Monday, August 31, 2009


It has be ten years since I became a mom. Ten years since I met Sam. Ten years since I saw his sweet face and red hair. Ten years since I counted his fingers and toes. And it has been ten years since I said goodbye.

Saying goodbye to someone you love is never easy. There is never a good time to say goodbye. There is never enough time to spend with someone. It doesn't matter if the person is 100 or 1 day. It is never enough. There are always memories you don't get to make. Things you don't get to say. Milestones not reached.

Ten years is a long time. A lot changes in ten years. People, relationships, careers, it all changes. In many ways it seems like just yesterday Michael and I were embarking on parenthood. In others ways it seems like a lifetime ago. We are different people now than we were ten year ago and having Sam in our lives is definitely part of why we are who we are.

Sam was with us for nine short months. We only spent a few hours getting to memorize his appearance and physically make memories. But Sam will have a lifetime of influence on us. He may not live here with us, but he colors so much of who we are and what we do.

Sam's time with us may have been short, but it was profound and lasting. I am so glad I got the privilege of being Sam's Mom.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NC Vacation: May the Force be with You

You have to enlarge this one to see the expression on her face. It is priceless

I don't know what Zander is doing and would not have included this picture except for the hilarity in the background. What is she getting ready to do?

This is how Rehm and Charlotte spent a lot of time with their cousin Zander. He was nice enough to bring over four or five light sabers for them to play with. They all had a blast!

New Digs

Eliza Claire has new digs. We inherited the bunk beds from a friend. Rehm was given first choice on them but turned them down. While he liked the idea of having more floor space in his room (he has a queen bed and the smallest bedroom) he was not willing to give up his big bed. So Eliza Claire got the bunk beds. When we have guests, Rehm will bunk on the top bunk.

Eliza Claire loves her new bed and all of its cubbies, drawers and shelves. She especially likes the map we hung from the bottom of the top bunk to give her something to look at while lying in bed.

Currently we are storing the ladder in our closet to keep curious kids off the top bunk when it is not needed. We have bets on how long it takes Ruby to figure out a way up with out the ladder.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School: Day Two Plus a Heart Update

It is the second day of school. Rehm had a doctor's appointment and was not with us this morning. I needed to drive Charlotte to school because I needed go straight to work after dropping her off. When I explained we would be driving and not walking she immediately asked to be dropped off in the car line. I assured her that her sisters and I would be happy to park and walk her to her class. She refused! Yep, second day of school and she is too big to be walked in. It makes me a little sad, but at the same time makes me chuckle. That is Charlotte. Miss Independent! Oh, and Miss Stubborn! I just can't imagine where those traits came from.

Rehm's appointment was with the cardiologist. We got a good report and his aortic root has not grown in the last year. The rest of his heart is catching up! We don't have to go back again until next summer. We get to wait a whole year! We've been going every six months and this time last year were talking about having to start medication to slow down the growth. The good news is for now we don't have to do any of those things. We may at some point in the future, we may not, only God knows. But today was good.

I wonder how Miss Independent is enjoying her second day of Kindergarten? I'm sure I'll here all about it when I get home this evening.


Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

Rehm on his first day of Kinder

Right before I left his class. He wasn't unsure. He was just going through a goofy smile phase. Oh wait, he's still in that stage...

It is amazing how different sending your second to kindergarten is from sending your first! When Rehm went to kinder we had two month old twins. We were kind of in a fog. No we were in a fog! A sleep deprived, what do you mean we have four kids and the oldest is five, kind of fog.

We knew no one at the school. No staff, no teachers, no parents, no students. No one! We didn't know where anything was. We didn't know how to add money to his lunch account. We weren't sure how a 12 year old was possibly going to teach our child (sorry Mrs. J, you are the best teacher ever but at the time all I knew about you was that you looked 12 and were starting your first year teaching). We were much more bothered by this lack of knowledge than Rehm was. I truly think he was oblivious to it all.

This time around we know many of the teachers and staff. Lots of kids. Lots of parents. We know the way things work at the school. It is just different. And Charlotte knows many of the kids either through Rehm or through the sports she played last year. Add to that the fact that we have the beloved Mrs. J for her teacher and the second time around is much, much, much easier on everyone.

Here they are getting ready to leave this morning:

Love the very serious, indifferent pose of the third grader

Arriving at school and getting settled in we dropped Rehm off first:

Look familiar? Click to enlarge the picture so you can see the expression on her face. It is too funny!

Rehm with his teacher

Getting settled

After school today we decided to let Charlotte have her birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa. It was a new backpack and lunch box. She was so excited and just loved both of them. She immediately wanted to call them to thank them. They were not home so she called Cici to tell her about her first day of school.

I had to laugh when we came home from school I asked Charlotte how her day was. She gave me a complete run down of the whole day in chronological order. When I asked Rehm about his day he told me "it was fine." When I asked him what the best part of the day was he said he didn't know. His father told him that wasn't an answer so then he told me "all of it." I never did get any real information about the day. Later at dinner he did recount a funny story of something that happened in class. Michael pointed out that it would have been appropriate to share that information when I was asking him about his day earlier.

