Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Oh, how I love Christmastime.  Can't help it.  Just do.  As far as I can remember - I always have.  

Random Abby picture.  In action, as always.

My family has a lot of holiday traditions.  I grew up thinking that everyone did, and sure, most people do.  But, as I grew older, I realized not everyone had the SAME ones we did.  Not everyone knew that angel and star ornaments go at the top of the tree, bears at the bottom, and that the clear french horn ornament needs to have a gold light near the bell.  Not everyone knew about the fine and delicate art of straightening the tree using old hymnals and books, or how you're supposed to drink hot chocolate while you decorate the tree.  Not everyone knows that before putting up your tree, you search the baseboards to see if you can find a single needle left over from the tree of the previous year.  Ah, memories.

When Kyle and I moved to Boston, we got a token christmas tree.  Small, fake, cheap - but it fit our apartment, didn't short circuit the electrical systems, and was charmingly quaint.  But now - now we have a slightly bigger place with taller ceilings, and most importantly - a daughter with a memory.

More than ever, I'm feeling the need to start our family traditions.  So, I've asked Kyle what he thinks about getting a real tree this year.  I could go into all the reasons for and against fake and real trees - but I'll spare you.  It suffices to say that Kyle prefers fake trees, and I prefer real ones.  Peace talks are still in progress. Mostly, these consist of me saying "....but the SMELL..mmmmm"  and him just giving me...that look.

Well.  I dunno what we're gonna do yet, but we happened to have playgroup at our church today and they happened to be selling trees.  We just so happened to get there early...soooo.  I let Abby run around the forrest of christmas trees for sale.  She had a great time.  The salesman told us all about the different kinds and broke off twigs and let us smell the differences in trees from the Northeast and from the West coast.  It was actually kinda neat - for me.  Abs had fun just running....and pointing out all the different colored tags tied to the trees.

So, I dunno if we're gonna get a real one or not - but it made me really happy to "teach" ...or at least show Abby what all the fuss was about.

After playgroup, we went to pick up Kyle from work.  He told us that they were having the Boston College tree lighting, so we decided to hang out.  We stayed for about an hour and a half and had hot chocolate, decorated cookies, listened to music and performers, and saw (a) Santa....from a distance.  Abby didn't want to get too close.

Abby had her first ever hot chocolate and looooved it.  I mean, a little. ;)

BC tree

I dunno.  It was nice.  Abby was a handful and a half running all over kingdom come, dancing to music, saying hi to people and constantly trying to escape my watch.  But, it was worth it.  Just for her face when she got hot chocolate, or her excitement when she saw the "wights on da BIG TWEE!"

I'll let you know what we decide on the tree front.  Either way, it shall be fun, pretty, festive, and a good memory for my kiddo.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

halfway there

This week starts the 20 week mark of this pregnancy.  Halfway through.  Odd, huh?  First of all, here are a few pictures.  I've been doing terribly with taking monthly pictures (read - haven't done any) so these self portrait phone shots are all we've got at the moment. 

Technically, 19.5 weeks.

from the side

This pregnancy is so different.  Not so much the pregnancy itself, I suppose, but just my perception and experience of it.  With Abby, everything was new - something I'd never experienced.  I poured over books and internet searches for every scrap of info I could find.  With Abs, I started wearing maternity clothes full time around 16-17 weeks I think.  And I *really* wanted to do it earlier.  Maternity clothes were exciting and I couldn't wait to start really showing.

This time?  I haven't opened any of my baby books.  I try to remember to glance at my weekly updates, but I don't do much more than that.  I've been dreading maternity clothes and have been trying not to show as much (as much as you can help it).  In fact, I bought my first maternity purchases for this pregnancy yesterday.  I still have a pair of regular jeans that fit, but sadly, more and more of my other clothes are just too uncomfortable.  In many ways, this halfway point seems like the beginning of the pregnancy for me.  Mentally, it's like it's "ok" to look pregnant now, to feel pregnant now.

It's all silly.  I know.  But, my point is this.  I'm excited to be at this point.  Where I can embrace this look and this feeling and wear my little belly proudly.  It all happened very suddenly, but I think I can now pass as a pregnant person most days instead of somebody who didn't save any turkey for the rest of the family.

