Monday, May 31, 2010

Thinking....

Happy Memorial Day everyone. I hope you are all remembering who we celebrate today.

Charlie is at the park playing softball. Lake is at the park playing. Lady Lennon and I are hanging out at the house, enjoying each other. I started to get a little annoyed at the fact that I am "doing nothing" today like everyone else. Then, I remembered, I am doing something. I am spending time with Lennon. I thought about just a month ago, she was in the hospital fighting for her life and today is she is getting fat! I say that as if it's a good thing because she needed to gain weight! Trust me, she found her appetite and likes it! It really cracks me up how much she is eating these days because just a week ago I was throwing childish tantrums because she wouldn't eat. Now, she is getting chunky and eating like a little pig.... and I love every bit of it!

She is starting to smile a little, when I pick her up. She will be fussing and when I go to pick her up I see a little smirk and I cannot help but laugh. She knows she is rotten.

I am already planning her first birthday party!! I cannot wait. It is going to be so much fun. I debated on telling the theme because I don't want anyone to steal it... but then again, I will just have to crash the party that steals my theme. I do mean CRASH... as in, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" style.

The theme is going to be an Alice In Wonderland Tea Party. I am hoping to convince Charlie to dress as the Mad Hatter and one of my sisters to dress as The Queen of Hearts. I want to find Lennon a tiny Alice dress. How cute would that be? I want to invite girls only. I have all the details finalized, I just have to put them on paper so I don't forget. I just think, after all she has been through, she deserves the coolest birthday party ever! Even if she has no clue of what is going on!

I was so scared to have a daughter. I mean, petrified! I was scared she was going to end up like me. I know I was a terrible teenager. I know I drove my mom crazy, and I know I was extremely rebellious. Heck, rebellion is my middle name. I was told by one of the nurses in the NICU, who has a Down Syndrome 16 year old daughter, that her daughter doesn't have the natural desire to be rebellious. She said she wishes all her kids were like her. That blessed me more than she will ever know! I will have a teenage daughter that will be sweet as pie! I also hope all you other moms will be highly jealous of my angel teenage daughter! Just kidding... well, sort of. Hopefully she will rub off on Lake!

Speaking of rebellion.... (stepping onto soapbox) I still do not like to be told what to do. I hate when people say, "You need to...." Nothing gets under my skin and will push me away quicker than that. I don't know what it is... but it grates on my nerves. If people would just realize that I am an adult and I will do what I please, when I please, and how I please, life would be so much simpler. If people would just agree to disagree with the way I choose to do things, there would be less tension and arguments. Especially when it comes to raising my children. I know I sound like a jerk but it was just on my mind and I wanted to put it out there. Try to make your point without telling me what I need to do.... make it out like it's my idea. Maybe then, I will hear your idea. And, if I don't like your idea, get over it. I wonder how I got to be this way? I wonder if it has something to do with my raising? (Ok, I am off my soapbox now.)

We are finally getting Lake's swing set put up. We (as in Charlie) had started it around his birthday, and then I had Lennon, so things got a little behind. I was thinking today how much fun he is going to have, and when Lennon gets big how much fun THEY are going to have together. I am so glad he will have a sibling. It makes me excited for when she has a little sibling. I know there will be days they want to punch each other, but overall, there is just something about a sibling. Especially around the holidays and when you start having kids. I just love my little neice like she is my own. I could literally steal her and keep her for myself. I don't see her nearly enough these days... Ugh, I cannot wait to be off quarantine with Lennon! I hope she and Nora Kate are best friends like her momma and I are. I know this is dumb, but as soon as I typed that last sentence, I started crying. It will break my heart if Nora doesn't want her around because she is embarrassed of her or because she has to "look after" her too much when they are together. I know I shouldn't think like that, but I cannot help it.

Anyways... I am off to register for the HGTV Green Home Giveaway. Please God, let me win!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Running Like Crazy

Sitting here with my kiddos and my husband, trying so hard not to hold a piece of ice to my coffee scalded tongue. You would think my tongue was one big callous, seein as how I have scalded it infinity x 100 times on hot coffee. One day I will learn not to guzzle my coffee. I don't know why I drink my coffee so fast. Actually I drink everything fast. Come to think of it... I am always doing everything as fast as I can and I have no idea why? I am not on a time schedule. I am not in a contest. I always feel rushed. I am always on edge. My heart rate is always up, even Charlie noticed the other day when we were snuggling/relaxing, that my heart beats faster than his at resting pace. Things that make you go hmmmmm....

I get so annoyed and tickled at Charlie and my eating habits. He will almost ALWAYS leave one tiny bite. Like, if he takes ONE more bite he will explode. One green bean. One scoop of rice. One half of a chicken nugget... it doesn't matter what it is, he always leaves one bite. It drives me crazy. I, on the other hand, will eat every bite even if I am as full as a tick.... as in, there are starving kids in Africa - Eat, woman! Eat! Don't waste food!! I drive myself crazy.

Ok, so, I have said it before, and I will say it again... well, that is not completely true, Clint Black actually sang it; But I do agree with it! "Ain't it funny how a melody can bring back a memory, take you to another place in time, and completely change your state of mind?"


Well, this past week this song has been on my mind. It's really random that I have this song in my head, because I am pretty sure I have not heard it in at least 10 years or more. I heard it when I first gave my life to Christ. So today, I downloaded the song, sung by the lady I remembered singing it at my church years ago. As I listened to it, everything came flooding back into my memory. I literally got chills, thinking of who I used to be and where I came from. I could remember the exact spot I was sitting in church. I remembered my hair was short blond and I was much thinner. Emphasis on the "much". I remembered hearing the lyrics for the very first time. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. It was exactly how I felt and I was overcome with emotions, that someone could sing something so powerful. It was not a coincidence I was in that church, that night, with that lady, singing that song. It wasn't just happenstance. I believe it was supposed to happen. I remembered being so humbled in the presence of God, it moved me to commit fully to Him all my fears, and confess all my sins. Even the things I had tried so hard to hold onto for so long, mostly because of my pride... and a little bit of ignorance.


Most days, it seems, something else comes along and wants to steal my happiness and my faith. I will be completely honest, it's a battle for me to believe wholeheartedly some days. But, on those days when I am battling, I really just need to run to God... literally RUN to Him and throw myself at His mercy. Just completely make a fool of myself in His presence at His feet. My pride makes me feel like, "Hey God. Yes, it's me again, and yes I've got more baggage." I don't know why I do it to myself. I know we all do it. We all create this baggage we carry around from our sins. And for some reason, it's so hard to let it go, even if letting go is the thing we want most.


Eventually, I will get rid of this load completely. As I know, all too well, another load will come. Another load I created from my own sins. I just can't let it all pile up at one time, ya know?! It would hold me down. I know I do not want to stay in these moments forever. So, I need to be able to let go... even if it's a little at a time. Let go. That is when the healing begins. That is when freedom takes place. That is when chains are broken.


Now, like I said... I was humbled by these lyrics again today, and again today I ran. I threw myself at His mercy, believing He is the only one who can heal my wounds and take this heavy load I've created. I am giving all my fears to Him. He knows what I want out of this life. He knows my deepest desires. He knows all my secrets - and that scares me, a little! It might not all happen at once, but He will give me those desires and He will wash me clean, again. I do believe some desires of mine will come with a sacrifice. I just pray I am ready to make them when the time comes.

As I listen to this song... It is exactly how I want to be... It is exactly how I want to live.


Now, when you read these lyrics, you gotta do like I do (or it won't have the full effect), and picture yourself ... running, literally running... tripping over yourself, as you run like a psycho, desperate for Him and all He has to offer!

Yes, I am over dramatic... it's who I am. Deal with it ;)



Mercy Seat by Vicky Yohe


In the darkness, Where everything is unknown


I face the power of sin on my own


I did not know of a place I could go


Where I could find a way to Heal my wounded soul.


He said that I could come into His presence, without fear


Into the holy place where His mercy hovers near


I'm runnin'! I'm runnin'! I'm runnin' to the mercy seat!


Where Jesus is callin'


He said His grace would cover me!


His blood will flow freely


It will provide the healin'


Come runnin' to the mercy seat


I'm runnin to the mercy seat.


Are you livin' where hope has not been?


You're lost in the curse of a Lifetime of sin


Lovely illusions, they never Come true


I know where there's a place Of mercy for you


He said that you could come into his Presence, without fear


Into this holy place, Where His presence hovers near.


Come runnin' come runnin' Come runnin' to the mercy seat


Where Jesus is callin'


He said His Grace would cover you.


