Thursday, April 30, 2009

T minus 15 days until Departure

The countdown has begun.  I wish I could say the same about the packing.  I had a dream that someone threw a surprise packing party for me, and it was awesome . . . there were like 10 people here to help me pack up our stuff.  But, you know, an even more awesome surprise would be a packing party that was held with me in abstentia.  Just in case my dream was prophetic, I'm gonna head to Barnes & Noble for awhile tomorrow.  Did you get that? Barnes & Noble from say 10-4.  (I expect it to take awhile.)

I know what you're thinking: I really love you, Beck, but I don't relish the idea of packing your kids' 812 pieces of clothing and 47 pairs of fake crocs.  Understandable.  

Fret not, I have another way you can help.  You wouldn't mind bringing our cat to Pennsylvania for us, would you?  You could drive him or accompany him on a plane, totally your choice. Because I'm laid-back like that.

See, here's the thing.  When David and I made this drive in January, it took us 17 hours without kids.  Given that the kids required 7 stops on the drive from here to Disney World (normally a 7 hr drive), I'm estimating it will take us approximately 6 weeks to get to Pennsylvania.  I suspect that could be a problem for our cat.  

I took Sebastian to the vet Tuesday (because he has conjunctivitis), and the vet gave me some kitty tranquilizers to use during the trip.  I couldn't help but notice, however, that he said to give Sebastian 1/4 of a tablet each day, yet he gave me 3 tablets.  I can only assume it was because he astutely noticed the three children I had with me and how they were all trying climb onto the counter to eat doggie treats.  I'm pretty sure I caught a wink-wink nudge-nudge when he handed me the three pills.  I'm just sayin'. I mean, it would be a shame to waste a perfectly good tranquilizer, right?

So, the vet says that if we sedate the cat he can probably make it 6-7 hours without having to pee.  I'm guessing that should get us at least to Atlanta. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dear Joshua

I heard what that boy said at church yesterday. You didn't hear it, but I did. You were playing with another little boy on the playground, and one of the bigger kids said something really unkind to both of you. Thankfully, you were oblivious and went about your way unscathed. I was not.

I hope that one day you will have children of your own, but until then, you will not know what it is like to watch your heart run around outside your body, vulnerable to injury beyond your control. To feel someone else's joy and pain more acutely than you feel your own. My heart hurt for you yesterday even as it was relieved at your nescience.

It's tough being your mom sometimes. You are so brave and so driven that I cannot imagine anything standing between you and your goals. You were not even three when you learned to swim and only four when you decided to dive. At five you could roller skate, and earlier than that you mastered riding your bike without training wheels. When you set your mind to something, you will not be stopped.

But, there is another side of you. The side that is shy and quiet and timid. The side that doesn't speak up when someone is standing on your foot or that tells me sadly after school that everyone else in class got two cookies, but you got only one. I don't even bother asking whether you spoke up because I know you didn't. You, who at 2 years old gave the other moms a heart attack by doing a forward roll down the slide at Burger King, are insecure and apprehensive when it comes to speaking up for yourself or approaching new friends. I know you. You want to join in with the other kids or get first choice of treats or be first in line. But, you won't. You will quietly hope it happens, but you will not step on other people or push your way ahead or assert yourself.

So, sometimes it's hard to figure out how to be the best mom I can to you. I know what a terrific kid you are, and I want you to let other people know it, too. But, I can't push you too much because I never want you to be someone you are not. You have the strengths and weaknesses God gave you, and I love you just the way you are.

I was so proud of you for joining in with the older boys at church. I know it was not easy for you to jump in. That's why it hurt me so much to hear someone deride you. He was just being an insensitive kid, but he had no idea how much courage it took for you leave your comfort zone. But, I know. And, as long as I have breath, I will be proud of the brave and capable and sensitive and smart person that you are.

