Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wistfully Weaning

Greetings blog-o-sphere. It's been too long. Alot has happened since my last post. Summer came and went. Strike that – I’d just like for summer to have gone already. Marryn is almost eleven months old and starting Weekday School next week. She crawls everywhere, pulls up on everything, and is just breaths away from walking. Tear. Where has my baby gone?

Yes many things have happened, not the least of which is that Marryn is ready to be weaned. I have mixed emotions about it. If you'll remember, nursing wasn't the easiest thing for us. We struggled at first and sought out help. In some ways it seems as though we just got into our groove, and we’re already stopping? Yes…it's time. It’s really and truly time. She's distracted, impatient, and nursing just takes too long. In her way, she’s telling me she’s over it.

Last week we dropped two feedings, and this week we will drop one more. At the end of the week we’ll just be nursing before bedtime which, again, she's not really all that interested in. I know the point of parenting is to eventually render ourselves useless, but it's a bittersweet pill to swallow so soon.

So farewell my sweet little nursling. We’ll never need each other in this special way again. I will cherish our nursing time more than you'll ever know. I’ll miss your full, flushed cheeks, and you thrashing your head about before latching on. I'll miss your grunts of hungry happiness that always sounded like a piglet to me. I'll miss our quiet time just you and me. I'll miss being your sole source of comfort, even though I sometimes complained about it. I’m looking forward to the next step, my sweet little weanling.
Is this the face of a girl ready to take on the world or what?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Drinking Games

You’ve heard of Kings, Washers, Beer Pong, and Flip Cup haven’t you? Who amongst us hasn’t overindulged while playing one of these time-honored drinking games? Drinking games can turn a Friday night with neighbors into a rager. A Sunday into a Funday. My particular favorite used to be secret drinking games created on the fly known only to myself. For example, having a shot of my drink every time my Mom reminisced about my brother’s football career or finishing my drink every time my in-laws referenced their dog.

Now that I’m a parent, well first of all, there’s a lot less drinking in our household. But if I were to play a drinking game it would undoubtedly be the one created by my husband this past week: The "Marryn Eats" Drinking Game. The rules are as follows:

successful bite - one drink
food on floor - two drinks
food on you - three drinks
fart noise - two drinks
dog licks hands - two drinks
dog eats food - one drink
shake head "no" - two drinks
shriek - one drink
poop face - three drinks
eat high chair straps - two drinks
mad face - finish your drink

Be warned – no matter what kind of time of day this game is played – you’re gonna get wasted.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It began with a laugh. Marryn got water in her nose from her first swimming excursion, blew it out in a dramatic fashion, and we all laughed. “Ah HA,” said the eight month old brain. “I get a positive reaction when I do this. I think I’ll do it again. And I think I’ll do it again. And how about again in case you missed it? And again…”

Fast forward to today and nary does an hour go by that we don’t see this.

Dubbed the Mad Face.

She loves doing it. She knows we love to see it. So begins the theatricality. We’ve worked up a few routines incorporating the expression. In one scenario I pretend to be scared of the mad face and hide behind a napkin. This is hilarious to the eight month old brain. In another, I do the mad face back to her while shaking my finger and pretending to admonish the mad face. The eight month old brain finds this to be equally amusing.

You’re welcome to stop by anytime to see the mad face. You won’t have to wait very long to see it.

"What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

Friday, April 29, 2011


This is terrible. I didn’t take any pictures at church on my baby’s first Easter. It’s terrible, but it’s reasonable. Our power went out about midnight. It was still off Easter morning, and it was a large accomplishment just to get out the door to get to church. We didn’t even have time to go through our Easter baskets before we left. So, after we got home from church and STILL had no power, we opened our baskets on the back porch.

"Wow Daddy! Are those Blue Rays in your basket? So far I'm impressed with this Bunny fella."

"Oh well you're welcome, but you should probably direct your gratitude to the Easter Bunny."

"Now my turn. Oh yay! It's a...a...a...what is this?"

"A book? But um there's a hole in it. 'It's broken. Mine are broken.' Name that movie, Daddy."

"Ooooooh. It's supposed to be that way. I get it now. This makes it easier to chew on anyway."

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We sing, we dance, we chew

At seven months of age, Marryn has already completed a semester of college. Well, in a manner of speaking…relatively…ok honestly she’s in a baby music class at TCU and it’s the cutest darn thing you’ve ever seen.

Back in January, on the recommendation of my friend, Jen Wright, I enrolled my three month old baby in a Music Together experiential class at TCU. It’s through the College of Continuing Education. “Really? A music class for babies?” I can hear the snarky comment coming, but it really has a made a difference in Marryn’s development, plus she has so much fun!

