Thursday, September 28, 2006


It's amazing to me the simple things that make life so wonderful. Yesterday afternoon, Shepherd and I went on a little walk. I put him in our new Kelty backpack (that we bought used for $20, which totally rocks!) and we took off walking. He babbled away contentedly in the pack, gazing up at the birds flying south, and occasionally pulled at my ponytail as if to say, "Move along, Mommy... move along." We walked down to the playground, and into the field beside the playground. The field ends at some thick brush, and drops off into a creekbed. I would say the creek is 100 yards down, and if there wasn't a whole lot of traffic, you could probably hear it from the top of the hill. We walked along the crest of that hill, gazing into the woods, watching bluejays flit from tree to tree, calling out warning to other birds who dared to bother them. We listened to the crickets chirping their evening song. I paused a moment, and it seemed Shepherd paused too, as he sat still and quiet, and we both listened to the sounds around us. I took a deep breath in, and for a moment, I was home.

No, I wasn't back in North Carolina, but for a moment, this place, this open field, in Northern Virginia, was home. I thought to myself after that how I'd never felt that, and how wonderful it was to let that seep into my heart. To allow where I am to be home, even if it's not where I'd want to be. And all of the sudden, the silliness of my complaining and desiring to be home hit me. I'd been wasting so much energy focusing on getting back to where I'd been, that I'd lost the joy of being where I am. For so long, I've felt like a stranger, walking around these apartments, being inside my apartment, with none of it feeling familiar, though I'd been here for some time. I'd felt left out, alone, and far away from the things I loved. But with that one breath, and in that stillness, I was able to claim a piece of the now, and accept it for what it is.... Home.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To Blog, or Not to Blog, That is the Question

There's been some discussion around our house about not blogging anymore. Mostly, I've been discussing it with Forrest. You see, it's really hard to find time during the day to blog. And, I'm becoming more and more uncomfortable about writing some things. You see, a lot of people I know read this. And people I don't know too, but I'm worried that I may slip up and say something I shouldn't... or worse, that I may somehow reveal information about our family that could put us in danger.

I know, I know, this is paranoia, but still... It's a thought that I've been wrestling with. There's a fine dance between sharing stories and telling too much. And I dance that line a lot. Or at least I feel I do. You see, I'm a firm believer in full transparency with friends. Close friends. And it's easy to view this blog as a "friend" that I can tell all of my problems to. The thing of it is, not everyone out there is my friend. Or at least, not close enough for me to share some of the information I want to share.

I've thought about starting another blog, completly annonymous, but then what would be the point of me writing?? I struggle with that as it is, as often I feel my writing is poor, sloppy, and uninspired. Yes, it's wonderful for family to catch up with what Shepherd is doing, but I can do that with a password protected blog and all. As for the rest of the readers, I don't feel I have much of an audience anymore (mostly due to the fact that I have no time to comment on other people's sites, and often don't respond to comments because of time issues... for that I'm sorry).

Granted, this blog has served as a wonderful tool for getting my thoughts out on paper. It's also introduced me to one of my only close friends right now, who also blogs. I wouldn't trade that friendship for the world, and I admit that the friendship would not have even developed had it not been for our blogs. I also feel that there are things that mothers go through that we can share for others to see and learn from.... if only to discover that we aren't the only ones in the world struggling with this whole motherhood thing. I like to think that what I write may help someone out there understand that we are not alone. We are in this together. But lately... I don't feel like I make that difference. I feel that my writings are redundant to all the other mothers writing out there. (And no, I'm not looking for pity here, I'm just being honest) This has kept me from writing... that and the fact that almost everyone I know in real life reads this or knows about my blog. It's kind of hard to write honestly when you know that someone out there, who you know face to face in real life, is reading.

So if I spout off about how arrogant George Bush is, and how I cannot stand to watch the man on TV, and how I can't stand the Republican Party right now, I'm treking into things I wouldn't normally discuss with half of the people in real life. I would never talk about politics with people from home (besides my family). It's just something I don't do... not because I don't buy what I believe... no, it's actually to preserve those friendships. You see, in real life, politics aren't the pinnicle of importance in my friendships. Sure it's nice to have someone to gab about the state of things with, but I can be friends with a Republican, just as much as I can be friends with a Democrat. So as a matter of self-preservation, I just don't talk politics.

