Friday, February 26, 2010

Thirty-six months

For the third time in my life, I am charged with the care and feeding of a three-year-old. Miss Noob turned three years old at 8:03 CST this morning. She's been positively delightful on most days. She's always had pretty much everyone she meets wrapped around her tiny little pinky finger. I think Paw Paw has had the worst time with it; after all, we named Noob after Paw Paw's mama. And after King Waffle's mama, too. At any rate, it's like she has some sort of magic coming off her most of the time. It's like in a cartoon where you see little glowing twinkles around a character and it just encompasses their aura and their being. This is what it's like when you're around Noob. There's just something about her.

The day she was born was not supposed to be the day she was born. She wasn't "due" until March 15th. But, due to a prior c-section with Slick, all the physicians I encountered throughout my pregnancy felt that another c-section would be the safest course of action. I begged and pleaded with anyone who would give me the time of day to please, please, PLEASE not make me have another c-section. I had some post-partum complications and wound up getting a pretty bad infection in my incision. Not to mention that it just HURTS. However, no one would hear of such nonsense and I was scheduled to be sliced and diced on Monday, March 5th, 2007.

On February 24th, I knew that I only had a little over a week before she would be here. I set out that day with a list of things I needed to replenish my baby gear, the most important of which was a car seat for her to ride home in. I'd given my old one away and now needed a new one. I went to the mall and walked and walked and walked and then walked some more to acquire everything I needed. Then I hit Babies R Us and did more walking and shopping and lifting. Then I hit Target and did still more walking and shopping. I went home and crashed because I was so exhausted. I was 36 weeks, 5 days at this point. I woke up Sunday and had that hurty, crampy feeling. I truly just credited it to the previous day's shopping expedition. I went all through Sunday and did okay. Later that night, we were scheduled to take the hospital tour because I'd never delivered at this particular hospital. We show up and take the tour and all the while I had a nagging pain that just wouldn't quit. Nothing major but it was just enough to make you remember it was there. I asked one of the nurses if she could check me out before we left and she informed me that I'd have to be admitted to be checked. I told her that I thought I'd be fine and we headed home.

We got home and tucked Poodle and Slick into bed. We turned in for the night and I woke up on Monday, February 26th at about 5 AM with what had to be contractions. They were coming about every five minutes. I was sitting in the recliner, timing them, and King Waffle came out to check on me. I said I thought I'd be okay and he went to lay back down. Just a few minutes later, I walked into the bedroom and said something I said when we were getting ready for Poodle's birth: "Let's just go. The worst they can do to us is send us back home."

At this point, I have to mention the fact that it was Monday morning. In metro Atlanta, Georgia. Monday morning + rush hour + Georgia Hwy 400 = horrible traffic nightmare. I told King Waffle "let's just go" at 6:45 AM.

We got loaded up and started our 23 mile journey to the hospital. Around mile 15, the traffic gets THICK because some pretty heavily congested streets are all trying to get into that traffic nightmare as well. We had been stop and go pretty much the whole way there. When we got to this point it was more stop and less go and by this time my contractions were about two minutes apart. It took us a solid hour to travel 23 miles.

We finally arrived at the hospital and I was told to "sit in those chairs and wait" while KW got me all registered and admitted. Well, "sit in those chairs and wait" turned into "get her a wheelchair NOW!" after about three minutes of me sitting there groaning. I was put into a little prep room while the nurse took some history. I felt more relaxed to be laying down and could actually converse fairly normally. While KW waited in the hallway with Poodle and Slick, she helped me get changed and quizzed me to make sure I wasn't being beaten at home or anything like that. When she was all done she had me lie back down and started trying to get my IV going. She invited KW and the kids back into the room. The doctor on call poked his head in the room and says, "Hey there! We're gonna get you all taken care of around 10:30. I've got three other sections I gotta do before you and then we're gonna squeeze you in." He was gone as quickly as he came and I just looked at KW and said, "I ain't gonna make it to 10:30." No sooner had I said that, a BIG, HARD contraction happened. Up until this point, I'd been relatively calm and just groaned through the pain. This one made me really yell, so much so that I scared the kids and they were ready to exit in a hurry. Nice nurse stops trying to get my IV going and starts doing a check to see how far along I am. She yells to the other nurse, "She's a nine and her bag of waters is bulging!!!" No sooner than KW got them out the door did another one come and I knew before it happened what it would bring: *sploosh* my water broke.

