Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A very uninteresting post...

Hi from 2635, the disaster zone...

So, we're downsizing and by downsizing, I mean we are seriously eliminating! We're selling oodles of things and more to come. If you are interested in any of the below, you'll get a much better price now than through the consignment store (because they need to eat, too!)-- shoot me an email and let me know what you would like to take a look at....

wine glasses (a bunch of those)
lamps (a bunch, too)
wine cooler (electric)
blender
two bed frames
artwork/pictures/things that go on the wall
tea cart
throw pillows
A PIANO
misc. pots/pans
(sadly) several, several, several silver pieces- various shapes/sizes/makers/ages
towels
king size duvet
queen size duvet w/shams
two brown/pink paisley print curtains
wicker toy box
4 linen chair covers for armless chairs
sheets- full size and queen size
bedside table
small picnic basket
bathroom rugs- white and green
2 wicker outdoor chairs (make up in comfort what they lack in looks)
2 bar chairs
heavy glasses with cobalt rims (like the ones at TakoSushi)

So... my email is rmcagle at gmail dot com -- drop me a line and I'll be happy to email you a picture or 12 to see if you want to come by and take a look.

And yes, the house will be up for grabs, too- call Ross. Not today, it's a disaster. But tomorrow, maybe.

UPDATE: RED indicates SOLD!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas Hop

Dad used to always joke that we hit the Big 4 when it came to church- Christmas, Easter, when the in-laws came to town... seriously though, Christmas Eve, the Merrys could be found at the Children's Mass at St. Mary's. The music was better, the kids were adorable, and nothing put us in the Christmas spirit more than hearing a slightly out of tune piano in the fellowship hall surrounded by 300 others looking to celebrate before the celebration.

Several years ago, we were in college I think, St. Mary's did away with the children's mass (unless you had children...) and we showed up late to church- still 20 minutes early, but 45 minutes past the time of the last seat inside the church. I was leaning against a table, Brad was pacing and the 'rents were standing next to each other. It was noisy in the Narthex and we had no idea that mass had started until half the people started praying together. 15 minutes in, Brad looked at Mom and said, "I'm all for being reverent, but this is about as un-reverent as it gets."

The Merrys dipped. No one missed us, too many people were talking to each other, and someone needed to drop the a/c about 15 degrees. Feeling the need to give thanks, we headed to Aldersgate Methodist. A friend of Mom's was "warming up" on the harp and she plucked away at Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, and another before the preacher came up to the lone 4 in the pew and asked if there was anyone he could pray for... assuming we were there for a distress in our family. Turns out, we were not just really, really early for church, we were 14 hours early.

Back in the car and we are off again to a small Episcopalian church on Wrightsboro Road. The priest welcomed us in as he was rehearsing his homily for the midnight mass. Reid Presbyterian... letting out from their service. Another church, whose name escapes me... standing room only.

The Merrys hopped from church to church trying to find room in the inn, all to no avail. We back-tracked over to St. Mary's and bypassed the church. We went straight to the chapel of perpetual adoration. Quietly, we sat and prayed for 15 minutes along with a handful of other quiet people. At the end of 15 minutes, we were ready to go home as a family and have our Christmas Eve traditions.

Fast forward 364 days. We are a year older and wiser about the children's mass. We made plans. We were organized. We had a schedule. We were going straight to perpetual adoration and then home for some of mom's cooking before Santa runs and bedtime. At the end of 15 minutes, Brad looked at Mom again and said, "That was reverent, but is there anything else we can do?"

Our Aunt was in the hospital-alone. She had fallen and was there alone with a skeleton staff of nurses who were not excited to be working Christmas Eve. We showed up and within ten minutes she fell nauseous. Brad, Dad, and I stepped out and Mom helped her as she got sick. No nurse in sight. We found one and found her to be less than helpful. Brad looked at Dad and said we were not leaving her there to fend for herself. Two minutes later, Dad is on the phone with a friend who is a personal nurse- also with no family. She hopped off the couch and left Jeopardy in the dust to come and sit with my sweet old aunt.

Fast forward three years... more like five... maybe six and I welcome you to Christmas Eve, 2009, the first time in a long time that we stepped foot back into church on Christmas Eve, together as a family. Most Holy Trinity welcomed us with a cool temperature, a breathtaking altar, and a brother and sister in the pew behind us with humbling voices as they sang in perfect harmony- stark in contrast to the 5 who cannot sing. Period.

The organist spoke from above and said, "Our first hymn is Number 387, 'O Come All Ye Faithful' Verses 1-3. Please sing verse 1 in Latin."

Latin?

We had come a long way from the Fa-La-La-La-ing in the Children's Mass.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby Food

Have I mentioned yet that I am making my own baby food? I am not green. I am not holistic. I am not one with nature. I do not eat granola. Our house has zero feng sheu. I am, however, extremely cheap.

Frugal. Tight. Thrifty. Whatever you call it—I clipped coupons before it was cool (from my parents newspaper) and long after we have made our millions, I will continue to ask the cashier for the family discount or what the “cash” price will be. I’m a haggler and proud of it. My father would be so proud.

Thriftsters and Super Moms Alert! Moucho money can be saved by making baby food. Proudly, once a week my little Gerber sweat shop goes to work. I chop, steam, puree, and pour veggies into baby containers. These are things that I do not eat myself (healthy is not how I would describe my eating habits), but baby girl screams if we do not shovel these yummy treats into her mouth at a scary fast pace.

Eileen eats. She is still hanging on to the growth curve with all that she has, but she eats. It is silly to think, but a $.50 container of baby food can be made for mere pennies when it comes to carrots, squash, zucchini, and sweet taters and less than a quarter for peaches and mangoes.

Oh! The colors! What a silly thing to notice, but the colors are so vibrant of homemade baby food- brilliant oranges, bright lime greens, Georgia clay reds and the prettiest yellows line my freezer walls with little tags that say things like “sweet taters,” “carrots-puree longer,” “zoo-ke-ney,” and “sweet peas for my sweet pea.” She likes those the least, sweet peas.

I pinch my pennies where I can… with my $150 Williams-Sonoma baby food maker…Hey, I said I pinched pennies, I did not say I stashed dollars.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Calling the doc

We, as a whole, hold doctors as the end-all, be-all for knowledge. And why not? They have anywhere from 4-8 more years of education and 2-6 years of training on us. Most importantly though, they wear white coats.

New parents, doctors being no exception, are clueless about most things. Things you NEED to know- is it normal that she drools this much? She tinkles... a lot. Is it okay that her nose is turning orange? Yes, okay, and yes-it's the carrots. You learn by doing and by child six or eight, you pretty much have the rhythm down and the answers to the 8,966 questions they don't teach in medical school.

Things we would never call on for ourselves will hit "speed dial 3" for the doctor's office and in a panic, an absolute panic, we breathlessly tell the nurse It's Important. A few minutes later... the calming air of the doctor says, like they almost always do, "Baby is fine." You sigh, get off the phone, and move forward with your day... minutes later, forgetting what a panic you were in because they were sucking two fingers instead of three.

I was not going to be this mom. I want to be a model patient. I want to be a model client. Just ask my Excel sheets.

So... Husband was unreachable one afternoon and Eileen and I were just having the best day playing and otherwise having girl time together. Until I noticed something... she was breathing.

No, no, no-don't give me that. She was breathing...funny. Puff Puff Puff Puff sighhhhhhh and then a few minutes later, same thing- Puff Puff Puff Puff sighhhhhhh. Of course, it took me an hour to realize that she had been doing it for so long. Once I noticed it, I hit speed dial 3.

"MOM. Eileen's breathing funny."

