Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blessed to be the one in the middle...

On an icy morning like this one, my mind drifts back a little more than ten years ago to one of those completely surreal moments that life will sometimes knock you off your feet with.  I was preganant with our daughter and things were not going well.  I had Pre-eclampsia and had been on bedrest for a couple of weeks.  My blood pressure was off the chart and the illness was targeting my liver.  Because it was January and I wasn't due until March, every day I could "stay pregnant" was best for my baby girl.  She needed more time and I was trying to follow doctor's orders to give it to her.  But, my body decided not to cooperate any further one beautiful, clear, freezing cold, full moon lit night.

Dear Hubby and I set out for the hospital about 11:30 p.m.  My BP had been high all day and would not come down.  The on-call doctor said not to wait any longer.  We were both terrified, tired, worried, and I felt like I was failing at motherhood before she was even born.  I'm kind of hard on myself sometimes and the guilt of endangering her with this illness (which I know I had no control over) did not make me pleasant company.  It was a somber car ride.  I remember seeing the huge full moon over the city on our way down the I-24 ridge cut.  It was so beautiful over the lights of the city I almost gasped.  I asked D.H. if he thought there was any truth to the full moon stories you hear about.  He said he'd heard them his whole life (his mother had been a nurse), but he doubted they were true.  Little did we know...

When we got to the hopital, it looked like a scene out of a movie.  There were injured and sick people in every nook and cranny.  The smell was overwhelming to an already sensitive pregnancy nose.  And the noise...pain never sounds good.  I must have looked as bad as I felt, because they helped me pretty quickly.  Because there were no rooms, they put me in triage between two other pregnant women with only a curtain on each side separating us and hooked me up to the very familiar blood pressure machine.  It was so loud in that room!  People were moaning, crying, screaming,...the orderlies' shoes were squeaking on the floor like basketball players because they were running around everywhere.  It was certainly unsettling and did little to help my inflated blood pressure.  Then the nurse told me to relax so my blood pressure would come down and they took D.H. to fill out the paperwork.  Relax...sure.  Piece of cake.  I positioned myself on my left side (like they told me), began the breathing exercises I'd been doing for a couple of weeks, and stared at the blood pressure machine.  That's when I started picking up on the happenings with the two pregnant women on each side of me.
On my right was a woman who was barely seven months pregnant.  She had been airlifted to the hospital after falling on her icy sidewalk and going into labor.  Her husband was there and had his camo jacket over his crossed arms.  I don't know why that stands out to me.  Maybe because I could see him and not her.  She was just going to get the mail, and now she was in premature labor.  The doctor and nurses were trying to stop her labor, but it wasn't looking good.  Her pain was obvious in her low wailing.  She was crying in words, "I'm so sorry...I'm so sorry."  Her husband didn't comfort her.  Maybe he didn't know how.  Maybe he was angry at her for falling.  He never uncrossed his arms.  She was losing the baby and he was holding his jacket.  The doctor told her they would do everything they could, but the baby's chances were low.

On my left, was a thirteen year old pregnant girl who was almost full-term.  I could see her a little through the curtain division.  She looked so little except for this bulging belly.  She was handcuffed to the bed and a police officer was beside her along with her forlorn looking mother.  Her wrist was so small, I thought she could easily pull it out of the handcuff.  The girl had thrown herself down a flight of stairs trying to kill her baby.  She kept screaming that she wasn't going to have this baby at her young mother.  That she didn't want to have the baby, that she refused to deliver it.  The mother just cried and swayed back and forth.  While I was watching, a doctor came and told her that she was delivering this baby whether she wanted to or not, but that she would never see it.  The baby would be a ward of the state and the girl would be charged for trying to kill it.  I never saw the girl's face, but her mother's young face was a portrait of pain, anger, and guilt.

