Sunday, December 30, 2007

LOST!

for about 3 minutes! We just returned from Bass Pro shop, where my middle child, who's 2, was lost. My oldest is 4 and I haven't lost one yet, but my dear hubby managed to lose her. Now, this is the least likely of the 3 to go missing, so it truly scared me. I didn't realize just how much until we found her.

Here's the story. I take child #3, also known as spitfire, while hubby takes children 1 and 2. He's looking for gloves, I'm looking for crowd control! Within about 5 minutes of us separating, I'm paged to customer service. He's there with child 1 but not child 2. Where is she? I ask. She's lost. That's why I had them page you.

Now, I don't dissolve into tears or anything, but I'm not wasting time either. She's 2!!! Hubby tells me not to panic. Not really the right thing to say. So, we part ways again and start searching for her. Now despite that he told me he's let 'them' know, no one else that works there seems to be concerned. So, I stop 2 employees and tell them what's going on. They issue a code Adam. (For those of you who don't know, employee's won't let small children leave the store with anyone and they monitor who leaves while they are on the lookout in the store.) Obviously, hubby had not covered this base as he thought. Within a minute of my stopping this employee, it comes back that she is at customer service. I quickly head over there and my hubby is already there with her. Turns out she hadn't gone far and someone had found her and was returning her to customer service when my husband ran into them. As I come up, he tells me once again not to panic. Now, there are many problems with this statement. First of all, I'm not really a panicky person. Second of all, he really doesn't need to be telling me anything at that point.

Anyway, I started to cry (I'm also not the crying type) when I saw her. What a relief! Once the adrenaline had started to wear off, it dawned on me that my hubby was probably really telling HIMSELF not to panic. I also started thinking that if the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn't want him to be mad at me. (Oh, yea, I was mad!)

So, all's well that ends well. I'm not mad at hubby. Lest likely to dissappear is fine, as are her sisters. And, hopefully that will be the only 'lost' story we have to face in our family!



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Visit

My Dad and 2 of my Aunts came to visit. Yeah! I was so excited that they were coming. It's the first time my Aunts had come and it's been awhile since my Dad has visited. Now, in true, old-people fashion, they didn't stay very long, despite my pleas to stay 'just one more day'. They got here at about 4:00 on Thursday and left at noon on Saturday. What's that? 44 hours? It took them 8 and 1/2 hours to get home.

Anyway, they helped out alot, even though they didn't think they did. Unfortunately, I got sick while they were here and felt like crap on friday. The girls had fun with them. It was busy, busy, busy. And loud! My goodness. I think part of the chaos feeling for those 44 hours was that everyone was on different schedules. That's also alot of people under one roof! Plus this house carries sound funny and it's hard to hear. All the sounds get jumbled together.

The only thing we did was eat! My Aunt Jewrell brought a wonderful coconut cake. There wasn't much left by the time they left. My Aunt Devilla enjoyed playing with her Grandnieces and my Dad slept. I think his sisters wore him out!

Even though it was a short visit, it at least gave me something to look forward to. I still don't quite consider this place home, so it was nice to have a bright spot, no matter how brief.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12 days of Christmas

This is one of my favorite Christmas song. I especially like the part about the lights. I laugh, out loud, everytime I hear it. I know, I'm easily entertained. I hope you enjoy it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SBpyMkkoJo

Sunday, December 09, 2007

So, what do you want for Christmas?

That's a common question this time of year. With all of us having so much, there's really nothing we need. Even the girls have sooooo many toys, there is nothing they need. I spend a good deal of time bitching about all the toys we have and there current location all over the floor. However, Santa Claus will come and leave toys for the girls. So, I've been asking Rena what she wants. She's 4 and gets it. So far the only thing she has asked for is "little, big girl bikes for Wiley and Wachel"..."and candy". We've asked her this question a few times and our babysitter even asked her Friday night. Same answer. How sweet is that!




Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving

This year we decided to go to Asheville for Thanksgiving. We tried to get our whole family to meet us there, but it ended up being only Blair's parents. That was fine and we had a great time with them. Rena, in particular, LOVES her grandmother...and the feeling is mutual. We stayed in a hotel and they were across the hall from us, so Rena liked to spend time over there by herself. She was even going to spend the night with them one night, but she changed her mind at the last minute. I was secretly glad. I don't really like being away from my children.

Blair has an Uncle that lives there and we got to meet him and his wife for the first time. We had a really nice visit and they went with us to the Grove Park Inn to see the gingerbread houses. It was truly an amazing site, especially when you consider that they are completely edible. I didn't get any pictures, but I did come away with some cool ideas. I'd love to get my children and the neighborhood kids together to make some houses...it's the old teacher in me!









We also went to the Biltmore house. If you have never been it really is worth the trip. What a cool place. It's probably one of my favorite places to visit. Grandmom and I toured the house while Grandpop and Daddy watched the girls nap. It's all decked out for Christmas and it really got me in the Christmas spirit. We also took a carriage ride around the estate. This was probably my favorite part. I love being out in the woods and we got a whole different view of the house.

My big plan, and ultimate goal for this trip was to get a Christmas Card worthy picture of the girls. Not an easy task. For one thing, it takes and act of congress just to get them all dressed. Then you factor in hair that is actually brushed and 'fixed', clean faces and shoes that are actually on, and you're talking about a full days work! I had picked out the perfect outfits for them, complete with tights, shoes and headband....and then, Grandmom trumped me! She brought beautiful little red smocked Christmas dresses for the girls. They are too cute and I decided that maybe these would be the dresses I would use. Even though I had no hair paraphernalia to go with them. It didn't matter though, because it ended up being too cold to put them in either set of dresses. Not only that, but our timing was waaayyyyy off and we couldn't get everyone happy and awake and still enough to get a picture. So, I'll have to figure out another setting for our pictures.

Blair's parents ended up leaving on Saturday morning, so we had the day to ourselves. We spent most of the time lounging around the hotel room, but we did make it back to the Biltmore house to check out the winery and eat at the bistro. We had some time to kill, so we went to the barnyard. Now, I'm a farmer at heart and would spend all of my time in places like this. Seriously. They were bringing the horses in from the pasture, and we got to pet the Clydesdales. These are some humongous animals. There were 2 of them and the one we were petting was much more interested in where the other one was. He seemed a little skittish to me, but what do I know. The girls were interested in the baby chicks. We didn't get to hold them, but we liked looking at them anyway. I noticed that there were eggs in baskets on the wall. I asked the .....farmer? if they were real. Now, he probably thought I was an idiot for asking such a question, but I just couldn't believe that they would give the public access to the fresh eggs that had just been laid by the hens next door. But they do. (Evidently they have never encountered curious, and unsupervised boys). Too cool! I could have stayed there all day. Instead, we attemped to eat a nice dinner at way too late an hour.