I've always told myself I would try my hardest to be as involved with #2 as I was with Abby.  Mostly, in the picture category.  I know it's not realistic of me to expect to take as many pictures of #2 (we've started calling "him" Pickles) but I don't want to completely slack on it either.  So, part of me already feels so guilty for not even taking monthly belly pictures.  I tell myself I'll start now.  You wouldn't think it would be that hard to do - but, for some reason, it seems to take a mountain of effort to get it done.

Anyway.  I'm rambling. Sorry.

Happy halfway mark Pickles.  So far, you've been an incredibly easy baby and have made this pregnancy a breeze.  I like being pregnant, so thanks for making it a good experience.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thank you for this day

Happy Thanksgiving. :)

I've been trying to figure out how to write about all that I'm thankful for.  But, you see, there is so much.  I get overwhelmed trying to list it out, because while there are the obvious things like friends and family, I find that I don't want to forget to be thankful for petty things like peppermint mochas and seeing yellow leaves swirl around in the yard.  Yeah, I'm that kind of person.  I'm thankful for - everything.

I don't talk a lot about religion on here, mostly because I tend to be more of a private person in that arena, but I think my daily prayer fits in nicely here.

Every night, I have a very simple prayer.  I say "Thank you for this day - and everything in it"  Then, I start thinking through my day and I think about the specific things I'm thankful for.  But, I always start with the negative things.  I think through the past day and think about the things that stressed me out, upset me, or bothered me in some fashion and I try to think of a reason to be thankful for even those experiences.

Maybe I can be thankful for that really difficult case at school because it gives me an opportunity to truly help a child. Maybe I can be thankful for Abby's tantrums because it means she's becoming more independent and growing like she should.  I can be thankful that my leg was full of shooting pains because it means this baby is growing and making room in my belly. Maybe I can be thankful for somebody saying something hurtful because it reminded me that they might be going through a hard time right now.  You get the idea.  There is a positive way to look at most anything.

By the time I've thought through those things, and admittedly, the negative things are few on a normal day, then the rest of my day truly seems like a blessing.  I try to go to bed thankful every night.

Yeah, I know.  It's a little sappy and it's a little sickeningly optimistic.  But, I find that looking at things in a positive light makes life a little easier.

So.  Yes, I'm thankful for my family and my friends.  I'm thankful for my sweet amazing precious daughter and my incredible husband.  My job, our house, that we can make ends meet most of the time.  I'm thankful for all those things.  I feel very blessed that I have so very much to be thankful for.

I hope everyone, no matter your circumstances, can find something to be thankful for today and everyday.  Count your blessings and I'll bet you'll be surprised how high the number goes. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010


This post is probably going to be a bit random.

- Abby calls suitcases "clothes cases" This is brilliant - as how often to you *really* pack suits in them anyway?

- I spent some time today trying to explain to Abby that mommy had a baby in her tummy.  She kept shaking her head and saying "noooooo, silly mama"  Eventually, I got her to point to my belly when I asked "where's the baby?"  When I asked her if she wanted a boy or girl baby - she put her finger on her chin and said "Hmmmm, Let's see...."  Then she said "girl baby?"  Of course, a few minutes later she said "boy baby?"  In short - she has no idea what I'm talking about. :)

- Abby fell out of her crib today.  It was my fault.  I lowered her crib rail, then went to go flip on the light.  In that 4 seconds, I hear Abby say "don't fall!" and I turned to see her flipping over the side of her crib.  I saw her land forehead first on the ground.  She started screaming instantly (good sign).  I scooped her up and rocked her.  It took her a good 5 or 6 minutes before she was calm enough to talk.  And even then, she spoke in broken sobs and stuttered out "Wa..wa.....woopsies!"  4 hours later, she still had a big red circle on her forehead. It'll bruise, but she's ok.

- She likes to wear her boots.  More than anything.  Mostly because she can get them on and off by herself.  In the mornings, in her PJ's, or even just in her diaper - she always puts on her boots.  It makes me laugh.

- She calls our bed "Daddy's crib"  I'm guessing this is because I'm always gone before she gets up and she's in bed before I go to sleep.  But, no matter how much I try to explain that it belongs to both of us - she's adamant that it's "Daddy's crib"

- The other day going up the stairs, she said the word "cookies!!!" with every step.  I have no idea why, but she was happy.

