The weekend before Christmas my boss had an open house and invited all of us at the office to come by and have a bite to eat and visit and do whatever people do at an open house. We were planning to do that on Sunday afternoon then finish off our Christmas shopping. But our day didn’t go as planned.

In our living room is a bench that we use for a coffee table of sorts that sits in front of the chair that I normally occupy. Rebecca has been walking since October, but she is still wobbly. She came around the corner that bench to see me and lost her balance. On the way down she bumped her mouth on the edge. Of course she started crying and screaming. I picked her up to hold and comfort her. When Jenny got to us to see how she was she said, “Aaron, there’s blood!” When I looked at my shoulder and there was a small crimson circle on my shirt.

Jenny left the room to get a rag or something to clean Rebecca’s mouth. Her action was a big deal. Before becoming a mom Jenny didn’t always react quickly when something bad happened. It always took her a few seconds to take everything in, and then she would act. For instance, I was doing homework one night and Jenny came into the office to talk to me and I knocked over a cup of water next to my computer. The water flowed under my laptop and on to my Accounting book and notes. I quickly picked up my computer so that it would not get wet. I looked up to see Jenny staring at my mess with her mouth open in shock. “Jenny, get a towel!” I said. “Oh!” she replied as she hurriedly left the room to get a towel to soak up my drink. This was really funny to the two of us.

Anyway, I got to Rebecca’s room and set her down on the changing table to take a look at her mouth and see what we were dealing with. I asked Jenny to get cold compress from the freezer and she indicated that she would. I heard something strange behind me, when I turned to see what was going on, I saw Jenny go down from a kneeling position to her side then her back, like a deer that had been shot.

Now picture me with a screaming, uncooperative, and bloody child on a changing table and my wife seemingly unconscious on the floor. I did not panic, but I was not calm. I yelled Jenny’s name and checked her pulse and tried to get her to respond to me for a few seconds while trying to keep an eye on Rebecca. When I couldn’t get a response, I set Rebecca on the floor, still screaming, and ran into the living room to get my phone and call 911.

I got back to a room still filled with my daughter’s screams to talk an operator about what was going on. Jenny came to while I was on the phone. She immediately tells me that she doesn’t need an ambulance, she’s fine; don’t worry about her she says. Yeah right!

In the end, Jenny was fine, Rebecca was fine and no one had to see a doctor. My in-laws took Rebecca for a few hours, Jenny took a nap for a few hours and I resisted the urge to drink heavily.


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

So Rebecca is one year old. It seems to have been a long year at times because of all the hospital visits and sleepless nights that happened in the first few months of her life but at the same time I find it difficult to believe that a year has already passed.

Every now and then I look through the pictures from when we first brought Rebecca home. The picture I usually think about from her first week of life I am holding her head up so that Jenny can get a picture of us together, and her head is so small that my hand wrapped around it almost completely. Then almost over night she turned into this little girl.

All the mile stones: eyelashes, the first smile that happened on purpose, the first time she slept all night, the first teeth, the first time she crawled and then the first time she walked are etched in my memory. But the best times are the quiet moments when she takes a nap with me or holds my finger while she walks out of day care or how excited she gets when she sees me in the morning. That smile melts me every time.

I love my daughter and I am doing my best to enjoy my little girl now before she turns into a big girl.

I had an avoidable hiatus from races. For a few weeks the Gulf Coast Running Club decided to not have races for a few weeks during September and part of October. Then I just didn’t do the races. I went to a hockey game one night, I went deer hunting another day and I slept in one day. So I doubled up this last weekend.

On Friday night the local running store put on a fund-raiser for a local doctor who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. You can read about him on Facebook, like the page “Thumbs up for Bill”. That also happened to be the name of the race. All the proceeds of the run went to a charity at Memorial hospital. There were a lot of people and it was a tremendous out pouring of support to a new local hero. At the finish of the race was Bill handing out patches and thanking everyone for coming out.

I pushed the stroller with Rebecca in it while she slept. It was a cold night with clear skies and a beautiful full moon. I enjoy the night runs because it’s a different venue than the typical Saturday morning and the course through the neighborhood is pretty easy. I finished #6 in 37:15

Saturday was a family event. The annual Highlands and Islands Scottish and Celtic festival was taking place. All three of us got up around six to make it out for an eight o’clock start. The 5k was half on a road and half on grass. It was cold and the air was thick with moisture. My legs were killing me after running the night before. I should have stretched.

I liked the race but Jenny ran it too and beat me. I never enjoy that. I finished #7 in 34:19. I will probably have to double up again so I guess I should run every now and again during the week so my legs don’t hurt so bad after a 5k and so I can beat Jenny next time.

So a few weeks ago I completed my fifth race. It was a 3k sponsored by the Chefs of the Coast food festival that took place in September. The race was an evening run. It took place at 6 pm on a Friday night in downtown Gulfport. Yes, Gulfport has a downtown.

The 3k was more difficult than a 5k. Our friend Samantha also ran the race and we were talking about how hard it was. Part of the challenge was that the front-runners ran the race in about nine minutes. I cannot run that fast. Even at my fastest I could not do that. A 3k is a little less than two miles. So while Sam and I were talking she said that this race was harder than a 5k. I said “We know how to run a 5k, we don’t know how to run a 3k because we don’t’ train for it.” So I finished in a little over 15 minutes. I felt good about that time. I ate some free food, enjoyed the band and talked to the handful of people I knew. Then I went home to my loving wife and adoring baby girl.

Mississippians proved to be savvy voters – Letters –

This is a letter to the editor that I wrote last week.

We were invited to a neighborhood get together at our friends subdivision on Sunday. It’s a closed off development with a green area in the middle of it. Rebecca was dressed up as a lion and our friends daughter Lanie was dressed as a Lady Bug. They were definitely the cutest children there. We hung out for a while and ate some hot dogs and burgers; Jenny took Rebecca on a hayride. We called it a night when the gnats started to eat us alive. We got back to our friends house and let the kiddos roam a little bit. Rebecca faked us out a few times by acting like she was going to take a step. She held onto my finger and took three or four steps. But the highlight was when we decided to entice her with daddy’s iPhone. The phone is something we constantly have to take away from her because she puts it in her mouth. So I lit up the screen and held it out of her reach. With the video camera going she took two small steps. We were so excited! I gave Rebecca my phone even though I knew she would put it in her mouth. We excitedly praised her and she ate it up. Rebecca was all smiles and giggles. So I guess its time to start training for her first 5k.