Saturday, January 31, 2009

I did it.

I signed up to walk in the Breast Cancer 3Day!

Lately I have had a 'poor me' attitude... my living situation is hard, the money situation stinks, the family situation... well you know where I stand there. The point being, I hate feeling like this. Something that Adam has taught me the art of getting outside yourself... stop focusing on what I need in this world and find out what I can contribute.

Obviously I also have a personal connection to this particular organization. I am sure you are all aware that I lost my mom to a 19 year battle with breast cancer in Nov 04. I wish that finding this cure would bring her back... you couldn't stop me from walking the earth as many times as it took if that were the case... However, since that isn't possible, my only wish is to prevent this pain in the next person. A world without breast cancer... the thought makes me indescribably happy.

I also wanted to do this because I needed something that was mine. Adam has work and AA which take him out of the house and away from the home responsibilities (of which I am TOTALLY supportive) but I don't have anything in the way of Jessi only. I don't have a reason to leave the house at night... I could go sit at Starbucks and not buy coffee (trying to save $$ :~)... no thanks. I tried an exercise class but that didn't last... it's not like school, they don't call home asking where you were if you don't show... I don't do well if I am not held accountable. Enter the walk... it's something for me exclusively, it's exercise and I am held accountable. I have to train to walk the 60 miles, I have to walk the 60 miles and I have to raise a minimum of $2,300. Anyone do a double take? Yeah, me too but it's worth it.

So for all those reasons, I did it. I signed on the line and added my list to the growing number of people walking for the cure.

I decided to start another blog to keep me even more accountable... you think I am kidding but if I am not held accountable I am liable to slack off until the week before! I thought about just posting in this blog but I really want to set this aside and give it the attention it deserves. This is a big undertaking and I want to treat it as such. From now on you can get 3Day walk updates at my new blog! I hope you check it out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

RIP Jonny A

A friend of mine passed away yesterday afternoon. It's just a heartbreaking... there are a lot of very hurt and devastated people right now. Prayers for all his family and friends... we have all lost a great man. The world has one less beautiful smile.

For anyone that checks my blog and wants updates about Jonny A... j ferber has set up this site and is posting updates as he knows them. There is no word on when the service might be but they will be in Baltimore.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chase's Playdate!

Lexi came over to play today... and she brought her mommy so I had someone to talk to!

Love that smile!

Chase fixing Dozer up.

Chase and Lexi interacting! This is really the first time Chase (and Lexi) have shown interest in interacting with each other. Chase just generally plays near other children, not really with them but they were jointly putting objects in Dozer and closing the lid. So cute!

And Kari and I learned that we need to keep an eye on the kids at all times!

But seriously... how precious is this? Well for year and a half year olds... when they are 15 years old, this won't be so cute ;~) Where's the ruler?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Road Trip

On Friday Chase and I embarked on a major road trip. We packed up the car with all things baby and set out on a 2 hour car ride to visit Aunt Christine and Andrew.

This is about an hour into the trip.

First I would like to point out that Chase is multitasking... while he snacks on Cheerios, he also practices yoga moves.

Second, I would like to give a shout out to the snack trap that he has in this picture. Now the thing isn't perfect... Chase is smart (a blessing and a curse ;~) and he knows how to dump Cheerios everywhere if he so desires. However, if he is hungry and wants to consume the Cheerios... this is the best invention ever. I would like to clarify that I am referring to this munchkin snack trap and not the gerber lil snackin bowl. The latter doesn't work worth a lick in my book.

We made it to Aunt Christine's in just under 1 hour and 40 minutes... not too shabby!

We played for a little while in the living room... Andrew just loved that there was another baby around!

Then came lunch! Aunt Christine made the yummiest soup and Chase helped himself to a rather sizable bowlful.

You may question why Christine has 2 high chairs... she doesn't. Chase's chair is the newest in baby purchases for the G's. A portable high chair! I am often at another mommies house when lunch time rolls around and getting Chase to sit still or God forbid, on my lap is an impossibility. However, whip out a high chair and magically he is fine being away from the toys. Also, we will be replacing our current high chair with this one. So far I love it. It's not as compact as some others but it has nice padding and it reclines (for baby #2)... (and no Amy, I am NOT pregnant... just thinking ahead ;~)

Back to our day.

