The main source of my chaos...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby G!!!

My baby girl is 4 years old today. I cannot believe it. I think it’s harder with these last two kids because I realize how fast time flies.

I have to say that Gigi is our most mischievous child. I’m saying mischievous because I heard over the weekend that you should never say that a child is mean or else they’ll spend their whole life trying to live up to that label. I’m not sure what kind of spell she cast on the family, but she can get away with murder. She does things that none of my other children would even THINK of, much less get away with. She’s just so stinkin’ cute and funny that I can’t stay mad at her. I have a feeling I’m going to be an enabler.

Also more than any of the others, she has her daddy WRAPPED. It could be because she insists on climbing in his lap every night before bed to watch her “favorite tartoon”. Or maybe because when he walks in the door, she starts reporting who all was “mean” to her that day so he can spank them. Or maybe because when we go to the doctor and she has to get a shot, she cries “I’m telling my daddy on youuuuuuu!”

Everybody loves Baby G . I don’t know what I did before I got her, but I know it was a LOT less than I do now.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Memories of Ma...

My grandmother (Ma) would have celebrated her 92nd birthday this month, and I’ve been thinking all month about doing a blog about her. There are a million memories, but I’ve just had a hard time putting my thoughts together. This probably won’t be a very polished or funny blog. It’s more like a scrapbook of my memories of Ma.

Ma lived next door to us, so we spent a lot of time there. A LOT of time. So much that I’m surprised she didn’t move away. The weird thing is that she never seemed to get tired of us. She had 13 grandchildren, and 6 of us lived next door. Me, Lisa, and Marla lived one side and Brian, Cara, and Kurt lived on the other.

When we’d all be there, which was pretty much daily, she acted like she didn’t have anything else to do except wait on us hand and foot. Now that I’m a mom, I know that she was bound to have chores and things, but we never knew it. She busied herself with cooking for us mostly. If one of us wanted macaroni and cheese, another one of us wanted biscuits, another one of us wanted scrambled eggs, and another one wanted a bowl of ice cream… well, guess what? We all got exactly what we wanted. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing because we were pretty much all brats who took her for granted, but she never complained.

For as long as I can remember, Ma cooked breakfast for the entire family every Saturday and Sunday morning. She would cook for whoever showed up. Sometimes it would be 3 people, and sometimes a dozen. She always had it ready at exactly 7:30 a.m. And even though she ALWAYS cooked on Saturday and Sunday at the same exact time, she also ALWAYS called at 7:20 to let us know it would be ready in 10 minutes. She also cooked Sunday dinner every single Sunday of my life until her health got bad. Looking back, I now realize that she entertained 10-25 people every Sunday but she made it seem like normal life. I don’t know about you, but I’m not fond of the idea of having 25 people at my house when I turn in the driveway from church! When I was a kid, she cooked awesome fried chicken and fried potatoes and salmon patties… Then in 1992, my uncle Jerry had a heart attack and really screwed it up for all of us. Ma got all worried about cholesterol and triglycerides, so she completely changed her way of cooking. From then on, we had BAKED chicken instead of fried. Thanks a lot, Jerry!

All the cousins used to spend the night together occasionally. She had a bedroom with a full-size bed, a twin, and a rollaway bed, so we’d all pile in and she would tell us bedtime stories until we fell asleep. Sometimes she would fall asleep in the middle of the story and start snoring, which sent us all in a fit of laughter. Or sometimes we would almost be asleep and Brian would call Lisa an ugly name and she would cry and get everybody woke up again.

I have another cousin, Craig, who grew into a perfectly functional adult, but he was scared of EVERYTHING when he was little. He wouldn’t sleep in the bedroom because there was a picture of some deer (or maybe buffalo?) and he thought their eyes were looking at him. Ma would have to tape a piece of paper over the picture before he’d go to sleep. He was scared of an old black and white family picture Ma had on the wall (maybe it was her parents or grandparents?) because he thought they were mean-looking. Apparently people didn’t smile in pictures back in the late 1800s… He wouldn’t sit in the den after dark because the metal on the window in the door looked like “an evil clown face” so Ma would have to tape something over that too. Geez. But I don’t remember her complaining or even seeming annoyed at all. Amazing.

Most of the cousins only spent the night occasionally, but me and Lisa stayed every weekend when we were young. One of us would stay on Friday and the other on Saturday. I don’t know how the tradition started, but it was just something that happened. If I stayed with Ma on Friday, we watched “Dukes of Hazard”, “Dallas”, and “Falcon Crest”. If I stayed on Saturday, we watched “Hee Haw”, “Love Boat”, and “Fantasy Island”. She LOVED Dallas, and nearly went nuts wondering who shot J.R.? She thought it was Kristen Shepherd the whole time and she was RIGHT!!

Sometimes I fill the sink with Pine-Sol because it smells like Ma’s house. I may not even be cleaning, the smell just comforts me.

Ma was widowed when she was in her 40s. To my knowledge, she never even went on a date after my granddaddy died. She thought those women who had to have a man were silly. He died before I was born, so I don’t know what kind of relationship they had. I’ve often wondered if she never had interest in another man because she knew she would never find that kind of love again, or if she figured marriage was more trouble than it was worth. Haha. That’s one of the things I wish I had asked her.

