Friday, November 30, 2007

Channeling Martha Stewart!

A sure sign I am feeling better.. I channeled Martha Stewart today! I had gotten some plain wooden cut out Christmas trees at Hobby Lobby to use on my mantel. I decided not to use them so back in the bag they went to be returned. I bought 5 sprigs of holly berries for the same purpose and only used 4. I have a thing about empty spaces. I have to fill them. With all the deocrating I did in my entry way there was a definite void on the ledge over my front door. I put some snow fluff up there, then decided to use the wooden trees. But they were too plain. Then it happened.. Martha popped into my head. I snipped all the red berries off the spare sprig and hot glued them to the trees. I had just enough. Then I hung some fake mistletoe in the center of the arched window. Under the mistletoe I put the 2 kissing bears Brian's mom gave us years ago with little ribbons on them saying Gramma & Grampa. It is all Martha's fault, and looks really cute! The kids love it, they go from one thing to another.. it's Mismas! HoHoHo!

The Prodigal Son Returns!

Chad went to visit a friend in Texas before Thanksgiving and finally got home this morning. He actually flew into JAX late last night after missing his flight. Thank you to his Auntie Greta for picking him up! It will be nice to be able to run to the store to get something and have it only take 10 minutes to go by myself rather than the 30 minutes or more it took when I had to take the kids with me! And as much as he drives me crazy sometimes, as do all my children(!), I did miss him and it is good to have him home!

By The Way..

.. I have just about gotten all the Christmas decorations up and done other than the tree, which we will work on this weekend. It looks like a Christmas store puked in here!

A fear of hope..

It has been such a rough week I just am not sure I can take much more emotionally. Maybe that is why I have this fear of hope. We have a good offer on the Beckley house. It all sounds good, and I don't have the uneasy feeling I had with the last offer. Yet I have a serious fear of hope. I am afraid to hope that this will all go smoothly. They want to close before Christmas. This would be such a huge weight off our shoulders. Maybe the fear is because we don't just want this, we need this. And I think it would shatter me for this to fall through. It is strange for me to feel "fragile." To feel so vulnerable. And yes, to admit it! So wish us luck, say a prayer, whatever works! And I will work on getting my emotional strength and confidence back!


There, I practiced!
I had quite the converstaion with my therapist today.. yes I am seeing one.. don't get your hopes up, I have been seeing her for years now and am still an emotional mess!.. Imagine if I wasn't seeing her!!
Anywho, she said that my being morose and miserable wasn't really such a bad thing. I tend to tuck it all away and keep it controlled most of the time and right now my emotions are on overload and want out! So for those around when I spew... sorry! She also gave me homework.. to practice saying NO. I tend to agree to do whatever is asked of me and then I am overwhelmed. I think I will get a failing grade on that one, I have done it for years.
I did get alot of the Christmas stuff out and have done some decorating. I finished the mantel tonight. I will post a pic in the next day or so. A pearl of wisdom from the movie "What about Bob"... baby steps.. baby steps.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Today sucks some more..

I damaged, and pretty much lost, a very important relationship today. We sometimes use an attorney we have known for years. She has been instrumental in some very important events in our lives. She handled Kierra's name change for us, she handled Hunter's, (and Katie & Cody's) adoption for us. We met her in another legal situation before all that. She is why Kierra chose the name Alexa. She has been handling some paperwork for us and more than once her assistant has made mistakes and given me misinformation. The most recent incident caused some major problems with my credibility with Alex. (the twin's biological father). From a legal standpoint it is within the norm, but from a moral standpoint, I consider the wording used in a document she filed to be misrepresenting and wrong. And, unfortunately, so does Alex. It also makes it look like I lied to him, when I went by information her assistant gave me. She is going to write Alex a letter explaining the miscommunication, which will hopefully fix that issue between he and I. The document can't be canceled and refiled without legal cause. Technically there isn't any. She feels if I don't trust her asistant, I don't trust her. That really isn't true. I tried to explain to her that I trust and respect her completely. I just don't know that I could trust her assistant anymore due to this and past issues. I understand how she feels, but cannot change how I feel. I cannot afford to have Alex upset with me. I feel so heartbroken over this. I feel like I had to sacrifice her to keep things on an even keel with Alex. She does not feel comfortable continuing to be our attorney. And I can't stop crying...

And so it begins..

