Friday, August 31, 2012


The iMac is in the shop so I am tapping this out on Stephen's work laptop with no pictures to include for your viewing pleasure. It has been one hell of a week. If you are FB friends with me you know that we got bad news about out precious puppy this week. Oliver is very sick.

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning we woke to the sounds of Ollie throwing up on the corner of the bedroom. Later that morning he threw up his breakfast. Then as I was leaving to pick up the girls from school, he ran towards the back door, rose on his hind legs and fell back onto his back.. just laying there unable to right himself. When I helped him up he staggered back and forth and then settled down on the floor looking wide eyed and disoriented. I was freaked out by that one. But maybe it was one of those freak things. Then that afternoon as he ran to greet Nana and Papa he did it again. This time he fell over in the grass with eyes rolled back in his head. Stephen picked him up and he peed all over Stephen's leg. Time to call the emergency vet. Blood tests told us something might be wrong with his liver. He would need an ultrasound.

 I brought him back the next day for said ultrasound, having already cried and imagined the worst. First vet took a look and told me he had an irregular heartbeat. So irregular she wanted to have their cardiologist on staff check him out. Both doctors were pretty certain that whatever was wrong in his chest was the cause of the fainting spells and vomiting. An EKG and chest x-ray later a very tender eyed cardiologist ushered me into a back room to chat. The news is not good. She came right out with it instead of beating around the bush. I bust into a storm of sobs at that one sentence. I had known the news wouldn't be good but it just came flooding out. I righted myself and she continued in a sensitive tone. Oliver has a tumor the size of a plum compressing his heart and growing around his trachea. He also has mild heart disease, and arrhythmia and several murmurs in his heart valves. She went through every detail she possibly could, explaining exactly what time of tumor it is and how it developed, how it was affecting him, affecting his internal organs. She was so sweet, so thorough, so understanding. This condition will take his life, she said. We can try to make him comfortable and I think you owe it to yourself and your family to try everything you can. He is not a candidate for surgery. The medication may make him feel better or it may make him feel much much worse. She was amazing. Honestly. Could not have asked for a better or more sensitive doctor. She told me to take as much time as I needed, call Stephen, and when I was ready they would bring him out front and explain the medicine to me. I called, I sobbed again.. I got it together and headed out to the waiting room. He came out wagging his tail and looking tired but curious and eager as ever. Drove home calling various family members to share the sad news.

So here we are.. all of that happened yesterday. Today he has had medicine and though he seemed worse this morning he now seems just like his old self. But it is this behavior that is more troubling than anything. The last thing we want is for him to be in pain. So I did some googling today on how to tell if you pet is in pain from a chronic illness.. turns out he has been in pain for awhile. He hasn't seemed like himself in months. He has all but quit cuddling with us in the evenings, choosing instead to lay on the edge of the couch alone or in his own bed or on the floor or the steps. He struggles when you try to hold him close. He shys away from being petted. He hasn't slept well for a very long time. Waking us up all night changing positions or coming in or out of the covers. Is he in pain? He acts like he doesn't feel great, laying around on the couch or sitting staring into space.. but then 5 minutes later he is jumping up to greet Stephen at the door or trying to snatch Frankie's peanut butter crackers. The doctor said he could die tonight, next week, in 3 months or a year.. there is no way to tell. He could die a terrible traumatic death from internal hemorrhaging or difficulty breathing from fluid surrounding his heart and getting into his lungs. Or he could have a heart attack and die a quick and painless death. The only thing that is sure is that he will die soon and we can either made the choice to put him to sleep, or wait to see what happens. Seeing your dog walking around the house just acting like they always do, knowing they are carrying a huge tumor in their chest like a time bomb is .. agonizing. Do you help them out? Do you let them be? How do you put a dog down that is so beautiful and healthy seeming from the outside? He cycles so fast between feeling bad and seeming to feel ok. It wasn't supposed to be like this. He was supposed to be 14, old and stiff, in pain and ready to go.. it wasn't supposed to be like this. We don't want to risk our girls finding their beloved Ollie dead on the floor.. or have him die a traumatic death in their presence..but how do you do this? At the advice of the doctor today we are going to give it until Monday and see where we stand.

