Monday, February 28, 2005

The last of the winter sewing projects

These booties, one pair for Natalie and the other pair for the babysitter's son, are my last winter sewing projects. Starting tomorrow, I will be starting my spring/summer projects. Any ideas? Posted by Hello


After Taylor's meet the girls and I went shopping. The gym we were at was surrounded by at least 100 different stores. Taylor had gotten a $20 gift card for Target for her birthday and it was burning a hole in her pocket. So we went to Target, then Old Navy and then a shoe store. Everyone, including those at home, got something to wear, mostly shirts. Rachel and Taylor both got new Nike shoes, on sale, of course. Nikes seem to run about a size smaller than other brands so Taylor got a women's 8 and Rachel got a women's 11. We could have shopped more, but we were almost 2.5 hours from home and I didn't want to get home too late on a school night. Both Natalie and Taylor slept for the second half of the trip while Rachel watched a movie. Natalie had been diarrhea free for the whole day. The minute we got home and I handed Natalie over to Joe, she threw up all over his shoulder and loaded up her diaper with one cough. Ick! So into the tub she went. A little later, while I was feeding her some rice cereal, she bubbled that back up like a volcano. So back into the tub she went for a second time. This time Bailey got a bath too. Natalie was back a sleep by 10:00pm and I hope she sleeps better than last night, when she was very restless.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Taylor at Gymnastics

Taylor came 5th place on the vault! Posted by Hello

Gymnastics Today

Taylor and I got up today at 6:45am to get her ready for her meet. She took a shower first and then got dressed while I took a shower. After I got dressed, I french braided her hair. If you had asked me 15 years ago if I could french braid, I'd have said No and would have thought that I'd never figure out how to do it. Well 15 years and 5 girls later, I'm finally getting pretty good at it. Taylor and I got breakfast while Rachel stayed with Natalie and got her dressed and fed. I dropped Taylor off at the gym and went back to the hotel to get Rachel and Natalie, breakfast for Rachel and check out. Up to this point, Natalie had been diarrhea free, just blowing a lot of stinky gas. Natalie nursed a lot during the meet. I ended up leaving about half way through the meet to walk next door to Wal-Mart to get Pepto Bismo for Rachel because she now had Natalie's diarrhea. One of the Dads from Taylor's gym watched Natalie for me in case Rachel had to go potty while I was gone. Natalie was alseep in his arms when I got back. She woke up when he transferred her to me and was cranky on and off the rest of the meet. Rachel took the medicine and feel much better after about 1/2 an hour. Taylor did not have her best day all around, except on the vault where she came in tied for 5th place with her best score yet of 9.3, but she did well enough to qualify for the State meet coming up in May. Her total score for the 4 different events had to be at least 33 to qualify and she got a 33.7. Yeah Taylor!!!


Natalie seemed to be feeling better at Taylor's meet today. Posted by Hello

Road Trip

After spending the day watching Mallory play volleyball and helping Rachel sell Girl Scout cookies, three of the girls and I heading north to Fredericksburg. Taylor has a gymnastics meet Sunday morning and she has to be there at 8:00am. Fredericksburg is about 2 1/4 hours away so I decided we should spend night rather than drive that far so early in the morning. Since we were spending the night, I had to take Natalie with me. I decided to take Rachel with me so she could watch Natalie for me during the meet in case Natalie got tired of just sitting in one place. We got on the road later than I wanted, around 9:00pm rather than 8:00pm, so we didn't get in to the hotel until 11:30pm, but we made it without incident. Natalie had had diarrhea all day and only had a small nap, so she fell asleep as soon as we got on the highway. Taylor and Rachel stayed awake until around 10:30pm, then it was quite. I love driving at night after all of the kids in the car have falling asleep. Natalie stayed asleep during the transfer to the room and we all went to bed around midnight.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A Real Stinker

Natalie woke up yesterday throwing up chunks. She continue to throw up everything she ate at the babysitter's house. She seemed her normal self in between throwing up. She wasn't acting sick at all and didn't have a fever. She was sleeping when I got home. I nursed her when she got up and that stayed down. Mallory fed her some dinner and that stayed down. Next came the diarrhea. Explosive diarrhea! She went through many outfits before going to bed. When I woke up this morning, she was still sleeping, but she was covered from chin to knees in diarrhea. Every blanket in her crib was stained. I got her up and put her straight into the tub. She smelled so bad I almost threw up myself trying to get her undressed. I have already changed her once so far since the bath. Hopefully she's on the upswing and the diarrhea will slow down today. She's nursing well so I'm not worried about her getting dehydrated.

