Monday, May 31, 2010


I have been thinking about my grandmother today. She died February 14, 2008. What a great day to be reunited with those you love. My grandmother is amazing. We used to get in the car and travel the 2000 miles every other summer to see her and our cousins. I remember she always had candy for her grandkids set out so we could grab and run at anytime. She was an amazing cook as well. I loved her banana nilla wafer pudding. The best. Our summers in Hartsville were filled with warm nights, softball days, and family packed reunions from the farm (uncle callis) to a place picked somewhere close where we could all laugh and play for hours. There was always some new 10th cousin 3 times removed to meet and play with. But at the end of each day, grandmothers house was were I wanted to be. It was small and comfortable, familiar and inviting. Grandmothers house always smelled so good like a faint smell of her quick perfume or hairspray on a head full of curls before running out the door. She always used to ask me if all her curls were place as she held up her white flowery handheld mirror to look at the back of her hair in her bedroom mirror. I would always tell her how beautiful she looks and I always admired her for never leaving the house without looking her very best. My grandmothers hugs were always so soft and felt like a warm homemade afgan wrappped from head to toe. She never forgot a birthday. Each of her 19 grandkids were never forgotten and were guaranteed to receive a birthday card in the mail with a hand written letter or note about how great they are and how much she loves and misses them. Each one is a saved treasure of mine as if they are gold. I often go into my treasure box and escape into her words and her memory. I can not wait until I get to be wrapped in her arms again and smell that sweet perfume and have her ask me if her curls are all in place. I hope each day that she is proud of me and helps me to choose the way back to her. I love you grandma. You are missed.

Friday, May 21, 2010


To anyone checking my blog, my email accounts were recently hacked. Please know that I am okay, safe and sound... and in no need of your money. What did I just say!!! Seriously, I'm fine. I hope that I have resolved whatever happened.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Easter and Other Firsts

For Easter this year, we went over to Avery's brother's house and watched Nyla's cousins and their neighbor friends kids look for easter treats throughout each front yard. Vegas sucks in this way because there are literally no yards to play in. The front yards are larger than the backyards and consist of MAYBE 15 square feet and that is if you are lucky. Anywho, Nyla went and watched all the kids run around without her. She didn't get to wear her Easter dress because it was too cold. So I took the opportunity to dress her up the day before. We did get to watch conference with some or Desiree's friends and it was nice to just relax and feel the spirit. Nyla slept through conference just like her Mommy used to.

I took Nyla to the park for the first time a few weeks ago. We went with Shanna, Sierra, & Aspen. Shanna insisted that we put Nyla in the swing and see how she likes it. From that face, assumed she loved it. That is the biggest smile I have ever seen on her. I guess I should take her out more often.

Nyla has decided that her Tummy Time mat is too slippery to lay on. She gets frustrated because she can't get her feet to grip the ground. She has decided the toys are useful though so she is going to use it to lift weights.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The end of an era

For whatever reasons that I'm not in the mood to research at the moment, Australians drive on the left side of the road. As an American I was afraid this change would be hard to adjust to, especially after my 12 post rant on left lane driving. However, the change has been much easier than I thought. The hardest parts are turning, because there aren't always clear visual clues about where to go, but then that can be hard even in America if you're at a busy intersection. After a few tries behind the wheel I felt pretty confident about my skillz as a driver in Australia.

I have been very fortunate to make many great and wonderful friends since I first arrived here over a year ago. One of those gracious friends has been Brendan, who took a risk and let me drive his car. I did eventually get a Queensland driver's license, even though I don't really need one while I'm here on student visa. Having a license doesn't really help you learn to drive here though, since the process is essentially completing an application form and paying the fee. (Yes, that's really all there is to it for American's who want to have one here in Queensland.)

Well, my luck was bound to run out eventually... and that it did on a nice January day earlier this year. I was driving back to the house after having a busy day of errands and school. Although I was a little anxious to get back to begin preparing a dinner for some friends coming over, I was in good spirits. I was driving along in the right lane about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) away from the house when suddenly the car in front of me stopped. He was responding to the car in front of him who had suddenly stopped. That car was responding to some yellow car that had suddenly decided to turn right and slammed on the brakes because there was oncoming traffic. Yes, I was the tail end of three car fender bender.

