Saturday, February 26, 2011

I LOVED my birthday! (Lots of exclamation points and capitals here)

I decided that for my 30th birthday, I didn't want any huge surprises...I just wanted to do exactly what I wanted to do. So I threw myself a Just Dance 2 party. Chad picked up a few Costco pizzas and I asked my the guests (my family members) to bring appetizers in lieu of gifts, and boy did they deliver. I told them, "Think to yourself - what would pregnant Katie want?" and I was so touched that they seemed to know exactly what to bring. Sabina made incredible fruits pizzas (that the kids gobbled down), my mom brought bread to dip in delicious hummus, and Levi and Audra brought brownies. It was really the perfect meal.


I tried not to fill up too much because we spent the WHOLE NIGHT dancing. I mean, really. Almost everyone gave it a shot, and I was never short on dance partners. I loved how much the kids got into it (even my little Ollie), and we were all shocked and amazed when the star of the evening turned out to be my 8 year old nephew Santiago. NO ONE (expect me, of course, because you know, I totally rock this game, even 8 months pregnant ;) could beat him. It was awesome.

Outside we inagurated our new fire pit and had a variety of different s'more options. The men seemed to gravitate to the fire, along with my niece, who almost attempted to roast a marshmallow using her fingers and more than almost started a little fire in the mulch of my flower bed.

It was a great way to turn 30. I love my family! If they could have ALL been there it would have been perfect.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mrs. Boring ;o)

I badly needed a new hair-do. I wanted something different. I searched online to try and find a picture of something that I wanted, but the fact of the matter is, celebrity hairstyles aren't for me. I am not super trendy, I am super low-maintenance, and I have a baby coming in 5 weeks, so I didn't want anything that would need a touch-up in 6 weeks (plus I am too cheap to convince myself to go back anytime near that for touch-ups). So I really didn't find any pictures online that I thought would realistically work for me, right now.

I have gone to a professional for a haircut maybe 6 times in my life, and only once before to anywhere more upscale than Great Clips. I have never had it colored professionally. To me, going to get my hair done is about as relaxing as going the Dr. I am always happy that I did afterwards, but I don't like the process. Anyway, I couldn't even work myself up to making an appointment - Chad did it for me, and I was tempted to cancel in.

Boy, with all this lead-up, you are probably expecting dramatic results, so I am just going to tell you to drop those expectations now :o) I went in this morning and had a good talk with my very impressive stylist. When I said I was low-maintenance, she suggested that I get lowlights, since they can just grow out if you don't want to keep them up. I said okay. I said I have been trying to grow my hair out for years but always end up chopping it off at this blah stage. I told her that I don't spend a lot of time on my hair, and she listened when I said I didn't want anything that would my face look wider.. I really liked her - she was realistic and didn't want to do anything that would require me to come back in very soon or that would require a lot of styling every day.

When it was over, I wasn't blown away by my hair, but very very pleased. I still look like myself, but a lot livelier and I feel pretty again, which isn't an easy feat this far along in my pregnancy. Honestly, I don't think my kids can tell a difference, but I can! I guess I went in not knowing what I wanted and the stylist figured it out for me. I am happy with it!


Then I got to go stand in line at the DMV for hours because my license expires tomorrow! Fun! At least I will hopefully have a decent new picture for it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reflections before the girl comes


People tell me all the time,

"Oh, be glad you have all boys! Girls are drama!"

I laugh to myself. My boys aren't afraid of tears, tantrums, bossiness or theatrics. Maybe this will change as they get older, but for now, our house is full of drama.

I do think that having all boys brings a level of physicality to our lives that all girls might not. All day long, I am telling them to keep their hands off of each other. No hitting, no biting, no kicking - just lay off! And boy do they egg each other on - sometimes just out of boredom, I think. They all know what buttons to push, even the two year old.

I worry about them sometimes. I want them to grow up with a firm bond - always knowing that they can count on each other.

Thankfully, along with the hitting and yelling comes so much silly laughter that Chad lovingly calls them "the dork squad." They still like to cuddle each other on the couch in the morning. Last week Gabe cut his finger and Oliver sat next to him, hugging him, with genuine tears in his eyes. Gabe is getting better and better at finding ways to involve Oliver in his playing, and when Colin comes home from school, both of them perk up.

And they all three share one thing in common:

They all still adore their mama in a way that no one else can touch.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

Making chicken fajitas.....

One final bite at the end and it needs more zing....

So I grab some more chili powder from the counter and pour it on.

