We Are Pacing Ourselves

Much like a large portion of the Southeast, we were blanketed with about 8 inches of snow late Sunday night and it doesn’t appear to be melting anytime soon.  In the countdown to the Severe Weather Event I became convinced of at least one thing:  If Luke were to ever lose his job as a preacher he could become a weather man with very little stress making the transition.  When we were watching the snow pour out of the sky I made the mistake of remarking that it seemed a switch had been flipped and we now have weather totally uncharacteristic of our region. He patiently explained to me the reason it now snows in Alabama is that we are in the path of a dipping jet stream. ( I have no idea what I just said. I hope I quoted him correctly.)  I had an epiphany in that moment:  We are officially old.  Want to know how I know this?  Because he was talking about weather anomalies and I was actually interested.  Fascinated, even.  Next we’ll start reading the Almanac for devotions.

I don’t know about you but I love a snow-in but that was back when they consisted of one inch accumulation and the kids went back to school the next day.  In that one day, we would pack all the fun of rolling up a few snowballs that would have as many leaves, sticks, and mud in them as snow, cooking a pot of warm soup to warm cold bellies, and any other games/special requests the kids had that our typical lack of time would deem impossible.  This snow-in isn’t looking like one of those. 

In fact, we were told this morning that school is out for tomorrow and I’m hearing rumors it may be the end of the week before they go back at all.  Much to Sydney’s disappointment, I decided early on I wasn’t going to wear myself out doing all the snow-day activities in 24 hours since it’s likely we can spread them out over five.  Today was cook chicken soup and roast pecans and watch Ramona and Beezus day.  Sydney wanted it to also be Mommy and Me build an igloo and then bake another cake in the Cake Boss decorating set she got for Christmas day.  She isn’t understanding the concept of pacing ourselves or that her mother hates being wet and cold.  So I’m back and forth between feeling like a terrible parent for not making her snow day wishes come true and standing my ground because OH MY HECK WE POTENTIALLY HAVE FOUR MORE DAYS OF THIS and have I mentioned I am old?

(The all-cap desperation in that last sentence may or may not be a sign of impending cabin fever.)

Are y’all pacing yourselves too?  Please tell me yes or else I’ll be guilted in to rolling out kiddie fondant to decorate a miniscule, microwaved cake.  Why do these new-fangled toys make it so messy and complicated to spend quality time with our kids?  Oh my stars.  I just had another epiphany.  I sound like Kate Gosselin on Sarah Palin’s Alaska whining about being cold and miserable and making her poor kids go home when they were having a blast with SARAH no less.  If that ain’t motivation to bake baby cakes and go outside and play igloo I don’t know what is.  

Stay Warm!  Stay Sane!

Apparently, It’s Not About Me

There’s a rumor going around that Sunday was Mother’s Day. Luke and the kids took me to lunch and the plans were to go to see Furry Vengeance because Mother’s Day was all about me and I’ve been dying to see a movie about small animals bent on avenging their forest homes. Such an original concept.

The only request I made for the day was that the children not fight. At all. All day. I didn’t whine ‘Yaaaa’ll.  Can you just be good for my sake for one day a year?’ when that didn’t work out so much.   Well,, maybe once.  Or seven times. Truthfully, by the time we had sat through church, eaten our delicious Zaxby’s, and went to the Tractor Supply to buy rabbit food (Socks is still alive!), their threshold of good behavior had been blown off the hinges as evidenced by the fight that knocked half a dozen dog shampoo bottles off a shelf.  That wasn’t embarrassing at all.  With 2 hours left until the movie began, we became concerned about remaining in public lest a security camera capture images of two certain pk’s getting their tails busted. So we took the show to the privacy of the parsonage, put the two certain pk’s on lock down and I slept for the better part of the afternoon. And before you start sending me letters about our parenting skillz or lack thereof, we took them for ice cream later that night so we could make sure they learned their lesson.

Because we are consistent like that.

I don’t know why I expected any special treatment because I was a lousy daughter to my own mother. I did try to call her (Hi, Mom!) but she wasn’t home. I talked to my step mom and I’m hoping Luke called his mother. So, yeah, I’ve got some making up to do. I’m thinking about taking them to see Furry Vengeance.  Or buying them a fern.  A total toss up.

Moving on to Monday, Luke and I went to do some hospital visiting and then looked at flooring for the house. We are only at the foundation stage (finished last week) but if you had any idea how difficult it is for me to make decisions you would understand why we are starting early. It’s much easier for me to decide what I don’t like than what I do. I’m like shopping with Goldilocks’ Three Bears. This floor is too red, this one is too dark, but I can’t settle on one that is just right. There are lots of woods I like, I just can’t commit to the marriage.  I’m leaning toward the hand-scraped look for no other reason than it already looks a little beat up so the family wear and tear will blend right in.

We also went to a cool place called JB Millworks. Awesomeness. They specialize in doors and staircases so believe it or not, because of their fantastic showroom I actually left there feeling like I’d narrowed down what I liked instead of being overwhelmed at options.  I just have to be careful not to look at the massive catalog they gave me or I’ll be back at square one.  Or stair one.  Or whatever.

