Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Recap

I'm a SAHM for two weeks...and I am enjoying this time. Enjoy a little photo recap of a thing called Christmas :) Now how to put away and regain my house....and HIDE a bunch of toys the grandparents made us take back home from the normal toy pile. I guess they've forgotten they're grandparents ;)

Mommy got this shot early in the morning since I had been up since 3:00 AM
Stupid insomnia

Unlike his sister's 1st, Nolan cared more for the paper

Post aftermath

And the nap that follow

Bad Habits

Each month, he has this bad habit of growing a little older.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa's Super Sleigh

Here we are, soon to be celebrating our 3rd Christmas with children.


Now that Eliza is a little older and can express her interests better, it has given us as the parents a better idea of what thoughtful gifts she might like. This year, we were unexpectedly able to do some shopping for the kids from us as parents. I had a pretty strict guideline to follow as for our budget and what would/could get the most shelf life with ever changing development milestones. Hence why I've been skipping some toddler clothing sizes in hopes of getting another season or two of wear out of them.

As I am planning and packing for the trek to grandma and grandpa's, boxes from my mother are coming in for the kids which have to be sorted and packed for the car ride. In doing this, I can't help but notice a substantial difference in the amount of gifts.

My thoughts then start with...

Do they really need X amount of X kind of toy?

Am I helping foster unrealistic expectations of what brings happiness and joy by letting them have this?

Should I tuck some of this away for a birthday in the spring?

Where are we going to store all the kid stuff in our small place?

And then turn into...

Is this from emotional shopping?

Will she have enough to fly out next summer to visit?

She is can she afford this?

What if she outlives her retirement?

Get the picture?

How do you as parents handle those times when the spoiling goes a little too far for your comfort level? Do you turn a blind eye; enjoy it and see it as less money you have to spend? A verbal agreement?

I am quite curious as to handle this for future years, as I don't want my children to think happiness/joy comes from what people buy you, but a LOVE that can't come from a store or wallet.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Eliza's interpretation of the Nativity

Have you ever noticed that a lot of Christmas songs sound like mental illnesses? aka Schizophrenia "Do you hear what I hear?"

As we were approaching the entrance of a Chinese restaurant, a group of teens were at the door about to go in. Some of them were not pleased with a particular member and were cursing loudly.

Random teen in group: hey you guys, there's like little kids your language! 
Eliza: thank you!
Even this little one got their attention and they all laughed.

Visiting a church while away on a Sunday

Monday, December 9, 2013

Do we Dare?

Mr. G and I have been wondering if it would be a wise choice to purchase a home for a short term period (10 or less years) in order to gain a larger place and also reduce some debt in controlling our monthly rent. Not to mention trying to find a bigger place to rent that was safe/clean/affordable in our area. There are a lot of double occupancy homes with apartments, which is frustrating when you don't want another apartment.  I've NEVER considered buying a home or even looking at those for sale, just since it seemed kinda silly with where we were wanting to go in life.

Over the weekend, we went to an open house that was being sold directly from the owners. It was an old house built in 1915. Old houses like these are always a bit strange when the layout is concerned (only bathroom right next to the kitchen sink)

As I walked from room to room, I tried to even think about which room would be who's and so forth. Could the kids still share a room...could we have an office AND a guest room?

The folks seemed nice and oddly encouraged our daughter to enjoy the cookies on the bar table, even after we second guessed their permission. (They would later complain to us about the mess of crumbs upstairs on the follow up phone call)

This is where my ADHD can come in handy. I pay 100% attention to 100% of the stupid stuff. If cabinet drawer handles are not installed at the same height of each other, I'll notice it. I've had friends flip houses before and the place we rent now was even a flip that never sold. A good portion of the time, when a house is flipped, corners are cut in order to preserve any potential profit. Or workmanship is shoddy, only for the new owners to get stuck fixing it after the ink has had time to dry on the mortgage docs.

I can see why it is best for the owners to not be around during an open house. It hadn't occurred to me until the very end that this had been a nearly year long project flip. Any comments you made are taken personal and then you see a mean side come out. Mr. G had to hang up on the sellers today after they went on and on complaining about us and that we "scared" off a potential buyer who had cash in hand.

