Monday, April 30, 2007

One Sunday Evening

Last night, after visiting with my parents and some family friends, we headed home. As we pulled into the driveway, and stepped out of the car, there was an eiree feeling about the house. I stepped into our sunroom, and immediately noticed the door to our house standing wide open. Had Forrest simply forgotten to close it, or had someone been in our house.... or worse, was someone in there now? I checked the doors to the sunroom, which normally are locked, and the back door was unlocked. Panic set in, as I turned around, to re-enter the garage where Forrest was sitting in the car chatting on the cell phone. I explained to him what I saw, and he quickly ended the conversation. Armed with a 2x4 (I almost suggested nailing a few nails into it), he checked our house, room by room. After declaring the upstairs all clear, my heart began to settle down, at least until he went to turn on the light in the basement. The light would not work. Weird, I thought, we were just down there before we left, and I thought it was working. I begged Forrest not to go down there alone, so we locked the door, and called my father and his friend to come walk down with Forrest to check.

At this point, my mind is careening with the possibility of a psychopathic murderer hiding out in our basement, waiting for the perfect moment to emerge and torture us while we slept. I steadied myself, and begged my mind to calm down, and to think rationally. As my heart slowed, and my mind laughed at how rediculous we were being, a car drove by our house. Nothing particularly unusual about this car, as it was an old Crown Victoria, and we live in a neighborhood populated mostly by white haired widows and widowers. "Just someone coming home from church," I told myself. I watched as the car drove down past our neighbors, and then turned into a driveway two doors down. "Weird," I thought, "that guy only owns a black lincoln." When the car backed out of the driveway, turned around, and started heading back our way, I first was worried that someone thought we were locked out. Only, at the moment I thought that, a light from inside the car flashed, as the driver attempted to light a cigarette. The light allowed enough clarity to realize that the driver was not an aging widower, but instead, a rough looking young man, with a passenger in the back seat. As they slowly drove by our house, Forrest and I glanced at one another, immediately aware of what we needed to do. Forrest dialed 911, as I sat in our car, waiting on the cops to arrive. I was shaking, and Shepherd sensed my fear and started crying. He was tired, as it was well past his bedtime, so I hushed him and tried to sing him to sleep. My parents arrived shortly afterwards, which helped, and soon after, I began to feel ridiculous for my fears. The police arrived, and checked everything out, moving from room to room carefully.

As they checked the home, my dad reminded me of what had happend to a widow down the street only a few years ago.
She'd come home to a dark house, and as she entered the house, two men held her at gunpoint, robbed her, then drove off with her car. As he relayed the story, I grew more and more convinced that we'd done the right thing calling the police, even if it was something as silly as us forgetting to shut the door on our way out. The police emerged, and stated that they could find nothing, that everything had checked out okay. Either we had scared the thief away, or we'd forgotten to shut the door ourselves. I offered sincere apologies to them for having to come out, but they waved me off, thanking US for calling them. "You can't imagine how many calls we get from people who've walked in on something and ignored their instincts" they told us, reminding us that we'd in fact been correct to call them. I felt better. But learned a valuable lesson in locking up.

As we went to bed last night, locking all the doors, and deadbolting those we could, we went to bed, slipping into a deep sleep, thankful we were safe, and grateful for the men who stepped into our scary, yet silly situation, and helped us feel safe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Son, the Champion Teether

Shepherd decided recently that cutting teeth one at a time was for sissy's, and in the past 2 weeks has cut 3 teeth (I kid you not). Two of them being molars. The kid went from 7 pearly whites, to 10... and if that wasn't enough for him, there are two more cutting as I type.

