Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2 years ago, this very moment

2 years ago, this very moment... Jesse Noah entered this world! It's so hard to believe how fast time has gone by. From finding out we were expecting, up until the second he was born - it was a life changing experience. Surprised by labor late in the evening of Jan 28, and then going to the hospital early morning on the 29th, we spent most of the day waiting on nature to take it's course... then several hours of effort on my part (emphasis on my part there, thanks - I'll take a bow) the doctor came in only to find that Jesse needed to be born by C-Section. He had his own agenda. So - off we went around 930pm.

10:09pm - Jesse was born. It was a while before I got to hold him, we stayed in the operating room a little longer then expected, but the moment we met I realized something - our hearts were changed forever. He stole our hearts with his beautiful little baby face.

So tonight I am feeling a bit selfish, sad, and happy all at the same time. Selfish, wishing I could make time stand still, just for a little while. Sad, that the middle of the night cuddles and feedings are a thing of the past. Happy, that I'm watching this baby we were blessed with grow into such a promising little guy!

Happy Birthday my little peanut. Mommy is so proud of how big you are getting!!

Look who turned TWO!!!

Click to play Jesse's 2nd Birthday
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There was a bit of a mix up with the cake, but after some running around and some improvising on my part - we worked it out. Jesse didn't eat cake tonight, he wasn't interested to say the least. He would stick his finger in the icing and feed it to me. HA! He did enjoy the cars that were part of the cake deco. Thanks to Aunt Heather and gang Jesse has nesting boxes - and he LOVES them! He keeps stacking them and counting them!! He also received Sesame street goodies, books, and a truck that loads cars and helps with colors and counting. Overall, our littlest guy really enjoyed his birthday!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mommy Wars

Labeled by society as a SAH/WFH mom (acronyms meaning STAY AT HOME/WORK FROM HOME) I have been fortunate to have been offered to work from home, and it's no cake walk, though to some it would seem to be. Staying home, working from home, homeschooling and working, homeschooling and not working, or having kids in daycare and working full time - it's not a competition (and it shouldn't become one!)...none of it is easy (but who said life was easy? I missed that!) any way you look at it - and no one's situation is identical! I think more needs to be said about all moms (and dads), in all walks of life, managing their lives - whether it be career driven or not, every mom (and dad) holds a very important role in society. In my opinion, no 'title' is more challenging, life changing, and proudly held by a woman, then "mom". The video below features a blogger (Dana L) who I've been following for a while now. I thought this was worth posting!


I've found a hero in the anonymous author of this little bit:
A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk 's office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself."What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a......?""Of course I have a job," snapped the woman. "I'm a Mom." "We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like,"Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar." "What is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations." The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire. "Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?" Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field,(normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?)and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door. Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" and great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates"?I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants".

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow Day #2

Some of my eastern NC friends/family are a bit envious of our recent double dose of snow...but even so, we did get a double dose this week!! Not alot, just about 2 inches Wednesday evening, then maybe 1 inch today. Not alot to brag about, but definitely a site to see since we've not had snow in a while!

Snow makes me want what I like to call 'fireplace meals'. I love to have hearty warm soups, stews, and today before the weather came in the boys and I headed out to the Fresh Market for some fresh veggies to make my own version of Veggie Soup. I make mine very similar to Olive Garden's Minestrone, minus the noodles. I love hearty chunks of tomato with Italian seasonings and then I load the soup with chunks of our favorite veggies and beans. I'm not quite ready to post my link to the Project 365 photo journal (hope to have that going on smugmug this week) but here are a few pictures I took for today.

yummy veggie soup
Ezra loves to use his light saber, he was chopping at the snow as it fell...
Some of the snow was finally sticking to our roof!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Day

It snowed about 2 inches overnight, and quickly turned to a rainy mess. The boys woke up excited to see the snow. After breakfast we decided we'd just go outside for a few minutes...Ezra opted out of going outside, the snow was like a slushy, but Jesse was so curious that we had to go out! We only took a few pictures, it was raining the entire time. After slushing around for about 15 minutes, he came in.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I've started taking a photo a day.. I'm working on how to post these, since some of them are completely random. I officially started Monday, January 14. I'm uploading to smugmug now and am almost done with my photos, there will be a special folder labeled 'Project 365' once I share the link in my blogposts... I really am going to stick with this, today taught me the importance of having my camera, simply because sometimes life just makes you laugh. I generally shake my head in the face of immaturity... but today, I was caught off guard and I found myself trying my best to keep my composure until I was able to be alone and laugh... and OH HOW I LAUGHED...
Car talk:

me: how was your day?

him: fine, I think I'm going to go ahead and read my homework book if that's ok, just to get it done.

me: sure

.......long silence in car (40 min commute, lots of time to read)

10 min later....

me: what are you reading about?

him: Uranus.

