"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"The Last Brownie"

I'm just going to complain for a minute. 

We took our first road trip with the new car and the new baby.  Mystery Baby SCREAMS on even the shortest car trip, so we were crossing our fingers that we'd arrive with our sanity and our hearing intact.  He did fabulously!  Seriously, he's gotten so much better in just the past few weeks and while he still has his moments, we've gotten much better also at helping him fall asleep in the car (the screaming is always when he's tired and fighting sleep). 

The car... the car got a cracked windshield.  A rock or something kicked up from the car in front of us somewhere in Pennsylvania.  We had our old car for ten years and with all the other problems it had, it never got a nick or crack in the windshield.  We've owned this car four months.  We called around and the crack is 7 1/2 inches which means it can't be repaired and has to be replaced.  Awesome.  (Sarcasm.) 

I was also looking forward to Mystery Baby having his own bedroom on this trip so we could let him scream it out some at night.  He doesn't need to wake up in the middle of the night anymore, but still does.  He only sleeps swaddled up in a SwaddleMe baby straight jacket.  Otherwise the second I put him in his crib, he yanks his binky out and starts screaming.  You are supposed to stop using the swaddling things when the baby can roll over.  Until this trip, he never tried to roll over in his crib or in the SwaddleMe. We've spent the last two weeks cutting out middle of the night feedings and putting him in bed slightly awake so he gets better at soothing himself to sleep.  Last night he immediately rolled over in bed every chance he got, and while he *can* roll back over, he rarely does.  He just screams until someone comes to rescue him and roll him back onto his back, which I had to do a bunch last night.  Luckily I finally got him to sleep without the SwaddleMe and we both got some rest.  Add to all of this that I have a cold and it's winter.  So while I'm nice and toasty cuddled up in bed, every time I get up with him I'm freezing again.  And I had a runny nose and a pounding headache. 

Okay, complaining over.  I think.   

Good things.  Mystery Baby was awesome on the trip.  I had a super yummy hamburger at a Bob Evans restaurant. (I LOVE restaurant hamburgers!)  We beat the snow.  The roads were great.  We managed the entire trip with minimal eating in the car so our car stays nice.  Jed gets to watch Premier League soccer on the big screen.  


*Title taken from Notting Hill, where I believe the full quote is, "Surely that's worth the last brownie" when everyone is sitting around comparing how sad their pathetic lives are trying to earn the last brownie and Julia Roberts (playing a movie star) tries for it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sandy Hook

I'm with the rest of the country/world in how much reading the reports of this horrible tragedy kept me in tears.  I don't want to get into the politics of gun control or anything else.  I don't really want to think about the possibility of something this horrific happening, even though it has.  I just want to comment on one thing.

One of my Facebook friends wrote about how they explained what happened to their children (aged 12 and 10 are my age guesses) and the boys were unfazed.  My friend then talked about how they think and play too much violence so that real violence doesn't register with them.  And then this friend wondered when they will grow out of this.  They won't!  That's the point.  I agree that kids might not completely understand what happened.  They also might be keeping their feelings and reactions inside, not sure how to express them.  But being accustomed to violence in games and movies leaves you accustomed to violence in real life and that's not something I ever want myself or my children to become accustomed too.  I can't express to you how many times in the past years we've had to remind our kids that we aren't playing "killing" or "now your dead."  And we own a Game Cube as our only video game and the most violent games have exploding Lego people.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Split

Jed and I tend to be private people who keep things (even things other people blab left and right about) to ourselves.  "But you have blogs," you laugh.  Yes, we have blogs.  But I still feel that we are generally private people.  In person and online. 

We secretly chuckle every time someone tells us of a lofty life goal that seems completely unattainable, but I think, on the inside, we're a little bit envious that they can just be so out there with their goals.  Regardless of failure.  We (and I keep saying we, but I can't really speak for Jed, so read "I") are too fearful of failure to be out there with our goals and life ambitions. 

The Split is... I can't decide which is better.  Should we be so pompous (not that any of you are, I would just feel that way) with our ambitions and declare them to the world, sure of our success.  Or are we wise to keep things to ourselves until we are assured of a successful outcome, at which point, we can then blab left and right about it feeling no embarrassment because the outcome is already known and positive.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rolling

Monday night, Mystery Baby rolled from back to tummy a couple times.  Tuesday he rolled some.  This morning, I put him on his blanket (in the middle of a toddler sized crib blanket) and was helping the kids do their school when we looked over to find this.



Trouble!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Shock

I had the same best friend from Kindergarten until the end of sixth grade.  After sixth grade she switched to an all girl Catholic school and then went to college out of state.  It's a shame we didn't try to stay close even though we were at different schools.  I wonder if we could have remained good friends, or if the small pool of kids are our elementary school (each grade had maybe 40 students) pushed us into friendship when our personalities and interests would have normally kept us apart.  We were both brainy (she more than I), but she was outgoing, popular and athletic (I was not). For those seven years we were inseparable. 

We sort of kept in contact through high school and college, really just keeping tabs on each other and what was going on in our lives.  When I was pregnant with Princess Sparkley I was invited to her bridal shower.  Then her parents moved out of state and I lost track of her until a couple of years ago when I finally tracked her down (after years of trying to find her), through the white pages.  I think.  We've caught up briefly in emails but she's not on Facebook and isn't much for emailing either.  And we've exchanged Christmas cards. 

I emailed her last week to make sure I had her address so I could send them a card and got a huge shock.  She was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer at the beginning of the year, went through chemo and had a bilateral mastectomy.  Her doctors are thrilled with how she's doing, and her hair, that spent our childhood in a bouncy ponytail, is starting to grow back.  She's 34 (35 next month) and the mother of two.

I know a lot of people who have had cancer affect their lives more than it has mine.  I lost grandparents to cancer (but I was six).  I lost an aunt to cancer (when I was fourteen, but she'd lived in Kentucky my entire life and I'd only met her a handful of times).  And the moms of several of my good friends have both survived and not survived breast cancer.  Even though this best friend and I obviously aren't currently inseparable, it is still a huge shock to me to have someone who I knew so well be affected by it.  I spent hours playing with her Barbie Dream House and Corvette.  She had this awesome playhouse in her yard.  I even ate canned asparagus for her mom.  And she was almost gone, like that. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Letters

I'm a little old fashioned in that I love mail.  Writing letters, sending letters, etc.  I don't get to do it much anymore, but I do try to make a point of writing thank you cards and sending them off on their way.

I also LOVE creating Christmas letters.  Not the super fabulous, Pinterest worthy, Photo shop Christmas cards, but just creative ideas for conveying the events in the past year of our lives.  I started writing my family's Christmas letter each year when I was about twelve and it wasn't until a couple years ago that my mom took back that responsibility.  I created a family newsletter that we stuck with for several Christmases.  And the occasional New Year's or Valentine's day.  I even tried to have a monthly family newsletter to keep my family up to date on the current events in one another's lives.  That didn't go over well since at the time, Jed and I were new parents and we were all living in the same town.  We now live thousands of miles away, but the rest of my family is still right there, sending their kids to the same school, etc. And I think only my parents and Jed's parents actually read our family's blog.

