Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's new?

Madi is potty trained.  

Isabella really wants a pet when she's bigger.  She'd settle on a guinea pig, but would prefer a bunny, or kitty.  (It's something she talks about a lot...but it's been "Pet" week at school.)  

The bathroom is not done...all of the pieces are in place, and work...but the tiling, painting, and mirror are not done yet.  The contractors may show up tomorrow to finish the job...but I doubt I'll see them until Monday.  They have gone on to another job until my border tile was in (which came in today).   I have been looking for mirrored recessed medicine cabinet to replace the old one...but the only one I can find is $900...because we have a special "custom" sized space.  I think I'm going to have them put up a wall there and just hang a the interest of saving $$.  Jeesh!

I'm working on a lot of different projects for my doula stuff.  I've got clients right now.  I'm working with ICAN of Iowa (International Cesarean Awareness Network) on a VBAC calling plan (vaginal birth after cesarean-which is banned in most hospitals, but is the safest route for both mom and baby).  I'm also working as a co-coordinator for Friends of Iowa Midwives for the Central Iowa chapter.  We are re-writing a bill to legalize direct entry midwives (home birth midwives) in the state.  They are legal in many states surrounding us, but not here.  I have not ruled out midwifery as an occupation, so it's in my best interest to get my hands wet here.  

I'm also a part of a new doula group in Des Moines.  It's a group of newly trained doula's trying to learn the ropes.  Unfortunately one of them is using Des Moines Doula for her website address.   I've asked her to change it, to no avail.  Since it's been my trade name in the area for years, I don't think she can legally use it.  I have several friends that would do me a favor...but I will give her a third chance to change it.  I've talked to her via email, and phone.  She has refused...but still would like to have a mentoring relationship.  :)  That's another struggle in and of itself. 

We all really enjoyed hosting the Dunbar Christmas on Saturday.  Grandma Eoleen said she counted 18 great-great grandkids.  I believe there were 16 adults.  The kids always out-number us.  The girls caught the "Company Cold" afterwards.  It's inevitable.  They always get sick after the holidays.  Not enough rest, and too much sugar...and if you ask Bella she would "Too Many BOYS!!"   (She did get to play w/ Tasha and Mandy's girls who are older..and Kennedy and she finally had a lot of girls to play with.)  She still wants to be able to orchestrate the entire party, and gets upset when everyone is doing their own thing.  She put a "sign in" sheet by the front door for people to sign when they arrived...but is too shy to tell anyone about it.  She came to me crying because no one was signing in as requested.  :)  

Madi loved have little girls her age to play with.  Again- Tasha and Mandy's little girls are her age.  And of course Larry's Madi is too.  They had fun sharing dress up clothes, pretend food, sippy cups, and colds.  

Great Grandma Eoleen has only seen 1 Eagle in her life..and James pointed out a bunch of them on their way up.  Grandma missed it, and didn't want him to turn around.  They looked for them on their way home, but didn't see them.  He has vowed to take her to Burlington to the river this weekend if it's nice to see some eagles.  I'm sure she will love it! 

Michael is plugging away at work.  There's always radio even when times are tough.  Sales are hard right now for everyone..including radio, but they are doing fine.  

We're looking at fixing our fence in the spring.   Amongst all of the other "duties" right now, comes jumping through hoops for the city to rebuild our fence where it stands.  Currently they want us to bump it in away from the street to the east of us...25 feet.  That cuts my backyard in half.  Brings the fence line up close to our patio.  I am not willing to lose the entire backyard.  We also have to cut it down to 4 ft high on the south and east..because we are  a corner lot, and people have to be able to see around the corner.  (They can already because our house sits on the back corner of two lots.)  I don't want to lose yard space and height.  So...we have to go to the Board of Adjustments meeting soon.  It's a costly project.  I think our home repair budget is about done!  Goodness.  

The great news is, that the outside will be all buttoned up (well, not the windows), so we can work on yard work, and the inside wall paper.  Always a lot to do.  

I'd love to plant a decent garden this spring too.   So MUCH to do.  Where's my "village" when I need them?  :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bathroom Remodel

The pink bathroom upstairs started to get a transformation while we were away.  The cast-iron drain pipe from the basement to the upstairs was split with about 1/2 inch gap all the way down.  The contractor had to remove the dining room wall to get to it, and cut a hole in the floor in the bathroom, and take down a basement panel.  He was able to get to it, and replace it with a pvc pipe.  He said it was the biggest pain he had ever encountered.  They replaced the main drain, and gutted the bathroom.  We came home to the dusty mess from that part of it.  It was nice to see it all empty and ready for the other stuff.  

This week they have been working on tile.  As of today, it is all tiled except for the wall "chair" railing-that won't be here for 2 weeks.  (Everything I have ordered for this bathroom project has been delayed for whatever reason!  It's been difficult.)  The bathtub, toilet, sink/vanity and lights can go in next week.  They are currently sitting in our formal living room.  It's really classy!  :)  Everything is coming together, though so that's nice. 

We are all starting to get used to the idea that Aunt Heidi is getting married.  She and Ted got engaged around New Years.  (Ted was here with her on Thanksgiving)  They aren't getting married for a while...they wanted a long engagement, but I got an email yesterday saying they are getting married on Sept 19.  In Arizona.  So...we will start saving for our next "vacation".  Wedding plans are a-buzz.  Heidi went and found her dress yesterday, has the location reserved, and things are rolling.  My, my...a lot can change in 6 weeks!

