Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things About Me

1. My favorite colour is blue
2. I was born in Tulsa, OK
3. I was raised in Carlisle, PA
4. My parents have been married for 31 years
5. My grand-parents have been married for 53 years
6. I met Brad at my old job, when I was managing a restaurant in my hometown
7. I got married in 2005 at 21
8. We got married twice
9. Our first wedding was at the county courthouse on B's lunch break
10. Our second wedding was a big Catholic wedding
11. I wore my flip flops under my wedding dress
12. I knew the day I met B that he was The One
13. He asked me to marry him for the first time 4 days after we met
14. I have never thought I could feel so comfortable with someone
15. I hate when he is not home
16. I have three amazing girls and one delightfully charming little boy
17. I am proudly nursing J and will likely nurse him until he self-weans, whenever that may be
18. I wish breastfeeding were more of a priority in our society
19. I was lucky enough to have been breastfed for well over a year
20. I want to add one more child to our family
21. I am the middle of three children
22. My sister is one of my best friends
23. My brother and I fought like cats and dogs when we were younger, and now are incredibly close
24. I have always wanted children
25. I want to adopt
26. I want to homeschool
27. I want to be a midwife
28. I would love to live in a communal setting
29. I hate crowds unless B is with me
30. I Have never had a ‘boys are yucky’ phase
31. I love to sing
32. I used to dream about going on American Idol
33. I wanted to major in music and become a professional singer
34. I am happiest when I'm singing for a crowd
35. I have terrible stage fright
36. I hope that at least one of my children has musical ability
37. I wanted to be a gymnast
38. I performed in two different show choirs in high school
39. I was in three high school musicals
40. I was in an elite audition only choir in college
41. I was in the marching band in high school
42. I wanted to be in a drum corp, but played a woodwind, not brass
43. I didn't want to go to college right after high school, but went anyway
44. I wanted to go to culinary school, but didn't think I'd be supported
45. I've finally found what I'm meant to do with my I just need to get there
46. I spent one of the best months of my life in Spain with my mom and brother
47. I speak Spanish almost fluently
48. I only spent a semester and a half in college, then came home
49. I was bulimic
50. I nearly became addicted to pain killers
51. I nearly died twice
52. I am a Christian
53. I have found the church that is best for me and my family
54. I was baptized and raised Catholic
55. I won't be getting my degree until my babies are old enough for preschool
56. I love a good debate
57. As a child I was addicted to the Boxcar Children, the Babysitter's Club and Judy Bloom novels
58. My favorite books are trashy beach reads
59. My favorite kids books are Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein
60. My favorite movies are The Princess Bride, Labyrinth, Coyote Ugly, etc.
61. I love all music except rap
62. I love to dress up
63. I've been blond, brunette and a red head.
64. I have fewer clothes than B
65. I wear lounge clothes almost exclusively at home
66. I hate having things (socks and shoes)on my feet
67. I hate feet (my own included)
68. I love looking at other people's pictures in their homes
69. I love to cross stitch
70. I have worked as a cashier, receptionist, office temp, a restaurant manager, a waitress, and a babysitter.
71. I can be lazy.
72. I love to bake
73. I like window shopping
74. I am very sensitive to scents
75. I love that I'm able to nurse in public, and dare anyone to challenge me
76. I am a Libra
77. I was born in 1983
78. I want 2 more tattoos.
79. I have 2 tattoos : bunch of snapdragons on my lower back and healing hands on my left hip
80. I love to travel
81. I have hazel eyes that change color with my mood
82. I am not afraid of getting older
83. I have one dog, "Kahlua"
84. I am allergic to cats
85. I would start knitting but don’t have money for tools
86. I want to make clothes
87. I watch too much TV
88. I love to sew
89. I love to dream of things to make for my family
90. I had asthma as a kid
91. I have had 1 major surgery (ureter re-implantation) and got over 100 stitches when a sink shattered and sliced through my thigh
92. Pedestal sinks scare me, and I desperately try not to touch them when I wash my hands
93. I once spent an afternoon eating sugar cookies and swatting wasps
94. I once killed a rattlesnake
95. I had a crush on one of my childhood babysitters, who is now my best friends' fiance
96. I don't like to take my kids to the doctor
97. I love staying at home
98. I would like to have more friends IRL

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hangin' Round

Not much to report.

