Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas At Our House

Although I've had a little more time lately, for some reason I just haven't gotten back into the blogging habit. Probably due to the fact that even though I've had more time, I'm 8 months pregnant, so I'm exhausted by the end of the day, regardless!

We've had a wonderful Christmas. I've had a little extra time off, which has been such a blessing. The holiday season is a busy one when you're in the pastor-business, so having to put in a little less office time has been nice. I actually managed to complete my shopping on Monday and not have to brave the big crowds in those last few days before Christmas. They were bad enough on Monday!

My sisters came "home" (to San Diego) yesterday just in time for the Christmas Eve service. Our whole family went to the service and then we ate spaghetti with homemade sauce after. YUM!

Although we enjoy the gift-giving and receiving, for my family, holidays are all about the food! It has to be homemade or high quality. Bean picked up our 2 pounds of See's Candy yesterday which we promptly broke into while we waiting for the pasta to cook! Christmas morning we made Monkey Bread with homemade biscuit dough (I think the refridgerator biscuits have an aftertaste). Eggs and chorizo are also a staple and beef sausage.

Bean found out about a very authentic mexican food shop that makes amazing tamales for Christmas. He ordered 2 dozen, along with tortillas, beans and rice. Even though we reheated it all today---it was pretty much the best Mexican food EVER! Very authentic and completely delicious. We are pretty sure it's going to be a new holiday tradition.

The girls enjoyed Christmas of course. I was very proud of Miss Rose because she kept a very good attitude, even when her gifts were all opened and was very thankful for everything. My little tomboy's highlight was a nerf dart gun from her uncle. She's a crack up. Gracie is really enjoying a shopping cart and toy vacuum she can push around the house. I'm excited about purging the current toy stash in the packing process since they will be focused on their new stuff.

I can't wait to be back to my regular running routine as Bean got me the Nike+ accessory and another pair of shoes. It will track my runs as well as a variety of other things. Much cheaper than a GPS running device (especially when you have a friend who gets discounts!). Bean only wanted loppers and shears for yardwork at the new house.

Probably my favorite moment of the day though, was when we were putting Miss Rose to bed. She asked to pray (usually Bean or I pray) and her prayer consisted of thanking God for Christmas and all the blessings and gifts and that it was Jesus' Birthday. YES! She gets it!!

I find it pretty amusing that she adamantly doesn't believe in Santa. I wasn't raised with that tradition, so I haven't really pressed it with her. She seems to understand that some kids do believe in Santa though. My favorite moments are when other adults will ask her if she's written him a letter and she'll say (in her sassy voice) "he's not real, he's just a story." I was not the one to make her adamant about it. She chose that stance all on her own!

That is a little picture of Christmas at our house. I hope that Christmas at your house as your kind of wonderful!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hello from Afar!

I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged. I haven't even been keeping up on my list of blogs. I miss my bloggy world though and hope to return soon!

Life has been very full and busy, which it always is. But I've actually been doing a better job of not letting my time get sucked into the internet. Although I still do check in on Facebook once a day or so!

Let's see.

...we are still in the house-buying process and I think we should still close escrow at the end of December.

...I haven't packed a single thing and we'll probably be moving mid-January

...I haven't bought a single Christmas present

...We did get our Christmas tree Wednesday night, but it still stands unadorned (we went out of town Thursday night to Sunday)

...I'm having a baby in about 8 weeks. But there is no point to nesting, since we are moving

...I had a huge final last week, another on Tuesday and my last one Friday.

THAT is the biggest reason I've been absent. I'm devoting a lot of time to studying. I can't wait to submit my last final online and be DONE for a while! No classes for me next semester. I'll be in newborn baby land, much better than classes in my opinion.

I can't promise to be more faithful here for a bit...because once I'm done with finals, it will be Christmas, then packing, then preparing the new house, then moving etc.

But, I have a feeling that once February hits and I'm up at all hours with a newborn and sitting on the couch a lot recovering from the blasted c-section, I'll have a lot more blogging time!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fitness (Fri)Day and a few cute stories

As is par for the course, I'm posting my fitness stuff on a day other than Friday. Oh well! I'm definately slowing down a bit more and not trying to push myself as much. I did get in three days of exercise last week, which is my minimum goal. Slowly I think I will be transitioning to videos and walking and not so much running. But, when I can get out on my own, I know I will be running a bit!

My big issue as of late is a lack of veggies in my diet. I'm lucky if I get one serving of veggies per day. Which I know is bad for me and bad for the baby. I've realized one of the problems is that I have sensitive teeth, so I can't really eat any foods straight out of the fridge that require chewing. Yes, it sounds rather weak, but it's really a problem I have! I need to make a commitment and a plan to eat more veggies in a day...but so far I haven't found the motivation.

We are looking forward to time with family this week! My sisters are coming into town and we'll be gathering with both sides of the family. Of course all centered around good food! If there is one thing my family loves, it's good homecooked food. No frozen pies or canned yams for us. We want the real stuff!!

A cute story about Miss Rose this weekend... It's so funny to hear yourself echoed in your children. Miss Rose was in her room and spilled some crayons and craft supplies. She called out asking me to help clean it up. I told her no--they are her toys, it was her spill and she needed to clean it up. She began to rant and rave about how unfair it was and I was a parent and should help a child. She was attempting to bargain but of course I wasn't buying. The whole time Miss Rose was talking to me from her room while she cleaned up the mess. Her final words were "okay, I'll clean it up this time but next time you have to help." If only she had that kind of power!!

The girls had to accompany me to an OB appointment this morning. I didn't think it would make that much of an impact on Miss Rose, but she seemed really impressed by the heartbeat. She told everyone she spoke with or saw today about it. It was so sweet. She loves talking to my belly and will ask the baby if it had a good day at work with me or to have a good sleep at night.

On a final note...we had the home inspection done on the house we put an offer in on, and everything came up all clear. So, we are moving forward on the purchase. All of the sudden I feel so grown up. You'd think expecting a third child would do that....but this feels like the real deal!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Friday, November 21, 2008

101st Post!!

I noticed on my blogger homepage that the Baby Photos post was my 100th! Now, this is my 101st :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Photos

I got to see the baby again yesterday! A local pregnancy care center is training some of their nurses on ultrasounds so they were looking for "models"! Got some good pictures of the baby's big noggin! It's actually measuring right on, but my kids just have very round and prounounced heads in utero.

And to answer your burning question, no I didn't see any bits and pieces!! They spent most of the time on the head and heart, not in the nether regions. Technically they aren't supposed to look for and give gender results, so they were more than happy to comply with my wishes. There was a tiny bit of temptation, but I've waited so long--what's a few more weeks? I have about 11.5 weeks until this baby will be known. When people ask if I'm having a boy or a girl, my new line "it's one or the other!"

After yesterday, I have a new nickname for this little munchkin. "Frankie" (which could stand for Franklin or Francesca). Currently, this baby is a frank breech! Which means the head is at the top of my belly and the butt is resting in my pelvis--but the feet are by the head. Flexible thing!! My children do not like to cooperate when it comes to position. Miss Rose was breech and by the time we knew it, she was too big and wouldn't budge no matter how many baby turning tricks I tried. (We decided a medical version wasn't for us). Gracie was still in a breech position around this time as well and I knew enough to start the tricks and after a few weeks of spending time on all 4's, putting frozen peas on the top of my belly and other odd positions, she did turn to vertex.

Since a c-section is a must for me, I'm not too worried about position this time around. I just like to think that my babies love me so much already they want to be close to the sound of my voice and the beat of my heart. Or they are just stubborn like their mother and father and like to do things to the beat of their own drum.



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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Barely Breathing

I miss the olden days. Not that I lived in them, but there are things about them that I really would have liked. [Sidenote: It amuses me that Miss Rose has picked up this phrase and uses it to refer to things when she was 2 or 3.] For one, I think motor transportation is highly overrated. I'd be much happier plodding along with my horse, worrying only about the upkeep of my carriage and feeding the horses hay and water. There wouldn't be traffic to deal with or road rage. No car payments or outrageous gas bills (although I'm so thankful our gas bill has dropped almost 50% since this summer!)

What I really would like to take advantage of is the time of confinement a woman entered in her third trimester. It was somewhat of a social faux paux to be waddling around in the advanced stages of pregnancy, so women generally kept to their homes and even their beds. I realize this happened more in the upper eschalons, not on the farm. But while we are fantasizing, let's just go with it!

I'm sure you can guess where this is heading. I'm entering my third trimester this week and my life is anything but slowing down. In fact, it's gaining speed. I am a pretty hearty pregnant lady so I handle it all pretty well. But there are moments where it sure would be nice to sit on the couch, watch old movies and eat bon-bons while rubbing my ever-expanding belly.

