To Grandmother's House They Go...

. . .And it is so much easier to plan it than to actually kiss those soft little sweet cheeks goodbye. Why can't I remember their picky-eating, toy-tugging, stinky-pooping, bossing-brother, hitting-sister, mommy-maddening ways as we wave goodbye? Instead, everything I absolutely love about my life with them is all that comes to mind.
Olivia was so excited about going to grandma's house, she helped me pack her bags. AJ didn't really get it. He was interested in his personal little camoflauge snack bag full of grapes and crackers.
As hard as it was to see them go, I am so thankful my mom was able to help us in this way. I would rather they be away for a little while than stay here where I'm neither taking care of them nor myself.
Today was genuinely restful. Alex drove me to Target to get a few last-minute items and fresh air. I decided we needed a few extra newborn sleepers. Though we usually just use whatever is given to us-- which has always been PLENTY, Clara is going to be a wee little thing and will probably be in newborn clothes a little longer than Olivia and AJ were. I also threw in a pack of infant hairbands. Whew! We would hate to be caught off-guard in that area =)


Preggo Pics

As I got ready for my OB appointment today, I thought that I had better snap a few pictures while I still can! This is me at 35 weeks. People tell me that I'm still so small, but I feel like a horse.

Only one more week of bedrest before I can let nature take its course. I asked my OB if she could be a little more specific regarding how much activity I can do in a day (that's code for: Can I go to the Charleston Child sidewalk sale on Friday?). She said that aside from a shower and grabbing a snack, I can choose one low-key activity per day as long as I'm careful to be off my feet most of the day. I'll take it!!


Bed Rest: Day.... what day are we on now??

This will be short. Today was good. Alex was home ALL DAY. *Pausing to discern exactly what he is attempting to run through the garbage disposal right now* Anyways, whatever. He completely KNOCKED OUT THE LAUNDRY, I took a spell-breaking nap, and AJ showed signs of improvement.

My mom and sisters are coming tomorrow! Yeah!

Bed rest=sitting duck. I can drop cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. but I cannot escape from Olivia and AJ. Of all the square footage in this house, they want to be in the 4-10 square feet where I am "resting". Olivia will lay next to me and ask me to read the Wal-Mart Holiday book to her. AJ thinks it is so fun to climb and balance himself on my legs and point to the puppy on the painting hanging above the couch. Today I got up and made my way to Clara's room and sat on the Lazy Boy in there. Just. to. get. some. space. It took a little while, but they found me.


Bed Rest: Day 4

Let's just say that I am glad today is over. I was dreading it because sickness is in the air, so both children needed to stay home from church. Many have offered to help, but I didn't know how to ask for help today. When your kids are sick, they want YOU. I couldn't send them away, and it seriously would have been pointless to have someone here to help with them.
When I came downstairs this morning, Olivia had already staked out her position on the couch.... Hey! who's on bedrest here anyways? AJ was a snotty, pitiful mess who is at the stage where he doesn't know what to do with himself when he doesn't feel good. We cruised through 3 Disney movies before naptime.
I got up only to make a snack, get a buckeye, wipe a bottom, brush the kids' teeth, find the wooden spoon, and chase my neighbor's 3 little dogs out of the living room (they ran in the house when Olivia happened to open our back door just as the doggies were being let outside to potty-- I love my neighbor, she's a good friend, so it was more funny than it was annoying).
As I handed out the last of the chocolate milk this evening, I felt the guilt building up in my heart. Surely you have felt it. It is the guilt you feel because all you can think about at that moment is kissing those soft little cheeks goodnight so you can RELAX! It didn't stop there. I felt guilty because it seems like the final weeks of time with just Olivia and AJ have been cut short-- reduced to books and Disney movies.
But wait a second crazy emotional pregnant lady, what a gift! God didn't take time with Olivia and AJ away from me. He has graciously given me time with them by taking all other choices off the table. And even though a newborn is very demanding, Clara is going to be a gift not just to Alex and me, but also to Olivia and AJ. They will have a little sister to love and who will love them and look up to them in return. Our lives are about to be enriched, because the fruit of the womb is His reward. So even though today was a little hairy, I am thankful and my heart is at peace.


