I have to use a little over 80 hours of vacation time before the end of the year; otherwise, I lose it. I'm not one to want to lose time so I'm taking a half week this week and next. My objectives this week include finishing up all my shopping and wrapping and baking all the holiday goodies we plan to give as presents. Yesterday I went to the mall which totally wiped me out so today I decided to stay home and start baking.
So far today I've made chocolate fudge, pumpkin bars, three cream cheese pound cakes (that also contain homemade cranberry sauce to make them more festive), chocolate chip cookies, four jars of body scrub and four jars of brownie mix. I also finished another scarf and I am about to start another one.
On tap for tomorrow is lunch with a friend, more wrapping and baking and possibly some relaxing.
I went to the doctor yesterday for my 35 week check up...yep, 5 weeks to go until still un-named baby boy is done cooking. While there I expressed to my doctor that I just feel "huge". My belly is SO much bigger with this baby than with Natalie. I'm carrying different and seem to be smuggling an extra large melon under my shirt.
She measured me and my belly has grown 4 centimeters in two weeks! I'm officially 38 centimeters large. The one plus with this baby is I haven't (yet) gained as much weight as with Natalie so the doctor is expecting him to be around the same weight as Natalie, but longer. Natalie, as you might remember was a little string bean, 6 pounds 14 ounces and 21.5 inches long. Not sure how much longer this little boy can be - there isn't much room left in there...
One other thing to mention for my record keeping is that he moves so much more than Natalie ever did. I remember with Natalie, I would lay down for bed and she would be peaceful all night and never woke me up kicking. This little man is going to come out running! He moves all the time. He really starts moving when I hold Natalie. I was rocking her to sleep last night and she was laying her head on the top of my tummy and he started kicking so much she had to move her head. I bet they will have fun playing together.
Well, night one of Phil being gone was okay. We went to my parents house for dinner, which Natalie actually ate! Then the sweet girl fell asleep on the way home (score). My other baby (in my belly) had me up a few times during the night, but Natalie slept until about 6:30 am - which is still REALLY early, but fantastic because lately I was wondering if she had forgotten what it meant to sleep through the night. This is where the need for daddy really kicked in.
Little back story
From the time Natalie was born to about the time she was 16 months old, Phil would would always joke that he knew that Natalie loved me more. I would laugh and say, you just wait because the day will come when she won't want anything to do with me and all she will want is daddy. Well, he waited and that day came. For the past few months (I'm sure brought on by all the traveling I had to do this year) all she wants is Daddy. Some of her favorite phrases are, "No mommy" when I ask her any question and "Daddy do it" when I ask if I can help her do something.
When Phil was packing we talked about how Natalie was going to react to not having him around and I assured him that when he isn't around she lets me help and doesn't demand daddy...fast forward to 6:30 this morning when I went in to her room. "Good morning baby!" I said to her, she looked up at me and as she turned away said "No, want Daddy". To which I responded, "remember, daddy is on his trip, want to come with mommy." Then came her favorite phrase, "No mommy, want daddy." I wanted to respond, "ME TOO!" but decided to take another approach...After some talking, I FINALLY convinced her that if she would come with me, she could lay on my pillow and have some milk. So we cuddled for about 30 minutes while she had some milk which sort of made up for her demanding Phil.
Hopefully I can handle another week of this...it is going to be fun!
This morning, Natalie woke up, looked at Phil's side of the bed, looked at me and said "daddy trip?" I said, "yes, Daddy went in the airplane. He is on his work trip." She must remember helping him pack last night, wearing his hard hat and seeing the suitcase that I normally take on the plane. She is so smart...
Phil left early this morning for a work trip. It isn't great timing, because lately I've been worried that I'm going to pop this baby boy out any minute. I just hope that he listens to his mama and stays put for another 5 weeks!
This past Saturday, Phil, Natalie and I took a trip to the Aquarium in Sandy. We haven't been for a while and now we think we should go every day. She absolutely loved seeing all the fish and being able to run around free.
