Posted in Stories by my dad

In Memory of My Dad #41

 

I haven’t shared a story from my dad in several weeks.  There’s a good reason for this.  I’m out of stories by my dad; that I know of.   I haven’t gone through all the old newspapers, but it appears all that is left are sports news.   I’m confident no one cares to read the score of the Little League game from 1993.

My mom and I have been digging through shoeboxes looking for baby pictures of me to see if EK has any resemblance to me at all.  She doesn’t.  But I discovered a picture I’d never seen before.

My uncle Leon said my dad used to tell him, “I miss my little girls.  I mean, I miss my girls when they were little.”

I miss him too.

We had fun.

 

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Posted in Children

2 months

My dear Emma Kate,

You are two months old already!  Time is zipping past.  I can’t hardly stand it.  I’m cherishing every day I have with you.   The biggest piece of advice I get from other moms is to not blink and take lots of pictures because you’ll be grown before I know it.  They aren’t lying either.    You are surely growing fast.

Today at the doctor you weighed 11 pounds 4 ounces.  You’ve gained 4 pounds  since birth.  Thats about an ounce a day.  You were whopping 23 inches  long.  Your growth chart shows you to be in the 75th percentile, which means only 25% of other 2 month olds are longer.  Me and your daddy can’t figure out where you got your longness.  If you keep it up, you won’t have to stand on the front row of your class pictures like your dad and I always did.

You are becoming much more vocal.  That’s mommy’s nice way of saying you’ve started having crying jags!  They’re not bad at all, but sometimes you begin to cry and we don’t know what’s wrong.  But you eventually settle down, and are your happy little self again.

This month you visited both Ruidoso, NM and Tahlequah, OK to meet kinfolk.  You stayed with babysitters for the first time ever.  The first one being you Aunt Linette who kept you while your daddy and I went for a walk together.  You’ve also stayed with your Grand about 4 times now.  So far, that’s going real well.  Mama only has 2 weeks left before she returns to work and it’s going to be so hard leaving you every day.  But the evening time will be ours.  We will cuddle, and hug, and kiss, and play.  And then summertime will be here and we’ll have all day together again.

We’ve been spending some time outdoors since the Spring weather has come.  You have no interest at all in the chickens, or horses, or dogs, even though they are real interested in you.  Drew and Grace want to smell you and lick you and find out who you are.  The chickens think you’re some kind of treat I’m bringing out to them, and the horses just think it’s feeding time too.

You still smile like a champion and are making some pretty high pitched squeals that will soon turn into laughs.  You hate being on your tummy, but Mama makes you have tummy time everyday anyway.  It’s good for you.

You get a nightly massage after your bath and I love that sweet time with you.  I think you like it too, except you’re pretty ticklish on your belly.  Even though your daddy said it would never happen, you are sleeping with us in the bed, but you’re not sleeping through the night yet.

The Bible says children are a reward from the Lord. A reward!!! I don’t know what we did to get a prize like you, but I thank God for you everyday!

We love you more than you can ever know.

XOXO,

Mama

Posted in Children, Faith

Shots.

In two short days, my baby girl has to get her 2 month shots.

Oh, how I dread it.  To the very core.

She’s oblivious.  She doesn’t know what is up ahead.  But I do.

She is content and happy, living in her little 2 month world.  Trusting her mama and daddy to take care of her, without a worry in the world, unsuspecting of what is to come.  I want to prepare her.  I’ve tried telling her about it, reassuring her that it won’t last long, that everything will be okay, that it’s not meant to harm her, but it’s to protect her in the future.  But she doesn’t understand my language.    I want to avoid this necessary evil.  But I know she needs it.

When my old cowdog Fancy had to be put to sleep, I couldn’t stand it.  It was the best thing for her, as she was in a lot of pain.  My mother and I took her to the vet, and as much as I wanted to stay and pet her head while the needle was injected, I just couldn’t bear it.  I left the exam room and cried in the waiting room instead.  It was just too much.  My mom stayed with her as she closed her big, brown, trusting eyes for good.  I wish now I would have stayed with her, letting her know I was there.

With EK, I want to escape as well.  I want her dad to stay with her and I would rather wait in the waiting room and not witness her going through the pain.  But I would never leave her.  I will endure her cries, and hold her tight, and comfort her.

We are told in the Bible that we cannot know God’s thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8 My thoughts are not your thoughts.  Neither are your ways, my ways, declares the Lord.  But sometimes, I believe He allows us, in our mortality, to experience small, ever so minute glimpses of His ways.

He, as our Heavenly Father, sees the big picture.  He knows what is coming our way.  He knows our tomorrow and the days after that.  He too wants to protect us from the pain and discomfort of our “shots”, but perhaps it is better for us in the long run to experience them now.  When we receive word of death of a close one, or a troubling diagnosis, or loss of a job, or relationship, we are rattled, shaken, and upset.  We don’t understand why it happened, but God does, and also why it needed to happen.    We may be caught off guard, but He never is.  And perhaps He too tried to prepare us.  Maybe He spoke to us, told us it wouldn’t last long, that it will all be okay, that it is not for harm, but for our good. But we don’t always understand His language.   He doesn’t abandon us to wait in the waiting room.  He holds us close, speaks comfort and wipes every tear from our eye.

What an awesome Father we have.

My grandmother had this photograph framed and hanging in her bedroom for as long as I could remember.  It is from the local newspaper in 1976.

The caption read “Mrs. Anne Briggs holds Angel’s hand while she gets her immunization shots.  Angel looks nervous but didn’t cry.  RN Berlinda Leyba of Texas State Department of Health gave shots.” 