After the farmyard, we headed to the Bistro for dinner. The girls started off pretty good. Rachel, who has never shown any real interest in coloring on paper (walls, heck yeah!, paper, not so much) colored intently until dinner arrived. Rena, who had been a perfect little lady (especially with lots of praise from Grandmom and her newly found Uncle) was also coloring and entertaining herself pretty well. Riley needed a little more attention, but she was doing pretty well too. However by the time dinner arrived, they were done. The whole time I ate my dinner, Riley was laying on the bench kicking me. Rena an Rachel spend a good deal of time under the table retrieving dropped crayons and silverware. Someone's milk was also spilled under the table and, evidently, wiped up by all three coats. We were drawing the wrong kind of attention. The women at the table behind me engaged me in conversation about raising children and remembering those days. Her grown daughters were with her...and were arguing with their mother about how far apart in age they were. Once we got up, Rachel proceeded with her standard 'wallowing on the public floor' dance that I have come to expect. Luckily, I'm bigger than them all, and at this point, if necessary, I can carry all three at the same time. I didn't have too. I only had to carry one, screaming, flailing, Rachel. She wasn't upset. She just borders on ferrel sometimes.

The next morning we were on our way back home. The girls were tired and the trip worked out perfectly. They fell asleep about 30 minute into the trip and woke up about 30 minutes before we got home. I didn't get the perfect Christmas picture, but I did have a very nice Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Great Communicator

I've known for a long time that my husband is not the greatest message taker. Greatest salesman? Yes. Greatest Dad? Yes. Greatest "Hey, your wife's not home? Tell her...". No.

Super no.

Ok, here's the deal. I'd been out the other day and when I got home there was a delicious looking apple crisp on the counter. And here's the conversation that followed:

Me: "Wow! Where'd this come from?"

Blair: "Michele brought it over."

Me: "She did? That was nice."

Blair: "She said it's for the plants.

Me: "What plants?"

Blair: "I don't know. She said, something, something, plants, something."

Well, I was stumped. I didn't remember giving her any plants, or recommending any plants. Could it have been a planter? I did just have a yard sale and got rid of lots of stuff. She had come over that morning, but I didn't remember giving her anything. Plants, plants, plants. I pondered this for days trying to figure out what plants I had given her. So finally I sent her an email. Here it is.

Hey Michele,

I want to thank you for the apple dish you brought over. It was yummy! We'll bring the dish back soon.

Blair was a little unclear on why you brought it. Our conversation went like this: (OK, you've seen this part already.)

Me: "Wow! Where'd this come from?"

Blair: "Michele brought it over."

Me: "She did? That was nice."

Blair: "She said it's for the plants.

Me: "What plants?"

Blair: "I don't know. She said, something, something, plants, something."

So, thanks again. Hope you enjoyed the...plants?

Leigh

And finally, someone who had the whole story and could make sense of the whole plant mystery. Here's her response:

You are certainly welcome…..and thank you for the laugh!

I told him that it was my 2nd installment on the flour loan…and then I specified that you loaned me a “bag” of flour so that he didn’t think I meant flower!

So he was kinda on the right track!


Ah, yes, the flour. I DO remember loaning her a bag of flour! Now it all make sense. Yippie!

Well, this was good for a laugh...but seriously guys, is it that hard to listen?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

FUN!

The other day, after a nap, Rachel came to join me outside. She had a big case of bedhead. She had on no pants. She hung out with me for about 2 seconds when she heard noise coming from across the street. A bunch of the neighborhood kids were across the street playing together. Rachel took one look at them turned to me and pointed across the street, excitedly exclaimed "FUN" and headed for the party!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Reason

For those of you who know what you know, this is why I did what I did.


Raleigh — A search for a 2-year-old girl was called off shortly after noon Tuesday when the child was found.Wake County authorities found Rachel Kelly Carr, with scratches and crying, in a wooded area about a half-mile away. She was near a pond, and authorities said the quick response from authorities made a difference.Carr was outside playing with some other children when she likely wandered off, authorities said. She was reported missing about 9:30 a.m.
Wake County sheriff's authorities and the North Carolina Highway Patrol searched by land with ground crews and search dogs and by air with the Highway Patrol helicopter.The search prompted authorities to shut down briefly roads near her home in the area of Banks Road and U.S. Highway 401 while they searched for the child.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sing, Sing a Song

I must be doing something right. My girls are happy! Lately, they have all been singing alot. Rachel sings all the time. She sings Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, ABC's, a blessing Rena learned in her class, Old McDonald, Happy Birthday, you name it, she's singing it. She's pretty articulate too, so you can understand alot of what she's saying. I'm amazed that she can sing all the words to these songs. Riley sing some too. She loves musics and get into the dancing part. She's really quite timid though so alot of times she stops if you catch her. Rena sings songs she makes up and she always comes home from preschool with a song.

I hope these girls are always singing. I love hearing their sweet little voice. Even in the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lurking friend #1

Hey Sharon. Yes, I'm talking to you. Stop lurking and say hello. I think about you and Bob and Taylor alot. So leave me a message!

No Singa Dat!

Today has been a really long day. Not bad, just long. I woke up at 2:00am. Yep, that's right. I don't know why, I think it's perimenopause. I know, way too much info, although, that might explain alot. Anyway, Rena got up at 3:30. I don't know what her excuse is except God knows I can't be up without one of the kids being up! I got out of bed at 4:30 and showered and got ready for the day. I had a yard sale today and I needed to get things ready. Rena helped. We were really busy all day and had lots of people come by. The neighborhood kids were out in full force and my girls were busy busy busy. Rachel crashed about 11:30, but Rena and Riley were like the energizer bunnies. I finally started to crash about 3:00 and got Blair to hold down the fort...er, yardsale. I took Riley upstairs with me and we settled into bed with a book about Cinderella. She wanted to stay in bed, but she was still a little wound up. I wasn't. So I decided to sing our night time song to her.

Now, she and Rena both have told me "No singa Dat Song" when they have been really tired but didn't want to go to sleep. So today, against Riley's feeble protest, I continued to sing. It was like watching someone get hypnotized. She managed to get out "No singa dat" about 3 times as her eyelids drooped heavily and before I was half way through, she was sound asleep.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for me. After counting her breaths, replaying the yard sale deals (or robberies, should I say), going to the bathroom twice and watching 57 channels with nothing on, I decided that a nap just wasn't going to happen. Seriously! I've been up since 2! What is the deal. And now it's quarter after 9 and I'm still not really sleepy. Maybe someone needs to sing to me!

Actually, I hear wolves off in the woods behind my house howling. (Really) Maybe they'll sing me to sleep.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Boomer

About a 'mont' or 2 ago, we adopted a cat. His name was Mark and he belonged to one of our neighbors who lives across the street from us. (I really wanted a siamese cat, since my last 2 have been part siamese and had been wonderful pet. Sammy lived to be 17, quite the old man!) He has such a great personality and he's a good looking cat. The problem is, it was a slow adoption. I told Blair probably a week before I told the original cat owner. So, she still fed him for awhile and I don't think he was allowed in her house. Then another neighbor fed him and took him to the vet! Poor thing was experiencing an identity crisis. To make matters worse, anytime he did come to our house, he was pulled in 3 (OK 4) different directions. Cats LOVE that! So, he honed his hunting skills and pretty much is a cul-de-sac cat. My neighbor has seen him wrangling with a squirrel! He's eaten mice and birds and god only knows what else. I fed him a half pouch of salmon the other day and he decided to come back the next day too. But now I haven't seen him in a couple of days. Oh and now his name is Boomer

To my friends and family

Ok, I know you are checking the blog out, so leave a comment! Just click on where it says 0 comments and follow directions. If you comment, I might write more! ;) Also, don't for get to click on the pictures to make them bigger and get a better view of the girls.

