Sunday, December 07, 2008

Search and Rescue

I am beginning to think that I will never get a good night's sleep. Not ever. Since the babies were born, there is at least one interruption to my sleep every night. One or both of the girls will wake up crying. Most times, I jump up and lull them back to sleep and then I can go back to bed. Deal with the girls and go back to bed. That's the drill. Correction, that was the drill.

In an effort to get the most sleep possible, Blake and/or I will just put the baby or both girls in our bed when they wake up at night. Believe me, after losing way too much sleep, you will do whatever it takes just to go back to sleep. So, against our better judgement, the girls often end up sleeping in our bed. With that has come a certain amount of paranoia about the babies falling out of the bed.

The other night, I had settled back into bed after getting up with Vivian and I was so sleepy. I snuggled down into my covers and was just about asleep when I made a crucial error. I rolled onto my side to go back to sleep and that triggered Search and Rescue Blake. There I was, happily slipping back into sleep and all of the sudden, Blake (who is totally asleep), began to mumble something barely coherent about Vivian falling off of the bed and he began what was apparently an attempt to keep her from falling off of the side of Mt. Everest. Unfortunately, Vivian was in her bed and I was the lucky recipient of Blake's heroic efforts.

Imagine, laying comfortably in your bed when out of nowhere a 190 pound fully asleep man attempts a full body tackle to keep what he thinks is his sweet baby girl from imminent death. Driven but what is, I'm sure, blind fear, Blake was determined that no one would fall off of the bed on his watch. Sadly, I think hitting the floor full on my head would have been easier to deal with.

As soon as I flipped to my side, I could hear him getting fired up. This has happened at least once before, so I knew the Blake was about to Sleep Rescue me. While I appreciate the thought, well, the execution really just pissed me off. After the initial tackle, he grabbed my arm. This in effect rendered my right arm ineffective. So, I had to attempt a hook with my left but since I was on my side, the result was not as powerful as I would have liked. It was, however, enough to convince a still fully asleep Blake to reconsider his strategy. At this point, I was able to land a pretty good kick. Incidentally, this only strengthened Blake's determination to save me. He rolled to one side, ducked a punch (how did he even see that coming?) and grabbed my ankle. He was pretty irritated at my lack of gratitude for his rescue efforts so he worked my ankle pretty good.

Okay, so I was REALLY pissed at this point. I think it was about 3:45 a.m. and I had dealt with about all I could take. All I wanted was to settle in for another 2 or 3 hours of sleep before one or both of the girls woke up. Our little scuffle had devolved into a girly slap fight and I was pretty sure Blake was in for the long haul. Finally, in total frustration, I yelled something like, "Blake, I am NOT falling off of the bed and if you don't stop trying to save me from falling I'm going to punch you in the face!!!"

Blake woke up, laughed his ass off and promptly fell back asleep. I was up the for next two hours, too pissed off to sleep. I did, however, lay flat on my back for the rest of the night...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Think This One is Broken

I specifically requested a kid that would sleep.  But this one, Bivi, does not sleep much.  Even though she is seven months old, she still wakes up every 2 to 3 hours at night.  I was willing to deal with that type of situation for the first few months of her life, but this is getting old.  And that's a pretty good night.  She is obviously using all of this awake time to devise new ways to keep her daddy and me from sleeping.  On Tuesday night, she went down about 8:15, slept until 1:15 and then stayed awake until 4:00.  W-T-F???

As punishment, I made Bivi wear this hat and I took a bunch of pictures. The kid will pay...

Monday, November 10, 2008

30 Minute Meal My A$$!

I have made this fancy, Rachel Ray chili a half dozen times and not once have I managed to make it in under 45 minutes. Today was an all time record though as my "sous chef" is really incompetent and we managed to take a little over an hour. However, this stuff really is tasty, so I it's worth it and it makes gallons. But, I have to say, with all the crazy ingredients this is one expensive chili. I imagine I will make sure that we eat all of it. I foresee frito chili pie, chili enchiladas, chili dogs (imagine Bubba a la Forrest Gump here...)...

