Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Adventures in Wal-Mart

During today's grocery shopping trip I experienced disgust, confusion, panic, thankfulness, and favor.  Oh, and I almost got a ticket.  Bet you wanna know what happened, huh?  Well here goes...

Within the first few minutes of walking in the door of Wal-Mart I got that uh-oh feeling.  You know the one I'm talking about -- the "uh-oh I have to take a BM and absolutely don't want to do it in public" feeling.  Especially in the disgusting, smelly Wal-Mart bathroom.  I tried to ignore it but by the time I got back to the sippy cups there was no denying that I was gonna have to go!  Good thing I learned the trick to using the bathroom in Wal-Mart when I was pregnant.  There are two public restrooms, the one in the front and then the one in the back where the old lay-away desk is.  The ones in the front are always disgusting...the ones in the back are fairly clean.  You know you choose the right one when every time you go in you find an employee using the restroom too.  See...they know!

So, as I was using the bathroom (sorry for the TMI) I looked up at the cart (full of merchandise you aren't supposed to take into the bathroom, hence the "No Merchandise Beyond This Point" sign I pretended to ignore on my way in) to see Jackson - red faced, straining, and grunting.  Great just what I wanted...to change him in the public restroom too!  Is it weird that we seem to be on the same schedule?  I finished up and then started changing his diaper when my dad called.  Great timing, Dad!  Nonetheless I answer and then comes the confusion...

He was at one of those everything tourist stores on the way back from the beach (the ones that have alluring billboards for miles before you get to it and Bryan refuses to let me stop at) and wanted to know what size shoe Jackson wore so he could get him some Moccasins.  Moccasins Dad, really?  And from Sparkys??  Do you know how hard it is to keep regular shoes on Jackson?  Let alone flimsy, cheap things you overpaid for at a glorified gas station?!  Thankfully, they didn't have his size and I was able to back my dad off the gas station moccasin ledge.  I hung up, put the phone down, washed up, and got out of the public restroom after spending WAY too long in there!

I finished up my shopping and loaded everything in the car.  I grabbed my purse as I was pulling out and started to search for my cell phone.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  I was wracking my brain trying to remember if I had it out in the store.  And, then in hit me -- CRAP!  I left it in the bathroom.  Oh shoot!  Oh shoot!  I just knew someone had picked it up and taken it.  It's an iPhone -- that's way too much temptation to do the right thing!

In a panic, I whipped the car around, parked in the fire lane, grabbed Jackson and ran into the store.  Luckily, one of my best girl friend's sister works at the mini-bank right inside.  I asked her if I could drop Jackson off with her while I hunted my phone down and of course she was more than willing to help!  Thank you Jesus for putting someone I knew and trusted right where I needed them so I could run through the store in a blind panic without giving my child whiplash!  

I ran through the store praying over and over, "Please, Jesus!  Please let my phone be in the bathroom.  Please, Jesus!"  I busted into the bathroom and found my phone right where I left it on the changing table.  I really don't know what I would've done if my phone had been gone.  Thank you, Lord!  I walked back, got Jackson and headed out...finally.  But as soon as I hit the door, my heart started to race...panic again...


Again I was thinking, "CRAP!  Please don't give me a ticket.  Please give me favor, Lord!"  

As I got closer to him, I saw that he was smiling, which surprisingly made me feel better.  It was a kind smile...not a "gotchya" smile.  I told the officer I was so sorry that I ran in the store in a panic b/c I'd left my cell phone in the bathroom and b/c I had my toddler with me.  Oh, and of course I pleaded that he not give me a ticket.  He laughed and said he understood.  He said he'd just looked in the car to see it full of groceries with a child seat and knew it must've been some type of emergency.  I thanked him and he told me to have a good day and gave me a "just don't do it again" smile this time.  Hey, I'll take that look over a ticket ANY DAY!  As I drove away I thanked the Lord again for His favor.

I'm always happy to get the heck outta Wal-Mart, but I was especially happy about it today.  I'm kind of surprised I didn't break down on the way home, actually.

All of this happened before noon, by the way.  Here's to the rest of the day being a huge bore!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Deep Thoughts by Lindsey - On Children's Programming

As I said before in my previous post, we watch a lot of TV in my house.  In the past year, Nick Jr. and the Disney Channel have ruled the airwaves in the Parsons household.  And, after a year of watching non-stop children's programming I have some issues with some of the shows.  Granted these are light-hearted issues, but they are things that plague me every time I turn on the tube.  Here they are in random order...

