Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Email to an Old Friend

I sent the following email in January of 2012, about 18 months ago.  I have wanted to updated this blog for so long but haven't been very inspired lately.  When I read this email, I realized that I didn't even remember life being this way.  Though Tera and Canon still get along today, we are in a much  more frustrating stage of life now than in the times of this email.  It was comforting to read about an easier time but scary to realize that if I don't start writing these things down again, I'll surely forget them forever.

I am a terrible person!  I read your email weeks - maybe months - ago, but because I didn't respond immediately I completely forgot. Thank you so much for checking in on our family. It has definitely been a busy few months. Tera is doing so well. We have "enrolled" her in Occupational Therapy just to keep her caught up on all of her physical requirements. She is trying really hard to crawl right now, and while I am so proud of her, part of me can't help but be a little sad that she is getting so big. We go to the doctor on a regular basis for check-ups, shots, and sometimes just to make me feel better.  Except for a minor case of RSV in November, she has done nothing but continue to shock us with her unending strength and lovable personality ... just like her namesake. Her favorite person in the whole world is her brother, Canon!  He need only walk in the room and she lights up. He can make her laugh harder than anyone else, and he is so sweet to her. She has become his own personal "My Buddy" doll, I think. He hugs her, kisses her, talks to her, and would probably carry her away if we let him. Watching the two of them together is the most precious part of being a parent. I didn't know children loved each other at such a young age, but apparently they do!
I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. You can imagine how exciting ours was with an almost-3-year-old and an infant that adores him. I hope that Alyssa was able to stay at home longer than I ever did on my college breaks - my poor parents!  I know you miss having her around. The years to come may prove to be the best though. I was always a homebody, but I think I felt closest to my parents when I was away and depended on them more than I thought I would.
Thank you again for checking in on us.
Deborah Moss

So, here goes!!!  My second attempt at telling Moss Family Stories.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bumpin' Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon

I know you think you know how much Canon and Tera love each other, but it really is impossible to explain. All he has to do is look at her, and Tera smiles and/or giggles with glee. Canon doesn't want to take a bath unless Tera gets to take one with him. And now, most recently, they enjoyed their first wagon ride together.

Of course, Canon is still two years old, and sitting still for any length of time is completely impossible. So, he left Tera alone for just a few minutes to enjoy some swinging.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Daddy's Trick

Right on schedule, Tera has mastered the balancing act with her daddy.

You may remember Canon practicing this very same trick a little more than two years ago. When I looked back through his pictures to find out when they first starting doing this, it was in October 2009. Canon was 7 months old, which is almost Tera's current developmental age as well. I can hear her singing now "Anything you can do, I can do better . . . "

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

I don't really know how to put this Halloween into words. The pictures are way cuter than anything I could ever say . . .

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Buddy / Kid Sister

I know you remember the jingle from two or so decades ago . . .

"My Buddy (My Buddy)
My Buddy (My Buddy)
Wherever I go . . . Heeeeee goes!
My Buddy (My Buddy)
My Buddy (My Buddy)
My Buddy and Meeeeee!"

In the commercial, a little boy skips down the street, dragging his stuffed doll behind him. Some months or years later, a new doll (and jingle) appeared with Kid Sister. Same concept, just change the boy to a girl, the stuffed doll now has blond braided pigtails, and the jingle replaces the words "My Buddy" with "Kid Sister."

In the last weeks, this late 1980s phenomena has crept back into my life as I watch Canon and Tera each day. In her seven and a half months of life, Canon has loved her and not really cared about her, both in the same moment. Recently, however, the not-caring part of their relationship has begun to subside, and what is left is a real life My Buddy / Kid Sister interaction.

Some days on the way home from school, I will hear Canon talking to Tera. She's usually pretty fussy at this time, so Canon will say "It's ok, Tera. Don't cry." He'll try to find her pacifier in her car seat and put it in her mouth, holding it there until she starts to suck on it . . . like a professional parent. Tera's teachers have told me that he looks in her classroom every now and then to check on her. One day, I had to set her car seat down in our driveway so that I could chase Bull down the street a house or two. When I turned around to walk back, Canon was holding onto the handle of the car seat and standing right in front of her, like he was protecting her.

One of my favorite thing about this new friendship is that Canon loves to take baths with Tera. It started one night when I needed to bathe them both at the same time. I put Tera's bath on the floor beside the real bath. I bathed her and was getting ready to bathe Canon when he asked if he could get in Tera's bath. Not thinking anything of it, I let him crawl out of his tub and into hers. I didn't consider the fact that his size might have some impressive effects on the water level in the small tub. As soon as he sat down, water spilled out on all sides. Oh, well. Life happens!

I now put Tera's tub in his big bath tub. Canon continues to ask to take a bath with her.