So I love Christmas letters, but I haven't really done anything super creative in the past few years since Jed's been back in school.  Mostly we've done e-cards or emails.  This year is no different, although I did order a few actual physical prints of our new family picture (thanks, Emma) to mail to those people on our Christmas list that would prefer a physical card (eg: Jed's grandparents). 

I'm storing up my creative juices so when the year comes when I do want to drop $50+ on stamps and printed letters and pictures, it's going to be awesome.  But at least I get to enjoy the time of year when awesome stuff arrives in the mail almost daily.  Between gifts we've ordered, those arriving from family and Christmas cards, every mail call is exciting!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Work

In applying for a job for Jed, I came across an online faculty position for a Beginning Writing course that only requires a bachelor's degree.  I'm qualified!  This could be fun.  Why not!  Then I started trying to fill out the application.  Besides the fact that I haven't done *anything* in the past 11 years, even 11 years ago, my resume was pathetic.  Actually, I've never had a resume.  And as I'm worrying about how I'm going to pad a resume and what aspects of my current life qualify me (Relief Society teacher, CEO of several book clubs, book club discussion leader, homeschooling mom, blogger) I come across the spot where I have to list my past four jobs.  Hmm... I'm not sure I've had four jobs (that don't include cat sitter).  And three references (who?)  Leaving my comfort zone ... now.


[I'm always wondering what I actually do that could earn me money.  I don't want to babysit or do daycare.  But it would be cool to earn some extra money.  Basically, what I've come up with in the past is that it would be awesome if people paid me to bake desserts for them.  Either for their own enjoyment or for them when they are asked to bring something somewhere.  But nothing so serious as a catering gig.  I'm not that good.  Just delicious desserts to impress their friends with.  Wouldn't that be awesome!]

Friday, November 30, 2012

When Did People Become so Rude?

I'm getting old. I'm super annoyed by how everyone behaves in public thinking things like, "back in the day the customer was always right" and such.


Today I was at Aldi* where there is always only the one register open.  It's Friday and I was there just after 5 PM so there's a crowd.  There's a lady at the front of the line with an entire grocery cart full of stuff.  Full.  It was going pretty quickly because Aldi is probably the only store that still trains their checkers (plus they don't have to bag anything, they just throw it in the cart).  The lady who was second in like asked the clerk if she could get another clerk to open a new check stand.  Our clerk actually had to walk away to a different part of the store to accomplish this.  While there, she quietly said from the other check stand, "she'll take the next person in line here."  Our clerk returned to her check stand and we waited a few minutes to see if another clerk was actually coming quickly.  When I say we, I mean the 2nd, 3rd (me), 4th, 5th and 6th people in line.  Person number seven walked over to the new check stand and starting loading her items on the belt.  I'm used to person number three maybe doing this... they are almost next, person number two might stick around at the current register.  But person seven!  I couldn't believe the audacity of her. 

And that's how I know I'm getting old and society is falling apart.  The end.


*Please please please do not refer to this store as Aldis or Aldi's.  My brother-in-law will punch you in the nose, and this is one of these that actually really bugs me as well.  I can tolerate Penney's vs. JCPenney, but not Aldi's.  It makes me think less of you. ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Ahh!

Jed and I were just comparing how many page views a day our blogs get.  Because there are only like three of you who comment, I started thinking that only about six people read my blog.  Then I looked at the numbers.  Ahh!  In the past week, there was a day when 95 people looked at my blog.  Ninety-five!  That freaked me out a bit because I sort of stopped caring what I wrote about figuring only six of you are reading it anyway.  I should be more diligent about posting and making them good.  THEN I realized that it's "page views," not necessarily the most recent post I've written.  So really, a bunch of strangers are checking out Princess Sparkley's awesome Nancy Drew birthday party. 

But I should be better about blogging.  I used to try to post something at least five days a week feeling like I had to keep posting regularly so you'd keep stopping by the blog.  I stopped when I realized everyone was just reading my posts in Google Reader (or a similar program) like I read blog posts, and Google Reader lets you know when there's a new post. 

I'll try to think of some great things to post about, but right now, the two and a half month old and our super organized/involved homeschool year that started Monday are doing me in...

45 degrees

Today's high was 45 degrees.  Some of us wore winter coats.  I can't believe I used to wear flip flops in college in Utah if it was above 40.  Brrr. 

This cold weather has made me stop and realize that it's November.  November 7th.  Thanksgiving is in two weeks.  Christmas is in just under seven weeks.  Where have the past few months gone!?!  It all sneaked up on me.  I'll blame Halloween being on the 31st, then all of a sudden it turns to November when I'm not even paying attention.

Belated Happy Halloween

It's a little late, but I realized I never posted our Halloween picture with all FOUR kids.  Here you go:


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Blog Collage of Randomness

Voted this morning.  Waited in like for about an hour and 15 minutes.  Excited to see so many people out and voting.  Sad to see people turning away due to the wait.  Secretly hoping that everyone leaving was in favor of the other guy while hoping that everyone in line is in favor of my guy.  I'm not sure I like an election where you can *almost* pick who a person is going to vote for based on their appearance. That stressed me out a bit waiting in line as well.  I didn't vote for President Obama four years ago or today, but I was sort of excited to be here to see a black president.  I'm not happy with people who are supporting him with his blackness as his only qualification.  But off that rant...
I'm a little stressed out about dishonesty in the election process.  As much as I've wanted to remove Obama signs from the neighborhood, I haven't.  I hate reading the news today and seeing that illegal immigrants are being encouraged to vote by certain parties.  Seeing that poll workers (who I'm trusting to be honest and unbiased while working) are being dishonest.  Stressed.  Out.  Jed's already researched jobs in New Zealand...
Saw four neighbors in line (EJ from church with her three kids in tow, JR from church, PH from next door, and the mom, daughter and granddaughter from two days down that had the granddaughter born the day before Mystery Baby).  I don't think I've ever run into neighbors (let alone anyone I knew) while voting.
This was my fourth presidential election. 
We finally got our homeschool year organized yesterday (sort of).  I know, I know, it's November.  We've been working on school stuff each day, but with a new baby showing up in mid-August, we just weren't as organized as I wanted to be.  We are now (sort of).  I don't think we'll ever reach full organization, but such is life.
The kids are working on Christmas lists. 
I'm wondering how to keep the house clean and school organized.
I did laundry Friday and Saturday and I'm pretty sure there is just as much to do all over again. On Tuesday.  Adding a sixth person to the mix didn't help things, but then throw in winter clothes so everything is pants and long-sleeved shirts and lots of socks instead of short-sleeved tees and shorts with no socks, not helpful.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

With the preparations all of my Facebook friends were making and all the talk on the news and weather websites, I started getting nervous about Hurricane Sandy.  Then the storm approached and it never seemed to rain especially hard, just constantly.  Monday night the winds really picked up, but we've lived in Kansas and we grew up in California where Santa Ana winds are big and strong this time of year.  It didn't seem especially unique, just a bad storm, not a hurricane.  Tuesday morning we drove down to Richmond so we could Trick or Treat with the cousins on Wednesday.  I logged into Facebook and saw the pictures some different people from our ward posted of the field where the kids play soccer.  It's a giant lake!  The smallish river at the edge of the field over ran its banks and the soccer fields are sort of a flood basin.  The result:







There shouldn't be any water in these pictures.  All the water is flooding what should be an enormous soccer field with at least 10 or more fields.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Trunk or Treat

Poor fourth child, it's a good thing today was just the Trunk or Treat and not the real Halloween because I completely forgot to get a picture of Mystery Baby in his costume.  He's wearing Princess Sparkley's Sweet Pea costume, but we're calling him a Green Bean so it's more masculine.  I'm excited that I'll get to buy/make him new costumes in the future because age wise at Halloween time, he only really lines up with PS and he can't be a peacock, Cinderella, a fancy ladybug or a fancy bumble bee without it being a little embarrassing. 

