Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school,'s all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is least at our house!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kissing Frogs

You know the saying "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince."

I've decided that the same is true when it comes to house hunting.

Every house we've walked through has its own umm...shall we say...unique qualities.
Yes...unique.  Let's go with that.
And in some cases...that's not such a good thing.

House Hunting, Day One
House #1: too dark and too closed off. No flow to it at all. So not us.  Nope.  No thank you.  But it helped us find our realtor, so Yay for house #1!  :)

House Hunting, Day Two
House #2: Most memorable because of the crazy yard art! (And possible pet cemetery?) So great, if a little quirky.  And the wallpaper in every room?  We could have lived with it though, gradually taking it down and painting. The teeny master bathroom and closet were questionable, but we could have made it work. All in all, we kind of liked it. Oh heck, we really liked it.  And then we checked the state registry and discovered that not one, but two registered offenders live two doors down. Mark that one off the list.  I was really quite sad about that and had to pout for a day or two.

House Hunting, Day Three
House #3: Really big. Seriously...really, really big.  L-O-N-G is the best way to describe it.  Way too dark though.  I need, need, need lots of natural light and this house simply doesn't get it.  It faces the wrong directions and sits under a large canopy of trees.

House #4: Nice flow to it. Lots of light. Cute treehouse in the backyard--G would have spent lots and lots of time out there reading, I'm sure. But the left side of the house sloped, downstairs and upstairs. And the master bathroom??? It was the size of a matchbox!

House #5: So cute on the outside...but what a disappointment!  I can't even tell you! Of course, this was one child's favorite so far. Sigh...

House Hunting, Day Four
House #6: This one I discovered while searching nearby areas.  Quirky, but cute. It could work. But it needs some work. Surely there is something better?

House #7:  So much potential, but SO much work to be done due to water damage and mold on the ceilings both upstairs and down.  Another disappointment.

House #8: YUCK. Smell. Layout. Everything. Just yuck. I felt the need to wash my hands after leaving that one.

House #9:  Whoops. Don't even get to see it. Already had multiple offers. No sense seeing that one since we can't do anything until we sell my townhouse. So...moving on.

Starting to feel discouraged and defeated...

House #10: This one is so great!  Nice light. Nice floor plan. Nice space. New carpet, paint, flooring.  Kitchen is nice--just needs a new dishwasher. Lovely backyard backing up to the greenway. We could see ourselves living here. Whew!  Our faith in the house hunt has been restored.  It's at the top of our list for the moment.  Actually, at this's the ONLY house on our list.

House #11:  Too small. And not much we liked about it. Easy to cross off.

House #12: Huge!!  But to me, just "eh" and no real appeal.

House Hunting, Day Five
House #13:  Too many problems. It's a foreclosure and has been empty for a long time. Some work has been done, but not what truly needs to be done. And the four letter word etched into the concrete on the back patio... So sad that someone feels the need to do that kind of thing.

House #14:  Quickly crossed off.  Even looking beyond the turquoise walls and bright pink trim in the master bedroom that the owner is willing to repaint if the buyer desires...

House #15: Oh. My. Goodness!!!  Why haven't we seen this one until now???  Ah ha...because the price recently dropped, bringing it into our price range.  That's why.  It's so nice. The kitchen is light and airy. Almost beachy feeling. Large bedrooms. I'm talking LARGE!  Master bedroom downstairs. Girls upstairs. That could be nice. Formal living room and dining room as well as space for a table in the kitchen.  Den.  Nice deck.  There's even a humidor.  A humidor???  Can we take out those little shelves and restore that space to its coat closet origins?  Backyard is not my favorite. But I might lose out on that. A second YES on our YES list.  And one of the three girls says this one is her favorite.  I'm pretty sure it is Brian's favorite right now, too.

House #16: Looks like a mountain cabin on the outside. Open and flowing inside. We really like it, but it just wouldn't work for us because it is just too small. Not the bedrooms...those were great.  But there is no true dining room/eating area other than the bar at the kitchen counter. There is a great "hideaway" in one of the upstairs bedrooms, which two of the girls thought was really cool.  This is number three on our short list.

At this point, we returned to House #10 for a second look and to look specifically at some things.  I'm still really liking this house...a LOT.  It did smell of cigarette smoke a little bit this time.  That was a bit of a disappointment.  It falls to #2 on Brian's list.  I'm torn.

House #17:  A "raised ranch" and quickly crossed off of our list.

Last night, we compared data from the two elementary, middle, and high schools that are "home schools" for the three houses on our list.  Houses 10 and 16 are in the same attendance zone.  Looking at the data, the schools for house 15 are hands down the better choice.  HANDS DOWN.  So now we are thinking that the price difference is well worth it when it comes to school choice for Miss G...

