Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Party Weekend

Last weekend we had two parties for Ethan. He turned 5!

Can you believe this was him five years ago?

Our festivities started out on Saturday with a party for his friends at Jungle Playland in Mt. Vernon. We had a great time, with lunch and cake and presents and LOTS of running around and playing. I doubt there was a child that did not leave that party absolutely exhausted!

His cake (it looked really cool, if I do say so myself).

Gwen, because she wanted her picture taken too

Grady and Ryan on the rides

Elsa pointing (look at that great ponytail on her head!)

Mom and Elsa and April and Grady

Gibson, Ethan and Aunt Jenni playing a video game

Eating lunch in the party room

Ethan (with a VERY helpful Gwen, bless her heart) opening gifts

Part of Ethan's birthday package was a free laser tag rental. This gun was HUGE. Massive! Nearly as tall as he was. Luckily, he was able to trade for a smaller one with Aunt Jenni.

Elsa again, just because. Her face is really maturing.

Ethan, Laura and Gwen. Ethan's got a little crush on Laura :)

The amazing Gwen easily scaling the rock wall over and over

After this full day, we had a family party on Sunday. Oh, it was so nice to have everyone over and catch up. I don't have any pictures (what was I thinking?) but I did snap one of Becki, holding Elsa in a sling she brought home from Guatemala. Its basically a square of fabric, folding crosswise into a triangle and then tied on your shoulder. Bam. Even more simple than my simple ring sling! Elsa liked it a lot.

I have to include these two pictures of the girls the other day. It was just after lunch and I was doing my regular lunchtime TWOP reading. I realize it is quiet... I look to my right and there is Elsa, dead asleep in her highchair.

I woke her up, finding an imprint of a cheerio on her forehead by the way, and went to find the other missing child.

Ah, there she is. This is what happens when your children insist on waking up at 5:30am!

By the way, Gwen slept like this as a baby, as a toddler, and now as a child. I tried it once. Not comfy. I wonder how long she'll sleep with crossed legs tucked under her?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Busy days

It seems that every day has been full lately.

On Saturday we attended my friend Abby's 30th birthday party. She had a 70's theme and everyone (except us) dressed up SO awesomely. It was great! I have a funny video I need to post but it has to be edited. Coming soon...

Do you know that my little boy will be 5 this Sunday? We're having a party for his friends at Jungle Playland this Saturday, then a small party on Sunday for family. Today he brought in cupcakes for his class. He was really excited about that.

We signed both the kids up for swimming lessons at the Everett Y. It was the only place that had openings, because we waited too long. Its twice a week from 5:15-5:45 which isn't the best for us, but its only for a month. After that is over, Gwen will start ballroom dancing lessons! She is over-the-moon excited about that class. It should be really fun and exactly what she is interested in.

Yesterday I visited my local craft/fabric store and found that its going out of business. Sad news, because it was a great resource for cheap fabric and part of my sewing success is due in part to not being too afraid to mess up because its only $3.99 a yard fabric. I have a huge bin of very expensive fabric that I still haven't used because messing that up is way more expensive! It also means that I'll need to cross the trestle anytime I want to get something. Blah. Good news is that everything was on sale and I left with two huge bags of fabric for cheap.

The reason I was there yesterday getting fabric is exciting. I'm making a quilt for Michelle and Peter. My very first! And in typical Kristi style, it will be a ginormous project. No starting with baby quilts for me, oh no. This will be a King size quilt, about 120x108. I'm really looking forward to trying this out.

Here are the fabrics I chose... I'm going to be doing a simple 9 patch, maybe a disappearing 9 patch. I don't know yet.

The bottom fabric, the one you can't see very well, is one of my favorites. Its apples on a black background. It'll be darling I think.

Teeth are STILL hurting and I'm in my 3rd week since surgery now. I know it will have to go away eventually. Its not horrible pain, but enough that I have to take ibuprofen daily. This whole thing has really kinda brought my spirits low. I cannot imagine how people with chronic pain do it... Even my relatively minor pain has such an impact on my mood.

