Monday, December 25, 2006

Look what Santa brought us...

If you can't tell what it is, it is a cute little boy outfit that says "Mommy's little gift." And this was the sign that we are having a little boy- yeah! To give you a little background, my ultrasound was originally scheduled for the 28th of December. Someone suggested scheduling it earlier and then having the tech put the pics in an envelope and then wrap it and open it on Christmas. Well, we came up with a cooler idea. I happen to have a good friend who is an ultrasound tech. She agreed to do an ultrasound and then wrap the pics and a pink or blue outfit for us. The catch was that Jeff had no idea I was doing this. :-) In fact, his insurance is changing, so our ultrasound date was even pushed back to January 8th. Didn't he think it was weird that I didn't freak out when the date was changed?! Anyway, so I snuck out at 5am Saturday morning to meet Marnie. It was so cool just to see the baby. I felt an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder that I am really going to be a mom again. She had me close my eyes when we were in "that area." I got back home around 7am and Jeff was none the wiser. :-) He did ask me at 9:30 if I slept as horribly as he did, and I could honestly answer yes!

So, I have been going crazy for 2 days, knowing that there is a picture of my baby waiting to be opened. It was the last gift we opened. Jeff was completely confused, as I knew he would be, and when I explained it, we could figure out what it was together! We are having a little boy!! We are both extremely excited, and Dallin was glad to find out his wish came true. It was a great Christmas morning. I will post more pics of the kids when we get back on Wednesday. I just wanted to get these up. Merry CHristmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

One day at a time...

... this is how I feel I lived this week. One day, one task at a time. After spending most of Ocotober and November sick, and then it was my week to teach preschool, this week was catch up on Christmas. :-) Luckily, most of my shopping was done, but I had some details to take care of.

Monday- Laundry (as usual) and recover!
Tuesday- Mail off gifts to my parents and my siblings- done! Pick up Christmas cards.
Wednesday- Address and send all Christmas cards. I was really happy with how they turned out. Here is the picture we used:

It took me a couple of hours to figure out how to print addresses on the envelope, but now each year will be a snap! My experience on the computer always comes with a lot of trial and error. I also put a personal note in each one, which took longer than I thought. Felt a little guilty ignoring my kids, but they had friends over and didn't notice. :-)
Thursday- Make cinnamon rolls and give to neighbors and friends- check! This was one of my favorite days. We did some visiting teaching, and brought a birthday card to one of my girls from church, and then met with friends at Safari Sam's. Dallin had a blast playing with his friends and it was a nice change. Right after, I watched Sarah's kids so she could go to her second LONG ultrasound. It was absolutely delightful. I specifically waited until they arrived to work on the cinnamon rolls. I knew it was a perfect project to do with W. while the boys played and Emily slept. We had a wonderful time. W. and I spent 3 hours together baking and just chatting. I feel lucky that she is letting me get to know her. She even gave me a hug when she left. :-) I will miss that family, but I am excited for them to be with their WHOLE family for Christmas. They also brought me beautiful jewelry and the kit to make them myself. My husband thanks you for the new hobby, Sarah!
Friday- Playgroup at the church. I also updated my family web site. Then we watched 6 kids for date swap. It was actually a pretty relaxing night. The kids played really well and Jeff and I took turns going to the Y to work out. I love our date swap. We watch kids one Friday a month and then have the next 3 to go on dates! Woo hoo!
Saturday-5am- wake up after 6 hours of sleep to do a surprise for Jeff. He has no idea...ha ha...will report more after Christmas! Find snow clothes for the kids and Jeff- check!! We are now officially ready to play in the snow!

So, that was my week in a nutshell. I am so ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Sunday we only have the first hour of church and then we are having dinner with our good friends- our next door neighbors! We are going to act out the nativity, which my kids have never done. I am looking forward to it. On Christmas morning, we were invited to join our good friends in Sunriver, OR. They are renting a house with a pool table and spa and we will get to relax and play in the snow. It is so what I need. :-)

What are your plans for Christmas?
Was this week crazy or were you more prepared than I?