If you are the praying sort, please pray for us. This is definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The hunt continues 

So the house hunt is in full swing. We have a price limit and our realtor and I have been sorting through properties in the last week since this whole crazy thing began. I am putting this picture up here because this is my fav today. A wise woman recently told me that the key to home buying is not to get emotionally attached so I am taking that advice. I like this lovely split level home from 1963 that needs quite a bit of cosmetic repairs. I like it a lot. I could see our family living there. So now we have my sweet Daddy come dig around and see if he can find the fatal flaw. Then we reassess and move forward from there.. it's an interesting process to say the least. I am happy to report that I have been finding homes that we like in our price range and in the neighborhood we want to be in so.. those are all very positive things!  Still I am not allowing myself to get emotionally attached to anything. Just pursuing what we like and seeing where each path leads. So that's the update on that. 

We had members night tonight at Vintage. It was exciting, it was convicting, I laughed, I cried.. but I came away feeling like I had been handed a gift. This gift came from some tragic circumstances. Someone formerly associated with our church has done something that has brought great brokenness into their life and the life of their family. I know who the person is but I have no idea what was done. Our lead pastor told us that if we knew this person to please come and talk to them and they could give us more information and answer any questions we may have. He also said that if we didn't know this person that there was no reason for us to have this information. Spot on. Guard your hearts, he said. Guard your hearts against gossip. I am paraphrasing because I wasn't taking notes tonight but it was the admonition to guard our hearts that did it. Folks will tell you not to gossip when something big and ugly occurs. To not discuss rumors amongst yourselves, so much damage can be done that way. I know that. But tonight when he reminded us to guard our hearts, I immediately felt like my heart was wrapped in warmth. Like the Lord had just wrapped a protective shield around my heart. I swear to you... I lost all curiosity. Every bit. I have not a single ounce of curiosity to find out what happened. That is entirely unlike me since I am rational sort who needs to have every question answered. The gift was the freedom from curiosity concerning matters that do not involve me. I am hoping this is not just an isolated incident. Letting that sort of curiosity go by the wayside would save a heck of a lot of wasted time and mental energy. I know that gossip is not a good thing to engage in but I guess I never considered that I would need to guard my heart against it's toxicity. Funny enough my verse for the day was Romans 8:6, "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." Pretty apropos, wouldn't you say?

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Stephen is out of town and I am making Megan's homemade granola which should come with a warning label and an elasticated waistband, and finishing off an old fashioned before I get into bed with Donald Draper..on the Kindle of course. Having the kids on my own for such short amounts of time is always somewhat blissful. Not sure why, but it is. We do what we want, when we want. I clean the house and organize more because I can't relax when he isn't here so I have lots of nervous energy to make good use of. The girls play their extravagant pretend saga games and we typically have a time of true connection between the 3 of us (I will count Frankie once she can consistently say my name). This time has been no different. Of course round about 6pm my back is killing me and I am starting to be a bit shorter in my responses to requests for me to find a particular princess or fairy for the 68,953rd time today (why won't kids keep track of where they put things?! the house isn't that big folks..FOCUS). By the time I got them in bed tonight I was ready for bed myself but I had to sit down and tap out the craziness that has been my mind today. And by crazy of course I mean mind blowingly fantastic since it must have been to get me typing a post tonight after posting one last night.