Daddy told her to blow on the coral to make it move
This season we have already had a few snowfalls, which is great, because Natalie LOVES the snow. She can spend hours and hours playing outside and the cold doesn't even seem to effect her. Auntie Ashley sent Natalie a snow suit to use this winter and we have put it to good use.
Tasty white snow
Daddy built Natalie a tunnel in the backyard
Then he built a snow man
Natalie loves helping Daddy shovel
In addition to enjoying the snow, we have also been having multiple fires. Natalie knows that fires are only to be touched by mommy or daddy, but she loves watching daddy build and light the fire. After the fire is raging we normally put some pillows in front of the fire and she and bear relax and enjoy.
We also decorated the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Natalie really enjoyed hanging the ornaments and can't wait to turn on the tree lights each night.
Way back in July (!) we had family photos taken. Kirstin Roper took the photos and we are so pleased with them.
I wanted them taken before I was visibly pregnant (they were taken when I was about 4 months along) and while the weather was still nice. I've already printed all of them and there are a few on the walls in the house, don't know why it has taken me this long to post them on the blog.
With the birth of the baby quickly approaching, I've been in full nesting mode for the past few months. The first thing I decided to tackle was to change up the mailbox and porch light. I love spray paint and sort of just want to take a can of paint to everything; however, I decided to buy a new porch light that was black, rather than spray paint the old one we had. So, my dad came over and installed it. While he did that I painted the mailbox black to match. It looks SO GOOD! Amazing what a little paint can do.
painted and ready to receive mail
From there, I decided to attack the big window in our garage. I hate that people can look in and see all our junk, so I bought "frosted glass" paint...who knew that even existed? I painted two coats on the window, so now the light comes, but prying eyes can't - which is added security. Security in a can is what they should call that paint.
After the paint
From there, I didn't stop. I took a table from Ikea which had been sitting on the back porch, unused, for three years. I painted it a light brown to match the basement bathroom. Now I have a little table next to the sink to hold towels and look cute.
I also painted a mirror from my grandparents bedroom set that I want to hang in the nursery. It looks amazing in the bright white I picked out. I'm looking forward to the weather warming up a little so I can paint the dresser and bed that go with the set. Paint breathes new life into old furniture, which I LOVE.
Along with that "nesting", we have also been busy getting everything else in the house ready for baby. I have two giant trash bags full of stuff for the good will, along with a few other things that wouldn't fit in the bags. I'm planning on filling at least one more bag by the end of the month. We have also been working hard turning the "red room" (extra bedroom upstairs) into the nursery or "Blue Room" as it is now known. Every time Natalie walks past the room she says "Baby room" and points at the blue room, then points to her room and says "my room". So smart that little lady.
A full nursery post is coming once we can get it all put together.
And yes - this is my desk at work, you would be shocked how much knitting can be accomplished while on conference calls
My attempt at scaling back on holiday spending. Hand-made gifts.
I figure that I'll be on maternity leave while the holiday bills come in so might as well try and limit the amount of money we spend because I'll be making a lot less money on maternity leave.
I'll also be whipping up some batches of cookies, brownies in a jar, and whipped butter and biscuits to give out. Far less expensive than multiple trips to the mall, and I'm sure much more appreciated by recipients.
Whenever you ask my mom anything about maternity clothes or the topic even comes up, she always talks about this one shirt that was sooocomfortable that she ended up wearing it almost every day towards the end of her pregnancy. Well, like mother like daughter, I've found my shirt or outfit rather.
After I had Natalie, I packed up all the maternity clothes in boxes and put them in storage knowing I would need them again. Well, here we are in the "needing them again" time and I look at some of the shirts and think, "really? I wore that? me?" Also, none of the pants fit, don't know if I was bigger with Natalie or if they just stretched out. Maybe I'll get some use in the last month of this pregnancy, but in the mean time, I need some new options. One thing I bought was this tunic style shirt from the Heidi Klum line. It is SO comfortable, but needed leggings to go with it, so I bought some leggings too. I've worn this outfit almost every day this week, it is embarrassing, but true. It is comfortable and if you have been pregnant, finding comfortable clothes that are also somewhat flattering is key!
