Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Preparedness

It hit me when I was about three quarters of the way done with weeding the garden yesterday. There's a hurricane coming. Darn. Why did I think that weeding was a good idea now? There is actually a time when weeds are good for a garden. Like when a major storm is coming and that's all that is growing in there. There are a few weeds left. Hopefully it'll be enough to prevent most of the erosion if the storm is as bad as they think it will be.

By now everyone has heard that Hurricane Irene is headed in our general direction. We won't know what impact to expect until the storm gets here. Sure, weather forecasters can make educated guesses about where the hurricane might head, but that is all they are, guesses. As for me and mine, we're staying home, hunkering down and looking forward to board games by candlelight. 

Not that I'm taking Irene lightly. In reality I'm a little bit nervous this time around. I know that everything will be fine. I'm just a teeny, tiny bit worried. My biggest fear? That a tree will fall on our house. We have lots of trees. 

I have gathered a few things together, you know, just in case. Mostly I made sure that I had a few gallons of bottled water, a flashlight (someone please remind me to get batteries tomorrow!), a pack of disposable diapers, important papers located and in case we have to evacuate, I scrubbed the house, did all the laundry and packed up some emergency knitting. I also took pictures of our household goods. Mostly the fabric stash and sewing machines. I figure the more prepared I am the less likely we'll actually have a significant storm. 

I'll try to update tomorrow when we know if the storm is just going to brush by us or if it's going to barrel in and take up residence.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Letter To Gus

My Dear Sweet Gus,
     For your first birthday I think it's important that you know a few things. First of all, you are a very special little boy who is loved more than you can possibly measure. You're very lucky because not only do you have a Mama and a Daddy who love you, you also have a big sister who takes such wonderful care of you. I wish you could have seen your sister's face the first time she saw you. She was so proud of her little brother! I know that the two of you are going to be such wonderful friends. 

     Secondly, you should know what kind of family you have. In particular, you should know something about your Daddy. You already know that he's a brave U.S. Marine. He's tall and handsome he loves you and your Sissa very much. He wanted to be with you on your special day today.  He loves his job but it hurts him to be away from all of us. There's something else you should know about Daddy. I wanted to give you a really super awesome, cool name but Daddy wouldn't let me. Let's just say that your name could have been DANGERous. Instead you got the very practical (and honorable) middle name of Paul after your great-grandfather. It is a very nice name. But it's no Danger. Just remember this when you're older.

Have a happy, happy birthday today, My Love. I can't wait to see how you change and grow between birthdays each year. I am one lucky mama!


The Birthday Boy!
The Funnel Cake!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The List.

So the other day week, I made a list of things to get done. It went like this

1. Clean the kitchen.
2. Vacuum the couches.
3. Dust the ceiling fans.
4. Laundry.
5. Scrub the baseboards.
6. Weed the garden.
7. Make Lovey for M.
8. Finish Quilt for A.
9. Second grade socks for Chickadee.
10. Update blog.

I wrote this list on the chalkboard in my kitchen on the 11th. Today is the 17th. The only things I've managed to get done so far is to clean the kitchen (because I do this everyday), do a couple of loads of laundry (only because we can't live without diapers and towels), and I did manage to weed a small corner of the garden the other day.

What is not on the list is: play with the kids, take Chickadee to ballet practice, chase Gus, walk the dogs, pull Gus out of the dog's food, wrestle Gus back into his diaper, go to story time, buy groceries and school shoes, take Chickadee to book club, set up the water table outside, feed the cat that is not ours, try not to lose my mind. Which is what I actually did.

But by some miracle this morning Gus didn't wake up me before or even at the same time I did. He's my early riser. As in he wants to be out of bed and up for the day no later than 6am. This morning however, he was still sound asleep when I got up at 6:30. So I took a leisurely shower, took some time to blow dry my hair and then, since the little man was still sleeping, I turned to my list. Out of all the things on there what did I decide to do? Update the blog. Everything else seemed too mundane. Of course Gus is awake now. I'm frantically typing this to get done before he realizes that he does not, in fact, have my full attention. 

