Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sticker Shock!

This morning I took Hunter to school. There is always a line of cars for drop-off and pick-up. We were behind an old silver truck with a topper on the back. The back window had several stickers. As I glanced at the stickers I fervently hoped the line would move fast and I tried to keep Hunter busy with questions about everything and nothing. Then it happened. "Mom, why does that car have a sticker that says Mean People Suck?" I told him that some people feel that way and think it is okay to say that. He should not use the word "suck" maybe use "stink" instead. My efforts to distract him didn't work and after a few attempts he figured out the matching sticker to the first one. My mind had been scrambling for the answer to his next question that I knew was coming... "Mom, what does Nice People Swallow mean?" I took a deep breath and forged ahead.. "Mean People Stink because they say and do mean things and get angry and don't think about hurting people's feelings. Nice People Swallow their anger and mean things they might want to say or do so they won't hurt people's feelings." Wow, that was close!
We work so hard to teach them to read. I am always telling him to sound words out and focus on what he is reading. He has become very good at figuring words out. There are few things you can spell that he won't figure out what it is. Brian realized over the weekend that the trick of spelling words you don't want to say in front of him doesn't work anymore. I finished talking to someone on the phone quite a while back and Hunter asked me if the person I was talking to could read. I told him of course they could. He then asked me.. "then why did you have to spell out SEX for her?" Little ears hear more than you think they do! There was a time I would have put those stickers on my car. I would not have given a thought about a child parked behind me asking his mother what they meant. It gave a whole new meaning to the term "sticker shock"!


I am running on empty! We got back from our camping trip Saturday aftrenoon. Sat. night I went to Tanya's at about 9:30pm, we went to bed about 11pm.. we got up at 2 am, hit the road by 2:30 am. We got to the ranch in Madison at 8:15 am just in time to grab breakfast. We had Barney & Lenny loaded and hit the road by 9:30 am. We got to the stable at about 3:30pm Sunday afternoon. I left the stable at 6 pm and fell asleep on the couch at about 10 pm! You can't catch up on lost sleep, and my body is mad about it! I spent yesterday grooming the horses (they are settling in really well!) and running around town and today volunteering all day at Hunter's school. We have YMCA class tonight, so I am still on the run. The next few days will be busy too, so I don't see much rest in sight. And Brian wonders how I can fall asleep sitting up?!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Roastin marshmallows

Roastin marshmallows
Originally uploaded by mommanana
We made it home and all is well. They roasted marshmallows and hot dogs and made s'mores. They got dirty and they swam in the springs. They did alot more too, but I wll blog about that later. More pix in the gallery, so click on this one to get there and enjoy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Off on an Adventure!

RV.. AKA here come the Clampetts!
Originally uploaded by mommanana
This is where we will be for the next couple days. Terri & Dwight were very kind to let us borrow their RV to go camping. (Brian doesn't do tents!) So we are loaded and ready to go. Of course after taking the day off Brian got scheduled for court at 1:30, so he will meet us there. I guess it is a good thing I don't mind driving big vehicles! I don't know if there will be any kind of wireless internet, I doubt it, and honestly, I don't think I will even bring my laptop. I will have plenty to keep me busy with the kids and Brian. So I will blog pix and adventures on Sunday night.. We come back Saturday afternoon, but then I am off to bring Barney and Lenny from the ranch in GA to the new stable here. No rest for the wicked! The kids are ready to get buckled in and hit the road, so off we go!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Where to go..

Well, I had intended to get on here and blog the great things that happened "today", which is now yesterday in the calendar and clock world. In my world my day is not over yet, so it is still Tuesday!
The biggest "Great Thing" is.... Chad passed his driving test and has his official grown up license!
And do you know how great it was to send him to the store while I was fixing dinner?! He realized there wasn't anything to drink, and tada.. I sent him to the store! The benefit for him will be the ability to get a job and go back to school.. without me being his chauffer, which benefits us both.
On a lesser, yet still "great" note.. Tristan went poop in the toilet twice today! And one of those times was in a rusty toilet at the stables. (He has a hangup about toilets that don't look clean.) Of course that greatness was overshadowed a bit when he had a major blowout this evening and had to be hosed down in the shower. It seems he had an upset stomach and didn't make it. Not by a longshot! So we'll continue to be thrilled when he does and grossed out when he doesn't!
What a paradox of life's momentous occasions! We spend our lives waiting for the next goal, the next hurdle we believe they have to jump to become adults. We try to prepare them and us for the time in their lives when they are independent. I am juxtapositioned between a boy who is a 21 year old man trying to figure where he wants to go in his life, and a boy who is 4 years old trying to figure out where to "GO"!

