Saturday, December 30, 2006

Looking Back on 2006


The boys attended a class at the Desert Botanical Gardens
My cousin had a baby boy


DH turned 37
Hosted a baby blessing for my friend, T.


My brother and his new girlfriend came to visit
Worked on my corner garden in the yard
Took down the bunk beds and went to 2 twins for the boys
C no longer needs pull-ups at night!
C learned to ride a 2 wheeler


I traveled to WI with my sister to attend my brother's wedding
Family attended the County Fair and C had his first try at rock climbing (which he loved!)
Brother left for training to prepare him to serve in Middle East


Hosted baby shower for my friend, D
N turned 4
Traveled to WI again, this time with my boys, for a visit
Friend D had baby boy
Started pool process


C attended VBS at our church
C attended zoo camp
Mural painted in garden


Brother actually in the Middle East
Took mini-vacation to a local resort
DH replaced living room carpet with laminate


Began homeschooling "officially"
C starts enrichment program
Hot tub installed
C & N start t-ball season


Positive Pregnancy Test
Pool Completed!


Attended first in a series of family symphony concerts
Held annual kids' Halloween party
DH traveled to Vegas for awards ceremony for work
Hired cleaning help


I turned 39
C turned 6
Took family vacation to California for everyone's first visit to DisneyLand


Ultrasound showed we're having a girl
Attended Luminarias at the Gardens
Celebrated Christmas

Friday, December 29, 2006

half way there!

I hit 20 weeks this week - which means I've reached the 1/2 way point in this pregnancy.

My last doctor's appointment was fine. We talked about tests that needed to be completed (glucose at 28 weeks, move up Strep B testing to 34 since Nate came at 36 weeks, another u/s at 28 to make sure Missy Girl moved up away from my cervix.) Her bedside manner was MUCH better this time around, which makes me wonder if she's been getting feedback and is trying to change. More power to her if she is, but I still don't care if she's chipper or reticent -- I just want a non-interventionist looking out for my birth.

I'm not as tired or as sick, but I'm still tired and feeling lousy. LOL!

I'm trying to create routines for me and the boys. I used to be really good about routines, but have let them fall away the last couple years. I know we'll need them again to survive with an infant in the house, and I also know it's easier to start the habits before she arrives. That's one of my resolutions for the new year.

She must know I'm typing about her, because she's kicking me right now. I feel her often, but it's not often or strong enough for anyone else to feel her yet. She's still pretty low, but I can feel that she's moved more center instead of hanging out on my far right side.

Today I'm headed off to the grocery store. The boys are busy right now playing a game that has stuffed animals leaping from one bed to the other, so I imagine I'll hear some complaints about heading out!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas highlights

We had a wonderful holiday, and I thought I'd hit on just a few of the highlights.

We decided to attend midnight mass instead of the 6PM family mass. The boys have been staying up later anyway, and as a kid we always attended midnight mass with family. Our midnight mass happens at 10PM, too, which made it a little easier (the priest explained it was midnight on the east coast - LOL)

When we walked in, one of the ushers asked us if we'd like to present the gifts! Of course, we said yes and the boys got to actually carry the gifts to the priest. She also asked DH if he would help with the collection. It was special, and felt like a bit of a sign to me -- who has been spiritually dry the last few months.

Another big highlight for me was a gift the boys got for me, with help from their aunt. It was a beautifully soft, green blanket for the new babe. It was so very important to them that they were the ones who got her the "first" baby blanket. Their blankies are very important to them, so they didn't want anyone to be able to claim first baby blanket status but them. My dad bought C's first baby blanket, and my sister bought N's first.

Our Christmas day was relaxed and laid back - just like we enjoy our holidays. N never bothered to get dressed, which was fine ;) C dressed just before dinner. They finished opening gifts somewhere around 4PM since they take the time to play with most things as they're unwrapped. I've got a bunch of pictures on my picture blog if you're interested.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!

My boys are out with their Dad checking on a friend's dogs (and I imagine doing a little last-minute shopping.) I finished wrapping the presents, and am a little overwhelmed at the sight of our tree! There are a number of larger-sized gifts this year, though, which explains it -- but I realize Santa went a little overboard this year again. (his gifts are not yet out)

I am taking a short break before cleaning the living room, so our pictures are nice tomorrow. I also need to clean the kitchen, and it wouldn't hurt to throw in a few loads of laundry. I've decided the living room is the most important goal, however, so that will happen first. It shouldn't take me long -- I just want to remove some cluttery spots.

We'll attend the family Christmas Eve mass tonight at 6PM. DH will make his yummy pizzas when we get home, while listening to carols. The boys will open their new pajamas (which I am afraid will be too warm . . . maybe I should open some windows to cool the house off? LOL). They'll take their baths, set out Santa's snack and their stockings, listen to stories (including the story of Christ's birth) and then try to fall asleep!

Tomorrow will be an easy day. We'll get up, I'll throw the cinnamon rolls in the oven, then we'll open stockings and gifts. Mid-morning we'll get dressed. Dinner will be ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, bread, & red velvet cake. My sister will come over sometime in the afternoon and stay for dinner. I'm sure there will be lots of pictures taken, and phone calls made and received.

Wishing you & yours a blessed Christmas!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


What's your style for wrapping gifts? I can remember years past when I carefully wrapped gifts. I would fold over the edges and trim the sides and make perfect little packages. I would coordinate ribbons and bows with the paper and do extra little spiffs for each package.

THEN, I got married and suddenly the amount of gifts I had to wrap pretty much doubled. THEN, I became a mom and our friends and family started having children, and the number of gifts grew exponentially.

I'm not a great wrapper anymore. This year, I had one huge roll of wrapping paper and everything is wrapped in that paper. No ribbons. No bows. I cut a big chunk of paper and fold it as much as necessary to fit each gift. No more neat and even folds that are exactly the same on each side. No more trimming to perfectly fit each box.

DH is much more careful about wrapping -- but he doesn't like to do it, and he's busy and not home much these days. Unless I wanted to wrap everything on Christmas Eve, (which I DON'T - been there, done that, and no desire to repeat!) it's been up to me to do a little at a time. I'm not complaining, and neither is he, although he does poke fun at my sloppy edges.

OH, and Santa definitely DOES NOT wrap gifts! He's much too busy, don't you know??

Considering the fact that all the paper will be ripped off and discarded before 10AM Monday, I am fine with my current sloppy wrapping. Maybe in a few years I'll get neat and careful again - who knows?

I have 3 gifts left to wrap and then I'm done! Yea!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


We own multiple copies of books that have the lyrics for the "12 Days of Christmas", plus a couple different variations ("12 Leaping Lizards" and "Elmo's 12 Days" for instance). Somehow, however, in my 17 Christmas music CD's, we didn't own a sung version of the carol.

I searched on Amazon, and found the John Denver & Muppets Christmas Carol CD and remembered that I loved the version on there -- with Miss Piggy singing about the "5 golden rings . . ." The price was only $3.99, so I couldn't resist and snapped up a copy.

Last night at dinner, I put in the CD. The first song is "12 Days" and we all enjoyed listening to it. Then, a couple other songs . . . then the song about "giving a penny, and if you haven't got a penny, a ha-penny will do . . . " came on. I always liked that song, and started to sing along, then burst into tears.

Then, I started laughing, because it seemed ridiculous. And, I burst back into tears. I finally had to leave the table to try to get some control back, with all the men in my family trailing behind -- very concerned and consoling.

