Living the crazy, great life!

Archive for February, 2012

Productive in my Jammies!

So, I had a great weekend.  Friday night I attended the Lutheran Community Services Chocolate andChampagneevent.  It is always a lovely event with yummy chocolates offered from many bakery and candy vendors fromSpokane.  My in-laws help with the event and every year I help in a very small fashion by helping with the silent auction and auction item pick up at the end of the night.  Nothing in comparison to the hours upon hours of work my mom-in-law does on the silent auction baskets.  Kudos to her and the charity for an excellent event.  I hope you made gobs of money!

Saturday morning, Emerson came home from the sleepover at Aunt Stephanie’s house (Cole went on with Steph and his cousin Sam to archery lessons) and she and I cuddled on the couch and caught up on a couple of “Once Upon a Time” episodes.  We are helplessly addicted I am afraid.  I guess one is never too old for fairy tales!  Well, after a decadent couple of hours on the couch snuggling with my daughter and having coffee (my Saturday morning treat as I don’t drink coffee every day), I decided to get a little productive.  Mind you, I didn’t bath or get dressed, but figured I could be productive in my jammies.  And, boy was I.  I got a few work things checked off my list including typing up some notes from a great social media class I went to last week.  March is going to be Effective Social Media Strategies month at our office!  Facebook will never be the same I am sure!  I then started scrapbooking as I am attempting to get caught up.  Well, I ended up scrapbooking for hours while hanging with the kiddos, watching the GU game, finished a Star Wars movie and just being a homebody.  I got quite a few pages done and was so pleased with my progress.  Then, dinner time cam around and we ordered pizza in – always a great way to end a Saturday.  Finally, I watched “The Devil Wears Prada” while, you guessed it, doing some more scrapbook pages.  All-in-all, I got a ton accomplished – all while in my jammies!  There are some days when it just feels so great to stay in jammies and hang out.  I cherish those days!

Sunday was the usual church and brunch, running a quick errand to Costco to pick up more pictures (I am going to get caught up this year, I mean it!) and swimsuits for the kiddos (they are in stock in most sizes, but won’t last long – they never do) then off to meet a client to write an offer, more errands including the grocery store where I ran into a friend I always see at Albertson’s (so good to see her and her hubby), then home for, you guessed it, more scrapbooking, making dinner (Emerson begged for Hamburger Helper and of course I obliged, but also make homemade banana bread – yummy), then arousing game of Battleship with Cole.  He beat me . . . again!  I cannot seem to win when playing against him!  Then finished off the night scrapbooking, of course.    All-in-all I have scrapbooked about four months in the past couple of weeks.  It is such a grand sense of accomplishment when  I can look at those completed pages. 

This year the real estate market has really picked up.  In fact, it seems that the real estate gods actually turned on a faucet.  I have almost sold as much this year already as I did for the entire year last year.  I am out of shape and I am relearning how to “do” real estate at this frenetic pace again!  I don’t question why the market seems to have turned, I just count my blessings and continue to make hay while the sun is shining.  However, it has made me a little tired.  You know, sometimes the mundane every day life is just the balm you need for a weekend of rest and relaxation!  I hope you have days like this, too.  It sooths the soul!

Have a great week everyone!

My Baby Girl is Nine!

My daughter is turning nine years old tomorrow.  Hard to believe my baby girl could be that old.  We had a blast with three of her little girl friends over for a slumber party this weekend and will have a family celebration tomorrow night.  Again, we love birthdays in our house!  A couple of weeks ago I told you my son, Cole’s, birth story on the eve of his sixth birthday and I promised you Em’s story so here it is (again, men beware, this may be a bit of a personal sharing violation for you!).

When Jeff and I found out we were going to have a baby, we were so excited!  A few months into the pregnancy, an ultrasound turned up a condition – I had an incompetent cervix.  In essence, my doc was concerned that if my cervix continued to thin prematurely, the baby would come early.  It was decided I would endure weekly ultrasounds (the real up close and personal ones J) and monitor my cervix.  I have since found out that incompetent cervix is somewhat common, but at the time, I had never heard of it.  The classic comment came from my father who said, “Well, honey, that’s surprising.  You’ve never been incompetent at anything!”

