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Showing posts from 2010

What Zoe Is Thankful For

Instead of reading a bedtime story last night with Zoe, I sat with her in her bed with a pen and notebook and asked her what she was thankful for.

* Note: Everyone in Zoe's life is very special, but I think it really says something if you were listed individually because it's really hard for a three year old to not want to list every single toy instead of actual people. I know... because I had to suggest after baby dolls that maybe we think of some other things.

The following is the list (with some extra commentary) as she told me:

"I'm thankful for....

Mommy.
Snow White.
Daddy.
Kitty cats.
Cameras.
My baby dolls. And I'm thankful for my panda., and... "Let's not just list toys, OK?"
Alright.
I'm thankful for water.
And Max and Bailey
Butterflies.
And Grammy.
Aunt Sadie.
My Grandpa.
Nana & Baba.
Daddy's friend, Sam... he's nice.(She just met him yesterday)
Cheryl and Chuck-Chuck.
Ellie. Eleanor.
MaryEllen.
Chelsea.
NIki.
Noe...write down Noe, Mama. (She ha…

The Spirit of Giving

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I posted this on facebook Saturday night and as of Sunday morning, I had people committing to give 13 turkeys* (or their equivalent) to shelters in their area. I thought I'd go ahead and post this for you all to participate as well.


Daniel had only known me a week or so and he was giving me all the money I needed to pay for a (full course load) semesters tuition at Bakersfield Community College plus money for books. He saw that I wanted to go and he went to his parents for help so that I could. In the nearly eight years we have been together I have watched him hand over spare change all the way up to a twenty dollar bill (because that was all he had) to people who asked him. There was a time when this completely caught me off guard. Twenty dollars, to a stranger, who might end up using it for something silly. He has always treated the people he is handing the money over to with a dignity that I think they are not given often enough. He is always humble to their exclamations of &quo…

Kids Are Silly

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KNOCK KNOCK!


WHO'S THERE?


PUMPKIN!


PUMPKIN, WHO?!


PUMPKIN HEAD!


AH HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!

Loss

I’d been thinking for a while that it had been too long since I’ve written either of my children a letter. For those of you who have been reading my blog (or my facebook notes) for the past few years, you might remember that this was at least a monthly occurrence with Zoe that dwindled a bit when I was pregnant with Finnegan and then pretty much stopped completely once he was born. At least, the public postings stopped. I’ve continued writing my love letters to my children - notes about how much they’ve grown or changed, letters about significant events in their lives, etc. But the last few months had seemed especially hectic and I had stopped writing even the private ones. I had resolved to start again a few weeks ago. And then TWO weeks ago happened and spinned our world upside down and I could barely think in complete sentences to try to explain to either child what was going on.

So on our drive to Texas two weeks ago today, I decided I would write a letter to Zoe and Finn. I’ve put…

My Mental Health Day

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This last week has been hard on me. We're coming up on a year since our car accident and I'm struggling with how much it is still a part of my life and my nightmares. I wrote a long piece reflecting all of that, but decided to only share it with my facebook friends. Honestly, I am embarrassed that I am still so affected and I didn't want to air too much of that here. But I am affected, and there was a lot of stress and panic attacks punctuated by a whole lot of tears and frustration this week. Sometimes, that wreck seems like it all just happened a month ago.

I've also been struggling with who I want to be, what I want my focus to be. Free time comes rarely with two young kids. I adore being their mama and they make my world a better place, but there are certainly those days where I feel like I need more. Like there is more I need to be striving for and accomplishing.

Tuesday night I told Daniel that I felt like I was having a breakdown. That if I didn't have some ti…

So, here's the thing

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Keeping up with blogging is hard work when you've got 2 kids (a PRESCHOOLER and a toddler, no less) running around. I know there are all sorts of Mommy Bloggers out there doing it and doing it well. I admire those women immensely because I have a hard time finding the time.


You know, with all my time playing those damn games on facebook.

Ahem.

