Cynical Optimism

expecting the worst and being optimistic about it

a day in the life....
Up before 7 - check
Tea made - check
Bible read - check
child nursed - check
child snuggled - check
child diapered and dressed - check
child fed - check
child cleaned - check
self fed - check (for now....)
child's room cleaned - che... (ok, only got 1/2way done with that one)
child's sheet changed - check
child's clothes unpacked - check
child's clothes PUT AWAY - CHECK!!! (what is it about putting them away? they get folded nice and neat... and then sit in the basket for another 3 days.... geez... but NOT THIS TIME!)
kitchen cleaned - later
check email - check
child taken on a walk - check
help child throw rocks in the creek - check
creek delivered from rotting possum carcass - check (don't worry, I just sent it on downstream for someone ELSE to deal with)
suddenly helpless and whining child carried back to the house - check
books read (with appropriate sound effects) to child - check
milk warmed and given to child - check
child rocked - check
child put into bed - check

All accomplished before 10 am - check

staff meeting - check
living room straightened - check
check email - check
distract self with book and read for 40 minutes - check (wait... should this even be on here?)
child wakes up - check

All accomplished before noon - check (*note to self* see what a difference a book makes? SELF CONTROL!)

child snuggled - check
child told he could NOT go outside because it was raining - check
discovered that you had left the lid off of the sandbox you were trying to dry out - check
change child's diaper - check
feed child - check
feed self - check
read proverbs to child - check
try to hush child who always tries to talk loudest when his mom is reading from the Bible - check
child cleaned - check
child re-diapered - check
child told he could NOT go outside because it was STILL raining - check
trash taken out to dumpster with child on hip - check
calm down crying child who insists he be allowed back outside in the rain - check
read books to child - check
tickle child - check
give child horsey ride - check
convince child to play by himself for a while - che.... (this worked on and off)
check email - check
try to shoot video of child pretending to eat out of the dog bowl in his book - fail (boo.)
make grocery list - check
go to grocery store - later
turn on Milo and Otis - check
read World magazine - ch.....
turn off Milo and Otis 30 minutes later - check
convince complaining child that he would rather have milk and snuggle (and then bed) than watch Milo and Otis - check
put child to bed - check

All accomplished before 3:30pm - check

start working for boss - check
read World magazine while computer processes things - check
check email 10 times - check
child wakes up - check

All accomplished before 5 pm - check

snuggle child to get him to stop crying/complaining - nope
tickle child to get him to stop crying/complaining - he laughed, but when back to moaning afterwards
threaten child with punishment to get him to stop crying/complaining - not a chance, mom
take moaning child into the bedroom to wake up night shift husband - check
decide that if child is going to moan anyway, he might as well be doing it during a diaper change - check
enlist sleepy hubby to hold screaming child down - check
try to get child to stop screaming bloody murder - this one took a while, but finally happened
snuggle and sing to child in rocking chair for 5 minutes while they calm down - check (FINALLY.... this ended a 30 minute bad mood spree)
give child juice, raisins and cheezits - check
warm up supper - check
cook noodles - check
convince child to eat peas instead of chocolate - check (mix them with mashed potatoes)
family worship - check
nanner puddin' - check
clean child - check
leave child crying in father's arms to go the grocery store - check
run outside in the rain - check
forget coupons and have to go back in the house - check
leave crying child again - check
grocery shopping - check
successfully avoid drowning in the small river running across the parking lot - check
unload/put away groceries - check
warm milk and give to child - check
put child in bed with said milk - check
finish book - check
clean kitchen - later
get on facebook and look up last week's storm damage/tornado information instead of cleaning kitchen - check
write this blog post instead of going to bed on time - check

All accomplished by 11:27 pm

To Do: go to bed.

they say there's a first time for everything...
...and today was the first time I saw a live mole above ground, just toddling around and minding his own business.  I don't ever remember seeing a mole doing anything before, except maybe on a tv special about wildlife, or dead on our welcome mat (cats like to give presents to beloved owners).