His blood Will flow freely


It will provide the healin'


Come runnin' to the mercy seat


I'm runnin' to the mercy seat


He said that you could come into His presence, Without fear


Into the holy place Where His mercy hovers near

Friday, May 28, 2010

Slowly Becoming Who I Am

It dawned on me a few months ago (back in October, as I celebrated my 32nd birthday) how "old" I am getting. I say old, because when I was a pre-teen, I thought anyone in their 30s was decrepit, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. In my old age, I have come to realize, you are only as young as you feel. I feel about 27.

I went to bed that night, with a full pregnant belly. I had a hard time sleeping so I decided to reflect, on me... being the day we celebrated me and all. I was 32 and what had I done with my life? Now that question can make or break a person. I hadn't really "done" anything grand, or anything I would want to tell the world about.

When I was 18, and fresh out of high school. My next door neighbor / best friend, Maggie, and I had decided we were moving to Ocean City, Maryland. We wanted to work in a shop on the beach and just be ourselves for a while... eventually going to college there, or somewhere else. Well, as you can see I am not living in Ocean City, nor did I ever do that. What I did do, was started dating a guy I went on a blind date with. He wouldn't quit calling me and decided maybe I want to stick around for a while. After almost three years of that mess, I had had enough and moved on. I still wish I had gone to Ocean City Maryland.

My whole life I have wanted to back pack through Europe. "My Skinny Friend, Brandi" and I had plans for February 2010. We were going to be in Europe doing just that. I wanted to taste amazing food, see historical places, meet crazy fun people.... just to say I did it. Then I ended up pregnant. To this day, I have never left the country.

I have always dreamed of living in Manhattan. I could definitely be without a back yard to mow for the rest of my life. They have parks for all your grassy needs. I wanted to look out my window and see tall buildings and people like ants racing to work. I wanted to hear angry people honking their horns in bumper to bumper traffic. I pictured my life, much like "You've Got Mail".... Don't you just love New York in the Fall? I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino. OK, Taryn, back to reality. I never moved to NYC... heck, I have never even visited. To my dismay, this trip has been planned more times than I care to count and something always comes up and plans change.

I can remember sitting on my best friend's bed in high school, writing the physical description of the perfect man. He would be at least 6'2" tall, because I would feel smaller. He would love sports and play them, just not be considered "a jock". He would have to play golf, because my grandfather did and I loved going to the golf course and driving the golf cart. He would have an amazing family, his parents would still be together. He would have green eyes, because all the jerks I dated had brown eyes and I have blue. He would have a great sense of humor, because laughing is what I do best. He would be smart, but not nerdy. As I recall this list to memory, I did find that perfect man... and every time I look into his beautiful green eyes, I am thankful he exists.

I wanted to have my first or only child by the time I was 28. Without even trying, that actually happened. I was 28 when I was pregnant with my first child, my son, Lake. Not really "planning" on another, a few years later, I was blessed with my daughter, Lennon.

I did eventually move away from my home town. In 2005, my perfect man and I moved to Dallas, TX for a little over two years. There, I met some of the most amazing crazy fun people who would turn out to be some of the best friends I will ever have. I cannot imagine life without them, even if they live halfway across the country now. We also had a short move to Baton Rouge, that eventually landed us full-circle, back in our small home town. I never thought I would ever be happy living here. I can honestly say, I am excited to be here and I love every minute of it. Well, except for the few minutes the paper mill fills my car with a stinch that will burn the inside of your nostrils. Or those few minutes you are in a drive thru getting lunch and the person taking your order speaks their own language to the point of you don't even know what you just ordered.... "Apple Dipples"... What the heck is that? I asked for Apple Dippers.

I did go to college, even if it wasn't in Ocean City, Maryland or anywhere else but right here at home. During that time, I did some things I am not too proud of, had a heck of a lot of fun and laughter, dated some more people that weren't my perfect man, and met some more really amazing people who would still be great friends to this day - even if they also live halfway across the country today.

All in all, I have learned more about myself in the past 14 years than I ever expected to. I have had a lot of experiences that either landed me in the emergency room, jail, or living in a different state. I have vacationed to really great places inside the U.S., such as, Myrtle Beach, Hawaii, San Diego, The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas... and I know there are so many more great places to see. I have married the perfect man, and had the perfect children and we live in the perfect place - for us. The more I think about it, I have done exactly what I wanted to do, with exactly who I wanted to do it with.

I am 32 years young, and I still have my whole life ahead of me. I will do all those things I wanted to do. I will learn more about myself when I grow up.... and I will meet more amazing people to share my life's events with. I don't regret a thing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tornado? Twins? & The Cancun Countdown

Today, we dress in yellow. I couldn't decide which picture was cutest... Since most every picture I take of her she is moving, they are all blurred. I really need a new camera. Here is my blessing, all covered in yellow. I think we might take a stroll around the hood today... fresh air would do us both good.





Yesterday, after I had my little tantrum over Lennon wanting to sleep thru eating... God must have heard my tears hitting the ground (and I calmed down - I know she can tell I am stressed), because she started eating so well. She ate well all the afternoon and thru the night, no fuss, no stress.
Last night, Lake went to church with Granny. Charlie and I rented a crappy movie and vegged out with a few Subway sandwhiches... Eat Fresh! I feel the need to say that everytime I say Subway. (Eat Fresh!) We watched "Everybody's Fine" with Robert Deniro. That was the slowest most boring movie I have seen in a while. The best part about it was when Charlie and I heard what we think was a tornado during the movie. I mean, it sounded like a train in our back yard. We don't live near a train track. Also, it was eerie calm outside. I have heard two tornadoes so I am pretty sure that is what it was. However, there was nothing about it on the news? Hmmmm. Only thing else it could have been was our neighbor was using a fake tornado sound machine to scare everyone.
While watching the movie I was feeding Lennon her bottle and then trying to burp her. Charlie and I got so tickled at her lifting her head and looking around. We are so proud of her! From our angle, it was like Dejavu... looking at Lake lifting his head and looking around! That is why I was laughing so hard. They have the same widow's peak - a trait they enheirited from their daddy. They are just so darn cute, I love being a mommy. Lake, however, has his mommy's big ears. Lennon, has her daddy's tiny ears. They both have my mouth. I also love that they are mostly bald. Ha! I swear, if it weren't for the fact that she was born exactly 4 years later... they could have passed as twins.

Preston Lake - 3/23/2006

Lennon Vale - 3/24/2010

I don't really have much on my mind today except going back to work. I am scheduled to go back July 29th. That is when Lennon is released to be in the care of someone else other than me. I know she will love her daycare as much as we do. Plus she will meet some new friends. Fun! I am nervous, however, but I am looking forward to having my normal life back. I miss my work friends, and I miss having a purpose other than housekeeper and diaper changer. At the same time, I will miss that being my only job... taking care of my husband, my kids and house.
The countdown to Cancun begins! ____ 76 days & 40 lbs to go!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Complaining is My Forte

I try really hard to be positive, and trust God in everything. I am praying constantly for patience, because I am a very "in a hurry" person. Always have been. Today is one of those days I need God to just take control and write it in the sky so that I know what to do. I know everyone has days when they just don't want to pray or know how to pray. This is that day for me. Lots on my mind. Lots of frustration. Sometimes I really despise perseverance. Why can't things just be easy? When I asked for a break, I didn't mean my iPhone screen.

Lennon is so congested in her nose. I use saline to suck out the crud almost every two - three hours during the day and night. Went to the doctor for her 2 month check up. She looks good and getting big except this drainage crud. I have her under a humidifier during naps and at night. I even started using Vick's to clear her for a good breath. She breathes out her mouth most the time, so I am sure her throat is a bit sore. I think this, because when she eats, she won't eat more than an ounce before she starts crying, then it's like fighting her tooth and nail to get one more ounce down. I am mixing formula, breast milk and rice cereal to get her calories in. Luckily, it has not affected her stomach too much. A little more gas than usual, but she's doing well with it... thanks to a little Milacon. She seems so happy even though I know she is miserable. Bless her. It exhausts me to get her to eat though. At night, she is zonked out and it is almost impossible to get her to even suck or swallow she is sleeping so hard. I AM EXHAUSTED every time she eats.

The Drs have told me that a lot of Downs babies end up getting the G-Tubes in their stomach so the parents can dump the food in, when they won't eat. As much as I have been against another operation or tube, I am slowly seeing the benefits to this. She is lazy, and that is part of the Downs. She doesn't want to eat, which is also normal. When she does eat, she eats really well, it's mostly just a matter of waking her up - which is VERY hard. I feel like a bad mom for wanting this tube, but seriously, it would make life so much easier. Then I feel bad for wanting the easy way out. How am I supposed to go back to work in a few weeks, worrying if she is getting fed enough? I know that her daycare people will do what they can to feed her, but no one will try as hard as me. Even my mom gives up after a few mins, "She wouldn't eat". Well, that is not acceptable, try harder! Ugh! This kind of stress leaves me in tears!