Tonight, however, was one of those unbelievable moments in parenting when you think that you're children are perfect for each other. They'll never fight, fuss, be jealous, or competitive with one another. They'll always protect, stand up for, and rely on one another. And most importantly, they'll always laugh together. Canon had just gotten on out of the bath tonight when Barry came home. I laid Tera on Canon's bed while I did our normal post-bath routine (lotion, diaper, etc.). I left both children in the room with Barry and went to the bathroom to clean up. It had only been a few seconds when I heard the most amazing laughter coming from Canon's room. Of course, Barry quickly said "D, come here quick!" It took me a second to find my camera, but this is what was happening:

Barry and I are always trying to find ways to make Tera laugh. While I get the best smiles from Tera, Barry always gets the best laughs . . . until tonight. Canon got her to laugh more hysterically than I have ever heard before. We took at least four videos of it, and she never got tired of laughing at her Buddy. And he never tired of entertaining his Kid Sister.

Please remind me to read this again in twelve or thirteen years when they are screaming at each other for spending too much time in the bathroom . . .

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tera Joins the Church

Tera's baptism was more of a weekend than a three-minute special on Sunday morning. It started on Friday afternoon when Doc and MyGoo pulled up to the house with our neices, Ceil and Amelia. We spent most of the night playing in the park or eating on the porch. Canon loves his female cousins (the only ones he has), so it actually made it easier to have them both there.

On Saturday morning, Doc and I spent the morning entertaining the walking-aged children by pulling them to yet another park in our neighborhood . . .

. . . and doing what we could to keep them entertained while we were there.

Nonna and Poppa showed up about lunchtime, so we made our way to Hunt's Seafood Bar so that Barry could endulge his craving for raw oysters and chili dogs. No, you don't misundertand . . . that's really what he wanted. I'm thinking I might make him take a pregnancy test if this continues.

Amelia fed Tera for the first of many times this weekend. She loves to hold Tera, and at six years old, she's pretty good at it!

Sunday morning was a bit of a rush, but nothing unmanageable. We actually made it to church on time, unlike to Canon's baptism where our pastor, Hays, publicly welcomed us to the service! Another noticeable difference - our praise band did not serenade us with Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." The day Canon was baptized, the message focused on Daniel in the fiery furnace. Tera's service, however, was all about getting back to basics, what Hays calls "Retro." So instead of Johnny Cash, Jeff played "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" to the tune of Steve Miller Band's "I'm a Joker!" He told me later that, though he didn't plan it that way, he thought it worked out perfectly!

Hays' baptismal remarks were amazing. I had been wondering if he would say anything "extra" about Tera. It would have been great with me even if he had not, but I was so pleased with the personal touches he added about her. He spoke of how Tera's prematurity had brought us closer as a family and, more importantly, closer to Christ. He also discussed the importance of our friendships during that time. As "teacher-y" as it sounds, I was so proud to have so many of our friends at the baptism. Our group is known for the support we show one another, and I definitely felt supported today.

After a few family pics - most of which did not turn out great because Canon was eager to get down and run around the sanctuary with his friends -

- the family came back to our house for an easy lunch . . . and more pictures.

Once the cars were packed and families were headed home and both babies were comfortably asleep in their beds, I too laid down to try to get in a short nap. Late that afternoon, the four of us laid on the couch and watched a movie together. The perfect ending . . .

Thursday, September 22, 2011


When Tera was in the hospital, breast milk was like medicine. In fact, in some cases, it was better than medicine. To prevent some intestinal diseases, the doctors recommended breast milk over any antibiotic they could prescribe. When I was barely more than a day out of my surgery, the neonatologist called me to say "Keep it up! Keep it up! We only have little milk from you now. We need lot of milk. Pump 10 minute on each side. Keep it up!" The term Liquid Gold took on a very literal meaning.

So you can imagine my hesitation as we slowly approached the 4-month (adjusted age) mark when baby food is supposed to be introduced. It is widely known that when the solids come in, the liquids quit coming in as much. For Tera, this would mean less breast milk (yes, I still have some left over from the 12 weeks I pumped in the hospital - that stuff lasts forever!), which in my mind still means less medicine. I thought that I would wait a few extra weeks before starting the solids just to keep as much milk in her as possible.

She must have heard my thoughts. The week before I should have begun starting them, Tera quit taking her last bottle of the day. She was decreasing her liquid-intake before I could let the solids do that for her! Of course, weight gain is typically my top concern, so I decided to go ahead and start the cereal. She didn't hate it, but she definitely didn't love it.

Since this first time, Tera has gone back to taking her bottle most nights. Though, there are those few magical moments when I get to bed a half hour early because she is clearly not waking up for that last little snack. Because of our schedule and the fact that she is usually very hungry and ready for a quick fill - i.e. a bottle - when we get home from school each day, she doesn't get her cereal every night, but we do the best we can. Within a couple of weeks of this first experience, I started adding fruit to the oatmeal to see if it would make it more appetizing. It didn't. She still fusses for her bottle when I put her in the high chair. To be honest, I'm not that concerned. I wasn't too thrilled about starting solids in the first place. I've got the rest of her childhood to shove healthy food down her throat. I like being able to give her something she loves!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

6 Month Update

I really thought that I would be one of those moms who kept good records of all or her children, not just her first. Especially because of Tera's exciting entrance into the world, I just knew that I would write down every little detail immediately as it happened. But sadly . . . I am just like all the rest. Just trying to live each day as the best possible Working Mother-of-Two which, of course, leaves no room for writing things down.