Friday, February 25, 2005


Natalie can finally drink from a sippy cup. She's been working on it for a while and was mostly chewing on the end of the spout, but tonight she was actually sucking on the end of the spout and drinking rather than choking and sputtering. Way to go Natalie!!! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Has it been a year and a half already?

Natalie turned 18 months old today. She now weighs almost 23 lbs and is 30.5 inches long. She crawls, cruises along the furniture, babbles all the time and finally has 3 teeth. She is such a joy to have been added to this family. She makes everyone slow down a bit and pay attention to her with her big smile. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bailey at Gymnastics

Bailey attends a one hour gymnastics class on Monday nights. Tonight they were on the floor with the big kids so I got to get some pictures. Normally, the little kids are off in their own room with smaller versions of all of the equipment. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Natalie loves to play Itsy Bity Spider and Pat-a-cake. It was a beautiful evening so we all spent some time outside before running off to gymnastics. Mommy spent a lot of time sewing this weekend and made two pairs of overalls for Natalie and another pair for a friend's son.Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Joseph's new haircut

I cut Joseph's hair Sunday night. Posted by Hello

Teddy Bear Meet

Taylor had another gymnastics meet today in Hampton, VA. She had to be there at 9:00am so we left at 8:15am so we'd have time to stop and get some breakfast. She has been working hard and had her best day yet. She got a 9.15 on the vault, a 9.0 on the floor, a 8.7 on the beam and a 7.75 on the bars, but everyone's score was low on the bars. Her total score for the meet was 34.60. If this had been a sectional meet, that score would have qualified her for the state meet. Taylor and I got home around 2:00 and both of us took long naps. I didn't get up until around 4:30 and Taylor slept past 5:00.

Next Sunday we travel to Fredricksburg for the first sectional meet. Fredricksburg it about 2.5 hours away from here, but only about an hour from my Dad. I need to decide if we are going to drive up early the day of the meet or spend the night at Dad's. I think it depends on whether the meet time is early in the morning or later in the day. Hopefully we will know the meet time by Wednesday so I can make some plans.

Taylor at the Meet

Taylor on the balance beam. Posted by Hello

Mommy has been sewing again!

Do you like the new overalls my mommy made for me? Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Splash is not a sound you want to hear inside your house. Saturday afternoon, Rachel walked into the kitchen and discovered a huge puddle and water dripping from the light ficture around the top door jam of the pantry. Ugh! It seems that the toilet in the kids bathroon upstairs was stuck in fill mode and had been overflowing while I was out shopping. There was a lot of water on the floor and out into the hallway. Many towels later, the bathroon floor was dry, but it took quite a while for the water to quit dripping from the kitchen ceiling.

Natalie's Tooth

If you look closely, you can see that I do have a tooth, on the bottom in the front! Posted by Hello

Taylor's Party

Friday night, I took Taylor and three of her friends from school to Apple Bee's to celebrate her 10th birthday. The dinner went well, everyone was well behaved for 9-10 year olds. Taylor was the only one who finished everything she ordered. I didn't realize how little most kids eat compared to my kids. After dinner we came back to the house for a sleepover. Taylor was in charge of her party and they mostly stayed in the room over the garage and we only saw them downstairs a couple of times the whole night. We had no fights or crying and everyone was asleep shortly after 1:00am. Taylor even made eggs for everyone for breakfast and all were picked up sometime between 10-11am Saturday morning.

Taylor's Party Pants

I made these pants for Taylor's Party. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Sound Asleep

I found Natalie asleep on the floor like this the other night. Rachel was watching her and said she'd been asleep for about an hour when I got home. Doesn't she look comfortable? Posted by Hello

Tackling To Do List

Found out from Mallory, when I got home from work, that Rachel was home when she got there, meaning Rachel skipped school. Last week she missed school one day because she faked being sick. This time she never even called me to let me know she missed the bus. So she's grounded for two weeks, no computer time and no phone. I told her that I was going to sign her up for the middle school before school program (Middle School Daycare) if she skips school again. She does not want to go there so promises to not skip school again. We'll see.

