Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 is almost here!

Can you believe that a new year is already around the corner? Well wait, I guess it was around the corner maybe a month ago...now it's practically beating down our door! Or is that the sound of opportunity I hear knocking? New years always bring us the opportunity to fix things that are broken...to take the time to enjoy things again...to realize what we have now, what we dream of having, and how to get it. New years brings us the satisfaction of looking back over the past 365 days and see exactly what we've accomplished, and gives us at least one more chance of grabbing that bigger prize, or being thankful for the one we grabbed.

What exactly do you have planned for the upcoming year? World travels? Going back to school? Finishing up that dreaded project you've had sitting on the back burner for a few months while life took a hectic turn? While I have many "tangible" things on my to-do list for 2009, I have a few intangibles as well. And these are of utmost importance.

You've always heard the saying "People only treat you how you allow them to treat you"? Well, I'm taking it to heart. No longer will I play dead when I encounter something I don't like...I'll stand up for myself, and in turn, I'll be teaching my children that if they come across something that isn't working out, they can always just put up with it, or they can decide what's best for them is to clear themselves of that situation.

In 2009, I also plan on not taking the little things for granted. My children are now almost 14, almost 10, almost 8, and almost 4 months! Where did that time go??? And why don't I remember more of it? Thank goodness for digital cameras, as at least I can capture their childhoods that way from here on out. But Beanpole and Little Linebacker? Sure I have film pictures of them as wee ones, but as much as I love taking pictures, I hate developing them, and I hate filing them into photo albums even more! So I will not allow their childhoods to slip away any further...I'm going to take the time to enjoy each of them for the joys they bring to the family individually.

I am going to use the new year as a stepping stone to getting my finances in order. My bankbook looks like Bank of America's version of Chernobyl. I have been so lucky to have family and friends who want nothing more than to help us out, but those times are over. There is no good reason things shouldn't be better than they are. Living like this isn't living, it's surviving, and we've done that long enough...time to *live*...without the worry that money often brings.

So what does the new year bring down your path? Do you make resolutions? Do you just hope that things are better next year, or do you make plans and timelines and set mini-goals in order to reach the main objective? Either way, I pray that the new year brings peace and joy to you all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The time is upon us.

It's that time again folks!! It's *HOLIDAY* time!! Now this year, I'm not going to post pictures of all the Christmas stuff lining the shelves of my second home, Walgreens, like I did last year. But I will tell you that although we haven't put up our Christmas tree, or hung the stockings with care or anything a little on the weird side like that, we *have* hung up our jingle bell wreath on our front door. Our door needed something anyway.

We're knee deep in preparation for Turkey Day here. This will be the first evah turkey I've cooked...like, in my entire life. But I've watched my dear sweet mother do it about a gazillion times, so I know who to call when I can't figure out which end of the turkey bag to put the turkey in (uhm, that would be the *open* end, silly). Other than that, we'll be having the usual: stuffing (sorry mom, it's from a box...I can't master yours), mashed spuds, green bean casserole, either biscuits or corn muffins, and yup, even PIE!! I can't wait, and although the idea of double pay really appeals to us at this time, I'm secretly hoping BBM doesn't get called in to work.

Cakes is almost 3 months old, if you can believe that!! At her two month appointment, she'd grown longer, but not heavier (if you can believe that too!). Now, The Boys were chunks at this stage of the game. Their clothes were somewhere between "fit just right" and "not quite big enough around the middle". Cakes has plenty of wiggle room round her belly. She's also babbling now...I can't really describe it, but it's a hoot to listen to. She's a smiley little bugger too, especially if you catch her just waking up in the morning, before she realizes that no one is paying attention to her.

The Boys are incredibly excited for the holiday season to begin. There is only one thing on our television every Saturday and Sunday, then Monday night, and (at least in November) Thursday nights as well: football!!! Some college, some NFL...it doesn't matter to Little Linebacker. And he's still as score/record/statistic oriented this year as he was in years past - he can remember scores from games taking place 2 years ago. I can't imagine who he got that gene from. The OB didn't tell me, but I'm pretty sure he had a football cradled in his arms when he was born!

Beanpole is still doing wonderfully on the cello. He's learned pizzicato as well as bowing, and is practicing songs for his first concert! I'm trying to be supportive without being pushy. I would love to play the cello, so while I want to live vicariously through him, I also want him to enjoy what he's doing! He is so musically inclined, so it comes very easy to him. We have music playing almost constantly in the house, and a wide variety at that.

I just spoke with my mom, who has made plans to come over here tomorrow after church and help me try to finish getting Angel's room switched over. I'll admit it, I haven't done much of anything to it since moving the bunker downstairs. However, a few days ago I finally moved the file cabinets down into the basement. There are tons of loose papers, books, drawings, etc. left up there though, and I want to go through it all instead of just tossing it. Once that's done, a good dusting a vacuuming is in order, and then patching the nail holes in the walls. Then, finally, painting and putting up chair rail. I can't wait for it to be all finished! I've got before pictures, and I'll post them and the afters once we're completely done!

And now it's time for me to throw another load of laundry in while I wait for BBM to get home from work. If I don't get a chance to post again before Thanksgiving, have a wonderful holiday!! Be safe, be happy, and be thankful!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Awww nuts.

Well, I had promised myself that I was going to, ya know, like, post once in awhile when I posted after that month-long break. So much for that...I make pie crust promises to myself all the time.

Halloween was spooky. Little Linebacker was perfectly happy going as a race car driver. They both went as race car drivers last year, but Beanpole's was just a tad too short (try about 6 inches too short)...and Little Linebacker's had holes in all the wrong places. So LL decided to wear Beanpole's old one, which fit wonderfully.



Beanpole decided on a last minute cape, combined with the pants/shirt combo that PawPaw got for his christening (there's something oddly ironic about this).




Make-up provided by Yours Truly. In my defense, this was after trick or treating and candy eating...I really can apply lipstick better than that, even when it's black.


Angel Cake went as...a baby. :) After a slight mix-up with a costume I was getting from a friend, it was too late to go get her anything that would meet her standards and still trick or treat for any grand amount of time. She did, however, get compliments from anyone and everyone that passed by.


Look, she's kissable!



And 100% organic!


Other than that, not much happens here. Big Boss Man is on a new shift. well, same shift, different days (bwahahahahaaaaa!! I kill me!). Work for me is still work...we're gearing up for cold and flu season. You have to mentally prepare for that kind of chaos, you know. And that's the best word for it - CHAOS. At least we're stocked up on Tamiflu this year (ya know, because a prescription will help with the flu). But I digress.

This week, I'm hoping to get enough cardboard boxes from work to lay out over the grass that now covers my future garden. I'll keep it covered over the winter, and hopefully will be close to grass and weed-free by next spring! My other task this week is to fill all the nail holes in the walls of Cake's room. We've got colors picked out for both her and The Boys' rooms. So hole-plugging, wall-priming, and chair rail-installing must happen before the colors will be purchased and used. We'll get it done, sometime before her first birthday...maybe.

OH!!! I almost forgot! As we speak, the last load of BBM's laundry is in the washing machine...after that, every single article of clothing he owns (besides the threads on his bod, of course) will be clean!! Now to complete The Boys (sigh).

Well, Angel Cake just woke up from her Mass-induced nap, and football started 18 minutes ago and I haven't watched a single second of it yet. So I must depart for now.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What's in a month?

Seriously. What's a month in a lifetime full of them? Let's delve into exactly what a month brings at Whirlwind Lodge.

A month is me going back to work. This past Monday was my first official day back at work. I opened...on a Monday...which is scary. Thankfully, it didn't go badly at all. I even left on time, which is very unusual for a Monday. Also thankfully, BBM was off work, so I didn't have to think about Angel Cake being at the sitter's house all day. However, everyone and their brother (and uncle, and sister, and mother, dog, fish, etc.) wanted to talk about Cakes, or see her picture, or ask how her birth went (they may not be family, but these people have been customers for life, and went through this pregnancy with me). This means I had to think about Cakes ALL. DAY. LONG. And it means I talked about her ALL. DAY. LONG. And it means I cried A. LOT. Thankfully (I promise that's the last time I use that word), I got through it, and it's become easier throughout the week.

