Sunday, December 31, 2006

Gigglefest 2006/2007

That is what I am calling this visit to the ranch. Brianne, Brenda, and Savannah came with me this trip. You put 3 young women in a car for any extended amount of time.. and everything is funny, downright hilarious!! From Brenda & Savannah trying on the kid's riding helmets.. back wards, to their stories of previous adventures. People watching at the gas station... starving while waiting for our food at Cracker Barrel... burps, gas, and other strange notions and sounds.. all were accompanied by copious amounts of laughter.
Today started with "mole eyes" and bright light after very little sleep. We rode horses in the mud and mist. Very unhappy, not so well behaved horses in the mud and the mist. I am forced to mention Brenda confused my quarter horse, still saddled.. with her unsaddled Percheron when we were putting the horses back where they go. It was a momentary lapse, but funny none the less. Of course I have a few more days for memorable moments from Bri & Savannah as well! The girls played pool while waiting for lunch, then we did some people watching and evil villain planning.
Everyone was quite disappointed that it was raining more than misting for the afternoon ride, but when they found out they could ride if they wanted to, they were on it. I worked with Tortuga for a bit, then decided I really didn't want to get wet. So here I am in the warm, dry room, and they are getting wet out in the pasture with the horses....oh the quiet!
I am really enjoying them. I know I still enjoy getting together with my friends when I can. We have our gigglefests too. It is a universal language of friendship.. laughter, love, sharing. It is funny we can laugh with our friends about silly or embarrassing things, but if anyone else tried to kid us about the same things, we would bite their head off. I am glad they get to do this. They will go back home to their colleges, work, etc.. but they will have the fun and laughter of these memories to carry with them forever. I'll be sure to share more later! I have a few adventures of Hunter, Tristan & Alexa to share as well.. stay tuned!


Today is my friend's birthday. This is the first time she hasn't celebrated it with me in 3 or 4 years. We met each other a very long time ago in St. Petersburg, FL. We have remained friends no matter how far away we lived from each other. We used to walk to the mall, and to the 7-11 for chocolate pies we would heat up in the microwave. We snuck out one night during a sleepover and months later told on ourselves because we were bragging to her sister and her mom heard us! I hit their mailbox, I argued with her sister. I wore dirty sneakers for cheerleading pictures..(her mom was sooo mad!) We may have liked the same boys at the same time, but never took one from each other... and NEVER had our boyfriend borrow our skates to skate with the other one of us...friends don't do that! We have a ton of fun stories and little jokes. My friends are my life preservers and I wouldn't do without any of them, so Thank You Terry.. and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

I Lied..

