Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Picture of the Day: Soft Intensity

I love this photo. I'm finally learning a bit about how to do a good black & white conversion.

Elizabeth and I are having a "fancy" day. She got to buy a Fancy Nancy dress today because she went for 7 days straight without having an accident (whew! it's been a long time coming!). Then we made a cake (it's my birthday, 31 years old today!) and she's been clip clopping around the house in her new dress and her "up" shoes. We also watched Enchanted and sang along to the great songs. It's a good day!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Walk down memory lane

A friend of mine sent me an email yesterday that made me want to cry. Don't worry, it wasn't anything bad. She jsut found some old photos from about four years ago on her computer and sent them to me. This is one of them...

Isn't it just precious? This is Jonathan when he was two years old hugging his best friend at the time, Maddy. This photo was taken about a month before Elizabeth was born. Four years doesn't seem like all that long ago, but the time in my life when it was just me and Jonathan all day long does seem like a very long time ago. It's just so hard to remember what life was like without Elizabeth and Gustin in it.

But, at the same time, I remember lots of little details. I gave Jonathan the haircut that he has in this picture. The shirt he is wearing was a hand-me-down from friends. He would rarely give hugs at that age, but Maddy would give them to everyone and it looks like in this picture she had finally convinced him to give her one back. Oh, and it's hard to tell, but his eyes are still blue in this pic. They started changing to green when he was about two and a half. Isn't that weird? I never new that eyes could change colors in a child that old.

Sadly, Jonathan doesn't get to see Maddy very often anymore. The playgroup that they were a part of slowly fell apart as some families moved away and all of us started to have more kids. But, it was such a fun and rewarding part of our lives. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a similar playgroup for Elizabeth. So many of my friends have started working again, most of them part time, and very few kids we know are Elizabeth's age. Most of them are either significantly older or younger. I really wish Elizabeth had a close little group of 5 or 6 friends like Jonathan did. Sometimes I really feel badly that I haven't been able to provide her with more opportunity to play with kids her own age. :(

What about the rest of you moms? Do you remember back when it was just you and your first child? Doesn't it almost seem like another lifetime ago?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Remember when I got my new camera and I blogged that I was so excited that I would no longer have a need for portrait studios? I thought it would be so easy to snap my kids' yearly portraits when their birthdays role around. Well, Elizabeth turned 4 almost three months ago and I just did her portrait. And, I'm realizing, that getting a good portrait when you're not in a studio is hard! It's difficult to find the right light, background, and camera settings not to mention convincing my subject to actually look at the camera and smile at the same time. By the time we were done I had taken a couple hundred pictures and my favorite portrait of her is a picture that I took while goofing around over a month ago! But, we got some fun outtakes. Here are a few...

We have the grumpy face.
The stare-y eyed face.
The straining at a forced smile face.
And, of course, many, many sticking-out-the-tongue face.
There were a couple of decent ones. Not great, but okay. At least, I think the grandparents will be happy.

And, even with all the hassle, I still prefer it over a portrait studio. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mommy, this is a picture of you when you were in your mommy's tummy

No confusion here. Is it really that hard to figure out when life begins?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Charles Update

Thank you all for your prayers! Charles is doing much better and is out of immediate danger. He still has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but he has definitely improved. His parents were even able to go and get some sleep, which to me is a real sign that he is much, much better.

I've introduced you all to Charles but you have not yet met the other two babies. I don't want to forget them!

Here's beautiful Gretchen. She's having a little trouble maintaining her body temperature, but otherwise she is doing wonderfully.

Here's little Michael. He is the one who had the pinched umbilical cord and was the reason why the babies had to be born last Thursday. He weighed about a pound less than the other two. You can see the folds of skin kind of hanging on his raised arm because there isn't any fat on him. Other than a little jaundice (that's why he under the blue bili lights) he's doing wonderfully, too. He wiggles, stretches and cries the most of the three.

