Tuesday, April 29, 2008

As Promised, New House Photos

Please excuse all the construction crap in the pics . . .

Brick and stone work done. We will eventually have landscaping. Eventually.

Part of the kitchen cabinets after stained, but before the walls were painted. Also before the countertops were put in.

Kitchen island with dusty, dusty granite.

Master bath cabinetry. Again, post staining, pre-painting.

Formal dining with molding up. See slight different between the color on the walls and the white paint on the moulding? Yea, me neither.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Great Big Weepy Psychotic Hormonal Mess

Correction: It has been brought to my attention that in my discombobulated state I got some of the facts wrong on my last post. First of all, Vince did not ask me to wait when I called him from the bathroom for some clean underwear. Wouldn't want anyone to think that cleaning the mattress was more important to him than I am. He states that he brought them to me immediately and that was when we heard the awful rasping/gasping sound. When he pulled me forward to help me gain consciousness is when I stopped breathing. But the part about scaring the sh*t out of him, that part I got correct. Just so you know.

Our day started like any other Sunday. Up at a reasonable time, get the kids and self ready, head off to 10am Mass. We knew we had a showing at 4pm, but got a call for another showing at 1pm on our way back home from Mass. Did I mention our rental house is on the market? Oh, that will have to be a whole other post. I had prepped the ingredients for blueberry scones the night before and thought I'd throw a batch in the oven, get the house quickly picked up for the showing, and we'd be out the door after Mass to head over to Azle to see the new house.

Everything was going as planned, the scones were baked, the kids were munching along happily. I chose a scone for myself, then put it down to head upstairs to make sure everything was nice and cleaned up for the showing. It all went down hill from there. I came back down stairs to find my scone gone. Someone else had eaten it. I'd only gotten maybe four bites, then someone took it for themselves. I'm not naming any names, I'm not even sure who it was, but it didn't matter. It also didn't matter that there were four other untouched, warm, fresh-from-the-oven scones that I could have easily taken to finish. You would have thought by my reaction that someone had just stolen or vandelized one of my most prized possessions. I got hot, a knot in my stomach, a rage in my chest. I actually flashed back to my teenage years, when I remember something so trivial getting me to such a state of rage, and knowing that I was being ridiculous, but not being able to stop myself anyway. This was not an uncommon thing during my teens. Be afraid, be very afraid. So after angering my husband and scaring my children, my anger turned to sadness. A sadness that I couldn't explain. A sadness that stayed with me for the remainder of the day.

We got to Azle and the builders were there on a Sunday, trying to keep on schedule for us as best they could. The cabinets were in, stained and beautiful. That didn't help. The granite was in, and it didn't look too dark like I thought it would. That didn't help either. Most of the lighting fixtures were up. Eh, who cares. Vince commented on the paint, and I didn't even notice that the house had been painted. I choose too light a color for the interior. Anger at myself and big weepy tears. The kitchen sick wasn't the dimensions I asked for, it was too small. Anger at the builders, and more tears. I didn't like the way they changed the laundry room into a laundry area and half bath. More anger, more tears.

We came home and Vince placed a call to the builders to see what could be changed and what I would just have to learn to live with. He was very patient and concerned during my meltdowns. I realize I'm pretty bitchy anyway, but normally nothing like this. I'm sure my hormones are just getting the better of me and I'm going to have to ride them out until I get back to normal.

The highlight of my day was a last minute trip to Target to get some cucumbers and pasta for dinner tonight while Vince put the kids to bed. Before I headed back home I sat in the car in the parking lot and shoved 100 Grand bars and Crunchy Reese Peanut Butter bars down my throat. Not a good day.

After my last post, Vince told me that if there ever was a need for some cuteness, it was that post. So here you go. Updated photos of the house to come soon.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Compromising Position

Warning: This post is not for the feint of heart or the easily queasy. If you are one of those people, consider yourself warned. If you decide to keep reading, do so at your own risk. I do not want to receive any complaints about how gross you thought my post was, you are an adult, take responsibility for your actions.