I use politics as only one little example. There are a million other things that I could talk about, but don't... simply because people know who I am. I understand now why authors often use a fake name when they author books.

So what do you think I should do? (If there's anyone out there reading anymore... and judging from the responses, I'll kind of know who read and who doesn't) Should I pack up shop, and close the doors on TwoPinkLines? Should I keep on blogging here? Or should I create another blog, completely annonymous, and lose all of my current readers??? How do you handle these things??

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Learning to Crawl

All that crawling has worn him out!

Shepherd has officially "crawled". I have some video footage that I'm working on editing (read: when Shepherd finally takes a nap, I'll try to post the video). He's grown so much over the past week. We just had our Doctor's appointment to re-check his ear to make sure the ear infection is cleared up (and it is), and he's gained 8 oz. since last Thursday!!!! Unbelievable!!! It's probably due to the fact that I've been supplementing with formula and trying to wean Shepherd to formula. He's grown so much!!! Check back later, and hopefully I'll get some pictures or videos up!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lesson Learned

You cannot sterilize excersaucer toys in the microwave sterilizer.

They will melt.

And will stink.

And your child will have a toyless excersaucer (with maybe 3 toys left on it that wouldn't fit into the sterilizer) and you will feel really, really, REALLY stupid.

Oh and yes, we're still sick....

Friday, September 22, 2006

7 months

Dear Shepherd,

Today, you turn 7 months old. This past month has flown by. You're changing every day, so fast that I can't begin to document all of the changes.

For starters, you have been working on sticking out your tongue at us. This has been quite a joy to watch, and has brought many laugh. You started with just moving your tongue around in your mouth. But after studying our faces long and hard, you began to try to push out your tongue. You made it to the space between your gums and your lips, and for a while, I joked that it looked as though you were chewing tobacco (which, if you ever do, you will be in big, BIG trouble, mister!). And two days ago, you finally got your tongue out. The look on your face was unadulterated joy. You were just like the big people who stick their tongues out at you. And finally, you could be one of us. We laughed, I cried, and we played the game of sticking our tongues out at each other. You love this game. Especially if we're driving somewhere, and at the stoplight, I turn around and make a face at you in the mirror we've put in the backseat. You laugh and try to stick out your tongue some more.

This month also brought the introduction of a big, BIG dog in your life. You'd met Maggie (Gram and Grandaddy's dog) before, but you were too little to remember it. At first, we were worried that Maggie would knock you over, or get too excited and hurt you, but we tried anyways. At first, you were very scared. You whimpered and clung to me. But we sat there, while I held you, and you summoned all of your courage up and reached out and touched the big monster. Maggie sat really still, and you patted her nose over and over. Finally with a squeal, you stuck your hand in Maggie's mouth. What possessed you to do this, I don't know, but you had decided that this dog was your friend, and she wouldn't hurt you. After that, you loved the doggie, and watched her everywhere she went.

Another thing we've enjoyed this month has been the change in weather. It'd been cooler and not so hot, so we've been able to go to the park and swing. You love swinging, especially if there are other kids around. You smile at them as if to ask them to watch how big you are, swinging. We've had a lot of fun playing at the playground, and another one of your favorite parts is the bubble mirrors. We stand there and make faces at each other, laughing at each other.

And last but not least, this month you've been sick. You've had a raging ear infection that probably started as a cold. For that, I'm very, VERY sorry. It probably came from one of the kids in the nursery at church or something, but irregardless, you've handled it like a pro. I hardly knew it was bothering you until you started waking up more at night crying. Finally, figuring that the runny nose wasn't just teething, we went to the doctor. The doctor looked in your little ear and said, "Yep! Ear infection!". So we got you on a round of antibiotics and hopefully that will clear up soon. But through it all, you've still been a happy, sweet little boy. Every morning when Daddy brings you into our room for our morning cuddle, you smile at us and happily snuggle in with us.

I love you SO much little man. I cannot fathom my life without you. You make each day bright with your smile, and each day, I'm amazed at the wonderful joy of having you in my life.