So here we are...
We've "kissed" 17 "frogs" and found three possible "princes."

Now...if we could find a buyer for this place...It all hinges on that.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Now We Know

Recently I have discovered this...

And this...

In our backyard in the early morning hours.
I had no idea who/what would be knocking over our peacock.

This morning, I found out...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I'm Dreaming of...Christmas in July? (Commenting Challenge, Day 4)

It's July 25th.

That means it is five months until Christmas.

Which means that school starts back in one month. (except that August 25th is a Sunday, so we get to wait until August 26th this year)

But I digress...

What that really means is that it is about four months before I start my Christmas shopping, which is the topic for Jenna's Commenting Challenge this morning.

I don't know about y'all, but at our house...interests change with the wind.  Which means it would be hard to do any early shopping.  And clothing sizes?  Who knows what those will be!  Have you seen how these girls are growing?!?  Yikes!

Besides all of that, my brain is too wrapped up in selling my townhouse and buying a new house that is bigger than the current postage stamp-sized dwelling we currently reside in.  In fact, when I first read the topic of the day, Christmas songs started running through my head.  I love Christmas music.  And I also have a bad habit of changing words to make them suit my mood or need or the moment in time or just to be a pain in the neck and annoy the girl child.  Hee hee!

Cue the music...

First came this...

I'm dreaming of a house showing
Just one that sells our little house
Where the buyer's smitten
And a contract's written
And we can move on down the road...

Then came this...

All I want for Christmas is a bigger house,
A bigger house, yes a bigger house.
Gee if I could only have a bigger house,
Then I could have room for a Christmas...tree!

Ehh.  That one's not as good as the first one.

In all seriousness though, Christmas can be hard for me.  My family has a weird tradition of someone being sick or in some way making Christmas a less than perfect time most every year.  It's kind of a joke now, to see who might win the "rubber chicken award."  And yes, I've been the recipient...maybe once.  (Why is it that teachers can be perfectly healthy for an entire school year, but give us a day or a week off for a holiday and all of our Facebook posts are about being miserably sick???)

Christmas of 2003 was one of the hardest ones for me.  I had spent Thanksgiving of that same year in Guatemala, visiting my sweet baby G. (You can read a little bit about that here.) Adoptions at that time were tenuous at best and the process was painfully slow.  Nothing like it is now, so I am absolutely not complaining about it.  Spending those four days with her made her so much more real.  I hadn't just seen occasional pictures of her.  I had held her in my arms.  I had looked into her deep dark eyes.  I had rocked her to sleep.  I had felt the warmth of her against my body and smelled her sweet baby smell.  And I was so in love with her.  And then I had to leave her there and come wait for the process to finish before I could bring her home.  Which broke my heart.  At Christmas, I was missing her so much, it about did me in.  She, of course, finally came home in March of 2004.  Every Christmas, we traveled to Memphis to be with my family...sometimes two of us, sometimes accompanied by a protesting cat or two.

Then it was Christmas, 2012.  Brian and I were newlyweds.  It was our first Christmas together.  My first Christmas (ever!) away from my family.  I think we both had ideas of the "perfect" Christmas, but didn't know quite how to make that happen.  There was a kitchen disaster, tears, and even a vomit incident.  Hopefully those won't remain part of our Christmas traditions!

So I'm not quite ready to think about Christmas, 2013...for any of the above mentioned reasons.

Although I do know what I want for Christmas this year...besides a bigger house, which I really want for back-to-school instead of having to wait another five months...y'all send some good house selling vibes our way, OK?  Please and thank you.

Oh, and what I want for Christmas?  A stand mixer.  You know, like the Kitchen Aid one?  Never had one.  Always wanted one.  Still dreaming of one.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Favorite Tips? (Commenting Challenge, Day 3)

It's day three of Jenna's commenting challenge. It's a good thing it's summer time and I have the time to sit at my computer and blog hop!  Where does the time go?!?

The suggested topic of the day is favorite ideas/tips from Pinterest...
Umm...about that...I've got a confession...
I have NEVER been on Pinterest.
Not even once.

And cleaning tips?
Cleaning, shmleaning.
Mr. Clean is my best friend...especially his magic erasers.
Those things are truly magic, especially when it comes to my *white* kitchen counters!

(Note to self...and Brian...I would prefer NOT to have white counters in our new house!  Although...Mr. Clean might notice a drop in sales...Sorry Mr. Clean!)

Cooking tips?
Don't have those either.
We have been doing Weight Watchers since December 8th, and that has really changed what we cook and how we cook it.  Combine that with me needing to eat gluten-free, one who drinks almond milk, one who drinks cow milk, and two who like chocolate soy milk in our coffee, one extremely finicky eater, a few who are adventurous eaters, one or two who like spicy food and one who likes unspicy food, a carrot allergy, three different preferences of salad dressing, and flat out refusing to prepare more than one meal at dinner time...It gets a little tricky around here.  But we manage to make it work, serve healthy meals, and lose weight all at the same time!

