Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Nap

Tried to take a nap today.  This is what it looked like:

1:30 - Laid down on my bed
1:35 - Landon:  "Mommy, can I have a lollipop?"
          Me:  "Yes."  got up and got down the bag of Dum Dums
1:36 - Laid down again
1:41 - Anna:  "Mommy, can I have a lollipop, too?"
          Me:  "Yes, Anna."
1:46 - Anna:  "Mommy, I'm still hungry; can I have a snack?"  (She had opted out of lunch at McDonald's earlier and had eaten half my fries and half of Landon's nuggets)
           Me:  "Yes. You can have a snack."
           Anna (back in the room with a box of Wheat Thins Sticks):  "How many can I have?"
           Me:  "You can have 15."
           Anna (leaving the room):  "1,..2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...11...12...13...14...15"
1:48: - Landon:  "Mommy can I have some cheese?"
           Me: "Yes"  (opened the cheese paper for him)
1:53 -  Landon:  "Mommy..."
           Me:  "NO!"
           Landon: "...can I go outside?"
           Me: "Yes."
1: 58 - Landon (from the kitchen):  "Mommy, I have to go poo!"
           Me:  "Then GO!"
2:01 -  Landon (from upstairs - hollering):  "MOMMY!   I'm  DO-O-O-NE!"
           Me:  *big irritated sigh*  out of bed: "Screw it."   (upstairs to wipe his butt)


2:15 - Posted this to the blog
2:16 - Brian arrived home from being out of town for the UGA vs. FL game in Jacksonville.
2:19 - walked into the living room and noticed the cat "burying" something by the front door
          Dog has peed all over the foyer!   Brian and I cleaned up dog pee and cat's paws from stepping in it.
2:23 - came back upstairs to check e-mail on computer
           Notice another dog mess!  Me to Brian: "Now she's THROWN  UP in the hallway!"
           Back downstairs to get paper towels to clean up the mess
2:24 - Back upstairs to clean up dog "vomit".
          Notice more mess down the hall
          Me:  "IT'S  NOT  THROW-UP!!!   IT'S  DIARRHEA!!!   AAaaUUuuGGggHHhh!!!"

Can we please fast-forward to next weekend when Brian and I will be in Myrtle Beach for our anniversary?!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eye Twitch

Mondays don't seem to bother me much.  But Tuesdays are getting to me.  I crammed too much into today.  Three parent/teacher conferences, an hour volunteering in the library and helping Cameron finish his Social Studies project.  

Remember the eye twitch I was telling you about last Tuesday?  Yeah.

And the stress factor was kicked up a notch or two by the conference I had with Cameron's teacher today.

She has a very mild personality and has kind of allowed him to fall way behind in his assignments and has not mentioned this to me.  I had suspicions that this was happening which is why I scheduled the conference.  But even when I asked her, "Mrs. L, what can I do to help you?  Do you have any suggestions for things we could do to help him get more focused and organized?"  she had no suggestions.   AAaauuugghhh!!  So, it will be completely up to me to come up with something creative to get him back on track.  Which is fine, I suppose, since I am his mother and all and I know him better than she does but it would have been nice if she could have suggested some tools or ways for him to practice responsibility or organization or study skills.  'Lil help, please.  

Anyhow, the rest of the days this week are not as busy (only one major thing each day instead of 4).  

Here's hoping I will at least be able to get a shower and eat 3 meals on those days.  Neither of which happened today.

Maybe my eye twitch will go away if I listen to this song one more time today.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Not So Much To Say

I had a lot to say earlier today.   But now that I have 10 minutes of peace and quiet to myself the words won't come.  This afternoon I thought about how much I love photography.  How I've felt this way for such a long time.  I have a big box full of Life magazines and I need to find a replacement.  I'd like to find a magazine that puts such an emphasis on the pictures and how they sometimes tell the story more deeply than words can.  A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.  I browsed through my stack looking for the name Joe McNally, a staff photographer for the magazine.   He'll be here in Atlanta teaching a seminar next week and I was wanting to go but I'm feeling a little out of my league now.  I don't want to waste a hundred dollars and my day drowning in information that I'm not ready for either.  But how else do I become a great photographer unless I learn from great photographers?   Experience.  Trial and error.  That's how.   And I'm getting better.  My photos are better than they were 10 years ago, 2 years ago, 2 months ago.  I'm understanding more and trying to apply what I'm learning.   

I had some thoughts about being a mom, about being the kind of mom that I am, and how I want to get better at that also but that's about a million and one things I don't want to go into today.  I think I'll just post some pics from this weekend instead.

He's getting so big.  He has a research project due Wednesday about Henry Hudson.  I sure hope he remembers to bring home what he needs tomorrow.  I'm learning as much as he his.  Do you know what an archipelago is?