(I have found that it is hard to use too much chili powder).


Only, I didn't grab the chili powder.

(It is not hard to use too much ground red pepper.)





Someone please send in my application for this show. Ask Joshie to recommend me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Only In His Dreams

I hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day. Let me tell you a little about Chad's day. He was home sick from work, recovering from some flu-like bug that had him sleeping for hours on end. The only gifts he got from me were some "cold and allergy" bath salts, accompanied by an assortment of Gatorade. Not the funnest day.

However, he went into work today to find a Valentine's Day surprise waiting for him. On his desk sat a bag of chocolates with two photos of me. Sort of. My face on different bodies. Much different bodies. Take a looksie for yourself folks.


.


Who would pull such a prank? Well, since my brother Bobby received a very similar photo of his wife (he sits close to Chad in the same office - isn't that sweet?), and they happen to have a common relative that occasionally does night security in their office, I have very strong suspicions of who the culprit is.

Yes, my FATHER.

I know that my dad has NO photoshop skills, so there is also an accomplice out there somewhere.

My dad has been telling Chad for quite awhile now that he needs to spruce his cubicle up with some pictures - I guess he decided to take matters into his own hands.

On a side note, I am thinking of going blonde. What do you think?

*Edited to add: I just searched google images for "pregnant bikini" and found this picture. Tori Spelling?! Now I am just insulted. Well, at least they didn't use this picture (not for the faint of heart).

*Found the second picture. It's Miley!!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Show Him You Love Him - with bacon

Did you ever read Light Freshments Served, the now (sadly) defunct blog? When that blog ended, I continued to follow the blog of one of the contributors, the hilarious Vern. A few weeks ago she posted about some amazing cupcakes she created, and I knew I needed to try them out. When I went to the aforementioned Valentine's Day party, I had the perfect opportunity to make them.

Now these are not the kind of cupcake you make for your child to take to his class on his birthday. For one thing, they are way too much work to be smeared on little hands and classroom tables. For another, in these days of childhood obesity, you might get complaints from the rest of the parents for introducing their children to the wonders of candied bacon.


That's right folks - it is bacon pieces, mixed with melted butter and then sprinkled with sugar - and yes, it is as good as it sounds.

Without further ado, presenting Vern's Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and Candied Bacon.



So, let me admit straight away that I did not use Vern's recipe for chocolate cake. Why? Because I am lazy. I used my old stand-by chocolate cake recipe that comes mostly from boxes and bags.

The embellishment is what gave me the most trouble and mostly because I am an idiot, and when I first melted the sugar in a pan, I decided to use a rubber spatula to stir, which slowly melted in with the sugar, making a gooey rubbery disgusting embellishment not fit to top a flip flop, let alone these cupcakes. So I had to start over, this time using a non-plastic spoon to stir. Chad and the boys seemed to think the heart embellishments would have looked better if they were uniform and pretty, but I liked the arty look.


Vern's cupcakes were much prettier than mine, but I think that as soon as people see the bacon on top, that is pretty much all they can think about anyway. I noticed that it is was mostly the men at the party who took to these babies, with one of them pointing to the bacon and exclaiming, "Let me just tell you, this is GENIUS."

Just a side note, I should have made these the night before because although I let them cool before the party, the leftovers were much better the next day after sitting in the fridge all night.

Thanks for the recipe Vern, and keep doing what you do. Visit her whenever you need a laugh!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

While I was writing last night's post...

....Chad ran to get a couple of things at the store for me.

Two of these items are for me, two are him - bet you can't guess which are which ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

Chad and I went to a Valentine's Day party last weekend. Chad was adorable, and charming, and I was happy to be basking in his presence, without the presence of our boys.

This pleasant evening was overshadowed by the rest of the weekend.

Chad could not do anything right around the house. The kids were especially loud and whiney, and their elbows and knees were especially sharp and belly-seeking. I was snapping, yelling, crying and complaining in utter frustration at the annoyances that surrounded me.

After a couple days of wondering what was wrong with everyone else, I broke down in tears on Sunday night and admitted to an ever-patient Chad that it really was me that was the problem. Then just as I uttered that admittance, a calm settled on me and a thought very clearly came into my head,

"You need some sleep."

I didn't feel that sleepy, but I had spent the week training Oliver to sleep in his own bed all night, which meant getting up four or five times each night. Saturday night was a late one, spent at the party, and top those factors off with regular doses of pregnancy insomnia, and yeah, of course I an irrational mess.

