Friday, March 31, 2006


Cutie Patootie
Originally uploaded by meandscreech.
I've posted some new pictures over at Flickr of Shepherd smiling. It's hard to catch them on film since he's smiling so little yet, but when he does smile, he lights up the room! I can't wait for him really smile a lot... :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

So I totally forgot to tell y'all

But yesterday marked 4 years that Forrest and I have been together. 4 years ago, yesterday, Forrest and I went on our first date to the Banff Mountain Film Festiival. We hit it off pretty well, and here we are four years later. I never thought that we'd be here. From the moment I met Forrest (several weeks before our date), I was head over heels. But I just knew there was no way he'd ever fall for me... my history with guys (at least good, decent guys) was pretty bleak. So when he called me a week after we met and asked me out, I was shocked. I still thought that he only meant to go out as friends. But he paid for dinner. He bought the film tickets. He called me later that week after our date and we talked for several hours. Three weeks after that date, I was still in denial until, at dinner one night, with several friends, he reached his foot under the table and started playing footsies. Y'all, this may seem childish, and juvenile, but it was SO FREAKIN' AWESOME. You don't just play footsies with anyone!! But it's been a wonderful journey so far, and I'm so happy to be with the man of my dreams... the man I never thought would fall for me, but he did. Happy Four Years, Baby!! I love you!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Yet another video

Because I can't get enough of the cuteness.

You may be wondering...

What's up with the lack of good posts lately (other than adorable pictures and videos and such)? I have no excuse, other than I have no idea what to write about anymore. Well, I do... but when I go to write, my mind goes completely blank. I think it may have something to do with the lack of sleep.
Last week, I reached an new level of desperation (heh, does that make me a desperate housewife? nah...). I'm an extrovert (no duh! you say) and love being around people. The problem with moving to a whole new city where you have no friends is... well, you have no friends! It's been extra hard for me to meet new people because, while I'm an extrovert, I'm extremely bad at meeting new people. I can get all shy and clam up, and talk about dumb things like the weather. Once I'm past that, I'm okay. But getting past that is hard. So last week, at my wits end, and having seen no other adult other than Forrest in 2 weeks (I met Beth a few weeks ago for lunch) I decided I'd call my great-aunt Margaret, who's 80 years old, and go visit her. We actually had a great time. She took me and Shepherd to lunch, and then we went and hung out at her house. Yes... I hung out with an 80 year old widow. :) The best part? Looking at old pictures of our family. It's amazing how much I look like my great-grandmother (her mother). Then yesterday, I went to visit her daugher, my first cousin-once removed (if you'd like an explination about the difference between first cousin and first cousin once removed, I'll give you my dad's phone number because he knows all of that stuff, which gets a little complicated, and the only way I ever understood it was when he drew a diagram for me...ANYWAYS).
My cousin has a new puppy... Gracie:

Gracie is a Welsh Terrier, and is the cutest thing since sliced bread. My cousin held Shepherd while I played with the puppy. We had so much fun just hanging out. All this to say, I definately need to find people to hang out with that are my age. Granted, I had a lot of fun with my family (my cousin is my dad's age), but I really need to meet some women my age. I'm thinking of going to a Bible Study at church that's made up of moms, but other than that, what are some ways to meet people? I know there are websites for playgroups and such, but where do I find them?

Changing subjects, I'm excited about the next few weeks. Next weekend, Forrest's mom and step-dad are coming up to celebrate Forrest's birthday and to see Shepherd. The weekend after that, we're going to North Carolina to visit my family for Easter. Mom is flying me and Shepherd down the Thursday before Easter (Forrest has to work that whole week) and then Forrest will drive down Friday night. I can't WAIT to visit home again. I always enjoy seeing family and friends. Well, I hate to cut this short, but Shepherd just started fussing, so I need to go see what's happening... I'll close with a picture of us this morning...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

So Cute!!!

I love cuddling with my son, especially when he falls asleep on my chest and looks so irresistably cute!!!

Marketplace Monday #6

I realized I'd forgotten to put this up yesterday, and was reminded this morning. This week's featured product?

Baby Trend's Diaper Champ

This thing uses regular kitchen bags, no special bags neccessary, and holds a ton of diapers w/o stinking up the nursery. I'm sure when we start solids it'll be a different story, but for now? I love this thing.

Monday, March 27, 2006

You may want to turn the volume up for this one

Shepherd demonstrates for us the proper way to pass gas.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Evening with our Family

Daddy comes home, and Shepherd has just finished dinner. After burping Shepherd, he falls asleep on Daddy's chest.