After we left, I didn't get a good vibe about this house. They seemed a bit pushy in saying we'd have to be crazy not to buy this house, as if it was casually buying a used car. If these minor things I kept noticing were to be added up...what does this mean in the bigger picture that we might not know. Buying a house is a BIG deal, especially for where we are in life and want to head.

Lord, please reveal some of your plan for our lives and guide us in the right direction. Oh and that we will be paying attention when you do, lol. We are trying very hard to live within our means, but the desire for more space only grows. I can only convert so many closets into extra space ya know ;) Amen

10 months

We are FINALLY crawling traditionally and even decided to pull ourselves up on things! Photos are becoming increasingly hard to get of him sitting still...especially in low light and long exposure shots. I despise flash and use it when I have absolutely no choice but to use it.

Thanksgiving in Pictures

first time free range bath time for Nolan...when his
sister wasn't busy trying to wash him!

Lots of excitement and activity for our first time celebrating it together as a family with Grandma and Grandpa. I was entrusted to do the Christmas decorating this year as a gift to my MIL as she has been busy working on her dissertation paper for her Doctorate in Ministry.

Nolan was happily exploring all that he could with new found mobility. Eliza took to her usual favorite spots around the house. It was a blessing to have a vehicle that gave more room and luxuries this time around for the 3+ hour car ride down to the city. I even wrapped most of the kids Christmas gifts ahead of time and brought them down early. One less thing to pack and worry hiding for the next drive down!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


This last week, we returned the rental car and made a decision on a new (to us) car. It was critical that we get something to replace the van with our family size and cargo needs. This is why I loved our van so much. Even Eliza would squeal in delight when her eyes captured our van in the parking lot.

We've marked a new chapter in our life with this new vehicle and all the bells & whistles our previous did not have, but higher miliage and 2 years older. I am happy, but at the same time it still feels surreal and almost like a dream. In a way, feels creep in of feeling like I should not enjoy this car because of the series of events it was obtained by.

We were blessed with getting more than expected on the car from the insurance company, which allowed us to pay of the rest of the loan and leaving us with a down payment for the newer. The loan balance is a good amount lower than the previous loan balance left.

I know God is good, but sometimes I don't feel like I deserve His kindness.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


We have a crawler AND a puller-up-er! This all kinda happened within just a few days of each other. Nolan would drag himself, but mostly stay in the confines of the family room. But he all of a sudden decided to venture all the way into our bedroom!

It doesn't matter what the item is, he'll climb up on it, including his sister. All toys are fair game and Eliza now has to guard things she once could play without competition 

The above picture was taken on the nanny cam, which mommy then had to interrupt bed time to drop a crib, oh joy! Now the night time standoff goes into extra innings. I will give him credit though for stubbornness persistence. 

Photo: This is how he fell asleep after FINALLY accepting defeat of night night.
Finally accepting defeat and falling asleep like this

I will leave you with this shot taken tonight..."you've almost got the right idea kid"

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Ripple

Wednesday was a busy day for sure...

After work, Mr. G and I headed down after work to the funeral parlor for the calling hours. It was a weird feeling, to go into one of these...almost like inviting yourself to a party you never formally received an invite to, walking into a room where you didn't know anyone, but for a brief moment with the departed.

I had been mentally preparing myself for an open casket. It wasn't until I moved to the east coast that the term "calling hours" became a part of my vocabulary. When we entered the room, there were chairs set up as if for a funeral, picture boards, faces of people I didn't know....and a closed casket with an American flag folded up.

I found myself faced with not knowing what to do with myself. If awkward introductions of, "Hi, I was the other driver" weren't bad enough, I was still coming off of last nights tidal wave. With Mr. G helping break the ice with the woman's family, I met with the passenger who walked away from the other car. He was actually her boyfriend, who had just gotten back from China to spend the Thanksgiving break with her. He had just gotten back the day before, only to unknowingly spend a precious 24 hours with a woman he loved.
It was some relief that the family did not hold any bitter feelings towards me and that my kids were alive and safe in a wrong place at the wrong time incident.

