Quick, before I get Sidetrack'd

Archive for April, 2008

A new normal

Thoughtfully penned on April 30th, 2008 and generally concerning Life with littles

Matt returned to work on Monday.  It’s been tough to give him back, but it helped that my mom was in town for a few days.  My mom goes home this afternoon.  So tomorrow will begin my attempt to establish a new normal with the toddler and newborn.

I think overall the kids and I will manage fine.  There are a few things that concern me, though; you know, the little things like cleaning, cooking, showering.  Time management has not been one of my strongest attributes since I became a stay-at-home mom, and now I will really have to use my time well to accomplish the things that need to be done (and the things I want to do) in the course of a day.  We also have a “hold-me” baby this time around, so I might have to pull out the Sleepy Wrap in order to hold him and get things done with Little.

So how will life look going forward?  Who knows.  All I know is that I step into a new phase tomorrow on my own.  I don’t know how it will all work out, but I know that eventually we will settle into a routine and our new normal will be established.

Mother’s Day Giveaways

Thoughtfully penned on April 30th, 2008 and generally concerning Blogging News, Contests

Mother's Day 2008 - Giveaway Event

The ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting a big Mother’s Day Giveaway the next couple of weeks.  They always offer great prizes, so click on the banner above or the one in the sidebar to check out what goodies they are offering.  

It was hot…outside and inside

Thoughtfully penned on April 23rd, 2008 and generally concerning House

You know what it is like to have a newborn in the house?  You know what it is like to be without a/c on 80-something degree days?  You know what it is like to have workmen in your house?

Yeah, that was our day yesterday.

Our a/c decided to go on the fritz right before Boo was born, but with him coming soon and the temps dropping for a few days we put off calling anyone.  Now that we are home and the weather is heating back up it was time to call someone to get it repaired.

On Monday, Matt called a company that has serviced the unit in the past, and they sent someone out pretty quickly.  The repairman thought the problem was that the unit was overheating due to dirty coils.  He started cleaning the coils only to find out that the drain pan attached to the coils was basically disentegrating due to the heat in the unit when it was overheating.  That left us with the decision of whether to spend $1200-$1500 to repair a 20 year old unit or to go ahead and replace the whole thing.

We opted to replace the whole unit.  The guys arrived about 8:00 yesterday morning and set to work.  When they went into the attic to disconnect the lines, ducts, etc in order to remove the existing unit we discovered that the current ductwork was basically falling apart; the insulation was coming off to the point that the heated or cooled air was not staying at the right temperature and causing uneven temps in the house (which we had noticed, but attributed to the way the house is built, where the afternoon sun comes in, etc).

So, the long and short of it is that we ended up replacing our heat and air unit and all of the ductwork in the attic.  The workers were here for every bit of 12 hours.  Fortunately, they were curteous and pleasant to be around, but still, there were strange people in the house all.day.long.  Needless to say, we were relieved to have our house back to ourselves last night and very thankful for cold air blowing through our vents.

And that’s been the excitement around here this week.  Not exactly how we planned or wanted to spend our tax refund, but at least we’ll stay cool this summer.

Checking in

Thoughtfully penned on April 20th, 2008 and generally concerning J

Thank you all for your kind comments, congratulations, and well wishes as we welcomed baby Boo last week.

We are still here and doing well.  It is taking some time to adjust to life as a family of four, especially with a bemused toddler, but we’re getting there.  Little has her moments, but overall she has been pretty good with the new little guy who is invading her turf and her Momma and Da-da’s arms.  Matt and I are trying to get enough rest to stay caught up (or at least within a few steps) of the kiddos demands and so far have been able to hold our own.

I have some things that I want to post and hope to get some of those written this week, but we shall see how the week progresses.

Happy Sunday to you all! 

Introducing Boo

Thoughtfully penned on April 15th, 2008 and generally concerning J, Pregnancy


Good morning all. Just a quick note to let you know that Boo was born around midnight this morning. He weighs exactly 8 lbs. and is 20.5 inches long. Jana and Boo are both doing well and should be home tomorrow.

Still here…

Thoughtfully penned on April 10th, 2008 and generally concerning J, Pregnancy, Spring is here!

Still pregnant…


38 1/2 weeks. Good heartbeat. Good movement. Good blood pressure. A few more contractions. A little more discomfort. A little less sleep. Ready to pop. Waiting to see what the next few days hold.

There hasn’t been too much to report this week. Little and I have been enjoying the warm, sunny days with lots of visits to the park and outside play time. Matt planted flowers in our flower beds over the weekend and some in pots last night; it is nice to see the color outside the windows after the drab winter. Little refers to the flowers as “da-da’s fowfers” everytime she sees them. Now we’re gearing up for more rain this afternoon and tonight and a few-day cold snap (hopefully the last of the season).

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

April 7th

Thoughtfully penned on April 7th, 2008 and generally concerning childhood, Family

Isn’t that title just so clever? I’m suffering a bit from worn out, ready to have this baby creativity block. :-)

So, what is special about April 7th? In my life it is the celebration of my brother.

I am blessed to have a wonderful older brother, and, although, we are not as close in distance or relationship at this point as I would like (or as we’ve been at other times in our lives), I am happy to say he is also my friend.

And in honor of his birthday, I’m going to tell a couple of stories on myself that I think are amusing…

J’s big hobby in elementary school age and into early middle school was building model cars, airplanes, and boats. He could often be found hard at work on the bar in our basement gluing pieces together, painting the finished work, and applying decals and stickers. He worked all shapes, sizes, and types of models.

Once, when I was probably six or seven years old (possibly a bit younger), J and Daddy were working on a huge model pirate ship. If I remember correctly, it was probably a couple feet long and was amazingly detailed with fabric sails, oars and guns coming from the lower decks, and the whole pirate-y bit. They had put a ton of time and effort into this ship and were probably 90%-100% finished when “the incident” occurred.

