December Update

I finally felt like me again rolling into December. We got the news that Noah would not be sharing Christmas with us in North Carolina and that was really hard. Nora was pretty upset that she wouldn’t be able to go to Pennsylvania either. Life sucks like that sometimes, but we tried to make the best of it.

What happened in December besides Christmas?? Preparations for Christmas, mostly. We decorated the house and had Jason’s family over for a holiday party. It was really fun and we enjoyed hanging out with his siblings. We decided to play the white elephant gift exchange game and I think it turned out really well. It was pretty hilarious to see what people brought and ended up with at the end of the game. I got a HUGE box of chocolates!

Christmas morning went as planned; gifts, excitement and wrapping paper extravaganza. This is pretty much all Nora did after opening Grandma’s gift; a Leapster 2 with games.

Lorelei insisted I take a picture of her baby after pushing the baby around in her new stroller. Such a cutie (Lorelei, the baby is scary…).

Our sad tree. He was once glorious and then became something even the Grinch would leave behind. Next year we plan to go to the tree farm we found out about after we bought our tree and cut’er down ourselves! “It’s part of the experience.” -Christmas Vacation

Jason got me Lightroom 4, which explains the strange pictures and has prompted me to look into photography classes to learn to use my camera better. It is amazing and I’ve only watched five of the twelve “crash courses” that came with it. He also got me a mixer. I think I’m one of the last people I know to get one of these stand alone industrial machines, but better now than never because it totally rocks. Not just baking either, mashed potatoes, cream cheese crescents, I’m scared to try bread since that’s how I’ve killed the last two machines, but one day I’ll get up the courage.

We had a classic Christmas dinner with Grandma and Brobee.

Just before the new year we went to my mom’s to celebrate her birthday. My mom cut her hair, doesn’t she look great? The kids weren’t sure at first, especially Lorelei, but she assured them that she was the same Mamma. We had fun eating cupcakes and then went out to eat in Hendersonville at Outback. It’s nice of her to live in such a populated city for us to enjoy…after driving two hours. ;o)

A great ending to a good year for us. I am excited about what the new year will bring and hope you are too. Happy New Year!

November Update

The first few weeks of November were spent like this:

A lot of laying about and taking naps.

Daddy took over a lot of the responsibilities like cooking dinner, library time and food shopping (Yay, to the food shopping!). I finally started taking Unisom at night which kicked the morning sickness in the butt for at least the first part of the day and I was able to at least pull it together enough to go see Breaking Dawn with my SIL Sheena when it came out.

By Thanksgiving I was doing okay enough to cook, and gorged myself on all the delicious once a year dishes like sweet potato casserole and cornbread stuffing.

I’m finally getting my energy back now that I’m nearing 12 weeks in this pregnancy and the morning sickness is slowly easing. I thought I could make it through an evening hair appointment and found a cut I liked, so I went for it.

My hair was halfway down my back and becoming a pain to take care of, so this is a good change.

We finally had a warm enough day to go to the park. Nora found a friend from school to play with and Lorelei and I wandered the playground. She makes me get on this seesaw-type thing with her, by saying “mama do it too”. She is so cute and talking soo much. We are really enjoying the stage she is in, even with her independence quickly emerging. She follows Nora around and they play together. Everything Nora does, Lorelei copies; movements, words, actions, everything. It drives Nora crazy, but we have to remind her that she’s the same way with Noah.

I’ve been visiting my favorite coffee shop in Sylva, City Lights, and getting their delicious chicken salad. This is Lorelei enjoying a fluffernutter (marshmallow and peanut butter sandwich) and now I just bring a regular pb&j when I have a hankering for their chicken salad. lol

The weekend after Thanksgiving we went and picked up our tree. This is our first large Christmas tree. Last year we decided to get a small three-footer since the kids were spending Christmas day with their dad and Lorelei was too little to care. I also decided to make a Christmas wreath this year and am very happy with it! We’re gettin’ stuff done early this year; I like it!

We’re getting excited about Christmas. I have been starting a collection of Christmas movies since we have none and I’d like to start a tradition of watching them in December. So far, I have The Grinch and I just picked up It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve yet to see it. I also plan on getting Elf and a few others. There is still time yet. Until next month!

