Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fat lip momma

So I took a week off from blogging. The fact that I blogged everyday for two weeks is pretty impressive, but it was just too much for me. Since I work all day I was writing most of my blogs after my son went to bed, and often after my husband went to sleep too. That led to late nights and not a lot of quality time with hubby. So I took a break. I even abandoned facebook for a few days.

So now I feel refreshed with a few new blog ideas in my head - to be released gradually, but in a more timely fashion than in the past (ie: more than twice a year).

But today is not a day for those blogs, for I have an injury. It seems my son, rambunctious boy that he is, has decided that bonking me in the face with his hard noggin is fun. Even after several time-outs and discussions about "not nice" and "giving Mommy boo-boos" he still thinks it's an acceptable way to say hello. And so, while snuggling in bed watching TV, he turned to me. Thinking he was going to give me a kiss I puckered up, and he smacked his forehead right into my lips.

Um, ouch. A lot. And blood.

So, after some ice and a lot of lip balm, this is my lip. I learned it's hard to drink coffee with only one side of my mouth. My bad habit of chewing my lips is out of the question for now. I'm just hoping it's less sensitive by tomorrow.

But, Tommy did kiss it for me, after he apologized and was let out of time-out. And toddler kisses heal anything, right?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving back with animals

Our pets give to us all the time. They give us affection, entertainment, and comfort (and sometimes hair, slobber, and other gifts). But how can we give back to them?

First of all, take care of the animals you have. Make sure they go to the vet regularly for checkups, stay on any needed medication, and have good food and grooming care. But beyond that, there are several things you can do.

Volunteer at your local humane society. Many of them run on donations, and workers either aren't paid or work for minimum wage. Sometimes they just need people to walk, feed, and play with the animals there. They often need supplies too. Towels, cleaning supplies, food, and money are all usually needed.

Don't forget about local rescue groups too. They usually use foster homes, and don't have a central building like the humane society does. They usually run completely on donations, so help at any time of the year is welcome.

There are also ways you can use your pets to give back to people. If you have a well behaved animal you may take them to visit people who don't have many visitors. There are special programs, like Hand In Paw, Therapaws, and West Michigan Therapy Dogs, Inc, who train dogs to visit hospital patients to provide comfort and stimulation. These dogs go through behavior and health evaluations to make sure they are a good fit for the program.

If you're still looking for ways to give back either with or to animals, check with your local veterinarians. They may be able to guide you in the right direction, and they can also help you make sure you're giving your pet everything they need.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Well, this week has been quite crazy. I was tired from the rush of the week, so last night I went to bed early instead of writing my blog post. As I said on November 5th when I started this challange (4 days late), I probably won't be able to blog every day. So, here is the post I would have written yesterday.

The prompt for today is "What has been the happiest moment of your life thus far?"

This is me and my son. He and his daddy are the loves of my life. I can't say that the moment he came into the world was the happiest time of my life - to be completely honest I was just relieved that the pain had stopped and he was healthy and crying. But a few moment later when they placed him on my chest was the happiest moment. (for full disclosure sake I must confess that this picture was taken the next day. No one snapped a picture of us right after his birth, not that I really minded)

I wanted to be a mother most of my life. I've wanted kids way longer than I wanted to be a veterinarian. When I was a kid I'd pray and ask God to make my dolls come to life so I could have babies of my own. I took the Red Cross babysitting course at age 12, and started sitting for friends' and neighbors' kids when I turned 13. I helped my mom change my youngest brother's diapers (back when we used cloth diapers with real pins) and I helped feed him in his high chair. I worked the nursery at church growing up, at college, and after we got married. I just loved being around kids.

So, in June of 2008 when we found out we were pregnant, after just over a year of trying, I was thrilled. A little scared, but thrilled. It was actually kind of unexpected. We had been having trouble, my hormones weren't doing what the doctors expected, and we were about to explore fertility treatments. The month before I had some tests done at the fertility specialist, and the following month we were going in to discuss our options. It seems the tests may have opened up a blockage of some kind, and that had allowed us to conceive.

An so, in February 2009 we had a little boy. And it was love at first site. And the little boy grew (and grew, and grew). And he got me up every night for months (actually years). And he spit up on me, peed on me, and got poop on me, but I still loved him. Eventually he turned 18 months old and started the terrible twos (why not start early?), but I still loved him. Now he's a big boy, who sometimes has temper issues, but somehow always gets a smile from me in the end.

