Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Our Southern Boy

When we were prego with the Bubs, my hubby and I used to joke around about whether or not the Bubs would have a southern accent. The hubby is a yankee transplant and I am a southern gal. We live in the south. Surrounded by my decidedly southern family.....you know, I don't think the Bubs stood a chance against having a drawl.

His accent usually doesn't come out unless he's tired or he thinks it will make someone laugh (hmm, that sounds frighteningly like me). The other day I did a double-take when I heard him say he had gas. "Ga-yus" is what it sounded like he said. (Excuse the potty talk...we're potty training) Ah, yes. Our child has picked up on the fine art of adding additional syllables to words like a true southerner.

I'm sure this will be a source of fun when we go to see his Gammy and Pap sometime this summer, who are Yankees!

Everyday Funnies...

Hearing a quick-witted parent at the park who makes you snicker with a rapid fire retort to a child's sassiness, a shared joke with a loved one or even laughing at your own general silliness.......These are a few things that can bring about life's everyday funnies, as I call them.

For instance, I was at the store yesterday trying to finish up my shopping for items I forgot the first time around when I passed a mom and her pre-teen son. They both looked like they would rather be at home with the mother's dark hair coming out of her slightly bedraggled ponytail and her son slumped against her, both leaning over the cart handle. I wasn't overt in my notice of them, but I felt a flash of empathy and understanding with their outward tiredness. I chuckled to myself, however, when I heard the son ask his mom why they had to get groceries. I didn't quite make out her response, but I'm sure it was similar to what I tell the Bubs when he asks me - because we ate everything and need more. As she spoke to her son she was bent over her purse rummaging around for something. It quickly dawned on me what it was when she pulled out a long slip of paper. The boy shot up arrow straight and practically yelled, "We're getting all of that?!"

I couldn't help but laugh when I heard his exclamation of disbelief. Since I was further away from them I, again, couldn't make out her exact response although I did detect a note of amusement in her tone. My retort would have been, "Well where do you think all that food you gobble down all week comes from, Babe?"

When I relayed what had happened to a loved one later, she just hooted (that's Southern-speak for laugh). I wasn't looking for an everyday funny to happen while I was doing my grocery shopping, but I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Have you had an Everyday Funny today? Tell me about it......

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Favorite photos of an Amatuer

Here are a few of my favorite recent photos.

The tide was so low that this boat was resting on the waterway bottom

The Bubs taking in the view of the leaning boat. I loved how the sky is reflected in the water.

I like the texture of the rough grass in the foreground against the bright sky with it's fluffy clouds.

These flowers were nestled down in some dead plants next to the sidewalk. I almost missed them. What a pretty treasure to stumble on!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Husband Switcharoo

First of all, calm down. The above title is not saying that I would like to trade out for a new hubby! Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact.

My hubby and I are fond of having what we call "What if?" conversations. It started when we were dating and it's become something that we are still fond of doing even now that we've been married for a little while. If anything, it leads to fun and interesting conversations that, for the most part, don't completely revolve around our son (sorry, kiddo!). Our topics have ranged from the ridiculous to the...well, to the slightly less ridiculous. -What? Were you expecting something deep and intellectually challenging? Ha!!-

The other day, I happened to recall one such "what if" conversation about switching places. You know, I go get a job and he takes on the job of being a stay-at-home daddy. This particular topic came up as a result of him saying, for the umpteenth time, "Hon' why don't you go to work for me tomorrow and I'll stay home with the Bubs?" Knowing my hubby like I do, I know he didn't say this with the intention of insulting me so much as he was expressing his aggravation with his job. Unfortunately for him, he'd said it one too many times and I had just had a mind-blowingly rough day with the house and the Bubs.

"So what I do is a breeze?"

A blank stare was all I got for a moment. He slowly said, "Nooo. That's not what I meant."

Needless to say a few more words were exchanged until we both apologized. He, for not completely thinking about what he said and me for taking out my frustrations on him. Later on, my husband suddenly asks me what I would do if we were to switch places. I stopped what I was doing and pondered that radical thought for a moment. Wow.

I had visions of me going to a job in clothes untouched by unidentifiable stains (ignorance is bliss when it comes to stains), laptop under arm and latte in hand. Ahhhhh.... Then coming home to a clean house, the smells of a home-cooked meal wafting through the air, the Bubs happily engaged in some activity at the table with his Daddy. My imaginings came to a screeching halt as I realized that my hubby would really able to pull that off. Seriously, the man would make an awesome SAHD and would be unashamed of the fact.

So, how would your hubby do if he had to tackle the job of being a SAHD?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Restlessly Creative...or Creatively Restless?

Do you ever get that restless, creative feeling? You know, the one where your heart beats just a tad faster and you can't seem to sit still? No? Hmmm, maybe that's just me. I get this feeling every so often and it usually culminates in a project of some kind...or a road trip. In fact, the picture below will document what happened the last time I went on a restless creative jag.

