Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When Your Morning Stinks, Literally

I'm not sure why, but it seems like whenever Bryan goes away on a business everything descends into chaos.  For this reason, I dred it when he tells me he has a trip coming up.  I do everything I can to mentally prepare for the gauntlet I'm about to run and hope and pray for the best.  Some trips go smoothly and others are just a cluster of one horrible thing after another.

Early yesterday morning Bryan left for his trip to Denver.  My efforts to be proactive in making sure I got the day off to a good start were thwarted before I got out of bed.  The remote control for the alarm clock that is clear across the room wouldn't work so it screamed at me for a minute or two while I pressed every button on the blasted remote to no avail.  I would learn 13 hours later that Bryan had put the remote to our old alarm clock in our bed the night before.  Grr.

Following the alarm clock fiasco I had the displeasure of slipping and nearly falling in the girls' bathroom as I tried to rush Katie to the potty.  Why did I slip?  Oh, because my children decided to leave a path of destruction in the bathroom littered with towels, dirty laundry and hair accessories.  So approximately 10 minutes into the day I lost it.  Somehow we all managed to get fed, dressed, ready and out the door in time for Mass.  It wasn't until we go out of the car in the church parking lot that I realized that my kids were missing cold weather accessories like hats, mittens and gloves on this awesome frigid day of 18 degrees.  Sigh.  On the bright side they survived and I managed to not berate the ones who should know to bundle up.  Instead I just criticized myself for not putting a hat or mittens on the baby.  I did, however, remember to put my own gloves on.  Convenient, right?

The rest of the day went well for the most part.  The girls and I got the house in order before bed and I was confident that tomorrow would be better.  After all, I had the right remote for the alarm clock, the baby had just been washed so she'd be easy to get ready for Mass in the morning and all would be good.

Enter reality.  I woke up at 4:30AM this morning to an odd scraping sound.  What could it be?  I got up and looked out the bathroom window to discover snow.  More snow.  Not wanting to know just how bad it was I was determined to go back to sleep for the next two hours.  But the scraping sound persisted.  So I dragged myself out of bed and looked out front to discover my neighbor shoveling his drive way and sidewalk.  I was livid so I took to expressing my annoyance as charitably as I could on FaceBook and then sent poor Bryan a text at what I believe was 3AM his time.  Misery loves company, right?  Sometime shortly after 5AM the irritating sound of shoveling stopped and I was able to fall back to sleep.  While I was awake I decided to be proactive and grab the house phone in case the school decided to call yet another snow day.  6:30AM I was jolted awake by the alarm clock, and both my cell phone and house phones ringing.  School was delayed.  That meant I could grab an extra hour or so of sleep since we wouldn't be heading to Mass this morning and we could have a relaxed morning where I surely wouldn't lose my temper.

Enter 7:20AM.  I hear the girls loudly scuffling in their room but Katie isn't awake.  Wait, no.  She's up.  And within seconds there are screams of "Poop" filling the upstairs.  Katie woke up a complete mess and Madeline promptly carried her to my bathroom and began drawing a frigid bath for her.  Bathing Katie isn't fun, so the prospect of two baths in 12 hours is not the most welcome thought but I'm happy that she's pooped since she hasn't exactly been into that since she started using the potty two weeks ago.  I walked into the bathroom and found Katie with poo smeared pjs.  I had to transport her back to her room to get cleaned up before she could go into the tub.  As is always the case where there's some sort of disaster in the house, the phone starts to ring and Ellie feels the need to try and shove the phone into my hands while I'm wrist deep in waste removal.  At this point I lost it.  I finished cleaning Katie up, drew her a warm bath and got down to the task of restoring her to a clean state.  While I did that, Bryan talked to the older girls via FaceTime.  Madeline was a tremendous help as she stripped the crib and got everything sent down to the laundry room.  By 8:00AM Katie was cleaned and dressed.

A few minutes later Madeline was on her way to shovel out front per Bryan's request.  I was ready to just let it sit there.  She made it ten feet when our neighbor asked her where Bryan was and then told her to go inside and he'd clear our snow.  I know that made Madeline's morning and mine.

