The Saran Wrap Child

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lately I have had a new nickname for Ladybug, "Saran Wrap."  She goes through good days and bad days as these last four teeth until the 2-year molars take their good, easy time coming.  Seriously ya'll, Congress can pass a budget faster than these teeth are cutting, and some days she is just so miserable that we're allmiserable.  On these days when she is particularly miserable, she is stuck to me like well… Saran Wrap.

It's not every day.  Usually she'll have a few bad days, then a few good days.  Sometimes on the bad days she'll spike a fever.  No matter what, she doesn't want me out of her sight, and sometimes she doesn't want me out of her grasp.  It's also at times like this when she doesn't want anyone to take care of her except for me, not even Bart.

There is no break during these days except for nighttime.  Until this phase passes, I am often a prisoner in my home.  She is so clingy to me that I haven't felt comfortable even doing things like volunteering to help at VBS or the clothing giveaway this week at church - things I hope to be able to do eventually.  If there really is a downside to being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, it's the almost inevitable mommy-clingyness.

While I don't enjoy not being able to leave Ladybug's sight on some days without a complete breakdown, I know from friends that this likely isn't a permanent situation.  I can tell that it's not, because when she's doing well I can see that's she's fine without me.  Still yet, I'm working to get her "out" as much as possible.  We're not out every day, but we try to have at least one play date a week and get out to do something else at least once a week.  If not for the long drive, I would even consider taking her to Mother's Day Out at our church once a week.  

For the most part, being home together is wonderful and developmentally Ladybug is doing great.  She knows several of her letters already, often speaks in complete sentences, and she can count to ten.  She is super-healthy.  I have yet to need to take her in to the pediatrician for anything other than her well-child visits.  This time will pass quickly.  Though at times it's more stifling than when she was a newborn and everything seemed so tiring and at times monotonous, it's not permanent.   Soon enough she'll be pushing me away to run off on adventures with her friends.  I have to remind myself that even these difficult times are worth it in the grander scheme of things.

5 Songs That Speak To Me

Monday, July 29, 2013

I haven't been very diligent in Erin's blogging challenge.  I don't expect to post every day for it, but the lists on Mondays seem easy enough.  Today's challenge was "5 songs that speak to you."  Being a huge fan of music, you must understand that limiting myself to 5 songs of anything is especially difficult.  However, I'm going to try to do it.

How Great Thou Art
I love this song.  It states just how I feel every time I see a sunrise, or just my daughter's smile or hear her laugh.  I don't remember not loving this song, but when my dear, sweet, funny, wonderful Aunt Tommie passed away eleven years ago, I remember everyone singing this at her funeral.  That was the greatest comfort in the midst of a very sad, difficult time.  I have countless versions in my iTunes library, but I always loved the Jim Brickman version from his "Grace" album the best until Steven Curtis Chapman released "Deep Roots."  Now they're tied as my favorites.  Unfortunately I can't embed a video of the Jim Brickman version.

Baby Mine
This is the song I would and still do occasionally sing to Ladybug before bed and when she's upset.  We listened to this song for almost an hour straight last September while driving through Colorado.  It's "our" song.  If we have another baby we may have to share, or I may have to find another special song for that little one.  I guess it depends on if Ladybug wants to share.

Power of Love
The Huey Lewis and the News version, not the Celine Dion.  A mutual love of the Back To the Future trilogy and Huey Lewis and the News caused us to choose this song as the recessional at our wedding.

Under the Umbrella 

This is the end title song from the 1994 Little Women, starring Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and a bunch of other people.  I have watched this movie a few dozen times.  I have listened to the soundtrack even more.  Lastly, I walked down the aisle to this during my Christmas wedding.  I have always loved it, and it is my favorite of all the songs I own from movie scores.  Unfortunately I can't embed a video with the audio file here, because some record company doesn't understand that if someone reads this, listens to the song, and likes it, they might just buy it.

