Friday, January 25, 2008

Heaven On Their Minds

One of the things I've been struggling with and touched on in a previous post is my inability to live up to my desire to be a good person and put away the petty thoughts and feelings of anger, jealousy, envy, and judgment. A big reason for this is that when Scott and I were married we chose the following passage as one of our readings and when we chose it we did so because we believed it and ever since then, I've been trying to live it.

"Teacher, 21 which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him, 22 "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: 23 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
24 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

Rather than getting easier as time goes by, I am finding it more and more difficult and I don't know if it's because I've become more isolated by being at home or because I'm just getting more set in my ways and I have a reduced tolerance for bullshit. I don't know but I find myself increasingly challenged to live up these ideals.

And lately there is one person in particular who is challenging me in ways I never imagined I'd be challenged.

There is a new woman who joined my MOMS Club; I've actually mentioned her before. We had a disagreement about using pacifiers before we ever met in person. Once we met, I found out we went to the same tiny liberal arts, women's college. Our sons are roughly the same age. On paper, I should like her. And I've tried. I've really made an effort to bite my tongue and think positively. But I just can't stand this woman.

She's butch and physically unattractive to me and not by accident. I mean, her personal style choices are just bad. Okay. But that's not reason to dislike someone. Right? I think my perception there is just a manifestation of my dislike of her personality.

It seems that no matter what the topic we discuss in MOMS Club, she has an opinion. And I consider myself kind of left-wing and liberal and open-minded and open to alternative lifestyles and health choices. But this girl takes it to an extreme level in that she has to make an issue out of everything.

I kind of see this as an age-old problem with certain individuals on the fringe. Just as there is a group of right-wing nutjobs out there who want everyone to live the way they do, there is an equally annoying faction of liberal nutters who want everyone to live in grass shacks and use outhouses.

Okay. That last bit is an exaggeration. My point is that everyone needs to be free to live as he or she chooses and not have someone else telling them that the choices they are making are wrong.

If Miss Girl wants to use a neti pot to clear her sinuses, that's just ducky. But if I want to use store bought saline solution for myself or my kids, I don't need her writing a five-page essay on how I'm destroying my nasal cavity AND the Earth because it comes in a plastic bottle.

I don't tell her that she needs to lose approximately 50 lbs to be be healthy. Can she just shut up about whether or not the produce co-op we were invited to join is organic or not? Can you really be that obsessed with your health and be that fat?

See? This is what I'm talking about. I get mean. I don't want to think these things. I want to look at her with compassion and love. And I'm not doing that.

I feel like these honest, human emotions and thoughts are bad. I know that it's wrong of me to think this way. But every interaction with this girl just pushes my buttons. And challenges my beliefs.

I guess people like this are put into our lives to help us stretch and grow and reach for our personal best. It's easy to love the people who are like us and it is harder to love our enemies.

How do I get beyond these feelings of distaste, annoyance, and anger?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Let It Snow!

On Saturday, we got the first real snow we've had. The snow earlier in the week just left a light dusting that was melted away overnight by the rain that fell. However, Saturday's snow dropped a few inches, which is quite a lot to us Atlantans. We had a ball playing in it. I loved seeing Brendan enjoying this new experience and Scott and I really enjoyed playing in the snow, too.

We just went out to play with Brendan, but before we knew it, we had half the kids in the neighborhood in our yard having a snowball fight. It was awesome. I loved it! I love that the kids in our neighborhood are comfortable enough with us and each other to do that. Brendan, who is a little shy, kind of clung to the edges of the group and would only throw snowballs at me and his dad, but I think he enjoyed being a part of the fun. I don't know that it was like this for him, but for me, it was kind of like watching a movie. When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to play in the snow because my mom thought I'd get sick. And guess what? Brendan did get sick and now I'm sick, but it was worth it to see him having such a wonderful time and to interact with our neighborhood kids in that way.

I hope it snows again before winter is over and we can do it again. Much of the snow melted before we got a chance to go back out and by Sunday most of it was gone. We never had a chance to build a snowman and I was pretty disappointed about that. Especially after seeing some of the creative and hilarious examples dotting the neighborhood.

If you're curious, you can check out some of our other photos at Flickr.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sick Bed of Dawnulainn

What is up with all the sickness?

I have gone from being one of the healthiest people I know with the healthiest kid to someone in our house being sick constantly. I guess it started roughly a year ago. Almost exactly a year ago when a plague descended upon our house. Exhaustion from having a newborn and post-partum depression had taken their toll and I ended up with a sinus infection that spread to my eyes, the flu, and an outbreak of fever blisters. I remember the timing of it because it was the week before Brendan's birthday party and I was so worried we would have to cancel the party because I was so sick. Brendan's party is next week. Thankfully this year it's very low key. I'm not worried that I have to prove to him that we still love him even though he has a new sibling.