So there I was in the middle: between a woman losing her baby who wanted desperately to keep it and a child terrified enough to try to rid herself of her baby.   D.H. had returned to my bedside by this point and I remember turning to him and saying, "I am not having my baby here tonight!"  I closed my eyes and prayed, begging God to get me out of there.  I kept seeing that full moon over the city in my mind.  Breathe...pray...breathe...pray...  The relieved doctor sent me home.  He had enough to deal with.  My BP was down.
That was January 19, 2000.  I delivered our daughter by emergency c-section on January 25th.  It was traumatic and "touch and go" and I was really sick.  But, she was perfect--all 4 lbs 15 oz of her.  I didn't get to hold her for a couple of days because of the treatment I had to go through to repair my liver.  I had a long recovery ahead of me and the meds I had to be on because of the liver issue made me loopy and semi-conscious.  The stress was intense and premature infants are challenging.  Poor D.H. had to do everything...everything for our daughter and me AND go to work each day.  My parents and church family helped out a lot.  I have difficulty remembering the first few weeks of our daughter's life.  Being new parents is difficult enough, but this was a true challenge.  Sometimes I think we're still recovering, even ten years later.  

So, when it's icy out I can't help but think of the woman on my right that night.  I don't know if she lost her baby, but I'll never forget the sound of her mourning for it.  I wonder if she has children, if her marriage survived,... And when I remember her, I of course, think of the girl on my left.  Did she go to jail?  Did she have more children?  Did someone adopt her baby?  Did she ever find real love? 

I'm so glad I didn't deliver my daughter that night.  Although her birth is not the way I would have chosen, I'm so blessed to have been the woman in the middle.  And ten years later, I still remember the night she wasn't born and I'm still thankful.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Still lost in LOST...

Like millions of others, I CANNOT WAIT until Tuesday night's premiere of LOST.  I've been hooked on this show since the first episode.  My mind has been twisted, I've gasped aloud, I've even stood up to watch out of shock and didn't even realize I was standing until the episode was over.  I always record the show even though I'm watching it just in case I lose consciousness.  A couple of times I just couldn't stay awake until the end of the episode, so I set my alarm to get up early to finish watching the next morning.  If I hadn't, someone would have told me what happened.  I couldn't allow that, could I?
I've tried to explain the show to non-watchers and sounded a lot like Hurley.  Those of you who are part of the "LOST Generation" probably understand this completely.  The rest of you (poor pitiful souls) could never relate.  It's okay.  We still accept you.  You can buy the complete series on dvd someday and relive what the rest of us have been going through for almost six years.  Of course, we had to wait (sometimes it seemed like forever) between episodes.  The cliffhangers won't rock you the same way since you can go to the next episode immediately.  But, you'll get the idea.
Also like millions of others, I'm still totally lost in LOST.  I don't know what is going on half the time I just know I have to watch.  I have not become a member of the obsessed LOST fannatic club that tries to make sense of every little thing each week and guesses at the outcome of each season.  Some of those people need therapy (or maybe a blog).  There are so many scenarios floating around out there that I get even more confused.  I'm sure there's a deeper meaning to much of the happenings, but I'll just wait until it's all revealed to "get it".  I do have a LOST buddy that texts back and forth with me during the show.  She's got a better memory than me, so I benefit greatly.  But even though I'm in an almost constant state of confusion while watching (and afterwards), it's still the most intriguing show I've ever watched (and that's saying a lot since, yes, I'm a tv addict).
So, as an avid fan of LOST who has seen every episode and is so excited about the last season, I will list for you what I KNOW about LOST.  I'm sure it's all you'll need to catch up if you haven't been watching regularly (dripping in sarcasm).  Please feel free to add to the list.  It has been awhile (like almost a year!) since I've seen an episode.

