Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm in Trouble

For a couple of reasons.  The first is that I did not post these pictures yet.

I'd like to introduce you to Chopper's new love.  Yes, he is in the process of naming her (which may be a much easier process than naming Lloyd Voldemort . . . ).  Why is it that cars and grills are always female?  Anyway.  My parents sent Chopper some money for his birthday and so I gave in and we made up the difference and bought him a new grill with smoker.

He is so excited.
In fact, the night that we bought it, we had to celebrate with steaks.  That he did not cook on this grill.  I know -- he just decided that 2 steaks were not important enough for the inauguration.  But it will happen.  And since this covers not only his birthday but Father's Day as well, we may have to have a party for Father's Day and grill for our friends.  And he's planning a brisket for when my mom arrives.  Because nothing celebrates the birth of a son like smoking barbecue!!!

The second reason that I'm in trouble is probably really going to come back to bite me big time.  The last 3 nights we've had thunderstorms and Abby wakes up every time.  So we've taken her back to her room where she either cries for an hour because we put the gate up or continues to get out of bed for an hour because we leave it down.  It's been much easier to stay in her room so she will stay in bed and go back to sleep.

But last night Chopper was up with her for an hour, maybe two (I'm not really sure because I was out cold pretty much -- I have been soooo tired lately).  All I know is that he was gone when I got up to use the bathroom (which happens more frequently than it should.  You know, there should be a law that prior to having a baby you have a month where you get at least 10 hours of solid sleep every night).  Anyway, major thunderstorms again last night and so Abby was up, again, at 5:15 a.m.  So here are my options: let her cry it out and listen to her on the monitor for an hour or stay in her room for an hour and tell her every ten minutes that I'm still here and go to sleep.  Which at that point will be almost 6:30 and then it's practically time to get up.  So I broke the rules.  I brought Abby to bed with me.  She laid down, rolled over, and was probably asleep in 10 minutes.  And so was I.  And she slept until 7:30.  It was lovely.

But you know and I know what's going to happen for the next week.  One moment of weakness is going to cost me a week of getting her to stay in her bed.
So yes, I'm really in trouble.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weather Report

It's raining in Texas.  And that is always worth reporting!

Actually, last night I watched an episode of Criminal Minds -- a psychopath show that I've seen intermittently and am NEVER watching again.  It was really awful I don't know why I didn't turn it off.  But that's another story.

Anyway, I ended up having a nightmare about the show and at the very end, the perpetrator started shooting.  You know how in a nightmare you're going to die but you wake up right before you do?  Well, that's what happened to me, only the shooting was still going on!  So it took me a minute to realize that it was hail.  Only a minute though because boy did it become a doozy!

We ended up with very steady, very loud, very large (from what I could see out the windows) hail for about 15 minutes.  Chopper was worried about the car.  I was worried that there was going to be a tornado involved -- for some reason tornadoes and hail seem to go together in Texas.  But we were safe.  Abby woke up and I sat up with her for about an hour and Megan never even moved a muscle.  And it was LOUD!  Echoing off the room, banging on the windows.  LOUD!

But we're safe -- and we've survived our first real hail storm.  And now I'm going to put together a tornado / severe weather kit to keep in our bathroom.  Oh and reassemble our 72-hour kits.  Because this literally was a wake-up call!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Same Wonderful Chopper

Ah, 35.  That's a nice age don't you think?  At least, it was a nice birthday celebration (I hope) for turning 35.  We've now celebrated Friday, Saturday, and maybe tomorrow as well.  Chopper always gets a birthday weekend.  But I can't complain because he does the same for me!

This year I decided to go out on a limb and makes biscuits and gravy for the first time!  And you know what?  They turned out really good?  And Chopper loved it -- so we'll make that birthday present number 1.
Then he took a nap (birthday present #2) followed by a regular day and then the opening of presents!

Of course no present opening is complete without a little assistance: 

 I found the HBO mini series John Adams for him (it's really good actually, especially if you like historical stuff), the first season of M.A.S.H., a couple of dress shirts for church and work and this is what Megan insisted on getting dad:
 Yes, an Elmo coloring book.  Of course she had ulterior motives and confiscated said coloring book about 10 minutes after he opened it (Chopper didn't mind too much I think).