Nice Nurse grabbed a sheet and threw it over my legs, barked at Other Nurse to help NOW!, and we busted through the door like we were on fire. We went tearing down the hall like we were on a bobsled team! They got me to a room and parked the bed next to a delivery bed. The next words I heard were a little unbelievable and almost made me laugh: "We need you to scoot from this bed onto that bed." *scoff* Yeah right. However, something in me summoned the strength and courage to scoot over and I did. No sooner than I slid into place did I get that urge to push. I pushed once...*bloop* head out! I pushed again...*bloop* It's a girl!!!

My next words were, "Can someone please go get my husband?" A few moments later, Nice Nurse showed up with KW and my other two children. There we were, one big happy family.

I am still grateful to this very day for being able to give birth naturally and in the precise manner I wanted to do so. I don't know if I'll ever have another child, but I'll fight just as hard to have that next one the same way I had this one. Don't be afraid of letting your body do what it was designed to do. Don't be afraid to be in just a little bit of pain for a very short while. It's more like pressure than pain, really. Experiencing natural childbirth is a blessing and a gift and I truly believe everyone should make the effort to at least attempt to give birth as God intended. Without drugs (which can slow labor down), without epidurals (which, if given incorrectly, could paralyze you), without anything to hinder the body's natural processes of delivering a little piece of Heaven right into your waiting arms.

I love my sweet Noob. I hope she lives to be 103. Happy Birthday, my darling!

Here she is then, just moments old:

And here she is now:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


It's snowing. Again. Granted, it's not the snow that "sticks" but it is nonetheless snow. It's fluffy, white precipitation falling from the sky. It's gotten to the point of annoying and barely pretty anymore. I think it's safe to say that I've seen more snow this winter than I have in any other in my entire 35 years of existence. Just this morning I put the following as my Facebook status:

"Dear God, I think I speak for the majority when I say we are tired of the snow and the cold weather. Please send Spring and warmth, minus Tornado Season, soon. Love, Jfer"

Within an hour, I had four "likes" and three comments that agreed with my sentiments.

However, I have to step back and re-evaluate now.

God knows what we need, and the length of time we will need it. I'm sick of seeing the snow and feeling the cold temperatures chill my skin. I bet the Israelites were sick of having manna fall to the earth every night for all those years too. But, God knew that's what they needed for that season of their life. I imagine some 35 year old woman waking up thousands of years ago, rolling her eyes and sighing, "Again?! Really?!" Much like I did just an hour ago. God knows we need the winter to appreciate the heat and warmth and green and new life that is soon to come.

I'm sure that when we get way down in July and it's 100ยบ F outside and there's just no release from the heat's grip, that I'll wish it were snowing. Just to have that relief for a bit. However, I'm learning a lesson this morning about patience and time and everything happening precisely when it should. In a month, snow will likely be a distant memory and we may have even had a few days where shorts and flip-flops would be entirely justified. I'll try to remind myself of God's perfect timing for every season, in every season.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I give up!

Today is the second day of the Lenten season.

Over the past weekend, and up until (Fat) Tuesday, I contemplated what I might give up or commit to do for the next forty days. Things like, "I could give up Starbucks," or "I could commit to exercising four days a week without fail," or "I could [fill in the blank]" ran through my head in a never-ending stream of nonsense. While I was waiting in the car rider line Tuesday morning, some of Alabama's finest licensed drivers showed up and were in the car rider line with me. At the same time, a lady was on the radio talking about her own Lenten decision. She talked about how one year she gave up sweet tea for Lent and how, at the time, she thought it was a big sacrifice. She then went on to say how stupid and selfish she felt several years later because Christ had given His very life for her and all she could give up was her tea. This statement made my wheels start turning.

