Friday, October 31, 2008

Spare a prayer?

Dear readers, please say a little prayer for me.

I'm here dangling at the end of my mental and physical rope. Our darling youngest daughter has been quite difficult and I'm so exhausted that I'm starting to kinda lose it at night . My poor husband had to deal me snapping last night and it wasn't pretty.

Today I'm trying to put little E on a strict schedule, because I believe part of her problem is lack of sleep. At this age, both previous kids had pretty much put themselves on a schedule of a morning and afternoon nap and sleeping through the night. Ell sleeps very irregularly during the day (partly I think because we're going a lot in the mornings with school) and then maybe sleeps an our in the afternoon. Then she's up for a good deal of the night. I laid her down two hours ago after nursing her to sleep, upstairs (where its much quieter) and she's still sleeping, so this is good. I'll do the same this afternoon.

We have to do something or I'm going to seriously end up on anti-depressants again and we don't want to go there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blah blah blah

A quick update since I have to leave to get the kids from school here in a second.


Yes, those are from my long suffering tomato plant. Yippee! I ate one yesterday and it was delicious. It probably could have sat longer on the vine, but I was eager. My other three are turning as well. It only took like $60, 6 months, and a great deal of frustration to grow them. I'm going to try something different next year, but geesh, this wasn't very encouraging!

Yesterday we went to the Spartan Gym play time with April. The kids had a blast. April graciously invited us over to her house afterwards (well, ok, Ethan practically invited himself). It was really cute to see Grady and Elsa interacting. I had some pictures of the other kids but none of them turned out for some reason. April has some on her blog though.

Our sleeping problems have not resolved, and is part of the reason why I'm not really blogging much. I don't feel like it. I'm tired. And I'm pretty cranky to boot. Last night out of desperation I gave her a bottle of breastmilk which zonked her out solid, then we kept her in our bed. She only woke up once, which was great. I think for the time being she's going to sleep in our bed (she had been sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed), because it seems to help her sleep longer stretches. This could be a growth spurt, teething or my own personal supply issue, but I wish it would resolve already.

Lastly, here's a picture just for Jenni, my littlest sister. She'll get it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkin patching and I'm a dork

So look what I found last night when I checked on my tomatoes?

WOW! I can't believe this is actually working. Things like this never work for me. Today I checked again and the really orangy one is almost totally red now and the slightly orange one is very orange. Cool.

So this morning, Daddy, Nana, Aunt Jenni, myself, Ethan, Gwen and Elsa all went to school, boarded the big church bus (really. very. big) and headed off to The Farm for the pumpkin patch field trip. The kids were ridiculously excited. The weather was damp, but not too terribly cold.

Nervous excitement

Elly playing it cool

Posing on the hayride to the pumpkins

Gwen's choice

Sadly, Ethan did not wish to be photographed with his pumpkin.

Afterwards we went into the little playground area and it was so neat! They had a huge hay area that was deeply covered in hay. You could jump off the bales into a pile and roll around.

Another cool thing was this huge play area, about 2 1/2 feet deep, of dried corn! It was totally awesome, and smelled good too. All the kids rolled around in it and had a blast. Here's Gwen making a "corn angel". I didn't notice until I looked just now that she has corn on her face. Oops!

I was the last one off the bus back at the church and you would not believe all the corn kernels on the seats and floor. I would not be surprised if a few show up in bath tonight!

After returning home and putting the children to bed, I headed off to my dental appointment. Only to find out that... um, my appointment wasn't until next Thursday. Gah. These people must think I'm crazy because I've rescheduled the appointment twice, called twice to change what I wanted done, and then when I do finally show up its a week early. So embarassed, and so dorky of me. I'm sure my file is already filled with notes and I haven't even had a single cleaning there yet!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Frazzled. It sounds almost glamorous... liked dazzled. However, its not glamorous at all, oh no.

It does describe how I've felt all this week though. Monday night Elsa was up all night fussing. Nothing calmed her down. NOTHING. She would fall asleep, but if I stopped rocking or put her down, she'd wake up and scream. Eventually she zonked out at 4:30am while latched onto the boob and positioned uncomfortably on my arm, so you can imagine how restfully I slept. Then last night she did it AGAIN. However, this time we were more proactive and tried different things. I tried her bouncer. Worked for 10 minutes. Then I tried her gas drops. Nope. Her colic tablets. Nope. Ok, we're getting desperate and its 1am already. I go downstairs and get a bag of breast milk from the freezer (April, thank you!) and warm it up for her. Jason carries the baby and bottle upstairs while I wrangle the swing (which of course had dead batteries and requried the use of a screwdriver which was pretty complicated in my sleepless state). Jaosn turns on the TV, feeds her the bottle. She falls asleep. I put her down in the swing and she wakes up and starts to fuss. I turn on the swing, turn on the built in white noise machine, turn on the built in vibrating seat and crawl back into bed, praying that this works. She cries a little bit, but you can tell she's sleepy. 10 minutes. We're good. 15 minutes, cautiously optimistic. Finally, I fall asleep and manage to sleep till 6:30. YES.

