Monday, December 31, 2012

bringing up baby

We took a few pictures the morning of the gender ultrasound and I thought I'd share. I'm not huge on belly shots, but we thought we'd get one by our sweet little Christmas tree to commemorate the day. I still am in shock a little bit that this kicker is a boy! I mean, it's really not shocking news- it had to have been one of two outcomes. But still! A BOY. It didn't really hit me until I got home and looked around- everything we own is pink
We have a lot of work to do.
Now that Christmas is over, I am looking at my very last semester of college. I graduate this April, which will have to be a long distance affair since this baby boy is due to show up at the end of that month. I am so excited to be done with my degree, but it is definitely bittersweet- spending my last couple of semesters doing school online feels like I'm getting a fake degree. It's no fun to have put in so much work and feel kind of like a phony. Of course, the fact that I plan to do, oh, absolutely nothing with this degree might have something to do with that phony-feeling too. Not that I wish I was striking out into the work force- I love being a stay-at-home mom and we have made a lot of sacrifices to keep my job here with my kids. But still, it would be nice to DO something with all of this knowledge! All I feel capable of doing is citing some killer sources and reading copious amounts of literature in a short period of time like no one's business. Perhaps it will come in handy someday. Like in a Masters program. 
A girl can dream. 
The girls are so excited to have a little brother, and they pat/talk to/rub/sing to/poke my belly an awful lot. Which is really cute. And just a little silly. I just hope Carter doesn't want to keep doing it when all she's poking is too much Chinese food or a trip to the buffet in there. We are trying to prepare her for the baby's arrival, and so far so good! While we were in the ultrasound, there was a poster of nine months of pregnancy from the womb- a sort of portrait of how baby grows. Carter begged K to pick her up, pointed to each picture on the poster and said, "That's my baby brother and that's my baby brother and that's my baby brother and that's my baby brother..." And she got a baby doll for Christmas- a little pink girl baby, but still!- that she puts to bed every day and night. But I'm still pretty sure that when baby brother makes his debut she is going to be umm well, let's hope she's aiming kisses at him, and not knuckle sandwiches. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

if it's too much to ask, if it's too much to ask

Hello Friends! It has been too long since I have had a quiet moment with which to share my thoughts and experiences here. 
Now is not that moment. 
It's finals week and I have two extra children living with me for the week, a four-year-old and a three-year-old. That means that right now I am the mom of a five, four, three, and two-year-old. Did I mention finals? ...just checking.
For the past month I have been counting down with every bit of sanity I have left (and I lose bits by the minute lately!) to next week-- school is out for a few weeks and I am ready to unwind! It is going to be an all-Christmas, all-Family, all-fun time! We are delivering the gifts, watching the shows, reading the books, singing the carols- all of the things I have been looking forward to all year! And then on Friday we get to fly to Las Vegas where we are spending Christmas with my entire family (eee!!)! 
But there is something that I am looking forward to even more than all of that. This coming Tuesday, I get to take a good look at the little kicker I am incubating! This pregnancy has been wonderful so far, and I have been counting down for far too long to find out the sex of this baby! I feel so ready to become a family of five. I am seriously impatient.  In fact, between the move and all the wonderful insanity of getting a new life laid out in a new place, I feel like this is an elephant's gestation period (2 years!!!) and not a human's. Not to complain- I just am so eager to see this baby's little face and feet and arms and hands and uhh gender. Sorry, that sounds dirty or something, but seriously, it all looks like smudges and waves until the ultrasound technician points out all of those things to you, anyway. We will be so happy either way, but I know K has his fingers crossed for a boy! If you want to venture a guess, I put a poll up. It will close on Tuesday morning!
Oregon Zoo Lights, 2012
I hope this little update finds everyone out there well and enjoying the Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the big day

It's the day we've all been waiting for! It's picture retake day at Av's Elementary School!! Enjoy this opportunity, especially if your Kindergarten picture turned out like this...
I love this kid like nobody else, but you have to admit she looks more like an alien or a direct descendant of Jay Leno than the Av we all know and love. Here's hoping take two goes just a bit better!

