July 28, 2009

This little piggy

These two.

Thick as thieves.
After we tucked them into bed last night, we overheard them having a conversation, under the neon glow of their new clock.

They were discussing their kitties in their tummies(which were actually tucked under their pj shirts). And Finn was talking about "going to the hospital to have surgery"...to have their kitties extracted, by c-section of course.

My sister Jessica and I shared a room growing up and we always talked into the wee hours of the night. I'm glad my boys will get to do this too.
Yes, these boys are two peas in a pod.

But they can be so different.

Over lunch this sunday, John asked Finn, "What snack did you have at church today?"

"Nothing", Finn replied, "I knew we were having lunch soon and I wanted to be able to eat everything on my plate".

John and I exchanged *glances* at our son-turned-Pollyanna.

"And Calvin, what snack did you eat at church today?", John asked.

Calvin, with a HUGE smile on his face, "fruit loops!"

Yes, they are sooo different.

This little piggy eats fruit loops,

and this little piggy eats none,

This little piggy wears warm pj's in the dead of summer(and wears his socks up to his knees),

This little piggy wears none(this one must be wrested into jeans in the dead of winter).

This little piggy drinks gallons of milk,

And this little piggy drinks none(he much prefers water).

And this little piggy went...

"Wee wee wee" all the way home...

Well, actually Calvin went "wee wee wee" all over the dirt while I took pictures...and Finn barely made it to the rest room in Children's Place today...

July 25, 2009

my new job

I am no longer just a stay-at-home mom.(Not that I would ever call myself "just a stay-at-home-mom")

I got a little side-job.

I am now employed as a ....

..........drum roll please.........


Yes folks, I am now clipping coupons to eek out a living:)

My big-bad boss, John, said that for every penny I save with a coupon, I get to pocket that same amount. Not a bad gig. You should ask your hubbies...

On average, after days of clipping, I gross about $9/month, LOL.

It's quite the lucrative career. You oughtta see me bumbling and fumbling for coupons in line at Target...Yep, I am a high-powered career woman.

However, the other day, my ship sailed in and I scored BIG with a $25 gift card to Rite Aid for transferring a prescription.

If anyone has any tips, I'm all ears.

July 18, 2009

look who's here...

After moving past the mushroom/fun guy/fungi theme, I quickly settled on an owl theme for Twain's birth announcement.

I wasn't originally intending to use an owl, but I found a cute baby owl cartridge for the cricut, and was smitten by its sweet simplicity.

The baby owl cartridge was new and scheduled to be released at the end of June.

In the meanwhile, I ordered Twain some organic onesies and beanies, and made him a rough-applique owl onesie.

Enters girl and camera.

After manipulating my camera settings and getting everything situated, Twain would start to fuss.


and click.

Oh boy. This was not going to be easy.

Enters John. The ever present voice of reason.

After the umpteenth shot, he exclaims "Enough already, for crying out loud! Just pick a photo. This one. Or that one. They are all fine!"


Over things such as this, John really is from mars and I really am from venus. I wished he would come to my land of fairies and unicorns...and at least humor my attempts at capturing the magical and elusive picture of the perfectly coo-ing baby.

I was perfectly willing to wait indefinitely for Twain to acclimate to my camera, so I could get the shot I wanted. But John? Not so much. He wanted me to move on so he could get his tidy house back.

persistent girl + camera + screaming baby + unsympathetic husband = very frustrated girl.

And that girl may or may not have snuck in one more attempt the next morning, before throwing up her arms in despair and settling on a photo.

Meanwhile June turned into July and there was still no release date for the baby owl cricut cartridge. I was getting ants in my pants here! I called the company and they were not sure when it would be released. I was dismayed, mind you, having revolved my entire announcement around the silly thing. But I was not willing to sit around waiting much longer. I was going to have to improvise.

I kept trying to make the announcement more elaborate, but this just made it look worse. Sometimes less is more. So after all this fuss, here is my simple little announcement.