I feel sorry for any kid who doesn't want to be your friend. He has no idea what he's missing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Here's hoping she's psychic

Lauren has been trying to understand lately how birthdays work. She frequently asks me how old she was when Joshua and Ethan were born, not grasping the concept that she hadn't been born yet. (As a fairly self-centered individual, I can relate to her bewilderment over the idea that a world without her is even possible.)

So, the other night as I was putting her to bed, she reminded me that she would be 4 on her birthday. Here's the conversation that ensued:

Me: Yes, when it's your birthday, you'll be 4.
Lauren: Then, how old will I be when it's my second birthday?
Me: You turned 2 on your second birthday. That was a long time ago.
Lauren: How old will I be when it's my third birthday?
Me: You already had your third birthday; that's when you turned three. And then you'll turn 4 and 5 and 6.
Lauren: Then 7, 8, 9 . . . and . . . and, mommy, what will my last one be?
Me: Well, we don't know what our last birthday will be. It depends on how old you live to be. I hope your last one will be really old, like maybe 100.
Lauren: Or, how about 85? I think it will be 85.

I'll take that.

Friday, April 24, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week's Seven Quick Takes:


I am loving that my boys are old enough to play real games with me now. After six years of dinosaur matching, Candyland, and Hi Ho Cherrio, it is so nice to sit down and play chess and rummy with my kids. Joshua enjoys it, but Ethan LOVES it. He is remarkably good at both games. In fact, he beat me for at Chess for the first time two days ago. (And, no, I didn't let him. I do not believe in letting my kids win. I'm mean like that.)


A conversation with Lauren:
Me: How did you get so big?
Lauren: I just growed.
Me: Did you grow today?
Lauren: No, I growed tomorrow and yesterday and Saturday and June.


The kids have been spending these gorgeous spring days running races and obstacle courses in the back yard.

It is going to be such an adjustment for them when we move because they have gotten so used to playing on my parents' multiple acres of land all day every day. Poor Lesey is not going to know what to do when we leave and she goes back to being an only child!


I'm looking forward to a slower pace this weekend than last. After not leaving the house for four days after my surgery, I spent last Saturday going to two soccer games and two weddings. Yeah, I way overdid it, and to top it off, I forgot to take any pain pills before I left for the weddings. Fortunately, there was wine and champagne at the reception. :) (I went to one ceremony and then headed to the next wedding, so I attended only one reception.)


Joshua and I found this little guy on our way home from school on the Friday before spring break.

Joshua REALLY wanted to take him to school for show & tell, so we named him Tommy and put him in a plastic crate with some water and rocks. Amazingly, we managed to keep him alive for almost three weeks - 2 until Josh could take him to school and an extra one before I got around to taking a picture of him. (Josh didn't want to let him go without a picture.) I'm pretty sure he didn't eat that entire time he was in captivity, poor guy. We gave him fruits and veggies and, I'm pretty sure, a couple of gourmet rolly-pollies and snails, but he didn't seem to keen on any of them. I can't imagine why.


We leave for Pennsylvania in three weeks. The time is really flying by now. David moved into our new house this week. Not only have I never seen the house, I am now at his mercy for where to put the furniture . . . at least for the time being. Here are the things I will be seeing for the first time when I move in: the house, the sofas, the recliner, the loveseat, and Lauren's bedroom furniture. Keeping my fingers crossed, I tell ya.


No time for seven of these today, so I will leave you with six. Considering how pathetic the six were, I'll consider it a favor.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Be careful what you wish for

Nine days. That's how long it's been since I had my eagerly-anticipated, bank-breaking surgery. I've been hopeful that once the swelling goes down and the tenderness subsides, it will be better. Or at least not worse than it started.

But, I'm starting to have my doubts. I fear I have traded one painful deformity for a different, highly expensive, painful deformity. True, the knot I started with is gone . . . but, now there is another, even more obvious knot. A protrusion of cartilage that, for reasons unbeknownst to me, cannot seem to be fixed. It seems simple enough to me: it sticks out; cut it off.