************************************


A month is The Boys and Angel Cake being christened. This happened last Sunday. It was a wonderful day, as we had multitudes of family in town for the event. My father-in-law and aunt-in-law joined us for 9:30 mass, we came home for a quick bite to eat, and then joined back up with them and the rest of the family for the christening. There were 2 other babies being christened, so lots of family and friends. Angel Cake wore a family gown made by a family friend from the wedding dress of BBM's aunt (a different aunt than the one that was here). The Boys were treated to special outfits by my dad (who was also in town). I think they're growing up just a little too quickly for my tastes.


The Boys all decked out.


During the christening.


Not that I'm biased, but those are some adorable children.


With the bonnet on...{sigh}

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A month is dropping Angel Cake off at a sitter's for the first time. That happened this past Wednesday, and then again on Friday. She's only there for a little over an hour one day, and then about 7 hours on the other day. Luckily, our sitter lives just behind and down a ways from our house (within walking distance), so it's not like I'm driving all over creation before I get to see Angel Cake after work. The sitter also called me the very first day, at work, and said that BBM told her I was going to call her because, well, I'm me, and I don't like being away from Cakes. So she called to check in.


Beanpole holding Angel Cake.

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A month is winning a contest over at Lisa's blog!!! She had a giveaway for one of her awesome little notebooks, and I won!! I got a "You're a weiner!" email (oh wait, well, nevermind) that said the package would make its way to me in Misery just as soon as her little fingers could package it up. A few days later, I spy a large white envelope in our mailbox, and I know that my prize has arrived! Inside, I find these: (and you're just going to have to excuse my pictures. I live for blurriness...really, I do.)



TWO packages?!?! How do I rate?!?

Inside the littler package:



Seriously, how nifty is that? She even included a pink pen, since I'm all about the pink now! What a fantastic prize. Then, she *really* got me, however, with this other thing I found in the envelope:

***I have to preface this picture with a short story. Ever since I've "known" Lisa, I've also known about her etsy shop. She makes rockin' things like stuffed weiners with really neato names (c'mon...Balle-Weiner? Cup-Pooch-ino? You just can't get any better than that!), log carriers (don't worry gals, she's got 'em in pink too!), and reuseable produce bags, among other things. Well she'd had something for sale for quite awhile, and I wanted it. I wanted it baaaaaad. But I couldn't swing it in ye ole budget, and I selfishly continued to hope that no one else would buy it so eventually I could get my hot little hands on it.***

So, story being told, here's what was inside the bigger package:



But wait, there's more!



Of course, I cried when I opened it, but then I promptly tried on the apron.



One side has the tea towel.



And the other? A pocket. A pocket fit for...a *notebook*!!!!



And the bag? The bag is lined in green gingham. I LOVE gingham.



************************************


A month is celebrating another year of being married to my soul mate. Big Boss Man and I reached 5 years of marriage on October 11th. We didn't go out...we didn't wrangle Mom into watching The Kids so we could invade some stuffy restaurant filled with candles...oh no. We ordered in...Steak Out, I believe. So while the celebrations weren't large, our love is, and continues to grow each and every day.


On our wedding day.

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So, while my hiatus from blogging didn't leave me with oodles of extra time in which to get the house all spic and span, or reach the bottom of DirtyClothes Mountain, or to finally finish Angel Cake's room, or to put down newspaper on the grass that we want gone for next year's hopeful flower garden...it did make way for other things. It was the last portion of the last maternity leave I'll ever take. I had precious time to spend with The Boys and Angel Cake. I think BBM and I even got to go out to dinner once.

But it's good to be back. Here's to many more months!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

F.Y.I.

I will be mia for a little while in the near future. Some things have arisen on the homefront that require my utmost time and attention, and they will not be ignored. Please say a quick prayer for us as a family, and I'll be back when I can.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hellooooooooo out there!!

Well what a week it's been!! I've got to admit to my bloggy buddies: I'm dead tired. I'm running on fumes right now, although I've been trying for days to convince myself (and others around me) that sleep is highly overrated.

It's not working.

As of right now, I've been up for 8 hours, and it's just almost noon. I've got a couple errands to run this afternoon, and unfortunately, they *must* be done this afternoon...so there's no chance of catching a nap before The Boys come home. If tonight is anything like the past week, Angel Cake will be up from about 9pm on (yeah, right after The Boys go to bed...how convenient!)...last night it was about midnight when she finally slept...otherwise, she's attached to my boobs! She's a cluster-feeder. Sometimes that's a good thing, because she'll sleep for maybe 5 hours after a cluster feed. Other times, not so much...she's still up every 2-3 hours to fill her belly. Mommy's tired.

Big Boss Man went back to work a couple days ago, and that's made life harder as well. No longer can he take her during any late morning/early afternoon wakey wakey time while I grab a nap. I'm lucky to take a shower before he leaves for work. Luckily, my mom, brother and his fam, and possibly sister and her girls will be over tomorrow. Maybe I'll be able to do the dishes (all of them this time, since there's a stack).

Angel Cake is just precious. The Boys are *still* in love with her, which is a miracle to me...I figured, even if she was cute (which she is), even if she didn't wake them in the middle of the night (which she doesn't), that the novelty would eventually wear off. It hasn't happened yet. But we haven't reached the girly toys all over their bedroom floor stage yet ;)



The Boys started PSR recently, and are enjoying themselves immensely. 2 weeks from now, they'll start their baptism classes, which will enable them to be christened on the same day of Angel Cake's christening, to which the whole fam appears to be coming. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone, although I'm not looking forward to planning what I imagine to be a big post-christening bash at our home. We'd tentatively planned on BBQing, but I'm going to try to convince BBM to order fried chicken from our *favorite* restaurant across the river, which has THE BEST fried chicken evah!! Saves time for me, and everyone (well, at least everyone here) knows that it's all. about. me.

**Oddly, BBM just came downstairs and I asked if he'd be against the idea of getting Moonlight chicken. His response? I can't figure out how to type the noise he made, but it loosely translates to "Yeah, NO problem with Moonlight chicken at all, thankyouverymuch."**

Speaking of downstairs, I got to the bottom of the pile of dirty laundry in our closet, and underneath it all, BBM found some motivation to *finally* move the computers/musical instruments/recording equipment down into the basement. The only things left in now-Angel Cake's room are my filing cabinets and lots of paperwork to sort through and file in said filing cabinets. That's my job. Granted, all of our posters/pictures/children's portraits are still affixed to the walls, but those won't be taken down just yet. Once they are, however, a-painting we will go, in that room AND The Boys' room.



Now, I started this post this morning...and now it's almost 5pm and I've just gotten back to it...and I still haven't slept. *Sigh*

I'm off to make dinner and quiet a crying Angel Cake. Could it be her dinner time (again) too? I guess the last one was just an afternoon snack, right?



Peace, dudes!

Monday, September 08, 2008

It's about time!! NOW INTRODUCING:

Baby Gina diNatale!!!!




Our little Angel Cake came into the world on September 3rd at 12:26am (missing Ness and Roger's anniversary by a hair!). She weighed in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and was a gorgeous 21 inches long.

Now I wasn't planning on telling her birth story, but I've had a couple requests (LMAO!!!) so I'll share. As you all know, I was scheduled to be induced on September 2nd, 5 days early due to Angel Cake's size, my extreme hip pain, and a history of being late. I had the 4th morning slot, which meant that they could call me technically anytime between 4:30am (the 1st slot, so not likely) and 2pm (the latest time for the 4th slot). We had planned on sending the boys off to school, then coming to get them when the hospital called. My labors generally go pretty quickly, so I figured Angel Cake would make her appearance sooner rather than later. I couldn't have imagined how wrong I was.



6am, I'm awakened by my cell phone, although I missed the call. The message was from the hospital, telling me that they were ready, and I could show up anytime between 7:30-8am. Hearing those words, my stomach felt like it was up in my throat. I woke Big Boss Man, made some coffee, and tried to settle my nerves (ya know, coffee does wonders for that). I called Mom, since she was supposed to meet us at our house at 9am, and she'd have to be earlier than that now...I think she was as anxious as I was, for she was up and would be ready to go with just some small adjustments. When she arrived, off we went, stopping by McDonalds for breakfast burritos, hash browns, and other such nonsense. This would, after all, be the last meal I'd be eating, as only clear liquids are allowed once induction starts, and even those are limited to 8 ounces an hour. And there's nothing I love more than McD's breakfasts...seriously...I'm a weirdo.



