I'm No Elsa

Friday, February 28, 2014

This morning, Ladybug and I ventured out, into the rain, to go to Walmart.  We had already made our weekly grocery run earlier in the week, the went back Wednesday for cold medicine, but today we went to buy the obligatory "milk and bread" before a winter storm.  I have made all of the jokes about the bare bread shelves at stores when there are snow flurries in the South.  However, my friend, Dan the Weatherman has predicted a very bad ice storm.  We don't joke about ice storms in these parts.  All it takes it a quarter inch of freezing rain to cause power outages.

I may like watching Little House On the Prairie with Ladybug, but I don't actually want to live like the Ingalls family.  I'm rather fond of modern-day conveniences like central heat and light.  I recently saw an episode where the girls were lost in a blizzard.  I could feel how cold they were.  I can deal with not having television or Internet for a while, but the other two are things I find necessary.  I bought Ladybug Frozen this past week on iTunes, and I also realize that I'm no Elsa.  In the song "Let It Go," she states, "the cold never bothered me anyway."  Yeee-ah.  It bothers me A LOT.  Just this past week, we've had a cold bug in our house (not the flu), and I have had chills, almost constantly.  I haven't been able to get warm until the last couple of days.  It's been that bone-deep cold that just lingers.

In 2000, I was home on Christmas vacation from college when one hit where I lived with my mother. That brought about my mother's bright idea to sleep in her car, periodically turning on the ignition (no, we weren't in an enclosed garage, but still) to keep warm.  Thankfully we were only without power for a day.  In 2009, Bart and I survived the one up here, in NWA and bought the t-shirt.  (Seriously, we bought "I Survived Ice Storm 2009" t-shirts at Houndstooth.)  Thankfully we have a gas fireplace that kept things warmer, and have since even bought a generator (that will be kept outside lest we give ourselves carbon monoxide poisoning).  Still, so much damage is caused by ice storm that I can't help but look toward Sunday with dread.

So, I'm praying and asking you to pray that Dan and all the other weathermen out there are wrong, and that we don't get an ice storm.  Two catastrophic ice storms in fifteen years should be more than enough for anyone to survive.

Keeping Calm

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yesterday when I went up to get Ladybug after her nap, I opened the curtains and blinds to allow some natural light to shine into her bedroom, only to find three surprises on the window.  I may not be a ballistics expert, but I know what it looks like when someone has shot at a window.  I was suddenly faced with two options.  I could completely freak out (which I was so tempted to do), or I could be calm and start taking control of the situation.  I chose to take control of the situation and stay calm.

I ran downstairs to grab my phone, then took these photos and texted them to Bart.  We had to decide where to proceed, because though we had a time frame of when it happened, we didn't know exactly when it occurred.   We're fairly certain some boys who live a few houses behind us did it Saturday while we were out of town for Bart's birthday.  Bart then texted them to his brother, the ordnance officer in the army, to verify what we already were pretty sure of; that they were BB gun pellets.  Then he called the police to file a report.  An officer came by, took notes, and took the address of the house were the alleged perpetrators live.  That's all we can do, because we didn't see it happen.  That, and put up a camera to see if it happens again.

I'm probably not as freaked out about it as I should be, or at least as much as people think I should be.    Trust that I'm not taking it lightly, but I realized that it had happened long before  I discovered it.  To fly off the handle, so to speak, would have been pointless, and as of now I don't see any reason to be afraid in my own home.  I didn't have time to dwell on it.  I had laundry to wash and fold, dinner to cook, and a toddler and two dogs to take care of.  More importantly, I didn't see any point in alarming Ladybug and making her scared.  Freaking out wouldn't have done anyone any good whatsoever.

I grew up with a mother who prided herself in being able to take care of us on her own when my dad was out on the railroad, and then after he passed away.  It was false pride, because if there was anything for her to freak out and make a mountain out of a molehill about, she did.  If it was going to storm, if there was an escaped convict two counties away, we were on high alert.  I don't know how many nights' sleep I lost from being made afraid of things that really weren't that scary, or things that I really shouldn't have had to worry about.

