An admission

I have not eaten anything green in two days.
Yesterday I had a chocolate chip cookie for lunch followed by a chocolate chip cookie for dinner.
It has rained for the past four days.
My legs are see through. If any medical students need to see an example of the human circulatory system, I am more than happy to bring my white legs by.
Loulie's mommy and me swim lessons start in 6 days.
I am currently in the market for a full body swimsuit. Think circa 1920s

I can't wait to not only put on a swimsuit but leap in and out of the pool running after an 18 month old--NOT! 


Postmodern reflections on religious attitudes

Our small group is in the middle of studies right now. As a way to educate ourselves as well as arm ourselves when asked questions about Christianity and our love of Christ, we decided to delve into a couple of different religions. Because how arrogant is it to push your beliefs on another person without knowing theirs? I feared this a little at first hoping that nothing seemed to make too much sense to me because the last thing I want to be is a doubting Thomas. I should have known that after reading through two chapters on Islam and Mormonism, that God's truth would be even more real and that my soul would rest in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. That his death on the cross is the only thing that can save me and bridge the gap between my sinful self and God.
I did however find the Buddhist idea of reincarnation fascinating. The idea that you can die and come back as something or someone else. Because ideally all Buddhist should want to come back as the one and only....Miss Bridget Bojangles
She spends her life "resting" on top of our bed. She doesn't seem to care if it is needed or not. And when the sheets are being washed or there is something of her interest on TV, she just makes herself comfortable in the den...
When she occasionally gets the energy to get up, she has quite a few past times that interest her...
It's a Hard Life

Oh, and she's not loved at all....

Oh to live the life of Bridget Bojangles--sleep, play, sleep, ride,sleep and eat. Bert and I joke everyday that we want to come back as her!

(Bet you thought from my title that this was going to be a serious post--yeah right, it's FRIDAY!!!!!!!)
*But if you are interested in learning about other religions as well as their thoughts on Jesus, pick up Fast Facts on False Teachings)
Happy Weekend!


This is your brain on 5 hrs of sleep...

Loulie and I traveled back to Georgia AGAIN this weekend. I have been having a little middle ear trouble that was causing me some problems. We headed to Macon last minute on Friday morning so that I could get an MRI. While having your body shoved into a giant magnet is not the most pleasant of activities, I am so grateful to my brother in law for helping me out and getting me in quickly. (I really don't know what I would do without him and his innate generosity. He really doesn't think twice about helping others.)
 This is going to shock most of you who know me but the MRI did in fact confirm that I DO have a brain. It is there and empty of any funky growths and my ears are healthy--praise the Lord!


Even though a last minute trip to Macon was not in the plans it worked out great for two reason:

1) My dad's last day of work was last Wednesday so we got to spend all of Friday afternoon and Saturday with him which was awesome and also unheard of. I cannot remember in 30 years when my dad was just hanging out with us at 2:00 on a weekday afternoon. Though he enjoyed being with us Loulie, he admitted that retirement was not his bag. Good thing because he left Sunday for Knoxville so Loulie, my mother and  I got to see him off which was worth the long drive home.

2) Loulie and I got see my nephew's first baseball game of the season. We missed my other nephew's because of Loulie's nap but will have to get over there again to see him in action. The picture below is from after William's game and has quickly become my new favorite. 
My two nephews are as handsome on the inside as they are on the outside and I'm pretty sure Loulie was the envy of every middle school girl at the baseball fields that day.

So after a quiet weekend with family and an uneventful trip home on Sunday, I have been thrown back into reality--a filthy house and a to do list a mile long. And who really wants to do anything but play outside and enjoy this glorious weather? Is there such a thing as seasonal ADD? Because I have it!
Here are a few pictures of Loulie with a cherry blossom background. Macon hosts a big festival every year and even though we missed the festivities my mother and I were trying to capture the beauty. I'm pretty sure I threw out my back lifting Loulie into that tree but I think the outcome was worth it! 

Happy First Week of Spring!!!


The Bewitching Hour--the REAL reason Jesus turned water into wine

This is what our house looks like around 6:00 in the evening...