- At target the other day we stopped to get a starbucks.  The lady was kind enough and fill a little sample cup with whipped cream just for Abs.  Abby was tickled pink by it and proudly stated "Abby have a mommy-drink!"

- Sometimes, when she pretends to read, she holds up her books right up to her face so that her nose it touching the page.  Just like her daddy does sometimes.  So funny.  She doesn't do this if she's actually reading/looking at a book.  Only when she's "play reading"

- She loves her Mr. Potato Head family that Billie Jo and Ricky brought over.  It has 2 big and 2 small potatoes.  She mostly sticks with the "baby potato"  She's very good about putting it together, but after she's done, she nearly always goes to put baby potato in time out.  It's such that we just expect to see him in the corner when we walk down the hall now.

- At dinner tonight, Abby wouldn't eat any of her mac & cheese or yogurt.  Instead, she swiped all my red onions from my salad, followed by all my tomatoes, and olives.  Who loves red onions that much as a toddler?  My child is not afraid of strong flavors apparently.

- Abby remembers so much.  Weeks ago, we had to change the batteries in her glow worm.  This is always traumatic for her and we do our best to do it so she never knows.  But, this last time, she saw us take him out of the room and cried until I brought him back.  Since then, she randomly will tell me "Glowie all better!"  In the same vein, she's still scared of our vacuum.  She'll stay in the room if Kyle holds her/sits next to her.  But as soon as I'm done, she exclaims "Vacuum all done!"  Same thing now - that's often the first thing she says in the morning, or randomly after breakfast, or while driving in the car.  "Vacuum aaaallll done!"

- The other day I heard her say through the monitor "One, twooo, threeee, four!  Four monsters in the crib!  Hi Monsters, How are you monsters?  Ok, bye bye monsters, see you later!"  She was very chipper about it.  I have no idea who the monsters were - but we're glad they were able to get along.

- Abby is very good at the phase "ONE more, Last one!"  But she doesn't really get it.  She asks "one more time?" over and over and over and over. and over. and...over.

- The other day she asked me "mama?  Youtube pwease?"  I seriously didn't know she knew that word.  SCARY.

- On Saturday, during our IHOP breakfast, I showed her the kids menu (which has pictures of all the options) and I asked her what she wanted.  She took a crayon and scribbled over the fruit bowl.  Then she saw some other fruit bowl pictures and went to scribble on each one.  Just the fruit bowls.  I mean, genius, right?  ;)

Ok, there's more (of course) but my battery is about to run out and my evening is getting late.  Talk to you later!

Abby sleeping during nap with aaaallll her friends.  Including, apparently, her halloween piggy bank?

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I think 28 is probably better than 27.  Mostly just because it's an even number and that makes it a little easier to remember. ;)  We'll see what this year has in store...I think it's going to be a good one. 

I woke up at 4:30am on Friday morning to Kyle's alarm going off - it sounded like a german U-boat alarm and my first thoughts on my birthday morning were "Herr Kraut! The Americans have fired! Cloze de doorz and sealz de room!"  Seriously.  I was a bit disoriented.  Kyle had to go to the airport early, so once he was on his way, I dozed for a little while until I had to get up for work.

I stopped to treat myself to a (decaf) peppermint mocha before work.  Yum.  Work was good.  It was low key.  I don't ever take off work for my birthday, but I do try to schedule it in such a way that I can have an "easy" day.  My co-workers decided to have an impromptu pizza party and bought me flowers and a cake.  It was a really nice touch - everyone should have a piece of cake on their birthday, no?

Later that night, I put Abs to bed a little early and a few friends joined me to go see Harry Potter 7.  That was fun.  I enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed being out in the city (and out of the house after 7pm).  I also enjoyed the popcorn.  There is something about theater popcorn that is just. so. good.  Mmmmmmm.

That's the short version, but in all, it was a good day.  I got lots of love from all the facebook, text, and phone messages.  I even got to video chat with my parents for the first time. :)

Since Kyle is still gone, Abs and I had all day just to hang out together.  She has a little bit of a cold, so she wasn't feeling well this morning.  But, after some tylenol and a few cartoons, she was feeling better.  We went out and got breakfast together at IHOP.

this is her watching the waitress get her milk - like a hawk.

