Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

It is 11:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday.

I am in a rocking chair in a dim room, rocking my boy to sleep for his nap.

He doesn't cry or scream.  At around this time every day, I carry him upstairs and sing and rock him to sleep.  He never puts up a fuss.  He knows when it's nap time.

He is especially sleepy today, as he's had a morning-full of Easter fun already.  He's eaten untold-amounts of jelly beans, a malted milk ball or two, and unwrapped probably a dozen chocolate bunnies.  (Didn't eat them.  Just unwrapped.  Must've changed his mind.)

He's played swords with Devin, and gone out on the front porch (because it is raining) to play with his brand new battery-powered bubble blower.  (Those things are AWESOME!!!  Best five bucks I've ever spent.)

And he's even had a bath already, though he was QUITE displeased about having to share the space with Devin.  (Devin likes to lay down in the tub, thus confining Nolan to a teeny corner.  He doesn't care for it.  Not at all.)

He's sleepy, so I don't sing today.

We just sit and rock.

And that is all we do.

We listen to the fake ocean sounds on his white noise machine.  We listen as the fake tide ebbs and flows.

And we rock back and forth.

. . . And I don't play with my phone.  I don't text people, and I don't play any games.

I don't make a running list of any groceries we're out of at the moment.  I am not mentally wandering around Publix, reminding myself to get tortillas.

I am not mentally preparing for, or planning any events in the future (though I could CERTAINLY put some planning time to good use).

I am just sitting there, rocking my boy.

(And maybe humming a little.)

And patting his back from time to time, usually in rhythm to whatever song I'm singing in my head.

And, though it would be easy to do, I do not let my mind wander to some undetermined time in the future, when my boy will be too big to sleep in my lap, and those curls might be gone, and I won't be needed to sing him to sleep. 

I do not think of those things.

Instead, I focus on what is happening right now.

I kiss the top of his head, and feel his warm cheek.  I look at his face, and I marvel at the sweetness of it.  I think of his temper tantrums just earlier today, and think how precious and dear he is, and also how prone to slap (if you are annoying him).  I marvel at the weight of him in my lap, and think about how much he's grown since he was the fat little peanut we brought home a lifetime ago.

I treasure his smell, I hold him close, and I rock us back and forth.

And I am thankful for so very many things that I don't even have the words to name them all.

But right now, in this room with blue walls and Winnie the Pooh and a false ocean roaring, I find that more than anything, I am just so grateful for this exact moment.

I am grateful because I was actually HERE for it.

I held it in my hand, and looked at it, and SAW it.

(. . .which is a difficult thing to do sometimes.)

And things aren't perfect.  Nothing is ever perfect. 

But I am learning that it doesn't HAVE to be ---doesn't even have to be close --- for me to appreciate it, and actually BE THERE for it.

And sometimes. . .

Sometimes I am so filled up with gratitude that I feel that I could burst from it.

. . .

And these are my thoughts this Easter.


Cadbury Eggs.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Party Anxieties

Next month my husband is turning 40.

Shocking for him, I'm sure, to have made it this long.  A bit shocking for me, as well, to be married to an old pawpaw.  =)

And we are having a party for him.  ***If you were not invited, this was NOT a slight against you.  Mr. Michael has informed me that he plans on drinking.  Quite a bit, probably.  And as the drinks will be flowing freely all night --- and we are more than happy to offer our upstairs, our couch, and any unoccupied floorspace to anyone that does NOT need to drive --- if I didn't invite you it was simply because I did not think you were the kind of person that might enjoy such shenanigans.

Crap.  Now I'm worried that maybe I've hurt someone's feelings.

. . .Perhaps I should mail out an "I didn't invite you because the place is going to be crawling with pirates and I know that you don't care for those types, Matey!" flyer? 

Which is precisely why I detest situations such as this.

NOT throwing a shindig for my boo.  No, I'm perfectly fine with that.  After all, he's ancient now, so who knows how many more parties he's going to get?  ;0

No, MY major concern would be in sidestepping the social landmines that inevitably come up in this kind of situation.

. . .Have I accidentally hurt someone's feelings?

. . .Have I made someone feel badly?

. . .Have I made someone feel that maybe I don't care for them???

Good Lord.

These are the kind of things that keep me up at night.

And that's just the minor issues before we even GET to the party!

