Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why Are We Moving?

The inspiration to write usually strikes at an inopportune time, at least for me it does.  IE- when I'm just about to fall asleep at night, driving down the road, or in church when I'm trying to pay attention to the preacher to name a few instances.  I either don't have a way to record my thoughts or I try to force them back down to where they came from because I have some other thoughts taking priority at the moment.  Sometimes this works and I can dig it back up later, but usually this method kills whatever was brewing inside my head.  I don't know whether I should be upset or just "que sera sera" it and move on.  All that to say that I've been working on this post for a while, chewing it over in my head.  Ruminating on thoughts and words.

Why are we moving?

I get this question pretty regularly now and there have been times in this super-long, drawn out process that I have stopped whatever it is I'm doing and stood there dumbfounded almost because I just had to think this thought and ask myself, "Why are we moving?"  And then half a second later, "Oh, yeah!"

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

When Boots and I were planning our wedding one of the big decisions for us was where are we going to live?  I could either quit my job at the funeral home and try to get another job at a funeral home near where he lived if I moved his direction, but I'd only be working there a few years until (hopefully) we had a baby.  I liked where he lived, but I didn't really want my resume to look like I was a job hopper.  I wanted some established roots before I quit.  (Me quitting work to run our house and raise our babies has been the plan from the beginning and somewhat of a guiding force for big money decisions.)  So we thought about Boots trying to get a transfer up to the county I lived in that was two counties away from where he lived so that I could keep my job, but who knew how long that would take and we didn't want to risk being married and living apart. 

Our only option left was to meet in the middle.  Literally.  We bought our house in a small town that was close to where I worked (20 miles) and in an area Boots could still be even if a transfer to that county took forever.  And that worked fine for us.  We rocked right along with our plan, both of us working and looking ahead to someday when, SURPRISE!, Mayhem.  Cue the sweating and stressing over our living situation once again. 

Don't get me wrong, we love our little house.  We've redone it and fixed it up so that it's pretty nice instead of pretty nasty like when we bought it, but we are right "in town" and not out in the woods like we were when we were growing up.  Having to keep a boy fenced in and constantly watched while he plays outside just doesn't rate very high for us.  Not to mention the huge, gigantic, enormous (I'm not kidding, when we bought our house 4 years ago one of them measured 15 feet around) oak trees in our backyard that prevent any vegetation besides kudzu and ivy (poison or English, you can pick!) from growing.  I really want a garden (and chickens, but we're in the city limits) and it is impossible without some major MAJOR tree work.  These trees also cause me great distress every time I hear there's a storm coming or the dreaded t-word (tornado) because if one of them falls on the house and we are home we are dead.  Dead!

I want a simple life- a garden, chickens, land to turn my wild young'uns free on so they can grow up like I did playing unsupervised in the woods and creeks without fear of being run over or snatched up.

We want Mayhem to go to a good school.  The high school I graduated from is failing, the elementary school where we are is excellent, but the high school here is something I hear lots of bad things about.  Either of the schools that my two aunts are at would be ideal; we'll have to decide which one is closest to wherever we buy to live if we're not still in limbo by then.  Private school is the last thing on either of our minds, with homeschooling barely edging ahead.

In irony, while we are looking for this utopia we'll be living in an apartment in town.

The town we are moving to is close to back to where Boots came from, it is the city he graduated high school from, the school where one of my two aunts that lives down there works.

More irony, if Boots takes a particular position with his job that he's wanted for years we would have to move back this direction in another year.  It's all very confusing and it definitely feels like we are starting over in the middle.

There was a brief moment where we seriously thought everything would fall through and we wouldn't be able to sell our house.  I had some fast thoughts about what life right here for the rest of our forever would be like and it wasn't too bad.  We would have the trees cut down, I'd break the ordinances and build me a chicken coop, I'd get my old job back when Mayhem started school and he could go to the Christian school (private, yes, I know!) right down the road from the funeral home, and we would keep going to our beloved church.  Nothing would change much.  Everything would work out fine. 

