Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Catch Up

Obviously it goes without saying that I have not been in the blogging mood lately. Granted, I often think of topics I would like to discuss or events that I need to record and share, but it never goes beyond the thought stage and so my poor neglected blog goes for a week without any new posts.
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Unfortunately, that means that you missed out on Zach's first ever movie theater experience last weekend when we decided to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon viewing Disney's "Oceans" documentary on the big screen, complete with popcorn and slushies, and how he has been talking about it non-stop ever since. I also didn't get to share with you how quiet he remained throughout the entirety of the movie whereas Allie felt the need to discuss every single animal and proclaim her horror over the more unfortunate ones, such as the sea turtles and sea lions, that ended up on the dinner menu for some of the other larger and arguably less cute sea dwellers.
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You have also not been able to share in my elation over the fact that we have now gone an entire week without one single potty or poop accident! H-A-L-L-E-L-U-J-A-H! There is indeed a light at the end of the excrement placement dilemma! Granted, I have had to take matters into my own hands by implementing specific times that we stop during our day and try to use the potty, which is not without lots of vocal protesting, but more often than not it results in success. I am definitely a happier momma now that I am not scraping poop out of underwear daily.
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Sadly, due to my blog neglect, you were probably not aware of the fact that I have now finally reached the 2nd trimester! Yay! Not only do I feel more energized, but I also received my first honest inquiry from a complete stranger yesterday regarding when I was due, meaning that I must have officially moved past the "fatty" stage of pregnancy to the "obviously pregnant belly" stage. I also set up our "big" ultrasound appointment where we get to find out if we're having a boy or girl--only one more month away and I already feel like I can't wait...even though I have a fairly strong opinion as to what I think we're having, there's nothing like knowing for sure. Any guesses from anyone else?
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Well, I think that about does it for today. I have a whole pile of laundry waiting to be folded and as hard as I am trying to rack my brain for something to write about so that I can continue procrastinating the inevitable, I am coming up with nothin'. So, to the laundry pile I go...hopefully I'll feel more inspired to write more soon!

Friday, April 23, 2010

End of the Week Recap

Whew...what a busy week we've had here! I admit, the busy-ness is all my fault. But, it's hard not to get out and enjoy the wonderful spring time weather now that I don't feel like I want to hurl or sleep all the time. I think the kids are enjoying having their "normal" mom back as well. They sure prefer neighborhood walks, trips to the park, bike rides, and all day marathon trips to the MN Zoo over entertaining themselves while I'm sprawled out on the floor or couch trying my hardest to stay awake.
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And, although I fully intended to cook dinner tonight, Ben's offer to go out for pizza sounds like a much better end to a busy week rather than my spending time messing up the kitchen I just cleaned this morning in an effort to make us Hawaiian Pork Chops and Rice. So, I'm now officially wasting time while waiting for Ben to arrive home so that we can head out to our local favorite pizza joint.
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I'm also in the middle of attempting to negotiate a peaceful solution to a toy indiscretion that Allie and Zach are apparently incapable of solving on their own...which has now fully escalated into toy throwing...complete with laughing. So, while there's no apparent screaming or inevitable injuries about to occur, I'll just continue on my merry blogging way.
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In addition to all of our fun busy-ness this week, we also discovered a ginormous screw in our van tire. So, after dropping Allie off at preschool on Thursday, Zach and I took the van in to get the oil changed and tire repaired only to discover that it also needed a new air filter, serpentine belt, and a front brake job repair. Oh the fun of car repairs. Since Zach and I couldn't spend all day long at the car repair shop, we are taking the van back in tomorrow to finish the repairs.
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In other news, Allie successfully acquired 2 black eyes this week. The first happened on Tuesday when she tripped over her own two feet at the park and landed flat on her face. Her knee managed to cushion some of the fall, resulting in a pretty nasty scrape on her knee as well as above her eye. The second black eye occurred on Wednesday while she was riding in the stroller at the zoo. I was trying my hardest to steer the dang stroller with over 60 lbs of kid inside, but ended up running into the curb despite my efforts. Allie was sitting forward facing (she was supposed to be sitting backward-facing) and so the impact of the stroller hitting the curb propelled her head forward into Zach's chair where she smacked her eye resulting in the second black eye of the week. Poor girl. She has definitely inherited my complete lack of coordination and accident-prone lifestyle.
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Thankfully, I've begun to see a little more progress on the poop-in-the-potty front with Zach. Granted, he is still completely defiant about sitting on the potty, but I've been forcing him to sit there after lunch everyday and about 90 percent of the time, after a full-fledged hysterical temper tantrum where he declares for all the world to hear at the top of his lungs that there is no poop in his body, he produces the world's biggest poop ever known to belong to a 2 year old... right there...in the potty. I've also had to start forcing him to pee in the potty too otherwise he pretty much holds it in until it begins to leak out if I don't.
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So, I've now fully determined that Zach's inability to pee and poop on the potty is definitely not due to a physical incapability, but rather due to the fact that he is 2 and has decided that this is the absolute best way to assert his will against mine. Fantastic. What he doesn't know is that his mommy has a pretty strong will of her own...which I'm still not sure is a good or bad thing.
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Ok, so now the toy throwing has escalated to a point where I do believe a third party intervention is required. So, I'm goin' in. Thankfully reinforcement in the form of the male head of the household should be arriving any minute now.
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Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More Funny Things My Kids Say

