Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Doctor, Doctor!

We took Mayhem for his 18 month well baby checkup this morning, complete with TDAP and flu vaccines made better by a sucker. 

Our little turkey weighs 28 pounds, 10 ounces and is 33 inches long now. 

The doctor thinks we're doing a fine job with him and after our answer of, "Everything!" to his question, "What's fun about Mayhem?" he said he guessed we didn't want to return him.

There is still fluid on his ears three months after an ear infection so we have to go back in a month for a recheck.  He may have to have his hearing tested if it's not better and he's not saying two-word phrases by then.

He also said after Mayhem is consistently sleeping all night every night we could convert his bed to a toddler bed, but I don't know if I'm down with that.  What if he gets loose?!

After Mayhem's appointment we dropped Boots off at the chiropractor and the two of us drove over to the new pet store to kill some time while we waited.  We saw a cat and two kittens and about a million fish.  Mayhem liked the birds (of course!), but the gerbils running on the wheel and fat rabbits really captured his attention.  I wanted to get him one of each of everything in there despite knowing I'd be the one doing all the caretaking, except for the ferrets- those critters can't be trusted.

A little shoe shopping at Target for a boy with feet that literally grow overnight and then home for a nap. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

18 Months of Mayhem

If I had to describe an 18 month old in one word it would be "busy."  This kid never stops moving!  (You'll see-- I took these pictures in about two minutes time.)  

He is investigator nĂºmero uno, y'all.  Seriously, if it's closed it must be opened, if it's contained it must be dumped out, and if it's water...  

He loves water.  He likes splashing in the buckets when I'm watering my very near-to-death flowers, he climbs on the toilet to lean onto the sink and turn the faucet on so he can stick his fingers in the stream, he will break his neck to push up a chair to stand on to "help" wash dishes.  And I'm seriously regretting that we did not turn our bathroom into a wet room with a floor drain when we remodeled the house a few years ago due to the copious amounts of water splashed outside the tub during bath time.

But, I can't help myself.  He's just so darn cute.  And funny.  I am so in love with this kid it ain't even funny.

I try to think of ways to keep him entertained throughout the day so he's not constantly getting into mischief.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  He follows me around everywhere watching me and wanting to do whatever it is I'm doing so I try to let him participate and "help" me if it's not too dangerous (knives in the kitchen) or too time sensitive.  

He helps me carry the laundry baskets down the hall to the kitchen and then back so that job goes from about 12 seconds to 3 minutes.  He likes wiping up spills with a rag, and he loves hanging hangers on the rods in the closet.  This one is pretty intense on the arm muscles: imagine lifting this chunk over and over so he can pick up the hangers and then hang them all one. at. a. time.

When he's not doing "grown up" things he has a few toys he likes to play with like the jack-in-the-box and laptop he got for Christmas.  Occasionally we play blocks, but they tend to bring out destructive aggression that results in them being hurled around the room and lots of angry babbles.  

The laptop has ABC 123 buttons and I'll hear A A A A A pressed repeatedly ad nauseum, but he has learned say it!  He will say A and sometimes B, sometimes he gets a little screechy, "abee, abee, ABEEEEE!"

One day we were leaving the house to go somewhere and he actually selected a toy (helicopter) to bring with him in the car rather than just play with something I pack for him.  I thought that was pretty neat.

He says "shooozzzz" and "toezzzz!", "bee bee" (not sure what that one means yet), "moh" for more, bowl and ball are both pretty clear, "bubba" for bubbles, but the cutest one is when he sees Boots-- "Daddee!"  He gets so excited and happy.  I just love it!

It would be silly of me to think that he might be ready for potty training anytime soon, but there is definitely some "awareness" going on.  He started poking the front of his diaper one night so I asked him if he needed a new diaper and he ran to the changing table in his room.  I try to ask him more now so that he's thinking about the cause and effect of all this bathroom business stuff.  His interest in the toilet amounts to raising the lid to look at the "wahh" and then slamming it back down.  

We're trying to teach him to cover his mouth when he coughs, but that is usually interpreted as "cover my mouth and fake cough after they say to."   He'll even cover your mouth and want you to cough if he thinks about it and has a blanket handy to use as a tissue!

He cries when we tell him it's time for bed as we walk to his room even though we go through the same process every night.  Sometimes after he's in bed and the door is shut Boots and I can hear him talking and laughing to himself and his animals before he goes to sleep.  

For a few days he would lean over to the floor and gently bump his head, then rub his head somewhere that made absolutely no contact with the floor, and whine that it hurt.  Thankfully that didn't last long.

There is lots of head shaking and sometimes he says "no" but I'm not sure he gets what he's saying.

After a particularly stern talking to in the doctor's office about not taking the emergency flashlight off the wall he repeatedly pointed at it and told me "don't" over and over again.