Holiday seasons are always busy in church life. There will be a bit of downtime, but there is a lot of preparation that comes before it. Early deadlines, coordination of special services, making sure all the proper information is available, and the list goes on. So work is not slowing down!

And, it's looking like we are buying a house. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch and we still need to make sure the home passes inspection...but, we put in an offer and it was accepted. It's exciting and scary at the same time. The main motivator in all this is providing a place for my parents to live affordably and near-by family. My dad is disabled and they are on a very fixed income and although my dad has learned to be pretty self-sufficient, there is a great value to emotional support for them. Our families actually lived together for about three years until about a year ago. We will be pooling resources to buy this home and convert the garage and a family room into a complete granny flat for them.

By the end of the month we will have made our final decisions about the house--which I suspect will be favorable and it will be time to start packing. And once escrow closes at the end of December we will be on a fasttrack to get the house ready for us to move in ASAP so that we have at least a few weeks to settle in before the baby comes. It's going to be very hard for me to be limited in what I can do to fix up the house and paint. Poor Bean is probably going to have to hog-tie me in order to keep me from attempting to move things that I shouldn't. We are blessed to have great family and friends who are supportive and already offering their help.

In the midst of this, I still want it to be a special Christmas. Gracie may not remember this Christmas once it passes, but she's old enough now to be excited about the experiences. Of course Miss Rose can't wait for Christmas to come. And she turns 5 at the end of January, which I want to be special for her as well. I'm a bit nostalgic about this being our last Christmas as a family of 4. I can't wait for the new baby to join our family, but I really want to enjoy this time with the girls before the dynamic changes.

Oh, and I have about three weeks left of the two classes I've been taking.

As I run around like crazy this week, with a full to-do list at work, bringing paperwork to the mortgage broker, planning baby appointments, thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping...I feel like I'm barely breathing. I want to be confined!

But I am so grateful that everything going on is GOOD and of GOD! Good busy I can handle. Tragedy and difficulties would be much more challenging.

It's a special time in life for so many reasons and although there are days I feel like I'm barely breathing, there are days that I make breathing room for myself. And Bean is always so good about making sure I have that also. Time marches on. This baby will come. Life will be full. And I am loving and cherishing every minute of it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fitness Friday on Monday & Family Picture Day

I can't seem to blog my Fitness Friday on Fridays! Oh well. That's the life of a mom. I made a discovery this week. One I'm not so happy about, but I knew was coming. But there is a new development that I am pleased about.

I think my days of running with the jogging stroller with both kids in it have come to an end. At least running more than a few miles. Miss Rose is probably a few pounds over the weight limit for the stroller. The poor thing has to practically fold herself into the seat as it is, although she never complains.

Prior to Friday, I ran twice without the jogger and had really great runs--10 minute miles for 3-4 miles. A little bit of back pain later, but nothing significant. Friday I ran 3.5 miles and walked .5 miles in the middle with the jogger and I was in so much pain the rest of the day, and it's lingered through the weekend. The positioning and strain on my back pushing the heavy jogger is too much for my pregnant state. If weren't preggo, I don't think it would be an issue...but I am, so it is!

As much as I want to fight it, I know I just have a few months left and need accept this limitation. I can walk with it of course and I'll probably experiment with running 2 miles in addition to walking 1-2 and see how I fare. And I'll be looking for every opportunity to run on my own!

The positive development is that Bean took Miss Rose's training wheels off her bike and she is riding on her own for short times! In just a week she had mastered the balance. She's still a bit wobbly and hasn't learned all the techniques of stopping and starting on her own or managing hills. But she's well on her way! I am confident that by the time I'll need to head to the lake with three children, she'll be able to ride along side us.

Speaking of jogging strollers...look what mine did to Gracie's face.



As every one-and-a-half year old does, she fell forward while walking and the stroller happened to be what broke her fall. Had it not been there, she may have skinned her knee or simply shed a few tears.

Instead, her head hit the end of it--causing a large goose egg and bruise; under her eye and her nose hit the wheel mechanism. When she's in a lot of pain she stiffens her whole body while wailing. I felt so bad for her.

Of course, this happened the day before Family Picture Day with Bean's mom for Christmas. I sent Bean a picture on my phone and he said as soon as he saw a picture coming through, he knew one of the girls had some sort of facial injury. Although usully it's Miss Rose who these things happen to.

I don't think the injuries ended up looking too bad in the photos. Thankfully it wasn't individual portraits of her. But we'll always remember the Christmas when Gracie fell into the jogger. Last year was the Christmas when Bean gave Miss Rose gum prior to the photos and it's showing in her mouth in the portrait where everyone else looked best! Who knows what next year will be. When we get the photos, I'll share them with you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Babywearing

I'm participating in Babywearing Week hosted by Adventures in Babywearing. And who knows, maybe I'll win a new way to wear baby #3 from Nonny and Boo.

It's so interesting how much the baby world changes from just one baby to the next. In just a few years, there are new products, new laws, different techniques, books etc.

When I had Miss Rose I was super excited to get a Baby Bjorn at my shower. I definately got use out of it, although perhaps not as much as I had expected. Although it was comfortable enough, my back still would get sore after wearing it for a while.

By the time I had Gracie just three years later, slings and babywearing were ALL the rage. I was pretty intrigued and wanted to try out this babywearing thing for myself. I found a New Native sling for about $15 at a baby resale. Not long after Gracie was born I made myself a Moby Wrap (only required cutting, no sewing!). I actually found the sling more comfortable for my back than the Bjorn was.

I got SO much use out of these items. Gracie loved being in the sling. She was a kind of fussy newborn, but plop her in the sling and she was a happy camper. It was her favorite place to nap. For 6 months I was able to have her at work with me and she'd nap and hang in the sling most of the day while I was in meetings and working at my desk.

When Gracie was 2 months old I went on a missions trip to Ireland and of course she came along. Again, she lived in the sling as we walked around neighborhoods flyering, doing ministry and of course sightseeing. Everyone was very facscinated by the sling and the moby wrap.

I'm looking foward to using a sling again with this baby. It will give me free hands to wrangle the two kids who will be running around! I sure hope this baby loves the sling as much as Gracie did.


In an old stone castle on the sea...


Flyering for Kids Week...

Yes, I realize I'm wearing the same clothes basically, on two different days. It was a missions trip so I didn't bring a lot, and I was still losing baby weight--so not much fit!!



Somewhere I have a picture of the Moby Wrap, but I can't seem to locate it

Found a few more pic's to share. Not the one I was looking for, but oh well.






Mother's Day 2007//Gracie 1 month old

July 07//Fair//3-4 months old

October 07//sightseeing in San Fran//6 months

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Me too, me too!!




I saw this on Beloved Mama's blog and I have to join in. I would LOVE to win a quilt. I highly doubt it will happen, but you never know :) I think my favorite is the "Nest" quilt. Which one would you choose?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Favorite Things: Milky Way Midnight


Seriously now, how can you resist this combo? Ooey, gooey caramel with a layer of fluffy white nouget wrapped in delicious dark chocolate. I'm not one to grab a candy bar often...but lately, this one has been calling my name more and more. It's my favorite by far, upsetting the place Twix has held in my life since Junior High when I used to eat a Twix bar and drink a Diet Coke on Sunday mornings in youth group.

For some reason, these candy bars are becoming more difficult to find. It used to be that I could easily locate one at the checkout stand or at least in the candy isle. Not so much lately. The last time I was at Target I had to buy a bag of the bite-size version. Sometimes it's better to have the bite size ones as I can eat 5 throughout the day for a total of about 200 calories. But sometimes I just want the experience of eating a whole candy bar. I'm going to have to find out where I can buy a whole box!

Honestly, if you are a fan of dark chocolate, you HAVE to find one of these candy bars and try it!



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanks Beloved Mama!

Beloved Mama gave me an award...so let me pass on the love.


Seven things I did before...

