Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Birthday Party

I took Asher to his first birthday party today. It was great fun! Dylan DiYeso turned two. His mom Lexi and I played soccer together in college. It has been great reconnecting with Lexi in the last few months especially since she has one little boy, Dylan who is just a few months older than Asher, and she just had another little boy, William in February. Lexi and I had lockers next to each other for three years in college and I have really enjoyed our new friendship!

So anyway, we went to Dylan's birthday at Carrier Park today. I thought that the party was yesterday so we did a dress rehearsal and then today we did the real thing! Asher has been saying, "Happy!" and "Cake!" for two days.

Here he is getting the real thing:

Also, here is a picture of Dylan getting ready to blow out the #2 candle. Happy Birthday Dylan!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Topsy Turvy Type of Day

Mimi with Asher last spring.

My sweet Grandmother fell ill this week. I haven't posted about it, because it has been really hard on me. Her real name is Muriel Bland Pace Newcomb. She goes by the name "Mimi" and has been called that her entire life. I remember her telling someone over the phone once how to spell it, she said,"M-I-M-I" and it is a great irony and something that I love that my kids call my mom "RiRi" or "R-I-R-I".

She has been a woman that I have admired and loved fiercefully my whole life. She was a licensed pilot at the age of 16. She was a revolutionary...women had only received the right to vote two years before she was born. And here she was flying! She was married to my grandfather (who was a pilot in WWII) and had children during the babyboom. She has a fiery personality and is always fun to talk to. She has been an avid reader my entire life, when she began to lose her eyesight to do macular degeneration, her inability to read was the biggest loss.

We would live with my grandparents in between moves and during summers when we would return to the states. Their property called "Chickasaw", has the allure of Narnia to me. They have a 1/4 mile long driveway through heavy woods, with Spanish moss hanging from the branches. When you hit the driveway at 300 Lovers Lane, you just feel peace wash over your soul. I always felt like it was "home" whenever we arrived.

Mimi would make me poundcake and cinnamon toast for breakfast. Each were made in her own special way, not in the toaster-but the oven!. I would wake up late and she would stop whatever it was that she was doing to make this special treat for me. And then she would sit and the table and talk to me. It was such a sweet time.

Their house was better than anywhere else that my parents could have taken us. They lived on the water and had a beach front on a lake. We would swim all day, water ski, tube, play, capture frogs and lizards and have more adventures than you could imagine. It truly does feel like a magical place for a child!

Well Mimi became ill earlier this week. She was admitted to the hospital on Thursday with dehydration, pneumonia and other complications. Last night, my mom noticed that her legs turned purple. My mom went to get a doctor and after they returned, the doctor was talking to Mimi and she seized up and stop breathing. The doctor put an oxygen mask on Mimi and she was able to resume breathing on her own. My mom noticed that her legs color had returned to pink and they assumed that a blood clot had traveled through her system. This is not a good thing. Blood clots go to one of three places; the brain, the heart or the lungs.

They called their priest and he administered last rites. My dad started calling me, my brother and my sister. They told us that she wasn't expected to make it through the night.

I was so sad. I cried for a long time and then I started looking for pictures, letters, anything that I had that could remind me of her. I found a stack of letters that she wrote to me in college. I started writing both of my grandmothers my junior year of college asking their advice on life issues. It was so sweet to reread and remember her before she lost her eyesight, hearing and some of her memory.

Then this morning I called my mom and she said that was slightly responding to my mom's voice, but it still didn't look good even though she made it through the night.

About an hour later, my mom called and said that she left the hospital to go home for a shower and to eat something. When she returned to the hospital, Mimi was sitting up and talking! She spent the rest of the day entertaining family members in the ICU. The doctors and staff are mystified over this turn of events (as are we!).

Mimi is still in poor health and has a long road to battle the pneumonia and other complications. But for today, I got to talk to my grandmother and tell her that I love her. I hope I get to say it again tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No Rest for the Weary

Sorry for no posts in the last few days, I have been pretty busy with deadlines at work and haven't had as much free time as I would like!

But yesterday, it looked like I was ready to achieve a little down time. I worked all morning as the kids were at Mother's Morning Out and after I picked them up, I brought them straign home and both laid down to take a nap. I finished up a few little details with work, picked up the house, ate lunch and then headed outside to my front porch to drink a Diet Coke and read my newest Real Simple. Soon after I sat down (I mean, five minutes), a dude comes riding up my street on a really old riding mower. He (and this is hard to describe) takes his mower off-road into the front yard of the house across the street. Our nut-job neighbor recently died and currently nobody occupies the house. So this guy is riding his mower in this yard, he does a lap around the house and drives back down the street. That's it, just a lap around the house. Here is a picture of the guy:

I took this picture because the whole scene weirded me out so much. Last night I asked Matt if he knew who it was and he said, "oh that's just Everett. He was one of Joe's friends." I guess I would like to think that when I die, my friends would miss me so much that they would like to take a lap around my house on their riding mowers. hmph.