With all of my love, Happy 7 months,


sick day

Am working on Shepherd's 7 month post. In the meantime, we're snuggled in with an ear infection (Shepherd) and a nasty cold (me). This is the roughest I've felt in a while....

more later

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekend fun

Weekend fun
Originally uploaded by meandscreech.
Wow, what a weekend. I can't believe it's Monday already. We had a great weekend. Friday Forrest had his annual review at work, and got a lot of positive feedback. He was very encouraged and walked away with more confidence in himself. So to celebrate, we went out to eat. We found a good mexican restaurant, and enjoyed some good fajitas, and of course, a strawberry daquiri for me! After dinner, we headed home, got Shepherd ready for bed, and plopped down on the couch to watch several episodes of Arrested Development, season 3. After an hour, we went on to bed, and were in the bed at 9:30.

We got a good nights rest, and on Saturday, woke up early and decided to poke around Baltimore for the day. There was an oyster-fest at Fells Point, and we thought we'd check it out, as well as check out the harbor area. The oysterfest was sponsered by Max's on Broadway, so we stopped by to check out Max's for lunch. They had over 100 beers on tap, including our favorite cider, Woodchuck. With a glass of the Amber cider, we chowed down on some wings and a hamburger we split. After lunch, we headed to the harbor and walked around, checking out downtown. Baltimore is so beautiful. The historic areas were gorgeous, and walking around the harbor was fun. We've decided to make a day trip back to the aquarium because, dang, does that thing look like fun. :)

Saturday night, I decided to try my hand at something new, and cooked a vegetarian dinner. We've talked on and off about eating more vegetarian meals (not cutting meat out entirely), and I finally took a stab at cooking with Tofu. I made Cocounut Curry Tofu and a vegetable stir fry, and if I may say so myself, it was delicious. I'm not normally one to go for Tofu, but it turned out so good, that I'm going to try to find more recipes for it, and try them! Any of you have suggestions for vegetarian meals?

Sunday, we went to church, and then came home and hung out. We got a call from Forrest's cousin, Beth, and went to meet her for dinner. She hadn't seen Shepherd yet, and we had a great time hanging out and visiting her. Shepherd of course, turned on the charm, and wore himself out charming everyone. He passed out in the car, and didn't wake up when we carried him inside. We were worn out too, and ended up in bed early, again... but no one's complaining, as I got almost a full night's sleep...

So, all in all, a great weekend... oh, that, and Shepherd learned to stick out his tongue... :) More pictures over at Flickr

Friday, September 15, 2006

Crawling 101

Shepherd demonstrates his mad skillz he's learned in Introduction to Crawling, including the grand "Swan Dive" onto the floor in attempt to grab something just out of reach. I'd say he's mastered this skill, and can lunge towards just about anything...

Mad props, kiddo...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rain, Rain Go Away

I know, I know... we need the rain. And as much as I know this, I can't stand rainy days. Or at least, I can't stand being at home, alone, with a kid, on rainy days. It used to be nice, as I could cuddle up to Forrest on a rainy day, and just wrap up and watch TV. But now that there's a baby here, I don't watch much TV during the day (night time is another story, more on that in a minute). So getting outside is out of the question, and the only thing that allows me to walk around without getting totally soaked is going to the mall. Most people would love to go to the mall, and usually I do. But the state of my silloutte lately has me hating to shop. I'm not used to buying in the sizes that I am right now, much less am I used to disgusing my figure (even when pregnant, I liked things fitted, and it was okay, because my belly? It's a baby! not flab!). So I hate shopping for me. As for Shepherd, he has all the clothes he needs (well, I did need to get him another pair of pants, as it's no longer shorts weather, and the only pants he has are too big in the waist) (oh, and a jacket, as it's way too chilly out for just a t-shirt) (And, I guess there was the must-have, a-freakin-dorable hat that he can wear this winter... I mean it was on sale!!) (okay, okay, I'll fess up, I bought one more thing, but all of this stuff was on sale... I swear it was!! I was even able to pay cash for it...) So I guess I can always shop for Shepherd... speaking of that, I found the coolest store out there to shop for kids clothes. Next size up, I'm going to H&M for his clothes, because they are so awesome!!! (I would link to some outfits, but can't find pictures on their site) So, after walking around the mall (pretty fast, trying to get somewhat of a workout), we're home.