Bed Rest: Days 2&3

You know how little animals can sense when a storm is brewing, so they start acting crazy. I think that kids do the same thing. They might not know all that is going on, and you try your best to keep life as normal as possible, but they can definately sense that something different is in the air. Not that I'm comparing my children to animals, but Olivia and AJ are definately starting to act a little crazy now that mommy is on the couch all day, and Daddy is giving the baths at night. They both woke up at 2:30 a.m. and wanted MOMMY. I cheated and got up to get AJ out of bed when he woke up, and Olivia followed right behind us. All three of us sat downstairs in the darkness. Olivia sitting on one side of me and AJ sitting on the other. Now I was stuck. After a while, Alex woke up and came downstairs and rescued me.

Today I'm planning to pack for the hospital. The way my luck goes, as long as I am not packed and completely unprepared, I run the risk of having to go in early. As soon as I pack and am totally ready and in bring-it-on mode... nothing will happen. That just about as supersticious as I get, but I have yet to be proven wrong.

Speaking of packing, I have a confession to make. I like to starch and iron my pj's, and I like for my pj's to color-coordinate with the gender of the child I am going to have. Yes, I bought blue pajama pants and blue slippers for when AJ was born. No, I'm not a meticulous person. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that. I definately don't do that when I'm home, but it is something that I was panicking about as I felt a few small contractions the other day. "My pj's aren't picked out and ironed!"


I wasn't planning on doing an all-out nursery for Clara, but one thing led to another and now the child has a nursery.
At first, I was going to keep her in our room until she was big enough to move in with Olivia. We have 4 bedrooms, and one has been reserved for guests. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why I didn't just go ahead and set up Olivia's old ("the green") room as a temporary nursery.
The goal was to not spend money, and once I realized we HAD all the stuff (with the exception of a changing table) we went ahead and set up a nursery. I'll post pictures of the whole room when the mattress airs out and no longer smells like the garage so I can put sheets on it. Until then, here's a sampling of a no-cost project that turned out pretty cute, and helped personalize the room for Clara.

Fabric Collage

These were cork-boards that hung on ribbons above Olivia's bed. I ditched the ribbons and covered them with FABRIC SWATCHES I had collected in my idea book.

The middle one is going to have a picture tacked on it, and the collage will serve as the "matting"


Bed Rest: Day #1

Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a Bed Rest journal. I am an entertainer, not a journalist, and believe you me this is as boring for me to write about as it is for you to read.

Here's the rundown:
*AJ woke up covered in throw-up and needed a bath (oh Daaaaaadyyyy!)

*Alex and Olivia walked out the door an hour later than usual.

*Everyone at the office is calling Alex the "daddy-mama". He is a very good daddy-mama. The house hasn't looked this good (all at once) in months. Olivia's hair , however...

*Alex went grocery shopping. This was the only part he complained about, and he didn't even have both children with him [insert evil little grin]. He came home with some good stuff, though. I had such a hard time coming up with a list for him, because one way we cut corners around here is that I make a lot of stuff from scratch. I know, I'm a nerd. Maybe that's why the house hasn't looked this good (all at one time) in months. I suggested that he just walk the frozen aisles and see what looks good. With the exception of waffles, chicken nuggets, and ice-cream, I don't even know what is in the frozen food aisle. My mom, however..... (I love you mom!)

*I would love to tell you that the world fell apart around me as I, woman of the house, was unable to intervene and oversee each and every detail... but I can't because my husband really stepped up today. He cleaned, he went to the office to do what he needed to do while the kids napped, he shopped, he kept the kids away when they needed to be away, he did laundry, he made food and prepared snacks...he even made me a pitcher of sweet tea to enjoy! You should have seen how much the kids loved their Cheetos and yogurt lunch. MMMMM. I had chili.

*I sat on my bed for the first half of the day with AJ, reading books, and watching Handy Many. Then we went downstairs and he played with his Cars cars on the coffee table. I love that movie, and I think you have to have been raised in the south in reasonable proximity to some lovable red-necks to really appreciate it. AJ always reinacts the big crash at the end, and if you run across his cars laying around the house, McQueen is usually positioned right behind Dinoco and giving him a push. So cute!

*The only housework I did was to throw Blue Bear in the wash because he smelled like throw up and he had to be clean by nap time.

*I had a hard time relaxing. Bed rest is weird because you still feel like you need to be "busy" while sitting around... like I should start writing a book, or mastering a new verb tense in Spanish, or plan something, or read something, or make something, or write a list of some sort. A lot of time was spent worrying about how I should spend this time. Then this thought came to mind: "Leah, you ARE accomplishing something just by sitting here. You are doing your part to keep Clara where she needs to be to grow and be healthy for another day." That was all I needed.


