Friday, February 27, 2009

Eating Out Stag Style

Ok, so Alex had a "slobber party" with his cousin over at their grandparents' house last night which means that once I successfully dropped off my oldest 2 at school I was flying solo until I felt like making an appearance at aforementioned slumber party.

The day started great with a Stand Up Against Bullying Day for the big boys. I dressed them in pink polos and blue jeans and sent them on their merry little way to someone else's care....ahhhh. FREEDOM! So what's a mom to do? Why go back to bed of course! I went back to my nice warm king size until about 10:30am. I had NO INTENTION of sleeping that long, but it sure felt good.

So then it was off to the bank and out to the grandparents. I was literally IN their neighborhood when I remembered that Russ asked me to email his school work to his professor, which was safely saved in his harddrive. So turn around, go back home, fast forward an hour, now what's a free mom to do? Take myself out to lunch!

It seemed the perfect answer. I wanted to go to my favorite Mexican restaurant, but I had no "family time" options to go until next week or so. I head over, walk into the restaurant where Senor says "How many?" I was a little embarrassed, I'll admit, but I screwed myself up, and said proudly "One." Phew. Over. Right? Wrong? Senor repeats looking rather confused "One?" we go again. "Yes, I'm taking myself out to lunch. I earned it." How? By sleeping in? Great, now I feel sheepish and dumb again. Let's make it worse, he walks me around the corner near the kitchen and seats me in the corner, and there is no one else in the section. Oh well. So what. I did it.

Then another young man comes with silverware to take my drink order while we wait for my server to become available. He asks "Are we waiting on anyone?" Innocent enough, but I'm still reeling from my stupidity. "Nope. Just me." Finally my waiter comes, "I'll come back in a minute when your guest arrives. " GRRRrrrr. Now it's just not funny anymore. "No, it's just me, and I know what I'd like please."

So I eat my delicious food ALL by myself, and I'm waiting on the check when another slightly older woman walks into the section. She calmly says "I'll have my usual please." and looks at me, she states rather calmly "We must have been bad girls, they sat us way back here in the corner today." Laughing I reply "I thought they sat me back here because they couldn't figure out a woman taking herself out to lunch." The woman laughed back "nah, I do this at least once a week here. They all even know what I want to eat." Once again, I felt sheepish. What did I have to worry about?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Downsizing: From Scraps to Blankets

Ok, so I know it's not a conventional method of downsizing but I had all these scraps sitting around in totes, and I need to make a baby blanket for a co-worker, and I was just sitting around at the in-laws doggy sitting my puppy all day. Long story as to why she's at their house and not mine, but I digress...

Blanket project 1:

A little girl blankie. Not a baby, no pastels here, or at least very few. This is a toddler with a vibrant personality, so I grabbed up some rainbow fleece and some bold girly patterns and set to work. By the time I was done I was not disappointed in the fabric choices, only the mechanics of the seamstress. It seems that I made it a little narrow, missed a few corner points and puckered the fabric right in the middle, but oh well, I think it's still okay for my purposes...if not, just a good excuse to make another one!
Now that I have my method worked out, I'll move on to the neutral gender baby blanket for my co-worker. That will have to be another day though. This one took longer than I expected. So my to-do list still says...curtains for my kitchen, baby blanket for my co-worker, and whatever else may suit my fancy. What's truly sad is that I started those curtains for my kitchen last summer, they still aren't done, and we're moving out of her in less than 6 months. Oh well...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

By Special Request

Ok, since I was anti blog for a few months there, I missed Alexander's birthday. Not really, only here in blogland, but okay. So I was asked to upload pics of his 4 years of life too. By....none other than Zachary. Ok, buddy, whatever you's your day.

Alexander was always going to be my last baby even if he'd been my first. His entrance into the world was a giant cosmic joke right from the start. I won't elaborate on the conception story here for all the world to see, but if my friends really want to know, and don't already, I'll tell you privately. His actual entrance came about like this...