I was thinking about this tonight while in the midst of a torrent of pain brought on by a sneeze. (Seriously, I have a freakin' cold, and I am on the verge of tears just thinking about sneezing again. Benadryl, take me away.) It occurred to me that my physical state is not unlike my spiritual one.

When I yield myself to my Creator's perfect will, I surrender all control over the means He utilizes to accomplish His purposes. I may ask for a burden - a thorn in my flesh, a painful protuberance, if you will- to be removed, but I do not know what He has in mind for its removal. It may be, and I suspect usually is, painful. The result may not look like what I had planned. It may be something completely unexpected. It may be quite costly. It may - to the world - seem ugly and jagged and wrong. But in my Master's hands, I can trust that His purposes will be not only be accomplished, they will work for my good.

But, still, it'd be nice if it didn't hurt.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A double threat

He cooks, and he performs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

At last!

Joshua can really do stuff. I've long dreamed of the day when my kids would be genuinely useful . . . I mean as more than someone on whom I can blame my messy house and scattered-brain. Today at Walmart, he got the BIG bag of cat food down for me, put it in the cart, and then loaded it in the car. I knew there was a reason I had boys.

Then we got home, and in an effort to divert his attention from the mire of self-pity in which he was wallowing because I forced him walk to over hot coals with his bare feet, I let him cook dinner for me. That's what you would have thought I made him do based on his level of self-pity, anyway. The truth, while far less dramatic, is that I would not let him ride his bicycle without a helmet. Yeah, I know, they should hang my picture in that weird torture museum in Rothenberg, Germany. (I'm not making that up; I've actually been there. It's a museum dedicated to all the different types of torture devices that have been used throughout the ages. Oddly, it did not include listening to my children play the trumpet.)

So, I thought I would distract Joshua from his woe-is-me routine by asking if he wanted to help me make some breadsticks for dinner. He ended up doing most of the mixing and the kneading. He set the timer for them to rise and then rolled out the dough when it was time to slice and bake them. I made my way into the Best Mommy Ever Hall of Fame by allowing him to use the huge 10 inch bread knife to cut the dough and then letting him use a pastry brush to "paint the butter" on. (He wanted garlic on his, but we didn't have any garlic powder, so we put minced garlic inside a folded sheet of wax paper, and he used a rolling pin to crush it. He was so impressed with my ingenuity, you would have thought I'd made a dinosaur come to life. I love that it doesn't take much to impress him yet. Heck, it doesn't take much to impress me, either, so I was pretty darn proud of that idea.)

After the breadsticks, I figured I may as well continue making use of my eager young lackey and let him make the filling for the stuffed shells. He did every bit of it . . . I didn't even give it a final stir. Once the shells were done, I asked if he wanted to fill them, and being Joshua, he wasn't content to just put the filling inside the shell the way normal folks do. He inverted the shells so that they made a cup shape, filled them that way, and pretended they were clams. (I think he meant oysters because the shape of them sort of resembled oysters on the half shell.)

At dinner, he and the others chopped up their pasta and noodles and mixed it together and called it saucee (pretend there's an accent mark over the first "e.")

Me: Why's it called saucay?
Josh: No, mom, saucee.
Me: That's what I said, saucee.
Josh: It's not a long "a" or a short "a." It's a short "a" with an "e."
Me: Saucee?
Josh: No, it's in between a long "a" and a short "a."
Me: Saucayee?
Josh: No! Saucee!
This went on for about 5 minutes before I apparently figured out how to make a vowel sound that's half long and half short.

All in all, it was a successful first meal for Joshua. Come back Thursday to hear how his lamb chops turn out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lauren and Popsie

Lauren is the last of my parents' 8 grandchildren, so she already had a bit of a special place in their hearts before we moved in. To say my dad is wrapped around her little finger would be like saying the sun is a little warm. These two are really going to miss each other when we leave.

Friday, April 17, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week's 7 Quick Takes (Hosted by Conversion Diary):


Finally had my surgery on Tuesday. Several people have asked me a) was it successful or b) what exactly did he do? The answer to both questions is the same: I have no idea.

