Saturday, July 31, 2010

Luke Alexander has Arrived! 8 lbs 12 oz of Pure Love!




Hello Everyone!

I am blogging from my hospital bed as my sweet husband snuggles with our newest blessing. LUKE ALEXANDER arrived Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 7:37 AM. He was a whopping 8 lbs. 12.5 oz. and was 20 and 3/4 inches long. He is a bundle of pure love, and big sister and big brother are absolutely enamored. (So are mama and dada!)

Already, I feel 100% better. Not just because I am no longer carrying a baby the size of a watermelon, but because my gestational diabetes is gone! Those last 8 weeks or so were very difficult both physically and emotionally. I didn't have the best sugar control this time around and in hindsight, I probably should have just jumped ship to insulin control. Just really didn't want to go there! I've still been monitoring my sugars and with eating healthy (and surprisingly tasty hospital food), my sugars have returned back to the normal range even with eating carbohydrates or a sweet treat here and there. It is now so clear to me how the effects of uncontrolled diabetes leads to feeling poor both physically and emotionally.

Anyway, I am looking forward to my discharge tomorrow (Sunday) and further updating my blog while visiting so many of you that I have been neglecting. I have yet to acknowlege a couple of awards that sweet bloggers have passed on to me, as well as having failed to repsond to several kind comments/emails checking on my status. Most of all, I look foward to reconnecting with my two little ones who I miss terribly and who miss me as well!

Enjoy the pictures,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Luncheon with Country Dreaming

As I have been busy feathering my nest for Baby Boy’s impending arrival, I have been terribly neglectful at blogging! 

One would think from my lack of posts that nothing exciting has been happening this summer except baby preparation, and that is entirely untrue!

We’ve spent our summer vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, attending Vacation Bible School, finishing up two weeks of swim lessons, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the local carnival!  In addition, the day before we left for Myrtle Beach, I was blessed to meet local blogger and now, good friend, Melinda from Country Dreaming.

Melinda is one of the sweetest and kindest souls I have met through blogging.  We were excited to discover through visiting each other’s blogs that we were both locals of the Kansas City metro area, but better yet, have our hearts and allegiances to the Missouri-side of the state line!  (Sort of hard to find when you reside in Jayhawk territory!  LOL)  We are also both educators.

After much planning and discussion, we met for lunch on June 8th.  In typical Melinda fashion, she came bearing gifts for my kiddos;  adorable receiving blankets for Baby Boy and BUBBLES for the littles!  Needless to say, my kids were in heaven as the following pictures prove! 

Me.

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Melinda.

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Receiving blankets for Baby.

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Bubbles for the kiddos.

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Sweetly-scented fruit flavored bubbles plus wands for the kiddos.

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Melinda and me at Mimi’s Restaurant!  Yum!

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Mary holding her bubble wand, bubbles,and expandable wash cloth from Melinda.

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Benjamin checking out his bubbles.

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Trouble posing for a thank you shot!

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Enjoying bubbles on the back porch before horrific storms blew through.  I believe Mary had just accidentally struck Ben in the face with her wand!

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Concentration.

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Melinda, I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, thank you so much for meeting me for lunch and for the sweet gifts you provided my kids.  We need to get together again…and soon!  Before we know it, Baby Boy will have arrived and your school year begun!

And if you haven’t had the chance to meet Melinda or check out her sweet blog, be sure to do so, here!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Creating a Scrapbooked “Hospital Album”

While I have most definitely been busy, busy, busy getting ready for the arrival of our little man, I have also taken some time to be creative.  While still baby-centered, it did allow me some much needed time off my feet and an outlet for scrapbooking.

It seems like anymore, everything I do is digital including creating digital scrapbook pages that never seem to get printed or ordered from the different websites that I create from. 

So…I visited the ole Archiver’s store, along with Michaels, and decided to go back to creating scrapbooks the “old-fashioned” way…with paper, die cutes, stickers, etc.

Since after baby’s birth is always as busy as before baby’s arrival, I took some advice from a scrapbooking magazine and created a “hospital album” for our newest babe.

This was the first time that I used chipboard, and it wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be.  I think with a little more practice and some important tools like an exacto knife, I will get better.  Regardless, I think the album turned out cute and is  just about ready to go.  I just need to add some colorful ribbon to the rings and a few more embellishments once I drop in the photos.

Enjoy!

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The empty space next to the “sweet Baby Boy” embellishment is for his name in chipboard letters.

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As you can see, each page has it’s own tab for a label. I titled the above page “Sneak Peek” for his sweet little 3D ultrasound pictures.

The picture below is titled, “Birth Story”.

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The tab above says, “1st Day Home”.  I’ve also included several pages for “Hospital Visitors”, “Tiny Footprints”, “Tiny Handprints” “Night Before Delivery”, etc.  (Ran out of the front cover paper to finish the back cover!  One more trip to Archivers!  FUN!!!)

I think this will be such a handy way to document baby’s arrival and get certain photos that I have missed with the last two little ones’ arrival and later regret.

If time allows, I might also begin working on a “First Year” album where you create pages to document all of baby’s “firsts” such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, etc. 

Poor Mary and Ben…all they have are unfinished Hallmark baby albums and paper napkins and debit card receipts with remarks written down such as “crawling 3/12/05 or First Word…”dada” with no date at all! 

What do you do to document those first few days and weeks at home or those important “firsts” in your baby’s life?


Monday, July 19, 2010

TEN Days and Counting!

Getting so very excited to deliver and welcome the newest member of our family!  Ten days to go until the big delivery date of July 29th. 

