Sunday, January 29, 2012

I became a mother yesterday.

2012-01-29 kia

Yesterday I leaped over two painful and admittedly selfish hurdles, finally earning my Mom Badge. 

1.) I signed many a piece of paper and bought a minivan, even though I once vowed never to do so.

2.) After many years of professing my dislike for Dora, I succumbed to her ways and allowed my kids to watch Dora the Explorer in epic proportions this weekend.

I figured those two things right there… getting over my two most painful parenting struggles, has finally earned me the right to be called Mom.  Thank goodness, because I’m about to have a third kid and all.

The vehicle buying experience was nothing short of painful, though.  We had no idea how long we would be there or how long it would take, but apparently it takes almost 6 hours to buy a car and after missing lunch and nap time, we finally left the Kia dealership with a new vehicle – though I admit to being the Crankiest Person on the Planet.  The kids, amazingly, did very well yesterday and Raven only had one major tantrum that I recall.  That’s a miracle right there.

This week I will spend time bonding with the Kia Sedona we purchased by driving it back and forth to work sans kids and sans mess before I relinquish the van to Adam so that he can take the kids to school in the morning.  Adam needs no bonding time – he is giddy as a school girl with that thing.  He Loves It.

It was a long drawn out process to come to purchasing a Kia but we’re very satisfied with the Kia and the price at which we purchased it.  We’ll miss the truck but already Adam has gotten over the lack of truck bed thanks to the Buttons That Open Everything on the van.  And I’m pretty sure that I will LOVE the seat warmers on my way to work this week… Smile

Regarding Dora… yet another thanks out to the hub for that one… he found Dora on Netflix a few months ago and occasionally let the girls watch it… I was none to fond… however, this weekend there was a million things to do and Julia had one wish – to watch Dora.  I taught her how to use the Roku remote so that she could keep up with Dora while I cleaned and cooked, and after sitting down and watching a few episodes, I decided Dora wasn’t so bad after all.  And besides, it is crazy funny listening to Julia shout out her own version of the Spanish words that Dora is saying.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Lately I am complete addicted to bacon.  I think I could eat it every day/night.

Tonight I found a stack of wrapped Ghirardelli chocolate squares in a pile of fabric.  Project quickly abandoned.

I sucked at everything with respect to life yesterday, except work.  Yesterday I slept 6 hours, got up, went to work, worked 10 hours, drove home and made dinner, and worked another six hours straight.  Stupid.  Necessary.  Stupid.

I just started a movie.  I should really go to bed.  There are a lot of really dumb movies on Netflix.  However, I watched “Morning Glory” with Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford the other day – that was cute.

Julia is breaking my heart.  Tonight she cried when I put her to bed because she doesn’t want me to go to work tomorrow and wants me to stay home with her instead.  Darling, darling girl.

Ever since Raven pooped in the tub in December (due to illness), she freaks out when it is bath time.  Julia went through a similar stage.  Raven is scared of fuzz, hair, bubbles, or anything that remotely resembles poop.  If you say the word “poop” while she’s in the tub, she immediately starts standing up and shaking and screaming and wants to get out.  Bath time has not been fun.  This has resulted in the girls not receiving baths as often as normal because I cannot always handle the insane screaming.

All that being said, Raven used the potty all day at school today AND pooped on the toilet at school.  GO, RAVEN!

In approximately 15 weeks we are having a baby.  I cannot fathom this.

We are buying a van soon. I also cannot fathom that.

The night before last, petty thieves opened our Escape and stole all of our electric goods (TomTom, iPhone charger, DVD player).  They didn’t take anything from the truck; it was locked.  Thankfully they were not smart enough to look for a garage door opener and open the garage door and steal things from inside.

I remembered tonight that we are having a load of church folks over for lunch on Sunday.  My house is a wreck.  Must get on that.

In the evenings I want nothing more than to sit down and… sit.  Shut off my brain.  Sit. 

I have this fabulous Noro Taiyo yarn that I want to turn into a pixie hat for Baby #3, but I cannot find a pixie hat pattern that I love.  I saw a woman at a knit shop whip up a pixie hat pattern from scratch that was beyond adorable, but I haven’t been back to that shop since May and I don’t know the woman who made the hat.  Problem.

