Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Written Word..

I recently had an email that wasn't supposed to be meant the way it was written. In the past few weeks I have had a text message that struck me the same way and I am hoping wasn't meant the way I took it either. The problem with the written word is the lack of communication. The communication of tone, of intention, of emotion. Sometimes there is too much emotion in the words that are written. No matter how the writer felt, the reader can't help but read it with their own emotions, whatever they are. And once on paper, you can't really take it back. It is there, in the eye of the reader, in their mind and memory in the manner they took it, wether you meant it that way or not.
How easy it is to spew forth with words of hurt, or anger. How easy to vent on whoever happens to read it. How easy to put down on paper something our conscience might hesitate to let come out of our mouth. How much easier to not be in audience as the words sink in and the reader shows the emotion caused by what you have written. How easy to be absent from the consequences of your words. An apology for something said seems to be easier to accept than one for something written and sent to someone.. via email or snail mail. Damage is done much deeper it seems when it is written. Wounds seem harder to heal.
I try to be careful of that here. There are things I have posted here and elsewhere that may seem harsh, but I wrote them willing to take responsibility for those words because they were how I felt, and my intent was clear. I did not and do not regret writing them. That is the choice we make when we write. To own what we put down, good, bad, or indifferent.
I have things saved from over 25 years ago. One I would like to think the writer regrets. I also have love letters from Brian, notes from my children (good & bad), journals I wrote in a different place and time. Watch what words you say, and write. Once out there they have a life of their own..

Round Three

Well, Hunter is now throwing up. The upside is, (LOL) with this virus, that usually only lasts a couple hours. The fever is the part that won't let go. The twins seem to be on the mend. I am keeping everything disinfected and squeaky clean to hopefully prevent any further outbreaks! Can't think of a better way to spend the Holidays... NOT!

Christmas at the Shores'

Christmas Eve we had Terri, Dwight, Savannah, Jessie, Greta, & Randy over for an Italian dinner and to do the Christmas thing. It was fun. Brianne & Justin stayed over Christmas Eve and helped me wrap presents and put things together. I was just setting out the last Christmas stocking at Hunter's door when I heard that he was awake. I had to dash to my room and barely made it before he came in to say Santa had been here! That was at about 6:30 am. We tried to hold off on getting everyone else up but it didn't last long. With Alexa being sick it wasn't as chaotic as it would have been. She just sat in the chair with me and looked pathetic. The boys would bring her presents and she would say she couldn't open it, it was too big. Even her excited face was sad.
We had pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Since we had a turkey & ham for Thanksgiving we decided to do something different for Christmas. I fixed a standing rib roast, loaded mash potatoes, and fresh green beans with leeks and pine nuts. I had 7 layer cookie bars and pumpkin pie for dessert, but everyone filled up on everything else.
It was a good day. We got the kids a puppet theater to share. The Teddy Ruxpin we ordered never came in, but they had enough stuff to not even miss it. They all got Leapster 2 game systems, and clothes. The boys got Star Wars and Indiana Jones toys, Potato Heads, puzzles, books, and several other things. Alexa got princess dolls, fairies, and lots of girly stuff. It was scaled down alot from last year. Alexa's doll bed and pram stroller for her dolls was back ordered, so we may save them for her birthday if they come in by then.
It was a good day. We take those good moments when we can get them and appreciate every one. It seems easier to look back and remember. Not less painful, but I think I am getting used to and accepting the pain rather than fighting it. The remembering is painful, but pleasant as well, so I focus on the pleasant part and let the pain come. We are making new memories and want to enjoy these times and moments as well.
Hope you & yours had good moments and good memories. Hallalujah, the holidays are over!

Sick & sleeping Christmas Day

Tristan was sick the week before, and then Alexa woke up with a fever Christmas morning. This virus seems to run 4-5 days and the fever is stubborn. Brian & I spent yesterday stripping all the beds, washing all pillows and blankets and disinfecting the whole house. Brian has been sick with a cold and Hunter has started what seems to be a cold as well. We were supposed to go to Greta & Randy's for a family Christmas/ Birthday get together yesterday and to Disney with my sister, Robyn, & her grandkids today & tomorrow. But with everyone sick it just wasn't happening. I had a dizzy spell in the early hours of Friday morning when I was in the kitchen getting Alexa some medicine. I passed out and hit my head on the floor. I thought it might be the virus the kids have had, but other than a headache I was fine and haven't felt sick or had any other symptoms. My blood pressure and sugar levels have been running low, so that was probably it. We are using alot of lysol & antibacterial gel!
They have been so sick and miserable they are just now getting to enjoy their toys. We have been taking it easy and sticking close to home. At least they were out of school anyway and didn 't have to miss any days other than Tristan missing the last day before the holiday break.

