Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why did no one tell me?


Why did no one tell me how completely overwhelming that Archiver's can be?

Maybe it's no big deal to those of you who have scrapbook stores in your area, but we have none at all in our county. We're relegated to Walmart and Dollar Tree, and occasionally Dollar General.

But today - man, today was a different story.

We went to visit Amanda, and mom wanted to try Ross because she'd been given a Visa gift card. As we pulled into the parking lot, there it was.


Right next door was a Justice store (clothing for girls) so I took Anna Marie in there first. We picked up a few little trinkets, and I thought that would keep her appeased so I could shop the scrapbook store.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, as my uncle is known to say.

I basically had to run through the store, because she kept trying to pull me away from what I needed to be looking at - namely, supplies for a zoo page - and ask me for totally unecessary stuff.

(Stickers? Really? If I'm buying her stickers, they WON'T be Jolee's. They'll be from the Dollar Tree.)

Finally, I just gave up.

I did, however, talk my mom out of skipping the trip to the mall, and get to visit Sephora!

I didn't buy anything, but I did try bunches of stuff on while Anna Marie "made over" her Gramma. So fun!

And I deserved a bit of fun, because I'd just spent way, way too much of my time with The Kid in Build-A-Bear trying to teach her the importance of budgeting as she tried to get the most out of a $10 gift certificate we'd earned.

I am so not used to having a kid when I shop! Well, I take that back. We do our main grocery shopping on Sunday, but Jason is with me and generally keeps her occupied so I can concentrate.

Otherwise, it takes me three times as long to go through my list.

I told her yesterday, as we walked through Walmart and I'd heard about the 1,000th request for junk, that I wasn't going back to the store until she started back to school.

"I won't have anything to eat!" she protested.

Well, maybe not, but at least I can shop in peace again!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Official Thursday Weigh-In


Bad news at the scale, folks. Not the news I needed to hear after the week (and 24-hours, especially) I've had.

Gained two whole pounds! Back up to 149!

I'm feeling so "blah" (and have been, since before I went to weigh in) that I weighed in and left. Jason and Anna Marie are at the main dance studio location, half an hour away, for recital rehearsal, so I knew I'd have the house to myself for a while.

(Oh, for joy. I just remembered that she has practice again up there on Monday, and I have to work, and Jason has to go to bed early because of work the next day. My Blackjack has already informed me of the conflict.)

At least the rerun of The Office is the really funny "Chair Model" episode tonight.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I told you it pours.

Right now, it's raining once again. And I'm loving it. And I'm thankful.

I'm thankful that my husband put a screen in the place of the glass in the front door, so I can hear that beautiful sound.

I'm thankful that my husband came home from Memphis today, and just bit the bullet and bought me a new battery. And installed it. And now I don't have to worry about my car not starting while he and the rest of my family is 45 minutes away in Memphis tomorrow.

I'm thankful that, barring more rain, I have the resources to get a new windsheild put in my car tomorrow. And that I had the good sense to call and get a couple of estimates, so that I could make the best use of those resources.

I'm thankful that, even in the midst of turmoil, God can send a rain so peaceful that it washes all your cares away.

I'm thankful. And I pray that God helps me to remain that way.

Where do I start?

Ok, first of all, is it just me, or is Blogger acting a bit buggy lately? I keep having to refresh when I visit a blog, or even just post to mine.

Most annoying.

Anyway - thanks for those of you who have already posted your answers to last week's meme. Yes, I should've gotten to everyone to let them know they were tagged by now, but for real, I have not been home this weekend.

Friday I left the office at lunch time, and we ate Subway with my parents. I had visions of a nice, quiet afternoon at home - usually on days like this, we go to Memphis, but gas prices are making us more homebody-like - but a friend of my dad's came over to have Jason look at a laptop he'd picked up somewhere. That was so old, it was running Windows 2000.

And stayed for seven hours.

He was no bother, really, but when you've got company, it's still hard to relax. I did end up walking to city hall to pay the water bill, and then back to the office to let my boss's wife in the building (she didn't know we'd closed early, and she didn't bring a key.)

Mom and dad came by shortly after our company left, to get Anna Marie for the night.

But did I sleep in on Saturday? Only if by "sleeping in" you mean "sleeping until 7 a.m. when you normally arise at 6 a.m."

And where did we go to lunch? Subway again. (Anna Marie's on a real Subway kick right now. At least it isn't McD's!) Then, we drove to the next county to pick up a swing set my mom was buying for The Kid.

Oh, my poor feet though - all that walking on Friday had been done in flip flops, and I'd rubbed little blisters on the insides of what Anna Marie refers to as the "thumb toe" on each foot. And the shoes I was wearing Saturday rubbed blisters on my "pinky toes!" I was one bandaged up girl by the end of the day.

Sunday after church, we had just enough time to go grocery shopping, get home, change clothes, and get to the church picnic. Several hundred acres of rolling hills, lakes, and deer - after all, it was a deer camp - and it was just beautiful.