Work and the new position is going well.  I’m simply still in that “just moved in phase”.

That is all.

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to our darling nephew, Dex!  It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you have kids… Dex is TWO today!

I fondly remember Adam’s sister, Claire (and other family members), visit us in Pella when both she and I were pregnant with Raven and Dex… good times!  Although we didn’t tell her, Claire and I were pregnant together this last fall for about 3 weeks before she had Ivy.

Happy Birthday, little boy!  We hope you had a most fantastic day!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sad, Sad Day

Last weekend I sat down to make this project (new bag for me to bring home my work notebooks):

2012-01-14 bird bag

(Side note #1: On the bag because this post isn’t really about the bag: I saw a post on Pinterest where someone had stitched words onto something, and I have been thinking about this pin for weeks.  I had bought this wonderful bird fabric and wanted to make a bag for me for work and stitch “of a feather” on it. 

Side note #2: I am hooked on Pinterest.

Side note #3: One of these days I will post my New Year’s Resolutions which might just have a resolution related to Pinterest.)

I got everything ready in the new Guest Sewing Room, and flipped the switch onto my sewing machine and… it flickered and died.  I did this numerous times, minus the flicker, and nothing happened.  Plug, unplug.  Over and over and over again with the slowly dying hope that I was living a bad nightmare.

After scouring the machine itself for a reset button or some other thing, looking desperately for my manual (which is usually always by my side but which has been missing since we moved to this house), and finally getting out the volt meter to make sure that it wasn’t the outlet or the power cord, I had to accept that the state of my machine was beyond any knowledge that I had.

So one of these days she’s headed to the shop to get fixed, and holy knows how much money it will cost to fix her.  I was pretty upset most of that night and finally broke out the backup machine we purchased used this last fall so that I had a lighter machine to carry around.  I’m glad I still have the ability to sew, but the current state of this machine ahs me disturbed, as it’s one of the more expensive items I’ve ever owned and I’ve worked hard to take care of it over the years.  And it’s only 8 years old.  *sob* 



I seriously do not know squat about the National Western Stock Show, but it’s something that after taking with my lead today, I definitely need to learn about because dang, people, I hear they let kids rid sheep there and it sounds like a whole load of F-U-N. The girls’ daycare “celebrated” the stock show this week and today was Dress Like a Cowboy/Cowgirl Day for Julia’s class.

I had been meaning to make something for Julia to wear for this day all week but due to my change in position at work, I still hadn’t bought anything let alone started a project, I left work early yesterday to go to Joann’s to purchase that which I would need to make Julia a cowgirl outfit.  She doesn’t own boots or a hat or anything cowgirl, but I figured a little fringe and a vest would be perfect for today.  (Who doesn’t love a little fringe anyway?)  Last night after dinner and baths and bed time, I spent 30 minutes futzing with the tension on my backup sewing machine (oh, dear Bernina, how you broke my heart last weekend and you deserve a post of your own), I was able to make a little vest with fringe and add fringe to a jean skirt Julia already owned.  by 9 pm last night I had one cute little outfit for her to wear to school today.

2012-01-20 cowgirl

She makes a cute cowgirl, doesn’t she?  And can’t you totally see Raven riding a sheep??????


More Change

I could hardly believe when I sat down to blog tonight that it had only been one week since I had blogged last.  Lately it seems like it’s weeks if not months between posts, and here I felt like I have lived a month in the last week and I only posted last Friday.  (Go, me!)

There is more change afoot in our lives (wow, because there hasn’t been enough in the last year, right?), and while I’ve alluded to it, I was waiting for a few things to be final before I talked about it here.  Apologies to those waiting to hear the deets, but I wanted to write about it once so as not to have to send multiple emails because frankly… I’m bushed.  Daily.  Heh.  And, these two changes mainly have to do with me, though Adam, being my partner and support, and the kids are obviously affected too.

