Friday, December 26, 2008

The Big Day and the Aftermath

Here it is, the long awaited for Christmas slide show. Enjoy!

You Know You've Done Something Right

It's no secret that I can get a bit stressed when I'm packing us up to go away for a few days. The to-do list seems too big, I have to pack for four people, remember diapers and wipes and baby stuff, I'm nearly always leaving the house in some sort of disarray, I have to set up the animals with food and water for days and a clean litter box for the cats, and often Gideon is screaming because I won't hold him and Zion is screaming because she is excited to see Tantie and wants to leave NOW! The other day was no exception. I fell going down the stairs, fell going up the stairs, banged my elbow, banged my back, the dog food bag fell over and spilled dog food underneath the dryer, one of the goodies for Christmas was stuck on the cookie sheet, I had packages to get ready to mail, a car to load and I haven't even packed yet. In the midst of this chaos and my running back and forth through the house and being a bit short with the kids Gabe stops me and tells me he's sorry that I'm upset and, get this, asks "Mama, would it help if I said a prayer for you?" Screeeech!!!! Talk about putting on my brakes and filling me with a sense of peace. He does pray and it's a great prayer and suddenly I can go about calmly again and I am amazed with him and the knowledge that somewhere, sometime, I did something right with that one. Thank you, God.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours and may you receive all of God's blessings in the coming year.

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

... and my sister doesn't even have a darn fireplace.

At My Sister's

We managed to get to Jamie's alright yesterday and it's a darn good thing because it started snowing again sometime in the night and it hasn't stopped since. My sister's area has more than a foot now. I took some cool pictures and will post them as soon as I can get them on my computer. For now, here's little Zion in front of the Christmas tree.
I'm in love with this picture. I took it with my cell phone and then "treated" it with a special application that I downloaded. With her in that position looking down at her hands it looks like Christmas morning and time to open presents when in actuality it was yesterday and she's cracking in to some fruit snacks. tee hee

Baby Boot Camp

Amber asked how Gideon's "boot camp" is going. Well, it worked!

For two nights.

As usual, anytime I've tried something new it has worked a couple of times and then he's on to me. After that it's worse than it ever was. This time it didn't get too much worse but it hasn't gotten good again. For two nights though I actually got almost 4 hours consecutive sleep. Wow!

One good thing though is that I'm getting better at ignoring him. Well, at least it's easier to do through two closed doors and down a hallway. So there have been a couple of times where he has woken me by crying but I have been able to roll over and at least doze in and out until I realized that he was quiet again.

We're at Jamie's for Christmas so all of our sleep habits are going to go down hill but we'll be back in boot camp again once we're home. I'm still hoping that this will do the trick and he'll be sleeping through the night soon!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Time. Such an odd little thing. The Friday before last I woke up and looked at the clock at it was 8:45. Normally I wouldn't mind still being in bed at 8:45 but on Fridays Gabe and Zion have swim lessons.

At the Y.

At 9:50.

The Y is 25 minutes from our house and it takes about 15 minutes for us to get from the car to inside and check Gideon into the nursery and get us all changed for the pool. In order for us to make it I needed to get all four of us up and out of bed, dressed and fed and in carseats with buckles on in 20 minutes. Welp, I made it. I still can't believe it.

Today I wanted to take the kids for Santa pictures. Easy peasy, right?

It took FOUR hours. Four hours from the time we left our neighborhood to the time we arrived back in our town and not counting the time it took in the KFC drive through 'cause I was not interested in cooking dinner at that point. The kids did great waiting in line (thanks mostly to me remembering to bring snacks) and the picture turned out really cute. This is the third year in a row that we've been to this same Santa. When I have time (ha ha) I'll scan it and post it. For now, I've got to get us packed. Tomorrow is supposed to be the best weather day this week and, let we get stuck here, I'm taking all of us to my sister's tomorrow instead of waiting. Later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!


Just remember to scroll all the way down and pause my regular music so you can hear the video.

Not In The Doghouse

First, go here and watch the video - The Doghouse.