I haven't written in a while and I have lots to say, but Cayton is climbing all over me and I'm either going to freak out or I'm just going to post some pics and save my sermonizing for another time.

Here are the pics...

Ariel with my Aunt and Uncle

The Girls and Me at the Pumpkin Patch

Bivi as Princess Leia


Friday, November 07, 2008

How a Three Year Old Greets Guests

Cayton felt that Josh needed a serious welcome home on his last trip to the US.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Experiment #1: FAIL

My granny was a great cook. In fact, she was so good that she could make fantastic dishes out of the most ridiculous ingredients. Actually, let me clarify. The ingredients sound ridiculous to me now. At the time, they sounded perfectly reasonable MOST of the time. I almost never had a problem chowing on anything that she made for me.

Without a doubt, my favorite ridiculous dish was vinegar pie. Granny's vinegar pie was seriously delicious. I'm not sure that is even the right word for it, but it was tasty. In fact, Bill's (that really was my Granny's name) vinegar pie got pretty famous for a bit because I have lots of cousins and once we shared it with them, it made the rounds. Anyway... The point is, it was a frickin' great pie and every time she made it, we were quick to take our places around her table, fork in hand.

Granny has a been gone for a while, but along with all the other great memories I have of her, the vinegar pie remains one of the best. She would randomly decide to make one of these tasty pies -or, someone would have a cold and would need one-and then she would call me and let me know it was ready. I think the conversation went something like, "Boog (that's what she and Papa called me), I just made up some vinegar pies. Come on over and have some." At this point, there was no reply because I would have dropped the phone and headed out the door. By the time I got within half a mile of her house, vinegar fumes would be wafting along Bluff street and all the neighbors would have watery eyes. Mmmm, mmm, good.

So, I failed to get her recipe before she left us. Since then, I've collected lots of versions of vinegar pie and I finally tried one about a week ago. Well, it was a big, fat fail. My version actually tasted OK, but it just wasn't right. The vinegar "sauce" was no where near vinegary enough and the rolls were not right either. FYI, Granny used to roll up dough a la cinnamon rolls and then she would pour the vinegar mixture over them and cook it all up. The important point is that ratio of dough to sauce must be right (I think this must be a general rule in Southern cooking, but maybe that might be a discussion for another time).

My next try will have a couple of modifications. Mama has a pretty good recipe for the vinegar sauce and I think that instead of making yeast cinnamon rolls, I will make them out of pie crust so that they don't suck up all of the sauce. I imagine that the recreation of Granny's vinegar pie will take several attempts. But, that's OK. Every time I try, I will get to spend a few minutes quietly remembering and honoring a woman whose love flowed through all the food she ever made, ridiculous or not.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Three Year Olds Don't Like to Hike

Our recent trip to Colorado was, without a doubt, fantastic. We booked a small apartment in the attic space of a Victorian house and it was just the perfect amount of space for our little family. We had one bedroom for Cayton, a little sleeping nook for us, and a living room and full kitchen. The big kicker was a huge deck with a clear view of the Flatirons. Seriously, I don't think I can ever stay in a hotel room ever again. For the same price as a hotel, we had probably five times the space. Plus, it was right off of the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, so we could walk to just about anything we wanted to do. My travel agent skills were right on with this trip.

Our place in Boulder

As the title suggests, Cayton wasn't much for hiking. We would start out on a short walk and then, ten steps in, Cayton refused to walk any further. So, either Blake or I would carry her. Initially, we would protest and tell her that big girls can walk. Apparently they can't. The real truth is that when you become a parent, you suddenly acquire the ability to lug hundreds of extra pounds around while you go about your business. So, while you are hiking up a mountain, dragging three or four bags, and pushing a stroller, it's no big deal to throw a 30 pound three year old on top of it. Anyway, here a few pics from the trip.

