Friday, August 26, 2011


This week I returned to adjunct teaching at Delta Community College after having the past three months to do what I pleased, or, what Reagan pleased.  Last fall, at five months pregnant, I began teaching Public Speaking and Developmental English for Delta.  I enjoy the teaching, but at times it takes some acting skills on my part to leave home, leave Reagan (sometimes wiping spit-up off my clothes and checking that there is no poop anywhere on me as I enter the classroom), & stand in front of 25 students & explain when to use your & you're or to & too, or convince them that it is in their best interest to eliminate contractions from their formal writing.  The 'leaving Reagan' part is made possible by my wonderful mother & mother-in-law, who keep Reagan while I teach, enabling me to keep a foot in the classroom while Reagan is young.  Reagan and I are blessed to have them waiting in the wings whenever we are separated, and I have no idea how people who live away from their family function when they have small children.  No idea.

I have also recently begun writing blogs professionally (laughing as I type that . . .).  I am getting paid, so I suppose it's alright that I use the word "professionally."  Heath, my future brother-in-law, works for a company named Social Compass in Dallas and kindly recommended me as a potential blogger.  My cursory understanding of their business is that they utilize Facebook and Twitter and other social media to drive online traffic for their clients.  One way they accomplish this is by keeping fresh content about their clients' product available for Google to pull (b/c Google likes fresh content).  I am writing blogs about furniture / home accessories / decorating for one of their clients.  I knew one day my HGTV obsession would pay off, & in this instance I use the phrase pay off quite literally.  So, I am suddenly a bit busier, but finding, as I did when I began this blog, that the more I write, the more I want to write (now to recreate that feeling in my English students).

I have been thinking about the many roles I play (because I was an English major & reflective thinking comes with the territory), especially in comparison to Reagan's singular role of being adorable, a role she is unaware she's playing, & yet, she plays it so well.  I use this example with my English students.  There are eight parts of speech, but they can function in different ways in sentences.  The parts of speech can wear different hats, if you will.  Sometimes I even say What hat is the noun wearing in this sentence?  Its subject hat, its object hat . . .   A noun is always a noun, but it plays a role in a sentence.  I am sure my students think I am a little nuts, but I don't care.  I once had a professor make the statement that classrooms are not democracies, and I concur.  If they want to see English 101, they will humor me & my hat analogy.

Visiting during the holidays last year, Trey's uncle remarked that Trey & I would now be known as "Reagan's mom" & "Reagan's dad."  It's definitely a hat that comes with immense responsibility, but infinite rewards as well, & it has redefined every other role I play.  The "Mom" hat causes a seismic shift in your definition of everything, even little things like "I'll be there soon," or "a quick trip to the grocery store," or "is that clean," or "I am tired."  I am ashamed that I was ever late for anything before I had a baby; whatever my excuse was, it wasn't good enough.

As you age, your hat collection expands for a few decades, and at times there may be so many on the rack it makes you dizzy.  If you are blessed with a long life, you slowly start to hang up many of your hats, and might find yourself wishing you had a reason to wear the ones you once looked forward to shedding.  

Shakespeare, via Jaques, was probably right:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts. .  .

I have many parts to play right now, but I am blessed and happy and figuring out how to balance it all, with my Mom hat always perched high atop my head.  As she grows, I pray Reagan wears her hats with grace, and I pray my pride for her always eclipses the inevitable sadness that accompanies change and growth.

Of course, I must end with a montage of Reagan in her many hats:


Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday Sighting

Yesterday was kind of a big deal.

It started out pretty ho-hum.  At lunch, Reagan was chilly so my mom constructed a cape / shawl for her out of 2 napkins that surprisingly remained in tact until we were ready to leave.  That's pretty much it for lunchtime excitement.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The View From Here

Last Wednesday morning, Reagan & her parents departed on their first family vacation, headed for Point Clear, Alabama.  Have you ever heard of LAMMICO?  Basically they insure Louisiana doctors, and when said doctors are sued, their insurance company hires an attorney to handle the suit.  Mine & Reagan's dads are two such attorneys, so Reagan is learning what Jessica & I did early in life: if dad has to travel for work, we'll tag along & find an outlet mall.  So, we did.

After dropping the pups off at the vet & securing mommy a cup of Chick-fil-A coffee, we were ready to head out.  Still bound by her rear-facing car seat, Reagan watched as Louisiana disappeared and she headed east for the first time . . .

