Jun 30, 2014

Photo Dump

I go nuts for stuff like this.  Our friends' grandma crocheted it for the baby.  Chris has known them since he was 10, and she's so nice she makes me a sweet potato pie every year on my birthday because she knows it's my favorite- and she makes the best sweet potato pie on the planet.

Mp3 players are more adorable when shared between 6 and 7 year olds.
We had a pretty busy weekend, but Saturday in particular was a long day.  Slim had baseball practice in the morning, we had errands to finish up, and it was my niece's 4th birthday party.  Her party was planned for the afternoon, but my dad just bought a projector off eBay and wanted to include a movie night.  Since it doesn't get dark around here until 9:30pm during the summer, we were there for about 10 hours, and didn't get home until midnight.  I barely have the stamina for that kind of thing right now, but I made it and we all had a good time- and it is really cool watching a movie on a big screen in the woods.  It's like our own personal drive-in movie theater.

The birthday girl was pretty cute.

Dear, pretending like she doesn't love the camera.  Also- she carried that purse like that for like 6 hours, not sure why.

Hello Kitty theme- here's the birthday cake I couldn't have. Waaaah.

PiƱata time- Slim hit that thing like she was going for a home run and I thought for SURE she was gonna let go of the bat and kill somebody.  Spoiler alert: she didn't.

Swimming!  It was hot outside, but this pool doesn't get very warm so you have to be pretty desperate to get in.  I was and I did, but I didn't last long.

Can you tell what we watched?

Glow stick adorned audience.

I parked it here about an hour before we actually started the movie.  It was quiet!  Plus I ensured myself a good seat.

Jun 25, 2014

33 Weeks

The baby is... growing and kicking and taking up a lot of room these days.  According to baby center it's probably around 4 pounds, (the size of a pineapple!)  By the end of the day the baby's feet are way up in my ribs and I already feel like I'm going to burst, so I can't even imagine what it's going to be like if this baby doubles in size by the time it's born.

I'm feeling... tired.  During the day I do alright, but I'm pretty beat by 5.  By 6 all of my muscles have started to ache.  By the time I fall into bed I'm pretty uncomfortable, but despite my aches and pains, the baby's sweet dance moves, and the sheer weight of my belly just pulling on me, I pass out from exhaustion.  I wake up 2-4 times a night to pee, but I always waddle right back to bed and I'm out.

Cliche (or not!) Pregnancy Symptoms... Nothing interesting, just tired.  My belly button looks pretty flat after a meal but it hasn't popped out yet.  I think it will before the baby comes out.  No stretch marks on my tummy, but a few on my hips.  I'm rocking the signature pregnant lady waddle, and I often underestimate how far I stick out and bump my belly on stuff when I'm walking by.  So basically, I'm just big.

Gestational Diabetes... I've been getting really tired of my food limitations, so the past couple days we've tried breaking out of the rut and finding new recipes.  It's gotten harder, too.  I'm supposed to be be able to have 45 grams of carbs at meals, but really now it's more like 30 is my limit.  At breakfast I only eat about 15 grams.  A friend who had this when she was pregnant sent me some recipes on pinterest and lent me a few cookbooks.  Half of her family is persian and she gave me a couple persian cookbooks that I'm excited to try out.

Other than that it's going fine, I only get 1 or 2 high numbers in a week- and they're not that high.  I wish I didn't have to meet with the nutritionist every week, but I understand why they do it that way and I'm just going to suck it up and finish this.

I'm enjoying... the laid back pace of summer.  We have a low stress routine that's working for us, and it's been nice.

I'm looking forward to... all of it.  Baby shower.  Baby time.  Hell I'm even looking forward to bed time tonight.  I must be particularly tired this morning while I write this, because all I seem to be able to think about is sleep. Zzzzz.

Jun 24, 2014


I've often worried about my children being "spoiled" with material possessions.  Given their particular situation, for about 4 years they've always had at least biological family member trying to overcompensate for their absence with cheap gifts.  On top of that there are others who just also happen to love them, and occasionally buy them things.  Then god forbid we want to be the good guys and actually buy something every once in a while.

