January 30, 2008

Another Turning Point, A Fork Stuck In The Road

Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go...
So make the best of this test and don't ask why...
I hope you've had the time of your life.

Amazing song there, folks. By probably my all-time favorite band, Green Day. LOVE them. That's actually very old school GD, but it's what came to mind when my "Create New Post" screen popped open.

So much has happened since that last post about our dear Nana. Judy. We almost lost her. Well, that sounds dramatic, but we definitely could have.

She hasn't been feeling well for a couple of months. She says she's old and then tells me to mind my own business when I urge her to call her doctor. She's also a nurse so that makes her a terrible patient. And she's a two-time breast cancer survivor (warrior), so that makes me a bit... anxious when it comes to her health. So anyhow, she's been short of breath for a while. She attributed it to asthma and COPD (she quit smoking 2 packs a day of methols just last September, after almost 40 years).

Sunday, she had some bleeding - I won't mention where, but it was somewhere you never want to see blood coming from. And it gave her a TON to talk about, given her previously mentioned fascinations. Rambling again, sorry. So, the bleeding got bad enough for me to make her call her doctor, who of course insisted she go to the ER. Lots and lots of hours later she was admitted, CAT scanned, and colonoscopized and had a diagnosis of diverticulosis (irritation of the bowel lining - not serious).

Seems while she was there they also did an EKG and found something "funny." Suddenly one overnight in the hospital turned into two, and two into three, and we had a cardiologist watching her. She had a heart catheterization this morning, during which they found her right coronary artery (the one that supplies crucial oxygen to her heart muscles themselves) to be 75% blocked in one spot and 95% blocked in another. Judy is now the proud owner of two shiny new stints. And we're on day 4 in the hospital now. She's been told she'll be released tomorrow morning and can go right back to every day activity - including chasing grandkids (yes, I specifically asked).

So, I will admit that while my biggest prayers surrounded the health of my one family person (and fears of being orphaned totally swam in my head), I had a few extraneous prayers that concentrated a bit on a certain trip I've been planning. A certain flight I have to catch on Friday morning. And I had guilt over those prayers, but I'm just being honest here. It's been YEARS since I've had the ability or opportunity to do anything for myself, really, just to do it. And this is sort of the culmination of my new path in a lot of ways. To not go would be more than a disappointment. It would totally break my heart. That said, I need to get Nana well first - then run like hell for the airport.

So, because Judy's been in the hospital, I've had to be a stay at home mom (strike that - I've been a running, schlepping madwoman) with Mabel since Monday. I imagine work is none too happy about it, but such is the life of a single mother with only one babysitter, I suppose. I need to find me some more of those suckers (kidding).

Anyhow, one of my work friends (a devout Christian woman) sent me an email asking about my mother. I asked her if it was okay to tell God that my plate was full. She said, "yes, but that means it's time to ask Him for help managing it." I told her that I felt like God has been carrying me through the sand since September.

I really do. And I am thankful for SO, SO much.

Two sleeps until Mabel and I board a plane headed for Lulu's!

Please pray the snowstorm they're predicting doesn't start until after 8am!

January 25, 2008

We Love You, Nana

When our boat tipped a few months back my mother offered immediately for the kids and I to come and stay with her for a while. I was reluctant only because she is, as I have mentioned, of a certain age and hello - I have three very active little kiddos. But, I am very blessed and happy to say that we took her up on her offer and have been living with her for almost two months now. It's wonderful.

This is not the first time Judy has opened her home to us. About 5 years ago when we were moving back to Ohio from Kentucky, she offered for us to stay until we got settled here. So, my husband stayed behind to sell our house and the boys (then almost 2 and 5 months) and I moved in with Nana. Aside from the occassional trampling, jelly on the couch, and formula spit up all over Nana's carpet (so sorry, Mom!), we made it work. :) As a result, my boys have an amazing connection with my mother and that makes me so happy.
And I am thankful.

Last night I was giving the boys their showers upstairs. I looked down from the catwalk and saw Nana reading Us Magazine to Mabel.

As you can see, both queen Molly and Moo were very interested in how Katie Holmes continues to defend that man that used to be so good looking.

This morning, Nana took a picture of Mabel and me before I left for work. Thanks, Mom.

