Monday, July 21, 2014

Today I Just Wanna Show Off.

I'm no seamstress by any means, but I made these cute, easy, matchy skirts for my girls back in May and just got around to taking a picture of them.  That's it.  Nothing more.  Just loved how simple they were and how cute they turned out.  The girls were excited about the fish and mermaid theme.  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Today I Wrote a Review for "Unbound Enchantment."

I'm terrible at reviews and book reports but every once in a while something comes along that really needs me to weigh in.  Unbound Enchantment is one such book. 

(i received permission from the author to post this photo)

Written by Kara Jaynes, this story the first in a series of novellas.  And I'm hooked!  The setting is an intriguing one with forest dwellers and city dwellers, completely pitted against each other.  The city dwellers have luxury, science and education on their side, yet they are completely lacking in ethics and empathy.  The forest dwellers are rustic and choose to live in a more primitive manner, yet they have magical abilities and definite grasp of right and wrong and the importance of personal freedom.

The story is action packed from the beginning!  Both the female (from the forest) and male (from the city) protagonists are interesting and draw you into the adventure.  I don't want to go into detail about the storyline or characters.  Just know that they worth getting to know.  I couldn't put the book down so it's good it was a short story, because it's not like I've got oodles of time for leisurely reading.  I'm completely left wanting more and cannot wait until the 2nd book is published!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Today I Have Four Little Girls.

Actually, I've had four girls for about a week now!

(first picture!)
May I introduce our newest little miss ~ Tate

(she was bigger than I thought she would be!  she would have been big like elle if she had gone full term!)
She was born in the 19th and weighed the same as Britt at birth.  That would be 7 lbs 11 oz.  19.5 inches (though the follow up doctor visit said she is actually 20.75 inches).

(sweet pea)
She's a little sweetie and has got all of us wrapped around her little finger.

 (Tony brought the older girls to visit the next morning.  hair brushing is not a priority.  :P)

I was induced on the 18th because of high blood pressure, even though I was only 38 weeks along.  They started with a cervix softener (that didn't really work) and then started me on pitocin the next day.  It was a long-ish labor, but was mostly pain free.  The more painful contractions didn't happen until my water broke (on its own).  At that point I asked for an epidural (an added measure to control my blood pressure, as well as pain).  It was a funny epidural that allowed me to feel my contractions at a low level and when the time came, the urge to push.  But my legs were completely numb.

 (love this face)

Pushing was the easy part.  The nurse had turned off the pitocin at that point and my body stopped contracting.  But I still pushed Tate out in under 5 minutes! 

 (several days later and at home.  four sisters!)

She was born at 6:49pm.  Just a little bit less than 12 hours after the pitocin (and hence, my labor) began that morning.  I was so relieved to see her!  I had prayed the whole time that my body would progress because it REALLY didn't want to go into labor!  

My blood pressure is good now.  Tate is good too.  The girls are making a great adjustment.  Elle is, of course, the one having the harder time with it, but I know she'll be fine in about a week.  They all are so happy to have a new sister and Ash can't get enough cuddle time with her.  Britt informed me that Tate is "MY baby, not yours or daddy's.  And Elle is Ash's baby.  So this one is MINE."  

I'm grateful for Tony who stepped in and took over everything, when we got home, so I could hang out in my room with the baby for days on end!  The three older girls were thrilled to have so much daddy time. 

I'm doing well.  Not healing as quickly as I have in the past.  But I suppose that's to be expected of a body that has birthed 4 children in under 7 years!  And now I have my Summer baby.  To go with my Spring, Winter and Fall babies.  :)  One for each season!  And I love that they were all born in even years.  2008, 2010, 2012, and now 2014.  Do I feel accomplished?  Yes, I do.  :)


Monday, May 26, 2014

Today I Went to the Seattle Aquarium.

How did you spend Memorial Day?  Did you have the day off?  Tony did.  We decided to take our kids to the Seattle Aquarium.  The last time we were there was when Ash was 6 months old.  So, it's been about 5 years.  And based on the cost of admission, it'll be at least another 5 years (maybe a decade) before we go back.  Geez Louise, that place is pricey!!! 

But, the girls had a blast and I got a lot of fun pics, so I'm not gonna complain too much.  ;)

 (walking across the skybridge, looking down on the seattle waterfront)

(ash, attempting to turn the wheel)

 (elle, experiencing the texture of a sea anemone)

(that's a biiiiiig fish tank)

 (britt found the octopus!)

(so many beautiful colors)

(britt and a fish)

 (ash, watching the seals)

 (my little family, on the dock - not sure why tony was wearing that coat...)

(cutie face)

(the girls had fun crawling all over this fun, sea animal themed sculpture)

 (some of the many fish we saw)

 (ash, was very descriptive about the fish she saw)

 (my own little fishies!)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Today I Made Playdough That Smells Yummy!

One time when I was dropping Elle off at the nursery at church, I noticed they were playing with really pretty, good-smelling, homemade playdough.  I asked them how they did that and the teacher said it was Kool-aid. 