This little beauty won't let me take her picture at all lately.  She runs away and she hides her face with her hands or a piece of paper and I can't capture her gorgeous hazel eyes.  But nothing's stopping me from taking pictures of her adorable little pony tail.

 I made Parker change clothes so I could take his "birthday pictures".  I told him that one day he was going to want to know what he looked like at eight years old.  It was the only way to get him to cooperate.
That and a little threatening.

And this is where I found my baby today.  Curled up in the folded laundry piles on my bed.  I think I need to start making him take a nap in the afternoon again.  He falls asleep between 3:00 and 4:00 almost every day lately.

 And the long-eared galoot would like a nap, too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Parker!

My Parker Bear turned 8 this past weekend!  EIGHT!  When I first started blogging my 3rd post was  about how he had just turned 6!  That seems like so long ago.  Except that eight doesn't look all that different from six.  Not on Parker.  His personality changes very little from year to year.  He has a very consistent personality; you almost always know what to expect from Parker.  

Of course, he wasn't always this way.  Those first 6 months were H-A-R-D!   

Cameron was what I call a "textbook baby".  Brian and I had gone through a "parenting course" (for lack of a better term) called Preparation for Parenthood.  The materials told you a baby should be sleeping through the night between 8 and 10 weeks old and that, if you follow their process, your baby would be on a regular sleep/eat/wake cycle and that you would know what your child needed based on where they were in that cycle.   

That worked.   

For Cameron.

So Cameron was only 6 months old when we decided we were ready for another baby.  "Bring it on!  If it's this easy and this sweet then we can handle it.  The more the merrier!  Besides, if it took us 1/2 as long to get pregnant as it did with Cameron then we'd better get started now so that in 6 to 8 months we'll be pregnant again.  They'll be about 2 years apart."

One month later we were calling friends and family and sharing the good news.  "We're having #2!"

I was about 7 months pregnant when we decided to start making a move to Woodstock.  Then Brian lost his job four months later - just two months after Parker was born.  ('Nother post for another time.)  Then Brian didn't work (and neither did I) for 6 months.  And Parker was born in the middle of this.  Add in the fact that our friends on the southside thought that we had already moved and that our friends on the northside were an hour away left us with very little support emotionally.  And boy!  did I ever need emotional support.  Post partum blues and depression is an ugly thing, y'all.  Ugly. 

Parker was tough.  Colicky and sad.  That poor child cried.  A whole heck of a lot!  And he sure wasn't sleeping through the night at 10 weeks...or 18 weeks ... or at 6 months...or at one year.  Breastfeeding was a nightmare with him.   And there were many times I had to put him upstairs in the bonus room and close the door because I couldn't handle listening to him cry anymore.  It seemed there was nothing I could do that helped him.

That "parenting course"?   Went in the garbage.   I finally realized around month 7 that Adam and Eve didn't have "Preparation for Parenting".  That Elizabeth perhaps didn't raise John the Baptist on a sleep/eat/wake cycle.  That Abraham Lincoln's sweet mother didn't know anything about the authors of this course.   And I realized that if God hadn't included it in His Holy Word then it wasn't the only way to parent.    I let myself...and most importantly...I let Parker off the hook and I began to realize that when he only nursed for 10 minutes, instead of 30 like the course said he should, that that was a blessing.  I was busy.  I had two children to take care of now and didn't always have time to sit for 30 minutes.  He was an efficient nurser and that was a gift from God.  

I also realized that each child is different.  Sometimes as different as night is from day.  And that's also a gift.  

And OH!  is Parker ever a gift!  He's my birthday present - born two days after my birthday.  He's the sweetest, cuddliest thing you'll ever meet.   He's not easily influenced.  When we're at a restaurant or a store and other children are acting up, he just looks calmly at me and says, "They shouldn't be acting like that."  He has a tender, tender heart.  He's a people person.  He knows stuff about relationships that many adults I know could use a lesson on.  

He's mine.  And I'm so so so blessed to be able to say that. 


P.S.  God, can I get a do-over?  I'd really like to be able to have his first year back with the little bit of wisdom and patience I have now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Virtual Coffee - 10/19/10

Like Corinne, I didn't feel like blogging today.  But, like I told her, I feel like I need to or I've let myself down.

So, tonight we're having "Virtual Coffee".  Only it's not quite as good as real coffee because you can actually taste real coffee and when you're with friends having real coffee that means you're actually together in the same room. But "virtual coffee" will have to do tonight.  'Cause, quite frankly, I'd be too tired to actually get in my car and meet you somewhere for the real thing.  And you don't want to come here to my house because the upstairs hallway smells of dog pee.  (keepin' it real, folks.  REALLY need to rent a carpet cleaner this week.  dumb dog)

If we were together, you'd ask me how I'm feeling ('cause you're sweet like that) and because you'd notice that my brow is furrowed and I look a little tense.  You'd notice these things because my shoulders and my back are tight from working hard in this house today.   

