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    They belong together

    July 7th, 2016

    Taken 20 minutes apart:


    Yeah… I say they’re a good match

    Foto Friday

    May 23rd, 2014

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    2014-05-04 14.27.43 HDR

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    2014-05-15 08.28.25

    Foto Friday

    April 11th, 2014

    2013 retrospective

    December 31st, 2013

    I’m really struggling to assess 2013. I find myself really regretting this year being over… but maybe not so much because it was such a great year, but because I’m finding myself opening the door to 2014 with a lot of trepidation. As I’m getting older the unknown behind the next corner is getting to me. Some of it is good. Some of it won’t be. It’s the latter that makes me anxious.

    The events of Oct. 28th rattled me perhaps much more than I’ve been able to admit. While it didn’t happen to MY family, it hit in my extended “chosen” family, and it’s been making me re-evaluate a lot. Who am I as a mother? What have I accomplished? What is out there that I still want to do? Just HOW MUCH do my children and husband mean to me? The idea of loss in my mind is tearing up a whole in my heart so big that I just can’t even handle facing that, and I fear 2014 because I don’t know what it will bring.

    Yet I look back on 2013 with so much positive:
    – G made huge strides in how much he’s grown and matured. HUGE! Graduating from therapy was a big milestone for me
    – S2 is such a little boy now, and builds like a maniac, while still loving and hugging like the best friend you’d want in life
    – G is doing so, SO well in pre-k at his new school
    – Zoe came into our lives with all her love for us
    – New jobs for both S and I
    – Our parents have been in good health
    – My little sister is getting married- Gma Piper passed away, and while this in of itself is NOT a positive event, her full life and all her loving family make me very thankful. I fully adopted Gma Piper as my grandmother too, and feel blessed to have gotten to know her too

    You gotta admit: it’s a little hard to leave that behind.

    So I guess with some trepidation, c’mon 2014.

    I leave you with photos of our last family session w/ Corinne McCombs. She did a pretty great job given that I made her work in full sun in the morning.

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    Christmas recap

    December 27th, 2013

    It’s been a good Christmas!

    My dad spent it with us, which made me happy — looking at these photos as I worked on them and the expression on his face watching the boys enjoy their morning? That was priceless for me too. My mom has been in Bulgaria for the past 6 months, making this another Christmas she hasn’t been with us. It makes me sad, but I’m glad that Skype can bridge the gap a little bit… and at least this way not only could she watch the boys that morning, but also MY grandmother too — something I wouldn’t have if she wasn’t there.

    We had two Skype sessions going on, in the two sides of the room: one with my mom/gma, and one with S’ family.

    I wish, wish, wish, my camera could capture the sheer joy from S2 opening his loot. The smiles are great, but you just can’t see the jumping up and down at each surprise. He’s such a happy kid. I wish he never looses that joy over the simple things.

    This has been our second year of categorizing gifts for the kids. Last year a friend told me about getting 4 gifts for each kid: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. It’s been awesome! And, honestly, has made shopping much easier. I don’t have to wrack my brain over things to buy as much. Each one of them has a list of things they want. S and I each take an item, and distribute the remaining list to families. G (from us) got a Hot Wheels arcade game he’s been obsession over. S2 got a batman costume. My costume loving guy. I wonder if he’ll go in theater some day? For “need”, each kid got a sleeping bag. It’s about time. I see slumber parties in our future this upcoming year. For “wear” they got fuzzy socks. The boys LOVE them some fuzzy socks. To “read” G got a comic novel: Jedi Academy. He likes funny comic novels and it’s been something he and I share at bedtime. S2 got a 5 min stories about Spiderman book. He’s really into superheroes, and has been admiring the 5 min Marvel Superheroes book G got for his birthday. Now he has a book of his own and he’s been a happy clam. Other loot they received included: a goal post for G, Lego for S2 (he’s the builder in our family), a pogo stick, remote control cars, fun shirts, a magazine subscription… and well, I’m forgetting it all. Let’s just say they aren’t left feeling like something was forgotten 🙂

    Zoe found a new soul-mate in my dad. And my dad was puddy in her paws. Yeah, he’s a softie when it comes to animals, and they can tell he’s an easy mark (I mean good guy). He got her a gift too: a mouse chaser, that she also has been enjoying.

    As all things must go, as much as the kids loved their toys, they enjoyed the boxes they came in equally as much. The huge box G’s favorite gift arrived in became a motor boat. Actually, I think a yacht, because S2 was eager to serve snacks on it (read: take all of the stuff out of the play kitchen and bring it into the “boat”)

    Oh — I’d like to thank Amazon for sponsoring our wrapping paper yet again this year. I’ve stopped buying wrapping paper. Most of the packages we receive contain brown paper that is actually perfect for wrapping. It’s perforated (so scissors are no longer a required tool), easy to tape up and recyclable. Drawing on top is optional 🙂 Yeah, yeah, there’s no fun Santa or reindeer design on it, but I can cure that with fun gift labels, which I’ve created a template for

































    Rose Elf came back to hang out this year. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with her this year. I’ve enjoyed coming up with things for her to do, and seeing the kids look for her every day. But hate because 1) we’ve had to come up w/ something different every day, and 2) actually had to MOVE her before the kids see her. You have no idea how many times we moved her in the morning in an “Oh SHIT!!!” moment. Next year, I gotta remember to come up with ideas before the holidays actually start.
    When she left, she wrote a letter to the boys.


