Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wishful Thinking: Bivouac

I'm gonna start a new word of the day deal, I think. Or at least try. We all know that I'm terrible at following through on daily writing after I publicly commit to it. I did the 30 days of Truth challenge in oh....60 days? True Story.

 I'll be using dictonary.com (a site we frequent here!) for the daily word, and then using it in my own sentence. 


Today's Word is Bivouac.

bivouac


BIV-wak, BIV-uh-wak \  , noun;

1.An encampment for the night, usually under little or no shelter.
          1.To encamp for the night, usually under little or no shelter.



"We drifted to sleep in our bivouac made of earth, blanketed by only the stars..."

...Follow Me and I’ll See You Through ...

I feel really compelled to post this devotion tonight (well very early morning) and I can't shake it. I've mentioned this series before; I've been reading them for many years. I really, really like  Proverbs 31 Ministries and have gained much insight through their words. 

I'll share some highlights of one I received yesterday morning - It's called "Fearing the Uknown" by Micca Campbell. She's a great writer; you can also visit her blog, as well.
 
...Fearing the unknown can cause us to spend precious energy anticipating the worst-case scenario. There are two problems with this type of fear:
• The future is not here.
• The future is not ours.
While the future may be out of our hands, it is not out of the hands of our faithful trustworthy God. When we face a worrisome unknown situation, we can look to Joshua as an example of how to trust God in the face of uncertainty...
Upon reaching the Jordan River, Joshua and the Israelites set up camp by the stream and awaited God’s direction. Much like their meeting with the Red Sea, God had to make a way for them to cross over the river. On the third day, God told the officers to instruct the people that when they saw the Ark of the Covenant (where God’s Presence abided) to follow it because they had “never passed this way before” (Joshua 3:4). In essence, God was saying: Follow Me and I’ll see you through this unknown territory...
You see, friend, the Lord understands our fear of the unknown. He realizes that you may be in a situation that you’ve never passed through before and you’re afraid...
Joshua’s life was unpredictable and full of unknowns much like yours and mine. Yet, he successfully resisted fear by keeping his focus on God rather than the events surrounding him. Just as God guided the Israelites through unknown territory, He will guide you and me, too.
As He promises in Isaiah 43, when we come to a place we’ve never passed through before, God is always present to help us. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (v.2-3a, NIV).
Even though the children of Israel were not told how they would pass over the river, the people went forth in faith. We too can move forward in faith sharing in the promised presence of God leading the way through our unknown circumstances...

I found comfort in this devotion because I have my own struggles with anxiety and fear of the unknown. I think we all do, should we be honest. Maybe you can relate on different matters. Who knows. But, I do know that We can trust God together... ; )

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Didn't Think He Would Break It!

The space bar on my keyboard is malfunctioning, making it really annoying to type.

Perhaps this video from a few weeks back can offer some indication as to why....I've pretty much let him do this since he was about four months old. It was geeky cute, damn it. I could watch the last 5 seconds over and over and over.

Wonder if his cuteness can buy me a new one?




In An Effort To Write Daily

Today's Highlight
Wilo waking up and getting the kids off to school ALL BY HIMSELF while I slept! I didn't have to tie his shoes or anything. Praise Jesus. It was the first time since I stopped working and I was unsure if he was even functional prior to 9am. The unexpectedness of it was delicious. Though, perhaps the fact that I woke up cursing the alarm clock motivated him a little; I had been up from 3am to 5:30am with a 9month old cursing the arrival of his new teeth. BUT, he still got up and did it and this made me happy.

Today's Low:
It freaking snowed. This is so depressing I can't bring myself to elaborate, but instead, I'll yell: STOP PLAYING WITH MY EMOTIONS, SPRING! To boot - it's rather confusing to a 3 year old who has been learning all about the different seasons this year and is wicked exited to leave winter behind. Snow = Winter, duh. See the confusion?!

Today's Family Style Quote
"The next time I buy a gaming rig, I'm just gonna do it myself. I'll build it - You can make it run". - Wilo
Pretty much the hottest thing he's ever said to me, in recent years. I don't even wish I was kidding. He always thinks he's more tech savvy than I, so I took that as a total compliment and it made me feel all giddy. It was a good day for him; Is trying to get laid or something?