It's not pretty. And like flipping a light switch, Loulie's collicky twin can appear from nowhere. It's pretty hysterical if you think about it. About the time you start to cook dinner, straighten up the house, and your own engine gets a little low; the kids decide to unleash the beast.
I have a friend who home schools her three kids with another on the way--she is the sweetest, soft spoken, faithful person I know. When discussing the bewitching hour phenomenon and how we feel bad that our husbands daily walk into total chaos at 5:30 and who would want to come home to that, she remarked, "That's why I start drinking wine at 5:15 so that when he walks in the door at 5:40, I can put on my happy face."
Isn't it the truth? I am not a big drinker at all but I truly believe that God invented wine for this very reason. The Happy Hour is not for the young and free but for those that need a little dose of happy to forge through to the 7:00 hour.
That being said, the above picture was taken while we were making brownies for Bert. Everything was fine until I moved the pan from the counter to the oven. Loulie dove head first into the batter, laid out on the floor and proceeded to tighten every muscle in her body and scream. Being the great mother that I am, I went to grab my camera because this is good stuff to have on hand for blackmail one day. I should probably be embarrassed that my child can throw such an unbelievable fit but I am really just jealous--jealous that I can no longer shove my hand into chocolate batter and throw a tantrum when it is removed.

At any rate, this little episode and the events that followed kept me from writing my St. Patty's Day post--I am always a day late and a dollar short. We didn't really get to celebrate--we had a doctor's appt during the parade and none of us look good in green. Plus last year's experience kind of scarred poor Loulie. 
     It was St. Patty's Day, I was late for work, Bert was dressing Loulie. He yelled upstairs asking what I wanted to put her in. I yelled back anything green. When I walked downstairs, she was wearing a camouflage onesie with a ruffle on the back that my dad had bought her as a costume. Running late and all, I went along with it. Keep in  mind the child has a wardrobe ten times nicer than my own and could have been in any number of cute dresses but green was necessary. We arrive at daycare when the director says, "Oh Mrs. Dasher, did you not get the memo?"
"What memo?"
"Well, it's class picture day." 
So there's Loulie in her camou onesie for class picture day. I might as well have given her a miniature rifle as a prop and maybe a little squirrel tail cap. Add that to the list of proud moments in parenting! :)
SO we bypassed the green this year but did listen to a little St. Patty's Day trivia. St. Patrick was actually not from Ireland, he was from Wales and his color was not green but blue. He is credited with bringing Christianity to the pagans in Ireland. So I kind of like the whole March 17th celebration a little more now--because I love blue but am mediocre about green and totally dig St. Patrick's passion for Christ and    sharing it with others. I'm not sure where the leprechauns and beer come in. the only thing I can think it that St. Patrick came home a few many times at 5:30 and introduced the beer to the Irish as well!


First Playground brawl....

I have a lists of items to write about on my desk and no where on it is listed the above subject. However after the altercation I experienced this afternoon, with a five year old I might add, I am left speechless and stunned so there is nothing left for me to do but write about it. Because my adrenaline is still pumping and I have now experienced that even in the postmodern world we live in, there is still a very carnal, protective instinct that can spring up on a mother when her young is threatened.
Allow me to set the scene...
This afternoon in Charleston was beautiful--almost 80 degrees and sunny. We headed over to the James Island park so Loulie could get out some energy. There are two sides to the playground, a 2-5 year old and a 6-12 year old. The 6-12 is one of those play sets on stilts that has multiple slides and ladders. Underneath the slides, there are games on the stilts. Loulie wanders over to one of the stilts that has a piano and immediately starts laughing and pushing the buttons. (Bert and I are right behind her.) A five year old girl--we'll call her green shorts--comes up and starts playing next to Loulie. Within seconds another five year old girl, we'll call her The Spawn, comes out of nowhere and starts pushing and clawing green shorts knocking Loulie back in the process. Bert and I stand there sort of stunned before we can pull Loulie back towards us. I am thinking that the two girls have to know each other for the Spawn to feel so comfortable threatening green shorts but I am still feeling uncomfortable watching them fight. I grab Loulie who is still wanting to play with the buttons and say "No mam, you can't play with someone who isn't being nice to their friends."

