Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas Update

Merry Christmas Eve's Eve! That's what Jason's Grandmother used to say when she would call him on the day before Christmas Eve. I thought I would post some pictures of what we've been up to the past week or so.

Piper had a great time making [eating] Christmas cookies with her Aunt Jennifer (from CT) and her great-grandmother (from PA). Piper's cookies were definitely the most unique! Speaking of Piper...As I write this she is screaming upstairs in her room to get up from her nap, but I told her that she needed to take a llllooooonnngggg nap because she has been totally off schedule the past week and she is so unbelievably over tired or OT as we say.

We went to a wedding last weekend of some high school friends of mine who also are sort of related to me by law. See, the girl is the sister of my sister-in-law, OR, My brother is married to the bride's sister...whatever. We had a good time, especially Piper who was the "Dancing Queen." It was a little weird though, because I saw some girls I went to high school with and it was like I had the plague or something because I am married and already have 2 kids. It has become apparent to me that my peers are now the women that are a good 5 to 10 years older than me.

Christmas Eve is tomorrow...have you finished your shopping. I have, but my husband has not, although I don't think he knows that yet, or rather, he hasn't realized that 3 presents from him do not equal like a gazillion presents from me.

Ok, now everyone in my house is crying!!!

Merry Christmas!

Grammy and Finley Posted by Hello

"Mini-Jason" Posted by Hello

Piper helping Granpaw in the kitchen Posted by Hello

Uncle Corey holding Finley Posted by Hello

Piper making Christmas cookies with Great-Grandma and Aunt Jennifer...yummy! Posted by Hello

Grandpaw putting the angel on top and almost knocking over the tree Posted by Hello


Piper decorating the O'Hern Christmas tree Posted by Hello

Grandma to me...Great-Grandma to Piper and Finley Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

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And the jello wins! Posted by Hello

Piper vs. Cherry Jello Posted by Hello

Finley Claire Posted by Hello

Piper in camo...can you see her? Posted by Hello

Christmas 2004

Merry Christmas from the Dowdell family. We hope that this letter finds you enjoying all the things that are precious about this time of the year: Family, friends, and the hope and joy that is ours through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

2004 has been an action-packed year for our family. We spent a great week this summer at the beach in North Carolina with all of the O’Hern family. Piper got a chance to play with her cousins, Jason got a chance to play with the boys surfing, and Shannon played with the ladies sunning at the pool and on the beach. We also got a chance to visit with Jason’s brother Jonah, who was stationed with the marines at Camp LeJeune. It was a bittersweet visit as now Jonah is serving a 7-month term in Iraq. Please remember to keep him in your prayers as well as all the other soldiers who are defending our freedom.

July found us moving into a new home. We stayed in Merritt Island although upgraded to a house about twice the size as our former home. Our new neighborhood has a lot of young families and children and will be a great place for us to stay for a while. We now are finding ourselves facing the daunting task of furnishing rooms that didn’t exist in our former home.

We also found out in March that we were expecting our second child. Finley Claire joined our family on November 7, 2004. She was 6 pounds 8 ounces and 19 inches long…she takes after her father and sister in that she is tall and skinny. She is pure joy and Piper adores her “baby sister.” We are excited to be celebrating this Christmas as “the four of us.”

Piper celebrated her first birthday in January and had a great party with family and a bunch of lab school friends. She is growing up so fast and every day is a new adventure. She loves to go to the park and swing and tumble down the slide in the back yard. Her vocabulary is increasing every day and Shannon and Jason often find themselves spelling out words that they would rather her not hear. Example: C-o-o-k-i-e-s. She is in her second year of Lab School through Brevard Community College where she is in the toddlers’ class and absolutely loves all the fun and creative things we learn and do there. Her favorite activities to do at lab school are painting and playing on the playground. She is our sunshine!

Jason has been busy as well, not only as a father but also in his career. After working at United Space Alliance for 2.5 years and running a successful search engine marketing company on his own, he sold his company to Websourced, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina and began to work for them as Director of Search Engine Technologies. He spends one week out of each month in Raleigh and occasionally his family joins him in North Carolina. Jason spends his free time playing tennis with his father-in-law. They are both very competitive, and Shannon often has to hear the play-by-play when Jason gets home. He has also started attending a bible study with some of his friends and is busy as a deacon at our church. Shannon spends her days playing at the park with the girls, keeping the house together, and trying to achieve the ultimate goal of getting the girls to nap at the same time. She also serves on two committees at church and has a new hobby of “blogging.” A blog is like an online diary and Shannon has found it to be an outlet and a way of sharing the good, the bad, and the very ugly of what it is like to be a stay at home mom. You can check it out at and stay up to date with our family through stories and pictures.

We are thankful for the gifts of prosperity and family that God has so graciously blessed us with and we pray the God’s blessings will be with your family this season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Dowdells : Jason, Shannon, Piper and Finley

Thursday, December 09, 2004

My Bug (Piper) and Birdie (Finley) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

My trip to the CVS

It is almost Christmas and I am attempting for the first time since we have been married to publish Christmas letter and send cards with a picture of our children. This being said, I had to take a decent picture of my almost 2 year old holding my 4 week old. I started by plumping up Piper with pillows on the bed and I made sure that Dora the Explorer was on TV so that she wouldn't really notice that I was smushing her baby sister on her and taking their picture. Of course, Piper wouldn't take her fingers out of her mouth and kept making her "CHEEZE" smile face that is less than becoming...but she would not look at me. Poor Finley, who was sound asleep, flinched every time I took a picture with the flash going off in her face.