William was very excited.  These days he's meeting many new animal friends that, hitherto, he's only come across in books. And, when it clicks that "This is a REAL BEE!!!", he gets VERY enthusiastic.  In fact, after the pointing and the screeching stage is over (about 5 seconds), he immediately switches to the "oh boy Mom, let me HOLD IT!!!!" stage, which is showcased by him frantically rubbing his stomach.  Though this might confuse many of you, in fact, he's using sign language to say "please", in his own male way (you're actually supposed to rub your chest right below your neck.... he rubs his stomach).

Now, when this involves a dog or a cat (that I know has a willing owner), I have no problem complying with this.  But in fact, I'm not going to let my 1.3 year old anywhere near a Carpenter Bee, even if they don't have stingers (there are HUNDREDS floating around our complex... flying, technically.... you get the point).  Or the small jumping spider he discovered on the bedroom wall the other morning (I let that one go outside, rather than suffer a gruesome death + I would have to clean spider guts off of his hands + who knows if the spider would get a bite off before he died).  William hasn't tried to pick up any ants yet, thank goodness, since they are everywhere. And birds are rightly much too cautious to let him anywhere near them.  But the mole.... I was actually more worried about the mole's well being than William's in this case (although, again, he probably has a mean bite).

Fortunately, William understands "gentle" (most of the time), and I managed to pick the mole up without him thinking he was being attacked.  He was very cute.... and very fuzzy.  I kind of want one now..... Where was I? Right, so I picked it up and put on William's outstretched hand a few times (the mole kept climbing off onto my hand, which was strategically placed RIGHT UNDER William's hand), and after about 3 minutes of this we put it back on the ground and watched it toddle off.  For quite a while, because William kept following it, and trying to pet it some more (he wasn't QUITE quick enough.... by the time he leaned down to where the mole had been when he started the lean, the mole had moved on, so William had to move on, and the process was repeated many times).  He also kept trying to give the mole sticks, even though I continued informing him that mole had NO INTEREST in a stick.  Apparently in some situations William does like to share, imagine that.

All this occurred at the neighbors house where I babysit, and they have 3 cats.  In fact, last week we came outside to the spectacle of one of the cats playing playing with it's food - a live chipmunk that looked fine except for being rather dazed.... and missing all the hair on its tail. That was a little much.  I mean, I like meat just as much as the next person, and I think PETA is silly.... but I also sympathize very much with Fern, and am very glad that Wilbur ended up being "some pig" instead of bacon (mmmmmm, bacon.... I should get some of that....).

Changing the subject, another first for me was seeing a household item that I owned in a tv show (Mac computers not withstanding).  Yes, if you watch Season 3 of Bones (it's on Netflix), and pay attention to when Dr. Brennan is in the lab, drinking out of tall yellow mugs with a black Jeffersonian symbol on them.... I own one of those.  Well, without the symbol.  I got mine at Target in August '08.  I think that season ran in '07, but I'm not positive.

And William's big first of yesterday was playing, with semi-abandon, in a muddy puddle.  Mom, I had visions of that picture you took of ME in a mud puddle, and I took some of him, but I think your picture is better.  This particular puddle appears in our front "yard" when it rains (a space of grass about 3ft by 12 ft), and so far William had contented himself with throwing pebbles and hitting it with sticks.  But, yesterday he discovered that he could, in fact, walk in it and start splashing with his feet.  It was very funny to watch.  And it really wasn't THAT muddy (no hose required), so I let him have fun.

Of course, today, he tries to do the same thing, despite being told "DON'T TOUCH!!!", and, well.... let's just say he wasn't as happy with the results today.

And I'm out of firsts....

If you like the show "Lie To Me"....
Then you will probably be interested to know, if you already don't, that

1) Is based on real science - about 80% on average.  (See this Popular Mechanic's article)

2) Cal Lightman and Gillian _____ (forgot her name) are based on two real scientists and their work (Dr. Paul Ekman and his partner).

3) There really are "naturals" (like Ria Torres), and they're VERY rare.  Out of the 15,000 people Dr. Ekman studied, only 50 ended up being able to spot lies and micro expressions correctly more than 50% of the time.  He calls them "Wizards at deception detecting".

4) One of the 50 people has a blog called Eyes for Lies and does consulting like Lightman's character.  It's very interesting.

