Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Walk this way!

Well the Mayer girl small enough to be sitting on my lap right now has some big news! Little (hardly) Audrey has started walking! Last Sunday, after a fun and exhausting full day at Cagle's farm in Canton, GA, Aunt Kristen was playing with Audrey and she took three steps in a row! Three times! We were so proud of her, we got out the cameras and tried to get her to do it again and no....no, she doesn't want to have hard evidence like that. But we were all very proud of her. And now she is walking around a bunch and clapping for herself too! She just perfected her clapping skills this last week too. So we love to watch her walk ten or so steps in a row now and promptly thereafter give her self a round of applause. She's cute. I mean really cute.

It's been a challenging week for us her still though, as both girls got a cold, and apparently not from each other, because when they each seemed to be feeling better, they traded colds and Audrey got sicker and Nora got a massive ear infection from cold #2! oh what fun! And of course all you parents out there know exactly when the ear infection hit...that's right, Friday night. Just in time for a nice long weekend when all the doctor's offices will be closed, the Urgent care facilities will be packed and of course, when we finally got her a prescription on Saturday evening, you guessed it! The pharmacies were closed...oh except for the one 24 hr pharmacy 20 minutes away. Eh, that's just how that stuff goes. I blame the government. No I don't. I just wanted to say that. They may have something to do with it, but I honestly haven't figured out the connection yet.

Oh, yeah, and of course just before Nora gets sick, her video monitor goes out. Like it totally bites the dust. Great timing. Oh well, I'm sure there was a day in age when kids survived without video monitors or---gasp!---any monitors at all! Now that's scary. Nah, it's ok, we will survive. Some people don't have food. I just can't see my toddler on a screen when I'm floor below her.

No, Life is good here at Mayerville. We are all relatively healthy and safe. Stress levels could calm down a bit, but we are getting by just fine. My parents are coming over for dinner tonight and I am pretty excited about that. I'm making soup. I love soup season. We didn't have much of that in old AZ. Nope, this is the time of year I love most...except I could do without the colds. I put Nora in preschool though so I was askin for it!

Here are some pictures of the girls as Cagle's farm the other day...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Here is a picture of the costume i made Nora for her first Halloween. She was a "Norabee". It took a LOT of work. I think I actually did a darn good job.

You can see the wings and stinger a little better in this shot...

I had a LOT of fun making it with the help of my lovely mother in law, Claudia and her sewing machine. Never could have done it otherwise. It made me feel like a "good mom".

Now in these shots to the right, you can see how much work I put into her homemade Rockstar costume last Halloween. She was a hit. She won several costume contests. Everything was made by me. I hand painted the guitar, an exact replica of one of Jimmy Hendrix's own guitars.

So now, I have two kids...Halloween is coming. I LOVE making Halloween costumes. It is so fun and makes me feel great, but October is approaching and I STILL don't even know what they are going to be. Last year, my orange shirt made Audrey's costume a no-brainer...
I'd really like to make them costumes that are related, like The little Mermaid and Flounder the fish, or Strawberry Shortcake and Audrey can be a strawberry. Another Idea is puppies for sale. I need more ideas. If anyone is out there reading my blogs, please! Give me some ideas!!! We want to use our red wagon as part of the costume, so keep that in mind. ok, shoot! Thanks!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

When Momma's happy...

Yes, Nora is well into her first year at preschool and she is loving it! And similarly, I am now getting out of the house to do something I love regularly. I am teaching horseback riding lessons again! I started today with just one lesson and MAN did that ever feel good! That eight-year-old student has no idea, but she made my week! It really feels good to feel competent and knowledgeable about something, and to share with others something that you love and are good at...and then it's nice to make a little money too =) A job like motherhood is VERY respectable indeed, and it takes a lot of hard work. It drains you physically and emotionally. But I will say, no matter how good a mother I am, I never quite feel like I have it all figured out, and really, I don't feel like I have any great wisdom to share. When I am at the barn around those horses, I can feel pretty on top of things. I don't make much, but it does something very good for me and it should end up being enough to cover Nora's preschool pretty soon here.
I let Nora up on the saddle in front of me today when I was riding. That was so exciting to her. She tried to take the reins from me, just like anyone who knows Nora would expect her to do. She just kept saying "run!" "run!", like hell was I going to do that with her. But we trotted a few strides and she giggled away, bouncing all over the place. The horse's name was Kobe, but she just kept calling him Toby. "no, Nora, it's Kuh, Kuh, Kuh Kobe!" and she would respond every time with "Kuh, Kuh, Kuh Toby!" Whatever, Nora. But she had a blast and so did I. Her first time on horseback! One for the baby book.
I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I feel like a woman's soul, and particularly a mother's, is so beat down and taken advantage of in this world. There are the basic functions we are expected to perform and there is no room for failure. We are all expected to be good housekeepers, chefs, super-bargain shoppers, nurses, super models, cheerleaders for our kids and husbands, counselors, saints, walking calendars, volunteer social workers and many are expected to be bread-winners too. Forget sleep, hobbies (aside from family photojournalism), relaxation, and fun! I am lucky enough to have a husband who supports me and gives whatever help he can to ensure that I can get the most out of my life. I know many, no, probably most women are not THAT lucky. Today, I feel blessed. Because I got out, and enjoyed myself, and finally got some perspective I have been lacking. I have a handsome loving husband, and two sweet beautiful healthy daughters and I'm home. Who could ask for anything more?