Then, while sleeping, Shepherd lets one rip, and fills up his diaper. After changing the dirty diaper, Shepherd is wide awake and ready to play.

Goblin Daddy!

Shepherd seems to wake up just in time for one last playtime before bed with Daddy. Although I'm sure he thinks that his parents are absolutely crazy.

You're one silly, silly man

After playtime, it's time to get Shepherd ready for bed, so we start the bath, and undress him... only to find that his onsie stuck on his head looks very funny...

Mommy and Daddy are having way too much fun making me look silly!

Then it's bath time!!!

Followed by a lonnnnnnnnnng nights sleep (hey a girl can dream can't she?!

Because I'm smart like that

So, YAY!, Shepherd slept well last night, and so did I.
But, BOO! He woke up screaming and demanding food every hour or two.
So, YAY! That means he's going through a little growth spurt.
Yet, BOO! That means my baby boy is growing up too fast....

To show what a total goober I am (or at least demonstrate how sleep deprivation affects me) I figured I'd share the following. Shepherd finally laid down for a nap a little while ago, and I figured I'd take advantage and get a shower, shave my legs (which, eww, hadn't been done since BEFORE his birth) and just get pretty. However, in the process of cleaning up, I totally forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. But I didn't realize this until I was blowdrying my hair, and behold, greasy roots and a spot that won't dry. The easy solution to this would be to shower again or at least stick my head under the faucet. But, no... I'm too tired for that, plus, Shepherd started fussing and I didn't want to push my luck. So I'm walking around w/ conditioner laiden hair, that looks no cleaner than when I started.... *sigh* The joys of motherhood... However, this makes it allllll worth it:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Total Exhaustion

I think I've reached my breaking point. Shepherd is sleeping fine at night... 3 hours at a time, sometimes 4. So it's really not his fault. I just think the weeks upon weeks of sleep deprivation is finally getting to me. Last night, I got up to feed Shepherd, and when he wouldn't stay latched on (sometimes he's lazy), I felt like throwing him against the wall. So finally, when I was done feeding him, I handed him to Forrest and said, "Here, you take him, I'm going to sleep." And I did. I feel really bad though, because the whole night, I was irritated and angry with Shepherd for having to eat so much. I was also extremely exhausted (still am!). I know this gets better, but when? When does the baby sleep through the night? Or at least long enough so I can get some much needed rest?! I've tried coaxing him to sleep some more this morning, but he's in the most playful mood, wide eyed and awake. Anyways... I'll try to write a more uplifting post later, but for now... I'm going to go try not to fall asleep playing with my son.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action!!!

This morning, I put Shepherd in his crib so that I could get a few things done. He had the cute bedhead and everything, and was cooing at the mobile... so I couldn't resist putting some video of him up...

Monday, March 20, 2006

One Month, 4 weeks, 30 days

Today, Shepherd is one month old. I'm still amazed at how fast time has flown by since his birth. Last night, while holding him, I broke down crying because it feels as though he's growing up so fast. I thought of all the things that he'll go through and experience, and I was incredibly joyful, but also incredibly terrified. I love my son so much, and I don't want to miss a moment of his growing up... I just want to sit and bask in the moment, and watch him learn and grow.
Sleepyhead Dino-Baby!

I have no idea how much he's grown since his last doctor's visit, but I do know that he's filling out his little clothes a whole lot better. He's also eating like a champ. He's on a good schedule, eating every 3 hours (occasionally he'll go longer or shorter periods of time).

Is it dinnertime again!? I'm Hungry!!!!!

We've started noticing slight changes in Shepherd's facial expressions. He's a very, very observant little guy, carefully watching the persons face who is holding him or closest to him. This is one of the expressions we get a lot of... not quite a smile, but definately a reaction to someone cooing and talking with him:

Boy, you're funny lookin'!!!!

But all this said, everything is wonderful. I love my son so much, and I'm so excited to see the progress he's making. My only qualm is that I'm not sleeping very well at night, and having a hard time getting a nap during the day. Poor Forrest has to get up and work every day, so I tend to let him sleep... but he still will get up from time to time to change a dirty diaper or bring Shepherd to me for a feeding. I don't know how he does it without naps during the day, but he's my hero... I'd go crazy without him. This weekend was good for all of us. Forrest got some good quality time with Shepherd during the day (when Shepherd is active), and our visitors were at a minimum. That last thing made all the difference in the world. It was so nice to just hang out and not have anything to do but watch movies, play with Shepherd, and of course... cheer on NC State (who totally sucked, but whatever...). Shepherd couldn't resist getting in on the action and help cheer State on...

Yes... that is a real smile, and not gas related...

