Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008


I'm not going to write and post a bunch of Christmas pictures. There are a quite a few, but I was not feeling my best so there aren't as many as there could be and what's there isn't that great. They'll be up on snapfish soon - I'm going to make an effort to do that again.
Christmas morning was really good though, and Rowan had the best reactions. His face for almost every present that anyone opened looked like this:
rchmas08.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
The boy was excited.
We had fun. We played. We ate turkey. We played some more. It was good.
Eleri didn't do much, but she looked cute.
exmasoutfit.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Longies by Cece of Knit Candy. Yes I bought some knitting. Hey, it was on sale, and I should support other knitters, right?
We're stretching Christmas out too. Tonight we made a gingerbread house. It's dairy free!
ghouse2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
ghouse1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Tomorrow John and I will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. Sharon and Scott will stop by for lunch. And Mamaw is supposed to get here on Thursday since she missed Christmas. I love this time of year!

nefun.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

2 months old

It's hard to believe. Life with her on the outside of my body goes by so much faster than those last few weeks of pregnancy went.
She's a dolly. She's a very sweet little baby, and hardly any more evening fussy time. The non-dairy diet has really helped her a ton. I won't kid you - I hate it. But she's worth every bit of denial.
Maybe it's because I'm older. Maybe it's because I wanted her for a couple of years before I finally got to have her. But I'm really marvelling at these baby days. I love her toes, her grunts, her warm little lump status... She's everything a baby should be and more, and I thank God every day that he sent her to us.
But anyway. Here are her 2 months portraits. She's wearing the same outfit that she came home in. I'm just impressed that she still fits in it!

eleri2months.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
eleri2months2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
eleri2months3.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

Friday, December 19, 2008

You are going to notice that I have a new toy

because the number of pictures is going to go up a bit.
Also, our old camera had focus issues, and baby smiles are fleeting and hard to catch.
But looky here!
efirstsmile.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
The combo of new camera + Eleri being more generous with her smiles = WIN!
Isn't she cute? Lisa N. gave us the bow yesterday. Eleri wants more bows and some binkies for Christmas.

I forgot to tell you about our tiger

Rowan got a stuffed tiger from the Rainforest Cafe when we were in Vegas this summer. He named it Katamari (after a video game) and it's been his constant companion. Kinda reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes.
So when we went to the Holiday Express last Sunday night (sorry, no pictures of that. It was dark.) and they had face painting, Rowan jumped at the chance to get half his face painted like a tiger.
We would have gone for the whole thing, but at $5 a half...
He loved it. So much that John had to be careful doing his bath so the face paint wouldn't get washed off. He managed to keep it for a good bit of the next day too before it got smeared everywhere and we finally had to wash it off. There were tears involved and I had to promise to go to the library and get a book on how to paint faces.
He made a pretty good tiger though!
rtiger1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers rtiger2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

Learning the ropes again

Tommy and Fran got us a new camera for Christmas. We actually got it a day or so ago, but I've been studying the manual and then yesterday we spent all day at the mall for the annual visit to see Santa. No it doesn't take all day, but we have to spend time in the play area/germ pit playing with our friends too.
So anyway, last night I hauled it out for its inaugural run. It was night, and the room was poorly lit, and I had to use the flash, but I think we got something cute anyway.

And we did see Santa yesterday. The boys lied about behaving and put in their request for a Wii. I no longer have the threat to not take them to see Santa to get them to stop fighting, but I do have the supreme weapon in the pre-Christmas arsenal....

If they're really naughty. We go back to the big guy and they have to tell him what they did.
You wouldn't believe how well that works.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

the lunch of the beast


One cheeseburger happy meal with chocolate milk and fries.
One chicken nugget happy meal with chocolate milk and fries.



Also: it's love when you get happy meals for your little guy on his birthday and drive home with the smell of McD's fries all over the car, when you can't have any, because McD's has a dairy additive in their fries. Seriously. Fries. I'm stockpiling karma.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Taken out of context....

this could be alarming.

Today is Rowan's last day of school before his track break, so we needed to send in Christmas cookies for his teacher and the aide. So last night Rowan and I made cookies.
I was making the dough before dinner so it could chill and we could cut cookies after bath time.
Rowan didn't know what I was doing. He didn't really pay attention. He just knew I was in the kitchen.

Here's the thing. Our cookie recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of whiskey. Straight up whiskey.
He comes waltzing into the kitchen right after I opened it up and added it.

He takes a whiff. His eyes light up. And he says... "Hey that smells like Christmas!"