Green shorts takes this opportunity to break free and head over to find her parents on the other side of the play yard and Spawn with no one left to torment walks away. So I let go of Loulie and she heads back to the piano. She isn't standing there five seconds (with Bert behind her and me on her right) when Spawn runs out of no where and slaps her. Bert immediately huddles around Loulie with a leg on each side while I bend over and tell the little girl not to lay a hand on my baby again. 
Here is the shocker---the little girl does not run away or even move but leans towards Loulie AGAIN! I move to Loulie's left where the child is standing and say in my stearnest voice not to touch Loulie to which she still does not move. Keep in mind this is a matter of seconds, my heart is racing and this child is still leaning on Bert's arm so that he can't really move and looking at Loulie.
"Where is your mother?" (Blank stare.) "You need to go find you mama."
To which the child responds a defiant NO. By this time, Bert is trying to move Loulie away and I tell the child one last time not to dare touch my baby again and that she needs to go get her mother. 
Well, the kid runs off and she and her mother round the ladder about the time Bert and I have gathered Loulie up. I never looked the mother in the eye mainly because I was too scared of what I would say. Bert tells me she gave me the once over but kind of shrank back when she saw the two of us with a one year old. (I'm pretty sure the child did not run over and admit that she had beat on a one year old but that a mean old lady got mad at her. I'm also pretty sure that once the mother saw the two of us and Loulie that things started to add up.)
As Bert and I crossed the playground we looked over to see the the girl thrashing around and repeatedly hitting the outside of a slide. Bert looked at me and said "that kid has problems."
No kidding!
But what do you do in a situation like this? I am serious, I need advice. I am the most nonconfrontational person but something flipped in me today when this kid attacked Loulie out of no where. I was uncomfortable when the Spawn was hitting Green Shorts but nothing like how I felt when I saw her go after my own baby. The thing about it was that Loulie could not defend herself against someone this old--she can hardly talk. And I have never seen a child totally unprovoked hit a younger child with two parents watching. It was scary! I think the smart thing to do would have been to immediately remove Loulie but how fair is that?--take away your child from the fun treat because a bully's parent isn't watching them torment everyone on the playground. On a much larger scale, isn't that what people did during the holocaust, the genocide in Rawanda, etc?--turn their attention elsewhere because they were scared to get involved. I know my child is not perfect and will do unkind things but I hope nothing ever as intentional and as disrespectful and as cruel as what I witnessed today.
As we walked away, I started to get anxious and paranoid (result of the adrenaline) when Bert said, "Well done Mama Bear."
"You think I did the right thing?"
"I do."
I have been thinking on this for the past several hours on what my reaction could have taught Loulie and on what I want to teach Loulie--to turn the other cheek or that I will always be there to defend her or that she needs to fight her own battles. I'm not sure there is a right answer and regardless of my reaction, I know I would find a critic somewhere. But I do know this--if confronting a bully on behalf of my child might bring me criticism, then I don't think I'm out to win a popularity contest. There are a lot of things I will do wrong as a parent but protecting my child in an innocent situation is not one of them.
It is amazing how parenthood can be such a joy and then just suckerpunch you out of no where.
At least Bert has temporarily abandoned his title as most overprotective parent, that goes to helicoptor mom. Now I am going back to my bubble--I like it there. :)


My munchkipufferoo...

My tater tot turned 18 months old today--something very bittersweet for Bert as well as myself. We have kind of dreaded this in a weird way since it kind of marks the end of her babyhood and moves her more towards the toddler title and even closer to the twos. Luckily, I woke up to the same sweet, snuggly baby girl that was here yesterday. I really wish I could put a weight on her head and keep her this size because I just can't imagine life getting any more fun!
She decided to celebrate today by painting the toilet with red lipstick while I was in the shower (apparently there was a tube in the trash can--oops!) and demonstrating to me how to start a car. Seriously, I let her sit in my seat while I was cleaning out the back seat and she grabbed the keys off the cup holder, stuck them in the ignition and tried to start the car. Are you kidding?!--do I ever wish that mothers really did grow eyes in the back of their head because I sure need some. 
Anyhow, I know not all of you are interested in the ins and outs of LB so go ahead and skip this part--it's really for her one day. 
If I were on top of things, I would have some stats from her doctor's appointment but since that is not until next week I am guestimating that she is 33 inches tall and 28 lbs. She is very active--running, gymnastics, riding in her wagon, driving HER car, dancing, etc. We read about 40 times a day and she loves to help with any task.
The best thing about Loulie at 18 months old?--she gives out hugs and kissed as freely as Obama spends our tax dollars and I LOVE it!
Oh and the other best thing--she has finally learned to say mama which she repeats 4000 times a day. She also says "Hi Bidge" everytime Bridget enters the room. Melt your heart!
Okay, I'm finished. Sorry to go on and on. I can't help it. I kind of love this little muffin.....

