Monday, May 12, 2008

We are family...

Monday May 12, 2008

We are family...

...I got all my sisters with me!

Okay, so Jay doesn't have any sisters, and neither do Derek or I. But we've got all the brothers, cousins, uncles, grandparents and great aunts that a kid could want. And this weekend, Jay got a chance to hang out with almost all of them.

This was Jay's first chance to interact with the entire Perry clan. Growing up, most of my holidays were spent at Appie & Papa's house with my mom's extended family. She's one of 5 children, and when the whole clan gets together, it's quite a party. I've seriously never interacted with so many people who each think that they are the funniest person in the room. (Truth is, if they weren't all in the same room, they each would be the funniest!) Her siblings are hilarious, and they love to tell stories. The louder the telling and the funnier the story, the better. (I think they nearly scared Derek off the first few times he met them, but my smashing good looks kept him around in spite of my family.)

On Friday afternoon, we headed to Asheville to celebrate Aunt Kylie's graduation and reunite with most of the Perry clan. (Jen's first cousins, while technically "first cousins once removed" are going by the "Aunt/Uncle" titles.) We caravaned with my parents & brother and made it after only 2 baby-feeding, gas-getting, bathroom breaks. He really is a great little traveller - as long as mom kept singing "She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes" to him, he was perfectly content. We only had to make up a few verses to the song. The trip was uneventful, and as soon as we got there Jay got loved on by all of his cousin-aunties, especially Aunt Kelsey. She was great with him and has already mastered "The Bounce." As long as he's bouncin', whether in the stroller on a bumpy road or in your arms as you dance around, he's usually pretty content. And in her arms, he was pretty happy.

He had a great weekend. He didn't seem a bit bothered by all the passing around or the noise of the crowd. Great Aunt Beth (aka GABby) spent most of the day Saturday snuggling with him, and that gave me and Derek the freedom to do a little exploring in downtown Asheville. Yahoo! Luckily, I believe that we rescued him before she had a chance to teach him the UNC fight song... that was a risk leaving her with him unsupervised, but he was still wearing Wolfpack red when she returned him to us, so I think we're safe.

Then, on the way home, we took a brief stop in Mocksville to give Jay a little time with his Granna and his Great Aunt Bonnie (guess she's a GABby also?!) and his Mammaw, his only great grandparent. Family time all over the state! He showed off his biggest smiles for Mammaw, and I think it was about as good a Mother's Day gift as she could get. Then he pooped in her lap, and while not the best Mother's Day gift, it was entertaining.

I only wish that Jay's other great grandparents could have had the chance to meet him. Derek and I were both unusually close to our grandparents, and we lost 4 grandparents in 6 months last year - both of my mom's parents and both of his grandfathers. It was a really tough time, but we know that they are all looknig down our little cutie and cheering us on from above. We miss you guys!


Okay, so when does the book come out? You have a flare for writing. You need to gather all the family memories and start writing. I see another Walton story happening here.
LY- keep entertaining me.
Aunt Ali

Posted by Great Aunt Ali on May 27, 2008 at 10:03 AM EDT #

Updates! We need updates! :-) I was spoiled with the frequent updates before you went back to work. Oh, and do you have any web-accessible photo albums that I could look at? You gotta help those of us who can't see you in person. ;-) I hope you're having a nice beginning-of-summer with Jay.

Posted by Brandi on May 30, 2008 at 09:56 AM EDT #

Ok where is the info, pictures and all the goings on of little Jay.

Posted by robin on June 10, 2008 at 06:05 PM EDT #

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Workin' 9 to 5...

Wednesday May 07, 2008

Workin' 9 to 5...

...What a way to make a living!

So, the maternity leave days are over, or at least nearly over. I started back to work on Tuesday. For the month of May, I'm working Tuesdays, Thursdays and half days on Fridays to get back into the swing of things more gradually. We've got quite a collection of Jay-sitters while I'm out - grandmas, aunts, and even Derek are all getting in on the temporary daycare. So it's certainly a little easier leaving him with people who love him as much as I do (or maybe even more in the case of the grandmas!).

And returning to work really wasn't as hard as I expected. Other than forgetting all my passwords to access all my systems, it was pretty much as I had remembered it. Phones ringing, emails landing in my inbox, and students waiting outside my door - typical day in the Financial Aid world! Honestly, in some ways, a day in the office is much easier than a day home with Jay. I know what to expect and when to expect it. Very rarely do I see anyone crying in my office. I spend a lot more time sitting at my desk and a lot less hauling dirty burp cloths back to the washer. But the end of my maternity leave makes me think back on what I expected compared to what it was really like. Here's a rundown:

What I expected - taking long walks in the sunshine around the neighborhood with Jay in the stroller
What I got - taking long walks in the middle of the night up and down our hallway with Jay crying incessantly

