Wednesday, January 25, 2012

moving... faster

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The day is quickly approaching when we will load all our worldly belongings into a moving truck and quit living in Misery to become Ill-Annoying.

We have a very busy week and a half before us.

We will be in our new home in 10 days.  We will be getting the moving truck in 9 days.  We will have all of our boxes packed in 7 days. We will have lots of packing for several days. Jude will leave in one day for a church event, and be gone for several days. 

Just a month ago, I was aware of an up coming move. When we signed the lease, I knew we had work before us, and we started in on it. Once we hit the two weeks to move mark, everything started moving much faster. I am confident that we can have everything ready to go, but it certainly means I must adhere to my schedule, especially when Jude is gone.  Adelle is not cooperating, in that she has suddenly decided that her favorite place is nursing, and her second favorite place is napping in arms.  I have no doubt that it's specifically because I've gotten busier with sorting, packing, and rehoming items.

In almost everything I do, I'm thinking about how it is one of the last (if not the last) times that I'll be doing that task or activity.  I'm remembering how this is the house where I have been raising my 3 children, where I have birthed two of them.  I've spent almost my entire married life living in this house. So, one chapter closes, another one begins.

I am incredibly grateful that we'll have a crew of family and friends to help us out.  I'm am hopeful that the weather will be kind and generous on the two days when we are moving our stuff.

We've decided not to take the computer desk I have used for years.  It's kind of falling apart, and it has far too much surface area for me to pile things on.  So, I'll be looking for a new desk once we get to the great white north, which means I will be without my computer for some time.  I'll still be on the internet, though - I mean hey, that's what Jude's iPad is for, right?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adelle: 2 months

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What sweet smile our girl has!  Here in this house we all do just about anything to get a smile from Adelle.  And when someone gets her smiling, we all gather around, and start grinning at the smiling baby. I used to think baby talk was dumb, and honestly, some baby talk is.  However.  Making sounds and exaggerating words and sounds to keep the attention of a little baby is purposeful. The smiles are totally worth the goofy words and expressions.

Her face is changing so much!  I can look through Elizabeth and Nathanael's photos from the same age, and I see a lot more similarities now that I did just a few weeks ago.  It's nice to make good-looking babies.  At least I think they are, but I'm the mama.


The 2 month stats:
  • weight - 11 pounds 10 ounces
  • length - 22 inches - still a guesstimate, but we try!
  • Sometimes I call Adelle "Dells."  Usually she's Adelle, but sometimes Cakes or Sweets.
  • Nursing is still a challenge, but it's more of a laundry problem.  It's a messy process sometimes, and noisy. She tends to let go frequently, which means there's milk all over both of us. 
  • Adelle likes to be in motion.  She prefers to be upright, most often looking over a shoulder. She prefers us to be walking as opposed to standing or sitting.  If she's in a car seat, she prefers the car to be moving. 
  • She's loosened up some what, and she's found out how to grab her own hands. And my hair, and necklace.  Elizabeth has been the victim of a baby hand in the hair.  It sure can be hard to disentangle those little fingers.
  • She likes to be stretched out when awake, but she really seems to benefit from being swaddled for nap time. Unlike my other two, she will fall asleep if I put her down in a drowsy state. It can be hard, though to get her to that point.
  • Her sleep is becoming more organized.  Although naps aren't consistently timed, she usually sleeps a long stretch about an hour after waking, and then another long stretch sometime in the afternoon.  There are usually short naps interspersed through the rest of the day. She seems to be ready to sleep for the rest of the night between 7 and 8.
  • She has learned that she can make the toys attached to her rocker seat move by vigorously waving her arms and kicking her legs.  She stares intently at her toys for 15 minutes in a row, all the while watching how they move and rattle.
  • Adelle can stand with some parental balancing for about 10 seconds at a time.

Elizabeth's favorite thing about Adelle: "Kissing and holding hands."

Nathanael's favorite thing about Adelle: "Blue." Again, I don't know what this means. When asked what he likes best about her, he says "I don't know," and shrugs.

Jude's favorite thing about Adelle: "Her smile."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

vanilla gone

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I've made it through one full bottle of homemade vanilla extract.  Now that it's been about a year and a half, I can tell you it's been totally worth the work, cheaper, and better tasting real store bought vanilla extract. You can see how I made my own vanilla extract, and how it it was after about 8 weeks of waiting.