No just look at these pictures together. I'll have to remember to get two other girls to pose for these same shots in two years. Ack, only two years.

Everyone seems to be off to a great start to what I hope is a great school year!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

NC Vacation: Getting There

This is the first time we have flown as a family since the twins were born.

Rehm remembered flying and acted like the practiced traveler he is.

Even though Charlotte is a seasoned traveler she had no recollection of flying and found the whole experience fascinating.

Everyone was very excited about the prospect of riding on "the big airplane."

We had to get up super early to make our flight. I think our flight left at 6:30 and we woke the kids around 4:30 am. Everyone woke up in good moods and did a good job of getting out of the house. We parked at shuttle parking and got on the "bus." Everyone thought that was fun and compared it to riding the shuttle bus at church. We checked our baggage and made it through security with no problems. I expected Eliza Claire to have issues with security due to having strangers talking to her and telling her what to do. She did not.

Even though Ruby and Eliza Claire are three and do not have to have a car seat on the plane, we took theirs along. We learned a long time ago that the kids traveled better in their car seat than just the plane seat. In the car seat they know they aren't getting out until the vehicle stops. That same principle doesn't carry over very well to a lap belt. We used old style luggage carts to strap the car seat to to make them easy to transport through the airports. This worked very well and also doubled as a stroller or luggage carrier. The girls thought it was much fun to ride in their car seats around the airport. And it made it much quicker to get from one plane to the next.

Everything was going swimmingly until it was time to board the first place. Eliza Claire and I were the last of our family to board. She did fine going down the jet bridge but about 5 feet from the door of the plane decided she was not going to get on the plane. She started backing up and saying "I not want to go! I not ride on big air plane! I not go see Cici and Papa!"

Micheal and the other three children were already on the plane. I was holding my backpack, Eliza Claire's back pack, the car seat, and the luggage cart. The first class flight attendant was standing with her ankles and arms crossed giving me a very indifferent "don't think I'm going to lift a finger to help you look," and Eliza Claire was still backing up and telling me "I not wanna go!"

I tried reasoning with her. I tried giving her choices. I tried bribing her. But in the end I set down the car seat picked up Eliza Claire, and picked the car seat back up. Now I had a screaming toddler and so much stuff there was no way I was going to fit down the aisle of the plane. The flight attendant was still lounging in the galley. I decided that if I got on the plane and was blocking everyone else from getting where they needed to be she would have no choice but to help. So I got right in side the door smiled at her and started setting things down. The coach flight attendant came up at that point and took the car seat from me. A nice lady behind me grabbed the luggage cart. Eliza Claire continued to scream "No! No! No!" All the passengers gave me very ugly looks. I smiled and kept walking.

Eliza Claire screamed the entire time it took me to stow our stuff and get her car seat installed. She was still screaming when I strapped her in. She was still screaming when we took off. She refused to let me open the shade on the window. She told me, "I not wanna see!" She changed from "No, no, no!" to "Out! Out! Out!" some where along the way. About 10 minutes after take off, I asked her if she wanted to play a game on Mommy's phone. She said yes and spent the rest of the flight happily playing Memory on my phone. Everyone on the flight was very glad I had a phone with games, I'm sure.

She did great when we got on the next flight. No tears, to screaming. She just asked several times when she could play with my phone.

Ruby, loved flying and never missed a beat. She walked right on the plane, got in her seat, asked lots of questions about what she was seeing and enjoyed looking out the window.

For some reason, no one's reaction really surprised me...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Best Friend?

Last week Charlotte and I attended Kindergarten Orientation. As part of the program all the kindergartens were invited to leave the cafeteria and watch a movie about the school in the library. When Charlotte came back to the cafeteria she skipped up to me and told me she had already made a new friend. She was so happy. I asked her what her friend's name was and she had no clue.

Last night we went to Open House to find out who Charlotte and Rehm's teachers would be. Charlotte is thrilled because she got the teacher she wanted (Rehm's kindergarten teacher). When she walked in her new class, guess who was standing there? Her new friend! They raced across the room and hugged each other. It was adorable. She still had no clue what her name was, though. Later in the evening they saw each other again in the hallway and Michael made them actually introduce themselves.

I think my daughter may have met her elementary school best friend. I guess only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cooking, Twin Style

Ruby and Eliza Claire are playing in the bath. I heard them start cooking. They added sugar and butter. Then one said the needed to get other "ingredients.". I decided to ask what they were cooking. Their answer, "coupons!" apparently coupons is a dessert that you eat cold and it has butter, sugar, ketchup, and syrup in it.

Now they are making banana coupons with strawberries on top. Eliza Claire informed me that banana coupons does not have ketkup in it.

Ruby just declared that it is "cooking day!" I wonder what they'll cook next.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Poor Howdy

Howdy and Tobie are 11.5 years old. They are smooth coat collies and we have had them since they were puppies. They are getting old and it is starting to really show.