Uh oh...I'm afraid the 2 year old is waking up before I have gotten a chance to shower the barn smell off....This is not good.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My baby's all growed up!

I can't make this too long a post, because I have to go pick my little baby Nora up from her second day of school! That's right, at the ripe old age of two, she has started preschool at St Michael the Archangel Catholic church. After whining quite enough (me) about how I never get any time away from her (wah wah wah) and how she doesn't know how to act around other kids or adults (boo hoo), I decided to put her in a 2-day per week program. I thought for sure she would kick and scream and just be beside herself all day, but no...she met her teachers at the door, walked in with them and sat down to play with toys, not even glancing my way as I left. BOTH DAYS! I guess I'm the big weenie. I don't know what to do with myself! Audrey went right down for a nap when we got home and it's...quiet...in the house. I forgot about that stuff. It's a little unnerving, and yet...so refreshing. I have to say though, I can't quite let my guard down. There's a hurricane in my head about the phone ringing as the school calls me to say she is sick (you know there are so many germs on those other kids) or she can't stop crying, or I sent her to school in the wrong outfit or shoes. I guess that part gets easier as I become a little more used to this all though.
Yesterday when I picked her up in the carpool, with the sign in the window with her name and her class name, the DUCK class, she was wearing a different pair of shorts from the ones I dropped her off in. Yeah. I asked her when I saw her, "did you go pee pee today at school?" "yea" she proudly said, "on the carpet." So I apologized to her teacher and put her in the car. They told me she tried to eat the other children's watermelon. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I'm always stealing food off Mark's plate. And it was no surprise as we know she is insanely obsessed with all fruit.
It is insane of me to want to attach a web cam to her shoe, aimed up at her face so I can see every emotion and interaction she has while she is there? Don't answer that. Moving on...
Audrey...our beloved strawberry blond butterball turkey, "Audeebug", we call her. She has been crawling for weeks now, and she is also pulling to standing on everything she sees: sturdy things like her highchair, the coffee table, couch, and not so sturdy things like the cat, or seemingly sturdy things when her sister is in the room (as Nora will either move it to see what will happen, or just knock her down altogether, WWF style). We love Audrey. I've stopped going into her room at night when she wants to eat...as of 2 nights ago. It occurred to me that she really didn't need to eat anyhow, and it was really ticking me off so he cried a few minutes the first two times and now she doesn't wake up. Score!

Shoot I gotta go. carpool line is gonna get long. Wow, I'm really a mom now. gulp.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Settling in