So here's some pictures of me and baby boy through the years:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The story of my Hubby

July 2003

This is my husband and I on our wedding day. It's the picture that ran in the paper a few weeks later. It doesn't really tell much of a story, though, so I'll fill in the blanks.

The year was 1999. I had recently graduated from college and moved to Alabama. My reasons were two-fold: I was tired of cold weather and I wanted to go to vet school at Auburn. I moved in with some family and started working as an intensive care technician at a local human hospital where my aunt was a nurse.

I was a little lonely and decided to play in the orchestra in the church I was attending. I played percussion in high school and college, and they needed a percussionist. It was time to start putting together their annual Christmas program. It was a pretty big production, and we recruited musicians from other places. We actually had 2 drummers as well as the percussion section - one from church, and one from a local college. In my experience there was a difference between percussionists and drummers (often drummers could only drum and sometimes not even read music). Imagine my shock when this college drummer saw I was having trouble with a bell piece, asked if I needed help, and then played the heck out of the piece! Turns out he was a percussion major and played drums also. So he wound up playing drums and helping out with the percussion parts.

We made small talk for several weeks. He found out I was just 10 months older than him (having previously figured since I was wearing scrubs all the time I must be a nurse and much older than him), found out I was single, and found out I parked in the upper lot during performances and walked down to the church. The last night of performances was during a horrible rain storm. He had parked down next to the church since he had to load up his own personal percussion and drum equipment that night, so he offered to give me a ride to my car. He played a cd for me that he had been telling me about - Metallica, but playing with an orchestra. I had to admit it was pretty cool, and I didn't hate it. Finally, after about 15 minutes he asked if he could call me sometime and ask me out on a date. It wouldn't be for a few weeks, since he was about to start finals, but after that could we go out? I said yes.

December 18 was our first date. It lasted for 7 hours! We went out to dinner, and talked. We went out for coffee, and talked. He took me back to his college and played some music for me, and we talked. We finally drove back to my house, and talked in the car. He dropped me off at 2am. It was the best date I'd ever had! We had so much in common. He was the first guy I'd ever been out with who actually liked sports as much as I did! Even though he was a #24 fan and I was diehard #3, I could get over that.

Feb 2000
Over the next year we dated exclusively. He comforted me as I was rejected from vet school several times since I was considered an out of state applicant. We talked about marriage and children, sports and religion, politics and music. There was one problem - he was allergic to animals. A fact he neglected to share until we had been dating for 2 weeks and I was already enamored. 30 minutes in my apartment and his eyes were swollen. He said he'd never met a cat he liked, mostly because of his allergies.

Enter Allie the Wonder Cat. She climbed into his lap and loved him every chance she got. He couldn't help but fall for her. And so, he became a cat person. A cat person who was allergic to cats. But he was in love with someone who loved animals. Then, Allie started to get lonely since I was spending so much time with him, so we got her a kitten, who then went on to become a very large cat. So now I had 2 cats.

Two years after our first date, we were doing the Christmas program at that same church. After the last performance he took me into one of the empty Sunday School rooms and proposed! A few months later we found out I'd finally been accepted into vet school. We planned our wedding for the summer after my freshman year. Sam went to see an allergist and they found an allergy shot and medication plan that worked for him. Yeah! So the kitties got to stay, and we all could be one happy family! 

So, we got married and had a wonderful honeymoon in Hawaii.

Then we moved into a rental house just outside Auburn so I could finish vet school. He was bored, so decided to compliment his music degree with a masters in molecular biology (yeah, I know). We attended numerous Auburn football, basketball, and baseball games. We are both Alabama fans, but grew to love Auburn while we were there.

We continued to grow closer as husband and wife, despite the hectic schedules (not an easy task, and not without a bumpy ride). We spent time with his family in Alabama, and even got to visit with my family on occasion.

We added a dog

Guinness, Gracie, and Allie
And then another cat

Dori with her sisters

He took me to NASCAR races and even to a Duke basketball game - sheer joy!!! 

Eventually we graduated and moved back to Birmingham. We both got jobs. We lost Guinness unexpectedly. We mourned her loss and tried to go on with our lives. Eventually we got another dog.

 Finally, we decided it was time to expand our family with another human. It took a year of trying, but we eventually got pregnant and were expecting a little boy in March of 2009. Just after the first of the year we lost Gracie unexpectedly. It was sad, but with the new baby on the way we had little time to mourn. Fortunately, the other animals kept us busy enough.