October Update

In the beginning of October we found out some great news. We are having another baby! We had actually been trying for quite some time, so we were very happy to finally be pregnant again. Of course, we are hoping for a boy, but I won’t be upset about a house full of girls. :o)

We took a trip to Connecticut to visit Jason’s family about mid-month while Nora was on Fall Break from school. We stayed with his Aunt Louisa and Uncle Gil and met a few of his cousins and his grandmother while we were there. We had a great time and enjoyed seeing the beautiful Fall colors. We also got to take a tour of His cousin Gil’s place of work, News Channel 8. It was really neat to see the studio and see a taping of a segment.

On our way back to NC, we took a side trip to see Noah for his birthday. It was great to see him and the place where they are staying (it’s nice to imagine him in a specific place). Nora had a great time playing with him and their step-sisters. We took a nice walk and he opened his presents and we were on our way again the next morning. I’m really looking forward to Christmas.

I was pretty sick for the next couple of weeks (morning sickness), but finally tried Unisom and B6 at night, which seems to be doing the trick. Because of Sandy, Halloween was freezing! Jason talked to a few co-workers and found a couple of neighborhoods that give out candy. We got the kiddos dressed up. Nora was a Spider Queen and Lorelei was a Bee, so cute. We ventured out in 40 degree weather house to house and had a lot of fun and got to see our friends too. It was an awesome holiday.

Pictures galore… (hover over the pics for a description)

Lorelei finally got over her fear of strangers on our escapade once she figured out that they would give her candy and we weren’t staying there. Such a silly kid. I’m looking forward to feeling better and Thanksgiving dinner in November. It’s getting cold here and most of the leaves have fallen to the ground to be raked up and burned by the hubster. He is on the ball this season! We’re settling in to boots and sweaters and looking out for our first snow. Until next time.

September Update

We started out September with Nora’s 6th Birthday.

Then, we spent Labor day weekend with our friends Nathan and Jackie and Nathan’s family. They rented a boat and a cabin and invited us to share it with them. We grilled out and played games and had a great time.

Jason’s work had a Radiothon to raise money for a new building and there were games like this Coke Bottle Raise. You take a pole with a string attached with a ring on the end and you are supposed to hook it on the small end of a glass bottle and raise it to a standing position. It was very difficult, but fun to try.

Nora did the Jump thing and even accomplished a few flips!

One Saturday Nora and I went to the Fun Factory and played games and rode the Carousel. She had a perfect week and that was her reward.

Lorelei is learning to navigate the stairs and has since decided that she doesn’t need help walking down the other flight to the car which is steeper and many more steps. (Scary for this mama!)

We went to the Annual Macon County Fair to see the cows, goats, pigs, bunnies, chickens and funnel cake. Nora’s school had artwork on display.

Lorelei is “feeding” the goats in the above video. :o)

We had a pretty eventful month! Noah started 3rd grade in Pennsylvania and is enjoying it. Patrick has a good job and they are making things work. We plan to visit Noah for his Birthday in October. I can’t wait! :o)

August Update

Nora started school this month. I’m glad that she had an extra year with me; it was really hard some days, but I can see that the year gave her time to mature a little bit and an edge to learning all the things they are teaching her in Kindergarten.

She already has “best friends” and still has trouble listening. Can you believe that? *snicker* I make her lunch and Jason takes her to school in the morning and I pick her up in the afternoons. She seems okay with allowing us to do that for her, whereas Noah wanted to eat school lunch and ride the bus immediately. Noah started school on the 23rd and he likes the school and his teacher. He’s doing well in Pennsylvania. :o)


We went on a great hike and went to see the goats on the roof the week Nora started school as one last Summer activity. The Tallulah Gorge is beautiful! You have to visit it if you are ever up this way.

We went over to Jason’s former boss’ house and got a lesson in bees. This is Jason in his borrowed bee suit. We had a good time and got to meet Marley.

…Who came to live with us a couple of weeks later. :o)

The big news is that Jason was offered a promotion at work. when he was first hired, he was given the title of Help Desk Technician. It isn’t a great title and he definitely did more than just answer the phone all day, but it gave him a job in Franklin which allowed us to move here. One of the things I love about Jason is his humility. He doesn’t get offended easily and never puts on a front. He took the job and gave 110% doing something he loves with integrity. It is a small hospital, so moving up the ladder didn’t seem likely. The hospital Jason works for is merging with another, bigger hospital and Gary, Jason’s boss recently decided to leave. He asked Jason if he’d like the job of Director and began to push for Jason to take his place. After weeks of negotiations it was finally made official and after an interim period (not unusual at this hospital) Jason will be the Director of MIS. I’m so proud of him. He does such a good job and so many people seem to enjoy working with him at work it is nice to see him rewarded. I know (firsthand) that he is a great boss and he will be a great director.

