Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Super Nana

Grandy and I spent this past weekend babysitting our two darling grandchildren, Collin, age 3 and Annie Frances, age 7 months. Erin and Matthew went away for the weekend to Atlanta and left the babies with us. We were so excited to have them and they seemed equally as excited to see us when they arrived on Thursday evening. There is nothing else in the world as wonderful as when Collin gets out of the car and runs as fast as he can to jump into our arms and give us a big "squeeze hug" to greet us. Annie Frances just starts kicking her legs as fast as she can when she sees us. Erin and Matthew were reluctent to leave and stayed until early Friday afternoon before departing. After all, this was Erin's first time to be away from Annie Frances. This baby is definitely a "mama's girl" and of course, Erin is still breast feeding her a couple of times a day, so this was going to prove to be quite challenging with Annie. Collin has stayed with us many times by himself since he was 2 months old. He loves to come to "nana/grandy house" as he refers to it and is always eager to push Mama and Daddy on off. He also did not want Annie Frances to stay so that he would definitely reign supreme for all the attention, but this wasn't going to happen.
Erin and Matthew needed a little R&R and we were more than happy to have our babies with us. Annie did pretty good on Friday evening and I got her to bed but she would not take a bottle of milk. Saturday morning, again the same, but I filled her up with her cereal and she seemed pretty content for awhile. Then I think some homesickness for her mama started setting in. She seemed to be constantly looking around as if hoping that Erin was going to walk around a corner and rescue her. She was fretful with both me and Grandy and only seemed to light up when she saw Collin as I'm sure he reminded her of home. I don't know what we would have done without him. He will go up to her and hug her and talk baby talk to her and she just lights up! On Saturday, we were invited to go over to one of our friends to swim with her and her 2 grandsons that are 4 and 1 and were also visiting from out of town. This was our first time to take Collin swimming, so we were a little nervous. But Grandy donned his swimsuit and he and Collin were both like ducks in water! Collin had a great time and did not want to come out of the water. He and Whitt loved playing in the sprinkler beside the pool and filling up buckets of water and pouring them on the plants. Annie Frances was a little fussy, but my other friend Nancy, rocked her in the swing until she fell asleep. Thank goodness! But she only took about a 20 minute nap, so when she woke up, we wrapped things up and went home. They both fell back asleep and slept a good long time that afternoon. Later that afternoon we made a trip to Uncle Drew and Aunt Lindsey's to feed their dog. Everyone seemed happy on the ride over and while we were there they enjoyed playing with the dog. But oh my goodness, the ride home took on a new meaning for blood curdling screams. I don't have a sun visor to screen out the sun in my car like Erin does, and the afternoon sun was in Annie Frances' eyes. She began her tune up and it lasted all the way home with so much gusto that Grandy and I might have new nerve damage to our ears. We never could get her to be very happy again after this for the rest of the evening. Even though she eats baby food now and had no trouble consuming that, she really never would take a bottle of formula for me. I was able to get a little juice down her, but that was it. Next time we babysit, we have frozen breast milk ready, which we should have done this time. (Grandy is not too sure about these little pouches of frozen breast milk in our freezer however. He hopes he doesn't mistake it for ice cream!!!! I do too!!!) Anyway, Erin and Matthew made a hasty trip home on Sunday morning to retrieve the little darlings. Collin was napping when they arrived, but let's just say Annie Frances had a hissy fit when she saw her mama and daddy. She had been rescued at last!!! Erin and the kids stayed over on Sunday and even on Monday as Erin was not feeling too well, so all in all, we had the kids with us for 5 days. Now this was great for us as we love every minute of spoiling and doing everything these little ones want, but poor Erin is paying for it today!!! Collin has not been a happy camper since he left. He cried and cried and keeps saying he wants to come to "nana/grandy house". Now don't you think that this makes me feel so good but yet so sad to have to leave him. I don't think Annie Frances is missing us too much though!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Encounter with Redtail Hawks

I have spent just about my entire weekend sitting on my screened in porch watching a family of redtailed hawks in the trees in my back yard. I am totally fascinated by birds of prey and I love watching these incredible birds. I have known for some time that there was one hawk that stayed in the trees in the back yard, but I didn't realize there were more. I came home one day at lunch and saw this beautiful bird sitting in the leaves right down below my screened in porch in the yard. He was sitting there in the leaves, fluttering his wings back and forth in a frenzy manner. I was so shocked that I screamed out when I saw him. It frightened him/her (I can't recognize their gender on sight yet) that he flew up into the trees carrying a baby armadillo in his talons. Oh my goodness was I shocked. Ever since this, I have been watching for him and hearing his screeching call out in the trees each day. On Saturday morning, I was sitting in my wicker rocker looking out over the woods and all of a sudden a big dark shadow appeared across the yard and the hawk flew right up on the roof above the porch. Again, I was startled, but I stayed calm and quiet this time. He sat on my roof and would poke his head over the roof edge and look in the screen at me. How exciting to see him eye to eye. It was almost like he was trying to connect and make friends with me (or maybe he wanted to eat my cats who were having a fit on the porch that he was up there)! When he flew off up into the tall pine trees that are about 100 yards from the porch, I noticed another hawk sitting in the tree. This captured me that there was more than one and I began my quest watching them the rest of the weekend. Finally, I've figured it out. There is a male and female and then I saw two more smaller hawks that must be their babies. At one point I had all four sitting just a short distance from me in the tree watching me watch them. Wow what an experience! I think the parent birds were trying to teach the young ones to hunt. We have many squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits out in the back wooded area. The young birds are still sort of clumsy. They will try to fly from one branch to another and sometimes they miss on the landing and have to scramble and fly to another branch. The hunting doesn't seem to be going real well either. This afternoon I saw the two young birds each sitting in different trees watching a squirrel on a tree in between them. At the exact same time, they each flew off aiming for the squirrel and almost collided. The squirrel survived and ran frantically down the tree. There is much screeching by all of the birds as the parents seem to be calling to the young ones. We had quite a thunderstorm this afternoon, but they all stayed out in the tall pine tree under the branches during the rain. Once the rain ended, they all began soaring through the trees again. I've tried to get Andy to come out and watch them with me. He isn't too interested. He truly is not a bird lover like I am. Anyway, I truly appreciate these magnificent creatures that God created and I thank Him for sending them to live in my back yard. I really needed this diversion this weekend to take my mind off of some of my problems. Thank you Lord.