21 in 30 days – Day 26 & Day 25

25 Apr Look what I did, Mommy!

Look what I did, Mommy!

Dear Sydney,

I’m trying to get out of your baby pictures and move on to your older years but YOU ARE JUST TOO CUTE!! It seems like only yesterday that you came into our life and as I go through soooo many pictures, it is easy to recall some of the moments that were captured on film.  I always had my camera at my fingertips because with you, just about every hour you did something that made me laugh.

Tonight I am remembering the singing and the songs that became a part of your repetitious repertoire.

Barney & Friends – I Love You


Barney & Friends – Do Your Ears Hang Low?


The very first Country song you started to sing and dance to…..

Reba McEntire – Why Haven’t I Heard From You.  

You weren’t too good on the lyrics but you had the chorus down :)


You absolute most favorite Country song.  Again, I had to sing back-up while you belted out the chorus.

At Mimi & Papa's in East Texas

Tim McGraw – Don’t Take the Girl


…and finally your favorite gospel song.  Unfortunately your Nana’s version is not on You-Tube but you learned it from her first CD.  Do you remember how you sang the chorus?  “Because He Lives. I can face tomorrow. Because He lives. All fear is G’Aunt ” … lol!

Bill Gaither’s Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow 


I hope this brings back some memories for you too.  Going to look for the video I had of you singing with the broomstick at the top of your lungs to CMT (Country Music TV).  Thanks for the countless hours watching and singing along to Barney & Friends!  I think in your own special way you were trying to be kind to me by watching 1 hour of Country for every 3 hours of Barney.  Thank you??!! :)

I love you Punk on day 26 and day 25… more than you’ll ever know.


21 in 30 days – Day 27

23 Apr scan0006

Friends are born, not made.
-Henry B. Adams

Sing along:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykKh7te9-yo&feature=related

Dear Sydney,

I know we’ve had many conversations about your finding BEST FRIENDS. It doesn’t seem to be as easy for your generation as it was for mine. I met my very best friends at Warwick Academy and they remain my best friends over 30 years later. I suppose I could say your G’aunt is considered a best friend because she was who I shared a crib and then a bed with for many, many years.  

I just want you to find those special few people that will always be there for you no matter what. I know I’ll be here for as long as the good Lord spares my life, but I’m your Mother first so that’s different.   Best friends know just about everything there is to know about you. They can read your mind and finish your sentences. You can talk to them every day, once a month or once a year but it’ll always seem like you just hung up the phone. They’ll travel miles to visit you and will take your phone call at any hour.

As I’m going through your pictures, it isn’t hard to think back with fond memories on who your very first friend was –  before you even knew what being a friend was.  Chelsea and you spent so much time together. On Silver Spruce Drive, at Angel Haven, with Victoria and you even got your ears pierced together. I couldn’t let this countdown go by without including Chelsea (& Nicole) and Mrs. Lisa who were all such a big part of your beginning and my life as a Mother.

We left Silver Spruce Drive and Texas but some memories won’t ever leave me. There were lots of good people and children on the street of that wonderful neighbourhood which we helped to build. I haven’t kept in touch with anyone but I think of each and every one of them and wonder how they are doing and wonder what you all are like as young adult.  We gave you all such a great beginning…

Even though you probably don’t remember any of this or these wonderful people, know it is and they are a part of who you are.

Happy 27 days before 21, Punk.

I love you.



21 in 30 days – Day 30

20 Apr

In my daughter’s eyes,
I am a hero,
I am strong and wise,
And I know no fear,
But the truth is plain to see,
She was sent to rescue me, I see who I want to be,
In my daughter’s eyes


– Martina McBride

Dear Sydney,

You think it all began 21 years ago don’t you?  Well it actually really began 30 years ago when I met your Father the summer of 1982.

I had just graduated from College and was preparing to start my first official job as a grown up.  It was June 1982 and within hours of stepping foot in Springfield, Massachusetts I met him.  We would date for two years and then we got married on September 1, 1984.  You were talked about from the very beginning.  We knew that we didn’t want to meet you for at least 5 years after we got married and despite the nagging by both sides of grandparents and siblings, we stuck to that 5 year mark.  I remember when it rolled around and we looked at each other and decided naaaahhhhhh – we didn’t want to meet you just yet.  We signed on for another two childfree years.