Anyhoo...we arrived at the hospital and made it up to Labor and Delivery and got things rolling, albeit a few minutes late. I think meds were introduced around 9am? The IV stick hurt like a word I can't say, and once the pitocin was loaded up, contractions started, slowly at first, then increasing in both strength and frequency, as is expected. Time frames from then on get a little sketchy, for painfully obvious reasons.



Somewhere around 5 to 6 centimeters, I lost it. I'd been stuck there for awhile, even though contractions were coming about every 3 minutes, and coming with a vengeance. Somewhere in there my sister had arrived with her girls, my brother had also come down for the show, my mom and The Boys were still there...everyone eagerly awaiting a sweet wailing sound from the waiting room. BBM was excellent, leaving only to get some air every little while, even though the mere thought of hospitals makes him want to rent his garments.



Now as most everyone knows, simply because I'm so vocal about it, I am very anti-epidural. Well, wait...I'm anti-anything near my spine, whether it's an epidural, spinal tap, etc. So I think everyone was shocked when I asked what my options were as far as pain relief (although I tried to wait until only the nurse and I were in the room). After much deliberation, a few more contractions that measured around 85 on that scale of 100, and a short video required before epidurals (that I hadn't watched earlier because "I was NOT getting an epidural!!"), the anesthesiologist was at my door, ready to rock and roll. And I was ready to throw up.



So, the epidural is in...the local to numb the area hurt like another word I can't say, and the epidural insertion itself made me more than just a little nauseous; he said it would take approximately 10 minutes to take effect, which was about 4-5 contractions. 3 contractions later, I was feeling it, or rather, I wasn't feeling it anymore. We wait. And wait some more.

Shift change finally comes around 11pm. At each shift change, the nurse comes in to check progress, even though the previous nurse checks right before she leaves. So Lizzie comes in and checks me, and says "I don't feel anything anymore...what the last nurse said she felt, I don't feel. So I'll go page your OB." I sighed, with thoughts of a 24 hour labor ending in a c-section floating around my exhausted mind. As I started to ask about a c-section and when that would become mandatory (they had already broken my water earlier in the induction, she stared at me and finally said, "No, the last nurse said you were at a 7. I don't feel anything anymore, meaning you're at a 10, and that's a good thing." Thank God I heard sarcasm in her voice, or at least imagined it. Was it possible? Had I gone from a 7 to a 10 in less than 40 minutes?



I looked at the clock, and it read 23:49. I told Lizzie we had to wait 11 minutes to deliver her, as my "overnights" start from the time of birth...have her before midnight, and the night counts as the first of two nights in the hospital for recovery. Have her after midnight, and you've got a whole "free day" ahead of you. No way was I spending the whole day in that bed and then getting nothing out of it!! She smiled and said "We'll make it happen, don't you worry!" BBM was still there, which was suprising, as I'd thought he'd make it about halfway and then have to step out. He was such a trooper through the whole thing, which gave me strength I hadn't had before. After paging my OB, he told the nurses to let me push until the baby crowned, and he'd be there by then. Angel Cake was still really high up, so I guess he thought that would take a fair amount of pushes.



3 pushes later, Doc arrived and said "Let's get this show on the road!" The rest of the time is sort of a blur. I pushed, pushed, and pushed some more, and then it was over...she screamed a quiet little raspy scream, they laid her on my belly for a few minutes, then BBM followed her with the nurses over to the warming bed to clean her up and weigh her. By that time, we had sent The Boys, Nana, my brother, and my sister and her girls home...we didn't know what was happening and they were all tired. So it was just us, sharing the joy of the miracle that had just occurred. She was perfection, sitting right in front of us. Apgar scores of 8 and 9, perfect color, lots of dark hair, blue eyes...just simple perfection.



After the main event, lots of things happened, most of them typical. We stared, in awe, at the baby we'd created. Lots of nurses came in and out, and I eventually moved upstairs to recovery...a nice private room, and stared at her some more. BBM went home, finally, because he had to help Nana get The Boys ready for school in the morning, and it was very late by that time. I remember sleeping eventually, but I'm not sure what time that was, maybe from 5-7am? How could I sleep with such an angel right next to me? The next day brought lots of excitement, and a few scares...stories of which I will save for later, as I have to go stare at someone for awhile...I'm feeling deprived.

Monday, September 01, 2008

My, how time flies!!

Little Linebacker had a neighbor friend over today...just from across the street, playing in his room. All of a sudden they come out, and LL says they're going over to Neighbor Boy's house to catch monsters in his basement. And yes, they are real monsters, because they've seen them! I tell them to be careful, because LL has a baby sister to meet tomorrow and he wants to be completely healthy for that...can't meet your new baby sister when you're tired and recovering from a hard day of monster chasing!

His eyes get big and he says, "Tomorrow?!?! Tomorrow's Tuesday?!?!?"

Yes baby, tomorrow's Tuesday, and you'll go to school in the morning, but when you're called to come down to the office, we'll be on our way to the hospital to have LMJM.

His eyes get *real* big, and his mouth drops. He walks out of the house, silent, with Neighbor Boy telling him how he has to tell LMJM that he's the friend, when she gets older, of course.

Now I'm wondering if I should inform Beanpole that tomorrow's Tuesday, and he'll have a baby sister...maybe he's lost track of time as well.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

67½ hours

In no more than 67½ hours, we will begin welcoming the 4th child into our family. Today, we finally went and got the carseat, a nice orangey model (BBM was right...the pink ones were just a tad too...P.I.N.K., even for me, and everything else was so boyish). With my $20 off coupon, we were able to get the extended warranty thingy, still spend less than the original cost of the carseat, and ended up with 97 cents left on a gift card!! W00T!! Now I have to admit, we bought a package of size 1 diapers as well (for convenience, since we were already there), and a box of baby wipes, and got those on the gift cards as well. Now I have a bunch of newborn diapers from a diaper cake made by a friend (she's awesome...it's her gift every time someone gets pregnant, and it's a wonderful gift...socks folded up like candles, all sorts of baby notions like thermometers, spoons, a cute little frog thing to test bathwater temps, and diapers, individually rolled & tied with ribbon...it's incredible). I also have a pack of size 2 diapers from the shower as well. We don't think LMJM will be fitting into NB diapers though (if she does, it certainly won't be for long), but I think size 2s would be a bit big. And obviously, I opened the wipes as soon as we got home, simply because now it smells baby fresh in the house!! (I know, I know...a coupla poops from LMJM, and that baby fresh thing will be long gone!).

So...I don't think it's too early to start counting down by hours, even if I don't know a specific time...they said no later than 2pm to start the induction. Of course, it could take hours after the pitocin starts dripping into my IV, but still...the whole process will have begun, and that's half the battle! The Boys are completely excited and overcome with anticipation. I had hoped to order them Big Brother and Bigger Brother t-shirts, but it just wasn't in the cards. Maybe I'll go to Michaels and get something to make them buttons or something...maybe a hat...t-shirts are outgrown anyway. I know they have big brother stuff at the gift shop in the hospital as well...I seem to remember hats there too, but I could be mistaken. Either way, they're just excited as all get out. Aww, and looking online at the hospital gift shop, they don't have clickable links to products or anything, but things can be purchased over the phone if you're not able to visit in person...how cool is that??? I really like this hospital.

So...carseat is installed, clothes and blankets have been washed and put away, bag is packed (complete with extra digital batteries), mommy is sufficiently sleep deprived already and has become accustomed to it...I think we've got everything (really everything this time) needed for LMJM to make her arrival.

So...although I've been doing better at posting more than 3 times a month, I'm going to warn everyone...if I'm not back on for a week or so, you'll know why!!! I'm sure as soon as we're home and semi-settled (hopefully just in time for kick-off of the first game of the season [the Skins vs. the Giants...BBM's team vs. one of my favorites, although not as much anymore now that Tiki's retired]) I'll be long overdue for a sit-down at my trusty computer to catch up on my own blog, plus catch up on my daily blogroll.

