Friday, July 30, 2010

Today I accomplished...

  • Fed Lou.
  • Burped Lou.
  • Laid Lou down for a nap.
  • Less than two minutes later, Lou squalled.
  • Fired up the morning addition of the LouLou 500 (which requires more laps than the Indy 500 before a winner is declared.).
  • Convince son he really does want to take 19 month old outside to play.
  • Lou finally falls asleep.
  • Laid Lou down.
  • Start in on breakfast dishes.
  • Less than 3 minutes later, Lou squalled.
  • 5 yr old offers to take next trip around the track.
  • Quickly finish dishes and made a lovie for able mabel.
  • Dodge dead bugs 19 month old brings me from outside.
  • 5 yr old is tired of Lou.
  • Fed Lou.
  • Burped Lou.
  • Lou falls asleep.
  • Laid Lou down for a nap.
  • Less than 4 minutes later, Lou squalled.
  • Hit the track again.
  • Lou falls asleep.
  • Laid Lou down.
  • Less than 5 minutes later, Lou squalled.
  • 10 yr old offers her arms.
  • Quickly take a few pictures of lovies and one bib for able mabel.
  • 10 yr old passes Lou back to me.
  • Repeat steps 1-8, trying to contain my frustration with Lou.
  • Pass Lou off to 9 yr old.
  • Quickly make one more lovie.
  • Repeat steps 1-8 two or three more times, taking deep breaths. My arms are getting tired of her. The time is pushing 2 pm and she still hasn't really slept.
  • Lou finally sleeps longer than 5 minutes.
  • Dash to Wal-Mart to get sand for retaining walls, canning lids for a friend and snaps for able mabel bibs.
  • Wal-Mart doesn't have any of them. (Don't let me start venting.)
  • Wal-Mart does have some school supplies. Make a dent on the lists.
  • They do have corn on the cob for 10 cents a piece. Send my helpers over to get 24 ears.
  • Pay for 24 ears of corn.
  • Return home.
  • Start to peel corn. There are only 15 ears. Sigh. That's what I get for not double checking. Try not to get too upset over 90 cents.
  • Lou still sleeps. It's a record for today. 1 hour and 53 minutes straight and counting.
  • Take more deep breaths and start to feel blood pressure lower.
  • I will survive this day.
  • I thank my lucky stars that she is almost 4 weeks old and this is the first day like this.
  • Life could be much worse.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What should I do with her?

My 3 yr old, that is.

She's sweet. ("I just love our new baby!")
She's sassy. (Hands on hips is a favorite pose.)
She's a jokster. (I asked her to get my cell phone for me. She comes back with a spoon and a huge cheese on her face.)
She's bossy. ("Say 'Hi Sweetheart' ", she tells me she guides her little sister who is fresh from her nap down the stairs.)
She's a parrot. ("MarMar is so stinkin' cute!", I heard her say the other day.)
She's exasperating. ("I want to eat, I want to eat, I want to eat, I want to eat...")
She's a graffiti artist in training. (Nothing and no one is off limits when she wields any sort of writing utensil.)
She's a songbird. ("Should I put the pretty music back on?" as soon as the cd is done playing.)
She's a total girl. ("Look at Mom's new shirt, Dad! Isn't it so cute?")
She's a sponge. ("This is your noggin", she tells her siblings the other day as she points to her head.)
She's a complete shoe freak. ("You should buy me more shoes, Mom. I don't have enough.", as the rest of us trip over her 145 pairs of shoes that she leaves scattered in her wake.)
She's a keeper.

Monday, July 26, 2010

You know you're living with a newborn when...