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Winner is...Lightning McQueen

I never thought I'd see the day when Dallin chose something over Thomas the Tank Engine. Not only that, but I didn't realize how sad I would be over it. Dallin's love of Thomas started when he was 20 months. I worked at the YMCA and his favorite thing to play with was the train table. When Costco had their train tables on sale for Christmas in September, I did not wait to buy it. I pictured Dallin quietly playing, while I did whatever I wanted. :-) He wouldn't go near it at first, and I was so surprised and disappointed. I finally figured out it was because the train table came with "generic" trains. I had never heard of Thomas, and here my 1 1/2 year old is a "Thomas snob!" I bought Dallin's first Thomas train off of someone whose kids had grown out of it, and from there on, Dallin was hooked. He wouldn't go anywhere without Thomas. Before he was 2 he could name about 20 trains and their colors and numbers. He could recognize them by their faces and was constantly correcting me. (Still one of his favorite things to do. :-)) Over the next 3 years,
he collected many trains, and built many tracks. He would spend hours building and rebuilding cool tracks. Lately, he has been "designing" the track on paper and then building it. That has been fun to watch. We went to "Day Out with Thomas" for the past 3 summers and he was in heaven.
Thomas trains were the expensive prize for potty training, and grandma had fun buying Thomas trains for 40% off at Michael's. Everyone loved adding to his collection and he was easy to buy for. He really did learn a lot from Thomas. His first words he could spell were the names of the trains. M-u-r-d-o-c-h was a particularly fun one to hear a 3 year old spell! We have had some good times.

Well, move over Thomas! Now there is a fast, red car by the name of Lightning. Maybe Thomas is too slow for Dallin. Who knows? All I know, is Dallin is in love with Disney Cars. He doesn't ask for Thomas shirts anymore, but he wants a Cars shirt. He doesn't want a Thomas room anymore- he wants a Cars room. He still played with his trains for a while, but the other day I was shocked when his friend came over and said, "Can we go upstairs and play trains?" Dallin said no. But the big shocker came when we had our preschool gift exchange. Dallin's gift to give was a Lightning McQueen car that says things when you drop it like, "I was built for speed, not slammin!" When he opened the gift from his old Thomas buddy, Ethan, he had a disappointed look when he saw it was a James (Thomas train) pull train. I couldn't believe it. Luckily, Ethan was equally disappointed by Lightning McQueen, so they traded back and went home with their own gifts.

So, that is the end of my tale. Thomas has provided us with many memories. Emily likes to play with Thomas. And hopefully Baby #3 will love Thomas as well.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Zoo Lights

One of my favorite traditions since we moved to Oregon is the ZOO Lights. You go to the Zoo after dark and the whole place is decorated in lights. They have cool light displays with monkeys (just lit ones!) swinging through the trees and reindeer jumping across. The best part is the train ride. Kudos to Jeff's work for planning their Christmas Party here. We had a blast! Jeff is always amazed at how the Zoo has their own climate-freezing! When we left the house, Dallin didn't want a jacket, and then of course, once we got there he was glad I brought it- along with gloves, a hat, and a blanket! Emily was so darling as she kept calling out the different animals she saw in lights. She especially loved the elephants. Dallin's face on the train was priceless, of course. Nothing brings him more happiness than riding on a train.

After the train ride and walking around, we met Jeff's coworkers inside for a yummy catered ham and turkey dinner. There was also the annual white elephant gift exchange. This one was particularly pathetic as they specifically told people not to buy anything, but just bring something from home. All in all, I think we did well. We brought "Babe-Pig in the City" which we have never opened, and Dallin picked out this cool remote control monster truck. Can you tell he knows he was the winner? :-) What a great night. Bring on more holiday fun!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I get by with a little help from my friends...