    Foto Friday

    July 12th, 2013





















    We’ve got house gremlins!

    June 18th, 2013

    Or more specifically, a cat. A cat that thinks 3-5am is play-time, and doesn’t for the life of her understand why you’re not up hanging out with her.

    Things I pried from Zoe’s paws over-night:

    – a container of powdered sun-screen- a blister of pro-biotic pills

    No bueno!!! I heard the popping of the blister pack and instantly jumped. S for the first time last night left out a pack of pro-biotics on the bathroom counter, and she took instant advantage. She didn’t get to them to eat them, but her nails had pierced through the blisters.

    Things that I found missing things morning:

    – my headband
    – one of my socks

    Luckily, both were found canoodling on our bed, tucked in between the blankets.

    At this point I can never assume that things were where I left them/saw them last. She’s strong! I’ve seen her drag a big ole bath towel from the bathroom, through the bedroom, onto the bed. She’s also an excellent soccer player, and those paws can kick small items into deep, dark, foreign places.

    I don’t even know how to begin cat-proofing for this one!

    (where’s the kitty?)

    Things I have forgotten about living with a cat

    May 7th, 2013

    – the feel of kitty litter on bare feet in the early morning hours
    – the feel of a fuzzy tail on my legs/face when they want attention
    – having my toes jumped on while I’m in bed
    – cat hair everywhere
    – the sound of purring
    – big eyes greeting me with excitement when I get home/wake up in the morning
    – watching where I walk as to not trip over a furball that is purposefully winding at my feet
    – how curious they can be
    – how high they can jump (and quickly at it too)
    – furballs


    May 6th, 2013

    We brought Zoe home yesterday. I’ve been too nervous to talk about it too much, because I was worried I’d jinx it and something would fall through. She was ready for us to take her home on Monday night, but they called too late for me to pick her up. I also wanted to stay home with her a few days while she acclimates, but between evening classes, kid activities, relatives in town, etc. it just wasn’t practical to get her any sooner than yesterday. I was worried I’d walk into the rescue only to be told that there was a mistake and someone else adopted her. Paranoid, I know.

    I’ll take a moment here to acknowledge that adopting had been a much more stressful and time consuming experience than I imagined. Or it is, if you have criteria around the pet you want to adopt. We wanted another Maine Coon, that would do well with our kids, be indoors only, not be black (S’ request) or red (mine – just don’t want to be that close to Neko resemblance), and be a young kitten. Well, the kitten part was ruled out right away. Most shelters wanted to adopt kittens in pairs (or to a home with another cat). I’m not opposed to two cats. Neither is S, but I wasn’t ready to bring two home right away. Just the thought of it stressed me out. So then we were looking for a cat between 1-2 years of age. I was scouring petfinder multiple times a day, ready to call whichever post came up that met our criteria. I did two pet fairs, with an hour drive to each last week-end too. It’s just a lot of work. We weren’t in a rush, but waiting for the right furball was a lot more involved than I thought, and I couldn’t do the driving thing EVERY week-end. So we started making compromises. I guess what went was the age request. Zoe is listed as 6.5 (although our vet is thinking closer to 4). Definitely FAR older than I thought if be adopting, but is super loving and extra sweet with the boys.

    Watching the boys interact with her has been really neat. She’s only been with us since yesterday afternoon, but when she comes out of her hiding mode, she is very adventurous, and a lap cat. She did circles between me and each kid to make sure she got some love from everyone, she’s not afraid to ask for it.

    S2 is talking about nothing else since she’s been with us. He said ‘My titty’ (I refer you back to the k/t replacement)’ to which I had to remind her that she is ALL of ours. He wants to pet her and pick her up, and have her sit next only to him. G is a bit more reserved, but he was pretty into her too. He asked that she sleep on his bed. What I’m doing true injustice on being able to explain is how their faces are reflecting their joy over this. S2 is full of giddi-ness. G just has his reserved smile. It makes my heart happy that she’s bringing this to us, and I hope we can make her happy too.

    I’ve been nervous about her being the right fit for us. I’m looking for signs here, and I’ve manufacture a couple:
    1) her birthday is 8/5, which is the date S and I got married.
    2) S requested her name be Zoe. Zoe was one of the names we were saving if we ever had a girl, but it also means ‘life’. I’m hoping this means a healthy kitty for a long time.

    I don’t have great photos of her yet. She’s either hiding behind our bed (and my cameras ISO sensitivity is good but not THAT good) or when she’s out, she’s quickly exploring and wants to be loved, which makes it very difficult to get a good kitty pose. So here are a couple, and a video of S2 enjoying his sister after she climbed into my bed to sit next to him.


    So far, she’s a keeper 🙂

    My Neko stone

    February 11th, 2013

    After Neko passed away, I sent away a small portion of his ashes to create a remembrance stone. It came in on Saturday, and now I get to wear him, in my family necklace, close to my heart every day.

    If you’re curious, I used this place: http://www.pet-gems.com/. Their customer service is slow to respond, but I’ve felt cared for respected throughout the process.