Thursday, April 30, 2009

Medical Mishaps

Dean's first visit to the ER
As I was trying to get dinner together last night, Dean was climbing up on our kitchen stool, slipped and hit his chin on the corner of the stool. We first noticed the cut on his tongue since it was bleeding pretty badly. We let it bleed a little while and then had him drink a glass of water so we could see how bad the cut was. That actually made the bleeding stop and we figured that the cut wasn't bad enough to go to the hospital. As we were going to give him tylenol, Matt noticed Dean had a decent cut under his chin.

So, off we went to the ER. Our visit was as good as you could possibly get at the ER. We got right in and within a half hour we'd seen the physician's assistant. He decided the cut was about as clean as you could get and that glue would be better than stitches. That took about 5 min. while I held his hands and legs and a little fan. Matt held his head and the doctor held the cut closed. We were out within an hour or so. He really did quite well (only cried when the doctors were doing stuff to him and stopped when they had left) and seems to be fine. It's not visible straight on right now, but hopefully it doesn't scar too badly. We took these pictures after we got home from the hospital.

Attack of the killer fire ants
I have mentioned before that fire ants are my number 1 hated thing about TX. I seem to get bit more often than Matt, but I don't think I'll complain nearly as loudly the next time it happens after what happened to him two days ago! He got bit by 2 fire ants. At first it just looked a little more swollen than normal. When he got home from work yesterday the whole top half of his foot was swollen and he was limping. When we were at the hospital for Dean, we slipped a question about Matt's foot. He said it looked like an allergic reaction and to take benadryl and zantac. So, he did.

This morning his foot looked even worse. The swelling had spread further up his foot. So he went to our family practice doctor this afternoon. She thought it looked infected and prescribed him some antibiotics. She traced the swelling with a sharpie and told him to come back tomorrow if it was worse or back on Monday if it hadn't gone down. Hopefully the meds help. It's all discolored now and he has a blister where the ants bit him.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Best and Worst baby products

My SIL is due the same week I am and was asking our opinions on best and most useless/worst baby products we've purchased in the last 5 years. I am interested to hear all of your responses. She wanted top 5 of each, but give me whatever you want to give me. Oh, and for my NY friends, she lives in NYC, so you may have some ideas of what does or doesn't work in the city that I'd never think of.

A few of my best/ most used:
white noise machine
diaper geenie 2
bumbo seat
bjorn carrier
jogging stroller

My worst/least used:
Regular travel system
high chair that can't fold up
Small store bought flannel receiving blankets
Medela Harmony Breast pump

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who is this little man?

Well, tonight after dinner we pulled out the clippers and jelly beans and proceeded to give Dean his first real hair cut. It's actually his third, but boy we've never cut anything like this! Previously we just trimmed off mullets and made sure the hair was out of his eyes. He was trembling with fear of the clippers, and he cried the majority of the cut. He did much better, though, when Matt was cutting and I was reassuring; however, he did not like getting hair in his mouth regardless of who was doing what!

Matt and I both like it longer a little better, but this will be nicer for the summer at least. It was kind of getting hard to manage. We'll probably just let it grow until it he is the little surfer once again. He looks so different, but he's still as cute as can be!



Friday, April 24, 2009

Dean at 18 months

We somehow missed Dean's 15 mo. appointment, so we just had his first apt. in 6 months! Unfortunately he was 6 days too early for his 18 mo. shots (we went to his 1 yr. apt. a week late), so we just got his 15 mo. shots yesterday and will get his 18 mo. shot at his 2 year appointment.

She said he is picture perfect developmentally. She was really impressed with his verbal and comprehension skills, especially since boys are often a little delayed in those areas. She was also quite happy with his 4 lb weight gain.

12 month stats:
Weight: 19 lbs 8 oz (6%)
Length: 30.25 in. (60%)
Head circ.: 18 in. (27%)

18 month stats:
Weight: 23 lbs 4 oz (15%)
Length: 32.5 in. (55%)
Head circ.: 18 3/4 in. (44%)

What he's really like right now:
He is such a good natured and well behaved kid overall. He's quite compassionate and considerate for an 18 month old! Last week at nursery a little girl was crying because another boy was trying to hug her (but ended up just smothering and smashing her). When Dean saw her crying he went and offered her the crayon he was using! Also, we checked out this book at the library called Baby Happy, Baby Sad by Leslie Patricelli (I really love her books!). He tells the baby "ah-ee" (sorry) every time I say "baby's sad"! He'll also often apologizes for the vase the cats break in his Cat book.

He has his meltdown moments, but honestly, they've turned more to moments rather than days. I think part of that is due to my recent concerted efforts to keep myself from getting too frustrated with him (i.e. less voice raising, angry tones, etc.) when he's whining. I think the calmer I can keep myself, the quicker his craziness is diffused.

