Dear Dumplings: Week 13 — Meet Raylan the Cat


Dear Dumplings,

Well, today you are 13 weeks and 3 days old.  How about that?  I hear you’re about the size of a peach.  That’s a pretty good size, I think.

Daddy and I went to see Dr. S. this morning and there you both were.  Harlow, for the first time you were fast asleep.  I think you were snoring.  Actually, I am not even sure if you can snore yet, but if you could snore — that’s how asleep you were.  Harper, you were playing all over the place.  It was good to see you kicking your brother in the head.

Did I say brother?

Yes, I did.

Harlow is confirmed to be a boy.  Harper, unfortunately the jury is still out on you.  It’s a 50-50 split between the two doctors.  I could not see anything, so I am not sure what they’re observing on that screen.  But, on your brother, I saw exactly what they were looking at.  He’s ALL boy!

In other news, you’re getting a big brother.

Meet Raylan.

Raylan the Cat

Raylan the Cat

My dream of having a “kid” named Raylan is happening.  You should feel blessed it’s a cat and not one of you.  Eventually we will find a red tabby Maine Coon cat and name him Crowder.  You can’t have a cat named “Raylan” Givens without a partner named Boyd “Crowder.”  We’re both secretly longing for a red tabby in honor or Boomer, but we don’t want a flat-faced tabby.  No one can ever replace Boomer’s face, so why even try?  In the meantime, you’re Grandma Sandy is bringing us Raylan all the way from Colorado and we are thrilled.

Hopefully you’re not allergic to cats … or dogs …

After all, we are still on the hunt for Igor the dog, too.

Every week I write these letters and I get to this place in the middle of the letter where I want to tell you something meaningful and profound.  Some life-changing advice that you will carry with you throughout your life.  I’m not sure I will ever be able to meet that expectation.  Carrying something with you throughout your life is a tall order; especially considering how many letters I plan on writing. I’ll settle for things that resonate with you.  Things that make you think.

It’s amazing how your entire life flashes before your eyes when you find out someone is going to call you Mama.  One of the first things Daddy and I did was start watching our language.  I told your Daddy he’s going to have to find some more creative expletives when he is mad at the Los Angeles Kings or the USC Trojans or the Cincinnati Reds.  He’s working on it, though the Kings are trying his very last nerve.

As for me, I just have to be a kinder, gentler, driver  — I’ll leave it at that.  Specifically, I need to be more patient with people driving the Prius.

Every time I think about what kind of people I hope you’ll be, the one thing that always pops into my mind is; Kind.  The second thing that comes to my mind is; Easy-going.  I can’t imagine that your Daddy or I could possibly raise unkind children.  As for easy-going … it’s going to be a complete crap shoot, I think.

All of us are born with things we’re inherently good at.  I like to call them our gifts.  We all have lots of them, and sometimes it takes years to discover all of our different blessings.  I can’t wait to find out what yours are; if you’re introverts or extroverts.  I have always wondered if all of this gets worked out before we get here?  Do you have some sort of conversation with God where you talk about what you’re here for and then endowed with the gifts you need?  Or do you decide all of this?  Free will and all.

These are the things your Mama contemplates while drinking Dr. Pepper.

Yes, in a moment of weakness, I had a small Dr. Pepper today with my turkey sandwich.  I promise I won’t do it again, but honestly, I think both of you liked it because my stomach was so happy.  Of course, it could have been the fact that I went to the doctor this morning and asked for nausea drugs and I got them. Lunch was amazing today and I have not had that feeling about a meal in a long time.

I told Dr. K I felt weak having to ask for drugs, but he assured me it was not weak.

Last week when the doctor told me that the most important nutritional year of your life was this one, I got a little freaked out about everything I was putting in my body.  But today, they told me my weight was good (I gained 1.5 pounds in 2 weeks), my blood pressure was perfect — all systems were go.  Apparently, all of this nausea was not keeping Harlow from sleeping or Harper from playing.  I heard your beautiful heartbeats and when I got home I rested a little easier.

As I sat down to type this letter, I was listening to The Avett Brothers.  The Avett Brothers are one of my favorite bands and the song Live and Die played on a loop as I typed this.  The song keeps your toes tapping and the lyrics leave you wondering exactly what they mean.

You and I, we’re the same.
Live and die, we’re the same.
You rejoice, I complain,
but you and I, we’re the same.
Live and die, we’re the same.
You and I, we’re the same.
Hear my voice, know my name,
you and I, we’re the same.

My final analysis is the song is about our oneness.  Our sameness.  I love it.  I hope it makes you think.  I’ve added it to the lullaby list.

Love On,


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