Monday, October 31, 2011

Grandma's visit

We were so lucky to have my mother-in-law Kris come and visit us for a week and a half. We don't get visitors here very often since we're out of the way and far from our homes, so it was AWESOME.  The boys loved it. The first night Walter didn't want to go to bed because he was afraid grandma wasn't going to be there in the morning. Even this morning, 3 days after she went home, Walter was asking why grandma wasn't here and why she didn't live here. It's sad living so far from family. 

But her visit was FUN!  I already posted pics of our State Fair trip. The other "big outing" we did was go to the Dallas Arboretum. I'd seen it on Groupon and since I just signed up I had a code for $15 off my first groupon purchase. So I got Grandma and me in free with the groupon discount and the code and only had to pay for Dean and parking, so it was a sweet deal.

Dean was being a bit of a pill in the beginning and he was dead set on making silly faces only for pictures.

Quite possibly one of the worst pregnancy photos of me ever.

 I loved the houses made of pumpkins. 
They had so many varieties of pumpkins and gourds. It was pretty cool.

"It's just like ice skating mom!" (He's never been ice skating, but the rocks were slippery!)

 This area was actually roped off until 2pm (we were there around 1) for special tours, but the boys went in and I snapped a picture before making them come out.

Texas Town was a cute area that had log cabins the perfect size for toddlers. Here's Walter making himself some Horse Apple soup. 
I was so sad when we took her to the airport. It was a lot of fun having her around, and she was mighty helpful when it came to wrangling 2 crazy kids on weekday outings!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Baby 3 Belly @ 24 weeks

Well, it's been 6 weeks since I last posted a picture, but I guess that's ok since it then puts me on the right track for my other pregnancy pictures. Dean was being extra silly while taking pictures this time, and we didn't come away with super great pics. I look extra belly heavy, so much so that it appears I'm falling over! =) Dean couldn't quite get it straight. The shirt and pants are both "regular" clothes, and the pants are even too baggy and I can still button and zip them, so I must have gone through a chubbier phase for sure! Or I was just not wearing well fitted clothing. Or a little of both. After seeing these pictures I'm probably done wearing this shirt. Just looks a little too short.

Interested in how this compares with my first two pregnancies?  I am.

Here's 24 weeks with Dean
Here's 24 weeks with Walter.
I have to admit, I'm pretty surprised looking at these. I thought I was carrying very similar to how I carried with Walt, but I'm carrying so much lower and a bit bigger! Maybe that means it will be helpful for the vba2c (vaginal birth after 2 cesarean-sections) that I'm planning? Oh, and speaking of vba2c, I interviewed and hired a doula. I guess I need to do the paperwork still, but I'm excited to find someone. Kathy Voigtsberger
of Whole Heart Birth.

I have still been walking/jogging about 3 miles a day 3 or 4 days a week. Usually it's with the stroller at about a 13-18 min. pace depending on if I'm walking or "jogging".  But today I got to run by myself since my MIL is here and I averaged 9.5-10.5 min miles!! I was shocked as could be. I was able to do 3.25 miles in 32 min.  I didn't have any stomach cramping and I felt great the whole time. There was a really thick fog which is unusual, and it was just so refreshing. I almost felt like a real jogger as opposed to a 6 mo. pregnant lady trying to pretend to jog as I waddle down the street.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dean's 4th Birthday

Wow. It's been ages since I posted last. It has been out of control busy around here. I'm almost to a point where I can breath...

This past week I've had a girls' night out b-day party, 3 church interviews, picked up my MIL from the airport, made birthday treats for preschool, interviewed an hired a doula, picked up/trimmed/froze a lot of chicken from the Zaycon food truck, bough fabric for my couch cover, had a Halloween recital where I combined with 3 other teachers with small studios, went to the TX State Fair, participated in McKinney make a difference day (a service day in the community), shopped for Dean's b-day, made and decorated his cake, taught nursery and attempted to split the Jr./Sr., and got to watch Dean's primary program. That was in addition to the normal "fold laundry, do dishes, clean bathrooms, teach piano lessons, etc." Seriously. Busy. Week.

But I think I will start with yesterday which included the service day, and the state fair.  Our church congregation was asked to participate in the McKinney Make a Difference day. At first I was hesitant because I didn't know what sort of service I could do with a 2 and 4 year old, but some friends assured me we could do a valentine craft for a nursing home.  When we got there at 8:30am, I told the women at the front table that I hadn't signed up yet. As they were explaining the form to me, Dean picked up the table and dumped it over!!!!  I didn't see that one coming. The two volunteers had HUGE cokes sitting on the table that quickly came crashing down to the floor, spilling all over. My immediate thought was, "THIS is why they ask us not to have dark beverages in the church!"  I sat Dean in a little time out on the couch and ran to get cleaning supplies. I was so embarrassed! The women were very nice and understanding. I helped clean up as much as we could (you could still see the coke stains this morning...darn it) and then we headed in to the craft. It was easy enough for us to do and we stayed about 45 min. till Dean started melting down about not being able to do it the way HE thought he should do it. When Grandma asked why he would do something like that and pointed out that he spilled their drinks, he said, "They didn't need that soda anyway. It's not good for their body."

After we got home and Matt finished helping someone move, we packed up and went to the TX state fair. It was huge and expensive, but some friends gave us entrance tickets for free, so it ended up being fun and worth it even though they overcharge for everything. Walt was pretty devastated when he couldn't go on some of the rides Dean could because he wasn't tall enough.  It was a testament to me the we are not ready for big theme parks like 6 flags or Disneyland. The youngest will need to be about 4 or older for it to be worth it I think! We tried the award winning fried cookie dough and fried pizza. Neither were that great, but it was interesting to try. The only ride I was allowed on was the Ferris Wheel.