So, I'm just going to try and rest as much as I can the next few days and accept that the basement playroom will not be ready before the party and deal with it.

Scott is out at CVS right now getting me some Theraflu and then is going to stop at the Thai place to get me some super-spicy curry. Hopefully, that combination opens my sinuses up and we can move forward from there.

And hopefully Brendan's cough improves. I've been up with him the last three nights and think I caught this last night when he coughed so hard he threw up on me. At least I felt fine until sometime around 10 a.m. today when it all started going downhill fast.

So, on that note...Goodnight y'all. My food and Theraflu just arrived.

Taking Care of Business

I am loving my BusyBodyBook! It is proving to be a great system for me. I can see all of our calendars at a glance and it's ideal for me to keep up with my to-do list. I prefer jotting things down by hand to doing it on-line. So, even though I've used Ta-Da Lists with some success, this suits my personality better. And I love the pocket at the front of the book. This morning when I went out to run errands, I just stuck the things I had to mail, a check and deposit slip, and stamps right in there, so everything I needed for errands was neat and tidy and in one place instead of at the bottom of the diaper bag.

I just received an e-mail from Joan at About Your Time, makers of the BusyBodyBook. There's a great sale going on now until Groundhog's Day! Take a minute and check it out. This would make an excellent gift for the messy, unorganized person in your life.

20% OFF
In Honor


Punxsutawney Phil !
According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather.

It's FREEEZZZING here today. I'm so desperately hoping that Punxsutawney Phil is absolutely shadowLESS and to lure him out of his burrow now for an even earlier spring we're offering up a 20% discount on all of our BusyBodyBook products until the official Groundhog Day on Feb. 2.

Aug '07 - Sept '08 2008

The UNdated Fridge GRID Pad
Start planning for an early spring with BBB and save now when you enter discount code BBBSALE in the comment box at our checkout.

Wishing us all warmer weather!

About Your Time LLC

Everything Memes Nothing to Me

Merlot Mom just tagged me. I don't get tagged for memes very often (that's not an invitation to any of you wiseacres out there!). And since my sick-and-at-home big boy is otherwise occupied at the moment and playing nicely with baby brother, I have a minute to do this.

So, these are the rules: (1)Link to the person that tagged you. (2)Post the rules on your blog. (3)Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (I apologize in advance!!!)(4)Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5)Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. Damn! That's a lot of work when you think about it. Ha! I'm kidding. It's fun!


...And now we join Belle Responds to a Meme, already in progress...

1. I always put my shoes and socks on sock/sock, shoe/shoe and I always start with my right foot. It feels weird to me to do it differently.

2. My very first dog's name was Dusty, hence my porn-star name would be Dusty Virginia if you follow the childhood pet/street name rule of name-making.

3. I have a strange affinity for the band Styx.

4. I worked hard to refine my Southern accent from a hick accent into one that sounded more proper. I did this after a friend made fun of me for saying yalla instead of yellow and thE-ATEr instead of theatre. My aspirational accent is Virginia Tidewater or Atlanta/Birmingham elite. Sadly, I can't remember the specific names for those accents. All that said, when I drink, my accent becomes more pronounced.

5. I love white and pink roses.

6. I sleep better when I'm touching someone I love. That includes my dog Cooper.

Okay. Tag you are it: Renn, Jen,, Jeremy, Mimi, and Melanie!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Death Letter

I can't say I was really a fan of Heath Ledger, but I found him likable enough and a good enough actor that I enjoyed him in movies.

For some reason, his death really made me sad today. I actually cried and I don't usually cry when famous people die. I think it's the idea of his little girl growing up without him. He seemed like a decent guy and a good dad. And it's always sad when someone dies so young and at the height of his or her career.

I made the mistake of going to a celebrity gossip site after hearing just a mention of his death on BBC America World News. I was mortified that the site had pictures of his body being removed from his building and a disgusting article about how much apartments rent for in his building. I am disgusted. I guess that's what I get. I just wondered how or why he died? I didn't need to know any other morbid details or know the square footage of the vacant apartment in his building and how much it rents for. In other words, I didn't need them to revel in the death of a successful person so some mediocre columnist at a third-rate gossip site could make himself feel better.