So, Happy One Month Birthday baby boy!!! Your daddy and I love you SOOOO much!!! And remember, please don't grow up too fast....

Marketplace Monday #5

Last night, in the middle of the night, I was trying to think of what I could post for today's marketplace. After feeding Shepherd, and changing his diaper, it came to me. It's wonderful fragrance (note: sarcasm!) has permiated our home... yet, it has become a lifesaver.

Shepherd had developed quite a nasty diaper rash. We'd been using Boudreaux's Butt Paste but the diaper rash wasn't healing as fast as we'd like. So I went out and bought this stuff. Granted, the stuff smells to high heavens (like old people), but it works. 2 days later, and his diaper rash is almost all clear. The only problem is this stuff is like wallpaper paste, and impossible to get off your hands. Seriously, I spent 5 minutes last night trying to get the stuff out from under my nails, and even when I was done, my hands still smelled like old people. But to those of you out there expecting babies soon? Get you some of this... you might think your child will be perfect and not have any sort of diaper rash, but trust me... they will....

Friday, March 17, 2006

Guess What?!?!

I totally shouldn't have done this, but I tried a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans on. Granted, they are the largest pair I had, but still... THEY FREAKIN' FIT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They might be a tad tight in the butt, but at least they fit me! I can button AND zip them up!! The belt I wore pre-pregnancy is another story, but who cares!? I'm wearing REAL JEANS for the first time in 8 months!!!!!!!!! Holy Crap, could this day get ANY better?!?!


Since I have nothing clever to write about today, I figured that I'd allow you, the reader, to share with us a funny story of you while you were in college (or if you didn't go to college, while you were in your late teens/early twenties). Me? I think my best story shows how naive I was early on in college...

I had this awful, terrible, no good, very bad roommate. She cursed like a sailor, listened to hard core punk rock, and was generally very, very mean. We were actually friends before we roomed together, but then she started yelling at me, and cursing me out every single day. A lot of my education in curse words happened in that one short semester. One day, she said a word that I'd never heard. I can't remember the context in which she used it, but the word? Twat. I'll let those of you who don't know the definition of that word google it... I'm not about to. Anyways... I asked her what it meant, and she said it meant your butt. That should have been the end of it, but was it? Noooooo....
A few days later, I was going to hang out with some friends in the lobby of our dorm. Everyone from my floor was there (co-ed floor), and my best guy friend was sitting there hanging out. Thinking I'd be cool and use a new word that I'd learned, I walked up to Ted and said, "Mind if I sit my twat right here?" and sat down on his lap. I knew something was wrong the moment the room went completely silent. I looked at Ted, and his eyes were wide open, and he was turning a million shades of red. My friend Laina asked me what I said, and like an idiot... I repeated it. The room erupted into laughter, while Laina continued, "Corinne, do you know what that means?" "No," I said, "I thought it meant 'butt'." To my horror, she explained to me what it meant, all the while, I'm frozen sitting on Ted's lap. When she was done, I took one look at Ted, still wide eyed and red-faced, took a look around the very full lobby, and ran to my room crying. In hindsight, that's probably the funniest thing and the most embarrassing thing to happen to me, but I have to laugh at myself.

What about you? What's your most embarrassing/funny story from college? Don't be shy!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Preacher Man

I was reminded by my brother that he does have a blog, so I moseied on over there to check it out. I came across his post about the campus preacher, Gary, and decided to look up some info myself.

When I was in college, Gary came to preach. I remember the first time I heard him preach on Sanford Mall, I was a young freshman, who still had a ways to go in her own journey of faith. But I still remember that day as clear as it were yesterday. Several of my friends were sitting around debating with Gary, and I walked up to join them, just to listen. Gary pointed at me and asked me, "Do you love God?" I answered, "Yes" and he continued, "Then why do you sin?" This infuriated me, and I walked away, completely stunned that a man who considered himself a Christian could espout such hatred.

The God that I knew (and know) is a God of love... a God whose harshest words were saved for the religious right of his day. I felt that Gary grossly misrepresented God, and that those who weren't Christians would label all of us according to the standard set by Gary, or at least something like that. Every year, Gary would return in the spring, pointing at people, and telling them they were going to hell. Every year, I would walk by Gary, angry at him and the other Christians debating him. I had come to realize that arguing with Gary did no good. The best I could do was to live my life to show my own beliefs that God loves everyone... Gay, Straight, Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Hindi, Black, White, and so on... We can't choose who God loves... therefore, we shouldn't choose who we love. My one hope is that I live my life showing others love... and that possibly I can somehow undo some of the damage done by preachers like Gary...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Is it just me?