We had taken my mom with us, and when we took her back home Anna Marie had mysteriously found a way to settle in for the night! We, of course, did not want to disturb her relaxation, so there she stayed.

Yesterday we took some chicken breasts and turkey burgers to mom's and grilled them. My sister-in-law made steak kabobs, and I also wrapped onions in foil and put them on the grill. Mmm, mmm, good!

So, this morning, I brought Anna Marie to work with me for a bit. Jason had to go meet the food truck at the auction, and do inventory, and she'd have had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go with him. She stayed here a couple of hours before my dad came to get her.

At lunch time, my mom called to say that she was bringing my brother and his wife to town to eat but that Anna Marie wanted - you guessed it - Subway. Being the good mom I am, I went to get her.

Except - when I went back to my car not five minutes later, it wouldn't start! I went back inside and got my brother, who declared my battery dead. He pulled his car around, and after a protracted battle, got it boosted off. I left it running, went back inside, and got The Kid for lunch.

Except - when we went to leave Subway after lunch, it was dead again! Mom was a few doors down in the same shopping center, so I walked down there and called Jason. He asked me to have my mom bring me back to work and said he'd look at the battery when he got back down here.

I would've just gone and bought another battery, but I know he doesn't want to do that - especially since my windshield finished cracking Sunday, and I need to get my car inspected, and I can't get that inspection with the crack, so I'm getting a new windshield tomorrow.

If it doesn't rain.

Of course, if my battery is dead, it won't matter whether it rains or not - my car will remain at the Subway parking lot.

Last year we thought the battery was dead, but when he disconnected the cables a bunch of corrosion fell off and it worked fine. I think that's what he's hoping will happen now.

It's not as bad as it could be - my brother was there to boost me off, and my mom was close by to give me a ride back to work. And if I need to go anywhere on newspaper business, we do have a company car I can use.

Maybe if he does have to buy a battery, he can also get a new radio antenna to replace the one lopped off by rogue balloon strings last Tuesday.

When it rains, y'all, it really does pour.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Dang that Heather!

No sooner do I send out a Tweet (you know, on Twitter, hie thee hither y'all!) that I need to concentrate on getting a couple of things done because I'm leaving at noon, and then she goes and tags me.


So, here it goes.

It's all true

Favorite person (outside family)? This is hard! I have so many favorite people,
like my GM Shirley, or our office manager Faye, or, well, I'm just not going to narrow it down!

Favorite food? At this point, I'm sure you've realized it's whole wheat couscous. And that I'm topping it with lots of different things that are yummy. And that you're tired of me talking about it! But that's it. I (heart) whole wheat couscous.

Quirks about you? I have to open packages per the manufacturer's recommendations. I've always been this way - don't just tear into that package of batteries! There is a little tab on the back and some perforations for a reason! Use them!

How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? Fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. (Ok, so this was Heather's answer, and it rocked so much I stole it!)

Any regrets in life? That I waited so long to get my health in order; that I didn't seek help with my postpartum depression, which hurt the people I love most; that my big mouth has hurt some of the people in my life.

Favorite Charity/ Cause? I can't really think of one. I suppose it would have to be missions, both at home and overseas, because while I can't be everywhere at once, I can give to different folks who are out there with the Good News.

Favorite Blog recently? Nope. Not going to play into that one!

Something you can’t get enough of? Anna Marie's hugs. And kissing her little kissable cheeks. They're just delicious.

Worst job you’ve ever had? Hands down, front counter at a discount dry cleaners. I have a really weak stomach, and some of the stuff on those clothes would make me gag. Throw them away, people - don't bring them to me! It was also hot, and I was on my feet all day, and the only way you could get a break was if you smoked, which I didn't. Not even a lunch break! I quit after four days.

What job would you pay NOT to have? Anything dealing with washing dishes. If I didn't have a dishwasher at home (or a husband who likes to clean) we'd be eating off paper plates!

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? In the daily lives of some of the bloggers I read. I'm just nosy that way.

Favorite Bible verse right now? In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33) When I see the turmoil in the world, I have to remember this!

Guilty Pleasure? British reality shows, like You Are What You Eat and How Clean is Your House? Odd choices, I know, for someone with a weak stomach!

Got any confessions? I don't always exercise like I should!

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? Probably a new mattress, because ours is 10 years old. Although that wouldn't only benefit me.

Favorite thing about your house? The old fashioned glass doorknobs. And the fact that it's walking distance from my job!

Least favorite thing about your house? The fact that the washer and dryer are in the kitchen.

One thing you are bad at? Being consistent.

One thing you’re good at? Grandiose schemes. You should see some of the ideas bouncing around in my noggin.

If you could change something about your circumstances, what? I'd be doing something that would allow me to work from home.

Who would you like to meet someday? Bloggy friends.

What makes you feel sexy? The way my husband thinks I'm beautiful, and always has, even when I was 90 lbs. heavier.

Who is your real life hero? Does it sound corny to say my husband? Yes, he's imperfect, and there are things that annoy me about him, but he's a great dad and a very hard worker, and best of all, he's put up with me for a very long time.