Since starting at Raytheon almost 9 months ago, I was given many opportunity to learn and do things that were above and beyond the expectations of my position, but because I’m a lover of many nerdy things such as numbers (think dollars and hours) and planning and schedules and statusing, doing these things was right up my alley.  I wasn’t responsible for making decisions, but I took on a lot of responsibility and loved every minute of it.

For reasons that I can’t and won’t go into, before Christmas I was offered the “acting” lead position on my team.  I was ecstatic… and nervous… and excited… and nervous… I truly felt like I was being offered the position that was next supposed to be where I should go in my career – thus the excitement – but I also knew that this would bring with it the other side for that which I had not been responsible – the decision making and people management.  I was very much looking forward to the opportunity, but also nervous about my skills in these areas.

I’ve been in this roll for approximately a week now – probably the longest week of work I’ve had in the last year (okay, not the longest because there were a couple of really crazy weeks there and I wasn’t pregnant or very pregnant through those) BUT ALSO the week I have most loved at work in the last couple of years.  I honestly cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this week – yes, it was crazy and hectic and yes, I have a lot to learn and yes, I felt like I was drowning, but Oh. My. Goodness.  It was awesome.

Yes, I am weird.  You knew that already.

And as mentioned above, this affects my family, but I honestly hope that after the initial craziness settles down, this position will be for the better for my family.  I feel ready for this, and while it’s only an “acting” role and I need to perform to keep it, I feel like if I work hard and learn and grow, it can really become that which I’m supposed to be doing in my career right now.  Adam has been an awesome support this week in helping me, and we both know that there will be a period of time when he needs to be THAT person in our family, THAT person in our partnership – and he’s okay with that.  And with any change like this, I believe if you develop a goal for when the crazy time period needs to end – whether it ends on its own by then or whether you put a hard stop to the crazy so it doesn’t affect your life outside of work – you can learn to manage a role like this and still have a beautiful family and home life as well.  Or I am just talking out of my butt so as to delude myself… and if so, don’t pop my bubble right now, k?

So.  That’s change #1.

So change #1 made change #2 more insane, though change #2 technically did come before change #1 – it’s just starting after change #1.

And that would be… I am taking two online classes through the Aurora Community College.  The classes should be relatively straightforward and have no group work (YAY!) and did I mention they are online?  But, it is two classes and they will be my hobbies for the next couple of months. 

So right.  I’m 23 weeks pregnant, a new (first time) lead for a team at work, and taking two classes.  Change?  CHANGE?  Right.  Crazy, crazy change.  And so far – I’m loving it!


Let’s talk about… American Girl

This one’s for you, M!  Thanks for a compelling topic today!

Today I received an email from someone close to me who had taken a picture of an American Girl doll store in the Midwest.  After a few email conversations (the first of which alluded to the store being a “girl’s paradise”), it was determined that said person was a creeped out by the store.  My observations over the last few years tell me that people typically fall into two camps when it comes to American Girl – Creeped or Love.  I happen to fall into the Love category.


So let’s talk about the American Girl.

American Girl has a pretty rich history, its company starting in 1986.  I first remember the books, but there were dolls and accessories back then as well.  What I loved about the books… historical novelettes about girls “celebrating girls and all they can be”.  I especially love this quote from their site, especially because it was so true of the books:

“These nine-year-old fictional heroines live during important times in America’s past, providing “girl-sized” views of significant events that helped shape our country, and they bring history alive for millions of children.”

Who wouldn’t love a book like that for their daughter?  Back then and even today?  And in many ways I’d like to believe that this is partly why American Girl has stayed so popular over the last 25 years. 

Unlike today where you can find a doll that goes with pretty much any story out there, I don’t remember many dolls in the 80s and early 90s that went with stories, and such rich stories at that.  (Cabbage Patch?  Care Bear?  But the stories were typically for smaller children and not tweens.)  As a girl entranced with the novelettes, who wouldn’t love to own their own historical figure doll?

