Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From the mouths of babes....

This morning on the way to school both kids started in with the daily ritual:
Bubba: Mommy, I want to hear the kids songs.
Punkin: Song, mommy! Song!. ABCB! ABCB! (she's still learning her ABCs)
And since our Laurie Berkner CD is lost (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) I put in our Veggie Tales CD, the one with about a go-zillion songs on it.

Now I can't say for sure, but I don't think I'll ever get tired of this CD. Although with sometimes twice daily repeats of some songs, you just never know. I might. BUT. There are a couple of songs on this CD that I love and that can actually move me to tears.

The first one goes like this:

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
Thats an easy way to start!

For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!

I get so caught up sometimes in the daily grind and the pull of this world that tells me I NEED things. So caught up in the things that I WANT and that I want to give my children that I forget about the thousands and thousands of wonderful things that I HAVE that God has already blessed me with. This day. The sun in the sky. But most of all, my wonderful family -- my husband and my two kids as well as my large extended family. THEY are the greatest blessing that God has given me.

The second song is about prayer as well. The child (vegetable?) singing recounts all the good things he's done that day but follows it up with all the things he did wrong as well.

Verse 2
I somehow overlooked my bed
It seems my dog is underfed
Forgot to change my underclothes
Watched one too many T.V. shows
I had some trouble sharing toys
And during rest time, made some noise
The walls are not for coloring
Sometimes I'm off-key, when I sing

Chorus 2
And so it's really good to know
How much you love me
It's true, the bible says you do
You really love me
Your love was with me all throughout my day

In my bed so quietly
I rest in knowing: God loves me!

This song is such a powerful reminder to me that even though I'm not perfect, God still loves me anyway. And His love is with me all throughout my day. Don't forget to take time to count your blessings. And don't forget that God loves you, even when you're bad. :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm smuffocating

A couple of things you need to know:

1. When I was a baby, a next door neighbor once came to check on me and my mom because she could hear me crying all the way at her house. The only thing that was wrong with me was that my mom had put me down so that she could cook supper.

2. When I was a child, there were days that my mom would tell me and my brother "Just call me Harry for a day. I don't want to hear 'Momma' at all."

Now I don't recall her ever calling down the "Daughter Curse" upon my head. You know the one I'm talking about -- "I hope you have a daughter just like you." But she must have. Because boy,
is she getting her revenge. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to lose my everlovin' mind. Here's a sample of what life is like when we get home in the afternoon:

"Mommy, up."
"Punkin', I can't pick you up right now."
"Mommy, up. Mommy, help.Mommy, up.Mommy, up." (She likes to mix it up, keep it fresh, throwing the "help" in there)
"Punkin' I can't pick you up right now. I'm trying to get dinner ready."
"Mommy, hot."
"Yes, Punkin' the stove is hot. I can't pick you up right now."
"Mommy, up."
Usually, at this point in the exchange Mr. Daddy will come in and attempt to distract her, at which time she will work herself into such a frenzy that she has been known to throw up.

And keep in mind, too, that at many points during this exchange she will also be joined by Bubba, a conversation with whom goes like this:

"Mommy, do you know what?"
"What, Bubba?"
"Therewasthispowerrangerand do you know what, Mommy?"
"What, Bubba?"
hecouldfightand do you know what, Mommy?"
"WHAT, Bubba??"
andhecoulfightandhekilledthebadguyand do you know what, Mommy?"
"Bubba, you don't have to keep saying "do you know what."
"Okay. Do you know what, Mommy?"


Sunday, July 29, 2007


Here are some random thoughts for Sunday night:

1. What happened to the word "disappeared?" Nobody ever disappears anymore. Everybody "goes missing." Disappear is a perfectly good word. Is it too magic-y sounding? What's the deal with that? Is "went missing" even grammatically correct?

2. Do you know how much I hate the word "pop?" As in "Oh that color just makes your eyes pop." Or "These shrubberies (bring me a shrubbery!) will make the house pop." Can you tell I've been watching a lot of TLC this weekend?

3. I really wish people would use the word "nauseous" correctly. If you say "I am nauseous" that means that you cause other to people to feel sick. I don't know about you, but usually people who make me feel nauseated do not possess enough self-awareness to know that they are engendering these feelings in others. Now you may say that I stole this from the Drew Barrymore movie Never Been Kissed, but actually that movie simply validated a statement I had been making for years. For all you doubters out there, I actually checked the definition of "nauseous" online and Merriam Webster states that this erroneous use of the word "nauseous" is actually becoming acceptable. People, just because everybody says it does NOT make it right. Amen. (And I think Merriam Webster is slightly spurious).

4. Why does Ty Pennington have to yell so much? I mean, he's cute, he's got his own show, it's not like he needs the attention. And he's got a megaphone right there.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Karma's a bitch

Yesterday on Faster Thank Kudzu, Joshilyn related an event where this jerk almost ruined a lovely evening for a friend of hers. In my comments I said "Karma's a bitch. He'll get his." Well, that made me think about the time Karma got me. It's an incident that I'm not proud of at all.