Now, let's see what I actually got done on my "To Do List" posted yesterday, plus other normal activities that get done on Wednesday.

Put meatballs and sauce on for dinner (Meatball Subs).
Dropped Taylor off at gymnastics (5:45).
Ate dinner and nursed Natalie.
Dropped Rachel off at Girl Scouts (6:30).
Cut out PJ top for Joseph.
Spent about 1/2 an hour looking for pattern for Natalie's overalls.
Picked up Rachel (8:00).
Organized a few things on the new desk.
Hemmed a pair of shorts for Rachel (not on original list).
Picked up Taylor from gumnastics (9:30).
Finally found the pattern for Natalie's overalls, after another 1/2 hour of looking.
Folded about half of the laundry, still need to do the whites.
Went to bed around midnight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

CiCi's Pizza Night

I took the kids out to dinner to a local pizza place called CiCi's. They have a pizza and salad buffet that only costs $3.99 for adults and kids over 10 and $2.99 for kids 5-10, under 5 is free. Last night was fundraiser night for the HS academic booster club so the place donates 10% of the sales from 5-9 to the school. The ES has a fundraiser night there once a month, but this is the first time I'd gone there during one for the HS. There are a lot more people there during the ES nights, but maybe the ES gets the word out better than the HS does. I had not planned on going out for dinner. I was going to order pizza at the house, but Bailey wanted to go out and I remembered about the fundraiser, so out we went.

Since we went out to dinner, I did not finish as much of my to do list as I had hoped to get done on my night off. I only got two things done; worked with kids to pickup the family room and made slipcovers for babysitter's rocking chair cushions.

Current To Do List:
- Organize stuff in new desk
- Fold laundry in baskets
- Cut out PJ top for Joseph
- Repair PJ bottoms for Joseph
- Cut out overalls for Natalie
- Cut out Care Bear dress for Bailey
- Sew above items

Now that I've typed the list up, it's not as bad as I thought. But I think there is more for the list that I'm not thinking of right now. There is always more to be done.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Eating Again!

It's amazing what a baby with very few teeth can eat. LOL Posted by Hello

Missing Front Teeth

I finally got a good picture of Joseph's missing teeth. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Taylor got a new silver and purple bike with matching helmet for her birthday. She was the youngest Stratton to ride without training wheels, just over 4 years old. Bailey is the next one to learn to ride without them. Posted by Hello

Joseph got a new bike and taught himself how to ride it today without training wheels. By the time I got home from BINGO, he was riding it like an old pro. He said he just had to believe in himself and eat coconuts. Silly boy. While I was watching him, he crashed into the
curb and said "My nuts hurt". Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Remember when? Look who's Ten!

A little over ten years I didn't think that Taylor was ever going to come out. We knew we were having a girl from an ultrasound done at 34 weeks. I was 9 days overdue at my last appt before Taylor was born. At my last appt, my Dr. had said it would induce the next day if I made it to the next appt. Rachel had been almost 9.5 lbs at 7 days late and I didn't want to Taylor to get to big to come out on her own.

