Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quite possibly the worst night ever...

I went to bed at about 11 o'clock last night. As usual, Brad fell asleep in about 30 seconds....takes me a little longer, like 30 seconds x's one million....

It was the first night that we didn't turn on the AC....even in the cold weather, we turn the fan on for a little white noise...last night was just too cold...No white noise means that my wonderful husbands breathing keeps me up even longer than usual. It also means that I hear every noise in the house. At about midnight, I was sure that someone was walking around downstairs...but I was to tired to check and I couldn't wake Brad up...I prayed that God would keep us safe and tried to fall asleep.

12:15 Grace woke up. Her cry indicated that she wasn't going back to sleep on her own, so I went and settled her down.

1:00 I'm still awake, Sam comes in. He's scared, he wants to sleep with me. I'm too tired to protest, so into the bed he comes...he starts snoring...I've got snores to the right and snores to the left....I can pick Sam up so I put him back in his bed. If I could pick Brad up, I would have stuck him on the couch.

2:15 I think I might have fallen asleep...Grace woke up again....cried for 10 minutes and fell back to sleep.

3:00 I'm asleep. Grace wakes up again. She's ticked. I get her and bring her to bed...nothing like a little nursing at three a.m.

4:00 I put Grace back in bed

4:15 Sam comes in and says he wants to go downstairs and watch tv. I say no and let him climb in bed with me. He starts snoring again. This time Brad wakes up and puts him back in his bed. Sam starts yelling, "I want to sleep with mommy!"

4:30 Sam waked Grace up. She screams from 4:30 till 5:30. I try to sleep with a pillow over my head. At 5:30 I get up and go into her room. I discover that Sam never went back to sleep. Grace will not settle down so I take her downstairs. She plays for an hour and then climbs up on the couch and falls asleep next to me.

10:00 I say to Sam, "wow buddy, that was a bad night." He replies, "Yeah, but it's over mommy."

Yes it is, it's over.

Hillcountry Dollmaker

I really can't say enough about Joyce of Hillcountry Dollmaker. I found her on Etsy months ago and have been admiring her Waldorf dolls and wanting one for me, I mean for Grace.

I contacted her about ten days before Gracie's birthday to see if she thought a doll like this would be appropriate for a one year old. She got right back to me with all kinds of suggestions and modifications that could be made. She also said that she would finish it and have it at my house in time for the big day.

I spent hours looking at her shop on Hyena Cart. Her work is amazing....everything is done by hand. They are stuffed with wool from her sheep and she dyes the yarn for their hair and the fabric for the clothes herself. No lead paint in these sweet babies!

Her long haired dolls are my favorite, but not a good choice for little girls who eat their toys. She also makes dolls with baby pigtails and they are so sweet. I actually liked the pigtails better than what I chose, but I was afraid that Grace might rip them out and then we'd have a bald baby...

If you're in the market for a really special present for your little one, check Joyce out. They cost a little more than a doll you'd buy in a store, but you will not regret it! I'm already planning my next purchase!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


On Friday morning, my phone rang. It was my friend Sharon. "Are you in a good mood?" she asked. "Why, Do you need someone to watch Andrew?" "No, but I have a pass to the ______ rummage sale if you want it!"

The ___________ rummage sale is even better than the ______ ______ Children's Academy sale. Why shouldn't it be? Ten times the number of rich kids equals ten times the fabulous donations....The sale is on Saturday, but if you have connections, you get a little blue card in the mail and can shop early. I've never had connections...till now....

So Sharon stops by my house to drop of the pass...She left Andrew in the car...I tried to stand in the door to block her view of the mess...she went back to her car and came back with Andrew..."Andrew wanted to say hi to Sam, is that okay?"

She proceeded into my house and asked, "What can I do?" I quickly replied, "NOTHING!" She grabbed a sponge and started cleaning my kitchen...washing dishes, scrubbing the counter, scrubbing the sink....I protested...but Grace was screaming and I knew Sharon wasn't going to I sat down and nursed Grace and watched Sharon clean. I tried to just be thankful that I have such a good friend. I tried not to feel embarrassed while she picked things up off the counter and cleaned the grime...she tried to make me feel better by talking about having to go home and do the same at her house (Lies and a big, big one!...she has a house keeper....her house is spotless).