Or do all of you have the same terrifying fear that people won't like you? Today I had lunch with the beautiful Beth and Mia Mia is even more beautiful than her pictures (if that's possible) and Beth, of course, is gorgeous (and no I'm not just butt-kissing here). To be honest with you, I was totally terrified of meeting either one of them. Not because I thought Beth was some schizophrenic psycho (which, you know, she could be... but... Nah!), but because I was terrified that she wouldn't like me. I have a pretty low-self esteem at times, and post pregnancy is one of them. I mean, who gains 50 lbs, and doesn't feel a wee bit concious of how she looks? But anyways... I was saying... Does everyone feel like this? Or is it just me? Do even the pretty girls out there get nervous and hope that people like them? I mean, yeah, I hope that people like me for me (the me on the inside), but there's always this part of me that wants to be liked because I'm pretty too... GOSH, that sounds so shallow when I type it out, but I'm leaving it because you know what? It's the truth.
Anyways... moving on... We had a great lunch, even if at times it might have been a wee bit awkward, which I just chalk up to my own jittery nerves. Shepherd and I are looking forward to lunch again. Plus, Mia was just absolutely angelic... she even seemed to like Shepherd! (at least she screamed happy squeels when he finally awoke from his slumber to peek out at the world). Don't you wish you could have had lunch today with Queen Mia and her wonderful mom? I know you do....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Goodbye Ice Cream, Goodbye Cheese...

Goodbye Milk, Goodbye Creams
Goodbye Lactose, I'll miss you dear
May I see you come a year?

Well, we had the doctors visit, and we went over EV-ER-Y-THING. Our last hope is that it's the dairy in my diet that's causing the bouts of gas or fussiness. Well, that and maybe Shepherd just hasn't learned to poop yet. The doctor said some babies will tense up their tummies to push the poo out, but at the same time, tense up their rectums... so they're working against themselves. Worst part about this? You can't teach an infant to relax their bums, you can only hope they figure it out. We did figure that as long as you bounce Shepherd on your knee, he's okay. But I can't very well bounce him on my knee all night... I have to sleep sometime!!! So we bought a bouncy chair that has that built in vibration thingy... So far today, it's worked well. Tonight, he's still fussy, but not as much as last night. I'm hoping that cutting out dairy will help... only thing is, I'm not a fan of Soy milk, but I am a fan of cereal for breakfast, so... I bought some so that I can manage to eat something I like for breakfast... We'll see how that goes. Here's hoping that things work themselves out soon...

Again with the Screaming

The past few days, Shepherd has had trouble with his gastro track. This is the sort of thing he'll kill me for blogging about one day. Every time the spirit hits him, and he feels "moved", he screams bloody murder. Poor thing spent most of his waking hours last night crying and screaming through farts and poop... or at least the attempt at poop. He's gone from a regular sort of guy to a once a day kind of guy, and this has us worried. Thankfully, my pediatricians office will see him today, and we can find out what's going on, and get the kinks worked out in his system.

Sidenote: HOLY CRAP! My son just actually grabbed the starfish on his swing and held on to it for a little bit!!!!!!! Very impressive!

Anyways, I'm trying my best not to worry about every single little problem that comes up because I realize that babies cry... babies get gas... babies get constipated. I just don't want to ignore anything that might indicate a problem. (If you knew me, you know that I have a history of being mildly hypochondriatic, something I've spent years trying to overcome, and desperately don't want to pass on to my son.) For the most part, I realize that we have a healthy little boy, and there's nothing to worry about. It's just the mommy in me hates to see him scream and cry in pain with the gas... Well, he's starting up again... better go!

Monday, March 13, 2006

3 weeks

How can you resist?
Originally uploaded by meandscreech.

You turn three weeks old today. I can't believe that time has gone by this fast. I look back, and the three weeks before you were born seem so much longer than the three weeks since then. You're growing up so fast. You are already in Size One diapers, outgrowing the newborn diapers that were so tiny and cute. Already, you're learning to focus on faces, and starting to track them. You watched Daddy for a long time last night, and we just sat there in amazement watching you learn. You also reach for things. Whenever you're in your swing, you watch the starfishes that hang from the swing, and occasionally will reach out and try to grab it. I never knew that these seemingly small things would mean so much to me.
You're getting better at sleeping at night, which is wonderful for both mommy and daddy. The only time you have trouble sleeping is when you have to be around people all day, or you're being held all day long. It's almost as if you need some quiet time to yourself during the day. This works out nicely for both of us. You're content to lie in your crib and coo at yourself and watch the cows and sheep that hang from your mobile, and that allows mommy some time to herself to do mommy things. People ask me if I miss my life before you... which is a loaded question (you'll learn more about these things when you get older). I loved my life before you, but my life is so much better with you in it. I wouldn't want life without you. The 2 am feedings, the poopy diapers, the endless screaming, all are worth it when you look at me when I pick you up, or the way you stop crying when you're in mommy's arms. I love all of these things about you... and I love YOU, so deeply that it's scary. I feel pain when you feel pain. I'm so sorry I bonked your head on the cabinets the other day after your bath... but you were a champ. You only cried for 30 seconds. I cried the entire afternoon. I would never hurt you, and to think that I caused you pain hurts me deeper than I've ever been hurt. All of this to say, I love you more than I've ever loved someone. Yes, I love your Daddy a whole lot, but the love I have for you is completely different. You've made me the happiest person in the world... and I look forward to watching you grow up. But please, don't grow up too fast...