Angry Bomb Bird, Soccer Referee, US Olympic Gymnast (idea from here)

McKayla is not impressed (here)

*We did a great job (sarcasm) dressing our kids appropriately for trick or treating in the dark.  All black, awesome. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fit

Remember this post about how I was going to get fit?  Then my parents came to town and the walking stopped (other than walking the soccer field, the baby, or some DC/zoo walking), the treat, candy and soda policy flew out the window and now they are gone and I weighed myself on our new scale for the first time in two weeks today.  Bleh.  Here's to new beginnings (which will be ruined by Halloween next week and a trip to Jed's sister's house).  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Internal Timer

Sometimes I'm impressed with my internal timer. When I all of a sudden panic because the timer hasn't gone off and I show up to find less than a minute remaining.
 
Sometimes it doesn't work and I forget to set a timer, or I'm forced to use my microwave timer (which only beeps once), causing me to burn whatever I'm cooking.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blessing Day

Here's Mystery Baby on his blessing day.  




In other exciting news, my parents are in town and we drove on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park yesterday and actually saw a bear.  Well, of the seven people in the car, four of us saw the bear.  Princess Sparkley, Little Guy and Mystery Baby didn't and by the time we turned around and drove back past, he was too far in the brush to see anymore.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My Political Rant for this Election Season

I try to keep this politics free.  I actually probably keep my life more politics free than I should.  I have Jed's extreme interest in politics to rein me back in now and then though, so I guess I balance out.
Here's my rant:
I'm all for the third party candidate option.  Sometimes you need to let candidates one and two know you aren't happy with either of them.  Jed is typically more in favor of candidate three than candidates one or two.  But in this situation, when we need so desperately to elect (in my opinion) a candidate and the election is going to be close (especially in my swing state), please please please do not waste your vote on the third candidate.  No matter who you are supporting, vote for one or two, who have a chance of winning, rather than three, to make a point.  This has always been my stance (I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger* governor of California in 2003, much to Jed's disappointment- he voted for candidate #3). 
I have a "friend" on Facebook right now who is not old enough to vote, but it strongly encouraging his large entourage of Facebook "friends" to vote for #3.  I can't rant about it on Facebook, because really, I shouldn't pick on a teenager.  So I'm ranting about it here. 
Forgive my political rant.  Be involved.  Vote.
*I got the spelling right even before I checked it online!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Health and Fitness

I decided I needed to make up some rules for myself in order to fit back into more than two pairs of pre-pregnancy pants that aren't stretchy.

1. No soda.
2. Treats on weekends only.  And Family Night.*
3. Walk 3-4 days per week.
4. Eat healthier meals.
5. Don't overeat.  No seconds.
6. No candy.  (Exception, Halloween).**

After I made this list I realized this is a bad time of year for cutting back on stuff.  My parents are visiting, followed by Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas.  These holidays are not solely about food, but, they sort of are.  Especially for me.

*Don't laugh at my rules.  I know my weaknesses and I know I can't completely cut treats out of my diet.

**I also know I'm going to eat some Halloween candy.  Probably a lot of it.  BUT, I won't buy my favorite candies to hand out and that will insure I don't just eat bags and bags of these.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Teaching Himself

Little Guy is basically running his own Kindergarten*.  He already knew how to read and now he's taken the initiative for the rest of his education. 

He knows I won't say yes to a movie or anything like that until he's done with school, so, instead of disappearing like the other kids do when when I'm busy with Mystery Baby, he finds school stuff to do. 

He worked his way through two first grade phonics readers this week.  Normally he reads them with Jed but Jed wasn't around and he decided to read them all without Dad.  Then he brings me his workbooks, asks me to read the directions (it's only a matter of time before he realizes he could read these to himself and cut out the middle man) and then goes and does workbook pages.  Yesterday he was practicing spelling the words on an ABC flip chart I'd gotten out to help him remember what some of the lower case letters looked like.  And two different days last week he brought a Bible down from his bedroom, randomly selected a couple of verses to read, read them, and then took the Bible back upstairs. 

A few days ago, Princess Sparkley ran upstairs exclaiming this, "[Little Guy] is SO smart.  He knows the whole Pledge of Allegiance just from us helping [Buddy] learn it for Scouts!"

If only all the kids were this motivated....

*He won't be five until January, but since he is a child genius**, we started him on Kindergarten stuff this school year.

**I'm not trying to be snooty and braggy about my kid.  And I'm trying to be humorous with the "child genius" comment.  Like all parents, I think my kids are smart.  But with Little Guy, I'm really really in awe of what his little brain is capable of.  And I feel like Jed and I can only take minimal credit (other than DNA).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Awkwardness

Our front door opens up basically in our basement.  It's above ground, but it's just a hallway, an unfinished area, and a playroom (that's usually a mess).  So there's always this awkwardness when someone comes to the door, and I want to invite them in but the living room isn't right there so they can just sit and chat for a minute.  The living room is up a flight of stairs.  It's weird.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Treats

This is how much I love treats.  And how giant my sweet tooth is. 

Example 1:

The other night Jed's phone rang twice and those two rings did in the low battery.  It was a Sunday, so it was either family, or someone from church.  Typically, family will call the other cell phone if we don't answer the first.  Mine didn't ring, signifying to me it was probably someone from church.  I hurried to get Jed's charger.  He told me I didn't need to, he'd plug it in when we went to bed.  I still got the charger.  My reasoning, what if someone wanted to bring us cookies!?!  It turned out it was our home teacher (from church) wanting to know if he could visit with us next Sunday.  Not if he could bring us treats.  BUT, to his credit, he'd already brought us cupcakes earlier in the week.


Example 2:

In welcoming everyone to church on Sunday, the bishopric member said something that made me think of the members of our congregation who haven't been to church in awhile and how we should let them know we miss them, etc.  Which, reminded me of our ward in Kansas when the ward members were worried about a guy in the ward who hadn't come in awhile and people were volunteering to drop off cookies and brownies to let him know he was missed.  Jed's response at the time was, "no one's bringing us treats!"  And something along the lines of maybe we should skip church for awhile so everyone spoils us with goodies.  Jokingly.  Sort of.  That's how I felt on Sunday, which is the wrong attitude.  I should be thinking of people I should be sharing the love with, not trying to score more goodies.  Especially since we just had a baby and people from church have been bringing us yummy meals, cupcakes and ice cream already. 

