Monday, December 31, 2007

Slowly Spinning Down

As the Christmas holiday has passed and my biggest client work has trickled away, we're slowly settling down a bit. Whew! We spent the pre-holiday weekend at my folks' house, along with my sister and brother-in-law and my dear cousin, Bill. We all had a terrific visit and the girls behaved nicely. Sunday night we headed home, dumped out the dirty clothes, piled gifts in the living room, and repacked to head to DH's folks' place the next afternoon. We both worked a half day and then drove south. Again.

The holiday at his family's house is always quite different than at mine, but I can't complain. Though busy and chaotic, all the kids were on excellent behavior and the grown ups minded their p's and q's for the most part. I only had to come up with one chirpy comeback to a snide remark, and it was after midnight, so I'd consider everything to be a success. We returned home late Christmas night, unloaded, dumped more gifts and luggage in the living room, and crashed.

Wednesday through Thursday, we worked through the days, and then began unpacking/repacking luggage in the evenings. Friday after work, we piled into the car and headed south yet again. This time, the girls and I wished DH well as he went to work at a TEC weekend. I'm writing this post from my parents' house right now, where we've been since Friday night. DH finished up this evening, so I'm sure we'll head back home to stay for a while. (I sure hope so - I'm beat.) We had one new development this weekend - Breanna climbed out of the crib. Great.

Work-wise, I'm going to have a huge adjustment in the weeks ahead. My favorite client of all time, who has basically provided me with full-time writing work since April, has lost funding for outsourcing. My last day was Friday, and I'm so sad to have had to wrap up. The people I worked with were terrific - it was the first time in years I'd had a "boss" who I truly respect. And the work was interesting every day.

I have a few new freelance projects (very little ones) lined up for the next couple of weeks, but nothing major. It's hard to justify paying for daycare if I won't be making money, especially when I don't have maternity pay, so I'm going to keep the girls home with me and say prayers for work to come my way. Thankfully, I've socked away a lot into savings, as always, so it won't be a scary time in that respect. Exhausting, I'm certain, but scary, not so much. Of course, DH is worried as can be. But I have faith that the good Lord will provide, as he always has. The timing of this isn't really in my favor, with this gigantic belly poking out the front. But I'm sure everything will fall into place as it needs to.

My pregnancy has been progressing quite nicely. It's a relief to know that this kiddo is already much bigger than Lillian was when she was born, and we still have almost 2 months to go. On Thursday, I start my weekly dr. appointments already. Have I told you yet that we're expecting a little boy? Where has the time gone?

Anyway, I'm going to go grab a cup of coffee and kick back in a recliner next to dear old dad and hope the girls nap long enough for me to empty my cup. It might be my last moments of downtime for a while. Happy day to you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bridal Shower Games

What's your favorite bridal shower game?

I'm throwing a shower for my soon-to-be sister-in-law on January 13 and want to keep the party moving along quickly. I think it will be the largest shower I've been to, which means lots of gifts to open, which means let's get through everything without delays.

Please leave a comment with your ideas for a fun/unique/not-too-time-consuming game. Thanks!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pig Tails

As DH and I tried to prepare the girls for another attempt at Christmas photos, I told him I'd like to put the girls in pigtails. He raised an eyebrow. Pig? Tails? I said, "Yeah, their hair is so long and I think it would be really cute with their Christmas dresses."

Pig? Tails? "What on Earth is a pig tail?" he asked. I showed him. He said, "You mean pony tails." I then explained how two on one head makes them pigtails. He thought I was insane and told me so. Oh well. The pig tails went in and the girls looked adorable.

We spent about 45 minutes in front of a large section of plain wall in our apartment. The girls had other intentions. The whole 45 minutes. After at least a dozen escapes each and no both looking at the camera at the same time, we gave up. Even sparkly garland wasn't enough to keep them still. As DH had them on the floor, tickling them and laughing, I happened to walk by just then and capture the shot. Pig tails still in tact. Whew! The only "good" one is the black and white below. Finally!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One Word Answers

My sister sent this to me and I had to laugh. Here are my responses.


1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Your significant other? DH

3. Your hair? Shiny

4. Your mother? Loving

5. Your father? Teaching

6. Your favorite thing? Hubby

7. Your dream last night? Parade

8. Your favorite drink? Coffee

9. Your dream/goal? Kindness

10. The room you're in? Vacuumed

11. Your ex? Pathetic

12. Your fear? Fish

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy

14. Where were you last night? Home

15. What you're not? Skinny

16. Muffins? Raspberry

18. Where you grew up? Minnesota

19. The last thing you did? Sip

20. What are you wearing? Pretties

21. Your TV? Off

22. Your pets? Missed. :(

23. Your computer? Busy

24. Your life? Fast

25. Your mood? Content

26. Missing someone? Yes

27. Your car? Unsold

28. Something you're not wearing? Necklace

29. Favorite Store? Herbergers

30. Your summer? Nonexistent

31. Like someone? Yes

32. Your favorite color? Red

33. When is the last time you laughed? Recently

34. Last time you cried? Unsure

35. Who will/would re-post this? Friends

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cookie Fest

What a great weekend we had! My folks and cousin Billy came up for the weekend. They stayed at my sister and brother-in-law's house, but spent all day Saturday here with us.

