Good Nights sleep!

It is amazing what a good night's sleep will do for a person! I have been working out a lot this week (still trying to figure out if I can do that darn 3-day). Anyway, I have back problems anyway and it seems when I step up my exercise, my back starts hurting. I could be doing too much too soon. Who knows. I took some ibuprofen yesterday and that seemed to make a big difference. It doesn't hurt that Carter is better and sleeping through the night again.

It is a typical saturday here at our house. I finally mopped our kitchen floor and there is some laundry in the dryer. We are going out with some friends tonight so I am looking forward to that. Carter is staying home with a sitter woo hoo!!!!!!!!!1

Be looking for more parenting posts next week. I will try and do at least one each week that deals with parenting issues.

Hope you have a great weekend!

American Idol

I have never watched American Idol before this season. For one thing, my husband hates it. We have one TV upstairs, so I compromise. I have seen snippets before. Well, my mom was visiting at the start of the season where they have gotten past all the auditions and the actual 25 are on. Anyway, I have been trying to watch it as much as I can. Tuesday, dear hubby was out with his dad and I got to watch the show. I have several opinions about the singers on there. I don't understand why some performances are heralded and others are ripped to pieces.

This week, Chris Sligh got cut from the show. It was just last week that I found out he had been to Bob Jones University. If you don't know what Bob Jones is, go back to my post entitled, "Happy New Year" in January and follow the link that explains fundamentalism.

Anyway, my parents sent me to Bob Jones when I was a freshman in high school. We lived in Tennessee. Bob Jones is in South Carolina. I lived with a 20 year old and a 19 year old in the dorm. It was an okay experience but when my parents asked me if I wanted to go back for 10th grade I declined and they said okay. Part of the reason I was sent to Bob Jones is because I was basically failing 9th grade. This was after a summer of tutoring in Chattanooga, at Tennessee Temple University (which also happens to be a fundamentalist school). Anyhoo, there were a number of reasons I was struggling, lack of intelligence was not one of them, but to explain it would mean a whole other blog post. Maybe I will do one one time.

The point of me bringing this up is that I read today on MSN that Chris gave an interview to the Greenville News in SC. I read MSN and the whole newspaper article. Chris apparently was expelled from Bob Jones for going to a contemporary concert. A 4-Him concert at that. Ahh, but I remember the days, back in late 80's when one of my close friends (whose parents happened to be missionaries in Australia) had his Amy Grant tape destroyed once it was found in his possession. Ridiculous? Absolutely.

I have already written in past posts about my feelings regarding fundamentalism and my relationship with Christ. It is nothing but legalism and bondage. Again, you can check that out in my post "Happy New Year", which I wrote after my high school reunion. A reunion from a fundamentalist high school.

I was telling the gals in my mommy's group this week about my experience. A friend in there told me a little about her sister-in-laws bringing up. It was chillingly similar to mine!!! My girlfriends were amazed and I was empowered by talking about it. They were shocked at some of the things my friends went through. See, my parents were part of the church, and even though we followed "the rules", we were our own people and we had ideas and opinions about things. My dad was not a 'yes man' in the church, which is why he was never made a deacon. So, even though we had a screwed up upbringing, there were other's who were more enveloped in the movement than we were. We easily transitioned by the time I was 18 or 19. I left the church after a number of scandals, one against my best friend, were brought against good, honest people. Reputations were destroyed and lies were told. I saw a family crumble before me in the midst of untruthfulness and emotional slaughter. I was there when members of the church would call anonymously and whisper bible verses to my friends parents, telling them to 'repent'.

It was a horrible experience to go through and I was just an observer. One thing I held on to was the fact that the god that was being preached to us during this crisis was not the God of the universe. I knew, somehow, that my God, was a true God, and even though I didn't fully trust Him (due to the warped nature of my upbringing) I knew this was not Him

I left church all together for one year. I moved to a different city. I eventually found myself in a Southern Baptist church is Morristown, Tennessee. It was the beginning of my spiritual healing. Once I moved to Nashville, the Lord completely restored me emotionally.

That is why I am SO passionate about truth.

Chris Sligh, ROCK ON! As you say in your blog, you can have a relationship with Christ AND be a rock star! The two are not diametrically opposed!!

It's all catching up with me.

I am pooped! The past few days have caught up with me. Carter's escapades over the weekend, Greg being sick and not sleeping well, and therefore, I am not sleeping well. And of course, the topper of them all, getting awakened at 2:30 this morning by Carter, who most likely is teething. Well, I know he is teething, why he woke up screaming at 2:30 is unknown. All I know it left me feeling tired ALL DAY.

Therefore, this post is very short.

Greg is at a hockey game with his dad and I have thoroughly enjoyed my evening alone! :-)

Love ya, honey.

Our weekend

This weekend we went to Montgomery Bell state park in Burns, Tennessee. Let me tell you, there is no good coffee to be found in Burns. I know, I know, I am very spoiled with my Starbucks, but it really stinks when you don't have what you are used to. Especially, coffee!

However, before I get off on the bad coffee ( I did have a great cup at a coffee house in Dickson, just up the road from Burns...) I must tell you of Greg and Susan's great adventure with Carter!

We really had a low key time, for the most part. We got off just great. Greg was a huge help in getting everything ready to go and took Carter to an errand so that I could pack everything. We expected the trip to take about an hour and a half but we did it in just over an hour. Greg kept repeating all weekend that he couldn't believe Nashville was just an hour away, it felt like we were in a completely other state.

We had lunch at the park restaurant, and it was quite yummy. We then had to take a trip to Wal-mart because someone (Me!) forgot to pack Carter's swim diapers. A trip really isn't complete without a trip to Wal-mart, now is it? We came back to the park and checked in, set up the pack and play for Carter to sleep in and tried to figure out what we were going to do the rest of the day.

We decided to go to explore a little bit and asked for directions to get there from the Inn's registration desk. Well, we never quite got to our location. I really cannot even remember what was there in the first place, something historic. We made it to downtown Dickson and then got lost, turned around and decided the town looked quite quaint and decided to walk. They have some great shops and a wonderful coffee house where I excitedly ordered a large Starbucks wanna-be coffee. We found a BBQ place to eat. Carter was doing really well in the car thanks to the portable DVD player. We get back to the park and go for a swim. The pool was indoor but it is only heated by the sun (I guess that has something to do with being in a park). Anyway, Carter would have no part in getting dipped in the frigid water. So, we went outside to the hot tub, which we all enjoyed, but only for a few minutes.

So, we get back to the room and decide to get Carter ready for bed. Greg and I had already talked about sitting outside on the balcony and reading quietly. Kind of relaxing.

We gave Carter a bath, a snack and his bedtime medication. He has a cold and is teething. He is biting EVERYTHING, and we are his favorite snack of late.

So, the moment arrives that it is time for Carter to go to bed. It is actually past his bedtime. Carter has been excited about being in a different place and exploring the room, pulling the phone off the nightstand, dialing the front desk when we weren't looking, that kind of thing. Greg and I were watching a movie while Carter was exploring. It was hard to tell if Carter was sleepy since he was soooo excited about being in a new environment. We had set up his pack and play by the bed, next to the air conditioner and window, but the crib wasn't in front of the air or anything.

So, Greg and I turn off all the lights and hold Carter and tell him its time for bed. We give him his blankie and tell him "night, night, we love you", just like we do at home. We lay him in his crib and go lay on our bed like we are going to sleep. Carter protests, and protests greatly. We ignore him, being the crying-it-out parents that we are. Carter becomes HYSTERICAL. We turn the lights back on, I pick him up. He is obviously petrified.

It dawns on me that this is the first time we have been in hotel room with Carter since he was about 7 months old and completely oblivious to his surroundings. Greg and I, being the concerned parents we are, discuss the situation. We figure it is a new environment and Carter knows we are still in the room. So after we calm him and give him his blankie and do the night ritual thing again we go HIDE in the bathroom with all the lights off. Carter protests, again. He becomes hysterical, again. We stand there in the dark bathroom trying to figure out what to do. Do we let him cry it out, do we go pick him up. There doesn't seem to be a solution to this problem. We try to put him to bed with us thinking we can just sneak him into his bed once he is sound asleep. He will have nothing of it. He wants up.

