Monday, August 13, 2012

Hard Work

So, this morning, I was in my bathroom, trying to get myself looking somewhat presentable before I prepared to leave my house, when Charlie walked in.  He was making his usual morning demands...

"Mom!  Can I watch a different kid show?"
"Mom!  Can I have some more cereal?"
"Mom!  Can I have a popsicle?"
"Mom!  Where's Dad?"

He's got about 10 different questions that he harasses me with most mornings and I try very hard to ignore as many of them as possible.  I will sometimes try to give him little tasks to keep his mind busy so that I can have a little peace as I brush my teeth and apply mascara.

"Why don't you go downstairs and see if you can find your Star Wars guys."
"Take the doggy's toys outside and see if he wants to play with you."
"Check the kitty's food and water and fill her bowls for her."

I'm generally unsuccessful in my attempts to distract him, but I'm a stubborn girl, so I keep trying.  This morning, I tried something a little different.

"Charlie?  Is your room clean this morning?"

Ya right.  Like any of my kids have just awakened one morning and spontaneously cleaned their rooms.  But we started giving this kids allowance over the weekend, with the stipulation that kids with dirty rooms don't get their allowance, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

"Yes."  he replied.  (never ask charlie a direct question if you want an honest answer.  he will always say 'yes.')
"No Charlie, I mean have you pulled up your sheets and blankets all nice and smooth?  And put your pillows on pretty?  And put your clothes away in their drawers?"

.....blank stare.....

"Why don't you go work on that for a minute?"

And you know what?  He scurried off down the hall and left me in silence.  SUCCESS!

A few hours later, I finally got into the room to check it all out and much to my dismay, this is what I found...

I almost laid into him, ready to tell him not to pretend like his room is clean when it isn't and not to try and trick me.  Then I looked at his face.  And his GINORMOUS brown eyes staring sincerely back at me and realized, right in the nick of time, that he really did try to make his bed.  All by himself.

"See Mommy?  I did it." He said.
"It was a wot a work."

Bless his little Charlie heart.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Waking up from my newborn coma...

So, now that my baby is a full week old, it's probably time that I post some pictures of her.
Sorry it took so long.  That baby birthin' stuff can knock one off their feet and it appears that I am just now pulling myself together.  Sort of.  

Eleanor Stringham
Coming into the world on May 14th at a whopping 5 lbs. 14 oz.

Cameron came over that day and took some photos of her with the family.  They turned out so nice, I couldn't pick just one to show you.  Thank you Cameron!

I think Brent was equal parts happy and terrified.  At least I know I was, so I hope I wasn't the only one.  It's been a while since we had a newborn hanging around the house.

The hat covers it up, but she does have a head full of dark hair (they always start with dark hair, don't they?) and if I were a betting woman, I'd bet that her eyes are going to turn blue.

All my blue eyed girls.  Awe, aren't they cute?

I think that the kids were starting to doubt my claims that a new sister would be coming to live with us.  When I told Charlie that I was going to the hospital and the next time he'd see me, I'd have a baby sister for him, all he said was "Ok.  Thanks."
They've done really well with her, so far. It's nice to have kids that are a little older this time around.  Less diaper changing and potty training and a little more help than my newborn experiences in the past.

I love this one with cousin Davie and all the kidlet hands pawing at the baby.  It's going to be the life she knows for a while.  She's been such a sweetheart this week, as a new mom (for the 4th time over), I'm feeling pretty lucky.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

Just posting a few Easter Sunday photos real quick while my casserole is in the oven and the kids are transfixed by Olivia on Nick Jr...

Pregnant mama with the kids. We ended up unintentionally matching this year, although we might have to break out the same outfits over the 4th of July!

And Brent and his crew.

Little Miss Jane, minus her two front teeth.

Biz-Niz sporting the all important two french braids.

And Chas. Enough said.

Oh, and Chas trying very hard to strangle the dog. Poor puppy.

Our day was lovely, hope your's was too!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nursery No. 4

So, my nursery is totally finished. Ya, for reals. And a whole two months before I'm even due with this baby. I'm totally on top of it. It's about the only thing in the world that I've got under control at the moment, so I find that when everything else in my life seems to be spinning away, I'll go sit in my clean, finished nursery and just soak in the peace that it brings me.

For some reason, with my first two girls, I felt compelled to try and have gender neutral-ish nurseries. I'm not really certain why or how I came to feel that way, but I did. This time around, I was in the mood for girly, so I decided to just commit to the idea. And commit I did. At my last appointment, the doctor did an US to check on the size of the baby and confirmed that I was STILL having a girl, which is good, because I'd be feeling pretty silly putting a boy to bed in this room.