As you can see, that particular creative jag was a doozy! This is my son's playroom and I decided to "set it to rights" during my hubby's first deployment last year. The makeover consisted of painting the room in primary colors - red for the classroom side and green for the play side - a large shelving unit, handpainted accessories, educational posters and some paring down of, well, junk. I even enlisted my brother to help me with the painting which turned out to be the biggest part of the re-do.

The room has changed a bit over the last year or so with the addition of more train sets, various storage units to house said train sets and more educational what-nots hanging on the wall. Even so, the Bubs still adores his playroom and loves to show it off to anyone who visits. I get a kick out of seeing his playmates' reactions the first time they lay round, wonder-filled eyes on the room and their exclamations of delight over the colors and the fact that they can draw on a door and not get in trouble. I painted the door with chalkboard paint, in case you're thinking I had lost my mind!

So, I'm left with the question of what my latest restless, creative jag will inspire me to come up with. Let me think.......I could paint the Bubs's bedroom (and my bedroom, now that I'm thinking about it), re-organize our storage/laundry room, sew valances for our home office or.........I could finish any number of projects that I've started and, for one reason or another, haven't finished yet! Aha!

Stay tuned for the continuing saga....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Day Away

I'm positive most of you have heard the saying, "You can run but you can't hide" a time or two. After the past week, I'm giving serious thought to having it tattoed somewhere on my person. I felt like I had no relief and no place to hide after a particularly rough week. Allow me to explain...and, yes, whine for a minute or three.

I'm a stay-at-home mom right now and my hubby is deployed. So while he's away fulfilling his out-of-country obligations, I am for all intents and purposes a single parent. This normally isn't such a big deal for me but this week....oh, my! Like a Jack Johnson song says "it's always better when we're together" and, honey, I was really missin' the wonderful back-up I get from Hubby when it comes to raising the Bubs. And, I should be completely honest, was missing the ability to run away, uh I mean get away, when the Bubs and I need some space from one another. No can do when my man is away...or so I thought.

My Mom and Aunt Dianne frequently keep Bubs when I have singing practice, appointments or big runs to the grocery store to take care of. As a result, I'm a tad reluctant to ask them to keep him so I can have some time for myself. It's a guilt thing, y'all. So I was surprised and oh-so-pleased to get a phone call from my Dad late this morning about taking the Bubs to be with him, Mom, and Dianne today. After we worked out a few details and hung up, I stood there for a moment in a blissful stupor. With my phone in hand and a goofy smile strung across my face, I began to contemplate what I was going to do with my free time. Free time enumerated in hours, not minutes...consecutively. I had the sensation of being a kid in a candy store, not being able to decide what to try first because it all looks good. I could do whatever I wanted! Yippee!

I eventually decided to see a movie and swing by a local bookstore. The movie was great and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to peruse coffee-scented aisles of books at my leisure. My idea of a perfectly laid back afternoon by myself...although, if the weather had cooperated I probably would have gone down to the water and taken some pictures.

I've written all of this to say...it's okay for moms and kids to have a little time apart. The Bubs, I discovered, needed the break today almost as much as I did. By offering to take him to play at their house, Dad, Mom and Dianne allowed us to run and hide for a little while. Thank You! ---I'm sending you my thanks in writing because, otherwise, I'd fall at your feet in a puddle of grateful sobs.---

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A "Gibbs" Moment

So....the Bubs and I have been having a bit of a rough week, thus the lack of entries recently. We're on an upswing today even though our day wasn't completely devoid of "run-ins". There were moments of laughter betwixt those moments of head butting. We even managed to end the day on a fun note by giggling together over a Max and Ruby book as opposed to tears like the last couple of days. (Not all of them were my son's...)
As odd as it sounds, I've found that there are times when I'm teaching my son, I'm also the one being taught. Case and point, I was washing dishes this afternoon when he blasted into the kitchen and started talking about something he had done with one of his train sets. All of a sudden it got quiet and he tugged on my shirt, "Mommy, I'm talking to you! Are you listening to me?" I turned, with my hands still in the hot, soapy dishwater and told him, "I always hear you, Bubs, even when you don't think I'm listening." Well, I had a "Gibbs" moment when I heard that come out of my mouth. -- For those of you who don't know what a "Gibbs" moment is, let me explain. Agent Gibbs is a character from the show NCIS. He occasionally finds it neccessary to pop his agents on the back of the head when they have a duh moment or start to get a little too big for their britches. --
Anyway, what my son didn't know was that I had been trying to pray for a friend's situation and wasn't feeling the connection with God that I normally do when I pray. Do you know what it feels like when your prayers have hit the ceiling only to fall to the floor and flop around like fish out of water? I was working on a pretty ugly bout of frustration when David walked in and inadvertantly taught me a lesson. I felt like God was standing behind me giving me a tap on the back of the head and saying, "I always hear you, Anna, even when you don't think I'm listening."
I needed that.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Retail Therapy & Regain Therapy

