Monday, December 29, 2008

Yes I'm still alive

Ok so wow I suck at updating this thing. Lots of fun stuff has been happening though. And now that's it's calmed down maybe I will update more.

So Reese took her 1st plane trip back in November. We flew up to MA to visit Anne. It was super fun and she loved the plane ride. While there we went to the Science Museum, did lots of shopping, and checked out a local winery.

Of course we both missed Mat tons while we were gone. After coming back Mat planned a surprise dinner for us. We try to go out once a month on a "date" without the kid. The surprise was that he took me back to the restaurant we went to on our 1st date when we met. Dinner was delicious and definitely a little less awkward than the 1st time we went. It was followed by an amazing dessert of huge pieces of dark and white chocolate fudge. Or at least I thought so, until I saw Mat's plate didn't have any white chocolate. And the white chocolate was kinda shaped like a box, a ring box. When I finally put it together Mat was getting on his knee and saying wonderful things that ended with asking me to marry him. Of course I said yes.

Much to Hillary's dismay we went back to my parents house to enjoy some Champagne and celebrating. Wedding planning has been going well and I'll keep updating on that. We're planning for Fall 2009 but no set date yet.

Christmas was tons of fun with lots of visits to see Santa. I will get some more pics from that and post again soon. But here is a cute video of Reese singing Jingle Bells

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Next Food Network Star

On the weekends I generally like to cook breakfast one morning. Now I don;t like eggs so that means generally I make pancakes or waffles. I like french toast but I never remember to buy bread. Anyway this Saturday I told Reese I was going to make pancakes.

She loves to help in the kitchen so she promptly walked over to wear the aprons are and asked for hers. We pulled a chair up to the counter and I got out the Bisquick, milk, and eggs. I showed her the recipe and asked what number was in front of the Bisquick. She said "2" so I gave her the cup measure and told her to fill it up 2 times. I helped a little with leveling it out and then she dumped it into the bowl. Next we poured the milk into the cup measure and she carefully poured it in. Finally I gave her a separate bowl and let her crack the eggs. This is something she's been doing for awhile now. She loves to crack eggs, and actually does it very well. The first one was perfect. A little tap on the bowl and then she pulled it open with her hands. The second one was kinda more of a squishing with her hands, but still no shell fell in so I was proud. We added the eggs to the bowl and she grabbed the whisk to start mixing.

I'm not gonna lie I was a little fearful at this point. usually I mix at little so there isn't dry Bisquick that can fly everywhere still in the bowl. However this was her breakfast so I decided to let her go for it. She slowly stirred everything together and kept almost everything in the bowl. Prob only a tablespoon of batter kinda flung out onto the counter accidentally.

After mixing I pulled out the griddle and Reese was going to watch me cook the pancakes. I poured the first 2 on and then she asked please if she could pour the first. I decided to let her try. Let's just say it wasn't a circle, but it was all on the griddle :-) Next we watched for bubbles on the top so we could flip them. I helped Reese flip her pancake (almost missed the griddle) and she was so happy. I decided she was having so much fun that I would let her make special Reese pancakes that were small for her. These she poured all by herself and again I helped flip but not very much.

Then we stuck the rest of the batter in the fridge till Grammy and Dad-Dad came down so we could make their pancakes fresh. As soon as they came down Reese was back on her chair pouring and flipping the pancakes. They were so proud of her.

Reese was an excellent cook and was very cautious of putting her hands near the griddle. It was very cute and we had no major messes and even better, no injuries :-) With her personality and love of talking to people I think she could make on the Food Network someday :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Awesome Article

Usually people post links to an article at this point. but I will save you a click and copy and paste it here. It's Howard Kutz of the Washington Post. WARNING: apparently the Washington Post is a Democratic Newspaper which makes nothing it writes actually true or newsworthy.

Really I think that statement is crap but some other people think it's true so I thought I'd throw it out there ;-)