So, I was excited to try out this recipe, from Over the Big Moon, for myself.  The recipe, photos, and instructions are perfect so I'm not gonna waste time trying to re-create it.  I also wanted to copy a friend of mine, who put glitter in her playdough and mentioned it on Facebook.  So, one of the batches had gobs of glitter added. 

I let the girls pick their own colors and we ended up with pink, purple, and red.  They had a ton of fun.  I loved the smell and that I finally found an appropriate use for Kool-aid.  ;)  This stuff is beyond easy to make. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Today I Got Out the Rainbow Ice.

Yesterday my girls and I filled various containers full of water, dissolved these colored bath drops in them, and then stuck them in the freezer.

Today I pulled them out and let the girls play with them in bowls of water.  Such a fun and simple activity.  When it gets warmer, we'll do this again and throw them all in the kiddy pool!


(i told her not to taste them, but she couldn't seem to help herself)

(rainbow ice!)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Today I Set Up a Scavenger Hunt.

We went to a birthday party for my dad, a sister and a brother this afternoon.  On the way there, I promised my girls a little nature scavenger hunt.  I had purchased a little kid's camera for them to share (Ash was very into it) and told them they could take pictures of the things they found on the scavenger hunt.  I also printed out a checklist of items in nature to find.  You can get the free printable here

We decided to do the scavenger hunt at Lisabeula Beach since it was pretty much on the way and invited my brother, sister-in-law and their kids to come play too.  We hunted and played and threw rocks in the water for about an hour, before heading to the party.

 (got our checklists and ready to hunt!)

(new camera and a really excited photographer)

(picture taking in progress)

(lisabeula is a small, hidden gem of a pebbly beach)

 (britt lost interest in the scavenger hunt quickly.  elle never did more than scribble on her checklist.  ash had to find every last thing and check it off before turning her attention to the throwing rocks in the water with her sisters and cousins.)

(my husband with his little girls and my brother with his little boys)

Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt?  Or to Lisabeula?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Today I Took my Girls to Dash Point Park.

This week has been broiling at 85 degrees.  Until today.  Today it was mid-70s and I consider that perfect.  Being pregnant doesn't help when the hot weather hits.  I should have taken the kids to the beach when it was so hot, but I was working to get a large order of unicorn horns (my etsy shop) finished. 

 See?  I love all the rainbow colors!  

So we went to go check out the beach at Dash Point Park.  I was really impressed.  There is actually sand there!  Most of the beaches are rocky in the Pacific Northwest.  The girls had a blast of course.  :)

 (excited to go!)

(just arrived)

(elle's flip flops are a tad too big always come off)

 (silly britt always has to make a face when i'm taking her picture)

(my three little joys)

(not cooperating for a mug shot of the sandy face)

(ash moved their stuff so many times because the tide was coming in)

(britt would be bored at a completely rock-less beach)

 My favorite beaches around here are KVI on Vashon Island (because it's where I grew up and is interesting and lots of sand) and Alki in West Seattle (again, good memories and tons of sand).  But Dash Point is one we'll be visiting a lot because it's the closest sandy beach to us and we all loved it.  :) 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Today I Cleaned Up Messes.

Elle has never been a particularly easy child, but when she started walking, she did become more pleasant and happy about life.  Actually, when I got pregnant with this currently cooking baby, all three of my girls were going through really nice, relatively calm phases.  For Elle and Britt it was the calm before the storm. 

Elle turned two and overnight became a little bull in the china closet.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that she breaks, destroys or makes a royal mess out of at least three things a day.  I honestly judged other friends when their kids were continually breaking stuff before I had a two year old Elle.  I thought they weren't being strict enough or something.  Nope.  That certainly came back to bite me in the butt!  Elle isn't always purposefully trying ruin and break things, but it's becoming very common to hear her say, "I bake it."  And she's not talking about cooking. 

Today I decided to send Tony a text every time she did something "naughty" (he usually hears about it all later in the evening).  

Here are the texts I sent: 

Elle recently covered every single page in a brand new library book with blue permanent marker.  It cost me $16 to replace.   So - if you have been wondering what I've been up to (besides growing a little person inside of myself), you now know that I've been trying, in vain, to keep up with my very busy, energetic two year old.

Britt has been going through a rough patch (ever since getting her tonsils out in February) and has reverted to screaming, tantrums and fit throwing.  Instead of communicating through rational conversations.  I'm not the most tolerant with such behavior so we're all working on patience together.  At least she does a pretty good job of making me laugh by playing the clown when she's in a good mood.  She's the biggest goof ball ever!

Ash has been taking on more responsibilities and enjoying it.  I can't even tell you how grateful I am that she (usually) enjoys helping and being "big."  I set her up with a sticker chart so she can do extra chores and working towards earning a doll or whatever else she covets at the moment.

I'm on the home stretch.  Due the first part of July.  The baby doesn't appear to have any more heart issues (soooo thankful!!).  I have gotten HUGE, which isn't any fun.  I crave lightly salted rice cakes constantly.  Elle is kind of obsessed with them too.  She calls them "cakes."  We went to the store to stock up and she was pretty stoked.  :)

So, that's us at the moment!