Water Woes

Ah the irony. In case you don’t know, N. Georgia is in the middle of a 100 year drought. It’s all the talk down here and evidently across the southeast, if not the whole county. Those California wildfires may have stolen the spotlight for now, but it will be back on us soon. One of the big reasons is because our Guv’nr is fighting with Alabama’s Guv’nr and Florida’s Guv’nr over the release of water from Lake Lanier. Now, I’ve got no problem with letting the two states have their fair share, but check the weather channel people! We haven’t gotten any rain to share. And it’s not like water can flow uphill, so if the situation was reversed, they wouldn’t be helping us out either. Now, as far as I’m concerned, all the stupid people have had to wait for the government to tell them when and how much water they can use. They call these ‘water restrictions’. Seriously people, you don’t even need the weather channel for this one. Step outside. No rain. Where do you think the water you use comes from? And the HOA’s have made the situation worse by requiring people’s lawns to be green. (I’m not making it up!)

So here at my house, in a underwhelming effort to counter-act the single biggest water wasters on the planet (Riley and especially Rachel) I have been catching rainwater from my downspouts to water my plants. (What’s that? Applause for the environmentalist in me? Thank you, thank you very much!) Now the irony…I haven’t planted anything that needs to be watered anymore. So I just have a 10 gallon trashcan full of dirty water sitting on my back porch. Maybe I’ll can sell it to Florida!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fall Festival













Here are some better pictures of the girls.(Don't forget you can click on them and make them bigger.) We went to a fall festival with our next door neighbor and the girls had a great time. Riley had the same stoic look on her face the whole time, but she did have fun. Rachel fell in love with the horses and I'm actually surprised we were able to get her away from them. Rena had a good time too. She participated in all the events.







Rena and Rachel started out in the bouncy thing. I thought they might stay there the whole time, but they finally moved on. Riley stayed with me most of the day. I was surprised she didn't warm up a little.







When it came time to ride the horses, all three girls were in to it. In fact, while I was digging tickets out of my pocket to pay for the ride, Rachel scaled the fence, climbed through and practically jumped into the helpers arms. She was getting on that horse. She ended up riding 3 times. Rena and Riley both rode twice.







After a little food, we played some games, fed the horses and then it was time to go. It was a simple festival and the girls had a great time.

Happy Halloween!





I love Halloween. I don't know why. It does give me a chance to stretch my creative side just a little bit. It really doesn't get enough attention!


This year, Riley was a lady bug, Rachel was a bumblebee and Rena was a princess. They were so cute I could hardly stand it!


We did get some milage out of the costumes. Our neighbor has hippotherapy at a local stable and they had a fall fundraiser we got to wear them too.


Anyway, this year Rena gets the idea of Trick or Treating. She got to see lots of her neighborhood friends along the way. Of course, everyday it Halloween around here. No matter who she goes to visit, they give her candy! Now, Rachel and Riley aren't quite old enough to get the concept. In fact, Rachel's first 3 stops were at our house! Whenever anyone else came, she took a piece of candy too! Once we finally got underway, Rachel and Riley didn't see the point of going to the next house. The first house had all the candy they needed. Blair and I finally started moving everyone along and they seemed to get the idea a little better. By the end of the night, Riley was riding in the wagon, happily consuming all the candy she had gather.


This was the first time ever that we weren't home for Halloween. I just put a big bowl of candy on the front porch and left it to the honor system. I have to say, I missed out on some of the Halloween fun. Even though I saw all of those kids as we passed them, I missed handing out the candy. Next year, Blair and I will have to take turns. Plus, it's not as fun to Trick or Treat at someone's house when they aren't there.


Well, here are some of the highlights of the evening. Sadly, I didn't get any great pictures.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pictures of the girls





My Dad keeps asking me if I've posted anything new. He doesn't want to read about our life, I'm sure. He just wants to see pictures of his granddaughters. Well, here you go!

Bonding over food




These two crack me up. Rachel and Riley could not be more different, but going through my recent pictures, I realize that they have one thing in common. They are actually really cute when they get into the food too. They share with each other and help each other out if one has trouble opening something. They are very patient with each other. Oddly enough, Rena isn't really a part of this ritual. I think they are excited about their new-found independence.
Hmmm, wonder where they get their love of food?

video

Thursday, September 27, 2007

video

The girls have been swimming like little fish ever since we got back from our trip to the beach this summer. Rena has been teaching Riley and Rachel how to put their faces in the water and blow bubbles. These girls are naturals! They have done great and show NO fear of the water.

Fashion Queen




Riley is into necklaces, shoes, hats, etc. She is the accessory queen. Her are a few pictures to show her fashion sense. In the first one, she is sporting an infant sleep sack as a sort of cape. She went to Target with me dressed like this. (That's right, I don't care if they talk about me!) I must mention that it was one of those 100 degree days that we were experiencing too. Next, we are trying to decide between the summer fishing hat and the winter wool hat. The winter hat won. And lastly, little miss Hollywood is ready for some serious grass mowing. Enjoy!

I lub you

I can't believe how big my girls are getting. Rachel and Riley have turned into little girls overnight and Rena is such a big girl.

Riley has been going around the house telling everyone that she 'lub's them. She is such a sweety. She'll come hug me and say "I lub mommy" and continue on, "I lub dad-a", "I lub Way-way", "I lub Minda". Minda is how both she and Rachel say Rena. I can't figure it out. They can both make the R sound in each other's names, but Rena always comes out Minda. Anyway, you can just see it in her face how much she does really love us all...even Max gets a big hug and an "I lub Max". It's really sweet.

Rachel, meanwhile, is continuing with her independent streak, but she is sweet also and likes to cuddle with me, and me only. My lap is prime territory and whomever is there guards it vigorously. It's like a bizarre game of King of the Mountain. Rachel will snuggle in with me, but she is constantly surveying the area for potential de-throners. Her thumb securely in her mouth and her other hand on her belly button, she watches for her sisters who might want to share my lap. If they come too near, they just might get kicked. This 'game' usually goes on until I can't stand it any longer and have to get up, eliminating the lap all together!