Here we are on Weatherstone place. Woodstock, GA is our new home. Settling in hasn't been easy. Of course Mark has been starting a new job, and that is always overwhelming. Here at the house, most of the boxes have been unpacked and collapsed. We had to fight to get our little Nora accustomed to a toddler bed and her new room. The first night was a nightmare. She screamed when we closed the door, then later in the middle of the night, we heard her crying again, then a huge thud and a scream. I woke up from a very tired sleep to a bad stomach ache from panic and soothed her till she was quiet, only to hear Audrey screaming! I now have been feeding Audrey in the middle of the night every few nights. Oh, and night #2, Nora woke AGAIN in the middle of the night, and she would not let me leave her. I ended up camping on her floor till daylight. Man did I feel old when I woke up with bruised hips. The sleep thing has improved for Nora...well until she recently got Hand Foot and Mouth Virus AGAIN!!! She has been feeling terrible. Her mouth is all blistered and eating and even yawning hurts and makes her cry. She has hardly eaten or drank for the last few days. The only part I secretly enjoy is how cuddly she now gets on the couch when I put on a movie. Poor baby. Now her high fever is essentially gone and her little sister is getting really fussy and hard to feed or put to sleep at night. I PRAY that she doesn't have it too now.
Since we have been here, Nora has turned 2, and has begun speaking in sentences quite regularly. Audrey has turned 6 months, sits up very well on her own, is contemplating crawling (but has more interest in log-rolling), popped her first two teeth, and started solids. The girls now play together, eat together and bathe together. It's all pretty fun to watch. My favorite part is when they sleep together--er--uh--at the same time anyway. That's when mommy-time happens...or house cleaning anyway. Any kid-free time is pretty therapeutic for me these days.
It's funny, Nora has a few new fascinations she has discovered here in GA that she never knew in Arizona. Mailboxes. The kid LOVES mailboxes. Wants them all to be hers. We cross train tracks in old-town Woodstock, and she LOVES them too. "Thomas goes!" she shouts every time we cross them. She loves passing horses, and she liked that back in AZ too, but here she gets to go see them up close because I have connections with three different stables here. Every night when I tuck her in she tells me she wants to "see horsies" tomorrow. And sometimes we do. Rain is one of her favorite things here. She will hear thunder...or just see a nice little cloud and say "Rain coming! Rain coming!" It keeps our spirits up on overcast days. She is pretty happy here. I'm trying to learn from her and take note of the simple pleasures better. Oh, and she loves "Packick!" Patrick Flowers is 9 weeks younger than her. Their relationship has been long distance until now. Those two are hilarious together. Patrick's little sister, Madelyn is 11 weeks younger than Audrey as well, and those two are as chummy as babies can be...which is a very limited amount of chumminess...but it is still cute to see them together. They'll be great buds someday! Of course Toby and Angie, their parents are wonderful old friends of ours and we are SUPER excited to be near them again! Things are very good here. Tired and somewhat stressful right now, but good. We love our home, and our neighborhood, and the people and weather here, and we are indeed blessed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We are moving!

Dear Arizona,
Let me start by saying, "you're not so bad!" I can see that now that I am no longer committed to you.
You and I got off on the wrong foot from the start. Before we were an item, I would visit you with Mark and you didn't see like such a bad guy. Pretty hot, but it was more intriguing to me than anything. In hindsight, it was just puppy love. But we moved to be with you. Right away after we moved here, I had a hard time finding work. Then I found myself unexpectedly pregnant...a couple of times! I wanted to blame someone, so I blamed you. When I felt nauseous or too large to function, you overheated me. And you should know, your abusive relationship with the sun...yeah she really changes your attitude. I feel like you could really limit her influence on your weather. Many times I found myself wanting to come outside and visit you, but SHE was always there glaring at me. But all that is water under the bridge. Oh, and speaking of water...yeah you put on a very tough face and can seem very strong, but I think it would do you some good to have a good cry from time to time. I found you very dry a lot of the time. Some rain could benefit you by showing your tender side.
I will miss your beautiful mountains that seem to be wrapped around me everywhere I go. You are handsome, there is no doubt. But the fact that I could only hike on them 4 months out of the year when I wouldn't get heat exhaustion, that was annoying.
So I know there will be times when I will see a potted cactus or a very sunny day and think of you fondly, but I'm going to start fresh with another state. Don't be jealous. You don't have enough water for me and my ever-expanding family anyway. So I am breaking up with you. And really, it's not you, it's me. If you need me, I'll be in the humidity on the other side of the country, beneath the shade of the tall pines. Oh, and take care of my friends. If I hear that you are mistreating them, I'll...well...I...hmmm...just don't do it, ok?


Yep, we are on our way to Georgia. Packing up and flying out on the 8th of May. Yes, it it VERY soon. Especially because we have to pack up our entire house by then while a toddler is trampling all over it and undoing pretty much everything we do. I'm confident we will get it done though.

