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March for Babies

Although I am not a mother myself (yet), I know the joys of being an Auntie and a Godmother. Watching a little one learn more and more each day, and grow from a tiny infant, to a toddler, to a smart, self assured and fearless little boy is definitely one of God’s gifts. Hearing “Auntie Kim!!!” as soon and I come into view, and hearing those little feet run towards me and seeing the little hands fly into the air waiting for me to pick up the little guy attached gives me such a great feeling. Never gets old.

Many of my friends are having babies lately, and the more I’m around them and their new families, the more I see that children truly are little miracles. Not only is my godson Jake a force to be reckoned with, he is in all ways a little miracle.

I’ll try to keep the story short.

When my best friend Niki told me she was pregnant almost 4 years ago, it was very unexpected but also very exciting. Big changes were coming and it was fun to watch her belly grow, learn it was going to be a boy, shop for the cutest baby boy clothes, and help her pick out baby names.

However, when Niki experienced complications from preeclampsia, Jake was born at only 26 weeks. The normal gestation period is 41 weeks. Instead of being pregnant for 9 months, Niki had her baby at only 6 months, and not only was Jake’s life at risk, but so was hers. Luckily, Niki’s preeclampsia resolved after the birth of Jacob, but at 26 weeks, Jake’s lungs, eyes, ears, and brain still needed a lot more time to grow, and he weighed only 1lb 9oz.

Jacob 24 days old

I was in grad school in Delaware at this time, and as soon as I found out that Niki was going to need a C-section to hopefully save both her and the baby, I drove home to Massachusetts and went right to the hospital to be with her and Sean. No one knew if Jake would make it, and if he did, no one was sure how long he would make it for, either. I visited Jake often at the NICU with Niki and Sean, who were there to see their son every day of the over 111 days he was there. I held him for the first time almost three months after he was born, and was terrified. Tubes and apparatus everywhere. I also remember feeding him for the first time too. The tiniest bottle I’ve ever seen. The diapers were even smaller!

Jacob in Incubator

And Jake made it. He received fabulous care at the hospital, and thrived on the medications he received through research and funding from the March of Dimes. Three years later he is a happy, healthy, ACTIVE, 3 year old. He’s beaten the odds, and just looking at him you’d never know he was in such a tenuous state of being for the first 4 months of his life.

Jacob Six Months

Jacob is the reason I am part of a team of his family and friends who walk in the March for Babies every year. Knowing that so many other mothers and families have the same stories to tell is also why I am part of the team. It’s important that all babies are given a fighting chance and that less people have to go through the struggles Jacob and his family went through.

Happy Jake

Hopefully you see this less as a shameless plug, and more as me sharing an important story and talking about a cause that means a lot to many people, not just me and my extended family. And it’s nice to know that when it comes time for me to start a family, if anything should go awry, I have an organization like the March of Dimes working hard on researching technologies and medications that can help moms and babies have a healthy start.

Jake and Watermelon

Informing others about their message and doing my best to collect donations in preparation for the march is one way that I can give back and help further the March of Dimes cause. This Sunday D and myself, along with Jacob’s family and friends, will be walking 3 miles in support of the March of Dimes. So, if you’d like, please visit my page, and consider donating whatever you want to support our team’s walk on Sunday (you can still donate even if it’s after Sunday)!

Jake at Parade

Thank you! :)

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Friday Rewind – Happy Hunger Games!

This week seemed to fly by! So quickly that it seems like even yesterday was a total blur.  I spent a lot of time at home, enjoying watching a lot of netflix episodes of season one of The Killing (really good!). Between last weekend and several week nights, we’ve watched enough episodes to be all caught up and ready for Sunday night’s new one. I’m not sure if I should be really proud to admit that I watched an insane amount of television this weekend and earlier this week… Radar on the other hand, spent a lot of his nights curled up in his doggy bed with Mr. Pig. So cute.

Here is a sneak peak at the dresser rehab process. All the drawers are painted and have new hardware. Just the exterior of the dresser itself needs to be painted, but it was so windy during the early part of the week, and then rainy yesterday and the day before, that I haven’t had a good opportunity to lug the thing outside to spray paint the rest of it. Hopefully it will be finished by Sunday!

Tonight D and I are going on a date. Dinner and a movie. Not sure where we’ll be eating but we are going to see the Hunger Games (finally)! In honor of the big event, I picked up this polish:

Stone Cold by China Glaze, part of their Hunger Games collection of polishes.  It’s a grey with some light shimmer…and its MATTE! How cool. I’m really excited to use it. Wicked excited, even. Is that normal?

I also bought the color Foie Gras from the collection. Did I mention I can’t wait to see the movie tonight?

Aside from the movie, it’s a weekend full of yard work, our monthly church game night on Saturday, and a spring concert on Sunday. As for Monday, I plan on sleeping in as long as humanly possible, since I have the day off. Gotta love long weekends.

I hope everyone has some nice things planned for their weekend too!

Happy Friday!

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Polka Dots

Life has been so busy lately. On top of trying to get everything all settled at the construction site that is our house, D had surgery on his right hand to relieve his carpal tunnel last week. The surgery went well, but I guess you never realize how many things you need BOTH hands for until you only have use of one. I’ve been doing a lot of chauffeuring, shoe-tying, food cutting, dressing, etc., etc. He even had me shave his face for him the other day. That’s trust!