I've got two more mornings to go until this business trip is over.  I'm praying that things go better from here on out.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quick Takes With 15 Weeks To Go!

Early this week I decided that I needed to get Katie's big girl room painted before I started to feel too exhausted to even think about doing it.  I think pregnancy is just harder on your body as you get older and even though I'm in my second trimester, I just don't feel like I have the abundance of energy that I recall having with the prior three pregnancies.  So a coat of primer and two coats of pink paint later, we have a perfectly pink bedroom for Katie. 

That heap in the picture above is nice, isn't it?  I've been looking at different variations of that pile of awesomness for almost a full month now.  A couple days after Christmas Madeline and Ellie moved into the same bedroom and this is the furniture that needs to find a new home.  I'm trying to muster up the energy to refinish Madeline's old armoire so that it matches Ellie's old white headboard.  The armoire is the same color as the four poster bed that you see leaning against Ellie's old bed.  I'm also still working on merging Ellie's closet items into Madeline's closet.  Fun times!

I've spent a lot of time clearance shopping the past two and a half months.  I've found a lot of great deals but I think I've hit a point where finding the sizes I want is near impossible.  6-9 month and 12 month baby boy clearance items seem to be non-existent.  

A friend of mine remarked the other day on Facebook that only I would have a Christening outfit picked out for the baby before he arrives and have a date for the baptism in mind, but not have godparents selected.  I have the outfit because I found it on an amazing sale and decided I should just order it.  I originally wanted a smocked Christening gown, but Bryan didn't seem to thrilled with the idea of putting a boy in a gown and neither did most of the other people I talked with.  So I found something that wasn't a gown but still had the look I wanted. 

We're having a hard time with picking godparents so we're taking our time this time around and are mulling over our choices.  We have four people in mind for the job.  Two of the people we have in mind have no idea we're considering them.  Once we decide on the godparents then I'll start working on arranging the baptism which I hope will be on June 13th- St. Anthony of Padua's feast day.
Between this week and next week we are wrapping up the second marking period of homeschooling.  I can't tell you how happy I am that we are at the mid-way point and to think I was nervous that we woulnd't make it past the first month and here we are half way through 7th grade.  Oh and some of you might find this funny.  I've done my best to stay away from that pesky 7th grade math but lately I've been having to help Madeline with the dividing and multiplying of fractions and have found myself doing a lot of 7th grade math.  I keep looking at it as if it was algebra, which I like, and am finding that it isn't as bad as I imagined.  
Can you believe I only have 15 weeks until my due date?  I've spent many hours wondering if that means I'll be pregnant for another 16 weeks or if maybe we're looking at 13 more weeks.  After having two kids two weeks early and then little Miss I'm Never Coming Out hanging on for a full 41 weeks, I have no idea when we should expect our little guy to make his appearance.  We've had a lot of back and forth on the baby's name.  We were really torn between naming him John Paul or Anthony. I'm pretty sure Anthony is the name that will win out in the end since it's a family name on both sides and St. Anthony hears from me all of the time.  Isn't it funny how I almost feel like I'm obligated to name the baby after him since I pester him so much?  When I mentioned possibly wanting to rethink names the other week Bryan asked me what St. Anthony was going to think.  He'd probably think that I lost my mind this time around instead of some random item.


Look at this cute picture of Ellie I just found in my photobucket.  She was probably about a year and a half in this picture.  I miss when she was this small.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life...
round button chicken


Just before heading out to play in the snow storm.  I love that the girls felt that jazz hands were necessary for the picture.


This kid makes me laugh.  She's figured out how to help herself to snacks.  So I walk into the family room to this scene of my two year old vegging on the couch watching the Disney Princess movie du jour.  Oh and did you notice that she's not in diapers?  We're two weeks into potty training and it's been an amazing success.  She's even taken to using public rest rooms like it's no big deal. 


