heart in the clouds

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Riddence 2009 :)

Well I almost forgot my password, it's been so long since I logged in...ooops. Seriously though, October and November were so jam packed with photo sessions, I barely had time to breathe. But, I loved every minute of it and I am looking forward to spring to do it all over again.

I don't think I can ever remember a year with so much grief and sorrow packed into 52 weeks as this year and I'm ever hopeful that 2010 will not follow that same pattern. We lost so many people we loved this year and though I absolutely believe they are in a better world with Christ, I still miss them dearly in this world.

So here's to you my dear friends who are celebrating a New Year and a New Life:
Angela Cox -I can still hear you laugh and I can still see your smile.
David Meade- I can still hear your wit and sarcasm and my blue office walls remind me of the work you put into them everyday!
Alecia Ward - I still think of you everytime I go to Walmart and see some choice "fashion" bloopers. I still hear your laugh and sarcasm and how you always were so interested in my life.
Joe Hughes - I'll never forget how you made me feel so at home in your home and in your family during my college years at OSU.
Leroy Cravens - I can still see your sweet face sitting at the back of the church on a Wed. night waving at me as I sang.
Malinda Bowman - Wow, I have so many memories...starting Collegiate CattleWomen with you at OSU, visiting you during your illness, seeing your positive outlook even in the worst of times...your faith has inspired me.
Jean McCoy - David's aunt was a special lady and we were shocked to lose her this week. I still remember her hugs and smiles and hospitality.

Aside from all the sadness, there has been plenty of joy....David finished his MBA; Zachary started preschool and wow is he smart. Zachary also moved up into the official boy's gymnastic's program at Legacy and WOW, he's so strong and so talented. We hope he continues to enjoy it there.

We've met new friends, reconnected with old friends and tried our best to maintain friendships with all we can. We were blessed to spend time with my mom and sister for an extended time around Thanksgiving and it was just what I needed. Made me realize once again how much I miss home.

Well friends, I hope you're holding your family close and not taking anything or anyone for granted as you go into 2010. May you be blessed beyond meausre and fully experience the grace and power of God in this coming year.!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mary and baby....Ryker?

Our hairstylist's name is Mary and she's been cutting Z's hair since he was barely two. She's struggled with fertility but finally God blessed her with a healthy baby last week! Z's been to her salon several times during the pregnancy and we talked about the baby a lot. He's also begged me to read the Bible story about Mary and baby Jesus a lot in the past few months...it's about the only Bible story he wants to hear at this point.

So last Friday we were driving to St. Joe East to see Mary and the baby and I told Z he couldn't go in because they weren't letting kids under 18 in anymore with the swine flu being so widespread. He was miffed and didn't understand and I finally figured out why.....

Z: I want to go in with you!
Me: Sorry, they just won't let kids in the hospital right now, but I'll tell Mary you said hello.
Z: NO, I want to see the baby Jesus, mommy!
Me: Oh no, baby this isn't the baby Jesus, Mary's baby's name is Ryker
Z: No it's not!
Me: Yes, it is.
Z: No, I don't like Ryker, I like Jesus!

After awhile I THINK I finally helped him understand the difference, but he was digging in his heels pretty good on this one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It's pretty mind baffling to watch a boy grow up. Since I grew up mostly in a house of girls, all this is quite new to me. I didn't even know my brothers until I was nearly grown myself, so that didn't prepare me for this either. Regardless it's becoming very clear to me that boys are just boys and no one really has to teach them to be boys.

The interest in all things cars, trucks, trains, airplanes and imitating loud and proud animals hasn't surprised me. I'm quite used to Z running through the house in full lion mode trying to scare anything that will pay attention to him. What I'm not used to is the "man"itude. That's my new word for the day...combination of man and attitude...manitude :) It's the only way I can describe the next few scenarios. I think all boys adopt the manitude at different ages and mine has gotten a full dose early on. It's all prety humorous to witness, especially when you realize it's completey genetic and inherant.

We tried to go to the new Cracker Barrel in Nicholasville yet again. And again, the wait was 45 minutes, which is just a no-go with a three-year-old boy with manitude, no matter how good the mac n cheese promises to be. So we went across the road to Bob Evan's. We had explained to Z over and over again that we couldn't go to CB because it was just too crowded - our first mistake I suppose.

Before the hostess could really ever greet us, Z started talking to her and informed her that "We came here cuz Crackah Bare was too crowded." Nice, where did he learn such tact? Well she thought that was pretty funny and told him she thought he was just too cute. At which point, he put his hand in his coat pocket and said "AND...I have money!" He pulled out a quarter and a penny to show her, but she couldn't see that, she was too busy laughing her head off, along with people behind the counter who kept saying "Did he really just say that?" Umm, yes he did. Apparently no one has to tell little boys that some girls are impressed by money. But I guess I don't have to worry, no goldigger would get too serious about 26 cents, right?

Fast forward a week or so and Z is busy trying to stuff his foam alaphabet puzzle squares into a paperlike backsack freebie that I brought back from MOPS convention. The only problem was the foam squares were wider than the sack and it began to tear. Z came to me and told me to "FIX IT MOMMY!" He was distraught and there was really no way to fix it right...it was torn and I'm not going to sew paper. I kept trying to tie the cords in a way that would make it appear fixed, but it wasn't working and so then came another MANitude gem "Mommy? Do you need a man to fix it?" WHAT....I asked him to repeat it because surely I had not heard that right and besides I'm pretty much the fix it person around our house anyway. It's not strange to see me with a drill, hammer, screwdriver...whatever. So sure enough he said it again....do you need a MAN to fix it? Well, I replied, abosolutely NOT!

I managed to rig that thing up, I had to at that point. When I was finished I called him back over and said "LOOK, a WOman fixed it!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

What happens at convention stays at convention

Okay, just returned yesterday from MOPS convention in Nashville. It was amazing, uplifting, motivating, challenging and exhausting all at the same time. The music was indescribable, just completely off the charts good. It was great to spend quality time with other moms like Sharyl, Gina, Holly, Jana, Sarah, Lisa, Amber and new friend Betsy! We don't often get extended periods to just talk without being interrupted by little voices or tugs on our clothing. I think though that we all missed those interruptions and tugs more each day we were gone though. I'll keep parts of the experience with me for a long time and no I can't talk about everything because well, some things are better kept among mommies :)

While I won't go into detail about the mommy talks, I will recall a few funny stories regarding my phone calls home to Z. The first night was hard for him and he really was upset with me because I was not going to be there to hug him goodnight, but he trudged on and so did I. He kept telling me he didn't want me to be in Nashville and asking if it was far away...in his mind, him upstairs and me downstairs is sometimes considered far away, so this was a stretch. I reassured him that Deanna's mommy, Ezekiel's mommy, Eli's and Mac's mommy were with me (he knows all these ladies pretty well so I thought that would help. He was still pretty sad and I could barely take the broken up quality in his voice.

Z: Mommy, when you comin' home?
Me: Saturday
Z: Today is Thursday?
Me: yes, then it's friday and then Saturday
Z: When it's Saturday you will be home?
Me: yes, that's what I said.
Z: Are you coming home today?

That circle went around about three times, but he finally accepted it...at which point he told me he was sick, he swallowed a rock and he needed me to come home and take him to the doctor so his throat wouldn't hurt.

So Friday was a little better. I called to tell him goodnight and things were better. In the middle of the conversation it's as if a little light bulb went on in his head "OH MOMMY, Tomorrow IS Saturday!" haha, gaining such a good grasp of the days of the week.

Saturday morning, I called again during a break to see what he was up to and began telling me how his fan blade were broken and he needed to get a ladder and climb up there and fix them. How I needed to go get some batteries for the fan because it was just not working. I explained that ceiling fans don't need batteries. When he asked me what then do they need, I made the mistake of saying "electricity." I should've known that would lead into 15 minutes of question and answer about electricity....he was so interested in learning how it gets from the box in the office to the fan in his room and how it runs through the walls, etc. I was at a loss for explaination at times and just hoping he'd be satisfied with what I said. Ifinally had to cut him off and tell him to go ask daddy hahaha. Sorry David :)

When convention ended, we were on the road and calling our families to let them know how long we'd be and Z answered the phone.