I don't know what brilliant surgeon came up with the idea of talking to patients while they're in the recovery room having awakened - and I use that term loosely - from anesthesia about 90 seconds prior. I guess if you're the doctor, and you're trying to get out of there quickly, this is a great way of limiting the number of annoying questions you'll be asked.

However, if you're the patient, this is completely pointless. I have a vague recollection of Dr. B coming to the recovery area, and in between my violent convulsions (I shake a lot when I wake up) and clawing off of my skin (I itch a lot when I wake up), he said something to me. Yep, something.

The good news is I have a follow up with him in about a week, so I will wait and ask my annoying questions then.


I had some very odd reaction when they started my i.v. before surgery. The only thing in it was lactated ringers . . . which my research reveals does not involve nursing lemurs at all . . . so it should have been pretty much impossible to have a reaction to that. However, being the medical freakshow that I strive to be, I started having difficulty breathing - my chest felt like someone was sitting on it - and dissolved into seismic coughing fits. They gave me some oxygen and some sedatives and gave me their expert medical opinions that, yes, it was very odd indeed.

The medicine did not stop my wheezing and coughing, but it did make me not care whether I stopped breathing on the operating table. No problemo, dude.

While they were checking me out, my mom apparently felt it important to convince them that I wasn't crazy or faking. (I guess they get a lot of that?) So, she pointed out that my neck was turning red and had a hive on it.

A hive?

Yes, she said, there's only one. Now, I'm no doctor, but I've never heard of breaking out in a hive. She kept mentioning it to everyone with a hair net on, so finally I got her to hand me a mirror so I could see it. I swear it was the size of gnat. In fact, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hive at all but a gnat bite.

It was apparently unrelated to my respiratory failure brought on by the lemur milk in my i.v.


So, enough about my surgery. I'm doing well now and hoping to advance light years in my recovery today because I have two soccer games and two weddings to attend tomorrow.


Lauren was playing in the living room yesterday, and a fly buzzed by her head. She jumped up hysterically crying, "Mommy, there's a bee in here!" I assured her it was only a fly; I had already noticed it. She said, "Mommy, it's not a fly. I heard it saying, 'sting! sting!'"

Can't argue with that.


I don't think I ever posted pictures from the Renaissance Festival at Joshua's school last month. His favorite part was getting a bandage for a fake jousting wound. How did I never realize how a dress-up collection could be enhanced by a piece of gauze and a red marker? Oh, that's right, I'm not morbid!

Lauren looked cute with her princess braid, which she LOVED:


While I'm posting pictures, here are a few from Josh's class Easter party. They always sing/sign a few songs for the parents, and I am so impressed with how much sign language my son knows. He is less than impressed by having his picture taken so many times.


Did I already write about taking the kids to see a movie a couple of weeks ago? I don't think I did.

We went to see Monsters v. Aliens - which was a great movie, by the way - and, of course, the kids had to go to the bathroom afterward.

While standing behind Josh as he went to relieve himself, I noticed that the button and zipper on his pants were in the back. "Josh," I inquired, "Have you had your pants on backward all day?" "Huh?" He had somehow managed to just pull them up that morning rather than actually opening them. What got me was that I knew he had already gone to the bathroom twice at church that morning and NEVER NOTICED!

So, then I come out of the stall and take a look at Ethan's face. My mom had snuck some hot tamales into the theater, and of course, we let them have popcorn. Ethan had tiny little popcorn pieces all over his face. Why didn't they fall off, you may wonder? Because 80% of his face was red and sticky from the hot tamales, so the popcorn was stuck to it like glue.

We looked like quite the superhero sight coming out of that theater . . . Backward Pants Boy and his sidekick Sticky Popcorn Face.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A few Easter pics

We had to take these in a hurry before church since David was leaving straight from church to go to the airport. Didn't manage to get any with good facial expressions on the kids, but they're cute enough.

