Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Sound a Hug Makes..

Today was crazy. The weather was freezing, Hunter had a field trip I had to pack a lunch for, and Tristan & Alexa both had speech therapy starting at 9 am. We got through it and were heading back to our own side of town when we passed one of the playgrounds we usually go to. I was on the phone with Terri and out of the blue Tristan started screaming.. not a whine, or a yell.. a scream. Alexa soon joined in. They wanted to play. There was no way to explain it was too cold. I took them to the mall to play at the indoor playground and that seemed to appease them.
On our way to pick Chad up from school Brian called me to see how our morning went. They know the special ring I have on my phone for him so they wanted to talk. I put him on speaker phone so they could talk too. It was so funny. They were both talking at once. Then Tristan yelled.. "Papa, Papa.. Unh Unh Unh!" (it's hard to put into a word.. it's like the sound you make when you give someone a bear hug.) It was too cute. Hunter gives phone hugs all the time, and he gives the twins hugs like that when he gets out of the car for school. Tristan hadn't done it before. Despite the hectic morning and the sounds of whining, crying, and yelling that were in abundance, that sound made the rest seem insignificant.. you just can't beat the sound a hug makes.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bodily Functions..

Tristan has become an organic artist like his sister! He did it to Brenda a couple weeks ago when she watched the kids, and he did it to Brian today before I got home! One of the first orders of business in the rental will be potty training! The floors are all tile throughout the house, so any accidents will be easier to clean up. Our previous attempts failed and the Dr. reccomended waiting til after the Holidays. I have bought a dozen pairs of underwear for each of them, so we aren't going to do pull-ups except for bedtime.
Tristan seems to be doing very well with his recovery. The doc warned us that his nose/mouth would get a funky smell as his adenoids healed. He was right! He gave us some herbal drops to use in his nose to help, so I am going to try it in the morning.
Alexa is going to the ENT doc on Wed. so we will see what she has going on. She starts speech therapy this week too. She "talks" more than Tristan, but it is harder to understand. She makes up her own words and sometimes only says partial words. Tristan is speaking more and much clearer. So hard to believe they will be 3 next week!

Chasing the Wind..

This morning was cold, grey, and windy. It was almost like something out of an old Alfred Hitchcock movie as I rode through the woods surrounded by barren trees with the wind howling around us and a hawk flying overhead. Even Barney was a little jumpy until we got to a spot where he could run and release some of the tension we both had pent up. To be on a horse who can run like the wind is one of the most exhilerating things I have ever done. It is the most liberating feeling. I enjoy riding him even when we just take a liesurely walk. I think this morning we both needed to let our spirits run free for a few minutes. We walked throughout the pasture to cool down afterward. I took him back to the barn and got all his tack put away, gave him several treats, then let him out into the pasture to roam for the afternoon. He pranced and ran out accross the field. He is beautiful to watch. Tortuga is so gangly she has an awkward gait when she runs. That will smooth out as she grows into her long legs and growing body. I spend time working with her, grooming her. We have a long way to go with her and I want to be sure she is used to being handled. I imagine I will enjoy chasing the wind with her too!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air..

It was cool, crisp and quiet this morning as my horse & I journeyed through the woods. We came accross a group of deer, a fox, and several squirrels. I wasn't thinking of anything in particular, just enjoying the tranquility of it all. And then with a rush of air, I "felt" her. It was as if Kierra was there. I can't describe it. I was enveloped in both joy & sorrow. Joy at the familiar "feel" of her, sorrow at the intense feeling of missing her, losing her. And just as quickly it was gone. I have never felt anything like that before. It is hard to put into words. I have had similar sensations in my dreams, but never a clear memory of the dream. This was wide awake in the light of day. It was beautiful, and even now brings me a bittersweet smile. Call it what you will.. for me, it was a breath of fresh air...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Originally uploaded by mommanana.
We stopped by the park today between appointments so Tristan & Alexa could use up some of their boundless energy. (It worked, they are taking a nap!) They climb like monkeys and have no fear! Click on this (or any photo) and you can view more pictures in my Flickr photo gallery.

