Thoughtful Thatcher

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The last time I blogged I was home sick from work with one one-year-old baby. Suffice it to say….it’s been a minute. A wonderful minute. Full of watching my first born grow and change and talk your ear off, nervously going through the transfer of my second frozen embryo, finding out it worked (!!!), being pregnant with a toddler and finally welcoming that baby boy.

I’m going to pick the story up there:)

Having Thatcher…

First of all his name. Thatcher. Thatcher was almost Max. Three years ago, when I was pregnant with Hartley, that was my boy name. Maxwell. Max. But when I was actually pregnant with this boy he didn’t feel like “Max.” Eventually, after much, much discussion we settled on Thatcher. I don’t know how or why. Much like with Hartley—-I said it out loud and just knew….that’s my baby:)

Throughout my pregnancy I prayed Thatcher would not surprise us by joining the family a month early like his sister. I learned with her that preemies are hard, Nicu stays harder, and if he’d wait until his due date I’d be on maternity leave through Christmas:)

We were trucking along fine until about two weeks before that due date. My wonderful doctor noted that I was 35–“advanced maternal age”—and suggested we schedule an induction for 39 weeks. I agreed, but couldn’t shake my reservations. Would an early induction result in a C section I wouldn’t have needed otherwise? Would he benefit from a few more days to grow? If I gave him that time, would he come on his own as his sister did?

Ultimately, I called my doctor, explained my reservations and got her approval to wait four more days…I’d deliver Monday, October 2 if he didn’t come before.

How different it was to know when my baby would be born! I packed a bag…packed his bag…Matt and I went to dinner…I decorated for Halloween…annoyed my entire family with projects that simply must be completed before Thatcher’s arrival. In truth, as much as I advertise *not* being a person who likes surprises—-I didn’t really like knowing when he was coming.

The countdown was a little overwhelming:)

Very early October 2, we went to the hospital. Of course this was also the morning the world would wake up to news of the horrific massacre in Las Vegas. Here I was..beginning one of the best days of my life when it was the worst imaginable for so many others…everyone who came into our room seemed to look at the TV, pause, shake their head…We ran out of ways to say “this is awful.”

Without going into detail no one wants(;)), I had progressed enough that “the show was on the road.” With Hartley, I labored alllll day. It was clear Thatcher’s final descent would be much shorter.

At 1, we told Matt’s dad to go grab lunch, my dad to put Hartley down for a nap, my mom and Matt’s mom were casually chatting when the  nurse surprisingly  announced it was go time. My babies apparently like to make us sweat at the end. Thatcher’s heart rate wasn’t great, and we were in a hurry.

In a flash, my doctor was there. In two flashes Thatcher was there. We didn’t have time to get out the camera. Matt didn’t  even have time to say he didn’t really want to cut the cord;)

Thatcher cried. A sweet, little cry. Like a lamb who’d been very offended. But he cried immediately, and for a decently long time. I was very glad we hadn’t made him come earlier, poor little guy:)

They laid him on my right side. And as I looked down at him I thought…he’s really cute. I know allll moms think that…but he really did just look cute. His eyes were open so wide. His lips pouting. Looking annoyed and confused by the whole operation.

The whole time I was pregnant, I couldn’t imagine how my heart would find space to love another baby. Oh, but it did.

It must have doubled in size when I saw my little boy.

I see my dad and my grandfather in his little face…plus a little of his sister when he smiles….which is often:)

He’s the kind of baby that’s easy to fall in love with…happy…quiet…easygoing….observant.

Thoughful Thatcher, I say. My little boy who, like his sister, was so worth the wait.

I hope I’ll be back here, writing, before another year goes by. But if I’m not, it’s because I’m enjoying all the wonderful, wild minutes with my two biggest blessings.

 

 

 

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Home Sick

Being home sick from work is so much different when you a baby:)

Today I finally had to admit that the “throat sickness” I’ve been fighting for nearly two weeks was not, in fact, getting better. 

I was sort of fine as long as I didn’t have to talk. Or swallow.