Maybe this weekend I'll put a few other options together. I have to go to the office most days next week and don't want people to wonder why I wear the same thing every day.
Birthday party photos are coming soon, and a full vacation recap too; but first let's chat about the fact that today we visited the doctor for a twenty-four-month check up. Wrap your head around that. I know yesterday I posted that I am now the mother of a two-year-old, but it really hit me at the doctor today.
While driving there, I looked back at Natalie and she just looks grown up or older, some how. Weird, because that doesn't happen to me on my birthdays :)
The doctor said she is in excellent health. Natalie knows her alphabet (and what words start with what letters, every time she sees an "N" she says "ME!", an "M" for mama, "P" for papa, and "G" for grandma, grandpa and godfather. She knows the numbers up to 10, sings all the time and has even started spelling more and more words. Grandma taught her how to spell hot - she says "h.o.t. hot" and Phil and I take credit for teaching her how to spell milk. We discovered this one morning when I said to Phil, "Glad she didn't need m.i.l.k last night" and she looked at me and said "Milk now please". She is very gracious, always saying please (peeze) when she wants something and when she gets it says "Thank you".
For the stats:
Weight - 24.0 pounds (16th percentile)
Height - 34.0 inches (56th percentile)
2 booster shots and a nose mist for the flu - she hated all of them!
I can hardly believe my little baby is, today, a two-year-old!
Two years ago today, Phil and I were still wondering if we were going to be able to check in to the hospital, for the "scheduled" induction. We decided to run errands and hope the nurses would call and tell us to drive over. We stopped and bought eye make up for me, cigars for Phil to hand out after the birth and then, after coming to the realization we would not get the "come to the hospital call", decided to go and get a hamburger for lunch (I hadn't eaten all morning, so I was STARVING!).
Just as they passed the bag of hamburgers and fries to Phil, my phone rang. The nurse on the other end said "Come now, we have a bed ready for you." "Can I eat lunch?" I asked, very hopeful. "Sure, some broth or plain soup would be fine" ... great, no hamburger for me - but I did have one BIG bite. As we drove to the hospital, it finally hit me, I was going to be a mom. "Maybe we should just go home, I don't want to do this today" I said to Phil, but he drove me to the hospital.
I've never been so excited and nervous at the same time. Only a few hours later were we greeted by our precious little girl. WOW was she perfect, only cried for a few minutes and then was just peaceful. We popped champagne, enjoyed time with family and our new little one. Nothing better!
Can't believe that two years have passed since then. Today we are having "Granma, Grandpa, and God-fa-ther" over for dinner and cake. Every time I ask Natalie how old she is, she says, "TWO!" and then we talk about her party - she has insisted on hats, cake and singing. Happy to oblige.
Happy birthday baby!! I'll post all the celebration photos tomorrow.
Here in Utah, when a holiday falls on a Sunday, everyone seems to celebrate the day before - which meant that trick-or-treating would have to happen on Saturday night. The worst part, was that Saturday was raining and miserable, so we only hit four houses - and only two doors opened.
Natalie dressed up as a little devil, and was SO excited about her costume that I could hardly get her to stand still for a photo. She thought that she could fly when she put it on, so as soon as we tied it on her, she would start running around "flying". She had little horns that we clipped to her pony tails and a "devil trident" that she LOVED stabbing into the ground. I bought her tutu a long time ago and it is still a little big, but stayed up most of the night, and my mom made her the cape. I've never seen such a cute devil.
Here she is running for take off
playing at Grandmas
**more photos to come once they are downloaded from the camera
Immediately following my last work trip of the year, we celebrated Halloween and then left immediately for a family vacation. I'll try and post a Halloween recap today, and a full vacation post is coming in the next few days, (first we have to compile all the photos from the various cameras). A few highlights from our trip, just to keep you interested:
We had to bribe our way to our final destination, gotta love Mexico
Natalie, Phil and Godfather were each "eaten" and spit back out by the ocean
Sand gets EVERYWHERE
Deep sea fishing was fun, after I threw up
Travel with Natalie is SO easy
First class on the way home was the least they could do
I'm in Washington DC tonight, heading home tomorrow - another quick one-night adventure. We got to town around 4:00, to the hotel by 4:30, work out from 5:00 to 6:00, dinner at 7:00. We are on the club floor - which I thought was a fancy way of saying "ground level", but actually means the floor with the "club", or room with snacks in the evening and breakfast at night.
We decided to skip room service and went to the Jamieson Grille, which is the hotel restaurant, but the only decent place to eat within a 10 mile radius (according to Google maps). It was pretty tasty. I had mussels and a chopped salad and a glass of red wine. The three sips of the red wine were VERY good and exactly what I needed (truth, I needed about three glasses, but beggars can't be choosers). I'm now back in the room, getting ready for bed and hoping I sleep...
With Natalie's new found love of fire trucks, my mom thought it would be fun to take her to a fire station. And it just so happens that my cousin, my mom's niece, is a fire fighter and was going to posted at the fire house close to our house.
Natalie had a great time climbing inside the fire truck and wearing my cousin's hat and playing with the stuffed animals. Grandma then took her for a hamburger - a great day!
I'm going to say it...and hopefully not jinx it...but Phil is on his way home!!
He will only make it about half way today, and then have about 6 or so more hours to drive tomorrow, but let's all keep our fingers crossed that the two-week-mark will be the end of his trip and he actually makes it home.
I think Natalie and I might try and make a key lime pie for his welcome home / birthday celebration. She, maybe even more than me (is that possible), has missed him so much! When she would be on a walk during the day and see a truck like his, she would yell "wait, Dada, wait" while it drove past. Last night, she picked up the phone and demanded we call Dada, then talked to him for a while. When I thought she was done, I took the phone so I could talk to him and she pulled it out of my hand - smacking herself in the face. She wasn't upset over the knock to the head, she was more upset about me telling daddy we would call him later. She cried "daddy phone now".
So, we will see who is more excited to see him.
And on this same topic, someone at work told me that I "can't complain about him being out of town because I have traveled so much this year." For the record, anytime we are apart I can complain - if it is me traveling or him. It sucks no matter what so in my eyes it doesn't matter and I complain equally when either one of us is gone! But, because I'm a numbers gal and I like balance, I went back and did some calculations - by the end of this month I will have traveled (not including the January trip where she was with me or half and Phil was with me for the other half) 36 nights. Phil has had two long trips (Australia and Colorado) and so we are about equal...except I beat him by a few nights I think.
Well, it might just be another Columbus Day for everyone else, but today is my birthday. My birthday which started with a doctors visit, a glucose test (blood draw and sugary sweet orange drink), and a flu shot. Great way to start off, right? Well it only got better from there.
In lieu of working, I decided to take some vacation time so I could run errands and get some stuff done around the house. I went to the grocery store, Home Depot, Kohl's, and TJMaxx all by 1:00. After that I worked on some projects around the house and now I'm going to put away some clean clothes. Very exciting birthday! Isn't it funny that birthdays used to be so exciting - the party, the gifts, the friends and now it seems like they just aren't the same.
Tonight, Natalie and I will be heading back to my parents house for dinner and dessert. Hopefully Phil will be home later this week or next, hopefully!
Last week (after I returned from Minnesota) we were lucky enough to have dinner at Stella with one of our favorite families. After a good dinner and great conversation, Phil basically invited us over to their house for a drink (sparkling water for me, beer for him). They graciously agreed and we drove straight to their house, quickly so they couldn't call and change their minds.
When we got there they broke out the game Singstar. Now, Melinda has been talking about how much fun this game is for a while, but it is essentially a karaoke game and that freaks me out. I mean, I can't drink and EVERYONE knows that karaoke is more fun when you are drinking. Well, I can admit I was wrong, because it was SO SO SO much fun and I can't wait for the next time we invite ourselves over for another Singstar battle. Oh, just for the record, Melinda and I beat the boys.