Bri & Justin

Bri & Justin
Originally uploaded by mommanana
This was at Bri's company Christmas party. I have posted more pix on the photo gallery, click on any pic to get there and enjoy!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hunter's 8 years old!

Hunter's 8 years old!
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Our baby boy turned 8 today. Note the wrapped left arm.. it is a hard splint to protect what they think is a cracked growth plate in his wrist. He fell off a bunk bed ladder and landed on his hand while at his Nana's house yesterday morning. He failed to tell her about it because he didn't want to have to leave. Later at home he went to do something and said he couldn't because his hand hurt. Off we went to the ER and he sees his orthopedic specialist on Friday. In the mean time we have to keep him down to a dull roar since he has a very high pain threshold and could make it worse if he reinjured it before they hard cast it. Never a dull moment!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Something to talk about..

When the kids hung ornaments the other night Hunter wanted to hang one of Kierra when she was about a year old. The twins asked who the baby was and Hunter told them it was their Mommy Kierra. That seemed to satisfy them and they finished hanging the other ornaments.
Later I caught the tail end of a conversation between Hunter & Alexa. The part I heard was Alexa asking him "Will Mommy die driving her car?" He quickly told her "No, God wouldn't take both your Mommies away." She accepted that and they moved on to look at another ornament.
I debated bringing it back up, then decided to wait. I asked Hunter about it when I was tucking him in. He said Alexa had asked him where Mommy Kierra was and he told her she was in Heaven. She asked if that was far away. When he told her yes, she asked how she got there. He told her she died and when Alexa asked how she died Hunter told her she died in a car crash when she was driving her car to work one day. That is when I caught the end of the conversation. Hunter asked me if it was wrong to tell her. I told him no, I just wondered if she was old enough to understand. We agreed if it comes up again we will all talk about it together. I thanked him for reassuring her and for being such a great big brother.
I have thought countless times what it would be like to tell them. I wondered when would be the right time. I didn't think of it being part of a simple conversation between 2 children. I forgot how matter of fact Hunter can be, and that I always tell him to be honest. I think he handled it very well. I hope I can handle it as well when they start asking me questions about it.

All I Want for Christmas..

I have been asked several times what I want for Christmas. Honestly, truly, I do not want anything. I know like us, many people are on a tighter budget this year. What I would really like is the gift of your time. I don't want much, or even immediate use of your time. But maybe give me a call and let's meet for coffee, or lunch, or a walk in the park. Let me know if you have a day when you can go to the barn with me, or go kayaking. Maybe go to a movie. I really miss spending time with the people I care about. We all get busy, I am the first in line to claim being guilty of being too busy sometimes. But I will commit to making time for you if you make the commitment too, okay? You don't have to wrap it, or fuss with a bow.. see how easy it is?

Alexa 12.18.08

Alexa 12.18.08
Originally uploaded by mommanana
She was all dressed up for her Christmas show at school, click on this pic and go see the other pix in the gallery. She was a Christmas present for the show. You should have heard them singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer", "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth", "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", and my favorite, "Hooves, Belly, Antlers, Nose", which was a version of "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" that I had not heard before! She practiced hard and was so excited. Yes, I got it on video!

Tristan & the North Pole, AKA Puking & other tidbits..

I think I am almost done with all the Christmas decorations. I have added some snowflakes outside and have hung some large ornaments in the archways inside the house. The only thing left to do is finish putting the ornaments on the tree. The kids did some of them, but there is more to do. At night when the lights are on it looks great, but in the light of day it looks like an oversized version of the Charlie Brown tree!
Tristan walks around and thanks me for all the decorations almost every day. He and Alexa would also point out (before it was up) they couldn't thank me for the tree because it wasn't up yet! They can be too smart sometimes. We put together a box to send to Alex in Iraq and we put in some candy that was called reindeer food. Tristan said maybe it would help him fly home fast like the reindeer can fly with Santa. Alexa looked at him so seriously and told him it would have to be flying camels, because they didn't have reindeer where he was, just camels!
We also put together a box for their new little sister, Hayven. Alex told us when he called last week that he & Dawn had a baby girl in September. I reassured him that it was great news and I would get Tristan & Alexa big brother and big sister shirts and take pictures for him. I think he forgets we are such an extended blended family already, what's one more?! I imagine that makes it all the more difficult for him to be deployed again. I have the shirts, just have to take the pix. I will post Hayven's picture soon.
Tristan has been running a high fever since yesterday morning. They rarely run fevers. To the extent that I had to dig up the 2 thermometers we had and both had dead batteries. I had to run to the store to get a new one. He threw up some yesterday afternoon, but that stopped last night. Now he has a fever rash in his groin area. He seems to be feeling better, but that fever is hanging on.
Greta was having Hunter over for a sleepover tonight and ended up taking Alexa too. She asked Hunter if he minded sharing his night and he said Alexa could go. She had gotten very upset that he was going without her. I thought Tristan would be upset at being left home alone, but he wasn't bothered at all. Now you know he is sick!
So I am baking 7 layer bars, and trying to get the motivation to finish the tree. The breakable ornaments are going higher on the tree and I guess that is my job. This may all be done just in time to take it all down and put it away again! The kids love it and that is what counts. Personally, I think it looks like the North Pole puked all over the house!