Maybe EK will have a little of her mama in her and handle her shots well also.

If you will, send up a prayer for her.  And for me.

 

Posted in Children

All Her Parts

 

Our baby girl turned 8 weeks old yesterday.

People say she’s tiny, but she’s already grown so much to me.

 

 

I tried to capture her in all her little 8 week oldness.  She’s changing so much, so quickly.

 

 

Her daddy’s in love with her side profile.  And all the rest of her too.

 

 

I’m in love with her eyelashes.  And all the rest of her too.

 

 

A friend said it best.  “We couldn’t have ordered one better.”

 

Thank you God for our Emma Kate.  All of her.

 

 

Posted in Children

Babywearing 101

My sister told me it was for wearing my baby  as she handed me the baby wrap.  I looked at her like she had stepped off the planet Zonkers.  It was an excessively long piece of material designed to be twisted, wrapped, tied, and superglued to my body.  I’ve seen people  wearing these contraptions with a baby strapped to them before, and quite honestly, I didn’t want to be one of them.

And then little EK came along.  I quickly discovered the need to grow six more arms.  If I could be any super hero of my choosing?  That’s easy.  OCTOPUS MOM!  Washing dishes is not the easiest task with a newborn in your arms.  It’s practically impossible.  As are many other chores.  It takes two hands to wash a pot, fold a towel, make a bed.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  EK is fine and content being put down.  She’s a great baby.   It’s not really her, you see. It’s me.  I want to hold her. I can’t hardly stand leaving her in one room to go work in another.  I realize I will only have myself to blame later on down the road.

The day Jolea presented me with this monstrosity of material, we tried it out.   My niece Ash was reading the directions in Greek I think, my sister was trying to follow them, I was standing there arms spread, sweating like a dog, dangling a fake baby by the arm, while my sister steered, groped, and maneuvered this wrap around my body.

When I tried it with an actual baby, after watching several videos entitled, “How to put on a baby wrap for idiots”, the actual baby hated it.  I only made her stay in there for a couple of minutes, thinking it might grow on her, but, uh, no.  She hollered.

Today was a beautiful day weather wise.   One of those Spring days I wish everyday was like.  I wanted to go for a walk to enjoy this delightful day and also not one person has offered to take this post pregnancy weight off my hands. Or my belly.  I’ve tried the stroller, but the dirt roads are just a bit too bumpy for my little baby just yet.  So, my other option was the wrap.  I can now actually put the thing on without the idiot’s instructions.  I’ve never worn a straight jacket before, at least not that I’ll admit to, but I’m thinking this isn’t far from it.  Once the baby was good and secure, we headed out.

What we looked like before.

I’m not sure if EK is just a bit small for the forward facing position or if I just have a little bit too much swing in my hips, but it was a bumpy ride for the little darling.  I felt the need to hold her head to keep from whiplashing her.  She didn’t cry during this attempt, and surprisingly she fell asleep. We set off with the sun beating down, the birds singing, and the gravel crunching.

It’s ironic to me that I carried EK on the front of my body for 9 months with relatively few problems, but walking a mile just about did me in.  Nevermind the fact that she was about 4 pounds lighter and swimming in a bowl of water upside down, controlling her own head and neck way back then.  Nevertheless, I got quite the workout.  I used muscles that hadn’t been used in quite some time and my brow got a good mopping too.

The farther we walked, the hotter we both got.  I’m sure wintertime is a great season to wear this outfit, but someone really  needs to make one out of mesh for this hot momma, and I mean that literally.  When we got home and unstrapped ourselves from it, I reminded myself of  a horse after a long hard day with a saddle blanket on, if you know what I mean.

what we look like after. EK's a little whopper jawed.

I then celebrated our accomplishment with 3 cookies and a glass of milk.

Emma just had the milk, but she was sure eyeballing my cookies.

Life is good in her swing.

 

 

 

Posted in Children

Just Emma

Eat, sleep, poop, repeat.

Our days   zoom past.

Eat, sleep, poop, repeat.

And I’m not just talking about EK either.

Eat, sleep, poop, repeat.

Sometimes in addition to the aforementioned, we take pictures.

And on occasion, I’ll get a request from a family member for more pictures of EK.

They pretty much all look the same.  EK is either sleeping or awake.

This past weekend my niece, Ash, decided to play photographer.   Inspired by my friend Lacee who recently crammed my baby in a  bucket and took some amazing pictures, Ash tried to reenact the same look, with some decent results like the one below.

 

I must go now.

One of us needs to eat, sleep, or poop.

And I’m not saying who.

Posted in Children

Celebrate Good Times

My little traveler has already visited 3 states in her six short weeks of being alive.  She’s practically a world traveler.

Her first trip was to the Green Country of  Northeastern Oklahoma to visit her Okie relatives. Mainly this sweet great-grandmother who just so happens to share her birthday.

There’s only a mere 94 years difference in their ages.

We attended a wedding and EK put on a skirt, or rather a tutu, for the first time in her little life.


One shoe on and one shoe off.   Sounds like a nursery rhyme.

It was her first outing besides doctor checkups and of course, we forgot the diaper bag.  And of course, we needed the diaper bag.

 

This past Saturday, we celebrated more birthdays.  I turned 37, and EK turned 6 weeks old.  We celebrated with chocolate cake and tall glasses of whole milk while visiting more relatives in the mountains of New Mexico.

We sat by a crackling fire and watched the pine branches grow heavy with wet, fluffy snow and enjoyed good food and great hosts.

And now we’re back in the Lone Star State, nailing our feet to the prairie grasses.