After dinner we sang happy birthday and he blew out a few candles on his key lime pie (first one I've ever made -- but it was really easy!) and we ate!!

Saturday we had to continue the celebration with one of Chopper's favorite hobbies:
Yep -- he smoked a rack of ribs!  They turned out really good and so his next goal is to acquire an actual smoker and then to come up with that awesome secret sauce.  Eventually, we'll make it to Memphis in May!!  Although we might have to master the brisket while we're living in Texas since that's the barbecue entree of choice here!

It's been a nice, fairly quiet weekend and a happy birthday to Chopper!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Yesterday I paid to get the carpets cleaned.

Actually, I got a REALLY good deal.  And while I was kind've hoping that we would be over all this pee and poop business with Megan, our voucher was expiring so it needed to get done.  So I contained the girls while the carpets were cleaned and then rushed them out of the house at 10:30 a.m. and kept them out running errands until 4:30 p.m. to give the carpets a chance to dry.  No nap for Abby.  No nap for me.  90 degree weather.  BIG pregnant belly.  And a 4 year old and a 2 year old.  

Yes, it was an exhausting day.  

And the first thing that Megan did when we got home?  Pee on the carpet.

I kind've lost it.  Ok I really lost it.  Not to Megan's detriment (except that she was extremely upset that I made her wear a pull-up and took all her underwear away), just crying and upset (this is me again) and what am I going to do about this girl lost it.  My goals for my children have really been modified these past few months.  Right now I would like them to be potty-trained so that they can leave the house and I can have a clean one.

Then today I took Megan to see a pediatric gastroenterologist.  Because I am at the end of my rope.  So we're going to spend the next 2 days trying to clean out her system (because it seriously needs it) but the doctor also ordered blood work to test for diseases and disorders -- primarily thyroid diseases and Celiac's disease.  Because she agrees with me that it sounds like something more than just bowel.  And that nearly made me fall out of my chair.  Maybe the results will come back negative, but I finally felt a little validated about all of this testing and evaluation that I've been doing.  FINALLY.

So we stopped at Target on the way home to get our supplies for O.D.W. (Operation Disgusting Weekend) and jelly beans because Megan was a super trooper for having her blood taken (side note, she's very concerned right now that she doesn't have enough blood in her body any more) and I'm walking into the store pregnant, carrying Abby (who was partially asleep) and holding hands with Megan and a guy passes us by and says to me "well you just really like a challenge don't you?"

Not usually the comment I get -- it usually is something about having my hands full or excitement / relief that I'm having a boy (apparently finally and this means that I'm done to now have boys and girls).  But it made me think.  How many times have I heard the phrase, or said myself in the past few months -- this is really really hard and THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!  And it occurred to me just today, maybe I really did sign up for this.  Maybe before I came here I saw a little bit of what my life would be like and said yes, I can do this!  Or maybe I didn't know exactly what I was getting into but I knew better then that it would be ok and it would be worth it.  In other words, maybe I need to have more faith.  Because sometimes I just really want a single reference to potty-training in the scriptures.  Or handling tantrums or children talking back or fighting with each other or gee, what else has been happening lately??

I don't know if I'll have any great answers when this bloodwork comes back but I guess if I don't love a challenge, I better learn to!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Time Flies

At the beginning of the week I look at what's going on and I wonder how I'm going to fill up all that empty time.  Then at the end of the week, I don't know what empty time I had!  Things have been so crazy lately . . . and hot.  How do I do this with 3?  Well, only 8 more weeks until I get to find out.  And despite being busy and feeling like time is going really fast, that particular measure of time is DRAGGING!

One of the big projects that kept me busy this past week was putting together the decorations for our stake women's conference.  It wasn't just me -- my friend Hillary was pretty much the genius behind it and did the bulk of the work but it was still crazy.  The theme for the conference was a virtuous woman more priceless than rubies from Proverbs 31 and this is what we came up with:
 Didn't they turn out nice?  The larger block has the scripture on it and then the smaller blocks each have a different virtue from Proverbs 31 with a description of what that virtue means.  Then we decorated each one with objects representing that virtue.  So this on is home. 