Today's Music:
Yeah....this is probably my favorite song by this fellow and I've listened to it a million times in the past few days. And, at least 6 or 7 times today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On The Internet Today...

In case you need any additional motivation to surf the Internet.

- Blogger Katie Alison Granju aka Mamapundit had her story shared via well written article on The Daily Beast. My heart still feels as strongly about this family as it did the first time I read their story. The injustice is more than the tragic loss of her son; it's a rude awakening to how law enforcement officials can mishandle and mistreat good, contributing, tax paying citizens. You can read more about their story here at JusticeforHenry.com

- I read a blog which I found to be very interesting - a quick recap on Mothers via the Census. I loved reading the statics, though I was off the chart and different from most of the norm.

- If this video does not make you smile, you should never have anything to do with children.

- A savvy friend posted this link today and as soon as I read a 3 year old had solved a 5,000 piece puzzle, I had to read more. The greatest minds intrigue me.

- This was my devotion. It spoke of Faith and following God's call. Going where it can be scary, or frustrating, or trying, but knowing that we can absolutely trust him to see us through. It was good one.

- I couldn't stop listening to these guys - again - tonight. It's so refreshing to see people still making really good, authentic music these days. I want you to hear this music so badly that I'll go ahead and post some for you. It's wonderful. They have swept me off my feet and have refused to let go.


What? One More?
Ok, Sure.



No Sleep Till Brooklin - Video

HA!

I hadn't seen this in years.

It warranted a posting; You're Welcome!

What A Mouthful!

I've spent most of the past two days comforting a very irritated Baby John as he protests the TWO additional teeth that are quickly arriving. That's right - he will have SIX teeth by 9 months.

I fully expect him to be asking for a steak or beef jerky or something, soon. Geeze!

The first were the front two on the bottom (or the central incisors, according to Google). He cut those in conjuction with a terrible cold, which pretty much resulted the most miserable he'd ever been. I still frown when I think about those 3 weeks!

I was very suprised to see the next pearlly duo to arrive as the top "Eye Teeth" (or the lateral incisors, also according to Google). Surprised may not be the right word so much - I was more like, "What the hell? That can't be normal.I have to go see what Google! has to say about that!" I surely meant to write about that here, but didn't as Facebook is awesome. Check it out:


All of these wonderful mommies came out of the digital woodwork to let me know not to worry. Apparently having adorable babies with fangs and missing top teeth is completely normal.

So, that brings us to today where he has swollen gums on both the top and bottom. It's pretty much up in the air as to which one is next, though I'm anticipating two coming through as that's been his pattern. 

He's very cranky, clingy and hard to please with anything else other than hanging out on my hip all day. His sleeping has been interrupted, as well . I tried to alleviate some pain with some Infant's Motrin but instead I think it just dosed him up with No Sleep till Brooklyn as his theme song. A 9month old baby with no sleep? Yeah, that's fun. Thankfully, I think the past few days have caught up with him. He's slept through the night last night, and settled down for a good morning nap about an hour ago.  

I don't really mind having to cater to a pissed off Prince Charming. I mean, it doesn't allow for much  to be done but it's not an inconvenience when you know that YOU are the only thing that makes your baby happy. 

It's a privilege. 

One beautiful, amazing, exciting, honorable, trying, saliva filled, sleep deprived, uncomfortable, unproductive privilege. 

I'm lucky to have the opportunity, but here is hoping these teeth make their debut soon!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Gardener

I can't help it. I have to share this one, too.

I am falling in love with this guy's music, for sure.

You MUST treat yourself to this.....

Stalk Me, Please.

Did you know you can subscribe to my blog?

Did you know you can have new posts emailed?

Did you know that I can't see who subscribes or signs up for email?

Yep, that's right. You all can stalk as much as you want, and I'll never know.

Actually....I'd very much like it if you did! Just visit the links on the right sidebar of the page.

Want to reach out to me directly?

You can always Email Me or become my friend on Facebook.  

THANK YOU for reading!

Donald Trump vs. Sarah Palin

Donald Trump.

Every.

Single.

Time.

Granddaughter of Prayer Warriors

I've been thinking about my Grandpa and Grandma Murray these days. It's coming up on a year since my Grandfather passed away. I've written about them and their devotion to ministering and Jesus before, here.

