May's Most Popular Posts

Friday, May 31, 2013

May is ending today.  It's been a long, weird month.  I turned 33 on the First, and we received an inch of snow on the Third.  I stopped calling Bart by nicknames here, and he has worked super-late nights and weekends most of the month because he has deadlines for several projects.  Months like this were difficult before Ladybug was born, but they are so much more so now.  I'm not fond of single parenting it.  Ladybug has been great for the most part, but we had a week of teething misery.  My home state has been ravaged by tornadoes, and I personally have been ravaged by allergies (no real comparison there).  I think that I'm ready for June.  Honestly I know that I'm ready for June, because I've been thinking it was June for days.  Before we venture into the month of twins and weddings, let's look back at my popular posts of May.

Sweet Ladybug

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bart and I worked extended session during the worship service at our church this past Sunday.  We've done it several times now, and I always enjoy doing it if for no other reason than we get to witness Ladybug playing in a group of kids her age.  She, the preacher's grandson, and a few others have recently been separated from the other babies into their own room, because they're now walking, running, and sometimes running over the younger kids but not big enough to promote up to the bigger (almost 2-year-old) kids' class until everyone promotes in August.  So, it's a rather tight-knit little group of toddlers.

Being a holiday weekend, we only had four kids in our room:  Ladybug, her buddy ES, and two we'll call Boy Crier and Girl Crier.  I'm not going to complain about the two criers.  They can't really help that they have really, really bad separation anxiety.  No, I'm just going to take a moment to brag about how awesome my little Ladybug is.

Ladybug is an only child.  She stays home with me most days.  We get out some each week and occasionally have play dates, but mostly she just plays alone, with Lucy and Dory, or with Bart and me.  Most of her interaction with other kids comes when we're at church, not unlike myself at that age.  So, of course we've always worried that she might have problems sharing or be mean.  It turns out that Ladybug is a pretty good kid.

Most of the time, she and ES played together.  They threw balls at each other, put things in the mailbox, and got in and out of the "yard" together a lot.  You could tell that these two are used to each other and pretty good playmates.  I noticed that Ladybug is a very touchy little girl and several times patted ES's back and even once Bart an I both caught her trying to hold his hand.  She'll probably be kicked out of kindergarten for sexual harassment, but right now it's sweet.

Ladybug wasn't just sweet to ES though.  Several times she took toys over to each of the criers and tried to see what was making them upset.  She acts like a 15-month-old peacemaker.  She shares so openly and without prodding.  I just love her little, loving heart.  She's a good kid.  She's a nice kid.  Like one of the ladies who run the nursery has said about her, "She's a flower who blooms wherever she's planted."

It's a blessing to be Ladybug's mom.  It's a blessing to be known around the Preschool Dept. at church as "Ladybug's mom."  They don't really know Adrienne all that well, but they know Ladybug, and it's for good things.  Bart and I can't rest on our laurels though.  She is only fifteen months old.  She could be a completely different creature once she hits the terrible twos and threes.  I just pray that Bart and I do right by what God has gifted us so that when she's fifteen years old, twenty-five years old, and older we'll still be hearing what a great kid she is.

Proverbs 22:6

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Train up a child [a]in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
**Update** Today ES cried when we picked Ladybug up from the nursery after Sunday School, prompting Ladybug to cry.

The Sunday Seven: Favorite Hymns

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It is Sunday.  Things are quite here.  Ladybug is napping, and Bart had to go in to the office today after we got home from working Extended Session at church.  It may be a holiday weekend, but at our house it's that time of year when he has a lot of deadlines to meet for work.  We're hoping it will slow by mid-June.  It should.  After several years I know that April-May and November-early December are just times when if, by chance, we get to get out and do something special, that's wonderful.  So, I'm going to enjoy today and make a list.

In the past, I've discussed how I miss old hymns in church.  Today, I'm going to share my seven favorites.  These are hymns that I grew up singing in those red felt-padded pews back at FBC Heavener.  They're the hymns that swell from my soul when I'm happy and comfort me when I am saddened.  They are as much a part of who I am as knowing the ABC's.
  1. How Great Thou Art 
  2. I Stand Amazed In the Presence
  3. Blessed Assurance
  4. Holy, Holy Holy
  5. Amazing Grace
  6. Victory In Jesus
  7. It Is Well With My Soul
What are your favorite hymns?

