Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkins and a Happy Halloween

I'm behind a bit on posting because our crew (and particularly Bennett) has been partaking of the fall festivities this year with great enthusiasm, and mommy has tried her best to follow along with the camera. Most of our activities have centered around pumpkins, because our little guy LOVES them!! Several words that he's recently picked up have been due to their association with a pumpkin in some form or fashion (i.e. talking about and identifying horses non-stop now because he saw one eating a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch).

Side note: It must be said that I am LOVING the fact that Bennett is old enough and aware enough to enjoy the season and to add new experiences to his little life. It's so exciting to see him get so excited - this reminds me that this is how God feels about us - this is what it means when the bible says He delights in us. Amazing thought, and amazing how God orchestrates so many things in our lives to reflect His relationship with us, especially growing a family!

Pictures to follow: trip to the pumpkin patch, eating Halloween cookies, putting faces on our pumpkins, in costume at school, and Fall Fest at our church on Halloween night...enjoy!

Fun at the Pumpkin Patch

(this is all he wanted to take home - a bumpy little gourd...he calls it his little football)

Pumpkin Faces and Halloween Cookies

(posed here when I told him I wanted a picture of him with the pumpkin faces)

Costumes at School

Halloween at Church (more to come when they're downloaded)

The ball players :)
(Bennett with his buddy from school, Cason)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BLUE x's TWO!!

I confess Michael and I were both shocked when the sonographer told us we are having a BOY! We both just felt for sure we were having a girl - gut instinct. And so now I officially resign any claim to have accurate hunches or interpretations of others' pregnancies. So don't ask me!! :) Once the shock wore off, we started talking about how wonderful it will be for our boys to play together, how God has a perfect plan for this little one, and how much money we'll save. We are PUMPED!

We'll have two little rascals rolling around on the floor, making mud pies, squashing bugs, and throwing balls at breakable things...and the beautiful thing is, they can do it all together for years and years to come!! :)

We are so excited and so blessed. Everything looks good and healthy, and we are thrilled for Bennett and the sweet memories to come with his little brother :) We praise God for the good things He has done for us to bring us to this place.

The pictures to follow are of our sonogram at 9 weeks, sonogram at 18 weeks that we had today, and my first pregnant picture at 17 weeks:

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What it is, shizza?

On Monday the 20th, Michael and I go to our sonogram to find out if we're having a boy or a girl!! (we'll keep you posted)

I'm SO ready to know for sure so we can start on the baby room and make plans :)

For pretty much the whole pregnancy, Michael and I have both been just positive it's a I'm just not sure either way. I have a hunch, but haven't been quite as sure about it over the past week, so I can't wait to see!

What's your guess?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We love tun-tins

...AND BUY ANOTHER PUMPKIN...(since Bennett has rolled, kicked, hugged, kissed, and snotted on the one on our front porch already, in spite of the "Pumpkin Rules" we discuss each time he asks to visit the "Tun-tin" outside)

Who's with me? And where do we go? And how does it work? Let's play date it :)

2. Have completed #1 and #2 on second trimester To-do list. Have also given myself a much deserved pat on the back. Am skipping to #8 in the near future (as in, hopefully this weekend, if husband and dad cooperate :) ).

3. For those of you who feel as scrambled and overwhelmed with decorating and being festive every year from September-January like I usually feel, I've come up with a solution for simplifying :)
I was brainstorming this summer about different ways we do things around our house and what things I could change, schedule, make more efficient, etc., (yes, I'm a dork) and one thing that kept popping up in my head was how much I LOVE this time of year (Fall thru the New Year) and I LOVE the decor and festivity of it all, but how I never end up really decorating our home to make it feel that way each year, because I give up when I begin to feel overwhelmed dragging multiple unlabeled boxes down from the attic, knowing I'll have to decorate 3-4 times over the next 3-4 months and clean and straighten in between each month, and then lug all the boxes back up to the attic when it's all finished. Yuck. It's enough to throw a big fat bucket of water over all that excitement.
So here's my solution: Instead of hodge-podge whatever decorations that fit in with that time of year (i.e. cornecopias and turkeys running out my ears in Nov., then quickly being stashed away to be replaced by Santas and Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving), I am now doing....(drum roll please)....SEASONAL THEMES!!
I thought about my favorite decorations for fall that also apply to Halloween AND Thanksgiving, and decided on pumpkins and scarecrows. So that is ALL I am using, which means I don't feel scrambled at the store trying to decide what to buy, AND I don't have boxes and boxes for each month. Instead, I put up my "pumpkin patch" and my scarecrow display in September, and they're staying up until after Thanksgiving!! That's 2-3 months of decor that stays up :) Then for December and January, I'm decorating for both Christmas AND winter at the same time by using snowmen and penguins (and that's ALL!) That way it can go up the first of Dec. and stay up through January :) Of course, I also have a door hanging for each of these two seasons, and in December we'll have a Christmas tree that adds a bit more work, but I can't figure out why I didn't think of all this sooner! Frankly, seems like a touch of genius to me :)
So now I feel festive AND rested - I've de-cluttered and I've decided to buy one new decoration for each season each year so I don't blow my budget either (oh, and I buy a little penguin of some sort for Bennett's stocking each year, as well as a new ornament...this next little booger will probably get a snowman every year :) ).
Is all this clear as mud? Just wanted to offer it up to anyone else who's ever felt overwhelmed by their happy homemaking creativity this time of year :) My seasonal motto: SIMPLIFY!