We got about a foot of snow on Tuesday.  Ellie had a snowday from school on Wednesday and Madeline got her school work done early so they could all go outside and play for a bit.  

Theme Thursday on Friday

Yeah, yeah, I know it's called Theme Thursday becuase it's a Thursday thing but I was too busy wasting time on Facebook doing other things like cleaning my kitchen countertops and wasting time on Facebook to upload pictures from my camera and then go through them.  It's all about priorities, and yesterday my priorites were staying warm during polar vortex #2, getting the house to look somewhat clean, and eating half a pint of delicious ice cream in one sitting.

So the theme for this Thursday Friday is Catching People Unawares.  When I was going through the pictures I found a bunch of pictures of Bryan tackling the kids in the snow.  After the first one went down the others were expecting it, but this one of Bryan about to knock Madeline to the ground works nicely.  She didn't see it coming since she was too focused on the snowball Ellie was about to hurl at her.

Oh and do you like my awesome vantage point from inside the house?  Nothing like taking pictures through double paned windows and a screen!

Visit Clan Donaldson for more Theme Thursday or Friday, if you're like me.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Small Successes January 9th

Celebrating the little things that add up.

1. On Tuesday I plowed through the laundry.  I had the timer set in the kitchen and I was on top of getting everything swapped in and out of the washer and dryer.

2. I think Tuesday was the day the "Polar Vortex" or whatever they were calling it, hit our area.  I managed to pry myself out of bed on a day where the little weather station I have inside said it was 7 degrees outside.  SEVEN, as in 25 degrees below the temperature at which water freezes.  Sorry, but that temperature is just no good.  I had frost on the inside of my bedroom windows, people!  I'm pretty sure NJ is never supposed to be that cold.  Anyway, I think it goes without saying that the kids and I didn't go to daily Mass that day since I didn't think having baby Quattro freeze in utero as we walked from the car to the church would be a good thing.  So I had a rare leisurely morning where I stayed in bed longer than I should have and took a sort of hot shower that was longer than I should have taken.  I came out of the shower and realized that I should have already dropped Ellie off at school.  So with just minutes to spare before the school late bell would ring, I had to toss on clothes and drop Ellie off.  She got there on time so all was well with the world, except for the super cold temperature.

3. I'm back to using the color coded excel spreadsheet for Madeline's weekly lesson plans.  She wasn't thrilled with my lazy mom approach of writing the dates on the top of the work book pages and then doing a check list with the other items that had to be done.  Between the first trimester, vacation, holidays and my finger incident I really didn't have the time, energy or desire to write up lesson plans.

4. I've managed to keep all my Christmas decorations up this long.  Ok, I'll be really honest here.  First, I didn't feel like putting them up and now that they're up I really don't feel like taking them down.  Just thinking about the amount of work involved makes me feel like I need a nap.  Then there's the fact that I took hardly any pictures of my kids around the tree.  So one of these days when Katie has hair that doesn't look like she is going for the Flock of Seagulls look or the Aqua Net teased out 80's hair look then I'll take some pictures and get these trees undecorated and packed away.  But for now, the trees aren't bothering me.  In fact, I like the extra heat the family room tree gives when I have the lights turned on.  That's right, I'm using twinkle lights as my own personal space heater.

5. We've been in the process of having some electrical work done the past few weeks.  We now have lots of light in the basement and Bryan and I are both very happy with the work our electrician has done.  Now he's moving on to hooking our ceiling fans up to a switch on the wall.  So in the past week I have finally after 6 1/2 years picked out a ceiling fan for our bedroom to replaced the super ugly one that was installed by the previous owners.  I have also picked out a nice girly ceiling fan for Madeline and Ellie's bedroom.  Tomorrow is the day of the "great ceiling fan swap" where our electrical guy will need to install two new fans and move two existing fans to different bedrooms.   Once that's done I will need to pain Katie's new big girl room and get that ready for her.

6. We've managed to eat only meals prepared at home since last weekend. Our goal is to only eat out once per week instead of the 2-6 times a week we've been eating or ordering take-out.  We found in the past that we save a ton of money when we're not eating out and it's also better for us health-wise.

