Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WTF Wednesday

the Fisher-Price Ipad "apptivity" (ugh...) seat.

Fisher-Price apptivity seat

I truly hope that no parent-to-be puts this thing on their baby registry. I mean we all occasionally use the TV as a babysitter for our older kids, but this thing is intended for newborns. Newborns. You know, those tiny little humans that are all crossed-eyed and lack any real motor control? Yep, them. 
Why not get their iPads connected pronto? Little Susie needs to get caught up on Game of Thrones and update her Facebook status!

I'm pretty sure that anyone who knows anything about babies knows that this is bad for them, right? Whatever happened to rattles? Or just letting the babe check out its surroundings? (Everything is new and amazing when all you have seen for the last 9 months is the side of a placenta.) 

But, oh, who am I kidding? Forget it. Plug in the Ipad. Let's try our best to stifle baby's imagination and creativity straight out of the womb.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New bathroom

Our main bathroom renovation was completed last Monday.
Since then we have been enjoying the deep tub and much warmer surroundings. (Yay for insulation!) We still have a few details left, most importantly a curtain or shade for the window. We have been trying our best to not be inadvertent exhibitionists, but sometimes it happens... (Many apologies, neighbors.) We need something on that window stat! We are also still finding little things to fill the beach crates on the wall, along with a cute photo of the kids in the tub to perch above the towel hook shelf Jared made.

My favorite parts (besides the fact that it isn't purple):
* The vanity is extra tall.
* There is more than one outlet now.
     And seeing as there are three females in this family, that is huge.

* There are actual walls to hang things on - not just fake tile from floor to ceiling.
It's warm! (Yes, I am mentioning my love of insulation again.)

So without further ado, I present our new bathroom.



Overall we are really happy.
Are we happy that it cost even more than predicted due to the horrible shape the bathroom was in? No.
But I am excited that it is done and happy that it is no longer the ugliest room in our house.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

some Saturday silence

Today it was just me and my man. The little one, that is.

After a long week full of whining, biting, and fighting, I dumped the girls on my mom and dad and enjoyed a little peace and quiet this morning.
I had forgotten how much easier life is with one kid instead of three. Especially one that still takes two naps a day.
Glorious silence!
I got a lot of household tasks accomplished and even had time to work out without little bodies attempting push-ups beside me.

Graham and I had some nice one-on-one time together.

He is changing so much, so quickly. The last year has just disappeared in the blink of an eye. 
He has had the stairs mastered - both up and down - for the last couple months.
His main mode of transportation is walking now.
He finds my cell phone whenever he can and holds it up to his ear and mouth.
He signs "more" when he wants more to eat and has started saying "Maaah" with it too.
He gives sweet little open-mouthed kisses on command that melt my heart.

It amazes me just how "boy-like" he is. We have had cars and trucks and "boy toys" since we have had kids. The girls always had the option of playing with them. They just didn't.
Graham is drawn to them. He loves to push them around on the floor. He has even started making raspberry noises as he pushes them, which kinda sounds like a car noise.
{I am sure this is pure coincidence, but it is so freakin' cute.}
The bus is also a big favorite. It is usually loaded down with princesses "going to school" by sister Bailey, but today it was all his. In fact, the whole house was all his. Every toy, every book... that never happens!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brand New To Me

Just wanted to give a shout out to my hubby for all the extra work he has been put into building things, not only for our home, but for his Etsy shop.

Jared started his Etsy shop back in May because he had been tinkering around in the garage with different woods, old windows, and rusty farm stuff. And these little projects were starting to pile up. He decided to look into selling a few things on Etsy. Since then it has been pretty unpredictable. Sometimes he will go a month or so without an order or even an inquiry, and then there are times like yesterday when he got three orders in about half an hour.

Right now he has started making a new item, one that our friend messaged him a request for.
Apparently everybody is prepping to hang their stockings with care, because he now has multiple orders for a wooden Merry Christmas stocking holder.
{Okay, one of them is an order from me, but wives count too, right?}

stocking holder in progress...
Check out his Etsy shop to see the finished product.