5) Dr. Eckman is actually consulted about every episode of Lie to Me, and writes a blog about the true science of each episode (which means that now I have to go back and start over with Season 1, and then go read about each episode after I watch it *grin*).

so cool.... I should probably go do something useful now.....

Please read this
The fact that this is happening IN AMERICA is driving me crazy.  Maybe I'm too much of an idealist, but I still think this is one of those situations where we need to get off of our desk chairs and actually do something.  Like, pray and spread the word. Or call the representatives in Detroit/Michigan (that's what I'm doing). Or sign the petition. Or something else. 

So, this Mother in Detroit - Maryanne Godboldo- who was homeschooling her disabled child for years, but decided to put her into public school when she reached middle school, also had to get her immunized.  The girl reacted to the immunizations, and when the mom called the health department/child services, they suggested an anti-psychotic drug.  When the girl reacted even worse to the drug, the mom went to a doctor who recommended taking her off the drug and trying a holistic remedy.  The girl improved immensely.

Meanwhile, the CPC (child protection services) decided that, even though Maryanne voluntary did all of these things, she wasn't allowed to take her child off of the anti-psychotic medication, and ended up sending a SWAT team to her house to kidnap her child (reports are conflicted about whether or not there was a legal warrant). Maryanne told them no, and apparently fired some warning shots to show she was serious.  13 hours later, she agreed to end the standoff provided that her child would be given to relatives (instead of kidnapped), which was agreed to.... and then they kidnapped her and put her in a CPC facility anyway.  Maryanne was arrested and charged for a whole lot of things, like resisting officers.

*sigh* This is just a summary.  You can read the whole, horrifying story here, here and here.  Also, here is the website for Maryanne.

Please don't just read this and say "how awful!!!"  This woman's child has been KIDNAPPED. We need to DO SOMETHING.

A Good Haul
We went to Mkay this afternoon.  Rainey donated MANY movies to the "yellow credit" cause, and I donated some cd's I found in our apartment's trash bin (they were "like new").  But anyway, the point of this post is to gush over the great finds I .... well..... found.

First off, we have this WONDERFUL book, that I LOVED as a child (and still do - truth be told):

This adorable piece of literature is about a postman who goes around delivering letters to various fairy tale characters.  The best part is that, for each character, you actually get a little copy of the letter to pull out of the envelope and read!  So, when I found it on the shelf for $.95 (yes, exactly - I would have paid $5.00 for it) I thought "Wow.... there's no way all the letters are actually in this for ninety-five cents."  And they were!!!! And I got it for ninety-five cents!!!  HOORAY!  Someday, my kids will love this book.  In the meantime, it will keep.

I also found this for FIVE cents,

this one for TEN cents,

these for FIFTEEN cents (each)

(note - I have read the first one, and I thought it was very entertaining as a small child.  I have not read the 2nd one, but it's by Dick King-Smith, so I'm sure it's brilliant.  For the uneducated, he's the man who wrote "Babe")

this for TWENTY cents (I also got the first one, but it was $1),

and these for TWENTY-FIVE cents.

Hint - check the "bargain books" youth section.  It's right by the audio books when you go 'round the corner to enter the kid's section.  There are a lot of worthless books to wade through, but I think it's worth it.  I'm going to check this section every time now.

Some other notable mentions include

(this one was in the free pile)

Ok, I'm done.  I got a lot of other books too, but these are the most exciting. My children's book collection just got better by leaps and bounds.

Another recent conversation...
You guys should tell me if this is as funny as I think it is. Maybe you had to be there....


speaking on the subject of inside pets:

Sarah: "I wouldn't mind a large, old, quiet inside dog.  The kind that sits on your feet and keeps them warm."
Mom: "Before I got married a lived with a family who had an inside dog, and sat on my feet and kept them warm.  The next day I had flea bites all over my feet and up my legs.  They also had little kittens, who got in my room one day, unbeknownst to me.  I shut the door and went off to work, and when I came back I had plants destroyed and scattered all over."
Sarah: *in a loud voice, so Dad can hear* "So, what you're saying is, you have a deeply ingrained vendetta against inside pets."
Mom: "Yes."
Dad: "What she has is laser vision, radar laser vision, that can spot a cat hair 20 yards away - INVISIBLE to the rest of mankind."
Sarah: "Wait, I think you mean, 'men-kind'." *laughing*
Dad: *laughing* "Yes, men-kind."
Mom: "I used to think my Dad was SO UNFAIR when he wouldn't let us have inside pets, but the older I get...."
Dad (interrupting): "The older she gets the MORE UNFAIR she gets!"
(Sarah and Dad burst out laughing, Mom scowls)
Dad: "But we do have a kind of, sort of, inside cat."
Mom: "Yeeeeeeeesssss, and sometimes I find her on LAPS in the LIVING ROOM!"
Sarah: "And WHAT do you do? You TAKE A PICTURE!!!!" *everyone laughs*