Some of the affects have been rooms inundated with too much stuff, asking for everything they see, and acting like 'stuff' is all that could ever make them happy while simultaneously treating EVERYTHING as disposable because "Nana will just buy me a new one on Saturday if I ask."

I don't want them to be 'spoiled' because spoiled children are annoying, but also because I don't want them to think they need excessive amounts of material goods to be happy.  I think our culture is a little obsessed with "stuff"- I know I get sucked in from time to time.  The biggest problem with it is that nothing is ever enough.  Even if you had endless amounts of money you couldn't buy enough junk to make you happy, and most of us don't so our junk comes with debt.

We've combatted these issues by

  • excessive talking and lecturing, (you're creating waste, it's bad for the planet, you're taking advantage of your grandma and that's not nice to her, blah blah blah)
  • by enforcing the 'one in = one out' rule 
  • and when times were really desperate we've said (and enforced) "If you have any new stuff when we pick you up it's not even coming in the house, it's going straight to Good Will."  (Yes we've also pleaded with their Grandmother to cool it, since she's the main offender- she has laid off the shopping a little.)
It's been almost 3 years, but I think that we're finally to a place I can feel good about with the girls.  They appreciate (as much as a kid can) the stuff they get and the stuff they have, and they've accepted the rules and don't argue about it any more.  They can manage their stuff, they don't ask us to buy them useless crap, and they know how to say "No thanks, I don't need another pair of boots right now."

On top of that they've begun to occasionally work for money, which I think is AWESOME.  We don't pay our kids for chores.  We believe a certain amount of chores just come with being in a family and help the kids learn how to take care things they'll be responsible for as adults.  I might consider paying for certain chores, but then every time I asked them to do anything they'd want to know how much they were going to get paid for it and I'd rather just save myself the argument.  

(Skipping arguments like that is how I save my sanity- it's why Mister only has strappy sandals and no flip flops.  I don't want to argue over which are appropriate every time we leave the house and dude seriously- you're not going to die without flip flops.)

Anyway, we don't pay the girls but they've done chores for friends and family for cash.  I'm super proud of the girls for being motivated and capable enough to do jobs people are willing to pay for, and I'm really grateful we know people who are willing to provide the opportunities.

Mister is definitely behind the curve, which I think is understandable since he's quite a bit younger.  He's still stuff obsessed and he still asks people to buy him things a lot.  Since he has been so spoiled (much worse than the girls- sometimes because he's younger and sometimes because he's a boy) he sometimes confuses 'love' with 'presents'.  If someone who typically spoils him says 'No,' he gets really over emotional about it.  Then, the other night he told Chris it seemed like we don't really like him because we don't let him do whatever he wants.  At "Uncle T's house" (Chris's dad) he can do whatever he wants so "Uncle T" must love him more.  Chris tried to explain to him that he gets to do that because it's a special occasion, and if he lived there it wouldn't be like that all the time.  He told him that as parents it's our job to have rules because it's the only way for him to grow up and be healthy.  Chris did his best, but at 7 years old I doubt Mister really gets it yet.

Anyway, last night at dinner Mister kept talking about trying to sell his stuff and I finally got it out of him that it's because he thinks it's the only way he can 'work' to earn money.  It turns out his sisters are setting a good example!  I'm really glad he wants to work like them, now I just need to figure out how to make it happen.  

The problem is he's not nearly as capable as they are yet, (4 year age gap here guys), so he's not exactly 'qualified' for any of the things they've done so far.  Still, if I tell him he has to wait until he gets older he's going to be disheartened, and I want him to start learning this lesson now.  He can do things of value, so if he has something age/ability appropriate to do he can see how it feels to work hard and earn something for it.  (Something beside a "Great job!" a "Thank you!" or a sticker.)  So, I encouraged him to keep 'practicing' by doing a really great job on his chores at home and promised that I would let all of our friends and family know that he's up for hire this summer.  I told him he might have to be patient, but that eventually a job would come up.

