Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Basket

So one day I discovered Aaliyah hanging out in the red toy basket…

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And then two days later I saw this…

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He put it on as a hat and they ran around.

I’m creating….PairFect Legs

No, I am not working out every morning trying to get my size 6 body, flat stomach, and beautiful legs back.  It became quite clear to me that I didn’t own this body anymore when it had the capability of housing 2 humans inside of it at once.  The “get in shape” resolution is for another year. 

Remember my new project for 2011?  Well, it is underway and has evolved.  My most recent addition to my sewing loft is a serger and I am already putting on the miles.  Move over Brett, I seriously love this thing! 

Literally Brett move over!  I moved my sewing room into the loft and took over Brett’s space where he had his computer.  I told Aunt Marcia and Suzie that it was my plan he just didn’t know it yet and now it has come to life!

My creative corner…

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So lets start with the first project (other project posts yet to come).  Leg Warmers!!  These are for the PairFect Legs.

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Round 1:  For my cousin Ericka!  Mailed them today!

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Fancy ruffle just for her!

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Round 2: BRIGHT!

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Round 3: Pastels!

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Round 4: More leg warmers??

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Round 5: Yup, it is official…I am in the leg warmer business.  Got to sell them!

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Anyone want some?

So how do I have time you ask.  Well, I make it.  You know how some people read or meditate  or take a run or listen to music or do yoga.  Well, this is my yoga.  This is my life therapy and what keeps me sane.  I love my children and family to death, but a girl needs an outlet.  I was talking to my friend today about making these and how I need to sell them.  She is a mom and in the craft business so I was asking about price points.  The question came up, “what is your time worth.”  I paused, and thought a little, and came to the realization that I love to sew and would do it anyway.  I have made 8 quilts and I don’t even have that many beds in my house.  So quilts was out of the picture for the moment.  I couldn’t let the dust pile up on my sewing machine and I yearned to hear the needle racing up and down piercing the fabric.  It is kind of like my dad and how he feels when he hears a vacuums or a train whistle.  I know this sounds weird, but I have a point.  Every time my dad hears a vacuum or train whistle he comments how he loves the sound.  I think it is comforting to him.  Apparently my Grandma Lamon use to vacuum after she put him down to bed and he would fall asleep to the sound.  Not to mention that train tracks went through his childhood backyard less than 50 yards away from the house.  You can laugh if you want, but a sewing machine is soothing to me.  I discovered this a several years back when I was going through some tough stuff and was on my own.  I had great friends and family, but my sewing machine was the only thing in my 700 square foot apartment to keep me company.

Enough of the sappy stuff.  The moral of the story is I love to do it.  I discovered baby leg warmers on line and they were expensive.  Especially when you have multiples and they didn’t give you a price break for the second pair.  It wasn’t like I was going to only put one leg warmer on each of the girls.  So I found a way to make these cheap and share the fashion wealth.  For now after bedtime you can find me in my creative corner.  I just need to figure out how to get a mini fridge up there.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

President’s Day Weekend: Souhrada Christmas

Every year on President’s Day Weekend the Souhrada family gets together for family fun.  We started this tradition years ago in Walin, MN.  When we started there was less kids and a lot more sewing and card playing.  The weekend has evolved over the years to snow mobiles, sledding, sewing, massages, cards, and beer.  It has turned into a hotel, separate bedrooms, a pool, children crafting table, Disney Pixar movies, and late nights up with children (instead of 500 and beer).  I think you get the picture.  The Souhrada family was 7 grandchildren and has grown into 18 great grand children and I don’t think we are done. Just to be clear, I am done, but I might have some cousins still looking to increase their families.  I know they are envious of my army. 

So let’s reminisce on some memorable happenings of these family weekends…

~ Yoga (thanks Jane!)

~ An iron burning a hole into the linoleum that caused us to never return to Walin.

~ Diet Mountain Dew

~ Diet Pepsi

~ Lanesboro wine tasting for MJ and Brett’s wedding

~ Yo-Yo’s

~ Popcorn

~ Sewing!

~ Interpretive dancing for Grandma.  One of the most uncomfortable things I have ever done with my family.

So why do we have Christmas in February?  Well, for this lady famously known as Grandma Cookie.

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Grandma’s birthday is on leap year so I think this year she turned 24 and a half.  We celebrate her birthday, her life, and her family.  This lady means a lot to many of the Souhrada’s.  Each person remembers what we have learned from her and how we grew up in her house and garden.  Just a few things (I am pulling some of these memories from our interpretive dance a few years back), oodles of red thread, oreo cookies, asparagus patch, “always sign your name at the bottom”, smiles, hugs, rides in the lawn mower wagon, the doll room, the pretty room, strawberry patch, snoring, and collie dogs.  We are, because she is.  We are her legacy. 

So I didn’t get as much sewing done as I hoped, but I did get to pick up my serger from Pine Needles Quilt Shop.  It is awesome!!!  I have more to share with you about my newest addition to my sewing collection, but that is for another post. 

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The kids loved the pool and Brett even got Bennett to go down the slide.

