Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Life After Babies

As I stated in a blog post prior about how life is chugging along, I sit here typing in the wee hours of the night after failed attempts of getting back to sleep. I'm pretty sure I know this is a side affect of my ADHD medication, but hoping its not going to be a regular occurrence.

So blog post it is!

At the same age give or take, Alden has been weaned. The same behavior issues were resulting as like his brother....and this momma was now over this bonding experience.

........And I have to say.....I am not really missing it. Yes, I just said that. Three and a half years of my life were given to trying to ensure they could get the most health benefit from the liquid gold.

So now what?

Why, a whole new lifestyle that is!

I can now shop for tops/sweaters and not have to test it for how easy I could whip a boob out while not flashing whatever bystander was near. The girls get to 'move up' to a new position post with the help of underwire! No more having to re click the nursing bra back after wrestling a baby and toddler on my lap.


Nolan frequently refers to my boobs as 'mommies milk', and has been obsessed with them since day one. After having weaned him for 15 months, one day after being incredibly tired of fighting him off while nursing his brother, said, "Fine....go ahead!"

He latched and nursed as if those last 15 months were only but a skipped day.

But the latch of a near three year old is not the same as the one of a six month old.

Yep.....this ain't going to continue.

I'm not stuck holding a baby to feed or rock to sleep and can go and reinvest in my previous hobbies/passions which had to sit off to the side most of the time except for a few brief moments I was able to indulge myself with a personal project.

In the last few days, I've looked on at the family as my three are sitting on the couch with Gram while she reads a few more stories before her soon to be here flight home.....

This life stage is actually pretty enjoyable. Yes, my last baby is no longer a baby and pushing his independence and curiosity for life further each day.....but so much about everyday life is very much exciting to him. I've noticed how he'll roll a train car over my curves, jumping it from fat mound to leg and back to fat mound like Evil Knievel ramps. *sigh*

Nolan will be overheard playing with one of the boys I watch during the day and reenacting with his Rescue Bots along with Optimus Prime trying to save each other. Just his own fantasy role playing that Eliza didn't get very big into

....And my big five year old, bus riding kindergartener. Her new abilities she's developing from improving her speech, learning to read and even following step by step visual directions to put together a Lego Friends set pieces.

My kids love each other....most of the time....and love their parents.....most of the time.....

I really am blessed.

We may have a giant hole in the ceiling, a kitchen that can't be kept clean, one car we have to share between a career/kids/appointments/life, bitten off more than we might possibly be able to chew....

But blessed :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Spin Cycle

Life has been everything thrown into the washer and humming like clock work around these parts. This kinda explains the lack of blogging as of late. But trust me....the desire has been there....but, soooo many projects have been buzzing in this head of mine.

It constantly plays tug-o-war with my adult responsibilities.

My mother has made her annual trip out east to stay with us for a month or so. Accompanied by this, has been my uncle and aunt from the Gallagher side, followed with my soon to be in laws for Columbus day weekend. A long overdue family portrait is scheduled this time around to include Alden on the wall.

As much as I've enjoyed having this extra family visiting, not to mention two....yes TWO date nights Matt and I've been blessed to go on.....it brings on a different kind of work/stress when entertaining. Not the bad sorts, but just more activity than we are accustomed to.

Eliza is in school during the day (unless we have the pleasure of discovering lice), two extra boys come off the bus to my house for childcare, MOPS has started up again and Alden is becoming more and more a toddler. Speaking of that, He had a recent doctor's appointment. His stats for 15 months are as follows:

Height: 33 in (92nd %)
Weight: 23 lbs 11 oz (36th %)
Head: (96th %)

He loves to be outside playing, climbing and eating sand from the sandbox. Anything with wheels are always enjoyed. And language is emerging more. Something I am not use to from prior experience with the older two and speech delays. Mama, dada, dueweek (drink) ut oh, bye bye....

We are still waiting on getting a bid back on the upstairs bathroom from Nolan flooding it. One of the hold ups is finding asbestos on the underside of the bathroom flooring. If we can try and remove it ourselves as to totally legal in NY state and use the insurance money to cover the remodel...this would be the best situation....especially if you've ever had to experience a shower or function in it.

The ceiling still has to be torn out and instal drywall.

The livingroom floors have original red oak flooring! Now its a matter of getting it repaired in a few places and then refinished. The hardest part with this is having to be out of the house for 3 days! No easy feat!

Weather here has been mild. Just today I went outside in a short and shorts while the boys played and I worked on deconstructing pallets. I wonder how long I'll be able to work out in the shed for cutting scrap lumber until it requires snow boots and a parka, ha!

