Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I feel heartbroken at the moment...I really do...to the point of tears actually. I can't believe how hateful Christians can be sometimes.

Please, PLEASE...those of us who are believers...we need to remember to handle all people with care. Gentleness, love, kindness, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, patience...these are the fruits of the Spirit.

I pray your faces glow with the Spirit.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Shields responds to Cruise

Here is Brooke Shields' response to Tom Cruise's recent remarks about Shields using antidepressants to treat her postpartum depression: “Tom Cruise’s comments are irresponsible and dangerous. Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them." Go girl!!! Read the rest of the article here.

where two or three gather

The idea of being part of a "building-free" church intrigues me. Check out this blogger's site for more thoughts on home churches.

Friday, May 27, 2005

food for thought

I am fascinated with nutrition and the way food affects our bodies. Just wish all the experts could agree on what's healthy and what's not. I was just doing a little online research about coffee...some say it's good for us...some say it isn't. You know the drill. One evening your local affiliate reports that if you eat eggs every day you're asking for a heart attack at the age of 30. The next day they say that if you DON'T eat eggs every day, you might be at risk for cancer or osteoporosis or eggitis. What in the world? Can anyone give me a definite answer on what is healthy and what is not?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

what is happening???

What an embarrassing day for Tennessee. Read about it here. Could I hear some stories about an honest politician please?!?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

i watch tv...i admit it

Guh-reat. I have to wait all summer long to find out where the ladder in the hatch leads to, what kind of trouble Walt is headed for, if Sawyer and Jin survived the raft explosion, and who "the others" are that stole Walt away (pirates? aliens? telemarketers?). Don't know if I can wait three loooooooong months. Guess I might actually get some reading done this summer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

oh no he DIDN'T

When did Tom Cruise become God? Okay, okay, so he's not professing to be God. But he sure does act like he's the know-all and the end-all (whatever that means...I'm too annoyed to get my cliches straight). I admit he's a superb actor. I like most of his movies. But the way he left Nicole in a trail of dust chasing after Penelope was just wrong. And now there's Katie. (My dear child: JUST. SAY. NO.)

I've been trying to resist writing about Cruise these past few weeks, what with all the new-romance hooplah. But something I just read has pushed me over the edge. No, I'm not speaking about the article where he boasts of himself, "I'm a great parent!" And no, it's not the fact that the demure, sweet-seeming Holmes has decided to take up with a twice-divorced Scientology fanatic. And no, it's not the fact that Cruise claims in an online interview that there is only one "successful drug rehabilitation program in the world....called Narconon", even though the Scientology-based method is not "mentioned among the recognized detox programs."

What REALLY chaps my hide are Cruise's following comments during a recent Access Hollywood interview (to air Thursday). First of all, he slams Brooke Shields with this completely unnecessary comment: "Here is a woman, and I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is an incredibly talented woman. You look at, where has her career gone?"

Huh. That's funny. I thought Brooke Shields was doing pretty well for herself. After all, she's had a successful modeling career and the lead role on a popular television sitcom, experienced Broadway success, has a current lead role in the London production of "Chicago", is a new mother, and has just released a book about her battle with postpartum depression.

But then Cruise says that Shields was "misguided when she took the anti-depressant Paxil to fight her depression after giving birth" and "...when you talk about postpartum, you can take people today, women, and what you do is you use vitamins. There is a hormonal thing that is going on, scientifically, you can prove that. But when you talk about emotional, chemical imbalances in people, there is no science behind that. You can use vitamins to help a woman through those things."

Well thanks, Tom. Thanks for sharing all that medical know-how with us. I hold your opinion in high regard, especially since you've never been to medical school or experienced postpartum depression.

I'm all for taking vitamins. And I'm not one to plead with my doctor for a prescription. I won't even take Tylenol unless I ABSOLUTELY have to. So when my doc prescribed Zoloft last summer when I was suffering from postpartum depression, I was resistant. I didn't want meds messing with my mind, and I didn't want to have to rely on it to make me feel better about myself. But on the advice of a number of people and hand-in-hand with weekly visits to a counselor, I took the Zoloft. And it's helped turned me into a somewhat normal person again.

Tom...some advice...keep your day job.

Friday, May 20, 2005

an article on celebrities

Check out this thoughtful little piece on celebrities and their support -- or lack thereof -- of the military. I completely agree with this writer's thoughts.

