Please just ignore how long its been since I've posted and let's start fresh.
This will be quick, I just have some things in my head right now that Zayah has been doing that I don't want to forget...
I love more than anything when she calls a snowman a 'Snow-Ma'am'. Everytime.
When we do thumbs up or thumbs down she says it, 'Flumbs up, Flumbs down.'
We have been talking about her birthday party coming up and she always pronounces it, 'Birkday'.
She yells at the dogs to lay on their MAP! Also known as their mat but map is funnier.
She had Moose Caboose written on the bum of her Christmas PJ's this year and every since she calls her bum her Moose Caboose. She has a lisp though so it's more like Moossth Cabooosth. I also love that.
Can't forget her lisp, her lisp is my favorite thing in the world.
She still gets mixed up with Grandma and Grandpa. Sometimes My Dad is Grandma and sometimes Judy is Grandpa. We have been trying.
She calls her private parts her Ba-China. And when we ask her what Dad has she says, Peanuts! :)
She grabs a stool and stands on it in the middle of the living room with one of her magic wands in her hands (and sometimes in full princess dress attire) and either sings into it or tells me to sing while she conducts me. The song she sings is sometimes a real song and sometimes completely made up about objects in the room or if she's hungry the song is about what she wants to eat.
Every morning she wakes up she finds me and tells me the sky is waking up so she has to be awake. Then we lay in bed and I put on cartoons and she wraps her arms around me and says, 'I love you so much Mom, you're my favorite Mom.' Her cuteness kills me a little bit each day.
Everytime we pas my Grandma's house she points and tells me that it's Grammy J's house. We will always make sure she remembers that.
She watches some silly shows on netflix and quotes them constantly but I never know which show she's talking about so I always have to ask her which character says that and then she tells me that it's either Team Umizoomi or Daniel Tiger or Bubble Guppies or Dora. I can't keep up.
She will be 3 on January 31st. We are having a Carnival Birthday Party with a bouncy house, cotton candy, games and prizes, hot dogs, cupcakes, and popcorn. I can't even wait to see the look on her face.
I've been so confused lately with all that's been going on. This year so far has brought some amazing and happy surprises and then on the other end of the spectrum it has brought the lowest of lows. I get stuck in between celebrating the amazing things I've been able to experience, and taking in some sad sad days.
In December, we found out Grammy J had a tumor. Doctors were confident that going in for initial surgery would be successful and they could remove it. They were not concerned about surgery with her even at (almost) 95 because she is so spry. So alive, so alert, so healthy. Healthier then me at 27 I swear. So it happened. And when they got into the surgery they found that the pictures of the tumor didn't do it justice. It was too dense for them to remove without causing Grammy extra bleeding and too many risks. So it stayed for now. On to radiation to try to shrink it. Radiation started end of January and went through most of February. She was lucky with no other side effects besides getting more tired. We celebrated her 95th birthday at end of January, about 5 weeks after her first surgery attempt. And she was exactly the same as she's always been. Laughing with us, joking, eating ice cream (her fave) and blowing out the candles on the cake with my little one. (Their birthdays are a day apart). It was a great day.
Toward the end of February Grammy had grown weak. She got stomach flu first which hindered her not eating. And if you know my Grammy you know she is only like 90 pounds soaking wet as it is. This lady can not afford to not eat. In fact Drs. told her halfway through radiation that she was too little and needed to gain. But then the flu hit and her appetite was gone. My Grammy did not eat solid food for about 4 weeks and passed away on March 14, 2013 at 95 years old. I got to spend her last time with her as I live just across the road from her. She could not get out of bed from about March 1st on. So I visited everyday without fail. I would lay with her and her mind was so intact. She could recall dates from the past, stories, talked to me about Zayah and Chase, asked questions. But she was so weak so the conversations were kept short as to not wear her out too much. I kissed her everyday. I held her hand everyday. Zayah gave her kisses as well. And Chase made it home from work the week before she passed so Grammy saw him one last time too. On the day she passed I had JUST made it in for my daily visit. She was staring at the ceiling, short breaths, and when I touched her arm and said hi, there was no acknowledgement this time. But I talked to her anyways, and kissed her on the cheek anyways. Her daughters needed to clean her up so I stepped out and sat on the couch waiting to go back in to visit. 2 minutes later, my Aunt came out to call Dad and tell him to get over there as Grammy had just passed.