Confession is Good for the Soul

I had my regular OB appointment today. Everything was checking out great. Then my doctor asked me if I had any questions. I was just curious as to when my weekly appointments were going to begin because last time I was 3 cm for my first weekly. She looked at the chart and told me that my weeklies would start in 2 weeks.

I sat there for a minute because I knew that I should probably let her know that I was planning on going to Alabama for Thanksgiving. So I told her. She was about to walk out of the room, but stopped and asked if I wanted her to check if I had dialated at all. I'm usually an ignorance is bliss kind of a person, but in this case I thought that maybe she was on to something. She went to med school, I watch A Baby Story.

Sure enough, Clara's head is down and I am 3 cm. This means BED REST for a 34 weeker. Now I can think of moments several weeks ago that I would have shouted hallelujah for mandatory off-your-feet time, but I am in nesting mode! I still have curtains to hang and things to spray paint! I have to post pictures of Olivia's FINISHED room! I am on a roll!

All that aside, a healthy baby is obviously more important. Boy am I glad I T-Voed Monk.


Input Requested: Bake Sales

This coming Friday and Saturday, our school's annual Christmas Mall will be taking place. Of course, no fundraising event is complete without a BAKE SALE. Since this is an event that will be benefiting our wonderful teachers, I'm definately planning to contribute some sort of baked goodness.

I might not have been the best student, but I'm determined to be a great parent, and that means coming up with something that will really bring in the $$$. Who would have thought I would turn out to be such an over-achiever after all??

I need your ideas!! What kind of stuff do you like to buy at bake sales?


Attention Husbands:

Be sure to add "Don't you think you have enough pillows?" to your list of unnecessary questions to ask your pregnant wife. In fact, I think that Olivia has a few on her bed that she doesn't actually use....

This blog has been sitting pretty for the last few days because the Nesting instinct has hit hard! We decided to move Olivia to the bigger room since she and Clara will eventually share a room. We also granted her request for a pink room, and boy is it pink! I'll post pictures of it when we are done. I think that the actual name of the color is "Hot to Trot"... if that tells you anything.

Have a great weekend!!


In my closet sits a Gymboree bag.

It contains 3 pairs of Christmas pajamas

Very cute pajamas

And a Receipt.

If I had nothing else to purchase in life,

I would more regularly indulge in the fully-coordinated goodie goodness that is Gymboree.

We'll leave that in the hands of grandma.

But the pajamas are more than an indulgence.

They are cute.

They are snug.

They don't look like a doggie blanket after you wash them a few times.


And they were on sale.

And this might be the first Christmas we celebrate as a family of 5.

The children need to coordinate

Because many pictures will be taken.

But the pajamas will still have to stay in the bag

With the receipt.

Just in case practical mommy finds out about them.


We voted today!

  • Alex was at the polling station at 6:40 a.m. He returned at about 8:40 a.m.

  • We decided to go get his free coffee at Starbucks. I got an apple cider. AJ got a hot chocolate. We all shared an apple fritter. (Olivia was at school)

AJ sure enjoyed that apple fritter! He was probably happy to have mommy and daddy all to himself too! I also had to get a picture of his first "Starbucks". It's actually a child's size hot chocolate. I thought it was too cute!!

  • Now it was my turn to go vote. Today was Alex's day off, so he kept AJ at home. Alex suggested that I leave the Trail Blazer and take the Saturn just in case I wasn't done in time to pick up Olivia at 11:00 a.m. Was that ever the understatement of the day!!!

  • I arrived at the polling station at 9:30 a.m.


  • Today would have been a good day to start having contractions. That could have expedited things for me.

  • Conclusion: If I can stand in line outside of the mall before the sun comes up in the freezing rain on the day after Thanksgiving for a $5 gift card and a free pretzel... I can certainly vote! (but I'm not making dinner)


I can't make this stuff up. . .

It was a beautiful evening. Alex was cleaning out the car. Olivia was peddling her tricycle around the garage in her fluffy princess skirt. I was following AJ as he rode his 3 wheeler down the street.

Smile at a neighbor here. Wave there. What a life! Now I am about 3 houses away from my own house. I stop to congratulate a neighbor on the birth of her first baby as she picks up her mail. We make a little small talk, and she asks when I'm due.

Next I hear "MOOOOOMMMY...." Here comes Olivia running up the street in nothing but her underwear, holding her shirt in one hand and her shorts in another. "Mommy, can you put these on me?"

Love it!