Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dear blogger,

Your new format stinks. Nothing is coming out right. Those stupid dotted lines in my last post? I put them there because my post came out as one giant paragraph, even though it wasn't like that when I wrote it. Go back, or I am outta here man. Lisa, was it you who said there was some way to switch back? I can't see how to do that, help if you can!

Baby Gifts for the Mom of Many

Or, "What to Buy for the Mom Who Has Everything. Or Pretty Damned Near." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lest you think this is a thinly disguised plea for gifts, please know that I've already bought most of this stuff. That is, in fact, what prompted the topic. My mom recently asked what I needed for the baby, and I told her I'd already pretty much gotten what I needed. Sorry, Mom. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But, it is true that baby gifts are few and far between when you are having your third, fourth, fifth child. People assume that you have everything you need and want by now, I imagine. And that's pretty nearly true. Still, there are always things you need, and always things you'd like. So here's a few ideas--feel free to add your own in the comments section! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Baby showers with scads of cute baby outfits are pretty unnecessary. Mom probably has plenty of clothes. It's not like newborns wear out their clothing or anything. Unless she has had five boys and is expecting her first girl or something, clothing is probably not needed. But one clothing-like item we've bought for this baby is cloth diapers. This the first time I will attempt two in cloth, so even though I have cloth diapers, I needed more. Find out what kind your mom-to-be prefers. Most of us are pretty opinionated about it. :) Or get a gift card to be put towards the purchase. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Consumable stuff is always a welcome gift. Disposable diapers...even moms who use cloth use some disposables, baby lotions and potions, wipes, etc., are always nice. Gifts of food and freezer meals are always very appreciated. A couple of times a friend who doesn't cook much has given a gift card to a local take-out place, always with an apology that it wasn't a homemade meal. Silly! My kids were thrilled! I was thrilled, believe me! Shoot, if I don't have to cook it or clean up after it, bring it on! Or consider the gift of your time...friends who offer to pick up my older kids and take them to have fun are always a blessing. It gives them a needed change of scenery and gives mom a break too. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Maybe she has a largish piece of baby equipment that needs replacing? If you don't have a "large gift giving" type of relationship, maybe you are part of a group of friends that can go in on something together. By your fifth baby, things can start to look pretty haggard. We replaced our portacrib with Henry. I am looking for another rocking chair for this one. Car seats, strollers, all these things can start to look pretty worn, if not downright falling apart. Also, baby equipment mom considered unnecessary when she had one or two kids might start to look more appealing as her hands become more full. A mom who once scorned baby swings and exersaucers when she was in the throws of "first baby idealism" may find them more appealing when trying to cook dinner with a houseful of little people. Uh huh. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moderately sized baby equipment often needs replacing as well, just because of the beating anything in a house full of kids takes. Maybe her three year old bent the tar out of the baby seat frame by sitting in it. Or maybe her six year old broke the mobile by using to climb in and out of the crib. Not that that sort of thing happens in this house or anything. Ahem. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And some things just need replacing with pretty much every child. I always get a new diaper bag for each baby. If the one I've been carrying for the last two or three years has even survived that long, it's looking pretty ragged and tired. I love to get a new one for the new little arrival. I refuse to use it until the new baby actually arrive, packing it with the "bringing home clothes" and taking it to the birthing center. The old one gets thrown out before I even come back home. Similarly, I always need new nursing bras for the new baby. Talk about ragged and tired. Again, ask, or get a gift card...we usually have strong preferences about this item as well. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Something pretty! John's cousins sent a huge bouquet of balloons and flowers after one of our babies. It was totally unexpected and sweet. I love flowers, and no one ever sends you flowers for your fourth baby. It seriously made me cry. Hormones, you know. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sometimes there is something sentimental to be gotten for the new baby too. A little tradition that has always been, or maybe one worth starting. Maria always buys a small stuffed something for the new baby, a tradition that started when Jack was born, and even though we need more stuffed animals like we need another hole in the drywall I know she will buy something for this one too. Each baby has gotten a new pretty blanket (but comfy...always comfy...can't abide by some scratchy blanket). And each baby gets a new book. Just to start off right. :) (I am still looking for a book for this baby! Any suggestions?) If you knit or sew or have a talent for crafting, your one-of-a-kind gifts are always special. Our sweet friend Lori made a precious little lovely for Henry. Jack's Godmother made him a scrapbook, a blank one but with pages that she templated herself for me to just be able to plug pictures into...a beautiful gift, I love it dearly. Some pretty keepsake that will set this baby apart from the others is always sweet- something that says, no, we don't really need another something, we have plenty of hand-me-downs,,,but you are special. You are baby #5, and even so this baby-having business is not taken for granted. You are new and loved and wanted right here, now, by God and by us. Even though you are one of many children in this house, you are the only one of you we will ever have, and we can't wait to meet you and kiss your sweet face.

