Weekly Randomosity

Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • You know that fad of the past couple of years where groups of friends go somewhere, drink some wine, and paint something?  Yeah, don't ever invite me.  I don't drink, so there is no way I could ever be drunk enough to enjoy doing that.  Just FYI.
  • I was shocked to learn this week that Mandy Moore is Sheriff Callie.  Yes, that is what I think about these days.  
  • Speaking of Mandy Moore Disney outings, Bart finally watched Tangled with us.  We came to the conclusion that someone at Disney must know my mother, because they patterned Mother Gothel exactly after her.  Seriously, it's spooky.  I'm not talking about looks but psychological manipulation at its worst.
  • It's the first pretty weekend in ages, so you know that Ladybug and I neither one are really up for being outside.
  • If you saw this past week's Grey's Anatomy, did you not love the little extras they did with the props for the scenes in the two possible futures for Cristina?  Let's just say that I loved the phones, the watches, and tablets.  It's the little things, y'all, and that impressed me.
  • Repeated viewings of Frozen have strengthened my already very strong longing to give Ladybug an Anna to her Elsa.  It's definitely one of those things where once again I have to have faith in God's timing and understand that it may not be in his plans at all.  I pray if the latter is the case that He gives me a peace about me to accept that.
  • Bart built Ladybug a step-stool this weekend and also made the letters of her name out of wood.  She thinks the letters are the most awesome thing EVER.  I think they're pretty neat, too.
  • I have had my fill of March Madness.  That's all I'm going to say about that.
  • I was looking on Amazon for some tumblers with straws for Ladybug and found this.  Just. NO.
  • I posted my first chapter to fanfiction.net in years this week.  I used a new pen name, so that I wouldn't mix the new stuff up with the old.  If you're interested in what I'm working on, I'll send you a link.  Just remember, fandoms are fun, even if you're in your thirties.  I will say that the particular category I'm writing for now isn't nearly as friendly as the Anne of Green Gables on was around ten years ago.  Of course, I'm not particularly looking to make new friends there like I did then.
  • Oh, I will be texting friends during the How I Met Your Mother finale, Monday night.  If you want to join in, let me know.
  • Free To Be Me

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    I had a bit of an epiphany this morning while cleaning Bart's toilet.  Okay, maybe it wasn't as much an epiphany as the result of inhaling too many fumes of Kaboom! bathroom cleaner.  Either way, I had some pretty deep thoughts.  My train of thought started along the lines of how I hate cleaning the bathrooms.  It then moved from how I hate the day each (pretty much) week I clean the bathrooms to where I'm happy I'm just cleaning my family's messes these days:  that I would rather spend my days mixing in mundane housework with being Mama to a precocious Ladybug to doing anything else in the work place.

    I am the most comfortable with who I am today than I have ever been in my life.  I think one of the main reasons for that is because I am no longer spending my days trying to live up to the expectations of what others have for me.  This isn't a Mommy Wars blog post, but it is a heartfelt post regarding where I am blessed to be in my life.  Remember, what works for me does not work for everyone.

    "Don't you want more?"  

    "Don't you want to be successful?"

    "Wouldn't you like more money, to be able to take more vacations, and just generally buy more things?"

    "Don't you get bored?"

    I have been asked all of these questions and more in some form or another.   I probably have given a variety of answers depending on what was going on at the time.  Yes,  I got incredibly bored during probably Ladybug's first six months or so.  No matter how advanced, babies don't tend to do a lot at that point except need you.  Then she got older, we established an ever-evolving routine, and I began to feel confident and comfortable in this new role for my life.

    As to the money and the things:  we don't want for anything.  We have a warm, comfortable house, food to eat, clothes to cover our ugly bodies, and such.  Everything else is just fluff.  I am content with the good health and safety of my family.  Seriously.  New houses, cars, expensive clothes and such just don't really compare.

