Monday, August 30, 2010

A Game (with a prize!)

It's time to do something fun with the blog again.

I haven't done the Friday Freebie for a long while....just when I had a couple of companies contact me and was getting ready to jump back into it life happened and my mind was occupied with other things. While I'm not getting back into the giveaway scene anytime in the immediate future (I'd like to eventually, we'll see how things go), I thought it would be fun to play a little game and let you into to this crazy life I live.

or something like that.

So I'm coming up with a bunch or random and strange questions.
Yes, about my life. And when I say random, I mean random. Like how many eggs I've bought this week. Along with some of the regular run of the mill things that occupy my time. Laundry anyone?

Once I figure out what all to throw into this, I'll post the questions, and there will be some prizes for whoever gets the most questions right. Or closest to right. Or I'll just let sort it out.

This ought to be fun.
Or at least give you something to do if you are avoiding chores.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things we did this Summer, part one

The farm.
One of my favorite places. Not as favorite as a real farm, but close.

Also it makes a good meet in the middle place so we can drag my sister and her kids along.

We lucked out and had my mom along as well. Granted I don't think she necessarily thinks that whole downsizing/forced early retirement thing was lucky per se, but heck, the timing was perfect for the rest of us!

Charlotte is obsessed with horses.

She figured if she just beckoned it would come right to her.

So naturally she loved every second of the pony ride.

But flip flops in the horse corral...I can't say I would recommend that.
Also black wrap shirt while 7mo pregnant when it's a bazillion degrees outside not recommended. I had a river of sweat down my back after about 2 minutes. Lovely visual, no?

This sight made me glad I was not expecting twins:

Aww...look at my little kiddies all lined up....
Oh wait....
There they are!

We lucked out and did not encounter any inappropriate birds this visit.

And one more thing.



The inaugural post-baby run

Yesterday was THAT day.

I am happy to say that my legs still work.

They don't work for as long as I'd like them to, but I do have to take into consideration the fact that I delivered a baby three weeks ago. Sometimes I forget to be realistic.

You'd never have guessed that, would you?

Two miles.
Twenty minutes.
Well, plus the warm up/cool down walk. See? I'm trying to be responsible and not push it.

It's amazing how far your mind can wander in 20 minutes. I've forgotten how theraputic pounding the pavement can be.

I was thrilled to find that I wasn't running slower, that was nice. Since I'm not a fast person to begin with I was a little worried about that.
I had not really considered my current redistribution of weight. I should have worried about that. Time to find some reinforcement.

It was a treat to return home with a smile on my sweaty face.
Heck, it was a treat to be sweaty from real activity as opposed to sweating simply due to the fact that I was pregnant.
Also it helped that the baby was still sleeping peacefully. Mom guilt can be hard to keep at bay sometimes.

6 1/2 weeks until my first post-baby #8 race. Not that I'll be "racing" so much, but hey, it's an actual event. It should be a fun one too.
I'm trying out something new this year as well-an actual training plan. 8 wks to a half marathon. That race is currently 9 1/2 wks out, so I have plenty of time to get there phsycially. The real kicker there will be emotionally. The other events I've got my eye on in the next two months all require being away from baby for not much more than roughly an hour (which should be about how long it takes to run the 10k where if all goes well my sweet husband will be waiting at the finish line with babe in arms....), a half will require considerably more than that. More like 4-5 hours. My heart might just leap out of my chest at that. Then factor in breastfeeding and.....if I need to explain why that could be an issue, you wouldn't understand anyway. At that point I wouldn't be worried as much about my heart as my actual chest.

But never fear! I do have a back up plan. If I can't make it to that half, I will do my own. It will be the Maverick Mommy half-marathon. Because it would consist of me running from home, to Maverick (yes the gas station) and back.
I'll make my own shirt.


School is back in


The kids were so excited for school to start, I'm trying to let their enthusiasm rub off on me.
I really really am.
The 783 forms that I must fill out this week are dampening that slightly for me.
Especially since so many of them are duplicates. My feelings on that are not pretty-I'll spare you.
Although I have decided that next year filling these papers out will be more fun.
You want to know my child's strengths? Their real strengths?
You mean like hiding dirty laundry in very creative locations so they don't have to wash it, annoying a particular sibling to the point of tears on a nearly daily basis, playing the song "Bubble Gum" on the piano at amazing speed and volume 4 times in a row without pausing,
throwing shoes down the stairs at such amazing accuracy that no matter how many times I wash that scuff mark off the wall it reappears in the exact same place within 24 hours.....
Yes, next year will be fun!
(or cause the childrens' teachers to think that their mother is certifiable)

But I digress-

The first day was a fabulously happy morning. The kids were up nice and early, got themselves ready to go quickly, wanted to look all around win.