  • Instead of racing the clock, you race to get things done while Baby sleeps.
  • Every meal time Baby wakes up requiring immediate attention just as you dish your plate.
  • Your coffee is cold and your milk is warm.
  • Your shoulder contains a permanent Badge of Motherhood, aka spit up.
  • You turn into a nocturnal critter, complete with dark rings around the eyes.
  • You find yourself resisting the urge to "moo" as you nurse every few hours around the clock.
  • As you attempt to get a stubborned burp out of Baby, you end up belching yourself. Baby still doesn't burp until many minutes later.
  • The hems of all your shirts are stretched out due to lifting it up to your chin as you perform your Milk Maid duties. (Maybe it's just easier to go topless?! Just kidding.)
  • We won't even talk about other areas that are stretched out. Ugh.
  • If you try to run errands during naptime, there will be no naptime. You'll end up attempting to maneuver a full cart one handed while holding Baby. Watch out all store displays!
  • When in places requiring silence, like church, it's guaranteed Baby will load her drawers at full volume and velocity causing all around you to attempt to stifle, unsuccessfully, their giggles.
  • Baby's outfits get changed more often than you change your underwear, due to loading of the drawers every hour, on the hour.
  • Baby has perma smooch marks on her cheeks from all the love she gets.
  • When she sleeps, Baby has an adoring audience watching and reporting her every move.
  • The said audience also watches when she's awake to see what funny face she'll make next.
  • Baby clutches your finger so sweetly as you feed her, instantly melting your heart.
  • Baby snuggles into your chest, with her little butt in the air, causing you to become rooted into the chair as you don't want the moment to pass.
  • She gazes at you so adoringly, although cross eyed, you find it impossible to break the gaze.
  • Your life is so crazy busy and out of control but one peek at your Baby, you realize you'd rather not have it any other way. This stage goes by way too quickly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

All Over the Map with Pictures

When the kids saw Lou like this today, they were convinced she was starting to crawl. I love the look of concentration on her face, complete with the crossed eyeballs. She gets cuter and cuter everyday. So far she has been a very good baby. She does need to be held when she's awake but then she'll sleep for hours on end. We lucked out again and got another precious baby!
The kids were also convinced they found a "snake" this morning. When I suggested it might be a caterpillar, they said, "Nope. It doesn't move it's body like one." Poor thing was probably so traumatized, it couldn't/wouldn't move.

It's a good thing this girl is still so darn funny because she sure has been naughty lately. Terrible 3's in full force here. Each day she asks if Lou has teeth yet. I'm not sure what the hang up with teeth is but when I told her Lou was going to church last night, she gasped and said, "But does she have teeth?" Whatever.
Last night Hubby came down dressed for church. She was on her way out the door when she caught of glimpse of him. She came back in, tracked him down and told him, "Oh Daddy! You look so cute!" Melt my heart. How right she was!

Don't you love it when you're digging thru your fabric stash and "discover" fabric you forgot you had. Case in point here. Along with about 5 other pieces.

This leopard print one is another forgotten piece.
This little Dolly is reminding me more and more of my youngest sister when she was this age. Everything about her. Her body shape, her few little wispy curls, her personality, her grin. She is my "little girl with the curl", if you remember that poem. All of my other girls have been little birds so it's so fun to have one with a bit of meat on her bones. I love watching her cheeks "bounce" when she runs. I love the dimples in her elbows. I love the creases on her wrists. I love her chunky little legs. I just flat out love her!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What you don't see

Now you see it.
Now you don't.
Good thing for photo editing programs!
Here is the listing for the lovie.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Ol' Standby

Do you have a supper favorite that you tend to turn to when you've run out of ideas? I do. So much so that I'm almost getting tired of it. The kids all still love it, it's quick, it's easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. Therefore, it makes it's way onto the menu at least once a month.

Swedish Meatballs

1 lb hamburger
1/2 onion, finely chopped (or be lazy like me and use dried minced onion)
3/4 cup or so oatmeal
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix altogether. Form into balls. (I use a small cookie scoop that I bought from The Pampered Chef. Who has time to stand there and form a bunch of little balls by hand? I suppose I should call mine Swedish Meatlumps instead of Meatballs.)

Brown over medium high heat. Remove from pan after they've been browned.

In the same pan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp butter. Add 1/2 cup flour. Add 4 cups water and 4 tsp beef bullion, or 4 bullion cubes. Stir constantly until it boils. Cook for one more minute.

Put the meatballs back into the gravy. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Note: The gravy part of the recipe is actually doubled. We like ours to be saucy, feel free to half it.

