Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day



To all the military service people that
have given the ultimate sacrifice,
thank you.

To all the families that have lost a loved one
in the fight for freedom,
thank you.

For your selflessness,
thank you.

Those that continue to fight for freedom,
thank you.

My family will forever be indebted to you.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Weaning from the paci's.

We always said the magical age would be 2. I've heard how it can be horrible but I've also heard how easy it can be. Well, I would like to take the middle of the road on this one. It hasn't been nearly as painful as I thought.

You know, our Sofi is totally attached to her paci. Always has been. We tried to do the pink Soothies as they got older but there was nothing, I mean nothing.like.her.turquoise.paci. N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

And, to be totally honest, I found it quite endearing. Loved it. Loved her sucking on it. Loved how it calmed her down. Kept them "babies". Yep, as much my "vice" as theirs.

Gabi, my girl definitely needs her paci to sleep. She can take it or leave it for most of the day but needs it when she is upset. Many days, she has gone completely w/o except for nap & bedtime.

What triggered the change? Well, like I said before, the magical age of 2. And I promise, it would have happened them BUT *I* wasn't ready. Nope, call it fear of the unknown or what ever, I just wasn't ready.

Then...dum-dum-dum...we went out to Hobby Lobby one magical morning & I forgot the paci's. Panic set in. I was worried about the dreaded temper tantrum in public & nothing to sooth my baby girls b/c you know Ian doesn't take one. Not only did we leave the paci's, we also left the blankies. Total disaster waiting to happen.

And like I said, it was a magical morning b/c NOTHING happened. They were perfect angels so I just went w/ it. When we got home, they didn't seem to care that their paci's weren't hanging out & about. Then it was naptime & they were so happy to get their paci's that they laid down immediately & were asleep faster than I could close the door.

I guess that missing your paci can be very stressful. I mean, what else do kids this age have to worry about?

Anyway, they woke up. Then the trauma of the situation set in. I explained that the paci's were for cribs only. Oh dear, did the crocodile tears start up. It was quite the emotional afternoon for Sofi. Gabi, didn't seem so phased.

Until...the next morning. When I told them that their paci's were for cribs only, she started boo-hooing away. Nothing was going to stop her from protesting. Oh, & after morning quiet time, when they were so elated to have their paci's b/c quiet time is in the crib, that morning was so-so. Not nearly as bad as the previous times.

Naptime brought a very happy reunion w/ their paci's. And when they woke up, Gabi proudly exclaimed "Paci's in cribs. No paci's outside crib." She put her paci down & was ready to go play. After this display of bravery, Sofi followed suit.

It has been painless ever since. Maybe 24 hours that were really rough. Not too bad for ditching paci's anywhere besides the bed. Now, I need to work on the next challenge. I'm not ready yet. I don't think they are either & just many other things, there will be a time that paci's will disappear from the crib. Just not yet.

PS ~ I even cried & had an adjustment period. Yes, Mommy is a softy...sometimes.

PPS ~ Some general cute pics. I haven't posted any in a while.


Ian giving a shout out to Tupac.


Mom, really? Do you have to take a pic w/ my mouth full?


Awe, that smile...perfect!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The fruits of our labor

Boy are they yummy! That whole afternoon we spent planting the garden, well...we are fruitful or vegitable-ful. Yeah, I made up a word. Not sure how else to say it. What I can say, the lettuce & tomatoes are D.E.L.I.S.H.

I'm pretty proud at how well our little garden is growing. Todd & I were able to eat a really good salad for dinner last night, with the lettuce I picked from the garden as well as 2 tomatoes. I can't wait to see what our salads will look like when the rest of our yummy veggies grow!

This is the 2nd part of our garden. I planted some carrots, from scratch! They are much bigger now.



Here is some of the lettuce I picked to eat last night. YUM! And, oh so fresh. Seriously, can't get fresher than this.


Our 1st ripe tomatoes. They are the cherry tomatoes but still good.


Here are comparison pics. The 1st is from the day we planted.


And now look how big the plants are!


I've got to say this is much more fulfilling than I ever expected. I love seeing our garden grow! And to think I was intimidated.