My body finally kicked in. Unfortunately it decided to take charge of the situation in the wee wee hours of Wednesday morning. I woke up at 4am in a puddle of my own blood. I'm not exaggerating or I would have written "pool". But it was a big enough puddle, soaked through my PJ's, the sheets, the mattress pad, and even down into the mattress. Ugh. I stumbled off to the bathroom, while Vince woke up and found the mess I left behind. He quickly stripped the bed, got everything into the washing machine, then started tackling the mattress.

Once in the bathroom I couldn't believe the mess. I've given birth four times now, and I've never remembered loosing that much blood. Then the wooziness hit. I felt like I was going to pass out, but being stuck on the potty I couldn't really do much about it. I put my head between my knees as best I could and slowly the buzzing in my ears, and the shaking stopped. I clumsily got as cleaned up as I could then realized I ran out of toilet paper and needed clean underwear and PJ's. I called Vince and asked him to bring me some clean underwear, I'd worry about clean PJ's once out of the bathroom. Vince asked me to wait just a minute, he was working on the mattress, so I just decided to hang out. Honestly, what else could I do, I was stuck.

At this point I'm going by what I was told, Vince said he heard a thump, so he called to ask if I was alright. When I didn't respond he asked again. No response. Now, obviously I'm alive, since I'm sitting here writing this, Vince says he walked to the bathroom door and heard this awful rasping/gasping sound, then nothing at all. I feel I must explain at this point that we don't have an open-door pee policy in our house. If you're using the bathroom, shut the door. Some things are just better left to the imagination, if you feel the need to imagine those things anyway. Vince decided to hell with the closed-door pee policy, opened the door and found me passed out on the potty. Passed out, a bloody mess, and not breathing. He pulled me forward, got my head as low as he could, and I don't think very long passed before I came to. But I came to confused, sobbing, and broken out in an awful sweat.

Now this is why my husband is my hero. First of all, he handled the situation beautifully. He was strong, didn't loose his head, was sympathetic, gentle, patient and loving. After he told me I scared the sh*t out of him of course. And told me not to die on him. Kind of sweet actually. He took the day off work, took care of me and the kids all day, and did it all without one complaint. Honestly, I was useless all of Wednesday. Horizontal and useless. Even now, he checks on me constantly, my state of mind and how I'm doing physically, without the slightest hint of being grossed out, even though he must be, I know I am. Finally, he got the mattress perfectly clean. Can't even tell there was ever anything on it to begin with. He is the Stain Master.

So at this point I have no shame. My husband has witnessed me giving birth to four children, and pooping on the doctor during the third, but he still finds me attractive, amazingly enough. I should be counting my lucky stars. But to be found passed out on the potty? I have achieved a new low, but he still loves me anyway.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Moving On

Thank you for your kind comments, e-mails and phone calls. It's good to know we have friends who are so supportive. My mom even sent a beautiful bouquet of orchids. I'd like to apologize if you called and I didn't pick up the phone. I find that the more I talk about it, the more I cry, but every one's concern is greatly appreciated. Some days are better than others, and I'm still surprised by my reaction to all of this. My body is still doing nothing, which is very frustrating, but I do have a doctors appointment tomorrow. One of the most dreaded doctors appointments I can recall ever having.

The house is coming along quickly. We had more decisions to make this past weekend. The final decisions I'm happy to say. We had to pick the granite for the counter tops and the stain for the cabinetry. The granite picking wasn't too bad. Either we liked it or we didn't, either it was in our budget or it wasn't. Those two criteria narrowed our choices down to just two or three, so not too bad. The cabinetry stain was another matter all together. We were given a stain brochure that had little 1"x1" square photos of oak shown in the various stains. First problem, Vince likes a light or no stain at all, I like a deep rich stain. Polar opposites. Second problem, it's hard to tell anything with a 1"x1" square photo. Third, we don't have oak cabinets, we have alder cabinets. Fourth problem, not all woods stain the same. So after much debate, and a bit of emotional outbursts on my side which were most definitely coming out sideways, Vince asked for some sample pieces of alder stained in four of the colors we were considering. And boy howdy was I glad he did! The darkest stain turned out as light as the lightest stain, I thought they had labeled the samples wrong. But no, just proof that different woods take stain differently. So after being appalled that we were asked to pick our stain from a tiny brochure picture with examples of a completely different species of wood, we finally came to a decision. And I am happy to say that should be the end of our decision making for the time being.