Rena, my little social butterfly, is loving pre-school and all of her friends in the neighborhood. She is entering a period of helpfulness and I am taking full advantage of it. In the past, if I asked her to help with something, she would tell me 'no' flat out. Now, she's helping clear the table, helping with her sisters by getting them dressed and in the bathroom, actually putting things away for me. It's great. She's also very much into makeup and handbags. She will put her chapstick and what ever else she can find that passes as makeup into different bags and carry them around. They usually get left at someone elses house, but, oh well. What really cracks me up is that I rarely wear makeup and I don't usually carry a purse, or even a diaper bag. She must get that from her grandmom!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cold Snap

Only in the south do people dress their kids in long pants and long sleeved shirts when the weather is in the 80's. Earlier this week, when the 100 degree days had finally subsided and fall showed promises of really arriving, I had my girls dressed like it was really cold outside. They didn't complain. I suppose going from 100 degrees to 80 degrees does take some getting used to, but it does crack me up that we dressed like it was cold.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

We Started Preschool!!!!!!!

Preschool started! Blair and I took the girls together on their first day. We dropped Rachel and Riley off first. I was a little, ok, alot apprehensive about how Riley was going to do. I stayed with the twins, while Blair walked Rena to her room. Unfortunately, he went to the wrong room which set Rena off. She was very apprehensive anyway. They came back to the twins room crying...Rena, not Blair...and I hurried them out of there before the crying became contagious. Blair and I took Rena to her correct room where she clung to us and had to be pried off with 'one last kiss and we'll see you later'. This was hard for everyone, but at least I knew what to expect. Then Blair and I were free for a little while. This could be kind of nice!

Friday, July 27, 2007

felonious acts

Deleted, for you my friend, Teresa, so the neighbors don't have anymore reasons to come after me with torches. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Country come to Town






We were packed up and headed to Raleigh. Blair was going to spend Monday with us and then head off bright and early Tuesday morning. I had the girls with me, but Blair was pulling the trailer that had everything else on it. I got to the hotel first. It wasn’t the Dew Drop Inn. It was a nice place with suites and everything. Well, as soon as we got there, Rena had to use the bathroom and Rachel and Riley both need to be changed. Little did I know, but Rachel had poured her juice all over herself, so she was completely wet and needed changing. None of the girls had shoes. And Blair was about 10 minutes behind us. What’s a girl to do. So, I parked out front, left the car running with the dog in it and carried my motley crew inside the nice hotel. Straight to the bathroom we went. Out we came with 3 shoeless girls and 1 in nothing but a diaper. Mind you, we hadn’t actually checked in at this point. I’m surprised that no one was asking us to leave. The girls, after having been car-bound for 4 hours, made themselves right at home in the lobby. Luckily Blair showed up we were able to check in and get settled.

Raleigh was probably the busiest part of my trip. I was so excited to be back home and there was so much I wanted to do. First I went to get my hair cut by my favorite hairdresser, Chada. This women cuts my hair for an entire hour and it always looks great when she’s done. It always looks great the next day too. Then we met my friend Amy for a little shopping and dinner at the Kanki. Yummy. I ran into an old co-worked there and it was so nice to see someone I know!

The next day, I met one of my best friends and her daughter and we went to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Great museum. We had a blast, despite the fact that it was H-ot! This place has it all: A butterfly house, and insectarium, bear, lemurs, bubbles and more. It really is a cool place and if you ever get a chance, you should go. The girls had a great time and so did Sherri and I.

I stopped off at the cemetery on the way back to visit my mother’s grave and also a high school friend’s grave. It was a nice quiet spot.

Then I checked out the old ‘hood, where I stalked my old house waiting for the new people to come home from work. I really wanted a cutting from a bush that’s growing in the yard, but I didn’t have anything to cut it with. I ended up not getting it…this time.

I had forgotten what spectacular sunsets there are where I used to live. I know, I know, the sun sets here too. But these sunsets take you’re breath away. I pulled off the road and took a picture, but it just doesn’t do it justice. After admiring that for awhile, I headed back to my friend Sherri’s house for dinner and a little more playing. It was still H-ot, but we played out back on her trampoline. Riley LOVED it. I wish I had video of her running around on this thing. She was scaring me to death, but I was laughing too hard at her glee to do anything about it. Plus, we couldn’t catch her! Rena and Rachel liked it too, but Riley was the dare-devil.

The next day, I stopped by school to say hey to the people I used to work with. Plus I had been promising the girls some playground time. I got to see a few people, but I was really hoping for more. I haven’t worked there in 3 years, but it feels much longer and I miss them all terribly. Then I went to another friends house where I spent most of the time furiously emailing myself pictures from my cell phone from the last 2 ½ years. My cell phone was threatening to kill itself and take my pictures with it. I couldn’t let that happen. Winnie was a trooper though and even though we got to visit, it wasn’t nearly long enough.

Off to my cousins house for the next stop. My Aunt Devilla had called my Aunt Delores and plans were made for a trip to my cousin’s house where the girls could play and we could relax a little. I ended up having a great time and actually staying longer than I had intended. I really wanted to ‘tour’ Raleigh a little bit and see how things had changed. I did a little bit of that. I like to drive past my Grandparents old house. I’m always amazed at how small it is. This area of town has THE hottest real estate, though. These little 900 sq. ft. houses sell for well over 100,000 dollars. Well over.

Then it was time to leave again. Sherri came and helped me hook up the trailer and then it was off to the beach again. This time: Uncle Randy’s and Grandaddy’s.

Next stop: Grandma’s house








This was the longest stop on our ‘tour’ and Blair was with us the whole time. It was nice and relaxing. We spent a couple of days on the beach and a couple of days shopping. No pressure, lots of sand and r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g.

Rena had a great time following Grandma around everywhere. Rachel bonded with Grandpop and Riley enjoyed chasing the dogs around.

Grandmom and I went shopping one day and Grandmom got the girls these cute little bathing suits. Hopefully we’ll still be able to wear them next year too. It was fun to explore the little shops on the outer banks. I found these really cool blown glass pumpkins that were absolutely beautiful. They were a little more expensive than I wanted to spend, but I can’t get them off my mind. I got the business card and I’m seriously thinking about treating myself.

Blair’s parents live 8/10ths of a mile from the beach. Despite that fact, Blair and I got into an argument over whether to walk or drive to the beach. I won. We walked. Seriously, Blair wanted to move the 3 car seats from one vehicle to the other, load up all the towels, chair’s, toys and more into the vehicle, somehow attach the garden cart we’d brought to take to the beach and drive the 8/10ths of a mile. Unload the vehicle, load the garden cart and cross the dunes. Really. Men. So, instead, we did the sensible and healthier thing. We loaded the girls and the stuff in the garden cart and walked to the beach. It’s probably the longest uninterrupted time Blair and I have spent together in a while and it ended up being his favorite part of the trip. Mine too.

The girls loved playing on the beach and Rena even met a new friend that was visiting next door. The beach was great and I really wasn't ready to leave.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

first stop - Maryland







The first real stop on our vacation was to Maryland to see Blair's best friend and his wife and son. "Baby" Joey turned one and we got to go to his birthday. It was alot of fun seeing everyone. "Baby" Joey's Mom is pregnant again, too! They used to visit us alot when we were in NC, but now it's just too far to go. The birthday party was great and the girls had alot of fun. Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend any real time with Joe and Maureen.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I've been busy recuperating from our summers big adventure. We were gone for 3 glorious weeks back to NC. Most of our time was spent on the coast, but I did spend a few short days inland in Raleigh, reconnecting with friends and family. It was great. I cried evertime we left somewhere!