J seems to be much more high needs than his sisters. Not that he's a difficult baby, by any means, but he likes things done a certain way, and knows what he wants. No problem, just a tad draining at times.

School is better for S1. As of today (3 days in) she no longer wants to be homeschooled, but instead LOVES school. She found her groove, apparently. All good news.

Here are a few pictures from playing around the other day:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of School!

V and S1 had their first day of school yesterday. Very exciting, but the build up was a bit much for S1, we think. Apparently she spent the majority of the afternoon in tears, and was so exhausted from the emotional roller coaster that she went to bed at 6 last night, before she'd even had dinner.

Hopefully she'll find her groove soon. There are many adjustments that need to be made on everyone's part in order to make this road easier for everyone.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I have been chastised for not updating.

It's not my fault! Blogger had a seizure and wouldn't let me in to my account to add new posts. For real.

We are still fully in the Land of Teeth. S2 has all 4 molars coming in at once. They finally broke the skin about 2 weeks ago, and now she's working on all of the bumps and nooks and crannies that come along with molars. No fun. J's first two teeth popped through simultaneously the other night, accompanied by a few sleepless nights where he just laid there half-asleep and moaned. Poor little man was NOT happy. I went and got Orajel Nighttime for him (after all the homeopathic options failed to work on him) and the first night we used it, he slept for 6 1/2 hours straight, and I woke up with mastitis. I am miserable. Hurts like crazy, fever, chills, basically I feel like I have the flu. I've been trying to break up the plugged duct which seems to be working. Hopefully, I'll be okay tomorrow morning.

Kenny Chesney concert is tomorrow! As of right now, I'm not going. If, by some karmic luck, I am not feverish and can sneeze without crying in pain, I'll likely go. Weather's supposed to be h.o.t. (above 100) so if I'm feverish I should stay home methinks. Sitting in that kind of heat is what we call a Bad Idea. Fingers crossed!

Moving closer to crawling every day. S2 is great motivation for J, mostly because she crawls over and snatches toys from him, and then crawls away. Heh.

S2 is learning more and more words every day. Now we have:
diddy (doggie)
sydna (S1)
vic or toto or tora (V)
jacks-uh (J)
kickin (chicken)
kan kay (pancake)
juse (juice)
deck guh (thank you)
plt (please)
dat (that)
scoo me (excuse me...used once)
guh (good)
and today, we got Sa-mah-ma

And she signs

Verbal explosion indeed!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Growth Charts

Just for fun.

More new words! "Scoo me" (excuse me), "kick in" (chicken) and "seet" (feet). The last two both occurred for the first time tonight, within about half an hour of each other, oddly enough. Like I said before though, she waits until she knows she can do something and then she takes off. Amazing, truly. She also signs "change" now, and has connected it with having a soiled diaper. It's amazing.

J is THIS close to crawling. While at my friend's house the other night, he pushed up on his hands and knees and crawled about three paces in order to get a truck that was just out of his reach. B took this to mean that we must get him "boy toys" because otherwise, he'll never crawl at our house. I think he'll be fine.

Both babies want so desperately to be big kids. J gets frustrated when his sisters walk/crawl out of the room and he can't follow, and S2 gets frustrated when her sisters run out of the room without her, or do pretty much anything that she can't follow. Tonight, I was brushing V and S1's hair before their bath, and S2 crawled over and stood in front of me signing "pretty" and whining until I brushed her hair too.

We're fully in the throes of toddler-dom, and the "Terrible Twos" have started really early. It does seem to be a little easier to handle than it was with S1, however, as we're doing a lot more validation and redirection, and a lot less sighing and eye-rolling and getting frustrated. We're parenting differently, and all four kids seem to be thriving as a result.

