Monday, December 21, 2009

Goofing Around!

This is what happens when having fun goes to your head!
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Friday, December 11, 2009

What a journey

It has been quite a while since I last posted - sometimes life just gets in the way. My last post was about my grandfather being ill. Unfortunately on Saturday, October 31st 2009 Donald Duane Hannaman left us and joined the Lord. My brother had been the only one of us who had not seen Papa since he was diagnosed. Thankfully, my mom flew him up that week to see Papa and spend some time with him. Lucas left the morning of the 31st (his birthday) to head back to Atlanta. Papa passed away a couple hours after Lucas left for the airport.

I don't think it was a coincidence that James' job recently brought us to live in Kansas City, a mere 6 hour drive from the farm, months before Papa became ill. We were able to drive up to spend some time with him before his illness really took a toll. Papa and Grandma met Jack for the first time and spent some great time with Katherine (picking strawberries in the garden, going on walks in the woods behind the house, coloring, etc.). God works in ways we don't always understand (who am I kidding, I rarely understand), but works to show us His amazing love for us.

We drove up to the farm again for the funeral. It is sad that nothing tends to bring families together like weddings and funerals. This was the first time that all of the cousins had been together in a decade. My cousins Brandon (and his lovely wife Marianna), Derek (unfortunately without Jodi and their two girls), and Daniel came up from Arizona with my uncle Rick and his wife Debbie. My mom had been at the farm helping out for a few weeks. My uncle Don and his wife Kathy came down from the Twin Cities (Grandma had been staying with them quite a bit while Papa was in and out of the hospital at the University). At the last minute we found a reasonable flight to get Lucas back up there for the funeral. It just wouldn't have been the same without him there.

At the funeral there were too many people to count - many of whom reminded me that they hadn't seen me since I was little. Papa's brother Gordy and his wife Gen were there along with two of their kids and some grandkids. It is amazing to see random family resemblances that are scattered through the generations. My mom's cousin's daughter Kiana looks a lot like me - so much so that several people took our picture together just to document it! Kind of funny how genetics works in an extended family. I guess that means I get quite a bit of my look from the Hannaman side of the family - though there is another random cousin on my grandmother's side that shares quite a few characteristics with me too.

If there is one blessing that came out of Papa's death it was that it gave the family an opportunity to get together and reconnect. I have now reconnected with several family members on Facebook (crazy, huh). The day after the funeral, when most of the family had gone home, a group of us hung out on the farm. It was great to just spend time together in shared family space, doing what many families (who aren't spread across the country or at least get together more frequently) do on a more regular basis. We drove a tractor around the property, practiced shooting, hit golf balls into a field, talked, worked on some of Papa's projects in the barn - just hung out. Jack and Katherine were the only little kids there so they got lots of attention. My mom and a couple of her cousins have started planning "grandma camp" for sometime next summer. They intend to have several of the cousins and their respective grandkids to the farm to hang out for a week or so. Giving the extended group a chance to get to know each other and spend time with their grandmas. That sounds like a blast!

We have had several other blessings come to us over the last few weeks. Our really great friends from Cincinnati, the Thomas family, came to visit us in KS. It was a wonderful visit. The kids had a blast (their daughter Mara and Katherine were best friends in Cincinnati - they are 6 months apart and their son is almost 6 months older than Jack). For James and I it was a rejuvenating visit. Spending time with such great friends when we don't have close friends out here in KS yet allows us to recharge our batteries. They are like family and we are ever thankful for their presence in our life.

We were not able to spend Thanksgiving with family, but had a great opportunity to spend the holiday with some of our new neighbors. The Frazier family invited us, and two other families over for a wonderful turkey dinner! It was nice to get to know them a little bit better and a blessing to have friends to spend the holiday with. Evidently a tradition here in Kansas City is to go to the Plaza shopping district to look at the holiday lights. This year we were invited by another set of neighbors, the Visomirski's, to have dinner at the Plaza and walk around to look at the lights. It was a nice time. Unfortunately they are soon moving out of the state, but we are thankful for their friendship for the time we have been here!

We are looking forward to spending Christmas and New Years with family in Tucson. That is assuming we make it through the 20 hour drive with two kids and a dog!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Heavy Heart

Today I carry a heavy heart. My grandfather has been ill for a couple of months. He was diagnosed with brain cancer (stage 4, inoperable), but had been doing well throughout his course of radiation. He did the treatments on an outpatient basis, going home to the farm on the weekends and staying with my uncle during the week. James, the kids, and I went to visit a couple of weeks ago. We had a great visit and I think he enjoyed meeting Jack and spending time with us all.

