Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Driving Me Crazy

So, this past weekend we went to AR for my sister's high school graduation and Kyle and Meagan's Wedding. It was fun but along the way I once again learned what a nerd I am.
Allow me to explain...Stanton has contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease. It's pretty common in children, not in adults. The general idea is that he got sores on his hands, feet, and in his mouth. The hands and feet weren't a problem, but the mouth sores have left him unable to talk at all since last Wednesday. How does that translate to my nerdiness? Well, when your stuck driving 6.5 hours with no one to talk to, you are only left with yourself. How do I entertain myself? By calculating how long it will take me to get to certain places. By watching mile markers go by and making sure I'm on pace to meet my next goal. I'll admit, I was more than a little excited when we hit the AR state line at exactly 10:45 and the odometer on our truck rolled over to 8000. I had been waiting for it to happen for about 86 miles, cruising at a smooth 76 mph.
The bottom line is, I love math. Numbers are always the same. They operate under basic laws that can't be manipulated. They're so logical and straightforward. There is always an answer, even if that answer is DNE.
Some other things I learned along my trip of silence:
* The famed "Bob's Junk" in Savannah, OK has upgraded to "Bob's Good Junk"
* There's a road in Atoka, OK called Chicken Fight Rd.
* I can understand series of grunts much better than I thought I could.
* I still love to drive.
* Charging my Ipod before the trip would have been a real good idea.
* I've been in TX for too long...I get a little smile any time I see an AR license plate in TX or a Razorback emblem on a car. When we were in Ft. Smith over the weekend I kept thinking "I wonder if those Arkansans are from where I'm from?" and then realized "They probably are since we're driving around where I'm from."
* No matter how much road construction there is going on in OK, the roads will always suck.
* I'm still not sure what the Burritos - Pies place in Atoka, OK sells.
* I always feel that I should have a Carrie Underwood song on the radio when I drive through Checotah...Maybe people will feel the same way about the new AI and Conway.
* My sister graduated high school. I'm getting old.
* I have picked on OK a lot, but that's probably because I stick to major highways in TX and don't have to drive through small towns.
I think thats all. I do love a good drive though. I have always liked to drive. I think I owe that to my dad who would load the family up to just go for a drive. I didn't always understand what we were doing. But now I realize that it can be very refreshing to see whats out on the road (especially when you get to choose the path).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dear Chaselyn,

You're only six months old, and already mommy is behind on keeping up with everything. I truly meant to write this to you on your actual 6 month birthday, but better late than never I suppose. I wanted to let you know how much you amaze me and your daddy every day. We can see that you are really starting to learn. You study things and figure them out. You're getting very good at grabbing things and getting them to your mouth. And when we let you loose on the ground, you can roll in every direction and solve the puzzle of rolls and rotations on your belly to get to where you want to go. Based on what we've seen and reports from the day care, you apparently like to get yourself under things...the foot rest on the recliner, cribs in the nursery, and exersaucers. Speaking of exersaucers, thats where you really like to show your stuff. Every evening you spend about an hour in your seat playing with rings, a crinkle/squeaky book, and Jingle Pig. These keep you very content until you loose them in the gap between the seat and your belly. You test your vocal cords and learn new sounds. Lately, you sound like a motorboat usually, making noises by blowing air between your lips. You also just started making little "ba-ba" noises occassionally, but can't be coaxed to make them on demand.

Other milestones include eating big girl foods. Mommy has only given you rice and oatmeal cereals, but within the next week, you'll start on veggies! And on May 14, we felt your first tooth breaking through. Now we can actually see it (although it usually makes you very angry when we try to get a peek). Yesterday, you went for your 6 month wellness check. You weigh 17 lbs. 11 oz. and are 26.75 in long. Your head is still quite large for your age, but based on the genes you've got floating around, I'm sure that will still be the case whenever you read this.

You get more amazing everyday. You give great hugs and give mommy and daddy sweet kisses...which are large open mouthed slobbery signs of affection, but we love them nonetheless. You love Holly too. You watch her intensely as she roams around the room. You love to pet her (actually, it's more of a grab), and a couple of times you've tried to get a taste of her. She likes to lick you, mainly in the face, but also your hands and feet. Holly always checks on you first as we walk in the door after being away at school.

As for your daddy and me, you have taught us so much already. We're learning and growing right along with you. All the parenting cliches are really true...you are growing up so fast, I never knew this kind of love until you, and my whole outlook on life has changed. On a lighter note, I have learned that I have a great affinity for polka dots (this is evidenced by your closet). We're just now transitioning you into your crib from your co-sleeper. You are doing good with it. Daddy and I are getting used to sharing the wake-up responsibilities. Mommy is still debating the merits of having a job and staying home with you. The more you grow, the more I miss and the more I want to be there all the time. But then there are times when I feel that it's too big of a responsibility to be your sole teacher. I want you to learn from a variety of sources, and I'm not sure how well I can provide that.

So Chaselyn, I hope that someday you read this and can sense the love and care that your daddy and I have for you. I hope it gives you a little snapshot to what your life is at this point in time.

We love you very much!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A super family celebration weekend

What is there to celebrate?