What is the hardest part of your job? Reporting difficult stories, like crime or problems within the community, and keeping "above the fray."

When are you most relaxed? Laying in bed watching something on TV, especially The Golden Girls on the DVR in there.

What stresses you out? Lots of stuff. I'm constantly battling with worry.

What can you not live without? God. I don't know how other folks do.

Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? I think some are, and sometimes I think I am, but I think most of us just want to share and read what others have shared about our struggles with life.

Why do you blog? I like to write, and it helps me to "talk" things out on here.
Plus, the world needs more pictures of little red heads.

Now, the hardest part - tagging others!

• New/ newer bloggers (or at least new to me): Rachel and Wendy

• Bloggy friends: Linda and Valerie

• Bloggers you’d like to get to know better Paige and Steff

• Bloggers you don’t think will respond, but you hope will Sheila and Amanda

And, if you feel left out, well then just jump right in. Go on. I don't mind, I promise.

Now, it'll take me the rest of the day to notify all these tag-ees.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Official Thursday Weigh-In

Well, well, well. What have we here?

Do we have a scale that reads 147? I think that we do!

And I think that this means I've now lost 90 pounds!

And I think that, in the midst of all the bad news this week (sick kids, out-of-control gas prices, and tragedies in families that aren't mine, but I mourn with anyway) I needed that - a little bit of good news.

If I don't get a chance to check in, I hope everyone has a fantastic, and safe, Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Let's see if I can blow Blogger's mind

zoo 3

I knew I took lots of pictures today at the zoo, but when I sat down to edit them, I saw the full scale of my shutterbugness.

(Shutterbugness? Is that even a word? Guess it is now. Somebody call Webster's - I have an addition to their next dictionary!)

(Also - why did no one, including my shutterbug of a sister, tell me that when you upload photos to Flickr, they put them in reverse order of how you uploaded them? Very annoying.)

Yes, after a several-month hiatus, I have once again uploaded my photos to my Flickr account. Mainly because I needed to upload lots of pictures, and I didn't want to have to wrestle with Blogger.

You might want to take a potty break and grab a glass of tea. This could take awhile.

Oh what fun we had today! There were enough chaparones that I only had to be responsible for Anna Marie. Plus, everyone was on their own, free to roam the zoo until the appointed meet-up time. I had checked Anna Marie out before we left the school, so she got to ride home with me.

Amanda said she wished she'd been there, because it sounded "delightful." And it was! It was sunny, but there was a surprising amount of shade around. We had our lunches, so we got to stop whenever we wanted and eat. Thankfully I also had some cash, because we also needed other refreshments during our three-hour tour.

(A three-hour tour!)

zoo 1

The front entrance. I haven't actually been to the zoo (I think) since my cousin Shawn had his birthday party there, when he was like, five, and he's going to be 26 this summer. That's a long time, y'all!

zoo 2

There are all these really cool animal statues at the front entrance.

zoo 4

We procured a map (from a guy who tried to charge us $10!) and Anna Marie quickly became a Map Nazi. And yes, that's a random piece of yarn around her hand. She got off the bus with it, and I have no idea where it came from. She took it off soon thereafter.

zoo 5

Tigers! That water looked so cool and inviting, I wanted to brave the big cats and jump in. Obviously, I didn't.

zoo 6

I don't remember if they had meerkats before The Lion King and Meerkat Manor came along or not.

zoo 7

The snake house. Of course, the interior did not lend itself to photography, but rest assured that the future herpatologist that shares my last name was EXTREMELY excited to get here.

zoo 8

I suppose that in order to get two pandas, Memphis had to promise to make a big tribute to China. That's the only way I could think they could justify the scale of this exhibit. There was this bell . . .

zoo 9

And this statue (which Anna Marie thought was the dog with its baby, but I'm not so sure this is a loving pose), and, finally . . .

zoo 10

The pandas. They were in separate enclosures, each having lunch. There were lots and lots of other things in the panda's pavilion, but I didn't want to go, you know, overboard with the pictures.

zoo 11

I need a sign like this hung around my head at all times.

(Hey! We're halfway done!)

zoo 12

There was a baby giraffe. I wish I'd have gotten a picture of what happened next - a giant door opened and the giraffes walked through. Guess they must've been hungry, which got us hungry, so we headed to a pavilion to eat.

zoo 13

Anna Marie had a sack lunch from the school. I was going to be all "hip" and bring my beloved couscous and vegetables, but I ran out of time. So when I ran to get gas this morning, I picked up an apple and a banana and threw them into my tote bag.

(Well, I paid for them first. The point is, that's what I had for lunch. I was STARVING when we got finished, but thankfully this was an auction day so we swung by for something from the cafeteria. We got there just as the line was being taken down!)

Anyway. Back to the zoo.