The wrinkles got ironed out though, so those ideas weren't entertained long

We haven't even left yet and I am already really missing our church and our friends.  Every time I'm there I think, "Is this the last time I'll be here?  The last time I'll get to see these people?" and I have to make myself not think about it and direct my thoughts to something less tearful.  I'm not looking forward to the day we have to say good-bye.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

19 Months of Mayhem

Mayhem photo overload because I have no self-control:

Those eyebrows!

I'm sorry (not really!) if that was excessive.  He's just so dang cute I want to squeeze him and pinch him sometimes!

Let's see, what has he been up to lately... We've got some new words!  "Nool" for noodle (we eat a lot of pasta, apparently), "mimmee" is milk (see also trying to climb up the fridge by pulling on the handles), he says "noooooooo" when he doesn't want to do something like get dressed or a particular stuffed animal is not what he wants to cuddle with when he's trying to go back to sleep.  Poor stuffed animals, getting thrown around in the middle of the night when all you want is to be held tight!  He says "onno" at random times, repeatedly, but I'm not sure of the exact baby-to-English translation of that one.

Brushing his teeth was a bit of a struggle, but I bought baby toothpaste (it's tooty fruity flavored, probably not found in nature) and have convinced him that we are tickling his teeth so now it is much easier to get him to brush his teeth.  And much harder to get him to stop brushing his teeth.  

I had no idea that favorite colors would be a thing this soon, I kinda didn't expect that until about kindergarten or so.  A few weeks ago I bought a 100-count bag of plastic balls and turned his playpen into a homemade ball pit because I have a somewhat irrational fear that the ball pits at public play places have used druggie needles in them.  And probably abandoned nasty diapers.  Let's not think about that!  So now the hated, dreaded playpen has become a mesh-sided rectangle o'fun!  Back to the favorite colors part: he will throw the balls out (of course), but the majority of the ones he throws out, sometimes all of them, are orange!  Does that mean he likes the orange ones best?  Maybe he hates orange?  Maybe he just notices the orange ones better?  There's red and pink in there too amongst the green and two different shades of blue.  Children are complex.

He's still really enjoying Frank being in the house.  He offers Frank crackers and tries to poke his sippy cup of milk in Frank's mouth.  A few mornings ago I put olives in our eggs for breakfast (kinda salty, needed some tomatoes), but Mayhem didn't like the olives.  He dropped one over the side of his high chair tray and told a waiting, scavenging Frank, "Yum yum."  Ha!

He gets really freaked out when Frank sneezes or coughs.  Like hysterical crying.

He's still afraid of dogs, but has no fear around chickens.  

Last week when asked what the cow says he replied with a shut-lipped "mmmmmmm."  This week, cows say "ommmmm" or "maaaa."  We're getting there!  But the newly discovered moon is a "moo."

Sometimes when he hears something he'll poke his finger on the end of his nose and listen intently.  He thinks he's got his finger on his lips like I do when I'm "shhhh-ing", but as long as the finger isn't in the nose he's too cute for me to correct.  

I don't think I could stand it if I had two.  I'd probably just melt!  ;)

Friday, September 26, 2014


I caught Frank Wednesday afternoon and brought him back in the house to be reassimilated to indoor living.  He spent most of the first 24 hours hiding under the spare bed, refusing to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom until I started to wonder, even though I wasn't really worried, if he would starve or blow up.  Night time is a different story.  He's lonely and expresses his displeasure too loudly, which is partly why he got tossed outside in the first place.  You think he'd learn, or maybe he has?

Mayhem is way too excited about his one animal friend being more available more often for playdates and likes to get right down in Frank's face and yell his happiness in indistinguishable jabbers.  Lots of petting and "awwww's" and one occasion of thinking cats were pets that liked plastic balls thrown at their heads.

Last night before bed and after Frank decided to quit pouting, Mayhem force fed him his supper, one piece of kitty food at a time, reassuring Frank with lip smacking and "numnumnum" that it really is good.  First hand knowledge?  I hope not. 

Frank is still bored at night so I've been up since 4 keeping him company.  Good thing I like the early morning.

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!