Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween Fun

Halloween festivities began with a trip to pick out pumpkins in mid-October.  Some of them were bigger than Jackie!

All three smiling, even if they're not all looking at the camera
 We spent part of our "hurricane days"carving pumpkins with our friends.  Can you tell which was Claire's and which was Ben's?  Everyone was happy with how they turned out.

Halloween evening began with some mummy dogs and mac and cheese.

The older kids decided on their costumes back in August.  We had read the first of the Harry Potter books early in the summer, and are about two-thirds of the way through book 2.  Coming up with a costume for Jackie was more of a challenge.  Then I spotted this leopard print tutu for $9.99 at Marshalls, and I knew we had this hat that Claire had been given for Christmas when she was about this age.  Of course Claire never left it on for more than 7 seconds at a time - fortunately Jackie was more cooperative, and so there was a simple and cute costume for my kitty loving little girl.

Hermione and Harry sported cloaks made by Nonni, scarves crocheted by Aunt Sarah, and ties created by me, with a little help from some yellow painters tape.  They were both happy with how their costumes turned out, and got lots of compliments from others.

As usual, we were joined by friends for trick-or-treating.

Post trick-or-treating, Jackie tried out a Kit Kat.


I only included this last picture, because this face is so typical of Jackie.  I had just told her no, and this is her expression when she knows she is doing something she's not supposed to, but she wants to see how far she can get anyway.  Welcome to my life - every day.

A fresh start

My blog has been sorely neglected over the past couple of years.  I read a LOT of blogs, and a few months ago there were many people who had been blogging for a long time writing about the changes in blogs, and how it was affecting the way they wrote (or wanted to write).  One of the biggest things that I took away from that, was from one blogger whose summation was basically, decide what you want your blog for, and be true to that.  Don't try to emulate someone else, if it is not your style.

My goal for this blog, when I began, was to document the things going on in our family.  Part of it is so that I have ways to remember the silly, funny, bizarre things that go on when you're dealing with kids everyday, and part of it is for family who don't live close to be able to see and hear about what we are up to.

One of my big hangups in posting is that I feel like there are events that I should have posted about that I have skipped, and so then I don't post about more recent things because in my head I want to get back and play catch up.  So right now, I'm giving myself a "get out of jail free" card.  I need a fresh start, and I will go back and do a little catching up, but for now my focus needs to be on what is happening in the present.

So if anyone out there is still reading ... hopefully there will be more for you to read very soon!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Announcing the arrival of Jacqueline Grace

On June 29th at about 2 AM I woke up, and got out of bed to go to the bathroom (typical night for a 9 month pregnant person). I was immediately frozen by an incredibly painful contraction. Whatever noise I made caused Brian to leap out of bed in alarm. Being 3 weeks before my scheduled c-section I was not at all prepared for a trip to the hospital, so between contractions while we tried to get in touch with a neighbor and the doctor so we could head to the hospital, I moved slowly around the room trying to gather things for my hospital bag. (Notable quote from Brian, "a camera? who cares about a camera - we don't need that!") These were not small contractions, they were stop in your tracks, bend over, and breathe through the pain contractions. Within about a half hour our neighbor had arrived at the door, and we were off to the hospital. After trying a variety of things to unsuccessfully stop the labor, the doctor decided it was too risky to send me home even though the contractions had diminished in pain and intensity, and it was time for this baby to arrive. We made a few quick phone calls and text messages to let people know as the hospital staff worked to get me ready for surgery. At 6:44 AM Jacqueline Grace arrived weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces and perfect in every way. She came out screaming - apparently she wasn't any too happy about the early arrival. Brian and Jackie moved to recovery where he was able to call and talk to Ben and Claire to give them the news before they headed off to baseball and soccer camps while the doctors finished closing me up. After I joined them we made more phone calls to friends and family. We both wanted Ben and Claire to be the first people to meet Jackie, and we were grateful to our families for understanding and planning their visits accordingly. My parents who had just gotten back to their house (they'd been visiting us and helping us get ready for the construction on our house) at 4 PM the previous day had turned around and headed back north where they picked the kids up from their respective camps and brought them to the hospital. Some pictures from our day are below.

What is this place? It's so bright and cold!

Rocking the post-bath turban. She still has that little pink mark between her eyebrows if you look closely.

Warm and clean.

A big yawn from a tired little baby.

Meeting Ben and Claire - this picture is so indicative of their relationship the first few weeks. Claire standing back and smiling at her sister, and Ben unable to resist touching her.

Mommy and her three babies.
(note Claire's black eye - she got kicked in the face her first day at soccer camp, but it didn't phase her - she was not afraid to get right in the thick of things even against boys almost twice her size!)

Our first family picture

By 9 PM both Mommy and baby were ready for some quiet snuggle time

Since Jackie's arrival I feel like our family has been going non-stop (which is perhaps, why it took me over 7 months to post this). However, while we are now very busy, we are even more incredibly happy and blessed!