For our 6th anniversary we drove to Austin, Texas and after a wonderful dinner at Olive Garden, you were conceived.  I knew the very minute that you were created and I must have smiled like a Cheshire cat that whole weekend because I knew that in 9 months I’d be meeting my finest creation.  Of course, your Dad had no clue.  Typical male.  If you were a boy, you were going to be named Austin.  If you were a girl….. well I hadn’t thought that far.  You were going to be a Texan, love Country music and cheer loudly for the Dallas Cowboys.  We’d get around to a name for a girl-child later :)

So, I just wanted you to let you know of your humble beginnings.  In 30 days, you’ll be 21 years young and I really don’t know where the time has gone.  I have so many wonderful memories of your first 21 years and even though I desperately wished I could find a way to keep you a little girl dependent upon me, you long ago spread your wings.   I can’t imagine life without you and, as we take this 30 day stroll towards your 21 year milestone, I hope you’ll share some of your thoughts about your journey also.

You are my daughter, my friend, my life.   Happy 30 days before 21.

I love you, Punk.

21 in 30 days – Day 28

22 Apr scan0001

Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later. 
-Mary Bly

Dear Sydney,

Today, I wanted to remind you of the four legged friends in your early life.

Washington belonged to your Godpa Tom. He was the first big dog you were introduced to and you made me so proud because, like me, Washington could have been a chihuahua; you showed no fear.  I don’t think Washington knew that he was a big dog because he’d plop on anyone as if he were a featherweight.  Always felt safe visiting because we knew that no one was going to come through that door unless they received approval from Washington.  It also helped that Tom wasn’t wrapped too tight either :-)

McKenzie was our black cat. A contrary little lady who looked upon you as a mere inconvenience and a hurdle to getting attention when she wanted it. McKenzie tolerated you. She gave you no more special attention than she gave others in the household. She would let you play with her whiskers, pull her tail, try to ride her like a horse, treat her like a fluffy pillow only for as long as she found it convenient to do so. I don’t think McKenzie would have mauled an intruder to save your life because she just wasn’t that type of cat. She respected everyone that lived in the house but expected each of us to know that she really wasn’t into lots of picking up, hugging and petting. It was all about her — until you came along :)  As long as her food was put out at the appointed time and she was allowed to roam the neighbourhood at night and someone was there to let her back in the house with no questions asked, she’d play along.   We brought McKenzie home about two years before you arrived and we had to say good-bye to her shortly before your third birthday after it appears that she lost a battle with a closing garage door. Do you remember where we buried her?

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. – Alica Walker

Murdoch was our “first born” and a beautiful, patient, mild mannered cocker spaniel. He was chosen during a time when we were thinking it was time to start a family but maybe we could buy some time by getting a dog. After all, that would prepare us for the responsibility in raising a child right? We were delusional! After being an only child for 3 years, we worried about how we would break the news to Murdoch that he was no longer going to be the baby in the house. Murdock followed me around practically the entire 9 months. It was if he felt his protection detail started at conception. Murdoch was never far from your side before and after you were born. Unlike McKenzie, he would let you do whatever you wanted with him whether he was awake or asleep. He would sleep within feet of wherever you were.  I didn’t have to sit and watch too many episodes of Barney with you because Murdoch was always there the minute we turned the tape on and you didn’t seem to mind his company over mine.

A funny story —- I remember waking up and feeling like I was being watched. I slowly opened my eyes and looked around and there at the foot of the bed were Murdoch and McKenzie. They were staring at me like they knew something that I didn’t. I almost lost it when they both licked their lips!! Needlesstosay, that day I was admitted to the hospital early because my blood pressure was sky high and a few days later you were born — 2 weeks early!

Unlike McKenzie, Murdoch would have attacked if he felt that you were in harms way. It was tough for all of us to say good-bye to Murdoch but he played a big role in your first three years and was my faithful friend and companion for several years before you arrived.   Although we tried to replace him, it never worked out. We did settle for Peaches – your hamster who would travel to Bermuda with us when we moved back in 1994. I’m sure you remember the few that came after Peaches — one in particular, we’ll happily forget!!