Now as far as managing their money- I'm not even going to jump that hurdle yet.  They can spend their money on whatever they want.  Ultimately, I think personal experience is the only way to learn when it comes to money.  We give them an idea of how we manage our money, and when they're getting ready to move out on their own we'll give them advice- which they'll ignore- and when they're in trouble we'll give them advice again, and eventually they'll figure it out.  Such is life.

Jun 23, 2014


I have been pregnant for 32 weeks and 5 days.

I have known I was pregnant for 27 weeks and 3 days.

I've taken about 175 prenatal vitamins.

I've had 11 appointments with the nurse practitioner, 1 appointment with a social worker at the clinic, 3 sonograms, 1 EKG, 1 3-hour glucose test, 1 gestational diabetes class, and 3 one-on-one appointments with a nutritionist.

I've gained 25 pounds (ALL in the second trimester) and lost 13 pounds (8 during morning sickness, 5 since the GD diet) in the last 8 months.

I've been on the gestational diabetes diet for 5 weeks and 3 days.

I've tested my blood sugar 108 times.

I've counted a bazillion grams of carbohydrates, gotten up in the middle of the night to pee hundreds of times, felt hundreds of baby kicks pokes and rolls, and though I spent many days feeling nauseated I've thrown up exactly zero times.

If my baby were to arrive exactly on its due date...

I will continue to be pregnant for 7 weeks and 2 days.  That's 51 days.

I will have 6 more appointments with the nurse practitioner.

I will have 7 more appointments with a nutritionist.

I will test my blood sugar 204 more times.

I will take 51 more prenatal vitamins (that's one more refill at the pharmacy.)

229 days down, 51 to go.

I can do it I can do it I can do it.

Jun 20, 2014

Chalk Art

Ever since chalkboards started 'coming back' a few years ago I've loved them.  I just really like the aesthetic- it feels old fashioned and homey to me.  I wanted to make a piece of chalk art to hang above the baby's crib, but I was debating over what was the best way to preserve it.  After all chalk is usually temporary, but in this case I wanted it to be permanent.

After some research online I decided to skip the hair spray trick and spring for some 'fixative' from the craft store.  I was still nervous, so before doing the piece I would hang above the crib I did a smaller test canvas.  I painted a typical piece of stretched canvas with 2 coats of chalkboard paint, sketched a quick graphic on it, and tried out the fixative.  By the time it had enough coats that the chalk wouldn't smear, this is what it looked like.

I was pretty disappointed.  I didn't get a before picture, but I think it's pretty obvious that's really faded.  I ended up setting the project aside for a few weeks.  Yesterday I decided I might as well trace the picture and try the hair spray- it's not like I had anything to lose.  Here's the picture with the chalk before the hair spray.

And here it is after 2 coats of hairspray, smear proof:

It's a little shiny but overall much better.  I'm happy with this, and now I can proceed with the bigger one I want to do for above the baby's crib.  The moral of the story is- try the thing you have under your bathroom sink before wasting 7 bucks at the craft store.

Here's the fixative spray I happened to buy (there are a lot of choices so some others might work better) and here's the hairspray I happened to have (that I bought like 4 years ago- we don't go through hair spray very quickly around here.)

Jun 19, 2014

Our Little Zoo

Meet Leia, our temporary house guest.  She's staying with us for a week while her parents are in North Dakota visiting family.  She's pretty adorable, and Toby loves her too.  She's also hairy.  Really hairy. But it adds to the cute, so we forgive her.

Having an extra dog around is a little extra work- especially the first night when she was homesick- but she's a good girl and we like her.  Besides, our friend who asked us to watch her has done so much stuff for us in the past we couldn't tell him no if we wanted to.  I'm gonna have to save his life or something if I'm ever going to be able to refuse him a favor.  Maybe one day I'll stop him from stepping in front of a bus or give him a kidney or something.