I guess I haven't technically consumed the last 4 ounces, since I just decanted it into my small bottle that I use for easy pouring for cooking/baking, and I gave away about 2 ounces to my mom. I do know that all the vodka that was in the bottle I used to replenish the first batch is all gone.  Replenishing the bottle as I used it has worked really well for me.  I just decant 4 ounces of the finished product into the little bottle, and add new vodka to the vanilla bean bottle. Shake it up, and by the time I'm ready to refill my small bottle again, it's been several weeks, and the vanilla is nice, dark, flavorful and wonderfully aromatic.

One interesting thing I've noted with my homemade vanilla is that over time, the liquid has become slightly syrupy in consistency.  I don't know if this is good or bad.  I'm assuming good.

Now the question for me remains if I should keep replenishing the bottle I have, or if I should just start a brand new batch, and let it sit for a year (while I use up my current batch).  At what point will the flavor of the vanilla diminish?  When will the usefulness of these bean pods be exhausted?  I suppose I could run an experiment - I could keep replenishing the vanilla bottle I have, and start a new batch.  I'll be set with vanilla forever!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

don't expect much

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The confluence of recent events means I'll be blogging less over the coming couple of months.  Factors influencing reduced likelihood of posting:

  • Baby.  Hello!  Almost 8 weeks old.  When did that happen? Oh, it happened when I was:
  • Watching the first 6 complete seasons of Bones. So irritated Netflix doesn't have the 7th season. And the first episode of the 7th season is not available to me except via Huluplus, which I don't want to pay for. Bah. Jude is happy about this though, because it will mean I have more time for:
  • House hunting.  And packing.  Mostly the packing, though.  This time, we actually need to securely pack everything, since it will all be moved in one fell swoop.  No random, unclosed boxes that aren't firmly cushioned.
So, although I sincerely hope to keep up some regular posts, maybe once a week, I anticipate that life will conspire to keep it relatively minimal.

In recent news, I have only managed to get on the treadmill once since getting my pretty, comfy new shoes.  I have, however, been weightlifting via tossing large logs into the wood furnace. 

I have, unfortunately, gained about 7 pounds since the low point after giving birth. 

Apparently, unlimited chocolate, bags of potato chips, and other unhealthy snacks do add up.  I was reminded that craving fatty things and sweet things can also indicate a need for more protein (in addition to telling us we need more sleep). So, now I want to eat eggs all the time.

I'm still drowning sweet Adelle in breastmilk. Poor kid.  Poor wardrobe and anything within a couple of feet of me when nursing.  We're a mess. Seriously.  She gets mad at me when she wants to comfort nurse, and all she gets is a lungful of milk. She screams at me until I give her a finger to suck on instead.  Pacifiers were made for this kind of instance, I think.

Really, that's what my life has centered around for the past few weeks.  Thinking about a house, dealing with a baby, and getting ready to move.  My other two kids are grateful for PBSkids. Or maybe I am grateful for PBSkids. Either way, I get stuff done, they get to learn things from the glowing screen. And I feel guilty about that, but I'll deal with that another day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

we're moving!

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I've been itching to post about this for a while, but we wanted to make sure all of our plans were set before revealing our big family news: We're moving to Chicagoland!

After years (our whole marriage, actually) of seeing Jude only a few days a week, we're going to leave our rural Missouri home and relocate closer to work.  We're excited to be able to spend more time together as a couple, and more time as a family.  Our kids will get to experience the "typical" American family life, where the parents that work come home every day.

There are so many opportunities for us, I'm pretty excited about our move.    I'm looking forward to taking a day during the week to go to the zoo, or the lakefront, or check out some other awesome places that we don't have access to in the middle of rural America (yay for Jude's self-employed flexible schedule!)

I'm sure it will be hard on the kids.  They'll be moving away from their neighbor-Grandma, Evelyn, who's been a wonderful friend to us, and they'll be far away from everyone they know.  They'll make new friends (as will I!)  I'll also miss the being "out" part of things - a dark sky with stars I can see at night.  Space around my house, filled with trees and wildlife.  Fewer people, less traffic.  No tollways.

Trade-offs, for sure, but for the sake of being a family, all together on a daily basis, I think it's worth it!
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