We started in Maryland at our Godson's 1st birthday and ended in Southport, NC with my birthday. There was lots of family, friends and surf inbetween. If my children will ever all nap at the same time, I'll post pictures of all we did.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rena's First Joke or the Pre-Emergent Comic

3 year old, "Mommy, what color is the sky?"

Me, "Blue."

3 year old, "No, red."

Me, "OK".

3 year old, "Mommy, which way am I pointing?"

Me, "Up."

Sidenote: Ok, I'm not really getting it at this point either and I think it's just random questioning to see if I really am all knowing. Remember, she's three.

3 year old, "Mommy blew up!" laughing at her own joke!

Gee, I can hardly wait for the 'real' knock knock jokes.

Monday, June 04, 2007

nosey neighbors, dogcatchers and the HOA

Last week was not my best week here in Georgia, to say the least. 3 letters from the HOA, 2 citations from the water department, complete with pictures and diagrams, a nasty email from a neighbor and a brewhaha over a neighborhood party involving police left me feeling a little...well a little out of control, I suppose. The HOA is my biggest pet peeve and the brewhaha over the party magnified all that I think is evil about them. The theory is they are good for property values and if everyone keeps their house looking like no one lives there, then everyone is going to want to buy your house. The reality is it often causes speculation about neighbors. Who's turning whom in to the HOA. Who's complaining about whom. What your mulch looks like and when you last watered are frequent conversations.

Anyway, I happen to live in a part of the neighborhood where most everyone is friendly and happy to see each other. We wave and speak and most of us don't really care what each other's lawn looks like. This week, we've been behaving like neighbors, which is what we really want in a neighborhood. For example, my dog got out the other day while I was gone and 2 different neighbors worked together to get him back and fix it so he couldn't get out again. One of my neighbors accidentally made too many pies and brought us one. And I noticed that my neighbors were still home when they shouldn't have been. This made me worry, so I went to check on them. They were alright, but I'm still glad I went to check. If something were to happen to me or my family, I want nosey neighbors. Those that notice something is not quite right and do something about it. Neighborhoods are a great place to live.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Joys of the Frog



I spent part of yesterday morning planting the rest of my very small garden and some left over flowers. It was cooler than it had been in days and I wanted to get as much planted as possible. I have a little plant problem. I want them all, but I don’t have time to plant many! I’ve tried to be very good and not buy a lot at one time. I still have 4 grapevines (2 from last year, 2 from this year) to plant, 2 rhododendrons, 3 hostas, some vine, and a hydrangea. Oh, I also have about 150 various bulbs. I’ve killed off 3 guara plants that, evidently, needed to be watered at least 3 times a day! I’ve started digging holes, but haven’t managed to complete the job. There are areas where the ground is as hard as cement. Seriously.

Anyway, while I was planting my garden, I stumbled upon a little frog. I called Rena over to investigate, and then Rachel and Riley made it past the evil sprinklers to check him out too. While they were all interest, it was in varying degrees. Riley, still traumatized by the sprinklers, was more interested in her milk and sympathy. Rena really liked him and was the only one to actually attempt to touch (pet) him. But the wonder on Rachel’s face says it all. She was mesmerized. I love it. That’s what makes motherhood so great. Seeing that wonder on a small child's face.

The View of the Frog

Ok, there I was, minding my own business, hanging out under a sage plant, when all of a sudden, I was lifted high into the air and then plopped down to the ground again. I attempted an escape, but the store-bought soil made a poor camouflage for this old frog. I used my second best life saving technique…absolute stillness. This seemed to work for awhile, at least on the old lady, but then children showed up. I’d heard about these creatures from my elders. These children seemed to be kinder than most. Only one of them tried to touch me. No one actually attempted a capture, thank goodness! After what seemed like a really long time, they all left and I made an escape onto a watermelon leaf. They’ll never find me here! What’s that? Rain! Thanks goodness, it’s been so long. Wait, it’s gone. Wait it’s back. It’s gone, now back, hey…!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

If you are looking for a happy, feel good post, this is not it. Move on. Come back later. Right now, I have to vent.

I hate this place. I really do. I've tried. I've made the best of it. I've gotten involved, met neighbors and made friends. But I hate it here. No offense to Georgia. It's a beautiful state, really. I've met alot of really nice people. But I just don't think this is the place for me. This past week, I've received 3 letters from 'my' homeowner's association that I am not in compliance...my flower beds need mulch, my weeds need to be treated and my children's toys need to be out of view when not in use. I'm not kidding. I'm not even exaggerating. Then I got a warning letter from the county that I illegally watered my lawn. With that I was threatened with a $1000.00 fine and/or 60 days in jail. "Hey, what are you in for?" "My sod was looking a little parched." The icing on the cake was a nasty email from one of my neighbors accusing me of talking about her behind her back. Seriously, I'm almost 42 and if I've got something to say, I'll probably say it to your face. It did hurt my feelings though. So silly. On top of all of that, I've been dealing with the 'builder warrenty guy'. I realize he has a boss to answer to, but is it really that hard to do it right the first time? How about the second? He 'fixed' my front door on Friday and now it doesn't shut at all. The painters came, and despite my telling him that I wanted all of the trim scraped and repainted, they only painted where it was peeling. They'll have to come back. It seems no one is actually responsible for anything, but everyone wants to hold you responsible. And God forbid you actually get a straight, much less honest, answer from anyone.

Really, I'm ready to go home. Back to where I know where I am and where things are. Back to friends and family and comfort.

There, I feel a little better. But only a little. I'm still in Georgia.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

All in a Days Work

The painters came yesterday do redo the work that should have been done right the first time. It wasn't their fault. Crappy builder. Anyway, Blair got home and was going to take the girls outside. Rena went out first and Blair hit the open button for the garage door. Now, don't ask me why, but Rena decided to hold onto the handle of the garage door. You know, the one that's there in case you lose power and have to open it manually. (That's not really a problem for me, I'm a southerner and we don't really use the garage to park in! )Blair stepped back inside for something and the next thing we know, Rena is screaming. She didn't let go of the handle and it lifted her into the air. Then she was afraid to let go because she didn't want to fall. Luckily, the outside painter came to her rescue! Bad parents that we are, we didn't even register that she was in trouble. She was scared, but otherwise fine. Later, I'll see if she'll recreate the scene for me so I can get a picture. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Speaking of Night-Night




Rena had Budda. (pronounced Bud-u) Rachel has her thumb and her belly button. Riley, well, she's an interesting one. Most nights, Riley doesn't get her 'lovey' until about 30 minute before she goes to sleep. I should have been taking pictures all along, but I've only managed to get a few. You see, she finds some THING that she has to go to sleep with. Oh, and don't try to take it away from her. Blair found this out the hard way. Now, these things are not your conventional bedtime lovies. My favorite one is a Melissa and Doug puzzle which has three posts that you place graduated wooden shape on. Other's have included her bath towel, books, cars, keys...well you get the picture. So, I've added a few pictures to share. In one, she has a handful of books and in the other, it's an elmo phone. She's not asleep yet.