I'd tell you how I've kind of taken the last couple weeks off, so to speak.  I only got the bare minimum done; barely scraping by when it comes to chores.    The laundry got done and the bathrooms were cleaned but that was about all; so, I've turned it up 10 notches over the last two days and I'm physically exhausted.  But I had a great day yesterday and today and it's, in large part, due to the fact that I got so much accomplished.   You'd ask me what I got done and I'd recount the harrowing details of cleaning up Anna's pig sty (a.k.a. her room, her closet and her hallway) and how, in order to do those things, I had to first rearrange the 3 storage/attic spaces next to her room.  But now everything is in it's new place and it should be easier to find things.  It was well worth it.  And about time; we've only lived here for 4 years!  What took me so long?

And I'd show you the evidence from my phone that it was a complete disaster!  I would lament that these were the only pictures I took today and they were with my lousy phone.

 Then I'd show you when I was finally done with that daunting task 6:00 p.m....that I took another picture of me crashed out on the bed and how the animals crashed next to me.  And we'd laugh about how freakishly big and kind of twisted my arm looks!

I'd take another long sip of my cafe mocha and then tell you how I'm looking forward to seeing a friend tomorrow.  I'd talk of my plans for next week which include helping in Anna's class, helping in the school library and going on two field trips and how it's really best not to think about these things too far ahead of time or I will develop an eye twitch.  (And then my eye might begin to twitch a little.) (But you'll pretend not to notice.)  

I'd ask you about how your day went and what your plans are for the next week and yours might look a lot like mine.  

So?  How was your day?

join me for coffee!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Last Travel Post - Singapore

Well, here we are!  The last post about my trip!  
Okay.  Okay.  You can stop applauding. 

Welcome to Singapore!  Well, at least the tiny little portion I saw.  We were only here for 10 hours and we were sleeping during 5 of those hours so I don't have much to show you.  You will just have to go there yourself one day and then maybe you can tell me what it's really like.

It is a beautiful city!   They take many more chances architecturally than we do here in the States and each building, whether it's a mall, a museum or a government building, is unique and interesting to look at.  

It's also a very clean city.  There are many rules and regulations that keep it this way.  One of the laws is that it is illegal to sell gum here.  They don't want anyone sticking a nasty, chewed piece of gum under a table or on a light post or dropping it on the ground to get stuck to someone's shoe.  It's not illegal, however, to chew gum.   So, we made sure our taxi driver, Michael, got a whole unopened pack of chewing gum to take home!

We followed this sweet couple for several blocks and he kept his arm around her shoulder and the umbrella over her head the whole time even though it was barely sprinkling.  
 I'm kind of considering doing this to my hair in the spring!  Well, maybe not the WHOLE thing but wouldn't a lock this color look good over my eye or tucked behind my ear?  We'll see.

 We went to a Swiss restaurant called Marche' for dinner.  They have crepe stations and meat stations and stations for freshly squeezed juice and on and on and on!  It is DELICIOUS!  Every bit of it.  I wish we had one here in Atlanta.

 Starbucks looks and feels the same everywhere, doesn't it?

This was our view from our room at the YMCA-Singapore.  Now, I don't highly recommend staying there  if you're going on vacation but it was quiet and clean and served our needs.  And our needs were to keep our budget low and to get at least a few hours of shut-eye before having to be up at 3 a.m. so we could catch our flight at 5 a.m..  Bags just  suddenly developed under my eyes as I typed that.

It was a really wonderful trip and I feel very privileged and blessed that I was able to go.  I went and spent time with a very dear, very close friend and her family and I made some new dear friends while I was there.   Now I know better how to pray for each one of them.  I've seen them cook in ovens so small I don't think my head would fit in it.   I know that each day a fruit bat poops on my friend's washing machine and obviously it has to be cleaned before she can use it to wash clothes.   Now I know from experience that the traffic is horrendous and that the cops can be crooked.  Now I've smelled what she smells, I've sweated like she's sweated (maybe a little more; I sweat a lot.  Sorry TMI) and I've seen what she sees and I've been where she's been.

And I can't wait to go back and do it all again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Capture - Animals

I wasn't sure how to post this first set of pictures.  There are so many of them.  They didn't fit under any of my other categories for my posts about my recent trip.  

But then!   Beth announced that this week's theme was "Animals"!  I took these the week before she announced our assignment but I also made sure to take some pictures this week of the animals that live in this house.   .... And I'm not talking about my children! 

