Monday, January 28, 2013


Tomorrow night marks another first for Jude and his parents--Jude's first baby-sitter who is not a relative. I put this moment off for as long as I could, and I certainly didn't come to this decision lightly. Jeffrey and I each received for our birthdays a ticket to see Blue Man Group at Thalia Mara Hall tomorrow night. We both have seen the Blue Man Group perform before, and we look forward to seeing them again. Usually, when Jeffrey and I have a date night, a set of grandparents swoops in to care for the child. However, with the concert on a week night, one set of grandparents has to go to work in the morning and the other set (the ones who gave me and Jeffrey the tickets) decided that the tickets were such a good gift that they would buy tickets for themselves and go with us. That left Jeffrey and me on a quest to find the perfect baby-sitter. I had a list in my head of potential candidates for the job. He/she would have to love babies (obviously), be prepared to encounter whatever digusting situation (i.e. dirty diaper, messy meal time, spit, snot etc.) a baby will inevitably present in the few hours we are gone, deal with an upset baby, and give a baby undivided attention until said baby falls asleep (which may not necessarily be at his usual bed time, hence the disruption in his routine). I decided against one of my Sunday School kids since I figured we would get back kind of late for a school night, plus I don't know if any of them would be up for changing diapers. Then I finally decided I would ask my work study at school. She has a toddler brother that she cares for often, and she lives pretty close to us. I decided I would ask her as soon as we returned from Christmas holidays. (We got our birthday presents early.) Of course, school did not get off to a predictable start. We had three snow days in one week, and I didn't get a chance to see my work study then. Later in that week, Jeffrey and I decided to take Jude to one of our basketball games since I teach so many of the players and Jude generally just likes to be out and about. While at the game, one of Jeffrey's students came up to see us and play with Jude. Jude absolutely loved her. He laughed and flirted the entire game. At one point she took him to the concession stand and he never even whimpered, never even missed me! Needless to say, we hired her, and she will arrive at our house tomorrow night at 6:00. While I think she will do a great job and have a good time hanging out with Jude, I am still a nervous wreck. What if Jude misses me or needs me? What if he starts crying when I leave and doesn't stop? What if I get home and he's sat in a dirty diaper for hours on end? Of course, this girl won't do things exactly the way I will. Heck, I'm hoping she'll do better! I've already decided that I would go ahead and get Jude bathed and in pajamas before she arrives, and I would put him in disposable diapers instead of his usual cloth ones. For dinner, I will fix homemade chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli (still trying to come up with dessert). I think that menu is something both babies and college students can enjoy. She'll have to feed him his dinner because of the time we have to leave, but like Weezy-cat, Jude pretty much loves whoever has the plate of food. Last night and tonight, Jeffrey and I have spent cleaning the house from top to bottom because part of my nervousness comes from not wanting her to go back and tell her friends, mutual students of mine and Jeffrey's, that the Browns have a nasty house. Anyway, I hope everything goes well and that we all can enjoy our evening. I realize in the grand scheme of things that hiring a baby-sitter is pretty insignificant--until you hire one for your child, that is!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh My Lord at the Drama, Folks!

I think all of my readers know that most of the waking part of my day includes educating mostly underachieving freshmen with a few suck-ups sprinkled in the mix. I find my job extremely rewarding because not only do I give instruction on composing various essays, but I also act as a surrogate parent to some of these folks--even the students older than me! In a writing classroom, one can only imagine the confessions, problems, and lifestyle changes students feel necessary to incorporate into one of my essay assignments. Some of it is downright disturbing, too. However, so long as the content meets my criteria and does not make me want to hurl from all the grammar/mechanic/usage errors, I take it in stride, knowing that at 3:30 p.m. Mon-Thursday and at noon on Fridays, I can go home, play with a baby, read a good book, and maybe watch a funny show or two after I put the baby to sleep all the while not thinking about the drama that unfolds in my students' lives until 8:00 the next morning. I like to think of my home as a safe haven from all the problems the outside world has. Inside the walls of that 1924 craftsmen style home, a family of four (counting the Weezy-cat--I did not have another baby)lives with very little conflict. Jeffrey and I don't really fuss and fight. Sure, we disagree on stuff, but we can easily reach a compromise just about all of the time. Jude generally presents us with his good nature. The only times he really cries occur when he's hungry or hurt. The rest of the time, he laughs, plays, and just has himself a good ol' time. Even as a tiny baby, he seemed quite content with life. To say I'm blessed is a big understatement. God has blessed me beyond measure, and while I feel undeserving, I'll certainly take it. One of the things I used to enjoy coming home to was--believe it or not, folks--my computer. Yes, I sit in front of a computer while at work, but my own personal computer allowed me to guiltlessly check Facebook and update this blog. After Jude would go down for the night, I would creep into the den (located just outside his nursery), log in to Facebook and read all the happenings of all of my "friends" (because some of those people I haven't seen since God was a boy, but I was still interested in keeping up with them all the same. If I had the words, I may have pecked out a blog entry to finish up computer time. Then after I felt Jeffrey had sufficient "Man Cave" time, I would sit and watch T.V. with him until I could no longer hold my eyes open. Lately, however, my attitude toward my home computer down time has changed. How Facebook used to provide me with endless entertainment has now turned into a drama network that I find myself having less and less interest in perusing.I have read posts from people my age and people older than me that belittle their spouses, use God as an avenue to brag about all they have when really, it appears they belong to the religion of Materialism, report their obviously terrible decisions yet lash out against anyone who questions them, and other commentary I find absolutely distasteful. Do not even get me started on politics. Everyone who knows me knows my political views. I don't need to vent them on Facebook. I guess the logical thing for me to do in order to purge this annoyance from my life would be taking myself off of Facebook. However, I still have some friends whose pages remain interesting. For example, I have a friend who shares her kindergartener's recounts of his days at school that always have me rolling with laughter, and another friend consistently documents her running regimens which I find inspiring since I too love to run. I also get those occasional surprise posts on my wall from people I don't interact with much, but when they do post on my wall or make a comment on my status, I feel really good about myself. So, no, I don't necessarily want to leave Facebook. The pleasure has not entirely abandoned me. The other solution might consist of unfriending. Several months ago, I did unfriend someone because I thought she was rude and obnoxious. I didn't really care until she brought that mess to my Facebook wall, and then I had to say myself, "Self, why are you friends with her? You haven't seen her since Moses crossed the Red Sea, so get rid of her!" I did just that and haven't missed her. Unfortunately, however, some of these posts that have bothered me recently belong to people that I really do care about. Some of these people I converse with outside of Facebook, which is probably why I feel so bothered. However, if I knew them solely by what they put on Facebook, I probably wouldn't like them at all. For now, I'm visiting Facebook a lot less than I used to, and I think I will give it up completely for Lent (even though that was so two Lenten seasons ago). Maybe someone views my posts as equally horrifying, too. I realize that could happen, and that's ok. All I am saying is my interests are no longer invested in reading such crap anymore.

