Whacking Bunnies

Thursday, June 23, 2016

We are now fully in Summer Vacation Mode.  By that, I mean that at first Ladybug was terribly upset, because she felt it was the end of everything.  To her, it sort of was.  Her social life went from being very active to almost nonexistent.  One night at supper she lamented, "No more choir, no more Bible study, and now no more school!"  Her last day of school I tried to tell her how proud I was that she finished her first year of preschool, and she informed me that it was horrible.  She loved school, her friends, and her teacher and would miss them all terribly.

The first couple of weeks, we kept a busy schedule of playdates and such.  Now...  well with vacations and needing to get ahead at home before VBS next week, that has ground to a halt.   We're still getting out some and doing fun things like going to baseball games and church, but not every day.  Ladybug has taken it all quite well.  She goes to bed around 9:30 each night and sleeps until around 9 each morning.  I politely told her to get dressed this morning, and she announced, "I don't want to wear clothes today!"  I made her get dressed, though I do think her Star Wars short pjs are pretty awesome.

Almost each night after supper, we've decided it's best she change into a swimsuit, because one way or another, she's going to get wet.  She's always either playing in the pool, running through the sprinkler, or just having one of us spray her with a hose.  I'm very glad she starts swim lessons in a couple of weeks, because I think she's becoming a little fish.

Personally, I went through a very horrible, yet funny to other people, experience the other day.  Lucy and Dory are always on the lookout for the elusive Mr. Squirrel in our back yard.  They usually cry until I let them out to chase him.  They never catch him, he can jump up on fences and trees.  So when they made a big deal the other morning, I expected more of the same.  Lo and behold, I looked out the window to find them running laps around my entire back yard, chasing a poor bunny rabbit that couldn't escape.  They caught it.  They never kill anything on purpose.  They just play with them.  Sadly poor Mr. Bunny was horribly injured, but not enough to die.  He just suffered.  I dragged the girls in the house, texted Bart, then proceeded to try and put the poor thing out of its misery.

Let me just say, the BB gun didn't work.  I had to get a shovel and whack it two or three times, all the while trying not to get sick.  Finally it died, and I disposed of it - all while in my pjs, because it was fairly early in the morning.  While this was going on, Ladybug finally woke up.  When I told her what I was doing, she took it quite well, and told me that the good news is that the bunny got to go to Heaven.

That whole morning was wasted, because I was a complete mess.  I have nothing against hunting, I just have never personally wanted to to it, and I wasn't raised in the country or on a farm.  Knowing what needs to be done and doing it are two different things.

I allowed myself to watch a lot of television that day.  I watched the Amazon Prime pilot "Z:  The Beginning Of Everything" about Zelda Fitzgerald.  It's actually pretty good, as is "The Last Tycoon." Bart and I finally started watching "The Man In The High Tower" together this week and are hooked. I have an obsession with alternative histories, so even thought it's very depressing, I'm enjoying it.

Yesterday I started switching the girls to a new dog food for a handful of reasons.  Lucy, always skeptical and thinking someone may try to poison her wisely waited and watched Dory eat her food first before trying it.  You know, in case we were trying to kill them or something.  No, no.  If I'm willing to clean up their accidental bunny massacres, I'm not going to poison them.  After all, we're family.  Gee, that sounds a little mafia-ish, doesn't it?

VBS is next week.  I've already got Ladybug's crew assignment and am waiting on mine.  It's going to be a tiring but fun week.  This is Ladybug's first year of real VBS and not just hanging out in childcare and doing a little of it.  We're both excited.  Or she will be if I can get her out of bed.

Quite A Year

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It may not be May yet, but as April comes to a close, several of our activities are also winding down for the year.  This past year hasn't turned out the way I imagined it would a year ago, but it's been such a blessing to me and I believe our entire family.  Two Tuesdays ago, we had our last Tuesday Morning Bible Study until after Labor Day, and this past Sunday was Ladybug's Spring Praisers concert at church.  Also, L only has one more month of preschool this year.  All in all, I find myself meeting these changes with mixed feelings.

I am pleased to tell you that I'm going to miss my Sunday afternoons helping with the 3-4 yr old class at Praisers, our preschool choir.  Sometimes Sundays were tiring, spending just a little time at home on Sunday afternoon, resting, before heading back to church for choir.   Some days I didn't always feel like it, but I went and enjoyed it.  L loves singing in the choir, and I love her friends so much I can't explain it.  They're all my kids, and I'm thankful I've spent the year with them.  The exhaustion was completely worth it.  I honestly believe that I'm going to be a little lost on Sunday nights.  I've  already said that I am most likely going to help again next year. I just hope people are ready to hear Ladybug sing at the top of her lungs again.

Seriously, never tell Ladybug that she needs to sing loudly.  She has that covered.  EVERYONE in our church and online heard her.  Mrs. Tracy, who leads all the Praisers laughed and told me she thought Ladybug would pass out from singing so loudly.  Nope.  My kid makes loud joyful noises.  Seriously, her friend next to her had to hold her ears because of it.

The good news is that I still get to see my kids on Sunday mornings all summer long.  Half of them are in my Sunday school class, and the other half are next door.   Last August I'm pretty sure I admitted that I felt completely ill-equipped to teach a Sunday School class.  Seriously, I am not a crafty person, and crafts are sort of required for this age group.

I am the person who, in Senior English class when an intern (whom I knew very well, thank you small towns) asked us to draw the Green Knight from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  So I did.  I took a green pen and drew a green stick person with a stick sword.  I wasn't worried about my grade, because otherwise English Lit is my thing.  I just calmly mentioned when turning it in that had I ever felt inclined to draw, I would have taken Art as an elective at some point in my high school career.

Anyway, back to the present day, here we are in late April, and I'm eagerly volunteering to teach again next year.  I'm tremendously thankful God pushed me to do something I never imagined I would do in volunteering to co-teach Ladybug's Sunday school class.  He pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I have been so blessed because of it.  You would think it would be seen as a chore, but it's not.

As I did last year, I have enjoyed Tuesday morning Bible study and have also grown immeasurably because of it. Especially since now I'm teaching Sunday school rather than being taught, I need this time.  I greatly benefit from fellowship with women of all ages, but especially those in the same stage of life as me.  I went through technically four studies.  The first was... ok. I liked it, but found it redundant and grew bored.  It had nothing to do with the leader of my group or anything like that.  The subject matter just grew tiresome, which was sad since it was about JOY!  I, and several of my friends, felt it could have been covered in about half as much time.  The second was an overview of the Bible, which I LOVED.  The third was "The Armor of God" by Priscilla Shirer.  This book was an eye-opener.  I greatly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good study.  Lastly, we just finished "Seamless" by Angie Smith.  This was also an overview of the entire Bible that made you think beyond the stories that many of us knew by heart.  I'm going to miss my Tuesday mornings at church, but I do look forward to another morning at home too.  My house has missed my attention.  I can't say that I've missed giving so much of my attention to my housework though!

I'm going to stay fairly busy for the next month and even after.  Ladybug's first year of preschool is almost over.  I can't believe it!  She has grown so much in every way imaginable.  I just love her.  We've been blessed this year with probably the best teacher for her to have had as a first teacher.  I mean, I've been having to help her come to terms with the fact that she most likely won't have the same teacher and teacher's aide next year.  I can't tell you how thankful I am for these women who pour so much of themselves into my child's life. I'm very grateful for the entire school.  I was apprehensive to send Ladybug to preschool at the age of three, but I wouldn't have wanted her anywhere else those days.  In fact, I originally enrolled her for three days next year.  When we realized that she would only be in an actual classroom two days a week at the school we plan to enroll her in for Kindergarten through 12th for the first several years, it didn't make sense to have her getting used to three days.

