Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm walking....yes, indeed!

Guess what I'm doing?

I am walking on April 30th in the March for Babies 5k which will help raise money for the March of Dimes!!

I am walking in honor of my niece, Layla, who was born on July 31, 2010 at just 26 weeks gestation.  She spent 13 long weeks in the hospital, many days fighting for her life.  Day by day she got stronger, and then sometimes she would have setbacks.  It was a hard time for her family.  But thanks to the skilled medical team that worked with her and all the research done by the March of Dimes, Layla got the care that she needed and was able to go home with her family on October 26, 2010.  It was a wonderful day!  Layla is now a very happy and healthy 8 month old who brings her parents (and her 3 brothers and 3 sisters!)  much joy.

Our sweet Layla

While we celebrate Layla, we also sadly remember all those little ones who never made it out of the NICU...or those who did make it out only to suffer from prematurity-related complications.  Premature births are not always as successful as Layla's.  Babies such as sweet Madeline Spohr, who was born at 28 weeks gestation, spent many weeks in the hospital, and then grew and got strong enough to go home with her parents.  Such a joyous day!  Maddie brought so much happiness to all those who came to know her, but especially to her parents, who cherished her so much. But due to her prematurity, Maddie's lungs were weak, and on April 6, 2009, she came down with a respiratory infection, and then suddenly passed away the very next day, April 7, 2009...when she was just 16 months old.  

Happy, happy baby...sweet Maddie
November 11, 2007 ~ April 7, 2009

I am walking in celebration of Layla, and I am walking in memory of sweet Maddie...and all those other sweet babies that passed away due to being born too soon.  The March of Dimes continues to do more research that will hopefully, one day, prevent premature births all together.  Wouldn't that be a great day!  

I know we all have our favorite charities that we like to support (there are so many good causes out there!)  and if any of you happen to support the March of Dimes, will you please consider helping me reach my goal of $1,000 ?   It's very simple to donate!  You just go to my March of Dimes webpage and  enter a donation amount  (any amount, no matter how small, is helpful and very much appreciated!)  and then choose your method of payment, enter the information....and that's it!

Here is the link to my  webpage:

Thank you very much!

This weekend I am linking up with...

Tailspin Hop Beauty Brite Weekend Gathering Hops

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Where's My Camera?

Sometimes my camera "disappears" when I leave it on the charger.  I look everywhere...and then a few hours (or days!) later, it magically appears on a table or the kitchen counter.  And to find out who had my camera, all I need to do is download the pictures....

and this week's featured photographer is......


linking up today at....

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

and here...

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How Many Do You Agree With?

A friend posted this list on Facebook today -- it had me laughing, so I thought I'd share!  Which ones do you agree with?

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

7. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

8. Bad decisions make good stories.

9. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

10. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

11. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this – ever.

12. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

13. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.  Should've stayed in my sweats, no make-up, hair up in a bun...

14. I would rather try to carry 10 over-loaded plastic bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

15. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

16. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?

17. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

18. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but ten bucks says everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time

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Monday, March 28, 2011

recovered thoughts

Today I was clearing out my blog files and deleting the posts that were saved as drafts.  Many of them were duplicate posts, a few were posts that I decided not to publish...and then I found the one below.  I wrote this the day I tested positive with my last pregnancy  (which was lost earlier this month at 10 weeks)  I wrote it thinking that I'd publish it soon; just waiting for some time to pass to be sure everything was okay with the pregnancy.  Then  as the weeks went on, I suppose I forgot about it. And here it sat all this my draft file. 

It was interesting to read back on what I was feeling that day, so I thought I'd go ahead and publish this post.  Since that little one was with me for such a short amount of time, I want to document anything and everything that "belongs" to it.  Even my thoughts.

January 27, 2011
      This is the first time that I have ever had a positive pregnancy test and not immediately smiled upon reading the test result.  This time I saw the result, and I was instantly anxious.  I put my head in my hands and said out loud, "Please don't let me lose this one."    I wish I could have looked in the mirror, like all the other times, and smiled at myself and said, "You're a new mommy!"  but this time around, it was just different.   I feel afraid.  I don't trust my body like I used to.  My body somehow failed the last baby, and I just don't trust it anymore.  I know that's an awfully negative way to view things, but I can't help it.  Some might say that my body did not fail me, that it knew what to do when "something wasn't right" -- but that's a hard pill to swallow.  I wanted that child no matter if "something wasn't right".
     I want this one, too.  So I'm afraid to be happy, to be excited.  It's like I'm guarding myself so that if I lose this one, too, it won't hurt as much.  But somehow I doubt it works like that.  I think no matter what my mind tries to do, my heart will take over.  And it will hurt just as much.  You can't trick the heart.
     Rich called later today (he's been at work the past few days and so we are limited to just phonecalls as our time together)  and we were making small talk about this and that, what the kids were up to, how his day was going, etc.  Then he asked about Afton's driving permit test, and I told him that yes, she passed.  She was now able to drive a car.
     "Wow,"  he said. "I just can't believe that.  Little Afton is driving already.  It makes me feel old."  He laughed a little.
Then I said, "Yea...well,  if that makes you feel old, then let me tell you something that will really make you feel old -- I tested positive today."
"Are you serious?"  I could hear that he had a huge grin on his face.
"Well, that's awesome!"
"What do you mean, really...of course!  This is awesome!  This just made my day! Can I tell people yet?"
     Typical Rich...wanting to shout to the world right away.  He is always so proud and so excited whenever we are expecting.  Hearing his excitement made me feel good.
     I went on to tell him that I was having mixed feelings, that I was nervous and doubtful and afraid to be happy about it.  And he told me that was completely understandable for me to feel that way, and for me not to beat myself up about my feelings.   They are normal feelings to have.  
     So I went about my day and I told no one our news except my midwife.  I made an appointment with her for next week.  I'll have some blood work done.  I want my progesterone levels checked.  With my age, I might have low progesterone.  If so, I will go on a natural progesterone creme.  
     I'm feeling a bit crampy, actually.  My lower back.  I don't know if this pregnancy will "take" or not, but the fact is...I AM pregnant, there's a little person growing inside of me, and whether I carry this baby full term or not doesn't change the fact that this child exists.  I get so excited when I think about it that way.  I'm a new mommy again!  A new soul has been assigned to our family, and I am it's mother.  Always.  No matter what happens.
     If all goes well, this little one will join our family in the first week of October!