I installed some leftbehind gutters over our side door entrance and along the carport last week, but will eventually need something more efficient and covering more around the outside roof sides. Yet, it was free and I just barely managed with a painter's stool getting the brackets screwed in.

New curtains in the living room to replace the previous owners love affair with puke green everything!

Still need to sew the boy's window curtains....and having to force myself to just do it when the bolt of fabric sits in the basement. It seems no matter how....even if you make them yourself....it still will cost you an arm/leg and first born!

Who needs the gym when you have a house to work on?!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Unforgettable Trip of My Life


This phrase can bring ecstasy and horror all at once depending on the individual. As a family of five, going on any sort of vacation can be tricky equation and includes several choice four letter words at any given time.

 For us, the usual no brainer is to make a trek to the grandparents house for an easy and affordable get away.

...Especially when your husband is going to be gone for a week in Nashville for a barbershop conference!

Ain't nobody got time for that single parent thing.... (props to military families or those with a spouse who is required to travel for work)

This trip of exploring parts of Connecticut while staying at the grandparents B&B was in the books for quite awhile.

Then throw in the whole mind blowing discovery of my unknown family....life couldn't be any better!

*Cue mind blowing bomb #2*

One morning before church, I was informed that it was of the utmost importance for me to come to the 2nd annual Sisterpalooza in Utah. Because not only would I get to meet a handful of sisters....my DAD would also be making an appearance. And if I could find childcare for my older two, my siblings wanted to chip in for a plane ticket.

Flabbergasted by their kindness and generosity, God opened the doors and a VERY kind friend agreed to help with childcare while Matt was at work.

So after a long retreat in Connecticut, I had a little over a day to recover and pack for another trip and take Alden along with me for the free lap space on the plane.

During my time in Utah, I was hosted by my sister Cy and her hubby Keith. Two other sisters came with kids of theirs and also enjoyed the wonderful hospitality provided. My brother Jed even pulled away from his busy life as a dentist and father of 5 to meet and visit. Sister peer pressure does work from time to time ;)

The Natur Store
Fast food taco shops (ain't gonna find them in Rome)
Olympic Park Center- Ski jump tubing
SLC Farmers Market
Temple Square sightseeing
Staying up late and bonding
Comparing all sorts of different body parts of each other

.....And the most special part of all, spending time with my dad and meeting my only living grandmother Delpha. Alden is the only family member I know who has been able to meet a 'great'.

The overall experience and observation was to be able to just fit in with these family members and not feel like you had to be someone else to fit in. It was almost effortlessly, despite many of us growing up in different backgrounds and spiritual journeys.

I was told by many of the natural siblings that I reminded them so very much of our brother Zach who passed back in 2010 unexpectedly. Even looking through a memory book of his pictures growing up and comparing them to mine....Zach was really my twin. I feel honored to be given many likenesses and personality of him and wished I could have met him in person.

For those of us who are the donor siblings of the family....it is almost like we were blessed to skip the crudy growing up years of fighting and competing for attention and go right to the adult relationships.

This trip is only the beginning, and I can't help myself but smile all the time when these special people come to mind. My Heart has grown by numerous sisters, brother/inlaw, grandma, dad, nieces & nephews...and even a few fur babies.

I guess Matt did get his wish of marrying into a big family......God really does have a sense of humor! 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Who is Your Daddy: Part 2

To read part 1, click here

Darn red tape.....no money for a family law attorney....and well I guess maybe in Heaven I'd finally be told my missing story while standing at the pearly gates.

On my mothers side, we've been able to trace the family history back to coming over on the Mayflower from Ireland. So I did have that side at least to cling to. But otherwise, nothing to jump up and down about.

One afternoon during my favorite time of the day, aka nap time...I switched on TLC. They were airing a recent series called Long Lost Family. Most of the people they casted were those who came from adoptions.

You know....ones that had a better paper trail to track down. You hear about these cases all time. My entrance in life is either a rarity or not something which is talked or brought up about. Although with advancing fertility technology and same sex couples who seek a donor for one piece of the reproductive equation....I wonder if cases like this will be brought to light more often and laws put in place to give rights to the offspring from said donors.

In this show, they were using Ancestry.com quite a bit. You may have seen their commercials running before, with another company called 23andme.com. They were pushing their DNA test to see what your ethnic background was comprised of. It sounded neat....but not $100 neat. So I disregarded like a lot of pushes for products.

As I continued to watch, they were bringing up a DNA database to find any leads for someone searching.

Wait....DNA database?