Cayton not hiking

Cayton still refuses to hike

Cayton and me on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

At the Pearl St. Mall

Eating lunch in Nederland

We also hit the New Belgium brewery in Ft. Collins.  The tour was fairly interesting, but I had trouble paying attention given that we hat the girls with us and Cayton was totally fascinated by the huge kettles used to make the beer.  In particular, she liked the one that processed the mash.  So, we had to keep lifting her up so that she could look into the little window on the top of the kettle and watch the giant stirring paddle thingies stir the mash.  As I write this, I wonder if taking a three year old to a brewery tour is such a good idea...  Anyway, the highlight of the tour was when Cayton, seeing all of the bottles of beer being herded down the conveyor belts in the bottling area of the brewery, shouted, "Hey!  It's beer!  Beer for Daddy!  Beer for Daddy!"  Very nice...

Unfortunately, the vacation did have to end. The night before we left there was snow in the mountains. As we were driving out of the Denver area, I was able to catch a couple shots of the mountains with snow on them. It was really hard to leave Colorado.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vivi's Baptism

Vivian Claire Doerr was baptized this past Sunday at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa. Many members of our families were on hand to help us celebrate this big day, including two great-grandparents. Vivian looked so cute in her baptism gown that Nanny (my mother) made. Her big sister wore the same one three years ago (I know, I can't believe it either). Anyway, here are some pictures from the big event.

Nanny, Vivian II, Pawpaw and Cayton

Doerr Family with Pastor Tom

Vivian I, Cayton and Mimi

Vivian II

Daddy and Vivian

Three Out of Four

A Well Decorated Dining Room

Just a couple of pics taken on the occasion of Blake's 34th birthday.

I have to admit that I made and decorated the birthday cake that you see in the photo. It's a Guinness chocolate cake and it's fantastic. I got the recipe out of a local magazine and I make it all the time.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Whew! It's Hot Out Here

There isn't much that a hot August afternoon is good for, but swimming is a pretty good thing to do when it's actually 105 degrees outside! I was highly offended this morning when the weather lady said it was really going to be that hot. So, we are house bound at this point, waiting for the mercury to head a little south. It would be nice to get out of the house, but when you are in danger of melting to the sidewalk, it seems wiser to stay put under the a/c.

I think Vivi has the right idea:

In other news, Cayton has finally consented to use the potty. I tell you what, it's a huge relief because I was really beginning to think it was never going to happen. So frustrating! I think really though that it was so tough for me to deal with this potty training thing because Cayton is over three years old. Back in the day when I didn't have kids and also when I was a really new parent, I had concrete and well thought out plans about how I would raise my kids. Specifically, my kid would be potty trained at an early age. I admit, I was prone to judge other parents for late trained kids and I usually put them in the "too lazy to adequately discipline" category. So, when my time came around to put up or shut up, my precious baby showed me just how much control I have over this parenting thing. I am sad to say that the answer is ZERO. So, besides being frustrated, I was a little embarrassed at just how long and difficult this process had become. I just knew that other parents were judging me and my skills. And, of course, they probably were. But, if you are going to do this parenting thing (I have learned), you have to grow the proverbial pair and learn to deal with humiliation at the hands of your children.

From what I hear, this is only the beginning.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Welcome to the Party!

I dropped by Joel's blog this morning and saw that he and Jill were headed to the hospital finally and that the arrival of their new baby was imminent. So, to start, I just wanted to say good luck and we are so excited and happy for you both. This new experience will surely be the most, what's the word... well, it'll be the most. The most wonderful, the most difficult and the most absolutely fulfilling, fantastic thing you will ever do. Being on this side of it, I can tell you that you will never see anything the same way again. So, enjoy! We are so looking forward to meeting your little one. As you can tell from the pic, Vivi is ready to party. If only someone would bring her a drink...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Real Woman

There are so many reasons that I love my sister. But seriously, who wouldn't love a sister like this...

