play it again: the baby sway

originally published February 22, 2005

If you are a parent you probably know what I am referring to here.

Have you ever noticed a parent of a new baby, especially the mom, when they are holding their baby they tend to sway rhythmically to an fro. It seems to come naturally and it usually does wonders for calming a fussy newborn. Have you ever noticed the same parent when they put the baby down or hand them off to someone else? They are more often than not still swaying. I call that the baby sway.

I did this with all of my babies. I don’t know why, I just did. Maybe it was comforting to me too.

Well, last night I cared for a term newborn being treated for hyperbilirubinemia. She was a doll and her parents were the sweetest couple. Mom was really determined to only breastfeed her baby and insisted on coming in every time her daughter was hungry. I was able to accommodate her request and more than supportive provided mom promised to lie down and at the very least, rest in between feedings as her daughter was demanding to be fed every two hours nursing for thirty to forty minutes.

After one middle of the night feeding, her daughter seemed to have a little difficulty settling while under the phototherapy lights. Mom stayed at the bedside “nesting” her daughter on the warming bed like I showed her how. Eventually, the baby quieted and was soon sleeping but mom and I continued with our conversation about other ways to soothe her baby. It was then I noticed that mom was swaying as if her baby was still in her arms. I smiled to myself as I remembered doing that with my own babies. It was such a warm, fuzzy memory.

And then I realized I don’t do that anymore. Of course I still do the baby sway with a baby in my arms or MY baby in my arms….but he isn’t really a baby anymore. He will ALWAYS be my baby, but he definitely is a little boy. He still needs me very much and makes that known with his numerous requests for hugs and cuddles throughout his day but once that need is fulfilled off he goes back to his little boy adventures. I remember the same transition with each of his sisters.

It is bittersweet. My internal baby sway is now dormant as we enter the next phase of my son’s life. There are no more babies for me. It will have to be the babies I care for in the NICU, cuddle at church and someday…..a long time from now!… grandbabies. Then the baby sway returns with the soft grandmom shoulders that all grandbabies love to snuggle against.

December 2013:

Of course I had no clue that three years later I would become a grandmother, a Mima, much, much sooner than I was ready to be. Oh well. Thankfully, my own baby sway did return and on many occasions, I somehow managed to put those grandbabies to sleep when no one else could.

Skills…I haz skillz!

the first, the second and the first

There is no doubt at all that grandchildren are super awesome. Great-grandhcildren, I imagine are even greater than super awesome because my memories with my great grandparents, Chester and Austa Caudle, are definitely my happiest childhood memories. Obviously I had to be their favorite. In my own imagination this is true. Of course I was the only one who named one of my children after one of them. That certainly secured my status of favorite great-grandhcild. Still I am thinking the ultimate has to be great-great grandchildren. It has to be.

Especially when one shares your name!

I am so happy that Hazel the Second and Fallon the First got to spend some time yesterday with Hazel the First.

Not to change the subject or anything but I want to look this hot when I am days from my 95th birthday.

on the walls

Watching me hanging pictures on the wall, Hazel notices that there are NO pictures of her and Fallon…”why, Mima?

Why indeed?

She was a little judge-y in her query kind of like the way she has judged my fashion choices in the past. Still I couldn’t blame her. I would have been upset too if the tables were turned…which reminds me of the fact that there no pictures of me in her home.


We’ll address that later.

A friend of mine suggested that the lack of pictures of my grandbabies on the walls of the Big Top is actually the responsibility of their parents…meaning that they should be providing the framed photographs and portraits. I would say true. I always provided lots of portraits of my circus clowns to the grandparents until that one time when that one grandparent asked me not to give anymore pictures. I guess the fact that I have so many kids means that a lot of space is taken by all those pictures I had given in the past. I refuse to believe that the grandparent didn’t want pictures of these adorable children because that would be ridiculous. And so I stopped giving pictures of the kids…more for me to enjoy here under the Big Top! But one of the reasons Hazel and Fallon’s parents aren’t showering me with pictures of these gorgeous pictures is because I am the one who takes pictures of them…all the time. Well, I AM the mamarazzi.

