Monday, December 17, 2012

Picking up the Pieces

Usually, I try to keep things light-hearted. Not because crap doesn't happen, but because I prefer to focus on the positives. My family has learned to laugh at life's misfortunes instead of allowing them to weigh us down. But there is nothing to laugh at when it comes to what happened last Friday.

I do not believe that there is a single American who was not affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. We don't need professionals to tell us the shooter was mentally disturbed. Anyone with a conscience can tell you that. We don't need the media to tell us that it was a horrific tragedy. Anyone with a heart can tell you that. We don't need correspondents or spokespersons to tell us the victims were too young to die. Anyone with a soul can tell you that.

What most of us want to know is the answer to the age-old question of Why. But we may never know why. We may never understand the darkest regions of a mind so obviously filled with anger, hate, selfishness, and rage. We may never understand because we have something - whether faith, hope, or love - that prevents us from being able to think in such a way.

We are powerless to change the events of the past. But we do have the power to change ourselves.

Life is full of decisions. As my hubby says, "You decide what attitude you wake up with." And as a parent of a young child, I can decide to allow fear to take over, or I can resolve to take over the fear.

So here are the decisions I am making in the wake of tragedy:

I will not allow fear to control my life. There were a lot of fearful parents sending their kids to school today. Parents who would rather keep their kids at home and hug them all day long. Yes, I fear for my child's safety at school, but I also know that tragedy can strike anywhere. Our car ride to school is more dangerous than his sitting in the classroom. He could be taken from me by an accident, a drowning, or disease. I cannot possibly protect him from every possible tragedy. I'm not saying I will not have fear. I'm only saying that I will not allow the fear to take over.

I will not allow myself to make knee-jerk reactions about my child's education. I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in homeschooling after this, but I am keeping my child where he's at. I'm not against homeschooling - for some families, it is absolutely the best choice for their child. There are families who excel at homeschooling, and there are others who are not successful with it. Be honest with yourself before making that decision. Don't base it on fear.

I will allow myself to grieve. I do not know any of the families personally, but that doesn't mean I don't feel grief over what happened. Those children were filled with potential. Who knows what they could have become or what great things they would have accomplished. Those teachers were heroic. The world needs more people like that. It's a loss that deserves to be mourned by all.

I will not allow fear to hover over my child. Children have enough fear in life, real and unreal. They don't need more. My kid doesn't need to know what happened. He doesn't need to worry about his safety at school. It's someone else's job to worry about that. And he doesn't need to pick up on my fear. Kids are good at sensing those things.

I will allow myself to enjoy every day with my child. Unfortunately, there are many parents who are not allowed that luxury today. Each day I have with my son - even if that day is filled with frustrating moments - is precious.

I will not allow what happened to push me to religious intolerance. Religion? you ask. But this wasn't a religiously motivated massacre. That's right. As far as we know, it wasn't. But because it happened at a public school, there are many well-intending Christians getting up on their soap boxes and shouting that you shouldn't ask "Where was God?" because we threw Him out of school. This angers me.

God is not bound by our rules. Jesus was a rule breaker. God will continue to be in schools as long as He is in the hearts and minds of the children and adults there. You cannot check your beliefs at the door. (Just as you cannot expect God to show up simply because a building has the word "Church" on the door.)

I will allow myself to ask God the hard questions. There is nothing wrong with airing your opinions/grievances to God. He already knows them. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to take our worries and fears to Him. Sometimes that means crying on our knees and sometimes that means shaking our fists in the air. He's been there. He knows our frustrations and anger. You won't surprise Him, I promise.

I will not blame God for what happened. Jesus told us "Sh*t happens." Seriously. That's my own paraphrase of John 16:33, when He said, "You will have suffering in this world." Plus, the Bible tells us that Satan is the one who causes crap to happen, not God (1 John 5:19). Stop pointing fingers. We see the tragedies that happen, but never know how many others were prevented.

I will not allow myself to use what happened to promote political propaganda. This is a tragedy, not a bargaining chip. These were lives, not political pawns. Whatever I believe about the 2nd amendment, religion in schools, mental health care, or other aspects, they need to be dealt with clear minds. Now is a time to mourn. It will be time to talk when we are level-headed.

I will allow myself to reevaluate my political stances. Any time something horrific happens, we need to reevaluate where we are headed. That's true whether it is something small and personal or something large and public. No matter what stance you have taken in the past, whether left or right, you need to be willing to see if there is a way to work together for the sake of a common goal.

I will allow myself to remain emotionally vulnerable. My instinct tells me to separate myself and not think about the things that break my heart. But shutting of those emotions would deny myself my own humanity. Pain and confusion are part of the human experience just as much as love and hope are. Building a wall around my heart to keep it from getting hurt, will also keep it from caring. And that is NOT what we need. We need to connect with each other. We need to care more... not less.

The holiday season is about faith, hope, and love. It's a time when we're reminded to think more about others and less about ourselves. It's a time when we reflect on peace and goodwill. It shouldn't take a tragedy to remind us that we are all human beings living in this world together.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Christmas List, part 2

So I already told you that the top of my Christmas list is to spend more time with my family. The next two items on my Christmas list may seem like they conflict: Have More Adventures and Relax More!

In my mind, those two actually go hand-in-hand.

Adventure should not equal stress. Yes, it sometimes accompanies adventure, but it shouldn't have to. Sometimes an adventure is simply allowing yourself to get lost and find your way back. I have my dad to thank for that lesson.

We went camping with my parents for Thanksgiving this year and I was reminded of all those times camping with my dad when he would just drive and sometimes we wouldn't know exactly where we were. He would just smile and call it an adventure. We explored the road less travelled and sometimes had to double back or take some unexpected detours. But it was fun and he didn't seem to stress over it.

Sometimes an adventure is trying something new. My hubby didn't grow up camping like I did. So our Thanksgiving camp out was an adventure for him. And he actually wasn't stressed. It was our first time using a camping trailer and he handled it like a pro. We hiked (and purposely got "lost"). He built a fire. He tried something new.

Sometimes an adventure is eating something new. Little Dude can be a picky eater. Sometimes I get frustrated with that, but then I have to remember that a lot of foods are still new to him. For instance... S'mores! He wasn't sure about it, but he tried them.

Sometimes an adventure is to be had in acting like a kid. My mom reminded me of this. During our 3-hour "lost in the wilderness" hike, she spotted some interesting, frilly, white plants by the riverbank. Like a kid in a candy store, she asked my dad to get one for her. He climbed through the thick brush to get one and she was so happy! She played with it for the rest of the hike, pelting us with it causing it to dust us with pollen. She was having fun.

