Monday, April 27, 2009

My favorite four-year-old!

6 witty remarks
Happy birthday, Porter!

We had a little party on Saturday with some of his preschool friends; he got a Lite-Brite (luckyyyy), some Wubbzy DVDs and a couple of squirt guns. We'll have his family party tonight and I'm totally wrapping his gifts even though he already knows what he's getting. Because he was with me when I bought them, and because he's been sneaking into our closet about once a week to visit them.

Porter's birth predates this blog so I don't think I've ever written about his birth story (except for in my scrapbooks, of course). First of all, Porter was by far my kickiest baby, which I swear was a sign of things to come, and I had never been so gassy in my life. He was my earliest baby - he was due on May 14th but came along on April 27th, which would have been fine except that I was totally unprepared. (This seems to be a running theme with me.) I hadn't even gone into the nesting stage, and I hadn't even bought his infant seat - one of my funniest memories is standing in the parking lot of Burlington Coat Factory, in the rain, installing the baby seat while Matt held an umbrella over me, just before we went to the hospital. He was also my longest labor - I arrived for the induction around 3 p.m. on a Tuesday and he was born at 5:27 on Wednesday morning. Some of my other vivid memories include watching both 'Scrubs' and 'NCIS' while I was in labor, and also being starving. Because I was rushing around like a crazy person the day before, I hadn't eaten anything before I was induced, so I ended up going almost 24 hours on nothing but ice chips and a Popsicle. That's hard for anyone, let alone a pregnant woman. So, one of the first things I did when I got up to recovery was order a breakfast tray and eat every scrap of it.

Porter was by far the easiest to deliver - three pushes and he was out - and he was also the smallest of my babies. Being 2 1/2 weeks early, I was worried that he'd be tiny and fragile, but he weighed in at a pretty respectable 7 lbs, 5oz. He didn't cry too much in the delivery room and he was a great nurser - he latched right on and suckled for about an hour first thing after he was born. Porter was a good baby - he slept through the night at 2 months (I'm looking at you, Amy Louise) and he was always happy and fun to be around. And so gorgeous, with the blue eyes, light-blond hair and the fattest.cheeks.ever.

(I did get really depressed after he was born, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

Raising Porter has been a really interesting four years, as he is far from mellow (I think I've mentioned that a time or two before on this blog). However, he does have some traits that I really love like his musical ability (the kid is a great singer), his vivid and silly imagination, and his ability to love. Porter is so sweet and kind to his baby sister (the Earth actually revolves around the sun, but don't tell my son that) and he loves to come in our bed in the morning for an early-morning snuggle.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's done.

4 witty remarks
So, I had a really good job more or less offered to me on a silver platter, and I just got off the phone turning it down. It was a great position, generous pay, but it was 40 hours a week and I just can't do that right now. I can't be away from my kids for that many hours in the day, now that I have gotten back to being with them. It was really hard to say 'no' to the opportunity, but I had a really, really good reason.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What I'm up to lately

8 witty remarks

  1. Not working on Betsy's flower girl dress for Rob & Laura's wedding. Not at the moment, anyway. I did get it completely cut out and marked, which took the better part of a day. And I put in all the stay-stitching, the gathers, AND the basting, but I had to stop there because I am CLEAN OUT of white thread. Crazy thing to run out of, I know. (You can see here how I marked everything. Wouldn't it be funny if all that washable marker didn't wash out? HA HA.) JoAnn's is having a massive sale early next week so I will pick up some more thread, along with the blue material for the sash. In the meantime, I got a whole passel of photos printed (which is slightly less than a slew) so, there's always scrapping.

  2. Scrapping. Because it's fun, and also because I got some goodies in the mail. I actually wrote to Making Memories to ask them for a replacement of these paper snowflakes I got - the die was mis-aligned and some of them were cut funny, which is no big deal, but I'd heard they were good about replacing defective products. Anyway, they emailed me back and said that they were FRESH OUT of paper snowflakes (Maybe because it's April? I dunno) but they'd send me some other products for my trouble. This padded envelope full of joy appeared in my mailbox the day before Easter. I'm kind of in love with the colors (yay! green! I don't use enough green) and the little 6x6 paper pad will be perfect for card-making. Speaking of which...

  3. I finally opened my Etsy shop after wanting to for a really long time. Totally not a big thing but I thought it would be fun to make some cards & stuff and sell them. If you click on the cute little wolf on my sidebar it will take you directly to my shop.

  4. Making homemade stuff to give to people (from that 3 things post I mentioned a while back). I made a 'new baby' card for Emily, a birthday card for my mom, and some onesies for a lady in the ward who just had her FIFTH baby. Okay, I didn't actually MAKE the onesies - the good people at Gerber did that. But I did slave over a hot iron for a good twenty minutes, so that's gotta be good for something. (I also patched Betsy's school jeans while I had the iron out. I swear, that girl has cast iron knees or something.)

  5. Laughing at all the people who waited until the last minute to file their taxes. We got our refund forever ago. And it was our biggest refund ever, only because we paid a king's ransom in child care and health expenses in 2008.