Right after the egg hunt at my mom's house. The girls wanted to dress alike in denimn skirts/shorts and brightly colored shirts . . . with no two the same color. It was a very thought-out plan, and they hopped around in a row calling themselves the bunny hoppers.

A few of my favorite things

1. Sleeping on the couch with fluffy pillows and a down blanket. Unlike most people, I actually love sleeping on the couch. It has just the right amount of back support and head propping ability . . . and no kids can fit on it with me.

2. Anesthesia. It's a good thing. I wish I had gotten some to go.

3. Chocolate trinity ice cream. Seriously, if you have never tried this, run - don't walk - to your nearest Publix and grab a carton or twelve. It's Publix brand, and the heavenly allusion in the name is no exaggeration.

4. What Not to Wear. David and I have not had cable for the past five years. I've been fine with this as I seem to find enough crap to watch on the regular networks. Plus, it makes staying in a hotel extra special. (I'm pretty easy to please.) Much like living at my parents house for the past five weeks. However, I am now in love with cable, especially What Not to Wear. If anyone wanted to nominate me for this show, I would not hate you. I would love you. (I really don't think my wardrobe would qualify me as I think I dress fairly decently, but EVERYONE they makeover also seems to think this in the beginning, so maybe we're all just delusional. I'm okay with that.)

5. Photoshop. I don't have it here, and I miss it. I guess the cable makes up for it.

6. My mom. She makes a great hospital companion and knows which bumpy roads to skip on the way home.

7. David and the kids. I love them, and it just seemed wrong not to include them in my favorite things list. And, no, this list is not in any particular order. Really, I love chocolate trinity ice cream, but I wouldn't trade my child for it. At least not at the moment.

8. Sunshine.

9. Great friends who know just how to encourage me. Yella, I loved the "What shoes go with this stress?" card. I think I found just the pair . . . assuming they don't clash with my anxiety.

10. Jodi Picoult books. I just started on her newest novel yesterday, and I have barely put it down. Her stories are so gripping and controversial yet so well written that I cannot ever decide who is right and wrong.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dear Ethan

Tonight as I was putting you and Joshua to bed, I told Josh I would tuck him in first. You piped up from your bed and asked, "Why? Because you love him more?"

Truthfully, this didn't worry me a bit because I know you well, and I know that you know how much you are loved. You said it in jest, and when I called you on it, you admitted with a grin and a flash of your too-cute-for-your-own-good dimples that you were teasing.

But, still, just so you know . . . let me tell you how much I love you.

You were born a short 20 months after your big brother. Yours was the easiest delivery I had as you came into the world with your sunny disposition already firmly in place. You slept for hours at a time, didn't demand more attention than I could spare, and rewarded my hard work with endless dimple displays. (Though you did spit up every. single. thing you ate until you were a year old. That was not so much fun.)

When you were only 17 months old, your little sister was born. You were too young to comprehend how your wold had changed, and I was too preoccupied to notice. I got sick after Lauren was born, so Gaga and Aunt Nae had to help take care of you and Josh and Lauren. You seemed so big at the time, and the natural grouping of "the boys" and Lauren began.

You have always been mature for you age . . . which is no small thing to say to a four year-old. You adored your big brother and were happy to be paired with him. But, somewhere in there, I missed where you went from a baby to a kid. I guess that is what happens when one has babies close together, but it makes me sad to think about it. You have just always seemed so big.

When you were barely two, we took a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit some of mommy's friends. I left you with some babysitters, and when I got back, they told me that you had been a little stingy with your toys and had fussed some. When they found out you were only two, they took it all back. You talked so well and were so mature, they had assumed you were much older than you were. You've always seemed that way.

But, sometimes . . . I see your little face trying to hold back tears, and my heart hurts for you. Of course, I feel that way about your brother and sister, too, but it stabs my heart a little extra when it's you. You who always try to be so big. You who I've always expected more from than I probably should have. You who sometimes can't decide whether you're little or big. You don't like to act like a baby, but it's not always easy to be treated like a big kid is it?