Anna Marie was also excited about the monkeys. Unfortunately, the orangutans couldn't be bothered.

zoo 14

How rude! The penguins were much more obliging.

zoo 15

This is the original zoo entrance, from when I was a kid. Also, probably from when my parents were kids. I'd actually forgotten about it until today.

zoo 16

It was starting to get hot by this point, but fortunately there was a concession stand nearby where Anna Marie could get a fudge pop and I could get a bottle of water.

zoo 17

zoo 18

zoo 19

(We're in the home stretch now!)

zoo 20

The Egyptian theme continues throughout the park. You know, since Memphis is named after an Egyptian city and all. Very original.

zoo 21

She even talked me into putting a penny (and two quarters!) into the penny-squishing machine.

zoo 22

And then she had the gall to be upset that it was bent! When I was a kid, there was this machine that dispensed animals (plastic? wax? I don't remember) for a small fee. I didn't see any of those, which disappointed me. I also didn't see the peacocks that used to roam freely. I guess they attacked one too many visitors.

She fell asleep on the way to the auction, and then woke up enough to eat something and help wipe down a couple of tables. We went to Gordman's on the way home where I picked up a couple of nice tank tops to layer under shirts. I'd also promised her a trip to a "real" bookstore, so we went across the parking lot to Books-a-Million where she got a chocolate milk and a book on snakes, and I got a skim milk latte.

Tomorrow is the last day of school, y'all! And not a moment too soon - Anna Marie's doctor is setting her up with a specialist so we can get to the bottom of these respiratory problems that keep cropping up. It'll be nice not to have to worry about missing school for a while.

She's still coughing some, but not nearly as much. She's taking about four different medicines, but tomorrow is the last day for the Prednisone. The hives are still cropping up here and there, but she's still taking Benadryl and I'm using hydrocortisone creme when it itches. I have read, though that it's common for hives to do that after a severe allergic reaction.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and good thoughts during this time - and please keep remembering us! I'm just exhausted with all this, but I'm also thankful because I know there are some much sicker kids out there whose parents have to go through much, much more.

I need to get off here and let Blogger cool down get to bed. In addition to being off today, we're on a short deadline because of Memorial Day, and I have to get her from school tomorrow!

Monday, May 19, 2008


We ended up in the emergency room with Anna Marie last night.

After two days of Benadryl, her hives still weren't getting any better. Plus, her coughing wasn't improving, something that surprised me since I thought all that antihistamine would surely dry up whatever was draining down her throat and making her cough.

We stayed home from church, but went to lunch with my parents and my brothers and their "women."

(I don't mean any disrespect by that term - but one of them is married, and one of them will be soon, and there's just no simple term for that. Or, if there is, I'm too tired to think of it at this point.)

Anyway - back to the story.

We ran a few errands, and decided to drop the stuff we were supposed to bring to last night's small group meeting by the couple's house. They have a 10-month-old daughter, and we really couldn't be sure what was causing Anna Marie's symptoms, so we didn't want to expose the baby to a possible virus.

Oh, and we also got the antibiotic prescription filled, because I figured she wasn't improving so I had the doctor's blessing.

After I put Anna Marie to bed last night, still coughing and hiving, my mother called. I was telling her how frustrated I was, how nothing I was doing was helping my child, and how I just didn't think it was natural for all that Benadryl to not clear up her hives. And, she was developing new ones constantly!

Mom suggested that I go ahead and take her to the hospital.

I asked her to go with me. Jason was working on getting a computer ready for my aunt, and, while he's a great dad, since it wasn't life threatening he'd just have been bored up there and thinking about what he needed to get done at home.

(Plus, I'd have just been on the phone to her every few minutes anyway.)

I dressed her in something comfy in case she fell asleep, grabbed "Favoritey" the blanket, Griz the bear and Bunny her Webkinz bunny (Thanks Sue!) and we headed over to the ER.

It really wasn't that bad of an experience, even though this is really not the most top-notch facility here. In total, we only spent about two hours, and got home a little after 10 p.m.

She received a steroid shot and a Benadryl shot for the hives, which started to work immediately. She also got a chest x-ray to make sure she didn't have pneumonia. Which, she doesn't - just bronchitis.

The doctor showed me up her nose, and there was a good bit of infection up there that's draining. That's what's making her cough, and building up in her lungs. He advised me to take her to see an allergist, because all the medicine I'm giving her isn't doing any good and she's ending up with these chronic sinus infections every three or four months.

He gave me a prescription for Zithromax, Prednisone, and Benadryl. I'm going to go to work in a little bit, and then run to the pharmacy at 9 a.m. when they open so Jason won't have to get her out. I don't think she's going to school today, which I kinda hate because it's her last full day of kindergarten. But tomorrow is the zoo trip, and I'm trying to get some of this medicine in her so she can feel like going.

I feel badly that I waited until last night to take her to the ER, but I was trying everything I knew (and that I thought the doctor had advised) to take care of this. I am glad that we didn't wait until later this week when school was out, because it very well could've been pneumonia by then.

Seeing my daughter's bones on that x-ray was such a surreal experience. I realized that those bones had begun their growth inside of me! It was another thing that made me feel a little more connected to her, something that I must admit has been somewhat of a struggle at times.