The little darling refuses to sleep at all during the day, although she's very tired. I know I've blogged about this before. Its really the biggest issue for her. The last two days I've tried letting her cry it out a bit at naptime (she's usually so tired in the evenings because she doesn't nap that she drops off with no problems). Its not going well because she does not give up. 3 hours the first day, 3 hours the second day. I go up there frequently and pat her back, lay her back down, tell her its sleep time and even then she's starting to drift off... but when I leave its back up crying. Its not screaming or anything, just fussing. The other two kids were so different. I know you can't compare one to the others, but its hard not to. I feel so frustrated by the situation, especially since its been going on for over 6 months now! She is not getting enough sleep. She will sleep if we hold her, but not if we put her down. I've taken to slinging her on my back and she'll zonk out fast that way, but I can't do it for long because it makes my back hurt and really limits what I can do.

Complain, complain, complain :) I told Jason that I will not always be so miserable. Bless him, he said that I wasn't being miserable, but I know that is not true. Between this wisdom teeth thing and the never ending struggle for sleep, I have been miserable for a long time now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gwen's first haircut

Last night, Jason took all of us out for dessert to celebrate some great news from his job. We went to "the ice cream store" and had a great time. After we were done, we decided on a whim to get Ethan's shaggy head in for a trim and Jason needed one too. A few weeks ago I went in for a haircut and Gwen came and was intrigued by the process. Up until then she was adamant that she did NOT ever want to cut her hair. That was fine with us, but after she saw my hair cut, she started saying she wanted "just a little" taken off.

So when we drove to the hair place and just Daddy and Ethan tried to go in, she got upset that she wasn't going in too. I decided that now was as good as any so she finally, after nearly 4 years, got her hair cut!

For reference, her hair was VERY long. It was all the way down to her rear. This is the best picture I could find, and as is typical of me, I didn't think of taking one before the haircut started!

The shampoo. She said this made her feel so sleepy, like she needed a nap. Ethan, bless his little heart, came over and patted her leg and arm to make sure she wasn't scared.

Sitting high up in the chair

She never sits this still for me when I comb out her hair.

Her hair was so long that she had to stand for them to cut it. This is right before the first cut. All the lady did was basically even it up across the back, she didn't even touch the front. She probably took only 2-3 inches off total from the back.

I did not tell her to pose like this folks. This is Gwen, unprompted. The thought of her as a teenager scares me a little bit.

She told me that her picture wouldn't look good because she had the sucker, so I had to take another one of her looking serious. Her shirt was really dirty from the ice cream we'd had right before the haircut place!

And one of little Elsa who, bless her heart, patiently endured the ice cream and haircut adventure with only a few peeps, even though it was past her bedtime and she only had a diaper on under that blanket (we were only supposed to be out for a quick ice cream run, not a whole ordeal!).

The stylist gave me some of the hair to put in Gwen's baby book. Gwen saw this and when J was getting his hair cut, ran over there to ask Daddy if she should gather up hair for his baby book. So funny.

My teeth still hurt a lot! I'm taking Percoset at night still and wish I did not have to. Ibuprofen is around the clock. I try and stretch it out, but within an hour of it wearing off I can feel the pain quite severely. I'm hoping that going into my third week after surgery I will see some significant improvements in pain, at least where I don't need to be taking so much medication all the time.

Yesterday I started Ethan on his first reading lessons! My Mom taught all of us with Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons and that's what I'm going to try with my kids. Our first lesson went well and Ethan was very excited. I have a chart with 1-100 on it and every day he'll put a sticker or cross off his number. I'm going to feel out a few lessons with Gwen too and see if she's ready.

In our ongoing ponderings about whether to homeschool or not, I had thought about how I did not think even one person from my MOPS group was homeschooling and how too bad that was because it would be nice to have a contact like that. Today at MOPS, we played a mixer game called "Fast Friends" which is kinda like speed dating. We sat down with a random person and talked for 5 minutes and shared some basic information so we could get to know each other. The FIRST lady I sat down with not only has kids close in age to mine, but is homeschooling them and gave me some great information on a co-op. WOW! I couldn't believe it. Even 30 min earlier, I had absently been looking around at people and wondering if any of them were homeschooling and I just didn't know it. Even though I hadn't prayed for someone in my MOPS group to be homeschooling, it was like an answer to an unsaid prayer!

