Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Lone Hair...
I found one. It's the first one. Again. It first showed up a couple of months ago and I plucked it out. Well, I found it again yesterday. I plucked it again. I'm entirely too young to have any. Although, it was that beautiful shade of silver white that shines so much it looks like it sparkles and always looks so classy. I'm gonna be HOT as an old grandma!
Other Updates!!!
Grandma bought this sweater a couple years back and it finally fits! Just in time for Easter too. Although Cecelia chose a shirt that's still a little big on her to wear underneath. What am I going to do...

Isla in a 3-6 month outfit. We went to the doctor's this morning. Hers, not mine. For her 2 month check-up she's measuring 24.5 inches (97%) and 12lbs, 7.75oz (85%). She's still measuring longer that Cecelia at the same age. Seriously, miracle grow??? What's funny is the doctor looks at that info and then by force of habit asks me if she's eating okay. I couldn't help smirking and he started laughing at the question before I could even answer. She's measuring the average size of a four month old. I'd say she's eating pretty well. Silly Man. Anyway, we went through all the bells and whistles and passed. I never had a doubt.

This past weekend was a busy one. We finally sucked it up and bought the new camcorder that we've been talking about buying for two years (give or take). It's tiny and pretty and wonderful. It also means that I did not take a single picture with the camera all weekend. We went to a birthday party for Ciara (Diego's little sister) on Saturday. I have video. No still photos. We had the kids dancing at home. Wow, Aidan. That's all I can say. Again, video, no pictures. We took Cecelia and Aidan to Stomp on Sunday afternoon. I don't have video or pictures of that one because you're not allowed to. However, I will tell you that Aidan thought that was the 'best ever!' His words not mine. And was jamming throughout the entire show. Cecelia liked it a lot too but was a little more reserved with her body movement. A REALLY good time was had by all, including Yaya. We twisted her arm to hang out with Isla.
More than just a good name...
Also, last week I found a little time on Friday to finish the squares to a lap quilt I started. Each square measures 14.5 inches and I'm using my Swanky (seriously love that name) jelly roll. I've started trimming the squares to put together but I'm trying to make myself finish up Thursday's homework today before I go back to quilting. Here's a close up of one of the squares and then a lay out of all the squares. I still have some fabric from it so I'll be putting a boarder on it but I'm not sure what kind yet.

Alrighty, that's all I can think of for right now. I'm off to go be productive and get all my work done so I can play tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another day, another lesson plan.
I've finished another one. I'm so close to having this project done. I'll be super excited when it's all over. Although I'm taking classes this summer so really I'll get about a week and a half of freedom before it's back to classes for me.
Currently, I'm waiting for Isla to finish her morning 'present' for me and I'm trying to focus enough to actually retain my studying. It's not working very well.
Last night we put Isla in the crib to sleep. Most of you know that I breast feed and I'm incredibly lazy at night so I co-sleep too. Last night was the first time in what seems forever that I had my own space. I actually slept by myself. Well, sort of. Mark was there but he's so used to a baby being in the bed and me smacking him in my sleep if he gets too close to her that he stays on his own side of the bed. Poor Mark. Always getting beat up. Anyway, Isla slept for 3.5 hours by herself (would have been 4.5 hours but I didn't go to bed right after feeding her), ate and went back to sleep in the crib for another 3 hours. Then we sort of ate, sort of just complained that we were by ourselves so I kept her with me for the last hour in bed. Not bad for a first go at it though!
Here's Isla this morning. She's so cute. What's funny is when I widen the view a little...

You can see her guard dog. Ever so vigilant, right by her side. I really love our dog.

