Wednesday, October 29, 2008


When is the last time you waited by your mailbox for a delivery? Each day, I eagerly open that little white receptacle in hopes that something exciting is tucked in amid the bills. But yesterday, I physically WAITED outside by the box until my mailman arrived. Why?

Because yesterday my mailman delivered my MomSense magazine! I really enjoy this periodical (published by MOPS, Int'l); it always provides inspiration and encouragement as I journey through motherhood with a preschooler. But this issue holds very special meaning for me because it includes an article that I wrote about my own personal journey into motherhood.

So... I was very excited to greet my postal representative (and I have to say that I think he was a little overwhelmed by the welcoming committee of me, big yellow dog, exuberant toddler shrieking "It's here! It's here! The mail is HERE!", and my wonderful neighbor and her 2 yr old son. Hey, why not!?). Sure enough, the magazine had arrived. I began to flip through the pages.

But then my dog decided that he wanted to greet a neighbor who happened to be strolling by. (My dog is well over 100 lbs, so greetings aren't always welcomed by everyone.) After tugging and coaxing him back to the house, I attempted to read again.

But then my son decided that he needed a drink of water. Followed by a bathroom break. Followed by a strong desire to ride his bicycle. With his helmet. And knee pads. No, the ones with Thomas the Train on them.

The abandoned magazine's pages flipped quietly in the grass while the dog and the boy kept me busy for the next twenty minutes or so. I longed for a few moments of uninterrupted time just to look at a tiny portion of my passion in print! I have to admit that I got a little irritated - I couldn't even have five minutes to myself to read one tiny little article....

And then I began to laugh. Because I realized that the stage of life that makes things too crazy to even read a magazine article is the exact same stage of life that provides me with the daily inspiration I have to write!

Eventually (read: when Daddy came home), I got a chance to flip through the whole issue. And for those of you who've carved out a portion of time to read your issue, too - thanks for stopping by! Welcome, and please come back soon!

I have some exciting things planned as I work toward my 100th blog entry. I think we're going to have a party. Wear something festive! I'll include more details soon...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tough Love

My little guy has been sidelined from his normally high activity level this week with migraine-like headaches.

No mom wants to see her child suffer. It's been hard for me, as I've felt so helpless in providing him any kind comfort or relief. After another sleepless night of dispensing Motrin and holding the throw-up bucket close, I scheduled an appointment with his pediatrician this morning.

On our way to the doctor's office, Drew was hesitant and a little whiny.

"But I feel better now, Mommy!"
"I don't want to go to the doctor!"
"What are they going to do to me?"
"Why are you taking me there???"

His last plea stung a little. He could not comprehend why I would choose to put him through this kind of discomfort.

"Because I love you, buddy," was the response I settled on giving.

"Why are you lovin' me like that?"

And you must know that it took about a NANOSECOND for the spiritual parallel to sink in.

This week in my Bible study, I was reminded of God's great desire for my spiritual wellness. Whether I have been holding a grudge, throwing myself a pity-party, or have some pesky pride lurking in my heart... I seldom make it very long before I need to make an appointment with the Great Physician.

It's not always comfortable, and I can be known to whine.

"Lord, you could rescue me from this."
"Lord, I don't want to go there."
"God, why are You taking me there???"


"Why are you lovin' me like that?"
(I tend to want a reason, too).

And this is my conclusion. I am not willing to settle for a pain pill that will only alleviate Drew's symptoms. I need to know what is causing the problem, and I need it to be fixed.

And HE is not the slightest bit interested in a temporary solution to the weaknesses of my flesh. HE is not interested in sitting around, waiting for me to spew out some ugliness, just to help me clean up the mess. HE wants to make me well!

And I love that He loves me like that!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Three Mistakes...

I figure I only neglected three important facts about the sport of fishing.

1. Fishing requires patience.

2. Fishing requires enough self-control to abstain from throwing rocks into the waters where you are attempting to catch a fish.

3. Catfish are REALLY UGLY.

Taking these facts into consideration, I would like to recommend that you do not take a three-year-old boy fishing in a stocked catfish pond.

Unless your stocked catfish pond has a dog named Jackson roaming around the property.

Because you can ignore a lot of crucial facts about fishing if you can just remember this overall truth about life:

As long as a boy has a dog around....he's going to have a great time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Perhaps we should have been more clear...

The flight from Birmingham to Tampa is full of kids. I have specifically chosen to sit right in the middle of all the other parents and children for this short trip home. I'm mainly thinking "Camoflauge". After all, if my child kicks the seat in front of him or unplugs his headphones so everyone else on the plane can learn their ABC's from a family of frogs, at least I can pretend that the commotion is coming from one of the other kids...

But, I have no need to worry. The DVD player has captured my son's full attention, and most of the other children are being bribed by various toys, candy, and electronic devices. It's not until we begin our initial descent into Tampa that things begin to get dicey.

In perfect unison, five children begin complaining of ear problems. Knowing that the cabin pressure is to blame, the moms spring into action. Packages of gum are whipped out of purses and backpacks, and the explanations begin.

The mom behind me can be heard saying, "Joey...take this for your ears." Meanwhile, I'm explaining that the gum I'm handing to Drew will help make his own ears pop.