    I think that I'm a very fortunate person.  I didn't come into motherhood until I was almost thirty-two years old.  I have lived life out there.  I have worked in the professional world.  I have bought the clothes and the all the things.  I have been happy but not necessarily joyful all at the same time.  Why?  I wasn't following my dreams.  I was busy being the person the world expected me to be.  I was busy being "on" for everyone else (and often not doing a very good job at it).  I was tired and frustrated physically and  most importantly spiritually.     I wasn't seeking God in my life daily.  I was praying, but I wasn't opening the Bible as often as I should have been.

    Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom isn't about sitting around, watching daytime television and wearing my pajamas all day long.  I don't do that unless I'm like deathly ill.  It also isn't about whipping up dinners from scratch and making sure that my daughter is busy with crafts and activities all her waking hours in order to make me look good on Pinterest.  Really, it's somewhere more to the middle.  It's about being there with her when she's upset and not feeling well.  It's about laughing and singing with her.  It's about being relaxed enough, knowing that we don't have to do all the things, so that I am emotionally available for my daughter as well as physically.  It's taking the time to listen to her little voice which has so much to say.  It's about teaching her values by example.  It's about pulling out of the fast lane and really appreciating taking things slower.

    Somewhere in the slower lane, I found myself.  Life isn't just about surviving another day.  It's taking the time to truly appreciate the blessings before us.  I may still hate cleaning the toilets, but every random smile or hug from Ladybug throughout the day is far more rewarding to me than any other accolades.  I love the Laura Story song, "I Can Just Be Me."  There's a part in the lyrics stating,

    And be my savior, be my lifeline, won't You be my everything. 
    Cause I'm so tired of trying to be someone 
    I was never meant to be 
    Be my God Please be my God 
    Be my God 
    So I can just be me

    I'm no longer trying to be someone I was never meant to be.  All the things that money can buy, all of the atta-boys there are in the professional world mean nothing if you're miserable because you aren't doing what you're called by God to do.  I wasn't exactly miserable, but I wasn't joyously happy either.    I'm not condemning the working mom.  However, being a SAHM isn't this hellish Purgatory some make it out to be.  It doesn't have to be.  It also isn't like living in Martha Stewart Living.  It's just life lived at a different pace with different standards, and I love it.  I'm feel freer than I have in years to the point that I'm writing again.  You can't beat that.  Also, you sometimes have deep thoughts aided by cleaning products. :)

    Weekly Randomosity

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    • Last weekend we had Bart's brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and Labrador over for their last weekend in Arkansas before completing their journey to their new home at Fort Lee, VA.  Despite the fact that Bart's brother, we'll call him Captain B, was sick with a sinus mess, we had a very good weekend together.  Ladybug and Pistol are five months and two days apart in age, and they have finally reached the point where they love to play together.  I'm serious, they adore each other.  Ladybug loves Pistol so much that when we picked them up in the nursery after church Sunday, she was in tears.  That's a rarity for our church-loving girl.  We realized that she was probably jealous because Pistol was getting along very well with all of Ladybug's little friends at church and not playing solely with her.
      • If you can, please remember them in your prayers Friday and Saturday as they make the last leg of their journey to their new home.  It started a month ago when they trekked from Colorado Springs to Arkansas, and now they're on their way to Fort Lee.  It's a scary, exciting, stressful time for them.  They'll have to stay in a hotel for 10 days until their house is ready.  Once they're settled, they'll have to get used to a new community and find a new church home. They are all very ready to be in their own home again.
    • I have "Love Is An Open Door" stuck in my head.  I seriously am starting to believe that Disney must have placed subliminal messages in that movie, telling girls how much they love it and parents that they need to buy all the stuff.  I want to buy all the stuff.  Seriously.  In the two weeks since we purchased the movie on iTunes, I have bought the soundtrack, the Big Golden Book, the iPad App, and have started looking for shirts, coloring books, etc.  I even changed Bart's ringtone on my iPhone and iPad to "Fixer Upper" rather than Huey Lewis's "Power of Love," which was the recessional at our wedding. Also, I think we have become this family.  You know, without the funky headband because you know, I'm almost 34 years old and just.NO.

