Friday, December 31, 2010

In 2010

In 2010: I've loved my husband a little more each day--his strength, his sillyness, his committment, his care. I got to witness his care for his family.  He is so happy to be in this new house and it is a home because he is here with me.  I've watched him love his girls the best way he knows how. I have watched him cuddle his youngest and wrestle his older girls (I always think of a pack of puppies when I watch them play). I've enjoyed, TOO FEW, date nights and I resolve to make more time for us in the new year.  I look forward to the completion of many home projects and lots of laughs and memories made!

In 2010: I've watched Jordan shoot up before my eyes into a pretty little lady inside and out. I see her love of books and writing blooming and it makes me so proud when I see her busy at the table with a pen and paper in hand.  She is so bright.  Kind and loving in many ways. My girlie girl.  I found a list of what she wants to be when she grows up: 1. A puppy washer 2. A singer 3. A salon person 4. A fashion designer 5. A ballerina 6. A cheerleader.  I see the seeds of all of these things in her and more.

In 2010: I've watched Ava live life to the fullest--playing hard, laughing hard, fighting and loving. She goes full tilt in everything she does.  She's wacky and silly and sweet and funny and a good big sister and a complete rascal at the same time.  Ava throws caution to the wind. Takes chances. Lives. I hope she never looses her spark and fire.

In 2010: I've watched Livi, my baby, a baby no more, take on the role of big sister. She fills my days with kisses and hugs. I look into her deep brown eyes and my heart melts. My sensitive little mini. I watch her trail her big sisters wanting to do and to be. I watch her kiss her little sister's face and hands. She is adorable in every way. She goes with the flow of our days without complaint.  She is and always was the one who waits and watches and I hope what she sees is love.

In 2010: I watched a new little life emerge: Chloe completes our family--a little babbling brook. She is quick to show off her dimples and when I see her, I see my husband. It's no mistake that her favorite string of sounds right now is "dadadadadada." The way she lights up when she sees him and he does the same? She is Daddy's girl through and through.  She is my sweet little baby and always will be. So I will hold on to her. Watch her closely when she sleeps, hold her closely when she is awake. She is my happy hearted sweetie bean.

When I loosened my grip on the sorrows of 2009, I had no idea the blessings in store for this year. Thank you Lord for my family and a wonderful 2010.  And HAPPY NEW YEAR one and all!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Well, something had been stopping me from hanging pictures up in our new abode.  I hadn't done it yet--2 months post move in, because I know that we will be painting almost every room in the house and I want to change up my color schemes a little and I thought, why hang the stuff and then have to change it all when we paint? I would have loved to have SOMEthing painted by now, but reality hasn't allowed it.  We have done a few small projects, well Jim has, but they have all been related to lights and lighting (my husband is an electrician--so these are the easiest projects to complete!)

Lately, my talk about the house has all come out as complaints, much to my husband's chagrin, but to be fair something has been missing around here and the place just hasn't felt like home, until today. We finally pounded the first nails into the wall and hung some things and I must say, I should have done it sooner.  Even though it's just a few things and even though we may change it some time down the road, it's made a huge difference in making the place seem homier! And that puts a smile on my face.

One area that I have been wanting to put together since we moved in is in the laundry room and I have jokingly referred to it as the "command center"  What was once a bare wall now looks like this: 

I found a tip at one of my favorite home blogs, I Heart Organizing, that suggested turning a glass frame into a dry erase board and I decided to use it to create a dry erase calander and two boards: The calander is just a very simple and cheap black and white wall calendar that I put under a frame. For the memo boards I made one for Notes and one to write our Weekly Menu.

I just used some scrapbook papers from a stack I had lying around and then cut a piece of white copy paper for the center, then I used some scrap book letters to label the boards, put them under glass and presto!  Instant dry erase! One of the great things about using glass as opposed to the typical cardboard memo boards is that it erases easily and doesn't leave a shadow behind like every other dry erase board I've ever had. 

