Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time....of the Day

Ahhh....Catherine's naptime. Some days it just can't come soon enough. Today was one of those days. She woke up at 7 am and I started watching the clock at 7:03 to see how much longer I had to hang on until I could put her down.
First she took off all her clothes. Every stitch, diaper included. Ran around naked for what seemed like hours. I finally got one of William's t-shirts on her. Then she got ahold of a sharpie marker (took lessons from her friend Isaac) and drew half a mustache on her upper lip. Drew a few marks on her hand too and wanted a bandaid to cover them. She threw fits. She flopped around in the kitchen floor most dramatically, kicking and screaming. I mostly ignored her....except at one point I looked over at William and very seriously said "W.....what in the world am I going to do with your sister?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "Mmmm....I don't TV with her?"
Sure. Just what I want to curl up with next to on the sofa.
Actually I didn't have to wait too long for naptime because during one of her fits, shortly before noon, she announced "Imanna go to bed!"
You got it sister. You got it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Camp Dingo

So a few weeks ago, anticipating our week in the mountains, Andy decided that he would take William on his first camping trip. He bought a tent. He bought sleeping bags. He bought mats to go under the sleeping bags. They set up the tent in William's room and he practiced sleeping in it. They were so excited. Me, not so excited. I saw that movie with Meryl Streep and can still hear her yelling "A dingo aite me baby!" I didn't want that to be me.

I started worrying about bears. I read that they were eating a lot this time of year getting ready to hibernate and I didn't want Smoky making a meal out of my boys. Besides, I didn't like the idea of me, Stuart and Catherine being left alone overnight in a cabin a mile up a deserted mountain. I saw Deliverance. Maybe I've seen too many movies. Maybe I'm just a mother. But I worry.

So I was a little relieved when I heard that there was a burn ban, therefore there was no way to make a campfire and, hence, no way to cook food or keep warm. So I guess it made Andy a little more open to my idea that they just camp out at the cabin, under the deck. And he agreed. Last night was the night.

About 9:00 last night, after pitching their tent and getting everything set up, the boys grabbed the walkie-talkies and their pillows and set out down the hill. Except Catherine was still awake. And wanted to go with them. I tried to talk her out of it. "Don't you want to stay here with Mama where it's warm?" No. She wanted to go with the boys. And they let her. And off they went.

William started calling me on the walkie-talkie as soon as they got the tent zipped up. "Mama, you there? What are you doing?"

"Reading a magazine, William."

"Mama, we can see the stars."

"Great, William."

"And the moon."


"I got a stick and threw it across the yard."


"Mama, what are you doing now?"

"Still trying to read my magazine."

"I just pulled the cover over my head."

"Ok, then."

"Mama, you still there?"

"That's a 10-4."

"What are you doing now, Mama?"

And on and on it went. Until finally, "Good night John Boy."

I went to bed still a little worried but a little relieved that they were within earshot and just outside my window, which was cracked, just in case someone needed me. I slept for just a couple of hours until I heard a blood curdling, ear piercing scream about 2 am:


I bounded out of bed, my heart pounding, and raced to the window. I didn't hear any more screams, and couldn't see anything, and for a moment I thought I had imagined it. Did my baby really yell for me? Were they ok? Should I try to go see about them? I walked out on the deck and listened. Nothing. Until I started hearing howls and barks off in the distance. Oh sweet lord....A dingo really DID get my baby!!!!!!!!

I went back to sleep, after what seemed like hours lying there praying for daylight and this camping trip to be over. A few hours later I heard them all stirring from below, so a cup of coffee and some fresh baked blueberry muffins lured the campers up the hill. And Andy confirmed that I really DID hear my name. William had a nightmare, sat straight up and yelled for me, then fell back sound asleep.

And he also confirmed that he heard the dogs as well. And he heard them get closer. And he was just about to gather up the troops and head in when the dingoes must have disbanded.