What do you do when you wake up really grumpy with a nauseatingly perky and precious 5 year old telling you to "rise and shine"? You get your butt in gear, toss some Advil back for that headache that's been hanging around for a few days, and put on some good music to coax you out of that bad mood....and go have some "Retail Therapy", as my Dad calls it.
Granted today's session of retail therapy didn't start out as that, but began as a simple trek to the store to get some necessities. A quick call to get the low down on what Mom and Aunt Dianne needed, since I was going to be at the store anyway, and I had a plan of action in mind and a shopping list in hand. Right on cue, which means as he was getting dressed, the Bubs started to whine and complain that he didn't want to go to the store with me.....can't say as I blame him, but sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do. He must have gotten the hint that I wasn't paying him any mind because he suddenly got a little quieter. Ahh, yes folks, the retreat and regroup tactic.

"Mom, I would like to go play with my trains with Aunt Dianne and Ammah while you go to the store, please."

I had to do a double take to make sure that those words did indeed come out of my son's mouth! The Bubs can sometimes talk like an adult, but still I couldn't keep a giggle from escaping as I just stood there for a second....He just gave me one of his little grins that, somehow, manages to be innocent and mischievious at the same time. Anyway, I decided that letting him have some play time with two of his favorite play mates might be a good idea. A quick call to run the request by Mom and Dianne and we were out the door.
By the time I finally made it to Target, the dratted headache was trying to come back and, as a result, my mood was beginning to take a downward dive. Then, I realized that I could stop and look at absolutely any blessed thing that I wanted to and no one was there to whine and complain about it! Needless to say, that fact alone was an immediate boon for my mood.
After perusing the aisles at will and enjoying a small, but much-appreciated bit of freedom, I wandered through the music section. For those who know me, this is not a big surprise as I am a music freak. Wonder of wonders, three cd's just happened to hop into my cart...all by themselves...no really!
On the way back to Mom's house, I popped in one of my newly purchased discs which happened to be a Newsboys Greatest Hits. Wow, did that bring back memories. I was suddenly overwhelmed with memories of me as a young girl dancing around my bedroom to "Shine", "Take Me to Your Leader" and "Entertaining Angels". The song "Shine" is one of the first songs I ever heard by Newsboys and I remember the pure joy I felt singing along with the lyrics, complete with my fake Aussie accent.

"Shine! Make 'em wonder what you've got.
Make 'em wish that they were not on the outside lookin'
Shine! Let it shine before all men, let 'em see good
works and then
Let 'em glorify the Lord."
Oh! The pure joy I felt singing that song and praising the Lord for my salvation. No worries, no embarrassment and no hesitation. I was perfectly focused on my Creator, secure in the knowledge that my praise was reaching His ever attentive ears.
I cannot properly express how much I needed to remember, reconnect and regain the joy of my salvation...the love of my Savior. You see, neither one of those things ever became less real or went away. I stepped away from them for a while and allowed circumstances in my life to become my focus and block my view. What a waste! Especially since the joy of the Lord is my strength!
So I guess my Retail Therapy turned into.....Regain Therapy.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My New Year

You know, I was thinking as I watched the ball drop, that I really don't have any resolutions for the new year-although I could probably stand to have a few. Of course I could do the usual ones everyone seems to quote like lose weight, get organized, manage to keep the house clean for longer than five seconds, not be so darned critical of myself, etc. Hmmmm....those last two are probably reserved for me personally...I did say that I didn't have any resolutions, didn't I?

In any case, as I was sitting in our bedroom wrapped up with a favorite quilt with a glass of sparkling white grape juice in my hand, I lost interest in the extravaganza on t.v. and began to think about the year to come. Helping Mom survive breast cancer, preparations for hubby's homecoming in May, getting used to being together again, our summer vacation, and the Bubs's first days at school were among the most prominent events to flash through my mind.
It began to hit home as I contemplated these upcoming events that this year will be a year of many changes and new experiences. How will I handle all of these changes and experiences? Am I going to just let them happen to me and pass me by without acknowledgement, joy or celebration? I would like to say that I welcome every change or life experience with open arms and an open mind. The truth is, I tend to be a little wary of anything I can't prepare for or throw a list at (I am notorious for my lists). Even then, I'm not completely content because, let's face it, what in this life ever happens the way we have it planned?

So, it looks like I have a New Year's Resolution after all. I want to live life and not just watch it pass me by. I don't want to shy away from new experiences like I normally do. I want to show our son that it's good to have a routine that you stick to, but it's also a good thing to, every once and awhile, go where the day takes you.

What's your resolution?