Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Little Night Owl

I still think that putting both kids in the same room was a good idea. I'll stick to that because of the hours of contented play that I've been able to observe. However, there has been one drawback. Since moving in, Boogie has shown Buggy how to use the door knob and open doors, and as a result we have a little night owl.

Every night after Hubby tucks the kids in to bed, Buggy will sit and talk to Boogie until he falls asleep. When he falls asleep she starts her little night escapades and she comes out of the room at least 5-8+ a night.  She slips out of her room, comes to our room and tells us she has to use the potty. Of course, not wanting to pass up an opportunity to potty train I take her. I realize that this is a ploy to staying up later, but I also don't want to lose any chances to potty train, so I'm putting up with it for now.

The next several times she comes out of her room it's to tell us that she will wake up in the morning and wake us up.  She also kisses us a billion times and kisses my belly a billion times. Who can resist sweet kisses from our darling 2 year old?  We've done the "Nanny 911" one thing and dutifully put her back in her room without comment. We do this several times a night. We've found that the only thing that works is that our lights are out and we go to bed, too. Then she realizes that she has no audience and goes back to bed until morning. We've tried to watch tv downstairs and leave most of the lights off and the tv low, but the little stinker knows that we're up and doesn't want to miss out on anything.

Friends have suggested putting a doorknob toddler lock on the bedroom door, but I can't do that because Boogie will get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. If he can't get out, he'll freak because he'll be in a half sleep and won't know what's going on. Can't do a gate for the same reason. So right now we've just got to convince our night owl to stay in bed. And it doesn't matter what time she finally sleeps, our little stinker still wakes up at 7:30 every morning without fail.

I think my husband's last words to me last night before we fell asleep was, "She's defeated us."

While that's not entirely true, it certainly fell like it last night ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Day!

Yesterday was a snow day. We had a thunder snow the night before and we accumulated about 9 inches of snow.  Hubby was out early shoveling the driveway in case I went into labor sometimes yesterday.  The kids woke up and he took them outside with him. They had fun playing in the snow while he shoveled. I was oblivious because he totally let me sleep in. It was so nice to get some extra sleep.

When I got up it was time for Buggy to come in. She kept losing her gloves and her little hands were frozen.  She joined me inside in the warmth and I made her a mug of hot chocolate. It was a big hit.  About an hour later a crying Boogie came in. Poor guy, his little hands  hurt so much because of the cold. After a quick trip to the bathroom, shedding his snow clothes, and a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows, my little guy was quite happy again.

Our neighbor is a great guy and offered the use of his snowblower.  He's a very nice guy, but I also think he could hear Boogie's very loud questions about when I was going to the hospital to give birth to Baby J. I think our neighbor was very happy to help however he could.

We had  a relaxing afternoon and once again I was able to take advantage of Hubby being home and was able to take another nap.  I'm taking advantage of getting a nap whenever I can these days.  When I woke up, the boys were out again. The snow plow had come by and finally plowed out our cul-de-sac, but of course dumped snow in front of our driveway. While Hubby shoveled, Boogie played in the snow.  They also took time to build a snowman. I was so happy Boogie was able to do this. Even though we had back to back blizzards last year, he never made a snow man. It was actually too much snow to wade through for a 3 (almost 4) year old.

We had a relaxing dinner of grilled cheese and soup, perfect for a cold winter day. I was happy to have my family home and to enjoy some time with them before we become a family of 5 :)

Buggy talking on the phone while she prepares "dinner." She was "talking" to her Lola.  I think this is how she often sees me when I'm cooking dinner. I'm usually talking to a friend and trying to multitask.

I love the look on Boogie's face of finally making a snowman. Something he's talked about since the last big snowstorm, a year ago.

I love the look of joy on his face.

A serious artist.

I LOVE this picture!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I think the time is getting close. I mean in addition to the fact that I'm 38 weeks.  I've been wanting to go to the gym to walk, which I've yet to do.  But first I decided that I absolutely needed to run errands to buy birthday presents for the 9-cousin birthday party we are going to on Sunday. Fortunately I had bought/made some of them already.  I sent Hubby out with Bug last Saturday to pick up a few more. On Tuesday I went out and got the the last two. Whew!  Now I just have to wrap it all up and have it ready.

I also decided to run to the store yesterday during the lull in the storm to get a few more essential items for today: milk, eggs, and hot chocolate!  I think I'm also going to make an apple crisp for dessert tonight. Yum! I want to make one for my neighbor, too, because she watched my kids at the last minute yesterday so that I could go to my OB appointment. Hubby couldn't make it home in time to watch them and I didn't want them to go with me for my internal exam. She has 3 kids of her own and willingly took my two until Hubby showed up 15-20 minutes later.