Rowan's grandparents are coming to town this weekend. But before I close up shop for the next few days, could anyone tell me what happened during the last five minutes of CSI: Las Vegas last night?!? We had a power outage and missed the very end!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


tidbit 1 - My guy and I watched the series finale of "Everybody Loves Raymond" last night. Love that show. Great actors. I think we've laughed out loud at every episode.

tidbit 2 - We had a celebrity sighting in our neighborhood yesterday when we were out strolling Rowan. Walking up to an intersection, Brandon pointed at a Honda CRV and said "Hey, there's my mom!" Ha ha. You're so funny, Brandon. Especially since your mom lives in TEXAS. But then we noticed that the person in the passenger seat was none other than Dolly Parton. Yes, it's true. We saw the wig and the megawatt smile. (But not the boobs.) I like Dolly. She's very forthcoming about all the work she's had done to look so great, and she's alway so smiley.

tidbit 3 - My lady-writer-friends: Please visit www.marlaswoffer.com and contribute something to her "C. S. Lewis-wannabe-writing-contest". See the blog titled "Calling All Intellectuelles".

Monday, May 16, 2005

broadsided by anxiety

Do I really want to write this for all the (potential) world to read? Dare I go where I am about to go? Well...why the heck not?!? I'm not forcing anyone to read this.

I got hit with a monstrous wave of anxiety this weekend. It packed a punch, a big nasty bruiser of a punch. I'll put it to you this way...the past three days have consisted of...not sleeping well, waking up anxious and not knowing why, loss of appetite (which in turn means no energy), racing heart, extreme nervousness, numerous trips to the bathroom (anxiety does a number on my digestive track), and feeling as if I'm on the verge of a panic attack. It all feels almost identical to my experience with postpartum depression last summer. My dear husband stayed home with me and the kid this morning because, yes, he is "beyond awesome". My precious mother prayed with me on the phone.

What is UP with this craziness? I have no answers. I have no clue where this is coming from. So why am I spilling? Because maybe someone out there just needs to know they're not alone.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

good things all around

Yeah!!! Happy, happy things!!! Deserving, everyday people are getting the royal treatment on Oprah's Wildest Dreams show!

And Rowan took a three-hour nap this afternoon! Dreams DO come true!!!

Monday, May 09, 2005

day of the mother

My mom is cool because she...

- gave birth twice without any medication
- let us (my bro and me) stay up late when my dad went away on business trips
- has had the patience to teach the Bible to children of all ages
- diagnosed me with chicken pox
- made dinner every night of the week during my childhood (Rowan and Brandon would BE so lucky...)
- woke me up at 4 a.m. so I could watch Prince Charles and Princess Di's wedding with her
- sat in the closet with us when there were tornado warnings
- knew our teachers and was involved with our school activities
- believed me when I told her I hadn't eaten the infamous candy bar
- showed us how to suck nectar out of a honeysuckle blossom
- did all our laundry
- taught me how to be gracious and thankful
- handled barf, poop, body odor and teenage hormones with aplomb
- listened and listened and listened some more
- scratched my back and sang to me when she woke me in the mornings
- gave me one of the best gifts EVER (She started a needlepoint project of a Raggedy Ann - my favorite childhood doll - when I was in kindergarten, and then - after years of me nagging her - finished it when I was in high school and surprised me with it at Christmas one year. I cried.)
- worked outside of the home to put me through college
- talked my dad into letting me attend prom
- took my cousin into her home and mothered him through high school
- came to TN and took care of me for ten days after I gave birth
- came back three months later and took care of me when I was in the midst of postpartum depression
- accompanied me to my first counseling appointment
- writes well
- reads my blog
- encourages me with her notes, phone calls and upbeat outlook
- prays for me

These are just a few of the many reasons I love her. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

thoughts on offspring

A few months ago, I sent out an impromptu survey to friends and family members who I know are finished "being fruitful and multiplying". I asked: Why do you have the number of children you do? Their responses are below.

Dad of two girls -
"We discussed the number of children we wanted before we got married. When our second daughter came along, I asked my wife if she wanted to try for a boy, she said 'Nah.' So we made it so we couldn't have any more kids, and got on with trying to train the two we had."

Mom of a boy and a girl -
"What made us decide to have only two children? ...maybe the cost of college, my experience with only children, the fact that I had to have C-sections, that our 'batting average' wasn't good, and my age at our daughter's birth had something to do with our decision. I always felt great during pregnancy, and I healed quickly, but at 35 I didn't have the desire to experience the lack of sleep again. I am blessed to be able to experience both sexes. They are each so different. God's choice for me was for my children to be five and a half years apart. God knew what I could handle. I had to be older to handle what He had in store for me."