Marketplace Monday #4

Since Shepherd was born, I feel as though my washer has not stopped running. Everyday, there are dirty clothes to wash, whether they be mine, Forrest's, or Shepherd's. Most of the time, they are Shepherd's. We finally figured out that his newborn diapers were too small, thus creating leakage everytime he peed, and thus... creating mountains of laundry for me. We've since switched him to size 1 diapers (seriously? size one?! He's only 3 weeks old!!!!) and the laundry has been cut in half. But still... in the spirit of dirty laundry, I present...


I use this because mom used it, and I love the stuff. I've trie other detergents, but nothing works or smells like Tide.

The Art of Biting One's Tongue

We had a weekend. Yes, I realize most people follow that up with good, bad, wonderful, horrible, etc, but ours? Was just a weekend. I'd love to go into more detail, but there are some things I don't talk about on here. Let's just put it this way, there were guests, Shepherd got cranky, decided not to sleep Saturday night... or rather, his poor digestive system decided not to function properly and he's learned to scream every time he poops. I don't know if it's a phase, or if it's a genuine problem. He's pooping at least once a day, so I know he's not constipated, but according to all the books (yes, I realize most of them are full of it), Shepherd should be pooping at every feeding, if not every other. I know it's normal for a baby to grunt pretty hard when having a "moving experience", but is it normal for him to scream his head off?

Anyways, I digress... The weekend was okay. If anything, Forrest and I realize how much of a team we are, and by Sunday night, we were professing our love for one another over and over. As for me? I'm slowly learning the art of biting my tongue. It's so hard not to say the things you want to say, or rather, to complain about people who drive you batty. My reaction to past relationships where someone hurt me has been to lash out verbally... or at least to communicate everything I'm feeling to that person to let them know how they hurt me. But sometimes, it's best to bite your tongue. Either because it's inappropriate or because anything you say will go in one ear and our the other... or, because what you say might be just as hurtful, malicious, manipulative as what that person said, and to say anything would be to stoop to their level. Granted, I'm not very far along in learning this, but it's a start.

We did have family in to see Shepherd, and it was nice to see them. They really enjoyed seeing Shepherd. It's so hard when people come to see him, because everyone wants to hold him. Which is totally fine, but I've learned in the past few weeks that if Shepherd is held all day long without several good naps alone in his crib, that he tends to be cranky at night and not sleep as well. It's likely that he gets overstimulated and has a hard time calming down. So, I now know to make sure to take Shepherd away, and allow him some time in his crib, even if he's not sleeping (he likes to lie there and watch his mobile, and will coo at himself for quite awhile... it's so cute!!) It's so hard... learning all of these things about my son... things I didn't know about babies. And also, learning about my son's personality.

Well, I'd better go feed the little one... Hope y'all have a happy Monday!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Did that really just happen?!

I just finished feeding Shepherd a minute ago. And I realized something. We went to bed at 9 (his last feeding at 8:30pm)... woke up at 12:30am to feed (that's 4 hours folks)... then woke up again at 4:15am to feed (almost 4 hours). This is the longest that Shepherd has ever done this. Normally, our schedule is feed at 8:30pm, 11:30pm, 2:30am, and 5:30am. Sweet, blessed mother of God... we got sleep last night!!! I feel like a new woman! And to top it off? He's asleep again... so what do I plan to do?! Sleep some more... maybe he'll let me sleep until 8:30am!!!

*victory dance*

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Shepherd's Playlist

Because I wanna be like Daddy

I've noticed since Shepherd was born that certain cd's I play will quiet him, and possibly even lull him to sleep. This probably stems from the music I listened to when he was in utero. And if I say so myself, my son has great taste in music... the few songs I've listed were hard to choose from all the songs on the album.. but still, here are a few good songs or albums...