"WHAT?!? Call Dr. Freeman. Quick!"

Panic? Oh, panic left me 10 minutes ago- multiply panic by 50.

Phone calls between nurses and Dr. Freeman called me back, "What's wrong with my girl?"

My. Girl.

Instantly, instantly....I knew I had officially fallen into that category of those moms. Dude....

Soft and easy, this old southern gentleman asks if she was turning blue...
No.

Are her lips blue?
No.

Her ears?
Her EARS? No.

Is she playful?
Yes.

Does she otherwise seem...normal?
Um...yes.

Well, have Will give her a looksie when he gets back, but my diagnosis is she's fine.

I felt like a moron. He made me feel like a responsible parent and mother, but I called my doctor because my child was... breathing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homeward Bound

Jimmy Buffett has this great song, Nautical Wheeler. I am a recent fan, admitting that my knowledge of music is not as vast as my movie quoting abilities. There is a line, “The left foot’ll follow where the right foot has traveled,” and that is where we are right now.

The left foot will be following the right foot soon. Soon, we will pack up our little home at 2635 and this farm boy and Georgia girl will get a dose of something outside of the Savannah River, the arches of Athens, and the town square of South Georgia.

His first pick for college- his only application- was to the University of Georgia. Husband did not believe in silly things like “safety schools.”

His first pick for medical school- his only application- was The Medical College of Georgia. He said that if he could not get the best in the southeast- he would just find something else to do with his life’s dream.

His first pick for a wife- this lovely girl- said yes.

His first pick for residency- his first time submitting more than one application- was The Children’s Medical Center, the best in the southeast; top in the nation.

And now, his first pick for fellowship- the second time submitting more than one application- is Children’s National, in Washington, D.C., top three in PICU fellowships across the country.

Who is my husband? My husband builds boats, plays the guitar, and sings to our sweet Eileen. Who is my husband? My husband has committed himself to taking care of the sickest of the sick kids and I have committed myself to taking care of him and our family. Our home will always be here in quaint Augusta- our roots were entwined in the Savannah River clay without even noticing.

But, for the time being, home is where the heart is and my heart is with Will.

DC BOUND!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I love this time of year

It's not a cliche to say how much I love this time of year. Everyone says that, but why should you not? Everything is "merry" and cheery-- the cold, cold air outside is not quite so gray as it will be in February. The leaves are still on the trees and, well, it is just great to be a wife, a mom, and a resident of Raymond Ave.

In the spirit of other blogs read, I will follow suit...

I love this time of year because I get to pull out my Spode Christmas dishes and put away my Wedgwood Nature plates for a month.
I love this time of year because Husband, Wife, and Child all went this morning to buy our small Charlie Brown Christmas Tree & lights.
I love this time of year because it inspired me to make homemade eggnog instead of buying eggnog! (If I survive the raw eggs, I'll tell you how it is...)
I love this time of year because it gives me hope that my sweet cousin will find a cure for his leukemia.
I love this time of year because I get to buy things like wine glasses that say, "Are we Merry yet?" or other things that say, "This is as merry as I get"
I love this time of year because Husband adds new boxes under our tree with little tags very clearly saying, "R-A-C-H-E-L" and now "E-I-L-E-E-N" in his neat, doctor handwriting.
And, I love this time of year because before Eileen was Eileen and was just "Baby Girl Cagle" we bought her a red corduroy Christmas dress and a white smocked Christmas outfit with all the frills and bows a girl can stand. It's been sitting in her (walk-in) closet for close to a year and she finally gets to wear it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Almost Famous

It’s been a tough-go the last two weeks with the blog. Me verse the writers block. The writers block has been winning.

Today though- today I was almost famous. Husband and I were enjoying a very cold and rainy Sunday with Eileen and her cold and I with mine. Leaving Target, I spied a very precious baby boy [Wyatt] sucking down a bottle. The mom, whose name I would learn is Nicole, asked me, “Hey- are you Rachel?”

Ummm… yes.

“I read your blog.”

SHUT. UP.

I love hearing people who read my blog. There are only five followers on the page, but I get so many emails and comments from friends, friends of friends (i.e. Nicole), strangers, friends of Husband when he was in high school, Woody’s friends, Woody’s friends children, the list goes on and on. So, unlike the priest in Sister Act (Oh ye few, but faithful)—I remember that I write to more than just the five.

Back to Nicole. She made me feel like one million smackers right there with my red nose and spit up covered baby in boy jammies (at 2 in the afternoon). My super mom super shirt started stretching with pride.

Typing this on this rainy Sunday, Husband and wife are at dueling computers at the dining room table sipping our first sips of eggnog of the season. There are few things in life that I love more than nutmeg.

So, in the spirit of giving and the fall—I am going to give my favorite nutmeg recipe, more of a guideline than a recipe, but give it a go… it’s yummy (and easy).

Butternut Squash Soup, sent from Heaven

1 large butternut squash, roasted* (I won’t tell if you buy the frozen box of precooked, pre-pureed Bird’s Eye—if so, you will need 3 boxes, 4 if you like thick soup)
1 bunch of leeks (3-4)
4 tbsp. butter
4-6 tsp. minced ginger (or that expensive tube of it you can find in the produce section)
4 cups veggie or chicken broth
Salt and nutmeg

Leeks—use up to where they split and chop. Sautee in the butter (and salt) 5-10 minutes. Stir in ginger and continue to cook over medium heat. Add butternut squash and nutmeg. Add 3 to 3.5 cups of the broth. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered- stirring occasionally. Puree with an immersion blender and thin with the rest of the broth, if needed. Salt to taste. If you are eating mine, you best LOVE nutmeg or pass on supper.

* Split squash down the middle and rub down with olive oil and salt. Bake for an hour in a 350 oven. Scrape out seeds and toss. Scoop out meat for the soup and toss the skins. It’s just easier to buy the pureed stuff. Cheaper, too.

From our little family to yours, Happy Fall! Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my sweet baby, my dashing husband, nutmeg, and you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scatterbrain




I have been trying for three days to write a blog about our baby’s baptism that took place last Saturday. When a day is so perfect and clear- how do you describe it? How do you put into simple words the pride felt dedicating a small baby to a life led by God?



I guess you start at the beginning.


It made my heart feel good when Ford Merry walked into Most Holy Trinity on Saturday morning and amongst the silence of the prayers, he said, “WOW Daddy! WOW! LOOK! Uncle Boo Boo- LOOK! This is colorful!” as he took off down the center aisle holding his tractor with Brad chasing after him.


This was not the church Brad and I grew up in. We grew up in a “modern” church with light dimmers, stucco walls, a wooden altar and concrete statutes. It certainly was not cold, it was surely a church, but it was not this. Most Holy Trinity was the church that Big Dad remembers as St. Patrick’s from his youth. This is where he grew up.


Formal is a small understatement. The stained glass windows dominate the walls and the marble altar is a small miracle in and of itself. This place was built before budget constraints and recessions. The marble tile floor, hand carved statues, and frescos on the wall are humbling and awe inspiring.


Fr. Mike dedicated the morning mass to our sweet babe. He announced our presence of thirty in three pews. After readings, prayers, and kneeling, he spent his homily talking about Baptism and why we baptize babies. He welcomed the out-of-town Cagles and the Merrys to the church.


How do you miss our thirty? We more than tripled the usual attendance. Every Saturday when I walk into mass, I think about the priest from Sister Act when he says, “Welcome again, Oh ye few but faithful…” to the six in the large church scattered about.