He sure is loving his daddy and will often talk about him (he'll say daddy and wave, or point out what items are dad's) throughout the day. I would say that "daddy" is his most used word right now. At night we've had the routine of brushing teeth, reading a scripture verse as a family, saying family prayers, and then saying night to dad. After that I take him to his room and read him books for about 15 min. and put him in bed. He is no longer content with this arrangement and is devastated (he has the SADDEST little face and cry, very genuinely distraught) if Matt doesn't come in one last time to say good night.

I have really noticed a jump in his comprehension. I'll ask him to get me things that aren't in the immediate area, and he often can figure out what I'm talking about. For example, we were in the living room and I asked him to go get the calculator that was on the floor in his room. He immediately went to his room and produced for me the calculator! This morning when I went to get him out of bed he was asking me for "goo". I wasn't sure what he was asking for, so he grabs his little orange book and opens to the orange juice page and points saying, "Goo! Goo!" I was proud of him for thinking of a way to make me understand!

He is in love with keys and the idea of locking and unlocking things. My keys and our door handles/locks are just a little too tall and a little too advanced for him, so after his appointment we went to Kid to Kid and they had an awesome lock/key toy for only $9! The Parents Animal Hospital. He loves locking and unlocking all the little cages (with a little help from me) and rescuing his little animals. I think it's really going to help him learn colors (we're just now starting to really work on them) since each cage has a specific key the same color as the door. He's played with it more than any other toy he has. Sometimes for 1/2 hour to an hour at a time! That's really unheard of for him with any toy.

My favorite new words of his are tortilla and burrito. He'll occasionally say tor-tee-a really well, but it usually comes out as "torta". Burrito usually comes out as "boota" or "bootoe". It is just so cute! My favorite part of this video is at the very end when he is done trying to say tortilla and he refuses and mouths the word "no". hahaha. He's so cute.

He's pretty terrified of bugs, especially flying bugs.

He loves drinking out of the spigot when I have the garden water on.

He can climb up and open almost anything! I've had to totally clear off one of our counters since he climbs up onto the back of the couch and throws it all off. Just tonight as I was making dinner, he climbed onto our 6 gal. flour bucket in our pantry, opened the sugar container, and was eating it by the handfuls! He always climbs on top of the table, and Matt gets very worried about that. I usually let him just play up there if I'm in the room (mainly to keep him out from under my feet!), but Matt REALLY doesn't want me to. He's very concerned Dean will fall off and die from a concussion. I've been trying to honor his wishes, but boy is it hard when Dean can so quickly climb up right after I take him down.

He's a sly one and loves to play games like "take mommy's shoes and run" as I'm trying to put them on. My favorite part of that game is when he says "Hey!" as he runs (imitating me). He still will say "nonononono" with a sly smile when he's doing things he knows he shouldn't.

I don't have to worry about him getting dehydrated! He loves drinking. He drinks about 2-5 cups of milk a day (when he wakes up, goes down for his nap, and down for bed), plus water, juice, and/or V-8 (he honestly loves V-8 and always asks for more when he finishes his little 4 oz. can) in between meals!

He's getting pretty good with forks (he really likes to spear his food) and is okay with a spoon.

He loves playing on my computer, moving around the mouse, typing, and pushing all the buttons on my monitor.

His hair is CRAZY long and I think we might just take the clippers to it tomorrow or the next day. It'll be his third hair cut, but I'm kind of sad at the prospect of going clipper short. Then I think, "Meh, it's just hair! It'll grow back."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Uncomfortable insta-friends

I usually like making small talk with other moms at the park. A mom with 3 kids (ages 3, 2, and 1) got there before us and we started chatting about kids and mom stuff. A couple minutes later another woman and child showed up.

At first I wasn't quite sure if she was his mother or a young grandmother, but she referred to herself as "mommy", so that clarified it. She came over and opened with the fact that it was her son's 2nd birthday today. Normal enough.

Then her next line was "Don't you hate it when the man thinks it's your responsibility to do all the cooking and cleaning and child care? And that he expects you to do all the potty training by yourself?"


Neither the other woman nor I responded for an awkward moment and she went on, "And don't you hate it when the man says 'you wanted the kid, so you gotta take care of him'?" At this point I felt obligated to make some sort of response. "That would be pretty frustrating."

I then tried to carry on my original conversation with the mother of 3 with the the new woman interjecting her comments. Not a big deal. I don't mind if she joins the conversation.