Dad of three girls and one boy -
"My wife and I decided early on that three children would be ideal. She was in a family of five children and I was in one of six. We had both seen how hard our parents worked and decided fewer children would be easier. My original theory behind three as the ideal, was that with two children, there is the on/off attention situation. Or in other words if one child is getting attention, then the other child is not...might lead to jealousy. However with three children, the child might not see it as a win/lose situation for attention, but rather as a group and would only expect a share of the attention. There would typically be times that at least two children would not be getting attention, so one could take comfort in the fact that they were not the only child not receiving attention. Also with three there would be more variety of interaction as it seems activity levels vary exponentially with the number of children, a good thing for kids. Now that we are older we would pick four or five as ideal. No doubt raising children is a primary purpose of life which brings much glory to God. And why not live life here to the fullest extent possible based on individual circumstances and guidance from Him? In our case God decided my super scientific method was wrong and added our fourth child to our family as a blessing. We are so thankful He did, because it came just as we were lamenting having fallen short of our ideal number of children, and being too old to birth another. One other thought is, as the last child leaves for college, life as a traditional family disappears. Why not delay that for as long as possible?"

Mom of one boy and one girl -
"When we had our son, I had no doubt I wanted another baby. I also wanted the experience of raising a boy and a girl. When our daughter was born, I was so excited about having one of each and both healthy that I was ready to quit. If we had had two boys I would have probably tried at least one more time. Looking back now I think I wish we had had one or two more but maybe not - it is an awesome responsibility to raise children (but great fun)." (Dad - "My wife said she wanted a boy and a girl and she was willing to have three kids to get one of each. Since we had a boy and girl in sequence, she got to stop early.")

Mom of two girls -
"We stopped at two so we'd never be out-numbered! Really, it just seems the right size family for us. We didn't plan to have three because we never wanted a middle child feeling left out. We didn't want more because I grew up in a larger family (five children) and I wanted to give more personal attention and time to our children than I had growing up. I'm also not really sure I would have the energy to care for more than two, and I know I certainly do not want to go through pregnancy, labor and postpartum again. So, two is perfect for us!"

Mom of one boy and one girl -
"My husband was in seminary, working part-time when our son was born. I worked until he was born, took about nine months off, worked another school year, and became pregnant with our daughter. With both pregnancies I had health problems, and then with school debt and a small salary to live on, we decided that we did not want to put any further strain on my health or our finances. Life dealt us some obvious answers. You may have other resources than we did, so that will definitely impact your decision and ability to have and support more than two or three children. It's certainly not the same for everyone."

Mom of one boy and one girl -
"I'm an only child....it has its advantages and disadvantages just like being an oldest, youngest or middle. I don't believe that only children are spoiled rotten – in fact while they often have more 'stuff' than others, they frequently are raised by more protective/restrictive parents. That was my experience on both counts. An only child...has just as good a shot at being normal and healthy and well adjusted as any other kid. Now, all that said, when I was growing up, I always wanted brothers and sisters. There was a certain loneliness to being an only child. And from the time I was very young, I had as clear sense of my aloneness should anything happen to my parents. I also was keenly aware that someday I would be responsible for my parents in their old age, which is the stage of life I'm now approaching....So, when my husband and I married in our 30s, we intended from the start to have two children. I suffered a miscarriage after about two years of marriage and then had a difficult time becoming pregnant and was given a fertility drug to help things along. I tell people our kids were planned, we just planned to have them after about two and four years of marriage, and they wound up coming after three and almost six. And today, they're my best reasons to love and appreciate the pharmaceutical industry! When our son was a baby, I could not imagine loving another child as much as I loved him. This was not an issue for my husband at all because he had two brothers and had been raised by parents who loved them all. I talked with several friends about this, because I really did want another baby, but wanted that child to be as loved and adored as our son was. They assured me I needn't worry. One close friend said, 'A second child is when you realize how elastic God made your heart.' She was absolutely right. I love them both, more than I could ever imagine loving anyone or anything....So, a year or so after our daughter was born I began to ponder having a third. At this point, my own age had become a factor. If we could have had three children before I turned 40 or 41, we probably would have done so. (I was 35 and 38 when the kids were born.) But after my 41st birthday I knew it was probably not wise to pursue a third pregnancy, so I didn't. I've never regretted having my children later in life. I think I was calmer and more mature emotionally, and we certainly were more secure financially than most couples who have their children in their 20s. We've been able to travel with the kids and take them places we never could have gone if we'd had them ten years earlier. But there's just no denying that most of us don't have the same energy level at 40 that we do at 30, and so I think it was a wise decision to stop at two. Today, at 50, with a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old I think that's enough to handle, too! But if I have any regrets at all, it's that I didn't have time to have three."