Next up, taking my Bug and Birdie to CVS (which I have a strong dislike...bordering hate). This is interesting in itself because I know that I am going to need a free hand to fill out the picture envelope. If they have a drive thru pharmacy, why can't they have a drive thru for the photo lab? So, I decide that I will leave Finley in her carseat (that weighs more than both of my children together) and carry her in that and I will let Piper walk on her own. Big mistake... HUGE! Before I could turn around Tornado Piper had hit. Oh well. What can you do?

This all seemed like nothing compared to what was about to happen. I leave CVS and proceed to load up my offspring into the huge SUV that I now drive like wearing a badge that says...I am Uber Mom... When I get this strange feeling that someone is watching me. I turn and look over my shoulder to find the women owner of the car next to me carefully examining the space between my open door and the side of her car. Now if you knew my husband you would know that there is no possible way that I would let my car door hit the car beside me...that is a sin punishable by death. So, I smile politely and say, "Excuse me," as I am trying to keep Piper from running into the street and as I am hoisting the carseat with Finley into the base holder thing. I kid you not, she stays there and keeps watch to make sure that I do not hit her car. I close the door and she huffs over to her door and places some rubber bumper thing on the side of her door and sighs especially loudly, making sure I am not to miss her exasperation.

I have come to learn that the best way to deal with a situation like this is to laugh it off...that being said, my life is pretty hilarious.

Jason...I miss you and I love you.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Jason has taught his first born that it is funny, hysterical even, to "toot," or fart as more commonly known. So, yesterday after hitting her baby sister multiple times she had to sit in "time-out." I have to sit there with her because her first time out space is on the stairs and I have to insure that she will stay there for the full 2 minutes. We are sitting there, having no fun because it is time out, and I will not look at her or touch her.

She tries everything to get my attention, leaning forward putting her face in mine, stroking my hair, patting my back...being the sweet child I know she can be...and nothing works for her, I am a statue. Feeling frustrated, she gets really quiet and then grunts a little and squeezes out a "toot." Then she looks at me and laughs and how can I help but laugh with her.

My child the genius tooter.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Poop in the tub

Me: "Piper, did you poop in the tub?"
Piper: "Yeah, Mama" nodding her head

This is how my night began last night after Jason left to go spend a week in Raleigh for work (although I suspect he is a little relieved that the only worries he will have there are things I cannot discuss - see previous post).

So, there I was trying to calm a hysterically crying newborn and clean out a tub full of poop. Finally after putting Piper to bed, I decide that this is the week I will try to get Finley on a schedule and start a routine. I get her bath ready and she is still screaming. I bathe her and she is still screaming. I am thinking, at least this screaming will tire her out. Get her in her pajamas...still screaming. Finally, I sit down to nurse her and flick on the TV. Of course, Desperate Housewives isn't on this week...geez, can't anything go right?

Then the power goes out. Why? Probably due to some person thinking they are Clark Griswald doing up there house in a horrific amount of lights. Flashlight? Who knows where that is, so I just rock my baby to sleep. The power eventually comes back on.

I had put her crib in the closet...don't call protective services...our closet is bigger than the room I grew up in...I lay her down ever so gently must be a miracle...she stays asleep...until 10:30pm. I nurse her again, and she decides she would rather stay awake until midnight. I follow the five minute increasing rule as I let her cry for 5 mins, soothe her, let her cry 7 mins, soothe her, let her cry 10 min, soothe her, another 10 mins and it is time to nurse again.

Finally, she is asleep and sleeps from 12 to 4...not bad...better than anything she had done up until this point. However, she is up from 4 to 5:30. Then, same routine with the crying and soothing. Sleeps until 8am. Now, we are all getting ready to go to the Dr.

The moral of the story is this...don't have 2 kids so close together!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Things I am not allowed to discuss on my blog

Jason has informed me that there are some things that he would rather not have me post about, so here is the list:

  1. Penis size (his)
  2. Sex (ours)
  3. Whenever he says unpleasant things about people he works with

And so, from now on there will be no discussion about these topics. Sorry to disappoint.

This is Me

So, after endless months of my husband, Jason, going on and on about his blog, here I am with my first post on my very own blog. It is named after my children, Piper (Bug) and Finley (Birdie - although she is only 4 weeks old and we are not sure that this will be her long term nickname).

I used to teach Kindergarten at a private school. This is funny because I do not have an education degree. My degree is in something completely useless but very interesting and impressive to hear: Historic Restoration and Preservation of Homes and Buildings. Betcha didn't know that you could even get a degree in something like that,huh? I am convinced that if you pay enough money and go to enough classes you can get a degree in anything you want. So, the only real experience I had in teaching was when I taught a 3 year olds Sunday School class with my mom when I was 15. I guess that was enough to get me the job.

Nowadays, however, I am enjoying my time at home with my children as a stay at home mama. Piper is 22 months and Finley is 4 weeks and they are everything that is good and right in the world. Most of my posts will probably consist of stories about our life together at home...the good, the bad, the funny, and the very very ugly.

Jason and I have been married for 3.5 years and together for a total of 6.5 years. He is the ever funny if not corny rock that is my saving grace on most days. He is the cool head when I am not, and the comic relief when I have been pushed to my limit. He was the first guy to ever pay for me when we went on a date, and he still likes my butt after having 2 kids. More on him later.

I feel as though I am trying to redefine the definition of what a stay at home mom looks and acts like on a daily basis. Thus, I am preparing to relaunch a website that my hubby initially began, GoGoMama. We'll see how and when I am going to accomplish this task.

I look forward to sharing my ideas and anecdotes on this blog...feel free to comment!