Friday, December 29, 2006

Getting more real

Mom just told me that they got their funds for the house so closing could happen soon. I told her to let the current owners know so they can start making arrangements. They still have to get the mold treated and the wiring straightened out and the final inspection. Plus 10 days to move, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm very excited, can't wait! Poor G1 is still dealing with some feelings of sadness and/or loss in regard to the move. He says he'll miss his friends (I will too, sniff), they will be too far away to visit very often (true), he'll miss this house (the only one he remembers), it's so nice and big... the other house has a lot of doors (I think meaning that it's not the open floor plan that he's used to). I kind of think that the sooner we can get settled in the new house, the better it'll be for all of us. Wish I had more time to pack (more time during the day, not between now and when we move), maybe I'll be able to do some packing this weekend, I hope I hope.

Almost Cruisin'

Eli is pulling up on things now and I will find him standing up in his crib, holding on to the side rail when he wakes up from his naps. His balance is getting better and better.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Aha! I knew it!

Another tooth showed it's face today and I'm glad that Eli's wakefulness has a reason. He actually slept in till 8:30 this morning which was mighty nice. Hope he'll do that again tomorrow.

Happy Boxing Day

When I lived in Malawi, Boxing Day was the day when we'd "box" up our leftovers or small gifts to give our help, and any other locals who provided a service to us. It was usually soap and toothpaste and practical things like that. Anyway, I regress... I am now over the Christmas hump and I'm still all in one piece, lol.

Sunday, we went to the pediatric ward at the hospital around noon and gave out gifts to the few kiddos who were there, also left a few more in the kids ER for the ones who might come through later.

Then we came home and we all cleaned house a bit, the kids cleaned in their room too so I could wrap presents. In the evening the kids and I acted out the Christmas story as read from the Bible by DH. We also sang a bunch of Christmas carols which was fun. Then we opened presents (well, the kids did anyway). We actually ended up with more than I thought. I forgot that DH had brought some dollar store toys home awhile back so I got them out of hiding and wrapped those (Dora dominos, a Dora velcro bullseye game, a plastic doll, some trucks, several stocking stuffers, and whatever I came up with the other day). I didn't get the quilt or finger puppets done in time so they will have to wait a little longer. They had fun playing with their toys till it was time for bed. Gigi played with her tea set with her ceramic doll. Then it was bedtime and mommy got to stay up till after 1 a.m. again working on Gigi's quilt.

Yesterday, after getting up, we did some more cleaning before my parents got here. After they got here, I started an apple pie and my rolls in the bread maker. While we were waiting for lunch, we worked on a puzzle. For lunch we had roti, vegetarian "conch" stew on rice, rolls (they were't done till everyone was done eating tho :(, green salad, and green bean salad (diced tomatoes, chopped small cooked fresh green beans, chopped boiled eggs, mayo & garlic salt to taste...yummo!). Very non-traditional, but very good! We waited on the dessert for a couple of hours to give our tummies time to digest. After lunch, we let the kids open their presents from Grandma and Grandpa. I know I'll probably forget something, but here's what I remember: a coloring book and large box of crayons each (these are for the older two unless I specify), a Russian hat for G1, matryoshka / nesting dolls for Gigi, a Leappad Word Wammer game for both of them, a firetruck and train that track a dark line on paper (a black crayon or magic marker line works), a quilt for Gigi and a box of real Legos (not Duplos) for G1. Eli got a graduated shape stacker toy (with the rings getting smaller as they go up), and a baby Leappad. After this, DH & I sat down with Dad so he could show me some things for the contract work I'm doing for him. Then a little before M&D left to go back home, our new neighbors came over with gifts for the older 2. I had never met the wife so it was really nice to chat with them for a little bit. They were really nice. I'm going to make some banana bread today or pumpkin bread to take over there as a thank you. I'll have the kids make a card too.

Eli started babbling "da da" yesterday so that was his gift to his dad. He also let me sleep in till 8:30 this morning so that was his gift to me :) He's doing much better so I think maybe it was just teething (he did get snuffy too) and hopefully he's past the bad part for whatever tooth is trying to come in.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

House Update

Mom's glad that they did a home inspection because the inspector found mold under the house which the current owners will have treated. Also there was a problem with the ground wires to the outlets so an electrician will have to come out and get that fixed as well. There is only sub-flooring under the carpet. If it had been hard wood, we'd probably have ripped up the carpet. Oh well... Also, Mom asked about their piano and they said that if their son didn't want it or have room for it, they'd be open to selling it. We can hope :) G1 is getting so good on the piano and I really want him to have one available to him at the new house.