In Retrospect: Thoughts On the Past Week

Friday, May 24, 2013


  • A week, basically alone, with a miserable, teething toddler is enough to make the most patient mama need a break.  I'm just about there.
  • Despite having a miserable, tantrum throwing, teething toddler, events of this past week make me thankful for even the tantrums.
  • I'm no longer calling my husband by the pseudonyms of "Sheldon" or "B."  He is Bart.  That's his name.  I don't mind telling the world.  I will still call Ladybug by her nickname though.
  • I may tease Bart about his obsession with weather, but I always feel a little safer when he's home with GR2Analyst (the radar the meteorologists use on tv) pulled up on his Mac during storms.  We know exactly what's headed our direction and take precautions accordingly.  Present Day Adrienne would like to go back and tell Past Adrienne not to have been so exasperated when Dan Skoff told Bart about this.  Bart used it to warn his Mema before the Cincinnati tornado came by her house.
  • AppleTV is an awesome tool these days.  We were able to watch the Norman NCAA Softball Regional last weekend by using the Watch ESPN app on our iPhones and AirPlaying it on AppleTV.  It was very good quality too!  Sunday and Monday we watched the streaming live coverage of the Shawnee and Moore tornadoes on KFOR (Sorry Jay, for not remembering to watch KOKH).
  • Being able to watch live streaming of weather on a TV station sure beats the days of listening to Fred Baker and his ominous music on KISR.  (If you've lived in the Fort Smith area in the last twenty or so years, you know what I'm talking 'bout!)
  • I'm glad that so far, Ladybug thinks storms are fun and has yet to find out that they can be scary at times.
  • Even on the darkest days, God somehow manages to show us He is with us.

I'm An Oklahoman

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


  • April 22, 1889
  • November 16, 1907
  • April 19, 1995
  • May 3, 1999

These are all dates that are burned in the hearts of every Oklahoman.  The first was the date of the first land run into the Unassigned Lands.  The second was the date of statehood.  The third was the bombing of the Murrah Building.  The last one was the first deadly Moore tornado.  Now we must add May 20, 2013 to the list with the most destructive tornado ever.

I am an Oklahoman.  Not in the "Today we're all Okies" sense, but in the "I had to learn that the state bird is the scissortail flycatcher and the state  rock is the rose rock in elementary school," sense.  "I'm a Sooner born and Sooner bred..."  Well technically I was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, but that's because the best hospitals in LeFlore County, Oklahoma are in Fort Smith, Arkansas  That's just a technicality though.  I grew in Heavener, Oklahoma, near the Ouachita National Forest.

Growing up in Oklahoma, tornado watches and warnings are more common than the common cold.  Most of the time, they don't amount to an actual tornado, just favorable conditions and maybe straight line winds and hail.  Sometimes a tornado actually develops.  More often than not, they're weak tornadoes, but when conditions are just right they can grow to something so horrible that it's beyond imagination.

I was a freshmen living in the dorms at Carl Albert State College in Poteau when the May 3, 1999 tornado hit Moore.  It was a Monday.  It was finals week.  Those of us living in the Scholar's Dorms had an end of the year meeting to attend.  I vividly remember finding several of my friends sitting on the stairs at the dorms waiting to hear word from their families who were in the path of the storm.  The rest is a little fuzzy.  Fourteen years will do that.  I distinctly remember bits, then jumble others up with things that happened in another instance.  The point is, people I cared about were worried that their homes, their families, and almost everyone they cared about.  It was before texting, and they couldn't get through on phone lines.  The not knowing was just torture.

Fast forward fourteen years, and while my very unhappy, miserable, teething daughter watched Mickey Mouse, I watched the live stream from one of the Oklahoma City Affiliates.  I texted, tweeted, & dm'd everyone I could in Central OK to make sure they were safe.  One of my oldest, dearest friend's house missed the tornado by one street.  It was fairly late in the evening when we had word that all of Bart's (I'm tired of using fake names for him) coworkers at his firm's Norman office and their families were safe.  I watched panicked parents waiting to find out the fate of their children, and I prayed that they would find their kids.  I still can't wrap my head around those sweet children who didn't make it and what their parents are experiencing.