I'm having a LOT of anxiety about it right now.

So I decided to try to allay some of these fears by browsing the interwebz and getting some ideas.

This, in itself, turned out to be a VERY BAD IDEA.

So now I'm just sitting here, with a glazed and horrified kind of look on my face, sipping my coffee and seriously considering curling into the fetal position and just rocking back and forth until this is all over with.  With any luck, I would still be in that position when the party started to happen, and hopefully some kind partygoer would walk by and stick a crab puff in my mouth.

I'm kidding, of course.  (We won't be having crab puffs.)

But I AM trying to get a handle on this. . . so maybe I just need to list my anxieties one by one, and then tackle them one at a time.

Here goes.

My List of Party Concerns, and Other Current Terrors

1.)  People are coming in from out of town. 
We are VERY happy about this.  But what it MEANS (if you are me) is that this is the first, and possibly only, time that these people are going to visit us.  So my house doesn't just have to be 'clean'. . . it has to be Ready-For-My-Southern-Living-Photo-Shoot-Spotless.

. . .

So for the last few weeks, every time I notice a dribble down the front of the cabinets, or how grubby our baseboards are, I just have to go to my happy place and sing a song and nibble on some cheese until I get distracted and forget about it.

. . .and I think that's probably enough talk about THAT.

2.)  We would like to have a Photo Booth.
You know --- a place for guests to stop and take a few pics.  Party memories.  FUN!!

And Great-Egads-Holy-Jumping-Dieties. . . the price to rent a photo booth is roughly equal to the budget that we have allotted for the entire party.  Wow.

So who cares?  I'll just MAKE ONE.  I'm fairly clever, and TONS of scrappy.  I'll just put one together using household items that I already have on hand.  Easy-peasy.

. . . And so now I have watched about five different Make Your Own Photo Booth videos on youtube, and the idea of staying in the fetal position for the next couple weeks is sounding better and better.

3.)  We do not have a theme.
Months ago, when Michael first expressed interest in a 40th birthday bash, he said that we could do a Care Bears theme.  That Care Bears would be fine with him. 

And I was ALL ABOUT IT.  I was TOTALLY on board.

I was thinking about how lucky I was to have a guy that was going to walk around all night wearing a birthday hat with Friendship Bear on it.


And then I browsed our local Party City, only to discover that they don't carry Care Bears party decor.  (I asked.)

When the helpful Party City lady told me that they didn't HAVE Care Bears, I briefly considered making a stink.

In my head, it unfolded something like this:

Me:  "You don't HAVE Care Bears?  . . . YOU don't have CARE BEARS??!!  YOU ARE A PARTY STORETHIS IS MY PARTY THEME!"

The lady:  "I'm terribly sorry, ma'am, but Care Bears just aren't that popular anymore.  Is there anything else I could help you find?"


The lady:  ". . . Perhaps we could help you find another theme?"

Me:  "He doesn't WANT 'another theme'!!  He is MY special guy, and HE WANTS CARE BEARS, and now I have to tell him that HE CAN'T HAVE CARE BEARS!!!  Would YOU like to tell him that he can't have Care Bears?  Would YOU like to be the one to take a dump on his dreams??  WOULD YOU, MADAM??!"

And the whole scene ends in a brilliant kerfuffle, with me doing some really bad-ass, Scott Pilgrim-type moves.  Then I walk away in the morning sun, singing songs about vengeance, and how friendship is magic.

(That might be My Little Pony. . . I can't be sure.  But my dear one has not expressed an interest in a pony theme.)

4.)  I have NO IDEA what I am doing.
And this is where we get to the heart of the matter.  Aside from the baby's first birthday party (which was fine, because he was only 1, and didn't know what a birthday party WAS, and thus had no expectations), I have never thrown a party before.

I don't have a CLUE how to do it.

Hell, I'm not even that great at GOING to parties. . . I usually just try to stuff my mouth with food, make friends with any pets that might be roaming around, stick like glue to the few people I know, and take frequent bathroom breaks so that I can take deep breaths and try to convince myself that I haven't deeply offended anyone's religion, sports team, or children.

(It's tough being me sometimes.  We have issues.)

But I can't DO THAT at this party.

At THIS party, people are going to expect me to be a hostess.  I will have to pretend to be charming.  I will have to mingle.  I will have to know what is going on. 