We baked all of our favorite Christmas cookies, listened to carols, and had a grand ole time! The boys went out to see the progress on our house at one point in the afternoon, while us lady elves continued to slave away in the kitchen/dining room. My sister learned the finer points of Finnish tart making, and I learned about a pretty nifty material that works as a super-slippery cookie sheet liner. This picture is of my sister and Lillian making keifels and another one of my mom with the girls. Always a busy household!

My mom made Christmas aprons for my sister and me - adjustable to fit around pregnant bellies. And the girls got to open some Christmas presents early. Grammy and Grandpa brought hats and scarves to match winter jackets, holiday socks, as well as some little rocking chairs. The girls rocked and rocked throughout the weekend.

DH grilled a great big beer-filled turkey and baked potatoes for an early supper, and all was great. We tried to get a real family picture of DH and me and the girls, but eh, not so lucky. We put on our winter coats and boots and lined up by our fence, hoping to get a nice snapshot from our deck above. Lillian was tired and antsy and my camera fogged up once it went outside. Oh well. It was worth a shot. Here's a cut-off shot of DH and Breanna. For those expecting Christmas cards, we're still working on a picture. I'm determined to get one at least of the girls in the next evening or two. Stay tuned and watch your mailbox just in time for Christmas. I'm not good at being this last minute, but what do you do?

The one other highlight was when we placed Breanna on the potty chair before her bath on Saturday night, and lo and behold, when we encouraged her to potty, she did. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Not Nesting Tonight

Apparently I go in spurts. Tonight, I'm absolutely beat. It probably has something to do with getting out of the shower this morning, sitting on the couch to rest for just a minute, and then waking up a half hour later to the sound of giggling girls ready to get out of bed. My day has been a bit off ever since.

I'd originally planned to work on a pro bono newsletter project, but eh, it's donated time. I'm putting it off until another night. And I was going to make some more candied nuts - I was going to bring some to my OB appointment tomorrow for the nurses. Eh. Maybe next time.

It's 8:35 and DH is still working, which means I had kid chaos all to myself tonight. Don't get me wrong, my girls are really good, but really hands on right up until they finally give up on staying away and let themselves crash. Tonight, the squaking stopped at 8:12.

From there, I cleaned up high chairs and bibs, washed out sippy cups, tossed a load of laundry into the washer, wiped down the tub and put away bath toys, and poured myself a cup of pear juice. And now here I sit, blathering on in my favorite time-wasting fashion.

To make it not such a boring post, I'll entertain you with a quick story. On Monday, Grandma Becky asked how strong my stomach is. Not a good way to start the afternoon pickup. She then told me of how she put the girls down for an afternoon nap. (They go in a gigantic playpen together.) They did their usually babbling back and forth for a few minutes, and then it was quiet. GB sat down with a cup of tea and put her feet up, ready for an hour of rest. Then the giggles began. She got up to peek in on them and found them painting each other. Breanna, the magical strip artist, had pulled off her pants and poopy diaper and she and her sister were having a grand old time painting each other. Lilli had a stripe that went from her eyebrow all the way down to her collar. In their hair, ears, clothes, everywhere.

So GB did what any person would do. She grabbed both girls and hauled them off to the shower. Unfortunately, the girls gave her big hugs as they went, so all three stripped down and hopped into the shower. Apparently, the girls let GB know that they don't appreciate shower whatsoever. Poor GB. She commented that perhaps the girls were grossed out by her pudgy wrinkled body, but I reassured her they see much worse in our house sometimes. It's gotten so that they walk up to me and pull up my shirt, poke my now-outie bellybutton, and laugh.

Anyway, Monday night, I went to check on the girls before I went to bed and found Breanna stark naked in her crib. Thankfully - VERY THANKFULLY - she was still clean and dry. I dressed her again and put her back in the crib.

Tuesday evening, I got to GB's to find Breanna wearing a pull-up OVER her pants. Oh no.

GB quickly explained that it's a great solution to keeping Breanna clothed. She hasn't figured out how to get the pull-up off. Yet, anyway. So she sent a pull-up home with us to put over jammies, and wouldn't you know, guess who woke up with the top half of her jammies off, but her onesie and bottom half of her jammies still on. Yay for inventive daycare grannies!