I say no more. The 12 year old in me made me smirk, he didn't see me, and I didn't even hint to him that there was humor... it was certainly photo worthy. He asked me why I was taking a photo... I simply told him 'I'm thinking one day you'll understand why'. He thinks it's some witty way of me documenting him doing homework... oh, he will laugh, and if you're honest with yourself - you did too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Imitation play

Jesse has decided it's time for Elmo to wear a diaper. He received TMX Elmo at Christmas, and carries him around as his buddy. Tonight, he opened the diaper drawer in our living room and removed a diaper. Then, he walked over to Elmo, opened the diaper up like I do when I change his diaper and then laid Elmo on top of the diaper then turned and asked me to help. We diapered Elmo. Newborn diapers would work best on TMX Elmo; we made size 3 work with a few minor modifications.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Ok - I made a commitment to do 'project 365' and failed to remember that I needed new rechargeable batteries. So - I go out, with my camera with regular batteries and just for future reference - not a good idea. Evidently cameras require batteries with super strength and we were able to snap about 8 photos at the airport before the batteries gave up. So - my 'Project 365' will officially start Monday when I can have some rechargeables in there and keep it with me for my picture a day project.

Not alot going on this weekend around our house, holidays are over and we have a holiday hangover so to speak (holiday gatherings, generally tired, after holiday cleanup, etc), so we decided to take another drive to the airport. It's only about a 20 min. drive for us, and the boys love the overlook and seeing the airplanes take off and land. I posted photos of this recently, but this weekend they had changed course on the landing strip and we really got some great photos of closeups on take-offs. Jesse is waving bye-bye as each and every plane leaves. We grabbed a treat and had our snacks while watching several land and take off. It was a nice way to spend a little time out of the house as a family today!

Waving 'bye' to all of the airplanes!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Priceless Gifts

I was asked to write a memorial tribute, a summary of who my brother was. He offered a priceless gift in his passing, he was a donor. The NC Eye Bank asked for a short tribute, and a picture. It will be featured in a Memorial Book, on their website, and in a video presentation at a memorial service in April. Below is what I offered...

'Mike' 12/15/67-08/06/07

All who knew him called him ‘Mike’. My dad asked me to write this memorial and to mention a few things about my brother that others should know, its unfortunate for anyone to have missed out on knowing such a man.

One of Mike’s best qualities was his character. Without fail, he drew attention to himself with his ability to look you in the eye when talking. It was important to him to exude confidence in everything he did, most importantly in raising his children. He was a remarkable father to his two children, giving his time, instilling lifelong values while showing love and patience to his children was his first priority always. And while he may have only been here in their lives for what seems a short time here on earth, he has managed to leave with them a lifetime of love and morals in teaching them to be proud of who they are, not what they have, and how to live their lives treating others like they want to be treated, holding their heads up high even when things seem like they’re not going right. When his children had mis-behaved or needed to understand that life throws curve balls to us from time to time he always said to them ‘you’d better Tighten-Up’.

Another of Mike’s best features were his eyes… when we received the call from the NC Eye Bank on donor participation, it was a hard decision to make until we found that on his license he wanted to be a donor. We knew that without a doubt we’d not do right by Mike if we didn’t honor his wishes in that. Mike’s eyes could stop you in mid-conversation, he had a way of smiling in his eyes and emotions were clear when you looked into them. Honest, caring, loving and thoughtful eyes. A shade of blue like no other I’ve ever seen. During any conversation with Mike, he never made you feel like he wasn’t listening, because he kept his eyes on yours in a way that made you feel like whatever you were talking about with him at that moment was the most important conversation you ever had with him. There was trust, and kindness in his eyes and it’s a quality that is hard to come by.

To sum it all up, Mike was an energetic man, who loved his kids, his family and his life. He really did live life for each day, not wasting a moment; he appreciated everyone in his life. He had a strong value system and put his family first. He gave 100% to his family, his job, and his friends. His hobbies included fishing, RC Airplanes, and just hanging out at home with his family. He leaves behind 2 children of his own, a fiance and her son and is survived by his mother, father, brother and sister. The friends and family left behind know in our hearts that Heaven needed another angel, and who better to do the job then Mike.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Project 365

I'm making a commitment for me. I have been reading a fellow blogger's feeds regularly, and she's inspired me to join in on Project 365. I think for personal reasons, as well as for journaling, this will be worth my time. Who doesn't have time to snap one photo a day? Just in effort to capture a memory. How many times do we forget the mundane? I want to embrace the mundane, it humbles me. I have started a smugmug.com subscription (not finished uploading - takes forever), not all of my entries will be journal entries - just photos. I plan to journal at least weekly and have at a short photo description listed with my photos, I may journal them in slideshow format if it's once a week. I love the suggestions on project 365.