I heard a quote about Thanksgiving that said something like: "We spend one day with others being thankful for what we do have, and then we spend the next day trampling others for what we don't have."

How can I not be thankful for a family that knows how to be goofy, how to relax, and how to enjoy what we have around us?

It sure makes the holidays sweeter!

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Christmas List, part 1

Oh, the holidays. They have a way of completely taking over your life. For a few days of celebration and joy, we spend a month or more driving ourselves absolutely crazy trying to make everything perfect. Gifts, parties, travel, finances, cleaning, coordinating schedules - it all leads to stress, moodiness, and a general desire to ram your shopping cart into the person who suddenly decided to sign up for the store rewards card at the register in front of you. (Or is that just me?)

It's not always easy to sit back and enjoy what you have. But, I'm behind on my photos so it forced me to take a break and reminisce.

When I was a kid, Christmas was about the presents. Sure, there was the whole "baby Jesus was born today" thing. And I totally understood that and respected it. But seriously, if there wasn't something for me under the tree, I would have been devastated!

Now, it's really not about the presents. (And I do spend more time celebrating baby Jesus!) This year, my hubby and family kept asking what I want for Christmas and, honestly, I couldn't think of much. Because the truth is that I have a wonderful family. No gift could ever beat that!

So the top of my Christmas list is: Spend time with my family!

I have a family that I enjoy spending time with. I have a family that tolerates all my quirks, my total OCD moments and my mild insanity. Sure, sometimes they laugh at me, but most of the time they're laughing with me.

First, let me tell you about my in-laws... They are top-notch, the best in-laws I could have ever asked for. I love this group!

Look at those smiling faces. The day I took this photo, I unintentionally led them on an wild goose chase. We had plans to go to a pumpkin patch at a botanical garden across town, only to find out when we arrived, that it was for the following weekend. Blondie, here didn't check the dates! Oops! They were probably laughing at me when I snapped this pic outside of the botanical garden, but they were still game to try another place. (Have I mentioned that my mom-in-law is a very positive person and keeps me upbeat despite my mistakes?)

So we drove way out of town to a farm that we've never visited before and had a blast!

I'll be hanging with this bunch for Christmas this year and we'll have a blast! I'm so thankful that I get to celebrate holidays with them.

For many, holidays can be weird/difficult/all the above with in-laws because each family is different. Your family is not usually like your spouse's family. Each family has their own traditions and their own way of doing things.

Hubby and I enjoying each other's families. And we have fun merging the way we did things growing up and creating our own traditions. The best part is that both of our families encourage us to find our own way.

So let the holidays begin... er, continue!

I'll have to add to my Christmas list later.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Day the Twinkie Died

I heard the rumors, read the news, and didn't want to believe they were true. Then I saw this:

What kind of world will it be without Twinkies and Wonder Bread? My child has yet to experience the satisfaction of shoving an entire Ho Ho into his mouth or the joy of licking the cream filling out of a Hostess Cup Cake. And despite my family's sordid history with frozen Ding Dongs, my child will never experience the excitement of unwrapping that chocolate wonder and savoring the goodness within.

"I love Twinkies,
and the reason I am saying that is
because we are all supposed to think of reasons to live."
~ Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What happens if there is a zombie invasion and we don't have the everlasting, indestructible Twinkies to inspire us?

But it's not just Twinkies that will be disappearing. Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's, Fruit Pies, CupCakes, Donettes, Suzy Q's, Sno Balls, Zingers and many others will become a thing of the past. Hostess owns Wonder Bread, Dolly Madison, Butternut Bread, Drake's Cakes, Holsom Bread, Mrs. Cubbison's, Nature's Pride, Millbrook, and many others.

Yes, America, there is something worse than a zombie invasion.

Some may say, good riddance. Some may see this as a day of freedom to those who were addicted to the sugar-laden treats. Some may see this as one step toward eradicating obesity. I say, they'll simply find some other food to comfort their loss. Unfortunately, that food won't be made by Hostess.

So farewell old friend. Although I have only occasionally called upon you since childhood, I do still have fond memories of the times we shared, the memories made, and the calories consumed. You were worth the extra cardio. And you always brought a smile to my face.

To quote the great Tallahassee from Zombieland, "There's a box of Twinkies in that grocery store. Not just any box of Twinkies, the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, Life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go... empty."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Kid, the Fighter

"Hi, I'm calling to let you know that [Little Dude] was in a fight at school today."

Little Dude's teacher rarely calls us. She usually communicates via notes or email. But yesterday at 3:30pm I got that special call.

The teacher believed he was simply defending himself, which is what she told the principal. However, the school rules don't allow hitting for any reason so the boys ended up in the principal's office. (Little Dude also had to clip down from orange to purple, but he worked his way back up to green.) She said this wasn't the first offense for the other kid involved and there would be consequences.

She also told me that she was worried about Little Dude because at the end of the day he still had a red mark on the back of his neck and because she was sure he was pretty shocked by the whole matter. "He didn't even cry! I was expecting him to cry, but he didn't!"

She was obligated to ask us to talk to Little Dude about finding a teacher instead of using his fists to settle matters. But she already knows (and agrees... though she can't officially say so) what we have taught our son.

See, we've had a mini-run-in once before where a kid picked on Little Dude (as the youngest in his class, he's an easy target). After telling the teacher, the kid didn't stop so Little Dude hit him. We've taught our boy to walk away first, tell a teacher second, and if it still doesn't stop, then he can use alternative methods.

We may not be perfect parents, but at least our kid isn't going to be bullied.

During dinner, I asked Little Dude what happened at school and he gave me the entire story, names and all (teachers can't give names). He, Adam* and John* were playing together, and suddenly John wouldn't let Little Dude and Adam off the "ship."

"Ship?" I asked, sure he was talking about the jungle gym.

"Yeah, that's what we called it. The 'ship.'"

Anyhow... John began hitting Adam. Little Dude went to help his friend. "John was hurting Adam and I didn't want him to be hurt."

"Was there a teacher nearby?" I asked.

He shrugged his shoulders, "I didn't see anyone." (I'm not sure how hard he actually looked.)

The boys all ended up in a dog pile. As soon as the commotion began, one of the male teachers pried the boys apart.

How do you get after a kid for coming to his friend's defense?

