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Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Christmas Baby

This year I've got for you an amazing OOAK baby as the 2010 Christmas baby!!
Truly one of my best babies, with almost maniacal attention to detail and coloring, this baby boy will steal your heart...
Stay tuned because he will be going up for sale TONIGHT!!
If you are not in my mailing list, keep an eye out on this blog as I will post the details here too (pictures, price etc).

Lots of special accessories with him too... and his name? What else? Noel!!! :) :)

What? A preview you say??
Why, certainly!! :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Christmas present for YOU..

It's time to give something back and thank you for your wonderful support over the years!! I know sometimes I haven't been easy to work with but you have stood by me very graciously :)

So I would like to return the favor!!
This little boy will come to live with one of YOU... (the one in the back - note he will come differently dressed).
This is Nono, in resin, he is number 3 of 50 in white skin tone. He is a Ball Jointed 4" baby boy (anatomically correct).



All you have to do is send me an e-mail to tina (at) tinakewy dot com, with the subject "My Christmas Wish". Tell me what you wish for this Christmas and enter to win! (one entry per e-mail address please).
Your e-mail will be entered into my mailing list and on Christmas day, a winner will be chosen at random. E-mails will be numbered in the order (time stamp) they are received. Closing date is December 24th at midnight Pacific Standard Time. (if you live in a different part of the world, you might want to check http://www.worldtimeserver.com/)

Offer is open to anyone in the world, I will ship worldwide!

Merry Christmas to all!!
Hugs
Tina

Monday, December 13, 2010

In my past life...

.. I must have done something absolutely terrible, horrible.. I must have been a mass murderer of pregnant women or something or a maneater... because this is the only explanation I can give as to why things are so hard for me in THIS life... Just got off the phone with the school ministry. They denied John his school helper... I was in hysterics... and here is the "I want to die now" feeling again...

Stuff..

I am editing my post because as a friend said, a certain someone might read it and this will cause me more trouble. The post has done it's job, I've gotten my thoughts and my troubles out there and I feel better!

Thanks to those who mailed me and stood by me. I've gotten it off my chest, I feel a tad better and I say, let's just get through the Holidays and as they say in Greece, God is gracious, He won't abandon me (I know that already!).

Hugs to all
Tina

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chunkalicious OOAK baby for sale tomorrow!!

A new adorable, CHUNKY baby OOAK is going up for sale tomorrow!!
This adorable baby girl is 8" tall (6" with very bent legs) and is the fattest, chunkiest, baby with the cutest cheeks ever!!
She comes with two outfits, accessories and even a pacifier!!

If you are not on my mailing list, send me an e-mail to tina (at) tinakewy dot com and put "Mailing List" as the subject of your message.
I am really excited about this one, she will make someone a very happy mommy!!

Until tomorrow!
Tina

PS. Oh stop twisting my arm!! Fine, fine... a preview lol :)

Naunitta

As promised here is a post for Naunitta and Nono, my first resin BJDs.
I know I've got my very own style and it might not get accepted in the larger BJD community (like DoA) but it's ok. So, Naunitta and Nono arrived last month! I sold the first Caucasian and Tan Naunitta at the show in Germany and the White a little later, before I even had a chance to photograph the first two :)
I am very pleased with how they turned out, except I wanted the White skin to be more translucent so we changed that later on and I am very happy with how she turned out!!

I am sculpting a sleeping head and fisted hands for the boy and girl bodies so there will be 3 babies: Naunitta (awake, smiling), Nono (making a funny face) and Nanette (sleeping peacefully).
Here is some eye candy for you. I've got 2 more White and two more Caucasian coming if you are interested..and tan...




Sunday, December 05, 2010

Still alive and kicking!!

Hi everyone!
I am still alive and kicking, just super duper busy!!
Let's see, I travelled to Germany last month and I was sick... supposedly it was a mild cold except it brought me to my knees for TWO FULL WEEKS!!!

The boys celebrated their 5th birthday on the 14th November! We had a small party at my apartment and it was sweet, nice and wonderful all at once. We only invited 4 other couples with their kids, seriously, we couldn't accommodate more! lol
The next day we headed over to my MIL's where we had a 2nd cake ..

John got his therapy/service dog, a purebred black Labrador (Britanny type) named Pandora.
We've had her for 6 weeks now and she is AMAZING... We have seen great postive changes in John and Cody!! She has settled in beautifully and loves us! She is SO well trained!!! :) She is an ex champion dog (her mother is the World Class Champion) that was retired and put into service.


Her most favorite thing in the world is play ball!! And the best part is, they donated her to us!!! You know who you are, THANK YOU!!!

Oh! And I've got the Naunittas and Nonos!! They came out WONDERFUL in resin, so wonderful you won't believe!! :)
Gotta run, I promised the boys to make Toll House cookies today and I've got to finish this year's Christmas baby (not sure if it will actually BE before Christmas, I started her back in AUGUST!!!!) and finish some other things and decorate the tree today!!
Many hugs to all and have a wonderful Sunday!
Tina

PS. Here is one more pic of Pandora... just because she is so awesome!!

We couldn't get her a top cape because the purpose of a therapy dog is to be touched and petted!! But because she also does service work, she had to wear some kind of harness so we could tie John to her so we got her this for her comfort. The certification tags go on there but there is still room for the child harness to be attached to her and leaves enough of her back free to be petted! And my, she LOVES to be petted... and scratched and played with!!! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won

I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won,I won!!!
The Colliii award 2010 for best OOAK newborn with baby Khian!!
I would scream but I am too sick and I have now lost my voice....
THANK YOU for your good wishes!!!
Hugs
Tina

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Virus

Sorry guys if you haven't heard from me. I came down with this virus yesterday, one day after we got John's service dog home. Yeah didn't tell you about that, did I?
As soon as this blasted fever is down I will write more.
What a week. The boys didn't have school yesterday and today (National Day in Geece) and I am beyond exhausted...and sick... and I've got my, you know... girl thingy.
I want to roll over and sleep for a decade.
I will live I supposed.
Talk to you later!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Naunitta & Nono *Resin Pics*

Ok so TWO posts with cute baby photos in one day?
Wow! :)
Ok so I have about 10 more minutes, I gave myself a break and I wanted to share...(used with permision of course)

Remember my first BJDs to be made in LE Resin? Here are some actual resin pics.
Remember you can order them, I will have 6 for immediate shipping.
(Click to enlarge)

Here you see all three skin tones, white, tan and natural.

A bit of good news!

Hi everyone!!
I have some exciting news to share with you. I entered 3 dolls (OOAKs) to the Colliii Awards this year and all three are Nominees!!!
Thank you all for liking my dolls. There were some AWESOME entries this year, I was so proud to see dear artist friends, some of which I've known for many years and their out of this world creations! I tell you, they blew my mind more than once!!! Way to go girls!!!! :)

So without further ado here you go: (just the two, I can't find my photos for the third one, grrrrr, stupid broken computer!)
Baby Khian (pronounced Key-Anne)
Click to enlarge!



And the portrait of my very own John, as "Early Bird" (he was almost 5 wks early lol). This is actual size in his father's hands. Yes he was that small!! :):)

Wish me luck for the rest of the competition!
And I too wish good luck to my fellow Nominees :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An update :)

Hi people,
I apologize if I have been lost this past month but the truth is I feel Like I am going through the worst phase of my (personal) life.

Here is a list of what happened to me in September:

1) The school started a committee to get John and Cody away from their school because of their special needs. They don't seem to care where they end as long as they are not in that school (public school and before you ask yes it is illegal and yes we are fighting tooth and nail).

2) John went through the system once more and was formally diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism) as well as his other neurological (CP) and other issues. We now have a VERY formal paper saying our son is special needs... we've had a paper anyway so he could receive services but this is the mother of papers if you'd like.

3) I was in a car accident! Not my fault, a "racer" driver crashed into me... the damage to my (one year old) car was 1100 Euros!! We will eventually get that money back ... eventually is the key word. While in shop, they fried my car battery!! I spent another100 Euros out of pocket to get a new one...

