Tuesday, November 30, 2010

::11 weeks::

Dear Nugget,

You and I had to work three 12 hour shifts over three days.  You did not like it.  You tried to make me puke while I had my hands in the isolette of my new little friend.  She is very pretty and should be here with us for the rest of my pregnancy, God willing.  You two will get to be friends.  You can try to kick her while I try to teach her to eat in a few months.  It's really nice for Mommy to have a new baby friend at work to focus on and play with.  

I am still just cooking you and waiting to start feeling you move.  Can't wait for those fist little flutters.  


::give thanks::

The photo theme on trendy treehouse this week is "give thanks"

It immediately made me think of Mr Max.  Mr Max in the hospital last January, with the vent turned on and the ET tube all laid out and ready.  But it didn't get used.  It could have gone either way.  But it went the right way.  I know it was a while ago, but I am so THANKFUL.  

The short story - He had severe RSV pneumonia, a ruptured ear drum, and acute asthma.  I knew he was getting sick and planned to take him to the doctor the next morning.  But when the next morning rolled around I went in his room to wake him up and he was breathing three times the normal rate and grunting, which is a super bad thing for someone is respiratory distress.  I had to pinch him to get him to wake up.  Then I rushed him to the hospital with Lily sitting next to him.  "Lily, let's play a game.  When ever I say you hit Max's car seat to keep him awake.  It will be fun."  I tried hard to not let her know how bad it really was.  He got admitted to PICU and stayed for three nights.    

Here he is this fall, camping, chilling, watching a movie, and doing his breathing treatments.  Since that hospital stay he has done so many breathing treatments that he is an old pro at it. 

His long term health outlook is good.  He act totally normal, we just have to watch him carefully.  If he starts to get sick we have to double up his breathing treatments quick.  But I think we have figured out how to control it.  


Monday, November 29, 2010

::winterize the farm::

shooter pony happy in last year winterize pasture

So - you know how many of you had said things to me before like, "I love your farm, but I wouldn't want to maintenance?"  And then I say, "Its really not that much work, blah, blah, blah."  Most times I am not lying.  But now is one of those rare times when this pace really is a ton of work.  Since my days of having a nanny I have learned lots about how to run this place.  Like that we have to winterize before the winter weather really shows up.  If you wait till everything is frozen the whole thing is terrible.  So here is my list that must get done with in the next two weeks or less.

Take in all porch furniture and cover
Get tank heaters in horse and cow water tanks
Make a straw cow bridge over his mud moat - long story
Clean out horse run in and give them a straw bridge
Muck out and put fresh bedding in chicken coop, give heated water bowl
Muck out and refill goat pen, give heated water bucket
Get barn horse stalls ready for bad weather horse shelter
Clean out rabbit cage, heated bowl, move to other stall to open up horse stall
Rake our aisle way of barn
Winterize barn water

Since I am a prego, it is going to take extra discipline to make myself do my share.  And extra payouts to Josh to make him help me.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

::art + shorties = good::

I did a post a while back about our art room and our supplies.  Since them I have learned many new things about what kind of supplies we need and how they need to be organized to keep the little man from destroying them but still keep them available to the big kids.  I have also found several sites that gave me lots of idea’s about things to add to the mix to keep it all fresh and interesting.

Over at pink and green mama she has given a break down of the best art supplies per age group.  Every time I read it I want to go shopping to buy some new stuff. 

Here are a few things on her list I could not agree with more:
Big pad of drawing paper
Drawing supplies (pencils, sharpeners, crayons, markers)
Food coloring
Play Doh (she makes her own)
Scrap paper
Washable glue
Water colors (our family favorite)
Water color paper
            We use this and coffee filters in the same way
Dot’s paint (buy some – just trust me)
Pipe cleaners
Paint brushes of different sizes (thanks Emily for setting us up)
Multi color Sharpies
Washable poster paint
Acrylic paint
Tons of paper (we have all kinds of textures and colors)

And here are a few that I want to buy:
Soy Crayons (which I just ordered on amazon)
Kite paper
Oil pastels (which I also just ordered on amazon)

Don’t for get that the weekly 40% off coupons from the crafts stores can make setting up your art kit very affordable. 

When it comes to organizing it all I have changed things around some since this picture.  I keep anything that are not for Max on the very top.  Then for things like food coloring I keep them in a trunk near the art supplies.  The kids know that those are supplies that are for use with adult assistance.  