I know I probably write way too much about the funny things my kids say, but they say so many hilarious things that make Ben and I laugh everyday that I'm afraid if I don't write them down, I'll forget about them. And, I know I may be the only one laughing out loud every time Zach calls his flip-flops "crip-crops," but I want to remember how I purposefully pick out flip-flops for him to wear just so I can hear him say "crip-crop" one more time before he learns how to say the words with the correct 'f" syllable at the beginning (actually, as I am typing this, Zach is requesting to wear his "flip-craps" to church...hmmm...the evolution of this particular phrase is becoming quite interesting). Not to mention, it cracks me up that Zach refuses to be called a girl or a boy because he is neither, he is "Zackers" and is already insisting that he is 3 years old, and definitely not merely 2. Oh, and I believe yesterday on a walk around our neighborhood Zach pointed to a grouping of tulips and proclaimed there were "olives" growing out of the ground. Olives? I don't quite get it, but we all laughed.
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Although Zach definitely has his fair share of funny sayings, Allie by far takes the cake in speech blunders due to the fact that she talks at least 5 times as much as Zach so she has plenty more opportunities for word slips or sharing just a bit too much information with those around her. We are still working on reminding her that we probably shouldn't talk about bodily functions (especially when, where, and how much our last poop occurred) in public. Also, Ben and I are still cracking up about the fact that when we first told her that we were going to have a new baby at home, she looked at us very puzzled and disappointingly remarked, "BUT, I REALLY WANTED A PUPPY!" We are still unsure how she came to the conclusion that we were either getting a baby or a puppy because we don't ever remember promising anything of the sort, but her reaction was honest to goodness shock and it was nothing short of hilarious.
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The best, though, by far occurred Friday night while celebrating my mom's birthday at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Mama Maria's (which is actually funny in and of itself since we have a neighbor girl named Maria whom Zach now affectionately calls "Mama Maria" after going to this particular restaurant). Anyway, Allie overheard one of the waitresses call me "Ma'am" and asked me what it meant. Since I was slightly irritated that I have somehow matured to a "Ma'am" status over the younger and more preferred "Miss" label, I told Allie that "Ma'am" meant that I was an old woman. Allie, not happy at all about someone calling her mother an old woman, proceeded to inform the waitress that it was her Grandma's birthday today and that Grandma was actually the old woman, not her mother. I think she repeated it a couple times to ensure that the waitress actually got the point before we all started laughing.
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So, those are the most recent laughable moments of our week. I'm sure there will be more to come and for that I'm thankful. I can definitely always use a good laugh!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pregnancy: Week 12