4) My phone's touch pad broke following a short fall... 100 euros to fix it and since I don't have it, I haven't fixed it yet!

5) A doll got lost in the mail... he is held at US customs in NY. It is the second time this happens in 13 years I have been shipping. The first time the doll was delivered after a month btw.
Thankfully the collector (who has been sent all paperwork and has been following/tracking online too) has been wonderful!! :) (Thanks P!!)

6) I need to take care of my dad which I like to do but things are SO difficult, my psychology is hitting rock bottom, I can't even find the courage to get out of bed in the morning. I am terrifier of what I will face during the day.

BTW we filled charges against the teachers.They were calling my boys "babies" in front of everyone.. MY SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS WERE BEING TAUNTED BY THEIR TEACHERS!!! Can you even BELIEVE it?
We are in a race with the government to find help for the boys, secure a special ed teacher and another school (super hard, the laws are idiotic at best).

Through this all we ended up with ZERO money. We drained our (poor) accounts with the car repair, John's 8 doctor's appointments this week, utilities, gas to all those appointments etc.
I desperately need to finish and sell a life size OOAK but honestly, I can't :( I feel so horrible inside... I have been trying, I did get some headway (even by sheer force of will!!) but I need to FINISH something to get us back on our feet a little $$.

Inspite all that, things are work are not bad. All three of the OOAKs I entered at the Colliii are nominated for an award. I would LOVE to win.. I have lost faith in everything, even in my ability to sculpt. :(
Seriouly folks, I have never felt so low... mostly because I thought we caught whatever was wrong with John so early, he would be "like everyone else" when he went to school... yet here we are and though he has come a LOOOONG way, is he like everyone else? No.... he sticks out like a sore thumb... and not only that, nobody is willing to help him in the stupid public system we are in. It is a rotten system :(

I so need a pick me up... I need to get back on my feet. I am a very cheery person.. I am bubbly.. I don't let things drag me down too much or for too long.. this time however... I think it's done me in... it's been a whole month and I am still in a deep dark hole..and not even the sweet smiles of my boys can get me out ... and I worry :(

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Autistic

Today was the day we received the final diagnosis for John...
He is Autistic. I wasn't prepared for this. There was a PPD-Nos diagnosis in his chart which was dropped back in March due to improvement by the neurologist but the child psychiatrists after a detailed evaluation are certain he is Autistic...

On the mild side, yes, they talked of Asperger's Syndrome and Fragile X but this is a table turned for us as we need to head in a different direction.

So many bad things have happened to us in September that today I kept thinking "is this when I die?".. I mean how much more can I take psychologically? I feel like an emotional wreck...
I look at him today and think "Autistic" and everything has changed, yet nothing really has.. he is still the boy he was yesterday, right?

I had hoped his issues were of the sensory integration type, I wasn't expecting this diagnosis.. High functioning Autism... sigh...

I SO need a pick me up right about now... please God...something, anything...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Surgeries & car accidents

Surgery Update: My dad pulled through, they had to remove almost all the organs in the belly except kidneys and intestines but he is (presumably) cancer free and predicted to live a long life with a urostomy.

My update: I had my first real car crash this afternoon. The guy in front of me breaked hard, I managed to stop in time but the guy in the back didn't and he crashed into me pushing me onto the guy in front (who took off because he had an illegal thingie on his car).

My new car (well, a year old so NEW) is wrecked front and back... ok not too much but we will need to replace both front and rear fenders. I am shocked and shaky and have a headache but I (think) I don't have a concusion, I feel ok, not sleepy or nauseous.

Also this morning John was signed up as a PSYCHIATRY patient :( He needs help with his behavior and I need help in helping him with behavior.. .my 5 year old sees a psychiatrist :(
I am not doing good girls, I must admit. My own psychology is in the pits. Too much too soon, all at once.

Will write more later.
Thanks for praying for my dad!!
T.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still surgery...

.. he's been in there for 3 hrs already... how long is too long when removing half a person's organs?
I am only hoping this means the surgeon is dilligent rather than he ran into unexpected findings :(
Please keep praying for my dad!
Thank you, I will update you when I can...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tomorrow's the day - Prayers appreciated

Tomorrow's the day... My dad is having his cancer removal surgery.
They will for sure remove his bladder and ureter, possibly the prostate and kidney and whatever else the cancer has affected, they are not sure what yet and won't be until they "go in".

Admist all this I have somehow remained functional even if by just barely. I can't imagine my life without my dad. He is the sweetest and most optimistic person on the planet. He does not think of his life afterwards as anything but a pleasure and a victory. He does not care he will have a urine collection bag for the rest of his life, all he is thinking about is he will be pain free and ready to move about...

He just turned 60 a few months ago.
The problem is, he might be able to go back to work but in Greece once you qualify for pension you don't get it right away. There is about 18 months' worth of waiting (don't ask me why, I am not sure, all I know is it is absurd!) before they start pay you... he will need my help financially (and in other ways of course) and this worries me a little because it's not that I don't want to help him... it is just that I might not be able to help him in that respect :(

Anyway, one thing at a time... we will cross that bridge when we get to it...
For now, please storm the Gates of Heaven with your prayer for my dad to make it through surgery and maybe, things won't be so bad in there... and please pray for a complete recovery and a long, full, cancer-free life.

Please forgive me if I am out of touch tomorrow, I am not sure if I will be home at all.
Thanks again!
Tina

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Naunitta & Nono

A few years ago I became obsessed with Ball Jointed Dolls. I had seen a couple in the Ahoy Show in the Netherlands and I started researching them.... as usual, it wasn't long until I wanted to make my own... but of course adult dolls didn't really "do" anything for me so I turned to babies (c'mon you are not surprised at all are you?;))

I made my first one in 2007... her name was Miyadorie and I was SO in love with her!!

Now, you must understand that at the time, I had never owned a BJD and I "guessed" about how she was supposed to be. She moved and stood alright, but I hadn't yet figured out how to string such a doll so she had some... ehm, improviations...

I was hooked!! You see, realistic babies are my passion (and my greatest stress) but these BJDs are my FUN!! And I needed some fun... I could sculpt without worrying too much about realism, I could let my (limited I admit) imagination go wild because these were something between an anime cartoon child and a human child...

Then I created Meggie...

Meggie was a baby of about 2... and she was better than my Miyadorie, technically...
Then Mei Li Hua was born...
And she was better than all three :)

And the years passed and recently Harper:

 
And Gigi

... joined the ranks and by then I had figured out everything and no improvisations were made lol :)
I could now sculpt directly in polymer clay and string the dolls without missing a beat...

Except now I wanted one in RESIN.. you know... a real BJD... and over the years I made each one with the hopes of "it" being the correct one to reproduce... and I was looking and looking for someone, anyone to do it but doll companies were either asking a fortune (in the range of thousands) or weren't even answering and those who sculpted and casted did not have time (or wanted?) to do mine :(

But then... I found someone and he had done it before!! And he did not ask for a thousand dolls for the molds... and then again I waited for the right baby to be born... and one Sunday here she was...
And I was desperately in love with this cheeky, full of character little girl and her potential...
The tiniest I had ever gone, just over 4", her face the size of my thumbnail... She brought a smile to my face but most importantly to my heart...
And I can't wait to get her back in resin :)


And not only that... a few days later she got a twin brother. A big step for me to sculpt a face like this but I will tell you what...if he doesn't make you smile, I will refund your money lol :)


(PS this is before I changed her eyes for more realistic ones)


(I must warn you though, this little chunk, eats a LOT, bananas being a favorite!!)

I love baby BJDs... who cares if they not welcome on DOA? lol :)
I love them and can't wait to set up their nursery...

BTW if you make clothes for such tiny babies or furniture please contact me :)

Now tell me, don't they make YOU smile?? :)

Have a great week everyone.. and please keep my dad in your prayer list, he is going back to the hospital tomorrow and I wish I had better news :(

Friday, September 17, 2010

Depressed

Sigh... things have not been going well lately...
First this week wasn't exactly as I expected it... The boys were only kept in school for a few hrs instead of the full schedule...
On Monday (first day) we only stayed for an hour for blessings.
On Tuesday and Wednesday we took them home after two hrs.
On Thrusday and Friday they kept them until 12pm.