Howdy has been having trouble getting upstairs for months and in the last few weeks it has gotten even worse. This week he has gotten to where it stresses him out so much that he wants to go up stairs but has such a hard time that he pees at the bottom of the stairs. And then he barks for ten minutes before finally getting started up the stairs.

Last night for the second time he lost his balance about half way up and started falling back down the steps. We had to help him get the rest of the way up and keep him from falling.

I'm afraid to keep him from barking and peeing and keep trying to come up the stairs someone is going to have to start sleeping downstairs with him. We have a few things we are going to try but I just don't know what to do for him. I just feel so sad for him.

If anyone has any other ideas to keep him happy and downstairs let me know.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eliza Claire on Jesus and Sam

At bedtime Eliza Claire and I had the following conversation:

Eliza Claire: Jesus is my Daddy!

Me: Really?

Eliza Claire: Yep, He is everybody's Daddy.

Me: Uh huh.

Eliza Claire: He is my friend. He is in Heaven. Sam is my brother. He everybody's brother!

Of course, at this point I had to explain why even though her brother Sam is in heaven like Jesus he is not everyone's brother. I thought it was so cute to see her thought process. In her world Jesus, God, Heaven, Sam or The Cat Named Zachary can not mentioned without mentioning at least three of the entities from the list.

I guess this was better than the day Eliza Claire was playing with Ruby and one of them declared that the next door neighbor Mr. Mark was their daddy...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Apparently I need to get a life

Last night I had the typical college dream that people my age seem to have. You know the one where you arrive at school the day classes start and you don't have anywhere to live, you don't have any of your books, you aren't sure where your classes are, you don't have a job or childcare and you are panicking.

This time, there was one twist. In my dream I pulled out my phone because I needed to tweet the fact that I was actually living my college nightmare.

How crazy is that? That my dream was "reality" and acknowledged that I dream this scenario all the time. Not to mention the really sad part that I now even need to tweet in my dreams. Very scary stuff.

Hope you enjoy your laugh at my expense today.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

September Moms

I've mentioned a couple of times about my girls trip in July. It was with a three ladies from my September Moms Group. I've know this wonderful group of women for 10.5 years. I met them when I was pregnant for the very first time. We all joined a bulletin board on what was then called ParentSoup. It had expecting communities for each month. ParentSoup has long since been bought by iVillage, who still has very strong expecting communities. Our group has moved forums several times since then and now has our own private board for just the moms that were part of the original group.

I have learned so much from this group of ladies. They are one of my first resources for any parenting question and honestly just any question in general. When we first met, many of us were first time moms but many were also experienced moms.

I've been through so much with these moms. They supported me and loved me when my September baby died. They kept me as part their group and recognized me as the mom I was even when I didn't have a baby at home to post milestones and pictures of. They were my rock. Over the years we have supported each other through divorce, marriage, births of subsequent children, deaths of family members, loss of jobs, moves, graduations, you name it. Somewhere along the line we went from a group of women who had babies in the same month to a really good group of friends. A group of friends that I would be lost without.

Of this group, I've had the pleasure to meet five of the ladies in person over the years. It is so comical when we meet, because an outsider would have no clue this was our first real life encoutner because we start up as if we had just seen each other the day before. I used to refer to these ladies as my online friends but somewhere along the line I realize they are much more than that. They are my friends, really and truly.

I talk to these wonderful women daily. I can tell them anything. I am so glad they are part of my life. And I'm so glad to get to be a September 99 Mom.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Where to Start?

It sure has been a busy month! So much blog worthy stuff has happened and I haven't found the time to write it all down. Additionally my computer is once again out of hard drive space which means I have 300+ pictures on my camera waiting to be downloaded and another 100+ on my phone. OK so if you follow my twitter posts you've seen most of the phone pictures but still the computer is definitely part of the blogging problem.

So what have we been doing in the last month?

Hmm. Lets see. I got the pleasure of taking a girls trip with three fabulous friends. How we know each other is definitely its own post. We had a great time. We spent time in Houston, at Silver Belle Ranch and in San Antonio. It was on this trip that SCUBADuck was hatched. Again, SCUBADuck deserves his very own post at some point, hopefully soon. Again, if you follow me on twitter you are well versed on SCUBADuck.

All six of us went to visit my family in NC. We had a great time. The twins had never flown before and Eliza Claire was not sure about this whole flying business. But after the first 30 minutes on the plane she discovered that Mommy had games for her on the iPhone and she decided this flying business really wasn't that bad. While in NC, we spent lots of time with all of the cousins, with my Granny, visited UNC-Chapel Hill, went exploring in the "forest" where I played as a child, had sleepovers with cousins, and hopefully made many great childhood memories for the kids. Again, the trip deserves its very own post which hopefully will be forthcoming in a timely fashoin.

Since returning from vacation, I've been working lots of extra hours getting ready to kick off all of our great programs at Covenant. The kids are trying to readjust to summer life at home and currently our neice Brooke is here visiting from Houston.

I promise more in depth coverage of the summer will be headed to a computer near you...soon.