Yes, we did the right thing and told Little Dude that next time he needs to find a teacher first. We also told him that he should probably stay away from John. But we didn't punish him.

To tell the truth, we're proud of our boy. It's one thing to defend yourself, but it takes guts to defend someone else. And my boy did exactly that.

Plus, I also got to hear from the teacher about how my son is a leader in his class. "He is friends with everyone. He doesn't pick favorites or leave anyone out. He's the first one to help anyone out. If someone on the other side of the classroom drops their pencil, he races over to pick it up for them. All the kids like him."

That's a boy a mother can be proud of!

*Names, as always, are changed to protect both the innocent and guilty.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Case of the Kamikazee Squirrel

Yesterday I ran over a squirrel.

Poor little squirrel.

I felt queasy and light-headed as soon as it happened.

I'm sure the squirrel felt worse.

I was driving back to work from lunch when out of the corner of my eye I saw a blur of fur running towards my vehicle. It's choice to cross six lanes of traffic was not a wise one. And soon I heard/felt the familiar thump-thump of doom.

As I drove on, I think I saw the squirrel bounding back the way it came... slower and possibly without a tail. If it survives, it will not make that mistake again!

Of course, I had to immediately call my sister and tell her what happened. "Dad would be so proud of you," she said. So I told my dad what happened. Indeed, he was proud of me... for not swerving or braking.

Growing up, one of our first lessons of the road was to never swerve or brake when you find yourself about to create a fresh batch of road kill (deers, elk and larger animals were the exception to the rule). His reason for the rule was that by swerving or suddenly braking, you could cause an accident or otherwise put yourself in peril. Therefore, it was better to send the small, woodland creature to the great free range in the sky.

The squirrel isn't my first road kill. And some people would be very happy to hear that I single-handedly took another offensive rodent off the streets. (My mom offered to get me a squirrel sticker for the door of my car.) My driving history is peppered with the deaths of a few other small furry and feathered creatures. I always found it gruesome.

But none of my stories are as gruesome as my father's famous dog-meets-trailer incident.

It happened sometime in the 1980s. My father, whom I should mention is a dog lover, was driving his truck and towing a large horse trailer through town. As he came upon a bus stop, a small dog unfortunately jumped into the path of his tires.

Unable to swerve or brake without causing harm to the horses in the trailer, my dad took a deep breath and...



Every tire on the passenger side of the truck and trailer (which had two axles) introduced itself to the poor little doggy.

My dad looked back in his mirror to see the dog's owner staring at the puddle of fur at the end of her leash.

Yes, folks. That's right. The dog was on a leash.

So hopefully this is a lesson to all. If your dog likes to bark at cars, make sure he's not barking at the front end of a truck towing a trailer. Otherwise, he might end up as the punchline of a story retold by a distinguished blonde-haired man with a twinkle in his eye.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Trifecta of Transportation Troubles, part 2

If you haven't read part 1 of our Trifecta of Transportation Troubles, you really need to... right now.

If you have...

So we limped all the way home with only one brief pit stop along the way. We finally made it back home EIGHT AND A HALF HOURS after originally leaving for our vacation.

Big Dude took Little Dude into the house to use the facilities while I quickly transferred everything from the car to the truck. We were determined to have this vacation!

We were home for less than 30 minutes before we peeled out of the driveway and headed back down the road much travelled.

Little Dude, redressed in pajamas and armed with a pillow, didn't take long to fall asleep. The soft road sounds had become his lullaby.

We did finally make it to our hotel... at 3am. And we made Oscar-worthy efforts to ignore the fatigue and stress in order to enjoy our vacation. Little Dude loved it. And that alone was worth the maddening drive.

When we returned home, my parents offered to lend us their car while ours was being repaired. So Tuesday morning, Little Dude and I piled into my mom's little red car and headed for school.

And the tire pressure warning light came on.

Now, Little Dude's school has a strict policy about being late, so I wasn't going to stop anywhere along the way. I drove him all the way to school and then met Big Dude back at home so he could air up the tires.

My parents had just moved back from Florida, so Big Dude figured the tires were low because they've been sitting in a garage unused. Besides, the tires were only a few months old.

My mom teased me about my poor luck with cars lately. I whined about my poor luck with cars lately. My husband just shook his head and called the dealership to find out how long it would take to get my car fixed.

Thursday morning we were still borrowing the little red car. Little Dude and I got ready to leave for school and... click...

The battery was dead.

Worried about getting Little Dude to school on time, I called the most reliable driver I knew... Big Dude. After all, he had shown an amazing amount of reliability during our recently fated vacation.

Big Dude ran home, picked us up. Took Little Dude to school. Took me to work. Jumped the car battery and took the little red car back to my parents.

My mom laughed at our poor luck with cars lately. I cried about my poor luck with cars lately. My husband vowed to get my car back that day.

Luckily, we did get our car back that evening. Thankfully, the transmission was still covered under warranty. However, we didn't get off scot free because our car needed a few other items done. It's not like a mechanic to let you have your car back without finding something to repair. But at least we were able to save money since they already had the engine pulled out for the free transmission replacement.

Doomed transmission. Flat tires. Dead battery. I'm pretty sure nobody will be lending me a car any time soon!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trifecta of Transportation Troubles, part 1

Here's a story I can finally write about without ending up in the fetal position in a dark corner somewhere.

So a month ago, we took a mini-vacation. It was the 3-day Labor Day weekend, and we decided to knock off early on Friday and take Little Dude to a theme park for the weekend.

I made all the plans, packed the bags and loaded the car. Little Dude had a half day, so we picked him up and ate lunch in the car while we started on our 6-hour drive. We figured we would arrive at the hotel in time for dinner, and then get a little swimming in before hitting the hay.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans, right?

Two hours in, the "Service Engine Soon" light came on in my 4-year-old car. Usually, it's something benign and I wouldn't really worry about it. But I was with Big Dude and he actually believes that warning lights only come on for valid reasons.

We were 50 miles away from the town that sits about halfway between our home and our favorite getaway, so I suggested that we stop at AutoZone and have them check the computer code. Big Dude wanted to stop at the local dealership because AutoZone can't always read the codes right for newer cars, but I didn't want to waste the time and money at a dealership when we could get it checked fast and free. Besides, I just had the oil changed and all the fluids checked before we left. AND I just had our car at our dealership a couple weeks earlier for some annoying little master cylinder recall thingy. The car had been checked out recently and everything was fine.

Or so I thought...