I will have to act as though I am not about to pee in terror.

I will have to make sure the crab puffs don't go bad and poison all of our guests.

(It's really just the kind of situation where spontaneous combustion is about the best I can hope for.)

And so, in a frenzy of hopeful desperation, this morning I decided to browse pinterest and see what I could find in the way of party ideas.

. . .And that is why I am typing this from the fetal position, in the middle of our kitchen floor.  (Thankfully, the baby keeps bringing me gummies, so I will not starve.)

Pinterest is really just not intended for people like me.

I think the people who throw parties on pinterest are. . . insane?  Bored?  Really, really talented alien body-snatchers?

Who ARE these people???

These are people who probably throw parties all the time.

These are people who have little signs for every little tortilla chip they serve that says "Chip" in fancy calligraphy letters, and then goes on to provide a brief history of the chip, as well as an amusing little limerick.


These people have fancy decorations for everything, and probably spent as much on their party as I will spend on my next car.

Oh wait, nevermind.  They just made those decorations with some simple ribbons, sequins, and a glue gun.

And the ice sculpture only took three hours, a degree in engineering, and the steady hand of a surgeon.

I REALLY hate those people.



. . .

Okay, okay.

That anger is probably misplaced.

**Deep breaths.**

I'm sure the party will be lovely.

I love my husband, and I just want him to have a good time with his friends, drink some cocktails, listen to some music, and have some snacks.

Besides, it's the thought that counts, right?


(You could not BE MORE WRONG.)

That only applies to Christmas!!! 

So I guess I'm lucky, because I'm no longer even worried about the party at all now. 


NOW, the big questions are:  WHY did he marry me???  . . .What skills do I HAVE??? 

. . .And is it possible to drink coffee while in the fetal position???

I am SO screwed. . .

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ash Ferley: Double-Kitty

For several years now, as friends and family can attest, we have been a two-cat household.

It has meant no end of sneezing fits for Michael, and 14 years worth of tufts of cat hair in the corner every time I sweep.

Since November of 1999, my life has been consistently populated with at least a Me + 1.  He has been a faithful, if foul-tempered, companion by the name of Ash Ferley. 

Pictured here:

(He wishes you merry christmas.  He does.)

And here, apparently hungover:

(Dude.  . . .What?)

He IS very much a foul-tempered cat.  He has always been this way.  As I suppose it must go with people as well, he is just an asshole.

It's just who he is.

I have come to accept this about him, and have learned to just look on it as a personality quirk.  It is only fair, as he seems to turn a blind eye to my own glaring personality flaws in return. 

(We are always tough but fair.)

And several years ago, while we were still living in Downtown Birmingham, we brought home a little stripey kitty with spots on his belly, and named him Muscles.

Then Ash and Muscles became a duo, and it was them against the world.

I like to think that they were great friends.

I hope they were.

And then, several months ago, we very suddenly lost Muscles.  . . .After a suitable mourning period, we decided we were ready to tempt Fate to break us down once again, and brought home another kitten.

Her name is Waylon. 

She is incredibly sweet, and utterly fearless, and relentless, and perhaps just a little dumb.  But really charming, nonetheless.

But since Muscles died, Michael and I have both noticed the strangest little changes regarding Ash.

When Muscles passed away, Ash himself looked as if he was on the brink of death.  He was getting old-ish, for a cat.  And he just started looking really skinny, and slow, and more like a paw paw-kitty.

Then Muscles died.

And now Ash has. . . blossomed.  His coat is fuller and brighter.  He has put on weight.  He looks. . .robust.  Better than he's looked in YEARS.

And we haven't changed his food, or anything else.

He has just done this on his own.

And so, it is with this heavy on our minds, that Michael and I have been forced to conclude that when Muscles died, Ash stole his life force.

He is, essentially, now two kitties in one.

And, at some point in the future, I can TOTALLY see myself walking around and talking to him and being all "AM I TALKING TO MUSCLES NOW?  OR IS THIS ASH I'M SPEAKING WITH??"

(He hates it when I am sarcastic.  NO sense of humor.)


Also, while we're on the topic of strange cat-things, Michael is convinced that Waylon intentionally tried to trip him and make him tumble down the stairs the other night.  Possibly to his doom.

And Ash has allergies, and has been going to extraordinary lengths to sneeze in our faces.

