Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturdays Are the Greatest

Saturdays are for ...

Sleeping in.  Until 8:45 after being woken up every fifteen minutes since 6am.

Taking Avinash to soccer.  During the only hour of sunlight we've had all week.  The temptation to skip and pretend it was cancelled would probably have been a lot higher knowing what I know now about the sky opening up right after and the flash flood and tornado watch all evening.

Chasing after the baby on the sidelines.  Because he just decided he is walking everywhere now.  Trying to get him to steer clear from all the fire ant hills and poison ivy around the field.  At least the field is well maintained.

Shopping at Target. To pick goldfish crackers since the fridge is down and we need to feed the kids something other than dry cereal and leftover peanut butter cake this weekend.

Going out for doughnuts and Mexican food.  When we realize plan A is a serious failure.  And, life without cheese is basically no life.

Cleaning out our closet.  The cumulative effect of all the decluttering and capsule wardrobes being discussed on the internet has infected my brain like a wifi-borne zombie plague.  I rearrange everything, fill up a huge bag for thred up and still have nothing to wear.  Great.

Building Nandini's Little Mermaid Lego set.  Because she wants to bring it to Disney World when we go in June and that's never gonna happen.  She and I talk about putting the lego lipstick on Ariel while Avinash does most of the building with Ryan.   She's the stereotypical lego friends consumer so reviled by feminists everywhere- verbal and into role playing little characters over construction.

Knowing I get to wake up and do (large parts of it) all over again tomorrow.  Is it September yet? Just kidding. Sort of. Not really.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Oh the Places You'll Go | Kindergarten Graduation

Avinash had a great milestone this past week.

He will always be my baby but it is so fun to watch him grow.  He loves school.  He is getting to be a pretty good reader and writer, he is obsessed with animals and did his research project on raptors (hawks, owls, etc).  Don't call them birds please, they are dinosaurs!

We couldn't be prouder of him finishing kindergarten.  A lot of schools around here have a yearly tradition of a kindergarten graduation but Avinash's school is kind of progressive and they tend to shy away from that sort of conventional fan fare.

Lucky for us one of the other moms in the class wasn't afraid to ask and went to the administration and all the parents for approval to hold a scaled back graduation ceremony.  Caps and gowns were forbidden.  Even though I never would have thought of it myself or have had a single clue about getting it all organized, I was totally on board and signed up to help.

We made yearbooks and diplomas together.  I just googled diploma images from UT and we made our version on photoshop.  We got gold foil rimmed paper to print them out on and gold seals from the university shop.  One of the benefits of having our kids at the on campus preschool.

We asked their teacher to write a letter to go in the yearbook and she used a Dr. Seuss theme.  I loved it so much and decided to run with it for the rest of my crafting.

I put all of the diplomas in document covers and they were looking really professional and awesome but not at all childish and fun.  So I pulled out the silhouette and made little cards with their names and different patterned papers to add some color and whimsy to the project.  I found a great Dr. Suess font for free on dafont. I cut out the phrase "Oh the Places You'll Go!" and personalized it for each child.
I tied each card to the the document cover with twine.  We decided that the parents would get the diplomas directly since the kids might be prone to crumpling or otherwise messing with them.

For the actual graduation part we did tie up little scrolls with some red ribbon so the teacher and principal could have something to hand to the kids.

Of course I couldn't resist an opportunity to decorate and brought a few things along with me.  I turned to trusty pinterest for some inspiration.    

I really loved this quote.  I decided to make some chalkboard art with it, just to up the Seuss factor.  

I was so lucky to have my mother in law around that day to watch the baby while I worked on this stuff. 

For the auditorium, I pulled a big book of Maps and a globe from our house to use as well.  That with the basket of red ribbon wrapped diplomas was all it really needed.  Instead of Seuss-themed pom poms, I just hung up a pre made chalkboard banner from Target.  The red and white twine was perfect. 

We had to have food too of course.  People brought cookies and cupcakes and these really good rice krispie treats with pink icing.    

   I have the most talented friends.  I am obsessed with this photo she took of Avinash.  She took photos of all the kids.  We also had a little slideshow of the kids over the years.  I don't know how I didn't start crying right then.  

