and there you have it…


September 2011

and the search is on

Spent part of the weekend looking for a new place to live, again. It is reminding me of all sorts of things, how different my preferences and priorities in housing are from my husband’s, how many places there are to choose from, how little I actually like this process.

Still praying about what we are to do, rent, buy, stay. Neil is on the stay side, he likes the burbs, the house, the no commute, but he is also not going to put the family in a precarious financial position to do so. I’m on the move out somehow side, leaning toward rent at the moment. Neil likes the nice places, newer, ready-made, and I’m dying for something with unrealized (yet) potential. Neither of us are really sure what the next step is, so many things to factor in, including school zones and preschools now too. It’s just one more unknown in this journey of life. Prays for direction are always appreciated.


Scene: helping Grant write sentences with his sight words for homework.

Grant: what’s the next letter I need to write.
Me: n
Grant: n is not a letter, its a word!
Me: it is a word, that’s right, it’s also a letter.
Grant: I don’t remember how to write n
Me: sure you do it’s in your name, it’s this letter.
Grant: that’s not an n mommy!
Me: yes it is, write it down please.
Grant: it’s not an n! It’s an h!
Me: no it’s an n. Write it down.
Me: Grant, which of us knows how to read here?
Grant: daddy
Me: no here, me or you.
Grant: me, I am learning!
Me: yes you are learning, and I am teaching and I’m telling you that is an n.
Grant: (stubborn silence)
Me: fine, write the wrong letter, it’s your homework.
Grant: there see, I wrote an n. (mumbling) even though it’s really an h.

I am sure my father and my grandfather would have got a good laugh out of this. Reinig genes run strong.

happy birthday #2 to baby #3

Dear Jacob,

Two years ago today you thrust our family out of the American norm of two kids per family. For that we are grateful, who wants to be normal anyway? I’d much rather have you.

one, two, three

You try so hard to keep up with your brother and sister, you want to do everything they do, even things they can’t do. You run circles with them playing monster, and I must say your monster is very impressive, you scare all the little baby girls. You push your little chair around the whole house so you can reach things and ‘help.’ You are on the go.

action shot from our surfer boy

You did decide you were two about two months ago. We hear lots of ME TOO and NOOOO and MYS (mine’s), though you are still fairly quick to correct when I actually correct you. Your little words are pouring out these days, most people still think you’re talking baby babble, but we know what you mean. My favorite thing you say right now is ‘nite mommy,’ every night when I tuck you in. It’s clear as a bell I often wonder if it was one of the other kids, but it’s just my baby boy getting big.

You get so excited to see the bus every morning when we drop off Grant, and then you’re sad when he goes away on it, not consoled until I remind you he’ll be home when you get up from your nap. Then it’s a whole new excitement when we go to get him, you get a bus and Grant! You love to see pains (planes) and birs (birds) anytime we are outside, your excitement is contagious, even your brother and sister find them interesting again when you’re around. You have a smile and laugh that light up a room the same way you’ve lit up our lives.

you light up even dirty rooms

You make me love your daddy more each day. You may look like me (according to some), but you act like him. We all know your sweet little demeanor didn’t come from me. I didn’t know love could be this easy.

We all love you baby boy, mommy, daddy, Gant, and Nena.

Happy second birthday.

blowing out the birthday candles






that my dear, is what you call ironic

Posting two days in a row, something must be wrong. Wow, you’re good. I write to you today from the Low Country urgent care center in South Carolina. We had planned this trip before everything happened, and though my initial reaction was to hunker down and cancel the trip, we decided instead that it was perfect timing, just what we all needed right now.

All that said, near the end of our drive last night I felt like I had something stuck in my eye. I kept rubbing it and it wasn’t getting better. It was late, I was tired, I went to bed. As usual my sleep was quite interrupted, with every one my eye was getting more painful, more watery feeling…

Ok looks like we are going to finish this from the wal-mart pharmacy line. Side note: small town urgent care centers, though expensive are very friendly and surprisingly quick! Yay for no wait!

So if you’ve read the blog for the better part of this year you are probably already having flash backs of endless sheet washing, chasing down little children to administer drops and the sickness that will never die. Yes, that’s right, I woke up on the first day of our mini vacations with…

Pink eye.

But that’s not the ironic part. Since we had just recently gone through this here and here, I have drops already. I’ve had them in my purse for months. The irony is, 3 days before our trip I switched purses, and those drops did not. That my dear, is a 200 dollars piece of irony. Your welcome.

the tags you never want to use

As I was tagging my last post I was reflecting on the funeral tag I had created. How morbid of me to even create such a tag, as if that was going to become a standard feature of my life in the future. Then I noticed, well it is fairly large…and it will be again.

We lost two more members of our family this past week. I kept meaning to update you all right away, but honestly the shock of it all has absorbed my life into some kind of time warping sponge and spit me out almost a week later not really knowing where I am or what’s going on. Last Friday night Neil and I passed out mid conversation shortly after the kids were in bed. When we groogily woke circa 2 am Neil had a txt that his Great Grandpa Ding had passed away while we were sleeping. Fast forward 36ish hours and you’ll find our little family in the car on the way home from the Science Center when I receive a call from my mom, my cousin Andrew was just found dead in his bed.

Welcome whirlwind. We are now experiencing both ends of grief, the appropriate, lived a full life, will be missed type and the what the hell just happened, you were to young to die type. Both suck.

We were grateful to be able to send Neil off to his Great Grandpa Ding’s service in Michigan, were he participated as a pall bearer. He said the funeral was very well done and honoring to his Grandfather, he’s glad he went, and also glad he was just able to see him this past summer.

Details are still rolling out on Andrew, we don’t even know how he died yet. But I do know since his family is still in Michigan, they are not holding the funeral here. They flew his body to Michigan yesterday and I dont’ think I will be able to attend. I will still be there via facebook however. This is the first loss we’ve had where the deceased and a large portion of the family were active on facebook. It’s a whole different world. If you don’t see me on facebook much for the next few weeks, it’s because I don’t want to be hit in the face with grief at every turn. It’s cathartic for me to read all the memories from everyone, see all the pictures coming out of the woodwork, and interact with the family, but I can’t be in that place all day everyday (like you’re used to seeing me on facebook). I’ll be taking a bit of  break.

I’ve included links to the obituaries if anyone is interested. Completely incomplete descriptions for two people with such full lives and large impacts, but it will at least give you an idea and a picture.

Andrew McClain

Edward Daily

Funeral #6 and #7 in just over two years, now on the books. sigh.

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