Wednesday, August 31, 2011

1 Year Pictures

One of the reasons, Lily and I went to Nashville and stayed after taking Andrew to his dad's was to have Lily's 1 year pictures taken. 

Our Genne's lifelong best friend, Laurel, is a photographer by profession. You can find her work at She truly has such a gift and I knew I had wanted her to take Lily's photographs.

I have ooh'd and ahh'd over her magical photographs for years as she has continued to hone her craft. She is gifted and captures so much emotion in her photographs.  I've looked at her photos of Genevieve's labor for both of her daughters and I honestly feel as if I'm there when I look at them..

I could not wait to receive my Lily's photos in the mail! And I was even happier than I had expected! She captured so much about my sweet baby daughter. The expressions...all of them are so "her" and who she is right now. The serious, the unsure, the sweet, the happy, the teething, the discovery...ALL of her.  Honestly, I am tearing up thinking about them right now because when I'm able to look back at these photographs, I will be able to see who that one year old baby was in those moments of her life. Such a blessing.

Thank you, Laurel, for sharing your gift.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Remember Me?

Hi there! Remember me?

Yeah, it's been forever awhile.

I've not felt like writing, so rather than force it, I just don't.  You know that overwhelmed feeling of omgihavesomuchtocatchuponthatijustsitandstareatthescreenandwritenothing?  Yeah, that.

But, here we are with a 13 month old Lily, a returned from Tennessee Andrew, and new custody arrangements with Reagan.  Add in hockey starting, Scouts, doctors appointments for George and there's just a lot of stuff going on.

~Andrew flew back from Tennessee this past Saturday and as soon as I got through security at the airport on my way to the gate, my eyes filled with tears. I really missed him.  He'd been gone for 3 weeks.
YAY!!! He's home!

While I'm still not a fan of him flying alone--I just don't think that ever gets easier-- he's actually likes it.  I think he missed us too. :)  He had hockey practice about 2 hours after his flight which he was not thrilled about hence the shirt he chose to wear to practice.

He stepped it up eventually. :)

He's spent the last few days just hanging out and getting into the groove of home and enjoying the last week before school starts.

~Lily is still crawling where she wants to go. Sometimes like a crab on her hands and feet --this is usually when she's wearing dresses--and other times just regularly on her hands and knees. She's taken a couple steps here and there & she stands up without holding onto anything all the time. She just knows she can get where she wants to go really fast by crawling.

She's been talking a lot, saying: "LilyLilyLily" (never just one 'lily')  "puppy", "cah" (car), "mama" "dada", "hi", "hi dada (A LOT)", "hi lilylilylily", "uh oh", "ohhhhh". 
If you ask her, "How old is Lily?" she holds up her pointer finger.  She's got the letters and numbers for the bathtub and after carrying around the #1 and letter L for a long time, she's now switched to the letter "T" and when I say, "What does a 't' say? 'ta ta ta'", she'll repeat "ta ta ta". I am totally loving the language explosion!

She does this hysterical laugh and I'm still trying to catch it on video. It's one of those laughs that you cannot help but laugh when she does it.  Instant good mood. :)

~Reagan has been living with us Wednesday mornings through Saturday nights. And with her mom, Saturday nights through Wednesday mornings.  We're 2+ years into having shared custody and this has been the schedule for at least a year. 

I had mentioned previously that we were heading back to court. We had to determine what school district that Reagan would be going to this coming school year, as her mom and family is moving into a new place in a new district. George and I feel that the district we live in is better than the new one BM is moving to. She felt Reagan should go to school with them. 

Yesterday, we both presented our sides in court and the judge made his determination what he felt was best for her.  Reagan will be going to school in our district beginning as a 2nd grader this year.  We're thrilled because of the opportunities she will have and the security with being in a safe and thriving environment! Yippee! 

This brought about a change in our custody schedules as well because BM felt strongly that transporting Reagan to our school 3 days a week was a hardship. So after being in a courtroom for way too many  four hours to determine school and custody, Reagan will be living with us Monday through Friday and with her mother on the weekends during the school year. 
It's still sinking in...

When summer rolls around we'll move to a week on/week off schedule between both homes.

We are so excited about the school decision and are so happy for the chance Reag will have to be actively involved in school and extra-curricular activities. Brownies here she comes!

Maybe I've just broken through my writer's block?  We'll see.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lazy Saturday

Happy Saturday!
I'm still in a little bit of mish mash mode, so this post is pretty random. ;)

Only one more week until Andrew comes home! Yay!

We're looking forward to a weekend and few days back to our party of 3 before the hectic start to the school year and all 3 kids home again--back into a regular schedule.
Reag comes home for an extra week. I have to admit though, I'm totally looking forward to school starting and hockey beginning and Scouts and all the other things that we have going on. 