Ever seen the movie Tangled ?
Tangled,  movie

Well I have. I have seen it many times. It is in the girls collection and is probably my favorite of the "princess" genre. For the uninitiated it is the story of Rapunzel and if you don't know that story you better just Google it because that is so sad I can't even be bothered to link it to Wikipedia here. At any rate, this movie always makes me cry. Every.Single.Time. Baby Rapunzel is stolen away by the bad witch lady just after her first birthday and her parents are devastated. They search for her everywhere but she is not to be found. In her honor they send up a lantern on her birthday every year and everyone in the kingdom follows suit. The sky is filled with these floating lanterns every year on her birthday. Through a series of events, involving one "Flynn Rider"aka "Eugene", she is able to escape her tower and witness the floating lights for herself at long last. It was something she said right before the scene in the picture above that just cut me to the core. She is sitting looking worried in the boat that Eugene has acquired, and he asks if she is ok. She says that she is "terrified". That she has been waiting 18 years to see the floating lights.. and what if it's not everything she dreamed it would be? He responds that it will be and she says "And what if it is?". The movie then takes a pretty typical turn talking about dreams fulfilled and how to find the next one or something. Having watched the movie before my mind wandered after those initial statements, trying to figure out what had been so striking to me. I came to during the scenes in which she sees the lights begin to slowly fill the sky with their splendor. All I could think of was Christ. Christ in my life. How scared I was to really get a good look at what the gospel really is, what it really means. Putting those trite words to the test is a scary thing. Doubting is scary. Easier to sit back and hide the doubt behind perfunctory belief and religiosity. Digging into the gospel is terrifying. What if the more you read the more you doubt and the end result of your efforts finds you more confused than when you started. Where do you go from there? I have been there, and where I went next was simply to Him. What got me thinking today was the idea of the fear in fulfillment. There is fear in the fulfillment of the gospel in my life. What if it's real? What if it really, really is real? What will God do to me? What will He insist on teaching me? How will I suffer for Him? What is coming? How much refining will I go through? I am a person who has seen some refining. We all have. Each one of us feels our own journey has been almost more than we could bear. No one enjoys those seasons of life. Why run towards them? What if the gospel is everything we dreamed it would be? We sit with hearts and minds guarded, shut tight against the trivial pain that this world brings our way. And then we see it.. that first floating lantern of His glory. We can't take out eyes off of it. More are right behind that first and soon the music reaches it's crescendo and our cheeks are wet with tears watching the sky, ablaze with His Glory. His Glory that he longs to share with us. It floats all around us and through us. It is better than a Disney movie! The gospel is truth. A truth whose revelation we shouldn't fear. The light that He has unfolded before my eyes has been blinding. The glory that He has shared with our tiny family has been worthy of my many tears of gratitude. So I sit and wait. No longer timid. I know what this show looks like.

Friday, August 17, 2012

First Day of School

 Today was the first day of school for Ada and Margot. The babies that were just in my tummy bumping around and making me do crazy things like move away from our beloved Brooklyn started Pre-K at Daddy's school today. People always talk about that time flying by thing but can I just say.. whooosh!

Daddy left for school and we put the finishing touches on our backpacks and then loaded into our little red car and headed towards the unknown -aka- the carpool line. Rule follower that I am, I asked at least 3 times yesterday at orientation if it was ok to walk them into class for the first day. Each time I was dutifully told by their teachers to please make every effort to use the carpool line so we can start and keep the precedent for the coming year. We cheered on the way this morning. We prayed for a good day and we thanked the Lord for this incredible blessing of being able to go to this wonderful school. Ada pumped her little fists in the air as we rounded the last turn towards the building and shouted "Thank you God for Pre-K!!!!!!". Thank you God indeed!!! Daddy was there on the curb with their teacher ready to help them down from the car seats. They didn't even stop to say goodbye to dear old mom as they rolled right out of the car. They were old pros from the word go. Praying that continues in the coming weeks as the newness wears off.

I definitely cried. I cried when I picked up the camera this morning to capture the last moments of our life before they became school kids. There go the mornings of letting them stay in their princess nightgowns all morning and playing pretend with those elaborate plot lines. Here come the awesome reports from the days happenings in their classroom with their fabulous teacher. Today I learned that there are a skunk and a puppy in the classroom - but they are not real. I learned parts of a song about being a fisherman and catching fish. I also learned that Ada got to be the leader today. Margot has been speaking in a "teacher voice" since she got home. As in, "Ada. What do we do when we go outside?...... We put on our shoes..right? That's right Ada! We put on our shoes to go outside! And where do they go when we get home? Shhh! Listen... where do they go when we get home? Yes! They go on the shoe rack. That is correct. Good job Ada!". I asked Margot if she might want to be a teacher when she grows up and she nodded shyly and smiled. Asked Ada the same question and I got a resounding "Nope!!!". 