So there we were having weekly ultrasounds and all seemed well, but at week 28, my cervix thinned so much in one week my doc decided to perform an emergency cerclage . . . as in, “Meet me at the hospital in the morning for the procedure and you are now officially on bed rest, effective today!”  To which I responded, “Bed rest?  What?  But I have a real estate business to run, classes to teach, etc., etc.”  Again, to make God laugh, simply tell Him your plans!  So, I went back to the office and in an hour, prepared to be gone for possibly three months.  The next morning we went to the hospital where my doc literally sewed my cervix shut with the hopes of keeping the baby in for at least another week or so.  Off I went home to bed rest.  Thankfully, the cerclage worked and we were able to keep the baby incubating in my belly for another six weeks. 

Let me digress to discuss bed rest for a moment.  Though it sounds lovely to be “forced” to your bed/couch to rest and relax, it was the most depressing time of my life – to be so dependent on people to do everything for me from laundry to cleaning my house to shopping for food to basically everything – horribly humbling.  My best friend Angie brought me a stack of magazines two feet high and it became my nemesis as the days dragged on – I had to finish the stack!  I watched HGTV and Food Network all day, every day.  To this day, I have recipes that I printed out that I have yet to cook.  A few weeks later at a regularly scheduled appointment, my doctor finally released me from bed rest for one hour per day (I think Jeff might have called him ahead of time and begged him to let me off bed rest, if only for his sanity).  I could go to work for an hour, get my nails or hair done for an hour, go shop for an hour, whatever I wanted, but only for an hour a day.  Still frustrating, but at least I wasn’t confined to my house which had become my jail.

So, the morning of February 13, 2003, at about 5:30 am, I woke up needing to go to the bathroom.  I didn’t quite make it and thought, hmmm that’s weird, what’s that all about? Heading back to bed I sensed I needed to go again and once again, didn’t quite make it.  Let me take a little detour again and say that Jeff and I chose not to take the Lamaze classes.  At 33, I had decided I had no interest in sitting around in a circle with all these young moms learning about breathing.  Besides, how painful could it be?  I didn’t even recognize at the time that perhaps my water had broken!  Lamaze classes might have helped!  Back to 5:30 am.  So, I went over to the bed and woke Jeff up with “Houston, I think we have a problem.”  We decided not to mess around (which in hindsight was the smartest thing we’ve ever done) and got in the car and headed off to the hospital.  Once at the hospital, the 15 year old, Doogie Howard resident on call came into my room to examine me.  I believe his exact words were, “My goodness your baby has a lot of hair!”  Now, we knew that Emerson had hair, we’d seen it in the ultrasounds, but remember six weeks earlier, my doc had sewn my cervix shut so the fact that he could see the baby’s head totally freaked me out.  So, clearly, this baby was coming, there would be no more delays!  I was only 34 weeks along.  Along came the epidural (God bless that stuff!), and literally an hour later (remember my sister calls me the Human Salad Shooter), Emerson entered the world at full tilt, screaming like a banshee (unlike her brother who came in with barely a whimper).  We often say that Cole would have stayed inside forever, but Emerson clearly was ready to come out into the big world and start living! 

As an aside, my hour out that day was to have been a presentation to 1,200 Realtors at the Real Estate Market Forum.  I sent my sister to my house to find my presentation and deliver it to the Spokane Convention Center to the Executive Officer of the Spokane Association of Realtors so he could deliver the presentation.  Though if I could have felt my legs, I might have gone down myself!  I felt that great after delivery.