Night-Night

I think this video says it all!


View this slideshow created at One True Media
Night-Night


"The Guys" mom had a boys thing and asked me to watch her girls. We had lots of fun. We played on the playground, made pictures and hats, and ate. The 3 year olds enjoyed dressing up. You can see the little princesses are still in costume. Here they all are enjoying a little watermelon snack. That's alot of girls!

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Devil's Tramping Ground

The Devil's Tramping Grounds is a barren circle in the forest in the Harper's Crossroad community near Bennett, NC. It is the subject of some of North Carolina's oldest legends. For at least the last hundred years, nothing has grown within the 40 foot ring and the phenomenon is thus far unexplained. A United States Geological Survey team could uncover no scientific explanation for the lack of growth within the ring.
Stories about the ring are well known in local communities. These include the disappearance of objects left within the ring overnight, and strange events occurring to those brave enough to spend the night within its boundaries.
Legend says that this is the very place the devil himself can rise from the depths of fiery hell, and come to earth. It's at this place, the devil walks in circles on certain nights and brings his evil into this world.

Ok, now that you know all of that, let me just say, I think my backyard, in particular, my garden spot, qualifies as Georgia's version of this. And whenever I've compared my backyard to the Devil's Tramping Ground, my non-North Carolina natives just look at me funny. Anyway, hope this explains it.

Aunt Mamie

I've been checking out Ancestry.com web site and finding my roots. Not for any particular reason. My mother's maiden name is rather unusual, so it makes it easy to research that kind of thing. Anyway, I was checking out her side of the family and I started thinking about my Aunt Mamie. Actually, she's my great Aunt Mamie. She and her family lived in Beaufort, NC. Every summer, we spent part of the time down in Atlantic Beach, which is just a few miles from Beaufort, and we would go and visit my mother's family. These were my mother's aunts, uncles and cousins. But Aunt Mamie was my favorite. She lived in a trailor beside her son and daughter-in-law's house. They lived on a farm. I think this might be where I actually fell in love with a farm. There was a dirt road that led to their houses and, being at the beach, it was really made of soft sand which felt great to summer's bare feet. The fields were across the street from the houses and they would always let us pick watermelons to take home. Feral cats lived under the house and there was always a new litter of wild, untouchable kittens. It was always warm and there was always tea.

Aunt Mamie was my Grandfather's sister and they looked a little alike. She was very sweet and always had a smile on her face...much like I remember my Grandfather. She had a bird that could do tricks. She had found that bird and given it a good home. She loved him. And that was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

My mother was an only child, and after she died, we completely lost touch with her family. It's a shame really. I did learn that my Aunt Mamie didn't die until 1995. that was a full 5 years after my mother died. I think she was about 98 when she died. I would have loved to have seen her again. Her son and his wife still live in the same place. At least I think they do. I should probably look them up, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

locust

I don't travel light. I'm prepared for most any situation. I have diapers, wipes, ziploc bags, trash bags, napkins, dog leashes and I just added a potty to the repertoire. I also have a variety of food products...goldfish, teddy grahams, juice boxes, etc. If you have children, you get the picture. It looks like a scene from the Food Network's version of Sanford and Son.

Yesterday I decided to take a few minute and try to see if I could find the floorboard of my car again and ,perhaps, restock. My girls think this is a fun place to play. They were shortly joined by 'the guys'. Within minutes all of the snack food was consumed and nothing but empty bags and plastic containers was left. They even emptied out the coin contents. This must be what it feels like to be descended on by locusts!

Dahling, you look smashing!

I don't know if it's because I've been up since 4:00am or if this is really this funny, but I've been entertaining myself by checking out the celebrities and, even more so, by reading the descriptions of them and their outfits. I always wonder what possesses them. Don't they have any real friends that tell them they look rediculous? Check it out.

http://movies.msn.com/movies/Undressed?photoidx=1

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Screaming Nekkid Toddler Tantrum

Blair met us on the beach about 20 minutes before we were going to head in. We had already been there about 5 hours and I was ready for a shower. So, we stayed even longer and no one was complaining. We finally packed up the pack n play, the beach blankets, the chair, the sand toys, the dog and all food paraphernalia and headed for the outdoor shower by the pool. While we washed everyone off, including the dog, a little girl started talking to Rena and wanted her to come play in the pool. I told Blair it might be good for Rena to hang out with her since the little girl was older and could swim. So, Blair and Rena got in the pool. I was going to take the twins and the dog to the room and start real showers so we could go to dinner. For some reason I don't remember right now, I decided to let the girls get in the pool too. They didn't have their bathing suits on, just diapers. And the dog wasn't supposed to be on the pool deck. But we got in anyway and Max was on his best behavior. Rachel and Riley were loving being in the pool, but since I was their life jacket, I was beginning to lose interest. After a few minutes, I decided to go ahead and take Rachel and Riley and the dog upstairs. There were a couple of problems with this. First of all, I didn't have anymore diapers for the girls and I didn't have any clothes for them either. At this point, their diapers weighed more than they did, so they had to come off. Now I have 2 naked babies,one towel and a dog. Oh, he's not very good on the leash. So, I try to wrap the one towel around the 2 naked babies and hold the dog leash while carrying both children. This MIGHT have worked. But Riley didn't want to leave. She goes into the passive-aggressive, limp baby position, making it almost impossible to hold her, much less cover her and her sister with one towel. And the dog is systematically wrapping himself around my legs. Swiftness is my only chance. I finally get from the pool to the door to the hotel (gently knocking people out of my way) only to find that my key doesn't work. All the while, Riley is wailing "No, no, no, no, no!" I make my way back to the pool to call for help from Blair. He brings Rena and they go to the lobby for a new key, while I wrestle with 2 naked babies in one towel while still being wrapped in a leash by the dog. Finally, Blair and Rena return with a working key and some very nice ladies help us by holding the 2 doors between me and the elevator. Then they wisely chose to dissappear before people assumed they were with me. Once in the elevator, I gave up on the towel and let the naked babies rule. I'm just glad no one saw us in the hall. Riley's wails of NO continued until about 3 seconds before Blair and Rena showed up. Ah, peace.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

View this montage created at One True Media
Ray-ray sings and dances

grandaddy



My father lives on a boat half the year and it just so happened that he was able to meet us in st. augustine. I packed up the girls and the dog and headed over to the municipal marina for a visit. It was great to visit with him and it didn't take long for Rena to get re-aquainted. We hung out on the boat and ate watermelon. I think the girls ate a whole one!

St. Augustine


I'm not a big traveler. I tend to be more of a homebody. However, I do like being other places. I know that sounds weird. It's just the thought of travel that I don't like. I pack everything but the kitchen sink when I go somewhere and with little kids, it's even worse.

