Archive for May, 2013

  • Leg 1: Baton Rouge

    Date: 2013.05.26 | Category: Family, Life, Mark, Sarah, Travel | Response: 4

    Despite residing in the same state as New Orleans, it’s actually a long drive from here to there. I had to be in the Crescent City at 11:00 Thursday morning, so we decided to leave Wednesday afternoon and head to Baton Rouge to stay with my aunt and her fiancee overnight. That left us with a short 1 hour drive to New Orleans the following morning.

    Sarah, who is normally very shy around people she doesn’t know well, latched on to Jay and Amy both, even crying when Jay had to leave for a meeting.

    She had a great time running around the backyard, kicking a ball, playing with the flowers and devouring most of the Pringles in Jay’s pantry.

    We all went for a late dinner at Chelsea’s, a great little pub tucked under a bridge off of Perkins Road. Both Jay and Amy knew all the waitresses there and, it turned out, one of the waitresses happened to know both of my sisters. Small world, huh?

    We had a great time catching up while Sarah devoured her food and colored lots of pictures for everyone.

    The next morning before we left, Aunt Amy, who is a long time photographer, photographed Sarah in all her early morning, just out of bed glory. I can’t wait to see how those came out!

    During the photography session, I was inside with Mark when we heard Sarah crying. We came out and she was sitting in Amy’s lap holding her foot. And, clear as day, she said, “My foot hurt.” Hello sentences, here we go.

    She had just stepped in a prickly bush, but of course she wasn’t thrilled about that. But it’s ok, because Aunty Aim took her to look at the rose bushes.

    Our stay in BR was short, but sweet as we took to the road again, this time New Orleans bound.

  • The Freaking Cat

    Date: 2013.05.25 | Category: Family, Health, Kitties, Sam Cat, Travel | Response: 7

    Pardon my long absence. I rushed over the weekend for a deadline so I could leave town and head to Baton Rouge, then New Orleans, then Ft. Walton Beach, FL first for work, then for a much needed vacation with my family.

    I have great pictures and stories about that to share with you. But before I do that, I have to tell you about what happened with the cat while I was away.

    We have the great fortune of having animal loving family members who live in town and volunteer to watch our animals while we’re away. My sister takes on both dogs, and my sister-in-law, Stephanie, both cats.

    Friday night, when we were in New Orleans, Stephanie texted us to let us know Sam Cat had some sort of sore on the back of one of his legs. He’s a long haired cat, so it’s difficult to see something like that. It means a lot that she took the time to pet him and saw it. She texted us a photo and it looked BAD.

    Fortunately for us, our vet has limited Saturday morning hours. I called them Saturday morning and they wanted to see him. So I called Stephanie at 8:10 a.m. I should mention she is single, doesn’t have kids and enjoys sleeping in on Saturday mornings. I told her they wanted to see him right away. And without any complaint she got up, managed to find our cat carrier in one of the three locations I said it might possibly be in, rounded up the cat, managed to get him in the carrier and to the vet.

    And wouldn’t you know it? The dang cat needed stitches for about an inch long gash. Turns out he somehow ripped the skin behind his front left arm. And this is a cat we’re talking about here, so stitches also meant sedation. And, you know, with him having an open wound for an undetermined length of time, that also meant a strong antibiotic shot. We’re also fortunate that we know our vet’s office well and they were willing to bill us for it, because there is no way I could have asked Stephanie to front us that cost.

    Sam Cat is fine now. He’s stitched up and back at home – just pissed we won’t let him outside until he’s completely healed. Stephanie checked on him while we were gone and kept us informed on his health so we were able to relax and enjoy our trip.

    Freaking cat. But really, I’m glad he’s ok.

  • The Girl Factor

    Date: 2013.05.14 | Category: Baby, Family, Home, Life, Mark, Nostalgia, OMG YAY!, Pregnancy, Sarah | Response: 17

    By now news has spread about Baby R. being a girl. I’m thankful to say that the overwhelming response has been positive! We’ve had a few naysayers, “Oh man, I really wanted you to have a boy this time.” Or  “Are you sure you’re ok with that?”

    Because, you know, if I’m not I can just wave my magic wand and turn Baby R. into a boy.

    So let me say it now, not only am I ok with it, but I’m positively thrilled about bringing another little girl into the family.

    Here’s why:

    1. SISTERS!

    I am one of three girls and have no brothers as a reference point, so I realize I’m biased going into this. But I love having sisters. Yes, we fought quite a bit as kids, but for every fight, there was more playing, more coordinating dances and acting out made up plays. There were extensive parades wearing mom’s old formal dresses and cheerleading uniforms and impressive attempts at putting make up on one another. There was hauling the dog into the baby stroller and dressing her up in our doll’s finest.

    (P.s. How much does Sarah look like my youngest sister MC?!)

    As we got older we were able to support each other in the feminine aspects of life, especially when Shannon and I got pregnant at the same time. Now we share in the chaotic, but awesome bond of motherhood. Plus, sisters seem to have an intuitive bond with one another, both emotionally and well, whackily. For instance, it’s really not fair when Shannon and I are on the same team when we play Cranium – a hunched back walk is quickly identified as “Ghandi” and the other players throw their arms up in disgust.

