Sunday, February 28, 2010

Good Saturday

Yesterday was such a good day! It started with a wonderful Primary Activity that had been rescheduled TWICE because of weather and other scheduling conflicts. I am SOOOO glad that we did that though rather than just cancelling it altogether. It was a kick-off activity for our Primary theme this year which is "I Know My Savior Lives" and we had three stations or "ways" that we know this: scriptures, prayer and feeling the Holy Ghost, and the testimonies of the Prophets. We had the kids walk through Lehi's Dream for scriptures and only 2 strayed from our "iron rod"! I was very surprised about that but I suppose they know the story well enough for us not to be able to trick them :) Then we played a sound Bingo game and talked about listening to the Holy Ghost, and then we watched a wonderful video with pictures of Christ and the testimonies of several prophets and apostles. We found it on a website by an LDS lady and that reminds me that I need to send her an email thanking her! We filled our Relief Society room with pictures and statues of Jesus Christ and it was absolutely beautiful. I can't take credit for it all. My mom started me on the idea and then I have fabulous counselors who helped me flesh it out. My pictures aren't that great but they might give you an idea of how they looked. IN addition, all the kids got Book of Mormon's that we're using all year in Primary and they all seemed to really enjoy the activity!

Afterwards, I went to lunch with a very good friend from college who lives here in Fredericksburg but we never get together! She is about 13-14 weeks along with her first and it was wonderful to catch up with her and see her excitement. I now know (in addition to myself) 7 women who are pregnant and due between now and the end of August! It's a great little baby boom!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Catch up (or ketchup?)

No, no ketchup stories. Although Megan did drop two eggs on the floor today. She just loves to help!

Ok item #1: instant milk! Chopper and I bought a box at Walmart. It has 10 pouches that make 1 quart of milk each pouch for a grand total of about 2 1/2 gallons at $8.50 (approximately). So about the same as regular milk I guess. We paid a little more to get it in pouches because they (Walmart) doesn't sell small quantities and I hated the idea of buying a big box of milk and then having to use it right away. This way, we only had to make one pouch to experiment with and the rest will go into food storage!

It's not bad actually. Mixing according to directions gives you milk that has the consistency of skim milk. Since we regularly drink 2% in our house -- that was Chopper's biggest complaint. We let it sit and chill in the fridge overnight and then had it on cereal the next morning. I couldn't quite bring myself to drink it straight yet! It does have a slightly off taste but it's not bad. And apparently, the taste is less noticeable when your cereal happens to be the ultra sugary Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries! Thank you Chopper for that input! Mine was just Honey Bunches of Oats so less taste I guess! Then I used the rest of it to make waffles this morning and there was no difference in my waffles at all! So I guess I'm pleased to say that I think it is viable option. I didn't try it on Megan though . . . but when you've got nothing else right?

Item #2 -- Megan has been in a coloring phase for the past week and a half. It all of a sudden just happened and she is a fanatic for it. We are going through so much paper! She asks constantly for "codors" (l's have become d's for some reason) and "more paper". She does lots of scribbly circles and then pounds the crayon on the paper and delcares "po-ka dots"!

Item #3 -- 36 weeks and counting! My doctor still wants me to have a c-section and I am fighting it like the dickens (what does that mean anyway?) but things are looking good and I'll be getting ANOTHER ultrasound today to measure the baby again and see how big she's getting. Another scare tactic I think but I love ultrasounds so I can't complain I think. Other than that, I'm actually starting to get ready! I keep putting it off thinking I have plenty of time but this week is going by really fast and I'm kind've hoping the rest of the weeks will too. Chopper and I toured the birth center at Mary Washington Hospital last night and I liked what I saw and what they told us. It's a larger, nicer hospital than the one in Missoula for sure although I learned with Megan that what really makes a good labor and delivery experience is the people so I'm keeping my fingers crossed there!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's the Little Things

There are so many little things that brighten life everyday.

Today it was a pretty empty Wal-mart! I couldn't believe how wonderful it was to shop without a thousand people everywhere. And all the stores have been swamped because of the continuous bad weather. Thank goodness that will finally slow down. Virginia has set a new record for snow this winter -- 53+ inches since the first snowfall in December. That tops the record of 50 inches set in 1996 and I heard somewhere that the next record after that goes back to 1895. Not sure about that one though. But the days have been in the 40s, the roads are clear, and hopefully there won't be too much more after this. The school kids were out for 2 weeks and I think have 2-hour delays all this week!