A good friend and I had a conversation the other day about raising kids. I will admit that I am a firm believer that we all need to help each other out. The whole, "it takes a village..." philosophy. Without having family nearby, I have been very lucky to have an extremely supportive group of friends. When someone has a new baby, we all make sure that the toddler is taken care of so that mom and baby can get rest and the toddler still gets to play with friends. When mom is sick, many of my friends are more than willing to help out. It is a true blessing. I try to be on the giving end of this as much as possible. Today I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end. My good friend Suzie Petunia could tell that I was at my limit today and offered to take Dallin. I didn't know how bad I was feeling until I crashed for 3 hours! I felt like a million bucks when I woke up, and I knew it was what I needed. It is hard for me to admit when I need help so I really appreciate Suzie just offering. I tried to say no, but I am glad that I took her up on it. She has been an amazing influence in my life and I truly feel lucky to know her. Thanks Suzie!(Here is a picture of us, so you can see that we hang out more than just in our Marathon Mommy shirts!)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This is definitely my favorite time of year! I am not a big decorator. In fact, Dallin, my 4 year old, was upset that I didn't do very much for Halloween. October was a hard month for me, so I excused myself from it! Anyway, Christmas is a completely different story! We have our "tree in the window" and today was such a beautiful day that Jeff was able to put up our second story of lights. (I will show pics when I get a good one!) We bought our lights 5 years ago, but we didn't buy enough and were never able to find the same ones again. By some strange coincidence, Suzie Petunia happened to have the same ones as us, but wasn't using them anymore, and kindly donated them to our cause. Thanks, Suzie!
To continue with the Christmas spirit, today I took Dallin and Emily to see Santa fly in on a helicopter to our local shopping plaza. It was very short (took all of 5 minutes and they were even earlier than advertised, so many of my friends missed it!) but it was pretty cool and the kids loved it. Then I took Dallin on a "date" and we went to see Suzie's Christmas Concert. They did a great job. Her hubby, Zook, was the narrator and was wonderful, and my favorite part was watching cute pregnant Suzie rocking out to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" music! Sorry that everyone else missed out. I really do admire Suzie and Zook for their involvement with this cause. It is called Voices for the Performing Arts and their whole goal is to support fine arts in the school and the community. They are both dedicated members.
After the concert, I left with one of my good friends to try and catch some of my Young Women (teenage girls that I work with at church) in a dance competition. They went on earlier than they were supposed to and the directions were horrid, so we actually didn't get to see them dance. :-( We did talk to the girls and hopefully they know our hearts were in the right place and we will catch them another time.
The next stop was a shopping center that had all of the places I needed to go all together in one area. I am not a huge shopper, I like to know what I am getting and get in and out. This doesn't always work out like I plan, but today the stars were aligned and it was amazing!! I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done and even found an awesome steal for my sweet Emily. It is a Graco 10 in 1 Playset for dolls. It has a swing, stroller, play pen, high chair, carrier, bouncy seat, diaper bag, etc etc, and it was on sale for $20! I had seen these for $50 on line!! I couldn't believe it. She will go crazy. It will be fun when I have my little baby and she will be able to put her doll in the swing right next to the real swing. Anyway, what an awesome day. Sue is one of my closest friends and we had a wonderful time just chatting the day away. She is actually the one who spotted the playset. I wish I would have bought 2, so I could sell one on ebay! Whew, I am ready for bed. I hope everyone is enjoying the season.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Mom I want to Be...

What a crazy week this has been. I have felt so sick that much of the time I have literally laid on the couch and watched many children(including, of course, my own) just destroy my house. I didn't even have the energy to ask them to pick up after they were done playing. Each night, as Jeff would call to say he was on his way home, I would find it in me to clean up just that day's mess. He has been an angel, even did the grocery shopping for me. The only other thing I have barely had enough energy for is to blog hop. This is where I go from blog to blog reading about amazing women and their cute families. I have learned a lot and found many fun ideas that I want to implement in my own home. Unfortunately, I also spent a lot of time thinking about all of the things I am NOT doing. I am NOT a scrapbooker, I am NOT a seamstress, and I am NOT a crafty person. I am in awe of all the beautiful things all of these women create, on top of raising their children. I start to think that I should be doing all of that, too. Then, I just feel overwhelmed, and want to crawl into bed and do nothing. Well, today that all changed for me. I am still going to go to these blogs and learn from other people, but I am also going to focus on being the best mom I can be. I am definitely more left-brained than right-brained and enjoy puzzles, word games, books, math, science, etc than I do crafts projects. And I realize now there is nothing wrong with that. The sad thing is I have felt so wasted that I didn't even pick up my scriptures since Monday. Luckily, that is what I did today. I felt very strongly that my children were sent to me for the gifts that I CAN share with them. Even though I may wish I was more artistic or craftsy, I am not, and beating myself up about it is not going to help the situation. I need to be the best Me, and if I do that, then I will be giving my kids what they need. Does this make any sense? I appreciate any comments you make. I truly learn a lot from all of you.