Z: what are you doing mommy?
Me: Driving home, just leaving Nashville.
Z: No you're not.
Me: ummm, yes I am.
Z: No mommy, your car is HERE!
Me: OH well I'm in Miss Gina's car.
Z: you're not driving.
Me: no, you're right, I'm not.
Z: seeeee

(perceptive little cuss isn't he?)

I put him on speaker phone and told him Miss Gina and Miss Sharyl were in the car with me. He told them he could see the moon...Z: "Well part of it, part of it is lighted and part of it isn't." Too funny, I guess it was a half-moon; we couldn't see since we were about to drive into a torrential downpour.

Z asked me where Miss Sharyl was after I took him off speaker. I told him she was in the backseat and he told me I needed to get her for him. I'm not quite sure what he talked to her about, but I'm fairly sure it was entertaining.

I got home at midnight, so too late to sit and talk with Z, but I went in and hugged and kissed him in his sleep...he sighed and was so peaceful. I couldn't wait until Sunday morning. I was just really anticipating his excitement to see me...expecting that whole running and screaming mommy scenario...well, not so much.

He came in my room and then started screaming that he didn't want to get in bed with me, didn't want to cuddle with me and didn't want to see me...ugh what a let down. I told him fine, I'd just go back to Nashville...took me actually starting to get out of bed to follow through with the threat before he came to hug me...welcome home...right?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Clean Sweep...Toys R'Us, we ain't

For the past couple months, we have been dealing with a very troubling attitude from Z. He wants to be in control and every attempt we make to show him he's not, he shows us how much he doesn't like it with all the ire and contempt you'd expect from a strong-willed 3-year-old boy...plus some.

I should've known there would be issues of control from the countless nights I had to spend bouncing up and down on the exercise ball , holding Z tight to my chest as he struggled to show me he was not going to sleep. Then we hit this honeymoon phase when he was about 10 months to 15 months where he would comply with just about every request I made...don't touch that, hands off...he immediately did what I said. We were amazed that we had such a little obedient child. I think he was already starting to pull the wool over our eyes.

When he walked at 7.5 months, that should've been a clue that this child was fiercely independent and it would be our biggest struggle and probably one of his greatest traits...once he learns to use it the right way.

Lately anything we ask him to do is met with a bold "NO!" or "I DON'T want to, I WON'T." This is usually followed by crossing his arms, lower lip protruding and devil stares. Time outs and spankings and removing a few prized possessions is occassionally a temporary fix, but I knew we were coming to a crossroads where I would have to take a stand and show him he is NOT the boss...although he likes to tell me he is, literally.

So last night, we got home from preschool about 4:15 and I gave him a choice of watching Mickey Mouse or helping me fix supper. He first chose the TV but very quickly decided he'd rather help cook. He was a great helper and so proud of himself for the things he was able to do.

When supper was ready, I made his plate up for him after he chose what fruit he wanted...I scooped out some spaghetti, cut up the peaches and plced it on the table. He climbed up there and took one look at the plate and the switch flipped. He said he didn't want to eat and promptly pushed his plate across the table and threw his fork on the floor. I told him fine, and took the plate away...then he of course said no, he did want it. Well I wasn't going to have this argument and told him his behaviour was unacceptable, then told him he could either sit at the table and eat supper with us or he could sit on the stairs in time out...and that if he could not decide I would decide for him - and my choice was time out.

In short, he couldn't decide so I started to carry him to time out and he began kicking and screaming, daddy popped his bottom and took him to the stairs. Once there, he proceeded to throw the timeout timer across the kitchen and start hitting and kicking the walls. I went to talk to him about it and he took a swing at me, so then I picked him up and popped his bottom. This all just seemed to infuriate him more and so then daddy took him to his room. More banging, throwing things so right then I made a decision...it was time for the clean sweep.

I walked in his room and began to gather up his toys. At first, he stopped crying because he was curious as to what I was doing and asked about it. I told him he no longer deserved his toys and he would have to earn them back. As he watched me remove toy after toy, stuffed animal after stuffed animal and even the big fluffy rocking horse, he held onto a stuffed "boinger" ball, layed on top of it and began to sob huge crocodile tears. I almost lost it, but I knew I had to stay firm and finish the job. Once every toy was in a closet in our bedroom, I went back in and Z told me I'd forgotten some things and HE carried them to the closet...not sure what that was about because then he ran sobbing back to his room, slammed the door and started asking for his toys back.

By this time, I was sitting on my bed crying, thinking I was damaging him for life and that I would never get this mother stuff. I started second guessing myself, like all mothers do I suspect. It's hard to discipline your children....really hard.

The only "fun" item left in Z's room was his railroad crossing bank....and when he didn't stop banging the door, I went in and took that too. I told him when he was ready to talk about his actions, he could come out of his room, but he'd need to tell mommy and daddy he was sorry.

Little sucker stayed in there for about 20 mins....he missed gymnastics. Once he finally emerged he still had a little fire in him, you could tell it was just waiting to be stoked, but he did finally apologize and for that we allowed him to have one item of his choice back. What did he pick? The silly little Frische's Big Boy figurine bank. I thought he'd learned something, but I guess it takes longer than that.

I had to go to a parent/teacher meeting at his school, so I left at 6...I'm told about 10 mins later he lost the big boy bank again....sigh. Threw a wall-eyed fit in the bathtub splashing and kicking water everywhere and just had a miserable evening.

At the meeting, which once again God was showing me he's not leaving me hanging...it was providence that I even had this meeting on the night of the clean sweep, I told his teacher of our struggles the past few months and she was shocked. She said she never saw any of that behaviour at school...that he was very well behaved and cooperative. Even though I was confused by the stark difference, she wasn't. She said if he did it in both situations, we'd have something to worry about, but since we knew he could control his emotions and actions the majority of the day it was probably a case of releasing his feelings at home.

She reassured me I was doing the right thing by giving him choices and that is exactly what they do at school. She urged me to back off the spanking because it clearly was just escalating the problem and that more creative discipline was probably going to be more effective. When I told her the story of our supper explosion, she smiled and said she could give some insight...that in a Montessori school, meal time is family style. They don't fix the children's plates. Instead, they place bowls of food on a small table and children make their own choices about what they will eat and they serve themselves, then they clear the table and wash their own dishes. So she suggested we let Z try to serve himself...that maybe he has a picture of what his plate will look like in his head and then we serve it and it's "all wrong" which causes some frustration and he doesn't know how to fix it.

Just talked to David and apparently Z earned back his big railroad crossing bank this morning for being so cooperative....maybe there's something to this...only time will tell. I guess that will require patience...oh crap!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Policeman and the Playa'

I have to backtrack a bit and tell a little story from earlier in the week. Zachary and I were coming home from preschool on Tuesday, when I apparently grazed a stop sign in our neighborhood. Yes, I know...I'm such a bad driver...whatever. I thought I stopped, so I was quite surprised to see the cop in my driveway behind me as I got out of the car. He quickly announced over the megaphone that I was to REMAIN in the CAR, MISS!

Just then, I had visions of my neighbors, who were outside doing various things, thinking they had some drug dealer next door. So I got back in the car, but left the driver door open because it was pretty hot and he wasn't letting me turn my car back on because oh yeah, I was going to either drive it through my brick house or back over his car....with my preschooler in the backseat, mmm hmmmm.

We argued momentarily about whether or not I stopped at the sign and then he asked for my insurance info, which of course was inside the house, just steps away. He told me that didn't matter, if it wasn't in the car, it was a violation. Geez, can I catch a break here? He went back to his car and Zachary was asking all sorts of questions, but the most prominent one "Are you in time out mommy?" Ummm, yes I guess I was in a way, so I told him that yes, mommy broke the rules and must sit and wait for the policeman to tell her what to do. He had obviously heard the cop telling me I didn't stop so he began to question why I didn't stop, where I didn't stop and when. I explained all of it and finally the cop came back and said he'd been able to find my insurance proof on the computer and he was just going to give me a warning.