DH kept asking what was wrong, and I kept replying nothing. I finally realized that the carol - especially sung by the Muppets - reminded me of my paternal grandmother -- and grandfather. It triggered some memories and at that moment I missed them both so much. (They died in 1994 and 1989.) My grandmother had this CD, which I forgot until it was playing. It was one of her favorites, and she played it during the season when I lived with her during college. My grandparents also took me to see a Muppets movie when I was young - it was the only movie we went to together, and I remember it was a very special afternoon. I was sad, and worn out the rest of the evening. Ugh. I know a big part of it is pregnancy hormones, but it's exhausting and confusing!

On a brighter note, I picked up 2 pink onesies yesterday! They have AZ Diamondback logos on them, and were on clearance. They are cute! I left them hanging from the back of one of our kitchen chairs so I could show the boys and they both saw them this morning, and exclaimed about how cute they were. It was sweet to see how excited they still are about this baby.

Earlier this week, we met a friend at the mall with her 6 month old. He was tired of sitting in his stroller, so I was carrying him. N looked at me and said "You know you can't keep him?" And I replied that I knew that. A minute or so later he said "When are you going to give him back?" And I replied in a few minutes. Another minute and he said "I think it's time to give him back NOW." I asked him if he knew that I would have to carry our new baby a lot after she was born, and he just looked at me. I laughingly handed the baby back to my friend and gave N a big hug. We'll have to make sure he doesn't feel left out this spring!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

In 2007

In 2007…

1. Will you be looking for a new job? Nope, not that I can forsee. Unless changing from a mom of 2 to a mom of 3 means having a new job?

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship? Nope! No way! No How!

3. New house? We're staying put, although DH would like to put an addition on. I think that needs to wait a couple years.

4. What will you do different in 07? I will de-clutter our house BEFORE the new babe arrives in May.

5. New Years resolution? Oh. Well, see above.

6. What will you not be doing in 07? Wondering if I'm pregnant.

7. Any trips planned? Family reunion in WI in August.

8. Wedding plans? I have a cousin getting married in June (I think?) in WA that we probably won't be able to attend.

9. Major thing on your calendar? Missy Girl's due date on May 16!

10. What can’t you wait for? See #9

11. What would you like to see happen different? My house to stay neater.

12. What about yourself will you be changing? Losing weight after baby's birth

13. What happened in 06 that you didn’t think would ever happen? I got pregnant!

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about? I think I'm already pretty nice, but I can always try harder!

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 06? Yes, because the one-piece dresses I wear often don' t go well with breastfeeding. I'll have to switch back to tops and bottoms again.

16. Will you start or quit drinking? When I'm not pregnant, I don't drink often anyway. Although I have been known to have a beer to help the milk production.

17. Will you better your relationship with your family? Family relationship is pretty good at the moment.

18. Will you do charity work? Honestly? Probably not. I imagine 2007 is going to be a year spent mostly at home with my family.

19. Will you go to bars? Nope. Done with that scene!

20. Will you be nice to people you don’t know? Not any nicer than I already am.

21. Do you expect 07 to be a good year for you? Absolutely!

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now? I've got a 19 week old baby growing inside me at the moment - that's a pretty big change!

23. Do you plan on having a child? Um, yea. See most of the above answers. LOL!

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now? Yes.

25. Major lifestyle changes? None

26. Will you be moving? Not if I can avoid it!

27. What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 07 that happened in 06? 2007 was actually a very good year for us.

28. What are your New Years Eve plans? Snuggling with my honey on the couch - probably asleep before midnight.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight? Yep, most definitely.

30. One wish for 07? That I'm graceful in my shift to a mom of 3.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Boxes Shipped!

Yea!! The few boxes I had to ship before the holidays are safely in the post office's hands! I even remembered to ship a baby gift for dear friends whose baby will be born tomorrow!

Even though I had only 5 boxes total to ship, 2 of them were very large and meant that I had to take 2 trips into the post office. Thankfully, the line was short so the wait wasn't too bad.

I did decide, however, that the awesome deals I got on the actual gifts didn't make up for the cost of shipping! I purchased most of our gifts online this year, and had them shipped directly. If I can manage it, I will do ALL my shopping that way next year. I ended up with free shipping deals from all the online retailers I used, so the $60 I just spent at the post office to ship 5 boxes seems a little crazy.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tree and ultrasound

We didn't get the tree up on Saturday as I thought, because I ended up taking a 3.5 hour nap before we headed out to B's office party.

We did get the tree up on Sunday, and I'm pleased that it's done. I love walking into the house and seeing it lit up. The boys love putting on the ornaments that belong to them, and love hearing the story behind all the ornaments. We're at the point now where each ornament has a story. In our first years together, the tree had a bunch of generic ornaments -- it was still pretty (I started out with a gold/white theme and it was beautiful) -- but our tree now is much more meaningful.

Today I had my 2nd trimester ultrasound. The baby looks great, although my placenta is low. I understand that it often moves up as the baby grows, so I'm not going to worry about that. I was happy to see that the baby was moving a lot and appeared to be healthy.

DH & the boys came with me and as soon as the technician started, Nate asked "So, can you see a penis? Because we want a sister. And if you don't see a penis, then we're having a sister!" She thought he was cute and funny and humored him by checking the gender first.

And their wish came true. From all appearances, I'm carrying a girl this time. I'm a little in shock -- I kept thinking how easy it would be to have a 3rd boy -- but of course I'm thrilled that the babe is healthy and doing well.

I told my mom this evening and she immediately responded that she would send a list of acceptable names. I dread this and wish she would cut it out. When I was pregnant with N we had such an argument about names that we didn't speak for 3 days (a long time for me & my mom.) For some reason she feels that she has a say in our choice -- and hasn't figured out yet that she doesn't! I laughed it off this evening, but don't plan to tell her our choice until the babe is born -- just as we did with N.

I did NOT get anything shipped today, and still haven't boxed the things that need shipping. I need to get off the computer and do that now so I can ship the boxes tomorrow morning!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Today we plan to put up our tree! B doesn't have any calls today, so we decided to move up a day our tree plans. Last year, we purchased an artificial tree for the first year ever since we've met - but it was a great deal - and my sister is allergic to pine - so I'm still getting used to the idea.

B's office party is this evening, so I'm not sure if we'll finish decorating today or tomorrow. I will update with a picture as soon as we're done.

Other plans for this weekend include adding return labels to our Christmas cards and getting them in the mail, getting out of town gifts wrapped and ready to ship on Monday, and finishing up a few bits of Christmas shopping for the boys and B. OH, I also need to go through my closet and look at the gifts stashed there so I know what I have already! Tomorrow night we'll attend the Luminaria event at the Gardens and I plan to find time to rest as well as I've been feeling a bit peaked the last few days.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Arizona Snowman

C made this cute sock snowman at his enrichment program today. His lips look a bit blue because of a popsicle snack, but those circles around his eyes are just from being worn out by a full day at class.

I took this picture this evening after he came home. He enjoys the program, and has fun with the kids and making crafts. When I look at his exhausted face, though, I am glad we made the decision to homeschool! Our governor pushed full-day kindergarten pretty hard and it was implemented in many schools this past fall. I can't imagine sending him off for 7+ hours for 5 days a week. One day a week is plenty!

The snowman looked pretty easy to make: one long men's sock, filled with rice, tied off to make 3 sections and the top was folded down to make a hat. Googly eyes and a chenille stem nose were glued on, and the smile was drawn on with red marker. The scarf is a ribbon, and there are also 2 buttons glued on the middle section. They made a cute gift bag decorated like a snowman, and placed the sock snowman inside.

