Tuesday, April 28, 2009

that was us

Last week, there was a twenty-one month old child found wandering in a highway in our area. Luckily, the child was rescued by a man driving by. The child was taken into protective custody by authorities. The parents' names' and video of their home were shown on the 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 local news. Tacked onto the end of the report, the station noted that DHS had no prior complaints on the parents.

I do not know these people. They may be the worst parents ever. They might be the best parents ever. Or they could be just average parents trying to survive. Seven years ago, that news report would have been about me. It was a very mild November morning. Kyler was sick. That was back in the day when you gave kids cold medicine. The cold medicine made Kyler hyper--very, very hyper. We were both running on very little sleep by this point. This dose, however, had finally helped him crash, and we were getting some much needed sleep. I had brought him into my king-size bed, because he was so sick.

At around 5:00 am or so, my doorbell rang. I've never opened the door to bad news before, but I just knew this was bad news. It was my neighbor. She was getting her paper. She asked if that was my son walking down the street. Looking past her, I saw Kyler in his diaper, shirt, and boots and carrying his jack o'lantern bucket. I can only assume he was "trick-or-treating" in the middle of the road on our small cul de sac. I ran and grabbed him up, torn between wanting to grab him and hug him and wanting to grab him and scold him. In the end, I did both. (The front door had been locked, but it was the kind of lock that you could still open from the inside. It was replaced that same day.)

It wouldn't have taken much to make a very different ending to our story. Had the weather been colder that morning...Had my neighbor not been up that morning...Had the paper come later...Had Kyler gotten up earlier and been out longer...Had we lived in a busier neighborhood...things could have been much worse. The next time you hear a report of something happening (or almost happening) to a child, please take a moment and realize just how easily things can happen...Please avoid the rush to judge. Please consider just how easily things can happen or that we all make mistakes.

I do not consider myself to be a bad mom (most of the time). I don't consider myself to be a great mom. I am an average mom just trying to raise good kids in a scary world, and I almost lost everything one mild November morning.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I knew he loved me

The last time we went down to see Kevin, THIS is what I found in his fridge. He bought it just for me. (He wouldn't drink it if it were all he had in his camper!) I KNEW he loved me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

when animals attack, part 2

When I was around 3 or 4 years old, a peacock showed up at our house. We have no idea where it came from. One day, it just showed up. It would wander around different parts of our farm, but for those several weeks, it never left.

One day, I went outside to play. I was a little afraid of the great big, bright bird that had taken up residence, but Mr. Peacock appeared to be just as afraid of me as I was of him. Until THAT day. THAT day, the peacock decided my hair baubles (remember those?) looked apparently very tasty. Mr. Peacock began pecking at my head. I began running and crying and screaming (because I can be slightly melodramatic like that...). My mom started chasing the peacock and yelling at him. . Shortly thereafter, my dad caught Mr. Peacock and gave him to a not-very-close neighbor of ours. I've never been brave enough to see that scary movie about birds. . .

And now, you know my secret shame...Beavers and peacocks hate me! Anyone know of an appropriate support group/intervention for my issues?

wfmw tracking weight loss

Sometimes, I amaze myself. I often jump before looking. I volunteered (Who does that?!) to run a 5k. . .and I am NOT in shape! I've been training using the couch to 5k program you can find on cool runnings. My weight, however, had not budged.

Now, I am loving this new website a friend of mine introduced me to. It's called sparkpeople.com, and it lets you input your cardio/strength training info and nutrition info OR let it customize a strength training and meal plan (complete with weekly shopping list) for you. How cool is that? You set up your own page (check out mine HERE) where you can motivate and be motivated by others! I'm afraid to say that I am addicted to it. . . and it's starting to work. I've lost about 7 pounds. More than that, however, I've gotten great encouragement from people who have been through/are going through what I am. The site also gives you points for your hard work, which makes you feel like you're really doing something--even when the scale doesn't!! It works for me. To see what works for others, check out We are THAT Family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh, how I wish I were kidding. . .

I was once attacked by a beaver. For the record, please attempt to never have to type that sentence. It was shortly after Kevin and I got married. He was fishing late one evening at a spot on the river that I drove by on my way home. I knew he was fishing there, so I stopped. We talked for a few minutes, and Kevin mentioned that he had seen a couple of beavers since he arrived. I didn't think anything about it. By this time, it was really dark. He was behind me a little ways, working on his fishing pole. I heard the grass rustling just in front of me. It was loud, as if a very large animal was coming out of it. About that time, I could just see the grass parting, and a creature coming at me. I was shouting Kevin's name, and backing towards the river. I backed up too far. The next thing I knew, I was sliding down the bank towards the river, and the beaver had started down the bank. I managed to jump/climb up the bank as the beaver slid into the water. I stood up, dusting myself off, and trying to look as if a beaver had not just tried to eat me alive. Remember, we were newlyweds. It was important for me not to look fazed by this incident. I looked over at him, and he's literally down on the ground laughing. . .so much for remaining unfazed.