4. A Bennett Pic-stravaganza, for your viewing pleasure...

first day of school (he goes once a week :) )

dirty, snotty, naked baby on top of my clean laundry. niiiice.

hugging the "tun-tin" on our porch (we do this everyday)

five generations...blurry, but the best picture we got
(Great Great Grandmother Imogene's 98th birthday)

5. Kudos to Karson, who picked a ROCKIN' Girls Night Out. It must be said that Pepe's Pottery is a stinkin' cool place to go, and I'm anticipating the return of my glazed and fired pumpkins! :) Sure do love hanging out with you girls!

6. I came home from Girls Night to find Michael towel drying our kitchen and living room floors that he'd just finished sweeping and mopping, and 7 or 8 HUGE bags of cereal on our kitchen table that he and Bennett found and bought while I was out, after I griped this weekend about our Neighborhood Market no longer carrying the healthier off-brand cereals. It must be said, that's nice to come home to. (plus, I'm pretty sure I won't have to budget cereal in on my grocery list for about 3 months!)

7. DON'T FORGET ABOUT #1. I still call for a Pumpkin Patch field trip, friends!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

That's bold

Stolen from Cheryl...stuff I've done is bold and italicized.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
Went hang gliding
11. Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon (I tried to do this when I was 6 months pregnant, but they wouldn't let me)
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb

33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn't care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip

48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Scotland

52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow (tried)
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Climbed the Great Wall of China (while pregnant with Bennett, thanks very much :) )
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites

70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (thought about it but that's expensive!)
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River (I've rafted the Nile River!)
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (raising)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city just for a change
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds (lost all 40 after Bennett and planning to do it again :) )
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
Gone back to school
132. Touched a cockroach (because it crawled on me)

133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back in the saddle

The first trimester wore me out this time around. With Bennett I felt like I'd been run over by a truck for a couple of weeks, then I was bad sick for 3 days, then it was done, so by week 9 or so, I was good to go. This time around, I was naseous (sp? I can never figure out how to spell this word, or all of its forms) from week 4 to about week 8, and was truck-runneth-me-over exhausted for 3 months. This has been tough for a few reasons: a) Bennett does NOT slow down. Ever. Except when he is asleep, which only happens at night, and for two hours during the day (if I'm as lucky as I plan to be each day :) ). b) Michael started school back in August and has also worn more hats and been busier this time around than ever before, so he's been tired too, which if you know my husband, is highly unusual and very unlike him (which explains Bennett's one speed of turbo). c) I really do NOT like having a messy, dirty house, and it's been that way for at least a couple of months and has been extra annoying since I also didn't have the energy to escape it much of the time.

BUT, my friends, the good news is, I am a couple of weeks into the glories of the second trimester, and about a week ago, my energy returned. I feel like me again. It's so hard when you don't feel like yourself at all and you can't really do anything about it, and even harder when you don't have any idea when/if things will return to normal...can I get an AMEN! from all the previously or currently pregnant women out there??

So anyway, my floors are cleaned, the toilets are scrubbed (praise God!), the dishes are being washed and put away at a regular rate, and the laundry is hanging up in our closets rather than gathering dust while still folded in their baskets in big piles all over the house. And besides that (insert pat on the back), we have a little pumpkin patch and a gathering of scarecrows hanging out in our home, and an adorable "Happy Fall" wreath hanging on our door :) I'm feeling festive and productive and ready to tackle just about anything.

I don't expect anybody to really care one whit about this post, but I'm rejoicing in the new phase I find myself in, and celebrating the desire and action of getting my tush off the couch and into gear again :) Here's a list (for myself, although you're free to read on if you're convinced you care) of things left to do that I'd really like to jump into and accomplish before this new energy fades in a few more months:

1) Clean out the guest closet and bag up stuff for Goodwill.

2) Actually take said bags TO Goodwill, rather than keeping them in said closet.

3) Have a White Paint Day if this baby is a girl, and a Blue/Red Paint Day if this baby is a boy (which we'll find out in about 3 weeks - YAY!!), at which friends and family will hopefully help with a dresser, a shelf, and picture frames.

4) Finally finish contact papering the shelves in our kitchen and bathrooms (the old stuff is nasty and has those "adorable" little roosters and chickens on it that were oh so popular in the 80s/early 90s). I've finished our pantry and the new paper is FANTASTIC. It makes me happy to open our cupboards :)

5) Install new smoke detectors (actually, Michael will probably do this :) )

6) Try to sell this stinkin' jogging stroller at a resale shop since it didn't sell at JBF *sigh*

7) Finish Bennett's first year scrapbook (which I was supposed to do a LONG time ago...obviously, since he's about to turn two). This involves first ordering old pictures that I still need prints of, THEN organizing and scrapbooking them. Yikes.

8) Switching Benito to his toddler bed and moving the crib into the baby's room.

There's more, for sure, but I think I'll stop there...I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed :)

And for a couple of side notes, here is a final list of some of my new FAVORITE cleaners I've recently discovered that TOTALLY rock and work miracles (seriously):
1) Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (gets un-gunkable gunk off of stuff with mild scrubbing)
2) Spray-n-Wash for laundry (gets out old stains, even grease or grass. Phenomenal.)
3) Greenworks spray cleaner (smells great, cleans great, and is good for the environment)

And here's a list of upcoming pictures:
1) 15 weeks pregnant (I'm going to try to do one of these every 5 weeks here on out)
2) Bennett updates
3) Great Great Grandmother Imogene's 98th birthday (if we're able to make the drive to Longview this week)

That's all friends...have a great week!