Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Soft Place to Land

I had three chairs in my house: one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.

Reagan has begun to notice the array of seating options available to her, all of them specially designed for someone her size.  This past week, she's been through them all, & is starting to warm up to them more & more (meaning, on occasion, she sits for more than two seconds without being forced to do so by straps & buckles).  

This was my mom's rocker when she was young.  Reagan LOVES, loves to rock, & manages to do so even in chairs not designed for it (in chairs, highchairs, car seats, couches, & church pews not designed for it).

Self-feeding attempt in her highchair:

Her 'Reagan' chair:

Sophie is always on clean-up duty when Reagan's snacking:

We even made good use of her stroller this week.  Before we moved, we lived on a busy street & it wasn't possible to safely take Reagan out for a stroll.  We live in the country now.  Well, in the country, on a golf course.  We see deer all the time & pass cows on the way to the interstate, so in my opinion, it's the country.  On Tuesday (every Tuesday), the golf course is closed for routine maintenance, which means it's open to those who want to walk the cart paths.  This past Tuesday, Reagan & I took an afternoon stroll (I pushed, she strolled) & enjoyed the course while it was free of golfers, carts, & potentially dangerous flying golf balls.

In a highchair at the Hilton Thursday night . . . we've frequented the Hilton for dinner on Thursday evenings lately to listen to the singer/guitar player who provides live music while you dine.  He is pretty good, & the food has been excellent every time.

This is a stool my sister got Reagan for her birthday.  She doesn't sit on it much, but she loves to push/drag it all over the house:

Finally, her original hotspots:


Friday, February 17, 2012

A Tree Grows in Reagan's Room

The walls in Reagan's room have been blank since we moved into our house a month & a half ago.  Like children, blank walls are both intimidating & exciting, & for the same reasons: a fresh start is invigorating, but it also comes with the responsibility of making the right choices.  

I have a few shelves and some pictures of Reagan I want to hang in her room, but I can't decide exactly where, & each time I've come close to putting hammer to nail, I've chickened out.  Figuring out how to arrange her wall decor is problematic since anything hung over her crib would become a projectile sooner or later.

Last week, I found a suitable option for her crib wall at Target.  These decals have become popular for use in children's rooms, and for good reason.  They are inexpensive & can be removed & reapplied with no damage to the wall - decor for dummies, if you will.  As an added bonus for those who are craft-challenged, like me, it's almost impossible to mess these up.  I work with words, not tangibles.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Getaway

A few weeks ago, my sister informed my parents & I of an opportunity to see the musical Spamalot at a Dallas theater.  While it's no Wicked or Aida, we decided to make the journey, so we spent this past weekend enjoying all that Dallas has to offer.

Reagan helped me pack by closing & sitting on my suitcase every time I opened it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Learn To Be Still

I crave stillness.  Some days, I crave it so much I'm willing to get up early to experience a few motionless minutes alone.  All of my indulgences require a lack of motion: reading, writing, coffee drinking, & surfing the web.  Even chocolate tastes better when you can sit & eat it rather than shoving it in your mouth on the fly.

I never realized how much I enjoy being still until my Reagan learned to walk, & now that she is merrily mobile, she is in constant motion all day long, aside from when she is asleep.  I never nap when she does anymore, but her naps are as refreshing for me as they are for her, & usually both of our moods depend on how long she naps.

Last week was full of a few poignant moments that gave me pause.  Returning from church Sunday before last, Trey was forced to stop the truck while a herd of dairy cows - yes, cows - were herded across the road.  Naturally, I took a few pics (while I thought about the fact that my husband drives a large truck which we were forced to bring to a halt for cows):

As I was moving about the house on Monday, keeping up with Reagan & trying do other productive things, I kept hearing a thud.  Once Reagan was asleep, I investigated further & discovered a small bird was repeatedly flying into my bedroom window.  I have a chair on my side of the bed, my 'still' chair if you will, so I sat for awhile & watched the bird hurl itself against the window again & again.  It would peck lightly with its beak for a few minutes, & then fly back a few feet & try to burrow, headfirst, through the glass.  I watched the bird, sipped my coffee, & confronted the reality that, at 31, I am becoming my grandparents.  I was so curious that when I went to get the mail, I walked around the side of the house to see if there was a nest or anything else that could explain the bird's attachment to my bedroom window.  I could see myself in the window, so I suppose the bird was trying to get closer to the attractive bird in the window.  