So...have a wonderful Labor Day, whatever your plans - be safe, be fun!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Confessions.

There are some things I'd like to admit to in this post. I know, shocking, isn't it??

I'm guilty of eating Ramen noodles for the past 2 days for lunch, even though one package has enough sodium content to last me for a whole week. My feet/ankles are yelling at me right now.



I'm guilty of falling head over heels for a writer named Grace Livingston Hill, thanks to a newfound blog friend, Anna.



I'm guilty of copying recipes down that I never make, but that sound really really good, and that I'd like to say I've made.



I'm guilty of being SCARED. TO. DEATH. of being induced on Tuesday.



I'm guilty of being angry with Big Boss Man's 99 cent San Pellegrino habit, when really it's no more than my daily YooHoo on days that I work. Although I don't drink 4 a day.



I'm guilty of organized chaos. My desk is horrifying to the stranger's eye, but I can tell you what pile everything's in (uh, usually).



**Disclaimer: this is NOT a shelf in my home**

I'm guilty of loving to take pictures, then never getting them developed.



I'm guilty of eating one of life's most hideous food combinations, apparently: peanut butter bread with raisins on top. And I'm guilty of continuing to eat it even after being told it was one of life's most hideous food combos.



I'm guilty of watching movies (especially ones where the underdog wins in the end), over and over and over (and over, and over) again.



I'm guilty of having SO MANY things I want to do, but never doing them, or being scared to try.



I'm guilty (very guilty sometimes) of using sarcasm a a defense mechanism.




Whew...well I don't know about you, but I feel better. Sort of like how Dory feels better in Finding Nemo when she admits to never having eaten a fish:



I hope you all are having a fantastical Friday. And here's to a wonderful, fun-filled weekend.

And share something you're guilty of.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My last prenatal appointment

Well, it's almost here!! In a little over an hour, I have my last prenatal appointment, ever. Should I take a picture as I go in the door or something? As much as I'm W.A.I.T.I.N.G. for this to be done, I'm sad about it too. Maybe I'll go in today and he'll tell me "Uhm, whoah! You're dilated to 5 centimeters...don't you feel those contractions?!?"

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Other than that, I've got errands to run today...more of them. Well really, I just need to go to Babies R Us, because I found some old gift cards that I *think* will give us enough to buy the last big thing we need to get...we have one, but it's old and I can't figure it out and it will be safer to get a new one. We were going to buy it tomorrow, but I'll go today with the gift cards and purchase it. I also have some forms to fax off to work, and I have to call disability, because:

Yesterday was my last official day at work!!! W00t w00t!! So that must be done today so my pay won't get screwed up (hopefully). I've heard horror stories, so think good payroll thoughts for me, 'kay?

I also need to call The Boys' school and explain to them what'll be happening next Tuesday, and see if their teachers might have some extra worksheets or something to send home with them that day...to help occupy their time at the hospital. I'm also going to print out some coloring pages or puzzle pages I think, and have those packed with some crayons and colored pencils and plain paper. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated! And thankfully, I'm not worried about snacks, because this hospital *rocks* as far as keeping family members happy goes...seriously...it's like being in a hotel...they are there for no other reason than the patient and their family...it's refreshing, actually.

I think the rest of the stuff is home stuff to do...laundry (but no baby items...those are ALL. DONE), and that includes clothing and sheets, tidying up the living room/hall/kitchen, and vacuuming. This sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Well, first, I don't want LMJM coming home to an untidy house. Second, it'll feel so much better if I get it done now, then the upkeep will be easier once we come home. Third, I'm trying to go into labor here, people!!! But I promise to go easy and not do anything that makes me feel icky. Pinky swear.


*********AUTHOR'S EDIT: I haven't posted about a giveaway in awhile, but my morning blogroll found me staring this one straight in the face over at Around the Quilt Block. What an adorable bag!! Plus there's chocolate...and fabric (which I have a serious lack of). Check it out!

*********AUTHOR'S EDIT #2: Let me pose a question for all you etsyers out there. I found a fantastical book at the library this afternoon with patterns for some kitchen accessories...stuff that's probably way out of my league, since I was recently excited for a straight line; however, I looked through the book and although it says "no portion of the publication can be reproduced or transmitted", it doesn't mention anything about making things off the patterns and selling them. What's protocol on this? What if I make the cutsie-wootsie things, but change something slightly about the pattern? What if I don't change anything, sew it as is, but link to the author/book when trying to sell it? I've got no clue how to proceed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ladies and Gents, I have an announcement...

*GRIN* Don't you love the catchy titles I'm finding that could mean I've given birth, but I'm not really using them that way??? I'm sure you love it that I'm doing that...I'm sure you do.

But I really do have news! As of this morning, barring any earlier baby-arrival, I'm scheduled to be induced on September 2nd!! Later than we'd hoped, as no one seemed to think I would even make it this far. But this baby is proving to be like every other child of mine, stubborn and on her schedule :) So...there are 4 morning slots on that day, and I've got the 4th one. I don't know how long it takes to have a baby by induction...God help me if I don't give birth until September 3rd (yikes)...but it looks like around that time is the time!

We'll be busy tonight, discussing whether or not to send the boys to school that day, then pick them up when we get the phone call from the hospital saying "time to come in". I went today and returned/exchanged all things newborn-like (or at least the smallish newborn ones), and ran a few other errands, hoping to walk this baby out of me. Nothing yet, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

As for the sewing, I've not gotten on the machine again. But I truly have good reason...I've got no material to work with!! I will go this weekend (again, barring any baby-arrivals) to goodwill and buy some cheap sheets to do some practicing with (thanks for the advice, Lisa!!!), that way any boredom I experience once we're home and settled can be thwarted by the machine. I'm sure the gentle hum will provide some white noise for the baby as well.

Oh, and I swear to either find my usb cord or to purchase another one by the time LMJM gets here...no way am I going to miss out on sharing her and the rest of the family!!!

**********AUTHOR'S EDIT: I *found* the usb cord!! I sincerely apologize for implying that I thought any one of you, my fine readers, had crept into my home and snatched it from my possession. Prepare for a barrage of pictures, since I can't even remember what's on that camera worth sharing.

**********AUTHOR'S EDIT #2: I got the most awesome stuff from a longtime friend, known to the blogworld as Falcor. She got LMJM some really awesome stuff, and although I thought the bassi sheet I received from her a few days ago was the last of the absolute *needs*, I was wrong...today I opened a box that included, among other wonders, hooded bath towels! And that's it folks...we're completely prepared. LMJM can make her long-awaited appearance ANY TIME NOW.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Alright, I give.

Whoever has come into my home and STOLEN my usb cord, speak now! Stop hiding! It can actually just be returned to me, no questions asked, anonymously...I won't press charges or anything!! All I want is my usb cord!! I want to share pictures with everyone! I want to share news in a visual way!

Since I can't do that, *sigh*, I'll have to share my news from yesterday in a ho-hum, ordinary way. So without further ado:

Yesterday...











I. SEWED. A. STRAIGHT. LINE.


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Now people who've been reading here for awhile might know that although I've taken an interest in sewing (check out some of my awesome blahg links to the left, below the floating baby), and although I find myself in possession of a gifted-to-me sewing machine, I also found myself scared poopless of it, and of screwing anything up on it. There had been talk of taking it over to my mom's house one weekend and having her show me "the basics" (mainly threading the machine, since that's what everyone scared me with..."Threading the machine is the hardest part!"...or "If you can thread the machine without throwing it out the nearest window, you're good to go!"). But clearly, I'm 8½ months pregnant, and shouldn't be lifting anything near as heavy as a sewing machine.

But as luck would have it, mom came by yesterday anyway to help with some last minute preps for LMJM. I don't remember what made me think of the machine, sitting lonesome on the bunker floor in back of my chair, but I did...and I brought it out into the kitchen for her to view in all its glory. She asked if I had a manual, which I did, and we sat down together to at least thread the machine. Little did I realize that one has to, uhm, have THREAD to thread the machine (yeah, I'm a beginner). The spool that was on the machine was empty; there was material included with the machine, and lots of sweet little gadgets (including some kind of specialty foot that looks more like a torture device than anything else), but no spools of thread.