So, again, we let him up and let him have the run of the room. So, I have the bright idea to give him some milk to calm him down. So, I give him his milk and rock him in the chair, we have dimmed the lights. Carter is noticeably calmer. We know he is sleepy, its 9:30 at night, over an hour past his bedtime. I completely replicate his night ritual at home after his milk. Carter is so calm when I put him down. I caress his face and tousle his hair, just like I do every night and repeat the all familiar words, "night, night, I love you". I leave the pack and play and not a peep out of Carter. I tell Greg to turn the TV off for fear of there being too much light in the room. I creep over to the bed. Greg and I collectively are holding our breath.

We did it.

We exhale just about the time we hear Carter peep. And then we see this head pop up. He is up and he is not happy. He is crying again. I go over to console him without picking him up. It seems to be working. He is lying there so tired. And it looks like it is going to work.

Nope. The screaming starts again. I start crying. I am at my wits end. Here we are trying to have a relaxing weekend, and this happens. I worry about the other people at the Inn. We finally decide we are going to have to take extreme measures.

We then did something that I thought we would never do as parents.

We got dressed, took Carter, strapped him into his car seat and proceeded to drive around Montgomery Bell Park at 10:15 at night to get our child to sleep. Let me give you the time line of how long it took Carter to fall asleep in the car...

10:15 -we start moving
10:16 - Carter asleep.

So that part was easy. The hard part was going to be getting him back to the room all the while staying asleep. We had already assessed this task as difficult, seeing as how we have to pass through two, very loud, automatic doors to get back in the Inn. Luckily we found another entrance that was open. Greg and I already had a game plan about who was going to bring him in and who would park the car. I felt very much part of a team going through this. I felt like we were in the throes of a football game and only had few seconds to come up with a new game plan. Who knew if it would work? We decided it would take the two of us navigating the doors to successfully bring him back in still sleeping soundly. It really was quite funny seeing two grown adults being totally controlled by their child. This little 32 inch bundle had us in the palm of his hand.

Well, I have to say that Carter was so tired that we got him back in the room without incident. And he stayed asleep in his crib. Greg and I got ready for bed. Any thoughts of doing anything we discussed earlier were out of the question. We were exhausted from this ordeal and just wanted to go to sleep. We had just gotten down for the night and Carter wakes up. AGAIN! Screaming. We lie there just for a minute but it is obvious he is not going back to sleep.
I have visions of us having to leave to Inn. I thought, if he doesn't go to sleep we might as well go home. I could see us up at 2:00 am checking out because Carter wouldn't go to sleep in a strange place.

Luckily, I was able to pick him up and console him. He fell fast asleep again within minutes and stayed asleep the rest of the night.

We had an okay nights sleep. The mattress wasn't that great. We were in a double bed because all the King rooms had been taken. Also, Greg has been sick the past couple of days with a cold and he got up a couple of times. I kept waking up every few minutes so I was very glad when Carter woke up at 7:30 in the morning and we could get up.

Greg and I have decided that the next overnight trip out of town Carter is staying with someone else. And we won't be staying with him in a hotel again for a very long time.

I do have to say that Carter was still so pooped from his escapades from the night before that he took an early nap in the car and Greg and I were able to get on the Natchez Trace parkway and enjoy an extra long drive home.

In peace and quiet!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know what is up with me today

Carter has been sick and VERY clingy this morning. Would not take a morning nap, even after medication. I hate that he feels bad, but at the same time, it is frustrating not being able to console your child or figure out what is wrong with him. Finally, he napped after lunch and is still napping!!!

I have been in a yucky mood for several days now. Don't know why? Hormones? Maybe. Don't we always blame it on the hormones?

Tomorrow is Greg's birthday and we are going to a state park and spending the night. Believe me, it is a nice state park and we are staying in an Inn. Didn't you read my last post? I don't do tents! :-) We are bringing Carter, so I hope he starts to feeling better. I have not started packing yet. It almost doesn't seem worth it to go somewhere for all the packing preparation you have to go through to take a one year old along! I do have to say it gets better with time. Before we would have had to pack two bags just for all his stuff and bottled water for formula, etc. Its nice that he eats just like us now!