I don't know what is going on with her. The last two days I've been eating from a bag of salad greens and I'm wondering if its upsetting her stomach in some way. So none of that today. And I'm also wondering if my milk supply is going down because once she had that bottle of breast milk she seemed a lot calmer and not doing the latch on, pull off routine that has been happening the last two nights and driving me nuts.

Listen, here's the truth. I breastfeed because its the healthiest and cheapest option. Its usually the easiest option too. But I don't enjoy it. I know some Moms do, and man, I'm envious. I pretty much tolerate it... its never been a huge bonding thing for me. Some nights, like last night, I felt like if there had been formula in this house I would have given it! I have to admit that this time around (perhaps because I weaned Gwennie just a few months before Elsa arrived) that its much less tolerable. I get irritated with the pinching and the pulling on and off and all the stuff that goes on with nursing.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure where that last paragraph rant came from but it feels good to get it out.

I'm off to tackle my bedroom and get some clothes put away. Child, it is BAD in there. The age old question, "If I have all these clothes, why do I have nothing to wear?" is once again very present. I feel like I wear the same thing practically every day, so why is every piece of clothing un-folded and un-hung and spread across the bedroom?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Autumn in (eastern) Washington

Well today was pretty bland. Jason called in sick to work because he isn't feeling well, and after our whirlwind day yesterday, I was pretty worn out too! I'm still wearing the clothes I woke up in. It was that kind of day.

Yesterday, we headed over to Wenatchee to meet our Eastern Washington contingent to have a belated shower for Lindy's new baby, Cienna and to have a belated wedding shower for my cousin Caitlyn and her husband Matt. Due to an unfortunate quirk of scheduling, Caitlyn couldn't attend her own shower, so her husband was a good sport and opened the gifts and did everything on his own. What a guy!

On our drive over, we saw the most lovely fall foliage just outside Leavenworth, along the Wenatchee river. We stopped for a picture and there were so many other people there, huddled on the side of Highway 2, taking pictures as well. The river was so still in this section that you could see clear to the bottom. Gorgeous. The pictures don't do it justice. It made me long for our nice Canon Rebel that we sold a few months ago.

This was at the small dam on the Wenatchee, the Tumwater Canyon Dam.

A picture of my youngest sister Jenni, my great-Aunt Margaret, and Gwennie-the-pooh.

And me! I made that shirt by the way.

Unfortunately, my battery died right after this picture and thus ends my photo journey of the trip.

We left at 9am and returned just after 9pm. It was wonderful to see family again and the new babies and visit.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Catchng up

I have not been in the blogging mood at all this week, so I have a lot to catch up on now. I hate that!

We did our regular pre-school routine this week. I had no free time while they were in school because I had so many errands to run. But its good that I'm able to run those errands with a smaller number of children because it does make it easier!

On Thursday I picked up a bathtub seat for Elly from Craigslist for $5. She has outgrown the baby tub! This seat is just PERFECT. She loves it.

Eagerly awaiting water.

The first three child bath. It was crowded!

She had a great time splashing around in the water

I also took these during the week when Elsa was in a charming mood.

Tickling Daddy? Sure looks like it.

What is that? And I want some, she says!. This girl is always grabbing at our food and drink now. She's ready. But she'll have to wait another month :)

Friday we went to the Children's Museum with Mom, Jenni, and Becki. Because of Mom's HOME membership (homeschooling co-op), we all got in free. Woo! Gwen was rather sick before the museum (threw up three times) and after (threw up once), but she powered through when we were there. She was not feverish and other than some tiredness, she wasn't really acting all that sick. Whatever it was, it passed quickly, thank goodness.

Elsa has been doing this funny thing with her head. When you talk to her, she'll tilt to one side. Its pretty cute.

Perhaps the biggest news of the week is that Thursday night Ethan decided that he was done with binkies. DONE. He wanted us to throw them all away, because he was done. His reward for making such a huge step was to get two Lego sets. We really wanted to make it into a big deal. So Daddy bought some and when he woke up from nap on Friday there they were. He was a happy boy. And he's really proud of giving up his binky. Honestly, this shocked the heck out of me. I didn't think he'd just decide to do it one day and that would be it. Doesn't he look so grown up?

Lastly, but not least, I finished another dress, this one for Shortcake. The picture is not great because it was rather windy and the dress was flying all over. I would have done indoors, but I really prefer outdoor shots for the dresses so that the colors are more true. The lighter fabric has pink polka dots. Its also done in flannel which is so soft and warm.