Thankfully, it wasn't too late in the day, so we took off to Michaels (which has a really bad selection of thread, by the way). After mingling around the Halloween and Christmas stuff that they already had on display, we found thread, oogled at the 44 dollar scissors (!!!!!!!!!!!), and headed back home. And what we figured out was this: Mom simply read the instructions and looked at the pictures, just like I did. :) Since all machines are different, that's what had to happen. And make it happen, we did. Once threaded, we also threaded a bobbin (I don't think that's what that's called, but I had no bobbins with white thread already on them, and she wanted to make sure I knew how to get thread from the spool to the bobbin, so that's what we did).

And to think...I had beautiful pictures of the straight line I sewed, and a zigzag I played around with as well...but since I can't post them, you'll have to believe me when I tell you how cool they looked, even on the little piece of scrap fabric I had! So now, I have a mission: I'll start going to the antique stores and thrift shops in the area in search of several things: fabric, preferably cheap fabric, since I'll just be playing around with it at first (practice, practice, practice), old patterns, preferably little girl dresses (I'm sure I could find little boy clothes too, but I've got a hunch that boy clothes are harder to sew, and I don't want to get frustrated), and any other little nifty sewing things I can find. I'll look for thread too, but I've heard you don't want to use "thrifted" thread for any serious projects, because who knows how old it might be, and old thread might be weak thread. But for jacking around, it'll be perfect.

So, I'm working my way up to become one of you special people...to join the ranks of those who create beautiful pieces, either for gifts, for your own enjoyment, or even to sell. And I promise...PROMISE that I will either find the usb cord or buy a new one in order to share pictures of anything I make, even if it's really bad (and there will be some really bad ones, trust me).

*****AUTHOR'S EDIT: I wanted to share this with you, as I'm sitting here listening to my younger son play in the bathtub. He yells over to me (I'm right across from the bathroom), "Mommy, did I tell you this joke before? What did the man say who was getting a Harley Davidson?"

"I don't know, what?"

"I can HARLEY wait."

I swear, he is his father's son.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The time has come!

No no, not that time, not yet anyway. The time has come that I faced my fears. My mother came by today and helped me do some final preparations for LMJM's arrival - cleaning ye old dresser drawers out, loading the already washed eensy-weensy baby girl clothes into the drawers, plus she did some dishes and helped clean in back of our couch (goodness, did that need cleaned up). Then she helped me with this fear...she helped me face it. I'll admit that I haven't completely overcome it yet, as we only spent a little time on it...however, foundations have been laid, and that's an excellent start.

Now, just to make you angry, I'm not going to tell you what my fear is yet...although longer readers might know of what I speak. I will do some *major* searching for the USB cord for my digital, and post pictures of it later tonight.

In the meantime, let me tell you - I had my first cuppa joe in, what, 8½ months yesterday? Oh sweet mercy, was it good...milk and sugar, just like I like it. And ya know what? I had no (additional) problems sleeping last night, no ill-effects on my tummy, and I don't think drinking coffee for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy (if that long) is going to any stunting of growth or over-hypering of LMJM. My brother gave me a hint as to the coffee combo he finally found at Starbucks that actually has any caffeine-like effects on him, but I'll wait until after the birthing/breastfeeding portion of babyness has come and gone to take part.

Okay, off to make a late supper, then I'll be back with (hopefully) pictures of today's excitement!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A little surprising!

I know, I know...it's shock and awe, all the way around the board. I've now posted three times in the past few days! No more month-long hiatus between drive-by postings! You're amazed...I can feel it.

This is actually going to be a quickie, because I'm hoppin' and boppin' today. But I was looking through my early afternoon blogroll, and spotted this keeper by none other than Pioneer Woman (who I, quite honestly, took a short break from earlier...for no good reason other than I didn't like her new layout. Now that I'm used to it, I'm back to reading her as often as my other blogs. I'm sure she's pleased).

Anywho...this post isn't really by P-Dub herself...it's a guest blog by Pastor Ryan. I don't know the story behind him, if he's really a pastor or not. However, I know he has a tattoo on his right arm, and that makes him okay in my eyes. Plus he likes lasagna...he likes lots and lots of lasagna...and there's nothing wrong with that.

Delicious Mexican Lasagna


Now I've got to admit, I thought about renting my garments when I first saw the picture of this dish. But after asking BBM if it sounded good to him (Mr. Picky) and he said yes, I was forced to actually look at the ingredients. And to my amazement, it actually does sound good! It sounds really good. Maybe it would even get my kids to eat rice!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm so sorry. Really I am.

Yesterday, I picked up a package from the post office which we had missed when the mail lady came to our door. We didn't recognize the name of the sender, and our last name was spelled wrong (which isn't that unusual...many people try to "French it up" just a tad, so their mispronunciations can be justified). Anyway, when I got the package, I immediately recognized the company it came from, but daggumit if Big Boss Man hadn't been the one to order, and I felt bad opening his envelope...so I wwaited until he got home from work way late last night. He opened it, and although I had to roll my eyes just to keep up appearances, inside I was smiling like crazy about what he bought.

Now again, I can't find the cord to my camera...so you'll have to deal with this:



It's a Grateful Dead onesie!!!


Seriously...how absolutely adorable is that?!?!? The one sent is just a tad different...more rainbowy instead of blue, but it's the heart design. Of course, he said that's what LMJM will wear home from the hospital, and I had to put the kabbash on that idea. But I'm sure she'll wear the dickens out of it once we get her home!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hi, How are ya?

You know, some smart person once said "A watched pot never boils". I'm fairly certain that person wasn't talking about an actual pot of water on a cooktop...they were really talking about a pregnant friend, wife, relative, take-your-pick. The last month is a KILLER.

Well, today marks 36 weeks, 4 days. At my last OB check, I hadn't made any kind of progress one hopes for at this stage of the game, but since it's not mandatory that LMJM actually show up early, I'm okay with that. (Alright, I was disappointed, but not too much). He did inform me, however, that he'll be out of town this weekend, and I have a habit of going into labor when my OB takes vacation...so ya know. I'm just sayin'.

I'm off work today, sick call, due to some fairly excessive swelling in my feet and ankles...having a hard time getting around. But I'm still moving, because if I lay down for too awful long, my hips/pelvic bone feel like they might actually pop out of my skin and start walking around on their own. I'm digging the acetaminophen though...I think going so long without any pain reliever at all has made the simple stuff more effective. Now if I take 2 before bed, I can sleep through until about 2am, and that's only to get up to pee...after that, the meds have worn off, I don't want to take any more, and peeing at night when you're pregnant is kind of like peeing when you've been drinking. You're fine until the first time (c'mon, everyone knows about "breaking the seal")...after that first potty break, you're going about every 5 minutes. Yeah, being pregnant is no different...except the whole alcohol part.

I got a WONDERFUL present from my mother-in-law a couple days ago. Actually, LMJM got a present from her...she handmade two exquisite blankets for the baby, one in pink and one in white...they are soft as can be, and I'm having a hard time not sleeping with them myself! I took pictures of them, but now I can't find the cord to the camera. I promise though, I'll post pics as soon as I find it.

The basement room (which will lead to LMJM's room eventually) looks to be started this weekend/next week. I think we're going to go buy some of the needed supplies this weekend, and then get Greg and his crew here next week to start construction. I can't believe that's finally happening! Given the time frame he gave me, as long as everything goes peachy, he said no more than two weeks, and that's if we were able to do all 3 rooms (which we won't be able to, but that's what the original bid was for). So short of a 37 week appearance, we'll be golden for LMJM's arrival!

I think the only things left are the bassinet (which we're getting from my mom's house this weekend, hopefully), bassi sheets, towels/wash cloths (I know, babies can use the same towels and wash cloths adults use, but every baby's got to have one of those hooded things!!), and a pack 'n play that my big brother offered me if we needed it. Other than that, we're just waiting...and waiting...and waiting. I know, we're SO exciting! I did find out today, however, that the hospital I'm delivering at (which has rooms that resemble hotel rooms, by the way) allows laptops and cell phones in the rooms! Yippee!!