So on to some photos . . .
We have walls! All textured and waiting for paint.

I went by the house yesterday, but forgot the camera, so there has been even more progress made, but these photos are from last weekend. As of yesterday we also have baseboards, interior doors, cabinetry, and the fireplace is bricked/stoned.

And some much needed cuteness . . .

Francesca found the infant sunglasses I had bought when Annamaria was a baby. They're way too small, even for her tiny pea head, but she thinks they make her look cool anyway.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Don't Know What You've Got Until It's Gone

Thursday afternoon I had an appointment at the OB's office for my routine monthly checkup at 10 weeks 3 days. My doctor had to do a sonogram to find the baby's heartbeat since it was still kind of early to pick it up on the Doppler. I knew something was wrong during the sonogram because it took way to long, and neither the doctor or the nurse said a thing. Again, I knew something was wrong, but didn't want to say anything in case I was just being over reactive. My doctor turned off the machine, the nurse gave me a quick smile then turned on her heels and left the room. Then my doctor looked up at me and said he was sorry, but there wasn't any heartbeat. What was I supposed to say to this? I told him I thought something was wrong since he was taking so long and no one was saying anything, he responded that he liked to be sure in a cases like this. He said there wasn't any heartbeat, the baby was only measuring at nine weeks, and it looked like the sac was starting to pull away from the uterine wall. I had no spotting, no cramping, and after four textbook easy, complication free pregnancies this was really the last thing I was expecting. I was able to keep it pretty much together in the office and didn't totally loose it until I was in the car on the way back home.

I knew Vince would be upset. He was the one who was so happy and excited about this baby. I was never able to move past uncomfortable and trepidation, so my emotional reaction to all this has surprised me. My brain knows that these things are quite common, and that there isn't anything I did wrong. But a part of me feels like God knew I was nervous about a fifth baby at this point, and maybe he said, "What you don't want him/her? Fine, I'll take him/her back". Again, my brain knows this isn't right, but it's a hard feeling to shake. I'm also surprised at how strongly I can mourn over the loss of a baby that I never got to hold, never got to see, and never realized how much I already loved. Vince says he wonders how he can miss someone so much that he never even knew.

Since the baby is still hanging in there, and my body hasn't kicked in yet, I have another OB appointment next week. The doctor said he could prescribe something that would cause my uterus to contract and possibly move things along or he could do a D&C. I'm not comfortable with either option, so we're in the wait and see period. I asked how long we could wait before taking more aggressive action if my body never does kick in, and he said they could wait up to four weeks. So the physical part of this may be all over with quickly, or it could be pretty drawn out. The emotional part of this? Who knows.

I'm sure there is a lesson in all this, and all things happen for a reason, but at this point I failing to see what that is.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We Have Brick!

And a picture of somebody's butt! How exciting. I'm headed over to Azle tomorrow to get Sophia started on her orthodontic work, and the office is about five minutes from the new house, so I'm sure we'll be driving by to see how the progress is going. We were hoping to be at this point last weekend but the window delivery was delayed. And you can't brick until the windows are in, hence the delay in the brick and stone work. Also, apparently you can't dry wall until the windows are in, so last Saturday when we went by the dry wall was stacked all about the house.

