Friday, December 31, 2010

Guess when the baby will be born!

If you are the winner... I don't know... I'll text you the code to visit the cute baby in the hospital and let you hold him.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let's take a nice picture

Christmas Eve... cute new jammies... sitting in front of the tree... what could possibly go wrong?

Oh yeah...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card

In my quest for a scaled-down holiday season I only sent out Christmas cards to grandparents. However, the digital version is here for everyone else to enjoy. Have a very merry and more relaxed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Third Trimester Lament

When did we grow so far apart?
Thank goodness for boots
I miss you.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

34 weeks

alternately titled: A Little Slower Every Day

The cold weather is actually a welcome change because I don't feel obligated to chase after bike-riding munchkins, climb into tree houses (except to retrieve my paycheck... and I'm not making that up) go on long exploring hikes or participate in any activity that requires a bathing suit.

What we have been doing involves putting up Christmas decorations, sitting by the lovely fire, crocheting Christmas presents, indulging in some fabulous movies and wasting too much time at the doctor's office as scheduled appointments increase in frequency. Baby participates by pushing his knees, elbows and bum out to be patted and petted by any siblings who happen to be nearby.

Monday, November 22, 2010

11 random things I'm thankful for

This is a list that could go on forever but I decided to limit it to just a few.

1. Talking to small children - if you need a fresh perspective on life, you should discuss it with a 4- or 6-year-old.
2. My job - I'm glad every day that I get to do something that is fun but lets me put my family first.
3. The garage - Joe lets my car live there and I don't have to scrape windows.
4. Scooby Doo Meets Batman & Robin - you arrived just in time to entertain a not-feeling-well little boy.
5. Being pregnant in the winter - sitting by the fire and crocheting hats and toys for the new baby is so much more cozy than feeling like a midsize killer whale at the pool.
6. America's Funniest Home Videos - if you've never watched this show with two little children and a scoop of rocky-road ice cream, you should give it a try.
7. Joe's job - how many people get to say they get to work for honest, competent people in a company that actually cares about you and your family?
8. Pie for breakfast - I can't wait for all the delicious leftover pie to eat later this week!
9. Various conveniences of the modern age - washing machines, text messages, movies that appear in my mailbox, delicious low-calorie pudding, shopping online, Egyptian cotton sheets, waterproof boots, Kitchenaid mixers, Dancing With the Stars, blogs, DVD-players in the car, take-out Thai food, telecommuting, Dr. Pepper, waterproof eyeliner, the iMac.
10. Friends with skills - people who knew how to sew and an online tutorial resulted in some maternity jeans that actually fit and look good!
11. My awesome, handsome, super-cool husband who has a plethora of talents and who will run to the store for rocky-road ice cream at 11pm.

I hope that you too can find a million things to be thankful for this year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 weeks

Being in the '30s' seems a little surreal - we're actually getting there! Not too many more weeks and we'll have another little bundle.

Sprinkle/Star Wars/Hiccup is getting big and wiggly. All the sudden I feel a lot bigger. I don't know why it seems different this time around but I can see and feel the different parts of the baby shifting around. Joe sat in the back of Sunday School yesterday with his hand on my belly, feeling little knees poking and wiggling all over - we thought it was so funny. Of course we maybe should have been paying more attention... sorry Bro and Sister West!

He hasn't (yet) started hooking his toes into my ribs or trying to stretch out full-length, like Minnie always did. How are babies so strong? I thought she would puncture a lung. If I put on my seatbelt or wear a waistband that is tighter he sits and elbows and punches and fights against it. Long car rides are the best.