Does this make me angry?  You bet.   Do I want to find out who did it?  Of course.  Why?  Beyond the entire aspect of having the kids or adults who did this pay for the damage, I want them to realize the seriousness of what they did.  They shot a gun (BB or not) at our house, into the bedroom window of a two-year-old girl!  I want someone to get through to them how dangerous guns are, and how they  could have seriously hurt someone.  I am not at all anti-gun, but I am anti-idiot, and anyone who either is that careless with a gun or allows their child to be so is an idiot.  I'm not saying this out of spite, but honest opinion.

Meanwhile....  Bart is had gone all CSI with spray paint where he found the BB, and trigonometry.  He deals with things differently than I do.  That's okay though.  Neither of us has taken Bart's brother up on his offer to the next three weeks on guard duty with an AR.

I Have a Two-Year-Old

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's been two weeks since Ladybug turned the big #2 y'all, but birthday parties, kidney stones, visiting family, and recovering from all of the above have prevented me from posting much about it.   Actually more often than not, I post what I'm led, and other things have taken precedence.  That doesn't mean that I'm not just completely thrilled that my girl celebrated another year.

It's all rather difficult to believe that it has been over two years since I heard my awesome doctor say something about a "big head" and "red hair" and seeing those big, sweet, alert eyes looking at me.  Well, the hair has long since turned blond, and I think her eyes are even bigger and sweeter, though possibly more mischievous now.  She is long and lithe.  She is a little smarty-pants, but only shares what she knows when she feels like it.

She knows her alphabet and can count, and she knows her colors.  If you ask her what a letter, number, or color is she won't necessarily tell you even though she knows it.  We sing/ spell her name constantly to a tune very akin to the Oscar Mayer bologna song.  She can read her name when she sees it and some other names too.  Just the other night when we didn't expect it, she pulled the "L" our of her letter bucket and told us, "L is for Ladybug!"  She knows so much more than we think she does.

She is now tall enough to turn off light switches.  I was cooking the other day while Bart was on the phone and suddenly the kitchen lights went off.  I thought I was losing my mind, but it was just Ladybug playing a trick on me.

She still loves Mickey Mouse, but also loves Doc McStuffins, Sesame Street (in small doses), the Despicable Me movies, The Sound of Music, and so many other things.  She loves to dance, play her harmonica or ukelele, build things with blocks, play with Hot Wheels, love her baby dolls, and color. She loves to dance to Mercy Me's song, "Shake" on at least a daily basis.  I've asked her what her favorite color is, but she usually just says, "color?"  She knows mine is red and always hands me the red crayons and anything else red is automatically mine now.

She's sweet and smart, but she's also two.  She's fiercely independent at times.  Her favorite word these days is "No!"  Actually more often it's "Nope!"  She believes that if she adds extra emphasis on the p that it should be taken more seriously.

Most of all, she's just Ladybug.  She's someone I can't really imagine not having in my life.  Sometimes the days are a hoot.  Sometimes they're a trial.  Every day is still a blessing.  If the weather ever cooperates, we'll have a little photo shoot.

Weekly Randomosity

Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Last night around midnight, I realized that it might not be a good idea to watch Olympic short-track speed skating right before trying to sleep.  Like the skaters, my mind races in tiny little circles.  Really.  It's like when I was in my early teens and decided it was better not to spend too much time playing Super Mario Bros.
  • Today is Valentine's Day.  We're celebrating in the same manner we usually do in that I don't have to cook dinner.  That's good enough for me.  We tried romantic our first married Valentine's Day, but when Bart came home late from work our second one with a birthday card for me because he didn't want to fight all the other men buying Valentine's, we just kind of let it go.  I'm fine with that.  Bart's birthday is in a week, and that's a lot of pressure to buy special gifts and what not.
  • This was supposed to be a laid-back week at home, after the hoopla of L's birthday and birthday party.  Tuesday Bart called me from work, telling me he was pretty sure he was having  another kidney stone attack.  He was.  I had to wake L from her afternoon nap and pick him up at work to take him to the ER.  Thankfully I had the presence of mind to call his parents and ask them to come help with L.  At first Bart didn't understand, but I remember the last go-round with his kidney stones, and let's just say I'm thankful for my in-laws.  I'm also grateful that it appears Bart has passed his stone and is getting back to normal.  He spent Wednesday passed out in the recliner after having taken one single Percocet.
  • The sun finally came out!  The snow is finally melting!  Of course now the wind is blowing so hard that I'm afraid I might end up having afternoon tea with the Lollipop Kids.  The sun is shining again then.
  • I'm currently reading 1 Chronicles in my quiet time.  Goodness, if Leviticus doesn't kill the reading plans of those who do Bible in one year reading-plans, then the first eleven or so chapters of 1 Chronicles will!
  • Every morning I have so many things I plan to write about.  Then when I get a free moment to do so.... _______________________.  I get blocked.