Now meet turd head.

Juuuust kidding, you know Charlie.  This picture was my attempt to take a selfie with Charlie while he cuddled with me.  It's hard taking a selfie with your cat.  Here's another try:

The thing about Charlie is that his life is currently in shambles.  We've dared to allow TWO EXTRA CHILDREN that DON'T LIVE HERE spend the days with us while their parents are at work.  And these two well behaved, school aged, kind, non-toddler children are ruining Charlie's life.  He hides upstairs all day long.  He yowls for about 5 minutes straight after I lock him out of our bedroom in the morning (it stays cooler in there if I keep the door closed).  At the end of the day he needs cuddles and pets for infinity time.  I know that's not grammatically correct but it's true- infinity time of cuddles and pets.  Then, when we eventually lock him out of our bedroom- which we have to do so he doesn't keep us all night- he scratches at the carpet and plays with the door every two hours- which keeps us up all night.  This was ruining my life, (and my carpet) until it finally occurred to Chris to lock him in the bathroom downstairs with his litterbox and water.  Smart guy, I'm tellin' you.  We wait until he starts scratching at the door the first time; we're hoping this way he learns not to do that.

We're also hoping, and thinking, he'll get used to having the other kids in the house.  I brought him downstairs today and held him while the kids pet him so he could see they're not evil.  Eh, he'll figure it out.

Anyway, this is our life right now.  It seems to revolve around a few adorable/spoiled animals.  We wouldn't put up with it if we didn't love it just a little bit.  I mean, c'mon, look at the cute.

And on the flip side, this majestic beast has been particularly well behaved lately.

One last gem before I go- we were over hanging out with some family yesterday and we got to meet their new kitten, Russell.

So cute, I could've died.

Jun 18, 2014

32 Weeks

The baby is... probably about 3.75 pounds now- at least according to baby center.  When I saw the doctor last week she measured my belly and I was right on- a good sign with gestational diabetes.  I can really feel how big the baby is getting.  It's getting harder to do simple tasks because the baby is in the way, and when it moves you can really see it on the outside.

I'm feeling... a little whale like but pretty good.  When I changed my diet about a month ago everything got smaller, and it felt great.  Now I'm still not really gaining weight, but my belly is getting bigger and I'm really feeling it in my back- especially by the end of the day.  Getting in and out of bed (which I have to do a lot to pee) is particularly tough.

Cliche (or not!) Pregnancy Symptoms... does choking on water like a dummy 3 times a day count? I don't know what's the matter with me, but in the past few days I keep taking a drink, holding it my mouth absent-mindedly, and then trying to breathe and inhaling some.  I feel like an idiot.  Maybe mommy brain is a real thing?

Gestational Diabetes... I think I've got the hang of it now, though I get pretty tired of it sometimes.  My fingertips are sore and I'm really missing certain foods- particularly when I see the kinds of treats others are making for weekend barbecues and holidays.  It won't be long now, though, and Chris is doing it with me because he's supportive like that.  We intend to mostly stick to it after the baby is born, too.  You just feel so much better when you make healthy eating a priority.

I'm enjoying... summer vacation.  It's flying by so far, and I hope it continues to go as smoothly.  The rational part of my brain is saying "This won't last!  They will get bored, you will get grumpy, this will get harder!"  But part of me can't help but think maybe not!  They're older, we're getting better at this, maybe this will be our summer!

I'm looking forward to... the baby shower.  It's still a month away but I feel like it's close enough I can look forward to it now!  We're having a big barbecue and inviting all of our family and friends, so I think it's going to be fun.

Jun 17, 2014

Pregnancy in Retrospect: The First Trimester

I know there is an ABUNDANCE of information on the internet about pregnancy and babies and parenting and pretty much everything else, but I also know that during this pregnancy I have gobbled it all up.  You just can't do much else for a while.  You're excited about the baby and looking forward to it, so much so that you think about it a lot, but you have to wait 8 MONTHS to meet it.  Combine that with nausea and/or fatigue, and surfing the web for baby related stuff becomes so second nature you can spend a half an hour on Pinterest looking at identical "newborn essentials" lists without even realizing you've done it.  It can be an unhealthy rabbit hole to go down if you're not careful, but occasionally it can be helpful.