So see I'm not a crazy old bird. And I wasn't imagining things. And I'm glad they can say they've been there and done that. But tonight this bird's keeping the little chickens close under wing where they belong.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Country Bear Jamboree

Well here we are at the cabin in the North Georgia mountains. It's beautiful here. Of course the weather is much milder than I anticipated and, in my effort to pack lightly, I'm finding it difficult to put together outfits for the children from two mittens, a pair of underwear and a fleece lined jacket. In fact, I packed so lightly that I forgot my toothbrush. And didn't bring William a single pair of jeans. And I've already had to stop and buy some baby wipes at a country store in the mountains where they cost about $12.00. But that's ok. We said if we ain't got it, we'll buy it. And we may go broke this week. But we're travelin' light!

And at least one of us is having a vacation. Three guesses as to who it is. One of names mentioned....put on his running clothes to go for a jog as I was juggling a hungry baby and two wild monkeys bouncing off the walls right at breakfast time. I said "oh no you di'n't....I know you are not leaving me here with all these kids by myself to fix breakfast for everyone." Not that I don't do it every single day of my life....but it's slightly more complicated when you don't have the comforts and conveniences of home and you're trying to keep kids from stabbing each other with the fireplace pokers.

His response? "I'm on vacation! And I want to go for a run!"

Fair enough. But when does my vacation start?

Things that make you go "hmmmmm."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lift Off Postponed

Well you see we are not on our way to the moon as originally planned. We are not packed, the truckster is not loaded, and we are not on the road.

Stuart woke us up at exactly 2:22 this morning barking like a dog and struggling to breathe. I've been known over the past few years to say that one of my children had "the croup" but I now know what true croup is. And it's scary. I grabbed him and ran downstairs telling Andy that he was burning up with a fever and sounded like he couldn't get his breath. Andy drowsily said "Maybe you can give him something. Some medicine or something. And go back to sleep." Slightly hysterical I told him that it wasn't something medicine would cure. "I think it's croup. And I'm wondering if I need to take him to the ER."

Me, the total alarmist and Andy, the complete and total NON alarmist, sat discussing our options as I calmed down and realized that the baby really could breathe, even if it sounded awful. "I am going to go sit in the bathroom with him and run the hot water and see if the steam helps."

"What do you want me to do?" he asked.

Thinking of that scene from Terms of Endearment, inside I was screaming I WANT YOU TO GO SIT IN THE STINKIN' HUMID STEAMIN' BATHROOM WITH ME! but remembering that he did have to get up and go to work in a few hours I softly said "just go back to sleep...I'll get you if I need you."

So I sat in the bathroom with a coughing baby as my hair wilted and plastered to my head, and became oh so grateful when the breathing got easier and he drifted off to sleep. And then I laid down in the bed with him on my chest feeling and hearing every breath he took for the next two hours, until I could finally close my eyes myself. If only for a few moments.

I took him to the Dr. first thing this morning (and, by the way, one of my upcoming entries will deal with the trauma of taking a sick child to the pediatrician and being left alone with a sick naked baby in a 6x6 cell while you pace back and forth for an hour or more praying that every shadow you see under the door is the illusive Dr. finally coming in....I'd rather have a pelvic exam AND a root canal at the same time I'm standing in line to get my drivers' license renewed any day of the week than take a sick - or well - child to the pediatrician...that gives you a preview of what's to come). Anyway...after we finally got in to see the Wizard he concurred with Dr. Mommy's diagnosis that it was indeed the croup and gave us some steroids to help with the coughing. And told us to stick close to home so we can make sure tonight's episode isn't as bad as last night's.

So here we are. And at this point I'm already so tired that I don't care enough to pack all that stuff I was originally going to pack. Everyone is taking just one of whatever he or she needs.

And I'm mapquesting all the Wal-marts where we are going.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

To The Moon

So here we are once again getting ready to load up the family truckster and head out on a week's vacation. Actually it's more like a 10 day vacation. Where are going that we will be gone for so long you might ask? Europe? The west coast? Nope....Atlanta. Just 5 1/2 hours away. But because it's such an undertaking just to load up and get gone, we like to make it count. Get our money's worth so to speak.