And, here's one more picture of Charles. We haven't been able to experience much of his little personality because he has to be sedated. He's on a ventilator and you can see the tube that had to be inserted into his left lung to drain fluid and aid in his breathing.

So, there they are. Three little miracles. I have to say that it was quite an experience to be able to meet them this past weekend. They are so tiny and fragile, yet so alive and full of fight. They are such a gift, as all babies are. But, there is something about seeing these three tiny beings in the NICU that has just left me in awe. Somehow the boundaries between heaven and earth don't seem quite so solid in the presence of these fragile little souls.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Please pray!

This is baby Charles (a.k.a. Trio). He has suffered the most complications since the triplets were born on Thursday, one of them being a collapsed lung. He took a turn for the worse last night and is fighting for his life. Please, please pray for baby Charles. Pray for his healing and for strength and courage for his mother and father.

Blessed Mother, St. Jude, St. Anne, all you Holy Innocents, please pray for him!

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Jane Austen heroine are you?

As a great lover of Jane Austen, I couldn't pass this one up.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I think it's right that I have a good amount of Elinor Dashwood in me. I also have a good smattering of Anne Elliot in there, too.

I've always wanted to be more sparkling, witty or beautiful like Elizabeth Bennet or Emma Woodhouse or Marianne Dashwood. But, I'm so glad that Jane Austen wrote some heroines that are quiet, steady, and a bit wallflowerish. I can really relate to them. Besides, what would the world be like without the calming, wise influence of a few Elinors and Annes?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More prayers please

UPDATE: The triplets are here! I don't have much information yet. My mother-in-law said that the babies are doing well but "Trio" is a little sluggish. I've got to stop thinking of them by their nicknames. They have real names now! Welcome to the world Gretchen, Michael & Charles! You are such a gift!!

Thank you all for your prayers for all of us affected by hurricane Ike. I am so thankful for all of you wonderful women!

I have another request for prayers today. My triplet nephews and niece will most likely be born today. At my sister-in-law's last couple of ultrasounds, they noticed that "Duo" is not growing like the others. Something is pinching his umbilical cord and limiting flow through it. They admitted my SIL to the hospital yesterday, were going to do one more ultrasound this morning, and, if nothing changes, the babies will be delivered this afternoon. She is currently at about 32 1/2 weeks gestation.

Please pray for their safe delivery, for the health of the babies and their mother, for the doctors and nurses, and for my brother-in-law (who happens to be a doctor as well) who has been under so much stress. I think being a doctor makes it much worse because he knows the details of every little thing that could go wrong.

Blessed Mother, please watch over and protect these precious babies! St. Gerard, St. Anne, St. Gianna, please pray for them!

Update: The babies should be born around 4 or 4:30 this afternoon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm still here!

We made it through Ike with only some minor inconveniences. Our house did not suffer any damage (praise the Lord!) but we were without power until last night. So, I'm just now getting back on the computer to try to catch up on everything.

We left Thursday night and nervously watched the weather updates from Eric's parent's house. We headed back Sunday afternoon knowing that we would be returning to a home with no power, at the minimum. Since we did evacuate, we were able to bring back lots of supplies (tarps, generators, water, food, gas, etc) for both us and our friends and neighbors. We are VERY blessed to not have gotten any damage to our house. Many homes in our neighborhood had roof damage, broken trees and downed fences.

Last night we went to bring our generator that we no longer needed to some friends that are still without power just three or four miles east of us. What a difference that three or four miles makes! Trees were completely uprooted, roofs were gone, fallen trees cut through houses like knives, cars were smashed, power poles were down everywhere. I think it will be a long time before our friends' neighborhood gets power again. And, so many people have it so much worse.

I was able to go to the grocery store for the first time this morning. Jonathan actually had school today, though I doubt many of the kids will show up. Too many people are still without power and are still trying to clean up. Lines at gas stations are crazy long and ice is a very precious commodity. Eric is back at work. Since we have power, we are making as much ice as we can and Eric is taking it to work to give to his employees.