1.  Jack loves Kate
2.  Kate loves Jack
3.  Kate loves Sawyer
4.  I love Sawyer
5.  Sawyer loves Kate
6.  Sawyer loves Juliet
7.  Kate has freckles
8.  Ben is evil
9.  Ethan was/is super creepy
10.  Hurly has maintained his weight and talks to ghosts 
11. Desmond loves Penny
12. Desmond played Jesus in The Book of John (so when Desmond curses, it really bothers me)
13.  Jacob didn't look like I thought he would
14.  Jack's dad is Claire's dad
15.  Charlie loved/loves Claire
16.  Sayid kills people
17.  Ben lies
18.  Magnets can be ferocious
19.  Locke rocks on multiple levels
20.  Penny's father is evil--maybe even Ben evil
21.  I thought I saw the Smoke Monster in my backyard once
22.  Time travel causes headaches
23.  Aaron is going to need a good therapist
24.  Sun loves Jin
25.  Sawyer loves the 70s
26.  The writers of LOST are either geniuses or mad men

I'm actually glad this is the last season of LOST.  Sure, I'll miss it, but I'm DYING to have all the questions answered.  And they better be answered!  I mean every single one.  I'll let you know.

Lost and loving it,

P.S.  Is anyone more terrifying than Ben Linus?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Calling all Goofballs....

I don't know what has happened to my brain!  I've been on a goofball rampage lately.  I mean, I've had goofball moments, believe me.  Remember, I teach high school.  You can't teach high school without goofball moments.  But lately, I think my brain has become detached from something oxygen. 
It could be a lack of sleep thanks to my 2 1/2 year old son's "monsters in my room" phase.  He's been up a couple of times a night for the past few weeks.  Dear Hubby and I are near zombie stage.
It very well could be stress due to the fact that I'm apparantly completely responsible for thinking of every single thought and action for my family (Did you potty?  brush your teeth?  take your vitamins? change your underwear?  Did you Dear Hubby?  Just kidding...kind of.)  I don't think anyone in my family would bathe without me reminding them of our fancy indoor plumbing.
I've even checked my medicines online for side effects that might explain this stuff.  No mention of goofball like behavior.  A lot about mucous, though.  Ewwww.

All I know is I've made myself look like and feel like an idiot more than a dozen times in the past couple of months and I don't seem to be letting up any.

I can tell you need a list, so here you go:
1) I unloaded and put away all the  DIRTY dishes from the dishwasher.  The last coffee mug clued me into the fact that the load never washed.  Then I tried to find everything I'd put away, but decided finally they weren't that dirty afterall.  Anybody want to come over for dinner?
2)  I washed a large load of clothes on a small load setting AND dried them before I realized what I'd done.  I don't recommend.  You've never seen wrinkles like that.  I considered throwing the clothes away.
3)  I wore my house shoes out in public.  I quickly adapted my errand running to all drive-thrus.  They are cute house shoes, though.  I probably should show them off. 
4)  I dropped my daughter's lunch box behind the refrigerator (twice).  It's currently still there (until Dear Hubby decides to retrieve it).

5)  I dropped an entire pot full of steaming hot green beans on the newly mopped floor.  I'm sure I would never had dropped them had I not mopped.  As I cried over spilt green beans, Dear Hubby cleaned up saying how good those green beans smelled and how perfectly they would have gone with the pot roast.  Somehow, he was trying to make me feel better...somehow.
6) I shaved only one leg in the shower.  Managed to get both armpits, though.  I'm thinking shaving one leg a day might be the way to go.  Saves water?  Hmmmm...

7)  I sent a complaint email to Netflix because they hadn't sent my new movie yet.  It would have helped if I'd mailed back the previous one.  It was sitting next to the computer monitor while I was emailing Netflix.  Genius!
8)  I sent a text to the wrong person.  Fortunately, it wasn't a romantic text.  That could have been hard to explain.  Actually, I'd have a hard time explaining to Dear Hubby if I sent him a romantic text.  He'd totally think I'd lost it.

9)  I flushed my cell phone down the toilet and went in after it.  No luck.  I couldn't even call anyone to tell them.  I didn't know anyone's number.
10) I left the refrigerator door open for 1/2 a night.  Blamed it on the dog.
11) I washed a clean load of laundry that SOMEONE who will remain nameless (whose initials are D.H.) removed from the dryer in such a way that they appeared to be dirty clothes.  Who's the real goofball here?

12) I wrapped Christmas presents but forgot to label several of them.  That was a good hour of confusion.