1. Took a few hundred youth to Mexico during Spring Break for many years

2. Watched my niece full-time for 1 year to stay home with my first baby

3. Worked at Souplantation...still one of my fave places to eat!

4. Babysat my way through college


5. Could quote much of "The Cutting Edge" annoying my family and friends

6. LOVED Amy Grant

7. I journaled.

Seven things I do now:

1. Blog!!

2. Work a 75% schedule which gives me a few days my girls!

3. Study

4. Contemplate my future with three children...

5. Try to keep the house in somewhat of an order

6. Try to stay in touch with friends on Facebook

7. Prepare balanced meals for my family



Seven things I would like to do:

1. Go visit my out of town friends more

2. Crafty stuff like sewing, quilting, digiscrap

3. Go back to Ireland and bring my whole family

4. Travel to Israel

5. Get a hair cut, color, mani & pedi

6. Be more organized

7. Not lose important things (see #6)

Seven things that attract me to my hubby:


(in no particular order)

1. His smile


2. His skin tone!

3. His sense of humor

4. His handsome face

5. How much loves us and does so much for our family

6. His guitar playing abilities

7. How good he is at saying no to stuff


Seven favorite foods...

1. Milky Way Dark

2. See's candy

3. Caramel Macchiato's (decaf, non-fat, extra hot!)

4. Italian--eggplant parmesan especially!

5. Thai--spicy noodles please!

6. Mexican- bean burritos and carne and cheese only burritos

7. Diet Coke...bad habit, but oh well!! (not so much while pregnant though)

Seven things I say most often...

1. Oh for the love

2. Listen the first time

3. Are you freaking kidding me?

4. My back hurts

5. I want to go for a run

6. You have to dance with the one who brought you

7. Someday, we'll get to spend time together.

I'm supposed to tag seven people. If you've already been tagged with this and I've listed you, feel free to not participate, but please keep the award. Here they are:

1. Park City Girl

2. A Mommy Story

3. Girl Who Loves To Run

4. The Unlikely Pastor's Wife

5. My Charming Kids

6. Adventures in Babywearing

7. Readhead Reverend



I chose these blogs because I read them often, I find them creative and unique, and I have not given them an award before...and I want to share them with you!!!

Now don't forget to grab the award!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fitness Friday, Halloween & More (photos included!)

I have a little catching up to do, so here goes.

Fitness Friday
I think I missed this post last week due to Halloween. I was busy all day getting ready for our church event. However, I can report that the last two weeks I've stayed on track mostly with my health and fitness.

Well, the week of Halloween contained a bit too much candy consumption. I did exercise 2-3 times however. This week I've really gotten my eating back under control. It seemed that my weight gain was going a bit too fast. Trust me, I eat plenty. But trying not to overdo it.

I've been using Babyfit to track my food and weight. I love that site for having a healthy pregnancy. After entering your health information and pregnancy goals, you can track your weight and see a graph of your gain showing the high and low goals. It really helps me stay in the middle of the two lines. We are borrowing a Weight Watchers scale that I love!

This week I ran 3.5 miles on Monday and Wednesday and I plan to run tomorrow as well. I need to get a maternity belt to give my back and belly some support, but it still feels really good to run!

Halloween
Our church had a fun community event. Miss Rose LOVED it all. She was a very proud "bad pirate who does nothing." My little feminist was insistent that she was a "bad pirate" not a girl pirate. Then she combined that with her version of the Veggie Tales "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." She told me she did not want to be called beautiful. In fact that night when someone told her she was pretty, she looked at me with eyes that said "see Mom, people always tell me that."

Gracie was okay with the whole package. She was sick and therefore didn't have much energy. She was my little monkey. She has a love for monkies in general and is one too! It wasn't hot that night, but not necessarily cold. Much of the night her costume was unzipped and the legs unbuttoned so she didn't overheat. Gracie had her first lollipop that night, much enjoyed!

Here's a few photos...

















Gracie the Monkey
















Miss Rose the Pirate
















That is the "bad pirate who does nothing."














Unzipped, unbuttoned, eating a lollipop













Bean and his midgets (his favorite endearment these days for the kids)













Mama and her beauties (yes...I have a belly, I'm just hiding it here)


And...here's my official 6-month belly picture. I was being goofy for the camera. This baby really is growing and moving A TON!























Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Letter to Barak Obama

Dear President-elect Obama,

First of all let me congratulate you on winning the election this week. I wish you all the best in office and hope that you achieve much success as our president. I will be praying that God guides you in all you do.

I realize that you haven't made any decisions or created any legislation yet. But I already have a small bone to pick with you.

On Tuesday night I was watching as you came out with your family to accept the results of the presidential election. They introduced all of you by name. I had nothing against you or your family, but I was immediately annoyed.

You see, naming my babies is a big deal to me. I am very particular. I think part of it comes from my experiences with my own name--Corrina. I like my name. I like it because it's unique but not weird, feminine but still strong. It's not trendy, and even though there are many other Corrina's in the world, there are a variety of spellings.

I am predisposed against names that are in the top 100. It's not that I don't like them, some of them I really like. But if I can find a name that isn't popular or trendy I'm much happier. In fact the boy's name we had chosen before both of our daughters was born has recently become more popular and we won't be using it for our third baby if it's a boy.

So you see Mr. President-elect, I was not happy to hear your family introduced. Not because I don't want you to be president. But because with your rising notoriety, and having young children, their names are sure to become popular.

I am bitter, because your daughter Malia shares a name with my 19-month old Maleah. Granted the spellings are different, but it's the same name. I can just see the minds of pregnant women around the United States turning, considering that name for their unborn children. Because it's a unique name, probably not many have considered it. Until now.

I have a distinct suspicion that over the next four years at least, the name of our daughters will rise sharply in popularity. I wonder how many other Malia's will be in my Maleah's school. At least my Maleah has her own spelling.

I realize it's not something personal you have done to me. It's just how things happen. But I feel a little better writing you this letter. I still love my daughter's name and I'm sure you love it for your daughter as well.

So good luck Mr. President-elect. And if by some chance you have another child or name a new pet, please don't use the name Elianna either. I will keep you posted on the name we choose for our baby in February so you can keep that off your list as well.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A camel, a water buffalo and a race horse

You're wondering what those animals have in common, right?? No, it's not a punchline to a joke.

The commonality here is ME!

I think I'm part CAMEL with how much water I've been drinking. It's like I'm going on a long journey through the dessert and feeling the need to conserve.

I've been SO thirsty lately. If there is one thing I do crave in pregnancy it's water. I'm a water drinker to begin with, usually try to get 64oz per day. But while pregnant, I could honestly drink probably twice that much and often do exceed 64oz in a day.

But, I'm not a camel who so gracefully stores water in its humps. However I do have a few humps I wouldn't mind strategically placing some extra liquid in. (if this blog had a soundtrack, Fergie would be singing about lovely lady lumps right now)

I'm more like a WATER BUFFALO. At least that's how I'm looking and feeling. Large, cumbersome and slow moving.

Ah, now you're getting it. The RACE HORSE bit.

Yup...I pee like a stinking race horse. All the time. I wish I wasn't so thirsty, because then I wouldn't have to pee so much.

It's the worst late in the evening, which of course is close to bedtime. And even when I'm getting ready for bed I just want to drink and drink.

I get up at least once before I fall asleep to pee, maybe twice. Definately wake up at least once a night. Which is just a huge annoyance. Waking to feed a baby I can handle...waking to pee just makes me mad!

But, knowing that probably barring a major act of God, this is my last pregnancy, I am trying to remember to savor every moment. Maybe not every time I have to pee. I cherish the reason behind it though. You are so moved by my sentimentalism right now, I can tell.

Even being as thirsty as a camel, feeling like a water buffalo and peeing like a racehorse, I relish the little one growing inside me causing this mess.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm thirsty.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Mommy Confession

No mommy is perfect. We all do our best and yet there are times we realize we didn't make quite the right decision. And times we don't do the "little things" like warm the baby's bottle or actually get the kids dressed! And times we know we should do something a little differently, but lack the motivation to change.

Today is my mommy confession! I'm sure I have a long list I could come up with but I'm going to keep it to the one thing bugging me right now.

My confession is...I have a slight addiction to "downtime" in the afternoon (on my days off) that involves the computer and the TV. I tend to go, go, go in the morning and when naptime hits...I'm ready for my own break. Being pregnant plays a big role in this too! Several weeks ago I was napping every afternoon I could, but my energy has returned some.

It was perfect when both the girls were taking afternoon naps. I'd get them down, clean up from lunch, maybe do one or two quick chores and then have "me" time. By the they woke up, I was refreshed and ready to turn back on.

But...Miss Rose doesn't take afternoon naps anymore. And she is one of those "screen kids." If the TV is on, she's paying attention to it, whether the show is of interest to her or not. Gracie on the other hand, doesn't care so much for TV and she would rather play with toys.

I've shared before how Miss Rose doesn't entertain herself so well. I confess I have NO idea how to keep her occupied in the afternoon and I feel guilty that she ends up watching A Baby Story or What Not To Wear with me. Sending her to her room to play by herself seems unfair just so I can have some downtime.