I mentioned about watching TV at night... Forrest and I just finished watching season 2 of Lost, trying to catch up for the new season. We are hooked... can't wait until the new season starts. Also? I'm hooked on Project Runway. Yes, I know... cheesy reality show, but seriously? I'm hooked. I was a tad sad to see Kayne go home last night, but understood why. I love, love, LOVE Michael, and hope he wins. I love how he helped Kayne out by pulling him aside and pointing out that the dress looked kinda "working girl-ish". Him and Laura both... I like. I know most people probably don't care much about the show, but I have always loved watching people make clothes. When I was little, I used to make clothes for my Barbies. I would spend hours trying to make something cool, but never had the skills necessary to make it work. These people are awesome. They can make something out of nothing in a matter of hours... and I love that.

Enough about TV... I'd better go, little man is waking up from a nap! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Stages

We are entering new stages here at our house. Shepherd is starting to crawl. So far it's a few steps here, and a few steps here, mostly accompanied by lots of rolling around and across the room. So much so that as soon as I'd turn my back, Shepherd would have something valuable (like our camera) and would be chewing on it. So... we've introduced the play-yard.

I'd been looking for weeks for a used SuperYard XT, but hadn't had any luck. So finally, my mom, with desperate foreknowing, urged me to go ahead and purchase one. She knew what kinds of changes my world was about to make, so with her prodding (and funding, thanks mom!) I went and purchased one. It... is... AWESOME. For once I can actually put Shepherd down, and run to the bathroom really quick without having to sit him on the floor of our bathroom (ew!) and let him play with the toilet paper. It's also nice in that I don't have to clean his toys up every day. I can put a few toys in there, and just leave them. YAY! Organized chaos!!! :)

Also? This has meant the end of a lot of my free time during the day, as I'm so worn out from playing with him, that when he naps, I nap, so no blogging during napping. And right now? I'm furiously typing as he plays contendedly in the play yard, so I probably need to go.

So yay for almost crawling! Boo for no time to read blogs or write.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I can't believe it was 5 years ago today that our world stood still. I remember that day like it was yesterday, the events and everything etched into my mind. I woke up early that day, to get ready for class. I sat at my computer, logged into Instant Messanger, and read my friend's away message, "Turn on the News. Any station." Odd, I thought... so I tried to log into, but I couldn't. So I walked downstairs, turned on the TV just in time to watch the second plane crash into the World Trade Center. It was the first, and only time, that there was silence... long, awkward silence, on a television news station. I ran into my roommates bathroom, yelled for her to get out of the shower, she needed to see this. Wrapped in a towel, soaking wet, she sat next to me on the couch and we watched as the towers burned, and then as they fell. I sat there, as my roommate began sobbing, and I just sat there. I felt numb. I remember thinking that this was it... that someone was declaring war on us, and that we'd have to fight. I was angry, sad, stunned, shocked... so many emotions at once, I didn't know what to do.

So I did what I knew how to do. I went to class. I parked my car, and started walking to class. I looked up in the air, and remember thinking how odd it was that there were no contrails that day. Just clear blue sky... it was a beautiful day. I got to class, and everyone was just sitting there, quietly turning over what had happened in their minds. My friend Alison walked in, and somehow, she'd not heard that it wasn't just an accident. And then, someone told her a US Airways plane had crashed. She totally lost it crying. Her father was a pilot, and had a flight out that morning. I told her that I thought I rememeberd them saying it was a United flight, not US Airways. Still, she could not calm down, and was becoming hysterical. I took her outside, and gave her my cell phone to call her mom (Yes, just 5 years ago, most people didn't have cell phones). As I sat there on the grass, listening to her confirm that her father was okay, I thought of everyone who's family wasn't okay. I looked towards the contrail-less sky once again, and let a few tears slide.... the first tears I'd shed yet. Our teacher arrived, and dismissed the class. No one had classes the rest of the day.

I wandered around campus aimlessly for a while after that. Then finally got in my car, drove home, and sat in front of the TV. I watched as they played the footage over, and over, and over, and over again. Disgusted, I finally had to pull myself away from the TV, because I realized that watching it all over again wasn't helping me... I went upstairs, laid down, and cried myself to sleep. I don't remember waking up after that... although I know I did. I don't remember what I did that night... but I know I did something. But no matter what I did next, I know that forever, our world was changed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Betcha didn't know...

my son is a tried and true gangsta....

