Saturday, April 24, 2010

Charlie Update

I promise this will not become an "all about Charlie" blog but it is all about whatever I am doing ~ and right now, it is all about Charlie.. so I thought I'd give an update for family & friends on how the newest member of the family is doing.

Both Charlie and Jen are doing remarkably well. Jen is up and walking well. She got to take a shower this morning and put on her own clothes so that helped a whole bunch. She has opted to stay at the hospital until tomorrow. Considering that when she goes home she will have to walk up a flight of stairs, I think it's the right thing to do. They all 3 got sufficient sleep last night.

Charlie is in her own clothes as well and looking even more adorable if that's even possible. Despite the barrage of visitors (3 sets of grandparents as well as my kidlets and Jen's aunt (only 5 yrs older than Jen so they are more like siblings)and Jen's other brother ~ Charlie is taking it all in stride. Loves being held by everyone. She is alert and looks all around and when she looks directly at you she just melts your heart.

I've been fortunate to be able to be there for so much of this process ~ I've even gotten to change a diaper. The best was this morning when no one else (except J&J) and I got to have some amazing Grammy/Charlie time.

I have let others hold her ~ which takes everything I have to hand her over... but I do share.  Julianne is just going crazy over her and holds her whenever she can.  Grampy sits patiently but loves when it's his turn.  He just loves babies.

The kids are a bit antsy in the hotel room  ~ but last night Rich took them to the spa (large hot tub) and the pool and they really like hanging out in the lobby which is where I'm headed right after this.  I've been crocheting a baby blanket and once I get the main part done ~ I now know I can put PINK trim on the outside!

And finally ~ Here is the first ever picture of the happy family.  I did take a better one with J&J's camera but for now, this is what I have!

It'll be so hard going back home tomorrow once Jen is home and settled. Fortunately it's only a 2 1/2 hr drive and I have a feeling I'll be making it quite a bit!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

There are just no words

First of all ~ It's a girl!!! Charlie Madeline was born on April 22nd (Earth Day) at 1:05 pm. She weighed in at 8 lbs 6 oz and 20.5 inches long. She is healthy, beautiful and just perfect.. as is Mom Jennifer.

There are just no words to describe the emotions and the love that I am feeling right now. The first time I saw her, as they wheeled her into the nursery to run all those test, and poke and prod her ~ she just took my breath away. And then when they placed her in my arms.... I still tear up just thinking about it ~ the overwhelming sense of love... and so much more. It's so totally different than the love of a child from a parent but I honestly don't know how to describe it. This little girl has captured my heart and my soul so completely. It's amazing and yet feels so natural.

And as impossible as I would have told you it was, it actually increased my love for Jen. To give me the gift of grandmotherhood is the most incredible gift ever. I am so proud of her and my heart is just swelling with love.

Charlie was born via c-section and I was with Jen up until about 15 minutes before they came to take her to the OR. We all (me, Julz, her Dad and his wife)left to give J&J some time alone. As I walked out of the room and down the hall, I just lost it ~ just started sobbing. Poor Julz didn't know what to think. I think it was the build up of a lot of things leading up to this plus the concern for Jen, about to undergo major surgery. I managed to make it into the rest room and dab some water on my face and calm down and come out just in time for them to wheel her past me and into the OR. She was sitting up and smiling and I blew her a kiss and smiled back as best I could but she saw (she told me later) that I was a wreck ~ aw crap, just writing this has got me going again!!!

Anyway.. it seemed like she was in the OR forever! They took her in right about 12:15 and as I walked to the waiting room ~ there is her doctor at the nurses station, eating his lunch and dictating notes from his previous case into a recorder. He went in about 12:30 or so. I couldn't  sit! I paced the halls the entire time. One of the things this hospital does is, when a baby is born (really a few minutes after) a lullaby plays over the PA system. We waited for what seemed like an eternity until finally at 1:11 I heard it! I yelled (very quietly I might add) to Jen's stepmom ~ "Listen, that's it ~ that's our baby!" We were all going nuts. Just before that though Jen's dad asked me "Boy or Girl?". I said all along I have been thinking it would be a boy but in the last couple of days, I've switched to girl. He said he's been saying girl all along but thinks it will be a boy. Too funny.

It wasn't too long (maybe 10 or 15 minutes) and they brought Charlie out. Jeremy came out with her and announced ~ "We have a girl!" They slowed down as they brought her past us so we could get a good look and snap the first pictures of this adorable baby. So much cheering and hugging ~ it's all kind of a blur. We watched through the window while they ran all the standard tests. We took pictures through the glass ~ we made dozens of calls ~ we texted pictures ~ we all fell in love with Charlie.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We finally won!

