Saturday, December 30, 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
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
Friday, December 29, 2006
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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
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
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!!