As stated earlier, this past year didn't turn out the way I anticipated a year ago today.  I would have been overjoyed to have if things had gone the other way.  They didn't though, but the blessings have still been abundant.  I thank the Lord for the days He has made.  I rejoice and am glad in them.

The (Not-So) Wonderful World of Throwing Up

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Since Ladybug has turned four, she has decided to do a great many more "grown up" things, such as: not having a fit when I clean her ears, helping with the dishes, getting her own food out of the kitchen with the aid of a step-stool, and listening to and obeying her parents better.  Overall, her belief that she can do more (without help) since becoming "a four-year-old" and experiencing more has been great.  There is one new thing that Ladybug has experienced since turning four that none of us has enjoyed.  Last night she threw up in her sleep and spend the entire night throwing up.  Until last night, the only times she ever threw up were when she was upset and/or congested.  This was her first full-on session of the throw-ups.

Let's just say it was a learning experience, especially for her.  She had to learn to throw up in the toilet, a bowl, or in a trash can and not on well, ME.  I'm Mom, and I'm supposed to make everything better, so she kept turning to me when she needed to throw up  I changed clothes a few times.  It was a long night, and the washing machine hasn't stopped.  Thankfully around 4:30 am Ladybug stopped.  I stayed in her room with her, and we got to sleep until she noticed the sun starting to peek through the windows around 6:45.  Then we got up and started continued washing everything that had been contaminated.

Everything has been washed / sprayed with Lysol, and wiped clean.  L begged for breakfast this morning, but I made her hold out for toast and crackers at lunch.  Poor girl didn't need to learn the hard way that you need to slowly reintroduce food to your stomach after such gastrointestinal acrobatics.  I'm sure she thought I was being cruel.  She also didn't like that I told her she couldn't go on a playdate at her friend M's house today.  I tried to nicely explain, "Baby, they don't want you at their house after you spent last night throwing up!"  Hopefully we'll all stay well so she can attend a birthday party Saturday and church on Sunday.

We're super tired, and Bart is bringing home Chick Fil-A for supper, because no one feels like fixing a meal.  The poor dogs are even pooped.  Everyone was worried about our girl.  Lucy and Dory got up with us.  It reminded me of the few (horrible) times we had all-nighters with her when she was a teething baby.  You don't really realize dogs can have circles under their eyes until you go through a night like that with them.

Ladybug's nurses were hard at work last night.
The good news is that we spent a very restful day recuperating at home.  L has spent time pretending to ice skate and flying her Wonder Woman and Super Girl Action Dolls around the house.  She napped for four hours today, and hopefully will sleep through the night tonight.  Now, let's just pray that Bart and I don't catch this lovely bug.

Ladybug Turns 4!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I have not blogged in ages.  It's not that I've had nothing to blog about, but the desire hasn't really been there in a while. I think I consider no longer blogging at least once a year, but I have kept on doing it until lately.  I think last year I continued to blog because I felt called to blog about our miscarriage and how we've coped in the aftermath.   Perhaps I do have more to say along those lines and all the other ways God is working in my life, but right now I feel the need to be like Ross and Rachel and go on a break.   L is getting older, and I'm reevaluating how much of her life I want to share with the entire world.

Despite all that, last year I posted some questions that I asked L to answer, and I'm going to do this again.  I think it's awesome to be able to look back every year in order to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.

  • Favorite Color - Purple
  • Favorite Books - “Goodnight Moon,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” Purple "Bible,” and “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown”
  • Favorite Movie(s) - Frozen, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie, Cinderella (2015), and Star Wars:  The Force Awakens
  • Favorite TV Show(s) - Wonder Woman, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and PJ Masks
  • Favorite Song(s) - "Shut Up and Dance With Me", "Better When I’m Dancing", "Shake It Off", "Let It Go"  
  • Favorite Food - Nutella Toast, Bacon, Ham, Cheese Quesadilla, Pancakes and Syrup,
  • Favorite Snack - Cheese, Pretzels, Chips
  • Favorite Drink - White Cherry Gatorade
  • Favorite Place To Eat - Feltner Bros, Chick Fil A, Flying Burrito, Cracker Barrel
  • Favorite PJs - Red polka dotted ones and pink with red stripes
  • Favorite Sports - Football, basketball, baseball, and ice skating
  • Favorite Teams - Broncos, Cardinals, Razorbacks, Sooners, Royals
  • Favorite Toys - Legos, Play Doh, and Ally the American Girl Doll, and "my Play House outside."
  • Favorite Superhero or Princess: Wonder Woman and Cinderella
  • What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play and ride bike
  • When you’re not at home, where is your favorite place to be?  School, church, Target,  Bowling Alley, and Walmart
  • What is your favorite outfit?  Snoopy Sweater dresses and leggings
  • What are your favorite things to do with your friends?  Play PJ Masks
  • Best Friends - Elijah, Emily, Baylee, Piper, Brady
  • What do you want to do when you grow up? A Weather Girl (meteorologist)

Catch A Falling Child And Put It On A Riser

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

— It rained a monsoon today and Ladybug has been seeming a little run-down, not sick but starting to drag from having been so busy for weeks, so I decided to use the common sense that God blessed me with and stay home from Bible study this morning.  I hated to miss.  I've been attending "An Overview Of The Bible," basically a crash course on the whole Bible.  I have loved each week and have seriously brushed up on note-taking skills I haven't used since my lit classes in college.  It's been very interesting and informative.  I also love getting to spend time with women my age.  However, the heavy rain that I didn't want to fight traffic in made for a great reason to just stay home and be today.  I've been catching up on some housework, and Ladybug had been playing dolls and just having a fun day at home.  Considering I'm sharing the couch with two cuddly puppy-girls right now, I don't think Lucy and Dory are sad we stayed home.

— Speaking of busyness, the preschool choir  has their Christmas program in a few weeks.  The kids have started to practice on risers.  The first week they didn't pull out enough risers, and Ladybug didn't really have room.  Well, that made her think that she wouldn't get to sing with the choir.  She loves singing in choir, so her heart was broken.  She ran to me, crying her little eyes out.  Thankfully room was made for her, and all was well in the land of Ladybug.  Once practice was over, she asked me why she didn't get to sing a solo in the microphone.  I explained to her that solos are for the five-year-olds who've been in choir since they were three.  Meanwhile, my principle job is to stand behind the risers during both performances with a couple of my mom-friends in order to catch five-year-olds falling from the top risers.  Yes that is a job, and yes it has happened in the past.

— We need to find a new favorite place to eat as a family.  Our favorite burger joint changed the seasoning on their burgers, and neither Bart nor I can stomach it.  I think it's awful, and it makes me sad.  I don't really understand the need to change things, because business has obviously been great for the past five or six years.  To me, it's like the New Coke of hamburgers.  We've been told that we can order burgers without the new seasoning, but will they taste right?  I just don't know.  It makes me sad.  We love the business and the owners,  but I can't keep buying food that turns my stomach.

