Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dollah dollah billz

Howdy! I'm glad you're here.  
This post probably contains run-on sentences, sentence fragments, 
affiliate links, and unnecessary ellipses.  If none of that bothers you, let's be friends.

Interview question five:

"What are the most important tactics you use to save money when raising a large family? Are there things you do today that used to feel too difficult? Things you don't do anymore and think, 'I don't know how I did that?'"

Friday, December 30, 2016

I Dream of Houses

Howdy! I'm glad you're here.  
This post probably contains run-on sentences, sentence fragments, 
affiliate links, and unnecessary ellipses.  If none of that bothers you, let's be friends.

Interview question four:

"How does life in your new house compare to life in your old house? Do you miss anything about your old house? Are there things that make life much better or much easier in the new house? Is this your "forever" house, or do you see it as a step toward your dream house?"

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Homeschooling High School

Howdy! I'm glad you're here.  
This post probably contains run-on sentences, sentence fragments, 
affiliate links, and unnecessary ellipses.  If none of that bothers you, let's be friends.

Interview question three:

"Do you plan to keep homeschooling through high school? How do you assess if your big kids are getting enough of what they need for whatever comes next?"

Ah.  This is a bigly question with sub-questions and sub-sub-questions which you follow until you arrive at tunnels that lead to labyrinths that result in roller-coaster rides through black holes into as-yet undiscovered universes.  But the short answer is "yes." And "with great fear and trembling."

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Where did all these children come from?!?!

Howdy! I'm glad you're here.  
This post probably contains run-on sentences, sentence fragments, 
affiliate links, and unnecessary ellipses.  If none of that bothers you, let's be friends.

Interview question two (that was a poem):

"You've got quite an age range at home. Remind us of how old your kids are."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stuff That Makes My Life Better

Howdy! I'm glad you're here.  
This post probably contains run-on sentences, sentence fragments, 
affiliate links, and unnecessary ellipses.  If none of that bothers you, let's be friends.

If you want to thank/blame someone for the fact that I'm giving this a shot ("this" being writing for 12 days straight for the 12 days of Christmas [I think maybe I didn't mention that yesterday.  Consider it now mentioned!]), talk to Terese of Farm and Away.  She's also on IG @farmandaway, which is a SUPER CONVENIENT handle.   She's been trying to get me to blog basically all year (God love her) and finally just asked if she could send me interview questions.  And I said yes and so she did, and now you'll see her questions and my answers, one at a time.  Bueno McBuenoness.


"One of my favorite things about your blog is the way you share what is working well for you right now. I can't be the only one who loves to hear what's making life better these days, whether it's a book, a cookie recipe, or a diet. So, what's working for your right now? What are you so glad you found/discovered?"

Monday, December 26, 2016

12 in 2016 (a photo year in review)

Howdy! I'm glad you're here.  
This post probably contains run-on sentences, sentence fragments, 
affiliate links, and unnecessary ellipses.  If none of that bothers you, let's be friends.

There's this meme that says something like "people ask me what my hobbies are.  I'm a mom.  I like to go to the bathroom in peace." I mean it's TRUE.  Don't get me wrong.  I really do love not hollering through the door so as to assist someone in finding the other, no not that one, the one with the dark blue on the package, preferred variety of deli meat the very second I determine I need to use the facilities.  But when I saw that, I also felt nostalgic for the days when I would take pretty pictures and write my words and, you know, do my thang.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Living room before/after

The other day when I first posted after my super long hiatus, many people left excellent suggestions and requests for before/after photos of home projects.  Well well well, don't mind if I do throw a couple up here for your enjoyment.

We'll do the living room today, okay?

Here is the photo from the listing:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I started Trim Healthy Mama and lost 27 pounds

I've gotten a lot of questions about my weight loss in the last few weeks, especially when I begged and pleaded for writing ideas.  So how 'bout I post my 13 week check in here this week?

Everyone loves a good split screen comparison, so let's indulge...

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Tap tap tap....