Now the windows were in at this point (see above pic), but the owner of the dry wall company took his son to Vegas for his 21st birthday, so all his workers decided to take advantage of his absence and decided not to show for work on Saturday either. I can't really blame them, it was a very nice day.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Decisions Decisions

Now I'm not complaining, even though it may sound like it, because it's really very exciting to even have all these options. But I'm not a good decision maker, I think I'd rather just put off making the decision versus making the wrong decision. I question myself constantly. I knew we were going to have a lot of decisions to make regarding the house, but it seems they're mostly getting dumped on us at once, and it's a bit overwhelming. And remember, being pregnant, I probably shouldn't be making any major decisions anyway what with all the hormones running amok. Luckily I have Vince to keep me grounded, and not get too crazy. And also luckily, we either pretty much agree on things, or about certain things he just doesn't care enough to argue.

About a month ago we had to pick the brick and stone for the exterior for the house. That was really hard. It's not like a paint color that I could simply paint over if I decided I didn't like it. We're talking about a major permanent decision. Or very costly to change anyway. But we got past that one, and honestly it wasn't too painful. After looking and looking and looking at houses in our development, houses in our rental development, random houses as we drove by going to or from whatever it was we were going to or from and not really finding anything we were crazy about, we pulled into our builders spec house to meet with them, looked at the brick they had on that house and both decided we wanted ours to be just like that. All that agonizing for nothing. Vince liked the stone they had chosen too, but I thought it was too yellow and wanted Austin stone, a creamy white stone. He went along with my preference, maybe just to keep the peace or maybe just so we could get on with life, I don't know, but we were finally able check off that decision.

Then, a couple of weekends ago we picked the carpet for the bedrooms, and the hard flooring for the rest of the house. Vince hates carpet, and since we're only having it put in the bedrooms, I pretty much had free reign on that choice. We're having the builders put vinyl flooring through the rest of the living space, and Vince will be putting in hardwood flooring as time and costs allow on his own once we're moved in. That decision saved us $12K, so I can live with vinyl for now. That was one more decision made.

Last Monday we drove into Fort Worth under threats of severe thunderstorms to pick the appliances for the kitchen. Of course I went over budget, we all knew that I would. But we were happy to find out that we were able to get Jen Air appliances for less than the Kitchen Aid appliances that I had back in California. Double convection wall ovens - check. Six burner professional cook top - check. Stainless ceiling hood - check. So that was pretty much a no brainer. Except for the dishwasher. Go with the Jen Air dishwasher so the handle would match the ovens, or save $250 and go with a GE dishwasher with all the same applications, but the handle didn't match. They're all made by Whirlpool anyway. At first I went with the GE, feeling guilty about going over the budget. Vince wasn't too sure of my decision, but it's my kitchen so he wasn't going to argue. No surprise to him when I changed my mind four days later and told him I wanted to go with the Jen Air dishwasher. He made the call, and changed the order. We already have a refrigerator and microwave, so some of the appliances will match, and others won't. But why spend the money on a refrigerator and microwave when you already have one? Maybe for the rich, but not for us.

After leaving the appliance store we headed to Arlington to go pick lighting fixtures for the house. I had no idea how many lighting fixtures we would have to decide on. So many, that we had to go back on Saturday and finish up because we ran out of time. Luckily the thunderstorm really hit while we were in the store, and by time we left it had moved on. So, how many lights did we want in our garage? What about the carriage lights? Two by the garage and two by the front door. What about the light that hangs in the exterior entryway by the front door? And the interior entryway light? The formal dining light? The dining lights in the kitchen? The living room, ceiling fan or just a light? The stairway sconces? The master hall sconces? The bedrooms lights? Again, ceiling fans or just lights. The bedroom hallway lights? The fixtures for the bathrooms, the powder room, and the tiny little room that the master toilet is in? What about the master closet? What about the doorbell? The doorbell! I thought she was kidding, but no, we got to pick what our doorbell looked like and what the chime box looked like. No, we did not pick the Texas star doorbell. By the way, we just picked the simple "I don't even want to see it" chime box. But did you know you can spend upwards of $100 on the box for your doorbell chimes? Ridiculous. My head was reeling. The styles, the sizes, the finishes. Thankfully they had a little area set up for the kids with a TV/VCR, videos, coloring books and crayons. The kids were amazingly well behaved. I'm supposed to get a call today to see how we did on our lighting budget. After we made our choices on Monday we were up to $1,400, half of our lighting budget. I don't think we had $1,400 left worth on choices for Saturday, so I'm anxious to see how we did. I'm hoping we came in pretty well under budget to help make up for my kitchen over expenditures.