Even though I've got my never ending "to do" list on hand, I've started developing one in my head. Things like "wrap sibling gifts to take to the hospital for when the kids visit," "wrap cousin gifts so they're ready to go even if I'm at the hospital and Hubby & the kids go the birthday party by themselves," "make frozen meals," "double check to make sure I have directions," etc.  Things that hitting the priority list on my never-ending to do list.

Things are fine on my end. I'm huge and I'm a little disheartened by it. I was hoping to not gain so much for this pregnancy. But without being able to walk/work-out like I was hoping to do during this pregnancy has made me pretty lazy about my weight.  I need to figure out how I'm going to get back on track in the near future.  I refuse to let this weight hang around for the next 4 years like I did with the first baby.

I'm having regular/false/BH contractions. But that's been the story forever!  However, this last dumping of snow is making Hubby really anxious.  He's out shoveling our driveway and seriously considering shoveling a path for our car to the main street. I love our neighborhood. But we are always, always, always the last cul-de-sac to get plowed. The snow stopped around 12 hours ago and we haven't seen any sign of a snow plow.  Normally, I don't mind. I'm happy for any excuse for Hubby to stay home and enjoy a snow day with us. But being 9 1/2 months pregnant makes me antsy.  I'm hopeful that Baby doesn't get any bright ideas about now being a good time to come out.

As far as my check up goes, I am 1 cm dilated and nothing is moving. Though my OB doesn't think I'll make it to my appointment scheduled for next Wednesday. Fingers-crossed that she's right!  Especially since she's not here that week and I have to see another OB in our practice for my (possibly) last appointment before the baby is born.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Moving the kids into the same room was a great idea overall.  I'm finding that they are playing together more often and for longer. Boogie still has a hard time saying, "our room" versus "my room," but he's doing fine.  Buggy loves sharing a room with Boogie. She adores him and loves to do whatever he is doing.

One thing that we have been trying to work on is finding a space for Boogie to play by himself without his little sister.  She wants to follow him everywhere and sometimes he just wants his space. I think that's fine and I'm okay with that. However, he taught her how to work the doorknobs so he really doesn't have a space to himself. Even though the nursery is free, we try to keep that door closed as much as possible because Buggy keeps calling it her room. We want her to let go of the attachment of that room and know that it's Baby J's room.

Just the other day Boogie went down to the basement to play with his trains and his new-to-him train table courtesy of his cousins. The door to the basement is a little sticky (we have to get it fixed) and takes a little more muscle than a 2 year old has to open it. But Boogie took advantage of it and went downstairs to get some space. I found Buggy crying her heart out at the closed basement door.  It was so bad I thought she was hurt. She was...but not physically. Her little heart was broken that her big brother didn't want to play with her. I have to say Boogie handled it well and politely said, "Buggy, I just want some alone time." He had already played and ran around the house with her for over an hour before.  Because he was kind when he spoke to her and he really did play with her quite a bit, I supported his decision. I tried to comfort her, but to no avail.  I had to go to the basement to take care of the laundry and asked if she wanted to join me. I told her she could say "hi" to Boogie, but that she was supposed to stay with me in the laundry room. She jumped at the chance.  She stood at the door of the laundry room waving at him for a good 30 seconds. He did acknowledge her and continued to play.  She joined me in the laundry room and helped me to transfer clothes to the dryer. When we were done she sat near him and began playing with the other trains. I think because we respected Boogie's request for space and time, he did not fuss one bit about her playing around him. They still didn't play together, but Boogie did a good job sharing his tracks and trains and she did a good job playing around him without bothering him. I think she just wanted to be near him.

I like the friendship the two of them are developing.  They are becoming friends and Boogie tries to help Buggy when he can. He taught her the trick of how to get her jacket on  by herself by flipping it over her head. He tries to help her with her shoes when Mama can't do it. He tries to interpret her cries when I can't figure out what's bothering her.  She of course adores him and loves to be with him. I think her favorite part of her day is when we get to pick him up from preschool and she sees him after her nap.