I Stand Amazed
Back to hymns.  There are so many songs that define different moments of my life and speak to me.  However, like How Great Thou Art, this one moves me in ways I can't always explain. Joy and contentment swell within me so much that my cup runneth over at times, and tears fall from my face.

Favorite TV Series

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Today's topic on the Commenting Challenge hosted at Jenna's Journey is our favorite TV series or favorite movie or book series. Having to choose just one favorite TV series for me is very difficult.  I like a great deal of TV, but I don't watch reality shows at all.  I just can't stand them.  I would much rather watch a well-writted drama or comedy with talented actors who make me feel.  Here are a few past and present that I enjoy:

Little House on the Prairie:  I grew up watching reruns of this on TBS and WGN.  I wanted to be Laura Ingalls.  Now I watch it with Ladybug.  She especially likes to dance to the opening theme song.
Grey's Anatomy:  I started really watching this when Ladybug was little, and we spent a great deal of time rocking in the recliner.  Now my DVR is set to record every new episode.
Once Upon a Time:  I started watching this at the end of the first season and am now addicted.  You'll often catch me chatting with my friend Louise on Twitter about it during the season.
Gilmore Girls:  I don't watch it all the time, but won't pass up an episode.  It may be the only show we have every season of on DVD.  Also, we're rather fond of the name of the title characters.
Ally McBeal:  I watched this off an on in high school and college.  Bart and I are now watching it together on Netflix at night, when we want to relax.
Downton Abbey:  I have loved this from the beginning, because it started during one of my favorite periods.  Now I am in love with Lady Mary, Branson, and especially the Dowager Countess!

Designing Women:  Part of me wants to be a mixture of Suzanne and Julia Sugarbaker.  Episodes like "Nightmare from HeeHaw" will forever be among my favorites.
Friends:  Need I say more?
How I Met Your Mother:  This last season should be interesting now that we've finally seen the mother.
The Big Bang Theory:  Bart is very Sheldon-like, but I'm not Amy Farrah Fowler.

What are your favorite TV shows?  Share them at Jenna's Journey!

10 Things That Make Me Happy: Make It Write Week 1, Day 1

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ok, so my friend Erin at BidaweeForest is hosting another blogging challenge called "Make It Write" that I'm going to take part in at least for the most part for the next 5 (FIVE???) weeks.  I have other, normal, posts planned here and there, but these challenges will help get my creative juices going.  Mondays are apparently for lists, and today's list is "10 Things That Make Me Happy."  So, here we go in no special order:

Sunrises and Sunsets -  I have always been a fan of sunsets, but as I've grown older I've learned to appreciate the sunrise even more.  There's this beauty in the birth of a new day given to us by God. 
Morning Bike Rides - I don't like to run.  My crooked nose makes it difficult to breathe properly for running.  So I bike, and often with I take turns biking with one of my puppy girls.  I love starting my day by clearing my head on a morning bike ride with Lucy or Dory.  In fact, I was disappointed when the weather halted this morning's rides, and I hate that I'll miss a couple of days' rides with Bart working out of town. 
Music - I love listening to music.  I love playing it too, but I don't do it very well.  I listen to anything from movie scores to Nirvana.  Ladybug and I have been enjoying the latest albums from She & Him and Michael Buble of late. 
Rivers - I prefer a river to a lake anytime.  They're long and winding, and don't smell as awful as lakes often do. 
History - I love history and can't understand people who have no appreciation for it.  Those who don't know it are doomed to repeat it. 
Reading - I have always loved reading and always will.  I love a good book.  I especially love all of the classics; Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare, you name it.  I can't imagine not reading. 
Dogs - I love dogs, especially retriever-dogs.  I love my girls.  I love playing with them, cuddling with them, and especially burying my face in their sweet, soft fur. 
Blue eyes - Well, the two pair of blue eyes that belong to Bart and Ladybug.  I think they're perfect. 
Crinkle Nose - Ladybug's nose crinkles when she's happy these days.  I think it's adorable. 
Writing - I used to write fiction.  I hope to start again some day when the "flash" comes upon me.  Until then, I'll continue to blog.  