And, just moments ago, Waylon demonstrated a passing fancy for the taste of Took's two-tarts.

Life with cats is AWESOME.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Soccer, Psycho Playthings, and Mean Mommies

Woke up at 6:00 this morning. 

Or 7:00. 

Hard to say, really.  The time change always screws me up and makes me feel like I'm stuck in the Matrix, so I'm not really sure.  What I AM sure of is that at some point today I am probably going to go on a crusade to locate all of the (working) AA batteries in the house, so that I can put them in the 3 or 4 clocks that haven't worked in 3 months.  Because I can only imagine that Time Change Day is a lot like Easter for all of our clocks.  They get dressed up in new batteries, and take a lot of pride in showing the CORRECT time.  ("See that?  3:15.  Top THAT, bitches.")

Easter for clocks.  . . .Which, if I follow that line of thought to its conclusion, I am forced to realize that the 3 or 4 of our clocks that need new batteries, the clocks that have NOT told the correct time in *quite* a while, are probably severely depressed.  And possibly quite insane.  (I imagine that having your second hand tick once every 8 or 9 seconds is as close as you can possibly come to TORTURE for a clock.)

I mean, telling time is kind of what they DO.  It's their PURPOSE in life.  And ours have been wrong (VERY wrong) for quite a while.


Sad little clocks, screaming out for batteries, wondering what's the use in ticking.


Really wish I hadn't thought of that.  Because now that I have, I no longer have a choice in the matter.  I MUST give them all fresh batteries now.  Because now I have given them human qualities (which was stupid of me.  Very, VERY stupid.) and if I do NOT replace their batteries, then I am essentially making them suffer for my own twisted amusements.

I really don't care for situations where my overactive imagination pretty much INSISTS upon a course of action for me.  It's just that I don't care for having my hand forced on these matters.

I have done this for pretty much all of my life.  And it is very irritating.  . . . like when I was a kid, and I was pretty sure my stuffed animals came to life when I went to sleep every night.  And then I realized that maybe the ones that I didn't sleep with, the ones that were left on the shelf at night, got jealous.  Like, REALLY jealous.

Like, "If I can't be her cuddle-friend, then NO ONE CAN."

They were MY stuffed animals.  Which meant that I was THEIR WORLD.  When you add several more stuffed animals over a period of time (allowing for gift-giving occasions like birthdays and Christmas, etc.), I think it only logical that petty jealousies would erupt.  And that a small percentage of said animals would be have attachment issues, paired with a lack of experience with dealing with these complex emotions, and that a smaller faction would (naturally) be criminally insane.

And so I usually slept with a great many stuffed animals in bed with me, ever fearful that one day they would realize that I did this NOT out of a desire for closeness, but out of fear of retaliation.  (I was pretty confident that at LEAST a few were substantially unhinged.)

But.  Depressed time-keepers and psychotic playthings hell-bent on destruction ASIDE. . . it really is shaping up to be a lovely Sunday.  =)

And today is kind of a monumental day, in my teeny little nook of existence.

You see, TODAY is the day of DEVIN'S FIRST SOCCER GAME!!!!!

(Enough exclamation points?  Cause I can add some more, no problem.  Let me ask:  Are you really FEELING that I am excited?  Am I making you BELIEVE it?)

Because I AM excited.  Or rather, I was. . . until I got to thinking about all the things that I know about soccer.

It is, admittedly, not a lot.  And most of it was gleaned from years of paying very close attention to television programs.

What I KNOW About Soccer:

1.)  It is VERY big in other countries.

2.)  In at least ONE of these "other countries" it is referred to as "football".

3.)  . . .Does David Beckham play soccer?  Is that why we know him?

4.)  Apparently goals are almost never made, and it is mostly just an excuse for the players to get lots of exercise as they run from one end of the field to the other.

5.)  They wear sassy little knee socks.*

6.)  (*I THINK they wear sassy little knee socks. . . but I have confused sports apparel before.)

7.)  The moms that go to watch these games are evil and mean and very judgemental, and they will most likely find a way to mock what I am wearing, and we are probably not going to be friends.  (Source:  That King of the Hill episode where Peggy went to watch Bobby's soccer game, and all the other mommies made fun of/shunned her because she wasn't wearing the 'right' kind of sweater.  Also, the fact that these mommies are mean is, if TELEVISION is to be believed (and I think we can ALL agree:  It IS.), just kind of common knowledge.)