So, like I said, Abs has a bit of a cold which means she hasn't eaten a lot in the past few days.  But, apparently the Tylenol allowed her to feel hungry again.  She could have eaten my entire breakfast plus her own.  In fact, she did eat most of it.  And when it was all gone, she looked at me and asked, "Food??"  When I told her we had eaten it all - that he food was all gone - she started crying.  *faceplant*
enjoying her "yogurt".....er.....whipped cream.

Well, we continued on our morning.  We went to the mall, did a little shopping, and I treated Abs to all those silly little kid rides.
 ...which she loved. 

My favorite part of our morning was doing one of those photo booth things together.  Abby had no idea what was going on, but the pictures still make me happy.  Here's a picture of the pictures since I couldn't figure out how else to get them on here.

 Abby's medicine was wearing off as we got closer and closer to nap time.  She started getting fussier and so we headed home.  The poor kid fell asleep instantly.  It's only a 15 min ride home, but she was out like a light.  Unfortunately, that meant that even though I put her down for nap around 1pm - she didn't actually fall asleep until around 3.  She just played happily in her crib for 2 hours. Sigh.

Our evening was low key.  We video chatted with Kyle, watched cartoons, and ordered pizza.  We had a picnic in the living room and ate our pizza and watched sesame street together.  Abby's appetite was back.  She polished off 2.5 pieces of pizza, a bowl of cheerios, rasins, a cup of milk, and water.  Even as I was telling her it was time to go to bed, she was frantically stuffing handfuls cheerios in her mouth.  But, I take it as a good sign - that she's feeling a little better.  

pizza picnic

And now, here I am.  Blogging, surfing the internet, browsing what's on TV - putting my feet up.  I'll probably go to bed early - that sounds perfect.

So, for the record books, birthday 28 was nice.  I missed Kyle of course, but I very much enjoyed my day.  Thanks to all of you who made it so special. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


What a week.  What. A. Week.

There is so much that has gone on around here since Monday morning - some of it bad, some of it good, some of it just busyness.  But, a lot.

There's a fine line when it comes to sharing on your blog.  You have to decide what to share and when and so forth.  So, for now, I'm not going to get into all the specifics of everything that has happened this week.  Not because I don't want to share, but because it effects people other than myself.  Besides, chances are, most of you who are actually reading this know everything anyway.

But, there are things I want to talk about.

First of all, this has been a busy week at school for me.  I've had a lot of meetings - nearly a month's worth in a week.  That sounds worse than it is - I had about 8 meetings this week.  10 a month is what we hope for.  The 8 meetings wouldn't have been so tiring if I'd been a little further ahead on my report writing - but, I confess, I wasn't.  This means I've been getting to school by 6am most days this week so that I can write for a few hours before my meetings.  It's really not a huge deal - but it has made me very tired this week.  I'm not used to getting up quite as early as I have been, and my days aren't any shorter.

The result is, I'm a little worn out.  But, that's ok.

There were also weird random things that happened at school this week - staff being sick, fights exploding out of classrooms, kids acting out and having problems.  I dunno, maybe it's always like this, but it seemed more concentrated than usual this week.

Other than work, Kyle's family is dealing with several things.  These are the things I don't want to go into much detail about.  But, it suffices today that they lost a family member, unexpectedly.  They are dealing with that, and I know they (and I) appreciate all of the warm wishes and prayers that people have sent their way.  Kyle's going to be gone for the next few days helping out with things - so I'd appreciate any safe travel thoughts you'd like to send him as well.

Kyle's mother spent a short stint in the hospital as well this week for some chest pain of unknown origin. She's home now and on the mend.  Her tests and scans came back clear and the doctors had some other ideas for why she was having trouble.  Again, thank you so much for everyone who thought about her too - I know she appreciated it.

So, it's been a little bit of a crazy week around here.  Some unpredictable circumstances on top of a hectic work week.  I started laundry on Monday and just emptied the dryer 15 mins ago.  Yes, it took me 4 full days to get around to doing that.  It's been that kind of week. Needless to say the rest of the house is not exactly gonna win any Home & Garden awards either.  But that stuff - it's just not important. Not right now.