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 5, 2008; 7:42 AM

ST. PAUL, Sept. 5--In the end, John McCain took us back to Vietnam.
It didn't work for Bob Dole in '96. It didn't work for John Kerry in '04. But it provided an emotional climax to McCain's address on the last night of the Republican convention.
John McCain is no Sarah Palin, but for a man who famously doesn't get along with teleprompters, he managed a pretty strong delivery. The first two-thirds of the speech, though, were strikingly conventional. He reeled off reliable Republican bromides--lower taxes, strong defense, judges who don't legislate from the bench--without much in the way of detail. Perhaps he didn't need to, for he didn't face the where's-the-beef challenge that Barack Obama tried to overcome last week. McCain seemed most exercised about resuming offshore drilling, a position he opposed until a few weeks ago.
The only crossover pitch, domestically speaking, was a paen to school choice, despite the fact that McCain rarely talks about education.
He tried to reclaim the maverick mantle, declaring: "I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you."
McCain repeated lines I've heard him say dozens of times, arguing that the Republican Party had lost its way: "We let Washington change us. We lost their trust." A veiled shot at President Bush, whose name he briefly mentioned just once?
When he turned to the POW narrative, the crowd seemed hushed, rather than electrified, as it had been by his running mate. McCain's ordeal, and his bravery, are quite familiar by now, but the story still has power when he tells it. He coupled the tale with a declaration of how much he hates war, trying to tie his captivity into a personal transformation that launched him on a larger mission of keeping America safe.
But that meant the speech looked backward, and in politics, the voters want to know what you're going to do for them tomorrow.
McCain and Obama could not be more different, but there are similarities. Neither was the choice of his party's establishment, and each man is, beyond programs and policies, selling himself.
NYT: "The nominee's friend described him as a 'restless reformer who will clean up Washington.' His defeated rival described him going to the capital to 'drain that swamp.' His running mate described their mission as 'change, the goal we share.' And that was at the incumbent party's convention.
"After watching two political conclaves the last two weeks, it would be easy to be confused about which was really the gathering of the opposition. As Senator John McCain accepted the Republican nomination for president, he and his supporters sounded the call of insurgents seeking to topple the establishment, even though their party heads the establishment."
The insider who's really an outsider. Hmm.
Politico's Roger Simon strikes a similar note:
"If you didn't know that John McCain was a Republican, you might think he was running against the Republicans . . . John McCain is a maverick who has now done what mavericks almost never do: win. And now he must lead a party while maintaining his independence from it."
The National Review crowd is underwhelmed. Rich Lowry:
"Don't focus on the oratory. If Mark Salter wanted to, he could have written prose for the ages, but it wouldn't have seemed true to McCain. Don't focus on the delivery. The election isn't going to be decided on speech-making ability. Focus on the theme--a populist fighter for you. This is exactly where McCain needs to be.
"Just as Obama needed to ground his politics of hope last week, McCain needed to ground his politics of honor. And he did. At least thematically. What's still lacking is the substance. He needs three simple, stark policy proposals to protect and ease the way of life of average Americans, and I think he already has two (on energy and health care) and can get another (a middle-class tax cut). Then, he needs to master them and talk about them wherever he goes . . .
"So I wasn't bowled over by it, but I'm still encouraged."
That's a rave compared to Jonah Goldberg:
"Ehhhhh . . . maybe I'm missing some grand strategy or tactics, but I think it was a missed opportunity. Good that he did some policy. I liked that he championed free trade -- something he didn't have to do. I liked the fight, fight, fight stuff. Good that he was specific. I can come up with specific compliments about this or that. But it was flat, forced and basically a free pass for Obama.
"Again, maybe strategically that was the plan and maybe there was a good reason. Maybe Palin will be the pitbull and he'll be the statesman for the general election. And maybe that will work. But politically and substantively I think there should have been more oomph, more fun, more energy and more contrast. Civics value: B. Political value: Gentlemen's C."
Andrew Sullivan, an Obama fan, was not moved:
"Quite a deflation after the drama of last night with the sportscaster-governor. It made me realize how much I am still fond of this guy. And also clearer about why this is not his moment. The specifics were very vague, and the entire presentation based on biography, nostalgia and a kind of strained, exhausted mildness. His performance at Saddleback was much, much better. He seemed very tired to me."
Jonathan Cohn wondered where was the economic beef?
"If this was McCain's answer to voter anxiety about the economy, it wasn't too impressive.
"As you've been reading--or, perhaps, as you've noticed on your own--economic policy has not been a big theme this week in Minneapolis. The Republicans have been campaigning heavily on McCain's character and supposed leadership skills. To the extent they recognzied the high anxiety over employment, wages, or health care costs, they have spent most of their time criticizing Barack Obama's plans for relief rather than offering their own. Only when they have made the case for more oil drilling--or that old Republican standby of cutting taxes--have they talked substance. And even that's been pretty thin gruel."
Jacob Heilbrunn:
"For all the hullabaloo about whether John McCain would match Sarah Palin's performance at the Republican convention, it wasn't even close. Where was the tropic thunder? McCain may have ended his speech with a Knute Rockne-like cry for Americans to fight and fight some more -- for what he never really said -- but most of his speech was a snooze, delivered in the tone of a kindly old uncle reminiscing about World War II before fretting about how those pesky Russians are stirring up trouble again."
The big buzz, really, is still all about Sarah. Michelle Cottle says the guv is deceptively effective:
"Nothing in the substance of Palin's speech struck me as particularly noteworthy. It put a high-powered spin on her exceedingly thin resume and then dished out large chunks of red meat to the faithful. Immediately afterward, the commentators I was listening too were surprised by how harsh Palin had been on Obama. But a VP candidate is supposed to be an attack dog. What, they assumed that because she resembles a grown-up Gidget that she couldn't throw a punch? Talk about a misguided sterotype. If anything, being an attractive woman means that she can be far, far more vicious than her male counterparts without coming across as brutish--and, just as importantly, without having to worry so much about getting slapped back.
"A lot of Dems will go to bed nervous. They should. Palin is still a political lightweight who is in no way qualified to be second in line for the presidency. But she is a charming lightweight. And if George W. Bush taught us anything, it is exactly how far that can take you in American politics."
Hanna Rosin explores a question I've wondered about: how no one talks about teenage irresponsibility any more--referring, of course, to the pregnancy of Bristol Palin:
"What's missing from the conservative reaction is still remarkable. Just 15 years ago, a different Republican vice president was ripping into the creators of Murphy Brown for flaunting a working woman who chose to become a single mother. This time around, there's no stigma, no shame, no sin attached to what Dan Quayle would once have mockingly called Bristol Palin's 'lifestyle' choices. In fact, so cavalier are conservatives about Sarah Palin's wreck of a home life that they make the rest of us look stuffy and slow-witted by comparison. 'I think a hard-working, well-organized C.E.O. type can handle it very well,' said Phyllis Schlafly, of the Eagle Forum.
"Suddenly it's the Obamas, with their oh-so-perfect marriage and their Dick Van Dyke in the evenings and their two boringly innocent young girls, who seem like the fuddy-duddies.
"What happened? How did the culture war get flipped on its head?"
Jack Shafer looks at the McCain camp slamming the media (an effort that now includes a Sarah Palin fundraising letter bemoaning her unfair treatment):
"A politician can't launch an effective anti-press campaign until he attracts the sort of coverage that he's able to frame as unfair or inaccurate. Sarah Palin was doubly blessed in the last week, as the press asked questions about Bristol Palin's pregnancy and completed the vetting that the McCain never really started . . .
"If Palin had a prayer of winning the blessings of such conservatives as Charles Krauthammer and David Frum, let alone political reporters, she'd be slathering them with flattery. Because she doesn't, she's turning the negatives reported in the press (lack of experience, mediocre sumé, beneficiary of tokenism) into her positives. [The] press is only attacking me, she grins, because they're partners with the elitists who fear that John McCain and I are coming to Washington to tear their playhouse down."
Turning to Steve Schmidt's complaint to me about the alleged viciousness of the Palin coverage: "At the same time the McCain campaign was protesting the press corps' overinterest in the Palin family, it was arranging for a future member of the clan--Levi Johnston--to attend the convention. He's Bristol's fiance and the father of the child she's carrying. For the benefit of the network cameras, the campaign seated Johnston in a row with the Palin family and Cindy McCain, where the newborn Trig Palin was passed up and down the line like the campaign prop he's become.
"Palin's mixed message says: Please respect the privacy of my family--as I exploit them. Respect my family's privacy, but let me wrap myself in baby Trig to prove my anti-abortion stand. Question for the Commission on Presidential Debates: If you let Palin nurse Trig as she debates Joe Biden on Oct. 2 at Washington University, will you level the field by letting Biden bottle-feed one of his grandchildren?"
Palin, says Shafer, will "play the role of Spiro Agnew to McCain's Nixon, dismissing reporters' tough questions as effete, impudent, sacrilegious, snobby, intrusive, unpatriotic, hostile, disrespectful, chauvinistic, 'East Coast,' unfair, unbalanced, liberal, biased, trivial, hypothetical, elitist, and as partisan attempts to lasso her with a 'gotcha.' "
And finally, I worked the convention's radio row for reaction to Palin. Hint: The right loves her.
Just when I finally figured out how to drive from Minneapolis to St. Paul, it's time for me to head home.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reese's Education

Mat and I have started talking about where we will by a house after we are married. Like all responsible parents we are looking at the schools in the areas to make sure there will be a good school for Reese. Unfortunately since we won't have much saved up we prob won't be able to afford a house in the "good school" neighborhood. But it will be fine if McCain is elected. His education plan says I can send Reese to whatever school I want to. If I think the school by my house isn't good enough I can choose to move her to a better school. Hooray :-)

Except now Reese's school is not in our neighborhood. How is she going to get to school? The buses aren't going to drive all over Catonsville going to all the schools. Families with only one working parents or parents with flexible schedules will be fine. Their kids can go to the better school b/c they can drive and pick them up. Kids whose parents can't? I guess they are stuck at the bad school.

And what happens when 100 kids try to move to the better school? Now it's over crowded and therefore it's performance is going to decline. So we'll just cap the number of kids who can transfer. The firs 50 parents to complain get to give their kids a better education.

McCain isn't going to actually improve schools, for that he would need money, and to get money he'd have to raise taxes. No instead students and teachers will simply move to better schools and the bad schools will be stuck w/ less money, bad teachers, and the kids whose parents didn't sign up fast enough or can't drive their kids to the better school.

But it's ok b/c Reese is young and early education doesn't matter. Kids don't need to be educated until they are at least 5, and even in kindergarten we shouldn't teach to much. Are we seriously kidding ourselves?? So many studies that show how much easier it is for a child to pick up a language at a young age. Is it fair to assume they can't learn other things as well? Basic math (adding and subtracting), science (how the body works, how plants grows, learning about animals), engineering and mechanics (building things and working with springs or pulleys), and computers (using a mouse, playing a game). America is ranked way to low in the above areas. Why shouldn't we start early and show kids how these topics are fun. To many people preach "Let kids be kids" so we should just let them run around and play with out making them learn anything except what they learn from life. But really what they learn and what we are saying is enjoy your life until you have to go to school b/c that is no fun. Not the message I want to pass on to Reese.

I am glad to see Obama's zero-five plan that will help improve preschools and daycares to help children start learning at an early age. I love Reese's school. She learns Spanish, music and rhythms, math, science, and so many other things. I wish more children could have that experience but unfortunately $800-$1000 a month is too much to pay. Luckily new tax cuts for child care may help more families afford quality daycare. And if not, Obama will improve schools by recruiting teachers and creating incentives for them. I listen to my sister talk all about how No Child Left Behind is not working. We are both excited for how Obama is going to improve this program.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fun Fun Fun

OK I still owe a blog about NY and I am working on it but I'm gonna update about this week real quick b/c it was a good week.

Reese has been working on potty training but not really pushing her to much. Thursday night she did really well using the potty so I decided to send her to school Friday in her big girl undies instead of a diaper. I sent three changes of clothes just in case as well. When I came back at the end of the day she was still in the same outfit. No accidents, even during nap time. we continued at home and made it all day w/ no accidents. Saturday Mat and I took her to the National Zoo, Mat hadn't been since he was a kid. I was worried about no diapers but luckily we made it through the day w/ only one accident at the zoo (and one at home as well). Today we tried for day three. We went to Hillary's house for Neil's 31st b-day party. I kept getting distracted by hanging out w/ people to remind her to go potty and she was distracted playing with friends. So we had a couple accidents. But I am still very proud of my little lady.