I hope this friendship continues to grow. I'm so proud of my big kids. They are also very excited about being siblings to Baby J. and talk about him coming out all the time. Just the other day both kids put their heads on my tummy at the same time (Yes, I am really that big!) and chanted, "Come out, come out. We want to see you!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So Completely Random

On Sunday I had to run out to the mall. This is not my ideal Sunday task, but I had bought a pair of nice dress shoes for my husband's birthday and they did not fit him. In order for me to do an even exchange with the current price I had to return them on Sunday (I bought them on Saturday). Saving over 50% for a really nice pair of dress shoes gave me the motivation to go out on a cold Sunday afternoon. I had to go to two different malls to accomplish this task. The first mall where I had originally bought the shoes did not have his size so I went to one a little further away. I'm going to share some completely random sightings during my adventure at the malls that made me shake my head:

#1 Nicely dressed man (May have been wearing a suit) asked the sales clerk at the Men's shoe counter if they had shoe shine. She pointed him to what they had. He told her it wasn't shoe shine. She was trying to help me at the same time. She turned and looked under the counter behind her. He crouches down with her and says, "That's it. Can I borrow it?" Exasperated because she's trying to help me says, "Fine, fine, go ahead." He then stops her and asks if she has a cloth because he needs to shine his shoes there and then.  Again exasperated, she says, "Look under the counter." He found what he needed and proceeded to shine his shoes in the shoe department. I thought her reaction was understandable. It was weird. When he was done, he returned his used supplies and then asked for the men's room. I really thought we were being punked.

#2 At the end of my successful exchange at the second mall, I decided to treat myself to a pomegranate lemonade at the coffee bar near my exit.  As I was waiting in line I noticed that the woman in front of me paid for her $5 coffee with a $100 bill.  Again random and weird. You really didn't have anything smaller?  However, is that any different for me paying for my $6 lemonade and muffin with a credit card? Is this jealousy talking on my behalf because I never have a $100 bill in my wallet? Just kidding, but I did think it was random and weird.

#3 Not 5 minutes later as I headed out, I saw a woman pushing her preschool daughter in a stroller. The daughter had a portable DVD player in her lap and was watching movie. Now I think I've seen it all. Seriously?  Again, totally random and weird.

#4  Even though Costco is not a mall, I have to add this last one. While waiting in line to get the pizzas I ordered for Hubby's birthday dinner (his request: Packers on tv, beer, and pizza) a teenage girl was in line. She ordered a soda. The price was $0.63.  When the clerk rang her up and told her what it cost, the girl looked confused and said she didn't have the money.  I don't know if she thought it was free or if she thought it was only $0.50...but she didn't have the money and looked very, very confused. I was standing right there and gave the clerk the $0.63. The girl did thank me and left with her soda.

I was so ready to be home by the time my errands were done. I just shook my head as I shared my day with my husband. So completely random...

Friday, January 21, 2011

...And Potty Training Begins...Again...

When I tried to potty train Boogie, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else. Everyone was starting to train their 2 year old and I thought that I needed to do it also.  It only frustrated me. He wasn't ready and he rebelled.  When he went to Montessori school they would help with the process, though it was ultimately up to me to train him.  I was down with that after having a very frustrating Summer trying to do it on my own.  Eventually Boogie got on board and actually did it himself. I went out for a Mom's Night Out and came back to find out that he was using the potty on his own. I think he need to me to let him be independent and do things in his own time. He became interested in training before he hit age 3.

After the experience with Boogie I decided to let Buggy let us know when she was ready.  Hubby has been good about always checking with her before bath time and when she wakes up. I can see the signs when she's ready to do more than just pee and I take her. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I definitely don't push her.

I think yesterday we turned the corner and I think we are up for potty training now.  This is how our morning went:

Buggy wakes up. She's wearing a nightgown and carrying her diaper.  She says she's "poopy," her universal word for bathroom whether or not she is "poopy."  I tell her to throw her wet diaper away and we'll go on the potty. (In retrospect I should've just stuck her on the potty.) She throws her diaper away in the diaper pail, stands next to my bed and promptly pees on my power cord to my computer where I'm working in bed. I say, "Oh, no!" and tell her to sit on the potty. She complies.  I get towels to clean up the pee. I walk over to the diaper pail and there's pee over there, too. Poor thing. She really had to go and peed first by the diaper pail and finished peeing next to me. As I'm trying to clean up the mess, I hear a sploosh. My daughter fell into the toilet because she decided to sit in the one in the master bedroom where there isn't a toddler seat. She fell in.  I pull her out, take off her nightgown, and clean her up.  This is when I decide that she must be ready. So here go...again...good times.

She at least tells me that she has to go. Sometimes it's after the fact, but we still attempt it. I hear that girls are easier and faster to train than boys. I would have preferred if she waited until after the baby is born, but if she's ready now, let's do it.  We'll figure it out as time goes by. Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still Here

Well I guess the baby wasn't ready. I'm home and there's no baby.  I was so sure that he would arrive yesterday. I mean it was a Wednesday and there was a full moon. Wasn't he supposed to arrive?

