Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Before the Baby comes... Operation Catch Up

That's right.
I'm starting a quick series called "Before the Baby Comes... Operation Catch Up."
Don't I sound like a blog super star having a SERIES and all?

Yes, super star, indeed.

Let's go back to January.  hA!
Here are four posts I finally put together from the first part of the year... January and February.

Grandma & Grandpa Wood Come to Town!

January gaps, 2012

"We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.  How 'bout you? you? you?"

February randoms, 2012

More to come... obviously.  But here's something to hold you over until then.  :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Anchor your furniture...

So, two days ago I witnessed one of the most horrific sights I've ever seen in my lifetime.
Dramatic preface, I know.  But, it really was terrible.

Yesterday afternoon, the kids were both in their shared room having "nap time"... which typically involves them playing together, reading books, coming in to find me saying, "Calvin took my blanket," or "Tillie hurt my arm..." and occasionally, sleep happens.  Friday was like most others where I was in and out of consciousness having MY "nap time" (being 38+ weeks pregnant), when a panicked Tillie suddenly ran into my room and said, "Mom! Something is wrong with Calvin! He is stuck!"

I jumped out of bed and ran to their room and saw an image that I can't get out of my mind.  I see the tall Ikea dresser (that I had just recently stuffed full of Tillie's clothes too, so they could share it) on TOP of my 2.5 year old son... I could only see his legs sticking out from under that massive dresser.

It was horrible.

I think I yelled as I raced to the dresser and with some unseen force (in that brief moment, I remembered how I'd heard about moms being able to lift up cars) and was able to lift the stuffed-full dresser up high enough with one hand to pull him out with the other hand.

After I pulled him out, he was sobbing.  I was shaking and teary.  Tillie was crying.  I carried him into the family room as I tried to assess the damage.  Luckily, other than his arm and wrist hurting, he looked like he was in pretty good shape, considering. I checked his pupils to see if there was a concussion, but he looked okay and didn't once complain about his head hurting, so that was a relief.
I tried to lift up the dresser again to put it back up, but (obviously) I couldn't do it.  That thing weighed a ton.

Calvin has really mellowed in the last several months, and I've never seen him climb up on things, or really, do anything very dangerous.  When I asked Matilda what had happened, she told me that Cal had just opened up most of the drawers to see what was inside of them (obviously, he was curious, b/c I had taken his dresser and added so many new clothes of Tillie's), and that's when it tipped over and fell on him.  So, he wasn't being a crazy two year old and trying to climb up to the top or anything like that.

Retelling the tale to my husband, I couldn't believe how scary it all actually was.  It could have ended so much worse.  And then when I told again the story to my parents, I started sobbing.  Probably one of the most traumatic things that has happened to us in a long time.

Moral of the story: I will be anchoring down EVERY piece of large furniture in this house.  We have an entertainment center, book shelves, other dressers, etc.  And, my advice to you is to do the same.  You just never know when something like that might happen to you and your family.

As I prayed last night (and in several moments since the experience), I thanked my Heavenly Father that Calvin was safe (the story could have ended so differently), that Tillie was there in the room with him and had the insight to quickly to come find me (I couldn't hear Calvin at all, b/c his voice was so muffled as he was face down), that I was able to have the strength to get him out in my large pregnant state, and that we were all okay (still shaken, but okay).

Anyway, I wanted to tell the tale in hopes that something like this won't happen to you.  Let's all anchor our furniture.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

These days... 37 weeks pregnant and moving

From the title, you can gather that things are movin' and shakin' over here.  You'd be correct.

- These days, I am sleeping with 5 (count 'em 1-2-3-4-5) pillows.  
- These days, I'm almost recovered from the chiggers that attacked my legs a few weeks ago.  Yes, I made the mistake of sitting on the grass while the kids played at a splash pad.  Horrible decision.  Chigger bites all up and down my legs and even on my lower belly (meaning super itchy-life!).  I officially have a deep hatred for that bug.

