Saturday, March 26, 2011

Look Alikes

Well I'm more than a little bummed.  I got out the disk from when Scott was a newborn, and seriously, Daisy June looks JUST LIKE HIM.  But for some reason (I blame the exhaustion-even though she's a super sleeper, I'm still EXHAUSTED) I just couldn't find the right pictures to match up.  So you'll just have to trust me- she is his spitting image.  Even their expressions are the same! I'll try to get more pictures of Daisy, for a better comparison.  But for now, here's what I got.  Scott's on top or to the left, Daisy June is bottom or right.  As evidenced by the pinks and blues.  Guess I was pretty big on gender specific clothes and blankies :)


In this last one, that pic of Scott? That's exactly what Daisy June look like.  Exactly.  It's spooky!

Daisy June

I feel like I should say something about Daisy June.  I feel like I should spend more time with Daisy June.  I mean, as much as I love to take pictures, and I take hundreds a month...I barely have ANY of her for this post.  It's so embarrassing!

THANK GOD SHE'S AN EASY BABY.  That's probably the most important thing to say.  She is a fantastic baby, and I'm so very very grateful.  For the past week or so, she's been sleeping from ten to seven, and then she takes a bottle at seven and sleeps away another three hours in the car or stroller or swing, depending on the errands of the day.  Thank God.  Even when she was getting up at one and four to eat, she would eat and go back to bed almost immediately.

We did spend a few nights with her in our bed, and truthfully, if she WANTED to sleep with us again, I'd be more than willing to tuck her next to us for some extra snuggle time.  But she seems okay in her crib for now.  She's only a foot away :) We have a crib set up in Ava's room for her, but honestly, I don't plan to have her that far away until she's at least six months, maybe later.  While Nick is gone, she'll definitely be in my room.  Ava's room is too far away!
Yes, I wear a workout style headband 24/7. I'm actually going to get my hair done today.  At long last.  Phew.
She's also doing great so far with naps too.  Mornings are so hectic, and that's been a big issue for me- letting go of that nap.  Ask my own mama- I am a nap NAZI.  Seriously.  With all three of the others, I would rather have had my fingernails pulled than missed their two hour morning naps, in the beds, lights off, noise machines on.  But that's just NOT happening with Daisy June, and I'm trying to accept that.  I'm trying to tell myself as long as she's sleeping and she's happy and it's not ruining your day, you're going to have to just deal with it.  But it's hard ya'll, I'm not gonna lie.  It's hard for my mind to handle.

So anyway, she naps on the way to school and then during my walk, then she usually plays for a while when Warren goes down, then she goes down and I get my shower and everything.  On Tues and Thurs, when we don't go to school, she's been napping in the stroller the whole time we're at swim class, then staying awake during lunch and napping while the big kids nap for about two hours in the afternoon.  Then we usually get one more nap, either long or short depending on how much sleep she's actually gotten, around suppertime.  Once the bigs go down for the night, she plays with Daddy and eats for those final two hours.  And when I say that, I mean she really eats for two hours straight, bottle after bottle after bottle.  Very strange.

She's getting huge, and finally starting to lose that old man look.  She has her two month check next Tuesday, and I'm planning on taking her to get her ears pierced that afternoon.  I may hold off so Nick can go with us, but I'm not waiting very long, so he might have to miss it.  She's developed a strawberry mark or whatever you want to call it right above her right temple, which is sweet now, but I hope it doesn't get too much bigger.  It's a superficial world, whether you're willing to admit it or not, and I don't want her having to deal with a bigger one right on her face like that.  I thank God often that Warren's is on his wrist and not his face.  Those microseconds at his delivery between when Dr. Query say "Oh, he's got a big birthmark" and the attending said "On his arm" were very very scary for me.  Does that make me sound horrible? Of course I would love my child no matter what.  But the rest of the world sucks, and kids are cruel.