In addition to losing the pillar of my paternal side of the family; We lost the other half of a vicious, relentless prayer warrior duo.

I can remember being little, spending the night with them and waking up to the sounds of both feverishly praying and praising God. They would pray about EVERYTHING; Their sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, their church,  acquaintances, politics, the country and the world.

When we were very sick, my parents would call on them and over they would come. They would lay the sick one of us down, anoint us with oil, lay their hands on us and pray. And Pray. And Pray. I can remember all of those instances vividly - even down to the time I caught pneumonia when I was 5, strep throat when I was 10. I can feel their hands on my arm and the energy that came through their words and their faith. By the time they had finished, my grandma was always in tears and praising God for his unfailing love and incredible power.

When Jakob had his near drowning incident at 20months, My Grandpa Murray was one of the first people we called. I need him there to pray. I remember joining hands with him and the Chaplin and praying for God's hand of healing.

Every time you would see my Grandpa, he'd tell you that he'd been praying for you. There were many times as a young person, I would inwardly roll my eyes...of course he was praying for us, he always did. He was a preacher for a living; that was his job. I did not realize how lucky we were to have his prayers going up, every day.

I also did not realize how lucky we were to have living examples of "how" to pray - lessons that never left, carried with me to adulthood. While there is something gained by being secluded and knelt in prayer; They taught me you could pray anywhere, anytime. They taught me that you could approach God like you would a father, or a friend. You needn't worry about the 'right' words, or the 'right' atmosphere. You simply had to pray and believe. You prayed without ceasing.

The inheritance we received from my grandparents could not be bought yet remains one of the richest gifts I've ever received.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

I was incredibly lucky to have them in my life, and I wish I would've expressed that more while they were here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Tallest Man On Earth & His Guitar

This was posted in this really awesome Music group I'm a part of on facebook.

It's a cool group. Old friends and people I don't know...Same with the music.

Here's something new and fabulous to share.

He's amazing.


Friday, March 25, 2011

I'll Pee In The Woods, Thanks.

Came across this nonsense product tonight.....GO GIRL.

From their website, Go-Girl.com:

Simply put, GoGirl is the way to stand up to crowded, disgusting, distant or non-existent bathrooms.  It’s a female urination device (sometimes called a FUD) that allows you to urinate while standing up. It’s neat. It’s discreet. It’s hygienic.

GoGirl is easy to use.  Just lower your panties, and put GoGirl against your body, forming a seal.  Aim and, well, pee.  Pretty simple, huh?
GoGirl fits easily in your purse, pocket, or glove compartment. It’s a must for travel and sports. And it’s great for everyday––no more crouching over or trying to cover up an unsanitary public toilet.


Say Whaaaaat?!

Seriously, go look at that link and tell me if that's not the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen. Yes, the men have it easier with their outdoor plumbing, but, um....I'll keep what I got. To begin with, I am so not coordinated enough to use that damn thing.

I'm gonna go ahead and say it, but....If you are not willing to pee in the woods should the need arise, without the help of a 'female urination device', Camping really isn't your thing, darlin.

Wild Retreat

I don't just want to visit here - I would LOVE to live near something like this so that I could WORK there.

Upscale Hospitality + OUTSIDE?! = MELISSA.

(Also, I found this from an article in this month's Outside Magazine. It's one of the only paper periodicals we receive. Everyone here loves it and takes turns reading it. There's never been a month where I didn't find something wicked inciting and interesting. So, there you go. A magazine subscription totally worth paying for, says ME.)

The Bottom Two


This was one of those rare occasions where Raegan asked to cuddle with John. She is normally very dramatic about the amount of slobber coming from her baby brother these days. It really grosses her out - and she doesn't want to be around it. She runs from him like the plague at times. But, not in this picture. It was earlier this week, about 7am and they both just cuddled together on the couch. Made my heart smile. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

9 Months

Aunt and Uncle Love

Raegan had a DELIGHTFUL time at the zoo.

At a few points she exclaimed with glee, " Uncle Timmy, This is the BEST. DAY. EVER".

I'm not a fan of dragging little babies out for trips they won't even remember so she had not been before. Three is a great age to introduce wee ones to things like the Zoo. They are old enough to know what they are looking at and usually old enough to 'mostly' control themselves in public.