That day and week was one of my lowest lows. Living so close to her for my adult life and getting to know her again, learning things from her, watching her, and celebrating with her was over.
But then the highs come in. I got to see all of my siblings, together at the same time in the same place. It was great! I can't even remember the last time all 6 of us were at the same thing. Actually 8 of us with Nikki and Channing, and we were all there! In the midst of the sadness, there were lots of laughs and stories and good times. This is where I get so confused as to how I can be so happy and have good times and then when I stop to think about missing Grammy I fall back to sadness and cry instantly.
Other highs this year have been Zayah turning 2 with a big celebration.
In February me and 2 of my sisters got tickets to the Ellen show. We only had standby tickets but made it into the live taping that day. It was the day after my birthday actually. And then at the end of the show she invited our whole audience back for 1 of the 12 Days of Giveaways Christmas Shows!!!! Is this for real? YES!!!! Who do you know that this happens too right? It was insane and amazing and I got to share it with family which is always my favorite.
Around Christmas we had family home too and Dads band had a reunion and played the Christmas Dance like they used to when I was little. It was amazing. Then I stopped to think and Grammy was in the hospital for surgery and recovery. And she spent Christmas Day in the hospital.
Do you see how up and down this year has been? Fun times, amazing life experiences turn to loss and sadness and grief. This post triggered when just a couple days ago I found out that the brother of one of my best friends down in the States had passed away from complications of Cystic Fibrosis. I have been trying to make plans and arrangements to make it to the funeral, but with careful consideration of our savings and expenses I decided it would be best to not go.
This post is probably confusing and I'm probably rambling, but this is exactly how thoughts play out in my head lately. It's hard and confusing. I moved out of Mtn View right after Grammy's funeral which was another hard transition. Leaving the familiar and also the home we brought Zayah home from the hospital to. And leaving just solidified that Grammy was gone and life would never be the same. Her house will be for sale this summer and it will be too expensive for Dad or us to purchase so we will watch our last bit of her be sold to someone, anyone, with no control.
Another high point. Thinking about Grammy meeting her sweetheart in Heaven. Oh that Reunion! I wish heaven had someone recording and we could watch clips sometimes. Grandpa had a wooden leg since the 1st year they were married and Grammy had been without him on earth for 10 years. I bet he ran to her. I picture him lifting her up and spinning her in circles. I hope they danced. All those things are long overdue. What a life.
Another exciting thing this year is that Chase and I are house hunting. Will I finally be a home owner this year? Crossing my fingers we find the best place for us!
Two years old. I have pictures, tons of them. From her birthday party, of her playing with friends, and family. So many pictures I can't even choose. So I grabbed a couple. A couple is all you get. Because I can back these pictures up on discs and get them developed but, right now I want to remember the things my little 2 year old is saying, singing, playing and doing. Pictures I can look back on anytime.
Her birthday cupcake at her party.
We had Zayah's party early because Chase would be out of town working on her real birthday. We went swimming. Went down waterslides. Floated on tubes. Warmed up in hot tubs. Then we ate pizza and cupcakes.
This year for Zayah's party we opted to donate her gifts. This was an idea I had last year but did not get it orchestrated in time for her 1st birthday so her second birthday was the year! And if I have any say in it, it will not be the last time we do it. We chose the Harbour House Outreach program at the local YWCA. I'm hoping we can get her excited about donating her gifts every year to hopefully different places.
