Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Monday, January 27, 2014

Pajama Party!

Laura's party was so much fun to plan this year, in part because she was so involved in the details!  She asked for a party where her friends would wear pajamas, with a pin the ___ on the ___ game, and a cake that tasted like strawberry, was pink on the inside with white frosting, rainbow sprinkles and real strawberries as decoration.  Pretty specific!  And luckily very easy for me to oblige!

In the end, Laura agreed to have a waffle bar: waffles (Bisquik for the win!), whipped cream, butter, chocolate chips, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, syrup, honey, sugar... And KFC chicken with gravy!!  The waffle bar was delicious and fun and super easy (I precooked the waffles and kept them warm in the oven.  Of course I didn't get a picture of the bar all set up!

Laura and I settled on Pin the Carrot on Olaf, since we are so obsessed with Frozen (and I found this great image on Google, credits go to I'm not exactly sure...)!  I PhotoShopped Olaf's nose off, and printed it at 150% and taped it together.  As it turned out, Laura majorly cheated and none of the boys cared to play.  Laura was thrilled, and that's all that matters!

A few searches on my beloved Pinterest really made the planing exceptionally easy.  Behold the cake!  A shout out to Pillsbury Strawberry Cake mix and classic white frosting.  I am so proud of this cake!

And it was delicious, too!!!

No survivors...

Laura talked me and Nate into wearing jammies, too.  I only wish we had taken a photo with Gavin, too.  (Please also note the 34 week belly...)

We ended the party with a Pandora Disney Channel dance party.  So, so much fun!

Favors were mini cereal boxes with thank-you puns taped on, and mini flashlights that were a huge hit with the 4 and under set.

Seriously, such an easy and fun party!!  And I can't believe Laura is two days from FOUR!!!!  We'll celebrate as a family by going out for Mexican on Wednesday :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Here's what 33 weeks looks like

Both kids insisted on sitting on my lap Monday night.  Then Laura insisted on having our picture taken.  Then she said it would be cuter with her standing to my side.  The short story is that I have this fabulous picture of me in all my 33 week glory for ever and ever.
Short story: I'm huge.

I had my 33 week check up today (at nearly 34 weeks).  Baby boy was head down, which is great news!!  I was convinced he was still head up, but I'm happy to be wrong.  The doctor did a quick ultrasound to be sure, and while watching we got to see him take several practice breaths in a womb brimming with fluid.  He's very healthy, and the fluid explains both my size and his ability to roam around so freely.  

I go back in two weeks for my group b strep test, my first internal, and another quick ultrasound to make sure he is still head down!!

I'm all dressed up in a floor length ball gown for Nate's annual work formal.  It's a dress I bought back in October for my own work's gala.  Wonder of wonders it still (sort of) fits!!  Thank goodness for stretchy empire waist dresses!

Laura's 4th birthday party is tomorrow and I'm exceedingly pleased with how my planning turned out.  More to come on that after the party!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Picasso

As an art history major, daughter of an artist, granddaughter to a prolific oil painter, it brings me so much joy to see Laura's artwork take off.  Random scribbles no more, Laura is drawing real, discernible scenes.

A portrait of our family in front of our fireplace:
The black is the soot.  Laura is seated to the left, Gavin is next to her with the fluffy hair.  Nate and I are standing to the right; I have the "enormous" tummy.

This is the children in their playhouse:
Gavin has the yellow hair to the right.  Riesling is the large, yellow labradoodle to the left (the resemblance is spot on).

A portrait of my aunt's two cats.
Lily is a white and orange cat; Laura left her open, since she couldn't draw white.  Scupper is brown with black stripes.

Cinderella next to her carriage:
The carriage is the rounded yellow part with the four black wheels at the bottom.

"The sky, a house with steps and even toys"

So maybe they aren't so amazing to every eye.  But to me, these drawings are more precious than the Mona Lisa.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Big Little

Laura is so often a self-proclaimed Big Girl.  She can do it herself.  She deserves privileges that little kids don't get.  She talks like a full-fledged adult, using huge words completely appropriately (including the word appropriate).  So often she acts and speaks in such a mature manner... I completely forget how young a nearly four year old still is.

She's only not-quite four.  She's barely three feet tall.  Her recent growth spurt means she finally sized out of her 3T clothes (but her waist is still too tiny for most 4T pants).  She is "instersted" in little girl games and books and imaginings.  She throws a tantrum like the best of them (ahem, me). 