I decided to steer clear of the tree decorations and older boxes of Christmas stuff for now and got out the decorations for around the house and any newer stuff from the past few years. That was a good idea in theory. I thought that would help me avoid any major nostalgia or emotional thunderstorms. The first box I opened had smaller boxes I didn't recall, so I opened them. Only to discover the Carebear tabletop decoration and Carebear ornaments I got for Kierra & the twins for their 2005 Christmas. She never saw them. I never had the chance to give them to her. No matter how hard I try, the thoughts still come that there was still so much I wanted to give her, a whole lifetime I wanted to share with her and her children. This really sucks!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mantel decorated for Thanksgiving

This was an easy transition from Halloween, but now I have to pack it all away and get the Christmas stuff out. Closer pix on the gallery. It is odd, decorating for Halloween and Thanksgiving wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, although some memories were bittersweet. I really dread doing the Christmas thing, but I will. The twins have been saying "mismas hohoho" when they see any Christmas decorations or videos. So I guess I need to keep up with their Christmas spirit!

Twins on the bull 11-24-07

Twins on the bull 11-24-07
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Brianne & I took the kids to the ranch for the weekend. I only got to ride once in the wee hours, but the kids had a blast! This is a fake roping bull the kids love to play on at the ranch, the twins are no exception! They were waiting their turn to ride. Click on the pic to view them on horseback and enjoy other photos in the gallery. There is even a suprise photo with a mystery guest.. check it out!

Family Gatherings..

This was an internet article a friend sent to me. I found it quite interesting and somewhat helpful. Not just for dealing with family for the Holidays, but for dealing with the past, expectations, and being true to yourself. Take what you can from it, and toss the rest!

Built Upon the Past.....Family Holidays

As the holidays approach, you may be preparing yourself to gather with family members you don’t usually spend time visiting. You may even feel that you are choosing to meet more from a sense of obligation than celebration. But when we trust that the universe always places us exactly where we need to be, we know that we have been placed in our families for some higher purpose. Your spirit may have chosen that particular group of souls to help you learn certain lessons, or to give you the experiences necessary to overcome specific challenges. And when we feel we’ve moved away from situations that don’t resemble us or the life we choose to live, it can seem frustrating to put ourselves back into an old scenario. But even a sense of obligation is a sign that you are still connected to the energy of your family, and for that alone it is worth investing yourself into making the most of any gathering.
Once surrounded by people from your past, you may find that you are feeling challenged by a sort of identity crisis. There is likely to be a gap between the person you know yourself to be now and how you are seen by those who knew you before. But you can call upon your inner strength to stand in your truth and simply be who you are without needing their approval or heeding any criticism. Then, you can offer them the gift you’d like to receive when you also allow them to be themselves. Being in situations that we might not choose for ourselves allows us to see ourselves in a new light. The contrast helps us to see our own strengths and weaknesses, and to learn to accept others for theirs.
Part of the magic of family is the way in which it bonds diverse people together, allowing them to function as a complete unit. Who we are today has been built upon our past. If nothing else, rejoining with the family and friends who knew us in our earlier days allows us to recall where we came from so that we can appreciate all that we’ve been given.

11-22-07 Cruisin in the Hummer

Cousin Samantha, Tristan, Alexa, & Hunter taking an after dinner drive!

11-22-07 The Kiddie Table

11-22-07 The Kiddie Table
Originally uploaded by mommanana
We finally used our dining room and tables for a sit down dinner. We have 2 square tables, so we can use them seperately or put them together to make one huge table. Remember sitting at the kiddie table when you were young? I do, at my grandmother's house. Even when I wasn't a "kid" anymore! We used the kid's picnic table. Brian's Mom, his younger brother & his family, joined us for Thanksgiving. It was a lot of cleaning, and a lot of cooking. It was a hard day without Kie. We did our best to remember all we have to be thankful for. Hope you & yours did the same.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Time change..