This is Chase's newest thing.

He wants more than anything to feed himself. He is happiest when I put bite size morsels on his tray and let him do it. If we are eating something where a fork or spoon is necessary, he loves to 'help' mommy and daddy. It's actually pretty cute and not yet too messy. I suspect when we have to let go... yeah, much messier days are in store.

Like most kids his age, after lunch comes the nap... and it is pretty apparent when Chase needs a nap. I brought the pack and play but since Andrew was on a 2 nap schedule, his crib was free at the time Chase was going down... so Chase literally chilled in his crib. I am a dork. Anyway... I do the regular routine for a nap (God bless routines!)... all the while I am thinking there is no way he is going to 1. fall asleep and 2. stay asleep when I lay him in the crib. I'll be darned if he didn't do both of those things. Mind you there is a very active 10 month old just down stairs and Chase still managed to get an hour and 10 minute nap. I was astonished. I have to add that he is normally a 2 hour napper (which I have been loathe to mention on the blog for fear that I may jinx myself ;~) so it wasn't ideal but it was WAY more than I anticipated! YAY for Chase constantly surprising me!

This is post nap for Chase and pre nap for Andrew. Also, does anyone think that Andrew does a hell of a Blue Steel impression?

One final picture of the 4 of us before Chase and I set out on our adventure home! Christine - I miss you so much! Friday was great and we will do it again real soon! Love ya!

On our way home we decided to stop in and see Sylvia and Miss Charlie. Unfortunately my timing stinks and I missed her by 15 minutes ;~( Definitely next time though... definitely!

After that Chase and I headed to daddy's work. Kare Kare is one of the secretaries at the firm and she is just smitten with Chase (who isn't really?). Unfortunately she doesn't get to see Chase that often now that we are in Hagerstown.

Apparently they had a lot of catching up to do and I caught them mid conversation. So much love! Oh... and Kare Kare... Chase gives you a big hug and says he misses you already!

Then it was upstairs to see daddy.

G and G, LLC... yep, sounds good!

Oh yeah, these boys look so good together! I love them so much!

After some visiting the 3 of us packed up and headed home... a caravan of sorts ;~) Chase had his moments on the drive home but for the most part, this is what went on behind me...

I just love listening to his chatting/singing.

It really was a great day. Chase did remarkably well... we may have to do this again ;~)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My boy's a Graduate

Graduation was supposed to be last Thursday but unfortunately it snowed and in true MD fashion, schools were closed. Which means TLG was closed! So... today was our make up graduation day. It was a lot of fun... a little overcrowded as there were many people there we didn't know but fun nonetheless ;~)

We took lots of video and I want to put together a video in the coming week but for now, here are some pictures of my little graduate.

That's Miss Erin blowing bubbles to her captive audience.

Up on the podium accepting his medal!

"Check out my medal!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


For some reason once 2009 hit, I got writers block. Well more accurately, I got lazy. Back in the good ole years, I looked forward to posting... I thought of things throughout the day that I wanted to post about... I would steal away bits of time to post. Lately, it is all I can do to open Blogger, let alone contemplate and actually type a thought out. I am not sure what is going on.

It has been a rough month or so. Around Christmas I was struck with this awful feeling of loneliness. Here I was surrounded by family and all I felt was extremely alone. I type this in the past tense but the truth is I still feel this way. When my mom was alive I had a history and a past. I had a source of information about my childhood and generations before me. When she died I remember feeling that profound loss. Wondering who I would go to for information and who would tell me about my life. Life moved on and I guess I just let go of those thoughts. I was in familiar territory and I knew my surroundings... my past wasn't so far away from me because I was still around a good bit of it. Then I moved and now nothing is familiar, everything is uncharted territory. Friends are new, stores are new, roads are new... even my family is new. I mean they are the same ones I have had for the past (almost) 5 years but they aren't really mine. They can't tell me about past Thanksgivings or tell stories about that time when I (fill in the memory here).