Ma was a big believer in things that “they say”… If you’re from the South, then you know what I’m talking about…

They say… you shouldn’t tickle small children because it will make them stutter.

They say… you shouldn’t eat fish and dairy products together because it will kink your intestines and you could die.

They say… you shouldn’t cut a baby’s hair because his first birthday or he won’t live a long life.

I’m so fortunate that I had Ma in my life. She was such a constant. My kids got to know her and spend time with her too. By the time Karlie was born, Ma was getting older and had pretty much stopped doing anything around the farm. She enjoyed keeping Karlie for me and they really bonded.

I could go on and on. The more I type, the more I remember. I’m ashamed that I didn’t spend more time with Ma as I got older and got busy. Before she died, she went to live at an assisted-living home. I didn’t visit as often as I should have, but I went to see her on a particular Saturday. Nobody else was there and I was in a big hurry, but I just felt compelled to go by. We visited for a few minutes and when I got ready to leave, she said “oh, don’t rush off.” She repeated that a few times, which was odd for her. She seemed like she didn’t want me to leave, but I had somewhere else to be so I had to. It really bothered me, so I went back the next day after church. She had a room full of company… practically the whole family spontaneously showed up at the same time, and Ma just seemed so content. She didn’t say much, she just sat back and watched everybody. It was a good visit, and I left feeling so much more peaceful than I had the day before. Two days later, I got the call that she was unresponsive and she died a little while later. I will be forever grateful that I got that last chance to see her. If I had left it the way it was when she was asking me not to leave, I don’t think I could have forgiven myself.

So, there. That’s my tribute to Ma. If you knew her, then you totally get how special she was to us. If you didn’t know her, I hope you can feel through my discombobulated words what an awesome grandma she was. Now, I think I’ll go fill my sink with Pine-Sol.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Daylight Savings Time stinks

I can’t believe it’s almost Daylight Savings Time again. Ugh. It’s still a few weeks away and I’m already feeling the dread. When it gets dark, my body thinks it’s time to go to sleep. Always has, always will. I was that girl who had her bra froze at every slumber party because I was the first one to fall asleep.

There are a few things that make me very irritable. One is being sleepy. And another is being cold. Daylight Savings Time is my mental cue that I’m about to be both, and that annoys me to no end.

Another thing that annoys me is people who “love” DST and the winter months. Fine, people. Love it if you want but don’t try to shove it down my throat. It’s not normal. Brother Jack is the worst. He starts talking and blogging about it weeks before it actually happens and gets absolutely giddy the weekend of Daylight Savings Time. I probably won’t read his blog between now and Thanksgiving because of it. I might even change churches.

Just kidding. I won’t change churches, but I will be annoyed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just call me Switzerland...

There’s some cute kid contest going on that MANY, MANY of my FB friends are participating in. You’re supposed to go to the picture of the child and click “like”. Apparently the child with the most “likes” wins? When I got the first request, I thought “awww…cute” and intended to go like the picture. Then I started seeing more and more and more posts from parents and grandparents asking you to like their child’s picture. They’re ALL adorable and I wish they all could win, but I’ve decided to straddle the fence and not vote for anybody. I considered voting for EVERYBODY, but what if I missed one on accident? These kids come from all walks of life. If I ticked off their parents, it could seriously jeopardize my community standing. There are teachers, nurses, church friends, relatives, lawnmower customers… too much risk involved. I just can’t take the pressure. One child is even related to the District Attorney. Don’t want them on my bad side for sure! So, if you’re reading this, and your child is in the contest, please know that I think he/she is stinkin’ adorable! As a matter of fact, I secretly think your kid is THE cutest one, but I just have to stay neutral. I hope you understand.

Changing the subject… We’re not really doing regular foster care right now, but we are doing respite and emergency placement. Haley is a senior this year, and Yuri goes to kindergarten next year, so I’m hoping we can get back into it more. For now, we just do short-term placements and it’s working well for our family. I got a call from DHR Friday evening asking me to take a 2-week-old baby girl. She weighs 5 pounds and is the sweetest little redhead you ever saw. I got her Friday and kept her until today, but she’s gone now to her new foster home.

My Sunday school class is doing a Bible study called “Frazzled Female”. And people, believe me when I say that I’m frazzled most of the time. I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of frazzlement actually. For reasons that defy logic, having that newborn baby in the house DE-FRAZZLED me. For 3 of the 4 nights we had her, I “slept” on the couch with her. And by sleep I mean that I sat up and held her. There’s nothing in the world sweeter and more peaceful than rocking a tiny baby.

Y’all have a good day – see ya next time!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Sorry I’ve been MIA. I’ve been sick this week and just couldn’t put together enough coherent thoughts to write a blog.

Being sick got me thinking about something. Due to all the advances in the scientific and medical world, we are now able to recycle large parts of our body. We can donate our organs, our tissue, and our skin when we die. We can even donate useful things while we’re still alive – blood, platelets, eggs, sperm, hair – just to name a few. It looks like somebody somewhere could figure out something useful to do with snot. If that were the case, I could have donated so much this week that I would no doubt be up for some kind of Humanitarian Award.

P.S. I usually Google whatever topic I’m blogging about to find a good picture to post. I just couldn’t bring myself to post a picture of snot. You wouldn’t believe…ugh…just trust me... and you're welcome.