Yep. Whiskey smells like Christmas.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

1 month old today!

It's hard to believe she's already a month old. And at the same time, it's hard to believe that she hasn't always been here.
Eleri is doing well. At our ped visit earlier this week she was 8lbs 15oz (almost what Niall weighed at birth - yeesh!) and she's starting to do much better since we added zantac to her world and removed all dairy from mine.
But enough of that. Y'all want pictures. From today:
e1month1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
e1month2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

And because it's cute
nkisse.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
No baby ever got so much love from her big brothers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Right before the big foody holiday

We get some depressing news. Eleri has reflux, and the most likely culprit is dairy in my diet.
So I'm off dairy. All of it. Even the dairy hidden in the bread, and cookies, and lunchmeat. yes! Lunchmeat has a dairy component. Go figure.
and nutella has milk in it
as does the "non-dairy" creamer for my coffee

It's a whole new world. But she's worth it.

So far today I've had peanut butter toast and a ham sandwich (Hormel natural meats are dairy free at least). I'm feeling a little deprived, so I'm researching how to make cornbread and pumpkin pie without involving the cows.

Monday, November 17, 2008

back in the saddle

My first knitting since having the baby.

It's eating his brain!
Pattern: Brainmonster. Yarn: cheap wool ease. Kid: happy
Luckily the stars aligned and I got it done today, just in time for the cold weather tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just for Mamaw

Because she was irritated at the snaps on the diapers. ;)
Eleri wanted you to know that we're also kickin' it old school.
periwinkle.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

She still likes to eat every 2 hours, and thinks that 3-7am is time to make a lot of noise.
I am tired on a fundamental level. John takes her in the morning and gives me an extra hour of solid sleep. I think I leave the planet during that hour. It's essential.
We went to the grocery store yesterday. It was my first solo outing with Niall and Eleri. The blonde cashier with the blue eyeshadow came and got my cart and steered it into her checkout line even though I had waaaay more than 15 items. Eleri snoozed in her pouch the whole time, and Niall was his usuall niallating self. I had to remind him to not manhandle the merchandise about every 3 minutes. Par for the course. By the time we got home I was sweating profusely, but I had accomplished! wee!
Which reminds me, we've been watching a lot of The Sound of Music lately, since Rowan is learning some of the songs in his music class. The boys love the part where Rolf kisses Liesl and she yells WEEEEEE! in the rain. Cracks me up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2 weeks

At the ped yesterday: 7lbs 9oz. 19.5 inches. She's growing!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Fran: She's such a pretty baby.

Rowan: Ya. She's just like a movie star.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Well and happy.
Real update some other time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

37 weeks visit and pictures

Dear baby, Any time now.

37 weeks visit was this morning.
My BP was slighty up. 130something over 80something. Don't remember exactly.
No protiens or anything bad like that though, so no worries.
They put me on the monitor. The pixie looks good. And lo... there were contractions on the monitor.
Only 2, because they came 10 minutes apart and I was on there for about 20 mins total, but they were there.
I even felt one of them. Very mild but it made my face heat up.
It's very gratifying to see that little bump on the paper. Let's hope they are
doing something, and will come more frequently and get this party started.
Fluid levels are good, measurements good, see you next week.
Next visit is scheduled for Oct 27. I'd love to have the baby that day instead.
That was Dad's birthday.

anyway, here are pictures! As I said, it's overall time here now.
Nothing else fits!

Niall rewrites schoolhouse rock

He was singing yesterday...

"Lolly lolly lolly get your badgers here!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fr. Alex

I love our priest.
He's from Columbia so he can't vote, but he has been watching the election
with a very serious eye. He said that he will not advise us on who to vote for,
because that's not his job. (love him) But that since he's been asked the same
question over and over by the students (it's the University parish) he wanted
to tell us his thoughts.
He also warned us to keep in mind that he is from a country where politics
and religion are so tied together that it's impossible to separate them.
He fears any kind of tie of religion and politics, because what he grew up
with and what he knows is so corrupted.

It warmed my heart so much, that I wanted to share this with y'all: (paraphrased)

We can't define pro life in just one area. We have to look at life as a whole.
Pro life is not just abortion. You can't call that one thing pro life.
You have to take care of ALL life.
Do you take care of the poor? the homeless? the criminals? the elderly?
the war? the immigrants?
Life isn't just about the unborn. It's about all of us, and how we care for each
other, and how we take care of the world that we will leave to our children.

Not bad for a guy who still struggles with English.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Finished: the boppy.
boppy.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

almost finished: the coming home outfit. Need to weave in ends and put the cherry on the hat.