Today the program had a winter concert that was adorable. The Kindergarten class acted out the song "5 Little Snowmen." Each class (grades K - 8) performed one routine/song and you could tell the kids had a great time doing it. C was very surprised to find us sitting there when he walked in and was thrilled that we were there. B had some free time in the middle of his day, so he was able to attend as well.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dec 12 Feast Day

Today is the feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Before moving to Arizona, I really didn't know much about this incarnation of Our Blessed Mother, but I've come to love it.

I love the faith of Juan Diego, and Our Mother's sweet patience. I love how she came dressed as an Incan goddess, but Juan knew immediately who she was. My middle name is Rose, and I love how she had him gather roses to give to the bishop.

I wish I wasn't fearful about traveling in Mexico these days, because I'd like to visit the chapel that displays his tunic that holds her image.

Tomie dePaolo wrote a lovely book about her that my boys & I enjoy. In fact, it's in the pile for bedtime stories tonight! Perhaps next year I'll be more prepared and we'll do more to honor this feast day, but right now -- I'm off to read my boys to sleep :)

Monday, December 11, 2006


I finally got the Advent calendar put together Friday night. Um, yes, I was 9 days late. We got the Playmobil one again this year, which the boys LOVE, but which takes a good 45 minutes to an hour to put together. It comes with 24 boxes that have to be assembled, then each of the pieces have to be found for each box, and some of those need assembly as well. When the boys woke up Saturday morning, though, and saw that it was ready to go - they were thrilled and it was all worth it! I just wish I had done it on time. I purchased it back in October, but just never had (or took) the time to put it together.

I also just got out the box of Christmas/Advent/winter books that we have. I put them away in mid-January, so it's a nice surprise when I pull them out at the beginning (or a week into) Advent. In years past, I've wrapped them and kept them in a basket - this year I just put them out in the basket. I try to pick up a couple new ones at the after-Christmas sales so there's always at least one new one to enjoy each year.

We have an Advent wreath that I leave on the table throughout Advent. I think I'm on my 3rd right now -- I still haven't found one that I *love*, but this one does the job. The boys like to blow out the candles, so I usually light them multiple times.

Another tradition I like to say we have are Christmas cookies. However, I haven't baked any in 2 (or is it 3?) years. Ouch. I am a good cook and a great baker . . . but I have lost my desire the last few years. I intend to make cookies this year -- I have a wonderful collection of cookie cutters, and everyone loves the Kris Kringle butter cookies my mom and grandmother have made for years. Another favorite cookie are the peanut butter kisses. Perhaps if I plan on just those 2, I can make it happen. The first year B and I were together, I baked 7 different kinds of cookies!

One tradition that won't be lost this year is the luminaria event at the Desert Botanical Gardens. We have attended every year since we moved here, and it is one of my favorite things to do around the holidays. The garden is filled with luminarias and we just wander through in the dark, listening to live music and munching snacks.

Another tradition of ours is decorating our front yard with lights and Christmas decorations. I feel lucky that our section of the street goes ALL out and every house surrounding us fills their yard as well. I love outdoor lights and last night on our way home from dinner we just drove through a bunch of neighborhoods looking at lights. Another of my favorite traditions.

We'll also go to Zoo Lights at the zoo this year, but we usually do that the last possible weekend, which is usually after New Year's. I need to check the schedule to find out the exact date so we don't miss it. We did miss it last year because C and my sister were both very sick last year after Christmas.

Another tradition is that we buy a personalized ornament each year for our tree, as well as ornaments for each boy. And, the boys get new pjs on Christmas Eve.

We go to mass on Christmas Eve. Growing up in the northeast, we always went to midnight mass, which happened at midnight. In the midwest, midnight mass usually happened at 10PM. The last few years we've attended the family mass, which is usually 6PM. We then come home, have a light dinner, open one present from extended family -- then it's bath, pjs, some final pictures, books, prayers and bed.

I am almost done with our long distance gift giving. I shipped so many things direct from the stores that I'm regretting the few things I purchased locally that I need to wrap, box and ship. But, once I get that done, I can focus on the boys and B. If all goes well, I can check that off the list by Wednesday.

What traditions do you have in your family? Post in the comments, or let me know if you make a similar post on your blog!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

online shopping

I love online shopping : )

Even better is when I can find free shipping! The recent LLBean catalog arrived with a code for free shipping, no matter the size of the order! That sealed the deal that we would be sending their pine tabletop decorations as gifts to a few family members!

I just ordered mini silk parachutes for the boys from Magic Cabin. I almost paid $7 for shipping, until I did a quick google search for "magic cabin coupon codes". The first site that popped up included a free shipping code!

Amazon gave me a free 3 month membership to their "prime" service (which offers free 2 day shipping on Amazon products for an annual fee.) In the past, I always tried to meet their $25 minimum for free shipping - and lived with the often long wait for books and other things. After using it for 3 months, I split the annual cost with my sister and have loved having items shipped quickly and across the country when necessary. So, even though it's not free -- it has still saved me from having to order things 2-3 weeks early (when more likely I would end up paying for shipping because I wasn't ordering 2-3 weeks early!)

Steve Spangler is also offering free shipping this weekend only, no minimum purchase. Email me if you want that code!

I ordered our Christmas cards online again this year -- Shutterfly now offers collage cards, and I squeezed 9 pictures onto our card. They are another company that offers lots of coupons, and they, too, are currently offering free shipping for orders over $50. They also ship fast. I ordered the cards Thursday evening, and they should be here Monday or Tuesday.

In past years, I've been done with Christmas shopping by now (some years by late October!) but this year I've only just begun. I adore the convenience of online shopping - especially when I have procrastinated.

Are you done with your shopping? Have you begun? Do you shop online for most or not at all? Just curious : )

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday's Feast 121

I haven't done a Friday's Feast in forever . . . so here goes!

Which language would you like to learn and why?
I'd like to learn Spanish because there are so many Spanish-speaking people in this area that I know it would be useful. I would like to be able to communicate better and not depend on hand signals and simple English.

What's the funniest thing you've heard or read so far this week?
Last Friday, at the beach, we were all resting on the beach blanket. N, my youngest, suddenly turned to DH and said "DAD! I hear some great jumping waves that we're missing! Get UP!" (He loves to jump the ocean waves.) It cracked me up, and still does when I think about it.

Which movie was so bad you couldn't watch the whole thing?
The first movie I remember walking out on was "Terms of Endearment" I was in high school, and my girlfriend and I walked out in the middle of it.

Main Course
If there were a holiday in your honor that didn't use your actual name, what would the day be called?
I have no idea!

Name one movie which is coming out soon that you would like to see.
The Nativity Story

Thursday, December 07, 2006

our trip

We have been planning a trip to D*sneyl*nd for a little over 8 months now -- well before we found out we were expecting another babe. We decided to take an entire week, and I'm so glad that we did!

We drove to CA the Sunday after Thanksgiving (not thinking about the potential traffic -- a 6 hour trip turned into 10!) We purchased 4 day tickets, and chose to stay at a motel near the park. The motel was nice - typical economy hotel - clean, non-smelly, small rooms. It definitely wasn't the H*lton, but it served our needs just fine! It was close enough to the entrance to walk, but there was also a shuttle service which was nice in the evenings when we were tuckered out.

I had read so many things about long lines that I was worried our days would be spent standing in line. B & I were extremely pleased to find out that the week after Thanksgiving is a pretty quiet week and we rarely waited very long in any line. We waited 10 minutes for most things -- some attractions we were able to walk right onto; a couple we had waits of 25 minutes.