Well, late last night he fell and suffered a stroke. We don't know in what order those two events occurred. The ambulance took him to the local hospital where they did a CT scan and discovered bleeding on the brain. They don't know if that is from the radiation or the events of last night. He was taken by ambulance several hours to the university hospital where he had been undergoing treatment from the beginning. My grandmother (and their dog Chuy) followed this morning.

I don't know what this means for his immediate future. My mom said he is lucid and talking. I guess I am just scared. Papa has been the man in my life as long as I can remember. Even before my dad died, Papa was the man I had most interaction with. Papa danced the traditional father/daughter dance with me at my wedding. He has always seemed invincible, larger than life. A lot of that has to do with his personality, but also his vitality. He is in his 80's and only really went gray in the last decade or so and even then not completely. He has always been a hard working, loud, often grumpy, sometimes very tender man. On some level I think I believed he would always be around.

For now, we just wait. It is OK to be sad. God has a plan, and it is not up to us to guess what He has in store or predict/argue with His timing. He will heal my wounds and even now He is holding Papa close. I can only pray that Papa feels his heavenly father close and it gives him comfort.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Silly, I know, but it is how I feel right now.

I feel silly even writing this - Katherine hurt my feelings. I know I should not look to my preschooler for validation. In fact, I don't look to her for validation - I am blessed to know that God provides it free of charge.

Unfortunately, days like today just put me on edge emotionally. Nothing major, she is really a sweet kid. Just enough, unprovoked, intentional slight to make me take notice. The day began with her acting rudely to my brother who was in town for less than 24 hours and who absolutely adores her. Not only was I embarrassed by her actions, but I was offended for him (crazy, huh).

On the way to drop her off at school, she angrily informed me that she was going to tell her teacher what I had done that morning (I made a photocopy of one of her pieces of artwork, gasp, how could I?). She felt the need to tattle on me to her teacher - great.

On the way home from school, unprompted by anything I could discern she announced that she didn't want to cheer for my football team, she didn't like my football team, she only wanted to cheer for daddy's team. I am a big Georgia fan, but that shouldn't have bothered me as much as it did.

At dinner she was told that she had to sit up in her chair (from a reclined position with her head hanging off one side) and eat her food. She retorted that I had to make a better dinner. I know my culinary skills are not something to be coveted, but I do spend time and put effort into making meals for our family that I hope they will enjoy and that will be good for them.

Seriously, that was all it took to ruffle my feathers. What is wrong with me?! Writing it all down has put it into its proper perspective - none of this really should have bothered me. Hopefully I can think of this post an laugh the next time she says something like this that strikes me the wrong way. I wonder if it is a mother/daughter thing or if I will be as offended by things Jack says some day...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Little brother woes

Here is Katherine holding on to Princess Jack!
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Poor Little Brother

My son is beginning to experience what it means to have a big sister. I am sure there are good things (I will have to consult my own little brother) and even great things, but being dressed up by your big sister is probably not one of the highlights.

Poor Jack is, at this very moment, wearing a fluffy pink tutu that plays music when you move and his sister is dragging him around the house calling him Princess Jack. He is actually pretty darned cute, even with the pink hair clip that Katherine added to complete his ensemble.

I will have to post the photo I took with my phone. Apparently he didn't like it much - it lasted all of three minutes before he was practically tearing it off. Could be that he is just not used to costumes!

I remember putting make-up on my brother, painting his fingernails, doing his hair, etc. He was our favorite test subject! Of course, this was after I moved beyond dressing the poor cat in doll clothes. I am probably lucky I wasn't scratched!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Making a chair house

I love that a favorite play place for the kids is under the kitchen table! In this picture they have moved every chair and bar stool to surround the table and are getting underneath to play. So cute!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blessed by a stranger

I just had the nicest thing happen. First, let me explain why it made me so happy. James left for work before the sun was up this morning - quite an accomplishment since the sun rises before 6:30am. He had a lot of work to do and didn't get much done last night due to not feeling well, the kids having a rough bedtime, and me trying to get a few things done while he was home. That meant I took Katherine to school. Doesn't sound like much of an issue, but Katherine expected James to take her to school. She does not deal well with changes - no idea where she gets that :).

