Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sigh of Relief

Today was supposed to be another packed, every-moment-there-is-something-to-do kind of day. Then through a series of unrelated events, it's turned out to be a quiet, stay in your pj's all morning kind of day.

I've got some stuff to do around here and then some shopping (I hope) to do. My parents will be here around lunch time, so we're just going to hang out, play some games, relax--exactly what this family needs after several weeks of whirlwind activities.

Just so you don't forget what sweet M looks like, here are some SOOC pics for your enjoyment. This is her "Mama's gonna take a picture and I don't like it" face. Nice, huh?


I hope you are sitting in your pajamas right now, relaxing, and enjoying a quiet Saturday with your family.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


We teach M biblical and theological truths by teaching her catechism questions. We're working on a question "Can God do all things?" The response is "God can do all his Holy will." In Sunday School, we teach that all things happen according to the will of the Lord.

Yesterday M said, "Mommy, I'm going to get a baby at my house."
Shocked, I said, "You are? Where is that baby going to come from?"
"Well, from God."
"You are right. God does give families babies to love, but only in His perfect time."
Sigh. "Yes, Mommy, I knowed that. But God's Holy will is for me to have a baby at my house. And he's going to sleep in my crib and I'm going to sleep in my big girl bed. And he's going to wear baby diapers, but not me because I a big girl now. And I read my fravorite stories to he." (and on and on and on)

Out of the mouths of babes.

Later, I asked if this baby was going to be a boy or a girl, a brother or a sister.
"Oh, he's going to be my very own baby shister."

That's right, friends. God is going to send us a baby boy that will be M's little sister.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Having difficulty simplifying

When you were little, did you spin around and around until the world continued to spin even when you stood still?

That's me right now. I'm standing still watching the kaleidoscope of my life spin around me: motherhood, wife-hood, school, friendships, hobbies, responsibilities. I'm having trouble finding joy in any of it because there is SO MUCH OF IT. There is not one moment to sit and cook with M. There is disciplining to do, teach-able moments, hush-and-let-me-finish-this moments. Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork to do at school. Then there is the school program and sewing for it. And then there is...on and on.

H and I need to sit down together and prune away some of the excess. We need to find time to be together as a family without outside pressures. We need to find a way to connect again.

I'm always surprised when I find myself in this situation, where my life is overrun by, well, by life. When the down time arrives at 11:00 at night and not one moment before. When my feet hit the feet running before 7:00 a.m. and the day stretches before me, screaming for every minute. I'm always surprised when I look at the calender and realize that EVERY SINGLE EVENING HAS BEEN BOOKED for more than 3 weeks.

And I wonder why M misbehaves??? She wants her mama!

The kaleidoscope is most definitely beautiful. The colors and textures are most pleasing to the eye. But it's time to slow down. Time to be still. Time to focus on only one thing at a time. Time to decide what is important and give that some attention.

Until then, I might be a bit spotty around here. I've got some important matters to attend to. In fact, she's calling my name right now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pity Party

I'm having a big, ole', huge pity party. Feel free to join, but you must bring your own violins.

Right now I'm sipping on a delicious caramel coffee milkshake from my favorite chicken nugget place. If you don't know which one I'm referring to, you are seriously missing out on some goodness.

The problem with this indulgence is that I lost 2 lbs this week. A breakthrough! I finally busted through that 20 lb road block. And I'm sure I'm gaining every single ounce back with each suck on the straw.

But, darn it. I need a little love party tonight. Why? Did I hear you ask why? Or was that you clicking away to a more upbeat blog?

Oh, well. I'm still going to tell my story.

By 8:45 this morning, I realized I probably should leave work and just go back to bed. As soon as I walked in the door, the sweetest employee at our school informed me that I'd royally set off (that's southern for PISSED OFF) one of my parents.


I just typed out in detail both instances, but there is no way I can publish them. They would give away too much detail. There was much backspace pushing.

