Thursday, December 10, 2009
If Rachael's life was a series of Jeopardy categories, they would be:
* Cartoons with Ducks and Chickens
* Foods Dipped in Ketchup
* Scenes of Dangerous Tumbling/Acrobatics
* Pink Tricycles
* Trials of Left-Handed Children
* Preschool Sociolinguistics (all answers are to start with "NO NO NO!")
Oh, fun. Now Erin's turn:
* Binkie Taxonomy
* Seborrheic Dermatitis
* Words that Start with "Buh Buh Buh" (all answers are to start with a juicy, toothless grin)
* Big Sisters I Worship
* Handed-Down Clothing
* Funny Grey Cats
Haven't decided on Final Jeopardy 'answers' yet... :)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
My brother, who adores Rachael, went with us to gymnastics the last two times he and my sis in law were in town. Since then, Rachael has decided that Uncle Jim will be coming with us to gymnastics each week. Now that would be a lot of commuting... :)
Perhaps she'll stop asking me why we left Uncle Jim at home once I can get her to understand the distance between Michigan and Connecticut...until then, Jim, I think you're on the hook for getting yourself to gymnastics every Saturday. Hee hee... :)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
* my beautiful, smart, healthy husband
* the roof over my head and the (soon-to-be-new!) carpet under my feet
* my job and my colleagues (even the snarky ones in Ann Arbor) ;-)
* my health insurance, which helped pay for my Tamiflu prescription last week
* my city's autumn leaf pickup program
* my brother and Jen, who love me, Dave, and my girls from afar
* Sandy and Ron, who love me, Dave, and my girls from afar
* my inlaws, who are so generous with their time
* my furnace, which warmed my house to 68 degrees right on schedule this morning
* my tub of Infant Vics Vapo Rub
* my kids' pediatrician, who made me laugh while I nervously held my feverish baby
* the heated seats in my car
* Dr Seuss, who reminds me to try new things, even if I'm sure I won't like it
* AIM Instant Messenger--how did I ever function in corporate America without IM?
* my friends, new and old
* gas being less than $4/gallon
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We've been talking about getting a Will and Living Trust drafted for about three years now. We even got as far as meeting with an attorney (two, actually), but never got the whole effort off the ground. It's an incredibly daunting task.
Well, I'm proud to say that *today* we finally went back to the attorney and gave her everything she needs to process a first draft of a will, living trust, and the re-deeding of our house (this process also helped us discover that buying our house before we were married opened up a few legal loopholes. Awesome.) It'll take a few weeks for her to get everything together for her first draft, but heck, after the three years it took D and I to formulate the content of that first draft, two weeks isn't bad.
For those of you who are not experienced with estate planning with minor children, this is why it took us forever to get to this point in hella-serious estate planning. You need to:
* decide WHO should manage your estate (liquidate your assets, invest the proceeds, close accounts, collect your life insurance, deal with your house, deal your cars, deal with your children's new guardian, etc etc etc)
* decide HOW that person is to manage your estate (work with an investment counselor, plan for kids' college, etc)
* decide WHO will raise your children, which is almost as hard as this last biggie...
* decide HOW you want that person to raise your children
So let's say you decide you want Ralph Smith to manage your estate (cash) and Loretta Jones to raise your children. Sounds cut-and-dried, right? But now consider this: if Loretta Smith dies, do you automatically want her husband, Jerome, to raise your kids? Do you want Ralph Smith to have a say in that? Oh, and how much are you going to pay Ralph for managing your crap? And do you want Loretta to send your kids to private school instead of the Jonesville Public School? Who decides if Jonesville Public School is acceptable? Who has to agree before the estate (Ralph) will pony up for private school? Oh, and what if Loretta decides to move to Paraguay? Or worse, Cleveland? Can she take your kids, or does the next-in-line guardian get the kids? And how old/how accomplished do your kids have to be before they can get your cash? 25? 30? 26.5 with a college degree? 27 with a Masters degree? AUGH!
Every single decision opened up Pandora's box a little wider. Crap.
So, realizing that our current plan of just ignoring this whole mess might not be the most responsible decision, we wrote a narrative on what we would generally like to see happen....the pretty essay written in a pleasing font had clear sections describing the things that are important to us and the things that confused us (see Paraguay issue above). Proud of our work, we handed it to the attorney, then watched as she stared first at us, wide-eyed, then at our single-spaced narrative, and asked if we'd really written a narrative on our estate plan. Said she'd never seen that before. Heh. Clearly she needs to get to know D and me better. So, she talked us through her recommendations and agreed to have her draft in the mail in two weeks.