Monday, May 24, 2010

No more AFO's, leg braces!

Today was Ian's 6 month follow up at Hope Orthotics. Have I mentioned how much I like it there? Jason is really good w/ kids. He is also very understanding when Ian has cried bloody murder in the past. So, thank you for putting up w/ Ian's crying!

Now, let me back track a bit. See, the PT that evaluated Ian in Feb came back out at the beginning of the month. His opinion was on the fence about the AFO brace but he still recommended we keep Ian in it. His primary concern is that Ian's calf muscle is a bit 'tight' & can cause him to stay stuck in tippy toe position. Now, he didn't remeasure Ian's flexibility the last time he was here so I'm not sure if he realizes how much Ian's range has increased. Either way, I'm not one to question.

THEN...our primary PT came out & said she really felt strongly that Ian would do well w/ just the Sure Steps. She recommended that I tell Jason everything, let him read the recommendations, look at Ian as he is also a certified PT & make the final call.

That is exactly what I did. Jason looked at Ian walk w/ & w/o his AFO's & determined that he is ready & will benefit from the Sure Steps. AND that means no more AFO's. We are done with them, at least for the next 6 months! We will reassess but he is fairly certain w/ the progress that Ian has made that we won't have to worry about the tippy/pointy toe thing.

This is cause for celebration!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

hEvan...the new Etsy store!




For some reason,
I am very driven to help Brandi & David.
The task has been placed on my heart.

I've been able to gather
$4000 in donations in 7 days.

BUT,
that just didn't seem like enough to me.

I think there is something bigger in the works.
Bigger than I ever anticipated.
Brandi & I have already talked
about something special & honestly,

I see it brewing.
I'm excited.
Excited to be part of this!

The new Etsy store is open.
It's called...

hEvan

in honor of Evan Navarro,
of everything that Brandi & David have had to endure.

All proceeds will go to help offset the costs
of the funeral & the hospital bills.
Please consider purchasing something.

Here are some yummy items you can purchase...

We had 4 crochet beanie hats but now we are down to 1. Hurry!


And what about this precious pouch?
Perfect for newborn pics!


Domino necklaces are the big thing right now.
This is perfect for every day wear or for church!


And if I was able to wear necklaces, just because,
I would totally rock this one.
It is so delish!
Besides, turquoise IS the new pink.


All proceeds, 100% of them,
go to Brandi & David.

AND...

I'll be adding more items as I get them.
Something a little like this.


And if my girls look cute in it,
just imagine yours.



This dress also comes in pink/black/white.
Super cute for pictures!

And, that, my friends,
is all for today.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Singing Happy Birthday

Grandma & Papap got this card for Gabi for their birthday. Yes, I'm just now blogging about it. Don't hate. Anyway, she loved the card. She is a singer anyway but she loved singing along w/ the card until it eventually died, the card that is.

I got video. She'll kill me one day when I bust it out for her boyfriend to see. What ever. Total cuteness! And I need a pick me upper. Makes me smile every time I see it. Hopefully it will put a smile on your face too!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An inspirational story...I must share.

I suppose when you see a friend go through a tragedy, one that you cannot prevent nor help in any way to ease the pain, you reach out. Most people renew their faith in God or another higher power. Some reach out to family & friends. Others just shut down completely & question everything & every belief they have ever been surrounded by.

When we lost our 1st baby, a miscarriage at 8 weeks, I was so angry. In particular, at God. I just didn't understand why we would get pregnant the very first time we ever tried, only to lose the baby. THEN, to have to fight infertility after that. It just wasn't fair. But, I didn't turn my back on Him. I believed we were walking our path for a purpose.

To our surprise, it was to be blessed w/ triplets. The 3 most amazing people in my life, ok...3 of 4, can't forget Todd. We needed to go through everything to be able to have them. Not that the pregnancy or how we got them was easy but that is a whole different story.

Along the way, I met some amazing people, many whom were walking in our same shoes. Norina was one of them. She & I went through our losses together. We were there to support one another. So, it doesn't surprise me that she came out of the woodwork when I started writing & collecting donations for Brandi. Norina is amazing. Beautiful. A wonderful & deserving mother.