Then, taking another cue from I Heart Organizing, I used more scrap book paper and wrapped it around an old tin soup can to create a corral for the dry erase pens. Jim drilled a hole in it for me and we hung it from an S hook on the laundry room shelf so that pens will remain handy.

 I wish I would have had the extra frames lying around because the whole project would have been SUPER cheap! But alas, I had to buy some frames. I did get cheap ones though. I can't wait to use my new "command center." It makes me feel very organized, we'll see!

Also, Jim created a little "man cave" for himself in our office. It actually looks kind of nice.  It is a big slash room right now: Man cave/Office/Workout room. 

I'm just happy there are things hanging up around here and one of the best Christmas gifts was having my husband home with us ALL weekend (and today) that hardly ever happens!  I'm off to spend some more QT right now! Night all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

What Little Girls Are Made of...

Another mommy blog I happened across today conducted this interview with her daughter and it reminded me that I did this same interview a couple of years ago. I thought it might be fun to revisit the little exercise so I copied this from a Facebook Note I wrote two years ago. I've been in the mood to love up my little ones this morning and this note makes me smile.  The only addition I made to it is that I asked Olivia the questions (she is now 3). It is interesting to see how her answers compare to 3 year old Ava Answers!

You can join in the fun too:  Copy the questions, ask your kid the questions and write them down exactly how they respond. Link  back in the comments if you have done this, I'd love to hear the answers.

I am asking Jordan these questions (When she was 5) and already impatient with me!

I also asked Ava (When she was 3) and she was reluctant too!

I asked Olivia (Who is currently 3).

This interview was conducted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 3pm (with Olivia's Additions added today 12/23/2010 at 10:34am)

1. What is something I always say to you?

J: Uh....Girly's be quiet in the morning.

A: I love you.

O: Livi, it's lunch time!

2. What makes me happy?

J: When we be good.

A: When I snuggle you and Kiss you.

O: Um, Mommy I love you.

3. What makes me sad?

J: If we don't listen.

A: If you make me shout to you.

O: Mommy, I don't like you.

4. How do I make you laugh?

J: If you call us "skweeber bird" or "Jordie bug".

A: Um...If you say a funny joke.

O: Um...Said "I Love you" and I said hahahahahaha.

5. What do you think I was like as a child?

J: You doing um....I don't know....I don't know what my answer would to your parents very good.

A: I think a barbie.

O: Um...a bunny?

6. How old am I?

J: ummm *tapping her cheek with her finger* 96?

A: UH...I don't know.

O: I don't know!

7. How tall am I?

J: taller than us.

A: Uh this tall *Shows me with her thumb and pointer*

O: taller than Jordan.

8. What is my favorite thing to do?

J: us be good.

A: uh...uh...doing the dishes?

O: Clean Up.

9. What do I do when you're not around?

J: Uh...sit down and watch TV.

A: Uh...Just have to keep on looking.

O: Um Say, Move out of the way sweet heart.

10. If I become famous, what will it be for?

J: when are we done? um...making the greatest pictures.

A: For a fashion show.

O: mmmm...Butterflies?

11. What am I really good at?

J: Um...Being a good mom.

A: Uh...doing yoga poses.

O: Clean up.

12. What am I not really good at?

J: Um...trying to be the best runner than daddy.

A: oh...I don't know...just tell me.

O: Clean up Kingston's poopy.  (That's our dog, by the way.)

13. What is my job?

J: keep the house clean.

A: a book.

O: I don't know!  Clean up?

14. What is my favorite food?

J: Um...Salmon.

A: is it pasta?

O: Spaghettios. 

15. What makes you proud of me?

J: by taking care of us.

A: If I go pee on the potty.

O: Clean up!

16. If I were a cartoon character, who would I be?

J: Um...I don't know...Sandy from Spongebob?

A: A fashion model.

O: A Princess!

17. What do you and I do together?

J: Play with each other.