I'm going to go drink more of that raspberry tea.


Colleen passed on today. Her body is now at peace. Send prayers to her family, that they feel love and healing as they grieve. Thank you God for her life, and for those precious moments she got to spend with those she loved. We will still be holding the auction for her. I'll repost the link closer to the day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Still here

Really, I wouldn't be stalking me yet. I'm pretty sure I have at least another week and a half left here. The house is coming together. The laundry has been conquered (as much as it can be. There is always more lurking). I have a few more things to knit and do, but mostly it's about trying to slog this body through the day.
I am incredibly, incredibly tired. I'm also prone to hormonal crying at least once a day. It happens.
The baby linens are washed. The crib is still in pieces - but we'll set that up when baby is here. She can sleep in the baby hammock which is all set up, washed, and waiting.
The carseat is washed and in the van. Not installed, but it's in there.
Diapers are washed, stacked and waiting. Clothes washed and put in drawers.

Things left to do:
- install carseat
- turn playroom into guest room for Mom and Fran for when they're here.
- make Halloween costumes for the boys
- pack bag for hospital
- knit
- try and sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time (not gonna happen but I can hope)
- try to bring some sort of order to our bedroom and the corner of despair (that corner by the treadmill where we put pictures, random boxes, and things we just don't want to deal with right now)

I laugh at whoever says "enjoy these last few weeks." So easy to say. I'm looking foward to lying on my stomach again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Auction Link

Come and shop.


Taking time now

I've finished Sarah's britches in green (picture to come) and they'll go out tomorrow.
Other than that, it's time to take some time. I'll be knitting for my own baby for a bit now, and working furiously on some extra knitting for a special fundraiser.

Many of you know that Colleen of Spiffy Knits has been fighting the good fight with cancer. I do not want to capitalize that word, even though we all say it like that. I don't want to give it that much due. The updates are not good, and I regret that I never got any of her yarn to work with. I always thought there'd be time. She has been one of our own on Soggy Granola, and when you hang out on a small forum with someone like that, and share pictures of your children... you think that they'll always be there.
I will be posting a link to the fundraiser closer to the date. There will be some beautiful items up for bidding, raffles, buy it nows... All proceeds will go to her family for medical bills, things for the kids, and whatever they need.
It breaks my heart that she won't be able to watch her kids grow up.
It hurts even more that their memories of her will be cut so short.

Check back for the link. And peace be with you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

34 weeks


I'm moving a little more slowly these days.
I've been accused of waddling.

Not too much longer.

I still have so much to do around the house, it's not even funny.

The goal is to have everything done by 36 weeks, and then I can just hang around and knit.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thanks Dan!

Thanks to Dan, we have a new kitchen sink!
Because of a crazy amount of luck, he found the sink we (I) wanted for our kitchen on sale for about 75% off. Talk about timing!
So now, one of the householdy things that I really wanted to do before we have the baby is done.
We had this regular old stainless double basin sink in the kitchen.

oldsink.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

It wasn't remarkably good or bad. Probably the one the builder stuck in the house about 15 years ago. Funny she upgraded to the granite countertops, but kept the regular sink.
I didn't like it because neither basin was big enough to do anything. I really wanted a big, deep, single basin sink. It would be especially nice to bathe a baby in.

hole.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

Here is the hole left behind when John took out the old sink. Isn't he cool? He knows how to do that kind of thing now. Yay for plumbing knowledge acquired on the job while taking care of fishies.

helpers.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

He placed the sink and then left it to set overnight so the would be nice and dry. Here he is with his helpers, assessing to see what piping he needs to get from the store to complete the job. He had to redo all the under the sink stuff because we were going from two drains down to one, and he also removed the disposal. We now have a lovely compost bin that we bought from the county. It will be really good for our garden next year.

flashlighthelper.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

After a trip (or two) to the hardware store, he was finally finishing up. Niall was his big helper and held the flashlight.

newsink.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

And here it is! Our new sink, complete with new faucet since we didn't have to buy the sink. Thanks so much Dan! I'm sure there will be plenty of baby bathtub pictures taken right here.
I'm very happy with it, because it is wide (33 inches) and deep (9 inches) and gives me plenty of room to do those sinky things. And I love the white. It feels very clean.

And just because it's cute and I just got it off the camera, here's Rowan's soccer picture for the season. He plays for the Diamondbacks, and they've won 1 and lost 1.
rowanfall08soccer.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Craniofacial Team Day

Okay. It went well. Here's all the gritty details, probably more than you wanted to know!