Then I started contacting my 'real' family... which in theory would make me feel less alone but in fact, had the opposite effect. Here I am with these weird awkward email conversations with my birth father... chit chat but nothing real. Not the information I really want to know. How did he meet my mother? What was she like then? Were they ever really in love? What were our 7 years together like? Did we ever do father/daughter things together? Who got Petey for me? Where did Petey go when you gave him away? Was there ever a time when you were really proud of me? Lord have mercy... I could ask unending questions... and I could get very specific. But these aren't the questions I ask. Everything is surface.

Then there is my aunt who said she wanted to visit during the month of January. It's the 2oth and I haven't heard from her since before Christmas when she sent me a powerpoint forward. I am sorry but I haven't the energy or time to care about forwards... especially ones with attachments and especially when you haven't even written anything directly to me. I digress... she made no mention of visiting.

Not that I would trust any stories I heard from these sources... neither were on 'good' terms with my mom when she died. I can't imagine David remembering his time with my mother fondly and telling me stories of their life together, however brief it was. I imagine that he would try to color the picture differently so he appeared in a better light. Wouldn't I do the same thing if I had ignored my child for 22+ years? The same goes for my Aunt. I am sure she would tell stories that showed her in a better light.

Now I don't want to slight the family that I do have. As most of you are aware, I love my Dad dearly (and most of you know that I call my step-dad 'Dad'). I am so glad to have him and he provides me with a bit of the past and history that I am looking for. Unfortunately he only goes back so far... there were many years before he came into our lives that no one else can account for.

Ugh... I feel like I am whining so I am going to end this post. Suffice it to say... I wish I had a sibling... or a close relative... even a life long friend that could help me fill in my life. I honestly feel like an orphan.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The A,B,C game

I got this game from EvilTwinsWife... it looked cool so I decided to play.

Here’s how it works…

You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on. (I copied that from her and she copied off someone else, so... feel free to rip it off again).

I have only begun to think of things for my letter so I have yet to determine if ETW likes me or not ;~) My letter is H and here they are in no particular order...

1. Holidays - Although the most recent holidays were rough (Dad and Stacie not making it out, tooth pulled, violent flu for 24 hours and having no home church to celebrate the actual reason for the season) I really do love the holidays. I enjoy the time Adam has off work. I enjoy family getting together to just hang out. I like the big meals. It's a very warm time and I look forward to it each year.

2. Heat - I would much rather be hot than cold... I think I may be in the minority for that one but it's true. I thank God that we are fortunate enough to have a warm enclosed house that I can blast full of hot air.

3. Huggins - Adam taught Chase to give 'huggins' and it's just about the best thing on earth. When you ask for them he bends his head to the side and leans into whatever he is giving huggins. He gives huggins to me, Adam, Riley, Grandma, Christmas presents (we have that one on video) and by far the funniest... to toast.

4. Hot Chocolate - A nice warm mug full... throw in a mini peppermint patty and top with mini marshmallows... I am putty in your hands.

5. Hoodie - I have basically stolen my husbands brown hoodie. I wear it quite often... sometimes during the day but mostly at night. It's so comfy cozy that I just can't help myself.

6. Heirlooms - I have 3 treasured heirlooms from my mom. 1. her wedding band and engagement ring. I wear them on my right hand. 2. my Lladro collection (hence the name of my blog) and 3. My dining room table and chairs that I cannot wait to put into use now that I have a family and like to cook for them.

7. Health - Watching my mom struggle for so many years and seeing what it robbed her of has given me an appreciation for my own health.

8. Hammocks - I long for the day when I can have a hammock in my backyard. 2 trees or one of the stands... I don't care. A net that hangs that I can leisurely swing in... that's where it's at.

9. Home - I love being home with the family. I am at my best when we are all together just hanging out. I look forward to the day when we own our own home.

10. Husband - I don't even know where to begin with this one. I don't think I can adequately describe how I feel about him. He loves me... he listens to me... he cooks for me... he gives up the good chair for me... he prays with me... he agrees with me when we agree and he gently stands up to me when we disagree.... he is everything I never knew I needed. He is more of a family man than I ever dreamed he could be. He is my best friend.

Ok... there's my list. I hope you enjoyed!

