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.