Factor in that our accident just put me in a really bad place and it's taken me a while to want to sit down and write more than a few sentences at a time in a status update. For a long time, I was more comfortable with my "audience" being people I had actually met in my life along with a few blogger friends that I just admire and adore.

But I've missed some of the connections I'd made. I missed that feeling of accomplishment when I published a post and put it out there for whomever to see. I've missed keeping up with my blog roll and reading what you guys have to say because you all inspire me and make me laugh.

So I…

Where Did The BABY Go?

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It's a little bit surreal taking your first born to her first day of preschool. Where she will be away for six hours, learning and growing with people and children who are (not yet, at least) friends or family. Watching her walk to her classroom and then through the gate and then the door, it was like I was literally watching her grow up before my eyes. For an instant, I flashed forward to the first day of kindergarten, high school graduation, college graduation, wedding day, the day she tells me I'll be a grandmother (EEK!). And the next thing I knew, she was telling me she'd see me later and that she loved me. "Bye bye, Mommy."

When we walked into the preschool director's office, my eyes welled up.

Zoe is not a baby anymore! She's not even a toddler. How did that happen so fast?

We've been promising Zoe preschool since we started potty training her. She's never been intimidated by the idea of leaving us and going to school. She was so determined,…

Beautiful Girl

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This morning (once I realized Zoe was being more quiet than usual) I found my daughter in my bathroom. One of my lipsticks was in her left hand, fully extended and ready to apply all over her face, no doubt. The rest of my makeup lay scattered on the floor haphazardly. Pieces of my jewelry were strewn about her person: bracelets on her arms, multiple necklaces draped over her neck and a few over her princess crown and kitty ears that she’d decided on wearing earlier. In her right hand was a large clump of more jewelry... I’m not sure exactly what she had planned for it. She looked like she was either a pirate, a burglar, or perhaps an over accessorized beauty queen. When our eyes met, there was a moment of hesitation before we acted. I simultaneously wanted to grab my camera and scold her for the mess. She wanted to run with her loot while explaining why she had to have all this stuff. Zoe was faster than me.

As she raced passed me and through the door into my bedroom, she yelled out …

No Cookie For Me

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The cookie pictured is old, but I still considered eating it. Because it's a cookie. I love cookies!

What I did instead was look in my fridge and pantry. I decided I was going to choose at least one vegetable and make it yummy without adding too much. I chose mushrooms and sauteed them up. I scrambled up an egg. I mixed them together, added a little bit of cheese and some salsa and added it all to a whole grain tortilla. It was delicious and it took me five minutes.

Take THAT, fast food.

And then there was the cookie.

I decided instead of eating that damn cookie, (because I was full... and it's a cookie. I've broken up with cookies.) that I was going to play with it a bit. I know, I know: Don't play with your food! And I know, "Throw it all awayyyyyyy. bad bad" ;) But it was a little bit therapeutic to take that cookie and do something creative with it. It made me laugh. And I need to keep a sense of humor about all this. And I sort of like testing myself - espe…

Empty House

Thursday afternoon I told my mom we wouldn't be coming for the visit I had just suggested a couple days prior. It was the killer cramps I'd been having, plus the run down feeling and Daniel having been gone on a work trip for 24 hours and counting. Or maybe it was my recent decision to eat better paired with this overwhelming desire to just relax and focus on me for a bit. Regardless, the idea of sitting in a car for an extended period of time and then trying to make health food choices while traveling no longer appealed to my mind or body. I was tired. I needed to relax. I wanted to enjoy our house, just the 6 of us (I'm including the dog children) for a few precious days after having house guests for the last two weeks.

And then Saturday around noon, my two kids jumped on my bed for ten minutes straight, screaming at the top of their well developed and OMG! healthy lungs, with no abandon. When they saw my face contorting with frustration and ugh, pain - they giggled. &qu…

Big Changes

So, I’m not sure if any one ever reads these posts anymore... but hello. It’s been a while. I’d recap what I’ve been up to, but I’ve decided to just leave that up to mystery. Ha.