Thursday was a big day besides using the potty lots. I received a letter from the courthouse saying her name change was complete. Her legal name is now Reese Elizabeth Stewart!!!! Big mistake giving her Jonathan's name. One of many but relatively easy to fix. Now I get some practice for the LONG process after your name changes. It will come in handy after I'm married I'll know who needs to be notified. Reese may not have bank accounts or a drivers license but there is still social security, the courts, doctors, school ,etc. Also good practice since her name may change again if things go the way we hope.

Last exciting event of the week: Friday was the last day of the summer program at Reese's school. When I picked her up we went to the 2yr old classroom to get stuff out of her cubby. She spend her time 1/2 and 1/2 btwn the 2yr old and 3 yr old classroom so at the end of the day she's usually in the 3yr old room which is the pre-school room. Her cubby wasn't there anymore. Well the cubby was but the box with her name on it was gone. I went back to the 3yr old room and asked if they knew what happened. They said Reese had been moved up for the school year. This is super exciting b/c she doesn't turn 3 til Feb so they could have made her wait till next year to start in the pre-school room. Even in the 2yr old room they do pre-school like learning letters, numbers, writing, animals, plants, people, etc. But they do more in the older classrooms and really start practicing sitting and listening to a teacher. So it's very exciting that Reese gets to start Pre-School tomorrow!!!

OK so that was our awesome weekend. No funny Reese story since the whole blog is about her :-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quick Update

Ok so just giving everyone a quick update on things going on around here.

1. Work is going really well. I am currently on to of the big projects we have going on and I've been making alot of progress w/ my team lead Cindy. Hopefully this will be remembered come evaluation time in the Fall. it sucks not being to talk to much about my work but first of all most people would think it was boring b/c they don;t like science. Also we are working with an undisclosed company so everything is very hush hush. I can say we are making awesome progress and getting ready to actually start putting products in hospitals for research use. Silly FDA approval may take some more time. It very exciting as I see my stock options starting to be worth more and more (only in my mind though b/c no one can really put a dollar amount on it right now).

2. Reese, Mat, and I are leaving Thurs to go to NY to meet his family. Nervous? Me? Ummm yeah but not really. I know he loves me and I want his family to like me and be happy for him. I mean no one wants future in-laws that don't like you. (BTW no not engaged yet but sometime btwn now and April 19th 2009 )

3. Things with Jonathan are same as always. Still no child support, the sheriff still can't find him. I even offered to give Jonathan $20 for gas for him to drive to pick up the paperwork b/c he said that was his excuse and he still didn't do it. (he really doesn't live that far away, prob would only cost him like $8 in gas). I am contacting my lawyer to find out about having parental rights removed. I didn't think it was an option but I read about it last night. If he shows disinterest in her and no signs of trying to raise and care for her than I might be able to get it. Since he's only seen her maybe 5 times in her life and never really tried to support her I think I have a good case.

4. Reese is getting so big and way to smart. At school they are learning Spansih and it's so cute when she signs her Hola song or tells me "Red in Spanish is Rojo" I am trying to help her practice at home but since I haven't spoken Spanish since grade school and learned french instead it's a little hard but still good for her. They spent the summer learning about sports and being healthy b/c of the Olympics which was really cute. Potty training is going. I'm not pushing super hard but we do go as soon as we wake up, after dinner, and before bed. Although sometimes it's just trying b/c she already went in her diaper before we got to the potty. At school Ms. Gina takes Reese more often and Reese's friend Olivia just got potty trained so we are hoping Reese will want big girl panties just like Olivia. Reese really likes Mat and asks about him all the time. If we see a red truck on the road Reese gets really excited b/c she thinks it's Mat and very sad when it's not him. She constantly takes my phone or her play phone and calls mat. She also now calls Sami. They are getting very cute together and I hope they will be close as they grow up. Hopefully we can get some more play sessions planned in the fall.

Ok I guess I am finished updating for now. Really my purpose in the update was to be able to say ANNE??? HILLARY??? KATY??? any of you think you might want to write a blog. Two of you are pregnant, one just finished moving, one is still finishing her house, one lives far far away and needs to keep us more updated, and all three of you are slacking (J/K)

Funny Reese Moment: Last night Reese was watching Finding Nemo on the Disney Channel while Mom and I sat in the kitchen talking. All of a sudden Reese calls and asks me to come in. commercials had come on and she wanted me to turn then off (fast-forward). it's a little scary when she already gets that concept. She calls all remotes TiVo's, sometimes she asks for movies but more often it's for a DVD, and when she types on her keyboard I gave her for a toy she tells me she is emailing Super Jon (My older brother). Scary how she already is so comfortable with all the technology around us, and my Mom still isn't ;-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Do you know any reporters?

If you read my blog you know all the drama that happens w/ Jonathan and I. Well I am sick of sitting back and doing nothing. I know other parents are in similar positions as me. So I have written this letter that I will try mailing to different news stations. If any of you know a reporter (TV or Print) and can send this to them please do. Or if you know anyone who could add to this story w/ their own to help bulk up the case for doing to story please tell them to leave a comment and I will contact them.

To whom it may concern;

If you do not normally do criminal or family law stories so please send this to someone at your station who might find it newsworthy?

I think looking into the legal system and how family law and criminal law aren't linked to each other would be an eye opening story. It would help educate people as to how negligent parents are able to get away with so much. And maybe encourage some reform to the system.

I have a child and her father was abusive and is also delinquent in his child support. When we first separated I tried to take out a protective order for myself and my daughter. The sheriff's department could never find him to serve the paperwork so my request was denied. I tried 3 times consecutively so they were looking for him for a 4 month period. However during that time he was pulled over and given 3 tickets for criminal offenses. When the officer ran his record no mention that he was being looked for for the protective order came up so he was given the tickets and allowed to go on his way.

Recently a sheriff has been trying to serve him with contempt paperwork b/c he is $14,000 in arrears for child support but again cannot locate him. However 2 nights ago he turned himself in to the 7 Locks detention center. While there they updated his criminal offense file and released him after 24 hours saying they would mail him the paperwork to appear in court for his criminal charges. Yet again there was nothing that showed about his child support.

When I look in the Maryland Judiciary Case system I see all the cases against him, including the child support and that papers have been issued but not served. I don’t know why this doesn’t happen on their end as well. If my ex is not served by Aug 22nd than the case for child support arrears is dismissed. He can be charged again but it will be another 6 months before all the paperwork is filed and a new court date is issued.

How can it be that twice now he has been in custody or at least in the presence of law enforcement but never been given the paperwork for the family law issues? So many politicians (including presidential candidates) talk about making the system for tracking “dead beat” parents better. If they can’t find them when they are in custody how are they going to find them else where?

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I will share any more information you need to help get this story on air.

Clare Stewart

Friday, July 18, 2008

Risky Business

A few months ago I wrote a blog about Jonathan getting served papers for being in contempt of child support. As a summary he has paid a grand total of $32.15 this year and that was back in Feb. He is supposed to pay about $700 a month, which doesn't even cover day care but would still be helpful. If any of you think that is a ridiculous amount I didn't pick it, the court has a system where they have a predetermined amount that they think a child costs based on if it needs daycare, medical expenses, etc. Then they input both the mother and father's salaries and based on that determine a percentage of how much each is responsible for. At any time Jonathan could go in a say he was earning less money (because he gets paid under the table) and they would lower the amount he owes and I couldn't' do anything about it. But he is too lazy to fill out a one page form and mail it so therefore he is still responsible for the full amount he originally agreed to.

The court issued the paperwork to the Sheriff's department to serve him back in April I think. Unfortunately Jonathan has still not been served. The deputy has tried to find him at home but he is either never there or doesn't answer the door. Since he hasn't been working because he's on workman's comp they can't find him at work either.

If Jonathan is not served by the end of this month than the case is dismissed. He gets off scot free with no penalty. They will refile against him again but that will take another 6 months and again if he avoids the sheriff then he gets away again. Here is where the legal system is a little messed up. Family Law and the Criminal/Traffic Law systems apparently don't match up. if he gets pulled over by a cop for any reason it won't flag that they are trying to serve him the contempt papers b/c they technically aren't a warrant. Hopefully the other 3 or 4 warrants will show up and when they arrest him in for those they can walk to contempt paperwork over to him.

