My how time flies!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prayer Request

I am so sad today to find out this news. Sharie was the little cousin of my best friend in elementary & jr. high school. Their family was like my other family, and even though I haven't been in touch with them for a while, they are still super-special to me, and my heart aches with grief for them. I was extra saddened when I read some of the details of the accident. Please pray for Sharie's family, husband, and especially her children.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This baby is strong!

Because of a strangely-timed evening nap yesterday, I was actually awake last night during baby's active time (~10:30-11 p.m.). He is a strong one! He pushed his feet against the top of his cave for at least half an hour, flipping from one side to the other, over and over. It was funny to watch my belly stretching in all directions! No wonder some days I wake up sore!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rant: Maternity pants

You would think at SOME POINT in the 40 weeks, these things would actually fit!


Still having lots of irregular contractions, but they are getting stronger, and a little more frequent.

I laughed at my OB last week when she said she thought I was finally going to give her a New Year's baby. Maybe she was right, though...

Of course, a New Year's Eve baby would be a tax deduction this year, and would pretty much be guaranteed a great b-day party every year...

My mom is still convinced he's coming on the 10th.

I personally will be happy whenever he decides to come, as long as I can avoid the (*#&$#@* @&$)@!^$ pitocin this time.

My little writing artist

I think I forgot to post this... it is from 3-4 weeks ago.
One morning I walked into the living room and found this.
So proud!
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Sammy's 4th birthday party photos

I think Sammy was very pleased with his birthday party. He asked for his friends to come over, and do puzzles with him, and play hide-and-seek. I'm not sure we played hide-and-seek, but we sure did play with toys and have a good time. It was a lot of fun to visit and play with everyone who came. Here are some pictures of the event. (Sorry for the bad lighting. It was my first time attempting photos in the finished basement. I need some practice.)

Sammy picked out the shape and flavor and candle he wanted, helped his daddy bake, and then frosted and decorated this cake himself.

Uncle Scott lighting the candle
Zachary & Mr. Mike singing "Happy Birthday"

Okay, blow out the candle!

Mrs. Kerry & Haley

Ms. Erin & Camryn (and my big piles of mess that never got picked up. One day when I am not pregnant, I expect to have energy and actually do this!)


Hey, how come I don't get any cake?!?!?

Zachary enjoying his cake

Ooooh! Presents!!!!

An Aquadoodle and a book from Ms. Erin & Camryn

More guests arrive! Ms. Amanda, Jacob, & Anna (& Jeremy, not pictured here)

They brought a Diego puzzle

Mr. John, Mrs. Julie, & Morgan brought a Thomas book and a Spongebob puzzle.

The babies had a fun time playing together. (Or at least watching each other play)

Mrs. Julie reading the Thomas book

Mr. John & Morgan doing the Spongebob puzzle

Rave: worry-free #3

(Okay, not completely worry-free, but...)

I am *loving* this third baby pregnancy! I do not have any of the
  • Will I be a good parent?
  • Will I break him?
  • What if I do something wrong and really screw him up for life?

fears that go along with the first baby. I do not have any of the

  • How can I possibly love this baby as much as I love the first one?
  • How will I possibly take care of the first kid when there's a new baby who will need all my attention?
  • Is the first baby going to be so jealous that I'm screwing him up for life?

fears that go along with the second baby. I know that

  • I will be the best parent I can be. I am far from perfect, but I try, and most days I do OK. (Then there are the days where my kids get bananas and cold pepperoni for breakfast, and it goes downhill from there. But, hey, I'm pregnant and exhausted, and that is not the norm!)
  • I probably, probably won't break him
  • Chances are good that I will not screw him up for life. At least not any more than any other average parent
  • There is enough room in my heart for however many babies I am blessed with, and I will love each one just as fervently as the first AND the last (and any inbetween there!)
  • When included in "ownership" of the new baby/given responsibilities for helping care for the new family member, and when given adequate attention so they don't feel neglected, even an older sibling who is still a baby can be a huge help, and won't harbor jealousy
  • The older kids have each other to entertain themselves when baby-care is an urgent matter (unlike the first who only had me to entertain him)
  • We will all figure out together how to make sure everyone gets taken care of. We are all vocal and honest enough with each other (at least at these ages!) that nobody could possibly be forgotten.