I feel guilty...but I can't wait until she's in school because she will be occupied for a good portion of the day and it will be easier to occupy her the rest of the day. Even if I wasn't wanting to sit and veg for an hour in the afternoon, I'd still have trouble occupying her while the baby sleeps.

Another aspect of the challenge is that she honestly is school-age already, just born a few months too late. If she was just two months younger she'd be in Kindergarten this year--and because she is a pretty intelligent kid--she does belong in Kindergarten already. Miss Rose has some learning activity books that she enjoys--but it's also shown me that a) It's a good thing I didn't go into teaching and b) It's a good thing I don't intend to homeschool. She gets easily frusterated with me when I try to explain how to do something correctly.

Two months and hopefully she'll be in a public school program every morning. If we don't get into that program...I think it will be time to find her a preschool program at least a few days a week.

But in the meantime...I confess...my 4.5yr old watches TV with me a few afternoons a week. I should get my lazy pregnant butt off the couch and be productive...but it just doesn't happen. And you know what, I've just come to accept it.

(p.s. as I write this, I'm watching What Not To Wear, and miracle of all miracles Miss Rose got bored, made a tent fort and is looking at her alphabet flashcards. She just read "bus". Maybe there is hope after all)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fitness Friday: 15.5

I didn't set out to have a fantastic week of exercise, but somehow that's what happened. Not that I'm complaining...although my back is a little bit! I went to the lake Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for a total of 15.5 miles. One of those days was just walking, the rest were running. Well, now when I say running--I'm running intervals; run for 3 minutes and walk for 1 minute. It really helps me keep going and still complete my usual miles. In the end, it really doesn't add too much time overall.

I've come to the conclusion that with exercising while pregnant (especially as I get further along), yes it's a little harder, it takes a little longer and I'm a bit more tired after. But I can still do it, and so I do. I've gotten used to running being pretty standard as I've been running consistently for about 1.5 years now. As my body is more challenged, part of me wants to give it up. But I'm addicted!!

Running/exercise is my happy pill. I need that adrenaline. And I love to eat, so it's my ticket to eating more of what I want and not worrying as much about the calories. Plus I can include my kids. I realize my running days may be put on pause at some point in my pregnancy. Following my c-section, I definately will be on hiatus. But so far, I'm pretty happy being able to continue.

Exercise clothes are becoming a problem! My shirts are riding up my belly and I am not sure how much longer my pants will fit my waist. And maternity exercise clothes are SO expensive. I found a shirt at Ross today that's one size bigger and should work for a while. I think I'll end up getting another pair of running capri's in a bigger size and stretchy waist.

I'm also looking at some maternity belts to give my belly and back some extra support while running. It won't look cute, but I know it will help! I also got an exercise ball today so I can work on my abs and core, which will alleviate the pressure from my back.

I'm not sure what next week holds for exercise. Much of it depends on my schedule. I DO know my body will be enjoying a day of rest tomorrow after 3 straight days of exercise.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I wrestled a bear today

(this scene took place on Monday)

I wrestled a bear today....in the form of my 46-inch, 52-lb 4.5 year old. Yes, she's the average size of a 6-7 year old. How, I don't know. She has grandfathers and great grandfathers on both sides of the family that are 6 feet tall. Genetics are an amazing thing. Miss Rose seems to have some of the least likely genes exhibiting themselves in her. She is only 25% Hispanic, but her skin tone is pretty much the same as her dad, who is 50%. We are both vertically challenged as Bean likes to call it, yet she is tall.


Back to the bear wrestling. Miss Rose had her Kindergarten dr. appointment today in order to be able to enroll in a pre-K program through the school district in January. This involved a full physical and some shots.


Miss Rose has known for months that this day was coming before she started school. She has terrible anticipation anxiety. I know the anticipation is worse than what she experiences and hopefully as she gets old, she'll learn how to handle it better. I had anxiety too...as I knew this wouldn't be easy.


It wasn't a good sign when I was awoken this morning by wailing from Miss Rose's room, crying for Daddy and saying she didn't want to go to the doctor. Typically she wakes up cheerful and comes in my room. It took me a bit to calm her down and it was only 7:15am. I was thankful the appointment was 8:30 so we could just get it over with.


The appointment started okay. She completed the eye exam and the hearing test (which she remembered from her 3-yr appointment). Then the nurse requested a urine sample. My kid doesn't like to pee...ever. She protests each time we ask her to try before we leave the house or she goes to bed. She can hold it forever. Being that she had peed when she woke up, I knew it wasn't going to be easy for her to pee again.


In the past few months Miss Rose has developed a new sense of privacy. Earlier this summer, she spent many hot days just in her underware. But there has been a shift and she wants to be clothed and not risk others seeing her undressed. The idea of a urine sample, even though it was just me collecting it, was an invasion of her privacy.


Attempt #1 was a failure. Tears, protests and anger were involved. So I started pumping her with water while we waited for the dr. She handled the dr's portion of the exam quite well, until it came time for him to check her private parts. It was just a cursory glance basically, but I see why it's important. We explained it was okay because I was there, he was a doctor etc. It didn't fly. It took me a few minutes to get her to lay down on the table so I could be the one to pull her pants down and then I stood next to her for the 5 seconds it took the dr. to check. Again--many tears. I definately understood why that was so difficult for her.


Then came the waiting for the shots. Four of them to be exact, in addition to a TB test and a finger prick for anemia. It took a while for the nurse to come back and of course the anticipation anxiety just grew. Finally she came in and all hell broke loose. This was an angry amazon baby bear who wanted no part of what was about to happen.


It was evident right away that sitting on the table for the shots was not going to happen. Maybe if she was the size of a 4yr old it would have been easier to restrain her up there, but not this amazon child. Let me add, the crying has already begun and never let up. And of course, with a 4 year old, the crying is accompanied by many words of protest.


Picture me, sitting on a chair, pregnant belly and all, trying to hold and restrain my huge child through a procedure she wanted no part of. The finger prick was first and wasn't too bad. Then came the TB test and there was definate restrait of the arms necessary.


For the actual shots in her upper arms, the nurse asked me to lock Miss Rose's legs with mine and continue to hold her arms. She was FREAKING out. I was seriously wrestling a bear. In addition to keep her legs still, I had to hold both her arms and cover her eyes with one hand so she couldn't pull away when the needle came towards her. This kid has strength to go with her size. There was a few times I had to quit trying to control her arms and laugh saying "are you serious right now?" I was close to asking for another nurse to help me.

Finally we got through all the shots. There were a few times that Miss Rose saw the needle and said "oh no, we aren't doing that." As if she had a choice. At least some of her comments gave me reason to laugh through the wrestling match.

I might add, the nurse had to set the tray of shots on a stool next to her. Gracie was of course there and toddling around and quite interested in all of it. There were a few times I swore she was about to pick up one of the syringes. The needles weren't exposed, but still. I'm wrestling a bear, telling the other cub to not touch and go play. One cute moment was while Miss Rose was crying on the exam table about the personal exam, Gracie was trying to give Miss Rose her shoe. I guess Gracie was convinced her big sister was upset because her shoes were off.

After many threats and bribes, I finally got a urine sample right before we left. I told Miss Rose we only needed a little bit--not the whole cup. She eeked out like 3 drops and said "okay, I'm done. That's enough. You said just a little bit." Nice try kid. If you can get a few drops out--you can get a few teaspoons out, which she eventually did. We went to a store after the appointment and all of the sudden Miss Rose was about to pee her pants. I KNEW she had pee in there.

So I wrestled a bear today, and I won. Overall the appointment took 90 minutes. It looks like she won't need shots again until she's 7 and hopefully by then she'll be able to control herself. I will definately make sure Bean comes to Gracie's Kindergarten appointment and future vaccinations for older children. These bears of ours need a team to wrestle them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Favorite Things: Gagles of Google

Well--only one favorite thing shared so far, but hey--I'm not Oprah with limitless time and money!! But I have several on my mind...I just need to write about them.

My favorite thing for today is GOOGLE! Not just the google website, but also a variety of programs and other sites they provide. I've been using the google search engine for a few years now quite happily, but in the past year I've discovered many other Google Goodies.