— Ladybug is probably a bigger fan of football than Bart or I.  She loves both the Razorbacks and the Sooners, but she has told me that she loves the Razorbacks "just a little bit more."  She had to go to bed before the end of either game Saturday night, so she spent her breakfast time Sunday morning watching the replays on the ESPN app on her iPad.  She then was looking at old pictures and learned that I did not attend either OU or the U of A.  She isn't old enough to understand that larger universities cost more money and was just brokenhearted that I went anywhere else to college.  Hopefully she'll be able to attend wherever she wants.

— Chores are calling my name, but as I have typed this I have been cuddled up with a snoring Dory.  I seriously hate to get up, but I need to do the thing!

This, That, And Ladybug Kissed A Boy

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

— I bought a pillow today.  Isn't that just the most exciting news you've heard in ages?  Well, it is for me.  I've been needing one for a while, and finally the pain in my neck from sleeping on pillows that stopped supporting my head and neck some time around the Sochi Olympics grew too much to endure.  So, after picking Ladybug up from school today we went to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy a pillow.  I consider it a successful trip, because we left with said pillow, and only a Frozen projection nightlight and a new pink blanket for Ladybug's bed in addition.  Honestly, you would have thought we had been in Target.  Anyway, I'm hoping it lasts at least a year before I have to replace it.  Right now, I just can't wait to sleep on it tonight.

— I worry that my neighbors think that I've been "entertaining gentlemen callers" over the past couple of months as Bart has been driving out-of-state rental cars and working out of town far more than he has been in his office.  Actually I worry that many people think certain things about our marriage since we both haven't worn our wedding rings in months either.  The latter compounded with the former makes it look like we're having problems.  Nope.  We just both need to have our rings sized and keep putting it off.  I refused to do it while it was so hot and humid this summer, because I know that would lead to the rings being sized too big due to swelling.  I knew it would have to happen some day.  It was inevitable that my size 4.5 finger would get a bit more plump over the years.

— Saturday we took Ladybug to watch The Peanuts Movie.  We all enjoyed it greatly, but she laughed all the way through the movie.  It really was good and sweet and stayed true to the heart of Peanuts, even if it was computer animated.  It will surely be added to our collection when it comes out on digital.  This was the fourth movie we've taken Ladybug to.  So far, we're three to one in good to bad movies.  Cinderella was awesome.  Inside Out was cleverly wonderful.  Peanuts was sweet and wonderful.  Our only disappointment was The Minion Movie.  The minions couldn't carry an entire movie any better than Joey Tribbiani could carry his own sitcom.   Anyway, watching The Peanuts Movie with Ladybug was worth missing what could possibly have been the most exciting Razorback game this decade.  Also, listening to Ladybug tell people that she watched "The Peanuts Movie" without enunciating the "t" in Peanuts is just priceless.  Our girl is really growing up.  I love we can actually take her to movies now!

—Ladybug is keeping us on our toes.  In Sunday School this week, she announced that during 2x2 (preschool worship) she kissed her friend Mr. E on the cheek.  I was shocked and slightly embarrassed but mostly laughed it off.  I haven't had a chance yet, but I do plan to apologize to Mr. E's mom in person, just in case he didn't appreciate Ladybug's burst of affection.  I was thankful that:  1) it happened at church and not a public school where she could have been suspended or some other nonsense, 2) I haven't heard any complaints about her assaulting him, and 3) knew that it was entirely innocent.  Her poor Daddy just had a more difficult time learning the news and gave her strict instructions not to kiss boys... EVER.  We'll just see how that goes.

— When she isn't going around kissing boys, Ladybug has been very busy displaying her *ahem* leadership skills... a lot.  Call her bossy, call her a leader.  Whatever you call her, she likes to tell people what to do.  We're working on making her sound less demanding and more polite.  At times I think it may take my entire life, but then she says somethings so very gentle and polite I wonder if I live with two Ladybugs.

 The weather turning has caused several old injuries of mine to ache.  In light of that, here's a little PSA for everyone. As the Christmas season approaches, you will undoubtedly be wrapping many gifts. When you do so, please be sure to not leave any scissors on a couch where they can fall between cushions. Impalement of the bottom is only a laughing matter for the spectators. Twenty-two years later, and my pride still hurts.

— Speaking of Christmas, Ladybug has finally reached an age where she can, in a way, make a very detailed list of what she wants for Christmas.  Number 1 on her list this year is an American Girl Doll.  She doesn't want any of the character dolls.  She has picked out Truly Me #47, the one she thinks closest resembles her.  She has also decided that the doll's name will be "Ally." I don't know where she came up with that name, but I like it and am thankful that it's not something like "Elsa" or "Chewbacca."  Ally also apparently needs a chocolate lab as a pet.  The chocolate lab is the closest thing American Girl has to her Dory Gale.  She's planning all sorts of adventures and clothes they will wear together.  She is such a planner.  As such, she's also learning that the whole of society doesn't always go along with her plans.  That is good too.  I want her to know disappointment and learn how to cope.  I don't want her to grow up like today's college students who can't even handle certain words being spoken and need safe areas with calming music, blankets, and play-doh.  I'm an active mom in my kid's life, but I am absolutely not a helicopter parent.
"Momma, I want this doll for Christmas, and I will name her Ally."

— We have scheduled for our friend Erin to take our family pictures on Saturday morning.  I keep waffling between different outfits for everyone to wear.  Looking at the forecast I'm thinking we should wear warm clothes and possibly thermal underwear.  Whatever, I hope they turn out better than L's school pictures did.  I guess it will depend on if the wind blows in her face.  That apparently makes her angry.  Keep your fingers crossed.

— It has come to my attention that my original title for this post seemed a little off.  It was "Pillows, Rings, and Ladybug Kissed a Boy."  My brother-in-law thought that could mean something else.  So... I changed it.  Seriously though, I know better than to post a blog when my eyes can't quite stay completely open.  That's why my blogging has been almost non-existent lately.  Our fall schedule leaves very little free time for coherent blog writing.  BTW, sleeping on the new pillow was AWESOME!

Driving Miss Ladybug

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Two days a week, we have to leave our house right around seven in the morning to beat traffic and get Ladybug to carline in time for preschool.  I'll admit that I do not enjoy getting up at the ghastly hour that I do to get her to preschool, but I imagine one way or another I would be getting up that early anyway.   It's a part of being a mom and, quite honestly, still managing to take a shower every day.  I do that, you know.  I have managed to shower pretty much every day since she was born.  I CAN happen.  Besides, the drive really isn't that bad.  Most of the time, it's downright enjoyable.

I'm this girl's chauffeur.  The one in the back is usually along for the ride.

If we weren't making that drive twice a week, Ladybug and I wouldn't be spending that time alone, save Dory, in the car together those mornings, talking about everything.  The car is a great place for kids to open up about things.  Ladybug wouldn't be able to share with me how much she loves staring out her window, watching the sun slowly rise all pink and orange in the eastern sky. There's something wonderful in hearing her call out, "The sun's coming up, Mama!  Look how beautiful it is today!  God made that!"  I'm just blessed by that.  It also doesn't miss my attention that it's ironic that the child who hates waking up in the mornings actually loves the sunrise.