Now that I'm past the first trimester (and the second- I meant to finish this sooner) I'd like to contribute my 2 cents.  I'd wait until the pregnancy was over and do it all at once, but I'm pretty sure my brain will be mush by then and I will have forgotten everything I'd wanted to say.  Everyone's experience is different, but these are some of the things that I dealt with in the first trimester, and some of the things that helped me.  

1. Anxiety: Remember that rabbit hole I mentioned a minute ago?  Well there's enough scary information out there to give you a panic attack if you're not careful.  There are things that can go wrong during pregnancy, and there's a lot of conflicting advice on what you should or should not do.  I'm all for talking to your doctor about any questions or concerns you might have, but I also recommend reading this book: Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong- and What You Really Need to Know.

Emily Oster is an economist who got pregnant and was frustrated by the conflicting information she found about how to take care of herself.  She approached the problem like any economist would, and looked at the numbers.  She dug through study after study after study and analyzed them for reliability and for their results.  The book title might sound extreme, but the book really isn't.  She just talks about some of the common concerns women have while pregnant and what the research suggests.  She doesn't actually tell you to do anything (other than not to smoke- don't smoke while pregnant!) but she lays out the research so you can make your own informed decisions based on the risks and rewards for you.  It was clear, calm, and non-alarmist, and I found it very comforting.

Real quick while we're on the subject, if you are doing your own research, please keep in mind that people can say whatever they want- especially on the internet, but also in books.  So before you get too stressed out, you might do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to throw out anything without any evidence backing it up.  When they do cite evidence, check it against these criteria.  Pregnancy is scary enough as it is- if you believe every terrifying thing anyone out there has to say, you'll likely find yourself curled up under the covers in bed all day completely immobilized by fear.

2. Nausea: Holy cow, I don't know if there's anything you can really do about this.  For me, I felt nauseated all day, every day, but I never threw up.  Nothing really made me feel good, but some things helped a little.  I found that oatmeal was very settling in the morning.  I also liked pepsi in the afternoon, which isn't exactly healthy but if it helped me eat it was worth it!  Gingerale helped a little, too.  Perhaps more than anything else what helped the most was forcing myself to eat- even if it was just a little- when I really didn't want to eat.  They say morning sickness is worse when you have an empty stomach, and that seemed to be true for me.  

Some of the recommendations I got that didn't work for me, but did work for some women, were eating or sucking on something sour (one woman I talked to sucked on lemons!), preggo pops, eating snacks before bed, and keeping crackers on your nightstand to eat before getting up in the morning.  There are also medications you can take, some of which are quite safe.  I think a lot of people are kind of wary of taking medicines while pregnant, but talk to your doctor.  Good nutrition is important during pregnancy, too, so not eating can be a problem.

In the end the only thing that really made it go away for me was time- I was around 16 or 17 weeks before I felt like I could eat 'normally' again.

In the meantime I tried to distract myself.  If I didn't feel well enough to get up (which was most of the time), I watched a lot of TV and I knitted.  I pretty much finished my baby blanket before I was even done being sick, and I'm glad I did because I know if I began one now I wouldn't be done before the baby was born.

3. Insomnia: Sleep has never come easy to me.  Stress, caffeine, big snacks right before bed and lack of exercise all make it more difficult.  Getting up early, routine and being productive during the day make it easier.  When I got hit with nausea, my sleeping patterns got all messed up.  At its worst, I wasn't falling asleep until at least 4 am and was struggling to get up before 12 or 1 pm.  My normal coping mechanisms weren't especially useful when I didn't feel well all day.  Something that helped a little was a half a dose of Unisom.  It was on my list of safe over the counter medications the doctor gave me, it was discussed in the book mentioned above, and I thought it sounded like a safe choice since it's been around a long time and it's very mild.  Some people prefer something more natural, like Melatonin, but that's never worked for me.  If Chris really can't sleep (which is rare), he just takes Benadryl and it knocks him right out.  Benedryl is also safe during pregnancy, but it doesn't have that affect on me.