On a more solemn note, we have to leave behind Mark's parents, and our daughters' new and dearly loved grandparents. They have been wonderful grandparents and very helpful to us. We hope to visit them and receive visits from them often. Our 5 minute drive to their house was very nice and we will miss it a lot. Mark's brother and his beautiful new wife are here as well. We will miss Daniel and Jenny, and the girls will too. Our friends we have made during our three year stay here have been top-notch. My new momma friends have been the reason for any sanity I have left after my struggles with adjusting to motherhood. Our little Audrey's God-parents, Daniel Duran and Andrea Torzala have turned out to be great friends and have made us feel involved in our church community. St Tims will be missed as well. It is a very special place. We have met wonderful neighbors and have been very blessed to stay in such a nice community with great parks and playgrounds nearby.

Still, we are thrilled to take the best opportunity offered to us. Georgia will get me a degree, Mark a better income, and hopefully a bit more help with babysitting from friends and family. When I get a chance I am going to post a ton of pictures from our great and special years here. But for now...just one parting shot...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Though I walk through the valley...

I complain that the summer heat is coming, weather that is probably not so different from that which Jesus saw in Jerusalem.

I whine that I have to turn on my air conditioning in April. He had to silently carry a cross out in the blinding sun.

I wonder how long I have to wait until an opportunity opens up back in GA...three years? Probably not as hard as descending to hell and battling Satan for three days.

I think I have a hard time breathing when I am alone and being screamed at by two babies in the evenings. It was all Christ could do to painfully struggle to catch his breath as he hung, bleeding from the cross as he was laughed at.

I think it's time I see that I am not alone in this and whatever challenge is laid before me and my family, as long as we use it to see our blessings, God will be glorified in our decisions and we will be more than Okay.

We are in limbo about what job Mark will have one month from now. Maybe a training job here in Arizona, maybe a sales job in Georgia...maybe the same darn evening call center job he's been so bored with for the last 3 years here. But our God is faithful, and that means we will all be in good health, with a roof over our heads and food on the table.

I don't want to be spiteful anymore. Spite is what makes us miserable. If we are going to stay here, I will allow myself no excuses...We will start anew. Maybe we won't have any more money than we do now, but I have to stop waiting for change. Waiting has been the name of the game for threeand a half years now. Waiting to get our own place, to not be pregnant anymore, for summer to be over, to not be nursing anymore, to not be pregnant anymore, to move to Georgia...and the list could go on the rest of my life. Truth is I am starting to see that my soul has a real sense of unrest. I have a longing spirit, and I'm catching on to the fact that it doesn't go away when good things happen. My longing is because this whole life is temporary. Not just my stay here in Arizona, although I still hope it is...But there's a whole other life we are waiting to begin and that is the cause for the restlessness in our souls.

So we aren't doing this alone. This Holy Week is teaching me that. As I reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, I see not only that Christ walked the steepest steps of human suffering first and my own are a walk in the park in comparison. His life culmination as he defeated hell is the reason I don't need to focus on which job Mark gets. I need to be the best wife and mother I can right now because my real destination, my real reason for my soul's unrest is my ultimate destination in the arms Christ, and the promise that I am safe forever with him who won that Easter battle for me.

I don't want my girls to see that I live life this way. I want them to learn to be women who are strong in Christ and confident in his promises. I want to teach them to make life decisions based on trust in HIM and based on love for themselves and for those God has placed in their lives. I want them to look at every situation with gratitude first and discernment second.

My beautiful girls are already helping me find my way home. Happy Easter!

And of course some pictures to help lighten the mood =-)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

40 days in the desert

It's lent now, the 40 day long Catholic season in which we prepare ourselves for Easter. We make sacrifices, repent for our sins, and reflect on Christ's 40 days of fasting and temptation in the desert.

I can honestly say that our family is very involved in this Lenten season. Not only are we in an actual desert, we are stuck in a very challenging time, waiting for change and testing our strength. Mark is working hard on applying for jobs all over to move on with his career, and I am stuck here in my house with the girls and most of the time no car. We are both so tired and impatient, wondering what may be the next step for our little family of four. Will it be in GA? Will it be here in Phoenix? Will we be able to feed our whole family? The future is scary, but it is even scarier to think of being stuck in this unsettled period of question. We simply have to move on soon. We just have to.

The kids are definitely keeping us distracted a good deal. We decided that if there were a video of our life with the girls, it would, without question, be a comedy. You would be laughing the whole time. Nora is a barrel of laughs. On our way to take Mark to work one day we were stopped at a red light. It was quiet, a sleepy morning (uhh or well 12:30pm), when she snapped us out of it, yelling, "GOOOO!!!" We cracked up, so now every time we sit at a red light, she does that. She also tortures our cats. She giggles and squeals as she chases them around the house. That's pretty funny to watch too. Every time we go to Costco, which is like twice a week or something ridiculous like that, she yells "CA-CO!" as we pull into the parking lot. She calls stop signs "Stopssss.....Ign", and the list goes on.

