Children's Journals

This is my journal, with posts mainly about myself. If you want to see posts specifically about Maia or Liam, check out the links to their journals under the "My Interests" section on the right side of my blog page.

Belly Picture Comparison

View Belly Picture Camparison for Second Pregnancy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Holy Hurricane, Batman

Never really thought I would be in an actual hurricane. I am never really in the south, where they usually hit, and any that do stray north usually die down significantly before they reach NJ. We just get some wind and rain, nothing big. But this Hurricane Irene stayed a Category 1 all through the state, and we got a LOT of wind and rain. Enough that I got worried about things. Enough that I moved my car out of the drive way so that it wasn't parked under a tree. Enough so that I moved all patio furniture, outdoor flags, planters, trash cans, a more secure location. Enough that I got out the flashlights and camp lanterns and put them in strategic locations. Enough, even, that I filled two pitchers with water to store in my fridge, and I filled my bathtub with water, just in case.
I had wondered what to do about sleeping arrangements. There is a large maple that hovers over the corner of our house, over our bedroom. The trunk split only about 3 feet up from the ground, and so it has two large trunks that angle out from there, instead of one straight vertical sturdy one. If there was enough wind, maybe one of them would crack off, and land on our bedroom. There were a few gusts early on that got my heart racing. And then the tornado warnings started. Not watches...that started up earlier...9pm through 5am. But actual warnings, in areas nearby (plus near my sisters and my parents). I did NOT want to wake up in my bedroom as a tree was being smashed through it due to a tornado. The safest spot in our house, we've decided, is our computer/craft room, as it used to be part of the garage and it has no windows. After rushing in there, to the closet door frame, twice last night, I decided that there was no way I could sleep upstairs, especially with the kids up there. So, we cleared out the floor, pushed Maia's pack-n-play in there, threw in Liam's camping cot, and blew up our air mattress.

So...we slept in the computer room. Liam was pretty excited about it, since it was something new. He fell asleep pretty quickly, as did Maia. Given that we weren't in our bedroom where we would hear the wind shoving the trees around, and instead were near the AC unit, the sounds of the storm were mostly drowned out. So it didn't take me too long to fall asleep. Although it was well after midnight before we went to bed. I woke up a few times, and actually got up at one point around 4:30, to help get blankets for the kids, since it was now chilly from being so close to the AC unit. It wasn't as windy and rainy as we thought it would be, given that the eye was almost on top of us. I checked the latest warnings, and then quickly fell back to sleep.

In the morning we got up to survey the damage. Which was minimal. In fact, it was way less than what I thought we would see, given the projected wind speeds we were supposed to have. Just lots of leaves and dead branches on the ground. Nothing damaged or knocked over. I took a walk around the neighborhood later, but the only damage I saw was our local Wawa sign, which had been torn open.

Obviously I am glad that no one was hurt and that there wasn't any major damage to property and such. But...I guess I am kind of a little disappointed that there wasn't something more. You know..just a downed tree or two...NOT anywhere bad, like across a road or someones car or house. But something to point at and say "Look! Look what the storm did in MY neighborhood!". We didn't even have power go out, just a flicker that reset the clocks. Not that I want to be without power. I just feel like it wasn't as big a deal for us.

Not so for my sister Jackie, about an hour north. Her apartment is near a canal and there was a LOT of flooding there. It's a good thing she evacuated.
This is the back end of her parking lot, closest to the canal, taken today.

The water is up to the apartment building, and unfortunately there are apartments on the first level that are actually lower than ground level, lower than those grey air-conditioning units you can see there. They are totally flooded. Luckily Jackie is on the second floor.

Here is another shot of the flooding, taken at 7pm. The water has actually risen and come into the parking lot a great deal since the morning. Earlier the water was about 10 feet away from the green island you can see there, and now it's past it and submerging it a bit.

And shortly after Jackie returned to her apartment complex, this tree feel across the entrance into her parking lot. Luckily it fell into an empty parking spot.

Unbelievable. I've now lived through a hurricane. Though it was a small one compared to the ones that have been felt in the south. I can't imagine going through one of those. Here's hoping mother nature calms down for a while.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaky shaky....

So, I was pumping breast milk in the empty office at my workplace, and I had just finished up and was transferring the milk to the storage bags...when suddenly the door started rattling. I thought maybe someone was trying to get in. But then the walls started shaking and swaying as well, enough that I watched them in confusion, wondering what the heck was going on. Was someone doing work on the building outside, something that would shake the building? Our buildings do shake a little...when someone big walks down the halls, you can feel the floors bounce a little. People who bounce their legs nervously while sitting at their desks will shake the floor for several cubes away (totally annoying). But this was some huge shaking. I then realized that it must be something that we rarely have here in New earthquake.

