Wednesday, November 30, 2011

happy


happy about:

* finding forgotten about Christmas t-shirts bought last year for $2 at Old Navy

* little girls who look cute in said Christmas shirts

* yogurt covered pretzels

* handmade gifts in the works- so excited to give a thoughtful gift

* cool weather to come

* a brand new pack of Sharpies in a backpack- score!

* naptime

* little one sleeping from 8- 8- all night long

* Parenthood on Tuesday nights and Modern Family on Wednesdays

* $5 generic prescriptions

* glitter sign- pics coming soon

little things. happy for my blessed life.

Christmas pockets

Advent Calendar (or what we're calling the "Christmas pockets")

In keeping with tradition, I had to have an advent calendar. My mom had one. Hers was from the Current catalog, and she probably might have picked something a little more substantial if she realized how long she would be doing it. It was a chimney and the bricks were made of 24 little paper boxes. Every day, a box was opened and something fun was inside. Christmas socks, candy, a note that hinted to a fun adventure later that day. Since there were 4 kids, we each opened our own box every 4 days. And maybe, just maybe, there were some occasions when Mason and I slid out the boxes to snoop at our upcoming surprise. Mom was sneakier. She didn't do anything the until the night before. (Of course now I see that she just probably had one day at a time figured out- just like me.) We looooved our "boxes" and Mom even continued the boxes while I was in college- either mailing me little gifts or waiting until I came home from break and having a bunch of days for me all in a row. Eventually, we all got older and moved out (and in some cases, moved back) and the boxes got put away. Those little things were squashed and torn and had been loved for years!

I knew I had to have an advent calendar. And there were some precious ones out there!! Pottery Barn had an adorable one a few years back. I was going to make one out of little boxes and magnetize them and have a cookie sheet... Big plans. But with have two littles under 2 and didn't have the motivation/time/energy. Thanks to Pinterest, I was already defeated before beginning- too much inspiration!! :)


During Thanksgiving, my sister, Molly, insisted we make one. We went to Micheal's, picked out the fabric and stayed up late making it a couple of nights. Turned out pretty cute!


Basic steps- sorry, no great tutorial. Uploading pics is taking FOREVER!!! You need to know that we love to craft but our sewing skills, measurement skills- heck, most everything needs work. Our mantra was "That's fine." So- for all you Anal Annies, or Perfectionist Paulas- you might want to skip my directions. (Eww- Anal Annies sounds so gross.)

1. Buy a variety of fabrics. You'll need about a yard for the background and 6-8 different fabrics. The least Micheals will let you cut is 1/8 of a yard, which is enough for 3 or 4 pockets. Our fabric total was about 10 bucks because most was on sale. Most of the patterned fabrics were 44 cents!! The denim background only cost 99 cents, which HAD to have been a mistake but there were 8 people in line for Blanca to cut their fabrics after me, including one VERY serious quilter, and I didn't want to make anyone mad.



2. Iron your fabrics and make the little pockets. I used a piece of cardboard to make sure they were all the same size. We ironed inside out and then folded the top flaps down. The just used the sewing machine to hem the front and back and then zipped right up the sides. Very simple pockets.






3. Lay out all the pockets in the order you want them.... This was kinda like one of those move-one-square-at-a-time puzzles until the picture is finished. Super frustrating to me, because I would get it all arranged and then step back and have a row of all polka dots.


















4. Pin the background to fit with some space around the pockets and hem it up.


5. We added ribbon to the tops of all the pockets. We used fabric glue right on top of the stitching in the front and wrapped it around the back, pinning it until it was dry.

6. The pockets were just tacked on in the top right and top left corners. We figured that was so they could hold something bigger without as much bulging. Plus, it was 11:30 and we wanted to go to Black Friday sales at Wal-mart. Big mistake. Crazyville.


5. I made little tags using my Silhouette machine. Cut out the numbers using the font Impervious onto glittery green vinyl. I cut the circle tags with the machine, too. I used a red stamp pad to make a ring around the tags and added the numbers to each one. (I used Press-N-Seal to transfer my vinyl- it worked great! ) Punch a hole, string it up with yarn. Tada!


