Friday, January 11, 2013


I realize it has been a minute since my last post. Certainly, I don't consider myself one of those "super-blogger" people. I post as I have time and material worthy of reading. Hopefully, my faithful reader will find this post worthy. In the past few months, I've watched my baby become a little boy. Probably, this little boy thing has been happening for a while, but I can finally bring myself to utter somewhat audibly, "my little boy" instead of "my baby." But oh, do those words taste bitter! I do enjoy Jude at this 19 month age, although every month has been "my favorite month ever" of his life. However, this stage of his childhood really is fun. He talks more, plays more, figures things out more, and sleeps through the night more (exactly a year ago, I really believed I would never sleep again). This week alone, he's hit several milestones. Last night I worked with him on how and when to say "Thank you." After all, every southern mama must instill manners in her boy. He seemed to grasp it, said "Thank you" twice when I would hand him something, but I wasn't convinced he really understood since I was handing him toys over and over and over again and only two times heard the words. Then tonight at Fresh Market, while I had gone to the restroom, Jeffrey handed him part of a cookie, and Jude said, "Thank you" in the same sing song voice I had used teaching him the night before. Also tonight at dinner, Jude at random picked up his spoon, shoveled some food on it, lifted it up, and put it in his mouth with no mess at all. He used perfect coordination, and I was floored. Of course, he only did that twice. The rest of the time, he used his hands or waited for me to feed him with the spoon. A few days ago, Jude left the den in the back of our house and returned with our Ipad. The Ipad was stored up on the window seat at the front of the house. To get there, Jude had to go through the swinging door, open the door to Jeffrey's man cave (the room with the window seat), climb the couch, grab the Ipad, and basically go through those same obstacles to get back to the den. He also did this in a matter of seconds. He does repeat much more of what Jeffrey and I say, which basically boils down to Jeffrey nor I should ever really speak to the child until he's 18. He has a full set teeth, has had those for a while, and he shows a lot of affection to Jeffrey and me as well as some of his stuffed animals. Yep. He's hit every developmental milestone right on target, if not ahead of schedule. Except one. Jude still doesn't walk. Don't get wrong. The kid is mobile. He crawls faster than the government can spend. He can also stand while holding on to something and move around that way. But as far as Jude standing on his own and walking, it's not happening at the moment. I wouldn't allow myself to be concerned because I know that every child is different. I found it quite annoying (still do, even) when anyone makes comments about his lack of walking. I just want to say, "Yeah. I know he doesn't walk, and I know he stands on his tip toes and won't put his feet flat on the ground. Maybe he's practicing for Toddlers and Tiaras. Hell, I'll still love him anyway!" Not that I don't think anyone's concerns didn't come from a place of love. I know they did. However, I never want to be one of those mothers who completely flips out when her child is less than perfect. Although, I do believe that Jude is perfectly Jude. However, with every passing month, I do become more and more concerned. My child has hit EVERY milestone he should EXCEPT walking. His pediatrician thinks he is just scared, and the doctor could be right. Jude is a cautious child. However, I can tell now that he wants to walk, and he's trying, but he can't. Therefore, Jeffrey and I have decided to take Jude to another doctor for a second opinion. We hope we can get Jude walking soon because we know he would discover a whole new realm of the world standing on two feet. Yes,I know he will not go to kindergarten still moving on all fours, but we just want to help him the best way we know how.