We made it to the AutoZone and I quickly convinced someone there to check out the car's code. I imagined it would be something simple and we would be back on the road in no time at all. But the attendant said the code was "funny," indicating something was wrong with our transmission fluid. They suggested we visit the nearest dealership, which happened to be down the road.

So we got back in the car and Big Dude smugly drove to the dealership.

We managed to find the service department, which was tucked away in a very remote location on the lot. Big Dude talked to the service guy while Little Dude and I found the waiting area, complete with a germy-looking, rarely-if-ever cleaned, child's play area in a not-quite-soundproof glass, office.

We waited. And waited. And waited. Little Dude played and ran around and screamed like a banshee. People looked and stared. But what did I care? I was on vacation! My kid should have been swimming at a pool, not sitting in a car dealership. Just because we had to pause our trip, it didn't mean Little Dude couldn't still have some fun.

Several hours later (seriously not exaggerating here), Big Dude came and told me that I needed to call AAA and get our car towed back home.


Apparently my car's transmission was failing. It could probably limp back home, but there was no way it would be able to tackle the hills we would need to climb to get to our vacation destination. And Big Dude was worried that limping back home was iffy.

So I called AAA. Now, I will say that I was not in the best of attitudes at this point. However, I still tried to remain calm and civil on the phone. The AAA operator answered and I explained our predicament. Without a hint of sympathy, she dryly asked for the addresses of where to pick up the car and where to drop it off. The ladies at the dealership's service counter were much more empathetic as they helped me with the information I needed. Then Ms. AAA told me that a tow truck would be along in 45 minutes and that it would cost $400.

WHAT?!? (again!)

After I picked my jaw off the floor, I asked Ms. AAA-Stands-for-Amazingly-Apathetic-Attitude why it would cost so much. She curtly said that my membership only covered 100 miles and that after that it was $5 per mile. The she asked how many people would be riding with the driver. I told her I was here with my husband and child, so three of us will need a lift back. "The tow truck can only take two people and no car seats." I was tempted to ask her if she was suggesting I leave my child behind, but I'm not sure she knew what sarcasm, or any type of joking, is.

During this time, Big Dude was playing with Little Dude in the glass children's cage. Yes, it was floor-to-ceiling glass walls. But for some reason, Big Dude could not see my waving my arms and jumping all around while attached to the desk phone by my ear. (No cell phone signal in the dealership.) People had begun to notice the strange blonde lady reenacting Richard Simmons' Sweatin' to the Oldies routine. Everyone was looking... except Big Dude. So I finally did what any respectable, civil person would do... I threw something.

It worked. The loud thump of my leather wallet hitting the obviously child-proof glass wall got his attention. Big Dude came out bellowing, "WHAT is going on?" Now people were really watching because we had just turned this into a Jerry Springer moment. And to be honest, I didn't care at this point. I had been in that dealership for several hours watching my child roll around in who-knows-what-kind-of-germs. Lunch was several hours ago and I was hungry. And to top it off, my dear sweet husband dropped a bomb on me, asked me to make a phone call for him, and then walked away.

I really hate when that happens.

So I relayed all the information the AAA drone gave to me, and Big Dude had me relay back that just one person would be riding in the tow truck.

Big Dude and I walked over to the glass cage where we were now setting up house and laying out the floor plan for where we wanted our furniture to go. We discussed the idea that we now needed to find a rental car and cough up $400 for the tow. This was turning out to be a rather expensive vacation. "Hold on," he suddenly said as he once again disappeared into the service center.

A few minutes later he reappeared to tell me that he would drive it home. He said the service guy told him that if he was careful then we should be able make it home... or at least close enough to avoid a $400 tow.

So I called my favorite automotive club once again, and this time actually talked to someone with a pulse. She was much more sympathetic to my plight and said that we could call back at any time to request the tow again. She even wished us luck before hanging up.

Everyone in the dealership got together to throw us a quick going-away party. After all, we had thoroughly entertained - or possibly annoyed - them for the past several hours. The service guy had a priest give our car a quick blessing and then sprinkled it with fairy dust. We loaded back into the barely functioning vehicle and drove slowly away from the setting sun.

If only we knew what the car gods had in store for us the rest of the week...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

All in a Day's Work

This year I've been sick quite often - as in full-fledged-sinus-infection-stay-out-of-my-way-because-my-head -is-about-to-explode-with-hot-green-snot sick. So I finally started setting up some doctors appointments to find out the cause of my malady.

Well, being the brilliant strategist that I am, I deftly scheduled all my appointments on one day. One day! I was brimming with pride when I told my loving hubby that I was taking the day off work to make the medical rounds and get a few errands done in between. He asked, "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

Of course, it was!

So here's pretty much how the day went:

7:00am - Drop Little Dude off at auntie's house so she can take him to school while I start my medical odyssey.

7:20am - Arrive at my internist's office for my yearly physical and filled out the same exact paperwork I filled out a few weeks ago when I was there for another sinus infection.

7:45am - Weighed and measured like a prize-winning cow at the state fair.

8:00am - Interrogation by doctor, uh, I mean routine physical complete. Follow medical assistant to lab so that I can joyfully pee into a cup and bleed into several vials.

8:20am - Discover that the lab tech taking my blood today is an old friend. After chatting and catching up, I realize that he will get to see my cup of pee. Oh, goodie! At least my urine looked better than the other samples sitting on the counter. (Yes, I'm competitive in all areas!)

8:30am - Run to sister's house to pick up a few items. Hang out with her and my nephew for a little bit.

9:15am - Since I have a few minutes to spare, I stop at home (on my way) and let Furry Dude out. Who knows when I'll be back!

9:45am - Arrive for my CT scan. Hand them the set of paperwork I filled out ahead of time. Receive another set of paperwork to fill out. Listen to a very chatty nun complain about the chalky drink she is downing for her test. She is clearly trying to get the receptionist to change the flavor of chalky drinks everywhere for the better of mankind.

10:30am - Get a 3-minute CT scan and go back to the waiting room to wait for the films (per request of my ENT). Get a phone call from my wonderful hubby asking me if I can call ahead to our weekend destination to find out a few details. Just as I start discussing the details of my wonderful vacation over my cell phone, people with missing limbs, wheelchairs, and assistance animals begin filling every nook and cranny of the waiting room. I pretty much feel like a schmuck.

11:30am - Finally get my films and head to the car. Drive over to service station to get my oil changed.

12:00pm - While sitting in service station waiting room, get a panicked call from work.  Begin discussing details of work project over my cell phone while surrounded by strangers waiting for their cars. Again, feel like a schmuck.