Yesterday I got the Christmas gift that Rob sent and let's just say he is SO not in the doghouse. He upgraded my cell phone to one of those ultra fancy schmancy ones that does everything. And I mean everything! Well, except it doesn't babysit. Wish it could though. But anyway, I'm totally surprised and pleased. Good one, Rob! Though, I hope you know that you have totally raised the bar for next Christmas. ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Belated 6-Month Pictures

I know, this is about 6 weeks too late but better late than never right? Here's just a peek at a series of photos that were done. I brought the caterpiller and book and the pictures are in one print just like this:
OK, everybody together now "awwww!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Catching Up

Once again I am terribly behind on pretty much everything. Laundry, cleaning, Christmas stuff, blogging. Well, I've got a load in the washer, a load in the dryer, everything else is sorted and ready. The dishwasher is just finishing a load and, thanks to a kind volunteer babysitter from my church, I got some Christmas shopping done today (now comes the wrapping). So I'm going to try to catch you all up on the latest goings on.

Last week I was getting mentally prepared to head up to my sister's for the weekend. A midweek weather report for freezing weather and possible snow put the halt on that since I knew I couldn't leave the dog in the yard all weekend. Too cold for poor Towz. Any other weekend I would have been content to just hang out at home but last weekend was my birthday weekend and sitting at home alone (yeah. "alone". just me and three kids under 4) just didn't feel right so I called my neighbor who agreed to let the dog in and out for me. Woohoo! Thanks Jennifer and Keith! So Friday after the kids' swim classes and my water aerobics class we headed up to my sister's.
Saturday the 13th AKA my birthday

My wonderful nieces and their friend Paisley give me their gift which was to watch the kids so my sister and I can go out. Yeehaw! I felt like a new colt fresh out of the barn on a sunny day. Or whatever visual helps you understand that it felt really great to get to go shopping and out to lunch and I didn't have to buckle anyone else's seatbelt, change a diaper, dry a tear, feed someone else or hear three demanding but loving voices crying "mama" every few minutes. Jamie and I went to a craft store and the mall and a little restaurant that I'd never been to called PF Chang's. Talk about yummy! Really, really yummy! I think we were out for about 5 hours. That is the longest that I've been away from Gideon since he was still in my belly. He is doing much better now that he'll eat some solids. The little stinker still won't take a bottle and he eats frequently so up until recently even two hours apart took some planning.

Bob makes an amazing dinner we've fondly come to call That Sausage Thing. I know. Makes you want to beg the recipe doesn't it? Well if you tasted it you would. It's SO good!

Later that night it snows. While I was in her family room Jamie took Zion out in the yard and showed her how to throw a snowball. When they came in Zion was in rare form talking madly and gesticulating wildly and telling such a story eyes like saucers and with a huge smile. I had to ask my sister what she was talking about, Zion was so excited that I couldn't understand what she was saying. I followed them back outside to see a demonstration of Zion throwing a snowball armed with Jamie's camera. I got some good shots of the kids playing in the snow but I'll have to wait to post them until I get them from my sis.
Sunday the 14th AKA my mom's birthday

Today I'm supposed to drive home. I spend most of the morning hemming and hawing over whether or not this will actually occur. Ultimately I decide that it's safest to wait a day to give the roads more time to dry out. The hills by both my sister's house and my house are notoriously bad when it's icy and it's just not worth the risk. On the flip side it gives us a chance to walk down to say "happy birthday!" and bring birthday cake to my mom.

Later I am reminded via e-mail that I've signed up to make a loaf of bread for the nursery workers at my MOPS group. I'm also reminded that it's my table's turn to bring food for the brunch which also reminds me that I was going to make a special treat for the ladies at my table which reminds me that Monday night is my Bible study's potluck and I'm supposed to bring a dish. After a few moments of mental panic because I know there's no way I can get all that done on time I call the Bible study leader to let her know that since I won't be getting back until Monday I'm going to skip our potluck. I then make plans to use my trusty breadmachine to make the bread instead of from scratch, will pick up something store bought for the brunch and will make Turtle candies instead of truffles for my ladies (less time consuming). With that I'm able to enjoy been "snowed in" at Jamie's for another day.