Additionally, I didn't sleep much last night. Jack was restless and I couldn't sleep so we were up and down until the wee hours, coming downstairs several times to give James a chance to sleep uninterrupted. Once we were all up Katherine informed me that although she woke up dry, she didn't feel like getting up to go to the bathroom so she wet her pull-up (and subsequently her pajamas) - fully awake, in bed, 10 feet from a toilet...fabulous. Of course we were running late so she had to eat her cereal (dry) in the car on the way to school.

I finally dropped her off, then decided to run through the Starbucks drive-thru because they have these new breakfast sandwiches that are yummy. That and a venti chai - $7 I really don't need to spend right now, but I went anyway. So, I order and make it up to the window to pay only to be told by the cashier that the woman in the car in front of me had paid for my order! She told him that someone had done it for her before so she was doing it for me. How nice is that!?

I am now on the lookout for ways to pay it forward. I would prefer to do it for someone who looks like they really need it, but in these times how can you tell who really needs it? Not everyone stands by a street corner holding a sign, asking for help.

I usually try to give food to people I see holding signs at intersections - since I do that anyway, what else can I do? Ideas?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nuzzle Love

Warning: if you are put out by discussing breastfeeding you may want to skip this post.

For the rest of you, let me share how sweet my nursing relationship is with Jack right now. He is such a sweet little guy. He still nurses to sleep for naps and bed most of the time. He is so active that he is getting tougher to settle down, but when he is getting sleepy he loves to snuggle. Recently I have noticed that he sort of nuzzles my breast, lazily searching for a good latch. It is such an intimate gesture.

Katherine has gotten more snuggly lately too. She is finally asking to cuddle with me again - not just Daddy. With no nursing to keep us physically close and a little brother often attached, we haven't connected that way often enough. Jack is a lot more independent now so my arms and lap are free more often and Katherine and I have taken advantage of that. She curls up in my lap and her head fits perfectly under my chin, where she nuzzles my neck as she settles in. I truly missed that closeness with her.

It is nice to know that, at least for now, even as they grow they still want to cuddle with mama.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Ugh, as if not being a morning person weren't bad enough, Katherine is not fun in the morning at all. Even if, by some miracle, she wakes up somewhat pleasant, by the time we have fought our way through going potty, eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and getting stuff together for school - at least one of us has likely yelled and she has often melted down.

Weekend mornings (OK, Saturday mornings since we have to get up for church on Sunday) are marginally better because we aren't rushing to get somewhere. However, she is still pretty grumpy.

I know I am not a morning person (I inherited that gene so come by it naturally!), but that coupled with a grumpy preschooler is no fun for anyone. This morning we have already had a complete meltdown, but we are running ahead of schedule so she has had some time to calm down. At least I won't have to drop her off at school with a tear-streaked face, cringing inwardly at what I imagine the teachers are thinking (when in reality they are probably much more understanding of my perspective than I fear).

Now I just hope Jack can amuse himself for 10 minutes while I shower before going to the Parents Tea at Katherine's school - showering with my foot holding the door closed so he doesn't come join me is SO fun!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too much tv in the background?

OK, funny story. We have a ton going on right now. We just returned from our last marathon trip to Cincinnati (marathon in time and effort, no running involved), the house is a mess, etc. James and I are pulling together paperwork for our house closing this week and Katherine is building a castle for her princess out of blocks. From the kitchen table where she is working I just heard, "make it bigger, make it badder, make it awesome"!

If you are a fan of the Food Network, and of the show Ace of Cakes you may recognize that comment as something Duff says in the show intro. Big surprise that we are watching an episode right now, catching up on our shows from the DVR.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I actually snorted with laughter...

and I am not a snorty laugher! This is the funniest thing I've seen in a while. I giggled so much the dog started barking.

Oh my...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Feeling old

Wow, I can't believe how disconcerting it is when your doctor is your age. Having recently moved to a new city we are going about the business of finding new doctors, etc. I found a well-recommended ob/gyn practice and called immediately assuming it would be a while before I could get in to see anyone. Much to my surprise, when I called they had a cancelation for an appointment just a couple of days later. Great, I thought! I looked on the website and noticed the doctor I was scheduled to see was newer to the practice, but I have a knack for picking younger doctors so I didn't think much of it.

Well, I finally made it to the exam room after a LONG registration process and wait. The very young nurse (with a very tasteful tiny stud piercing in her nose) left me in the room after taking my vitals and promised the doctor would be in soon. Imagine my surprise when in walks a guy who looks like he has barely graduated from college! A youthful appearance is one thing, but he looked so young I was taken aback.