But, not all has been bad.  I've been glad that while things have been busy, I've been able to get everything done at work each day that I needed to.  In fact, my Friday is blessedly light at work tomorrow - and I'm very much looking forward to that change.  Tomorrow is my birthday, and I'm thankful for that.  I'm thankful that Abby is happy - and healthy.  I'm excited that I'm going to go see Harry Potter with friends tomorrow night.  One of my friends, Lauren, found out this week that she and her husband are expecting a baby after going through many infertility treatments and trials.  I'm so excited for them.    There is a lot to be thankful for, even in the midst of sadness.  It's good to remember that.

Cause it's a hard thing to see sometimes - but that's a blog post for later.

Anyway.  Here I am.  Thursday night, sitting in a dark and quiet house.  Exhaling.  Sending all my love to those in grief and then replenishing it again with the abundance of blessings around us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Do you ever have one of those mornings that just set your day off right?  I had one today.

It started this morning when my alarm went off at 5am.  Yuck.  I hit the snooze bar till 5:30 because I just. could. not. get. up.  But, eventually, I had to.  I got dressed and got ready and remembered that Billie Jo had given me a bottle of peppermint lotion for my birthday.  Peppermint is a good wake-up smell, so I put some on.   And then?  Then I put more on.  Because it smelled that good.  I remember thinking "how much of this can I put on before I start offending people with too strong of a peppermint smell?"  I mean, I probably coulda just bathed in it.

Anyway, suffices to say - it definitely helped me wake up and put me in a pretty good mood.

So, I go to leave the house and it's still pitch black outside and raining. Bummer.  I decide that I should stop for coffee.  Well, "should" isn't the right word - but I just thought it would help me wake up, y'know?  I've been stopping and Dunkin Donuts for coffee semi regularly for a while now.  But, on the way to DD, I had another thought.  It shot through my brain like a jolt of electricity.  You see, it's 11/16, which means that we're halfway through November, and THAT means that starbucks just *might* have their Christmas drinks out.....which would, of course, mean peppermint drinks.

Really y'all, I got pretty excited about this idea.  So, I did a drive by - and my heart skipped a beat when I saw that they'd put out the bright red menus and put snowflakes on the window.  Perfect.

This is where I'm going to put in a tanget about consumerism.  I know that starbucks isn't the best coffee on the planet.  I'm fully aware that it is overpriced.  I understand that I've been lassoed and hog tied by their pretty packaging, marketing, and their ability to somehow infiltrate my subconcious emotions tied to the holidays. I KNOW, okay?  But, I'm cool with that.  Moving on.

So it's actually been a while since I've been to the SB.  I'd forgotton how different it is from our local Dunkin' They're only a few yards away from each other.  But Starbuck's low lighting, acoustic music, holiday decor and warm colors were in such contrast the the florescent lit, busy, and crowded Dunkin (last time I was there, they were playing some hiphopish song about cheese sticks - it was odd).  Don't get me wrong, DD is good - but starbucks is preeeeetty.

Ok, back to the story, eh?  I'm so giddy when I order my white chocolate peppermint mocha (I actually giggled when she asked me "would you like whipped cream and chocolate shavings on that?") that I told her all about how my peppermint lotion had inspired me to see if they had their new drinks out.  She said that this was their first day putting them out and I was the first one to order it that morning.  *grin*

I take my sugary goodness back to the car - I'm sure I'm beaming.  I've pretty much decided that I just want to smell like a candy cane for the next 2 months.  I start driving and then I have another thought.  If Starbucks is selling christmas drinks - I wonder if the radio station is playing Christmas music??

Tanget 2:  Kyle is rather strict about our Christmas music listening.  None before Thanksgiving - he'd prefer none before December.  I, on the other hand, don't really get tired of it.  So, I sneak it when he's not around.

I was, again, beaming when I landed on XM4 to find Bing Crosby singing to me.

I didn't care that it was 6am, that I had a ton of work to do today, that it was raining.  I was just happy.

Next, the Little Drummer Boy started playing.  This is where I go all preggo on you.  It made me cry.  I mean, that song always makes me tear up - but today it started with the song tearing me up and then I just started thinking about how happy I was, and about the holidays, and about how blessed we all are, and I just kept thinking and got so overwhelmed with all the good around me that it made me shed a few tears.  But, happy tears.