If you need a meal, she'll kill it for you.

If you need to discuss national or international affairs, she's your girl.

If you need someone to be silly with, there's no question that Erin is the right choice.

The first two pictures just cracked me up so I had to share. Plus, I just really love my sister.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I can't believe that it has been a month since my last post. I have started at least two since then, but I just haven't been able to untangle my mind enough to write anything even slightly coherent. I am not sure that I've yet reached the point that I CAN write something coherent, but at this point of the morning it is quiet around here and it's the best chance I'll have all day.

To start, it has been a tough month for me. Up to the first part of June, Cayton was still attending her school/day care and Vivi and I had the place to ourselves. Starting June 1, Cayton began staying home full time and Vivi and I just did not know what we were in for. Now, when Cayton was a newborn, my world was "fairly shook" by her arrival and I thought that caring for a baby was just about the most difficult thing that I could ever do. Well, it was. That is, until she hit the toddler years. So, by comparison, Vivi has been a a breeze. But, the combination of a three-year-old and a newborn is the very definition of a mindscrew (to put it mildly). So, this adjustment period could be the reason I haven't written much of late.

Adding to the difficulty of advanced parenting is my oldest child's genetic gift (from me) for hurting herself or being involved in freak accidents. You may remember Harvey Attacks 2008. Well, following that was Staples of Death. Most recently, last weekend in fact, was Gravity Strikes! We were going to take the kids to the zoo in OKC with my parents and my sister. Well, about 5 minutes after arriving at the zoo, Cayton fell off her daddy's shoulders and smacked her head on the concrete. We thought she was going to shake it off, but about an hour later, she started vomiting and we ran full out to the EMTs there at the zoo. After a quick check, the EMT said that she was going to be fine because she hadn't lost consciousness and her pupils were reacting and she was alert. He told us to keep her awake for at least an hour or so. With that, we left the zoo then and headed back to my sister's house. Along the way, Cayton began to look worse and she kept drifting off to sleep. Just looking at her mouth hanging open and the droopy eyes, we were worried. So, we decided to go to the minor emergency clinic. We thought that was a good idea after she started throwing up again. They sent us over to the ER for an X-ray. After the ER doctor said that she was fine, we were able to breathe again. She was ecstatic that she had gained at least three stickers and a popsicle.

Since that incident, Cayton has tried everything in her ever growing repertoire of tricks to damage herself. I took her to a sprinkler park and she managed to bust her bee-hind on the concrete there and at her Meme's house she performed a flip right into the wall. So, now, she has a nice set of bruises on her back. They go great with the black eye from Gravity Strikes! that is just now beginning to fade. You would think that my tiny girl was going around picking fights. But, Mama keeps telling me that these things happen with little kids and that I'll have to toughen up. I'm sure she speaks from experience given that I managed to knock a hole in my head when I was two and I bit through my lower lip when I was in the fifth grade. This is in addition to all the other injuries that didn't require a trip to the ER. So, I guess she's right about the toughening up part. Either that, or my one glass of wine a night routine might get out of hand...

But, things are not all trauma and mayhem around here. Staying at home with the girls has given me the luxury of time to wallow in their childhood and to soak up all the sweetness that I can take. Although some times I think I will go mad trying to take care of everything that they need, I am wise enough to see that this is the deal that you make as a parent. Kids are the most wonderful and, at times, the most terrible thing that will ever happen to you. But, you can't expect to be given something so extraordinary without paying a price. For me, that price is likely to be my sanity. But really, I think I've come out good on this deal. I've never really been all that sane anyway...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Project Update

Not that I have a ton of time to work on my hobbies, but now and then, after all the babies have been properly feed, kissed, hugged and put to bed, I have a minute or two to work on some needlework projects. I started one for Vivian about a week before she was born. There is some procrastination for you. But, I am proud to say that I am officially half finished with it. Here is a quick pic to let you know what I'm working on these days:

The design will be repeated on the left side of the piece and Vivi's name and date of birth will be in the middle of the heart. You can see that the word "born" is sort of floating there in the middle. When I start a new project, I have to start in the middle for counting purposes. I know some stitchers break out a ruler and start in the upper corners, but that's too technical for me and I'm sure I'd screw up on some minor detail and then the whole thing would be jacked. At which point, I would freak out and have a total meltdown and all of my project supplies would end up in the fireplace. And really, those freak outs of mine just upset Blake too much...