With that being said, I'm glad he didn't arrive yesterday. I was hit by a wicked cold Tuesday afternoon. And while I felt okayish throughout the day on Wednesday, it definitely got worse by bedtime. I went to bed early and tossed and turned most of the night.  I'm up early today because I can't sleep anymore, I'm just so congested.  I'm hoping that some more rest, lots of lemon tea, orange juice, and water will help this cold go away. I feel like I've had 3 of them in the last 4-5 weeks. One right after the other. I think Bug and I are swapping the same cold. She gets it, gives me a bunch of lovin' with her kisses, I get it, give it right back to her, and then she shares the germs with me again.  I'm starting to feel a little better, so maybe going to bed early last night helped.

I was so sure I was going in yesterday that I spent most of the day trying to import a book on CD onto my computer so that I can sync it to my ipod. I didn't realize what a hassle that is.  It took me most of the day to figure out that I did it wrong and most of the afternoon to correct it. I'm still trying to do it this morning. Fingers crossed that this will work. I should've chosen a shorter book. But no, I decided to upload the 28 audio discs to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander.  It's taking me forever! But I've got CDs to go before I can figure out how to put it all together for me to listen to later.

But I love the book so if this works, I'll upload her next book.  I like listening to books on CD while I'm crocheting, but this book isn't exactly kid friendly and I can't listen to it with the kids around...which is, of course, all the time. So I thought if I put it on my ipod that would be better.

So I'm still here. It's just another Thursday. I'm taking it easy and hoping I will be less congested by the time the baby arrives. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All Babies are Born on Wednesday, Right?

Both of my kids were born on a Wednesday. With Boogie, my water broke on a Monday night (11:59 pm) and I finally give birth to him on a early Wednesday morning. With Bugs, I started having contractions on a Tuesday afternoon and give birth to her on a Wednesday morning. I'm convinced that this baby will be born on a Wednesday. I mean really, how can I be wrong?

I know for a fact that babies will come when it's time. Sometimes they need a little help because they love the womb so much but they eventually come out.  Both of my kids came when they were due according to my NFP timeline. I was right both times.  However, I'll have to recheck my calculations because according to them I'm not due until the 16th, but I'm already measuring 37 weeks with a doctor's estimated due date of Feb. 7th with the 11th being the latest.  I have an appointment on Friday. I'm anxious to find out if I have dilated at all. With Boogs I never dilated and nor labored on my own. They had to put me on pitocin, because even though my water broke, he wasn't budging.  With Bugs, I was only 1/2 cm dilated for my appointment and when I was checked at the hospital the doctor said I was only 1 cm along. Hey that was better than I was in the morning.

So I'm hoping I'm at least a little bit dilated. With that being said, today is Wednesday and there is a full moon tonight. I got a pedicure on Sunday and I've packed my hospital bag. I'm currently importing a book on CD so that I can listen to it during my hospital stay while I'm nursing. Today is our crazy day because of preschool and dance class tonight. I usually have contractions on Wednesday nights because we are so busy and it's a long day for us.  Lastly, I've started Baby J's blanket which I will be bringing with me to the hospital to work on during the times that he's sleeping and I can't.

This little bun should bake a little while longer....but it is Wednesday and there will be a full moon, so we'll see.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mama Pampering Weekend

I had a fabulous weekend. I was able to connect with at least 3 different friends this weekend and spend some time with them.

On Friday my best friend from high school came over with her two kids for a playdate. Her kids are the same age as my kids and it seemed that all four them had fun playing around the house.  They got along pretty well and C. and I were able to catch up since it's been a while since we've seen each other. She totally spoiled us with lunch and then yummy friendship bread. Thanks, C!  Again, I love play dates with my friends because I get to catch up with my friends while my kids have fun playing with their kids. Good time had by all.

On Saturday I went to a morning Mass while Hubby took the kids to clean the Church. I was sure that after a fun playdate on Friday I would be tired on Saturday. But I must be nesting because after Mass I went to a baby store and picked up a few things I needed, came home for lunch and then right back out again to buy some nursing essentials.  It's one of the things that has been in the back of my mind to do, but haven't had time to do. I really didn't want to take two kids with me to a maternity store so that I could try on nursing bras, tops, etc.  It was nice to do this particular errand sans kids.