I have been somewhat productive this week.  Somehow I did manage to make a couple of hats for Addie. This one with curly Q's  is my favorite hat ever!
This is the Ainsley Baby Hat by Nadine McLeod.

 I used Be Sweet Bambino. Which is an amazing blend of organic cotton and bamboo. It feels heavenly! 

And now I'm getting ready to start the promised Second Grade Socks. Chickadee and I started this tradition when she went off to Kindergarten. Every year on the first day of school she gets to wear a new pair of socks hand knit by Mama. That way I can be with her on her first day. This year she picked a surprisingly blue yarn. I love this color. She picked it to match the silver sneakers we bought. 

You can't really tell from the picture but the deep blue yarn has silver thread running through it. It's actual silver. It makes the socks antibacterial and antimicrobial. This is Dream in Color Smooshy. Wonderful stuff. The colors are a bit addicting but it's wonderful nonetheless. Did I mention that second grade starts in 7 days?!?!

Before I can knit though, we're off to the library for story time and then Chickadee has Nutcracker practice. I'll be back eventually soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Keepin' It Real

So, it's 0230, do you know where your baby is? Mine is on the living room floor, no diaper, dumping out all of his wipes (including the liquid) and tooting away. He's been awake since about 1:00am crying and fussing and kicking his mama. I tried taking him to bed with me to nurse which resulted in him screaming, pulling at my nipple and generally thrashing around. Definitely NOT sleeping. So, I thought he had gas. Put him on his belly. Tried holding his knees to his chest. Walked around while swaying and singing. Nothing was working. Then I thought, "hey, let's try changing your diaper". He looked at me as if to say "gee mom, what a great idea, what in the heck took you so long?". So I took his diaper off and the smell of ammonia knocked me over. Like he had managed to pour straight ammonia into his diaper. YUCK! His little diaper area is all red so we're spending some naked time in the living room at 2:30am. And he totally has gas. Now that he's crawling around and getting his toots out he feels much better. I think the funny faces he's making is helping the most. I love this little man. Stink and all. Even no sleep and all.

I hope your day is going as well as mine so far. Only not the being up at 0230 with a fussy baby part. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I promise that I haven't run away to some far off island in the middle of the ocean (yet!). Just when I thought that this year couldn't possibly get any crazier, it did. My wonderful sister-in-law, Renae, is a labor and delivery nurse going back to school to become a midwife. Last year she took time off work and came and stayed with me for the birth of my son. And not just a little bit. She stayed for three weeks. I was horribly grouchy most of that time and she still stayed. Luckily for me.  She made such a tremendous difference in my birth experience and my life. I was overjoyed to have her share in that time with me and our family. Thanks Ian, for letting her stay with us.

Now Renae has given birth to her own precious little baby.  Adalee was born on July 20th, seven weeks too early with a condition known as Trisomy 13. The prognosis might seem discouraging but little Addie isn't worried. She has been approaching each day with such joy and exuberance! She weighed just over 2 pounds at birth and she has steadily been gaining weight over the past couple of weeks. She had a PDA (a congenital heart defect) that has healed on its own, a substantial hole in her scalp that is closing up without plastic surgery and after a brief time on the ventilator she is now breathing well on her own.

I can't begin to explain  how much we all love this beautiful little girl. She has shown such strength and love in the short time she's been with us. I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with her and her Mommy and Daddy this past week. It was a very humbling experience. Ian and Renae are so proud of their daughter and with good reason. She is perfect. Adalee has brought our family closer together and closer to God. She has touched each one of us so profoundly there aren't enough words in the universe to describe it. I can only say that for me, being near Addie feels like standing in the palm of His hand and feeling His breath on my face.

Please say a prayer (or two or a hundred) for Adalee's continued journey. Please pray for her health to continue to improve, specifically that her brain continues to instruct the rest of her body to function normally. Pray for the health of her Mommy and Daddy, to guide the hands and hearts of her caregivers while she stays in the NICU and that everyone who meets her continues to be so blessed.

Here are a few pictures of Addie. Shared of course, with her parents permission.

Adalee has her own Bible verse. This is not it. This is a verse I came across this morning that reminded me of her.

You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the Living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come into the presence of God. (Hebrews 12;22-23).