Raegan was perfectly behaved - aside from wanting to sing, "You are beeeautiful" or "I just saw a creeeepy bird" loudly as we walked through echoing tunnels.

We saw a ton of fun stuff - a Mother Gorilla and her baby, a Mama Elephant and her baby and a monkey with a tye died butt. I tend to forget - as I have lived here my entire life - that our zoo is actually world renowned. It was a treat for me to go too.

Thanks Uncle Timmy and Aunt Whitnee! What a FABULOUS, idea.









Been Down This Road Before

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hooch of a Stay at Home Mom

I don't ever want to sound like a spoiled, ungrateful, hooch of a Stay at Home Mama. I know how lucky I am; I am reminded of it every day when I am able to send my top two kids off to school, and greet the morning with my younger two. The fact that I can stay in my camisole and yoga pants all day long tends to whisper reminders as well. Watching Wil leave for work and knowing he's going with the sole purpose of providing for these four beautiful babies here, leaves me very proud and feeling very much indebted.

I "get" it.

I really do. 

But.

As I said to a friend recently, Some days I feel like a kid in a candy store, surrounded by so much sweetness I could eat myself in to a delicious stupor. Some days I feel like the disheveled, frazzled,  looking woman standing outside the liquor store - it's obvious she NEEDS a drink.

Today has been one of the latter.

Sigh.

It wasn't the kids today....

Marriage is hard.

MY marriage is hard.

Yours is too if you would admit it.

Sometimes I  feel like I've been having the same arguments for the past ten years with all of them producing the same result.

That's idiotic.

What's that say about me, then?

I love my husband and my family very much but some days I throw my hands up in the air and wonder what the hell we are doing.

Who is Elizabeth Stone?

Google can't tell me anything about her - but I adored this quote I came across today:

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  - Elizabeth Stone

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Music That Charms Me

These guys have been actively pursuing my attention these days.

It's working; They are incredibly charming with their old soul voices, their mandolins, and their bluegrass ways.

I want to be a Picker.

I come by my appreciation for Antiques honest; My grandparents have spent their retirement scouring flee markets and attending Auctions. There is nothing I would love more than to sit with them and hear of their greatest finds, see the oldest item in their collection, and maybe even try on a piece of my Grandma's antique jewelry.

Unfortunately, my own anitque collection consists of a silver tray my grandmother gave as a gift a few Christmas' ago. It's displayed proudly on my wall - I only take it down for my meat and cheese tray for New Years Eve. (She told us to use it!). It's special not only because it's a real silver platter, but because it was something my Grandma had picked out years ago, and then picked it out to give to me. I would consider it a prized possesion.

Just becuase I don't have any extent of a collection - doesn't mean that I'm not hungry for the chase and anxious for a stellar find. Sadly, I must only dream of those things at the moment, and live vicariously through a show on the history channel called, American Pickers.

Basically these two men - Mike and Frank - who have been friends since the 8th grade, drive thousands of miles around the hidden country searching old barns and debilitated buildings for "rusty gold".  The term for their profession is "Pickers". Their finds range from Early American Advertising, to 1937 Harley Davidson Motorcycles, to World World 1 posters - tons, and tons, and tons of stuff packed deep in to the heart of these abandon buildings.

I love the show, not only because I have a terrible, lustful crush on Mike (oh. so. sexy.) The scenery and landscape mirror that of my own small town in the midwest where barns and cornfields line the drive anywhere.The people remind me of the fellows who drive their tractors to the neighborhood grocery store. The families are simple, down to earth and organic. They own millions of dollars in land and pieces of history - and you  would never, ever know it. Those are my kind of people.

So...how do I start my own antique collection?

Since I can't post a child on Ebay or Stud my husband out - I would assume that the fastest way for me to begin to aquire a beloved and treasured antiuque collection, would be to....get a job.

I want to work so that I can buy antiques.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crazy Mash-ups.

Today was a gorgeous though cloudy, slightly rainy day. It was warm and dry enough to slip outside and run off some energy but cool enough to come in early and snuggle down with a movie.

We have a big day tomorrow, and I have to get crack-a-lacking.