I've gained 20 pounds and I hate looking at the scale. I think I'm in the nesting stage because I work on the house a lot - I keep the kids' room obsessively straightened up, I've turned into a Person Who Makes Everyone's Bed and I've put new flooring down in three rooms all by my very own self! I took pictures but haven't posted them. Oh! I also made a car seat cover (again... haven't posted pictures) and I'm working on a cute crochet hat for the little nugget. I hope his cute brown blankets and clothes make up for the fact that I have no plans to take down the pink-and-orange curtains in his bedroom.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Internet names

Lisa has cleverly pointed out that the blog names Bart and Lisa will not work with the upcoming baby boy (if it had been a girl, Maggie would have been perfect). Yeah yeah... totally a critical decision, right? It's either that or go back to mourning the loss of Kurt Warner on DWTS. I miss you Kurt! And seriously, WHO is voting for Bristol Palin? Anyway, at Lisa's behest, I've been thinking of other threesomes. Here's what I've got:

Ellie, Crash and Eddie

Violet, Dash and JackJack

Candace, Phineas and Ferb
Thoughts? Suggestions? Votes?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sharing 101

I've moved the kids into a shared room. They've always had their own, so this is uncharted territory for us.

Lisa's room is bigger than Bart's, with two windows and she chose it herself when we moved here. Unfortunately, the bigger room is also closer to ours and further away from the hustle/bustle of the rest of the house, making it the ideal room for Hiccup. I know plenty of people with 2+ kids per room so it seems silly to feel bad for her but hey, I had my own room growing up and asking her to move in with her little brother gives me guilt.

A big sell for the idea of a shared room was: a bunk bed. What kid doesn't love sleeping at unusual heights? We've had a bunk bed frame for more years than we've had actual children (a cast-off frame from Joe's mattress-delivery days that we've hauled with us for 4 moves.) However, we've already had one bunk-bed related incident, so Joe spent all day Saturday welding up new, higher safety rails for the bed frame we already had. The kids spent all day Saturday climbing up and down their new jungle gym.

The other half of my bribe was: you can both pick new bedspreads. If you know me, this is a big concession. Most kiddy color combinations and character-inspired patterns make me itch. Also one child has a level of indecisiveness (inherited from her father) that makes shopping experiences pure torture.

This trip wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Granted, confronted with rows and rows of pink, flowers and ruffles, Bart escaped to an adjoining aisle to indulge his taste for All Things Super Hero. His sweet little heart could only be satisfied with the complete Iron Man sheet set but he agreed to a solid black bedspread of super soft fluffiness. Lisa carted around 4 entire comforter sets for half an hour (feeling textures, comparing all coordinating sheet patterns) before deciding on this one.

OK. Cute right? I was actually a little surprised. But she could never pair the comforter with something as tame as pale green sheets. No... we got these instead.

I vetoed a feathered accent pillow (it was $20 people!) but she was all right with it and said she would add it to her Christmas list. Is there a show for Amercia's Next Elementary School Fashion Star? Look for her in the final four.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The space villian and the Spanish beauty

This year the kids did not want to dress up as a pair. One child wanted a licensed-character, out-of-the-box costume and the other... well... she had her own ideas. I borrowed this gorgeous flamenco dancer dress from a friend (we had a little bookclub costume exchange) and thought she would be so excited because the dress was all the way from Spain. Then she had herself a right little tantrum because apparently red is not pink enough and... well... I stopped listening. But after scouring all the costumes at the local Buy-and-Large and bribing her with a new red lipstick for her very very own, she mysteriously changed her mind.

And I'm glad she did. Because she was ever so lovely.

This was a birthday party outfit and instead of being a regular princess, she wanted to be a Halloween princess. Have I mentioned less than 5 million times how much I love her beautiful hair and how much fun I have doing it?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Break Fashion

On Holidays I Will Let You Wear Whatever You Want In Public So Long As We Don't Have to Discuss (Argue About) It.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

25 weeks

More than halfway there!

All my jeans still fit fine, if I can just keep them on my hips where they belong. I'm considering suspenders. I'm starting to grow out of regular t-shirts though, which is really frustrating. A few years ago I loaned my maternity clothes to a few friends and every single piece of clothing got lost. Sheesh. I borrowed a few shirts from my sister-in-law that will last a while. At least I have lots of pajama pants that are still comfy.

I've been managing to get to the gym at least once a week and I've gained 17 pounds. The extra weight makes running harder and those stupid ligaments in my lower abdomen are starting to stretch and hurt.