I admit that I am fearful of proclaiming how much better I've been feeling over the last week. The all day nausea I experienced over weeks 7-10 of this pregnancy seems to be subsiding and I'm actually able to stay awake past 8:00 pm without a 2 hour afternoon nap. In fact, today I even ran on the treadmill (Ok...I walked for 2 miles and ran for a half, but still, I haven't run in over a month because of how icky it made me feel so I was actually quite thrilled with myself for making it that long). Mostly, I'm just afraid if I make such a declaration, I will wake up tomorrow morning feeling icky all over again...so, we'll just pretend that I didn't say anything of the sort. Ok?
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Allie continues to remind me daily of my growing tummy. Apparently she is the only one that seems to notice it besides myself. In fact, the ever expanding belly becomes glaringly obvious to me each morning as I can no longer button any of my regular pants and have officially hauled out my in-between pants from last year's weight loss endeavor. I'm actually thankful I kept all those too-big clothes, because now I at least have something to wear in that awkward in-between stage of pregnancy where you just kind of look like you've eaten one too many doughnuts as opposed to your abdomen actually housing a growing human being.
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I definitely thought I would handle the whole weight gain/body change thing better this time around. I mean, this is my third pregnancy, so it really shouldn't come as a big surprise to me and I actually started out 45 pounds less than I did with my 2 previous pregnancies.
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But, alas, in many ways it seems more difficult this time around. I think it is probably because I spent the last year anxiously watching the scale go down and was probably a slight bit obsessed over every change I saw. Plus, whenever I see the scale go up, I can't help but think how long it took me to lose those pounds and how quickly they seem to be going on. I'm officially at week 12 and have so far gained about 8 pounds. Ugh. That just seems so depressing to me. Especially when I consider the fact that it could take me two months (at the very least) to work that off.
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Anyway, I have decided only to step on the scale once a week in an effort to not be so focused on it...which is definitely helping. Plus, I think I will feel a lot better about myself when I actually begin to look preggo instead of chubby. And, I have also been trying to focus on the positive changes I have made that weren't present in my two previous pregnancies...like regular, daily exercise and healthy eating.
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So, positive thinking, coupled with the fact that I finally don't feel like a Mack Truck has hit me all day long, have actually made for a much better start to this week (despite the fact that I believe both my kids have finally given up their nap times...however, quiet time has been instituted for the sanity of mom.)
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And, despite my reservations, I think I will begin to post some belly pictures throughout this pregnancy. I actually don't have many from Allie or Zach because I was incredibly good at dodging the cameras and really had no desire to remember in living color how ginormous or swollen I was at any given time in pregnancy (believe me, I didn't need a photo to remember that). So, although you probably won't be able to tell much (again, I am definitely in the spare tire around my waist stage of pregnancy), here's the first official pic at Week 12:
Ok, so it obviously doesn't look very official...so, maybe next time I'll get Ben to snap a photo of me instead of the self-portrait in the mirror complete with camera flash in my 2-year old son's bedroom.
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Alright, well, newly instituted quiet time has nearly come to an end...and since I'm almost certain there is a pair of poopy underwear awaiting my attention, I need to take a moment to psych myself up to more joyfully attend to my son's needs (seriously, how can you joyfully clean up poop!? If someone knows the secret to that, please, PLEASE share!).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter

Well, it's almost a week past Easter Sunday and I'm finally getting around to posting our Easter pictures. Better late than never (I feel like I use that phrase a lot around this blog), huh?
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This year seemed more special because I do believe it was the first year since Allie was a baby that no one was sick over the Easter weekend. So, we were actually able to attend church on Easter Sunday! And, we also captured some great pictures of the kids smiling happily (ok, I confess, I totally bribed them with jelly beans, but whatever works!) that aren't tainted with feverishly rosy cheeks or green snot-laden noses.