12:30pm - Oil change complete. Decide to drop my films off at home so they don't have to sit in the hot car.

12:40pm - Arrive home and let Furry Dude out once again.

12:50pm - Lock myself out of house. Call hubby in a panic. He calmly instructs me how to open the lock with a credit card.

1:00pm - Still unable to open lock. Starting to wonder when someone will call the cops about the strange woman trying to break into a neighbor's house. Hubby says he is on his way.

1:10pm - Ignore my caring husband's advice and finally get the door open with one brilliant (and accidental) move. Question the security of my home. Call my husband, who is now only a few minutes away, to tell him his services are no longer necessary.

1:15pm - Leave house for next appointment and soon realize I did not eat lunch. Stop at fast food along way and quickly eat lunch in parking lot. Hoist my armpits directly in front of the air conditioning vents to stop the mass of sweat beading down my body due to standing outside in the sun while I attended Breaking & Entering 101.

1:40pm - Wipe excess shredded lettuce and crumbs from my shirt and lap, shove a pack of gum into my mouth to beautify my breath, and walk into allergist's office. Hand receptionist the small booklet of paperwork I filled out the night before. Receive another ream of paperwork to complete. Write down every detail of my life and my family medical history all the way back to Adam and Eve.

2:00pm - Weighed and measured like a stuffed pig ready for a luau.

2:15pm - Meet new allergist and proceed to answer detailed questions about my nose, my boogers, my itchy skin, my irritated eyes, etc., etc., etc. Doctor says she would like to see the results of my CT scan. Sure. Let me run home.

2:35pm - Prepare for allergy scratch test by replacing my tee and bra with the designer paper shirt given to me by the nurse. Upon removing my clothing, I realize the window blinds are halfway open with a view to the street. Stop caring about any modesty and convince myself that the windows must have reflective film on the outside or else they wouldn't leave the blinds open.

2:40pm - Nurse comes in and stabs, I mean, gently pokes me in the back 77 times. Try not to wince every time he hits my tickle spots. Realize that if I can endure the stabbing of an allergy test, I can probably endure the pain of a tattoo. Wonder if the nurse is actually tattooing a large dragon across my back.

2:45pm - Keep my hands from scratching my burning, itching back by answering work emails on my cell phone. Wondering if the earlier heat and stress are affecting the hives that are sure to be forming on my back.

2:55pm - Nurse knocks on door. Screaming ensues as he sees the ginormous hives on my back. He calls the Guinness Book of World Records to have me entered as the world's most-allergic person. (Yep, my grammar has flown out the window.)

2:57pm - Nurse calls in a second nurse to help him record the record-breaking hives on my back. Number of positive test results? 76. The one thing I am not allergic too? Pine trees.

3:05pm - Nurse claims to be out of anti-itch cream and sprays my entire back with some ice cold pink concoction. Leaves the room so I can get dressed. Bra and tee congeal to my back.

3:15pm - Nurse reappears to give me two tablets of Zyrtec and one prednisone. Apparently doctor is concerned that my body will spontaneously combust into full-body hives. Deep wrinkle appears on forehead.

3:30pm - Doctor reappears. Gives me a bunch of medical instructions and tells me to take two more Zyrtec before bed. Wants to see me again so that they can use my allergy-prone body for medical experiments that are sure to net fame and fortune.

4:00pm - Arrive home and change crusted tee for a fresh one. Hubby offers to drive to pick up Little Dude. Says something negative about women behind the wheel... or maybe that was medicated women behind the wheel. Keep myself from bludgeoning sensitive hubby with purse.

4:30pm - Pick up Little Dude and treat the family to a fast food dinner.

5:00pm - Go back to school for book fair and ice cream social.

5:30pm - Big Dude and Little Dude sit at table eating ice cream while I stand in line to buy books. Realize my sweat has turned pink thanks to the stuff sprayed on my back earlier. Hope that the woman behind me doesn't notice.

6:00pm - Return home and change shirts once again while Big Dude makes Little Dude take a shower. Read new books to Little Dude (he needs to win that read-a-thon!) and help him get ready for bed.

7:00pm - Tuck Little Dude into bed. Take two more Zyrtec and pass out. Day is done!

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a mohawk?

So this morning Big Dude cut his hair and I mentioned that he really should try a mohawk sometime. Being the straight-as-an-arrow guy he is, Big Dude was not amused. So Little Dude piped up in his defense, "Mommy, no mohawks!"

I replied, "You don't even know what a mohawk is."


"What is it then?"

"It's like this." Little Dude held his finger across the center of his eyebrows.

I said, "No, that's a unibrow!"

"Then it's this." Little Dude held his finger across the bottom of his nose.

"No, that's a moustache."

I could see a light bulb go on in his eyes. Then Little Dude said, "Oh! I know what a mohawk is!"

"What is it?"

He sat down and put his knee up to his chest. "It's when you get big like Daddy and you have hair up and down your legs." He emphasized his statement by rubbing his shin.

Don't worry. After I stopped laughing, I finally explained mohawks to Little Dude.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Kindergarten Casanova

So last week, Little Dude managed to come home with green smileys three days in a row. We thought we have finally overcome the bad behavior issues and were looking forward to happier colors of the rainbow.

But then Friday happened...

When I got home Friday evening, Daddy and Little Dude were waiting in the living room.

"Your son came home with purple today," Daddy announced. Then he turned to my son, "Tell Mommy why."

"Um... I kissed a girl and I hit my friend."

My child's school life sounded like a bad soap opera.

Hubby interjected, "Not at the same time."

Luckily, years of experience with interviewing people for their product testimonies to use on infomercials has given me the skills needed to interrogate, I mean, question my child.

*Names are screened to protect the guilty party.
"Tell me what happened."

"Um, I kissed a girl on accident and then I hit my friend"

"Who was the girl?"

"Jessica. She sits by me."

"Why did you kiss her?"

"It was an accident. I didn't mean to."

"What happened that made you kiss her?"

"She was asking me the name of a boy and I, um, was whispering 'Geovanni' to her and our noses were, um, touching and I forgot and I accidentally kissed her." He finished the line with the world's cutest shy-smile ever leaving me to wonder how accidental it truly was.

"And did she tell the teacher?"


"Did the teacher see it happen?"


"Was Jessica embarrassed that you kissed her?"

"I think so."

During the entire inquisition, my husband and I were both trying not to smile or laugh. It's wasn't easy.

