Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday Moodiness

Today is June 30.

Thank you, I'm working on my obviousness skills.

8 years ago today, The Mighty Hunter's mother died of T-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. She was an incredible woman who fought with every ounce of strength and every resource she had to extend her life. (6 month prognosis, stretched to 2 years)

She never met any of her grandchildren - here on Earth, anyway.

The week before she died, I had my first ultrasound of Stinkerbell. We took the video straight to her hospital room where the nurses had arranged for her to have a vcr brought in to watch it. Her vision had deteriorated to the point the she couldn't see across the room and just smiled politely while the video played and The Mighty Hunter and I pointed out the heart and nose and eyes and feet and hands and belly. She never saw the images on the video.

We miss her terribly.

FIL has moved on with his life, he is engaged. He visits her grave each time he comes home to see us. He's too young to be alone. She wouldn't want that for him.

The Mighty Hunter's maternal grandfather (whose preferred name is "Slick". I would never make up something like that) may have had a heartattack Thursday. "May have" because he won't go to a doctor and the home health nurse said "heart attack" and "it won't be long now."

He is a miserable, mean, hate-filled, abusive SOB. Last summer, he told The Mighty Hunter he always knew he (TMH) was a "no good SOB" and he didn't ever want to see him again.

Again, I would never make this stuff up.

He is without Christ. He has never had use for Jesus or faith or church. He didn't come to his youngest son's 2nd wedding, nor mine, nor BIL's. He did come to BIL's ordination service, which very nearly made the devil weep.

Not to worry, ol' devil. It didn't take.

Nevertheless, I pray for his soul. I pray that he takes the gift that God offers and then gets a gut-full of regret for all the hate he has sown in his life, and then I pray he dies without the chance of apologizing for his life and its deeds.

No, it's not very Christ-like. But it's the only way I can summon the prayers for his salvation.

Today is my mother's 61st birthday. A wonderful, funny woman, she has taught me to love endlessly, laugh hard and really live.

She is the high-water mark of good motherhood in my life.

I struggle to find words to express my love and admiration for my mom.

Best friend.
Role model.

How're your moods today? What bees are up your bonnet?

Friday, June 27, 2008

a bonus - just for you, T

T, left me a great comment with lots of bloggy sistah love.

You made me cry and laugh.

Ahhh, the best, most natural combinations in life. Crying and laughing. Bread and butter. Pintos and cornbread. Coca-cola and peanuts. Bartles and James.

Thank you. You're so right. I appreciate your understanding and empathy and support and perspective.

Drop me an email sometime and let's get our kids together and play, while you and I marvel how two Sand Mountain Natives end up sharing our lives and misery and joys as mothers over something besides Mountain Dew or Dr Pepper, but instead, we BLOG!!! There's probably a prayer meeting happening somewhere over this new-fangled blogging craze, AND! there could be snakes and dancing involved too!

Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.

The "single mom" thing hit home, HARD. I'm totally there this week.

Matter of fact, I was there last night, while I mowed the yard and he played golf.

No, I'm not bitter.

you better watch out, you better not cry

While running an errand earlier this week, Stinkerbell informed me, as only a 7 y-o can, that I need to be paying attention to toy commercials.

I do?

Yes, Christmas is almost here and you need to be finding some things for Lucky.

I do?

Yes. (frustration starting to seep through her voice) He can't talk yet and can't tell you what he wants, you know, in words. So you need to watch tv with him so you can see what he likes.

Oh. I do.

Yes. And if you don't get busy at it, you'll be late for Christmas!!! (this time there was panic in her voice)

Well, do you know what month it is now?

Yes. (disgust at me asking her such a stupid question. after all, she is 7!) It's June.

Then I'm sure you know what month Christmas is in, right?)

December. (there was a silent "duh" lingering in the air)

So, tell me how many months there are between June and December, please.

(counted the months) 6.

So, I've got 6 months to get Lucky's Christmas presents figured out, right?

Yes, I guess so. But it won't hurt to get started now.