After mass, we stood before the font with the best of family and the greatest of friends looking on. We baptized our Patricia Eileen with her godparents, Catherine & Brad, standing beside us. For our daughter, I cannot imagine two more perfect people to help guide her. Catherine is what you want in a friend, a mother, a partner, and a lifelong companion. Brad is what you want in a brother, a buddy, and a leader.


My husband picked good people for Eileen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5 months

It really seems like yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. Today is Eileen's five month birthday. When she wakes up from her nap, that is going on three hours, she will have her picture made next to the five month card and the date of October 27th, 2009. She will certainly wear her goofy hat that makes her look like a carrot. She hates it-- I love it. She looks so silly in it, but it makes me laugh while it keeps her head warm.

She has started eating cereal- rice cereal to be precise. "They" don't tell you this in the books, but take it from this Super Mom- no matter how the cereal is prepared, they hate it the first go-round. They'll gag, cringe, and otherwise tell you, "HEY! MOM! This is NOT tata milk. What makes you think I am going to like this?" But after two (or twelve) tries, they'll get the hang of it and might actually start to like it. Doctors (AHEM) tell these Super Moms that you should not mix it with tata milk, as it is "their experience" that it will not thicken up (they say without children). THEY are wrong. Listen to your fellow Super Moms on the little stuff and the doctors (however you might be related to them) on things like immunizations and swine flu.

Once a day, LMC is in her bumbo on the dining room table with me in front of her, silver spoon in one hand and a burp cloth in the other. We open wide and slide the cereal in with the spoon and scrape on the gums. Smacking like an old lady, somehow it finds its way down her throat and she opens her mouth for more. Four slow spoonfuls and twenty minutes later she squeaks with glee of a job well done.

At five months, LMC holds her head up when she is on her stomach and if you just peek into the pink nursery from the door, an eyeball to her crib reveals the smallest snippet of a head with four hairs over the edge. In the mornings, we find her on her back and as soon as the initial eye contact is made her arms and legs flail around revealing the happiest of toothless grins and the brightest of eyes.

She has my eyes. And that makes me smile.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Of a great comfort

My husband is an extraordinary person. He is kind, patient, gentle, loving, and unbelievably good at his work. I do not use the word “job” because that is not what it is to him- or to me.

He works- a lot. Few people really understand or appreciate how much he is at the hospital and how little he is at home. Fewer people know what it is like to have a spouse be in this career and those that do, understand how precious it is to have time together.

These things that I say are not meant to be a flag raised to let the pity party know that we are over here; they are said to lay the groundwork for this statement:

“Of a great comfort.”

Husband cannot bring his work home with him. What happens at the hospital, no matter how close it is to me or our family has to stay At The Hospital. HIPAA is a law and it is one that he takes very seriously. Anything I learn about Husband and his work comes from patients that approach me.

Sometimes they do.

Once, a grandfather from South Carolina approached me at McDonald’s and asked, “Are you Dr. Cagle’s wife?” Yes….. yes, I am. “I saw you talking to him yesterday. I just want you to know your husband is The Man!” I like to think so, too. Thanks!

The other day I saw some family members of one of his patients; they knew who I was, but I did not know who they were to my husband, a patient’s family. They, as a whole, grandparents and uncle, started asking questions about Husband and his future in medicine. The grandmother looked at me, square in the eye, and said, “When ___ was in the hospital for so long, Will was a great comfort to us.”

My heart sang. All those nights alone in our home, all those weekends when our friends were leaving for the football game or the beach without us, all those times eating at a table for one, all those times… all those times are meaningless because my husband was a great comfort to this family that needed him.

He was not wonderful. He was not fantastic. He was not amazing. He was something so much more—he was a comfort. And then they told ME.

I know my husband has something that pulls at him, a calling that has been calling him since he was quite young. He saves lives. And if he cannot save them, he makes them comfortable for the journey. All of them- family included. I put him on a pedestal because he deserves to be.

This life we lead together can be difficult at times, but it is a rewarding one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

All over again

It has taken me eight years and a month- to the day- to finally sit down and watch the Today Show from Sept. 11, 2001. Will and I sat in front of YouTube last night for over an hour watching, gaping, just in miserable disbelief all over again. But, we held a crystal ball to this footage unlike those college kids in Athens eight years ago. As Katie & Matt talked about "an accident" we knew in just minutes the second tower would be hit. And then the pentagon. And then a plane crash. It was just getting started, Katie.

It all started with a documentary on the JFK assassination and Walter Cronkite stating, "People everywhere will always remember where they were when they heard of the Presidents assassination."

And then Husband told me about his physics test. And I told him about a mountain weekend that was high priority to me at the moment before I heard those life changing words.

We pulled up the coverage and just started watching. How sad. How miserably sad and painful. People who believe that we should not be fighting a war should sit down in front of their computer and remind themselves what happened.

It was not quite the way I wanted to wind down a lovely two days with Husband, but I am glad to have watched it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I did not forget

I was just busy... too busy to upload a few pictures from our trip to DC...















That back pack? That back pack allowed me to leave Eileen for 4 days. We schlepped it everywhere. But, it was worth it because we had the best time!

And, just in case you thought that Eileen was not growing...
This was taken (obviously) on the 27th, right before we left...


And this was taken right after we got back...


WHERE DID THAT SECOND CHIN COME FROM?
I'll tell you... she spent four days with PETF and Woo!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sunny Days

Big Bird and Elmo were never my fave growing up. I loved going to Grandma's house, she had cable, and I would sit and stare at Nickelodeon. Pinwheel was Number 1. Then there was Bill Cosby's show with the drawing, and the other one about the mannequin that turned into a person... and the buffoon of a security guard that could never catch him. Nickelodeon was my channel.

Eileen... notsomuch. She loves, I kid you not, Sesame Street. And now, I too, love Sesame Street.

It's funny. Not like ironic, funny. More like hilarious, funny. Right now, the gang is learning animal sounds and one is saying, "CEEK" and getting corrected to "QUACK."But the duck does not say, "quack" on the show. He says, "Mooo..." which makes me giggle. And Eileen squeaks.

It's great.

Last week, they were singing nursery rhymes and the two worms (whose names I have learned are Slimy and Glo Worm) were pretending to be Jack and Jill climbing up the hill. Instead of fetching a pail of water, they were singing in their high pitched worm voice, "Climb e'vry mountain..." at a worms pace from The Sound of Music. Eileen would squeak and I would laugh at my desk in the next room listening to the nonsense.

Fantastic.

Yesterday, Elmo was learning to salsa- which was great for Little E. Elmo pranced across the screen repeating to himself, "1-2-3--e-e-e." And Eileen would squeak her, "EEEEEEE" over and over.

Just now, she was screaming bloody murder- like she was wearing orange at a Tennessee game or something. I popped her in the swing and flipped on Sesame Street from onDemand... seconds later... SECONDS, I hear the sweet squeaky "EEEEEE" from the little one watching Big Bird teach the duck to quack.

Elmo, I love you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

my dirty habit

I turned this...




Into this...

This lovely little guy just needed a good home. Lucky we found each other...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our gBaby

Some things about me are just ridiculous. RIDICULOUS.

For instance... I have a small obsession with eBay. It's pathetic. I love playing on it. Bidding on it. Talking about it. I love the concept.

I watch television on closed caption. Why? I do not know- I wish my grandfather would watch HIS television on closed caption. But, I do.

But the biggest thing...
I am allergic to sunscreen.
Sunscreen and hair dye.
Sunscreen, hair dye, and Will's asthma medicines.
Sunscreen, hair dye, Will's asthma medicine, and latex.
Sunscreen, hair dye, Will's asthma medicine, latex, and... Eileen's diapers.