The only thing that really got me back on a normal schedule was, after my nausea had begun to fade, I took a trip up to Washington with a couple of my aunts and cousins to visit my mom.  I had to get up to get to the airplane on time, and spent most of the rest of the day traveling.  On only 2 hours of sleep I was exhausted, but I didn't have a choice so I powered through, and by that night I fell asleep early and slept like a rock.  Then I got up relatively early every day because I didn't want everyone to have to wait for me, so by the time I got home I was back on a regular schedule.  I'm not suggesting everybody take a trip to cure their insomnia, I'm just saying that if you can power through a rough day or two you may be able to get yourself back on track.  In my experience, sleeping in always makes me feel worse in the long run.

4. Mood Swings: Oh poor Chris.  Between a pregnant wife and two adolescent daughters, I don't know how he makes it through the day.  Lucky for us he's a mellow guy.  I've spent most of this pregnancy alternating between being unreasonably emotional, demanding and mean, and sincerely apologetic.  For us, as long as I occasionally remind him that I really still like him a lot and appreciate what he does, we're good.  If I feel myself getting upset with strangers I can typically hold it together until the situation is over, and if I really don't feel like I can get along with anybody I just hide in my room (the same advice I give to my kids).  

As for my own sanity, I just enjoy the highs (there's plenty that makes me happy, after all) and during the lows I let myself cry and remind myself that hormones are a thing, I'm growing a human being, and this won't last forever.  For me I don't think the mood swings have really been that bad, and even my kids can understand the sentence "I'm sorry I just feel grumpy right now."  For some it's worse, and sometimes you really need to talk to your doctor and get help.  There are a lot of options out there.

5. Clothes: I'm just going to say it- I suck at clothes.  I've always struggled to find things I like, I get tired of clothes, I stain and tear holes in my clothes, I'm unwilling to sacrifice comfort, and I'm pretty cheap.  The ever changing pregnant body along with the nausea, random aches and pains, and bloating just made it that much harder to get dressed.  I wore a lot of pajamas and sweat pants, but that doesn't do much for my morale.  I may not be very stylish, but I at least like to feel like I got dressed in the morning, and yoga shorts just don't give me that feeling.  

I found that I could wear a lot of my old jeans if I put a hair tie through the button hole instead of trying to zip and button them all the way.  Then I covered it with a long camisole under a looser t-shirt of some kind.  I didn't like most of the maternity tops I looked at, but I got a few large regular tops that might not make it all the way through my pregnancy but will be useful again after I've had the baby but not lost all the weight.  Where I really invested my money was on a  couple of really nice bras.  I got fitted and figured out I'd been wearing the wrong size, and then I got 2 expensive bras and have kicked myself ever since for not doing it years ago.  If you don't think it makes that much of a difference (I didn't) you're wrong.  Go get a nice bra.  I went to Victoria's Secret, but there are probably other decent options out there.  Target did me no favors.

6. Water: I have had this stainless steel Contigo insulated water bottle for about a year, and I use it every single day.  If it ever breaks, I'll buy another.  If they stop making them, I'll weep.  I don't even bother with a glass of water any more because this thing will keep my water ice cold all day long and I don't have to worry about a cat or a kid knocking it over.  Since I bought it I drink way more water than I used to, and if you're pregnant staying hydrated is a must.  We got ours at Costco- 2 for $20.  You can get them on Amazon, too (linked above), but they're slightly more expensive.

7. Exercise (or lack thereof): After this baby is born I think I'm gonna kick myself for how little I've exercised.  Still, even when I was nauseous I tried to get out and go for a walk a couple times a week.  The rest of the time that I did absolutely nothing, I just told myself not to feel guilty about it.  We can only do so much, and laying around feeling bad about myself wasn't going to help anything.