Today, well, today was real life. Two kids fighting the wake-up call, one moping about when I insisted on nice clothing for school, one complaining about the options for lunch.
Ahhh....the school routine. blah.

But that's ok. That's life.

It just means it's time for me to whip out the Super Mom cape, suck it up, and do what I can to make their mornings (and mine!) more pleasant.
Which is all sorts of fun considering that I am so NOT a morning person. (please read that ala Dr Cox. thank you.)

This makes the whole thing a life lesson for everyone. Sometimes you just have to suck it up for the betterment of everyone involved. Even if it means pretending to be pleasant until you actually are.

So here's to a successful school year.
To happy mornings and yummy after school snacks.
To helping with homework and not doing it for them.
To projects that may not look as fancy as everyone else's, but having the satisfaction of knowing that your kid actually did their own work.
To new shoes and new friends.
To remembering that this all goes by way too fast and we may as well enjoy it while it's here.

Also-I have a lot of kids.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do you know what tomorrow is?

August 25th.

Aaron has the night off school.

The kids have their first day of school.

Sam will be three weeks old (already?!?).
Tomorrow is also the day that Aaron specified hours after I had given birth to Sam.

But tomorrow....ahhh.....tomorrow I get to attempt to move a little faster.
If I can handle being more than 20 feet away from my baby.

IT's a stressful thought.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Go Big or Go Home

I believe Lincoln was born with this ingrained in him.

Nothing the kid does is subtle.

Case in point as shown in the past, the ice cream bowl:
Revisited recently-the cereal bowl:
Go big or go home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things I learned today

A size 3 Target diaper will absorb roughly half a toilet bowl of water. If placed in toilet when dry. This much absorption then makes it too big to flush. Thank goodness.

Star shaped confetti is dangerous to bare feet when sticking up out of the carpet. Beware the stars.

Maybelline The Collosal Volum' Express mascara will indeed come out of carpet. Even when there en masse. Drawn in big thick streaks. Also it happens to smell really good in giant quantities. Who knew? (and it really is great mascara for it's intended purpose)
Mascara does not come off a 2yr old as well as it comes out of carpet. Even with eye makeup remover.

Body wash works better than eye makeup remover in taking mascara off a head to toe covered 2yr old. Except on the face. Clean and Clear face wash helps there.

When you find a giant wet spot on your carpet, just be safe and assume it isn't water. Doesn't matter that a giant mug with some water in it is next to that spot. Err on the side of caution.
(I can neither confirm nor deny the identity of the substance on the carpet)

Especially if you have a 2yr old with a missing diaper.

You know the squeezy lip gloss tubes? like this:
That little angled tip comes out. Which optimizes access to the smearing capabilities of sticky lipgloss.

When you are in your closet trying to wipe sticky lip gloss off things, the disposable diaper that is in your big bag (which is also in the closet and now half empty) cleans it up really really well.

Apparently my cosmetics are entirely too accessible.

It is not possible for toddlers to open boxes of crayons without tearing the box.
Also crayons look weird naked.

Always, always make sure the door is all the way closed.

M&Ms really are magic.
Forget peace talks with world leaders. Just start air dropping infinite numbers of packages of M&Ms and we can all just get along.

Or at least survive a Tuesday in the trenches of life with children.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Open to Interpretation

I have always known I had creative kids.

I have known for quite sometime that they are artful when it comes to interpretation.

I did not know that the same phrase could be interpreted so differently by each child.

You see, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I can still lay in bed with my baby at 7:30 in the morning this week. I won't be able to do that next week thanks to school resuming. (boo!)
So I was laying there with my drowsy eyed sweet smelling babe, as he lazily nursed himself in and out of sleep. It was heavenly.

I could hear the minions down the hall, they were beginning to descend on the kitchen for breakfast. Charlotte was just waking up, and "reading" to herself in her room.

All was well in the world.
For a few minutes anyway.

Then the knocking began.
The rule of "do not go in Mom and Dad's room without invitation" was blatantly ignored. At least they all knocked first. Or at least knocked as they were letting themselves in.

Every child who opened my door got the same response. Every time they opened my door. "Please go out and shut my door."
(hey-I was having a moment. I wanted roughly 3.2 more minutes to finish feeding my baby. Not to mention at least 10 seconds further seconds to make myself decent.)