Bella's so excited for her birthday.  She wants breakfast in bed: strawberries, grapes, a banana, toast, an egg, some cereal, and OJ.  Then she wants to come downstairs for her "real" breakfast.  We're planning to take the girls to Pella to stay in a hotel over night.  Bella's friends will come for a swim party at 3 and have cake afterwards.  She is so excited.  She called Aunt Heidi to tell her about it, and she told her the party was at 3 am, and that there was a big pool that was 3 inches deep, so bring her swimsuit.  I think she's most excited about having a pinata.  (We went tile shopping and then to the Party Store yesterday when it -37 degrees.)  She's totally excited.I still can't believe she's going to be 5 already.

Madi's doing well...and excited for the birthday party too.  I think she's more excited to play with friends than anything.  I don't think they have played w/ other kids now for a couple of weeks...since Emma was here.  Madi's stuck w/ the potty training, and wouldn't let the nursing go.  One thing at a time, I guess.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Welcome Home Mom and Dad

Well, we all officially survived our vacation!  Isabella and Madilynn went to Grandpa and Grandma's while we were away.  I'm not quite sure if they survived, but the girls did.  

When we left Madi was starting to really potty train.  She would use panties all morning, but not much during the afternoon/evening hours.  Holly stuck with it there, and she's been using panties all day today!  Bella's also wearing panties to bed, accident free, so we are coming so much closer to being a diaper free family!!   I thought perhaps now would be Madi's weaning time too, and tried to prepare both of us before our trip.  Madi nursed on Fri morning before we left, I still had milk on Tues (4 day later) and I didn't take a pump.  I wasn't sure if I had milk or not, as I feel pretty different. (5 years of nursing!)  I was excited, and really thought Madi wouldn't like it, but would be ok w/ it.  At the airport she needed to go potty and had big girl panties on(!), so I took her.  Before she even sat down, she looked at me sideways and asked, "Nursin'?"  I told her I thought they were all gone.  She said okay and peed!  She's briefly nursed a couple of times at nap and bed time, but just briefly.  I tell her they are all gone..she concurs.  My baby is officially growing up.  

My big girl is growing up too!  Her birthday is in 5 days...and she uses that for EVERYTHING!  :)  Isabella Sophia "Rockin' Star III" is going to be 5 in a few more days.  I can't believe it!   She's all of the sudden writing letters and words, and wants to spell things...lots of things.  She loves to perform...Isabella Sophia Rockin Star the Third is her stage name.  It makes me giggle every time she says it!  She handled being away so well.  She really missed us, but wanted not to say so.  She had a hard time talking to us on the phone.  She and Madi grew closer during their stay.  I have noticed them taking care of each other so much yesterday and today.   They were close before...but after being gone for 10 days, I have noticed everything.    She loved her playtime while we were gone.  I'm sure they were spoiled rotten, and they loved every minute of it. 

We came home to quite a surprise.  Our upstairs pink bathroom was going to start the remodel process.  Of course I freaked out about this before we left.  I needed to have everything here before we left, and it didn't happen.  The demolition did happen.  So we came home to a prepped bathroom ready for the goods.  The bathtub, toilet. vanity/sink, and lights are all sitting in my formal living room.  Our house has looked like the crack house all year...with the outside remodel...and now it looks like that inside w/ all of the stuff in my living room.  Thankfully it will all be done soon.  The girls and I can't wait to have a  tub and shower and a potty upstairs...and Daddy will have his own bathroom downstairs.  He's tired of being overrun by girls.  :)

Our Jam Cruise adventure was awesome.  We went down to Ft Lauderdale on Friday and were delayed, but got in okay later in the night.  Our lugguage didn't come until Saturday...but we survived without it.  We went out on Sat and met up w/ Denny.  He was a childhood friend of Michael's that has been on every Jam Cruise.  All of the Jam Cruisers were in the area, so we met many people, and had friends when we got on to the boat.  We rocked that town for the night.  (Jam Cruise was just over 3000 people this year.)  On Sunday we went to port early (10ish)  and got on the boat (around 1:30).  The line was long, but we met several new friends there too.  We actually ran into some friends from dinner the night before, and stood right next to a friend that went to Bonnaroo w/ Michael.  There seemed to be tons of people, but it really did turn out to be a small, intimate group.  

We got on the boat, and immediately ate lunch...and I proceeded to be nauseous for the next 5 hours.  That part sucked..  The ship food was horrible!  You could eat plain hamburgers, a hot dog, fries or pizza any time of the day and be ok, but nothing else.  (the pancakes were good, but you had to catch them in time!)  I thought I could never get sick of pizza...but let me tell you...there were only 3 w/ peas and carrots, one w/ onions and corn, or plain.  After so many days on the boat, I lost weight...and so did many other jam cruisers.  We thought the rumors of hot dog pizza was a was no joke.  They put french fries and an onion ring on the salads.  Michael and I took turns being sick...and I don't think it from being seasick.  We both adjusted to it, although it was a bit rough. I still have moments of rocking from being on the boat.  "They" say it usually lasts about one week.  I can't wait for that part to be over. 

The music was amazing.  I'll have to write more about that later.  I'm still pretty exhausted.