So far the biggest lesson for me in their going to school is about what sort of separation this really is. I have always thought the pain and sadness came from the fact that my kids would no longer be at home with me all day (not much pain or sadness there I gotta be honest here). But true to the pattern that the Lord keeps illuminating in my life, the pain I felt yesterday at orientation was the sting of selfish love. Just a tiny bit, mind you, but that's what it was. The teacher was focused on the girls so intently that I couldn't get her look up at me for a second. Why did I want to break her concentration on my daughter anyway? To have her reassure me that everything was going to be fine? It was strange. I knew that it was right for the teacher to be focused on Margot but I kept thinking about myself. Why isn't she looking at me? Does she not like me? Am I not dressed fancy enough? Then I was struck by the realization that it wasn't about me and though I knew that with my mind my heart had apparently just gotten the message. I realized this was another primary relationship developing before my eyes. Teacher and student. They didn't need me to interpret what was going on. They needed me to stand aside and let that relationship happen. I know I am oversimplifying everything here but what I felt was real and I liked that I was able to recognize it. A tiny, itty bitty step towards their eventual total independence. I am thankful they go in tiny itty bitty steps instead of large leaps. I will get used to this newness and find ways to foster it and encourage it's growth and when the next little tiptoe step comes along I will be ready. This is the part I have been looking forward too and yet had no idea how to prepare for. How do you prepare them to be on their own in life and survive? You step back. One tiny shuffle at a time, and let them step forward. That's my answer for today at least.. ask me in a week or two :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

It went great!!!

(an oldie but goodie of Ada and Mama for your enjoyment)

Our meeting today was so fantastic I can't properly describe it all here. The lady we met with was so kind and she was so thorough, it was the fist time I have been able to sit down with someone who could look at our situation, our finances, and really tell us how things looked for the future possibility of owning our own home. Turns out we are so poor we qualify for absolutely everything, and I mean everything! There are a couple of grants we are able to get, along with interest free loans with no payments for 5 years from the city (the Oak City's effort to revitalize downtown neighborhoods and aid low income families like ourselves in buying a home).. FHA loans.. in house banking products. My head was spinning with terminology and acronyms by the time we walked out the door. We can't buy much. We are looking in the $110K range to start. Don't laugh! Seriously! Stop it!!! It could happen!!! I have already spoken with a realtor that works with DHIC and she sent me several links to properties in the neighborhoods we are interested in to get us started looking around. The people we spoke to today were very enthusiastic about our excellent credit and seemed to think that our finding a home in this price range was not at all out of the realm of possibility. I know this is a first meeting.. things could change, fall through, become way more complicated .. all of this will probably happen by tomorrow morning when we go for our last minute Home Buyer Workshop there .. but I am so encouraged. I fully expected for someone to meet with us and tell us to stay the course for another 5 years or so and then come back and lets talk again. We have quite a bit of student loan debt and I wish that wasn't the case but it is. I also wish we had a tidy down payment stashed away somewhere in a giant sock drawer. But we don't and I wouldn't trade Stephen's MFA for love nor money. It was the best thing we have done for his career and it was worth every penny of those loans. I am encouraged. I am so excited. I am so thankful for finding the name of this organization in front of a house downtown. I know there is a reason that the Lord has suddenly given us the desire to be homeowners and I know that He has the perfect home out there for us and we will find it in His perfect timing. Hurrah for meetings that leave you with a gigantic smile on your face that you absolutely can not wipe off! Thanks for your prayers guys!

Thursday, August 09, 2012


We have an appointment tomorrow to talk to someone about becoming home owners. We have no down payment. We are super poor. We have excellent credit and the only debt we have is related to student loans. I am hoping and praying that the Lord will lead us to the right place and this is the first step in that process. I have never been discontented with renting until recently. Our rent is currently income based. A mixed blessing. Every time Stephen gets a raise we are required to report it to them within 10 days. This last increase went up a full $110. I know you NY folks are laughing so hard you probably just got red wine on your PJs but for us that is a chunk man. His next increase goes into effect at the end of this month and I am not looking forward to another increase - praying that it is minimal. We have reached a point at which it no longer feels like living here is some super amazing deal. This could be all in my head. I have this idea that at the rate of rent we are paying we could probably get a mortgage and pay less. I know that is only 1/786th of what you have to consider with home ownership. The place we are meeting with tomorrow caters to people just like us. Super low income, wanting to live downtown, first time home buyers (crosses fingers). They have special lenders that know of grants that the city offers to our income bracket to encourage home ownership. FHA loans and the like that do not require the massive down payment that traditional lenders require these days. I am a little nervous. I am afraid I will be disappointed by what they have to say. In my dreams I hear them telling us that we are the perfect candidates and that they have a property that fits our every want and need that we can close on before the end of the year. That our mortgage will be less than our current rent. The homes they offer from their own organization are fully gutted and reworked with all new roof, flooring .. you name it's new and under warranty so potential repair costs are less of a factor as you get used to being a homeowner. At least.. this is my understanding. I have honestly never had a desire to own my own home. It always scared the mess out of me. That level of commitment or permanence. Now it is all I dream about. Lord help me to find contentment again no matter what tomorrow brings. If you think of us, please whisper a little prayer.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Night sky