(The internet is a wonderful tool when trying to figure out remedies that are okay to use on pregnant people. If you try this soap, I must warn you, it will smell like you've been at a campfire all night.  gag me.  But, surprisingly enough, it helped with the itching.)
- These days, Tillie and Cal have been entertaining themselves with a fraction of the toys they normally have out, and it makes me think I should just chuck all the toys I've already packed up (and we really don't have that many toys).
- These days, 80% of our life is in boxes.  Be so proud of my efforts.
- These days, my feet are super swollen and I have to stay seated starting around 8pm.
- Speaking of swollen, these days, I feel like I'm so big.  It's amazing (and kind of horrifying) that bodies are able to stretch SO much.
- These days, I go to bed as late as possible.  If I do this, then chances are that I'll be able to sleep through the night.
- These days, nothing sounds really good to eat.
- These days, I am really liking John Legend and India Arie (always have liked her).  I feel so soulful pumping up their jams and singing along as I pack up box after box.
- These days, Aaron is extra patient and helpful.  Last week he even trimmed my toe nails AND painted them.  Hello.  If that act, alone, doesn't speak volumes then I don't know what will.

Currently, it is 10:37pm on Monday night.  
Tomorrow afternoon, my darling mother and youngest sister, Liz-bert, arrive in town to help with the moving madness.  
We move out of our house in two days... but since it is so late in the evening, it's pretty much like we're moving in 1 day.  
Then, just over two weeks later, this wee baby is supposed to make his debut.

That is the plan.  I like plans.  I am a planner (thanks to my dear mother).  Let's all keep our fingers crossed that everything goes according to the plan.

People keep asking me how I'm doing these days?  I'm always pretty quick to reply that I'm doing well.  And, really, I am.  I think it's because I'm in "survival" (and perhaps denial) mode.  I take it one day at a time.  My focus is to keep our children happy and healthy (including the one in utero---which may be the reason I picked up a bag of PB M&Ms, sour watermelon candies, and junior mints. what? you gotta do what you gotta do), pack up 1-3 boxes, and if other household delights can happen, great.  

Next week?  I have no idea what it will be like... other than crazy town.

I proudly told Aaron that it's been several weeks since I had a legit emotional breakdown. I'd say that's pretty good for being so far along in this pregnancy, the fact that we are moving, changing wards (we really like our current ward), having a baby, and did I mention that Tillie starts pre-school for the first time in a week?  WHAT?!  I think that last little tid-bit is giving me the most anxiety at this moment in time. 

We've NEVER had a true-gotta-stick-to-this-schedule.  We're anti-commitment over here, and love having the world wide open each day.  When Tillie took dance this past year (once a week for 30 minutes), it felt so restraining.  Parents with several kids/schedules will scoff, but we're heading into uncharted territory here.  Most of all, I kind of hate the fact that Tillie won't be around 24/7.  She is my little side kick and, for the most part, such a great little helper.  
(she loved watching the Olympics... especially the gymnastics.)

The other day, she ran with Aaron to the new house to do a few things outside and then they went to Home Depot.  In total, they were probably gone for 2.5 hours, but it felt like FOR-EV-ER to Calvin and me.  When she got home, she and Cal ran into each others arms and kept saying, "I missed you so much! Did you have a good time? I missed you!"  I got a teary eyed thinking that it's going to be the norm having her gone for chunks of time.  Yes, uncharted territory for us.  

I know she will love it.  Of course she'll love it!  Social/learning time for 3 hours and only two days a week with all of her little favorite friends?  The rational part of me knows it's a great thing for her and also a good thing for me to focus in on Cal and this new baby during that time... but sometimes I wonder if we're jumping the gun.  

Do you ever know if you are doing things right?  Probably not. 

Wow, this post has turned into quite the reflective event, no?  Sheesh.  Oh, well!  My blog. You get what you pay for.

I'm hoping to hop back onto this blogging train sooner than later.  I miss it.  And, I know that there are lots of other venues that people enjoy more---instagram, facebook, twitter, etc.  But, I really enjoy blogging.  I like keeping in touch with my friends and family this way.  So, in case you were wondering, I'm not shutting this place down any time soon.

Oh! and thanks for the kind words about the new website!  What better gift could you get on your birthday than validation from your friends?!  THANK YOU!!!  I felt like such a winner, thanks to you friends.  Speaking of the site and that post, guess who won?  According to a random number generator the winner was my darling friend, WHITNEY, #5---feelin' alive.  So much fun.  

So, there you have it!  
More pictures to come.  Uploading as I type.

Friday, August 3, 2012

new website and birthday GIVEAWAY!