We left the funeral parlor and then headed to where the van was being stored. It was being totalled and we had to go clean it out or our belongings. Something I only owned but 6 months and what felt took forever in the buying process.

I sat in the driver's seat, closed the door and just balled. It felt like I was laying to rest a member of the family....taken away beyond my control.The temperature that day hadn't moved above freezing that day, and my body had felt it all day as I paid my last respects to our car filled with misc papers and kid stuff.

I know it was just a car, but it was having a freedom of space that we hadn't had before, and not since my childhood Toyota Previa had bitten the dust.

Now, now the healing process has started I think. Tomorrow will be 1 week since the accident.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Wave

If you've ever been to the ocean and watch the tides roll in, you'll notice something. The water will be pulled back to gain its power and force. Then it rolls forward...fierce....powerful....unbiased in who or what it takes with it or on.

It was my first day back to work since the accident and I was trying to go on like business as usual when a boy comes up to me in casual.

Boy: Did you know my mom's aunt died....she was hit by a deer.
Me: I know
Boy: You do?
Me: Because I was the other driver.
Boy: Oh (walks away)

Interestingly enough, it was the boy's mother who picked them up that evening, which she hardly ever does and it's just dad. I spoke to her and recalled the events I witnessed. It really is a small world.

After I returned home, Mr. G informs me that state law will total a vehicle if it is 75/80% worth of damage to what the vehicle is worth. And we are so very borderline that although it is not official, it is likely going to happen. This was what pushed me over the edge. Although there was silent weeping...tears. Tears flowed in abundance into my pillow.

Things had been quite bad financially for us before, but this didn't help slow the bleeding. We hadn't had the van but a meer 6 months. It was a glorious blessing to have room for the kids car seats and also luggage when visiting grandparents. I loved to sit higher up once again. It wasn't a van with all the bells and whistles like many on the road, but it was our van. Even Eliza would shout in happiness, "My van, my van" when ever we came up on it outside the house or parking lot.

This evening, I will go to the calling hours in order to gain a new visual of this woman and the life they are celebrating tomorrow at her graveside. Then we have to go and clean out the van in anticipation of what will probably be likely.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

So You've Hit A Deer....*Reader Discretion, but SFW*

The last 24 hours have been far different than I had ever envisioned for my weekend...

I went out yesterday to see if I could exchange a coat for Eliza in a different size at JCP. Eliza did surprisingly well in the stroller with not being strapped in while Nolan sat in the backpack. Before heading back home from the mall, I sat and nursed Nolan. With a cooperative daughter in the car, I was praising her for her behavior. I had plans of putting a rotisserie chicken in the oven before Mr. G got back from taking a teen out for some guy time.

I have driven this route before countless times before. With the time change, it was dark already and it was wooded on each side of the road. Then out of no where, I catch a large patch of brown fur a foot away from my drivers side headlight.

I immediately hit the breaks and I see an oncoming car in the other lane having some interaction with my deer.

After skidding 30 feet, I look back to see that the kids are okay and get out of the car to see the tires smoking and my drivers side door hard to open. With kids still secured in car, I run over to the other vehicle where another truck had pulled up and called the authorities. The cars front end was smashed up with the windshield smashed through and car horn stuck on. It was dark and I thought that the driver was already out with the way the folks in the other car were acting. The passenger was out and very shaken up.

I then realized that there was a woman still in the car.

I was not prepared for what I was to see, and probably never will. There was significant head trauma and she was unconscious but gurgling and sort of twitching her head to the right. Blood was everywhere as the deer made impact on the front drivers side after becoming airborne from my car. I couldn't tell what was human tissue or the inside cavity matter of the deer, as their insides were hanging from inside the roof . Neither my car, nor the woman's Subaru/s airbags went off with how things were hit. No doubt, this newer Subaru sedan was totalled, let alone the interior being destroyed by the deer carcass. The rest of it had found a home in the side ditch.

I felt paralyzed in seeing that I was limited in what I could do to help but to go on facebook and send an urgent prayer request for a prayer chain. I couldn't help but wonder why the emergency crew wasn't acting in a more urgent matter. Then it hit me....she was dead on the scene.