The list goes on, but these are the things that are the most important as I run into them the most, all except the hair dye-- Rachel Cagle, new brunette-at-large, again.

I had no idea what a "big deal" a latex allergy was until I got elbow deep in Eileen's diapers. Her sweet and easy Pampers have a lovely chemical called ethylenediame. Good grief, I can barely spell it... but I can clearly tell you that I am VERY allergic to it. Ethylhatesmyfacene is in all the afore mentioned items and PE (pre-Eileen), Will and I were just very aware of it and tried to prevent contact with them as much as we could.

I had no idea it was in diapers.

No idea until my skin went horribly south. My face broke out. My hands broke out. It was all around not pretty. I would go to bed at night covered in Vaseline to stop the itching. I was a pretty picture...

A little investigation turned up few options for people of my sorts. Apparently, there are 4 options for latex-free diapers. All of which have a description to this effect:

"Since XYZ diaper is all natural and does not contain any harsh chemical that might lead a lab rat to developing something that looks like cancer, it needs to be changed more often leading your child to being less likely to developing diaper rash."

Excuse me? I would like a diaper that could hold a little more than what the Niagara pushes over the edge. Diaper rash be damned. We have Boudreaux's for that. I do not recycle, unless it is convenient to me. I am not green. I do not pretend to be.

More investigation turned up gDiapers. Holy flushing toilets, Bat-Baby. Eileen's diapers can now be flushed. DOWN THE TOILET.

It's the coolest (if not the grossest) thing I have ever seen. I, who spent nine months throwing up at the thought of feet, dirty diapers, and rain. Not to mention 27 years of being anti-diapers and telling Martha that her children would not have dirty diapers when I kept them for a few hours here and there-- they knew better (and they did)... have reached a new high in Super Mom status.

I am, officially, green (by default).
Maybe I'll start recycling...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Six Day Challenge...

Okay, so the seven day challenge did not work out quite as well as I had hoped. We did really well for the first 3.5 days. But, after spending so many days in a row alone with a crying Eileen I was invited to lunch on Friday. Husband said, "GO! TSDC be damned!" So, I went.

And then, of course, yesterday was Moe's Monday-- $5 Moe's. Yum.

BUT! Other than those two moments of weakness.... the Cagles did really well otherwise.

So, we're going for round two with The Seven Day Challenge, however-- it is going to be called the SIX Day Challenge, leaving Friday open for Lunch Bunch with my new buddies.

In other news, we have been reviewing the calendar and are pleased to announce that Husband has a whopping six days off over the next fifty days. S-I-X. On average, that is one day off every 8.3 days.

Today is one them, so I will not spend any more time blogging this morning... there's a Husband waiting for me, one that I miss terribly.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Seven Day Challenge

Husband and wife enjoy eating out. We enjoy the whole process--- picking where we will eat, discussing what we feast on, having a server bring the food to us and then take it away…. We do not even mind paying. Much.

As I mentioned, Husband had five glorious days off this past week and in five days we zipped through, I am not kidding, over $200 in dining out alone.

Dude. That’s a little ridiculous.

So, over dinner (at Rae’s…$50) on Sunday night, we made a decision. A challenge, really. Starting Tuesday, the Cagles would not eat out one thing for seven days.

It is harder than you think it is.

PETF had hip replacement surgery on Tuesday (she's doing amazing, PS), thus sitting in the hospital involved drinking the water I packed. For lunch, while it would have been much easier to grab Chick-Fil-A downstairs at University, I had to head to the grocery store for supper food. Knowing that Husband was working nights this week and not days… it would have been nice to go out to eat before he left. Just to spend a few minutes having someone else take care of us. But, for $20 a lunch for five days… that can just take a sabbatical. So, I went to the Poooblix and bought yummy Publix sub bread, turkey, and Muenster cheese for $14.33 so we can have “Publix subs” homemade. Each sandwich will cost us about $2.47, a HUGE savings from the $6.32 that Publix charges. AND an even greater savings from the $16.22 from My Friends Place. Chips and a cold diet coke… the Cagles are happy.

Last night, we went to visit PETF at University to give her hugs, kisses, and bring Dad some supper. It would have been easy to go by Zaxby’s and pick up a Zalad for $8… nope, we cooked a piece of chicken that breaks down to $.88, couscous, and a tarragon tomato at $.97. Total price for Woo’s supper…$1.85. On the way home, we discussed how good a Zalad would be for us, but NO! We had our challenge. At home, we ate fresh salmon for $7.62 with a $.43 lemon, squash casserole (squash cost about $4), couscous with tomatoes (another $.97) & red wine (priceless… seriously though, $11). Total price for the Cagles fabulous supper…$6.56 a person, and we have leftovers! A better price than the $22 at Zaxby’s (with drinks).

Today, Husband wanted to walk up to the convenience store for coffee, a mere $2.44. I told him there was nothing more convenient than having him sit down. I whipped out the coffee maker…ten minutes later, the time it would have taken him to walk to Circle K…he had his $.01 cent of coffee just the way he likes it- 2 Splenda.

Good grief, I sound like my father.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

FINALLY!

After months and months of working days upon days straight... Husband had a day off. It was full of sanding the boat, playing with bambina, and doting on his lovely wife. Five glorious days of having a husband.

What a change!

Thursday, two out of the three Cagles attended Antiques and Wine, a benefit for Historic Augusta. It involves two of our faves, antiques and wine... hence the title. We walked out with a ride from Zingooooooo and a new addition to our home found in a lovely old desk that Husband bought during the live auction!

Wife had to work Friday but the evening was spent eating Mexican outside with all the three Cagles. Chatting and talking and listening, and just... enjoying each others company without the stress of a chaotic day left behind hanging over his head (and another one on the brink).

Saturday... GAME DAY! The Cagles, all 3 of us, cleaned and played until 6ish when friends started rolling to 2635 to watch the Dawgs play. Chicken on the grill (Gamecock to be precise) and a sleepy baby made for a wonderful evening that ended far too late.

And here we are at Sunday.... a lovely morning downtown with Husband's coffee and wife's chicken salad for breakfast. Eileen sitting in her swing watching her first episode of Handy Manny and I am quickly catching up on work that needs to be done while sweet Husband is finally getting to play on his boat, after two months of hospital work and no playtime.

Tomorrow, wife works & Husband takes his last day and just swims in it... doing whatever he wants to do... because he can. After this nice reprieve, he goes back to the hospital at 110%.

But for a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of what life will be like when he is done with residency.

And I liked it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sometimes...

Sometimes, like right now... I look at her and think about how lucky we are. She is snoring away, fast asleep while I continue to work well past 5:30. It was hell getting her here, but I would do it again in an instant.

But, maybe I would eat more turkey sandwiches.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Super Mom

I had this great blog written.... all about diaper changes. It's ridiculous. I, who threw up at diapers PE (pre-Eileen), now change diapers with such finesse and such ease and such time that the topic deserved its own blog. Alas, maybe it will pop up soon.

There are more things going on this week than diaper changes. I mean... there are diaper changes, plenty of them, but this week was our first week of school! After 8 months of anticipation, LMC was dropped off on Tuesday with her cousins Tellis & Ford at MDO for four hours of playtime with Ms. Donna & Ms. Kay. LMC comes home tired and ready for some QT (Quiet-- and quality-- quiet because Ford is not around) with the M-O-M, that's me!

So we drop her off at school & start going about the new routine. I work, schedule appointments, and otherwise make myself more of a "worker" and less of a "mom" for four quick hours. Other than the occasional mention of said child, if you did not know me-- you would wonder who that sassy person was strutting into your office and talking about pensions, health care, and life insurance.