"So tell me why you hit your friend."

"He hit me too."

"Where were you when this happened?"

"We were in the reading area and I was bopping him on the head like this," he said as he proceeded to curl his little fist and bop himself on the head. "And then, then he got mad and hit me back."

"And then what happened?"

"And then we went to the Principal's office."

"So you both got into trouble?"

"Yeah. He hit  me."

"But you hit him first."

So Little Dude is not only learning about letters, numbers, colors, and shapes in Kindergarten. He is also learning to keep his hands and his lips to himself.

Who knows what lessons he'll be learning this week!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Curse of the Rainbow, Part 2

So after a weekend of Behavior Boot CampLittle Dude was ready to listen to his teacher and be a model of good behavior. We expected him to start earning some higher rainbow colors... or at least stay on green.

So Monday, when he came home with a purple, we were shocked. Seriously, purple? And another note from the teacher explaining that Little Dude is a very friendly child and tends to talk to his friends when they're supposed to be working.

Yes, that pretty much sounds like him.

So that evening, Little Dude wrote an apology letter to his teacher:

*Names have been blurred out to protect the innocent and guilty!

Little Dude decided exactly what he wanted to say in the letter and I helped him spell everything out. But, yes, that is his own handwriting. AND his own apology.

The next morning when I walked him to his class, I met another mother who said her son has been bringing home purples and even a pink! She admitted she called the teacher up and argued that her son could not have possibly deserved a pink because he is always so well-behaved.

It's nice to know I'm not alone on the crazy, defensive mom train.

That afternoon, Little Dude came home with... green! He stayed on green all day. The next day, he came home with green again! This time he actually got up to yellow, but then went back down to green.

I asked him if anyone has made it to red yet. "No."

"Has anyone made it to orange."

"One person did."

"Who was it?"

"I don't know. It wasn't me."

We're just glad to see that his behavior is finally improving!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curse of the Rainbow, Part 1

So Little Dude started Kindergarten and the world rejoiced. What teacher would not want a completely brilliant child like him in their class? He knows his alphabet sounds, is able to write all his letters, can count to 100 (and to 10 in Spanish), and is starting to read. Yes... I'm bragging because my child is a freaking awesome genius! (Seriously, all mothers should think that about their child. It's our job!)

But Kindergarten has some differences from Pre-K. For one thing, there are a lot more rules. And being the start of the year, the rules are enforced a little more strictly. The teacher tracks each child's behavior on a rainbow chart. They all start with their names on green and they can move up or down depending on how well they behave. Red is reserved for only the most astoundingly well-behaved child. Purple is for the child who tends to tune out the teacher. And they even added pink below purple, which means, uh oh, time to talk to the teacher!

Our child has always been the model of good behavior, so we were positive he was going to come back with red, or at least orange or yellow on his first day.

But that wasn't the case. He came home with blue. OK, no problem, we thought, it's just the first day and he's adjusting. We had high hopes for the next day.

He came home with purple. Purple! The offensively violet smiley face (as if!) came with a note attached saying that Little Dude was having trouble listening to the teacher, but she was sure that once he adjusted to the new class, that he would be much better.

I've already learned that Little Dude doesn't want to talk about school after he gets home. Instead, he usually talks about it during the morning drive to school. So I was shocked the next morning when Little Dude said, "I'm not ready for Kindergarten."

"Who said that?"

"The teacher."

"What happened?"

"When I went down to purple, I cried and the teacher said maybe I'm not ready for Kindergarten."

What?!? I had to get to the bottom of this. So being the mother of a child genius that I am, I emailed the teacher and told her what my honest-as-Abe-Lincoln child said and that I was hoping for a misunderstanding.

She called me.

Now, I know that she has 30 other students and at least 30 other parents to contend with. So getting a call from the teacher during the lunch break on the 3rd day of school is like getting a call from the Pope.

It was all a big misunderstanding. Thank goodness! But she could understand how Jacob could have thought she said he wasn't ready. She explained they are focused on getting ready for 1st Grade, and she tells them that they need to learn these things in order to be ready for the next grade level. And I know my child... he definitely reads between the lines. She also explained that she is much tougher at the beginning of the year and that blue is not actually a "bad color," but a warning.

She then told me that it's especially hard to get after Little Dude when he's just so charming. She said, "One of the things the kids all need to learn is how to settle down after activity." That morning, the kids were running around the classroom for half an hour matching colors and shapes. When it was time to return to their seats and settle down, she asked the kids to be quite. They were pretty noisy so she told them that the next student to talk would "clip down" to a lower color. All the kids were quiet... except mine. He started singing. Yes, singing!

She told him that he was supposed to stop talking or else he'll clip down. He replied, "But I'm not talking. I'm singing. It's different."

She couldn't clip him down for such valid reasoning. Instead, she modified her orders to "no talking and no singing."

After our wonderful conversation, I felt so much better and was looking forward to seeing her at back-to-school BBQ that night.

Little Dude and I heading back to school that night for some fun and pulled pork. He was less interested in the food and more interested in the fun. He was ran around like a wild child: not listening to me, not listening to anyone. Holy smoke stack! The child that I had just hours earlier defended like a courtroom lawyer, just proved that he really isn't the world's most well-behaved child. He hogged the ball while playing basketball. He ran to the opposite side of the field when I called him over. He ignored his teacher when she said hi. He stood on a desk. Yes! Stood on a desk. Basically, he behaved like a spoiled rock star!

Wow. I cannot even express the level of embarrassment I felt. I know kids will embarrass their parents from time to time, but I was not ready for this. This was bad. Fall on your face and accidentally expose yourself to the entire world bad. That's pretty much how I felt.

So last weekend, we had Behavior Boot Camp. It's a very prestigious academy where only the most qualified children (meaning worst behaving child geniuses) get in. In fact, only one child has ever made the cut. Little Dude relearned how to say please and thank you. Little Dude relearned how to be polite. Little Dude relearned how to listen the first time when asked.

We're hoping the boot camp will help whip Little Dude back into the amazingly well-behaved child we know he is. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten!

Today is my son's first day of Kindergarten! He is super excited. Can't you tell?

Daddy surprised us by meeting us in the school parking lot. Little Dude was definitely "too cool for school" as he walked to his class like a pro. When we got to his classroom and found his desk, he even pretended like he was already bored! Of course, he couldn't stop smiling!

I managed to get through the day without any tears. OK, maybe I was a little moody... but I was honestly too excited for him to cry about my baby growing up. That will come later.