But back to the title of this blog. Officer Rodriguez and I have devised a different plan rather than hope he gets pulled over and the cop runs his info. I don't want to put any details in here because I don't know who reads this blog but pray for me through the end of the month that I can help Jonathan be served the paperwork (that he knows he is supposed to get) without him taking any retaliation back out on me or my family.

It's a fine line right now for what I want to happen. it would be great to have Jonathan start paying child support so I could start saving money to pay my parents back and have money to spend on fun stuff in the future. But the less he does and the less involved in Reese's life he is the easier it will be to have his rights switched to companionship rights and get Reese adopted.

Ok Funny Reese story: She didn't know she was telling a joke but this made me laugh so hard:

Reese "Mommy, how was your day?"
Me "Good"
Reese "How was your work?"
Me "Busy but good"
Reese "How was your school?"
Me "I didn't go to school today"
Reese "How is your bridge?"
Me "I don't know"
Reese "It's falling down"

Hilarious. . . I walked right into that one :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Being the Baby of the Family

So after rereading my post last night I feel like I should expand a little more about why loosing this name means alot to me.

I am the baby of my family by 5 years. All the babies out there can relate to me, especially if there is a big difference in ages. When I was 12 my grandmother (the one who maiden name was Carter) died. At that time my grandfather moved down here and my mom and her sisters began dividing up the furniture in the house b/c my grandfather was getting an apartment and didn't really need as much.

I didn't really pay much attention to the process and what was going on except that my mom and her sisters were fighting alot and it actually caused a huge fight in our family that was only resolved last year at Pop-Pop's funeral. But that is a different story.

Anyway fast-forward to a few years ago. I was chatting with my mom about the stuff in our house that had come from Grammy and Pop-Pop's house and I mentioned how I really loved this one sideboard in the house. And my mom replies "Oh your sister already gets that she asked for if years ago" Then I comment on a desk that my grandfather built "Oh your brother already asked for that and alot of the stuff Pop-Pop built b/c they were really close" All these requests were made back when I was 12 and they were 17 and 20. Because I was to young and didn't know what was going on my mom already promised away alot of the pieces from their house.

I am not materialistic in any way, it's not about who gets more stuff. It's more that b/c they are older apparently their memories are better than mine so they automatically get some of the things. Granted some of my memories with the furniture is only of it being in my house. But the desk for example I have always loved but I was too young to know I had to start "claiming" things. And now it doesn't matter b/c some items have already been physically given away not just verbally promised.

After the affair w/ my mom's family she has mentioned several times that they would create a list of item in the house and then we can all go through and mark what we want and how badly we want it. Then together my Mom and Dad would compare the lists and try to split things up evenly and fairly. They still haven't done this but I hope they do soon. I have already seen what might happen when they do move or one/both of them pass away. When Pop-Pop died and we had to distribute the last of his things we had to decide what to do w/ the grandfather clock he had built. We have one in our house that he built as well. Needless to say all three children on my Mom's side wanted to have one to remember Pop-Pop by (none of the other grandchildren wanted either of them). In the end my brother got the clock from his apt and I get the one in our house but I had to remind my mom that Meg and Jon each already have 2 pieces in their house and another 2 pieces at our house promised to them while I only have 1.

I know that sounds materialistic b/c I am counting by numbers but in this sense I think comparing the number of pieces was a fair decision since we only had 2 days to decide. When we do the big split I am sure there will be things that mean alot to someone and they will pick that one thing over 3 other things.

Ok so hopefully now everyone can see how there was only one thing I "claimed" back when Grammy died. Not any furniture or physical mementos. But he dream of carrying on her name. And once again my big brother took it away b/c he had a boy first.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's in a Name

My nephew Jake Carter Stewart was born on Friday morning at 5:22am. He was supposed to be a scheduled C-section today (Elaine had problems w/ Sami that resulted in an emergency C-Section). But apparently Jake didn't want to wait till Monday :-)

We are all very excited to have Jake esp b/c he will carry on the family name.
I unfortunately have mixed feelings, not about my nephew, but about his name. For both children my brother and sister-in-law chose not to find out if it was a boy or girl. They also didn't tell anyone the names they were thinking of choosing b/c that way no one could say something that might make them think negatively for one of thier choices (like "Oh I knew a ____ but she was a B*^ch").
I on the other hand love to tell people about the names I am thinking about using. For example . . . . My grandmother's madien name was Carter and she always dreamed of naming a boy Carter so she didn't loose her maiden name. But alas she had 3 girls. Of of the 3 girls one had no children. The second had one boy but named him after her husbands side of the family. The third (my mom) had a son and named him after my dad's side of the family. Had her third child (me) been a boy I would have been named Kevin Carter and called KC. But I was a girl.
I like telling that story and ending it with how when I have a boy I want to name him Carter or put Carter in his name b/c it meant alot to my grandmother and would have been my name. Anyone see where my problem w/ my nephews name is? I told my brother that I wanted to use the name Carter before they had Sami. My SIL told my mom they tried to figure out how to use Carter as a first name but couldn't make it work with Stewart so since they used it as a middle name I was welcome to still use it.
Thanks!!! I'm so glad I have thier permission to use the name I have wanted since I was 13 to name my son, if I'm lucky enough to have one, because they couldn't make it work themselves. I know you can't call dibs on a name but still I would hope that when you tell a family member how a name means alot to you they wouldn't turn around and use it just b/c they had a boy/girl first.
Yes I really can use it and I might but I don't know. I have already heard my mom on the phone w/ all our family telling them how Carter is her mom's maiden name. Kinda takes the fun out of me telling the story in a few years b/c everyone will already know where Carter came from. Obviously I have some time to decide but I'm kinda cranky about it right now.
Ok enough venting right now time for bed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The beach

Well we made it home from the beach. It was just as awesome as last year, possibly better since Reese was older. We stayed in the exact same house as we stayed in last time which was 3/4 of a mile walk to the beach. I love the community we stay in. It's called Sea Colony (serioulsy I should get a discount for how many people I tell about it ;-) )

Next year, however, Mat will be joining us so we'll need a three bedroom place (He get's his own room lucky him). We found one even closer to the beach and cheaper than where we were so that is exciting.

Reese got to swim in the ocean and she learned to swim by herself in the pool (w/ a floaty vest on). By the end of the week not only was she going 2-3 feet on her own but she was spinning in circles as well.

We also went to this awesome brewery called Dogfish Head out in Dewey. Thier beer is really good and the whole process they use is very eco-friendly :-) yes Hillary that is my Pampered Chef bag w/ me (unfortunately more people wanted beer instead of kitchen toys)

Besides swimming Reese had fun playing on the swing sets that are on the beach as well as in the fountain at the marketplace which is 1/2 way btwn our house and the beach. It's where we walk every morning for coffee but there a bunch of other stores and resturants there as well.

As you can see Reese had an awesome time and went to bed very easily b/c she was so tired from playing all day. In the picture is her new puppy Duncan. Named after her favorite puppy at Mat's house. It was very cute when she picked him out. He went everywhere with us the whole trip.

Funny Post beach Reese Story: I bought Salt Water Taffy and decided to let Reese try some. We happened to be watching Monster's Inc togther (her 1st time seeing it) so I let her eat a whole piece and then I hid the box away. A few min later she says she wants more Caffy. I say "I've created a monster" and she replies "I not a Monster, I a Reese-E Cup"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Silly Power of Suggestion

Last week on Friday my company brought in a chiropractor with a massage therapist. It was very fun the have a free 20 min massage although a little painful as well. It was sad when after 20 min the doctor told her to stop and she said she had only finished 1/3 of my back. So I went ahead and scheduled the follow up visit with the doctor for yesterday. I went in and they checked my range of motion which was limited on my left side. This was interesting to me b/c I had surgery on my right shoulder in HS so I assumed that would be the bad side but I guess I over compensated and therefore messed up my left side. Anyway then we moved on to X-rays of my lower back and neck.

Today I went back in to look at my X-rays. WOW!!!! My neck is straight line - this is bad! Our neck is supposed have about a 40 degree angle toward the back. Luckily I am at stage one of damage which means it is completely reversible back to normal position and function. If I let it go too much longer my bones will start to fuse together and I will lose function in my neck. That is even scarier. So now I will begin my regimen of three visits a week for 8 weeks including traction as well as adjustments and some massage therapy. Luckily I think my insurance will cover most but this is still going to cost about $90 a week.