Anyway, as soon as Everett drives down the street...Lucy wakes up from her nap. I had a total of 15 minutes. After I get her up, change her diaper; I hear Asher crying in the monitor. He pooped in his diaper. So I change his diaper and he is up and at 'em. Right after we return upstairs, I hear Slappy crying. So I go get her back in from outside. As I am returning into the house I see my Diet Coke (unopened), my Real Simple (barely cracked) and Lucy's baby monitor. I also see that my quiet, restful afternoon while the kids took a nap is going to go unrealized.

I wasn't able to clean any of that up until 10pm last night, when things finally settled down around our house. The days are long but the years are short, right?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fixing the Network

I just managed to fix my network after it has been down since Sunday. Don't bother calling me amazing-I know I am! My computer troubles having been weighing me down for the past week. I tried networking my printer last weekend. After four hours, I managed to get it to work and I have no idea how. After using my printer (and loving it) for three days, my network card in my computer broke apart, so I had to go buy a new one. Which meant I had to reconfigure my network again to accomodate this new card on an old computer. This sent my printer server beserk and I couldn't get it to work again. I called Linksys, they told me that this printer server was defective and I needed to take it back and get another one. This is no small feat with two children to network your house, then have it break down, then have to run all over town to get another server and then try to do it again. The new server didn't work either and after another TWO hours on the phone with a Linksys tech, he finally checked the compatability with the server the printer and guess what? They don't connect. So I again had to return the server and get a NEW one. Once I got home, the whole network was down and I couldn't get it fixed. I called Charter and they are sending someone out TOMORROW to fix it. I just got off of the phone with Matt and he told me that he messed with the cable lines outside of our house while I was gone getting the new printer server.

So I just went outside, rearranged the cables and Voila! I fixed it. Now, I have to attempt to reconnect my new printer server AGAIN for the third time this week. -sigh- I just don't have the energy.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Windy Gap Today

This afternoon, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went out to Windy Gap. I am so glad that I took my camera because these are some of the shots that I got:

You can barely see the head injuries that Asher sustained this week. I swear, that kid falls headfirst into everything. I've actually considered asking for an MRI on several occasions because of how hard he falls. We have had an exceptionally hard week!
It's the daddy jungle gym!

Asher is a stagecoach driver. I really love the pots on the side of the wagon!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Celebrate Earth Day and clean out your house!

We decided to celebrate Earth Day a day early by cleaning out all of the electronic crap that has been junking up our house for far too long.
Yesterday on the blog they listed a link to find out where you can recycle your electronics safely and I found one here in Asheville. It is awesome! They clean up computers according to Department of Defense standards. Any computer that can be salvaged they give to a needy organization or school and anything else that can be resold, reused or recycled, they take care of it.
It is great because Matt's work was getting new computers last year and so he needed to get rid of the towers that they had. Unfortunately, he doesn't know a whole lot about computers and so he didn't know if there was sensitive material on the computers. For a long time, these desktop towers were in our garage; which wasn't too bad. But then he decided to clean out our garage but didn't feel comfortable giving them away and you can't really just throw computers into your garbage can because it will leach lead and mercury into the soil. So these two computers once it was determined that they could no longer stay in our garage and couldn't go to the landfill, Matt put them outside in our yard. Which is where they have stayed for the last seven or eight months. That's right months.
But today, we took those computers, an old laptop and an old fax machine and dropped them off at the computer recycling center and they are removed from our lives! Freedom! I love it! Thank you Blue Ridge Recycling!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

News Lady Falls Smashing Grapes

I love when everyday moments are captured on television and I would hate it if this were me. BTW: If I were stomping on grapes, this would def. be me!

How stupid are you? says I'm 29% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!

Go to

I enjoyed the challenge!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Picture of the Cousins

Here is the picture that I blogged about in February. Matt's mom, sister and I all took the kids to Wal-Mart to get their pictures taken together and it was a disaster-because of Asher. Just take a look at this picture and you get a window into what it was like for Matt's mom to raise all four of her kids so close together!

If you would like to look more closely at the picture, just click on it and it will open up in a larger window!


I just got back from working out at the YMCA this morning. I was fired up because I had to wait a little while to get the kids into the childcare, so I was ready to jump on a treadmill and just get going. I scored a treadmill right away, I set the machine up and was running. About 30 seconds into my run, I caught a whiff of the guy next to me.

Living here in Asheville, you get an opportunity to live amongst the crunchiest people in America. Many times, I love that characteristic of this city. When I am working out, I am not a fan. I mean, these people STINK. It is not like, wow-maybe you forgot the Deo this morning. no. They are fanatically against deoderant. And they might even tell you, "after a few days-the stink goes away." I am here to tell you; no it does not. And it doesn't go away after 30 minutes on the treadmill.

I tried to give the guy a benefit of the doubt. I looked at how much time he had been on the treadmill, I mean...maybe I was catching him at the end of the run. Nope. Eight minutes. He had been on the treadmill for EIGHT MINUTES and smelled like a landfill. I thought to myself, well at least I will have eight minutes at the end of my run without this smell. No again. After he finished, he got off and adjusted his time on the signup wall and started to run for ANOTHER 30 MINUTES. Arghhh!