So I returned the favor.

This one is my favorite.

Look out, World. Jeesh - look at those eyelashes!

January 24, 2008


I thought I would post a picture so you all could imagine these Judyisms as I tell them.


No lie, my friends.
Just wait til I tell you the one about the "dilito."


Judyisms. Not to be confused with Judaiism.

My mom is Judy. God love her. I love her to pieces, too. My mother is of a certain age and from a certain generation. She says "gararge" and "di-a-per" and "warsh." She finds fun in a variety of things like surgical stockings, green tea, peanut M&Ms, and p00p. She's a nurse so there's nothing more fun than talking up an interesting BM.

This afternoon she and I watched A Baby Story together. On the show there was a preemie birth. The baby came home healthy and the mommy was interviewed while burping her baby on her lap.

Judy looks up and sees this burping and says, "that's what they have to do to preemies, you know."

I said, "what is?"

"Burp them," she said.

Ahhhh. Classic Judyism there, folks.

January 22, 2008

Just 9 Days

until I get to roll around on the floor with my new friend, Jonas!

Look out, J - I'm quite the lofty girl and might squarsh you by accident! Whoah...... look at me!

I can't wait to discuss all sorts of things with you - b00bies, mommies, brothers, bottles, the nose-suckery thingie, sitting up, cooing, and of course, toots.

Love, Mabel

PS - I'm turning 4 months old on Saturday. Don't tell my mommy; it will make her too sad.

Happy Monday

A whole swirl of activity is going on in my brain today.

It's Monday, which I like, which means it's a new week, a fresh start - and I have a TON of things to do.

  • I have to make a list of what to pack to go see Lulu. My bag, Moo's bag (and fret about how to haul them through the airport while pushing Moo in her stroller), shoes, toiletries, baby junk, my camera, the list is GROWING.

  • Start an inspiration binder/file/journal about our new place, wherever that is. I'm itching. It will still be a couple of months yet, but I need to do it. And it will take many, many lists, lol.

  • Worry about my mom (prayers requested, please). No further details right now.

  • Write a letter TO my comfy shoes (that I'll never mail) stating why exactly they do not support and comfort me anymore. A list of resentments. This, at the advice of my therapist, is needed for me to drop the guilt I feel about taking my shoes off.

  • Report my comfy shoes to greater authorities for failure to do as they have been ordered. Fun.

On a different note, we had much excitement on Martin Luther King Day. Trevor finally, FINALLY lost a tooth. Poor kid is over 7 and finally joining the likes of his peers.

Of course the tooth hullaballoo got Andy all sorts of jealous, ever wanting to follow in Trevor's footsteps - or even maybe one day actually beat him to something. He sulked and fussed for better than an hour that he hadn't lost his very own tooth. So, I sat down and checked his teeth just to make him feel better - at 5 1/2 I certainly didn't expect any wigglers (especially since older brother is over 7!). Wouldn't you know. Even Andy's teeth have Andy's timing. They do things when they want to do them. Making a statement the whole time, lol. All four bottom teeth are loose. Thank GOODNESS Trevor lost his first - he would have been crushed!

For now, Andy is a wiggling fool, trying to get one/some/all to fall out so that he, too can be visited by the tooth fairy and get a dollar.

Why do they have to grow up so fast? :(

January 18, 2008

*Whispers* He's Reading, Just Don't Tell Him You Know

Because we moved halfway through this schoolyear, I was unsure if Andy would bridge the gap between the two schools' philosophies and learn to read. After all, Trevor did - they did phonics work at their old school and it was a phenomenal way to get them reading. But how would Andy fare having been ripped away from the phonics and stuck with ordinary M says "mmmm" junk? I kept waiting for take-home reading assignments like Trevor had last year at this point, that he muddled through for practice, and there have been none. I kept waiting for a stack of flash cards full of sight words that have to be memorized - nope.
Honestly, I was beginning to get just a tad bit worried even though, secretly, I think Andy has known how to read for a couple of months now at least. If you stuck a book in front of him, he wouldn't read it or show very much ability to even try... but if you snuck up on him in front of the cable TV menu, a favorite movie cover, or even paid attention as you were driving down the road, you would hear him say things like, "look, we're on Central Avenue" or "Hooter's is open, Mom." Hmmm. Then he started looking at food packages and said things like, "Hey, Mom, I can spell 'crackers' and then he would spell it (not realizing that he'd just read 'crackers' in the first place).
Andy has always done this. Always has to do something on his own time and show you when HE was ready for you to know - walking, pottying, all of it. Sneak up on him and you'll catch him doing it. Ask him if he can and NO WAY!
And here we are again. Except here he must have felt ready because the child came home from school, sat down at the kitchen table with a book from his backpack and promptly started reading. Then he picked up a second book and he read that one, too.