Tuesday we had to drive to Weatherford to the cabinet makers. Again, style choices, wood choices. Vince likes really rustic knotty wood like hickory. I like smooth sleek low grain wood like cherry. But I was determined to keep within our budget, so we went with a knotty alder in a fairly simple style with a rope detail on the corners. We don't pick a stain color until we meet with the painter and choose the interior house color as well. The cabinet maker said the amount of knotting in the wood varies, and would use wood with a low amount of knots for me. So some character, but not too much. I'm just not a rustic kind of gal but since I will be living out in the boonies I figured a little was alright.

So I think all we have left to choose is the cabinet stain, the interior paint color, and the granite for the counter tops. I don't think I'll be able to choose the cabinet stain or the granite until I know what the other will look like. I hope everyone involved is patient, because my brain hurts.

And just to throw in one more gut wrenching decision, Vince wants to know what we're going to call this baby if it's a girl. We've had a boy's name picked since we had Annamaria, and for some reason he's very anxious to get a name out of me, but I just don't work that way. I like to have it narrowed down, then wait until I meet the baby. How do you name someone you've never met before? Vince picks the boy's names, so I can just go with that, but after three girls it's becoming harder and harder to find a name that I feel good about.

Again, not complaining, I'm just saying.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

This Is Not A Joke

I feel like my words are failing me. I'm finding hard to convey my thoughts appropriately, so I'll just plod along and ask that you forgive me for my lack of eloquence.

With all our current good news I feel compelled to share some very not good news. One of the blogs I read daily is Emily's of Not That You Asked. I don't know Emily personally, but I've been reading her blog for some time now. I enjoy reading her blog for many reasons. She's funny, entertaining and sensitive. Emily lives in Virginia, has a son about Francesca's age, and one of her husbands greatest joys is going out for a big old pile of steamed blue crab. I guess she just struck a cord with me.

The other day Emily posted about her friends, the Mandells. Their daughter, again about Francesca's age, is sick. Very, very sick. You can read about this sweet little child here. . . http://captainhambone.typepad.com/not_that_you_asked/2008/03/these-are-our-g.html Her post brought me to tears. I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm a pregnant hormonal mess right now, but I cannot even fathom what her parents must be going through. They've dropped everything and put their lives on hold to be at their daughter's side. What else as parents would we all do?

I asked Vince if we could make a donation to helping them, and he gave me the green light. They are on my mind constantly, and I find myself making little prayers for them throughout the day. But still it's not enough. So I feel the need to help spread the word. I have a fear of getting cancer. Whether it be breast, ovarian, whatever. But for an 18 month old to be diagnosed with it is just wrong and unfair on so many levels. My heart aches for them.

While I enjoy blogging to catch up with what is going on with my far away friends, post some pictures of cookies and whatnot, how great would it be to use this tool for good. Not just some pass the time and enjoy myself good, but actually reach out and help someone good. Whether that help comes in the form of prayers, well wishes, good vibes, or donations. I'm sure every little bit is helpful.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Joke Is On Me

That is a positive pregnancy test, just in case you were wondering what you were looking at.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Coming Clean

I have a secret. A secret I feel I can no longer keep to myself. It's going to come out eventually anyway, so I figure why not just go ahead and put it out there. Now I realize that this information will cause many different reactions in many different people. When I informed my Grandma of my secret the news sent her into a fit of making many blasphemous statements. Some will be happy, some will be angry, some may even be threatened. Some will think, "how wonderful", and others will think we're incredibly irresponsible.

Deep breath, here we go . . . Booth baby number five is coming to a hospital near me this fall.

So there you are. I'll let you digest this information for a little while, compose yourselves, talk amongst yourselves, whatever it is you feel the need to do.