Right in Front of Me..

Songs play on the radio,
Images flash on the TV,
Everywhere I turn, it seems,
You're right in front of me.
I can hope there will come a time
when this all gets easier to do,
yet deep inside my heart I know,
I'll never get over losing you.
Some say you are in a better place,
that doesn't ring true for me.
Better than here with your babies
is something I just can't see.
We can't go back, this I know.
We can't undo what has been done.
So we try our best to nurture
the lives you'd just begun.
They smile your smile
and it's so easy to see,
every time I look at them
you're right in front of me..
mjs started 11.3.08
finished 12.18.08

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hunter & Bri on Lenny 12.14.08

We went to a pot luck lunch at the barn and got to take the kids on a ride. I rode Tortuga, but I think all the people and noise were too much for her... me too! Click on this pic to see Tristan and Alexa on Lenny too. I'm always adding new pix to the photo gallery!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kid's Movie List Update

Here is the movie list, if it is crossed through, someone has committed to getting it for them. I figure this way they don't get more toys they don't need! If you see something you want to get them, or have gotten them, please just comment on here and I will update it. Thanks!

Kung Fu Panda
Space Chimps
Horton Hears a Who
Narnia- Prince Caspian
Veggie Tales, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
Star Wars Clone Wars
Polar Express 3D version

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Where Are You Christmas?

I have been trying to get all the Christmas decorations up. I am not feeling the whole Christmas spirit no matter how many decorations I drag out and hang all over the place. I do it for the kids, and they really enjoy it, so I wll keep doing it! I heard this song on the radio and it sounded alot like how I feel. I am still working on finding it, so bear with me if I am a little Grinchy!

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play
My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too
Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go
Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love
Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love

Thursday, December 04, 2008


School Pic all 3
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Okay, let me explain this photo. I was not going to post this picture because it is not what I consider a good picture of them. My sister, however, said I have to post it because it is so them and shows what craziness I deal with everyday. Alexa had already taken her pix and the ones with Tristan. She was so done and refused to smile. Hunter had waited patiently while the other pix were taken and made the most of finally being in the limelight. And Tristan was bored with the whole thing and just along for the ride! Now realize that this was the BEST shot out of four taken!!


I figure it was a sign when I took a break from filling out my Christmas cards and checked my email. I received an email about this website set up by Xerox to say Thank You to our soldiers who are away from home for the Holidays. This seems like a more direct way to send them than the other option I posted. So take a moment to go to the site and say Thanks. And for those who do.. Thank You!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thing 1 & Thing 2

Alexa's Pre-school took these when they did Alexa's school pictures last month. I love this one. There was one of Hunter with them, but by that point Alexa was mad and both boys stuck their tongues out, NOT a good picture! I have posted Alexa's pictures in the photo gallery, they turned out really good as usual with her. Tristan's school picture wasn't good, he looked totally bored and uninterested. I should get Hunter's today. I will send some out with Christmas cards. I think Hunter's is just a proof so we have to order them. I am not sure if we will get them in time to send them as well, or if I will have to send them seperately.. I guess you will see when you get your Christmas cards!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Kid's Movie List

Here are the movies I have intentionally NOT gotten for the kids, so if you feel you must get them something, comment on here what movie you are getting them so everyone else can know what is left, They REALLY don't need more toys, I still have some unopened from last year in their closets! Or a Sear's gift card since Alexa is now wearing size 5 slim, and Hunter outgrew his 6 slims in a matter of weeks and now needs 6 Reg. Which means of course Tristan won't be far behind Alexa with his next growth spurt! There isn't really much else they need that we don't get as they need it.

Kung Fu Panda
Space Chimps
Horton Hears a Who
Narnia- Prince Caspian
Veggie Tales, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
Star Wars Clone Wars
Polar Express 3D version

Surfing the waves..