If you want to play, just say so in your comment. If you want to comment but don't want to play, that's cool too... just let me know and I won't give you a letter ;~)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The 13th already...

This year is flying by.

Unfortunately it has started out with some sad news. Adam's grandmother passed away yesterday morning. She had been sick for the past few months and eventually her heart just stopped working. She passed comfortably with Joe and Sandy beside her. If you feel so inclined, please send a few prayers to Joe and Mary (grandma's son and daughter). Losing a parent is hard, no matter the age.

In the G world it's the usual. Chase and I spend time with friends, at the Little Gym, at the library and running errands. Adam spends too much time on I-70 and time at the office. Chase's graduation from Little Gym (this semester) is on Thursday and everyone is going to see him. I suspect there will be a video to follow... just a hunch. I have been trying more in the kitchen. I made a dinner with more than one component (pork chops and potato fries)... not my favorite thing since timing is difficult. I am finding that with anything, practice makes perfect. The more I do something, the better and faster I get at it. Who knew.

Chase amazes me everyday. I may have said that before but I don't know if I really meant it. Lately it seems he learns something new every day. He has a few signs under his belt... he is learning parts of the face and a few body parts. He smiles and laughs so much it makes me melt. He really is just the coolest kid ever.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Kara did this first... and then Rose did it... so I guess I stole it from both of them.

1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Your significant other? adam
3. Your hair? up
4. Your mother? love
5. Your father? google
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? in-laws
8. Your favorite drink? grapefruit
9. Your dream/goal? sign
10. The room you're in? cog
11. Your fear? lots
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? house
13. Where were you last night? here
14. What you're not? rested
15. Muffins? yum
16. One of your wish list items? house
17. Where you grew up? maryland
18. The last thing you did? sat
19. What are you wearing? hoodie
20. Your favorite TV show? many
21. Your pet? wonderbeagle
23. Your life? content
24. Your mood? chill
25. Missing someone? always
26. Your car/truck? heatless
27. Something you're not wearing? hat
28. Favorite Store? nordstrom
29. Your summer? playground!
30. Your favorite color? pink
31. When is the last time you laughed? today
32. Last time you cried? recently
THREE PLACES I GO OVER AND OVER: home, grocery store, target
THREE OF MY FAVORITE FOODS: eggplant pancakes, Brazilian black bean soup, non perils with dark chocolate

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I Love...

  • I love that you know how to point to your toes.
  • I love the way you give me a kiss and then give me another 3 or 4 right in a row.
  • I love the way you laugh uncontrollably while being tickled.
  • I love the way you will, for no reason, start shouting or talking... usually shouting.
  • I love the way you intently play with your toys, trying to figure them out and put them together.
  • I love the way you mimic the noises I make.
  • I love the way you give hugs and hold me close.
  • I love the way you throw down your paci's when I come to get you from the crib because you know I will take them from you and leave them in the crib.
  • I love the way you light up when I walk into the room.
  • I love the way you wave your hands and feet when you are extremely excited... usually that involves a favorite food.
  • I love the way you sleep unencumbered at night - arms and legs flopped everywhere! We should all sleep as soundly as you do.
  • I love the way your face crumples when you start to cry... you look cute even through your tears.
  • I love that you eat spanish olives plain, just like mommy!
  • I love the way you have just learned to blow kisses... and how you seem to learn something new every day.
  • I love that the grocery store clerk called you 'the sign language baby'.
  • I love how you help me put lotion on my leg in the morning, stopping by to pat my leg and then move on.
  • I love that you run to the edge of the bed when I get a polly-o string cheese because that is where I sit when we eat it.
  • I love how you burst out laughing for no apparent reason and then stop just as abruptly.
  • I love how you push your golf club back and forth through the apartment over and over and over again.
  • I love how Murray from Sesame Street mesmorizes you... the rest of the show you could care less about but you love Murray and the Word on the Street.
Just some things that I love about you.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I'm Sorry

but does this kid look like a little girl?

This was taken before Christmas... we were shopping in Kohl's and someone commented about how cute she looked. He is wearing brown skater shoes, khaki's and a gray race car hoodie...