He says Mama a little more, but still not as much as Daddy.  FYI: "Mama" is a great word to use for making spit bubbles between your lips if you want to try it.

He gets silly sometimes and spins around and around until he's drunk and falls down.  We have to make him stop or he'll just keep spinning until he can't walk at all and crashes into the piano and tv stand.

One day I was in the kitchen cooking and he pulled the crock pot over to him (not hot, I'd just switched it on), lifted the lid, and took a deep inhale of a bunch of RAW CHICKEN in water and declared, "Mmmm!"  

Never a dull moment around here.  Never.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Sometime back, at the encouragement of Emily P. Freeman, I begin to think of myself as a writer.  Think.  I have yet to say those words out loud to anyone.  I don't even like to tell people that I write much less am a writer because, funny thing, when you tell people you write they...expect you to write?  And we all know I'm currently experiencing some serious problems in that department.

It looks like my writer's block has also turned into reader's block which is possibly even more upsetting.  Writers are readers and now I am neither. 

On Sunday nights, I'm in a women's Bible study class at church.  The past few months we've done the Ever After study by Vicki Courtney and watched a few of Beth Moore's videos from her "Sound Mind" series.  Now we're doing the '90s version of Anne Graham Lotz The Vision of His Glory complete with now discontinued workbooks and VHS tapes.  (Age has nothing to do with this, I'm just throwing that out there because VHS tapes, yall!  We're having to remember how to work them!  Ha!)

Ever After was kinda sugary, sweet, and easy.  I liked it, but didn't really feel challenged.  Beth Moore is my woman.  She gets it and is hilarious.  Anne Graham Lotz...I wanted challenging and I got it. 

She has a little method you might call it, a 5 step "this is how you read your Bible" plan.  You start by reading the passage (duh), you write out the facts of what you read in the passage (easy enough), then you look for a lesson to learn from each fact (getting a little tougher), and (this is where it gets hairy for me) you use the lessons you learned from the facts and figure out how they apply to you before moving on to step 5 and, you know, applying what you learned to your life.

All this is good and fine with this "new" way of reading to comprehend, but did I mention that The Vision of His Glory is about the book of Revelation?  Yeah.  And have I ever told you (this is the worst part!) that I do not get symbolism???!!

How can you call yourself a writer when you don't get symbolism????  How can you even read?? 

It's bad, yall. 

Even in high school, reading all those books in Lit about dead trees and black birds (1984 really got me) I was like, "I don't have a clue." 

They're trees!  And birds!  Don't get me started on poetry, it makes me cross-eyed.

I have learned some symbolism though and occasionally it is humorous in real life situations, such as my stepbrother's wedding.  I can even watch TV and yell out, "Foreshadowing!" at the appropriate moments.

Anne Graham Lotz says there are two extremes: some people stick to the "happy" parts of the Bible like the Psalms (I don't always get those either) and whatnot because they're easy to understand while others get all into the prophecy of Revelation and hung up in the symbolism and counting all the numbers.  (I don't think I'm either of these, by the way.)

I believe that you can learn something from every one and every situation so I'm trying to get the symbolism and apply what I'm reading to my own life and not get all freaked out by how much my little mind is boggled, but today's passage (Revelation 4:3b-8a) has really thrown me for a loop.  I'm just not with it.  I think I might need to take another day and try it all over again tomorrow.

Do you have any experience studying Revelation or care to share anything you've learned?  No conspiracy theories, please, I'm confused enough already!

Friday, August 22, 2014

17 Months

It's hot y'all.  Really hot.  So hot that Mayhem is pointing to a bucket and saying, "Wah!" for water because it was 150* and he probably thought he was going to steam to death like I did when we took these pictures.

"Wah!" I said!

I'm probably going to get the Internet police sicced on me for this, but I can't help it-- he's so cute I'll risk it.  

(That's a BumGenius diaper, not a disposable swimmy by the way.)

My stepmom wanted him to play in her sprinkler so we stripped him down and manually passed him through the spray a few times until he got the hang of it.

I think he liked it!

Seventeen month old baby boys are crazy!  He took the water bubble out of my stepmom's flower pot, sucked the water out of it like a straw, and spit the dirt (mud by then) down the front of his shirt.

He still really likes eating and if you're using your fingers to give him a bite be careful!  We started calling him a little shark after apparently too much Shark Week on Discovery Channel and because of his "hahmpf!" sound effects.

He doesn't say "Mama" very often, but when he does it's because he's really really hungry.  It's dramatic.  Maaamaaaa!  Maaamaaaaa!  Like a sad sheep dying of starvation.

If he runs out of water or milk in his cup he'll shake it from side to side in your face like, "Helloooooo!  I'm empty here!"

He says bye or bye-bye to every one and everything.  Everything!  Even the salt when I put it back in the cabinet and shut the door.