In the absence of all the fears that accompanied the last two, I am just giddy with anticipation for this blessed addition to our family. And have been for most of the pregnancy. At least when I wasn't too tired to notice. :)

(On a related note... I have heard some people say that #3 is the hardest addition of all, because then Mom & Dad are outnumbered... All I have to say to that is - these people must expect misbehavior in children to be the norm. And if they do, I pity them. Because all children live up to what's expected of them.)

More fun with Picasa 3 collages

...From our trip to LA this past summer...

Swimming at cousin Cole's house

Katie fell completely in love with her great-aunt Donna's flowers!
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

2 Birth Plans

I found and did this interactive birth plan online...

and then...

awesome, rockin' Erin read my last post and sent me my original birth plan (which I'm glad to have for the scrapbooks, but is way too long this time). Neither of us can remember why she had a copy of it, but it was way cool that she did! Thanks Erin!!!

37 weeks

Today I have reached the point where they will not stop labor if it happens. Which is great. I had a labor stopped, once, and the medicine made me so doggone jittery, and cranky... I'd hate to see myself trying to parent 2 preschoolers on it.

I really wondered if it was going to happen last night... We spent a large portion of the day picking up the chaos all around the house for the birthday party. I was really exhausted by midafternoon, but too busy to notice. Last night I was having Braxton Hicks (non-labor contractions) every 3 minutes. I didn't even bother to try and stop them at first, knowing I was only hours away from being considered full term. Plus they were just tight - didn't hurt at all - so I was only half convinced that they might mean anything. Drinking a bunch of liquids didn't make them go away. Sitting down didn't make them go away. Lying down made them less frequent. But they were still there. I got up and took care of a couple of things (packed camera & video camera, mostly finished packing hospital bag, etc.) that I would regret not having done if I did go into full labor. Eventually got back to bed and immediately fell asleep, but then kept waking up all night long, sometimes from contractions, sometimes from bladder, sometimes from dreaming of pushing out a baby. By the morning, they were gone, though.

At least until my feet hit the floor. :)

Have been having them on and off all day. Pretty much every time I stand up. And other random times, too. Some of the ones today I have even felt (1 or 2 on the pain scale, rather than just a noticeable tightness). So for all I thought the baby wasn't coming this week... I may have been wrong about that. Of course, I have been saying all along, I think he's coming before the end of the year, until 2 weeks ago when I got checked and found out all those contractions had done nothing... We'll just have to wait and see. I know his MawMaw will be very sad if he doesn't wait until after she gets here on the 7th. It will also make things a little difficult for US if he comes before she gets here. Especially if he comes in the middle of the night. Last night the plan was, if I had to go in, to have my brother drive me in for triage, and then if I stayed call the Daddy and have him bring the sleeping kids in. (We did not think they would react well to waking up to no mom or dad.) Not the best plan, but it would have worked...

Oh, and it was sooooo sweet last night! I asked Sammy, if we had to not have his party because we had to go to the hospital to have our baby instead, would that make him sad. He said, "No, mom! I'd be excited!!!" :)

Okay, I really need to go find and plagarize a good natural birth plan online, because I can't find the one I did for Sammy anywhere... (And didn't get to use it for Katie because I was induced.)

(Speaking of induction, Pitocin sucks!!!!!!!!!! Just thought you ought to know how I really felt about it!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Sammy!!!

This morning when I told you it was your birthday, and that you were four, you didn't believe me. You said, "But Mama, I'm three and a half!" I had to show you the calendar on the computer that said December 26 before you believed me.

You are getting to be such a big boy! You are very, very tall like your Daddy. You can already read and write some! You are still scared to go potty (I think this is why you didn't want to believe it was your birthday, because you have been saying for over a year that you will use the potty when you are 4), but I am sure that will happen soon. You can do more and more things by yourself every day. I bet it won't be long before you are mixing your own chocolate milk and getting yourself dressed without Mama's help at all. You are such a sweet helper to your sister Katie. Yesterday you went all the way up to the bedroom to get her Blue's Clues sleeping bag from the bed and bring it to her in the basement so she could watch movies with you. Then last night at bedtime you went all the way down to the basement and brought it all the way back up to the bedroom so she could cuddle in it at bedtime. You are really good at sharing your toys (usually) and getting better and better about picking up toys when you are finished with them. I am sure you are going to be a great helper when our baby gets here, and be a great big brother to him, just like you are to Katie.

Mama and Daddy love you very much, and are so proud of you! Happy Birthday, our dear sweet boy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rave: Picasa 3

I really, really like their new collage maker!

(now if only they would make it possible to upload more than 4 pictures to a blog at once!)
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Merry Christmas pictures, part II

We let the kids open 1 present on Christmas Eve - their new Christmas PJs. Sammy refused to wear his. Katie was happy to wake up in hers.

Sammy's favorite present of the day turned out to be the first one he chose to open - a Curious George video.

They were very good at helping each other unwrap presents! (Their own and everyone else's!)

After all the gifts were opened,we found some Santa goodies in the stockings. Here they are excited as can be over a Diego electric toothbrush, and a toy giraffe...

And Pez dispensers...

And "new" books from MawMaw and PawPaw. (We already had 2/3 of them in the small board book versions. But these are new and big so still very exciting!)
Uncle Scott quickly got drafted to read a story.

And now they are downstairs in the new basement watching Curious George, while Mama takes a few minutes for a needed rest.

Merry Christmas pictures!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baby update and another grumpy rant

36w3d. Had a checkup yesterday. My belly measures right on target. All those contractions I had the last month or so (which mysteriously stopped this week) have done almost nothing to my cervix. It's still high and "maybe a fingertip." Baby boy's head is still "high" so it would not seem he is ready to come out this week.

Swelling lately has been only slight, if at all. Energy too, for that matter. I have the energy to accomplish about 1.5 things per day, and lately those have been errands. So my house looks like a tornado hit it. Make that two tornadoes. Preschooler tornadoes. I keep wishing some other adult in this house would take responsibility for helping pick up around here. Especially things I have already asked for help with a dozen+ times. Like carry the too-heavy-for-me-to-carry clean laundry baskets up the stairs. (Up stairs are not my friend right now, when I DON'T have to carry anything!) Or even just to put their own dirty dishes INTO the dishwasher. But that it obviously just a pipe dream. Somehow every time I get caught up, either I get sick, or someone else does and I have to nurse & cudlle them all day, and it gets right back to where it was. Or worse. I can't even keep up with the "dailies" much less get to the organizing. I had hoped to eat on my dining room table some time this calendar year, but obviously that is not going to happen. I wonder if I will ever see the top of it again? I had hoped to have giant pile of boxes that got moved from the garage to the new playroom out of the way before Sammy's birthday party on Sunday. Pretty sure that's not going to happen.

Sammy wants to play Azada now, so I must depart from the computer. Which is fine since I need to unload the dishwasher, reload the dishwasher, run the dishwasher, hand wash the wood stuff & knives, get the clean diapers out of the dryer & stuff them, rewash the clean clothes that have probably soured by now, then dry them, then wash another load, then do a load of diapers, lug all the clean stuff up the stairs, by which point I will be too pooped to do anything else for the rest of the day. Meanwhile the kids will just add to the mess that I don't have the energy or waistline to bend over and pick up.

Wish I had some Christmas spirit/peace. Maybe Santa will clean my house for Christmas. That would be freakin' awesome!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pretty Christmas Lights

We were driving around the east side of town last night and saw a few amazing Christmas displays. Here are some directions in case you find yourself in that area at night this season:

1) From Peterson @ N. Carefree, head south and take the first left onto Pony Tracks (by Sand Creek HS). Take the first right onto Heather Glen. There is a house lighting up the whole neighborhood a little way down this street. Follow the street to the roundabout, turn left, and then turn right on Bexley. There is a well-lit house on Bexley, plus lots of other houses with lights on that street.

2) Follow Bexley until it dead-ends. Turn left, then turn right onto Pony Tracks at the next dead-end. Follow this road around the park & elementary school, through the stop sign and to the light at Peterson. Turn left (south) onto Peterson. Follow it until Bismark, the last road before the light at Constitution. Turn right onto Bismark and immediately right onto Roxane Ct. There is a house on the corner with several dozen Christmas-dressed cartoon characters all over their yard. This road has a cul-de-sac at the end so it's easy to turn around.

3) Go back out to Peterson road and keep heading south. A little ways after the light at Palmer Park, turn left (east) onto Chippewa. There is another house covered in lights there.

Also, if you have small kids and have not been, the light display at the Nazarene church near the intersection of Academy & Fountain (northeast corner, off of Academy Park Loop) is worth driving through. Especially if you can go on a night where it is warm enough to keep the windows down - they will write the kids' names on a sheet of paper and magnet it to your door, and everyone you pass will greet the kids by name! This one is free, too (although they do have donation collectors at the end).

If you have seen any other good displays in town, please let us know. My kids are having so much fun seeing all the lights. This is the second time I've set them up with "hot chocolate" (warm chocolate rice milk) in their cups and blankets over their laps to go looking at lights. (And actually the purpose of the trip is usually to bring Uncle Scott to one of his poker games; we just take advantage of the fact that we're already out to look at the pretty lights.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I might be nesting. Just a little.

(Or maybe I'm just being practical.)

Bassinet covers & sheets all washed. Car seat all washed. (Thought the carrier car seat expired this month but it turned out to be Dec 09!) Newborn and 0-3m clothes all washed. Nursing pads, baby blankets all washed, in the dryer now. Lambskin soaking in Eucalan in the washer...

Still need to pull up the newborn diapers from the basement. They are washed ready and in a Space Bag. Need to surge postpartum pads and more newborn diaper inserts/pocket stuffers. Need to pack a hospital bag. Hoping I can get all this done before tomorrow evening. Except the packing; hope to get that done tonight.

5 weeks to go...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rant: A lot of things! I'm grumpy!

The other day someone commented to me that the baby had dropped. I had been thinking so, but dismissed it. I thought it was way too soon for him to drop. I have been mildly stressing about it ever since. But I just noticed, on my blog baby ticker, that some babies do drop now. So I am feeling a little better about that. (As of 5 minutes ago.)

Some days I have big problems with swelling, and some days I have none. It is a little baffling. I *think* I have been doing really well with my protein intake since that 3-day swelling episode right before Thanksgiving. But some days, I still get swollen. I don't know if it's too much salt, too little water, or just something random.

Today I'm not swollen at all, but every time I stand up, I start contracting. Of course sitting down is the logical answer, but do you know how frustrating it is when every time you sit down, you've got a double-team of messers pulling every thing out of every container they can find... Pulling every pillow and sheet and throw and blanket off of every couch and bed they come across... Playing with a new toy every 5 minutes and never putting anything away? They are getting really good about picking up things if they are reminded. But if I'm not right there noticing exactly what they are doing, they don't get reminded. Ugh.

I'm sure it is just all supposed to be a big reminder to do what I can, and focus on what's important. But I am a slow learner sometimes...

The kids are in the bathtub. I am probably going to regret that here in another hour when they eat and get all messy. BUT, they asked, and I figured it would give me a good at least 45 minutes of them NOT throwing everything they could find on the floor. And maybe give me a chance to pick up a few things, rest, pick up a few things, rest, etc. Plus they both had poopy diapers and the clean diapers are still downstairs. So I figured, hey, if they're going to be naked anyway, might as well throw them in the tub.

Oh, and did I mention I'm tired of illnesses? I hate to be picky, because they've all been viral and recoverable (eventually!). But ugh! I pray we're at least healthy whenever the birth time is, so everyone can be there. And I can labor without worrying about coughing, not being able to breathe, etc.

Just ignore me. I'm grumpy. (Not that I appear to have that many readers to ignore me anyway... So maybe you already are...)

Friday, December 05, 2008

I can MOVE!!!