A: Make a happy valentine.

O: Clean up.

18. How are we the same?

J: By loving each other the same way.

A: Just tell me.

O: We have brown hair and brown eyes, the same nose, the same mouth, and the same head. Do we have the same head, momma?

19. How are you and I different?

J: From doing the different sports and we like different things.

A: We are wearing different clothes.

O: I don't know.

20. How do you know that I love you?

J: Giving hugs and kisses

A: Because I said you're the best mommy in the whole wide world.

O: cause I look like a princess.

21. Where is my favorite place to go?

J: To the grocery store.

A: church.
O: To the eagle's nest. (that's the child care center at our grocery store)
I can't wait to do this again with Chloe in a couple of years!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Reason You Didn't Get a Christmas Card From My Family

Merry Christmas, Friends. And Happy New Year Too!

I hate that I didn't do Christmas Cards this year. I do love getting Christmas Cards and I had the best of intentions (but you know what they say about those).  I could have gone out and purchased a box, but I wanted to do a card with a picture and then there's the problem of a camera that hasn't been working for quite some time. I feel so bad for little Chloe...all of her baby pictures are being taken with my phone which for a phone are decent quality, but for printing purposes are barely sufficient--no where near Christmas Card sufficient.

Anyway, here's a Happy Holiday shot for you.  With love from our family to yours!

Also wanted to share this little photo shoot of Chloe. The girls fashioned her with a little veil (Jordan's lovie "Blankie") and a sparkly head band and they were calling her "Little Mary." She was of course loving the attention lavished on her by her sisters as she jumped her day away in the Jump-a-roo (I love this toy by the way. Jumping babies are just way too cute for words.) I ask you, what is cuter than a 7 month old "Little Mary" jumping in a Jump-a-roo? Nothing.  The pics are proof!!!

You see how bad these pics are right?  Phone pics.  She was 300 times cuter in person.  Sigh. Santa, do you hear me?

Enjoy all of your holiday festivities!  I will be doing the same with my family--can't wait to see everyone!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Breastfeeding Pain: What I Learned from My Experience article about what a "pain in the boob" breastfeeding can sometimes be!

Breastfeeding Pain: What I Learned from My Experience

A Glimpse of the NICU Experience

A very tiny peak at our experience with newborn Ava in a article!

A Glimpse of the NICU Experience

Cutting the Umbilical Cord: Dad’s First Official Duty article about Dad's debut!

Cutting the Umbilical Cord: Dad’s First Official Duty

Lamaze Put Me in Control of My Labor

A new article about my attempt at using Lamaze:

Lamaze Put Me in Control of My Labor

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Feeding Schedule and Why It Worked Wonders for Me

Here I talk about how I implemented and had success with a feeding schedule. Clicking on the link will send you to the article at

The Feeding Schedule and Why It Worked Wonders for Me

Finding the Gynecologist of Your Dreams

For the series of articles for, here I talk about the importance of being comfortable with your gynecologist/obstetrician:

Finding the Gynecologist of Your Dreams

My Mommy Body: From Birth and Beyond

This is one of a series of articles that I am posting for It's about loving the new mommy body, faults and all!

My Mommy Body: From Birth and Beyond

Monday, December 13, 2010

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch

I was accused of being a little "Grinchy" this weekend.  In the moment, it made me feel even Grinchier. Looking back on it, I can admit that I have been Grinchy--at least toward my husband.  The guy breaks his back to provide a living for us and not only was I being ungrateful for that, I was complaining about it, implying that it wasn't enough, and generally being a downer. This was not intentional by any means. I KNOW my husband works hard, but my actions and attitude were sending him a different message. That isn't me. I think it throws the hubs for a loop because it forces us into a role reversal and he's rarely been the guy to put a positive spin on things, realist that he is.