Anyway, that is the current project. I have managed to finish one, but I didn't get it framed in time for St. Patrick's Day. But, it's cute and I guess I really ought to show off something that I have finished.

This is a project that I have been working on for my mother. It was supposed to be a gift for Mama and Daddy's 35th wedding anniversary. But, given that they just celebrated their 36th anniversary, I'd say that this may be a Christmas gift. I'm not committing to a specific year, but Christmas it is.

The finished piece will have some animals and charms and, theoretically, a nice border around the whole thing. You may notice that the border is totally fricacked and I will have to rip it out and start over. That is mainly why the piece has not been finished. I just haven't gathered the ambition to actually start ripping out the stitching. I just hate, hate backtracking.

Speaking of projects, I guess I should include an update on my most important project(s). The girls are doing really well and Vivi is really beefing up. She will outweigh Cayton in a month or two at this rate. Of course, that's not really a benchmark since Cayton is a noodle and has, for some reason, gone on a hunger strike. I can't get the kid to eat anything. I think it's slightly disturbing that a three year old has serious ripped abs. But, whatever. Here are a couple of pics of Cayton demonstrating her patented strangle hold maneuver on Vivi.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OK, Deep Breath... Here Goes

After some time and distance, I think I am finally able to discuss Cayton's final head wound episode. I might say that for her part, Cayton is well over this whole incident. In fact, she was pretty much good to go following the staple extraction, though I was really tempted to ask the doctor for my own lollipop and sticker. I guess just knowing that she was OK made the deal a little easier for me, but not by much.

We first attempted to get Cayton's staples removed about a week after the original injury. The doctor wanted to wait a couple of days more because at that point, the wound still looked a little raw (her word, not mine). So, we waited an additional two days. Blake and I suffered for every minute of those two days since we knew it was going to be rough. I just tried to avoid thinking about it and having to focus on parenting two kids helped a bit. But, it was still tough.

So, Thursday rolled around and off we went to the doctor's office. We told Cayton that we were going to see the doctor and she was all excited. Poor little girl... Anyway, I was thinking that maybe it wouldn't be so bad, and that after all, it could be a whole lot worse. I mean, she could have a disease or Harvey could have bitten her face. It could have been so much worse. But, it's funny how attempts to gain perspective like this really don't help much. It's not like you are only allowed to suffer if your tough day is catastrophic. Oh, you aren't digging out from under the rubble of an earthquake or fighting terminal cancer? Well, man up because your ordeal ain't crap! No, anything that hurts your kid is terrible and it's OK to wallow in it (according to me).

At the doctor's office, we headed right in and the doctor looked at Cayton's head. She felt that it looked pretty good and that if we didn't get the staples out soon, her body would start reacting to the foreign objects in her head (the staples). Anyway, that sounded bad to me. So, she sent the nurse in to take the staples out. That sounds simple, right? Well, it was until we got to Staple Number 3. Of course, it couldn't be easy. Nope, not for us. Well, SN3 was lodged and twisted. Horror! We had to hold Cayton down while the nurse tried to take it out. I think if I live a hundred years, I will not forget holding Cayton's legs, feeling complicit in hurting her and hearing her cry out for her Daddy. Seriously, I know I am being dramatic here, but that's how your brain works when you have kids. Every little thing that hurts them sends daggers through your chest and, I swear, it feels like a fist clenching your stomach.