2 other things I'm excited about today though: First, our blog book finally came! BIG BIG THANKS to my friend Alicia for telling me about how she does hers. It's a website called and it literally pulls the text and photos from your blog so that all you have to do are pick the styles, layouts, and format the text how you want it. I spent a lot of time formatting but in all it only took me about 2 weeks and now we have a hard copy of everything from the past two years! It was so fun actually to format it because it was a neat review of the things that have happened to us and everything that we've gone through with Megan (it is kind've Megan saturated!!). But the book is beautiful and, while I'll do a few things differently next year, it was completely worth it. What a way to keep up on your family history and have it last. And yet I don't feel like it's too personal because it's all stuff I've been willing to post. And it makes me not feel so bad about being a sporadic journal writer!!

The second is this car seat canopy. A woman in my ward has one for her new baby and I fell in love on first sight. With Megan, I was always looking for a way to cover her up without smothering her and keeping the handle of the carrier cloth free so my grip didn't slip. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner! And when she told me that her sister made it for her -- well that was the end of that! A few sales and coupons for fabric at Joanns (which is really cute actually -- they are getting better and better) and about an hour of sewing, pressing, and measuring and voila!! I think it turned out really well and I can't wait to use it! Ok 5 weeks and counting . . . Now on to my next project . . .

Monday, February 15, 2010

Emergency Preparedness

Chopper and I decided that we needed to take some of our tax return and get a really good jump start on our food storage and emergency preparedness. Nothing like a good snowstorm to remind you of what you need to do! Today we went to Costco and started pricing items that we would use in a short-term supply and we're trying to cover all angles -- not just food, but things like: if the power goes out and we need to conserve water, we should have paper plates and cups and things to cut down or eliminate the number of dishes that need to be cleaned.

I've also decided I need to start experimenting more. After all, what's the point of spending money on something that you don't know how to use and will just go to waste instead of getting rotated!

So taking all this into consideration, plus the fact that we have a very young family, I've decided to start with powdered milk. The next time I go to Walmart, I'm buying one box and we're going to do it all: drink it, bake with it, make ice cream -- ok maybe we won't make ice cream . . . but I'll post the results just the same. After all, isn't blogging partly about sharing useful information?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Chopper and I didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. It's enough just to be married to him! :) Ok that was sappy I know. But really we decided to be low-key about it so I sat on the couch and read a book and he played a video game and that was good!

Actually, yesterday I decided to bake some banana bread and see if Megan would help. Now that she's "officially" a toddler, I've been trying more crafty things with her and it's been fun. We cut snowflakes (ok, I cut and she unfolded them and asked for more), we decorated the window with red hearts (well, I decorated and she pointed them out) and then we made banana bread! Megan really liked helping dump the ingredients into the bowl and then watching what happened when I mixed it all together (electric, so she didn't get to stir). But, she doesn't quite have a handle on dumping cleanly and so this is what she looked like (and my kitchen) by the time we were done.

I was pretty covered in flour myself and I don't tend to wear aprons. Maybe I need to start us both on that path!

Megan finally put on Krista's hat correctly AND she's wearing her favorite pajamas so how could I resist?

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day -- we hope you have lots of love!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nothing to do

We got a few more inches of snow and I am suffering from major cabin fever! And nesting! Every nook and cranny is getting purged, reorganized, and repacked! Chopper has no idea where anything is now . . .

My best friends from college knitted this adorable hat for Megan's birthday and a smaller one for when the baby comes along. Except Megan likes to put it on sideways and I think it makes her look like a Trojan warrior or something. And she is in the phase where going to bed means certain things need to be just so -- including what is in the bed with her. Lately, Minnie and the bird sit on the side table, a bunch of animals like the side, she has to have both flowers (sheet and blanket), quilt, and flannel blanket, and her ball. When we checked on her last night before going to bed ourselves, she was still holding the ball! Maybe sports will be in her future . . .

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Known Vs. Unknown

34 weeks today and 6 to go. Well, that is if she comes on time. I'm starting to enter the fear phase. I thought it might not be so bad this time around but actually I feel like it's worse. Last time it was a fear of the unknown. This time, I have a better idea of what's coming, not to mention that fear of those complications that did happen the last time. And the worry begins. This poor little girl is getting so tight in there too. And I've already but on 30 pounds. My doctor told me today I need to be careful or the baby will suck all those calories in. I gained 40-45 with Megan and she only weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz. but I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry.