Their full schedule is 8.15am to 3.30pm which is what they were on last year as well, except Tuesdays and Thursdays when they have therapy and I must get them at 1.30 for our 2 o'clock class.
So this week went by and a) I couldn't get used to the early wake up (neither can the kids!). I've been DRAGGING all day every day because I am supposed to go to bed at 11pm but since I am not sleepy at 11pm, I end up going to bed at 2am which is my usual...and I get up 6.30am.... and then I am too tired to concentrate on anything during the day.

Today was a rough day. I had a horrible, horrible fight with George. He wanted the boys NOT to be picked up from school at 1.30 but instead push their therapies at 4 (until 6!!). Remember my boys go to bed at around 7.30 to 8, so basically because it "didn't fit his needs" he wanted the boys to be working from 7am to 6pm...
I won after a good hour of screaming and crying which left me with red eyes and drained.

Then my dad who as you remember has cancer, had more tests with a new doctor and they are NOT good :(
God please I don't want you to take my dad!!! Please!!! :( :(

Then today we sterilized our kitten because he was starting to look for females (he is 6m).
Cody had a fit, even though we discussed in advance how Merlin would look and act post surgery. He was howling (Cody not Merlin) that we were killing his "brother" and we had to go back in the Vet's so he could be re-assured by the Vet, his cat would be fine.

I am SO tired and drained today. I want to crawl under a rock.. I am depressed :(

Not even my new BJD can cheer me up :(
(which btw you can pre-order but I will make a post of her own)
Sigh....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

School starts! School Starts!!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're only a day awaaaaay!!

School starts tomorrow!! We have blessings (uhm, a Christian Orthodox thing) at 9.30 am and we will "pop in" to meet our teacher and say hi... then we go home. And then Tuesday they go in full day...
I reckon I won't get much done tomorrow but come Tuesday, I am planning big :)

Oh and after 3 days of relentless pain and careful juggling of pain medication, anti-inflamatories, protective pills for the stomach (because I already have one ulcer from stress), binding my wrist and just moaning and groaning and not sleeping, today I feel much better! The swelling has gone down, my elbow is semi-bending now and I must have gotten at least 5 solid hrs of sleep last night! YAY FOR ME!!! :)

Oh and my PC broke down AGAIN... but this time I think I got it figured out. It was the graphics card all along because it finally died 2 days ago, the next day I went to the PC stock house and got a cheapie one and now said PC (his name is Orion btw) works FINE!!!

Still, I can see an upgrade is in my future. Since June one by one things have been failiing in my PC (remember I've already replaced a Hard Drive, fans and now the graphics card) ... I will think about that later!

Hope you all have a great Sunday!
Tina

Friday, September 10, 2010

Death by mosquito bite...

OMGosh, you can't believe the pain I am in right now!!
You see, I am deathly allergic to mosquitoes... I haven't always been... it started last year, when each mosquito bite would turn into an ugly welt... then this year, I am even more allergic, each bite growing and growing until it is the size of a small plate on my skin.

Two days ago I got bitten several times... one of them, right in the elbow joint. My arm is burning hot, red and angry. I can't bend my elbow very well and did I mention the PAIN??
I didn't get a wink of sleep last night!

My arm is so swollen, not enough blood gets to my hand and my fingers are tingling... It's one of those "please kill me now" moments...
Yesterday, while the welt wasn't quite so big as today and when I still had use of my arm, I got a migraine which is super common for me.
Because the only pills that work (Excedrin Migraine), kill my stomach I had to chose between treating my ever growing migraine OR my ever growing welts, because you know, the OTHER pill that I could take, an anti-inflamatory, ALSO kills my stomach. And I picked the migrain... BIIIIIG mistake... because my stomach was ok BUT I didn't get a wink of sleep.
I couldn't get comfy and I went numb several times.

As I am writing this, I have taken the anti-inflamatory this morning... it killed my stomach. I really wanted to RIP IT OUT (the stomach)... I was semi-ok for about 8 hrs and now the drug was left my system and I won't get a wink of sleep tonight either.
Ice only helps for a little while and now my fingers are going numb too..
Curse you mosquitoes!!!

(oh and btw wanna hear a good one? The doctor said "take an anti-inflamatory and REST"... HA!!!! Rest! HAHAHAHAHA... Doctors are SO stupid... I've got two small kids and a big kid (hubby) and it's the weekend tomorrow.. Rest... yeah right... I can hear them already "Pancakes mommy! Toast mommy! Coffee honey! What are you cooking for lunch honey? Will you take the kids out? Will you go to the fresh produce market? Sorry I can't help, I need a nap, be a good wifey and do everything like you always do...)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Curse you Dremel!! I have irrevocably spoiled!!

There was a time when I could sculpt WITH MY BARE HANDS... Yessir! I could just grab that clay and using only the tip of my fingers and a toothpick, fashion out critters, no problem...
But then, I started buying TOOLS and that was all fine and dandy for a while because now I could sculpt smaller, more detailed and all around nicer...

One day I was just going about my business visiting one of my favorite places, Praktiker (where they sell everything and anything including a million things I can get creative with!!) and I saw it... THE DREMEL...
And I bought it... and then I bought ... PARTS for it and whaddayaknow, doing BJDs suddenly became a walk in the park...

Oh the equal, perfectly round holes I didn't have to do by hand (using a toothpick) before I baked... How the pieces fit together... It didn't even matter that it took me DAYS to put the darn thing togethere or the fact I was covered in clay dust from head to toe... I just LOVED doing it...

And now... now my Dremel is in The Studio..and I am home and it's Sunday and George is on duty and I can't GO to The Studio to get it AND I HAVE A CRAVE TO FINISH A BJDDDDDD WAAAAAAH!!
And I can't do it anymore without my Dremel... because it's perfection and I am not and now I saw perfect round holes I can't live without theeeeeeem!!!!

CURSE YOU DREMEL FOR BECOMING MY RIGHT HAND IN BJD SCULPTING!!!! You and your hundred tips and bells and whistles... AND YOUR PERFECTLY ROUND HOLES!!!!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

A preemie...

... from my own heart... my little John, as I remember him... (not available)

And yes he was that smal :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Torticollis

I've found the name for what John has. It is Torticollis due to injury or inflamation (he did take a bad spill last night just before he went to bed, but I didn't connect the dots because he seemed fine afterwards).

Because his Torticollis is due to injury/inflamation, it is very painful. Even with the collar, his head is to the side and his shoulders crooked :(
I guess it's the position of ease for him right now.
Poor little thing :(
He's been in the couch all afternoon watching cartoons but he did eat a little (he just downed two halves of canned peaches - his favorite).
Sigh... here's to a better day tomorrow.!

Prayers needed for my John

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to take a minute and ask for some good thoughts/positive energy and prayers for my John.
He went to bed fine last night but woke up in the wee hrs of the morning in terrible pain, his neck seized up and became immobile.

I took him to Children's this morning and he has something which in Greek means "crooked neck". Basically his neck joints are seized up in one position, throwing his head and shoulders off to the right and he is unable to move either his neck or his shoulders (this causes tremendous pain for him).

They put him in a neck thingie, a collar and he will have to wear it for at least 10 days even in sleep and take it off only for showers.
I have no idea how he ended up like this, he wasn't not hurt, there was no draft in his room and he did not go to bed with wet hair or something... It just... happened ... for NO apparent reason.

He was like a rag doll (and the wait in the hospital was LOOOOOONG) but got to ride in a wheelchair and he now goes around showing everyone "his bones" (x-rays).. As soon as the collar went on, he seemed relieved and even ate and drank a bit.
He slept in the car ride home, he was exhausted from the heat, the pain and the wait and all the tests...

