Sunday, May 17, 2009

Catching up and Looking Ahead

RESTAURANT--about a week ago

RESTAURANT--about 2 months ago

I can't believe that it has been two in a half months since I have posted anything! Honestly, there hasn't been much spare time, and there isn't really any now. It's just that I would rather play with pictures right now than cost out another thing, clean another mess, or do any of the other things I should be doing.

Jack and Lucy seem to have grown so much in the last little while. This is Lucy's last week of preschool, and although it has been a long year, it seems impossible that she's almost done with preschool! She has really grown up and learned a lot this year, although she is still very shy. If anyone focuses on her or pays her undue attention, she will tell me later, "Mom, I so embarrassed." We saw flamingos at the zoo during Spring Break, and they have since become her favorite thing. She is fascinated by the way they stand on one leg, and seriously, what could be better than a pink animal?!

Jack officially turns 3 in nine days. He is in love with fire trucks and ambulances, and constantly points out their sirens, saying, "Mom, you see them? You see fire ruck? You see am-bu-wance?" We are working on the difference between seeing and hearing. So although we are not having a big party because everything is a little too crazy, we will have lots of fire trucks and ambulances on cakes and balloons next week for his birthday.

The restaurant has made a lot of progress in the last couple of months. We are getting very close to the finish, but it has not been a smooth process. We found some electrical issues earlier this week which delayed the project by about a week. Really there should be no sense of surprise that this building has been delayed once again, as it is only about the eight-four thousandth time, nor that this delay puts the opening within two days of my due date. The words that keep running through my mind are "And all this shall give you experience" because I think we have learned more than enough about construction the hard way. It is increasingly difficult not to become jaded or cynical, and to remain positive about the restaurant itself. Jeff and I both have had to really separate the restaurant from the building in our minds as we've encountered problems and situations that we would have never wished, swore we would never face. Anyway, I'm hoping there is some truth to the cliche that what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

And it could be worse, we could have all of this stress and an ugly building. The building is turning out splendidly, almost entirely to the credit of our designer Dan Nix, whose vision and guidance have truly kept this project on track. Now, as all the final materials like the carpet and millwork move into place, the paint that the foreman called "baby poo" doesn't look anything like that, and the decisions and elements that were considered impossible by the builders start to make sense.

As I mentioned above, the opening date and my due date are now within two days of each other. I am personally hoping for what would be truly a miracle for me, to have this baby early (all prayers to this effect are appreciated). But realistically, I'm going with a what a friend of mine said, all the better for the press story! Okay honestly, I don't have a plan, except that I want Lucy and Jack to stay here instead of going away because they are excited and they keep me sane by making me laugh. And that my blackberry has internet, even in the hospital. Luckily my job has a lot more to do with computers and spreadsheets than actually running the floor, and can be done mainly from home. And, I've worked too darn hard and waited too darn long to sit out the opening entirely. I have to believe, despite my fears to the contrary, that I am strong enough to do this--all of it, that it will make some sort of sense when I'm actually doing it, and that it will all work out just fine.

The kids are really getting excited about the baby. Lucy has declared that she is going to "carry him all the time" for me, an idea I'm honestly a little worried about, but I hate to discourage the enthusiasm. Jack thinks the baby's name is "Hungry" not Henry, and I know he's a little worried about how this new baby will affect his position in the family, as he's been my baby for quite awhile now. I've learned a new appreciation, a tighter connection to Lucy and Jack in the last little while as they truly keep me sane. They make me laugh, or smile, or generally focus on something a little more important than electrical panels, Ansul units and insurance intricacies.

I can't promise that I will get back to this blog anytime soon, but be assured that all is well. Busy, but good. And honestly, we like being busy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Finished Projects

I made and finished two whole projects for myself.

I'm a little tired of winter, so this bag looks nothing like winter. The fabric is Amy Butler from a couple of years ago. The pattern is Bows and Tucks--it was an okay pattern. Although the instructions are a little confusing and way too wordy. But overall, it was a rather quick little project and it turned out pretty cute.

This apron design is similar to one in A is for Aprons--except that the book thinks you should pay a blueprint printing service to blow up the pattern for you. I ended up drafting a pattern by creating a scale, and then altering that pattern. So now it is really my pattern. It was rather time consuming, but the actual sewing was rather quick and easy. I've really wanted an apron for awhile, and right now with a belly that manages to get everything on it, it is very helpful. The fabric is leftover from a different project.

I never sew for myself. I'm always making a gift, or something for the kids or a new baby. It was a rather new experience to enjoy something myself when I was done.