Super Mom. That's what I am striving for.

Other than the eight hours solo, I work, work, work next to a bassinet trying to be more like Husband and his 80 hour weeks. Work time is interment with playtime, feeding time, nap time, and of course, diaper change time.

This week though was a little more difficult to assert my tasks of the week head-on thanks to a little thing called a cold. A cold is no big deal to anyone over the age of, say, 22... but when there are only three months under your belt, a cold is nothing to mess with.

Nope.

You cry. A lot. Excuse me, let me rephrase that. When a three month old has a cold, they scream like, well, they scream like a baby... only a baby that is on steroids and has lungs like a thing that has really great lungs. Obviously my analogies are a little off today.

The neighbors call & wonder if your baby is okay. The parents call and immediately forget why they call so they can get off the phone. The UPS man feels your pain as he drops off another package to mom and baby rocking on the front porch. And the baby wails until the Baby Tylenol kicks in.

And there you are, Super Mom, wondering where the "S" went on your super shirt.

It's in the diaper genie with your blog about diaper changes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

North Carolina

Greetings from Chapel Hill, North Carolina!

College Town Heaven meet Green & Hippie Mountain Girl... you two would make a lovely pair. This town is as cool (if not cooler) than Athens. It is a cool 86 degrees outside in mid-August. This is not a "dog day" of summer, it is more like a puppy day. Apparently, too, this is above the gnat line. Husband and wife toodled around town yesterday when we got here and E just stared at the sorority houses, the college kids, and the very beautiful people. We agreed that we could wear baby blue for three years.

Today has been spent trying to get a better feel for the town, the neighborhoods, and what the people are like. Well, I will be happy to report to Husband when he gets done at 4:30 that the town is fun, the neighborhoods are quaint, and the people are just lovely.

However, the real estate prices have a little something to be desired.

Near downtown, a side street turned up a house with a sign in the front yard. It looked like something we could afford with a swing set in the backyard and a little screened-in porch on the side...

One point five million dollars. That has six zeros BEHIND the one!

Seriously?! This house was not that impressive, a paint job was needed, and well... there was not $1.5 there. I mean, the houses on Walton Way were nicer than this one.

Another house, in another part of town... slightly larger with a second story and a very slope-y lot with kudzu everywhere- up the side of the house, covering trees, going into the street- no exaggeration when I say "everywhere."

"Hi. My name is Rachel & I am inquiring about the house you have for sale."

"Oh, yes, we are offering it for $1.1 million...."

"Well, thank you for your time, but that is just a little out of our price range."

Ma'am, you can keep your six zeros... seven digits is a phone number to me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Bad Georgia Fan...

I really am being a bad Georgia fan. It's not me, though. Really, it is not. It' Husband. Silly Husband. Silly interviews. Silly "rest of our lives." Silly career. Silly baby.

We are not going to be able to make it to any home games this year. SAD. This will be the first year, in a number of years, that I am actually willing to give up our WHOLE season ticket package.

Okay, you Dawg fans... anyone want to buy some tickets? We have two tickets... TWO! Side by side, lower level- section 127, row 3, seats 16 & 17. We are looking to sell them as a whole and not split them up.

Let me know if you are interested by emailing me... rmcagle @ gmail. com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who does your pest control?

I forgot to mention yesterday that my short legged, little, bouncing friends are gone. They packed up and headed for the hills. But, I got a call today from Advanced Services checking up on my little buddies.

I was glad to report that there are only three people in residence at Casa de Cagle.

Talk about customer service! I cannot say enough good things about my favorite bug people. Thorough, knowledgable, and just all around fun people.

If you leave your bugs in your hands... stop it. What would be spent at Lowe's can be spent with the Bug People & it is one less thing on the chore list. Husband handled ours for longer than I care to tell you with minimal success. When the roach started drinking my beer and changed the channel to ESPN on the coffee table, there was an emergency phone call to AS and they were knocking on my 1920s, roach motel the next day. We had 'em on the run!

A monthly inspection found termites in our traps back in April... the next day... POOF! taken care of. No termite damage here. If it was not for them, there is no telling what kind of trouble we would be in when it came time to hire Mr. Trulock to sell the house! (because if you think that I am crawling under the house looking for bugs-- you've got another thing coming)

Cagles-1
Bugs-0

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ugh. Last week.

Last week was ridiculous. So ridiculous I could not rub two minutes together for an update on the Cagles. What started off as a casual, normal Monday quickly turned into chaos. Four little letters. Four terrible, horrible letters I cursed over and over again with my sailor’s mouth.

Fleas.

We do not have animals—secretly, I am not a dog person—but somehow, those little guys got into the house and spread like wildfire. Sweet Petit was like filet mignon to the little jerks. We did not even get to pack up, E & I just left.

Advanced Services came and treated a few hours later & it did not even touch them. They were everywhere. EVERYWHERE. For the whole week, Husband and Wife lived in limbo, crashing at my ‘rents house and then Brad & Martha’s. Four nights later, all we wanted was the following:

(a) Our air conditioner
(b) Our bed
(c) Clean clothes

In that order.

Ange, Woo, Brad, and Martha were all wonderful hosts to the lost Cagles and our 1,433 friends that tagged along and took up residence at Brother’s house… Martha was unimpressed—and rightfully so. I was mortified. Not only did I feel like an unclean person for keeping a house with fleas, but I shared my fleas with someone else who does not have animals.

Just fantastic.

Eileen was also in miserable spirits most of last week as she had her shots on Monday… which meant that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were spent with tears in her eyes and nothing could soothe her. Let’s just add some insult to injury.

No, no… wait… that would be the big ass limb that fell between our house and the neighbors. It knocked down part of the fence, Husbands tent that he was using to build his boat and… his boat. His pride and joy knocked down by a stupid limb. Fortunate for us, we have not found any damage. Yet.

Outside of our little existence, it was a sad week all around for other families.

My friend’s father passed away. I did not know him and cannot pretend that I knew even the slightest thing about him (except, I was told, he loved babies), but I know his daughter. I am fortunate enough to know his wonderful, beautiful daughter. His daughter is the kind of girl that will bring you Reese’s peanut butter cups because you are pregnant and suddenly the sweet tooth that never existed is craving peanut butter m&m’s. (Variety is the spice of life.) She is the kind of person that loves her friends, her family, and her husband with all that she has. And she admires him so—her husband. She believes in his work, his talent, and the home that they are beginning together. I am amazed by her, her kindness, and her genuine honesty. These things that she is, these wonderful qualities, are not things that just happen upon your life. These are things that are instilled in you from Day 1. Things that I hope to teach E. She must get that from him—her father.

Let’s take last week and flush it down the toilet.

Friday, July 24, 2009

200 is such a daunting number.

Ta-tas. Ta-tas with talent. I have ta-tas with talent. They give my little one life and it is all because of me. Not Enfamil. Not Similac. Not Publix brand formula. M-E. Little E and I have twenty minute meetings seven times a day. It's a wonder I get anything done. By seven, it is more like six. But, if it is anything over four... what is the difference?!

If you know anything about me, I like planning. Correction, I love planning. And I like Excel sheets. I am terrible at math, but I love numbers. For instance, before giving birth an excel sheet was created for the best price of diapers in the area. THEN, that just was not good enough. Husband said that babies grow 10 grams a day for the first x weeks, and 10 grams equal x percentage of a pound and newborns diapers go up to eight pounds... based on this nugget of knowledge, 6.5 pound Eileen would be in newborn diapers for.... 5.5 weeks (and use approximately 11 diapers a day, exceeding 400 diapers total) And she was. To the date. Nary a diaper was wasted, except the ones she tinkled on and had to be tossed. Talk about about a waste of 28 cents. (24 cents on sale at diapers.com)

Excel sheets and numbers, I digress... 200. Two hundred ounces. Holy...