I used a different
cricut cartridge to make the yellow branch seen above.(And no, I did not cut it out by hand, as some have asked me:)

And here is the back.
I wanted to use the die cut of the baby owl here on back, but since it was not released, I had to use a bitmap instead. Such a sad tale.

And here are some runner-up photos, where Twain was not wailing his head off.

And of course, the photo I ended up using.
It's a good thing I enjoy wasting wiling away my time playing with cards like this...

July 16, 2009

my wemmicks

This is the sight I woke up to on 4th of July.

Finny and Gege reminded me of little wemmicks.

Wemmicks are wooden people that walk around giving stars to people they admire.

And they give dots to people they are not so impressed with.

There was a wemmick named Punchinello that was not very talented. He tripped and fell a lot and would say very silly things. So he got lots of dots.

This made him very sad.

Then he met a girl named Lucia, who had NO dots. And NO stars.

Punchinello wanted to be just like her.
So he asked what her secret was.

She led him to a carpenter named Eli, who was the creator of all the wemmicks.

Eli told Punchinello that he was very special...made exactly how he was intended to be. No mistakes. The dots only mattered to the other wemmicks. Not to Eli.

Punchinello slowly began to understand Lucia's secret. Lucia spent a lot of time with her creator Eli, and grew to learn that it was more important to believe what Eli thought of her than what others thought of her.

And so their opinions did not matter so much to her...they did not stick to her...and so her dots and stars fell off.

And as soon as Punchinello started to believe Eli, that he really WAS special, a dot fell off of him.
Dots or stars...matching outfits or clashing get-ups...I think my little wemmicks are very special too.

Narration adapted from my favorite Max Lucado story, "You Are Special".

July 13, 2009

my fun guy

After my c-section, when I was loaded up with morphine and other good stuff, I started tossing around ideas for Twain's birth announcement.

In my delirium, I thought I would do something with mushrooms and title it "Meet my fun guy". Get it? Fun Guy...Fungi?

Bad, bad.

Thankfully Becca and Lorie staged an intervention.

They were like, "Um, no. We can't let you do that". I guess friends don't let friends drive drunk. Or do lame birth announcements while drugged up.

So I switched gears and did something totally different. Not mushroom related at all. And I will show you soon.

However, I still had to get my little mushroom fix! So while on vacation, I embroidered Twain a mushroom onesie.

Introducing...my little "fun guy" :)

He has the biggest smile I've ever seen, but I have failed to capture it on film. He smiles with his whole face. I'm too busy drowning in his wild lopsided grins to grab a camera, so this picture will have to do for now. At least he looks happy!

Twain, at 2.5 months, you are:

GREAT at lifting your head while I am holding you. Or burping you.

You hate my camera and fuss every time you hear it click. Hence, I must use a binky to help pacify you during picture time.

You eat every 2 to 3 hours. Even in the middle at night. It doesn't matter if we supplement with formula or not...Hence, your mama is quite sleep-deprived. You are around 12 pounds.

And during the day, you like to take quick little cat-naps. See, here you are asleep...

And then, bam, you are awake!

and then, back to sleep.
Sleep issues aside, you are just about the cuddliest, squishiest baby ever. You just melt into me. Just like your brother Calvin. And you make the cutest little eeping noises when you want to talk to us. You especially love your mama and turn your head and eyes to look at her whenever she is around.

And as for me...here I am at 2.5 months into babyhood:

My incision feels much better compared to my previous c-sections. Knock on wood.

I am still trying to eat healthier. I feel sheepish to admit I have been counting calories lately. It sounds so antiquated compared to all the new hip programs out there. But basically, I need to know that I am getting enough calories to keep the boy fed~but not so many calories that we both turn into big blobs of protoplasm~

I was doing really great for the first week and a half. Eating all my Trader Joes food. I even lost 3 pounds. But then, my milk supply started to drop the past 2 days, so I had to increase my calories a bit. Oh well. I am not going to be losing weight very quickly. So, I will have to measure my victories in other ways.