Hartley loves reading books. Sometimes 5 or 6 back to back. I couldn’t bring myself to turn her away. So I read…in a whisper. By the end she was whispering, too. I wonder if she wondered why that was Mommy’s new thing….sweet girl:)

A shot and a couple of prescriptions later I feel (at least mentally) like I’m going to get better.

And when I do- I won’t take the ability to talk…or swallow..for granted:) 

Women’s Day 

I love a tradition. I spent the morning at the Sanderson Farms Championship Women’s Day. This was my third year getting to emcee the luncheon, and it’s one of my favorite days each year. 

Sanderson Farms started in Laurel. Every year it seems a caravan of people from my hometown come to Jackson. It’s fun too see high school classmates, moms of old friends and especially my dear kindergarten teacher, Kathy Sanderson. It’s possible she taught hundreds of 5 year olds in Laurel. But in my memories she’s always talking, so sweetly, just to me. Don’t all good teachers make you feel that way? 

This year Ali Wentworth, wife of George Stephanopoulos and talented actress and writer in her own right, was the speaker. She is hilarious. Like the friend everyone needs who isn’t afraid to say exactly what she’s thinking. Just walking the line between funny and offensive;) 

The goal of this laughing and lunching is to raise money for Batson Children’s Hospital– more than $1.1 million last year.

It’s an honor to be a tiny part of this incredible week in Jackson. 

Pumpkins and Princesses, Witches and Werewolves

When I was three, I won the costume contest at St. John’s Day School’s Fall Festival. I know this because my mother reminds me every year. She made the clown costume that clinched the prize, and I’m relatively certain it is one of her proudest accomplishments. (Seriously.) 

I say that to say- I know costume contests are a big deal. Partly for the little witches and warlocks and Harry Potters. Mostly for the moms, dads and crafty grandparents whose time, sweat and money made those tiny costumes. 

Tonight I judged the McWillie Elementary costume and pumpkin contests. 

Brutal!! I could see my mother’s face in the eyes of all of those parents who stayed up all night getting their little one’s outfit ready. I wanted to give every parent and every child a trophy. But I could pick just one winner. A tiny Raggedy Ann. 

She looked about 3. Not quite sure what all the fuss was about. Reluctant to accept her grand prize. The best kind of winner. 

She probably won’t remember this night years from now. But her mother will:) 

Pumpkin Patch

I accompanied Hartley on her first field trip today:) Her school went to the Ag Museum for a hayride, cookies, play time and, the grand finale, picking a pumpkin.

I know enough about my child to know she was not going to be interested in slowly strolling around the museum grounds. So I wore my running shoes. Wise choice.

Girlfriend *raced* around the ag museum…spotting chickens, petting the cotton gin, inspecting an ant 🐜, taking off after students from an elementary school…

It was a great chance to meet some of the other moms of kids at her school. But not so much to talk to them:) I think I started two dozen conversations abruptly ended when my 16 month old decided it was time to race off to a new exhibit:)

I love her curiosity, independence and confidence. I love that she surveyed the pumpkin patch quickly, hoisted up her favorite and off we went. On to a new adventure. There’s so much world to explore. 

Reunion

Tonight Keegan joined me on the night side of the news:) I’m excited for her- because sleep is not overrated. And I’m excited for me- because I’ve missed her! 

I’m lucky. I’ve gotten to sit next to a string of talented people for nearly 10 years. Tammy, Ryan, Stephanie, Travell, Sharita…I’ve learned something from each one. 

People always ask what some of these folks are *really* like…as if they can’t possibly be what you see on screen. 

Well, Keegan is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever known. I think that’s why she seems to make (and keep) friends wherever she goes. She’s funny, focused,  not afraid to tell it like it is and if the news business hadn’t worked out- she’d make one heck of a makeup artist. 

But I’m glad it did:) 

Table for Two and a Half

I love eating out. It started when I was a kid.  Dinners at Shoney’s or Western Sizzlin’. As a teenager I’d leave the Laurel High School campus (not exactly legally) for a run to Chik Fil A or McAllister’s. In college, Sundays meant long late brunches at Clydes and J. Paul’s in Georgetown. 

Now—make it Mexican, Hibachi, Burgers and Blues or Babalu, Broadstreet, Bravo or The Manship—I’ve met very few restaurants I didn’t like. 