Mom of one girl and one boy (the siblings are sixteen years apart) -
"In regards to your survey...we didn't decide how many children to have. I think that was in the hands of the Lord. I always thought about and planned on being a mom who had many children – at least five. That was a little scary to my husband, as that didn't exactly fit into his tidy picture of what our world would be like. After our daughter's birth, he definitely couldn't handle the thought of any more children, and I adjusted my ways of thinking in order to keep peace in our marriage. This may sound a little weird, but I think God 'closed my womb' all those years. I prayed for many years that God would provide a person in our daughter's life who would share in her adult life after her dad and I were gone. I had hopes that it would be a loving spouse or that my sister's boys would feel a special bond with her in case she needed help. I never dreamed that it would be a little brother! I am convinced that our son is the answer to my prayer. He adores his sister, he is smart, bright and an amazing thinker and problem solver. I believe that he will be able to have a relationship that will be an encouragement to our daughter all the days of her life. At night when I put him to bed, say his prayer and blessing, I am often overwhelmed by the knowlege of God's faithfulness. My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, and our lives do not look anything like we planned. Instead of sitting on the beach in Hawaii or some other tropical place, we'll probably be sitting on the sidelines of a soccer match. But we do believe that God is gracious and good in providing our unexpected blessing! I would adopt a baby in a heartbeat. However even the mention of that conversation sends my husband into a state of panic. We are content and thankful for our children, even though we do not have a map that is guiding us on this journey. We've learned a lot thoughout the years about children and parenting, but we are still walking by faith that God will continue transforming us into the parents that our children need."

Friday, May 06, 2005

twenty years from now...

As I drove to a bookstore bordering the Vanderbilt campus this morning, I thought about it being exam week and how university students everywhere would be wrapping up their finals today. In the midst of unbuckling Rowan from his carseat, I glanced up to see a college-age kid pull into the parking lot, his Lexus SUV (we're talking Vanderbilt here) packed to the gills with all his belongings. A wave of nostalgia swept over me, and I thought about my son, my mother and my brother all in the same moment. I looked at the one-year-old in front of me and thought about how one day that college kid will be Rowan, and I'll be the mother missing his presence in my home. That, of course, made me think of my mom -- moms everywhere, in fact -- and I felt what I think was a tiny bit of the ache that comes with sending your children out into the world. Dressed in his polo shirt and knee-length shorts, the Vandy student made me think of my brother as well, and the dynamic of the mother-son relationship -- a relationship that I am now eternally a part of.

I prayed for that kid this morning. He had a long drive ahead of him (his license plate read Texas!). I prayed for his family, and that he would remember to show special honor to his mother this coming Sunday. He probably has no inkling how much she misses him.

As much as I long for an extended break from the mommy life sometimes, I'm starting to realize that -- just like learning how to be a mother -- letting go of my child is going to be a lot harder than I ever expected.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

ayelet waldman, part 2

A few weeks ago, writer Ayelet Waldman and her NY Times piece "Truly, Madly, Guiltily" were the center of a discussion on Oprah. The gist of the article is that her relationship with her husband takes priority over her relationship with her children. She points out that many mothers, after having children, seem to refocus all their passions and energies on the offspring, leaving nothing for their husbands.

I don't care for how Waldman equates love with sex. She writes: "I am the only woman...who seems to be, well, getting any..." and follows that with how she wishes her other mommy pals "could experience a love as deep as my own." But I DO agree with her point that we should make maintaining our spousal relationships top priority, not to the neglect of our children but, in fact, to nurture them and teach them by example how to love another.

Monday, May 02, 2005

i think the kid is sleeping...

I just want everyone who read the previous entry to know that I think the walk worked. Good suggestion, my dear husband. Rowan is now sleeping. I no longer feel the urge to break our valuables. I'm making myself a warm drink to sip on while I sit down to continue my reading of a very relevant book...Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. Ha.

Just KIDDING. I won't be reading this morning. He's awake and crying again. Signin' off for the day...

welcome to stay-at-home-mommydom

There are jillions of things I'd like to be writing about at the moment, but I'm having a hard time concentrating with my infant son screaming bloody murder in his crib. The freak-out crying has got to stop. It really needs to stop. I cannot go to him right now. I will not go to him. Much too angry.

I write this and I feel guilty. Especially with friends who have a baby in the NICU who is fighting for his life. As much as I hurt for them, and as much as I know they would rather have their son at home, crying in their arms...Rowan is still screeching at the top of his lungs, and I'm feeling a strong, overwhelming urge to curse and smash inanimate objects.

Brandon says I should take him for a walk. So I'm going.