Yes, ma'am.

and all was right in the world again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's just words, after all

Jennifer's recent posts have really hit home for me. Much like her, I am the spouse that takes responsibility for the home and kids. I willingly and lovingly do these jobs. I do not claim to do either perfectly and am frank about my failures as a house-keeper.

I'd much rather blog than vacuum!

But I struggle with the same problems and conflicts that Jennifer and many other SAHMs do.

I am frazzled.

I rarely eat in peace and quiet.

I rarely poop or pee alone.

I am almost NEVER alone. I think the last time I was really alone for any period of time, besides my annual ob/gyn visit, was.........

About 7 1/2 years ago. (Yes, Stinkerbell is 7 1/2. You're so smart!)

Last week, much like Tate, The Mighty Hunter was very busy with work. I was also busy with family obligations, doctor appointments, etc. But my busy was with kids in tow. His busy was at work, on the road (ALONE), golfing (with business contacts), etc.

The Final Straw for me was Friday afternoon. Thursday was a very long day for him. He worked so late that he didn't get to see the kids before they went to bed. Stinkerbell cried before she went to sleep for missing him so much. The next morning, he had an early meeting and left before they awoke.

During that morning, I spoke to a friend (fellow member of our little country club) who was going to the pool with his kids and several other mutual friends with their kids and cooking hot dogs, and did we want to go also? "Sure, but The Mighty Hunter won't be there, he's going fishing with a friend over at the lake, overnight." So, I loaded the Pimped-Out Mamamobile with the swimming junk so that me and the kids could join the party at the pool.

I made the point to leave early enough to stop by the office so The Mighty Hunter could see us before we parted ways for the night. Had I not made that special effort (which wasn't a big deal to me), he would have not seen the kids for 65 hours.

The Final Straw = Mommy needs an ESCAPE

cue Beverly and the Girls Night Out

Last night, she reminded me of my Plan To Escape and asked if I wanted to do it at her house. I mentioned this in passing to The Mighty Hunter.

It's Girls Night at Bev's Saturday. How's that work for you?

(considering that Lucky had screamed for me for 30 minutes while I helped Stinkerbell shampoo her hair, I didn't have high expectations)

"You're kidding, right?"


cue screaming child again, to drive the point home.


And our vows? No "obey" crap for this Gal. Our ceremony was officiated by my Southern Baptist Preacher Dad and was very traditional. Yet, I wrote our ceremony by taking things that I liked from different ceremonies in my dad's Wedding Book. Coincidentally, I used the same vows that my parents, my brother and my-friend-Rachel all used in their weddings. And there was no "obey" in them. (Well, maybe in my mom's but that was 1965)

Here's the thing though. And it's a thing that I struggle with every. single. day. of my life.

My faith teaches to husbands first. It tells them to love their wives as themselves. And, considering how the men in my life love themselves, that's a lot to ask. The Bible teaches that wives submit to their husbands.

Submit, NOT obey.

I don't have a problem with this. In theory, anyway. Yet, I still struggle with it. I am entirely too independent for my own good and readily admit it. I love and respect The Mighty Hunter. I believe he loves me dearly. He has proven over and over his devotion and faithfulness to me, his wife. He tolerates and forgives mercifully. He teases and taunts lovingly. He provides and protects tirelessly. He's The Stuff. His faith and relationship with Jesus are unquestionable and unchanging.

Here's the problem for me (and I suspect many many others)...

For me to submit to my husband, I must trust him to put my interests and concerns first and care for me as my Heavenly Father would.

In my heart, I don't doubt this. I believe The Mighty Hunter can and does do this daily, to the best of his ability.

But the problem with submitting is in my own heart. Born in 1971, I was raised during the wonderful(?) time when girls were finally taught they were equal to their male counterparts. Much like other struggles against discrimination, some women wanted to take over the roles of those who "suppressed" them.

Lemmejusttellya, I don't want to be a man. I don't understand that desire in the least. But the struggle against discrimination for women planted seeds of distrust and malice against the other sex. And it's this distrust and malice that causes me to hesitate to submit.

So, I don't obey. I love and honor. Just like he does me.

And I try to submit.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This will be another crazy, busy week, filled with too many activities and responsibilities and errands and visitors and lacking enough sleep.