13)  I left point A to drive to point B (a route I've taken a dozen times).  Ended up at point C (more like point Z) with no idea how I'd gotten there.  My almost 10 year old had to explain it to me.  Maybe she should drive while I read Harry Potter in the back seat.
14)  I tried to open a car door that wasn't mine in the Target parking lot.  I mean I really tried.  It wasn't even the right make and model...or color.

15)  I caught myself totally talking outloud to myself in the Walmart cereal aisle.  The worst part is, I told myself to stop talking outloud to myself...OUTLOUD.  It went like this, "I think I'm talking to myself outloud.  Sheesh, Renee! Stop talking to yourself!  What are you, an idiot?"  I didn't answer myself because I really didn't like my tone.

So, any goofballs out there?  I need company.  It would make me feel a lot better to know you are there and maybe a few specifics on the goofball things you've done recently.  Maybe we could form a goofball club.  We could have monthly meetings and try to out goofball each other.  A secret handshake... Honorary celebrity members...  Nicknames...  A cool logo....  This could be fun.  We could blame all of our goofball stuff on our family members and coworkers and pets.  What do you think?  Any takers? 

Calling all Goofballs!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not an up kind of week...

In my "trampoline" kind of life, this has been one of those weeks that just sucks the life out of you. Not a whole lot of "ups" this week. Not to bore you with the details, but scary medical tests on my son (he's okay, but lots of anxious waiting time this week), friends' lives falling apart, more work to do than time to do it, and a house that looks like one on that A&E show Hoarders, has taken its toll on me. And, of course, watching the terrible conditions in Haiti has made me feel thankful for what I have and broken my heart for what they don't. No disrespect to Martin Luther King, Jr., but I'm really glad to have a long weekend to pick myself up a little.

I know that Monday is supposed to be more than a day off of work, and I do plan to take a few moments to thank God for MLK and the millions of others who fought for civil rights. I am truly, truly, thankful for their hard work and sacrifice. As a history teacher, I have to look back often (well, I guess always--it is history). It's too easy to forget how far Americans have come and how far we still have to go. I hope everyone will think about that on Monday, but I think there are quite a few of us who just need a breather. 2010 has been a bruiser thus far.

Loving others may be the toughest command God gives us; especially when they hurt you, disappoint you, hurt others you love, hurt themselves, live lives you don't approve of... I don't guess it's ever been, or ever will be, easy. Few things worth doing are.

So, I'm going to "lick my wounds" this weekend and get back out there. The work will get done (late) and the house will get cleaned (okay, straightened up). I will pray for Haiti and for my hurting friends. I will look for ways to help and try to see the big picture. I'm sure Martin Luther King, Jr. would want "his" day to be spent loving others instead of just focusing on him.


Our church is working with Healing Hands International, an organization started in 1994 based out of Nashville, TN. They are already actively helping in Haiti with monetary funds, water filters, and are sending an assessement team this Saturday (today) to see how they can further impact relief efforts to provide food, clean water and building supplies. I know there are many organizations you can help through, but I'll post the link in case your looking for one. Thanks. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Green with envy...

I am totally suffering from a bad case of envy...Kindle envy. You know,'s wireless reading device that is Amazon's best selling product ever. I want one. I really, really, WANT ONE!!! I've done more than hinted to Dear Hubby, for about 2 years, that he could get me one for my birthday, our anniversary, Mother's Day, Christmas, Valentines Day, election day, arbor day, Friday the 13th, Chinese New Year, "whatever day I get a Kindle day"; but, alas, I remain Kindleless.

Notice I didn't say bookless. I've got 26 unread books sitting on my "about to read" shelf and hundreds of others (read and unread and reference) around the house. They're different sizes with colorful covers and interesting fonts...but they're not inside the Kindle! I'm currently reading 2 of these 26 "about to read" books. I have to lug around these books everywhere I go just in case I have a few minutes to read. One of them is even hardback! I checked on (and, of course, saw the Kindle front-and-center on the page, calling to me...): the paperback I'm currently reading weighs a whopping 1.4 pounds. The hardback also weighs over a pound; and remember, I'm carrying both of these books around. Sheeesh! (I wonder what my purse weighs?...hmmmm)

The Kindle, however, is only 1/3" thick and weighs 10.2 ounces. According to the website, I could have the 26 books I plan to read this year PLUS another 1474 books inside ONE Kindle...and it would still weigh 10.2 ounces. Do you see why I'm green with envy?