As we hit another lull she then busted out with, "I see teenage kids here at the park smoking sometimes. You know, around 12 or 13 years old. Once my boy picked one of their cigarette butts and I told him it was yucky." I still wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to respond, so I just said, "Yeah, I used to come in the afternoons, but there were always a lot of teenagers from the Jr. High, so we just come in the morning now."

Not long after, the woman looks at Dean and asks what size of clothes he wears. I tell her mostly 18 mo. clothes. She said, "I have some 18 mo. and 2T clothes my son has grown out of. Would you like them?"

Awkward moment number 2. It was very nice of her to offer, but it was quite uncomfortable that she was asking me this for two reasons. I'd only known her for about 5 min. and she and her child were somewhat shabbily dressed. I just responded, "I think we're all set, but thanks!"

The kids went about playing a while longer and there were a few more bits of odd conversations with the lady. Dean kind of played catch with the birthday boy (though he doesn't really get the concept...he just picks up the ball and turns away from everyone and throws it or drops it behind his head). After their game of "catch" the mom says, "If you're not busy on Saturday, we'd love to have you come over for his birthday party."

Awkward moment number 3. Once again, a nice offer, but I didn't even know her name nor did she know mine! I felt bad saying I already had plans, but I really was not prepared to commit myself and Dean to go to a birthday party for a child I didn't know at a home I didn't know with parents I didn't know (who obviously have some marital issues). So I said, "Oh, sorry, we've got stuff going on." I felt so guilty saying this because it's not entirely true. Matt has to fix our fence, but I have no set plans. I just felt very uncomfortable and didn't want to go!

So, now I kind of feel bad, but I am unsure of how I should have responded in this situation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to win my business

  1. Have a kind, easy going, no pressure disposition right off the bat.
  2. Tell me how cute my child is when I walk into the store and actually greet him as well.
  3. Ask his name and gush over the fact that it's a good, solid, traditional name that he won't have to share with 5 other kids in every class.
  4. Tell me to go ahead and set my 18 mo. old down in your shop full of breakable stoneware since you "haven't broken anything all week" and you'll just "write it out in damage if anything happens."
  5. Constantly reassure me that it really is ok for him to touch things and lift the lids off of the little pots and move things around and make little messes.
  6. Give my child a sucker and little spatulas and silicone bowls to play with as I browse.
  7. Compliment my child on how smart and good he is.
  8. Have the items that I've been wanting but couldn't find elsewhere (long wooden rolling pin with no handles, a butter dish with a handle, etc.). Also, tell me where I can find items you don't carry.
  9. Show me other cool items without making me feel pressured to buy them.
  10. Reassure me once again that it is ok for my child to play with your breakables.
  11. Give me a 20% off coupon I didn't know about that can go toward my most expensive item.
  12. Tell me if I don't like one of my sale items to just bring it back after I've tried it out once, even though sales are generally final.
  13. Remember my child's and my name long after we told you them.
  14. Tell me to come hang out and bring my child back any time I want.
We went to a baking/stoneware shop called Le Crueset in the outlet mall near us and the lady was awesome. I was a little nervous taking Dean to a shop with lots of breakables and no shopping cart, so I didn't set him down until my arm felt like it was going to fall off (and after numerous reassurances from her that it was perfectly all right). I meant to only buy a rolling pin and butter dish if I could find them, but she was so nice. I didn't feel like I had to keep Dean on a tight leash, so I allowed myself to browse her other items. I found a couple other things I could probably find elsewhere a little cheaper, but I went ahead and bought them because she was so accommodating and nice. Plus I could tell they were all really good quality items. Not all shopping experiences are positive with a very curious, very busy little boy to look after. It was nice and refreshing to have a good experience. And Dean didn't even break one thing (and he played with a lot of little stoneware dishes!). She will have my future business.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston Marathon

My brother Eric ran in the Boston marathon today and ended with a time of 3:03:34!!!! His pace was 7 min./mile.

Now, that would be impressive to me on its own. However, he was nearly killed by a drunk driver (seriously, the cops at the scene didn't think he'd make it) just 2 years ago (Saturday April 14, 2007) while jogging. He's had to rehabilitate (I think this is the list) from two leg fractures, multiple surgeries to get everything back in place, and I believe a shoulder break as well!

Even in my cross-country days in high school my best repeated mile time (for only 3 miles!) was 7 min. 23 sec. I'm pretty sure I was hyperventilating at the end of that race too! So 26 miles averaging 7 min. per mile is insane to me. And after all he's been through! He's such a rock!

Congrats to Eric (even though I know he'll never read this! haha)!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I've hit that point

I've hit that point in my pregnancy where I'm starting to really feel pregnant. The belly's kinda in the way when I try to bend, reach, cook, etc. My back aches more frequently. It's a little harder to carry Dean around. It takes more effort to roll over in bed at night.