Visit and share your Small Successes for this week, too.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

22 weeks 5 days

It's official, I've switched to a "new" (technically I'm a new old patient at this practice) OB practice.  After the finger incident last month I came to realize that I really wasn't happy with the way things were done at the OB office where I had been going.  I wan't particularly thrilled with them when I was pregnant with Katie, but they had four midwives and I'm more comfortable having a midwife for my deliveries than an OB.

So I had my appointment today and of course I hit some crazy traffic on what has to be the most unlikely road to have traffic which made me late for the appointment that was I supposed to get to 15 minutes ahead of my scheduled time.  I really hate being late so that added some anxiety to my day.

I felt much more at ease as soon as I walked into the door of my old OB/GYN office.  I never had any issues with the place and have heard so many people rave about how much they like the practice.  I only left because the midwife I really like left the practice and I followed her.  But, when it comes to having a baby and relatively short labors, it's not feasible to expect to drive from a NJ suburb to Philadelphia to have a baby.  Not happening.

So back to my appointment.  I gave the nurse practitioner I saw at this visit the rundown on why I'm back.  And I asked her hypothetically, what she would do if I came in and said I had just caught my finger in the car door an hour ago and had washed it out and had the skin that came off placed back over the cut.  She cringed as soon as I mentioned the last part and told me she would have wanted to see it and would probably call in an antibiotic to be safe.  Ding, ding, ding!  We have a right answer.  Then I proceeded to tell her about how the midwife I saw on 12/12 wouldn't look at the injury when I asked her and had assured me that I'd be just fine.  No suggestion that I head to my family doctor or the ER or urgent care or anything like that, just a story about someone she knew who broke some fingers in a car door once.  So I certainly feel like I'm using a practice that will take action if I come in with a concern that isn't necessarily pregnancy related.

Since I was a "new" patient they did an ultrasound to confirm that it was a viable pregnancy.  I got to see our little guy who is always face down.  Perhaps he's trying to find a way out.  I would if I were him.

I asked about the fact that I'm of "advanced maternal age" which has never been addressed at the other practice.  So I know now that it's not considered a huge risk factor but it does mean that we'll have another ultrasound at 30-32 weeks to check on the baby's growth and I'll be doing weekly non-stress tests starting at 36 weeks.  I'm also only about four to six weeks away from the fun glucose test but I won't have to fast for it so that makes me happy, or as happy as I can be when it comes to blood work.  I know a lot of people hate that glucose solution but it doesn't bother me one bit.  I'm more put off by the two rounds of blood work than anything else.

I asked about when I should bring in my birth plan and was told if I want to bring it in at my next visit that works and it will then be around for the four OBs who handle the deliveries to review when I cycle through them for visits.  One of my big concerns was whether or not me wanting to labor in my own clothes would be an issue and I was told it wouldn't be.  I can't tell you how much of a relief that is to me.  My last labor was my most comfortable one and I attribute that to me wearing clothes that I felt were comfortable.  I hate trying to manage a hospital gown.  Being in a hospital is bad enough if you ask me, don't ask me to look like I'm actually one of the patients, too.

Right after I left my pre-natal appointment I headed over to my family doctor for the follow up visit for my finger.  He thinks it looks like it's healing up nicely and suspects it will be feeling and looking a lot better in a few more weeks.  The knuckle is still a bit sore and red, but it looks and feels a thousand times better than it did a few weeks ago.

So that's pretty much where I am at this point.  Oh and I even got two more pictures of the baby.  When I had my anatomy u/s the week before Christmas they only gave me one picture of the baby (and it was a really crummy picture) and told me that he wasn't very photogenic.  So this time I got a picture of his face down head and spine and his leg with a foot!  I get excited when I see the baby's feet on the ultrasound after having many ultrasounds with Ellie where we never saw her feet.  Hooray for baby feet!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I'm still here

I noticed the other day that it's been quite a while since I last blogged.  The finger incident, which I still haven't been able to bring myself to type out the whole story of my hospital misadventure, Christmas, moving two kids into one bedroom, the birth of my first nephew and a snow storm have just left me in a seemingly endless state of neglecting the blog.  Honestly, after my hospital stay, I've just had a hard time wanting to do anything.  I'm certainly in a bit of a funk but I'm trying my best to get out of it.