She lost most of that gorgeous, dark hair in front.  She's still got a good bit in the back, but she's taken on that distinct Engelbrecht hairline.  Sigh.  I think that she looks a lot like Scott did (one of these days, I'll post side by sides, but certainly not TODAY) but she's got Ava's coloring.  Part of me hopes her eyes stay gray-blue, because they're so beautiful, but part of me hopes they turn hazel, so that Ava's not the only odd man out who doesn't have blue eyes.

She smiles every now and then, usually when Nick is talking to her, but it's not quite on demand yet.  She still has no control over her spindly little arms and chicken legs, and she's constantly flailing about like a seizure patient.  We were super excited those first few weeks because she wasn't spitting up AT ALL, but she's since proved us premature on that one.  She spits up after every single feeding.  It's not as bad as Warren was, but it's about as nasty as Scott.  I'm not interested in medicine yet since she's obviously huge and it doesn't bother her, but if she starts crying all the time like Warren, I refuse to wait like I did with him.  If those soccer moms can get prescriptions for their vicodin addictions off the internet, surely I can find some chewable prevacid to mix in her cereal.

Deep breaths.  Let's cross that bridge when we come to it.  For now, let's just stare at those perfect lips.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Videos

Well, I figured it out! Technology, while confusing, just absolutely AMAZES me.  Like, my phone used a blue tooth to like beam the video into the computer.  How cool is that?

Anyway.  Here are the videos.  This first one is Ava, doing the Hafa Adai dance and song.  Hafa Adai is the Guam greeting, it's like "hey, what's up, good to see you." I think.  That's how I take it, anyway.  It's sort of long, and excuse my high pitched voice talking about hot dogs, but you know how that goes.  And if you bear with it...you get to see Lucy the carabao with a DOG ON HER BACK!

And who wouldn't want to see that?





And then this is the Chamarro song I was talking about before, the one they sing after the Pledge.  This was before I figured out how to zoom in with my phone camera.  And Angela, if you're reading this, I love you and I'm desperate to talk to you, so I'll keep my blackberry...but I really really really want an iphone.  Really.  The video's Nick takes are so much better!








And Scott.  Standing by himself, but still doing all the motions.  For a while anyway.  Here's hoping he doesn't grow up to be on Criminal Minds! FINGERS CROSSED YA'LL!!!






So that's the videos.  I feel so much better now that I figured that out! AND I did it by myself! Well, like 98% by myself.  Maybe 95%.

Carnival

More about how I had an actual nervous breakdown-complete with tears!!!- at the carnival later.  For now, let's just see the pictures.  March is Chamarro month in Guam, so the kids spent the month learning the history of Guam, the different aspects of Chamarro culture, tons of new Chamarro vocabulary, and just all out having a blast learning that there's more to life than blonde hair and blue eyes.  I know they're probably too young, but I still really and truly hope that they REMEMBER these lessons-that they know that there are TONS of  different ways to live lives, that just because people look and sound differently doesn't MEAN anything, you know?

Anyway, for the end of the month, the school put together a Chamarro Culture Carnival.  All right, I made up that name.  But still.

As usual, Scott was up first.  They always go in order, littles to big, so it's always Scott first.  Well, actually, the whole school came out first and sang this song.  I only had my cell for video, so the video itself is sort of crap, but at least I know how to get that on my computer, as opposed to the dozens of videos stuck in the video camera that I cannot for the LIFE of me get off.

Ahh, as soon as I said it, I got all screwed up, and I can't get the video on.  Either way, it's the whole school, singing the Chamarro song.  It's so cute, I guess at school, they always sing it after they say the Pledge.  So, the kids know it (it's in the Chamarro language) but whenever you ASK them to sing it, they REFUSE to do it! BUT, if you trick them into saying the Pledge, a lot of times they'll slip into the song without realizing it.  So sweet.  Anyway, I'll try to post it later.