I've been tutoring an almost 1st grader for the past several weeks and I love it! She's working on reading skills and her dad and stepmom want her to be successful and it's been really great for both my student and me. Dusting off the teaching skills. ;) 

We have one determined baby girl to get to what she wants. She gets into EVERYTHING and keeps us on our toes. It's very different for me from Andrew. :) She puts everything in her mouth, loves to open cabinets, and see what's inside drawers.  The other day, I was cleaning the bathroom sink and she was in there with me and she stuck her hand inside the toilet to splash around. (Thank God it was already cleaned! ;) ) She loves water and it makes no difference to her where it is. She either loves to open my laptop like below or push it closed, but loveloveloves to "type" on the keyboard.
Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I haven't felt much like writing.  And of course, as always, I'm behind on...well, pretty much everything.

~Andrew is still in Tennessee with his dad and I find that tends to be ok with me for about a week or so, then I somewhat get into a funk.  So, funk it is right now.  He had a blast visiting his grandparents and aunt, uncle and cousins in South Carolina for a week! I'm glad they did. His dad is good about sending me random pictures on my phone for which I'm grateful.

~George and I have been honestly just relaxing with our party of 3--he, Lily and myself, as Reagan has been in hell with her mom for an extended summer time.  We have watched tv shows without nick or nickjr as options, gone out for happy hour, sat on our back porch, went to picnics, gone out for ice cream, and just enjoyed our quiet time.  It's been nice and uneventful. That's our kind of life and definitely one we don't take forgranted.

~Lily had a great time in Tennessee playing and eating frozen yogurt and meeting new friends. I have more to write and pictures to post from our trip once I find some motivation. She also had her one year photos taken while we were there and I CANNOT wait to see them! Once I get them, that will get its own post and I'll link you to the magician  photographer!  In other news, she's cutting some teeth (again) in a big way and boy oh boy has she been FUUUUUSSSSSSSSSY! I can see 3 molars starting to poke through and then a couple others breaking through.  She's really close to walking, but still decides to drop and! I'm still ok with it. ;)

We have a few trips upcoming this fall and I'm super excited about them! Lots of family and babies all in one place! Now, hopefully someone won't mind keeping us when we visit. ;)  (Party of 4)

~I mentioned previously on a day I vented that George was headed back to court soon.  That came and went unresolved, so back again we go.  I was in Nashville last time at my husband's encouragement to not return early to give any credibility to the motion and crazycakes.  Well, lucky me, I'm home for this next time.  The basic gist of it is to determine which school district Reagan will attend. Her mom is supposedly moving, but hasn't followed the law or their court order regarding notifying George about her move, address or anything else she's supposed to do.  That's the story of her. Do what she wants no matter what.  To me, it's a black and white issue about which school district is better for Reagan. Cut and dry.  Hopefully the judge see it that way too and then we can get the kid in school  So yeah, the hearing is a week before school starts and we all have no idea what school district she'll go to.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

~With Reagan returning to her half week schedule, comes the chaos that accompanies her life with her mom. It's exhausting. I pray for a day when the kid can just love all her family and be allowed to be happy here and there.  To just not worry about lying to her mom to keep her off her back.  And for the record, no 7 year old has ANY business being told it's up to her to decide where she goes to school. However, that's part of the keeping her mom off her back...tell her what she wants to hear about school.  Such is life.  I'm learning to detach.  After more than 4 years, one would think we'd have made progress, but not. at. all.  Can't reason with crazy.

~I won a blog design in a giveaway recently, so soon there'll be some visual changes here too. I'm super excited to see what they come up with! With that, you'll see the return of some writing about all five of us because quite honestly, I just don't care what crazycakes says about my life. So, if she stumbles across my blog, then she does. I'm tired of tip-toeing around her crap. She's never going to create a better situation for Reagan so at least that poor girl will have some documentation of a happy childhood here. Plus, if I need to vent about the stupidity, then I'm going to do it.  Because, oh boy, the stupidity is plentiful.  Just an example, yesterday after a 10 day absence, we were told crazycakes said George was never really  in the army. He "just took a small tour of places he could go."  What exactly is that? Yeah, he was and yes, I really graduated from ASU.    And why tell your kid that crap? 

~I'm finishing thank yous.  The birthday ones arrived while I was in Nashville. THEY ARE ADORABLE! Once I get them out, I'll post a pic here too.

Fussy, teething baby napping = mama shower time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our Genne

When we went to Nashville, Lily and I stayed with one of the dearest in my heart friends, Genevieve.  It had been too many years since we'd physically seen each other and I loved that it was just as if no time had passed since we'd seen each other. 

Although, the 3 newer babies between us, were a reminder that a lot of time had passed. :)

See, Genevieve became a part of our lives, when Andrew was 11 weeks old.  Yes, weeks. She went on trips with us, came and played with us, basically our family events when Andrew was little consisted of she, Andrew and myself. She even drove across the country to move us to Arizona from Tennessee when my ex-husband and I divorced. Andrew called her (and still does) "My Genne".

