lasted the entire trip to the church(and lets not forget all the red lights I ran and stop signs I didn’t stop at). And when we pulled up in the parking lot at Cool Springs I said “Well, James, did your mama know what she was doing or what?” I got a sheepish little grin and a barely audible “Yes, ma’am.” Every time we get in the car these days he sees a red light that I ran or a stop sign that I missed or he thinks I am going the wrong way and just hardly wont be convinced other wise. I love him, I do. Really I do but the back seat driving has got to stop!!!!!

Upset because he wasn’t holding Alivi!

Now he’s happy!

Disclaimer: I would never really leave my son on the side of the road. Rain or no rain :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

8 Months

Words cannot express how much I love you and how thankful I am for this precious gift that God has blessed me with in you. Especially this month. One of my dearest and oldest friends in this world had to give her precious gift back to her Heavenly Father this past week. The day that Cooper left this world, I loaded you and the twins up in the van and headed up to Aunt Betsy’s to go be with my friends during their trying hour. That night, you tossed and you turned and just would not settle down. I was utterly exhausted and just wanted you to go to sleep so that I could do the same. But you would not settle down unless I was holding you, so I laid you on my chest and softly cried thinking that I should not be aggravated that you wouldn’t sleep but be grateful that I still had you to keep me up at night. We fell asleep together that night and it is a precious memory I will always hold in my heart. We far to often forget that WE are not in control. We can do the right things and try our best to keep you safe and pray daily for you but in the end we are all in God’s hands and His ways are not our ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. That knowledge is comforting and at the same time scary.

Now on to some lighter things that have happened in this month. You cut your first tooth on February 13th and I jumped for joy and then started crying because it’s just one more milestone you have met which means my baby is growing at lightning speed. You also spent your first night away from me on February 14th when I had to go up to Atlanta. It was a little sad for me but Sis. Jenny said you did just fine! You have mastered the art of crawling and can stand for long periods of time with out toppling over. And you have started to let go with one hand.

I’ve started giving you a little table food and you tear it up. I gave you a few mushed up red beans and rice the other night and you couldn’t get enough of them! You got cornbread last night and scarfed it down. You love to eat white bread too which probably means you are gonna be a little carb lover like your big sister!!

Another thing you have mastered is the Drama Queen stage. You fuss just like a little Pris pot never really fussing, just kind of squealing. It can escalate though to full on fit pitching if you are not catered to in a short amount of time but you can turn the tears off just as quickly as you can turn them on. You can have the biggest crocodile tears about the smallest things but you are quick to be settled as long as you are not hungry. If you are truly hungry for your bottle, oh boy. Ole Livi don’t play no reindeer games about her bottle!

You have the best laugh and the biggest, bestest smile in whole world. You love to cuddle and to be loved on. You have a small top half and huge bottom half which makes us laugh and call you thunder thighs. James and Audrey still think you are the greatest thing since frozen gogurts except when you get them or their stuff wet with your slobber. Which you are prone to do. I count it a joy and an honor to be your mama my darling.
I love you to the moon and back,


Lead me home

Upon arrival in Atlanta, the doctor’s saw that little Cooper’s heart was much worse than initially thought. He wasn’t strong enough for surgery and it was going to take baby steps to get him there. He had Coarctation of the Aorta as well as a few other problems stemming from that defect. I knew that I had to go be with them, if only to just give them all a hug and turn around and come back home. So I called Sis. Jenny and Bro. Sammy from our church and they gladly came and got all the 3 kids so I could take off to Atlanta. I made it up there late Tuesday night. And I am a very big girl for driving thru Atlanta at night by myself and NOT GETTING LOST!!!! Which, that was thanks to my sweet cousin Kelly who just happens to live right around the corner from the hospital where Cooper was and she gave me fantastic directions. Kelly also opened her home to me that night to sleep and I was so very thankful for that too!! I spent the day with Shannon and Brett and the rest of the family at the hospital the next day till about 4:30. I was blessed to be able to get back and see Cooper before I left and I will forever hold that memory dear to my heart. I needed to leave and get back to the kids so I did and about half way home Ms. Robin (Shannon’s mom) called to tell me Cooper had taken a turn for the worse. You have no idea how hard it was to not turn that van around and go back. I cried pretty much the rest of the way home. The Lord called Cooper home the next morning while he was in his mother’s arms and surrounded by his grandparents and aunts and uncles.