I will get back to parenting stuff next week. Enjoy the break. I have ordered Erickson's book on development. I learned about him all through college and grad school. But who remembers all that stuff!

It's really funny because you go to school to learn and I am familiar with Erickson and his life cycle of development. It is pretty crucial and, I feel, very accurate. Most psychologists, LCSW's, LPC's refer to it when they are talking about being "stuck" somewhere in a person's development, or not having your needs met during a specific time in your development. What is funny is that now that I am out of school and wanting to do more parenting seminars, etc. I have to order his book and re-read it and learn about it all over again. It's like we cram all this information into our brain to make an "A" on a test and then don't think anymore about it. I also have a difficult time retaining knowledge. Unless I repeat every week, it tends to get lost in the brain somewhere and I am vaguely familiar with it. It's sad really. I really don't like smart people.

I am fascinated with how the brain works, how we develop, how much nurture there is and how much nature...the timeless debate. I need to ask my mom about my birth again. Apparently, I had a difficult birth. I was blue when I came out, not breathing. I had been stuck on my mom's pelvic bone. My mom mentioned recently about the doctor's telling her about my condition and telling her it probably wasn't going to be a good situation, but I need the whole story. I don't know if my birth has anything to do with my retaining problems and I don't guess I will ever know. But it is fascinating to me. My poor mom should have had a C-section for all three of her deliveries! Crazy.

I'll tell you more on that later.

Free Day!

Thank God for grandparents! That is all I have to say. It is spring break this week so no weekday school for Carter. Tuesday I had a mommy's lunch, which was a lot of fun. Today, Carter is at Grannie and Grandpa Mayo's house!! Woo Hoo!! I dropped him off and went to work out at the YMCA. I am very proud of myself, I did 25 minutes on the elliptical machine. Again, Woo Hoo!!!!! I warmed up, lifted weights and did the cardio. I have an appointment at 2:00 for a pedicure. I am soooooo excited. I am FREE...for today. :-)

My friend Lisa has this absurd idea to do the Atlanta 3-day walk for breast cancer awareness this October. It is a THREE day walk, 20 miles a day!!!!!!!!! That is a total of 60 miles in three days. Yeah, I know!!!! Here is the link to the website. They have them all around the country.

Anyway, I am working hard to get in shape and she was telling me all about this and I thought what a better way to get into shape than to have a goal in mind. This way, I would definitely make it to the gym. It is something to hold me accountable. I kind of got excited. I told my friend that even if I didn't do it, I would help her raise money so I am going to link her website. It probably doesn't take you long to think of someone who has suffered from breast cancer, and it may be someone very close to you. So even if you can't participate in something like this you can always find ways to give. Here is the link to Lisa's website. . I hope it works.

So the funny thing about this is that I was kind of getting excited about the possibility of doing this. Once I start something I usually don't quit, especially something like this. And Lisa told me if you can't walk the 20 miles per day, that's okay, it is just a goal. But see, I would have to do the 20 miles a day, I would want to know that I could do this. I have the time to train, they show you how to train, etc.

So I come home and look it up online. I am still excited. Then I read the part about sleeping in a tent for two nights. Apparently, it is all about "community" and sharing in this experience. Oh, and then I was reading about the safety tips, when to shower, eat after you walk, etc. Then it mentioned how your tent might be hot and if you don't hydrate and get nourishment you could pass out.

Let me pause her so that my friends that really know me can chuckle a little bit. You see, I am a bit of a...well, how can I put this and not make myself look like a Diva. Uhm, I really don't like the outdoors. I don't like to go camping. I don't like sleeping in a tent. I like electricity. I don't like to be overheated and I like amenities. Okay, get the picture??? Apparently, I don't like canoeing either (found that out when I was pregnant). Oh, and I really don't like to undress in front of other people. Or shower in front of other people. I don't care if you are a women and we have all the same parts, I don't care. I just am not comfortable walking around naked in front of other people.

So, I emailed my friend and I told her, if I am doing this, I am NOT staying in a tent! I hear a nice, PRIVATE, hotel room with a bath TUB calling my name. Hello! Who could walk another 20 miles without even soaking in a tub. I am sorry, but there is NO WAY! So then, my friend responds telling me that I am funny (yeah, I am really funny). She then mentions how it isn't how she would like to spend the weekend either but as long as there is a cot to sleep on and a toilet to use, even if it is a port-a-potty , she figures she will be so exhausted that she won't care.