What I will tell you is that sometime yesterday I made the commitment to myself (and out loud to my husband) that it’s time for me to get back on track with healthy eating and trying to be a healthier person overall. I’ve been down this road before - I had some successes and then maybe because I had those successes, I was able to get pregnant with my son without any extra help (fertility drugs). Because of gestational diabetes, I was able to maintain my weight through strict management of my carb intake. I felt better about myself.

And then we had our car accident and my way of dealing with the stress was to eat. I ate entirely too much. When I was sad or upset, I turned to unhealthy foods. I started a ritual of eating ice cream nightly. Every. Single. Night. A huge bowl. And sometimes I’d have seconds. It was…

Finnegan

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Finn. Finnie. Little Man. Baby. Baby Boy. Baby Brother. Brother. Big Boy. Monkey. Wiggle Worm. Snuggle Bug. Mr. Serious. Mr. Destructo. Demolition Baby. Handsome. Stunt Boy. Flirty Finn.

At this point, Finn's vocabulary is limited. He says "Mama, Daddy, Baba, Banana, Up, No. Yes. Uh-oh. Baby." And a whole lot of gibberish that we don't really understand yet. Sometimes I swear he's repeating everything he hears and someday it's going to just come out crystal clear.


He's often mistaken for being shy. I think by comparison to Zoe, that is understandable. He will not run up to strangers and introduce himself like she does. Instead, he will stare intently until he is noticed and then bat his eyelashes. He will hide his face and then look back at you quickly to make sure you're watching him. He's got a smile that will charm just about anyone. His eyelashes are ridiculously long and thick.

I don't think I ever realized how active a one year old could b…

A Day Without Kids

I've been sans kids all day because I'm dealing with a stomach bug. I've got to say, if I didn't feel so horrible, it would be pretty great.

And I feel a little bit bad for typing that. Except, I don't... not really, really bad anyway.

I think I put unrealistic expectations on myself.

Since having Finnegan, I have only been alone for a hand full of days. Since having him, I rarely get breaks. I am rarely not attached to one or both kids. And this might be too much information, but it is a rare treat if I get to go to the bathroom by myself.

Before you say, that's what being a mom is... I know. I know, and I love it. But everyone has their breaking point. Everyone needs to take a day here and there to relax. Hell, not necessarily an entire day - I'd take a couple hours a week! Being a stay at home mom, despite what some people may think - is physically and emotionally exhausting. While I love what I get to do and I am eternally grateful that I am able to stay h…

Bella the Great

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A few months ago I saw some posts on facebook from multiple friends about a couple trying to save their home from foreclosure by starting their own publishing company and children's series based on their now four year old daughter, Bella. I was touched by their story and their creativity in finding a way to supplement their income. I was drawn to the concept of Bella the Great - an imaginative and adventurous little girl, (much like my own) and her sidekick Iago, a stuffed bunny. As I navigated their website and saw the lovely illustrations created by Jonathan Ashley, I got excited about getting to not only share Bella the Great with Zoe and Finnegan, but with my friends and family as well. I had to resist the urge to purchase the coloring books and t-shirts I wanted because we're on a tight budget ourselves these days, but I quickly pre-ordered the first book:


Bella Goes Bump in the Night
Moments later, I was messaging Derek and telling him how inspired I was by his story. We …

The Waiting Game

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If all goes well, we should get news that we are "officially" homeowners either today or tomorrow. Even though the paperwork has been signed, the homeowners insurance policy written and purchased, and the check handed over to the title company, I'm not letting myself celebrate until I get someone in charge to tell me it's official. I'm waiting anxiously for that phone call.

Maybe I'm showing what a pessimist I actually am. Ha.

But on the positive side, I'm excited. I told Daniel the other night that there was no one else in this world that I'd rather go (further) into debt with than him. And that is true. So true, that I find myself walking around the house spending money we don't have. You see, we're buying the house we've been renting for almost three years. While we could have painted or made whatever changes we wanted to if we'd discussed them with our friends, (the current homeowners) I just didn't want to until it was really …

Safety First

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Since our wreck in September, it is absolutely impossible for me to not think about what happened at least once a day. I know that might sound excessive and it doesn't exactly sound like I've moved on... but it's true and I mostly have. Mostly.