 The sky was absolutely breathtaking after the storm tonight. I suppose that is where the migraine I fought all day came from. I have said it before but it continues to be true; migraines and their frequency in my daily life feels very much like a curse. For instance, in July, while we were in Florida, I had only a few and so didn't use up all of my pills for that month. I am only allowed 8 in a month. When you do the math that comes to 2 migraines a week. That sounds like a lot. However, if I make it to the end of the month with any pills left over or having just used the 8.. that is a month that has been pretty quiet on the migraine front. More often in the days before my Rx can be refilled, you will find me doing anything and everything I can to get one more pill (at $56 per pill) or downing various cocktails of OTC meds to try to get rid of a migraine that refuses to quit. Just about the only thing I can count on is Zomig.. and I can not WAIT until that company loses it's patent or whatever it is so that the drug can be produced as a generic. I take so many supplements.. I drink loads of water.. it doesn't really seem to matter what I do.. they come. They kill. They destroy my day. They are almost entirely related to stress, or the weather. My stress level is far less than what I had in NY so I get far fewer of those types of migraines here. That is good because the stress ones are normally the ones that come with lots of trips to be sick and pain that makes me want to drill out my brain with a Porter Cable. I am fussing about this tonight because I have one pill left.. no refills so I have to battle the doctor to get another refill before my scheduled appointment.. and I have fought this particular monster all day today. Grr.. one day they will have a cure for this.. I really and truly believe that. 

Tomorrow marks two full weeks off of anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds. Admittedly I this second week has not gone as well as the first one did. For one reason it's that time of the month when I turn into a frustrated emotional mess.. like most other women my age. My fuse has been much shorter that usual with the kids and with Stephen. More so with Stephen. That seems to always be the way of this beast. It loves to prey on those who love me most and serve me best. When I hear myself speaking with more irritation that I would like, I start to wonder if I need to just throw in the towel and pick up the prescription bottle again. But said irritation passes quickly, I hear myself telling Stephen I am sorry for being snappy and then not being snappy anymore and I think.. maybe a few more days. I remind myself that I have only been swimming once this week (freakin' migraines!!!!) and the girls are starting school in a week and my mind is spinning, trying to grasp that our summer is days from being over. I wonder how much frustration is allowed? I would love to never get frustrated. Wouldn't we all? However I know that is not reality and I don't want my girls growing up thinking that people never get frustrated or never lose their temper - no chance of that around here so we are safe. Seriously though I think it is truly important for them to see me mess up, apologize and move forward - free of guilt. I want them to see how much I need Jesus and His forgiveness and redemption. So.. right now I will keep taking it day by day for as long as I can. I am fully aware that I may be and probably am one of those people that needs to be on something for the rest of my life.. but right now I still feel ok. And honestly it feels good to be off the medication merry go round trying to find the perfect mix of chemicals to ingest. I just have to figure out my new normal..

Here's another one for ya.. is it bad that I feel sad every month when I get my period and realize I am not pregnant? I am crazy, right? My right mind tells me to run like the wind from any thoughts of more pregnancies, more babies. I am a very bad pregnant chick. I am an emotional mess before and certainly after the baby arrives. There are many more reasons that having another baby would be ...pretty crazy really! So why.. why why why do I keep tearing up when my life remains the same? When I am not pregnant I feel disappointed. We are not trying. Things are going so well here.. we are so happy being a family of 5. I just keep trying to give it to the Lord and walk away. If I actually turned out to be pregnant it would cause all sorts of mess in terms of housing, vehicular transport, finances.. so I would probably cry my eyes out if I were.. and yet I get all weepy when I am not. I finally was able to admit this to Stephen today so that is why I am writing about it here. I guess I keep thinking we might have some happy little "accident".. then we wouldn't have to decide one way or the other. It could just happen. There are too many decisions to make as an adult... sometimes it's nice to have them made for you. And I guess not being pregnant is, in a sense, having this decision made for me, isn't it? I just can't seem to be ok with it yet. 