My house is a disaster, because the few free minutes I have during the day, after changing diapers over and over, sucking her nose out over and over, burping her over and over (which takes FO-EVA), feeding her over and over, dishes, laundry, picking up Lake's messes, trying to make myself some breakfast and lunch when I can, trying to spend time with her / loving on her as much as I can because these days are numbered.... those few free minutes I have... Who wants to clean?! I need some ME time. I hate a dirty house, it puts me in a bad mood.

Speaking of ME time... I was on bedrest from January until I had her in March. Then I spent 7 weeks in the hospital with all her issues. Only to come home and be bound to the house on quarantine for 6 weeks minimum. Thankfully I have a very sweet and dear husband who will gladly take over and let me go out and about every now and then. However, this cabin fever is really getting to me.

I have a lot of other prayer requests I have thrown out to God, and He hasn't answered yet. One is for a peace about going on this vacation with my husband. Bless him, he has worked SO HARD all year to make President's Club. With making this club, comes a paid vacation for him and his spouse (that's me). The trip is to Cancun! Woo hoo!! The trip is also in August. Boo! I am so completely torn in my emotions about being 200% ready to go vacationing with my husband and leaving my newborn who just had heart surgery. I mean, it's not like we will be in Gulf Shores. We aren't even going to be IN THE SAME COUNTRY! It scares me to death. I know her heart is perfectly fine and I have nothing to worry about. It's just leaving my baby and I just got her home. Ya know? I know this is normal for any mom but it literally brings me to tears every time I think about it. I am hoping when we get there, I will be so excited about my toes in the sand that I will finally get that peace of mind. However, thinking about myself in a swimsuit, makes me want to throw up my food. Zumba DVD's - hurry and get to my house!

Even after all that, I have about 100 more life altering prayer requests I am still looking for guidance in. I just wish God would give me a magic wand so that I could make them happen very soon. Or is it, that just maybe I just keep on praying because I don't like the answer God has given me?

I know, I know, "this too shall pass", so save your scripture for someone who doesn't read it. I just wanted to complain. I think I am allowed that because, dang it, I am human and I am pretty frickin positive most of the time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm Insane, Got No Brain

I swear, sometimes I should be on "stupid" drugs....
Meaning, I am getting more and more stupid as each day passes.

For example, the other day, I was fixing Lennon a bottle. I sat down and fed it to her and when she was done, I burped her. Then, I stood up and walked to the pantry and threw the bottle into the garbage. This was not a disposable bottle. For some reason, in my head, it seemed like the thing to do. Just get rid of the evidence.

In the past few weeks, I have almost put the laundry in the refrigerator, put my keys in my pantie drawer & drank the bottle of ketchup.

Yesterday, I took Lennon to the doctor for her sinus congestion. When I was getting ready to pay for the visit, I reached in my diaper bag, pulled out my baby wipe container, and handed the receptionist a baby wipe. She looked at me like I was crazy, and did not take it from me. I said, "I guess you don't need one of these?"

This morning, I wanted my coffee and a bowl of Cheerios. I got a bowl out, and a mug from the cabinet. I always pour the creamer first and then pour the coffee so that I don't have to stir it. I took the creamer and proceeded to pour it in my bowl of cheerios and poured my cheerios in my coffee mug.

Today, I was washing out one of Lennon's bottles to reuse. I had the water turned on at the kitchen sink, when it dawned on me "I need to do the laundry". So I left the sink, walked through the house, gathering laundry. After two or three trips, I got it all into the laundry room. I started a load, moved a load from the washer to the dryer and I took the clothes in the dryer to the living room so that I could fold and put them up. Once I sat down at the couch to fold the clothes, I heard a noise. I looked up and into the kitchen. The sink water was still running.

This afternoon, I was doing more laundry. Lennon was fussing because she had a dirty diaper. I changed her diaper and went to throw it away in the garbage. I opened the laundry room door and threw the dirty diaper in the dirty clothes. Good thing I didn't wash it.

Tonight, I was craving something sweet. I searched high and low for something in our house. We usually do not have sweets, to my dismay. So I settled on a Toaster Strudel. I heated it up, and noticed there weren't any icing packets. I thought, Charlie must have eaten the icing packs. So I decided to break out the powdered sugar and milk and make my own icing. I made a small bowl of icing and was just about to pour it on, when Charlie came home from the gym. He said, "Why are you pouring icing on the Scramblers?" I stopped what I was doing and cracked open one of the strudels only to find cheese, sausage and egg.

I walk to and fro throughout my house, carrying items that I have intended on doing something with. I will walk from room to room, sometimes more than once, carrying said item, and I have no idea why I am walking around aimlessly. I put the item down, sit down to do something else and as soon as my butt hits the seat, I know what my purpose was. I pick said item back up, walk to the room where I intended on doing something with it and forget why I am in there. Then I proceed to walk from room to room, trying to figure out what I got up out of my seat for... said item still in hand. I go back to sitting down and remember again. This goes on for about 3-4 trips before I remember what I was intending on doing. Sometimes, I even just give up all together and assume at some point in the day it will get done. Basically, I spend half my day wandering around with good intentions.

They call it "mommy brain" .... but I am pretty sure I have been like this my whole life.
I annoy me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Excuse me, do you have a death wish?

What is up with people actin' a fool?!

Too Much Drama for This Mama
First off, in the last few weeks, I have seen/read more drama on Facebook than I care to. I do not understand people "callin each other out" on Facebook. Do they get some sort of satisfaction from 'outing' one another, or from trying to get the last word via comments? It is SO immature. Keep your two cents to yourself, if it's not nice. Chances are, what you say isn't really worth two cents anyways.... AND you look like a 4 year old.

Keep your hands and your breath to yourself, if you wanna keep them.
I am not supposed to have Lennon out of the house. However, I ran out of coffee the other day and I nearly killed someone. So, I had to leave and get coffee. Of course, I did not leave My Bug in the house alone. I took her with me, and I did not leave her in the car.... so get CPS off your speed dial. (I called them CPA one time. Not nearly as threatening.) I took her in Brookshires... and as soon as I set her carrier down to pull out a buggy from the buggy barn, this bag boy runs over, and picks up her carrier and starts trying to help me get her in the buggy. As much as I appreciate his need to feel useful, I didn't want his grubby hands on my carrier! I snatched, err, took the carrier from him and said, "Thanks, but I got it" and refrained from calling him Helpy Helpsalot. Moving on to the coffee aisle, I quickly grabbed the coffee beans I wanted and sped down the aisle over to the refrigerated creamer section. Trying to avoid all the Germ Zombies buying groceries. I swear it's like people have this crazy look in their eye when they see a baby... Like they want to eat her or sneeze on her. With a quickness, I searched for the specific kind of creamer I wanted. I took my eyes off the buggy for a millisecond only to hear this feeble old voice, "Ohhh! He is brand new! How old?" With a snarl, I grabbed the creamer I wanted, turned to the woman with her face literally in the carrier with Lennon, and growled, "SHE is 7 weeks, now if you will excuse me" and started to push the buggy away, nearly taking her blue hair with me, when she said, "Oh, she is 7 months? She is little." Ignoring her and the fact that she didn't catch on to my reference to WEEKS, I pushed toward the aisle to pay for my goods and get out of Germville ASAP. My blood pressure is up at this point, not from running around the grocery store like I am on Super Market Sweep but because I am PARANOID of people and their germs! I was handing the cashier my debit card when I look over to see Helpy Helpsalot trying to talk to Lennon. "She is a new baby huh? She your only one? How old is she?" I pushed Lennon out of his way so that I was standing between he and Lennon now. "She is seven weeks, and I also have a 4 year old son.... do you want my address and social security number also, Mr Nosey Britches?" OK, so I didn't say the last part but I thought it. He carried my groceries as I pushed the buggy with Lennon. I am not sure why he thought I needed him to carry coffee and creamer. I was pretty sure I had that covered. But I obliged. I left Brookshires', all but squealing tires, and pretty much prayed that God would come down like a giant can of Lysol and cover Lennon. I just don't get people sometimes. I mean, I don't do that to other people's babies. Surely I am normal and they are all crazy. Don't these people realize messing with a newborn and her momma is like signing their Death Wish in blood. There are no take backs! Especially when this mama has been up all night doing middle of the night feedings and woke up to no coffee in the house.

