Thursday, March 31, 2011

Little To Say, Rushing Off

This is highly unusual for me, but I cannot think of anything meaningful to type. Yet, I feel the need to post an update. G.Baby is making some noises in her basket, and I hear the Toddler of the House offering her an apple. Sometimes the immediate is more necessary than the insightful.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Endeavoring to Update the Blog

Baby has arrived!

Ginger Elaine 6 pounds, 14 ounces; 21 inches long.

Welcomed by a whole bunch of people who took an immediate liking to her.

Already growing at a ridiculously rapid rate.

I confess, I was a little concerned about how Baby #4 would adjust to Baby #5. She has proven herself to be a marvelous Big Sister! No jealous tantrums, very helpful with bringing baby wipes and diapers, flashing that dimple and using a very high-pitched and soft voice to say "Hi" to Baby Sister every chance she gets. The best part? She hasn't tried to pick up our bundle of joy even once!

I'm a little overwhelmed, even a bit weepy when I think of everything that God has given me. He has poured out so many lovely, wonderful blessings in my life. I do not deserve even a fraction of all He has lavished on me. Why is He so nice to me?

One more note: I'm not going to go into the full "birth story" here; it was pretty strait-forward and basic. Typical "in pain you shall bring forth children" stuff, but throughout the whole process, slices of Psalm 91 kept running through my mind. Just another gift from my God: peaceful refuge in the midst of work, reminders of His constant presence through out my whole life. Even in the after-delivery recovery stage where everything is emotionally out of proportion and I am overly exhausted, He has been my safety, my hiding place, my joy in the messiness.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not So Grown-Up

I was going to post something else, but...

How can I resist loving her?
This little girl seems to have all of mommy's irritation buttons on speed dial, and lately she acts way too grown-up for a preschooler. But when I walked into the living room and saw her sleeping in an easy chair, I realized... she's still just a baby. One of my precious babies. Not too grown-up after all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Uncertain Endeavor

My two year old is easily the cutest around. She is pretty smart too.

And she is about to have her world shaken upside down.

I have been trying to prepare her for baby's arrival, but success in this endeavor is uncertain.

She has helped get out all the baby clothes, cooing over each tiny onsie. "Baby's," she says in a sugary sweet voice; then she tries on the too-small hats and unfolds the soft receiving blankets. She still seems to be retaining some ownership.
Patting the sides of the cradle, she informs us "Baby sleep here." However, she is suddenly attached to her own crib, as fascinating as the big girly bed (purchased to be shared between two sisters) was just last month. Subtly resisting change?

Getting her dressed to go "bye bye" has never been an issue. Now she seems to purposefully delay each departure with particular needs for a particular bag, a particular pair of shoes, a particular jacket, a particular set of gloves. Great; in another two weeks we will have an infant in a car seat and her particular two year old self to carry out to the car -- and there is no doubt someone will be screaming if the particulars are left at home.
She has a group of favorite books that she "reads" to herself at naptime. Today, as I tucked her blankey around her and settled the small stack atop her lap she looked up at me and said, "My books... baby no read my books."

Oh boy. What is sharing Mommy's lap going to look like?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wasted Endeavors (not really)

March 9th, 2011
The really awesome thing about rainy days? There is absolutely no point in washing your dirty floors! What a total waste of time, I decided.

So I cooked and froze a couple more meals instead. (Yay Kylie project!)

Sad news: the sons received their first frowny face on their room chart. The "mess" was just two toys and two towels on the floor and I almost chose to pick them up and ignore the infraction, but I decided that wouldn't really help them learn to be tidy. So I picked them up and meted out punishment, because also the lights were also left on. Really, though, the Hilary is working out splendidly. I'm brainstorming a similar project for the girls' room, but it is trickier because I cannot count on a two year old keeping anything clean and should a five year old sister really be responsible for picking up after her?

That's enough updates on those projects.

Other crossed-off items on the Before Baby List:

  • Sew pajama pants for my sister-in-law, who should be having her own Darling Child any day now.

  • Clean out refrigerator. Well, at least I cleaned out the yucky food in the refrigerator. I'll save the Empty-Everything-and-Bleach-the-Fridge-Walls chore for when I'm overdue and going crazy.

Actually, this last task helped out with the Kylie project. "Hmm... don't want to eat this. But someone might; just stick it in the freezer."

Just kidding.