Apparently Virginia had a 5.9 earthquake and we felt it way up here in NJ. In fact, according to the articles, it was felt as far away as Florida and Canada. And apparently Colorado had earthquakes yesterday and today. Crazy. Never really felt one like that before. At most I have felt some vibration in the ground, like a big truck passing by. But this...this was actual building SWAYING. Nothing bad came of it, for us anyway. No damage...just a loss in productivity as tons of workers starting chattering on about it (during and after the evacuation and return to the building) and where they were at the time and what they thought it felt like. I checked in on some friends/family that lived a bit closer, but I can't help but worry about those living right where it happened. Hopefully no one got seriously hurt.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My family

Just thought I would post the cute picture of my family (sans me, of course, given that I am the one taking the picture). There were a few takes, none of them perfect. Maia was smiling great in one, but Matt and Liam were blurry and Matt's head was cut off. Another had Liam and Matt smiling but Maia looking cranky. So this was the best of the bunch.

My loved ones...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Surprise Day!

Just felt the need to point out the fact that one year ago today, we were surprised to discover that we were pregnant. I woke up that morning, still recovering from our week-long camping trip, and preparing myself mentally for my grandfather's funeral service later that afternoon. As I was getting up, it occurred to me that I was late...that something should have happened while on the camping trip. I didn't hold out much hope that we were pregnant, considering it had taken us 2.5 years and a lot of help to get pregnant with Liam. No way that it could have just happened after only 2 months of being off the pill and not really trying. But Matt and I decided to take a test, just to see, figuring that if the miraculous HAD occurred, it would give us something happy to think about on such a sad day. And sure enough, we got our miracle...those two blue lines appeared, and we were just boggled. It had WORKED! We had actually gotten pregnant, no troubles, no months and months of heartache and struggle. And we had good news to share.

Because we only had that one test to go on, and no official bloodwork, and because it seemed to incredulous and almost not-real, we didn't tell anyone that day, aside from my mom. We decided to tell her, partly because I couldn't just keep it in and HAD to tell someone else, and partly because she was grieving over the loss of her father, and I wanted to give her something positive to think about, some hope for the future...that even in the midst of the losses we were suffering, something good had happened.
And now here we are...with a beautiful little girl who is almost 4 months old.
Happy Surprise Day...

Friday, August 12, 2011


I've thought all day about what I might want to write, in memory of my grandfather Oscar Semora, who passed away a year ago today. And once again, I simply cannot express in words how much I love him, how much I miss him, and how wonderful he was. I want to write something deep and profound, but I don't think that's one of my strong points. And nothing can really do him justice, really.
So I am posting, instead, many different quotes about Grandfathers, as a sort of tribute to him.
Also, here is a link to the post I made last year, containing many memories from his grandchildren, of their young lives with him.

It's such a grand thing to be a father of a mother/father - that's why the world calls him grandfather.

Grandfathers are just antique little boys.

Grandpas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. ~Author Unknown

Grandfather-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandpas are short on criticism and long on love.

A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside.

Grandfather - a wonderful father with lots of practice.

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren.

A grandfather is a father who has a second chance.

A grandfather is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.
Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. ~Welsh Proverb

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.

Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends - and hardly ever our own grown children.

When a child is born, so are grandfathers.

(I love you very damn much)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another sad anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of my great grandmother, Gladys Semora. As mentioned a few posts ago, she was the second of four relatives to pass away in a very short amount of time. Less than one week after my grandmother passed away.
I am way too tired to think clearly and say anything too meaningful, and given that she lived in Arkansas, I didn't really see her all that often, so I don't feel I knew her as well. I last saw her in February of 2008, right before Liam turned one. *sigh* Still, I miss her, and I wanted to pay my respects to her memory.

*bows head*

Monday, August 1, 2011

Belly Flop

Maia's done it twice now this weekend, and come close many other times during that same period. We've laid her on her back to play or to sleep, and she has curled to her side many times, for the last few weeks. Last night, I put her to sleep on her back. This morning she was asleep on her belly. She rolled over! And that was the second time in the last three days. On Saturday, she was on her back on the playmat and rolled over as well. She has been curling onto her side a lot when on her back, and will even roll onto her belly, but her lower arm is still under her, so she never really quite makes it fully, and ends up flipping back onto her side and then back. She managed to get her arm bent under her before rolling onto her belly, and that allowed her to go over completely and end up in a sphinx pose. We thought it was just luck, and maybe it still was, but considering that this morning was asleep on her belly, with both arms free and hands near her head, she apparently managed to do it again...overnight...while sleepy.
YAY! Our little girl is growing up! Of course, now I am worried about her being on her belly while sleeping. I am hoping that she soon learns how to roll from her belly to back. That is actually supposed to be what happens first, but...oh well...guess no one told Maia that.