Monday, April 21, 2008

East & West

Went to the ranch this weekend for a quick trip to get all the saddles and tack for the horses. I don't want to have to mess with any of it when we move the boys next Sunday. There are recent pix of "the girls" in the photo gallery. Tortuga goes to the trainer next week and then we'll move the girls the end of June. I am so excited that they will all be nearby! Greta went with me and we had a great dinner at the Ice House in Madison Sat. night and we even had a mini adventure when we got "lost" going west instead of east.. good thing I had my GPS in the car to get us back on track or we may never have made it home!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Laundry Lowdown

There are things in my laundry that would make the strongest of men cringe! Tristan still isn't "pooping" in the toilet. He will go in his pants, on the floor, anywhere but where we want him to go! Honestly, I have thrown out underwear rather than have to clean them. He & Alexa still wear pull ups at night. Hers are almost always dry, Tristan is hit & miss. A pull up must have been inside one of their pajamas and made it into the washing machine. Do you have any idea how nasty the gel insides of a pull up are when they get wet, seperate, and attach themselves to a full load of clothes?! I mistakenly thought if I let them dry out a bit then they would shake out easier. I did not dare put them in the dryer. That gel stuff is made to hold water, not release it and dry out! It has taken me 2 days to get it all cleaned out and the wash redone. Nasty, nasty!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's just a tag..

I was a bit sideswiped today when I went to renew our car tags. I didn't know there is a limit to how long you can have your tag. They demand they be replaced every 5 years, you have to get a new tag. I have the tag from Kierra's car on my van. At first they said we just had to change Brian's. Then they said, oops, yours too. It may not seem like a big deal.. but I don't want a new tag. I do not want to remove her tag from my car. It physically hurts to think of taking it off. I know some of you won't understand. You don't have to. I bought the damn replacement tag because I had to. I have not put it on yet. I guess I am supposed to do it a.s.a.p. So shoot me. I will have to have Brian do it later. I can't stand the idea of not seeing it on my car anymore, it not being there. I know it's just a tag, but it was hers...

Disney Dreams & Friends..

Sat. til today we had our friend Terry from S. Florida visiting. She got to ride the rollercoaster that is our life right along with us! She & I did get the chance to go to Orlando on Monday. We realized we are a bit spoiled. There were a couple of things she wanted to see at Disney that had changed since she had been there last, but overall, we had both been there, done that. We talked about how Disney is such a once in a lifetime dream vacation for some families, and we have gone so often it holds no novelty for us. I wonder if that is how people who live near other dream vacation spots feel? Can you see too much of the Grand Canyon? Is Hawaii one of those "great place to visit, but don't want to live there" places? I know we are not taking the kids to Orlando for Hunter's spring break next week, we are going camping instead! Anywho, it was a great visit with Terry, although as usual it was too short!

Celina 3.3.1996-4.15.2008

Celina 3.3.1996-4.15.2008
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Chad woke me at 3 am Tues. morning to tell me Celina couldn't walk on her hind legs. I reflex tested her throughout the night and into the morning and the sensation to her back legs decreased rapidly. She was 12 years old in March, well beyond the life expectancy for her breed. We have talked about her aging and knew we had her on borrowed time. That didn't make the decision any easier, but the Vet agreed that there wasn't anything we could do to help her. Her body was shutting down. We couldn't bear for her to be in pain or to suffer as her body betrayed her. We owed her better than that. Brian met me there and we let her go to sleep peacefully. Knowing we did the right thing doesn't make it any easier. She gave us great love and loyalty. Sweet dreams Nina..