This next month will be tough as he makes this transition and finds someone to take his place as Help Desk Technician, but I’m excited for him and this new opportunity. Until next month!

July Update

The kids went to their dad’s this past month. He picked them up on his way to PA because he and his family were moving there. We decided that Nora would stay a few weeks as planned, but for Noah to stay there for the upcoming school year.

The decision to let Noah live with his Father was a difficult one. Noah loves his dad and has always wanted to live with him. When Patrick and I separated, more than four years ago, I took the kids because I was the most stable parent (in all sense of the word). Until this past year Patrick and I were unable to speak without it ending in a fight. I’m happy to say that even though Patrick is still Patrick he has thankfully mellowed out a lot and we have an amicable relationship now.

I hoped that I would be able to show Noah how good it is in life to be stable. How nice it is to live in the same house for more than a couple of months and to have the same job much longer. I hoped to show him what a healthy relationship looks like and mend mine and his as well. I wanted to give him safety and security. I am proud to say that I did all of those things. Even with our move to NC I showed him how to do it well and not hastily moving in with family or friends and depending on them to feed and clothe you for the duration of your stay. Even with all of that, he still missed his dad and wanted to live with him. He stopped asking, but it showed in his behavior and disregard for our rules and values. I came to understand that Noah didn’t necessarily need that stability and that keeping him with us was only delaying the inevitable. I went back and forth with the decision for a year or so while also taking Noah to counseling sessions with the goal of helping him heal from the divorce and the events afterward. In order to teach a child there needs to be a connection. Although I love Noah, I do not understand him and I knew in my heart that some of the things he said or did were simply part of his personality and our trying to teach him our way was actually hurting him. In a perfect world the two halves that made him would be able to work together both accepting him and teaching him how to do life. I had to concede that although I am still the more stable parent, Noah needs his father.

Nora, however, is the opposite. She was very young when Patrick and I separated and he wasn’t around much since, so her home is with me. She enjoys seeing him for a short time and will very much miss Noah, but life is not perfect and a choice had to be made. Perhaps one day she’ll choose to live with her father and we will cross that bridge when we get there. Noah may decide to return and we’ll cross that bridge as well (although, I doubt it). He is having a great time with his dad. They’ve gone fishing a few times, built a fort in the big back yard where they are staying. He is spending time with his grandfather building birdhouses, surrounded by people that love and accept him. I can see that his heart is full and he is happy when we talk with him on Skype. So far, so good. Hopefully, what we have taught him stays with him and he makes the best of both worlds.

While the kids were gone Jason and I did a lot of renovations to the house. We made Nora’s room a playroom and took down the wallpaper and replaced the tile in the kid’s bathroom.

I wrote about the playroom and the bathroom in depth at Mamabluebird.

We have since moved the girls in together, more on that next month!

Before the kids left we went and saw Brave in 3D. Craziness! That bear was attacking, ya’ll! lol

While the kids were gone Lorelei and I went swimming at the community pool.

Out to the lake with Jason’s family.

And, of course, to the library!

This month flew by! I can’t believe it is already August. Nora starts school next week, if you can believe it, so I’m sure I’ll have lots to tell you in the next update. Is it Fall yet?

June Update

June. Summer. Illness. That’s what I think of as I contemplate this update. Although we had some really good times, it was while I was having a really bad time. All I can say is, I’m so glad this month is over!

We started out with a visit to my favorite park, Wilshire Trails Park in Gainesville, GA. It is beautiful and the playground is awesome and they have a butterfly garden as well. What more could you ask for?

Lorelei loves our phones! We have even put a baby game or two on there for her to play. No doubt this girl will be a techno chick. She could care less about the tv, she wants a DS, a tablet and a phone. Thankyouverymuch.

Hey, hey, the gangs all here!

My mom, the kids and I visited the Nature Center in Asheville, NC. We enjoyed seeing all kinds of animals. Bears, Cougars, Wolves, Foxes, Snakes to name a few.

This is a cougar sleeping off lunch.

A Bobcat pacing.

Two Otters sleeping. Can you tell I read a lot of children’s books?