    Event with my youngest sister, I’ve walked a similar path seven years before she has, and she calls me for help and advice. I’m sure you can do the same with brothers, but I am so thrilled my girls will have a feminine resource in one another.

    2. SAVINGS!

    I hardly have to buy any clothes for Baby R. Granted my girls won’t be born the same time of year, but with all the mamas adding to our growing collection of girl clothes, we’re covered. Plus, I get to dress Baby R. in all those smocked dresses I got, borrowed, and bought, thus making my husband feel somewhat better about their initial purchase.

    Also – we bought most of our big stuff gender neutral first time around, but a few things were extremely girly, namely the crib bedding and the bouncy chair. No need to make a little man suffer the indignity of pink!

    3. FAMILIARITY!

    Another girl! I’ve done this once before! Yes, I know no two kids are ever the same, and I am trying to prepare for that. But my gosh I can recognize a yeast infection, know how to properly clean a little girl and can expect some of the other girl side effects that come with being an infant.

    4. WE’RE NOT MISSING OUT

    Well not really. My nephew J is four days younger than Sarah and is like a brother to her. They spend every day at daycare together and usually at least one weekend day. Both of my girls will have their rough and tumble boy cousin to keep them in check and teach them how to get appropriately wild and dirty.

    Is there some disappointment about not having a boy this time? Well I’m sure Mark would love a running buddy in his growing house of women, but any underlying disappointment has already been squashed by the thought of more girlish giggles and pigtails.

  • It’s a…

    Date: 2013.05.07 | Category: Baby, Pregnancy | Response: 16

    GIRL!


    That’s right, our household is preparing for double the pink, costumes, shoes and endless episodes of Doc Mcstuffins.

    But, baby girl tried to be coy with us. When we went in for the ultrasound today, it was quickly established that Baby R is breach and had her back to us. The ultrasound tech told us that most babies who are positioned that way don’t show and tell.

    It had been a bad day leading up to this moment, so I was really counting on the gender reveal to be the bright spot in our day. My disappointment slowly creeped up, but I held it together and was happy to see the baby moving around and looking 100% healthy. But then, with a little jab of the ultrasound wand, she spread ‘em and showed us that she is indeed a girl.

    Part of me thought I might be a little disappointed if it wasn’t a boy, but as soon as the tech announced girl, a great joy settled over me and I started having flashbacks of plays and dress up and dancing with my sisters when I was little. I truly could not be happier, and I am so glad Sarah and Baby R will get to be sisters!

    All of Baby’s measurements look good. She’s weighing in right on target at 10 ounces. The only problem they saw was that my placenta is a little on the low side. They aren’t too worried about it though because it usually moves up as the baby continues to grow. Still though, we’ll have to have another ultrasound next time around to make sure it’s moving up like it’s supposed to. Can’t say I’m disappointed that I’ll get to see her sweet face again in four weeks.

    Speaking of faces, technology is pretty cool!

  • Pink or Blue?

    Date: 2013.05.06 | Category: Baby | Response: 4

    We find out today, so stay tuned!

    By the way, I really hate that I couldn’t wrangle in a morning appointment. This is going to be the longest day of waiting ever.

    What’s your guess?

  • The Backyard

    Date: 2013.05.03 | Category: Dogs, Family, Home, Life, Love, Mark, Pets, Sarah | Response: 5

    After moving out of the house when I was 17 into a college dorm room, and then later into Mark’s townhouse, I didn’t think much of not having a yard to speak of. At college, we would all migrate out to the soccer field to lay out a towel and soak up some sun, and at the town house, well, we walked along the path by the nearby river and got our sunshine that way.

    And then we got Leela.

    Having a border collie in a town house was no small feat… especially when you get the dog as a puppy who has to be house broken. And border collies have lots of energy and need to run. Of course Leela went with us by the river, but we also spent some time in the scrap of side yard throwing ball for her. It was not enough. Plus, at the town house we had a psycho neighbor who would very literally scream at us when we went outside, lying in wait to spring on us.

    Needless to say, we looked forward to the day we could move to a place with our very own private space.

    When we began house shopping over three years ago, a fenced in back yard was on our “must” list. And boy did we ever come across the perfect, big backyard.

    Leela thought she was in heaven, and we also took a sigh of relief in knowing we had a private space to hang out in. Bonnie joined our family shortly after, and those two still run all over the yard chasing squirrels.

    Then we had Sarah. Baby Sarah could only be calmed by susurration of the leaves outside, so we spent a good portion of my maternity leave enjoying the back yard sunshine.

    As she began to grow and walk, her sense of curiosity took Sarah all over the backyard. Even now, when she needs to let out some emotion, we go outside and she runs, rakes, plays in the mud, in her swimming pool, her play fort, and now her tire swing. I like nothing better than spreading out my giant towel blanket, taking a seat in the sun and watching her enjoy nature.

    And then when Sarah’s second birthday arrived, I was so happy to have a great big space we could decorate, play and share with our friends and family.

    Never have I been more thankful to have my own backyard.