As I stated in an earlier post, Shannon and I grew up together. I was 4, my sister was 8, and Shannon was 8 months old when my family moved back to Danville where my daddy grew up. Shannon has an older sister that’s 2 years younger than me and the 4 of us quickly became inseparable. Over the years we did just about everything together for many, many years. And we’ve been there, together, for all the big things in each other’s lives. Learning to tie shoes, falling out of trees, getting run over by go carts, spinning wheels in parking lots, falling in love, breaking up, learning to drive, graduating, getting engaged, getting married, having babies and experiencing death in our families. Even though time and circumstance have distanced us physically and our lives have taken different paths, we can still pick up where we left off like there’s been no time lost. There’s a bond that runs deep between all of us, not just us girls but each member of our family. In the few years before Jon and I got married, Shannon and I got especially close. Our personalities are so very much a like. You never imagine the loss of a child when you are youngins playing together. And when you grow up, you never really imagine it. So when it happens, you just can hardly believe it. And it’s so hard to watch some of your dearest friends in the world have to go through it. As a mother you think you can imagine what they are going through but I can’t. I mean I look at my 3 children and try to imagine what it would be like, but I can’t get my mind wrapped around it. The pain I felt/feel for Shannon and Brett is so great and I wish I could take it from them. I love them both so very much and if ever there was a time I wish I was “home” it’s now.

Cooper’s funeral was the most comforting funeral I have ever been to. Even thought it was the saddest circumstance, it was the most comforting. The ministers that spoke were so very blessed with comforting messages and the songs chosen were beautiful. I have been to funerals where each and every song just rips your heart out but the first and last were not that way. They were very upbeat and gave you hope. The middle song was the tear jerker and I want to share the lyrics with you. Jamey Johnson wrote it and sings it and you should look it up on youtube or itunes to hear it. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

I have seen my last tomorrow,
Iam holding my last breath,
Goodbye, sweet world of sorrow,
My new life, begins with death.

I am standing on the mountain, 
I can hear the angels songs,
I am reaching over Jordon, 
Take my hand, Lord lead me home.

All my burdens, are behind me,
I have prayed, my final pray,
Don't you cry, over my body, 
Cause that ain't me, lying there.

No, I am standing on the mountain, 
I can hear the angels songs,
I am reaching over Jordon, 
Take my hand, Lord lead me home.

I am standing (Lord, I am standing) on the mountain ( on the mountain ), 
I can hear ( I can hear the angels songs ) the angels songs,
I am reaching over Jordon, ( over Jordon )
Take my hand, Lord lead me home.
Take my hand, Lord lead me home.

Please keep Shannon and Brett and the rest of their families in your prayers. It’s going to be a long road ahead of them. They are blessed to have a daughter, Taylor, that’s 19 months old and she has been a ray of sunshine for them and has given them a reason to push through. Thank God for Taylor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Update on Cooper

The ECHO showed that the left side of his heart is not pumping. He just arrived at Eggleston in Atlanta and will be having emergency surgery today. His mama was able to ride in the ambulance with him. Can you imagine having to be the one to operate on that teeny tiny little heart???? Please pray that the Lord will guide the surgeons hands to heal baby Cooper. And please continue to pray for Shannon and Brett. Such a scary, uncertain time. Babies are so precious. My thoughts are consumed today with this precious little face. And his mama and daddy.