My heart is broken for my home state... again.  We can't prevent tornadoes, but we're getting better at predicting them.  We also know from each of the Moore tornadoes and Joplin that taking cover in ordinary closets and hallways will not protect you from such powerful storms.  We must remember and learn from these tragedies.  I'm hoping Plaza Towers will serve as a catalyst to getting a storm shelter for each and every school.

Oklahomans come from tough, resilient stock.  We come from pioneers who raced in land runs, survived the Dust Bowl, and lived through April 19, 1995.  We've rebuilt before, and with heavy hearts we'll rebuild again and probably again someday.  Oklahomans don't give up in the face of tragedy, they shake off the dust and get busy.  It's not in us to quit when things get difficult.  When things get difficult is just time to roll up our sleeves.   That doesn't mean our prayers and assistance aren't needed.  Please remember Oklahoma.


Courtesy of Oklahoma Women Bloggers, here are some ways you can help from across the nation.


Red Cross is accepting monetary donations. Checks made payable to American Red Cross can be sent to: American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, Dept. No. 96-0397, Oklahoma City, OK 73196-0397. For other ways to donate, call 228-9500 or go online to www.okc.redcross.org. To donate $10 via phone text message, text RED CROSS to 90999.
Samaritan’s Purse have a Text to Donate number: text SP to 80888 for a $10 donation to Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief. Msg and data rates may apply.—

The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief Team is accepting donations. Team leaders said 100 percent of the money goes to disaster victims. Send donations to: Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, 3800 N May, Oklahoma City, OK 73112. To make a donation online, go to www.bgco.org.

Salvation Army Donation Link to donate $10 via phone text message, Text STORM to 80888

This Is My Paradise

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A little while back I asked a friend with a new baby how maternity leave was going, and she told me that she couldn't wait to get back to work.  I understand that, especially with a newborn.  As sweet and wonderful as newborns are, taking care of one can often be either boring or maddening.  I would be lying if I said that at times last year I didn't wonder if I had made a huge mistake quitting my job before Ladybug was born to become a full-time stay-at-home-mommy.  I worried that I was losing my identity, losing who I was, and at times losing my mind due to lack of adult conversation.  I was afraid everything about me would change and be lost.

It's not for everyone, staying home.  It's not easy.  It's often thankless, and you don't get vacations or sick days.  There's no Employee of the Month.  There's no chance for promotion and advancement, except many by having more kids.  There's often hidden feelings of guilt for not "contributing" to the family.  I don't hold it against anyone who chooses and/or has to work out of the home.  Everyone has to do what is best for their family.

I have always - always known that I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom.   You can't really say that when you're younger though.  It's frowned upon in our society and makes you appear to not be goal oriented or even lazy.  SAHMs don't speak at Career Day in high school.  You can't major in being a SAHM in college.  I thank God that I fell in love with and married a man who had that growing up, wanted that for his children too, and is able to provide for us.  This is my dream job. It is the most difficult job that I have ever had.  It has forever changed who I am.  If you think about it, every experience in life changes you somehow.

I am not the same Adrienne who walked across the stage at Harvey Stadium in 1998 to accept my high school diploma, thank goodness.  Four and half years of college changed me.  I'm not the Adrienne who met Sheldon twelve years ago.  Falling in love and surviving almost ten years of a healthy, happy marriage have altered my life forever.  My first pregnancy and its loss changed me.  So, of course just being Ladybug's mom was going to redefine me.  Life, if lived, is constantly changing and altering who we are.

Somewhere along the way, the doubts that what I was doing was wrong have slowly disappeared.  I may still worry that I'm doing things wrong, but I am more confident in my skin as a SAHM.  I am comfortable with who I am.  I am happy and content.  I don't want my old life from even two years ago.  Maybe it's because Ladybug is growing up to be a very sweet, intelligent, interesting, and funny person.  Maybe it's because I've grown accustomed to no longer being part of the workforce.  It's most likely both.  The payoff has come at times like when I was the person Ladybug walked her first steps to. I'm the first person she even smiled at.  I heard her first giggles.  I have missed nothing and influenced her in everything.