Little bit of Bert
little bit of Lauren

Completely Loulie


Practicing Rocky Top...

It's official--My dad retired last week after seven months of deliberation. Whew--I know he is relieved to have finally made the decision. Not to alarm anyone that knows him--he has not lost his mind. This is a four day retirement before he starts his new job. We all know that Big Tom will never completely retire--he loves his job too much for that.
Now for the bigger news--the new job is in Knoxville, TN!!! Yes, after 17 years in Macon, Fredda and Tom are moving to orange country and I couldn't be more thrilled for them. They/we have gotten so many signs that this is the right move for them and if there is anything that my mother loves it is an adventure.
At a party last night, one of their friends was talking to Bert and me about their move. 
Bert said"knowing Fredda she'll have a new best friend on her second day there."
Mom's friend corrected him, "No, knowing Fredda she'll have a new best friend her FIRST day there."
So even though I know my mom is a little nervous, I think God has nothing but good things in store for them. I guess they'll be trading all their red and black for orange but that has always been my mother's favorite color anyway.
Loulie and I have been practicing "Rocky Top" all weekend and can't wait to visit this summer. We have heard it is just beautiful--Athens in the mountains as some friends have described. Great hiking, great restaurants, beautiful mountains, on the river and obviously a football team.
At the moment, my parents know about three people up there so if you know anyone or have any good suggestions on people, places, things to do; please let me know. It's kind of fun to see that God never quits surprising you!

Happy Monday!


Last Weekend's Top Ten

10. The Oscars last night were mediocre as far as entertainment but some very deserved wins--congrats Natalie, Colin you sexy man and Chris Nolan. The reason it is in my top ten though does not involve any winners but rather some pretty ladies bringing back something that is my genetic betrayal until Michelle Williams, Cate Blanchett and Mandy Moore rocked it last night. That's right--PALENESS!!! My legs were glowing out of my shorts on Saturday and this pale skinned lady would much rather that than some age spots so I was thrilled to see a good number of stars rocking the fair skin and looking good doing it!
Cheers to all of you who tote the SPF 50 all summer!
Oscars Make-up: Michelle Williams

Mandy Moore - Oscars 2011 Red Carpet

9. Another weekend of gorgeous weather--if Loulie wasn't napping then we were outdoors.
8. Our first oyster roast of 2011 with great friends and cold drinks--perfect Saturday afternoon.

7. Getting a good run and a looong bike ride in with the entire fam.

6. Dog Park with Bridget and finally giving her a bath after a two month hiatus. We knew it was bad when Loulie would approach Bridget and do her sign language for stinky.

5. Taking Loulie to the Charleston Symphony kid's performance, Let the Circle Be Unbroken. It was the story of the sweetgrass basketmakers set to wind instruments. Absolutely beautiful--there is nothing liek experiencing dance or music live and I really want Loulie to develop this appreciation early. She loved it but we did have to exit the show a little early. We paused for a few seconds to get her picture in front of the Circular Congregational Church which is beautiful and one of the stops on some of the historical tours. Well, apparently Loulie thinks she is one of Charleston's sites because she is waving to a pack of tourist on foot stopping to read one of the Meeting St. historical markers--nice.

4. Coming home from running to find Bert and Loulie dancing to "Once Upon a Dream." She had suckered him in to joining her in enjoying her new cd. He was a little embarrassed that I busted them and here I am telling all of you--only because I thought it was really sweet.

3. Church this Sunday. During the last song Loulie broke loose, headed straight up front to the band and danced a jog for all to see. A man approached Bert afterwards saying that God gives him a moment every week at church and that this week, Loulie was his moment. How humbling and what a precious gift from God that he would use Loulie Bug in such a sweet way.

2. Last week the foster children that I have been representing for three years now finally had their case closed. I'll post more later but it was an incredible blessing the way the whole ordeal played out and now they are both safe and in a permanent home. 

1. I'm finished this for my sister's birthday.

And I'm almost finished with this....

It is the first design that I have done completely on my own. Now if I could just make that fabric grow about two inches, it might be appropriate to wear it to an engagement party this weekend.