So, Scott.  I tried to take today with a grain of salt, considering that last year, at his very first school play EVER, he took one look at me, burst into tears, and cried for the entire performance, and that at both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, he did EXACTLY what he was 'supposed' to do.  That being said, you KNOW how worried I get that the kids will get my social skills.  Remember when I asked Ava who her best friend at preschool in VA was and she told me the teacher? OHHH, the horror.  I cried for WEEKS after that.

But Scott's even worse.  It's easier on ME because he's a boy, so he'll be a guy, and for some reason I feel like it's not the same with guys.  But still, it worries me, when I think about how lonely it is to have the social skills of a rock, that he doesn't seem to socialize very well.  Deep breaths.

His class took the stage, and he took a seat off to the side.  All alone.  But so handsome!


He did, however, do some of the hand motions.  So at least there's that.





He spent a little time trying to rig the raffles for me :) (PS, I didn't win ANYTHING.  Thanks a lot Scott.)




Leaving the stage COMPLETELY at this point.




Then, twice in a row, he jumped in for the action, then jumped back out.  What a strange kid!


And then he just sat back down till it was over.  At which time he ran to the beach and convinced one of the dad's at the grill to give him a hot dog, even though it was about nine thirty and nothing was cooking.  Sigh.





Then it was Ava's turn.  I know you must be so sick of hearing it (actually, I think you're probably just jealous) but she is so beautiful.  I mean, just breathtaking.  Seriously.  I always knew I would think that my kids were cute (even when they're weird looking babies, notsayinganynamesDaisy) but I never expected to have a daughter so stunning that she actually makes me look twice.  Double take.
fifteen minutes before she lost that gorgeous bow.  which I paid a fortune for, by the way.


Warren was driving me absolutely bonkers by this point, hence the lack of tons of pictures.  But I gotta work with what I got.  And what I got...is pictures of my daughter KISSING A BOY!!!

Well, kissing his hand.  BUT STILL!!! What kind of school is this, right? Just kidding.  Sort of.
 It was all part of their dance routine.  And the dance video is the one I figured out how to get onto the computer! Wanna watch? It's not long, give it a go.






All right, it's not that good, she's stuck behind people.  But it's the only one I can get on the computer! Hopefully Nick can figure that out.  And, just in case you were wondering why she disappeared off camera, she was coming to drag me onto the stage to dance with her.  What a sweet girl!

And, by the way, this is the view from the preschool.  Rough life, right?




And, the funnest part of the day? Lucy the carabao showed up for rides!!! And the Engelbrechts DID ride her, all three of them, but I was way to frazzled by that point to still have any idea where my camera was.  Sigh.

So that's the happy parts of the story.  The not-so-happy parts include me having to hold both Daisy and Warren while they both screamed and screamed and screamed.  And then me crying too, and Ms. Judy rushing over to see if she could help, but she can't because the problem is that I have too many kids.  And it's not like she can solve that one, you know?

Here's hoping my hormones are just about leveled out.  I don't know how much more of this I can take!

Monday, March 21, 2011

After Four

It is not going well ya'll.  Not well at all.  Grandma Jane left last Wednesday morning (so early that we might as well say she left Tuesday night) and of COURSE the stars aligned so that Nick had duty that day as well.  So, I went from having another adult at my side twenty four hours a day, along with Nick getting home around dinner time, from pretty much the time we got home from the hospital with Daisy (SEVEN WEEKS AGO!!!) to being completely and totally one hundred percent alone.  With four children.  Aged five and under.

Um, lemme see that receipt again.  I'm pretty sure that this is NOT what I ordered.