Each week of the class I have noticed (as have other mommy classmates) Marryn interacting more, reaching for instruments and trying to “play” them, and vocalizing in new and different ways. Am I trying to turn her into a musical virtuoso through these classes? Mostly definitely no. They are a great way for her to interact with other children and experience basic music skills. We drum, we sing, we dance, we chew on things.

Thanks Mom for coming to music class so I could capture what is sure to be a champ maraca player in the making.

We’ve already enrolled in the summer class, and are looking forward to making music together again!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dedication Sunday

On Sunday, April 10, Marryn was dedicated at University Christian Church.

Our denomination practices believer’s baptism, so dedicating is a way to include a baby in the church community. Essentially, the parents pledge to raise the child in a Christian home and the congregation pledges to support them in their efforts - all in a public forum.

We were fortunate enough to have a large family presence in the congregation.

My mother made Marryn’s elegant dedication gown - definitely an heirloom from here on.

All went like clockwork. Marryn made her return to the church stage with grace and wonder, no crying. I on the other hand boo-hoo’ed like a baby. It’s that darn pipe organ! Every time I hear it the waterworks come on.

All in all, it was a beautiful Sunday celebrating the beginning of Marryn’s relationship with the church.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dr. Marryn and Mommy Hyde

Parenthood changes a person in all sorts of positive ways. Children teach you patience, unconditional love, exceptional care, and deep devotion. My child has also taught me that she holds the keys to my very happiness and sanity - or lack thereof. When she is a happy girl, so am I. When she is cross - watch out. Essentially, I am her emotional puppet, and she can yank my strings at will.

This holds particularly true for our sleeping schedule - or lack thereof. One of my favorite things to do is put her to bed. As I lay her down in her cozy bed, bundled in her soft pajamas, I gaze lovingly at my beautiful child. I sigh at her perfection as she drifts off to sleep. I dreamily waltz out the door, patting myself on the back for keeping her safe and sound for another blessed day. “I am really getting good at this”, I think to myself, as I turn out the lights.

Then the clock strikes 2:00 am, and I hear the sound that makes a mother’s heart drop into her stomach.


I hurl off the covers, and throw my pillow across the bedroom as I vault out of bed, making sure to make enough noise to passively awake my husband. He doesn’t have to be awake for the duration of this nightmare, but I want to make damn well sure he knows I am getting up. I stalk down the hallway, and jerk open the door. “What do YOU want?” I know I sound like a kidnapper speaking through a voice-alteration device, and I’m glad because I am MAD at this situation. Gone are the lovey dovey feelings of three hours ago. I have been wronged by this tiny person who obviously has some kind of vendetta against me by disturbing my sleep in this manner. I lumber over to the crib expecting to see some kind of smirk of satisfaction on her face, and I ready myself to discipline this horrid child. I peak into the bed and see…what do I see?

…my perfectly beautiful child, smiling and cooing, so grateful to see her mother in the middle of the night. Aaaaaand the flip switches back, we’re right back to where we were earlier.

This little gal is teaching me to be bi-polar.

"Who? Me?"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Uncle Brady & Aunt Abigail

Last weekend, my brother and his fiancĂ© were in town to celebrate their engagement with our family. What an amazingly fun weekend! I’m a little depressed it’s all over to tell the truth. The weekend started with a small cookout at Mom’s. We celebrated big time with 60+ family and friends on Saturday night at Joe T’s, and then ended on a casual note at lunch yesterday at Dad’s.

I don’t think Marryn’s feet or hiney touched the ground the whole weekend as she was passed from relative to relative. My girl was a trooper for the most part, but melted down at night. We’re still feeling the effects of not having our routine in place for 72 hours, but it was well worth it.

Brady & Abigail are Marryn’s only aunt and uncle, as well as her guardians, and it was important to celebrate this milestone. We are looking forward to celebrating their wedding in August!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What a difference a year makes

March 1, 2010 - the test read positive. After several embraces, a few happy tears, and many deep breaths later, we braced ourselves for parenthood. Never could we ever have fully prepared for what would come in the next year. We have experienced sheer joy, frightful panic, and the deepest love imaginable for our daughter. When I reflect on the past year, I see the miracle of life and the beginning of a new family. I can only wonder what the next year holds. If it’s as half as exciting as last year, I’ll need to fasten the seatbelt of my Jenny Jump Up.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Schmice Cereal

Marryn just had her four month check up, and it went very well indeed. At 14 pounds, she’s in the 70th percentile of weight! We’re pretty proud of this stat since it’s up from the 5th percentile at her two month check up. As expected, she’s still a tall girl, coming in at 26.25 inches, or greater than the 95th percentile. Her bald head and pudgy chest are right at the 50th percentile. Developmentally, our girl is right on track!