For some reason that I honestly cannot explain or account for, I feel compelled every time we go on a trip such as this to stockpile food, toiletries and other items as if we are going all the way to the moon which is the only place in the stratosphere that does not have a Wal-mart open 24 hours just around the corner from wherever you might find yourself in need of _____ at _ :00 am or pm.

So it just doesn't make sense that yesterday morning, my only morning this week to have only one child under foot, I spent the entire time at....Walmart. I bought everything from juice boxes to 6 packs of juice (just in case someone would rather have a box than a bottle) to little packs of plastic bags to stash in your purse for diaper emergencies (which could very well come in handy) to extra packs of baby Tylenol to a large pack of disposable washcloths with the baby wash already infused because, you know, it's SO hard to pack washcloths and a container of baby wash. And then I bought extra warm pajamas for all the kids, and slippers for the older two. And we had just discussed that we are going to "pack light" for this trip. We said...If we ain't got it, we'll go get it if we need it.

What in the world???

So today my sole purpose in life, my only goal, is to pack just ONE bag for each person. And a diaper bag. And a food bag. And a shoe bag. And obviously I'll need a bag just for JUICE. And another for pajamas.

And Andy will kill me when he sees it all sitting out to be loaded into the car.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More Conversations With William

So at lunch today William and I were talking. Well actually he was doing most of the talking and I was just trying to keep up. The "conversation" went something like this:
"Mama, when Cafrin is 4 how old will I be?"
"When Cafrin is six how old will I be?"
"When Cafrin is eight how old will I be?"
And so on and so forth. You get the picture. But the discussion kept going until he asked:
"When Cafrin is sixteen, how old will I be?"
"Will I be a grown up then?"
I thought about it a second. Then slowly (and a little sadly) said "Well yeah, I suppose so." Of course I was trying to do the math to figure out how old I'll be at that point, and got an image of me being wheeled into his graduation ceremony with a shawl around my shoulders and an afghan over my lap, and praying someone will wipe the drool from my chin before they take a family picture.
With the realization that he would be a grown up at some point, he jumped up and hollered "WOO-HOO!!! I'll be a grown up! I can use Daddy's tools and cut things with knives! WOO-HOO!!!!"
And I'm hoping that tools and knives will be the only things we will be concerned with at that point.

Perfectly Still

She was just perfect for her scan the other day. She was this calm. Prayers were heard.
Still waiting for the results.....

Monday, November 05, 2007

Peanut Butter and Jelly Princess

Any Southern girl knows that you don't need a reason to wear a crown. You do it anytime you want to feel fabulous. Even if you're just eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And so she did.
Say a little prayer for our princess today. She goes tomorrow for a CT scan. It will be the first time she's had one that she won't be sedated. Which is a good thing. But she will be scared. So pray for serenity and calm for her. And for us as we wait for the results.
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him , and I am helped." Ps. 28:7

Friday, November 02, 2007


Even Superheroes need to rest sometimes.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tricker Tree

Spiderman and the Auburn Cheerleader with Multiple Personality Disorder hit the streets last night. Catherine couldn't find her darling plush little pumpkin treat bag so she carried a diaper bag in which to gather her loot. She really didn't need one though since the candy bipassed the bag and went straight into her mouth. To tell her no got you a tongue lashin' as can be observed in the above photos. After going house to house hollering "Tricker Tree" they went to the Perky Pumpkin Party at church....or Purty the Punkin Party as William said. I got, er had, to stay home with the small one so we, er, he could sleep. A good time was had by all.
Oh...notice Andy's craftsmanship on Jack (and the sad deformity of the only pumpkin left in the patch on Oct. 31). Master Pumpkincarver started early on his masterpiece this year. He came home at 4:45 pm on Halloween to get started. It was finished just in time for the newspaper carrier to enjoy as he was tossing our paper this morning.