Trust me when I say that I'm working myself to death for these students. Last year I was completely burned out. At the beginning of this year, I felt renewed and excited, like my old teacher self. I was ready and eager to get the year started on the right foot. If there is ONE thing I hate as a teacher, it is conflict with the parent. I truly, honestly, only want the best thing for the students. Sometimes that means being truthful about the day the child had. Sometimes that means correcting student behavior. But it's only because I want the children to be successful academically. If a child doesn't have self-control or accept responsibility for this actions, how can he do his personal best in the classroom? If she can't keep up with her materials, how can she be successful? I work so hard to develop relationships with the children and their parents. I want my students to love school, for pete's sake. They've only been in school a few years. The very last thing I want is for them to hate school for the next bazillion years because they had a rough year with me. On the other hand, I expect them to work HARD. To show what they know. To be obedient and diligent in their work. I don't go to bed thinking of ways to ruin their child's day or to make life difficult for the children. I'm too tired. by the end of the day, I need sleep to renew myself to give everything I can do the children the next day.


And to think that I'm going to gain those 2 lbs back over this. That makes it stink even more.

I hope you're day was much better than mine.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A letter to Miss Independence

Dear Miss Independence,

Welcome to our home. Since you've arrived, it's becoming increasingly clear that you will not be going anywhere for the rest of my sweet daughter's life. In fact, you are probably just beginning to show yourself.

Let me make it perfectly clear that I welcome your arrival, but not the extra friends you've brought along. Your friend fussiness can move on out. I understand that when you aren't allowed to fully express yourself, you find it necessary to invite your friends to wreck havoc on our home. HAVOC is NOT welcome in the Benson household.

Let me give you a very specific example of what I mean.

Just today my sweet M wanted some water. For the past two years, whenever she wanted a drink, SHE ASKED FOR IT. But today...did she ask? Oh, no. Miss Independence, you whispered in her ear and gave her the specific directions necessary for fulfilling her desire for water. Everything was going fine. I was perfectly aware of what she was doing, but was sitting back, waiting to see how far she'd go. She got her cup. She set up the step ladder. She pushed the button for the water.

Enter havoc, stage left. Oh, he was stealthy this time. Just when M pushed the water button, she got distracted (he probably pinched her or something). Instead of water going directly into the cup, it went all over her clothes, in her face. on the step ladder, dripping on the floor. In her panic, M did not release the water button. So water continued to spew in all directions in our kitchen. Now I had to clean up a humongous mess and calm down a screeching, dripping, writhing toddler and it was barely 9:00 this morning. Thanks a lot.

Miss Independence, in that moment, I wanted to pack your bags and put you on the streets.

Our day continued with smaller, less significant issues similar in nature. They are usually preceded or followed by comments such as, "I do it myself." or "My can do it, Mommy!" or "Wet me try all by myself." I am thankful for the desire for independence. M is taking care of most of her potty-ing needs by herself. She feeds herself. She plays by herself. Today she even dressed herself, mostly. For those accomplishments, I am forever thankful to you, Miss Independence.

But when I don't allow you to fully expose yourself, Miss Independence, the tantrums are monumental.

Isn't there a better way to do this? Can't we find a way to allow you to slowly assert yourself without your friends, fussiness, havoc, and tantrum, involved? Truly, I do welcome you to our home. Let's just find a compromise that works for both of us.

I know we both have M's best interest at heart.

M's Mother, Natalie

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ugly, ugly Ike

My deepest prayers are with those who are being affected by mean ole' Ike right now. I can't imagine the fear, the worry, the stress that he is causing.

He is having a tremendous rippling effect. As I was driving home, I noticed two gas stations seemed rather busy. Then I noticed that the price of gas has spiked up in the past twenty-four hours. I decided that M and I would run to our regular gas station to top off the tank. I knew the station was busy before I could even turn into the massive parking lot where the station is located. Cars were lined up, literally bumper to bumper, to get into the shopping center. When I was close enough to see the gas station, we were the 7th car in line for the first pump. Each pump had that many or more cars lined up. I noticed 4 relatively well-dressed men wandering around, stopping periodically at cars. I thought that was strange, but didn't pay a lot of attention. Until I realized they were the managers of the grocery store, helping out at the gas station. They were completely there for crowd control. I've never in my life seen anything like that before.