  6. Trying to ignore the 937 pounds of leftover ham in the fridge.

  7. Also trying to ignore the Hog Heaven paper pack at Michaels. That is one of my favorite paper lines EVER (I even made a card with it that's being published soon. Yay!) but I truly do NOT need any more patterned paper. Like that's ever stopped me in the past. Don't even get me STARTED about the new Thickers at Hobby Lobby.

  8. Eyeing my non-nursing-accessible clothes with a bit of longing. Yes, Amy still views me as the walking lunch cart, and I am okay with that. But. I have this awesome dress I got at Target in the winter (on clearance for 6 bucks. Woo hoo!) that I have not worn once. It sort of represents the light at the end of the tunnel and my consolation prize for when I am not able to nurse any more.

  9. Writing fan fiction, because I'm a dork like that.

  10. Obsessively refining my Pandora station. I know you can have multiple stations but I prefer to have one big giant mishmash. The other day it played CSN&Y, and then Buffalo Springfield, and then The Byrds, and then I think Stills & Nash or whatever that last incarnation was. And while I could listen to 'Rock and Roll Woman' I thought that was a pretty funny combination. Not so much with the variety.

  11. Hanging out with other women from church. Dude, I love being a stay-at-home mom again. We've been doing brunch (which sounds a LOT fancier than it actually is) every Wednesday, more or less. I'm hosting next week, mainly out of pure selfishness, so that I don't have to leave early to come home and meet Porter's bus. (Which sometimes comes at 11:30 and sometimes at 11:55. Oh well, you get what you pay for.)

  12. Number 11 notwithstanding, applying for some part-time chemistry jobs. And fielding calls for Matt, which is a good thing. He had 4 prospective employers call him in two days... and they were all women, so I've started teasing him about that. Fingers crossed that one of them will come to fruition. (Not one of the four, but can you believe Sallie Mae is hiring again? Crazy!)

  13. Wearing my glasses a lot more, because I'm down to my last pair of contacts and we have no vision insurance. We also have no dental, so don't forget to floss, kids!

  14. Totally pumped to rock out to the New Kids On The Block in June with my awesome SIL, Mandy. Oh oh o-o-oh, the right stuff.

  15. Getting ready for Porter's birthday party, which I totally forgot is in like a week and a half. We're heading down to HobLob this afternoon to gather party supplies. I made these awesome invitations, or rather I made one invite and then scanned it and uploaded it to Walgreens, because they're having a 10-cent print sale. It's really cute, and I'd post it here except that it has all of our personal information on it (address, phone number, blood type, last 3 library books checked out, etc.) and I don't trust you people.

  16. Excited for my parents & the little girls to come out in May. I'm totally planning a ton of fun stuff to do. (Children's museum? Check! Fabric store? Check! Antiquing in our awesome downtown? Check and check! Steak n Shake? Is pretty much a given. Art museum? Only if there's time after all the other fun stuff! Who needs sleep, right?)

  17. Wondering if the sun is ever going to come out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's official

4 witty remarks
Now that she's opened presents and gotten frosting on her cheeks, Amy is truly one year old.

If you are wondering what the inspiration was for the big smile on her face in the above photo, it's DADDY. Every home should have one!

And yes, I did color-coordinate the wrapping paper to her outfit (both of which are selected to match my scrapbooking supplies). So what?

This is probably the only photo from the present-unwrapping session that doesn't have ONE or BOTH of her siblings "helping" with the gift. I actually had to banish them to the other side of the room, which lasted for about a second. But, it's a proud older-sibling tradition to be unusually interested in baby toys on birthdays and Christmas. And to Amy's credit, she didn't seem to mind. She's so used to the noise and enthusiasm of her brother and sister, I think she actually thrives on it.
Look at me being all artsy with the camera. Actually, I took the picture straight-on and then used the 'straighten' tool in Picasa to tilt it. I also used the 'focal b&w' button to make the cupcake even more delicious-looking. Now, for a lot of scrapbookers, fancying up their photos is as natural as breathing, but I kinda stink at the photography side of scrapping, so this was a big deal for me. Baby steps, Joni. Baby steps.

This one was kind of gratifying. None of my other ones really went for the cake on their first birthday. This time around I made cupcakes instead of a cake and now I wish I'd done that all along. A cupcake is the exact perfect size for a one-year-old to pick it up in both hands and get a faceful of pink frosting. She still wasn't too messy - no frosting in the hair or anything - but I think that's because she was more concerned with eating than with playing. When it comes to desserts, she doesn't mess around. That's my kind of girl, people.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One year.

5 witty remarks
That was then, and this is now:

Check out my baby's footwear, huh?! That's pretty typical attire for her. Amy actually prefers to be barefoot but those sneakers are a little more work for her to get off, and she had other things to do... those buttons aren't going to push themselves!

Man, it kills me just a little, that she's (probably) the last baby and she's not going to be a baby for that much longer. I, um, kind of have a thing for babies (as you may have noticed by now). That said, as much as I loved it when Amy was squishy and tiny and wrinkly, she's sure a lot more fun now. Newborns don't blow raspberries or play peek-a-boo during a diaper change or sing along (and conduct!) with the hymns at church (and maybe keep singing after everyone else is done, just because they like the sound of their own voice).