The Truth

I was looking back through blog posts, and thought that I would write one to correct any appearance of put-together-ness that previous posts might have alluded to. I like posts that have pictures, therefore I only post about things that have pictures. And in the middle of our regular chaos, I don't usually have time to pull out the camera. This was a hard blog post to write because I work pretty hard to convince people that I am capable of all the tasks I have, and then some. So here is a behind the scenes look at truth, with no pictures:

There are 12 weeks until the restaurant opens, and 15 weeks until this baby is due--Pretty much my life is constant chaos. I am always finding someone who will take the kids for an hour, or trying to maintain a professional look on my face while my kids terrorize whatever conference room we happpen to be in. Everything is on my blackberry because I can't seem to remember a thing, yet I can't sleep at night because I'm doing math problems in my head figuring out the restaurant's budget, probable labor costs or the possible gain/loss of profits if I change types of tables. I killed my last blackberry by throwing it at the wall when Jeff refused to make food samples for the wedding show. The new one is encased in the most hideous plastic and rubber contraption to prevent it from damage the next time it happens to run into a wall at any considerable velocity. I made my midwife's on-call nurse laugh on Friday by insisting that there was nothing wrong with having contraction every 4-6 minutes, that I would rest on Saturday and check in on Monday. I was right, but I think I convinced her that I am also crazy. Besides, I had to get to the pediatrician's--who cancelled Lucy's appointment because I was 11 minutes late and Lucy then spent the next hour crying because her doctor doesn't like her anymore--finish my taxes, move 72 chairs and 36 tables from Costco to another wharehouse, and have a complex business meeting. I didn't really have time for them to put some monitor on me and tell me that I was having contractions, which did stop on Saturday, no harm done. So manic? Yes. Crazy? Yes. Put-together? Hopefully in appearance, but in reality--not at all.

The other side to this truth is that it isn't likely to get any better. I will probably be even busier when the restaurant opens and the new baby gets here. The funny thing is, that in Church, I don't have a real calling because they thought it would be nice if my life calmed down. But it won't. So on Sundays, I have serious questions about my capabilities and how I measure up as a "mormon mommy" and church member because I am very busy and I work. Last week, a very mormon mommy said when I listed a few of my responsibilities in the restaurant, "You can't. You know you just can't do it all." So beyond being more crazy than I hopefully appear, the deeper truth is that I doubt myself and I wonder if after all this work, I'm failing at the important things.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Pictures of the Baby

We had a second ultrasound of Baby Henry (that name is pretty much stuck now) because the first time he was hiding and wouldn't show his entire spine. This time he was head down and in a much better position for seeing his spine, and his profile.

I love this picture of him hiding his eyes. It looks like he is playing peek a boo, or telling the tech to stop bothering him. He is pretty possessive of his space, so he doesn't much like the ultrasound probe or the heartrate probe at regular visits.


He looks pretty cute, I think. A lot like Lucy and Jack. The 3D pictures are kind of strange to get used to compared with the more normal black and white ones.

The pregnancy is going pretty smoothly. I think it is a lot easier having done everything twice before. I've been working out a lot more than I did with the other two, and I've gained about half of what I would have normally gained by this point. I wasn't really sick, and I wonder if working out had anything to do with that. It definitely helps with feeling cuter while pregnant.

I found the cutest fabric the other day, and brought it to my mom's only to find that she'd bought the exact same fabric in blue instead of green. We both just thought it looked like "Henry" fabric. With the other two, I made quilts and bumper pads. This time, I think I'm just going to make a quilt, with the cute fabric we found--but I haven't decided on a design yet. I do not want to make another set of bumper pads, so I think I will just buy some that coordinate with the quilt. The making of things for the baby has become a ritual that I have to do in order to feel ready for a baby to come.

Pictures from Lucy's Birthday

I'm about a month late getting the pictures up from Lucy's 4th Birthday on January 29th. We really had more of a birthday week than a single day, with three separate cake and candle occasions.

Birthdays are a really big deal in our house. The kids have a play wooden birthday cake that has velcro on decorations and candles. At least one morning a week starts with Lucy and Jack taking turns singing "Happy Birthday" and knocking down the candles. So when we have an actual birthday, one day just isn't enough.

First, the Sunday before her birthday--the same day as the wedding show--John and Peggy watched the kids during the day, and when they brought them home that night we had cupcakes and opened presents. I'm sad to admit that I wasn't fully conscious after the wedding show and forgot to pull out the camera.

Then, the night before her birthday we had a party at my parents' house because they were leaving the next day for Hawaii. Lucy opened presents. Adorned herself with stickers and changed outfits multiple times.