Insomnia is visiting again.

Monday - Left-over steak and chicken fajitas, homemade strawberry ice cream
**Dermatologist appointment for Stinkerbell who has a very ugly rash that appeared Thursday morning. Pediatrician said it was a heat rash, but it has not cleared up ANY and has actually SPREAD all over her body from her jaw to the soles of her feet. My pretty baby is "covered in polka dots."

Tuesday - fresh corn on the cob, fresh fried okra, fresh squash and zucchini and some kind of meat out of the fridge or a "Wal-Mart chicken" (rotisserie, $5 each)
**Mom has appointment with her neurosurgeon to get results of her myeologram and schedule her next surgeries. She also has an appointment with her internist for prescription refills, etc.

Wednesday - Probably having dinner out with FIL who arrived last night after dinner.
**I'm getting a haircut and touch-up on my color. Stinkerbell will also have her hair cut by someone more skilled than her mommy.

Thursday - grilled chicken of some sort, possibly pintos and corn bread with it.
**Final Library Summer Reading Program event and awards party. As of this post, Stinkerbell has read 67 books. We're heading to the library to get more at 10, when the doors open.

Friday - finish grilled chicken, macaroni and cheese, left-over pintos and corn bread
**nothing planned for this day. I suppose I'll catch up on the housework I will have procrastinated the whole week.

Saturday - possible birthday party for my parents (depends on my brother's family's travel plans) If no party, then we'll have hamburgers and hot dogs and chips and dip (cause that's what will be in the fridge!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Projects 2008

You might remember my obsessive habits and planning the I enjoy when there is a project (or three) looming ahead.

Well, here's what my summer has involved already and still has in store for me...

Last week, swimming lessons for Stinkerbell finished.

Last week was also Vacation Bible School.

Monday of this week, my mother had an appointment with her neurosurgeon. She needs two more surgeries: herniated disc(s) in her neck and vertebrae repair in her lumbar area. The neck problems is what led to the MRI from last year that discovered the spinal tumor. I managed to mow the yard after getting home from that trip.

Tuesday of this week, we returned to Birmingham for a myelogram.

Wednesday we rode the golf carts and hit some balls around. I am ashamed and scared to admit it, but I'm beginning to enjoy golf.

Yesterday was the 3rd weekly program for our local library summer reading program (not this library!) Stinkerbell has read (up to this minute) 54 books. Next week is the last program (an animal show) and awards party. I'm hoping she has read enough books to be competitive in her age group. (Yes, it's a little bit of a contest.) She is also going to and taking tests on lots of her books to earn prizes. Today, she earned a trip to the movies complete with a bucket of popcorn.

Today was a day that should have been productive, but it wasn't. I'm still in my pjs. So is she. Lucky is in his diaper. And I like it that way. We're going to the pool at our little country club to eat hot dogs with friends and relax this evening.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be a continuation of today's extravaganza of laziness.

My mom likes to plan a birthday party for my dad (in late August). Considering she is facing surgery in the very near future, I have planned a joint party for her (June 30) and dad. I'm hoping it will be next Saturday (the 28th). But it might be the 5th of July. So party planning is in the early stages.

School starts August 6. No joke. AUGUST. SIX. So I have 46 days with Stinkerbell. I hope to do as much as possible with her during these days, so my presence here may be limited to Wordless Wednesday updates on our summer activities. Please forgive me and don't forget me!

We may or may not go back to Dauphin Island. Gas is just so darn expensive.

I'm also working on my resume should the economy tank (even more) and we need additional income. So far, I haven't cried about this.

So far.

Happy First Day of Summer y'all!



Sent from my iPhone... Cuz I'm cool like that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (Father's Day 08)

Lucky hated the paint on his hands. The only handprints of his are the big smudges. In a moment of genius, I stripped his socks off and got a couple of footprints before he began fighting me again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - VBS edition

This week is Vacation Bible School (aka: Please Let Me Just Stay At Home One Ever-Lovin' Night and Keep These Kids Outta My Face!!!) (also aka: Thank You, Jesus, For These Blessed Children, Please Help Me Keep My Focus On YOU)

It's also the last 3 days of swimming lessons for Stinkerbell and her BFF.