Well, Nurse #1 couldn't remove the staple. Queasy as I am about staples/stitches, I was tempted to remove it myself just to get it over with. But, Cayton was just too keyed up and holding her down was not getting the job done. So, Nurse #2 was summoned. He took one look at the staple and decided to call the doctor. At this point, Blake was holding up pretty well. But I, to my horror, was not doing well. I actually was crying a bit and that is NOT something I'm comfortable with. Blake mentioned that I could step out of the room if I wanted to, to which I think I said something like, "Are you kidding me? I'm her mother and I'm staying in the room. I can't leave my baby!"

The doctor arrived along with her lighted magnifying spectacles. She looked at the staple and told us that if she couldn't get it out, that we'd have to take Cayton to a surgeon and have it cut out. That didn't sound like a good option to me. So, Blake and I were both hoping that the doctor could get the thing out. She took a stab at it, but Cayton just wouldn't hold still. So, they pulled out the big guns: the papoose board. This is basically a board with straps to hold down a kicking screaming kid. Seriously, it was like every traumatic image you could have rolled into one event. Blood, surgical instruments, kid freaking out, kid strapped down to a papoose board...

The doctor was able to get the staple out without sending us to the surgeon. So, everything ended well. Cayton got a lollipop and a couple of stickers and walked out of the doctor's office like nothing happened. Blake and I were a bit worse for wear, but relieved to have it over with.

This just leaves one final piece of business to wrap up. Harvey has to go, so that promises to be tons of fun. I tell you, I am very, very tired of having my heart ripped out. When we get Harvey dealt with, I think I will have to take a vacation from all of this drama. Though, given our luck over the last month or so, we should probably keep it simple and dog free!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

She's the Big Sister!

As you can see from the pic, Cayton is doing well and has recovered from her run in with Harvey.  But, as much fun as she appears to be having holding her baby sister, I'm not sure Vivi looks like she's having a lot of fun.  I told Cayton to hold V's head, and I think she took that to mean that you have to hold it in a death grip fashion.

The main thing to note is that Cayton loves "her baby" and is really taken with being a big sister.  She asks constantly to kiss the baby and for some reason, her favorite thing is to grab the baby's arm or legs and pump them up and down.  V doesn't seem to mind, though I usually put a stop to it pretty quickly.  It's cute though to see Cayton taking over big sister duties and V seems laid back enough to let Cayton practice.  At least, so far she's cool with it.  I look forward to watching their relationship grow over the years.  If they are lucky, they will end up being as close as my sister and I are.  I truly hope that happens for them because it certainly is one of the best parts of my life!  Love you Ereeno!
In our next installment, I will relate the horror of staple removal.  Cayton is fine, but I'm still recovering.  I'm not sure when I'll be able to actually relate the details, but I think maybe I'll be up to it in a day or two.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And Now, the Worst Day...

OK, so this picture is the happy ending of a really scary story.  So, while you process the fact that you are looking at a picture of a bloody kid eating popsicles, let me explain.  As per usual, when your world is calm and happy and you start to think you have things under control, life decides that you maybe need a good ass kicking just to keep you humble.  In our case, the ass kicking really was second hand.  Our poor girl met up with the business end of our dog Harvey and she lost big time.  

Cayton, my friend Teresa and I were all sitting around the table outside and Cayton was running around after the dog.  I had been watching her because I don't let her play with the dogs unattended.  Anyway, I turned to say something to Teresa and in that instant, Monday went completely down the drain.  I heard the incident before I saw it. Harvey started freaking out and I turned to him, ready to tell him to lay off of Sophie (our other dog) as they play fight all the time.  But, what I saw will be seared into my mind for as long as I retain my sanity.  I saw Harvey with his mouth on my girl and then he seemed to realize what he'd done and he backed off with, I swear, an "Oh crap" look on his face.  Then, Cayton started screaming and I think I actually vaulted out of my chair and landed in front of her in a single bound.