So, please continue to keep the many victims of Ike in your prayers. It will be a long time before things are back to normal for so many people. Things will never get back to normal along the coast and near Galveston. The destruction is so complete and devastating.

But, a disaster like this one really brings out the best in people. Neighbors are reaching out to each other and friends are coming to each others aid. I get frustrated with the news coverage because they only seem to complain about how relief efforts aren't moving fast enough, etc. I think it makes the people of Texas seem very ungrateful. But, in truth, everyone is so thankful for every act of kindness shown them and most people are being very patient with the situation.

The kids are the best. The lack of power or variety in their food or ability to get out of the house really doesn't bother them. They are so content with what they have right now and don't worry about the future. I could go on and on about the lessons we've learned from this natural disaster. It always amazes me how God can take something that seems so bad and make so much good come out of it. He is so good!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Please keep everyone along the Texas coast in your prayers as Hurricane Ike heads our way. Each new update of the forcasted path of the storm seems to bring it closer to us. Thankfully, we don't live directly on the coast, but there are still very real concerns about high winds, flooding rains, and unpredictable tornadoes where we live. Of course, those on the coast have even more serious concerns facing them.

I have to admit, I'm starting to get a little bit nervous. We are going into preparation mode now. I'll be buying some supplies tomorrow and we're discussing if or when we would evacuate. We evacuated during Hurricane Rita three years ago.

Is there a patron saint of hurricanes? I think I'm going to go google it right now.

Updated: It's St. Christopher! St. Christopher, please pray for us!

Update #2: We are heading to Eric's parent's house for the weekend, mainly because I'd be a nervous wreck if we stayed! I'll be back after Ike. Everyone in Ike's path, please stay safe!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Picture of the Day: Shove it in!

What do you do when you are 4 years old and you can't have dessert until you've finished all your supper?

Why, you shove all the food on your plate in at once until your mouth is so full that your lips need help keeping it all in.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Uh oh...

What does it mean when your washing machine suddenly belches some foul black/brown sludge into the tub and then stops and goes deathly still?

And, how many hours should I allow my husband to tinker with it and try to fix it before the dirty laundry overtakes our entire house and we are forced to go buy a new washer?

I give it 24 hours. Max.

But, I can't complain. We bought our used washer 7 years ago for $75 and it's never given us any trouble before. That's a cost per year of less than $11. I just checked online at Lowe's and their cheapest washer is $350. To be as good of a deal as our current washer, it would have to last for 32.7 years. Somehow I don't think that will happen.

Oh, I hope Eric can fix my old, rusty, dented, no fancy knobs/buttons/cycles/temperature settings washer! We'll never find a deal that good again!

Updated: It's fixed! Alleluia! Just a clogged hose. Cost: $0!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Picture of the Day: Watch out! Here I come!

Just don't tell him that he's not actually moving. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My niece

Isn't she just precious? We were able to see her this past week. What a little darling!I would also like to ask for some prayers for my triplet nephews and niece. They are doing great, are now at almost 31 weeks and could be making their debut at any time. Please pray that the delivery goes well and that the babies and mommy are healthy. Thank you!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My perfectionism is getting in the way again

I realize that it's been a week since I posted last. It's not that I don't have things to blog about. In fact, I have a list of topics that have been on my mind lately. So, why haven't I posted about them? Because I'm getting in the way of myself again. A couple of the topics are some things on parenting that I have been pondering for awhile and I need a good chunk of time alone with my thoughts to be able to translate them into written words. Therefore, I've been waiting for a chance to write when I'll have a good hour (at least) to myself, in the quiet, without interruptions, when I'm not too tired, etc. Of course, such an opportunity has not presented itself. If I want to get these posts done, I'm going to have to make them happen, even in less than perfect circumstances.

I thought Blair's post today was interesting. Her struggle is starting things and not completing them. My struggle is just starting in the first place. I guess every mom has her own unique issues that hamper her productivity. I think the fact that we can identify our obstacles has to be a step in the right direction. Right?