Monday, March 30, 2009

Countdown to Four

Two more weeks until my little ones turn four years old. I still can't believe how fast four years has flown by. One more year until they start school. It makes me want to press pause to stop the clock for just a while.

We have Tinker Bell and Spiderman themes in the works. Thankfully, they haven't changed their minds on those and at this point, even if they wanted to, they can't. Too many preparations are already underway.

I made separate invitations this year for their parties. I thought they each deserved their own invite. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure they care so much. I think it was more a matter of me having fun making them.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Deal of the Year

Oh the deal I've just found! As I was scanning blog updates in Google Reader, I stumbled upon a nursery project. It was for a boy, so obviously would not suit my needs, but I loved the bedding and decided to take a closer look. It was from Target. I had scanned Target's bedding in the past and while they had nice sets, nothing really caught my eye. However, I decided to follow the link and take another peek and oh how I'm glad I did.

One of the reasons why I'm excited that we're having a little girl is that I'm going to be able to use the vintage dresser that is currently stored away in our basement. It was Gene's grandmother's piece and is probably from the 40's or 50's? I'm terrible at dating period furniture so I could be way off. But regardless, it's vintage and yellow and pretty. Definitely not something that could be used in a boy's room. So, after the confirmation that we were indeed having a girl, I knew it would have its place in her room.

The only requirement that I had for bedding was that it somehow match, or at least compliment the dresser. Beyond that, the sky was the limit. Most of the sets that I really liked were in the $250+ range and a bit (or actually a lot) more than I wanted to spend. I spent a lot for the twin's crib sets. I loved the set so much that I bought one before I was even pregnant. Then, when I found out I was having twins, I had to search the country for a matching set (as it was discontinued). I had family members who live in Chicago drive to The Land of Nod outlet store (the only one in the country, I think) to find a matching set. Thankfully, the were successful.

When I started talking bedding for this baby, Gene questioned why I was not going to use one of the twin's sets. Well, each new baby has to have new bedding, right? That must be rule somewhere. Plus, I had a very gender neutral theme with the twins so it would be fun to do some gender specific decorating this time around.

I digress.

I scan the bedding at Target online this afternoon and I come across some DwellStudio sets. I love their textiles and was very happy when they started designing for Target at a much more affordable price. So, I decided to take a look at their crib sets and that's when I saw it. THE set. And not only was it the bedding that would perfectly match the style and color of the dresser, it said $13.74 for the set. What?? That must be an error. Or, my next guess is that only one piece of the set is still available, right? Wrong. $13.74 for a set that includes bumper, sheet and comforter. I had to then purchase the crib skirt for another whopping $3.74. Does that even cover the cost of the fabric?? So, I got a four piece set for $18 and change. I'm still suspecting a pricing error or something of the sort.

All for less than $20.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

And the verdit is....

Even though I started doubting myself in the last few weeks, my intuition was right all along!! As I mentioned before, I really didn't have a preference either way. We have already been blessed with a boy and a girl so this baby, whatever the gender, was just an added bonus. But, from very early on, I was convinced it was a girl. Even the night before the ultrasound, I was thinking to myself how I might have to change my train of thought if I found out it was a boy. All of the little kicks and movements that I had been feeling and relating to a baby girl might have to swapped out for a boy. But, no need to change perceptions!

The ultrasound went really well. I was afraid I wasn't going to make it on time as there was an accident on the highway and traffic came to a complete stop for a while. Of course I started thinking about how I waited this long for the appointment and was I going to have to wait even longer because we would need to reschedule. Thankfully, the incident was cleaned up and traffic was moving fairly quickly and I made it to the appointment with just a minute to spare.

The facility that did our ultrasound is a group of perinatologists. I was a regular patient of theirs when I was pregnant with the twins, as they specialize in high risk pregnancies. This time I've only seen them for my two big ultrasounds, as I'm not considered high risk. But, since I am now advanced maternal age, my OB's office will refer all of their AMA patients there for the first trimester screening and 20 week anamoly scan. I guess that's one benefit of being old!