It seems I could talk and talk on here tonight. So I am going to cut myself off and save some for another day.

4th Birthday: Take Two

On Sunday, we went to High Point for a party at Nana and Papas with GG, Uncle Michael, Aunt B, Uncle Page and Aunt Jenny. I brought my camera but left the SD card in the computer so I have no pictures of the wonderful party that they had. The food was fantastic, as always, and we all had a nice visit together. The girls went home with buckets of stuff. New Hello Kitty back packs for school, Giant Fairy activity books to play with, special necklaces made from Black Mountain Gold.. the list goes on. Our trunk was so full we weren't sure we were going to fit it all in! But the highlight of the day was the appearance of these beauties. Their very own bicycles from Nana and Papa!!!

As soon as we ate the adorable cake that Nana had (complete with sweet ballet dancers) Ada had her helmet on and was asking Papa and Uncle Page if they could go outside and ride her new bike. She spent awhile going up and down the sidewalk between the two of them, flying!!! She was in heaven!! Margot was more timid and didn't want to try it that day. 

The very next day, however, while outside watching Ada ride on the sidewalk at home, Margot decided she was ready. She was nervous about the wobble of the bike on the training wheels. Stephen had been helping her gain confidence, keeping his hand on the handlebar but allowing the bike to wobble so that she could get used to it. Then she took a deep breath, asked Stephen how to brake and pedal again, just to be sure. She looked up at her daddy and said "I can do this! I can do this Daddy. Here I go!" and off she went down the sidewalk. Stephen said he has never been prouder of that little girl than at that moment. Bravery indeed little Margot.

4th Birthday: Take Three

For those who didn't see the pictures on FB. This is Ada's fairy cake that she requested from Daddy this year.

Margot's rainbow unicorn cake.

Cake for breakfast on their actual birthday. Ponies present of course.
We got a babysitter for little Frankie and took the girls for a "date" to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.  We didn't spend any time indoors, we just played at all the outdoor exhibits. Margot's favorite part was the caboose that you could climb around in and Ada loved the dinosaur trail.. one of the dino's on the trail just happened to be "her dinosaur".  Possibly the best day the 4 of us have ever spent together. The girls missed Frankie and kept reminding us that she was missing all the fun.

What a year it has been. How much you two have grown. I look at your little faces and I see tiny women in there. Tiny bits of mature personalities beginning to emerge. The parts I see, I am so proud of. I am so excited about the way you show unbridled enthusiasm for life, Ada. I am so excited about the way you love and support your sister, Margot. The bravery you exhibit in challenges Margot, is astounding. I have only discovered this sort of bravery in the last 10 years, with the help of your father. You have just turned four years old and you are cultivating this bravery with a persistence that can only come from above. Ada, you recent interest in academics has blown me away. You can write your own name Ada! By yourself with no help. I didn't know if you would even be interested in letters and numbers this year in Pre-K.. it seems I underestimated you my precious girl. 

We can not wait to see what this year brings for you girls. You are the best thing that ever happened to our lives and we are grateful for you every second of every day.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


First of all let me say that I have lots to say about the girls 2nd and 3rd birthday parties, but due to my inability to function on a basic level I have no pictures to post of either. So while I wait for those who DID have operational cameras to send me some of their snaps shots, I will explore two mysteries with you that have been baffling my brain the last 2 days. 

First, please observe the above photo. We received two rather generous birthday checks from the Great Grandparents (both sides) and upon visiting Target one evening I was inspired to actually spend every cent of said birthday money on something extravagant for the girls. Something that would blow their minds and that they would forever remember as having been provided for them by their Great Grands. So.. this is what I came up with. I mean look at it!! Maybe you can't tell in this picture but the thing is massive. I had to haul it in two arms to the checkout counter. It's the sort of thing that they would go nuts over looking at in the store but that Stephen and I would be too snobby to bring into our home - just being honest here. Too much plastic.. too much pink.. just too much. Well when I saw it this time, I didn't think. "Too much." I thought, "Just right!". Home it came. They unwrapped both boxes yesterday.. and to our surprise.. were totally and completely unimpressed. Really guys?! They asked if they could go back to playing with.. well just take a look at the picture below..