6. I just pinned the tags on the inside of the pockets with safety pins. For one, I'm not crazy about the tags and if I'm out to Micheal's or Hobby Lobby, I'm going to look for something I like more. Just couldn't make myself drive into SA just for tags.... I also added some ribbon at the top, but don't love it, either.... A work in progress.


















Basically, I had to get it up and finished because we start it tomorrow. I have already learned I need to have it up higher. Pocket 23 is full of raisins and #19 is holding Barbie's shoes. I like that I can add more to it later- thinking ric-rac and jingle bells.

Love it for now. And especially love that it's finished.

Monday, November 21, 2011

lunch ladies

I love when people ask, "Are you enjoying staying home?"

Is the sky blue? Are poopy diapers stinky? Do I love bean and cheese tacos?

OF COURSE!!!

Loving NOT waking up at 5:30.
Not missing getting to talk to babies in the mornings.
Not having to write those $300 a week checks to daycare.
Not coordinating who was going to drop off the kids when David was out of town.
Not feeling like an hourglass was draining away each evening from 5:00-8:00 bedtime.
Not ever staying up past 10 on a "school night".

We are having a lot of home staying home. Mostly wearing only diapers. (Them, not me.) Playing outside, watching some Dora, or taking a good nap. Laughing. Making tunnels. Throwing around balloons. Sandbox fun.





















This is my favorite time of the day, though. We crank up music. Dance around in the kitchen while I make lunch. And two little girls gobble up everything I put on their plates. We laugh and chow down. Together. I love, love, LOVE it.


On this particular day, lunch was chicken taquitos, cheese dip, peas and carrots, jello and grapes. And a little Billie Jean was playing in the background.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the day you were born, Mia Ruth

Even though it seems like it was just yesterday that you were born, my Mia, I need to write the details down for you.

For you have been such a surprise to me. A surprise that I was pregnant again, so soon after having Henley. A surprise that your delivery was so easy and quick. A surprise that you were so particular, when Henley was so easy. A surprise that you turned out to be such a happy little baby after months of tears.

I was in San Francisco with Mamie (my mom), Molly and Henley on a big huge, "trip of a lifetime" in the summer of 2010. We had gone to Seattle for Jessica's wedding and drove down the coast stopping at all the touristy stops until San Fran. We spent a week there, having a ball. We ate delicious food, especially the pot roast. And we even went back for it the next night. But in our hotel room, I threw up. Hmm, thought I. This is a funny, somewhat familiar feeling, as I sat down with nasuea in the shower. But I brushed it away. No way. At the airport, I smelled a man smoking a cigarette a long way off. The others hadn't noticed. My mom said, "Bonnie. Are you? Could you be?" No way.

We came home from our wonderful trip and I went to the grocery store. Of course I bought some tests, but felt like a crazy lady buying them with my 7 month old in the basket. And I waited until 4:30 in the morning to take one. And almost fell off the toilet. See, you were a surprise!
I didn't know how to tell your daddy, so I made a slide show of our trip pictures and tossed one in of the positive pregnancy test. I prefaced the slideshow with "I hope you don't decide to divorce me because of one of the pictures." And he said he thought that's what I was up to, with the whole slideshow scam. We were somewhat shell-shocked.

I was sick exactly like I was with Henley. Nothing could go down after about 4:30. I threw up everything. And David was sure you were a girl, since the sickness was the same. We'll see, I said.
I hadn't even gone to my new doctor for a regular visit. I was a bit nervous, during the ultrasound. "Yep! Congrats!" Dr. Gallagher said. I asked if my body was ready for this, so soon. "You'll be fine. You'll be great." she said.

I had to tell a bunch of people, my principal (her reaction: "YAY! I'm so happy for you!! It will all be fine."), my teaching partner (YAY! Excited!), our friends (What?!! Again, already?!). Everyone was surprised. But happy.

I trucked right on through the school year. Your due date was right around Valentine's Day- The 18th. I would have a little Christmas girl and a Valentine baby. Aww.

We went to find out if you were a girl or boy in September. We both were nervous. We even had Henley with us. The technician was so nice and even had kids 11 months apart. (Turns out LOTS of people have close, close babies. So we're all crazy. Or normal. Which is basically the same.) It's a..... GIRL! And we were excited. We knew how to do that. We had all the clothes. And bedding. And girl toys. And a name, Mia Ruth. Mia because David called his grandmother that and I had always wanted to name a little girl Mia. And Ruth because it was my mom's middle name.