Prayer Request

I have a dear friend Shannon that I have known my whole life and her husband Brett. They just had their 2nd child a week ago. He was born a month early and weighed in at 5 lbs, 9 oz. Everything was normal and they all came home 2 days later. At his 1 week check up he was a little jaundiced and they told Shannon to bring him back at the end of the week for a billy Rubin check. Last night he started to turn a little purple, felt a little cold, wouldn’t nurse and just about wouldn’t wake up. So they immediately took him to Macon to the Medical Center. Upon arrival the doctors told them they are so glad they brought him on because he is a very sick little boy. He was admitted to the Children’s Hospital in the ICU last night and he is soon to be intubated because he is struggling to much to breath on his own. They have done an ECHO and are waiting for the cardiologist to confirm results. Please, please, please keep baby Cooper in your prayers as well as his mama and daddy. Please.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kids say the darndest things

Last Week:
Audrey: Mommy, your tummy is wrinkly.
Me: Yes. Yes it is.
Audrey: Why mommy?
Me: Because I had 3 children in there and y’all stretched it out.

Audrey: Mommy, your tummy is squishy.
Me: Yes. Yes it is.
Audrey: I like it like that because it’s soft. Not like when you were growing Olivia out of your belly.

Children sure have a way of keeping us humble, don’t they? I try explaining to them that the reason they have to go to the nursery at the YMCA so much is because I am trying (and not succeeding very well) to get rid of the squishy wrinkles that consume most of my midsection these days. (I’ll try and blog about the issues we have with the nursery next time) But guess who will be running an extra mile and doing some extra crunches the rest of this week???

Olivia, which happens to be the # 1 reason for my new wrinkles and new squishiness, is exhausting me! Her sleep pattern is all over the place and once she started crawling, that was it. She is fast and she is curious. And the child is already pulling up on every surface she gets her chubby little hands on and as of this week, trying to let go. What is she doing to me???? I promise she seems to be growing up so much faster than James and Audrey did. Probably because she’s not 2 months behind on every thing like they were. She has also found her voice, big time! When we are all down on the floor playing and James and Audrey start squealing, like they are prone to do, Miss Thang starts squealing too. Just as loud and sounds like one of them! It’s funny. She is definitely going to be right there in the middle of it all.

She’s started putting her own self to sleep at nap and bed time. Say what? Yep, she only wants to be rocked for a few minutes then starts squirming so I put her in her bed and walk out. She never fusses, just plays around and talks her self to sleep. James was exactly the same way at the same age I do believe. We moved some things around the other day (you now, in my never ending effort to be more efficient) and O is now in J and A’s old room. Well, I haven’t taken their wall stickers down yet and Olivia was chewing on Sleeping Beauty this morning when I went in to get her. Guess what I will be doing later today!!

Now it’s James’ turn. My sweet boy. A few weeks ago on this particular evening the boy was having a hard time going to sleep so you can imagine how many excuses he came up with to come out of his room and how exasperated his father and I became. Now Audrey, she was sound asleep. Well, after a long time of crying and begging to come out to get water (which we had already let him at the very beginning of this escapade) we hear and I kid you not, “God!! Please help me!! My daddy put me back in the bed and no body will help me!!!!” I was almost in tears at this point and told Jon he just had to get him the water now. Jon was the one who put them to bed and who told him after the first time that he couldn’t get out of bed any more so this was Jon’s battle. You see, we believe that if one of us tells a kid something then that one has to be the one to back it up and wait it out. The other one of us does not intervene. At least not where the kid that we are “in battle with” can hear! We try to present a united front at all times because children can be tricky little people and we want them to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if they get an answer from Jon or I that they don’t like, it will be useless to go to the other and plead their case.

Any who, Jon did go get him the water much to James’ (and my) relief!! And this story has already been used in his father’s and grandfather’s sermon illustrations. Yep, this is one of those stories that in 15 or 20 years people whom he has never met before will be coming up to him at different church meetings saying “I remember that story your daddy (or grandaddy) told about you begging God for help when you were just 4 years old.” Sorry son, but that’s the way things roll when you are a preacher’s kid. Trust me, I KNOW!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A buggy for a baby

 Since Olivia can sit up on her own now, grocery shopping is a much more pleasant experience. For my arms and back anyways. James and Audrey still complain pretty much the whole time we are in there saying “I’m tired of walking. I want to go home.” Over and over and over and over...