Okay, it’s late.  A real blogger would be able to be able compose a tidy wrap up and put it to bed.  The only thing going to bed is me.  A quick note:  If you are following along with the Book Discussion, I’m going to finish up the last three weeks on Thursdays rather than Tuesdays.  It just works out better for me that way.

And a girl needs just one thing to be about her, right?

She’s an American Girl

I don’t know how you approach Christmas gift-giving with your children, but we typically get each of ours a Big Thing and then a few smaller ones.  We don’t go crazy but Luke and I love surprising our kids with the best we can manage because for the most part they are grateful.  Don’t get me wrong, they ask for some things that are extravagant (ponies, 4-wheelers, laptops, etc.) but they will also ask for things I consider everyday essentials.  For example, Boy Three has requested lead pencils this year.  Lead pencils.  As opposed to quill and ink?  I didn’t know there were any other kind.  And also, we must be experiencing some pencil shortage I don’t know about because last time I checked the desk drawer was overflowing.  I could simply cross that one off the list but because I think it’s so sweet, you can mark my words I’ll be shopping for the coolest lead pencils EVER.  Better than he could ask or imagine.  And all because I know he was content to ask for this small thing. 

{I’m feeling a sermon illustration all wrapped up in that somewhere but I’ll spare y’all my trying to dig it out right now.}

It was sad for me last year when I realized the boys were no longer asking for Nerf Guns or Rescue Heroes or John Deere tractors.  Now everything is an electronic gadget or a game to play on said gadget.  Or some type of knife or weapon – particularly air soft guns.  {Do any of your boys play air soft?  Do any of your boys spill the pellets onto the hardwood floors and do you lose your mind every time you hear one roll across the room?}   Since the boys have graduated toys, I’m treasuring these last couple of years The Girl is interested in them.

For the past 3 months, she has been asking for an American Girl that “looks just like me, momma!”  I have to tell you that I got The Twitch when I looked on the website and saw the cost.  However, it was the only thing on her list except for an Easy Bake Oven and Taylor Swift cd.  Don’t know how I feel about giving that to her.  Right now, I’m just grateful she is over Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus who needs to just quit waving the name of Jesus if she is going to pole dance and give props to Britney in that ridiculous Party in the USA song.  Just sayin’.  Let’s move quickly from that soap box.

So back to the American Girl doll.  My girl picked this one from the Just Like You collection because, well, it looked just like her.  I ordered her, twitched some more at checkout,  but was then oddly comforted by the fact the rest of her list could be bought with $50 or less.  I was excited I’d gotten that taken care of early (miracle) and then began studying up on all the expectations that come along with owning the doll.  Come to find out, I’ve done my daughter as well her new friend an injustice if I don’t drive them both to the Atlanta store for a luncheon and a trip to the hair salon.  It’s positively neurotic. 

I made our reservations  for the end of January.

All that said, The Girl and I were at Walmart a couple days after I placed the order and I decided to take her through the toy aisle just to see if there was anything else she might like since we’ve not toy shopped in a very long time.  That’s when we found Kaitlin – a lovely Best Friend Club doll posing as an American Girl.

Would you like to know what The Girl said when she saw her?  “I love her a whole lot more than the American Girl because she has a diary with a lock on it!” 

Let me walk you through what I was thinking in those split seconds:

1.  This doll is $29 instead of $95.   I could have gotten away with spending 1/3rd less cash and she would have been just as happy?

2.  In addition to spending a stinkin’ fortune on the doll, I’d already bought into the powerful delusion of The American Girl World.  A world where good mommies buy their daughter’s plastic friend a $15 salad and pay more for her pj’s than I spend on an entire outfit. 

3.  The power of this delusion also caused me to be sickly disappointed that my American Girl dreams were flying right out of the window because there was no way the AG people were going to serve this impostor nor fix her hair.  Alas, it appeared I would have to cancel that reservation.

So what to do?

I talked to Luke to get his advice because dudes always know how to handle doll emergencies.  And with a love that can only be described as scandalous towards his only daughter he said, “Let’s give her both.”  We reasoned that since the doll was already paid for, it would take weeks to get her returned and then see the money back on our debit card.   And besides that, The Girl changes her mind almost as much as she changes shoes and purses so there was still hope yet that she would turn her heart yet again to the doll who was Just Like Her. 

And I was right.  I told her I had called Santa to change her Christmas List from the AG to the BFC doll.  She said, “You don’t know Santa’s number.”  And I said, “Yeah-huh, I do.  They give it to moms at the hospital when they have their first baby.”  She said, “Seriously?”   I said, “Well, of course.  Everyone knows that.”   She said, “Well, will you call him again and tell him if I have to pick one that I want the American Girl because one day I want some pajamas to match her?”  And I said, “Yes.”   And just like that we were back on.

 So on Black Friday, I was delighted to find a Kaitlin doll to add to the baby girl’s collection.  I know it is positively western of us to do such a thing.  But the truth of it is, my girl is an American Girl who thanks God every night in her prayers for giving her ‘all of the things that lots of kids don’t have.’   The thing is, she doesn’t deserve either of them but in a show of grace is getting them both.

And I  like to think God is okay with that.  

However, it is still unclear what He’s going to think about that trip to the Hair Salon.

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