Christmas Eve

I can't believe it's already going to be Christmas tomorrow. I'm not ready, waaaaah! I stayed up late last night knitting finger puppets for the older 2, got about 4 done. Well, mostly, I still need to add hair and faces. I'm hoping I can do that this afternoon during "quiet time" and I'll have to get the wrapping done then too. I guess it's going to be a craft kit for G1, a ceramic doll (for Gigi's dresser), a couple of other odds and ends from the thrift store, and the finger puppets. Plus G1 and Gigi will be exchanging dollar store gifts that I helped them get for each other. I hope it will be enough. This afternoon we're going to go to a local hospital and take presents for the kids who will be stuck in the hospital at Christmas. Tomorrow my folks will come down and bring more presents and I'll also hopefully have a quilt sewed up for Galena by then. Kinda tips the scales in her favor tho... hmm, maybe I'll save the puppets and quilt for tomorrow and we can open the other ones tonight. I feel kinda rotten because I didn't even have time to make anything for DH or my mom & dad. My intentions were to have a passel of finger puppets, a collection of nice knitted food, some sweaters, hats and scarfs for their Pooh bears, ... a scarf (Flora) for my mom, maybe some slippers for my dad, a manly scarf for DH... If I didn't have to work every spare moment, I would have been able to do it I think. Oh well, I just hope the older folk will understand. For DH (whose birthday is coming up in another couple of weeks or so), I might be able to knock out a scarf and I also have a couple of gift cards that I can use to buy some necessities like underwear/undershirts, socks, dress shirts, nice ties... I thought I'd wait for another week or so to let the holiday shopping/returning die down a bit before doing that.

The Wakey Monster

I think we have a "wakey monster" loose in our house. His job is to keep Eli awake as much at night as possible and ruin mom & dad's chances for a decent night's sleep. Yawn, yawn and loooonngg drawn-out yawn. He used to let me sleep in till 8 or 8:30 (before the time change), but since then, seems to want to wake up before the sun does. If I get to bed early enough it's not a huge problem, but last night (er, this morning), it was 1:30 a.m. And then he didn't want to sleep in his crib, he would wake up and cry every time I put him in his crib after nursing him. So I let him sleep in bed with us which worked a little better, but then I was more accessible. He's either trying to "up" my milk supply or his sniffles that he seems to have developed in the last day or so are interfering with his sleep. Ugh! I hope whatever it is decides to vamoose soon so I can get some better sleep again soon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


These are the physical pull up type rather than the disposable diaper type and they are being performed by Eli. He's also getting up on his knees, rocking back and forth so will be crawling soon. What a guy!

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Blue Christmas

I'm having such a hard time getting into the Christmas mood this year. I have the spirit and desire, but time and energy are another thing altogether. With 2 kids messing things up faster than I can clean and one baby crawling around (me going one step ahead making sure there isn't anything on the floor he could choke on...), I'm not getting a whole lot done. Plus I've started packing and the place is quite frankly a mess. I really want to find room for the tree... I really almost wish we could be in the new house for Christmas. We could put the tree in the living room (or family room for that matter) in front of the window, we'd have enough room... Oh well. I did get the mantle decorated and the kids put a bunch of plastic balls on our ficus tree, lol. I'm really hoping that I can get to it sometime this weekend or next week when DH will be home.

The House Story

It's really a pitiful story and yet is full of hope too. DH owns/runs/manages (with the help of 1 part-time employee, well, not counting me) a fitness franchise almost 2 hours north of where we are currently living. He's been in business for himself for 3 years and we're still not breaking even. In his defense, there was gradual growth and it was paying for itself for a few months prior to Hurricaine Katrina hitting. Then gas prices spiked and our membership started dropping. We haven't had an income aside from $400 a month that DH was able to pay me for awhile (I work part time handling the deposits). Last year I started doing some contract data entry work part-time from home which paid a little better, but still not enough to make ends meet. We've used up our savings, cashed in all our profitable stocks and bonds (we'd lose money after commission on any we still have), cashed in our retirement, racked up massive credit card bills, till finally we got a foreclosure notice and chose to avoid that with bankruptcy. Not a fun thing, but we really want to try to make the club work, we just need more time/a new start... yada yada. We've prayed and prayed about it and know we have lots of people praying for us. We feel that God is leading us to leave our house and probably to move closer to the club so I can help out more and so that we can be together more as a family. DH has been staying up there during the week so we only see him on the weekends. It's tough being an only parent during the week to 3 very active/needy (one nursing and in diapers) kiddos and trying to find time to fit in 3 or 4 hours of work a day. So we were going to have to see if we could find something in the $300-$500 a month range, but even that was going to be pushing our limits (after taxes, utilities, insurance...). Then my parents said they wanted to look for investment property up in that area and they'd let us live in it rent-free until we can get back on our feet or start making payments. My mom got on the ball right away and her realtor neighbor helped her find an older (40 years old) brick home about 10 minutes away from the club (hallelujah!!!), 3 minutes away from our bank (where I'd be making the deposits), 4 minutes from Wal-Mart (appologies to those who HATE Wal-Mart, but that's all we can('t) afford right now), very close to a library, maybe 10 minutes from my best friend, 15 minutes away from my brother and his wife (and the mall), a few minutes from the interstate... The house is on 2+ acres of land and even tho it doesn't have a basement like our current house, it has an extra room and both a living room and a den (which our house doesn't have) so it may actually have more room (at least more rooms). It comes with a pool (yee-haw, and it's fenced in), a treehouse, riding mower, some other tools and pool equipment and a long paved driveway. I am just so jazzed and almost can't wait for closing so we can start to move our things in. It'll be a cinch for DH to take boxes every time he goes up to work (till we finally get moved in for real). There are so many good things about moving up there, but we will really really really miss our church family down here. I wish we could transplant our favorites up there. I think that'll be the hardest part. It's not like we're going where we know no one, but it's still going to be sad. And it'll take time to build up new friendships... I just hope we can find a church that has a good kids program. I think our church down here does pretty well, but not all churches are like that. DH is going on the home inspection today, wish I could be there, but I really didn't want to have to spend the day up there and also didn't want to have to drive so far just to see the house so pics will have to do for now. As soon as my parents close, I'm hoping DH can go get exact dimensions of the rooms and what-not so I can draft up a more accurate floor plan. I'm so goofy about that sort of thing, I love to imagine where I'm going to put things, how things are going to look...