My lower back was not so bad except that my right hip is lower than my left hip. Note to all parents - Balance the sides you carry your kids on. I totally carry Reese on my right most of the time and now my spine is misaligned. That is alot more minimal than my neck. Seriously those X-ray's scared me.

So I will keep updating during my progress. I have my 1st appt tomorrow which is good. My neck and back were kinda bothering me lately. Ever since I looked at those X-rays I have had throbbing pain through my neck and back. Stupid power of suggestion :-(

Funny Reese story: Last night after Mat left I went up to bed but, like every night, before I go to bed I always go into her room to check on her. Well she had apparently fell off the bed and was on the floor. So I picked her up and put her back in bed. A few minutes later I heard a knock on her door. She had been losing her voice before she went to bed so in a very scratchy voice she asked "may I have orange juice please" I told her to get back in bed while I went to get her juice. I brought it into her and asked her if she needed anything else. Again in a scratchy voice she says "Need to say Amens" We had forgotten to pray when I put her down before. So I start our prayer which I say first and she repeats "Dear God (pause), Thank you for Mommy (pause), Thank you for Grammy (pause), Thank you for Grandad (pause)" I then said "Thank you for loving me" and Reese says "No Mommy you forgot Mat. Thank you for Mat" It was very cute. And then of course then we finished the rest of her prayer.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun Reese Moments

So this weekend was full of lots of fun Reese moments so I will take a moment to update you all.

Friday while we were driving home Reese took one of her books and began reading it. I have seen her look at books on her own and sometimes comment about the pictures. This was the first time I have actually heard her make up an entire story. It was even cuter b/c it was a book about going potty so the story was quite interesting. So taking this new found story creating entertainment I decided to try and use it to my advantage. Normally in the morning Reese wakes up and knocks on her door to tell me she is up so I will come get her. So since she had made up her own story I had decided to tell her that from now on when she wakes up she doesn't have to knock right away. She is allowed to play in her room and read books and just knock when she is ready to go potty or downstairs.

So then comes bed time. Luckily Reese has grown out of the Mommy staying in her room till she is asleep. I was never a fan of letting her cry herself to sleep. Prob b/c my cousin put me to bed with stories and singing till she got married when I was 5. So recently we started leaving the room before Reese was asleep and telling her to knock on her door if she needed anything. Most night there is one knock for something like another hug or socks b/c her feet are cold and then she goes to bed. Yay! So Friday follows this pattern and Reese is now asleep. I go to take my shower and I can hear my phone vibrating as Mat texts me. Texting while in the shower is a bad idea so I leave my phone on the counter. Suddenly a little voice says "here is your phone mommy if you want it" while pulling back the curtain. And there is Reese holding my cell phone wearing her PJ's and her pink Crocs. Reese's door has one of those circle things you have to squeeze to open to prevent her from getting out on her own. Apparently there is a flaw in that plan. Reese need to go potty and let herself out of the room. It was quite cute to watch her go all by herself. She moved her stool to the potty, put her seat on it, pulled her pants and diaper down, went potty, and pulled everything back up. By that time I was done in the shower so I took her back to bed and triple checked that the door was closed this time.

Saturday I wake up at 7:30 and Reese hasn't knocked on the door yet. I figured she was still sleeping b/c she had been up late the night before w/ the whole shower thing. So I open her door to wake her up so we can get ready for the Charm City Block Party and she is not in her bed. I look the floor where her tulip (a fleece sleeping bad my sister made for her) is, because she likes to sleep in that but no Reese. I scan across the room to her bookcase to see if she is indeed reading, but still no Reese. I turn my head a little more and low and behold there is my child. Sitting on top of her dresser/changing table w/ a variety of lotions and ointments from the basket on the shelf above, a stack of diapers, and several dolls that had also been on the shelves. She informs me that the dolls need new diapers and she is changing them. Apparently she had figured out that if she pulled open the drawer on her dresser she could use it as a step to climb up. We just recently rearranged her furniture b/c she was using a different table to help her climb up there but apparently that did not really deter her. Oh well.

So I get Reese dressed and we have a 30 min sun tan lotion event. Reese loves "Sun lotion" and thinks everyone should wear it all the time so after she had her lotion she had to put lotion on Grammy, Dad-Dad, and me. We drove to pickup Mat and then went to Baltimore for the block party. While there we had our first awkward dating w/ a kid moment. Reese and I were on the moon bounce w/ one of the really fun PA missionaries. She saw Mat outside and asked if Dad wanted to come in and play. Mat and I kinda avoided the question. Then she asked Reese if that was her dad. A perfectly innocent question by the missionary. I did answer this time and said it's not her Dad. Reese on the other hand answered "That's my Mat" it was cute. Apparently several other times that day people saw him w/ her and called him her Dad which we both knew was bound to happen. He's fine with it and so am I we just have to be careful that Reese doesn't get confused at this point.

So since the whole blog was about Reese I won't end with a funny Reese moment. Things are going really well at work and with school. I promise a blog about Mat soon. And Hillary I really did try to proofread this so I hope it wasn't too painful to read :-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

My New Love Interest

So I was asked to write a blog about my new love interest. It's a little weird cause I don't know if he reads my blog or not (if so Hi Honey). Obviously I'm not gonna write anything here that is posted to the world that I wouldn't tell him, but still it is a little weird. I'll try to write some stuff for those of you who I don't talk to all the time.

So I guess first off his name is Mat. Yes that's not one of my normal spelling errors (Hillary I promise to proofread this) his name is spelled with only 1 T. He's from upstate NY and just moved down here a few months ago. We met online through a dating website and talked for a few weeks before we decided to meet.

He is an incredibly sweet and generous person. Actually when we first were dating I thought he was too nice. I know that sounds weird but after everything I have been through it's kinda hard to accept that someone who is nice without thinking there is a hidden agenda. Also there was a side of me that wanted to make sure he was strong enough to deal with me. If you know me I have a strong personality so I need someone who is gentle and affectionate but I also want someone who would stand up for me in a bar fight and stand up to me when I am wrong. Btw the chances of me being involved in a bar fight or being wrong are both very slim but just in case he should be ready ;-)

When we did the iMarriage series at Fusion a few months ago alot of things they talked about really hit home with me about things I needed to be careful about when I was in a relationship. Being a new Christian I just learned how to submit to Jesus and trust in him to take care of me. I'm still not perfect at it but I am working on it. So the idea of submitting to my husband as to the Lord is hard for me as well. I need someone who can be a leader for our family and I had to make sure that Mat could fill this role. Not just financially but emotionally and spiritually as well.

I actually "broke up" with him after our 3rd date. It's in quotes because I don't know if you call it breaking up when you are just dating and have only gone out 3 times. We were coming up on a crazy weekend where he was going to meet lots of my friends and I didn't really know if I was ready for that so I told him I just wanted to be friends. Luckily he didn't give up on me and he asked me to go to PF Changs the next week. That dinner was the first turning point. Sitting there I realized I did really like him and I didn't just want to be friends but I still had some hold backs that I needed to talk to him about. Those being the too nice stuff as well as needing to tell him about Jonathan and make sure he wasn't going to run.

So we had a few more dates including one where we were able to sit and talk about everything. Pretty much that night was the big turning point. Everything I had been nervous about saying came out and we talked and it was good. We planned ahead of time that this night was for talking so there was no awkward hey let me tell you stuff moment. Everything was amazing that night and our relationship got alot stronger.

Maybe I am weird but I have this thing that you date someone and then he has to ask you to be his g/f to symbolize making it a serious committed relationship. I was really hoping for that to happen that night. But instead of asking me to be his g/f he told me he loved me. I guess that was a sign he wanted a committed relationship ;-) Seriously though things have been great since then. That one talk broke down all the walls and now we talk about everything and life is good.

We're reading 5 love languages now and yes we've gotten through the chapter on being "in love" and how it will change later and we will have to work to maintain a relationship but I am ok with that. I know he loves Jesus and has been enjoying coming to Fusion. We have good talks about that stuff as well and it's really exciting to be with someone I can grow with. We are lucky to be surrounded by other strong Christian couples who we can look to for advice and support.