March 10, 2011

My sister-in-law delivered a lovely baby girl last night and I can hardly wait to go see her in person! First though, I'm going to whip up a new little creation for her to wear (I just hope her mother likes it, since she is probably too little to choose her own clothes). Pictures later maybe?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Endeavoring to Walk, not Waddle

I don't need to say much more to tell you how my day has gone, do I?
It's not been a "Bad Day," just an "Unproductive Day." I woke up walking like an 89 year old, and haven't really sped up much since then. What did we cross off our list?
Fixing dinner (or part thereof).
Washing baby clothes.

Here's to moving more freely tomorrow!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Endeavors

If not for the lengthy "honey do" list, yesterday was destined to be a boring Saturday for Corey. He had no outside projects he could do in the pouring rain, no work scheduled, not even a single friend or neighbor calling for computer help. Maybe it was sheer boredom that drove him to hang pictures and vacuum ceilings for his largely pregnant and reportedly grouchy wife, but I like to think that he was motivated by love. I can honestly say that having the house ordered and clean makes me a much happier individual. Joy can be had in any environment, but let's just allow this brief season of "nesting," OK?

So here are some pictures of our freshly-painted living and dining rooms. I'm not taking the time to set them up in an orderly sequence, nor am I fixing them up in photoshop... I hope whoever is reading this enjoys them anyway!

Dining room from kitchen doorway. And yes, that is the table that Corey rescued from the garbage and refinished. What can I say folks? He's amazing.
View from the "front" door. This is my favorite little coffee-and-visit corner. Someday maybe I'll recover the chairs, but for now I like them just the way I found them before "vintage" was quite so popular.
We don't really consider her part of the furnishings -- she moves around too much for that -- but she loves having her picture taken. Who could resist that smile?
Dining room, as seen from coffee-and-visit side.
Living room with dark green walls. I love love love this color! Someday we'll do something different with the fireplace (not shown here), but we can't exactly decide what we want. We're leaving it "as is" for now, and we found that the eucalyptus walls truly set the bricks off nicely!

One final Willa Bean shot. This is her special cow. She won't always rock away in the dining room, but for now she's OK in this empty corner and Willa is happy.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Small {People} Endeavors

My favorite project today had nothing to do with Baby #5, except that being pregnant certainly made me look a little ridiculous. Today was Pajama Day at Norah's preschool. Since it is her week to be leader, (which means it is her mom's week to provide snack) I lugged my waffle-maker and ingredients into the church/preschool kitchen to make hot waffles for 12 preschoolers. They were so cute in their pj's and tennis shoes. Their teacher had them line up a safe distance from the waffle preparations and watch how "Ms. Honour / Norah's Mom" makes waffles. I felt a bit like a celebrity chef, despite my extra-large belly beneath the apron.

The mess we brought home.

The pajama-clad preschooler we brought home. Isn't she just the cutest?

My second favorite accomplishment was checking something off my Sew Before Baby list without the help of my sewing machine. (Ha! Take that!) I didn't take a picture, but I decorated some onsies for a darling little baby named Ivy Sue. (Isn't that the sweetest name?) I haven't met her yet, but I love her mommy and so I'm sure I will love her too, even if it is just because she has a terrific name.

The only "prepare for baby" things I did today were shopping for a coming home outfit (such fun) and napping. Obviously these were necessary chores, but if I must justify them, let me say:

  • I cannot bring my new love home naked

  • I a nap was essential for baby's development, for my sanity and for the betterment of my household and my older children.

One last fun thing: Texting daddy on a pink toy phone while eating lunch. The message that couldn't wait until after mealtime? "Daddy, you are the goofiest."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Flexible Endeavors

Today I purposed to make some progress on my lengthy "Sew Before Baby" list.
My sewing machine had some other ideas. Like going on vacation, for example, while amidst a pile of specially-purchased but unused fabric and patterns. Or staging a protest for unfair treatment of broken needles and bent pins. Or suing for damages due to emotional distress ("You leave me down here in the basement, and only come see me when you need something! Well, I have needs too!")

So I changed my plans.
Fixed a large dinner with my five-year-old. (And froze half! Yay The Kylie project!)
Ironed and hung clean curtains in the freshly-painted living room.
Withstood (and withsat) some very painful pains.
And pretended that I didn't care.
No pictures.

I think I need to have a Musicals of the Decades Marathon party, because it's been awhile since I enjoyed the movies and songs that I love the most. And because I keep finding reasons to sit down, just not in front of the rebellious sewing machine. Who wants to join me?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Endeavor, Duex

The Hilary project update: the sons got a smiley face this morning! Way to go! I knew it would be hard to mess your room up while you slept.

Today's endeavor is prolonged, but will only last a week or 10 days. I am trying to stock my freezer with at least a weeks' worth of casseroles and/or prepared meals to be enjoyed post-baby-arrival. I am accomplishing this by simply doubling each night's dinner recipe and freezing half of it. Several years ago, my sister-in-law gave me the perfect cookbook for this endeavor, so I am calling this
The Kylie.