Jamie and the family had a commitment they must fulfill so they head out for a couple of hours. During that time I develop a "lovely" sore throat and by the time they come back feel pretty crappy. Great.
Monday the 15th and nobody's birthday that I know

I wake and my throat is so puffy and sore that I can barely swallow or talk, my sinuses are gooky and I feel generally yucky. *sigh* Still, by the time we leave at lunch time it feels like the worst is over and I feel good enough to hit Walmart on the way home. Ah, home. I can't wait to get back and crank out the goodies I need to make and relax a bit. As soon as I walked in the door I knew it was not going to be so. Without going into too many details I'll just tell you that I spent half the night cleaning up after what I'll call The Infamous Litterbox Incident of 2008 (which comes in a close second to The Infamous Litterbox Incident of 2007, story for another time). Apparently my wonderful neighbors thought to check the box on Sunday but were unaware that if you put too much litter in my cats' self-cleaning litterbox the rake won't dock and it will just keep running back and forth, back and forth through the litter.

Cats can't use a litterbox where the rake won't stop moving.

That was Sunday afternoon.

I got home Monday afternoon.

The cats have no access to the out of doors.

You get the picture.

Well, it wasn't the evening that I'd hoped for with a lot more cleaning then I had planned and I was up past midnight but at least everything got made that needed to get made and I even got a shower and a load of laundry done.
Tuesday the 16th - today (for another 18 minutes)

My alarm goes off at 7:30 so I can get us all up and out the door for MOPS. I don't know why I bother setting an alarm since Gideon is always awake by then but anyway. I succeed in getting us all dressed and in the car by 8:35. I'm backing the car out of the garage and as I'm slowly and carefully making my way past the Mustang and then Rob's truck I see that overnight some wonderful person egged the truck. What the heck?! In July some wonderful (probably the same) person paintballed the truck and it splattered the Mustang. It cost a shameful amount of money to have the Mustang detailed and the truck was only partially done (mostly because it hit the window and getting paint of glass is easier than getting paint off paint) and now there's frozen egg all over the darn thing (but not the Mustang that I can tell). Arg! I've already been feeling completely overwhelmed lately with my to-do list and I really didn't need to add to it. I would love to find the person who did it so I can make THEM wash the egg off!

So I do what I do when faced with disappointment. I call my sis. So, I'm on the way to MOPS still (and yes, I'm driving and talking on my cell legally using my Bluetooth) and I unload my frustration and hurt at being targeted by vandals for the second time and when I'm done she lets me know that our mom is in the hospital. Apparently a fall she had a week or so ago that broke her shoulder caused some internal bleeding at the break so she needed some blood and fluids for dehydration but she should be released in a day or so. Good news.

My MOPS meeting goes well. Turns out I hadn't forgotten anything at home. Cause for celebration! On the way home I pick up the girl from my church who has volunteered to babysit so that I can go Christmas shopping. After settling her and the kids in I head out for a little retail therapy and to cross a couple of things off my evergrowing to-do list. After a bit I'm actually feeling better. A little (a lot) cat pee, frozen egg and bad mom news can't get me down after all. I got a lot done in a few hours and headed for home. The moment I open my car door back in my garage and I know something is wrong. There's an odd sound coming from the corner. I turn. I look. I find a waterfall in my garage. That's funny. I don't remember our house having that particular water feature when I left. Have I mentioned recently that we're having temperatures in the teens around here? If you haven't yet figured it out I'll just come right now and tell you that we had a pipe freeze and burst and now water is spraying everywhere both inside and out of our garage. Yes. I did cry. But thanks to the babysitter's dad who showed up to pick her up and a kind neighbor we got the water shut off, found the break, shut off a different valve, got the water to the house turned back on, swept the water out of the garage, moved the soaked boxes to a dry spot (will have to go through those later) and wrapped as much of the pipe as possible in an old blanket so more won't freeze and break.

The bad news, I had yet another frustrating and disappointing evening, we have a broken pipe, about half a dozen boxes and their contents got soaked or at least partially wet, and my to-do list is growing faster than bunnies can multiply.