On the days we didn't visit the park, we visited the beach, a free aquarium, and a science center (free admission bc we have a membership at our local science center.) We had leisurely days and enjoyed everything.

We took a cooler with us, and kept it stocked with ice in the room. This was great for drinks and snacks. We took a backpack to the park with us, and filled it with bottled water and snacks for our time there. We usually also purchased one treat from the park as well -- but having our own things definitely kept the cost down!

Before leaving, I did a little investigating and found that there were lots of penny-press machines at the park. I went through our change jars and filled up 2 small boxes with $25.00 of quarters and 50 pennies. While that may seem like a lot (well, it WAS heavy!) it spread out getting souvenirs over all 4 days and the boys loved searching for the machines and choosing their pennies. We did purchase books to hold the pressed pennies for $6.50 each as well.

I also purchased small moleskin books for each boy to use as an autograph book for characters they met. These books cost me $1.99 each -- vs. the $8 (and up) the official autograph books at the park cost. The boys did enjoy getting autographs, so I'm glad I brought those along.

We all had a wonderful time. My only complaints would be that the food was terrible in the park. For all the things they do right -- you would think they could provide decent snack foods! The baked goods were stale, the hot dogs were awful, and the drinks were ridiculously expensive. My other complaint was that we didn't see as many characters as I was expecting - and when they WERE out, you were lucky if they were still there after you finished a ride (with a short line!). Over 4 days, we did get quite a few pictures of the boys with different characters, but I still thought we should have seen more.

Overall, though, it was a wonderful trip. I was very tired most days -- but managed pretty well. I do think our next vacation will be another cruise though! But, I look forward to visiting D*sney again when this new babe is around 4!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Hmmm, I've been planning this long post about our trip to D*sneyl*nd -- but it will take me too long to type out right now. (quickly: trip was fantastic, had a great time)

I do, however, have time to type a quick rant.

WHY do people take their young (under 3) children to Wally World at 11PM at night? What really amazes me are the male/female couples that are there with these small children. Couldn't one of them STAY HOME with the small child? Is the dude so worried that his woman will pick up someone at Wally World in the middle of the night that he can't let her venture out without him??

Argh. I avoid this store as much as possible - but when it's St. Nick's eve and realize I have no chocolate gold coins for shoes, I had no choice but to head out after B got home from work (which was after 10PM.) I counted no fewer than FOUR couples with young children. And the children were all obviously tired and cranky. I could sympathize if it was a person, on their own, with a small child, doing an emergency run for diapers or something . . . but choosing to do your full grocery run at 11PM with your kids? Crazy!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Christmas meme

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
can't choose - like them both!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa doesn't wrap presents

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Multi-colored. White. Red. Blue. Green. We have LOTS of lights -- check back in a couple weeks when we're home from vacation for pics ;)

4. Do you hang mistletoe

5. When do you put your decorations up?
After Thanksgiving, leave until January

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
turkey roasted on the grill by DH - yummmmmmy

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
My parents used to throw a big Christmas Eve party every year. Very fancy, lots of food, lots of family and friends. One year (I was maybe 7?) Santa showed up in the middle of the party. Wasn't until I looked at pics years later I realized it was my grandfather ;)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was 8 or 9? I don't remember it being a big deal - but I do remember not wanting to admit it bc I was afraid the gifts would stop.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. Well, the boys do -- usually a gift from extended family. Also pjs, and a special ornament.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
When DH & I were first together, I decorated a tree that was all gold and white. Over the years, it's become much more eclectic with lots of special ornaments that are memories of trips taken, things done, new skills. I loved our tree in the first few years -- but I really love our tree now.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
DREAD IT! That's why we live in Arizona ;)

12. Can you ice skate?

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I remember the year I got a red wagon and a baby doll most clearly. I was 5 maybe?

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with my family

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
home-made, decorated Kris Kringle butter cookies

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
putting up outside lights. Our neighborhood goes all out and I love driving down our street during December.

17. What tops your tree?
a Madame Alexander angel tree-topper

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Silent Night

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
yum. Especially the softer, old-fashioned kind.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

short shirts?!

Who decided that shorter maternity shirts were a good idea?

Thank goodness I kept my maternity clothes from my previous pregnancies! I picked up a couple new shirts to go with the clothes I had, and they are a good 2 inches shorter than the ones I had previously (and they're a size larger!) I'm not showing very much yet, but they are just more comfortable. I already spend my time tugging the new shirts down in the front. I can't wait until I'm 25 weeks and the shirts won't even cover the bottom of my belly. URGH!!!

And, the jumpers/dresses I've found are short in length - like above the knee?! I like to wear them about mid-calf, but it looks like I'm out of luck unless I suddenly learn to sew, or find someone to sew some for me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


My cleaning help is here again today.

I still have clutter that needs to be dealt with, but it is so nice to have someone come in and do the floors, scrub the bathrooms, change the sheets.

C turned 6 yesterday. He woke up chanting "I am 6, I am 6, I am 6!" It was so sweet, and made me grateful that we've made it so they can sleep in our room when they want (we have extra beds.) I love waking up in the middle of the night and being able to hear my entire family breathing.

But, back to his birthday. He spent the day saying "This is the first time I've done/seen/thought XYZ since turning 6!" We ran a few errands in the morning, then headed to the zoo, and when the zoo closed we headed to the Botanical Gardens. He requested Subway for dinner (easy!) and his birthday cake has been delayed a bit, so we picked up some Baskin Robbins treats.

He wanted a Cars birthday cake, but we couldn't find any toppers he liked. He did find a shaped cake pan of Lightning Mc!ueen and requested that. Unfortunately, we found it Monday night, and I was too tired to make the cake that night - and Tuesday was too busy. This pregnancy exhaustion is getting to me! He was a good sport about it though, and enjoyed his birthday. As I was tucking him in last night, he said that it was the best 6th birthday ever.

Monday, November 13, 2006

new things

Yesterday, we visited that pizza place with the mouse and the games as an early celebration for C's birthday. The boys had a wonderful time. It was not crowded, and C hit the jackpot a few times with big ticket wins. N discovered he loves to play air hockey. It was a fun afternoon.

Almost next door, there was a store going out of business. I thought it was an art store - but it ended up being a furniture/accessory store. My sister wanted to stop in to see if they had any good deals, so we did. DH & I ended up buying all new living room furniture! LOL! We were just wandering around, looking at different stuff, when I happened to sit in a leather rocker/recliner. It was SO comfortable! The price was right, too, so I told DH I needed it. It is almost black - I guess the actual color is a very dark brown, but it looks black. We realized it wouldn't match our existing couch, but I didn't care. All I could imagine was nursing in this comfortable rocker and I knew it had to be mine.

It was part of a set with a couch and a loveseat, but DH really didn't like how dark it was (our current couch is a soft, light tan leather.) I wasn't crazy about the color either - but did I mention how I wanted that rocker?

After much searching, we found another couch that was two-toned, but would match the rocker. I wanted all leather (it's easy to care for!) but this couch has microfiber for the cushions, with leather for the sides and back. The colors were good, though, and we found a big, soft ottoman that can go in front of it. I just hope the dog and the kids don't spoil the microfiber quickly, and make me regret the purchase.

We ended up purchasing 2 of the rockers, the couch and the ottoman. I'm excited about the new furniture and can't wait to see it in the living room! DH is off picking it up as I type this. I think we got a fairly good deal on all the pieces.