 This is industry.

And this is either home or faith -- can't really tell.  There were 10 virtues in all.  It turned out really nicely.  The conference was awesome too!  We had fantastic speakers and I know that I came away completely uplifted and inspired and also with some answers to prayer.

In between running errands and crafting and cleaning (yes I actually did!), we've also spent a lot of time outside in the pool, eating popsicles, 

and playing in mud.  I swear I am getting rid of the sandbox.  I don't mind them getting all sandy once in a while but it has become a real pain because it's gotten to the point where I don't want them to go outside unless I'm willing to bathe them and then clean the tub out.  And they discovered the joy of mixing sandbox and pool.  Nope, it has to go.
So on the agenda for this week?  Carpet cleaning (which means house cleaning beforehand), visiting teaching, doctor's appointment, and that's it for scheduled activities.  But I'm already feeling like we've got a ton going on.  Maybe it's nesting because I also have a list of things I want to accomplish in the next 8 weeks: playmat quilt (ok I don't really need one but I have a great pattern and the CUTEST fabric ever that I can't wait to show off) some room decor that needs to be finished so that I can move things off my floor and out of closets, setting up the baby's "room" in our room -- oh which means cleaning and organizing our room, and stuff like that.  Holy moly I need to get busy!  And our neighborhood pool is now open which means I need to find my swimsuit and we'll probably be there a lot -- the girls are SOOOOOO excited about that.  That will be a new adventure -- keeping both of them from drowning which also navigating my big belly.  But since it won't be happening much after July, we need to get our fill in now!!  And I need to stop typing and take the girls to the park because it's a nice morning and they need to get out of the house.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Complete Mother's Day

None of the men at church believed me when I said that Chopper treats me to a Mother's Day weekend.  But it's true!  Saturday's I get some time to myself (he says it's ironic that what I want for Mother's Day is to get away from being a mother but everyone needs a break once in a while!) and then of course we does things for me on Sunday too.  But that's not what made it complete.

Yesterday was WONDERFUL!  I did a little fabric shopping (by myself) and came home to these:

 Mounds and mounds (literally, if you want some PLEASE come over!) of chocolate covered strawberries! Megan and Abby were so excited by this.  When I walked in the door Megan ran up to me and said "Daddy made you a delicious treat!  It's your first treat -- come see!" and then proceeded to get into the fridge, hand me one, and help herself.  Although she did ask me, strawberry in hand, if I was going to share with her.  Of course!

Then I made cookies for the sisters in our ward and we went to dinner at an Italian place we enjoy and came home!  The girls were in the best moods yesterday -- funny and cheerful and adorable.  Chopper even got them to smile for the camera and took the cutest pictures for me:

Can you believe that?  I love my girls (and my husband of course).

This morning he let me sleep in and I woke up to quilt magazines and a book for presents with a card signed by him AND the girls.  Megan drew me a picture.  We had church and he made dinner . . . and the girls were cranky and miserable all day.  Yes, that it what makes it a complete Mother's Day weekend.  All facets of being a mother were in play this weekend!  Megan refused to go up and sing during the Primary song for Mother's Day and Abby nearly threw a fit because she wasn't allowed to go up and sing!  She also got really angry when she missed half of the song because she was asleep and it ended too soon for her taste.  Sigh.  And church was exhausting because she does not stop moving and I am feeling it!  So I'm spending my evening on the couch eating chocolate covered strawberries and I'll clean the house tomorrow!!!!  