Fun and exciting things are going to happen this year!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Miss Communication

Last week I was meeting some of my vendors at an industry conference. It was in one of those large convention centers where cell reception is rather spotty. I couldn't make any calls, but I did have just enough signal to send and receive text messages.

In fact, I received several text messages throughout the day. The first one was from a number I didn't recognize saying, "Your belly looks great." A little odd, but I have been working out a little more and trying to trim the waist. Plus, I thought I was looking pretty svelte for my meeting. How thoughtful, if unusual, for someone to notice. Maybe it was a co-worker.

About half an hour later I got another text message from another number I didn't recognize: "OK! That's a bump! You look so cute!"

Um, what?!? Now I was a little concerned. Maybe someone accidentally passed out the wrong cell phone number.

A few minutes later, I got another text: "You really look pregnant!"

Holy smokes! I didn't know what was going on, but I was feel fatter by the minute! First my belly looks great and now I'm fat enough to look pregnant? What on earth was going on?

When I finally left the convention center to head back to the airport, I received a photo message from my sister that wasn't able to download while I was in the building:

From But Just Like That...

Apparently my pregnant sister had sent it that morning and some of her friends had replied to the entire group. Well, at least I don't have to worry about someone spying on me and judging my weight!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yes, Jesus Loves Me

Little Dude has always been the inquisitive type. He doesn't just want to know Why... he wants to know Who, What, Where, When, and How. One of the topics that he has asked about since he could form a question is Jesus and Heaven. He would look up in the sky and ask, "Can I visit Jesus in Heaven?"

"No, it's not like visiting Grandma's house."

"But I want to see Him. Can't we just fly up there? Please?"

Then the questions started getting deeper. "Did Jesus really die?" "Does everyone who dies go to Heaven?" "Are you going to Heaven?" "Is Furry Dude going to Heaven?"

At first the questions occasionally popped up at random moments. But in the last six months or so, they became more frequent -- often peppering our regular conversations.

Last month, a week before Easter, Big Dude and I thought it might be a good idea to explain why we celebrate Easter. We asked Little Dude if he knew what Easter was about. He started talking about decorating eggs and seeing the Easter bunny (who visits his preschool every year). He was so focused on his school Easter party that we shrugged our shoulders and figured he wasn't ready yet. Maybe next year.

However, on Easter morning, his Sunday School teachers must have given a really good lesson because by Tuesday afternoon, I found myself in quite the theological discussion with my child.

"I want to have Jesus in my heart really, really bad."

OK, even after all the questions in the past, I wasn't quite prepared for this. Is he really ready? I thought. Does he really understand? I'll admit that I was excited, but nervous at the same time. As a Christian, of course I want my child to understand and to make that decision for himself. And even though I accepted Christ when I was only 5, I didn't expect Little Dude to get there so soon.

So I did what any unprepared mother would do... I tried to pawn it off on his teachers. "Well, tomorrow night is AWANA and you can ask Miss Kim about how to have Jesus in your heart." There. If he's not ready, then someone else who I'm sure is much better equipped to talking to children about such things can handle it.

But he was insistent. He started asking about Heaven again. And this time he started talking about Jesus dying on the cross. My mommy-sense started tingling. I asked, "Are you talking about Easter?"

"Yeah. Easter." Then he explained the entire Easter story to me. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He was buried. He rose again. And now He's in Heaven, and one day we'll be in Heaven with Him. He understood more than some adults do! For an hour (which is about 7 hours in kid-time), we talked about God's love, sin, grace, and WHY Jesus died on the cross. He would ask questions and when I answered, he seemed to think about it before asking another question.

We wrapped up our conversation just in time for a nap. I told Little Dude that we would talk to his teachers tomorrow at church so they could explain more. He seemed pretty happy as he fell asleep.

That evening, everything was normal. And the next morning, everything flowed along as usual. But just before we were about to leave for preschool, Little Dude said it again. "I really want to have Jesus in my heart."

Obviously, what he had learned was sticking with him. So this time, I did what any semi-prepared mother would do... I sat down on the floor with him and led him in a prayer.

That's a moment I'll never forget!

Little Dude was so excited. He called his Daddy, his Papa, and both of his Grandmas on the way to preschool. That evening we told his teachers at church (and I think he told his teachers at preschool too!). Everyone was excited. Oh, yeah, and I'm sure I heard a few angels sing! ;-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why Super Heroes Take Showers

My kid loves a good, long bath. Who doesn't? You can sit back and relax. You can fill it with bubbles. You can play with your tub toys and pretend to swim across the ocean.

But we don't always have time to indulge in an hour-long bath. That's when a quick shower is convenient. But Little Dude is not a fan of showers.

So this morning, I braced myself as I prepared Little Dude for a shower. Turned on the water and made sure it was the right temperature. Had the towels and a change of clothes nearby. Had the shampoo and soap ready for action. Little Dude was about to step into the shower when he stopped. "Can I take a bath instead?"

Now, there are a few options to get a little kid to do something he doesn't want. The first is physical force. However, as I ran through the scenario in my mind, it pretty much ended with my getting soaked. So I went with another option...

"You know, Super Heroes take showers."

"Who?" This kid was not going to be fooled.


"Aquaman is always in the water. He doesn't need a shower."

"OK, well Aquaman probably prefers baths anyways, but Superman takes showers."


I was rolling now! "Yes, Superman. He has to clean off all the bugs that get all over him while he's flying around."

"Oh. Who else?"

I could see this kid was going to need further proof before he was convinced.

"Batman. Batman takes a shower. And Spiderman. He gets all the dirt and grime from the buildings on him and he gets bugs on him too from swinging around the city."

"What about the Green Lantern?"

"Sure. The Green Lantern takes showers too."

"Does he get dirty?"

"He takes showers simply because he likes them. Some people like taking showers."

I could see Little Dude pondering what he had just learned. It seemed to have convinced him. As he was stepping into the shower he finally said, "But Aquaman doesn't take showers. He likes baths."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My 4-year-old the Dentist

One of the things I really enjoy about my son's daycare/preschool is that they often bring in what I call "guest teachers" at least once a month. There's the library lady who reads new and exciting books, the music man who teaches them new fun songs, and the dental hygienist who makes sure they're brushing and flossing right.
Yes... flossing.

So my boy came home from school the other day with his dental "prize package." It was the same kind of bag he gets from the dentist twice a year. You know what I'm talking about... the one containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, a sticker, and that little sample of floss that just never seems to make it very far.