Not much else is new. We found a soccer class for V to participate in this fall, so we may end up taking the girls on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, at least for the 8wks that S1 is in gymnastics, after which we may switch back to Wednesday. Not really sure yet.

I'll be taking the tax preparer course from Jackson Hewitt, and then I'll work as a tax preparer this season in the evenings, just for something to do to get me out of the house for a few hours. I need a little time alone each day in order to feel human.

Friday, August 17, 2007

15 month NICU clinic

Wednesday was S2's 15 month NICU developmental clinic appointment.

It was not so much fun.

Overall, she's fine. She's ahead of the game verbally (about 15 words and 6 or 7 signs now), and cognitively as well. She's very socially conscious, and very analytical. As far as physical development is concerned, they're not concerned that she's not walking yet, because she is at least starting the process. She pulls up and cruises, and has graduated from the commando crawl to the more traditional hands-and-knees position. Her fine motor skills are pretty good too. She drew on paper with a crayon, put blocks in a cup, took off her shoes and socks, and tried to put a dowel in the peg board (albeit unsuccessfully).

The main sticky point is her weight. She weighs 21 1/2lbs, and is 31" tall. She's average. Middle of the road average. She's between the 40th and 50th percentile for weight, and the 65th-75th for height. The concern is that she didn't gain "enough" weight between her last appointment (in April) and now. Let's see...she weight 3lb at birth, which means that she's gained 18 1/2 lbs and grown 14" in less than 16 months. She is on the charts, following her normal curve, and thriving. She eats constantly...she's a grazer. They said that if she hadn't gained "enough" weight by February, they would look in to putting her on growth hormones. Um, no. She's healthy, just thin. She doesn't need to be chunky, and frankly, that would NOT be healthy, as it's contrary to her natural body type.

These appointments do nothing but stress her and I out. For starters, I hate being in that hospital. It holds way too many negative memories and feelings for me. The appointments are supposed to be strength-centered, but instead turn in to conversations about what she's NOT doing, instead of what she IS doing. Like almost speaking in sentences. She dropped her toy, looked at me and said, "mama, uh-oh boom." Then when I gave it back to her, said, "deck guh" (thank you). We are required to strip her down to her diaper and leave her like that for the duration of the appointment, which usually means sitting in a 70 degree room for up to an hour with no clothes on. By the time we left yesterday, she practically dressed herself she was so cold.

So, after discussing all of that, B and I have decided to discontinue these assessments. She still sees her pediatrician every 3-6 months, and he knows her better, because he also sees her at her brother's appointments, which of course are not at the same time as hers, so both kids get seen every 2-4 months. WE know she's healthy, and on track, and doing everything she's supposed to be doing. After getting to bond with her, I know her personality well enough to know that one of these days, she's just gonna stand up and walk across the room, because that's her way.

She's healthy, she's happy, and she's growing and changing every day. And I don't need a "professional" to tell me that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We're grown-ups after all

B and I filed bankruptcy a few months ago. After S2's 4wk NICU stay, and the subsequent almost $60K in medical bills, we really had no other choice.

We've been trying for some time to figure out how to rebuild our credit. We'll be getting secured credit cards soon in order for both of us to work on our credit ratings separately, but tonight we took our first step to rebuild it together.

B's car is dead as dead can be. His parents very graciously gave it to us almost 2 years ago, and we've run it as far as it will go. It would cost almost 3 times its value to totally repair it. We called a dealer who specializes in working with bankrupt clients, and had a meeting with him tonight at 7. By 8:30, we were signing the last of the papers on the new car that B will drive.

It's a 2005 red Ford Taurus with 33K miles.

This is the first thing we've been able to get on credit on our own merit. We're so thankful and grateful that we were able to take th necessary steps to be able to recover from our severe financial burden.

As the anniversary gift plaque from my parents reads: Faith makes things possible...not easy.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The greatest gift

For Christmas a few years ago, Uncle K and Aunt B got S1 a pink plastic guitar. We got her big, over-sized, heart-shaped glasses for her birthday that year, and the combined product is the ultimate display of a rock star from a child's imagination.

This combination gift has enthralled all four kids, and they take turns passing it around the room and entertaining each other. Most recently, S1 wore the glasses and strummed the guitar while S2 danced.

Here it is:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Party animals!

J and S2 and I just got back from a birthday party for my friend's son, who turned 1 on 8/2. It was a heck of a party! Full sized and baby-sized moon bounces, a baby pool and kiddie pool, a huge bonfire, great food (and a truly amazing *rain-forest cake!), and wonderful company. My friend was frazzled as all get out, but everyone was thoroughly enjoying each others' company.

The whole point of this post however, is to marvel at how well J and S2 did! S2 usually naps about 4 hours in the morning and then an hour in the afternoon, but today she only napped for about an hour and a half. 45 minutes at mom and dad's, and 45 minutes on the way home. However, she was playing and laughing and having a grand old time right up until we left at 9:30. She's usually in bed by 6:45. She had one teeny meltdown early in the evening, but other than that, nothing. J didn't cry once all evening (well, that's not true, he wailed once when he got whacked in the head with a Tonka truck).

They both passed out before I'd made it down my friend's driveway, and S2 is happily passed out. When we got home and I got her changed in to her jammies, she lunged for her bed, hugged her stuffed duck, grabbed her bottle and rolled over.

J is rolling around on the living room floor laughing and shrieking. I wonder how long this will last?

*I forgot the camera, so no pictures of the amazing cake. Hopefully I can snag some from my friend, but no matter what, I'm getting that baker to make our next celebratory cake!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Let's Try This Again

I promise to keep up this time!

It's been a year since I last updated. V is 7 1/2 now, S1 is 5, S2 is 15 1/2 months, and J is almost 6 months.

School is about to start, and V and S1 are super duper excited. V will be going in to second grade, and S1 is starting kindergarten!

Last week was our annual beach vacation, and great fun was had by all.

V just finished gymnastics camp today, and has decided that it is NOT something that she wants to do outside of camp, which is fine. She instead wants to play soccer, which we'll arrange for her to do in the spring. We missed the deadline for fall registration, but she seems unconcerned.

S1 on the other hand, had an amazing time at camp and wants to keep going in the fall. We'll likely register her next week. She is also talking about wanting to learn to play the piano, so if she's still interested in a few months, we'll likely try to get her a keyboard for Christmas. I'd love to get a real piano, so that I can play again too, but that'll take a while.

S2 had great fun splashing around in the pool and ocean with her sisters, and decided she likes the taste of sand. She had a linguistic explosion while we were on vacation. Now she says: mama, daddy, sissy, jacks-uh, dug (dog), uh-oh, yay, juhs (juice), guh (good), buh-bye and dek uhn (thank you); she signs: more, pretty, eat, night-night and yay. Not sure when she'll walk, but that's ok. She's caught up, and that's all we can ask. Mentally and physically, she's right where she should be chronologically. She's about 21 1/2lbs, and 31", so she's tall and skinny. I tell ya, it's weird raising skinny kids.

J is a total water baby. B played with him in the pool every day, and he went underwater about half a dozen times, and came up grinning every time. Apparently those 9 months spent in water haven't worn off yet. It's awesome. He is scooting backwards, and will likely be crawling very soon. He pushes up on to his hands and knees. He's almost sitting unassisted, but then gets really excited in a "look at me!" kind of way, and flexes his hips and ends up flying backwards. He's also very verbal, and we have about an hour and a half before bedtime every night when we "talk" to each other. At least once a day, he and S2 also have a shrieking match, after which they both dissolve in to giggles.

Life is good, albeit busy, and I promise to get both of you all caught up ASAP.