Well, Blair goes to St. Augustine on business alot and this time he decided to take us with him. A beach? I'm in! We were going to all ride with Blair in his truck and tow my jeep so I'd have a way to get around while I was there. This sounded great to me. I was actually going to have a little time to read, relax and maybe even catch a few zzz's. Once we were all settled into the truck (Max was on his own in the jeep), I kicked back with my latest parenting magazine and started to read. This lasted until we pulled out of the driveway and discovered that you can't actually tow my car like that. 2 options. Put my car on a flat bed trailor, which we have, or I drive. Well, the girls had already been strapped into their carseats for 15 minute, so I decided to drive. No need to confine them any longer than necessary. I wasn't very happy about this but I was ready to go. Turns out, it wasn't so bad. What I actually don't like about traveling is sitting there for long periods of time. It's not so bad when you're driving. Plus, it was just me and the dog. And my thoughts. I don't get to hear them that often anymore, so it was kindda nice. (No, I'm not hearing voices in my head. At least not yet. And even if they were there, I probably wouldn't be able to hear them over the din of my own children!)

The drive to St. Augs wasn't so bad. There were stretches of it that reminded me of Raleigh a long time ago. It was all lush and green and there weren't traffic barrels everywhere. All of that green made me think of my childhood and trips to the beach. There doesn't seem to be much lush green left these days. Everything is being destroyed to make room for new. But on this drive, while I could hear my thoughts, I thought about how it used to be. I remember going to the beach during the summer and when we'd return home, the yard would be all shady and cool, in that summer kind of way. We had a pecan tree and a maple tree that shaded most of the front yard. The grass would need to be cut and there was always the smell of fresh cut grass from one of the neighbors. The house would be stuffy from being closed up for so long and it's warmth would welcome you when you walked in. It was nice to be home. Those smells and feelings were comforting. I miss those carefree days of youth, and I'm afraid that my children won't have those carefree days if I'm not careful. The 'Jones's' push way too hard for our children to grow up too fast. But I'm in control now, and so, carefree and innocent it is.

We spent most of the week on the beach. It was great. St. Augustine is beautiful and I absolutely loved it. There were beautiful flowers everywhere and it was warm and sunny and you felt like there was really no need to wear shoes anywhere. Great! I ate seafood every night. It's the oldest city in the US and so there are all these great old houses shaded by palm trees, scrub pines and twisted old live oaks. The buildings and houses are separated by streets that are paved with old cobblestone bricks that are uneven and worn. You really feel like you are in another time.

We stayed in a hotel right on the beach, so each day, I would load up the stroller and set out for the beach. Me, Rena, Rachel , Riley and Max. We had to walk through the pool area to get to the beach, up some steps to the outdoor shower, across the gazebo, down a couple of step and then into the sweet soft white sand that the Atlantic Ocean had offered up. There's nothing better than walking barefoot through that soft sand. Oh, it's hard work, especially when you're pushing a double stroller, loaded. But it's great. It makes a kind of squeaking sound as you push on towards the harder packed, wet sand. Your feet sink down into it's warmth and resurface for another step. Progress is slow but Ahhh.

It helps to know the tide schedule, which I didn't, but the beach is really wide and there weren't alot of people there. The last day we were there, we got there at high tide, so I set up right at the water. The girls played in the sand and the surf, chased birds and made sand castles. Rachel and Riley took a nap in the afternoon, so I got to spend time with just Rena. Max guarded our 'camp' from other dogs and bike riders. Blair joined us in the afternoon and we all just wandered around enjoying the warm sun and the cool water. It was perfect.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa

Rena's friend, Felicity, came over the other day to see her and here's how the conversation went:

Me: "Hey Felic, how are you? Oh, you have the hiccups? (Felicity nods) You must be growing! We are getting ready to eat dinner and Rena will probably come outside for a little while when we're done, OK?"

Felicity: "Can Rena come out and play?"

All I can think is Charlie Brown's world must be right. All kids hear when adults speak is "Wa, wa...wa,wa,wa,wa."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Crazy Freakin' Drivers!

I know everyone complains about the drivers they are stuck with, but let me tell you, this area is full of some no-driving *************! On my way back from the Y today, I was at a stop light that is ill equipped to handle the traffic that passes through it at certain times. I had a red light and I needed to turn right and immediately get in the left lane. I could have turned right and stayed in the right lane, but then I would not have been able to make my left hand turn a half block away. Plus, this is the turn lane to access the highway. (I've been beeped at in the past for not making this right hand turn on a red light because I couldn't get in the left lane.) Anyway. I waited for my light to turn green. When it did, the driver coming from the left decided she wouldn't wait for the next set of lights and so she pulled out into the middle of the intersection, blocking my right hand turn. When traffic moved enough for her to be out of my way, not one, but two cars turned LEFT infront of me! Outrageous! Once I had finally turned and was on my way, an oncoming car decided to use my lane (I happened to still be using it) as an extention of the turn lane he wanted to be in. Crazy Freakin' Drivers! It's so bad, I actually stopped a policeman in the grocery store one day and asked him who had the right of way when a lane ended. There have been a number of times when my lane hasn't ended and the other driver has beeped at me or flipped me off. I think Georgians may need a refresher course on driving!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beauty Queen?

Ok, I'm flipping throught the chanels and I end up on VH1's Beauty Queen Showdowns. I'm not actually sure that's the title, but it might as well be. I am horrified by this behavior. These mother's dress their little girls in these absurd dresses, spray tan them, color, tease and spray their hair into 1950's unnatural hair doos - especially for 5 year olds - and I just discovered tonight that they wear something called flippers that are fake teeth. It's what gives them the really creepy smiles and hides their baby teeth and any that might be missing. Doesn't this creep you out? God I hope so. I swear, there is a personality dissorder that must be associated with these mothers. And, there is always a flaming gay guy that knows way too much about all of the ins and outs of the things. What is wrong with these people? And if you defend it, all I can say is stop the madness!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Friends

"People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime."

Ironically, I just got this message in an email sent from an old neighbor of mine. This comes after a phone conversation with another old neighbor of mine about friendships. All of this has me thinking about friendships and how it gets harder as you get older to make friends.

A little over a year ago, I had to leave behind all of my friends and the city I grew up in, to move to Georgia. I was not a happy camper to say the least. Lots of people told me "You'll be OK, you'll meet new people, you'll make new friends." Well, I wasn't worried about meeting new people. I'm pretty outgoing, so that wasn't a problem. But what does it take to make a real friend? Maybe I've filled the quota for 'lifetime' friends and all I have left are 'reason' and 'season' friends. Who knows. But this friend making thing is difficult.

It was easy to make friends in high school and college. It was a little more difficult after graduation. But now that I'm married and have 3 little children, it's very difficult. For one thing, my time is not my own. I have to work around schedules. My husband's schedule, my childrens' schedule and my own schedule. Then, if I want to interact with someone I have to work around their schedule too. That's just too much work. What if it doesn't work out. What if I end up not liking the person? What if they end up not liking me? (Unlikely, but it could happen. :))

I have a handful of very good friends, that I will be friends with many years from now. When I look closer at these friendship, most of them were started before high school and up through college. There have been fewer lifetime friends made since then.