She's sleeping now - I think this is the best sleep she's had in days. I don't know how, but it seems those shots have helped her coughing too. Usually by now, she'd already be up and asking for some relief.

I think we may finally get some relief now, all of us. And not a moment too soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sleep, what's that?

Oh, gentle readers, this has been quite the eventful few days.

You have heard (briefly) how I took Anna Marie to the doctor on Thursday morning because she'd spent the night prior coughing her little red head off.

We obtained four sample bottles of an antihistamine/decongestant/cough medicine, along with a prescription to be filled if they worked, and another for an antibiotic if she didn't clear up in a day or two.

Friday at school, she was fine. Bascially no coughing. Friday night was a different matter. She started up again, and somehow we all got to sleep.

Yesterday, she woke up coughing so hard she was shaking, and saying "Mom, hurry up with that medicine!"

An hour later, she was saying, "Mom, look how much red spots I have from the itching!"

Oh, my goodness. She was covered in hives on both arms and legs, a few on her trunk, and a good many on her little behind. I grabbed some hydrocortisone creme for the itching, and called the doctor to find out if the cough medicine could be the culprit.

He's not sure, but he told me not to give it to her just in case. He also told me it was OK to give her Benadryl, since it was a different kind of antihistamine than the one in the medicine. So, I've been dosing her every four hours since yesterday, and watching for signs of trouble - swollen throat, tongue, or lips, or trouble breathing.

She woke up a few minutes ago, coughing, and the hives have spread to cover her trunk and her face. Oddly enough, she isn't complaining of them itching, and hasn't since I gave the first dose of Benadryl yesterday.

It looks like we won't be going to church this morning, either. And, if that Benadryl doesn't start making a dent in those hives, we'll be making a trip to the minor medical clinic. It doesn't open until 1 p.m. today anyway, so we've got time.

(We were going to take her last night, after the cookout where we saw my brother for the first time in two years, but they closed at 6 p.m. on Saturdays.)

(Aww. How cute! She just came in here to check on ME!)

Y'all, I'm just about tore down from the floor down! I don't know when I've had a full night's sleep!

And this week is the zoo trip!

I think when this clears up, I'm going to see about getting her some allergy testing - this is too much to go through four times a year.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Official Thursday Weigh-In

This is going to be the quickfastinahurry version.

149. Down 1 lb. from before. 88 lbs. total.

Ok. Office season finale tonight - Amanda (my sister, not this SIL) is coming down to watch it/spend the night/go to AM's awards day tomorrow/I have couscous awaiting me in the kitchen.

Oh. And up since 3:45 a.m./trip to doctor/nothing major wrong/received prescription strength medicine/at least SHE got to stay home today and rest.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment with some couscous.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Playin' hooky from church

Shh. Don't tell anyone, but instead of typing this, we should be on our way to church.

But I don't guess it's playing hooky when your kid is running a fever, is it?

Yes, dear readers, the cough has returned. It has been about three months since its last appearance, so I guess we're due a visit.

This time, he brought his good friend fever. Fever just got into town this afternoon, or at least that's when I ran into him, when I went to pick The Kid up from dance practice.

We came home and I gave her some Tylenol, and now we're just trying to relax. It's just about time for her cough medicine, and she didn't eat her supper but has been asking for Sun Chips. How can I tell a coughing child no? I guess it's a little like being pregnant - you eat what will make you feel better.

My little patient is getting a bit impatient for me to get off this computer and refill her chip bowl, so I guess that's my cue to cut out of here.

Please just keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A meditation on mothers

Since we've just celebrated Mother's Day, let me leave you with a thought.

I was reading in the Old Testament recently, about the death of Moses. And I was thinking about how he started out life: the son of slaves, destined to be a slave himself, or worse, to be killed at the hands of their captors in his infancy.

But his mother - she refused to stand back and let that happen. Even though all her neighbors were losing their baby boys to Pharaoh's edict, she did not believe that hers had to be one of them.

So, she did something that to us today (and I'm sure to the other Hebrew women at the time) to be a little cra-zazy. She put the baby in a basket, floated him downstream, and put his big sister in charge of looking after him.

Of course, we all know the plan God had - for him to become Pharaoh's grandson, but at the same time, to be raised in a Hebrew household. His upbringing brought him both extraordinary privilege, and extraordinary compassion for the suffering of his people.

But the thing that stood out to me the most was this thought: when his mom sent him off in the basket, she had no clue what his future would be. At least Mary had been forewarned that the baby she carried was God's son, and she knew that eventually he'd die for her sins and ours. But Moses' mom didn't have that insight. All she knew was that she loved her son, and she would do anything in the world to protect him - even if it meant that he'd grow up in someone else's arms.

So what's my point? That we have no idea the plans that lay ahead for our children. Anna Marie might grow up and be a great SAHM, raising a gaggle of Godly children. Or, she could become a great scientist who discovers the cure for cancer. We never know what lies down the road.