This nursery was a total 'renew and make do' kind of project. I bought THE RUG new and the curtains and the fabrics, but (with the help of my mom on the bedskirt and darling gingham blanket) I made or re-used most everything else in the room.

Jane actually did most of the work on the cute little curtains to hide all my baby junk. I got the little frames from my neighbor, like, a year ago. She was going to give them to DI. I just replaced the ribbon and put some of my fabric scraps in them until I have some photos that will work.

Brent helped me make the shelf. We just used some pine and bought the little corbels from Lowe's. I figured that the mason jars would be stylistically appropriate and they can hold all the small baby paraphernalia that I require.

I DID opt to get some new hardware for the dresser, but in my own defense, it came from the dollar spot at Michael's, so that makes it ok, right? Plus, I really like it.

If there are pictures to be taken, Lizzy and Charlie are sure to get in on them. When I look at how big they are, it makes me freak out that I'm having another one!

I made all the bunting from scraps left over from the bedding and other projects. I love the color they add, if I do say so myself.

Like most of my best ideas, I stole the one for the pictures over the crib off of Pinterest. I was a little nervous about how they would turn out, but I've decided that I really like them. I bought the cards from THIS SHOP off of etsy and bought a couple of the frames from D.I., but I actually had all the other ones and the mats.

I made this blanket, except for the hard part. Leslie made the binding for me and taught me how to make it in the first place. It was super nice of her. She's super nice like that.

I didn't get a good photo of the red blanket that my mom made. She's made them for all her grandkids. I love the red in there. Red makes me happy.

Hello again, Miss Biz. She's standing on a chair that we already had and just moved into the nursery. That pink message board thinger has been about 5 different colors as I've moved it from room to room. I also repainted the red lamp and covered the shade in ruffles made from an old sheet-turned drop cloth. I had to wash the sheet rock dust out of it first, but the price was right, so I made it work.

And there you have it.

Even if the rest of us aren't quite yet prepared to bring a new baby home, the nursery is ready and waiting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sing Ob-La-Di-La-Da.

And another month has passed me by since I posted last.

Lately, I feel as though I am in the middle of a life where the months fly by almost unnoticed, but the days themselves are painfully slow. It seems like every new day holds a new surprise or a new challenge and usually, in the moment, it feels hard and miserable and unfair, but what can we do? We do what you have to do. We deal with it.

And I have to admit that once each day and each challenge comes to an end, I look at things with a little perspective and realize that in the grand scheme of life and the universe, it probably wasn't actually all that big of deal, so we move past it.
So basically, you know. Life goes on.

This past week, life was particularly full of surprises for us, and for once I took a couple of pictures to remember it by.

Our Lizzy caught herself a little cough/cold thing, which really shouldn't have been that big of a deal, but when you are predisposed to have asthma, it seems like things that shouldn't be big deals work themselves into huge ordeals. She was struggling to breathe, so Brent took her to the quick care for (what I thought would be) a simple nebulizer treatment and oral steroid to push her through the worst of it, but it didn't turn out to be so simple.

When they got there, her oxygen levels were alarmingly low, so they ended up coming home very late, after several unsuccessful nebulizer treatments, followed shortly by the HomeCare people who delivered her prescribed oxygen. It was a little crazy, I must admit. We had it for a few days and I was glad to see them come take it away. The only times I've ever been around people who needed to be on oxygen, they were older people who needed it to stay alive because of lung diseases. Since Lizzy generally seems like a normal, healthy little girl, it was difficult to mentally shove her into that category.

But push through it, she did. And as cheerfully as you could expect an almost 5 year old manage it. We spent a LOT of time in the doctor's office (ours was on vacation, so we had to go to a referring dr. across town who's waiting room was jammed full all the time and constantly playing The Emperor's New Grove. i think i watched it all the way through 3 times in 2days in that waiting room) and a lot of time inhaling albuterol, but she's doing so well now.

And on the bright side... she never was actually admitted to the hospital, she never had to be sent to respiratory therapy, we now own our very own nebulizer for future emergencies, and her oral steroid has completely cleared up her eczema (for the moment). So we are left with a completely healthy, delightful little girl.

As soon as we had Lizzy under control, my body decided to give out on me. Dumb bodies. I wish they would just do what we want them to do instead of making trouble for us all the time. I ended up in the hospital over the weekend with kidney "issues." I think the diagnoses still depends on who you are talking to, but there were DEFINITELY problems with my kidney and when you are already seven months pregnant with a low ridin' baby AND you have kidney issues, it makes for an.... uncomfortable weekend.

I had been considering trying to have this baby naturally, but I have since changed my mind. Prenatal kidney "issues" can have that effect on a girl. Sigh.

And on that note, here's what I look like at 7 months pregnant.