Baby moves around a ton and everyone can feel him. He gets really excited when the kids talk to him.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The art of procrastination

I've been meaning to post pictures of the finished floors for several weeks, but something always gets in the way. First it took a while to get the carpet in... and then the furniture put back in place... then a few more weeks to get the nose of the stairs finished... then I had furniture ordered that wasn't here yet... pretty soon months have gone by and I never took pictures of the result.


OK, remember the before?

The pictures never quite captured its stained, worn, 1991 pinkness and we took down all the hunter-green curtains that went with the color scheme. If you never saw the house in person, rest assured that it was awful.

Linoleum and wallpaper... I never want to see a scrap of it again.

Jessica had the oh-so-fabulous idea of doing crime-scene body-outlines on the floor but I read the comment AFTER most of the flooring was in. We had to settle for this under the carpet in the formal living room.

OK here we go!

Finally the wood trim looks like it's here on purpose and not just a leftover from the 70's. Wood trim is back in style, right? I'm still debating over that big black chair in the corner.

We got rid of the big white couch that was in the bay window and I really wanted an oversized story-time chair in its place. It took a long time to find what I wanted but I'm really really happy with this chair and ottoman. I haven't gotten Joe to put the legs on yet and I'm still trying to decide if I even want them, or if it's just another place to lose toys. Also, should I paint the front door?

So there you go. It's not 100% done because the laundry room still needs a closet ripped out and tile put in and the kitchen is not painted and the toy room is not done and the basement is still in its state of post-flood-disaster... no one tells you that owning a home is this much work! But this is huge progress and I'm so SO happy with it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In denial

This pregnancy has gone by in weird chunks. There's the first bit, where you're convinced that you're going to be sick for the rest of eternity (because that's just how long the first trimester lasts). Then time lurched its way along to now - 24 weeks. Sprinkle/Baby Star Wars/Nameless Fetus is apparently the size of a Chicago dog... at least according to the last 'this week in your pregnancy' update I read with Minnie, who is obsessed with knowing how big the baby is. So there you go.

Mmmmm, Chicago dog...

Anyway, I'm more than halfway through this pregnancy and I'm still waiting to feel excited. Forget excited, I'm willing to settle for one day without intense baby-related stress. Where is the call-in show or helpful newspaper advice column for my questions?

Dear Addie - My oldest daughter had terrible colic and didn't sleep a full night until she was two years old. If we repeat this trend, how will I keep from throwing myself off the deck? And what will I do with the two sprained wrists that is all that will result from throwing myself off the deck?

Dear Addie - There is a juvenile Labrador retriever masquerading as my four-year-old son. How will I keep this oversized, energetic, slobbering animal from tackling a newborn baby?

And speaking of two older children, dear Addie, how will I keep them from feeling neglected, forgetting to do their homework, going to school dressed like street urchins, eating nothing but Pop Tarts and eventually sinking into a life of crime and door-to-door alarm sales?

Maybe this seems excessive, but these are the kinds of worries that keep me from sleeping at night and from doing absolutely anything to prepare for the baby during the day. I have a big box of boy clothes waiting to go through - it sits. People are asking if there are things that we need - I pretty much don't think about it. Eventually I need to move the two existing children into one room to get the other ready for baby - I don't. I can't figure out what is wrong with me.

I have issues. That's what blogs are for, right?

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Bart has so many toys in the bathtub with him right now that, with little or no exaggeration, this is what the tub looks like.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More senior pictures

After editing this set of pictures, I wanted to tell Taylor that I was tired of looking at his face. But... that was a lie. Seriously, the kid is pretty dang handsome.

And apparently the good-looking genes run pretty strong in this family because he also has a completely beautiful sister.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's not a puppy

Ahhh, the ultrasound. To be honest, I wasn't as anxious for it this time around. I was excited because Bart and Lisa would get to see if they were getting a brother or a sister. And I was dreading it because one of the two was going to be grievously and heart-wrenchingly disappointed and I didn't really want to deal with it. You know, because I'm a good mom like that.

