Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2 Years.

Believe it or not (I can't), today is the 2 year anniversary of us closing on our current home. I wish I had a photo to share of us on closing day, however, my camera was stolen shortly after capturing that photo, so no such photo to share (still salty about that one!) I don't even know how to describe the disbelief that we've lived here for two years. Those years are a complete and utter blur aside from a few lingering memories. The ones that pop immediately into my mind: - Laying my overly exhausted head in bed many a night thanking God for this house. - The lack of furniture for so long is a huge memory - there's something about sitting on the floor that makes time move more slowly;-) - Hosting Gloria's 1st birthday party here by the skin of our teeth and working around the clock, 24/7 to try and be somewhat ready for it post-remodel. But as I'm sitting here tonight, at 12:51am (ok, wait, I think it's morning)...and look around, nestled in the corner of the couch with my feet propped up on a coffee table and puzzle pieces strewn all. over. the. place. - it's hard to remember not living here. We have been so busy...a new level of busy. Busy like busy that never stops. With Jeff assuming ownership of the drug store, our excitement coupled with the sheer number of things that need to get done there means working until one of us yells uncle. Oh yes, there's also the newborn factor and the part where Henry still likes getting up three times at night. And of course the other two kids that appreciate a little entertainment during the day. Hmmm...I seem to be on some sort of a rant here. But my point is, life is insane. Somedays, it's insanely good and other days I'm insanely exhausted. But this home is home to all of it - our ups and downs, our triumphs and our failures. This house is for us an unconditional love. We bought it not for what it looked like (you know by now it needed work!), but we bought it because it had a feeling. It felt like we belonged here and that feeling hasn't gone away. I still find myself laying my head down - mind drained and drifting off to dream land, but wandering towards God and uttering 'Thank you for this house.' Thank you Lord for this safe and happy place. Thank you for the work that it required so it could become a part of us. Thank you for giving us a place to bring our baby home to. Thank you for this incredible journey.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Henry Paul Schaffer

It's hard to believe our baby boy arrived a whole month ago. Henry Paul was born on Thursday, May 31st at 3:46 in the morning. I wanted to be sure and document what's left of my memories of the experience as to not forget his entry into the world entirely. I had a doctor appointment on Wednesday, May 30th (my due date) in the morning. I was shocked that I was still pregnant on my due date as both girls were 2 days early AND I had been dilated since 36 weeks. I had been having all sorts of weird pains - but nothing that was an actual contraction (at least that I noticed as one). After the doctor did his exam, he told me he thought I would be in later that night. Jeff and I both kind of chuckled with the doctor - as if he could ACTUALLY predict that. As we were walking out the door, my doctor casually called to us, "See you at 2am!" The rest of the day I spent walking on egg shells. Jeff was at work and I was on my own with the girls...afraid to venture out of my neighborhood should my water break or contractions begin. But I was determined to stay on my feet and try and walk that baby out. I called my friend Jessica to see if she wanted to meet us at a park with her kids. Mental distraction + kids exerting energy was the perfect recipe...not to mention it passed the time and meant good off to the park we went around 4. Jeff met us at the park after he was done working at 5 and we decided to grab dinner on our way home. We stopped with the kids at Broder's near our house and were enjoying our pizza when I started feeling uncomfortable. It didn't take me long at all to realize they were contractions. There was no 'tightening' feeling like early contractions feel like, these were uncomfortable contractions that had my mood changing quickly. I told Jeff I was having contractions and minutes later told him I thought we should go as I didn't feel like sitting at Broder's while laboring. So we headed home, Jeff bathed the girls and got them ready for bed while I took my time getting the house put back together and breathing through contractions. He then went out and mowed the lawn while I took a shower and threw the last few things in my bag. By this point, it was clear that tonight was going to be THE night. We didn't say anything to the girls before they went to bed. I didn't want them to wake up early excited that Grandma and Grandpa would be there or worry about anything in general. So after they fell asleep, I snuck in their rooms and gave them the biggest hugs and kisses...knowing this would be the last night I ever tucked TWO kids into bed instead of THREE. By about 9pm, the house was put together, car was loaded, lawn was cleaned up and we were ready to go when the time was right. We sat and watched TV and timed contractions (there's an app for that you know;-) until about midnight when things were picking up speed. We placed the fateful call to my parents (I had given them a head's up once the contractions had started) and they headed over to our house. Once they arrived, I called the on-call doctor at my clinic to let them know I was heading over. During the car ride to the hospital (about an 8 minute drive), I had 4 contractions - things were starting to move quickly! We headed up to the maternal assessment area where they hooked me up to the monitors to confirm I was in labor. I laughed to myself because I was 100% certain they weren't going to be sending me home telling me I wasn't in labor. I was right, I was already dilated 6cm! So they admitted us and we headed to labor and delivery. I spent some time laboring in the room and moving around before deciding to order my epidural. My water hadn't broken yet and they warned me that once it did break, things were going to progress extremely quickly...especially considering this was my third baby. At 2:15am, my doctor walked into the room and said, "You're 15 minutes late!" We all laughed (although I was NOT laughing at this point), but how crazy was his prediction! At about 3am, my epidural was administered, my doctor broke my water and by the time I was laying back down, it was time to push. I pushed for about 20 minutes and there he was - 6 pounds 15 ounces of perfection. One of my requests for the delivery was that I got to cut the cord...and I did! It was a wonderful delivery despite the fact that it went so quickly and I didn't feel God gave my epidural nearly enough time to settle in;-) But it was amazing and beautiful and a perfect first meeting of our one and only son. It was a little weird having a baby at 3:46 in the morning. Normally, we would have been on our cell phones dialing up our family and friends...but we didn't want to wake anyone, so we decided we'd wait until the sun started shining. So we called just our parents and let them know he was here, we were doing great (although exhausted) and that we'd tell them his name when they came to the hospital later that day. Around 7, the calls and texts started coming in from eager brothers and friends and we were able to share the news of his arrival. The day was filled with visitors and I even captured this video of the girls and my parents meeting Henry for the very first time. God is so incredibly good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Girls Room