A quick pic of us before we left.

A beautiful butterfly bid us goodbye on the way out.

This was all while I battled a bout of poison ivy. At first, I didn’t know what it was. It looked like an ant bite, then maybe a spider bite, to which seemed to get infected with the red ring around the bites growing. And then it started to spread even though three times a day I was putting warm compresses, neo and band-aids on it. It hurt, so bad and was extremely itchy. Band-aids are not my friends. The area where the adhesive had been on my skin took longer to heal than the actual poison ivy. I was freaking out about my “spider bites” and was in pain and miserable, so I went to the doctor, who prescribed me Prednisone. Yes! Fix it! Make it all better! My brain shouted all the way to the pharmacy. It DID NOT! Ok, so it made the poison ivy better after a week or so, but it did not make me better AT ALL. I do not have a good reaction to Predinose. It knocks me out. Dizzy, lethargic, non-functioning mom over here. Not good. Right before I started taking the medicine I noticed a different rash on my belly, but the doctor assured me that the Prednisone would take care of it. The rash continued to spread all over my body while the posion ivy got better and I was miserably locked into taking this medication. You can’t stop Prednisone in the middle. You can- but it is to your detriment possibly. Back I went to Urgent Care (which I hate, but don’t have insurance on myself until October) where a different doctor swore I had a Strep rash. Which was funny (so not funny) because Jason had Strep right when I got posion ivy and the Prednisone inhibits your immune system, so the rash was having a fabulous party running rampant all over my skin (which was hideous at this point). I was down enough in my taper of Prednisone pills that I could safely come off of it and we waited 48 hours to see if I was just having a reaction to the medication before I was given good ol’ Amoxicillin, which was HUGE pills I had to take twice a day for ten days. I’m getting really good at taking pills. After about two weeks I am finally better. It took a month to sort this all out and I am wiser and more cautious now. No Prednisone for me! /rant

And of course, no month is complete without a trip to the ER. Noah jumped in the extremely shallow (2ft!) part of the community pool and hurt his foot. It swelled up right away and he refused to walk on it. Since it was late Friday afternoon, our doctor’s office suggested we’d be better served going to the ER. Sigh. They look right at home, yeah? Thankfully, nothing was broken, just bruised and a few days of elevation and ice, took care of it.

Let me say again, thank God this month is over! lol Until next month.

April Update

April was a quiet month. We took a few trips to Gainesville, GA and found this park. It is beautiful with a playground as well as a wooded area and a creek that runs through. I finally visited Buford with my SIL Sheena. They have a fantastic mall there, for sure, but it took almost four hours to make our way through it!

We visited the goats on the roof a few times and Lorelei still did not like them. She also had issues with this huge bear statue and continued to yell at it and cry while we were near it. The last time we went Jason and I were able to play a game of checkers while my mom played with the kiddos. Checker is such an interesting game, right? Are you offensive or defensive? What is your strategy? If it looks like you are going to lose (like when you are cornered by 3 “kinged” checkers)do you give up? Maybe during interviews interviewees should challenge the potential coworkers to a game of checkers? This would replace the, “if you were an animal what kind of animal would you be?” question.

Towards the end of the month we took a visit out to the campsite Jason’s parents have rented for their camper for the season. It is absolutely beautiful out there and we look forward to visiting more and going canoeing and swimming when it gets hot enough for it.

Lorelei is learning to climb, but once she gets up on something she just stands there and cries because she’s up higher and doesn’t know what to do. I may have to get two stools for when we are baking in the kitchen. We registered Nora for Kindergarten in the Fall. She is so ready and I’m glad we waited because they changed the curriculum this year and the classes were extremely full, so it would have been crazy to start her “early”. Psh.

Spring is in full swing and with it poison ivy. We discovered a patch on the hill near our house and as you can see, Nora played in it and then gave it to Noah. We’ve got it taken care of, but more continues to be found throughout the yard. I am getting the feeling that the residents before us NEVER went outside.

We spent a lot of time with family this month which I enjoyed immensely. I love seeing the kids with their aunts and playing with their cousins too. The kids are enjoying the weather and we continue to spend a lot of time on our porch. I’ve been doing alot of creative activities which I document at mamabluebird. I am really enjoying the new blog and work hard to improve my skills with it on an almost daily basis. It keeps my mind going and my hands busy.