I personally never owned one of the dolls, but I was a doll lover.  You can ask my parents or my sister or my grandparents and some of my friends – my dolls were my life.  I took care of them, loved them, dressed them, did their hair, etc.  I think that if one of these stores would have existed anywhere near where I lived growing up, I might have died for want of going to one.  Even as a 12-year-old.  (Though I’m pretty sure if Adam knew this about me when we started dating, we might not be married today.  Good thing he’s only known this for about a year.  Ha!)

Today I can say that I don’t mind that my girls, who have no issue playing with traditionally “boy toys”, have a tendency for mothering and are also very loving of their dolls.  Julia especially exhibits this trait and I love seeing in her the girl that I once was.  I secretly squeal with glee in my heart when the girls go to bed with 8 stuffed animals and dolls at night.  (When asked if Julia was going to be a big helper when the new baby arrived, she said, “No, I’m going to be the mommy.”  Sweet!)

So while my girls also do not own any American Girl dolls or books as yet (and I’ll take this moment to say that the prices are really the only thing about the company that I can’t handle…), I love that there is a doll company out there that touts that which American Girl does.  I look forward to the day when I know I can purchase an American Girl doll for them and they will lovingly care for their dolls, when I can take them to the American Girl store and expose them to “doll paradise”, when they are old enough to read the books and focus on what they could be and how they can influence the world around them, even as children, instead of watching the trashy tween shows on television or reading the trashy tween magazines (though goodness knows there will be time for that some day too… *sigh*).  Do I need American Girl to do this?  No.  Do I love that there is a company out there who focuses on this flavor?  Yes!

Is it wrong that I encourage that?

So I’ll ask… how is American Girl and its history, its present, and it’s future – which, by the way, DOES cater to girls of many ages (and, because so many of those first girls are now mothers, ALSO their mothers) – creepy?  (A dad taking his daughter to American Girl is simply a man who can swallow his pride and his ego for his child.)

Is it only creepy for people who a.) aren’t women or b.) weren’t girly girls or c.) didn’t raise girly girls?  I’m just wondering.  Or is it actually creepy of me to encourage my daughter’s nurturing side, to support a company that supports girls in the way they do, and to hope that through their love of dolls – and maybe someday American Girl dolls, my girls might grow to be loving and amazing mothers… or teachers… or caregivers… or the President? 

So another train of thought…

There are stores strictly for baseball cards, comic books, and other valuable paper memorabilia.  There are stores strictly for “hobbies” – planes, trains, automobiles, ships, and the like.  There are stores dedicated to Legos.  And… let’s point out that the main demographic of these clientele of these stores is… drumroll please… adult males.  Is that creepy? (Most people don’t think so… after all, it’s about collecting and building and memorabilia, etc.)

Is it creepy that there are Barbie stores and Disney stores and other toy stores touting all sorts of different items in adult sizes and child sizes?  Do you know that the last Disney store I was in was largely attended to by… adults.  Is that creepy?  (I don’t think so… and most people don’t, because, after all, Disney has been around FOREVER and is as much about the memorabilia as it is anything else.)

So how is a store that is specifically for girls, caters to girls, and sells products strictly for girls (and yes, boys who play with dolls) – a store that promotes history, promotes play, promotes make believe – creepy?  Will it stop being creepy when it’s iconic and focused more on memorabilia than on fulfilling the dreams of little girls?  (Guess what, folks, 25 years is closing in on the memorabilia stage, so watch out!) 

Suffice to say, that little email exchange really got me thinking today, particularly because I’ve seen a number of blog and Facebook posts of late that speak to the creepiness of American Girl.  I think we tend to find things creepy that are unfamiliar to us.  I can accept that people find American Girl stores creepy, but I wanted to point out a few facts behind the company itself and also point to other things – and particularly stores – in our society that are equally as creepy if you look at them in a certain light.  As for me, I’ll continue to promote the love of dolls in my house, and considering that my darling husband has already humored me by going through one of the American Girl stores without our children, I don’t doubt that someday he’ll venture back in with them… even if as an adult male he was a little creeped out.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stars & Trees

2012-01-11 trees & stars

(Those are our trees in the backyard and the stars – you wouldn’t believe how gorgeous the stars are here, even in the middle of town!)