I semi skipped to my office when I got to work.

So, now, here I am, well into the swing of the work day, taking a break to blog between meetings.  I just wanted to remember this morning.  Silly as it was.  It made me happy.

Also - today is Billie Jo's birthday!  So, happy birthday friend.  Thanks for the great morning. ;)

I hope everyone has a great day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

freedom trail

Today was a great day.  The weather was amazing - nearly 60 and sunny and just great.  And for November in these parts?  That's like winning the lottery.  We headed out a bit after 9am and got back around 5:30 or so.  Lots of walking and we were all completely worn out from everything, but I think we all had a great time.

I'm exhausted, so I'm gonna go to bed right now.  But, here are a few pics.  Nighty night. 

I'm still here

Sorry blog friends.  I know I've been a little MIA this week.  It's been a buuuusy week. :)

Work was a little busier than usual early in the week.  Partly because a lot of things were going on, partly because a lot of unexpected things came up, and partly because this was a 3 day work week for me and I was trying to cram everything into 3 days.  After work, I was running around trying to get errands done while also getting things ready for Billie Jo and Ricky to arrive on Wednesday night.  Somewhere between things I lost my house keys - and still haven't found them.  But, despite all that was hectic - things got mostly done and Billie Jo and Ricky arrived on Wednesday night.

Since then, we've been galavanting around the city and relaxing at home and just generally enjoying each other's company.  Abby likes having the extra attention and people to play with for sure.  Last night, a friend babysat for us and we all went out for a nice seafood dinner.  Billie Jo and I both have birthdays next week so it was a kind of a treat.  It was really nice to get out of the house and just walk the city at night.  We love the city at night.  Especially when the weather has been as nice as it's been the last few days.

Today we're planning on doing the Freedom Trail, which will take most of the day.  Tomorrow we're going to cook an early Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate, well, eachother, and maybe do some other touristy stuff.  Then it's back to work for me and back to Oregon for the Rodriguez clan.

I'm trying to soak up as much friend time as I can while they're here.  We're so blessed to have such good friends in our lives.

I'll try to update again soon.  Until then, here are a few pics.

happy birthday to me!
(a week early, ha)


 Yummy Boston Creme Pie

And one of the munchkin for good measure
(in her new hat from her godparents :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My productivity comes in bursts.  Especially when you're talking about home.  I mean, at work, I kinda have to be productive.  But at home?  It suffers sometimes.

I got up yesterday morning and tended to the Abster.  I got her breakfast started and decided to really clean the pantry.  I mean, REALLY, clean.  I took everything out, scrubbed, organized, and sorted.  I found a few packages of Ramen noodles that Kyle and I bought our first month in Boston - the month after we were married.  Yikes.  The funny thing is, it made me all nostalgic remembering those early months here when neither of us had an income and those 10 cent packages of ramen were a lot of our diet.  Good times people.

After the pantry was done, I decided to clean out other secret crevices of the kitchen.  I'll spare you the details and say it suffices to say that 1) It needed to be done and 2) It wasn't the most glamorous job.  This part took a little longer cause I was also juggling playing hide and seek with Abby (who just kept locking herself in the kitchen island cabinets) and dancing with her around the kitchen as she would demand "Dancing mama! Pwease!"  

Well, after all that dancing and playing and cleaning, I was inspired.  I emptied and reorganized our big storage closet and tidied our office.  Sometime after that Kyle woke up for the day and we all had lunch. We put Abs down for a nap and I went and rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned our entire downstairs.  Have I mentioned how much I hate having white carpets?  

Then, we got a bit of a break.  A good friend of ours that we knew from teaching her and her son Taekwondo in Arkansas was in town for a conference.  So, when Abs got up, we all packed up and headed into the city.  We had a really nice time.  Not only was it really great to see and visit with Nina - it was also just nice to get out and walk the city.  It's hard for us to justify doing that very often when it's just us.  But we always enjoy it when we do go out.  Nina was hilarious, she hasn't spent much time in cities and we had just as much fun watching her experience everything as she did doing it.  