Most people will take a look at the Vine below and think how chaotic it must be to try vacuuming with two dogs barking at and chasing the vacuum while a toddler runs around in circles, squealing and wanting to be chased by the vacuum.  I look at it and thank God for my healthy, crazy family.  I love that video.  I love what it represents.  Ladybug hasn't felt well the past few days due to teething, and I have missed that silly run and those squeals.  I have to remind myself that I'm not staying at home to please the world, but  in order to be the best steward of that which God has blessed me.  I think of Anne Shirley telling Gilbert Blythe, "I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU."  I don't need worldly accolades.  Just give me Sheldon, Ladybug, Lucy, and Dory - maybe some day a little Bee to go with the Ladybug.  This is my paradise, chaos and all.

I Saw the Sign

Friday, May 17, 2013

The other morning Ladybug and I were driving around Fayetteville, running errands and visiting the Farmers Market on the square when an old song that was very popular when I was in the eighth and ninth grades came on the radio.  It was a song with a heavy bass beat, which Ladybug always loves.  Like riding a bike, I remembered most of the lyrics to this song I once sang with my friends ad nauseam.  The song was Ace of Base's "The Sign."  I'm learning to re-embrace the songs I once loved then grew to be ashamed of once I developed a more refined taste in music, because they're the type of songs that Ladybug loves to ahem... get jiggy wit.

I find it hilarious that particular song entered my life once again the same week I have been seeing various different signs.  These signs I have been seeing are signs that I didn't want to see but knew would appear at some point.  They were the signs that Ladybug was soon going to start cutting her cuspids. So today when the inevitable happened, Ladybug awoke crying and upset, I wasn't caught off guard.  It only took cutting all eight incisors and her four one-year molars for me to really learn all of the signs.   Sometimes they vary.  Sometimes not every sign happens.  Most of the time it happens a certain way though. All kids are different, but I'm going to list the signs in the order they appear with Ladybug for my own future reference as well as anyone else's.

  • Body/ Facial Rash - Ladybug's body will often break out into a rash, not unlike a heat rash.  It usually starts on her back or belly.  A few times the side of her face where she's cutting the tooth will also break out and turn red.
  • Chewing - Suddenly she's chewing on anything she can get into her mouth.  She especially likes hard, cool things. 
  • Loose poos - She doesn't quite have diarrhea, but her poo is pretty loose and mushy. 
  • Clinginess / Separation Anxiety - She won't let me out of her sight.  Yesterday she hid behind my legs from her Daddy and didn't want him to even hold her much.  
  • Excessive Drooling - Suddenly drool starts pouring out of her mouth like a waterfall.
  • Runny / Stuffy nose - It starts out as a little snot, and on the days she's really hurting the snot drips constantly.
  • Shorter naps - When Ladybug is feeling good, she'll nap for two or three or more hours in the afternoon.  When she's teething, her naps are lucky to last an hour.
  • Difficulty going to bed at night - Ladybug likes to go to bed at night.  Come eight in the evening, she's ready for her bath, and at nine, she's ready to go upstairs, brush her teeth, read a book or two, and be put in bed for the night.  When she's teething she'll be restless and cry when she's put in bed.  She often has to be rocked until my ankles hurt.  All she wants is to be held, but not touched much (confusing, I know).
  • Waking at night - She'll sometimes wake when her Tylenol or Motrin wears off.
  • Decreased appetite - She'll refuse food and sometimes drink.  Thankfully this only lasts a day or so.  She does not dehydrate.  I often give her popsicles to tide her over until she feels like eating or drinking.
  • Diaper Rash - The increase in saliva causes the worst diaper rash.
  • Fever - She'll run a low-grade fever off and on for a day or two.  Sometimes, when she's cutting more than one tooth at a time, it stops being low-grade and can climb up to 102°.  I know pediatricians will tell you teething and fevers aren't related, but it's not a coincidence that she always gets a fever when teething and is fine once the tooth has cut.
  • Lethargy - These are the days I don't push her to do much.  Today I made her a pallet on the floor so she could comfortably watch Mickey Mouse.
These signs and symptoms happen little by little over time then usually just cluster.  When they start appearing now, I make sure that we have plenty of saline drops and rinse to clean out her little nose, hopefully preventing an infection while she's more susceptible.  It's also good to make sure there's plenty of baby Tylenol and Motrin as well as teething tablets.  I keep baby Orajel just in case, but that usually just makes her angry. I throw teethers into the freezer and make sure we have popsicles.  Then, I try to sleep whenever I can because the process is exhausting for me as well as for her.  I never know when we'll have a sleepless night.  It only lasts a little while, but it's awful.  So, when I see the signs I make sure I'm prepared.  Thankfully we only have the cuspids and two-year molars left.