Had to write a quick post regarding the girls room. Currently, the girls each have their own rooms in our 4-bedroom house. However, being that we have one bedroom set up as an office and would ideally like to keep it that way, the girls will eventually move in together. I'm 38 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby, who will take over Gloria's room once she's ready for a big girl bed (which I'm hoping is still many, many months away). In the interim, baby boy will reside in the office if the girls can manage to drowned out the sounds of his screaming at night;-) ANYWHO, I've been keeping an eye out for ideas for the girls room once we start moving in that direction - mainly in the way of bedding. I like keeping an eye out at TJ Maxx for quilts since they are so reasonably priced (I paid $25 for Rosemary's current one). With the number of times the stomach flu has struck our home in the past 4 years and the number of times said quilt has been yacked on, I'm glad I didn't spend an arm and a leg on it (it also seems to hold up to the washing machine without a problem). Well, last night I scooped the bedding loop at Bed, Bath & Beyond and absolutely FELL in love with this bedding. It isn't necessarily 'girls' bedding, although it does come in twin size. If I had gone a completely different direction in our house all together, I would pick this bedding for my own bedroom. So, here it is...
The pictures just don't do it justice. I love the vibrant and unique combination of colors...not to mention I think it'd work great with the existing wall color and rug. Here's a pic of Rosemary's room I have on the computer:
This is part of the Diane Von Furstenburg collection - I love her choice of such saturated hues. The pricing, however, is way above what I want to spend for kids bedding...not to mention it's a duvet cover which seems a little impossible to keep clean should another round of inevitable stomach flu strike (that means washing a duvet AND a comforter which we couldn't do in one load in our extremely dated washing machine). So, I'm waiting on it to see what kind of coupons I get in the mail. If I can get a few 40% off coupons, I might go for it. The other cute part that's hard to make out by the picture is the accent pillows, which are knitted with a sort of cable pattern. Super sweet.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sweet Rosemary Story...

I had to share a quick story about Rosemary. Rosemary was assigned the responsibility of Show-and-Tell at school this past Monday. She was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited. This is her third time doing show-and-tell and each time Jeff and I have gotten a total kick out of the things she has chosen to bring in. Everything from a photo of her with her cousins to her baker's hat and apron which her teacher informed us she did, in fact, model. This time, she chose an array of random toys - none with any particular meaning but she was clearly offended when I suggested she take some time to think about what she wanted to bring. On the way to school yesterday, she told me she was going to sing a song for show-and-tell. I immediately perked up, wondering if she was serious. She said she was going to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This gave me a bit of a chuckle because although she does indeed sing this song on a regular basis, I have to help her remember the words to each phrase as she often gets them mixed up. I told her I thought it was awesome she wanted to sing a song and wished desperately to the depths of my soul that I could be a fly on the wall in her classroom. When we arrived at school, her teacher told her to go ahead and bring her show and tell bag in and set it on the chair so she'd be ready. I asked Rosemary if she wanted to tell her teacher that she would also be singing a song, and she told me it was a surprise. My heart was nearly bursting with anticipation, fear, pride and pretty much every other emotion under the sun. Jeff picked Rosemary up from school and I was just DYING to hear what he heard when he picked her up. Apparently, as Rosemary was leaving, her teacher yelled to Rosemary, "Hey, great singing today!" So as soon as Rosemary walked in the door, I of course began grilling her. Her interpretation of the story is hysterical and had me near tears - partially because it really is a funny story, but also because of my baby's ability to allow herself to be vulnerable. She indeed sang for show and tell and it was most definitely Rudolph. She said she sang first and that she didn't remember the words. She said Miss Jan helped her remember. I asked if the class clapped when she was done - she said no. I told her that was probably because they thought it was so awesome. I asked if they were smiling - she said no. Then she did an impersonation of what their faces looked like - and I could not contain my laughter. She gave me this expression that read something like, "What the heck is she doing?" and "Is this girl serious?" I, for one, could not have been more proud. I don't think that is something I would have had the courage to do - and I'm not so sure Jeff would have either. I'm proud of the fact that she didn't care what anyone else thought. I'm proud of the fact that she said she was going to do something and she did it, even though it hadn't been done before. And when it comes to Rosemary, I am so incredibly proud of the gentle, sensitive, intuitive, generous little person she is. The child has a beautiful heart and brightens the days of those that surround her. I am so thankful for her and so thrilled to be her mom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Funny Gloria Story...

