Cameron was such an easy baby. We were basically doing the same things we did before his arrival except that now we had an adorable little bundle to tote around. We could take him out to eat and if it was nap time then he would sleep in his carrier. He would take a bottle so I didn't have to worry about always having a discreet place to nurse him and that meant that Brian and I could leave him for a few hours and even overnight with grandparents on date nights. It was just such an easy transition for us to go from zero kids to one kid.
So, I've said it before, but we figured we might as well start trying to have a second baby. We stopped any prevention in December 2001 and were pregnant by mid January 2002! Wow! We weren't expecting that! But we were thrilled none-the-less.
Because Cameron was so laid back and I was having another easy pregnancy (exercise during pregnancy is a wonderful thing! and made a huge difference in my back issues) we went on a few more trips that year.
In March we went to Fort Lauderdale/Miami and, naturally, took Cameron with us. We wanted to stay in the Art Deco district of Miami but the hotel we chose was very noisy and had a band playing at eleven o'clock at night out in the courtyard just below our window. After an hour of listening to that noise and not being able to sleep I asked Brian if we could please find another hotel. So he drove down the street a little ways and got us a room at The Westin. He told the girl at check in that he wanted "the quietest room they had". And boy did they deliver! Instead of a playpen like the other hotel had provided The Westin had a beautiful little crib for Cameron and those "Heavenly Beds" live up to their names! But at more than $300 a night we could only afford to stay there one night and ended up moving once again to the Marriott for half the price and nearly as nice! In spite of all the moving around it was a wonderful little vacation.
In May we went to New York to visit Brian's sister. It was remarkable that they had gotten so much cleaned up in just 7 short months and that the city just seemed to be moving right along like it always had. It was my first time in the city and so we did quite a few of the typical touristy things but with an insider's point of view and a free place to stay! The highlight of our visit was running into Liza Minelli in a Central Park restaurant and she played This Little Piggy with Cameron's toes! She really is quintessential New York, isn't she? And lovely!!!
For both trips we had Delta "buddy passes" graciously donated by friends which meant having to fly stand-by. Going from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale - No problem. Fort Lauderdale back home - I had to fly with Cameron by myself and Brian ended up having to wait until the next flight. Atlanta to New York - wasn't gonna happen; that flight was WAY overbooked! We ended up looking up alternate routes and flew into D.C. and took the shuttle to NYC. New York to Atlanta - No problem! Kind of a pain in the neck but worth it to save several hundred dollars.
We had a wonderful summer and celebrated Cameron's 1st birthday and we were doing all the things young couples do: Brian was working hard and doing well and we were taking care of our new home and spending time with friends and family.
One Saturday afternoon, Brian came in from mowing the lawn and told me he would like to go hear Pastor Johnny preach the next day at First Baptist Woodstock. I had gone there when I was in college (my mom and step-dad were still there) and that was where we had gotten married.
About a week later Brian told me that he felt like God wanted us to join FBCW and to be involved in what was going on there. The problem with this was FBCW was an hour away. If we wanted to be actively involved we would have to live closer. Brian had a good job and we didn't foresee that changing but living close enough to church and to work would mean living in Atlanta. And the cost of living in Atlanta was significantly higher than in McDonough!
Very shortly after we started going to Woodstock, some issues started brewing at Brian's office. For one thing, due to some changes in a particular insurance company, it looked like the practice may lose about a 1/3 of its patients. With three doctors there, we felt like maybe that was Brian's third. That God was saying it was time to leave. Especially since there were some other problems lurking beneath the surface about how the billing was being done. We decided that maybe it was time for Brian to open up his own office there in Woodstock and so we started taking steps in that direction in the fall.
We wanted to be honest and open with Brian's boss about our plans. Brian shared with him what was going on and Doc said that it was all good and that he would not make any announcements about Brian leaving until everything was more certain and that Brian would continue to be given new patients and work there until Brian's new office was ready.
But he did not keep his word about any of these things. Instead he started telling patients about Brian leaving and Brian got fewer and fewer new patients. But we were not anywhere near ready for a move! We hadn't sold our house, a business plan still needed to be written, a loan procured and we didn't have a location for an office or any of these things; we were still many, many months away from being able to open to up.
And we now had four mouths to feed! Parker was born in October and was colicky and fussy. Poor little thing. His parents were stressed out and I think he felt it all.
The next month we had our fifth anniversary and we weren't sure what the next year would look like at all.
What did we learn during our fifth year?:
- When traveling on buddy passes be creative - Don't just sit around watching flights leave because there aren't enough available seats. Look at different routes and make it happen yourself because sometimes airline employees won't take the time to do this for you (imagine that!).
- When Liza Minelli asks if she can play with your baby say Yes! - and then ask politely if you may take her picture and if she seems hesitant because she doesn't have on make-up be sure to tell her how beautiful she is even without it!
- Children are different- No two are alike in the exact same ways. Accept those changes for what they are and adapt to them and love the differences.
- Be Careful! - When your husband comes in from mowing the lawn and he has "that look" in his eye and you know an idea is getting stirred up in his brain, hold on tight! You may be in for a bumpy ride!
- Support Each other - And when the situation starts to get a little ugly, trust his judgment and tell him that you do. When push comes to shove you're still on the same team.