Thursday, October 27, 2011

random hot dog blankie

finished this last week after i did the boys' costumes (they're mountain men. mostly bc they really love their racoon hats. emmie is going to be an indian, since a dear friend- you know who you are!- sent us a indian dress a while ago in a box of toddler clothes.) anways, i'm really happy with how this doggy quilt came out. it's a pattern from "dare to be square", so i can't take credit for that, but i'm still really pleased with it.
i should be working on a little pink & purple girly extravaganza for a friend who just had a baby girl & wants to paint her whole world pink, but i'm not feeling in a very "pink" mood.
& that is the digger hanging out next to the quilt. something about quilts just seems to call to cats... & babies... & my husband... & the parrots... i think they just like to cuddle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

go the f*** to sleep

i have been awake since 7 am YESTERDAY morning. i think my kids are conspiring to kill me. or at least torture me through sleep deprivation.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

who needs sleep?

for the past 6 mos or so, val has been waking between 3 & 4 in the morning & never going back to sleep. & skipping naps, despite being so exhausted he can barely make it through lunch. he begs to go to bed at night, but it takes him a minimum of an hour ot fall asleep any given night. the poor baby is getting maybe 7-8 hours of sleep in any given 24 hour period.
he's never been a "good" sleeper. he's always been up & down several times throughout the night, although he rarely needs us to go check on him beyond an occasional (speedy & quiet) diaper change. he doesn't cry or complain, just chats quietly to himself for hours at a stretch.
we have tried EVERYTHING imaginable to help him sleep. moving bedtimes, changing nap, eliminating nap, extending nap, waking earlier/later, changing snacks, changing dinner times. we have a steady, calm, bedtime routine every night involving a warm bath & a story. (works like a charm with the other 2.) we've conferred with other parents, the grandparents, the nurses at our doctor's office & nothing has helped or altered things in any way.
at first, i was willing to roll with it, since not all kids are good sleepers & with 3 such little kids in the house it's not like we get much sleep to start with. it's starting to effect his personality though, as well as his ability to focus. he's struggling in speech, he's whiney & unhappy & i know it's bc the poor guy is just exhausted all of the time. i know how awful i feel with consecutive days of no sleep, & i hate that my 2 year old has seemingly unexplained insomnia. we have an appointment with his pedi tomorrow morning. (the nurses we've been talking to at the doc's office finally agreed it was not normal toddler-sleep-issues & i am at my wit's end. i hate to seem him miserable when he's usually such a happy kid.)
there's not much point to this post, beyond the fact that we're all really tired & i'm worried about val. happy sunday kids!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

approaching beached whale status?

27 weeks with #1 & 2 (aka val & conrad):

27 weeks with #3 (aka emma):

27 weeks with #4

i'm feeling huge, & i think i may be starting to look huge as well... moments like this make me wonder why i married such a big man.

(p.s. sorry for the self-taken bathroom shot. i really hate those, but keep forgetting to ask N to take a pic for me, so we're rolling with what i have. which is me in my jammies, in our bathroom. my apologies!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

little blessings

on monday N & i took the kids to cabela's (a giant hunting/outdoor goods store) just to get everyone out of the house. they have a ton of a taxidermy animals & a gaint fishtank, & the kids love it there. it's like a stationary zoo, & if we don't buy anything, it's easy, fun, & cheap entertainment, which was key for us this week bc we're a little broke at the moment.
honestly, money is always tight, but we make it work bc this is the life we chose. we walked from the giant salary, new car, maids & nanny lifestyle & have never looked back. that doesn't mean that it's easy, or that we don't miss going out to dinner every week. actually we have weeks where it's downright hard-- it sucks to be scrounging change to buy a gallon of milk when our friends are taking trips to the bahamas or buying new four wheelers. (just to insert a disclaimer here, we are by no means broke or destitute, or even very hard-up, but the money we set aside for retirement or in savings is sacrosanct, & our budget doesn't change from month to month. so if we have extra expenses--like we have lately--things can get very tight. raising soon-to-be 4 kids on a cop's salary takes a certain amount of creativity.)
anyways-- my point, which i'm meandering around, is that although we are totally comitted to living the simpler, family-oriented life we've chosen, sometimes it is really. freaking. hard.
with that background, after leaving cabela's we stopped at wendy's for lunch. we usually never feed the kids fast food, but lunch was essential (3 nearly hysterically hungry toddlers bc mom forgot snack) & wendy's was the cheapest option available. so we got the kids each a happy meal, & the 5 of us split all the food. while i was standing at the table, divvying things up, a man walked up to us, & said that he had 5 kids of his own. at this point i gave him a tight smile & said something brilliant like "how nice for you" bc i assumed he was going to be like every other well-meaning but clueless adult who smirks at us & says "you must really have your hands full" like it's a totally original statement & we should be thrilled to have caught their attention. instead, this gentleman tells us that his children are all grown & the last just left for college. then he smiles at our little ones for a second, looks at N & says-- "i've been where you are, & i'm buying your lunch today." he sets a twenty on the table, & was out the door almost before N could stammer a thank you.
i was so touched i actually started crying in wendy's. the man never gave us a chance to refuse (or we would have), barely paused long enough for thanks, & didn't subject us to advice or judgement. it was a little thing, but quite honestly one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for us. & that it came from a complete stranger was, for me, a beautiful reminder that the good you put into the universe will come back to you. so, universe, this is my promise to you & the kind stranger-- 20 years from now, when our children are all grown & we see a young family struggling with a pack of small children, we will pay it forward in kind. & in the meantime, i will be grateful for the reminder that the life we've chosen is worth it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

a scary update

i had to use the baby heimlich (the tip them forward & whomp on their back version) this morning when emma choked & quit breathing. terrifying doesn't even come close, although i'm sure doing CPR would have been scarier. (perspective, right?)
she has pertussis (yes, we vaccinate, but lots of idiots don't so whooping cough is making a come back where we live & emma doesn't have full immunity yet.) anyways-- the pertussis causes a really phlemy cough, & there's so much thick crud in there that she couldn't clear her own airway. it happened twice, & we took her in to the doc, who said if it happens again she gets hospitalized. so right now, i'm watching her try to sleep (so i'm nearby, just in case she chokes again.) & praying nothing happens.
i have never been more glad we took all those infant first aid refreshers when the boys were in the NICU. emma is acting fine (sick, but breathing) & i'm still shaken over it.

& this on top of conrad having croup & me just getting over pneumonia. really, really hoping we're done with being sick for a while.