Ohmygoodness, Husband and Wife are leaving Sweet Petit in September and again in October for a a three day weekend first and a four day weekend second. "So what?" you non-baby makers scoff.

Ta-tas.

Tater Tot survives on ta-ta milk alone, thus... she needs me and my ta-tas to get to work so she can eat while we are gone.

"Ohhhhhhh...." the light flicks on. Don't worry- I would not have registered this important detail either.

200 hundred ounces. That's four ounces extra a day for the next 49 days. I should be done by September 12 and will leak my way through the next two months.

Talk about dedication. I Should buy the "My ta-tas are awesome" bumper sticker. Or at least "Save the ta-tas" I don't have breast cancer, but by September 13- mine will need saving.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Babies in bonnets, nothing is better





Little e and I went to church this morning. I was proud as a peacock dressing teeny in her Feltman Brothers dress and sweet bonnet walking down to St. Marys. Her in her stroller and I making the walk down McDowell- March of The Catholics- we headed to church.

Eileen was fantastic, sleeping in my arms throughout mass. The couple next to me, with their two hellions were in a constant battle keeping them quiet, forget tepid. Seeing what I had to look forward to in the coming years, I put a small kiss on her forehead thanking God for a simple miracle of a sleeping babe in the silence between prayers.

Pooooooooooot.

In a very un-ladylike way, she released a gas pain. The mother of the two children looked at me & like 10 year old girls, we both giggled quietly.

Two readings later, a pause between song and words... E had something else to be heard.

PPPPPPOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTT...

The pregnant woman in front of me, dashing in her white slacks, sassy haircut, and turquoise necklace... obviously her FIRST pregnancy, far too put together, turned around and gave me a look- as if to say, "Did you eat Vallatra's for breakfast?" The mother next to me gave another look and all I could do was giggle quietly at my precious baby, who still looked so dainty in her dress (even if she sounded like an old man).

Church wore on. The father next to me got up and down twice with his kid who would not settle down. Eileen continued to sleep. Kneeling before Communion,her in my arms, the choir walked down from the loft. No singing. No words. No readings. No prayers. Complete silence, waiting to go up to the alter.

PPPPPPPPPOOOOOOOTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...........

It was never-ending. The mom next to me leaned over and asked if I needed a diaper. The man behind me coughed loudly. The woman (and her mother) both turned around and stared. The man next to them who said, "God Bless both of you" during the sign of peace sent a glance over his shoulder. I think even the deaf priest (literally deaf, not just hard of hearing) even heard a little rumble.

She must get that from her father.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back in the Kitchen

My favorite thing to do is make a HUGE meal and invite 18 of our closest friends over for wine, appetizers, and supper. I spend all afternoon making a disaster in the kitchen whipping up something a little over average, a little less than amazing and Husband swoops in ten minutes before the doorbell rings and all hell breaks loose to make it absolutely sparkling. I zip in the shower & the fun begins.

A minimum of five bottles of wine & 36 dirty dishes later, the night comes to an end. Husband and I revel in what a great time we had. Our friends leave with full stomachs and the mildest of morning headaches.

Since being pregnant, my headache in the whole process has disappeared. But since being super SUPER pregnant, my good times in the kitchen have subsided. The idea of spending more than 240 seconds on my feet unless I absolutely HAD to was more than painful.

Husband and Wife had dates that involved chicken salad (store bought), Campbell's soup, and lots and lots of grilled cheese sandwiches. Once the gd-gd set in, it was more Special K protein bars and lots of shrimp. Shrimp are easy to cook and even Husband can make those in a pinch.

After LMC came (you know, 43 hours... 16 hours of hard labor... 2.5 hours of pushing...c-section...2:47 in the morning) our awesome friends and family cooked supper, brought food, took us out to eat, or otherwise fed The Girl on Percocet & The Hungry Husband. We might have starved otherwise. I was in no condition to operate heavy machinery, let alone a microwave.

This Friday, I am making baby steps at getting back to the kitchen. Some very special people gave us the best new-mom gift ever, a gift certificate to Dream Dinners. I still can't spend oodles of time on my feet like I would like to, but I still want to make something a little less than amazing for Husband for supper. Our dinner dates are very important to me and sometimes, a grilled cheese just does not cut it... no matter how fancy you pretend it is.

If you are unfamiliar (as I was), Dream Dinners has everything pre-measured for you & it is your job to assemble everything, get it in a freezer and cook at your leisure with the greatest of ease.

Husband & Wife will feast-- and thanks to Dream Dinners & Advanced Services, we will have... I kid you not... 20 meals ready to go. I can slowly make my way back to the kitchen and getting back on my feet (literally speaking) and not have to starve Husband in the interim.

Grill Cheeses be damned!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Brad Merry, Baby Whisperer

I have a good baby. I really do. She eats every 3-4 hours. She almost sleeps through the night- only one feeding. She spits up a lot but at least she is consistent. But sometimes, sometimes, she starts crying in the afternoon- her fussy time- and she. just. won't. stop. Nothing. Not one thing can calm that little Bob Marley Wailer. We feed, we change her diaper, we try "tummy time" (something my brother, of all people, told me about), we swing, we walk outside.... we try every trick I have learned in the last five weeks. Just sometimes though, it will not end. The little Stay Puft Marshmellow Man tells it like it is. And it is, apparently, loud and painful.

But, oh, Brother. Not "oh brother" but "oh...Brother"-- my Brother is the baby whisperer.

She will not stop crying because it is so blasted hot- poof! Brad swoops in with those big arms and voila! my baby is quiet. She will not stop because it is too freaking cold- baddabing! Brad finds a little crook in his arm and shhhh! my baby is sleeping. She cannot let up because it is Tuesday- abracadabra- Mr. Merry seeks and destroys even the tiniest whimper out of her.

Brad Merry, Baby Whisperer for hire.

Today, she was great- GREAT for hours while I worked. Could not have asked for a better 4 hour stretch. A feeding and two diaper changes later, nothing could calm her. Five minutes, I kid you not, five minutes having a little QT [that would be Quality Time and not Quiet Time... Ford was with us] with Uncle Brad and I have a new baby. She is back to being Number One Cagle with the prettiest eyes and dainty little nose.

I am afraid what will happen after I feed her.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

1 month


Today, Eileen turns 1 month old and how the last month has just zipped on by! She has made all kinds of amazing discoveries, especially in the last two weeks.