At first, that fateful Wednesday, it seemed to be going well.  And ya'll KNOW how I feel about those days that start off well and take a sharp turn for disaster.  I would MUCH rather just start out crappy, that way I know what I'm in for.  I'd packed the kids' lunches the night before, so when Ava got me up at five forty five, I just had to handle breakfast, getting everyone dressed, and feeding Daisy.  We (I) like to be out the door by seven thirty, that way I can get the kids to school by eight, so they can play outside for thirty minutes before their "work" starts.  And, since I always feel the need to be honest, I like to get them there by eight so that I can take advantage of EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. that they're away.  Is that horrible? To paint myself in a SLIGHTLY better light, I could technically drop them off at seven.  That's what we pay for, seven to two.  But again, brutal honesty? Even if I wanted to take advantage of those sixty extra minutes, there's NO WAY I could get out the door by six thirty.  I mean, it's just not going to happen.  Ever.

So anyway, last Wednesday.  I got Ava some cereal (please don't tell me that you make your kids real breakfast every day.  Or ever. Because we eat cereal and frozen waffles.  I occasionally make oatmeal in the rice cooker, and sometimes we have real waffles that Nick makes and I freeze the leftovers and pop them in the toaster instead.  But I'd say 98% of the time, it's cereal.  So I don't need to hear about how you make eggs and pancakes from scratch every day.  In fact, if you're doing that, you probably shouldn't be reading my blog.  I'm not THAT kind of mama.) and made myself a smoothie (yes, on top of all this, I've started back on WW.  For serious.  But that is a whole nother post.  Yes, I said whole nother.  That's a phrase, look it up.  www.getoffmybackimsouthern.com) And then Daisy June woke up, so I got her bottle ready, and I was still feeling pretty good about this whole mothering thing.

Then, as I was just sitting down to feed her, Warren woke up.  And, since I was sitting down, I couldn't race in there to get him, so Scott woke up too.  And Scott can open the door, so they both walked out.  Looking for love and food and chocolate milk (yes, we drink chocolate milk.  AND it's not organic! so put that in your back pocket too!) and dry diapers.  So I took the bottle away and dropped Daisy June in the swing (seriously, Melissa? you should be charging me a monthly fee for getting me that swing) and started to get their cereal and cups ready.

And Daisy June, wonder of all wonders, did NOT think that that was a great idea. Cue high pitched screeching.  So I go pick her back up, but now I can't get the cereal ready.

Cue ceaseless whining.

Back into the swing with Daisy June.  I can tolerate the screeching for a few minutes while I get some cereal ready.

Except I can't.  I don't know, there's just something about that little baby cry, it makes my brain stop working.  It always has!!! So I just sort of stand in the kitchen with a blank stare until Ava opens the silverware drawer and gets me some spoons.  That sort of triggers my brain, so I manage to get the boys some cereal and get it on the table.  They sit down to eat, and I get Daisy June and go back to feeding her.

Since I haven't changed Warren yet, his diaper explodes.  Just pee.  But still messy.  By this point, I'm crying.  Ava is telling me it'll be okay, Scott is laughing, and Warren is just wandering around with those pieces of gel from the inside of the diaper on his tiny hiney.

And it just sort of continued from there.

It's not like I can pinpoint what EXACTLY is going wrong, and what EXACTLY I need to do to handle this better.  But (OBVIOUSLY) something ain't quite right yet.  I know that I just need more time, and that the older Daisy June gets, the easier it will be (and don't you DARE tell me that it won't-I'm not interested.  If I didn't think it was going to get easier as she got older, I would be driving myself to the fifth floor instead of typing this out) but it's hard right now.  I expected to be overwhelmed.  I'm not a moron, after all.  But I didn't expect to be quite this overwhelmed, you know?