Zachary, "Thank you Mister Policeman, My mommy WILL stop tomorrow!"

The cop got a chuckle out of this was and laughing on his way back to the car. Z got out and walked toward his car waving and telling him repeatedly that mommy would stop at the signs tomorrow. And believe me, he hasn't let me live it down. He's been asking at every intersection..."Is there a stop sign there, did you stop Mommy?" I GET IT!! :)

Zachary's had a tough transition into preschool. He's been very adamant in the morning that he doesn't want to go to school, usually followed by many tears and screams and just generally a bad attitude. However, the past two or three days, the morning fits have eased and he's even shoved Daddy out the door of the school after getting dropped off.

I wondered why such a drastic change in attitude...was he finally adjusting and enjoying his class, teachers, etc. so much that he didn't even think about missing us? Well, I think I've figured it out....it's spelled C-A-M-R-Y-N.....yes, my 3-year-old has a girlfriend....well more than one, but I digress.

Now I must say that we met Camryn in a round about way. On Tuesday after the po po incident, we took Z to gymnastics. We were sitting upstairs in the observation area watching his class and we got to talking to another couple about our kids. They said they had a 3.5 year old...and her birthday ends up being just about a week apart from Z's. We then figured out that they are in the same montessori preschool...in the same class. Now at gymnastics, she is in a different class, but they are right next to Z's class. Her mom said it was funny, because the more she thought about it, Camryn had been coming home talking about a new kid named Zach.

So afterward, we are introducing them to each other....but really they already knew.

I go to pick up Z last night and he's walking around the playground with her and Miss Jalina proceeds to tell me they've pretty much been inseperable and holding hands all day -- they even fell asleep at naptime holding hands under the mat....hmmmm

So I ask him about Camryn last night and he tells me she is his girlfriend....wow okay, you're THREE lol. He said Kenzie is his girlfriend too, at church! But then starts giggling and saying Taylor and Piper are his girlfriends too...and then he added ME to the mix. Okay, I think we're good for now....hope Camryn's mom thinks so too! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Corn Farmer Goes to Montessori

It's been a weird week for me. I know I wasn't preparing my little bean for kindergarten or anything that lofty, but sending him off to Montessori preschool was more major for me than I had imagined. I even had to wait to write about it and pair it with a funny story to keep me from crying over it again.

It's not that I'm sad...or am I? I mean, it's such a conflict of emotion. Here is this little person that God himself has entrusted to my care and more and more, he needs my care less and less...does that make any sense? It's so amazing to watch him sprout before my eyes and see the wisdom and knowledge he's already gaining; I don't think I've ever been more proud of any one person in my life. So my tears are partly happy in nature because I know that despite all my flaws, I'm doing a decent job of getting him through his early years. But the tears are also sad because my baby is growing up and needing me less. When I was taking his picture in front of the wooden gate at school, thoughts of him getting married and having children started flooding my mind as if preschool suddenly catapults us to that time...oh please!

Z was so excited to get to school, he would hardly sit for a picture before we left. We got to school and the rush began. I could see Z looking back and forth at me and his teacher while we were talking and his grip on my hand got tighter and tighter. I could tell his anxiety was building and he kept saying "don't leave me mommy!" It was almost more than I could bare and I wished more than once that I could just pick him up and rush out of there, but I tried my best to hold back the tears and we trudged on. Once we had everything squared away and it was time to say goodbye (but not for more than an hour..you see I'd bought the wrong size nap pillow so I would have to go get that and come back). He asked me to pick him up and I did. As I felt his arms tighten around my neck I started to get weepy again ...but maybe it was from the lack of oxygen, I digress. The teacher was shaking her head no at me...I KNOW I KNOW he can't see me cry...I KNOW that...so I quickly handed him to her and told him I loved him and then once I was in the safe and private confines of my car, the dam broke and I couldn't hold back the waterfall that ensued. I cried all the way home as hard as I could. I don't know why I bothered to wear mascara to the drop off, it was gone in no time! Once I had composed myself at home I went to get the pillow and took it back to school.

When I walked in the room, Z was sitting in a circle with several kids and his new teacher Miss Christina...I was being so quiet, hoping not to let him see me since he was very engaged. Then out of nowhere a little girl says "ZACHARY, your MOMMMY is HERE!!!!" I was like "CRAP!!!" How could he have already started a Zach gang in less than an hour?! Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad that he has the ability to talk to anyone about anything and feel comfortable in most situations, but this was one time where I wished he hadn't already become so popular. He came running asking if he was going home, telling me he ate breakfast there, that he was going to take a nap there with his new blankie, blah blah blah...told ME to be a good girl and that he loved me and then basically shoved me out the door.

I truly believe that God made us to not pay attention to pillow size requirements. Some people will laugh and shrug this off...but I think he knew I'd need a reason to go back and see Z happy and content and not have to leave him with a frown on his face in a new place...I really believe my God loves me enough to give me that small blessing and I will not forget it!

Oh back to the Corn Farmer reference!! Tuesday night Z and I were on our way home from his last day at Linda's house when we hit Nicholasville Rd. traffic at SOUTHPOINT...dead stop, so there was no way I was sitting in that. We drove through Southpoint, Brannon Crossing, Ashgrove Pike to Mackey Pike to Vince Rd to Hwy 169 and I KNOW we got home faster than if we'd stayed on 27!

Regardless, we passed a huge corn field, just ripe for the pickin and here is the conversation that sparked:

Z: What IS that?!?
Me: Corn
Z: No it's not!
Me: Yes, it's what corn looks like before it goes on your plate

Now in between all these statements, he's flicking his tongue back and forth and I'm just watching in the rear view as the wheels turn at warp speed in his brain....every statement fully calculated.

Z: I will pick it!
Me: No honey, you don't need to do that.
Me: No they have a machine for that...that picks all the corn.
Z: Where is that machine?!
Me: I don't know, the farmer has it somewhere and he'll use it very soon.
Z: I will shuze it (shuze is how he says USE)
Me: No, the farmer will use it.
Z: I will the farmer; I will be the corn farmer TODAY!
Me: No, that's not your farm and besides I thought you wanted to be a fireman (last week's precoccupation)
Z: Nah...I aready did that
Me: oh you did?
Z: yeah, yesterday I did; today I will be the corn farmer!
Me: well, whatever
Z: (random) but I will be a BAT for Halloweeeeeeen and you will be SCARED OF ME grrrrrr

I'm exhausted.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

He talks to God

Zachary loves to help water the flowers in the beds out front. He thinks the stream coming from the hose attachment looks like rain and so he's "raining" on the flowers. You can imagine when real rain comes, it makes him a bit frustrated because he can't use the hose and make rain.

We have had a very unusual July with temps in the 70s most days...a few 80s, but very rare. It's the coldest summer I can ever remember and the most rainy too. The great part is that everything is so green...the bad part is telling your kid he can't swim today because it's too cold and you need a thermal shirt to go riding pedal boats at the park...UGH!

Anyway, yesterday was one of those really rainy cool days and Z definitely wasn't happy about it. After work, we stopped at Q'doba before I had to go to church and Z had to go to gymnastics. He really wanted a chicken quesadilla (had been asking for it for breakfast for two days) so who was I to deny him? He picked out a booth by the window and did his normal stand up-sit down, bang shoes against the booth seat, turn in circles as he eats routine. Then out of nowhere he stops and just stares out the window for the longest time. I asked him what he was looking at and he said "nufin mommy, I's just talkin to God."