Through the course of our introductory conversation he confirmed that we are the same age although I secretly think I may be a little older. How crazy is that! I have friends in residencies or fellowships following medical school and even practicing. I don't know why it seems so odd to me that one of them could be my doctors - just strange.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


While attending law school we used to joke that it ruined a variety of things for us. One example: legal dramas/comedies on TV. When you know what the actual law is and/or the real way things are done, the TV version is never quite as exciting. I used to be a huge Law & Order fan. But, that was before law school. Now I can't help but nit-pick the way they portray things (and how accurate they are). I have heard similar things from friends who are doctors. ER just wasn't the same after going to medical school.

"Discussions" with my husband aren't the same. I don't think I need to elaborate on that. Today I discovered another way that law school ruined me: I attempt to reason with a precocious 3 year old. A few minutes ago she and Jack were "playing" while I prepared lunch. She was loud and a bit aggressive. He was laughing for a while, then he was crying. In response she said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, you're OK, you're OK." She immediately volunteered to me that it (whatever "it" was) was an accident. I asked what she did, she said she pushed him to the ground on accident. I almost launched into a discussion about the fact that the word push implies intent, which would mean it wasn't an accident. Who has that conversation with a 3yo? Lucky for both of us I caught myself and avoided much frustration by forgoing that line of conversation.

Seriously, I'll never be the same!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


I am sitting here, listening to the radio, drinking a Coke, and relaxing. I was able to take a long shower (I know, a waste of water, but it had been a couple of days) and will be able to dry my hair (a luxury when you have two kids). All of this without the help of two little ones. My wonderful husband did the Saturday morning family Gymboree excursion by himself to give me a little break. He is awesome.

Yesterday was rough and he didn't get home until 7:30 or so. By the time he got home I was sitting on the floor in our room, in the dark, nursing an extremely grumpy baby, and trying to explain through clenched teeth the merits of an "inside voice" to an extremely high-strung 3yo.

Bless the poor guy, James ordered pizza on his way home and shooed me out the door after dinner so I could run an errand and get some space. He did this despite the fact that he had worked until 7pm, had left the house very early that morning to finish the presentation he had to give in front of the leaders of his company, and had de-briefed after the presentation with the president of the company. He had just a little on his mind, but saw my needs and gave me a break. What can I say, he is pretty cool and he is all mine!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Who would think that this face could be trouble? He is definitely trouble! Into everything, bangs on everything, chews on EVERYTHING! Even the new leather couch...seriously, everything.
Katherine got into things, but Jack takes it to a whole new level. He loves cords and electronics more than any child I have ever met! He is trouble and knows it. When he is heading for something he shouldn't be, we say "no sir" in a stern voice, and he turns around, flashes the biggest grin ever, then keeps going even faster than before!
Lord help us when he is walking!
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sunny days!

Apparently we are going to the beach...ance the temp is above 35F.
We are getting into more of a routine (although that clearly doesn't mandate getting dressed before lunch).
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Things just feel strange. I am surprised how hard this move is for me since I moved so much growing up. Maybe because it is my first move with kids, maybe it is because we were so settled and connected in Cincinnati, I don't know.
I am trying to think of it as an adventure, but it is hard. I sit here typing and my eyes are welling up and my throat it tight. It is an adventure and it really is a good move for our family. It is great for James, thus great for our family. That doesn't make it any less difficult.
I'm going to throw the kids in the car and go explore. Maybe I'll feel more at home once I am more familiar with my surroundings.
Thankfully the kids haven't seemed to be that affected, especially Jack. Look how happy he is!
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

We made it!

We left after a frenzy of packing, cleaning, and organizing. Some of our dearest friends pitched in to make it happen. It was chaotic, but a farewell befitting our great neighborhood and friends in Cincinnati. We cried, laughed, hugged, packed, and chased a gaggle of kids around, but got everything done in the end.
We took two days to make the drive, but the weather was good. Not as cold in Kansas City as it was when we left Cincinnati.
Hopefully we can spend tonight and tomorrow settling in before James has to go back to work on Tuesday.
I miss everyone in Cincinnati terribly, but am finally feeling glimmers of excitement as we explore our new surroundings and recognize places we used to go when we lived here almost 9 years ago.
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First snack in Kansas City.

We just drove in, got the keys to the new place and the kids are snacking while we settle on strategy for moving stuff in.
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