e was so proud when I busted him for reading. :)

He is SUCH a stinker. But man, oh man, do I ever love him.

He's Her Brother

Last night was great. The boys don't have school today or Monday, so we started the weekend early. We ordered pizza and watched Harry Potter & The Order of The Phoenix. Very fun. Moo was a bit fussy at one point so I laid her on the couch in front of me, cradled in my armpit like she likes. She was immediately content (this baby has ALWAYS had a thing for body closeness) and proceeded to sucking her fists and cooing. Anyhow, Lulu called and I hopped up to answer the phone. I turned Moo sideways so she wouldn't roll off of the couch (she refuses to even attempt rolling - her thighs are too fat) and spoke on the phone in the kitchen. I heard Andy escape to the basement. Moo fussed here and there but I knew Trevor would get her binky if she needed it.

Moments later I peeked out into the living room to check on my two darlings and I caught a glimpse of Trevor's alfalfa sprout sticking up from the couch. I very quietly grabbed my camera and took this.

Seems Trevor wanted to experience a bit of that little sister smooshy body closeness for himself. I love that both of the boys try really hard to soothe her; it's so sweet.

So, Lulu and I continued to gab for a while and when we hung up and I went back into the living room, I was greeted by another site that melted my heart.

He'd somehow managed to sit her up, get underneath her with the Boppy pillow, lay her on top of it and had time to get all comfy, too. She was playing with his lips and nose (until I put a stop to that preciousness - I mean, hello - germs!).

He's her brother and she likes it that way.

January 15, 2008

16 Days

and counting

For The Love of Shoes, Part 2

So, two pairs of new shoes came in the mail for me last night. I love them. They got me thinking.

Have you ever had a pair of shoes for like, YEARS, that you just can't stop wearing? They seem to go with every outfit and mold to any occassion. They feel good on your feet and you look fantastifabulous in them. Your shoes garnish all kinds of compliments so you begin to think that they're the only pair you need... nothing could ever be wrong with your shoes... they must be PERFECT, right? You're perfectly happing tossing aside other shoes and wearing only that one pair of comfy shoes. You take good care of your shoes, too - truly trying everything you can to keep them around forever.

Sometimes your comfy shoes continue to fit you well despite the constant wear but sometimes (and this is scary if you're dedicated and love your shoes) they just give out. Most of the time you don't even realize that they're worn out until you have the guts to take them off of your feet and inspect them a little bit. Look at places you might not really want to see, like say, every road you've ever walked.

Sometimes the sole is worn out and your shoes can no longer support you and the dreams you're on your way to achieving.

Sometimes the sides break down and just don't comfort you anymore.

Sometimes we look down and notice that our poor shoes need some attention if they're going to keep carrying us over the long haul. Maybe in an effort to spiff up your shoes you put them in the washer and dryer to clean them off a bit - refresh them and make them like new again. Only, your shoes are shrunken and misshapen after that wash. And maybe, despite your best efforts, they don't feel good anymore. Maybe they even hurt.

Sometimes you notice that, over the years, your feet have grown and changed and that you can't get to where you need to go anymore.

Maybe you start to wonder why you're wearing shoes at all. If your feet are tired and hurting, isn't it easier to just kick them off and walk on your own bare feet?

Truth is, most of us would keep wearing our comfy shoes despite all of these changes because that's what we're used to. We push and shove our feet into this pair of comfy shoes that we're afraid to part with even when we're not supported, not comforted, not carried and feeling pain. When we're no longer getting compliments or feeling great in or about our shoes.

We're afraid to take them off and do that true inspection I was talking about - to look at where we've been and wonder why we wore those shoes for so, so long. Because it hurts to think you've been walking in vain and making your pain worse.