Swirl Ball

I made this knit ball for Eli for Christmas and thought I'd include how I "followed" (ahem, changed) the directions:

I use two different colored needles of the same size so I know which side I’m on, I had a green needle in my left hand when I was on the right side when I made this ball. Much easier than trying to keep track of what row you’re on. I didn’t bother with markers once I got the hang of the pattern.

Right side noted with + and wrong side with –.

Instructions for One Section:

For first section Row 1: Loosely cast on 30 stitches, turn.

For remaining sections Row 1: Knit next 4 stitches thru short row turn loop

and loop of next stitch (to close gap from short row turn from previous row), k
6, k next 16 short row stitches as before, k 5 (–) , turn.

For this next section, once I got started, I just knit till I got to the SRS
and knew that was my last stitch, then made a SRT and started the next row.

Row 2: + k 10, do a short row turn (SRT; yarn forward, slip next stitch purlwise, yarn back, move stitch back to left needle purlwise, turn)

Row 3: k 6, SRT

Row 4: + k 6, k into short row stitch from previous row (SRS), SRT

Row 5: k 7, k SRS, SRT

Row 6: + k 8, k SRS, SRT

Row 7: k 9, k SRS, SRT

Row 8: + k 10, k SRS, SRT

Row 9: k 11, k SRS, SRT

Row 10: + k 12, k SRS, SRT

Row 11: k 14 (to end of row)

Row 12: + k 14, SRS, SRT

Row 13: k 9, SRT (6 stitches left on left hand/wrong side needle)

Row 14: k 9, SRS, SRT

Row 15: k 9, SRT (7 stitches)

Continue on like this, knitting up to and including the SRS, then performing an SRT on right sides, knitting to 2 stitches from previous SRS, then performing an SRT on the stitch just before the previous SRS, working your way across the row till there are 15 stitches on your right side needle (5 stitches after you’ve knit the 9+SRS for that row).

For this section, k to two stitches before the SRS from the row before, SRS, SRT, do this on the Right Sides and Wrong Sides.

Row 32: + k 15, SRT

Row 33: k 13, SRS, SRT

Row 34: + k 12, SRS, SRT

Row 35: k 11, SRS, SRT

Row 36: + k 10, SRS, SRT

Row 37: k 9, SRS, SRT

Row 38: + k 8, SRS, SRT

Row 39: k 7, SRS, SRT

Row 40: + k 6, SRS, SRT

Row 41: k 5, SRS, SRT

Row 42: + k 10 > turn.

Change colors.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our New House

I'll add the gory details later, but for now I want to post a pic of the floor plan (Note: Since I originally posted this, I have a slightly more accurate floor plan here.

It's very rough, based on a pencil sketch that my mom made. I haven't seen the house yet, but I do have some pics:

Crocodile Tears

Eli is starting to cry real tears now. And when he giggles, he sounds so much like his older brother and sister, it's uncanny. He's only 7 months old!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Kiss kiss

Eli has started making kissing noises. It's really cute. Of course I can't seem to make him do it against my cheek, but it's a start.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Roll over, roll over, part II

Eli rolled over back to belly, for the first time (that I know of) yesterday. He's getting very good about twisting himself in my lap to be facing the way he wants. He has the military crawl down pat and will have the crawling thing mastered in the next few days. He loves to stand while holding on to something and tonight had a toy baseball bat (about 8" long) and was deliberately hitting something with it and grinning ear to ear every time he did (totally knew what he was doing). It's so cool to see the things that are happening with his development. Seems like there is something new every day.