Growth scan this afternoon was great…baby is practicing his breathing skills…heart rate is strong….good fluid level…etc.  Measured and weighed in around 7 lbs 6 oz…about the 65th percentile.

Because little man’s growth has been so consistent, and we continue to see no soft tissue markers for Down Syndrome, my obstetrician really does think the early blood work was a fluke.  I guess we’ll know on delivery day, but I will say that until this week, I haven’t given the situation much thought.  We’re just so eager to meet this little guy!

Nursery is complete…baby items like bassinets, pack-n-play, swing, bouncer seat, etc. have all been washed, set up, and provided with new sets of batteries.  Mary and Ben have been doing lots of role playing with baby dolls and the “new” baby equipment around the house.  LOVE IT!

These past two weeks involved swim lessons every morning for Mary and Ben.  They took Level 1 together.  Mary passed…finally!  It was her 3rd attempt and I could tell she had so much more confidence this summer as opposed to last summer.  Benjamin screamed and cried the first day, but some ice cream bar bribery from the Dollar General store in town seemed to do the trick.  He still has many skills to master before moving on to Level 2, but at least he got over his fear of putting his face in the water.  That alone was worth the money!

Thanks to all those that have dropped by and left kind messages.  I know that I need to visit a  couple of you tomorrow and respond in kind to your awards and messages. 

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On the last day of swim lessons, the kiddos enjoy a “party” that involves using the super duper “big” slide and going off the diving board.  I wasn’t sure little man would be up for this, but after putting on a life jacket and watching all the other kiddos participate, he decided to try it out for himself!

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fairy Floss

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Tonight was opening night of De Soto Days, our one-stoplight town’s annual carnival and festival complete with food vendors, craft booths, and of course, a midway.

It is on the midway that one can nosh on corndogs, popcorn, Hawaiian ice, and fairy floss.

Fairy floss?

Yup, that spun sugar confection also known as cotton candy.  It  was introduced to the public as fairy floss at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and it wasn’t until 1920 that the name officially changed to cotton candy.

Whether you call it fairy floss, cotton candy or “old women’s hair” (as they do in Greece, India and Israel), its spun sugar sweetness is hard to resist! 

Personally, I think “fairy floss” is the ideal name of a treat for this little blue-eyed blond who has pixie-like hair and features!!!

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Little man went for popcorn.

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As you can see…it’s been raining.  Not that a few showers are going to stop this mama from taking her kids to carnival!

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Future jet fighter…IMG_4379

Tea cup craziness!

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When I was a kid, I soooo wanted to  join a carnival or circus.  I thought it would be the most fantastic lifestyle…grow my hair freakishly long, see exotic places, travel year round, have my own “place”…

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…not so much if you consider De Soto, Kansas “exotic” and a home on wheels luxurious living!

Wishing you all a great start to your weekend! 

AND…THREE weeks from today we get to meet our little man.  I got the sweetest 3D pics of his face at my OB appt. yesterday and hope to get them scanned and posted sometime soon.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

What’s in a Name?

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Happy 4th of July weekend to all of my American friends!  We are celebrating quietly at home this year.  We might take the kids to a movie tomorrow afternoon before heading over to Erin’s house of The Little Things in Life.  While not a total washout, spotty thundershowers are predicted to move in and out of the area tomorrow, compliments of Hurricane Alex.

Today it is overcast and so the beginning of the remnants of Hurricane Alex are moving in as predicted.  Hopefully, I can take the little ones to the pool for a couple of hours as promised.

In the meantime, the kids and I worked on a craft project this morning.  A couple of weeks ago I purchased wooden letters and acrylic paint to add a touch of personalization to the boys’ shared bedroom.  Mary went to town with this project…Ben didn’t care so much.  He was content with painting just the letter “B”!

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Mary painted not only Ben’s name letters, but her future baby brother’s name as well.  Interestingly, although she is a total mess (bedroom, mealtimes, craft areas, etc.) her ability to create “artistic masterpieces” never stops amazing me.  The quality of her work is always beautiful and precise…yet the process is like, well, like a hurricane blowing through!

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Here is one of the finished products. You’ll have to wait until the 29th of July for the other name reveal! 

And I’m not sure if I ever shared this…

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…Mary Catherine’s and then Benjamin’s changing table.  Very sad looking.  The weight of multiple babies/toddlers being changed over the years caused screws to loosen or fall out completely, the bottom shelf to warp, the white paint to chip…you get the idea!

So, I purchased a few cans of this…

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…to transform to this…

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…for the final outcome to look like this!

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I *heart* spray paint…it is truly amazing!  I especially love how the fabric-lined wicker baskets pop against the black.  Very masculine indeed!

On Monday we are putting together the crib.  It is definitely vintage in its own right…MY 41-year old, Jenny Lind-style crib.  (I know, I know, you’re not supposed to use vintage, drop-side cribs.  BUT, in my defense, the research I did revealed that the “old” models (drop-sides made with metal piping instead of plastic) are safer than the models made in the 90s and 2000s.  Besides, I never drop the side because, um, it’s sort of “rusted” into place.  Nice, huh! If you do try to release the bar and drop the side, it makes the most horrendous screeching sound that not only wakes baby, but the dead as well! 

I do think, with all the recent news reports, that I am going to have our Mr. Fix-It, Jack-of-All-Trades handyman, figure out a way to secure the drop side so that we don’t have a preventable accident and after Baby Boy outgrows it, we will donate it to the landfill.  :(  So sad, but daycares and thrift stores will soon be prohibited from picking up and/or accepting these donated cribs, if they haven’t already. 

Now we are off to Babies R Us to shop for a new car seat/stroller travel system.  The one and only big purchase I need to make for this little blessing about to make his big debut.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,