And so we go back to Hazel judging her Mima for not having any pictures of her and Fallon on display here under the Big Top.

Well not anymore!

So now we will discuss why there are no pictures of Mima and Papa in Hazel’s house.

this is good

Hollie, full of brand-new-school-aged-child parent enthusiasm signed up to help out in Hazel’s classroom and by helping out she meant collating papers and cutting things and stapling and, well anything that she could do to help while at home on her one day off during the week while minding over her very busy nearly 21 months old child. Hazel’s teacher took this to mean that Hollie would be in the classroom all day Thursday as room mom helping Fallon and I got to enjoy some alone time together.

I tortured her at the car wash. No one told me she would scream the way that she did as my mom-car went through. The ringing in my ears has just now begun to quiet down. All was soon forgiven  when I got her a passion tea lemonade and Madelines at Starbucks. I know that I was forgiven because she hugged me and offered me some of her drink asking, “Want some, Mima?

Yes. She is talking…

talking all the time…

speaking in sentences…


It’s a good thing. Still I think that Hollie needs to make this stop…this growing up much too quickly nonsense because moments likes these are good and I want to enjoy them more and more making them last longer and longer.

Happy Grandparents Day, y’all!

a weekend off

How does that old song go?

Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend…

Egads, that song IS old, like back when MTV played music videos like all day old!

Yes, most folks are doing the Monday through Friday thing just so they can rest and play through their weekend.


Me, I work pretty much every weekend. A weekend off is a rare thing and is usually in order to take Jodie to a dance competition. Juggling the needs of this circus I have no choice. I love that I can be there for Hollie to watch the babies. Jodie and Daniel live too far from their schools to walk and there is no school-provided transportation available. Well, I did give up the short bus hoping Daniel could stay at his school rather than be moved to yet another school in the district. And then there is homework…fourth grade homework is hard, especially hard for a kid like Daniel. The kids need me. They seem to need me more the older they get. Sorry to the moms of little ones who just can’t wait for the freedom of older kids. It doesn’t always work out that way. The fact that my workplace only offers 12 hour shifts makes it all the harder. This is why I gave up my full time position more than four years ago and accepted a per diem position. I love my job. I love what I do. But my family right now needs me more and needs me to have more flexibility in when I work and when I am home for them.

In the workplace, I gave up a lot. Some think I don’t take my career as seriously I should. Some assume I’m lucky to stay home and choose not to work full time and work “whenever I feel like working”.  Not true. But it is what I choose to sacrifice the career a little for the family. And so I work pretty much every single weekend, when my family is home resting and playing.

But this weekend I had off…Friday through Sunday, which is the weekend in the night shift nurse-land.

How glorious!

How desperately needed.

So I put my calls directly to voice mail…because I knew that I would be called to come in due to staffing needs and new admissions. I was. I felt a little bit guilty because I know how hard it is to find extra staff when short-staffed, especially with surprise admissions…and especially on weekends. Yes, I felt a little bit guilty. But I reminded myself how desperately I needed my own weekend off for my own physical, mental and emotional health. It was time for me to take a weekend off and to enjoy…

a date night with the husband…

spending a few hours in my daughter’s stylist chair…

some cuddle time with a 10 month old who doesn’t believe in napping on a lazy Sunday afternoon. OMG, Fallon is TEN MONTHS OLD!!!…

enjoy some silly play when chores should be done…

and take some time to just play a little with my boy…who won’t be little that much longer…

to try out yet another recipe that I pinned on Pinterest and then sit down and enjoy some Sunday afternoon football. The enchiladas, by the way, were delicious!

And now Monday is here…back to the juggling of the kids, school, after school obligations and activities, the grandkids and everything else…oh, and work this weekend. I am so glad that I took this last weekend off.