Finally, my kitchen was spic and span and I thought she was done....but no....she approached my microwave..."NOOOOOOOO!" I screamed. Too late. The microwave door opened and the fact that we are NASTY, NASTY folks was revealed. Microwaves are like refrigerators...they have doors that doesn't usually see them....therefore, they do not get cleaned at Casa Twinkle...that is, they didn't get cleaned until Friday when my friend Sharon cleaned my microwave.

Harvest Party

There was a Harvest Party and Parade at Sam's school stinkin cute!

Then we went home and took more pictures....

Please Pray for Janessa

This babies uncle goes to our church. I'm sharing the story so that as many people as possible can be lifting them up in prayer.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We had some hard news this week concerning our unborn baby girl. We wantedto share it with you so that you can pray for us. We'll let our little oneshare her story, so you can get to know her too!Thanks for praying for us! ~Jon and Amy Lyttle

"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Janessa Lyttle. I am just over20 weeks old now. That is my gestational age, as I am not born yet. Mymommy is Amy and my daddy is Jon. I have a big brother, Evan (15 months),who you might know. I am still in my mommy's belly, but I already needyour prayers. You see, I have a few very serious physical "defects," as thedoctors call them. I believe God made me the way I am, and He doesn't makeany mistakes, ever! But, since we aren't in Heaven yet, there are certainthings that help us stay healthy and able to live on earth. My problemswill make this very difficult for me, and so I need you to pray for me andfor my little body. Of course, Mommy, Daddy and Evan need your prayers tooas they wait on God's timing and for grace to see them through the hardtimes ahead. My name, Janessa, means "God is Gracious", and we all believethat is true! We serve a great God, and we want Him to receive the gloryfor whatever He decides to do!""On Thursday, October 25th, my mommy and daddy and Evan got to see me forthe first time via ultrasound pictures. My mom and dad thought I lookedjust perfect to them. I even gave them a wave, and showed a bit ofpersonality by not cooperating with the ultrasound tech. However, when theymet with the Dr. afterwards for an appointment, she let them know that I hadmultiple birth defects. She gave them a list of things that were wrong withmy body, and then said we should go see a Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor,on Friday, who would re-do the ultrasound, review the findings with them,and discuss the future prognosis. Dr. Bayliss, the specialist, was verysweet and compassionate as he explained the problems he found on theultrasound. He said that he saw a problem with the brain calledHydrocephalus (fluid in the brain) and Lobar Holoprosencephaly (a brainmalformation). I also have a congenital heart defect called a HypoplasticRight Ventrical (the chamber that pumps blood to the lungs isunderdeveloped). I also only have 2 vessels in the umbilical cord, insteadof the usual 3. Unfortunately, the combination of these problems points toa chromosomal abnormality- possibly Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18, which are bothLethal syndromes, meaning I would not be able to live very long, even if Idid make it through delivery. My mommy had a Amniocentesis done on Fridayand they will do a complete chromosomal defect test on that to see if theycan, by chance, rule out the Trisomy 13 or 18. If so, it may be possiblethat I would have Down's Syndrome, which has a higher rate of survival. Inthat case, all stops would be pulled to make sure my mommy and I get thebest care possible up to my birth and afterwards. One bright spot in theirday was finding out I was a girl!"

"Mommy and Daddy would ask you to pray specifically for me in the followingways:1) Pray for a miracle- that I, Janessa, would be born alive so that Mommy,Daddy, my big brother, and the rest of my family can meet me. My due dateis March 10th. (I'm halfway there already!)2) Pray for healing- we know all things are possible with our God!!3) Pray for wisdom for the doctors and counselor to know how to prepare usfor the future.4) Pray for grace for each moment."

"Thank you so much for supporting my family during this time. I really hopeI get to meet you someday- if not here, then in Heaven. I know that yourprayers for healing will be answered- in Heaven I will have a complete,perfect body even if I don't get one here. All tears will be wiped away,but I have a feeling that we'll be able to remember what we went through,but we won't be sad because we will fully understand what God was doing. ToGod be the glory!"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway!