Ok, I am off my soapbox, now. Rehashing that story got me all fired up... I need a cup of coffee to calm my nerves now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May I Have Your Attention, Please?!

Yesterday, I was sitting outside under the shade. I had my feet propped on the legs of Lennon's bouncy seat, softly bouncing her as I watched Lake play in his swimming pool. There was a bird hovering around, and finally landed in our yard. Lake said, "Mommy, look at that bird in our yard." I said, "Yeah, I see it. It is probably looking for something to eat." He said, "What kind of bird is it?" I had no clue, it was grey with white tipped wings, I replied, "I am not sure... it has white on it's wings, I have seen a lot of them, I just don't know the name." Lake said, reassuringly, "It's probably an ordinary bird." I laughed out loud, startling Lennon. I thought to myself, my son is anything but ordinary.... and I know he takes after his parents. We take pride in that!

I was looking at my iPhone trying to find music to listen to that was kid-friendly and upbeat while he swam. My face was buried in my phone, when Lake appeared beside me and said, "Mommy, quit looking at your phone and watch me." He was right, I was so side-tracked on finding the perfect song or play list that he had been trying to do a "trick" in his pool and I was not paying attention. He never ceases to point out that he is not getting the attention he deserves. I love that about him. He keeps me honest.

I think God is sometimes like that. He will do what He has to in order to get our attention. He just wants us to pay attention to Him. I was so glad to have rotated Sundays with Charlie today. It was his turn to stay home with Lennon while I went to church. Lake was so excited I was going, "Mommy!! YOU are taking me to church today!?" As much as that makes me so happy it breaks my heart the same. He misses doing things with his mommy, and having a normal life. We have tried to make it as normal as possible since we got home. My Booger went 6 weeks without normalcy or his parents. No kid should ever go through that. I have to believe that God protected his heart from being bitter or resenting Lennon. I know that, because yesterday after swimming, he laid one of My Bug's blankets on the floor and laid on it. Then, he told me, "Mommy, I want you to lay Lennon beside me and take a picture of us." This morning, I was giving her meds and he said, "She really is so cute." Just in case we didn't hear him, he repeated, "She is so cute."

So at church this morning, I dropped him off at the kids' church and I went into the adult service. I sat with my sister and one of my closest friends. Pastor Tom, taught from a lot of different scriptures this morning. However, the one that I got stuck on was John 6. Not for sermon-ish reasons. More like trailing off into ADHD land and thinking something so random that had NOTHING to do with God or the lesson being taught. In John 6, Jesus fed the 5000 bread and fish - from 2 loaves of bread and 5 fish. Yes, this is a miracle and I am forever amazed... however, this morning, all I could think about was "Did they cook those fish? I never read where they cooked them. They just passed the baskets around. Surely they didn't eat raw fish. Did they have scales? Then again, I eat raw fish in my sushi. Did they have sushi back then? No that was mostly in Asia." If you get my drift, this was a long thought and before I knew it, I had missed most the sermon! Ugh, I hate when I do that. I did hear him say one other thing, so I wrote, well, typed it on my phone so I wouldn't forget it: Lord, make me aware of the brokenness and help me to do something about it. Mercy will rule over judgement.

Speaking of brokenness.... Before the preaching, we had praise and worship. To me, I can't just jump into a sermon or God's word without preparing my heart. And I love singing to and about my Savior. The band was playing the tune to a song while my pastor was speaking, and my sister leaned over to me and said, "This song makes me cry so hard I cannot finish the lyrics." I said, "What?! What song is this? I don't recognize it." At that point I realized it has been a very long time since I was in church on a Sunday. I had been on bed rest since January with my pregnancy. I obviously didn't have this song on my iPod. I also thought, there is a good chance I am going to cry very hard during this song, because of a few reasons: I am an overly emotional person. If it is about God's unfailing love for me, it's overwhelming. I just had a baby and went through a heck of a lot in the last few weeks. So, the song started and about the second time through the chorus, I was all but sitting myself down and wailing. I kept my composure as much as I could, biting the inside of my cheek, but I know my makeup was running! Good thing I wore waterproof mascara.

So here I am, listening to this song now and I am still emotional over it. I know my place in this world... it's at the feet of my Savior, washing His feet with my tears. One of my favorite parts of this song is the part where it says "Arrested by Your truth". This morning, I had a weird image or picture of myself, arms lifted high, with the word TRUTH around my wrists like handcuffs. I have been arrested before.... but this was more humbling, because I deserved that arrest, but I don't deserve my God's love. Yet, He still finds me worthy of His time. So, with that on my heart this afternoon, I want to be more attentive to My God's needs, along with the needs of my husband and children. I believe the three come hand in hand.

TO KNOW YOUR NAME
The precious blood of Jesus Christ redeems,
Forgiven I'm alive, restored set free.
Your Majesty resides inside of me,
Forever I believe, forever I believe.
Arrested by Your truth and righteousness,
Your grace has overwhelmed my brokenness.
Convicted by your spirit, led by Your word,
Your love will never fail, Your love will never fail.
Cause I know You gave the world
Your only son for us
To know Your name
To live within the Saviour's love
And He took my place
Knowing He'd be crucified.
And You loved,
You loved, A people undeserving!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Day in the Life...

Let me go ahead and start this by saying... I made amazing granola bars, just like Jaime. That's right folks. I figured out what I needed to do... refrigerate them. Who knew?!

Pranksta Pranksta _____ This morning I, along with two other friends arrived at the Pre-K / Kindergarten school to register our boys in Pre-K. We were told people camp out at a near by elementary, so we figured we had better get there early! Try 4:30am early! We were not going to be outdone by some Super Mom in a Swagger Wagon. So we got coffee, made a quick detour because I had no idea where I was driving, and finally made our destination... only to realize NO ONE was there. No one. I mean, not a soul. The school was dark and creepy; there was not a car in the parking lot. Not even a car on the street. We laughed at the thought of how early we were... but were proud of ourselves for doing it! After all, we are new mommies, and Pre-K is a BIG DEAL. Now, there was supposed to be another friend that arrived with us, but she did not show. So we sent her a few text messages to make sure she was coming and awake. She finally texted us back and asked if there were a lot of people. We laughed because, other than us, no one was there! So I responded with "Yes, about 50 people or so --- hurry up!" She called about 5 minutes later, from her car. She was freaking out about getting there asap and getting her son registered. She said, "Are people going to be mad if I cut in line with you?" I responded, "Not at all... everyone is really nice here. Plus, we are basically calling the shots around here since we got here first." The other two girls and myself laughed hysterically and debated on whether we should tell her the truth. We didn't. About 4 mins later, my friend's SUV rounds the corner of the school on two wheels, squealing tires. She was in the biggest hurry to get in line. She drove up to our car and we rolled our window down. She rolled hers down and said, "I didn't even brush my teeth!" I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. Her hair was all a mess and she had to leave straight from there to go to her daughter's school for Kindergarten Graduation. Man, I am mean, but it sho' was fun. I am more than glad she has a great sense of humor.

Growing Too Fast _____ After we got the boys registered, we all took at tour of the school. It is much bigger than the private school Lake is in now. He will even get to ride the the big yellow bus on field trips! I took pictures of everything - classrooms, playgrounds, cafeteria, boards, reading nooks, art centers, the library... I even took a picture of the mini potties in the bathroom. I wanted to show him everything and get him excited about his new school. I know it will be different and he will miss his current school and teachers so much. I know he will be scared at first and I **pray** he gets at least one of his church buddies in his class. The class will be twice the size of his current class. All of this change will be good for him and prepare him for his transition to Kindergarten, but mommy is the one who will need a valium. Sending my baby off into the big boy school makes me a nervous wreck. It also made it very real... he is growing up. Too fast. When I got home I showed him all the pictures and gave him a mini virtual tour. He was soooo excited about the "Cheese Wagon" as I knew he would be! He will realize later on in life, that riding it is not the coolest thing. Then he left to go to his little private school, the one I am comfortable with for now. This is also the school Lennon will be attending once I am off my maternity leave. I was thinking about that and tears welled up in my eyes. How is it that it that my baby boy is going off to big boy school and my baby girl is going to little daycare school? She is already 8 weeks old. She now weighs 10 pounds and her hair is getting longer. I noticed that her eyelashes are getting longer as well. She is starting to think things are a little funny and crack smiles at me when I blow bubbles on her belly, and when I give her kisses on her neck so that it tickles her. She is getting better at lifting her head and her personality is starting to show. I wish I had a time stopper. I would stop time for a long while and enjoy these stages of my kids a little longer.

