Tuesday, July 27, 2010


smile, smile, smile!

I'm sitting in Starbucks, trying to take in the surreal moment when my school career is over and my future unfolds. Graduate school seemed to take forever...until it all of a sudden didn't. And, even though I didn't think I would, I got teary-eyed leaving my last class today. I delayed making the final walk down the hall trying to imagine a life not dictated by test and paper deadlines, not outlined in a predictable pattern by fall, spring, and summer semesters. Honestly, I'm a little frightened.

In this moment, I'm also very tired. Tired of studying and stressing and eating Sonic dollar menu items on the go to the library. The only thing I want to study for a long while is the violet blue of my baby girl's eyes when she bats them at me, the focus with which she's learning to walk, her blossoming vocabulary. Oh, and reading! I want to read. Lots and lots of glorious books no one assigned to me for school. :)

For now, I'm going home to rest - and see my husband who's been tag-teaming it with me for the last few weeks to get me through this paper. I'll leave you with this, a title it's taken me 4.5 years, one wedding ceremony, three moves, two graduate schools, two program transfers, one baby, a few minutes (as of submitting my Last.Final.Paper.Ever!), and countless prayers after I finished my B.A. at Furman University to earn:

Shannon J. O'Connell V.H., M.S., LPC candidate

(how's that for the longest name ever!?) :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Cornflake Bandit

I was caught up chatting with a drop-in visitor today when I noticed that I could no longer hear Meggie's little "moving around" sounds. Upon investigation, I found her like this:

A couple notes about the video:
1. Her romper's unbuttoned because I had just finished changing her diaper and she squirmed away before I could get the last buttons done.
2. I love how when I ask her what she's eating, she does this precious hand motion that either means, "hi" or "more."
3. I hope you enjoy watching our girl as much as I loved discovering her in an adventure!
4. This is my third attempt at uploading a video on here...hope it works - please let me know if you can't get it to read where you are and I'll work on it some more...you may want to turn off the music for best viewing :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh, Happiness!

K flew home last night! When K's gone, I pray that I will be steady and secure for Meg...that she will sense from me, even though she knows Dada's not at home, that she's safe and loved. In general, I think I do ok and thank God for being faithful in his care of me, in his renewing of my mind and heart so that I can be faithful to our little girl...but, oh! What a joy it still is every time our family is back together! Sigh...everyone rests a little easier.

As things usually do - they "happen" while K's away. During this trip, I had a midterm, did some babysitting, got together for a group presentation (on Thursday), hosted Grammy (K's mom) from Michigan, and nursed Meggie through her first bout with pneumonia. I know, right? We were over at Erika's house for a playdate when Meg spiked a 103 fever. Not only was she was breathing rapidly and shallowly, but she was also super lethargic. Anyone who knows Meggie knows the lethargy is Not.Normal. We rushed to the ER with Erika, leaving Katy in charge of five kids. (Hopefully, they'll still have another playdate with us after all the drama?!?) After a revealing chest x-ray, Meggie was diagnosed with pneumonia and we were sent home with a strong antibiotic. She did better for a few days and then spiked another high fever while Grammy was here - her doctor switched her to a stronger antibiotic and she's finally on the mend.

There's more to come about our fantastic visit with Grammy (minus the pneumonia), but just wanted to share with you our happiness in having Dada home! Here's a preview of some pictures with Grammy:

sick baby

happy girl feeling better

Meg and Grammy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Don't You Just Love this Face?

...I do!

I caught her in the act of her latest escapade. She has a new fascination for crawling underneath our kitchen table...a fascination that causes us much distress as the kitchen rug is NOT as clean as it used to be...not only are there old food encounters under there from a certain culinary-practicing 10 month old, but it's also a favorite place of unwelcome bugs and lone ranger runaway pieces of dog food.

And, she adores it under there!

Our Meggie girl loves adventure and has such a zest for exploring new places. We treasure her courage and inquisitiveness...Embrace it, girl!

4th of July...Baby!