It has been a busy few days. Thursday night I was up til 4:30 am cooking for a Teacher appreciation lunch at Hunter's school on Friday. So I only got a couple hours sleep. I volunteered at the school a couple hours yesterday and got through most of the day. It gets dark so early now it is hard to gauge time. I thought for sure it had to be late. I felt absolutely exhausted. I could barely keep my eyes open. So I decided to get the kids ready for bed and turn in early. When I checked the time it was..... only 6pm! The kids thought it was so cool that we ate pizza in our pajamas. We watched transformers and they fell asleep on the couch. I put them to bed, put away some laundry, dozed on the couch about an hour, cleaned the kitchen, spent a few minutes with Brian when he got home around midnight, and went to bed about 12:30-1am. My head hit the pillow..and Alexa woke up crying. I got her a drink, and tucked her back in. (They used to take a sippy cup to bed so they would have a drink if they woke up, but we got rid of almost all sippy cups this week!) I got back to my bed, just started to fall asleep, and Tristan woke me up for a drink. He walked right past Brian.. my drinks must taste better! Finally I got back to bed and crashed. Brian tried to let me sleep in this morning before he went to work, but in this house that is next to impossible. So far today I have fixed the kids breakfast.. mini muffins, bananas, scrambled eggs, bacon, & toast. Completely emptied and cleaned out the fridge, read and answered 20 emails, caught up on the blogs I like to read, and now I am going to sweep and mop the kitchen floor. It just hit 11 am! I wish I could convince them to take naps!
I say I will get to bed early, but I know I won't. I am tired often, but this kind of tired is different. Chad says it is because when you break a bone it wears out your body to heal it. I don't remember being this exhausted when I broke my foot. My therapist said it could be depression. But I am often depressed and it isn't the same. So who knows, I figure I'll blame it on the time change!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our Fall Foliage

Our Fall Foliage
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Doesn't look like much does it? I do not even know what type of tree this is. We have one out front, and a couple more in the back yard. It is losing it's leaves quickly, but for a short time I have just a touch of north around me. I'll take what I can get! I love the northern colors of fall, the natural display that signifies change of season. Florida tends to go from green to gray/beige with little to no fanfare. I will enjoy this little tree now before it grows up and I have back breaking raking to do!

Feeling Froggy

I spy.. a green baby frog.
Originally uploaded by mommanana
I spy.. a little green tree frog. They are everywhere. They are the size of your thumbnail. The brave ones show themselves all over my front windows and the window sills. The more bashful hide among the plants and bushes in the front yard.
Alexa sees them and responds in the miniature maternal way girls talk to their dolls and babies of any kind.. "awwww baby froggy, you cute!" Tristan responds in the timeless language of boys.." Hah, froggy, cool, I want one!" I tell him he has hundreds, and they live outside. Although I have rescued numerous ones from inside the house, disposing quickly of the ones I find that didn't get rescued quick enough!
I am not up to the great Shore tadpole rescue we had a few years ago. Adding 30-40 tadpoles/frogs to the house is just too much to even consider! We will enjoy them while we have them around us and then we will remember them in pictures. As it is with all things precious to us..

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One More Time!

I meant to post this link instead of one of the other ones yesterday, but they are all funny. I think laughter is one of the best medicines! So take a break and laugh a little!

Monday, November 12, 2007

You gotta laugh a little..

If you have read the previous blog you will understand how I was feeling after I read it and posted it this morning. I was thinking how tired I am. How tired of the way grief drains your soul. How I miss her laughter, her full out, from the gut laughter. As I thought that I came accross a video clip on another blog. I don't normally bother with them, but clicked on it anyway. I laughed out loud! It struck me so unexpectedly, and I laughed some more. Then I saw another clip and checked it out. It was hilarious. I do not normally laugh out loud when I think something is funny. And humor is selective, you may not find it as funny as I did. But you know what? It was a Kierra kind of humor, she would have laughed the loudest. I think she was right there with me, showing me I needed to laugh a little, maybe even alot.. so here are my chuckles for today, go laugh a little!

A Father's Love..

Brian posted this on the website Brenda created in memory of Kierra. I wanted to share it with you. (Her site is )

Nov 10 2007 3:18 PM
To My Grouch,
Not a day goes by without thinking about you and missing you so much. The last time I would ever see you was two years ago today. I had worked the night before and was up because I had to go to a driver’s license hearing on a drunk driving arrest. You came by the house to borrow the vacuum to do some cleaning at your new apartment. You said one of the kids’ toys was stuck in your vacuum so it wasn’t working. I told you to go ahead. As you left, you said, “I love you Daddy!”. That was the last words I would ever hear you say and I cherish the sound of them as I replay that moment over and over in my mind.Lately I’ve had the last lines running through my mind from one country song you liked. It’s from “Don’t Take the Girl” by Tim Mcgraw. I’m sure you’d remember it, it goes: “Take the very breath you gave me. Take the heart from my chest. I’ll gladly take her place if you’ll let me. Make this my last request. Take me out of this world. God please don’t take the girl!” I wish over and over I could take your place so you could be here with your babies, Mom, Brianne, Chad, Hunter and everyone else that misses you as much as I do. All My Love and Hugs and Kisses, Daddy

Every Day..