...oh, yeah. I guess it's also Election Day. Whatever your political views, this is an important day for all of us.I thought these charts were especially fun to look through. Do they hold true for you?

Happy Voting America!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

too naughty not to share

...okay, many of you will think I am a terrible person for thinking that this is funny. 
But don't worry. I don't think it's funny.
I think it's cracking hilarious.
Sorry to offend...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

spring fever

So, I have been writing some posts on the other-other blog about my insulin resistance and PCOS diagnoses from last Spring, and how I have been trying to manage my weight/health/carb-intake since then. You know, my usual Comedy Hour at The Laugh Factory bit. Waiting and working at this has been a trial of patience and discipline for me, as I know it is for so very, very man women everywhere. I feel like it is such a blessing and a right for women to bare children, and it just feels plain unfair to me that so many struggle, especially those of my dear friends who are not able to have kids. And then you throw in how very common abortion is and that there are so many "unwanted" pregnancies among those who are unprepared to be mothers. Ugh. This message basically covers my feelings on families and children today, and my desire to protect and love as many children as the Lord will bless me to come into contact with.
Anyway, my weight loss struggles have basically come to a stand-still. Lest you catch a picture of me on Facebook and wonder why on earth I have completely let myself go, it is time to share some news with you all: 
I am pregnant!
WOW! Okay, I'm not that pregnant. Yet. This is me 9 mo. preg with Carter! Man, most pictures are worth 1,000 words, but this one only screams one: WADDLE.
 I am entering my second trimester this week, which means that I am due in late April. I discovered our happy happy news, oh, about the same day we decided to take the job and move to Portland! Needless to say it  has been an exciting and EXHAUSTING couple of months. Seriously, I have never felt more tired constantly than I have every day of the last month. My habit of napping every afternoon with Carter has helped me some, but it has also helped Avery to get into no end of trouble, too, including cutting a playmate's hair in my backyard with kitchen scissors while I was snoozing. Oh yeah, between that, the other-worldly smell that existed in the apartment we rented sight-unseen, and the flea problem that surfaced shortly after moving in (in the form of small, red, incredibly itchy bites all over K and my ankles and feet), moving in has been exciting to say the least! Thankfully we moved into a neighborhood with some of the nicest people I have ever met, including the little girl whose hair was butchered and her sweet and forgiving mom, we rented an ozone machine many times and finally killed the smell, and the fleas have yet to make a reappearance (well, since round two of fumigating, that is). 
Since I am due in April, the countdown to Spring is well under way in this house! My girls are so excited and Avery is praying for a baby brother. We make the world's most adorable girls, though, so I'm not picky. Avery loves to look at my tummy (SO not my favorite thing) and tell me names for a baby boy. Today she came up with Tom. Carter, however, has taken to getting very irritated whenever I tell her she's going to be a big sister. She then insists I call her baby and feed her from a dolly's bottle. I'm not too worried- I have six months to warm her up to the idea.
 I am still working very hard to eat well, count carbs and keep unnecessary weight off. I haven't gained a pound yet (Wahoo! ...Although it doesn't look it-- there is something about a third pregnancy that apparently makes your body say, "Oh, don't worry. I remember this," and then a big round baby pooch immediately attaches itself to your front.) and doc's orders say I should only gain 15 pounds total this pregnancy. Compared to my weight-gain during my other pregnancies, well... let' just say it should be a super fun time of patience and discipline! But I'm not worried. Bring it on, ice cream cravings! You've got nothing on me!