Notice how most of the animal pictures show them on our bed. My highly allergic husband, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, sleeps with the pets! He's come a long way from when we first started dating (thanks Allie)!

So, in February (yes, 3 weeks early) we added baby to the mix. And my hubbie became a daddy.

And quite an awesome daddy he is. And quite an awesome hubby too.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ah, the beach....

The Beach

I love the Beach

I love the smell of sunscreen

the sound of the waves and the wind and the seagulls

the feel of the sun on my skin and the sand in between my toes

the taste of salt water on my lips

the sight of the water, the sand, the sun, and my family

At any time I can close my eyes, drown out the world around me, and transport myself to the beach

I can hear the sounds, feel the sensations

This is my happy place

Monday, November 14, 2011


Monday, November 14, 2011
Have you faced fears and overcome them?

Most people don't know this, but I have a fear of social situations. The first time I can remember this being an issue is when I was a kid with my mom at the grocery store. She asked me to go up to the counter and buy stamps while she loaded up our cart. I took the money and headed to the customer service counter, and then froze. I didn't even make it up to the counter. Crazy thoughts took over my mind: "What if she asks a question I can't answer? What if she doesn't understand what I'm asking for? What if I don't have the correct change?" I went back to my mom and told her I couldn't do it. She didn't understand what was wrong, and to be honest neither did I.

This strange fear followed me as I got older. But it wasn't predictable. I could play team sports, even perform in school plays. But ask me to call and talk to a stranger over the phone and I couldn't do it. When the time came for me to find a summer job, I had trouble asking for applications. Calling to see if there were any positions available caused extreme anxiety. Going for an interview made me nervous, but not as anxious as just walking in and asking if they were hiring. It didn't make any sense to me, and it annoyed my dad because he thought I was just being lazy. It wasn't until I graduated from college that I could explain my strange behavior to him.

In college I wasn't immune either. I played on the JV volleyball team, was active in my classes, and played percussion in the orchestra. But I wouldn't go to the cafeteria to eat unless I knew that one of my friends would be there to sit with me. If there was a Sunday that my friends weren't in town, instead of going to church on my own I'd go to a local park and read my Bible on my own.

So, for years I fought this unreasonable fear. I didn't understand it, so I couldn't overcome it. Most of the time I was able to hide it from my friends and family - many of them still may not know about it.

So, what was my problem? I figured it out junior year of college. I'm a control freak. I like to know what's going to happen and make a plan. The situations that I was afraid of held a degree of uncertainty that I couldn't handle. If I didn't know what questions would be asked of me, who I would be talking to, what situations might arise, I couldn't have control over the situation. And that, ultimately, is what I was afraid of.

That junior year I hit rock bottom. My boyfriend broke up with me and I went into a depression. I didn't know that's what it was at the time, but I do now. I had a lot of time to think while I was wading through self pity. I had a lot of time to pray when I was mad at God for letting it happen to me. As I came through my depression I developed a new self-confidence. I started eating by myself in the cafeteria. If there was someone there I knew, I'd sit with them. But, if not, I'd lift my chin and sit either by myself or with some friendly looking people. I even started going to a new church by myself. I shook people's hands and made polite converation.

After graduation I moved 1000 miles away. I moved in with some family and got a job in ICU at a human hospital. I placed myself in hundreds of social situations that I had no control over. I met a great guy, we dated, and now we're married. I went to vet school and exposed myself to even more unknowns. I graduated, and am now a veterinarian who enters exam rooms numerous times a day without knowing what will happen when I open the door.

I don't think I've actually overcome my fears completely. They're still there. But I've found ways to manage them. I talk myself through possible situations before they happen. I think of questions and answers before I make a phone call. I read through my chart and the exam questionaire before I enter a room to see if there might be any information I need to bring to mind before I meet the animal and owners. I still have to pump myself up when I meet new people or enter a new situation. I take deep breaths and settle myself before the anxiety has a chance to surface. And I pray and ask God to help me stay calm and focused when unexpected situations do arise. I've learned you can't control the world, sometimes you just have to be as prepared as you can be and deal with what's thrown your way.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Musings

Today's lesson at church was on God's omniscience. He knows everything - everything that ever happened in the past, everything that is happening right now, and everything that will happen in the future. He also knows what would have happened if we made different choices in the past, as well as what could happen depending on what choices we are making now and those we will make in the future.