You're a great kid, Ethan.

You are generous, never failing to offer Josh one of the dino eggs from your oatmeal if he didn't get as many as you.

You are smart. Last week you got 14 dino eggs, and Josh got only 8. Without missing a beat, you said, "Josh, I'll give you three of mine," knowing that would give you each the same amount. That's no sorry math for a kid who hasn't even started school yet. And I challenge anyone - adult or child - to beat you at a matching game . . . won't happen, will it, bud?

You are kind. Though you like to pick on your sister and annoy your brother as much as any kid does, you do not like it when someone else suffers. You are quick to give Lauren a hug when she gets hurt or to tell Josh you love him when he is sad. You have the most compassionate heart.

You are easy-going and accept what life hands you. When I tell you no, you don't argue and fuss. When you don't get your way, you get over it quickly and rarely pout or have a bad attitude.

I'm lucky to be your mom, and I think sometimes I need to remember to tell you that a little bit extra so that you never get lost in the middle of your brother and sister. You are a precious, wonderful, irreplaceable gift, and I love you.

Just as much as I love Josh. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things I Learned this Week

1. That if I try really hard, I can beat my four year-old at chess.
2. That when I'm jogging, my 7 year-old niece can skip along side me and keep the same pace.
3. That when you buy ground beef at Walmart, the burgers don't cook evenly.
4. That it's nice to have a partner in parenting . . . and in life.
5. That men don't get math. I thought since I didn't buy the $25 skirt I was going to buy and since David unexpectedly saved $15 on his new sneakers, that gave me $40 . . . which meant the purse I wanted would cost me only $20. David somehow failed to see the logic in this and didn't think finding another place to "save" $20 would give me the $60 I was seeking. It made perfect sense to me.
6. That I can do 25 "boy" push-ups.
7. That a sense of humor makes life much more tolerable. I pity the souls (and I know many) who have none.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I feel better already

Can I just say how thankful I am to Good Housekeeping magazine for its sage advice? I mean, seriously, here I've been feeling all stressed out and anxious about life, and apparently the people at Good Housekeeping have discovered the 52 secrets, yes secrets, to rid my life of stress.

In the off chance that some of you also experience stress, I felt obligated to share some of these groundbreaking, scientifically-proven tips with you. Because I'm great like that. And because they couldn't put it in a magazine if it wasn't scientifically proven right?

1. Take a Mental Vacation:
When you need to deflate stress, treat yourself to a vacation that’s all in your head: Close your eyes and imagine a relaxing place, such as a beach, a mountain view, or a cozy room. Notice everything you can about your spot. What can you see and smell? The more vivid a picture you paint in your mind, the more your body will respond to the invitation to relax.

Yeah, pretending I'm in Tahiti drinking something with a little umbrella in it when I'm really cleaning pee off the bathroom floor for the third time today is going to help me a lot. I may be able to pretend I'm seeing a sunset and sand, but all the imagination in the world is not going to make this pee smell like coconut. Maybe if I put on some sunscreen first. Then David will be all, "Why do you have to wear sunscreen to clean the bathroom?" and I'll be all, "Because I'm pretending I'm at the beach," and he'll be all, "Well, why don't you wear a bikini, too, then?" and I'll get all mad at his supposedly helpful, but really just self-serving, suggestion.

Actually, I'm starting to see how this could seem like one of our real vacations after all.

2. Bring Out Your Inner Radiance:

According to Ayurveda, the ancient tradition of medicine from India, a facial massage promotes health and brings out your inner radiance. Using your middle fingers, rub these points on your face in a clockwise direction for 20-30 seconds each: middle of the chin, corners of the mouth, middle of the area between your upper lip and nose, outer edges of both nostrils, center of the cheek bones, temples, and the space between the eyebrows.