At nineteen weeks, Marryn hasn't started full on belly laughing yet. She's teetering on the edge of giggledom though, and it won't be long. About some things, I'm certain she'll find funny:

-The camera. Here she is with Aunt Lisa.

-A little gossip with girlfriends like Dylan Rose from down the street.

-Her toys - to be exact, this pink Sing A Ma Jig. Have you heard of these? Hilarious.
-And the doozy...Marryn will laugh in the face of rice cereal, specifically when it's fed to her to prolong sleep. "Rice Cereal? Schmice Cereal. You cannot affect me," I picture her saying, chubby fists on tiny waist, head tossing, in defiance. (Or rather looking something like this...)

We’ve experienced a handful of glorious occurrences of sleeping through the night, and I've been chasing it like a white rabbit ever since. Try as I might, I can't replicate it, and cereal does not induce it. Darn you, rice cereal, and your false promises!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Some of my parents’ favorite stories to tell about my childhood revolve around how *ahem* “husky” I was. My nickname as an infant was Michelin Man, and it was very well deserved because I looked like this…

My expression on the right seems to say, "I'll have the filet, medium rare", does ot not?

There’s the story about putting me, the big fish, in the front row of the hospital nursery, the one about eating carrots before I had teeth, the one about the salesman asking if Texas A&M had starting recruiting me yet, the one about rolling over my skinny friend Charles and hurting him, and the one about Mom finding my fifth neck – unwashed and crusty – at four months of age.

Thankfully Marryn has not been taking after her mother’s physique so far. She’s a tall and slender gal – in the 91st percentile for her height and 5th for her weight. At four months, she is wearing 6-9 month old clothing to accommodate her length, has long fingers, toes, and neck. (Ok, I’m realizing this description makes her sound like E.T. She’s beautiful, dang it! See...)
Be that as it may, irony still has a way of creeping in. Yesterday, Ben was “flying” Marryn over our heads on the couch.

She was impressing us with her funny expressions and sweet coos. We were transfixed on the face of our little charmer, when I saw it.

A THIRD neck, unwashed, crusty and red. O, I am fortune’s fool!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The role of a lifetime

Last Friday I received a call. It was the casting director of the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival at our church, University Christian Church of Fort Worth.

What’s the Boar’s Head? The Festival is a pageant featuring a cast of over 300 who re-enact the ancient celebration that marks the end of Epiphany. In the first half of the pageant, medieval marching companies in authentic costumes of Renaissance England, sing ancient carols along with the congregation. The second half features the original Christmas story, as shepherds and Wise Men travel to Bethlehem to bring gifts to the Christ Child. Mary, Joseph and the baby are revealed at the climax.

My brother and I have been in the Boar’s Head cast since middle school. We’ve been part of the plum pudding and mince pie companies, Cooks, Heralds, Waits, and Wassailers (as in Here We Come A Wassailing). The festival has become a part of my history in a really fun way.

Can you guess what’s coming next?

On Friday, the casting director informed me that there had been a last minute illness and a glaring vacancy in the cast. The festival needed a Baby Jesus!!! Oh and a Mary and Joseph too. Would we be willing to fill in for the next day’s performance? Can a get an “Amen”?!

I would like to pat myself on the back for acting against my natural drama nerd impulses and asking Ben first. After all, Joseph was the wordly father of Jesus – an integral part to say the very least. I needed his buy in. For some crazy reason he also acted against his natural impulses and actually agreed. With Ben’s blessing and complicity, Marryn and I headed to dress rehearsal. I honestly could not have been more excited!

The first day of Marryn’s showbusiness career dawned brightly. Since she was so charming and happy that morning, I had to wonder, did she know what was expected of her later? We arrived at church and proceeded to get into costume. While I wrestled with my virginal head dress, Ben was outfitted with a lot of fake facial hair. Like A LOT - bless him. Marryn’s costume was more about what to hide than what to put on. The church gave us some swaddling clothes to strategically place over her…well…you know.

Before we knew it, it was time to stuff the Holy Family into the triptych, i.e. manger. Why this has to happen at the quietest time of the pageant, I’ll never know. Of course Murphy’s Law was in full effect and Marryn started crying. Did I mention that Baby Jesus cannot wear a diaper either? Again…Murphy’s Law…no diaper…expensive costumes…excessive urination.

However, all that mattered not when the music crescendoed, the 300+ cast kneeled in adoration, and the triptych doors were opened onto my little family channeling the most storied little family there is. It was a beautiful perfect moment as Ben lifted Marryn to the heavens as our Christ and Savior. I’m surprised I could even see her through the tears of pride streaming down my face.

I’m so proud and thankful that Ben, Marryn, and I had this experience. It’s one of the things I’ll always keep and ponder in my heart.