We had a maternity/nursing store at our local mall, but it has closed since the last time I needed it. I wasn't keen on driving the extra 20+ minutes to go to another mall, but I heard good things about the store and finally went.  I'm so glad I did! I went in and as I stared at the rows and rows of nursing essentials a sales person asked if I needed help. She told me she'd be right with me and asked if I would like something to drink while I waited. Really, I would love some water! So she brought me something to drink while I started to browse, shortly thereafter she helped me choose some things, put me in a dressing room that I never had to leave because she was so attentive that she brought me things as I needed them.  It was the best sales/buying experience I have ever had. Being 37 weeks pregnant, feeling huge and unwieldy, it was nice for someone to wait on me and make my experience completely stress free.  I left with a little more than I had intended to buy, but I think overall I did pretty well. I definitely got what I needed. Oh did I mention that I was probably in and out of the store in about 30 minutes?  It was good all around. I really should somehow contact the store and give them kudos for their excellent customer service. I should also mention that the sales person helping me was also helping another person or two. She was really working it to help all of us. I am very happy with the whole experience.

Sunday was topped off with a pampering day given to me by my two best friends from college.  They wanted to celebrate my baby and asked what I wanted to do. I said that lunch with the two of them would be perfect.  That's exactly what we did. We went to lunch and had a luxurious 1 1/2 lunch eating and chatting. We left the kids at home and we were able to take our time.  Then after lunch the girls took me for a pedicure. My aching swollen feet loved ever minute of that pedicure. All 3 of us relaxed while our massaging chairs took care of our backs. After pedis, we went back to another restaurant and dined on dessert crepes and talked for another two hours.  It was a full day of chatting, catching up, laughing, and pampering. It was absolutely perfect.  Thank you J and A!

This weekend is extended because of MLK's birthday. Hubby has the day off. I don't think I've seen him very much this weekend because of all my errands and outings. I look forward to snuggling up with him and the kids today and hanging out with them.  The weather is kind of dreary and not conducive for going out. I think that a day of reading books, snuggling, drinking hot chocolate, and playing games is in order for my little family.

I am so grateful for my dear friends. They are so good to me and always have been. My prayer is that I can be as good a friend to each of them as they are to me. They are a real blessing in my life. Thank you, Ladies!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dinner Dilemma

My husband and I like to have family dinner. All four of us sit at the table and eat dinner. Both of us grew up with family dinners. We appreciate it and want to continue that in our own family.

But here is our dilemma. My husband gets home late from work---usually sometime between 6:30 & 7pm. I know that he would love to get home earlier, but his commute is at least 1 hr. 15 min. each way (or so it seems) and that is on a good day.  About 3 years ago we actually moved closer to the train so that he could cut off about 15 minutes from his commute (30 minutes round-trip).

I give the kids a snack when Boogie gets home from school. They munch happily and boy does it do wonders for a cranky preschooler coming home from school. Usually he is good nature, but if his blood sugar dips, oh boy!  So the kids get a snack and glass of milk and it tides them over until about 5:15ish.  They start to clamor for food while I'm in the middle of preparing dinner. I try to give them another light snack...pita bread with some hummus or carrot/celery sticks, etc. But by the time they're done, they're begging for more because they are ready for dinner. If I give them more they fill up and by the time dinner rolls around they're done and they'd rather play than sit at the table. If I wait until dinner time to feed them they are so miserable and cranky.

There are times that the kids and I've have sat down for dinner and Hubby comes in the middle or towards the tail-end. He still sits with us and eats...but usually since the kids have been sitting and eating they are done before Hubby and they are ready for bed. So he doesn't get a chance to finish, but instead spends a little extra time with the kids by playing with them and then getting them ready for bed. Mind you, he doesn't complain. He would rather spend any time he can with the kids because he doesn't get to see them for more than 2 hours on any given night during the week.

So my question is what do you do?  Do you wait for your husband/spouse/partner to come home before feeding your kids? Do you and the kids sit down early for dinner and your husband joins you when he gets home?

It hasn't been too much of a problem in the past and the kids had gotten used to a late dinner. But recently it's become an issue. The last couple of weeks I've started dinner earlier, but it looks like family dinners are starting to become just the 3 of us until Hubby arrives. We still do family dinners Friday-Sunday because Hubby is either home earlier on Fridays or he is off and of course we're together on Saturday and Sunday.

If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I realize that with the 2nd child I have not recorded her talking or doing things as much as I did with the first child. I really need to remedy that. She has so many cute sayings and I'm missing them all. My husband wants them saved.

Most recently, I was getting ready to get the kids out the door to take Boogie to preschool. I keep my keys in two places (most of the time).  The first place is the key hook (duh), but how many times do I forget to put it there? Most often than not, I do put it there, but if my keys aren't there, then I look in my purse. The last place is my jacket pockets.  My husband has been known to accidentally take my keys with him to work and that's happened maybe 3 times in the last year.