So please keep him in your prayers and if you don't hear from me today, please forgive me, I've had a rough night too and got very little sleep, I am literally banging on the corners in my apartment :(

Thanks all,
Tina

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Your opinion needed :)

Oh wow!!
I got something like, 15 e-mails about Maddie :)
Thanks girls for liking her so much :)
I think she's found her mommy :)

Question: Some of you said you'd love a resin realistic preemie like Maddie (29 weeks about 15") and I was wondering: is there really interest for such a baby?
I mean, I can see she will have a use in a NICU and maybe my orders from hospitals would be increased but I didn't know so many people liked realistic preemies :)

Let me know and I'll see what I can do :)
Until next time,
Tina

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Maddie...

She entered the world late last night, long after sleep had descended upon the inhabitants of this city...
With a kitten like cry, she declared "Here I am!" and stretched her long, stick thin limbs to say hello...

So tiny, so perfect, so strong... I love preemies with all my heart and I pray one day, each and every one will get to home healthy ...

Meet Maddie... she will soon be looking for her forever mommy...


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Mystery Baby

The Mystery Baby I'm not allowed to tell you about, loves sticking her feet through her crib's railings and then wails as she can't get them back in....

The Studio...

The situation in our tiny apartment was becoming desperate... After having the boys, they naturally occupied the 2nd bedroom, which like its counterpart, in American terms would probably be deemed as the size of a "walk in closet". Ok so yes, we live in a very small apartment, all four of us and the boys will never have their own room until they get a job and move out...

You might remember my post a while back where I'd showed you my sculpting table (a Tablemate by the couch)... so back in May an opportunity, like a sign from Above, came my way and I bit the bullet and I rented "The Studio"... an equally small "apartment" which by American standards, is the size of your very standard master bedroom... One room with a small teeny tiny bathroom with just enough room for a toilet and a sink, the "shower" being... the whole room... There is a shower head on the wall and a faucet and you just stand between the toilet and the sink and you... shower...

To me however, "The Studio" is my dream come true. Finally for the first time in 9 years I have all the space I need!! The room is cut in two by a kitchen counter and because my brother moved in with my dad, I "inherited" a fridge and a stove (which doesn't fit to go in the space alloted for it but I digress...).

My fridge is curretnly filled only by two water bottles and a supply of ready made Latte Machiatto from Aldi.
Later I have plans to fill it wil fresh produce so that I can snack healthily while I work. (I am however, very sure that the occasional chocolate bar will find its way in there too... you know... for the hard days ;))

"The Studio" is located at the very top of a building which affords me with a spectacular view of Athens all the way to the (nearby) sea and the Parthenon but also dooms me to a relentless sun in the summer and freezing cold in the winter...
These days, being the heart of summer, "The Studio" is a sauna!!
After being in there for 5 minutes, sweat starts pouring down your face and you run to the fridge to grab the water bottles... (note to self: buy fruit popsicles too!)
I suspect clay will turn to mush but since I can't afford an air conditioner unit, I think I will get a $100 air cooler.

The winter will be an easier affair because "The Studio" does have heating via natural gas but winter in Greece is a long way off, usually we do not require heat until November (and then winter comes relentless until March in which time we equally freeze and have sunny days - and loads of doctors visits because our immune systems go haywire because of the wacky weather).

Right this minute "The Studio" is set up. Yes, it's taken me THIS long to get my stuff packed, moved there, the fixtures to be hung, the curtains to be hemmed and hung, the photography wall painted, the nursery furniture borrowed and put together and my desk assembled...

Right now, I have unpacked almost everything and marvelled at how much storage SPACE I have... you know, with not going to be putting anything like plates or glasses or FOOD in the kitchen, I can use all those cupboards and shelves for MY STUFF!!

I reckon another day or two and I will be able to work there... except even if I put everything away and I turn the place spotless, I won't really be able to work there because of the HEAT!!! Which makes the need to buy an air cooler kind of urgent...
Although secretly I hope to be able to postpone said purchase of air cooler until the boys are in school by which time I will have time to work...

Three weeks baby... three more weeks and then school starts... and the fun begins!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I guess I know what my dream was about...

... I just pulled a head out of the oven.. the head of a preemie sized baby... and it has cracked from one temple all the way through to the opposite temple...
Huh... I guess he will now either be a reborn kit or a resin edition.. .I can't sell him as an OOAK with a flaw like that (btw I did fix it).
SUCH a cutie too, I will post pics when I finish him, I am sure you will love him...
Well, I will go with the flow... whatever is meant to be, will be... and it's obvious he wasn't meant to be an OOAK... and yes even after 13 years of baking OOAKs, I still do get a cracked one here and there ;)

Breathless

I went to bed with a headache last night and woke up several times in the night by the boys wailing for a drink at 3 and 4am, with a headache still.
I got up in the morning and took something for it and now I feel better... but... I've had a dream I want to tell you about.

It was vivid, I was living it and I woke up crying with my pillows soaked.
In the dream I had babies... not just my two, but after them I had more... I had sextuplets and they had died... I had two in the NICU, tiny and conjoined (I know, strange!). My grandmother was alive and she was telling me how they would be fine... and I in turn was telling her that it wouldn't be because even if they did live, they would have brain damage and when they were separated each would only have one and and one leg.. "this is not a life worth living" I told my grandmother and I burst out crying.

I then called the NICU and they told me to come straight away. It was urgent. In my dream I was not living smack dab in the middle of capital like I am now, but in the country. I didn't know how to get to the NICU (I also apparently didn't drive in my dream or owned a car) but by some miracle, there was a taxi coming by.
"Please", I desperately wailed to the driver (who was sitting on the right side so I must have been in England!) "Please, take me to the Children's Hospital, as fast as you can..."

I cried and I cried and cried in my dream, my heart aching. I woke up breathless and with tears running down my cheeks.
What a STRANGE dream.... My heart still hurt an hour later, heavy with a grief about something that hasn't happened (and I doubt it ever will).
Not only that, but the whole concept of the dream was not depicting my views at all. In the first part I wanted to pull the plug on the babies (I didn't find out if they were boys or girls) and when they told me they were dying, all I wanted to do was to keep them alive...
On top of that, I do not believe that a life without a limb "is  a life not worth living". On the opposite I find our society puts too much weight on able bodiness. I've got a kid with 2/3 of a brain functioning and a body he doesn't yet command very well and I certainly believe that his life is very much worth living, especially since he's fought so much for a right in it.

Strange dream... and my heart is STILL hurting. My poor poor dream babies :( Whatever happened to them?
And I miss my grandma SO much... she was the one who pushed me in my creative endeavors as a child. If you have a Kewy in your collection and you love that baby, then it's my grandma you need to thank for her. If it wasn't for her support and faith in me, I would never have develop my artistic skills as much as I did. And she LOVED my dolls... she was my biggest fan... I only wish she had gotten to meet the boys :(

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Funny how things turn out...

When you wake up in the morning, the day is still full of promise and even though from the moment you get up, you run a mental list of "things to do" in your head, you never really know how the day will pan out.

I had the perfect plan for today: get up, take the boys to IKEA and have breakfast and then let them play in Smalland for the two hrs alotted while I read a book I had wanted to read since it was announced (Half-Baked by Alexa Stevenson) and had come in yesterday's mail.

The boys did not want breakfast so I took them in to play while I enjoyed my cappuccino and it's free refill while reading my book.
About 20 minutes after I had settled down, my dad called asking me to go to the other side of the city to pick up some test results of his.. I adore my dad and I would have loved to help, but at the moment, I felt lazy and a tiny bit annoyed because, I had just sat down to drink a coffee in peace which is a rare thing for me now the boys are out of school... plus G. is on duty today so I (thought) I had the day to myself, free of rules, demands and restrictions (although I could hear my husband in my head "Don't keep them up past their bedtime" "Do the dishes, iron my clothes, where's my dinner? I want dessert" etc)

I called my brother who lives like, 5 minutes away from the exam center where my dad's results were kept and asked him to walk over and pick them up.
Turns out the lazy sod never did because just as we were sitting down for lunch in IKEA my dad called to tell me he went to pick up his test results and he had a car accident and could I please get there ASAP?