Here is a link to the art room remodel.
And here is the link to the post on the art supplies.

AND!!!!  I just realized that I never put up a new header in November.  I was really in a daze.  Hope you like the new one.  Bob the Goat was being a camera hog.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

::turkey time::

The Shorties and the shorties cousins has a blast making these center pieces the other day.
We got the idea for s.b. creatively
We used glue to attach the heads, eyes, and beaks

The feather got taped to the back

Here we are at our little made up craft area at my parents house.
I brought my supplies from home.

My niece was very pound of her turkey.
He looks like he is frowning but I was informed that he was not.   

Here are the finished turkeys.  It goes - baby Sybil, mine, Max's with all the sequins, a then Lily's.  

Two proud turkey's.  


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

::10 weeks::

Dear Nugget,

This may be the wrong time to write this, as I just brushed my teeth from our morning praying to the porcelain god session.  Sorry I forgot to take my Zofran last night.  I will get that refill ASAP.  You bossy little fetus you.  Yes, your a fetus now.  Congrats.  Your moving right along.  No really much going on with you this week.  We told my extended family at Thanksgiving last Saturday.  They don't have any kids on that side and I think most were a little stunned.  3.5 kids.  That's 3.5 too many.  But they were still happy for me in their way.  Your Daddy's family want to throw a parade from joy and your Mommy's family wants to pat me on the arm and ask me if I meant to get pregnant.  I'm used to that nonsense.  Why do you think we hang out with Daddy's family so much?

I hope your doing OK in there buddy.  Your name this week is still John Thomas (Jack) or Gweneth Anna. I still think your a Jack and not a Gwen.  But I really don't care that much.  As long as your not a gastro-holoproencephaly-hypoplastic left-transpostion-trisomy 4million-mylomenigocele etc that would be great.  Work on that this week OK?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

::welcome back::

Us - November 2008

This pregnancy has sucked away something that I really love, something that I think of as my super hero power.  My hyperactivity.  I get about half of what I was getting done in a day.  Lucky for me, Josh is home right now so everything is still pretty much on track.  But I am scared that the kids are suffering.  They are still crafty and making art, but its been awhile since I made any good suggestions of stuff to make.  Max and preschool has been partially on hold - but Lily saw me do it one day and is obsessed with working with him now.  So even though I am just freaking tired all the time, it is time to suck it up and get it together.  I have one girl at work that asked me once - how do you possible do all the stuff you do?  And I told her I just make it happen.  Not so much right now, and I don't like it.  I feel like the fuzz around the corners of my brain is starting to go away and now I need to show some discipline and get it together.  I have other shorties and I don't get the luxury of sitting around being half assed.  

With that said here are some goals -
1.  Do AT LEAST A weekly craft with the shorties  (already found on for today)
2.  Re-find my passion for blogging.  Not hard.  I am already feeling it building.
3.  Do my share of the house, just cause Josh is letting me doesn't mean I should take the easy road.  He will go back to work in two weeks and I will be lost.  
4.  Get out and walk every day.  My pedometer has to say at least 7,000 every day.  Or I will be like Jaba the Hut trying to deliver this kid.  Not healthy for me or for nugget.
5.  Stop being selfish and get it together with Max preschool.  He had a little vacation, now shape up.  

 Nov 2009

Monday, November 22, 2010

::new job option::

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I just like it

I have decided to make an active effort to get back to my good mood at work.  I lost it for a little while, I still adore my babies of course, but it is time to stop the slide into a bad mood.  One of the things that I want to do for my future is expand my skill set.  I have gotten the chance to cross train to PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).  I am really excited for the chance to learn some new things.  And when this little baby is born is gives me another place to go work weekend option if I have to.  Nugget and I are excited to go learn some new stuff.

Side note - I just entered the cutest picture of 4 year old Lily in a photo contest.  Link over to purplelilyphotography if you want to see it.  I miss her that little.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

::a house husband::

Max loved the leaves.