Eating Crow

or should I say I have to eat my words.

When I realized I was due in the smack dab middle of summer
I whined,
I complained,
I fussed
about having a baby when the kids were home for the summer. I only thought about
the noise level,
the mess level,
the laundry level,
the boredom level,
the chaos level all being thru the roof and into the next galaxy.

What I didn't realize were the perks that come along with a summer baby. Willing arms to burp her.
Willing friends to haul my troops to the beach with them.
Willing Bigs to make the Littles lunch ("Restaurant" is a favorite game around here. I think I've made lunch a grand total of 5 times so far this summer.)
Willing friends to come play or have my kids over to their house.
Neighbors close by so I don't have to play "soccer mom" as they go between houses.

Willing bookworms wanting to put Baby to sleep.
A library within biking/walking distance.
Not-quite-so-willing troops to help with the cleaning and laundry.
Older kids who can entertain themselves in the afternoons, with minimal interruptions to my naps.
A pool to keep kids occupied and cool.

Eating crow never tasted so yummy! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's what I get

In an effort to fight the post baby boredom I decided that while Lou takes her morning nap today, I was going to ignore everything and everyone (nice aren't I?) and sew like a mad woman.

She surprised me and was sleeping by 8:30 am. Forgoing my shower, with my ancient fogs (aka glasses) still perched on my nose, bedhead in total disarray, I scrambled for my sewing machine.

While I talked my 7 year old thru the steps of washing laundry (his wife will thank me someday:) ),

I sewed another one of these bag holders.

While the younger kids spread books out all over the living room (as they pulled books out it caused an avalanche of stuff to fall out of the front closet), I worked on restocking the shop with this bib.

While my 5 yr old made an "attempt" at doing the breakfast dishes but ended up making a bigger mess,

I whipped out another set of these washcloths.

And so it went for a few hours this morning. I continued to sew as my little Tornados made their way thru the house. In an effort to get as much done as possible, I didn't clean up my mess as I went. (at least they come by that trait honestly) Soon my table and chairs are heaped with fabric, scraps, tools, etc. Dolly had spread key fob hardware across the whole dining room. Whatever keeps her happy.

At one point I was ready to change my shirt to a black and white striped one and scrounge around for a whistle to wear around my neck but then I remembered my vow to myself to let the kids figure out their own squabbles.

At the first squawk from Lou, I had three concerned faces at my elbow letting me know she was awake. I nestled myself onto the couch to feed and surveyed the mess, refusing to sigh. (Sigh.)

As I filled Lou's little belly, my sweet Displaced Princess (the new term for my 19 month old, coined by my dear aunt) kept swatting at her brother (who told her in not so nice terms to knock it off at which she's burst into tears only to repeat the process), a figure appeared at the open back door. I frantically looked for a blanket to cover my midsection (I never did find one) as she made her way into the house, stepping carefully over the graham cracker crumbs, around the pile of shoes, and peered between stacks of fabric at me.

It was a census worker looking for information on our neighbors. You have got to be kidding me. Now I sighed and sighed heavily, as I viewed the chaos thru her eyes. As all the action stopped and all faces stared at her (I give her credit for not staring back), I patiently told her that I didn't know anything about them except that they're gone all day.

She politely thanked me and gingerly made her way out the door as fast as she could.

I can only imagine the story she'll have to tell...
It was so awesome to sew again, I don't even care. Now the kids and I will face the music and get this place back in order...whatever that means...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I think I'd rather not know...

Can you see that? As I was glancing out the window this afternoon, I spied a perfect imprint of a dirty foot on the side of the window seat.

Here...have a closer look. It's not very dark.

Honestly, I think I'd rather not know how it got there. I'll just assume "someone" (do you have one of those "ghosts" around your house too?) was sitting sideways on the window seat and propped their feet up.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A peek at life in able mabel land

As you can imagine, life is a tad bit busy around this house. Naps have become my newest best friend. Even if it's only for 20 minutes. It makes a difference.
Little Loulou is starting the funny faces stage, much to the delight of her siblings. I swear she smiles too. "People" say newborns can't smile, but I beg to differ. There is no way she has that much gas. :)

This little girl is feeling a bit out of sorts. We try to keep her reasonably happy with little activities, such as swimming with Dad. She is determined not to get lost in the shuffle. As I type, she's pulling out the wet wipes one by one while saying, "No no." Oh well, I have bigger battles to fight.