So what is our responsibility? Just like Moses' mom, we need to do everything in our power to raise them right - to instill in them a sense of right and wrong, to show them a good Godly example, and to fight for them whenever there is a need.

Because we never know what our child might be called upon to do.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm sure I'm only about the gazillionth person with that as a post title today.

But it's true - I mean it - I hope y'all (whether your children are human or animal, or somewhere in between) have had a great day.

I'm so exhausted - because I'm a mother, who was surprised by her husband with a clothing shopping spree this afternoon (I felt like I was on What Not to Wear); I'm a wife, who had to then traverse the grocery store, making sure I was making the best use of our money; and I'm a daughter, who came home, exhausted from those things, only to change clothes and help my mom get her home ready for my brother's visit from Montana later this week.

And then - well, then, I got to come home and do some more work. And then, I got to sit on my bed and watch QVC, because Jason had put Anna Marie to bed for me, and finish off the last of the Millionare Pie (not CORE, but a much-slimmed-down version) that I'd made Friday.

We had a most wonderful service this morning at church, and as the pastor called the mothers to the front to pray a special prayer for us, I was overwhelmed with the weight and responsibility of motherhood. I have much to ponder, and much to work on, in that role.

And since I'm about to fall asleep where I sit, and the chair in our living room, while comfortable, is not where I'd choose to spend the night, I'm going to cut this short.

I promise, I'll get around to wishing each of you a (belated) Happy Mother's Day in person, er, blog!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sure, I'll play along

I got this from the irrepressable Valerie.

The object of the game is to bold the things you've done.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink (Well, I don't drink, and never been to a pub, so I guess not.)
02. Swam with wild dolphins (We're rather landlocked here in the Swamps of Mississippi)
03. Climbed a mountain (Only if you count mountains of laundry.)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (I can't drive a stick - do they come in automatic?)
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid (I've never even been inside the Great American Pyramid in Memphis.)
06. Held a tarantula (You're kidding, right?)
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone you love (Only if Anna Marie counts, and it wasn't candlight, it was the flourescent lights in the hotel room)
08. Said 'I Love You,' and meant it.
10. Hugged a tree (We ain't got no use for tree huggers 'round here!)
10. Done a striptease (Hahahahahaha!)
11. Bungee jumped (No way! I have no insurance!)
12. Visited Paris (I think I may have been to Paris, Tennessee once.)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (Nope.)
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg (I live in the Deep South - ice doesn't last long around here.)
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby’s diaper (More times than I care to remember)
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne (Never been drunk, so no)
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (Usually at funerals - doesn't everyone?)
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (But we're allowed to use them interchangeably)
31. Asked out a stranger (I've never asked out anyone!)
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier (I wouldn't want to break the poor thing!)
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (I'm a pretty jumpy person!)
35. Held a lamb (In New Mexico!)
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster (Back in my wilder days - not so much now!)
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days (Do it all the time. It's called MY JOB.)
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (luckily, I was in my living room, so I only had to worry about Jason)
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer (We have two hard drives now. And two monitors. And two CD drives.)
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts (Well, talk to me again at the end of June, when I'm sunning myself on the white sands of Biloxi beach.)

That took WAY longer than I thought it would - and for a minute there, I was afraid I hadn't done anything! How depressing is that?

Go ahead, if you've got a minute or 20. Give it a shot!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Know who is WAY nice?

Heather, that's who.

Ok, so I'm only like a week-or-so late in telling y'all this, but that girl made me her blog of the week! And she said some really nice things about me, which may or may not be true, but they sure were nice!

I found her blog (I think I'm remembering this correctly) through a bloggy block party or some such. And I've been going back ever since.

Heather, in addition to running about a bazillion businesses from home (and sometimes from an airport) has two pretty neat kids. She also coaches sports/cheerleader/youth group stuff.

She's also a relatively new Christian, and has really grown a lot in that faith.

(Also! She does not use a hairbrush! Go visit her site; a couple days ago she had a video that was hi-freaking-larious! Should be the next YouTube sensation! Move over "Chocolate Rain" guy!)

So, go be all reciprocal and stuff. Go visit her. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll think.

And you can thank me later.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Official Thursday Weigh-In

Well, not much to report this week.

And not much witty repartee (is that how that's spelled?) either. I'm just too doggone tired to be my usual, verbose self.

I stayed at 150, which, is suppose, is better than a gain.

So, if you're feeling more chipper than I, feel free to chip in!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Well, if that's her rationale

So, yesterday morning, I'm in the bathroom putting on "my face" and Anna Marie, just having finished her breakfast, comes in.

Mom, she whispers, Can I tell you something in your ear?

Keep in mind, we were the only two in the house at the time. Jason had long since - like, five hours since - left for Memphis.

I lean in, and this is what I hear:

Can I get my ears pierced?

This, from the girl who has been asking me for the past couple of years if she HAD to get them done, because she didn't want to, because she was afraid it would hurt.

(Ok, so it does hurt, but only momentarily. Or so I recall.)

And, apparently she meant "this afternoon after school."

