Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Ma'am step away from the Swiffer mop...."

The Hubs will be home in a few days. Yippee! Finally some conversation that isn't in a text message and lasts longer than a two minute phone call. And, you know there are other delightful perks to the man being home, but I'm not going into detail since this is a family, blog. Anyway, he's coming home and we're all aflutter about that.

So here I am, once again, trying to catch up on my cleaning to-do list before he gets home. This is turning out to be quite a pattern with me and, to be honest, will prob'ly continue to be so for a while. I don't wanna get a few things done because I'm worried about what he'll think -he knows how crazy things have been around here with the Bubs being so sick- but because I'm looking forward to spending time with him and the Bubs. I'm not in the mood to be chained to a sink, washer, or a Swiffer product during the entire weekend. Heck, I'd be tickled pink if the Bubs were to simply have a weekend where he wasn't sick as a dog!

I'm saying all of this to say.........Wait a minute! Why am I sayin' all this?! I don't have time to sit and "chat" (although I reeeeaaaalllly like to chat with y'all), I have chores to do! Now where did I put that broom......

**Update~ We've been sidelined by another earache. I was so hopeful that the Bubs would be able to get rid of his runny nose in time to bypass another ear infection. Poor guy. I'd take it on myself if I could...I may have already done that to an extent. I'm not feelin' so peachy right now, either. Oy! Anybody know things to do for a cold while pregnant...other than curling in a fetal position and beggin' for Momma?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Will she or won't she?

You bet your sweet tushies, I'm gonna do it!

*crickets chirping*

Oh, didn't I say what I'm gonna do? Whoops. Take a look and see if you can guess....

Yes, that is a purple satin Halloween hat with flowers, feathers and netting. It's delightfully gaudy and I'm going to have a blast wearing it Friday to school! Oh, and don't adjust your monitor or bifocals...the second picture is a bit blurry. I'll try and get a better picture when I wear it in a few days. The Bubs will be dressed in his Thomas the Tank Engine getup for part of the day and I thought he'd get a kick out of his mom having some fun. He hasn't quite reached the age that he'd be embarrassed by that, yet, so I can get away with it.

Besides I think it's important for kids to know that their parents can have fun and laugh at themselves. Especially for the Bubs, right now. He's been sick so often lately that, understandably, it's become a big focus for him and he's begun to act like a bit of an "old man". I want him to laugh and have a good time again. Laughter does, indeed, do us good like a medicine!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What?! Well, dang. These fit last week!

Today I'm 16 weeks pregnant and today was my first day in maternity clothes. Well, the pants anyway. Even though the pair I wore were comfy, I was in shock at how quickly I needed them. Ever since we found out that I'm further along than I thought -almost a month further- it feels like someone has hit the fast-forward button. I'm not complaining one bit, I just have to catch up!

I've been so concerned with getting the Bubs into clothes and school uniforms that fit him after his latest growth spurt that I completely put off getting maternity clothes...I know, I know. How silly of me, right? The only reason I have the one pair of pants that I wore today is because Mom spotted some decently sized items on clearance at the JCPenney website and I was able to get them. So now the baby is pokin' out and I need to get some things that

I've been price-shopping different stores online (the brick and mortar variety don't carry a lot of plus-size maternity clothes) and have actually managed to find a few things that might work. I just need a few basics at the moment. My going to church clothes will just have to be unusually casual for a while. With the Bubs's b'day, Christmas and a possible move in the near future I have to be mindful of what we spend on extras. For right now all I want is a pair of knit pants and a nice shirt, something C.O.M.F.Y.!

Other than a rapidly expanding waistline, this pregnancy continues to be nothin' like my first one. For a while there, I was always faintly nauseous but would only worship the porcelain god occasionally. With the first pregnancy, I felt like I was always hanging over a toilet or trash can -even at work. The last few weeks, hot flashes have been coming on more frequently and out of nowhere. Even when I'm sitting down, all of a sudden I'll break out into a full sweat. Gotta love all these hormones runnin' amuck! Is that how to spell "amuck", by the way? I have not a clue....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sick and tired of being sick and tired...