Me: Oh really? What were you talking to him about.
Z: I's just tellin him to STOP that rain!
Me: oh, but why?
Z: (gesturing with both hands and bending over for emphasis) Because, we have a hose!
Me: Okay, but why does that mean the rain should stop?
Z: BECAUSE MOMMY, we can do the rain ALL.....BY....Ourselves...with our hose, yep, we can!

I guess I've told him before that he can't water the flowers because God decided he needed to do it that day (when it's raining.)

The Flyby "Summer"

Well, I'm surprised blogspot actually let me log in again; it's been so long. But I've been so incredibly busy, the blog just fell by the wayside. Right after the last post, we traveled to Texas for my cousin Leslie's wedding reception cruise. It was a blast to meet up with family south of Houston and spend several hours floating around Galveston Bay on a 90 foot yacht. The kids had so much fun. It was SOOOOO hot! But it was still wonderful. We were worn out after that cruise, but I still went with Lori and David and the kids back to Kemah Boardwalk for dinner and fun. The next day we went to the NASA Spacecenter in the early part of the day and finished it off with a trip to Galveston ...the beach and Fish Tales. I was amazed how good the actual beach looked just a half-year after IKE decimated it. Apparently they trucked in tons and tons of sand to rebuild. There was still damage everywhere, but the people seemed to have weathered it all fairly well, considering. I think the fairy is even operating again to Bolivar, but I can't be sure; we didn't have time to go check it out. Zachary was pretty miserable during the trip as he coughed and coughed and just could never get well after having strep throat, but he still had a great time and we'd soon learn why he couldn't get better.

Another reason I got off blogtrack is that I finally started my own photography business after years of thinking about it. I got off my duff and just did it and I've been overwhelmed with clients...I'm not complaining. I LOVE it. If I could do this full time, it would be a dream. Maybe someday!

Back to Z not getting better after strep. We referred ourselves to the ENT clinic and the dr. told us that Z's tonsils were huge, almost touching in fact so they had to come out. I didn't really have a lot of time to get used to the idea that my baby was going to have surgery since they scheduled it only 10 days after that appt. That's probably a good thing for Z and me.

He was such a trooper at the hospital. He didn't even cry when they took him down the hall in a little red car. The doors of the surgery hall opened and there were several nurses and doctors all waiting there and calling him by name. When the surgery was wrapped up, the doc came to talk to us and I asked if he cried when he got to the OR. Dr. Younes (whom Z deemed Dr. Seuss by the way) said "Cry? He did not cry. He was back there introducing everyone to his teddy bear." When Z and Tucker (the bear) came out of surgery, Tucker had a gown on, a guaze wrap on his arm, bandaids and even a hospital bracelet...but Z didn't care, he was flaming mad coming out of the anesthesia. The only blessing of that was that we got to see him sooner as they needed help calming him down. I remember walking into the recovery area and I could hear him screaming. It almost made me cry too. He was so disoriented and scared. The nurse holding him handed him to me and said "here ya go, mom" in a relieved tone haha.

We finally got him calmed down and he was able to drink some apple juice. An hour later, we were on our way home. Now luckily my mom was with us...David had surprised me by flying her in the night before...because she was the only one who Z would take his medicine for. All I had to do was threaten to call her into the room and he would finally take it after screaming and flailing about for several minutes.

We had a rough 10 days. Z had night terrors, apparently a result of something traumatic coming out of the anesthesia and he was in horrific pain for the majority of those days. I thought it would never end and I thought we'd never sleep again. But things are getting back to normal and he's sleeping better for the most part now that we are 3 weeks out of the surgery. He still gets scared and still wakes up a time or two but it's getting less intense. Now if we could only get rid of this pesky thrush infection....wow, it's stubborn!

Monday, May 25, 2009


This morning I was laying in bed, the day was already in full swing. It was 8 a.m. I was in shock because I was still uninterrupted. But soon enough I heard the familiar door opening, closing...then my door closing and so I pretended to be asleep as Zachary climbed in bed beside me then laughed softly in my face. I opened my eyes to find his smiling face right above mine. He was ready for a bit more than cuddling though as the jumping and rolling began I just had to soak it in for a moment because these lazy mornings are so rare.

He asked me where we were going; I told him nowhere. He was very confused because 99 days out of 100, we get up and rush around and go somewhere...to Linda's, to my office, to church, gymnastics, etc. Then Theta, the alpha cat in the house, joined us on the bed. Now, everytime Z and Theta are in the same bed, Z thinks he needs to hold Theta and Theta thinks otherwise, so there's a little wrestling match between the two them until Theta gives up or I make Z leave her alone. Apparently I've often told him to stop aggravating the cat many times. Today he wanted to climb up behind my pillow to get her and I wouldn't let him. He crossed his arms arm pouted his lips and flopped down beside me and said "YOU are actorvating me!" I couldn't understand at first, so I had him repeat and he said it again, "YOU are ACTORVATING me, mommy!" I said OHHH aggravating? He said 'YES!" I couldn't help laugh. This child prides himself on getting big words out correctly...too cute

Friday, May 1, 2009

10 years ago

It's hard to believe it's been 10 years today that I set out in a U-haul truck, my brother-in-law behind the wheel, for the great unknown...Kentucky. I really didn't know a single soul, aside from a high-school/college friend living in nearby Richmond, in Lexington.

I still remember the weekend I left and started this new chapter in such vivid detail. I remember driving out of my sister's driveway, waving to her and my mom - fighting back tears for miles and miles, yet so excited to see where the journey would lead.

After two days on the road and David H. leaving a pair of wet shorts (he'd gone swimming the night before and left them in the hotel dryer) at the hotel in Paducah and almost running out of gas in the U-haul between Paducah and Etown on the barren W. Kentucky Parkway, we finally arrived in Lexington. We moved everything in and realized that the cable and phone would not be turned on for awhile. The next morning, I drove David to the airport and inadvertently left my debit card there. I drove back to my apartment, sat on my bed and cried, wondering what the heck I'd done and how I could be so insane.

Then the very next day, Oklahoma experienced the worst tornado outbreak ever, with an F-5 touching down not too far from where my mom works and lives. I was so out of my mind with worry. I didn't have a phone yet and I had to keep driving to the payphone and even then it was so hard to get through. Each time I did get through my mom or sister was telling me how they were needing to get to the shelter. I didn't get much sleep that night and showed up on my second day of work with what most Okies know as "tornado eyes." I questioned my decision even more at that time, wondering how I could do such a thing; how could I leave them so far away...for what?

But really, that's how I've lived my whole life...getting into things I've never done, going to places I've never been, trusting that God really does have a plan for it all. I've questioned that plan so many times since I've been in Kentucky, but for some reason He still has me here and hasn't allowed me to go "home" yet. I say "home," when in reality, this day actually puts a shadow of question on that word. I've never called Kentucky home and always said that I've never lived any one place more than 10 years...well after today, I have....so does that make Kentucky "home" now? I don't know, I'm still trying to get my mind around that one.

I think home to me will always be me and my sister dressed up in our Easter dresses, holding our baskets and posing for a picture for mom at Ma and PaPa's house in Dallas.

Home will always be trying hard to wake my sister up on Christmas morning to remind her that Santa came and she absolutely needs to come see what he brought.

Home will always be me and Lori trying to outrun a tornado to get to Dallas when Ma died so we could be with our mother when she buried her own mother. Home will always include outrunning a tornado period :)

Home will always be crying like a baby each time I have flown back from Oklahoma to Kentucky...putting on a happy face before the security gate and then ducking into the nearest bathroom to weep.

Home will always be welcoming so many of my family to Kentucky for my wedding a week shy of 5 years ago, even my pastor and his wife from CHBC and Barbara T! Oh what a glorious home feeling that was that day to see everyone in the same place and long for the ones who couldn't come to be with us.

Home will always be the surprise of an early baby Zachary, who was done baking a few weeks before we thought we should turn the oven off. And then waiting and worrying as MawMaw trekked across 3 airports and two airlines over an 18-hour period to be with us within 24-hours of the birth.

