Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Meeting Peggy

Pace turned one month last week, and in celebration we piled all three kids in the car and headed down a very familiar road to East Texas. Athens, Texas to be exact. After my parents divorced, my mom would drive me to Athens every other weekend where she and my father would make “the transfer” and I’d go off to spend time with my dad in Lufkin until they made another drop Sunday evening.

Pat & I were making our own transfer this time. We were dropping Savannah off to her grandmother, also known as “Ammie” (like Sammy without the S), and also to introduce Pace to his Great Aunt Peggy, my mom’s sister.

Peggy has been a steady fixture in my life. She’s been like a second mother, an older sister, and a great friend all balled into one. She's also a fantastic story teller and can have you laughing so hard that the room is completely silent, except for a few gasps when you can catch your breath. She has stories about her and my mother's childhood that could make your hair stand on end. Stories that include mattresses, mud, and Hitler. They’re absolutely hilarious, but I’ll save those for another day.

What a bunch of misfits we are!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Little Self Indulgence

This morning after back-to-back feedings, I placed Pace in the bassinet next to our bed and laid down beside Pat. My body collapsed on the sheets from complete exhaustion. I allowed myself a moment of pure indulgence as Pat gently rubbed my arms and legs and Sarah quietly placed stuffed animals around me. I felt like a queen being catered to by her servants.

Pace was on the verge of vocalizing his unhappiness. He wasn’t crying, but occasionally grunting, letting me know that he wasn’t going to let this last for too long. I stole a glance where he lay and could see his arms and legs waving around above the sides of the bassinet. He looked like a water bug on his back trying to turn over.

I closed my eyes and turned my attention back on my euphoria and then…BAM! Sarah’s elbow went into my breast. Thankfully I had just fed Pace or that would have really killed instead of just wounded me. And then another BAM! And her knee slammed into my jelly belly. Bye-bye long-awaited moment of bliss. Hello Mommydom.

Though I will say Mommydom has its own moments of bliss, doesn’t it?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Father's Day Card, of Sorts

I want to take some time today to say “Happy Father’s Day” to a few of the men in my life.

To my father-in-law,

“Big Pat” and I share the same birthday, therefore the same sign, and therefore a (slight) stubborn trait that can get us in trouble.

He's a fantastic grandfather, and he’s coming to meet his first grandson in less than two weeks.

To my brother-in-law,

Rick and I share a few traits that I don’t care to admit. He’s been there for us whenever we’ve needed him, though, be it with a lawnmower, a truck, or an extra key to our house. I sure will miss you when you move, Rick. A special dessert is coming your way soon.

To my father,

Last Father’s Day I sang a song titled, “Finally Home” by the band MercyMe at church. It sums up how I feel.

“Finally Home”

I’m gonna wrap my arms around my daddy’s neck
And tell him that I’ve missed him
And tell him all about the (woman) I became
And hope that it pleased him
There’s so much I want to say
There’s so much I want you to know
When I finally make it home.

You can listen to it hear. It's a beautiful song.

And to my husband,

Thank you for being such a hands-on dad.

For loving your children with all of your heart and making sure they feel that love.

I haven’t said it near enough since the birth of our son, but I appreciate all of you’ve done, and are doing, to try to make it easier on me.

For feeding him at night so I can sleep.

For taking your turn holding him when he cries (and not wanting to give him up).

For offering to do anything I need.

I love you so much.

Happy Father’s Day, Honey.

And Happy Father’s Day to all you daddies out there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pace is 4 Weeks Old....

...and I'm still tired.

He's a good baby, though. Except he's started having crying periods in the evenings, which can be trying for all of us. But it gives us a good excuse to go get some ice cream since driving in the car quiets him down.

Pat is such a proud daddy.

And the girls are so sweet with him and happy to have a little brother. They're the new 3 Musketeers!

I told you I was tired. I'm just throwing together random items and photos and calling them a blog entry. At least I'm speaking a little more clearly now instead of just....Rassa frap doh, man!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Keep Dancing

It was bittersweet at church today. The music was great, if I may say so myself seeing as how I select the songs and sing at least half of them. The energy in the room was high and everyone was singing and clapping. It was my first Sunday back since I had Pace and I really enjoyed myself.