Kissing Boo-Boos

Is it really as easy as it seems? Tristan & Alexa immediately come to me to kiss their boo-boos when they get hurt. Sometimes they even have real tears running down their faces. I kiss the boo-boo, and presto.. all better, they even stop crying. Tristan has a bruise on his hand from his IV during surgery and everyday he says "owie" and asks me to kiss it. I do and he goes off to play and forgets all about it until the next day and we do it again. Hunter did the same thing when he was younger. He saves it for really bad boo-boos now.
Why don't we heal that easy when we grow up? Do we stop believing in the healing power of love? Do we stop trusting that someone else can make us feel better? I wish our hurts could be healed so easily. I wish a simple kiss could erase it all away. I wish I had the unwavering faith of a child again. I am so full of wishes....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Running Ragged

Tristan is doing really well. Other than Alexa hitting him on the side of the head and making his ear bleed, he has been feeling good and had no signs of even having the surgery. So I have had my hands full of the two of them and all their various appointments. Alexa has a speech therapy evaluation tomorrow and she sees the ENT doc next week. She has an ear infection that won't heal and has had a runny nose for 2 months that none of the meds seem to relieve. I feel like I am almost living in the car!
Chad has classes at FCCJ this week and next so I drop him before I take Hunter to school. I make the twins appointments for 9 am so I can go to those as soon as I get Hunter dropped off. In between all that I am still sorting and packing. I feel like I am on a treadmill going no where!
I am trying to plan a trip up to the ranch this weekend.. all by myself! We'll see if that happens or not.
Now I am off to pick Hunter up from school. He has a peach fuzz haircut now because he took a pair of my sewing scissors and cut his hair in front.. very short, so now all his hair is that short. He also cut up a pair of pajamas, cut slits in a sheet, a blanket, & a pillow. He seems to always be up to something. All the change and chaos is hard for all of us, but the kids have a harder time expressing themselves. I guess that was his version of paper dolls! I'll catch up on more later.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tristan after SX

Tristan after SX
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

Tristan on happy meds

Tristan on happy meds
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

Recovery going great..

Tristan did great and is at home sound asleep. He hasn't slept since his surgery this morning, so it is good for him to finally let go. I think the pain med hypes him up rather than relaxes him. He woke up quick after surgery and was drinking and eating well in no time so they let him come home. I think he fared better than we did! I will post a couple pix of him before surgery when he was on the "happy meds". I want some!!

Surgery Day.. (again)

In just a few minutes I will wake Tristan up to get him ready to go to the hospital for his surgery. We have to be there by 6:15 am for his 7:30 surgery. It is scary. I couldn't sleep even my usual few hours. I have to give him an albuterol treatment beforehand to help keep his lungs clear. He is going to be mad between the treatment and no eating or drinking. What a great way to start the day! He will stay overnight, so we will be back home Saturday, hopefully in the morning. I will blog if I can get an internet connection. If not I will catch everyone up asap. It will be strange for Tristan & Alexa to spend the night away from each other. That has only happened once or twice since Tristan came home from the NICU when they were 11 days old. So say a prayer for a speedy recovery and off we go!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Home again, Home again..

It was a great weekend. Brian rode Buzz, Barney, & Claire. The weather and the horses were awesome. I kept walking away with Marei & Conny's barn keys, so they finally gave me a key of my own! We picked up the mantle before heading home and had lunch in Madison. We had some good talks while we rode horses. There are so many changes going on. We watch friends & family and the changes their relationships go through and it scares me. Brian & I talked about that too and it helps to know neither one of us feels like we would want to be any where else. We can't change what has happened and we can't change the pain that causes, but we know each other and we comfort each other and we lean on each other whenever we need to. And we love each other and that will get us through. Now we are back home and life sweeps us away again. Alot going on and alot to do. I'll try to keep up!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Break from Blogland

(From Friday, Jan. 12)
Brian & I are on our way to the ranch. Actually we will stay in town, the ranch was booked up this weekend. It is just the two of us.. How cool is that!? We are going to pick up a fireplace mantle I bought in Madison when Nancy went up with me about a month ago. They held it for me until I could get a big enough truck or trailer to pick it up. Dwight let us borrow his trailer so here we are, driving down the highway. I am actually typing this in Microsoft works and I will copy & paste it later. That was a lot of useless info wasn’t it?
Brian will get to meet the horses and we will get some quality time.. Alone! So I may not blog much this weekend. We’ll get home Sunday night, so I should be back to blogland by Monday. TTFN