I wish I could truly capture in words how much this woman means to me, however I know there simply are not.  I only hope and pray she knows how valued, appreciated and adored she is and the impact she has had on my life and her role in my son's life is utterly irreplaceable.  She has this amazing spirit and the wisdom of a much older soul and those are just two of my favorite qualities about her.

She has two girls--a 3 year old and a 7 month old whose personalities were both so fun to get to know!

After watching Genne with so many other babies and my own son, I simply adored watching her with her own.  She is so gifted with children and I was proud to introduce her to my other baby...since she was so close with my first.
These are just a handful of the pics I have on my computer. Most of our pictures are pre-digital, but there are tons with her. :)  

August 2011

We love our Genne!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Angel Eyes

When people ask me what color Lily's eyes are my answer is, "They change all the time!" 

Truth is, they change from this gorgeous light amber brown to slate gray and lots of browns and grays in between. 

One thing that never changes is that she smiles from her eyes and with those TO DIE FOR eyelashes, I lovelovelove looking at her eyes.

The Paper Mama

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Road Trip

It's that time again... Andrew heads off to Nashville to visit his dad for some summer time.

Typically, his dad and I meet halfway to pick up and drop off, but this time, I decided I was bringing him all the way to Nashville and would spend a few days visiting friends I haven't seen in far too long.
We headed out for our trip...just me and the kids.  That's what they looked like when before we left. :)

It wasn't a bad trip at all.  It's about 9-9.5 hours and they were great. We stopped to eat lunch at McDonald's just outside of Cincinnati, to go the bathroom/change diapers, and stretch our legs.

We actually only made one other stop for bathroom and to get gas in Elizabethtown, KY before we arrived in Nashville.  Andrew kept himself occupied by playing his DSi and laughing with Lily, while Lily did great too! She only got fussy a couple times when she was sleepy or needed some snacks. Andrew was super helpful with her! I don't know what I'm going to do on the way back without him! I guess, we'll probably have to stop a lot more.

There was a little sleeping:

And a little smiling:

Until finally Tennessee welcomed us!
 It was a great road trip and the kids both did great! I'd do it again. ;)

Andrew will be there for a few weeks while Lily and I stayed 5 days until we headed back home. Daddy missed us...we missed him too.

Friday, August 5, 2011


It's fun to let Lily figure out what she likes eating and how she chooses to eat it!

She loves things like dill pickles, mushrooms, tomatoes, green olives.  She prefers chicken over beef, sweet potatoes and peas over green beans. She loves any kind of fruit--lately strawberries and pears have been favorites.  There's nothing she doesn't REALLY like. Some things she prefers more is all.

Spaghetti is one of her favorites. Each bite brings her signature, "mmmm" with that little voice I adore.

It also brings out funny faces as she eats...

how do they start slurping noodles even as babies?

hmmm...all that's left is corn

She ended up with just as much ON her belly as IN her belly! :)

And no we don't typically eat corn with spaghetti, but we were driving past a farm and I wanted fresh corn on the cob even though we were having spaghetti. ;)  It was yummy...Lily just apparently prefers spaghetti over corn.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Watching Them Grow

I went to the eye doctor the other day and it was probably one of the best doctor visits I have ever had. She was one of those doctors who is just friendly and genuine. Comfortable.  She talked about her children, asked me about mine, we talked about our parents, my dad dying, teaching, being in our 30s, she recommended a book for me to read, I encouraged her to get involved in social media for her business, after all I found her via Twitter... it was like sitting there with a new friend.

 Andrew kept watch of Lily in the lobby and she said "hi" to everyone who came in.  When I was through, the receptionist and the eyeglass girl gushed over how good my kids were and how helpful big brother was and how funny and adorable the baby was.

As I had been talking with my new friend eye doctor, I was thinking about Andrew as a toddler. Oh, how I just fall in love all over again with his 2 and 3 year old self when I look at pictures, watch videos or even just think about things he used to say and do. And now here's this growning 11 and a half year old who tells me how he feels about things happening in the world and says things genuinely like, "Well, that's great for him" when I told him his assistant principal got a job as the principal in another school.
2nd birthday...cheeeese

It's always amazing watching children grow literally before your eyes.

It's that time of the summer again when Andrew heads off for time with his dad and his dad's family and I tend to get reminiscent, much like I did around Lily's 1st birthday and do around Andrew's birthday each year.

Last night, I said to Lily, "Are you ready to take a bath?"  She looked at me, crawled over to the steps, climbed the steps (1st time the whole way) and crawled into the bathroom.  Wow. Just the understanding.

George and I are looking forward to a little party of 3 while Andrew is gone, but we're good for a few days, then ready for him to be home.  Such is life. He'll have fun.

I can't believe these babies of mine are growing up so quickly!