This is one of the reasons I've been MIA from this blog so far this week. My SIL is in town. It's so fun to have her here. She's been keeping the kids out of my hair. Today she brought the oldest three kids hiking, meaning I'm flying solo with the toddlers for the first time. (See why I'm letting the wet wipe flinging festival fly?)
Lou is growing like a weed! I bought this outfit before she was born, thinking she was going to be a smaller baby. She proved me wrong and now the legs are capri length. Good thing it's summer! She is taking her role of newborn very seriously. Without fail, as soon as I sit down to eat a meal, she squalls. Thankfully, the talent of eating one handed comes back to a person rather quickly. Also as soon as I change one diaper, she fills up the next within minutes. I've been able to sneak in little able mabel doings while Lou naps. Short little spurts here and there such as retaking pictures.

And a quick custom light switch cover.
I woke up this morning thinking that while Lou takes her morning nap, I'll work on more light switch covers. So far, Lou is proving she indeed is the boss and isn't sleeping yet. Sigh. So goes the life with a newborn. She'd rather snuggle than sleep. I'm willing to indulge her as I love this part of a newborn! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm starting to get restless

and with Baby only being 5 days old, that is not a good thing. I am tired of sitting around on the couch, yet I know if I take it easy it'll make my life easier in the long run.

This morning, I decided I can start doing little things around here as long as I'm still sitting down when I'm doing them.

For example, my fabric pile upstairs is out of control. I sat on the floor and refolded and reorganized. No different than sitting on the couch, right?

I also decided that photography is a sit down job, once I gathered all the necessary props. I've been wanting to monkey around with the staging for my diaper changing pads. Hmmm...Not sure what I think of it but it's better than what I had. I'll start here and see if any other brainstorms come to me. Anyone have any ideas? Jessica?
I also finally got the plastic bag holders photographed. Again, not super thrilled with how they turned out, especially this one. Leaning Tower O' Plastic Bag Holder. Do you have idea how hard it is to get them to hang straight?! Maybe if I had filled them up...Now there is an idea.
As I was writing up the description on these, I was trying to come up with other uses for them. So far I've gotten: washcloths, diapers (I tried a few in here and it's slick!), tissue paper and extra toilet paper rolls. What else?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I keep hearing

there's a new boss in town. Say wha? Huh? I don't get it. I'm still here! I haven't gone anywhere.

I did get lucky this weekend and got two new "toys".
The first one is my new baby sister. I love "hugging" her and "holding her". I still can't figure out why my mom has to be right next to me when I do. I'm very "careful" with her.

One of my favorite games to play with her is putting her pacifier in (or mine, she's not fussy) letting her suck on it and then I yank it out. Hahaha. Good times! I do it over and over until Mom interfers. Spoil sport!
I would hold her all day if they'd let me. They try to distract me with my doll, giving it to me to hold instead of LouLou. They think it works but I've got them fooled. Ha. Go me!

My other new toy is this handy dandy swing. It fits me perfectly! All I have to do is walk up to it and say "open it". One of my servents, aka siblings, comes running to put me in. They'll even fetch me a book if I screech....I mean ask for one. I settle in, rock myself and read to my hearts content.
Yep, life is good for the boss of the house!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Name Game

about drove us insane! Who knew it could be so hard?!

Both of us come from large families. We love it.

Until it came time to find a name for our baby.

We knew we were having a girl. It felt like I spent hours searching the 'Net, looking at names. I wanted something that wasn't so "out there" but not too common. Nothing that hit the top 10. After a while, all the names sounded the same.

Just as I was ready to settle on the name Kate, Hubby's sister had a Kate. She had no way of knowing we liked that name. Snooze, we lose. First come, first serve.