Meggie's Patriotic Bow

it wouldn't be a holiday without the Oklahoma wind

a daddy and his little sailorette

Saturday, July 3, 2010

This and That

One of the things that I love most about my Grandmama is her "sayings." On one of my visits to Virginia during the last couple years, I was chatting with one of the ladies that goes to church with Grandmama during coffee hour after the service. She was describing a dish that Grandmama made for coffee hour and how much she liked it - she said that she had asked Grandmama what she called the dish. Grandmama replied: "This and That." "What's in it?" "A little of this...and a little of that." So.Like.My.Grandmama!

And like this post: can you tell that midterms, a presentation, a paper, and (gulp) my last final are almost here??

1. I think Meggie has learned a new word: "No." I know, right? At first, I thought I couldn't be hearing THAT word. Not now, not at only 10 months of age, not her third word after "mama" and "daddy"?!? But, we've noticed her (now on several occasions) tossing her head from side to side when we're enforcing our parental authority - ha! - to do something she doesn't like (i.e. buckling her in her carseat, holding her still so that we can change her diaper, really anything involving being restrained) and saying what sounds like, "Ni-ni-ni-ni-ni" or "ne-ne-ne-ne." Oh, boy...most of the time she's still our fun-loving Meggie girl, but I think we're entering a new parenting stage involving "for real" disciplining. Distraction is still the go-to form for now, but we're getting little glimpses of a future 2-year-old around here.

Meggie's mischevious grin:
she had just gotten some papers out of my Bible, mistakenly left out in plain "meggie sight" after church.

2. Kyle surprised both of us by coming home a tad early from his latest trip. A bird hit the wing of the plane they were flying, causing us all (minus the bird) to celebrate Independence day a little early this year. :) Of course, last night was one of "those" nights where we got one of "those" texts that means all bets are off for our Saturday plans. Meg and I spent the day doing what we always do on a summer Saturday - farmer's market, playing with toys, making the most of nap time...and Kyle spent the day, well, away in an undisclosed location.

3. Meggie loves Douglass. And, she loves pretending to BE Douglass, too. I love that she loves animals and that Douglass makes her laugh. And, oh, how I love her giggle! Here she is in an unprompted, unscripted adventure:

4. When Meggie learned to crawl, she temporarily lost interest in any activity requiring her to be still and focus. BUT, I noticed the other day (she always does these really amazing tricks when no one else is in the room with her) as I was washing dishes that I kept hearing this boat toy that she has - there are four holes in the top of the boat with color-coordinated balls that fit into each hole. With a hammer, you can tap the balls through the holes and watch them glide down a twisty ramp. Up until this moment, she was mostly interested in trying to chew on the balls or carry them from one room to the other. However, this day, I suddenly clued in that I was hearing the balls clanking through the holes over and over. I peeked around the corner and - SURE ENOUGH - Meggie was sitting still, focused on picking up each ball, placing them in their matching hole, and pushing them through. I was astounded. And PROUD! I'm going to try and get some video footage because it's just so Meggie - the way she focuses, so intent on her goal, the way she studies the path that each ball takes down the shoot, the way she sometimes gets impatient and whacks the balls across the room. :)

5. Impatient? Yes, she can be...it's part of her determined, take-charge nature and we love her for it...although it can, at times, be exasperating. One personality trait that will serve her well over the course of her life is her "doggedness." For example, she's really interested in real people food right now. She'll study each bite of food that goes into your mouth and will DEMAND that she be allowed to try it, too. By demand, I mean that she will wave both fists, shout, and point for your food. If she's close enough, she's been known to swipe it out of your grasp. Sigh, we're working on it...but, all to say that the other day I was eating triscuits and cheese. Meggie crawled over to me, pulled herself up to standing by my knee and snatched the triscuit box - which sent triscuits cascading across the entire room. I was flabber-gasted and in the minutes it took for me to regain composure...she returned to playing, happily munching on a cracker. Despite the obvious behavior challenges in this story, I paused in astonishment to realize that my baby was eating a cracker. A cracker...and only ten months ago her lips had their first taste of milk.

6. To see some live eating action, click here:

7. A dear friend of mine from college had a baby this week. A 9 lb., week late, baby girl with red hair! I've found myself thinking about them so much this week and reminiscing about the day our Meggie girl came into the world. I think I've been inspired to finish recording her birth story - I tried to start it, but for some reason never found the words to complete it. Look for her story in the next couple of weeks!