So, some people ask, why bother? If God knows what will happen, why bother making decisions? Does it even matter?


It matters because God wants it that way. He wants us to have responsibility over the choices we make. Otherwise Adam and Eve wouldn't have had a choice. God didn't have to plant the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He didn't have to give them a choice. If he wanted humans to blindly do His will it would have been easy to leave that tree out.

But He didn't. He gave them a choice. Yes, they chose wrong, and there were consequences for that bad choice. Big ones, huge ones, changing the course of humanity ones - but that's another lesson.

So, back to the main point, we have a choice. We have a responsibility to take our decisions seriously and deal with the consequences. God knows what we will do. He knows what choices we will make. But they're our choices. His omniscience does not supersede our responsibility.

I can relate to this in a small way as a wife and mother. I can predict the behavior of my husband and son. I know when they're about to make a decision, be it good or bad. Many times I know (because I know them so well) what their decision will be, and I can predict what will happen because of that decision. I know that when my husband eats the last few wings "just because I'd hate to waste them" that he will have overdone it and feel bad the next few hours. I know that when my son is eating and waving his food down below his tray where the dog is (even though I've sent the dog to the living room 10 times already) eventually the dog will take that yummy treat and my son will be upset. I know these things, but that doesn't change the fact that my husband is responsible for his overstuffed stomach and my son is responsible for his lost snack. And that doesn't even come close to how all-knowing God is about our choices.

So God knows everything. How does that apply to everyday life? Sometimes we humans get frustrated when we don't know what's happening. We don't see the big picture, we're not in on the big plan. But we shouldn't give up. We may not see God's plan while it's in action, but He does. When we don't understand the methods, we can still trust the intentions and believe that the outcome will be godly. Even when we mess up, He knows. He knew ahead of time that we'd do that. But we can't mess His plan up. Sure, we can make decisions that He's not pleased with, but since He knew ahead of time what we'd do He already made allowances for it. And when we see the error of our ways and come back to Him, we can get back on track and still be part of the plan.

Case in point, the apostle Peter. He was one of Jesus' chosen men. He worked side by side with Him during his ministry. He said he'd follow Jesus into jail and even death. But God knew. The gospels tell how Jesus told him that he'd deny even knowing Him 3 times leading to His death. And he was right. Peter fled when Jesus was arrested (after cutting off someone's ear). He hid around the fires during the trial. When people recognized him and called him out he denied it, 3 times. But God's plan went on without him. And after Jesus rose Peter went back to His side and was able to be one of the most instrumental tools in the new church. But I'm sure he never forgot what it felt like to deny Jesus. To realize that he was a coward and did exactly what he swore he'd never do. He had to live with that consequence, but it didn't wind up defining his life, because he went and got back on track with the plan.

Our choices effect us and our relationship with God. Since He knows ahead of time what our choices will be, we aren't actually altering His plan, just our participation in it. He lets us fail, so we can learn. So, we need to learn from our mistakes. Listen when we think God's warning us - His warnings don't come from guesswork or bad information. He knows the outcome. He wants us to be part of the plan, for our own good.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I hate daylight savings

I do. I hate daylight savings.

I didn't used to. Oh, I was annoyed in the spring when I lost an hour, but I loved the falling back and gaining an hour. Then I had my son.

Now I hate it.

People without kids don't realize what it does to those who do. Our "gain an hour, lose a hour" is backwards. Little kids can't tell time. They don't understand an extra hour of sleep. They wake up when they wake up, regardless of what numbers are on the clock.

The past 2 years we've been able to manage the change with few problems. For the week before the time change I've adjusted bedtime slowly to make the transition as smooth as possible. The past 2 years it worked pretty well.

This year it did not. At all.

See, the main problem was that Tommy had surgery to redo the tubes in his ears the Thursday before. We left the house at 5:30am. He didn't nap all morning or afternoon after we got home. He then fell asleep in the car on the way to pick up Daddy at 4:30. He didn't wake up (not to say I didn't try). Even through a diaper change and changing him into his PJs, he slept on. He slept all night long and didn't wake up until about 6:30 the next morning. So, no adjusting the bedtime that night.

The next problem was Saturday night, the night daylight savings ended. We were at his grandmother's house for the day, and loaded up to drive home about 6pm, which is 2 hours before his regular bedtime. I figured we'd keep him up till about 9, then he could go to bed and sleep his regular 11 hours and get up at a decent time.