The Other Side of Fear

(From yesterday, Friday, Jan. 12)
I noticed a girl at the gas station today. At first I thought “Kierra was that girl“.. That age, that look. Then I thought.. “ Hell, I was that girl, once upon a time.” I thought of Kierra’s life. The places she’d been, things she had done. I thought of my life, the same places, same things. I thought of all she didn’t get to do. I thought of all the things I won’t do with her. I saw a bridal magazine at the grocery store, and I thought of the gazebo in Tennessee all covered with flowers. I don’t call upon these thoughts, and I don’t sit for hours dwelling on them.. It is a flash of a second, beyond my control.
When I saw that girl at the gas station I don’t know what it was that triggered the thoughts of Kierra. I see young women all the time and don‘t always think of her. It just happens at random times. I watched the girl drive away and I thought.. Be safe, be happy.
Then I think… hmm, happy, what is that? I wonder sometimes when the other shoe will drop. Quite the pessimist aren’t I? I wonder when something bad will happen again. Don’t say it won’t.. you don’t know that. My life was good, things were going well, we were happy. And in a blink of an eye it changed. Things are busy, sometimes overwhelming. But even with all the moving, Tristan’s surgery, all the everyday chaos.. Things are at a level of good. See, I feel guilty saying that. I am afraid. I look out at an uncertain world. I know that is what life is. I know that it is the same for everyone, everywhere. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. When I was that young girl I saw today, I was afraid. I was uncertain of my life and what was ahead of me. Now here I am, having lived through love, life, loss, and still I am afraid. But the difference is.. Now I know on the other side of fear is courage. Courage to live, love, and sometimes lose the ones you love. I can’t say it has made me stronger, but it has shown me I do have strength, and the courage to face tomorrow. My fear will not consume me, my courage will consume my fear.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Alexa weighs more than Tristan!

They have both been to the Dr. this week and Alexa weighs 30 lbs, is 37 1/4 inches tall. Tristan weighs 28 1/2 lbs and is 37 inches tall. She has been eating alot better, and he has slacked off on eating everything in sight.
Tristan is doing good with Speech Therapy. When he does talk it is really clear. Alexa has a referral for an evaluation for Speech Therapy now, since Tristan has been talking clearer we noticed Alexa doesn't speak as clear as we thought and she cuts off the ends of her words. Can't hurt to have her checked out. She also is going to an ENT Dr. for her chronic runny nose. Tristan may finally have his adenoid and ear tube surgery next Friday the 19th, if his lungs aren't congested.
I took down their toddler beds and will be putting them on twin mattresses for the rental. I am not setting up beds because the rental has hard tile floors and I can see Tristan jumping off and hitting his head. I also doubt 2 twin beds would fit very well in the small bedroom they will be sharing. We are thinking about full beds when we move back into the house and they have their own rooms. We'll see. I could not believe how filthy the cracks and crevices of their toddler beds were. It was so gross! I thought it would be a quick project. It took hours. I gave the beds to another set of boy/girl twins and I just couldn't take them dirty!
So much to do, so little time!!

Things they are a changin..

I have been so busy I hadn't taken the kids to the Applebees where Kierra worked in quite a while. Then I got a message from one of the guys she used to work with. Jan. 1st they closed it down, not enough business. I drove by today and it was shut down, signs gone & everything. It seems so out of whack. It was someplace to go where she was a part of. Some of her friends were there. It was like we were still sharing a part of her with them. Now they are gone. There are only 2 or 3 that I can get in touch with. I quit going by the hair salon where she worked because everyone there was new and no one knew who she was or who the twins are. It seems like the places she worked, the people she knew, are all gone. It feels so wrong to have those "connections" lost. But there are alot of connections lost with her "friends". I put that in quotations because I have a hard time believing they were all true friends. Some people use the term friend for people they barely know. I have friends I have known for almost 30 years. I can not imagine them just fading out of my kid's lives if something happened to me. But it is what it is and I will not chase people down or beg anyone to be part of their lives.
Places close down, people move, things change all the time. It just feels strange to lose those parts of her. Kierra's favorite restaraunt closed down too. I miss going where she liked to go, I miss going to where she worked and talking to the people she worked with. I miss her......

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Renovation/ Rejuvenation

We have moved dozens of times over the years. It was a breeze in the Air Force.. they pack up everything, and I mean everything, even trash if you don't put it in a "No Pack" zone! The numerous times we have moved ourselves wasn't so easy, but was a great chance to do some spring cleaning and go through and get rid of stuff. We have been in this house for over 6 years. We had alot of stuff to begin with coming from a bigger space to a smaller one, and we have accumulated more. We are gearing up for a renovation to add an upstairs and rearrange a couple things down stairs. We have plans being finalized and have a rental that is right around the corner from our house. I have alot to sort through and pack. It will be like hotel living for about 6 months, but I keep telling myself it will be so worth it in the end. The goal is to be moved into the rental by Feb. 1st. Our mailing address & phone numbers will stay the same.
I think of all the times I have sorted toys and clothes. All the times I have packed away our lives and started over in a new home, a new place. It will be strange when the house is done. To move back into what was our home, will still be our home, just changed, different. Like the rest of our lives. So many changes, so many things that are different. The house will have fresh paint, a new look, be rejuvenated. It will be a fresh start, but I know the void will still be there. We move forward in the only way we know how. I will be busy, and busy is good. So let the packing begin!!