So here I go, writing a few things down. This is Tera at exactly 6 months old:

And this is Tera a few days later when Barry took Canon to the lake for the weekend, leaving me with a few extra minutes to get some pictures of her in something more than a onesie or pj's. They're not great . . . definitely not as good as Canon's six-month pictures in the rocking chair on the porch . . . but they're something to be proud of.

And the feet that have been so famous since her first day of life:

After waking up a bit, we tried to take a few more, but with no great success.

Now on to what I really want to remember - what is Tera doing?

Tera has been smiling for weeks. She's a pretty easy audience. We can do the least funny thing you've ever seen, and she'll beam as if it's the best show she's experienced to date. At a birthday party this weekend, some friends and I began questioning when babies start to laugh. Tera caught some of our conversation apparently because, later that day, she gave her first little chuckle. Ever since then, she's been "talking" up a storm and smiling just as easily as ever.

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, Tera rolled over from stomach to back only a few weeks after coming home (she's so strong!), and she's done this a few more times since then. She continues to show her endurable strength as she pushes up on her arms and turns her head from side to side. Her head control is so good, in fact, that I am able to face her forward in the Baby Bjorn without too much trouble. We took her to her first high school football game this weekend (Daleville v. Slocomb), and she loved watching the cheerleaders and the fans (I'm not quite tall enough to help her see the actual game!).

At her six month check-up earlier this week, the pediatrician was very impressed with her development. She weighs 13 pounds 1 ounce and is 24 3/4 inches long. While her size is not quite on the charts for a six month old (she's about at the 50 percentile for a three-month-old though!), her development seems to be beyond what her pediatrician was expecting. When I told her of her rolling over and giggling, the doctor said that was more than she was expecting. When she flipped Tera over on her tummy to see what she could do, the pediatrician immediately extended her hands to keep Tera from rolling right off the table. She was so impressed which, of course, made me feel so much better. Lately, Barry and I have been worrying that Tera isn't growing like she should. Even though others say that they can tell she is getting bigger, it's hard to see from one day to the next. Her pediatrician actually showed me on the chart that Tera's weight gets closer and closer to the 6-month curve with every visit that she makes to the doctor. This is encouraging. Not only is she growing, but she's growing at a faster rate than I had originally anticipated.

As for me, I've quit thinking about Tera in terms of "catching up." Yes, she's six months old, but I think of the "start of life" in a different way now, I guess. For me, life used to start at someone's birthday. Since Tera was born, however, I've started basing the beginning of life at conception. Don't get me wrong . . . I've always believed that life starts at conception, but maybe what I'm trying to say is that I now think of Development as something that starts with conception. Even as embryos, these little nuggets are growing new parts and learning to do new things. Tera did pretty much the same as every other baby, just in a different environment. Though she's been a part of our world for six months, she's still a Newby in the Baby World. It's difficult not to compare her to other babies who were born around her due date. They are usually bigger than she is which, of course, makes me uneasy at first. But I have to remember - and friends constantly remind me of this - that her circumstances are different. And though we will never use that as an excuse for her, we can be proud that despite her circumstances, she's more than we could have ever hoped for.

Monday, August 1, 2011

School Days

Just a quick note about my changing children. Canon has now moved into an official "preschool" class. Last week I received a supply list, complete with Jumbo crayons, a pencil box, and a backpack that he will carry to school each day! He'll spend the next two weeks just getting used to his new teachers and classroom, and official lessons will begin on August 15. When I walked him to his class this morning, he went straight for the toys. I basically dumped his blankets and bag on his new teacher, kissed him good-bye, then ran back down the hall to Tera's new classroom. He didn't seem to mind. He'll be with the same children he has been with the past year, so only the scenery will change for now.

That's right. Tera started daycare today, too. I actually handled it better than I did the first time I took Canon last fall (and he was 16 months old at the time). Tera, like Canon, has wonderful teachers, so I'm not worried at all about her care. I was more sad that the time has passed so quickly, and we are already to this point of having to leave her all day. She didn't seem to mind, and after at least thirty minutes of postponing the inevitable, I finally left her under someone else's care. She'll do better than me, I'm sure!

After dropping both kids off, I had planned to go to the school to get my room ready for the coming year, but a broken A/C there closed everything down. Instead, I spent the day at home putting everything away from our weekend away and Tera's baby shower in Winfield. (I'll write more about that later). I would stop periodically throughout the day and wonder where I had last left Tera . . . then remembered that it was at daycare. It's funny how dettaching something that has been there for so long can be so difficult!