It’s funny the little things you remember when you are reflecting back on life and time.  I don’t expect you to remember much about any of them but I thought it was important enough to mentioned them because they loved you too.

Happy 28 days before 21. I love you.


21 in 30 days – Day 29

21 Apr scan0020

Well there is nothing you could ever do,
To make me stop, loving you
And every breath I take, 
Is always for your sake
You sleep inside my dreams and know for sure
Who could ever love you more?


– Celine Dion (Miracle)

Dear Sydney,

I took too many pictures. I snapped every opportunity that I could but though there are  few pictures of me holding you, know that I held you every moment that I could especially when you were sleeping.   I’d lay you on my chest and you’d fall asleep to the rhythm of my heart and I’d fall asleep to your breathing.    I couldn’t wait to put you in one of those Snuggi-thingys.  I used to carry you around in that for hours at a time.  Housework would get done while you “rested comfortably”…  You still do that today!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified of becoming a Mother.  Your Dad and I had been able to come and go as we pleased for 7 years and all of a sudden we had to worry about preparing a third person to hang with us.  You were such a good baby though.  You would go with us to our weekly Sunday night movie at the theatre on Bowen Road and you’d sleep through the entire movie.  We laughed at the time we took you to Terminator 2: Judgement Day.  You were only 2 months old and we felt certain you would wake up because of all the noise but you were as snug as a bug in a rug in your baby carrier.  You slept through so many movies during your first 6 months and then we had to find sitters because you felt you should be allowed to sit up watch movies and talk to the screen or the people seated next to our behind us!

I don’t know whether you know that I got really sick the night HCA Arlington treated your Dad and I to their then trademark steak and lobster dinner in celebration of your birth and our impending departure from the hospital the next morning.  I am forever grateful to the Nurse that came on duty in the wee hours of the morning and realized that I really couldn’t breathe and the team of Dr’s who worked to save my life.  A 3 day stay turned into an additional 3 days in ICU and your Nana would tell you, I looked the Dr. in the eye and said “My baby IS NOT leaving this hospital without me!”  When I was conscious, I only thought of getting better.  I could not die when I had just been given the most beautiful gift.  Your Nana arrived in Texas the day after you were born and I could not have gotten through those days after leaving ICU – and then when we got home – without her help.  If my life is spared, I’ll be right there by your side when your first child is born.  PS: Did your Nana tell you how she almost killed us both by driving down a one way street on our way home from the hospital??  We still laugh about that!

Without immediate family in Texas, we had some good friends that were so excited to be a part of your life too.  I hope one day you will reach out to your Godparents and let them see what a beautiful young lady you have become.  Your Godpa Eric and your Dad went to Grambling State University together and then worked for Allstate.  Your Godma Sundee worked with me at EDS.  I remember she used to always ask me how I made it look so easy doing stuff for a baby and how she cried when found out she was having twins and couldn’t imagine dealing with two!   Your Godpa Paul managed a Pizza Hut just like your Dad.  We met Victoria at your first daycare – Angel Haven.  She fell in love with you and would ask to keep you all the time.  That’s how your honorary Godpa Tom came into your life.  They spent so much time with you and love you dearly.  It is so important to surround yourself with good,  positive people.  My wish for you is that you make good friends like your Dad and I were able to do and that they’ll be there for you and your child/ren.

There are several other people that must be mentioned here — we had the best neighbours on Silver Spruce Drive and many of their children will have just hit or will be celebrating their 21st birthday too.  And then there’s your Aunt Sheila and Uncle Gregg.   Aunt Sheila and I worked together at EDS also and carpooled the 50+ miles one way for a time.  Uncle Gregg filmed your birth. I’ll have to watch the video to commemorate the occasion.  I just remember your Godma Sundee and Aunt Sheila looking like they were going to pass out when the Dr. pulled you out of me!  You were raised in a wonderful neighbourhood surrounded by so much love.  I know you don’t remember much about it, but trust me when I tell you, you couldn’t have asked for better neighbours and friends.

You had a good start Punk and that is so important.  You can look at your pictures and tell that you were such a happy and loved baby – and you weren’t nearly the trouble I thought you would be.  So glad that you came along when you did :)

I love you.  Happy 29 days before 21.






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