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I don’t ask you readers for much.  Hell, I don’t even ask you to read that much, as I have been sucking at blogging in the last few months.  But I am asking you for this:

Help Tia and Mike Buy A House

My friend Tia, her wonderful husband Mike, and their two lovely girls Sophie (10) and Rosie (3) need a place to live.  They have been renting a duplex for several years, and have recently discovered that the other half of the duplex is running a meth lab (on top of their already awesome violent domestic disputes).  Why doesn’t the landlord get involved?  He doesn’t care – the house is about to be foreclosed upon, so he’s not doing anything, including fixing the washing machine.  But Mike and Tia still have to pay rent, cause, you know, there is at least ONE contract still being enforced.  It may be that they don’t have until the end of the foreclosure process to move – because of the rodent infestation that the landlord also won’t take care of, the city may condemn the house.

The family has been looking for a new rental property in a nice, safe neighborhood that will still be close to Rosie’s daycare and Sophie’s school.  It’s hard to find a place though – Mike has been out of work for almost two years (although he just got not one but TWO new jobs last week!), and Tia is a full time nursing student (she wants to be a midwife).

By some sort of luck, they found a beautiful house in a lovely neighborhood of NE Mpls (the very best neighborhood in town, IMHO)…and the owner is willing to work out a contract to deed with them.  They have half of the down payment saved, but need another $2,500 to $5,000 to make this happen….and that’s where you come  in.

I’m asking all of you…my friends, relatives, and random passersby…to donate $5 to Tia and Mike’s down payment fund.  Seriously, I spent more than that at Starbucks yesterday.  I bet you did, too.  If we can get 404 more people to donate just $5, their new home will be a safe, happy reality.

I wish you  knew (and loved) this family like I do.  Tia helped me bring Liam into this world (she was my doula) and Mike broke the laws of time and space to get her to the hospital in time.  Sophie is turning into a beautiful and thoughtful young woman, and Rosie is just the funniest little girl you’d ever meet (you can follow her on Twitter:  RosieQuotes).  They are good, decent, hard working people, who contribute greatly to their community, their church, are active in the local political scene, and are a rock to their friends.

Please, please, take a minute to click on the link above, and throw a few bucks their way.  I did – now it’s your turn.

Thank you.

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For the last couple of weeks, I have been too busy/too crabby to blog much.  So, here is your long, long overdue update!

My last birthday without arranging child care...

My last birthday without arranging child care...

My birthday seemed to have been a couple of weeks ago, and for the first time, I just could not have cared less.  I spent the day at my Awesome Little Job ™ and then Jeff took me to The Modern for dinner.  The food was, as usual, spectacular, although we were there on 1/2 price bottle of wine night, and everyone around us was having good times with a beverage that I have not been able to partake in for almost six months.  Not that I’m counting.  Or counting down till the next one.  (Who’s bringing Bailey’s to the delivery room??)

I spent the week before Easter doing the spring cleaning Chez Sekhon, as we were having the Sekhons over for Easter brunch.  I figured that not only did it give me an excuse to finally do all the things around the house I have been neglecting for the last few months, but I’m going to be pawning off the rest of the holidays this year on my mother-and-sisters-in-law.  (Sorry, girls!)  The house was clean, the food was good, but the best part was that it was Sydney’s first Easter (pictures by my father-in-law, the proud Grandpa):

Grandma brought Sydney a "basket" for Easter of books and stacking rings with all sorts of sounds and textures.  We have another reader in the family!

Grandma brought Sydney a "basket" for Easter of books and stacking rings with all sorts of sounds and textures. We have another reader in the family!

Alison and I.  We missed Rachael in our "sisters" picture - Steve had pneuomia and they weren't able to come...

Alison and I. We missed Rachael in our "sisters" picture - Steve had pneumonia and they weren't able to come...

Alison and Sydney.  Syd was trying to catch a taste of her dress...is there anything cuter than baby tongue?