I was three weeks ahead of my due date, and I caught a horrible stomach bug from my preschool aged son, Zachary. After an entire day of illness and no end in sight, I called my OB-Gyn. They assured me that as long as I tried to keep putting fluids in, and didn't start cramping I'd be fine. At about 8pm Russ decided that I was too weak to care for the kids, and he wasn't feeling the greatest himself. He asked his parents to please take Zach and Josh for the night, promising to pick them up by 7am so parents could get to work. We both went to bed immediately.

Russ sleeps with a Cpap breathing machine, and I hate to try to wake him up in the middle of the night, because it's nearly impossible. At midnight or so, I realized that the rolling in my stomach was no longer "I'm going to be sick" feeling and more rhythmic. I started timing it thinking I had lost my last marble, no way I'm in labor, but sure enough, every 5-7 mins. By 2:30 am I figured that I was handling it ok, and I would wait and see if Russ woke up on his own and I'd tell him that I thought I was in labor.

At a little after 3am he woke. I managed to say "I think ..." as I rolled over so I could be sure he'd hear me, and my water broke. I started a new sentence "MY water just BROKE!" and he heard "I think my water just broke." 30 minutes later I finally convinced him that I was 100% sure that my water had INDEED broken. After a confused and frantic call to parents to explain why we would NOT be picking up the big boys, and we were off to the hospital. Well, after I broke rule #1 and took a shower. Hey! I'd been sick for a WHOLE day! I was not going like that!

Since I had been so sick and hadn't eaten, they didn't make me wait, and my C Section was completed in record time shortly after 4:30am. My OB said he'd been expecting my call ever since I had called to tell them I had the flu. They sure could have clued me in!

Alex was born with a double hydrocele. Basically he had 2 hernias where his testicles dropped through. He was okay, but would need surgery shortly after his first birthday. Then at exactly 28 days old, he contracted RSV most likely from an exposure from his older siblings and their preschool. He spend 3 days in a croup tent in the Peds ward. All this medical drama left me weak and a little frightened. We've thankfully seemed to pull through most of it. They told us he'd have asthma but so far they have been wrong. Then last year he spent 6 days and nights in the Peds ward again with the most bizarre case I have ever heard. He had an injury of some sort to his throat and it formed an abcess. No one has ever figured out the injury, but it took 4 and a half days to find the abcess. Once again, I found myself thinking that I was going to lose my son. Thankfully he's a fighter. He has a strong will, which is sometimes a great challenge for me as mom, but when he's sick, I'm thankful for it.

Once he had his surgery at 14 months, he became a different child. It was as if the doctor had removed some little switch. Like in the store, when you see Elmo and he sings this cute LITTLE song. You buy him and bring him home. You remove that little peice of plastic from his battery box and suddenly his singing is incessant and you just want him to be quiet for awhile. Alex felt SO much better that there was suddenly no stopping him, nor could any of us keep up with the little wild child. But he's so much fun! He loves (and seems to have always loved) trains. Thomas started him, and now he's into Geo Trax. My home is filled with everything train and his daddy loves it!

Alex is Grampy's "My Pal Al" and my little partner in crime. He has Uncle Brad wrapped around his fingers, and my daddy singing VeggieTales songs. He brings out the best in everyone he's around because you can't help but laugh with him. I cannot imagine life without him, and I'm so glad that God decided to laugh at Russ and I and our plans and put him into our lives. He's my night owl, my late sleeper, my cuddler, and my clown.

When he was tiny, we'd put him to bed by saying "Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. Zachary loves you. Joshua loves you. EVERYBODY loves you." He remembers it even though we stopped long ago saying it to him, so even now he will randomly look at a family member and say "I love everybody." So if you're ever feeling low, just remember Alexander loves you.

9 years ago today...

9 years ago today I felt like I had been pregnant for an eternity. I was only 3 days past my due date, but I was as big as a house. Russ and I woke up very early (for me not so early for an Army Specialist) and were at the hospital at 6am. I was not in labor. By 7am I was IV'd and laying in a bed with all sorts of monitors everywhere, one on my finger, one on my belly, and I still swear there were 3 dozen or so more. By 8am I was wondering why I had to be there at 6am. By 8:15 I thought I would bolt right out the door and keep my baby inside as my Dr came in with Pitocin and an amniotic hook.