No deal. He fell asleep on the way home. And again, he didn't wake up. I sat him up in the living room with the TV on and the lights blaring - nothing. I talked to him and asked if he wanted dinner - nothing. I changed his diaper and put his PJs on - I got "mmmm, night-night, Mommy."

And then he woke up at 5am. Which was now 4am. In his defense, he slept for his normal 11 hours. He didn't know Mommy and Daddy were entitled to an extra hour of sleep. He said it was time to get up and watch Little Einsteins. Nothing I said could change his mind. So, he got up, and we turned on the TV. What else is there to do at 4:30am? There wasn't actually anything for him to watch on Disney or PBS, so we went to the DVR. Which meant that every 25 minutes we had to get back out of bed and start a new episode. I tried to get him to watch a DVD, which would give us some rest, but he insisted on Little Einsteins, and at that hour I didn't have enough brain cells working to try to win an argument with a 2 year old.

So, flash forward to today. Daylight savings has been gone for 6 days. He should be adjusted. We've moved his bedtime back an hour. He should be getting up when I want him to get up. Nope. He's getting up an hour earlier. Still. Which means that Mommy has to get up 30 min earlier, and I have no "alone" time in the morning anymore. Not a good thing.

So, tomorrow starts another week. I tried to keep him up late tonight like I did last night. Instead, since he refuses to take naps at home anymore, he fell asleep at 7, instead of 9 like I wanted. Since I know that trying to wake him won't do any good, I put him to bed.

I guess instead of perusing the other NaBloPoMo blog posts I should sign off and go to bed early myself.

Stupid Daylight Savings.

Friday, November 11, 2011


My wishes:

That Tommy stays healthy this winter with no sinus or ear infections

That Sam completes the training for his job

That I get restful sleep each night and wake up without back pain

That our extended families stay healthy and happy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Books, books, and more books

Writing prompt for today:

Thursday, November 10, 2011
What is your secret (or not-so-secret) passion?

Reading. I'm addicted to it.  I could give up music, movies, and even *gasp* chocolate before I could give up reading.

When I was a kid I read all the time. I read in the morning before school, I read on the bus, I read in class when the teacher was boring (yeah, got in trouble for that a lot). I read at lunch and recess, I read on the way home, I read before dinner, I read after dinner (would have read during dinner if Mom had let me). I read before bed, and I read when I was supposed to be asleep (flashlights don't do good things for your eyes). I read at church - it was a running joke that I could walk down the hall from Sunday School to service with my nose in a book while walking around people. I read during service (got in trouble for that one too, till I learned to read my Bible instead of other books).

When I got older I kept reading. I went through library books like crazy. In high school I developed motion sickness when I read on the bus, but that didn't always stop me from reading. Many days I'd arrive at school with an upset stomach from reading on the bus, but it was worth it if I could read a couple more chapters. In college I didn't have as much time to read, but I snuck it in when I could. In my freshman lit class I read all the assignments by the end of the first month. Then I read them over and over in class when I got bored (I got bored in school a lot).

After college I had more time to read. I loved going on vacation with my family. Everyone brought books and we read on the beach, by the pool, in the pool - had to be careful with that one. I loved flying because I could read in the airport and on the plane (no motion sickness there!).

After I had my son reading fell by the wayside. It's hard to read a book with one hand. At night when he went to bed I was too tired to read, and during the day I just didn't have time.

Enter Kindle. I love it! My husband got a Kindle, and I was able to download the free app on my iPhone. It was amazing - I now had a book with me everywhere I went. Waiting at the doctor, holding Tommy, stuck in line at the grocery store, in between patients at work, waiting for the light to turn green (ok, that might have been taking it too far). I had rediscovered reading. I went through a book a day. I started having to look for free books from Amazon so I didn't spend all our money on ebooks. This past summer I got my own Kindle reader, since reading so much on my little iPhone screen started giving me headaches. Not quite as convenient as my phone, but I love that I can sync the devices and read the same book on both of them - so I'm still never without a book!

So, that's my not-so-secret passion. This is probably why I'm so into this blogging project - I'm able to read so many other people's blogs. There's so many good blog writers out there, and I'm really enjoying all the good reading material. So, thanks everyone for enabling my addiction :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The cool house

I'm not sure when I realized that my parents were the cool parents. I'm sure that sometime when I was growing up I thought my parents embarrassed me, but sometime in junior high or high school I knew that my parents were the cool parents. The ones my friends secretly wished their parents were like. It wasn't that they spent a lot of money on us, or that they didn't have any rules for us, or that let us have wild parties - that wasn't the case at all. It was that they were always there for us, and for our friends.