Yesterday I posted the cutest (if I do say so myself) photos and videos of Nel on Instagram (even if you're not "on" instagram, you can see them here) and was reminded that blogs exist and could I pretty please write on mine?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

NICU update #1

Here I am, sitting in the nicu. It's day 18. 23 days since my water broke. Helen has a rocking recliner in her room next to her bed which is surprisingly comfortable despite being theeeeeee most unattractive piece of furniture you ever did see. Tan and gold print on a slightly lighter shade of beige background. I feel like someone has used a 70s filter on my entire eyeball region when I look at it. 

For anyone who follows along on Instagram or the blog fb page (using the horrible blogger app on my phone, so hyper linking those no es posible) this part might be old news but I gotta put it here, you know? Gotta have it all in one place-ish.

Basically the story so far is this: incredibly healthy and robust preemie girl sails through her nicu time, putting a smile on everyone's face and generally making the world a better place just by being.

But underneath all that, the nitty gritty is that it is still really, really hard. Leaving your baby and driving home for the evening is hard.  Leaving your house and allowing your selfless, competent friends to manage the day to day everything while you're gone is hard. Not seeing your other kids during their best hours of the day is hard. Not knowing how each day is going to go, not knowing when it will be over, not knowing which nurse you'll have when you walk in for the day, not knowing if suddenly after all this progress she will have some huge set-back....all of it is really hard. 

But overall, in light of everything that has happened and everything that could happen, things are going beautifully.  She has gone from being in an isolette with a bili blanket and a full iv with constant monitoring of vital signs to being in an open air crib with no bili treatments, no IV fluids, no medications, no labs, and only three tiny leads on her torso connected to a small memory monitor which I can turn off and unhook whenever I want.

Not too shabby for nicu-land, y'all. Not too shabby.  Oh! And her weight! Born at 3lbs 13oz, she is now up to 4lbs 12oz- almost a full pound! That is a lot, especially considering the percentage of her size that has increased in less than three weeks, even after the initial normal newborn weight loss. 

So the way our nicu decides someone is ready to be discharged is that they have to meet 3 basic milestones- managing their oxygen levels and heart rate, regulating their body temp, and eating without getting too tired to gain weight.  So far we are two out of three on those. Woo hoo!  All we have to do is increase her eating stamina and we are outta here. 

So if you would like something specific to pray for, there it is. She's got the mechanics down great. Suck/swallow/breathe: check! It's just she's so small and young that the energy it requires to nourish herself is greater than what she has available. I mean she would still be getting 100% of her calories from my placenta if she were on the inside, so it makes sense that this is kinda hard for her. So let's pray that she gets stronger and it gets easier and the we can go hoooooome!

Thank you for all your prayers and support.  Now please enjoy another unformatted cell phone pics because: blogger app=terrible. Muwah! (That's a kissing sound)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Surprise! (all the deets of that emergency c-section)

Well, I'm here.  And guess what?  Surprise!

There is my baby, not on the inside, but on the outside, itty bitty teeny weeny but very healthy and happy and safe.

WUT?  Didn't I just post my first official bedrest update yesterday??

Girl, you know it's true.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hospital Bedrest, day 5

Today is Daylight Savings Time day and the clock reads 6:59 a.m., which means my brain should think it's 5:59 and I should be asleeeeeeeeeeeep...but no.  C'est la hospital vie.  I've never been that great at sleeping in general (and I have the nerve to wonder where Cecilia gets it.  Mea culpa, darling child.  Mea culpa.) but add in the constant awareness of people shuffling in the halls, the unfamiliar smells and noises and the regular sensation that I've, TMI ALERT, just peed myself (which I haven't, of course. Just the baby or me shifting and causes more fluid to leak from the rupture), sleep is not something I'm getting a lot of. So.  To blog?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

From the Hospital (with name announcement!)

I'm going to thumb-type a post into the terrible horrible no good very bad blogger app and then put a tiny iPhone photo into it and I'm pretty sure I'll be getting the coveted "blogging best practices award" that we all know is going around. Woo hoo! Go me! Let's hope for some overzealous autocorrecting that I don't notice before I hit publish for that extra va va va voom, shall we?

So I am sitting in a hospital bed in a room that I will hopefully call home for the next two to the three weeks. I'm waiting for my "room service" breakfast. This open back gown (sounds more stylish than it could ever be) has seen more fragrant days.