However, I think the hardest thing right now is a half-dollar sized spot on the right side of my belly that is in constant ache mode. It hurts a lot more than I remember with Dean. I know I had that same ache in the same spot with him, but I don't think it was this strong.

Teaching by the Spirit

You know, I'm often surprised at the direction my Relief Society lessons end up going. There are often passages out of the book I hadn't planned on using that come out or overwhelming emotions that catch me by surprise. Some of the emotion may be pregnancy, but more often than not I think it's the spirit testifying to me (and through me?) as I open my mouth. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really love teaching in R.S. Best calling in my opinion. I just wish I had more time to cover the lesson!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Maple Shortage

I just found out today that there is a maple shortage this year. The cost is about $70/gallon some places. That's about twice the price as last year.

Costco isn't currently carrying real maple syrup because of it. I ended up buying Mrs. Butterworth today for Matt and a sugar free syrup for Dean and me since I couldn't stand the thought of high fructose corn syrup as the #1 ingredient. I don't mind it in small amounts, but Dean and I have been eating waffles or french toast a couple times a week. We'll see how the sugar free syrup tastes. I'm super sad about this. I've become really fond of the good stuff.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reviewing our first week of cloth diapering

A week ago I started my 20 day cloth diaper trial. There aren't enough diapers to do it exclusively (unless I do laundry like 2-3 times a day!), so I've been doing it part time just to get a little experience.

I got 7 diapers in the trial all pictured here:
  • 1 Thirsties fab fitted with 1 Thirsties cover
  • 2 Chinese Prefolds with a snappi
  • 1 Fuzzi Bunz with 1 microfiber insert
  • 1 BumGenius 3.0 All-in-one with 2 microfiber inserts (one newborn size, one one-size)
  • 1 Thirsties Pocket All-in-one
  • 1 BumGenius All-in-one Organic
My experience has been interesting thus far. (Before I even started Dean got into the soap samples in the package and started eating it! It was kind of traumatic for him when Matt stripped him down and washed his mouth out in the bathtub faucet.)

Before I could use them
All of the diapers came brand new, so I had to wash them before using. All of them except the organic diaper could be pre-washed together and only needed one wash and dry. The organic diaper had to be washed and dried 4 times(!) by itself before using. That was a pain to begin with, but it was even more of a pain when the diaper took FOREVER to dry. 2 or 3 drier cycles. It took me like 3 days to get all the washes in before I could use it. And honestly, all of the other diapers take a long time to dry as well. This summer I will probalby line dry any cloth diapers I use. I think it will be faster than the drier!

Dean's reaction
I fully anticipated that Dean would like the cloth better. Some of these diapers have very soft and fuzzy inside fabrics. They just seemed so much more skin friendly than disposables. He has been very resistant to the change, however. In the beginning he cried and tried pulling most of them off. He doesn't cry anymore, but I have to put clothes on him IMMEDIATELY after putting on his diaper or he quickly whips it off. That is the downside of the velcro. It's much easier to take off than the disposable tabs. He's never really tried to take his disposables off.

Some just work better for us
I thought I would like the all-in-ones (AIO) the best since you don't need a cover, but I don't. They seem the most uncomfortable on Dean and they leave him chaffed on his tummy (Bumgenius) or legs (Thirsties AIO). He especially hated the Thirsties AIO (as well as the Thirsties cover) in the beginning and cried and pulled at it until I took him out of it. I've tried it a couple more times with a little less resistance, but he still is unhappy with it.

I think my favorite so far is the Thirsties fab fitted since it has soft fuzzy material on the inside and out, is very absorbant (though it technically needs a cover), and it seems to fit him the best (no chafing). I actually haven't put the cover on it when we're at home and only once did he pee through it in an hour or so. (He had had a lot to drink.)

My least favorite are the Chinese pre-folds. He peed through it in less than 15 minutes! And it's just plain not fitted and I don't like that. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I tried following instructions I found online. I think those might require a good mentor to teach how to properly do it and/or a kid who pees less. And most definitely a cover!!!

What about the pee and poo? The clean up?
The only time he hasn't leaked pee during a nap (even with the AIOs) was today when I put in 2 inserts. There's no way in heck I'll put him in cloth over night! One thing I don't like about cloth is that he has the "shrivelled raisen" look when I change him, even when I change him frequently. It's just so much more moist inside than in the disposables.

And the poo. Ok. So, he's had a few that were super easy to just shake off, but some were not as easy and required the toilet dunking. It's a little gross, but not totally horrible, and like I said, if I were to do this regularly I'd get the little sprayer that attaches to the toilet anyway. I also think I'd do diaper wash either every night or every other night so there's little to no stink build up in the diaper pail (and so I'd need to buy less diapers).