2012-01-11 trees & stars 2

(This is our Christmas tree.  That is a box of ornaments laying on the ground.)

Our Family

More pictures drawn by dear Julia:

2012-01-11 our family 1

2012-01-11 our family 2


Julia drew a picture of me at school the other day – love it!

2012-01-11 mommy

22 Weeks–More Ultrasound Pictures

Here are more pictures of Baby Draeger from Wednesday.  What a wonderful appointment!  Due to bad weather, I was one of the only patients that made it to the office, so I had the luxury of an hour long ultrasound during which the tech took more and more pictures.  Here is just a sampling of all of the pictures that she took (and gave me).  I’d show you the video, but then you would find out what the sex is… and Adam doesn’t want to know!

2012-01-11 ultrasound 2

The baby is measuring right on track and my due date is still May 18, 2012.  At this point in time, we have the option of a C-section date of May 11 or May 14, and right around 36 weeks (near the end of April), we’ll be able to schedule the C-section.  I mentioned to Adam how the dates are very similar Raven’s due date – she was due the 17th, originally scheduled for the 11th, then rescheduled for the 14th, and my water broke on the 13th.  Ha, so maybe we don’t want to wait until the 14th this time…?

2012-01-11 ultrasound 3

2012-01-11 ultrasound 4

(Kicking mom – that’s a leg outstretched!)

2012-01-11 ultrasound 5



This last Wednesday I had an ultrasound (the “anatomy” check to make sure all of the parts were there and looking good – hands, feet, heart, kidneys, nasal bone, etc.).  The ultrasound tech was having a blast taking and printing pictures for me (I seriously brought home 30!), and we both had to laugh when she captured this photo.

2012-01-11 ultrasound 1

As you can see, she wrote “TEBOW!!” on the picture.  Maybe you can tell and maybe you can’t, but the baby is holding its arm up in front of its face.  Around these parts, we have the Denver Broncos, whose well-known quarterback is Tim Tebow.  Tebow is known for expressing his faith on the field and is often captured on video praying.  For a while there were viral videos going around showing people “Tebowing”.  The ultrasound tech exclaimed, “The baby is Tebowing!”, when she saw this and wrote on the screen.  I got such a kick out of that.  I guess that either a.) the baby was as excited as I was when the Broncos beat the Steelers this last weekend in a game no one thought they would win or b.) the baby was thanking God that the ultrasound was nearly over.



Julia has been able to write her name for a while since she has “preschool” at her daycare.  For each project and piece of schoolwork, she writes her name on the paper.  She is still working on the form of her letters, and her “a” often looks like a “q”.  Adam took the girls to school this morning and saw this on her schoolwork and texted me and said, “Because of how she writes her name, we can call her ‘Juli-Q’!”  I about died from cuteness.

2012-01-13 juli-q


Friday, January 6, 2012

A Little Help from My Daughter

There come those moments when you have children when you look at them as if they’ve grown a third arm and wondering, “What the…?  How the…?  Where did she…?” because you are so awestruck by something that has just happened.

That something happened this morning and seemed rather insignificant except that I’ve never experienced Julia picking up on something I was doing and doing it herself that isn’t so much physical as it is mental.

Case in point… as with many days with Raven, we were in the process of getting ready for daycare this morning and Raven decided she did not want to wear what I had picked out for her (reports tell me that Daddy does not have nearly as hard a time with her as I do – guess whose buttons she’s better at pushing!), but it wasn’t even an issue of not wanting to wear that outfit – she didn’t want to wear ANY outfit.  She wanted to wear pajamas or nothing at all. 

So, I began picking two shirts at a time out of her closet, and asking which one she wanted to wear.  She would screech, “NO!  NO SHIRT!” and then break down in tears.  So, I pulled out her kitty shirt and her sparkly heart shirt and began the art of luring her to a shirt based on what was on it… “Raven, isn’t this shirt so wonderful?  It has a PINK KITTY on it!  Or how about this one, it is sparkly!  You LOVE sparkly!”  I was trying.  And failing.