On Tuesday afternoon at about 2 pm, my water broke in the comfort of my own home (thank God for blessing number one) when I was 31 weeks 6 days pregnant. At first I was not totally sure, then I became totally sure, and I made phone call after semi-hysteric phone call to all three of my midwife's phone numbers, to my husband's work number, to his cell number, to the phones of my closest friends, as I reclined motionless on the sofa, praying, praying, praying for my unborn baby's health and safety.

I sent out vague prayer requests on Instagram because even though I knew, I didn't KNOW and I was hoping against hope that I was wrong. But then my midwife and Tommy both arrived, she tested the fluid quickly (yes, amniotic) ) I crawled into the backseat of the car, and off we headed to the the furthest but best hospital in our area. That level 3 nicu does wonders for the mama's heart, you know?

Oh that drive was hard. When you don't know if you're about to be in labor on the side of the road with a baby who is 8 weeks premature, there is not much you can do but force yourself to keep breathing and praying and trying not to cry so that you don't waste precious hydration on tears.

But we made it. And the baby is fine. And my amniotic sac is ruptured. But my baby is fine. And we are praying that I am "stuck" here for another two or three weeks (at least? We shall see.) because baby is safer on the inside than she is on the outside, at least so far.

I miss my husband, who somehow manages to deal with all this stress and the surprise of taking over the management of a household full of six kids with nary a sign of panic or even worry. I want to be like him when I grow up. And I miss my kids something FIERCE. They came for a three hour visit yesterday and despite the high energy level and John Charles doing tightrope walker tricks on the window sill of my room, the visit was not nearly enough to fill up my mama tank.

So here we are. She was sort of transverse breech at our ultrasound after being admitted, which is an indicator of potential c-section. BUT! But...I thiiiiink that maybe maybe maybe she managed to turn head down last night despite the lack of fluid to move in because she is a, and I quote my nighttime nurse, rockstar baby.  Aw yissss.

And you know what? I think if I am going to be begging and pleading with you to cover my family in prayer over the next few weeks, that we ought to have a name for this tiny rockstar. What do you think? Yes, let's announce her name.

Please pray for my unborn baby girl, Miss Helen Margaret Borobia (nicknames Nellie, Kitty, Flufferbutt. When you have 6 older siblings, you get nicknames FAST) and her parents and siblings and all her friends that we can survive, and even thrive, during this trying time. 

So far we have been absolutely blessed by all our friendships and even the beautiful, unseasonably mild weather. May we continue to see the good in each day. Deo gratias.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

How To DIY Home Renovations with Kids Underfoot

A few weeks (maybe it's been months? I lose track. Do you know I used to blog DAILY for a while? All the lolz.) ago I posted a renovation reveal and a reader asked me...somewhere, I can't find her comment, mea culpa, to talk about doing home projects with little kids underfoot.  Until today, the aforementioned kids have been preventing me from answering that question, which segues nicely into the main theme of this post which is : you are going to have to go really, really, really slowly. 

I'm naturally a results oriented person, which is really helpful during labor, btw, but not so nice during normal life when you are a mother and your kids probably fare better eating actual meals rather than scavenging for generic graham cracker crumbs from the bottom of the half empty pantry.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Fat Tuesday Charity Auction with Zelie & Co.

Those of you who've known me for a long time have already heard this part of the story but Imma roll with it anyway- my mom was 17 when I was born.  17!  That's only three measly years older than my own biggest child is now.  Oy. 

ANYWAY (quick before this lump in my throat turns to actual tears because holy hormonal emotional-ness, batman)! Anyway.  As a former baby and a current mother, I love to support the mamas and their babies, no matter what circumstances they are in.  It's amazing what you can accomplish if someone just tells you that you can, but if someone also helps you do it?  Unstoppable.  Is that a song yet?  It should be.

That brings me to Mary's Mantle, a safe haven for expectant mothers in southeast Michigan, and the Zelie & Co. charity auction, which starts Tuesday morning (that's tomorrow!  Write it down!).

Monday, January 11, 2016

Stairwell and Hallway Reveal!

Remember that one time, like, 6 weeks ago, that I started this project and then never mentioned it again?
so snazzy

super chic
If you don't remember all of its gory glory (p.s. Cecilia is literally reading this over my shoulder while I type.  Danger! Do not teach your kids things!), please to be refreshing yourself before moving on.

Before Pics

Okay, ready?
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