I think we're afraid to do it because we'll not only realize that our shoes need tossing, but also that our feet are no longer the same. That our feet really hurt. I think we're afraid to think about what that means and how to deal with it.

Well, I'm in the process of tossing my comfy shoes. I've had the same pair on my feet for more than a decade and they are showing more than signs of wear. They have disintigrated, really. And when I think about it, my feet really, really hurt. Truth is, they haven't really been supported or comforted or carried for a long time no matter how I tried to think so. Taking care of my shoes didn't work. They just gave out. Wore out. Maybe I outgrew them and deserve better shoes.

So, I think I'll find me a pair of boots that were made for walking. Walking boots that will help take me where I need to be to be HAPPY.

A Tired Little Hippanus

So, my mom got Mabe an exersaucer for Christmas. It's totally darling. When she starting trying to constantly pull herself into a sitting position a week or so ago, we thought we'd give the saucer an early debut. So, we stuffed blankets around her pudgy middle and put a towel under her toes. She played heartfully for a full 5 minutes. And then this.

As you can see, our little hippanus tires easily.

January 14, 2008

The Latest WIP

I spent hours this weekend working on a new project. It was totally fun to work with felt. I can't show the whole thing to you yet, but here is a sneak peek:

I'll share more soon!

Happy Monday!

I've decided that I no longer hate Mondays. I like - no LOVE - Mondays. Because you know what Mondays are? They are a defined reason to begin fresh. The entire week starts over. I mean, sure, time continues to pass us by and we can't go back in time or retreive anything we missed (believe me, with 3 growing kiddos I totally know that cliché). But when Monday comes it's almost like a blessing. A new chance to rework the routine of the week - and for us Mommies, that is BIG. It's a new opportunity to show your kids/spouse/friends/whomever what they mean to you. A new chance to "do it right." A new opportunity to find yourself. *ding, ding, ding* THAT is what today is screaming at me. I need to do more work on ME. And that is making me happy today.

So, we had a good weekend. It was great, really. Sure it was full of logistical mess and trying to cram 1 gillion things into an hour like I typically do when I procrastinate. But, we all woke up. We are alive and put our feet on the floor. And I made some time to sit and vegg out with the kids (Ratatouille and Spiderman 3 back to back), time to tickle them senseless (Mabel not so much - she's really not ticklish), and I made time to be creative. That is BIG.

Here are 3 pages I did this weekend.

I'm not entirely sure this one came out exactly like I saw it in my head, but it's close enough. I think it gets the point across, don't you? :) I tried it without the painted edges and that was too sterile looking for the bright colors on the page... and then I thought about doing a very thin paintwash (in yellow) over the Heidi Swapp alpha, but changed my mind. Sometimes it's good to leave well enough alone.

Here is a perfect example of a lift going astray, lol. I lifted Jamie Waters on this one. Things started changing when I realized I hadn't printed my pictures quite small enough. And I was concerned that the backgrounds in the pictures were really too dark to make this page look the way I wanted to lift. I added the same red Queen & Co stars, a Santa head that I printed and cut out from MS clip art, a strip of the only red patterned paper I have (need to get some), and yes... I'll admit that is a *whispers* Jolee's light bulb garland. In the end, it looks totally different than intended, but I like it nonetheless.

Finally, a page of Miss Moo. I have to share a short story with you before you can fully appreciate the hilarity of this layout (and then again you might not then either, lol). But it's funny to me. Anyway, moving on... my mother in law bought Mabel a very fancy outfit from Strausberg Children's when she was born. I took a few pictures in the bonnet and bloomers (check out my blog in early October and you'll see them), but then our life imploded and the outfit was packed away and Moo grew unbelieveably fast. So, the mother in law was pestering me to take some pictures of her ("all professional-like") in the full outfit so that she could have an oil painting made. I am flattered by this, but time has not been on my side. As a newly single mom it's not easy making time for baths, meals, and breathing, let alone a photo shoot. Long story short, I stuck her in the newborn-sized outfit at 12 weeks. It was HILARIOUS how her fat rolls chubbed out of the sides and edges of this thing, lol. I had to take it off pretty quickly because it was cutting off the circulation to her big fatso arms. So, I took a bunch of fancy pictures. They are beautiful and darling, but I'm not a super fancy gal and neither is my Mabel. I took the fancy booties off of her chubbo feet and took the bottom shot. Then I took the one of her tipping over while reaching for her feet (and trying to breathe inside of this WAY too dang small outfit) by mistake. I HAD to scrap them.

