We're sick

Well, I am sick and Carter is sick. So far, Greg is fine.

Carter has an ear infection. I have what I think is an allergy season attack. I cleaned Saturday (yes, I do clean) and I must have vaccuumed an inch of dust from our curtains in the bedroom, our lamp shade and the ceiling fan! I recently saw a TV show, or read an article somewhere about how dust mites accumulate in, surprise!, DUST. If there is no dust, there will be less dustmites. Eeeuw! We have had those curtains up for two years and I have never thought to vaccuum them until I saw this show. Who knew???

Have you looked at your ceiling fan lately? Every season, dust accumulates on our blades. When it got really warm a few weeks ago I wouldn't let Greg turn the fan on cause I didn't want dust floating around the room all night. So, I had to clean it. Summer is coming.

So, after that cleaning I started getting sick. See, I don't know if that means I should just NEVER clean because I will get sick, or if I should clean on a regular basis so that dust piles do not accumulate. Hmmmm. I will have to think about that one.

Carter got his 15 month shots on Thursday and immediately came down with the sniffles. By the next day he had a full blown cold. By Tuesday morning he had a fever so off to the doctor we went. Apparently, just in time. He had a full blown infection in his right ear. Ugh. So we are on the pink stuff, AKA: amoxocillan, for 10 days. One good thing, well a couple of good things, actually, is that he hasn't been sick since December and second, he doesn't fight taking his medicine anymore. It used to be a nightmare to get the "pink stuff" down him. We would hide it in his applesauce. Now he just stands there and I squirt it in. It's like no big deal.

Other than that, not much else going on here. I am preparing for a new Bible Study class that I will be teaching on Sunday mornings starting May 13th. It is a parenting class at church. I am really excited about it. Its kind of scary, too, because it is a huge commitment. But, Greg and I are ALWAYS there on Sundays anyway. It is just a matter of getting out of our comfort zone.

Don't leave the Starbucks laying around

Yes, that is the rest of my no-fat, no-whip, iced mocha from Starbucks. I inadvertently left it on the kitchen table while I got busy doing other things. I kept hearing Carter playing with something and eventually, when the thought occurred to me that I better check it out, I walked over and found him on the floor with the last remains of my iced mocha. I quickly grabbed the camera and took a shot. I think it is priceless!!!!!

Spring Time

I am sleeping better this week...the birds have been quiet! I think the cold snap over the weekend flew them further south! Hallelujah!!!!!

It is a GORGEOUS day! After my duties at church the morning and afternoon I snuck outside with a Starbucks coffee and just soaked up the son! It was really nice, especially after Sunday! It was freezing here. Crazy! It was such a sweatpants-curl-up-on-the-couch-day.

Today, though, it is sunny and 74 degrees. It was wonderful having some 'me" time to just sit and think about whatever I wanted to think about. Too often I use my 'me" time to run errands, do things for other people, or keep on working at the church. I need me time, time alone. Time to reflect and recharge! Especially since I am doing so many "people" things these days.

People drain me. I am naturally an introvert. So, when I do a lot of things with people, interacting with people, or talking with a lot of people, I want to veg out somewhere all alone. It is like my personal re-charge time. Extroverts, on the other hand, thrive on being around people. The more people the more energized they are. I am completely opposite.

When I don't get to have time alone, I am not a happy person. I get grouchy and moody. I have learned to recognize when I need to be alone or do something for myself. I think it is important for each of us to recognize our need for time alone and seclusion.

So, today, sitting in the sun, I just sat there, drinking my coffee and looking at the beautiful creation around me. I thought about a lot of stuff but none of it really mattered. I think all the time. Sometimes it matters and has a purpose, othertimes it does not. Today, I purposefully sat there trying to think of nothing but I think that is impossible for me.

I took my time alone at Opry Mills mall in the Opry Plaza near the Grand Ole Opry. I actually started to crack up at all the people that came over to take a picture of the Grand Ole Opry. It was really distracting to my seclusion time. Apparently, the bench that I was sitting on was just the right spot for a great picture of the Opry. I tend to forget that I live in a tourist town. I really don't understand why people would want a picture of the Opry, but to each his own. So I got distracted by all the people coming by and snapping pictures of the Opry.