.....then I became very still and became overwhelmed with emotion when it dawned on me that the door to my bio dad may not have been permanently shut.

I begged Matt to please get me the test as a Mother's day gift (yes, I ask for weird things as gifts from him). At that time we was game for it, but was uncertain as to where the money would come from to swing it. Then he found a couple weeks later, they were running a sale and knocking $20 off the price.

I guess that was the tipping point.

The box came with instructions to spit into a vial and send it back in a little white box. Done and done the same day I received it. My main goal of this test was to find at least one half sibling. In no way was I holding any hope it would result in any more or that the donor was registered with the site. Then I waited.

And waited.....

.......and waited some more.

I had no clue how fast this whole process of testing would take. Matt finally gets an email from them and....

.....I didn't give them enough spit and they were sending another test out.


No expedited shipping or processing the second time around. Weeks continued to come and go, with only a few little updates that they'd received it, but hadn't undergone any testing yet.

Fast Forward to the night of July 8th....

We had been out late doing some shopping and the kids went to bed late. I decided to wind down with a little adult coloring before knocking out. I had just got settled when I hear Matt holler to come down stairs to see something.

Um....it can wait. Show me that funny FB meme/comment/comic etc later. I was not in the mood to move. Then he shouts that my RESULTS ARE IN!

Well then....I think I can be inconvenienced for THAT!

My ethnicity results were not showing up, but except a swirling progress circle.

Man...what a buzzkill!

But what we were able to find there were a few folks registered on Ancestry who were in the "close family to 1st cousin" category. Now the measured units they use for the test has to have at least 30 of them to register as being related in some way. THe folks listed were in the 1400 and up category with 100% certainty.

I sent a few of them a general message about the two mystery paternal sides to see if either one had an relation to them.

Next thing I know, one of them responds quickly with news I couldn't believe....

I was speaking to one of my sisters....and I have 12 other siblings! Some from a marriage(s) and the other half from being a donor that they know of thus far.

Oh.....and the one I spoke to said they've found the donor!

Holy COW!

The last 24 hours have included many many facebook chats, exchanging of pictures as kids and our kids....

LOADS of questions about each other....

And the best part....

In just 24 hours, I've spoken to my bio dad twice today!

Here he is!

He is an OBGYN in California.

Use to live in Poway just down the street where I was born

Says I look just like one of his sons from his first marriage...but with a wig on lol.

Here is a testimony to answered prayer...

I have been praying for almost 34 years for this day. 

From feeling left out for years before being accepted by my father in law.....

Finding old school papers talking about my wishes to meet my real dad...

Teased for who I was and my background.... (turns out I'm 64% west european, 9% trace and the rest Irish)

All has been revealed in a swoosh from no where. I can say very much so with confidence that I feel more more "whole" on this earth...and maybe slightly normal...but some may say the jury is out on this one ;)

The other siblings have all met each other last year....and I hope to make the trip at some point to meet everyone at a reunion and hopefully hug this man I've longed for more than I wanted to wait.

God is so very good....even 34 years later :)

On a side note from the Kindergarten Cop movie......I guess I can really say that "My dad is a gynecologist"


Who is Your Daddy and What Does He Do? Part 1

Ah....a memorable line from a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

Growing up, I wasn't able to ever answer that question. Father's day was nothing more than a day where I knew none of my friends would be available to play around the neighborhood. There certainly wasn't much point in participating in the yearly Father's day card craft where you make the front look like a shirt collar with a tie.

I knew very early in my life of the fatherly void.

And my mother was not shy in keeping any secrets about how my existence became to be. I was conceived by methods of artificial insemination through an anonymous sperm donor.

For years and years I would dream of finding out who this mystery side of me was. Just even a picture was all I wanted. I borrowed friends fathers where ever I could to relish and savor in any sort of way what it might be like to have one of my own.

Families came and went from the neighborhood, and so did the future activities I could live vicariously through.

When I turned 18, I sought out whatever information I could on the donor through the fertility clinic which was and still is in business. What they were able to release to me was not much. Nothing really identifying or tangible which I could cling to was found in that cold white single letter.

In college I struggled with my faith and what having a Heavenly Father really went and felt like. I still was clenching some sort of hope of someone who I'd never met or seen but made up 50% of my genetic material. My mother would be the one to give her blessing to Matt to ask for my hand in marriage. It would be my uncle to walk me down the aisle.

It came down to the point where I had to lay this hunger to know who my biological father down at the cross. If I didn't pick up the notation of any chance of finding out....I wouldn't have to fight to let it go.

Our wonderful kids came later....