A close up of the painted foam stamp (Michael's for $1, people!), the Thickers alpha, a red button, and a white glass brad from whoknowswhere.

January 10, 2008

For The Love of Shoes

Shoes are one of the things that can make me silly happy. Dumb, I know, but I'm a woman. What do you want? :) Guys don't get how shoes can make you feel like all is right with the world if something awesome and beautiful is on your feet.

So, I *swooned* so much for these, that I bought them this week. They should come via UPS delivery sometime next week. In plenty of time for my visit to see Lulu!

Are these seriously not the happiest shoes you've ever seen???

That's right, Moo and I are leaving on a jet plane in February to go see our Lulu. We're both like little kids on Christmas! It's been almost a full year since we've seen each other, though we've logged literally 1,000 hours at least on the phone over the last 4 months alone. I can't wait!

So, I need to make a list of things to take with us (including those 3 pairs of yummies up there - IF the boots fit in my suitcase, lol). I've never flown with an infant on my lap OR done a connecting flight before, so I'll be braving new waters. I'm so excited and a not apprehensive at all. Not one bit. I mean, if you had to travel to the ends of the earth to see your own private angel in person wouldn't you do it?

Thought so. Me & my angel are going to get tipsy, get tattooed, and get back to being "us" (in person, that is). It really is like being a kid on Christmas eve. Love ya, Lulu!

January 7, 2008


Alas, a few more pages over the weekend.

This one is a lift of Jamie Waters. I made it my own, but I was inspired by the idea of capturing my thoughts and grief over my last pregnancy - and I totally loved the layout.

For this one, I got into the transparency idea. I printed out a coloring book page and made a transparency out of it. Then, I journaled on the rough side of the transparency after attaching it to the page.

This might be my first pull-out, ever. Seriously. If not, it's been so long since I've done one that I don't remember doing it, lol.

This one didn't come out the way I wanted it. I'm probably going to order a Heidi Swapp polka dotted mask, pull everything off of the black cardstock to paint white polka dots on it, and then reattach. This one started off digital and I reworked it in real life. Not finished yet.

This one is a lift of Donna Downey, big time. I loved the 'Did You Know?' idea to capture all of Mabel's cuteness. Now I'm having trouble with the title - that's what that huge blank space is for near the top. Ideas?

I worked on this one over Christmas break but finally added the pic to it last night. I love the page, but the journaling is far too private to share. Sorry!

And finally, one of my absolute favorite pages - EVER. I think it's the American Crafts polka dotted paper that I love so much. I've been dreaming up this page since I was still pregnant, and I'm so glad that it came out in real life the way I saw it in my head.

Dear Cranky Schoolbus Driver

Okay, I'm ranting for a moment.

Today - for the third time in the three weeks since they started riding - the schoolbus driver drove. right. by.


I hollered (yes, HOLLERED), "HEY!!!" We were standing right in the driveway, but weren't in the street. Apparently this schoolbus driver only stops when the children stand directly in front of her bus as it's coming toward them. THEN she realizes she has to stop. If she does it again, I'm calling the school.


On an unrelated note, I have a funny story to share. Andy often flounces about the house talking to himself, pretending, being Zorro, an ambulance (pronounced 'am-bee-wance' by Andy) driver, or whatever and over the weekend, he was cheering. I don't know what he was cheering for. He started with, "two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate?" and then starting with the musical countdown of, "one, TOOT, a-one, TOOT, three, four!" He's so cute I could eat him up.

January 4, 2008

More Pages

Here are some more paper layouts I did over holiday break. I'm feeling the mojo, Baby!

January 3, 2008

New Pages!

I made time to scrap over the holiday break. Here are a few of my new pages. Apologies in advance for the blur (sadly, I now realize it has nothing to do with pregnancy; perhaps I just can't stand up straight).

More to come soon!