Saturday, July 30, 2011

A rumbly in my tumbly

We went to see the new Winnie the Pooh movie last week, and we all loved it. I took the kids (sans husband) one of the days when the kitchen was being fixed and we needed somewhere to go to get away from the smell of the glue.

Hannah's favorite part was Pooh eating the honey and swimming in it at the end. She's a big Pooh fan! Genna's favorite part (and this is very telling) was piglet trying to rescue the group in the big hole, and cut the rope into six pieces so everyone could have a rope to get out, but then, of course, the ropes were too short to actually help. Isaac's favorite part was Tigger dressing up like the Backson, which is what I would expect from the dragon and monster loving boy that he is.

The part I identified most with was Pooh's "rumbly in his tumbly" not because I am hungry all the time, but because the way they showed his tummy rumbling reminded me of what my tummy looks like so often with Speck moving all over the place and making my whole tummy shake like Pooh's. If you don't know what I am talking about watch this trailer for the movie for a few seconds and you will see Pooh's tummy dance as it growls. Seriously, this is what it looks like and definitely what it feels like. Part of this is the way he is turned. He is head up and slightly to the side with his feet and arms facing out most of the time (though he does roll around and stick what appears to be his bottom out the other side of my tummy occasionally.) So this means he is still breech or possibly transverse at 35 weeks. We are praying this will change, and technically it is still possible in the next two weeks or so, but I am starting to prepare myself for the possibility of him not turning. I am looking into external version, where the doctor turns the baby to avoid a C-section, but so far am not convinced that the risks outweigh the benefits there. This is really an uncomfortable (for me!) position for him to be in since he is so big. It makes bending over much more costly, and any child who dare lean against my belly will get told in no uncertain terms (by Speck!) that he or she is crowding the little guy. I start my weekly appointments on Monday, so I will be updating more frequently about Speck, his impending entrance into the world, and his new name. I am having tons of contractions, as I did for a month or more with Isaac, but not regular ones, nor are they truly painful yet. Link

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nautical Mobile and Blanket for Speck

I made this mobile to match the theme of Speck's room which comes from some of Paul Signac's paintings of sailboats. I wish I was a better photographer. I didn't get good detail here. I sewed miniature pillows with ribbon tags so that I could disassemble this mobile at some point. There is a lighthouse, a sailboat, an anchor, and a life preserver. To hang it, I sewed a casing and tried using card board first. That wasn't strong enough so I used plastic instead. The ties/strings are made from an old t-shirt cut up. I was not altogether thrilled with the end product, but it will do for now. If I think of a better way to hang it in the future I may just do that. It just looks a little too sloppy for me.

As for the blanket, I followed this tutorial from Made for a faux chenille blanket. I suppose you can't really tell how soft and comfy this blanket turned out, so you'll have to take my word for it. The whole time I was sewing line after line and cutting line after line, I was thinking, "This better turn out the way it's supposed to." It was a good amount of monotonous work to have it fail, but it didn't. It turned out great despite the fact that my lines weren't the straightest. As a seamstress (if you can even call me that) I am, by far, NOT a perfectionist.

Final product

Below is a (poor) photo of the cut lines before it hit the washer and dryer to fray and soften the edges. For anyone interested, I used flannel for the layers that you cut and fray to make the faux chenille side of the blanket.

More to come on this fast developing nursery since we are getting close to the start of school and Speck's arrival...I hope!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's not easy being big.

We went to a playground on Wednesday after Mass since it was the first morning that it had been cool (78 degrees with a gentle breeze) in a while. I was surprised that the playground wasn't busier, but there was only one other family there with twin boys. Isaac and the boys started playing together and then the boys wanted him to jump off a part of the playground that had a ladder. It was too high for Isaac, for sure. It wasn't the highest ladder, but still very high. I told him he shouldn't do that until he is older and the boy asked me how old he was. I told him and then he told me he was 5. He was barely taller than Isaac, so I was surprised buy by this. Then I realized that Isaac is going to have to watch out for that as long as he is so big for his age, just like my brother did. You can get yourself into a good amount of trouble when the kids that are the same size as you assume you are the same age as them.