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thank God for Throw Rugs!

Do you know how insane it is to have cream colored carpet with 1 big kid, 3 little kids, 3 dogs and 2 adults running amok on it all day? Trust me, it is major insane! I did not pick this color, it was already here. I have spent the past few hours steam cleaning Tristan's carpet. It will never look new again. It is varying shades of cream, but it will never be the same shade throughout that it once was. Even my "spot magic" cleaner, that is truly magic, can't save it all. So for now I am finished, it will be dry by morning.. and then I will throw a rug over it and be done!

It takes lots of Baby Steps..

I had to update (ok, brag) on my honey & I.. I fugure if I am going to share.. ya get stuck with the mushy stuff too! I told Brian pretty much what I blogged to ya'll and I even asked him about the mars/venus blow it off/hold a grudge thing we opposite sexes tend to do. I didn't yell, scream or cry, so I think he actually heard what I was saying. He has tried really hard to tell me he loves me, and to let me know he appreciates me. Baby steps are a wonderful thing, we are pretty use to them around here! So we'll take what we can get and both try a little harder. We didn't get through the past 25 years by takin it easy!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hunter taking a break

Hunter taking a break
Originally uploaded by mommanana
This is what happens when you spend a few hours in the sun building with your Dad.. you get worn out!

4.11.08 Hunter & Dad

4.11.08 Hunter & Dad
Originally uploaded by mommanana
See.. this I love, this makes me forget why I get so mad at my man sometimes.

Friday, April 11, 2008


How do I shake this? How do I just brush myself off and be okay? I feel like someone stole my tootsie pop. I just want to go to bed and wake up tomorrow all better. How is it men do that? They blow up, blow it off and everything is just fine & dandy. So how do I become a guy? Maybe that is the answer... that's one I hadn't considered... hmmmm

Havin' a bad day

I was going to blog at 4 am, but thought it better not to. I am not in a very good mood today. But now I think you get what you get, my mood is not improving, and one of the things I do here is try to be honest. Maybe I'll be in a better mood tomorrow. Lord knows, I've been here before!
I go to my pain doc today. He will give me some shots in my neck to help me feel better. There are some pains a needle can't reach. And it isn't always about Kierra either.
I grew up with a father who waited 27 years to tell me he loved me. Did he love me? Of course. But I doubted it often, and always wondered what lacked in me that he couldn't say it. Was knowing he loved me enough? Not always.
It isn't so different when you are the person to always say I love you first. (On the phone when they say.. "Okay, Love ya, gotta go" doesn't count for me.) You sometimes wonder what lacks in you that they don't say it just because they feel it. That they only say it in response to you saying it first. And sometimes, they don't even say it then. I'm not talking occasionally. I am talking ... EVER. I am the type of person to keep track! So when something else upsets or hurts me, this just stands out more. He says it to the kids with no problem, just not to me. So that's a good thing, a break in the cycle for them anyway.
Brian & I come from very critical, difficult childhoods. I think an after effect of that is we are critical people. It also makes us, well me anyway, need reassurance. Acknowledgement that I have done something good/right. It chips away at me when I don't get that. To say " That's good, but could be better." is the same to me as .. you didn't do good enough. To say.. "that's great, but you didn't do this.. is the same to me as.. you didn't do good enough. After enough times of hearing that.. I figure why bother.. it won't be good enough. It doesn't, in anyway, motivate me to work harder or better. Negative re-enforcement never does. And once again, he doesn't do that so much with the kids.. just me.
Brian has been busting his butt working on putting the kids playground together in every spare minute he has had. I have tried to help when & where I can. He had some hassles with things not lining up last night. I stayed outside to help him, I told him what a great job he had done, how much the kids were going to love it. I thanked him for working so hard on it. I don't think it is too much to ask to get the same consideration once in a while.
Yes, my mind rationalizes.. it's his back ground, it's his military training, he's tired, he's stressed. I know & understand all that. Does it hurt my feelings less? NO. He's a great dad, the most awesome Papa. He works way too hard and way too much to provide for us. And on most other counts, he is a wonderful husband. I love him. Here's the part that kept me awake last night..
Do I think he loves me? Yes
But I doubt it often and wonder what is lacking in me that he can't say it first.
Is knowing he loves me enough? Not always
So I 've come full circle.. is that supposed to be a good thing?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tidbit for Today

We live in such a lopsided world, a world where a group of Peacocks is called an "Ostentation".. kind of fits your impression of them doesn't it? A group of Larks is an "Exaltation".. okay.. that seems a bit much! Here's the part I find off whack.. a group of Crows is called a "Murder".. how unfair is that? and if you are a group of Ravens.. you are called an "Unkindness".

