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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whooo's that?

 Yes, that's my baby BOY modeling an owl headband.  What can I say?  He's comfortable in his masculinity.





The finished gift for a special baby girl's birthday. (sans buttons on the dress.  Have to buy those soon.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I was a runner before

No, not really.  But, I was on the track team.  For about 2 weeks. 

See, our school was kind of small.  In fact, I think my graduating class had 52 people.  For some less popular sports, like track, we didn't have try outs.  We were often hurting for people so bad that we often had to combine with other small schools to compete. 

That's what happened with the track team my senior year.  Some friends convinced me that it would be super fun to run track.  You know, stay in shape after cheerleading, etc.  I thought, "what the heck.  I can run, right?" 

I joined the track team.  First practice- run 3 miles.  Ummm....  what?  All I own are cheerleading shoes.  Did I mention I walked the mile in gym class?  You want me to RUN 3 miles?  Run right now?

As you can imagine, I fell behind quickly.  After one mile, we passed by the subdivision where I lived.  Instead of continuing on, I went home and collapsed on the floor in a heap, trying to catch my ragged breath.  I peeled off my Asic's and swore that tomorrow, yes tomorrow, I would run further.  I'll run 3 miles tomorrow with no problems.

Tomorrow came and went, and I went right to my house again, ready, I thought, to die.  I couldn't breath, and I had blisters all over my feeet.  The track coach got a clue, (I think) and thought I might be better in sprinting.  I was to run in a relay.

Race day came, and I was sick (later, I found out, with bronchitis).  I still hadn't been trained, and I still hadn't been able to run more than a mile.  During the race, I got dizzy, closed my eyes, and passed out.

You know, I never really liked running after that. 


Here's me and my team


I still can't say that I love running, since I really have to psych myself up to get out there.  Sometimes I get really bored and sometimes its super hard.  But, I do occasionally enjoy it now.

 I ran my first 5k on Sunday.  I didn't die.  I didn't come in last.  I even passed other runners!  The difference between these 3 miles and the 3 miles of yester year?  Training my friends, training.  It seems so simple now, doesn't it?  But, as a young 17 year old, I thought I could conquer anything, including a 3 mile run with out any preparation.  What a silly girl I was.

me on Sunday before the race

almost to the finish line!

The race was exciting, fun, and definitely worth it (although I struggled with some major anxiety before I got to the race.)  I was completely proud of myself for running the entire thing (I had been running 3 miles at home, but I was never sure on exact distances.)  Now that I have one of those 5ks under my belt, I may work up to a 10k.  It'll be a while.  But, its a far cry from that girl who stopped running when she passed her house on a track team run.  A far cry, indeed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Outcasts

The pictures that didn't make the Christmas card:

 Over here!!
 Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a good nose picking.
 The wiggly one is done.

Someone may have set the tripod a little low.
 He's escaping!
 Not sure what E is doing here.  Reminiscing on senior pictures? One, Two, Thareeeeee. (this will only make sense if you had a certain photographer from Adrian, MI for pictures.)



Thursday, November 11, 2010

I heart baby carriers

The short and sweet of it- I love them.  I don't know how some of you moms out there live with out them, honestly.  I'm not being judgemental at all, I'm just telling you I could not live with out them.  Not kidding.

Today, The Zekester has been sick.  It started last night, in the wee hours (when all sickness seems to start, no?) with croup.  Fun times.  He, apparently, feels pretty miserable.  So miserable, that he doesn't want the love of his life (me) to put him down.  Ever. 

Normally I save my baby carriers for stores or going for walks.  But, today, I broke out a carrier, threw him up on my back and went to work doing chores.  Just like when he was a tiny little baby, except he is heavier, and he was less in the way since he was on my back.


It seems as though my little guy likes my slings/carriers, too. When I put it on, he lifted up his hands immediately. He knows what's coming next, and he likes it. Baby, he likes it.









Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Merry Christmas Card

Its November.  I know.  I know.  I can't believe it, either.  I can't believe that Christmas is only 6 weeks away, (not to mention a certain baby boy's birthday and, my dear, E's 30th birthday.) 

Its around this time of year that we normally load up every one and haul ourselves to a cheap photo studio, wait hours upon hours to get our picture taken, (I'm not kidding here.  The weekends are a mad house there!) find one or two pictures we like, (which infuriates the photographer that we are only getting one or two poses.) wait for them to be printed, pick up the prints, and drive the 45 minutes home with everyone in tears.  Then, we have to find a Christmas card we like, cut up all of the pictures, and stick them in.

In a gigantic effort to simplify Christmas this year (I'll have to write more on that later. We're cutting back on a lot of things!) we are forgoing that little escapade.  Instead, we are doing our OWN Christmas cards.  Well, sort of. 

We spent about 20 minutes Sunday evening taking pictures out in our back yard with our camera and a tripod that my friend D lent us.  A lot of the pictures were a bust, but a few turned out great!  We are taking one or two of those photos and getting cards made through Shutterfly

I'm not sure which card we'll get printed, but there are so many cute choices, don't you think?