Home will always be watching that sweet baby boy grow up and amaze me in new ways everyday.

Home will someday be the culmination of ALL these things and so much more as we gather around our heavenly Father and make new, PERFECT memories together.

Basically, the old adage is true...home IS where your heart is....not neccessarily where your physical body resides.

However, I do hope that my physical body resides closer to my heart in the near future ;) it sure would make things a lot more bearable!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

All our men?

There is a prayer the cubbies sing before snack time and Zachary makes us sing it at home as well. Usually just before dinner, but tonight he wanted it during bedtime prayers. Who am I to say no to a kid who wants to pray right?

Well he insisted on singing it himself, which is always cute...but tonight I heard this:

God our Father
God our Father
once again
we bow our heads and thank you
All our men
All our men!

I raised up my head and said "WHAT?" He just grinned, I think he knew full well what he was doing! This after a night of him introducing himself to every stranger by his full name...ZacharyHarrisNielson...all one word and said VERY fast :)

"Donald's" is a confusing place to a kid

Yesterday was beautiful and I had the bright idea we would eat outside since it's Spring Break and no church supper. My plan was the more healthy Panera, Zachary's plan was the less healthy "donald's," what he calls McDonald's. He was set on playing on the slides and eating outside so I caved and said we'd do it.

We arrived, ordered and received our junk food and made our way to the playground door. When what to our wandering eyes did appear? A bright, sunny playground behind a locked door. The fit almost immediately ensued, but we calmed it by saying we'd go talk to the manager. That didn't do much good; they said it was closed because the tubes were wet inside and it just wasn't safe. I immediately began wondering why they were wet because I obviously hadn't woken up for the monsoon the night before. I was really confused, but began to explain to Z that it just wasn't going to happen today. Before you know it, several kids were on the verge of throw downs because of that locked door!! But fortunately, mine just gazed wistfully at the bright-colored playplace through the glass window, thinking of happier days.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

RIP March 2009...or wait

I have been telling everyone how thankful I am that March 2009 is finally over...and in many ways, I am. I'm glad the initial shock and grief of losing two dear friends is over. At the same time, I can't say that the past month didn't teach me lessons in unconditional love, faithfulness, kindness of strangers and the ability to explain real emotions to a preschooler. I am grateful for those lessons and I hope I don't soon forget them.

March reinforced to me that it is RIGHT to love people just for who they are, where they are and in spite of their human condition because frankly, mine isn't much better!

March taught me that it's perfectly okay to sob mercilessly in front of your family and let them comfort you by any means possible, even if it's by giving you a softball before they give you a hug.

March taught me how important friendships really are and it's made me want to be a better friend to my own friends. To really listen when they tell me how they are doing, especially if I asked in the first place.

March has taught me that it's okay to question God about his plan and to really pour out all my anger and frustration to Him. And then, wait for Him to give me some peace and a little clarity about things...and yes, I'm still waiting, but I'm not mad.

March also taught me that winter can wax and wane with teases of Spring. Just like the coldness and warmth of life itself. We often see glimpes of the warm, sunny days ahead, but the cold and dark will always return until we are finally home.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

RIP David Meade

I never in a million years would have dreamed I would have to try and memorialize two great friends in less than a month. But that is the reality and I've been taking time to remember some really special memories of Angela and of David. It hasn't been difficult; we made plenty.

I remember when I first met David, I thought he was larger than life and I was intimidated by him and several others at Porter. I could tell they were all very good friends and I thought it would take a lot of work to integrate into the group. But, I was wrong and first impressions could never be more wrong.

On one of the first Sundays I visited Porter, some of the singles invited me to lunch at Schlotsky's. I remember just observing the dynamics and the personalities during that lunch and I came away from it thinking Angela was Melinda (Cravens) Bridges roommate and that Melinda was somehow pregnant with David's baby!!! Wow, that was soooooo not right hahaha. I quickly learned that my perception was way off and then it didn't take long at all to really start caring about my new friends. I loved hanging out with them as much as possible. Mostly I remember Angela, Melinda, Nancy Noe, David and me getting together to play cards...Nertz...and occassionally other games. We ALWAYS laughed nonstop while we ate and watched Nancy win just about 99 percent of the games.

We exchanged gifts for birthdays and also at Christmas. David always had a knack of knowing what we would like without even asking us. I have a beautiful green scarf from Churchill Weavers in Berea that David stood in line for hours to get (at their old annual sales); other years he brought me beautiful pieces of navy blue Bybee pottery to match my kitchen colors. If I needed an opinion on anything home decor...David was my guy. He had impeccable taste in clothes, shoes, music, antiques...and oh how he loved chocolate. I think he may be the inspiration of yet another book I don't have time to write "Why can't straight men be more Gay? (and I'm not talking about the sex, ya'll)" Seriously, straight men could learn a lot about women from gay men.

I hope David truly believed that I never saw him any different because he was gay; I hope he knew that I loved him anyway. I remember visiting with him for a brief time exactly a week before he passed away. He was bedridden, very very skinny from the disease of amyloidosis that had ravaged his body and he could barely see, yet; he still found a chance to insert some humor into the conversation and make us feel comfortable in the room. I hugged him as best I could that day and told him how much I loved him. I trust he believed me because he said it back and even in his pain, I think he was concerned more about how we felt than what he was going through.

He was a good man and I know a lot of people miss him. I know he and Angela were probably suprised to see each other in heaven; but they probably laughed it off and went to find a deck of cards and a carmel apple salad or a chocolate, peanut butter concoction.

See you someday my friend, Go with God.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cinnamommy observations

I haven't blogged much in the past few weeks. I guess I've been uninspired, unmotivated and downright apathetic about it. I have so many blog topics in my head right now, I thought it best to do a bullet list of things for this post.

  • First, about the blog title today: we were driving in and the traffic sucked. Zachary was asking me 20,000 questions per usual and he wanted to know if Daddy was going to get me coffee this morning. I said yes and he asked me what my favorite was. I didn't want to confuse him with the long name of my drink so I just said cinnamon. He tried over and over to pronounce it correctly and then for some reason turned it into cinnamommy.
  • Last night we went to see Lily Sauteben's dance team at Tates Creek High School. All day Zach kept talking about watching Lily dance; he was so excited. We sat in the bleachers with her friends and family and cheered her on. Zach was pretty happy when the coach introduced Lily, but he was concerned they they wouldn't let her talk. We were clapping intermittently for all the girls as they were announced and once Z noticed Kim Greenfield wasn't clapping for all of them, he called her on it. Then she called him out for the same thing by asking why he wasn't clapping; his response was simply "cuz I NOT." He squeezed in between the two people on the bleacher in front of us and then out of the blue, just hugs one of the OTHER dads around the neck and I'm pretty sure he told the guy he loved him...he got lots of laughs for that so I'm sure it's just the beginning of stranger love. After the "show" Z found Lily and she picked him up...he was blushing so red and just staring at her with a cute little grin. He was speechless and mesmerized. We got home and started doing the Mickey Mouse Hot Dog Dance and said he was dancing like Lily! Then on the way to the bath, he randomly says "Mommy? Sometimes I dance...like Lily." It's official, he's infatuated.

  • Seems like it's been an "eat out" week as we've had something just about everyday that prevents us from being home at dinner time. So Monday night we were at Q'doba. Zachary's never really met a stranger and that night was no exception. He asked just about everyone in the place what their name was. One guy in particular made an impression on him. His name was Ed. After they introduced themselves, Zach looked at Ed and said "Does Ed talk?" Ed was a little taken back because he suddenly couldn't find words, only laughter and then finally said..."Well, yes, Ed does." Talking in third person is catchy.
  • Saturday night Jill Campbell and I made dinner for David Meade and Jeff and she came to my house to meet up and get organized. Jill's got a new baby and he's still has to be with her all the time because she's his food source. So before we drove the Danville, Jill wanted to feed little Nathan. Zachary didn't make too big of a deal about it, but he did want to know what Nathan was doing. Jilly explained about mommy's milk and all and that seemed to satisfy him. Every night since then, Jill and Nathan have been the first people Z thanks God for in his bedtime prayers.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Blahs and Building 429

So I guess I'm feeling a lot sorry for myself lately and I wish I could just trust God and snap out of it. I found out yesterday that we will not be moving home anytime soon and I have to say it's just very disappointing. Not because I didn't get the job, but because I am not getting any closer to my family. I don't hate where I am, well don't ask me that in the middle of the winter, but I'm just getting more and more discouraged about being so far from home.