He likes helping me in the kitchen so much it's crazy.  I can't even wash my hands at the kitchen sink without him dragging a chair over to see if I need help.

Speaking of dragging chairs: He climbed on top of the dining room table and threw about three glass jars that were waiting to be packed into the floor.  Nothing is safe!

He is super interested in trucks.  Dump trucks, log trucks, garbage trucks, utility trucks, pick up trucks.  Tractors, too.  And you should have seen him the first time he saw a school bus!

Birds are still an obsession.  He talks about birds in his sleep, when he first wakes up in the morning, any time he's near a window he can see outside, when he sees trees.  When he's walking around outside he throws his head so far back you think he'll fall over backwards and points up at the sky.  "Burrrr!"

He's started shaking his head no when he doesn't want something and once he said, "No, no, no!" in imitation of me reading it in a book one night.

We made a semi-big deal about his feet stinking when we took off his sweaty sandals one day, so now he pulls his feet up to sniff his toes and wrinkles his nose when we take any of his shoes off.

And now... 

Something else I'll probably get in trouble for...  

Yesterday was my dad's 50th birthday.  We had him a little surprise party and he really was surprised.  It was lots of fun for us, too!

He likes to stay off the grid, so if you know him DO NOT tell him you saw this picture of him on the Internet.

Monday, August 11, 2014

"The Time Has Come!"

...the walrus said.

I think I've put it off as long as I can and now that Boots' has let the cat out of the bag on Facebook it's probably time to say something.

We're selling our house.

We hope.

We're working with a really nice family (that we've known of and actually had in mind since we first talked about selling over a year ago) and doing the "pass the paperwork" dance in hopes that our home becomes their home.  Things are going well, but it's one of those things that you're hesitant to talk about until it's set in stone just in case something doesn't work out like you think it might.  Or that's just me.  The thought of being all, "Hey! We're moving!" and then we don't is kinda pllllbbbbtttttt!  I don't like eating crow, but hey! that's what this blog is all about, right?

So here we are...  Nothing is set in stone, we have no idea where we are going to live although we do have a general direction in mind, whether we're going to rent or buy...  Everything is up in the air.  Sometimes uncertainty makes me a little crazy, but I keep telling myself that we are not going to be homeless (ok, we may be homeless, but I know of at least two places we can sleep!) and that this is the next adventure for us.  Because I am excited.  The thought of having a new (to us) house to work on really makes my dreamer kick it into overtime. 

I'm sad too.  We love our neighbors and have made lots of friends at our church so it is going to be hard to leave them and have to get adjusted to a new place with new people all over again.

But I'm excited!  I already said that?

So maybe this is (it probably is) the reason for my silence lately.  I'm sure that as things start happening a little faster I'll probably have more thoughts (and photos) to share.  I want to take "last pictures" of our house so we'll have a nice way of remembering it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Have You Got Something to Say?

Summer is over.

That's all I'm hearing lately- the ads for back-to-school supplies and every thing every where my eyeballs look are screaming it at me.

It makes me sort of sad almost.  Didn't summer just start?  Didn't it just get hot and now we're thinking about fall jackets?  Are all the seasons merging together?

I'm feeling behind and I am dragging my feet and hanging on with all my might.  I've tried to enjoy the summer slowly and have taken a break from writing to... What have I been doing exactly?  Collecting ideas by living in the moment?

Why am I up in arms about the changing of the seasons?

These weather thoughts are clanging and banging around all the other things in my head and it's just making no sense to me right now.  Let me just bluhhhhh all over your screen for a minute...
I read two blog posts this week: (how to have (not really a) crisis, but slowly) and (FOMO: it’s a real thing) and both of them were like reading my own thoughts in someone else's words.  

Several times before (here and here, I'm seeing a pattern: this usually happens when I run out of stuff to write about) I've thought hard about my own narcissism and my blip on the radar that is the Internet.

Sometimes I feel like the Internet has ruined us all and in order for me to be the best wife and the best mother I can be by being fully present 100% of the time I should just go all hermit and completely unplugged like my Daddy- three channels, no cable tv, no Internet, cell phone for real emergencies only, and real life real-time relationships instead of the art-imitating-life relationships we try to grow through social media.  I'd probably be bored for about two days before I fell head-long into the "real" world that I think often about.

Then I think about how nomadically spread out and busy we all are, how we're all just trying to do the best we can (or are we? another time!), how we live and love through our screens these days because that's just the way it is now, and how the Internet has connected us all and made the world a beautiful place that we can share together.

I'm swinging from extremes.  I feel like if I have nothing to say then I should just sit down and shut up forever, amen.  This will probably (hopefully) pass soon.  If it doesn't then I don't know what I'll do.  Lack of inspiration and writer's block really bums me out.

Maybe I should just take a serious break and completely unplug for about a week and see how I feel on the other side.  Would silence invigorate and clarify or bolster me on?