However, he does love Christmastime.  He loves what Christmastime can be for the kids and he really enjoys experiencing the magic with them all over again.  Instead of looking at the season through sparkling snowflake glasses, I was thinking to myself, "SOME ONE'S got to make this magic!" It isn't just going to happen and time is running out!!

And so I felt like I was running in a rusted wheel and caught on the burr of a catch 22 for the holidays. I need Jim home so that we can shop and prepare for the holidays, but he also needs to be at work to fund the event!  When I look at the calender I see that dates are quickly filling up with School Christmas Concerts, Christmas parties, and Holiday Dance Recitals and the evenings for shopping are few and far between. So instead of looking forward to these events and the joy they will bring, I begin to feel spiteful toward them. Who can enjoy the holidays when the ungettable gift is dangling like a carrot just out of reach?

We took the reigns of this sleigh last night. I tried to hunt around on line for our "must have" gifts but everything was "out of stock"or could be purchased on Amazon for twice the original price (yeah, right). My sugar plum dreams where quickly fading...The thought of not being able to put that ONE thing that the girls really wanted (and were undoubtedly EXPECTING) under the tree was really depressing. I went out to one store while Jim stayed with the girls...I found a couple of things, but not THE things...  I came home. 

Jim wasn't hearing it. So he decided to go out around 6:30 and hunt around.  He drove to one luck. Drove to another about 40 minutes away and JACKPOT! He was able to scoop up the last three dolls on the shelf! I'm really happy that he got to be a Christmas Hero and his effort and ultimate success was enough to push me out of my Christmas funk!  I cannot wait to see the girls faces when they see these dolls. They are SOOOO cute! A big THANK YOU to Jim (A smooch under the mistletoe is in order!).

Finishing up the list should be a snap now...even for a shop-a-phobic like myself. SO:

Fah who For-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome Christmas
Come this way!

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome Christmas
Christmas Day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm Not Going to Pop Her Bubble!

My Little "Ava Potato" is getting her tonsils and adenoids out tomorrow. She's REALLY excited about it!  We've really been talking up the positives: eating lots of Popsicles, watching whatever she wants on TV, spending the night at the hospital. You would think she just won a free vacation, the way she is reacting to the news! She doesn't seem to be nervous at all. I DID tell her that her throat would be sore. It didn't phase her at all since I told her that they can make medicine in any flavor she likes (don't know if that's true...) Jordan mentioned that she's jealous, but she's also jealous that Ava gets to wear glasses, so this doesn't surprise me in the least.

The downside for me is that our normal routine gets thrown out of whack. Ava will miss a week of school and I'm not sure when she will feel herself again. She has to be on a liquid and then soft diet for a little while, which means stocking up on Popsicles, juice, jello. All that is okay. I just hope that Ava will get to join Jordan for their Christmas Dance recital at the mall.  I know for some, it might not seem like a big deal if she has to miss, but they've been practicing so hard, and if she has to sit out and watch her sister (and the rest of her class) dance without her, I think she will be sad. I'm keeping my fingers crossed  that she will be allowed to do it!  It's 10 days from her surgery.

After this surgery we will have one more to get through after the new year. Hopefully, then all will be well with my little miss!

In the meantime, I think I am going to have one of Ava's favorites for dinner: either spaghetti or pizza, since she won't get to eat that for a little while.  And the rest of my munchkins are looking forward to spending a day or two at Pappy and Grammi's, so it will be fun for them too!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Latest Project

All right...Two posts in one day! I know, what's up with that? Well, I wanted to introduce my loyal blog readers to my newest venture. A couple months back I decided that it was time to start looking around for a way to make a little extra money. But this wasn't just about getting a part time job. I want to make money doing something that I love to do. Instead of remaining passive and just dreaming about the day when I could write a book or make money from my writing otherwise, I decided to start looking into it.

I stumbled on an opportunity to write content for the Pampers Village website. I applied and got chosen. I am writing articles about my pregnancy and birth experience and about parenting a newborn. I discovered that I can easily link up my articles to my blog. And to get the word out about this helpful site (and my articles there) I will be sharing my Pampers Village posts on my blog.