If you have found your way to my blog because you googled "custom made tutu" please feel free to contact me (my email is in my profile). I'd love to make your little girl a tutu. I can make them in any size and just about any color or colors. I have photos of others I have made and wam happy to send them to you if you'd like to see other examples. Cost is $25 plus actual shipping costs. I can take Paypal.

There's a really fun Bloggy Giveaway extravaganza going on this week! Hundreds of bloggers are giving all kinds of things, all you have to do is leave them a comment! I've spent the last half hour entering some great giveaways and started feeling a little guilty that I wasn't participating on the giving something away side. Sooooooo...After much deliberation, I have decided to make one lucky little girl an adorable tutu!

They really are adorable. Each one is made out of over 75 yards of high quality, super soft tulle. I have several colors that you can chose from and I will make it to fit your special little girl....perfect for a baby or a big girl!

All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this post by midnight on Friday, November 2. A winner will be selected randomly on Saturday, November 3. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to those living in the US and Canada. Sorry, if I have to package it to ship internationally, it will never get sent!

Update: Several people have asked about buying one of these...To date, I have only made them for friends, but if you are interested in purchasing one, let me know. Price would depend on what you want...I can do them in one color or more....I can embellish with flowers, ribbon and crystals for some extra princess sparkle....

Thanks everyone. I am overwhelmed by the positive feedback!

I'm raising a cave man

Sam doesn't eat. Really, he doesn't. Most of the time we call three bites a meal around here. This morning was no different. He finally agreed to a bowl of Quaker Dinosaur Oatmeal (breakfast of champions...I know). Three bites later he declared that he was done and let out a HUGE burp. So intent on making him eat more, I didn't respond to the burp, in fact, I hardly noticed it...I began my usual "You're not finished, you have to eat more." speech. To which Sam replied, "Mom, did you hear my burp? A burp means you're done eating." Where does he come up with this stuff? Mine is by no stretch a home run by Miss Manners, but I promise, upon completion of a meal, neither Brad nor I let out a loud belch!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Look what Grace can do!

That's it...stand...for about 10 seconds...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One year ago...

When my friend Tabitha took prenatal portraits of me she mentioned how much she would like to photograph a birth at our Birth Center. I told her that she was welcome to come to ours if she wanted....and she did.

A lot of my friends thought that I was crazy for wanting or allowing a photographer to be there. They didn't understand why I wanted these kinds of pictures. I'll admit, there were moments when I thought, "Wow, Tabitha is seeing parts of me that I've never seen..." but I have no regrets. I treasure these pictures as much as my wedding photos.

Labor with Grace was intense...only three hours, but SO hard. She was sunny side up, so I had back labor....which hurts more than regular labor, a lot more...I wanted to quit, I thought I was dying, I swore (really a truck driver...) that I would never have an another unmedicated birth....I swore I would never have another baby...these pictures remind me of the miracle that took place and help me to look back on it and see the joy as well as the pain.

Thank you Tabitha! You are amazing, I'm so glad that you were there.

Dear Grace,

When I was eight week pregnant, I thought that I was losing you. At eighteen weeks, the doctors were concerned that your stomach wasn't developing properly. At thirty-five weeks, they were concerned that you might not be growing properly.

This picture fills my eyes with tears and takes me back to the complete and utter joy that I felt in the first moments of your life outside of my womb. With one final push, you were in my arms. All of my prayers had been answered. You were safely here with me and you were perfect and healthy and beautiful. There was no more pain. No more worry. I was no longer tired.

I was completely happy and wildly in love with you, my little girl. Holding you in my arms felt like the greatest gift ever. One look into your big beautiful eyes and I felt like I had known you forever. Life before your arrival seemed so long ago and I couldn't imagine a life without you.

When I look at this picture, I forget everything scary and uncomfortable and hard about being pregnant with you. I even forget how painful labor was. All I can see is joy. Joy unlike anything that I have ever experienced. Joy that I cannot put into words. Joy that you will experience someday when you become a mother.

I truly believe that I am the most blessed mommy in the world. I can't wait to see who you become.

Happy Birthday my little angel...