He's even perfected the art of the drugged out, tough guy look....

Friday, September 08, 2006

Great-Grandmother's Song

With a little prodding from my dad, my grandmother sang this song. She used to sing this to me when I was a little girl, and I was amazed that she could remember all the words.... they go like this:

Well, I went to the beanery and I walked around the block
And I walked right into a bakery shop
And I picked three donuts out of the grease
Handed the man a five-cent piece
Well, he looked at the nickle and he looked at me
And he said, "Kind sir, can't you plainly see? There's a hole in your nickle and it's all the way through"
Says I, "There's a hole in your donut too!"
Early Riser

My little man woke up early yesterday in a good mood, and was imitating me laughing and grabbing for the camera... the bed head?? Oh, it kills me it's so cute!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


You know how there are things in life that irritate you, and you know that you should just chill the heck out? But somehow, you can't get over them??

One of my things is people who refuse to merge with traffic. The signs are everywhere, on both sides of the road, that the right lane ends, to merge left (or vice versa), and they refuse to merge, plowing through as if the lane they are in continues into infinity. I'll admit, I'm pretty anal when it comes to the signs, and I merge as soon as I see one. I like to think that I'm helping my fellow citizins out by refusing to "bottleneck" down where the lanes actually merge. The worst is when people in the lane that keeps straight switch to the lane that merges, and fly around traffic, only to try to cut in at the bottleneck. THIS is why there's a line of cars a mile long, people like you, you idiot. I hate it when people do this, so of course, I pull my car as close to the car in front of me, because I know the jackass who pulled around everyone will try to cut in front of me. Sure enough, he tries... in the south? people would wait for a nicer person to let them in (i.e. the man behind me), but up here? THEY COME ON OVER!!!! They act as though it's YOUR fault that they waited for the last possible moment to merge. In fact, I often get flipped the bird by those drivers.

Am I missing something? It seems to me it should be me waving my one fingered victory salute (so eloquently stated by our resident idiot president), but instead, I'm the one cursed, flipped off, and nearly killed. And I sit there, steam coming out of my ears, as I follow the jerk until the lanes open up again.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Carolina on my Mind

Having just returned from a weeklong jaunt to "The South" to visit my folks and in-laws, I've been turning over the week in my mind a lot. In fact, last night, I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking I was back at my house in NC, and couldn't for the life of me figure out where I was. Finally it dawned on me that I was home, in Northern Virginia, back to the grind.

We had a great trip down. Dad came up and picked me up, and we drove down on Saturday, stopping to visit my grandmother for a short jaunt.

She was doing well, and brightened up when Shepherd and I walked in. After cooing and tickling him, she started singing to him with our help prompting the song. She sang my favorite song start to finish without hesitation, and I managed to get it on video. (The video is quite large though, so I'm having trouble posting it) After visiting her, we drove on down to my parents house, settled in, and had a blast just hanging out with them.

My parents Golden Retriever, Maggie, is a very excitable dog. Most Goldens are pretty calm, but Maggie breaks the mold. She jumps and squeels when she sees someone new, or someone she hasn't seen in a while. But after we got settled in, Maggie calmed down enough to play with Shepherd. And much to my surprise, she was exceedingly gentle.

More at Flicker.

After half of a week at my parents, my in-laws picked me up and we headed up to their house to visit and get ready for the big party. What big party? Oh, I may have forgotten to write about that. You see, 5 years ago this month, Forrest finished his treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma. So this month, Forrest celebrates 5 years cancer-free. So we decided that it was such a great thing to celebrate, that we'd invite all of our closest family and friends and have a good ol' time. Poor Shepherd was a little overwhelmed, so he went to bed a little early. But not before meeting some of our good friends.

The rest of the weekend flew by, but we had a great time visiting everyone. It was hard coming back, but we're back.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We're Back

Sorry for the lack of posting this past week and a half... I've been in NC with family and slow internet connection. We got back last night at 11:50 pm, after having to delay leaving NC until the little man was asleep because he screamed for 30 minutes solid from Nana's house to Gram's house. And I'm not talking crying, I'm talking blood-curdling screams. Guess our little man is teething again....

More later!!