In the summer between eleventh and twelfth grade, I attended a 6 week summer program that we in this state call Governor's Honors. I was selected for the English program, although they call it Communicative Arts, for some reason. I guess it sounds more, I don't know, communicative or something, than just plain old English. I arrived on the college campus and checked into my dorm at the exact same time as the girl who turned out be my roommate and who also happened to be a Comm Arts major. Amazingly, fortunately, we hit it off.

Now some of you may have attended a program like this yourself and perhaps you'll understand when I say that there was a representative there from every level of the nerd spectrum -- from the super nerdy to the not-very-nerdy-at-all-but-came-from-a-wealthy-family-and-was-probably-the smartest-kid-in-their-school kind of nerdy. I probably fell somewhere in the middle.

On our first day of "classes" we were divided into groups of about 15. We had to collectively pick a name for ourselves -- we tossed around all kinds of literary ideas (being the English nerds that we were), but somehow we ended up being the Screaming Aunt Jemimahs. Don't ask why, because I don't know. There was this guy in my group named Owen. I can't even remember his last name but I always think of him as Owen Fox because we had to associate ourselves with some kind of animal during our goofy get-to-know-you exercise and he chose the fox. And that's exactly what he looked like. He was very thin with reddish hair and ears that stuck waaayyy out. But the most distinguishing characteristic about Owen was his acne. It was bad and it was all over. You could even see it on his back. But I was friends with Owen. He was a good kid, if a little naive.

I don't really know how the bad thing happened. During this time "Grosser Than Gross" jokes were popular (like "What's grosser than gross? You just finished eating a bowl of cornflakes and your brother comes to tell you he's lost his scab collection.") My roommate and I, in the privacy of our dorm room, came up with a joke about Owen. Originally I was going to retell the joke here, but I asked Mr. Daddy and he said he thought I shouldn't. I think he's right. Anyway, I don't remember telling anybody else the joke. I only had 3 really good friends the whole summer, my roommate being one of them. But one day my roommate and I were sitting with some dormmates and THEY told US our Owen joke. I was mortified. I couldn't believe that it had gotten around. I don't know for sure that Owen ever heard it. I deeply, sincerely, hope not. Because, you see, that wasn't like me. I've never set out to hurt someone's feelings. I've always been supersensitive and I've always stood up for the underdog, been nice to the new kids. I had even defended Owen many times to my Comm Arts classmates. And now I had taken part in something that would be extremely hurtful if he ever found out. And since I never found out if he heard the joke, I never apologized. That was 17 years ago and it still bothers me.

But Karma's a bitch, see. She got me and she got my roommate. When we returned to our senior year all was not perfect. I gained 20 pounds and was absolutely miserable for most of my senior year. My former roommate developed the worst case of acne I've ever seen outside of Owen's and it was months before she found medication that would work. Coincidence? Maybe. Owen, wherever you are, I'm sorry.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

There's one in every crowd....

So tonight Mr. Daddy and I went to the information session about Bubba's new pre-K. Now understand that I'm already a nervous wreck about this because he's going to a brand new school where he knows no one. He's so excited that you can practically see it radiating off him (mostly because they have school buses) but I'm about to have a nervous breakdown.

Well, you know how there's always one guy (or girl as the case may be) in every crowd who just doesn't get it? Or keeps asking the same question somebody else just asked but he didn't notice because he was too busy whispering with the "cool parents" about the question he's about to ask? Yeah. Well. There were two of those there tonight. And they were all up in arms about the cost of the after school program. I'm sitting there flabbergasted because Bubba starting this program means about a $40 a week break for us. Forty bucks isn't much, but hey, I'll take what I can get. I felt like turning around and shouting "Have you priced any of the OTHER programs in the area lately. This one's a steal, so SHUT.UP. so we can all go home." And I don't even say shut up. It's not allowed in my house. It's like the worst thing you can say to me. I'd rather you tell me to go eff myself than to tell me to shut up (weird. I know.) So I'm chatting, very quietly mind you, with the mom next to me who seems genuinely nice. And all of a sudden, the guy behind me, the guy who's been running his mouth all evening -- he shushed me. HE actually shushed ME!! Fortunately, I didn't hear him, but Mr. Daddy did. He leaned over and said "I know Mr. Jabberjaw didn't just shush you." Hoo boy did that piss me off. If only I had heard him. I might have had to take a little inspiration from my friend Mir and get him told, as they say. So, I have seen the future of pre-k and all I can say is that I hope Bubba is not in the class with THOSE kids. They are BOUND to be trouble makers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fun. In Theory

My husband and I have a new saying about trying to plan trips for our family -- "This will be fun. In theory." Anyone with children, small children especially, know that kids have a special knack for knowing that you want something to turn out special, or create a family memory and they will do whatever they can to mess it up. Trying to plan a special photo session with your 3-month-old and your almost-3-year old to use for Christmas presents? You can be sure that your almost-3-year-old will pick that moment to have one last hurrah in in the terrible two's while you try to wrangle the infant and make them both cooperate without someone calling DFACS on the mom who's about to lose.it. in Sears (heh).