My Dr. agreed to induce me next the morning, the 10th. I had to go to the hospital that night to get gel put on my cervix to help make it ready for the induction. I had to wait two hours just in case the putting on the gel made me go into labor. I left the hospital only a fingertip dialated. I got home around 8:00pm and ate the leftover mac & cheese Joe had made the dinner. Joe and I went to bed around 10:00pm. I got up again around 11:00pm because I kept having a contraction about every 10 minutes, that would wake me up. I decided to let Joe sleep and went downstairs to sit in the recliner and watch TV and time contractions. With both Mallory and Rachel, I went to the hospital because my water had broken and I sat around for hours with no contractions, until I was finally induced. I had decided that I wasn't going to call my Dr. tonight until the contractions were less than 5 minutes apart. I did not want to get to the hospital too early this time and spent so much time waiting around. Between 11:00pm and midnight the contractions were coming every 7-8 minutes. Between midnight and 1:00am they were every 5 minutes and double peaking, but my criteria had been less than 5 minutes, remember? By 1:20am, the contractions were coming at least every 4 minutes. It was time to get moving or I was going to have Taylor in that recliner. I got up and got the phone from the kitchen. I called the Dr.'s answering service and waited for someone to call me back. I very calmly told the Dr. on call that I was supposed to be induced in the morning, but had been told to come in earlier if I went into labor before then. She said she would meet me there. Next I called my neighbor and waited for her to arrive so I could let her in. Did I mention running to the bathroom every 10 minutes too? Then I went upstairs to wake Joe up, he says it was 1:27am. Joe had to help me get dressed, because I was having contractions everytime I moved at this point, as I was still in my PJs from when we went to bed. I ended up wearing my slippers because Joe could not get my shoes on. We left for the hospital at 1:45am. I yelled at Joe to run a red light because I didn't want to have Taylor in the van. We got to the hospital in about 10 minutes. Joe went into the ER to get a wheel chair because I could not walk. Once in the ER we were stopped by a drunk who wanted to help, LOL. I was made to switch wheel chairs to one that had been brought down from laboe & delivery. I was not happy about having to move, but did so reluctantly. From that point on was a blur, it felt like the nurse was running down the hallway and into the elevator. She asked me if I felt like I had to push. Not yet. We banged though a set of double doors into L&D. There were 4-5 nurses sitting around the nurses station. I think most of them followed us into our room, it was 2:05am. Joe left to move the van as it was parked in a 15 minute only ER parking spot. The nurses had to change me into a gown as I was contracting too close together to be of much help. One nurse kept asking me not to move so she could put in an IV. She finally gave up. Another, very short nurse, climbed up onto the bed to check me. She gave me a very strange look. I asked her if I was dilated at all, because I was not going to be happy if I was only 3-4 cms dialated. She said "Honey, you are ready to go!" I was already 10 cms and felt the urge to push with the next contraction. Mind you, there are only nurses with me at this time, my Dr. is no where to be found. The nurse told me not to push. I told her I could not not push, this baby was ready to come out. She said "At least wait until your husband gets back". Joe came back during the next contraction in time to see her crown. He put down a cup of coffee he had stopped to get from an ER vending machine and said "Already"? Taylor's head was born with the next contraction, but she was blue because the cord was wrapped around her neck. The cord was cut and the rest of her slipped out. She was rushed over to a warming table and I didn't see her at all for several hours. I didn't know until the next morning that she had been born blue. I don't remember thinking that it was weird not to see her right away. I must have been in shock from her coming so fast. Taylor Jo Stratton was born 10 days late on Feb. 10th at 2:15am. She weighed 9 lbs. 7 ozs. and was 21" long.

Today she weighs 90 lbs and is 4'10" tall. She is a very smart, very athletic preteen. She gets A's and B's and competes on a local gymnatics team. I can't believe that she is 10 already.

Taylor on her 10th birthday - boy has she grown up to be a nice looking girl. Posted by Hello

Taylor as a newborn. Posted by Hello

Easy Night

Got home from work a little earlier than normal, just after 4:00. Made popcorn shrimp and fries for dinner, plus sweet potatoes for Natalie. Left with Taylor and Joseph around 5:30 to drop Taylor off at gymnastics and to go bike shopping with Joseph. Joseph's bike has gotten too small, but he still cannot ride without training wheels. He didn't get a bike for Christmas because he just wasn't that interested in riding, but now that it's getting nicer outside, his interest in riding has blossomed. So off to Target we went and got Joseph a new 20" red bike with black training wheels for him to use until he builds up his confidence to try it without them. He is not one to be rushed, especially if he thinks he's going to get hurt. It was in the low 60's today, but is only supposed to be in the low 40's tomarrow. I wonder if he'll get the bike out and try it even if it's chiller outside. Run out at 6"25 to take Rachel to Girl Scouts. I got a new laptop from work and played with that a little bit, trying to get it to talk to my home network, was not successful. Run out again at 8:00 to pick Rachel up from Girl Scouts. Started sewing a pair of PJs, pants and shirt for Bailey, will finish them tomarrow. Run out at 9:15 to pick Taylor up at gymnastics, she has a half hour private lesson on Wednesdays after their regular practice ends at 9:00. Came home, typed up this blog entry and am now going to bed. Rachel and I have to be out of the house earlier than normal (6:45 vice 7:15 for me and 8:45 for Rachel) in the morning for an appt for her for the research study she is doing. I hope to get Natalie asleep soon and not be up much past 11:00.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Lost Tooth