This one fact alone has led me to believe that I am actually raising two boys, trapped in one body. There are days where my son is the sweetest, most lovable, agreeable child, taking two beautiful naps, and behaving beautifully, so much so, I almost fully expect him to poop rainbows and smiley faces. On other days, he's an all out terror, willfully defying everything I say, mocking me (yes, he's now mocking me when I say "no"), and screaming bloody murder if he does not get his way. Granted, I'm fully aware that these days are the days that his teeth hurt the most, but man alive! Does he drive me crazy on these days. I've found that my best bet is to distract him as much as possible, playing outside, and letting him run himself ragged, and then doping him up on Motrin before bedtime for the pain. Most nights, he'll sleep fine, but occasionally, he's up at 2 am, screaming about his teeth.

But the reality is that through it all, I actually don't mind the teething so much. You see, ususally, Shepherd wants nothing to do with me during the day. He's too busy climbing on things, pushing and pulling on toys, running, and generally being a boy to care about mommy. Then when daddy gets home, you'd think that the biggest celebrity had walked in, and he wants even less to do with me, pushing me away when I try to get kisses. It's been a hard adjustment, to go from being the one to cuddle and hold him, and be the only one he wanted, to being close to chopped liver. I know that it's a stage, and that it doesn't reflect his true feelings towards me, but it's been kind of hard. That is, until recently, with the teeth. You see, it's those during those 2 am scream-a-thons that he wants none other than Mommy. It's when his teeth hurt really bad during the day that he wants to cuddle and be held. It's when he conks his head after attempting to climb something that he cries out for "Momma" and buries his wet face into my neck. It's those moments that I feel needed once again. Those moments that I feel important. In a way, it sounds awful, as though I'm looking forward to my son hurting, but that's not true. My heart breaks along with him, and at times, I sit there and cry with him as he screams, holding his hand to his mouth, unable to understand the pain, and wishing I would take it away. It's just that these are the only moments he seems to need me right now, and I'll take what I can get.

Monday, April 23, 2007

As Promised...

Cute little mouth:

Cute little mouth (with notes):

Precious Face:

Precious Face (with notes):

Little Arms:

Little Arms (with notes):

Friday, April 20, 2007

We Decided!

Thanks to all of you who chimmed in with your experiences. It was really fascinating to see how other families have done different things. Last night, Forrest and I talked a long time about it, and we finally came to the conclusion that we'd find out. Mostly, I was having a hard time feeling at "peace" with not knowing (I'm so very impatient) and that Forrest could get excited about finding out. So today we had our ultrasound.

We went in, and as the ultrasound tech started looking, she asked if we wanted to find out. We said yes, and she went on looking. She first checked major organs and such, and in the process kept refering to the baby as "he". I asked her, are you using "he" in the general sense. She said, yes, that she was sorry, but she did that with all babies. Our lil' "bump" refused to open it's legs, and it wasn't until the very end of the session that the bump spread it's legs wide open to reveal that.........

It's a girl!!! (pictures to come tonight)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To know or not to know...

That is the question. Forrest and are are currently trying to decide whether or not to find out the sex of this baby. We found out with Shepherd, and it made it a lot easier to pick out a name. Not only that, but once we did have a name, I could refer to the "bump" I had by that name. However... there are so few surprises in life, so wanting to experience the joy of knowing when it happens is another consideration. Right now, I'm leaning more towards finding out, since I'm a person who likes to have answers. I couldn't stand for my doctors (or at least the Ultrasound tech) to know the sex, and for me not to know.

What are your experiences with this? Did you find out? Did you not? If you didn't... how did you bear those last 4 months not knowing??? And did you have a "hunch" that was right on?

Inquiring minds want to know

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


This has to be one of my favorite pictures of Shepherd (photo by Forrest). It's everything he is... ON...THE... GO! I love the tractor in the background too, because Shepherd is fascintated with tractors... with cars.. anything that screams boy. :) I was always terrified to have a boy, but every day, I love my little son so much more.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Almost 20 weeks...

Over the weekend, we attended my cousin's wedding, which involved a long drive in the car, and a sleepless baby refusing to sleep a wink that first night we were there. I woke up Saturday morning, the day of the wedding, feeling awful and grumpy. We ate breakfast and as I got ready, I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror. Imagine my surprise as I gawked into the mirror at my belly that had suddenly sprung out of hiding, announcing to the world that I was most definately pregnant.