I still get headaches. I still have flashbacks. I still hear the sounds associated with the accident, all of them. I still feel nauseated when I see an accident on a television show or movie. It's hard for me to talk about what happened without getting emotional, and I never know if I'm going to get angry or cry about it, or both.

Last Friday we had to take Zoe for a CT of her head. We've known since November that we needed to do it, but the doc said we'd could hold off for a bit because we knew it was going to be traumatic for all of us. And then it was like we were sick for 3 months straight because, all four us... we pretty much were sick November til oh, right now. So anyway, we'd been told they would use cons…

Sugar & Spice

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So, last night after I'd finished reading some bedtime stories to Zoe and while I was singing her some of her favorite "nigh-nigh" songs, we heard Finn crying. The crying a mama hears and knows that her baby is hurt*... but I didn't rush in because I knew he was with his Daddy and was being taken care of.

Zoe had been nearly asleep. She was at that stage where she was petting my hand as I sang and sort of fighting the inevitable like she's done since she was an infant. She would open her eyes and stare at me when I'd stop singing and then when I'd start again, her eyes would sort of move side to side like a Cylon and then roll back a bit before they closed. Yes. THAT tired. No, it's not creepy, it's endearing.

Anyway. Finn's tears startled us both a bit, but I had her needs to think about too so I tried to soothe her. Zoe wasn't having it though. She sat up straight and looked at me:

"Finnegan's crying, Mommy!"
"I know. But …

Goodbye, Buffy (the Family Dog, not the Vampire Slayer)

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Buffy was my parents dog. They got her as a puppy around the time I moved out of my parents house the first time. We joked that them getting a sweet little puppy was their attempt at getting me to not move out but I don't think that was really the case... even if it is a shame that didn't work. Ha. Not really, truth is those choices are what shaped me into who I am now as a person: a wife, mother, friend, etc.

But that's not what this is about. This is about Buffy.


Buffy was the 2nd Buffy my parents have had. The first passed away when I was a baby, I think.

Buffy the 2nd seemed to always have a smile on her face. She had big brown eyes that could melt your heart. She was a big girl and we joked affectionately that she was part dog, part cow. Despite her large size, Buffy thought she was a lap dog. Shaking hands soon turned into her throwing both arms around you. Buffy never met a pair of black pants she didn't cover with her long hair and she never met a treat she didn&…

A letter to a friend:

One of my oldest and dearest friends is due this Monday with her 1st child, Oliver. She and I have had a lot of conversations about the crazy/rude things people say to expectant parents and about parenthood and I wanted to write her a note for her to be able look back on. I remember how anxious I was in the days before Zoe (and even with my 2nd, Finn) and I wanted to send her something to help put her at ease and put a positive spin on this motherhood "thing". Being a mom isn't easy, but I truly think focusing on the joys and gifts of motherhood is the way to go instead of trying to scare people who have already decided to be parents.*

Here's the letter:


2-3-2010

Dearest Ashley,

I've been thinking a lot about you and Justin lately. I've been thinking about this great adventure you both have been having these last nine months and how very, very soon your adventure and your family will expand. Today you are just five days from your due date and since your son could…

Health Update

We found out this morning that Finnegan has pneumonia.

An hour later, Daniel was at the doc. He has bronchitis.

Less than an hour later I was on the phone with the pediatrician requesting Zoe get a chest xray too. Call it mothers intuition or just common sense, but it seemed like Z had more than a common cold.

An hour later I was at the Pulmonologist.

THREE hours, 2 breathing tests, and 2 chest xrays later, we know that my pneumonia is improving but likely to turn into bronchitis. The bad news is my lungs are at 50% capacity. The good news is... that's better than 0. The doc is trying to figure out why this is happening to me. Pneumonia should only affect me by 15%... 50 is bad. The other news is that he wants to check me for Valley Fever again next week. He says despite last weeks results, it's just too early to know I don't have it. He also says he'd rather I have VF because he knows how to treat that. Look at me! I'm so *mysterious*.