Monday, March 09, 2009

I love my husband

Not only has he tolerated a full week of me (literally) crying a few times a day over my pain, but he's empathized and done what he can to lighten my load.

Then today, when we had this unexpected snow storm dump seven inches of snow in three hours, and after he himself spent 3 stressful hours on the road trying to get home from Lynnwood (a mere 12 miles away!) in said snow, he turned around about 30 minutes later and drove everyone to the dentists office.

See, today I was supposed to have my wisdom teeth packs out. I'd been anxiously awaiting this day because I'd been told that the discomfort would ease once that was done. However, we had so much snow that it was unlikely we could make it out. After Jason got home and told me how bad the roads were, I called to cancel (after crying my eyes out, natch). The receptionist said, "Oh no! Is there any way you can make it in? These really should come out today and we can't get you in till Thursday and they will be quite painful by then". I told her there really wasn't a way and re-scheduled. Then I cried my eyes out some more.

I told J what she said and he immediately said, "Then we'll get you there" and off we went. In that short 30 minutes between when he'd arrived home and we left, the temp had warmed considerably and the roads were much much better. In fact, once we got over the trestle, there was no snow at all on the roads.

Packs came out, I was happy, J was happy that it didn't take us forever to get home and I'm especially thrilled to have a husband who was willing to go above and beyond so I could have some relief today.

What a guy

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Who needs sleep?

My oh my.

Last night we had a doozy folks.

I was having some serious pain and I took a Percoset and went to bed. About an hour later I'm woken by Gwen coughing and coughing and coughing. I go in there and try to make her comfy and prop her up. I return to bed, fall asleep for maybe 15 min and am woken again by Gwen and Elsa coughing. I remember the honey trick, so I run downstairs and get honey to give to Gwen. She takes it and I nurse the baby and hope that everyone will get back to sleep. Its now about 12:30am, my face is throbbing and I can barely keep my eyes open. I go to lay the baby down but she immediately starts screaming (Mom, you know, you saw it the other day). I'm like, "Noooooo!". So Gwen is still coughing up a storm so I send her into our bed. I work on Elly for awhile, but every time I lay her down she starts crying. Finally I just lay her down and walk out because I can't do it anymore. I take my second Percoset for pain.

30 min later (around 1:30), Jason gets up to help the baby, who still is fussing. He can't settle her down so he brings her to me. So we have two kids in the bed. J knows he won't be able to sleep so he goes downstairs to sleep on the couch. One hour later, Ethan comes in telling me that he's wet his bed and wanting to get into bed with me. I wasn't really comfortable with all three kids being in there, so I told him to go sleep in Gwen's bed. All through this time, I would fall asleep and either the baby would be tossing and turning and want to nurse or Gwen would be coughing hard and threatening to throw up. At 4:30, J's alarm goes off and he gets ready for work. This wakes up everyone and that was pretty much the extent of our sleep.

I got up, looked at my face (which is so large that I look like a caricature of myself), nearly threw up from nausea and started to cry. Oh I cried for about an hour. Guess what? Crying doesn't help your appearance when you already are swollen!

So we're not doing school today, we're not doing anything. When Jason gets home, or the kids fall asleep, I will shower. But that is the extent of my day.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Wisdom teeth out = pain

Oh I was naive to think that it wouldn't be "that bad". Its that bad, plus. Seriously, this is more uncomfortable and painful than childbirth!

My teeth were really wedged in there and the surgery took 30 minutes longer than usual. I was so out of it that I have no recollection of going home and being put in bed. I was completely in lala land until about 4:30pm. Mom (bless her heart 100x) took the kids home with her last night and will drop them off at school which is an enormous help.

Today I'm swollen up to my eyes and can barely move my mouth. Not so much pain as much as discomfort and soreness. It just took me an hour to nibble down little pieces of banana. I'm starving!

At least its done now. Hopefully this will all help with my headache problems!