So, as you can well see, this list is just RIFE with positives AND negatives.  And I'm the kind of person that generally INSISTS on my positives outweighing my negatives.  Otherwise, I just stay home.  (I'm looking at YOU, Lowe's and Publix.)

But for TODAY'S game, there are a few more tiny facts that you need, in order to see why I am not only GOING, but am rather excited about it.

Well, TWO facts, really.  Just two:

1.)  This is going to be soccer played by 6 year olds.

2.)  According to Devin, they have never had a practice.

Yes, you read that last one right:  NEVER had a practice.

This came to light as we were driving home from his school on Friday afternoon.

Me:  "So are you excited about your soccer game on Sunday?"

Devin:  "Yep."

Me:  "What position do you play?"

Devin:  ". . .what?"

Me:  "What position do you play?  What's your job?"

Devin:  *blank stare*

Me:  (like I am talking to a houseplant) "WHAT DID YOUR COACH TELL YOU TO DO?"

Devin:  "Oh.  I don't know my coach yet."

Me:  ". . .you don't know your coach yet?  What about the other kids on your team?  Do you know THEM yet?"

Devin:  "Nope.  I've never met them."

Me:  "What about practice?  Have you NEVER BEEN TO A PRACTICE?"

Devin:  "Nope."

Me:  *my turn for a blank stare*  "Then. . . how do you know what you're supposed to do?"

Devin:  (like HE is talking to a houseplant)  "I've PLAYED soccer before.  You kick the ball."

Me:  "Oh.  . . .wait.  WHERE have you played?"

Devin:  "At my house."

And scene.

So, if I have gotten my point across, then you can clearly see that what we're dealing with here is a sports game wherein at LEAST one of the children involved has NEVER been to a practice, and has NEVER even met his teammates.

Also, they do not have jerseys yet, and so I am anticipating some moments of pure comedy gold, demonstrated by the fact that the kids have completely forgotten who is on their team, and who ISN'T.

Wait. . . do mean mommies take kids' soccer very seriously?

Because *I* know a little boy that is probably going to run out on the field, meet his team, and then attempt to take the ball and become a star.  In his own mind, of course.  Because he has NO IDEA what he is doing.

You gotta love confidence like that.  =)

He's pumped.

I'm pumped.

I'm off to try to locate a smart-looking sweater set.


***In MY head, fancy soccer mommies say things like "Ta!"  And they probably don't arrive to the games over-caffeinated.  And I imagine that they probably smell very nice.  But DO THEY BRING SNACKS?

Seriously ---- do they?

Because I could make certain attempts to befriend mean mommies. . . IF they're packing.



See what I did there?  =)

Making it look easy.

EAT IT, mean mommies!!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Mornings At House Turberville


So VERY Saturday.

And since I woke up at around 6:15 this morning (due to two hungry cats who KNOW which of the humans always gets out of bed first and is, therefore, the provider of Breakfast), I've been trying to decide exactly what my hopes and goals are for this day.

My first goal was coffee.   And that was accomplished simply enough.

Then I sat here while Took snuggled in my lap and nibbled on his pop-tart and we checked the interwebz for important news of the day.  (Turns out nothing really big was going on.)

A couple of mild toddler-meltdowns, and I brandished the Spanking Spoon.  (He is walking around with it now, chewing on the end.  So far he's only been swat with it once, so I guess he hasn't really learned to fear it yet.  But I can be patient.  Oh, I can BE PATIENT.)

The baby tried strawberry milk.  . . .then tried it some more.  (In OUR house, this is HUGE.  Branching out on the list of preferred beverages.  Really can't overstate the importance.)

Then Pad woke up, got his own strawberry milk, and retreated to the couch to snuggle under afghans and soak up some Spongebob.

Daddy got up.  And not 10 minutes later disappeared outside.  Muttered something about watering the lawn.  The better to soak up the weed killer he's about to put on it.  Pad asked what he was doing and I told him Daddy was playing with plant poisons.  He was unimpressed, and has since gone back upstairs to play video games.  (Which I do not intend to let him spend ALL day doing. . . but it's fine for now.)


The bed is made.

The clothes are washing.

The coffee has been consumed.

. . .what do I want to DO today??