She's Such a Girl

Monday, February 10, 2014

This past weekend we had a little birthday party for Ladybug.  Of her two friends that came, both children of friends of ours, are both expecting siblings.  The boy is expecting a sister, and the girl is expecting a brother so there was a great deal of talk of adjusting to being the parents of girls and boys.  I contributed what I could to the conversation, but I honestly know very little about boys.  I was the very much younger of two sisters.  I have nieces.  Most of my younger cousins whom were younger than me are girls.  My child is a girl.  Even my dogs are girls.  Still yet, I don't think it would completely different to be a boy mom.  So, of course this has caused me to mull over this train of thought since Saturday.

While mulling over such thoughts, I was reminded of something I have heard so many times from some parents, "He's all boy."  Well yes, Y chromosomes have a tendency to do that to a person, not that there's anything wrong with that.  However, that's usually given as an excuse for a little boy running wild, climbing all over everything, playing in dirt, and loving bugs, animals, and sports.  It's as if little girls are these quiet, prim little beings who just want to dress up as princesses and have tea parties.  Every time I hear this I want to ask the person who says it in my best Barney Stinson voice, "Have you met Ladybug?"

I will never deny that little girls naturally tend to want to play house with dolls, dress up pretty, and tend to squeal.  I'm no feminist, so I have no problem with any of this and enjoy watching Ladybug do it.  However I know that she's also a little girl who loves to play with her Hot Wheels cars (just like her mom did), build things with blocks, watch and play all manner of sports, and dig in the dirt.  (Oh the dirt!)  She can run around screaming and squealing with any boys.  Dirt and rocks fascinate her (to the delight of her geologist granddaddy).  Also, I know little boys who like to occasionally play in kitchens, and have loved on a doll or two.

I'm the mother of a little girl.  I think that sometimes there are probably more differences in the behaviors of girls and boys than how they play.  I've often described having a toddler girl as a sneak peek into the teenage years.  Mood swings are the norm.  One moment we can be all laughs and giggles, then the world falls apart because a crayon breaks.   She's a very considerate person.  While coloring one day, I told her red is my favorite color.  Now she makes sure I always get the red "cayrons," as she calls them, and anything else that is red, including monkeys.  She's sensitive and gets upset if she thinks we are laughing at her.  She does love to dress up.  We sometimes wonder if she loves going to church so much because she gets to wear her nice dresses and sparkly shoes.  In truth though, she prefers to wear jeans and a t-shirt any other time.

I try not to describe her by generalizing her or explaining her away as being "such a girl" though.  She's Ladybug.  She's her own person.  She's a sports-loving, baby doll-carrying, music enthusiast who would spend every waking moment outside if possible.  She certainly doesn't fit inside the "girl" box, and I doubt most boys fit into the "boy" box either.  I feel like we learned nothing from Dirty Dancing and are still trying to "put Baby in a corner."  They are all these wonderful, individual, awesome creatures that God created, tutus and muddy pink Chuck Taylors included.

Remembering Eleanor

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My thoughts are not my own today.  Today a little girl is very much on my mind.  It is her second birthday, and I wish... oh how I wish I could wish her Happy Birthday in person.  Her name is Eleanor.  She is the daughter of my friends Dan and Amanda.  She was born twelve hours before Ladybug, and they were to be very good friends.  Eleanor passed away shortly after she was born.  She is no longer with us, but she is remembered, and she is loved.

She is loved.  It's not that she was loved.  I hate how when someone passes away you're supposed to say that you "loved" them, not that you "love" them.  You don't stop loving someone because they're no longer with you.  Love doesn't stop when a heartbeat stills.  Love isn't past tense.

Forever in my mind, I will remember seeing her precious, perfect feet in ultrasound pictures, and her sweet profile.  We will always wonder "what if?" and miss her.  I often look at Ladybug and think of what a mess they would be, playing together, learning to walk and run together, dancing together, discovering the world together, and doing the things two girls born so closely together would do.