8. Lotion: I really don't want stretch marks.  From the very beginning I bought Burt's Bees Belly Butter and put it on after the shower.  The thing is, I don't know if it actually does anything.  It smells good, my skin is soft, and I don't have stretch marks yet, but it's possible I wouldn't have had stretch marks anyway.  What I've read seems to suggest that stretch marks are more genetic than anything else and you probably can't do much to prevent them.  Either way, the lotion was like 11 bucks and even though I use it every day I'm sure to have at least half a tub left by the time I have this baby- so it's a small investment and it's not hurting anything.  It's also possible that the lotion may be why I don't have itchy dry skin on my abdomen. 

9. Nesting: I was excited and felt the urge to begin surrounding myself with baby things pretty much immediately, but I knew that would be irrational and likely a waste of money (that I didn't have).  Instead, I started knitting a blanket, and I made a baby registry within a month of finding out I was pregnant.  I've updated it a lot since then, but it did me no harm to start way back then.  I'm using babylistregistry.com and I really like it.  It's easy to manage online, and I like being able to pull from several different stores without having several different registries.  Plus they give out these (free) adorable little cards to include with your baby shower invitations.

That was pretty much it for me.  The first trimester is no problem for some women, but for others it can be rough.  Those first few months crawled by for me, but since then time has gone by much faster.  Hopefully, if you need them, some of these things that helped me in the beginning can help you, too.

Jun 16, 2014

A Moment in the Day

One week of summer vacation has already passed, 9 to go.  The days are speeding by for now- here's a glimpse of this morning.

Watching 2 kids play some kind of lego-monster high-doctor who-iron man mash up here at the kitchen table.

Listening to 2 more kids talk about comic books in the living room.

Eating pretzels and cheese, whether I like it or not (I don't) because it's 10am and that's snack time.

Enjoying open windows and fresh air, because the weather is particularly pleasant this morning.

Avoiding paying bills and updating my monthly budget, 'cause boooooriiiing.

Wondering if this baby will make its appearance on time or if I really have 9 or 10 weeks to go, rather than 8.

Feeling grateful- I have a great dad, so do my kids, and we had 2 nice Father's Day barbecues last week.  Next weekend Chris is taking the kids on the 3 hour drive to bring flowers to their other dad's grave and have a picnic with their grandma.

Thinking I'll probably write a longer blog post sometime soon, or finish one I've already started, but this is it for now.

Jun 13, 2014

Off to a Good Start

Because for two nights in a row we stayed up late having fun with friends and family, and two mornings in a row the kids slept in until 10.

Because this morning it was the perfect temperature on my porch, and sunny with a nice breeze.

Because this bran muffin is delicious, and doesn't screw up my blood sugar.

And because I don't think I've mentioned here yet that we are moving forward with the adoption, and though I have no clue what the timetable will be- it's happening...

I celebrated by splashing some milk in my morning coffee and nursing it far longer than usual, sitting on my porch and enjoying my muffin while my groggy kids ate breakfast.

I feel pretty good these days.  I don't know if it's this baby growing in my belly, or the adoption, or just a great start to our summer vacation, but I feel this wonderful sense of beginning.  I feel stronger and smarter than I've ever been, but I also feel young in the BEST possible way- like it's all still ahead of me.  I'm only 26 years old, and I feel like I can still do whatever I want.  Nothing is ruled out yet!  I'm not intimidated, just excited.  

Jun 11, 2014

Summer Vacation...

has officially begun!

Here's a random assortment of photos from the last few days...

I'm super jealous I didn't think of that license plate myself.  Get it? Get it?  "Allons y!"

I imagine there will come a day this summer when I'll relish the opportunity to get out of the house and leave the kids with Chris, even if it is for 2 doctor's appointments in one day- but yesterday wasn't that day.  Everything is still new and fun and relaxing and I totally didn't feel like sitting in the doctor's office.  Whatever, at least I'm healthy.