Iron and Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days, Passing Afternoons
Denison Witmer: Philedelphia Songs, Stations
Kings of Convinience: Riot on an Empty Street, Homesick
Sigur Ros: Eighteen Seconds before Sunrise
Coldplay: X & Y, Fix You
John Denver: Greatest Hits
Damien Jurado: Where shall you take me, Window

And many, many more... The only way I came across half of these is because of my wonderful brother, who for years has been making me mixed cds of different music, and I've come to love several of these groups through that. John Denver, however, is an all time favorite of mine since I was a kid, when Mom and Dad would listen to his albums. Hopefully, Shepherd will grown up to love music as much as we do, and will look back on his childhood as I do mine, and may the songs take him back...

Also, just a sidenote, we did go to the doctor this morning about the gas problem Shepherd's been having. Everything is okay, we just have instructions for Mycolin now, and also? Remember how on Monday, Shepherd weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz? Today? He weighed 9 lbs. NINE POUNDS!!!! My baby is getting HUGE!!!! *sniff* They grow up so fast don't they???

Names I've Called my Son...

Enough with the sentimental entries. I know there are those of you out there who enjoy the sentimental entries and enjoy a good cry, but they make my life out to be a whole lot nicer than it really is. They make ME out to be a whole lot nicer than I really am.

You see, I love my son tremendously, and I meant every word I wrote in my last entry. However, it is quite possible that I have called him the "Spawn of Satan" in the last 24 hours. And it's quite possible that I had to put him down in his crib screaming, and walk away because I was to the point where throwing him at the wall seemed like a good solution (trust me, I would never do this, I was just incredibly frustrated). I have woken up to him crying, only to roll my eyes, and sulk into his room to feed him at 2 am, then while feeding him, contemplate why I am breastfeeding in the first place, and not using formula. Because, DADGUM, this is hard work! Yes, I love my son, and yes, I'd never hurt him... and of course! I want the best for him. But life isn't always happy and easy. Sleep deprivation is hard. Breastfeeding is hard. Trying to soothe a screaming infant is hard, especially when you've done everything you can do. I guess it's the love I have for Shepherd that keeps me going. If it weren't for that, I feel as though there are times I'd just simply throw my hands up in the air and give up. But I'm glad I don't. Because walking in his room this morning, and picking him up, I smelled his hair, and all of that love floods back in. No, it doesn't make it easier. But, I guess it makes it worth it. (there's that sentimental crap again!!)

So veteran parents... tell me, Have you dealt with this? Does it get easier? Or are there just new things that frustrate you?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I've been struggling with writing lately. Besides my entry on Uncle Jim, I've felt almost robotic in what I've written. I've wondered what was going on, and until a few minutes ago, I still had nothing. Then, something happened that opened my eyes. I had just finished feeding Shepherd, and had put him in the swing so I could throw a load of laundry in. At first he was content to swing, but then he began crying. I was in the middle of loading the washer, so, I let him cry a minute (I know, I'm a bad mother, don't tell me how awful it is that I et my son cry)/ When I was done, I went over to the swing to pick him up, because he was approaching screaming level. And when I picked him up, he stopped crying immediately. He buried his face into my chest, and sighed deeply. I held him, thinking it was gas and he had to burp... or that he was sleepy and wanted to sleep. But I looked down a minute later, and he was wide eyed, with his sweet chheks pressed against my chest. With that, it was as if a dam of emotion broke within me, and I realized that my son just wanted to be close to his mommy. To be held, to be hugged, and to be told how much he's loved. And in that moment, I loved him deeper than I've ever loved before. Yes, I love my husband deeply, and nothing compares to that love, but this love is different. I realized how much my son needs me... not just for physical nourishment, but for emotional nourishment... for love. As I look down on him sleeping on my chest right now, my heart swells beyond anything I ever imagined it could. I realized also that before now, the reason it's been so hard to write about Shepherd is because it is SO HARD to put into words all of the feelings that you feel... the love, the joy, the frustration, the doubts, the fears... because there are so many, and they are so complex that putting them down in words is nearly impossible. In fact, it is impossible. Maybe one day, I'll come close to describing it... but I doubt it. Until then, I know what's in my heart... and I feel it so strongly that it hurts.

Shepherd, please know that I love you deeply

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

You know it's gonna be a long day...

...when you hear your son mess his pants through the baby monitor. So, after a diaper change, and having a wide awake baby that won't nap... I had to snap some pictures.

Bath Time!!!

He's totally going to be a heartbreaker

Whaddup, yo?!?

A Man Amongst Men

I've been meaning to write about our weekend, but we've had a time getting Shepherd back on a schedule that allows me to sleep more than 2 hours every night. Even though last night was just as rough, I figured I'd better take the time to write some thoughts down before they slip away.