I also wouldn't know how much Ladybug loves autumn and the changing colors of the leaves.  We've gotten so much joy lately, just watching for and pointing out trees with leaves lovely shades of red, orange, and yellow.  She gets so excited when she's the first to see a particularly pretty tree.  We wouldn't have that if I didn't get up a 5 am twice a week so we can drive to school together.

When we're not watching the sunrise or looking for leaves, we're listening to the local Christian radio station, KLRC, to hear music we could hear on my phone but also the traffic report, the weather, news, and just general positive commentary.  I always want to start Ladybug out each day on a positive note.  That's not always easy, considering the struggle we often have in getting her out of bed in the mornings.  However I feel that it's important that I impart a spirit of joy and of love to her before she goes out on her own without me those days.

Usually once we're off the Interstate, we switch to the iPod and listen to The Sound of Music Original Soundtrack.  Often Ladybug brings her Chewie with her, and I have heard Chewbacca singing "My Favorite Things." As we wait in carline, Dory watches from the window for squirrels and random people who'll pet her, while Ladybug is usually out of her carseat and bouncing to "The Lonely Goatherd."

So far, I love being her chauffeur.  I know that sounds crazy, and I'll probably regret saying so in five to ten years.  Right now though, it's awesome.  I never tire of discovering the awesomeness of the person who occupies the backseat of my Camry.  I loved the cute, fat baby with the spiikey blonde hair, but the sweet, silly, smart girl with the long golden hair is even better - even when she give looks like this in school pictures!  Seriously, a friend said she's the nicest kid in class.  You just can't tell here!  She definitely has my heart!

Photo credit:  Michelle Gonzalez Photography

Birthdays and Rooftops

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

First of all, HOW did we go from the picture on the left to the one on the right so quickly?

I feel like I have truly stepped into my role as Miss Ladybug's chaperone to her busy social schedule this fall.  Last weekend Ladybug and I had a full itinerary attending the birthday parties of two of her friends.  The first was a simple tea party for one of her best friends, Miss E, at Miss E's house.  It was just L, Miss E, and their friends P and S.  Miss E's mom has some crazy-awesome cake-dessert baking and decorating talents, and the girls had fun doing things like decorating cupcakes and playing while we moms got a chance to chat.  It was a very nice morning and lacked so much of the chaos that can happen at big parties - not that I hate big parties.

Saturday morning we did a little running around with Bart which included him renting a pressure washer to clean our shutters, fence, and whatever he felt the need to blast with water.  When we arrived home, he got started while I tried to get a little rest before the next birthday party.  About an hour before we were set to leave, Bart asked me if I wanted to hold the ladder for him while he cleaned the second story shutters.  I had walked out earlier and took note of how everything near Bart (including Bart) was wet and of the wind the force from the pressure washer created.  I had no desire to do that to my hair right before leaving the house, so I told him to wait until the next day, when I had time.  L and I were soon leaving, and Bart was supposed to be finishing what he was doing.

L had a good time at her friend Mr. B's Mario party, even though she is afraid of heights and wouldn't get on the inflatable slide.  We enjoyed a nice evening with friends before returning home.  Bart was sitting on his recliner when we got home, and I asked how he was.  That was when he confessed to having decided to climb up on the roof while no one else was home, getting scared (because Ladybug gets her fear of heights honestly), and just sitting, all wet and cold on the roof for around forty-five minutes until a neighbor came outside, and he could ask for help.

I'm a horrible wife, but had I been the one to discover Bart, I wouldn't have helped him down until I could take several incriminating pictures of him with my good camera.  I mean, seriously... How many times do I get such a golden opportunity?  It.never.happens.

In the world of good news, Arkansas finally won a football game this weekend, so B and L were both happy campers.  OU is 4-0 going into the Red River Rivalry.  Texas isn't good, but they always show up for this game, so I imagine at some point Saturday Ladybug will be telling me that I need to stop yelling at the TV.

I think I'm going to have buy stock in Spray and Wash and OxyClean, because Ladybug can't come home from Tuesday Morning Bible Study without a thick layer of dirt covering her entire body.  It's like she and her friends are playing the pigs that the Prodigal Son had to sleep with when he ran out of money.  For some reason she gets dirtier on Tuesdays than Monday and Wednesday, when she is at school... at church.  It's baffling, but I'm thankful that we go to a church that has such a great women's ministry.  Tuesday mornings are precious to me, and Ladybug enjoys getting to play more with her friends.  It's win-win for us.  It's worth the dirt.  Just remember, we have someone who can readily play the part of Pig-Pen in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  Yes, I made her take a picture.

Football, A Closet Full of Tissue, and JOY

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Last week I started and stopped probably at least three blog posts.  You see, we made it through THREE whole days of school before Ladybug and I both came down with a rotten case of sinusitis.   I don't want to place blame anywhere, but we're all pretty sure Satan's Flowers were the cause.  L managed to run just enough fever to warrant staying home from school on Wednesday, and we were both snotty slugs from midweek on.  It even prevented us from our yearly visit to the county fair so L could ride the ponies again.  She wasn't told she missed anything, so there wasn't a big loss there, but we both hated for her to miss school.  There's a chance I hated it more.

Saturday was the return of college football.  Well, actually Thursday night was, but I really only like watching on Saturdays unless it's Bowl Season.  Any more than that, and I do actually grow tired of it.  I was thankful our Sunday School class always holds a fantasy football draft party for the guys, and they watch the first game together.  L and I had fun dancing together and playing Princess Party, something we haven't done in ages.

Back to Saturday, we signed up for a free trial of Sling so we could watch the Razorback game on TV.  Probably the only channel we truly miss after cutting down our cable last winter is ESPN U.  It was awesome watching the Razorbacks actually play well again.  The OU game was pay-per-view so we just kept up with the scores on our phones.  I'm just going to say, thank goodness they won!!!  After the way last season just fell apart, I wasn't holding my breath.  Alas though, I love football season!  I love fall!  I love the cooler weather!  At least I will love the cooler weather when it arrives later this week.

Sunday I was well enough to go to church, but L was still pretty snotty so Bart stayed home with her. We had a small group in Sunday School, but L's friends asked where she was.  I love that her friends miss her, even the young man who calls her his "girlfriend."  Thankfully at this age "girlfriend" has the Sheldon Cooper definition of "a girl who is a friend."

Labor Day for me just meant that I did my Monday chores with Bart at home for the most part.  Sometimes it takes a lot to make sure every Monday is Clean Sheet Monday.  All three of us went to Sam's and grocery shopping together and somehow ended up buy SEVENTEEN boxes of facial tissue.  After last week's nasal olympics, we needed another six-pack of Puffs with lotion, Bart needed some slim boxes for his truck, then he picked up three boxes of Puffs with Vicks because L loves them and three boxes of Kleenex with some sort of cooling sensation.  We got home and had two bags of groceries and three of facial tissue - I kid you not.  I've had to get creative on how to store it.  Ok, it's not as much creative as just shoved in random places in the upstairs linen closet.

