Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dining Out

This past week, Reagan spent a good deal of time familiarizing herself with local restaurants.  On Sunday evening, Reagan & I joined my parents & good friends the Lindseys at the Cracker Barrel, where the food is only half the fun.

Friday afternoon, my mom & I took Reagan to Chili's for a late lunch.  I hadn't eaten there since she was born & the visit was long overdue.  If I ever have to select a last meal, their chips & salsa will be part of the menu.  Reagan slept for the first 20 or 30 minutes & woke up fresh & ready to take some pics:

For dinner Friday night, Reagan joined her parents & grandparents at Outback, where she sat in a highchair for the first time (admittedly with some help from her Grandmama) while sporting her new brown bow that coordinated nicely with her pink & brown highchair cover that she took great joy in gnawing.

I feel it's important to acquaint Reagan with places where she'll be spending a good deal of time as she grows & local restaurants are, of course, at the top of that list.  Perhaps this next week we will spend some time at an exclusive & rarely visited locale, our dinner table.  Ronald Reagan once said, "All great change in America begins at the dinner table."  I imagine he would have further elaborated that before great change can take root, the old mail, essays to be graded, & stacks of books on the dinner table should be replaced by a meal to be shared.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Foods Formerly Known as Solid

At our 4 month doctor visit I was told to begin feeding Reagan some rice cereal & stage 1 baby food once or twice a day because Reagan was ready to begin eating 'solid' foods.  There is, however, nothing solid about these foods.  Reagan is usually pretty enthusiastic about her new foods; we've tried bananas & pears so far.  She will only eat the rice cereal if I mix a heaping portion of something flavorful in it (& I can't blame her - the stuff is totally unappetizing).  We usually eat the fruit laden rice cereal at nighttime in an effort to prolong Reagan's slumber, but thus far there has been no dramatic change in her nighttime waking habits.  Currently the major change brought on by the introduction of 'solid' foods can be seen in her diapers.  

Below, some photos of feeding time:

(Below: she's thinking "Hey mom there's nowhere near enough fruit mixed with this nasty rice!")


Sunday, April 24, 2011


Everything changes when you have a child.  Everything.  For me, there has been a seismic shift in every area of my life and I suppose that's how it should be.  Easter now means shopping for smocked dresses, frilly white bows, and tiny sandals, & soon it will mean making sure the 'Easter Bunny' is sufficiently impressive.  I will pause for a moment for some photos of Reagan's Easter attire:

Jesus' death & resurrection, which the world briefly pauses at Easter to take note of, are of great significance to a Christian every day.  However, as a new parent, the hope that the resurrection offers becomes even more precious.  I look at Reagan & she is the embodiment of all that is good & wonderful about this life.  Her face radiates innocence, but I know that inevitably she will, Lord willing, grow & mature & one day become cognizant of her sin.  Words are not adequate to describe how thankful I am that thousands of years before Reagan was formed, Jesus died for her sins so that when she reaches a crossroads in her life & realizes she is a sinner, she will not be without a way to rectify her condition.

Not being able to meet your child's needs is perhaps a parent's greatest fear.  I can feed her, clothe her, warm her up, make sure the Easter Bunny pays her a visit, rock her to sleep, & lavish her with attention, but her human condition dictates that she needs a Savior & I am helpless to meet this need. I am thankful for the free gift of salvation because it provides a means by which I might keep myself out of hell & because it makes it bearable to say goodbye to those who die in the Lord, but above all, I am now poignantly aware of what a valuable gift it is because it means my daughter's sins were covered years & years ago because the Father knew Reagan needed a sacrifice & He offered His Son in her stead, providing her a Savior.

We all deserve hell.  We do.  It is only because of the boundless love of the Father & His willingness to watch His Son suffer that we have any chance of spending eternity somewhere other than hell.  If I were God (& I rarely begin sentences this way), and Reagan could stand in the place of sinners & suffer in order to cover their sins, offering them a way out of hell, I will tell you that you would all be hell bound. I couldn't do it & I don't know how God did; I can't stand watching Reagan get her shots even though I know she needs them.  Having a child makes me all the more aware of what a tremendous act of love the cross was, for both Jesus & the Father.  As a parent, I cannot imagine the Father's torment as Christ was shedding His blood - and for the very people who were tearing His flesh.  What restraint the Father has that He allowed it to happen, & how much must He love me, & Reagan, to provide us a way to be with Him forever when that way cost Him His Son.  Nothing is more gripping.  Nothing.  I guess that's why it is the greatest story ever told.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

W.M. & Mary Louise

My maternal grandparents married April 20, 1950.  Today would be their 61st anniversary.  My Mamaw Matheny died May 4 of last year, so their 60th was the last anniversary they celebrated.