BUT…it was also my sister’s last Sunday with us. In case you don’t know, my sister Valarie is our pastor. Or was. She is moving to another church…in another town, which saddens me for two different reasons: (1) I’m losing my pastor, and (2) I’m being separated from my sister who has lived just a block away from me for the last several years. Pat and I will now be without any family in this big city.

Despite the closeness of our homes, Val and I could go a month or more without seeing each other due to the demands of our jobs and family schedules. Plus, we both really appreciate quiet moments alone – totally alone. No kids. No husbands. Just the quiet, and a great book. It wasn’t until I started singing in the band at church and taking more of a leadership role in the music that we saw each other every week and sometimes had several conversations as I worked to find songs to coincide with her sermon. We developed a partnership through the church and a new type of closeness.

I’ve been a member of a couple different churches with Valarie as pastor. It was always sad when she left for her next assignment and I stayed behind for a while, but things went back to normal fairly quickly. This time feels different, though. For one thing, I won’t follow my sister to her next stop. Pat and I have found a home in this church. An extended family, actually. We are exactly where we want to be.

For another, the last couple of years have been a special time in my spiritual life. I feel I’ve grown and discovered my own relationship with God, not the one I always felt I should have, and Val has been with me, and talked me through this exploration. I feel honored to have shared this time with my sister.

Today Val preached on a scripture from 2 Samuel, chapter 6, which includes, “David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.” She concluded by thanking the congregation for dancing with her and asked us to keep on dancing now that she’s gone.

And that’s what we’ll do, but it will be a little different. We’ll probably move to a slightly different beat with our new pastor, but I will continue to explore my spirituality through music, still reaching for the phone for a little guidance, though it will be long distance now.

And I’ll keep dancing.

I hope Val’s new church dances with her.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Rassa fron ma foo.

I’m so tired that’s about how I talk nowadays. I had completely forgotten just how tired you get with a newborn, which is probably a good thing. I think we’re deliberately set up to forget how painful child birth is, and just how enormously exhausted you are during the first weeks…or months.

I want to enjoy this precious time with Pace so badly, but I keep thinking about how great it will be when I can sleep through the night once again. Or better yet, when all three of my kids can make their own breakfast, dress themselves, and at least one of them can drive. That way I can sleep in until noon if I want.

Who am I kidding? I don’t care how tired I am, I’m not ready for them to grow up.

I love how Savannah still shares her secrets with me and needs me to help with her hair and homework.

I love how Sarah curls up next to me, books in her lap, while I’m feeding Pace, and she melts me with a smile and says, “Hi, Mommy.”

And I love the moments with Pace when he nuzzles my cheek, rooting around for some food. Or when I rub my cheek on top of his soft head and take in that baby smell.

These times are just too sweet to give up yet. You'll just have to excuse me when I start speaking gibberish again.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Y’s Version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”

Author's Note: Pat is concerned I sound a little angry or bitter. I'm neither. Just having fun.
Ok, maybe I'm a little irritated, but this story is all in good fun.


If you take a baby to the store…

That baby will most likely start whimpering in the stroller…

And when he starts whimpering in the stroller, it will turn into a cry…

And when he starts to cry, people will turn and look at you like you’re a bad mother, so you pick up the baby…

And when you pick up the baby, you’ll get even more looks and some will think they need to call social services because that baby only has on a onesie and NO SOCKS (GASP!)…

So you grab the blanket as quickly as you can and wrap it around the baby, quickly tucking in the bare toes, but they keep popping out and taunting the old ladies….

And those taunted old bags…uh, ladies…will come up to you and fawn over the baby….

And when they fawn over the baby, you smile sweetly and look lovingly at your child clutched to your breast…

And those fawning women show their fangs and yank on the baby’s toes and say gruffly, “You should have socks on that baby. That baby’s cold.”

And when those old ladies spit their venom on you, you still try to keep that sweet smile on your face and say, “Thank you,” but you’d really rather say, “Mind your own business, you hag. I know if my child is cold or not.”

You turn and walk away as quickly as you can, hitting the baby’s head on a shelf and causing him to cry even louder…

So you break into a sprint and tell yourself that you have got to remember to bring extra clothing next time, no matter how hot it will be that day….

no matter that the mercury is going over a hundred degrees…

no matter that you know your baby is hot blooded and was crying in the stroller because he was too warm…

None of this matters because if you take a baby to the store…

You WILL be the center of attention.