   The thing that made me tear up the most though was his teacher's speech.  Her last bit of advice really hit me "Behave, as if this is the day [you] will be remembered."   He has learned so much about being a good listener (at school at least), sitting still during circle time and playing well with his friends in class.  
   Of course as soon the formalities ended he and his friends spent the rest of the time grinding cupcake icing into the carpet and running up and down the stairs.  It's their last day of school, and I think they felt like they needed to let loose.  At least he helps me keep things in perspective, after all they are only six. Ha!

I love the sneakers with the suit vest.  Kindgarten fashion at it's finest.   I don't know why I didn't put a tie on him.

The children all did a little questionnaire about school.  The answers to that were read out as they walked to the front of the room to accept their "diplomas".

Here are Avinash's answers:

My favorite memory of lab school is: playing hide and seek outside.

I learned about: a boy that saved all of the eagles and they were endangered.

What I will miss most about school is: learning. There is so much learning you can learn in every classroom.

First grade, here we come! Avinash is excited about his new school having a chess club, a library and getting graded next year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day in the Life | May 12, 2015

7 am // The baby is up and thus so am I.  Ryan feeds him his yogurt and I try to catch up on sleep for a few more minutes.  Nandini crawled into bed with me in the middle of the night and she kicks.  It doesn't last long though and pretty soon I am up getting ready.

8 am // Lakshman was playing in the living room but he wanders back into my room and is asking to be picked up.  We snuggle and he falls back asleep.

9 am // Nandini is hungry and I make both us some cereal.   Ryan heads out to work pretty early.  Avinash wants to make a dinosaur book with me but he only does two pages before he wants to look at another book.  It is the second day of summer break and I am not interested in pressing the issue.

10 am // The kids are playing upstairs and reading books.  I start putting together a scrapbook page taking advantage of this rare long morning nap. It's been a while since I scrapped anything and it feels really good to be doing this again.

12 pm // Ryan calls to see if we want to meet him for lunch.  Lakshman wakes up and sits down to eat some cheerios with his uncle and the kids. He has another yogurt which is great because it means we are on track for three in one day. I'm so grateful for his affinity to Anuj.  I think he is really tired of us pushing food on him anyway.

1 pm // We head downtown in through the rain to Counter Cafe.  It's totally crowded like always but we get one table and some seats at the counter and all manage to fit.

2 pm // I drop everyone off at home.  Stop by the post office box to put in a bunch of scrapbooking packages I sold the night before.

3 pm // I head to the doctors office for a checkup.  Nothing serious. It takes almost twenty minutes for them to figure out my insurance and less than five minutes for the doctor to actually talk to me.  I have to get blood drawn as well.

4 pm // Back home and I get a big kiss from Lakshman.  I head upstairs with him and the kids to play but he is ready to nap again and I lay down with him.  He falls asleep very quickly.  This kinda has the side effect of taking all my energy out.

5 pm // The kids are still playing upstairs.  Octonauts and spinner toys.  They are also cutting out shapes from construction paper.  Nandini is totally impressed by Avinash's knowledge and skills.

6 pm // I get some dinner started and put rice in the rice cooker and some lentils on the stove. We all head out to take a walk because the rain has finally, almost stopped but a light trickle doesn't bother us.  Lakshman has a couple apple slices and I give him a few more to munch on in the stroller. Ryan gets home just as we head down the driveway and he joins us.

7 pm // We get home and the rice is fine but the lentils accidentally burned.  I make chickpeas instead with avocado cream on the side.  Ryan takes the  kids upstairs for baths.

8 pm // We finally eat. Lakshman throws all his food on the floor.  Nandini asks for a roti and makes a taco of her food.  Despite the last minute effort it is really delicious.

9 pm // Ryan takes two of the kids out for groceries.  Avinash and I stay home and watch 'our show' (Once Upon a Time).  It's pretty nice to hang out alone together. When Ryan gets back Lakshman jumps in my arms again.  He sees a big stuffed monkey Avi was holding and begins laughing, rolling around and asking for the 'ball' to hold.  He then grabs the monkeys face and gives it a big kiss.  Ryan puts him to sleep in his crib while I enlist everyone's help tidying up before bed.  Nandini puts away the blocks and Avinash very slowly cleans up legos. Then it's off to bed and one chapter of Lemony Snickets (again read by Ryan).  Phew. Why is bedtime always so busy?