Da-duhm!! You never know how your day will pan out..
I hurriedly shoved Swedish meatballs into my kids' mouths as I called my brother, fuming.
WHERE ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH WERE YOU?? I barked into the receiver after he picked up (on my third try to reach him!)  AND WHY DID YOU LET DAD GO PICK UP THE TEST RESULTS WHEN I SPECIFICALLY ASKED YOU TO DO IT TWO HOURS AGO???

At this point I was feeling a lot guilty. Had I gone to pick them up myself, my dad wouldn't be driving. But on the other hand, what was I supposed to do? The boys were playing downstairs, would it have been fair to get them out after only 30 minutes and drag them crying and protesting across town?

Turns out dad doesn't have insurance... and he crossed a STOP sign. True it is a very weird and hard to see STOP sign and I know because twenty minutes after his call I was there and I had to stop the STOP sign, hiddne behind a tree branch, myself... but still the law is the law.

I think there must be some sort of court held and authorities notified because it is an uninsured vehicle involved (my dad's)...
My stomach was (is) in a knot as I drove the kids home. My brain is already working out ways to pay for my dad's car damage because I know in his salary, he can't afford to fix it.
All because my brother (who is 27 and unemployed, waiting for the "big chance" to fall into his hands so he can turn his life over) was too lazy to get up from playing WOW and go pick up the test results, five minutes from his home....
Or because I didn't want to leave my hot cappuccino and my book and my two hrs of childless peace and quiet... I feel SO guilty... and drawn into different directions...
Whose fault was it really?
*sigh*

Hopefully this too shall pass... and for the record, my dad's test results weren't good :(

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm back, PC is fixed & I am eager to sculpt!! :)

Lol, I've missed sculpting!!!
I am back, we got the boys, we celebrated our collective name days, we (hubby and me) decided we don't like the village, we spent $300 for 3 days (groceries for the kids, gas and tolls - it's a VERY long drive!) and we returned last night, bathed the kids and crashed out...

This morning, I took my PC out of the desk, in order to remove the power supply and the CPU fan (which wasn't revolving at all Saturday monring - hence the dead PC)... I put the PC on the table and it's full with dust bunnies... so I vacuumed it (I did!!), and used that canned spray thingie, and I get covered in a cloud of dust, and I am not overstating... next thing I know, MY PC IS WORKING AGAIN!!!

Yay!!! I just saved myself at least $100 on parts!!!
Thanks for being patient everyone... I am off to have lunch and reply to e-mails and I can't wait to show you what I've been up to lately :)

Take care!!
Tina

Saturday, August 14, 2010

No PC and extremelly short getaway

Hi everyone!!
This is coming to you live from hubby's laptop as m PC decided to graceully die last night...
I've been having trouble with it for about a month now (remember my HDD that died about a month ago?) but since last night it simply does not even start!!
Before that it would "eat" e-mails, either coming or going, it would shut off whenever it wanted and show me blue screens and shut off peripheral devices at whim...  sigh

Tomorrow is the 15th August. In Greek Orthodox Christianity this is the biggest religious day after Easter, the death of the Virgin Mary. I was named after the Virgin Mary and my boys (before I had them) were pledged to them so their middle names are traditional Greek names we use for Virgin Mary.
So tomorrow (except the fact that everything is closed), we also celebrate our name day. I have explained a few times what a name day is in Greece since from what I have been told, there is no such thing in other religions, only in Greek Orthodox Christianity.

Since the boys are in the village (and have been for a couple of days - a "present" by my mother in law so we could spend some time alone - first time in 5 years!) we are going to be driving there in a minute to pick them up. We will spend tonight and tomorrow there to celebrate and we will be driving back on Monday at which time I will go buy new fans for my CPU and a new power drive for my box and (crossing fingers) my PC should work.

Andrea I know you read my blog, I told you I had probs with my PC, please be patient until Monday when I will be home, I couldn't upload the pics, my PC kept shutting off (which apparently happens if your fan is not working).

Hope everybody will have a great weekend... :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just one more...

It's been a couple of months now that I began feeling that longing deep inside for another baby...

... just one more time...
... just one more baby...

God has been very gracious and generous with me because when 5 years ago I pledged my (future) baby to Him and prayed for a child, after years of battling infertility, he gave me not one but two children to call my own and bear the Virgin Mary's name (in Greek, John is also Mario and Cody, Panagiotis, both names used for the Virgin Mary).

My hands are full... so full.. yet my heart is a little less full these days... there is someone missing from our family... another baby... just one child... being pregnant just once more...

True, I had a very difficult pregnancy with the boys. I lost one baby, their triplet brother, and I almost lost John but here we are almost 5 years later and I am longing to hold a baby in my arms once more.

My heart is screaming for one... my brain knows right now it can't be done...
So I remain, hopeful, that one day...soon, I will get my wish.
When the time is right, I am sure the Lord will provide... until then... I wait... and I sculpt, wishing my body would produce a real baby, with the ease my hands and heart, produce clay ones...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

What's worse?

... having one of your infamou migraines that can last for days and disable you totally?

OR

... taking Excedrin Migraine which works wonders for said migraine (even if they take an hour to work!) and then feeling sick to your stomach and wanting to throw up/die??

I can't decide... now excuse me, I need to go hug a toilet bowl... or die... will let you know which...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Baaaack

Hello world, we're back!!

We had an awesome time on vacation but alas, like all good things, a week wasn't enough :(
*sigh*
Well, looking forward to next year... We can't afford more/other vacations throughout the year, so we will save out pennies for next year and maybe, next year we can do 10 days instead of a week :) We shall see.

The boys did good; of course there were times when they really got on our nerves but all in all they behaved great!! :)
Nothing like seeing other people's children *not* behaving to make you appreciate your children's behavior because let's face it, unless they are tired, they are pretty obedient kids :)
Sure, they have so much energy each could probably power Athens for a year if plugged in but hey, they are sparky, right?

I have taken many pics, I will post them as soon as I get a minute :)
I got 588 e-mails to answer, yikes! No, not all from customers but you know, from friends, relatives and the parenting and special needs forums I am a member of :)

I hope you all had a great time as well :)
Oh yeah, did I mention that the boys are now out of school until mid-September?
I have NO idea what I will do because by they time the day rolls by and they are in bed, I am exhausted... and last night I watched all the episodes of People Unknown and I am now thoroughly confused!!
 Hated Lost because of the lack of answers, now they throw this show at me...

Can't watch shows that are wacky... man, you are either totally fictional like Sci-FI (in which you buy anything they throw at you, because hey, it's SCI-FI!! IT COULD HAPPEN!!) or you are down to Earth like Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy! (what? Those could happen too!!!)
You should not be half-way in the air with no answers and crazy things happening that have no explanation like People Unknown!
My pea sized brain can't understand those shows... note to self: don't watch it, uses too much brain power.... zzzzzz

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Closed due to vacation ;)

Hello everyone!!
I've had a crazy week!!
The boys' school tried to charge us an extra month of tuition, Cody fell and bruised his tailbone which earned a day wasted in the ER, I had a full blown panic attack complete with non-stop screaming and crying until I couldn't breath (freaked the boys out!) :(
Yeah, fun stuff huh?

I am happy to report we are all on the mend, I've caught up with work (YAY!) and shipped pretty much every order out and now... now I can take a whole week to rest!

We are leaving in a few hours for a week... We will be back August 2nd, rested (hopefully, you never do knwo with two small kids!) and ready for sculpting! (well, I will be ready for sculpting, the rest of the family don't sculpt... except John...but that's another story).

Have a wonderful summer everyone!!
Dolly hugs!
Tina

Friday, July 09, 2010

Exhibit A

Have you ever used the excuse "the dog ate my homework"?
I think I will use it now, thankyouverymuch, but in my case it will be "the CAT ate it"... my work and my tools that is...
Exhibit A
Merlin the cat, 4 months, former stray. Rescued him from the jaws of a dog 450 times his size. Looks innocent doesn't he?
"Who me?" (purrrrrrrrrr)

Exhibit B
This was a sculpted and baked arm...
(note the tiny little teeth marks)


Exhibit C

My Sponge tool....