At the end of the day, just before we were going to leave, Matt noticed a rodeo round up for kids Dean's age.  He got to participate and ended up winning the "bull riding" in his little group!  He got a trophy and everything. He was very cute and it was by far the highlight of the day.

After we got home I had to do some birthday shopping for Dean AND make his cake even though my feet were hecka tired. It was worth it in the end though.

This morning at church we had the primary program where the kids do the entire service portion of sacrament. I swear my Dean can't sit still for even one moment!  He was sliding down the banisters like a fireman's pole. His arms were in motion almost the entire time he was up there, and he kept covering his teacher's face with her hair.  BUT, he did say his part memorized and well.  "Lord Jesus, our Redeemer true."

After church I came home and finished decorating Dean's cake. I made a chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It was really good. I tried to do a Luigi themed cake since he's been so into Paper Mario this last month or two and wants to be Luigi for Halloween. It was only my 3rd attempt at a decorated cake, so while it wasn't perfect, I thought it turned out pretty well.

We made pizza for dinner. I am happy to say our pizza making has improved leaps and bounds over the last 3 years. We put out almost a restaurant quality pizza tonight. We just need to find better quality toppings and we'll be all set.  Matt helped out tonight and he did a great job.

After dinner we opened presents, played with presents, had cake, and played with more presents. I think this is probably the best present buying I've done to date. I have not had a great track record trying to buy for him. This time he got a remote controlled car, a cars "pedal" bike and helmet, a stomp rocket, a ball and bat, stickers, a pillow pet from grandma, and some shirts.  He had lots of fun with everything. We all enjoyed the cake and they ate the mushroom cupcakes immediately after he blew out the candles!  He even got his face in and took a bite out of the cake as if he were a 1 year old...ah well. I am so glad my MIL was here. We had tons of fun.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What shapes tessellate?

Last week Dean, Walter and I were out on the playset swinging. As I was pushing them, Dean (3 y.o.--ok 4 at the end of the month) asks, "Mom, what shapes tessellate?"  I was pulling out of the back corners of my brain that tessellation was a repeating pattern, so I said, "I think all of them do buddy."  To which he replied, "No mom. Shapes that tessellate can't have any overlaps or gaps when you put them together."  HA! When I asked where he learned that he said, "Cyberchase." (a PBS show/games online).  At least he's learning things when he plays those games...there are some redeeming qualities to certain gaming.

So, I decided to print out some shape pattern pages from this site and let them color them. When Dean got out the shapes I made he says to himself, "Tessellation.  When you use a single shape in a repeated pattern without any overlaps or gaps." He is a little dictionary! I cut them out and Dean really enjoyed playing with them as long as they cooperated (didn't leave any gaps or overlaps--a little tricky with paper). I wish I had the little pattern blocks since it would have been easier to work with, but this was cheap and accessible.  While we were doing it he kept saying, "MOM! Hexagons really DO tessellate!!!!" After we finished and we were playing in his room, he asks, "Mom, do rhombuses tessellate?"  My answer? "Let's go see!" (ie., I'm not totally sure what a rhombus is, so lets go look at pics on the internet.  For any who may have forgotten like I had, a rhombus is just a diamond.)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

My amazing parents at the St. George Marathon

This weekend my parents and brother ran the St. George Marathon.  Yes. 26.2 miles.  While Eric is a veteran marathon runner, this was my parents' first. They are such an inspiration. It's amazing to think that when my mom first started running (~25? years ago) that it was a major accomplishment to make it 1 mile. After they ran their first half marathon, my mom didn't think they'd ever do something like that again. So instead they ran a full one! haha. They got the right gear, had a good training program, hit some bumps along the way, and kept on going all the way across the finish line. My mom finished in 5:05, and my dad, who had been nursing 2 sever injuries the last month and a half, finished  in 5:58.  His goal was to "stay ahead of the bus" and make it in under 6 hours, and with my awesome brother by his side every step of the way, he did it!  They are such fighters and are absolutely amazing. I hope to be in as good of shape as them (and look as good) when I'm 60+!  They knew my sister Julie was going to be there, but they didn't know her kids or my sister Amanda and her kids would be there as well. 
My sister Amanda said it like this, "Yesterday my sister and I surprised my parents at mile 25.8 of the St. George marathon with our kids. Then we all ran with my mom as the kids cheered, "Go Grandma! Go Grandma!" Then my dad cam in an hour later determined to finish even though he had been nursing along back and hamstring injuries for 6 weeks. They are both at the top of my "Heroes" list, along with my brother Eric, who ran every step of it with my dad to make sure that he made it. I love my amazing family!"
Here's my brother Eric's account of the race:

I have never cried in a race but could not help many times as mom pulled away and left us at ~ 8 miles.  She looked so young and vibrant and visiting with a very nice lady from Ghana.  Dad started having issues about that time with his hamstring but I have never seen anyone with more determination.  I had to keep reminding him to stand up straight and breath.  There were several times I was extremely worried but he would put his hand on my shoulder and kept going.  There were several times people asked if he wanted to get into the shuttle but he would have none of that.  At mile 13 I told him he would have grandkids waiting for him and he started to cry to the point of barely breathing.  I told him he could not cry again until we finished.  Luckily you could see the mile markers at about 3/4 of a mile and I would say what can you see and he would say a yellow balloon then remember they were silver (we grab one after the race).  He was amazing and when we had .2 miles to go he had three minutes to get under 6 hours (his goal) and we picked it up and finished to what we think is under 6 hours.  It was one of the most rewarding weekends of my life.  It meant so much to mom and dad to have Amanda and Julie bring their kids.  I cannot express just how proud I am of mom and dad.  They are amazing parents and it was humbling to hear dad talk so sweetly of mom and you could just feel the love flow from him.
We truly have amazing parents.