This last couple of soccer seasons have been a bit underwhelming as I mentioned in a previous post. Last season, not only did we not win a game, we only scored two goals then entire season.

New season, whole new team, and while we had not won a game yet, we were able to actually score a few times. That has all changed now. WE WON A GAME!!!

The game was in south Palm Bay and we got there late (the game started at 3:00 which means we needed to be there at 2:15 and didn't make it until 2:45). Nate forgot his shin guards, although coach had a spare set, he sat out the first quarter of the game. Before you judge us for getting him there late, the directions to the place took us the really really long way and remember we were picking up trash on the roadside all morning!

Anyhow, Nate played the remaining 3 quarters and actually made the last goal of the game ~ giving us a 4 to 0 win. He also set up the first goal, getting the ball to the coaches son who was directly in front of the goal and wham ~ our first goal. The kids played really really well together and they gave it their all. I can't tell you how many times our kids "took a shot" for the team. Some of them were on the ground more than they were running.
Rich took this pic of the goalie. First time he's gotten to relax during a game.
He's actually the best goalie we've had in a long long time.  He's super tall with really long legs.  He almost look unnatural when he runs but he's not only a good player ~ he seems like a really good guy.  Always talking positive on the field and cheering on his fellow players.
I really like the entire team.  I think we have just about an even number of boys and girls on our team and I have to say, our girls can kick butt.  We have one player (female) that Richard calls the "Cleaner".  She plays defense ~ all the way back by the goal and let me tell you, if there is a ball coming her way, it's gone.  If she has a clear shot, she will kick the ball clean across the field.  If someone from the opposing team has the ball, she does this amazing thing where she will kick it out from under them before they even know the ball is gone.   No one gets past her.

DSC08650And while I forgot to get many pics ~ here's one ~ probably the only time Nate wasn't full on running down the field. I think he looks so cute in his uniform.

Ironic that we are playing so well, now that we only have two games left. Next week's game is much closer to home so we should be there on time... unless, of course, we are in Jacksonville oogling over the most precious baby ever.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day

Saturday we participated in Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day program. Basically you sign up to do some volunteer time and in exchange you get a free ticket to any of the Disney theme parks.

I chose the City of Cocoa's Trash Bash 2010. I chose it for several reasons. Being honest, the first reason I chose it was so we could go to Disney for free. I mean, who wouldn't want to do that. Secondly, there are age restrictions on most of the volunteer options and this was one that the whole family could do together.

Lastly, I though it would be a great learning opportunity for the kids. I was right about that last part except I think it benefited all of us. Basically we were assigned an area in Cocoa and we picked up the trash along the road. Can I tell you I will never (or at least for a very long time) be able to drive down a road and not notice the amount of trash or lack thereof.

We were each given two 32 gallon trash bags to fill ~ along with latex gloves and bright orange vests. I didn't think to take pics during our trash pick up but here is Rich and the kids when we arrived back at the park DSC08640

Anyway, we managed to fill our 8 trash bags in just over an hour. I'm just amazed at what we found. I guess the most unexpected were tons of (used) rub off lottery tickets. The most expected and disgusting was the THOUSANDS of cigarette butts. My kids are really good about not littering but I think it was a real eye opener to see how many people do litter.

While it was warm out, it wasn't sweltering so we were okay. They also gave out bottles of water to take with us. I think the most rewarding ~ but also the most somber was cleaning up a small roadside cemetery.

Anyhow.. after we were done we headed back to the park, which was our starting place. It's a beautiful park right on the water.

They also served lunch ~ grilled hot dogs, chips, moon pie's and drinks. There was a live band that didn't quite suck ~ but came close. We found a bench in the shade and enjoyed just being outside, by the water, and all together, knowing we had done a good thing. I do think we'll volunteer again (no Disney tickets next time) but be a little more prepared. While we picked up trash by hand this time, I'd rather have one of those pointy stick things next time so we all don't end up with broken backs and I'd bring my own thick gardeners gloves cause the latex one broke rather quickly and made your hands really sweaty.

IMG_0290CJust a couple of other pics from the morning. Graffiti on one of the posts.  Fans of "How I Met Your Mother" will definitely get this.  If not, you really can't call yourself a fan!  If you haven't watched this show, you really should.  Very well written and I love the whole cast.  My family's favorite character is definitely Barney.  He's a real "man whore."  The fact that in real life, he's actually gay is really amusing cause he plays this part so unbelievably well.
Julianne is such a huge Neil Patrick Harris fan that we had to rent some of the "Doogie Houser" videos.
DSC08643 DSC08644

This one Richard took with his iPhone. I think it is amazing. IMG_0294 He has a great eye for these things.

Overall a great experience. Next stop of the day was soccer but that's another post for another day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On becoming a "Grammy"

No, it hasn't happened yet ~ but will any day now. My bags are packed so I can head to Jacksonville the minute I get the call. If nothing happens in the next few days,  they will induce Jen on Thursday so I will go up on Wednesday night. In some ways it just hasn't seemed real. I get excited when I see Jen looking all pregnant. I love to rub her belly and talk to the baby. But the thought that my baby is having a baby ~ WOW!

It's funny, most people, when they talk about becoming grandparents ~ their concern is being perceived as old. Me, I've dreamed of being a grandparent forever. I guess it's mostly that I didn't really have grandparents.

My mother's mother died years before I was born and although I was 6 yrs old when her father passed away, we left New York when I was 6 months old ~ and I never saw him after that. This is a scrapbook page my cousin Linda made for me since there are no pictures that I know of, with both of us together.

My birthfather's parents (mother and step father) came to visit a few times when I was very young. She was mean ~ and I'm not talking strict, I'm talking mean. She would feed her poodle (which she dyed different colors) ice cream and told my sister and I we didn't deserve it because we were bad children. She also told us one time (while our mother was in the hospital) that our mother was going to die and it was all our fault ~ again because we were bad children. Her husband was a nice man but when they came to see us, he would to to the dog track pretty much every day. I now think it was to get away from her! He always promised to take me with him when I turned 18 (back then you couldn't go unless you were 18) but I think I might have been 7 or 8 the last time I saw them.

When my mom married my dad (I consider the dad that raised me my "real" dad), he came with two sets of parents. His dad and stepmom who I only saw a couple of times, didn't consider me their grandchild. His mom and step dad were nice people. They lived in Michigan and we would go see them for a week in the summer and eventually they moved to Florida. I think my dad's stepfather died when I was in my late teens, shortly after they moved here so I really didn't know him well.  My dad's mom was a nice person ~ she really was. She did, however, believe blood is thicker than water and my dad's "real" kids (from his first marriage) were her real grandchildren. She was still very nice to us ~ but it wasn't the same.

Anyway, the point of all that drama was that I always knew when I grew up, I would be the kind of grandmother you always heard about. I would spoil my grandchildren and buy them things and bake them cookies. I had a vision of having lots of grandkids and loving them all ~ equally.

I will say that I had a great role model ~ my mom.  She was a wonderful grandmother.   My oldest sister's three girls, my brother's daughter Trish and my Jen.  Now, while she didn't give birth to two of the above mentioned and didn't even raise one of us... they were all her grandchildren and she loved them all equally.   It's just a shame she didn't get to meet all of her current grandchildren ~ they are amazing!

DSC00117.JPGI already have Tyler and Bryce (from Alex) and yes, they are not legally my grandchildren but they call me Grammy and I love them to death. I just wish they lived closer and I could get to see them more often.

Back to Jen and this grandchild.... I have been pretty calm about all of this but I have to tell you, in the last couple of days I have been a bit overwhelmed by the vision of holding this new baby. I get choked up just thinking about it. I've seen a lot of babies lately and it's taken on a new meaning for me. WE are gonna have a new baby ~ there is just nothing better! I already love this child and just can't wait to hold him or her. This new chapter in my life is right around the next corner and I am anxious for it to start.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A few new things but no new news

I put a few new things in the Etsy shop today. 5 wallets and a travel pillow. I actually made 6 wallets but Richard asked for one of the wallets with the surfboards and skulls ~ and how can you say "no" when the best hubster in the world asks for something you've made. He really likes my wallets. He especially likes that they are less bulky than most wallets and yet still hold everything he needs. He also likes the fabrics I use. I love that he is as supportive as he is. Anyway.. here's the wallets I just listed.
DSC08618 I'm thinking for $5.00 ea, it's a pretty good deal.
His favorite is the turles though. We both decided that if he carried that, it would give his coworkers license to mock him forever though.

DSC08633And then I did this travel pillow I've sold a few lately so I need to replenish the stock in the store... and of course, I'm having a blast doing it. So many cute fabrics to choose from.

And for all of you that have asked about Jen and the baby... She's still pregnant. Trust me, I'll be shouting from the rooftops when it's time. She did go to the drs today and everything looks good. If nothing happens before, they'll induce her later next week ~ so looks like I'll be a Grammy very soon!

It can change at any minute

The way my kids treat each other can change from one minute to the next. Example... the kids and I went to the beach one day last week while they were off for spring break. Here they are one minute...DSC08520 I love this picture of them!
But here they are the very next minute...DSC08522 In all seriousness they actually were still getting along and just goofing off. There are times though...
They say having your first child makes you a parent and having your second child makes you a referee! Truer words were never spoken.

The beach was great though. It was a bit more crowded than I'm used to and while the pool water is still too cold for me, the beach was just perfect. So perfect, in fact, that we went back on Easter Sunday and took Richard and his mom with us. DSC08559 This time we took a full picnic with us and stayed most of the afternoon.
DSC08509 Looks like a lot of other people had the same idea! Hope your Easter was just as wonderful.

A bit of a bathroom update

I know I've shown pics of our master Flamingo bathroom before but I've done an update or two lately. Our spare roll of toilet paper that we keep on the back of the commode had a crochet cover over it. It was kind of a dusty rose color and would remind you of something your grandmother or maybe even great grandmother would have used. I made it years ago when we lived in Raleigh, NC. At the time, our decor was very country. Lots of floral wallpaper (that was there when we moved in!) and the colors were dusty blue, dusty rose, dusty green... well, you get the picture.
When we moved back to Florida I swore off all things country but couldn't part with the toilet paper cover....... until I decided to make a new one. DSC08572 I think this one fits in with our decor much better, don't you?
Now, the back of the toilet looks like this...DSC08570
And here's the view from the throne DSC08573 I got this poster a couple of years ago and just found the frame at Goodwill for $2.99. Now we don't have to stare at a blank wall. This is the side wall in our little water closet.. DSC08575 I love these plastic plates.
And just so you know, it's not all Flamingos. I've added some gators just so the hubster will be represented DSC08576
It really is a fun room to decorate... and if you can't have fun in the bathroom, what's the point anyway?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

She's kind of a nut....

I have this friend, we'll call her Shelley (mostly cause that's actually her name). She's kind of a nut which is why I really like her a lot. I do hate her cause she's so damn young I feel ancient around her but she's kinda hard to I remain her friend.

Shelley and I became friends when I lived in Valrico (a suburb of Tampa). She was one of the moms from school. There was a group of about 6 or 7 of us that would hang out. We'd all take the kids to Mickey D's after school on Friday and let them run off energy in the play area. During the summer we'd meet one morning a week at the BK with the indoor play area. It was a nice break to get to talk to other "grown ups" and the kids always got along well.

This is Shelley and I at my Blue Hawaiian Birthday Bash for my 50th BDay. DSC00172.JPG
Not sure what we were doing here other than just goofing off as usual.

She has a fabulous sense of humor and really comes up with some zingers when you least expect them. I miss getting to see her.
Thanks to Facebook, we still get to keep in touch and last week she asked me to make her a screen bag. But not just any screen bag. She wanted one with Flying Pigs on it. Apparently her stock answer these days is "When Pigs Fly." What Shelley wants, Shelley got. Here's her Flying Pigs screen bag ~ and cause I like her so much I threw in a matching checkbook cover. DSC08567

I just heard from Shelley and "She likes it, she really really likes it!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A wonderful new (to me) artist

So, I've become a bit of a stalker ~ well maybe more of a crazed fan but I recently found this blog called "The Quilt Rat," and I'm just in love with her work, both on fabric and on paper. No one should have that much talent. Her "doodles" are to die for.

I came across a post a while back about zentangles and have been obsessed with them ever since. I really really want to try to do one which is kinda crazy cause I can't draw ~ but it's more of a doodle... well, the first ones I saw were but Jill Buckley's doodles are phenomenal art that incorporates zentangle artistry. She recently had a give-away and I just found out that I won my favorite! It's called Spiral the seahorse ~ but you can see them all here.

She also does great fabric art ~ sometimes combining the two. Make sure you check out her blog. It's not only great eye candy but wonderfully inspiring. We've also emailed back and forth a couple of times and she seems like a really great person too.

Oh, and here is a great video on how to draw Zentangles.

Let me know if you give this a try. I'd love to see what you can do with it. Me, I copied an outline of a Flamingo and I may just try to "zentangle" it!