When I got to her, I saw some marks on the back of Cayton's neck and they were just minor abrasions, so I felt better immediately.  Then, I straightened up and noticed (in a strange out of body kind of way) that my hand was covered in blood.  Then, I backed up and looked at Cayton and saw that the left side of her head was covered in blood.  Knowing my limits, I didn't even stop to examine the wound, I just grabbed her and ran into the house with Teresa and the baby leading the way.  Blake came running into the kitchen from another part of the house, no doubt drawn by the sounds of two hysterical women and a screaming three year old.

All I remember was thrusting Cayton toward Blake and saying, "Is it bad?  Is it bad?"  Thankfully, Blake has the self-control and calm of a slab of granite, so he glanced at her, looked at me with a face devoid of expression and said, "It's not bad, but bad enough that I have to take her to the hospital."  So, he grabbed her and left immediately.  Meanwhile, Teresa had the baby and insisted that she would stay and watch the baby and I should jump in the car with Blake.  I made it down the stairs and out into the garage before it dawned on me that I had to take the baby since otherwise she would have nothing to eat until I got back.  Given that an ER visit can take several hours, I thought neither Teresa nor Vivian would be happy with me.  So, Teresa had to drive Vivi and me to St. Francis since we didn't want Blake to have to wait on all of us to get our selves together enough to figure out what we were doing.

Cayton was seen immediately at St. Francis and the nurse assured us that the wound was not bad and was a clean, straight gash.  Apparently, if you are going to be gashed in the head, this is the way to go.  She also said that head wounds often look worse than they are because they bleed so profusely.  I have to say, Cayton did look like she'd just arrived from the war front.  I figured that her appearance would scare the patients in the ER waiting room.  Several little kids did stop to gawk.  Anyway, the doctors and physician assistants were amazing.  I would never have thought that you could put three staples in a kid's head without restraints, but they managed it. Plus, she rode out of there on her Daddy's shoulders with two popsicles and a smile, so I would say that they are actually beyond amazing.

So, now I sit here sufficiently humbled by whatever cosmic forces are in charge of keeping us in line and I am trying to find something in all of this that I can take with me.  I guess it helps a little, when tough things happen, to think that there is reason or wisdom that can come from it and that it isn't completely random.  Here is what I have so far:

1. Seriously, don't get in the dog's face.
2. Kids are extremely resilient, brave little things.  Surprisingly so...
3. Even at 33, it's totally acceptable to call your mama and sob uncontrollably.  She will listen because she wants to and not because she has to.
4. The choice between your child and a beloved pet is easy.  The follow through is tough.
5.  You can't protect your kid from harm, even if you are sitting 5 feet away.  So, it's best to leave self-doubt and blame behind and realize, as the aforementioned mama told me, "Shit happens and you can't do a damn thing about it."
6. The only easy thing about being a parent is loving your babies.  Everything else is HARD.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Another Best Day of My Life

If you haven't heard, Vivian Claire arrived on April 3 at 10:08 pm.  That was really a good thing too, because after what seemed like about 2 years in labor, I was more than ready for her to get on with it.  Anyway, she is practically her sister's twin born 3 years late.  We are so blessed to have both our girls and we are looking forward to many years of good times and great memories.

Here are a few pics.  I hope to have some new ones soon.  My sister owes me a few since we were totally retarded when we packed for the hospital at 3:00 in the morning.  We barely packed clothes, so you can bet the camera didn't make it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Apologies

I would like to apologize to any first time moms-to-be who might have read my last blog post. I hate to think that I scared the bejesus out of anybody.  Mostly I was just having a bad night and I was dwelling on the whole birthing ordeal.  Don't get me wrong, I stand by what I said.  It is quite a trauma, but people do it all the time.  So, you can definitely get through it.  But, as I mentioned, I've been there before and I know what I'm in for.  I basically just don't want to do it. 