1.  Special Agent Oso -  Is it just me or is Special Agent Oso the dumbest special agent EVER?  He fails every training assignment and just as he fails he gets called to a special assignment in which he is supposed to help some pre-school aged kid do a mundane task like wash dishes or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  In EVERY SINGLE special assignment, the tasks are broken down into 3 steps.  While doing said 3 steps, the pre-school aged kid is usually the one that has to correct Oso on what he is doing wrong.  Also, the "special assignment" usually reminds Oso of why he failed his training assignment and what he needs to do differently.  First, in the real world, any special agent that fails every single training assignment and then has to be schooled on how to finish that training assignment by a 4 year old would be fired in a heartbeat!  Not only that, but I'd like to think that most special agents in the world would be smart enough to know that you don't wash dishes in lemonade!  Also, in what realm of reality does every task only require "3 special steps"?  Hey Paw Pilot, how about long division?  Give that to me in 3 special steps!  BOO-YAH!

He CLEARLY has the right idea.  Idiot.
2.  Go Diego, Go! -  For the most part I enjoy this show.  I like how it helps children learn Spanish.  I usually am fine right up until the last few minutes of the show - when Diego quizzes the audience about what they learned about the animal they rescued during the episode.  This is when I believe Diego is contributing to the stupidity of my child.  He asks questions like, "How does a jaguar travel?  Does he run or ride roller skates?"  WHAT?!  THAT'S RIDICULOUS!  What animal uses roller skates to travel?    Always, the questions are ridiculous.  "Does a humpback whale drive a car or swim?"  Seriously, Diego?  Really?  I'd appreciate it if you didn't assume my kid was a total moron and actually challenge him with appropriate questions!

Lookout guys.  You're about to be lunch.
3.  Handy Manny -  Mostly, I really enjoy Handy Manny.  The only problem I have is with Manny's relationships with the women in Sheetrock Hills.  Is it just me, or his he a total ladies man?  Most of the time the phone calls for Manny's help come from women.  And I think the women and Manny are a little too friendly to each other.  Not only that, but people are all too willing to just leave their children with him.  I don't know about you, but the last person I'm going to leave my child with is the local handy man!  He could be a predator for all I know!!  In the latest episode I watched with Jackson, a young lady in town invited Manny to go camping with her.  Can we say INAPPROPRIATE?!  Co-ed sleepovers are not to be encouraged people!

I'm sorry.  Did I interrupt something?
4.  Franklin - I remember watching Franklin when I was a kid but lately I've been picking up on something that really bothers me.  Franklin is a turtle and he has a real name.  But, all of his friends don't have names.  They are just Duck, Owl, Rabbit, Bear, etc.  And you never hear if Franklin's parents even have names, they're just referred to as Mom and Dad.  Why is Franklin so special that he gets a name but none of the other characters get names?  If I were them, I'd just call him Turtle!  Oh, and one other thing.  Franklin can take off his shell.  In real life, turtles can't take off their shells.  That's just sick.
Turtle with shell off = CREEPY!
5.  Fresh Beat Band -  Now this one is hard to talk bad about.  It's Jackson absolute favorite show even though I'm convinced it's the most annoying show on television.  I've been growing to love it (because Jackson squeals and dances to the music when it's on), but one thing really bothers me about it.  I think the Fresh Beats have some pretty inappropriate things going on in their living quarters.  First, they all live together.  Granted, they all have separate rooms -- but watch carefully.  In several episodes (especially in songs) you'll notice that they will randomly pop out of each other's rooms.  That is NOT ok!  Boys and girls should not be alone together behind closed doors!  Excuse me KiKi, but that is not appropriate behavior for a young lady!!
I feel sorry for them as actors.  I really do.

That's all my brain can come up with for now.  What issues do you have with children's programming?? And, keep it lighthearted people!


Jackson @ 16 Months and today's little miracle

I took Jackson to the doctor yesterday for his 15 month well check...at 16 months.  We got a little behind because of the Cloud of Sickness.  Overall he was perfectly healthy.  No sign of ear infections or congestion in his chest.  Praise the Lord!!

Jackson measured 34.5 inches long, which is still off the charts.  I think the nurse's exact words after measuring him were, "Good gracious!"  His weight was in the 82nd percentile at 28 pounds on the dot.

I talked to the doctor A LOT about Jackson's speech.  He isn't talking as much as most of the other babies we've been around that are his age or even younger.  At this point, we are rarely getting a Mama or Dada.  We do, however, get really random, incredibly clear words.  Take for instance yesterday - as we were walking out the door I said, "Ok Jackson, tell the doggies 'See ya later'."  He put his hand up in the air and as clear as day said, "See ya!"  Now, of course, I couldn't get him to say it again and probably won't for months.  Two nights ago we were eating Garrett's popcorn from Chicago (or as Bryan and I like to call it, food of the Gods) that my wonderful mother in law sent us for Valentine's Day.  I gave Jackson a bite and asked him if it was good and he nodded his head and said "good."  But of course, couldn't get him to say it again.