My new friend:

On Tuesday, Trey, Reagan, & I attended a birthday party for Trey's Great Aunt Helen.  She was celebrating her 95th birthday.  Ninety-Five.  95.

This is Trey & I with Aunt Helen:

I had no idea she was 92 when she attended our wedding.  

Reagan, 1, kicked the party off by removing her bow . . .

Waiting for the birthday 'girl' with her Grandmama:

The guest of honor:

With Trey:

These four are siblings.  To the far right is Trey's grandfather, Donald Zeigler (the original), to his right is his sister Janet, then Helen (the oldest of the siblings), & then Jack.  

Reagan got her hands on two sets of keys early in the evening & spent the entire party walking around with both hands in the air clutching a set of keys in each.  Watching her makes me tired, so I am guessing these four rested well Tuesday night.  

Sometimes, she is still:

I think about the verse "Be still and know that I am God" a lot these days.  I believe it is in Psalms.  Watching Reagan, I think I better understand how we must tire the Lord, & yet He remains patient with us.  While our physical activity slows as we age, mentally, most of us are in a constant state of chaos.  I hear myself say "Be still" so often now (when she's eating, when I'm dressing her, when I'm changing her diaper, when I'm trying to buckle her in her car seat), that I think about the fatigue & frustration God must experience when we refuse to slow down and give Him a moment in the day - to pray, to say thank you, to simply acknowledge that He is God, that He is everything.  

Trey & I both love the Eagles (as in Don Henley, not Philadelphia).  One of the first things Trey bought me was the Eagles Greatest Hits Volume II (on CD . . . we're not that old).  When Trey was in law school, we saw the Eagles in concert in Biloxi & were probably the youngest people there, & by several years.  It was amazing.  They had no opening act, so we walked in shortly before 8pm & there, right in front of us, was Don Henley singing "The Long Run."  

The Eagles sing a song titled "Learn to be Still," & these are the lyrics:

It's just another day in paradise
As you stumble to your bed
You'd give anything to silence
Those voices ringing in your head
You thought you could find happiness
Just over that green hill
You thought you would be satisfied
But you never will
Learn to be still

We are like sheep without a shepherd
We don't know how to be alone
So we wander 'round this desert
And wind up following the wrong gods home
But the flock cries out for another
And they keep answering that bell
And one more starry-eyed messiah
Meets a violent farewell
Learn to be still
Learn to be still

Now the flowers in your garden
They don't smell so sweet
Maybe you've forgotten
The heaven lying at your feet

There are so many contradictions
In all these messages we send
(We keep asking)
How do I get out of here
Where do I fit in?
Though the world is torn and shaken
Even if your heart is breakin'
It's waiting for you to awaken
And someday you will
Learn to be still
Learn to be still

You just keep on runnin'
Keep on runnin'

I love this song.  One of the reasons adults busy themselves constantly, in my opinion, is to avoid dealing with the realities that creep in when we stop & take time to think.  Turn off the TV, shut down the computer, the iPod, & listen.  The Eagles are a secular group, & I have no idea if any of them profess to be Christians, but this song references the common metaphor of sheep without a shepherd.  "We don't know how to be alone," the lyricist asserts, which leads to "following the wrong gods home."  Many in our culture are so dissatisfied with themselves & desperate for hope that they latch onto anything & anyone as their "new messiah."  We're currently witnessing the fall of one such starry-eyed messiah who rose to power with no credentials or experience, a teleprompter, & a few worthless, empty slogans, & even emptier promises.  

My advice for Reagan is to learn to be still when you're young.  Learn to be alone, & to love it.  Take time to do a few things you really want to do before you marry and have kids.  Most importantly, acknowledge your Creator, your Shepherd, & always make time in your busy schedule to worship Him.  Don't look to the world for a messiah, because you will be disappointed every time.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.  There is no such thing.

-C.S. Lewis