I took my glucose test in November and got bad news. Gestational diabetes. Ugh. I was convinced the tests were wrong but sure enough, there were those high sugar levels. I had to attend a diabetes class and change my diet for you, little one. The week of Thanksgiving, no less. I found things that I was able to eat without affecting my levels (spaghetti with meatballs, yummy yum yum) and major no-no's (tortillas , cereal and pizza). No big glasses of milk. I ate sugar free turtles. Ate sugar free popsicles. Changed things up.

And went to the doctor. I went from school to the doctor, once and sometimes, twice a week. I was hooked to fetal monitors and turned in my kick count sheet (which I totally fudged each week, sorry, Dr. Higby) and was weighed ALL the time. The great thing was seeing you move and develop on all the millions of ultrasounds we got to have. You were a mover and a shaker. Sometimes you would move so much they get me to do the fetal monitor and then come back for the ultrasound- you would scoot right out of the way each time they tried to capture your pictures.

I was feeling pretty good all throughout the pregnancy. You didn't look that big in my tummy. The only thing that was killing me was my back! I think backs hurt a lot just being pregnant from carrying around 25 extra pounds. And then, squeezing a 20 pound kid on your hip doesn't help matters. Or trying to crawl around on the floor. Getting up is much.... slower.

As time got closer, you were measuring just great, my blood tests were great and Dr. Higby decided to bump you a week earlier. Just to be sure. We got to pick the date. Everyone wanted you to be a Valentine's Day baby. But we didn't want you to have to share your birthday with your class party every year and not get a day to yourself. The tenth? That sounded good. Deliver on Thursday and be home by the weekend. Perfect plan. Molly was home and Henley would be hanging out with Mamie and Pop while we were in the hospital.

The few days before you were born, a HUGE cold front swept across Texas. It was cold, cold, cold. I loved it because I was always hot anyways, but it put a damper on my wardrobe. I was having to wear Daddy's camo jacket because nothing warm enough zipped around my belly. On the Tuesday before, I decided that would be my last day at school. I hugged everyone and decided to have one relaxing day before being induced. Mamie, Molly and I ran errands at the mall. My diabetes doctor said I didn't have to come into my scheduled appointment and didn't care about my blood reading so we SPLURGED on a huge and delicious lunch at Bravo. I couldn't really wrap my brain around the fact that just hours later, I would be having you!
That night, I hugged Henley tight- we were going to leave around 4:30. I was supposed to be induced at 6:00 am so we wanted to be there at 5:00. The drive down was quiet and the highways were deserted. Plus- it was only 16 degrees! A chilly start for a little one!

Well, we got there and checked into a FULL waiting room. They told us that it was really crowded, many ladies had shown up in the night and were having babies and there were no open rooms. So we waited and waited. A few of the girls waiting were being sent home. They had been scheduled for today but their doctors wanted them to wait until the next day.I was so scared we were going to be sent home. I was READY to get the nervousness over and meet my sweet baby! Fortunately, they called Dr. Gallagher and she said- Nope, has to be today. Whew. So the nurse said to go walk around and we'll call you when we get a room for you. We waited, David got some breakfast while I watched and drooled- no food or water for me. Finally around 11, we got called and we went on up.

Our wonderful nurse got me all hooked up. I wasn't as nervous this go round. I mean, I was. But I knew what to expect. Dr. Gallagher came and broke my water and the show was on! She put me on the pitocin drip around 1:00 and the contractions started up QUICK. I wasn't prepared for how painful they would be, so fast. Larry and Betty were there and I couldn't even talk hardly. I got my epidural and man, that was pure heaven- again. Well, we had called Mamie and Pop and Molly and they were bringing Henley and were running a little behind. Around 4:00, I had to get David to go get the doctor- I thought you were just going to drop out onto the floor- you were that ready to come out. She walked in the door, and within 2 pushes, you came right out. THAT FAST. I looked at David and he was like, NICE WORK! :) Seriously, I was so relieved at the ease of the labor.

Everyone came on in to stare at the beautiful BIG brownhaired beauty. You weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces! No one was expecting such a little chunk. Thank goodness we didn't wait another week!! You were also long- 22 inches! Off the charts for a little lady. You were perfect- big eyes, soft, soft skin and looong feet. Your footprints didn't fit in the space on the page !