Alison and Sydney. Syd was trying to catch a taste of her dress...is there anything cuter than baby tongue?

Sydney and Auntie Di.  She goes between being happy to see me, and wondering how she got to be related to such a crazy woman....

Sydney and Auntie Di. She goes between being happy to see me, and wondering how she got to be related to such a crazy woman....

For most of the time since Easter, I have had a horrible time sleeping.  Thanks to awesome pregnancy hormones, I have had not only my usual battery of vivid dreams, but nightmares almost every night.  And that is when I can sleep – despite Unisom and trying to wear myself out, I’ve had almost no sleep for the last week.  Last night, I could only sleep for about forty five minutes at a time.  Oddly, I feel pretty good today.  I’m not sure if this is entirely pregnancy-related, or if it’s just my usual every few months insomnia, but it can end now.  I only have about three more months before I have a newborn in the house, and I have to stock up on my sleep now!

Coming Up:

*Wednesday is the Just Between Friends preview sale, where I will be looking for a highchair and whatever other cuteness I can find for our little one.  Christy will be coming with me, as Jeff has the condo association meeting.  (I am guessing that Jeff is glad I am not going to the association meeting with him, as I have had it up to here with the association, but that’s a story for another time).

*Thursday I have my 25 week appointment at the OB (we are a week off from the usual schedule due to the perinatal visits).  Shouldn’t be anything terribly exciting.

*First week in May I will  be back at the immunologist’s office to work out a birth plan with relation to the HAE.

*Week after that, we’ll be back at the perinatal doc’s for another ultrasound (!) and hopefully an agreement between all the doctors on how to handle labor.

Wow.  It’s almost like this is actually going to happen soon!

Also, WE HAVE A NAME!  And we are not telling, so don’t even ask.

Last Saturday, Jeff and I babysat our niece, Sydney, while her parents were at the Gophers game.  (We aren’t going to talk about the game.  It didn’t make Mike a happy fan.)

1272009-001Alison left us a schedule with Sydney’s routine, and she followed it almost to the minute, which was actually kind of funny.  It was also a bummer, because her frequent, but short, napping schedule didn’t leave us enough time for things like….

Snuggling with Uncle Jeff…

1272009-002Playing in her bouncy thing.  We came while she was having a nap, and this was the time where she was evaluating just what had gone on.  The food was right, the house was familiar, but the people weren’t quite as she remembered….

And then it was time for another nap.  1272009-007Auntie Di rocked her to sleep.

It was fun.  Sydney is getting so big, and her personality is really starting to show through.  She’s getting really good at grabbing.  I think that she’s going to be right handed – she grabbed with her right hand a lot, and when she was in the bouncy, her left arm was down while she played with stuff with her right.  Time will tell….

I’ve been  feeling the baby move off and on for the last couple of weeks, but that day the kid went WILD.  I think there was some cousin to cousin communication going on!  I’d never felt so much activity.

But a couple of days later, it seemed as if it wasn’t just cousin love going on.  Christy, Gwen and I stopped over at Sarah’s and I got to have a quick snuggle with Alice.  After I handed her back to Sarah, this is what she did:

image054Not even born, and the kid’s already making friends.

I was so happy to learn that my friend Rae finally has a court date to adopt her kids from Ethiopia.  Rae has had a referral for a 18 month old girl and 3 year old boy for several months (which puts the girl closer to two now, I suppose!), but got caught up in all the legal wrangling and crap that goes along with international adoption.

As much as I have teased her that she is going about achieving motherhood in a much easier way than I am, I know that’s not true.  Whie I may have nausea and food aversions, she’s had the heartbreak of knowing that these two are HER children, and she can’t get her arms around them yet.

So, the count down to March 25 is on.  Please send happy thoughts to Rae.  I can’t wait to see her kids and their big brown eyes and tell them how, how very wanted and loved they already are.