The doctor told us that proves to him that Jackson can talk, he is just choosing not to because he doesn't have to.  Because I stay at home, I know his schedule and his cries.  I know what he wants before he has a chance to tell me.  So, he doesn't have to talk to communicate.  Also, shamefully, we watch a lot of TV.  And most of the time when it's on, Jackson's locked in - whether we're watching children's programming or Rachael Ray.  So, the pediatrician told me #1 - to turn off the TV.  Limit it to around 1 hour a day (this is gonna be tough!).  Also, make it more difficult for Jackson to communicate in other ways besides talking and he'll eventually see that it's easier to just say things.

So, that's what we've done today.  I'm happy to say it's 5 'til noon now and I just turned on the TV 15 minutes ago to allow me to write this blog post.  And because it's been off, I've already witnessed one tiny miracle today.

Jackson has this ball that he absolutely loves.  My mom and stepdad got it for him from Singapore.  It's supposed to light up when it hits the floor.  Well, for months it's been dead but Jackson has not given up on it.  He still throws it as hard as he can, hoping for it to light up.  We were playing with it in the kitchen today and again it would not light up - no little, spontaneous flash, NOTHING.  I realized Jackson had a messy diaper and I carried him (as he was holding the ball) into his room to change his diaper.  As we entered his room, he threw the ball down and magic happened.  IT LIT UP!  He looked at me with wide eyes, full of excitement and squealed with joy.  Then we did a little happy dance!

Look at it...MAGICAL!
I know it might sound silly, but I thanked God for this tiny little miracle.  I know it was a blessing from Him for doing right by my child today -- a blessing that is still blessing as he's still playing with it now.  In all it's blinking, flashing, lighting up glory!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Am I out of place or just feeling out of sorts?

For the past few days I've been feeling a little out of place here in Western, TN.  I've always thought that I was a country girl but I'm beginning to realize that I am definitely NOT!  I'm a Southern girl that was raised in a small town (granted it wasn't nearly as small as where I live now)  but I'm absolutely, positively not a country girl.  I've come to this realization because there are truly country people here and they do things that I have no interest in what-so-ever.

Take, for instance, hunting*.  It seems like all the men do it around here and if you don't do it, you're less than a man.  I don't like hunting and neither does Bryan.  I can't imagine actually killing another living creature.  I think I would fall all over myself.  I don't really understand the sport behind it either.  I mean, come on, sprinkling deer pee all around to attract a deer while you sit up in a tree (dippin' and spittin') just waiting for one to come around doesn't seem like a sport.  It seems lazy.  When you can chase that deer/duck/rabbit/squirrel/etc. down, wrestle it to the ground, and kill it with your bare hands - you can call hunting a sport.  At least then you might break a sweat.  And isn't that something that all "sports" have in common - sweat?

Another thing that's HUGE here in Western, TN is pageants**.  I haven't met one mom my age here that hasn't had or wanted to have her little girl in one - including some of my good friends.  But, I am one of the biggest ANTI-pageant women out there.  I see those Toddlers and Tiaras shows on tv and my stomach turns.  Introducing girls to the cruel world of rejection and society's view of beauty vs. inner beauty when they are babies (yes, BABIES -- the categories start before 1 year of age) is sickening to me.  I don't even know what my baby girl will look like and I already know she's beautiful.  She's beautiful because she was beautifully and wonderfully made.  She was set apart by The Creator.  I don't ever want her to feel any less beautiful because a panel of judges preferred the 3 year old in a belly exposing dress with fake teeth, fake hair, and a fake tan.

Thinking of the day when Jackson comes to us and asks to go hunting with a friend makes me shudder.  Bryan and I have both decided we do not want him to even touch a gun until he is an adult and even then Bryan wants to be the one to show him how to use one.  I worry Jackson will get teased or bullied because he's not country, doesn't wear camouflage, and doesn't hunt.  I worry he won't feel masculine enough because he wasn't raised to do those things.

And, what about when my future little girl (God-willing) wants to be in a pageant because all of her friends are in them?  Will she say, "Mommy, why can't I be in a pageant?  Aren't I pretty enough to win one?"  That would absolutely kill me.

Not only am I feeling out of place here, but I worry that my children will too.  I want my children to be who they are, which will most likely be similar to how Bryan and I are (that's just how learned behavior goes).  I want them to grow up in a community that embraces diversity, education, faith, and family -- where soccer games and dance class are the normal routine for a Saturday, not hunting and pageant practice.

Am I being ridiculous and judgmental here?  Am I worrying over nothing?  Am I truly out of place, or maybe just feeling out of sorts lately?

Comments please!


*If you are hunting to provide food for your family because you cannot afford meat at the grocery store, that is completely different.  I've known families that have to do this and that is what hunting should be.  Also, if you donate your hunted meat to organizations that give it to families in need, I'm not talking about you.

**Once children are teenagers and adults they can make their own decisions.  If a girl wants to be in a pageant as a teenager to possibly earn a scholarship, I'm totally ok with that.  Let that be her decision.