Maybe I should start pulling out baby paraphanelia and clothing. Perhaps that will help get my mind off of things.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Little Baby

Megan had her 2 year appointment today despite the snow and she's a little, healthy girl. Her weight is 24 lbs. 1 oz. and height is 33 inches. Both measurements are around or under 25th percentile which doesn't surprise me. She hated the doctor today but we don't go a lot for her to be too traumatized. We did have to catch up on some immunizations which was NOT fun but M&Ms afterwards helped make it all better. Thanks Grandma for sending us those! Next appointment will be her 3 year old. In fact, the next time we're at that office will be for new baby appointments! Yikes!

Tomorrow I am 34 weeks and counting. Although I'm trying not to count too much because it just makes time go so slow!!! I'm also nesting I think . . . it's hard to tell because I get into purging and organizing moods anyway, but I've really been in the mood to pull out baby clothes and toys and start getting ready for Abby to come! Since that's supposed to be a sign that she'll be here soon Chopper thinks she's going to come early. I don't think so, but I guess you never know!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A snowed in birthday

Virginia declared a state of emergency about 2 days ago for the snowstorm we are currently in. We haven't lost power and have maybe gotten half of the snow they said we would but that still amounts to a foot, and all church meetings tomorrow have been cancelled of course. It started coming down yesterday and has only recently stopped.

So today is Megan's 2nd birthday! We didn't have a big party planned, just cupcakes with the family that lives around us, but we had to modify of course and it turned out really well. My pictures always get scrambled when I post so I'll go through the details now and then just post all the pictures.

Yesterday we went to Chopper's parents to say hi and wish his mom a happy birthday (that was yesterday) and they gave Megan their present. A tea set! She has been so thrilled with it. I knew she was ready when she started pretending to eat and drink from other toys and I tell you she has played with that thing almost every waking moment since then! It was the first thing she asked for when she got up this morning -- "tea set?" -- and she loves to play and serve Chopper and I who knows what. She'll even feed her animals if you prompt her too. And she got really mad last night when I tried to put it away before bed -- so it waited to be cleaned up until after she was down for the night!

Today with the snow we haven't gone anywhere of course but Chopper's brother Jesse and his wife Emily and their 3 kids -- Eve, Sophie, and Blu -- decided to brave the weather and WALK over to spend some birthday time with us! I couldn't believe it honestly. I wouldn't have taken my 3 kids out in this, we've had wind as well as snow and that just makes it miserable. But they did. They really don't live far, but it was really sweet for them to do that. We had a big sandwich buffet and the kids just played and played. I think it's always fun to have access to "new" toys and the girls especially were really good about playing with Megan. She's still learning how to do that and it's nice to have some older kids who can play with her and show her the ropes!

After lunch we had cupcakes. Megan got her 2 candles and we sang happy birthday but she does not like fire! On this, I have to say I'm not too sad. She knows it's hot and dangerous. She did blow a little bit when we asked her to but when they didn't go out right away she was done! So Chopper blew the candles out and let her have at it. True to Megan form, she ate hardly any cake but was very interested in picking the sprinkles off the top. I also made some eyeball cupcakes since her eyeball is literally her favorite toy in the world and she asked for those as well. But since she just played in the frosting and ate the mini-M&Ms (the pupils if you will), she didn't get too many of those!

Then we opened presents. Megan is more interested in presents than in the paper and boxes. So much so that I put most of it in bags so she wouldn't get bored! She opened up a Little People house first and then was not interested in opening anything else. So we coaxed her into opening the play food to go with her tea set and a present from Grandma and Grandpa Gasser -- a hamster! Thank you not a real one! It's mechanical (?) so it rolls around on the floor and changes directions and makes the funniest noises: it moos like a cow, crows like a rooster, and sneezes -- all this in addition to little hamster chatterings. She didn't pay much attention at first because it was in a box (no easy access) but after everyone left and the craziness of 4 small kids in our too small apartment died down, we let it run and she got a really big kick out of it. She also got some books which she had to read as soon as Sophie opened them -- yep, cousin Sophie. You can't complain though about someone else opening your presents when you aren't doing it yourself!

We had a great time although she crashed hard and early from the sugar, the people, and no nap! I think it was a great day for her -- it's hard to tell when they're 2 of course -- but Chopper and I had a good time and she really seemed to as well.

My friend Alicia posted directions on how to turn your blog into a book and I've been working on doing that myself these past few days. It is time-consuming but really fun to go back through all of the things I've blogged about and read about the changes in Megan and see the pictures of the last 2 years. She's so different from this time in 2008 and yet so much the same and it's amazing to me that we're going to have another one starting the same process here soon! I absolutely love birthdays, I love celebrating the person and today was just wonderful!