She also treated us all to quite the ballet performance with many jumps, pirouettes and arabesques. I've heard my dad re-enacted the performance for several patients, a couple of which are my piano students at the office. It made quite the impression.

She also was entirely delighted by her Tinkerbell cake. My mom convinced the lady at the store, who must have thought my mom quite insane, to trade out the Superbowl or Hawaiian decorations for the Tinkerbell. If she hadn't told me, I would have never known.

On her birthday, we took very cute flower cupcakes to preschool. You frost the top, roll in sanding sugar, stick in a lollipop and make leaves from green laffy taffy. I've made them a few different times before, and they are both simple and adorable. She was pretty excited about giving out the treats. That night, we went to ice cream and I made Lucy's favorite, homemade macaroni and cheese.

Then on Saturday, we had her little "Fancy Nancy" party. We just invited a few friends, nothing overwhelming, because I didn't have time to put together a whole big thing with the wedding show the week before. But, I did have all the leftover decorations from the wedding show. And, the roses from the wedding show kept very nicely in my van, which was convenient because I was too preoccupied to empty them out during the week. So we put up streamers and the tissue paper balls, decorated the table with a table cloth, the runner, and flowers--all from the wedding show. The girls each came dressed up and we added a feather boa to their attire. We made crowns with glittery foam stickers because clearly everything is better with glitter.

We ate butterfly crackers, with little polka dots of cheese and apples. We read a Fancy Nancy story, danced around and played with all of Lucy's barbies and kitchen stuff.

I made the girls (and Jack, who enjoyed the whole thing with a crown and boa on) individual cupcakes with big pink frosted tops.

They each got a candle--Jeff and Shane helped keep that under control--and we sang "Happy Birthday" a few times so that we could fully enjoy blowing out our candles.

And then, all the girls went and played with Jack's cars until their moms and dads picked them up. It really was pretty cute, although Jack wasn't so thrilled, to see all these princesses end their time by playing cars.

It was the strangest feeling throwing Lucy's birthday party. A year ago, it would have completely stressed me out and taken over my life for at least a week. This year, I honestly didn't think that much about it until the day before. It just seemed so small and simple compared to all the caterings, the wedding show and everything else that we have been doing. And it went smoothly--I taught dance to this age for years, so this wasn't that much different. I guess, I hadn't realized how much I had changed and learned until the birthday party was over.

So Lucy had plenty of birthday celebrating--although this morning, a month later, she told Jeff that I was going to make her a cake for her birthday. I think playing with her wooden birthday cake is a much better idea!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

We have a stomach bug!

Everyone, except Jeff. We woke up and were rushing to get to Church this morning, when we discovered that Jack had thrown up. I kept us all home, just in case. Then I succombed, and just now Lucy. Lucy, I think, is the most upset by it. The slightest trauma is the greatest drama! Although, I would vie for a close second because being pregnant with the flu, two other flu victims to clean up after, and a week's worth of meeting to get ready for, isn't my favorite thing.

I have to say that these issues with bodily fluids are my absolute least favorite part of being a mom. And I hate being in quarantine because it is lonely. And I already hate laundry, so extra laundry is just so much fun.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ultrasound Pictures

Yesterday we had the big ultrasound for baby #3. Can you guess what it is?

Jeff is so excited that we are having another boy. I realized with Jack that I am bad at guessing the sex of the baby, so I tried very hard to not form an opinion this time.. Therefore, I wasn't surprised or not surprised because I wasn't voting one way or the other. I am very excited. Jeff was convinced that it was another girl because he wanted another boy, so he was very surprised. Pretty much everyone, except Danna's Jeff, had thought that it was a girl, so most were very surprised.

This one definitely has its own personality. He doesn't like to be pushed or prodded, and didn't cooperate very well with the ultrasound. We are having another ultrasound in two weeks because he wouldn't let us see his whole spine, or take very good profile pictures. But everything else looks very good and healthy. He is growing at the right pace, and my due date is still the same.

Lucy had decided a long time ago that it was a girl, and has been calling the baby, Clara, ever since. She knows that it is a boy now, but she won't say anything else on the subject.

Jack didn't really understand the whole thing, but he seems fine with the idea that he is having another brother.

As for names, we are not decided on a boy name. We had decided before getting pregnant on a girl name, but we are still tossing around ideas for this boy. Right now, we like Henry, calling him Hank when he gets older. I like Baby Henry. And as he gets to be a toddler, if he's anything like Jack, Hank the Tank will be a very appropriate nickname. Neither of the kids can properly say Hank or Henry, and are currently calling the baby "Henwy" or "Honk". I don't know if we will stick with Henry; we still have a few months. But right now, we kinda like it.