I didn't even think before I did it, it just popped out of my mouth and there it was..
I told a young woman that I had a stroller I wasn't using and if she could use it, I would get it to her. I didn't have one at the time, but I did get her one. I was driving downtown coming home after going to the horse supply store. I noticed a woman walking with a stroller, a very decrepit stroller, with the wheels held on with some kind of wire. As I drove by I thought, " that really isn't safe". Then I thought about being a single mom with Kie and not having a stroller. I thought how much easier things may have been if I had one. Then I thought about Kie struggling as a single mom and what if that were her. I felt compelled to turn around, and I actually said a prayer, "Please let me find that girl and help her". I was on a one way street so I had to go around a couple blocks to get back where I was when I saw her, but she was gone. Again I said, "Please let me find her, I have to do this!" I turned down a side street to do another drive through, and there she was crossing on a lower street. I lowered my window and called out to her, " excuse me, I'm sorry to bother you, I don't mean to, but could you use a stroller?" She looked at me a moment as I pulled over across from where she was. I told her I wasn't a crazy person, I had just seen her walking and remembered when our stroller started losing wheels and they don't make them like they use to. She smiled and relaxed a little. She said she had 3 daughters, 7,5, & 3. The stroller had almost lasted through all 3. It looked it. The closer I got the worse it looked. Beaten & bent. Beyond repair. I repeated my lie about having a stroller, and asked if I could get it to her later. I could give her my cell number and she could let me know where to bring it or where to meet her. She took my number and told me she was staying at a local shelter, I could bring it there. I got the kids sizes and asked her if anyone could use the infant car seats and a play pen I had, she gave me the name of another girl stating there with a 6 week old and a 2 year old.
I hit 3 thrift stores on the way home and couldn't find a used stroller. I went home and loaded up what I thought could be used, picked Hunter up from karate camp, then hit Walmart. I found shoes for $2.50. I found jackets for $3 & $4. I even found a stroller on clearance for $37. I called Brian to let him know I was buying some things and he called me "Claire" (from the movie Scrooged). I went to pay for my things and found my check card & ID were gone! I immediately called the horse supply store, nothing there. I called home and Chad didn't answer the phone. So I called my neighbor and asked her to go over and light a fire under him and have him call me. I was in a panic. Chad finally called to let me know he found my check card in my bathroom, it must have fallen out of my jeans. He also found my ID, but after Anise found it first and chewed on it. I had to go all the way home, get the cards, go back to that Walmart, then go downtown to the shelter. You should have seen me putting that stroller together in the Walmart parking lot then running it around my car several times so it would like I at least used it once! I thought I must be crazy to go through all this. The young woman called me to say she wouldn't be back at the shelter when I got there, but to let them know it was for her. I assured her I would. I got there and got things unloaded. I had tagged the things for the mom I met and the other girl she told me about and then I asked them if they could use any of the other things I had. The woman was so surprised I had brought unopened toys and clean, almost new clothes. I asked if they got enough things form the Salvation Army donation centers and she said they get what no one buys, which is usually the dregs no one wants. I was appalled. But she did say they kept any donations they got directly for use there at the shelter. I asked her if they could use anymore things and she said yes. I told her we will be going through alot of stuff and I would rather give it to them than give it to Good Will, or somewhere to be resold at a high price needy people can't afford.
Brian asked me if that satisfied my need to help someone. Well, it would have, but I saw several of the kids that live there and it broke my heart. We have so much, I can't just turn away and do nothing. So I will put out the word and when I am shopping and come across a $2-3 pair of shoes or a jacket, I will grab it and add it to a box to take down there. And I will not hesitate to offer help.. or maybe tell a little white lie.. the next time I see someone who may need something. And the reward? Thinking of Kierra started this mission for me today and as I was done and driving away the song "What Hurts The Most" by Rascal Flatts came on.. and I thought of her again....

Thursday, December 28, 2006

What dreams may come..

Last night Brian & I both had some really weird dreams, Very real, very dramatic. Brian dreamt I was in a car accident with the twins. Alexa and I were fine, but he said Tristan had a pediatric walker because he hurt his legs. He told me about it this morning. I told him maybe it was a carry over from me picking up the kids from child care last night when I was really sick. He was probably worried and it carried over when he went to bed. I dreamt, hmm, it is dreaming when it is just voices you hear? I "dreamt" of Kierra screaming, over and over again.. "Where are my babies, where are my babies??" No matter how loud I screamed back that they were okay, they were here with us, she couldn't hear me. She just kept screaming it over and over, louder, and louder, crying, sobbing, still screaming. I tried everything to get through to her and nothing worked. I got so upset it woke me. Brian and I were both woken by our dreams and were up early before the alarm. I don't always remember my dreams, most people don't, yet Brian & I both remembered these in detail. We are hoping for peaceful sleep tonight. We'll just have to see what dreams may come...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Warning..raw prepared..

Brian posted this on the Legacy Guestbook for Kierra, I thought it was worth sharing..
December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas Kierra (My Grouch),I love you and miss you bunches. Holidays just aren't the same without you. It seems that I never get the one thing I want the most for Christmas anymore. Last year it was to have you back. Even though I knew in my heart that was impossible, I thought just maybe... This year, I tried to scale back my wish thinking maybe there would be some chance. I wished that Alexa and Tristan could spend just one hour with you, now that they are old enough to have some lasting memories. I thought then they would have the memory of the sound of your voice, the feel of your hugs and kisses, and your scent to carry with them for the rest of their life. It's always been so painful knowing they were too young to have any of those to keep forever, before you were gone.They're both doing really good, much better than I'm doing this time of year. Me, I feel like the little doll on the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph, "I don't have any dreams left anymore!"All my love and hugs and kisses,Daddy

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day..