I’ve been accepted at Western Carolina University as a transfer student and I’ve been diligently working through the steps they set up in order to speak to a counselor and plan out my classes. It is nearby in Sylva. I hope to do four classes in the Fall, two online and two on campus, which means that Lorelei will go two days a week to morning daycare. Whew, more on that in the Fall, lol. :o)

See you in a month!

March Update

Whew! March was certainly a FUN month!

We celebrated Lorelei’s birthday on that first Sunday. She was so cute in a purple vest I made for her! She was a bit overwhelmed by the crowd that is our family now, but she enjoyed herself!

Next it was my birthday and I am now well firmly placed in my 30’s. Jason’s sisters and significant others came over for drinks and board games and I have to say, it has been one of my best birthdays thus far. We had a hilarious time!

This month we watched Spring begin and went on our first hike, where we saw a bear cub! So cute! We also planted some beautiful (hopefully!) flowers and anticipate starting a garden very soon.

On the 27th we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. It seems like much longer, but in a good way. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have such an amazing husband! We left all three kiddos with Nana and Papa and set out for Asheville. We wandered the mall, Target and ate at Carrabba’s and it was worth the three hours round trip, ya’ll. Chicken Bryan! I took the rest home and ate it for lunch the next day! lol It was so nice to spend some quality time with just Jason and I together.

This month I’ve also realized that Lorelei is old enough and I am to a point in my stay-at-home period that I need to take some time for myself. One Saturday I went and saw Hunger Games at our adorable little theater. It was such a good movie! The following weekend, Noah had a boyscout thing and Jason took all three kids with him while I went to the library- by myself! I came home with an ARMLOAD of books! I didn’t go ANYWHERE NEAR the children’s section! lol It was wonderful! I found a couple of great books centered around Buddhism. One is called How to Expand Love by the Dalai Lama and another is titled Anger, Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Hanh. Ha! I have no idea how to pronounce that. I’m really looking forward to diving into these. Jason has been so sweet to give me time to refresh away from the kiddos. For whatever reason it is hard to take the time, but the rewards of that time away benefit the whole family.

For Lorelei’s birthday we got her a sandbox. At first she was a little leery of it, but now she just plops right in and begins to munch and dig. :o) We spend quite a lot of time out on our porch playing and Noah and Nora ride their bikes or the razor. We enjoy the fresh smells of Spring and the warmer weather so much.

I have been thinking about going back to school in the fall. I’d like to get my B.A., but am seriously contemplating a degree in Web Design. I’ve been playing around with Gimp and really enjoy it.

I’ve also started another blog. It has been in the works for some time and just this month I let’er rip! I enjoy writing this different kind of blog and I will also continue my monthly updates here. If you’d like you can check it out here.

Until next month!

February Update

I write this on what should be the very last day of February and coincidentally Lorelei’s birthday. One year old, I am amazed at how the time has flown! Lorelei now clearly has her own personality. She is starting to repeat words (somewhat) and I’m able to tell her “no” and amazingly she listens.

This month has been a month of sickness and events. Lorelei got sick with an ear infection and was not a happy camper. She is so irritable when she is sick! What a temper, I tell ya! She was hitting people and growling at them for simply being near her. That was a rough week. We went to the doctor’s office twice, once to be diagnosed and then again when the illness spread to her skin in a rash and over her top lip in bumps as well. We thought it might be the medicine, but soon after she began to feel better.

Noah and the rest of the second grade class put on a sort of play for UNICEF. They were raising money for water tablets in a village and raised enough for a water pump. He is very proud of that. He also had his Blue and Gold Ceremony where he received his Bear badge for cubscouts. And now I am sick and have been for a few days. Thankfully, I have an understanding husband and Nora and Lorelei have played very well without my intervention.

We will be having Lorelei’s party on Sunday with the family. I am so excited! I plan to make chocolate cupcakes and decorate the house. We almost have the living area all painted. Most likely that will get done on the Saturday before; not much gets done during the week around here.

We’ve gone a few times to Gainesville, GA which reminds us of Lakeland, including our beloved Publix. It doesn’t seem completely insane to drive three hours round trip for a Publix birthday cake, right?

Couple of pics from this month’s cell phone pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Lorelei, first an observer, before joining in to play at the park.
My sickly girl cuddling with her big sis
Painting, finally!
My Bear cubscout
The birthday girl, only one sock on and one of Noah's Nerf darts in her hand.

Until next month!