My response.... PORT-A-POTTY????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????

Um, yeah. IF I do this (and it really is a big if) I will have my hiney in a hotel room.

I know it should all be about racing for the cure, and that is really what is important, but can't we have a few nice amenities, too?????

Your Family/Your Self

I know I kind of left a weird ending to the blog last night. You see, when I was in college, I had a psychology class, or a human services class, don't remember the exact name, but it was my first introduction into family systems. The professor at that time was a Marriage and Family Therapist, he was on staff at Carson-Newman College, my Alma mater. His name is William Blevins. The title of our textbook, which happened to be written by Dr. Blevins, was entitled, Your Family/Your Self. It was an amazing class. How you parent begins with how you were parented, your family. It is all inter-related. Tied together. Whether you believe it or not. There is much research behind it. But everyone has the power to change HOW their family affected them. That is the wonderful thing about learning about family systems and exploring your background. It helps you understand HOW you want to change things, if anything at all!

Your Family/Your Self was written in a way that you could use it as a textbook, you could read it and learn more about your family, and why you function the way that you function, or if you really wanted to take it to the next level, you could actually perform the exercises in the book and basically, it was like going through therapy. Every week, 2-3 times a week we met with Dr. Blevins in class. He explained everything and gave us "homework", which were the exercises from his book. Here is a link to the book on I just looked it up to see if it was on there.

This class was eye opening to me. I had no problem coming to this class and completing the work because I was, in essence, working on ME. For the first time, I was understanding why I felt the way I did about my family. Why we did things the way that we did. I was fascinated. Even if you have never taken a psychology class, this book is easy to read and understand and it will take you on a wonderful journey. I think I am going to order the updated version to see if there is any more recent stuff in there. This will be a great resource manual to me. I am sitting here looking at my copy from when I was in college. I have kept it after all these years, probably close to 8-9 years!!!

In 1998 I graduated with a B.A. in Applied Psychology and in Human Services, a double major. No, I wasn't really that smart. I was going to get a minor in App. Psych, but had so many classes in it already that my advisor told me I should just go ahead with a double major. After my B.A. I was accepted into the college of social work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Nashville location. Yes, that is how they put it. Basically, UT has had a social work program in Nashville since the late 1930's (I think). In 2000, I graduated with my Master's of Science in Social Work. My move to Nashville was the best thing I have ever done in my life. I would like to say that I was living very close to the Lord at that time and I felt the call from Him to move. I was still struggling spiritually at the time I moved to Nashville. And to be honest, I had to pick which program I wanted on the application, Knoxville, Nashville or Memphis. I can still remember the day I chose Nashville. I just wanted them to assign me somewhere but I couldn't do it that way. I thought to myself (after thinking it over for many days) Lord, if you want me in Nashville I guess I will get in. And I did. Even though I was not walking closely with God, God knew my heart and knew I was trying the best that I could at the time, God was still faithful. He knew my spiritual awakening and healing would occur here. He knew my future husband awaited me here. He knew the ministry that I am starting would be here, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Blevins class allowed me to see what social work was all about, even though he is a marriage and family therapist. Both sciences look at families as systems. And my degree at Carson-Newman prepared me well for my first year of graduate school.

From the time that I did my first internship at a day treatment center for adolescents in the 1990's to my last job as a child therapist working in a school in 2006, I have never stopped learning about who I am and how I relate to others around me. I still have a long way to go. I do have a lot more head knowledge about families, systems, parenting, structure. But now that I am a parent I want to make sure that I don't create the same mistakes my family did (we all make mistakes). Some mistakes are just more detrimental to those around us. I am happy I have the family that I have. It has shaped me to be who I am. I like who I am. I like who I am becoming. It is a journey that will never end until I take my last breath. I just want my son, Carter to have a different experience than I did.

And I guess the crux to all this is, I have the power as a parent to shape my son to be autonomous, healthy and whole, or I also have the power to be toxic, unhealthy, and inappropriate toward my son, which would not help him become autonomous and the best individual he could be. Being awake and conscious of the power you have as a parent is crucial in how you parent!