And yay for having one daughter who actually likes to zip her clothes up and act modest.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Queen of the MultiTasking

In the midst of everything chaos around us, I've managed to cook up three batches of sweet and spicy nuts (stirring every 5 minutes for 30 minutes per batch), wrap up and decorate take-out boxes for the nuts, bake a batch of muffins, label 25 CDs for a Mothers of Multiples project, start putting together a pro bono newsletter, paint my nails (once everything was in the oven), compose two really great business-related emails, burn myself a CD of some cool jazzy stuff, write a Christmas poem instead of a holiday letter, and print off return address labels for our holiday cards.

And I'm still wearing lipstick. Yes, I am the queen.

Friday, December 07, 2007


What a week! I just finished putting away the groceries at 11:00 Friday night, and am finally sitting down with a cup of Oh My Chai and a deep breath. I'm absolutely beat. And yet, I need a little sit-down wind-down time before getting ready for bed.

Poor DH ended up with our bug, so he was up all last night and had a tough day today. Hopefully it's as short-lived for him as it was for me. He's planning to work both Saturday and Sunday to make up for cruddy productivity today, and to hopefully squeeze some time in at our new house. It's been a mixed blessing that he's been so flooded with work - the weather has been awfully cold to be working outside on our place. I think it's been about two weeks since he's spent any time out there. Slow progress, but oh well. Better that than frostbite.

During the past few weeks, I've been enjoying little bits of holiday shopping here and there. For the first time, I'm wrapping as I go instead of saving it as my last (and favorite) part of preparing for Christmas. So far, so good. While I packed away all of our decor (including Christmas stuff) deep into storage, I was smart in keeping out my wrapping goodies.

We've talked about doing a family picture and sending it with Christmas cards, but I can't imagine when we'd possibly squeeze it in. The girls are over a year and a half and we still haven't had a real family picture taken yet. How ridiculous. So when DH asks me again tomorrow - as he has been daily for a week - what I want for Christmas, that's what I'll tell him. I've been drawing a blank 'til now (except for the Moby wraps, of course).

Well, my tea is gone and I think I'm ready to retire for the night - or better yet - for the week. Unfortunately, 7 a.m. will come bright and early tomorrow, so I'd better hit the sack. Good night!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Day - Hooray!

I feel like a whole new woman today. Seriously, except for the aching back, ribs, and tummy muscles, I can barely tell how violently ill I was just a few short nights ago. And the girls are totally back to normal, too. Yay!

They giggled in the tub tonight more than I've ever heard. It was like they got the giggles in church and just couldn't stop, and the harder they tried, the worse it became. We had a great time!

After the gigglers were freshly jammied and teeth were brushed, DH came home and relieved me so I could run to the mall in search of a maternity blazer or suit. I have a big day tomorrow and really wanted to wear more than a nice blouse and slacks. Hooray - I found a decent black suitcoat at Motherhood Maternity. I picked up some nice buttons at JoAnn Fabrics on my way out, and headed home, where I am now putting off replacing the buttons and shortening the sleeves. I also need to apply the topcoat to my nails. And then off to bed I go, hopefully to enjoy a fulfilling night of sleep.

If you read this before my 8 am-to-noon meeting tomorrow, please say a prayer for a fruitful morning for me. I'll explain details sometime after the meeting, so as not to jinx myself. : )

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So Not Invincible

The flu hit me last night after many sick-free years. And it made up for lost time. It's 1:00 p.m. and the first time I've left the couch for more than a bathroom run or a pedialyte run. I can't believe how good it feels to sit upright.

Our girls had a great weekend - their bug from the Thursday all-nighter seemed to have been short-lived. Monday at daycare, though, Lillian tossed her breakfast and both girls had icky pants all day. For the first time, I thought luck was with us. They had a scheduled doctor appointment for checkups and flu shots. No double co-pays due to timing being off a day or two. Ha - fate was playing a big mean trick on me. The girls are fine, by the way. And Lillian finally topped 20 pounds - 21 pounds even! Breanna came in at 24 - woo hoo!

Anyway, last night I ate an apple and then got ready for bed. When I laid down, I thought I possibly recognized a glimmer of queasiness. At 12:30, my wretched night began.

As I once explained to my friend, Lettuce, I can't think of anything more gross than puking in a toilet. Buckets are great - they're clean, they're portable, and they're easy to wash out. Plus, no butts have been in them (at least I hope!). So last night, I had three buckets handy - one next to the bed, one next to the tub, and one next to the couch. And like clockwork, every hour and a half I needed one.

Up until now, I've always been pretty ok with ralphing. It's quick and awful and then you move on. However, puking with a big pregnant tummy is a completely different story. The baby kicked and kicked, often stirring more nausea. And when I was yakking, the contractions were crazy. I have the goosebumps just thinking about it.

It will be quite a while before I eat another apple. Or anything with substance, for that matter. In the meantime, weak decaf tea and oyster crackers are my new best friends. Happy stinkin' Tuesday.