These magic words, "Please go out and shut my door", apparently are also interpreted as the following:

"Malia!!! Mom wants to see you!!"
"Mom said that you don't get to go"
"Jacob you have to do your chore right now and I don't have to take you"
"I can too go! Mom said!"
"You're in trouble-I told Mom you pinched me!"
"I just asked and she said you're wrong"

Ahhh....another peaceful morning.
(and yes, I did stay in bed for another three minutes. I plugged my ears and enjoyed each and every second of it.)


Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to the trail

Monday night, kids in bed.
Working on that whole getting back in the swing of things for school, working on getting kids to bed at a decent hour.
(I will miss summer vacation desperately. A huge part of me really really wishes homeschooling was happening this year....)


It was too nice an evening to stay inside.
Besides, freedom from the light bed needed to be celebrated. Sam was begging to get out of the house for something other than a dr appointment or trip to the hospital.
We have this great mind-link vibe thing going on.

I laced up the Mizunos for a rousing and exhilerating....walk.

Ok, so honestly, I'm getting a little antsy. It's been what...almost 6wks since I've run? My body kind of just quit as I approached 34weeks pregnant. Stop, stop, I'm not jumping back in too fast, not overdoing things. I promised Aaron I'd wait at least three weeks until I even tried.

To be completely accurate, hours after delivery Aaron looked at me and said "August 25th. That's 3 weeks. NO RUNNING until at least August 25th." It was cute. And funny because honestly that hadn't even crossed my mind on that crazy day. Sweet of him to already be on top of worrying about me doing too much too soon.
Not to mention the fact that leaving home and having my baby more than 20 feet from me is something I am just not willing to do yet. That folks will be the real obstacle in returning to running. Physical recovery? cake. Emotionally coping with the fact that my child is no longer physically tethered to me is always a harder recovery for me.

But really and truly, the walk actually was exhilerating. It was amazing and beautiful and just made me giddy to be walking down the trail that I'd run with my little Sam tucked away in my belly, with him now strapped to my chest.
To take step after step along those same miles where some days I ran to escape the worries that totally consumed me from the end of March until 12 days ago, and where some days every step brought more worry and wonder and complete fear, where no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't run away from any of it.

I probably looked like a crazy lady, walking along grinning from ear to ear, patting the big bundle of fabric wrapped around my chest. It's ok to look crazy when you are living in your own little bubble. I think. And if it's not, I'm not worried about it.
Much of the worry and wonder is still there. I assume it will be every day of his life.
The nice thing is that now it is accompanied by the comfort of his weight in my arms, his breathing against my body.
For now the focus is to enjoy every second of every day with this little boy. It is to share every wonderful thing about this life and this world with him.

It seems very appropriate to start with the trail that traces along the fields just steps from home.....


I never paid much attention

To a lot of little things that suddenly are front and center every day.

Things that I've taken for granted with all of my other babies. My "normal" babies.

Now I am blown away by the fact that Samuel can bring his hands to his mouth. I never realized that such a simple thing could be so important.
That he has a killer grip-especially on that eye mask while in the light bed. (Can't begin to count how many times I crawled out of bed to his crying last night to find that he'd pulled it down to his chin. And on that note-he cries!)
He smiles so big in his sleep. Those sleep smiles have always been a love of mine, but now it holds the hope that he will smile on purpose in the coming months....and that is a big deal.
He flinches and squirms when a camera flash goes off, meaning his eyes work at least to some degree....we didn't know if we could count on that.
I am changing a million little diapers every day so things are functioning inside-I never knew it was possible to be so happy about full diapers.

It's interesting to sit in the not knowing camp. Beyond frustrating at some times, incredibly humbling at others.

If nothing else, it certainly enhances perspective on life. And all those "little" things.

(you know, like these little bird legs. Love them!!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

When life gives you lemons, er, jaundice

You know that whole lemonade thing. Jaundiceade?
My sister and I affectionately call it Oopma-loompaism....too bad the light bed doesn't come with an endless supply of chocolate.

Thanks to a rising bilirubin level, we have at least two more days on the light bed. Sam was down to 15 on Monday, back up to 15.8 on Wed. Oy. Wrong way buddy!
More labs on Friday anyway so hopefully a better number then. The phlebotomists at the hospital closest to home don't even have to look up his file anymore, we're now on a first name basis. They are sweet as can be and just dote on this boy anytime we step into the lab.

Honestly, I think he just has the family love for light. That he's missing the days in my belly when we'd bask in the sun and he'd roll right up front to the middle of my belly sticking out as much as he possible could to soak up the warmth of the sun. Tender infant skin=minimal sun exposure so he's opting for the tanning bed instead.