All my photos today are iPhone and edited with VSCOcam app again.  I still love that app.  I didn't take anything much after the sun set.  My phone just doesn't do a good job in low light and neither does my camera really.  I am happy to have the words down.

It is always a fun exercise to stop and reflect on life in a one day chunk once in a while.    Looking back is even more fun.  (Here are my previous posts on Day in the Life.)  To see much Lucky has changed.  To see our new house really becoming a home.  To see how we still play a lot on the floor and still take evening walks.  Lakshman got his feeding tube officially out last week and just started feeding therapy on Monday.  We are so pleased with his progress.

Day in the life is a fun little photo taking and scrapbooking exercise I have done for a few years now, playing along with Ali Edwards.  Not exactly sure how I'll scrap the photos this year.  I often do a mini book.  They are great to slip into a project life insert as well.

How was your day?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sage + Mint | May Cocoa Daisy Reveal

This month's Cocoa Daisy kit is here and let me tell you, it is a good one.  I didn't get much time to work on the kits again this month, but for entirely different reasons.  Well, one reason really.  He knows who he is.  Lol.

I really loved this kit.  Shopping the kits this month was a little different and really fun.  Instead of having to commit a big extra add-on purchase, you can add in bits and pieces to supplement the main kit and DITL with what works for you.  I had to have ALL the gold things.  They are just so yummy.  There is a gold paper add-on that a big chunk of scrappy heaven.

Fashion Show // I got out the gold papers right away of course and came up with this.  Nandini and I were trying on some of the Lilly Pulitzer stuff I scored at Target (my part of Austin is thankfully still pretty much in the country so it wasn't as bad here as most places).  I pulled her stuff out, and started chanting "Fashion show, fashion show, fashion show at lunch!"  She totally didn't get the reference, but pretty quickly decided we would be having a fairy lunch after trying to clothes.  Makes sense.  

Bee Happy // Those gold letters from the main kit were just too sumptious not to hoard.  I kinda did the next best thing by using (almost) all of them on one page.  Oh, I should have gotten two packs for sure.


Dream mini book // Nandini and I had a very special mother daughter this month when I took her to Zilker's annual fairy tea party.  It was just the cutest, girliest, most darling thing you can imagine.  I used lots of gold again, can you imagine?  I also grabbed those amaze Crate Paper floral die cuts.  I know they are sold out in a lot of other stores, so I was really happy to snag a pack.  I used them all over the cover and sprinkled a few more throughout the book for continuity.  I like too that the kit offered lots of black and white paper options to balance all the heavy gold.  It paired really well with my pink and green photos from the garden.

The Chat is happening right now and shopping starts in one hour.  Ready, set, go!

Lakshman Update

He is home from the hospital but still on the feeding tube.  Having it in is an adjustment to be sure.  They want us giving him bolus feeds with it four times a day.  This doesn't really work all that well because when he feels it in his stomach he starts to gag and usually throws up at that point.
He did pull it out (on my birthday no less!) and I put it back in after the weekend.  Having to put the tube in myself was something I was really dreading.  Thankfully it went on the first try.  He was so upset and cried so much though that he napped the whole day after.  Poor baby.  

He really did seem to need it though, he lost almost half a pound in the time it had been out and gained it back within a week of the tube feeds starting again.  The doctor was so worried that she said she didn't care if he ate anything by mouth, she wanted him getting everything from the tube for now.  That really scared us.  

Doing all tube feeds doesn't work in reality for him but at least he gained back the weight he lost.  Every little ear infection and fever seems to make his weight drop.  He just can't catch a break.

That tube I put in didn't even last.  He pulled it out in his car seat Sunday night.  We had gone out to dinner and he had behaved so well the whole meal.  I really thought he was going to fall asleep on the way home but instead we found him with this long tube still hanging on to the tape on the side of his face.

Everytime we have to put the tube back in, I worry about something happening.  It going in the wrong place.  Hurting one of his nerves.   Puncturing his stomach.  I worry that having the tube in place makes it easier for more acid to come up into his esophagus after every time he eats.  I worry that it will get infected.  Or cause another fever and ear infection. 

Luckily Avinash and Nandini seem to have adjusted to all this stuff pretty well.  I'd say there were a few days of extra clinginess, especially when we got home, but they have been fine now.  