Usually, the floss samples get tossed into the travel items where they can be properly ignored until needed for some travel emergency like reattaching a button, hanging a wet swimsuit to dry, or tying a package together. It's not that I don't floss, but I'll admit that I don't floss every day.

But my precious boy with the beautiful, white smile was determined to use his floss.

That night, while getting ready for bed he informed me that he had to floss. And then with all the confidence of a well-trained and experienced dental hygienist, he proceeded to lecture me on the right way to floss.

"Mommy, you have to floss every day. But only once a day. You should floss at night."

"Oh, thank you for letting me know."

"And Mommy, you have to floss before you brush your teeth at night."


"Yes, before. You have to put the floss between your teeth and hug the teeth and then pull it."

Then he demonstrated the correct flossing technique that he had already become an expert at.

(By the way... he made sure I got a good picture of it. So he actually flossed several times until he was satisfied that I had taken a good picture!)

After flossing and brushing his teeth, I tucked him into bed. And then went into my bathroom and flossed!

Who says parent's always have to set the example? Sometimes it's the other way around!

Friday, March 23, 2012

8 Crazy Years

This past Monday was our 8 Year Anniversary!

So here are 8 things I love about the Big Dude...

1. He makes our family a top priority. We are #1! He wants to make sure he spends as much time as possible with us. And he even reigns me in when I get a little crazy with work and projects to make sure that I am spending enough family time too. Time is the most valuable asset we have. And he spends his time with us.

2. He loves me despite all my quirks. Yeah, I've got some peculiarities. Don't we all? And I'm sure some of the things I do drive him up the wall. But he puts up with them.

3. He has dinner waiting for me when I get home. When we first married, I did all the cooking. But after having Little Dude, Big Dude put the apron on and has been master chef of our kitchen since then. It's not that I'm a bad cook. He started cooking as a way to allow me to spend more time being a mom (see #1). He gets home before I do, and when I started back at work after maternity leave, he wanted me to be able to spend time with our baby boy (and nurse him) as soon as I walked in the door. It didn't take long before he realized that he likes cooking more than I do. And soon he was altering all my recipes. My handwritten recipe book now has sticky notes covering several pages with the words "Mike's Recipe" at the top. He still lets me experiment and create new recipes every once in a while (see #2), but as soon as he masters the recipe, he adds his own personal touch to it.

3b. He perfected my mom's cinnamon roll recipe. OK. This deserves a mention of it's own. If you have ever tried my mom's cinnamon rolls, then you know they are magically delicious. Men have crawled across the dessert over broken glass, trudged barefoot through the Antarctica, and swam through shark infested waters for one bite. And when my mom finally decided to share her recipe with us... well, let's just say she tends to leave a few small and yet important details out of her recipes. Partly because she doesn't really follow a recipe when she cooks our favorite treats. And partly because she has a little bit of an evil side to her. (You know it, Mom!) After a year of trying to get the rolls just right, Big Dude has to basically hold my mom hostage one day when she was visiting and forced her to show him exactly how she makes the rolls. And since then, he has added a sticky note her her recipe. Now, every time he pulls a pan of cinnamon rolls out of the oven, an angel gets its wings.

4. We never stopped dating... each other. Despite marriage, a child, and sometimes crazy schedules, he still takes me out for dinner. He knows how important it is to get away from all the distractions and make time for just the two of us.

5. He does all the disgusting jobs at home so I don't have to. Some people might take it for granted and even call it "man's work." But seriously... I bought this house before I ever met Big Dude and so I greatly appreciate having someone else who snakes my giant hairballs out of the shower drain, picks up after the dogs in the back yard, weeds the front yard, trims the hedges, and vacuums. He pitches in. And although he might leave his laundry piled in the bathroom floor, litter the sink with tiny sharp facial hair trimmings, or have me fend off any Jehovah's Witnesses that come knocking at our door, I greatly appreciate all the things he does around the house.

6. He's totally honest. Seriously. The guy cannot tell a lie. Even the idea of telling a half-truth makes him break out in a sweat and totally nauseated. Of course, that honesty rarely comes with even a trace of tact. And sometimes I think something must be broken in his brain because he pretty much blurts out whatever he's thinking. (He says that if he's already thought it, then it's just as bad as saying it, so he might as well say it.) But at least I never have to wonder where he stands. And I know that I can absolutely trust him. (Except to keep a secret... that's extremely hard for him. But he's improving.)

7. He's got broad shoulders. Both physically and emotionally. He has always supported me and encouraged me even when it meant putting his own desires aside. During our first few years together, I had to deal with some emotional trauma from my past. He made sure that I got the help I needed. He drove me to all my appointments. He never complained about having to deal with a crazy woman. He was there for me. I will never forget that. And it's not just me that he helps. He has a huge heart for helping others. He is often the first person to volunteer to help someone out. And you'll never hear him complain or brag about all the things he does. He does it because "it's the right thing to do."

8. In many ways, he's my polar opposite. Sure, most people wouldn't put this on their faves list. But seriously, how boring would it be to be married to someone just like you? Ugh!!! The best thing about marriage is having someone to help you grow as a person. He has helped me see things from a totally different perspective.

OK, I actually have many more things I could add to the list. You'll just have to wait for our next anniversary. Plus, I don't want to make you jealous! Trust me, it's not all unicorns and rainbows all the time. But we love each other and we are committed to each other. Plus, I find that writing out a list of things I love about him is a good reminder and makes me love him more!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Singing Sensation!

Our church had a talent show fundraiser for the youth group last night. And Little Dude, being a veteran of the monthly open mic night we used to have, wanted to sing. Here it is:

Yeah, I'm a proud mama! Originally, it was going to be a duet, but he decided he could do it all by himself. There were a lot of people there so you can see I have a mic at the piano just in case I needed to jump in and sing with him. But nope. No mic needed. No duet necessary. As you can see, he did it on his own.

And the crowd loved him! :-)

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Absent Absent-Minded Blogger

So yes, I've been away for a while, but seriously I've got good reason.

Say it with me... "I've been busy."

Haven't we all?

But oh, I have so much to blog about. The holidays were great. My parent's visited. I totally love my in-laws. I'm not the "interim worship leader" at my church. I'm still working. I'm still completely in love with my beautiful child.

I hired a part-time assistant at work and the other day she asked me, "You work. You're a mom. You're a worship leader. How do you do it all?"

I don't really have an answer to that question. I'm just taking it one day at a time!