It's so funny how much Molly has changed with our kids. She's a little less crazy about each baby after Cecelia. She has a learning curve too. But she's there every time Isla cries or makes a squeak or might need a good cleaning. It's the best thing ever. I have a million pictures of all three of the kids as babies with Molly this close. God help the idiot that ever tried to break into our house. Because no one else would dare get between Molly and her pups.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Link
I've added a new link to the blog. xbox4nappyrash. Apparently nappy rash is another term for diaper rash. It's about an Irish couple and their trials and tribulations to conceive a baby. It's pretty funny, sort of. The writing is funny, not the topic. Check it out though. I'm not sure if it's because they're Irish or because we took so long getting pregnant with Isla or the writing but I like reading it. As a side note, I'm completely jealous of their health insurance. Let me know what you think.
PS: Thanks again to Stephanie. You always seem to find these bleeding heart stories that I get completely hooked on!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pictures as promised
I've polished two lesson plans, finished two math problems, four loads of laundry, and even managed a shower. Alas, I'm sitting back down to watching twenty minutes of a forty-five minute show. I've yet to get any coffee though so on my way to get Cecelia, I'm stopping by the store and getting creamer!

Fabric sale!!! I found an amazing deal online. These showed up last week. I LOVE mail!

Here's the quilt top I finished earlier in the week. The only sewing I did this week. As soon as I get ahead in homework, I'll be hitting my new pile of fabric. I can use it to distract me instead of tv shows.
No good creamer to boot!
Spring break is officially over. Although a far cry from what it once was for me, still a nice break. I did a little quilting and then spent the rest of the time working on lesson plans and staring a wall. Which may sound weird but was much needed. I spent most of my time trying not to be alone and definitely trying not to think too much. For the most part, I was pretty successful. Now it's back to reality. I've got to finish up my two weeks worth of lesson plans for one class and study for an exam on Thursday. Somewhere in there I'll fit in working on the math due Friday night. I'm so close! There's only six more weeks of school left!
More importantly, only three weeks left until I know for sure what I'm dealing with for perks. I think the not knowing is what's doing me in. I had started up a book club and after picking three books that were very stimulating and entertaining but horribly messed up and depressing, I'm taking a break from the book club. I'm reading something rather vanilla and nice and I know will have a happy ending. I've also found that all my most loved tv shows are out right now. They are all medically based have picked the last couple of weeks to talk about people dying of cancer. Not a good topic right now. I start crying and then can't stop. Seriously, I tried to explain to poor Mark yesterday that this would all be interesting enough without the serge in hormones. So whatever emotion I happen to run in to, it's jacked up on speed. It's all very annoying. And extremely exhausting...
Besides all of this, I wake up this morning and get kids ready and drop Cecelia off at school. Get Aidan set up with something to entertain him and turn on the computer to get in my homework time and see if I can finish up those lesson plans. To make this all perfect, I go into the kitchen and start my coffee. Then it hits me. I've run out of the good creamer. The stuff that makes coffee go from yum to Y..U..M...M...Y..... Damn it Jim!
I think it's going to be one of those days...
(Pictures to follow later when I've actually gotten some work done)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunshine = Smiles!
Yesterday was so nice out! We went out back and worked on the yard and played with the kids and had a fantastic time! I even remembered to bring the camera out with us. Everyday should be this relaxing. Even the dogs were enjoying the sun. This will be a St Patty's day for the books!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bit 'O Irish Cheer!

Looking adorable but already onto outfit two.

This was yesterday. We went for a walk along the river and took Sara with us. It's a good thing my dogs are so nice to the kids. As to avoid fights over who gets to walk the dog, we bring two leashes. Sara walks calm enough to get away with this. It's really very cute to see.

I am very blessed. There has been an outrageous amount of support through phone calls and in person. Thank you! I am so grateful. I'm tired of crying though. Seriously, you all know I hate not being in control of my emotions and loosing my shit in public is about the most wicked annoying thing to me. So, I love you all but please stop asking questions or bringing up my medical perks out in public. I'm sure half the city thinks I'm a loony already. Let's redirect. If you'd like to show support or whatever, instead wink at me or something. This allows me to not have to talk about anything if I'm feeling emotional but still allows you to say something with out saying something. Plus, it can be like a secret gang or something. I find it amusing to think about people winking at me at random. Sounds like a lot more fun than walking around wondering who's going to ask me something that's going to make me cry. A lot less stressful. I promise to keep everyone updated in what ever I know and please feel free to still ask any questions, just wait until I'm at home. I don't mean to sound ungrateful at all! I'm just finding it exhausting to talk about all the time.