I realized the other day that my sister's family hadn't all been to visit me in three years and it just depressed me. My sister's been out a few times, but it's just never worked out to get her whole family here at once. I never dreamed this would be the reality of our lives, that our children would not get to play together very often. I guess the ideal in my mind was living close enough where it would be convenient for them to grow up together. I always thought I'd be back home by now, close to my mother. I've had a lot of ideals busted lately and I'm weak and weary. I buried one friend last week and am watching at least one more prepare for the same fate. The tantrumonious three's are getting the best of me to the point that I want to throw my own tantrum.

I guess I'm just overwhelmed. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me; I'm just venting, really. I'm not going to go jump off a cliff or anything. I know God said he'd never give us more than we can handle...but sometimes it gets a little too close for comfort.

I did hear a song this morning as I was almost to work that I have heard once before by Building 429 and it really needs to become my anthem for this season of my life. I'm really liking these guys music lately...one good song after another.

I don't usually put song lyrics in my blog, and I'm only copying part of the song here, but felt like maybe someone else would like to read these words or look up the song. I think it fits a lot of circumstances.

Last half of "Always"
'Cuz I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
He will be with you always

Friend I don't know where you are
And I don't know where you've been
Maybe you're fighting for your life
Or just about to throw the towel in
But if you're crying out for mercy
If there's no hope left at all
If you've given everything you've got
And you're still about to fall
Well hold on, hold on, hold on

Cuz I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all faith is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
Always, Always
He will be with you always
He will be with you always
He will be with you

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where's your ball?

Tuesday night after Angela passed away, I was visibly sad and I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. I found out about her passing while David was giving Zachary a bath. I knew I had to pull it together so I could put him to bed and not let him think his mommy was falling apart.

I tried, but I just couldn't and he kept asking me if I was okay. I'd tell him that yes, I will be okay and he'd ask if I was sad. I told him I was sad because I miss my friend.

Z: Where is her?
Me: She's in heaven now.
Z: in heaven?
Me: yes
Z: silence, then ...with Moppett? (reminder this is the cat we put to sleep in Dec. that I told him went to heaven)
Me: Well, okay, yes I suppose so.
Z: silence again, then ...with Linda's mom? (our babysitter's mom died last year and we told him she went to heaven)
Me: Yes honey, with Linda's mom.
Z: why are you sad?
Me: Because I miss my friend.
Z: her will get better and come back.
Me: No, I don't think she would want to come back now that she's in heaven with Jesus.
Z: Why?
Me: Because she's so happy now.
Z: why you sad?
Me: because I miss her.

David was hugging me and I was crying again. I looked down and Zachary was trying to get in between us so we picked him up and he hugged on me too and then said "I will get you somethin."

He got down and walked over to his bookshelf. On top of the shelf sat a softball. He picked it and held it out to me and said "Here mommy, this for you."

I said "um, thank you."

He said, "Are you better?"

I guess he thought the ball would make me feel better for some reason. He told me I had to take it to bed; that I had to sleep with it. He said I needed to bring it to his bed and read him books with it. So I did and he kept asking every few pages "Where's your ball?"

We turned off the lights after we read the last page of book number three. We laid there in quietness for all of 20 seconds when Zachary put his arm under my neck and pulled my head into the crook of his own neck. He was stroking my hair and whispering "It's okay mommy, it's oooooooookay." He'd do this for several seconds then ask if I was better and ask where the ball was. He finally drifted off to sleep. But I lingered there longer than I normally would because I was just so grateful to have my child with me. I thought about how sad Angela's mother must be to not have her baby anymore. It's gut wrenching to think that our children could leave this Earth before us and I pray that never happens to me.

I finally was able to get up and take a shower. I made sure I took the ball with me to bed and as silly as it sounds, it did make me feel better. I thanked God that he gave me such a beautiful, sweet and empathetic child. All the tantrums, back talk and other annoying behaviours just faded into the deep recesses of my mind for the rest of the night at least.

Wouldn't you know it, the first thing Z said the next morning was..."Mommy, where's your ball?" I told him it was in my bed and he smiled the biggest smile. I soaked up that smile like a sponge because I knew he would do a Jekyll and Hyde on me in about 30 seconds when he saw it was time to get his clothes changed! And...I was right.

RIP Angela Cox

It's been a hard week. It's actually been a tough year already. I've been overwhelmed at the fact I had three very ill friends, now I have two. One has been permanently healed by our great and marvelous God. I met Angela Cox very soon after I moved to Kentucky in 1999. She was always smiling, always cracking a joke and just such a welcoming person. She was the first one to invite me into the group. The group would end up playing cards, ringing in several New Years together, and just generally having fun together. Slowly the group members began to get married and our single days morphed into lives with spouses and children. Angela got a job with Ernie Fletcher and that took her to Frankfort, where she blessed so many other lives with her spirit and her voice. She loved her family and all her friends and it just overflowed from her. Whenever I was in Frankfort, I'd go to her office and just catch up and laugh more. She was truly a good friend to anyone who allowed her the opportunity to be in their lives.

I remember the day I heard she'd been burned in her house fire. I was so heartbroken. No one deserves to go through something like, much less Angela! I couldn't bring myself to go to the hospital for several days. I don't know what I was so afraid of, the way she might look, that she might die and I would only remember her that way, that I wouldn't know what to say to her ...to her family...whatever it was, it kept me away. I finally felt compelled to go and then I went several times a week. I talked to her and read her scripture, not knowing if she could even hear me. But then one day a message went out that she was awake...it was Feb. 8. Before that she had responded to things we said by trying to open her eyes, moving her toes, etc. But this message said she was awake and aware of her surroundings. I was supposed to get on a plane for Dallas on Feb. 9, but I just had to go see her before I checked in at the airport. I'm so glad I did. I put on all the garb you have to wear in the burn unit...the plastic gown, the gloves, the hand sanitizer. The nurse was in the room talking to her and giving her meds and she told Angela she had a visitor that she would probably recognize.

I walked in and her eyes met mine and she mouthed my name and sort of shook her head in excitement. It was so good to see my friend recognize me and say my name. I wanted to hug her, but I couldn't risk touching her and passing any kind of germs no matter how small. I stood by her bed and told her how happy I was to see her awake. The nurse talked about how great she was doing and even talked about starting some rehab in the next two weeks. I didn't stay long, but as I was leaving I told her how much I loved her and she mouthed back that she loved me too. I'm so grateful for that morning; so grateful that I had that chance. I didn't know then that those would be the last words I heard from her in this life.

As Angela's body began giving up the fight against the burns that covered more than half of her body, I began to lose my positive outlook about her survival. I just can't process any of it and I cannot understand how a loving God would let her suffer for two months when he had already planned to take her. I know there is a much higher plan to it all, but I just don't see it. Sharon Berry was very comforting to me last night when I was asking these very same questions. She said that perhaps God was using her during these two months to show the doctors, nurses and so many others the faithfullness of her life and of her family and friends who stood watch by her side during the whole ordeal. Maybe someone saw Christ through all it and as a result their life is changed forever because of Angela's life. We'll never truly know the answers to all of these questions until we see her again and even then, will we still have questions? I don't think so; I think we will be too consumed in enjoying eternity to even let these things cross our minds.

I love her, I miss her - someday I WILL see her again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cats out the Wahzoo?

The title of this blog won't really make sense until the very end - so, wait for it; it's worth it!