I just about had talking Hubby into Tasha. Then we realized there is already a Sasha in the family. We still could have used it but I didn't like it that much.

He wanted Makayla. I didn't. (My sister has a Kayla)

Mckenzie was a possibility.

I wanted Alayna. He didn't. (Too close to one of our other names)

He wanted Kathryn. I didn't mind it but I'd want to call her Kate. (See above.)

Josie, Casey, Grace, Tessa, Claire, Clara...The reasons for not using them kept piling up.

Ugh. Can't we agree on anything?!? Can't we find a name, any name? :)

We let the subject rest for a few months.

Last week I appealed to my Facebook friends for help. My friends were very helpful; Ruby, Anne, Nora, Cassidy, Penelope, Jane, etc. But nothing that caught my eye.

When I found out I could get induced on July 4th, I again returned to the Internet to see what Patriotic names were out there. Liberty, Freedom (I'm not into those kinds of "names"), Ruby, Julia, Bella. Hmmm. Nothing doing here either.

As of Saturday night, we still hadn't come up with one. I kept tossing Louise out there this whole pregnancy but wasn't really getting anywhere with it. I would love to have a LouLou.

Sunday morning, ditto. Still no name.

Sunday afternoon, while in labor, I finally told him that I was too "busy". The ball was in his court. I'd go with whatever name he wanted. I had other things to think about, namely getting this baby out.

When she was born, it was decided that she was a Louise. It's the perfect name for her, especially since I think she looks more like my family and both of my grandmothers have Lou in their names.

The best part? We're both still sane....I think...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crash Diet

I went on a crash diet on Sunday, July 4th when we welcomed little Louise to our family. A healthy, happy baby. What more could a person ask for?! She tipped the scales at 9lbs even and is 21" long. Both of us are doing well.

She has already cemeted herself into the center of our hearts.

How could we resist her pouty mouth?

Her wisps of blond hair, with a bit of a dark streak on the back.

Her perfect fingers that clasp ours when we hold her.

Her many silly and sweet faces that have her siblings (and parents) in stitches.

We love her. We'll keep her. She's all ours.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Tale

There once were three sisters.

Living in three different states.

Each sister was expecting a baby.

Each sister had a different due date.

Each due date fell in the same week.

The oldest sister was due first.

The middle sister was due second.

The youngest sister was due last.

Together they waited, growing bigger each day and compared notes via phone and computer.

Each sister thought she had the biggest belly.

Each sister thought her toes were the fattest.

Each sister thought her other sisters' belly and toes were tiny compared to her own.

Because the sisters were never all together in the same place, there was no way to confirm who was bigger than who.

Each sister pondered names, bouncing ideas off the other sisters.

Each sister didn't settle on a name until the their due date loomed.

The youngest sister delivered first. A healthy baby girl.

The middle sister delivered second. A healthy baby boy.

The oldest sister still waits for her Princess to be born.


That's me.

The oldest sister.

The one due first.

The one who went overdue.

The one with the biggest belly.

The one with the biggest toes.

The one who still doesn't have a name "set in stone".

The one who waits all by herself. (without her sisters)

Friday, July 2, 2010

I'm sitting on the back patio with my cup of coffee and laptop, wearing my ancient glasses, my bedhead is out of control and the only noise I can hear is the chirping of the birds. All the kids are still sleeping. Bliss. I'm enjoying every moment of it because I know it could be my last quiet morning for a good long while. I wish there was a way I could bottle up some of this peace and quiet for later.

I'm heading into the doctor this afternoon. I'm hoping to I get a sympathetic midwife, one who will agree to induce me sometime this weekend. I'm trying to get my list of reasons down pat so she'll agree to sometime tomorrow or Sunday but not get her too freaked out that she'll want to send me straight to the hospital from my appointment. I feel like I'm back in speech class again, practicing a two minute speech over and over again in my head.

While I watch the hours on the clock go past, I have a lot to get done. Pictures to take for able mabel, my hospital bag to pack, cleaning to do, errands to run. Whew. Will I be able to get it all done before this afternoon? I excel at "performing under pressure" aka procrastinating, so I'm hoping to make the best of this trait today.