We talked about her behavior - despite the Warrior of the Week accolades of last week, this has not been so stellar a past few days. I also told her that we'd have to talk to her dad, since he was the other parent, and see what he thought about it.

Oh, and wait until you hear what comes next:

I have an empty space here (touches ear lobe on right ear) And here (touches ear lobe on left ear.)

I didn't think much else about it, until tonight when I was putting her to bed and she brought it up again. Her question this time (she's like Moses with Sodom and Gomorrah or something) was, if she stayed on green all next week, could she do it.

I told her to stay on green, and we'd talk about it.

Then, she's trying to bargain with me - if she stays on green for the next two days, can she get it done? Like, this weekend?

I informed her that we probably wouldn't be going anywhere this weekend that performed such a service, and she reminded me that our friendly neighborhood Walmart was just such a place. Not that I have anything against WM, mind you - that's where mine was done, and I used to work in the jewelry department and shot a few holes myself - but I also know that the quality of the job is directly proportional to lots of things which are highly volatile, like the skill of the worker and the scream volume of the kid.

(Jason's asking me where a "legitimate" place is, like WM is some sort of seedy underground blackmarket piercing operation.)

Anyway, again with the rationale - she has two empty plots of skin on her ears; ergo, they must be adorned.

I must say, I'm a little frightened by her reasoning, because if empty skin is going to be the only measure for where to get stuck, she may well end up looking like my brother - who has a plethora of piercings.

I just don't know if I'm ready for my little girl to get it done - I was eight, and had to get like, straight A's for like, a whole semester. If she gets it just for staying on green a few times, that like, totally cheapens the whole experience.

Rest assured, though - if and when it happens, y'all will be kept up-to-date on the saga.

Thank God for camera phones.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's a small (groups) world

Last night we had our first small-group meeting with our new church.

If you go to any size-church at all, I highly recommend small groups. If you go to a pretty big church like we do now, I HIGHLY recommend them.

It's been a bit of a struggle the last few weeks - going from a church of two dozen, to a church of 1,500, is a bit overwhelming. We've met lots of nice folks, especially since we started attending Sunday School and Wednesday night Bible study. But - and this is going to sound awful - I'm having a hard time remembering names!

I know! Terrible, right? But, except for a few folks, I've tended to forget their names just as soon as they've shaken my hand! And when you can't remember someone's name, it's hard to make a connection with that person. Am I right?

Apparently the church leadership must know that making connections in such an atmosphere is tough, too, because they just started a new session of small groups.

Oh, I was so excited when I heard the announcement! I'd just been praying, and telling God that it sure would be nice to be in a small group setting so we could get to know some folks better. And then - the very next service! - there it was!

The guy in charge of the groups is so funny with his promos - yesterday I found myself being sad for the day when he wouldn't need to interrupt the announcements anymore.

Last Sunday, he led a "tour group" through the sanctuary, and then demanded $5 each from them before the pastor shut him down. And then he told a really funny story about Quizno's, and how sometimes we get so focused on our problems (or, our sandwich going through the line) that we don't notice anything else around us.

Yesterday, it was a cave man suit - because apparently he was offended by the slogan "Small groups - so easy, a caveman could do it!"

Fortunately (because the church is half an hour from us) there was a group starting up just north of here, about 12 miles, and the children's pastor is the leader.

When we got there last night, we realized we did already know the host family - they're in our Sunday School class (I didn't know their last names, so I didn't recognize it on the group list) and the wife's parents live down here and go to church with my mom. Her sister was best friends with Lauren, the daughter of my friend and former co-worker LaJuan. (And my brother dated her sister briefly, but we won't mention that!)

The couple has a beautiful, brand new home. And a beautiful, nearly 10-month-old daughter! Who was so good the whole night - if Anna Marie had been that calm, I might have been more apt to give motherhood another go!

We laughed. We prayed. We (at least I) ate WAY too much pizza. Anna Marie did kung-fu fighting with two boys in the next room.

After most everyone had left, Jason and I sat and talked with Pastor Bob and his wife for a while. (Ok, so I did most of the talking. What else did you expect?) We had more in common with the folks in the group that we would have imagined.

And we learned we weren't alone in the forgetting names department - one lady who had been there much, much longer than we (like years longer) said she's still meeting people and having that problem.

And poor Anna Marie - when we were discussing what to bring to eat next time we meet (in two weeks, because of Mother's Day) someone jokingly suggested sushi. Which would've been fine by me - but we settled on Mexican food, because, let's face it, who doesn't like Mexican food?

But, just before we left, I made Little AM attempt a bathroom break. And while we were in there, she looked at me with gravest concern and said, "Mom, the next time we come here we're eating sushi, and I don't like sushi!"

Guess she must've freaked out after hearing "sushi" and not heard anything else.

She was much relieved that the menu would be from south of the border, not the Far East.

So, at least I know the names (and some true and untrue facts about, thanks to a game we played) about a dozen of the folks from Cornerstone.

Just 1,488 left to go!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Guess who made Warrior of the Week?