In actuality, I'm very grateful to be a mom and grateful for the ways in which it has tried and stretched me and yes, given me great joy.  I'm not always grateful for the trials and I probably won't be too grateful when Abby wakes me up at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning as usual but I wouldn't be who I am today without them.  I also wouldn't be who I am without my own mother.  I have been blessed with a fantastic mother who will drop everything and come visit me just because I'm having a hard time (oh yes, and a fantastic father who will pay for her to do that!!!).  And who helps me tremendously as I figure out this whole parenting thing.  I wish more and more that we lived closer so that we could see her more often but I know that won't happen for a while probably (also something I have to thank my dad for, and Chopper -- darn those jobs!) so I'm just grateful for the phone and the computer and the things that allow me to talk to her everyday (or almost).  I hope I can be that for my children some day too.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Name Game

31 weeks today.  I'm pretty sure that we had decided on the girls' names by this point but we are just not having any luck with boy's names.  We do have a list going on the mirror though, although it's the second list.  The first one was entirely scrapped and we started over.

What has surprised me the most though is the fun that we've been having with "Lloyd".  I've never really loved the name (and since Chopper is Chopper it wasn't a big deal), but it's turned out to inspire some pretty funny things.  I've already posted about a few of them I think but just recently I've thought of how we could use it for Halloween costumes (yes I know it's May).  We could all dress up as flies and be "Lloyd of the Flies" or just Chopper could dress up and be "Lloyd of the Dance".  It honestly makes me laugh a lot just thinking about it.

So 31 weeks and counting.  I'm hot.  I'm heavy.  I'm tired.  And I'm starting to get anxious and excited.  I can't wait to see what "He Who Has Not Yet Been Named" is going to look like.  And I don't think I've ever really posted a pregnancy picture yet this time around.  Here you go!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Two doctors appointments in two days does not apparently mean answers.  It means questions.  Questions that need to have decisions made.  Where is my parenting manual again?

So doctor #1 was my OB-GYN who had good news and bad news.  Good news is that I no longer have a low-lying placenta so I don't need to worry about a C-section.  Bad news is that the last day she personally can deliver me is July 14 -- my due date is the 13th and I have a tendency to go late (at least 2 for 2).  So do I induce or do I have someone else deliver me?  Megan was delivered by a doctor I had known for about 2 weeks whom I loved.  Abby was delivered by a doctor that I saw throughout my pregnancy that I hated.  Dilemmas.  I don't really want to be induced.  Sigh.

Doctor #2 was the psychologist we had taken Megan to and we went today to find out her results.  The long and short of it is that Megan is not anywhere near the autism spectrum or ADD/ADHD.  In fact, she mostly tested off the charts intellectually.  Where she fell below average was in fine motor skills and the doctor believes that it's partly the discrepancy between that and her high mental capacity that causes her frustration and behavior issues.  She also wants me to have her tested metabolically to see if her bowel issues are physical in nature and I have no idea how I'm going to do that seeing as it took 3 of us just to give her a shot.  How are they supposed to draw enough blood for a panel??????  She also suggested seeing an occupational and speech therapist to gauge her eating habits and fine motor skills and then recommended a parenting counselor for Chopper and I.  So some information but nothing really definitive.  Of course there's more to it, I don't want to write it all down here.

Lots to think about and consider, that's for sure.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Must Look Pretty Bad

I have been so tired lately.  I feel like I haven't caught up from the crazy weekend and staying up late doesn't help, I know.  Plus, I'm realizing with this pregnancy that I am horribly out of shape.  I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I probably should start exercising after the baby comes -- GASP!  Yup.  That's how tired I am. See the extremes I'm going to?

So I've been taking naps in the afternoon while watching the Nate Berkus show.  I like his show but it's also perfect to fall asleep to because Megan knows that it's mommy's show and will leave me alone.  Yesterday, she asked for a washcloth to wash the walls with and I gave it to her.  Then towards the end of the show she wakes me up and tells me she cleaned the whole house!  I'm thinking she wiped all my walls and then I walk into the kitchen where there has been a giant mess of flashcards and . . . they're all gone!  When I asked her if she had cleaned them, she got a big girn on her face and told me yes.  Well that girl got about the biggest hug she could get -- not only did she really clean the house, she saved me from getting down on the floor!!  How sweet is that?  

Abby on the other hand has been whining and crying if I hold or even get to close to a baby.  She's been very needy lately but she's going to have to make room!  Hopefully, He Who Has Not Yet Been Named will be too cute for her to be jealous of!