That's what the Bubs is right about now.....and has been for a while. He's had a bronchial infection on and off for two months. With the military appointment system at the naval hospital, we weren't able to get one physician twice in a row and every doc thought the Bubs was sick with something different. No matter how insistent I was that we had heard a particular diagnosis before and that the treatment that we'd implemented obviously wasn't effective (otherwise we wouldn't have been there), they didn't listen. On top of that, our normal physician was and, I think still is, out of town for an extended vacation....

We finally managed to find a physician who listened to me and seemed to share my frustration with the sub-standard care we'd been subjected to. He upped the prescriptions to more powerful brands and put in a referral for the Bubs to see a pulminary specialist to see if there was any lung damage or other treatments that we could be taking advantage of.

So while we're waiting on the referral paperwork to go through, is the Bubs at school enjoying being with his classmates? No, ma'am. He's snuggled up with me on the couch, wrapped up nose to toe in his favorite Thomas the Tank Engine quilt that his Nana made him. We're home sick....again. He's only been to school two days this week and has missed too many days in the past couple of months. He missed Monday and Tuesday because he was weak, wheezing, and so overwhelmed with sinus drainage his throat was raw and the poor kid would eventually just throw it up. Ick.

Hubby is out of town and won't be home for a little while longer. He's very concerned for the Bubs and feeling, I'd imagine, helpless that he's not here to be a help and comfort. The Bubs misses him somethin' fierce and there is something special about being wrapped up in a Daddy's strong arms.

We're all feelin' kinda tense that things aren't moving along as quickly as we'd like (darned paperwork), but I can't let the Bubs know that. He's uncanny at picking up on my vibes and taking them on himself. So I'd like to ask a favor, my lovelies. Please say a prayer for the Bubs's recovery, that it would be complete and quick. You have my thanks in advance...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More to November than Election Day, Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving

Take a quick gander at my left sidebar......notice anything different? I've added a list of important and sometimes silly dates to remember in November (heh, I'm a poet and don't know it!).

Anyway, the spark of inspiration struck as I was flipping through a magazine and noticed a few whacky dates on one of the front pages like Button Day and National Egg Nog Day. I know you'll be shocked to know that I lost focus and started to wonder what other odd holidays were on the books. A quick Google search and I had me some results.

Some of the dates weren't that odd, but they caught my eye all the same. The Family Literacy Day and Parents as Teachers Day were among the first to catch my eye. Then I started cracking up when I saw that Use Your Common Sense Day and Election Day both fall on the same day! I mean, c'mon. That's funny right there. The Men Cook Dinner Day caught my eye, as well. I'm sooo going to try and celebrate that holiday....and calling for take out will not count!

Now, I have to remember to keep up with the monthly list but I had so much fun looking at this month's list that that may not be a prob....I think. Which days catch your eye?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Looking, asking, listening....

When I worked as a teacher's assistant (among other things) in an elementary school a few years ago, I quickly learned that you literally had to have eyes in the back of your head. Not only could you easily miss the big things in a classroom full of 25 to 30 kids who all come from different backgrounds and are at different levels educationally, the small details that sometimes matter the most, particularly to a child, can be overlooked. The usually laid back kid who comes in grumpy, the child who sleeps through parts of the class or even the child who eats so ravenously at lunch you can hear them down a noisy table.....sure, all of these circumstances have the potential to be aggravating or even a concern. I've worked with each of these kinds of children and I learned from a few wonderful educators to look beyond the aggravating behavior to the cause. How to do this complicated thing? Simple. Just ask.

Ask the gumpy child what's goin' on. Maybe a child on the bus or in the hallway on the way to class is being a bully to them.

Ask the sleepyhead what time he/she went to sleep the night before. Maybe there is a family crisis happening and the child isn't getting good rest.

Ask the noisy eater why they eat so ravenously. Maybe they don't get to eat when they get home.

With children you never quite know what their answers will be. I've heard every reason for unusual behavior from being abused in some way to a simple, "Mom didn't give me my favorite cereal this morning!".

Could I or the teacher I worked with fix every single problem that walked through our door? No. Could we make our students feel safe, cared for and challenged while they were with us? Most definitely. For some, the simple kindness of asking if they were okay was enough.