What I expected - Meeting friends for lunch at North Hills with Jay in his carrier
What I got - Grabbing a bowl of cereal during Jay's 15 minutes of napping and calling it both breakfast and lunch

What I expected - Doing work on the Financial Aid FAQ system while Jay napped quietly in his crib (actually got a laptop from work for this purpose!)
What I got - Doing work on the gigantic pile of laundry, aka Mount Burp Cloth, desperately hoping that Jay would nap for more than 15 minutes this time

What I expected - Nursing when he was hungry, anywhere and anytime (I'm a liberated woman - of course I can discreetely nurse in public!)
What I got - Lots of time nursing my good friend Medela the breastpump

What I expected - that I'd have the cutest baby ever
What I got - the cutest baby ever. So cute, in fact, that I spent quite a few hours just watching that angelic face sleep in my arms.

Yes, maternity leave was both a hundred times more work than I expected, and a hundred times more rewarding than I could have ever predicted.
So quiet down, cobwebs
Dust, go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep.


Well spoken dear one! My little one is graduating from elementary school and each day I see him in the hall I give him a big hug and go back to my classroom a little weepy :'(
On a happier note We can't wait to meet little Jay! The girls are so excited to get to hold him!
We will see you this weekend!

Posted by robin perry on May 07, 2008 at 11:08 PM EDT #

Happy "official" first Mother's Day! I am so thankful that Jay is here, healthy and things are settling down for you.
Your mother might have told you that I know the owner of Counrty Sonshine...I have not run across her at church lately, but I plan to tell her to roll out the red carpet when Jay does start going there!
I have so enjoyed your blog and have replied a few times, but I don't think they went through...maybe this one will. Your music intro to the blog is most enjoyable and the closing words from the children's book in this blog makes me teary as I read those same words to my own three babies many times.

Posted by Lynette Rhodes on May 09, 2008 at 11:56 AM EDT #

I DO know how to spell "Country"!!!! :)

Posted by Lynette Rhodes on May 09, 2008 at 11:58 AM EDT #

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Who are you? Who, who, who, who?

Sunday May 04, 2008

Who are you? Who, who, who, who?

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

First, an update on the scheduling from the last blog posting. Just file this under the heading of ?Reason #274 you should listen to your mother:? Jay is SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!! Yes, you read that correctly. At 8 weeks, he is pretty consistently sleeping 7 hours in a row. We so happy we do Dance of Joy! (Remember the old show ?Perfect Strangers?? As if y?all needed more proof that I?m still stuck in the 80?s, here I go pulling out another old TV reference... And my sincere apologies to anyone who still has the RR theme song stuck in your head.)

So the books my mom got us were right. And my mom was right that we needed to read the books. Just like she was right that he would love hanging out in his swing. And exactly like she was right on target with a million other suggestions, both big and small. How am I supposed to raise a child who listens to his mother if I don?t listen to mine?! So, Mom, any more ideas? This time, I promise I?ll listen!

But the song reference for this entry is about all of you out there in cyberland reading this blog. I have been absolutely floored by the number of people who read these ramblings on a regular basis? Members of our church family, my parents? friends and colleagues, my co-workers and Derek?s ? lots of people I don?t even know! I met a woman at church who introduced herself and said, ?I feel silly introducing myself ? I feel like I already know you because I read your blog!?

It?s funny, because I have no idea who reads these pages. A few friends and family members post comments fairly regularly, so I know those folks are reading it. But apparently there?s a whole host of other people who check in now & again to see what?s new in our world. When I log out, I can see how many people have viewed the page that day, and how that stacks up against other blogs hosted by NC State. When Jay was in the hospital, we were consistently the most viewed page. Literally hundreds of you were checking in EVERY DAY. It?s been an interesting way to relate to people ? reconnecting with old college friends, and meeting new people solely because of the blog. When I write, I feel almost anonymous because I truly don?t know who stops by to read. It?s almost like writing a diary, but it?s incredibly public. It?s fascinating that the internet has opened up so many new ways to communicate with one another.

But I?m truly glad you?re out there reading and that you have an interest in our lives. There were so many people who prayed for us during Jay?s hospitalization and surgery, and those prayers strengthened all three of us. It?s amazing to think that the little baby attached to all those tubes and wires is now a strong little guy who?s happy, smiling ? and healthy.


As all mothers will tell you, most of us do know a lot. we did not listen to our mothers either until we were hearing our voices echo the words of wisdom shared by our own mothers while we were young--- the beauty of each generation is we begin to listen to these pearls at an earlier age. you are blessed with a specail mom who had the best mom on the planet. I keep up with the news through Helen and the blog and wanted you to know. love to all of you Charlotte

Posted by charlotte heath on May 06, 2008 at 09:12 AM EDT #

That's awesome that Jay is sleeping through the night! I think we were getting P to sleep for 4 hours in a row by 2 months. I too wish I had read the books earlier!!!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on May 07, 2008 at 09:12 PM EDT #