C is very upset and does not want to give up our current furniture. He's claiming that we will ruin his birthday if we put it in the living room today. He argues that the couch will be too small (our current couch seats 4, the new couch seats 3.) He argues that we need the futon. The poor child is so very sensitive. I just hope I can quickly find new homes for the old furniture!

Well, I need to finish picking up so we can move things around and arrange our new furniture!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day and misc stuff

I'm saying a special prayer to all the veterans and all those who have served in our armed forces today. Especially my brother - currently serving in Kuwait, my cousins who have served, my grandfathers, my great-uncles, my uncle, my father-in-law, my husband, and our dear friends.

And how nice for all the people who were given my birthday off yesterday as a holiday. LOL!

My boys are currently picking up all the misc stray toys that have gathered in my bedroom. I offered a penny a toy, so they're shouting out how many pieces they've picked up. They're up to 19 at the moment. Between K'nex and legos, I may be out a whole dollar before this mission is completed.

People keep asking me if I'm hoping for a girl this pregnancy. I reply that we're just happy that our family is growing. I think it's a rude question. If truth be told, however, I'd like another boy. I'm used to boys. Another boy can easily be fit into the bedroom, and we can keep the playroom. I was shocked when I found out C was a boy. At the time, I assumed that I would have a girl! What was I going to do with a boy? LOL! Then, with N, even though we had a couple ultrasounds, I still kept thinking he might be born and we'd find a girl instead. NOW, that I'm perfectly content with the idea of 3 boys, I'll probably have a girl. The boys want a sister. C tells people - "I already have a brother, we need a sister now."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What American accent do you have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?

some funnies

We were eating dinner a few nights ago and suddenly N says "Hey! I know! The baby's name should be Otis!!" I don't know where he heard that name, but it was very cute - and an improvement actually over his previous choice of Cruz de la Cruz (from "The Boy Who Saved Baseball")

In the car last week C asked me "So, next year, when I should be in first grade, will I still go to E?" (where he attends a one day/week enrichment program) I said "of course! You and N will both go next year." And he replies with "Well, I know I will be very busy taking care of the baby, so I won't have as much time for schooling." I tried to explain to him that his education is very important, and that it is a priority to us and we would NOT let anything interfere with that. I don't know WHERE he got the idea that all his time would be taken up caring for the baby? It was very sweet (and sad) at the same time. My mom claims I must have said something to make him think that, but I'm pretty sure I didn't.

We're currently reading "The Tales of Desperaux" as our bedtime book. In the book, there's a character named "Princess Pea." N listened to a couple chapters involving her and finally said "WHY would they name her Pee? Is her brother Poop? That's a TERRIBLE name for a pretty princess!" I couldn't help but laugh, and then explained that she was named peA, like the vegetable -- not like urine. He still isn't too sure about the name. When she appears in the book he mutters to himself "Vegetable?"

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of at the moment.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

happy halloween!

The boys designed the jack-o-lantern faces, and DH carved them on Sunday. This was the first year we've carved pumpkins! In years past, I've always had the boys paint the pumpkins either with tempera or colored Sharpie markers. However, C really wanted carved pumpkins this year, so I went along with it. (Well, I say I went along with it -- but truth be told, I was sleeping the entire time the carving went on.)

They've been counting down the days to Halloween. In our house, it is the start of the season -- 10 days from now is my birthday, then 4 days later is C's, then Thanksgiving, then Advent, then St. Nick's, then Christmas, then New Year's, then Epiphany. We've got a lot of celebrating that will go on in in the next 2 1/2 months!

The boys are both dressing as St. George this year (dragon slaying knight). DH thankfully does not have any late calls, so he'll be able to walk the boys through the neighborhood. They love this tradition, and never even notice when their candy bags are seriously depleted after a week or so! (at least, they haven't in the past. We'll have to see what this year holds.)

I've never been a big fan of Halloween. Our dog goes crazy with all the people coming to the door. I'm not that thrilled with all the people coming to my door! BUT, I know it's fun for so many kids, and I won't spoil their fun. I think it's a shame when people intentionally leave their houses just so they don't have to hand out treats. What's the harm in spending $10 for a couple bags of candy?

Friday, October 27, 2006


I had a regular appointment with my OB today. One thing I like about her office is that she offers child care during your appointment if you need it. Since DH's schedule is so wonky, I like knowing that the boys can go with me, but not have to be part of the appointment.

I'm not that crazy about HER, though. She doesn't have much of a bedside manner - she's sort of aloof. I don't LIKE her, as I did the OB I used with C and N.


She will let me VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). That in itself keeps me at her practice, since it is hard to find a doctor in AZ these days who will support that. The trend is "once a c-section, always a c-section" and I don't buy into it. N was a VBAC and my recovery was so much better, that I have no desire to schedule surgery to have another babe. (C was an emergency c-section.)

She is not freaking out over my age. Even with N, when I was 34, there was a lot of talk about "advanced maternal age" and how "lucky" I was that I wouldn't turn 35 before he was born. This doctor takes it into stride and while she's monitoring various things - she's not making me feel like I'm a freak because I'm pregnant at 38.

I know (because a friend had her last baby with this doctor) that she is very hands-off and avoids intervention when at all possible. She let my friend go 2 weeks overdue and wasn't panicking even then. She was willing to let her go 2.5 weeks before trying to move things along (but my friend gave birth at 2 weeks, 1 day past her "due" date.) She won't push pitocin or other unnecessary drugs. (I still wonder if the pitocin was one of the factors that made me need an emergency c-section for C.)

For all those reasons, I think I'll stay with her practice. So what if I don't "like" her as much as I want to? I think she'll let me have the kind of birth I want, and that is really more important.

And, today, I got to hear the heartbeat again. The baby's heart was beating away, and the doc said the baby was moving around quite a bit. Both good signs! I'm just over 11 weeks - - so I think I can start to relax and trust in this pregnancy ; )

what have I been up to?

Well, I haven't been updating blogs, that's for sure! LOL!

Yesterday I had the absolute worst dental appointment of my life. It lasted for about 40 minutes and during that time I gagged almost non-stop, cried, had to be strapped down, and thought for sure that I was going to faint before it was over. If a dentist ever tells me again that I need crown lengthening for another tooth, I'm going to tell him to pull the offensive tooth instead. The 2 root canals I had a few weeks ago were better than the 2 crown lengthenings yesterday (and I cried and gagged during that appointment, too -- but not nearly as much.) Part of the problem may be the strong gag reflex I have while pregnant, but it was horrific.

DH was out of town this week attending an awards ceremony for work. He was one of the top salespeople in the country, and they put on quite the shindig for the top people! 4 days of fun, food and awards. He had a wonderful time, but he's always happiest sleeping in his own bed ;) I had thoughts of organizing / de-cluttering while he was gone . . . but didn't do much (okay, ANY) of that. Instead, we did schooling, and that's about it.

On Sunday, we went to the Pumpkin Festival at the botanical gardens which is always fun. N was thrilled to visit the Gardens again, as it is one of his favorite places - and someplace we don't go during the heat of the summer.

Tomorrow we have our 2nd symphony concert. DH missed 3 days of work this week, so he'll work on Saturday and I'll take my sister with the boys. His usual work-week includes Saturdays, but he can ask for the day off when we have something special planned. However, since he missed 3 days of calls, and he is 100% commission, we thought it best that he take any calls that he might have on Saturday.

I'm off in a few minutes for my OB appointment. I'm 11 weeks and I need to talk to her about genetic testing because of my age. I'm not sure if we will have any done or not, but I would like to talk over the options. In 2004, I easily denied any testing, but this time I'm not as confident in my choice to deny all extra testing.

seen around

If I understood correctly -- I bolded the things I've done. Seen at various blogs . . .