And then, there's the library summer reading program event on Thursday from 10-11.

You have NO idea how eagerly I'm awaiting Friday. NO IDEA!!!

So, forgive me for not posting this yesterday, you know, on MONDAY!

But, if you've ever participated in VBS as a mom or a teacher or a helper or a chauffer, you should understand that there were certain Demands on my Time yesterday that had to be considered.

These Demands on my Time are also having an effect on our Menu Plan

Monday - Thursday

breakfasts - frozen biscuits, cereal, toast, and/or bananas
lunches - The Mighty Hunter: at work; us: frozen pizzas, hot dogs, sandwiches, easy mac
dinners - The Mighty Hunter: at the mercy of Carl and Beboo (thank you, Lord, for Carl and Beboo and their patience with The Mighty Hunter); us: same choices as lunch* Thursday is pizza party night at VBS

Friday - I may actually COOK a "Meal". I'm dreaming of Honey Garlic Chicken Nuggets (I add Worcestershire and crushed red pepper and use chicken breasts cut into nuggets instead of wings) and Corn on the Cob and Sundried Tomato Garlic Spread and Strawberry Cheesecake.

Saturday - crock pot ribs or chicken of some kind with baked potatoes

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Dauphin Island

the only family shot that half worked, seems to fit us just right

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunburn Showdown

So Casey will know that she is not alone in trying to understand and solve the mysterious mystery of how an adult - even a mom who is responsible for the lives and well-beings of small humans - can forget to apply sunblock on a particular area of her own body, I am posting a picture of my own sunburn.

Photo Credit - Stinkerbell

And to those of you who are wondering how you too can have such a beautifully freckled complexion, I'll share my secret...

Equal parts Genetics and Poor Judgment.

You're welcome.

Blawgher 08

Trista has taken the initiative to try and organize the gathering of bloggers that has been casually named Blawgher: Birmingham Bloggers + All You Can Eat Catfish Party.

Let me just say this: Trista, you're one brave chick to jump in the deep end this way.

So that the dozens of you who visited after she and BooMama linked to me will know me and my neuroses a little better, here is a brief introduction/warning...

When we celebrated Elvis's 73rd birthday, I turned 37. I married my college sweetheart, The Mighty Hunter, almost 16 years ago. We have a daughter, Stinkerbell, who turned 7 in January. Our son, Lucky, was born in January of 2007. This means that everyone, but The Mighty Hunter, has a birthday in January. This means, also, that The Mighty Hunter's January hunting (the "rut") is pretty screwed up for the next few years - at least until Stinkerbell or Lucky become as obsessed as he is.

My blogonym is Auburn Gal Always due to my loyalty to my alma mater, Auburn University. And in obedience to the oath we swore as true Southerners and, more specifically, Alabamians, we love our football. I will not state the obvious as which team we prefer. But, one day, I'll share with you how I rank college football teams.

I am a SAHM now. I left my job as business manager for my dad's company a few months before Lucky's birth. I now struggle to find time to cut my toenails between errands, changing diapers, softball games, swimming lessons, library summer reading programs, VBS, avoiding trying to clean the house and mowing the yard.
The Mighty Hunter owns a window and door sales company, for which I contribute my vast enough-to-be-dangerous computer skills.
If I were to have time to pursue a hobby - other than blogging - it would probably be (more) photography, learning to sew and napping.

I began blogging while trying to conceive Lucky. It was, originally, my attempt to record some of Stinkerbell's more memorable and hysterically funny things. You can read some of them here

I am terribly excited about the opportunity to get out of the house without the kids meet the other bloggers I've stalked read.

If you're also considering attending Blawgher 08, visit Trista and let her know by doing what I just did. Except I'm certain you'll do a better job and be much funnier and more interesting - and you probably won't feel compelled to use the strikeout code as much as I just did.
I'm sure there's something else that I could/should say.
Probably not, though.
I am supposed to leave a link to Trista's post about Blawgher 08. So, um, LINK