'Tis the season of giving...
Wait, you didn't know?  It's my birthday tomorrow.  It was my older sister's birthday yesterday... so, yeah, it IS the season of giving in my neck of the woods.
As luck turns out, my little sister, Becca, generously offered to build me my very own website a few months ago.  The goal was to make it "LIVE" by my birthday and guess what?
It's up and running!
If you are a reader of this blog, you probably know that my day (and let's be honest, NIGHT) job is being a mom.  But, given my background in arts and crafts, I really like to do stationery and fabric designing when I can.
This site is a place for people to go and view several things I've created... basically it's a big portfolio.  That way, when someone asks if I can help with their child's birthday invitation or want some personalized stationery (or whatever), I can now direct them to the brand new website to get some ideas of what we can come up with for them.  Certainly, we're not limited to what we've already created---it's more like a "jumping off" point.
ANYWAY, feel free to take a look around the site.
And, in the "spirit of giving"(gotta love that phrase) and in honor of my birthday, I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY.  If you see something you might like, leave me a comment on this post with what you like most, and you'll be entered in the give away.  Whoever wins, I'll create the delight for you.  For example, if you like a print (I can print up to 11"x17"), tell me, and if you win, I'll send it your way. Or, say you really like a set of invitations I created, tell me, and if you win, I'll change the info and send those your way (limit 20).

*The only thing I can't really give away is anything under the "RANDOM" category and "PATTERNS" category.  But, anything else is fair game!

Since many of you might be surprised that I've been posting again (I know, I know), I'll leave a wide window of time for you to weigh in.  You have until next Saturday, August 11th at midnight (central time) to enter.  I'll plan to announce the winner soon there after.
Ready, set, go!


Take a look see at our little site. We're pretty psyched.  Take note that Becca made it "responsive" so that way, if you are viewing the site on a mobile site, the pictures are sized accordingly.  See, she's fancy like that.  Mega props to her and her patience as I kept sending her a billion things to add to the site.  She is so good to me.

Good luck to one and all!  And thanks for all the love and encouragement.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

first half of June 2012

June.  It was a short month b/c the kids and I headed up to Utah on the 12th.  Once we go to Utah, it's like life zooms to warp speed.  Here are some of the SUPER random things that happened before we took our big journey to Zion.

update: I found several photos from Aaron's laptop that I wanted to add. lucky for everyone!

::: Calvin is a puzzle-fool!  He is SO good at putting them together, even when he doesn't know what the end product will look like.  It's amazing to see how his little brain works.  Here he is (at 2 years and 4 months old) showing off his creations one morning.  Sometimes he sneaks out of his bedroom when he wakes up, pulls out his puzzle box, and just goes to town silently on his puzzles.  So funny.  
 I love how proud he is.
 Semi-Vana White pose.  Thank you, son.

::: I found a few pictures Aaron took of himself and the kiddos while they were watching a movie (I assume).  Nice posing, Aaron.

::: Inspired by the quote and that blog post I did a while back (and because my pants were no longer fitting), I decided to pull out some of my knit that I had purchased a while back with my delightful friends and make some maxi skirts.  This was my first attempt.  It was a little shorter/tighter than I wanted, so I gave it to Becca... who just so happens to be a little smaller and shorter.  Win win.  After this I made two more.  I felt so proud of my domesticity.  

But, one bad thing happened while I was cutting out the fabric on the floor... I tweaked my back and thought I was going to die.  Luckily, I didn't die (phew!) and my back went back to normal the next day.  But, I now have a new found appreciation for all those men and women who suffer from back pain! It affects EVERYTHING you do.  Sheesh.  To all you in pain, I give you a cyber high five and send you ALL my best!

::: This month was also filled with furniture browsing.  Man alive, furniture shopping is HARD.  See, here's the thing, I hate making big decisions and I hate spending money (especially large chunks of it)... so this is why furniture shopping stinks.  Add a 6'3" husband and a 5'6" wife who have very different ideas of what "comfortable" means in a seat---then you have your work cut out for you.  
I think we went to EVERY furniture store in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. I kid you not.  

There are just so many things to prioritize when you are shopping.  Is comfort king?  Can you have a stylish sofa AND it be comfortable?  How much money do we want to spend?  How much money makes sense to spend? How long will the furniture last? Who is the furniture for?  Why are you buying it?  Will it fit in your home?  etc. etc. etc.  

Anyway, I am only posting a FEW random photos of the hundreds I took at each furniture store.  Truly, I literally have HUNDREDS of photos... but I'll let you discover your own gems on your own time.
I think Tillie and I found these darling floral delights at Rooms To Go?  Great pattern, no?  She was convinced THIS was the way to go.  I can't blame her.