Not easy stuff, no easy answers. I am glad that we at least have the process in gear now.
Anyhoo, here are the princesses we're doing all this for! Check out my pretty-pretties in the Halloween gear:
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
You won't actually go bald when your lush preggo hair starts falling out
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Here are some pics from the pizza party Rachael hosted last Monday. :-)
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Aunt Jen and Erin
Erin, Jen, Rachael and Kristine
Rachael being goofy!
Glad you're here Jen!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Yesterday the mid-afternoon crankies came on just as I was five minutes into my quick re-organization of Rachael's closet. Erin had been peacefully sitting next to me when the crankies took hold--BAM! So, I set her on Rachael's bed and put Rachael's 'snuggle blankie' on her while I hunted down a pacifier. LIKE MAGIC, Erin was quickly settled. Within minutes, she was fast asleep on big sister's bed. I took off snuggle blankie for a minute to snap this pic:
Anyhoo, I think Erin has already developed an attachment to big sister! :-)
Finally, I *have* to share this pic...my friend Denise from work gave Erin this outfit and Erin's now big enough to wear it. It's A-DORABLE! Check it out:
The little sock-shoes that go with it are my favorite part. Thanks Denise!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Welcome Erin Susanna!
Erin arrived on May 14th at 5:19pm...she weighed 8lbs 7oz (just like her sister!) and was 21 inches long (unlike her sister, who was only 18 inches). Check out this pretty little girl:
It's amazing how FAST the first weeks go by. Of course, when it's 3am and we're responding to one of Erin's meal calls, it seems like the hours drag by slowly. But I cannot believe it's been over a month already! My boss called yesterday to discuss my return-to-work date, so time is really going by quickly!
More to come as I find minutes here and there for more pics and stories :)
Monday, April 27, 2009
I worked from home for a while at my last job, so the whole home office thing isn't foreign to me. Lots of folks ask me how I resist the temptation to do laundry, websurf, or watch TV while I'm home. I guess I'm just over such temptation--if it's Monday through Friday between 7:30 and 4, I'm working, no matter where my butt is parked. If I have a free hour, I'm more likely to try and unearth my inbox than do a load of laundry.
I will admit, however, that it takes some time to get back into the swing of the home office environment. Here are some of the things I've noticed in the last few weeks...
Things I like about working from home:
1) It's QUIET (well, it's quiet when my bathroom isn't under construction).
2) I get a lot done because of reduced "drive-by" visits from people. Drive-by visits ("um, got a minute, Kristine?...) are notorious agents of time suckage in an office environment. I still get drive-by phone calls and IMs, but nothing like actually being there.
3) I can wear my PJs until it's time to go get Rachael from daycare. Big perk.
4) I can make myself as comfortable as I want (or as comfortable as I can...) by moving from chair to chair, sofa to sofa...until my spine and my baby find a position that's mutually acceptable. Biggest perk.
5) I can make macaroni and cheese for lunch.
Things that suck a little about working from home:
1) It's QUIET (after years of working in the eye of an office/hospital hurricaine, I fear that I thrive on chaos).
2) As much as I whine about drive-bys, it IS harder to be in-touch with those who report to me when we don't have that daily face-to-face interaction (Thank goodness for AIM Instant Messenger...).
3) Phoebe. Phoebe is my very needy cat. She thinks I'm here during the day to play with her, exclusively. She drives me nuts. She also sends non-sensical Instant Messages to my co-workers by standing on my keyboard while I'm making macaroni and cheese.
4) Door-to-door salespeople. I had no idea my doorbell rang so much during the day. GO AWAY!! I do not want to buy your raffle tickets, magazines, meat, kites, or any of the other crap that's been shuffled up to my porch for the last five weeks. I'm actively seeking a tasteful "no freaking soliciting" sign for my front door. And before you ask, I've tried just ignoring the doorbell. Guess what--they keep banging and ringing. I think they see me in the den and just assume I'm taking extra time to find my checkbook before answering the door. Awesome when you're on a conference call with 50 other people and you have to excuse yourself to tell Jerome from the Youth Center Basketball League to piss off and get off your porch.