So it is with much trepidation that we plan our latest outing. As a last little trip before Bubba starts pre-K, we're taking my Dad's pop-up camper to Charleston, SC. My brother-in-law and his family have recently built a house in a small neighboring town and they have graciously offered to let us park our camper in their yard so that we can go to the beach and see the sights of Charleston. Now, Punkin' is almost 2 and Bubba is getting pretty close to 5. What's the problem, you say? Jeez, why's she so afraid, you ask? You see, this is not the first camping trip we've taken. And let's just say the first one was, well, it was fun. In theory. In actuality, not so much.

In October of 2006 my husband and I both had a week of vacation time. This was the first time in almost 10 years of marriage that we have both had a full week that we could take at the same time. Let's go camping, we said! In the mountains, we said! With the kids, we said! So, we pack up the camper and head off to Cloudland Canyon State Park in northwest Georgia. It's really beautiful...so they say. I don't know because I didn't get to see it. We arrive at the Park around 2:00 and found our campsite. The kids and I played on the playground while Mr. Daddy set up the camper. Around 4:00 we decide to head into town to the grocery store to stock up and where we spent over $100 on all the camping necessities -- hot dogs and marshmallows to roast over the campfire, chips, Little Debbie Fudge Rounds ('cause it just ain't a camping trip without them as far as I'm concerned), etc. So we head back to the campsite and eat our hot dogs, which we ended up cooking on the stove in the pop-up because do you KNOW how nerve wracking it is to try to cook hot dogs over an open flame and keep a 3 year old and 1 year old away from roasting their chubby little fingers as well?? Do you??

My kids go to bed early-- always have. So, it's Punkin's bed time. But guess what? She won't go to sleep. She keeps crying. And a fun fact about Punkin' -- when she cries a lot she throws up. Yay! That's so fun, let me tell you. So I can't just let her cry because I'm not cleaning up throw up out of a Pack n' Play out in the middle of the woods in the pitch dark. So, I decide to drive her down the mountain to get her to go to sleep. Which she does, finally. I ease her into the bed when we get back but in order to keep her asleep, I have to go to bed too. It's like 8:00. But what the heck, it's lookin' like a long trip so let's ALL get some rest. If only. Punkin' proceeded to wake up about every hour on the hour crying. Finally, at around 4:00 am, mostly in an effort to keep the other campers from forming a mob and driving us out, I get up and sit with her in my lap. I can't even cover up because every time I move she wakes up and starts crying. It's probably close to 40 degrees in the camper and I am not a girl who likes to be cold. If a girl in this situation wanted to shed a tear or two in self pity, who am I to pass judgement? When Mr. Daddy and Bubba woke around 6:00 I said "This is NOT how I want to spend my vacation. Let's go HOME." So, as soon as it was light, we packed up the camper and drove home. We were there less than 24 hours. I think I heard the other campers cheer as we pulled away. Needless to say, there are no pictures.

o, you can see why I'm a little nervous. We leave next Thursday. Say a little prayer.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Introducing Madame Queen

So, here it is, my first post to my first blog. I'm here, I'm here! Let the bells ring and the banners fly! But of course, a first time for anything makes one a little nervous, right? I want to be witty, pithy, erudite and have scads and scads of loyal readers. So, no pressure, no pressure. You might ask yourself, "Why is she blogging? What compels her to put her thoughts out into the ether where others might read them?" Well, I figured that it was time to put the ol' English major to use.... a mere twelve years later. For years I've been talking a good game. "Oh, I'd love to be a writer" I'd say, whenever anyone would ask about my dream job. But have I ever actually put words on paper since my term paper days? No. So, it was time to put up or shut up. And I've recently been inspired by a couple of other bloggers whose blogs I'm addicted to.

A little explanation of the title....When I was little, my mom had a couple of nicknames for me -- Pussywillow and Madame Queen. When I was trying to come up with a name for my blog it seemed natural to use one of these since no one's ever really given me another nickname that stuck. I'm sure I don't need to spell out for you why I chose the one I did. I want scads and scads of readers, but not THAT kind! And I definitely won't be posting THOSE kinds of pictures. So, here we are -- The Madame Queen ('cuz plain old Madame Queen was already taken).

Growing up I was the younger of two kids to a single mom. My brother was 6 1/2 years older than I and my mom always said it was like having two only kids. Since a lot of the time it was just me and mom, we were close. She always tried to give me all the "things" I wanted sometimes at her own expense. I was as grateful as child usually is, which means not very. In fact, she once called me an ungrateful hussy (I now understand why she did that, but that's another post for another time!). Anyway, I pretty much had my way -- hence the Madame Queen.

Well, the Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. My children have usurped my throne, particularly my daughter. My husband and I have two children -- a 4.5 year old we call Bubba and an almost 2 year old variously referred to as Doodlebug, Punkin' Butter or just plain Punkin'. Just to illustrate the transfer of power, Punkin' used to be what my husband called me but when she came along she just took it. But it fits her and I guess I'll let her keep it. I simply now refer to myself (when the situation arises) as Punkin' the Elder.

I don't really have a grand plan for this blog. I'll probably discuss my life as a working mom. I have thoughts about things I've experienced, books I've read....the usual. We'll see what happens. Thanks for stopping in.