As we were looking at recliner/rockers in one store, I asked to see their fabric selection so perhaps we could order a custom chair.  I fell in love with this sample.  Pretty lovely, no?

We found that a chaise option could be the best of all the worlds for Aaron and me.  He could get his deep seat, and I could have a normal one and we could both live in harmony... on the SAME sofa.  What a concept!  This sofa was in the running for sure.

loved this little red number. hello. and it was on clearance b/c it was the store's sample.  so comfortable too!

these two were a pretty fun take on the "Grandpa's recliner" option.  Comfortable AND darling.  But those wooden arms?  Hmm... not super fun when you are holding a tiny newborn and a toddler... but they are SO cute...

Super comfortable sofa.  Not deep enough, in Aaron's opinion, but PERFECT for me. It is a little "marshmellow-ish" but I still was a fan.  The price wasn't very cool, though.  Especially if Aaron didn't like it...

This chair was a great one because it rocks, reclines AND swivels!  hello!  What a concept!

This beaut was a fan favorite... deeper seat, but not too deep.  great price... hmm...

kind of a traditional wingback chair but reclined.  Nice, but I wanted the rocker option as well... I love being able to rock my babies to sleep.

And, who doesn't love a little Ikea?  We went to every store---from the high end to the big box stores (did you know that Big Lots actually carries a lot of furniture, depending on the location?).  Aaron LOVED this sofa from Ikea b/c it was long it enough that he could lay flat.  I mean, look how comfortable he looks here!  Sheesh. And that price? $599? get outta town.
*Spoiler alert... something in the above photos was purchased.  Not gonna tell you what until we have it in our hot little hands.

::: Splash pad!  Whoever invented the concept of splash pads, I want to thank them.  Great idea.  I love that I don't have to be stressed out that my child is going to drown in a pool of water, and the fact that I don't have to pour into my swimming suit with a pregnant belly---but my kids can still be cooled off by the water and entertained (while I sit in the shade of these amazing trees).  Yes, splash pads are great.  

Calvin wanted to eat his FAVORITE treat... fruit snacks.  Blurry photo, but I love the kid, so I included it.

::: Tillie is getting really good at coloring in coloring books.  I love that she added her own little person to this page.  She kills me.

::: Speaking of people that kill me... Calvin would top that list.  Look at this little heart-breaker on a Sunday morning.  My cute friend, Nicole, made a tie for our new baby, but luckily it works for Cal right now.  
Also, b/c this boy sweats ALL OF THE TIME I have opted to let him wear shorts and sandals for church wear.  The thought of making him wear long pants, socks, and true shoes is just too much.  Literally, he sweats buckets.  
But, wow, he looks darling.

Tillie wanted in on the photo-op-action even though we hadn't done her hair quite yet.
Posin' it up, as always.

::: Growing up, Aaron didn't consume "sugar cereal" very often.  Sorry to his posterity for ruining that streak. I am no respecter of cereal.  I love a good bowl of Corn Flakes, but I also love a bowl of Coco Puffs.  Cereal is a necessity in our home.  Luckily, the family loves it as much as I do and we consume it often.

Funny story:  Tillie suggested we have cereal for lunch one day, and I told her, "Tillie, sorry but no.  We can't have cereal for lunch, silly!  We only eat cereal for breakfast and dinner."
And then I paused. 
Reflected for a moment.
And, then laughed at my awesome mother rational.

My friend posted a picture on instagram (which I love and support, almost daily. my "handle" is melimba) about her sorry dinner for the night (I think it was box mixed pancakes?) and I posted this picture of our gourmet dinner to help her feel better. (p.s. I think I prefer Malt-O-Meal's Marshmellow Mateys to the legit Lucky Charms.)

::: Tillie always thinks it's a grand idea to go play in the rain.  I think she read about it in book we have.  So, one day, as we got out of the car from running errands, she begged to play in the rain.  I obliged.  They stood on the driveway for a few minutes and watched a gross worm crawl.  
Then they were over it.  
Calvin loves ANY opportunity to wear his Lightning McQueen shirt.  Such a little hoodlum here.

::: Ahh, the gestational diabetes test at the doctors office.  The orange fizzy drink isn't too bad, but waiting around for an hour killing time before they can draw your blood didn't sound too appealing.
Luckily, I had this book to read while I waited.  My in-laws recommended a while back.  I LOVE IT.  TRUTH is on EVERY PAGE.  Seriously.  I HIGHLY recommend it.  I found my copy on Amazon and love reading snippets here and there.  It's not a book you need to read in one big session.  Find yourself a copy.  It's fascinating.  And, I love the big baby boy on the picture... reminds me of my chunky-monkey-baby Calvin back in the day.