Most people were well behaved. Most. There is always one or two that will act out in a crowd, showing their true colors. Imagine pump 1, pump 2, and pump 3. (Oh, M and I had moved to pump 3 by this time...a good 20 minutes into our waiting). Pump one and three are facing the busy road, pump two drivers are facing the parking lot. Got the visual image? Well, some fancy-pants decided she was going to use pump 2, so she drove in, FACING THE ROAD--backwards from all the other people who were waiting in line FOR THE SAME PUMP. Because, obviously, she was above waiting in line like the rest of civilization. I'm not sure if the managers noticed right away--they didn't head over immediately. When the sweet (I'm assuming) lady who was pumping her gas was finished, she was...guess what--BLOCKED IN. Not enough room to head forward and definitely not enough room to go back. (I was wondering what all the people in line behind her were thinking.) So, the managers--smart men that they were--headed over in a pair to handle this volatile situation. Oh, I forgot to mention that the lady was creeping closer to the pump, further blocking in the lady who was done pumping. Because I am my father's daughter, I memorized every moment of this exchange. I'm not sure what the managers said to the creeping lady when they approached her, but it set her off good. She punched it in reverse (I was worried about the car in front of me), and cut in between two cars at pump 1 and raced off.


All other interactions seemed tame. It was hard to manuver my big ole' van, but people were kind and one young man reversed enough that I could squeeze between two cars. I'm pretty sure the cop was sweating it as I came barrelling pretty close to him. But I was able to stop and reverse before there was a catastrophe.

If only Ike could do the same thing.

Christina, I hope you and your family aren't in the direct path of Ike. Please let us know.

ETA: Kyla and her family have evacuated. KayTar is sick, BubTar is bored, Josh is calm, Kyla is worried and should be studying. They have a limited amount of KayTar's meds, which are specially made at a local pharmacy. Please say a prayer that their home is safe, that they can return quickly to the comfort to which they are accustomed, and that KayTar gets over her illness quickly.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Got nothings

Friends, sometimes I'm all dried up. I've given too much away. This week is about survival. Tonight and tomorrow night (ahem, yes, that would be AFTER teaching all day), I've got two events on the schedule. That's right. Four IMPORTANT events crammed into two nights.

So. What am I going to do?

Taking a little bloggy break this week. I miss you. I'll catch ya later.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sleeping Beauty wakes up...


"Daddy, why wet?"
My ears perked up.
", I'm not sure. Nat, can you come help us?"
I put my brush on the bathroom counter and walked into M's room.
I was accosted by the smell of urine. Lots of urine. Where could that much urine come from?
"M, are your pajamas wet?" I asked.
H answered, "Soaked."
"Through her diaper?" I asked.
Deathly silence.
"Diaper? Oh, God. I forgot to put a diaper on her before bed last night!"

I laughed so hard. Super dad who NEVER makes a mistake (according to him) forgot to change M out of her underpants and into her diaper last night! She was soaked in urine. Her hair was wet, her pjs were wet, her bed was SOAKED. We had to strip her crib, wash everything in it. She had to have a bath, including a hair wash. There was much screaming about both of those things (me about the bed, M about the bath first thing in the morning!).

Monday, September 1, 2008

MBS: Away with friends

Memories from being away
(with no kids!!!)
Actually, I'm the only one with a young child. Two of my friends have children that are in college (or older) and the other friend has high school aged children. As they liked to point out after several tropical drinks, they are all old enough to be my mother!!
Somehow, friendship defies age.


Reading and tropical drinks

Bright colors dotting the beach

Flapping canvas in the wind

MBS: Friendship

For other MBS, visit Mother May I.