First, I LOVE gmail! My sister convinced me to give it a try several months ago. I had been pretty happy with my yahoo email for well over 5 years. However, my email address was my first and middle name and I was ready for a more "grown up" email address. I was able to use my first and last name on gmail, which seemed more professional. Here's why I like gmail
-it's very simple. At first I thought perhaps too simple...but then I realized simple is good
-you can't make folders, but you can give emails a "label" with a color and do a search by that label
-you don't have to delete ANYTHING! All you need to do is "archive" emails you don't want to see. But, if you ever need to search for an old email, it will still show you.
-replies to an email stay together--like a conversation. Since both my sisters live in other cities there are days we'll email back and forth several times. Instead of having 18 emails in my inbox from them under the same subject, there is just the original email, but when you open it--all the replies are they and you can expand or minimize them. Very handy for referencing too!
-you can also chat with other gmail people without downloading extra software

Onto the next product...

igoogle: it's like a homepage you personalize and sign into. If you have gmail, it shows up there. You add applications to your page such as...
-spanish phrase of the day
-clocks, timers etc
-news services for updates
-facebook or myspace updates
-post-it type notes

You can choose from a variety of themes for your page to personalize the look. I LOVE IT!

Google Desktop is a similar program you download. You can have a sidebar up all the time showing you the first several emails in your gmail box, and again adding from a plethora of applications and gadgets to track other things. I have this on my computer at work and have a baby countdown on it!

Picasa Web
This is a photo program you download to your computer. It finds all the photos on your computer and gives you access to them all from the program. It has basic editing abilities--cropping, changing lighting, hues, black and white, sepia etc. You can upload a set of photos to their online site and share them with others. You can also email straight from the desktop program. If you aren't a photoshop person, this is a great "photos for dummies" (like me!)

Google Calendar
Super easy to use online calendar. You can do a "quick add" and a box pops up and you can enter the date, time and event in any order and it's smart enough to figure out where on the calendar to place it. Events can be edited with a variety of other info also. Google Calendars can also be made public and available to others for group events or even tracking your family calendar.

Google Documents
Sometimes it's a pain to go through the process of making a new document, saving it and emailing it to yourself so you have access to it from another computer. Or perhaps you are keeping a list or journal you want to access...or a sports schedule. Google Documents is like an online briefcase you just have to sign into. You can create, upload, edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents to name a few. Documents can also be made available to others whether they have gmail or not.

Bean recently told me about some financial advice he heard on the radio--that if you were going to get started in buying stock, you should buy stock in a product or place that you like or use. If I were buying stock...Google would be first on my list!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My New Hero

My new hero is my chiropractor. You may nor may not have noticed, but I haven't been mentioning my headaches lately. I think I did share several weeks ago that I was going to be trying a chiropractor for the first time in my life. For some reason with this pregnancy, the headaches were very intense and tylenol offered little relief.

I had 4 adjustments in 5 weeks. After my first two visits, I had a bad headache the next day, but then some relief after that. After the 3rd visit, there was drastic improvement. I have taken tylenol maybe 2x a week for the past few weeks--and that was more to guard off a developing headache--and it worked! It's been a few weeks since I've had an intense headache.

My energy level has increased and I've needed less naps. While it could be related to being mid-point in my 2nd trimester, I really think it has to do with my headaches--or lack thereof. I wasn't sleeping well due to my headaches and they were just exhausting.

I am SO thankful that I finally had the courage (and spent the $$) to try the chiropractor. He will be my lifelong friend. I'm hoping that even after the baby is born, my headaches won't come back and if they do, that he will be able to help me.

At my first visit, during the evaluation portion, there was a look of shock on his face when I told him how much pain medication I took while not pregnant and the severity and frequency of the headaches I had just learned to function with. Maybe I should have tried this a long time ago...

I've heard of taking infants and children to the chiropractor, but I was interested to read about a personal experience in my friend's blog. If my baby has similar issues that Gracie did her first few months, we will be making a visit to my new hero!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Will a new look bring Fall weather?

I decided to give myself a new "autumn" background. Now, I wonder if it will bring the corresponding weather to Southern California. I am SO ready for it to be cool. I'm not even asking for cold, just cool.

The nights are finally cooling off, which is a good sign. But many of the days it still hits 90. The last two summers the house we lived in had air conditioning. This house does not. I'm dying!! I didn't realize how spoiled I was. We used the a/c sparingly...but enough to make the house comfortable.

I'm just hoping Halloween night is cool. I bought a monkey costume for Gracie. I really hope it is cool enough for her to wear it! Yes, it was a risky move...but it just fits her personality these days so well I couldn't resist.

Unfortunately this weather pattern is typical for So Cal. Summer really doesn't hit until August or September. We're lucky to have a cold Thanksgiving! I want to drink hot tea and cuddle with my husband without a sheet of sweat developing between us.

The weather is supposed to cool a bit this weekend. That doesn't mean it will be cold, just not blazaing hot. We're going to a pumpkin patch (where they are actually grown!) today and it would be nice to not be sweating during the outing. A girl can hope, right?

So, I've changed my background. Come on FALL!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fitness Friday

You may have seen that I put my fitness blog on hiatus. Partially because the time I can dedicate to exercise is really limited right now and there also is no time to maintain a 2nd blog.

But I was inspired by this blog today to keep my fitness a priority and there's nothing like forcing yourself to blog about it for accountability! So for now, I will aim to blog about my fitness each Friday--both a report of my week and also general tips, ideas and thoughts on health and fitness.

My report for this week is so-so. With my schedule and current pregnant state, my personal goals are 3 days of cardiovascular activity and a few days of spot focus (arms, legs/butt, abs etc). I ran 4 miles on Monday, did arms and lower body on Wed and did about 50 min of cardio/toning today. I needed one more day of cardio in there...but maybe next week!

One of my favorite exercise programs is Slim in 6 by Beach Body. That's what my 50 minutes of exercise was today. My mother-in-law gave me her VHS tapes a few years ago because she wasn't using them. When I exercise, I like to feel like I worked hard. There are very few video/dvd programs I've found that I like. Either they are too complicated (STEP programs!) or too slow-paced.

The Slim in 6 program is a major butt-kicker!! It's a series of 3 workouts and you work up to the 3rd one. For a long time I just did the 2nd workout but finally made myself start doing the 3rd one. And boy does it work you! You break a sweat--but it's not dancing around cardio. All of the exercises focus on a body part and tone while you sweat.

Another reason I find this program user friendly is the first 25-35min (depending on which workout you do) is the "cardio" portion. It's followed by short focused sessons on arms, lower body and abs for a total of about 60min. Many days I just do the cardio portion and only do the rest if I have time. Even just the cardio portion can make me sore!

Even while pregnant, I find the exercises pretty easy to do (so far). I have to watch my balance on lunges and the ab routine is out as it's done laying on your back. One of my goals with this pregnancy is to pay close attention to my arms and lower body. I know I will gain weight in these areas...but they can also be toned while pregnant and maybe I won't hate the hospital gown photos so much with chubby arms and legs!

If you are looking for a great home workout--check out this program. And of course...buy it on ebay!!! A few years ago I bought my sister a DVD with all the workouts on it for about $20 on ebay. Just make sure you're buying an original DVD, not a burned copy. The full program comes with printed material and exercise bands...but they aren't necessary. I prefer using 3-5lb weights.

Feel free to join in on the Fitness Friday accountability blog!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Always be my baby

Every mother will give you the pros and cons of the age spread of their children. There is no "perfect" gap because it depends on each family, their specific circumstances and if there was purposeful planning of when the children were born. I've heard opinions of all sorts and really, age gaps just are what they are.

Before I had children I thought I wanted my children rather close together. Then I had my first! And realized that there were benefits to spacing the children a bit more. I thought my mom was crazy for having my brother and I just 18 months apart. I couldn't imagine being pregnant again by the time Miss Rose was 9 months old. Granted, she was a stay at home mom (just out of the hippie movement I might add!) and I was juggling work and a child.

I knew however I wanted Miss Rose and her next sibling to be close enough to play and interact together so when she was around 2 we began to plan for the second baby (no time is ever the perfect time!) and Gracie was born a few months after Miss Rose turned 3. I loved the spread. Miss Rose was potty-trained, speaking in full sentances (more like paragraphs and chapters) and comprehended all that a new baby meant to our family. She honestly experienced no rivalry.

Now as I prepare for our third baby (our gift from God a little sooner than we had planned) I find myself grieving a bit over Gracie's lost babyhood. Not that she isn't a baby or enjoying all her babyness, but at 2, there still is a lot of "baby" left in our little ones. But by then, I'll have a new baby to share my attention with. It's more that I will miss some of moments I treasured having with Miss Rose.

I've realized this as I begin to mentally prepare for some transitions in Gracie's little life. It's going to be time to take away her "kinkey," her rendition of "binky". (What's funny is that her "blankee" has the same name!) We took Miss Rose's away about 2 months before she turned 2, but that is when the new baby will join our family. I know I could wait until after the baby...but it's been my observation that the older the child is, the harder the transition is.