Ok, is it me or do the kids look exceptionally cute in the above pictures? I really should bribe them with jelly beans more often to capture their more adorable sides so that I have something to refer to when I feel like I want to rip my hair out rather than clean up one more pair of poopy underwear. Yes, we are still struggling with number 2 on the potty. My sister reminded me today that it won't last forever...that Zach won't be 5 and still filling his pants. My response: WHAT?! THIS IS GOING TO LAST FOR ANOTHER 2.5 MORE YEARS?!
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And, now I realize I am talking about poop in a post that is supposed to be about Easter....which somehow seems a little strange, so I will spare you the rest of the details and go on to the rest of our Sunday.
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After church, we headed over to my parents' house where we held our Easter egg hunt in the glorious weather outdoors before going out for Easter lunch. Yes, we went out to eat this year for Easter. I believe it was the first time ever and honestly, I was thankful. Usually my mom does most of the cooking anyway, but I still bring something to contribute. This year, however, I find myself with little to no energy to provide food daily for my own family, let alone a special dish for Easter...so, when going out was suggested, I was enthusiastically all over that idea! Not only was the food great, but we were left with no stress preparing or cleaning up a big holiday meal. For this year, it was definitely the perfect idea.
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Anyway, I'm sure you're probably all waiting anxiously for Easter egg hunt pictures. And, since I do not want to disappoint....

This year we filled the eggs with little toys and stickers for the kids in addition to some candy. Although the kids were definitely excited about the candy, I believe they were equally enthusiastic about the toys/trinkets I was able to find that fit nicely inside the small plastic eggs. Allie left the hunt with multiple neon-colored plastic rings, a princess necklace, and matching bracelet. Zach was more than happy with several little race cars and plastic frogs. Our candy of choice this year was jelly beans and chocolate bunnies (which I do believe everyone enjoyed).
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It is most amazing each year to see the kids' ability to understand and comprehend the meaning of Easter for their lives. The week before Easter we have made it a tradition to do our home-made version of the Resurrection Eggs. And, one evening, after opening the particular egg containing the cross and talking about its significance to the Easter story, Allie prayed:
"Dear God...thank you that Jesus died for me...thank you that he died on a cross so that I wouldn't have to die and that he could save me so that we can be with You. Amen."
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This was also the first year that Zach had the ability to comprehend some of what Easter meant. It was neat to see him remember the eggs and their meanings...even though the only one he consistently remembered night after night was the egg containing the piece of leather to signify the whip that was used on Jesus.
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I think we all definitely enjoyed a great Easter Sunday reflecting upon Christ and spending time together as a family.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kids' New Rooms

First of all, thanks for all the congratulatory comments you left on my previous post. It was fun to read all the kind words and well wishes from all ten of my blog readers.
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Honestly, I'm glad the secret is finally out. Not that it was really a secret or anything (as evidenced by the fact that I told far too many people for it to be a genuine secret and apparently let a few things slip in previous posts that led many of my friends to guess that something was up anyway), but I just thought it best to wait until after my first OB appointment before declaring our news to the whole blogging world. So yesterday, after seeing our newest little peanut on the ultrasound screen, complete with a strong heartbeat, I couldn't wait to get home to officially declare the news.
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Anyway, I promise to do a post soon catching up on the pregnancy and how we told the kids, but for now the sheer exhaustion that comes with those first 3 months of pregnancy is leaving me with little to no clarity of thought for composing a coherent post and I seriously just want to take a nap. Thankfully, I think I'm through the worst of the nausea. Although I never threw up (and actually haven't thrown up in about 10 years), I did have about a 2 and a half week period where I felt crummy 24/7 and thought I would never again enjoy the taste of any food whatsoever.
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Despite the crummy-ness, we have been busy around the house with the kids' room switch. And, yes, the main reason for the room switch is the new baby. And, yes, I do realize that we still have approximately a half a year before the baby arrives and that the room switching did not need to be done this early. But, what can I say? I'm a bit of a crazy planner and Ben was up for a project. Plus, we found an awesome deal on some bedroom furniture for Zach on Craigslist that we couldn't pass up.
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So, with all the materials in hand, we endeavored to change our basement guest bedroom into Allie's room and Allie's old room became Zach's, leaving Zach's old room free to become the nursery once again. Although we did toss around the idea of having the baby share a room with his or her same sex sibling or have Allie and Zach share a room, we decided upon converting the guest bedroom mainly because we never use the guest bedroom. It is a room in our house that housed a queen sized bed that was never used. So, we decided our growing family definitely needed to utilize every square foot of our house. And, after one night in her new room, it was apparent we made the right choice. Allie absolutely LOVES it. And, I must admit, if I were a 4 year old girl, I would definitely love it too.