::: Speaking of my chunky-monkey... he's getting SO big these days.  And longer and leaner.  Sheesh.  where did my baby go?!
here we are at a neighborhood park.  Aaron was a trooper and took Tillie to go potty (of the numero dos variety), so we took several photos while we waited.

::: After a meeting with our builder one evening, we got in a car accident.  We were rear-ended at a busy intersection and it wasn't very fun.  Here's the Escalade that hit us (I blurred the license plate to protect the not-so-innocent).  This is Aaron getting his insurance information.  Luckily, he was a really nice guy and felt really bad about it all.  The first question he asked was if there were any kids in the car and if we were okay.  Stand up guy.  Insert clapping here.
 This is the second time we've been rear-ended while driving together.  The first time was in Utah after we had been married for a few months.  It was Halloween night and we were driving home to Alpine from BYU.  
This time around didn't prove to be any more fun. Luckily, the kids were with a babysitter, so they were oblivious to it all.  But, I was a little worried about the baby in utero.  I was 27 weeks at the time and when we got hit, my seatbelt tightened really tight up against my tummy. I was a little concerned, so I called my OB's office to ask their advice---especially b/c I was leaving to Utah the next day for the next several weeks.  The office was closed.  The doctor-on-call said that anytime you are in an accident and you are more than 20 weeks pregnant, you must go in and monitor the baby.  So, that meant a hospital trip for yours truly.  Boo.  But, in reality, my motto is "better safe than sorry" and I really secretly wanted to make sure all was well.  
I went home, ate the delicious dinner I had made for the family (doesn't happen that often, so I really wanted to take a time-out to do that), and then drove myself to the hospital.  I was pretty certain everything was okay, so I opted for Aaron to stick around at home with the kiddos.  
Little did I know that I would have to be there for FOUR + hours.  So, I did what any bored woman would do: took photos of myself.
Thankfully, they did an ultrasound to check fluid levels and checked out the baby from head to toe... he was looking great.  And big!  The lady was surprised I was only 27 weeks b/c the baby was measuring close to 30 weeks.  Story of my life.  It was pretty great to be able to see that wee one inside of me.  Is anyone else BLOWN away that they can rub a little instrument on your tummy and see the details of a baby inside?  Seriously.  It's magic.  "I love technology..." (imagine Kip from Napolean Dynamite singing his song)
 Then, I got up the courage to ask for a jello.  They kept asking if they could get me anything, so why not?! (note to self, the kool-aid brand isn't very delicious. feel free to skip it at the grocery store.)
Finally, just after midnight, I was able to be discharged.  I was SUPER ready to be out of there and now have an appreciation for women who are put on BED REST.  BOO!  That would TOTALLY stink.  Kudos to all you out there who have to be cooped up in a bed all day.  (wow, this post is full of appreciation, isn't it?  back pain sufferers and bed rest people... unite!)

The next morning was pretty low key (thankfully) as we braided Tillie's hair and packed our suitcases for our Utah trip we'd take later that evening.  I love to braid Tillie's hair b/c it stays in so well and keeps all her wispies (sp?) out of her face.  Cal loves putting together puzzles.  There he is in the background assembling a few.  For the record: HE IS SO SMART!

Luckily, this day the kids took a GREAT nap (doesn't happen all that often these days). I was relieved b/c I knew they'd be more happy and "normal" on the flight later that evening.  
I thought I should take a picture of their room to document how it's "decorated" these days.  I don't know if I've posted pictures of their two beds in there together.  It's a tight fit, but they LOVE it.  
Do you like Tillie's decor?  She always needs tape to hang her latest masterpiece on the wall.

We were all set for the airport with bags packed, so we headed on our way (we normally are flying by the seat of our pants!).  As we approached the airport, we realized that we had WAY too much time on our hands before the flight, so we opted to run to a weird mall nearby.  There were normal "mall" stores in it, and then a true Ross store, and a Sears Outlet.  Random.  The kids thought it was fun to play on the toys.  I liked that they were entertained without me having to put a dime in the machine.  I don't think they realize that those toys we see everywhere are motorized.  Thank heavens for their ignorance!!

And that, my friends, is the first half of June.  Pictures of our Utah trip are coming up next!


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