Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Water Table

Madeleine recieved a water table from her Nani & Popi for her birthday, she really, really, really loves playing with it!

Love, Lauren

Santa Rosa Plateau

Our nephew Daniel was in town from Arizona, so we decided to take him on a little hike. We headed out to the Santa Rosa Plateau just at lunch time for Mads. We also forgot to bring any food for her. So, we fed her a green apple as we drove back to Bear Creek Market Barron's. It was the worst tummy upset I have ever seen. I sat in the back as she shook and screamed and cried as her stomach was in total upheaval. It was horrible, and I started to cry because I couldn't do anything for her. She was in so much pain. Tim made a quick stop at CVS (?) for some Gripe Water and I got that on board in no time. After about 20 minutes, she was feeling better and not crying. We finally got to Barron's and gave her some ham, cheese, bread and blueberries. It was very traumatic for Mama and baby, but we got her settled and satisfied. Ugh, it was so stressful that I did not want to hike, but I felt bad because Daniel had been with us the whole time and it must have been boring and unsettling to have to deal with that situation when you're 11 years old. So, we headed back out.
Here's Daniel, a better Madeleine, and Tim in front of the visitor's center:
Mads gets carried in the Dueter Kid Pack III, and I love the way she held on to the sun-shade straps, she was being rocked as though on a camel, and I love her little face in these pics:
Daniel and Tim decided to take another mile or two out to the adobe houses while me and Mads headed back to the car from the Vernal Pools. We sang songs on the way back, and she even got to have a chocolate ship Famous Amos cookie because she signed "please" when she saw us eating them. She would also tweet like the birds around us, and enjoyed mimicking the breeze blowing through the grass.It was nice to get out, and I'm glad Tim got to spend some time with his nephew, but we definitely pulled a parenting-duh moment. I always try to over prepare for situations (and so does Tim) but we just got behind the ball with this one. Madeleine is such an easy going baby, I don't ever want to see her in pain like that again. So, next time we're making sure to have plenty of food and gripe water on hand before going on a hike, no matter how short or quick.
Love, Lauren

Thursday, June 24, 2010

30 Before 30: # 17 Organize the linen "cave"

It started when we kept waking up tired and achey. Well, it actually started before we were married, when Tim lived alone, and would sleep in the middle of his bed. This created a valley that both of us were rolling into throughout the night; and since I was to soon add the "third person" to our bed (aka my pregnancy body pillow) we decided a queen wasn't going to cut it anymore, and bought a king mattress hoping it would improve our sleep. After months of just stuffing linens in the closet in our hallway, I decided that moving from queen to king merited a huge overhaul of the space.
I actually forget to take a real "before" picture for my projects, so this is when the closet was cleaned out to some degree already. It was far more disorganized than this:
Some of the linens, piled on the bed- just to get an idea of all that was stuffed in those 6 cupboards:
I have a weird need for symmetry or likeness (for instance, if I eat M& Ms or Skittles or anything with colors/flavors, I must have two of the same, I put one on each side of my mouth, so the other side doesn't get an unequal amount of that flavor/color- freaky, I know). So, when we got married, I bought enough green hangers to cover the Earth. Even though Tim had blue, we didn't have enough to have them all match. So, all towels that did not have an exact match were either taken to the fire station for use, or put in our car washing towel box.
Oh, and does anyone know why towels do this? These towels were brand knew, monogrammed in our "B" and after one or two washes they had these bleach-like stains in them. Many of my towels have done this- any ideas?!?!?
As far as the sheets were concerned, anything that was a queen set was folded and put aside, we actually had six sets because we both had beds before we were married, and we received even more when we were married. Any sheets that were singletons, or looked like the '90s inspired southwest print below were given away or discarded.
I thought I might be able to sell the sets at a garage sale, but Tim questioned who would be willing to buy old sheets? So, we gave them away to family (even though the brown one in the top right we had only used like twice).
Tim has a lot of neck issues, and in looking to relieve his pain has bought quite a few pillows. They range from Walmart $5 cotton to $45 orthopedic pillows. So, I decided to keep two twin pillows for river camping, keep the orthopedic ones, and get rid of the rest.
Even Mac was interested in the new roomy closet.
The pillows are out of the frame on top, the next shelf down are extra "heritage" blankets (afgahns my Nana made and a quilt from Tim's great aunt), the third shelf are matching towel sets with hand towels (I don't do washcloths), and in the fourth shelf I actually was able to put two boxes of pictures and one of my scrap-booking boxes. Finally, there are the queen mattress cover, three queen sets and two queen blankets for when and if we ever have a queen bed again in a guest room or if our kids sleep in one. Behind the queen mattress cover are two plastic boxes, one for table linens and the other for window dressings.
All done! Yay, only 27 more items to go!
Love, Lauren

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Finding Motivation

For a while now, I have been content to sit around and attend to Madeleine. I feel like it took me a solid year to truly get the "Mommy" thing down. But now that I have her scheduled, and self-feeding and things are going awesome, I've turned my attention to my nest. I don't know if I didn't "nest" as much with Mads because I was working and tired most of the time...but I do know that now that I have more "freetime" on my hands (like when Mads is napping), I am suddenly motivated to get some work done around the house. Here's what I've done in the last few weeks:

-organized the linen "cave" (which will its own post due to its presence on the 30 before 30 list)
-organized MJ's clothes and pulled out her 18 month items for use
-weeded my gazania bed and planted Kangaroo Paw; felted and wood chipped planter to detour weeds
-replaced our bedroom fan (Tim helped me)
-organized the food pantry
-dead-headed my roses and African daisies
-hung Madeleine's swing in the tree out front
-disassembled the old bedroom fan and re-painted it for our kitchen area
-conditioned our leather couches
-re-painted all our frames in our bedroom black
-hung magnolia vines above our windows in our bedroom
- wrote and mailed thank-you notes for Mads' birthday gifts
-tested our pool water and added a pH balancer, conditioner, chlorine and vacuumed it
-fixed the concentric float in our toilet to keep it from running

I also have a few other projects going which include painting our bathroom, hanging window coverings in our bathroom and sanding our coffee and side tables.

I can't really decide what to do for the color of the coffee and side tables, but I was really inspired by this diy game table idea!
I think I will have to start sanding the tables tomorrow =)
Love, Lauren

Monday, June 21, 2010

Peanut Update #1

15 weeks

By this time in my pregnancy with Mads, I had logged 3 baby updates. So, it is high time for a little news on the littlest one. I'll use the same format that I did for Mads when she was still Bump!.

1. When is your due date:
Estimated due dates range from November 4-18th. Because we use NFP, and because Tim is only home certain days, I am 99% certain when we conceived. I believe the baby will come closer to the 14th, but the doctor's say the 4th. Based on their ultrasound measurements and my fundal height, they still hold to this date. However, Madeleine was conceived on Sept. 2 and born on June 2...We'll just have to see when Peanut wants to appear.

2. Will you find out the child's gender?
Yes, we did and we're having a girl!

3. What names are you considering?
We are 97.3% set on a name, but when I asked Tim if he was willing to share, he told me he likes having a little secret between us. I totally understand; it seems when you are pregnant, all your personal decisions are up for public grabs. Since Tim is more private than I am, it made my heart warm over when he told me, you'll have to wait. And we do hold true to this, not even my mom knew Madeleine's name until I held her and said "Hi, Madeleine baby!".

4. How are you feeling?
Great! I was a little scared in the first 8-10 weeks because I had almost no pregnancy symptoms (don't hate me-God made me this way). I remember flying to Texas and actually getting a little queasy in the CPK express lunch spot and getting very scared that my tummy troubles were signaling a miscarriage. I thought for sure that if I didn't "feel" pregnant, that it was either a false, or weak pregnancy which my body would expel. I've gained 9 lbs so far over the 20+ weeks. Baby is getting close to 1lb, and I'm trying to keep exercising, but I pretty much hit a wall at 10 weeks. I was doing P90X, it just so happened that I started week 1 the week I got pregnant. So 10 weeks into P90X, I just stopped. This was when exhaustion set in. I'm very tired, I never did get the 2nd trimester "wind" because I felt so great in my 1st trimester that there wasn't a marked difference. After taking care of Mads all day, I am really beat by bedtime.

5. How is Tim feeling?
You'll have to ask him. He's excited, but I think the ultrasounds, some kicks and a rounding belly are making it more real for him. He is looking forward to the new baby because he says then Mads will pay more attention to him as I will be preoccupied.

6. What do you mean homebirth?
Ok, last time this question came up because we decided to deliver Madeleine at home. Although we really wanted to do it again, and even met up with a midwife in the area who we liked and helped deliver Madeleine, we just couldn't afford it. When I called Kaiser to see what the baby would cost, I was hoping they would say ~$3,000. Then we would feel justified in spending the $3,800 to deliver at home. But because we are a one-income home and Kaiser actually told us we would pay zero dollars, we decided to birth in a hospital. Tim firmly decided I was not to deliver at Inland or Rancho Springs. We toured Palomar Hospital in Escondido and decided to deliver there. I am trying to find out hospital policy on IVs and fetal monitoring and such because I still want to go natural. The rooms were bigger than I expected and since it's really the nurses that make the difference during the birth, Tim is going to start heading upstairs to meet and great and make sure he gets a good vibe from the ladies who will be assisting us. I know it seems silly, but one of the reasons I don't want to deliver there is because I don't want Peanut's birth certificate to say "Escondido" as place of birth. I also don't want her to think we love her any less because we couldn't afford to deliver at home. I tried to convince Tim that he could deliver with my mom's help, but he firmly decided he was not willing to do that. I asked him if he would consider researching more of our options for "unassisted" homebirth with our next babies and he said he'd think about it.

7. Can I rub your belly when I see you?
Oh sure, why not? I'm bigger than with Mads- everyone says those lax muscles will aid in delivering faster. Of course, I am all for that; in fact, if we cut our labor in half this second time around, I can expect to deliver in 15 hours!!! =) Yea, hopefully Madeleine was a total fluke and Peanut will come in only 4 hours like my mom's 2nd baby did (I was a 6 hour delivery). But, at least I know I can do 24 hours of natural labor and live to tell about it.

Love, Lauren

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The big ONE!

We celebrated the birth of our little Madeleine on Memorial Day this year. Monday, May 31st is only two days before her actually birthday, and it worked out perfect to have close friends and family come to our backyard and have a swim party!
I ordered mermaid themed invitations from and loved them! Plus, if I post my pic with their product on their site, I can get $5 off my next order.
My mom (and dad, alex and keegan) helped me make a flag garland out of scrap material after seeing the one Sarah made for Bennett. My mom and I cut the flags and my family put it together for me. So nice of them. It was really long and made about 5 passes in the sun room from wall to wall. Tim hung it for me and it added a great festive touch. I also bought some gorgeous flowers at the farmer's market on Saturday. There is a couple there that makes fantastic arrangements out of Protea, Kangaroo Paw, and Pin Cushions. For about $20 we got a HUGE arrangement that I wanted to make the centerpiece of the cake table. I think it turned out lovely.
Tim and I spent the morning setting up and decorating. We had a lot of fun hanging crabs and sea horses in the colored fishing nets, placing chairs and hanging paper puffer fish from the high places. As Madeleine napped, we set up a oceanic wonderland.
After her morning nap, we showed her around so she wouldn't be overwhelmed with all the changes. She got a good morning nap in and was playing with some pool toys in the sunroom. She loved all the hanging flags, fish and flowers.

She was very interested in the transformation of our backyard.

I also spruced up the outside seating area with this enormous and extravagant King Protea. I love how it looks in the vase that the Lindsay girls gave me
At the last minute possible, I decided to make a little cake for Madeleine. I had already made cupcakes, but wanted something a little special. I had plans to do a super healthy, body-friendly apple sauce and whole wheat germ cake, but ran out of time. I did manage to make this white starfish on white fondant cake. I think it looks good with the seaweed (kinda hides the flaws). Thanks to Christina and Katie who helped me do it as guests were arriving.
Mads and Katie
Mads & Auntie Keegz

Happy Birthday, sweet Madeleine.
We opened a slew of presents (thanks!). She loved the books, especially those from the Trask family. Cousins Matthew and Elijah helped us keep the present opening on a roll. Tim helped me out immensly by keeping track of all the gifts and their respective givers. He didn't just write down "book" either, he wrote the book title, and the outfit style which is really going to help me with the thank you notes (which are being made as we read).
There's that Daddy half-smile again!
My Gramacita (MJ's Abuelita) knit a beautiful dress, and I can't wait for her to wear it!
During cake, as everyone was gathered, it seemed appropriate that with many of our friends and family present, we should take the time to formally dedicate Madeleine to the Lord. Our church (as far as we know) doesn't do this ubiquitous ceremony, but I liked the idea of doing it on our own in front of our family even more than a congregation. Tim spoke about the grace that God has given us in allowing our marriage, and that He has blessed it with children. He prayed specifically for trust in God as he deals with the anxiety of being responsible for us girls. I prayed for the ability to see the big picture even as I work through the daily, mundane tasks of raising a small child- reading the same stories over and over, training the same behavior every single day with seemingly no progress (we are working on not putting our finger up our nose). It was really meaningful and powerful for us as a couple and it was more about us reaffirming to our loved ones that we do want to raise Madeleine to be a godly woman with the purpose of God's will and glory. Madeleine enjoyed a little sliver of cake as we prayed over her.

Happy Birthday lovely Madeleine. You are the delight and joy of your mother's heart and the apple of your daddy's eye. We are so pleased with your precious little heart, and you are already a sweet helper to our family. We know you will make a wonderful big sister, and your gentle demeanor is one we want to encourage for God's work. We love you sweet girl, and we love your little goofy face.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

30 Before 30: #2 Get A Haircut

I decided it was time for another hair chop while looking through photos. I realized that for the last 15 years, my hair "style" has been fairly predictable. I would take my long hair, gather it in a low pony in the back, twist it up and wind it up to the back of my head, and secure with two small clips (or one big clip). I have cut my hair in the past, and there seems to be a pattern for my behavior. #1: 1990- I wanted a perm in the 5th grade, so we chopped my straight, long hair and permed it. #2: 1997- I was a 16 year old senior when I decided to chop my hair, by this time puberty had hit and my hair was naturally curly- no perm needed. #3: 2003- I was asked to cut my hair by my then-husband who gave me an asymmetrical bob. I cried the whole first day, but then learned to work with it. #4: 2010- I was tired of feeling like my ravaged hair just hung about my face. It was scraggly and unkempt. I decided to stop believing that only skinny people can have short hair and cut it off again. Do you see a pattern in my cutting behavior? =)
One last pic before I chop it off. I wondered if I might cry again, but felt pretty confident I wanted it to be cut:

I still look wild and unkempt most of the time, but I think that just reflects a little about me anyways. I was very pleased with my cut, and Tim loved it too.
Now all I have to do is wash and scrunch, or roll out of bed and tossel my hair. It is so easy, fun and I love it. I guess we have another 7 years until the next one huh? (haircut, not baby)
Only 28 to go!
Love, Lauren

Madeleine's eleventh month: May

May was not NEARLY as busy as April, so I'll be caught up to June in no time.
Here is our little snickerdoodle at 11 months:
She's done with the camera and ready to go play now:

Bye gorilla, see ya later! Love ya.
Love, Lauren

30 Before 30: # 8 Run A 5K

Before we move to May, I did one last thing in April that kicked off the 30 Before 30 list completion. I decided to try and build a team to run for Birth Choice of Temecula in the Relay for Humanity race. I did help a team get started, but they all ran the 10K (I thought we were all running the 5K). So, on Saturday, April 24th I packed up the BOB, the baby and my belly and headed out to Menifee. It was a bigger event than I had imagined, and I had to park way out in the boonies. As I was walking to the staging area, I saw Heather Schaffner running the 10K. I cheered her on as she ran by. I had never run a race before, so when we started, I was surprised that I spent a good 1-2 minutes just walking from my starting point to the starting line. This is something to think about if I ever really run a race- one minute to your time can really change things! I hadn't really been running, and I was 12 weeks pregnant, so I took it easy. Regardless of my "slow" pace, I had to dodge so many people in passing. With a double-wide jogging stroller this is no small feat. I kept my pace steady and finally pulled out of the crowds to some smaller groups. I passed by two skinny high school girls and heard them say "Now my morale is really shot." I guess they didn't expect a lady pushing a jogging stroller to breeze by them =) It was funny so I turned around and said, "You can do it! Slow and steady" or something equally sanguine. I finished in 31 minutes, which is just under a 10 minute mile. It's okay for an untrained, pregnant gal pushing 60 lbs. of baby and stroller. The best part is that Tim was there to meet me at the finish line! He was coming off work that morning, so I didn't expect him to come home and drive out to Menifee to see me run, but...he did. Again, more proof that he is the world's best husband. He captured video of me crossing the finish line, made sure I got an orange or two and then walked around with me afterward as we visited the vendor booths. Surprisingly, my parents also made it. We saw them amongst the vendor booths and I honestly didn't think they were going to come out, but my mom said they had also just walked the 5K! Way to go 'rents. Tim insisted that because I had just run a race, I could carbo-load on whatever I wanted that day. Of course, I tried to tell him that 3.12 miles is just a normal everyday run for me (when I'm not pregnant). But no, so we went to Penfold's for pancakes and french toast with my parents. It was a fun day! And now I am down to 29 =)
Just finished the race:
Mads took the easy way:
The FBC team benefiting Birth Choice
Tim told me to pose in front of the sign, he really wanted a picture of the man to the right in the tie-dyed, key-hole shirt...
Love, Lauren

April Around the House

In an effort to slam dunk April, here is a highlight potpurri!
We celebrated Tim's birthday on April 13. I gave him a book and a gift certificate to Body Care.
Here Dadda extols the wonders of a one-hour-therapeutic massage.
One Sunday, Mads woke up and just wanted to snuggle with Dada. Mama took the opportunity to capture this little interaction.

Later this month, Nani came over and helped Madeleine into my boots. She insisted that Nani help her walk around in Mama's boots. She often tries to put her feet into my shoes- whether it be flip-flops or heels.

I attempted to teach Mads how to use a spoon to eat. I bought toddler sized cutlery and a suction-cupped plate. I even stooped to enticing her with Trader Joe's Organic Spagetti O's. She was not impressed with the fare, nor was she interested in eating with the cutlery. I also found out that the suctioning was not as strong as I hoped. It was funny and I went back to just putting her food on the tray.

We had our first ultrasound to see Peanut. I made Mads a onesie that says "BIG sister".
Tim needed to clean our shop vacuum. He got a little help from MJ.
I think I said, give me a tough face.
Everyone eagerly awaits Dadda coming home from work (especially Mama)
Being the wicked woman that I am, I made Tim say good-bye to his 1995 grad night prize: a Gary Fisher mountain bike. It has been rusting on our side-yard for about 3 years. This, along with the dumping of his hideous brown leather chair and ottoman are the closest I've seen this man to tears...(not really, but...)

finally, we got in a trip to the duck pond, and who ever knew that there are turtles in the pond?
Yay! I am now onto May!!!
Love, Lauren