She passed along a beautiful story. A sad story. One that will make you cry. The family, the Smith's, lost a beautiful baby girl. Now expecting another baby girl, this is their story through their time of pain.







And the song they wrote about beautiful Audrey Caroline.



I'm not one to go to church every Sunday, although I probably should, & I don't like to preach the word of God to anyone that will listen. I do believe & what this family decided, that there was no Plan B, I totally agree with. We endure pain for many reasons. Many times we don't understand til much later why, if we ever do understand.

I know I have a personal relationship w/ God. He sent me to Brandi & vice versa. I only hope I have made a little difference & am able to repay in kind what so many others have done for us during many dark moments in our lives.

Thank you to all!

PS ~ Brandi is now at home. Evan's funeral will be on Sunday, May 23rd. I am still accepting donations. My goal is $4000 & am currently $480 away from reaching that goal. Please consider donating!

Paypal ~ divinedcakes@hotmail.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brandi is still hospitalized.

If losing her 3rd child isn't enough.
My poor friend continues in the hospital.
They thought it was fluid in her lungs.

Turns out it is pneumonia.

AND,

A partially collapsed lung.

Yes, for real.

Not only do they have to pay for a funeral,
now they are going to have to pay some
serious hospital bills.

Not fair.
Life isn't fair.
But at least it is normally spread out
for others to experience.
Not for them.

Not sure when she will get out of the hospital.
I'm asking, begging...
please donate to her.
Any amount is better than no amount at all.

Paypal info...
divinedcakes@hotmail.com

Thank you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Needing Donations...get ready crafty people!

Brandi is an amazing woman.
Her husband, just as amazing.
Together, they have endured the
stillbirths of 3 children, &
one early miscarriage.

They are only 26.
What a tender age to experience
something so devastating.
No one deserves to be dealt
that kind of pain.

NO ONE.

I'm banning together w/ some other crafters.
We are going to create an Etsy shop
& sell some yummy things
to help offset the cost of the funeral.

Yes, a funeral.
What mother should bury their child.
The 3rd one?

So, if you are crafty & willing to
sew something,
knit something,
crochet something,
hair bow something,
paint something,
or any other "something",
then please contact me.

You don't even need to ship it to me.
Just take pictures that I can use in Etsy.
When someone purchases it,
you ship it directly.

The money will go directly to Brandi & David,
for Evan's funeral.

My heart aches for them.
God Bless you all!

divinedcakes@hotmail.com

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The McKinsey Family...in need of prayers!

Brandi is a dear friend. Long story short, we met online quite a few years ago through a site called Just Mommies. Many of you following know about JM. Some of you don't. It is a community that has supported me in some of our darkest hours & continues to rally around those in need, particularly Brandi, David & her soon to be born son, Evan.

Brandi & David have fought fertility issues, beating the odds & getting pregnant on their own w/o assistance after IVF, only to have lost 3 chidren, Asher & Noah in Aug. '07 (non-viable conjoined twins), & Tres in Nov. '09. Now she will lose yet another child, due to incompetent cervix. Evan is only 21 weeks 3 days gestation which means there is a slim chance he will survive his birth today.

On top of that, Brandi has fluid in her lungs & a raging infection due to the bag of water having been bulging for a few days & Evan being half in & half out of the uterus.

Many have rallied around Brandi, David, & Evan in prayers. It is in my heart to tell everyone about this situation in hopes that you will consider praying for them & possibly donating to the situation. Brandi will likely remain hospitalized for some time, to control the pneumonia, low blood pressure, & infection. She will not return to work until the next school year.

David, bless his heart, has been by Brandi & Evan's side since the hospitalization & is also not working. What a strong man & father.

I am asking, begging...if you have anything to spare, even a dollar, to help this family. They are young, still in their mid 20's. No couple should have to go through the struggles Brandi & David have had.

If you are interested in donating, please send money via PayPal to divinedcakes@hotmail.com.

I will be taking donations for as long as I can. If you can't help monetarily, please say a prayer. Evan is or has already been born. My last update was at 8:30 am & they were starting pitocin. Since he was already so far out, it wasn't going to take long.

Thank you.