After I finished my run, I went over to get my ab routine underway. I was doing abs and smelled the bad b.o. smell again. I even felt bad, like "maybe I stink and here I was judging that guy and being annoyed by the fact that he is out in public-SWEATING and stinking. " But no, it was another crunchy stinky gym rat. Seriously? Two in one day?

At least the Y requires you to 1) wear clothes and 2) it can't be denim. Otherwise, I don't think that I could go back.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

We're back!

We are back from our vacation at the beach! It was a great week and I have uploaded a lot of the pictures to my flickr account and they are all tagged as "beach". If you want to take a look, just click on my flickr ad on the right!
Since we are back, I wanted to share what we learned this week:

1. Try to travel when your kids normally nap. Sounds like a good idea, except if it makes you hit 5pm traffic in Atlanta.

2. Bring a portable DVD player. It is a wonderful invention. Use it and then turn it off. Ours broke on the way home and we had to do the whole six hour drive without it. I almost cried, but then it turned out to be great family time--but believe me when I say, it was work to make it home.

3. The beach is WAY more fun when it is 80 degrees out. But a 20-month old will still love the beach no matter the temperature outside. He will even get naked when it is 55 degrees outside.

4. Always take grandparents with you for at least part of your "family vacation". They will give you a much needed break when you are out of 1) energy and 2) ideas. It is even better to bring both sets of grandparents with you!

5. Bubbles are the best toy ever.

6. All Asher ever needs to have fun is bubbles, ball and rocks to throw.

7. Lucy cutting teeth at the beach is not fun.

8. Paying someone to clean the house once you leave is a wise investment, as is using the wash and fold option at the laundromat so you come home with all clean laundry.

9. It is amazing how many times you have to go the grocery store during seven days at the beach.

10. All you need to redeem a rainy, freezing week at the beach is several hours of 80 degree, sunny weather. It wipes away the crappy days in a matter of minutes.

I will let you fill in the gaps and figure out how our week went! We are so glad to be home and it is even better to return home and still have a whole weekend to enjoy here!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Beach is Lovely

Hello All! We are still down here at the beach. Unfortunately, it is about 55 degrees today, but the weather is expected to improve and hopefully we will be in the high 70's-80's by Tuesday. We have had a wonderful time down here in Florida. Matt's parents joined us last night and my parents will be here this afternoon. I have a lot of great pictures, but of course left the cord at home again. Here is a picture from last year's girls trip here to give you a taste of what we are experiencing:
I had to search for over an hour today to find wireless service, so I doubt that I will be back very often. In any case, things here are great and we are so loving the very badly needed vacation!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The number you are trying to reach...

We have left for the beach today! We will be in Panama City for the next seven days-hooray! I will try to update and post pictures, but maybe not!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

My Humps

There is little that is brilliant on YouTube. It tends to suck you in and you can't stop watching. But this-this video is BRILLIANT! I couldn't stop watching Alanis Morrisette's take on My Humps. Just watch it, you'll see.

My Daughter Ashley

Yesterday, I picked Asher up from my friend Ellen's house. He went there dressed in jeans, chuck taylors and a t-shirt. This is what he looked like when I picked him up:
Asher spilled his drink all over himself and so Ellen dressed him in her daughters clothes until his clothese dried. That didn't happen, because it was too funny and so she left him in the girl clothes until I picked him up. It was one of the funnier moments of my short stint as a mother. I always wondered what he would look like as a little girl. Now I know and it ain't pretty!

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Many of you know that I am a pretty serious television watcher. I decided to share with you today what I will be watching this week and how excited I am about each show.

Sunday Night:
1. The Amazing Race: It is two hours tonight! I better see Mirna and Schmirna hit the road tonight.

2. Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel. Is anyone else out there watching this? It is one of my new favorite shows. So many of the amazing scenes have never been captured on film before. The Snow Leopard killing a mountain goat and dragging it back up the mountain was amazing. Also, is it just me or are panda bears look like they are cartoons and not real?

Monday Night:
3. The Hills. I am a sucker for MTV reality television.

Also, the national championship for Basketball. I am not so much excited, but I know that I will be forced to watch it. Which is okay, because I have an extensive television viewing list. So this is my penence.

Tuesday Night:
4. American Idol. It is unbelieveable that freakin' Sanjaya is still on this show. I found my renewed love in Gwen Stefani last week and can't wait for Tuesday.

Wednesday Night:
5. Friday Night Lights. Yes this is fiction, but since I love me some high school students...I love this show.

6. Top Design. Todd Oldham sucks as the host...but I love seeing new design ideas.

7. American Idol results show. Why watch Tuesday if you won't watch Wednesday?

Where to begin? New Grey's, new the Office, new 30 Rock...My TiVo is going to get burned out from all of the joy.

I will be at the beach starting on Thursday, so I doubt that I will be watching much tv beyond Thursday night. But what joy is going to come this week from all of the new shows! I love it!!!