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thanks, Rachel!

Rachel, I want to thank you for taking the time and effort to post your recipes! A good friend follows gluten free for her 5 boys, and I was trying to figure out what to make for an upcoming party. I want to make goodies that don't have to be separate from the other treats -- I want to make things everyone can enjoy.

Your recipe pages came to the rescue! I tried to email you -- but, well it's a long story and I couldn't get your email address. (still trying to get used to my new mac) So, thank you very much! I'm sure I can fill a table with treats that all will enjoy and nobody will feel "different".

the smell of clean

After a couple false starts, a cleaning person showed up today.

2 hours later and my house smells and looks fabulous!!!

DH was mortified earlier when there was still clutter laying around - but I didn't care! Someone was coming to HELP ME!!

She did a super job and I just picked up clutter and organized while she was here. Just the fact that I didnt' have to do it all myself was enough to motivate me to get more done than I have in weeks!

I feel so much better right now and the house looks so much better. She is a tad pricey, but worth every penny in my book.

I know there are those who think "Hey! You stay at home! Clean your own house!" and others who take pride in how well they can keep house. And, if you can keep up with your house and be happy with it - then more power to you! I realize that I can't, and I'm not ashamed to ask for help. PLUS, my house is clean again! WOOO HOOOO WOOOO HOOOO!!!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

clenched fists

I clench my fists when I'm stressed, nervous, worried, etc. Amazingly enough, it's something I have likely always done but was never aware of until a friend pointed it out to me while I was in college. We were looking at pictures from our trip to Europe and he said "And there you are with your fists clenched again!" And I replied "What? What are talking about?" and he explained to me that I always clench my fists when I'm worked up.

And he was right! I never noticed it before then, but he made me aware of it and I tried to be more aware of it and let my fists go.

Lately, I'm not sure if I'm doing it more -- or if I'm more aware for some reason. I find myself in bed with my fists are clenched tight . . . sometimes all it takes is a conscious decision to relax them to let me fall asleep. I find myself sitting on the couch watching TV; and my fists are clenched tight.

I'm trying to let go . . . relax . . . and trust . . . and be at peace. Now if only my hands would get with the program!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

what have we been up to?

On Saturday, we attended the first in a series of family concerts by the Phoenix Symphony. This concert was all Beethoven and we had a wonderful time! Before the concert, they set up areas for the kids to try out different instruments, get balloon animals, watch a children's drum troupe, participate with the conductor, do a craft . . . and probably a few other things as well!

Our tickets are in the 2nd row, center section. The concert itself lasted about an hour - which is the perfect length of time for kids. The boys loved the symphony, and I loved being able to experience live music with my entire family. The prices were pretty amazing, too -- I paid less than $200 for the 4 of us to attend the 5 concerts in the series. We realized the new baby will likely be here for the last concert, but I don't imagine a newborn snuggled in a sling will take much notice!

Oh, and the conductor was lovely! He was very involved with the kids and was available after the concert as well as people were leaving. He seems wonderful.

Other than that, we've gone out to eat a few times (much more than I wish we would -- but planning and preparing meals seems to be impossible for me at the moment.) We've done some schooling - keeping up pretty well with nature journals, reading and math. I would like to get back on track with the art projects and I need to work with Nate on his letter recognition.

Monday I had 2 root canals. Ouch. I'm still sore / sensitive, but honestly, it's not that bad. I've taken Tylenol for the pain, which didn't do much the day after, but it's helping today.

I'm still feeling pukey and tired, but I admit that seeing the heartbeat did a lot for my attitude.

I'm still trying to find cleaning help. It's much more difficult to find what I want, at a price we can afford -- but I'm still looking.

We've decided to pour another patio near the pool, since our table and chairs couldn't fit very well on the deck that was poured. We also need to order all the rock to be spread around the pool area and then I think we should be finished over there!

I'd like to get some plants at the Botanical Garden's plant sale this weekend for my garden on the other side, but I'm not sure if I'll make it. We'll see. That area needs to be thouroughly cleaned again -- weeded and rubbish removed and rocks spread over there, too.

I'm also planning a Halloween party for the boys. We've held one the last 3 years, so it's become a bit of a tradition. I'm still debating how big to have it . . . I'd like to keep it small, but I'm not sure how small I'll be able to keep it? More thoughts and planning need to go into that.

And I'm sleeping a lot. More than I thought possible. But, I'm sure it's all needed, and I'm hoping for a burst of energy in a few weeks!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Yep! I saw and heard the heartbeat today ;) The babe has grown as expected (actually, a few days ahead of schedule) and we could see the heart beating a healthy 180 bpm. It was a very happy appointment!

Unfortunately, DH couldn't be there -- but the boys were with me and Nate says "Whew! No angel in there! It's still alive!"

The picture to the left is one of the pics the technician gave me. Can you see the face? Amazing to me the detail already at 8 weeks. The lab I went to also does 4D ultrasounds, and that picture was from a brief 4D scan she did. The standard scans just look like a blob ;) But, a blob with a heartbeat!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

September's Reading List

My list is pretty long this month, which is indicative of how I've been feeling. Not feeling well = more time to read.

(*) The Garlic Ballads by Yan Mo. this book was disjointed, brutal, confusing and depressing.

(***) Good Women: 3 Novellas by Jane Stevenson. The first 2 novellas in this book were so-so, but I thoroughly enjoyed the 3rd one. The first was about adulterers, the 2nd was about a woman who saw angels and then somehow believed it was okay to kill her husband(?) and the 3rd was about an older woman being forced from her home by her daughter-in-law. (she triumphs in the end - the mom, not the DIL)

(*****) Letters on an Elk Hunt by Elinor Pruitt Stewart. Just as enjoyable as the last book read by this author.

(**) Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins. Eh . . . not much else to say

(**) At Risk by Patricia Cornwell. She's written much better books than this one.

(****) The Birthdays: A Novel by Heidi Pitler. Wonderful character development! Great portrayal of family dynamics.

(***) Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard. I didn't want to like this book because I'm not a big fan of Mitchard and I knew M*rm*ns were the main character in this book. However, it was a good story. I just wish she hadn't made the main character marry a Catholic at the end and make the assumption that he would convert (which he would have had to do if they married in the temple).

(***) Lost Gardens: English Garden Mystery by Anthony Elgin. Fun mystery set in the English countryside.

(*****) Wyoming Wedding by Nancy Parra. Historical, Old West romance. Very fun and well-done! Not a big fan of most romances, but this one inspired me to go check out 2 more of her books from the library and I wasn't disappointed with those either!

(****) Prince of Beverly Hills by Stuart Wood. fast-paced, 1930's settting, fun

(*****) 12 Sharp by Janet Evanovich. FUN! Love her Stephanie Plum series

(****) A Place Called Trinity by Delia Parr. Midwifery in the 1800's. good read

(****) Death du jour by Lou Jane Temple. One of the spice box mystery books -- set in revolutionary France.

(*****) Bettin' Kind by Nancy Parra. Another Morgan family romance. Fun!

(*****) Marryin' Kind by Nancy Parra. Yet another Morgan family romance.

Monday, October 02, 2006

not sure what to post

I'm in a funny space at the moment and so haven't been blogging. Truth to tell, I haven't been doing much of ANYTHING at all lately. I've been wracked with nausea for about 20 hours a day, and have been extremely short of breath. Thanks to google (and my doctor) I understand that shortness of breath is a normal early pregnancy symptom . . . but it's not one I've experienced before. I remember being short of breath LATE in my pregnancies before, but never early.