Meds were a welcome relief at 10:30am, but not the news that followed. I was only 3 centimeters, meaning I wasn't even a true third of the way to done. By 3:30pm Russ, our dear friend, Kat, and I were pretty bored. A wonderful nurse came in and said something that sounded like music to our bored ears, "Ok here we go. Push."

At 7:30 my Dr. finally made his appearance. He tried with no avail to use forceps and told me a C-section was in my VERY near future as I had worn myself out completely and had never gotten more than the crown of my baby's head out. About an hour later, I lay in recovery completely unaware of what my son looked like, while Russ was holding him and loving him right from the start.

9 years ago I couldn't have imagined what Zachary would be like today. He's so smart, funny, helpful, wise beyond his years at times. His dad and I swear that from the time he began to talk he carried around an invisible shotgun cocking it whenever he disagreed with what we had told him "Well, well, (chhk, chhk) I think (take aim) ... (BOOM!)" and blowing holes through all of our carefully chosen words. He taught us to talk to him and treat him like a little man right from the start because he is just too smart to "dumb it down" to a child's level.

He's more than just a budding artist. He paints the solor system, or Wooly Mammoths better than his mom, and even helped me on my artwork for Penn State last year saying things like "I think there needs to be something right there. You have a hole in the picture."

He accepted Christ while sick a few years ago saying "Mom can you pray to your Jesus to make me better. I know he can make me not sick" and in a moment of perfect clarity I responded "no I won't because He can be your Jesus too. All you have to do is ask Him to live in your heart and then tell Him you don't feel well. He will listen to you too." He loves to just sit and read his Bible. He tells me he recently finished all of Isaiah. I can't say that I've ever read that book cover to cover myself.

He loves to sing. Is there ever any surprise there when one of our children appreciates and participates with music?? One Sunday morning Russ was feeling rather put down about using contemporary praise music in our Sunday morning services. He had been told that no one was "getting anything out of them" and that he was wasting time and money. We were in the kitchen making lunch and discussing the different possibilities when Zachary came in the kitchen with Joshua close on his heels asking "Dad what's the second verse of Days of Elijah? We know all the parts up to that one spot and all the words after it, but we can't get that one spot right. We love that song. We want to know ALL of the words."

I never ever thought I'd have a 9 year old son, but I do, and I love him more every day. Happy Birthday my baby, my son, my Zachary.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


As you may notice I have added a slideshow to my blog. These are courtesy of my flickr account. Some are my zany family members, some are landscapes, some are artwork I've made, and some are well...just photos.

More to come when I get my new camera....hopefully TOMORROW!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Long, long ago, Russ and I decided that our children deserved a better answer than "because". As they grew we explained why birds don't fall out of the air, why they couldn't have cookies for breakfast, or why they can't watch videos rated higher than they could count.

Now 9 years later, I would give my left arm to look at my child and JUST say "BECAUSE" without hearing a dissertation on why they think I said no.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Catching up...

I was reminded this morning that I haven't been on here in forever and a few days...

So catching up...

Russ - is in the midst of his second semester at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for his Master of Divinity in Church Music. He is still doing it online, but this will be the last semester for that which leads me to ....

Me - I am currently working at Lifeway Christian Store and prepping the house for the great move west that will likely come in July 2009.

Zachary - will turn 9 in a few days. He's in the third grade and preparing for the PSSA exams this March.

Joshua - is 7 and 1/2 and in the 2nd grade. I finally met someone this year that is helping me diagnose his minor speech issue. More info on that to follow in the coming weeks/months.

Alexander - is ornery as ever. He just turned 4 and still has not successfully potty trained in the least, but we're still not pushing. Of course, that sentence could change at any moment, especially after we see the Baby Doc next Thursday.

Ok....caught up? Alright! Then I'm off to pick up the first piece of some new bedding for the new twin over full bunk bed that will arrive tomorrow. Pics will follow! Assuming I figure out how to post them!