Monday, March 16, 2009

MacGyver... Whatever!
Yesterday Mark and I were running around with the kids and having a lazy afternoon. We stopped at the store to get some dinner before heading home and as we're getting in the car, Mark lets me know that Aidan is harboring a particularly fantastic present in his pull-up. He now wants to know where I think he should lay him down to change him. I take over because I do NOT want anything in my car or all over Aidan because he has to ride home in my car and this is just something far easier for me to take care of then try to instruct Mark. He gladly allows me to take over. As any mom, I get things changed without a hitch and we're on our way. The conversation that followed was pretty funny. Mark made some comment about how I was a super mom and cool like MacGyver. Mark and I started to talk about how cool we used to think MacGyver was. Now I just realize that he was probably raised by a single mom and Mark made the comment that the only reason the show made it was because it was a guy doing all this stuff. No one would be impressed with a woman doing it because moms across America do it every day. THANK YOU!
Ladies, take notice! At least one man has noticed how much mothers pull off everyday and that we definitely do not get the recognition we deserve.
On another note, my friends have been pointing out awesome silver linings to all of my 'perks' lately and the coolest one showed up this weekend. Stephanie let me know that general anesthesia gives your metabolism a jolt. AWESOME. That'll give me the leg up on Mark and I's little contest! Nice! You all know I like to win.
I'm off to quilt. Assuming Aidan lets me:)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stephanie and Riley were in town this weekend for some MUCH needed TLC. We hit shopping, eating and even caught the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. (For those of you who have not see it, it's awesome!) So good to see old friends. Stephanie got to meet the newest addition to the clan and see in person how perfect Isla is. Not single tear while she was here. Stephanie kept waiting for a fit of some sort but went home as a witness that I really do have the perfect babies. Plus, both Friday night and Saturday night, Isla went 6 hours, that's right I said SIX HOURS, at night without eating!!! She's not even seven weeks old! I think she can just tell that mommy needs a little extra niceness right now.
Riley is almost as tall as me! I still think of her as the little girl at my wedding, the one I used to pack up and take every where with me in Pittsburgh, my first child. Now she's almost nine and too old to be cuddled. How did that happen!?! Stephanie and I had good conversations and a relaxing weekend. Just what I needed. I tried to get her to stay but alas, she's still got Harold, Kendell, and Lucky back home so we had to watch them drive away and Cecelia already start to ask when they can come back and why can't they stay.
Here's their first night here. Riley got a pretty new do.

This was on the way out. The Ballentine kids taking Riley down in a 'hands-on' good-bye.

A picture just for Stephanie. I took this just in time for Isla to explode all over it. Plus I'm not sure we'll get to wear it again since she's growing like a weed.