At that point, I realized something I could do that would be beneficial to myself as well as help me be more Christ-like. I decided I will quit using words that are not nice words (read: ugly words). They do nothing extra to convey my point within a sentence. They do not make me sound lady-like. Most of all, they do not sound like words that Christ himself would use.

As I mentioned earlier, I was in the car-rider line when I had my epiphany. Just moments prior, I'd been cut off by a lady in a blue Camry. My immediate reaction was not what it should have been. I think I yelled something to the effect of, "What are you doing, you freakin' moron?! I was totally in front of you! Idiot!"

I'm able to convey my words, thoughts, emotions, etc. through this medium without using those colorful adjectives and four-letter flourishes. So, why can't I transfer that to my real life? The one my family sees. The one my kids see. The one my friends at church see. Who knows, they might see me in traffic and, in an instant, change their entire opinion. God may be grooming and nurturing a relationship and I could ruin it by my own impatience.

So far, I've done well. I'm looking at this as a small step on the way to being a better Christian and just a better human-being. Everyone deserves a kind word, whether they can hear it or not.

What can you do to better yourself over the next forty days? I challenge you to not just think about it, but to pray about it and ask God to show you what HE would have you do.

Friday, February 12, 2010


It's been one of those weeks. My inner snob has re-surfaced and I saw something I just adored.

Last Wednesday, on my birthday, I went out riding around and window shopping with Fancy and The Boy. We stopped in the Apple store because The Boy and myself are Mac nerds. We poked around the store and I happened across the cutest little protective case you've ever seen. My inner snob got a little rush of energy when I saw it had the name Kate Spade emblazoned across the front of the box. *drool* Do want.

I picked it off the peg immediately and began fondling the package. I've been wanting/needing a new cover for my iPhone for a couple of months now and this one totally meets and even exceeds my expectations. I turned the package over to check out the price and was pleasantly surprised. It didn't cost any more than some of the other, very basic, very Plain Jane cases I'd previously had my eye on. Then, upon closer inspection, I saw that it was only for the iTouch. I found the nearest Mac Geek and asked him if this case would fit my phone. I was sad when he told me that it would not fit because the phones are just a little thicker than the iTouch. I left. *sigh*

When I got home, I saw where you could get them online. However, I'm an "I want it in my hands now" kind of girl. I don't do much shopping online because I relish the feeling of a fresh "kill" when I shop. I figured if they were available in the Mac store online, then it'd just be a matter of time before they would be available in the retail stores.

Saturday, I was having issues with making my phone sync up with our laptop. I just couldn't figure out what I needed to do to make things right again. I scheduled an appointment at the Genius Bar for Wednesday. When I got to the store on Wednesday, I saw the accessory area had been rearranged and noticed they'd added my soon-to-be case to the line-up. Happy happy joy joy for Jfer! However, I couldn't get it then because I needed to wait for payday. : (

Most of you who know me well will know that I've been slowly but steadily losing weight since July 2009. I've set small goals and rewarded myself with non-food items upon reaching them. Yesterday, Thursday, I reached the 40-pound mark. I was ecstatic and figured that cute little Kate Spade case was the perfect reward for my efforts.

I drove through heavy snow to the Apple store today. (Mainly because I didn't know if I'd be able to get there tomorrow due to the accumulation.) I marched my happy, forty-pounds-lighter butt to the store and bought a little slice of happy for myself. To reward myself and to beat the inner snob down for a while longer. Did I need a Kate Spade case for my phone? No. But I worked my butt off for one and it's what I wanted. : )

It's super cute. I adore it. And if my kids ruin this one, it's coming out of their birthday money.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Valentine's Day is this coming Sunday. I thought it'd be a good time to discuss love. However, I'm about to wade into very controversial waters here. I'm not hoping to alienate any friends by speaking what's on my heart. I hope and pray that you can respect the thoughts and opinions I'm about to share. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's just a shift in my thought pattern that's been slowly moving from straight-laced and rigid to something akin to melting a glacier with a match. Slowly but surely, I may get there.