I tell myself that maybe all these hormones raging through me means that this baby is a girl -- but I know that each pregnancy is different, regardless of the baby's sex. Truth be told, another boy would be simpler in many ways. Not that I'd mind a girl. I really don't have a preference - although my boys have both expressed their desire to have a sister. They tell me that they already HAVE a brother! LOL

I am also telling myself that all these symptoms are good signs that we're looking at a successful pregnancy, but I'm scared and nervous. Yes, I know that worrying doesn't change a thing! Intellectually I know a lot of things. But, when I started having a panic attack the other day while driving on the freeway -- I knew that my body isn't paying any freakin' attention to my intellect. I'm really not looking forward to going through panic attacks again . . .

I have another ultrasound on Thursday. I should be 8 weeks at that point, and we should see a heartbeat, and lots of growth since 3 weeks ago. I'm hoping that we see all that I hope on Thursday, and I can calm down a bit. But . . . I saw a heartbeat last pregnancy, too . . . and then the baby died over a week later.

I don't want to spend this pregnancy in fear. I am trying to pray and ask for peace. I am trying to let go of my worries, and control the things I can control. I am trying. I am trying. I am trying.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

cleaning help

I'm on the look-out for cleaning help again.

Years ago, when DH & I were first married, we had a fantastic cleaning lady. She was referred to us by a friend, and she was wonderful. She was willing to do anything . . . she cleaned out the refrigerator, organized cabinets, folded laundry, did the dishes, etc. Her hourly rate was unbelievably reasonable, and she was fast! I loved her! But, unfortunately, we moved away from the area.

When we first lived in AZ, and I started working part-time, we hired M*rry M*ids. They did basic cleaning only - no dishes, or laundry, etc. but they did a good job of major cleaning and it was worth the $$$ we paid to have them come twice a month. It was nothing like our previous cleaning lady - but it was worth it to us. I can't remember exactly when we stopped using them, but I'm sure it was because our finances had taken a hit.

Fast forward 7 years and I'm looking for another great referral. I can't keep up and I can't stand the mess. I want (and need?) someone who will come in and take care of the dishes and basics -- but I'm willing to have someone who will come and do major cleaning only.

I'm fortunate that my husband is not the type to complain or snipe . . . but I do believe we all deserve a nice house to live in. I'm just not capable right now of doing it, and I realize I need to ask for help. DH is willing, to a point, but he's busy with work and outside chores. It doesn't make me less of a wife or mother . . . it will make me a better wife and mother when I don't have the added stress of not being able to stay on top of things! (Can you hear me trying to convince myself of this? arggghhhh)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

feeling pukey

I know I posted that my morning sickness had seemed to disappear . . . but it came back with a vengenance. I wonder if I had a mild virus before (which I thought was morning sickness) and now the real deal is settling in.

It's funny to me how each pregnancy has been so different. I had hardly any symptoms with C (thus not knowing he was coming until I was 28 weeks along). With N, I was throwing up so regularly that when I headed to the bathroom, C would begin to mimic me throwing up (he was 11-13 months old at the worst of it). To be honest, I don't really remember the last one if I had much morning sickness or not? And, this time, I feel pukey all the time, but it never gets past that stage. All I want to do though, is sit and try not to move.

Today, though, I'm feeling pretty good.

We have had a blast the last couple days finally swimming in our pool. Of course, the weather has taken a turn and cooler temps are settling in. DH plans to pick up a solar cover so hopefully we'll be able to use the pool a while longer. I'm excited that the yard is coming together - but it still needs so much more! ARGH! We need about 20 tons of rock to fill in, I need to amend the garden soil, I need to replace the plants that died over the summer on the garden side, we need to repair and stain the playfort. Ok, looking at the list it doesn't seem like that much . . . but we're looking at a few thousand dollars (and that's doing all the labor ourselves.) OUCH.

No more complaining. No more complaining. No more complaining. It'll all fall together as it is supposed to :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


This past week has been pretty useless. I let Wednesday's ultrasound bum me out, even though I realize that it might be perfectly right. I may only be 5 weeks along! But, my morning sickness has also pretty much disappeared . . . and 5 weeks seems pretty early for that to abate.

We did homeschooling this week, but it was very laid back. I didn't clean house at all, or do laundry . . . but I am in the midst of piles of clean laundry right now. I also plan to give the house a quick run through this evening after the boys are in bed, so we can start the week off with clean clothes, and a neat home.

The highlight of the week was our plants being delivered and planted in the backyard around the pool! The pool is still not finished, but if all goes well - it SHOULD be next week.

The weather is starting to cool off - which means trips to the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo are in our near future. I'm hoping that we can make a visit next week to at least one of those places. I've missed them over the summer ;)

This coming week WILL be better. There is nothing I can do, and moping/worrying won't change reality. I need to pick up and carry on. I need to move forward, assume the baby is growing as it should, and do all I can to remain healthy and positive.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I had an ultrasound this morning.

The tech saw an empty gestational sac - which would be typical for around 5 weeks. Since I don't know when I conceived, I'm dated at 5 weeks - due date of 5/16/2007.

I thought I was farther along than that. If that date is accurate, I had a positive hpt around 8-9 days after conception. Not impossible, but not likely either.

This suddenly feels very similar to my last pregnancy, which ended in a miscarriage. DH tells me that we need to remain positive.

I don't have much choice but to wait and see. I see my OB on the 25th and we'll see what she thinks / finds. I'm sure I'll be going for another ultrasound in early October and then we'll have a better idea of what's happening.

This also means that if that date IS correct, I'm very early and at higher risk for the dental work.

I'm tired.

Monday, September 11, 2006

dental fun

After my recent tooth extraction, I had another tooth break. I found myself referred for 2 root canals and crown lengthening (a process where they cut away the gum and some bone to expose more tooth to fasten the crowns.) The 2 referral appointments were made before I found out about my pregnancy.

The appointment last week with the specialist for the crown lengthening was okay - I knew I was pregnant, and she was fine waiting until the 2nd trimester. My appointment today with the endodontist was not as good. He recommended doing the work as soon as possible, and while he prefers not to do any work on pregnant women, he didn't think I should even wait until my 2nd trimester. The root canals could cause a miscarriage, an infection might occur if I wait much longer, and THAT might cause a miscarriage. He also told me he will not prescribe any painkillers because they cross the placenta.

So, I don't have much choice, do I? I've been trying to google to see if there are any risks OTHER than miscarriage (while that may be the worst risk -- am I risking birth defects?) and I haven't gotten any clear answers.

I still don't see my OB for 2 more weeks. I called and did beg for an ultrasound, though -- at least if I know my dates I can have an idea of how far I can push the remaining dental work needed. My most liberal estimate has me about 8 1/2 weeks pregnant right now; my most conservative estimate puts me at 5 weeks. I am having an ultrasound on Wednesday. None of the dentists will do any work until they receive an "OK" from my OB, and I'm hoping that she won't make me wait until after my appointment in 2 weeks. Or maybe I'm hoping she will? I don't know right now.

I'm asking for prayers - and also any dental knowledge anyone might share.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Things I'm Grateful For

In no particular order . . . (inspired by Rachel)

1. My DH
2. My 2 happy, healthy boys
3. Netflix
4. enough money to take care of all the basics, plus some extras
5. homeschooling
6. my family and all their support
7. gentle, cooler winds outside
8. our local library
9. dental insurance
10. kisses and hugs from my children
11. unexpected emails from friends
12. a working washer and dryer
13. our newly installed spa
14. late night snuggle with DH
15. the sound of my children's laughter

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fine Art Friday #13

Mother Nursing Her Child (Aline and Pierre)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

This is one of my all-time favorite paintings. I love the sweet look on Aline's face, the plumpness of them both, the soft colors and the joy of being outdoors.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

caught up

I'm happy to say that after a slow start this week, we managed to almost catch up with what I wanted to accomplish. The only thing lacking is the completion of the art project -- and that's because I can't find the supplies! I bought some remnants last week, and left them in the van. When I went to get them . . . they were gone! Which probably means that B took them out. I just don't know where he put them, and he claims he didn't touch them. (I'm sure he did, and he put them down, but it never registered in his head that he even had them, since he didn't even know what they were. He was trying to help by bringing things in out of the van.) I'm sure they'll turn up quickly, but I was hit with a wave of exhaustion late afternoon and decided to leave it be.

Tomorrow I've got our mom's group meeting and then the boys would like to visit the natural history museum.

still here

Hmmm, I drop my news and then disappear for a bit! Sorry about that!

Thanks for all the well-wishes! I know some of you had a hard time leaving a comment -- this change to blogger beta clearly has some bugs! I have had a hard time logging in, and commenting as well :( Hopefully it'll be fixed soon! My email link is always on the far right, near the top, if you want to send me a message. (Suzanne - can you read more than the top 1/2 of the screen now? I'm still not sure why it was doing that?)

I had planned to wait to tell others about the pregnancy, but I told my parents last weekend and they were thrilled. I also told my sister and was able to catch my brother online to tell him (vs. sending him an email - this way we got to converse.) They are all happy.

We also told the boys. They are very excited and keep talking about "our baby" non-stop. C imediately told me to stop eating sugar because we had to keep that baby healthy. He was also concerned that we pray more for this baby so that God doesn't decide to take it away to heaven before it's born. B & I have tried to talk to him and tell him that I didn't miscarry the last baby because we didn't pray enough - but in his 5.5 year old mind - he can't be convinced. N is a little more matter-of-fact; he declared "Well, if this baby doesn't live, then POOF, it'll be an angel like the last one. It just happens sometimes!"

Yea, I think I would have cried even if I wasn't pumped full of pregnancy hormones!

That's it, though. I have a doctor's appointment in late September, and then there'll be an ultrasound to determine dates. Once I know how far along I am, I'll know when to announce to other people. I think I'll wait until the 2nd trimester to do a "family & friends" announcement.

Homeschooling is going slow this week. I feel puke-y, the house isn't neat, and I haven't done the prep work for some of the projects I wanted to accomplish. I planned on today being a big catch-up day, but it's 11:30 and I still haven't done any prep work. SO, here's to making the push to get some work done!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I've been feeling funny the last few weeks. Food hasn't tasted right, and my stomach has been feeling pukey. I realized at the gym this week that I've lost a few pounds. (something I could stand to do - but I hadn't been working at it.)

A month or so ago I picked up a pack of pregnancy tests on clearance and had them in the bathroom. My cycles are very irregular (anywhere from 45 days to 8 months) so I like to have a few on hand.

And, sure enough, last night, 2 lines came up on the test almost immediately. (I always lose weight in the first trimester - which is why the gym weight was a clue for me.)

From what I know, I likely conceived in early August, so we're looking at a new baby sometime in April.

For the first time, I waited until B was home before telling him. (the previous 3 times I told him over the phone.) I decided I wanted to see his face this time. He was stunned and happy. It's been 2 1/2 years since my miscarriage and this is the first pregnancy since then. I'm a little nervous about miscarrying again, but I realize there's not much I can do.

I'm also concerned about my age (39 in November) and the fact that this baby won't have a built-in playmate like C & N do. N will be almost 5 years old, and while I know they will love their new sibling - I know how close and inseparable they are, which is aided by the fact they're only 18 months apart. I'm also worried about the family dynamic. This last year it has gotten so much easier with no diapers, no naps, etc. etc. It'll be interesting to be thrown back into that again.

But, what a blessing! My parents have planned a family reunion and big 40th wedding anniversary party next summer in WI; so we'll be going with a new family member. I'm not sure when I'm going to tell them - I think I'll wait until I visit the doctor and have a clearer picture of when the baby is due.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fine Art Friday #12

Laundresses Carrying Linen in Town
Edgar Degas
c. 1876-78

I love the bright yellow wall in this painting, and I can feel the pain in these women's backs and hips from carrying those large loads of laundry. I chose this one because I have a mountain of laundry to get through myself . . .

August's Reading List

As expected, a good portion of my reading this month was taken up by Dickens' A Bleak House. It was long and difficult to read in parts, but I'm glad I read it. I do love the lengthy descriptions he used and while there were almost too many characters to keep track of - it was still a worthwhile read.

My favorite book this month was Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart. It was a fascinating book about a woman homesteader (duh, obviously!) in the early 1900's. I liked it so much that I sent a copy to my mom because I know she would love it too! I also requested another of her books from the library and actually got the call today that it was available.

Here's the complete list:

**** Bleak House by Charles Dickens

*** Rocky Road to Romance by Janet Evanovich. Her Stephanie Plum novels make me laugh out loud. Her romance novels aren't quite as funny, but still an entertaining read . . . and I really don't read many romance novels as it is.

***** Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart

**** Magdalene by Angela Hunt. Interesting look at who she might have been in the Bible. Well-written.

** Islands by Anne Siddons. This book was okay. I'm a little torn about it -- while at times it felt that there was a lot of character development, it also lacked quite a bit as well. I didn't like the ending at all; and I don't believe the characters would have played out as she wrote.

*** Lilah by Marek Halter. Another fictionalized biblical story. I didn't enjoy it as much as Magdalene, but maybe that's because I'm not familiar with Lilah's story at all from the Old Testament.

All Books Read in 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

This Week

We had a fairly busy week last week - between homeschooling, my dentist visits, and normal life.

This week, we've got another busy one. Lots on tap for homeschooling; another emergency visit to the dentist for me (a tooth on the other side of my mouth cracked tonight!); mail a box of goodies to my brother in Kuwait; lunch with a friend & her new baby; can recycling; paper recycling; drop off at the food bank; and a grocery run or two.

I'm still trying to plan meals! Last week I cleaned out and re-organized the pantry and this week I want to get to the freezer. I really need to just SIT DOWN with a few cookbooks and a blank calendar and plan out meals! I don't know why I am so blocked about doing it. It would make my life so much simpler, and DH would eat so much better. I just need to block out some time on the calendar and DO IT.

I have this week's homeschooling mostly planned out. I am so eager for the weather to cool down so we can start spending time at the zoo and botanical gardens again. I planned the first half of the week and am waiting to see how it goes to decide what we'll do in the latter half.

I need to catch up with laundry (again!) and give the floors a good cleaning this week. I need to deep clean my room and go through the pile of clothes currently on the rocker in there . . . but I admit that I don't know if I'll get to that. Some of this will depend on whether or not I end up with another root canal this week. If I do - I will have to figure out a way to earn some money so we can afford all this dental work!

I'd also like to fit in some time for me . . . and I don't think sitting in the dentist's chair should count. I have a movie from Netflix waiting for me to watch, my hair desperately needs a cut, my brows need waxing, my toenails need painting. Realistically, this week, I will probably paint my toenails and *maybe* watch the movie. I should take the portable player to bed with me and watch a movie instead of reading before sleep.
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