Dr Appointments / Support Group _____ After a long day of diaper changes, bottle feedings, and taking Lennon to her weekly cardiologist appointment, I wanted so badly to take a nap... but that did not happen, as usual. Darn ADHD. Lennon's cardiologist said her heart sounds "great" and that it was an "excellent repair"! He also said her pulse-ox was 100%! Praise the Lord! I was very worried because her eating habits have changed, dwindled, the last few days. He told me to rest at ease, it was not because of her heart. However, it could be because of the Down Syndrome or because of acid reflux. Both of which I will discuss with her pediatrician tomorrow. She has an appointment with him next week. On June 5, it will be nice to talk to the other moms about their Downs children at our meeting - A support group meeting I am VERY nervous about attending. I don't know why, but I am.

Hens's Night _____ The day was long, but had only begun for this lady. I had plans with the other hens for a MUCH NEEDED ladies' night! We had lots of sushi and lots of laughs and lots of laughs at sushi. Case in point:

Out of fear that I might say something inappropriate, I will let the picture speak for itself. Rest assured, this caused hardy laughter in the restaurant - all coming from our table. I love my fellow Hens. I look forward to our get togethers more than anything! All though, I have not known these girls as long as I have known my other friends, I feel like I have known them my whole life. That is what real friendships are supposed to feel like. I feel at home when I am with them. I know I can be myself 100% and they will not judge me. I know they would travel to the moon for me and I for them. They have been such a breath of fresh air in my life. They make me want to sell everything and move out to the country. God knew how badly I needed them.

A Means to an End _____ The night ended with a little trip to Books-A-Million.... Which reminded me I am in the middle of three books I need to finish reading before I start another ...And here I am, up late again and blogging. It is quiet in my house. Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse. Not a whole lot is on my mind tonight except for thankfulness. I am thankful I have a husband who loves to see me happy. I am thankful for the precious time I have with my kids. I am thankful for amazing friends from all walks of my life. I have a wonderful life and so many memories have yet to be made.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reflection

There was a time in my life when I never thought I would live to be married or have children. It was a dark dark time and place. It was a place I created all on my own. Simply because I chose to live there. I thought, God must be sitting up there hating me because of something I did and I am going to pay for it for the rest of my life. I thought, some people get blessings and some don't. Some get answered prayers and some don't. Boy was I wrong.

I believe I would not be here today if it weren't for God having mercy on me. Also, because I stood up for myself and used His Word as my sword to fight my way out of that dark place. Sometimes, God allows us to go through things that aren't so fun. A lot of it is not His plan, but our own plan. Our own plan tends to get in the way of His plan. Our plan is much like a detour. We can follow it to the dead end or use it as the long way around and eventually get back on the right path.

I did not grow up in what I would call a Christian home. Yes, my mom took us to church sometimes. There weren't a lot of wholesome examples set for me to follow. Mostly just words, with no action. She did try to train us, the best she could. Now that I have children, it is imperative that I lead by example. These little sponges depend on me to set them on a path of righteousness. A path they will one day choose to stay on or veer off. God's word tells us that if we train them up in the way they should go, they will never depart from it. His word does not come back null and void.

I have tried since Lake was born to talk to him about Jesus. To read his bible, to pray and to love. It is those little moments when we can see that all our dedication and faith is bringing forth the fruit. When he was two years old, I was in our restroom putting on my make-up, he was playing in the den with his toys. He comes into the bathroom, smiling, and says to me, "Mommy, Jesus is in the living room." I looked at him and I said, "Oh, really? What is Jesus doing?" He said to me, "Just watching me play." I asked him if he was scared and he said, "No. Jesus is looking at me like this..." and he made this face with no expression. It was kind of funny! Well, I guess that was good... I mean, I would hate to see Jesus with a mad face. I have to believe Lake truly saw Jesus watching over him. That was not the only time he told me he saw Jesus. He told me one morning, that he was "scared in his room by himself last night but Jesus was there so he felt safe and went to sleep". Lake asks some of the funniest questions, like, "Mommy, does Jesus drive a car? Or does He just walk everywhere He goes?" The other night, Pawpaw Cooney was here visiting. We were sitting down to eat dinner and Lake asked Pawpaw if he knew about Jesus dying on the cross and coming back to life. I laughed as I shed a tear of joy. I knew that made Papaw's day, and I have no doubt Pawpaw knows that story very well.

I look back on my life and realize, there was a point at which I could have raised children in a Godly environment or not. That point came when I was in college. I was living a life of heavy drugs, borderline alcoholism and I was bulimic / anorexic. It was make or break for me. I came to a fork in the road... I was going one way or the other... but I had to make that decision. No one was going to make it for me. I had to give up a lot of friendships that were unhealthy at the time and work on creating new ones. It was a sacrifice. I also had to learn to love my body the way it was and learn to take care of it because it was the only one I had. It wasn't going to be easy, but it was going to be very rewarding. I was going to need a lot of God's help. By burying my soul into His Word I was able to overcome.

To look at my life now, I know God loves me more than I could ever imagine. He has given me a wonderful Christian husband who loves me in spite of me. He has given me two amazing children, who constantly remind me of God's favor in my life. I know I could wake up every morning and find things to be mad at God about... but I choose not to. Instead I choose to wake up every morning, thankful for another day and another chance to live for Him. I look forward to the future instead of fearing it. I look forward to the funny things Lennon will ask in regards to Jesus and the things Lake will say that will once again remind me I must be doing something right.

That is just a little of what is on my heart today. I never want to take for granted the blessings that are right here in front of me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Big Brother Lake

Charlie and I considered another child for 4 years before "committing" to it. It was mostly me needing to commit. I just did NOT want to be pregnant again. Pregnancy is not this amazingly fun thing for me. I do love some of it, like the babies kicking and not having to suck my gut in. But as for the weight gain, the uncomfortableness, the swelling, the back pain... and so on... I do not enjoy it. It took me long enough to get somewhat of my body back after Lake, I did not want to do this again. I am a very selfish person.

We asked Lake for a long time if he wanted a brother or sister and he would reply with "No." One time, he told us, "No, but I do want a kitten." Well cats were out of the question. Then one day, he told me he wanted a baby sister. I think this all started when his cousin, Nora Kate moved home about a year ago. He absolutely loves her. Which for some reason surprised me. I guess since it had always been "just Lake" as the center of attention, only child, only grandchild on both sides of the family, naturally I thought he would be jealous. But he wasn't at all. He wanted to help with her. He even told me one time, "Mommy, I wish I could be Nora's brother." Here is a picture of Nora Kate and Lake. So precious.


Then one fateful night, Charlie and I decided to give this pregnancy thing a try. That night I had a dream I was pregnant. I woke Charlie up to tell him about it, freaking out. He said, "See, if you are going to freak out every time we try, we are not trying again." And we did not try again, per my rules. Two weeks later I was convinced I had swine flu and would surely die. Then, on a Friday morning, my alarm clock went off, and as I reached to turn it off, I had a fleeting thought, "I am pregnant." Panic set in and set in good. I was NOT ready for this. NOT AT ALL. So, I planned to leave for work early and stop by the pharmacy to get a test. That did not happen, as it does every time I attempt to be early, I am late. On the way home from work, I did stop by and grabbed two tests. I raced home to beat Charlie, and took the test. I made sure to get the test that said "Yes / No", so that there was no confusion... "Is that a line or two lines?" ... "Is that a plus sign or minus sign?" After a few minutes, I picked up the test to read my fate.... and what did it say.... "?" It had a question mark. (Insert dirty word here) "You have got to be kidding me?!" The test came with directions. I read them thoroughly. If it showed a question mark, that mean the test errored out. What are the odds!!?? I hear the garage door open and with a quickness I grabbed every bit of evidence and threw it in a drawer. Charlie and I had dinner plans and Lake was out of town with his granny in south LA visiting Pawpaw Cooney. During dinner, it got the best of me and I told Charlie I took a test. He said with the biggest grin on his face "What did it say?!" I told him, "Don't get too excited Mr Happy... it said question mark." We laughed at the odds of that and decided I was not pregnant and couldn't be pregnant after one time of half-trying. On the way home from dinner, we decided to randomly visit friends that weekend in Baton Rouge. We had no plans with Lake being gone and thought, "why not?" So we raced home and starting packing bags. I was standing there asking Charlie, "Are we bringing church clothes for Sunday or driving back on Sunday morning?" when an overwhelming feeling of nausea hit me and I grabbed my mouth. I thought, I am going to puke. Charlie assured me I had been running around packing so fast that I had gotten too hot and my food had not settled. Right?! Then we decided, maybe I should take that other test. So I did. And the result? "Yes". I was pregnant. I was stunned. I could not believe that in 4 years, it only took one time to get pregnant. Like, I was exempt or something.