You can follow Brandi's blog BABY STEPS.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The 1st to potty on the potty!

You'll never guess. Not in a million years. Um, unless you read FB & then you know. Yeah, we expected Sofi to be the one. Nope, no chance in hell.

It was IAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our boy can't talk but he sure can pee in a pot!

How it happened. Besides the obvious interest they all have in the potty, I put them on their own Sunday evening after baths & thought for sure they would pee since one of them always manages to pee somewhere on the floor or carpet after getting out. None, not a drop.

Then, yesterday. They were all fanatical about the potty. They sat on them for over an hour in the evening after Todd got home. Sofi ALMOST went poo. Almost. But she got scared or it hurt or something. Didn't happen. Didn't matter how many times I put her back on the pot. She just wouldn't do it. Eh, ok. What ever.

Then...

tonight was bath night. Potties after bath once again as Todd & I watched.

Hoping.
Praying.
Just one spray.

You should have heard us encouraging the kids. So funny! Yes, we were even making the pee sound. You know the sound I'm talking about...pssssss, pssssss. And then, out of no where, Todd starts yelling, "Ian is peeing, Ian is peeing!" I think he scared the pee back up. Yes, seriously, back up. Ian looked up at his Daddy, so proud & yet probably wondering what the big deal was.

We did the potty dance. We high 5'ed one another & then we high 5'ed Ian. Yes, this was the highlight of our day. Of our month. Maybe even the year.

Ian is finally the first in something positive. We couldn't be prouder!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Leg Braces

Let's see, this all started in October w/ the recommendation that Ian wear AFO's, hinged ones. That meant they wanted his foot/ankle to not extend past 90 degrees but wanted him to be able to flex his ankle (opposite of pointing).

Why? Well, that damn cerebellitis robbed him of stability & allowed his muscles to reform incorrectly. Specifically, his calf muscle on the left side redeveloped a bit short causing his foot to pronate. They thought it would be a much quicker fix if we got AFO's (ankle-foot orthoses, orthosis = brace). So, hesitantly, we agreed.

You know, no one wants their kids to wear these big bulky braces. That's just the truth. It opens the door for some to ask questions or to assume the worst of a situation. Luckily, we haven't encountered this. Wonder if it is b/c we just don't go out as much? Could be. Also, they are a pain in the ass. Putting them on 2-3 times a day. No fun. Good thing Ian is just an easy going kid. He doesn't seem to mind at all.

We were initially told he would wear them for about 3 months. That came & went in February. I decided to ask the lead PT to come to the house & assess him. The discussion ended in Ian still needing the braces & reassessing his feet in 3 months which coincided w/ the timing to visit Hope Orthotics for a brace fitting follow up.

Then, last month his PT assistant said it was time to take him out of the braces a majority of the time & probably move to something called a Sure Step support system. I was so stinkin' excited! Just in time for the unGodly hot weather that has already arrived. He only had to wear them outside. YAY!

This, of course, was a short lived situation. The lead PT came back out to assess him again. Mind you, the last time we saw George, there was talk of spring loaded braces for sleeping to help stretch out that calf. I was a bit nervous but very hopeful & excited about ditching the AFO's. Did I mention they get stinky? Ewe.

The good news? No spring loaded braces & his right foot is ready to be out of the AFO & graduate in to a Sure Step. The not so good news? His left still needs to be in an AFO. My one leg wonder. Great. 1 big bulky brace.

Eh, progress is progress. My concerns are superficial. In the long run, this is the best time to do this. We wouldn't want him wearing braces later when other kids will notice & tease him. AND, since the AFO's hinder movement, like running, it is better now than later. We are hoping for another 3-6 months in the AFO. Oh, gotta mention that he only has to wear it 75% of his waking/moving hours. At least he gets a little break!

I just keep telling myself that Todd & I will remember, not Ian.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm not sure what to say. Being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Seeing those smiley faces every morning puts me in an automatic good mood. Today, I wouldn't change a thing. It has been beautiful thus far. And b/c I'm not really good w/ words, I am going to link to a blog post a dear friend, Julie, wrote. It brought tears to my eyes b/c THAT is what being a mommy is all about. God bless her. She is a wonderful woman.