I have been asked why I am not having any type of memorial service for Kierra tomorrow. I know some people need that sort of thing, or think they do. But I don't. I don't want to make more of the day she died than I do of all the days she lived. I miss her every day. I try to celebrate her life. Not commemorate her death. Her friends & family should get together to spend time with her children, celebrate the life she had, the lives she created and had to leave behind, not to mourn her. And not just on the day she died.
Yes, I will mourn her tomorrow. I will mourn her and everything we lost on that day 2 years ago. But I will do it by taking a walk on the beach, maybe take her kids to the park. Maybe I will go see a movie..of course a scary one, those were her favorite! Because that is what I do often when I miss her, on all the days I am reminded that she was taken from me. So do what you want/need to do. Remember her however you feel will honor her in your memory and your heart. That is what I do every day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A day full of Births..

Sending big birthday wishes to my sister, and one of my closest friends, Greta. Also sharing this auspicious day is my Puerto Rican Baby, Jezell up in the Bronx, NY, and my nephew Eddie in Tennessee. Quite a productive day, and what special people it produced! Hope you all have a great day!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Camping In" 11-10-07

Camping In 11-10-07
Originally uploaded by mommanana

This is the option when you promised to go camping, but it is a Holiday weekend and you messed up your hand. Then you can't camp out in the back yard because it is going to be 48 degrees outside tonight. So we are camping in. Brian bought these for the kids last Christmas, this is the first time they've been out of the box. They came with their own sleeping bag, flashlight, & compass. Now it's time for hot chocolate & Marshmallows!

Click on pic for close ups of each one!

Ready for Winter! 11-10-07

Ready for Winter! 11-10-07
Originally uploaded by mommanana

The Claw!

The claw
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Or hook, whatever the kids decide to call it at any given time! Note the color, purple was the only color they had at the ortho office yesterday. I have to wear this for at least 4 weeks. They think the break will heal enough by then for me to start physical therapy on the tendons and muscles I messed up when the finger seperated from my hand. I am getting used to doing things one handed! I can't use the salt & pepper grinders very well, and I have to be careful not to drop anything breakable when I am getting things in and out of the fridge. In the light of day at the doc's office I decided I really didn't need any drugs. In the dark of night I cursed myself. I will manage with my tylenol since they said I have to take that, not my Advil that I prefer.
A bonus is that the hard cast will protect my hand when I go horse back riding.. did you actually think I wouldn't still do that?! The downside is.. I can't kayak, and it is a bear trying to wash dishes or shower! Everything is a trade off!

Brian helping with the kids! 11-10-07

I couldn't resist sharing the view I saw when I came out of the kitchen this morning. I had been cleaning up after breakfast and thought it seemed a little too quiet. The twins are engrossed in Mickey's playhouse and must have decided to be quiet so Papa could sleep. He doesn't get home and into bed until after 1 am when he works the evening shift like he did last night, and we wake him up pretty early with all the noise and kid chaos in the morning. Hunter was off playing in his room. Let's see how long this lasts and how much I can get done!

What would you do?

I posted the following comment on another blog I read and thought it was worth sharing here. The post was about seeing someone with a rear facing carseat in the front seat. Should she have said something? She also commented about seeing someone excessively discipline their child in public, or a friend over indulging in alcohol when she was pregnant. I know I recently mentioned my new mantra "Not my ___, not my problem." But I must admit in similar situations I would have to try to help, here are my reasons why, what would you do?

I used to be the one who kept quiet and worried about it all day, sometimes longer. After dealing with a sad situation that could have been prevented I decided not to be the quiet one anymore. I have addressed similar situations numerous times. Most are not pleasant conversations, yet suprisingly, some are. Either way, if I make that person stop and think even for a moment, or make them look up the dateline article on how dangerous the carseat issue is, then maybe it was worth a few minutes of uncomfortable conversation in a parking lot or store. Maybe it will make enough difference to change or save a life. I don't aproach them in anger, I aproach them like a friend I am worried about. I aproach them like the young, scared, uninformed mother I once was. You never know if they just needed someone to tell them where to go for help, or just needed to hear a friendly voice when everything else in their life is going terribly wrong. We tend to feel it isn't our place or our problem. I used to feel that way, and I missed out on the feeling of doing good, of making a difference, of touching just a little bit more of this earthly world I am living in. It far outweighs the nasty response you sometimes get and it far outweighs saying nothing at all. Another bonus, my 6 year old son notices others more and often points out someone in need, whether it is an elderly person who needs help or someone struggling to deal with their child. It isn't in a nosy way. It is with concern and compassion. What better way to teach than by example.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Give Me A Break!! Really!

