Hilarious, Awkward, Patriotism

Recently I watched this video and I'm not going to lie, I laughed until I cried.  Five times in a row.  Watch it now.  Trust me.

But as I was thinking (and still giggling) about poor, awkward Mr. Cymbals I started doing some thinking.  Thinking about the general lack of patriotism and respect we see around us.  Parents and kids laughing their way through the, often times painfully rendered,  National Anthem at Little League games.  Patrons at sporting events who can't be bothered to stop moving to their seat or remove their hats.  Pop stars and their butchering of the lyrics...Christina Aguilera, you know I love you but... really??  Then I started feeling a little differently about Mr. Cymbals.  Started to respect, even admire him a little.

I'll never forget in ninth grade social studies when my teacher, Mr. Beeby, decided a lesson in patriotism was in order.  He was the announcer for the high school basketball games and he noticed that a few students in our class had been less than respectful during the National Anthem.  He opened the dividing wall between two classrooms and blared Whitney Houston's version of "The National Anthem" until every one of the 60 students stood respectfully, hand over heart. 

It was my first real inclination that not everyone had the same level of patriotism I did.  Me, the military child.  I shivered on the pool deck during evening colors.  Twilight tattoos were considered a night of fun.  I knew that holding Daddy's hand wasn't allowed if he was in uniform.  Always stand on the left so his right hand side is free for salutes.  And never, ever, speak or move during the National Anthem.

So, while I'll continue to laugh at my friend Mr. Cymbals, I'll also give credit where it's due.  No matter how awkward, respect for the flag is worth noting.  And appreciating.


When it Snows, Ain't it Thrillin'

We finished this cute little guy just as the late morning snow was changing to rain.  A good snowy memory!


An Important Announcement!! (And some silliness)

First the announcement.  After two years, 10 months, and 4 days I am pleased to announce that I finally only have ONE child in diapers.  Hallelujah.

Now the silliness.

Wyatt's teacher is pregnant and while discussing her new baby the subject of baby names came up.  I asked Wyatt what he would name a boy baby if he ever had one and he said he didn't know.  I asked, "Would you name the baby Byron?  Like your name, and Daddy's name, and Grandpa's name, and Great-Grandpa's name?  All Byrons?"

He replied, "Yes.  I think I will have Byron #5."

Owen piped up, "I am going to have Beth #6!"


Hippity, Hoppity

The other day Wyatt came into the kitchen with no pants proudly declaring, "Mommy.  You will NEVER guess what I just found in my bottom."

He was right. 

I didn't guess that he had pink Easter egg grass stuck in his crack.  In November.

I also didn't guess that when I relayed the story to Byron his reaction would be, "Huh.  I thought I got it all out of there yesterday."


School Days

Fall 2011
Spring 2012
Wyatt has his school picture taken last week.  He insisted that he needed to wear a tie because it was "handsome day."  He then wore the tie the rest of the day.  Even while playing in a pile of leaves.  After I got this year's proof, I went back through to find his photos from last year.  He's growing up so quickly!  (Also, my love of the color green is evident in looking at these photos.)
Pre-Kindergarten, Fall 2012


A Farewell to Facebook

Let me start by saying I love Facebook.  Love it.  I love keeping up with friends and family far and near.  I love seeing sweet baby pictures.  I love hearing good news about upcoming weddings, happy new relationships, exciting job promotions.  But, it is time for Facebook and me to part ways... at least for a little while.

For starters, my self-worth has become too reliant on what I see on Facebook.  Comparing myself to other moms for one thing.  Comparing my kids to other kids.  Wondering why I'm not as crafty as so and so.  Why another child potty trained in a week while it took me a year.  Does it matter?  And why do I care so much how a distant "friend" who I likely wouldn't even go out of my way to say hello to should I see them in the grocery store is raising his or her children?  Teddy said it best (Insert Washington Nationals fan shout-out to Teddy and his end of season winning streak here) "Comparison is the thief of joy." 

Then there's the "like" factor.  Why did no one "like" that?  Wondering was it not clever enough, was I too proud of something inconsequential, did they not look as cute in that picture as I thought?  Enough!  It is crazy how important that little red box can become.

My worth as a mother is found in my children's eyes.  My worth as a wife in the eyes of my husband.  My worth as a human being found in those I come in face-to-face contact with.  Does it matter how witty I am in writing when I am too busy checking Facebook on my phone to have a real life interaction with the man bagging my groceries?  And my worth in all aspects of life, of who I inherently am and who I'm striving to be, should be found in God not a tiny little "thumbs up."

Then there's the relationship aspect.  I will say, Facebook is great for an introvert like me.  No need to make uncomfortable small talk with people as I already know all the basics (and oftentimes more) from what I read of life as told by Facebook.  But how many intentional relationships do I have?  How much planning and effort goes into friendships?  Honestly, not a lot.  I don't often ask people how they're doing because I feel like I "know" based on what I see.  But how many inner struggles do we have that don't go onto the Internet?  That we're waiting for someone to just take a minute and ask.  How deep can my friendships go when they're limited to the surface level of how we present ourselves online?  News flash:  My kids are not cute all the time.  Facebook is a highlight reel and if that's all we know of those around us it is a superficial relationship indeed.