He has been relegated to the basement to do some projects since the garage isn't heated. He has a make shift area down there where his paints won't freeze and the glue might actually dry. Don't feel sorry for him, he still gets to escape quickly and "go work on that project..." when the kids get a little whiny.
If you are interested in seeing any of the stuff he creates and sells,
click on the Brand New To Me button on the right side of my blog page.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

The inaugural bath

3 kids in a tub 
Our new tub, that is!

Our bathroom remodel is completely finished.

We celebrated last night with an insane amount of bubble bath.
There were a lot of white bubble beards going on, and Graham gave me several near heart attacks by showcasing his ability to float with just his tiny little face above the water.

There are still a few little details left: a couple knobs we need to match and a shelf with towel hooks that Jared is making.
Our brand-spankin-new bathroom also highlighted the fact that we are in severe need of some new towels. Preferably some without bleach stains.

But overall I am very happy.
More info and pictures to come once the finishing touches are complete.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nursing in Public (or NIP ... how appropriate, right?)

Twice yesterday on Facebook I saw derogatory references to women nursing their babies in public.

One was a male posting about the "inappropriateness" of a mother feeding her baby in a store. The other I came across while reading a humorous post by a mommy blogger/author - a post that had nothing to do with breastfeeding whatsoever. One commenter apparently looked at (aka - "creeped") another woman's Facebook photos and found one of her breastfeeding, and then used that photo as justification to call her "classless" in order to make a point on some other unrelated issue. I didn't read much beyond that, just enough to see another comment written by the original creepin' lady defending herself saying that she was "fine with breastfeeding as long as it's done behind closed doors."

Well, I have a problem with that.
I don't live my life 100% "behind closed doors" and neither does my baby. And why should I?
Should I be confined to my bedroom until I give up breastfeeding in order to resume a normal life?
Is the inch of mammary tissue that *might* be seen for a split second really doing irreparable damage to innocent people?
Are you telling me you would rather listen to a baby cry at the top of its lungs than catch a peak of a mother nursing out of the corner of your eye?

And when did feeding your baby become "inappropriate"?
I know ZERO breastfeeding moms that are thinking Oh, please strangers, please notice me as I attempt to feed my baby in a less-than ideal location. Please look at me as I fumble with my shirt and stupid nursing cover. Please observe how my child is being less than cooperative and thwarting my every attempt to cover him. Please everybody, I am dying for your attention! Check out my milk-filled breast!
In reality, all of us are trying very hard to not be noticed.

And then there are the poor moms who never feel comfortable NIP.
Maybe they don't want to feel like people are looking at them funny or maybe they don't want to make other people uncomfortable. Or it might be just a personal thing that they themselves aren't comfortable with. And I get that. It was awkward the first few times when I nursed in public with Avery. It is like any other skill, it takes some getting used to. And to a certain extent, you have to get thicker skin. Is there a chance that someone might give you a dirty look or say something rude? Sure. But there are times when you don't have much choice, even if you'd prefer not to nurse in public.
So you face the choice: what do you care more about, feeding your child or protecting some stranger's idea of modesty?
Personally I feel that if people have a problem, it's just that. THEIR problem, not mine.
You don't like it? Feel free not to stare at my chest then. Problem solved.
Honestly in this day and age, any kid can turn on A&E to an episode of Intervention and see someone shooting heroin into their vein. This is socially acceptable television, but a mom quietly feeding her baby on a bench at the mall is inappropriate?

But there is also the other end of the spectrum. I have heard some moms tell stories of getting positive feedback. The more of us that ignore the negative criticism and just feed our babies when they need to eat (because seriously this is about a baby needing to eat, remember?), the more we are helping to make nursing in public more socially acceptable.
I personally love seeing women NIP. I sort of want to go up to them and be all like, "I know how hard and awkward this can sometimes be, but I think you are awesome. Rock on!" *Attempt fist bump* (And then awkwardly walk away....)