Even when he has the tube in, they play with him, snuggle in bed, make him laugh.  They taught him how to do a fake sneeze.  It is so funny to hear him fake sneeze with great aplomb and then laugh hysterically at his own joke.  I never knew babies could learn to fake sneeze.  It is just the cutest thing ever.

He has also learned how to climb down the stairs.  Which is good because he learned how to climb over the gate and then would get stuck at the top of the stairs with no way down. 

PS. Thanks for all the love and prayers for our little guy.  The support means a lot, especially just having someone to listen me vent and know they understand. So many of our friends and family have offered to help too; take the kids for extra playdates, or pack lunches, or help with pick up.  I don't know what I would do without them!

Friday, April 17, 2015

We Can't Stop ...

I love this "We Can't Stop...Having Babies" Miley Cyrus parody so much.  I actually had to look up the original after I saw the parody and it makes a lot more sense as a baby/kid song.

"To my girls with the big bump // Growing it over and over again // Remember only God can judge ya'
Can't you see it's we who'll be up all night // Can't you see it's wee who love this life."


I have been an emotional wreck all week since Lakshman got back from the hospital.  We were there for five days and running on adrenaline the whole time.  To say we crashed when we got back home is an understatement.

He was there for failure to thrive and feeding difficulties.  Is there a more chiding, blamey diagnosis possible?  Turns out, yes.

It used to be called maternal deprivation.


That's okay because it is basically putting into words everything I've been feeling.  And what everyone else seems to be thinking too.

I know people want to be helpful.  But it feels like most people seem to think we aren't feeding him.  Or haven't tried.  Or haven't tried sweets or avocado, or whatever food worked for their kid. Their kid. Not mine. (Seriously, I have heard from a lot of people about this. He can't eat mushy stuff!)

Of course, this is completely unfair because so many people have rushed in to be with us and offered to help with the older kids, but when you are already judging yourself so harshly - it's easy to think that everyone else is too.

The mental anguish keeps trickling in.  It was our choice to have a third child.  We already had a boy and girl, one of each is all you need right? Especially when we can't even take care of the baby?  And, at the most basic level - feeding - at that?

I feel like I am fending off CPS when I try telling friends and family about his diagnoses.  Like, "hey, trust us.  He is having problems.  It's not just us.  Really! We love him and take care of him as best as possible." I'm not even sure most of them believe us.

How do I tell everyone that I spend every waking minute with him?  He has been my life for over a year now.

That's why I have this song on repeat right now. I'm his mother.  I have his best interest at heart.  I love him more than you can ever know. I am trying my best.  I am getting him treatment. He is growing, even if he is still failing the growth curve.

We can do what we want, grow who we want, love who we want! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Cocoa Daisy Reveal | It's 5 o'clock Somewhere

So happy to share my first round of design team work with Cocoa Daisy kits.  These kits were just so much fun to play with.

I just love how springy and fresh this kit feels. I started with a two pager all about our Rodeo Austin visit.  I had so many photos I wanted to include.

Rodeo Austin // When I have a lot of journaling to get down, I find that typing it out is just so much easier and faster.  I love to intersperse the type with embellishments.

Birthday Wish // My favorite part of this kit?  All the fun circle motifs.  Seeing that stamp just inspired me. I interspersed the circles with the transparent embellishments from the kit. 

I love right now // This ampersand is a huge favorite of mine, so I had to make it the focus of a page. I fussy cut some pineapples and added a sprinkle of wooden emojis from the Day in the Life kit.  

Hello Beautiful // I love all the packaging in these kits.  I had to use the hello business card and shipping tag.  I covered the tag in patterned paper.  Instead of doing regular text strips, I did white text on a black background. 

Cards* // And, just because I really did love the packaging (and those gold foil title stickers!) I made an insert for my 2015 Holidays book to hold Nandini's birthday cards.  And there is that ampersand again, stamped this time.  

The kits are open for anyone to purchase today, so go shop before they are gone!  To make sure you always get a chance to get the kits you want and shop early, you can become a subscriber too. 

Here is what I bought and used this month //

They also have extra embellishments in the shop, like those awesome wood veneer emojis. Love!

Thanks for looking through my pages here.  I am so thrilled to be working with the Cocoa Daisy team. 



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