On Monday, I noticed my keys were not on the key hook. I looked in my purse (okay, I was digging in my purse. I really need to clean it out more regularly!)  More to myself than to anyone I said, "Oh, no!" and my 2 year old looked at me with a knowing look and asked, "Can't find your keys?" This makes me wonder how many times she's heard me say, "oh, no" while digging in my purse. Obviously enough so that she knows that when I say it, I can't find my keys. Hmmmmmmm.

We gave Buggy a new baby doll for Christmas. It came with all sorts of baby gear: cradle, swing, carrier, food, etc.  When I asked her for her baby's name she said it was, "Baby Stinky." She did have a little help from her big brother in naming the baby. Sometimes she waffles and says Baby Teresa, who is until recently, the youngest of the cousins.  But for the most part it's Baby Stinky.  She loves to introduce her to people when we are out on errands.

Lastly, I had to take her with me to my doctor's appointment. She looked at my OB very seriously, pointed at my belly and said, "Baby stuck!" I think she's just as ready as I am for this baby to arrive. But the doctor told me on Monday that she would really like it if I can keep him in for at least another week or two. I'd like to comply, but with the contractions I have had off and on the last few days, it's looking doubtful.  Just yesterday I started with contractions when I woke up and they last until 4pm in the afternoon. But while I was having them they started to get stronger every few hours. I was sure that we would make a trip to the hospital...but alas they stopped around 4pm. So maybe he'll stay "stuck" for a few weeks yet, or at least a few more days.

Here's a video of Bug introducing Baby Stinky.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Epiphany Gifts

Last Thursday was Epiphany. Hubby and I have celebrated it with a small gift to each other and after Boogie was born we added him to the gift giving. This year Hubby was out of town and I placed a small gift for each child under the tree to celebrate Epiphany.  Boogie was pleased that I had remembered and then I continued our holiday celebration with our celebration breakfast of breakfast rolls and eggs.  Even though Hubby couldn't be here for it, it just seemed that we should still do it.

Epiphany is the time that the Magi came and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus. This year it just happened that I had three wise women come to my house and they presented gifts of order, preparation, and support for when Hubby was away and for the impending arrival of our new baby.  While I will not be so irreverent as to compare myself to Mary, I wonder if she felt as I did that day that this baby is very truly loved.

Two of my SILs and one of my BFFs came on Epiphany. They came on a perfect day. The last day of Hubby's business trips is usually the one where I fall apart from exhaustion. However, this trip, my kids were awesome playing together nicely and listening to Mommy. They went to bed on time and got themselves ready in the morning.

But this is the trip where my husband was very concerned that I would be going into labor without him and I hope it gave him some peace of mind that I was being well cared for in his absence. The girls came and clean & organized the house, washed the baby clothes, and helped me to transfer the last of Buggy's things into her new room.  I know that they did more, but I can't even name all of them.  Most of all they gave me support and love without judgement. I say that because when they walked in, the house had looked liked it exploded because I haven't been able to keep up with the housework. (I'm too large and too tired these days).

I am so very blessed by the gifts presented by my sisters and yes, J., I consider you a sister, too!  I feel like I am ready for this baby's arrival, whether it be this week or in the next 3 1/2 weeks. Thank you, ladies for all of your help and love. Knowing that you are right there to lend a hand is a huge blessing. Thank you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To Get Organized first you have to...

Mondays and Wednesdays are my usual cleaning/organizing days.  Yesterday I started to go through and put some things away from Christmas, recycle boxes, kind of straighten up to see where I need help when my SILs come today.

I realized that as I was doing this where my downfalls are in organizing. It's having a system in place everywhere. I have some systems in place in various parts of the house, but the whole house isn't there yet (hence the dreaded basement dumping ground).  For example, yesterday I attempted to put back an extra comforter and blanket I had taken out when we had guests this past weekend. They were never used, so I was going to put them away. I tried to walk in the linen closet and was promptly stopped because I couldn't get in all the way because the luggage we store there started to topple. So I had to take things out, try to reconfigure them so that they are not in the way. Oh, and while I was looking at that, I had to fix one of the baskets that holds all the pillow cases because it was falling off it's runner. That took 20 minutes to figure out. By the time I figured it out, put back all the pillowcases, put back the luggage, it was time for me to shower so that I would be on time to feed the kids their lunch and then drop off Boogs at preschool on time. By the way, the comforter and blanket have yet to make it back into the linen closet. One more thing to attempt to do today.

Being self-diagnosed ADD means that I have a lot of great ideas, a lot of projects in the works, and a lot of frustration because things are half-done. I don't have the focus and the stamina to stay with a project until it's done when it comes to housecleaning/organizing. It's not my strong suite, so therefore, it's a lot harder for me to focus and figure it out.

