October 31, 2007

Here, Just ... Here

We're all here. We're okay, but I haven't been able to blog in a while. That same roadblock the Lord saw in our path before has been placed before us once again... and we are battling it. Harder this time. And it stinks. We are all okay, but one of our loved ones isn't well. I owe it to this person to keep this vague on such a public place as the internet, but anyone who is willing with good and kindness in their heart, please pray for us. Pray hard for the Lord to reach him and heal him quickly.

We are handling this all as best we can, doing the schlepping, the logistics of daily life while at the same time trying to deal with caring for this loved one and more. But it is hard. Harder than I can explain here. I am lucky that I have such a strong family and wonderful friends to rely on to help lift me up.

I hope to post Halloweenie pictures later this week.

PS - In baby news, Mabel's umbie FINALLY fell off a few days ago - it held on for almost 4 weeks. I can't believe my baby girl is already over a month old. It's so sad how fast time flies. Hug your babies and your spouse, people. Do it now. It's worth it.

October 26, 2007

One of The Worst Days of My Life

So you probably know that I made an appointment for family pictures like... 8 weeks ago at least. I thought ahead and scheduled it before Christmas portraits swamped our local Penney's. Thought I was all big and bad, like I had it all figured out - this planning with 3 children thing. Yeah, right. Any mommies can start laughing at me right now. It was AWFUL. BAAAAAD. Oy.

To begin with, the studio was running one appointment behind. I had calculated how long it would take to change the kids' clothes (I was an idiot and planned an outfit change) and dressed them in the first outfit - only to have them sit and wait and roll around on the floor (the boys, not Mabel) for 30 minutes before our session.

When it was finally our turn, we were introduced to our photographer - she was brand new and had no experience photographing families. Which meant she had no experience coming up with casual poses on her own (I detest the Stepford poses they usually do), no experience photographing squirrely little boys, or managing a family photo situation at all. She was super sweet, but sweet just didn't cut it. Well, she was mostly sweet until she made a comment that she hoped she never had kids like ours. Nice, huh?

My heartache (and high blood pressure) began with the very first pose for the very first shot. One of the boys starting saying potty words and making the other one laugh. Then the other one made farting noises while we were trying to get them to hold still. Youngest boy wants to play Hide and Seek behind the hanging background. Oldest boy thinks it would be hilarious to body slam his brother mid shot. There was poking, farting (actual and fake), laughing (not by Dad or me), a potty break and clothing change, one dirty diaper and seriously starving infant, finally a second photographer to keep the boys' attention, and all around wrestling for almost 3 hours. Nope, not kidding. Our appointment was at 1:20. We left JCPenney at 4:00, Folks. Seriously. Part of the reason was that I refused to leave without decent photographs... because no way in hell was I going to do this again!

Some of the rejects that made me want to cry at the time, but now seem a little bit funny. Just a little bit:

Here's one the inexperienced photographer shot of my daughter's upper nostrils as I stood on the sidelines and tried to gently say, "shouldn't we sit her up more? I can see right up her nose... I'm not going to like this... please, can we move her?" to no avail:

This one would have been my most favorite if the photographer actually knew what she was doing - and that you DON'T SHOOT UP A BABY'S NOSTRILS. Seriously.

I did end up with this gem (I have NO IDEA how):

EDITED TO ADD: I am able to post our pictures online because I purchased the digital images from JCPenney for $5. It's called Smiles by Wire. I was told I would have a high-quality photo with which to scrapbook or make Christmas cards, etc. Folks, do not do it - well, don't do it with the hope that you'll actually be able to use any of the digital images for anything worthwhile. They appear to be perfect for blogging, but that's about it. They're lesser quality than physically scanning in a photo. I'm going to have to wait until the actual photos come in and do my Christmas cards the old fashioned way. Poo. So, my Smiles by Wire review is that it's a bit of a waste.

October 25, 2007

Little Boy Time

I spent some quality time with my boys yesterday. A couple of weeks ago I found a cute recipe in Parents' Magazine for little mini apple pies. So, we made them last night. Each of the boys had a turn rolling out the biscuits and filling them with the apple cinnamon mixture. It was lots of fun and delicious, too!

The two chefs:

Lots of fun!

October 19, 2007

Santa's Thinkshop

A blog is a great place to keep track of things. I'm going to keep track of my planned Christmas shopping this year. Some things I plan to pick up for the kids for Christmas this year...

First, Mabel needs this ballerina stocking

and I've been dreaming of getting her a Corolle baby

Hoping to find some cheap-ish beanbags somewhere less expensive than Pottery Barn Kids

A portable DVD player for Trevor's TV, which will also double WHEN we go on vacation next summer

And some goodies for the boys

I haven't bought one single thing yet, but these things are on my list to check out.

October 18, 2007

A Prayer Request

There is something about my Lulu (a.k.a. my other self in best friend form, who lives in South Dakota) that connects us. Like a visceral soul mate. She is my other. She and I have shared so much and too much and now... there is even more.