While we were there, Kai changed into his pjs and Melinda offered a pair of pjs to Natalie so they could both be more comfortable. The pair Natalie got were blue and had fire trucks all over them. She LOVES them, which might be an understatement of her feelings. We washed them and I had them by my purse so I could return them to Melinda, Natalie saw them and all she wanted to do was wear them! She starts making the fire truck noise and tries to put them on. It is so cute! So cute, in fact, that I've let her wear them a few more times.
Here is a photo of her relaxing the other morning, in her favorite pjs, on mom's bed.
This year there will be no celebrating together, remember last year - what a gift, Phil is stuck in Colorado for his birthday. He was able to get out and golf today and although he said he missed having the "regulars" with him to play, it was still a nice treat all the same.
Selfishly, I'm hoping he will be home for my birthday (or tomorrow?? please...) and I told him that if he made if home for my birthday we could share the celebration and he can pick what is for dinner. I'm a good wife :)
First, I'll start with wine...as any good story should. About two weeks ago Natalie and I decided to take a walk to the new liquor store in our neighborhood. So, yes, I loaded my toddler into her stroller, gave her a cup of milk and water and my pregnant belly and I walked her to the liquor store. At least I wasn't drinking while I was doing it, so that makes it better, right?
It is a really nice store with a great selection of wines and we ended up buying so much (over two boxes) that Phil had to come and pick us up...which I predicted and arranged in advance :) When we got home Natalie helped me put all the bottles away and then proceeded to have a great time playing in the box.
Next subject is Minnesota...
I just returned from another trip to Minnesota, and although it was a short two-night trip, it is still a pain to leave my babies. Some of the good things about Minnesota are, the group of friends I get to hang out with while I'm there, dinner out at nice places (Bar La Grassa was tasty), working out after work (weird that I would put that as a good thing...), fancy water waiting for me in my hotel room, and the wake up coffee I get every morning (it is decaf, but still a nice way to greet the morning).
Just when I returned from my business trip, Phil had to go out of town on his own business trip. He is stuck in Colorado for who knows how long (even missing his birthday today...booo hooo). Because he is out of town, Natalie and I have been spending a LOT of time with my parents. It is nice to have two extra people to help entertain her and let's be honest, no one beats Grandma. We traveled to the cabin last weekend and had a great time. The only exception to the great time we were having was when I fell up the stairs! I scrapped up my arm, wrist and bruised my shin pretty good (still have a welt and it HURTS!).
With my arm in a gauze wrap most of the weekend I was set to still have a good time.
We went on a walk at night with Natalie leading the way with her flashlight. (Side bar - Phil taught her the Flash Light game, where she has to find one of us with the flashlight and then kiss whoever she finds - when she is 15 and playing this game, I'll remind him it was his idea). We played with the old Safari toys and race cars and Natalie spent a lot of quality porch time cleaning her dishes (yes these are all toys my brothers and I played with growing up and Natalie LOVES them).
On our way home on Sunday we stopped at the outlet stores to check out the deals on baby boy outfits (nothing great), but while there we couldn't pass up the opportunity to play on the swings, slides and 50 cent rides. Natalie had a blast and her favorites were the "ride little pony", merry-go-round and tonka truck.
Once we got home, Natalie had a snack and convinced me that the twenty minute nap she had in the car would be a long enough nap for the day. So, we vacuumed and mopped the kitchen, put some toys away, dug through the boxes of her clothes looking for anything white the baby boy can wear, got the Halloween decorations out of storage and did a load of laundry, all before packing up the car and heading to Grandpa's house for dinner. Natalie lost the sleep battle and was asleep in her car seat before we left our street. She even slept through a trip into Target for milk.
We've been keeping busy and tonight will be no exception. We are planning a trip to either the library or to Home Depot, both of which are on the way to Grandma's house...guess we will go there too :)
Here are some photos I snagged from my mom's camera, just because