Today we're going grocery shopping all together (eh, fun?) and then I'll be getting ready for our long haul tomorrow. I'll be driving a carpool to Cait's belated bridal shower and Lindy's belated baby shower held in Wenatchee. We're going there and coming back the same day. Just Elsa and I are going, along with my Mom, Jenni, possibly Michelle and Peter and Aunt Margaret all in my car.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Anniversary

Our anniversary, officially, was yesterday. We got married on October 12, 2002. I cannot believe I've been married 6 years, and that J and I have been together 11. Wow!

As I previously mentioned, we were going to take the ferry across the water and dine over there. Bur Jason was sicker and sicker by the minute (he got the cold the kids have had off and on for awhile) and told me honestly that being in the cold and having to walk to to the restaurant on the other side would be hard, since his asthma flares in both cold temps and when he's sick. Additionally, the poor guy can barely taste anything and he couldn't really enjoy it. So we changed plans and drove aimlessly around Lynnwood for a little bit before we figured out something to do. We hit Barnes & Noble for a little bit, then headed to Outback for dinner, which we enjoyed. We got home around 8, then watched Children of Men which was far more depressing and than I had imagined it would be. Jason hates these types of movies. He'd thought it would be more sci-fi and it wasn't. But he was a good sport and labored through since it was a movie I had wanted to see.

To a lot of people, I suppose this would seem like a very dull anniversary celebration. But Jason and I are super laid back about these things. Honestly, just a quiet (or I guess quieter) house is a gift. Watching a movie together is a treat! Going out to dinner, even to just Outback, is a rarity. We are somewhat beyond the need for over the top and lavish gifts or dates.

Mom dropped the kids off Sunday afternoon around 3 and stayed to sample the lemon-blueberry muffins I made as a Cooks Illustrated recipe tester. They were delicious!

Unfortunately, Ethan wasn't feeling good. He didn't nap, and his tummy kept hurting more and more. Around 7:30 he fell asleep sitting up which he has never ever done! I put him to bed and not 10 minutes later he threw up a great deal. It was kinda funny though... immediately he was chipper and bragging about how "good" he threw up. "I got it all in the bowl Mom!". Well, I can't say I'm not impressed, but here was a kid that not 15 minutes prior was barely able to speak from exhaustion and illness, but after throwing up he couldn't stop talking! Luckily that was the only throwing up incident of the night, though he woke in the middle of the night with growing pains in his legs and needed some Tylenol. Of course, Elly slept well through all this, which means that had Ethan not been sick I could have actually gotten a night of good sleep... its not good to focus too much on how life conspires to steal your sleep, so I'll stop talking about it right there!

This morning Ethan is doing better. He ate some Cheerios and has kept them down. His fever is a bit lower too. Hopefully, we'll stay on this track.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Little update

Not much has been going on except my complete exhaustion thanks to a cranky baby. She has a cold and its making her the fussiest thing. Ugh!

Tonight J and I are taking a ferry and having dinner in Kingston for our anniversary, which is tomorrow. 6 years! My Mom has the two older kids, but we're still a-totin' Elly around. Just a few more months and with some pumped breastmilk and Elsa can spend the night with Nana!

A few days ago Gwen asked me to make her a baby sling so that we could sling our babies together. Using a rough online pattern, I made her one and she's quite fond of it!

In other exciting news (heh), I wrestled my ginormous tomato plant and brought it indoors. I had already lost two tomatos to the cold (they split) and didn't want to risk the rest. I decided to this at 8pm so its totally dark out and I'm in the front yard trying to shake it out of its pot. Well, it finally came out and it was massively rootbound which explains the problems I had. Not one speck of dirt fell off the root ball, it was all packed in there. Knowing I could not bring this inside, I got a huge knife and started hacking at it, in the dark, in my front yard, in the drizzle. I probably looked rather frightening. Finally I got enough of it off and held it up like a giant snake to bring into the house. Then I realized just how long this stalk was. I was holding it right under the root ball and with my arm raised the stalk touched the ground and then some. WOW! That is a tall tomato vine.

According to some online information, if you hang the tomato plant in a warm spot they will continue to ripen slowly. It may take months, but it should happen. So now the beast of a tomato stalk is residing in my laundry room, perched on a shelf and tied down with bungees. There are only like 5 tomatoes on the plant (they're in the area by the dryer tubey thing), but I'll fight for them. If I have to wait till Christmas to eat a ripe tomato, by golly I will!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Product of sweat and tears

I've been toiling at some pattern modification for almost a week now and finally finished it up. The dress is a little big on Gwen, but no worries. She's still growing!

Its basically the tiered dress I've been making, but with long sleeves. Quite a few people have been asking for this variation and I think I finally figured something out! These are not great pics because they're indoor at night. I'll be doing better ones tomorrow.