C'mon. Bet you can't guess.

Oh, all right. It was Anna Marie!

For those of you who don't live in Senatobia, the Warrior of the Week is a child picked from each class in the Elementary School. One of the requirements for WoW (as we will henceforth refer to the honor, because I'm certainly not typing that out each time) is to not get in trouble all week.

Obviously, Anna Marie hasn't been in the running for WoW in quite a while.

She was starting to get disheartened. Would she ever be named WoW?

This week, she's been SO GOOD. I mean, really, really good. Like, she hasn't gotten on yellow at all.

She was getting so psyched by the end of the week. Every morning before school, we'd pray that God would help her stay on green. And that He would help her be named WoW.

This morning, when I went to wake her up, she said, "Mom, Ms. Wendy (that's the school counselor) pronounces the Warrior of the Week in the morning. So I've already been on green enough!"

When I was fixing her hair, she said, "Mom, are you trying to make me all pretty for when they take my picture for Warrior of the Week?"

(Dude. Told you she was serious.)

So this afternoon, I called to see how things went. And she'd been named WoW for her class! She's been so happy all afternoon! And, the best part - even after she was so honored, she still stayed on green!

I've tried to use it as an example of God answering her prayer. I'm looking for small ways to grow her faith.

The counselor took a picture to send to the paper - and even though she's been in the paper lots (she is my kid, after all) she's been really excited about that part.

Praise the Lord! Anna Marie finally got Warrior of the Week!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Talking tornadoes

Anna Marie has developed a tornado obsession of late.

Every day, she asks me questions about tornadoes: "Do tornadoes mostly happen in the spring, because it rains so much in the spring?" "Do tornadoes mostly happen at night, when people don't know it?" "What makes the wind make a tornado?"

The same questions. Over and over. I answer them every day.

I don't know what the deal is. I googled "Severe Weather Awareness Week" and it's in February. We've had a lot of rain lately, but no really serious storms.

It may be the news - you know, how when you're watching something, and at the bottom of the screen they have the wee little radar, showing where the storms are? Well, we get the Memphis stations, and they have such a huge viewing area that anytime a storm comes from the middle of Arkansas to the middle of Tennessee, or from the "boot heel" of Missouri to the middle of Mississippi, we hear about it. And they pre-empt our favorite shows to tell us.

Several times lately, she's been watching something on TV (or has been walking through the room when we've been watching something) and she's noticed the weather alerts.

Well, Tuesday I picked her up from school. The first thing I do, while we're stuck in traffic, is check her backpack. (Not only do I want to know how she did behavior-wise, but I also need to see if there are any notes from the teacher.)

You remember from when you were in school, and you'd get finished with your work early, and the teacher would let you turn your paper over and doodle? Well, Anna Marie does that quite a bit. And Tuesday she had a disturbing picture on the back of her worksheet.

There was a stick figure on its side, holding on to a stick. And a dialogue bubble that said - oh my word, I wish I'd saved this, but I think Jason already threw it away - "I want to live!"

Did you hear that? "I want to live!"

I have NOT A CLUE where that came from.

On the other end of the paper was a big squiggly thing. I asked her what it was, and - you guessed it - it was a guy hanging on for dear life while a tornado was about to suck him in.

What do I do? I can't have her afraid that every storm is going to bring a tornado. But, I can't have her not worry about them at all, because there is always the chance one could hit here and I don't want her to delay getting to safety if she needs to.

(And, for the record, my darling husband is over in his chair, right now, fussing because he says I type too heavy! What in the world is that supposed to mean?)

(Ok. Back to the tornadoes.)

If I had been at all thinking when she went with me Tuesday and met two guys from the National Weather Service, I'd have told her to ask them some tornado-related questions. But, as it turns out, some of my competition from the north was there, and I was trying to get to another event, and, well, I was a bit distracted.

Other moms - what did you do when your kid (or heck, your husband, or your pet gerbil) developed a fixation on something? As Anna Marie would say, I'm trying to figure out what to do, and I got nothin'.

Official Thursday Weigh-In

The lady who takes the money at WW asked me how my week had been.

I wanted to say, "It was great until about 8:30 Tuesday morning, and since then it's been shot all to pieces, save the bright spot of reconnecting with old friends."

But I didn't.

I did, however, peek at the display on the scale as I weighed in, and, lo, there was much rejoicing.

Because it said 150 pounds!

(In all actuality, it said "149.8" but the nice WW lady rounded up. Thanks a lot, nice WW lady!)

(Yes, she has a name, and I know it, but doggone it, I've gotten into enough trouble around here this week already.)

I guess I shouldn't be too mad at the nice WW lady - when I lose more weight next week, it'll be even more dramatic.

I think.

Then again, my math skills are not what landed me a job a a journalist.

(On a slightly unrelated note, I still don't think of myself as a journalist. And I've been writing news stories for nearly three years now. I have a press pass! I'm going to Biloxi for the convention! How weird is that?)

Anyway - it's go time, girls. How are we doing?