Making the switch?
As of right now am I going to switch? Completely? No. I really think that I'll end up doing cloth part time to help cut down cost of disposables and waste, but it's just not practical for me (right now) to do it full time. Could I do it full time if I really needed to? Absolutely. If I could tell he loved cloth more than disposables, I'd probably be more willing to switch completely, but as I said, he has been resistant to the change. Will I be making more diapers? Possibly. If I do, I'll try and get good quality fleece fabric for the diaper and possibly hemp for the liners (I still need to try them out, but I've heard it's the best). I just think there's no other choice with a child who drinks as much milk and water as mine (and therefore urinates a lot).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Messiah and my Easter Miracle

I had a wonderful Easter today! I accompanied Dean to the first hour of nursery and left him the second hour so I could go to R.S., and Matt said he did pretty well. Progress! While I was there I tried to encourage him to go play with toys on his own rather than sit on my lap or have me play with him. He often came over to say hi to me, but I think that it helped.

Last year for Easter dinner I went all out and did a full fledged Mediterranean dinner. I really loved how that turned out, but I knew that it would not be practical this year since I was performing in the Messiah choir tonight. So, I split up my Passover (I know what I made is not a traditional Seder meal) and Easter meal wishes into three nights. Friday night we had Matzoh Ball Soup before heading to the Temple (thanks again Erin!). Saturday night we had Indonesian Chicken Satays, Israeli Couscous with grilled veggies, and a cucumber salad. And tonight we had a glazed ham, party potatoes, deviled eggs, and green beans. It all turned out successfully, even though I can always say, "It needed a little more..." (I will ALWAYS think now of President Uchtdorf's amazing talk from the last General R.S. conference when I start a sentence like that!)

As we were warming up our director told us a little about his music background. He grew up a Baptist and felt he had been issued a calling from the Lord to become a minister of music. He ended up ministering for the Methodist church for something like 10-15 years and then switched to the Presbyterian church for about the same amount of time. He was approached by a woman in our stake (my Bishop's wife) 10 years ago to conduct Handel's Messiah and has done so every year since except 1. That one year his pastor over him "read him his rights" and pretty much said he should not conduct the choir for the Mormons and that it was displeasing to God and a disgrace to his calling. He felt compelled to not conduct that year (though he couldn't refrain from singing in the choir!), but he later decided there was no way the Lord could be displeased in such an open and loving act of praise for Jesus Christ. He found a new church to attend after that and has since resumed conducting the Easter Messiah choir!

Every year the choir members pitched in for a small gift for him as a token of gratitude. Because this year was his 10th anniversary of conducting, the woman in charge asked the Stake President if we could fly Jim and his wife to SLC to watch a performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, either the pioneer day celebration performance or a Christmas Performance. (He is a huge fan of MoTab even though he's not LDS.) What ever the choir members didn't cover the Stake was going to. She emailed all past and present participants with this suggestion and together we contributed over $1000 to help with the expense! They presented that gift to him tonight after the performance and he was estatic and very touched. When she sent out the suggestion in the email, I was so touched I actually became teary eyed!

I was so grateful to Matt who took care of Dean while I practiced the past 6 Saturday mornings. He also brought Dean to the performance tonight even though it started when he should have been put in bed! Dean did so well. He sat on Matt's lap and listened for probably 20 min. and happily ran around in the back the rest of the time. I could see him pointing up at me and waving. It was very cute.

The performance turned out so well! My absolute favorites to sing were the Hallelujiah Chorus (the audience stood and sang what they knew with us), and the Amen Chorus. I just couldn't keep from smiling and I felt such a strong sense of gratitude for my Savior and for the opportunity I had to sing praises to Him! And that was my Easter miracle! I have had HORRIBLE allergies the past week. My nose has been stuffed constantly and today I felt hoarse most of the day. I was quite worried about my ability to actually sing tonight, but for that one hour I didn't even notice my allergies, my nose was not stuffed, and I was able to sing to the best of my ability!! I sang strong and well and felt very blessed for that. (When I was pregnant with Dean I couldn't sing the entire pregnancy! I don't know what caused it, but my voice continually cracked and broke. I was worried it would last forever. I was just thinking tonight how grateful that I am that recovered from that and that it has not been a problem for me this pregnancy!) The full orchestra really added so much to the performance. It was rich. I felt rich for having had the opportunity to do this. What a beautiful way to celebrate Christ the Lord on Easter!

He is Risen!

Arnold Friberg’s painting The Light of Christ.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A note to the Easter Bunny

Dear E. Bunny,

Well, this was the first year you stopped by our house, and I have mixed feelings about the results. First off, thanks for stopping by on Saturday so you weren't detracting our attention from Christ on His day.