There’s something exciting about eating around a lot of other people. Choosing anything you want off a menu. And not having to clean up the kitchen:) 

If it didn’t get so expensive and often unhealthy (big portions 😍), I’d like do nothing but eat out.

Hartley, thank goodness, also loves a restaurant. Give her a high chair, some people to watch and, i possible, macaroni and cheese and my girl is good to go. 

Table for two and half, please:)

Hartley and Daddy at Sunday Lunch

Hartley’s First Fair

We took Hartley to the fair today. I had visions of the three of us laughing on the carousel, sharing a corn dog, watching as Hartley gingerly petted a goat. 

None of this happened.

It was hot. Hot as ten hells hot. So I felt like we were on borrowed time the moment my fair skinned baby’s stroller touched the pavement:)

We rode the carousel, but I’m pretty sure the operator, bored after a week and a half of this, pressed “warp speed” just to see what would happen.  Baby and I were hanging on for dear life. 

I was a little ride weary after that experience so Matt decided to burn some of our tickets on the Ring of Fire. One of his favorites in his younger days. But this time as a 40 year old lawyer he was acutely aware of the disconcerting sound of a few rickety bolts:)

We were so uncomfortably hot that we skipped the food altogether and made a beeline for the petting zoo…

….where Hartley petted nothing:) The sea of aggressive goats and tiny humans was a lot for my little nugget. And for me:) We gave the animals a quick look and decided to call it a fair. 

Later tonight…we walked over to the Belhaven campus to burn 20 minutes before bedtime. I let her get out of her pink car and just run. On the sidewalk. In the grass. Picking up acorns. Doing the exact opposite of whatever I asked. That was the biggest hit of the day:)

I shouldn’t be surprised at this by now. As a mom, you carefully plan all these elaborate firsts, and it ends up being the spontaneous no-big-deal moments that actually make their day💕

Should We Do Facebook? 

Do you think we should do this “Facebook” thing?

I remember that conversation with one of my bosses like it happened yesterday.

 In reality, it happened about 8 years ago, and the social media  world was a very different place. 

We were so hesitant. 

We hadn’t yet decided how or even whether-as a station- we should use Facebook or any other social media platforms that existed (I’m looking at you, MySpace ;)). 

Flashing forward– I laugh at our naïveté about the role social networking would soon play in all of our lives.

“Should we do Facebook” is not the question…it’s how often…AND while you’re at it don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and snapchat for stories (baby pictures:)). 

I’m glad I didn’t grow up with all of these apps at my fingertips, (as are my parents), but as a journalist I’m grateful I don’t have to know work without them. 

For example…

Last night,  Ryan and I went live on Facebook during the 10 pm news.

We do it almost every night, but this time I didn’t take it for granted.

Hundreds of people talked to us throughout the whole show. 

Ten years ago who would have guessed that was possible?

To connect with people-most of whom we’ve never personally met–answer their questions–hear their take on a story–as it airs…

Some of them have even been Facebook live regulars. 

Our own online version of Cheers🙂 

I feel like we are just scratching the surface of all the ways social media can connect us. 

The next big thing is surely just around the corner.  

And this time…I won’t hesitate:)

First Mama Monday 

Trying something new. Instead of just blogging “when I feel like it”, (which is never based on the last seven months:)) I’m giving myself assignment. Three posts a week…with a different focus each day. 

Why am I “forcing” myself to blog? Because I really do want to have a record of this crazy, busy, beautiful season of my life. 

Like mama always said…you’ll thank me later:)

Monday is Mama Monday.

Here’s what I’ve learned about having a child. Weekends are no longer the time for kicking back, relaxing or, my personal favorite pastime, leisurely shopping. 

Weekends might be busier than work weeks.

From Saturday morning until Sunday night we are going. 

My little bit loves to go. Playing, reading, grocery shopping, dining out (like her mom:)), watching “big girls”, practicing her words (especially hi and bye-bye), pointing out allll the dogs and babies we see and swinging. 

That’s how we ended our wild weekend. In the swing at my parent’s house. 

So that’s how I’ll end this first Mama Monday. 

See you Wednesday when the topic won’t be babies;)