Yesterday, Zachary woke up with a pretty pink eye and being the glass-half-full type, I tried to believe it was just allergies...well it wasn't. He's got the infection so we started treating him. Don't you just love putting drops in preschoolers eyes? That's another story, that I likely will NOT blog about!!

Regardless, Z spent the afternoon at home with Daddy and then they came to pick me up at the office. We had to stop by and pick up David's truck on the way to church so the two of them could go home while I stayed at church to sing. Zachary kept asking where we were going and he just couldn't understand why he couldn't go in church with me. He started fake crying and saying he didn't want me to sing. To which, I always reply "If God made you a singer, you have to sing."

After I said it this time, I could just see the wheels turning in his little head and after a few moments of silence, the conversation went like this:

Z: Where's God?
Me: In heaven
Z: In heaven? Where is Him?
Me: In heaven and in my heart.
Z: I wanna talk to him; where's your heart?
Me: In my body...errr, in my spirit. ( I was obviously digging a hole at this point since he really wasn't grasping the concept of the spiritual side of life haha).
Z: In your body? God in your body?
Me: Well, like I said in my spirit and I can talk to him whenever I want and so can you.
Z: I wanna tell him not to tell you to sing.
Me: Well honey, we can't tell God what to do. We can ask, but we can't tell him what to do.
Z: in your body? (he was clearly stuck on that phrase)
Me: Well, yes.
Z: silence
several moments later
Z: is Moppett there?
Me: Where?
Z: in your body?
Me: oh no, honey (Moppett was the cat we had to put to sleep before Christmas. I told Z she went to heaven, because I just didn't know what else to tell him then.)
Z: in your heart?
Me: I'll always love her in my heart.
Z: Moppett's in your heart? In your body? You say she in heaven with Jesus?
Me: Yes I told she was.
Z: K, so she in your body; Moppett's in your bottom.

What a tangled web we weave.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Wow, three years...really? To say they've flown by would be a complete understatement. It was about this time on Feb. 17, 2006, when the doctor told me that I would be having Zachary a little early. I was scared, but so excited. We waited all day, while more pressing emergencies came into the unit...into the evening and then it was almost midnight (11:02) when my sweet bean finally felt the cold air of the OR on his delicate skin. I cried a lot that night - some tears of pure joy at the miracle before me, then tears of sadness when they carried him away so quickly. I didn't even get to hold him until about 3 a.m.... the realities of a c-section in a university hospital I suppose. I've been flashing back to that moment all morning and wondering how we got from there to here so quickly.

How did we get from that sweet little baby who only cried when he was wet or hungry to a child that screams at me for singing him Happy Birthday and handing him a small present on his birthday? Yes, I walked into Zachary's room this morning to surprise him with a small present and sing to him and he started screaming NO, NO, NO, don't sing to me I don't want a present..."

Wow, if there's a quicker way to steal the wind from my sails, I don't know what it is. So I tossed the gift on his bed and walked out the door in protest of his attitude. I guess he really isn't a morning person. I've known this and tried to change it so many ways, but to no avail...not even Mickey Mouse presents on his birthday can lift him out of the morning hate. He got swatted twice while trying to get him dressed and then continued to whine and scream until finally, magically...the mention of picking up donuts for his friends at the babysitter's pulled him into sanity....until we got there and they had no sprinkle donuts...WHAT BAKERY in its right mind doesn't do sprinkles? Donut Days...that's the one. He settled on a few chocolate covered ones and a coconut cake donut with flakes all over. So I think he may actually have a good day and for once I am sugaring him up for her to deal with :) Tables have turned hehehehe

Happy Birthday Z....yes I know I need to replace my header now that you're THREE :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

He's so random...

I know that most preschoolers are just one random thought after another and Z is no exception. Yesterday we were driving home and he was talking non stop about something, and then he said "Mommy, when I grow up I will be a doctor." I said oh really? He said, "yeah, I will." We told him that it would take a long time to become a doctor and he would have to go to school for a long time and he just said "okay," and moved on to the next topic in his brain. Sometimes I'm so amazed at how much kids this age actually think and ponder things and just how much they absorb.

It's an awesome age in that regard, the evidence of sponge brain! Even at dinner last night, Zachary wasn't too interested in eating so I told him he had to take five bites before he could get down. He asked me to count them for him and we did it together up to three and then he said..."is that enough?" I said no, that was only 3 and he said "oh, two more." Amazing he's adding and subtracting subconciously. So it makes me wonder why he can't remember to add please to the end of every request hmmmm.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Don't make burps at the table....please

Zachary has found his new passion...burping. Oh it drives me batty. At first, it was really funny, but now he's just continually trying to burp. It's the worst at the table when there's a beverage near by. Don't give the kid a straw if he's ever eating at your table, you've had fair warning. He can suck in more air than our Dyson vacuum. Then he starts complaining of a belly ache, which of course is only relieved by belching.

Burp after burp, laugh after laugh....and the food still sits on the plate untouched. So a couple days ago I'd had my fill of it. I do have to give him credit, he was saying excuse me after each one, but oh my gosh the quantity was unreal. So I told him no more making burps at the table, not even one. To which he responded by...well...burping and laughing. I told him he could not burp at the table, if he wanted to play that game, he must get on the floor. He calmed down some, but it didn't take long to get into the same mode again. So I warned him that he would be in time out if he did it again. You guessed it, he responded with a burp and laughs. I quickly scooped him up and sat him on the stairs with the timer set for 2 minutes. Z didn't like that one bit, but he was out soon.

Back to the table for yet more burping. I told him that since the time out didn't work, he would get one swat on his bottom if he did it again. He didn't care, the burping was more important. I don't know how long it took to finally get through that meal, but we made it.

Fast forward to the next meal. I will take into consideration he was suffering from severe cabin fever, however; I was not ready to deal with table burping again. I was getting his plate ready and then noticed he was on all fours on the floor with his head pointed down....where he began burping on the floor. David and I were biting our tongues in laughter. Hey, at least he remembered that I'd said if wanted to burp, he had to do it on the floor, right?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yes, my son likes dolls

As a little girl, I played with trucks, got dirty, and on and on. So why is so hard for me to accept that my little boy likes to play with a doll? I've reaad all the positive takes on this...that it helps him learn to be a nurturer, teaches him empathy, yada, yada, yada. But still, there's some part of me that just wants to yell "BOYS DON'T PLAY WITH DOLLS" to little Z. But I suppose that would be a bit extreme and it'd probably just scare him anyway.

See, most of the dolls at church are naked. Over the years, children have stripped them down and somehow their clothes have been permanently separated from their bodies in the chaos that is preschool. We were in the Goodwill store the other night after our most recent trip to Asuka Japanese Steakhouse (Oh how I love Japanese food, but I digress). So I see a nice CLOTHED doll, brand new and its' only 50 cents! So heck yeah, I grabbed it up for the preschool rooms at church, along with a few other toys that still have tons of life in them for all these rambunctious 2 and 3-year-olds. Z played with it a little when we got home, calling it his baby, putting it to bed, etc. At least it's a boy doll..or that's what I told him since it's bald with a blue outfit on. I kept reminding him that we would take that baby to his room at church and he seemed to understand that, however; I now know that he did not understand that we would actually leave the baby there.

We took it this morning and let Z carry it to his room. When I went to get him after church, he was holding the baby. The teachers said he had cared for it all during the class time...putting it to bed, telling other kids to be quiet because his baby was sleeping, but also throwing it up really high in the air hmmmm. To be brief, we still have the doll; Z would not leave it at church...oh joy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

To spank or not to spank; yes I want your opinions

I was spanked when I was a child. I was yelled at and I yelled back. There I said it. I don't think I'm totally messed up because of it, but I always said I would do things differently.

That was until I had a strong-willed, stubborn little boy enter my life and no I'm not talking about my husband. I've always thought spanking was the "easy" and "lazy" way out in theory. I still do to a certain extent. Disciplining without spanking requires a lot of patience, resolve and creativity and that is a lot of work. Still, is there a time when spanking is the way to go? Does it depend on the child? Does it depend on the severity of the inappropriate behavior? I have not answered all these questions in my mind to a point where I feel comfortable with the way I discipline my child.