It was 8 o'clock, I didn't feel tired, but to bed I went, and awoke a brand new woman, in very clean house (thanks to Chad.)

On Monday I finally noticed the candy bar that we received at the party.
How appropriate.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One of the saddest things in the world....

......has to be the tragedy of a five year old breaking his piggy bank

- a piggy bank carefully chosen with birthday money
- a piggy bank that housed carefully saved money, and was just brought to preschool for show and tell.
- a piggy bank dropped in a single reckless moment while running away from a naughty brother who was trying to get it.




I am so buying him a new one.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Preparing

I stayed out of the girl's clothes section for quite awhile after the big ultrasound. I don't know if it was the shock of all that pink screaming at me, or the disbelief I felt about having a girl. Whenever someone asked me if I was just SO excited, I would say, "I really just can't believe it yet." My brain was stuck in boy mode. Part of me still expected to pull out the 0-6 month boy bin from the closet one more time and just sort through it sometime before April.

My resistance and disbelief disappeared with the appearance of these little dresses on clearance at Target.

Size newborn



0-3 Months

Part of me wonders if I will look back on the second dress years from now and wonder what I was thinking, but for now I love it.

The spell has been broken and I have no problem shopping for little girls' clothes now. No problem at all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

String Cheese at 3:30

I always get this point in my pregnancy, when I am up at 3:30 in the morning snacking on string cheese and crackers. Well, usually it is grapes too, but Oliver ate all of ours. I am wide awake and thinking of projects I want done around the house, which is also typical of this point of my pregnancies, so let me use this time to share some pregnancy information -just because. If you are bothered by the word placenta, just go ahead and click out of here.

At my beginning of my pregnancy, I found out that there is a new birthing center near us. I am not anti-epidural or anything (considering I have had one with every birth), but the idea of giving birth without IVs and monitors attached the whole time, like they do at this place, is very appealing. Most appealing is that, if everyone goes okay, they let you go home with your baby after four hours. I know there are some women who treasure their time at the hospital, but I am not one of them. The idea of going home and sleeping in my own bed that very night seems like utter and complete bliss. Plus, if I am ever going to "go natural" I think it is going to have to be at a place where epidurals aren't even an option and I am supported by someone who won't even mention the word.

Anyway, this place has very reasonable prices ($4000 for all visits and the birth AT MOST - this is if your insurance won't cover anything), but they don't do ultrasounds there, so I figured I would stick with my current nurse midwife (who only delivers in a hospital) and then just switch over to them after my first ultrasound. Well, at my ultrasound, I was told that my placenta had a succenturiate lobe, which means my placenta was growing in two pieces, with membranes and vessels attaching them. The main placenta was anterior with the lobe running down close to the cervix and then over to the other side of the baby. Or something like that. So what did that mean? If it didn't move, I would need to have a c-section when it came time for the birth, and even if I didn't need a c-section, they would have to make sure the whole placenta came out intact so I wouldn't hemorrhage or anything. Am I saying placenta too much? Are you still there?

So my midwife set up a second ultrasound for me at 28 weeks (and I put off going the birth center because why go if I am just going end up needing a c-section?), which then got cancelled because of snow, so I ended up having it at 29 weeks. What they find? Absolutely nothing. Not only is my placenta far away from my cervix, it is all in one piece. No succenturiate lobe. Did it magically grow back together? Um no. The technician told me that if you happen to have a Braxton Hicks contraction while you are getting an ultrasound, it can make it look like you have a succenturiate lobe. Hmmm. By the way, she turned on the 3D during both ultrasounds and could only get a nice blobby view of everything in my uterus expect the baby, so even though I got two ultrasounds, I don't have any cool pictures of my little girl. Also, the techician never said anything about the sex at the second ultrasound. I know that isn't what she was checking, but I wish that I would have asked her to double check, and I keep hearing stories since then about technicians who were wrong the first time. All I have to comfort me is that I called the baby a girl and she didn't correct me. Folks, that would be really bad if this baby was a boy. Not because I wouldn't love a boy, but I am emotionally and mentally prepared for a girl - not to mention the girl clothes I have been buying.

So now I have no worries about giving birth at the birthing center. We went and took a tour a couple of days after that ultrasound and talked to one of the midwives there. I love it. We turned our insurance information in to one of their billing people, who was supposed to find out how much it would cost us. This place is considered "out of network" and we would need to pay a higher deduction and percentage of the cost than normal because of that. Since we don't have a birthing center "in network" they were going try to get an "out of network" exception for us, which I guess they have successfully done with several patients. Unfortunately they came back and told us that our policy doesn't allow them to request the exception - we needed to. Chad called in yesterday to do that, and now we are waiting to find out if we will get it. Either way, we will find out what our out-of-pocket expense would be, and either way it could very well be less expensive than using the hospital.