Happy Birthday Grace!

It's hard to believe, but my baby turned one today. It was, without a doubt, the fastest year ever.

Grace is a joy. When she smiles, she scrunches up her nose like a little rabbit. It's so cute, that I even think it's cute at 5 o'clock in the morning (this is when she often wakes up and joins us in bed.) She finds the simplest things, like dropping keys on the floor, hilarious. Her laugh is infectious, we all find ourselves laughing with her. She finds this quite funny too.

She's not walking yet, and this feels a little strange to me. Sam was running by the time he turned one, so in a way, Grace feels a lot younger to me. I'm trying to enjoy her limited mobility, but part of me cannot wait for her to be able to run around in the yard with her brother.

She's a climber. I have already caught her scaling the side of her crib...something Sam never once attempted. She climbs on top of the toy box and coffee table like a little monkey and dances....she loves to sing.

She's incredibly determined and me....I'm glad...but I'm also praying that God will give me the wisdom that I will need in the future to nurture her determination and independence without losing my mind...

When I was pregnant with Grace, I wasn't sure that it would be possible to love someone as much as I loved's amazing how your heart just grows...I love her every bit as much...all 29 inches and 21 pounds of her!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A night off, I mean out...

There's nothing like good friends. Last night, I had a much needed night out with two of my best "mommy" friends, Esther and Ann. I haven't known either of them for that long...we met at the hospital mommy group after our first children were born. Although we all live in the same town, we probably wouldn't have met if we hadn't had babies within a few weeks of each other. I met a lot of moms at that group...what's neat about Ann and Esther, is that I know that we'd be friends even if we didn't have kids. Know what I mean?

When you become a mom, you do a lot of things with/for your kids and you meet a lot of don't click with them all....There are moms that you make no effort to get to know....There are moms that you talk to, but don't spend time with outside of a group play date. Some become your friends, but you know that other than kids the same age, you don't have much in your kids grow, you'll probably spend less and less time with these women. Then there are the girlfriend gems, the Ann's and Esther's....friends who are in no way carbon copies of yourself but yet so like you....friends who share your laughs and your tears...friends that you can count on and feel like you have known forever....not just three years.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time for another baby?

Today is beautiful...mid 70's warm and breezy, just beautiful. We were playing outside when out of the blue Sam said,

"Mommy, I think we should have another baby. I want another Gracie."

"Hmmm....that might be fun. What if we had a boy? Would you like a brother?"

"Yeah, that would be nice. Let's have a brother."

"Well, you don't get to chose, you get what God gives you. If we had a brother would you share your room with him?"

"No, I don't want to. Get him his own room."

"We don't have anymore rooms Sam. If we had a boy baby, you'd have to share your room."

"Okay, then maybe let's not."

Update on our trip to Africa...

Not a word about it for several days! Then on the way to school this morning he asked, "Can I watch a movie?"

"No." I replied. "You know we only watch movies on long rides."

"Oh, I have a good idea, we can watch one when we go to Africa!"

I pretended I didn't hear and said, "Let's play I spy!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Note to self:

Don't have six kids in four years.

Today my sister Michelle and sister in law Laura came up to visit and try to get pictures of all of the kids taken together....between the three of us, there are six kids under the age of four (Laura has twins who are two weeks older than Grace.).

The kids had a great time together...but it was chaos, an entire day of chaos...and I'm not sure if anyone, including the photographer, got a picture with all six kids in it!

Fifth Anniversary

All photos taken by Bethany...Thank you my friend!
Five years ago today, I married my best friend. After dating for a little over five years, Brad asked me to marry him. I said yes, and we were married eight weeks later. At the time, it was the most wonderful day of my it's in my top three (The days that Sam and Grace were born were pretty amazing too.).
B-you're still my best friend....I'm so happy that we are spending the rest of our lives together. I love you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wanna go to Africa?

We're going tomorrow. At least that's what I told Sam so that he'd stop asking.

Sam's preschool sponsors two children who live in Chad. Once a month they have a worship service and all of the kids bring in the change that they've "earned" to send to Africa. We've been talking a lot about it and apparently when I gave Sam his money this morning, he got the impression that HE would be going to Africa today.