Raegan and I are headed to the zoo with her Aunt & Uncle in the morning! I am excited to go. It is her first time going and let me tell you, she is SO excited. As excited as a 3 year old who's about to see a real life monkey could be. I'm really excited to go with them, and very thankful to my brother and his wife for inviting me along. It will be a nice outing. (Don't fear, the big kids will be going on a different day with their Uncle & Aunt!).

I haven't been far from Baby John for longer than an hour up until now, kind of crazy.

Anyways, my point of stopping by was to share....

These totally rad mash up's via DOOCE and I, too, couldn't stop watching them.

How freakin' dope is this??


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Heartache for life - I've have some, bet you do too.

This was posted on FB earlier this week. It struck a chord with me, and has stayed with me since.

I Believe... That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life. 

It's true. 

I used to be a girl who didn't believe in regret. I felt it was a completely useless emotion. Time and Circumstance happen to us all, I used to say! Each poor decision has made me who I am today - I regret nothing! 

But...perhaps life and age have left me a bit cynical. 


I definitely have things I regret. 


Things in my past that will forever leave scars on my heart.


That's not saying that I would go back and change my feelings or actions as that would directly change my present.....

But....

Just because I've accepted them as part of me, doesn't mean I don't regret them.

I can have a GREEN Beer, this year!

I was totally penning this thought provoking post about two very honest blogs I read this week - but then, in the middle of it, I became distracted for the 1,000th time and ended up super pissy with myself.

Instead of throwing my hands up and taking comfort in my cozy couch while having lustful thoughts about Steve Gonzales as I watch the new Ghost Hunters, I decided to just be HONEST. Honest may not be super interesting, but whatevs.

I'm feeling fairly relaxed - I had some GREEN beer tonight - yippie! If you remember, I was ripe with pregnancy this day last year. As with every pregnancy, I craved Guinness SO badly. I was incredibly pissed today when I realized that my stupid husband drank all 3 of the Guinness' in my fridge. I had been saving for today. (SO lame, Wilo.) I didn't vocalize it because um, really, I doubt my children would have any sympathy for their thirsty mama. I was quite pleased when as we went outside to enjoy the gorgeous evening and a neighbor friend invited me over for a few Green beers. Even more pleased to spend some time laughing and conversing with my other 'hood mama friends.

I also had a moment where I was very, very reminiscent about my trip to Europe what seems like a hundred years ago. I've been to Ireland, damn it! It was beautiful, green, gorgeous and everything you think it could possibly be. While the memories are vibrant, unique and ohhhh-sooo-special, they actually make me feel very sad in a way, and very confined to this small house, in this small town, in this same state. Where is the ambitious girl who would travel anywhere?!  (For the record, I'm still here, just not traveling on anyone else's dime these days. Which...makes a wee bit of difference.)

I am also entirely irritated by someone who I thought hung the moon. I know I should really just let it go, but I can't. I'm literally reminded of it every day. Bah. Since when is it appropriate to totally blow off someone who very importantly needs to speak with you? Lame. This just isn't someone, it's someone I loved very much. Too Sad.

Moving on.

Here. This makes everything better.




....Just like Guinness - Thanks again, Wilo! XOXO

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Day

Happy 1st Birthday, Blog!

Today marks the one year anniversary of which I began this little blog, in its own little corner of the Internet.

Happy Birthday, Blog-licous!

(It's very evident that despite a years worth of writing and introspection - I'm still very much a dork. )

When I started this project, my intent was to reclaim the hobby of writing that I had since abandoned after becoming a stay at home mom. You can read my first post here. And....while I might have failed at that first attempt to write daily for 30 days, I am very pleased that I am composing my 225th post a year later.

This little blog has given me a space that is truly ALLLLLLLLL mine.There is absoutley nothing about this site that I have to share with anyone else.

Being a mommy of four, I am constantly sharing: From little drinks of my Coke to bites of my snacks. From my spot on the couch to my favorite pillow, From my  worn hoody to my fancy high heels, From fingernail polish to hair ties....SHARING = CARING! I offer every material thing I have to those around me. I don't mind it, but I certainly appreciate having something that I do not have to share. EVER.

This blog equates to my quiet time. I sit to write in the early hours of the morning, or the late hours of the evening after everyone has gone to bed. I find myself secretly looking forward to these very quiet times and tease myself with the reward of sitting down to write, typically interrupted.  This blog doesn't ask to go outside before homework is done, doesn't tell me that I reallllly need to shed these 8month old post prego pounds, it doesn't color on walls and doesn't wake up as soon as I lay it down. This blog offers me a break and yet makes me feel productive.