I know that is useless knowledge.. just a bit of trivia.. but that bugs me! How would you feel if everyone considered you a harbinger of death? I mean seriously, not just when you have a hangover! Anywho.. that is my tidbit for today.. enjoy!

Alexa at the window 4.7.08

Alexa at the window 4.7.08
Originally uploaded by mommanana
This is my grandaughter, have you met her? She is precious & precocious. She is sweet and she is spicey. She can be tempered, but has quite the temper. She has eyes and a smile that will charm you, and a heart that seems to charm any creature she gets close to. She is a princess and a diva, trust me, that is a complicated combination! She has manners, and can manipulate like a grown woman.. just ask her Papa. She can be picky and she is a pixie. She is so much her mother, she is so much herself. She brings so much to me, and has so much yet to do. This is my grandaughter..

Alexa & Bri 4.7.08

Alexa & Bri 4.7.08
Originally uploaded by mommanana
This was at Paula dean's in Savannah on Monday. Check out the gallery for some other cute pix from the weekend. We had such a good time. We left the ranch Sunday. The ranch was booked and all the hotels were double pricing their rooms because of the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta. (big deal!) So we stayed over in Savannah, ate lunch at PD's and walked around awhile before heading home Monday afternoon. Now I have to figure out something to do with the boys!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Class Basket for the auction

Class Basket for the auction
Originally uploaded by mommanana
I am so glad this part is over!! I finally got this done & turned in today, now I have to get through the auction/drawing & BBQ on Sat. and this major project is done! I will catch up on the weekend some more later. I left my one & only phone charger in GA, so until I find another one I am incommunicato!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sunshine & Rain..

I was just thinking.. listen to my girls snore! "My girls".. it has been so long since I have thought that phrase in the present tense. But time marches on doesn't it? They are my girls in whatever context you want to consider it. Despite rain falling the entire day we had a good time. Lots of pretty horses, good movies, popcorn, coloring books, Starbucks, Walmart, Ice House, & Perk Avenue. By the way.. Ice House is a restaurant, and Perk Avenue is a coffee shop. We made our own sunshine!

Tootsie Pops!

Speaking of moving.. Dori is moving back to St. Pete as I type. Amidst madness & mayhem she is starting anew. I hope it all goes well for her. I wonder sometimes about what happiness is all about. I want it for the people I love & care about it. Yet it seems we all are forever in pursuit of the elusive, ethereal thing that will ultimately make us "happy". And when we think we have found it, is it long lasting?.. I always relate it to the tootsie pop commercial with the owl where he asks how many licks it takes to get to the center.. one, two, three.. then bites the lollipop.. and says .. three. Happiness must be the stuff in the center of the tootsie pop.. and how you get to it will depend on how patient you are, which will also decide how long it lasts.. ya think??
Well, I wish Dori, and all of you.. lots of tootsie pops!

I Feel Better..

On our way out of town yesterday Brianne & I stopped by the stable I have been thinking of moving the horses to. I got another look at things with a fresh pair of eyes and I think it will work out well. I am looking forward to having more time with the horses! I spoke with the staff at the ranch where the horses are now and confirmed that I am moving them. They were great about it and understand, but made me promise to keep in touch. I will try to get back up here in a couple weeks, then a friend of ours with a horse trailer will come up with me on the 27th to load the boys up and move them down. Tortuga will stay up here til the end of June for training and then we will move her too. I will really miss everyone up here, they are like part of the family, I even like some of them better than some of my own family! I guess I will have to make some visits every once in awhile just to say hi!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

My Tuner must be broke!