That Sunday, we came home and so did Lake. We had decided not to tell him until we went to the doctor. I was putting him in bed that night and said, "Ok, let's say your prayers..." and I started to pray, only to be interrupted. "Mommy. You forgot my prayer request." I laughed, "I sure did. What do you want mommy to pray for tonight?" Usually it is something silly about his cars driving up the wall of his room or the fan not hurting his cars. But tonight was different. He asked me, "Mommy, please pray that Jesus puts a baby in your belly and that it's a girl." I said, like any mother would, "Did Granny tell you to say that?" He looked at me and said, honestly, "No. I did." So we prayed a prayer for Jesus to put a baby girl in my belly." I am pretty sure his faith in Jesus is really strong now.

A few months later, and several conversations later, I assured him it was a possibility of a boy. I didn't want him to be upset, you know? But every time we had the conversation, he would say, "No, it's a girl." or "I would like a boy too, but it is a girl." He would not hear of it being a boy. I am not sure if he just didn't want to share his toys or if he genuinely wanted a sister. He would always talk about how he was going to protect her and teach her things. It really was the sweetest thing ever.

When the ultrasound came back and showed it to indeed be a girl, Lake was sure to tell us, "I knew it was a girl. I told you it was a girl." As if we were idiots for not believing him. He carried my ultrasound picture in his wallet, where most men carry their driver's license and was proud to show his baby sister's "picture" to anyone and everyone.

More months later, Lennon graced us with her presence. The joy on Lake's face when he saw his baby sister is priceless. He loves that little girl with all of his heart. When she was diagnosed as Down Syndrome, my immediate fear was for Lake. His sister would be "different" and he would need to protect her more than ever. That alone, brings tears to my eyes. I feared he would look at her and be ashamed. Or ask, "Why is she different?" I know these are normal fears for any mom, and it still brings tears to my eyes. It was very hard for me to talk to God and understand why He would give this girl to Lake. Everything I had pictured for his sister was slowly being wiped away and new images replaced. It hurt, I can't lie. As I am sure we all will agree, God pretty much knows what He is doing, and I am sure He knew this would be the perfect sister for such a loving boy. God is showing me more of that every day through Lake.

Yesterday, I was changing Lennon's diaper and bandages. Lake was there helping me like a big brother should. Then, he asked me, "Can I kiss Lennon's bobo where the Dr. cut her?" I said, "No baby, but only because we cannot get germs on it. Let me put the bandages on and you can kiss that." He didn't want to. I guess he was mad I wouldn't let him. That is when he said, "When I grow up, I want to be a nurse. I want to work on babies." I said, "Wouldn't you rather be the Dr. that works on them?" He politely said, "No. I don't want to cut on them. I just want to work on them." MELT MY HEART!

Almost every time I am feeding her, he wants to hold the bottle. He always points out, "See, she likes it when her big brother feeds her." If she is crying, he tells me, "Is she crying because she missed her big brother today?" I assure him that is exactly what it is. I cannot count the number of kisses he has placed on her head, her feet or her chest over her bandages. I cannot count the prayers he has prayed for her from the time she was in my belly until now. He knows she is his blessing from God, his prayer answered... and he loves this little lady with all his heart.

Through everything our family has been through in the last six weeks.... if there is one thing I know for certain, more now than ever... it is that, God is not sitting up on some big throne, casting wrongs on families. He knows exactly what we need, even when we don't. In that, we can always find hope and faith. Trust Him and allow Him to show you what you need. He might surprise you.


Random:


Last night, I was sitting in the chair feeding Lennon. Lake was sitting at the bar eating his dinner and said to me, "Mommy, you have 3 scratches on your head. How did that happen?" I thought to myself, how did that happen?! I told him, "What?! I don't remember doing anything to be scratched." I had both hands full with Lennon and bottle so I couldn't touch my head. Lake said, as he climbed down off the stool and walked toward me, "Right there... One, two, three." He rubbed three spots on my forehead. When I was finished feeding Lennon, I went to the bathroom and all I saw were three wrinkles on my forehead. Note to self: BOTOX.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lady Lennon, Lake-isms & Granola (take 2)

My little family and I are sitting in the kitchen. Charlie is on the computer, working. Lake is playing with his toys at the table. Lennon is in her pink and purple bouncy seat and I am at the sink, washing the devil, I mean washing the dishes. Then Lake says, "Why do ya'll do adult stuff when you have a little boy?" I wasn't quite sure I heard him right and obviously neither was Charlie, because he asked him to repeat his question. Lake did, "I said, why do ya'll do adult stuff when you have a little boy?" That is exactly what I thought he said. Charlie and I look at each other, with nervous laughter. Charlie says, "What do you mean by adult stuff?" Lake said, "You know, ADULT STUFF." I said nervously, "I am going to need you to be more specific, give us an example." I was really hoping I wasn't going to regret needing an example. Charlie said quietly to me, "Time to start locking the door." Lake said, "Adult stuff. Like, adult games." It took a while to get it out of him but he was talking about games we have in our game cabinet! WHEW!! I thought, wiping my brow. Charlie and I laughed so hard that Lake kept asking us what was so funny. He will only understand once he is married.

Because I am hard-headed, and I don't want to drive to New Orleans every time I want a homemade granola bar, I have decided to give this granola bar thing another go. I was given two options in making them... a healthier option was to substitute the butter with applesauce. I know my husband hates to eat a lot of butter. He is really missing out on good cornbread bites. So, I chose to go outside my comfort zone / happy place, and use the sauce. There lies the problem. See, you should NEVER sub butter. Butter is essential for good taste. The mixture before it was cooked tasted a hundred times better. I am sure to be amazed with my own cooking once they are out of the oven. Stay tuned....

Monday is Charlie's birthday. He will be 31 years old. I laugh at the thought of this because when we started dating, he was only 19. A mere baby. It really is crazy how time flies. I have seen him dye his hair black, bleach it blond, highlight it, wear it spiked, wear it long, watch it fall out, watch it turn grey and now he wears it short. I can honestly say, I think he is just as handsome as the day I met him. To me, he will always be that handsome teenage boy with a smile in his eyes. Yikes, I sound like a pedophile.

Granola bars are out of the oven and cooled. Why? Oh WHY? Can I not get this right?! They taste amazing, but they won't stick together. I double checked all the ingredients. I did the recipe exactly as I was told and still.... something went wrong! GRR! I picture Jaime in her kitchen serving them up like flippin Donna Reed all the while I am looking like Rose Ann Barr! I will, if it kills me perfect this recipe! I can see me now, old and feeble, flour in my hair, a crazy look in my eye, the kitchen a complete mess... Charlie as an old man... "Please, come back to the family." Me screaming, "No!! No! Curse you Jaime and your granola bars!"

Lady Lennon and I are so ready to go to church. A few more weeks and I will be able to take her with me. Today I dressed her up for no reason, except that she looks so stinkin cute. We sing our worship songs and I tell her about her Jesus. It is definitely one of my favorite past times. And of course, no outfit is complete without a giant bow. Case in point:



I went out of my comfort zone yesterday and emailed a girl I don't know. I was told she is starting a "Down Syndrome" support group. I want to go. Or so I think I do. I am a good bit nervous. For some reason, every time I think about going, I cry. Even now as I type, I cry. I guess it is just the reality of all this hitting me sometimes. Because when I see her, I don't see her as a "Down Syndrome" kid. And talking about it over and over makes it more real. I know God trusted me enough to take care of her the way she needs it and I will do everything in my power to please my God. And everything in my power to make sure I have exhausted every option to help this little lady out in life. I am her only advocate. I am lying if I say the future doesn't sometimes scare me even when so much of it excites me.
I guess with that, I should end with a scripture that comes to mind....
Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

If I had a dollar for every time someone gave me this scripture in the last six weeks, I would be rich, and then I would hire someone to make those blasted granola bars for me every day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Confessions

I am a terrible cook. I try to be all creative-like and it just comes back to bite me in the hiney. I probably should stick to mac-n-cheese. You can't really mess that up. Example: I am addicted to Jaime's homemade granola bars. So, she gave me the recipe and I made them. I followed every step exactly as I was told. They taste like cardboard, with cranberries and chocolate chips. I also tried to make her homemade wheat tortillas, in an effort to be more domesticated and healthy. These turned out much too grainy, and too much like a cracker. Please, throw me a bone!