Speaking of green, think of all the trees I could save if I owned a Kindle. It's an environmental duty to own this device, right? Sure, it's a little pricey on the front end; but, it would pay for itself with the savings in Kindle book downloads ($9.99 or less), right?


I wonder if you can sell your used Kindle books? Guess not. I bet you just delete
them, or store them somewhere...wirelessly.


I like to sell the books I don't fall in love with at used bookstores or If fact, most of the books I buy are used...and cheap (less than $9.99); I never pay full price.


But, I LOVE to read and it would be awesome to always have hundreds of books at my fingertips, wouldn't it? Except, I barely have time to read a book or two a month. Let's say I live another 41 years and I continue to read a couple of books a month. That means I've got another 984 books to read in my lifetime...but, the Kindle holds 1500 books. More than I'll probably be able to read in my lifetime. It would be a shame to not use the Kindle to its full potential...


Could Dear Hubby have been right? I don't need a Kindle? He said I would miss the feel and smell of a book; that cuddling up with a Kindle just couldn't please me as much as cuddling with a book does. I mean, I'd be really worried about dropping the Kindle in the bath...I do like to read in the bubbly tub. He said that I love to go to bookstores and see the books, read the back covers, see what others are reading (and let's face it, get a fancy coffee). I do like to see what others are reading and the expressions on their faces while they read. I wouldn't be able to tell what they were reading on a Kindle...


I do like feeling the pages turn, revealing what was hidden until that moment. I like bookmarks, especially the magnet ones. Would Pride and Prejudice read the same wirelessly? I don't know...


Maybe I'm not a "Kindle Person" after all. Maybe all those young readers that still have time to read 1500 books are the ones who should own Kindles. I mean, maybe if I had to use public transportation everyday and had all that travel time to read; but, I live in the South. Do we even have public transportation? And, I'm a super clutz (there's a blog coming someday about that topic). I'm sure I would drop, kick, step on, sit on, just plain break my Kindle...if I had one.


I'm sure they're overrated. I mean, I've only talked to a few people who have one. Sure, they LOVE theirs, and it's changed their lives, they never go anywhere without it, blah, blah, blah... There must be hundreds of people who hate their Kindles and think they were a waste of money. I don't know any of them and they seem to be really quiet about their Kindle hate, but they're out there...right?


Dear Hubby was right. I don't need a Kindle. That money could go for a new dishwasher or television or progressive lenses... I'm just being selfish. It's just a fad, right? People will come back to bound books. They will...eventually.


In the meantime, I STILL WANT A KINDLE!!! I never said I NEEDED one. Of course I don't NEED a wireless book reader...unless it also supplies oxygen and water. No one NEEDS it. It's just one of those things people buy and use that they could get along the Snuggie or the Chia Pet. Selfish or not, I just WANT one! I REALLY, REALLY, WANT ONE! Forget saving trees and saving money on books. Forget page turning and clumsiness. I'll go to bookstores, have a fancy coffee, and scout out the books I want to download on my Kindle. Best of both worlds, right? I'll even ride the city bus if that's what it takes (anybody know where to catch the bus in Chattanooga?).

I want a Kindle because I love to read, because the technology is really cool, and because I don't have one. It's as simple as that.

So, I'm still suffering with Kindle envy. It could get worse. Barnes and Noble and Sony have come out with their own book readers. The competition could be good for my the prices down. Soon, everyone could have a wireless book reader; everyone but me, that is. Dear Hubby just rolls his eyes when I try to talk to him about it (okay, whine and pout about it). Can envy lead to insanity? I'll let you know...

Valentines Day is right around the corner...Dear Hubby, are you listening? Dear Hubby?

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm not complaining, but...