And I was giddy of the fact of knowing these close family members were the newest and most directly related to me and my past.

Where does this come from?

Matt doesn't have these features....

Who do they take after on my side that I can't even compare to?

There would be a silent cry inside when members from Matt's family would comment on physical features and the family lines they most resembled. You know....the usual things proud family members do when a baby is born.

I'd have to fight the defensiveness in me to defend my unknown genetic material. "Well how do you not know it came from my fathers side!?" 

But due to legal restrictions....I was at a dead end of knowing anything more.


Monday, June 27, 2016

A Season of Goodbye

                                Mrs. Doreen- Speech                                    Mrs. Meada- Physical

For such a short amount of time for Eliza to experience, despite it feeling like yesterday and still knowing a whole five years have passed...she hasn't had to really say goodbye to much of anyone.

Until this season of life.

For the last 3 years, we've had a few special individuals come twice a week to do physical and speech therapy in our home. Now we are at the point where the fall will bring her therapy time while in school. The end of this school year means the end of our home visits.

....and it makes me a bit sad to not have these kind women to make small talk and briefly share the coming and goings of our families. We've had them from 1 to 2+ years. These women have gone above and beyond their duties while also accepting younger siblings and childcare kids present during therapies. Not to mention giving me a few moments to go to the bathroom alone for a moment while all are entertained!

Then to top it off, our year of Pre-K is over.

Miss Martin
This little school with its safe hallways lined with little shared lockers for 4 year olds and how every grade is the same level will no longer greet Eliza during the week. I struggle to recount her first day sitting at one of the large main tables as Miss Martin greeted them and went over important information. Eliza has struggled with the concept of when she'll go back to school again as a kindergartener, but not have her same teacher. Everything has the same concept of being "last year".

Yes yes.....I know I will have two more kids walk that main hallway...but the world is going to get a bit bigger for my first born come September. New office staff, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and new people like librarians and music teachers will be part of the new normal.

The silver lining though....

We hope to have our wishes granted to have Nolan get the same speech therapist in mid July as there is a severe delay in his articulation. And after further testing, it has shown him to have some hearing loss. In the same month, Nolan will undergo anesthesia in order to have a specific hearing test to rule out any structural defects. While they have him out, they will also check to see if there is continued fluid behind the eardrums. If so, they will put in tubes.

I think I am the most concerned about having to maintain the specific restrictions and precautions which follow having tubes. Nolan is clueless to what awaits him this summer. Will it be another fight or will he calmly surprise us and easily accept this new change?

Time will tell...but I'm not holding my breath!

Friday, June 24, 2016

One Year Down

Starting birth weight: 8 lbs. 13 oz                                                        One year weight: 22 lbs. 15 oz

With the third child, there are some shreds of truth about how much less attention they get compared to earlier siblings. We went very simple this year and decided to to a smash cake, outside the local custard ice cream stand and let Alden have at it. No real special theme or elaborate Pintrest worthy conjurments...only the classic cake and a birthday shirt his big brother wore over 2 years ago. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Geddes are a Swinging

At last the summer has just about reached us....at least warmer temperatures to enable some enjoyment outside.

With the new house, I made it a point to find one that gave us a large enough backyard. Nothing crazy big, but something bigger than a postage stamp. As we started spending time out there with my kids and a few others who join us a few days a week, it was becoming quickly apparent that we needed a few more things to do.

Phase one was building a simple basic sandbox. Its 5'x5' and required 400 lbs of sand. Yes you read that right. Try pushing it on a dolly through Lowes ;) The bottom has landscape fabric tacked on, so it never floods and keeps things where they are suppose to stay...as long as the kids will keep it all inside....sigh. Do far, any area cats have not discovered it, or do not care to, so we used the cover tarp as a nice shade canopy.

Phase two involved a little more time and muscle to construct. We were missing our ghetto swings at the old house. The old belt swings were kept, for just this possibility of building our own. After looking on Craigslist and other retail options, it was becoming clear it would be best to just build our own. Many folks who were selling theirs, did not construct them to be taken down and put back up. And for the price of it used, it was about the same in materials.

We ended up going with this option on Amazon. It enabled us to not have to figure out cutting any angles or wondering how we could get it cut. The 4x4 beams just slide in along with a 4x6 header. I wanted something which could last longer than most of the cedar products....and also to grow with the kids are they became bigger and taller. (The yard past the swings doesn't belong to us, but there is no fence and the house is bank owned for now)

Each new project has been presented with a learning curve....and tool components we lack..grrrr. And I'll never understand why there are no couples counseling resources to be found in the home improvement aisles, but its done and the kids love it!