On January 31, 2013 at 4:29pm I officially had a two year old. We went to rhyme time at the library, we played at the Family Center on the jungle gym and we met up with her good friend Taylor at McDonald's so they could eat and play on the playplace. I bought her new clothes. It was a fun Mother-Daughter outing.
My two year old:
- She's starting to put full sentences together. She pauses before she does and I can see her little brain thinking about what she should say. Example: Dad was tickling her feet and she was laughing and kicking and trying to get away but could not. She stopped laughing got this serious look on her face and said, 'Don't tickle Grandpa!' We laughed.
- She sleeps with her stuffed 'Boo' from Monsters inc. every night. And has a couple soft blankets she loves.
- She can count to TEN!!! She's so smart I can't even stand it. She even can point out certain numbers when she sees them on things. Today she brought me a flash card and said, '8 Mama.' It really was an 8!
- She catches on to things after just being shown once. Putting a toy in a certain spot, it will go to the same spot every time. Pushing a button to start a movie. Singing a song.
- Which brings me to my next thing I LOVE that she's started doing. SINGING! She sings twinkle twinkle little star now. I didn't even know she knew the words because every time I sing it to her she stares at me blankly. But, as she was playing on the jungle gym I mentioned earlier she just randomly busted out, 'Like a diamond ss-ss-sky.' I was amazed. Just the other day at the hockey game her and 2 friends were playing ring around the rosie. She has never played this before and laughed hysterically. Everyday since then she has sang Ring around the rosie.
Her words to twinkle twinkle sound something like this:
Twinkle twinkle dar
wonder ut ut are
up da woorld ah-high
wike a diamond ss-ss-sky.
I have it recorded and laugh every time. Did I mention she does this as loud as she can? At the top of her lungs. Hilarious.
- She knows and recognizes people. Instead of just saying Nikki or Chan Chan's or Grandpa's names she looks at them to make sure it's them. She recognizes people to their names now. Love that.
- She will not say Grandma. I tell her we are going to Grandma and Grandpas house and she just says, 'Grandpa Grandpa.' Just says it twice.
- She's been in a toddler bed since her real birthday. She does so good so far. Stays in bed until morning (although our mornings have been a lot earlier since but I can live with that). Waking up earlier means that naps have been easier which I love, as they were starting to get phased out before. Compromise.
There are so many words and phrases she's saying and as they happen I'm making a promise to myself to jot them down and record them. More will come. Having a two year old makes me get teary eyed, but she's a very good little girl. She's fun, energetic, hilarious and still gives me cuddles.
I need to document what my little munchkin is saying so I have it all on record. Zayah Mae will be 2 in January and has been a little parrot/chatter box for the last couple months. She has even said some words that I didn't teach her! She just picks them up and says them to me and I'm left wondering where the heck she learned that. She's pretty smart and amazing if you ask me.. ;)
Her first full sentence was:
'Na bing my bankie.'
Translation: I wanna bring my blankie.
'I got it!'
Whass dat? (Yes she has a lisp and it's my absolute favorite thing about her)
'It Go?' - Where did it go?
'Peez' for please
'ears ears' for earrings
'buckle up!' When she is climbing in her high chair or getting in her car seat.
'Ta-Da!' Said VERY enthusiastically when we are done getting her dressed. :)
I never said 'No' to her, I always stuck out my finger and said 'Uh Uh Uh' She brought me a doll and I didn't want it on my lap so I threw it on the ground and she pointed her finger at me and yelled, 'UH UH UH.' :) Sassy pants.
Words she can say and use in correct context:
Mama, Dada, Auntie, Puppy, Treats, show, coat, shoes, socks, supper, hungry, ball, toys, car, rock, glasses, cookie, kitty, potty, poop, and probably more I'm not remembering.
Oh and by the way I did not teach her rock, cookie, or glasses. She said those and showed them to me and I looked at her like, how did you know that?