For the moms / grandmas out there, what have been your signs of teething?  What do you do to soothe your baby?

Breaking the Glass Slipper

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The big news in the world of little girls lately has been that Merida from Brave was recently crowned the eleventh Disney Princess in a ceremony at Disney World.  She apparently received a makeover that makes the one Amelia Thermopolis got seem tame.  This sexy makeover in itself has stirred up quite a bit of controversy.  Apparently you have to be glamorous and have the measurements of Barbie in order to officially join the ranks of Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and company.  Personally I'm thankful that Ladybug has yet to show much interest in all things princess.  I hope things remain that way too.

Why I'm The Evil Queen When It Comes To Princesses
Why do I hope she never gets interested in the princesses?  I guess the first, best answer is that the entire princess disposition just rubs me the wrong way.  I don't like it.  I don't like a sense of entitlement in any form, and the princess mentality is just that.  When I see little girls obsessed with being a princess, I think of young women in their early twenties acting like Elle Woods pre-Harvard, driving around in some expensive sports car with a license plate that states "Daddy's Princess."

Secondly, I watched my nieces both go through the princess phase.  Actually, is was more than a phase, it was an obsession.  That's was all they ate, drank, or thought about.  I understand that sometimes little boys wear their Superman capes day in and day out until they're tattered rags.  I understand when little girls want to do the same with tutus and dresses that swish when they twirl.  I also understand that it's our job to allow healthy imagination while still rooting them in reality.  I want Ladybug to know that she doesn't have to be a princess in order to be an awesome, extraordinary, talented, world-changing girl.  Somehow having to put a tiara on to prove it diminishes exactly how awesome and world-changing she already is.

Now, this entire Merida-makeover debacle seems to only reinforce everything wrong with what the princess craze is.  Not only should they not have to wear a tiara, but we shouldn't be telling our daughters that they have to have a certain body-type and hair in order to be considered pretty enough or beautiful.  I don't even want to get started with the original princesses and their entire "Someday my prince will come" and make everything all right thing.

Filling The Void Of Girl-Centered Characters???
This current fanaticism started in the late nineties when a former Nike executive went to work for Disney and decided to fill a void in girls' toys that I don't exactly recall being there.  OK, maybe in the nineties there were fewer toys and shows devoted to girls, but I know that in the eighties we had She-Ra, Jem and the Holograms, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, Lady Jane from GI Joe, Arcee from Transformers, Laura Ingalls, Anne Shirley, Punky Brewster, and probably many other feminine heroes beyond Barbie that I can't recall.  Only She-Ra was a princess, and she wasn't even a hero as Princess Adora.

Finding Alternatives and Giving An Inch
I want Ladybug to want to be like ordinary girls who do extraordinary things without the tiara, at least in their imaginations.  That's why we read books like the Ladybug Girl series (of course) and we're looking into the Fancy Nancy series.  That's also why we read The Secret Garden over the winter and have started on my all-time favorite, Anne of Green Gables.

I have nothing against Ladybug watching the movies with the princesses in them, although I think the sequels are often a little lame.  I also might get her a set of Little People with the Disney Princesses some time, because she loves to play with her Little People.  I know that she will be and has been exposed to them.  I just don't want her to become consumed with all things princess, and I'm not going to promote it.  I want to hold off any feelings of not being good enough for as long as possible, because growing up is hard for a girl.  Society puts so much pressure on girls at an earlier and earlier age to have the perfect body type and attitude.  I don't want the very things that are supposed to make her feel good about herself to actually do the opposite.