Julie's Blog Post

To all the mommies, have a beautiful day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Boys will be boys.

Our favorite playdate friend came over on Monday. Jude & Ian are buds. They hang out together. I think Ian likes having another male around. Well, as boys would do, they started climbing. Aren't they adorable?


Looks like Ian is about to get in to some mischief.


I <3 this picture of the boys! Jude looks so innocent! Wonder if Andrea would agree to Jude's innocence?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Changes are brewing.

I don't really WANT to change things. I don't really HAVE to change things. But if I am to be a good mommy & wife, I MUST accept the challenge & get ready for the changes that are in store.

What may seem regular to a parent that has 1 baby at a time rather than a litter like me, is that these changes are no big deal. For us, it is monumental. Huge. Ginormous. Yes, I said ginormous.

What changes? Eating family dinners & big kid beds. The latter will NOT be addressed until absolutely necessary. Like totally & absolutely necessary b/c after tonight, the thought of them being able to get OUT of their beds is not even a possibility.

You see, they went to bed at 7pm. We heard squealing which happens occasionally. I heard Sofi saying "mo-mo", translation...more-more. I decided to go set them straight. To scold them, & then lovingly give them a hug & tuck them in AGAIN, for the night. What I saw when I opened the door...just a pleasant reminder why we will NOT rush in to real beds.

Every.piece.of.bedding.

Out.of.the.crib.

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

And what did I do? Giggle. Couldn't help it. At least they were still in their cribs. So, at almost 8 at night, I took each kid out & started remaking their cribs.
You would have thought the fun would end there.

No.

For another 15 minutes I heard squealing & honestly, I'm scared to go back up there. I really don't want to remake 3 cribs. Not tonight. No thanks.

That's the long & short of big kid beds.

Now, for dinner. The kids eat at 4. It's time to start eating as a family. One issue. No table. Well, we have a dining room table but that is my workspace. Yeah, I could give it up & wouldn't have a problem if I could put all my sewing & business stuff somewhere else.

Besides, we have a master plan. Now we have to get moving on it. We have a house built in the 70's & it was popular to have a bar counter. Problem is that w/ a family of 5, it isn't big enough. So, our plan is to cut it off & extend the regular counter in to a table. This way, I can cook & the kids & Daddy can sit & watch. Then we can all sit down together. Now, we just need to actually get it done.

Anyone want to do free labor? I'd be glad to sew something for you. Seriously.

The changes are coming. We will tackle family dinners first. Then the beds. Oh, the beds. Maybe not for another decade.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sewing Adventures, cont.

I got a new serger. It's a machine that does this cool stitching that saves lots of time & is just really good for more commercial type stuff. In other words, the stitching is more durable along all the seams. Everyone knows what I'm talking about, you just don't know it. Look inside your shirts or shorts or pants. Yeah, that funky stitch that looks really complicated. That's it.

Did I really need it?

Yep.
No doubt.

It speeds up the process of sewing 2 pieces of fabric together. Makes life easier & honestly, w/ triplets, well worth the $179 I spent. B/c not only do I need some extra time, I also need a great deal & you can bet this much, I got a great deal! The serger was $340 & I got it for $179 & free shipping. HA!

The best part? I went to the Sewing Warehouse to buy a gathering foot to make fun ruffles & the guy there showed me how to use my serger to make them.

OMG.
H.E.A.V.E.N.

I plan on making this really cute dress for the girls.



And a few pair of these really cute ruffle pants.


Ok, more than a few pairs. I can't help it. I'm addicted.

And, I've been making these really cute bloomers. They go down to right above the knee. I'm thinking these will be great for potty training. No buttons. Ah.


Oh, & here is a shameless plug for the FREE pair of ruffle pants I'm giving away on my SIGnature Creations Blog cuz you know you want a pair for your little girl.

MWUAH!
Astrid

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Let's Dance!

Yeah, the temper tantrums can drive you insane BUT when you see THIS, you can't help but smile & giggle.



And if that isn't cute enough, Gabi had to get in on the action.



Now, that is what being a parent is all about! One day, they won't be so kind to one another. For now, this is priceless!