Nora had a tooth extracted a few weeks ago, full anesthesia and all, the same weekend Mark finished his degree. Crazy times for us. Poor Nora was traumatized. Now her separation anxiety has reached an all time high. She has nightmares frequently now, usually during her naps. May be the trauma, may just be her age. Audrey is sleeping great though. She just went two nights in a row without waking or feeding. She turned 4 months today! To celebrate, we are taking her to get 2 shots tomorrow...exciting.

I'm sorry, I just ran out of energy and this happens to be the most boring post ever. I'll try to come back with something really good in the next week. Let me leave you with a parting shot...
have a nice day...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The February update!

This blog is terribly overdue...much like our second born daughter was! Yep, Audrey Ruth was born November 25th, and that's beyond fashionably late for her due date on the 12th! The evening before Thanksgiving, our little butterball arrived. Well, not little, more like gigantic. Audrey lay there screaming on the scale and a dozen nurses stood around her...busy saving her life? no. She was healthy. They were all placing bets on her weight. She was a whopping 10 lbs, 2 oz! I don't know whether I should be proud of my work or humiliated. Either way, we are overjoyed to have our sweet little angel in our arms now.

It was exciting to bring her home and introduce the sisters and rather funny to watch it actually happen. Nora got this deer-in-the-headlights look and just kept pointing at her and saying "baby...baby...baby...baby...". After all the talking we did with her beforehand, she was very caught off guard to say the least. Its been a bumpy road as they have tried to get used to each other. As the stay-at-home mom of the family, it has been very challenging for me. That's not to say it isn't extremely rewarding and tons of fun as well. Of course I am home alone with the girls every weeknight for the fussy hour, cooking and serving dinner, giving baths, trying to read bedtime stories and get both kiddos down for bed. That's not easy. Between about 5:30 and 8:30PM, most nights I lose my mind. Audrey often wakes up from her nap screaming and inconsolable, which upsets Nora and makes her whine. All the while I am trying to finish cooking and get Nora to eat. And try bathing a toddler, dressing her and reading to her with a screaming 2 month old attached to your chest in a baby carrier! Unfortunately bedtime is not all that relaxing for Nora...but she is a trooper. I think she's relieved to have some peace and quiet in the dark with her music. I should be so lucky! I love my girls and my heart breaks for them, but I'll be glad when Mark finally has evenings off, one way or another.

After 2 long years of online classes, I can't believe it, Mark is graduating next weekend! It has been so hard on our family to have his home time in the mornings be monopolized by school work on the computer. Full time school and full time work has taken its toll on Mark. He's amazing! He still finds time to be a supporting husband and loving father. What a journey this has been these last three years! Starting with the move to AZ from GA, we had our 1 yr anniversary, and the next week became pregnant with our first child, we both got into new jobs, bought our first home together, I left my job, had Nora, then 9 months later we found out we were expecting AGAIN! The economy went down the toilet, Mark's sales job suffered, we had our second beautiful girl, and Mark is now graduating all in less than three years. We are both different people than we were when we moved out here, after all we have been through and seen. And we are so blessed.

So now Nora is sick. Last tuesday (one week ago) I took her to the doc for lethargy, a low fever and fever blisters. He found that she had sores all in her mouth, hands, knees and backside, and diagnosed her with Hand, Foot and mouth disease. (Not to be confused with hoof and mouth--very different thing there) So as he looked in her mouth, he found something else, an abscess above one of her front top teeth. Apparently she got it when she fell and bumped her tooth. We went to the dentist yesterday and he confirmed it then referred us to an ORAL SURGEON! She has to have the tooth pulled to save the adult tooth coming behind it. My poor baby is gonna have a missing front tooth until about 6 yrs old! So next friday she'll have the surgery...that's right, surgery. She has to be put under general anesthesia and everything. I am going to cry like a baby. She's going to be so scared, and they say they usually wake up crying. I am about to cry now, typing this! I'm such a baby. My little Nora will be beautiful no matter what happens. I love my girls so much. They are the most wonderfully beautiful things in the world to me.

I'm putting some pics of our Valentines day toddler party up. We had five toddlers and two babies. It was fun to see all the babies now that they are almost two.