A typical kind of conversation in our house....
William sits down in front of the door right before Rainey is due to leave to go study...

Rainey - "Hey Bud, are you blocking the door? Are you trying to keep me from leaving?"
William - "uh Gagahgahg buh buh DADADADA!"
Rainey - "I'll push you out of the way... I can take you."
Me - "But he's cuter."
Rainey - "Not by much....."

Random thoughts
Today at Walmart I saw a (college age?) girl walk up to the checkout line with a gallon of milk and box of cheez-its. My first thought was "That's my kind of girl."


I also saw a lady wearing a knit/lace type shawl/wrap I'd never seen before.  She was looking at the biscuits.  So I stood next to her and pretended to look at the biscuits too so I could really stare at her shawl without being obvious.  That is, until she thought she was in my way, and started backing up.  So I just told her I was really looking at her shawl, which she seemed to take as a huge compliment. It was still a little embarrassing though.  So, I think the moral of this story is that I either need to work my people watching skills up to a less obvious level, or I just need to stop being honest in public.


This happened the other night.

In case you can't tell, this is Rainey using William as a pillow, and William trying to push him off with his hands and feet, and loving every minute of it. I think Rainey had fun too....

I heart Walgreens
Walgreens is having some really good sales this week - just fyi.  They have a lot of free items (after Register Rewards), which doesn't happen every week. So, I think this might be my best run yet.

Click to find out how much.... And some cute pictures.Collapse )

Amy Grant, Christian Radio, and me.
Yesterday morning, as I was driving to bible study, I discovered that the Christian Music Industry's shunning of Amy Grant has apparently been lifted. This may have happened a while ago, but it was news to me.  I was rather shocked to find her prominently featured in a three minute "Intentional Living Moment" talking about her faith and her parent's dementia.  Maybe I'm just behind the times. "How could this happen?", you ask.  Well, it starts way back, about 15 years ago...

...Growing up, if we wanted music in the car it was the radio or nothing. This isn't because there weren't cd players or tape decks (I'm not that old - don't worry), but instead because, when you lived with my family, the CARS were too old to have cd-players in them.  There were usually tape decks, but my parents didn't care enough to spend their money on tapes. Of course, this all changed when I discovered that a cd-walkman and a car-tape-thingy meant cd's in the car, but this was later when I started driving.  I'm talking about ages 8-14ish.   All this to say that, in much of my formative years, we listened to the radio.

And, I have recently discovered, as a newly minted mother myself, when you turn on the radio as a parent, you listen to what's filling your ears (i.e., the little ears behind you) in a completely new light.  So, it is no surprise to me, that the ONLY radio station we ever listened to growing up (except for NPR, occasionally, when Dad was driving - although I'm sure we complained mightily - and classical music sometimes when Mom was driving) was the local Contemporary Christian Music station. And boy, did we love it. Adventures in Odyssey every Sunday morning, Focus-on-the-Family and sermons in the evening, The Edge on Saturday nights (alternative/rock CCM - SO COOL (<-sarcasm)), calling in for every contest we possibly could (and winning occasionally), and even participating in pledge drives.  Yes, I'll admit it, I gave my $5 and $10 dollars to the station a few years.  One of the highlights of my teenage life was being on the radio TWICE in ONE DAY when dcTalk came to town and I went to their signing at the local Christian Book store. You get the point? I was SOLD on CCM.

Until I was about 16 or 17.... at which point I'd been listening to the same station (pretty much exclusively) for about 10 years.