More and more, I find myself disgusted with this culture of celebrity gossip, the cult of personality. Is it any wonder poor Britney Spears can't keep it together? God bless her, but I know she had no idea what it is like to be a mother and all the responsibility it entails. It doesn't sound as though her mother did a very good job mothering her or her sister. And then every mistake the poor girl makes is blown out of proportion and put in neon lights for all the world to see.

I can attest to the fact that once you start doubting your parenting skills and making mistakes, if you don't believe in yourself it can all go to hell really fast. And there's no way that poor girl could believe in herself with the entire world judging her.

Again, I'm no fan of her as a singer or entertainer, but damn! I feel for her and any other mother out there whose day to day life is examined and judged in the way that hers is.

All that said, Miss Girl needs to get it together and she clearly needs help doing so.

But I ask, who are the childless 20-something writers at the gossip magazines to judge? And who are we, really? I mean, we all make mistakes. Every one of us probably has some stupid thing we've done – as a parent, a friend, a wife, a lover, a member of society – that we wish we could undo. But it's not our place to judge others. As hard as that may be. Trust me. It's a particular weakness of mine that I've struggled to overcome and I fail often. But I don't want anyone judging me for all the stupid things I've done, do, and am likely to do again. So, I try to work on it.

My apologies for going off on a tangent there, but obviously these issues have struck a nerve for some reason. I guess I'm just feeling my mommy-ness right now and these two situations just strike me as very, very sad for all the children involved and I find it disgusting that the celebrity media don't seem to take those babies into consideration when they're writing disparaging things about the parents or showing heartbreaking photos. You'd think they were raised by wolves.

Hey, Grandpa! What's for Supper?

Scott Peacock's Chicken and Rice
Creamed Cabbage
Black-eyed Peas

Monday, January 21, 2008


I just heard Mitt Romney, on CNN, describe the U.S. Constitution as a piece of paper with a lot of words on it.

I have no words...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Can't Complain

Every time I start complaining lately, I find myself feeling guilty and horrible. When I get angry because my kids are being too loud and I can't hear myself think and all I want is a moment of silence, I find myself thinking about how there are so many parents out there who would give anything to hear the shouts and screams of their little ones, but can't because they've died of some terrible disease. When I get irritated because I'm trying to do something and Brendan wants to talk and talk and talk about some cartoon or a toy or something I'm not all that interested in at the moment, I think about all the parents of autistic kids who are trapped in their minds and can't talk at all. Lately, my life is an endless cycle of guilt.

I think bad thoughts about someone, judge the person for how I think she has hurt me or someone else, and then I think well, I should put myself in her shoes. What would I do if our roles were reversed? It's constant for me.

Whatever negative feelings I have, I immediately feel guilty for feeling them and feel they are either unjustified or someone else, some better person, wouldn't be feeling the way I feel.

Ugh! When did I become this neurotic freak who just isn't able to simply BE?

Brendan told me yesterday – after I asked him to forgive me for getting frustrated with him for not listening to me for the nth time – that he forgave me and that he always forgives everybody. And when he said it, he meant it. And he was so filled with goodness and kindness...I was broken-hearted by how much I love this kid and I just wish I knew how to be the perfect mother for him and his brother. How to be the perfect wife for Scott. The perfect friend.

I guess I just feel like I fuck up over and over again, let the people I love down by not having the time or energy for them I know they really need. Not being who or what they need. I always feel like I'm spread so thin. Other women do it and do more. And certainly with far more grace and far less anger and guilt and fear. I just keep thinking if I can just find the right magic bean to figure out who it is I am meant to be I can make everyone, including myself, happy and loved, and I can be successful and have it all – happy marriage, happy kids, happy friendships, happy, successful career, money, wonderful experiences, health, energy. I guess I want what most everyone else wants.

Of course, my first thought as I write that is how selfish I am for wanting those things. That all I should really want is world peace, for the poor and hungry of the world to be taken care of, blah, blah, blah.

I guess I just need to accept that this is where I am now, this is what I feel, and I'm not the Devil for feeling what I feel or thinking what I think. I simply AM.

Poison Oak

Okay. This is totally freaky. I just kind of had the TV on for background noise while I was surfing here this morning. And all of a sudden I look up and see the church I grew up in on TV. With the Oak Ridge Boys standing on the altar singing. Right behind them is the baptismal font where I was baptised when I was 16. The choir loft where I used to sing on Sunday nights. The balcony where I sat with my girlfriends, slipping each other notes. It's just a little weird and unexpected. Especially since the town I grew up in is tiny...only about 20,000 people. It is a suburb of Nashville, only about 30 miles away. But it's just kind of weird and unexpected and it makes me a little homesick and nostalgic.