It's a beautiful day and I'm off to enjoy it. More to come...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today sucked.
So I sat around today absorbing everything that I learned yesterday, fighting the urge to be a shut in and ignore the world. Then I had to go to class and behave normal. At the end of class I decided better tell my prof and get it over with because I'm supposed to have an exam on April 8th but we have the info meeting with the doctor on the 7th and I just don't think I'm going to be able to focus on studying or a test between the meeting and the operation. I'm pretty sure it's going to take the majority of my focus to not loose my shit in front of my kids who will be on spring break that week and home with me the whole time. Anyway, I'm going to see if I can take the exam on Monday instead and get it out of the way. My prof still has to know. Plus I think it's a good idea in case some day I freak out. Better to plan for it just in case. I'm pretty confident that I can process all of this in a calm manner but seriously, I did just have a baby too and there's all sorts of hormones with that ball of joy. It was all I could do not to break down while giving the bare essentials to my prof because she's a mom and has that mom look and I know she just wanted to hand me a box of tissues and hug me. I'm half laughing and half crying even as I type. I'm such a mess. I prepared myself for the baby stuff. Sleepless nights, sore body, emotions, etc. but the added psychobabble attached to this new medical perk is a bit much. I'm glad next week is spring break. I plan on doing a lot of quilting and ignoring the phone. (I have my eye on a big bundle of fat quarters on sale 1/2 off as soon as our tax money drops!)
For tonight, I sent Mark to the store after putting the kids to bed to go get me some mini Reese's cups. Chocolate therapy was a must for the evening. Don't judge me! I still have to be able to focus enough to get my homework done for tomorrow's class. Besides, I'll make up for it by spending extra time on our wii fit. At least until Cecelia kicks me off so she can do the yoga.
PS: Thanks for the honesty Dani.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Doctor's Visit
I went for my six week check up today. Post-baby, I'm doing very well. I also got an ultrasound to see if the cyst I had in August was still there or had gone away. It's still there and has not changed. There's a good side and a bad...
The Good: It's not dangerous. It hasn't burst, gotten bigger, turned into anything else, or crawled out and demanded to be called Frances. (don't ask)
The Bad: It has to be cut out. On April 9th. (awesome. especially since I've managed to avoid this during all three kids) It might be holding precancerous cells.
The Ugly: If it doesn't have any funky cells, then that's the end of the conversation. If it does have funky cells, I loose my left ovary right away, that day, right then and there. And then I have a couple more years if we want more kids before I have to have the right one out. At which point I will be thrust into menopause at the ripe old age of mid or late 30's. Again, awesome.
According to proper 'Reg' protocol, I have had a quick emotional break down freak out. I've now moved on to annoyed. Next will come the pissed off. Which I will hold on to as long as needed, depending on the out come of April 9th.
As all of this has happened I have given Isla LOTS of love today. We would not have found the cyst or been tracking how long it's been in there without her pregnancy. She really is such a perfect baby! I'll keep you posted as we figure everything out...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Just another day of quilting...
So I spent the weekend doing math and to reward myself, I spent the morning piecing together a quilt. I got a new magazine this weekend and saw a pattern in there that I liked. So I stole the idea and changed it a little. First thing's first though. Here's Isla over the weekend. She fell asleep on me and I transfered her to the couch next to me so I could do homework. Isn't she sweet!

Aidan was entertaining her earlier in the day. She was actually laughing at him. He's such a clown. God help his teachers!

This is Aidan today. He actually picked out his own outfit! Very proud! I was taking pictures of the quilt I'm piecing together so if it gets messed up somewhere along the way I have a way of putting it back together how I wanted. This is a must in my house.

Here's the quilt I'm working on. Well one of the quilts I'm working on. I used 12 fat quarters on it. It was one of the bundles I bought online for a steal. I sat there piecing it together just right because I do not have any extra fabric and of course you can't buy any more because it was clearanced out. It's a little hard to tell in these pictures but the diagonals are either all pinks, greens, or blues. It took a little bit of rearranging but I finally get it all laid out how I like it and I go to put in the last corner...