About this time, a combination of boredom, cynicism and the realm of non-CCM music being brought to my attention (thanks friends) contributed to my almost complete rejection of 88.5 and CCM music in general. It was SO SHALLOW!!!  SO repetative.  The radio played the same 40 songs OVER and OVER and OVER again, and when they introduced new ones, they sounded JUST like the old ones. I mean, c'mon Nashville - REALLY? How can I believe you're out there serving Jesus when your music sounds like you're just trying to capitalize on making the proven buck? 

So anyway..... I was pretty cynical about CCM (barring a few bands, like Jars of Clay and Caedmon's Call, and some others I might think of in a minute).  I still can be, but I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt now.

Back to the future, and to sum up: the reason I have no idea how long Amy Grant has ACTUALLY been on the "no-play" bandwagon is because I stopped listening to Christian radio about 10 years ago, and am only just now trying to start again.  Not that I'm super excited about CCM music these days...  But the Family Life Radio being beamed into Chattanooga actually seems pretty down-to-earth and focused on helping people keep Jesus and holy living at the front of their minds more of the day than not.  Which is the other reason, aside from the "What do I want William listening to? Really? Even if *I* am cynical about it?" reason, that it's my new default station: Even if I don't like every song they play (and roll my eyes or wince at some of them (or wonder how Amy got back on the "helpful Christian guru" list)), it's encouraging and good for me to be thinking about Jesus more during the day. Instead of just spacing out or listening to Guns'n'Roses on the classic rock station.

*Note* - I am not making the case that classic rock is somehow inherently bad, or that one can't glorify God and also be a non-CCM artist. I think everybody who is reading this probably knows that. But if you didn't.... now you do.

My husband is NOT on board with turning on the car and hearing CCM, but then, he's a self labeled music snob.  And prone to heavy cynicism, like myself. I just stick my tongue out at him.

I was going to segway into something else that was related, and darn it if I forgot the whole second half of this post.......

(on a random side note, Livejournal thinks that "segway" is a misspelling of either "seaway" or "sewage".  But then, it also thinks "livejournal" is misspelled....)

*insert Jeopardy Music*

.....yup, no idea what else I was going to ramble about.

So, in lieu of whatever that uninteresting thing was going to be, here's some REAL news: a wiggle update.


William is 14 months, and learning new tricks things every day. He's got walking down pretty well, and has decided that, since he can walk upright, crawling up and down stairs is no longer cool. "Really Mom? I'm a big boy now - I can WALK up the stairs" (which only works if I'm holding his hand, and basically pulling him up).  And I have to command him to crawl backwards down the stairs.... he's not foolish enough to try and walk down them by himself, but he would much prefer that I help him down in a forward and upright fashion than what seems to strik him as highly ignoble business of crawling backwards.

We haven't heard any words yet (except maybe "no"), but he is fluent in most common animal noises (the kind people usually put in kid's board books, anyway), as well as signs for squirrel and monkey, and currently elephants are his favorite animal. With doggies and kitties coming in a close 2nd and 3rd. Well, he's never met an elephant in person, but Colonel Hathi on YouTube is his favorite, at least.

The other day, Rainey was reading to William, and this is what happened:

-Rainey, looking at an animal book with William: "Where's the horsey?  Good job!!!  Where's the doggy?  That's right!  Where's the hippopotamus? No....  nope, not that one..... Nope...

(Is this funny to anyone else? Why would my 14 month old know what a hippopotamus was?)

His favorite activities these days include watching tv (when I let him, which isn't as often as he would let him), playing outside, balls, throwing rocks and sticks and grass and what-have-you into the creek, being chased by a growling parent, opening things with keys (not that he can actually do that by himself... but that doesn't stop him from trying really hard with Mommy's keys), figuring out how to unlock Daddy's iphone, giving hugs, and looking at books.

OK - the dishes are calling my name, so it's time to be done with this long winded post, which probably wasn't very interesting until the last 6 paragraphs. But, I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has had cynical experiences with CCM, or, really, simply what you think about CCM and Christian radio in general. Maybe if enough people comment I'll actually start doing this on a regular basis....

Oh yeah, and Amy Grant. What do we think about Amy Grant? I LOVED "Heart in Motion" when I was little, which isn't really CCM at all.... but I said I was going to be done. K, bye.
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