My childhood was a fun one. Especially when we went to 'The Farm" (as we called it). My grandfather and grandmother lived in the old homeplace of Rose Isle. My grandfather was a cattle farmer (at times he'd grown peaches, raised hogs, chickens... everything, but his main area of expertise was cows). His brother, my Uncle Jim, helped him on the farm. When I was just 7 years old, my grandfather was killed in an automobile accident. I still remember where I was when I found out. My mom and dad were getting us ready for a stint overseas as missionaries. My dad had dropped my mom, brother, and I off at Toys-R-Us to look for some travel games to play on the airplane. I saw my dad walk into the store and ran over to him, only I noticed he'd been crying. I asked him what was wrong, and all he could say was, "Where's your mother?" We found mom, and went to the car. Mom drove while dad told us that he'd received a call that his father had been killed in an accident. A tractor trailer pulled out in front of my grandfather on a 2 lane highway. My grandfather swerved to miss him, and hit a tree. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, and died instantly. I tell you this because I loved my grandfather dearly. He had a hearing loss like me, so he was a quiet man... unless you got with him one on one, or in a small gathering. His hands were large and rough from the farm-work he did. He always drove us around on the tractor, and set up hay bales for us to play on.

His passing was very hard for me to understand. We stayed at my grandmothers house for a little while before leaving for the mission field, and while we were there, my Uncle Jim would come over and take us on tractor rides... and hold us in his lap, much like my grandfather would.

Uncle Jim and I feeding a newborn calf

He smelled like grandaddy... that mixture of diesel, cow manure, sweat, and whatever aftershave he used. I didn't know it then, and I didn't know it until last week, but Uncle Jim soon became like a grandfather to me. When I was in college, my Uncle Jim sent my brother and I (and the other nieces and nephews) a check for 10 grand to use towards education. It was a very generous gift for a farmer... and one that to this day I'm very grateful for. When Forrest was looking for a job, Uncle Jim took great interest in learning some about what Forrest did, and was extremely proud of Forrest when he got a job in DC. So proud, you'd have thought Forrest was his own flesh and blood grandson. Then, the news about our pregnancy. Uncle Jim, aside from our parents, was the one person who I can honestly say was the most excited of anyone about the impending birth of our little boy. So much so that he'd ask daily if there was a baby yet. And last Tuesday, my mom and dad stopped by to see Uncle Jim and showed him Shepherd's picture. Uncle Jim looked at my dad and said, "Donnie, Steady me." My father asked him why. Uncle Jim said, "So I can hold the baby!" In his mind, my parents had brought Shepherd to him. They weren't just pictures that my Uncle Jim saw, but it was the baby. The next morning, Uncle Jim died.

We drove down Friday night to be with the family. We missed the viewing, but I was assured that there would be a private viewing the next morning. My aunt (dad's sister) cried when she saw Shepherd, and held him while crying. She'd been the one to tell Uncle Jim that Shepherd was born. She'd been the one Uncle Jim asked daily about Shepherd... So holding that baby in her arms was healing for her. It was healing for me. We slept well that night, and woke up early the next morning as the family began flooding the house. Everyone wanted to see Shepherd, and everyone told us how much Uncle Jim wanted to see him. As we sat around, we shared stories of Uncle Jim, and I thought back on the years, and tried to piece together all the memories. I tried to hold them in my mind, so I could close my eyes, and one last time see Uncle Jim the way I remembered him. I remember his huge, rough hands. He'd gather us up as children and hold us in his arms...

Justin (my brother), Uncle Jim, and me

I remember the feeling of the flannel shirts or the denim jean jacket, along with his suspenders as I pressed my face in his chest. I remember quietly listening to him talk... he had a very loud voice, mostly because of his hearing loss. He'd talk loud and laugh loud. Along with that laugh, came the joy of fun. Uncle Jim LOVED to have fun. He knew how to play... and he played with us kids.

Uncle Jim playing the Ukelele for me

But most of all, Uncle Jim knew how to love. If you met him in the store, or on the street, you might not think him a loving man. He was tall, burly, and rough looking. But he was the gentlest man I've known. And even though his hands were rough from years of work on the farm, when they held us, somehow, they were the softest hands we'd ever felt.

Me, my cousins Bethany, Becky, Uncle Jim, and my brother, Justin

And each year at Christmas, Uncle Jim would announce his arrival to the homeplace by ringing the black fire-bell that hung outside. In my heart, I know that if there are bells in heaven, Uncle Jim must surely be enjoying himself.... Ringing them for eternity.