"TOO Much Fun!

The twin's last day at Terri & Dwight's was very eventful.. they "tattooed" each other. With a permanent green marker. I think they used a black one too, but the green was obviously the favorite. Tristan wrote more on Alexa than she wrote on him..I guess they were trying to be like Nana & Papa and have their own tattoos! So although fading.. they are still tattooed. They did it during Nap Time, so other than the artwork on each other they redecorated the inside of the closet door, part of the wall, and pulled everything out of the closet and trashed the entire room.. I will post pix when I get them from Terri.
Hunter couldn't wait to show me how he rides on Uncle Dwight's motorcycle. I am sure I have a few more gray hairs! Yet it was amazing how he knew how to put the helmet on & where the pegs were. He just climbed right on behind Dwight, grabbed on to him and held on tight. Dwight said he even leans into turns. I think that is good, I just know I am not ready for him to be into motorcycles, go karts, etc. But I guess it's coming!
I can see why the kids love going there. I am not sure how much more redecorating their house can take, but I know when the kids are with Terri & Dwight everything will be okay. And it helps me have less guilt when I go to the ranch without them if I know they are having fun... maybe next time they could just have a little less "fun" with the glitter & markers!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Kid's Journal

Terri sent me this 12/30, so I thought I would share what the kids are up to while I am at the ranch!

Settling in. The twins spent most of the day playing in the play room, taking a bath, watching movies, and chasing Sophie. They napped from 1p-4p They had ravioli, apples and bread for dinner ( they love white bread? ) Cookies for desert. Bath at 7p and lights out at 8p. Lexie had a bad dream - ended up sleeping with us at 3am.

Hunter played in the jacuzzi, made "art" with glitter, glue and fingerpaint. The green glitter "somehow" made it into the jacuzzi. Dwight and Hunter built a ( 4 x 6 ) big fort with big sheets of cardboard. It has windows, a door that closes, cable TV, and a roof. Hunter made his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner with pudding for desert. Dwight and Hunter settled in bedtime at 9p in the fort but the floor was too hard for Uncle Dwight - he snuck out to his own bed at midnight.

Trottin Durty...

There is a rap song.. Ridin Dirty.. I am not a fan of it, but it is popular and on the radio alot. On our trip up here we stopped at a gas station and saw a real P.O.S. truck, (Piece Of Sh*t), on the front was the lettering "Ridin Durty". Brenda took a picture of it, and as we drove away she had me stop so she could get out and go check the spelling on it when I told her it was durty. So that has been the running joke.. talkin dirty, riding dirty, and trottin dirty.. with all the wet mud and dirt here because of the all the rain they have had, it has applied. The girls can take almost any song and apply horse back riding to it, it is too funny. It is their goal to groom and clean every horse they ride to a sparkly clean before they put them back in the paddock. There aren't enough rides in the day for them to make a big dent in the number of filthy horses, but they get an "A" for effort! By the time we leave there will be several horses that won't be trottin dirty!

Getting back on..

Sometimes that is half the battle when you fall off. I got tossed off Barney about a month ago. It was a minor fall, but scary none the less. I was out on the trails and got right back on and kept riding. I was not going to be bested by my own horse! I think it was the first actual day he was all mine! Well, Brenda took a fall yesterday. Not so minor. Her horse slipped in the wet dirt in the arena and fell to her knees which pitched Brenda forward.. face first.. hard and dirty. It was scary for her and all of us too. It was one of those things that there was no way to know it was going to happen. I didn't realize I could run that fast any more! I am so proud of Brenda and how well she handled it then, and after. We had planned on going to the movies last night and she still felt like going. She was quite the trooper. Then she was up and back on a horse this morning. I told her I still get a few butterflies in my stomach when Barney wants to run full out and I don't feel in full control. He pulled a few "High Ho Silvers" on me that day too, and I still get nervous when he sidesteps and tries to be the boss, which he did before he reared up on me before. It only happened that one day and right after that is when we found out he had a major bladder infection. So I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he was in pain and that is why he acted up so much that day. He has done great since then. I am still careful & cautious!
Life is not without risk, not without fear. It can stop us in our tracks or help us move forward stronger and braver than we were before. I will go for the stronger and braver choice. And I am proud of Brenda for her choices too!