He also loves to eat papers... especially if it is an IMPORTANT piece of paper like, oh, a receipt of shipping or something!!

Having Merlin is like having a 2nd child after your first child (who is now much older) who happened to be an ANGEL (Beau). Merlin is a little devil!! Beau was (and is) such an angel pet. NEVER in any trouble, not a peep while growing up, calm cool and composed... and then Merlin happens to you... and KABOOM!!! There goes your life as you knew it!!

Thank God he is cute... and purrs... and thinks I am his mommy... and follows me around and sleeps in my arms... otherwise he would be in SOOOOO much trouble... MERLIN!! PUT DOWN THAT CLAY BALL!!!!!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Weekend update

Hi everyone!
Ok so let's see. I got a new HDD and hubby put on Windows 7 for me (yuck!) so my PC is now running.
 However I have yet to set up my e-mail program (Outlook) because all my settings, passwords and everything else, was ... you guessed it, in my other PC.

I've lost HDDs before but it was never the *primary* one... you know, the one that has everything in it!!!
Girls, I don't have ANYONE'S e-mail address at this point but I am hoping to get hubby to set up my e-mail (Outlook) today. If you've mailed me, I will get right back to you. If you've mailed me before Thursday and hadn't heard back, please mail me again, all these e-mails are now lost :(

On other news, the baptism went well. I was up cooking until 00:30am on Saturday. Only slept 4 hrs and then went off to set up the beach for the beach party afterwards. I did good photographing the event, everybody loved my favors and sweet treats (yay me!) but the feelings about the beach party afterwards were mixed. The older folk were not happy, they wanted something more traditional like sitting in a fancy restaurant and having people serving them so about 20 people left immediately.
That meant a TON of food going to waste as I had cooked for 100 and we were barely 40 at the beach!!

We ended up feeding the entire beach!! Ha!!!
(The lifeguards LOVED us!)

I got HORRENDOUS sunburn (I was wearing a sleeveless shirt but capri pants thank God!) which I didn't even notice with all the adrenaline pumping until I got home.
It hurts like... you know what.
Oh and my nose is also beet red!!
You see, we had kiosks and the people were sitting fine under them... but once I had set up and organized the waiters, I went off after my own kids who REALLY-WANTED-TO-PLAY-IN-THE-SEA... except they had bathing suits and I didn't!!! And you don't leave two 4 1/2 year olds to play alone near the water... hence the sunburn!

Now that it's over I am realizing just how involved I was in the last 3-4 weeks and just how behind I am at my own work :(
I have serious and FAST catching up to do... dolls need to go out NOW, sculpting must be done....
I am off to take the boys to school and then it's work work work for me...
Wish me luck but don't pat me on the back.. OUCH!!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The cherry on top

Sorry guys and gals if I went MIA again, but we are organizing a baptism which is to be held tomorrow for my nephew so as you can understand once again I got behind with work :(
And the cherry on top? Last night I went to my PC and there was a message "imminent primary hard drive failure, please back up your system"... YIKES!!!!
So I did back it up and discussed with George about getting a new HDD and this morning? My PC is DEAD!!! Wow, that's technology for you... it knew it was dying... how kind of my PC to warn me.

I am typing this from my husband's PC... I have no access to my e-mail so please if you have mailed me, please please be patient, I will get back to you Monday. I am off to buy a new hard drive and tomorrow while me and the boys are at the christening my husband will hopefully restore my system! (Windows 7 here I come!)

BTW I had a lady ask me about her doll last night but I didn't have a chance to reply that yes indeed she was shipped (from Germany, hope you are reading my blog so you are not worried!!!)

Wish me luck tomorrow!!
Until next time
Tina

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This and that

Hello world,
Long time no see :)
Truth is I've been both busy and too tired to blog much, but here's some new for you.
The boys are doing well with the exception of John who caught (another) virus is is sick... it's just the "usual", high fever, vomitting and the likes but as usual it came in a very bad moment because my best friend (no, make that my non-blood sister!) is christening her little boy and I am organizing the whole thing...NEXT WEEK. Gulp!

I've been wanting to sculpt something but I've got no clay!
I have been spoiled by a local store which brings my clay in for the past year or so but when I called to order some, they were all out! And they won't have more until the end of July!!!
So I had to order a few bars to get me by from the Netherlands... so hopefully I will sculpt someting in the new few days... maybe... if I find time. They take me forever to finish anyway these days. I might do a head in a week and then take me another two weeks for the limbs (and that's FAST these days lol). Gone are the days I could finish an OOAK in 3 days.

Another thing I am looking forward to is the elimination of my waiting list :) Yay!! Only 4 people to go people!!
No more waiting lists after that :)
Or pre-orders... or anything.
From now on, I will sell what is ready to ship only, so that should be an awesome change to customer service right? You pay one day you receive a few days later? Cool huh?

And to butter you over a little bit... here is an OOAK I finished recently.. and then Cody sat on her leg!! Ugh!!!


Oh! And also my friend had a baby and I headed over there a couple of weeks ago and sculpted... live! The actual baby!!! And it was so good to be reminded of scale and some detail (things you can't see in pictures) so this is my best newborn in a long time... wrinkly all over and chicken legged... One of these days, as soon as I find some time I will show you :)

Until then... peace lol :)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Exhausting but...

I had such a rewarding experience at the swim comps today!!
I took over 1000 pictures... my camera battery is drained, my back hurts, my arms are shaking (you try holding a camera with a 3lbs lens for an hour without support, ha!) but man I got some awesome pics!!!
A sneak peek... I am too exhausted for more... (click to enlarge)


The long awaited day...

I have always known I would be a "soccer" mom... what I didn't know was how important and filled with joy, bursting with pride, those "soccer" games would become...
True, my boys are not into soccer but they are completing their second year in the swim team!!
Today is the end of the year celebration complete with medals and certificates of excellence!!
Guess who is the photographer hired to cover this event? ME!!!!

I am bursting at the seams and have invited everyone I know to come... Last year my boys were SOOOO happy, beaming with joy... and this year... this year will be awesome!

"Ladies and gentlemen and now, a child who was not supposed to be born alive... who was not supposed to walk... who was thought had Angelman's Syndrome... presenting John Mario who not only walks, talks and is very intelligent but also SWIMS!!!" Yaaaaaay!!
(wild clapping and a few tears from mommy!)
"And his amazing twin, who is natural in swimming and will be drafted into the junior water polo team next year, Cody!!!!" Yaaaaaay!!

I am SOOOOO blessed... I am humbled... how can so much love fit into my heart? Suerely it will burst and the love will spill and fill the universe... I have no words.
Just wait for the pictures!!
Love,
Tina

Thursday, June 03, 2010

No power!

Ok let's see if this works. I am trying to put an update through my phone's browser. It's been a couple of hrs since we got home and we are still without electrical power. If you have mailed, don't freak out if I can't reply, as soon as the power is back I will :)
I am not ignoring you lol.
BTW it's very common in my area during the summer because of the drain of all the air conditioners... still I hate it!

Moral Support

When you have a twin brother, you are soul mates. The Twin Condition is something I cannot understand... I cannot fathom how it is to never be alone from the start, to always from the very moment of conception, to be part of a team... magical!

John has amblyopia (lazy eye). We have known since last August but despite our best efforts, John won't wear his patch, we tried and tried, his therapists tried too but no go.
It's been a few days since we visited our eye doctor and got his glasses prescription changed...and she stressed once again how close we are to losing his eyesight because of the amblyopia... There is no surgery to fix this... it's a perfectly healthy, intact eye, that just can't see...
So we turned to patching again full force. John hates it :( But the Bakugan at the end of each day is a big motivator for him (thankfully we get the cheap Chinese type that costs $2 or so because I can't afford the 7 Euros the original costs lol).

This morning John was a little resistant to patching which is natural because he simply cannot see through his bad eye... but Cody came to the rescue.

Talk about moral support! Cody cried and cried until he got his eye patched too... for the sake of his brother... not only that but he clowned around with him too so John would forget the itching...