That Wednesday, I got the kids to school by eight (wow!) and went straight to the beach for my walk.  And it was heavenly, and the little kids (I have BIG KIDS now and LITTLE KIDS, isn't that the funnest thing you've ever heard?!?!?! Despite all my bitching and moaning, you have to remember that I WANTED this huge family, and I'm so so so so SO grateful to have it-can you believe that?!?!) The little kids were VERY well behaved and there was a breeze and it was just perfect.  And I got home, and put Warren down (I love to say that, put him down, isn't that horrible?) and snuggled with Daisy June and then put her down (yes, we are enjoying our third AMAZING sleeper) and got a shower, but that's it.  That is all I did.  ALL DAY.  I didn't watch four hours of TV (which, to tell the truth, is about average for me, Before Four.  That's my new measuring stick, BF, and AF) In fact, I didn't watch any TV at all, not even in the background, because this stupid house echos so bad that it just drives me up a wall to have it on.  So, I didn't watch TV, I didn't clean a single thing, I didn't read a single page (okay, for the truth, the book I'm reading is so stupid that I didn't WANT to read, or else I would have been reading while I snuggled with Daisy) I didn't do any laundry, nothing.  I barely sat down at all.  And even though I KNOW, in my heart, that Nick could care less if he comes home to a messy house and never has another clean shirt to wear in his life and we live on TV dinners and take out-even though I know all that, I still WANT to do those things.  I want him to think that I can handle this, that I've got it under control.  Guess I'm not fooling anyone though, right?

And then (last thing, I promise) we were somewhere the other day, and this person was saying what mess the person's house was.  (I'm trying not to give away the gender because I want to protect this person from Holly, who I know will want this person's head on a platter-or at least I hope so-back me up Holly! But I'm sure you can IMAGINE the gender of said person) So anyway, it was a party, so of COURSE the house was messy.  And this was just the OUTSIDE. So I said "Jeeze, you should see my house, it's always a wreck."

And this person had the AUDACITY to turn to me and my husband and say "What? You've got a stay at home wife, that house should be spotless every day.  What else's she gotta do all day?"

Yeah.  So that's what I'll leave you with.  Because my baby is crying and my big kids are upset because "she's looking at me!" and "he said my name's not Ava!" and "he said that I love rocks!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Dub

I don't have anything to say, I just wanted to post this picture.  Granted, my children are all smaller than normal children, but still.  That's my twenty four pound two year old in an infant bouncy seat.  When he gets into it (which is quite often) the back bounces all the way down to the floor.  Warren also likes to take a suck on Daisy's bottles every now and then.  He asked if he could a while ago, and I said yes and handed it to him, assuming that he'd spit it out and cry and make a big deal about how nasty it was, just like Ava and Scott did when I brought home Scott and Warren, respectively.  But nope, not this kid.  He doesn't like, want to drink a full bottle or anything, but he does, occasionally, want a little suck.  Thank God I don't breastfeed :) He also occasionally climbs into the swing, and he frequently climbs into my lap to rock.  While I'm feeding or cuddling with Daisy.  But all in all, considering the changes we've been through in the last seven weeks, I think he's doing AMAZING.

Ava? Not so much.

I also wanted to share a quote that I just read a few days ago.  BTW, the new Jodi Picoult book is only so-so.  I had a hard time believing the characters were falling in and out of love as fast as they were (married, divorced, and remarried within like six months) but it was all right.  Not her best (My Sister's Keeper and 19 Minutes) and certainly not her worst (this crapfest called Picture Perfect that I read and read and read for TWO MONTHS and didn't even get halfway finished!!!) just in the middle.  BUT, one of the characters said something I liked, in response to her daughter crying because the daughter was helpless.

"You're not helpless.  You just need help.  There's a big difference."

I might be paraphrasing a tiny bit, my kindle died before I could look it up and get it perfect.  But still, isn't that nice? I myself don't really have a problem asking for help (as I'm sure any of the boat wives who I call and cry for help REPEATEDLY will be able to tell you) but I know that a lot of people do.  There' s nothing wrong with asking for help!!! If you need help, you need help.  You know? Needing help does NOT make you some helpless loser who can't get her crapola together! It just makes you someone who NEEDS HELP.

What's so wrong with that?