She knows how to identify her nose, eyes, teeth, hair, ears, belly button, and boobies when asked.
She repeats people's names when we ask her to say them, like:
Nani and Papa (Chase's parents)
Chan Chan - Auntie Channing
Nikki - Auntie Nikki
Joni - Auntie Joni
Tisa - Auntie Tisa(Chase's Sister)
She gets stumped on Grandma and Grandpa but we are working on it.
We stick with the easy names for now.
She also repeats us counting to her or she knows if we say 1 she says 2 and we try to go up to 10. I don't know why but instead of waiting until 10 to get excited she stops and 6 and yells it and throws her hands in the air. weird.
I'll start singing the ABC song to her and she sings, 'C-D' ... that's all she knows.. :) But I think it's pretty adorable.
Animal sounds she knows are:
Kitty, puppy, cow, snake, elephant, pig, and sometimes lion. We're working on lion and more.
She says Buh Bye to EVERYTHING! Throws a rock on the ground, stops and waves, 'Buh Bye Rock!'
Buh Bye Car!
buh Bye Puppy!
Buh Bye Show!
Buh Bye Auntie!
Seriously everything needs a buh bye and sometimes she blows those things kisses.
That's all I can think of for now. The more she talks I'm sure she will give me more of her funnies and things going on in her brain and I can't even wait. :)
Chase used to live in Georgia, in fact he lived there twice. He has Uncles down there that have businesses and he went to work with them and live near his cousins. Chase had not been back to Georgia in 7 years.
This post is going to start off a bit sad as there is a reason Chase had not been back for 7 years.
In July of 2005 Chase was living in Peachtree City, GA with his Uncle Brad and Aunt Vicky for the second time. Hurricane Cindy was coming in full force and pouring rain and wind down on the Atlanta area. In a matter of an hour Peachtree City was flooded. Chase and his cousins and even Uncle Brad went down the road just past their house and saw the water up over the road and flooding the whole valley. ON the road it was up to their calves and over the grassy areas it was over their heads. The place where they were had a culvert that went under that road and met with a canal that washed into Lake Peachtree. But the culvert at the time was only about 3 feet wide. And for all that water to try to get through a 3 foot culvert was hard enough, but then you add in branches and trees and all the debris and it makes it very backed up. The boys decided to make the best of it. Uncle Brad grabbed his truck and drove up and down the road pulling the boys behind on the wake board. Why not try wake boarding somewhere new eh? Always looking for an adventure. Chase decided while they were doing that he was just going to swim around in the new lake that had formed. A minute later, no one could see Chase. He had vanished. He was under water long enough for his cousin Danen, and his friends Brock and Brett to form a plan to wade in the water reaching down with their arms and trying to feel for Chase. They had got a rope by this time to try and move down into the water over the culvert more, but then still be able to pull anybody back up if needed. Next thing you knew, Chase's cousin Danen was gone. Brock had his legged sucked down into the water and Brett was using the rope to pull him back up. Under the water Chase says he remembers feeling a tree, branches, and pain. Part of the culvert metal was old and peeling back and Chase had cut his foot on it. He finally re-surfaced on the other side and made it to the side of the bank and up, but not without a hard hard fight. He tells everyone he is ok, but they inform him, that Danen went under trying to find Chase. Danen's Dad, Uncle Brad, decides to jump in after his son. He was getting sucked down with such force he tried to hold onto the metal that was hanging down from the culvert when he was under there, and he ended up tearing his rotator cuff in his shoulder. Knowing that he was going through the same culvert as Chase and Danen, he made himself wide trying to feel for anything he could. As he got dropped out the other side, he got a breath before getting pushed down and tossed around. He made the same fight Chase did and made his way to the bank. Still no Danen.
This is Chase seeing the culvert for the first time since the accident. The place where Chase is standing in this pic close to where he was swimming when he got pulled under, so the water was well to or above his head.