Stay tuned for the "Peacock Incident of 1983." It's a riot. . .if you're not me, that is.

Monday, April 20, 2009

snakes and snails and puppy dog tails

I admit it. I just don't get little boys. Never having been one myself, I just don't understand where they're coming from. For example, what is it about an 8 year-old boy that makes him, um, pass gas on a doctor but embarrasses him beyond everything conceivable when the doctor looks at "all his parts" during his well-child visit? I think the rationale for this behavior is buried somewhere in that y chromosome that neither you nor I have. . .

Friday, April 17, 2009

Did you see that?

It's Friday. I wasn't sure we'd made it to this point this week, but we did! We staggered out to the car this morning, not quite sure we were awake yet. After getting everyone and everything (Do all 2-year-olds require this much junk?) loaded in the car, we started to town. On the way, Kyler asked about something that happened about two years ago.

There were no illegal substances in use--I promise!

It started as a day like any other. We were driving down the dirt road, hurrying to school/work like we always do. Suddenly, two buffalo came around the corner. Yes, you read that right. A mama buffalo and her baby buffalo came running around the corner, so I cautiously pulled over to the side of the road. They were swiftly followed by the daddy buffalo. All three continued on up the road. If you've never seen a buffalo that close, let me tell you, they are extremely large creatures, so I didn't hang around. I slowly and cautiously pulled on around the corner and met two gentlemen "herding" the buffalo from their trucks. (I'm not sure you herd a buffalo anywhere it doesn't want to go, however.)

At this point, Kyler and I just looked at each other. It was a very surreal experience. He giggled, I giggled, and we did what we always do when we see something strange: we called all the grandparents. All but my dad thought we were pulling their leg. My dad told me that the buffalo must have gotten out of the field across from such-and-such's house. I've looked several times since then, but I've never seen the buffalo since. . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yes, I can!

Kady is now using the potty. (Yay, us!) She does great at the baby-sitter's house, but it is more difficult when we are out and about. We make a huge deal when she goes potty in a public restroom, because she doesn't want to use a strange potty. (Neither do I, but I digress.) She thinks the u-shaped toilet seat is broken. (Ours are full-circle seats at our house.) She thinks public restrooms are loud, and she says that there are "monsters" in the toilets. Therefore, we do lots of cheering when we are successful.

It seems to have caught on. Now, Kady cheers for me when I go potty. She throws up her arms, jumps in the air, and yells, "Yay, Mommy!" She says it like it's my biggest accomplishment of the day. . .and sometimes it just might be. . .

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

another observation from the hamster wheel

Last week was rough. I had a very difficult time exercising, and well, let's just say the diet was non-existent. It's very disconcerting to feel you're not making any progress. And my knees hurt. And my calves hurt. And I haven't lost an ounce. And it's not fun. And I'm busy. And I don't have anyone to work out with. And. . .

Enough of the pity party. Here's my quandary. I need something low in sugar and calories that I can eat for breakfast. Oh, and the prep has to be basically non-existent. So, whatcha got? Any good weight loss/healthy breakfast ideas out there?

I'll leave you with one questionable funny--just don't tell my brother or his wife. My candy-loving daughter came this close to feeding my never-tasted-real-sugar-and-never-will-if-his-mama-has-anything-to-say-about-it nephew an m&m. I think my uber healthy sister-in-law (who's usually laid back) almost died. Not a good idea, Sis.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

a difference of tradition

This is the post where I lay it on the line. I present to you an unguarded look at a moment in my life in hopes that my mother-in-law forgot to read my blog today. . .

To say that Kevin and I grew up differently would be to say that black differs slightly from white. While our geographical differences were slight growing up, our parents' lives, moral, religious, psychological, discipline, and general child-rearing practices differed substantially. Everything in my life was about saving money and being conservative. Christmas was special, but we didn't get big items. Christmas presents were small, inexpensive, and few in number. I remember my mom making me Care Bears one year (think Care Bears pillows). My mother was emphatic that we not believe in the Easter bunny. She always stressed the true meaning of Easter, and that was celebrated joyously in my home. We hunted (empty) Easter eggs and ate lots of chocolate, but we didn't get Easter baskets filled with goodies. The Easter bunny never stopped at our house.