Organizing tips?
I have dreams of organizing.
I have ideas in my head about organizing in our new house.
But organizing?
Not my cup of tea!

So, if you were hoping for some great tip or idea...I got nothin' for ya.
So sorry!
Well...not really...but it sounded good!  :)

Happy Wednesday everyone!
Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time for Some Television (Commenting Challenge, Day 2)

Now that my super powers helped me find someone's work phone, I can sit down to think about my favorite TV shows.

The first thing you should know is that we don't have any kind of cable, satellite, etc.
Just plain old network television.
95% of the time, that's ok.

Then there's football season...
when the 10 year old girl child wants to watch her beloved Auburn Tigers lose every single game play.
And most of those games are on ESPN...which we don't have...
So she sits in front of the computer screen and yells at them like an armchair coach watches them on line.
And I might admit to doing the same thing with Vanderbilt...

So, outside of Auburn and Vandy football games, there are just a few favorites that Brian and I enjoy watching once the kitchen is cleaned up, lunches for the next day are prepared, cats are calm, dog is walked, child/children in bed, and we just can't do one more thing...

Parenthood I have watched and loved the Braverman family since the beginning, and I was worried they were going away at the end of last season.  I'm so glad they are returning...on September 26th!  What a perfect birthday present, two days early.  Thank you NBC!  Brian didn't really like this show when he first watched it with me, but I think it grew on him.  We keep talking about going back and watching from the beginning so he can catch up on all the story lines.

Downton Abbey We didn't start watching this until late December or maybe even January, season one on Netflix and the rest on Amazon.  Again...LOVE this show!  I do wish the writers would just let Lady Mary be happy for more than an episode or two.  I mean, she and Matthew were *finally* together, and CRASH...UGH!!! (Note to other Downton fans...Maid to Match is a novel set at the Biltmore Estate and is very much like reading about the downstairs at Downton.  Highly recommend it.)

America's Got Talent I don't know which we enjoy more...the actual contestants or the interactions between the judges.  But, I CAN. NOT. STAND. another sword swallowing act!  Ugh!

Our little guilty pleasure...The Bachelorette  A glass of wine and two hours of heckling on Monday nights during the summer...oh yeah!

We have also been enjoying watching Friends on DVD.  I have seasons one and two.  I think we are about half way through season two.  Guess I need to start looking for season three!  It's so fun to watch a couple of episodes and laugh before bedtime.

My summer morning routine has turned into a bit of quiet time with the dog and two cats surrounding me on the sofa, coffee mug in my hand, and GMA on the television.  Maybe someday I can stand outside with the crowds in New York City and see them in person? (Hint, hint...)

I had so much fun reading lots of different blogs yesterday.  And all the comments here made me a little giddy.  I mean, who doesn't love comments?  Can't wait to read more today thanks to Jenna's Commenting Challenge!

Monday, July 22, 2013

About Us (Commenting Challenge, Day 1)

I've been a pretty slack blogger lately.  Just a busy season of life with very little down time, and I haven't wanted to spend what little down time I've had sitting in front of the computer.

I miss blogging.

I realized that last night when I finally posted about our 4th of July doings, leaving my husband to clean up a very messy kitchen.  We usually share the cooking/cleaning duties.  If I cook, he cleans.  If he cooks, I clean.  Last night, he cooked...and I he cleaned. (Perhaps that is why he left the nasty hairball for me to clean up this morning?)

Oh...wait...that last pondering makes it sound like HE left the hairball.  Oops.  That would not be correct.  One of the cats left the rather large nasty hairball on the downstairs bathroom floor over night.  Brian just left it for me to clean up.  That's a joy to discover at 6:56 A.M.

Aaaand now that I've lost anyone who might be reading this morning...I should move on to the topic of the day...

About Us

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...or so it seems in my little head...

"Us" was truly what my blog title suggests...
Momma and G and a cat...a family of three.

I was a single mom to my sweet, now 10 year old daughter.  I adopted her at the age of 13 months.

Momma and G
March, 2004

Momma and G
May, 2013

Hannah Cat
AKA "HC" or "Thing 1"
Then we added one more (cat, that is) to become four when Screamer came home with us from my mom and dad's house after Christmas one year.

AKA "BAD CAT!" or "Thing 2"
and several other things I can't post on my family blog  ;)
And I assure you that the above pictures are a true representation of our cats...the princess on her perch and the trouble maker enjoying the results of his mischief.

We cruised along, the four of us...two human and two feline...until last February...when I met Brian...

And his two daughters, M&M...