Dean loved exploring all the candy and the toys you left. He was a little hesitant at first, but got into it once he figured out he could eat all the candy. It was the first time I allowed him to eat as much sugar as his little heart desired. His favorite by far were the jelly beans. I think he ate all but 5. He wasn't very fond of the malted eggs (though he did eat a few before he started spitting them out) and he wouldn't even touch the peeps. Really, all that are left are the larger candies that require help unwrapping.

Oh, and the Beethoven CD was a good choice while the Dance Baby Dance CD was not. I was a little disappointed that the latter was a techno-instumental version of kids' songs. That wouldn't have been so bad if the songs weren't repeated 5 times before moving onto the next song. Funny enough, Dean did not dance to the "dance" music, but rocked out to Beethoven.

Because Dean gorged on candy, he really didn't eat any dinner at all (and he hadn't had a whole lot of breakfast or lunch unfortunately). He was quite well behaved until bed, but for the first time in ages he cried for almost an hour after I put him down. By 45 min. I was feeling like a bad mother, sure that he had a horrible stomach ache and was starving, so I brought my little prisoner some bread and a little more milk. He took one bite of bread, but seemed to want comfort more than anything. I was still feeling pretty badly since he was probably wired from all the sugar in his system, so, I rocked him for a little bit and sang him a few songs. I had daddy bring in the CD player with the Beethoven CD and that seemed to help keep him calm after I left.

So, I guess thanks for the fun and we'll see you next year! Next time maybe I'll limit the initial candy intake though...


P.S. Please leave the candy and eggs outside next time. Drool and colored candy don't mix well (or rather, mix too well) with a cream colored carpet.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Belly Beautiful: 24 weeks and latest maternity skirt

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! It's so nice to hear from friends and family.

I finished my latest skirt tonight and I love it. I added a couple inches to this one (compared to the last one I made) and I like it much better. When I sit down it still covers my knees. I am soooo happy that the brown Down East shirt is one that fit me well! I needed a brown shirt so badly. (Thanks again Julie!) I only have one more skirt I plan on making. Matt suggested I make and sell these, but I think it would be kinda hard to make a skirt purely on people's numbers without them being able to try it on! (The skirt fabric is Moda: Tranquility Geo) This ran about $15-20 in fabric alone since I didn't get it on clearance and it's a good quality fabric.

I was going to post my 24 week pic. from last time, but it was in a flowy baby doll shirt and it's not really a good comparison.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

This year I really am 28

For some reason this past year I thought I was 28. If I really thought about it, I knew I was 27, but my automatic answer when people asked was always 28. Well, as it turns out, I just turned 28 today! When Matt brought out my cake he had the numbers 68 on there and said, "Happy birthday Grandma!" He always calls me grandma at my birthday since I'm 3 months older than him.

I had a doctor's appointment, a nice birthday song (in harmony) from my grandparents, and a nice and unusual 2 hour nap by Dean (so I got to lay down for a little while after I finished a couple things). I taught 3 piano lessons (Dean started melting down half way through so he ended up in with Matt for about 45 min.), and Matt picked up some cheesesteaks and fries for us for dinner. See, I've come a long way. I actually enjoy a good cheesesteak. A thick slab of steak, not so much. But a nicely shaved and cooked lean steak with some good chewy bread, melty cheese and onions is kind of nice once every other year...(I'd probably have picked Taco bell, for my "cheap" birthday meal but like I mentioned before, they tore it down.) My friend Erin is going to hang out here on Friday night so Matt and I can go to the Temple. Next Friday or Saturday I think we'll get a babysitter and actually go to a sit down restaurant and maybe a movie. Not that much of anything is out right now...

So at 23 1/2 weeks, I've gained 11 lbs. total (since my first visit at 10 wks. It's a little more if you go back to my still nursing and pre-pregnant weight.) which brings me to 142. My blood pressure was 104/60. Once again she said the baby is a super wiggly guy and it took her awhile to get a good heart reading since he wouldn't stay still. Dean was captivated by the doppler thing and I told him we were listening to the baby boy in my tummy. Later today he pointed to my belly and said, "boy" (his new word the last few days). It's getting harder and harder to take him with me to my appointments. He's just so busy and curious I have a hard time keeping him out of everything!


We were trying to get our taxes done last night and realized we didn't have a tax statement from the bank. I called and asked what interest our savings (and we actually do have money in savings) has earned. A whole $6.26. Wow. I sure am glad I put that into my savings account instead of just keeping it in my checking!

And yet, when we were looking over our house loan interest and realized that if we really took the whole 30 years to pay off our loan amount, we realized we'd pay $94,000 in interest!! That's nearly DOUBLE (ok, not quite double) our original loan amount. That's roughly $3000 in interest we're charged per year.