Josh has to take a yearly month off.  It is usually a very financially stressful time, but this year due to the glory of ebay we are managing to get by ok.  AND I AM LOVING HAVING A HOUSE HUSBAND!  No joke!  I really enjoy him all the time, but him well rested every single day is amazing.  Plus he spends lots of time  dealing with wood.  HAHAHAHA! (Please insert immature laugh)  For real, he has been gathering, cutting, and stacking wood for our little wood stove and there is something kind of manly-hot about the whole process.  Plus we has been running the house.  Cleaning, cooking, etc.   Not laundry, but really he can't be that perfect.  It has taken a great deal of pressure off me.  Which has allowed me to rest up and grow some more red blood cells so I am not so dizzy.  The biggest part is I just love having this much face time with him.  And so do the kids.  As always he has just stepped up and just made life so pleasant.  The only real growing pains have been remembering Lily's homework and spelling words.  Which is pretty darn good. 
Alberta liked the leaf piles too.

Best buddies

Things he has done this break:  (And it is only half over)
     Rake two acres of yard (we don't rake everything)
     Pile 24 inches of leaves in my garden beds, as instructed
     Set up a cow isolation pen that is rigged to give him a run  in area in the barn
          The horses eat his food

Big helper

     Get a HUGE tree out of the POND, cut, split and stack it
     Babysit Max every day - a serious chore
     Cook dinners when I am at work
     Play games with the kids
     Assist in all cleaning
     Do our 40 loads of dishes
     And be generally adorable


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

::girl scouts - daisy's::

Sometimes I am a big snob.  Sometimes I think I am just a little bit too punk rock to do traditional things.  
Ego.  Silly.  But it's true.  And if I hadn't gotten over it I wouldn't be having a wonderful time with Lily in Girl Scouts.  She asked me to do it last year but I didn't pursue it.  I didn't want to do it.  I thought it would be too boring to tolerate.  But when she begged me again this year I gave in.
And we are rocking it out.  She is a Daisy, so she wears this adorable blue smock and get to have some serious fun with me and her little friends.      

Here we are going to the mother daughter dance.  She thought it was really big stuff because she wore my necklace and my wrap.  

::chicago sneak away::

Not so long ago we got the load up with two of our best friends and sneak away for a kid free overnight.

We went to visit my brother in Chicago.
This is the view from his private rooftop deck.

Here is another amazing piece of fun in my brothers apartment.

And some real amazing pizza.  

And my Hannah in love with my brothers couch pillows.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

::9 weeks::

Dear Nugget,

You are nine weeks old today.  I had my first ultrasound last week.  THANK GOD there is only one of you.  Twins would be fun in retrospect but at the time, with 2.5 other kids, it would be pure survival mode. I would rather have a little time to focus on one little snuggle warm yummy smelling baby.  CAN'T WAIT to actually meet you.  

The real meat of the ultrasound was that we have decided to do first rimester screening.  Some people may not like that idea but working in an NICU and seeing every single thing that goes wrong I need that screen.  The good part of that is you will get a screening for galactosemia before you are even born.  I don't want to get into the details of it yet but it is a rare recessive disorder that your brother carries.  It means that your body would  not be able to process ANY form of lactose.  You don't get sick from it, you slowly build up toxins in your eyes, kidney's, and brain until they fail.  It can be controlled by a VERY strict diet.  But it is still pretty nasty.  After our horrible experience with Max (they told us he had it, scared the crap out of us, made me stop breast feeding, and then he was just a carrier) I want to know about you right away.  I'd like to get the the bottom of this and find out if just Mommy or Daddy is a carrier.  I also want to make sure that everything else with you is fine.  Plus that means we get to see you at 12 weeks too.

AND you will be getting the usually 20 week ultrasound and a 36 week ultrasound.  The last one will be to check your size.  Since Max was 9lb6oz they want to make sure that you are not a 12 pounder.  

Another big point from today was my fault.  Mommy is too chubby.  I hate that.  I was so excited/nervous to find out if Daddy's reversal worked that I  didn't take the time to loose the weight and get fit before hand.    I am too big right now, so I am going to have to be extra careful.  Mommy is going to have to do a really good job of not over doing it with food or she will have all kinds complications.  I am working on a plan right now.  