. . .I NEED to clean the house.

(I guess.  It feels pretty filthy.  But everytime I think it feels filthy, I just tell myself "Maybe you're OCD and you just don't know it yet.  Maybe this is one of the ways your sickness presents itself.  Do you REALLY want to raise your child in a household where both Mommy AND Daddy are obsessive-compulsive neat-freaks??  Do you REALLY want to instill in him ideals of unattainable perfection??!?  . . .yeah.  Better just wait to clean house.  At least a week.  Maybe longer.  . . .just to be safe.")

I probably also need to drag the stroller out of the garage and take the little Boo on a walk around the neighborhood. . .

It is something that I was going to do yesterday, but didn't realize that it was warm enough outside until it was too late.

Yesterday I was VERY MUCH in the mood to do it.  VERY MUCH of a mind to go out there and get some sunshine and some exercise and just wear myself out.

But today. . . today I find that this "go get 'em!" attitude is nowhere to be found.  Curious.  Perhaps it is at the bottom of my coffee cup.

I push onward.

A realization smacked me in the face yesterday.  It was the realization that I have put on several pounds.

(I had already had my coffee, and so I did not cry.  Still. . . I wanted to.)

It seems like in a period of about 2 weeks, all of my clothes have grown constrictive.  Nothing looks good, nothing feels comfortable.  There's just too much extra ME.  EVERYWHERE.

(My husband has assured me countless times that he LOVES it.  I am easily the curviest that I've been, not counting pregnancy, since I met him.  And he likes it.  Of COURSE he likes it --- my boobs have become quite epic.  But I'M the one that has to lug all this jelly around.  And I am NOT pleased with it.)

I think lots of people probably put on "winter weight."  I'm actually pretty sure that I've always done it, too.

Still, I don't want to let myself become too comfortable in this new curvy body.

And so I have begun to refer to myself as "The Sausage."

. . .I'm sure a therapist would have a field day with this new nickname, and give me an earful about how self-defeating this behavior is, and how I should just learn to love myself no matter what, and how what REALLY matters is what's on the INSIDE, and blah blah blah.

But I KNOW what's on the inside.  And there is substantially MORE of it than there used to be.

But. . . am I really FEELING a walk around the neighborhood right now?

The answer is no.  No, I am not.

Am I really in an "I WANT to clean the house" kind of place?

Again, sadly, no.

I would LIKE to maybe take a super-hot bath, put my hair up in Leia-buns, drag the easel out of the garage, and just paint like a woman possessed.

But there are two little man-cubs running around this place that are looking at me, very clearly, like THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.


. . .

So I'm sitting here.

I'm stressing over it.

Do this?  Or do that?


Mr. Michael walks in.

Mr.:  "Hey baby.  After the boys finish their breakfast, do you wanna get dressed and go to Lowe's?"

Mrs.: ". . . Go to Lowe's for what?"

Mr.:  "To looks at plants."

Mrs.:  "Yes!  Yes.  I would like that very much."


So Pad will finish his pop-tart.  (At the KITCHEN TABLE, even though he grumbles about it.)

And Took will get a fresh change of clothes, because the shirt I picked out for today is like a lightweight, zip-up, windbreaker thing.

And no matter how many times I zip it up, whenever I turn around he has it pulled down to his navel, looking like a pastier, pudgier little Jack Tripper.

So. . . I guess we're going to Lowe's.

On a Saturday morning.

For FUN.

Egad.  I LOVE my life.  And I think maybe the BEST thing about it is that, every once in a while, I turn around and look at it and. . . I'm just amazed.  At everything that changes, and everything that stays the same.  And every moment of flawed perfection that just smacks me in the face and renders me STUPID with gratitude.

Grateful, and stupid, and pleasantly, wonderfully amazed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Teaching Your Toddler Cause and Effect

It comes to my attention this morning that I am probably a very bad blogger, among other things.

("Bad blogger!  BAD!")

I look at other people's blogs and they usually have some sort of theme, or a very concise subject matter that they deal with, and they tend to write something just about every day.

I do none of those things.  ("BAD!")

No, I think MY blog has more the feel of an ADD child, twirling around in their front yard and screaming into the wind about how they aren't allowed to have another glass of chocolate milk until bedtime.  And then they turn into Superman, and attempt to 'fly' off the roof.  AND they only do it (roughly) once a week. 

