Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our rainbow birthday boy

Its hard to believe that this sweet boy is 4 today.

Of course, with his birthday, I'm always reminded of what took place before he was born.  It, as always, makes my heart, and arms, ache for our lost babies.  Aching for them, while also rejoicing in the birth and life of our son.   Not that all of my kids' birthdays aren't special, because they are.  But, his birthday...its just a tiny bit more amazing.  All the heart ache, loss, grief, anxiety, fear, hope, and prayers that came before this child.  (Even during his birth.)  It makes the remembrance of the moment we met him that much sweeter.

Look how much he's grown.  He's such a character.  Independent, opinionated, funny, and sweet.  He loves legos, batman (still!) and his Chillo  .  Looks like his daddy, who shares his birthday.  

Happy birthday, little man.  We love you. 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas 2013

We try (and I emphasize "try" here)and keep Christmas low key, trying not to go overboard with consumerism and just the plain ole desire to give my children lots of good things.  We do that in a couple of ways.  One, for us, is simply setting a budget on gifts for each child, and sticking to it.  (that's the hard part for me, guys.  I'm a gift giver!  I love it!)  Another way, is by, loosely some times, following the "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read" for gifts.  We're almost finished shopping for the kids and thought I'd share.

*Jammies for Christmas Eve (I just bought these on Clearance yesterday for $4!)
*Outfit from Gymboree
*American girl books (the old school ones.  I bought them used. :))
*toy tbd

*Jammies for Christmas Eve (again, clearance!)
*sweater from TCP (to go with his blue eyes.  *swoon*)
*space encyclopedia
*Over the door basketball hoop our nerf one just broke.  it was never that great.  We got this one from Costco, though.

*Jammies for Christmas Eve
*sweater from TCP
*book tbd
*sleeping bag from The Land of Nod (I won this at a friend's party last week!  Woot!)

*Jammies for Christmas Eve (same as O's)
*this shirt with matching velvet leggings
*The Moo series board books
*Kids indoor trampoline  (we got this at Essex for a SUPER good deal, guys!  $30!)

While it seems like we're making progress here, we still have the boy's birthdays to shop for, my parents, E's parents, and my brother and sister-in-law.  I love including one hand made gift for everyone, too, if I can swing it.  Last year, it was mostly crochet items.  This year, it'll be a mix.

(btw, I'm still looking for suggestions for books for Isaac or a toy for O, who is 8.5)

Monday, November 11, 2013

What we look like now

We had family pictures taken  last weekend.  The little kids were in a mood.  I'm always so surprised that our photographer can get any good ones of them at all!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Eliza's Minnie Mouse Party

We celebrated Eliza's birthday this past weekend.  (can you guys believe she's two?!?  I can't.  It seems like just yesterday she was born.)

When Eliza was in the hospital a few months ago, E's work sent her a giant Minnie Mouse with balloons.  She, over night, developed an obsession with Minnie.  I decided that it would be a fun birthday theme for her.  

Thanks to pinterest and my friend with a silhouette machine (that thing is awesome!) I think we pulled off an awesome party.  Here are pictures, with links to the inspiration. 

The setup

The cake.  I actually go the idea for this from my running partner.  (She does amazing cakes!)  The black Minnie and Eliza's name are sugar paper.  I picked it up at Michael's for $4.  I used my neighbor's silhouette machine to cut the letters and shape.  The bow is pull-and-peel licorice. (my idea. My friend suggested piping frosting.  Yeah.  I'm not talented at that at.all.)

Minnie Cupcakes

I loved this tutorial for the minnie mouse board.  This is in Eliza's room now as a decoration. 

I used this idea for the invites, as well as the banner. 

I bought the Minnie confetti.  Could I have made it?  Sure.  But, it was super cheap from this etsy site:

I got the inspiration for the headband party favors here. I did change the bow to a felt cut out.  I liked the minnie shape better.  

I don't remember where I got this idea.  Somewhere on pinterest.  The original idea was with a foam floral wreath circle.  I used embroidery hoops, and used wood glue to attach them. 

This idea was all me.  I wanted to hang some pictures of Eliza through the past 2 years.  I bought the poster board from the dollar tree for 50 cents. 

 Her clips came from here and are Minnies.  Her shirt is a hand-me down. 

She absolutely loves when people sing happy birthday to her.  She was so excited! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Crazy cat lady

I would apologize for not blogging in several months, but...its life.  Ya know?

What brought me back was actually a google search.  I typed in "turning down doula clients", sort of looking for professional wording to do that exact thing.  My OWN blog popped up.  In it, I mention having around 1 client a month.  Wow.  That was a LONG time ago.  Or, it feels like it was.

In October, I have 4 clients.  Thankfully, one of them already gave birth (in one of my favorite births so far.  If every birth could be that perfect...) but I have 3 more left.  2 of them are due in the next few days.  Of course, if I let it, I start getting anxiety with the timing of those births.  What if they go at the same time?  What if I'm at a birth during Eliza's birthday party? (total rabbit train, but, guys, she's going to be TWO next week!!)  What if I have a birth every weekend and I can't get in my long runs.

Long runs you say?  Oh, yeah.  I've been training for a half marathon.  For several months now.  Which, who knows if I'll even be able to run said race.  I hurt my knee Saturday running 12 miles (another aside- did you know I WALKED the mile in high school.  yeah.  I did.  And that same lady/girl ran 12 miles Saturday.)  somewhere around mile 10.  But, I was two miles from my car.  I had to get there some way or another.  You probably know all of this if you're my face book friend.  Since, I basically had a breakdown there about my knee.

I had another break down last night.  I was at the counter, making dinner.  E tried to hug me, but when I'm stressed (which I was) I don't like to be touched.  He asked why I was stressed and asked what he could do.  My answer went like this:

"well, I am overwhelmed.  I'm trying to make dinner and Isaac and Eliza are fighting for a turn to watch and help me.  I have to make something separate for Eliza and I tonight, so have to make two different dinners.  I'm sick of making two different dinners.  The kids never eat theirs anyway.  The kids never listen.  They left their stuff all over when they got home.  This house is a mess.  There are things everywhere.  We're having small group here tonight and there's crumbs all over the rug.  2 of my clients are due this weekend, and I need them to go at different times, but not on top of each other.  Then again, I don't even know if I can DO my job with the way my knee hurts.  My knee hurts so bad.  I'm scared I'm not going to be able to run my half.  What if I have to stop running for a long time?!?  I'm going to gain weight."

E's response:  "well, I can vacuum the rug."

Which, really, is about the only thing in that long list of things that any of us can control, right?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Potty training fail

Eliza's been super into "going potty" lately.  Yet, hasn't actually GONE to the potty.  Every morning, I offer "panties or diaper" and she almost always chooses panties.

Yesterday, she didn't want to wear either, and that was okay with me.  She had a wicked rash on her bum from the previous night (she must have pooped before she went to bed, then woke up in the middle of the night.  When I changed her, it was horrible! ) so she was going commando.

I was typing an email when I heard her say, "poop mommy.  See it?" I turned around and did, in fact, see it.  It was just coming out.  In a gallant effort to get her to the potty for a success, I picked her up under the arms and sort of ran towards the bathroom.

I almost made it.  About 1 foot outside the bathroom, the feces fell to the floor.  Then, since I have to follow those darn laws of motion, I stayed in motion and stepped right in it.  Covering the underside of my entire left foot.

Then, thinking she may have to go some more, I lifted her up to the potty.  In doing so, some poo that had not fallen off onto the floor, fell onto my hand.


I think it's official.

I hate potty training.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

better late than never

Our tenth anniversary was back in may (probably only one post back if you're going by my blog...)  I worked on making a slide show for hours.  The day of our anniversary, my grandpa had a stroke.  Then he went to hospice, and died with in a few days.  My slide show sat on my computer, forgotten. 

 Until today.  When, looking for something completely unrelated, I stumbled upon it.  Want to see it?  (If you don't, don't tell me. Just press the little x on the top right...)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My first 10k

Back in February, I ran my first 10k.  
I was number two. (a last name with the first letters "ab" is hard to beat.)

I ran with a bunch of friends.
Most of which passed me.

So I hung out with my pregnant friend.  I made sure she drank water and took a couple of walking breaks.  Because I'm that awesome of a doula.  (I can see my new advertisement now.  "If you hire me as your doula, I will run a 10k with you and make sure you stay healthy during your run!"  Okay.  Maybe not.)

Said friend tells me that 1/2 marathons are fun.  I blame her for my new training regimen.  (Or, I will blame her when I have to run 8 miles 7 weeks from now and 14 miles on week 15.)  

The pretty cool news.  I came in 16th in my age group, with a time of 1:03. (I was 149 overall, with 210 finishers.  So, solidly in the middle.  Where I like to be.)