My 'little' Gloria is on the brink of turning 2. I can hardly believe how fast the past 2 years have gone. With Rosemary, life moved much slower - all of my attention lie on this single being, we were (for the most part) settled in our home, had no where to be (school, activities or the like). But life with two kids has been much different. Rosemary's school/activity/social calendar is brimming with demands and Gloria seems to be by my side for this ride we are discovering one day at a time. Gloria has definitely continued her reputation of being rather 'particular' and at most times, quite demanding and slightly impatient. But she has a hysterical sense of humor, says the funniest things and her constant demands keep Jeff and I laughing as she is so incredibly persistent when wanting something. She also has a very loud yelling voice that cracks us up. Whether it's the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, the decible level of her voice is truly alarming. Anyway, yesterday I painted her finger nails for the first time. Seriously, is there anything cuter than pudgy little fingers with hot pink nail polish? She was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO pleased with her polish job. She sat perfectly still as instructed while I painted them and was happy to oblige my offer to walk around the block with her after so we could dry her nails. We set off on our walk and I told her swinging her arms a bit would help dry them faster - done. She was an arm swinging machine. Unfortunately, the arm swinging sent her into a bit of a downward spiral as she tripped and face planted into the sidewalk. I watched in horror as she plumetted into the concrete, arms spread wide like a bird in every effort to salvage her polish job. Injuries were minor but apparent upon quick inspection - there was a definite penetration of tooth into lip as blood was running down her chin. She stood up and as I ran over expecting the worst, she only inspected her polish job to reveal its flawless nature and move on with her walk. This girl is the epitome of a G.I.R.L. So although we returned home with a face full of dried blood, she was pleased as punch to show dad her nails and felt like the pretty little princess she is:-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

House Update

Helloooooooooooo if any of you are left out there! Has it really been since January that I have updated my faithful blog? It's high time I extended a home related post to my followers. Last time we talked home biz, we were tying up lots of loose ends around the house and were in the early stages of furniture purchasing. When 'finishing' a house, you think it's a matter of picking up a few big pieces of furniture, a rug or two, a lamp, some pillows and that's it. I have learned through this whole process just how wrong I was. The house seems to have layers, upon layers, upon layers of needs - and when one need is met, another you never noticed suddenly starts screaming out at you. This could seriously become a never. ending. spending. spree. But, we've been chugging along on this bottomless pit of expenditures and taking things one step at a time - often one piece at a time. Trying to remain steadfast to our Dave Ramsey principles of adopting NO DEBT on this journey means we often move along at a snails pace. But we are making it happen and it is that much more rewarding knowing we own each thing free and clear! With all that jibber jabber, I should tell you just WHAT we've been up to. I promise in the coming weeks to get some high quality photos up of the 'finished' and 'furnished' house - but my camera stinks, we have a few odds and ends still awaiting delivery (like a chair/ottoman for the family room that we've now been waiting 10 WEEKS for and a custom built campaign-style media cabinet that is going to be an absolute STUNNER!) AND I'm just heading into my key nesting weeks of this third trimester which can only mean my house will be polished to the nines in a matter of time. Once I get it there, you can bet I'll be documenting it as no more pregnancies for this mama means it will never look that fabulous again;-) Ok, so here's a running list of what we've done/purchased: - We are FINISHED purchasing window treatments! We added honeycomb shades to our family room french doors and a fabric roman shade in the kitchen that is a perfect fit! - We wallpapered the kitchen in an absolutely gorgeous charcoal/white graphic paper. The arches and cabinetry really do pop now. - We purchased a couch! - We purchased a small laptop desk for the family room. - We purchased a dining room table and 8 chairs. - We bought an additional dresser for our bedroom - one of the ones I had my eye on forever! - We upgraded our 13" TV that we bought with gift cards from our wedding 6 years ago. That TV now resides in the playroom downstairs - We've added some wall art in the playroom - We've expanded the gold framed gallery wall that climbs our staircase. It now wraps 3 walls vs 1. - We purchased a french style arm chair and ottoman (still awaiting delivery - supposedly next week). - We searched the globe HIGH and LOW for a media cabinet to suit our needs to no avail. So we designed a cabinet instead, chose a cabinet maker and it is currently in production and scheduled to be ready by 2nd week of April. - We had our laundry room walls painted - Jeff is literally down in the basement as I type this repairing, self-leveling and epoxying the laundry room floor. - We have chosen an IKEA cabinet system for a little laundry work area we hope to complete by the end of next week. - We had all of the wood work in our house re-caulked and repainted. First 4 seasons with new woodwork means a re-caulking and re-painting post expansion and contraction. - We bought and hung a Venetian glass mirror in our powder room. - We bought the dining room light fixture from Belgium, had it rewired for US wiring and installed in our dining room. - We bought new lamps for our bedroom that suit the space JUST right! That's everything I can think of off the top of my head...not too shabby! I have about 4 odds and ends still hanging out on my punch list - all of which I'm on a mission to accomplish before this baby is born (only 9 more weeks). In the meantime, this house sure is treating us right. We absolutely love it here and feel more at home than we ever have. We are anxious to get out into the yard and get some plants in the beds we created last summer. Stay tuned for photos coming soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Catching up...