Today was a busy day, so after I picked Hunter up from school we went home and got the twins, their sand toys, and Cali. We took the long walk around our block and ended it at the playground. They dug in the sand and played for almost an hour. They filled in their holes and slid down the slides a few more times. Just as we were about to go a big dump truck drove by. Something on it made a very loud metal BANG and the twins covered their ears and yelled, "Too Loud!" which is what they do when something is too loud. Cali tried to jump and run, but got caught up in her leash, which then freaked her out more so she started howling. I didn't want her to hurt herself or scare the kids so I reached for her harness. There is a metal loop where you attach the leash. My left pinky slid into that loop just as Cali twisted away. I felt and heard the snap, grabbed the harness and her with my right hand, and got my finger out. It was sticking out from my hand at an odd angle. I didn't even hesitate, I pulled and pushed it back in place. Of course I screamed and the kids came running. I told them I was fixing my boo boo and we needed to go home. I got them all home, grabbed a towel and some ice and drove myself to the ER. I went to where Brianne works so I could hopefully get through quicker. I dislocated that finger and broke it from the lower knuckle diagonally across up to the middle knuckle. they said it was a good thing I set it back in place so it didn't shift or break through the skin. If I keep it immobile it should heal without having to put pins in it. I have to get to an ortho doc tomorrow to get a set cast. I can't do anything halfway can I?! I turned down pain meds because I just don't take them and figured it couldn't hurt worse than when I set it, right? Okay, wrong! I am calling my doc as soon as they open and I want drugs! So I am off to search my medicine cabinet for some relief. It's all uphill from here, right??

The rollercoaster continues..

Well, I had been putting off blogging because I didn't really have much good stuff to talk about. It has been a frustrating week. I fired my realtor on Monday, hired a new one today. I have been dealing with some people this week who either don't know their job, or they just don't care, either way they are useless to me! My Neurologist says they found another ruptured and herniated disc (or 2!.. need to see the actual films, not the computer CD) on my thorasic spine, between my shoulder blades. As if that isn't good enough news.. they feel I have reached maximum medical improvement without surgery. So we will wait to see if the spinal injections help. I got injection #3 yesterday and have had spasms across my back and rib cage all last night and this morning.
Emotions are high anyway, so this all just adds to the roller coaster. I have been walking the kids and Cali around our 1.1 mile block every day and letting them play at the playground to let off steam and get us all some fresh air. And that leads us to another adventure.. and another blog.......

Monday, November 05, 2007

Counting on my fingers & toes..

I got to do two things I really like to do this weekend.. wait actually more than that, so help me count: (not listed in order, but how they pop into my head)
1.) Got away with my daughter & my friend for the weekend ( a 2 for 1!).
2.) Stopped at the ranch on the way up (& back) and went horse back riding! (another 2 for 1!)
3.) Went to the mountains and saw fall foliage and felt cool, crisp air..very crisp, there was frost on the ground Sunday morning & our bathing suits froze!
4.) (explanation of the frozen suits..) Went into a hot tub outdoors in very cold weather, warmed up with the hot water and Asti!
5.) Got to go to the top of a mountain and see awesome beauty during my favorite time of year.
6.) Went shopping in a quaint little town, Helen...well duh! We were in the mountains, not Siberia!
7.) Got to stay in a rustic cabin complete with stone fireplace.

It was different to spend time in close qaurters with people I don't really know. The Jax Kayak group gets together locally, but not often for weekend trips. There are some I wish I had more time with and some, I wish not to! I am sooo spoiled by those I know & love! Thank you all!! As usual Terri, Bri, & I made our own fun and had a great time. I would like to visit there again. It would have been cool to kayak, maybe another time. They are having an awful drought and the water levels are too low. Oh!, & I learned a new Mantra.. you fill in the blank.. "Not my ____, Not my problem!" (ie; kid, family, credit card, husband, house, etc.) It works!

On a Mountain Hike 11-3-07

On a Mountain Hike 11-3-07
Originally uploaded by mommanana
The three of us went to North Georgia with a Jax Kayak group. The water levels were too low to kayak so we went exploring the mountains. Very cool! (literally!) More pix in the photo gallery, click on pic to view!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ready to go! 10/31/07

Ready to go!
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Click on the photo to view more pix in the photo gallery!

Halloween 2007

Halloween 2007
Originally uploaded by mommanana