And then I just got HOT, because it is really warm here today. But as I stated before, I would much rather have today than the weather we had on Sunday.

BRRRRR. I told someone Sunday that after the cold snap, it would then just proceed to get HOT and we would be burning up until October!!!

Unfortunately, I am probably right!

Very busy!

I haven't been a very good blogger this week. A lot of stuff going on. I don't guess that is any excuse but, it is true.

Carter is starting to communicate more and more. He will repeat words after we say them and it is so wonderful to actually hear words come out of his mouth! He repeated "I love you" to us the other night! Of course, it didn't sound exactly like that, but we know that is what it was. Then he repeated "I" right on. This stage is amazing.

I know he gets frustrated that he can't tell us what he wants all the time, I know I get frustrated not knowing what he wants. When Carter is through with anything that he is eating for dinner in his high chair he throws on the floor. We try to get it through his head that we do not want him to do this but nothing really works. So we are working on teaching him "all done!". I raise both my arms in the air with my hands out stretched and go, " all done!". It is so hilarious because he will raise his left arm straight up in the air mimicking what I have done. He has no clue why he is doing it but I guess it looks fun to him. I said it the other night in the living room while I was feeding him his bedtime snack and I thought he was through so I said, "all done?" and Carter throws his arm up in the air!!!!! And starts walking all around the living room with his arm in the air!!! LOL!!! Greg and I cracked up!

I am still amazed at this little life that I am in charge of taking care of and that he came from me and Greg. Believe me, I am extremely thankful for the blessing of even being able to have a child because so many couples struggle with infertility.

However, it does not make me any less thankful that Carter's bedtime is at 8:00 and he goes to sleep for the night!!!!!

WE LOVE bedtime here at our house!!!!! Whew!

Spring Cleaner and the Birds

No, I didn't mean to say that spring cleaning is for the birds, the title is correct. However, every Spring, I have to deal with chirpy birds outside my bedroom window. They start waking me up about 5:00 EVERY morning. This is not a good thing! It is time to start pulling out the ol' earplugs so I can get a decent night's sleep!

Greg and I were married in the springtime, May, to be exact. Apparently, I must have still been in wedded bliss the first year we were married because the birds caught me by surprise the following year. It was also way too bright in our room first thing in the morning. I took care of that about 2 years ago and bought some really dark curtains! They are wonderful. However, I am thinking of updating the look. Which leads me to spring cleaning.

I have organized my desk this morning and organized the mess that was on top of my desk into nice little hanging folders. I have shredded, thrown out, filed, labeled and just about cleaned out everything. It feels good to clean and organize. I also dusted today, very much long overdue. I intended to clean our bathroom but it didn't happen. I did walk 2.5 miles which cleaned out my brain!! Very much long overdue also!!!

I wish I felt like doing it all the time. Actually, I need to get rid of the "feel like" and just "do". The definition of discipline is doing what we need to do even when we don't feel like it. If I applied that to my life more often, I would get a lot more accomplished!

Happy Spring!

Good Friday

Last night we went to the Easter production at my church, Two Rivers Baptist Church (tworivers.org). It was an amazing production, unlike anything that I had seen before!!! TRBC is known for their Passion Play. For years, we would give away tickets and have at least 5 performances in one weekend. There are live animals, a creative screenplay that ties the scriptures into some really believable fiction, which all turns the focus to the true Christ. It really is an amazing thing to see and an incredible experience in which to be a part.

The past few years we have not had that Passion Play, music ministers change and new ones come in. You know how it goes. Our staff does follow closely to the call of the Lord and the times that we have not had any Passion Play at all has been because we felt the Lord leading in another direction.

This year, we had an Easter Production called, "Saviour", the Story of God's Passion for His People. Along with the choir and orchestra, we had two special guests, Travis Cottrell (he leads worship in the Beth Moore conferences and used to lead music at our church years ago) http://www.lproof.org/. The other special guest was Ballet Magnificat (balletmagnificat.com). It was an amazing combination of great music and lyrics along with the ballet company telling the story of Christ's passion for us.