My New Year's resolution to complain less is being thwarted. Apparantly Satan isn't busy enough with the complete demoralization of the world's population and had enough time to send out his demons to challenge my little resolution. To keep from puffing him up with success, I'll only list a couple of the situations that caused my complaint meter to hit the red zone. I'm sure neither of these peeves apply personally to you. It probably won't surprise you, either, that both are driver related and have given me a much greater sympathy for road ragers.

This week's pet peeve #1: If you are turning left at a traffic light, use your turn signal (known in the south as your blinker). The blinker is a wonderful form of communication; it's consistent, non-threatening, and informative. That little light tells the other drivers all they need to know. Why, oh why, then are so many of you refusing to communicate with me? Are you trying to make me yell, "You're an Idiot!!!" at strangers in front of my children? If so, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You see, three mornings this week I sat at a traffic light waiting, with my left blinker on, for the non-blinker using car across the intersection from me to go straight when, SURPRISE, he turned left.
Is there some kind of traffic game I'm unaware of? "Let's see who can trick the most drivers by NOT using the blinker that came with the car." Fun! Once, the car behind me even honked at me as if I didn't know green meant go. Sheeeesh people! I wonder how many accidents happen because of blinker neglect? Are you afraid it's going to burn that why you refuse to use it? If I owned an insurance company, I would reward blinker using drivers with discount rates. The rest of you non-communicative blinker neglecters better not have a wreck--I'd charge you quadruple rates! Oh, and by the way, the blinkers work great for changing lanes, too!

This week's pet peeve #2: If you are in a fast-food drive-through lane, kindly pull your vehicle up closely to the vehicle in front of you. You see, when you leave a 1/2 car length between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, you mess up the design of the drive-through lane. Some very intelligent and educated engineers came up with this design. In theory, it's flawless.
They just didn't account for people like you to use it. This seems to be where I always come in. I'm the car that has a semi-crazed, wild-haired woman half hanging out of the driver's window trying to yell the order into the speaker that's still five feet away because oblivious you "needed your space". It's another great scene for my children to witness. Lot's of uplifting comments are made my their mother at this time ("...her license should be revoked." "...has the sense of a bag of rocks." "...maybe you should drive a vehicle the size of your IQ."). There's a wonderful option for those of you, bless your hearts, who just can't judge the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you: PARK AND GO INSIDE!

I'd like to say that those are the only things I've complained about this week, but I can't. Complaining is a stinky habit that takes awhile to break. It's funny how the little things, things that really don't matter at all, cause me to have the biggest blow-ups. These two peeves will always bug me (along with 462 other pet peeves I have), but my reaction is what I've got to work on. Satan will always try to block my progress, but I'm not giving up on the resolution to complain less just because I broke it (several times) in the first week. I don't know how long it will take me to change my mindset, but it sure would help if you would all use your blinkers and properly use the drive-through lanes. Just kidding...kind of.


Friday, January 1, 2010

It's official...I'm boy crazy.

This is dangerous. I'm over the moon for this guy. He makes me giggle at inappropriate times. I'm often speechless because of something he's done. He melts my heart with those milk chocolate eyes. He covers my face in the sweetest kisses (okay, mostly zerbitzes). This could get really bad, really fast. He has me wrapped around his tiny finger.

It's official...I'm boy crazy over my boy. How am I supposed to discipline him effectively? I mean this toddler is cute! And he's hilarious. I find myself smiling while fussing. I mean, his pouty face is the cutest thing you've ever seen. It just cracks me up when he says, "You're a bad bad boy, Mommy!" while he's in time-out. It's amazing how he can turn on and off that pitiful, wailing, ear-piercing cry in a microsecond. He has mastered Mommy Manipulation at such a young age (two-and-a-half). I'm in trouble deep.

These are my symptoms:
1. I let him slobber all over my face after I've perfected my makeup.
2. I want to put a strangle-hold on the little boy at daycare that hit my boy.
3. I get up at 5:30 a.m. during vacation to watch Barney with him.
4. I constantly tell people, perfect strangers even, the cute things he says.
5. I let him help me "fold" the laundry (even though I have to do it all over again).
6. I give him a sucker every time he goes to the potty (a popscicle if he poops).
7. I want to cuddle with him often.
8. I miss him during my workday.
9. I worry about him.