In the Bible, when it says to spare the rod is to spoil the child, it is referring to a literal rod or is that a symbol of strong discipline and guidance as in the shepherd using the rod to guide and steer the sheep in the direction that is right? I don't see a shepherd beating the sheep with the rod. Am I way off base here?

I've read books that interpret it one way or another and I don't know that I agree with either view completely. I guess I find myself somewhere in the middle and that is the reason for all the questions. How hard is too hard to spank? How many swats? What if the child doesn't respond to the spanking; do you keep spanking until they do? Or do you hope that they remember the swat next time before repeating the behavior? Oh see, I'm so confused. Maybe I'm making this more than it should be, but we're just having some serious power struggles with Z and he needs to learn to respect us.

It also bothers me to read about spanking and then immediately hugging the child and telling them you love them. Doesn't that send a mixed message?

I admit I have spanked as a last resort and when I'm at my wits end in coming up with a way to discipline that will actually get through to Z. What are your honest opinions on this? I'm not going to judge anyone for saying what you think. Everyone is in a unique situation with unique children and I know we all have different ways of discipline. I just need some input on what works for you and what doesn't and what you believe is wrong, right when it comes to spanking.

As a side note, I just can't wait to see what ad google pairs with this blog...could be seriously warped!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cubbie Love...and boredom

I got permission from one of the other cubbie mom's to use her son's name in my blog today. I didn't get the name of the other one so I'll just use his first initial until she tells me it's okay.

First of all, Zachary is in Awana Cubbies at church. Yes, I know he wasn't old enough this year. But I prayed that we would find a way out of the nursery room we all despised at the time and God answered my prayer in a unique way. We were told Zachary could come to cubbies a year early if one or both of us helped in his class. David stepped up to the plate and all is well. Zach is thriving in cubbies...repeating his verses like all the other kids who are a bit older than him.

After I finish singing in church, I usually go down and join the cubbie class and help out where I can. Usually that means running interference between the kids and trying to get them to stay in their chairs during story time, which is nearly impossible. Sometimes those kids totally crack me up with their looks, phrases, attitudes, etc. Last night, Zachary got a taste of his own medicine. As I've blogged before, he's very into saying "I don't love you," especially if he's in an onery mood or just feeling his age I suppose.

During story time, little Z was sitting by Boston Parker and they were mildly annoying one another pushing and leaning and just being little boys. All the sudden, Z starts leaning and scooting closer to Boston and he looks at him in the eye and says "I just love you; I love you Boston." He kept saying it over and over, all the while not quite understanding Boston's response of "No, you don't, nooooooo." It was really hard for me not to laugh. Z kept looking at me in complete confusion. I told him that now he knows how it feels to tell someone you love them and for them to be "mean" back. He just lowered his sad little head and said "yeah." Didn't take long and they were buddies again, back to running around the room and laughing. A while later, they were sitting beside each other playing with blocks and when I looked down they both had an arm around each other's shoulder. It was too cute. Of course, when I pointed it out, they both quickly appear to not know what I was talking about.

Another early-to-start-cubbie is MD. This kid melts my heart and he's quite the little comic most nights. Last night was no exception. During the story time, MD sat sideways and leaned against the back of his chair with one arm and laid his head half-way down. He then began to fake snore and I about lost it. I felt sorry for the reader, but geez it was hilarious. MD is going to be a pistol in school; I see a future class clown in the making :) What do you think Mia?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

You've got to let them fly...solo.

Today was the big day. The beginning of a new era at Legacy Gymnastics. You see, my son moved up to the three -year old "little foals" class. The past two sessions, the teachers had the luxury of either me or David chasing little flash around the gym and they thought he was so cute and talented. I'm wondering if Miss Amber's opinion didn't change today when she was the one chasing the flash and mommy and daddy were watching from the rafters?

Things started out okay; there ended up being only 3 kids in the class, which makes it a little easier on the teacher...but not much. They started out on the trampolines, pit and the "slide." Zach loves those things so she had no problem keeping him in line and nearby. Then it came time for stretching. Miss Amber plopped the kids up on a high mat and fully intended to get their muscles all stretched and ready to o, but Zachary saw it a an opportunity to stretch her patience. He kept jumping down and running off, all the while laughing and calling for Miss Amber to get him. They had a little heart to heart and I thought he was good to go - alas it lasted a full 2 mins or so. Zachary kept jumping and running all over the place and soon got one of the little girls to join in his antics. He eventually ended up in time out on the balance beam a few times, but he made it through. I told Amber it might serve her well to make him run suicides for about 20 minutes before he has to start the actual work. She thought it was funny, but she wasn't too distressed and chalked it up to his first day sans mom and dad. We'll see what she says when the antics persist well into this 10-week session. One down...nine to go...wow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Freakin Scary Dryer and other joys of the season

So it's 2009. Big Deal. We're getting a new president, I have a really good excuse to go back to Texas at the end of January and Zachary's third birthday party planning has begun.Okay now that I'm done crying about the first and last things in that sentence, I can write this post.

We had a very good trip to Texas and Oklahoma over Christmas and New Year's. It was so nice to escape the cold, dreary, seasonal-depression inducing Kentucky winter climate for a bit. It was SUNNY and warm in Texas and Oklahoma and we had many days where the kids just played outside with light jackets or no jackets at all...it was bliss. And now since we've returned, the sun has yet to show it's face in the bluegrass this year...joy, joy. I almost can't stand it...seriously. I need a SAD light or something, sheesh!

We had plenty of humorous moments while we visited with friends and family during our travels. It occurs to me that God has a huge sense of humor and he shows it to us mostly through our children's innocence and antics. He's also constantly trying to use some of those antics to build in me a patient spirit; I've got a long way to go folks.

Humor and patience-building are combined in Zachary's love for vacuums. The child is truly obsessed with them. He can pretend virtually anything is a vacuum when he's not near a real one. The vacuum at home used to scare him to tears. But when he met the little, red, child-sized vacuum at the consignment store a year ago, he fell in love and couldn't leave the store without it. We thought it was cute and so we spent the $3 and indulged him. It caused such fits the more and more he played with it that it finally had to go bye bye. Unfortunately, a few months ago, Zachary found the vacuum as we were cleaning out a closet and the cycle began again.

Now most kids sit and watch TV with a lovey like a teddy bear or a lamby or something soft. Not my son; he's often seen sitting in front of the tube with his arm wrapped around his vacuum. He wakes up talking about the vacuum and gets very out of sorts when the vacuum is not in the closet it's supposed to be in. I have actually begun to despise the vacuum because he won't stop talking about it. Seriously! It's beyond normal right?

So he got over his fear of the sound the vacuum makes and even asked to use the big one. We thought that was great. But I guess other things with similar noises have to earn their place in his safety-loving world. Take hand dryers in public restrooms for instance. Most of them are reasonally quiet, but then there is the Xcelerator...the one that blows the skin around on your body with it's extreme noise and pressure. There was one of those in the bathroom at a Ryan's in Bowling Green where we stopped on our return trip. Granted the Cracker Barrell's dryer would've been quieter, but the line was out the door and this was our only choice. We talked about the dryer before I turned it on. I told him it would be very loud. He nodded his head and stood on the other side of the room. When I turned it on, Zachary went nuts screaming, trembling and crying. I felt sad for him and so I picked him up and all was well.

We were heading for the car when he looked at David and said. "Daddy, that was a freakin scary dryer." We knew we should not have laughed, but all attempts to stiffle the giggles were in vain. It was just so funny to hear that from him. He proceeded to get on the phone to my mother, where he changed the description from freakin, scary dryer to freakin, stupid dyer.....nice. Then my mom of course gives me the lecture about "you really shouldn't let him talk that way." Really?