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 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 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 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 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


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.