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As you can tell there was a little sewing. My projects were leg warmers and bibs.  I got Sarah roped into my projects too.  We have a play date next week to finish them up.  Marcia got a quilt done.  I think the count was at 8 sewing machines.

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Highlights from this year (A special thank you to my contributors):

Marcia laughing at Sarah and I talking about raising children.  I think we sometimes make our mothers feel like it was pure luck that they kept us alive.

From Ericka: Watching all the kids swim!  Loved the hotel!  Favorite Souhrada get together thus far!

Going to Pine Needles to get my serger.

Friday night 500 with Brett, Sarah, and Kelby.  Mom, Thanks for sleeping with Ethan.

From Suzie: The volume and ever present dirty diaper odor…it was the price she had to pay to have everyone under the same roof or really crammed into a small meeting room.

Giving Marcia a hard time, after realizing that an 8 year old had the same model of my old sewing machine.

Netflix – thank you for being available whenever Ethan and Bennett are having a melt down.

From CJ: Seeing Grandma Cookie so happy!  I wish you all could hear the joy in her voice knowing that she could be a part of this.

Watching Uncle Wane go to the pool about 20 times with Kegan.

From Marcia: That we have the best family – everyone gets along and pitches in where needed – smiles on everyone’s faces – how proud Gma is of her brood.

Bennett coloring on the chair and feeling good that it wasn’t my chair.  Side note on this one is that it did wash off and just last night Bennett’s color crayon found my chair.  I hate Karma.

Watching Brett ride the exercise bike with a kid on his lap and one crawling on the hand weights.

From Kelly: Watching the new with Dad.  Was there something going on in Madison, WI last weekend?

Losing a wind shield wiper while driving home in the snow storm.  We almost spent the night in Pine Island.

 

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This year for Grandma’s birthday we gave her a Twin’s jersey.  She loved it!

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Another President’s Day is over.  Only 361 days until next year.  Ladies, start your Bernina’s.

Did you hear that?  I think Jane is cackling.  Jane, we hope you are enjoying your new home.  We look forward to celebrating your life at Jane’s Jubilee next month.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bath time

Have you ever wondered what this looks like at our house?

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It is an assembly line when they get washed.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dangerous or Fostering Creativity?

The boys have discovered color crayons and my furniture has discovered them only twice this far.  The best part is that it keeps them occupied for a long time.   So in the first picture we have all the kids participating in a table doodle pad.

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This was going on for some time.  So I decided to check my email.  When I decided to check in on them this is what I saw…

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Now most moms would probably use this as an opportunity to teach their kids not to sit on the table.  I grabbed my camera and not only did I get a picture but I took a video of them.  I didn’t want to stifle their creative juices.  This new love for crayons just bought me dinner preparation! 

The artists are in!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tiling the basement

A few weekends ago we had child assistance (Thanks Mags and Mike!) so we took advantage to get a “little”project done.

Here is the back splash…

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No final picture of the back splash.  Still need to grout.

Tiling the fireplace…

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So the black splash looks great and yes there is a reason that I don’t show the final picture of the fireplace.  I actually can’t because it doesn’t exist.  Brett got the tile up on the fireplace and realized that even after letting it set up it wasn’t sticking very well.  So he scraped it all off and we had a pile of expensive broken glass tile on our floor.  I almost cried when I went down stairs and saw him removing it.  We re-ordered the tile.   

My little ladies

A few pictures of the ladies as we get closer to the 9 month mark.  Jocelyn has just started to pull herself up on furniture.  A little behind Aaliyah, but we remember when Bennett and Ethan would take turns mastering something first.  We adore our two little girls.  They have started eating cereal and baby food.  Still thumb suckers and often times they have their tongues sticking out.

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I also got some other silly expressions.

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The baby gate has been reinstalled on the upstairs level.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sisters

The girls are always next to each other.  In more recent times they have been known to climb on top of each other.  Must be letting the other one know who the Queen Bee is.  What they don’t know is that MJ is the ruler of this house!  They’ll figure it out.

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I know this video is kind of long, but it is full of some wrestling, crawling, spit up, etc.  Just an example of what the girls are up to these days.

February 6, 2011 Aaliyah and Jocelyn’s Dedication

This past Sunday, we celebrated the girls!  They were dedicated at Crossroads Church in Eagan. 

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What is a dedication?

A Baby Dedication is a ceremony in which believing parents, and sometimes entire families, make a commitment before the Lord to submit a child to God's will and to raise that child according to God's Word and God's ways.

What are our responsibilities?

Christian parents who dedicate a child are making a promise to the Lord to do everything within their power to raise the child in a godly way, prayerfully until he or she can make a decision on his or her own to follow God. Parents who make this vow of commitment are instructed to raise the child in the ways of God, and not according to their own ways. Some of the responsibilities include teaching and training the child in God's Word, demonstrating an example of godliness, disciplining according to God's ways, and praying earnestly for the child.