Is it really all about the money? Not really - but I don't care enough about "going natural" to do it if it is going to cost more than giving birth at the hospital. It looks like it will be less expensive at the birthing center, and let's face it - if it is, I am going to demand a really big push present from Chad :o) So, long story, but I am 32 weeks today and I don't know where I am giving birth!

My placenta is still anterior, which I guess sometimes makes it harder for the mom to feel the baby kick, but for me it just makes it harder to feel from the outside. Chad just felt her move a couple of weeks ago, but I feel her beating my insides relentlessly every night at around 8:30. At my last ultrasound she had her head and feet on my right side with her behind on my left, and I am just as uncomfortable as that sounds.

I have been having soooo many more Braxton Hicks contractions this pregnancy than the others, and sometimes they border on being painful. It is strange and keeps giving me the feeling that this baby is going to come early (which freaks me out, seeing what my sister went through when her daughter was born premature), but I know that I will regret admitting that feeling when I am at 42 weeks and still haven't given birth. I won't even allow myself to even fantasize about a March baby, even though I am due on April 2. Colin keeps telling me that I am going to have the baby on what was his due date - April 14th. That way he would have been born on this baby's due date and she would be born on his. He thinks that would be pretty funny, but yeah...I am missing the humor there.

Like I have said before, I am really huge. I'm not just saying that either - I really am. The main reason I mind this is because everyone thinks I am much further along than I really am, and that makes this pregnancy feel like it is lasting an eternity. When I stand up after sitting down for a long time, my back hurts and I waddle for about ten minutes. I have been trying really hard the last couple of weeks to stay active and build up whatever muscles I need to support my growing girth. I painted and re-did the toy room last week all by myself, and I have still been using the elliptical (for short amounts of time) and playing Just Dance 2 on the Wii. It isn't much, but I am trying and I can tell it helps. Since getting heartburn over the holidays and Chad's birthday weekend, I have also been trying to eat better, and I haven't had to take Tums since then. It is so much more motivating to eat right if it makes you feel so much better.

What else? My skin is so dry and itchy that I have used up two bottles of lotion this month. I have been waking up with night sweats. I am grumpy in the evenings and I am sure Chad is tired of hearing my unintentional grunts and moans and groans.

Two months left, and I am ready to never be pregnant again (who knows!) but I am also happy to have the little one in there for awhile yet, safe and healthy.

So there you have it - all the information you never needed to know :o)

Oh, and if placentas gross you out, you aren't going to want to see this. Don't worry - I will never be that "crunchy."

And a nice "little" picture, taken on Thursday, to prove my earlier point.

Friday Evening



Sometimes toddlers need the weekend just as much as their daddies.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chinese New Year Recap


The younger boys and I went to Colin's celebration yesterday. Colin's teacher practically swooned when Oliver walked through the door and couldn't believe how much he looked like Colin. I think she loves our Colin. Chad told me that after their evening performance, she and Colin were holding hands the whole way back to the classroom. Anyway, the classroom party had lots of great Chinese food, which all three of the boys love, and all of the kids at the performance were impressive. *I forgot the add earlier that I was really worried about Ollie's behavior after his performance at the piano recital, so I loaded up the iPod with Dora and Diego and took it for him. It worked great.*

We love being a part of Smith Academy! Next year we will be in a new (to us) building and our name will be E.E. Waddell Academy, and though it will be a great move, I am sure I will look back on these days of classroom trailers and old bathrooms with a little bit of nostalgia. That is, afterall, what I grew up with!

Onto a video of Colin's class performance. My apologies for the length. For some reason, even though I have done it in the past, I couldn't figure out how to cut the length, and you get all the music snafus included. You probably can't hear it either, but Colin and a girl from his class introduce their class in the beginning.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

Colin was pretty excited this morning when he left for school.

Today is Chinese New Year, which means he will be having a classroom party with noodles, dumpling and fortune cookies, followed by a performance with all the Chinese immersion students. It's a big day at Smith Academy today, with another performance this evening. Wish me luck as I try to get a 2 year old to sit through over an hour of what sounds like utter jibberish to him (and me.)

You should be excited too. Why? You can use this coupon to get some free firecracker chicken at Panda Express today. Hop on over.