I have had such mixed emotions about the 13th of November, the 3rd anniversary of Kierra's death. I have not really posted much about it because it is a bit complicated to explain and I am not so sure how best to do that. Words on paper are mostly void of emotion, or perceived differently depending on the emotions of the reader. Although my emotions may be similar to yours, it is hard sometimes to convey them.
I did not go to the site of her accident this year. Brian put flowers there. I drive by it, but have not stopped there in a while. I don't think I intentionally avoid it, I just don't make a point of going there. I think of her and "see" her in so many other places, on so many other days than the day she died. I am not sure what meaning I want to give to that specific spot, so for now I give it none.
I also mentioned to a friend that I resented that day this year, but not just because of her death, I resent that every hour of every day. It has seemed as though, on most other days, people tend to tell me to not dwell on it, to try to move forward and not let it drag me down. To find a place to set my grief aside so I can enjoy my children, my friends, my life. I do try to do that. Yet on that day, the "anniversary" of her death, it is expected, almost encouraged, for me to give in to it. It is expected for me to be inconsolable and best left alone. Like one day is all I need to purge my sytem, to heal my heart. I know that is not how it is meant, but for some reason, that is how it felt. I am a control freak, yes, I know. So, to not have control of how I feel can be quite frustrating.
I have waves of emotion (as Nancy has described it for me) and I am not a good surfer! I had a hard time the day I had events at Tristan & Alexa's schools for Thanksgiving. I could not stop myself from crying when I was on my way to Tristan's Rodeo. I wanted her to be going, I wanted her to be the one they called Mommy and ran to when she walked in the door. I wanted her to be the one they showed off proudly to their classmates. I let it out and got through it with smiles for them, but it was hard. I did not expect the onslaught of emotion and could not stop it until my tears had run out.
Brian & I were heading to the movies to meet all the kids yesterday afternoon. We had a great day together. When we got in the truck a song by Gloria Estefan came on about "Until I had You, I didn't know I was missing out" I think it is "Christmas through your eyes" about her daughter. We both had to change the station and we talked about some of the hardest parts of missing her. It was like being hit by a 2X4. It knocks the breath out of you. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, we are powerless to stop it.
So I don't know how we will handle the rest of the Holidays. Of course we will celebrate and do things for the kids. They deserve to be happy and enjoy the whole Christmas thing. We will keep riding the waves and do our best to quickly reach the surface when one takes us under. We are becoming stronger swimmers, and someday I may be able to ride the waves and stay on the board. For now I have learned to just hold my breath and swim like hell!

Thanksgiving Lunch 11.25.08

This is Alexa with her Turkey Hat on. I didn't have other pics of her to post because they all had her classmates in them and I am not comfortable posting pics of them without their parent's permission. They put on a little show and we all had lunch together. Tristan had his rodeo right before this so I had a busy morning!


Originally uploaded by mommanana
Tristan had a rodeo at Pre-K before Thanksgiving. He had so much fun and wore those cowboy boots for days! There are a couple pics in the photo gallery so click on this pic and go check them out. He is doing well in school. He & Hunter just started riding the school bus. They love it. I was not so sure about it, but they are the last stop before the school in the morning and the first drop off in the afternoon, so they are only on the bus for 5 minutes. Tristan has to wear a harness seat belt and they sit up front, so I am okay with it so far. It's funny what a big deal it is for me, but they could care less.

Happenings and Hugs

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, emotionally and physically. On the anniversary of Kierra's death, Randy's Dad passed away. He hadn't been doing well, but that doesn't make the grief any less, or the added weight of that loss any easier to bear for them, especially with all they have gone through.
On the 14th, our Jezell gave birth to our Peurto-rican grandbaby, Michael, after many, many hours of labor. She thought he would be born the 13th, but I told her he held out to have his own day! Both are healthy and happy.
Then Brian's Mom came to visit for the week of Thanksgiving. It was a handful with her and the kids to care for. She isn't as mobile as she used to be and needs more help with things. She also isn't used to being around small children and they aren't used to sharing me with anyone else. They all managed and I think she had a good visit. She went home Saturday. Brian and I took the kids to the zoo that afternoon and then thanks to Brianne & Justin, he & I spent most of the day alone on Sunday and then met them all to see Bolt in the afternoon. It is a very funny movie. We all enjoyed it and still laugh when one of us quotes the hamster, Rhino!
So things are headed back to normal just in time to be thrown into chaos again with the Christmas Holidays. I haven't put out any decorations yet. I will have to get motivated in the next week or two. I got some Thanksgiving cards sent out and am waiting for the kid's school pictures to send out the Christmas cards. They should be in this week.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Enjoy the Holidays and hug each other for me!