I was head-over-heels for my daughter at this age, too. She was lovely, and sweet, and dainty, and patient, and quiet, and cuddly. I could take her anywhere. She was afraid of nothing (except bugs). She was so mild-mannered, people just marveled. She still is. She didn't seem to be upset by anything. She didn't whine much and was almost always happy. She spoke clearly, just not that often and very softly. She posed perfectly for photographs and shared with her friends. My daughter has never lied and never said "no" to anything she was told to do by her parents or teachers. I still don't think she's ever been angry. She just entered "Tweendom", so things are certainly changing in our relationship.

My boy, well he's afraid of everything (from Santa to green peas). He has temper tantrums. He says "NO" to everything he's asked to do. He yells, screams, spits, hits, bites, lies, whines, and cries over anything that doesn't go his way. He can be downright mean. He shares reluctantly and can be really bossy. His feet stink. He talks non-stop and purposely looks away from the camera when being photographed (just to tick me off). He has bad moods and is a real grump in the morning. He's rarely still and needs constant attention. He licks us. He spills everything. He picks his nose. He wears us out everyday.

But, he's charming, and creative, and funny, and sweet, and goofy, and silly, and weird, and smart. He cracks us all up daily. He has his own dance move and his hair sticks up no matter what we do. He tells elaborate stories and makes funny noises to get his sister to laugh. He pretends he's Superman and Spiderman even though he has never seen the shows. He has a huge laugh. He hugs us so hard it hurts. He holds our faces in both hands to center his good night kisses and tells us to "Sweep tight. See you in the mownin." He constantly wants to know which way we're going in the car ("this way or this way, Mommy?"). He's brutally honest at times ("Mommy, this dinner is yucky!"). He's a show-off and flirts with strangers. He struts. He sings. Every surface is for drumming. He looks beyond adorable in jeans, oxford shirt, sweater vest, and loafers (with white socks, of course). He's always excited to see us. He's perfected the art of Zerbitzing. He says "pwease", "thank you", and "scuse me". He squints when he smiles. He snorts when he laughs. He constantly needs wiping down. He ends every sentence with "Okay?" He has captured our hearts.

D.H. (Dear Hubby) and I had almost given up hope of having this child. It wasn't looking good and I was getting too old (so was D.H., but he doesn't have ovaries). We were getting close to deciding one child, since she was perfect, was just fine. Not what we'd planned, but life hadn't really ever gone by our plan. We were shocked when we found out about "it". I was at the top of the steps with pregnancy test in hand, and D.H. was at the bottom. "Really?" was all he said and then immediately went to buy another test to make sure. We told our daughter at 11 weeks. She was reservedly thrilled. She'd been an only child for almost 7 years; no concept of what a sibling would be like (I'm still not sure she's happy about this little "bother". She's usually the target of his wrath). Then we found out "it" was a boy. I couldn't believe God was giving me a boy to raise. What was I going to do with a boy? I'd planned on two girls...I had girly clothes and hair bows saved. What was he going to wear?

I've "questioned" God about this boy thing a lot over the past couple of years. I guess I was really questioning myself. I seemed to have no boy parenting skills and I'd apparently overestimated my girl parenting skills. I felt too tired, too old, too impatient, for this job. I think it was a little post-partum, mixed with turning 40, mixed with "life just sucks sometimes", mixed with financial stress, mixed with "mommy guilt", mixed with self-doubt, mixed with marriage stress. The fog is starting to lift now. I think I can do this. I think I'm meant to do this. I'm just CRAZY about my boy (and my tween girl). I can handle the whining, the messes, the temper tantrums, the grumpy mornings, the lack of sleep, and the worry. At 41, I still haven't learned that God's plan is THE plan. What a lot of wasted time and energy, huh? I'm so blessed to be the Mom of a beautiful girl AND a stinky boy. Now, if they'd just stop growing up so fast. Go hug your kids and give them a big, fat, Zerbitz, okay?

Nay (boy crazy mom)