Time flies, and so often I forget the little things in my life that made me smile on a particular day... or something new I may have done or tried. I need this for me, and my family... it's a documentary on it's own. After my brothers death, I've realized how precious pictures are ... they really do capture more then words can express. So, indulge me. I'm expecting no awards because I'm not a great photographer, and this is a personal project that I'm throwing myself at!

The first addition to my project is a photo of Jesse. I came around the corner with my camera, with all intentions of charging the batteries... to find him standing inside of the liftup seat on his sit and scoot car. He sat down and gave me a pose as if to plead with me that he was doing nothing wrong!!! Hilarious, and what a precious little puppy dog look!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Playing Games

I remember very clearly what it is like to want to do the things your brother(s) do, and then sometimes saying 'I'll NEVER do what my brother(s) did'. From one extreme to another, that's how siblings work - or at least in my experience.

Example in photo below. Ezra plays xbox360 for about 30 min each day as long as all of the day's responsibilities are met (chores, homework, etc) and time allows. So... Jesse shadows him. It is a precious moment to me. Jesse had to lay on the same kind of pillow, with a blanket just like big brother, and hold a controller (it's upside down w/o batteries, but he didn't mind), and the entire Lego's Starwars game was commentated by my 2 year old!! This was just before bed, and he had his paci and pj's on - it was tough to pull him away for bedtime!! He wanted to spend so much time with his big brother...

Monday, January 7, 2008

anniversary of sorts

3 years ago today... I was sitting at my desk at work holding a cup of coffee in my hand and waiting on my computer to start up when my cellphone rang... Jonathon had went to the doctor 1 week earlier for shortness of breath where they detected a minor problem on an EKG, so on this day 3 years ago he was driving in for a scheduled stress test at 8am just to rule out any other issues. As I put my coffee down, grabbed my cellphone, I noticed the number calling me wasn't a familiar one. I answered and heard the calm voice of Dr. Connelly say 'Mrs. F., are you close to Rowan Regional?' I said, 'yes'. He then proceeded to tell me in the calmest way, ' while taking the stress test, your husband began suffering from a major heart event, and we need you to come to the hospital as safely and quickly as possible, we are preparing him for transport to Presbyterian right now. He's stable, for now.' I froze. Time stood still.

After taking this in, I asked that our office manager drive me there. When I arrived Dr. Connelly greeted me , told me to try and remain as positive as I could in front of my husband. This was hard! We left shortly after my arrival for Presbyterian. I was familiar with Presbyterian hospital, my father had quadruple bypass surgery there, my stepfather had a valve replacement there, and it was a scary thought as well as humbling to know that Jonathon would be placed in that medical team's care. I can't say enough about the Critical Care unit that transported us, they let me ride up front and kept me posted with every 2-3 minute updates on his stability. We were fortunate enough to be assigned doctors from my father's medical team, which I already knew and trusted... Dr. Hastings, Dr. Andrews, and Dr. Pasquini - as they took Jonathon back for a heart catheterization, I honestly thought 'ok, they'll probably need to do a balloon (angioplasty) procedure, or at worst, a heart stent.' They came out, asked me to come in... he needed bypass. 3 arteries with over 75% blockage. 2pm on January 7 began the longest 5 hours of my life. After surgery and several complications with the breathing machine, we began a lifelong journey of changes. At 34, this seemed unheard of, genetics played a tremendous role in heart disease. A simple cholesterol test can go a long way, but we never thought of doing one. It's constantly going through my mind how Jonathon was in our back yard the night before his heart attack playing a game and running with Ezra and this could have easily happened right then and there... but instead, he was at the right place, at the right time, with the right people.

3 years later we are glad to say that after 2 more stress tests (no problems on those!), and regular visits with the cardiologist, being more conscious of heart healthy food choices, there are no signs of heart disease, no signs of cholesterol concerns, and can say that his heart is a healthy heart.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Brrrr!!! It's cold outside!!

With the new year came the Arctic Blast... and BRRRRR!!! It's in the teens! Forecast temperature for Friday morning is 14! We tried getting him to wear this hat last year, but he wasn't really into wearing hats then... now he loves it and puts it on by himself.

I adore his little Russian inspired hat. I also love his happy little smile and his messy hair, he's such a content little guy!!

Ezra went back to school today from being home for Christmas break. He wasn't jumping for joy as he went in, but seemed to be back into the swing of things this afternoon when I picked him up. It's official, holidays are over!