Monday, April 23, 2012

random thoughts

I'm tired of daybooks.... Let's just write, shall we? Blogger has changed my format. This is really throwing me off. I am still feeling panicked here. The last couple of weeks have been very busy. The next three weeks or so promise more of the same. I really, really need a few days to get some things done around here...things that really need to be done before the baby comes, you know? Not weird pregnant-woman things like cleaning blinds and light fixtures. Things like giving the bathrooms a thorough cleaning and unpacking baby stuff. I was kinda counting on the next few weekends to help me out with that, but it doesn't look like that is going to work out. During the week, it seems to be all I can do to keep up with school and chores and life. Not sure what to do about that. Maria has a feis this weekend. The following weekend is her confirmation. Then Mother's Day weekend follows that. So far, we are clear after that. Think my luck will hold out? Think my back will hold out? Henry's birthday is today. I wonder if anyone realizes this but me? We aren't celebrating today. John is working all day. We had a busy weekend this past weekend too, so we will be officially celebrating on Sunday after the feis. He's too young, of course, to realize that today is his actual birthday, and I'm not going to make a to do about it because I'm afraid of confusing the matter. Besides, I'm not prepared to do anything about it. Originally we were supposed to have had his party by now, but the weather didn't cooperate. Next Sunday may not cooperate either, but with everything going on it's the best I've got. It's just as well we didn't plan anything today. It's not going to be much of a day for him. On Saturday night, he broke out in hives. I found them when I was getting him ready for bed...all over his upper legs. He'd never had them before. We gave him some Benadryl, but by the time it started working the hives had spread up his back and arms. The Benadryl worked nicely and I hoped that was the end of it. But very early Sunday morning the hives were back,,,worse! Long story a bit shortened, all morning/early afternoon we did this, and by the third dosing of Benadryl it became clear that this wasn't working. The hives came back after only three hours that time, and he was covered with them, from head to toe. Face, hands, feet, diaper area, everywhere. I took him to the ER. They gave him a shot of epinephrine and a shot of steriods and that all helped, but the doctor said it would take a couple of days to completely clear up and to keep giving him benadryl. We are. The hives keep coming back, but not as bad. Still, he's cranky and itchy and drugged up. Not been a fun couple of days. I peeked at him in his crib this morning, and they are still there. Sigh. We have no idea what's causing them. He has a well-child visit scheduled tomorrow, so if they are still around then at least his regular doctor can give her opinion. From what I've read, anything at all can cause hives...a food, contact irritation, insect bites, viruses...we may never know what caused it. Ok, he's awake now, so I'm going to go love on my birthday boy who doesn't know he's two today! Can't find spellcheck on this new layout. Grr...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A "Holy Crap, I've Only Got Six Weeks Left" Daybook

Will she ever post anything but daybooks???

Outside my and windy. Storms all day.

I am hearing...Tess and Henry squabbling. Again. I love rainy days. It appears they are fighting over who gets to lay on the Wii Fit balance board.

I am thinking...that it's been a long week. Henry has been sick, really sick, since Thursday. He's finally doing better today, but still pretty cranky.

I am thankful for...a new 50 count pack of markers. Tess and Henry have spent large amounts of time coloring with them today. I have spent large amounts of time trying to keep them off the floor and match up the caps.

I am wearing...shorts and a tshirt.

We are currently reading...Heck, I don't know. I can't even hear myself think. I'd better go put out this fire.

Ok, I'm back. Sheesh. Anyway, reading,,,um, I'm reading Anne of the Island. Also, I've ordered Managers of Their Schools, another Maxwell book. I'm not sure if this one will be particularly helpful though. They homeschool using a textbook curriculum, and we don't use a textbook curriculum. But I ordered it in a fit of desperation one afternoon. We'll see. Maria is still on Johnny Tremaine. Still on Wuthering Heights. Audiobooks take a long time. Jack and the littles are just enjoying a variety of what grabs us from around the house. Tess recently got this silly book from the library. It's sooo corny, really, but she loves it! We've read it many, many times, and now she's memorized it and we find her "reading" it aloud, which is pretty cute. Still, I'm glad it's a library book. :)

Latest on the babies...Henry's speech has taken off like mad. Suddenly he is saying gobs of words, new ones every day. Up until now he's only said a few words, and no new ones in a long time.
...and also, holy crap, I've only got six weeks left! I'm 34 weeks tomorrow. Oy, I've got so much to do.

From the kitchen...Um...we had Wendy's for dinner. :)

Around the house...let's just not go there, ok?

In the learning room...Maria has had a really hard time in algebra this year, and we are so behind. I've ordered Teaching Textbooks for her. And for me. For my own sanity. It arrives tomorrow....stay tuned.

In the berry bushes and bulbs arrived Thursday. But between Henry's illness and the rain I haven't planted them yet. Maybe tomorrow?

Plans for the rest of the week...waging war on my to-do lists. And you know...all the usual stuff.

Our week in pictures...the littles in their Easter finery...I didn't get a picture of Maria. She had to be at church early. But she's wearing her Easter dress for her confirmation, so I'll get her then. Jack was a riot. He hated wearing a tie, but when he saw himself he started cracking up and said, "I look like a man!"