As far as the house, lots of progress has been made. Cabinets and counter top have been installed, we got a new vanity and medicine cabinet for the bathroom, flooring, light fixtures, ceiling fan, this, that, and the other thing. Over the weekend I grouted the bathroom floor. I’m not crazy about grouting. It came out very nicely though. The kitchen is next at some point this week. When I can find the time.

I also have a presentation to give this coming Thursday as the culmination of a class I’ve been taking at a local historic preservation office. I’ve been really procrastinating (what else is new). I’m going to get the PowerPoint all squared away right after I finish this post…yup.

But for now: polka dot manicure!

I had ordered these dotting tools a few months ago from Amazon and I’ve been itching to use them. They’re really easy to use, plus I think they’re pretty.

See? Pretty.

After a top coat I used a brand called 10 Professional Nail Lacquer in the color Moonlight (a really inexpensive brand I’d never heard of that I found at CVS) as a base color. I used the pink Finger Paints color you see in the picture above for the dots. The label on the bottom came off so I’m not sure what the name of the color is.

I really like how they came out for my first time using a dotting tool. It’s a fun way to wear a very bright color without it being so…bright.

 

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Saying Goodbye

Today my family decided, after a health-related episode with the dog in the morning, that it was time to face what we had been putting off for so long: it was time to end Daisie’s suffering. I didn’t think I’d be so upset about it, maybe because I just didn’t want to face the inevitable, but today 0was a pretty rough day, all day.I got Daisie when she was an adorable little puppy when I was about 13 years old. From the very beginning she was an amazing dog. Smart, loyal, sweet. All the good things a dog should be. I taught her how to sit and stay, to shake with her paw, and even how to catch a treat after I set it on her nose. She’d always greet you at the door with her tail wagging, rest her cute head against you when you would pet her, would play fetch with you until her legs gave out.

Over the last few years, and increasingly over the last few months, Daisie stopped being able to see or hear well, would have trouble walking, and grew a few lumps and bumps all over. But she would always, always, always greet you at the door with her tail wagging, no matter how long it would take her to make her way over to you. I’ll really miss that.

I’d never known how difficult it is to have to say goodbye to a beloved pet. She really was a big part of our family. But now, after 14 years of sweet tail wagging and being such a blessing to us, Daisie May is at peace.

Radar and Daisie 2011

Daisie at Elm Park 2008

Daisie 2008

Daisie 2010

Daisie 2012

Daisie 2008

I imagine she’s playing fetch right now, and loving every minute.

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Bulletins and Bookmarks

Last Sunday my church celebrated its 125th anniversary with a special afternoon service followed by a silver tea collation. I’m on the committee that is in charge of planning all the special events for our 125th year, and it was fun to kick off the celebrations with a lovely service with lots of great music and political dignitaries and clergy from all over the state in attendance. I think my favorite part, though, was that my friend Melanie lent us her artistic talents and created a logo for the bookmark and bulletin that were used. It was a nice change from the norm and it was nice to have something all our own. She did a fantastic job.

(The back story with the two church steeples is that the church sold the original building about 4 years ago.)

You can check out more of Melanie’s art here.

Maybe someday she’ll make me a logo for my blog…hint hint :)

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change of plans

What I thought would be a one-day bathroom-blitz has turned into a huge mess. Long story short, an attempt to pull up the floor and fix the toilet leak has resulted in the discovery of a backed-up septic pipe, shoddy plumbing throughout, rotted out framing members and a dangerous floating wall. Needless to say we won’t be staying at the house until it’s all fixed. Thankfully, we have a great landlord who has already gotten the ball rolling on sorting it all out. So, although I will be living out of a suitcase for the next week or more (probably more) I’m glad that we have a place to stay with people we love (we’ll be staying with my Grandmother and parents – didn’t I just write about how I don’t see them enough?).The silver lining is that we will soon have a brand new bathroom and part of the kitchen will have to be re-done too. I guess I jinxed it when a few weeks ago I complained to D about how I wished we could update the tile in the bathroom floor. my bad.

Here is how Radar was feeling about half way through the demo project yesterday. He’s resting his head on my Step-dad’s boot (he likes to rest his head on things…) I think we could all relate.

The bathroom snafu means we won’t be hosting a Superbowl party this year. However, I’ll still be making  just about everything I had planned on making, just in a different kitchen for different people to enjoy.

Last night I tested out the dried strawberries recipe. Epic fail. Instead of sweet chewy candy-like fruity goodness I ended up with half dried mushy super sweet strawberry lumps. I’m not sure if it was the oven, the recipe, or the bad luck that has been following me around lately. I followed the recipe exactly (I mean, it was so easy how could you screw it up?!), but somehow they just didn’t come out right, even after leaving them in the oven for an extra hour. They were so abysmal that I’m not going to include photos. I even referenced a few other recipes to see if there was something else I should do which just confused me more. Some recipes said to cook them at higher temperatures, some said lower, some said leave them in overnight, others said 5 hours, some said prop the door open with a wooden spoon or some other implement, some said nothing at all about having the door open.  All this means is that I’m now determined to get it right, so stay tuned for the day when I find a way to get it right! I’ll use the results of attempt #1 as a dessert topping, or maybe in cereal in the morning. They taste fine they’re just not quite right.

In the meantime, the bacon-wrapped chicken bites just went in the oven, the no-bake cake truffles are setting up in the fridge and I’m about to start the pizza rolls. Finger’s crossed!

Also, in an effort to make the crappy day I had yesterday worthwhile, I gave myself a patriot’s themed manicure:

I hope everyone who is watching enjoys the Superbowl – the game, the commercials, and the food! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!