Go ahead. Click the link below to explore the site!

Bottle Feeding and Bonding

And thank you for the support Blog Readers!

Slow Down, Christine.

All of the blogs I'm following seem to be getting into the holiday spirit. Everywhere I look there are gift giving ideas and decorating ideas and shopping tips...there will be none of that here. At least not today, but maybe not ever. It isn't that I'm not in the holiday mood: my tree is up, my advent wreath is out, the kids are busy making lists, I'm threatening "Santa's WATCHING!" at every turn. There's plenty of holiday talk going on around here, but at the moment I'm busy trying to take in a lesson from the universe and an important lesson for advent: SLOW DOWN.

Here we go again: Two Tuesdays ago I ran into a deer (not an uncommon occurrence where I am from!) and this Tuesday I had another eye opener.  I slogged out to my car in the cold rain, umbrella-less, with 100lb baby carrier slung over my arm, and sleepy kids in tow and got in the van to take my oldest down to the bus stop. (I really wish the bus driver could pull up in front of my house which is only 6 houses away from the stop. This isn't even a's a MINI VAN. There is no reason the driver should have any trouble navigating on my street. But, I digress.)

Jim drove the van last. Now, hear me: I am not blaming HIM. I am merely explaining why the following events were more likely to happen on this day.  He had the van pulled squarely at the end of our driveway. It would have been quite simple for me to back out of the driveway. All I had to do was slowly apply the gas, keep the wheel straight and go in reverse. That isn't how I roll. I don't like to back up. Normally I have the van positioned in the driveway so that I can do one three point turn and head out of the driveway nose first. But in order to turn myself around on Tuesday I had to do multiple three point turns to get there.  At a certain point, I began to think: How many more three point turns do I need to do to get this van turned around?  Then there also came a certain moment in the three point turn madness that it was too late to turn back. I did one more three point turn and then I thought, "This should be fine, I'm going."  It was raining and darker than usual at 7a.m.  And I misjudged how much room I had to maneuver.  And ooops. This happened:
Yes, I sideswiped the house!
I forgot all about it (duh!) until I let the dog out later that morning. I went around to check out the damage and that's what I saw.  Sometimes I'm a real ditz. Now I had to face Jim. I knew he would be frustrated with me.  I already felt horrible about it, but I couldn't put off the inevitable phone call where I have to explain my crazy logic to my logical husband:

"Why didn't you just back out of the driveway?? I had it parked perfectly for you to do that!" I know, dear, but that isn't what I am used to doing every morning and don't you know that I live my life on auto pilot half the time and I just want to do things the way that I do them so they can be done and I don't have to think about them anymore? 

Do you realize how horrible this sounds?  I did. He was angry and I started to cry. Not because he was saying anything untrue. Not because he was being cruel. But because I just don't think about things sometimes.  I just do what I do because I always do it that way.  I don't assess the situation to make the best possible choice all of the time. This is something I don't like about myself, so it's really hard to admit.  

So from that point on, I started to have a bad day. I felt like an Eeyore--at least I could hear his voice in my head "it's raining..."  "I messed up my car..."  "I'm too tired to exercise." "This is boring." There were bright spots in my Tuesday:

We got our new kitchen table.

Ava drew this adorable picture. It's me happily doing many different exercise moves. I can't get the picture to go right side up, but you get the point. I love the picture of me doing a push-up (it's on the left of the screen).

And Jim brought me flowers when he came home from work. I hardly ever get flowers.  He must have felt bad that I was crying. He probably didn't realize that I was being harder on myself than he was being on me...but the flowers were a nice surprise and brightened my day.
I hope these downer Tuesdays don't continue!!  I think if I can practice what I so often preach in my blog about living in the moment and being present in the moment that things will turn around for me.  If not, I'm sure I'll get another knock on the head to get me back on track!


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