This all came back to me in a flash when, last week, I noticed a student come in to the school's Homework Haven program (before school) with both shoes untied. This is a habitual thing for the child and I wasn't very surprised. Since I was volunteering in the laptop station with Dad, he got to the student first to tie the loose shoelaces....the shoes, at second glance, were a full size too small. Well, no wonder the child didn't want to tie those shoes! Dad, who used to work in a shoe department, checked where the big toe was to make sure. Yep, he needed new shoes.

Dad's card in hand, I made a quick run to Wally World later that morning and got that youngun some shoes. When I returned to the class, I was a bit worried that the shoes wouldn't be what the child would like. I shouldn't have worried one bit! That sweetheart "ooohhed and aaahhhed" over those things like they were limited edition Nikes, y'all! And then he said something that made my breath hitch in my chest. "Thank you! My feet don't hurt anymore."

A few days later that student's mom wrote the dearest thank you note. She explained that she was temporarily out of work and knew that her child's feet hurt, "but what was I to do", she said. She offered to pay us back and was proud to say that she had just started a new job. She went on to thank us for taking care of her baby when she could not. It was all I could do not to lay all over the desk I was sitting at and weep. I quickly let Dad know about the note and after he read it, he told the child that, "Your momma doesn't need to pay me back. Why did we get those shoes for you? Because we love you."

Says it all, doesn't it?

Sometimes in this information inundated world I think it's easy to forget to just.....ask. Ask how someone's day has been, ask if life's going okay, just care enough to ask and listen.

As I was leaving the school that day, this song came on the KLOVE radio station. It perfectly suited the occasion. My little Everyday Occasion.

Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes from Brandon Heath on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Christmas List Harrassment Season....No permits required.

I know it's only October, but at my house Christmas List Harrassment Season is in full swing! Bubs has been giving me not-so-gentle hints about what he wants for Christmas and his birthday (they're really close together). I keep finding different toy mailers around the house conveniently left open to the Thomas the Tank Engine section. The child is only five, y'all. Can you just imagine what it's gonna be like in the years to come? The kid is so smart, I fully expect to get a detailed list via email next year. His determination to find the perfect gifts is such that, even though he's under the weather with a fever this weekend, he's still been lying back on the couch perusing the different toy catalogues. I'm allowing myself to justify it by telling myself he's learning to read for informational purposes. *sigh* Whatever works, right?

With money things the way they are right now, I'm feelin' just a wee bit pressured to make everything happen for him this year. He's got his birthday party built up so much in his mind that I can't even hope to meet his expectations. One thing I'm sure of, however, is that if I'll just do something with his class at school I'll be set. He's been telling them about his birthday for months, if you can believe it! As far as him wanting more Thomas toys, the child has a big playroom filled to capacity with them. I'm not exaggerating, folks, he's loaded down with them. How did that happen, you ask? What can I say except that he has many loving releatives who know about his obsession with Thomas and gleefully feed his habit...his Dad and I included. So, the Bubs may not be getting any this year.....weeeeelllllll, maybe just one.

I've usually already got some of my shopping done by this time of year or have at least laid a little money by for everything. Not so, this year. Yep, I've been a distracted slacker this year. What with the Hubs constantly being out of the state (and the military charging him for the stay), the Bubs being sick so often, a possible cross-country move, my being pregnant and a freakin' partridge in a pear tree....well, there's a lot goin' on at my house.

So may the Christmas List making begin and the gifts all be 50% off....or more!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I really don't wanna....but I might hafta

So there I was, sitting at my kitchen table taking a break from dishes and laundry to catch a few scenes of a movie I had going on my laptop when --BAM! The thing that I've been avoiding thinking about slaps me silly across the face. That thing is The Move.

Yep, for those of you who are just stoppin' by and the ones that have, understandably forgotten, there's a very real possibility that we may be getting orders to move across the country. The Hubs is excited about the job change and the chance he'll be getting to learn new skills and I can't blame him. He gives up so much to support our family that I can't begrudge him the joy of doing something different and, possibly, fun.