I have to tell you in the beginning, I was a little hesitant. If you have ever been to a ballet production, say, the Nutcracker or Swan Lake, this would have reminded you a little bit of that. Not something you see every day in a church. We have dancers at our church too during the Passion Play, but these were actual ballet artists and I was awestruck at seeing the passion that they have and how their moves really told the story of Christ's sacrificial coming and the cleansing of His followers. He made the way. I cannot describe this event in a way that really gives it justice. I lost myself in it after about the second song. I basically just sat there and saw the symbolism of the dancers and listened to the words of the songs. The pivotal moment was when Christ has died on the cross and risen, and the dancers, who were in black, crossed over a red veil, and then stepped over in red, dropping their black outer garments. Is that not a perfect description of what we go through when we accept Christ as our saviour? All the blackness is gone. We are red, covered under the blood. The blood that was shed, just for me and just for you.

One of my good friends was in the production. I told her afterwards that as a Christian, and a person that has been a Christian for a very long time and has grown up hearing the Easter story every year, it is sad that it becomes familiar and lackluster. Can I even write those words? I cannot sit hear today after seeing that production, say that the Easter story is "lackluster". But being in the familiar for so long it seems to have lost it's supernatural touch.

Heaven forbid.

It was wonderful seeing something like I had never seen before. I know there are probably people that were there that did not look past the men in tights and dresses or the women in their heavy make-up. I say, too bad for them. It was a wonderful blessing and I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to see it. I am even more thankful that He sent His son.

Parenting Class

I am very excited that the parenting class that I attempted in February is starting back up tonight and there will be 5 of us there. I was just looking back over the material and I am excited that it will be a small group and that I get the opportunity to present that material. It really is good material. It is from Family Life Today and it is part of the HomeBuilders series on parenting. Good Christian stuff. I am looking forward to learning and hearing from other parents and parents-to-be.

Emotional Investment in our Children

Anyone can be a parent. Some of us are more prepared for it than others, but unfortunately in some cases, most are not prepared for the responsibilities of being emotionally vested in our children. They don't have to take a class, there are no requirements except those which you take on because you want to be a good parent. No one checks up on you to make sure you are doing it right. If you are lucky you have a mom, grandma, sister, cousin or maybe even a close friend to receive feedback from. However, how you were parented affects how you parent. I think I have said that before. That could be good or bad, and again, no one is there to tell you the difference. What if you come from a dysfunctional family and your only role model was an alcoholic or severely depressed parent? How do you make things different for your child's upbringing?

On Sunday, a man spoke about his upbringing. His dad died when he was young and he and his younger brother were raised alone by his mom. He said that their basic needs were taken care of. They always had a warm meal and a bed to sleep in but his mom was not there for him emotionally and she was basically trying to survive on her own with two boys, doing the best that she could.

I bet a lot of people can identify with that kind of parent. Emotional connectedness is something that I see a lack of all the time in family therapy. The parent comes in wanting the kid "fixed". However, most of them would agree that there is something that they could do to change to become a better parent. Most of the time though, the change never happens and the parent is left frustrated not understanding why their child will not change or get better.

I spoke to someone on Sunday that said something that has a lot of wisdom. She said you get so caught up in having a baby, and buying all the baby stuff, and looking at the ultrasound picture, etc. that you don't think about the fact that you are becoming a parent for life and how exactly are you going to go about that. Usually people do not think about that until they are in crisis mode and they have 15 year old that is out of control. Or their child has an eating disorder, school problems, defiance, the list could go on and on.

But the truth be told these are all symptoms of a bigger problem. And a lot of it could be avoided if we had just spent a little more time being emotionally invested in being a parent. Not just going through the motions, providing basic needs, but communicating with our children. Taking the time to train them and discipline (ie:teach) them.

We all need a time out now and then. I know I do. But I also realize that now is the time that I start investing in my child, giving him my time even when it is inconvenient and hard. Even when I would rather be doing something else.

I don't always do it right, but I do strive to be the best parent that I can be.