I even took some pictures of animals at Landon's preschool on Farm Day!  My animal photo taking opportunities have been abundant and varied!  Soooo....First up!!!....

Wild monkeys roaming freely in their natural habitat...
An island resort just south of Singapore!
 This guy was the first one we saw that morning.  He was at the top of that pole and came sliding down and sat on the roof as we approached.

This guy (do you tend to think of monkeys as being male?  I do.) ...was eating a coconut.
 I stopped taking pictures of "him" when the thought occurred to me that he might just throw that coconut on my little head.  Hey!  It's not every day I get to see a monkey roaming around and not in a cage at Zoo Atlanta.  So, I was taking a lot of pictures!

Another one!


I love the monkey trying to sneak up and steal the older one's breakfast!

Onto domestic animals.   Dogs are gross.  They lick themselves all slurpily and they chew on their own feet and they eat bugs and they smell other dogs' poo and other dogs' butts...
This is exactly why I said I would rather be reincarnated as a house cat.
 GiGi thinks Angel is gross too.

And last but not least...
Farm animals!

 Landon was most intrigued by all the animals' tails and I'm very surprised and very pleased that he didn't end up with any ...ahem!..."presents" on his shoes.

Go check out You Capture (click on the button) to see more animal pics!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Dozen

To change up my recent travel posts so all 3 of you don't get bored, I'm going to throw in 2nd Cup of Coffee's Random Dozen questions along with some random, albeit beautiful, pictures I took while on the trip.  How do ya like that for tootin' my own horn?  heehee

1. Is there a word which you initially mispronounced?  Were the circumstances which you made the faux pas embarrassing?  

Hmmm...I can't think of any right off.  However, when we were kids and riding in the car, sometimes I would say, "Ham on game!"  instead of  "Hang on, gang!" which is what my dad used to say to us if we had to stop quickly.  But, no, I'm not embarrassed to reveal this.  After all, I was only 4 years old. ; )

2. How do you feel about the use of texting shortcuts and trends? (ex.: "I've got ur notes.  Get them 2 u 2morow?")  

I'm indifferent.  i use some txtng shrtcts but i thnk it cld get cnfusng if u used m 2 often.  And I try to avoid miscommunications as much as humanly possible.

And here's an example just from this morning (after I had already published this post):
Background:  My birthday is tomorrow and Brian has the day off and wanted to know what I want to do - Here are our texts back and forth about this subject.

Me:  Birthday plan - drop off L at school, brkfst, High museum for Dali exhibit
Brian: Bet
Me: Bet?
Brian: low, ok
Me: What is low?
Brian: In other words
Me: (realizing that my phone's capital i's look like lower case l's)
Brian: low, im wichu
Me: My capital i's look like lower case l's.
Brian: Not my fault
Me: Ahem
Brian: low, i love you

Of course, I'm substituting his upper-case i's with lower-case l's so you can basically see what I was seeing.

3. Tell me about your high school senior picture. Please feel free to post.

Ugh.  Must I?  Mushroom hair.  'Nuf said.  And they misspelled my name in the yearbook.  But, then again, nearly everyone misspells my name and I'm used to it by now and it doesn't bug me.

4. How funny!  There isn't a number four!  Let's see if I can think of one... 

Gosh!  I got nothin'.

5. Share a high school or college homecoming memory.

Homecoming was usually kind of uneventful.  I do remember not knowing if I was going to go to the Homecoming dance my senior year and I decided to go and ended up borrowing a dress from a friend or my cousin and going solo. My mom dropped me off (no car of my own) and since I was "unattached" was able to dance with whomever I pleased.   I was much more interested in watching my friends play in the football game beforehand and checking out what the Homecoming court was wearing and who would win the crown.

6. Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?

Sunsets.  I'm not what you'd call a "morning person".

7. What is something that you have not done that you desire to do?

Go to Italy.

8. If you could come back (in another life) as an animal, which would it be?

A house cat.

9. Where were you 10 years ago?  Please feel free to elaborate more than just your physical location.

Weekend of my birthday October 2000?  I was at a Dress as Famous Couples Halloween party dressed as Sonny Bono and Brian was dressed as Cher.  Naturally, because he's taller and does a mean impression of Cher tossing her hair over her shoulder.  He can even do it without hair on his head! .... He's such a good sport!

10. When you are proven to be correct in a contentious discussion, do you gloat?

I try not to engage in contentious discussions.  But, IF I'm proven to be correct, (which would be rare) then I don't gloat.  I just  bite my lip and smile a lot on the inside.

11. What is your favorite food which includes the ingredient "caramel"?

Caramello candy bars

12. If you could be part of any fictional family, which family would you choose and why?

I don't want any family but my own.    Awwww...