What a great relief that she loves Motown. When Husband is not around to sing to her, we flip on oldies and she sits in my criss-crossed lap while the soulful sounds of Otis, Ray, Sam, Al, and Percy fill the air around us. Instantly-- instantly-- her face soothes, her crankies subside, and she sits, listens, and learns from the greatest about love or heartbreak.
They are far better teachers than I could ever be, because what can a mom know?
As I type this on my red couch, Percy Sledge is telling us how he has been loving 'her' for far too long and Eileen is staring at something off in the distance that I have yet to see.
When she was a Poppy & a UBB, Michael Jackson was the only thing that could soothe the nausea that would not subside. Thursday night, a phone call from Husband enlightened his girls that the music had stopped. The King of Pop, the man in the mirror, the one that could thrill all, Billie Jean's lover was gone. Apparently the man who could not stop until he got enough, had had enough. I think this is what it must have been like for a generation before mine when Elvis died.
Played more than once by more than one band, Michael Jackson could be heard on a regular basis late into the night in Athens, GA at a little (big) hole in the wall (venue) at the edge of downtown. Last week- a fire ripped through the Georgia Theatre bringing an end to a rock and roll legend.
Every type of person in Athens took a turn at the theatre, from the rednecks listening to Kinchafoonee Cowboys and Robert Earl Keen (me and Husband- not together), to the hippies with String Cheese Incident and Widespread Panic (not Husband, not me), and every 80s cover band or original gone stale (um... yeah, totally me and totally Husband), to DMCB (yes, Dave Matthews Cover Band) and REM under a pseudo name-- everyone had a turn. It's where Come On, Eileen could be heard. And Eggs, Toast, Grits, and Bacon. And Gringo Honeymoon. And Crash Into Me. And....And.... it is endless.
And it is someplace that Eileen will never know.
And Michael Jackson will never have a live album that she will hear.
But she stays awake in the afternoons and kicks around her bassinet. She loves spitting up all over her dresses. Sometimes, we pull a little red out & just let her hang out in her birthday suit. Her favorite place is in the middle of me sitting "Indian style" (Is that PC?) or rocking on the front porch swing with Dad.
Eileen has also made several friends in this short month-- Mary Margaret & Clayton came over for lunch, we also met Carter Casella after he got home from the hospital, and while Reese was still at MCG- we went by and said Hello! She best learn her rules for football and how to play baseball pretty soon as it seems like she is going to be the only girl! That's where Ry and Dad come in- they are both making sure she is getting "raised right."
Apparently that does not involve a debutante dress, but a pair of muddy sneakers....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Red Headed Baby

We are holding our own. It's been a life changing experience but we're adjusting just as quickly as we can. Several friends told me how much pregnancy will be missed & only one said, "Nah... Rachel won't." and she was right! I definitely DO NOT miss being pregnant. It's so funny to look at her ultrasound pictures and see that exact same face on our little daughter. She has my eyes, mouth, and hand mannerisms-- but she is 100% Will Cagle's daughter. No one can mistake that as she is the spittin' image of him... except the red hair! RED! She popped out the womb and the second thing the doc said was, "Where'd the red come from??" Debbie! My grandmother also had red hair, but she was completely gray by the time she was 20.... so let's hope it's Debbie's and not AJ's.

Eileen and I cannot drive yet, so we spend a lot of time in our pink chair & I take her all kinds of places with my adjectives. Will sings to her-- we aren't much for Rock a Bye Baby-- but she gets a lot of Allman Bros, Rollling Stones, Sam Cooke, and most any love song from 1962. As soon as I can drive, we are heading to Barnes & Noble to buy some books. When my creativity escapes me, I tell her how to make jambalaya, chicken bog, shrimp creole... I'm sure somewhere in her little mind she is wondering where the hell Winnie the Pooh is, but in the interim... Hilton Head Casserole will have to do. (First, we boil about 8 chicken breasts...)

Eileen thoroughly enjoys crying from about 3pm to 8pm.... fantastic. But, she almost sleeps through the night & we don't have to set an alarm to feed her anymore, as she is almost seven pounds. She also enjoys spitting up oodles after feeding & most of it lands in one of my 8 nursing bras. And I see why one of my buddies is going with cloth diapers, GEEEEEZ.... $50 for diapers that lasted a pathetic amount of time. My eBay mad money is seriously taking a hit.

I'll leave you with this... yesterday we accomplished the following tasks outside of feeding, burping, spitting up:

her bath
my shower (no, I didn't shave my legs)
two emails to two clients
one load of laundry folded (not washed/dried)
and... hmmmm.... yep... that's it.

God Bless Motherhood... and Will wants 8 of these suckers!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When a Child is Born, so is a Grandmother

When Ford was born Susie Rice gave me a little book, When a child is born, so is a grandmother. She welcomed me to the “club” and said, “It is the best!!” My heart is so heavy knowing what she is going through right now with her grandson having leukemia. She is a role model for all grandmothers. I admire her rock-solid strength and courage. Please continue to pray for their family.

In the words of my son’s inlaws to me, “It’s just different when it’s your daughter giving birth – not that you love anyone any less.” Oh, how true! When the news of Rachel’s impending C-section arrived I cried like a baby in Woody’s arms. Debbie, on the other hand lived up to her nickname, Little Deb Sunshine. She was calming and reassuring. Woody was thrilled because Eileen’s “head is going to be beautiful.” I’m not really sure of Tommy’s reaction because I was re-living in my mind my own emergency C-Section 30 years ago and being scared, not knowing what to expect.

Rachel had the best of care – a doctor who takes no chances and puts up with no foolishness when it comes to being healthy, and a pediatric team second to none as Will put it. He played the part of husband and father, not pediatrician. He didn’t even “cut the cord” because as he said, “I’ve cut hundreds, I wanted to stay by Rachel’s side.” What more could you want from a son-in-law?

Hospital time was exciting but uneventful, with the exception of the Moultire great grandmothers’ presence. Homecoming was beautiful! Eileen’s nursery upstairs and down is perfect in every way. Rachel has it fully stocked and organized.

Eileen has already been to the Village Deli, Vallarta’s, Yo Pizza, Five Guys Burgers and Publix. As you can tell Rachel is rid of the gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. She hardly even looks like she’s had a baby. She put on some shorts with a zipper and button and she’s looking forward to long walks with Eileen when she is able.

I have had the pleasure of playing chief cook and bottle washer along with taking care of a little laundry. Will and I have a system in place. He brings the dirty clothes downstairs and I wash, dry, fold, and load the basket with clean clothes and place it at the bottom of the steps – just like magic. I load and unload the dishwasher and he starts it for me because the switch has been broken and I can’t work it. I bag the trash and he takes it out. We get along just like peas and carrots.

There is a page in the book Susie gave me that says:

“You’ll write your own rules
and you’ll do your own thinking,
You’ll grandparent your way!
Without even blinking …”

Well, when your son-in-law is a pediatrician you have to be careful grandparenting your way. But actually, I think it is a wash. I’m not sure who is more intimidating, me being a grandmother or him being a pediatrician. We both have our areas of expertise. And mine happens to be bathing Eileen. I gave her the first bath with Rachel and Will looking over my shoulder and then following me into Eileen’s room. We looked like the mother duck with her ducklings in tow.

I am signing off now and want anyone who reads this to know that mother, father and baby are doing just fine adjusting to their new life together.

Ange Merry (aka Patricia Eileen)

Friday, June 5, 2009

A new kind of Friday

It's Friday & a quiet evening has stretched before us in our new lives. Jackson Browne is on the radio. Eileen is laying quietly in her bassinet wrapped in her ladybug blanket. Husband is working on his boat building plans next to me. And I am sitting- capturing this moment in my mind, knowing that soon the wash of labor from the previous week will be forgotten, our child will grow, and Husband will finish his boat.

What a wonderful summer evening with an imminent thunderstorm forecasted on both the television and my incision. Cold beer from the bottle & a turkey sandwich for supper. Nights like this should be relished.

Eileen has many accomplishments this week- she stayed awake for almost an hour this afternoon after PETF gave her a bath and used her new towel that Gran gave her as a diaper... Unlike her cousins, so far-- Little E has not been a big fan of the bath. We call her many things-- Little E, Old Man Turtle, Eileenatmin (yes- like vitamin), and LP to name a few... what we think at 3am when she will not sleep, but continue to scream are a different story. And she has had many visitors-- Lynn, Ben, Vicki, Nancy & Staples, Faris & Caleb... with many more in the next coming days. Showing no partiality, she is beautiful, the spitting image of her father.