Ok so hopefully this gives everyone a quick overview of my love interest :-) I started to write more a couple times but thought it might be over sharing so if you want more details just call/write/im me. I love to talk about him :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I knew it was too good to be true

Ok so Jonathan did receive his child support papers about having to go to court. Whether or not he shows up. . . who knows but it's not till end of August anyway. This title is in reference to the name cahnge thing.

I just the court website. Back on May 9th the judge signed the papers saying the posting of the request could be made. I think I've explained before but as a refresher a notice saying I want to change Reese's name has to be posted for 30 days in the court house with no contention before it goes to the next step. So silly me though "well if the judge signed it on the 9th of May it's now the 9th of June it's been 30 days and we should be going before the judge soon. But no, that would be too easy. Instead yesterday the notice filed and given to the Sheriff to post. For anyone not familiar with the Rockville courthouse the courtrooms are on the floor above the Sherrifs office. It's not even across the street. Why it took a month to go from the judge saying "Yup you can post this" to actually being put in the sherrfis box I don't know. And of course this is only the notice being delivered. it doesn't actually say it has been posted yet.

I guess the party will be delayed a little longer :-(

Reese story: It is so fun to me to watch Reese try to be like me and her teacher. While we drive in the car she will take her doll Amy and put her in time out. She knows the exact phrases I say whe she goes into and out of time out. Sometimes Amy even is bad in time out and Reese now's how to put in back in. It's frustratinly funny though b/c obviously she knows how time out should work but she doesn't do it herself. She has also started telling Amy "you know the rules" and "That's a no-no" which I guess comes from school

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cross your fingers

So I just got off the phone with Sgt Rodriguez of the Montgomery County Deputy's Office who was verifying Jonathan's address to serve him contempt paperwork for child support. I haven't talked to him in a few weeks so I hope he is still in MD and hasn't run to hide in VA again like he did last time. There are 4 other warrants out for him for various things. In Montgomery County all court records are public record so I can access the files through the web and see anything that has been filed against him or anyone else ;-) So they are only serving him w/ the child support order today I think. Then he will get the rest when he appears in court for that.

I just spoke to the child support people and even if he starts paying his support again he will still have to go to court in August which makes me very happy. Last time he was in contempt he started paying and they canceled the case.

Honestly things are going well now and I don't really need his support money but it would be nice. It would be something to put in a college fund for Reese or take a vacation. They have some awesome programs at her school that I would love to enroll her in the help her start doing Math and Reading but I can't afford them on my budget right now (an extra $175 a month).

The one plus to this is that the more Jonathan messes up the easier it will actually make my life in the future. I really hope to get married someday (I even have a boyfriend now so at least I made it to step 1 for that process ;-) ) and when I get married I would love for my husband to adopt Reese. With the amount that he has been involved in her life so far Jonathan really has never been a father, more like an uncle. Who ever I marry would be providing for her, loving her, and raising her so why shouldn't he legally get to call her his child. I will still tell Reese about Jonathan and let her see him if she wants to.

On a side note today is the last day in the posting of Reese's name change. That means that hopefully sometime next week it will get placed on the judges docket for review. I have no idea how long the wait is for the judge but at least I am one step closer. Since he didn't object during the 30 day period I don't think he has any more chances to change the decision. I will be having a party to celebrate when it happens.

OK Reese story: Yesterday we went over to help Mat (my bf) paint his room and he actually really let her help. It was so cute b/c at first he helped her paint around the trim where the tape was, then we just let her go at it. We gave her a brush and helped her put paint on it and off she went. We only let her paint on the white areas b/c if she went over where we had already painted blue she tended to take the paint off. She also painted Mat's legs a little bit, and at one point backed right into the wall with her butt (Yes Hillary I know I did the same thing at your house). Anyway it was so fun, I really need to start carrying my camera everywhere I go. If anyone needs help painting Reese will work for Hot Dogs or Gummy Bears.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Calling All Perfect Parents

Anyone? Anyone? I hope no one responded. Being a perfect parent is impossible. As Hillary once told me, if there was one perfect way to raise a child there would only be one book on parenting in the book stores. However there enough books to not just fill a rack at Barnes and Noble but a whole section.

The number of books bringing me to my next point. Something about raising a child suddenly makes some people feel like they know the best way to raise and discipline children. Not everyone is like this but there are alot of people who are. It's a natural thing you see a child do something and you see the parent react. If it's different than how you would have reacted and you don't think the outcome was good you want to offer advice to help that parent the next time around. It is quite possible the motive for this comes purely from trying to help a friend and not being overconfident in your parenting skills.

However any parent should know how senstive that aspect of life is. Every parent, or set of parents, has thier own plan for how they will raise thier children. They are afterall THEIR children. This plan generally evolves from how they themselves were raised as well as insight from things they have seen other people do or read in one of the 500 books. I learned how to put Reese in Time Out by watching Hillary with Owen. It doesn't always work perfectly but neither do Owen's so I know neither Hillary or I are perfect parents but we try hard and so far our kids are turning out well.

This plan I mentioned is kinda like the birthing plan when you were pregnant. You have a goal for how you would like things to occur, how you want to handle different situations but there has to be flexibility in that plan. Afterall your child is a living rational being who doesn't always do things they way you want to and may not respond they way you want to. Being to rigid in your birth plan 9 times out of 10 leads to complications and generally a c-section. (Way to many stories from my Mom and Anne) Being to rigid in your plan for rasing and disciplining your child can lead to worse behaviors or even affect the basic relationship of the parent and child.

Every family has thier own plan and while you may think you are just trying to help your situation, your lifestyle, and your goals are different and cannot be imposed on someone else. Even within a family each child is different and has to be handled differently.

I know I have been guilty of disciplining other peoples kids. It's hard when you see them do something they shouldn't not to stop them. But I am trying to stop more often and evaluate if I think in the situation the childs paretns can easy be gotten so they can handle it themselves b/c they need to use thier method not mine for consistency sake with the child.

In the end it will be me who sits back and reflects on the person Reese has grown to be and accept that how I raised her helped her become that way, for good or bad. (obviously I'm hoping for Good). But only me (unless I get married) not anyone else.

Reese Story time: On sunday we went to the Circus and Reese got to ride on an elephant. I'll post some pics on here as well as one Facebook later tonight. It was so much fun and she had such a great time. However I now constantly find myself hearing "mommy want to be like pretty ladies" which means I turn into some form of gymnastics equipment to help her tumble, flip, and spin like the acrobats. At least she only does it with me so I don;t have to worry about her hurting herself somewhere else.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Makes me that much stronger

So time for an update about Jonathan. I think I wrote already that he signed the papers to change her last name to Stewart from Brinkley. This is very exciting for me. I really don;t like being called Mrs. Brinkley by doctors or other people who don't know. And it will be confusing to her in the future. I got an update from the court that they have posted the announcement. This is an old school step in the process that requires posting an announcement at the courthouse about the proposed name change to see if anyone objects. it is posted for 30days. Does anyone know anyone who checks the court house monthly for the announcements they post? Yeah neither do I so hopefully I am safe. Anyway as long as Jonathan doesn't change his mind in the next two months the judge should sign the papers. YAY!!

Other than that he hasn't been paying child support but I am not stressing over that. It takes alot of effort for me to keep making phone calls and try to get the money. That just makes me stressed and more angry and I decided a long time ago that I don't want to be angry anymore.

It would be nice to have that money. I would be able to pay back my parents faster and actually move out someday. After daycare and my other bills I can't afford to move out. Kinda ironic that I work so I can pay for child care to take care of her while I work. Actually luckily I earn more than just to pay child care so I can actually pay my bills and have some fun. But if I had someone to watch her for free I could totally move out. However I wouldn't take that option anyway. I love Reese's school. Playing with all the kids and everything she learns there. This summer they will have puppet shows, pony rides, story tellers, Spanish classes, field trips, and weekly water activities. Don't get me wrong it's sad leaving her in the morning but I know that I could never teach her as well as the teachers at school. I mean these people are trained teachers so I can't even come close. I have spent 16 years in school so far and am contemplating getting my PhD in a few years so school is pretty important to me.