She's only not-quite four.  She doesn't understand poverty or crime.  She asks soul-searching questions about God and death.  She believes in Santa and doesn't understand why some people don't (which is why we haven't read The Polar Express yet, even though I love it).  Her imaginary friends are as real to her as her brother, and in fact sit at the dinner table as part of the family.

I often forget how young four truly is.  When she won't eat dinner, but still asks for a treat.  When she cries over something seemingly meaningless.  When she snatches toys from Gavin.  I forget that she's still a little girl - and expect so much more from her behavior.  I treat her like she's big.  I yell and admonish and send her to her room...

All because I forget how little she is. 

Maybe it's because she speaks with such a diverse vocabulary and inflection.  Maybe it's because she can offer me advice on such a deep, mature level.  Maybe it's because I have never really given her a chance to be little.

I have a challenge ahead.  Laura is about to become the big sister to a second little brother.  It's a big responsibility, being the oldest.  Being the bossy big sister she loves to be.  But I know I'll forget that she's been thrown into this role of oldest at so very young an age.  I'll expect her to listen and behave and help and be the biggest... when really, she's still quite little.  My challenge is to remember and respect the Big Little girl I love so much.  To let her be BIG when she's ready, and to let her be LITTLE when she needs just one more hug.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mr. Tantrum

I am the world's worst mom sometimes.  I do mean things.  Like tell Gavin no, he can't have a second (or third or fourth) "raw-bob" strawberry cereal bar seconds after finishing the first.

Photo: Life is so hard!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I'm sitting in my chilly dining room, watching the gray rain drip, drip, drop from the dreary sky.  I'd turn the heat up, but that costs money and we're trying to save when and where we can.

So of course, I drove to the store and picked up the soundtrack to Frozen.  Because I won't spend money on heat (that's what blankies and sweaters are for, right?) but I'll drop $13 on a CD.  I couldn't help it.  The songs have been running through my head since Sunday, when Laura and I saw the movie for a second time.

I have now spent $40 in movie tickets, $20 in water and popcorn, and $13 for the soundtrack.  That doesn't count the $20 Nate spent on the Princess Anna dress-up dress Laura received Christmas morning, or the $15 in Frozen storybooks I left under the tree.  And it doesn't count the $20 I will spend the minute the DVD is released.  Because yes, we absolutely must own this movie.

For a family keeping the heat at a mere 62* during the day (lower at night!), that's a lot of money to spend on one movie.  But I absolutely can't imagine having not spent the money.  The experience of going to the theatre with Laura - twice! - has been worth every penny.  It's been so special for me to hang out with my little princess, just the two of us, for a couple hours at a time before the new baby arrives.  And what better movie than Frozen??  It's just so cute and fun and sing-along-able!  Laura and I just look at each other and say "My name is Olaf, I like warm hugs" and just dissolve into pools of laughter.

So maybe our house is a little chilly, but our hearts are warm and filled with love.  For as you know, only love can thaw a frozen heart.

Clearly I have received no compensation for anything in this post... But if anyone wants to comp me anything, go right ahead!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Baby Update

It's been a while, and since I had my 31 week visit on Tuesday I figured I'd type some of it out.  In summary, my check-up was fine.  I passed the glucose test with such a wide margin, my blood sugar might actually be too low.  My iron levels are still crazy high, too.  The bad news: Baby is breech. 

I felt him do some funny (painful) moves a week or so ago, and was suspicious of his movements and position.  The doctor felt around and thought he might be head down... till she went to find his heartbeat.  When she finally got a reading, she had a funny expression on her face - I could tell the heartbeat just wasn't in the right place!  So she fired up the ultrasound, and sure enough his butt is down and his head is up!  It's too soon to worry about his position yet, but of course I'm nervous.  I do not want a c-section!

How far along: 31 weeks, 3 days
Total weight gain/loss: Currently weighing 165, so I think up 20 pounds or so.

Maternity clothes? I feel like I have about three outfits.  I can't find any of the long-sleeved shirts I had with Laura, so I've had to buy some new clothes for this pregnancy.  I alternate between a pair of jeans, a pair of skinny jeans, and two pairs of leggings on days I have to leave the house. 

Sleep: It's ok when I'm in the guest room, but only because the Zoloft makes me drowsy.  Nights I'm in the master bedroom, I have to take Benadryl as well to sleep through the painful mattress and sharing a space with a breathing human (sorry, Nate!)