All day at the wedding, people congratulated me and touched the bump, patting it ever so gently while commenting on how busy I'm going to be. Granted, I don't normally mind the touching (or at least I didn't with Shepherd), but what irks me is the constant reminding (from strangers) of "just how tired you'll be with two". I'm well aware that I'll be tired. I'm well aware of how hard it will be with two this close in age. It's almost as if these strangers are clicking their tongues at me, saying "tsk tsk, what a foolish woman for getting pregnant so soon". I'm constantly reminding them and myself, that this was a planned event. Forrest and I wanted children close in age... because we both had siblings who were close in age. I don't mind the advice from my mother or my mother-in-law, because they've been there. And... they support us. They know what it's like to want children close in age. They made that decision for themselves. I never feel as though they are looking at us as though we are foolish, as other people do. Oh well...

The wedding went wonderfully. Shepherd had a blast dancing on the dance floor to the music, and flirting with everyone who'd look his way. He is such a ham!! Every time the crowd would clap, he'd clap and yell out "YAYYYYYY!". Too cute! After a long day at the wedding, he finally crashed and fell asleep in my arms (something that hasn't happened in a very long time). It's amazing how much you miss those little moments, and looking back, I could kick myself for wishing he'd sleep in his own crib instead of my arms. How quickly things change. I'm hoping with this second one, I'll pause to appreciate those moments more.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

13 months


A few weeks back, you turned 13 months. We were right smack in the middle of our move from Northern Virginia to North Carolina. This past month has been a blur, mostly because so much has happened in such a short period of time. You continue to amaze me with new words and new skills.

You now can point to things you need, but mostly, you point because you're curious as to what things are called. You point and look expectantly at your daddy or me, waiting for the right name of the thing you're pointing at. It's a fun game we play, where we'll point out something to you, then you point out something to us. Every trip in the car is a fascinating adventure for you, with you pointing at everything as we drive by.

This month, it seems you've cranked your charm to eleven, and boy, oh boy, can you turn it on. Everywhere you go, you flirt, wave, and smile at perfect strangers. With your grandparents, you lean in to give huge kisses, even adding the "mmmmmmmmm" sound before a kiss. With daddy and me, you crack us up at every meal, playing peek-a-boo (and yelling "AH!!" when you remove your hands), making silly faces, and just jabbering away about something. Your personality is really starting to shine, and the more it shines, the deeper I fall in love with you. No longer are you just a baby like the other kids, but you are uniquely you. No one else is like you, and I love that!!!

Your daddy took a week off between jobs to help move and unpack, and during that week, you quickly became a daddy's boy. You followed him around the house, banged on things when he hammered nails in for pictures, you studied every move he made, and quickly became very attached to daddy. You wanted nothing to do with mommy during this time. If mommy asked for a kiss, you'd push her away, but if daddy wanted one... you'd pucker right up. It was great having daddy around, because we got to do a lot as a family, something we hadn't had much time for before. We took a trip up to Pilot Mountain, and we all had a blast hiking the short hikes there. We've had more time for family time, and that has made a world of a difference. When daddy gets home, you run to him, and you both play in the backyard while I get dinner ready. I know this, because I watch from the kitchen. I watch as your face radiates with joy as your daddy flies you around the back yard, and throws you high in the air to catch you. I hear your squeels of joy, as you chase one another around the huge oak tree, playing hide and seek from one another around the trunk. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to silently watch as you have more time with your daddy than ever before.

I love you little man... and I hope that you continue to blossom into this incredible little man that you already are. I pray that you will continue to be curious, wanting to learn about everything. I hope that I always have the time to stop and point out the little tiny flowers and bugs, and that I'll be patient enough to answer every prodding little pointed finger with an unhurried response. I pray that we will be able to keep this slower life that we have now, and that we won't take it for granted, even when things get a little crazy.

I love you so very much... Happy 13 months...