So looking back on things with Jonathan I realize I have learned alot. No one knows the whole story of everything that happened and no one probably ever will. It's in the past and I have learned from it. I share parts of it to help people understand me better but that's about all. So one major thing I learned from Jonathan is that I will not let someone put me down again. I am a grown woman who has a successful job, raises a child, and is getting an advanced degree at the same time. Heck, I found out today I am cited for my work on a project in two articles so I am a published scientist. (which apparently is cooler to me than anyone else) I let Jonathan make me feel bad about myself. But I won't let that happen again. I refuse to let anyone try to hurt me or talk down to me like I am beneath them. I have learned that people who do that are insecure themselves and trying to feel better about themselves by making other people feel badly.

Don't get me wrong I am all for playing around with friends and joking with each other or making fun of each other. But there is a difference between sarcastic and being hurtful. The old me would have retaliated back to people and fought with them and tried to hurt them like they hurt me. That doesn't really follow with being a Christian however. So instead I will pray for these people to find peace with themselves rather that hurt others. I will also choose to avoid situations where I am around those kinds of people because seriously who likes to be around those people.

So I guess that is my Jonathan update. It kinda went off a little bit but overall things are good and everything that happened has made me a stronger person. My ringtone for Jonthan is "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera and it's true.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You asked for it

Ok so apparently I suck at this whol keeping my blog updated and serveral people ahve ye4lle at me to update. So this first one will just kida be an update and I'll try to get some more otu there this week cause I do have stuff on my mind. Just been to busy to write it down.

We'll start with school. A few weeks ago I received the horrible news that a class I needed to take in May would not be offered until January. This really sucked since I was supposed to finish the program in December. I called and asked if I could still take all my other classes (including my Capstone which is the final class you have to take to get an MBA). I was informed Capstone would only be offered in the Spring from now on. The decision had been made a year ago but they never told the students. You can imagine how frustrated I was. I went from having 7 months of school to a whole year. Well those of you who know me know I don't keep quite when I'm pissed. I wrote an email to the Dean of the business school and ended up talking on the phone to the Assistant Dean. I was shocked to find out that she had no idea how the MS/MBA program actually worked. I had to explain it to her to show her how the decisions they had made were affecting us. Theywere no longer going to offer classes if less than 10 students signed up. Well if your cohort only had 12 students and a few decide to skip a semester or take a different class instead you are screwed. Anyway after my phone call and I assume some more form other students in the same spot as me the school decied to let us take a class in Columbia instead of Rockville and still get credit. This option didn't work well for everyone but I took it. Communiting from Frederick to Columbia isn't very fun but 6 trips is worth it for me to finish in Decmeber. (the class meets tues, thurs, sat for 3 weeks and one Sat is already canceled). Of course I wouldn't have taken this option if there wasn't the chance that they were going to do something about letting us do the Capstone in the fall. I find out next week but I am 90% sure they wil let the 8 of us do an independant study (still a group project but no teacher and no set class times).

So right now school is looking really good. My negotiations professor is really good and very fun so I will learn alot in his class. My june/july class is only one night a week. And in the fall I will have an online class and this group project. I don;t know what I will do now that I'll actually start having eveneings free! Watch out I may be calling you to schedule a Pampered Chef show. Although 1st I have to call all of Hillary's customers since (tear, tear) she is leaving the business.

ok I rambled alot about school and I do have to do some work today. But I will right more in a bit. For suspense up coming topics include: Reese, Jonathan, Dating, and anything else that pops into my mind.

Reese story time: Reese is definatley showing her personality. In the mornings I pick out her outfit and lay it out for her. The I will leave the room to go get something. I come back and she is attempting to get undressed and redresed all by her sefl. Most of the time she is pretty sucessful except for a few cases of backwards pants or arms through the neck holes. But she only wants help if she asks for it. And she's pretty good at asking for it if she needs it. But I do see mine and Jonathan's stubborness coming out sometimes and that's a little scary.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Why is the sky blue?

How do flowers grow? Where do babies come from? Why did my goldfish go away? Where is Reese's daddy? The question that come from small children. Every parent knows they will have to answer the questions that come from their children. But I now find myself having to answer the question that comes from other peoples children.

Reese has never asked me about her dad. She knows her friends have a person named Dad. She's played with Neil and Wes. But never once asked where hers is. However apparently other children are now asking and their parents are turning to me to tell them how to answer. Most have given me the reason of wanting consistency. They want to tell their kids the same thing Reese is told so there are no conflicts later in life. I guess I appreciate that. But I guess I just wasn't ready to think about what to say.

My mom has a friend in PA. She is younger than my mom and kinda her adopted daughter. Lisa has 4 children who call my mom Grammy Beth. There are 2 girls age 10, a boy age 8 and another boy age 6. They all came down to visit me after Reese was born and the kids hear funny stories about Reese from my mom when she calls them. A few months ago Lisa was driving with all four kids in the car. When Philip the 8 yr old boy asks "Mommy where is Reese's Daddy" As Lisa relates the story to my mom her internal response was "Dammit Clare what am I supposed to tell my kids" Luckily before she had to answer one of the twins replied "Clare is still looking for her Prince Charming and he will be Reese's daddy"

My mom told me the story b/c she thought Helen's line was so cute. She didn't even think about the line that went through Lisa's head. I understand that no parent looks at their daughter while she's growing up and says "I hope she becomes a single mom" and I know my situation is not ideal. But it really sucks to have it relayed to me by more than one set of parents that they feel awkward having to talk about me. Like I'm an "issue" they have to deal with. Telling their kids about Reese's daddy is as uncomfortable as the thought of having the sex talk with their kids.

Joanne talked last night about having wisdom and how we shouldn't worry about having the right words when people ask us about our faith because at that time God will speak through us. I know that Reese was sent by God so I have always felt that when she asked me He would help me know what to say. But know the question has come and it's not from her. So I will spend some time praying to figure out what to say. I welcome advice from anyone out there.

Friday, April 11, 2008

heading to PA

So we are leaving this afternoon for Pittsburg for my Uncle's funeral. I will be doing one of the readings since he was my GodFather. I don;t know which one I'm doing so I'm gonna include both here.

Romans 6:3-4,8-9

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

Isaiah 25:6-9

6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.7 And he will swallow up on this mountainthe covering that is cast over all peoples,the veil that is spread over all nations.8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,for the Lord has spoken.9 It will be said on that day,“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.This is the Lord; we have waited for him;let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Please pray for my family tomorrow. Also pray for my Aunt to help her sell her house. She and my Uncle had already been in the process of trying to sell and move to SC to be with thier daughter and my Aunt's step-mother. But thier house is over 40 years old and needed alot of work to make it desireable. Needless to say most of the work was being done by my uncle. Now there are 1/2 finished projects everywhere. It's hard for my Aunt to finish them herself and she really wants to move out of the house. So help her find a family that is looking for a house they can fix and work on so that she can go be with her family and not be stressed about the house in PA.

Funny Reese story time: Reese just switched DayCares. She now goes to a school in Frederick near me b/c her's was shutdown after a fire (on the weekend noone was hurt) So I asked her yesterday while we driving home to tell me about her new classmates and what thier names are. She answers "Ummm Sarah (that might be true), Danny (that's not true, that is my old boss), Baby Jesus (well I know Jesus is in her class room since he's everywhere), Bandit (our cat), and Monkey (her new stuffed animal from Aunt Anne at the Zoo)" I asked her the same question later around my Mom and she answered the same way. Way too cute!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Funny Reese Stuff

So after everything with my Uncle, HIllary's dad, and my friends mom I decided we ll needed to laugh a little so here is a funny story about Reese from today.

To start it off I have to explain for those who don't know Our neighbor (Kris) and my sister-in-law are both pregnant and Reese knows they have baby's in thier belly. Also Reese calls gummie snacks Chewy Vitmains b/c they look like her vitamins. Finally Blake is Hillary's 11 month old son.

So today Reese and Iwent to the grocery store. She had a bag of gummie snacks but ate them really quickly (I mean who doesn't). So when she finished she said "Mommy need more chexy vitamins" I said "No honey, you ate them already" She replied "No they are at home" I told her "No honey you ate them, they are in your belly" to which she replied" No my baby in my belly" I laughed and thought we were done but no.

Later that night when I was putting her to sleep again she tells me she has a baby in her belly. I told her she didn't and Aunt Elaine did so Sami would be a big sister. She replies "I already a big sister, baby sister down stairs" I said "No. . . your baby dolls are down stairs" She got very upset and said "No baby sister" So curious I asked "What is your baby sisters name?" And she replies "Blake"

I sure Hillary would love the fact that her son is apparently actually a girl. Hillary and I are close and all but last I checked Blake was in fact hers not mine (although if my SWF plans go though that will change, lol). Hopfully this will bring a smile to people who read it, especially those of us who haven't been smiling enough lately.