But really, what it comes down to is I LOVE TREATS.  And we'd already eaten all the frozen cookie dough and all the chocolate chips (AND they were semi-sweet, of which I am not a fan).  Not to worry, we stocked up on chocolate chips this week and I made a batch of cookies and froze half the dough.  Hopefully we'll survive and not have to start skipping church in order to get treats. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Silence

I don't remember if I ever mentioned this on the blog, but when we announced my pregnancy with Mystery Baby here, at 20 weeks and a few days, it was one of the first announcements we made.  We didn't want to tell our kids until we knew if it was a boy or a girl, so we waited until that ultrasound at 20 weeks.  Next we told our families.  Then Facebook and Blog Land.  I think other than Jed and my doctors, the only people who we told early were his sister (because we were spending some time with her at about 19 weeks and it was going to be obvious to anyone who knew me, saw me and spent any time with me (and was over 10 years old) that I was pregnant).  It turns out she'd been suspicious for months, so our big reveal wasn't so big.  I also told my BFF about it, but she lives in Arizona far away from anyone else she could spill the beans to.

So this silence, spending 20 weeks pregnant and not being able to tell anyone, was torture.  It made me want to be really anti-social (more so than normal) because I didn't want to flat out lie about it.  I didn't want to be around people too long and create suspicion that might lead to questions.  I didn't want to be involved in any conversations about pregnant people or new babies.  In the past, when these conversations happened, I would flat out deny being pregnant (because I wasn't), so my silence in any new conversation would indicate a change in my pregnancy status.

It was a weird five months.  And it wouldn't have been the end of the world had people found out, we just wanted the kids to know first and then getting to 20 weeks became sort of a game.  Each Sunday I'd have to model my outfit for Brandon and ask him if I looked pregnant.  Usually he'd say no, or you look like you've gained a little weight but not necessarily pregnant weight. 

I was thinking of all this today because I still feel like I'm being anti-social, but because I'm home with a new baby, and even when I'm out and about, I feel like a zombie due to sleep deprivation so it's only like I'm half there.  So if my conversation seems a bit lacking, it's because I'm tired.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Part of Our History

It's really strange how much September 11th has become part of our lives.  When it happened, eleven years ago, we had no children.  I remember being over dramatic about how we were going to teach our kids about this without instilling a sense of fear in them.  We even tip toed around the subject when Princess Sparkley and Buddy were little.  But it isn't something we've had to avoid.  It isn't something we've had to sit them down to talk to about.  It hasn't been the big deal I envisioned it being.  It's just something horrible that happened.  And they are, in a sense, removed from it like I'm removed from World War II even though my parents can remember the terror of that war.  I guess I like them being a little removed from it, it allows them to feel some sorrow without the fear.  When we do talk about it, it's because it just comes up in every day life.  Luckily we are able to explain it with the proper amount of respect and reverence for those who lost their lives without dwelling on the horrible people that made it happen.  It's sad to have to let our children know that there really are bad people in the world (last night we had to explain that Hitler purposely killed all the Jewish people in Germany and surrounding countries, again, not a history lesson, just a way of explaining why Jews started regrouping in Jerusalem after World War II because it all came up while reading the scriptures together).  I guess what I'm happy about is that our kids know about the memorial of it all, and not the fear.  It's not a taboo subject, like it was in books and movies when it first happened.  It's talked about and discussed and still with the proper frame of mind that it deserves. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Not Fooling Me

I am Facebook friends with someone who is really just an acquaintance from several years ago.  This person is living the life of everyone described in the book I'm reading Slouching Toward Adulthood.  This person is constantly moving around the world doing various "jobs" or volunteer work.  This person, aside from seeming a little scatterbrained also lacks basic spelling and punctuation skills.  This person's most recent status updates on Facebook have included capitalization, punctuation, and large vocabulary words.  I'm pretty sure someone else has taken over their postings.  This is why when my mom and I Skype (just the messaging, not the videos) she knows when Jed is the one doing the typing.  He capitalizes and punctuates.  I tend not to in instant messages and text messages.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Photobomb


Little Guy, photobombing this picture Princess Sparkley was trying to take of Buddy riding his bike.

Being a Big Brother

It turns out Little Guy is WAY excited about being a big brother.  He was nervous before Mystery Baby arrived.  He thought the baby would crawl around after him and take stuff from him.  And he will, just not yet.  One of Little Guy's goals he set for this school year is to learn to hold babies.  He asks all the time if he can hold him and comes up and softly pets his hair.  He's not totally on board with throwing away dirty diapers yet, but he's better than his siblings. 
 

 




Buddy, on the other hand, is a little freaked out by this new baby.  He was this way with Little Guy four and a half years ago, but I thought he'd be more comfortable this time round.  He says the new baby makes him nervous.  And he's very loud and screamy, which, to his credit, Buddy is not a fan of loud noises.  He's gotten better over the last few days, but he usually just waves to the baby from across the room.

Princess Sparkley of course is loving it and is a huge help holding Mystery Baby for me and helping keep him happy.  She washes his binkys as frequently as a first time mom. 

Hospital Bills

I got temporarily freaked out today when a bill arrived in the mail from the hospital for $2600+.  We just bought a new car and our budget doesn't leave room for an unexpected hospital bill.  I called maybe four different numbers before leaving a message and waiting for a response.  By the time I got a call back, I had realized that the patient was listed as Mystery Baby.  Which made me realize I was probably only getting the bill because his insurance information hadn't been processed/approved yet.  And when the call came, she explained that this was exactly the case.  Phew.

We had awesome insurance in California when Jed was working for city government and we had our first two kids.  We never got a hospital bill (or invoice) for Buddy, but with Princess Sparkley, they sent us the invoice showing us how much our insurance paid.  Wow.  It was a TON of money.  If our memories are correct, close to $30,000. 

With Little Guy, we paid out of pocket through a great program our hospital had.  We paid $3600 total (about $2000 to the hospital and about $1600 to my OBGYN, although there were some other bills in there for lab tests, etc.).  This was nearly $20,000+ less than our hospital bill from having Princess Sparkley. 

I should probably have some deep thoughts here about our country, and insurance and Obamacare.  But really, I don't.  I like how things have been, and I'd prefer they didn't change.  That's about all the deep thinking capabilities I have right now when I'm as sleep deprived as I currently am.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Signature

Mystery Baby's social security card and birth certificate came in the mail today.  Princess Sparkley was intrigued by the social security card and wondered if she'd had to sign hers.  I explained that it would be the same card she had until she changed her name (assuming she changes her name when she gets married, and assuming she gets married) so it was probably best to wait until she had a grown-up signature to sign it.

Then I thought about my own signature.  I reworked it when Jed and I were engaged because I wanted one that was less legible.  Mine was too neat, I thought.  Then I thought over the past few weeks and the crazy signatures I've been forced to render practically under duress.