Since I'm, hopefully, going to be getting 50 of them free for writing this blog post, I am thinking about ordering some of these.  I love tags.  Love them!  These are super cute, (especially the brown one with gifts on it!)  They seem pretty reasonably priced.

With I's 1st birthday and E's 30th birthday all mixed up with Christmas, we were thinking about doing a combined party/holiday celebration.  There are all kinds of super cute invitation designs here.   I think this one is kind of cute.

I'll have to post what we end up choosing for you all.  I'm sure you are waiting on the edge of your seats....

Friday, November 5, 2010

A sweater-to-child's-dress tutorial

Take an old turtleneck to use as your dress-to-be.

My inspiration for this dress came from a cowl-necked tunic that I bought O at Gymboree.  Like this.
Since I wanted the neck to be kind of floppy, I left the original turtle alone. :)


So, I took my turtlenecked sweater and got out my trusty scissors.

I cut off the sleeves. Then, it looked like this.


I skipped photographing the next step, but I measured a dress of hers up against the sweater to get an idea of how wide to make it and where to cut my arm holes.

Then, I snipped along my lines.


Now, I start to tackle the sleeves.  I took the dress used above to form a pattern for the width to measure the arms and do the same.  You can see my highlighter marks here if you look carefully.


Snip, snip.  They now look like this.

Fold the sleeves so the right sides are together and sew down the open side.

Now, at this point, I took my seam ripper and took off the original tag.  My kids aren't big fan of tags, so it had to go.  You all know how to use a seam ripper, so I'll spare you the pictures.

Now, take your "dress", make sure the right sides are facing each other and sew down both sides of the dress, making sure not to sew up the arm holes.  Depending on the height of your little girl, you may have to measure her, cut the sweater to the appropriate length, and then hem the bottom.  I wanted to just use the length of the shirt, so I used the original hem. ( Plus, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to sewing and I didn't want to create an entire new hem.)

 When you are finished sewing, flip the sleeves right side out, so the raw edge is inside.  Here comes the tricky part.  With your dress still inside out, stuff your sleeve, (which is right side out) into the dress.  You'll want to make sure that the sleeve is in the dress, like pictured below (but, obviously IN the dress.  its hard to show you the way the sleeve faces when its in there...  tricky photography.  I'm just not there, yet. lol.)

Sew around the arm hole, securing the sleeve to the dress.  Repeat for the other arm and sleeve.


I happened to have a bit of fabric left over from when I trimmed the sides of my sweater.  I decided to make a belt. The belt was super easy, so I won't go into detail here.  If you know how to sew any kind of strap, you know how to do this guy, too.  I used two strips that had original edges/hems so that I didn't have to close the ends of the belt up with any type of hem.  You could easily go belt less, too.  


Finished product

Just waiting on my little girl to come home from school to try it on. 


Extended Breastfeeding

I realize that I'm not in the majority with my feelings regarding breastfeeding, much less extended breastfeeding.  Heck, I realize that anytime I'm in a group of women who start talking about breastfeeding.  Even with out opening my mouth and telling our breastfeeding stories (really, that's what they are.  They are tales of our breastfeeding highs and lows.) I know that most people are uncomfortable with the thought of breastfeeding past a year.

Take yesterday.  I was in a group of moms, some of them very new moms (meaning with brand new, fresh babies.)  Zeke wasn't interested in eating his crackers or drinking out of his sippy cup.  I glanced at the time and realized it had been a while since he nursed.  Generally, he doesn't like to eat table foods or drink water until after he nurses.  So, I found a seat and nursed him.  There were several "my baby" comments.  Some of them I related to (like, "my son was too busy to nurse in public."  That was SO A when he was a baby.) and some that I struggle to find a common ground with (generally, giving up on breastfeeding after very little to no effort.  I'm not saying its wrong, its just hard for me to understand.)

In conversation, I mentioned that A was a very hard baby to nurse in public, but that he nursed until he was 2.  The looks I received made me try to rationalize it and say things like "but only at home" or "only before bed". 

Why is it that I feel the need to do this?  What makes it so taboo to nurse past 12 months?  What is so special about that 12th month that mother's feel the need to sever a relationship that has many benefits?  I know some people are really just trying to make it to the recommended 12 months, because its a struggle in some manner- allergies, babies who are ready to wean, etc.  I'm not talking about mothers that are in those situations.  I am referring to those who are still enjoying breastfeeding, as is the baby.  It makes me sad that some of these women feel pressured to wean.  With I being 10.5 months old, I can't imagine giving up breastfeeding in 1.5 months just because other people give me dirty looks.