You are a system, not a vacuum. Remember that! And thanks, Dr. Blevins, for being a great teacher, where ever you are! I don't know if I ever thanked you for that introduction into myself! I really appreciate it.

Time for a change

Don't worry. I haven't given up on being a stay at home mom yet. That is not the change I am talking about. I need to change my focus on this blog. Greg and I had lunch with a friend last week, Henry. Henry has been on stage, well, practically his whole life. He and his wife Elizabeth have a handsome boy named Pierce. Pierce has spina bifida. Anyway, Henry has started speaking about his life with Elizabeth and the journey they are on with Pierce. If you want to read more about their lives and if you need an inspiring speaker, give Henry a call. Here is a link to his website.

Anway, at this lunch I was specifically talking with Henry because he has been on stage, he has been in the background promoting, marketing. He has A LOT of experience and I felt I could glean from his wisdom. I know he feels like he did a alot of talking but I was listening and I feel that God was speaking to me through him.

One of the things that I hear over and over is "you need to write". Which is part of the reason I have a blog. The only thing is, I seldom blog. I need to blog on an almost daily basis. Okay, I know, I need to be blogging DAILY! I need to write more about the parenting stuff I want to do. Share some of my experience. So that is what I intend to do.

Don't worry. There will be plenty about Carter and being at home with him. But I want to focus on more of what I feel God is sharing with me, how He is growing me, and how, hopefully, I am being obedient and He is being glorified. I also want to write more on parenting. How I got to where I am. How the way I was parented shaped the person I am today, the good and the bad. And hopefully show you how you can be a better parent!

So, if you see me seriously slacking on the blog, let me know. If you want to hear something specific about parenting issues, let me know. My next blog I will explain a little more about my professional background and why I am even talking about helping you become a better parent.

It all starts with your family and your self....

A stay at home, what?????

If I had written a post about two weeks ago, you would have been reading about my woes as a stay home mom. I was frustrated, tired, mopey, moody and wondering what I got myself into. Apparently, I will probably go through this about once a month. Its called PMS! Ha!

Now, all is right with the world again and I am extremely busy. Not just with being at home with Carter but my work at the church. Tuesdays, which is today, are exhausting for me. Getting up and out of the house is stressful. Making sure I have everything prepared for the Moms group that I lead at 9:30 along with getting Carter ready, fed, dressed, and food prepared for his day since he is in weekday school (AKA: mother's day out). Then after mommy's group I volunteer in the counseling ministry office for a couple of hours working on organizing some stuff in there. Right now I am working on a community resource guide for the director since we refer a lot of people out to other counselors in the community.

Wednesday nights are getting even busier. I was supposed to teach a class Wednesday nights but only one person came. But the good thing is, I am now starting to counsel more kids on Wednesday nights and that is filling that time up.

Another part of ministry that became very evident this past week was in conversations with dear friends. Praying for friends going through a rough spot, difficult pregnancies and hearing praises from other friends. I love being in the center of God's will. Right now I feel like I am doing what I have been called to do and I just want to stay right there. I know I won't be able to, that's all part of growth. And then there is the whole failing and being human part. I just pray that where ever the Lord is taking me on this journey that I surrender and stay faithful. I would hate to miss out on what God has in store for me and the ministry I am involved in.

As draining as being involved in ministry gets me, I wouldn't trade this spot where I am right now for anything else in the world. When I talk about being drained, I am more drained emotionally than physically. Since I am not a naturally extroverted person, leading people in a discussion for 2 hours kind of drains me. Praying over babies, marriages, and ministry is draining. Having all these ideas for ministry running around in my mind is draining! Wondering how it is all going to fall into place is draining.

But coming before the Lord with my requests and calling on him for my strength and sustenance where I can lay all my requests out to God is REFRESHMENT! It replenishes my soul. It allows me to keep going. It affirms my faith. It affirms my purpose, which is ultimately to worship the Lord! That keeps it all in line.

That and a good, long soak in the tub! That's where I am headed!

Yep, just when I thought I was going to start losing it, everything aligns back up and all is right with the world. Well, at least for the next couple of weeks! LOL!