Here goes.

A year ago, if you'd asked me about being gay and gay marriage, I'd have vehemently said, "Absolutely not. No way. Not cool."

Now, it's more along the lines of, "Well, maybe. Maybe I should be more receptive to the concept of love instead of who is sharing it."

I didn't arrive at this conclusion overnight. I really can't tell you any single event that occurred that rocked my world and changed my mind and my heart.

King Waffle has two sweet women who work for him. I've met them, had them over to my house and broken bread with them and, shocker here, I've even let them babysit my children. They call each other "Honey" or "Hon" or "Dear" or "My love". They are, in scientific terms, a lesbian couple. They are, whilst within my house, J and E. (No names to protect the innocent here, folks.) In about a week, they're driving from deep in the heart of the Bible Belt up to Iowa where gay marriage/civil unions are legal. Who am I to say they shouldn't be allowed to profess their love and commitment to each other in a legally binding ceremony? Last time I checked, only God through Jesus Christ can judge us. If they want to be forever committed to one another then why should a borderline Fundie like myself stand in their way? "Oh NO! They're ruining the sanctity of marriage! It's supposed to be one man and one woman!" Well, maybe so. In a perfect world, that is. I honestly don't know if gay people are born that way. I'm on the fence with the whole "Nature vs. Nurture" argument. I just don't know.

After they're joined together, they're wanting to adopt a newborn baby. The baby's mother most likely won't be able to give it the care it needs as she is already struggling to care for another child. "Oh, gay people shouldn't adopt! That's wrong too!" You know what? I'd rather see that child grow up in the presence of two people who love each other and are committed to each other, to grow up in a stable home, to have enough to eat and drink, to have all her needs met, to grow and to thrive and receive LOVE, than to have the child grow up neglected by its own mother. To grow up without enough to eat, without the proper medical care, without her basic needs being met, without a loving relationship on which she may build future relationships. It's just not right to deny ANY child of those rights.

So, I ask you now: should we put boundaries on love? I think not. Does God's love have any bounds when it comes to the stupid, rotten, wretched things we do? I think not. Day in and day out, I do stupid, arrogant, selfish, dumb things and God still loves me. Why shouldn't we extend love and, by proxy, our support to anyone who needs it?

Think about it.

I leave you with an excerpt from an article I read this morning. I've been mulling over how to relay my thoughts on the matter all week and asking myself whether or not I should even share this. When I read this paragraph this morning, I knew today was the day. The article is titled "A Conservative Case for Gay Marriage"

"Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I'm recycling an old journal from CafeMom because I feel like there's someone who may need to read it today. Enjoy!

A good friend posted something on Facebook yesterday. She was talking about how someone had blocked her in at an after-school parent function and how she had a hard time getting her large SUV out of the lot because one person parked in such a way to hinder everyone else's departure. She had a handful of comments below, including one from myself about people having Cranio-Rectal Syndrome and think the world revolves around them. Another person commented that it would be nice to just delete some people so they wouldn't be a bother. I was amused at first as I imagined a giant mouse and cursor. I could see a big hand dragging across the person to highlight them and subsequently hitting the delete key to rid the person and their bothersome ways from our lives.

Then, later, I thought about it some more. And suddenly it took on a new meaning for me.

What if we could delete people that have caused us hurt, heartache, anguish or pain? Would that really be the best course of action? Would deleting the person also delete the torment or pain they've caused us? I think it's best when those people (please read: I'm not referring to serial killers, rapists, child molesters, etc) are allowed to remain in our memory and, in a way, to forever be a part of our make-up. There's a famous quote by Tennyson that says, "I am a part of all I have met." It just means that every person we've ever run into or said hello to or had a deep meaningful relationship with makes us who we are today, right now, in this very moment. I think people are placed in our lives for a reason. To enable us to grow, to learn, to experiment. If we "deleted" them from our "hard drive", we'd be a bunch of reckless fools running around making the same mistakes time and time again.