As soon as we finished there, we …

Closed

Just heard the news that an old favorite restaurant has closed it's doors.....

Daniel and I had our 1st kiss in the Woody's parking lot. We went there after our 1st rehearsal for Commedia del Arte. Surrounded by new theatre friends and trying to figure out how we were going to get to know each other, we both "coincidentally" left at the same time. I guess you could say the rest is history.

In the seven years we've been together, Woody's was a mainstay. It was where we went after rehearsals, auditions and shows. It was where we hung out with new friends and brought our out of town friends and family. It was where Daniel and I pretended to be "just friends" but held hands under the table... and years later brought our 1st baby and then our second.

"Zoe, this used to be your mommy and daddy's favorite place."

We had our favorite servers: Brad & Cathy... the two of them used to fight over who would get our table. We even invited them to ou…

Sickness, Cubed

Zoe woke up last night crying, coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath. When we'd gotten her to calm down and felt confident that we did not need to rush her to the ER, she and I settled into the guest room. I held her as she tossed and turned. She slept, I did not.

Daniel took Finnegan to Cheryl's this morning, as planned and left Z with me. She and I stayed huddled in the bed feeling miserable together. She's running a fever now and goes to her doctor in a half hour.

My husband was supposed to be able to work this week, but now he's home again to help take care of Z and take her to her appointment since I still feel like hell. Walking across the room takes my breath away.

I STILL don't have any of my blood test results or info on my CT Scan. What I do know, is that I'm not pregnant... not that I thought I was - and that the site of my TB test looks normal so far. I called my doctor's office at 10am and they said they'd call me right back. Um. I haven&#…

In Sickness

Last Monday night, we loaded up the family and went to Urgent Care. I wasn't feeling right and knew it would only get worse if I didn't get any meds in my system as soon as possible. Finn was being especially cranky, not eating as much and coughing. We were seen fairly quickly. The doctor said I had a bacterial infection and prescribed antibiotics. Finn was sick, but not that bad off, so we'd wait to give him any meds - just continue monitoring him. I thought we were on the road to recovery.

Monday night I started running a fever. I felt even worse the next day and by Wednesday, I was trying to get a hold of my doctor's office to get in as soon as they'd take me. They made room and saw me just before 10am, I was in x-rays ten minutes later. Turned out, I had pneumonia.

Four days later, I'm still as sick as I was that morning. I'm taking strong antibiotics, doing breathing treatments 4 times a day, and I keep my rescue inhaler close at hand. Daniel had to take…

Dear Finnegan,

On this day one year ago, you were just eleven days old. So little and new to our family but already we had all fallen in love with you. I remember thinking then, as I do now, that you were meant to be with us at exactly the time that you came into our lives.

You see, when Daddy and I decided we'd like to bring another child into this world, we had no idea how fast it would happen. We were sure we would need help like with your sister. We imagined the "process" would take several months and we'd get pregnant again after maybe a year of trying. Well, you and fate had other plans because you were conceived 2 months after our "let's have another baby" talk. In fact, I had made an appointment with my doctor to talk to them about my trouble getting pregnant and had to change that to a prenatal appointment. This is why you are called our "budget baby" by the way, not because you are at all less expensive than your sister to take care of.

When you were…

Long Time

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Wow! I honestly had no idea that I'd not written for over two months.

I'm not sure if it was that thing that happened in September... or maybe it was the holidays, or my family of four being sick for almost the entire month of November, but I just didn't make the time and I've missed it.

A lot has happened. Good things.

I'm driving again. I'm doing it very cautiously and I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I'm in a car, but I drive when I need to.

That's my big news, really.

Other great things happened:

Finn started crawling, finally. And then the furniture walking and then... 2 weeks shy of his 1st birthday, he walked. At 1 year and 4 days he is cruising around the house, keeping up with Zoe and RUNNING! It's amazing and scary and wonderful to see such a little human being running and laughing maniacally. He's a hoot.

We had both sets of grandparents with us for Christmas and that was perfect. Both kids had a lovely Christmas and ju…