Later, upon further reflection: I thought this would be simple. Turns out,we are bigger eaters than I thought; after dinner there was only enough super yummy chimichanga filling to make six very small chimichangas. I froze them anyway. A little bit of a discouraging start, but maybe I'll use them when I need a little dinnertime entertainment. Just set them in the middle of the table and see if we can reenact that dinner table scene from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Maybe I will have to triple dinner tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Month, New Endeavor(s)

1.) a conscientious or concerted effort toward an end; an earnest attempt.
2.) purposeful or industrious activity; enterprise.

It may not be obvious to all, but my main activity this month will be having a baby. Toward this goal, nearly all of my activities will be focused. I have 24 days left until the promised arrival of #5, but I am trying to be realistic with this forecasted date because as of yet, no one has asked #5 what his/her plans are. Still, I am trying to keep myself busy so I am not sitting around sore and bored, waiting for baby to come.

So here is our endeavor for today: cleaning the boys' room and devising a method to keep it thus. I'm calling this project
The Hilary,

named for my aunt who stood in their bedroom doorway and asked "do they ever have to clean their room?"

The Hilary
Phase 1: Big Clean Up.

The sons are currently in the midst of this part. I divided the clean up into six tasks, written on small slips of card stock.
  • Pick up books and magazines and put away (nicely) on the bookshelf.
  • Pick up small toys (like Legos and K'nex) and put away.
  • Gather up dirty laundry and bring downstairs.
  • Carry trash downstairs and put a new bag in the wastebasket.
  • Make bed and put away clean clothes (Weston).
  • Make bed and put away clean clothes (Sammy).

Each boy selected three face-down slips of paper. I have promised to come vacuum and put clean sheets on their beds when they finish with their tasks. Yes, there has already been conflict, but we will overcome so as to make progress toward Phase 2.

The Hilary
Phase 2: Maintain Tidiness

The sons will have until Spring Break (conveniently beginning in 24 days) to keep their room tidy. I will inspect their room each morning after they go to school. If it passes my inspection, I will mark a smiley face beside the date; if it fails, I will draw a frowney face. If they receive 18 smileys they will earn the agreed upon reward. If they never get a frowney they will receive a bonus prize.

I don't know if I feel like the prize announcer on a game show or like the bizarre rule-makers of my college years. All I know is that I'm largely pregnant and rather weary of bending over to pick up their messes.

Later, upon further reflection: I am quite certain that my presentation of this fabulous idea was unfortunately more in the tones of dictatorial rule-maker instead of Charlie O'Donnell, but the room is clean and we're all set for Phase 2. You know, maybe I need an inspector to keep me on my toes. A smiley face for every morning that the kitchen is tidy?

28/28 (Love)

For this last day of February's pictures (and yes, I know that we're posting on March 1, but I did snap the moment yesterday) I absolutely could not select just one picture. There was too much specialness going on!

First: Cousin time.

My dear cousin, Emily, came to visit for the afternoon and Norah fell in Love with her. Norah climbed in her lap, literally hung all over her, monopolized her conversations, sloppied up her hair, et cetera, et cetera. At several points, it seemed that Norah was trying her best to be on her worst behavior. But Emily handled like a champ. She smiled, held, laughed, and permitted way more than I would. And at the end of our visit, they posed for a fake "chat" to mark the crazy afternoon that it had been.
Love puts up with a lot.
Next, Great Grandpoppy time.
Also along for the day trip, my darling Grandpoppy. Grandpoppy loves little girls, especially 5 year old girls. When I was small, my favorite part about a visit to my grandparents' house would be when he shook my hand goodbye and then pretended that he had glue on his palm. "Oh well, you'll just have to stay here with me!" I've seen him play this game with all of my cousins and little sisters and nieces... Norah was too clever (and a bit shy of Grandpoppy) to fall for the hand-shake routine, but she did agree to stand with him for a picture.
I Love my grandfather.
(even if I'm too old to shake hands)
And finally, good bye time.
This is my strong and handsome baby sailor brother.
His two week leave ended today and he returned to his base in Virginia.
I am very proud of him and happy that he is doing something meaningful, but...
I wish it did not involve distance between us.
I wish that it were a safer task.
I wish that he could have somehow stayed the adorable curly-haired toddler that he was.
I love you, Chris.
Be careful with yourself, because you are important to a lot of weirdo people you call family.

27/28 (Love)

Love is a potluck?
Yep. Sometimes it is.