I've healed up nicely from my injury and infection.  My finger is still a bit sore but I'm thankfully able to to normal household tasks again.  I had about a ten day break from changing diapers.  I suppose that was probably the silver lining in this whole miserable situation.  That, and me not being able to wash sippy cups.  I really dislike cleaning sippy cups.

Our Christmas was quite nice.  We sat in the front row of chairs for Christmas Eve Mass in the parish school cafegymitorium.  That meant I finally got to take pictures and even some videos of Ellie singing in the children's choir, and I even snapped a few pictures of Madeline altar serving.  Katie was surprisingly well behaved considering she spent an hour before Mass trying to sit with Ellie and the rest of the choir.  We sat with friends at Mass which also made it a more enjoyable experience.

Despite the smaller piles of Christmas gifts, I still feel like the kids got way too much for Christmas.  We give the kids four gifts each (three from us and one from St. Nick) and a stocking.  Once you add in gifts from other family members, though, the piles seem to take on a life of their own.  Fortunately we didn't have anyone crying that she had too many gifts to open this year.  So that was a welcome change.

On December 28th my nephew, Miles, was born.  He weighed 9lbs, 7oz!  That's practically a two month old if you ask me!  Funny thing is, when we got to meet him a few days after he was born he didn't seem like he was a big baby, he seemed very newborn like to me, but that might just be because I'm used to carrying a 24lb toddler all the time.  Katie is quite taken with her new little cousin and kept calling him "my baby" and making this cute little sound as she admired him.  It was the cutest thing.  She was certainly eager to hold him and she has Bryan and I more than a little concerned about how we're going to manage having a 2 1/2 year old who wants to play mommy and a newborn.  I think we're really going to have our work cut out for us.

The past week and a half has been one of transition with regards to the kids' bedrooms.  Madeline and Ellie are now the proud owners of a beautiful bunk bed and are sharing a room.  We're still working on making Madeline's old room a shared space.  I still have to merge their closets and we have more than a few items that need to find new places somewhere else in the house.  We're getting there.

Ellie's old room is about to become Katie's big girl room.  I'm planning to pain the blue room a nice cheery pink.  I'm also trying to decide whether or not I really want to refinish Madeline's old armoire.  Right now it's a honey pine color.  I'd like to paint it white so it matches Ellie's old headboard which I like better than Madeline's old bed which used to be my bed.  So I have a bit of work to do.  I just need to find the energy so I can do it.

I've decided to keep the pretty light aqua blue walls that are in the nursery for the new baby.  The bedding I selected has some aqua in it and I think the wall help to make the aqua accents on the bedding pop.   I have most of the decorative items I will need to have the little guy's nursery just the way I want it.  I'm looking forward to decorating the nursery.  I'm hopeful that I will have the nursery set up by the end of February.

Madeline is back to playing soccer again.  I think she had about six weeks off.  She's playing indoor soccer for the next two or three months and doing training with her travel team one night a week.  Most of her indoor games are at the same time I teach on Sunday morning so I think I may only make it to one or two of her games.  Bryan's not coaching for indoor soccer so he's getting to see what it's like to manage a toddler on the sidelines.

So as you can probably tell from my hodge podge update, we've been a bit busy around here.  There's certainly a lot going on and I don't foresee things slowing down anytime soon.  I'm going to do my best to update the blog a bit more frequently.  I've got loads of pictures to upload so perhaps that will be a catalyst for me to do a bit more blogging.

I also want to wish you all a belated Merry Christmas (nothing like waiting until the 12th day of Christmas to wish you a Merry Christmas, right?) and a happy and healthy 2014!

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