Zach is also pretty enamored by his new race car bedroom. He has adjusted well to the big bed (as opposed to the toddler bed), but we had to put rails on it after the first night when we heard him crying and found him on the floor, halfway underneath his bed, declaring he was stuck.

So, that's the scoop on the kids' new bedrooms. I'm actually thankful we got it done early, so now I can focus on sorting through all of our packed away baby gear and getting the baby's room in order. Plus, I'm glad that both kids will be completely adjusted to their new living quarters well before baby arrives. I'm hoping this will really help with the transition, even though I'm sure there will be other hurdles that will arise.
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Like, for instance....if the baby is a boy....because Allie is pretty much set on having a sister...and only a sister...because she already has a brother and does not want another one. Or, when she finally comes to terms with the fact that she does not get naming rights to the baby either (mainly because I refuse to name any daughter of mine "Princess Tiana"). I think we have some fun days ahead of us!

Monday, April 5, 2010

1 + 1 = 3?

1 Excited Big Sister
+
1 Excited Big Brother
=
2 Enthusiastic Older Siblings....
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excitedly awaiting the arrival of their newest brother or sister in October!
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(and, now you also know the real reason behind my complete lack of blogging over the last two and a half months.)

Friday, April 2, 2010

What We've Been Up To...

Obviously, I don't need to tell you what a slacker I've been with the blog over the past couple weeks. Truth be told, I've been a slacker in quite a few areas around here lately (namely cleaning and cooking), but in my defense, it is very difficult to find the motivation to get anything done around the house when summer decides to make an early appearance.
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I'm all about sunshine and temperatures in the 60's and 70's, but when 80 degrees decides to show its glorious face on the first day of April in Minnesota, I really have no other choice but to spring Allie early from preschool and head to Como Park for a picnic and fun afternoon with the kids. Apparently, the entire rest of the Twin Cities metro decided to join us there, causing me to wonder if there were any responsible adults left within a one hundred mile radius that actually decided not to play hooky from work. Crowds aside, we had a great time exploring the zoo, park, gardens, and even made a stop at the nearby, kid-friendly Java Train coffee house where we enjoyed lemonade and ice cream.
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So, what else have we been up to? Mainly, playing lots and LOTS outside. We've gone on bike rides, walks, trips to the park, and we even set up all all of our patio furniture so we could enjoy our first outdoor picnic this week. Last night we had our first ever back yard campfire with the kids where we roasted marshmallows and indulged in smores. Both kids couldn't get enough chocolate and marshmallows. And, I fully admit, I don't ever remember a smore tasting so divine!
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The kids are definitely loving the sun and are especially fond of wearing their shorts and flip-flops. Swinging, playing with chalk, and playing with the sand table are among their favorite activities, but they are always inventing new games in the backyard. Whether they are playing in their private clubhouse resort (aka, the swing set) or zooming down the slide head first and landing face first in the dirt/mud pile at the bottom, they are thrilled with all that the outdoors brings. Especially dirt. See....
Let's see...what else?
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My sister was in town last week enjoying her spring break from teaching preschool, so we were able to spend lots of time with her. She even had a slumber party in Allie's room and was able to go out to breakfast with us the next morning before dropping Allie off at preschool. We also did some shopping for the kids' summer wardrobe and had a few lunches out and about during her stay.
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Ben and I even enjoyed an evening out while she stayed with the kids. We decided to eat at P.F. Chang's where I quickly became addicted to their lettuce wraps and am already contemplating the next time we can consume some. We were going to go out and see a movie, but upon realizing there was absolutely nothing in the theaters we had any desire to see, we opted for a quiet night at home watching T.V. uninterrupted by the normal kids' bath and bed time routine. Definitely a much needed time to relax!
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We've also been keeping busy making some minor changes around the house. We found a great deal on some bedroom furniture for Zach on Craigslist and so we decided to shift around the kids' rooms. Stay tuned, I'll post some pics soon. Thankfully, both kids have adjusted wonderfully to their new rooms and couldn't be happier!
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Well, I think it is almost officially time for lunch to be made, so I should wrap this post up. (Zach just informed me that he is getting hungry. However, I'm pretty sure he's always hungry, so I'm not sure how that is really significant in indicating lunch time.) Until next time...