Christmas for Kevin was about. . .well, BIG. Everything was in extremes: toys, food, etc. My husband remembers the Easter bunny leaving a basket of plenty at his house. They had their pictures taken with the Easter bunny. They hunted eggs for the chocolate and prizes that would be inside. Easter was Easter because the magical bunny had arrived. (My mother-in-law did cleverly re-gift Easter presents over the years, but her sons were never aware of it.)

Fast forward several years. Kevin and I are married with no children. Easter is spent at Kevin's mom's house. I volunteered to bring the Easter eggs that my niece and nephew would hunt. . .After the first few, my sister-in-law was laughing, and the kids were uninterested in hunting the eggs. It seems you are supposed to put candy in eggs for kids to find them. It seems that if there are no candy, money, or prizes in said eggs, there is no desire to find them. No one had shared that part of the family tradition with me. My in-laws laughed, my husband was embarrassed, and I was hurt. . . and a little offended.

Fast forward several years. We now have two beautiful children that, I'm proud to say, will hunt an empty egg. We prepare a small basket for them that includes a few pieces of chocolate (that must be shared), a book (often about the Crucifixion), and a small toy or two from the dollar tree. We read, tell, and talk about the real meaning of Easter. This year, we plan on attending a community Easter service on Friday and spending Sunday at the very same church that I used to hunt eggs at. Tradition (times two) lives on. However, the moral of the story: Marry an orphan--your life will be much easier.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

From the mouths of two unruly children. . .

Kady let one this weekend. (I never thought I would write that sentence for anyone to see, let alone twice. . .) I said, "Kady, what do you say?" She said, "Mama, I poo poo'ed in my tummy!" Eeeeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Y'all have read how the weight loss is. . .not so much. I've been lifting some light weights at night before bed. Kyler has also heard how the weight loss has been nonexistent so far. Trying to help, he told me this weekend, "Mom, I think you're supposed to take your shirt off when you lift weights. I've seen other people lift weights, and that's how they do it. . ." I've not exactly determined how that's supposed to help the weight loss, but I have decided not to scar my son (or anyone else) in that way. You're welcome.

Where do they get this stuff?

Monday, April 6, 2009

timely advice

You know when you're sitting in church and you just know, I mean, you really KNOW that perhaps the message is for YOU? I had that Sunday. Let me tell you a little about Friday night first. When we got home (after a VERY long day of work), I had to go to the bathroom. Usually, I have to kick everyone out, but this time, they went off to play (Hint #1 that this was going to be a rough night). When I came out, the noises were coming from the utility room. . .and they weren't quiet (hint #2). Kady was IN the dryer with one of those big water cooler water bottles and couldn't get out (hint #3). She had placed toothpaste in my brand new washing machine (let's just stop counting the hints, shall we?). She had knocked the bottle of color-safe bleach onto the floor and it had run all over the floor, including up under the washing machine. Let's just say the day was, um, trying.

Sunday arrives cold and windy. I manage to get both kids to church on time (sometimes a HUGE accomplishment!). Our pastor had a family emergency, so the associate pastor had been called on to give the sermon late Saturday night. His sermon? Sometimes you just want to take your kids to the zoo and leave them, but you still love them. If you can love your kids (even when they're horrible) that much, how much more does God love you? (Matthew 7:11)

OK, God, I got it. . .for now. Please feel free to remind me, because we both know I need frequent reminders!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I really need to get out more. . .

Just For Fun
Have You Ever...(highlight the ones you have done)
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band ….at school
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland /world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (and you're all thankful!)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (but I will, Twyla!)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favourite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

around a third. . .I'm feeling sheltered and pathetic. . .how about you?

Just not Right

I've lamented before about Kyler's shoes/boots situation. The boy could destroy any pair of shoes within a week. . . and does. Boots are the worst. They never last longer than a month TOPS! It doesn't matter what style, brand, etc., we buy--they all fall apart! That child needs a job testing shoes! (Take a look at the link above. Those pictures were taken in December. He's since been through at least 3 pairs of boots!!)

Skip ahead to our weekend with Kevin. Kyler needed new boots. We looked at several different stores before we stopped at a little store in Searcy. They had boots! And they were the flat nose kind! (Don't ask. I don't have a clue.)

Kyler got a pair, and he's been wearing them ever since. Well, there was the time I wore them. I just wanted to see if they would fit. They did. Should I be worried that my 8-year-old has feet as big as mine? (And I've got some big feet!)