 I have been feeling so blessed despite all of the chaos that has surrounded our life of late, and I could not be more grateful for my husband, my children, our friends, family and neighbors, both old and new, for modern-day revelation and a benevolent God whose hand I see in my life whenever I open my eyes and look. I feel glad for the foundation I have that tells me that this life is not meant to be easy, but, rather, that we are all here to learn how to love and support each other and to lean on the Savior for comfort and forgiveness and help. I have so many blessings to count- including those of you who have been so encouraging and supportive to me and my family! Thank you! 
Gender polls and musings on whether this baby will look like me, K, or a weird-but-beautiful mix of the two of us (like our two existing tots) are forth-coming. Wahoo baby time!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

but the truth is, I miss you.

Alright friends and lovers! Here is the stone cold truth. 
The truth is that about two weeks ago K interviewed for his dream job in Portland, Oregon, our dream town. 
The truth is that they loved him there, and offered him a position with them.
And the truth is that we are moving to the greater Portland area. In two weeks. 
K's new office building. He will work on the 2nd floor.
Oh, and one more little truth- I am terrified.

The past few years I have often felt so ready to move on. I have felt ready to try a different climate, a new house, a new adventure - something to shake up life a little bit. 
What have I learned in the past three days? 
I was an idiot. 

I don't want to leave all of my friends here in Idaho Falls, our comfy home, our perfect backyard, our thriving garden, our white trash neighbors that cook meth in their basement. I just don't think I want to start over! It is so hard imagining not knowing every face at church on Sunday, not being familiar with every road in town. It is downright terrifying to wonder if I will fit in, if my children will adjust, if I will gain 1,000 pounds with a Trader Joe's down the street, if life will get better or if there are new and major trials headed our way in PDX. 
The only thing I am not worried about is K. Firstly, because he is awesome and he is going to knock this job's socks off. 
Secondly, because he got us into this mess. 
Downtown PDX.
Please don't get me wrong, there is a part of me that is very excited, too! It is going to be so fun to explore and go on this new adventure and adjust and get to start over in so many ways! I fell in love with Portland years ago and have spent many-a-daydream thinking of a future there. There is real shopping (no offense IF), a gorgeous Zoo, tons of culture, AMAZING food, it's an hour away from the ocean, and my older brother (aka World's Best Uncle) lives there. When I think about these things I think I might be able to hang in there.

But then I think of Avery transferring schools only two weeks after Kindergarten has begun, or trying to go to the grocery store and winding up lost on the long, tree-lined streets that wind through the suburbs, or, and this one is the worst of all, when I think of not being able to call a great friend who is two minutes away to play with or rescue me when I am feeling down, and the panicked feeling in my chest swells out and threatens to leave me in a ruined puddle on the floor. 

I have been doing a lot of mopping up lately. 

I was planning on graduating this December, but since I will now finish my degree online (ick) I will be graduating this April. I am grateful to still have the ability to graduate, but leaving campus one semester early is a little depressing. Man, I sound so mopey! Flula would say that I am Happy as a Clam.

As soon as we find a place to live I think things will feel a little less out of control, but until then we are selling/packing up all of our belongings, saying goodbye to the best friends we have ever had, and looking forward to an unknown future. It is intimidating and exciting and utterly devastating all at the same time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

wee(wee) beastie

My baby is potty training!! Which is a fancy way of saying that I am in the depths of hell for the next few days/weeks/MONTHS(?!?!?!) -- However long it takes for her to stop sneaking off into the corner of a room and peeing like a naughty puppy dog.
Wee Beastie in her dry (for now) panties!