I must say that I have had way more positive feedback and looks than negative ones. I nursed Graham on our plane ride to Colorado both there and back. On the way out I sat next to a woman; on the way back I sat next to a man. Neither of them acted like I was doing anything out of the ordinary. We made the usual plane small talk, and it was no big thing.
I nurse Graham in front of both of my grandpas - men in their mid-70s. Neither one of them has ever acted uncomfortable for even a second, and believe me when I say that I would be able to tell with these two! It's just what I do to feed him, and everybody - including the older men I'm related to - is cool with that. 

And that is all nursing moms want: for it to be no big deal. What we don't want is to feel like we need to go hide away in some nasty public bathroom, because I am telling ya right now, I am NEVER doing that. Ever. Unless it's one of those ritzy bathrooms with an elegant little sitting room in the front of it. And if that's the case, you can find me there setting up shop with my ass firmly planted in a comfy seat with my feet up.

I am interested to see what other people think - men and women alike. Not just parents, but those without kids and single people too.
When/if you see someone nursing her baby in public, what runs through your mind?
Do you think that it's awesome?
Do you take offense?
Do you not even think about it because it barely registers or because it just isn't an issue?
Do you wish she was somewhere else more private?
Do you want to give her a high-five and a "Good work, Mama!"?
Tell me what you think.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday randoms

I meant to do another Five on Friday post to follow up my first one last week, but on weekdays Jared is sleeping in the spare bedroom (which is home to our desktop) due to the construction noise upstairs, and Blogger just isn't very compatible with the Ipad. So it didn't happen. The result of that is this random post.

On Tuesday I attended Bailey's first school conference.
She is old enough for this?!
Her teacher Mrs. Stelling said that she is sweet and considerate and gets along well with others. She said Bailey has never had any problems in school so far.
This comes as no shock to me. Bailey is a sweet child who is concerned with other people's feelings and with doing the right thing. She tells on herself for goodness sakes!
I did warn her teacher that next year she might have a different story to tell... Avery is so not my rule follower.

While there I also picked up her school pictures.
I am very pleased with them, especially since that day I asked her to show me how she smiled for her pictures and in response she gave me her biggest scowl ever, complete with just-try-me eyes.

Graham has been figuring out this walking thing. He took a few steps in a row the other day. He loves to stand in the middle of the room, just stand there all proud of himself for his accomplishment. I think he might actually walk and get somewhere in another week or so.
Hey Mom! Check me out!
This past Monday I went shopping with my mom and sister Justy to spend my birthday money. I have been truly desperate for clothing without a maternity panel or a snap-down feature for whipping out a boob when needed. Because basically that is all I have bought in the last 4 years.
Mission definitely accomplished.
With Justy's persuasion I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried on clothing I otherwise never would have given a second glance. I found a lot of things I really like. I spent the whole day only buying things for myself. There was no stop for groceries. No calling to check in on how the kids were doing. And no guilt at the enormously large meal we ate together. I think we all could have continued shopping late into the night, but alas, all good things must come to an end.

Week One of the bathroom renovation is complete. Our house is a dusty freakin' mess right now. And I refuse to get out the Pledge until it is all done. So if you were to come by our house, you'd need to bring your own dust mask. Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but you could probably write "Wash Me" on most wood surfaces near the bathroom.
The bathroom itself is coming along.
Why yes, we do have more than one outlet in the entire bathroom now!
After 5 days of work, it has a new ceiling and walls, along with some updated electric and plumbing. Oh and insulation, can't forget that novel idea! Hopefully this winter I won't feel the wind blowing through the walls as I step out of the shower.
Me last winter: a few weeks post-partum and breastfeeding.
Getting out of hot shower into cold room = nips that could cut glass = PAIN! 
So it's a year too late for my poor, tortured milk machines, but I am going to enjoy the new vent fan and heater just the same.
I am hoping by this time next week we are enjoying a functional bathtub and can say adios to showers in our cold basement.