Ok, so where's my tuner knob, the one that lets me change stations, lets me change the signals I can receive and broadcast? I have a squeaking guinea pig, a whiney child, 2 other demanding children & Brian is listening to some show about rock music.. I can't seem to tune them out. I don't know how people can do that, I am jealous! So off I go to get them all settled down.. and see about getting that damn tuner fixed!

April Fooled

Wow, I skipped the whole April fool's thing. Another blogger wrote she was going to quit blogging and dedicate the time to cleaning her house..LOL. It is a rough day for us. Brian lost his dad on April 1st. It is hard not to think of what that day means in that respect, rather than playing tricks on people. I remember when it used to be just a fun day. That is what sucks about grief. You can say you will move on, that you will not let it drag you down. But it changes how we think & feel about everything. An ordinary day isn't ordinary anymore. We can still have fun, we can laugh and enjoy some things, but we can't play tricks on April 1st when the ultimate trick fate played was to take Brian's Dad that day. That's just the way it is.


That is what both Tristan & Alexa say when they talk about the Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon, & Theodore. We got the DVD and they have seen the movie at the theater. Kierra use to say it that way too. I have several CDs of chipmunk music from a very long time ago, so my kids grew up on it. It is funny how some things are recycled. It is bittersweet to hear them say something the way she said it, or do something the way she did it. It isn't just the way all kids do things. There are distinctive things each child does in their own way. Those are the things that suprise us, that catch us off gaurd. That bring a smile to our lips, just as a tear runs down our face.

Decisions, Decisions!

I am so torn by the decision to move my horses. It doesn't seem like it would be a hard one to make does it? I looked at a place today that was okay, but no where near what they have up in Georgia. But better than alot of places I have seen down here. The few nicer places I have seen down here are way out of my price range. This place has a new owner just starting out, it is an older farm, needs some work, but they seem nice enough. They have nice, grassy paddocks and pastures, alot of room. I think some of the horses could be in better shape, but I am pretty critical about that. I just don't know! It would save us money to move them, at least it would after I get Tortuga trained and moved down the end of June. That's another big decision. Do I have her trained, or do I sell her? My emotional side says have her trained. My very small practical side says to sell her. I just don't know! I am going up to the ranch to see them this weekend with Brianne & Alexa.
The ranch has been such an escape for me. I have been able to just leave everything here and go recharge. I have become connected to the people there, to the world I am able to live in when I am there. That may not make sense to you. It is hard to explain. I love my family, my friends. I just don't love the hole my grief creates in my life. I try to keep it at bay so I can deal with my everyday life and try to be what everyone needs me to be. It builds up until I need to get away and release it, I need to just be somewhere else to recharge and prepare to do it all over again for a few weeks. With the horses closer I can see them more, make them a part of my everyday world. Maybe that will help me recharge more often and release stress easier. It will be better for the horses to be worked with more too. So there are alot of elements to consider. I know it is a positive thing to move them, it is just being sure I am moving them to a good place, and I am making the right choice. It is almost like choosing a babysitter, I don't want a serial killer taking care of them!
So enjoy your weekend and I will enjoy mine. I have alot of thinking to do!

Greta & her Umbrella!

I couldn't photo shop a picture of Greta with an umbrella, and I couldn't get my drawing to scan. So I will let this pic fill in for her. Although Greta's umbrella was bigger, and she was maybe squatting more than sitting.. I think... of course I didn't see her, or get to see what she saw.... you'll just have to ask her about it to get the details! It was on our way to Savannah last weekend. She & I took a quick overnight trip , just the two of us. It was a long trip up, alot of traffic. We ate at Paula Dean's Restaurant Sat. night and then put on our jammies and watched movies in our room. We slept in on Sunday then checked out Tybee Lighthouse and the pier. It was a great break. By the way, Greta can now say, " Mirror, mirror on the wall, I've become my mother after all!"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In Awe of Faith..


I cannot figure out how to post the video of this myself, so go to this link and be amazed. I have said before that my faith in God is in question. I can still be in awe of the faith of others and this family has humbled me for quite some time now.