So, do you do the whole princess thing at your house?  Why or why not?  Do you think it is good or bad for girls?  If you don't do the princess thing, what alternatives have you found?

In Retrospect: Random Thoughts From the Past Week

Saturday, May 11, 2013


  • If you promise the Ladybug if she's good you'll buy her a book at Barnes & Noble, she'll end up getting two books and a Pokey Little Puppy doll.
  • Whichever car company has the commercial with the song from Tetris, I am annoyed.  This may have a direct result in my not buying from them in the future.  Maybe.  By the time I hope I have to buy a new car, I'll have hopefully finally gotten the song out of my head.
  • Sheldon and I should stop going to Razorback Baseball games.  They always lose when we're there.
  • The game was also disappointing for Ladybug as they only called the hogs once during the game.  She lives to call the hogs.
  • I was all in the mood to read quotes about motherhood on a popular site today.  Then I noticed almost all of the quotes were from contemporary celebrities.  That's not where I look to for inspiration.  I was deeply disappointed and didn't read the post.
  • Anyone who has lived in Northwest Arkansas for more than a year and is actually surprised when roads flood in Johnson during a storm needs to have their IQ checked.
  • I'm learning that a toddler who wants to help can be a useful tool at times.
  • I seriously hope I never have to give up eating funnel cakes at ball games.
  • I finally got to try out my new camera lens this week.  I like it!
  • You can look all over Northwest Arkansas to find a bookcase and end up buying one at a store not far from home.
  • After two weeks of trying to get into the new Edward Rutherfurd book, Paris, I kind of am now. So far I've been really disappointed with this outing as compared to all of his others.  Rather than write his historical fiction chronologically, Paris skips back and forth.  It's confusing and so far, none of the characters are very likable.  It's definitely not his best work.
  • I think that Sheldon and I should start putting more effort into making things special and important for Ladybug.  I'm not saying every thing or every day has to be special, but well... Let's just say I don't think that I should have the option of making out my own Mother's Day card anymore.
  • I think we can all say Thank Goodness for Charles Ramsey.  He was right where he was supposed to be this week.

Lucy the Big Red Birth Control Device (Dog)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Often, I refer to someone other than Ladybug as my "first baby," and I'm not referring to the one that I lost to miscarriage three years ago.  No, my first baby came to me when she was six and a half weeks old, covered in red fur, had a white spot that we affectionately call her "snowflake" on the top of her head, and was very gassy.  Her name?  Lucy Snowflake!  She was not only our first baby, but she was our only baby for almost two entire years before we adopted Dory.  In that time period, we apparently raised her to have a bit of a queenly or spoiled rotten princess attitude.

We took her everywhere with us from visiting family and friends to vacation weekends on the White River.  I even took her to work one afternoon on Take Your Dog To Work Day.  She was pampered and babied like any dog belonging to a couple trying unsuccessfully to have kids.  I had a serious addiction to shopping at PetSmart and PetCo, so she had more toys than Ladybug has, including bandanas for every occasion.

Lucy and I are also very close and in sync with each other.  Before I even knew that I was pregnant the first time, Lucy sensed it and became very protective of me.  When my water broke in the wee sma's the morning of my scheduled c-section, Lucy first freaked out and had to me taken outside for a belly ache.  Then she stuck to me like glue as I readied to leave for the hospital.  When Ladybug and I came home from the hospital, she missed me and just wanted to cuddle.  So even though she loves Dory and Ladybug, there are times when I know that she misses being an "only child."  She misses it so much at times that she tries very hard to prevent us from making another baby.

At night once Ladybug is down for (hopefully) the evening, when Sheldon or I have come back downstairs from tucking in for the night, we'll often try to get a little time snuggling together on the couch. If one of us is already there, the other will join.  Until that moment, Lucy will usually be sleeping/ resting somewhere on the floor.  However, once she sees us get close to each other, she suddenly decides to be a lap dog.  All of a sudden she's like, "Mom and Dad are touching!  It's my duty to get between them and prevent further infestation!"