We will also move Gracie to more of a "big girl bed" before the new baby is born. It's not that we will need the crib right away (baby usually sleeps in our room for a few months) but it seems like it would be better to deal with it now, instead of me waking up to nurse and waking up to corral a 2yr old back into bed while she learns! Her crib will become a toddler bed if we choose that option or we have a twin bed in her room also that can be used with a guard rail.

I'm just not ready for this yet. I still want her to be my baby! She's been such a joy and is such a good baby. But I know just as Miss Rose will always be my first baby, Gracie will always be my second baby. There is a lot of change that will occur between now and when baby is born--making Gracie seem more like a big girl to me. I am sure that will help. Already in the last month she's communicating so much more and learning new words every day.

I'm working up the courage to let go. Maybe next month the binky will make it's exodus and in December we'll move her bed. But, for the next 17 weeks, I am going to soak up every minute of her babyness--and even after that I will be sure to let her be a 2yr old baby and not expect her to grow up. I don't mind having two babies for a while.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sweetest Baby Face

My belly continues to grow and I have quite the active baby. I'm already able to feel kicks and movement on the outside of my belly--several weeks earlier than in my pregnancies with the girls. I'm not sure what that means, if anything...but it is fun to feel. I want to relish every moment of this pregnancy, as it's most likely my last.

Here's a few photos from my recent ultrasound.

Baby #3's profile (20wks)
Baby #3 Thumb sucking!

And for fun comparison...

Gracie's profile...she still has those chubby cheeks! (20wks)

Miss Rose's profile (around 30 wks)

I definately see similarities in all three profiles--but differences too. It somewhat makes me think that #3 is a girl too, given the resemblances there, but you never know!!

What do you think??

Friday, October 10, 2008

Snippets...take 2

I tried publishing this on Friday...but thought it was lost in cyberspace. But when I checked today, the draft was there. So here goes.

The end of another week! I am always happy when Fridays come because it means a few full days with my kiddos. Maybe I'm nostalgic these days because our family will be changing, that is expanding, soon, and I just want to soak up all the time I have with my girls. Especially Miss Gracie since she will all of the sudden become a big girl once the baby arrives.


Gracie had her 18-month appointment this week. She's about 24lbs and 32.25 inches...pretty average, but a bit of a string bean, which explains why 12-18 month clothes are fitting perfect. Miss Rose was in at least 24 month clothes by this point, probably moving towards 2T. Poor baby needed 4 shots since I skipped the 15-month appointment. She got a bit of a fever that night, but wasn't nearly as sick as she has been after other vaccinations.


I realized this weekend it's time to switch Gracie's carseat. The infant seat she's been in only goes to 32 inches. Unfortunately, the convertible seat we have probably is too big to be rear facing in the CRV. I was hoping to keep her rear facing until the new baby comes, but I guess 18 months isn't bad. Maybe I'll get lucky and figure out how to keep her rear facing this weekend.

Miss Rose has a new line, "you ruined my life." Where did she come up with this one?? Is she 4 or 14? I immediately told her that was unacceptable to say and she could say she was "disappointed" or "upset." Maybe it's from the new shows on Disney she loves--Zack and Cody or Hannah Montana. Maybe I shouldn't be letting her watch these shows; but I am always watching them with her and while some of the content is over her head, it's not inappropriate.

Speaking of inappropriate, while I was gone last weekend Bean took Miss Rose to get a movie and Gracie was melting down so he pretty much grabbed the first thing he came upon. They came home with a Sponge Bob DVD, whom I really don't care for and find a bit crass and not age-appropriate. Here was my conversation with Bean...

"You really let her watch this?"

"Um, yeah."

"Well, did you watch it with her?"

"Of course."

"Was it appropriate for her?"

"Um, I thought it was funny."

"Really, a 32 year old man thought it was funny? That tells me it probably wasn't appropriate for a 4yr old."



Point proven!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Inspired

I was incredibly inspired on Sunday as I sat and listened to friends and family share about the amazing life of a woman named Barbara Warren. I didn't have the privilege of knowing her personally, but my good high school friend married her daughter and I had the honor of officiating their wedding in 2003.

Barbara went home to be with Jesus in August after a tragic bicycle accident during a race. She was an incredible athlete--completing Ironman triathalons, bike races, running through the desert among much, much more.

As I listend to her loved ones share, it made me reflect on my own life and relationships. I want to share a few of my insights with you, in hopes that you can be inspired too.

Considering myself a "novice" runner, I was of course inspired by the amazing feats Barbara accomplished. She never stopped training. She never stopped pushing herself just a little more. She always believed she could win...and most often she did. Barbara won her 60-65 age division in the Ironman Triathalon a few years ago. I do love running and competing. I hope that it's something I can continue to do and do even more as my children get older and more self-sufficient. I'm inspired not just to run, but to become more of a competitor. The next Mud Run is about 4 months after my baby is due. I think my goal is going to be clock a faster time than I did this year!

Barbara's daughters shared how as they spent their last moments with their mom in the hospital, there was nothing that had been unsaid in life. There were no necessary "last words" because they had shared everything with her and she with them. What an incredible thing to be able to say. Even if they hadn't had those last moments with her, there would have been no regrets of something left unsaid. I pray that I live my life the same way--that I share all my love and thoughts with those around me and that I am open to hearing all they want to share with me.

After a particular challenging training session for a race, Barbara encouraged a teammate, saying "Who you are is God's gift to you. Who you become is your gift to God." I wonder, what kind of a gift am I to God right now? How can I make my life a better gift to him? How can I live my life in a more worthy manner? How can I make a difference in the lives of those around me?

Peppered in each story of Barbara's life--whether it was from a family member, a teammate, a collegue, they spoke of her love for the Lord and it was evident that her relationship with Christ was woven into every segment of her life. Oh to have similar stories shared about me one day.

Barbara's life ended tragically and suddenly--but I have no doubt that God is using her story, and will continue to, to inspire and encourage others to be the best they can be, to live every moment to it's fullest potential and to do it all loving God.

I am thankful to have the small connection to her life that I do, and to have been able to hear all who shared.

Monday, October 6, 2008

7 Reasons for 7 Years

Our Engagement
Today is our 7 year anniversary! I loved everything about our wedding day. There is very little I would change--except for that the tragedy of 9-11 had just occurred and there were special people who weren't able to travel to be at our wedding.

So, here are 7 reasons why I love my husband, in honor of our 7 year anniversary.

1. His sacrificial love for his family. The guy could be dead tired and if I need something or ask him to do a task or run an errand, he does it with no complaining. There is no doubt that he always puts me and his children first.

2. He loves me for me. Sure, it sounds a bit cliche, but it's the truth. I realize that I am a quirky individual. I can be quite a conundrum. I am independent, but I have a great need for quality time. I usually prefer to do things on my own, but I still like the offer for help. These sorts of things can be frusterating, but Bean just laughs at me and loves me in spite of myself.

3. He has fully embraced my family. We are incredibly close to both sides of our family. Over the 7 years of our marriage, Bean has been called upon to make sacrifices, and join me in being there for my family. We shared a house with my parents (including disabled father) for about 3 years. It was a blessing to us--but of course there were challenges-- (for my parents too!!). My sister lived with us for almost a year and Bean just called her his oldest daughter. My family can invade our home at anytime (and I love it when they do) and he just kicks back and laughs at our antics.

4. He is a great father. I know that Bean had some trepidation about fatherhood as he didn't have the best example set for him. But he is the best dad. He plays with the kids, he is always willing to help and hold, he makes up special traditions and games with them. Both of the girls love him. In fact, Gracie is especially infatuated with Daddy lately and asks me about 20 times a day where he is.

5. He is my best friend. Neither of us are huge "pour out my heart" kind of people...but when we need that, we are there for each other. There is no one I enjoy hanging out with more or doing stuff with. He makes me laugh like no one else.

6. We have a great love life. Enough said :)

7. He's Mexican...but not really. For some reason I've always had a thing for Latino men. Most of the guys I've liked have been Latino--from high school through college. Other than Bean, my one serious long-term relationship was with a Latino. Not that I wouldn't have married him if he wasn't Latino, but it was icing on the cake, and definately made the attraction almost instant. What's funny is that since he wasn't raised with that part of his family (he's half caucasian) there isn't much culterally Mexican about him. In fact, he's never even been across the border. With all my missions trips to Mexico and even speaking Spanish pretty well, I'm a much better Latina than him!

I'm looking forward to many more years of happy marriage with this love of my life!