If you look at my house it's a trail of things that are sort of put away. You can see the systems that I have in place, but they aren't always used. So I have to go back and get in the habit of using them.

Being somewhat ADD I am often torn between spending just a few minutes tidying up each area so that they look somewhat presentable and spending a longer amount of time on one area and getting it totally organized before moving on, which means that one part of the house is awesome and the rest not so much until I can get there again, which may be awhile.

Any suggestions out there? What do you to stay organized throughout the house? Do you have a system?  Do you do a massive cleaning? How do you maintain your daily organization?

I'd like to get the house better organized before Baby #3 arrives!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Accepting Help with Grace

Yesterday wasn't too bad. There were a few times when my children were fussing and I thought, "You're father has only been gone a few hours and I'm already counting down to when he is back." But after sending the child to the bathroom and/or giving him/her something to eat that child's disposition changed miraculously. It's amazing what a little trip to the potty or a little food to the system will do to a person. Low blood sugar makes for a very cranky little one.

Bedtime went really smoothly.  Baths were given, jammies were on, teeth were brushed, prayers were said, and a book was read.  Then I left them in their room.  It was sweet to hear them chatter to each other from their beds. It wasn't too loud and it sounded like friendly conversation.  From what I could hear no one got out of bed and eventually within a half hour all was quiet.

I, however ready I was for bed could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned and finally fell asleep sometime after midnight. Hopefully tonight will be better.

I spoke to Hubby before turning in. He's doing fine. He's got a lot of work to do and he's got a bit of a cold. Working and traveling will only make it worse and I expect that he'll sleep most of Friday to recuperate. Buggy kept saying, "Daddy at work? Daddy home? Daddy at work?"  Boogie having gotten used to Hubby's travels didn't really say much or fuss. Though he told me he didn't need a bath and he'll just wait until Daddy gets home. I finally convinced him to get a bath and he did just fine.

With Hubby's work travel and both of us trying to ignore the fact that I'm so far along, I've been avoiding the final preparations for baby. One of my SILs called last week to check on me and then offered to come down this week to give me a hand with some of the preparation. One of the nice things about having a big family is that everyone helps each other. Whether it's moving, painting, childcare, or helping to get ready for baby.  Fortunately, there's no score card and you give of your time when you are able.

I am so grateful that she and another SIL are willing to give me a hand. It's one of those things that I wish for (someone to help) but never have the nerve to ask.  One of things that has been bothering me is the basement storage. It's where we keep all of the children's clothes in case we have more children, my school supplies/books from when I taught, grad school stuff, etc. Over the last 3 years it's become a dumping ground. And while we rarely go in there for anything, and no one sees it, it's like a shadow that lurks and it bothers me. I would love to get it organized so that I can store or retrieve the children's clothing without breaking my neck. For some reason I feel this need (nesting?) to get it cleaned and organized before Baby arrives. Is it a priority? Absolutely not, but for some reason it has to be tackled for me to have some peace of mind. There are plenty of other things to be done. But those things, I know that I can do.  But this is one thing that I just can't do by myself. I literally open the door to the storage room. look around and sigh and close it again. It's bad. Someday I would love to make it an office/crafting room.

As much as I appreciate and want the help, I have a hard time accepting it. It actually stresses me out to think about what needs to be done, to organize and prioritize where the helps needs to go, and to accept that I couldn't do xyz by myself.   It is really hard for me to say, "Yes, I need your help. Yes, I would love for you to do this with/for me."  I've had to do a lot of that this pregnancy. It's really hard for me when I'd like to think of myself as independent. But of course when I try to be independent, I just frustrate my family and friends who are working so hard to help me. So I have had to learn (and am still learning) to accept help with grace. But I'm a bit thick, and it's not an easy thing.  I guess it's pride. I'd like to think I have everything under control and to think that I can't and don't is hard. But, maybe learning to accept graciously will teach me to have more patience with myself.

But flip the coin and if someone asked for my help, I'd happily do it. Make a meal, help organize a room,  clean a house, watch someone's child, I would do it.  I think I need to give myself a break and know that the help that is being given is given with love and without judgement.  The only one judging me is me. Hmmmmm, something to think about.