Anyway...so working at home is working out. I do miss the interaction with non-furry life forms (sorry, Phoebe), but hey--this is much better than being a prisoner on bedrest! :)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
This is also the first year we've dyed eggs with her--no way was I going to put a one-year old in front of egg dye...but in spite of her having some very blue fingers, it wasn't a traumatic mess and she had SO much fun. Pretty neat! I mean, check out this smile:
Hope you all had a Happy Easter, too!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
They started with the standard 2D stuff (to cover my REAL reason for being there...evaluate blood flow, take measurements, etc), then they took some 4D images. Those were neat, but, like 3D, the baby has to be in the perfect position to see anything much. Our daughter bashfully kept her arms in front of her face for quite some time before relenting and allowing us to oooohhh and ahhhh over her. :)
4D is useless for taking still images (it's intended for observing movement), so when they switched back to 3D, we were able to get this pic. I know it's hard to discern at first (we had the benefit of watching her move into this position before the still image was snapped), but it's a picture of her sucking on her hand, kind of looking down. You can see her chunky baby arm and her knee pulled into her chest. Pretty neat-o...
NOT so neat-o is that little darling is breech. BREECH! C'mon.... While it's still possible that she'll be a good girl and move into a head-down position, there's a better chance at this point that she won't and I'll end up having a c-section. I chatted with a few friends who had breech babies and went through the process of having the baby turned--all of them commented that they ended up with extensive bruising and...c-sections. My MD isn't fond of the manual manipulation thing either.
So, fingers crossed that she decides to do a somersault sometime VERY soon!! As convenient as it would be to schedule a c-section and be able to plan around that, I'm not interested in major abdominal surgery if I can avoid it...
Ending on a positive note, here's a pic of SUPER RACHAEL in her sparkly green cape. My friend Kathleen from work made this for her...Rachael loves twirling around in it. Thanks Kathleen!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
You might guess that Rachael didn't do much of this by herself...and you'd be right. Rachael painted the shamrock from the stencil provided, then I found my type-A self unable to let her "toddler-ize" the rest of the project. So Dave and Rach painted something else while I finished up the border of the plate. She had fun and didn't care if she was painting the plate or her paper plate...it was still a fun thing for us to do together.
In other news, we've been slowly excavating infant gear from the basement. First was the bassinet. Here's a pic of Rachael helping her daddy get the bassinet ready for Baby Sister:
I know I said this many times while pregnant with Rachael, but this time I really mean it: WHERE ARE WE GOING TO PUT ALL THIS BABY STUFF? Bassinet, swings, high chair, bouncy seat, pack n play...I need a 3000 sq ft house! But...it's cool. If one is going to have clutter, let it be baby clutter. :-) So worth it!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
We made it through the produce section before I realized, with horror, that I was STARVING.
This is what ends up in the cart when you mix hungry pregnant woman + content toddler + big grocery store (even with shopping list in hand):
* Cinnamon bread (for toasting--one of my favs)
* Combos (cheddar cheese ones...)
* Rolos (you know, those carmel candies with the chocolate coating...)
* Pretzels (critical for heartburn management, so these were medicinal...)
* Ingredients to make homemade pizza (health food!)
* A can opener (I found this in our cart as I was checking out...Rachael added this. Glad I caught it before we bought it...)
* Chocolate chip cookie mix (over 300 chips per mix! Couldn't pass it up...)
* ...the rest of the stuff on the 'legit' list
Rachael and I ate the Combos while driving home. So...by the time we got home, the Combos had taken the edge off the hunger enough for the rational, practical me to return and realize that I had a bag of cinnamon bread, Rolos, pizza sauce, cookie mix... Rachael proudly carried in the bag of contraband (probably thinking her can opener was inside as well) and demanded we make cookies immediately (over 300 chips!).
I made her eat a peanut butter sandwich first, which marked the end of that afternoon's irresponsible food frenzy. :-)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Here's a 3D image of Smallest Baker--she's using her placenta as a pillow here, with her arm tucked under her chin:
And here's a 'traditional' 2D profile shot--she's waving her hand in front of her face. HI EVERYONE!
We were surprised to hear that Little One is measuring two weeks ahead of her gestational age. She's about 3 lbs 9 oz now. Who knows? We could have caught her during a growth spurt. I'm not diabetic (just got my glucose test results back, in fact), so no blaming me for her size! She has probably just been putting on a lot of muscle from regularly using my bladder as a punching bag... ;-)
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Anyway, this past Saturday we decided to take Rachael to a pottery place not far from home. It was nice--got all of us out of the house and gave us something fun to do! Here are some pics from our adventure--Rachael liked it but was VERY serious about the painting process!
I cannot wait to see what shade of brown this clay kitty turns out to be after the application of its many 'calico' layers.... ;-) I'll post pics of our projects after I pick them up next week!