1) Mother's day - This of course was a super special Mother's day (MD) for me. My first real Mother's day. And for those of you who are ramping up to baby mode, you never know a parent's love until you are one. SERIOUSLY. When I was pregnant, and even before, I had all these people telling me what an awesome, powerful feeling it is to be a parent. And since I'm not all that emotional and touchy, feely, I politely nodded in agreement and moved on. But it's so true. It's a different feeling than anything else you ever feel. Now that I'm part of the mommy crowd, I wanted to share MD with the important moms in my life. And I got to. I spent MD with my mom, Stanton's mom, my dad's mom, my sister-in-law, and some of my aunts. It was great. These amazing women have raised wonderful children (I mean Stanton and I turned out great) and I look to them for wisdom and guidance as I learn the ropes. But on Mother's day it was nice to just be with them. For those of you who don't know, quality time is my primary love language, so to just be is time well spent.

2) Rachel's 18th birthday - Yep, that's right, my baby sister is now 18. I can't believe it. I actually remember when she was born. And I don't remember things very well. I remember countless hours of babysitting and playing. She was like my real life babydoll. Until I hit about 13 or 14 then I despised her, because I had to care for her. But, she probably had even more to do with the mom that I am today. I had a little prep with her. She is so different from me, and we don't talk much, but we have a bond that is very special. And as she gets older, the bond gets stronger because we get more and more on the same page. I mean there's a big difference between 9 and 18, but 18 and 27 is a smaller gap, and as time goes on the gap will get smaller and smaller.

3) Graduations - My big brother Heath graduated with his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering this weekend. He's worked so hard and done so well in school for so long, and now it's finally finished. I'm so proud for him. He was such a role model for me. He's the one who set the bar for me academically and he's the one who used to have to put up with me when we were growing up. He's a great guy, a fantastic uncle, and the brother that Stanton never had. And yes, I said graduationS. Jim graduated this weekend too. He may have taken the road less travelled by, but he's finally off one road and on to another. What a great accomplishment!

I could write full blogs for each one of these. And hopefully I will, but I first wanted to make sure I at least had down a few words to commemorate the weekend.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Daddy's girl

You know in life, there are always those things that just make you smile. No matter what kind of mood you're in, no matter what's going on around you, you can't help but smile. Here's just a few of my favorite things.

Hiny hiders - In the bathroom stalls in the beloved Mars McLean Science building (and I can only assume across the rest of Baylor) the locks on the doors are made by "Hiny Hiders". How ridiculous and wonderfully appropriate. It makes me smile everytime. It's so unexpected to be humored in such a confined and otherwise bland space.

Chaselyn - In general, Chaselyn is a very mild tempered little baby. She's generally very agreeable and only fusses if she's hungry, sleepy, or has a tummy ache. She makes me smile 97% of the time (The 3% is allotted to the 15 minute periods in the early a.m. when she needs food, and the occassional fits in refusal to go to sleep even though she's real tired. She's not quite as incredibly adorable during these times). I could go on and on for this one. And I will, but I've got to be more organized first.

Corny jokes - What did the fish say when he swam into a wall? Dam

Imagine you are on a desert island surrounded by vicious angry sharks, what do you do to get back to the mainland? Stop imagining.

Both of these are compliments of some good Laffy Taffys. But I must clarify, not all corny jokes are good, I'm pretty selective.

Daddy's girls - I lived it, and loved it. (Who am I kidding, I'm still living it.) And now I'm watching it from a totally different perspective.

My Daddy will always have that special place that no one else could ever fill. The older I get, the more I realize how important my dad is. When I was younger, in my mind he was the one who always bought me special treats and would give in pretty easily. But now, I realize how much he really took care of me. In general, I thought it was mom that took care of us. She was the cook, the cleaning lady, the taxi driver, the homework helper, the personal shopper, the personal assistant, the doctor, and took care of most of the everyday stuff, and she did a fantastic job. But Daddy, it was more special to spend time with him. He was (is) a hard-worker. He always worked hard to afford his family with the comfort and stability of home. Sure mom ran the operation, but I didn't realize until I got older that dad didn't just go to work to make money. He went to work to take care of us. And he still does whatever he can to help. He used 20+ cans of red spray paint and countless hours so that I could have the nursery furniture that I wanted. And it's beautiful! He always tries to sneak in some gas money for the trip home. In a word, he's amazing!

And now, watching Stanton interact with Chaselyn is the most precious thing ever! He melts at her little smiles and giggles. He's crippled by her pain. And he's doing the same thing my dad did. He's working so hard to provide for his family. To bring home the bacon, so hopefully someday I can stay at home to fry it in the pan. He has such vision for our family and works with such purpose now. He's always been a hard worker, but I don't think there's anything he wouldn't do for that sweet girl. And believe me, I know that both of us are in for quite a trip. I grew up being Daddy's little girl. And I knew how to work the system. Chaselyn will learn quickly the stuff that she should go ask Daddy for and the stuff she should ask mom.

I think the song that my dad and I danced to at our wedding sums it up

Scared me to death when you took your first steps
Well Id fall every time you fell down
Your first day to school I cried like a fool
And I followed your school bus to town
Well I didnt cry when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
they turn in to big babies again