I have always been jealous of people who have a circle of friends. I have a group of friends and some of my friends know one another, but they aren't friends. I must say, my group of friends is an ecclectic lot, each bringing something interesting to the mix. But this group is not ever going to get together for beach trips or mountain trips or even all sit around on the front porch drinking wine. Even if we did, it would be such a diverse group, I'm not sure how well everyone would get along. What does this say about me? I don't know.

Anyway, I was just missing my friends. I enjoy that connection and I miss it. I keep an open mind though and I'm always looking for that next lifetime friend.

Friday, April 06, 2007

was birth an empowering experience?

I have never heard the phrase ‘you birth the way you live’. At first, I was thinking, no, I didn’t birth the way I live. I live strong and mostly in control and independent. Then, I gave it a little more thought. I have kidded that I didn’t give birth; I had my children surgically removed. This statement is true. I had C-sections with both pregnancies. I did give birth to three children, though and this is an opportunity to explore that a little further.
I tend to face difficult thing slightly to the side. A lot of people say they face things head-on, and this has even been said of me. But I like to think that when things get really difficult or scary, I prepare myself to be caught off balance; A little to the side and leaning into things. I come to terms with the inevitable and shore myself up to face whatever’s coming.
Well, I know it sound like I was terrified of giving birth. The truth is, I was. It’s not something I had ever done before and I knew it was going to be painful. I’ve had plenty of physical pain in my life and I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to do something on purpose that was going to put me in pain. And yet, I knew I wanted a child and I wanted to give birth to that child. So there I was, pregnant for the first time at age 37. I was around a lot of other mothers and they had all made it through the process just fine. I could do this too. What other choice did I have?
I didn’t have any doubt that I would have a normal pregnancy and give birth after hours of labor. After all, what are these big hips for. Little did I know that there was a curve ball waiting down the road for me. I started bleeding. I headed to the hospital. The doctor checked me and the news wasn’t good. I had a placental abruption and I wasn’t going anywhere. Days turned into weeks and all I could do was sit in bed, watch Dr. Phil and think about how I was going to have this baby.
Up until that point, my pregnancy wasn’t completely real to me. I wasn’t in denial. I just didn’t want to get my hopes up. It had taken me a year and a half down the road to infertility to get pregnant. Was it real? Well, lying in bed all day with nothing else to do makes it as real as it can get. I started to really bond with this baby growing in me. After all, it was usually just her and me. I loved feeling her grow inside me. I looked forward to the twice a day heartbeat monitoring. I got to see her in a lot of ultrasounds. How cool is that! I looked forward to meeting her, but still not so much the way she was going to arrive.
When she had finally gotten to a safe gestational age, we all decided that it was time to meet her. Let me stop here and say, I really wanted this birth to be as drug free as possible. I have nothing against people who get epidurals; it just freaked me out to think of having someone place a needle in my back. Or anywhere else for that matter. I didn’t want to be induced. I think far too many pregnancies are made more difficult because of medical interventions. I think our bodies are capable of handling alot more than we sometimes ask of them. But there I was with this decision. It was time. I hadn’t really let myself think about how serious a problem I had, but I was smart enough to know that it was time. So, the pitocin drip started and I had my first contraction. There was not much to it. This went on for 12 hours. Up the pitocin. Contractions. Nothing very exciting. Finally, the Doctor asked what I wanted to do. Hmmm. I really want to go home. And I really want to stop worrying about bleeding. So, C-section it was.
Because I had been in the hospital for so long, and had been rushed to labor and delivery more than once, I had a really good idea of what was going to happen. I had pretty much overcome my fear of needles and IV’s. Not so much for the spinal, but I shored myself up and faced that too. A few minutes later, my life as a mother began! That part was wonderful, but I carried some disappointment that I wasn’t able to actually ‘give birth’.
Gradually the disappointment over not giving birth was replaced by confidence and happiness at being a mother. I realized that HOW they get here is not nearly as important as them actually being here.
When I discovered with my second pregnancy that I was having twins, all hopes of actually giving birth vanished. But I was OK with that. I bonded earlier with them and didn’t feel cheated with the birthing experience. I was much more relaxed because I knew what was coming.
So, did I birth the way I live. Yes. Was it empowering? In some ways. Motherhood has actually been more empowering. Has it affected me long term? Yes. I think it has. I’ve had to let my guard down and rely on other people…something that is very difficult for me. I would have more, even if I had to have C-sections. It is a great feeling to know what your body has accomplished. And I love being a mother.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Play System

We used to call them swing sets or jungle gyms. Now they are called Play Systems. And they don't come cheap. We had been talking for a little while about getting play equipment for the girls and all that we wanted with it. It was fun shopping and getting to see all the stuff that is available. We settled on a Cottage style from Rainbow. This thing is really cool and it makes me wish that I was a kid again. We probably got one much bigger than we needed , but we figured each girl would probably have at least one friend on it and we wanted there to be room for everyone. So, it has 4 swings (2 regular and 2 toddler), a rope swing, a trapeze, a rock climbing wall, a slide, monkey bars, a picnic table and something they call a general store. This thing rocks! I've put the sand box back there with it, so hopefully my back porch won't constantly be covered with sand. The girls love it. Rena is enjoying the picnic table the best, Riley likes the swings and dare-devil Rachel likes the slide and the monkey bars. Well, not actually the monkey bars. She likes to grab the board in front of the monkey bars and swing out over the ladder. I'm sure sudden rushes of adrenaline are good for my heart! The worst part about all of this right now is that our backyard is nothing but red clay. That will be changing this weekend. I've convinced Blair to order lots of mulch. I'm creating a flower bed too, and when that's all done, I'm going to have part of the back yard sodded. This has been no cheap project and wasn't one we really budgeted for. Oh well, the girls love it and if they're happy, we're happy!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Guys


The guys spend alot of time at our house. Or at least it seems like they do. These are Rena's dearest friends and I love having them here. I am surprised that their mother lets them continue to come over though, since they are usually sent home much, much dirtier that when they arrived. In this picture, they are enjoying our lovely dirty back yard. They had also been playing with the water hose, which created the lovely red clay mud. All this backyard activity is because we are installing a new 'play system'. It really is cool and I'm very excited about it. More on that in another post.


kwik kleeners

One of my pet peeves is businesses that misspell their title on purpose. I have seriously thought about a boycott of these kinds of stores since it iritates me soooo much. There is a new dry cleaner opening near me that has one of those names. Consignment shops are also famous for the misspelling. It even irritates me that the R is backwards in Toys and Babies R us. The fact that they use an R instead of are doesn't really bother me though.

There, I feel better.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

For my friends and loved ones that aren't all that computer savvy...you can click on the picture and make it bigger. Easier to see.

partners in crime


These two managed to empty all 1000 pieces of this puzzle in the time it takes to make Kraft Mac and Cheese. It will take me approximately 2 weeks to clean it up.