Commenting Challenge Day One: "About Us"

This week, Jenna's Journey is hosting the 4th Annual Commenting Challenge, and I thought that I would take part in it, because it looks like fun and seems fairly easy to do.  Today's topic is "About Us."  I pretty much shared my "About Me" page last week in my post, "Why the Change?"  So today I'm going to just link to my "About Me" page as well as share with you the links to my Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin, Google+, and Pinterest pages.  Please feel free to read and comment of "About Me" and "follow" or "like" the others.

Of Fireflies, Lanterns, and Butterfly Wings

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I stole this from Bart.  He took it on my camera.
On most Wednesday mornings, my friend Stephanie and I take her daughter B.E. and Ladybug to Little Sprouts class at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.  It's our mom thing we do together.  When I saw on the calendar of events Firefly Fling 2013, I knew this was something we should do.  Stephanie agreed, and thankfully our husbands agreed as well.  Bart invited our friends Brandon and Erin to come along as well, which was great because we got the group rate on tickets and made a nice party of friends for the evening.

We were worried that it was going to be extremely hot, but surprisingly with the cloud-cover it wasn't.  The weather was actually quite nice, and it wasn't uncomfortable carrying or chasing Ladybug around as we visited all the interesting little stations.  I wish we had braved the crowd earlier on, when we first visited the station where they made butterfly wands, because when I went back they had sticks and ribbon, but no butterflies.  Thankfully  Ladybug was happy with a stick.

When we saw they were selling butterfly wings, hair-clips, and such we had to buy her some wings.  Then we decided on a hair-clip too.  I saw a beautiful pair of blue monarch wings to match her eyes and grabbed them.  Unfortunately I had to settle with a green hair-bow.  Ladybug didn't mind that her bow and wings didn't match, thankfully.  She just loved wearing them.  She really loved wearing them.   She still loves wearing them, and thankfully I found them on  When B.E. got there with her parents she got purple wings and a bow.  The girls were adorable, fluttering about.

There were a couple of local groups who provided music, and Ladybug especially loved listening to Still on the Hill.  She danced and danced and sang.  It was even cuter watching her do all of this while wearing her wings.  Sadly, Ladybug didn't nap much that day, so she started to get grouchier and clingier as the evening grew later.  Thankfully she had her friend B.E. and everyone else to help her stay distracted because....  Well it would have been sad had she missed the fire dancers or especially the Chinese lanterns.

For fans of the Gilmore Girls, the release of the Chinese lanterns was the most Stars Hollowesque events I have ever attended.  The music during the release was especially perfect.  I'm very thankful the Botanical Gardens throws such a wonderful event that is designed for families, and I'm especially thankful that I got to share it in the company of two little girls who were awed by the magnificent site as well as the five adults who were as well.  I hope we all make it a yearly thing to go, and maybe next year we'll "adopt a lantern."

See more wonderful pictures on Erin's Facebook Page, Erin M Yarbery Photography!

Why the Change?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A little over year ago I started a new blog.  It wasn't my first blog.  It wasn't even my second.  I have been blogging since 2005.  I shared everything from being still little more than a newlywed to what I was reading.  I blogged about too much in some ways, and once Ladybug, my daughter, was born I decided that it was time to start a new blog to go with the new chapter of my life while revealing a bit less of my personal life.

However, I was still finding my footing as a new mom, and I noticed how popular the more snarky, and sometimes crude and rude blogs were.  So, I decided on a blog name that was very snarky, 180° From Crunchy, because no one would ever confuse me with being a crunchy mom.

That said, the title and the Twitter handle especially never really set well with me.  They were meant to be facetious, and instead seemed more ridiculous.  So, after debating it for a while as well as trying to decide whether to move to WordPress or stay with Blogger, I have decided on something that just fits me so much better, especially at this act of my life.