Then there's the time factor.  I think for anyone who uses Facebook that one is pretty self-explanatory.

Let me just say, I'm not judging.  Facebook can be awesome.  This is just me.

You can keep up with us here.  My fabulous children will no doubt continue being fabulous with or without Facebook and I'll try to keep up with blogging all about them. 


Lost Time, Stolen Joy, Borrowed Trouble

Ray Montagne and I are kindred spirits.  You know, “Worry, worry, worry, worry, worry; Worry just will not seem to leave my mind alone.”

I found out I was pregnant again when Owen was 8 months old.  I worried.  What would happen?  How would I survive this curveball?  Would the boys resent me, the baby?  Worry.

At the 20 week ultrasound we found out we were having a girl.  I worried.  How will I survive puberty?  (I remember my thirteen-year-old self—I have plenty to dread.)  Worry.

Then, the ultrasound technician called for the radiologist.  Said some measurements weren’t quite right.  I worried.  What will he say when he comes in the room?  What is the matter with this girl who I now want more fiercely than I ever could have imagined?  Worry.

Our baby girl’s head measurements aren’t right.  Her brain might not be developing appropriately.  We’ll have a follow up.  I worried.  Will she be okay?  Will she live?  Will she be disabled?  Worry.

Many follow-ups, all the same.  Something is off with the head.  Not sure what it is.  Could be nothing, don’t worry.  I worried.  Worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry…

Final follow up.  36 weeks pregnant.  Little girl is too little.  Only 4 pounds, 2 ounces.  Ma’am have you heard of IUGR?  Are you delivering at INOVA Fairfax, they have a great NICU?  I worried.  Oh, how I worried.

Four days later I was in the hospital as Anna Kate was making her hasty arrival, 3 weeks early.  The heart rate monitor stopped beeping.   Did a more invasive monitor and discovered her heart was stopping with every contraction.  No time to worry.  Anna Kate arrived.  She didn’t cry and so I worried.

She was perfect.  All 6 pounds, 3 ounces of her was perfect.  Even her beautiful round head.  All that worry for nothing.

A week later a little scratch by her eye.  Contrary to my nature, I didn’t worry.

The scratch didn’t go away.  Someone in passing mentioned that their daughter had had a hemangioma “just like that” when she was a baby.  I googled hemangiomas.  I worried.

Referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist who decided to closely monitor her eye for several months.  The hemangioma could grow behind her eye and impair her vision.  I worried.  What if she’s blind?  What if she has to have surgery?  Worry.

A year later she’s discharged from ophthalmology with a clean bill of health and perfect eye sight.  All that worry for nothing.

The same day, qualification for early intervention services due to significant gross motor skill delays.  I worried.  What had I done wrong?  Is something physically wrong with her?  Why didn’t I catch this sooner?  Worry.

Two weeks later my amazing girl pulled out all the stops.  Showed off every trick she knew and then some.  She had progressed from the motor skills of a 9 month old to those of an 11 month old in two weeks.  All that worry for nothing.

Lost time, stolen joy, borrowed troubles.  A work in progress.  I’m learning.  Slowly.  Thankful that I’m being taught this tough lesson in the form of the sweetest baby girl.  And grateful, so grateful, that she is being proven time and again, despite my lack of faith, to be a miracle.  More than I ever hoped for and certainly a blessing more than I deserve.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?  -Matthew 6:30


I love clutter!

I'm having a strange day. I'm looking around at the chaos and mess of my house and feeling so incredibly blessed. I know, you're thinking I've gone off the deep end.

The bills piled up on the kitchen counters. The "necessities" of course: water, gas, electricity, mortgage. But other things too that we don't need but are blessed to have the resources to afford.

Toys are EVERYWHERE. It means my child is healthy and able to play. Can a mother ask for much more than that for her child?

Byron's dirty socks are right next to the laundry basket. A sign that someone lives in this house with me and I'm not doing this whole parenting thing alone.

The dishwasher is running but there are still dishes piled high in the sink. First, we have a dishwasher can I get an AMEN! Second, we have the resources to feed ourselves and use those dishes.

And, as ever, the dirty clothes overfloweth.


Officially Potty Training

Wyatt will be two in a week and we've begun potty training this morning. He has been awake for about an hour and we've already had our first accident! Woo Hoo! In all honesty I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I have a Costco size bag of M & Ms and stickers as incentives but other than that I'm pretty much in the dark about how to train a boy. I've never been one to read parenting books (for many reasons) but I'm now wishing I had at least looked at a potty book. Oh well, live and learn.


Don't you hate it when...

...you go to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and realize that you got distracted somewhere along the way and forgot to close the lid on the washer? As if laundry is not tedious enough it just prolongs the entire arduous process. Not many things frustrate me more than seeing those soggy clothes sitting in 2 feet of soapy water just as dirty as they were an hour earlier. It happens almost daily. Gingko Biloba perhaps?