Orthodontics - Rowan will need a palate expander, but his first permanent molars haven't erupted yet so there's not a place to cement it in. We have to go back in June for a panoramic x-ray and to see the team orthodontist about that. He does need expanding before his bone graft, as he has a crossbite and they need to widen things before they put in his bone graft.

Plastics - Rowan can have a lip revision any time he wants. Dr. VanAalst would like to narrow his philtrum and increase the fullness in his lip to give it more of the natural cupid's bow appearance. This is totally up to Rowan as to when it would be done. He will also need his nose lifted at some point, but it would be better to wait until after his bone graft for best results. He's a handsome kid, and we're going to follow his lead here. He says that he thinks it would be cool to have surgery and eat ice cream, but he probably wants to wait until he's 7 for that.

Speech Language Pathology - No nasal leakage, age appropriate sounds. He does have some kinds of "clefty" sounds, but they're not consistant and when we ask him to repeat he does it properly. No reccomendations. Rowan will continue to participate in the research study for speech in June. They'll make a mould of his teeth at that time. They also tested his vocabulary - he's at the 7years 8months level there. Smart kid!

Oromaxillofacial Surgery - We need to make an appointment with Dr. Turvey for a separate evaulation for his bone graft. He'll want a panoramic x-ray. This could possibly wait until June, but might be sooner. They'll conference about it with the Orthodontist and let us know. They're also pretty sure that he'll need a midfacial advancement in his later teen years.

ENT - Rowan has outgrown all his ear issues. His hearing is great, and we just need to keep on with our regular ped for his asthma.

Psych - Great kid, well adjusted, no worries. Hooray.

Social Work - We actually didn't see her much, because she hooked us up with a new person who is trying to start a local group near Wilmington. So I got her info and will get her the stuff she needs for Pathfinding and plugging into our NC listserv. Kim also gave us a replacement feeder and nipples so I can redo photographs for the sippy cup page on cleftAdvocate, and gave me an article on the Victory Junction Gang camp. Rowan will be old enough for that next year.

Dentist - Good oral hygeine. Keep up the good work. His extra tooth in his palate isn't loose. We'll leave it alone unless it's an issue.

So, what does all this mean?

Rowan is doing very well and is not too complicated. He needs a bone graft, but his palate needs expanding before then. They need an x-ray so they know how much bone he needs and where, but they want to wait until his top molars come through to do it so they don't zap his head too much. Once he has his top molars, they'll zap him and put in the palate expander. Once his palate is wide enough, they can do the bone graft. He will need the bone graft before his permanent lateral incisors try to come in (if he has them) so they have something to hold on to. It's all very time-dependent on what his teeth are up to, so we'll be in touch. For now, we have a little bit longer before we have to jump on the horse again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grumpy Grumperton

That would be me.
Sleep is a task these days. I can't get comfy, and I've developed some strange pregnancy twitchyness so that makes it even worse. I looked around online and found that restless legs are a pregnancy thing, woo. And they think it might be a lack of iron. So today I ate a burger and cooked eggs in the cast iron skillet for dinner.
It's like I can feel the crickets chirping on my skin. *shudder* I hope it works.

In other news, we went to tour the hospital tonight, only to have our tour cancelled. We'll see if we actually get to see where we're going before we have to go there for real. But we now know that it takes 15ish minutes to get there from here. So there's that anyway.

Knitting wise, I sent this out last week
Soaker for Erin's baby by you.
For Erin to use on her baby. I've also made britches for our baby out of the same colorway. But I need to weave in ends and such on that pair.
And I sent out this pair of britches today:
Navy with light blue stripe.  Size Large by you.
They were boring to knit because of the all navy factor, but are way cute when done. They made me think of Harry Potter for some reason.

Also from today - a conversation:
Niall: Can I smell Mommy? Can I smell?
Me: Can you smell what?
Niall: Can I smell your armpit?

Yes. They helped me pick out new deodorant yesterday. Fun times.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well? What do you think?

The first picture is with Niall, the second is this baby.
Both pictures are me at 30 weeks.

I think I'm smaller this time around.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pregnancy Update

I went for my 30 weeks visit today and met the new doc in the practice.

They got the results from the redo of my gestational diabetes test. The first one I had a 136 on it and the cut off is 140 so they wanted me to retake it just to make sure. This time I got a 114, so no worries there at all.