We're actually celebrating on Saturday, because it's easier and because her cousin Miles is coming up for a visit. I'll be sure and get a lot more pictures.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blah blah blah music blah blah.

3 witty remarks
Anyone who's spent too much time around me in the last couple of years has been forced to listen to me extol the virtues of Yahoo Radio. I discovered a while back that I could create my own customized radio station just by listing my favorite genres, artists, and songs, then listen to it all day long while tutoring or folding laundry or whatever - for free. (Sure, you had to put up with a few commercials every hour. And you could pay, like, $5 a month for commercial-free, but I'm too cheap. Every dollar spent on tunes is a dollar not spent on awesome scrapbook paper.) Over a period of time I refined my station to reflect my dizzyingly wide array of musical tastes. Because where on earth can you go from Death Cab to Steely Dan, followed immediately by a Baroque concerto, the Crunchy Frog sketch by Monty Python, and then a couple of tunes by Sinatra? Only on the internet, that's where. And I liked that it would suggest new stuff based on my preferences, so I discovered some bands I'd never heard before (Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, say, or Rogue Wave) as well as rediscovering some older ones (I had no idea I liked Guster or Joni Mitchell so much). Of course it took a little while to winnow out the music I hear far too often on the real radio, as well as what I just plain don't like. For example, the computer assumes that if I like Led Zeppelin, I must also like AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne. This is an incorrect assumption. Van Morrison, yes; Rod Stewart, no. Dave Matthews Band, yes; Green Day, no. You get the picture. But after a couple of years I had something like 1,000 ratings saved so I had it pretty well tailored to my preferences (including about eleventy-million different recordings of Ants Marching, which after all these years I still think is pretty much the best song ever).

So anyway, now that I am staying home again I logged into Yahoo so I could listen to some free music and I found out, it was gone! Apparently they sold the whole Yahoo Music concern to CBS or something, and all of the user-customized stations got deleted! Which isn't a problem on the scale of earthquakes or pirates, or even layoffs, but it's a bit of an inconvenience. So I've been looking around for an acceptable substitute. I found out about Pandora on a scrapbooking blog, actually, so I've been trying that out. It's free, which is the primary recommendation, and you can listen to it on your iPhone, assuming you're hip enough to own an iPhone. (I'm not even hip enough to set foot inside the store.) Pandora is definitely different than Yahoo, better in some ways (like the profanity filter, which never seemed to work on Yahoo. This is a problem when you like Ben Folds as much as I do. Great music, lotta swears.) If this doesn't work out the way I want it to I'll try another site; any suggestions? I know about Rhapsody but I think you have to pay for that one. Have I ever mentioned being cheap?

Also, speaking of music, one of my favorite new-ish shows is Chuck (which is in its second season) and they have really been bringing it, soundtrack-wise. I've been starting to annoy Matt because every episode I'm like, "Oh man, this song is aaaawesooome!" and then he can't hear the dialogue or whatever. Enter TV Show Music... problem solved.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring: Broken.

4 witty remarks
So, the kids are on spring break this week. And it is freezing. It actually snowed yesterday (apparently the universe doesn't realize that if I wanted snow in April, I never woulda left Rochester) and it's supposed to be in the thirties and forties all week. Nevertheless, we are determined to make the best of it. My goal is to do something fun every day. Yesterday, for example, we went to the pet store (and cleaned the basement. Fun! Yay!); we also have trips planned to the zoo, the Children's Museum (for the first time since before Amy was born), the library, and Chick-Fil-A. Yes, Chick-Fil-A counts as 'fun.' Their food is delicious and they have an awesome play area.

Speaking of things that are broken, I went to Wal Mart yesterday and one of the things that I picked up was a replacement copy of The Princess Bride. Can anyone guess what happened to the original? If you guessed 'The kids broke it' you're dead on. Anyway, I got the brand new disk home and, guess what? That one doesn't work either. I was kind of bummed because now how am I going to know who is and isn't left-handed? So, I'll have to make yet another trip to Wal-Mart (which actually is a big deal because I usually only go there once a month or so) but it will totally be worth it to have The Princess Bride again.

Another thing that seems to be broken: I can't figure out why my blog posts are not showing the date. I keep going in to edit the template and it says that the date is already being displayed. Must be something broken in the new template... any suggestions? I am so not a computer genius.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


5 witty remarks
My blog was starting to look pretty dingy, so I trawled the 'Net for a new style. Luckily there are like billions of free Blogger templates you can download (I've even saved a few for when I get tired of the laundry line). I've been working on re-building all my sidebar widgets; I think I've got everything in there except for my Web album of scrapbook layouts.

Up by the little birdie you can type in a search term and actually search my blog posts, which is pretty neat. If you're wondering how many of my posts contain the word 'poop,' the answer is: More than one. (Ditto with 'boogers.' I guess we know what kind of blog this is, don't we.)

And now that I'm looking at it, I'm realizing that the little B&W picture of me over there is seriously old. I took that picture when we lived in the old house so it's been at least three years. Looks like it's time for another self-portrait!

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