Once in a blue moon, Rosemary takes a nap. She woke up with a bit of a cold this morning and because we have a birthday party to attend later today, I told her she had to nap in order to be able to go. I've used this excuse about a million and a half times and of course it never works for the energizer bunny...but today, it did! WOW! Both girls napping - how DREAMY! Things at our house have been great. Of course, busy as ever with the holidays and transition into a new year, but great nonetheless. Of course the biggest news we have to share is the gender of our third child. It is with sheer awe and utter disbelief that we announce we are having a B-O-Y! Jeff and I have never found out the gender of our babies in our previous two pregnancies - but this time we decided we wanted to. I am SO unbelievably glad we did and had the opportunity to experience pregnancy/delivery in two completely different ways. The experience of finding out during our 20 week u/s was incredible in itself, and on top of it to find out we are expecting a completely new gender from what we are used to nearly sent us both over the edge. We told the u/s technician that we wanted to guess what we were having based on a decent image she showed us of the 'parts.' So after she had spent some time measuring and assuring us baby was healthy, Jeff asked her if she knew yet what it was. She told us she did and that whenever we were ready, she'd get us a good shot. My blood pressure had to have been around 200 - I thought I might just pass out right there on the table. We told her we were ready and she spent 45 seconds or so getting a good image of our baby's unmentionables and then froze the image. I immediately guessed it was a boy (if it wasn't, I think we would have had a problem on our hands) and Jeff was just speechless. She asked him again if he wanted to guess and he said he couldn't say anything. A few seconds later she said, "That's a little boy!" and our life was forever changed. I know that I covered my face with my hands - I don't know why but that was my reaction. I looked at Jeff and his eyes were closed, the hugest smile on his face and tears coming down his cheeks. It's one of those moments I will never, ever, ever in a million years forget. I know that we both would have been beyond thrilled to find out we were having another girl, but I'm not so sure my life would have been complete without seeing my husband's reaction to the fact that we had created a son together. In all honesty, after the initial shock and excitement wore off, I had to take a few moments to come to terms with the fact that it's very likely I won't ever have another little girl. Jeff and I feel that three children will be our magic number and that this little boy will be the final piece to our family puzzle. So I had to take my list of girl names I ALWAYS have in my mind (I love naming girls) and put them to rest in order to make room for what God has planned for us. And with that, the dreaming of our future began! Later that evening, we had invited both of our families over to share the news of what grandchild #13 and grandchild #7 would be. We had ordered Famous Dave's for dinner and a cake for all the December birthdays in our families and spent an evening playing and chatting together. Once everyone had arrived, Jeff lifted Rosemary on to the counter for the big announcement (can you believe she kept it a secret all evening?) She started by saying, "I have an announcement..." Our families all chuckled a bit and she got a little stage fright which slowed down her announcing process;-) After some coaxing and lots of "WHAT IS IT's" from our family, she shouted, "IT'S A BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!" Cheers, clapping, high-fives and tears followed and it is a memory we will always cherish. I did video tape her announcement, but of course in my frenzy of excitement, I grabbed the actual FILM video camera instead of the digital one. Boo...what can anyone do with film these days? So, I'll have to convert it so I can share it easily! Anyway, I feel like I have about a million more things to share, but wanted to be sure and record these wonderful memories somewhere. I'll be sure to catch up again soon with a recap of our holidays and plans for 2012:-) Happy New Year to you!