If you know me at all, you know that I am a huge fan of the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.  In the sixth book of the series, someone asked Anne if she still wrote stories.  This was her answer:  
"Not altogether . . . but I'm writing living epistles now," said Anne, thinking of Jem and Co." 
 I can't think of a better way of describing raising my child and hopefully someday children. Ladybug's life is the most important letter I'll ever write, and this blog is the record of that experience as well as other parts that together make me who I am.  

Our OKC Weekend

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Do you ever go through one of those phases when you have so much to blog about, but so very little time to actually do the blogging because you're you know... doing stuff?  Then when you do find the time to write a blog, you're too tired to?  That has been me for at least the past two weeks.  When we haven't been off doing something, we've been at home catching up on things here and recovering.  On top of that, Ladybug has still been working on those pesky cuspids, which has caused some fever and irritability, in turn causing us to miss church and playdates lately.  It hasn't been the easiest time here, but we've had some good moments too.  A couple weekends ago were especially good for our family when we took a trip to Oklahoma City.

Bart is an electrical engineer (sparky to some).  He works for a consulting firm based in Arkansas but that has offices in several other places as well.  Bart does a great deal of work out of the Tulsa and Norman, Oklahoma offices, and one of the biggest jobs he's worked on so far was recently finished.  On June 29, the Oklahoma River in downtown Oklahoma City became the world's first permanently lit river racecourse.  Bart and his coworkers were the consulting engineers on the project and were invited to be VIP's at the lighting ceremony, so Ladybug and I got to enjoy having a "big shot" as the man of the family.

A project like this is a once-in-a-career thing, and I'm proud to say that this is the second big "first" project on which Bart has worked.  His first really big project out of college was to be on the team that lit the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock with the LED lights.  For that project I was at the hot opening of the bridge in September of 2006 and the frigidly cold lighting ceremony that December.  I was very happy this lighting was at night in warmer weather.

An Evening With Friends and Remembering
Anyway, I try not to go to the Oklahoma City area without spending some time with one of my oldest, dearest, best friends, Melissa.  So, Friday night we met Melissa, her husband Jeremy, and their two four-year-old boys for dinner then went to a park to play.  Ladybug hit it off with Melissa and Twin M right away and enjoyed playing with those older boys.  It was their first time to visit with Ladybug, and it reminded me how much I wish Melissa and I lived closer to each other.  Friendships like that don't fade with time and are such a blessing.  After we left the park, we made a quick trip to the Oklahoma City Memorial.  Nighttime is always the most beautiful time to go there.

Doing the Zoo
Saturday morning we got around early and headed to the Oklahoma City Zoo, which ranks in the top 20 Best Zoos for Kids in Parents Magazine.  I hadn't been there in twenty-five years, and all three of us loved it so much that we're planning to go again when it's cooler, and the animals are more active.  Ladybug loved seeing monkeys, elephants, giraffes, bears, and so much more.  It's so fun for her to see these things in real life and not just in books, puzzles, and on tv.  I'm very thankful that we were able to cart her around in her wagon.

The Lights
That night was the lighting ceremony, boat races, and fireworks.  Bart had to do some work while there, but Ladybug and I enjoyed watching the races with the family of one of Bart's coworkers.  She was very tired though, because she didn't take much of a nap that day (despite our efforts), and started to get cranky.  Once the lights came on, and we took some pictures, she was ready to leave.  We wanted to watch the fireworks, but didn't get to.  Unlike last year when she loved them, the noise frighted poor tired Ladybug, and we left early to get some rest at the hotel.

We ended our trip on Sunday by visiting the Oklahoma City Outlet Mall.  Ladybug got a pair of pink Chuck Taylors at the Converse store that she adores, Bart bought a new suit, and I bought a new purse.  It was a great weekend, and it was very wonderful to get out as a family.  We hope to hit every zoo within reasonable driving distance eventually, and got a wonderful start in Oklahoma City.  Best of all, as a family we got to be there to celebrate something that Bart has put so much time and hard work into help come into being.  I can't help but be proud of him.

Let Me Tell You About...