I watched the excitement and anticipation of the kids this morning, and I saw the simple joy as they unwrapped their gifts. Alexa hugged the boxes before she even knew what was inside. Tristan would unwrap a toy, then run & hide under the table to play with it. Hunter helped pass out the boxes, and kept thanking us for everything. Chad dragged himself up for the festivities, then went back to bed. Brianne was my elf this year. She and Justin spent the night and she helped me wrap, actually she did most of the wrapping (!), and helped me put together the kid's kitchen play set. I want to be a kid again.. it is just too cool. Things have come along way since the older kids were little. I fixed a big breakfast, so we'll do a late lunch/dinner later.
Brian & I were going to put flowers at Kierra's crash site, but I just couldn't find anyhting I felt was right. Everything was too hokey looking. I think I will wait til Tuesday and get some purple roses from Kuhn's Flowers. The sign we put up is gone, so I will put up another one. Not sure if it got torn down from the wind, or someone took it down. No biggie, I will just get another one! We went to Green Cove springs to see the lights the other night. The lights were great, the rest wasn't all that special. They had set up a skating rink, an inflated maze, had marshmallows to roast, etc. But it was too crowded. We are starting new traditions. We will continue the old, but the kids need some things that we can do without getting so sad.
Things have wound down and I have to go cook. The twins are resting, and Hunter is starting to settle down too. It doesn't feel much like Christmas Day. It is rainy, gray, and yucky outside, so I concentrate on the warmth and brightness of the decorations and lights on the inside. The laughter and innocence of children. Kierra watching over us all..

Hunter 12*25*06

Hunter 12 25 06
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

Tristan with Dancing Mumble

Tristan with Dancing Mumble
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

Christmas Princess Alexa

Christmas Princess Alexa
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
Too cute for words!

Tristan & Alexa 12*24*06

Tristan & Alexa 122406
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
Tried to get them sitting still.. haha..

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hunter 4 7 2006

Hunter 4 7 2006
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

Happy 6th Birthday Hunter!

Hunter Newborn
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
6 years ago today a baby was born 2 months early, with a hard life ahead of him. We were blessed to be able to love and raise him to be the wonderful child he is today. Happy Birthday Baby Boy!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pieces... Peace

I got a call the other night from someone I hadn't seen or talked to in almost 5 years. It was Brent from Kaluby's Dance. Dori & I took ballroom dance classes once upon a time. It was alot of fun, but pretty expensive. We enjoyed it while we could. They were having a reunion Christmas party last night. Dori had to work and I was busy with the kids. I thought about going.. I watched the clock as I took Hunter to karate for his stripe testing..he now has 2 of the 3 stripes he needs to move up to his next belt. Then I got a call from the child care place that Tristan was having a bit of a temper tantrum and wouldn't calm down, so I left Brian with Hunter, and picked up the twins, took them home, got them to bed, then headed back to karate. I got there just as they finished up. Brian had an off duty job to go to, so I took Hunter home. I looked at the clock again and thought.. maybe I'll go, maybe I could still make it. I got Hunter settled, but then Alexa woke up crying. I checked the clock.. it would be close, but maybe I could still make it. Then Tristan woke up. I got him a drink, and headed to my room to see if I could get myself ready and get there. I looked in the mirror, heard Alexa again.. and realized there never really was a chance. I had green color stamps on my hands from "snippits" where I got all 3 kids hair cut. Even short my hair was a wreck. I looked tired and felt as bad as I looked. So I blew it off and played ping pong between Tristan & Alexa until Brian got home. 2 nights in a row the kids have been wound up and hard to settle. Brian comes home, goes in for 30 seconds.. boom, out like a light, not a peep out of them!
I missed going to that party. I miss going to the dance classes. I miss who I was and what my life was like before. I miss my daughter. Of course, not in that order. I don't miss going to Christmas parties per say. I am glad the only one we have is with family & friends this year. I have been bah humbugging alot. It takes more time & energy than I have. Hunter got upset over a song on the radio today and I told him it was okay to cry, and I missed Kierra too. He said "It's too hard to have Christmas without Kierra. How can I have a Merry Christmas Mom?" I told him there is good all around us. We have to look at the little things and enjoy them piece by piece. It is okay to miss her, but she loved the holidays and would want us to try for each other to enjoy them some too. Do you know how hard it is to encourage him and answer those questions when I have them myself?
He had a Polar Express party at school today. Everyone wore their pajamas. I let the twins go to day care and I spent the morning with Hunter in my pajamas. Then we went to his therapy appt. and then karate. After we picked up Tristan & Alexa we came home and instead of going in the house we went for a walk to see the lights in the neighborhood. Tristan & Alexa get so excited when we drive into the sub division after dark. We take a few detours and they get all excited.. yights! yights!... oooh pretty! So they really enjoyed walking around and seeing them. We practiced holding hands when we cross the street and they were so cute, all three of them, to make sure they held hands. Alexa held Hunter's most of the walk, Tristan held mine. They liked walking them selves with no wagon or stroller. So we ended the day on a good note. They are all sleeping now and I am not far off.
So my pieces (peace) for today were watching polar express in my PJs with Hunter, and the walk.