Rescue teams searched for Danen as long as they could into the night. Hurricane Cindy had moved so much water in that it was like a playground for the Water Mocassins that were in the canal.(snakes)
The rescue team worked as far down the canal searching as they could before hitting the huge snake nest, and then started again when it was safe down the canal after the nest. They called off their search at 2:00am.
At around 9:00am Uncle Brad and Aunt Vicky could hear the sirens and see the lights from their house. They quickly ran over to see if they had found their son, and they had. Danen had hit his head on the metal that was hanging down leaving a gash on his forehead rendering him unconscious, and leaving him to drown.
His body was found right beside the snake nest, and right where the rescuers could not search. Uncle Brad and Aunt Vicky got their as they were putting their son in a body bag. Uncle Brad blessed Danen's body and they said their goodbyes.
This wreath is hung on a tree right beside the canal at the spot where they found Danen.
This is the side of the culvert where Chase and Uncle Brad came out and fought to get to the bank. The spot that almost took Chase out of this world, and I wouldn't have him or Zayah. I was a wreck as you can imagine. As you can see the culvert is not 3 feet wide. The area of this road has all been redone since the accident to make water flow easier and more smooth and to prevent back up.
As fate would have it, we ended up being in GA for Danen's birthday. We did not even know. Pictures of the family at his graveside are later in the post.
Okay, now we will lighten things up a bit.
The canal I was talking about flows into Lake Peachtree there in the background.
The first full night we were there Jocelyn (Our Hostess) had planned a dinner for everyone to come see Chase. This is Chase and his friend Brett seeing each other and catching up for the first time in 7 years.
We were all about the Summer dresses in GA. :)
This is Chase's cousin Laurel. Everyone calls her Yo-Yo.
Chase's sister Jennifer decided to come and have a vacation at the same time we were there. This is Chase and Jennifer with their babies Zayah and Isabelle.
We want to go for a day on the lake!!
This is Jocelyn, she is due May 14th and even at 8 months pregnant was the most delightful hostess.
Danen's birthday we met up with the family at the cemetery.
Just my gorgeous girl..
Baby Isabelle is so cute and funny. :)
Jocelyn's husband, Garrett. Practicing with the babes for when his babe finally arrives!
Danen's grave,... such a beautiful cemetery.
Jennifer, Jocelyn, Cammi, Stacy(Danen's sister in law) and Zayah.
The boys with Danen(just missing Brett)
Brandon(Danen's brother and Chase's cousin), Chase and Brock(the friend who was searching for Chase with Brett and Danen the day of the accident).
Expectant parents Garrett and Jocelyn.
Aunty Vicky, Uncle Brad, Jenn, Garrett and Jocelyn.
A sunny day to play on Lake Peachtree.
Floating with the girls
This was our first paddle boarding adventure and we loved it!
Z needed a try.
Chase and Brock out on the lake.
My sexy man.
I tried it out too. I was nervous but I didn't fall!!
Family pic. Everything is so lush and green there, I love it.
Chase and Jenny with their babes.
How gorgeous are these girls? Seriously...
Cousins in their Sunday dresses.
Cousins in their matching outfits... :)
Our last full day in Georgia we hit up the Georgia Aquarium!
Looking at the fishes.
The big tank. So many things to see.
Walking under the tank.
Just trying to see it all.
They had whale sharks, and manta rays, and sharks, and big huge fish and everything you could thing of!!
My favorite picture of the day.
Looks like it has leopard skin.
yes I'm still a little kid.
Someone was worn out. So Chase and I saw the rest of the exhibits on our own.. :)
Petting the small sting rays
The frog exhibit was huge but I won't bore you with all the pics. These ones were so cool they looked fake.
So in Peachtree City they have golf cart paths that lead you to all the stores and restaurants and even the schools. They have golf cart parking sections in the parking lots and you could even go to a drive thru in one!! its so awesome!! We went on a couple gold cart adventures and this picture os coming home from dinner on our last night in GA.