Sunday, June 19, 2011

Zen Baby, Zen!



It's so funny! These babies, they think they can get one over on me. No way. Please, I've been zenning babies since 1986. I have it down to a science. Within a minute or so after I pick a screaming squealing kid that simply won't shut up I can have him or her flat on their backs resting in their cribs and either sound asleep or in that hazy-lazy spot of zen-perfection. Easy stuff. All I have to do is put my little ipod on New Age music, maybe something Celtic, maybe something Oriental with dings and pings and little tinkling bells....that's it. Happy, cool, calm, collected baby. I set the leathery soft over-the-ear headsets on large so they don't fit tightly, but snug enough they can hear it all. I can hear it too, so I turn it down just a notch as not to hurt the tiny eardrums, and before I can say "Highland's March" the baby is out!

I asked Caity to assist me with this project of course before Copeland was even born. When she was 3 or 4 months along I asked her to put the headsets over her belly bump so he could feel the vibrations. I wanted to spend the extra money and get her some wireless headsets but never got around to it. I do watch the cords when I set him down to be sure he's not tangling himself in them. He's gone - - out. I can hear him every now and then cooing something or making a very satisfied sound such as to say "Don't bother me Granny, I'm listening to David Arkenstone at the moment and can't be disturbed." He even moves his arms around like he's conducting. He wants to have his music played for him, he cries for it..literally. If I had to guess I'd say his favorite are the Celtic Christmas tunes or the band 2002, which is more New Age zenny and he likes the harp. That much I know.

So, go on you old-fashioned grannies out there rocking, carrying, pushing, strolling, and driving your grand babies around to shut them up, not me..we zen. We zen, and we zen, and we zen. As soon as he's old enough we'll meditate and I'll take him to a rock store so he can pick out pretty rocks for presents instead of guns and knives. That's just the way it is - - until Reuben brings him something else. Of course I'll get him a football to suck on, as soon as he can hold one.

Happy Daddy's Day














I have a father of course, and I want to take a minute and acknowledge him today as it is HIS day. It is Father's Day and he is a wonderful father. He and I didn't (and don't) usually agree on anything whatsoever, but I still consider him to be wise and wonderful. He's fantastic in so many ways. Happy Father's Day Dad!!

I have another father I want to think about today and congratulate. Brandon! My grand baby's father. Brandon is just a young man, a very young man in fact, but he's a daddy, and today is his very first Father's Day. Today he was served his breakfast in bed (thank you Caity) and he was allowed to lay around, not do much, and watch anything he wants to on television - - it's HIS day!! He's choosing to spend his day of course with Caity and Copeland. They're going to go on a walk later on I imagine. It's too wet here in Indy to go to the Zoo, but he'll make up for that soon. He's going to be watching movies with them, playing, and hanging out. I told them about a new trail that Laura and I found, so I'll watch Copeland while he and Caity explore that. It's concrete and doesn't have all the slippery slopes that the nature trails have, so the rain outside shouldn't be too much of a factor. He's not made out of sugar, he won't melt.

So, Happy FIRST Father's Day to Brandon - - he's been a great daddy to Copeland since before he was born and I think he'll be a winner for a very long time. I have to really stand tall on my tippy-toes to hug him, he's about 6'4" but I did manage to get it done!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Apparently I am Jeff Saturday!


It must have something to do with the fact that my son loves Jeff Saturday's beard, or because Saturday wears number #63 on his Indianapolis Colts jersey. Whatever the reason is, it is only known to Reuben, but he has donned me to be "Jeff Saturday". Whenever I need to make a point to Reuben I do so by using football analogy. If I can't use a comparison to something dealing with football I try to use the next best thing; war. Somehow football and war are close enough that no matter what my point is, I can usually make it by finding something to relate it to using either of these two subjects. Well, today I was telling my son that I need to be more of a team player, more blended and less noticed. I recently lost another job because I was curious and asked too many questions about how the operations ran -- and in some cases you just can't do that and keep yourself employed. It wasn't as if I was being nosey, I was simply asking why the school I taught at (Brown Mackie College) was allowing students into the school who didn't have the mental capacity to complete the given curriculum ...it's a valid question.

Reuben looked at me from the driver's seat of the car and said "You know Mom, I'm getting a little tired of picking you up early and finding out that you lost your job because you think something isn't legal, or you think something could be done another way. You need to be more ... you need to be more like Jeff Saturday and less like Peyton Manning. Peyton has a right to know what's going on down the field, he's the leader, he's the quarterback, he's the one with the win or lose on his head. YOU, and Jeff Saturday, need to keep your head down, one hand on the ball, one hand on the ready to guard, and listen to full count before making your move. You never know, the QB may just call an audible at the last second." And with that I realized my son was actually being more like me....and I understood everything he was saying to me.

It wasn't that I wanted to cause trouble by asking the administration why they were allowing students into the college who were unable to pay back loans, or the fact that they were letting students into the college who had not even graduated from high school -- I just wanted clarification; and understanding of the situation. What I got was an ejection from the field for being up in the Head Coach's face during a play when I should have been on the field minding my own business. I get it.