Monday, November 4, 2013

our Colorado trip

Last week we spent a few days in Colorado with Jared's mom. Jared's grandpa passed away recently, and we journeyed out for the funeral and a short visit.

Norm served in the Air Force, so he had a military burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.
I had never been there before, but the view of row after row after row of white headstones identifying those who have served was breathtaking.

It was a small funeral and burial. The lunch following was small as well, but there was time to chat with Jared's family members and I met some new ones as well.

One child needs to be crying in every group photo ever taken, right?
At least that is how it appears in my childhood photo albums. Just keepin' the tradition alive!

The rest of the days were spent hanging out with Cathy.

Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Patch


Fun nights spent in the bathtub
And clearly if Graham is going to smile cutely, Bailey needs to salute and Avery will practice her best zombie face for Halloween.
Crazy cupcakes from Grandma Cathy's friend
A little Graham and Grandma Cathy time

Pumpkin carving and decorating
And then the flight back...
Yep, all three kids sacked out on Jared.
And Mama got to sit and read a People magazine.
(Don't judge our 11 month-old's fashion statement. His dress shoes are the only ones he can't get off.)
It truly was a great visit and went way too quickly.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five on Friday

Seeing as it is after 10 pm, I am a little late to the game.
And this late night action is actually my first Five on Friday post ever.
But I like easy, and blogging about 5 random things seems to be about the easiest thing out there.
So here goes! 

1) We arrived back from Colorado  yesterday afternoon. (More on that trip soon.) We unloaded all 3 kids from the car and went trick-or-treating an hour later. Everyone was on edge and Bailey was half-sick, but chocolate candy apparently does a lot to improve your outlook on life.

2) Speaking of chocolate candy, whose idea was it to get back to eating better today? Oh yeah, mine. One of my dumber moves. There is a huge pile of brown-wrappered mini bites of delicious just sitting on the counter right now, taunting me. I was actually doing pretty well with my decision. Then I spotted one of these bad boys in the kids' goody bags from our neighbors:

This is my heroin, people.
I made it until 8:15. Then I caved. It was delicious. Then I brushed my teeth to curb any more eating outbursts. Because clearly I am too lazy to rebrush. Problem solved.

3) On our flight to Colorado, we overheard the stewardesses talking about the service animal up in the front of the plane. And not just any service animal.
A service pig.
How sweet is that!?
Apparently the pig's neighbors in the surrounding seats were not amused. (Snobs.) I would have been all over that! It wasn't like a huge pig; it was small enough to sit on the lap of its owner.
Now if I go blind or something (one again, F you, diabetes) I might have to opt for the pig option, just to stand out in the crowd. And as my friends and family already know, I had a pet pig growing up. Not like the run-of-the-mill guinea pig or potbellied pig variety. I had a pig. His name was Persy and to this day I still get harassed by family members about how great the bacon tasted later. But I do not care, he was cool. I would totally post a picture of him, but I am a zitty lookin' 7th grader with horrible glasses who hadn't "thinned down" yet. So nope, I won't even post that embarrassing shit in Persy's honor.

4) We are so behind on our TV shows. This is a problem. I have certain addictions that need to be maintained! Between two out-of-state funerals and a husband passing out on the couch the second I put the kids to bed, we are weeks behind.
Nashville just might be my favorite show,
especially since Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones is not on right now.
You definitely do not have to be a country music junkie to love this show. Although that probably makes it even better. The music is pretty damn good.

5) Bathroom remodel starts Monday! Yippee!
And if you need a refresher on how overdue this renovation is, please click on this here little link: Our Purple Bathroom.
Gross, right?
Stay tuned: I plan to annoy you all with random updates on the progress.

Hope everybody had a happy Friday! I am off to bed. Finally.