I might pause to add that while Brendan was gracious in letting me drive his car, the car he was driving was a 1992 Mitsubishi Magna that was probably on it's last legs (or wheels as the case may be.) After 18 years the old girl didn't have the reflexes of the younger more agile wheeled transportation. While I stood on the brakes she didn't come to a stop until after bumping the fender of the car in front of me. All said, I think she ended up with more damage than the other two cars, which isn't saying too much if you look at these pictures:

Not knowing what damage had been done under the hood, Brendan decided not to drive it until having it looked at by a mechanic. I encouraged him to call his insurance company, despite some disagreement over whether the person responsible should file the claim or wait until the person affected has done it. The folks at his insurance place were quick and easy to deal with, and before long a truck had come by to get the car. Here's a photo of it's last moments.

Fortunately, Brendan had already decided to get a new car. He had actually already picked out the one he wanted and just needed to get the bank loan in order. In less than month a new car was in the driveway. Here's the proud owner with the updated wheels:

So all said it actually worked out for the best. He got a better deal from the insurance company than he would have trading it in or selling it to a wreckage yard. The bad part is that I was the cause of the old girl's demise. I have only driven the new car twice because I don't want to be the cause of any more damage to vehicles while I'm here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Let's Rewind

It has been quite some time since I posted anything on here. There is so much I need to catch up on. I think about it all the time. Nyla is growing so fast; it is difficult to keep up with her. I wish I had more time to keep a journal of every little cute things she does. I guess blogging will have to do. At least it is somewhat a history of things anyway and what better way than to share it will all the people I love the most!
Let's rewind:
January 2010: Everyone knows how much Avery LOVES Star Wars right. I don't even think LOVES is a strong enough word. Anyway, when Nyla was about 1 month old, she started crying at about 5pm everyday for no apparent reason. I guess this is fairly normal. One night, I was especially busy with homework and asked Avery to take her and try to comfort her. He takes her downstairs where he is preparing some dinner and starting a guessed it...Star Wars, da.da.da STAR WARS, da.da.da-Da! Hilariously enough, Nyla was having one her screaming fits until the moment when the London Phil Harmonic fills our family room from wall to wall on every single surround sound speaker. She immediatly stops crying and stares at the TV just in time for Avery to bust up laughing and exclaim to her "Oh, I see you are a fan already!" (his heart palpitates) A true Poliak from the very get go.

February 2010: Something else that is funny about Nyla: She has to stretch every morning. Seriously. I keep her in a swaddler to keep her arms from disturbing her. Otherwise, she gets frustrated at whoever's arms keep wacking her in the face while she is trying to sleep. So, each time I undo the swaddler, she raises her arms WAAAAy above her head and stretches her little legs, toes pointing as far as she can point. She has actually gotten to the point where if you say "streeeeetch" to her, she will raise her arms above her head and then look at you like "ok, I'll do it but I already did my stretches for the day". So cute and soooo smart.
Nyla's Blessing
Avery gave the most amazing, sweet blessing to Nyla on Valentines Day 2010. I wish I could record things like that. Nyla was so serene afterwards that she fell asleep in my arms; something she never did! She wore the same blessing dress that I was blessed in and it fit her perfectly. She looked like a little angel. However, her head is so small and tiny, that her headband made her look like Rambo. :) Mine and Avery's entire family was there to see her. It was so nice to have them all in one place and to share in something so special.
March 2010: Nyla's first word. I laugh because, she doesn't do it very often but I could have swore she said "Hi". The little spit coming out of her mouth makes it that much more funny.

Holding Hands

April 2010: Nyla has started to grab and touch everything. Sometimes, if she can't grab it, she is just happy to touch and feel it. Whether it be with her hands or her feet, she wants to know what everything feels like. The walls, the couch, the paper sitting next to you. One afternoon while Cadie and Whit were over visiting, we sat the babies up right facing each other. Nyla was very curious about chubby little Whit. She sat there for a few seconds before reaching out for him. Out of everything she could have grabbed on him, she took his tiny hand in hers and just held it for about 15 seconds. It was the cutest thing ever. I wish I had had my camera handy.