Joey is confounded. His mom again explains that the gum is for his ears. She's leaning across the aisle to hand him a piece, and Joey finally takes it. I look down at Drew, whose eyes are as big as saucers, and tell him to take his gum, too.

Poor Joey, he's now looking at his mom and literally poking the piece of gum into his ear, and my kid is crying that he doesn't want his ears to pop off!

After a great laugh and the realization that we only have ourselves to blame, we put away the chewing gum and offer some other alternatives to our uncomfortable (and confused) little boys.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We're back, y'all!

Drew and I just returned from a week-long trip to visit grandparents and cousins in Alabama. We always have fun when we're with family, but this trip was really something special.

From picnics to museums to tennis and fishing, we packed our days with activities that Drew is just becoming old enough to appreciate.

He's growing up so quickly. And I love it! I'm not trying to wish his sweet young life away, but I truly enjoy this age.

I appreciate his ability to pull his own suitcase through the airport alongside me. I marvel at his athletic prowess when he can keep up with his seven and twelve year old cousins. I laugh at his silly side of phone conversations when he calls home to tell Daddy about our day. And I bravely attempt to admire the bugs he brings me from his outdoors adventures.

Sure, some days are filled with time-outs and peanuts up the nose (ok, more days than I care to admit). But this trip reminded me of the simple pleasures of life with a little boy.

I can't wait to share our stories and pictures!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Little Stuffy Nose

"Hey Bommy. Wook at be!!!"
What in the world is up with his voice......


A peanut.
Up his nose.

I remain calm. Even after he explains that he'd love to listen and obey, however he can not seem to get the peanut dislodged from his nasal passage.

Luckily, a good blow and a little help from mom do the trick.

After the peanut is safely disposed of, I caution Drew to never ever put anything else up his nose, ominously warning him that the next time he will surely have to go to the hospital and have a doctor remove it with very sharp tools.

I don't use scare tactics too often, but it seems to do the trick. Per Drew's instructions, we are ridding our pantry of peanuts and crossing them off the grocery list.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A New Song

I have been living with the composer of the "Symphony of No's", a masterpiece of music that has been the soundtrack of our lives for the past two days.

I don't know where the musician received his inspiration, but I'd like to take some of the credit. After all, true creative genius is often born out of personal angst... and I seem to be the prime source of frustration and torture for my three year old these days.

Perhaps, his composition would best be described as Variations on Theme. For instance:

FORTISSIMO (loud and with surprising force!)
Let's hand this envelope to the nice man behind the post-office counter, Drew.

CRESCENDO (increasing in volume throughout)
Please use your inside voice while we're in Grandpa's office.

STACCATO (each note brief and detached)
Be nice to the dog.
"No! No! NO! No! No! No!"

ADAGIO (at ease, slow)
Let's hurry up and get dressed. We're going to be late for Bible study.

PRESTO (very quickly)
What did you just say to me????
"no.....nononononnono" (as he runs through the house toward an inevitable time-out)

And while all these variations certainly keep the song lively, I am completely DONE with this theme.

I need a new song in my house. Psalm 33:3 exhorts us to "Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy." And while I wish my son would change his tune, I know that I need to be the one to teach him the new lyrics.

So.. anyone know of a place where I can get a harp?

Friday, October 3, 2008

If I Knew What Was Coming...

To the very kind yet slightly-androgynous-looking young lady who served us our sandwiches yesterday:

Please accept my sincere apologies. Personally, I think your hair looks very cute in that short, spiky style.

In fact, I wish that I could pull off the "baggie jean shorts and athletic jersey" look with the same flair.

Your tattoos and piercings speak volumes about your desire for creativity and self-expression.

My son certainly meant to cause you no embarassment when he inquired in his "outside voice" whether you were a boy or a girl. Several times in a row.

Although your frequent diner benefits are tempting, I hope you understand that I will not be visiting your establishment again anytime in the near future. At least, not without a roll of duct tape...



Thursday, October 2, 2008

And 4 years from now...

My child will be this old...

My niece "KJ", turned 7 this summer. I was at the hospital when she was born. Besides my own child's birth (where my attendance was absolutely required), she's the only other child I've greeted within hours of birth.

And now, she's S-E-V-E-N!

In seven short years, KJ has become a reader, a writer, a bicycle-rider, a swimmer, a soccer-playing, school-attending, nurturing, considerate, artistic, self-sufficient, animal-loving, sweet young lady.

While I wish these days could slow down a bit, I'm so grateful to have a niece and nephew who have "gone before us" and made the next few years look like so much fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In 9 years...

They go from this...

To this...

My nephew "K" is now 12 years old, and he's an awesome kid. And I am totally convinced that I'm NOT an awesome aunt, strictly due to the fact that I'm still using the word "awesome" in the year 2008.

When "K" was my son's age, my mother-in-law and I took him for his first visit to Disney World. It was the stuff of fairy tales, and his Baba and I STILL talk about it like it was yesterday. Great memories, great pictures, great stories... the Disney experience at it's best. As we left the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom, I remember asking my nephew what he thought about Disney World.

"That's one big world...." he replied, with a mixture of exhaustion and exhiliration.

We plan to take Drew to Disney for his very first time at the end of this year. And I'm stopping at the Peter Pan gift shop... surely they have something there that will prevent the next 9 years from hurrying by so quickly...