When I picked him up from school, he was heartbroken. "Mommy, I didn't go to Africa today!" I did my best to explain that HE wasn't going to Africa, just the MONEY. He didn't get it and he sucked me in with all of his "Whys?"

I explained that it is very far away and we would have to fly, to which he replied, "Okay, let's fly." I told him we didn't have plane tickets, to which he replied, "That's easy. we just have to go to the airport and buy them." I told him that we needed special shots so we wouldn't get sick, to which he replied, "Well let's go get those shots now and then go to the airport." I told him he didn't have a which he replied, "What's a passport?"...You get the idea, he wouldn't take no for an I told him we'd go tomorrow and that was the end of the conversation.

I'm counting on him forgetting....if he forgets, it's not really lying, right?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hayride and Pumpkin Picking

We had a fabulous time at Ingaldsby Farm today. The trees are all changing colors and the weather was beautiful, low 60' of those perfect fall days that makes me happy I live in New England.

On the way home Sam said, "Mommy, we didn't see the pencil!"
"What?" I replied.

"Farmer Pencil, we didn't see him."

"Sam, who is Farmer Pencil?"

"Mommy, member you said you were going to call him when I was being bad?"

Earlier in the day I had threatened to call and CANCEL the hayride if he didn't start obeying...CANCEL....PENCIL....think I should get his ears checked?

Apparently I wear retro jeans, do you? Do you know it? Are you sure?

Every fall, an amazing and much anticipated event takes place in my little corner of the world...the _____ ____ Childrens Academy Rummage Sale! Although they call it an Academy, it is actually a preschool..the kind you call while you are in labor to put your child's name on their list...the kind that costs more per month than many people spend on their mortgage...the kind I didn't even consider sending Sam too....

"Amazing stuff" doesn't even begin to describe the treasures that can be found (by us common folk...people actually line up and wait for them to cut the rope at 9:00 and then RUN in to try to get dibs on the best stuff....think running of the bulls or Filene's Basement Wedding Dress Sale) Do you love the bedding and curtains in the Pottery Barn catalogue? These people get new stuff every year and donate their "old" stuff to the sale. Do you mind carrying last falls hottest designer handbag? If you do, don't come...If your baby needs new duds, among the Gap and Gymboree, you will find oodles of boutique stuff with the tags still on, Baby Lulu, Catimini, Cakewalk and Mini Boden were among my finds this year.

So yes, it's a great yard sale, but it's not actually what I wanted to write about. Something happened to me there. An eye opening, life changing moment....

While I was pillaging through a pile of jeans I came across a cute pair from the Gap that looked like a favorite pair THAT I ALREADY HAVE. They were in great shape, but a peek inside revealed that they were a size 4 and therefore not coming home with me.

A few minutes later a couple of college aged girls (they were wearing sweatshirts from a college that is just up the road, so I am pretty certain of their age) picked up the jeans and started laughing. Hard.

"Oh my gosh, look at these jeans! They are so retro!" (I got the impression that "retro" wasn't a good thing...)

"Those are hilarious! They look just like the jeans that I wore in middle school!"

I quickly did the math and realized that if these girls were 18 then middle school was five or six years ago...I thought about the last time that I went out and bought jeans (other than post baby, fat jeans from Target) for myself...Hmm....yup, that would have been five or six years know, before I had kids..back when I had lots of disposable time and income for myself....

I thought about saying something clever, but I couldn't think of anything. I was too upset (not really). I know that I am not a fashionista....Most days, I wear a mommy pants, cotton t shirts, flip flops, sneakers or ugly but very comfortable Dansko clogs. I KNOW THAT THESE THINGS ARE NOT STYLISH, and I thought that I knew which things in my closet probably needed to go, but apparently, I don't. I had no idea that my jeans are laughably unfashionable, none at all. How many other things in my closet fit into that same category? That's the part that botheres me. I'm actually okay with the fact that I don't have the same clothes as the cool's the not knowing part. I think I'm still cool, and I'm not! Actually, I'm okay with that too...It's more what it represents...