These two really make you want your very own twin, don't they??

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

(Almost) Back to your regular programme...

Hello Dolly World,

I've heard you went looking for me, asking if I was ok and all :)
Well let me see... I am still (mostly) alive... a little dead but mostly alive :)
I've had a very difficult month as you might have noticed from my lack of posting and the lack of new babies lol :)
Let me see...

First my dad got really sick, really quick... in the morning he was fine, we were rushing him to the ER a few hours later with a sky high fever and hematuria.
Turns out he had two nasty infections in the bladder (where the cancer is located) and the prostate... He was in the hospital for a week receiving IV antibiotics. Because of the severity of this, they have stopped his chemo for now. Slowly, he is feeling better, unfortunately not because the cancer situation is better, but because the chemo side effects are lessening. We will see what the next step is as soon as he feels a bit better.

That said, my dad also had to move this month. He rented the apartment one floor down from us but since he got sick in between the move, the weight fell on me and my brother... So I had my dad in the hospital, doing his move, helping my brother move (he is moving in with dad to keep an eye on him when I can't), me moving to a real studio, cleaning out and re-doing the boys room (don't ask but it was urgent this happened now) and of course my regular day to day schedule.

I won't lie, May REALLY got away from me. I didn't put in the kind of work I ought to have put in, I admit that. It's weird though because May was also very demanding otherwise so I feel exhausted nevertheless.
So I *did* work like mad just not on dolls...
The good news is that last week I shipped out half the dolls that I owed leaving only 4 people waiting on me which is good right?
I will get those dolls out this week and then... I will go have an ice cream.. or ten ;)

Seriously though, if you are waiting on me, I apologize, I had a really hard time this past month. I felt pulled in ten different directions and work kind of slipped.. I didn't mean for it to happen but it did. Each day I promised myself I would finish X doll in the evening and each night by 9pm I was dragging and my eyes were closing... and each morning at 6.50am my alarm would go off and I couldn't find the strength to get out of bed (which is why the boys were late for school half this past month - thank God they are in pre-K!!).

I also have some John news (tests results and such) but I am too exhausted to write lol :)
If you have mailed me and haven't heard back, please write to me again. I didn't mean to ignore you but I can't even remember which e-mails I've replied to lol :)
Sorry if I have worried you but thank you once again for your kind patience and continued understanding.
Dolly hugs,
Tina

Friday, May 21, 2010

We're back

Hi world!
Sorry the blog was down for a while, hubby was trying a few new things with it.

An update on us, we are still in one piece :) I am *exhausted* from helping my dad move one floor below, me moving to a real studio and then of course re-doing the apartment because I emptied out my stuff for the move. Also I seem to be having loads of e-mails especially to AOL (but not only) not reach their recepients or coming back undelivered. So if you have mailed me but haven't heard back, please check with me again.

I know these last 3 weeks since I started moving things, I was a little out of touch, but I was literally coming home and falling asleep on my feet, my physical exhaustion is HUGE at the moment. However I did put in work between everything else and I assure you this coming week absolutely everything will be going out, if it hasn't already (as I did ship a few dolls this week as well).

Thank you so much for your kind understanding and patience and I apologize if I made you weary :)
Dolly hugs
Tina

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Updates

Hi all,
Ok so let's see, it's been a few days since I've posted.
My dad is doing ok, not great but ok, and has been released from the hospital this morning. They are discontinuing the chemo until further notice.

John got sick on Saturday and was running a fever all through... he is still a little warm today but a dose of Tylenol and he is all better.
Cody on the other hand is very sick. He has a really high temperature and has been throwing up yellow/green stuff every ten minutes since he woke up this morning.
He is like his dad in sickness so he has been in bed all day which means he is feeling REALLY bad.
The best news (not really)!? George is on duty today... thankfully I finished their room yesterday, I now have "just" the rest of the house to do...
I am *exhausted*, I honestly don't know how I put one foot in front of the other... add the fact George is in a FOUL mood and I can't even talk to him (of course no way he would deal with sick kids, room clean outs or anything else right now)...

I am really behind with my e-mails, so bear with me for a couple more days while I sort those through.
I will post pictures of cute babes when I can... not that I've managed to do a lot of work since Friday mind you.

It's just so weird we were more or less ok through the winter (except the swine flu and that horrible hand/foot/mouth Cody got TWICE), with mild fevers and only mild snotty noses and some coughs...and that horrible case of the stomach flu.. and it's now Spring (and it's really hot!) and we go places like the park and generally outside and the boys get THIS sick. I'm telling you Cody is pathetic at the moment, he is sheet white, black circles under his eyes, white lips... oh and did I mention his fingernails are peeling off at the cuticle? Yeah he is missing chunks of nails from that stupid Hand/Foot/Mouth...at least it doesn't seem to hurt him.

I've got to go, thank you all for your kind kind patience... pray for a swift recovery for my little guy and extra energy and strength for me please, I need it!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Dad's in the hospital, I will be MIA

Don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me at all for the next 2-3 days, my dad just got admitted to the hospital. I packed a bag for him and off I go. The boys are staying with my MIL.
Say a prayer for him!
Thanks
Tina

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Why moms of special needs kids ROCK!

(from this blog:http://lovethatmax.blogspot.com/2010/05/top-20-reasons-moms-of-kids-with.html)

Like my friend said "Yeah! What she said"

Top 20 Reasons Moms of Kids With Special Needs ROCK

1. Because we never thought that “doing it all” would mean doing this much. But we do it all, and then some.
2. Because we’ve discovered patience we never knew we had.
3. Because we are willing to do something 10 times, 100 times, 1,000 times if that’s what it takes for our kids to learn something new.
4. Because we have heard doctors tell us the worst, and we've refused to believe them. TAKE THAT, nay-saying doctors of the world.
5. Because we have bad days and breakdowns and bawl-fests, and then we pick ourselves up and keep right on going.
6. Because we gracefully handle the stares, the comments, the rude remarks. Well, mostly gracefully.
7. Because we manage to get ourselves together and get out the door looking pretty damn good. Heck, we even make sweatpants look good.
8. Because we are strong. Man, are we strong. Who knew we could be this strong?
9. Because we aren’t just moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, women who work. We are moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, women who work, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, researchers, nurses, coaches, and cheerleaders. Whew.
10. Because we work overtime every single day.
11. Because we also worry overtime, but we work it through. Or we eat chocolate or Pirate's Booty or gourmet cheese, which aren't reimbursable by insurance as mental-health necessities but should be.
12. Because we are more selfless than other moms. Our kids need us more.
13. Because we give our kids with special needs endless love, and then we still have so much love left for our other kids, our husbands, our family. And our hairstylist, of course.
14. Because we inspire one another in this crazy blogosphere every single day.
15. Because we understand our kids better than anyone else—even if they can’t talk, even if they can’t gesture, even if they can't look us in the eye. We know. We just know.
16. Because we never stop pushing for our kids.
17. Because we never stop hoping for them, either.
18. Because just when it seems like things are going OK, they're suddenly not OK, but we deal. Somehow, we always deal, even when it seems like our heads or hearts might explode.
19. Because when we look at our kids we just see great kids. Not "kids with cerebral palsy/autism/Down syndrome/developmental delays/whatever label."
20. Because, well, you tell me.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Plan B

It would have gone like this:
I would get married to the love of my life, who I met over the internet when I was 15. We would have a baby and it would be so perfect... I would take the baby on long walks and teach him a bunch of things. There would be peaceful days were we would sit, him (or her) curled up on my chest and we would read...and when he was older, he would clutch my hand as we walked through the zoo, me pregnant for the second time, him or her, expecting to be a big brother or sister and then I would do it all over again...

In reality it went like this: I married the love of my life but couldn't have kids. The ensuing two years of infertility treatment turned his beautiful slim wife into a whale physically and a maniacal person mentally. He didn't dare bring up children or pregnancies up in front of her because she would break into a million pieces right in front of him. Not only that but when finally, finally she became pregnant, it was the hardest pregnancy ever...
They lost a baby and came this close to losing a second.
Instead of one, they were blessed with twins, which was great except all their savings and all their plans and everything else got thrown out the window.
All that turned my husband, who has a huge problem in dealing with his stress and anxiety in a grown-up civilized and logical manner, into a monster of abusive words and controlling, irrational behavior who instead of helping out, stepped out and left me all along to fend for the kids we so much wanted ...