Because they are just far too distractible to turn out a post any more frequently than that.

(Even as I type this, I have a rather chunky --- we like to call him 'sturdy' --- baby boy squirming around in my lap, slapping at my nose and trying to escape into the den with a hard-won chunk of my hair.)

But I'm not going to lie and say that my busy life simply won't ALLOW ME to post more often than I do.


The truth is that I have SCADS of time (that's a phrase directly from my Granny's mouth --- pretty sure a 'scad' is an ancient unit of measurement.  Perfectly acceptable.  . . .Probably had something to do with the fall harvest, when folks would bring in three full scads of apples, and then the whole town would have pie.  . . .I need to make a pie).

My point is that my life is moving along at a relaxed and leisurely pace, much like the Lazy River at your favorite water park.  (But with less urine.  . . .Well. . .okay.  We have two cats, a 6 year-old, and a toddler, so, to be fair, there is probably the same amount of urine.  But you get the idea.)

The truth is that, aside from waiting for the weather to warm up so that I can take daily walks around the neighborhood with Took, and ASIDE from the brand-spanking new yoga mat that I have (so far) never even unrolled (and that sparks a stab of guilt in me every time I see it), I am perfectly happy with the little life that I have hammered out here in scenic McCalla Alabama.

I'm painting more frequently, and am actually starting to feel like maybe I've turned a corner with that (fingers crossed).  I've been trying my hand at making clay figurines. . . mostly faeries so far, but I anticipate a day where I build up an entire collection of faeries, wizards, gnomes, and other storybook characters.  (I want a White Rabbit to go in our garden.  Wearing a little waistcoat with pockets.  And he'd have to have some sort of glaze, so that he could survive the elements.  . . . THIS is the kind of ridiculous thing that drives me.  No small amount of pride in THAT.  =)

And, just a day or two ago, Michael came up with the BRILLIANT idea that maybe I should paint a mural of some sort on one wall of our backyard fence.  So obviously my brain has been just ALL ABOUT IT, and I have several different ideas of what I want to do.  Naturally, a scene showing Bag End, possibly with Gandalf's cart rolling off into the distance and an Ent here or there, is going to feature PROMINENTLY.

Exciting times.  =D

But all these things are no excuse to stop writing. 

I LOVE writing. 

And I will never stop.

And so I trudge onward, cataloging the daily minutiae of my life.

Soooo. . .what's going on around this place?

Well, for the last couple weeks, the news around here has been SICKNESS.

OH!!  We have had the sicknesses.  A veritable family of runny noses, chest congestion, and snot.  Those gross little mucus-people from the Mucinex commercial have been vacationing here for the better part of a month.


The worst part, by far, has been watching the baby struggle through it.  But he is on the mend, and, though it was TOUGH watching him sniffle and fuss, I feel like he's finally starting to come out of it.

So yay!

We are, however, having slight issues with the toddler-in-question.

Those issues would consist of the fact that he currently believes it is just HYSTERICAL to walk up to someone and smack them in the face with his tiny, and yet somehow still quite fat, hand.  (With me, it usually ends up being right in my eye.  Unpleasant.)  Also, he has only just discovered my hair, and really seems to enjoy trying to pull it all out.  He'll come away with several long strands stuck between his fingers, and he seems to find this a most delightful state.

Alas, my hair is much like a beautiful flower in a national forest --- Take only pictures, leave only memories, bitch.  

But Took seems to require a bouquet of mommy-hair, which is an art-form that I just can't respect.

Honestly, I have been at a loss as to how to deal with this new irritation.  I was kind of hoping that he would just grow bored with it, and move on to something else.

But that has not happened.

And so, I came to realize that ACTION MUST BE TAKEN.

But he IS only 1 1/2. . . I don't believe spanking a child is always the answer, especially one that young.  I had already tried taking his hand in mine when he did it, and repeating 'No!', and trying my best to look very out-done.  (Not that hard to do, as it turns out.)  I even tried putting him in time-out, but again, he is really too young for it to be very effective.

So. . . what now?

I considered the situation for a while, trying to decide the best way to approach it.

Came up with nothing.

And so, the next time my sweet little angel grabbed a handful of my hair and tried quite earnestly to remove it from my head, I was running on instinct and pure adrenaline.