I just don't get it.

Friday, January 02, 2009

I'm Back!

What a holiday season this has been!

Christmas was good... it would have been better if Dad and Stacie were here but such is life. Speaking of which... Dad is doing better. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will remember Maverick... a lovely Shiba Inu with an attitude all his own. Dad was walking Mav and slipped on some wet grass on a hill. One leg went one way and the other stayed behind... turns out the one that stayed behind lived to regret its decision. In a split moment Dad shattered his ankle, broke his tibia and fibula and completely tore a tendon that holds the 2 together.

Everyone cringing?

He had emergency surgery the day it happened because the doctors were concerned that it wasn't setting correctly. Dad now sports a bionic foot, complete with metal plates and screws, encased in a fantastic plaster cast. A cast which will be on for the next 3 months. I can't imagine going from training for the Livestrong Challenge to completely sedentary... it's like taking 2 steps forward and being tossed back 5. Dad is taking it in stride though... he has already made some brief trips out of the apartment (in a wheelchair right now) and if anyone can handle this, he can. Nevertheless, if you feel so inclined, please keep him and Stacie in your prayers!

Christmas morning was a blast! As soon as Chase realized that he was allowed to rip the paper, it was a frenzy! He got a sled, snowsuit, clothes and a big ole Lego truck from Grandma and Grandpa... a Radio Flyer wagon, alphabet blocks, stacking toys and Google swag from Grandpa and Aunt Stacie... and a pop up sports tent, clothes, shoes, and a musical guitar from Adam and I. He also got clothes, more toys and an interactive pony from Kare Kare and a singing cookie jar from Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave. Chase definitely made out like a bandit!

I was very lucky this year... my dad got me a negative scanner so now I can work on digitizing all my negatives... especially my wedding ones. I have been wanting to do this for years now! Yay for a new project!

I also received a very thoughtful gift from my MIL. She knew how much I wanted to make my blog into a book form... it's been on my mind for a very long time. She took the time to copy each post, the comments, the pictures and the screenshots of the video and put it all into a Word doc... then printed it all out on a heavy card stock and put it in book form for me! She got through 06 and 07! Here I am with my books...

Dad and Stacie wanted to be sure their east coast family were sporting the Google paraphernalia...

On New Years Eve we (MIL, FIL, Adam and I) played our traditional game of Texas Hold'em. This is a photo of a rare occurrence. I went up against Adam and won! Called all in and he folded! Score one for wifey!

Here is Chase enjoying New Years Eve! Adrienne... this is the only picture I can get of Chase at midnight... a picture of the video monitor ;~)

Chase rides in style.

Chase enjoying his sports tent... NBA scouts, feel free to leave your contact information in a comment.

One of the most used gifts has been the Radio Flyer wagon (which was a popular gift... Lilyanna was sportin' a new RF wagon this year as well!)

Even though it was cold on New Years day we decided to bundle Chase up and take a walk around the neighborhood. Chase was totally decked out in his snowsuit, new mittens, Adirondack slippers (they are warmer than any shoe out there!) and ski hat. What happened next will surely be told many times in our family history... enjoy!

The past few days have been good... well, I am kind of lying. They have been good insomuch as Chase has been fighting napping with all his might. We actually had gotten to a place where he was napping for 2-2.5 hours. That lasted about 2 weeks (I was too afraid to mention it here for fear of jinxing it). The past few days he has basically had no nap at all which really throws me off course... to say the least. Let's just say that sometimes I think it might be less painful to ram my head into a brick wall then deal with a baby who has not napped. Not only is he not napping but he has discovered the tantrum. Oh how I hate the tantrum. My nice sweet boy has now learned to scream so loud and dramatically throw (albeit carefully) to the floor. He hasn't had the full out kicking and screaming tantrum but I fear it is on it's way. He also smacks when he doesn't get his way... me, daddy, the dog, the table, whatever is in front of him. He actually smacked the table so hard it hurt his hand... I tried not to gloat, he is after all only 14 months. Anywho... anyone I tell this to nods in agreement and launches into how their child hit the terrible 2's around 14 months... so apparently Chase is right on course!

I see discipline books in our future.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!