  • My bloggy pal, Karen, over at Ting's Mom gave me a nod this week while sharing her favorite Mom blogs.  I have to say that I am very, very honored and flattered.  "Don't know if I'm elated or gassy, but I'm somewhere in that zone!"
  • Ladybug and I couldn't find Lucy and Dory when we came home from getting groceries today.  Apparently the mylar balloon Bart got Ladybug for Valentine's Day was floating and drooping through the house, therefore holding them hostage upstairs.
  • We're supposed to go to the Razorback baseball game Friday night against Alabama as a family thing for Bart's group at work, but Ladybug has a snotty nose.  If it's chilly, and she's still congested she and I will have to stay home.  I think we'd all really enjoy the game, so please pray that her little nose clears.  It's so hard watching her have difficulty breathing anyway.
  • Bart and I have been suffering somewhat from a gastrointestinal bug this week.  Actually Bart had it a while last week.  Anyway, it's been a rather chill week here, because of it. 
  • It's March Madness again, and Bart had Ladybug and Pistol fill out brackets using the flash cards this year.  Pistol wasn't very interested in it, but Ladybug loved doing it.  I'm not sure I love that she had UCLA beat OU in the final game though.  She's a bit of a traitor.  Meanwhile Bart has filled out 16 brackets of his own.  I think he needs a 12-step program.
  • If you ever think that your prayers aren't being heard, know that they are.  I always pray for my extended family.  About three weeks ago my cousin Heather bought a brand-new Lincoln MKZ.  A week later while she was driving someone flagged her down, because it was ON FIRE!  Seriously, she wasn't going for a Katniss thing.  She could have been killed, or if it had been in her garage, her house could have burned.  I'm still thanking the Lord that she's safe.
  • Learning Grace As a Parent

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    I never really thought much about Grace until recently - not deeply at least.  Having grown up in church, grace has never been a foreign word to me.  "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound," and other hymns have *ahem* graced my lips all of my life.  I have been fascinated by the word, even naming characters for it.  I don't know if I really understood the actual definition of what grace really is though.  It was something I believe that I took for granted and (oh how I hated the thought) felt entitled to it.  It was to me, something that was that I didn't really ponder.  Then my precious, sweet, easy-going baby grew up to be a willful, determined, intelligent, opinionated toddler, and grace suddenly took on an entirely new meaning to me.

    If you Google "Grace" you will see this definition.  The second noun is the one that is important to me; "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings."  It's a mouthful, isn't it?  What does it mean, really?  Along with searching the Bible, I decided to read the book "Grace" by Max Lucado.  He pretty much sums it up by this quote, "Whenever God looks down at you, this is what he sees:  the prefect Lamb of God covering you."  Even at our best, we are but filthy rags to God.  Grace is Jesus covering us and filtering out our sin.

    We are nearing the Easter and Passover season.  The Israelites were spared from the Angel of Death because of the lambs' blood covering their doorways.  Jesus Christ became the ultimate sacrifice and freely gave himself to cover us, our dirty, sin-covered souls, so that God could look upon us.  No other sacrifices are needed, because he was blameless and perfect.  He covers us, so that God can look beyond our sin with love and yes, bestow blessings upon us.

    As the mother of a toddler, I am faced every day with the dilemma of whether to hand out discipline to my child when she acts out, or to look beyond her defiance with love and just love on her.  I don't believe in not disciplining my child.  It is my duty to her to teach her right from wrong.  That said, I am not without understanding that sometimes there is more to her behavior than just acting out for the sake of acting out.  I need to take into account whether or not she is tired, if she isn't feeling well, and several other factors.  Often, though she is a strong-willed girl, her actions aren't a deliberate test of my authority but her way of letting me know that all is not well in the the land of Ladybug.  It is during those times that I realize that I need to cover her with love rather than punishment.  The lesson that she needs to learn is that there is nothing she can do to lose my love, just as there isn nothing we can do to lose God's.  That is grace.