Man we get screwed.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Foods I can't ever make right

While I am a fairly decent cook and can follow most recipes, there are a few things I just stink at. I know the list is actually longer than this, but these were the dishes I could easily think of. I think many of my problems are a result of being a vegetarian for 10 years. I am quite new (ok, so I've been cooking with meat for 5 years now) to meats, especially red meats. Considering I wouldn't even touch ground beef with my hands when Matt and I got married, I think it's a good accomplishment that I will try to make these things! (Oh, and Matt always makes our hamburgers. I think I can season them decently, but he always cooks them.) I'm just glad that Matt doesn't require red meat every night (or even every week!). When I was in high school my mom once asked me what I'd do if my future husband wanted a steak. I said, "Well, he'd better make it himself!" It's honestly not that far from the truth. hehe.

Meatballs. If I were to eat meatballs, I honestly would rather buy the pre-mades at Costco since they taste better (and are easier) anyway. But don't get the pre-made meatballs from Target (archer farm brand). Those are much worse than my not so great meatballs.

Meatloaf. This was one of my most despised meals growing up. Not like I ate it since I was a vegetarian. But the thought of it made me sick. I have attempted to make it a number of times (with different recipes) since Matt likes it, but it always ends up resulting in a loaf of edible but not great tasting or great textured meat.

Steak. We really don't eat this often at all, but when we (and I use that term loosely since Matt usually ends up with a steak and I have a portabella mushroom or something) do make it, Matt has to do it so I don't over cook it.

Beef and Broccoli. This is partially because I can't slice the beef as thinly as I want it. I should try getting the butcher to slice some very thinly for me.

Soups in the crockpot. I blame this on bad recipes. The veggies and/or beans always end up overcooked and it's a soggy, disgusting mess. I especially dislike any soups that call for a ham bone. They end up totally greasy and unpalatable.

Coconut cream pie. I've only tried making this 3 times (with 3 different recipes), but none have turned out well. I am going to chalk this up to bad recipes for now. I got a recipe from a lady in our ward who (I hear) makes a killer coconut cream pie. If I fail on that attempt I will then blame it on my poor custard skills and beg her for a coconut cream pie baking class for enrichment! I hope it turns out well (I'm thinking of making it for Easter dessert), though, because it's one of Matt's favorites.

Since I don't want this to be a totally self-depreciating post, one thing I totally made well this past week was a perfect loaf of (3 hour) french bread. The pictures and tips on that post helped out a lot. It was super delicious. We used it for garlic bread one night and toasted club sandwiches the next. Yuuuuuuummmmy. The only thing I did differently than the recipe states is add 2 tsp. of sugar. I just can't fathom using yeast without sugar since that's what it feeds on. I baked both of my loaves at the same time on my 12 in. pizza stone for 20 min. and it was at the very hottest the bread *should* be at by the end. The crust was darker (though not burned) than the one pictured on the recipe, so I would probably do it only 17-18 min. next time for my oven.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Things I want to remember but know I won't

As I was talking to my parents on the phone tonight, I realized that Dean is at a really funny stage right now. I was cracking up telling them some of the things he does. I probably won't remember the funny things he does now a few months/years down the road (I really do have a horrible memory for day to day happenings...much of my childhood is a blank), so I figured I better write them down. Sometimes it's just so fun to be a mom.

The kick walk
Just yesterday Dean started doing this kick walk. Take a step with one foot then kick out straight with the other. Repeat. Totally makes me crack up.

Trying to get higher
Today during conference Dean was playing this "sit down-stand up" game. He'd sit down on his shape sorter and I'd say "down", then he'd stand up and I'd say "up." Well, after awhile he decided standing up was not quite "up" enough, so tried going up on his tiptoes and jumping with his body (though his feet didn't leave the ground except the few times he lost his balance). He was trying sooo hard to get himself higher.

Running in place
Occasionally Dean will bust out running in place. When I see him do this, I copy him. He LOVES when I copy him. He'll stop and start, stop and start (giggling all the while) just to see if I'll keep copying him.

Honking my nose
I often make a honking noise when Dean touches my nose. Sometimes he'll come up to me and push my nose to hear the honk. If I don't honk, he'll push it again and make a honking noise himself.

Ever spinning
Daddy's office chair and our glider spin in circles quite nicely with a certain little boy in the seat. He is practically insatiable when it comes to spinning. If Matt ever leaves his chair, Dean immediately jumps on his opportunity and climbs in for a spin. Matt was spinning him so fast and so much today he couldn't walk straight afterward. He continually asks for "more" and "'gin" (again). We usually end up stopping when we think it is no longer safe to continue! He also loves to just spin himself in circles when he's standing.