The photo below was taken on their wedding day & appeared in the paper (I'm guessing the Bastrop Daily Enterprise) in 2000 in celebration of their 50th anniversary:

I am their 4th grandchild & Reagan is their 4th great grandchild.

Below, Mamaw holding me as an infant:

Mamaw & Papaw with Jessa & I at one of my dance recitals 
(yes, I know the outfit is awesome):

Papaw & I on my wedding day:

Papaw holding Reagan:

They were quite a pair.  Mamaw was a fantastic cook, which worked out nicely since Papaw can eat.  He can eat what's on his plate, & if you're having trouble with what's on yours, well he can eat that too.  When I was young & we were all together for holidays, Mamaw made each grandkid their own small serving of her chocolate pie.  I now realize that was probably to spare us the spectacle of the 'adults' descending like vultures on the larger pie (or a certain aunt who will remain nameless hiding the remainder of the pie until she could eat it later, unobserved).

I last saw Mamaw on May 1 of last year.  I knew I was pregnant but hadn't told anyone but Trey (& he didn't believe me, so it was pretty much my secret).  I knew it was the last time I would see her, & for a pregnant woman I was remarkably calm.  These final stanzas of Amazing Grace came to mind as I drove home from Bastrop (ok I probably sang aloud to myself in my car).  I like them because they offer hope for all involved, the dying & those left behind:

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun

It can be said that my Papaw is the sweetest man on earth.  He has outlived two sisters, three brothers, one granddaughter, & his wife of 60 years.  He lived through the depression & can remember where he was on VE Day (standing on the corner of 42nd & Broadway).  He is, I imagine, feeling a bit lost these days as he awaits many sweet reunions.

I simply have to post the lyrics to Precious Memories; it's my Papaw's favorite:

Precious memories, unseen angels
Sent from somewhere to my soul
How they linger ever near me
And the sacred past unfolds

Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious sacred scenes unfold

Precious father, loving mother
Fly across the lonely years
And old home scenes of my childhood
In fond memory appear

In the stillness of the midnight
Echoes from the past I hear
Old time singing, gladness bringing
From that lovely land somewhere

As I travel on life's pathway
Know not what the years may hold
As I ponder, hope grows fonder
Precious memories flood my soul

It can make you weep, but like it says, As I ponder, hope grows fonder . . . 



Friday, April 15, 2011

Reagan's First Tax Day

Today is Reagan's first tax day.  Her due date was December 28 & her daddy was so hoping she'd arrive before 2011 so she could be written off for the entire year (& he got his wish, by about two weeks).

Reagan is celebrating tax day in her Reagan gear:

(A big thank you to our friend Jill Futch for the awesome onesies!)

She's blissfully oblivious to the implications of the day & to pretty much anything other than her usual eat/spit up/grin & coo/sleep/eliminate waste cycle (sometimes the order varies) . . . which reminds me of this Reagan quote:

Government is like a baby: an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

In recent days this quote has crossed my mind quite often, for various reasons.

Happy Tax Day All.  


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Four Months Old

Today Reagan is four months old.

Below are some of my attempts to get a nice "smiling" picture.

In her morning outfit, complete with a little drool:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reagan's Great Grandparents

Reagan comes, as numerous country songs might put it, from a long line of love.  Over the next month or so I want to tell her a little about all eight of her great grandparents, five of whom are still living.  

Here's a sneak peek:

W.M. & Mary Louise Matheny 

Jesse & Jean James

w/me on the day I graduated high school

Lloyd & Ann Ray

Don Sr. & Ardith Zeigler

Ardith Zeigler w/Trey

Don Sr. with Trey, Don, & Cheryl on our wedding day


Saturday, April 9, 2011

She drifted off in her seat!

Last night Trey, Reagan, & I ate dinner with both sets of grandparents (formerly known as our parents).  All afternoon I tried desperately to get Reagan to take a short nap so we might all have a more pleasant dining experience.  She never closed her eyes once, so finally about 5:30 I gave up & changed her into the outfit I wanted her to wear (so she could go ahead & spit up, since she'd been holding out until I changed her into nicer clothes).  She was alert & happy on the way to the restaurant, but I figured it was just the calm before the storm.  Trey placed her, still buckled into her seat, in the upside down high chair (don't you wonder if they made them that way knowing they could hold a baby seat when placed upside down?) & she sat there calmly, took in her new surroundings for a few minutes, & then and fell asleep.  She didn't even whimper!  This has never happened before.  Once, while having lunch at The Pickle Barrel, my mom & I were able to get her to sleep in her seat with one of us rocking the seat & the other rubbing her face & humming.  Never has she simply drifted off on her own in her seat (or anywhere for that matter!). 