It's physical..

I woke up one night last week in a panic.. my chest hurt, I couldn't breathe.. I was in the misty fog of half sleep. At first I thought I had a bad dream.. I usually have a similar reaction if I dream about Kie's accident. But the emotion of that wasn't there.. then I remembered I had walking pneumonia. I had rolled from a sitting position to almost laying flat, and that is why I couldn't breathe and my chest hurt. I thought how odd that my body could have the same physical reaction to grief as I had with the pneumonia. Some people think it's all in your head, but even my Dr. has said that there are physical ramifications from emotional stress. It affects us in more ways than we realize. I am feeling better now, and can actually sleep without sitting up. It feels good to breathe normal again! Not much else is normal, so I will take what I can get!

Penguin update..

Everyone seems to be hitting the high point of 323.5.. I can't get past 323.4!! Greta said she got stuck on it for 45 minutes and can't break 300.. so keep smackin!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sibling Rivalry..

Okay, my little sister, Cricket, sent me this game.. her score was 265.1. I was feeling pretty proud to show off that I hit 320.9. Of course, sibling rivalry what it is, just minutes later she e-mails me the pic of her new score.. 322.9! So it's on! I'll take all the distractions I can get!! Join in.. let me know your score.. go smack a few penguins!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hard Candy Christmas..

"I'll be fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let Sorrow bring me way down"
If I keep singing that I may finally get the tree decorated! It's been up since Monday night, but I have to find the lights and get them on before the ornaments can go on. Alexa walks in and puts her hands up in a shrug.."Tree in da house?!" Tristan nods his head, like .. Yea?.. and goes about playing. It will be neat to see their reaction when it is finally decorated and lit up. Hunter can't wait to help decorate and we have been talking about making cookies. It is hard to get in the mood, but I am trying. I will mail the last of the Christmas cards out tomorrow. I still have shopping to do, I can't even get excited about that!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


There are several situations circling around me and those I love that I am really having a hard time not speaking up about. As most of you know, I am not one to keep my mouth shut.. so why start now?? To save the feelings of those I love I guess.. so here is a generalized bitch session to no one in particular.. unless you are feeling guilty and then I may be talking about you!! Don't ya hate that!?
Why are parents always to blame for how screwed up we are?? Sometimes it may have some bearing, but we all reach an age when we can use the past as a tool to be better, stronger. Or we can use it to whine about it and use it as a crutch, or an easy excuse when we behave badly. At what point, (for some NEVER), do we truly grow up? When do we take responsibility for our own actions and choices instead of falling back on what we believe was a bad child hood? And why do we think it is okay to disrespect and hurt the feelings of someone we claim to love, because we still blame them for years old wrong doings? It seems so convenient to get what you want from them when you want it, then turn the other cheek and be hurtful and disrespectful once you have what you wanted. No matter how you slice it, that is dead wrong. Your parent, or parents, don't owe you anything. If you are not in jail or a psych ward, you are better off than some. If you have people who love you in your life, you are better off than most. So where is the thanks for what you do have instead of the damnation for what you don't? How easy it is to keep your hand out for what they are willing to give, but quick to slap them down with it when they ask for simple acknowledment or consideration in return. GROW UP!!
Then there are those with Peter Pan syndrome.. they will never grow up. No matter their age they are irresponsible. They make excuses, they lie.. whatever smooths over the latest screw up. And they expect you to pretend you don't know, everything is peachy keen, when in reality you want to choke them. Part of the problem is, I notice things, I see beyond what is on the surface. I tend to get "hunches", and on a rare occasion I am wrong. Which means on the rest of the occasions, I am dead on. It sucks. I wish I lived in a bubble. I wish I could flip a switch, put on my smiley face and wipe the slate clean. Wishing doesn't make it so.
Then there are people who had no problem disappearing from the twins lives before Kierra died, yet now send Christmas cards like it is just another Holiday. As tho her death clears them of all wrong doing. BS! I have a box of things for when the twins are older and I put things like that in the box. I have no use for those cards or those people, but what the twins do with them is their choice. Because we all have choices, we make them every day. WE make them, WE choose. If someone else influences our choice, it is because WE let them! So grow up, own your own choices.

Sick & Tired..Tired & Sick..