Positive attitude people!

Point being: Since he is stuck in the bed still and has to go the Zorro route and have his precious little face covered up for the vast majority of the day, we thought we'd liven things up a bit.
I was just thinking some big eyes cut out from a magazine. Or maybe sunglasses.

Aaron hit the jackpot and went the Harry Potter route instead.
Got the little scar drawn on there and everything.
Very appropriately "the boy who lived".


13 years and one week

One week ago, August 5th, was our 13th wedding anniversary.

LUCKY number 13.

I had this great plan to put together a cute little slideshow of pictures from way back in the day. (back when we looked like children! ack!)
Yeah, that didn't happen.

Or at least have our annual celebratory PF Chang's dinner. With Great Wall of Chocolate for dessert. (Mmmmm, great wall of chocolate....)
I ate hospital food. He probably didn't eat anything at all.
No wait! He did stop at McDonald's around midnight. I think. But I don't know if he ever actually ate because the first McDonald's he stopped at was closed.
Either way, it wasn't fancy for sure.

But you want to know why I am the luckiest woman in the world?
On our anniversary I sat in the hospital, my parents had our kids, and Aaron spent the night in school.
Then after school got out, he drove the half hour home, got a change of clothes and some lotion, then drove the hour plus to the hospital where I was. At midnight. He rubbed my feet and then spent the night on the couch so that I wasn't alone on our anniversary.

So, to that amazing man, my best friend and perfect match, after 13 incredible years I have a few things to say;

Trucks Entering Highway
FOUR dollars for a salad?!
I bought you a boat
Who'd want to rent a chicken?
The TV is on
Freschetta and Redbox
Have you seen my shoes?
Does the rolling help?
And last by not least, here are your nagging pills
I love you. You make me smile.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The latest-one week old

Wow, tomorrow Sam will be one week old.

Why do these first weeks always go so fast?!?

He is beautiful and wonderful and amazing and perfect.....
So far all of his metabolic panels are coming back pretty darn constant.
One of the biggest worries is sodium level, and his is fantastic. He was a little high in the hospital (145), but as of this week he is great! (138)

Still on the lights for jaundice, but as long as his body kicks in and his levels keep going down, that's ok. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get a better number and be able to take him off. We'll see.

I would love to just hold him all day long, and look forward to being off lights so I can wear him and just have him close to me.

While having to hit him doubly hard with the lights is a bummer (he is on the light bed from above, with a biliblanket underneath his body), I love that we have the biliblanket. That way when I feed him in the middle of the night I don't beat myself up if we drift off to sleep together for a little while because we bring that biliblanket in to bed with him so he is still getting the light even though he's out of the actual light bed. Having him in my arms just soothes my soul.
The other kids are really doing well with all the adjustments that a regular newborn brings, and all the extra appointments and attention that are needed this time around. They love him to death and I keep finding them standing at my bedroom doorway sneaking peeks at him laying there in the light bed.
"Uh, I thought I heard him crying so I just thought I'd check to make sure" is always the excuse. It's sweet.

Living in a state of

Constant dr appointments
Sleep deprivation
Total and complete bliss


Monday, August 9, 2010

Samuel James

Our beautiful little miracle baby arrived on August 4th.
6lbs 9oz, 20 inches long.

He has beaten all the odds, and astounded all the doctors. The big NICU stay we anticipated didn't happen. No ventilator, no feeding tubes. Just a light bed-at home-to combat jaundice. A light bed is so very very doable!
We have been blown away with how amazingly perfect the past few days have been. To have planned to leave your baby for weeks in critical condition, and end up bringing him home instead is astounding.

I'll get around to details and what's likely to come and all that.

But right now, I am totally and completely absorbed in the little miracle that is resting in my arms.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This is it

Full term today. Full term never sounded so good. 37 weeks.
19 weeks ago this day seemed an eternity away. An impossibility.

Then we blinked, and here it is.

There is so much running through my mind, and my heart.

I am so not ready for tomorrow. Yet somehow, when I wake up, I will be ready.

I did finally pack that bag (mostly). Hopefully that makes my husband feel a little better.
I still think it would have been fun to have him pack it and surprise me. He disagrees.

It seems surreal that the next time I walk those hospital halls to see my baby's face, it will be up close and personal, no longer on a screen across the room.

This little face....
Those chubby little cheeks....

I am excited to see him.
I hope I get to hold him....
I pray that he is strong enough to cry, to breathe, to live.....