Tess...making this goofy, scrunchy face for some reason. She was so cute though...I love her dress. It's pink and light green, doesn't seem to show up so well in this picture.

My sweet Momma's Boy.He's badly needing his bangs cut. Never been done before now, but it is time. Isn't he a cutie though?

Monday, April 02, 2012

An Holy Week daybook

Outside my window...can't hear a thing. The windows are closed up tight because the a/c is on. Already. Yesterday we had highs in the upper 80's. Sigh.

I am hearing...Jake and the Neverland Pirates...Jack's new obsession. Henry is watching too. Everyone else is still asleep.

I am thinking...not much. I'm still on my first cup of coffee.

I am thankful Um, I should say something more profound. Weather warm enough that the kids can play outside whenever they wish, just being able to open the back door and let them go. They are spending lots of time outside, they are SO gross and dirty at the end of the day, but it's so good for them. I laid in some new sand and sand toys a few weeks ago...all the ride-on toys and bikes are out. It's lovely not to have to deal with jackets and such.

I am wearing...a tshirt and pajama shorts. I am sadly lacking in motivation this morning so far.

We are currently reading...I just finished rereading the first Hunger Games book. I read the series a long time ago, before they were even popular. Because I'm that cool. Anyway, we saw the movie this past weekend, which made me want to reread the book.

I am praying...for the same friend as last week. She has so much to bear right now.

Latest on the babies...I. Am. Huge. So very pregnant. My OB sent me up to labor and delivery for a nonstress test because baby's movements had decreased a good bit. The test went fine and they sent me home. Her movements are still decreased, but when I lay down and do kick counts they are frequent enough. Just smaller, I guess, mostly. Running out of room I imagine.
Jack is in a destructive phase right now. He seems to do this every so often. He repeatedly rammed his bike into the deck rails until he broke one of the rails off completely. He kept throwing Tess's trike off the deck until he broke the handlebars. And he threw a keyboard out the playroom window. You read that right. A keyboard. Like a big Casio keyboard. Sigh. He will keep us wrestling with stuff like this for a while, and then he will just stop. Just like that.

From the kitchen is a mess. I'd like to not talk about that, ok? I focused on catching up on laundry this weekend, and we will focus on that.

Around the house...lots of housework that needs to be caught up because I have let the daily stuff slide while focusing on other projects. Calling a plumber today. I have new sinks! Not installed...haha! Silly! No, they are sitting in my living room. Hence my need to call the plumber. We have a leak upstairs too. We can't use the upstairs shower because it makes rain in the downstairs bathroom. I'm scared about this because it sounds expensive. I may regret buying those sinks.

In the learning room...just trying to keep up/catch up. Maria is having a hard time with Algebra, which is discouraging for us both...she has always done well with math. I've done next to nothing for Holy Week and have little planned for Easter either, other than the usual stuff at church of course. Just too much to wrap my brain around this year. Some years are like that. And to be honest, with Kain gone, so is my motivation for such things right now. Maria has seen and done these things so many times. Jack just cares so little about anything not in his little sphere of concern. Tess and Henry are a bit young yet.

In the garden- still waiting for my plants to arrive.

Plans for the rest of the week...I don't think we will even make it to Holy Week services, which is disheartening. John is working the entire time, and mass has been far too rough lately to go looking for trouble by myself, even with Maria's help. John is off on Wednesday and is going to watch the gang so I can tackle my last big pre-baby projects, cleaning out a couple of of them holds Easter baskets. :)

Our week in pictures...I posted a bunch of pics of Jack and Henry. How about Tess?

The gang at the zoo...did I post this one? Funny story behind this...notice Tess's clothes....the green striped shirt, the pink patterned skirt, sneakers...odd yes? Well, you see, she had an accident 15 minutes after arriving at the park. And she has been perfectly potty-trained for over a year, so I had no changes of clothes with me. I was utterly lost on what to do. I went to the gift shop and they had nothing at all...tshirts, but nothing I could put on her bottom half at all. The zoo is out near the airport, not near anything at all. I circled the gift shop, trying to think of something. Just as I was getting ready to give up and leave, I spotted these long cottony batik scarves. I bought one, and Maria and I fashioned a skirt out of it. She is completely bare-bottomed under that makeshift skirt,,,something the whole zoo figured out more than once when it managed to work its way loose. Thankfully she is still too young to be embarrassed about such things. Sorry Tessie.

This is Christmas morning. She got some dress up stuff then, and was cramming on as much as she could. The mess behind her? The shrapnel from 5 kids opening gifts. Anyway, I love this picture, she's all sleepy-eyed and just screams "the morning after prom" or something, yes?

This picture is classic Tess. She is the dress-up queen. She wears dress-up clothes every day. And she now refuses to wear pants anymore. Dresses or skirts every day. I'm only glad that the weather is warm so I don't have to fuss with tights and such.

She's got a weird expression on her face here, but otherwise looks so cute I couldn't resist. She was falling asleep this way, but woke up when I took her picture.

Baby chicks at the fair.