Mr. G wasn't too far away from the accident and came over to stay with the kids while I gave a report to the sheriff and give insurance and registration information. The kids were seen in the ambulance. The photographer in me couldn't help but snap a few pictures with the cell phone since this was certainly not the norm for the kids.

Nolan thought being in there was a lot of fun. Eliza showed concern for me while they were checking my vitals as the adrenalin started to wear off. I had to assure her that they were helping mommy with her boo boos.

Because I was complaining of some numbness in some extremities and abdominal pain, they took me to an area hospital where I was given a CT Scan and x-rays of my back. All came back normal and the Dr. said I will probably sustain some whiplash.

Damage is looking around $5000-6000. I pray they do not total this car we've only had for about 6 months. We are down to our Sable sedan and it is uncertain if we can afford a rental car even with insurance coverage.

Our lives were spared in this freak accident, and I don't know anything else about this woman other than her name. I don't know why God used me in involving the ending of this woman's life. I don't know exactly how to feel about this and feel guilty when I try and use humor about my experience. Do I even try and go to a possible funeral 

How do I feel?

I don't know.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teeth, Teeth and More!

Nolan had another well baby appointment today. And as I suspected, he hadn't gained much weight in two months. Not even a full pound. When talking to the pediatrician, she wasn't worried since he grew over all.

Weight: 19.3 (25th percentile)
Height: 28.25 inches (46th)
Head: 46.5 cm (80th)

He is quite different from his sister on the head size as they were concerned about her peanut size.

Now, albeit one month older, this is where Eliza stood at 10 months.....weight: 17.6 lbs. 13th %, Height 28.25 54th % and head was 5th %

As far as teeth go, Eliza had 7 by the time she was 10 months. Nolan has a whopping EIGHT teeth for 9 months. Eeek! 2 on the top and one on the bottom, unless a few more are about to show up.

Mobility is still by dragging his stomach and legs across the floor, and not even army style either. Or he'll lift up in a pushup position to pull forward. My kids have both been quite unique, but very different in gross motor skills.

Most clothing is a mix of 9-12 months. Coats are 18 months to ensure we make it through the winter and early spring. I rather use the clothes longer and let him grow into them than spending money on short lived sizes. Some 3-6 mo could fit, but are the wrong season or the length of sleepers is too short.

I wonder what 12 months will hold!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Here are some recent status gems as of late from the old facebook page...


Nolan must be spending time around Eliza's art station because this morning, he gave me a sparkling glitter poopy diaper!


I am sorry to the town of Rome. If you find a baking sheet on Chestnut or Hill that.....that was mine, compliments of my distraction while loading the kids in the car.

Even when nolan had a 101.7 temp and croup  he could still crack a smile and charm the hospital staff. But this momma is tired after getting home after 5 am and a long previous night of no sleep, temperatures spiked and treatment for mastitis prior that day. Earned a new parenting merit badge for sure!


In a marriage, some people are the sail and others are the wind!

*I am still undecided if the Bitstrips are going to stay or not. For some reason I can't seem to be able to edit the bottom caption in them, or the servers are overloaded and comics don't load on the app.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

9 Months

This milestone birthday has always been hard for me to write about. This is where my little one is now old enough to have spent more time on the outside than inside my womb. It becomes a downhill gallup towards the 1 year mark and not to be considered a "baby".

Recent happenings have been clapping, saying mum mum babblings quite a bit, army drag crawling and first costume. Also, getting into a sitting position from laying down. He's tried to give some attempts of pulling himself up, but nothing major. If we place him standing up and holding on to the couch, he'll stand and then fall like a plank of wood to the side. 2-3 teeth have also cut through in the last 2 days, making his count to 8 toothers!

I'm okay with his development being behind his sister. It just makes him my cuddling little guy for longer. Nolan has been lucky to be exposed to new things sooner than his sister, with being the second child as a trade off. Next week we will have a well baby visit and see just how he's growing.

Now to try and thing of a new theme for the milestone pictures. The weather has become much more cold and I am not looking forward to an inside studio shoot. Hurmph

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That's MY Bumkin!

If you can believe it, this was out first time in our marriage that we've carved a pumpkin as a family. Now that we have the kids, I think the holidays will start having a much more meaningful part in our lives :)