Our ultrasound technician was f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s. When we went to Bart's ultrasound, the tech breezed through the whole thing as fast as she could, pointed out that it was a boy and slapped down some pictures that, as I look at them 5 years later, are totally unrecognizable as a baby or any of its adorable bits and pieces. Her attitude was an unmistakable 'I look at babies all day and this is totally not interesting - now will you please leave so I can enjoy a refreshing beverage?' The tech this time was totally enthusiastic, pointed out all the arms, legs, fingers and toes we could possibly want to see, explained everything she was measuring (and why) and even wrote happy little messages from the baby to Bart and Lisa that got printed on some of the pictures. She made it so wonderful and involved the entire family.

On to the good stuff.

Sweet, sweet little face. I'm taking a little poll here because I think the baby totally shares features with Bart and Lisa and looks like our family. And my dad insists that this baby is completely indistinguishable from any other baby on the entire surface of the earth. I have some silhouettes I've done of both children for objective comparison. Feel free to weigh in on either side of the debate.

Here's where baby gets uncooperative. The nice ultrasound lady tried and tried and tried to get a good face shot with the 4D camera. Baby covered its face with its arms and huddled up.

I'm sure none of you care about any of these and scrolled immediately to the bottom to find out. OK OK here you go - the money shot.

Yep. It's a boy. Lisa was devastated. She's starting to come around. And we have like... zero names for boys (and two totally beautiful girl names that someone else will have to use.) Name suggestions are welcome but I'm absolutely not naming a boy anything that ends in 'aden' or using any names that have at any time been used in the Twilight series of not-books.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beating Beethoven

Since I got hurt last year, I've been trying to get healthy and start running again. Obviously being pregnant has done nothing to further these goals. I feel like I have a narrow window between morning sickness and being too big/heavy/round to run and I really really wanted to do at least one 5K in that time.

Our local rec center has an annual Beat Beethoven 5K where you try to run the race faster than Beethoven's Symphony #5 (it's about 32 minutes long.) Since I've logged less than 10 miles in the last 4 months, I knew there was almost no way I could run faster than Beethoven. Pushing myself way too hard seems unwise so I made an alternate goal. Last year I ran a 5K in 39 minutes - in two ankle braces (see pic below), pushing two kids in a jog stroller that had 2 flat tires (I barely make it to the start line and didn't have time to air them up.)

So instead of chasing Beethoven, I made it my goal to beat my 'injured' time.

Here we are at the starting line with adequately aired up stroller tires. These two bed-headed monkeys had about a gallon of hot chocolate, 5 cereal bars and a movie on the iPod to keep them happy. Nugget #3 was much more content and didn't do any complaining or demanding of snacks.

The race started with about a mile and a half of long, slow uphill climb. It was a killer with the stroller. Beethoven and his pace car passed us at the halfway aid station. The last half was more flat and I kept a better pace.

The result? 38:11. So yeah, I'm not setting any records or winning any races (or beating any 240-year-old composers) but I'm totally happy. This was really important to me. And I'm pretty sure that even though Beethoven wasted me, I placed high in both the Obviously Pregnant and Toting Over 100 Pounds of Children divisions.

Also, Minnie took this picture of me on her own. She's a skilled camera woman already!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Halfway there!

At this point I'm in that frustrating 'I have nothing to wear' phase. So I spend most days in pajama bottoms. Most of my regular pants still fit but I get really really really tired of hitching them back into place every 3 seconds. My 1 pair of maternity jeans is too big. I did get one of those belly bands that are supposed to hold your pants in place and it works really well, as long as you are only standing or walking. It doesn't hold up to activities of a sitting/bending/picking-up-of-4-year-olds nature. At some point I'll have to break down and buy new clothes, but I haven't worked myself up to it yet.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Senior pictures

Decreased mobility plus a definite upswing in laziness has really put a dent in the time and energy I can put into photography. However I've done a limited number of shoots and this is a recent set of senior pictures. Isn't she totally gorgeous?