The girls noticed these boys were telling Isaac to do dangerous things and they went into protective mode and stopped playing. First they were telling Isaac not to jump from the ladder or from wherever. They even told the boys Isaac couldn't do those things. Then they sat a safe distance away and watched and listened until I realized what they were doing. I promised them at least a hundred times that I would watch Isaac and make sure he made good choices and told them that they should go play and have fun. Eventually I convinced them and they took off for the tire swing. I am glad the girls take such good care of their brother, but I am not sure where the doubt in my abilities to keep him safe came from. Should I be insulted?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick,

So she called for the doctor to come quick quick quick!

Dr. Daddy fixed Hannah's ceramic doll. She got her for Christmas from my mom and has been super careful with her ever since. However, she didn't heed my advice about not keeping her on her bed. We think what happened is the housekeeper may not have noticed the ceramic doll amongst the stuffed animals when changing the sheets, but we are not sure. Anyhow, a piece of her leg was broken when Hannah went to play with her. Hannah was truly heartbroken over this, and I promised her that Dr. Daddy could fix it since it was a couple of big pieces that broke off. So here she is a week later and all glued back together and bandaged up with brown veterinary tape.

Her doll's name has been Gecko, but today in light of her fresh start Hannah christened her as Kathy. Gecko remains her last name though. Kathy Gecko will also get a new and safer resting place on a relatively high shelf so as not to repeat this terrible incident.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Ruffled Duck Inn

Brian and I actually had a whole weekend without kids! My wonderful aunt, uncle, and cousins all kept them for the weekend so we could celebrate our 10 year anniversary (a little late) and have a sort of babymoon before Speck arrives. (Leah, we are almost decided on a name, I promise!) We picked somewhere close so we wouldn't have to waste too much time driving. We stayed at a B&B called The Ruffled Duck Inn in Oxford, Maryland. It was a quaint little town in the Chesapeake Bay area near Easton and St. Michaels. The Inn was adorably decorated and included three course gourmet breakfasts and delightful company. The other couple staying there at the same time was excellent breakfast company as well. Despite the heat, it was a wonderful trip, and we enjoyed every minute of it!

Saturday, we ferried across to St. Michaels and spent the day wondering in and out of shops, mostly antiques, in the scorching heat. Brian was surprised at how many times I had to recite my due date and that, "No, this isn't our first baby. It's our fourth." The jaw dropping then commenced in every single shop we entered (and occasionally in between) with at least three inquiries about whether or not I was carrying twins. I certainly received more than my fair share of sympathy for my condition in the awful heat as well.

We found this amazing old student desk...

...and a few things for Speck's room that shall be featured in a post soon when I complete his room. We ate lunch and stopped at a microbrewery for Brian. Then we wondered into a rug shop where a sweet lady took the time to show me how to hook a rug which I have been very interested in learning of late. (I am a little addicted to learning new craft skills!) I bought a hook from her. She showed me a website to purchase all the supplies I need to create my own rug for Speck's room since I am not really one for kits, and she recommended me teaching the girls how to do it too since it is an easy and safe craft for kids.

Saturday night and on Sunday on our way back we spent a little time in Easton, an artsy town with excellent food. We ate at Out of the Fire which was our favorite of all the great food we had.

In Oxford, we enjoyed sitting on the beach with our feet in the water and collecting some shells and a dead crab for the kids. We only saw one jellyfish which was good considering it is jellyfish season right now. We also enjoyed eating at The Robert Morris one night and, on a hot afternoon, having an ice cream treat at the Scottish Highland Creamery which was actually run by a Scot who had lived above and worked in an Italian ice cream parlor. You couldn't have kept my husband away from that place if you had tried, and I certainly wasn't putting up any fight either.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


This is what happens when someone decides he is not tired during nap time and plays in his bed for two hours. Then he falls asleep on my bed at 5pm. Not a good plan, but surely a cute one!

It took some work to wake him up for dinner. He just kept changing positions and closing his eyes again.

I'm not letting you grow up, Buddy!

Friday, July 22, 2011


We had the cabinets refaced this week. (Professionally! My husband doesn't have this kind of time.) Here is my almost completed kitchen that is much brighter. (For a "before" picture, go to this post.)

I say "almost" because one cabinet door is missing and if you look at the picture below, I still need to paint the pantry to match the rest of the kitchen. That wouldn't be so noticeable if I hadn't used that spot to test out the color.

My very own Mr. Fix it, AKA my husband, also replaced the vent over the stove so it didn't stand out like an almond eye sore in the middle of the new antique white cabinets. Plus, the new vent gives me much better lighting than the 30 year old one did.

I love our handles and knobs!

We also had this drawer added to hold extra sink stuff. And there was one deep cabinet that we added a roll out drawer to make access easier.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A nursing cover made in the wee hours of the morning

I was awoken the other day to change out some wet bed sheets at 5am and couldn't go back to sleep. So, I got up and made this before everyone was up for breakfast.

It only took an hour and a half from start to finish which is not too shabby. I already have one of these and thought since it looks so easy that I would make a spare. Another thing checked off my list before Speck gets here.

I got Hannah to model it for me, but she was a bit embarrassed. She said, "I hope this doesn't make me look like I'm having a baby."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Peter Rabbit Predicament

Despite our best efforts, the rabbits have made it into our garden. Not only that, they have made a nest and had babies right in between my two tomato plants! I had noticed digging, and was wondering what the culprit was. I was checking for bugs and such when I saw a pile of hair and grass in the garden and thought, stupidly that it was a bird or something that wasn't there.

I start ripping it apart and realized it went pretty deep and there was movement down in the hole. Then I see ears and think maybe it is mice. Well, it is a nest of tiny baby bunnies. If you look really closely in the next picture you can see them all huddled up asleep. I didn't want to bother them too much more to get a better picture.

We just don't have the heart to move them. I guess the plan is to watch and wait until they get big enough to venture out of the nest. Then we will chase them out and put a better barrier around the garden. I have some good looking tomato and cucumber plants that I am praying do not get destroyed in the meantime. Look at our first cukes!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Jeep for Cheap

Free actually! A friend from our church gave this to us. Isaac is giving our neighbor a ride. She is a little over a year older than him, but pretty much exactly the same size.

Luckily, it doesn't go very fast so they can't do too much damage. Mostly we keep it in the backyard because it drives on grass too. Pretty fun, right? I would have loved one of these when I was little. On Saturday evening, the whole cul-de-sac was out taking turns in this one and another girl's corvette (which goes a little faster.) There was a little drag racing going on. :)

Hannah is an excellent driver. I am hoping this is a good foretelling of the future so she can ease me into the teenage driving thing.

Genna, although not the best at steering, is much more cautious driving than she typically is. In the video, she kept worrying that she was going to run over the videographer because I was walking in front of her while taping.

Isaac, as you can see, has trouble staying focused on the road. It's probably his age though since he is a cautious rule-follower... for a boy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

ISAAC spells Isaac!

Isaac has been spelling his name for a long time, but now he can write it too. Really this isn't something I wanted since he has a hard time holding the pencil correctly at this young of an age. With the girls learning to write their names this young created a nightmare for their handwriting teacher (that's me, remember!) once they needed to learn to write correctly. Bad habits are hard to break! I taught him to write the "I" a good while ago, and then he figured out the rest on his own somewhat recently (with the exception of the "S" which is just a hard letter to get right anyway. )

Here he wrote his name (I helped with the "S,") and he drew a picture of me. He has added some more detail this time with the hair. He asked me to draw the clothes. Since I didn't have much to work with in the way of a body with arms, I improvised a little.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Things Hannah loves about us...