Come and get me!
He loves to play chase, but it is apparently only fun if I'm on my hands and knees crawling around after him. He will initiate the game by hunching over and making walking motions with his hands. If he sees me take position, he runs away squealing. He'll go and hide and then squeal, laugh, and run again when I find him.

The last time I was at Costco I broke down and got some fruit snacks. I normally don't get them, and I probably won't much in the future, but boy do we both like them! (We usually only share 1-2 of the really small packages a day.) We were in the car and he saw an empty wrapper and starter saying "'nack! 'nack!" and getting really excited.

Feed mommy
He is very good at sharing food and snacks. Sometimes he likes getting crackers from me, just so he can feed me! It's really funny when he breaks something into smaller pieces before he gives it to me.

He is obsessed with taking things apart. Screwing and unscrewing caps on cups (luckily he hasn't done this when it's full of milk! He did dump a spray bottle of water out on the carpet today). Taking out any sort of screw he can get loose on chairs. Unscrewing the knobs on dressers. He's quite adept at taking off caps on lotions, toothpastes, creams, and all sorts of things he shouldn't get into and is very unhappy when I take them away.

This past week or two he has been VERY excited to see dad when he gets home from work. When Matt walks in, Dean shrieks and runs for him yelling, "daddy! daddy! daddy!" It is fun to see him start to buddy up with dad.

The grand total of my notes

Well, my conference participation went as well as I could possibly expect. I heard more than I thought I would, but between entertaining, cooking, feeding, etc. I wasn't exactly in a position to take notes. I loved all that I did hear, though. Always good. The very first talk on Sat. morning (Elder Hales) probably touched me the most, maybe because it was one I actually got to watch (rather than listen from the other room) and take a few notes on. Some themes I picked up on and decided I needed to work on were going to the Temple more often and being better about missionary work.


Overcoming addiction and debt.

  • Learn to say “we can’t afford it” or “we can afford it, but we don’t need it, and we truly don’t even want it.” (I used to be super good about this, but I have to admit that I have become a little more spendy and a little more covetous of larger houses than ours. It's easy to just want more once you've had a little taste of luxury. Also, I think this is very applicable to any addiction. Take food for example. I used to NEVER buy or eat candy or junk food. I now buy some junk food for Matt and some candy for piano lessons and I, as a result, eat a little junk every day. Just this past week I put myself on candy block and snack chip block until Easter. In the evenings after dinner I actually have to stop and think "I don't need candy. I will have an apple instead." And it helps. It helps to have a goal and a time line and something good to replace the junk.)
  • Is the purpose of your gifts to show your love or to prove something to the world?
  • Establish family budget and have family council meetings. Set financial goals.
  • Is the benefit temporary or will it have eternal consequences?
  • Addiction is a craving of a natural man and can never be satiated.
  • Only through the atonement can we experience a change of heart and behavior. (All addictions are gluttonous--greedy and insatiable. Gluttony is a sin. We can overcome our sins/addictions only with the help of Jesus Christ and the power of his Atonement.)

Lady (???)

  • We need to respect each other and reverence God. They are connected.
  • Are we an example of this always? When we drive? When we discuss sports, politics, etc.? With our kids? With our spouse?
  • We must teach reverence.
  • Reverence and the teaching of reverence is rooted in love.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Down East Basics Modeled @ 22 1/2 wks pregnant

Ok. My sister J. lives close to both a Shade and Down East Basic (outlet) store and offered to go and buy shirts for me and ship them. Shade was having a sale on their undershirts for $10/shirt (or so it seemed), so I took her up on it. When she got there, there were certain stipulations in order to get the $10 price, so I passed on it. She then went to Down East Basics and bought shirts for me there. They didn't carry any maternity at that store (except tanks), so she got me regular mediums. Thanks J.! I appreciate it.

All were size regular medium. Three were the crew neck and two were the undershirts. I decided that they're not real careful on their product control (is that what it's even called?) because they all fit me a little differently. The brown shirt fit the best, and the green shirt was the tightest resulting in some minor love handles...Notice the necks of the 3 crews were all a little different. One sleeve on the black is slightly sticky-outy.

Overall, not a bad shirt for the price (especially since some were on sale), but don't expect every shirt to be exactly the same. Also, if I had to do it over, I'd probably get the regular large from them as opposed to the pictured mediums. I also have to say that I actually prefer the feel and fit of the Shade medium maternity to the Down East regular medium, but my camera battery died so I couldn't get you a picture of the Shade. Unfortunately the Shade shirts were nearly twice the price. The material and quality is better, imo, so I can see them being more expensive. Twice the quality to justify twice the price? Not really, but I'm still glad I have a few Shade.