There's an awesome birthday party going on today in Heaven.  Here on earth whenever those of us who love her see an elephant or a purple balloon, a butterfly, or even a perfect sunrise or sunset, we'll take a moment and think of Eleanor Lee.

Sweet girl, your time here was far too short for us, but your mark is forever left on our hearts.

By Any Other Name

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Today is my Grannie Scott's birthday.  She would have been ninety-two years old, but we lost her back in 2000.  Thursday is Ladybug's second birthday.  In honor of both of their birthdays, I would like to share with you a post first written early last year.  It explains how Ladybug got her middle name, and why it's so important to me.  I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment.

It is spring....

At least the calendar states that it is spring.  The thermostat currently says something entirely different, but I think the two will see a marriage counselor and eventually reconcile.  Let's just say that I've put the couple on my prayer list.  It is spring though, and yesterday was Palm Sunday.  The coming of spring and Easter always make me think of many things and people including my Granny Scott, who loved flowers and bunny rabbits.

Me hugging Heather @ my 2nd birthday with Gran.
About Gran
My Granny Scott didn't have an easy life.  She and my grandfather were married in a wagon yard in Okemah, Oklahoma two days before Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII.  By the time Gran was my age (almost 33), she already was the mother to seven of her eight children.  She had survived the Depression, the Dust Bowl, and my grandfather serving on a destroyer in the Pacific WWII.  My grandfather passed away in 1972, and she raised my Aunt Tammy mostly on her own.  She survived both my Dad and my Aunt Reva.  She had endured enough to make her a bitter woman, but I always remember her smiling (if not in photographs).  Her delight was in her family.

With eight children and their spouses, twenty grandchildren and their significant others, and all of the great-grands who were born in her lifetime, her house was often filled and spilling over with Scotts on holidays, when my aunt and cousins would visit from Missouri, or just any random Sunday afternoon.  Ladybug will never know the joys of hunting Easter eggs so many cousins or having enough family to put together an impromptu baseball game.  I can't smell black coffee brewing without thinking of everyone piled in Gran's living room joking, laughing, and just loving being together.

Gran always did her best to take care of me when my Mom was working.  I may not have stayed with her all the time, but she would take me to dinner, keep me company, check up on me, and even once took me to Cedar Lake without any of my cousins to see peacocks.  I remember many afternoons after school when she would get my cousins Heather, Michael, and I and drive us around Heavener picking pecans.

When I was a freshman in college, she had gone to a local convenient store to get biscuits and gravy for her breakfast one morning when she was in a car accident.  The loss of blood caused her to have a stroke, and she passed away a little over a year later.  There isn't a day I don't miss her, because she was such an important part of my life.

Naming Ladybug
When we were thinking of names for Ladybug, we had her first name picked out for years.  We were at a loss for a middle name though.  Because my name is Adrienne Lane, and Ladybug's first name starts with an "L," Bart wanted to give her an "A" middle name.  He threw out names like "Alizabeth" or "Avian," all of which I soundly rejected for being too kre8tive and weird.  Then it came to mind that Ladybug was going to born very near what would have been Gran's 90th birthday.  Like me, Gran's initials were A.L. for Alice Lucinda.  Everything just made sense to give her the middle name of Alice. Bart didn't take a great deal of cajoling.  It just fit and made sense.

I haven't always liked the name Alice.  Back when I wanted to name a son "Oakley," I used to think it too old fashioned.  As time has gone by and my tastes in everything have matured, I've grown to love it for its own merits and also for the Alice that I loved.  It's German for noble and kind.  That summed up my Gran, and I can't think of not wanting that for my daughter.

I may call Ladybug by her full name when she's in trouble, but I often call her by her full name just because I love saying it.  I love that a part of my Gran lives on in her name, sometimes her features, and  even in her actions at times.  It's also very neat that my Gran, Alice Lucinda was born on February 4.  My Aunt Mary Alice was born on February 5, and Ladybug Alice was born on February 6.  I think that she was Ladybug Alice long before we decided that would be her name.  Like Anne Shirley told Marilla Cuthbert about roses if they went by any other name, I don't think Ladybug would quite the same if she happened to be Ladybug Anastasia or something like that.  She is as much Alice as she is Ladybug.

What do you think of names?  Would a rose smell as sweet if it was called skunk cabbage?  Would your children be the same under any other moniker?  Why did you name them what you did?  Please comment, because I'm really curious.

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