We've got Natalie getting new teeth and Joseph losing them. He lost his 4th tooth, one of the upper middle ones a couple of days ago. He now has a big gap in the front, with one tooth missing and the other just a little bit in. Bailey looked at him the other day and said "Joseph, you have a new tooth growing in".

Rachel was very proud of her new sleep pants. She cut them out and I sewed them together. We will make this pattern again as they fit her very well. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Rachel Update

Rachel had been trying out for the middle school volleyball team. Yesterday she found out that she did not make the team. She was sad, but okay with the decision too. She is also in the band and will be staying afterschool two days a week for extra practices to get ready for the spring festival. If she had made the team, she would have had to slpit practices between band and volleyball on those days. She will play rec volleyball this spring and again in the fall and try-out again next year for the school team. Her grades have been better this year than last year, but she can still improve a lot.

Three Teeth

Natalie finally has some teeth - three in fact! I noticed two of them one day last week and the third a few days later. She has one bottom front tooth and two upper molars coming in. As you can see from the pictures below, having so few teeth hasn't stopped her from eating most soft solids. She loves everything she's tried to far.

Natalie ate 2 stuffed shells and obviously loved them. Posted by Hello

Natalie ate 2 waffles for breakfast. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

Volleyball News!

Mallory has finished her stint on the school's swim team and is back to playing volleyball. She is now playing on a tournament team with some of the girls on the school team, plus a few others. She played in a two day tournament last weekend in Richmond and got to stay overnight with the team in one of two hotels rooms. The team only won one game the first day, but after only 4-5 hours sleep, won all of their games the next day to take third place. This weekend, the team played in a one day tournament again in Richmond, and took third place again. The next tournament isn't until the end of Febraury. This one is local, so I plan on getting to it to see her play.

Rachel went to try-outs all last week for the middle school volleyball team. She made the first cuts and will find out in the morning if she made the final cut. She thinks she did well and hopes that she makes it, but will keep playing rec ball and try-out again next year if she doesn't. The coach has to cut the final list of new players on the team from around 30 to 5 or 6. Good luck Rachel!!!

Super Bowl Sunday!

Today started out good as Natalie let me sleep until 9:30. I made waffles for breakfast, but I think everyone likes Joe's breakfast's better. I bought myself a new desk yesterday, for my computer and sewing machines, that Joe is going to put together. Rachel and I went bed shopping while Taylor and Bailey played with friends at their house. We started out looking for a twin over full bunk bed, but changed our minds about half way through and settled on looking at getting a futon bed for now. Maybe? We already have a futon mattress in the room over the garage on a bed frame that is falling apart, so I want to trade that mattress for the loft bed in Rachel's room, then toss out the broken bed frame. We didn't buy anything yet, so still have time to change our minds again, Yes? Got a call from Joe as we were heading home, the desk was almost together when it started to fall apart, he was not happy. Some of the screws had completed pulled out the the desk and made holes in the side of the pieces. I called the place I got it and they agreed to swap out the defective pieces with new parts, yeah! I took the parts back to the store on my way to dinner at Friendly's at my friend Stacey and her 2 girls. See pictures below. Then Joe could watch the first half of the Super Bowl in peace and quite. The half-time show was on when we got home, good timing. The Eagles must have lost, because Joe went to bed without telling me who won. I had to get my old sewing desk back in from the garage in order to set up my computer and sewing machines to finish a new shirt for Bailey to wear tomarrow. I'll post a picture of the shirt tomarrow. One of these nights I'm going to get to bed before midnight.

Natalie eats an onion ring. Don't you think it looks like a worm? Posted by Hello

Bailey and Sara being goofy at Friendly's Posted by Hello

Taylor and Ashleigh at Friendly's Posted by Hello