.. yes.. they were completely obsessed with the tiny little set of rainbow My Little Ponies that Stephen and I gave them that morning. I asked them if they wanted to keep the fairy house.. where they excited about it? Did they like it? Didn't it look like fun? No. No. No.. and No. They want me to take it back to the store. They told me that. So .. it sits on our dining room table.. they have been ringing the little lightening bug door bell all morning and watching it light up and ding.. they have talked about it.. but they are still not that interested in it. Pretty sure it is going back to the store and I am going back to the drawing board as to what to get them with their birthday money. Wow.. am I the only one who is shocked by this reaction? I suppose I shouldn't be since they are not used to this sort of toy.. but still. I sort of love that they love their tiny ponies this much.. and we all know how much they prefer pretend play of their own invention.. I just thought that the fairy house would be such good ammunition for those little fantastical brains. Oh well, back they go!

Now to the next mystery that is driving me insane. The shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. This is a tragedy. I huge and horrible and terribly sad event in our country. I have not seen any news coverage on it simply because I haven't seen any news in the last couple of days. My sadness comes from the fact the not one single friend of mine on FB has mentioned it. I know that is not a true measure of people's feelings on matters but when the shooting happened at the movie theater, a majority of my friends there said at least a little something about it. That was at a movie theater. This shooting occurred in a place of worship. In the United States, someone entered a place of worship and opened fire on the occupants inside. Am I the only one that finds this deeply disturbing and horribly frightening? I get that the idea of someone shooting folks as they watch a movie might be more disturbing to some, since almost every one has seen a movie in a theater. The idea that you have been in the same circumstance and that the same thing could have happened to you is upsetting. I do get that. So maybe this is more upsetting to me because I am someone who sits in a seat every Sunday worshiping my Lord. I can't pretend I haven't had the thought that someone could easily open fire on us as we sit there. I have had that thought more times than I care to admit. Fear is something that I struggle with. Still, the very next thought I have is that I am so thankful that I live in the United States, where religious freedom is a celebrated right of our land. The chances of some crazy nut coming into our building and gunning us down are slim to none. And then this happened. I am not Muslim. I am Christian. I do not believe in the teachings of Islam. But I do believe in their right to worship however they choose within the borders of this nation. A crazy person entered a house of worship and opened fire on the people there. How is this not absolutely devastating to every single one of us? How are we not all talking about it? How are we not all mourning it? Is it because they were Muslim? Please tell me that is not the reason. Please tell me some other good reason that no one I know is talking about this? Because honestly you guys, this is one of my worst nightmares come true for a group of people that I have never met and do not share religious affiliation with and my soul is bleeding for them. Am I the only one?

Saturday, August 04, 2012

4th Birthday: Take One

We had Ada and Margot's first, fourth birthday party today. You know how we roll.. this is the first of three celebrations this year. They wanted to have a fairy party and build fairy houses so we were happy to oblige. Stephen and Ada collected baskets of moss and other "lost things" with which to build and I gathered glue and anything that I could find that looked like it might belong to a fairy. 

Our family usually favors smaller parties and this year was no different. We were really sorry that J was out of town. Pretty sure this is the first birthday event she has missed. We will have to celebrate with her soon. MC and H came in their fairy finest and they all got down to the business of building those tiny residences.

Maison d'Ada.. under construction. 

We found a Celtic station on Pandora (that's fairy-ish.. right?) and sat back and watched these four little fairies create. It turned out quite nicely. 

Happy birthday to my precious 4 year olds. Four-years-old. I still can't wrap my head around that so I am just gonna press pause and try again another day.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


 We had an opportunity last week to head to the mountains to go ziplining with some old family friends. Katie and Ryan and the boys were in the states and since we haven't seen them in at least 2 years.. possibly more.. we jumped at the chance to spend time with some of our favorite people. We have lived here in NC for a little over 4 years now and this was the first time we had actually gone to visit Barb and Keith. How is that possible? Twins. That's right. Well, said twins are growing faster than we would like to acknowledge right now so I see many more such trips in our fast approaching future.