RIP John Christian

My dad just told me that my Uncle John passed away last night. My parents had ben thinking about going up this weekend but felt it in thier hearts to go sooner so they saw him yesterday. They said he was basically in a coma and barely responded to thier voices. As I've said before it is a blessing he did not suffer long. His first scan was March 17th and he was even fully diagnosed until a few days after that.

It's hard for me to process my feelings. My family is close but still we only saw my dad's family maybe once a year, lately even less since they've been spending more time in SC that PA. So I know he's gone but I don't think I will really feel it until his funeral. My Aunt and him had been trying to sell thier house and move to SC where thier daughter and her family as well as my Dad's step-mom live. So I'm sure this will advance those plans more since Aunt Ellen will not want to stay in PA alone.

Thank you to everyone for your kind prayers. I will update to when the furneral is going to be. Reese is only 2 yet this will be her second furneral. I am glad she is too young to really process what is going on b/c I'm not ready to talk about death with her. My cousin does not have that liberty. Thier daughter Hayley is 5. She adores grandpa John and will be devestated to know she will never see him again. Also as I mentioned Uncle John's mother is still alive. At 90 yrs old dealing with the thought of buring your son cannot be easy.

Please pray for my cousin and my Aunt that they will know Uncle John is in heaven feeling no pain and bringing joy to everyone there with his deep laugh, huge smile, and kind heart.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Uncle Update

So my parents spoke to my cousin today. My uncle is doing very badly. The cancer is in his stomach, lungs, esophogus, and bones. He can barely drink water to take his meds. We don't know if he has an IV for meds. They are transporting him from Ohio back to his home in Pittsburg by Ambulance and then he will be at home w/ hospice care. He has a morphne pump for the pain. My Mom and Dad were going to go up next weekend but they don't know if he will last that long so they might go this weekend instead.

As I said before it's a blessing and a curse that it is progressing this fast. I am happy he is not going to suffer for to long but I am still in shock about the whole thing. I think by the time it really hits me that he is sick I will be at his funeral.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

So my Dad just got off the phone with my Aunt (his sister) and found out my Uncle has cancer. It is inopperable and he has about 4 weeks to live. He just suddenly wasn't feeling well and went to see the doctor and after many many tests they came back with the diagnosis. My dad doesn't know what kind of cancer it is, my uncle will see another doctor on Monday to get more details. This is totally a shock for the family. Uncle John is the happiest most cheerufl person I have ever been around. His smiles light up a room.

Hillary is in GA right now to be with her father during his cancer battle and I have so much repsect and love for her during this time. Finding out about my UNcle brings up the age old debate. Is it better to know you are sick for a long time and have time to spend with your family and do things you wanted to do although it may mean you suffer at the end or is better to have things be short so you and your family don't suffer as much. Of course there is still the chance that he will suffer. The cancer is inopperable because it has already spread through his entire body.

I ask everyone to pray for my aunt, my cousins, the 3 grandchildren, and my Uncles mother who is still alive b/c no mother should ever have to bury thier child.


So I'm having guys issuse, but really they are issues with me and baggae from before. Almost none of my current friends have ever even met Jonathan so it's hard to explain him but I'll try. Jonathan was a complusive liar who was so gooda t lying he could convince himself one of his lies was the truth. Serioulsy there were stories that when I talked to the rest of the family they all said weren't the truth but he would not accept that it wasn't the truth. In the beginning I belived everything he said. Then I started to realize things weren't as good as he said and I started to not believe him. But I felt like I was too tied to him to just cut the crap so I stayed with him and kept hoping that just once it would be the truth. He also cheated on me the entire time I was pregnant and I finally caught him the day before Reese was born. Well we'll move to after Reese was born and I was finally done with it and knew I had to stop for Reese's sake. He still lies about everything and gets made when I call him out on it but I don't want to get sucked in again.

And this leads to my dating now. Ever since I started dating again (including last year) the fear of being lied to again has haunted me. Things got so bad with Jonathan that even little things I think are lies. If a guy says he'll call and doesn't I wonder if he's talking to someone else. If he has to change plans I wonder if he's telling me the real reason. I have always had low self confidence which adds to making it hard to belive a guy when he says nice things about me. I can tell one major difference between now and then. Back then I could tell when Jonathan was lying to me and just chose to ignore it. When I talk to the guy I'm dating now there is nothing that causes falgs. We have good conversations and talk about alot of things and have fun. But then I leave and later I start to doubt myself and wonder if things are as good as I think they are or am I fooling myself again.

I want to be trusting and I want to belive that someone does like me and someone does feel somehting for me. But I don't want to be gullible and let myself be walked over again.

This is one of the main reasons I'm not rushing onto anything because I want to make sure I know someone really well and help rebuild my trust. It's going to take lots more talking and lots more praying so that I will have the wisdom to make the right choices and trust myself. So I ask for you guys to pray for me and occasionally let me vent to you. However please don't get mad if I don't listen to you when I vent b/c sometimes my venting may be the scared side of me freaking out and in the end I over reacted.

Funny Reese story: I made pizza dip last night and I was reheating it for Reese for lunch today. She was sitting watching me reheat it and said "mommy you made pizza?" with a very excited look on her face. I said yes and she started clapping saying "I so proud of you"

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Lasik story

So I will try to type about my Lasik although I have to wear sunglasses while I type so it's a little hard. The description may sound freaky and I'll start by saying it wasn't painless or completely easy but I had the hardest most expensive surgery. I would say it's like going to the dentist. A little unpleasant and painful but in the end you feel better.

I went in this morning at 11. The place it set up so you can watch people getting the surgery before you go. I watched a little but it started to make me feel queezy so that stopped. Around 12:45 they finally called me back into the doctors office. They tell you ahead of time you will be at the place for 2 hours and since the actually surgery is only about 10 min technically they weren't late so I wasn't mad.

Ok here comes the details stuff so you might want to skip if you don't like reading medical stuff. I laid down on a table and they gave me little squeexe balls if it hurt, They put the anesthsia drops in my eyes (liquid cocanie for those of you who didn't know) Then they taped my eye open and put these frocep type thing that pried my eye open. The next step was the worst part of the whole prcedure. They put this lifesaver looking thing on my eye and used it to push my eye into my head so they could make the flap. This pressure hurts and actually made my eyesight go away. Then they cut the flap. Again this doesn't feel good. It wasn't the laser but the pressure that really hurt and freaked me out. It was the longest 30 seconds ever. Then they slide you to a different machine to do the actual laser fixing. This was just weird b/c you have to focus on a blinking light right above you but it's actually really hard because your eye wants to wander and you have to focus alot. Then they do the same thing on the other eye. Seruioly it was 10 min and I could open my eyes afterward and I could see across the room to my mom in the waiting area. It was cool. Having worn contact 24/7 it was like having my contacts in so not totally cool like for people who only wear glasses but still cool. They give you tylenol PM before the surgery and I was def ready for bed. But I stayed up in the car so I could walk into my room at home.

When I got home I was supposed to go to bed to sleep off the pain. However I had hit the point where the pain had started and I couldn't sleep. You have to wear these goggle things so you don't poke your eye while you sleep. However they were catching the tears from my eyes making me very uncomfortable. After about 1/2 an hour of pain I finally got my mom to dial the phone so I could call the lasik place. They told me unfortunately it was normal and to take more Tylenol PM. If you wear contacts the feeling was like when it feels like you contact has dried to your eye and you do the popping thing the get it free but I couldn't pop my eye. If you don't wear contact then just REALLY dry ecxecpt my eyes were watering faster than I could wipe. So my mom gave me an ambion and I finally passed out and slept for 5 hours.

I woke up feeling good. Started my eye regieme (there are lots of drops and lots of different times) I slept more than I expected b/c of the ambion so luckily my mom and dad kept Reese all night. I woke up in time to put her to bed. So now I sit here wearing my hot sunglesses not feeling any pain and able to see as good or better than w/ my contacts. So while it wasn't a walk in the park I'm glad I did it. I'll update again in a few weeks once my eyes are healed.