Wow.  I'm so deep.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Giant Animals, Tiny Bananas, and Regular Sized Canons

Well, after the drama of Friday night, we decided to forge ahead with our plans to show Grandma Jane the south end of the island, even though poor Nick was exhausted and not in the mood.  Being the amazing man that he is though, he smiled and we had great time!  We stopped somewhere we've never stopped, and I have no idea where we were, but there was a man there riding around on a water buffalo! Naturally, he came right over, and my children were instantly smitten.




Water Buffalo Man threw Ava right up there without a second thought.  She was willing, but a little surprised to find herself up there all alone, so Nick hurried up to get behind her.  Then the guy threw Warren up there!!!


Scott was a little too cautious, both to ride the animal, and to let the man touch him.  What can I say, he's a cautious kid.  He likes to do things on his own timetable.  Marches to the beat of his own little drummer.

But he stayed right by them while they toured the little park we were visiting, and he truly was content to  just do that.





Until...

...Water Buffalo Man invited us to feed his pet some of those teeny tiny bananas they grow here.  Scott was too cautious to RIDE the great big thing, but he raced up to be the first one to FEED the great big thing some bananas, using his tiny hand to put the tiny bananas in that huge mouth.  And wait, it gets better.
Notice up there, in the top left corner? Water Buffalo Man is feeding his pet a banana FROM HIS OWN MOUTH.  Can you GUESS where I'm going with this story?!?!?
Yes.  That's my son.  He's got a banana in his mouth, and he's feeding it to the water buffalo.  From his mouth.  From my son's mouth, to the water buffalo's mouth.  That teeny tiny banana.

Ugh.


Warren got in on the action too, but Ava was having none of it.



There was an Asian family there, so I thought I'd snap a million pictures of their baby, like they're always doing with my kids, maybe I could see what the excitement was all about.  I still don't get it.  Shrug.



After the water buffalo excitement, we also headed over to look at some canons.  Boys and their guns, right?




And just in case you're wondering if I'm trying to make a fashion statement with my adorable hair accessories, the answer is an emphatic NO.  My children LOVE to pick those flowers for me and "help" me tuck them behind my ears.  It's an everyday (usually MULTIPLE times a day) occurrence.  Sigh.  Then again, I can think of worse things than your kids wanting to decorate your hair with beautiful flowers.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Birthday Bash

My baby is TWO YEARS OLD!!!  I don't so much mind that he's getting older (not a HUGE fan of the itty bitty baby stage, remember, and also...I sort of have an extra.  AND, I've been doing nothing but having itty bitty babies for the past five years, so...) but I DO mind that TWO YEARS HAVE GONE BY SINCE HE WAS BORN!!!  That's what gets me.  I'm also feeling a little guilty that I'm not all mopey and teary eyed and dedicating a post to a loving letter that I write him and all that jazz, so if you want a little of that sappy crap, you can read about the day he was born here and you can see the same story with pictures here.

Oh man.  I read both those posts, and now I AM all mopey and teary eyed!!!

But anyway.  We had his party yesterday.  We sort of told Scott that it was HIS party too, because Nick will be gone most of April, so we won't be able to do a bounce house and stuff like that for Scott.  Poor kid.

Nick was a party pooper and wouldn't wear a hat, so he doesn't get to be in this collage! That'll teach him, right? Thanks to Grandpa Kenny, Mama got to be in a few shots with Warren for his birthday!!!


We had our regular BBQ with a bounce house, that way it's a party for the grownups AND the little guys.  Our new neighbors are finally back in town, so I got to socialize with her (HOORAY FOR NEW FRIENDS!!!) and also a few new people I've met on base.  So it was super fun.  Gotta stock up on all these extra people, get ready for my summer as a single mama of four, you know?
Daisy had a blast.  She later confided in me that it was the most amazing party she's ever been to.  I was honored.



Little bit of slobber all over a cake certainly wasn't gonna stop this mama from eating a few (dozen) pieces.