For whatever reason, J had set the ship on the basement floor and left it there to get something from upstairs while I was still playing downstairs. I was being a typical girl and doing gymnastics or something on the furniture and was hanging upside down in Daddy’s recliner watching something on TV. I’m not sure exactly what happened, or how it happened, but the next thing I knew I was sliding off the recliner and directly on top of the pirate ship. I remember a crunching sound, the sound of J running down the stairs, and my crying as he yelled.

The ship had attained damage of the hit-by-several-cannonballs type and was totally destroyed. It was an accident, but that didn’t make it any better in the eyes of my 11-ish year old brother who had worked so hard to build that pirate ship.

And then there was the time when I was about three and I flushed J’s pet fish down the toilet. The fish lived in a bowl on our kitchen island. Apparently it was sleeping, but it looked dead to my preschool eyes. I took it to the bathroom, dumped it, and flushed. It started swimming down the drain. Oops!

It’s a wonder he still likes me. Happy birthday, brother!

Book Review: A Midwife’s Tale

Thoughtfully penned on April 4th, 2008 and generally concerning Goals, Reading

Two weeks into the Spring Reading Thing, and I’ve completed two of the books on my goal list. I know my pace will slow when Boo arrives, but so far I’m off to a good start.

The first book, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, was quite informative but exclusively about childbirth and the technology associated with it. I won’t review it here because it probably isn’t of interest to anyone else.

Yesterday I finished reading A Midwife’s Tale. This book chronicles the training and career of co-author Penny Armstrong through a series of short stories (each one is a chapter) that come together to give the reader a picture of her life, her struggles, and her clients.

A Midwife’s Tale traces the situations and personal development of Mrs. Armstrong that transform her from a hospital midwife, with all of the technology and interventions associated with that setting, to a midwife with her own practice doing only home births. As someone with a science background (I was pre-med in college), I found this part of the story quite interesting.

However, the thing that made this book fascinating to me was Mrs. Armstrong’s clientele. Upon the completion of her midwifery training, she chose to move to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to serve the Amish community there. The book paints a picture of the Amish and their lifestyle from the perspective of an outsider who became intimately acquainted with these people.  It details her encounters with their customs and culture in ways that I haven’t read before.

Although the story teller is a midwife, the book is not laden with medical jargon and technical information about childbirth. Most of the stories are, obviously, about childbirth, but there is nothing presented that would be offensive or beyond the experience of anyone who has given birth (or even seen one of those birth videos they show in school). If you have any interest in midwifery or the Amish people and their lifestyle, I really think you would enjoy this book.

Spring is here

Thoughtfully penned on April 3rd, 2008 and generally concerning Spring is here!

Spring officially began two weeks ago, and our weather has definitely been Spring-like. The temps have ranged from highs in the low-50s to the mid-70s. We’ve had super windy days (I’ve never lived anywhere with wind like we have here). More than anything we’ve had rain. Lots and lots of rain.

Our lawn is saturated to the point that puddles (and rivulets) form. And the rain continues to come – sometimes light and drizzly, sometimes (like today) in heavy downpours – and the overcast skies only break on rare occasions.

And as much as I would like a warm, sunny day so we can play outside, I look out the windows and see the signs of life renewing – grass greening, plants and flower leaves poking out of the ground, trees budding – and know that the rain is necessary for this revival. In order to have the Spring greens and beautiful flowers that I enjoy so much, we must go through the rainy season that refreshes the earth.

Sometimes life is that way; the rains seem to come constantly and in heavy downpours. When we hold on through the rainy season we come out refreshed, renewed, and ready to enjoy the sunshine.

I know that the rain will pass (and later in the summer we’ll be wishing for rain) and the sun will shine again. That is God’s promise, and he is always faithful to keep his promises.

Tackle it Tuesday – Baby Prep

Thoughtfully penned on April 1st, 2008 and generally concerning Crafts...kind of, Goals, House, J, Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This post is quite laden with pictures.  I apologize if it takes a while to load. 

Wow, we got quite a bit done this week (especially over the weekend)! I think I actually accomplished everything I intended to plus a few extras.

The big tackles for this week were Boo’s room, getting baby things from the attic, and finishing the burp cloth sewing project I started.

Let’s start with Boo’s room…

This is what the room looked like when we moved in two years ago:


During the two years we’ve lived here it has been used primarily for storage. When we found out we were expecting there were boxes piled everywhere, the closet was filled with miscellaneous stuff, and it was generally a pretty scary place (especially if you were looking for something specific). Over the last couple of months we’ve been hard at work cleaning out, decluttering (although we still have some to do), painting, and making it a bedroom again.

This weekend, Matt hung new closet doors, we moved the rest of the nursery furniture out of Little’s room and into Boo’s, and we put his shelf with his name letters on the wall. Over the last week I also got his clothes, the bedding, and all of the covers for carseat, swing, etc washed and dried.

Today it looks like this:




The burp cloth project…

Please do not look too closely at the pictures. I am a beginner teaching myself to sew, and this is my first start-to-finish completed project. I’m proud of the fact that I actually finished a project for once even though it is certainly far from perfect, and I’m pleased with the way the fabric/ribbon combinations turned out. When I got frustrated Matt kept reminding me that this was something that Boo was going to throw up on; he certainly won’t care if all the seams are perfect and the stitching straight.



I also finished my Spring cleaning and the cleaning I needed to do before company, wrote all of my Thank You’s (for birthday and baby gifts), and got my birth plan into my chart at the doctor’s office.

Up next – packing the hospital bag and installing the carseat. Nothing too strenuous this week, but definitely things that are important.

Good luck with your tackles!