I look back on my life sometimes and I thank God for unanswered prayers. Once upon a time, I was a college student and broke as a joke (whatever that means). I had a measly little job that allowed me to have some sort of cash flow for the weekends, but other than that, I was going to school full time. Well, I wouldn't say "going full time". I was enrolled as a full time student. Going was optional back then. Anyways, I wanted more than anything to have enough money to waste on a tattoo... I was certain Marvin The Martian would be a favorite of mine forever. My how things change.

I am no lyrical genius. I leave all that to my former member of Shoo Fly Pi / husband, Charlie. However, I am darn good at singing the lyrics to songs incorrectly. Rhianna's "Disturbia" I mistakenly sang "Stir Me Up" for months. Just a few weeks ago, I realized, "No one on the corner has swagger like us" is NOT "standing on the corner swinging like rocks" - I never really understood what that meant, and now I know why.
I like everything in two ways... excessive or not at all. I hate onions. Will not eat anything with them in or on it. I will indeed gag and vomit. No exaggeration. I love mustard. I dip my crackers, fries and nuggets in it. Butter is fabulous on cornbread. So fabulous that I must have a cold piece, of butter on each BITE of cornbread. I will butter each bite before I eat it. This is extremely good for you - if high cholesterol is on your bucket list. My motto: Go big or not at all. Obviously, this motto bled into my weight goals. It also applies to the accessories on Lady Lennon's head.
Exhibit A:

I know she will hate me for this when she is a teenager. Newsflash: this is only the beginning to things she is going to hate me for. Bows and flower pots on her head will seem like such minor issues when she is 16. Today, Lennon had a little upset tummy due to some sinus drainage. It made her throw up her milk. I however do not plan on changing her clothes a million times today. So, I put a bib on her. Now, I know what you are thinking, how is a tiny bib going to solve this issue? Well, when the bib is almost as big as the baby, it does.

Exhibit B:

Yes, I realize this is a Halloween bib. But it was ok, we weren't leaving the house.

I have always wanted to adopt a child. That has not changed. Charlie and I both want another child and getting pregnant again is not an option. Note to self: Schedule Charlie a vasectomy. There was a point in my younger years where I swore I would NEVER have children. I dare to say, there were people who thought, "She might not should ever have children." But, people change and so do their hearts. So I have two kiddos and I want another. I grew up in a big family. I am the oldest of 5, and I loved having a house full of people... most days. On the way to New Orleans, Charlie and I tossed around names that start with an L for our next blessing.... a blessing that will not come for many many many many years. The names we tossed around: Larry, Leon, Leo, Leeto, Laz, Lorne, Lex, Lew. We settled on Lew.

I want to write a book. From week to week, this book title changes based on subject matter. This week I thought to myself, surely I could write a book titled: "You might be a douche bag if..." based solely on people I come across in everyday life. Charlie quickly informed me at some point in that book I might offend everyone. So, I decided against that book.

I am really bored today.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Hokey Pokey, Hair Bows and the Hiccups

Today I am spending the day trying to get Lennon adjusted to some sort of sleeping / eating schedule. She does great at night... sleeps like a rock for 12 hours, only waking to eat then right back to sleepy land. However, during the day... well, that is a whole other ballgame. She wants to sleep when it's eating time and eat when it's sleepy time. So, in an attempt to keep her awake I was playing with her... loudly. I propped her up on a pillow and talked to her, showed her toys, made silly faces, worked on her neck muscles... and when all else failed, I did the first thing that came to my mind. I sang the Hokey Pokey. I put her right arm in, not very far because I didn't want to hurt her chest, and I put her right arm out, again trying not to hurt the chest. We put all limbs in and we put all limbs out. We shook them all about, gently of course. She was not amused. I know this because when we put the last leg in, she made a sad face and started whimpering... Of course because I am OCD, I can't not finish the line of the lyric, so I quickly ran through it and we put our whole body in, out, and shook it all about. The End. I then laid her down on the couch and talked sweetly to her, her eyes are getting very heavy at this point. She even let a little half-hearted sleepy smile, probably to thank me for stopping that ridiculous song. Then, she made a terrible face .... followed by a terrible scream. I swear she does the best impression of a Pterodactyl I have ever heard. Maybe even better than mine. She must get that from her momma. So after the screaming, I calm her down, her eyes are still trying to close. I think, "Oooh picture time!" So I set it all up, put on her pot plant flowered headpiece and attempt to take pictures of my bug. I was sure this was going to be fun. Fun for mommy.


As you can see, she was not quite amused. I think she might even be a little ticked off. So, I quickly ended my photography session. I will leave that to the pros. Then after two diaper changes, two because she likes to poo as soon as I change her diaper. I decided, she is good and worn out, maybe now she will sleep during sleepy time and eat during eating time.

I love those big gaudy hair bows. The bigger the better. Especially the ones that look like miniature potted plants. Maybe I should try a small fern on her head. I love a nice fern. Note to self: get a fern. You cannot see it in this picture, but I do believe she has strawberry blond hair. I hope it turns red red red! Charlie's granddad had red hair. They even called him "Red". Man that would be fun - her having red hair. It would explain her Elmer's Glue toned skin. Then I could dye my hair all shades of red and say, rolling my eyes all flirty-like, while waving a hand, "Oh, she gets that from her momma" in my best Julia Sugarbaker voice.

I love hair accessories. But what I do not like is the hiccups. When Lennon gets them, it nearly brings her mommy to tears! I can only imagine what it feels like. I know when I had to cough or sneeze after my c-section... I would do whatever it took to keep it from coming out because it hurt so bad. Imagine the hiccups after open heart surgery!! She screams like I have never heard, so hard that it takes her breath and she turns blood red... angry and in pain! Each hiccup is followed by a scream. I hold her close, patting her softly and talking in her ear, with tears in my eyes, "It's ok baby, mommy is here... mommy is here... Those mean hiccups are back to get you.... mean ole hiccups." I like to talk to her in a real country accent. It calms her so much, me whispering in her ear. She starts focusing on my voice and starts breathing slowly, the crying fades and eventually they pass and she is ok.... but worn out from screaming, so she wants to be cuddled and snuggled after that.


When she was in the ICU after her surgery, someone told me (who had been through it with their child) that they prayed we had no "hiccups" and we'd be home soon. They were talking about things that would slow down the recovery process and keep us in the hospital. We had one minor "hiccup", her incision was infected. Not bad, so we stayed two extra days.


Sitting here thinking about "hiccups", I am reminded that life is just like that. Especially now, after all we have been through in the last few weeks... I realize, no one is exempt from anything. You kind of always think, "That happens to people, just not us." This isn't the first time, something happened I was not expecting, and it hurt pretty bad, it was tough... it was touch and go... And I have no doubt it will not be the last. There will always be hiccups ... There are few remedies that truly work.... I mean, really, they just have to go away all on their own. We just gotta get through them. It is best to just stay calm and think happy thoughts ... "This too shall pass." During that time, and after it's all over with, we can go to God, and let him talk sweet to us and cuddle us. He is always there, with open arms and a gentle voice as a reminder of who He is once again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Random Thoughts

.... as they come to me.

I took Lennon to a follow up Cardiologist appt today. Dr King said her heart sounds "great". Yay! He also said to keep her away from everyone ... don't even have her in the same room as others. He really doesn't want her to get sick this soon after her surgery. I pray God just puts her in the palm of His hand and makes a little cup over that hand with His other hand. Nothing will get through there and she will be safe. It scares me that Lake is going to school and bringing home germs. I have become a germaphobe! I Clorox the kitchen cabinets and knobs and fridge handles daily. I gotta remember to Clorox the remote controls and door handles daily. OOOoooh and my car ... oh it's probably a germ haven. They are probably spawning germ hybrids in there.

I bought Lake 3 pair of new pajamas. He was so excited about these ugly Sponge Bob ones. But I knew he would love them. Strangely enough, that bright hideous yellow looks good on him. The PJs wont last long because he is so tall. I might should have gotten a bigger size. Oh well. I am too lazy to take them back. Plus that was one Wally World trip to remember. It must have been "Show your belly fat Saturday". It was amazing the amount of free flowing belly fat walking around that place.