The good news, there just happened to be a babysitter at the house to handle the kids while I dealt with the indoor rain, the Christmas gifts and recent Costco purchases that I had stashed in the garage just barely missed being soaked, the break was in a place that we could shut off so the house still has water, a guy in my Bible study is a plumber and he has already promised to come out on Saturday to fix the break, and God is still good. That last one is a big one.

Drowning, floundering, overwhelmed, alone. All words that have described me lately. Oh yeah, and exhausted. I frequently don't talk about this sort of thing because I can't stand the thought that someone might pity me. So I may share these things in a lighthearted way but not in a true honest fashion that really lets people see the kind of place where I'm at. So I share with you that I'm not really in a good place right now. Not so you can pity me or feel bad for me because Rob's gone and I'm "doing this" alone but so you can pray for me. For us. And if you have promised to watch my kids or offered to help clean my house or whatever and maybe your life got busy too and you forgot, maybe to take a look at your calendar to see if there might be time for that in the next few weeks. Doesn't have to be before Christmas, I know we're all busy. But it is a relief for me mentally to know that I have a break coming or help and it is always good to know that we are being covered in prayer.

That said, you can specifically pray for Gideon and me in the next few days and nights. I've signed Gideon up for "Sleep Boot Camp" and it starts tonight. I've tried everything I can think of to get that kid to sleep more than 2-3 hours in a row at night and nothing has worked. He wakes. He wants to nurse. He will NOT accept anything but without a screaming fight that can last an hour or two or until I give in and nurse him. I am too bone tired to accept that challenge many nights so I often just nurse him and put him back down and repeat in a couple/few hours. When I have felt up to it, I've tried to soothe him through feedings in every way I can think and have every heard of anyone else trying. I've also tried to let him "cry it out". I've even left him in my room where his bed is and sleep in the guest room to try to get some sleep and none of it has worked to actually get him to sleep better.

Most if not all of you have probably already jumped to a conclusion as to why he's not sleeping and what I should do about it and you can stop that right now. This isn't my first rodeo people. Third child here. Been there and done that twice already and have really tried and tried and tried with this kid. So, tonight begins the Boot Camp. I've moved Gabe to the guest room for sleeping purposes and moved Gideon's crib to Gabe's room where he will be staying until he starts sleeping. After that I'm not sure what the arrangement will be but at least for now he's gonna have his own room. I'm not even sure what I hope to accomplish with this move except that, at the very least, I hope that his screaming tirades will be easier to sleep through. Wish me luck!

On that note, it's no longer Tuesday and I really need to get to bed. I feel better having caught you all up. Sorry that I had no pics to post. Soon. I promise.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Experiencing Life (Take Two)

I tried so hard to write this post yesterday but Blogger was not cooperating so here I am to try again.

Woohoo! It worked!

Can you believe that Gideon is 7-months old? It's hard for me to believe it? He has been experiencing so many new things lately. One of his favorites was "Lasagna with meat sauce" which translated from baby food-ese means "overcooked, mushy pasta in a highly staining glop". He loved it, squealed for the next bite over and over again.

Oh yeah, look at that face (even blurry from moving too quickly).

He also got moved up to a big boy car seat. This was a long time coming actually. Poor kid was getting jammed into his infant carseat a while after he was too big for it. I bought his new carseat a while ago but it had such a strong smell I had to let it sit in the garage for weeks before I put it in the car. Gideon has sensitive skin it seems so I wanted to make sure the fabric got to air out and now he can sit in it without getting a rash.

We were hanging out at my sister's Thanksgiving weekend when she decorated for Christmas so he got to experience his first Christmas tree. He loved it! And the ribbons he got to chew on while I took pictures.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, he really, really loves mashed potatoes. That's them all over his face.

And frozen bagel. He says "yum!"

I very much think he's going to be like Zion and only want to feed himself very quickly. She hit that mark by nine months or so and had a fit any time we tried to spoon feed her. She also quit taking purees very early. If it wasn't chunky, it wasn't going in.

This picture totally reminds me of that "Friends" episode where Monica put the whole turkey on her head and danced for Chandler to make him forgive her (for what I don't remember). Whole turkey, duck basket, same diff right.

Sorry for the blur, sometimes I don't use flash and sometimes it works out and sometimes not. This ones in the middle somewhere. Anyway, one of Gideon's favorite things to do is sit in front of the toy basket and empty all the toys out shaking and chewing on each one in turn.

He really, really likes it.

Well, that makes up for some of my absense on the blog lately and any frustration you may feel over a shortage of Gideon pictures. I hope to be back in the blogging saddle like old times very soon.


Today I "kidnapped" Gabe and just he and I went to see Bolt.

How fun was that?!

I thought you'd ask so let me tell you.

First, by lunch he was still in his PJs so I told him he'd better get dressed if we were going to go out. He said "I don't want to go out." in his chipper happy way that communicates that he's perfectly happy to stay home and play trains all day. So I told him that the babysitter would be here in an hour and if we were going to see Bolt he needed to be dressed. He looked at me in stunned silence and fell right over. Splat. On the ground. Don't worry. He does this when he's trying to show how surprised and happy he is about something. It is really funny when he does it though.

So shortly after I put Zion down for nap the babysitter came and took over with Gideon and Gabe and I headed out. Tuesdays is free popcorn day at Regal Cinemas and our local theater is a Regal so I got two popcorns and a medium drink for $5. Woohoo!

Gabe loved the movie but if you ask him he'll say "it was a bit too scary for me." It was only the second to last scene that has a - wait. Maybe you want to see this and haven't yet. OK, if that's the case, stop reading. If you don't care, scroll down.

Is it safe?

OK, the second to last scene has a scary fire where the dog, Bolt and his person, Penny, are caught and it is uncertain if they will get out. Otherwise, he thought the movie was funny and really like the pigeons. I too liked the pigeons and thought it was great how the pigeons' personalities changed depending on what part of the country they lived in, the Hollywood pigeons were particularly funny. Still, my favorite was Rhino the hamster and I think you'll hear that a lot.

I did find it irritating that the previews before the movie seemed nearly as long as the movie and one of them was definitely inappropriate for the age group (my 4-year old does NOT need to see a man photocopying his butt even if said man is a cartoon and even if it did make me chuckle) but if your youngster can handle a little "peril" (why this movie is a PG and not G movie) then I recommend it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Well, we finally have sickness out of the house - at least for now and I hope for a long time. We've been no less busy however. Jamie left on Tuesday, her stay extended by illness as well, Wednesday was a catch up day and prepare for Thanksgiving which included nearly burning the pecan pie. Arg! Thursday through Sunday night was stayed with my sister for holiday fun and a wee bit of shopping. Jamie went out with a friend for Black Friday while the kids and I opted for a far quieter activity and just got together with some friends. Yesterday we were busy with shopping, activities at the Y and then ended up having dinner with Nora and family. Today was MOPS, the library and dinner out. Currently I'm staring at a mountain of laundry the size of a small car (wanna guess who goes through the most clothes? I bet most of you won't get it first try) a coffee table covered with mail, a floor and couch buried under bags of supplies for Christmas goodies and a to-do list a mile long. Gideon has just woken up for the third time in 2 1/2 hours (his sleeping is worse than ever) and I wish there were three of me. One to do laundry, one to clean house, and the third, the real me, to love on the kids and catch up on sleep since laundry-me can sooth Gideon for real-me in between loads. I may get my Christmas cards out sometime in February. Consider this advance warning. But hey, I have a new toaster oven and that makes me happy. I am ever so fond of toaster ovens. Is that weird? I don't think so. They're like Easy Bake ovens only all grown up. This little box of toasting perfection is also a convection oven and can bake a 12' pizza. *sigh* I think I'm in love. Anyway, back to our regular scheduled programing.

I have a ton of pictures on my camera that I need to download and will do so when I have some free time.

Will you stop laughing already!

With pictures will probably come some more blogging. Sorry I haven't been on much lately. I kind of took a sick week. And then a little Thanksgiving vacation. I promise I'll be back to myself soon and blogging more regularly. Not to mention getting caught up with you all too. I feel so out of the loop lately.

God bless!