Margot was all business. Both girls watched the boys do a couple of lines solo. Then they did some lines tandem with us.. then.. they did them on their own. I have video proof but I am too lazy to load it up here right now. If you are friend with me or Stephen on FB you have already seen it anyway. How amazing were those girls?! Seriously. I drastically underestimated Ada and Margot. I honestly thought that they would whimper and chicken out at the last minute. And that would have been totally fine! They don't even turn 4 until Monday! Wow. We were so proud of them we were literally bursting on the drive home that evening. What in the world does the future hold for these two? No way I could/would have done that at 12 much less 3. Buckle up world!

So the summer is fast drawing to a close and I don't even have backpacks for the girls. I have uniforms, but no backpacks .. yet. We will get there. Suddenly I want to shower them in the best of everything I can get my hands on. Whatever their little hearts desire. This could also be a side effect of their upcoming 4th birthday on Monday. 

Right now it's all about fairies. Disney fairies to be exact. Tinkerbell, Rosetta (a name I despise because I associate it with a particularly hateful co-worker in NY), Vidia..? Really? For some reason the fairy thing seems a little more up their alley than the princess thing. At least fairies like to make things out of "lost things". Ada found a screw in the sand at the park and has been holding it tight in her sweaty little fist all day waiting to figure out what to do with it. A lost thing! Very exciting stuff. 

Frankie is too cute for her own good. She is completely escaping all means of discipline around here. She has to climb atop a table at least 5 times before she is scolded. We both keep reminding one another that this is trouble in the making but she is like a tiny puppy.. you can pick her up and move her with little effort so you make little effort to teach her otherwise. Bad mistake folks. See she just looks at you with those big blue eyes and grins that toothy grin of hers and you are toast. I am toast at least. Everything she does is adorable. Her current favorite book for instance..? Ferdinand the Bull That is my favorite too!!! I mean the illustrations alone.... she has good taste that baby. You finish reading it too her and she just taps the cover and asks for it again..and again and again... it's wonderful. 

Today marks one full week for me of zero medication. I have been on Prozac since the twins were 4 months old and switched to Wellbutrin about 5 months ago. I feel like I am rehashing old news but I can't remember what I have actually shared here and what I have shared with the friends I see in person. Anyway, I had one of those gut feelings that I needed to just take a break from meds. The same sort of feeling I had when I knew I should hide my jewelry box in Brooklyn.. and then some a*& stole my mom's diamond earrings.. remember that? Not the sort of feeling that is self righteous and tries to make you believe you really don't need to be on medication because there is nothing wrong with you. I know good and well where my problem areas are. I have had that sort of feeling before. Like when I lost the baby. I was sure that being on Prozac was the reason and I had a "feeling" that I just didn't need to be on it anymore. Wrong. So horribly, terribly, wrong. This time it's different. Don't all crazy people say that though? Yes, yes they do. But for this week.. it has been different. I was on such a low dose that I didn't even notice when I stopped taking it. The best part about not being on it is that I don't feel any anxiety whatsoever. The funny thing about these sorts of drugs is that while they are meant to alleviate stress and anxiety in your body.. they can also cause the same feelings. Sometimes the feelings the meds cause are much less severe than the feelings your own brain produces.. so you gratefully deal with a little increased heart rate and bid farewell to the suffocating anxiety attacks that you were previously battling. It seems, thus far at least, that the irritating anxiety that I have been dealing with periodically since I started W was a result of the W itself. Being off of it has been such a relief, thus far. Thus far I don't have to try to ignore mild to moderate panic attacks whilst playing with my girls. Stephen is watching me like a hawk. When I seem snippy he draws my attention to it. But, thus far, it seems that it is just me being snippy.. as I snap out of it pretty quickly. I think it is just me being a little moody because I have twin mouths that have no volume or off switch running at a steady pace of blur, constantly. The good news, thus far, is that said moodiness has not, thus far, progressed to the crazy mad angry outbursts for which I started seeking medication in the first place. I feel good. I feel calm. And I am NOT on top of it. STILL have yet to clean the house after our return from Florida. I have had my moments of "ACK!!!" but those have not lead to me hiding under the covers or being mean to my better half.. thus far. Anyway.. we will see how this little experiment progresses. My doctor thought it was a good idea so.. maybe it was. I don't really trust it until it has lasted this well for quite a bit longer.. months in fact.. still.. thus far.. things are good.