My parents were at everything when I was growing up. My dad coached neighborhood baseball while my mom kept score and ran the concession stand. My mom helped put together the yearbook in elementary school. They carpooled for after-school athletic practices or play rehearsals. For school athletics they helped drive and kept score. They let us have friends over on the weekends when we were younger. In high school they let us have parties on Friday nights, and sometimes our friends stayed over till Saturday. They were involved, and I loved it. People asked if our parents could chaperone trips. They piled into our van on road trips even if there was more room in other vehicles.

My parents knew some of the kids at school better than I did. My friends loved to come over to our house because they knew it was a safe place, my parents would always be there for us, there was always good food, and we could have fun without breaking rules. They never allowed alcohol, smoking, or drugs at our house. If someone was causing trouble they had to leave, but that rarely ever happened.

We didn't have a big house, and we didn't have a big yard, but that didn't stop people from coming over. I remember numerous Friday nights when we had a basketball game going in the back yard, people talking in the kitchen, movie watching going on in the den, guitar playing on the second floor, and a foosball game happening in the basement. Mom kept us stocked up with M&Ms, Reese's cups, Doritos, pop, and veggies and dip. People parked up and down the street, since our driveway was pretty small.

I recently had a chance to go back and visit my parents at my old house. It was great to be on familiar territory and back with my family. I relived lots of great memories, and I got to make new ones.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Too Early?

Today's prompt is to write about something traumatic that has happened to me. I'm not going to do that today, but if you're interested in reading about my experience with the April 27th tornadoes in Alabama I wrote about it here.

Instead, I have a confession to make.

There's a station here in town that plays Christmas music 24 hours a day around Christmas. The past 2 years they've started up their Christmas time earlier and earlier, and this year it started the morning of Halloween. I was annoyed. Who wants to hear Christmas music on Halloween?


That's right. I admit it. I listened to it. Just a song or 2, but I did. And it made me happy.

And I listened to it again the next day, and the next, and the next.....

I listened to it again today. And it made me happy again. And I made my son listen to it also.

I blame it on the radio station. They make it so easy, it's right there. It brings good feelings, feelings of Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, sending cards, seeing family, eating Christmas food, drinking cider, attending Christmas Eve services, singing carols.......

I admit it, I'm a Christmas music junkie.

The problem is, I'm afraid I'm going to overdo it. If I listen to too much now, before Thanksgiving even, by Christmas I may be tired of it. I may overdose on Christmas music before it's even time for Christmas.

So I should stop. I should reset my presets so I'm not tempted. I should only play my son's childrens' music cds in the truck. I should not listen to Christmas music right now!

Well, maybe just one more song...


Monday, November 7, 2011


Wow, this is the prompt from NaBloPoMo today:

Monday, November 7, 2011
Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and work life?

I really wish I had a good answer for that. Many times I'm unbalanced. It's hard to be a wife, mom, and working woman all at the same time. There are only so many hours in a day. On a typical day, here is how I break it down:

5:45-6:30 - Me time. I get up before anyone else, and after I get dressed I can do my devotions, check my email, start coffee, and do any leftover dishes from the night before.

6:30-8:00 - Mommy time. This is when my husband and I work together to get Tommy dressed and fed, and we get in the truck to head to daycare. Sometimes there's a little wife time in there, as I discuss the day with my husband and kiss him goodbye, but it's mostly Mommy time.

8:00-5:50 - Vet time. When I'm at work I'm in vet mode. Sure, I may answer a text from Sam from time to time, but most of the time Mommy and Wife me are not around during this time.

5:50-8:00 - Wife/Mommy time. I pick up Tommy and we head home to see Sam. Then it's time to eat, talk about our day, play a little, and get Tommy ready for bed.

8:00-10:00 - Wife time. Time to watch TV, talk about any pressing issues, clean up, do laundry, and anything else we might be interested in doing after Tommy goes to bed.

10:00-5:45 - Sleep....zzzzzzzzzz

Then I get up and start all over. Sure, sometimes Tommy wakes up at 4am (thank you, daylight savings) and Mommy time starts early. Sometimes I can get an early lunch and meet Sam for a quick bite to eat. On my off days Mommy me is around much more, and if Tommy takes a nap (which he doesn't like to do), Wife me gets to come out more often. Sometimes if work is slow I get some time to myself to catch up on email, read my Kindle, or chat with some of the girls at work.