I seem to have hit a bit of a wall about the whole thing, though. When Hubs brings the subject up, I freeze and go straight into anxiety mode. When he brings home distressing news, I'm usually able to put on a brave front, act like it's all okay and get on with things. But this is almost too much for me to handle these days. Then the guilt comes crashing in 'cause Hubs feels like the move is his fault, personally and I'm making him feel that way with all my grief. Oy. I feel slightly like a whiney child that hasn't gotten it's way...."I don't wanna move! No, no, no! It's too far!"

Hubby did tell me at one point that we may be able to stay in this area for a while longer, but he'd have to deploy in the spring (completely missing the birth of our second child) which means he'd, once again, be in harm's way. It's a no win situation that we're both feeling the pressure to somehow make work. I've learned after almost ten years of being married to a marine that getting one's hopes up about anything that might be good news from the Corps is a waste of time and energy. I'll just keep trying to pray....and not just cry my way through. God is able to keep us in this area, but the hard thing to comprehend is that, just maybe, this is what we're supposed to do. A quandery, ain't it?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nature's splendor inspires a spiff-up...

This past Friday Dad posed the idea of all of us -he, Mom, Aunt D, me, and the Bubs (Hubby is away)- heading to the mountains for an overnight stay. I was all for it and delighted at the prospect of sharing some laughs and seeing some beautiful fall foliage. I wasn't disappointed on either count! We drove up after church, stayed overnight in a small motel, ate at some "mom and pop" joints, and took pictures galore along the Blue Ridge Parkway.....with Dad dilligently trying to ignore his vertigo at almost every overlook.

At almost every turn, fall's splendor abounded. Whether it was on the trees or on the doorsteps of the local homes, I was delighted with the warm colors and overall sense of homey-ness (homey as in a welcoming residence, not as in a dude). There were even pumpkin people on the downtown corners, left over from the weekend's Autumn Leaf Festival. I would have given money to know how those things were constructed, by the way! I don't think the locals would have taken kindly to a strange woman peeking under their pumpkin peoples' to speak.

Looking around at all of that, it hit me that other than a couple pretty mums that Dad bought me, I haven't spread the cheer at our house.....or much of a cleaning rag, either, but that's coming, too. The Bubs has been asking about getting pumpkins for a couple weeks now and I kept forgetting about it or putting it off. He helped me pick out a couple today after school along with a couple of small, yellow mums to add to our porch. As soon as we got home, I quickly arranged our fall goodies and got the seal of approval from Bubs - "That looks good, Mom. I like the pumpkins we picked out." Trust me, for him to even notice anything like that near the end of the day is huge. If you're wondering what the pumpkins are sitting on, it's a couple of pots of gerber daisies that are a bit past their prime. I think the greenery underneath kinda makes the pumpkins look like they're still out in the pumpkin patch. all I need is a little fall flag. I might be able to pick one up cheap at-- Oops, sorry! I went off on a tangent there for a moment.

I also wanted to spread the cheer in the house. I know that the Hubby particularly likes some of the pumpkin scented candles from Target so I grabbed a couple while I was running around today and set them out on some plates that I grabbed on the cheap from Ross's along with the tablecloth and runner on the right. What is it about getting pretties on the cheap that just puts an extra pep in my step? I'm not on a support group level or anything, I just get a little excited, okay?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Baby's first picture and due date news~

Yep, that's the first picture ever of our little Sweet Pea! Blurry though it may be, I've been showin' it off like it's a fancy portrait from a studio. On the left is a side view of the head and toward the right is its lil' tushy. The dotted line is where the doc had to do a crown to rump measurement to confirm my due date. The doc and her assisting med student got a kick out of trying to get this picture. Our Sweet Pea rolled, tumbled, hiccupped and practiced taekwondo on my bladder before finally settling down on its side and sucking its thumb. I could have layed there in all my inelegant dishabille and watched that child for another hour or two! I'm just sayin' is all.....

Anyway, the crown to rump measurement along with a physical exam revealed that I'm 4 weeks further along than we thought! My due date's been bumped up to early April instead of May. ~Note to self: Correct my baby ticker that's on my left sidebar.~ I think that puts me around 3 1/2 months along. I had been feeling the tiniest flutters, but I thought that was just wishful thinking.....or gas. From the way that child was movin' and groovin' yesterday, it's no wonder I had been feeling a tiny flutter every now and then!