And I just couldn't resist these pictures.  Bear in mind, this kid has NO idea what the Little Mermaid is, they won't watch full length movies.  He doesn't understand that the Little Mermaid is a princess, and that princesses are for girls.  He just knows that umbrellas are awesome, and when you're not using them as a sword or a bat, you can open them up, and it does neat things to the light.  And it's super fun to twirl!!! So leave him alone, he was having a blast.

Thanks to everyone who came, and to everyone who brought gifts (even though I asked you NOT to!) We had so much fun!!!

Ooh, I had to add this shot of Warren a few hours in.  Exhausted, but having too much fun to call it quits!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The March of Dimes

If you've been reading my blog for a while (and I know the four of you HAVE) then you know that this past September, my sister gave birth to her son after just twenty eight weeks of pregnancy.  For you non nurse or non mama types who think of pregnancy in months, this was more than three months early.  Twenty eight weeks is the line where health care professionals consider a baby to have a good sporting chance for survival, but it is NOT a guarantee and it is definitely NOT a safe time to have your teeny tiny son struggling for every breath outside the safety of your womb.

My sister did not drink during her pregnancy.  She did not smoke, or snort coke.  She did not get in a car accident, or fall on her belly.  She did not contract some sort of virus or bacterial infection.  She was having a normal, healthy pregnancy, until one day she went into labor.  They tried to stop it, but were unsuccessful.  She was not at some backwoods southern hospital without modern technology- she was at a state of the art care facility with all the best resources available.

No one knows why some babies are born early.  It was especially devastating for my sister and my family because just six years earlier, she also delivered her daughter early.  Her daughter made it closer to the thirty two week mark, but it was still (obviously) very scary for my sister and my mother and me and everyone else we knew, because this was the very first grandbaby for the family and we were absolutely TERRIFIED for her.  Again, with her first pregnancy, my sister did NOTHING wrong.

The March of Dimes is an organization dedicated to discovering why babies are born too soon, and, more importantly, to helping these tiny miracles survive after their impromptu arrivals.  If you can spare even a few dollars, PLEASE donate to the March of Dimes.  I would never share this link with you if I did not know for a fact, beyond a doubt, that the money the March of Dimes raises goes DIRECTLY to these babies and their families.  Both my niece Mia and my tiny nephew Joshua benefited DIRECTLY from donations made by people they do not even know.  When you donate to the March of Dimes, you can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your money is not funneled off to some fund to collect interest to pay the salaries of disinterested people who shoot obnoxious commercial asking you for more and more and more.  It goes to neonatal intensive care units across the county, to incubators designed by the most brilliant minds in modern medicine, incubators that do all they can to save lives, but that are a pale, pathetic imitation of the safety of a mama's body.  When you donate to the March of Dimes, you money goes here...

That's my nephew, hours after his birth. He weighs one pound and twelve ounces. He has a tube down his throat to breath for him.  He has tubes in his belly button and his scalp to provide nutrition.  He is receiving the strongest antibiotics available, antibiotics with horrible side effects, to fight off infections.  He is receiving dangerous drips to regulate his blood pressure, drips reserved for the most critical patients in the ICU.  Nothing in his body works, nothing preforms the way it's supposed to.

And people donated to the March of Dimes, people who had never seen him, had never felt him kick from inside my sister's belly, never looked at his ultrasound picture and wondered, from a vast list of thousands, what his name should be.  People donated, and the money went to HELP JOSHUA.

This is Joshua now, after nearly six months in the world that wasn't ready for him
And Mia, who was also in a NICU for four weeks, benefiting from donations to the March of Dimes.  They are both alive, and healthy, and happy.  And they BOTH benefited from the donations of strangers.