Best moment this week: Spending some alone time with Laura yesterday (I picked her up early after meeting with her new teachers to talk about making friends).

Movement: Constant.  And this weird fluttery thing that the other two kids never did.  Of course, the other two kids weren't breech!

Food cravings: Pop-tarts!  And Little Debbie Zebra Cakes!  And cookies!  Cocoa!  SUGAR!!  All the things sugar!!  And yet, my blood sugar is low... go figure.

Gender: Boy! Definitely a boy, confirmed by the vivid private-parts shot in the ultrasound the other day.

Labor signs:Not, just some standard tightening of my belly when I have to pee.

What I’m looking forward to this week: A night out with Nate while my SIL watches the kids!  And taking Laura to see Frozen (again) on Sunday with some friends.

What I miss: Sleeping without relying on medicine and full-sized spare beds.

Weekly wisdom: I had previously just assumed my third delivery would go just like the other two: my water would break, I'd head to the hospital without contractions, be induced, and wind up with a baby half a day later.  But that might not be the case here.  The baby certainly has time (and space) to flip back around, but I can't count on that.  Suddenly I have to plan for a potential c-section (and associated recovery time!).  It's not ideal, but I guess I'll just have to roll with the punches (and kicks and jabs).

Milestones: Glucose test passed and in the rear-view mirror.  Nine more weeks (give or take) till we get to meet baby #3.  Which is the same amount of time I have left to soak up Laura and Gavin as much as possible before their little lives get flipped on their heads (pun intended).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Blustery Night

Gavin awoke several times last night, even before Nate and I had gone to bed.  Something about the howling, rattling wind buffeting the house.  Or the extremely dark night.  Or the bitter chill we felt, even snug in our house and jammies.  Gavin was scared and sobbing, and I couldn't just leave him.  So into the guest bed he and I went.  I got him arranged on a pillow with his blankie and octopus.  Then I got myself arranged with my numerous pillows, got all snuggled up and ready to sleep, and BAM!

Got smacked in the face for the first time in the night by a certain someone's very hard head.

We are not a co-sleeping family.  To clarify, I have enough trouble sleeping by myself, much less next to another breathing human (Nate included).  Gavin apparently is very much into sleep cuddles and spooning and face smashing.  No matter how many times I moved him back to his own spot, I would feel his silky, soft wisps of hair nuzzling my cheek again within moments.

We spent the night snuggled together, Gavin sideways across the full-sized bed (hogging it, of course), and my marveling at the softness of his fine, blonde hair.  I didn't sleep very well or very much with my little buddy a little too closely snuggled in, but it was rather lovely feeling so wanted and needed.

Gavin won't be my baby for very much longer.  Little brother is due in 9 weeks, and I expect him to make his presence very loudly known.  We talk with Laura all the time about how I will always love her so, so much, but will be distracted by the new baby.  She doesn't like it, but she gets it.  She remembers Gavin coming home and needing more turns more frequently. 

Gavin doesn't have a clue what's in store for him.  I don't know how to prepare him for the change, as he's not yet conversant.  By that I mean, I know he understands most of what we say to him, but he only answers back about his love of shoes, socks, and strawberry cereal bars.  He's in for a rude surprise in the next few weeks, and I'm a little sad for him.

So as sad as I was to lie awake last night, getting bashed in the face repeatedly, I am not upset.  My little guy needed me last night, to feel safe from the storm.  Just as I needed the chance to soak up as many of his sweet hugs as possible before my arms are needed more immediately elsewhere.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolution, Revised

On December 30th, I said my goal for 2014 would be to survive.  Survive L&D with the new baby, survive life back home with three children aged four and under.  Survive whatever the hell we're doing living in one house while trying to sell another... 

But as we toasted champagne in the driveway while watching the neighbor's (impressive) fireworks display at midnight, Nate informed me that "survive" was just so negative a resolution and why couldn't my resolution be something more positive?  Indeed, why couldn't I as a person just be a little more positive?

So that's it.  Right there.  2014 is a challenge to see things in a more positive light.  And maybe, perhaps, to smile a little bit more.  It's fitting anyway, to be more positive.  I have a lot to be happy about, even with the stress of the house not selling.

It's the second day of the new year, and I am welcoming positivity into my life, in anticipation of the sweet bundle of joy headed my way in the next few weeks.