Emerson was only 5 pounds, 10 ounces so she had to stay at the hospital for while.   As it turned out, she was there just shy of two weeks.  That was terribly difficult, also – to have this wonderful little girl and not be able to take her home.  We were allowed to visit her every four hours to feed her, but then had to leave.  God bless those NICU (Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit) nurses and docs.  They took the best care of us!  I went ahead back to work (and sold a house two days later) since sitting at home without my baby girl was miserable.  Besides, work was closer to the hospital so I could get there every four hours easier from work.  On the bright side, we were able to get some good sleep since they suggested we not come to the hospital during the night to allow Emerson to sleep through the night if she would (and she did, the little angel).  How many parents of newborn children do you know who get to sleep through the night for two weeks after the birth of a child.  It was a rude awakening when she came home and only slept 6 hours.  Although Emerson was a preemie, she quickly caught up with all her benchmarks and became a healthy little baby!

So, Emerson was anxious to get into the world.  Nine years later, I can say that I am so glad she was and did.  I have enjoyed every moment of being Emerson’s mom.  She has taught me patience.  She has taught me how to love without boundaries.  She has brought out the best (and unfortunately sometimes the worst) in me.  Though I am nowhere near perfect with either of my children, they propel me to be the best person I can be.

So, when Emerson was a toddler, every night, I would ask her, “Emerson, do you know how much I love you?”  She would respond, “No Mommy, how much?”  And I would say “I love you as tall as the tallest mountain, as deep as the deepest ocean and as long as the longest, winding river.  That’s how much I love you.”  It is my love song to my daughter!

Happy Ninth Birthday, baby girl!

Another Super Bowl Party is in the Books!

Everyone has their Super Bowl traditions, don’t they?  It has kind of become another holiday of a sort like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and all the rest.  In fact, I recall being asked, “What are you doing for Super Bowl?” as many times as I was asked, “What are your Christmas plans?”  So here’s what our family does every year.

Jeff and I host the party at our house.  And for one day of the year, it is a totally sexist event.  The men go downstairs to watch the game and the women and childen stay upstairs to watch the commercials.  Yup, I don’t much care for the game itself (in fact, before the game started I don’t know that I could have told you who was playing), but I love the commercials.  So the men go downstairs with their yard-o-beer and snacks and the children check in with them periodically to see if they need more beer or snacks.  It is the one time of the year that we separate the genders.

The women and children stay upstairs in general chaos.  The children work on Valentine’s day cards, homework, science fair projects, play games and count the commericals.  The women work on projects such as scrapbooking (my annual project), work projects, etc.  Grandmas float through the crowd on food patrol and helping the kids with their various projects. It is a wonderful, chaotic event!

And the food . . . always way to much and super yummy.  This year we had fresh veggies with Mexican creamy dip, queso dip (Velveeta and Rotel courtesy of my friend Angie – best queso in the world! You gotta try it!) and tortilla chips, Arizona baked beans (a sweet mix of ground beef, bacon, beans and bar-b-que sauce – mmmmm), shrimp & cocktail sauce over cream cheese, Bugles (my daughter’s favorite), pretzels, Chex mix and so much more.  This year, the men made an appearance at halftime to bar-b-que sausages.  We got some of the yummy Sonneberg sausage this year which is a family favorite at the fair.  And to top it all off (as if that weren’t enough), raisin oatmeal cookies and muddy buddies.  Needless to say, all calorie counting goes out the window for the day!

After the game is the discussion about the best commercial.  Secretly, we know the men are playing attention to the commericals, too!  The run away winner for our crowd was the commercial for the show “The Voice” where the four judges are battling to get upstairs in a hotel to find the incredible voice singing in the shower who turns out to be the incomparable Betty White!  A collective laugh ran through the crown – we all loved that commercial.  I love a good tearjerker commercial, too.  That’s right, I’ve been know to shed a tear or two at a Hallmark or Kodak commericals.  My winner in the dramtic tearjerker category was the Clint Eastwood commercial about our country being at halftime and look how Detroit is pulling out of their slump.  I believe it was a commerical for the Detroit auto manufacturers, but really, who cares who the commercial was about?  I just loved it!

And so, another game and another party is in the books!  What do you do for Super Bowl?  Is it time to create a family tradition?  Have a great week everyone!

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