And, after saying 'No!' a couple times and he STILL didn't release it. . . I grabbed a handful of his beautiful little curls. . . and yanked.


Tears.  Betrayal.  HURT FEELINGS!!!

Still, he did NOT let go of my hair.  Actually, he was still tugging rather viciously on a good-sized clump.

And so I tugged, as well.

And we stood like that in the living room, staring each other down, holding tight to a clump of the other one's hair, for several long moments.

He SLO-O-OWLY let go of my hair.

I slowly let go of his.

He reached his hand back up and YANKED.

I did, too.

More tears.

One more good yank each.

Then all hair was let go, and we collapsed onto the floor for conciliatory snuggles.

Now, before you even SAY IT, I'm SUUUURE there are MANY parents out there that might've handled this situation differently.

There are probably SCADS of parents out there that would be SO MUCH BETTER than sinking to a toddler's level, and playing a petty little game of tit-for-tat.

But I would like to remind you, politely, that there are ALSO tons of parents out there that seem to be under the impression that their children can do no wrong.

There are FAR TOO MANY parents out there that are either not interested in their children's lives, or that are simply trying so hard to be their child's 'friend' that they have completely lost all credibility as a 'parent.'

These people are idiots, and so I am inclined to ignore them.  (Go do your idiot-things, and leave me alone.  That's not too much to ask, right?)

I ADORE my child.  I had him a little late in life (comparatively), and I tend to think that he is the most precious being on this planet.  I think he is adorable, I think he is brilliant, and I think his personality is just aces.

Also, his sense of humor is incredible.

He gets praised, religiously, for helping me with the dishes, or the clothes, or cleaning, or any other random way he might be showing an effort.

He gets applauded (*literally*) when he dances, or shows an interest in something, or tries something new.

We spend our days together, we talk, we play, we have just started making music with the harmonica, and we generally  have a grand old time.

What I'm saying here is:  A.)  I ENJOY my kid.  He gets tons of time and attention, and his sweet little presence in my life is just the bee's knees.  And B.)  Because of all this attention, and positive reinforcement, I have serious concerns that his self-confidence is just going to be DANGEROUSLY high.

(He already seems to think he is a god among children.  We've tried beating him with various items, but so far it's proving to be a confidence that you just can't smack away. Unfortunate.)

But with all that being said, PLEASE note that NOWHERE in there did I even HINT at the notion that this kid is infallible.

He pulls hair.  He slaps the cat.  He will play in the toilet, if given the chance, and he is NOT above performing a complete COME-APART TANTRUM if he is not plied with what he considers to be the 'proper' amounts of juice.

I want him to be happy.  I want him to be well-adjusted. 

I do NOT want him to meet new people and come away with a handful of their hair.

And so I have (just now) resigned myself to the fact that, just perhaps, other mothers are going to look down on me.  Perhaps they will judge me for pulling my child's hair, even if it WAS to teach him that pulling hair HURTS (how ELSE was he supposed to know?) and we should NOT do it.

. . .At some point in the past, this probably would've bothered me.  This perception that maybe others were looking down on me, and then the thought would probably creep in my head that Perhaps I am doing something wrong. . .

And I honestly DON'T KNOW when it happened, but this morning I realize that Yeah.  Maybe other mommies are going to judge me.

And I simply do not give a rat's ass.

Because I know LOTS of kids.

And for every well-behaved child that is obviously being given love and attention, and that is obviously being taught manners, and how to act in society. . . there are at LEAST one or two kids that are just complete terrors.

For every kid that is curious, and well-adjusted, and kind to animals. . . there is at least one kid that just hasn't been taught anything, that has NEVER been corrected, and that is walking around talking about SWAG and setting the neighborhood cats on fire.

So spare me.

I'm old enough to know what I want, and what I don't want, for my child.

My ways probably AREN'T your ways.

I have a lot of opinions that. . . stray from the norm.

And I'm cool with that.


I did it, I don't regret it, and I'll do it again if necessary.

So look down on me all you want.

MY baby learned a little lesson about cause and effect that day.  (KNOWLEDGE!!)

Meanwhile, YOUR precious little angel is smart-mouthing adults and acting more entitled than Donald Trump on his birthday.

(. . .Have you tried pulling his hair?)

Because, not to say I told you so or anything, but. . . in MY house. . . the hair-pulling has STOPPED.