Then it was time for plan B.. instead of my quiet walks and book reading, I got a child that can't control his impulses and can't make his body stop moving or his brain stop racing in 200 different directions at once... it's called ADHD and that's what Cody has.

I also got a child who motor cortex is fried, whose eyes are failing him, his ears too and he can't tolerate a multitude of things in his daily life, like noise, crowds, grass, sand, textures, colors, sounds, bubble bath foam, short sleeved t-shirts, shorts, sandals, his glasses, the patch that will save his eye, even me some times.
Of course there is no talk of another baby seeing I had such a difficult and damaging pregnancy (but oh how I want one secretly!).

I know some people will probably feel sorry for me that "normal" isn't what I got but don't be... I see it as an honor that God chose me to care for these two little souls, that He saw I was fit and then provided me with needed to meet their needs.
On one hand some times I am sad that those long walks never happened... or that quiet reading is out of the question.. or that crafts can't happen... but I get to celebrate some things only a "special" mom can... like your child hugging you for the first time at age 3 and saying I love you for the first time at 3 1/2.
Running at age 4... reaching 32 lbs after a year of trying.

My perspective has changed... I take nothing for granted... In fact I feel so blessed some times I am waiting for the other shoe to drop because I see my kids so perfect.. I don't care about the world and what they think...
I know I am behind at work, I know people say mean things about me but I am also grateful for those who do prefer me and believe in me and patiently wait... I am grateful for my gift that allows me to work from home and meet their needs...
I thank God each day for my collectors and dealers and pray they are all kept well and happy.

I don't take anything for granted... and I am humbled by how much my kids have taught me and I am ashamed I have taught them so much less... I feel like I took so much more than I gave them so far... so beautiful, so brave, so perfect and so ... MINE!!!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Update on the Discover Dolls Show!!

Hi everybody!

Well it is now certain I will not be able to go to the Peterborough show in June.
My husband just incurred a HUGE pay-cut, you must have heard of the dreadful financial situation Greece is in right now, and it has come to the point, I can't afford to go :(
I just can't make enough dolls to sell to pick up the slack and to cover this month's bills and have enough to sell at the show to make it a trip with some profit instead of me paying out of pocket... and I only have two students for the scultping class :( (the money just to rent the room for the day is more than what the students were asked to pay for the course).

I am gutted to say the least I can't come, I was so looking forward to this but we put everything down on paper and the money just isn't there and the students just didn't sign up :( Had I more students, it might have been a done deal but things didn't turn out like that :(

I apologize for the inconvenience.. as I said I am gutted too and of course I will make it up to the two girls and the dolls that I have already made will be sold, so if you were looking to buy a Kewy at show price, do not worry, you will get your chance. More on that later though.

Sigh... I am so upset :( I will miss you all so much!!
Please take loads of photos for me...
Hugs
Tina

If the world is falling down around your ears...

... and it certainly feels like that after the government announced even harder financial rules... George's salary is now down to just 800 Euros a month... and 480 of that is what we pay for the loan we took to buy the apartment (which is not that bad as rent would be more and we wouldn't own the apartment).

I really feel the world is coming down around my ears... it doesn't look like we will afford private kindergarten for the boys right now :( Which is really hard because the public kindergarten gets off at 12.30... which means I can't work during the day which will create another set of problems of its own... and John is doing SO well in his new school. He has made such progress, how can I take him away from it?
I don't know what to do... God please give me clarity and guide my steps so that I do what is right and best for my kids and my family because right now, I just don't know... and I am scared and worried and I can't sleep at night and I can't find joy in anything... I find it hard to even lift my head at the moment and everything is coming crashing down on me... I feel so... alone.

But then, I see this: (click to enlarge)

... and somehow, when they are around I am less scared and less worried and happier and certainly not alone.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Merlin Luckycharm

I had wanted a pet for the boys forever but it is impossible in our current situation to get a dog and George did not want another cat or a gebril or anything for that matter...

Last Thursday we were visiting my friend and as we were getting out the car, we were "greeted" by two huge stray dogs. My pet lover Cody wanted to pet them but they were acting a little strange... I then noticed, the white dog had something in his mouth which the brown dog was trying very hard to extract (they even grabbed an end each and pulled!!!). I was shocked to see a tiny red kitten between the jaws of the dog!!!
Somehow I managed to extract the kitten who was very slobbered but seemed ok...
A visit to the vet confirmed he was miraculously unharmed!!!
George originally freaked out but warmed to the idea and that's how Merlin Luckycharm came to live with us.

He is a Classic Red Tabby with the @ sign on his flanks and his eyes are turning green.
Today he is 7 weeks old and has adjusted wonderfully in our house. He loves the boys and tolerates handling nicely... Even our grumpy Beau has warmed up to him and they are becoming friends slowly but steadily...yesterday they were chasing each other around the house and last night Beau got worried and cried for Merlin when the latter crawled under the couch!!

He is a little spitfire, a ball of energy and fur (and claws and tiny baby teeth). He's really got guts! In the first few days he would hiss at us but with gentle handling he is now a cuddlebug!! He follows us everywhere and cries for our attention (and eats like a horse!).
I am so happy because the boys have really taken to him and I can now teach them responsibility and respect for animals in a real, hands on way.
I am looking forward to seeing the little fuzzball growing up with the boys...
Here is little Merlin on the day we brought him home (his eyes are already changing color, today they seem blue-green)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

John & Cody Monthly

(I am a few days behind my posts but I've had a super busy week with lots of unexpected things happen so forgive this late posting :))

John and Cody are now 4 years and 5 months old... What are they up to these days?

Cody is on the 99.4% for height for his age and on the 99.8% for weight. His combined average for height and weight is 97.2%
He grew an inch since last month and the 6 year old pants and shirts no longer fit him... by far!! 7 years are on the cusp but ok for now.
He is a size 13-14 youth shoe wise... Yup, I've got a BIG boy here :)

Cody is extremely active and he LOVES his swim class so much. He swims 3 hours a week and he is getting so good at it!! :)
He is loving school and he is learning like a sponge, sucking it all in. He has started speaking English :)

John is on the 87.7% for height but only on the 36% for weight. Combined he is at 3% on the normal (not preemie or CP) growth charts.
This month he weighed in at 32 pounds which the heaviest he has ever been! Go John!!
Otherwise we've had some rough days with him... I think we've gotten to the point that CP isn't his major issue anymore and neurological and behavioral problems are now taking the cake.
He's been very difficult to handle and he has often meltdowns and screaming. He also becomes violent towards us. I can't reason with him and discipline is also an issue.
His SID has sky-rocketed and he can't tolerate i.e. siren noise even if it comes from afar.
He reacts the same way to stimuli and situations as my friend's two year old... except I've had him for 4 1/2 years and it's really draining me.
He gets into fist fights with his brother and becomes obsessed over objects. Things have to be a certain way or done a certain way otherwise we have a meltdown. I know they got the PDD-Nos diagnosis dropped last year and this is most likely a SID diagnosis (some things are common for both) and he has become a MASTER manipulator... I am so drained by him... I think I might have spoiled him a little too which would be ok and manageable (and reverseable) in a normal child but John gives me pause.
I am terrified he won't be ready for kindergarten next September. He just won't sit down to do school work... I am NOT looking forward to him being a teen!!

***

In other news, my dad had a rough time with chemo side-effects, I am behind with work because by 9pm I am DRAGGING, I am too exhausted and we added a kitten to our brood which deserves a post of his own...
and I have 3 OOAKs to sell.. more on that later.

I am off to cook and pick the boys from school. Cody's teeth are falling apart, I've already paid more than $1000 out of pocket for his teeth and there is no end in sight :( He's got enamel hypoplasia... great!

Hugs to all

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