I'm scared. It's happened. I've become my mother, and your mother and their mothers. I don't know what's cool. I have no idea. I also have no idea when 2001 became retro. What does that make 1992 (the year I graduated from high school)? Antique? I'm going to go listen to some Arrested Developmen and fold my retro jeans. Tomorrow I might go shopping for a Halloween know something with pumpkins and witches and maybe some sparkle! Cool!

Although I was unaware of it when I wrote this post, Lipstick to Crayons is sponsoring a Back to Beauty giveaway and I do believe that this post can be considered a "Frumpy Mommy Story"!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy 39th Birthday Brad!!!

Although Birthdays aren't what they used to be around presents, romantic dinners...I love you more than ever!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Too good not to write down.

Yesterday I was talking to my sister Michelle about how bad we have both been about keeping baby books. Her system during Caeden's first year was to jot things down on her own calendar, save the calendar and eventually transfer all of her entries into a notebook. Caeden is now 2.5 and there is nothing that resembles a baby book...just a notebook with some random facts. I'm no better. I actually bought a baby calendar for Grace and keep it out on the counter, but I rarely write anything in it. If you were to look at it now, I bet it's open to July....

I was encouraging her to blog. There's something about writing it and being able to see it in a "finished" form instantly. (Unlike a scrap book page....scrap book pages take me about a year to finish...)

I hung up with her and remembered this little gem. It was a few weeks ago and I'm sure that when Sam is ten, he will wish that I hadn't jotted it down for posterity, but I must. I simply must.

"Mommy, wanna play a guessing game?"


"Okay, what's big and strong and long?"

" alligator?"

"Nope, guess again."

"A telephone pole?"

"Nope, want me to tell you? It's my penis!"

Yup, my three year old used the word strong to describe his penis and I came close to wetting my pants.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Potty Training ...part 6

We're almost there....Meaning Sam wears underwear to school everyday and comes home dry. He takes naps in his underwear and wakes up dry 70% of the times. No accidents during the day for a very long time...Pretty good, right?

Rather than just complain, I'll give the kid some credit. He basically went from wearing diapers all of the time to wearing underwear overnight...he just won't poop on the potty. He absolutely refuses.

I have an advanced degree that required me to take a ton of child development classes and I know that this isn't terribly abnormal. Regardless, I am so over changing my 39 month old child. I JUST WANT THE KID TO GROW UP AND TAKE A DUMP ON THE TOILETTE! (Yes, I am screaming...)

We've tried everything......
Rewards...he did it once. I kept the promise of a trip to "the big toy store" (TOYS R US) and let him pick out whatever he wanted. We came home with another truck, he didn't poop at all for the next three days and then he started asking for a diaper (Yes, he asks for a diaper....the third time he pooped in his underwear, I tossed them. He was devastated and never did it again...if only it were all so easy.).

Ignoring...we've let it go, not mentioned it, not made a big deal when he asks for a diaper, told him it's okay, he'll do it when he's ready....

Tonight, we have moved on to Shaming...that's right, tonight I turned into Mommy Dearest and made him sit on the potty. My response to all of his protests was to name of all of his friends that poop on the potty and to point out that Grace is the only other person he knows that poops in a diaper. He didn't go. So I gave him a pull up and made him sit on the potty while wearing it (My logic was that he needs to get used to sitting down, right?). He didn't go. So I let him get off but told him he had to stay in the bathroom and go. "Poop belongs in the bathroom!" were my exact words. He stayed in the bathroom and cried...and didn't go. So I let him come out. He went into the living room, scrunched up his face and went. I moved on to my next strategy... Ridicule...

"You stink. You smell awful and you stunk up the living room. It's disgusting Sam." to which my sweet and oblivious boy replied,

"Know what else stinks mommy?"

"No, what?"

"Skunks, skunks really smell bad."

Guess tomorrow I'll be back to the ignoring, letting him wait till he's ready strategy...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"Mommy, this is the best cake in the world. Know why? Because you're the best mommy in the world."

Guess who got another piece of cake? He's good, really good.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Anniversary Michelle & Gil

Tomorrow will be their one month anniversary, and I'm just getting around to posting the rest of the pictures...if you click on the image (Mom) it will get larger.