We don't have a pool, but we are lucky enough to know someone nearby who has one and said we could use it whenever we wanted.  It's awesome.

Got a little bit of my finger in this picture, you're welcome.

I really like my life proof phone case.

More later, I hope you're enjoying your summer so far!

Jun 6, 2014

30 Weeks

The baby is... learning new tricks already.  My kid is obviously a genius because it mastered jamming its foot into my ribs in just one day.  It took me a minute to figure out what was happening- I felt a weird dull pain in my side, so I shifted my weight and pushed  on it with my fingers and I felt the baby move its leg away- crazy!  Sometimes it's hard to imagine that all of the little pokes and wiggles I feel are coming from a real tiny human, so these reminders are pretty awesome.  As the day wore on and the baby continued to do it over and over again it became slightly less impressive. ;-)

I'm feeling... great right now.  On Tuesday afternoon I rather suddenly came down with a head cold, and I've had my ups and downs since then.  I went out to the lake Wednesday and while it was really fun and totally worth it, I kind of paid for it yesterday.  The worst part is that when I'm laid up feeling sick I reaaaallly crave comfort food (read- junk), and I just can't have it.  Even though I stuck to my GD diet I still had slightly elevated numbers yesterday- I guess just because I didn't get in any activity and I was stressed out from being sick and uncomfortable.

Cliche (or not!) Pregnancy Symptoms... I feel like baby-foot-in-the-rib is a cliche.  I've had some heartburn, too, though it hasn't been bad.  I'm hoping heartburn means this baby will come out with hair.  Obviously it doesn't matter much either way, but I do think the fuzzy heads on tiny newborns are pretty adorable.

Gestational Diabetes... I met with the nutritionist on Wednesday and showed her my food logs and blood sugar numbers.  She liked my numbers, and she said that since I was making rational choices and understood carb counting I didn't need to keep a food log anymore.  I lost another pound, but she didn't seem concerned.  Still, I feel like on average my numbers are creeping up.  I don't know for sure, but it makes sense to me to think that the farther along you get the more difficult it is for your pancreas to keep up, (because your baby is getting bigger) and you may have to be more strict with your diet to keep your numbers where they belong.  I'm totally guessing, it just makes sense to me.  She said when I come in next week they'll average my after breakfast numbers for the last 7 days, and as long as the number is 119 or below I won't have to take any medicine.  So far I can hit that average easily, but I want to keep it that way.  I might continue to keep a food log for as long as I can pull it off.

I'm enjoying... the first day of summer vacation.  The kids actually slept in until 8:30 today, which is completely out of character for them.  I had a good hour this morning drinking coffee, hanging out with Chris and watering plants before the kids got up.  It was peaceful.

I'm looking forward to... baby time (less than 10 weeks now!)  Baby shower time.  Hitting the lake many more times.  2 out of 3 kids start summer baseball soon, and I'm looking forward to that, too.  I'm a little worried about coping with the heat, but I do like to watch them play.

Jun 3, 2014


All of the dentist appointments and school deadlines have been erased from the calendar, to be replaced by mostly empty space and a few birthday parties.

I'm moments away from crossing off the last items on my "To Do Before Summer" list.  There are 2 days left of school, 1 1/2 really, and the kids are counting down the hours.

We've had a couple of sleepovers the last few weeks, and we while we may or may not host any more this summer, I'm sure the kids will be invited to a few.

We've got 10 weeks until this baby is due, and now our "to do" list consists of things like swim at the lake, picnic at the waterfall, board games, and visit the library.

I'm really looking forward to August 13th.  I'm not miserably uncomfortable or hating being pregnant- I just really want to meet this baby.  In the meantime, we're gearing up to savor our last couple months unencumbered by diaper bags, strollers, midnight wake up calls and daytime nap schedules.  The future, all of it, is looking pretty good right now.  Let's see how long we can make it before someone utters the most annoying words of all time- I'm boooored.