And the dog
AKA "Dog" or "Thing 3"
And in December, we did this...

So now we are this...

The ONLY picture I have of the five of us!

No longer three or four, but eight--five humans and two felines and one canine.

Life is messy.  
Life is fun.  
Life is certainly not always easy as we find our way.  
Blending two families is hard.  
There are good times and then not-so-good times.  There is work, which all revolves around school...

I am an elementary school teacher, headed back to kindergarten in the fall for the first time in a 
L-OOOOO-N-G time.  Brian is a media relations specialist for our school system.  The girls are in school...rising 7th, 5th, and 4th grades.  

So there are school projects, 
extra curricular activities, 
long days, 
busy evenings, 
weekends that are too short...

Things go by in a blur sometimes.  
Oh, who am I kidding...things go by in a blur most of the time!

But by blogging, I find a few moments to slow down and think about what has been going on in our life.

I started blogging as a way to let family keep up with us.  Then it became more of a journal, keeping up with things we have been doing.  I don't have many followers, and I've probably lost many of them with  my blogging hiatus of recent months.  

That's OK.  
I know my mom reads it. (Hi Mom!)
And Brian reads it too (Hi Brian!  But aren't you supposed to be working?)  
And hopefully you are still reading too (Hi you!  Thanks for reading!)

If you would like to help me out a little bit here...any suggestions for a new blog title?  I desperately need to update things around here.  (I'm not very good at that, but I can muddle through it.)  I just haven't done it because I know I need a new title since we are no longer "Momma and G and the Cat Make 3" and I simply can't think of one.

And now I'm off to read some new blogs through the commenting challenge at Jenna's Journey.  Can't wait to see who's out there!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

4th of July...on the 21st of July

OK, so I'm a little behind.  No surprise lately, right?

I have an and scrubbing and de-cluttering and cleaning and painting and scrubbing and changing a bathroom light fixture and hanging a new bathroom cabinet and have I mentioned cleaning and scrubbing?  

(Have you ever noticed how when you clean one area, you see more dirt and yuck that you haven't noticed before, which leads to more cleaning, which leads to finding more stuff to clean, which leads to yet more cleaning?  Yeah...that was us for the past few weeks...)

All of that work led up to putting our townhouse on the market.  We were officially listed on MLS on July 17th.

So now I can go back to July 4th!  (and the night of July 3rd)


The night of July 3rd

We decided to take everyone to a Knights baseball game on July 3rd.
Fireworks were scheduled for after the game, so we thought it would be a fun family outing.
What we didn't plan for was 9 days of rain beforehand.
And rain the day of...
Right up until after we entered the baseball stadium.
Then, the rain stopped.
The view to my left
My view straight ahead
Proof I was actually there  ;)
There were snacks...lots of snacks...
(I'm not allowed to post the picture of Brian eating his peanuts...insert pouty face here!)

Popcorn--the endless bucket, which got filled twice--and a super salty soft pretzel


Overpriced bottles of water

And let's not forget the cotton candy...

Each of the three girls had her own way of eating her cotton candy...

There was "tear big chunks off and eat them bite by sugary bite" method...

There was the "open mouth, insert cotton candy" method...

Then there was the "eat it so fast that no one has a chance to take a picture of me eating it" method...

There was even some actual watching of the game, in and amongst all the eating.

We were so fortunate that the rain stopped, and stayed away, for the entire evening.
It wasn't hot.
We had good seats.

And we got to see some really good fireworks.
Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to take pictures of fireworks yet.

From the looks of things...we had a successful night at the ball game.

And now July 4th

We had every intention of going to a parade, but the late night at the baseball stadium sort of made everyone sleep late and be lazy the next morning.

We were back to the three of us that afternoon
(well, six if you count the animals, but I'm only counting humans right now...)

We had also planned to participate in the people's parade that G has enjoyed every year.
But, for what ever reason, she changed her mind that afternoon.

We did go down to the town park and listen to a band that was playing.

Upon returning home, we had a "first" planned for G.
Something I had never done with her as a single parent.
We always played it safe and watched the Washington DC fireworks on PBS every year.
Not this year...

She reacted exactly as I knew she would.
Didn't want anything to do with them.
Said she would just watch us.
Twisted her fingers all around and stayed 25 feet away from us.

Brian demonstrated.

I demonstrated.
(but there are no pictures to serve as evidence of that...)

And then we kind of sort of maybe insisted just a little bit that she H-A-D to do 
*just one*

Notice the sparkler being held at the very end by just her fingertips...

And guess what?
She LOVED them!

And grinned and twirled and enjoyed herself and asked for more!
(And Momma had fun trying to take pictures with different settings on the camera in order to capture the moments, just in case you couldn't tell...)

The sad remains of our sparklers...

This was proclaimed our "best Fourth of July ever!"