To answer the question that I think most of you are yelling at your, I didn't find out if it's a boy or a girl. However, I didn't notice any dangly boy bits. We'll just all have to wait and see what my next sonogram shows. The Hubs is downright certain that it's a girl because my pregnancy is so different from the Bubs's but won't be disappointed if it turns out to be another little boy. He just wants it to be healthy and I feel the same way.

Speaking of the Hubs, I was glad that he got to hear about the baby's antics and see the picture before he had to leave for another exercise. When I showed the picture to the Bubs, he didn't know how to react. I got a very quiet "uh-huh" and a sideways smile. *chuckles* In a way, he was almost embarrassed. He doesn't know what to think about the fact that the baby is in my tummy. That's okay, though. Maybe it will make more sense to him when my belly starts to get bigger. And won't that be fun? I can hear him right now, giggling over how big my tummy is! Oy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby registries, showers and the loads of unwanted stuff that goes along with 'em...

Boondock Ramblings just did a post about going to a friend's baby shower. As the gifts were being ooohed and ahhed over, she mentally did a running commentary of the things the mommy-to-be won't really need....stuffed toys and such. As I was reading, I couldn't help but think back to the showers I had when I was prego with the Bubs. I had one at work and one that a couple of my aunts threw for me. While I appreciated both, I did get a few things that I didn't really need. There were the obligatory stuffed toys and extrememly bulky blankets that were far too heavy for where we live, but for the most part we were very blessed to get many of the things we needed. Like all first time parents, we needed everything!

Oh, and, mercy, did people take the opportunity of a new baby in the family to unload, er, I mean give gently used baby items to us. Or, at least some of it was gently used. It took me months to go through the lot of it! For heavens sake, there's not a thing wrong with handing down baby clothes and such, but PLEASE hand down in moderation and make sure it's usable. That way it's counted as a blessing and not a royal pain by the new parents.

Even though the Hubs and I aren't first time parents, we do still get a kick out of looking at all the baby sites online. Hubs is interested in the baby gear section and I'm usually interested in, well, everything. I'm still amazed at the sheer number of gadgets, toys, clothing lines and bedding designs that are available for babies. I go into overload if I'm not careful! However, I don't get sucked in by the diaper genies and wipe warmer type things. I didn't need 'em with our first baby and I doubt I'll need them with this one. Believe it or not, we still have a few things left over from when the Bubs was a baby so we don't need every little thing like we did before. (And the bank account breathes a sigh of relief!)

Some of my favorite things to use after I had the Bubs were my Boppy pillow, the silent mode on our home phone, one piece outfits, our tricked out pack-n-play (thanks Mom and Dad), burp cloths, the diswasher basket for bottle paraphanelia and, of course, the stroller/carseat travel system. Speaking of the carseat, the Hubs found a neat cover for it to keep the wind and cold know, as opposed to bundling up the kid until he couldn't move. That was a great find and saved us a load of time and aggravation.

I think this time around I know what we can't do without and what isn't least not at first. For instance, I would love to have a co-sleeper to go next to our bed, a gentle noise maker to keep baby from waking up and a bottle warmer for those "holy cow what time is it?" feedings. On the flip side, I have no use for stuffed animals, no matter how precious, or a wipe warmer. My frivolous side isn't completely repressed, though. I'm in love with the little Trumpette socks that look like little shoes and the Babylegs products. I can't help myself, y'all!

And heaven forbid if you don't have a theme for your nursery! I didn't have a traditional theme for the Bubs like cars or frogs and it drove some people crazy. I made his quilt and the window treatments out of fabrics that I'd collected and had fun doing it. That was a memory that I wouldn't trade for anything. I just had an aversion to anything too cutesy or Winnie the Pooh. Sue me. Now I'm having a hard time coming up with things for this baby. I do like toile and vintagey kinda stuff, but that's kinda hard to come by (pre-made) on my budget. My Mom is prob'ly rolling her eyes and chuckling 'cause I've never had typical/easy tastes. I'll come up with somethin', don't you worry! For now I'm off to cruise the cyber aisles of babydom and get our registry goin'. You wouldn't believe how many people have already asked me where we're registered....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Sometime in the 1950's a little boy was born. True, he was only one out of the millions of children born that year to families worldwide, but this one was special. He was going to be my Daddy.