Yesterday was a blessing to me, as it was the start of our new year on 4W Tuesday Morning Bible Study.  This semester most of us are doing a six-week study by Margaret Feinberg called "Fight Back With Joy."  Focusing on Joy has been a goal of mine this year and has carried me through some difficult days where otherwise I might have faltered.  I love this quote,

“The reason we can experience joy is because of God’s fierce love. Joy flows out of God’s affection for us.”
Excerpt From: Margaret Feinberg. “Fight Back with Joy (Bible Study).” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/9Avk5.l

I'm already seeing differences and "joy bombs" all over the place.  We're always being asked to scale  our level of joy from 1 to 10.  I'm going to be honest.  Tuesday morning it was around 2 at most.  L was not in the mood to get ready for church.  She whined, she cried, she spit medicine on me, she got in trouble.  Once we were finally out the door and on our way, we had a discussion about her attitude in the mornings.  Between that and really praying for God to expand my capacity for joy, for patience with L, and for L to have a change of attitude, she got around great and was the sweet girl I love so dearly.  Right now I'm at around an 8 in joy.  There are far too many blessings around to let circumstances and little things steal my joy.

I still try to remember each day to right down or at least tell myself, "This is the day The Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."  After all, if we count each day as the blessing that it is, it's far more difficult to be pessimistic about it.

Today I started bringing one dog to each car line.  Since Dory is my morning girl, she got AM duty.  I had to force Lucy in the car, but she enjoyed PM duty as soon as she realized I wasn't taking her to the vet, the groomer, or to be boarded.  It's good for them to know that L is somewhere safe while she's away from us.  Both also love to people-watch and be told how pretty they are.

Well, I should feed my child something for dinner, so I'll bid you adieu for now.  Just appreciate the outfit my child wore to school today.  I love that she enjoys fun things like her shirt!

I wanted to add this little pic of part of our sunset.  God knows what He's doing.  There's no doubt in my mind of that.  Take heart y'all!  The God who creates the sunset and the little ladybugs on my weeping willow tree is the same God who loves you!

Mums: Satan's Flowers

Thursday, August 27, 2015

We have now survived TWO days of school, y'all.  TWO!  We're learning our groove of getting around in the mornings.  Yesterday was totally different from Monday, because Bart was in Little Rock.  That means I had NO help with the dogs or especially getting our non-morning person girl out of bed.  I made Dory wake her again, but Dory decided to curl up in bed with Ladybug.  We got around decently, eventually, but ran a little late and got into HEAVY traffic.  So, Lorelai was a little late to her second day of school.  I blame a lot of the slowness of getting around to the fact that L's allergies kicked into hyperdrive Tuesday night, and girl does not deal well with boogers.

I blame our sinus/ allergy problems on the flowers Bart for her first day of school.  They contained mums.  Mums, I believe, are Satan's flowers.  If not for my taking Zyrtec almost religiously, I am fairly certain that my eyes would have swollen shut Monday night.  As it is, Bart left home Tuesday morning congested, and Ladybug has had nasal congestion the past couple of days.  The flowers, pretty as they are, have been sent to the garage.

Back to Day 2 of school, while I was dropping off L Wednesday morning, I stopped by the office to talk to some friends and finally get a correct i.d. tag so I could start car line.  My first car line went smoothly until L started to get in the car and dropped into full drama mode. I managed to get her to tell me that she lost her lunchbox.  So, we held up the car line and found it right where she had been sitting with the other kids, waiting to be called.

All in all, I think things are going well.  Ladybug doesn't directly answer my questions regarding school, but she lets little things slip in conversation.  Like what the other kids do or how they hurt their teacher by not listening to her.  Right now, I'm fervently praying that she doesn't come down with the stomach bug that took down her bestie yesterday.  I imagine if she gets it, I will as well.  What with teaching Sunday School and everything else, ain't nobody got time for that!

Yesterday was National Dog Day, or something along that manner.  Lucy and Dorothy celebrated as they often do.  They watched for squirrels outside the windows, we played games in the back yard once L was home, and Dory went with us to Chick Fil A.  A young man thought she was so cute with her head hanging out the window, that he reached in to scratch her head.  Thankfully she was pleasant about it.  Most of the time they're friendly girls, but they're also protective of their family.

As it is, today is a yoga pants and ponytail day, and I'm not ashamed of it a bit.  I don't have to be anywhere until Sunday morning and may just choose not to leave the house at all.  Well wait, I have to take Bart to return his rental vehicle Saturday morning.  Oh well, at least we'll get a lunch out of that ordeal.  I HATE waiting at the car rental place.  The parking there is terrible, and I'm always having to move the car around, out of the way while waiting.

Yesterday had a pall over it once I learned of the horrendous shooting of a reporter and photog live on air yesterday morning.  It make me think of all of my friends who have put themselves in danger to cover stories, of each and every one those days we all worked in a television station with absolutely no security system whatsoever.  We had our share of close calls with unstable types.   It makes me thankful for the life I have now and the days I spend with this girl.

Very First Day of School... EVER!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yesterday morning I woke up at 5:15, showered, dressed, and prayed a special prayer for my Ladybug.  I prayed that she would not be scared or sad.  I prayed that she would be joyful, brave, and good on that, her very first day of school... EVER.  Then I had Lucy and Dory go upstairs to wake her, because she's nicer when they do it for me.

Bart got up early to help get her dressed and just to see her before we left.  We had already decided that I would drop her off alone, because it would be weird for both of us to.  We wanted it to be as painless as possible, and quite honestly I don't know if soft, old Daddy could have done it without tears.  Often he's the more sentimental of the two of us.  I mean, HE'S the one who posted a picture of her from the day she was born on Facebook yesterday.

Once we were all dressed and gussied up, we ventured into the back yard to take the first of many First Day Of School pictures with a sign I made on all on my own (which is why it wasn't centered to Bart's tastes).  Lucy and Dory were gracious enough to photobomb one pic by both urinating in the frame.  I didn't process that one from beyond RAW.  I like to think I have a little taste.

Normally when L and I ride in the car together, there's a fight over what we listen to.  Yesterday, as soon as I figured out how to work things in the loaner Rav4 I had while the Camry had some recall work done, I played all of the music from VBS this past summer.  She loves it, and it's basically Praise & Worship music on a case of Red Bull.  The way she sang all the way to school, I chose wisely.

When we got there, I chose to forgo car line, because it was Ladybug's first day (and my tag was misspelled).  We ran into my old friend, Dana and her son B.  B is in Ladybug's class, so we had them take their picture together outside the church and went in together.  I was worried L would get upset when I left her.  After all, she had been asking me for the past couple of weeks if I would miss her while she would be at school.  However, L and B both gave their moms a curt, "Bye Mom!"  Knowing well enough to leave while things were good so as to not make them bad, we left our babies and checked them in for the day.

As I drove that monstrosity back home, I couldn't help but notice how empty the back seat was, and how quiet the house was when I came home to Lucy and Dory.  The poor dogs missed their girl and were depressed.  Both spent time in her bed Monday.  People ask what I did, well...  I did housework and got my car back from the dealership.  That pretty much took up the hours.  I missed her, but after three and a half years of being attached at the hip, I haven't minded the alone time.  Besides, it's only two days a week right this year.

The thing is, we're blessed that our church offers a preschool.  Ladybug doesn't know all of the kids in her class, but she's friends with several after having known them since they were in the baby room on Sundays.  We know most of the people who work at the preschool from church.  I couldn't have chosen a better place to begin Ladybug's educational journey. The best part is that she didn't want me to pick her up when the day was over.  She loved it and can't wait to go back tomorrow.