We have been through 10 pregnancies (and several losses) between us. We miscarried at exactly 12 weeks - each of us - on the very same day. If that wasn't enough, our loss was due to severe Down's Syndrome... and just this past May, my Lulu's baby boy was blessed with Down's Syndrome. We were both less than 30 when this happened - what are the odds? The odds are certain that God placed us in each other's path for a reason.

My 38 yr old brother in law just had surgery for a diaphragmatic hernia - very rare in adults. Just as I was saying my prayers that he'd come through sugery safely this afternoon, my Lulu called me to say that baby Jonas was diagnosed this morning with a diaphragmatic hernia. Yes, I'm serious.

So, please join me in sending soothing and peaceful prayers for a safe surgery and fast, easy recovery for baby Jonas (and my brother in law made it through just fine). Please visit their blog for more details - http://churchillchronicles.blogspot.com/

A Bathing Beauty Smiles

Our bathing beauty...

is almost smiling

and looking constipated.

Soccer Boys

I have two dynamos in my house. They both have turned into regular soccer stars. Well, Andy plays because it's a little fun and it's an excuse to run around crazy for an hour. Trevor really gets into the game. Big time.

Here are some pictures.

Coming Up For Air Part 2

Let's try this again.

Here is our little popkin (no idea what this word means, but it's British and adorable and I love it, so I'm using it!) in an adorable outfit one chilly morning... don't you love the topknot?

And yes, for you concerned people, I DO put shoes on my children when I take them outside. But when they're this tiny and their feet are this yummy, I remove those shoes as often as possible for munching.
I managed to take this one of the two of us with the timer. I can't say it's perfect, but I do like it a lot.

Today, I gave Mabel a bath. Then I dressed her in what my mother calls a completely mismatched outfit. She's afraid I have Punky Brewster syndrome. Truth is, I mismatched on purpose. I think the bright flowers on the shirt perfectly mismatch the little (same colored) flowers on the pants. And the striped hat? Well, my daughter looks darling in hats. I couldn't resist. Oh, and it was chilly today. Yeah... I'll stick to that... it was chilly. Look how yummy she looks. I could eat her up.

Coming Up for Air

Sorry I haven't posted much. Honestly, between our brand new girl and this stay at home mom business, I've been way too busy to think about my blog. But, I noticed today that I had almost 200 photos that needed transferring to my computer, so it's a great time for an update. Blogger is giving me a hard time today, so I won't be able to post everything at once.
First, a couple of older shots that I love.
Mabel in the pink hat I crocheted for her -

Sleeping on the ottoman in one of the last newborn outfits she fit into (then!) - about 2 weeks old

This appears to be it, folks. Blogger won't allow any other uploads due to a problem they are having. I'll have more soon!

October 12, 2007

Checking In

Mabel is an unbelievable 16 days old today. It saddens me so much to watch time pass so quickly - and there is NOTHING more testimonial to that than watching an infant grow. It happens so fast. One day, they're all puffy and pink and sticky - two weeks later they're trying to hold their head up and talk to you. It's amazing and wonderful and sad all at the same time. I'll never have the 5 day old Mabel back again. :(

She is a wonderful baby. So snuggly - loves to lay on my chest and sleep at night... which isn't the most comfortable for me, but she'll only fit there for another couple of weeks so if she wants to snuggle, I'll snuggle. She only cries if she's working on a p00 or if she's hungry - and those cries are so quiet it's hard to believe she's really upset at all. She LOVES the attention from her brothers and especially Daddy. Oh my, her Daddy. I think they both have each other wrapped already.

I'm feeling almost back to my old self again. Time to start actively trying to lose the 20 lbs that are still packed onto me. Perhaps I will start next week by digital scrapbooking excercises. :)

Weeks ago I had high hopes for not only spending quality time with my new baby, but also using this time away from work to complete all sorts of projects - a quilt maybe, even some Christmas shopping. But you know what? There's too damn much to do already... I'm not signing up for any more! Not yet. Between the trips to the grocery, the post office, Target and Walmart, doctor's appointments, and picking up the boys every day from school - I am wiped out already. So, I have high hopes for some digital scrapbooking next week (because I am doing nothing but resting for the remainder of this week) but I can't promise anything.

Oh - and we've also cancelled the baby brunch. Priorities seem so much clearer to me now... I am less concerned with throwing a big party for family to meet Mabel - and more concerned with staring at her all day long in efforts to memorize her every facial expression at 16 days old. Time goes by too fast, People. It really does.

October 8, 2007

Quick Update

We're all doing well. I'd hoped to make a bigger update, but I'm too busy snuggling the little Miss to worry about blogging. Hope you understand.

She had a well visit on Friday (10 days old) and she's gained nearly a pound over her weight since she came home! She weighs nearly 9 lbs now... 8.11 to be exact. Such a sweet girl.

We're loving our new family of 5.

I'll check in later!

October 2, 2007

Another Day, Another Photo Shoot

I could take them for days and days. She's just the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen.