## Wednesday, August 24, 2011

### Creative Problem Solving : A Tutorial

Step 1: Identify the Problem.
• Liam, skinny-minny that he is, has peed out of his diaper enough times that I'm out of clean swaddling blankets.  No swaddle = less sleep.  Less sleep is not an option.
• I am out of clean nursing tops.
• I am not allowed to carry anything heavier than the baby.
• The laundry that needs to get down three flights of stairs in our split level home is considerably heavier than the baby.
• I do NOT want to make 15 trips down said levels to get a complete load of laundry downstairs.
• Medman (aka my pack mule) is at work all day.

Step 2: Identify the tools you have to work with.
• I have a 5 year old boy who is not strong enough to carry down a heavy hamper.
• My 5 year old boy does like to make messes.
• I have a 2 year old girl who, let's face it, is no help at all.  (Reference this post.)  She really shouldn't even be mentioned in the tools section.  When I call her a 'tool' I'm not referring to the useful kind.
• I have a degree in engineering so that I understand the laws of physics that God set in place, my favorite of which is gravity.  (See how I'm using my education mom and dad?  Not everyone can work physics into their blog post.  Just wait 'til I start blogging about Bernoulli's equation.)

Step 3: Utilize the tools you have.
• Come up with motivation for 5 year old: Shout enthusiastically that the name of the game is "The Great Laundry Roundup!!!"
• Point 5 year old toward your dirty clothes.
• Direct him to pick up armfuls of clothing.

• Direct him to THROW THEM DOWN THE STAIRS!  (See?  This is where the gravity comes in...)

• Watch him enjoy the next 10 minutes of throwing clothes down flight after flight of stairs until it is all neatly collected in the laundry room.
• Bask in the joy of knowing your 5 year old thinks you are the coolest mom ever and that the baby's next nap has a good chance of being nice and long.
• Remember to ask the pack mule tonight to carry the laundry back upstairs.

## Tuesday, August 23, 2011

### Highs and a Bit of Magic

Highs and Lows
You all know I make an effort to do highs and lows each week.  This time I'm dropping the lows because, as you can all imagine, the last twelve days have been full of one tiny little high who has joined our family and none of the lows seem worth mentioning by comparison.

Bits of Magic
There's another blog I enjoy which is written by D's violin teacher, Karen, called Dreamer.  Each Monday she posts a "10 Bits of Magic" list with a beautifully written, succinct list of 10 somewhat ordinary things she's noticed the beauty of that week under the description "Remembering that grace and wonder abound if I’m willing to see it."

I've enjoyed reading that list for months since I love how she takes every day things that she sees and really notices the wonder that is there. My dilemma is that nothing I write is succinct.  (Take, for example, the fact that we are on the third paragraph here while you wait for me to get to the actual post.)  So, I am going to try to do my own "Bits of Magic" post weekly, but I imagine it will be more of a quick paragraph (or a long-winded ramble) than a vivid, poetic list.  Thankfully Karen is a very kind woman and will probably only say encouraging things to me as I fumble along.

So, getting to the point at last, here is my ramblings of my weekly High and like any good mom I will try to convey to anyone who will listen just how magical the little life of my baby is.

My High and Bits of Magic

High:

Little Liam is 12 days old today. (Yes, thank you, he is adorable.)  I'm sure you can see how mature he is getting compared to my last post.  In the last week and a half he's learned to...uh...can't actually think of a single thing.  But he has eaten and pooped and slept, which as far as I can remember from the hazy memories I have of D and Belle as newborns means he is doing well.

He is a sweet little baby.  His most endearing characteristic (besides the blessed fact that the child barely ever cries) is that even if he's completely starved and screaming his head off, all we have to do is pick him up and he settles right down.  Really, it makes you feel quite confident as a mother when the screaming is stopped by a touch of your hand.  Granted if the milk doesn't appear in the next few minutes, he'll start grunting his displeasure, but he's pretty content to wait for it as long as mom or dad is holding him.  Lovely child.

D and Belle both think he's pretty great.  Besides Belle's occasional claims of things like, "I will swaddle the baby!" which sends me rushing over in a panic, they are both gentle and seem vaguely fascinated by him and his alien-ness.  It took Belle at least a week to be convinced of the fact that he had no teeth.  They've taken in stride how much of my time he takes up and decided since I'm not available for refereeing they'll just get along. Now I just need to dream up a reason Liam needs me when he's sleeping and the other two may just turn into actual angels.

And it is impossible to spend quite moments with a newborn and not marvel at the wonder of his little being.

Bits of Baby Magic:
1. Skin so soft you can't stop touching it.
2. Little hands that warm your whole body when they are just wrapped around your finger.
3. Funny smiles that are probably just because of gas, but make you grin back all the same.
4. The incredible complexity of his tiny body which works in such harmony together. In the last few months two of my acquaintances have lost babies due to rare health problems.  That and memories of our own little Jack make this especially poignant.  We know first hand what a difference is made in a tiny body if the heart is formed slightly differently.  And it makes us appreciate all the more how miraculous it is that Liam is formed so perfectly.  How many things have to work together in order to form something as intricate and delicate as a human body.  And certainly this gift of life which we come into contact with every day without even thinking about it is about the most breathtaking bit of magic on this earth.

Karen's Bits of Magic

and

Jennifer's Highs and Lows

## Monday, August 15, 2011

### Liam Andrew

After ages of listening to me complain about the discomforts our newest bundle of joy was causing me while still happily sheltered inside my body, you all have earned the reward of finally meeting him...

Meet Liam Andrew

Isn't he just scrumptious?  He was born Friday morning and weighed in at a whopping 6 lbs 12 oz, making him officially the biggest baby I've ever birthed.  And, as you can see by the next picture, slightly bigger than my thumb.

He has dark blue eyes, dark enough that they'll probably switch to the lovely dark brown of his older brother's (and much older mother's) eyes.  And his first picture (which I am not smart enough to extract from the text messaging on my phone) that Medman took of him seconds after birth looks so ridiculously like D when he was born that if the two photos did not have date stamps I don't think I could tell who was who. Even the same little serene, "Ah yes, this is what I expected to have happen this morning" look which they both gave the camera.  When I'm more organized I'm posting both pictures.

So we're all home and settling in.  The older two think he's pretty cool.

Stay tuned in the future to be inundated with pictures and stories of his tiny little antics and those of his big siblings as we all adjust to having 3 kids in the house.

## Monday, August 1, 2011

### Highs and Lows - August 1st

The weekly post that actually gets me to blog when I'm being lazy (which seems like it is every week these days...).  Started and encouraged by Jen at Life, Crafts and Whatever.

This weeks will probably be short.  Oh, who am I kidding.  I'm incapable of writing anything short.

Highs:

-Thanks to an increase in the number of contractions I've been having, I have been making a very conscious effort to take it easy.  This means I've actually sat down and chilled with the kids.   And it's been nice.  I feel like things have been busy (although I couldn't tell you with what...) for a while and some days pass when I realize that my husband, who after a LONG day of work was only with the kids for about an hour including dinner, and he still spent more quality time with them then I did all day.   It's crazy how hard it is to keep my avoidance of chores from taking up the whole day.  But I've enjoyed hanging out with my kids.  I know you'll think I'm biased when I say this, but it's true:  My kids are the greatest kids in the entire world.

-More weird pictures of them having fun...

 The kids in their 'houses' weathering a pretend tornado.  One's in the pink blanket (see the feet?) and the other is in the white one.

 Sneak peek of one child.

 Lifting the white blanket to see the house of the other. Yup, he's in a FEMA approved Pampers Tornado Shelter.

 Belle rockin' her poncho (scrap of weird 70's fuzzy fabric with a slit cut in the center) which she wears CONSTANTLY.

-Another sewing success!  Really, it's not bragging - I'm just surprised when stuff comes out good.  Look at the cute jammies I made for Belle!  Besides the slightly stretched out neck which has been fixed, they came out cute!  The material was originally for me to make myself pj pants big enough to handle my maternity-ness.  But I figured I have 12 days left.  Maybe I can hack it with what I have, huh?  (And don't any of you point out that on August 12th the baby will be surgically removed from my STOMACH and that my BACKSIDE will probably stay this size for, well, ever.  I don't want to hear that.  I'm positive my current pants don't fit because of the BABY.  Not because of ME.  Shut up.)

Lows:

SOMEONE HACKED INTO MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT.  Yup, hacked in, bought a Dell computer and sent \$85 to Lady Gaga.  We found out when Dell called us early one morning:

Dell: This is Dell's Security Department.  Did you purchase a computer this morning?

Me: Uh...NOOOOOOO!

All sorts of red flags here.
1. I had JUST woken up.  I think maybe I had peed.  The coffee had yet to be brewed.  I'm certainly not going to order a computer without coffee in my system.
2. We own 2 Dells.  Let's just say our next computer will NOT be a Dell.  Even before coffee I'm not that confused.

Dell: Ok, the purchase was flagged as a possible unauthorized purchase.  Thank you. Have a nice day.  (As though she's going to hang up.  Seriously?  I know you are in India or something because I'm having some trouble understanding you, but I think a WEE BIT more communication is in order here, Ms. Dell Security Department.)

Me: WHOA!  Wait!  Who ordered a computer and how did they pay for it?  Credit card?  What?

Dell: A Paypal account.  Thank you. (Again, as though our conversation is over.)

Me: WAIT!  Can you tell me what Paypal account? I'd like to know how someone's using my money to buy stuff like computers.

So she gives me the Paypal account, which is indeed mine, and then says she'll cancel the order.  You bet your Dell-employed-tush you will.  Thank you.

And sure enough, 3 minutes of investigation showed that someone with an address 80 miles north of the Mexico border in California had bought a Dell computer and then given their home address so it could be shipped to them.  I'm taking ideas on what I will really ship to them.  Any good ones?  An envelope of poop?  An envelope full of some sort of really irritating rash germs from my hubby's hospital?  I mean, you break into my Paypal account and fill out your address?  Yeah, I'm sending you something.  And it's not going to be a computer.  Oooh! And I DO have a Dell box downstairs to pack it in.....

Paypal has been great.  All charges reversed.  So that's cool.  But still a morning wasted checking out other financial stuff and sending off emails to contest the \$85 to Lady Gaga and such.  Internet hackers should have their fingers chopped off.  I'd like to see them hack with just knuckle nubs.

Linking up to Jennifer's Highs and Lows