To celebrate this momentous day for our entire family, I took her to Build-a-Bear and got her a reasonably priced Wonder Woman dog.  After all, she is my Wonder Woman, and I want her to conquer school like Wonder Woman conquers bad guys.  Bart brought a vase of flowers, all purple and pink (her favorites) when he came home early from work.  Is she going to get gifts the first day of school every year?  No, but this was a big day for all of us.   It was a happy day.  No tears were shed by any of us.  I think I'm saving the tears for when we drop her off at college in fifteen years.  Wait, I think I'm crying right now.  No, no.  It's just my allergies because of the mums in Ladybug's bouquet.

Keeping It Classy Since 1980

Monday, August 17, 2015

A week from now I will have already dropped off and picked up my only baby from her very first day of preschool.  This week we're taking it easy, just chilling together before the bid day arrives.  I am completely a jumble of emotions over this.  I'm thrilled, I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm nostalgic, I'm sad, and I'm completely perplexed by the complexity of modern day packed lunches.

L and Chewy enjoying a morning of Disney Junior before our life is far more scheduled.

— I haven't packed a school lunch in probably twenty-three or twenty-four years.  It's probably been since the first George Bush was in office that I've bothered with it.  When I did take my lunch, it contained a ham and cheese sandwich safely placed in a ziplock sandwich bag, some sort of Frito Lays potato chips, a Little Debbie snack cake of some sort, and some sort drink like Hi-C Ecto Cooler, Kool Aid Burst, or my favorite a Squeezit.  If none of those were available, I would buy a chocolate milk at school.  Maybe occasionally there would be some apples or grapes, but not usually.  All of this was encased in a Jem and the Holograms lunchbox curtesy of Aladdin.

Today, so I've learned, lunches are something far more elaborate.  Milk is supplied at school, and I'm pretty sure Michelle Obama herself would breath fire if anyone wanted chocolate.  We must have a protein, dairy, fruit, vegetable, and a starch.  So, Ladybug is going to have either ham or chicken, cheese, apple slices, baby carrots, and crackers.  She will not have her food lovingly packed in Ziplock bags.  Oh no, I've ordered these things called Bento boxes to place her food just so in her personalized Wonder Woman lunch box from Pottery Barn Kids.The big question will be if she eats any of it.  She is a notoriously picky eater, but thankfully she is trying new things every day.  I'm not at all against my daughter eating a balanced meal, but I kind of hate how the government has overstepped their authority in dictating what I can and cannot pack in my child's Wonder Woman lunchbox.

— Beyond all of my emotions regarding Ladybug starting preschool, I have suddenly found myself in the position of mom who volunteers for things.  Ladybug is starting Children's Choir at church next month.  I was of the opinion that since I would be taking her every week, I might as well help.  That isn't the biggest thing I've volunteered for though.  Our church is in serious need of parents who will step up and teach Sunday School, especially in the preschool department.  Ladybug's teachers last year did a great job, especially considering they had roughly twenty or more 2-3 year olds every week.  We even started a monthly rotation of parents coming in to help control the chaos.  When it was time for them to move up to the 3 yo class and get new teachers, they needed enough teachers to be able to split the group into two classes.

I saw request after request for teachers, because they only had one out of four needed and I prayed about it.  I really didn't want to leave our awesome Sunday School class or leave Bart alone in there, and I honestly don't feel equipped to teach preschoolers.  I prayed about it and prayed about it, then told the preschool director that I would step up.  Thankfully my friend  Kerry did too, so we're muddling through this together.  I never thought I would volunteer to help a preschool class. I've always related better with teenagers.  I even studied secondary education in college.  However God prepares us for where we need to be. I have spent a lot of time with almost all of these kids, and I just love them.  I think God has been preparing my heart for this.  They're a great group of kids and doing great in the smaller class setting.  It's going to be a great year, but please pray we can teach them about Jesus and not screw up royally.

— On a lighter note, Sunday as we were driving to church, Bart mentioned that it sounded like we had some sort of rope flapping against the car.  I looked down and noticed that I had shut the car door on my dress.  Ever so discreetly I pulled it out of the door.  I asked Bart if the flapping stopped, and he asked what it was.  I told him, "Oh, that was just the bottom of my dress, flapping down I-49."  That's me, folks.  Adrienne Gilbreath, keeping it classy since 1980.

So It Is August

Monday, August 3, 2015

And so it is now August, the month our family has simultaneously looked forward to and also somewhat dreaded.  Ladybug starts preschool three weeks from today.  As I turned the Frozen calendar in her bedroom from July to August this weekend, I pointed out her first day of school to her, "This day is your first day of school."  That revelation was met with a resounding, "YES!  I'm going to LOVE that day!"  I'm thrilled that she's so excited about starting school.

It wasn't all that long ago I was worried she would never want to go to school or do anything away from home.  I feared she would be so painfully shy that being out would be just miserable for her. Thankfully, I think, she has come out of her shell almost entirely in the past year and resembles more the happy baby she was before teething and fear periods took over for a while I was worried that she would have a difficult time making friends, but so far I've had several people say that their kids happily tell them that Ladybug is their friend.  Of course so far she's only been places where she's comfortable.  I'm hoping that she can take this comfort and confidence with her wherever she goes.

So far her biggest worry about starting school is, "I don't have any school shoes yet."  This was said after her declaration that she would love the day she starts school.  Bart and I took her shopping for clothes this weekend, buying just about everything she could need to wear until at least January, but decided to wait on shoes to see what she would need to go with her clothes.  I assured her that she would have probably several new pairs of shoes and boots before long.  I have a tree-year-old clothes horse, y'all.  She's very much my child in that she loves to be comfortable at home, but if she's going to be out and seen, she wants to look good.  She's definitely more into accessories than I've ever been.

More important than being more stylish than me, I love that at the age of three and a half, she is fairly confident already, able to make friends easily, and is just generally outgoing.  I sometimes wonder if would have been more comfortable making friends and being in new situations during my elementary school years had I been given the exposure to other children and experiences that Ladybug has already had.  There was no preschool in Heavener, Oklahoma until I was in the third or fourth grade, just head-start for some.  I had  a few occasional neighborhood friends, but at church there were only a couple of other kids there my age, and they weren't very regular attendees.  My sister was so much older than me that as a child, I could relate with teenagers and young adults far better than my own peers.  I was sometimes accused of being an adult in a child's body.  I don't think that I was ever truly comfortable in my own skin until high school, and then that was only as much as any teenage girl can be.

I want her to be confident and comfortable in her own skin, but not conceited. I love that yesterday at church a little girl in L's class said, "She's my friend!"  I want her to be popular, but not in the manner so many young girls are.  I want her to be known as a friend.  I want her to be known for being kind, friendly, and caring to all.  I hope she never loses that.

Meanwhile, my only baby is starting her educational career soon.  I'll try not to get too sentimental this next month.  Maybe it's a good thing our church is hosting a night devoted to anxiety the week L starts.  I'm thinking we'll do a lot of celebrating that weekend, with a cookout, maybe some leftover sparklers, and possibly a Razorback Volleyball game, since Ladybug seems to think she's into hat now.  Goodness, can you believe this baby is going to preschool this month?  At least we've broken her book-eating habit.

Build-A-Wookie and Amazeum Fun

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Friday Bart took a vacation day so we could all finally go to the new Scott Family Amazeum (no relation to me) in Bentonville.  While we were out, we also let Ladybug take her money to Build-A-Bear in order to build her very own Chewie, as she had decided earlier in the week.