We walked some of the freedom trail and ended up in the North End for a nice Italian dinner before taking Nina on her first train ride (she was excited :) and heading home.  It was just a really nice visit.  I love it when people from back home come to visit!

We got home and while Kyle started putting Abs to bed, I steam cleaned all the carpets again.  Woot.  Finally, with Abs in bed, the carpets clean, and some wings delivered - we settled in to watch the Hogs game on TV.  I made it till half time - at that point - my body crashed.  I woke up nearly 3 hours later and headed to bed.  I'd done wore myself out.  :)

So, it was a good day.  A productive day.  A good amount of work and a healthy dose of play.  Nothing earth shattering or front page news worthy - but a good day for us nonetheless.

Friday, November 5, 2010

dear new baby

Dear new baby,

Hi.  I'm your mom.  You are, at this moment, 16 weeks old in this belly of mine.  I figure it's about time I introduced myself.

So, first things first.  I (and your daddy too) am very excited about you.  We've known for a very long time that we always wanted to have several children and you, little one, are helping our family grow.  I think you'll like it here.  We have a good amount of fun, and there are toys, and lots and lots of love. More love than you'll understand for a really long time.

In the past few days, you've decided to make your presence known through very clear kicks and jabs.  You're still so very small right now, but feeling you move is one of the best parts about being pregnant.  And, since I can now feel you in there, it has made this pregnancy suddenly seem more real.  I don't mean that in a bad way at all.  In fact, I should thank you for taking it easy on me in the beginning.  You spared me from morning sickness or strong aversions or fatigue.  At the time, I worried about that and wondered if you were ok - but now that I know you're healthy and strong - I'm simply thankful for avoiding some of the more unpleasant side effects of carrying a child.  So, thanks.

We have different nicknames that we use for you since we don't have a name picked out yet.  Sometimes we call you newbie, and sometimes it's just something like baby or peanut.  One of the more unique ones is Picklesford Ogelsby.  We saw those names on a baby name list and thought they were terrible funny.  But, don't worry, we'll find much better ones before you arrive.  In fact, we'll probably have two names. We've decided to wait until you're born to find out your gender.  So, we'll have a boy and a girl name ready for you when you join us.

You have a big sister.  Her name is Abigail and I'm pretty sure she's going to be a really great big sister.  She's very loving and sweet.  She's also funny and I bet she'll make you laugh even when I can't.  I hope you two will be very good friends.  I'm sure you will be.

Your daddy is also very excited about you.  He's a really good daddy and you're gonna have a lot of fun with him.  He'll teach you lots and lots of things because he's really smart.  He's taking care of you right now by helping me remember to take my vitamins so that you have plenty of nutrients coming your way.

Speaking of nutrients, what's with all the salt and beets?  I mean, I've always liked salt - but you must really like it.  You seem to be demanding it all the time.  ;)  You're a little lukewarm on sweets though.  Which is actually ok because you're helping me to eat healthily...most of the time.  Just thought I'd ask.

So, I just wanted to say hi.  I wanted to remember that this is when you started letting me know that you're down there - all hyped up on some coffee probably- but moving around and active.  I'll keep doing my best to take very good care of you, and you keep doing your best to grow healthy and strong.  We have a long road together before we get to meet face to face and I'm looking forward to it.

I love you already,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

apple pumpkin muffins

Every once in a while, I find a recipe that looks easy enough for me to try.  A blog friend posted this on her blog last week and I thought, "Well, I could do that"  In fact, I already had most of the ingredients. 

These are not only yummy and make your house smell like warm autumn goodness - but they're relatively healthy too.  There's no added oil, butter, or eggs.  If you're a weight watcher - they're 2 pts each.

Here's what you need:
1 box of spice cake mix
1 can of 100% pure pumpkin
2 apples
1/4 cup of water
Look, that's it!

1) peel and cut up the apples
(heart shape optional, but I hear it makes the muffins better....just sayin')

2) put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix

3) Fill your muffin cups and bake for 20 mins at 350

Sorry I don't have a picture of the after muffins.  Um...they didn't really last long. :)

Also, I took some cream cheese icing and drizzled a little bit on top of the muffins.  I'm sure that decreases the healthiness, but it increases my happiness.  Optional, of course. :)

You Capture - Halloween/Silence

You Capture - Halloween & Silence.  