Like celebrate the fact that I have not eaten any sweets(cookies, candy, ice cream, brownies etc...) in TWO WHOLE WEEKS!!!! This is huge for me. I am trying to detox from sweets for a whole month. Such addicting stuff.

And I'm also celebrating the fact that I have been exercising almost every day, or every other day!

Mind you me, it's mostly just prenatal pilates, LOL, but that still qualifies right? I tried the postnatal pilates and I am SO NOT READY for one-armed push-ups with one eye tied behind my back. So prenatal pilates it is! It's a pretty good work out. Never mind the fact that the host is in her 3rd trimester...

...or the fact that I am whacking a toddler with my weights when he walks by. Not to mention that same toddler bringing me boxes of Cheese-Itz and Cheerios and placing them on my head while doing leg lifts...or thrusting his shoes in my face while coming up for air doing sit-ups...all of this while the baby is screaming on the floor when he should be doing his baby pilates. AKA tummy time.

If this isn't enough, Finn and Calvin like to scrutinize me while I exercise: "Hey mommy, why aren't your weights all the way over your head like hers?" & "why aren't you breathing like her?"

That's when I throw in the towel and herd the boys out for a lovely evening walk around the park. But so long as I am moving and trying to get fit, I will most certainly count it as exercise! Those evening walks are quickly becoming the highlight of my day.

Sometimes I get into a groove with all 4 boys. We even make it to the outside world where there are actual people. Only to fall quickly out of my groove...and back into my house to recover for days on end. I imagine that is how life will be for the next few months. In and out of sync with the rest of the world.

I better sign off. My little fun-guy is not having fun right now. He's screaming for his mama...

July 8, 2009

the man in the straw hat.

You've heard of the horse whisperer
& dog whisperer
& possibly the baby whisperer

But have you heard of the kiddie swim whisperer?

Meet Mr. Bonetti. The man in the straw hat.
Charisma & Energy

Knowledge beyond description

& Super Sweet

He's pretty much the most amazing swim instructor known to mankind.

x 1000

Kid after kid after kid...learning to swim from this guy.

Sign-ups in January?
Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Last year, I did not sign up for swim lessons in time for the infamous Mr. Bonetti. So we signed up with some local teenagers, who pretty much carried Calvin around the pool the whole time. Crying.

Finn fared a tad better...but he was still a frantic, lurky, jurky swimmer at best.

And when Finn was swimming up and down vertically, rather than horizontally, they had the audacity to tell me he was a "sinker" because he did not have enough body fat to keep him afloat.


The reason Finn was a sinker was because he was not forcing his head and eyes down properly.

After witnessing my friends' kids swimming like fishies, I decided to give this guy a try too.

I signed up in January for swim lessons in June.

John and I took turns bringing them to swim lessons, for 9 days. It was the most entertaining and fascinating highlight of my summer. Each lesson was only 10 minutes long. Yes, only 10 minutes per boy.

But those were the most effective 10 minutes I've ever seen.

Right off the bat, I knew he was my kind of guy. He would shout to my boys,

"Get in the pool Punkin!"
or just "punk" for short.
He even calls his wife punkin.

And he would emphatically say,

"Look at my eyes. Look at my eyes. I'm not going to drop you. You are going to be ok!"

"Am I going to drop you? Noooooooo!" he would repeat a thousand times. Or every time Calvin started to wimper.
He made certain they felt 100% safe with him.

And every time my boys would make an accomplishment of any kind, Mr. Bonetti would start wildly splashing the water in excitement shouting "way to go boy!"

He was able to anticipate what my boys would do, even before they did it.

In just 90 minutes total, they learned how to:

breathe properly underwater,
and put their arms in the water like an arrow
kick their legs underwater
do some minor arm motions
jump off the side
reach the side of the pool if they accidentally fell in

but most importantly,