Reuben explained that Saturday, as the Center, is in the middle of it. He's strong, quiet, paying attention, forceful but controlled, and he's the one the ball belongs to until he gives it away. I'm suppose to give my knowledge, training, and experience to the students not fuss with the coaches or the managers about the rules of the game. I get it. Besides, Saturday is a Pro-Bowler and he's cute too. I can be cute. I'm not gonna rock a beard like his anytime soon, but I can do this. I can be Jeff Saturday...even if I am Bears fan. I can do this. So....when do I get to be put back in the game?

What an Absolutely Wonderful Day

I have to tell you, I woke up this morning from an amazing dream about having found new friends and old friends. We were all sitting at a table and talking. It was as if nothing had ever happened between us that was bad - - only good. Steve Carroll was there, don't ask me why, we've never met.

When I'm given the opportunity I try so very hard to make things as positive as they can me. Some of you know I run an EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) workshop when called upon to do so. You can find the site easily at: www.positivepower.weebly.com where I'm asked all the time if EFT really works. Well, this morning I woke up feeling great and I had about a 12 minutes EFT session last night with the dogs before going to bed. Oh, you didn't know? Yes, doing EFT, yoga, anything with dogs can help your meditation -- and theirs. They get petted, you get the stress out of your life. It's a win-win.

So, there I was meditating, candles going, soft Celtic music in my headsets(Not blasting Van Halen when I meditate) and five of the six dogs all around me just breathing and making those "gotta go to bed soon" sounds that dogs make. It just occurred to me that lately I've been sleeping with five of the six dogs and that's not fair. I don't even get the standard 14-inches of my full sized bed now. What is this? Reuben should take his Molly back, and Caity and Brandon should at least call one of their dogs to their room - - wait, I have too many kids living with me too! No wonder I'm using EFT and meditating!! LOL I love my family, I really do. Soon it will happen, and all the kids will go their ways again. It's been great to have them under the same roof this past year. Most families fight about that sort of thing, but thankfully my kids get along, love and help each other. Having Reuben home from the war is absolutely fantastic...can't say enough about that. He'll leave again in October, but it's been great to have him as the man of the house again.

Caity and Brandon of course have their new baby Copeland and within a few months they'll move out. I'm not sure Laura will ever leave me, but she always sleeps with her own dog! LOL...there's that.

So, yes, I woke up, I felt good, I prayed, made coffee, took the kid (Laura) to work, and sat down to write. My book "FAITH WALKS" is finished, and it's now time to get 200 of my blogs together to make another book - - the Blog Book. Appropriately titled "Jude's Almost Daily Blog Book - Volume 1". Should be out by Christmas, should make you laugh...and if not I don't know what I'll do; work a little harder maybe? Gotta run, but let me leave you with this - - the day is what you make it. The hour is what you demand, the minute is what you accept of it, and this second is not to be wasted. Love someone.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Copeland Elijah Wayne Stringfellow

Caity woke up April 26 with a bit of a pain in her back, but thought she would be sent home if she went up to the hospital to be checked. She had been checked a couple of days beforehand, and was sent home. The nurses told her that Copeland wasn't going to be coming for at least a week, but Caity felt that she was already a week overdue. She was trying to get the nurses to understand that she had made a mistake in her previous calculations - - she felt that the baby was now overdue. (She was right!)

Baby Copeland Elijah Wayne Stringfellow came into the world at exactly 3:26 p.m. weighing just under 9 pounds. He was 8 pounds, 15.6 ounces and he was 21 inches long. He wasn't all that happy about being out of the warm belly either. He has a sort of serious minded expression most of the time. I'm not sure he's still really happy with us, but we sure are happy he's here! We currently all reside together until the kids get their feet on the ground; this gives everyone a chance to bond with Cope and give him the secure family feeling he needs. He has been a blessing from the beginning and we thank God for his health, his safe entrance, Caity's health, and all the stuff that goes with being a new member to the family.

Reuben wanted to be at the birth, but had to finish working. I can't even explain the look on Laura's face as Copeland was being born -- she was hiding at the top of the bed behind Caity. Oh, and Caity was something else too - - let me tell you. When the midwife came into the room and checked her, asking her if she needed pain meds or the epidural Caity wasn't sure she wanted anything. I spoke up and told them yes. She was dialated and ready to start getting serious; when I was in that position I was begging for help. NOT CAITY...if you know the brat you'd know she doesn't cry much, and even has a tattoo on the inside of her lip! She just doesn't feel pain like the rest of us...like normal people.

Copeland was born, we all relaxed, and Caity has been just the best mommy. She's a natural. For his part, Copeland is a good baby, a bit fussy, but he's a Taurus. We get that..just like his Aunty Laura and my dad. Can we survive another one? As long as nothing changes we should be fine huh?

Copeland's daddy's name is Brandon Wayne, so that's where the Wayne comes in. My dad is also Reuben Wayne. They came up with Copeland on their own; I think it's the name of a band they both like. We call the boy "Cope" or "Copey" and of course he's perfect....of course.