First, while in labor and battling contractions, I had to sign a billion different hospital forms (and answer a bunch of questions).  Result, barely legible scribbles.

Second, while feeding Mystery Baby a bottle at the car dealership, a ton of one handed awkward scribbles finalizing the purchase of our new car.

Third, in the ER (I'm okay) with an IV hooked into me and exhaustion setting in at 5AM.

So, I guess pre-married me got my wish, I now have a signature that is not nearly as legible as it once was.  And it's just getting worse.  Before I know it, it'll look like Jed's (who strangely has THE nicest printing I've ever seen) or my brother's (whose signature is an R followed by a wavy line).








Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Learning new things about oneself


On owning a new car...

Turns out we aren't the jerks who park in the middle of two parking spaces, but we are the nut jobs who park at the far end of the parking lot.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Places Lived

California: 22 3/4 years 
(June 1978-June 1996 - 18 years, December 2000-September 2005 - 4 3/4 years)

I lived in California for exactly 18 years, leaving for college in Utah on my 18th birthday.  Then, add on an additional 4 and 3/4 years after I'd graduated from college and Jed and I were married. 


Utah: 4 1/2 years
(June 1996-December 2000)

Four years at BYU and a semester student teaching.


Kansas: One month shy of 4 years.
(September 2005-August 2009)


Virginia: 3 years and counting
(August 2009-present)


It's a bit crazy to me that we've almost lived in Virginia as long as we lived in Kansas.  And it's even crazier that we've been gone from California for so long.  Eventually, the years I've lived outside of California will surpass the years I lived in California, and that's crazy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

As if recovery wasn't bad enough on it's own...

I tend to recover well from giving birth (we'll just ignore Princess Sparkley's journey into this world because it took 18+ hours making the recovery much slower).  With all three boys, the labor has been relatively quick, and I think with Mystery Baby, I was only pushing for a few minutes, not to mention an epidural that mostly worked.  But it's SO annoying to finally be done with being pregnant and not being able to sleep on my belly, but I can't because I don't want to cut off my milk supply.  Not to mention the soreness of that entire region.  So while recovering-from-birth-wise, I actually feel pretty good, I have all sorts of other complaints.
 
What stinks about recovery:
  • Being in the hospital for all of Friday, Saturday and half of Sunday... sitting and sleeping uncomfortably in a hospital bed, plus the soreness of muscles from poorly managing my contraction pain.  My bum didn't hurt from giving birth, it hurt from having to sit and sleep so uncomfortably.
  • Breastfeeding is never easy for me, so of course I'm already trying to alleviate pain and ward off infections.  Meaning I still can't sleep on my stomach, meaning I'm still sleeping uncomfortably.  On top of the fact that I'm getting little sleep.
  • Today, my head feels like it is going to explode.  I just looked up postpartum headaches and apparently they are super common.  But the medicine I'm allowed to take is not nearly as powerful as I would like it to be.  Maybe I could check back in and get some Vicadin, or whatever they were offering me at the hospital.
  • I have a cough.  I started getting a cough a few days before Mystery Baby was born.  It's still here meaning I'm constantly coughing and waking him up.  Or I'm coughing and clutching my uterus so I don't damage it. Or I'm trying to suppress my giant coughing attacks so I don't lose any stitches. 
  • Being so sleepy.
  • Mystery Baby sleeps best curled up on my chest, meaning even when he's asleep, I'm trapped (like right now) sitting on the couch with a sleeping baby perched on my chest.
 
Sorry to complain, mostly it's the headaches... and the breastfeeding that is doing me in.  Mystery Baby is super sweet and I just have to remind myself that I'm never in love with the first few months of having a baby.  I'm more of a baby person, not a newborn person.  They are cute and tiny and I like to see them all squished up, but I like them much better from about 4 or 6 months on.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

28 years


I just had to do some calculating and in doing so realized that Jed and I have now known each other 28 years.  He moved to California the summer of 1984 and there we met.  Granted, we didn't really get to know each other for another eight years.  But still, even knowing each other for 20 years is crazy impressive.  Plus, the 20th anniversary of the first time we held hands will be this November.  Nuts.  This makes us sound much older than we are!

Tough Week

Last night Jed was complaining to me about how horrible his week is going to be.
1.  He has to watch a baby be born.
2.  He has to cut the umbilical cord which creeps him out.
3.  He has to be present for a circumcision (he already learned the lesson of not watching this one).
My response, "Yeah, YOUR week is going to be real rough."  It's not like I have to give birth or anything.
Then I had a laughing fit remembering a hike we took at Thomas Stone National Historic Site.  Little Guy was in the hiking backpack on Jed's back.  Jed ended up falling into a small creek almost up to his waist.  When he climbed up the other side of the creek, Little Guy was exclaiming how his boots *almost* got wet to Jed, who was wet from his upper thigh, down to his toes. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Golden Birthday!

Princess Sparkley turned 10 today!


Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

Do you notice her newly pierced ears?

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Bike Trailer... for a DOG!?!




I saw this and thought, "Surely the word 'dog' is just a cutesy name for this bike trailer and it isn't actually meant for dogs."  I was wrong.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Baby Blanket

I finally finished the blanket for Mystery Baby.  I bought this monkey fabric a few years ago when I had a bunch of friends having babies.  I assumed one of them would have a boy.  They all had girls.  So it's been sitting in my fabric box, waiting for an occasion to get used.  Last week I found the brown fabric and over the weekend I cut the strips and sewed them together.  Then Princess Sparkley and I went to the laundry mat down the road and washed and dried it so it wouldn't mess up our washer and dryer with all the loose strings.  

front, or rag side

back


I don't remember which lovey won my poll, I think only three of you voted anyway, but I went with the monkey since I ended up using this monkey fabric I had.  So, mystery baby will have a monkey theme going, at least in two aspects of his life.  I'm not sure I really want it to evolve into even more.  My brother had a bedroom filled with monkey stuffed animals and monkey posters until probably he left for college.


6 days until my due date.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

Recipes for simple chocolate chip cookies tend to be one of the things I ignore.  So, feel free to ignore these recipes if you already have a fabulous recipe of your own.  I have a recipe I love that's my normal chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it makes a lot.  A lot, a lot.  Last night I made a batch so I could stock pile my freezer cookie dough collection.  I two-thirded the recipe and came out with about 4 dozen cookies.  So, when I want to make a chocolate chip cookie and not be overwhelmed by the amount of cookie (or the amount of butter I'm using), I have two new go to recipes.  The first my mom got from some woman in her church congregation, the second is from a church cookbook that is several years old from my mom's congregation again.  The second is an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe and is my dad's new "go to" recipe (even though my original recipe is his normal recipe).  And besides being delicious, each of these recipes is easily halved using only one cube of butter and one egg.  Jed appreciates this because otherwise, he has to try to figure out how to halve all the crazy fractions.


Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 375.  Cream the butter (when it is still pretty firm).  Add sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients then add to butter/sugar/egg mixture.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  This makes about 48 cookies.  Halved, 24.



Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
2 1/4 cups quick oats (I use regular oats)
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 400.  Combine butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs.  Combine dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients.  Roll into small-sized balls.  Bake at 400 for 7-9 minutes.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Politics

I don't like confrontations.  And that basically sums up why I don't like being involved in, or even witnessing political "discussions."  Last night there was a knock on the door, I should have made Jed get it, he LOVES political "discussions."  Unfortunately I answered the door to an older woman with a clipboard who appeared to be, or at least, led me to believe she was checking voter registration, making sure people were paying attention to the presidential campaign and noting what were the key issues in the campaign to me.  I'm totally cool with that, everyone should be thinking about an upcoming presidential campaign, everyone should be registered to vote.
When I expressed the few issues that I feel are important to the election, she started disagreeing with me.  Basically, she is pro-Obama and wanted to argue me on points, telling me "it's the truth" to which I had to tell her, "my opinion differs from yours, I don't believe your "truth" is true."  Then I politely told her she'd never change my mind, I had no interest in going to Obama's website and she was free to have her opinion.  All while I'm standing in my doorway, 8 1/2 months pregnant, with a temperature above 90 and probably 90% humidity.  THAT I am not okay with.  Arguing her political point to me, at my house, under false pretenses, while out of decency I'm forced to be uncomfortable and annoyed. 
And for the record, I'm not really happy with either candidate, but I'm less happy with the current president than I am with any of his competition.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Need a Girl Scout Cookie Fix and it's Not Cookie Season

Photo from this USA Today article.
Nestle article here.

We saw a commercial over the 4th of July at Jed's sister's for these Limited Edition Girl Scout cookie candy bars.  Jed went looking for them without success.  We spotted them at Walmart yesterday (at the checkstands).  Yum!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baby Countdown

Three more weeks (+/-).

Here's how I make sure the baby doesn't come early:
     I don't have a car seat ready.  I haven't bought diapers or wipes or binkys.

Here's how I make that plan backfire:
     Jed set up the crib and we washed all the boy clothes, blankets and burp cloths.


Or maybe it's the reverse of the above.  Maybe because I don't have diapers, the baby will come early.  Or maybe because the crib is set up, the baby will be late. 

And my newest fear:
     While walking around looking super pregnant I start getting paranoid that weirdos are going to kidnap me and cut the baby from my belly.  I think I read bizarre news headlines too often, and watched too many made for TV movies in the 90s.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Simple Little Dessert

I got this idea (chocolate and banana cream) from Pinterest and simplified it.  She actually makes the pie crust, the pudding and the whipped cream from scratch.  I could do all that, but just for a simple treat for the family, I didn't need to.

I bought the refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts, rolled them out and used a small round cookie cutter with a decorative edge, baked them (I think 400 for about 5-6 minutes) then let them cool.  She used vanilla pudding for the banana cream pie bites, I had banana cream pie pudding on hand so used that.  Use a small dollop of pudding to hold the banana in place and top it with more.  When I used too much pudding on the bottom, the whole thing started to slide away.

Taken with my phone when I couldn't find my camera.


For the chocolate ones, I just used chocolate pudding, but there's a variety of different flavors of chocolate pudding out there that I'm sure we'll try in the future.  We shaved chocolate chips on top to make it fancy.  This was Buddy's family night treat last week so he helped with the pudding and whipped cream.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weird Addictions I Have

I may have already blogged about how much I love un-toasted Pop-Tarts (or generic pop-tarts).  And I may have already blogged about how much I love the smiley face Walmart brand fruit snacks. But I've recently discovered that the fruit snacks at Aldi* (at least the dinosaur-shaped ones) are just about as yummy as the smiley face ones from Walmart.  More like a candy than a healthy fruit snack, but I wasn't talking about healthy addictions here.


*Aldi.  Not Aldis.  Why do so many people call it Aldis??  Drives me nuts.

Stupid Earthquake

According to this article, the earthquake from last summer that damaged the Washington Monument could keep the Monument closed until 2014 and covered with scaffolding.  This is extra upsetting to me for a couple of reasons.

1.  One of the things on my "to do" list while we live in the Washington area is to go to the top of the Monument and if things go the way we plan, we won't still be living here in 2014. 

2.  I want a family picture taken from this location (mainly family, but a definite "we lived near DC" feel to the picture) before we move:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Need to Make This


from Sew Much Ado: here



And when the pack my mom bought me runs out, maybe some of these:
from The Peaceful Mom: here


Friday, July 13, 2012

Curtain Project

When we moved into our townhome last summer, only two windows had any sort of window covering.  One is the unfinished part of the basement (aka Jed's office) and that window faces the front of the house and is next to the front door.  The curtain on it is just white.  The other is in the kitchen. Now, as you can see below (sorry, I don't have a shot of the actual window) the kitchen is very blue and white.  The curtain in the kitchen is tan with olives and burgundy accents.  It doesn't really match (AT ALL), but it's been low on my priority list. 



The other day I came across this idea on Pinterest and fell in love.  Simple, doable, doesn't require any sewing.  I just need to haul myself to the fabric store and make up my mind about some fabrics in blues and whites and maybe a little red.

Image from here: One good thing by Jillee

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Crazy

Some ideas seem totally normal to us until we are asked to explain them to a child.  Little Guy (4 1/2) and I had this conversation this week.

Little Guy: Why is Spiderman called Spiderman?

Me: He was bitten by a spider and that gave him super powers.

Me: (thinking) That sounds nuts, I can't believe that's a believable movie plot!

Little Guy: Oh, it's probably because he can make spider webs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pregnancy Fears

Among all the more major fears (giving birth, something going wrong, the baby having a health problem, etc.) I also have weird minor fears.  My big fear right now is that this baby will actually be a girl.  When I had the ultrasound, the technician told me it was a boy and indicated that when she was done with all the other measurements that needed to happen, she'd come back and double check for sure.  Then a higher up technician/doctor came and looked specifically at this baby's heart (because of Little Guy's heart) and the technician never went back for a double check on the gender.  She never really gave me a reason to think that it wouldn't be a boy, but her double check never happened and so in the back of my messed up pregnant mind I keep thinking, "what if it's a girl and I just washed all the boy newborn clothes!"  Or, "what if it's a girl and we don't agree on a single girl name right now" (even though historically, we've had half a dozen girl names picked out and no boy names for each of our kids).  Jed has a girl name picked out that he loves.  When his parents were quizzing him about it he had to tell them, no he's pretty sure no other person has this name.  This, from my husband who refuses so many baby names for so many reasons and here he goes and picks out a girl name that isn't even a name.   If we'd been able to agree on a boy name other than Little Guy's, I could use my all time favorite girl name.  And if stupid Adele hasn't won all those Grammys this year we'd be set with a girl name.  And if the other girl name we had picked out didn't rhyme with the girl middle name we picked out we'd be good.  So even though Princess Sparkley would love this to be a girl (I haven't told her about my secret fear so she doesn't get her hopes up) and none of us (well, Buddy and Little Guy might) would be disappointed with a girl baby, we're in trouble if this baby is a girl because her birth certificate might say "Baby Girl" for awhile.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Spoons