After all 3 kids took their turn at the croupy crud, it is now my turn! I am tired of runny noses and sleepless nights! I now have walking pneumonia and have to sleep sitting up! So bear with me and I will be in touch as I find the time & energy!
Good News.. Brian started on day shift yesterday!! 10a-6p Mon -Fri. December is a bit crazy because it is earlier than planned and he has other jobs he committed to.. but WooHoo!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Gentle Reminder..

I am amazed at what other people can do with their lives. A dear friend, Terry M., has recently posted on her blog about Christ being left out of Christmas. Although I have my spiritual doubts I have always hated how quickly commercialism has invaded our space with Christmas decorations and promos before Thanksgiving. Some even started at Halloween this year! Visit this link to another blog I read. She posted about a very neat idea called a Jessie Tree. You can learn more about it on her site. Just a gentle reminder for those who believe, faith is not lost.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I am beat!

I am so done! Today was a good day, but a long one. I only got a few hours sleep last night, then up and out early today. Had a great day with my S-I-L, Lisa. We went to the outlet malls in St. Augustine. I did very well watching my pennies, and managed to pick up some good deals on a few Christmas gifts.. and helped Lisa find some good deals too (LJ, you know you still love me!). Then we picked up Hunter, got back to the house, then went to the grocery store, went to Target to get a b-day present, back to the house, up to the Northside to pick up Randy, over to the southside to Dave & Buster's, ate dinner, played some games, went toward the beaches to pick up the twins from day care, they screamed all the way home (didn't want their cups when I offered, but wanted them once we were on the road!), Hunter sang Rudolph ten times (probably to block out the twins!), I resisted turning the radio on full blast, got them home, got them unloaded, Chad helped get them ready for bed, got Hunter into bed & settled, and I am about to fix a cup of coffee with Bailey's and go in the hot tub!
Tomorrow we have a meeting with a builder and designer..things are moving along with the renovation plans, more about that later! Barney (the horse) did not need surgery, maybe it's just a serious infection, will know in a couple weeks when they recheck him after being on meds a couple weeks. So far, so good!
I am beat.. like overwhipped egg whites.. like an old dirty rug.. like a well worn path..

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Life doesn't come with a warranty..

and neither does a horse! Barney is having some bladder issues, but is doing better. The first thing Brian (& Terri) asked me was.. doesn't he have a warranty? No, he doesn't. He had a Vet exam when I bought him and I took ownership. It is a bit different from buying an animal from a pet store, and other than Terri's goldfish, pet stores only give you 3 days. I saw him and rode him a few weeks ago, I know he wasn't having the problem then. It is like people with kidney stones, you can't predict who will have a problem or when. It just happens. Same thing with Barney. So instead of getting my laptop for Christmas, I am getting a vet bill for my horse! We are hoping it is minor and the bill will be minor too! I am not worried about not getting a lap top, I am worried about my horse! I know he is in good hands & I will be going up this weekend. This is the only part I don't like about having him 5 hours away!
Brenda & I went to a horse show yesterday and I got Barney & Tortuga new halters and a new lead. It was fun to see all the different horses and types of riding. I saw someone I knew years ago. She owns a pet store on the Northside. She was in the Novice level events and had a beautiful horse we had noticed before I recognized her. There were some kids riding and I thought how cool it would be for the kids to do things like that. And the parking and event were both free! The prices for the tack items were very reasonable too. So it was enjoyable and low kind of fun!

Not Today!!

That is something Hunter used to say alot. It was always cute when you would ask him something and he would pipe up.. "Not Today"! Well, that is what the anesthesiologist said to us on Friday about Tristan's surgery. He was getting congested and with his history of asthma and never having surgery before, they thought it was a bad idea to do it. He would have to be intubated for the adenoid surgery and that promotes bronchial spasms, which can encourage an asthma attack if he is having issues already. Not good during surgery. So we will reschedule probably for the first week in January. I will let you all know. They offered to do his ear tubes, but it was crazy to put him through 2 seperate surgeries, so we will wait and do it all at once. Brian had taken the day off, so we ran some errands, and we all went to see Happy Feet with Brianne & Brenda Friday night. The kids loved the movie. Alexa hid her face during the first half, but then was fine. I think it was because we had the stroller and were very close to the screen. It was a cute movie, and it was nice to see it as a family.

Brian, Hunter, & Tinkerbell

Brian, Hunter, & Tinkerbell
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

Group pic

Group pic
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
It is impossible to get everyone smiling in a picture! This is the closest we got.

Hunter & Brian 11-24-06

Hunter & Brian 11-24-06
Originally uploaded by mommanana.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Brian & Hunter from our Thanksgiving trip to Orlando.