It's hard to balance my life and make time for family. Work me pretty much takes care of herself. I have set hours I need to spend at work. I treat my patients, get my charts done, talk to the owners, and plan out the next day. When I'm there I'm pretty focused, and (for the most part) I can leave my job when I leave work.

Mommy me is a little harder. Tommy spends more waking time at daycare than he does with me. I'm thankful that he has excellent teachers who he loves, and he learns so much more from them than he could learn at home with me. But that's still difficult to accept. My mom didn't work when we were little. She taught us what our colors were, how to read, and how to tie our shoes. I'm not my mom. I don't know how she did it, but I'm glad she did. I hope Tommy is happy with the choices we've made for him. I try to make all the available Mommy time count. We play in the backyard, go on walks to the park, watch silly shows (with hidden educational value) on TV, chase each other around the house, spin until we fall down, dance until we fall down, tickle until we fall down (Tommy likes falling down). Overall I guess I think I'm pretty happy with Mommy time. Tommy knows I love him, and I know he loves me in that "Mommy can do anything" kind of way that lights up his face when he sees me.

Wife me is where the balance falls off. Sure, Sam and I are home at the same time, but we're not exactly spending time together. In the morning we chat while brushing teeth, packing bags, feeding the animals, and getting Tommy ready to leave. After we get home it's not much better. While we eat we're both making sure Tommy isn't throwing his food on the floor or smearing it on the table. After dinner one of us is getting Tommy ready for bed while the other is catching up on housework. Only after he goes to bed do we have time alone, and all to often we're too tired to do much more than watch TV, catch up on emails, and go to bed. This is an area where I need to conscientiously make an effort to do better. Lunch dates are too few and far between, they could happen at least 2-3 times a month if not weekly. We should line up babysitters more often to go out and spend some time together as adults, even if it's just to eat some fast food, go shopping, or even go away for a weekend. Wife me needs a V8.

So, I sure don't have it all figured out. Some days are better than others. I need to keep working on keeping the balance, or at least keeping things as even as possible.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jonah, the rest of the story...

Today's lesson at church was from the book of Jonah. Now, many people know the Sunday school version of Jonah. God told him to go talk to the Ninevites. Jonah didn't want to so he got on a boat going the other way and fell asleep. Then God sent a storm to stop the boat, and all the people on the boat were scared. Eventually Jonah told them to throw him overboard, and after they did the storm stopped. Then a big fish swallowed Jonah up. He stayed trapped in the fish for 3 days, then after he called out to God the fish spit him out on dry land and he went to Nineveh.

That's where the story stops for most people, but that's not really the end of the story. That makes it seem like Jonah learned his lesson. The truth is, he didn't. Yes, he learned that running away from God lands you in the belly of a yucky fish, but it didn't turn him into an obedient man of God. See, Jonah had a chip on his shoulder. The reason he ran from his assignment in the first place wasn't because he was scared of the Ninevites and what they would do to him, he ran because he knew that God was a God of mercy and he was afraid that if the Ninevites heard the message he had to deliver they would repent and God would forgive them and spare his wrath. And that's what happened. As soon as they heard Jonah's message of doom they repented and humbled themselves before God. They were spared because they took God seriously and turned from the evil they were doing.

So now you'd think Jonah was glad that his message had been received and the people had turned to God. But no, Jonah tells God he's disappointed. He wanted to see the wrath of God poured out on this evil city, even if they repented. Then he goes up on a hill to pout. While he's looking down over the city the sun is beating down on him. God provides a plant that grows up and gives him some shade. Then God sends a worm to kill the plant and the shade is gone. Jonah is so upset over the loss of the plant that he says he wants to die. He cared more about the plant that he did nothing to cultivate than the thousands of people in Nineveh.

Talk about missing the big picture. Jonah had a chance to be part of something big. He had been given a second chance by God, but he didn't take advantage of it. He could have turned to God, helped the people of Nineveh, and been part of something big. Instead, his story ends on a hill, complaining about a dead leaf.

So, who are we going to be? Will it take something big like a smelly fish to get us to follow God? Are we more interested in our version of justice than God's plan? Do we care more about our own comfort than the lives of other people?