    I honestly don't know if I received a lot of grace as a child.  Guilt I was given in abundance, but grace.... I don't know.  I think that in a way it was thought that I was, but really it was sugar-coated guilt.  Maybe that's the opinion most children have, thinking more on the negative consequences of things.  I'd like to think that, but in all honestly I think one of the reasons I haven't thought much on it was because it really wasn't something I knew first hand from my own personal experiences.  I want Ladybug to know what grace is firsthand so that she won't have to be in her mid-thirties before the concept really starts to click.

    So, when she is seriously trying my patience I need to think (and pray) before I dole out punishment and consider whether or not she instead needs grace.  It's not always easy to give grace either.  There are times when sending her to her room for time-out seems just easier.  No one ever said being Mama was easy though.  How fortunate for me that I have a savior who bestows grace upon me and teaches me so much more about my relationship with Him through mine with my daughter!  Ladybug may not deserve to be hugged rather than punished at times, but then neither do I.  What a blessing parenthood is in that we can grow and learn just as much or more than our children if we are open to God's prodding!
     "Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.  And he raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavens. He did this for those in Christ Jesus  so that for all future time he could show the very great riches of his grace by being kind to us in Christ Jesus.  I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God.  It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing."  Ephesians 2:5-10 New Century Version (NCV)

    Weekly Randomosity

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    • Bart is working in Kansas then Branson the last half of this week.  So....  of course one of our carbon monoxide detectors started beeping that it needed new batteries around 3 am last night, just about the time I was getting back to sleep after my nightly 2-hour insomnia.  This, of course, made Lucy and absolute nut-case who wanted to crawl inside a Mama-suit to be safe.  I was afraid that the detector in question would be one attached to the ceiling, and I would have to drag a ladder in from the garage at 3 AM, inevitably waking Ladybug.  Thankfully it was one on the wall and easily taken care of.  I went back downstairs to our bedroom, where I had locked up Lucy and Dory so Lucy wouldn't kill me trying to get me to save her from the beep.  Dory was patiently waiting at the door.  Lucy had taken cover in the same place she hides from storms and fireworks, our bathroom.  I told the girl to get back into bed.  Lucy couldn't calm down though.  I had to take her outside first, because the beeping had literally scared the poop out of her.  She should be thankful I love her despite her craziness.  I think I got 2-3 hours sleep last night.  I'm going to crash HARD tonight probably.
    • Before Bart left, I started getting up early and taking Dory for our bike rides together again.  I seriously missed that and hope to get back into doing it regularly when Bart gets home.  I can't really do it when he's away, and there's a toddler sleeping upstairs.
    • Tomorrow Bart's brother, sister-in-law, and nephew are going to come to spend the weekend with us.  They came up briefly Sunday with Bart's parents to celebrate my FIL's birthday.  Ladybug and her cousin Pistol have so much fun together, being only five months apart in age. However, Lucy and Dory also very much enjoyed their cousin Apache visiting too.  Dory and Apache are about a week apart in age and look very much alike, except Apache is a full-blood Lab.  I imagine by Sunday night, we'll all be exhausted after the five cousins (human and dog) get through having fun together.
    • There has been little blogging action lately, and there made be less in the coming weeks.  You see, I have been inspired to start writing again.  I'm talking actual fiction writing, not just whatever's currently in my head for the blog.  Yes, it's fan fiction right now, and yes it is very crude and still being drafted, but I AM WRITING AGAIN.  Louise, Cathy you know what I'm talking about ladies.  There are stories inside of me just itching to come out.  I've been rather dry in the fiction writing arena for several years.  I don't know if I'll ever get published.  I don't know if I want to ever be published, but it's just something I need to do right now.  Just at this moment, I'm happy to be exercising my skills so that maybe, once Ladybug is in school, I can focus on my own, original fiction.  Right now, I'd like to get back to where I was about eight years ago.  Louise's reworking and mashing together of her Meggie and Gwen stories has made me think of possibly someday doing something similar with Comfort and Joy.  Then, part of me also wants to finish Hope's story too.  What do you think?

    Weekly Randomosity

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    This is my first Weekly Randomosity in a while.  I've had many random thoughts in my head, but not much motivation to post them.  So fair warning, this week's randomosity is going to contain all sorts of spoilers for everything from How I Met Your Mother, Grey's Anatomy, to Frozen.
    • Our yard is still trying to thaw out after Sleetmageddon last Sunday.  Basically right now our yard is a mixture of mud and dirty Sonic slushy ice.
    • Have you seen this Chevrolet commercial?  Oh my goodness, I ugly cried one night in bed when I first watched it.  Then I showed it to Bart, and I had to turn off my lamp and go to sleep so I wouldn't see if he cried too.  It made me think of my Maddie.  Her name was Jetta, and she growled at every guy that came to my house until I brought home Bart.  She liked Bart.  She passed away at the ripe age of 15, just months before Bart and I married.  It's like she knew I would be okay and could let go.  I miss her, and without having had her, I wouldn't be the dog-mom I am to Lucy and Dory today.  From ages eight to twenty-three, she was my best friend.
      Chevrolet Commercial 2014 - "Maddie" from The Herd on Vimeo.
    • We officially have a Frozen fanatic at our house.  She's more interested in the music and Olaf than the whole princess thing, but one of the great things about Frozen is that it's about so much more than being a princess.  It's about sisters.  It is really well written.  In fact, it has me wanting more.  I want to read a novelization (not a Little Golden Book) on it.  I want to delve deeper into Elsa's thoughts as well as Anna's.  We really get so little insight into Elsa, and she is such an interesting character!  I want to strangle their parents for the way they handled things, effectively crippling both daughters emotionally.  There's one daughter who is deathly afraid to love and open up to anyone, and then there's another who is so starved for love that she got engaged to a man she met that day!  Seriously, I have taken to trolling fan fiction websites to get more.  Sadly, like with any good story, there are far too many incestuous slash fictions out there, ruining a very good thing.  Yes, I totally have gone overboard over a Disney movie.
    • I am one of those How I Met Your Mother fans who is sadly afraid that Ted has told his kids this long story, because....  the mother is dead.  I mentioned it several weeks ago, and now I'm going to have to spend finale night texting my friend Dana with boxes of tissue on hand.  I hope it's not true, and that last week's episode was a sort of red herring to confuse everyone.  Then Jessica over at Life With the Bauer Bunch mentioned how last season Ted mentioned how he wished he had those 45 more days with the mother.  Oh my goodness!  Three more episodes!  If she is dead after they made us fall in love with her, I'm going to feel like I wasted nine years of my life.  I don't know.  Maybe I won't, but I will have even more problems investing myself in How I Met Your Dad.  I'm already having issues since it won't be the story of how the current mother met Ted.  Of course, she can't tell Luke and Penny that story if she's dead.
    • I am soooo happy that Grey's Anatomy is back on!  I have needed something to watch on Thursday night other than Bart playing football on his Xbox.  I'm loving the Kepner-Avery story, thrilled Meredith isn't still fighting with Cristina, and seriously hating that Yang is leaving at the end of the season.  I'm also wondering how they're going to work Burke into it.
    • In non-entertainment related news, my local Walmart is going through a reset.  It's one of their test stores, so it gets it more often than others.  Most of the time it's nice that it's a test store, because it's nicer and cleaner than most.  I hate that I have to learn where everything is all over again so often.  I mean seriously, how often do they need to move everything?  Because I live in Walmartlandia and know many people who work for the WM and work for companies directly connected to WM, I choose to complain and suggest that whomever is in charge of resets find something else to do.
    • On a non-trivial note, last night Bart and a couple of coworkers were building a chicken coop in our front yard last night for a community service project when his friend Jeremy saw smoke coming from a near-by house.  He quickly ran across the street, jumped a couple of fences, and put out the fire while the woman who lived there was calling 9-1-1.  Then he just jumped back over the fences and went on with his life.  As Bart says, "That's just the sort of guy Jeremy is."
    • Weekly Music Pick
      • "Let It Go," because well that's what I'm getting to listen to all the time right now.  It really is a good song.  Frankly, I've been wondering if Disney embedded it with some sort of subliminal, hypnotic message underneath the lyrics, because it is addictive!  I prefer the movie version with Idina Menzel over the single version.  Hey, it's the one that won and Oscar, isn't it?  I also like the version Idina Menzel did on Jimmy Fallon Monday night.  So, I'll share both.  Have a great weekend, y'all!  

    Oh, and what are your thoughts on any of these things?

    Mama, Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    First of all, I want to thank you for all the prayers last week that we not have an ice storm and lose power.  We had mostly sleet, rather than freezing rain Sunday and never went without electricity.  So rather than huddling by the fire together with blankets, Ladybug and I introduced Bart to Frozen.  Even though it's a musical, he didn't hate it.  We have quickly grown to love the songs from the movie, especially "Do You Want To Build a Snowman?" and "Let It Go."  Ladybug can belt those two out like crazy. (And by crazy, I mean that sometimes she might sound a bit maniacal, but I love her)  Also, we like the movie, because it's not your run-of-the-mill princess movie.  We're fine with her enjoying it as long as being a princess doesn't become an obsession.  Right now, Ladybug is obsessed with Olaf.

    Anyway, this new fascination with Frozen has brought with it a deepening of Ladybug's already growing interest in snow and snowmen.  Sunday when the sleet was falling hard, and the temperature falling harder, she begged to play outside in the snow.  Yesterday while it was still far too cold, she begged to play in the snow.  Today the sun came out, the temperature came up, and she really started begging to play outside in the snow.

    At first I didn't want to.  I was afraid it would either be too cold or too muddy.  We needed to eat lunch.  She needed to take her nap.  I needed to do housework while and after she napped.  I had managed to get quite a bit accomplished earlier in the day, and I really wanted to just knock most of my weekly housework out of the way today.  Then she asked again to go play in the snow.  In.the.snow.  It was 41° today, and the snow was seriously beginning to melt.  It's March.  Hopefully (please, Please, PLEASE) this will be the last winter storm of the season.  I might be free the rest of the week to hang with Ladybug, but the snow would be gone.

    We've played in the snow a lot this past winter and last, but we have never built a snowman with Ladybug.  The snow dripping off my roof was like a clock ticking, reminding me of why I'm home with Ladybug.  Yes, I'm supposed to do the housework, and my house if not overly dirty.  That said, my main purpose at home is to bring up Ladybug and be her Mama.

    Housework will always be here.  As soon as something is finished, something else is waiting to be cleaned again.  Ladybug will only be two for eleven more months.  It might not snow at all next year. She might not always love the snow and snowmen as she does now.  I may not appreciate every moment of this stage of life, but I cherish as many as possible.  So today after nap time, I built a snowman with my daughter.
    Actually we built a Snow Doc, but we did it together and had fun doing it, singing songs from Frozen.  I thought about building it while she slept, but I realized that she wanted to build a snowman.  She wanted that experience.  It may have been easier to do it alone, but wouldn't have been the same as doing it together.  I would do it again, because Ladybug's time with me as she is now is as fleeting as the snowman.  Soon enough I'll have all the time to clean house while Ladybug is out with her friends.  Right now she is mine, and I'll gladly drop everything to build a snowman with her.

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