I decided this morning to take an inventory of our spoons since it seems (between cereal and bowls of ice cream) that we never have enough.  I wondered if it really was a matter of we are using spoons more frequently than forks and knives, or if we had less spoons.  Turns out we are now down to nine spoons (there are supposed to be twelve).  I believe last time I inventoried our spoons we had eleven.  I'm not sure which kid is the culprit (maybe all of them), but I have a feeling we're losing spoons to the trash.
The entire inventory:
12 knives
12 large dinner forks
12 small dinner forks
12 large dinner spoons
9 small dinner spoons
Looks like I need to go spoon shopping.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Angry Birds



Probably like most kids (and adults) in America*, my kids are currently obsessed with Angry Birds.  The downside, we don't have smartphones or Ipads so they used to only get to play when they were visiting relatives who did own said devices.  Not anymore.  For his birthday in January, Little Guy got this physical, build up blocks and launch a bird at them, board game version of Angry Birds.  He loves it.  And just recently he decided to save up his money for this other version.  (I've seen both at Target.)  Plus, we recently discovered this website where we can play online.  (And this one where you can play my favorite, Cut the Rope.)



I've spent all week printing out Angry Bird coloring pages for Little Guy who then colors them and insists I cut out all the birds and pigs.  We have dozens of Angry Bird bits of paper floating around our house.  So it was an awesome discovery at A.C. Moore (our local craft store) when we found Angry Birds coloring books for $1 each yesterday.  We got two.  I might need to go back for more since he's already colored a bunch of the pages.

*We're a little slow on these types of technological advancements.  It wasn't until earlier this week that Little Guy informed me the birds are angry because the piggies stole their eggs.  I seriously had no idea.  And when Angry Birds first became a hit, Little Guy called them the Mad Birds.  I sort of miss that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4th of July Wreath by Princess Sparkley

Using this as our guide, Princess Sparkley (with some touch up work by me) created a Fourth of July wreath today for our front door.  Instead of using a foam wreath, we used a quilting hoop I got off Freecycle awhile ago.  And all the fabric was stuff I had from abandoned or leftover projects. 


Monday, June 25, 2012

Parenting Lesson Learned Today

Never tell your kids when you might do something fun.
 
We sent our kids to bed last night with the idea that we (the decision-makers) were going to discuss and decide about a fun activity for the day.  At the time, we were debating between camping at First Land State Park in Virginia Beach, or possibly just going to the beach for the day.  After they were in bed we checked the weather and there was a 40% chance of scatter thunderstorms from noon until 8PM.  Neither idea seemed all that great while raining. 
 
Princess Sparkley immediately broke in tears (moping for several hours).  And this was not even knowing what the plan was, just that we were going to do something.  Maybe we should have more of our exciting activities be stuff like: clean out the closets, scrub toilets, etc.  Then if we cancelled said plans, nobody would cry.
 
So, to try to make it up to the kids for the failed camping/beach trip (which could have still happened later in the week possibly), we had a different, not as fun plan (that we also didn't tell them the details of, we just packed them in the car letting them know they'd be there for about an hour) and that it was nothing exciting.  But we get in the car and the car is braking strangely, we basically circle a big block and get dropped off at home.  Jed and PS then took our car to get fixed.  Our exciting day went from exciting to boring and depressing.  At least PS is now having the fun excursion of walking home from the car place (it's less than a mile away). 
 
Meanwhile, Buddy just wandered in and asked when we were going to do our fun thing for the day.  Argh...

Americana Recap

Just a reminder since I probably won't have anything new to add this year, here are all my past 4th of July related posts. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Camping

We're crazy enough to think about going camping in the next couple of weeks.  Mainly because we've been promising the kids we'd go forever, and I'd rather go now than with a newborn.  Here are some links to all the camping advice, etc. I've been finding online.

Tin foil dinners
More tin foil dinners
Tin foil dinner tips
More foil meals
Camping Monkey Bread
Pancake batter in a Ziplock (picture here, scroll down a bit)
Orange Rolls over a campfire
Breakfast eggs in foil bowls
Personalized campfire sticks
Or, the dollar section at Target right now has telescoping Marshmallow roasters
Campurritos
Tips on planning a menu and prepping camp food
10 easy breakfast camping recipes
Tips for camping food
Family Camping Q & A
Pie Iron recipes
More pie iron recipes
No utensil cooking
Bug buttons


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Worm

     In case you've already forgotten this post, Princess Sparkley is a book worm.  I'm beginning to think she's actually a faster reader than either Jed or myself.  We've recently cracked down on how many library books we can check out at a time because the library was losing track of what we'd returned and we were having to hunt them down on the shelves to prove to the librarians that we had indeed returned said books.  Not to mention there were some books we were renewing four times (meaning they were in our house for five months) so we insisted these books be read before new ones could be obtained.  Most of these were books that Jed picked out for PS and once she finally read them, she enjoyed them, but she put them off forever (or, in actuality, half a year). 
     We returned a stack of library books on Monday or Tuesday and each of the kids just got two or three new books.  Today, Thursday, we went to a different library so I could find two books on the shelf and let the librarians know that, yes, we had returned those books.  PS asked if we could get books.  I said no, we just got books a couple days ago.  To which she responded, but I'm already done with those books.  I told her that meant she was getting books that were too far below her reading level and we needed to get harder books for her.  I told her we should look for the second book in the Benedict Society series.  I'd read the first book aloud to them earlier this year, or possibly last year.  We found that book, came home around lunchtime, did a shortened summer school day and after dinner I overhead PS and Jed talking about how she was done with that book already.  So, in less than five hours, she'd read a 464 page book for 5th-7th graders (she's just finished 4th grade).  I don't think I could have read that book that quickly. 
     I was excited then, when I came across this link on Pinterest, Top Read Aloud Chapter Books Starring Mighty Girls.  And while this list does have a lot of great books on it, she's already read more than half of them.  At least it's a start...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bored

I. Am. Bored.  I want to be doing something.  But nothing sounds worthwhile to me to be doing. 

I feel like reading, but can't find a book that I want to read.

I feel like sewing, but can't find any fabric that I like.

I feel like watching a movie or something, but nothing looks/sounds interesting. 

Do you ever get in these moods?  There are dozens of things I could be occupying my time with right now, but I don't want to do any of them, even though part of me wants to do all of them.  Does that make sense?

Summer Solstice

So... I've always thought my birthday was on the last day of spring.  But it's today, and today is the first day of summer.  I'm thinking maybe it's a Leap Year thing and I just haven't paid much attention to it before.  Anyway, it does make my day a little more exciting because when my birthday is on the Summer Solstice, it's also the longest day of the year.  Hip hip hooray.  Except, technically, we aren't celebrating it until the weekend when Jed's semester is over and he's not swamped with classes and grading papers.  Maybe the kids and I will go out for ice cream.