In other news, The Boys are having a fantastical time in 4th and 2nd grades. Little Linebacker is loving his class...he was scared of not being able to do things (But Mommy, what if I don't know how to do a math problem?" "But what if I still don't know how to do it, even if I ask her to show me again??"), but I've heard nothing of the sort since the first day. Beanpole is also getting into his classes. Notice I said "classes". They are doing "switches" for the first time this year. Different teachers had different specialty workshops over the summer, so instead of doing everything in one classroom, they're switching rooms for writing, science, and I can't remember the third one...reading maybe? I think it's wonderful to have a teacher that's just a little more specialized in one area, plus it gets them ready for all the moving around they'll do in middle school.

Well, I heard my washer stop, so I need to hobble on down there to flip that to the dryer. I can also feel my fingers swelling just a tad, so I'd better stop typing!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why, SWELLO there!!

Get it? Hello? Swell?

Well, that's what I'm busy doing. I'm swelling. Extraordinarily. Like a balloon being blown up slowly. That's me. A balloon.

And I actually don't mean my belly. I mean, that's swelling too, but it's gradual, ya know, like over the last 8 months. But my ankles? Gone. Monkey toes? They're now more like what the baby's toes are going to look like when she's born...chubby, can-barely-curl-them toes. It's great. Really. It wonderful.

I called my OB about it...you know, the whole preeclampsia thing is fairly scary. She said that I don't have any history of protein in my urine (sorry), my blood pressure is better than hers (her words, not mine), I've got no sudden headaches or pains or anything, and that the 106 degree temps probably aren't helping a whole lot either. That, and standing for 8 hours a day, minus a half hour lunch squat. All in all, she said unless I begin to experience swelling that doesn't at least go down during the night, or any of the other numerous symptoms we discussed, then it's probably just...swelling. Lovely. I never had this with the boys. The fact that they were both winter babies might have something to do with that, but still.

So, other than that, not a whole heckuva lot's happening 'round these parts. We had our contractor come out to take a gander at the bathrooms for a bid, but he's on vacation now with his wife. He said he'd try to get the bid to us before they left, but I guess that wasn't possible. And he only came here 2 days before they were leaving, so it's to be expected. I'm just hoping that LMJM holds off until her room is finished, even though she'll be sleeping in our room for the first little while anyway.

Speaking of LMJM, she's dropped. Now I get to pee 14 bazillion times a day, instead of only 7 bazillion. She's got difinite sleeping/waking patterns, but she's a very movey baby. I think she's going to be a boxer, personally, but what mother doesn't think that about her unborn lightweight champion whilst they're punching her right in the bladder? Really.

I'm 35 weeks and 2 days now...I go for my 36 week appointment this Saturday morning, and I'll have weeklies from here on out...that means it's close! Big Boss Man has a "feeling" that we won't be making it until September 7th. I could only wish, but really...seeing as The Boys were 4 and 8 days late, I'm not getting my hopes up. And since her room is still an office, we don't have her dresser upstairs yet, which means all the newborn clothes (and believe me, there are a lot of them) are in boxes on the floor of my bedroom. We're down to the wire now, and as much as I hate being last minute, I hate being unprepared even more. About the only thing in my control right now is my hospital bag, which I'm packing today after laundry gets done, and the amount of gas in our van's gas tank...don't want to have to stop at Quik Trip on the way to the hospital. I mean, they made a movie about a baby born in the WalMart which was a great movie...but born at the gas pump? Not me, folks. So the tank is full...and at least (knock on wood) the gas gods are helping me out a little...we're down to $3.59!!!

The Boys start school in less than a week! I can't believe it! We've got open house this Thursday, which I was actually able to move my work schedule around to go to! They've missed it every year they've been in school so far, because I've always had to work. Not this year, kids! We're going! So we'll get to meet their teachers ahead of time, and I think they can take their school supplies early too. This way, their backpacks can be used for their true purpose on the first day...FASHION STATEMENT, of course!! I'm excited for them to be going back, but not for my sake, for once! I mean, it'll be nice to have Tuesdays to myself to get stuff done, and Thursday mornings as well. However, they are S.O. B.O.R.E.D. here. I mean it's hotter than haites, so going outside is almost out of the question, unless they're playing in the hose (and even that's only cool for so long). And inside, it's a constant struggle over the video game or the tv. One can only watch so much SpongeBoob...er...I mean SpongeBob.

So now, I'm going to take a nap...or at least lie down for awhile. You know, feet up on a pillow sort of thing. The kids are watching a show on tv that they dvr'd. After my that, I have some laundry calling my name. At least I can sit while I fold that.

Times almost up!!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Can I single someone out?

Let me tell you a story. It's about a woman who'd been badgered by her husband for a few months about starting a blog, because he had started one recently, and it was fun to be able to "publish" your own stuff...to get out there and be heard, whether it was regarding politics, family, your dog, music, religion...whatever. You were getting out there and making yourself heard.

The woman listened to her husband, probably shaking her head a couple times, hoping he'd stop with the convincing already - she didn't need someone pushing her into yet another thing she didn't have time for! She had a full-time job, a few kids and her husband to care for, an extended family to keep track of, and a household to run. She didn't even have time to go out and get a cup of coffee! People like her didn't have hobbies...even hobbies with a purpose!

She finally gave in, for no reason in particular. Maybe just to get him off her back ;) But she created this blog, and then she got almost passionate about making it "just so"...the right look, the right feel, the right sidebars, etc. She may not have an OCD diagnosis, but it rears its ugly head sometimes, and if she was going to do this, she was going to do it her way!!

The blog took off. Not famously, mind you - but she had a few subscribers, and while exploring the world of blogs, she found others who shared the same interests, others she admired because they were living a life she was unable to at that point, but dreamed of having some day, others who had passion for something and it showed in their writing. She even had a BlogRoll of her favorites. She visited them every day, looking for an update, a photo, a "Hi, I'm here!". She even befriended a couple other bloggers, and although they were separated by distance, they were kept close via email.

Time went on, things got busy, life happened, as it often does. But these friends never forgot about each other. If a blog didn't get updated in awhile, an email was sent to make sure all was well. Sometimes, just a funny comment was left on the last blog post.








This story is about me. And while I've had the pleasure of meeting one of these people, Ness, there is another I have yet to meet. Her name is Lisa, and I know I've linked you to her blog on several different occassions. She grows the most amazing pink tomatoes, she sent me some seeds that she saved from her very own garden from last year, and she has an awesome Etsy shop (I'm in love with the Lemonade Coming Right Up set!!!).

Anyhoo...this special friend of mine has done something wonderful again, and this time it was completely unexpected!! She posted a few days back about a ginormous mulch pile in her yard, and how she dealt with that and then worked in her studio (she has a studio...how cool is that?!?!?). So she posted a couple pictures of the things she was working on, and I actually looked at one of them and thought "How cool! Those are LMJM's room colors!!".

Much to my surprise and delight, I walked into the house after work today, sat down at my desk to give my feet a rest, and noticed a package sitting in front of me, addressed to the baby!! Her very first piece of mail!! Miss Lisa sent LMJM something beautiful, handmade, and very special.



I realize the picture is a little blurry to do it justice. It's a gorgeous hand-crocheted sweater for our almost-here-newest-addition!! Isn't it gorgeous?!?! And it's a perfect size for this fall/winter, when LMJM will need the warmth against the Missouri weather. She also included a card, written to LMJM, which I promptly read aloud to her inside my belly. I'm glad I read the card before I opened the wrapping, because I teared up immediately, and for once I'm not going to blame the pregnancy hormones (okay, maybe a little, but not much).

So, this woman, someone I've never even met before, has not only given me the gift of friendship, but has given my unborn child a gift as well. I cannot wait to put this special something on LMJM and show it off!! Lisa is truly a blessing to have as a friend. Go visit her blog and read all about her life, and find the jewel of a friend that I've been lucky enough to find.

Lisa, I can't thank you enough...truly. Words don't even come to me.

As for Big Boss Man, I owe him a thank you too. Without him, I would've never created this blog, and consequently never "met" these women, whether or not I've met them in real life (yet!). I love you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is anyone here anymore?

Knock knock...who's there?

Slacker.

Slacker who?




No really, it's just me. Would anyone like an update? Is anyone still out there? Can anyone believe that July is almost OVER?!?!?! Where the heck is the time going?