Reading this post produces mixed emotions in me.  Especially in reading the last paragraph...where a little of my excitement showed through.  I was so reserved and guarded with this pregnancy, and rarely did I let myself get excited.  And I've been feeling a little bit of guilt about that.  But in this post, some excitement reveals itself.  And that makes me feel good, in a way -- to know that I did celebrate this little one in my heart, after all.    And yet, it makes me feel sad, too.  Sad because it never came to be.  Another little one who I will never hold.  And this one was due just days before Alex's birthday.  Oh, he would have loved that!  He's such a good big brother, and I just know he would have loved to have shared a birthday month with a new sibling.  

I'm so glad that I found this post.  It's a memory, you know?  Just something to document that little one's existence in this world.  For 10 weeks that little soul was here.  He or she was real.  Sometimes I need little things like the words in this post to give evidence to that.  

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

How We Met & all that stuff...

Here is a cute little getting-to-know-you survey that I found on Mackey Madness -- she is a blogger who is newly married, and she and her husband are just about the sweetest couple that you've ever seen -- and with some pretty amazing photos, as well. Check them out, when you get the chance.

Meanwhile, I copied the questions and filled them out here's a little bit you might not have known about me and my husband ~ enjoy!

About Us

How long have you been together?
Let's see...we met in June, 1991 and started dating right away.
So what is that? Twenty years this June? Wow, really?!!
We've been together for almost 20 years.
Married almost 19 years.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Well lets see...we met at a dance club on a Saturday night.
The following Wednesday we had lunch.
So I guess we started dating 4 days after we met.

Who asked who out?
He asked me out...that night at the dance club.
And I looked at him, trying to decide if I should accept or not.
And I swear this is what I said:
"Well...I don't know...what do you DO?"
(translation: what is your occupation, and why should I even give you the time of day?)
He said, "I'm a fire fighter."
and I said, "No're not a fire fighter!"
and I made him show me his badge.
And then I agreed to go out with him.

Did you go to the same school?
No.  We grew up miles and miles away from each other.

Who is the most sensitive?
Um, letmethinkaboutthatforasecondME.

What about pets?

We have a dog, Milo...and a horse, Shay

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Cheesecake Factory

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
New York, Cancun, that order.

Who has the craziest exes?
Honestly, we don't have crazy exes.  They are all pretty cool. 

Who has the worst temper?
Um, letmethinkaboutthatforasecondHIM

Who does the cooking?
I cook when he's not home.   
When he's home, he cooks.  
I hate cooking.

Who is more social?
I'd say it's pretty much even.
We both like to be around people
But I am more of a homebody than he is. 

Who is the neat freak?
Oh gosh...I wish at least one of us were.
Then maybe we'd have an uncluttered house!

Who is the most stubborn?
Um, that would be me...for sure.

Who hogs the bed?
To be honest? Aria.  She hogs the bed.  
Rich and I just barely get a corner to ourselves. 

Who wakes up earlier?
He wakes up naturally no later than 5:30am.
I cannot ever remember a time that I've gotten out of bed before him.
Unless it was to tend to a sick child.
Or nurse a baby.
Because I love to sleep.
And he says....
 Sleep is a waste of time.
Sleep is for those who have nothing to do.
I'll sleep when I'm dead.
These are all the crazy things that he says about sleep.

Where was your first date?
 Sizzler restaurant.
Rich was on his lunch break, and I met him at the Sizzler.
We had a 4 hour lunch.

How long did it take to get serious?
Officially it took about 5 months.
On November 14, 1991 he told me he loved me.

Who eats more?
Sometimes I do...when I'm pregnant.

Who does the laundry?
When he's home, he starts the laundry before I even get out of bed.
He's just like that!  Crazy, I know.
But all other times it's me, of course.
And the kids put it away.

Who drives when you are together?
Almost always him.  He's a horrible passenger.

Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong?
Always him. 
Always Always.
Because he's always the one wrong.
You think I'm kidding, but I'm not!
You can even ask him.
After 20 years of marriage, he's finally realized this as fact.
It took long enough!  Sheesh! 

Who wears the pants in the relationship?
Oh, he most definitely wears the pants in this relationship.
Of course, he always asks me which pair he should put on.
But make no mistake, he wears 'em! 

Who eats more sweets?
Oh, I guess that would be me.
 I have a sweet tooth, big time.

The kids took this photo of us while we were on vacation
last summer, 2010.  Not the best shot of me, but I do love
Rich's smile here.   He's got a cute smile :)

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time MomThe Things We Find Inside>

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

UPDATE: Where did the crib end up??

Do you all remember this post where I showed all of our "hot spots" in the home that gathered clutter, and I also shared about the crib that remained in our master shower because my husband just ignores that it's in there...when he was supposed to have put it into storage months ago?  How it had been in my shower for 5 months?  Well, Tauni from  Improvement is my Goal, Blogging My Escape  asked for an update to that story, wondering whatever became of the crib?

Is it in storage, finally?

Is it still in my shower?


It is NOT in storage, yet it is NOT in my shower anymore, either....only because the construction crew had to take it OUT so that they could tear the shower apart.

So where did it end up?

There it is!  The Hubs put it in our upstairs hallway.   Soooo much better than the shower!   In fact, I think I rather like it here, you know...right where the kids can knocked into it everyday.  Perfect place for it, really.  And the bonus? Aria plucks the little springs off the metal bars from time to time so that I find them in odd places around the house.  So much fun!  I am always up for a challenging game of hide the springs!

Now, you all KNOW how much I love and adore my husband -- which is why I like to poke fun at him from time to time.  He's just so darn perfect that it's fun to point out the few faults that he actually does have.  Procrastination?  Oh yes.  That's a biggie for him.  That, and not finishing projects that he starts.  Of course, he's so busy with work.  That can explain it.  But even when he's home, he will choose to "play" instead of finish things that he's started... like putting the crib into storage.  Which I guess I can understand.  Because we all know that playing is much more fun than any kind of work. 

But I just wonder how long this crib will sit here?  Five months? Like it's time spent in the shower?  

So why don't I put it into storage myself?  I know someone out there is wondering that.  Well, let me explain something:  putting things into storage is not in my job description, just like helping the kids' with their homework  and homeschooling isn't in his.  This is an understanding we have.  We each have our certain "things" around here, and moving furniture and such is his thing, not mine.  I don't want to do his things anymore than he wants to do mine.  It's just how we roll around here.  And it works, for the most part :)

Okay, any bets on how long it will stay in the hallway?  Anyone?

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the GOOD, the BAD, & the UGLY

Okay, so I'm borrowing this post idea from a new blog that I follow called  Many Waters.  I just think it is a neat way to sum up my week!

  • It rained!  And I love the rain!
  • Alex got 100% on his math test!
  • I got on the treadmill and worked out for 30 minutes - got my heart rate up!
  • I took a power walk with Rich for 20 minutes - again, got my heart rate up!
  • I lost 2 pounds -- woo hoo!
  • Rich was off work 4 days in a row!
  • Both Afton and Alex made it onto the club soccer teams they were trying out for!
  • I learned how to download iTunes onto my new iPod!

  • Andrew has a stuffy nose.
  • I had to pay Alex's club soccer dues.  Ouch! $$
  • My hair is in desperate need of a haircut but I have no time for an appointment.
  • My hair is seriously getting thinner!  In some angles, I think I see scalp.
  • Rich was off work 4 days in a row - next paycheck is gonna suck!$$
  • I spent $126 on downloaded music from iTunes.

  • Our master pretty much destroyed.  There was a leak.    It is now all torn up being repaired, and we cannot use it.  It's been weeks now.  Can't use the toilet, can't use the bathtub, can't use the sinks or the shower.  I can barely make it in there to get the clothes out of my closet.  We have been having to share the upstairs bathroom with all the kids.  Yes, ALL the kids.  Oh yea, it's been quite the adventure, let me tell you.  But it's all a matter of perspective, you see.  Although I categorize this under THE UGLY, let me tell you that compared to what's going on in Japan right now....I have NO room to complain.  None.  Zero.  In fact, I should be grateful that we at least have a bathroom to use.  It's a bit crowded and chaotic, but we are all safe under one roof.  And we have food,  heat,  and running water.   Nope, I have nothing to complain about.  
 Just to prove my point, let's do a little comparison, shall we?

Here is our under-construction master bathroom...

 and the holes in the downstairs ceiling from all the leaks...

and here is our crowded & chaotic kid bathroom that we all have to jam into each day...

And now.... here is Japan

(all photos taken from Google Images)

There really is no comparison, is there.  
So sad.  So very, very sad.


It's the weekend, and I'm linking up!  Check out all the awesome blog hops going on this weekend!

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And there is a brand new blog party starting over at   
Three Jewels in My Crown  
so if you can, come on over and support her by linking up!

3 Jewels In My Crown

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