Monday, March 06, 2006

2 weeks old

Shepherd is 2 weeks today. We had our 2 week check-up at the doctor's office to see how things are going. Shepherd is a healthy little boy. His birth weight was 7 lbs, 10 oz. Today, he weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz.... so DAD-GUM! My boy is growing fast!!! He's in the 50th percentile in weight, length, and head circumference, so he's a perfect little cube. The hardest part about the visit was his Hep-B shot. I think it hurt me worse than it hurt him, because I couldn't help but cry. Poor little fella didn't cry when they put the needle in... no.. he didn't start crying until the nurse started injecting the stuff into his thigh. And boy did he scream. For the first time, I understood what moms everywhere talk about when they say they can feel their child's pain. I literally hurt watching him get the shot... but after the shot, with his pacifier, Shepherd calmed down, and stopped crying.
He's been fine since... in fact, he's sitting in his swing, watching the little star thing that hangs down over him. I swear he's the cutest little guy EVER!!!!

I love brownies... mmmmm, good!

Marketplace Monday #3

Since Shepherd was born, we've been on a quest to find the perfect diaper. We were told to try all the brands to see which one worked best for us. We finally settled on one brand, simply because it doesn't leak every time Shepherd pees. All other brands, no matter how tight we put the diaper on, no matter how many times we checked to see if it was full, they all leaked... creating way more laundry than necessary. So which brand did we pick?


Now, I realize that everyone has their own favorite diaper brand... some choose the off brands, some choose Huggies, but here in our house, these things are little miracles... and they soak up every drop that Shepherd lets out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Down for the Count

Well, we survived the weekend. All of us are very, very tired. I have so much to post about our trip and about the family, and I'll post soon. Until then, we've GOT to catch up on sleep. We went to bed at 6 tonight, and just woke up to eat dinner and feed Shepherd... and now it's back to bed. Kind of sad when 6 pm is your bedtime....

Friday, March 03, 2006

All Pimped Out

Shepherd got a bath this morning to wash off some of the funk that had accumulated from last nights blow-out poopers. And then, he got all pimped out for his trip to see the family...

How YOU doin'?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

First Trip...

Tomorrow, we leave for the funeral. Thankfully, it isn't that far of a drive, only a few hours away. And thankfully, we'll be staying in the mother-in-law suite of my aunt's house, with a room to ourselves big enough and quiet enough for Shepherd to sleep. I'm kind of nervous about traveling, but when I think of not being there for my uncle's funeral, it kills me. I can't leave Shepherd here with Forrest because we're brestfeeding... so the most logical thing is to all travel together to be with the family. Where I'm nervous about traveling, I'm very excited as well. My entire family... great-uncles, aunts, grandmother, cousins, etc... will be there. And they'll all get to see Shepherd. I can't wait for my grandmother to see him. She has alzheimer's and can't remember a thing, but who am I to say that somewhere deep in the darkness of her mind, she knows... and she recognizes me and my baby.
So today, I've been working on a list of things to take with us. If any of you out there have any suggestions as to "must haves" for these kinds of trips that I might not think to take... please suggest away...

Otherwise, I leave you with a rare picture of me and baby, postpartum... (you won't get many of these):

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Goodbye Uncle Jim...

My father called me this morning. My great-uncle Jim passed away last night. Uncle Jim was like a grandfather to me. My own grandfather (his brother) passed away when I was only 6 years old. He and my Uncle Jim ran the family farm together until Grandaddy's passing. Uncle Jim never had children... his wife was unable to carry children full-term, and this was before IVF... but he always desperately loved children, and thus loved us. When he found out we were expecting, he was so excited. Sometime after Thanksgiving, he fell and broke his shoulder, and had to go into the nursing home for rehab. He'd been there since, and had developed more problems there. However, every time someone would visit, he'd ask them if we'd had the baby yet. He couldn't WAIT to hold the baby... and Forrest and I couldn't wait for Shepherd to be held by Uncle Jim. Just by providence, mom and dad stopped by yesterday to visit Uncle Jim. They showed him pictures... and he loved them. He told my dad, "Well, you'll have to hold me up!" when my dad asked him what he meant, he said, "You'll have to hold me up so that I can hold that baby!" Then, last night, as he slept, Uncle Jim passed away. Whether or not he was waiting to see pictures of Shepherd, we'll never know. But my heart is broken. I loved Uncle Jim as a grandfather... I couldn't wait to see him hold my son... to have pictures of such a beautiful occasion... and now, to deal with his death, is almost too much. I look at Shepherd and cry, because I know that my Uncle was so looking forward to seeing him. I guess he did see him... and hopefully, that was enough.