Friday, July 12, 2013

At church, our pastor is always asking us a question in his sermons, "Can you tell me about when you were saved?"  He asks this because just as I remember the day I got my first dog, twenty-five years ago because it really happened, I should be able to recall the day that I asked Jesus to my personal Lord and savior.  Thankfully, I can.  You see, it happened nineteen years ago tonight.

Some of you are doing the math in your head and trying to figure out how old I was when I was saved. I'll give you a hand and tell you that on July 12, 1994 I was fourteen years, two months, and eleven days old - if you want to be exact.  Now, some of you are probably thinking that's fairly late for someone who had been in church since she was only a few weeks old.  It was, but the reason is part of the journey.

I did grow up in church.  I watched my Dad get saved and baptized when I was six years old.  I witnessed countless people walking down the aisle during altar calls for years during sermons and revivals.  Sometimes I felt like I should go too, but I wasn't ready.  I just knew that, if not much else.  It wouldn't have been true, but just doing what everyone else was doing.

False Start
In September of 1988, I was eight years old, and some NASA engineer named Edgar C. Whisenant predicted that the Rapture would take place some time between September 11 and 13.  For some reason many people, including my mother, completely disregarded Matthew 24:36, and took this seriously.  My mother, in her incredibly misguided ways, started telling me lovely stories about what would happen when the Rapture happened and about the Tribulation at bedtime.  After so many nights of this, she decided I needed to visit with our church's youth / children minister at the time, Steve.  I did not want to go, but I had no choice.  One night we sat in his office, and rather like a puppet I was led to say a prayer.  The next Sunday I was presented in front of the church and baptized.  I walked the world for six years thinking I must be saved, but knew in my heart that I wasn't.  I didn't make that choice on my own to say the Sinner's Prayer.  It was made for me.

Time passed.  My Dad died suddenly when I was ten.  My life seemed to keep getting turned upside down.  I was becoming a teenager.  In the midst of the tumult and upheaval going on in my life, I still regularly went to church and became involved with our youth group.  I went to church camp at least once every summer.  I still kept feeling a tugging at my heart that I needed to really ask Jesus into my life, and I kept telling myself I already had.

Getting It Right
So in July of the summer before I started high school, I went with my church youth group to Youth Camp at KBA (Kiamichi Baptist Assembly for those of you who haven't heard of it) like I did most summers.  This time though, I knew that something would happen.  On Tuesday night the sermon spoke to me, but more so the Holy Spirit was working on me,  I just remember at some point during the invitation a rush of wind pushing me up the aisle.  I went to a room in the back of the tabernacle and didn't need any help saying the prayer.  By then I knew it by heart.

On that hot July night, I was saved.  I knew that I was and am a sinner.  Romans 3:23 was as burned in my memory as John 3:16.  I remembered the ABC's of salvation.  I admitted I was a sinner.  I believed in Jesus as God's son, that he died on the cross and raised from the dead to give me the gift of salvation from my sins.  I confessed my faith, remembering Romans 10:9-13.

Have I lived a sinless and faultless life the past nineteen years?  No.  The difference now is that I now have the conviction and the comfort of the Holy Spirit within me.  I have confessed that Jesus if Lord and know now, by own volition, I am saved.  Life hasn't always been easy.  I have rebelled sometimes from Him, but He has never and will never leave me.  My life really began nineteen years ago.  I don't think it would be right to tell people that I'm only nineteen though.

Can you tell me about when you were saved?

From the Vault: No, Not FML

Monday, July 8, 2013

I haven't blogged in a while.  It's not because I haven't had anything to post. Actually quite the opposite is true.  I have a great deal to blog about, but I've been busy living my life beyond my Macbook the past few weeks, trying to do things with Bart, Ladybug, and the furry girls rather than talk of doing them.  Ladybug has been fussy when we have been home (and away), due to the four teeth she has been trying to cut for over a month.   I've also been working some on a new project that I hope to share with you all soon.  In the mean time, please read a post I wrote near the end of last year during one of those trying times in early motherhood and feel free to comment.

No, Not FML

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