I am so glad I checked out the Spinning Babies website and got the idea to use my Boppy pillow as a nest so I could sleep face down. I am pretty sure that is what allowed little boy to turn the way he was supposed to. And now that there's not a head in the middle of my abdomen, amazingly, I can move. It doesn't hurt to get in and out of bed, or change positions. It doesn't hurt to squat down and pick things up. It doesn't hurt to snuggle my big kids on the couch. Wow! I don't think I realized how miserable I was. (Yeah, I probably did!)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Homemade Ornament Ideas Contest

I want to make homemade photo Christmas tree ornaments of the kids, to give to family members. The best idea I could come up with so far is:

Cutting photo into smallish circle, laminate in a pouch with some glitter, and cutting another 1/2" around the circle (with glitter showing) for a clear border. Simple hole punch and some ribbon to make it hangable. Or maybe some eyelets if I can figure out how to set them. Easy/fast enough, but pretty messy. Probably messier than I am willing/have energy to clean up after. Plus I'd have to go somewhere to acquire the glitter.

Anyway... I know some of my friends out there are pretty crafty, so I decided to have a contest. Post your best easy-but-cute homemade photo ornament idea here in my blog comments, or leave a link to your own blog in my comments. I will pick a winner in about a week (once I take/print photos of the kids). Winner gets a sample of the finished product for their own Christmas tree. Ideas that I can make from supplies that I already have on hand, and that don't generate too much mess, will get extra points in the final judging.

Happy competing!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kids are funny!

There have been so many laughing moments around here. I wish I remembered them all to write them down and share. (Unfortunately I am not remembering much these days, between being sick and donating my brain cells to the next generation!)

Here are a couple of things that made me laugh today:

Me (hugging S after he asked me to be his friend): I'm a happy mom. I love my kids!
S: I'm a happy Sammy. I love my grown-ups!

K, right after bath: Mom, where's the water going?
Me: Down the drain.
K: Mom, where do boo-ters going?
Me: Did you say "booger?"
K: Yah.
Me: They go in the trash, in a tissue.
K, a little distressed: But... the boo-ters going down da dwain!!!
Me: You put a booger in the bathtub water?
K: Yah.
Me: Then it's definitely going down the drain.
K, obviously feeling better about the whole situation: Oh. O-tay! (gives a big smile)

Stinky diapers no more!

After 2+ years of cloth diapering 2 kids, I considered myself somewhat well-versed in the realm of diaper laundry. But for the last 5 months or so I have been stupefied at the awful smells the diapers were generating as soon as they got wet. One (not even poopy) diaper was stinkier than the whole dirty diaper pail used to be.

I tried almost everything. Extra pre-washes. Extra rinses. Extra soap. Less soap. Turning the hot water heater way up. Tea tree oil. The only things I did NOT try were boiling, and washing them in the dishwasher. (The only reason I didn't try the dishwasher trick is my new dishwasher does not give you the option of skipping the rinse-aid.) Some loads were better, some were worse, but they all had SOME kind of smell about them...

Finally, my former-chemistry-tutor genius husband decides to tell me "anything that smells like THAT has a bacteria problem." He was thinking it was actually in the kids' system and not in the diapers. But because certain things I did in the wash made the problem a little better, and other things made it worse, I felt pretty sure that the problem was with the diapers, not with the kids.

I really try not to put anything chemical in/on/around my diapers, but I was soooo desperate. I am happy to report that just one wash with ~4 oz of Pursue Disinfectant Cleaner (plus an extra 2 rinses to make sure there was none of it left to irritate sensitive bottoms) and the problem was gone. G-O-N-E. The diapers coming out of the wash smelled like nothing. It was awesome. I'd forgotten how smell-less clean diapers were supposed to be. I really am past ready for these kids to potty-train (and Katie is in the process, slowly, and Sammy says he will use the potty when he is 4. Which is in just a few weeks!) but I do really love cloth diapering! I am glad I get the opportunity to do it all over again here in a few more weeks!

Snowman Art

When my parents were here a few weeks ago, there was a light snow-flurry morning. Sammy wanted desperately to make a snowman. The snow wasn't even sticking, so this was the best I could come up with. But he was happy with it.

Katie cannot be around a camera without wanting her picture taken. I have NO IDEA where she get's that from! ()
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