You had pretty low blood sugar, which they had expected. Probably because I hadn't eaten anything for a while- you were a hungry one. They had to monitor that closely for a few hours but otherwise, you were healthy and happy.

Henley came but couldn't see you that first night. She was proudly wearing her Big Sister shirt. She wasn't very big, but was so excited to see the "bebe". After all the celebratory drama, everyone went home and we moved into our room for the next 2 nights. We spent those days snoozing, nursing, and cuddling. You were so pretty. I remember David saying "You're so in love with her already." I was. You also loved it when Daddy would carry you around. I wasn't up and about too much and he was good at bouncing you and putting you to sleep.

We were definitely ready to head home. We couldn't wait for Henley to meet you and to sleep in our own beds. We picked up a Chick-Fil-A nugget tray (what else did you expect?) and some dunkin' donuts. We were set for meals for a while! :)

Henley loooved the new bebe in the house. She would wake up every time looking all over for the little one and peek over. "So cute", she would say.

You were a bad spitter upper. We would nurse and I would tip you up and it was like you never swallowed it down- it would just all dump everywhere. Frustrating. And you were hungry, every 3 hours, never missing a beat. After 2 weeks of a 14 month old, and brand new baby and no sleep, I needed some help! We switched to formula. And I felt guilty for a teeny bit- but after some sleep and Daddy helping with nighttime feedings, I was glad for the change. You still were terrible at remembering to swallow the bottle down and we used more burp rags than you could believe for about 3 months. You were also quite a bit more particular than Henley. You didn't sleep for long but wanted to sleep often. You didn't like the pacifier. You needed white noise or you wouldn't sleep. But you LOVED that sister of yours. She would come sit in my lap with you and you would be so happy. I thought my heart would burst sometimes, having my two little loves in my lap. But then Henley would wiggle too much and the bottle would fall on the floor and you would start screaming and poof- back to reality, mom.

Mia, you were not expected. A surprise from the start. But what a beautiful surprise to happen to our family. We love you, little one. You will probably surprise us all your life. And I will love every second of that.

just drive

Needing to check in. Haven't too much to write about.

I needed a slap in the face lately. (figuratively...) I was feeling so bored and restless and overwhelmed. Staying at home is a lot of work!

Sometimes, I feel so guilty for checking pinterest or blogger!
Or that the tv was on for a long while.
And we didn't do too much.
I wanted to save money so I didn't go shopping.
I wanted to save gas so I didn't go into town.

We just stayed here, for the most part. Whew. It was exhausting.

By Saturday afternoon, I just wanted to curl up on the couch and ignore the pleas for more Dora, more crackers, more chocolate milk, "fix it, peese, mommy" about the baby doll's blankie or bed or another bottle for the little one. I wanted to read a book or watch MY show on tv. I wanted to eat lunch while reading a magazine instead of trying to keep the 9 month old away from the 2 year old's food and cleaning up the 2 kids and the plates and the table and the floor after lunch. I want to go to the bathroom without someone banging on the door or sticking their hands and toys underneath and howling.

But children have a way of making you TOTALLY UNABLE TO IGNORE them.

It is impossible to attempt to relax on the couch while daughter number one is screaming in her room. And it is impossible to enjoy Pinterest while a little one is pulling on your leg and yowling. And it is impossible to try to catch a little nap on the floor with the two kids climbing on the new mommy-jungle gym.

So. My choices were pretty clear. I could holler at them. But they don't get it. Instead, they turn up the yowling/crying/whining factor about ten notches.

So we would get fresh snacks and head out to find some cows and horses to look at. Or go to the recycling center and get rid of plastic bottles. Or drive over to the storage unit and look at the wreckage that is in there.

Little things. And just getting out of the house has a way of making me (not feel like you are about to SCREAM YOUR BRAINS OUT) able to breathe. And you can roll down the car windows and turn up "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and laugh at your daughter dancing in the back seat. The one you thought you were going to lock out of the house an hour earlier.


Whew.

Note to self- when it's gotten to be too much, just drive.

And while you drive, think about how someday, you're going to miss being the jungle gym. All too soon, you're not going to be the one they want every minute of every day. Enjoy this while it lasts.
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