I was also experimenting with doing variations on a single color in solids instead of alternating two printed fabrics. What do you think? I like the idea... I'm not so sure I like how it looks in person though. I almost think that doing the color variation in prints would look better. The solidity of each tier throws me off some way. Tell me if I'm just being weird though, because I've been staring at it far too much the past week.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Many pictures, mostly Elly. A video too!

Thank you to those who called and emailed me about my previous post. Your kind and encouraging words mean a lot to me.

I'm going to start off with a video of Elsa that I took a few days ago. It's kinda cute.

Elsa Laughing

The other day I caught Ethan reading a book to Elly (sorry about the creepy doll eyes. Many of my indoor pictures have been doing this of late and I'm not sure how to fix it!)

Gwen gave Elsa her dolly and Elsa thought it was... tasty? Gwen thought she was kissing the doll and we agree that kissing the dolly is a much cuter way of saying teething on the dolly :)

Mmmm... plastic ears.

This fake hair has an interesting texture.

I showed her who's the boss!

That same day, Gwennie was really into playing Mommy. She nursed her dollies when I nursed Elly, and again reminded me that she really needed a sling. I need to make that for her ASAP. Her hints are not so subtle!

Yesterday afternoon I went over to my friend April's house to hang out, help her with her garage sale (closed early due to bad weather) and then later in the evening, go to a birthday party for a friend. It worked out excellently because one of April's neighbors had a huge amount of excellent condition baby clothes and so I was able to pick up a stuffed bag of clothes for Elly and some for Gwen and a toy for $20.

Got some interesting shots of the wee one too.

"What? Why are you excited?"

"Oh this? This sitting thing?"

"Mommies are so easily impressed!"

Yep. She can sit! She's still working on the posture, but she can hold herself up for a good while. I really can't believe she's doing this already.

She really liked Buca Di Beppo. Loud, lots of pictures and colors and people to look at.

While I was gone yesterday, Jason took the kids to pick out costumes for trick-or-treating. Gwen is a butterfly princess and, as you can imagine, LOVES the costume. Ethan is Darth Vader.

Elsa, I think due to the weird schedule since we were out, slept poorly and I therefore slept poorly and feel rather icky this morning. I actually feel like I have a hangover, which is strange because I had one small drink. It didn't even make me feel tipsy in the slightest. Last time I went out and had a drink I felt the same way the morning after too. I must be getting old if one tiny drink leaves me feeling this way!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Weird mood

Yesterday, thanks to the almost total lack of sleep and some huge hormonal changes, I ended up with a killer migraine. Luckily, by yesterday evening it was ebbing away but that feeling of a whole day lost lingers. I hate losing a day to a headache or illness. It feels like it takes me a week to catch back up.

Today, I woke with that fresh and perky feeling that one has after having a miserable previous day. Kids went off to school and Elly and I hit the dollar store for a few things. Well, it was supposed to be a few things and I walked out of there with 20 things but that's how it goes I suppose :)

Came home and had 45 min to spare, so Elsa and I took a brisk 1 mile walk. It was especially brisk on the way home as it started to rain!

After getting the kids and arriving home I immediately felt kind of down. My house was spotless on Monday. Today its totally trashed. Laundry everywhere. Honestly, there is not one room right now that doesn't have some type of laundry (clean or dirty) cluttering it up. I feel closed in by toys, even though we really don't have that many.

I feel frustrated! It seems like I should be able to find some joy or pleasure in keeping a neat and clean house, but I don't. I abhor cleaning up. I'd rather be doing almost anything else. Especially when everything gets messed up so fast.

And I feel frustrated by my parenting too. I want to enjoy my kids, and yet most of the day I find myself aggravated and worn out by their (totally age appropriate) antics and I rush them off to nap and bedtimes so I can have some peace. That doesn't feel right to me. It doesn't feel right that I count the hours until they go to sleep so I can be alone.

I guess I'm in a bit of a funk right now. I want to do better, but I'm in a weird place where if I try to do better and fail, it makes me feel worse than if I hadn't tried at all. Like, "Gah, even when I'm really trying to enjoy my children I still end up irritated. What is wrong with me?". I long to find contentment and joy, or heck, even just peace, with my day to day duties but I just don't. Sigh.

Well, this blog was random. Guess I'll end here before I go off on another tangent.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Elsa Toes

It appears that my cousin Holly and I had similar nights with our respective babies.

Elsa was up pretty much all night. Fuss fuss fuss, and no relief. She woke up for good around 4:30am and would not go to sleep, nor lay quietly in bed with me, or even nurse. So we got up. And already I can barely keep my eyes open. This does not bode well for my day.

To remind myself why I do not run from the house screaming and pulling my hair out after such evenings and nights like these, I present Elsa and her newly discovered toes.

She was diaperless, which only added to her joy. And as you can see, she's on her side. She's this "" close to rolling over.

The toes are almost in reach. Excitement building!

"Are those it Mom? Do I have them?"

"Yes! Life is good."