Julia, at this time, had been sitting on her bed observing us, and suddenly she piped up, “Raven, I love your kitty shirt; can I wear it?”  This is when I got a tiny bit worried because the kitty shirt USED TO BE Julia’s shirt and I feared suddenly that Julia actually wanted it be in her repertoire again.  But no, Julia carried on with, “Raven, your kitty shirt is SO cute… isn’t that kitty cute?  You would like to wear it but no, I want to wear it.”  At this point, Raven becomes intrigued.  Raven starts towards the kitty shirt, but then backs off and says, “NO!  NO!  Julia wear it!”  SCREECH.  HOLLER.  So Julia tried again, this time with the sparkly shirt… “Raven, how about the sparkly shirt?  You LOVE sparklies!  it is like your sparkly shoes!  You should wear your sparkly shirt.”  At this, Raven runs right towards the sparkly shirt and grabs it.  We head to the pants drawer next.

I remained quiet through all of this, mainly because my jaw was laying on the floor and I had yet to reattach it.  Color me amazed, but Julia picked up on what I was doing with Raven and started right in, and she even was able to work it so that it worked – in other words, she maintained complete patience with Raven and didn’t show any frustration with her – and that, I believe is what eventually won Raven over… well, that and the sparkles.  (That girl LOVES HER SOME GLITTER.)

To this I say, YAY!  Another person on our (Mom & Dad’s) side in the War Against Raven Being Two.  MWAA HAA HAA!  But seriously, Julia really amazed me today.  WOW!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lots to Say…

… no stamina to say it.

Suffice to say that I have had a blogging block for… almost a year now?  Almost since Adam left for beer school in February?  (Thank goodness for Adam posting while he was gone!)

Regardless, there’s lots going on and lots to say.  So this is going to be a really random post of items not even remotely related to each other, but hopefully it will prompt me to get back on the blogging horse.

1.  I haven’t officially posted on my blog, but I am pregnant!  Actually today I am 21 weeks pregnant with our 3rd child.  My next appointment is next Wednesday, January 11.  Adam, the girls, and I are very excited to welcome a new baby into the home.


2.  We flew to Wisconsin in mid-December to visit some of my family and Adam’s family for the holidays.  We were pretty “lean” and managed our trip with two suitcases, one carry-on, two car seats, and two kids – that included ALL of our presents.  We returned home with the same amount of luggage.  We had a great time spending time with Adam’s family, but we could have done without Raven getting sick on our last day there.

3.  It breaks my heart to share that Adam’s grandma, Dolores, passed away last Friday (the 30th).  She was an amazing woman and very much the center of her family.  A beautiful obituary was written for her and can be read here.  Adam flew home yesterday (Wednesday) to attend the funeral and will be returning home tomorrow.


4.  We enjoyed a wonderful time with my parents here over Christmas; the girls had a great time spending time with Papa and Grammy (I did post about that).

5.  We enjoyed a fun New Year’s Eve with a couple that Adam met through the Yak & Yeti.  We brought the kids with and the girls played great with their kids and we enjoyed a great time chatting and playing games and eating.

6.  I actually used my sewing machine to make a project about a week ago… it felt great!  It’s been MONTHS.  Looking forward to getting back in there again!  (Even if the project didn’t turn out exactly as I would have liked it.)

7.  The baby’s room has been painted a wonderful sky blue, which has caused quite a bit of confusion as to whether we’re having a boy or girl (we don’t know!), and I am planning to decorate with clouds and kites and rainbows and hot air balloons… whatever suits my fancy, really.  Very excited about it.  And I even put the dresser together by myself.

8.  Adam had his gall bladder removed on December 21, and while it’s been a mite painful recovery for him, he is doing well and hopefully will have his weight restriction lifted this next week.  And yay, NO MORE gall bladder attacks!  Woohoo!  He did end up staying in the hospital overnight; apparently his gall bladder was “very ugly” and was growing into his liver, which was causing his weird liver numbers and also has some very odd special medical name, which basically means his build predicated how his gall bladder would grow.  Weird, eh?

That’s all I have for tonight… hopefully I’ll be back again soon!