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Thank you to all our friends and family that were able to attend!  CJ thanks for doing nebs and making sure the children all smelled delicious.  Mandy thanks for helping me cook.  Dade thanks for the night out on the ice.  B, T, and G we missed you!  Grandma Cookie we were so glad that you could make it.  You are an inspiration to us all.  Family, you are so wonderful and I couldn’t be luckier.  Shout out to Megan, Aaliyah and Jocelyn’s official godparent.  She couldn’t be there for the dedication but she is sure to be there whenever these girls need a hand.  Thanks Mags for loving A and J as much as you love us.  It makes my heart melt. 

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Ethan, Bennett, Aaliyah, and Jocelyn’s honorary grandparents, Nanny Molly and Bryan.  We were so glad that you could be there.  You do so much for us and our family.  We love you both!

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Dear Aaliyah and Jocelyn,

It is a dream to be your parents.  You have completed our family and made Brett and myself so happy.  Your giggles and smiles are so beautiful.  With the help of God we will do our best to help you grow and learn; and surround you with love.  Our arms are always around you.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

On the move

Bring out the baby gates!  The girls have been crawling for a few weeks.  Aaliyah just starting doing it on her knees.  Jocelyn is so close.  Aaliyah chased me around the kitchen and I got a video of Jocelyn doing her version of the crawl.  It looks a little like the worm.

My favorite milestone

Do I need to tell you why?

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They are not masters yet, but for the most part they can do it.

Standing. Stairs. No problem.

Aaliyah has new tricks. 

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She is pulling herself up on furniture and toys.  She loves to stand.  The boys learned to crawl when they were 8.5 months.  The girls have been getting around for a few weeks now. 

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A few times we have caught Aaliyah on the steps.  She actually has made it up a few steps.  We were trying to catch it on video, but didn’t get much.

It has been a busy few weeks

Wondering where I have been?  Well, not in front of my computer blogging.  We have had some eventful weeks.  Unfortunately not all with fun activities.  We were dealing with the snotty noes, coughing, wheezing, that all led us to a few doctor visits.  It started the week that Brett was on work travel (it always happens).  Bennett was not feeling well so he was first in.  His ears were clear and the chest x-ray came up normal which really stunk because doing chest x-rays with little kids is quite painful.  Even for the mom that is the Child Life Specialist.  He didn’t want to talk to me or sing or make funny faces.  He just SCREAMED!  And get this, the first picture didn’t show up so we had to put him back into the torture tube for another picture.  Thus far Brett has dealt with all the chest x-rays because I have been pregnant.  I can’t decide if I am more traumatized than Bennett from this.  Of course had no interest in snapping a picture of Bennett while he was in this contraption, but I found an example on line.  New moms, brace yourself…

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So after that I returned to a household of yet fussy kids on their way to getting the cold.  Thanks Sandy and JHom for saving me this night.  SO the week was rough and on Saturday morning both boys woke up with fluid draining form their ears, which only means one thing…INFECTIONS.  That is the thing with ear infections.  You can take them in and their ears will look fine, but two hours later they can be blazing red.  The boys started ear drops and luckily the urgent care doctor had given me an antibiotic for Bennett if he didn’t start getting better.  On Saturday it was obvious that he had only gotten worse.  Brett started not feeling well Sunday, Monday I got home from work and the girls were wheezing very loud.  Off to urgent care with the two of them.  Ear infections and pneumonia.  She was going to have them do chest x-rays on the girls just to confirm.  I remembered that we had gotten out of a chest x-ray one time before because the doctor told us that since they had an ear infection the same antibiotic would treat the pneumonia.  I asked the doctor if I could opt out for the girls and she completely understood.  Whew!  Dodged that horrific event!  The girls were given an antibiotic.  I explained to the doctor how I still had one at home without any medicine, but the same symptoms and she wrote a prescription for Ethan as well.  Sometimes having four kids gets me sympathy.  I think that it helped that I was alone at urgent care with two infants.  The staff watched as I hoisted two infant care seats up in the air with a purse and diaper bag crisscrossed over my body.  They had me feeling like super mom, but in reality I was thinking when is Brett going to get here?!?  The staff helped carry coats and put me in the big exam room.  The doctor saved Jocelyn from wiggling out of her car seat to the floor and wrangled them on the exam table.  I was ready to get out of there.  As I exited the building I watched Brett enter.  Good timing.  So the following days were full of medicine administrations which resulted in straddling kids on the floor, pink antibiotic and bitter, oral steroid spit back at us, getting our fingers bit as we tried to hold their mouth open and told them to swallow, neb treatments for all four of them!  Nighttime routine had a whole new meaning.  It took about 90 minutes.  Brett was Better by Wednesday, Thursday I was feeling crummy, and the kids were better on Saturday.  It is week later from when I started to get sick and I would say that I am almost out of the woods.

The kids are doing fantastic!  I can’t tell you how easier my life is when the kids are not sick.  I’m sure some of you know. 

In addition to our illness my SD cards went on the fritz so I lost of lot of videos and pictures of the kids.  I am reshooting and will get a few posts up today so you can see updates.