July has definitely lived up to the title of my blog...it's been a whirlwind! Dad was in town in the beginning of July, and not only did he (and Big Boss Man, a little) tear down everything that needed torn down in the master bathroom, but now we have cement board, and actual subfloor that doesn't look like it would collapse if you threw a paperclip onto it, and a toilet!! Okay, so the toilet doesn't work...but it did for maybe, 3 days! I think the whole shebang inside the tank (you know...the guts of the toilet) is botched, and I just don't have the energy to deal with that right now. Maybe tomorrow I'll attempt that. Having a working toilet for those 3 days, however, was heavenly.

Beanpole and Little Linebacker are TOTALLY ready to go back to school. They start at almost the middle of next month, so it's not far off now! I'll be making a list tomorrow of school supplies that are on sale at work this week (it's supposed to be a good week for supply sales!), although we're holding off on new shoes until right before school starts. If we got them now, they'd be filthy by the time they went back. And everyone knows you've got to have new kicks when you're going into (gulp) the 4th and 2nd grades!

Little Miss Junior Mint is growing like a weed, apparently. At my 30 week appointment I was measuring big, so they had me schedule an ultrasound at week 32. Let me tell you, this is gonna be one CUTE baby (and no, I'm not biased at all).



Now, they only got a couple shots during this ultrasound...it was more for measurements and stuff for the OB. But the above picture is just precious. Someone said she looks like she's wearing a bonnet. I didn't see it until they said that, but they're right! She's weighing in at 5lbs, so they say, and I'm praying that she'll be one of those babies that they're completely WRONG about. I've had an almost 10 pound baby before, and although I know I could do it again, I was looking forward to NOT doing it again!

My baby shower from my coworkers is this Saturday evening, already! I finally registered at Babies R' Us, and I was astounded at the cost of everything (necessities AND frivilous items). I did put a few big ticket items on the list, however, simply because BRU gives a 10% "completion discount" on stuff leftover on the registry. They'll send out a certificate anywhere from 7 days before until 7 days after your due date. So that will be a blessing if there's anything I truly need. We picked out pink and chocolate brown for the room colors, and the bedding is very light pink with butterflies and ladybugs. Very cute, VERY girly. When I came home from registering (my mom had gone with me, God love her), I went online with the list BRU gives you of necessities (yeah right), and I was simply amazed at the amount of pink I'd actually scanned!! Apparently, living with only males for almost 10 years has taken its toll on me, and I'm now ready for girly girly stuff.

I worked my last full week of work last week, which means I have tomorrow off! I've taken my schedule down to 4 days a week - this allows me to keep my Senior Tech status and benefits, but not work myself to the bone. I was having some issues, and my OB said it's better to cut down than to be put on bedrest and completely cut off. I totally agree, since I need that time to be home after LMJM is born, not before. BBM will also get to take his vacation around my due date, and it will be wonderful to have him home, not only to help me out, but to just have him home. Life gets hectic often, and the family seems to be the first thing to suffer. At least The Boys have neighborhood friends to hang out with, although that makes me sad too.

We are awaiting a written bid from our contractor for finishing the room in the basement. This will allow us to move The Bunker downstairs, finally fix LMJM's room, and have a place to put all her stuff! I think I've gotten all the clothes that she has (so far) washed and folded. Now if only the other laundry would cooperate like that!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. - Eleanor Roosevelt

When Mrs. Roosevelt spoke those words, I'm fairly certain that she didn't have me in mind since, you know, I like, wasn't even born then. But darn it if my dreams weren't beautiful, albeit strange last night. I also don't know if nighttime escapes into alterworlds was what she had in mind, but I'll apply it here.

I don't remember all of them, of course, because I don't keep a dream notebook right next to me on my nightstand...first thing I do when I wake is get up to pee, not write (proof that I'm not truly a writer, that I just play one on tv). The parts I remember, however odd, were magnificently beautiful...the kind of beautiful that I can't describe to you through words (hey, I said I'm not a writer!). My family was on a farm somewhere. There were no animals, and I think we were trying to buy the land? Or had just bought it maybe? No one ever said dreams had to be clear. So we were all walking around this huge piece of land, and there were other homes on it as well, that belonged to us, but weren't livable. At least that's what we were being told by the host of our tour of the grounds (Real estate agent? Friend?). We still went inside these dwellings, and in one of them, we found 5 pairs of shoes...enough for our whole family. They were really weird shoes, made of some kind of leathery-looking material, but they were shaped really funny. Everyone put theirs on except me, and one of the kids knew exactly what they were when we were trying to decide what they were made of (and these weren't Nike type shoes, so I don't know how they knew). I had slippers on already, and although I don't remember the rest of my family going barefoot before the great shoe finding, there were no other shoes left on the floor when we left the building, so they must've been.

There were no animals on this farm, and no vegetation that I remember (meaning it wasn't a crop farm either). It had beautiful trees and shrubs and fields. We finally walked to the edge of the property, there was a road, and the town was on the other side of the road...right there. My grandmother lived in a house in town, so we went there. Oh no wait, first we went through a house that was having some sort of estate sale, but it was an old-timey house, and she had things like spools of thread and antique kitchen gadgets. I remember finding a boatload of original Hardy Boys books for BBM, and I tried to call him on my cell phone (I don't know where he'd gone by that time), and I couldn't get through, so I bought them all so no one else would get to them first. Then we went to Oma's house, and we walked in and went to the other side of the house where she was, and it was her kitchen. But her kithen wasn't really part of the house...it was like someone had knocked out a wall, and built another room on, but the walls of the kitchen were made of this fabric/plastic stuff. And no one seemed to mind at all. Oma was also the same age as she is now, but she was moving around like I remember her doing when I was little and she was younger.

I have no idea what any of this dream means. Maybe it doesn't mean anything. Maybe it means I want a new house. Maybe it means my kids need new shoes. Maybe it means that I had too much cheese on my grilled cheese sandwich last night. Nonetheless, I like waking to at least remember that I had a dream...remembering what the dream was about is just a bonus!

My dad arrives from MN today, sometime. He's not much of a scheduler, so we don't really know when he'll be here (original plans had him here late yesterday night). I'm not sure how long he's staying, but the visit will be nice. I think we have plans to do as much little stuff around the house as we can. The Master Bathroom is high on his list, hoping to get at least a working bathroom back in order...I'd much rather have to stomp sleepily into a bathroom attached to our bedroom in the middle of the night instead of tripping over everything to go out into the hallway. Plus once I open the door, Dexter the Attack Cat wants in, and I just can't handle him sleeping on me now...TOO. HOT.

So, until next time, pay attention to your dreams. They allow you to escape into a world where things can "happen"...some may be beautiful, some may be ugly, some may serve no viable purpose at all. Maybe you'll be allowed to sneak a peak into your grandmother's plastic-covered kitchen once in awhile...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

28/84

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm 28 weeks pregnant!! We only have 84 more days until Little Miss Junior Mint makes her arrival! Everything of late has been fairly up in the air, so we've gotten NOTHING done (well, except for the whole growing-of-the-baby part...that's well underway).

As for how everything is going and how I feel...I feel very...pregnant. I can tell I'm older this time around, and in worse shape physically than I was with The Boys. I'm still tired, and my blood levels tell the reason: I'm anemic...woohoo!! So I have to buy some OTC ferrous sulfate supplements tomorrow and take them in addition to my prenatals. Hopefully I'll be able to feel the effects of those rather quickly, as we have so much to do in not a very long time. I am still having Braxton Hicks on top of Braxton Hicks. Way earlier than with the other two, but still "normal" according to my OB. If I have anything over 4 in an hour time frame, I'm to go in for a check. I'm up to 3 so far. I can definitely tell they're not real contrasctions, but they catch my breath just the same. Coworkers are starting to question whether I'll make it to the very end or not, and I'm totally unable to answer that question. I worked right up until D-Day with the boys, so anything other than that is abnormal to me. We shall see how things play out.