Her favorite position is when she can manage to sprawl out enough to be in both of our laps at the same time.  If we're together, she wants to get between us.  The Jaws of Life can't pry her off of us until we mention going to bed.  If you try to move her, she does her best impersonation of dead weight.  Then, she tries to race us to the bedroom so that we cannot possibly spend any time in there alone.  Not even a treat of cheese can get her to leave the bedroom once she's decided to be there for the night.  She hates when we close the door so she can't camp out in there.  The addition of a baby gate in the hallway between our bedroom and the living room has really put a damper of her blocking us as well.

God-willing, some day what Lucy dreads will come to pass, despite her best efforts to work as a big, furry prophylactic.  I'm sure when that happens, and we bring another bundle into our home, she'll rise to the occasion and be the loving, protective older sister to the new kid that she has been to Dory and Ladybug both.  Until then, we'll continue trying to evade Lucy, the Love Police.  It's only a little aggravating.  We love her enough to find it somewhat endearing.  It's a good thing we love her.  I'll just leave it at that.

What We've Learned In Fifteen Months

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ladybug, today you are fifteen months old.  You are continually amazing me and surprising me with how smart and capable you are becoming.  Here are some highlights of the past month:

  • You have no problem at all walking and running inside and outside of the house.
  • Your favorite cd is VeggieTales Bob and Larry's Toddler Songs.
  • Your favorite song on that cd is "The Wheels On the Bus."
  • You also love "The Hand Song," and "If Your Happy and You Know It."
  • You have been cutting your molars, and this was a difficult month at times. Sometimes the only things you would eat were popsicles.
  • If I hand you your dirty clothes, you'll put them in your hamper.  You'll also put clean clothes in the one drawer you can reach in your dresser.
  • You love Biscuit books.
  • We finished reading The Secret Garden and started Anne of Green Gables this month.
  • You have started playing more with your baby dolls.  You feed them and love on them.
  • You like to have a dance party every afternoon after your nap.
  • You sometimes try to dress yourself, but your pants don't go on your head.
  • You love your necklace and your purse and hats and cardigans.  Your are Miss Accessories.
  • At 8 pm every night, you're ready for your bath.  In fact we can ask you if you're ready for your bath, and if the baby gate is  open you'll crawl upstairs yourself and wait in the bathroom.  Just know we're always a step behind you.
  • You'll also go upstairs at 9 pm when we ask if you're ready for bed.
  • You like finding and picking up rocks.
  • You like to get dirty while playing outside, but when you come in the house you try to clean your hands by washing them in the dog water.
  • You have tried to eat rocks and dog food, but getting you to eat people food other than potato chips and french fries isn't easy.
  • You like to "cook."
  • Every day you show me that you are such a big girl and no longer a baby. 
  • No matter what, every day with you is a blessing.

In Retrospect: Thoughts On the Past Week

Saturday, May 4, 2013


  • I have been really indignant about this whole "snow in May" thing that's been going on.  I don't like it.  I would much rather watch for tornados in May than bundle up and scrape snow off my windshield.  I hate what it's doing to the plant life.
  • The one good point of the return of the cold weather has been two cuddly retriever dogs.
  • The bad part of the cold weather is that Ladybug is growing out of her winter clothes, and is starting to look a little ragged on these cold days.
  • I turned 33 Wednesday.  It was a nice, uneventful day for the most part.  Bart got me a camera lens I've been wanting for years.  Now we just need nice weather for me to get to really use it!
  • I am almost completely over this sinus crap!  I'm ready to feel 100% again and be able to read a lot to Ladybug again without coughing.
  • Speaking of Ladybug, getting her to eat is becoming a real hassle.  Pray she grows out of this phase soon.  Pray she starts eating more real food and trying different things.  I've been trying just about everything to get her to eat.  It's more than time for her to stop taking formula, but she needs nutrition from somewhere!
  • I have decided that Sheldon and I are just about the only people in Arkansas/Oklahoma who don't watch Duck Dynasty.  If we watched reality shows we would probably watch it, but we don't.
  • Tuesday L and I visited with my friend Sarah and her sweet baby girl!  
  • We're thinking of watching Silver Linings Playbook tonight.  Is it worth renting?  Of course that all depends on if Sheldon can come home from work at a good time tonight.  At least he's having to work on an ugly Saturday.
  • Last night I realized that to keep L from attaching herself to my legs while I cooked dinner, all I needed to do was give her a pot and a spoon.  She's been "cooking" ever since.
  • I was asked to write a blog post for Rhea Lana's Children's Consignment.  I know a lot of people who swear by Rhea Lana, but I have never been.  The thought of the lines and crowds of people waiting has prevented me from going and actually discouraged me.  Sheldon and I saw the crowd once before L was born, and it didn't look fun to me.  I don't write about things I can't give an honest opinion about.  If any of you have great experiences with it, feel free to share.  I don't have anything against it, I just haven't gone there yet.
  • I'm wondering if I should dress L in tights for church tomorrow?
How was your week?  What do you think of this weather?