I'm more than happy to be seen by them, especially for these detailed scans, as they (as well as their equipment) are the best in the area. Plus, this is all they do and where their expertise lies. I also appreciate that the doctor always comes in to meet with you after the tech has done the initial scan. The doctor then performs a scan himself to be sure he agrees with the initial report and also goes over the findings right there in the exam room with you. So, you know the results before you walk out the door.

I'm happy to report that our little girl looks perfect! She's developing normally and looks to be on track in all areas. As I lay there watching the scan, I was just in awe of the whole process. To see her perfect little spine and ribs, as the tech ran down each section to be sure it was all in place, I just watched in amazement. What a beautiful sight and a true miracle.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Miss Retro Clock 2007, originally uploaded by Alexia´s.

Three and a half hours to go. Can you tell I'm excited?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh Baby.

Well, the belly is growing, the little baby kicks are getting stronger and more consistent, and I'm just about halfway done with my pregnancy already! As much as it seemed to drag on during those nausea filled first trimester weeks, it is flying by now! And, I'm trying to appreciate and savor every minute of it. I know this will be our last baby and my last pregnancy. And, I'm one of those crazy people who love being pregnant.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I wished the pregnancy away. We had tried for so long to get pregnant that I just wanted them HERE. I was very impatient and stressed during the entire pregnancy and I didn't appreciate it for the miracle that it was. Plus, I had a lot of complications with that pregnancy... first trimester bleeding that lasted ALL of the first trimester and into the 2nd, constant braxton hicks contractions and worry of preterm later in the 2nd trimester, and the third trimester I dealt with preterm labor, a hospital stay and modified bedrest. So, needless to say, I didn't really have the opportunity to relax and enjoy being pregnant.

This pregnancy has been so different and I'm so thankful for that. Knock on wood, I've had no complications and no worrisome symptoms. And, because of that, and maybe because it's my second time around, I'm much more relaxed. I'm also much smaller than I was when I was carrying the twins, obviously, so I shouldn't be as uncomfortable as quickly as I was with them. Other than the bigger belly, I don't really feel pregnant.

We go on Friday for our big ultrasound and will hopefully find out what we're having! I can't wait and have been counting down the days. I was so sure it was a girl earlier this month but now I'm starting to question my confidence. Two more days, and we should know for sure. And then I'll shift to the naming game and nursery decor planning!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Have To Brag...

My kids are in the 2009 Cumberland County Visitors Guide! A lady who works for the Cumberland County Visitors Bureau contacted me several weeks ago after finding my photos on I had taken a ton of photos of the twins this fall at the Boiling Springs Children's Lake and she asked if she could have permission to use some of them in this year's visitors guide. Of course I said yes! So, after signing some paperwork, it was a go.

I heard back from her a couple of weeks ago to inform me that she was using one of the photos on the table of contents page (which gets the most "looks", she said) and that it was almost a half page spread. The Guide was released last night and I got my copy this morning. I'm so proud!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


busy, originally uploaded by mia takahara.

That's what I am. I feel like my head is spinning with everything that I'd like to accomplish over the next six months... oops, five. See, I don't even know how long I have to accomplish everything.

EJ and Olivia's birthdays are a month away (as of today, actually) so I've got party planning on my mind. They both have themes. Olivia wants a Tinker Bell birthday and EJ wants a Spiderman birthday (although he's been VERY clear that he does not want real spiders involved). I set the bar very high last year with their cakes so now everyone is expecting the same caliber cakes this year as well. So, I've been scanning the internet and Martha Stewart magazines for ideas.

Then, there is the recently painted and newly furnished dining room. I love mid-century modern furniture so we've replaced our very traditional dining room set with some great craiglist finds. They've been sitting in our garage since October and have finally made their way into the room (after some new color on the walls) this past weekend. BUT, all of the old artwork and decor does not mix with the new set so I've got a list of items I'm looking to buy.

Then, there is my digital scrapbooking. I had to step down from two of my creative teams during the first trimester because I just wasn't able to put in the time necessary to be a productive member of the teams. However, I'm still on two teams and thankfully, they have been very forgiving with regards to my lack of creativity as of late.

And speaking of digital scrapbooking, I have three large projects that I need to finish before the new baby comes. I'm currently working on a 60th Birthday album for my Dad and first year baby books for the twins. Yes, I realize that they're going to be four next month. If I don't get these books done before August, I don't think I'll ever catch up.

Then there is baby. The sweet baby that I'm still in awe of the fact that I'm carrying. There is a lot of planning to do for baby. First, I'm currently sitting in what will be the nursery.... the playroom/office. So, the only other spot available for a playroom is the basement (which will need to be finished, of course) and the office is relocating to the living room (which is currently just a room that is looked at but never used). This is our biggest to do list of all and it stresses me out just thinking about it.

Nursery decorating. Something that will have to happen after the task above is complete but something that I'm still thinking about and planning. Trying not to spend too much time on it at the moment until we know what we're having. But still, just another to do list item that is making my head spin just slightly.

Then, there's my job, which is supposedly going away June 1st but this date changes as quickly as the weather. Regardless, I know that by the time this baby arrives I will no longer be employed. Which, I have to say that I'm thoroughly looking forward to but also involves a lot of work. I've got to somehow organize the past eight years of my working life into something that someone else can just "run with". Ugh. How does one do that?

How does one do all of the above in five months? Is it possible? It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

Monday, March 9, 2009


My kids are just full of it lately. I guess I really shouldn't even say "lately" because they've always been full of sweetness. It's just that they're now better at expressing it and it melts my heart.

I love the innocence and, to say it again, sweetness that I think comes naturally at this age. But, I also like to think that part of it has to do with their upbringing. :) I'm always telling Gene how much I want to freeze time. To keep them at the stage they are now because I know all too quickly things will change. Some things change for the better, and others, at least temporarily, change for the worse. It's just part of growing up.

So, I'm vowing to savor this stage. The I love you's and kisses that come without asking. EJ and Olivia are both known to come over, out of nowhere and plant a kiss or a hug and say I love you. Or, EJ is famous for his "Guess what, Mommy (or Daddy)?" questions. His answer when you say "what?" is always "I love you." And they are always unprompted.

The snuggles at bedtime.

The concern they have when you hurt yourself and the kisses that follow on any and all boo-boos.

The care they give to their babies. I will often find EJ asleep at night in bed with one of his many babies or stuffed animals, covered with one of his blankies and laying right next to him on his pillow. Olivia does the same.

The sight of my baby girl standing in the driveway waving goodbye to me as I drive away. If she is ever outside when you're leaving the house, she insists on walking you to the car, opening the door for you, closing it, and proceeding to wave and yell "bye-bye, Mommy" for as long as she can see your car driving away from her. It's one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.

The sight of my baby boy doing the same as above, only at preschool. He walks to me to door of his room as I'm leaving and holds it open, watching me walk down the hall towards the exit, saying "I love you, Mommy" and "Good-bye, Mommy" for as long as he can see me. And as I mentioned above, it's one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. I'm trying to remember to take my camera one morning when I drop them off so that I can capture it in all of its sweetness.

The "I love yous" that ring out long after I've said goodnight and closed both of their bedroom doors. I think it's a requirement that it's said back and forth to each of them a miminum of four times before they're satisfied and their rooms become silent.

All of the little things that they're doing and saying on an oh so regular basis that will change and evolve into something different, even if it's ever so slightly. But, it's just slight enough that you don't notice the change happening. There are so many stages that I so often believe I'll remember like it was yesterday only to realize that it's come and gone and I have a hard time recalling some of the things I swore I'd never forgot. Little things they've said or done. Little things like the above.

My mother in law is always telling me I need to write things down and while I have the best of intentions, it often doesn't happen. This blog was supposed to be an outlet for capturing some of these moments. And, I'm terrible at posting. For example, I've been meaning to write this post for over two weeks and I'm finally forcing myself to do it. I need to get better at documenting as it's only going to get crazier when the new addition makes his or her appearance in August. But, I'll keep trying.