Certainly, I can't wait for Vivian Claire to arrive.  I'm so ready to meet her.  It's just that I kind of wish she could show up like my other family and friends, you know, like with a nice bottle of wine and some fancy cheese.  It certainly would be less work on my part.  But you know, if something is worth having, you have to work for it. 

So, I conclude by saying that I am feeling a little bit tougher now.  I guess I just needed to have a little bit of a break down to gain some insight.  As usual, my kids are really causing me to reexamine and rethink things.  

Personally, I think I need a little break from all of this self-discovery and improvement...

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Big Finish

OK, I admit it.  I am scared.  It's about that time and I'm looking at the inevitability of having to go to the hospital and do my thing.  I've been so ready until now when it's really about to happen and now I think I'm "just not gonna go".  I kind of have that feeling like when you are strapped into a roller coaster and you're at the top of the hill and you'd get out of the damn thing if someone would really give you the option.  It's the fear of what's coming coupled with the complete and utter loss of control.  There's no fear like the fear of having to do something and you know just exactly what you are in for.  You can't tell yourself, "Oh, it's not that bad". Bullshit. It IS that bad and you know it.  No illusions, no kidding.  I think it's times like this that you also have to face that you are one person and you have to go some things alone.  No one can do it for you and you can't turn back.  So, nothing for it but to hike up your britches (or lack of in this case) and face it head on.  Still, if I could make Blake do this for me, brother I so would.

There is some consolation though in knowing that this won't actually kill me and I get a nice parting gift.  But, since I'm still on this side of the ordeal, I will have to own up to some moments of panic.  I try to let them pass, but tonight I think I'm just a little wimpier than usual.  However, like any good girl from the country, I do have someone to turn to.  Even though I do have to forgo the "liquid courage" that I might otherwise turn to, I do have George to see me through.  There's also Merle if things get really bad.  I find that if I feel a freak out coming on, I can break out the iTunes and work through a lot of trouble.  A little cryin', lovin' and leavin' can at least get me through the evening and I bet I'll feel better tomorrow.

Or, I'll be in the hospital working on the big finish to this seemingly never ending pregnancy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Elephants in my Backyard

This past weekend Cayton and I went down south to Hugo to see my parents. Blake had taken the weekend to go to Vegas as a sort of last ditch effort to recapture his youth before Vivian makes her appearance. Really though, it was a well deserved weekend away for him and a good excuse for me to head home and soak up some attention and pampering from my parents.

As usual, Mama cooked everything that I ever thought I might want to eat. It was all so delicious that I really had to tear myself away from the table. Mama is a great cook and it really does a soul good to wake up to some biscuits and gravy and hot coffee. Plus, given that I currently don't sleep well, I woke up early both mornings and was able to spend some time with Mama just chatting and relaxing.

On Saturday morning, despite the cold, Daddy and I took Cayton to the annual winter festival at the local elephant sanctuary. Yes, that is right, the local elephant sanctuary. Hugo happens to be the winter headquarters for several circuses, so it's not completely random that there would be some elephants hanging around town. But, it might surprise you to find that Hugo is home to the second largest herd of Asian elephants anywhere (this is according to their literature). In fact, I think there are maybe 23 or so elephants at the sanctuary and the herd even includes two very cute babies. So, my small little hometown is cooler than yours.

Anyway, Cayton had a wonderful time checking out the animals at the festival. Just to recount, there were literally tons of elephants, a baby hippo, baby goats, llamas, a camel (rather reluctantly providing rides to the kiddies), a burro and some kind of bovine creature that I'm pretty sure isn't native. There were even some gorgeous performing horses doing their thing in the circus rings that were set up. All in all, it was a great experience for the five dollar admission price. I'd encourage you to check out the Endangered Ark for more info and to donate to their goal of preserving and maintaining the Asian elephant population in North America.

Here are some pics from the excursion --

How many kids can you cram onto an elephant?

One of the baby elephants (no, that isn't me...)

Cayton and some really cute baby goats

Performing horses

Cayton and Daddy