Building Chewie
Since Ladybug's money was all in the form of quarters, Bart and I assumed we would pay for her Chewie and just keep her quarters.  However, after thinking it over and remembering how she paid for her Cracker Barrel rocker a couple of years ago, I decided to cash out her quarters, put the dollar amount in her purse along with a gift card we acquired for half price on her birthday, and a coupon that came with the mailer that set this all in motion.  I wanted her to hand over her own money to the cashier, to know that she had to exchange what she had been saving for her Chewie.  I wanted this expedition to be a teachable moment.  Whether or not it was, I may never really know.  I will say that she did show some prudence before we got there.  Since it was the first day they were to have the new Star Wars stuff, Bart asked Ladybug if she would buy something else if they didn't have a Chewbacca or save her money.  She assured him that should such a thing occur, she would save her money.  We were both impressed with her maturity.

Except for our visit to the BABW in Busch Stadium that resulted in our bringing home Cardinal, all of our visits to BABW have been for Ladybug's birthday, on weekdays in the iciness of winter.  Each time, we were the only ones in the store.  That wasn't so for a Friday in July.  It was super busy, which almost sent my large-crowd wary husband and daughter both running.  I'm laughing as I type this because they BABW's crowd was nothing compared to what would be at the Amazeum.  Anyway, L still wanted to buy her Chewie, so we waited for each and every kid in front of us, it seemed like a good fifteen in all, had their animals stuffed, given a heart, sounds, and you know how it goes there.

The bath tubs were occupied by teenagers I personally felt got much less enjoyment than my three-year-old would have, so we just searched for accessories.  Pictures showed Chewie with a crossbow, but Ladybug found a light saber that lights up and makes the sound and decided that Chewie must have some Jedi in him.  Then we let her do most of the typing on his birth certificate before she forked over her money without much fuss.

I was worried, because it seemed she didn't have as much fun as she had anticipated due to the crowd.  None of that mattered though.  She had her Chewie.  She introduced him to Cardinal in our car and has taken him everywhere with her since.  Friday night Lucy brought Ladybug her Chewie that she got for Christmas from Cousin Apache to show her they both have one, I kid you not.  Who would have ever thought that Wookies would be so popular in our house?

The Amazeum
We ate lunch, then headed over to the Amazeum.  We could tell as soon as we got to the parking lot that it was going to be busy.  I reminded Bart that it had only been open a matter of days, and that lots of people don't work on Friday afternoons.  The apprehension of all the people at BABW grew by about a hundred fold.

The good news is that Ladybug is a kid who likes to do things with her hands, so the Amazeum is just the place for her.  She loved making balls dance in the air, banging a wall of percussion instruments, painting and cleaning a window, pretending to milk a cow, picking pretend apples and eggs, and especially shopping at the replica self-serve Walmart.  Once she started doing things, the crowd didn't bother her a bit.  Bart, on the other hand, mentioned he wasn't too impressed with the place.  I asked him, "What would impress you then?"  Then he admitted it was pretty amazing, just the crown was a lot for him.  It was agreed upon that we will have to go again once school starts on a Thursday then.

I would suggest getting tickets to work in the Hershey's Lab.  We wanted to, but the line was far too long.  Actually, if you live anywhere near here, I would suggest buying a membership.  We waited to do so, because we wanted to make sure we would really use it.  I think that after watching Ladybug play "pretend Amazeum" over the weekend, we will use a family membership quite often, and I plan to buy one before we go again.

We capped off the evening by having dinner at one of Ladybug's favorite establishments, Cracker Barrel.  Even though it was so hot you could probably fry an egg on a sidewalk, we had a fun day together as a family.

In Which I'm Concerned About Doc McStuffins' Career Change

Thursday, July 23, 2015

— It has come to my attention that as a mom, I often have to pull rabbits out of a bag of tricks in order to get Ladybug to comply with me.  Case in point, a couple weeks ago I took Ladybug in to our local Pigtails and Crewcuts to trim her dead-ends.  While she was busy flying her airplane like the Red Baron, a mom and daughter came in with an interesting dilemma.  The daughter, who looked all of eight years old, had been at a sleep-away camp and had decided not to brush or comb her hair at all for the entire week.  I think they ended up having to cut her hair super-short it was so tangled.  We've also been reading a very abridged version of Anne of Green Gables, and she remembers very distinctly that Anne had to cut her hair off after accidentally dying in green.  I have since reminded Ladybug of this every day when she doesn't want her hair brushed.  She knows that her hair is very beautiful and doesn't want it cut off "like Anne of Green Gables."  Hey, I'll use whatever means necessary to get my stubborn child to comply.

—  I saw yesterday on Facebook where Doc McStuffins is going to shift her field of practice from toys and stuffed animals to pets.  I told Bart, and he was concerned she would be cutting up animals and encouraging kids to so.  I reminded him that Doc is a cartoon, and I don't think they're going to go all Dexter on a Disney Junior show.  I don't even think they'll go all Grey's Anatomy and do an exploratory surgery.  To further our delusional concern, let me say that I hope that Doc has at least completed a fellowship program at a reputable, teaching veterinary hospital.  You know, preferably more Seattle Grace than Mercy West.

It does not escape my notice that I'm so concerned about a cartoon Ladybug may or may not even watch.  Though she had a Doc McStuffins birthday party a year and a half ago, she almost always complains when Doc comes on TV these days.  I assume she feels it is beneath her.  She is more of a Sofia the First girl in the Disney Junior way of thinking.  That, and the ever present Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Oh, she'll play Doc McStuffins, but not often on her toys.  Why should she do that when she has a Mama and a Lucy and Dory dog to heal?  At any rate, it looks like Doc got some new clothes out of the change in specialty.

—The other morning I was in the mood for some of my favorite comfort food, a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.  Ladybug and I picked up a bag of assorted chips on our last Walmart run, and I should have listened to her when she mentioned fire being on the Doritos bags, because those were not regular Nacho Cheese Doritos, the were Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos.  I found this out after eating several then welling up in tears because they were so hot.  I thought I was going to die.

I was born with a condition called "Geographic Tongue," a chronic condition with no real treatment because most of the time, it's not a problem.  Though I love the taste of really hot, spicy foods, I've learned to stay away from them due to the painful whelps they cause me.  It's sort of like how I love the taste of shrimp, crab, and any other assortment of shellfish but don't really care for the abdominal cramps or my throat closing up.  Anyway, Frito-Lay needs to do more to distinguish between the two types of Nacho Cheese Doritos with their packaging, because that was not a nice surprise.  The flames coming from the chips are not enough warning.  I'm thinking an alarm that screams, "Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!" would be more appropriate.

— We recently received a mailer from Build-a-Bear Workshop which Ladybug promptly took and obsessed over.  One side was geared toward girls with something all pink, purple, and glittery called the "Honey Girls."  The other side was geared toward boys with new Star Wars bears.  This just goes to show you that girls often not only dislike the pink-washed alternatives to things businesses think girls want, but that can outright hate them.  Ladybug loves Star Wars, not some version where Princess Leia wears a pink dress and tiara.  I wish toy companies would learn that girls neither need nor want to have a coat of pink paint slapped on something to love it.  Ladybug has already decided to take her own money to BABW tomorrow and purchase her very own Chewbacca, complete with sound.