Readers, you know me.  Even if we have never met in person, we are not strangers.  These children are my flesh and blood.  My children's flesh and blood.  And don't forget, my sister did NOTHING wrong during her pregnancies.  This can happen to ANYONE.  This could just as easily be pictures of your sister's children up here.  So please, if you can spare ANYTHING, follow this link.  It's called the March of Dimes for a reason- every little bit helps.  Skip your three dollar coffee and donate that.  Skip that nine dollar movie ticket and wait for it to come out on netfilx.  The March of Dimes is out there, every day, saving lives.  And looking for a cure, a reason why these babies are so eager to join a world that is not equipped to nurture them yet.

Donate.  Please.  Whatever you donate, I will match, just leave a comment.  These babies need us ladies.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sunset Pictures

I was thinking of putting a limit on how many pics I put on each blog post. But then I immediately started working ways around that, like dividing it up unto five different posts so that I can get them all on, so I figure maybe that's not the best idea. I mean, it's MY blog, right? So, I can post as many as I want. Right? I mean, the whole point of the internet is that it's supposed to be around forever, right? So I need to post a lot, as a last resort back up system.

Or something.


A few days ago, we tried to go watch the sun set out at Agat, but I accidentally set off the smoke detector during dinner (I really HATE that electric stove!!!) so we were busy trying to turn them off (which, as a side note, we couldn't do, we actually had to call the people who run base housing have them send someone out.  I HATE living on base!!!) and by the time we got to the beach, the sun was gone.  So we had to try again the next day.
With much better results.


I just love it when my kids stand in the right order.  Small, medium, large.  Does that make me weird? I just love it!



Here is Grandpa and his lovely little lady.



I mean ladieS.




And I don't want to toot my own horn, but there's a certain LOOK I'm always going for when I shoot these hundreds and hundreds of pictures.  Just a specific style and angle and coloring and focus...everything, really.  And this picture below? THIS IS THE LOOK!!!! This is the shot I am ALWAYS trying to capture!!!
I am SO EXCITED to get this shot!!!

Random Pics from My Phones

Well, only one of the phones is actually mine.  The other is Nick's.  But still.  In my apparent obsession with getting all the (hundreds of thousands of) pictures on the computer sorted and filed into the appropriate  folders, I came across all the phone pictures we've been taking over the weeks.  Needless to say, it put a smile on my face.
And let me tell you...that smile? It felt good.  Very nice.




This was on the 25th.  No, we didn't forget it was Warren's birthday.  We just sort of...didn't go out of our way to remember it :) We're having a party this weekend for him and Scott (Nick will be gone for Scott's.  And mine.) so we just sort of...put it off.  But we DID go out to eat, and since it WAS his special day, we had a little surprise for him.  He was super excited.  Boy LOVES the Happy Birthday song.



Let's see, this one? This was one day when we headed to the pool.  I try to never miss an opportunity to snap a shot of one of my children wearing socks and sandals.
 Especially when the socks are practically knee high.  And she's wearing a bathing suit as well.



This is a rare shot of some of the kids (there's so many, I can't be bothered with names anymore) with their Mama.  I think, after weeks and weeks of incessant nagging, that Nick has finally realized that I mean business- I want some dang pics of the kids with me! Even though I look...like this.  Ugh.





Ahh, this one.  Doesn't really need an explanation.  But I will say, and Holly, if you're reading, tell me if it's the same with Team Hudson, that when the kids are each alone, even for just a few minutes, they're so much cuter.  I mean, seriously.  The big kids were only a few feet away, inside, but it's like Warren just...comes alive.  So sweet.  Or, I guess, so sad, depending on how you look at it.





And finally, Scott.  Ahhh, Scott.  Boy loves his helmet.  As in, wears it all the time.  All. The. Time.  I just don't know what to think about that kid.


And now, I can't help but feel that all this time I'm wasting, trying to take a thousand pictures on my fancy camera, and editing them, and trying to keep them organized on the computer...these crappy resolution phone pics, snapped at the spur of the moment and then forgotten in an email...these pictures sort of REALLY capture our life right now.  You know?