We have already had our first doctors visit (Dr. Freeman said she was "just perfect." Dr. Claiborne agreed.) and I go back to Erin on Monday for her to... inspect... everything. As if enough modesty was not lost last week. Let's say that some things I am okay forgetting.

Evenings like this should be relished, not spent blogging.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes.




Bring it.

I have said it 100 times, and I will say it 100 more.

Pregnancy is not for sissies.

I have a small addage.

Labor is not for sissies.
Delivery is not for sissies.

That being said, labor and delivery should be something you do for and with someone you love. I learned a few things about the Cagles during our long forty three hour process to bring Eileen into this world.

We are better as a team than we are as individuals. Where I lacked strength to continue on after the magnesium zapped my energy and the epidural ran out (more than once), it took Husband telling me to press on to know that I could do it.

When the plan changes, the Cagles can change with the plan. We did not plan on giving birth Tuesday, May 26-- but we adapted. When Tuesday came and went without Eileen, we came and went with it. Two hours of pushing for a "normal" delivery (that "V" word gets used a little too much on this wing) proved that would not be part of our plan. 2am Wednesday morning found one Cagle being wheeled to the OR and the other Cagle getting dressed in OR garb to be with his wife. Having a C-section was not in "the plan" but plans change. Eileen was literally "fished out" at 2:47am on Wednesday morning, after a 43 hour process that started with plans of going home on Thursday and attending a wedding on Saturday, instead of having a 12 hour old on Thursday & getting discharged on Saturday.

Husband has felt the last two years have been wonderful, but also sort of a "waiting room" to life. Having Eileen come along not only gives her roots but gives us roots, too. Not to this address, not to this plan, but to each other.

Tomorrow, we pull the new car around to the entrance at MCG and put Eileen in the new carseat. We will take her to a place we have been preparing for her for the last 8 months and 2 weeks. She will be coming home to what we have been building for the last two years.

Will made me a wife.
I made him a husband.
She made us parents.

Such is our family, The Cagles.

no time for words... it's feeding time!











Friday, May 22, 2009

What starts out as average...

Days that change your life start out like any other day. I cannot remember the day I met Husband. But, from the moment I knew him, I never forgot him.

In hindsight, I remember the day he proposed to me. We were at our beach house and spent the whole day basking in the sun. We ate sushi at Islamorada Fish Co. and drank Natural Light in the middle of a horrible thunderstorm that kept knocking out the power. It was just… an average July day, that 15th in 2006. And it was as comfortable as when you were small and crawled into your grandmother’s lap to fall asleep to the scent of her perfume, Beautiful.

The day we decided that two should become three started like any other day. It was a Friday in late May. Husband was cooking on the grill and I had set the table outside with a bright plaid tablecloth and Vietri fish china with matching wine glasses. Appetizers of hummus and pita chips & a fantastic piece of seared tuna with sesame seeds. Not to mention the wine in the marble cooler. I brought it up. And the conversation was so calm, so intelligent, so pragmatic, so much something you would never imagine we were discussing the possibility of changing our picture perfect little life with just the two of us.

But picture perfect is boring. Broken china, handprints on the wall, and sleepless nights make for better stories and add character to your soul.

Yesterday started out like any other. I ate my Eggo for breakfast, enjoyed a haircut and lunch with Nancy. Husband was able to make it to my ultrasound and non-stress test. It was an average Thursday, like the past five Thursdays I have had in this pregnancy- hanging out with the 3Cs, IGOR, and Erin.

And what a surprising discovery we had in store for us in Erin’s office. This pregnancy was not going to make it until June 8th. This pregnancy will cease to exist Tuesday, leaving the Cagles with an Eileen. An Eileen we have been waiting two long years to meet. An Eileen we are very excited about. An Eileen that makes Husband beam and grin from ear to ear. An Eileen that promises me will be the greatest of adventures.

So, this weekend, I promised Erin I would take it easy- try doing that when you know LMC is a mere 80ish hours away. No problem… Husband is on call tomorrow and Monday. At this moment, life is the same and slowly moving forward. PETF (Patricia Eileen the First) will spend Monday night at the hospital with me & Husband will come straight to 7-West (L&D) at MCG as soon as he gets off-call in Aiken Tuesday morning. The Cagles & Husband’s grandmothers will be here around lunchtime (the grandmothers have had their bags packed for about a week; how precious is that?) & the day will end with one more person then the way it began.

Husband said words to me a week before I got pregnant, words that I carry with me, make me smile and make my heart feel warm, “You smell like sunscreen and the sea. You smell like home.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Down

And then there were three.

Catherine gave birth two weeks ago to bouncing Noah. Precious and adorable, I cannot wait to cover our fridge with more pictures of another nephew! That makes three babies for the Rouses. Three perfect little sets of ten fingers, ten toes, and two ears.

Mary Margaret, sweet and precious Mai gave birth this morning at 3:45 to Clayton. I saw and held him when he was less then seven hours old. Eli, stoic and fatherly, sat on the couch and watched us as we cooed and discussed epidurals, birthing, and all the unpleasantries that bring new babies into this world.

All that's left are Blake, Laura, and little ole' me. One by one, we are coming to the end. Of the three, my due date is the soonest at eighteen days. Laura trails by 7 and Blake by 9. Mai came a week early.

And sweet Faris is due in October, and Kristen in July, and and and and... it seems there is something in the water.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What?

I remember being 6 weeks pregnant. No bump, drinking O'Doul's and no one knew.

I remember being 16 weeks pregnant. Broken foot, hellaciously uncomfortable and my, er, dare-ee-air was growing faster than my stomach.

I remember being 26 weeks pregnant. Still throwing up, getting more energy and Poppy was no longer a Poppy, she was an Eileen.

Never was the end in sight.

I am 36 weeks pregnant. If Husband breaths the word waddling, he knows death is imminent.

At 6, 16, and 26 weeks though, there was a difference.

I was not contracting.

A gander in my uterus revealed LMC was hanging pretty upside down, hand still in front of her face, kicking the sides of her fishbowl, and letting Christy (the ultrasounder) know that she was not pleased to have someone sneaking a peek inside. Afterwards, we headed over to IGOR's domain. Ange has been coming with me to my weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests as Husband cannot take that much time away from work. He meets us in Erin's waiting room afterwards, which I appreciate- especially today. IGOR (Ms. Fran) strapped me up to the cold, hard disks, found her heart beat and set me up for the thirty minutes. Mom and I talked about an upcoming wedding, her beach trip, and the paperwork we had to go over. At 21 bars (21 minutes) Husband walked in for the last blip on the tape. IGOR looked at the tape and asked me a simple... correction... a very simple question.

"Did you feel that?"

Before she said anything else, I knew what that was. Not a word slipped from my lips.

"It's gone. Did you feel that?"

...Silence...

"You have had two contractions since you sat down. And, based on your answer...(or lack there of)... I am going to say you did not feel them."

Silence and the color drained from my face and hit the floor.

Calm your nerves, be still your beating heart, and let your vapors subside-- two very important words go with these contractions:

Braxton. Hicks .

Validation! For days I thought I felt something, but nothing that was what has been described to me. More like a flutter and far less like a mule kicking me in the gut. Dainty?

Done with IGOR & kisses to Patricia Eileen The First... we head back to see Erin to make a surprising discovery...

I was up two pounds last week and down the same two this week! Weight gain is holding steady at 14 pounds.

Astounding. Absolutely astounding to me. gd-GD... every day I realize you are what the doctor ordered. Extra ultrasounds, a safe and healthy weight progression, confirmation of what the ticks are and those stupid non-stress tests that are anything but stress free.

Contractions? What contractions?