This week's lesson? Accepting help with grace.  Let's see if I can do it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

35 Weeks and Hubby is on Travel

So here we are 35 weeks. Hubby left very early this morning to go on his business trip.  I woke up when he did, as per usual when he travels, but fortunately after some time I was able to fall back asleep.  I posted last week about how anxious Hubby is about me possibly going into labor while he is gone.  He's still anxious and I am going to try to take it easy while he is gone as best I can. I am very grateful for the friends and family who responded to my query for a backup labor coach. It puts my mind at rest knowing that if I should go into labor this week, I have someone who will support me until Hubby can fly in.  I am also grateful for the prayers and the offer to lend a hand from my two of my pregnant friends (Thanks, Ladies!) though both are due before me, one right after the other.

I'm still debating on taking the kids to their dance class tomorrow, only because it's a long day for us and I tend to have contractions at night. One of my SILs, one of my BFFs, and Hubby have all encouraged me to take a night off just this once. I know that their dance instructor would understand. So it's on me and no one else if I decide to be hard-headed and take them anyway. Though at this point staying home to avoid labor is looking pretty good.

I'm grateful that Hubby chose to go on his trip this morning versus leaving last night and flying home on Thursday night versus coming home Friday.  I know that this is much harder on him (lack of sleep, traveling in the middle of the night, etc) and I'm grateful that he chooses to make it easier on us (me and the kids) by making these choices every time he travels.

As it stands I sleep fairly lightly now, but even more so while Hubby travels. When he travels I tend to stay up later and avoid sleep because I hate sleeping without him. When I do sleep I think I unconsciously sleep even more lightly as I listen for the kids, intruders, and things that go bump in the night.  This will leave me a little frazzled and frayed come Thursday night and I'll be so happy when Hubby comes home in the wee hours on Friday morning.

I think staying as closely as we can to our usual routines without overdoing it will help to keep me labor free this week, give Hubby peace of mind, and maintain my sanity.  Wish us luck ;)

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 A Year of Changes

The final mural on the wall.
2011 started with Hubby working on the kids' room. He worked hard on his Christmas vacation. After Christmas, Hubby worked on sketching on out his ideas, finding the right paint color and finally working on the room. We asked my parents to keep the kids one night so that Hubby could work on the room. He painted through the night on Dec. 30th, came to bed around 6am, slept for 3 hours, and got up again to work on the room.  Our kids spent the entire day at my parents' house. Unfortunately, it still wasn't ready when they came home after dinner. They did a sleepover in Bug's room while Hubby once again worked through then night, this time without sleep.  He was up a solid 17 1/2 hours finishing the walls, and rearranging the room. I have to say it looks pretty fabulous.

The mural framing the beds.
2011 started with the kids moving in together. It's a still a work in progress. Buggy is so excited to be in Boogie's room that she's not napping very well and is having a hard time falling asleep at night. This leads to Boogie staying up, too. I think that with a little time and when some of the excitement wears off, it will be just fine.  I also think that they will become better friends for having had to share a room. That's my hope anyway.

Me at 34+ weeks pregnant.
Of course another big change in 2011 will be the arrival of our third child. He's still due in February, but we'll see. Hubby is convinced he'll be here towards the end of January on his birthday (the 23rd). I still think that's a little early, but I'm just going with the flow. Though I will admit that I'm 35 weeks and I am ready for baby to come out. I'm increasingly more uncomfortable. But I guess I should work on washing his baby clothes and preparing some freezer meals and getting his room ready before I wish too hard for him to join us.

Before I forget, 2011 will bring us kindergarten. I can't believe that Boogie will be attending kindergarten in the Fall. I think of all the changes, that is the one that will throw me for a loop. In a lot of ways I'm ready for him to experience more in his academics and I know that he will be excited for school. At the same he's taking a few more steps out of the nest and becoming his own person. I will continue to pray that we will provide a firm foundation for him so that he will not be too influenced by his peers.

Oh, and how can I forget, 2011 will bring our 10th wedding anniversary this Summer? So many things have changed since Hubby and I exchanged our wedding vows. One of the things that has changed in a good way is our love for each other. I didn't think I could love my husband any more than I did the day that I married him, but I do. Watching him with our kids and watching all that he does for our family I feel my heart swell with all that he does for us.  He is my biggest supporter and cheerleader, my best friend, and my love.  I look forward to the next 10 years together.

And finally as I look to the new year, a final decision will be be made as to whether or not I go back to work. I have to make a decision in February/March. Having a baby in February makes me feel that God is saying, "Nah, take your time and enjoy your family." So that will probably be it. I will probably leave the school system for a few years before deciding to go back to work. And who knows if I'll go back to teaching? We'll see.

I think the theme for this year is TRUST GOD. He's hasn't let us down yet. When we've experienced tough times, whether it's been just me or as a family, He's been right there.  So here's to 2011 and Trusting God.

Peace be with you as you look towards the future!