I went to the farmers market the other day. I scored on some fresh local fruits and veggies for our bbq yesterday (more on that later). As I was leaving, I passed by a little table full of flowers and plants and other such lovelies. I noticed some really tall plants, and when I took a gander at the sign, it said "Tomato plants - 3 for $1"!!! So I snagged 3 of them, cherry tomatoes, simply because if they don't give me any fruit, I'll only be out a buck. I got them planted in one of the sunniest parts of our yard today, so we'll have to wait and see what comes of them. I also grabbed 3 pepper plants (also 3 for $1), but planting the tomatoes really took it out of me, so I'll wait until tomorrow evening after work to make a spot for those. 3rd find was this flower...I don't know the name of them, but I remember them from my youth, and I love them. I think they'll be better as container plants, so I'll have to find a container to put them in, lol. I'll try to post pics of them in the future, and maybe someone can identify them for me.

Our bbq was a great success yesterday. A few friends, wonderful weather, good food. Heck, someone even brought a bottle of wine that I can't drink! (But I'll be saving that bad boy for after LMJM is born). I had to duck out early, as I had a birthday celebration for a friend that had been planned for ions. And only one couple didn't show up, which was dissapointing since we se them so little to begin with (he's out of town a lot). I can't remember the last time I even saw their girls...they're probably huge by now. But hopefully we'll be able to catch up with them soon.

I will admit to laying around on the couch today. BBM has to work (yup, on Father's Day), and The Boys are in solitary confinement for a heavy infraction. Dexter the Attack Cat and I have been lounging; that's his normal routine, and I'm trying to relax my sciatic nerve before I have to go back to work tomorrow. I still have laundry to do, although BBM has graciously advised me that he can get his done tomorrow on his only day off this week. So I'll have some extra time and energy, I hope, to make him his favorite cookies: chocolate chip without the chocolate chips.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Dad's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Who on God's Green Earth?!?!?!

Yeah, who pointed out that I had double digits to go until Little Miss Junior Mint was born? Lisa, was that you? Look, I'm already bitter because not only do you have freshly shelled peas, but strawberry goodness and fresh baked bread?? And since you reminded me, ever so excitedly, that I have less than 100 days to go before my precious little package arrives, time has slipped away and I'm now down to 87 days. Thanks. A whole bunch. Really. :P

That being said, do I really need to explain to you all why I haven't posted for {GASP} two whole weeks??? I mean, I will if I must. But I don't think it's required. I think your imaginations will do just fine. I will tell you this though: there are no signs of a slow-down anytime in the near future. In fact, if anything, I will busier than a one-armed paper hanger between now and the time that LMJM arrives, gift wrapped in a soft pink blanket.

So...I have news. Actually, Big Boss Man has news. But I'm not allowed to say anything yet (okay, so my family knows, but I'm not allowed to say anything to the general public yet). Folks, don't worry, it will be soon...like probably mid-next week soon. Aside from the usual falling in love, getting married, having babies sort of news, this looks to be one of the best things that has ever happened to us as a family. It will also be one of the most stressful, but people go through it all the time in one capacity or another, so we will fare just fine.

Is your interest peaked yet?!?!?

Well, I still can't tell you. How's that for a cliffhanger???

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So the IRS website finally has a mail date for our stimulus check. Granted, we haven't gotten The Letter that says how much we're getting, but still, it's a start (we know how much we're getting, but we haven't gotten The Letter). Depending on what happens, we might not have to use that money for LMJM's room switcheroo, but we'll have to wait and see. Either way, the money is spent already (isn't it always), and will go to good use.

Our closest local "farm" shut down a couple days ago. Now don't get weepy, I don't mean the actual farm itself shut down. But the parking lot they take over with all their plants and flowers and such every year had it's closing sale on Tuesday. The flowers were dirt cheap, but I resisted and only bought one (and that was for my mom for her birthday...happy Birthday Mom!!). They had a whole table of 50 cents each plants, and they were all so sad-looking that I wanted to buy them all. Their tomato plants were pathetic, dried out and falling over. It made me sad to see that they hadn't been bought by anyone. I should've asked what they did with them when they closed...if they just threw them out, I could've rescued a few of them and tried to get them going again. They have another stand that's a little further out, in the other direction from our home...maybe I should drive by there and see if they're still around.

The weather here has been INCREDIBLE. And I don't mean that in a good way. Hot, humid, and more hot and humid. I know that people have had this weather for awhile in other parts of the country, but still...it was so nice for so long, I'd even take the rain back if it meant the humidity would go away. Oh wait, I think it is supposed to rain later on today. Luckily, BBM is off work, so I get the van to drive tonight. Whew! And somehow, the male end of our hose got bent, so it won't attach to the spigot on the back of the house. I will have to replace that before long so The Boys can continue with their sprinkler play. We have been planning a barbecue this weekend for a few of our friends, and I just don't know how we're going to survive it without melting! That, plus the fact that our A/C has been acting up. The condenser line freezes completely, and we have to turn the "cool" off and just leave the "fan" on to defrost it, all the while, sweating ourselves to oblivion. We think the A/C just needs recharged, but God help us if we get someone in here and they say they won't recharge it because it has a leak somewhere. I just want to turn on the A/C...I don't want to know where it's coming from! (a nod to one of my favorite movies, Baby Boom...if you haven't seen it, get it...it's cute).

Well. I think I'm off to do another load of dishes, and maybe a couple loads of laundry will find their way to the washing machine before I head off to work. Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I've been a busy little bee!!

Well. Since I last posted, my mental state has improved, although I'm still not sleeping well. Thank you, everyone, for all the well wishes. I really appreciate your thoughts.

Now, onto my busy-ness. I haven't really done anything that needed to be done, but I've at least been productive today. First, I want to thank an old friend named Chad, for saving me from the computer disaster that is me. My security system trial ran out a couple days ago (I wonder if I should say that...hackers, beware!! There's nothing on my computer of interest, and as you're about to read, I'm up and running again), so I emailed Chad and asked him what he recommended for a cheap wannabe computer guru like me. He had several suggestions, all of which I took, and everything is peachy keen right now! And it was all F.R.E.E. So thank you thank you, Chad!!

Secondly, I went to Hancock Fabrics today and bought some fabric to fix something that's been bothering me (and The Boys) for quite awhile now. I actually thought I was going to have to break out the sewing machine (gasp!), but I ended up not needing to, thank God...I'm still scared of it.

Let me show you what I was up against (and no one is allowed to comment about the primed but unpainted walls behind the bed...my children were budding artists, you know):



This is the bottom of Beanpole's part of the bunk bed. The lining that covers all the nonsense and mayhem up there has been coming off...for quite some time now.



This is the other end. I guess it hasn't helped the Little Linebacker (who sleeps underneath all this hangy-downy-crap) has pulled and tugged, and pulled and tugged some more.



The middle. The whole thing was just horrifying. And today was the day I finally fixed it. I went to the fabric store and started looking for something, anything, that would replace this laughable piece of muslin or plastic or whatever the heck it was. I ended up buying some dark grey fleece. No special reason, other than it was on sale, and it was all one color, and because it's fleece and fleece is cool.



So I measured. And then I measured again to make sure. Then I cried because I had nowhere better to cut my fabric except on the floor. Then I dried my eyes and cut my fleece anyway, and laid it out over the wooden frame.



It actually looked wonderful, and like I'd imagined it, which was a shocker to me. I also bought some huge thumb tacks (quilter's solid head thumb tacks, to be exact). Now I'll have you know that I'd planned on stapling this fleece into place, since most of the edge is covered anyway. I'll also have you know that I have NO CLUE what a quilter's thumb tack is supposed to be used for, and I'm probably horribly misusing them. But I don't care.

I measured again to find center, and started hammering away, placing a quilter's thumb tack approximately every 9 inches. I folded the exposed edge of fleece under and stretched it just a teensy bit to keep it tight.



I also did some funky foldy edge thing at the corners, but please don't ask me what, because I can't describe it. All I know is that no edges of fleece are exposed, and that's all that matters to me.



See how nice the thumb tacks look? Nice and finished and neat-looking.



Now here's a picture of the finished product, back in the bed frame, me laying on the bed and camera-ing into the upper left corner. Purty.



And there's me in the same spot, but looking down towards the end. Look!! No hangy downy thing!!

And I'm not going to show you a picture of my reward for being so darned Mrs. Fix It today...a hoho and a bottle of caffeine free root beer are calling my name!