Brian and Hannah were laying around in the living room after lunch on Sunday and somehow he got her listing things she loves about different people in our family. I sat down and started typing them as she listed them. She decided that she really needs to watch her sister and brother more to pay attention to things she loves about them.

When asked what she loves about her daddy, she said...
1. He plays cards with me.
2. He lets me scratch his head.
3. He takes me outside.
4. His clean shaven face.
5. He is trustworthy when I want to jump to him from a high place.
6. He takes me places when Mommy has to stay with Isaac so he can nap.

When asked what she loves about her mommy, she said...
1. She has babies.
2. Cooks us three meals a day.
3. Her haircut.
4. She takes me to soccer and basketball.
5. She's my teacher.
6. She cuts my hair.

When asked what she loves about her sister, Genevieve, she said...
1. She likes to play with me a lot.
2. She loves me.
3. She prays when she does things wrong.
4. She shares with me.
5. She lets me win sometimes.

When asked what she loves about her brother, Isaac, she said...
1. He is cute.
2. He is very funny.
3. He loves Mommy so much.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Hero!

Just look at what my husband did for me! He made me this bookshelf!

It goes so nicely in this room too, the dining room/formal sitting room, our most grown-up room with no toys.

And look at his attention to detail! I certainly wasn't expecting that, but I probably should have though, knowing what a perfectionist he is.

It is an adult bookshelf with none of the kids' books on it. I still have two big baskets of books in between the couches on the other side of kid's books. They would never put them back on the shelf nicely. The bookshelves in the kids' rooms are a losing battle to keep neat.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chores and allowance for an almost 3 year old

We did not start allowance this early with the girls, but because he sees his sisters getting an allowance and having a chore chart he wants in on the action.

What chores can an almost 3 year old do and actually be helpful? Well, I have decided that any little thing that he can take off my plate is helpful so here are his chores.

Dressing himself in the morning and at night
Putting his shoes on and away when he takes them off
Putting his night time Pull-up in the trash can
Getting his own cereal or yogurt out for breakfast as well as his bowl and spoon
Putting his breakfast dishes in the dishwasher/sink when he is finished
Helping his sisters unload the silverware from the dishwasher
Cleaning up his toys
Cleaning up after his lunch
Helping his sisters set the table for dinner (Although they truly do not like to relinquish any of their chores to him. Weirdos! One day they will be begging to get out of chores.)
Putting his dinner dishes in the dishwasher
Pushing in the chairs at the dinner table
Filling ice cube trays (This was Genna's job, but he loves it so much that I usually let him do it.)
Feeding himself (This one I added because he got a teensie bit spoiled in Texas with family volunteering to feed him too much.)

I am going to be adding putting his clean clothes away in drawers soon.

It seems like a long list all broken down like that, but really it isn't much and doesn't take much time at all, but it saves me quite a bit in the end. Besides, he loves it! Sometimes I even give him extra chores because he gets bored and starts asking me for "work" or a "job." It reminds me of Hannah. Here he is after successfully filling the ice trays. I don't know what the poor boy will do once we finally get a plumber to put a water line in and hook up our fridge so it will make our ice for us.

I should add that, yes, sometimes crumbs get spilled when he is taking his dishes to the sink and water gets outside the sink (maybe even all over the floor from time to time) when he rinses off his plate or bowl, but I just don't care. It is how they learn, and it is worth it to me.

How much allowance do you give an almost 3 year old? (I am sorry, but I refuse to call him a 3 year old until his actual birthday. I have to add the "almost" even though it is less than a month until the big day. Sniff sniff. After all, I don't want him to grow up any faster than he has to.) Since he has no concept of money yet, the answer may make you laugh. I only give him a penny a week. He thinks it is the best thing ever and safely sticks it in his turtle bank every week. I may be accused of slave labor after making this confession.

My next goal is to start teaching all the kids about tithing, but one tenth of their meager allowance adds up to tithing their allowance every ten weeks which is hard to keep track of. Maybe Hannah and I can brainstorm about this. She's my creative problem solver. The big kids and I have definitely talked about it and about charity, but it has been hard to get them actually tithing consistently.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Don't grow up!

Isaac's 3rd birthday is fast approaching. He wanted a dragon party, then he wanted an airplane party. Then dragon, then back to airplane, and it went on and on. Finally, I took him to the party store last week while the girls were at art camp, and we looked at the pinatas. He was back to dragon that day, and therefore I found a cool Chinese dragon pinata. Well, what do you think was hanging next to it? An airplane pinata, of course! So he went back to airplane again. This time I made him promise me he wouldn't change his mind if I bought the pinata. He promised and, we bought airplane party stuff. This actually makes the cake easier since I am just going to do a rectangle cake with a runway and put an airplane on it ready for take off. Super easy compared to the dragon cake I had found.

So I am always teasing the kids that I don't want them to get any bigger and grow up. They laugh and think it is funny and tell me I can't stop them. (The truth is the teen years scare me to death!) Isaac was just telling me the other day that he was growing up, and when I asked him if he knew the secret to stop him from growing up he said that I had to push on his head everyday. So I have been trying it out. Although I know it won't work, I give his head a little squash push every night just in case. I mean who wants this cute face to change and this sweet voice to get deeper? I look at his adorable round face and that soft skin and just want to kiss him a hundred times a day. Even when he is being naughty, he is cute! It's just wrong for someone to be that irresistibly adorable!

At about 1 am on Monday morning, I wake up to Isaac calling me from his bed. I open his door and he says, "I love you, Mom!" I am half asleep, and so I sit on the foot of his bed and say, "I love you too, Buddy. You know it's still dark, right?" Then he lunges at me and gives me this giant hug. When he lets go, he said, "There! I did it! Good night, Mom." He laid right back down and cuddled up with his crocodile and horse. I tucked him in and went back to bed with a smile on my face. What a sweet boy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I love you the same

Friday night we went to dinner, and I caught this sweet father daughter moment on my camera.

I was teasing Genevieve after dinner that she loved her dad more than me. And she gives me this long speech about how she loves everyone in the whole world the same. She said she even loves the strangers sitting at the next table the same as me. She went even further and said she loves people who are mean to her the same as me. God sure has given her the gift of love, and I know He will do great things in her with this gift.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Art Camp

The girls had art camp this week in the mornings. They really enjoyed it, and Isaac and I loved our time alone to run errands. Since today was the last day, they had a reception to exhibit their artwork at the end of the class.

They even made a portfolio to carry all their work home. After we looked at the work and the classroom, the kids enjoyed some cookies and juice. They were rushing me through their artwork so they could get to this part. :)

Next week, we can get back to swimming again, since Hannah has finished yet another round of antibiotics for her ears. I bought her a headband that is supposed to keep her ear plugs in better while she swims. Hopefully, that is the last ear infection!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

32 Weeks

My Speck is supposed to weigh around 4 1/2 pounds right now, but a friend at church told me she thought he was close to 8 pounds already. I sure hope not!

Since I am 8 months pregnant, I thought I would give a little synopsis of how things are going right now. I just found out that I am anemic and will be taking extra iron now which is a first for me. I also have had my thyroid medicine raised twice during this pregnancy which is also a first for me. I have been on the same dose forever. I am exhausted after lunch for pretty much the rest of the day. My back only hurts in the car or at then end of the day. My belly feels super tight and kind of aches at the end of the day as well. So basically, I am most comfortable in the mornings which has been the case for this whole pregnancy. That sounds like I am all complaints, but really I am not. I love being pregnant. Here's the good news. If I walk twice a week, my varicose veins in my left leg don't hurt nearly as much. This may sound like more bad news, but, trust me, it is amazing news because before I discovered this I was in some serious pain. Speck is quite the mover and shaker. He rolls around and punches me like I am his personal punching bag, and I love it! It does make me worry a bit about his temperament though. :) My complexion is great. I can still wear my wedding ring. And the kids are just so excited to meet their littlest brother! They all have big plans on what they will be doing for him. From helping change diapers to who gets to sit next to him in the car. Speaking of, I bought him a new infant car seat this week because our original one had expired.