Okay, aside from the obvious question (which, in case you were wondering, is "If India has such a firm monopoly on medicine, whey do all of their doctors work here?"), I have a few others:

What would happen if I rubbed in a counter-clockwise direction? Would it bring out my inner dullness?

Do I have to do this in private? Because, really, my stress happens more when I'm surrounded by people, and this could really freak people out. On the other hand, maybe if I did it while I was at a red light (which I find highly stressful) and acted like I didn't know other people were watching me, it would be kind of funny. I would have to find a really long red light, though, because by the time I rub all of those places for 30 seconds, that would take me like 4 minutes, and I don't think most traffic lights stay red that long. Maybe I could do it while I'm in line at Walmart. That's a stressful place.

3. Swallow Truth Serum:

Declare your independence from hiding your true feelings by choosing one day this week to pretend that you've swallowed truth serum. The goal isn't to drop bombshells ("I've always hated you in black"), but to be honest in loving way. For example, "I'd love to meet for dinner this weekend, but I am tired and need to rest. Let's pick another time." It's incredibly liberating and is a quick way to reduce your stress levels.

Now this one I could really do something with. Here's how I'm pretty sure it would go:

Josh: Mommy, can you play Monopoly, Jr with me?
Me: Yes, but I don't want to.
Josh: Why not?
Me: Because you stink at it, and you're a bad loser, and I don't want to listen to you whine.
Josh: [crying now]
Me: Stop crying, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.
David: What did you say?
Me: That he stinks at Monopoly
David: Why'd you say that?
Me: Because I'm pretending I drank truth serum.
David: Huh?
Me: You know you sound like a neanderthal when you say, "huh?"
David: What's the matter with you?
Me: Nothing. I think I need to go rub some sunscreen on and pretend I'm at the beach again.

4. Do Less:
World-class travelers offer great advice: once you've finished packing, remove three things. You likely won't miss them, your remaining clothes will be less wrinkled, and you'll have room for souvenirs. This week, look at your to-do list cross three things off. Whether you move them to next week or decide they're not necessary, this exercise helps you keep enough time to accommodate the unexpected or spend an afternoon doing whatever you darn well please.

Seriously, people get paid to write articles like this? First off, I'm taking life advice from people known as "world-class travelers?" Second, who packs and then removes three things? That makes no sense.

However, the idea of crossing things of my to-do list without actually doing them definitely appeals to me. If I had a to-do list, I would totally do this. In fact, right now I'm going to make one just so I can scratch things off:

1. Be nice
2. Cook dinner
3. Spend more time playing with kids

Wow, I feel better already.

Just so you know, these were only four of fifty-two such helpful secrets. If you read the whole article, your life will no doubt be dramatically tranformed. And, if it's not, just pretend it is, because this whole thing seems to be pretty much imaginary anyway.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I used to have a brain

I bought some new sunglasses in Walmart yesterday, and today when I made my usual next-day trip back to Walmart to return something, I decided to put them on.  On the way there it seemed like I couldn't see quite as well when I had them on, so I put them on my head.  I was talking to David on my cell and was distracted, so I didn't really give it a lot of thought.

When I was walking to the car later, I put them on again - same thing.  I thought, "Gosh, I must not be used to wearing sunglasses anymore."  I lifted them up a time or two trying to determine if things were clearer without them, and I ended up taking them off to drive home because things just seemed a little blury. As I was taking them off, I noticed a gold stripe on the side and thought I remembered buying plain ones.  I decided I'd take them back on my next trip because they were clearly defective.

Then I got home and set them with my purse, and my mom walked in the room and said, "What are you doing with my prescription sunglasses?"

Friday, April 3, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

Here are my 7 Quick Takes for this week. Actually, there are only six, but I didn't want to change the name.


I went to a movie this past week, and I started thinking about the days when David and I would go to movies when we were dating. Did you know your choice of movie seats is basically a relationship-o-meter?