Our Wedding Day!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chocolate Makes Girls Happy

Miss Rose brought me a book tonight to read before bed. I read the title to her "Curious George Goes To A Chocolate Factory." Miss Rose looked at me and said "I like chocolate." I said, "oh yeah, you do?" Then she said, "chocolate makes girls happy." The kid is 4, where did she ever learn that?? I asked her and she said "Kate said it on the campout show." Very interesting thing my child has learned from her favorite show, Jon and Kate Plus 8. Hey---for many women, it's true!

Speaking of Jon and Kate Plus 8, I've been a bit burnt out on the show because Miss Rose wants to watch it SO much. However, she hasn't been asking for it so much. But, I'm just not sure what I think about the requests for "Zack and Cody" and "Hannah Montana" that have replaced it.

Much to my dismay, TV is way more important to Miss Rose than I would like it to me. Gracie on the other hand, could care less. Some of it is our own fault--not doing a better job of teaching Miss Rose to entertain herself, since it's something that hasn't come easily to her. But, it is what it is. I am eagerly awaiting the transition to pre-K in January and then Kindergarten next fall. I think they will be really good for providing the stimulation Miss Rose needs and less TV in our house!!

I'm off to a Women's Retreat this weekend! I can't wait for the relaxation and time with friends.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stayed Strong!!!

I had my 20-week ultrasound today. Although I've been pretty determined to not find out the gender, for some reason this week I was feeling weak. Curiosity was getting me. Since this is the last baby, I am pretty anxious to know if a third girl will join or family (most likely) or if will be a litle boy (I would be shocked!).

My co-worker who's due just a few weeks after me will probably be finding out the gender of her first baby this week or next week. Most people around me are annoyed that I don't want to find out! Hence my weakening. Bean would prefer to know, but he is giving in to my whim. Plus, we're having such difficulty coming up with any names, knowing the gender would make it easier to focus.

But I would like to announce....I stayed strong and didn't find out! I told the tech early on I didn't want to know and she said "well, we'll just not even look in that area." What a sweetheart! Of course measuring the leg bone is part of the procedure and for all I know, parts could have been visible but I'm not trained to read an ultrasound, so I have no idea if I saw any parts--or lack there of. All I was able to distinguish was the leg bone.


I feel very satisfied in not knowing. For me, the surprise really is worth it. Like I did for Gracie, I will have a coming home outfit for either gender that a family member will wash once the baby is born--and the other I will return.


The baby was quite active and just very busy. Sucking his/her thumb or hand at one point, moving, kicking etc. The baby measured dead on for my due date (which made me happy since the first ultrasound showed such a different date than what I expected). Since I'll be having a c-section, it's comforting to know that the baby will be ready. I definately see some similarities in how the girls looked in their ultrasounds--shape of the face, nose, head etc. But some differences too.

So, we'll know in about 18 weeks if this baby is a boy or a girl! I'm keeping you in suspense with me. I should be able to scan the photos next week and share them with you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Favorite Things: Quick Shine for Wood Floors

I've decided to try to post weekly one of my favorite things. I love hearing about the little things that make life easier or are just good finds. So, I will flatter myself into thinking that those who read this blog may enjoy mine. My plan is to have this blog up each Wednesday.

I love wood floors. I don't love having wood floors with kids though. The upkeep on wood floors (to keep them actually looking nice and feeling clean) is much more than just vacuuming and spot cleaning carpet. 2 of the 4 homes we've lived in since having children had wood floors, including our current one.

But, there is a product--when I have time to use it, that makes my life easier.


First is the Quick Shine Floor Cleaner. All you need is a sponge mop and a semi particle free floor (ie swept or recently vacuumed). You start with the sponge mop rinsed with water. Spray the cleaner on the floor and spread it evenly with the mop. It cleans the floor as you spread it. No need to rinse or re-sponge with water.

The Quick Shine Floor Finish is the BEST product. Again--you just start with a rinsed sponge mop, spray on the ground and spread with the mop. It gives the floor a beautiful shine!! You do have to let it dry (so doing it at naptime is a must) but it dries relatively quickly. You can do multiple coats for an even glossier finish.

The process still takes time...and often I only get through one step. But it does make cleaning my floors easier.

I buy the products at Target or Wal-Mart. You can click on the picture above to take you to the website for more info on their products.



Halfway There!

Amazingly, I've already reached the halfway point in my pregnancy. It sure has gone fast! I guess it helps that I didn't even know I was pregnant until about 9 weeks in. I highly recommend that course of action.

Actually, if you go by when I will deliver, I'm more than halfway through. I had a doctor appointment today and found out that as long as my pregnancy progresses normally--which it should--I will have my c-section around February 7 or 8, at 38.5 weeks. It's kind of scary and kind of exciting to have a general idea.

While I would MUCH prefer a natural delivery, since it's no longer an option for me, I look on the bright side and enjoy that I'll get to plan everything around when this baby will come---the time that Bean takes off work, my last day of work, who will help with the kids...and the list goes on.

The baby has started to move a bit more. At least once a day I feel the little "pokes" of his/her feet from the inside. I can't wait until it's strong enough to feel the kicks on the outside of my belly. I have my level two ultrasound on Wednesday and it will be fun to see the baby's development since the last ultrasound, about 6 weeks ago.

I do hope the time will continue to fly by!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Already??

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I got to the end of my pregnancy and thought I was so lucky to have no stretch marks. My belly was huge--but no marks or even linea negra. Unfortunately it didn't last. I got home from the hospital and my belly was slack and not so big--and what do you know, stretch marks all along the bottom! I think my skin had been so stretched (8lb + baby) they weren't visible and they also were probably on the underside of my huge belly.

I pretty much knew they'd come back with Gracie. They faded by the time Miss Rose was 18 months old or so and were barely visible. Of course they did return. But this summer they were pretty faded already.

Now I am 19 weeks pregnant, and those nasty things have made an early appearance. Probably due to the fact that it's #3 and there was only 13 months between delivery and this baby's conception. Oh well. I do know they will fade again (they better) and in the meantime, perhaps I'll avoid the mirror!

I will tell you that going to Sea World is good for the frumpy-feeling pregnant lady. There are women in all stages of pregnancy and post-partum. I was comforted to see some ladies who were probably at similar stages of pregnacy with the belly just popping out, but not looking so firm and round yet. I'm not the only one!

This was a very full week again, and I'm very glad to be at the end of it! I've had a nice day with the girls so far, doing some housework and then going to Sea World for a few hours. I love my Fridays at home! Tomorrow will be nice because Bean will be with us all day and we don't have much going on.

I can't wait for next weekend because I'm going to our Women's Retreat and also doing some Fall shopping for the girls and maternity shopping for me. Now if only Fall would come to Southern California so we can use our Fall clothes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend upate

Since it seems more difficult for me to blog during the week, I thought I'd try to get one more in before the craziness ensues. My thoughts are kind of random...but here ya go!

1. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you plan. This weekend I had family coming to stay, Bean was working overtime both Saturday and Sunday, Miss Rose had soccer AND I was the snack mom. The last thing I wanted to mess up with something with Miss Rose's soccer--and my sister's tease me for a messy house sometimes, so I wanted to try to have it somewhat in order. I planned and organized and managed to succeed in all of it. I needed to leave at 10:30am for soccer, and when I turned the car on, that's exactly the time it was! GLORY!

And when did soccer snack become such a production? For the first game last week, the snack mom brought fruit kabobs--which she had put together herself-- and small bottles of cold water (with sports balls on them of course) for half-time and Capri-Sun and cupcakes for after the game. What happened to orange slices?? Being our first season, I had no idea if she went a bit overboard or if that was standard. I tried to be a bit more practical with orange slices, frozen grapes and the cheaper small bottles of water and rice krispy treats (not homemade though) and Capri-Sun for after. And since we are at the beginning of the alphabet...we get to do it one more time at the end of the season!!

2. Family is good :) Both my sisters were in town this weekend and it was good to catch up and see them in person although we usually email and text a lot. Plus my parents were in town watching my nephew for the weekend. There were A LOT of people at the soccer game cheering for Miss Rose and her cousin.

3. How do I stop my child from speaking disrespectfully? Some of the things Miss Rose says, and how she says them sound like a teenager. It's ridiculous. She has a definite attitude. She gets talked to, disciplined--but whatever I'm doing isn't working. Perhaps I'm lacking in consistency. All I know is that if I talked to my parents like that, I would have had the tar spanked out of me. Miss Rose has this sensitive streak though, that doesn't always make spanking the best discipline for her. Why can't they come with a manual?