Love you,

Sunday, November 14, 2010


We had something that I have never seen before - a double rainbow!  We didn't get the great pics of the actual rainbow we wanted, but we did get some funny pictures of Lily.  The wind was tearing along.  All day the Shorties kept talking about the HUGE rainbows we got to see.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

::school family tree::

Lily had to make a family tree for school.  I had a few rules for this project.  I got veto rights on all pictures.  I had to look hot in all pictures of me. And all else was free game.  I love the poster that she came up with with.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

::poor lizzie- for real::

Feel bad for Lizzie.  I cut her hair again.  This has to stop.  If I were you I would call animal protection on me.  I have been watching Animal Cops and I am seriously waiting for them to show up.  I have got to learn how to cut her hair.  PROMISE!  By the next time I will actually spend some time online trying to learn how to not abuse her.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

::week 8::

8 week old baby

Dear Nugget,

Things are different with you than the other two rounds.  You are staying pretty true to your middle of the night barf fest.  I am trying not to take Zofran (anti-nausea med), but you seem to really like it.  The real issue is equilibrium.  I am dizzy lots of the time and you can only be dizzy for so long before you brain thinks it barf time.  BUT - it could be so much worse.   

We go in on Thur to get our first ultrasound.  All this one really tell is that my dates are right and to set an official due date.  You're really too little to tell at 8 weeks much else.  Something REALLY bad would have to be wrong to see it when your that little.  The 20 week ultrasound is when they take a look at your little body and make sure you are coming along ok.  All of pregnancy is a little bit scary for an NICU nurse - but I try to just sit back and enjoy the process when I can.

Your Dad and I actually had a nice talk about names.  Still Gwen (Gweneth) for girl.  But Sam got vetoed from the boy list.  Right now your name if your a boy is John Thomas (or Johnathon) and we will call you Jack.  Not Jackson because Daddy doesn't like that.  

I can't wait to feel you kick.  But I have about another 8-10 weeks till I can even hope for that.  

Love your face -


Saturday, November 6, 2010

::mom vs. work::

Work work work.  I love the job.  I really do.  Even if it isn't the perfect little love santuary that it used to be it is still the right place for me.  But something has to give.  I think I need to go weekend option.  If you are not familiar with weekend option it is a specific shift for nurses that allows them to work EVERY STINKING SINGLE weekend.  In return for that sacrifice they only work two days, but get paid for three.  I think it might be the ideal situation for my family.  I would be home all week with the kids.  That makes me feel calm, just thinking about.  I would be 100 percent in charge of getting them too school and making sure all the school stuff if done and done problerly.  I would be able to always make sure that every one is fed and taken to the correct activity at the correct time.  Snow day?  Who cares.   Basically - it would come down to me being in complete control of the things that need to be controlled.  And I LOVE that idea.  LOVE IT!  The bad part is missing out on that weekend time.  But then I get my Lily for five full days all summer!  The best playtime in the world.  But I would miss out on all the social activities.  No saturday baby showers or work related parties.  Terrible.  But I would just have to find other ways to socialize.  Like standing Friday Children's Museum playdates???  Then I would hire my fabulous girl who helps me now to do the occasional few hours during the week so I can do grown up stuff or volunteer at school or work on photo stuff.  She would also do every Saturday with the kiddos.  Then Josh would be in charge every Sunday, which he would like minus the football games, which he will work around.  What am I over looking?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

::children's museum preschool::

Our super wonderful children's museum has son wonderful "Mommy and Me" classes.
We just did one called "Winter Wonderland"
They had some amazing activities.
Like a tub full of icebergs for the polar bear to play on.
Forgive that the pictures are all on my iPhone.

Some great stamping activities, that Max was almost totally uninterested in.
He does art at home.

But he thought the glitter shaker was big fun.  

He loved the sensory table with rice.  
I really need to make him one.  

I am getting him this activity for Christmas.
Which they happily will sell you at the super stellar gift shop.

And this one too.

And he loved this key toy.
Which Santa might also find for him. 
The class was $10 and I can't wait to do another one. 
He didn't do hardly any of the things that he was supposed to do but I didn't want to be that crazy parent that drug their kid from art center to art center forcing them to make stuff just so they feel like they get their money's worth.  She was there.  Lots of she's were there.  We do lots of art at home, so if he didn't want to then we could just play with the toys.  The whole point is to grow and learn in a social setting.  Right?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

::flattered - lots::

I am growing as a photographer.
I still have lots of room to keep going.
Sometimes I get a really nice image and sometimes I don't.
But nothing really flatters me quiet as much as when someone uses an image that I took.
Like as a facebook profile or in their badge at work.
But this is a first for me - my picture made it to a Holiday card.
No joke.
Big stuff.


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