A gifted little boy who played the piano by the age of 5 and then went on to play for his church a few years later, he was the first of four children. He did not have an easy childhood, the details of which I won't go into in order to respect his privacy. However, he did find refuge in a special lady named My Mama Kathleen, his grandma. To this day he still talks about how good she was to him and the different times she took up for him....and her freshly baked biscuits that they'd poke a hole in the side of and then fill up with honey or molasses. I never get tired of those stories, even though I was never able to meet her in person. She passed on the year I was born. I'm grateful to my great-grandmother that she took the time to help a little boy cope with what was going on in his life.

Dad has always been very protective of my brother and me. I think that's caused me to be protective of him, too. Growing up, I remember people not understanding him. Mostly because he was ahead of his time and very much an individual. Whether it was in his classroom or directing music at church, he was a dynamic force of nature that strove to follow the Lord's direction for his life. I'm sure it wasn't always easy for him to stand up for what he believed in, but it sure taught this little girl a thing or two about integrity and grace under pressure....even if I didn't know what those qualities were at the time.

I also remember watching my Mom alowing him to be himself and even encouraging it when others may not have understood it. When Dad wanted to start using music in his regular education classes years before anyone else was doing it, Mom was right there. When Dad wanted to start using choruses and more progressive songs for the Praise and Worship portion of our, then, home church's services, Mom was singing right along with them. Through all of that I learned that it was a good thing to be unique and try new things despite being teased and made fun of and that having the loving support of a spouse did wonders. Dad still bounces ideas off of Mom and she gives him her honest opinions...even when he may not wanna hear 'em! *smiles*

The same man that some didn't understand or considered to be odd went on to be named Teacher of the Year for his school 6 times and the county Teacher of the Year once. He was recently nominated for an award and won a $1,000 worth of classroom supplies and equipment from our local Staples store. He's released two c.d.'s and still gets calls from churches trying to entice him into directing their music. I guess it took some people a while to catch up with what our family already knew!

So Happy Birthday, my precious Daddy! You are a wonder and I delight in spending time with you and getting to know you. Remember, you're not just my Daddy you're my friend.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

If you have the urge to gag, I understand....

I normally hate to cause anyone to gag, but you may feel that way by the end of this post. Calm down, it's not what you think! I don't have another gross prego story. Nope, I'm just gonna brag unashamedly on my son.

Even though the Bubs is getting a crash course in group socialization since he's never really been exposed to a classroom environment for any significant length of time he, according to his teacher, is doing very well academically. Yay, Bubs!! *mom and dad doing a happy dance*

After school yesterday his teacher let me and my Dad, who also teaches there, know how successful the Bubs was on his initial assessments. He knew quite a few *high frequency words, all of his color and number words.....and then, after asking the Bubs to cover his ears, she quietly told us that he was the only one in the class to know any of it! This is great for a kindergartener! These are some of the main things a child should know at the end of their kindergarten year. I mean, we'd worked at home with these things and tried to read with him everyday, but I don't think the Hubs and I were fully aware of how much the Bubs was retaining.

Speaking of the Hubs, his smile was a mile wide when I gave him the good news from the teacher! He is deeply pleased that his Bubs is not only doing so well in school but honestly seems to be enjoying the whole experience. I don't think school was a fabulous experience for Hubs, so I think that he's relieved when I show him classwork or relay good reports about Bubs. The first thing he wanted to know after hearing about his son's achievements yesterday was how can we keep it going and encourage him to reach even higher heights. Yep, I got a good man here!

So I'm sorry for the gag- er, I mean brag-fest, but I just had to. Our precious little boy had a wonderful success and I wanted to share it with the world.....or at least the lovely part of the world that reads this little blog!

*High frequency words are the words that appear most often in printed materials.