I wish I were the type of person to take everything with a grain of salt. I know that people mean well, but sometimes I just want to say "Shut up" and junk punch them. For example, I am sooooo appreciative of all the support and love and new friends I have made through finding out Lennon is Down Syndrome. I am no longer afraid of what I didn't know. However, what I don't need is people to point out that "she doesn't really look Down Syndrome" or point out other kids who are Down and compare the "look" to Lennon's. Because really, if she were the most Down looking kid in the world, she would be perfect to me. I just don't care about it and I really don't want to look at other Down children and see the Downs either. I want to see a beautiful child having a great time playing and learning new things. That is the thing I have feared from the beginning... that Down Syndrome would be what people see when they look at her. She is a growing healthy baby girl. Don't look for "flaws" in her. Don't look for differences in her. Don't compare her to other children. It really upsets me and by upset, I mean makes me angry. Ugh... now I am all fired up. Time to change the subject.

Lady Lennon and I have made yet another wonderful habit I don't intend to break. She is spoiled to being near me. Not necessarily in my arms... just near me. Every night, I wind down from the day by getting on the laptop. I sit on the couch and lay her beside me. She stares at me for a while and I talk to her and then she dozes off. As long as she is near, she is happy. That is how I feel about Jesus. I just want to be where He is. In His presence. We don't have to talk. Just be near Him. I feel safe there. It's very calming. I look down at her now and a big trail of drool is getting on the couch. She is way comfy. I hope when she is older, we have a great relationship, and that she wants to come sit near me on the couch and drink a mug of hot TANG and talk about her day and what she learned. Then when she gets older, we can drink coffee and talk about boys and work and vacations and dreams and fears. I get all teary eyed even thinking about those days. Just picturing her sweet little eyes lighting up as she talks and us laughing like best friends. That is what having a daughter is all about.

We leave Wednesday night to go to New Orleans for a post operation follow up. We will get to visit with Jaime and Sonny and we will get to see Cash. I am so excited! I laugh at how much I miss my "new" friends. Plus, no one else will drink hot TANG with me except Jaime! All you other people are missing out on greatness. I am going to bring her some Spiced Tang Tea! I know she will love it! I hope that we are able to get Cafe Du Monde this time around. We never did get to do that last time!

I think I want to wallpaper my bathroom.

I need to buy a giant canvas and paint something to go above my fireplace.
It is bare and driving me nuts.

I wish I trusted more. I don't, though. I also don't know how to allow people in, and believe they will not hurt me. I tend to let people in just far enough and when they are there I am waiting for them to screw up. Inevitably they will and then I am devastated. I dwell on it and make myself sick. It is definitely something I am praying about. I know I have faults and sins and I would hate it if someone looked at me just waiting for me to screw up. I feel like if someone had a visual of my heart, it would be a giant eggshell. Cracked and fragile. I trust God, and I know He has my best interests at heart, but no one else I trust. How do I know they have my best interest at heart? I am sure it all goes back to some point in my childhood and deep down I am wounded. Just one more thing for God to work on. I want to apologize to everyone, I tend to keep God pretty busy fixing me... But I am sure he has you penciled in somewhere.

OK so I am done rambling. These were just the things on my mind today. Sorry if it wasn't some profound eye opening experience and you feel as if you just wasted time reading this. Just think, you could have been in Wal*Mart counting exposed belly rolls instead.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Root Word of Smother is Mother

See, what had happened was..... I git it from my momma. Well actually, I get it from 3 generations of crazy.

My Great Grandmother - The Fighter
My great grandmother, Minnie, will forever be the old lady in the wheelchair with a good story. When I was a teenager, I realized she wasn't going to be around forever, and decided to pay her a visit. She told me something that I have carried in my heart for years. I am a better woman because of her. First, let me paint a picture of this woman. On the day I visited: She is 99 years old. She is in a wheelchair because her bones are simply too fragile to hold her up all day. Her hair is light grey, very long and in a bun. She is a tiny old woman, with a country come to town accent that will make you smile no matter who you are. She does not have any life threatening ailments. She lives in an assisted living apartment all on her own. She is a prayer. Not a "prayer", but a "pray-er" (verb). Then, she began to speak.... Granny said, "I want to tell you something. When I was younger, after I had all ten of my children, I was cooking lunch. My husband and the children were in field tending to the small crops we lived off of because we did not have a lot of money. But we were happy and just fine the way we were. There was a woman, who lived down the road a ways. This woman made her way to our house. She offered to help in the gardening and my husband put her to work along side the kids. One of my daughters came inside and said 'Momma! That woman is flirting with daddy!' I told her to hush up and go tell everyone to wash up because it was time to eat. Everyone came in, washed their hands and we all sat down to eat. I invited the woman to eat with us and she obliged. After everyone was seated, we said the blessing. Then, I stood up, walked over to the kitchen drawer and pulled out my carving knife. I walked back towards the table, stopping behind the woman, grabbing her by her hair and leaned her neck back. I put that knife to her throat and told her 'If you ever come around my husband again. If you so much as speak to my husband again. I will kill you. Now, we appreciate your help, so eat the meal I have prepared for you as thanks and leave.' She ate without saying a word, wiped her face and told me Thank You. Then she left. Now, I am telling you this so that one day when you are married, you don't let anyone come between you and your husband." I think it goes without saying what I learned from my Granny. So let that be a warning to all you hussies out there.

My Grandmother - The Believer
My grandmother, Doris, is a feisty old lady with a fake tooth. She often forgets to put that tooth in and it scares Lake and Nora Kate, my niece. However, when it is in, I see the same smile my mom has. Mamaw is the funniest and craziest old woman and I love her for it. Mamaw would try to spank us with a belt and somehow end up hitting herself. She hated it when one of her grandchildren would poot during bedtime prayers. She never uses anything low fat or skim or sugar free. She pronounces things incorrectly, such as "po-leece" (police). But, above all her humor and crazy, she is a believer. She believes Jesus is the answer in everything. She believes fully in the power of prayer. Still to this day, when I just need someone to pray because I cannot find the words, I will call my mamaw. She will immediately without question, drop everything she is doing, and start a prayer so powerful I have no doubt Satan is running for cover. It calms my fears every time to know I have such an amazing woman in my corner. I have learned from this woman that in everything we should pray. We should pray without ceasing and believe God's got our best interest at heart.

My Mom - Loves Unconditionally
My mom, Vicki, was not the uber classy, well dressed, high heel wearing, purse carrying, hair flinging, long nail growing, make up doing, southern bell I am. I laughed at that myself. My mom was the ratty jeans, dirty shoes, frizzy hair and I don't care flinging , redneck and proud of it kinda woman. Her jeans are ratty because she works hard labor like a man to provide for herself. Her shoes were never top of the line because she sacrificed so that I would have them. Her hair was frizzy because she hot rolled it every day - I like to think she feels like a young Farrah Fawcett at heart. She is a redneck to the core and it scares me how proud of that she is. However, when needed, she does put on a dress, flat irons her hair and her makeup always looks natural, not overdone. She doesn't need a lot of jewelry, because you're never fully dressed without a smile.... And a beautiful big smile she has (I also gained that trait - a trait I have passed onto my son, and most likely my daughter). To say my mom did everything right would be a lie. But then again, none of us do that. If there is one thing that stands out about my mom among all the wrong things she did do, it is the fact that she loves unconditionally. Almost to a flaw. My mom always looked at people for who they could be and not who they are. She would give the shirt off her back to someone in need. I will admit, sometimes I can be very prideful, but my mom is not. She will befriend the lowliest of people without a single ounce of judgement. I know there were moms who looked at my mom as if she weren't worth their time and friendship, but if they had half the heart she does they would have been better for it. If there is anything I learn from her, I hope it is to love unconditionally just like her. After all, isn't that what Jesus wants anyways?

My Mother In Law - Wife of Noble Character
My mother in law, Angie, is a classy, fun-loving, God-fearing, silly when she needs to be, home cooking, picture of grace.... that is just the tip of the ice berg. Mrs Angie, is always looking for ways to bless others. Whether it is cooking for them, cleaning for them, blessing them with gifts, or just being a shoulder to lean on (cry and slobber my tears on)... she is always putting herself last. Her husband will always be lifted up with words of affirmation. Her children will always be clothed in prayer. Her heart is always full. She is a true ray of light in a dark world. If there is anything I have learned from her, it is perseverance through hard times and always finding something to be happy about in a tough situation. She rarely lets things get her down and if she does she goes to God about it for guidance and wisdom. She speaks The Word of God over her family daily. She has taught me to be faithful in my walk with God.... To always lift my husband up with kind words and to make a happy home for him to come home to after a long day at work. She has taught me to be a fun loving, silly when I need to be, tower of strength for my children. She also has taught me to cook! If it weren't for this woman, my husband would not be the man he is today. For that, I am forever grateful.

I am who I am today because of the women in my life. They are all examples of who I inspire to be in one way or another. I cannot imagine life without them.