Thoughts On Turning 33

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Today I am 33.  Did you get that?  I just admitted my age.  I have no problem admitting my age.  I'm quite comfortable with it.  I'm far more comfortable with thirty-three than I was with twenty-nine.  Twenty-nine hurt.  We had been trying for a baby for about half a year with no results, and when I visited my then gynecologist for my yearly exam and tried to talk with him about it, he just told me that I was no spring chicken.  That was just the icing on the cake at a particularly low point in my life.  Needless to say, I switched gynecologists and eventually got a new outlook on life before my next birthday.  Of course a lot had to happen between twenty-nine and thirty to get me there, including a miscarriage and the implosion of my extended family to an extent.  I realized that I was responsible for my own happiness and that I needed to be thankful for  the many blessings God had already given me.  I had to stop waiting for life to happen and live it.

Where I was very unhappy with the direction my life was going four years ago and was loathe to admit my age, I now embrace my life and my age.  I have been reminded this past year and even in the past week that not everyone makes it to thirty-three.  Just last week a schoolmate passed away and the husband of one of the "little" girls I used to lead Bible study for and sponsored at church camp died as well.  My friend Matt didn't make it to his thirty-third birthday.  He doesn't get to see his little girl who is just a little older than Ladybug grow up.  I am blessed every day I spend with Sheldon and Ladybug.

So, life is good.  I am blessed beyond measure and thank God every day for these blessings.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that I actually am thirty-three years old.  After all, my mother was thirty-three (going on thirty-four) when she had me, and I always considered her to be an old mom.  It has taken the better part of my thirty-three years to learn that age doesn't make you old, attitude does.  I realized that my mother was born old to ancient parents.  Just because she has always acted like she belongs in the era of shirtwaists and petticoats doesn't mean that I have to, and I don't.  I've also learned a few other things in the past year.

  • Take a cue from the toddler and have at least one dance party a day.
  • Sometimes you have to see the sunrise to really appreciate the sunset.
  • Chocolate is still wonderful.  It just sometimes needs to be followed by a Zantac.
  • It is wise to choose your battles.  Sometimes it's good to firm, but sometimes softness is needed.
  • It's always best to use understanding and not be rigid.  Just be consistent. 
  • You get more accomplished and feel better about yourself if you just get out of bed and hit the day running.
  • Sometimes you need the extra sleep too.  An exhausted mama isn't good for anyone.  Make the distinction between exhaustion and laziness.
  • Oxyclean is a mother's best friend.
  • A clean house is best, but the house will wait on a nice day for you to enjoy the day with your family.
  • It's ok if you still walk into furniture and walls.
  • If you need a laugh, watch reruns of the Golden Girls and Designing Women.
  • The most beautiful sound in the world is your child's laughter.
  • Little eyes are watching everything.
  • You can never have too much patience in dealing with a toddler.
  • Sometimes it's ok to be blunt, but sometimes it's better to have a bit more tact.  No matter what, openness and honesty are best.
  • Be able to laugh at yourself.  No one wants to be around people who take themselves too seriously.
  • The ordinary days often turn out to be the best and all are important.
  • Never leave a box of tissues or wipes within reach of a toddler then leave them alone.  If you find a mess, watch your reaction.  Sometimes the toddler will surprise you and try to clean up the mess.
I look forward to what's in store for year thirty-four!

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