 I am using a three-day potty training method that my cousin, Melissa, passed along to me when I was training Avery. Honestly, I think it's going pretty well! And, more than anything, I am so very very very very very very (get it?) glad to be done with diapers! This method is pretty intensive -We are both so sick of hearing me say, "Let Mommy know when you need to use the potty, OK?" that we could scream, but it really does seem to be working. 
If you are in need of some potty training help just leave a comment and I will gladly send you an email of the method I am using!
 Speaking of Carter, how cute is she!? She is getting so big and smart! She is 26 months old and can communicate really, really well. The best part is that whatever I don't understand, her big sister does. Avery speaks jibberish-ese very fluently, and she and Carter have a very sweet, sometimes volatile, but mostly giggly relationship that I love taking part in.
 They still look NOTHING alike, which bothers me to no end, but the fact that they play so well together makes up for it. I still can't believe Avery starts Kindergarten in one week!
Seriously, if she isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen then probably you live on a bunny/teddy bear/unicorn farm.
 The best part about being the mother of two of the world's cutest children is that I get to accept all compliments directed to said-world's-cutest-children as if they are actually directed at me. For example: 
Stranger Who Loves to Point Out the Obvious: "Oh my gosh!! Look at these two! How cute are they?!"
Me, looking down with unsurprised-yet-sincere flattered-ness: "Aww, thank you!"
It never gets old. 
But cleaning toddler pee out of my carpet does. 
Pray for us.
Carter on her first-ever horsey ride!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

OICW and so on

I'm laying it all on the line!
Learn about my struggle with PCOS and Insulin Resistance and Infertility and Other Inappropriately Capitalized Words at my other blog,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

it's coming

Finals are next week, and all I want to do is get away! I can't wait for my six week summer break. These are the pics from my last weekend trip to my favorite getaway spot- I can't wait to get my life back! ...for six weeks. Then I'm back for my last semester. Hopefully we'll talk soon, little blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

a science house

Turning five is MADNESS!
But things have gone off without a hitch! Avery's fifth birthday party was a huge success, and, honestly, I am so very glad it's over! 16 kids, 15 adults, tons of presents, treats, food, seats, drinks, toys... It was so fun, and so very, very exhausting. 
This year we did a Scientist Theme for Avery, my little Bill Nye lover. 

When Avery showed up to the park down the street from our home, where we had the party, the Bounce House had just been set up. She jumped out of the car, ran over to said Bounce House, squealed in delight...
Then completely stopped, turned around, and said, "HEY! Is this a Science House?" very skeptically. 
It was not. 
K had a printer blow up huge posters of Bill and Albert Einstein from pictures we found online (and I bought a poster of Dr. Sheldon Cooper from Walmart) so we could reinforce the corners with tape and safety-pin them through the mesh on the side of the house. Science Bounce House. Voila. 
I made tons of treats, snacks and goodies (pictured below), but for the main course we decided to order a huge tray of Chick Fil A chicken nuggets, which turned out to be the best decision ever! Not only were they affordable, they delivered them hot and ready right to the park! The kids (and adults) destroyed the entire tray in a matter of minutes. Bonus: They had just finished breakfast at the restaurant, so they brought us a bag FULL of chicken and biscuit breakfast sandwiches, which were a lifesaver Sunday morning as we got ready for church and sent my parents and Grandma on their way home. 
Thank you Chick Fil A!!
Table decorations were canning jars filled with various viscous liquids (Karo syrup, water and oil, etc.) with toy animals and bugs inside of them (think specimen jars). We tied balloons to each jar, covered the tables in bright butcher paper and called it good. 
The food was so fun to make for this party! My mom, grandma and I all pitched in to make a beaker-shaped cake with cotton candy smoke coming out of the top! I ordered petri dishes from and test tubes from and filled the former with jello and gummy worms (think bacterial growth) and the later with colorful candy. I made mini caprese skewers with balsamic glaze, chocolate-kissed raspberries, colorful cake balls, Oreo truffles, spinach ricotta bites, and ham and cheese pretzel bites. I wanted there to be lots of food for my hungry scientists!
I also ordered (gorgeous) cookies from the cutest cookie shop around and made a scientific potion for the kids to drink. All of the water bottles were labeled H2O.
The gift bag consisted of a test tube full of Skittles, a science lab sticker sheet, and a book of experiments for the kids to try at home!
As for the experiments at the party, we made Gak with the kids out of glue, water, food coloring and Borax (each kid took some home in a baggy), and toward the end of the festivities we shot off a few Diet Coke/Mentos fountains. The kids were memorized!!
Happy Birthday my darling girl!! We love you!