Monday, June 18, 2012

When to Nest

I don't know that I ever really get the "nesting" kick that so many pregnant women talk about.  There comes a point when I realize I need to get stuff ready for the baby, but that's just logic.  I'm at a point in this pregnancy (32 1/2 weeks) when it's too soon to *really* get ready for the baby, even if it is sort of soon.  I'm not going to pull out all the baby clothes and wash them in Dreft.  I'm not going to set up the crib.  I'm not putting the car seat in the car.  Etc.  So what do I do?
I want to make a boy version of this, like the one I made for Buddy awhile back.  But I can't find any fabrics that are jumping out at me to use them.  Crazy, since usually fabric is jumping out at me and I have no project for which to use them.  I've bought the fabric for the nursing cover I've commissioned (can it be described as commissioned if no money trades hands?) my mother-in-law to sew.  I haven't sent it to her yet because I haven't picked out the fabric for the car seat cover because I haven't gone and bought the car seat yet (and I want them to sort of match)  because 7 1/2 weeks seems too soon.  Maybe I'm just in denial about this baby coming. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

How Are You?

I assume these days what when people ask how I am, or how I'm feeling, they are referring to the pregnancy.  There isn't much to say to that other than pregnant.  Plus, I hate that I automatically answer and then say, "and how are you?" Or, "how are you feeling?"  It's like someone telling you congratulations and you accidentally responding, "Thanks, you too."  When there is no reason for you to congratulate them.

And on a similar note, people keep telling me how terrible I looked last time they saw me so they hope I'm doing better.  I did have the flu last week, which in addition to being pregnant, is not fun.  But I already feel huge, why must people point out how miserable/sick/tired I look.  Especially when I think I'm pulling off looking normal.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Random Fun

  • We live in a row of townhomes where the bottom floor where you enter is more like a basement and the kitchen/dining/living area starts on the second floor.  Sort of annoying that you have to go up a flight of stairs to be to the main living floor, but not horrible.  We don't have a back porch off the second level, but our neighbors on either side do.  (If we did as well, it would be like a block party and we could pass drinks and appetizers among the neighbors we'd be so squished together.)  Our neighbor on the right is an older lady who apparently recently acquired a fat bull dog.  Or possibly she's pet sitting.  Either way, it apparently can't handle the steps down the back porch so several times a day we see this little lady carry this tubby little bull dog down and then back the steps to take care of its business.  It's a funny sight to see.
  • Our kids (the two oldest) have finally learned to ride bikes without training wheels.  They go up and down the sidewalk on the street out front.  Apparently the other day some kids got in Princess Sparkey's way, causing her to swerve and hit a car parked parallel on the street.  The people were in the car, and associated with the kids who caused the accident so they said it was okay.  I'm just glad she didn't crash into the Corvette that parks up that direction.
  • We went on a family walk/bike the other night which ended up with Jed being bitten by a 200 lb. Mastiff.  He's okay, it was just swollen and sore for a day or two.  But because of these dogs being loose from their yard we called animal control, which was closed because it was a Sunday evening, so we called the police.  They insisted on coming to see us as well as collecting the dogs back into their yard.  It was the highlight of the week in Little Guy's mind.  For several days now he's said "thank you the police man came to our house" in his prayers.  
  • It's much easier to deal with Buddy as a sick kid than Princess Sparkley.  Princess Sparkley is constantly trying to convince us she's ready to eat food again, eats too much too soon and pukes it up again.  Buddy has only had 6 crackers, one applesauce, two pieces of toast, an English muffin and a few glasses of Sprite and water in the past 36 hours.  Princess Sparkley would have been demanding full meals hours ago. 
  • At my check-up this week I found out I passed by three hour glucose test and lost 2 or 3 lbs.  I told Jed we needed to celebrate by getting donuts from Shoppers (our local grocery store with giant, delicious donuts).  I was sort of joking.  Instead we got ice cream and watched part of season two of Downton Abbey.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Turning 10

When Princess Sparkley's tenth birthday was much further away, I had this brilliant idea to get her a pet for her birthday.  It's her Golden Birthday (turning 10 on the 10th) and it's also turning double digits!  Two exciting things.  Now that her birthday is fast approaching, I'm not sure I can handle a pet yet.  Especially not at the same time as a new baby.  She's getting a baby brother practically on her birthday, isn't that enough?  But I feel bad because this means she most likely won't have a party, get a pet, and she'll be stuck celebrating with a baby for the next few years.  But what can I do for her instead?!  I thought about bumping up her 12 year old gift, which is getting her ears pierced, but I'm not sure how Jed feels about that.  Besides it would create an upset among the girl cousins who are having to wait until they are 12 also.  I need ideas, people!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Baby Names

Jed and I are private people.  Private about stuff that of course you should be private about (testimony meeting at church often makes me uncomfortable because people are telling me stuff that they shouldn't be telling strangers, let alone from the pulpit).  But I'm finding that we are private about stuff that a lot of people don't feel the need to be private about.  Those people make me feel awkward for them too.  Anyway, we typically don't announce our baby's name until he/she is born.  I believe with Princess Sparkley, I announced her name at my baby shower.  With Buddy and then Little Guy, no one knew their names until we called to let family know they had been born.  This baby has presented a whole new situation in which Jed felt we needed to lay claim to the name before we had a nephew born (a few weeks before my due date) to a family that uses Biblical names.  (There's a clue for you, our name is Biblical.)  So, our families know the name.  Princess Sparkley has told some of the adult women she comes in contact with the baby's name.  I've even told a few people because I feel like I'm lying when I'm asked "do you have a name picked out yet?"  It used to be I could say, "Yeah, but we're not telling yet."  But the answer, "Yeah, but we're only telling select people" seems weird.  Usually I just direct people to ask Princess Sparkley.  Or I give in and tell them.  Or I avoid the question.  It's all strangely uncomfortable for me because I like it to be top secret until the baby is born.  It's not even that I don't want to tell people.  It's just something we were so secretive about for all our other babies that it feels strange to not be secretive this time round.  When I was pregnant with Buddy, the grandparents were constantly asking Princess Sparkley what her baby brother's name was going to be (we'd told her), but she was less than two years old, so slightly unintelligible.  At least I can't announce it here because none of our kids real names are here.  Hoorah.

Favorite Pinterest Recipes

Cheesey Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

Creamy Avocado w/ White Bean Chipotle Wrap

PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Bean Dip

Roasted Potato Wedges

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

White Cake/Cupcake

Easy Egg and Ham Casserole (I added green onions too)

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

Mexican Pizzas

Falafel (with this homemade flat bread)

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Shredded Beef Tacos

Monday, June 04, 2012

Sewing for Baby

I have my mother-in-law lined up to sew the following projects for me (for the baby) as soon as the school year ends and she's on a break from teaching seminary

I'm thinking of this fabric:
from Joann.com



Leaning towards a fabric like this (it's a green background, which doesn't show up well here):

from Joann.com


But I think I'll wait until I've purchased the infant carseat before I decide on a fabric, so at least they don't totally clash.


And now I'm thinking I also need one of these muslin or gauze swaddle wrap blankets:

Swaddle Wraps (from here at Target or homemade at Etsy here or homemade).
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