Charlie is quite the iphone photographer, aint he?
I keep getting harassed for being "so tiny!' Seriously. Even random people at the supermarket will comment. But looking at these pictures, and considering that I've still got 2 whole months to expand, I feel like I'm plenty big. Take that, random people in the supermarket!

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go brace myself for another day. Let's hope its a good one. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, I did things other than spend most of my days and all of my evenings snuggled under my University of Utah blanket in the corner of my couch. It's true. And tonight, I'm going to show you a bunch of photos to prove it.

This is the time that my brother in law's parents were super cool and invited us to stay at their cabin up in Bear Lake. The kids all loved the 4-wheelers, but I think that Lizzy liked them most.

This is a photo of how I felt the time that we drove to Kelseyville for my grandma's 90th birthday party and Charlie threw up fruit snacks all over his car seat. It grossed Jane out so much, that she, too proceeded to throw up in the car. We were in the middle of nowhere (aka northern Nevada) and only had wipees to clean up the mess, so we ended up leaving the carseat on the side of the road.

This is a photo of the shame I felt as we left our defiled carseat (aka, the black speck at the top of the photo) on the side of the road and drove away.

This is the time that we ran into a snowstorm whilst trying to cross over Donner Pass in an effort to get to my grandma's 90th birthday party. What the photo doesn't show you is that it took us a good 4 or 5 hours to make it through the short stretch of freeway and how incompetent we found the California Department of Transportation to be.

This is a photo of Lizzy that Brent took while we were on vacation that week. It reminds me of how much I love Lizzy.

This is the time that Jane got her hair cut by our Aunt Mel.

This is the time we drove an extra 2 or 3 hours into Northern California to visit the Redwood forests.

This is the time that Davie wouldn't get out of our family photo into front of the drive-thru tree.

This is the time that Cameron wasn't in the group photo because he was too busy taking them with his nice camera.

This is the time I stole a bunch a photos from Cameron's flickr account because they are so cool.

This is the time Charlie crashed in the car while sitting in Jane's carseat (because we left his on the side of the road).

This is the time I took a photo of Jane because she reminded us of Ellie.


This is the time that Jane drew a picture of the kitchen she hopes to own one day. I find it interesting/funny/a little sad that her shelves include rice flour and corn flour. The girl might never learn how to make a proper cookie.

And this is the time we found out that we were having yet another baby girl.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When its time to change, you've got to rearrange

I'm still here. Still here, and finding myself in a bit of a holding pattern. You know the pre-baby holding pattern? Like, you know that, eventually, your life will change so quickly and so dramatically that you'll never actually recover from it, but there's almost nothing that you can do to prepare for it in the meantime. This, my friends, is why we decorate. Call it nesting, if it makes you feel better. I call it keeping my hands busy because I feel like I should be doing SOMETHING other than sitting around and waiting for my life to never be the same again.

Anyway, I'm still here. And I've been nesting. Which initially required uprooting and displacing my existing three children.

We knew that we were going to have to move the childrens' rooms around to facilitate the addition of another child. And I knew that I was going to have to redecorate each room, because that's just the way I am. All of these realizations were made before Christmas, so we came up with the great idea to give the kids their new rooms as Christmas presents. I think that they all questioned my better judgement when they came running down on Christmas morning, only to find that "Santa" had brought them new bedding, picture frames, and lamps, but we didn't have the budget for a full blown Christmas AND new rooms, so it had to be.

I took these pictures of Charlie's new room a few weeks ago, but they turned out so bad that I couldn't bring myself to post them. I've been sitting around, waiting for his room to become spotless on the same day that I happen upon either amazing lighting OR a DSLR that someone forgot on my doorstep, but the stars haven't aligned for me, so I'm just going to suck it up and show you my bad photos.

Charlie now finds himself in Lizzy's old room/bed. The bed actually happened to be Jane's old bed. And before that it was my brother's bed that he used when he lived with us. My sister also slept in that bed when she lived with us. And before that, I believe Brent slept in it in college. And before THAT, it was a childhood bed. I'm thinking that no matter what his parents paid for that bed, it was worth it.

He's also using Lizzy's old dresser. And her old shelves. I can't pass down clothes to him, but when you're the third kid in a family, there's always something that you'll have to inherit at some point.

I know what you're thinking.

Those stripes wrap around the entire room.

I didn't dare total the number of hours it took to paint them.

It was totally worth it.

I bought the giraffe and hippo prints before we even had kids, and they have served us well. I love the pops of color they give in there.

I spray painted Lizzy's old pink shelves and then put them back, using the exact same holes we had used to hang them before. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

I made the pillow cases. Even the chevron one. Making those chevron pillow cases is not for the faint of heart, but I just love them so very much, I couldn't help myself.

All in all, I'm really happy with how it turned out...

... and Charlie seems to be pleased with it too.