. . . while dad put on his "serious road trip in my new truck" driving face:

As has been our tradition for the many years we've driven to Destin, FL, we stopped in Hattiesburg, MS to eat lunch at Chesterfield's . . . but it was GONE.  Literally gone, a drugstore (think it was a CVS) in its place. 

Where is Chesterfield's?

Baffled but undeterred, we ate lunch at a burger place, and though I can't recall the name, it was not your average burger place.  They offer whole wheat buns, a delicious grilled chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries, and an assorted selection of dessert items.  Reagan was pleased.

Checking out the view from the front seat after lunch:

Happy to be facing forward:

Ok, I'm over it, put the phone down & let's get down the road dad . . . 

Obligatory tunnel pic (this one is different though because my freshly painted toes are in it):

We made it!

Traveling in Alabama was interesting.  They've got everything you need right there on the highway.

Books . . . 

& coffee! 

We went straight to the Tanger Outlet in Foley Wednesday afternoon.  You can't adequately cover a decent sized outlet mall in one day, especially with an infant, so we got a few good hours in before heading to the hotel Wednesday night where my dad & Trey were due to mingle with other Louisianians gathered for LAMMICO's yearly pow wow.  

Foley Sightings:

A few familiar characters:

Other familiar characters entertaining Reagan while the women darted to and from shops:

Before I continue, I must include the triumphant tale of my new purse.  When my mom & I walked into the Coach outlet Wednesday afternoon, we were each handed a coupon for 30% off our entire purchase, which my experience has taught me is pretty much par for the course at Coach outlets.  While browsing the store, a 50% off table caught my eye, and my breathing quickened even more when I saw, perched in the middle of the table, a purse I loved.  I handed it to Trey & told him to hold it until I decided what to do (I didn't want someone else to snag it while I did a little investigating).  I marched over to the counter &, assuming the answer would be 'No' but hoping for the best, I asked the sales clerk if the 30% off coupon could be applied to items that were already marked down . . . and she said yes!  Needless to say, I bought the purse & I love it, & now Trey has a lot of fun mimicking my reaction to the sales clerk, so we both left happy.     

Tired from Foley: Round I, the ladies hung out at the hotel Wednesday evening while the men did their fancy business stuff:

Wednesday night, Reagan got to sleep in the middle of her parents, and she slept pretty well.  She slept right through room service bringing mommy's breakfast Thursday morning.

YES!  (Notice the entire pot of coffee):

Tiny jelly!

A little morning reading in the big bed:

"Mom quit taking my picture; I just got up."

A room with a view:

Waiting while mommy finishes dressing for Foley: Round II:

Resting up for the marathon:

Ready to go!

Big bed time again:

A bath for the road:

Homeward bound:


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Morning

Last week I took Reagan to Tuesday Morning for the first time.

I rarely make it in there on a Tuesday morning (when they receive new shipments), but it's a goal of mine.  There's not as many flashy things to look at as there are in Target, but she enjoyed herself and even charmed a few employees.

When she grew restless, I gave her the dental floss I keep in my purse (yeah, I'm cool like that), & she happily played with it/gnawed on it while I finished shopping.  We had a little lesson about irony as she chewed on the plastic box of floss in her continued and valiant journey to cut some teeth.

I bought her these shoes . . .

. . . for $2.99.  I'm trying to school her in the art of bargain shopping & thought this would be a nice precursor to what lies ahead: her first trip to an outlet mall.  When she's a bit older, I hope to take her shopping with the bargain hunting queen, her Aunt Kathy.  At present, Reagan is too young to understand or appreciate the strategizing, the flurry of activity, the elation when the amount saved is calculated, & the legendary stories that accompany her aunt's purchases. 


Saturday, August 13, 2011

8 Months

Today Reagan is 8 months old.

It's been a pretty ho-hum Saturday compared to last Saturday's mall trip & birthday celebration.  

Had a little breakfast:

Did our morning mobility routine:

Hung out in our bed a little:

Flashed our new face:

Contemplated Texas A&M joining the SEC:

And gnawed on a pear that was grown on Reagan's Great Uncle Thomas' pear tree:

As I post this, it's about 7:30 & I'm in my nightgown, face washed for bed.  Reagan & Sophie are both snoozing, & Trey is watching the DVDs of Dallas he recently ordered (I overheard him exclaim "Uh-oh.  J.R. kissed Pam!").  Between Reagan hitting the 8 month mark, the rain & cooler temps, & reliving Southfork's glory days, we've had all the excitement we can handle in one day.  Maybe next Saturday we'll delve into one of life's important questions with Reagan: Who shot J.R.?