I have persons in my past who do not bring up fond memories. Some from long ago, some from more recent times, some in the past year. If I delete the memory, I lose the wisdom and the lessons I gained from each experience. I think those lessons benefit me in the making of new memories with new people. We have to be able to step out in faith even when we're hurt and burned beyond recognition.

Time heals all wounds. Maybe my friend will be able to offer a smile or a handshake to the idiot who blocked everyone in the parking lot. Maybe I'll be able to not let those bitter memories hinder me, but instead use them to move forward and chalk it up to a learning experience. Time will tell. After all, time heals all wounds; and isn't healing sort of similar to deleting?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Smarty Jones

No, I'm not referring to the thoroughbred who won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

This is yet another nickname for Poodle. I usually invoke this moniker when she's being a smart-aleck and has a little too much sass in her tone for my liking.

Today, though, it has new meaning.

Most parents feel pride when their child has a big accomplishment. It's almost like it validates you as a parent and you can give yourself a pat on the back for doing something right. Yesterday was one of those days.

I got the mail and saw a rather puffy envelope from the Shelby County School System. My immediate thought was, "Great. They're all in a tizzy again about her being absent nine times this year."

*insert nasal "Nine times?" "Nine times." a la Ferris Bueller's Day Off here*

Anyway, as I was saying, I was miffed because I thought it was something to do with attendance. I opened the letter and knew immediately what it was after just the first paragraph.

"There is a great deal of work that goes into identifying students for the gifted education program. Please take a moment to read the following multi-step 2nd grade Child Find Screening Process for the Gifted Education Program in Shelby County."

Joy. Elation. Pride. These adjectives just offer a glimmer of what I felt.

I've always known she was smart. And not just "get by" smart, I mean holy-crap-how-does-she-already-know-that?! smart. I've never wanted to go around hawking it, though. I didn't want to be one of THOSE parents who constantly tell you how marvelous their Little Snowflake is, when the rest of the world can see something completely different. I've largely kept my opinion(s) to myself regarding her intellect. I didn't want to come across as obnoxious or arrogant and thinking that my kid was the best thing since sliced bread. Although, when you consider the fact that she (or the other two, for that matter) were never, ever supposed to happen, it makes me want to shout it from the rooftops.

I am a very proud mama today. I am thrilled about the opportunity she's been given. She can be challenged now (provided she passes the test) and can begin to sparkle and shine. I've knew it was there. Now she gets to show everyone else.

Poodle, uh, I mean Smarty Jones, I am SO proud of you. I love you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

So long, old pal.

A few months ago, we noticed something was amiss. She was slow and lethargic and just couldn't get up and go like she used to. We had someone look at her and he said things weren't quite right and that we should take some proactive measures to save her and that we should do so very soon. Sadly, those measures only bought us about three more months. We took her to the doctor this past Tuesday. After waiting for three days with no update on her prognosis, we called to ask about her status this morning. They said she was up for examination today and they'd let us know something very soon. We got the phone call sometime around 11 AM. She was mostly dead, but could be revived for about $600 and they could only guarantee their fix for another 90 days. We opted to just go ahead and pull the plug. She served us well.

February 2005 - February 2010

So long, old reliable. You will be missed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day # 12,784

I turned 35 years old today.

How'd I get to be 35?! I mean, really? Just a few hours ago I was 14 and then I was 21 and now I'm thirty-freakin'-five. How does that happen?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm completely okay with being 35. I'm glad I've lived and survived to see this day. It just seems odd that I've made it to "thirty-something"; like I'm still a kid trapped in this adult's life.

It's been a pretty regular day today. Got up. Took the kids to school. Went to my MOPS meeting and came back home. I did have a nice little surprise in the fact that The Boy and Fancy came over to spend the day with me. Myself, King Waffle, The Noob, The Boy and Fancy all went to Salvatore's for lunch. I had shrimp over linguine with marinara sauce. It was delectable, as usual. Then Fancy and The Boy wanted to do a little window shopping so I sent KW and Noob back home while I drove The Boy's phat Bimmer up to The Summit. We strolled and looked and touched all the finery and then loaded up and went for a cup of Starbucks. Later, we returned home to find a box of Whitmans' chocolates waiting for me. I was told that I could go and find a new dress or some new clothes for my gift. (King Waffle may live to regret that decision. I mean, has he MET me?!)

Overall, it's been a pretty decent birthday. I've had more than five dozen people wish me a happy birthday either through Facebook or text message. It's really nice to see an outpouring of happy wishes for your special day. If you were one of those people, I would like to offer a very sincere THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. It's folks like you that make me smile on my special day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Immersion: After

Well, I finally did it.

Yes, there I stand drenched in the waters that made me An Official Baptist.

Looking back, I really can't offer a good reason as to why I waited so long. It wasn't difficult. It went quickly. I guess God has His reasons for working things out in His own time.

I was somewhat nervous as I drove to the church. I think the biggest part of it was that I was afraid we were going to be late. I loathe being late. I am always on time. At any rate, we made it and got changed and waited for the service to begin. Mr. Jonathan prayed with us and asked who wanted to go first. I asked Poodle and she said that I should go first. That was fine with me. When the time came, I was surprised at how warm the water was. I was expecting it to be somewhat warm, but this felt more like a nice, relaxing bath. I almost didn't want to get out. It would probably have been frowned upon for me to holler from the baptistry, "Hey! Y'all just carry on with your singing and preaching. Imma hang out up here and just chillax during the service! Cool? No? Well, alright, if you insist." At any rate, the time came. Then, after all those years of resistance and hardheaded-ness, I felt the same sort of emotions as he began to push me under as those I had when I began walking down the aisle on my wedding day; the same emotions as I felt when I first looked at my newly-born children. I felt my eyes get all tingly and *bloop*, I went under. I think I remember having a colossal grin on my face after I came back up.

Mr. Jonathan invited me to stay in the water while it was Poodle's turn. I was touched to be able to stay there and share in the experience in such close proximity. A front row seat, if you will. He raised his hand and spoke the special words and *bloop*, under she went. I got tickled while she was under because her little feet and legs swung out from under her and floated up. It was cute and I guess it was one of those "location situations". You know, you had to be there to fully appreciate it. She came back up and people applauded. We got out, got put back together and went back out into the service.

Later, I was invited to come down at the end of the service to be greeted and presented with my new bible. The associate pastor said, "We have just one more thing to do before accepting you as a member." I thought to myself, "Great. What now?! What else could I possibly need to do?!" He said, "Mr. Jonathan's a rookie up there and he didn't ask everyone if they rejoice in your coming. If y'all rejoice in her coming through believer's baptism, would you give a round of applause?" *applause* What a relief. I'm now a member of the club.

Speaking of clubs...

After we left church, we decided to go out to eat. Nanny and Paw Paw were with us and asked if I'd like to go ahead and have my birthday lunch while they were here with us. Sure, why not? Now's as good a time as any. So, we loaded up and went for lunch at Longhorn. We got there and ordered our drinks. Now, every once in a while, Cal will have one beer with a meal. He decided he wanted one with his meal on this day. On a Sunday. In the Deep South. (You see, where he comes from, it's no big deal to drink or even purchase hard liquor or beer on Sundays.) So, he orders his beer and a little bit later a man shows up with a half sheet of paper and a little card that's the size of a business card. "What's this?" he asks. "Well, Shelby county doesn't allow drinking on Sunday unless you're a member of a private club." Cal puts pen to paper and begins filling out the half sheet of paper that looks like it's been photo-copied sixteen times. He's now #0861 and a card-carrying member of the "Longhorn Club Card" club. Whatever that means. ; )

I hope the next time God needs/wants me to do something, I'm not as stubborn as I have been over the past several years. Generally, He doesn't let up until you comply. I'm just glad I was able to finally complete this task with a happy heart.