Her new bow even stayed in place!  All around a momentous evening.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reagan's Reading List

Currently there are three books in Reagan's regular rotation.  For Christmas, my mom got Reagan & I a copy of Mercer Mayer's Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-Zoo.  My parents read me this as a child.  Professor Wormbog collects 'beasties' & has every beast from A to Y.  In an effort to complete his collection, he goes in search of the elusive zipperump-a-zoo.  The plot is a bit complicated for Reagan right now, but she adores the illustrations.  

This next one was also read to me as a child.  Titled The House in the Hole in the Side of the Tree, my parents & I have always referred to it as "Squire Squirrel" since he is the main character.  A grumpy old squirrel, he yells at his neighbors when they make the slightest noise or ask to borrow his tools.  Little does he know, they are building him a new house in the hole in the side of the tree since his is falling apart due to his yelling & slamming of doors.  The moral of the story is, of course, that Squire Squirrel makes more noise than his neighbors when he yells at them & his own home is falling apart around him due to his tantrums.  I think my parents thought I'd pick up on this, but mainly I remember loving the large, colorful animals in the pictures & I was especially fond of the brightly colored new home Squire's friends built him (pictured on the front cover).  I don't think it quelled my tantrums.

At night, I attempt to get through one reading of Goodnight Moon.  We don't always make it to the end before Reagan begins fretting once she realizes I'm about to try & get her to sleep.  She just doesn't have time to read a book when she's gearing up to fight me over going to sleep.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Photographic History of Reagan

I tested positive on Saturday, April 24, 2010.  

First doctor's visit, Thursday, May 13, 2010:

First baby gift (a pair of LSU shoes from mom):

Trip to Destin in June (I was exceedingly queasy the whole week):

(Below: Reagan's Fan Club eating at The Back Porch in Destin)

Eating dinner with friends before going to see Eclipse (the first viewing!) on June 30, 2010 
(I'm wearing my 'Team Edward' shirt Jessica sent me!):

Monday, August 2, 2010 ultrasound when we
learned we were having a girl:

Around 5 months, picture for Jessica who requested to see my belly:

Some pics from the aforementioned trips to Dallas in the fall of 2010:

Friday, November 5, 2010 ultrasound:

Trey & I attended the LSU v. Alabama game in Tiger Stadium in November.  Thanks to some kind friends we were able to watch the game from a suite (I'd have never made it on the metal seats):

Oh, & in case you forgot, LSU won 24-21 :)  My blood pressure was perfect throughout pregnancy, otherwise I would have had to leave.  As Trey & I made our way back to the car after the game, I got several high fives from (drunk) Tiger fans impressed with my dedication as I waddled along holding my belly with my hands.

Waiting for Jessica & Heath to arrive for Thanksgiving 
(their first trip to LA since becoming engaged in October, hence the 'Congratulations'):

Last pregnant photo:

On Sunday, 12/12/10, mama & I went shopping after church & did quite a bit of walking since that's supposed to help bring on labor.  It worked!  I went to bed that night (but never really went to sleep) & when I got up to use the bathroom at 2:30 Monday morning, my water broke.  I was in no pain so I called my mom to tell her to come get Sophie & meet us at the hospital, got the bags, & arrived at St. Francis about 3AM.

I began having irregular contractions on my own & was given some pitocin about 8AM.  About 10:30 I requested my epidural.  At 11:30 a nurse checked me & I was disappointed when she said "I don't feel anything," which I assumed meant I hadn't dilated any further.  What she meant was that she felt no cervix and I was at 10 centimeters.  I felt nothing at all!  The epidural was wonderful.  The nurse asked if I felt like I needed to push & I said no, so she told me to wait a few minutes since Dr. Sheppard was on the way.  I guess I pushed for about 20 minutes or so before Dr. Sheppard arrived & I remember distinctly that Reagan's head was already out when the doctor got there.  The whole experience was pretty great, considering the horrific child birth stories you hear.  
Reagan was born at 12:27PM:

Some pics from the hospital stay:

Leaving to go home Wednesday, 12/15/10:

Dressed for her first visit to the doctor:

Reagan's first Christmas:

LSU in the Cotton Bowl 1/7/11:

1 month old 1/13/11:

A few of Reagan being her awesome self:

With her daddy:

Big girl sitting in her bumpo chair:

These next two were taken by Jennifer Lizenby at
Reagan's 3 month photo shoot: