Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

So this post has been a long time coming and I'm determined to do it before we become a family of six.
Along with a million other things like laundry and organizing the pantry... but I'm getting off track.
These were taken back in the fall by one of my many sister in laws.
I have six by the way....and one sister of my very own, and they are all very talented in their own ways.

This post is about Kristin,
Kristin's talent for photography especially benefits me.

If you are in the market for a husband I suggest you start the interview process by finding out if he has a sister who is into photography.... if he does he's a keeper.
Ok well make sure you like him too.....
Honestly though when I met Tom Kristin wasn't doing this yet, which is why there are very few pictures of our dating days, sad but true.

I am not so great about documenting everything even now and that is partly because I know that if Kris is there I don't need to worry. The photos will be taken and they will be a better quality than anything my point and shoot could ever produce.

The best part (besides the beautiful photo's) is she came to us!
So when Daniel's attitude came out we simply put him in bed and took some without him.
It was so much better than trying to keep him happy at a studio with a bunch of other cranky toddlers and their exhausted parents.
I love this one... its possibly my favorite.
....wait no this one...
.... I can't choose I give up.
Also I'd like to point out that the conditions in my yard are not ideal.
Our house is ugly,
old siding, lots of tools and things up back with whatever random car Tom is working on,
I don't want to make us sound like we live in a trash heap, but its a work in progress and we would like to add on to the house soon, and sadly that means siding and landscaping will be the last thing to get done.

I was convinced there would be something in the background of these shots that would make me cringe.
Like the old washing machine that has yet to make it to the scrap yard.
But she worked magic.
Her specialty is kids.
Obviously these are her nephews and niece but she is a big sister to nine and also a nanny.
If she can't get your children to smile for a picture then it can't be done... sorry.

However she does all sorts of different photography.
These she took for me just last weekend.
I hate pictures of myself... these however are some of the best I've had in a long time.
I love this in color and faded... and she even did it in black and white!
Too many options!
She was so good about telling me how to pose. I felt awkward but it ended up looking natural and flattering.
Seriously she did a wonderful job... I should get a picture of myself today and you'll see the difference!
This is not me nine months pregnant.... this is me through her rose colored camera, and I love it!
Its nice to feel pretty instead of huge for a change.
And now I really can't wait to see the cute newborn pictures we'll get!

So check out her blog.
She doesn't write as often as I wish she would because she is always busy editing her last photo shoot.
I suppose that is more important but still, I want more cute pictures to look at...
so comment, follow and encourage her people... more blogging Kris!

If your interested and want to book something or get some prices you can email her at kbphotography10@yahoo.com or find her on facebook.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Isabella's World

I am trying to loosen up.
Not worry so much.
Give up a little control.

So I gave my four year old my camera, and left her to her own devices.

The first batch are at our house, the second at my mom's aka Nana.
Side note: Please ignore my frightening appearance... showering and putting on make up take energy that I just can't spare these days.

The world through Bella's eyes....
What I like most... Daniel's face in the tent.
she took a picture of her favorite video game on my laptop... why???
Her fingers in the diaper change photo.
Her face in the picture with Aunt Julie... so serious!

All around this was way more interesting than I thought it would be!
I'll be doing this much more often.... and I'll probably need a new camera sooner as a result.
Oh well... life is short and childhood is shorter.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pink or Blue?

I'm trying to be patient but I can't.
I'm nesting, and that is on top of my normal need to be organized.

My Grandmother was an incessant "putter-er"
I got it from her I think.

The woman simply could not sit still. 
She would do all the dishes in the house after Thanksgiving dinner, 
wipe down the counters,
turn off the kitchen lights... 
and then someone would bring in one more dish and she NEEDED to wash it right then...
and wipe the counters again after.
I never understood it until I became a wife and mother.
Now my puttering gene has surfaced.

I was gonna just leave it to someone else to wash whichever box of baby clothes I needed.
Specifically my sister in law had offered.
 the one on the left is half of my 0-3 month boys clothes
the ones on the right are the girl... obviously... o-3 and some of the 3-6.
What can I say? Girl clothes are cuter....
I was even going to go as far as buying a neutral outfit to bring this little one home in.

Alas...I found myself at the mercy of my genetics and my need to nest
So I decided to just wash a few of each kind of sleeper, and a going home outfit.
 This one was Bella's...
and this was the boy's... it could use a little oxy-clean.
My kids are serious projectile pukers... I've gotten used to it.

Once the practical was out of the way I started day dreaming...
about girl stuff again.
Is it wrong to have a preference?
I don't think so.
But now I'm trying to imagine that this baby is a boy and he is reading this in about 16 years,
will he feel like it was wrong that we had hoped he would be a girl?
Maybe.
But I doubt it... because if we have done thing right he will never have felt any less than treasured beyond reason.

I want a girl because I have a sister who is my best friend and I want that for Bella.
Don't misunderstand, Bella's brothers couldn't be anymore in love with her, and she dotes on them.
But who will she paint her nails with?
Talk about boys with?
Complain about cramps to?
Watch chick flicks with?
Play barbies with?
Fight with for no real reason?
I know she'll fight with me by the way. I'm just hoping to share that burden.

I want a girl because I see my boys together and I love that they have a built in best friend for life.

On a more shallow note I want a girl because of all those cute clothes I haven't seen in five long years.


I would hope that it is obvious that more than that I want a happy healthy baby,
I want what God has chosen for our family.
We didn't find out the gender this time because we thought a surprise would be fun,
but we also knew that the moment they placed that baby in our arms any disappointment we may have felt back at that twenty week ultrasound will be crushed and forgotten under the weight of so much joy.

“A baby will make love stronger,
days shorter, 
nights longer,
bankroll smaller,
home happier, 
clothes shabbier, 
the past forgotten,
and the future worth living for”
 
~unknown

Thursday, January 13, 2011

35 Weeks

Today I'm 35 weeks pregnant and that also leaves just 35 days till my due date.
I like when things are easy to remember don't you?
It is snowing again as I sit on the couch under my blanket while the boys are napping and Bella is having a snack and watching a movie.
I understand what people dislike about winter but this is what I love about it.
Its so predictable, so the same. 
We snuggle up, we take better naps (hopefully).
We bake and take longer to make nicer dinners.
After a long, crazy, busy, hot summer...
I'm always ready for a nice snowy stuck inside kind of winter.
Don't worry though, come April I'll be itching for spring.

I'm almost always ready for change, when I get down I like to rearrange the furniture, always have.

It drives Tom insane... but I'm under the impression that is part of my job description as his wife.

The one thing I'm not sure I'm ready for is this baby.

Let's rewind.... when I was Pregnant for the first time with Isabella it was the longest nine months of my life ever. I thought she would never come, and even after she was here I looked forward to every new milestone with an impatient tap of my foot.
I'm really only now getting over that with her as she nears her fifth birthday and I really see how the years have flown by.... and will continue to I'm sure, with or without my input.

With Tommy it still seemed to last for so much longer than just the forty weeks they claimed it to be, but I was busy with Bella and it did go by more quickly, even if it wasn't quickly enough.
I was anxious to see what a boy would be like too.

With Daniel It seemed both slow and fast, I was ready by the end but I enjoyed the months of pregnancy much much more with him than ever before.

This kid... well other that dying to know if its a girl or a boy...I think I'm never going to be really ready.
It's like I know what I'm in for all to well at this point.

I remember.... its only been about 20 months.
Sleepless nights of a newborn, combined with the early mornings of a toddler.
The feeling that I am always holding, shushing, or comforting someone.
The desperation to get out of the house and the inability to find the energy to get them all ready.
Plus if you do get out how do you feed a baby and occupy three other small kids in public?
Cause you know any trip worth taking is gonna be longer than the two hours between feedings.

But lets back up.... I'm not ready to leave the house with four kids yet... not even theoretically.
I was thinking yesterday about our breakfast routine and wondering how I will fit in a feeding around all that chaos.

Sometime between 7 and 8 am.
Hear Daniel calling from his crib and drag myself out of bed.
 Let the dog out.
Fill three sippy cups... find out who wants cereal... who wants graham crackers.... who wants toast?
Change Daniels diaper and clothes....
Let the dog in.
Send Tommy potty...
get out clothes for older children...
help Tommy in potty...
direct Bella to clothes...
direct Tommy to clothes...
help Tommy get socks on...
Get them settled in front of cartoons with breakfast...
feed dog...
attempt to feed self while repeatedly telling Daniel not to dump out his cereal...
I am picturing all this now with a crying baby in the background... oh and I don't get to eat either.

I am overwhelmed.
I know it will work out.
I also know it will be hard.
I know that most importantly within days we will have a new normal...
one in which we can't remember our lives before we had four little demanding bundles of joy.

Not knowing if its a boy or a girl has me thrown for a loop too.
Everyone who knows me well has the same reaction.
"I cannot believe you didn't find out!"

Yup me either.
And as a consequence I have only a bassinet, some white burp clothes and a stack of diaper to show that a baby is coming in a month.
Two large tubs of 0-3 month clothes are waiting next to the washing machine.
one boy and one girl.

I like change... really.
I just also like a plan, I like to know when and how change will come.
 but like they say, if you wanna hear God laugh, tell him your plans....

And I haven't yet gotten my fill of the quiet, slow pace of winter.
I'm excited... but I can wait just a bit longer.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home

This weekend...
we rested and tried to kick these nasty and persistent head colds.
we said goodbye to two of Tom's little sisters who left for college.
we did a quick grocery run.
we watched movies.
we made milkshakes for sore throats.
we also made chicken noodle soup and tapioca pudding...
we stayed up late, and I slept in...
 thanks again babe.
when I rolled out of bed there were cinnamon rolls waiting hot and delicious.
That's the stuff happily ever after is made of people.

we played video games.
we watched really old episodes of Lassie and Cooking with Julia.
Surprisingly the kids were enthralled... even with Julia Child.
The oldest two asked if we could make bread like she was!

In case you think its all sunshine and roses let me set you strait.
we had our share of tears and tantrums.
when we needed to we had some quiet time in our rooms or a nice bubble bath.
solitude is good for the soul... and before long we were ready to play nice again.
At one point as we were waiting for bedtime to come and running out of entertainment and patience I looked at Tom and said its hard to go out with them and its hard to stay in too!

But bedtime has come and gone.
Everyone is tucked in and sleeping sweetly.
I'm relaxing to the sound of machine guns as Tom plays video games next to me... 
its an aquired taste, like classical music...

Now I'm looking at the calendar of the week ahead, and the to do list I'm making and thinking, 
If only everyday could be as hard as Saturday and Sunday...


Saturday, January 8, 2011

You Know its Bad When...


I started by just vacuuming the living room because Tommy did a little dance on the goldfish crackers Daniel had dumped out.

Then I go motivated and lazy all at once and decided just to vacuum the hardwood in the kitchen and dining room because it was starting to look scary dirty and sweeping with a broom seemed just exhausting and way to hard.

Then I realized the chopping block in the kitchen was covered in crumbs anyway and instead of stopping to wipe them off I decided to simply use the vacuum attachment....

I vacuumed my counter tops people.
Don't judge me... I was once normal like you... oh how far I have fallen.

A little while later I spotted Daniel playing with a toy from Bella's new doctor kit.
It was a little syringe... and he had it in his mouth.
Rather than get up I sat and tried to decide if it would or would not fit down his throat.
I determined it probably wouldn't do more than gag him because the end was big enough to keep him from choking or swallowing it and I could use that to pull it out.

I decided that a toy that could hurt but not seriously injure him was worth the risk... 
because he was being quiet...
sad but true.

The next day I took the kids up to my room to put away some laundry and generally clean up.
I took everything I could up with me but about mid clean up I needed a cold drink and a garbage bag.
I really really didn't want to carry Daniel back down the stairs with me... he can do it himself but he wouldn't go willingly with Bella and Tommy still playing on my bed and I didn't trust him up there without me for any length of time.
At the time I was considering what to do he was playing with Jack in his cage, crawling in and out.
I will admit I briefly considered shutting him in it for just a minute...
Then I pictured it somehow going badly... finger stuck in bars, head scratched on sharp metal.
and what the news anchors on channel eleven would sound like reporting it....

I think I make my best parenting decisions this way.
I say to myself... what would I think if I heard about this on the news...

 So you'll be happy to know I choose the more sensible course of action...
 I put him on some pillows in front of the TV...
and instructed Isabella to "gently" tackle him if he tried to get up.
Imagine her confusion since I spent the previous hours barking at her to stop touching him. 

There was minimal screaming, no injuries,
and I got my drink without having to drag an angry thirty pound toddler down the stairs on top of my huge belly.

So what have we learned?

You don't want to eat in my kitchen right now?

I'm lazy to the point of endangering the children's welfare?

A dogs cage is not a play pen?

A four year old can be a short term babysitter, 
if you give her the power to tackle the child in her care? 

Yes... but no.... I would say the real take away is a mommy's gotta do what a mommy's gotta do.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Pregnant

I'm thirty-four weeks pregnant today.
That means six weeks till the big day... probably at most seven.
And really I will be considered "any minute now" pregnant in just three weeks.

...and I have pretty much done nothing to prepare.

Wait that's not true, we have bought one box of diapers.
So the child will not go totally naked.
Its not that I don't have the urge to nest... I really really do.
But also have a head cold for going on five weeks now.
My ob told me on Monday that I need to rest or I could have it until I deliver...
I nearly slapped him, that is possibly six more weeks! 
He swears antibiotics won't help, in fact I've already had one round so I kinda believe him... but still.

I feel like there must be something more he could do... like hire me a maid service and a nanny.
Or put me on bed rest or sedate me until I feel better.

Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic here.... but this really just plain stinks.
I would like to enjoy the last few weeks of being pregnant and only having three kids.
I'd like to sleep while I still can but I'm averaging only four or five hours a night.
 
If there is a silver lining its that I am seeing how much I am loved. 
My mom did some of my laundry yesterday.
My aunt made us dinner last night.
My sister in law made us dinner the night before.
thank you all so much again!
 
Plus when they aren't screaming or getting into general mischief the kids are much more entertaining
to watch than daytime tv... and cute too.
... but when they are screaming it sure makes it hard to sleep.
So pray please that I get better before baby number four decides to join us.
Maybe long enough before that I could get the house cleaned one last time, 
and get some gender neutral sleepers washed for the poor kid.