—  The other morning I was told a very emphatic "I don't like you!" by Ladybug when I threatened to take away her little V-Tech camera she was playing with when I told her to go upstairs and put on her shoes.  I responded with a cool, "I can live with that."  I can live with her being mad at me, not liking me, and even sometimes not loving me as she says because,  1). I know that she doesn't really mean it, and 2). I'm her mom, not her best friend.  I like that we're buddies, but I'm her mom first.

—  I finished reading "The Astronaut Wives Club" this morning.  Now I'm looking for my next book to devour.  Any suggestions?  I've been thinking about reading "The Right Stuff," but frankly I like looking at the Mercury Seven and the other astronauts from the wives' eyes.

Hanging Crooked, Reading Books, and Doing Nothing

Sunday, July 19, 2015

— There is a rousing rendition of "Do Lord" being sung in the play room while I type this, because I finally added Ladybug's cd of VBS songs to her iPad this morning.  I am ecstatic that she loved VBS so much that she wants to hear the songs all of the time.  However as an adult, I can only hear those adrenaline-charged, repetitive songs maybe ten times a day... each before I need an Excedrin.

— I have finally gotten around to putting new pictures and frames up all through our house.  This endeavor has also included purchasing a new bulletin board and a new dry erase board for the kitchen.  It's the best time for those new items, because everything is stocked and at great prices for Back To School.  Anyway, after buying the stuff to replace the old, dingy stuff in the kitchen, I got a bug up my bonnet to hang them myself.  You see, I realized that I am 35 years old and have never really hung a picture up on my own in any of my homes. I don't think I've hung anything up since my Monet prints in my college dorm room.  I was really industrious and even learned how to use Bart's drill so I could do it right.  Once I was finished I realized something.  Do you know why I never hang pictures (or anything else)?  I don't see straight and even using a level, those two boards are as crooked as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  This is of course driving Bart, the perfectionist, insane, and it won't be too long before he corrects my mishaps.

— As you know, I anticipated "Go Set a Watchman" for months, so I read it in a day.  That said, once I was finished reading it, I felt that void you do after you finish a book you really love.  Friday I decided to start reading "The Astronaut Wives Club:  A True Story" by Lily Koppel.  It's the book that inspired the TV series by the same name that Bart and I have been addicted to this summer.  I'm taking it a little slower with this book, but I really like learning about the women behind our first astronauts, the Mercury Seven.  Let me tell you, they put up with a lot more than most wives would these days.

— A huge part of me has felt that I should start back to writing rather than get stuck in another book for a while.  The thing is, it's not easy writing fiction and taking care of Ladybug.  She's going to be in preschool soon, so I hope to spend part of that time writing.  Then I can get lost in my character's lives until it's time to go wait in car line without feeling guilty for ignoring my child for my own imaginary friends.

— I took our "Week of Nothing" very seriously.  Ladybug and I left the house to buy groceries and that was about it.  It was the perfect week for this, since we're finally having a normal (meaning HOT!!!) summer.  We went to the mall Friday night with Bart to shop for school clothes for Ladybug.  I can hardly believe we're buying her school clothes, even for two-day-a-week-preschool.

—  I mentioned previously how nice Ladybug and I have had it for the past three and a half years, just taking life slowly.  I just want to go on the record by saying that I have loved it.  There's nowhere else I would have rather been.  I was listening to an old podcast of the Big Boo Cast by Big Mama and Boo Mama, and they were talking about how they purposefully don't schedule to be away from home as much as they could, because that's where their people are, and they don't want to miss anything.  That's how I feel about my time so far as a SAHM.

I remember a friend who had had a baby a little over a year after I had L asked me how I could stand to be home all the time.  I'll admit that the first six months to a year was hard, because little babies don't do much but need you.  Then you know what?  In between all the teething and the potty-training, it got really good.  Ladybug will probably phase out naps after starting preschool.  I'm going to miss our mid-day nap ritual where I read to her before her nap.  We've read everything from Green Eggs and Ham to The Secret Garden together this way.

I think of Ladybug's first steps, her first words, and all the goofball moments that have and will occur.  I never wanted someone else to text me pictures and videos of those moments, I wanted to experience them myself, and I did.  I may still be driving the same car we bought eight years ago, we may not take many vacations, but what I have been given is so much greater.  Ladybug has also benefitted too.  She has had this great life that hasn't been overly scheduled.  She's been able to just be a kid, playing on her own.  She even has an imaginary friend, AND she's very sociable with other kids.  I just can't imagine missing this.  I love spending my days with my smart, silly, sweet goofball.  It has been a most precious time, and I'm glad she's only going to be in school two days a week so far.

Climbing To a Week Of Nothing

Monday, July 13, 2015

Y'all, last week I worked Vacation Bible School for the first time in almost twenty years.  The last time I worked VBS was either the summer before my senior year of high school or the one before my freshman year in college.  Either way, it was at the church in the little Oklahoma town where I grew up, and knew most of the kids.  In size and just the change in technology over the past two decades, this experience was totally different from ones in the past.  Last week we had 600-700 kids each day, and though I was mostly just responsible for the four girls I was Crew Leader of, it was a little overwhelming at times.  It was very fitting that our theme was Everest:  Conquering Challenges With God's Mighty Power.

It came to my attention when I went to a meeting the week before VBS, that most adults choose to do something other than be a Crew Leader, leaving the job mostly to our awesome youth.  I'll admit that it's tiring taking the kids to each of their stations, to the bathroom, and being involved with them as much as possible.  I think I would get bored, telling the same thing over and over again to each rotation of kids if I just did one thing like crafts, Bible, or Kid Vid.  I liked getting to know my four girls and learning what they learned each day.  It was really great that one of my girls was L's best friend.  It was her first VBS, so it was good she was with someone she knew.  I kind of loved the whole week and plan to do the same next year.

Ladybug loved her first VBS experience too.  The three-year-olds got to do just about everything the older kids got to do, and I picked her up early a couple of days so she could enjoy the last time of worship and music while the kids' parents picked them up.  Friday night she declared that it had been "the best week!"  We've spent a lot of time listening to the cd I bought her there and looking at all of her Bible Buddies on her iPad.

It was a tiring week, especially after the chaos that was our Fourth of July.  All three of us have been battling sinus and allergy issues that I'm sure cropped up because of our day without air.  We planned to go to a Natural's game last night with our Sunday School class, but kept forgetting to buy tickets.  In the end, it worked out because we really just needed the evening at home together after being constantly on the go last week.

In fact, our entire weekend was a little low-key.  Bart grilled Friday night, and we toasted marshmallows.  Saturday we took L to see Minions.  FYI, wait to rent it.  L liked it, but it was totally direct-to-video worthy.  I would rather have watched Inside Out again.  Last night, we ended up playing a game of Trouble last night as a family, and I learned that Ladybug is calculating and vindictive.  I sent her home once, at the beginning of the game.  Next thing I know, she has all of my pieces blocked in and let Bart win.  She told me she did it because I was "playing mean."  Anyway, I think it's time she learned chess or Risk.

After last week was so crazy, I've declared this week a Week of Nothing.  Actually, it's a week of me slowly catching up on all of the housework that didn't get taken care of last week.  However, we're going to try to slow down for the rest of the summer.  It came to my attention that Ladybug and I have had a pretty nice time of it together these past three and a half years.  She starts preschool next month, and life is going to be different soon.  I'm going to enjoy these days of Mickey Mouse, mornings playing outside, and our current routine of freedom as long as possible.

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