As for me and my baby, I'm feeling blessed that I can overlook the glances and comments and continue doing what is best for us.  I'm feeling blessed that I enjoy breastfeeding.  I'm feeling blessed that Zeke still enjoys/needs some old fashioned milk from his momma.  I'm feeling blessed that its been an easy road for us this time around (oh, the troubles I had with O and A! I mention those troubles only so you don't think I had it easy peasy every time.)  and I can relax and enjoy our transition into extended breastfeeding.

So, I lift my bra cup in salute to another year, (hopefully) of Zeke enjoying the milk bar!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I couldn't decide

Its been a while since I posted.  The reasons/excuses are too many to count.  So, I told myself that I HAD to blog today.  But, you see, I couldn't decide what to post.  Should I blog about the fun adventures of Halloween weekend, playing it up like life is full of unicorns and rainbows?  Or, should I blog about what really happened- life full of puke and poop and chaos?

I still can't decide.  So, I'll leave you with a day-by-day recap of just this weekend.

Friday:

A's school has an awesome Halloween party every year.  They do an indoor-style trick-or-treating, going to different offices/people, and playing Halloween themed games.  What I like best about it is that they try to give out things other than candy.  like books, water bottles, pretzels, etc. (of course, they totally serve chips and cookies at the end, though.)


A monkey on my back

A and his BFF (he's the man in the yellow hat, if you didn't know.)


I swear, E looks like this in the majority of our pictures.
He's really thrilled to be doing this, can't you tell?

The Zekester and his fingers.


E came to the festival, but had to leave early.  I hustle the kids back to the car, unload our goodies, and head for home.  We arrive home, and I start getting the boys ready for nap time.  A takes off his costume and is stark naked when the phone rings.  O has thrown up at school and I need to pick her up.

Rush around, get A dressed, get I dressed, and get back in the car. (Thankfully, the schools is right around the corner, so it doesn't take long to get there.)  Run into the school to pick up O, who starts bawling the minute she sees me.  I try to calm her down, reassure her its going to be okay.  I get her into her car seat, buckle her up.

Now, what I did next is just pure mommy instinct.  O didn't say her tummy hurt or anything, she just started coughing.  I undid her buckle and yanked her out of the van.  As I did that, she started throwing up everywhere.  Thankfully, since I had already started the process of getting her out of the car, only a tiny bit of yucky stuff got on the floor (but, man, does that stuff smell!)  It was all over her, and all over the walk way.  I went back in, got paper towels, and the nurses had to come out and help me clean her up.

I'll leave out what happened the rest of the day Friday.  I'm sure you can guess what I did, including canceling fun plans to go out with friends and canceling O's plans to spend the night with Grandma.

Saturday:

Besides the lack of sleep, we had a pretty decent Saturday.  We put all of the kids down for early naps, since O was up a lot in the night and A got up at 4:45 because he saw the bathroom light on and thought it was morning.  O slept for almost 5 hours.  When she woke up, she was like a new kid!  I took her and I to Publix while E and A built a fire (in our new fire pit) to cook hot dogs in for dinner.


Sunday: 

Sometime early Sunday morning, A got sick.  I stayed home with A and I, while E and O went to church.  We realized that the Halloween party we had planned, was NOT going to be happening at our house.  So, we found an alternative venue, which ended up being a lot more work than it sounds.  It was extremely stressful trying to get everything over there.  Then, I couldn't even enjoy it because I stayed home with the boys!


But, we did have a wonderful time trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.  Austin was feeling fine, so he came along.  Isaac was a peach, as always.  He even got a little vocal at the end, with lots of screeching and yelling.


O as the tooth fairy                                                   A watching O leave.



He perked right up when I started getting him dressed
for trick-or-treating, though.


My poor third child.  This is the only picture of
him in his costume on Halloween.  Sniff.

After the fun!

So, after all of the fun, we quickly put all of the kids to bed, and settled down to raid the treat bucket.  I heard I, over the monitor,  starting to cough.  I ran upstairs (for some reason, coughing seems to lead to puking when the tummy bug is going around) and found little guy covered in throw up.  He was so upset.  I felt so bad for him, just sitting there in his mess. 

E and I cleaned that all up and put him back down, only to come back upstairs to find the same scenario 15 minutes later.  I decided then, to just hold him for a while.  When I was ready to go to bed, I put him down.  I was expecting to have him wake up a lot, but he didn't.  So, at 5, I went ahead and nursed him.  Big. Mistake.  DURING the nursing session, he threw up again. 

So, he's recovering today.  I'm recovering today, from having a very icky weekend, full of lots of laundry.  But, I'm also feeling a tiny bit grateful for a few things. 

1. Mainly for a husband that is quick to help and has a strong stomach for icky smells.
2. For a husband who was home (since E travels pretty frequently.) 
3. That I's tummy only had milk in it when he vomited all over me. 
4. That I has been sleeping through the night, thus giving me a tiny bit more rest to deal with other night wakings from other children.
5.that we have no other children in our house right now to catch this tummy bug.  (we're the only one's left.)

So, there you have it.  A bit of the nitty-gritty, a bit of the unicorns.  My indecision at its best.