4. Gracie is a maniac. This kid gets these bursts of energy that are incredible. She literally runs from room to room in the house and back again. She loves running full speed towards the couch and burrowing her face in the cushion. She also has this new stance--I call it the football player pose. She kind of crouches down and then basically runs in place before she takes off. Tonight as I was trying to brush her teeth she kept messing around with this maniacal little laugh. Oh Lord, what am I in for?

5. How long until I see a movie in a theatre again? There have been several movies I've wanted to see in the theatre over the last year or two. I don't know that we've gone to any. Currently on the list is "The Dark Night" but I'm not holding my breathe.

6. We're adding a third kid to this mess?? Help me Jesus!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

This job really should pay more

I actually had a good night's sleep last night. I was asleep by 10:30, didn't even get up to pee and woke around 7am on my own. Yes, it's been a long week as every week is these days--but it was Friday!! My day home with my kids.

It's the end of the day and I can't believe how exhausted I am. I mean, I guess I can--but it just doesn't feel like I should be. It was a rather routine day. Went for a run this morning, came home, did some cleaning and kid entertaining. Went to the grocery store. Baby took a nap, big sister watched a show and played some computer games while I relaxed a bit. I decided not to nap in hopes of sleeping well again tonight. Routine evening...play, dinner, dishes, play, nighttime stuff.

I think every CELL in my body is tired and every BONE in me aches. Granted I'm pregnant...and it was a long week...but come on now. Can you tell I don't have a lot of patience with myself? I've been plagued by another headache all day, which zaps my energy too--but I have to keep on keeping on.

What it boils down to is, being a mom is a tiring job. After the week of work, the girls are usually clamoring for my attention all day on Fridays. Miss Rose just wants to be near me, chatting, touching me. Gracie is often the same. I love my kids--but they have this amazing knack for sucking the life out of me. I mean that in the most loving, motherly way of course.

It is a good tired. I'd rather be tired from a day with my kids than from a day doing anything else. And I'm even a little more tired thinking about doing all this again tomorrow...including a soccer game, being the snack mom and a hubby who has to work all day.

Although this job definately should pay more, I would give anything to do it all day, everyday. Maybe someday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

18 weeks on the 18th

I thought it was kind of random that I'm 18 weeks pregnant today and it's the 18th of the month. For the most part I'm feeling well. The sickness is gone, which is a huge blessing. I'm more tired than I'd like to be, given that I'm supposed to have the 2nd trimester energy. Maybe it's related to having two children already. I am napping more than I thought I would be at this point. Oh well! I'm really struggling with daily headaches. Headaches have been a part of my life for oh, 31 years! Usually I can medicate my way through them, but not while pregnant. Tylenol just doesn't do much. I visited a chiropractor for the first time ever yesterday and am hoping after a few visits to feel some progress.

I am just a few weeks away from being in full-time maternity clothes. I could be now...but they still look a little funny on me. I had to go out on my lunch yesterday and buy some maternity pants though, because I was dying in my unbuttoned, but still too-tight pants at work. I got some good deals on the clearance rack at Target--3 shirts, 1 pair of capri's and two non-maternity but stretchy waist skirts for $65. At least once a day I look down and my first thought is, "why do I have a gut? Oh yeah, I'm pregnant!"

These next few months are going to fly by and there just isn't a lot of blogging time. But, I am going to try to keep up as best I can. I am taking two classes this semester and spend all of Tuesday and Thursday evenings in class. It's worth it...but it's hard work balancing it all.

Miss Rose started soccer and had her first game last week. It was so much fun. She's on the same team as her cousin and the majority of both family members were there to cheer them on. Miss Rose scored 2 goals and her cousin scored 1. We were very proud. Bean was thrilled. I think he heard him make some remark about "the next Pele." Silly man. Even though we don't (and may not) have boys, I'm glad he can get excited about his daughters playing sports.

Hopefully I'll get the time to share some soccer pictures with you this weekend.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lost Keys

I committed the ultimate parent no-no this weekend. I let my children play with a set of keys. Not just any set of keys, but Bean's keys. Gracie loves keys lately and was pointing to our key rack saying "keys, keys" so I grabbed a set, handed them to her and she toddled off to the front door to try and get a key in the lock.



That was the last I thought of it. We were in the middle of getting ready to go out for dinner so that soon took precedence. Until this morning...when I got the dreaded text from Bean (who texts as rarely as he can, so I knew it was a big deal) that said "do you know where my work keys are."



Oops. Gracie often plays with our keys for a bit, but she either gives them back when she's done or we find them by the door. Not this time I guess. I began to panic a bit inside. Bean, um, doesn't handle these little hiccups of life so well. He likes things ordered and predictable. He is the more responsible parent who would never let his child play with keys, while I am more free-flowing--let kids be kids, if something is lost, it will be found.



I ran home and did a quick search when I could get away from church for a moment (we live in a house next to church property); Bean had taken Miss Rose for her soccer pictures. No keys.



When we got home from church I could tell things weren't good. I'm sure Bean had spent at least 30min searching for his keys--missing part of his precious "Opening Day" football.



Thank God for Miss Rose's great memory. I asked her about the keys and she said "yes, I put them in the white box I always play with. I was the bad guy stealing things." (yes, my 4yr old is obsessed with bad guys) We couldn't figure out what box she was talking about and looked all over again to no avail.



I had to leave again to head to an after-church lunch meeting. I was wracking my brain trying to think of where a 4yr old bad guy would stash her booty. On my way out the door, I opened our armoire on impulse. Voila! The white box (a storage container), with toys and keys inside. Praise be to Jesus!!!



I've learned my lesson. Bean wanted to lecture me, but I knew. A mistake I won't make again. Common sense says I shouldn't have done it in the firsts place, but I'm the free-flowing one when it comes to stuff like that. Next time I'll have to hand over MY keys!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Why do we need $$$$?

I suppose that every culture has some form of currency--be it animals, goods, food, paper, gold/silver etc. But it really is a pain. I'd like to go back to the garden of Eden days when no currency was needed. All the food you needed grew from the ground and you didn't have to buy clothes.

Can you tell I'm a bit stressed about money right now? Really there is nothing new, but every once in a while the expense of life can be overwhelming. Especially when you add in a new baby coming. We have a lot that we will need, but the carseat expense is such a killer. With fall coming, Miss Rose needs a new wardrobe--and although she has friends older than her--she's bigger than them, so no hand-me-downs. Gracie won't need much, but a bit to add to what I have. And then there's my ever-expanding body, which in about a month or so will require all maternity--and I have, um 3 pieces of maternity-wear currently.

I have no idea what to do about carseats fitting in our current vehicle. Because I'm a big carseat fanatic, I want my kids as safe as possible. I really want Miss Rose to be in a harness until she's 6--and our current seat would accomodate that. However, she has one of the larger seats available (due to her amazonian size). Our infant seat is also the largest, as most children can rear-face in it until age 2.

So adding another seat to our one available bench (I drive a Honda CRV) is quite a challenge. There are a variety of options...but I have no idea what three seats will even fit, and many of the options require the purchase of two more seats--since the current ones may not work with a third. A minivan will definately be in our future, but maybe not the near one.

I know it will all work out, but sometimes my brain works overtime. I want to figure it out NOW, but there isn't really the time or money at this moment. God always provides, but I really it would be more convient to strap my kids into a box on the back of a wagon. You may think I'm kidding--but some days the Amish life really calls to me.

We have been blessed that our income has increased some over the almost 7 years of our marriage--but as life would have it, so have the expenses! I wonder, will there ever be a point that the expenses level out and the income goes up a bit giving more of a cushion, allowing us to save for larger expenses? Hopefully...but it seems SO far away.

As I go to bed tonight, I'm going to dream of growing all my own vegetables, making all my own baked goods and driving a wagon. Part of me would welcome the hard work of farm life! I do know that grass is not always greener on the other side. I am happy with the life God has given us and we have never truly been in want and as we remain faithful to Him, I trust that we won't be.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nakie Part II

So Bean tells me that last night Gracie was in the bath, but suddenly stood up and signed "all done." He confirmed with her, but she definately wanted out. She LOVES the bath and would stay in cold water for an hour! After she was dried off, she went over to the toilet and fussed at it. It didn't mean much to Bean until she pooped 5 minutes after he had put her diaper on.

She's pooped in the bathtub a few times before...so we can't help but wonder if she was actually aware of her need to poop this time. Bean was pretty convinced she was trying to tell him she had to poop.

Interesting... I may pull out the potty chair this weekend just for introduction's safe. Maybe I'll be one of those lucky moms who's child is potty trained by the time they are two. Can't hurt to take baby steps towards it!