There is a special seat in most movie theaters that is intended for use by a person who, um, needs a bigger seat than most. It's basically a seat and a half, usually found right behind the place where there is a seat left out for a wheelchair. This super-sized seat was mine and David's favorite when we were dating. We could sit in it together and watch the movie like the cute and cuddly little lovebirds we were.

Then we got married.

While that is still our favorite seat in theater, we don't share it anymore. We fight for it.


The movie I saw was Duplicity starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. It was not a mindless romantic comedy. If it is possible to have flashback-induced migraines, this movie gave me one. It was a good story, but really, was it necessary to have 128 flashbacks?


Good news and bad news on the Operation Get Becky Surgery front. Good news: Dr. Burdette has agreed to render his services free of charge. This seems very much like an answer to prayer . . . how often do surgeons operate for nothing? (His exact words were something like, "I've already extracted my pound of flesh from her." Yeah, in more ways than one, dude.)

I figure I provided an opportunity last year for him to perform a surgery that has never been performed in Columbus, Georgia. It was standing room only and is likely going to be written about in a medical journal, thus furthering the careers of my physicians. If that doesn't earn a person a free surgery, I don't know what does.

Bad news: the hospital does not feel such charity toward me. They called with their price quote yesterday, and let's just say it's a lot more than one pound of flesh. In fact, after I've paid this, I should have about one pound left.


Conversation with Lauren before gymnastics on Wednesday:

Me: Are you going to do the balance beam today?
Lauren: Si!

I think someone's been watching to much Dora.


I was reading my Bible in bed the other night (you know, since sleep is an elusive quest these days), and I came upon some verses that my mom shared with me when I was in law school.

"I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. And, I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the Lord God of Israel, who calls you by your name." Isaiah 45:2-3

These verses were meaningful to me at that point in my life as I was taking law school exams and needed God to give me the "hidden wealth of secret places" as I tried to divine what my professors were looking for in their exam questions.

(FYI, in law school, you take one exam per class. You spend an entire semester studying a subject, and at the end of the semester you take an exam, and that is your grade for the class. So, at the end of the first semester, I was in a panic getting ready to take a Contracts exam, having no clue whether I could succeed at this whole law school thing or not. That is when my mom shared this verse with me and told me she was praying that God would reveal the mysteries to me, so to speak.)

These have become sort of "life verses" for me.

They apply in parenthood as I encounter questions and challenges that seem as difficult as if they were doors of bronze or iron bars.

They apply in marriage as I follow my husband to a far-away land, knowing that God has gone before me.

Right now, they apply because I have been in a dark place lately. This passage reminds me not only that there ARE treasures of darkness, but that God will give them to me. Right now my spirit waits.


Isaiah 42:16 is similar: "And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know; in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains."

How much comfort I find in that right now.


Sorry, only time for six today.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lord, Help Me

So, technically, it's Joshua who's having a painful medical procedure done this afternoon, but seriously, it is I (and possibly the physician's assistant we're seeing) who will do the most suffering.

He has a couple of warts that need to be removed. I've never had this done, but from what I understand, the process of freezing them off is fairly painful. With any other child, this may be no big deal . . . but this is Joshua.

I have a feeling our doctor will never forget the Throat Swab Incident of 2008. It took over 20 minutes to swab the throat of a six year-old. This was not a shot. Not a blood-draw. It was a q-tip.

When he has to get a shot, the crying begins when we leave the house, and by the time we are called back and he gets the shot, he has reached full-blown hysteria. (Keep in mind, this is the same child who calmly told me that a wasp had stung him while he was sitting in a kiddie pool. Turns out THREE wasps had stung him, and he didn't even cry. The hysteria is apparently due entirely to the anticipation, not the pain threshold.)

So, as we head to the doctor's office this afternoon, I am inexpressibly thankful that when he asks me if it's going to hurt, I can honestly say, "I don't know what it feels like; I've never had it done." That should make the waiting room portion tolerable. It's that time of anticipation before warts number 2 and 3 that I'm concerned about.

At least it will probably pale in comparison to the Throat Swab Scream from Hell.