And this is what I run in to. I have a pink triangle left. That's it. Any other color would have worked but no, I end up with pink. Well, I didn't have it in my heart to undo everything I had just put together and there was NO easy fix so there's a super big pink corner. Other than that, I really like the way it's laid out. It will end up a lap quilt somewhere around 4' by 4.5'. It's a little on the girly side but I don't mind. Plus because of the muted colors, I think it works well without any filler fabric like a white in between which is what the magazine did. We'll see how I feel when I get the top all together and start quilting but so far, I like it.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Today I got one of those emails from a friend that has a whole list of questions and you write short little answers and then forward it to a ton of people. I rarely respond to these but I love reading them. I think their pretty funny. Or at least I think my friends answers are normally pretty funny anyway.
Today's had a question about your favorite time of day. My immediate thought was now. I have a lull in the mornings where I sit down and read a magazine or update the blog and check other blogs or watch the Today Show or whatever. I have quiet grown-up time with a good cup of coffee and a quiet house. Then I thought about the rest of my normal day and other times I like and found two times of the day that trump even now. They're a fair match and I don't think I could pick between the two so I thought I'd share them with all of you today.
The first is bedtime. I joke and say that I like it because I get to put my monkeys to bed and the house can be picked up and stay clean for about 12 hours but really I love it because Mark and I walk the kids up to bed together. Cecelia and Aidan run to pick out books and then Mark or I read and do funny voices and look at pictures and have a nice moment with the kids. Then we go through our blessings and everyone is reminded of how loved we are and how amazing it is to have such a long list of family and friends in our life. Then it's a couple of songs while Aidan runs to the bathroom and gets two cups of water, one for him and one for Cecelia. He takes the cups to her, they drink their water and then he takes them back to the bathroom for her. He insists on getting the water for her. It's so sweet. Then, while we tuck everyone in, hugs and kisses are passed around and things like 'I love you' and 'sweet dreams mama' are said and your heart warms and grows ten times bigger. Sometimes I don't always feel like going upstairs and strong-arming Aidan into pjs or arguing with Cecelia about why it's okay to wear purple tonight instead of pink but I go up anyway because regardless of what wars were fought that day, bedtime makes you feel all warm and fuzzy again.
The other is early in the morning. This is a revisited favorite because I tend to only be awake for it when there's a new baby in the house. As of lately Isla has been wanting to eat about 5am. The world is not quite awake yet but right on the edge. Aidan and Cecelia are still asleep in their beds dreaming those little kid innocent dreams of warm summer breezes and ice cream trucks and silly games at a park. Mark is peacefully sleeping next to me in bliss to have his eyes closed and completely relaxed and Isla and I stare at each other and revel in the quietness of the house and the beauty of a new day. My mind often wanders off to what I have to get done and who needs to go where and the joy of not having to deal with any of it just yet. Most of the time, Isla falls right back asleep after eating and so do I. This morning however I was still awake when Isla fell asleep in my arms so fast. I watched as she twitched a tiny smile in her sleep and then some really big smiles and then she giggled a couple of times in her sleep loud enough to wake herself up for just a second. Beautiful.
Today I feel overwhelmed with love. For my children. For my family. But mostly just for the life I get to have and how many favorite times of day I get.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Here's Olivia!!!

Chuck, Virginia, and Olivia! Lookin' good!
All are well. I hope they got some much needed naps today!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sweet success!
Cecelia got Isla smiling and I finally caught it on film. I thought this looked a little too familiar so I went back and looked at Aidan's baby pictures from the first couple of months...

This is what I found... WOW... There's some strong similarities there! I couldn't find one of Cecelia that fit. I'll have to go looking in my picture boxes to see if I can find one that looks just like this but she's not quite the clone these two are.

Another happy announcement! Chuck and Virginia had a baby girl this morning! Shorty before 8am, 7lbs 5 oz and 19.5 inches long Olivia Terrill Andres greeted the world! Congrats!
And because my parents are hand delivering their blanket, I can FINALLY put up pictures of it!

The back is entirely that red fabric. You can't tell from the pictures but it has an ever so small gradation of lights and darks.

These are the labels I ordered just after Christmas. I love them! They don't have dates or names but they get the job done.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Trying to catch a smile...
Isla has been giving actual smiles the last couple of days but they only last a fraction of a second so catching it on film is pretty tricky. Here's a couple of funny photos we ended up with instead of the smile.

A finished top!!! Even though Mark has passed on some lovely illness to me this weekend, I managed to get the top finished to the dino blanket that will some day be Aidan's. I am so proud of how cool this turned out. I'll be leaving this one alone for a little bit though. I haven't decided what to put on the back or what to use for binding. So for now, I'm onto the next one!

Here's a close up of the trim work to show off how well the corners came out.

Last night Isla fell asleep in my arms after filling her belly and was very happy drunk on booby milk. She was flashing the biggest smiles in her sleep. We actually managed to catch one after a couple of tries.