Obviously, this digital space allows me to document the lives of my children. It offers friends and family from far away to catch a very true glimpse of our lives. Time passes so quickly - and I never want to forget that Raegan had a make believe boyfriend from Jamaica or how Jakob's laugh sounded at 10, or what Abby did on her 9th birthday or how adorable Baby John looked in his batman jammies. Yes, this place allows me to relentlessly post pictures of my beautiful offspring, but whatevs, this is mine!

I have also been so very thankful, encouraged, motivated and flattered by the friends, family, former co-workers and never before met Internet friends who have taken the time to send me a message, or leave me a facebook comment in regards to my writing. You have NO idea how warm and fuzzy you make me feel. I have loved getting to know you better and discovering how much we have in common. (There are sooo many more messies out there than you know!)

I have also appreciated all of the people who know me, read this blog but do not comment. I recently heard from an old coworker who said - "Just wanted to let you know, I never comment publicly but I have been reading your writing since you were 18. I was saddened to see you stop after you left work, and am so thrilled I get to read you again. I'm also tickled that you are actually sharing it this time, and not swearing people to secrecy once they find out about your online journal. Yes, you did that, remember?"

(Yes, I did do that...)

I'm really glad that I have shared this one though and I plan on keeping it up for a second year.

365 days from now, I hope to have expanded my readership a bit. I hope to write more honestly - I tend to buffer things sometimes because I know a parent, an in-law, or a former contact read what I write. It's harder than you think.

That being said, I hope to dive into personal topics that make me a little uncomfortable because healing has always came from writing, in my world. I really wish to "write through" those occasional periods where I become very introverted for no good reason. I really wanna bring more Meli to this blog.

I simply want to be a better writer by this time next year.

Want to come along for the journey?

I can't promise luxury or glamor but I can promise Good Music, Coca-Cola Classic, Smiles, Cute Kids , and a ton of  Free Hugs.

xoxoxo,

Melissa

Thursday, March 10, 2011

No More Jason!



WHO told Raegan that 90% of my boyfriends prior to her papa were named Jason? Seriously. There are like 10 of them. TOO funny this name came up out of the blue, no? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My (Little) Man on the Mountain

Baby John crawled to the top of the 14 stairs today.

There was no stopping, no hesitation, just full throttle to the top.

He is 8 months old, you guys! That's like climbing a mountain to someone who is twenty pounds and less than two feet tall! He LOVED it. His eyes were SO lit up and he was babbling and turning around to laugh at me as I crawled behind him - shocked and spellbound by him actually CLIMBING.  He did it with such ease and enthusiasm. He was proud of himself for his accomplishment - I kid you not, he clapped! It was a big deal.

It's also one big, dangerous deal.

I have never lived in a house with as many stairs and a baby at the same time! We lived in a cozy ranch style home and a spacious split-level with like 5 stairs between both the downstairs and the upstairs. Raegan didn't walk up the stairs here until she was 18months or so!

It has me a little anxious.

Obviously, We must be diligent in keeping those stairs gated off and making sure he is never out of sight while we are upstairs. Also, obviously, we must trust God to keep his hand on my natural, fearless adventurer.

 We must also pray for me.

Because...Um...If he is climbing stairs at 8 months, what is next?!

Climbing Mountains? Jumping out of a plane? Swimming with Sharks?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The music inside my head.

Careful...it's beautiful AND catchy. 


                           

...Nor a bathtub.

Wanna hear something weird?

In addition to Baby John never seeing the inside of his actual crib - he's never seen the inside of a bathtub either.

Even after four kids - it still reallllly creeps me out. Maybe it's because of Jakob's near drowning incident when he was 20months old, or maybe I am just weird. (That may be a given, though.)

I, of course, bathe him regularly!!

Just not in the big bathtub....

....or the baby bathtub!

I channel Little House on the Prairie and bust out baby bath time, pioneer style - since he is too big for a baby bath. I use two tubs of warm water and bathe him on my lap, or the bed, or the floor. It's not messy because there isn't a lot of water. He's not slippery or wiggly and there is no fear of him submerging his face in the water, or me losing my grip.  I am very relaxed doing it this way, and will continue to do so until he's about a year or so, or at least showing a lot of  interest in what the big kids are doing during their nightly bath time.

My big kids love bath time and water in general. They swim like fish and spend most of the summer dying to visit my parents' pool. None of them are scared of water, despite their mamas concerns. John would probably love it and squeal with delight....as I cringed in fear!

Ah, well. I'm MOM, and it's just one of those peccadillos that comes with my territory.

Thankfully, I have no phobias related to ridiculously cute towels.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The most special boy I never met.

I've met a lot of people in my lifetime - that was basis of my profession for quite awhile. I would spend countless hours pursuing someone, getting to know them, establishing a bond, and developing a relationship. Despite so much time and effort cultivating these connections,  I cannot think of one person (aside from a professional mentor or two) who made any long term impact on my life or influenced my thought process to a great degree. Impacting someones life is a very special ability.

Now...let me tell you about someone who HAS impacted my life and changed the dialogue I have and will have with my children. 

His name is Henry Louis Granju.

Sadly, I have never met him, and never will be able to do so. I only know of him through his brave mother's words on her personal blog.  Henry was a very kind, peaceful, intelligent, organic fellow. We all know that I have a soft spot for a fellow in tiedye with a guitar strapped to his back - but it is very apparent through her words, and years of pictures; He was a very special boy.


He left this world much to early in the spring of 2010, 10 months ago. He suffered from a very vicious drug addiction in his young life; He was only 18 when he died.  By her sharing his struggles publicly, I realized how nonchalant I had been in my general attitude towards drugs and how urgent it was to have an ongoing conversation with my oldest children. My view on addiction changed and I, very importantly, no longer felt my kids (as young as they may be) were exempt from such. I will forever be grateful to their family for sharing their journey.

This is all very tragic, right? A loving mother loses her boy to a drug overdose. That alone tears your heart right out of your chest.  What could be worse?

Oh, my..... it IS worse.

Very, very, worse.

Mama Pundit (Katie Allison Granju) is taking the details of her 18 year old son's death public this week via her blog and some radio interviews. She has patiently waited the previous 10 months for the Knoxville County Sheriff's office to investigate the criminal assault her son suffered prior to his death. Understandably, and respectably, she is staying silent no longer. You can read her detailed narratives here. In addition to them breaking my heart - they leave me appalled at the way this case has been handled. You can also see more about Henry's Story in a professionally produced video here, and you can read (or donate) to the fund they have in his honor...here.

Every day I read something else that leaves me more appalled than the day prior.  The cold, callous, inept attitude of the Knoxville County Sheriff's Office is frightening. Seriously, you guys - it's terrible the way this has been handled. If you can even say it's been "handled".  I don't personally know this family, but as I read these details - a tightness develops in my chest, and a frantic sense of urgency to see these people held accountable arises. It's impossible to shake.

Please take a few moments and help this mama by reading their story. For my praying gals, please pray very diligently for headway, strength and peace to this family.

It really could be any one of us - any of our children.

Rest in Peace, Henry. Your mama loves you very much, and your life is making a difference in the lives of others. I think of you every time I hear this song..... "....give him 5 minutes, and you could feel the music in his heart..."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Badfish

Why hello there, Mr. Johnson.

Who knew you covered Sublime with your sexy guitar ways?

YUM.

(For serious, love him, love sublime, love these covers!!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Drive- By's, Sympathy Sickies, 911, Business Cards... Typical.

I've been wicked busy fighting the disorganization that becomes my little house so easily. I really wish I could naturally be more domestic, but as I've admitted before, I really have to work at it. (Undomesticated Stay at Home Mom? Say Whaaaat? There has to be more of us - I should start a club).

I've literally moved my chairs away from the computers so that I wouldn't be distracted by what an old friend deemed: "Drive By's". You know, when you walk by your desk and you think, "Ok, real fast, I'll just check my facebook, or my email or my fav blogger....Just one second won't hurt!". Then before you know it, it's been 10 minutes, and you've done your 259th drive by for the day. That shiz adds up, yo!

While I was up cleaning out some closets, washing some walls, switching some bedrooms, I was thinking about all the things I could be blogging about instead.

I would've told you about....

....My gross, disgusting, not so funny sympathy puking incident with my 10 year old son. Yep, It's official - Um, I can't handle big kid throw up. (I am think I just officially fell in the Mommy Blog category since I'm discussing vomit. That is GLAMOUR, people.) Poor guy wakes up, comes down stairs, and says, "Mama, I don't feel so good". He makes his way to this little, no bigger than a closet, tiny bathroom between our kitchen and laundry room - opens the door...and MISSES the toilet.  I'm right behind him at the moment, and the sound of this makes me gag - and all goes to hell. Seriously - it was back and forth for like 10 minutes. Once everything was all said and done, and I was cleaning the hazardous mess up...Jake goes. "Mama....I reallllllly love you."   What a sweetie - it was exactly what I needed to hear to feel better about such a fiasco.

(Still Reading?  Sorry, that was awful, but somewhat humorous - helloooo mom of four not being able to stomach vomiting! And somewhat sweet - what a guy.)

....Abby's near perfect weekend - She had a great bday. It started on Thursday and went through the weekend. She had her special cake with our family - an overnight with my parents (which she looooved) - and finally, her big surprise gift on Sunday. We bought her a bike - she had noooo clue. She was delighted. She hopped on and took off. All was sunny, cheery and bright until.....she ran into a neighbor boy. Who FREAKED out. I mean freakedtheeffout. Therefore, so did his mama.  A simple altercation turned into 911 being called (no, I am not kidding) and him going off in a squad (STILL not kidding). She was mortified. I felt SO bad for her.  (I felt bad for the little boy, but knew everyone was over reacting.) She didn't get back on her bike until he came back from the ER a few hours later; he was treated for a 'small laceration'.  A CUT. They didn't even put a band aid on it.  Bah. But, I tried to remain thankful and positive, though inside this ruined my whole mood and made me extremely anxious.

....The insanely cute long cardigan type sweater from The Limited that I bought secondhand from the thrift store for $2.99. Seriously. That was like a $65 sweater and it fit perfectly, looked adorable. Notice the past tense there? Yeah, I'm a genius and a laundry pro and threw a wool sweater in the washer (helloooo, you have to wash things from there!) AND in the dryer.  BOO.  I am surprised no one began singing "Fat Girl in a Little Coat" when I put it on after realizing my error.

....We changed some bedrooms around and cleaned the carpets. Well...Wilo cleaned the carpets. He did so with little argument and lots of motivation. This is the song he started the day with - CRACKED. ME. UP.

....I came across an old business card - my most recent one while I was cleaning out my closet. I'm not kidding it made me tear up a little. As did the fancy award I won - and a picture of one my first hotels signed by the staff. I miss working. We have been talking about my return to the workforce.....to what degree, I am unsure. I am going to handle this just like I did all my previous positions and promotions - I'm gonna pray about it. If it's God's Will - an opportunity will arise. If it is not...it is His will for me to be at home. Either way - he will provide!

....Did I tell you about the explicitly delightful dream I had about slowly and deliberately dressing up? Yeah, for serious. If nothing more, I need to put on a fancy suit, new high heels, silky pantyhose - curl my hair, do my make up...and GET OUT....for just a little bit!

....Raegan asked to be referred to as Rae Rae Gaga. (ahahahahahahaha).

....One of my favorite bloggers: Mama Pundit (Katie Allison Granju) is taking the details of her 18 year old son's death public this week via her blog and some radio interviews. She has patiently waited the previous 9 months for the Knoxville County Police Department to investigate the criminal assault her son suffered prior to his death. Understandably, and respectably, she is staying silent no longer. You can read her detailed narratives here. In addition to them breaking my heart - they leave me appalled at the way this case has been handled. You can also see more about Henry's Story in a professionally produced video here, and you can read (or donate) to the fund they have in his honor...here.

Now, with light being at the end of the house tunnel - I hope to be posting the next few days. I want to talk about my response to two recent blogs concerning breastfeeding, cosleeping and the absurd articles I've been reading lately offering up the argument about healthy eating being expensive. We are proof it is not. Grr.

I also have a million pictures to take off my camera too. I bought a HUGE memory card this time and....not having to clear it off as often, they accumulate fast I see!

Hugs to each of you : )