Thailand, half marathons, doula stuff

Well, I'm officially "out there" as a doula. I ordered a shirt and everything.  I've had an average of a birth a month, (2 in may!) and I've been going on more interviews.  The awesome thing, right now, is that I can pretty much work with most of the people who want to hire me.  I haven't had to turn someone down due to over scheduling, yet.  (although, I did turn someone down for a home birth.  Which, just killed me.  I just can't do it while midwife assisted births are still illegal in Alabama.  Once that's legal, I'm all over it!)

I'm super excited because my next client who is due is attempting a VBAC!  VBACs are especially dear to me because of my own VBAC experiences with my 3 youngest.  Its not that every vaginal birth isn't special, its just that there's this amazing realization for a VBAC mom when she has her first (and second and third) baby vaginally that she's not "broken".

So, speaking of doula stuff, I have to already start thinking about how close to our Thailand trip I'll take clients.  (Did you know E and I are going to Thailand??  For our 10th anniversary trip, even though it'll be close to 11 years.)  We've started looking at hotels and are likely going in February.  One of my dear friends is pregnant and due in the beginning.  She hasn't asked me to be her doula, nor do I expect her to, but I want to make sure we're around if she needs anything from us.

There's this super long list of things I'd like to do before we go to Thailand.  Thankfully, "lose weight" isn't on my list this year, (I hit 1 year as a life time member of Weight Watchers this week.) But, odder things made the list.  Things that likely won't happen, but its a dream list.  Here it is:

1. Get Lasik.  I was going to get it done last year, but was hesitant to do it while I was still nursing Eliza.  I'm still nursing her now, but will likely stop some time around age 2.  Or will be down enough to go ahead with the surgery.  I keep thinking about how nice it would be to not have to deal with contacts, cases, solution on a 40 hr trip over there and back.  Plus, you know, not having to worry about salt water in my contact in the ocean.

2.  Buy a super hot, non-momish, bathing suit that covers my stretch marked stomach. (Unless we some how hit the lotto and I get a tummy tuck and breast lift.)

3. Get a bikini wax.  I've heard the more times you go, the longer it stays away and it hurts less.  Not sure if I buy that, but I'm thinking about giving it a go.

4. Have bunion surgery.  See.  I told you it was a weird list. My bunion on my right foot has been hurting.  It goes through spurts of hurting/not hurting.  Its on a hurting spurt now.  It hurts most after I run or walk long distances. Obviously, we'll likely be doing some walking on our trip.  I'd love to be pain free.

Running.  Yeah.  I just put it out to the world via instagram that I'm planning on running a half marathon in the fall.  I started training yesterday.  I know.  Its crazy.  I am not a runner.  Or, that's what I always thought.  If my life was a newspaper, this story would read "girl who passed out at track meet and quit attempts to run a half marathon at age 31."

After training for my 10k, and not dying, or even feeling the need to die, I started to believe in myself a little.  Maybe I am a runner.  If I can run 6.2 miles with out much struggle, maybe I can run  8.  Or 10. Maybe I can run 13.1.  If I can't, at least I can say I tried, right?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A legacy

My grandpa passed away this past Saturday.  We got a call on Thursday that he had a stroke on Wednesday that left him unable to swallow or speak (he also had pneumonia and an infection in his foot.)  My grandpa had already asked that he not receive any life support, including a feeding tube.  One of my uncles traveled, immediately, up from Florida to be with him and to speak with the doctors. He did not see him until Friday morning.  My dad left on Friday, frantically trying to get there before my grandpa died. My parents were able to be with him (along with one of my uncles and aunts) as they moved my grandpa to the hospice facilities at the hospital.  My dad said that he was communicating with grunts, eye movements, and really trying to smile (he said you could tell it was frustrating him to not be able to speak.)

E and our family had packed up Friday night in efforts to leave first thing on Saturday morning to try to get to N.C. before my grandpa died.  However, my dad called at 4:30 in the morning to tell me that my grandpa had passed. (Two of my cousins had driven through the night from MI and arrived only 30 minutes or so after he died.) 

Through out the next couple of days, more and more of our family arrived.  Until all of the brothers, all but one of the 11 grandchildren, and 9 of the great grand children were gathered in Waynesville, N.C.  (we all had to travel. Not one of us lives in N.C. My grandpa moved there in his later adult life.) 

Even though we were grieving, and processing the loss of my grandpa, we were able to reconnect with our family.  My grandpa's legacy.  What a great legacy it is. 

All of us

 The brothers.  My dad is the 2nd from the right.

My family, my brother and sister-in-law and my parents

My dad and my boys.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A decade

Happy 10th wedding anniversary to the man I've loved since I was 15.  I'm looking forward to many, many wonderful years to come.