I'm detecting a pattern for myself.  I have these awesome ideas, I get excited, and then I never take the pictures I want.  I had some really great ideas for "silence"  But, perhaps they'll wait for another challenge. 

Here's this week's photos.
My Abby, being A-bee, on Halloween.

This was on Halloween morning, it was sunny, gorgeous, and actually very quiet.  With only the breeze rustling leaves as noise.  I like the sunbeam

Again, I know it's a bit of a stretch, but this little plant was so gently swaying in the breeze with nothing else going on around it.  You can't tell in the picture perhaps, but it captured silence for me at that moment.

Go see everyone else's You Capture pictures!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

What a great Halloween we had.  It was a day chocked full of activity, memories, and fun. :)

The day started off with a race.  Several several months ago, I decided to run in a local 5k.  The plan was to train and then be in really great shape to run the whole thing.  Then something happened.  Sure, part of it was the pregnancy and the queasies, but part of it was just getting busy with work and not having a good routine.  The result was, I haven't run in months.  But, I decided to go for it anyway.  

And look at how gorgeous the day was!

There were nearly 1000 people who registered for the race.  Most of them were in costume, which made things fun.  The atmosphere was jovial - people do 5Ks to have fun, y'know?  I had two goals: to run at least a mile and to finish in 45 mins.  I was a little doubful of the first goal, but figured I could walk the thing in 45 mins. :)  So, I was pleased when I was able to run the first 2 miles.  I walked much of the 3rd and ran the end.  So, I finished in 37 mins.  That's not exactly an impressive pace, but, hey, whose judging?  
See Laura so big and strong. 
I wore fairy wings

Kyle and Abs came down and met me at the end of the race.  Abby spent a lot of time pointing out "runners, more runners" while she waited for me.  I got a lot of post race kisses and Kyle took some pictures for fun. :)

After all that, we had to let Abs play on the playground.  It was really windy and kinda chilly so we didn't stay too much longer.  Kyle made me laugh - he strolled Abs ahead a little ways and then walked away from the stroller.  He said "Take her picture!  It's pretty with the leaves!"  I love him so.

We went home and then went out for lunch before coming back and putting Abs down for a nap.  When she woke up, it was time for halloween.  We put her costume on and went to the mall just down the road from our house.  We've been practicing saying "trick or treat!" for a day or so and she could say it - but what's a phrase with no meaning?

We visited marked stores throughout the mall who were giving out treats to kids.  It did not take Abby long at all to learn the association of "trick or treat" = candy!  She was quite excited.  Which - is funny considering she's only had a piece or two of candy in her life.  She certainly didn't know the difference between a sucker and a twix bar, y'know?  But she had a great time. 

She got this balloon at one store and was just pleased as punch the rest of the day with it. 

After we got home, we relaxed for a little while before heading out to do the neighborhood thing.  It was much chillier - downright cold - so we didn't plan to go far.  Just a few token houses.  Well, Abby (and I) were having so much fun, we decided to make a loop around our block.  She did so very well.  She had the hang of it and would say trick or treat, pick out her candy (she grew increasingly indecisive), say thank you and wave bye-bye.
ready to go 

patiently waiting

Kyle and I enjoyed watching her learn and experience this kinda crazy tradition.  Her face was full of wonderment, confusion, happiness, and uncertainty all at once.  I'd forgotten how much fun trick or treating can be - and when people open their doors to a 22 month old bumblebee- they're always happy to see you. :)

So, we came home as the cold was getting to us.  Abby had a nice dinner of a yummy greek salad.  Olives, tomatoes, and feta are among her favorite foods.  I love that.

After dinner, Abby wanted some "more trick or treats?" meaning she wanted some candy from her basket.  By the way, after we got home, she carried her little bucket around for about 15 minutes and would not part with it.  :)

but, because I'm a mean mom - I decided she didn't need any candy before bed. 
I gave her an apple instead.  
She gave me this: 
I call this photo, "the letdown"

So, our day was fantastic.  We all had a great time.  I'm walking like a little old lady today as my body lectures me about running without training and so forth.  I'm trying to make amends by feeding it some leftover candy, so hopefully that will help. ;o)  I hope everyone had a lovely day.