I have made some progress on his room. We have bedding and curtains, pictures (not hung yet,) and a home-made sailboat pillow, and a mostly completed home-made mobile. What's left? Well, another home-made pillow, a shelf (Brian's job mostly,) a faux chenille sailboat blanket, a nursing cover, a personalized sailboat clock, and an outfit to come home from the hospital in. Brian also needs to move the lantern lamp from the girls room to Speck's nursery. Plus, I really want to make a red round rug using this tutorial, but I know that won't happen before he is born, since it is super time-consuming. As for other things on my to do list, picking a name and godparents for this little guy are top on my list.

Oh, and I wanted to record my cravings as well. I craved water and didn't drink soda at all for the first trimester. Then that stopped and I wanted only diet Dr. Pepper, caffeine free, which is not easy to find. I also didn't want chocolate for my first trimester, except for chocolate covered pretzels. My love for all things chocolate has since returned. I was disgusted by a salad overloaded by radishes and think I would be happy to never have another radish in all of my life. Other than that I have craved sno-cones and cheese fries the whole pregnancy, really anything cheesy or dairy at all. I also want fresh fruit all the time. I also had a good long craving for celery with blue cheese dressing for dip.

I guess that's it. This may be a boring post for some, but if I don't write it here it will be lost forever. This is how I remember.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Starworks and Sprinklers

Starworks is what Isaac calls fireworks, and sprinklers is what he calls sparklers. He has a lot more funny words for things than the girls ever did.

We had some trouble getting into the area where the fireworks were to take place since we came from a barbeque at a friend's house. So we went to a nearby neighborhood and happened upon a common lawn area that had room for us. It turned out to be perfect since the traffic would have been horrendous getting out of the official park area and the fireworks only lasted about 10 minutes or so, possibly the shortest fireworks I have ever seen. And many people were shooting fireworks in their backyard so we got a pre-show and a finale bonus.

It was sprinkling when we left the house and luckily stopped for the fireworks. It didn't start really raining until after we were safe inside our house.

Isaac fell asleep while we were driving and that is why we threw him into the stroller so he didn't have to walk while waking up. He picked the wrong day not to fall asleep at nap time. He really enjoyed his first fireworks ever!

When we got home Brian busted out his endless supply of sparklers.

Usually I go inside for this activity since fire makes me nervous even when it isn't put into the hands of my children. Brian prefers me not to be there because he doesn't want my fears to rub off on the kids. So I was trying to be good. Isaac just had it so close to his face it was killing me. That's why I told him to straighten his arm. :) After all, I am just a mom. All moms worry about their kids safety. It's in the job description, isn't it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Crafts

We spent all morning doing crafts I came up with (mostly) on the internet when I woke up this morning. So know that none of these are from my own creative mind, but from other wonderfully more energetic than myself and creative mothers.

Here's the first one which was the best because it kept Isaac busy and I had to do very little and no prep. I am really feeling the heat and my growing belly these days and can seriously get very little accomplished. I sent him looking for blue toys and red toys to put in baskets. Then I showed him how to arrange them in the shape of an American flag.

Then we went outside after I cut out some stencils out of cardboard. Brian was out for the morning so we decorated the driveway for his return with sidewalk chalk. It was pretty hot, but not as bad as it is going to be this evening for fireworks.

And finally just before lunch, Isaac did some 4th of July sticker matching while the girls made necklaces from the $1 kits that I got at Joann's.

Here are their necklaces...

Tune in tomorrow to see our pictures from the rest of the day. I have to get my cake out of the oven and lie down for a bit before the busy bodies are up and running around again.