They had to start the asthma protocol on me today since they put me on pulmicort. I wasn't on the protocol already because I hadn't been taking any meds, but with the summer ozone and baby taking up my lungs, and how much trouble I'd been having... ya, so I'm on it now.
This means I have to do a peak flow at every visit (I got above 400 today -excellent. The best I've ever gotten was 450).
I also had a quick ultrasound today to check growth. Surprise! It was nice to have a peek. She's perfect, head down, and weighing about 3lbs right now. Plenty of fluid and all looks good.
And now I'll have an NST done at 34 weeks as part of the protocol too. I need to figure out if I'm bringing Niall along for that, and what I'm doing with him otherwise. Although he's so interested in hearing the baby I imagine that he'd just sit there listening with wide eyes if I end up needing to bring him along.

All in all, everything is looking good. Rowan will be on track break for my next visit, so he'll get to come too. He's excited about that because he's been asking about how they hear the baby's heart, so that will be fun for him to see.

I'll be officially 30 weeks on Sunday, and I'm going to take a picture then because I have a picture of me at that point from when I was pregnant with Niall, and I honestly think I was much bigger then. It will be interesting to look at them and compare.

On the knitting front, I'm working on a pair of navy blue britches for an order. And a purple sweater for the baby. No pics though. I can't find the camera cord.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sometimes it's so hard to keep from laughing out loud

I picked Rowan up from school today. This was our conversation in the van on the way home.

Rowan: Mom, I met a new kid today. And he said that he saw this guy who had rings in his nose and his eyes and his EARS! and a mohawk.

Me: Really?

Rowan: Yes!

Me: Well, you can't get any rings yet. You can just have a mohawk.

Rowan: Ya that guy was kind of scary. He was some kind of teenager.

Me: Oh.

Rowan: And he was kissing a girl in the parking lot.

Me: Well, you can't go kissing girls in the parking lot yet either, ok?

Rowan: Ya, that would be kind of dangerous.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The yard

Fran and Robert, this one is for you!

So... when we looked at this house to buy, we thought it was good for our family and we made an offer. As part of the closing, we had a survey done. We knew we wanted to fence in the back yard, and it would have to be done eventually, so we went ahead and got it done.
Imagine our surprise when it came time for the walkthrough before closing, and we found out that our backyard did not end where we thought it did!
We thought it ended right behind the shed, where some briars were growing up. But it didn't. Our realtor Jo was practically jumping up and down when we realized that the surveyor's flags were waaaaaaay back there. Beyond the briars. Meaning that our back yard was HUGE.

So we had a job to do.
before-1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is what the back yard behind the shed looked like when we moved in.

briars.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
The briars were huge. Thick and healthy, and they didn't want to go anywhere.
John's parents came for a weekend to help, and we quickly figured out that loppers were NOT going to do the job if we wanted it done before spring really hit and the briars grew even more.
So the next weekend
bobcat.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
We rented a bobcat!
How fun, and how satisfying to see those briars come down.
We also pulled out A LOT of metal that weekend. An entire pickup truck load. I regret that I didn't get a picture of it. There were bikes, at least 6 tires, a bedframe, the backseat of a car... BUNCHES of stuff hidden in all those briars.
I joked with the neighbors that if they came home and saw crime scene tape up
they'd know we found Hoffa.

So after that, it was time for fence kinds of things. Our friend Robert came up from Charleston to help John out. They planted stakes and measured and did all those manly things.
augerthumb.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers auger.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And rented a post hole drill auger type thingy to make the job easier.

After that, John began to set the posts.
roped.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
He decided to go ahead and set them, and worry about topping them after they were done. This ended up being a pretty good plan. I actually got to help there, measuring the posts and marking them, since pg me couldn't do any of the heavy lifting for the rest of it.

After that, he put up the sections, and finally, we had a yard!
front2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is the section that is pictured with the string above.

front1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is the other part of the front of the back yard, or all the yard we thought we had when we made the offer on the house. The shed is not pictured, but the wagon is right in front of it.

after.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is the same spot that I took a picture of before,
the picture with the briars and the bag caught in them... WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

done1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And this is the one side of our bonus back yard.
done2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And the other side.


Future plans include moving the shed to the back of the yard, near where the little plastic table is sitting now. I'm also planning on a compost pile behind the shed. The swingset will be moved so it's under the big shade trees, and since there's no grass there right now I want to put in landscaping timbers in a large rectangle and fill it with mulch for the swingset to be on. This will give the kids a shady place to play (the slide gets HOT in the sun) and a soft place to land, and will give us less yard to seed with grass and eventually mow.

So that's the yard! We'd like to thank Tommy and Fran for financing the Bobcat weekend, and Robert for his help and knowledge in fence building. We couldn't have done it without you!