Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Week: Thanksgiving

Playing Cooties with Grandma

Turkey, smurky. It's time for dessert.

This is her "I love it" face

Don't let the lack of plates fool you, Uncle K and Aunt S had some of my homemade apple pie. It was so good the gobbled it up.

Playing with Papa

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 29

lazy day enjoying the company of the in-laws. I took my sewing machine in for repair. Operator error to blame. I was retrained at no charge. Christmas sewing to commence, but not tonight.

Pounding headache. Tired, many days of intense activity have caught up with me. It is 8:37 pm and I am hitting the sack to dream about NaBloPoMo's conclusion tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Flashback Friday: Stroller Talk

So Long My Friend
originally published Saturday Dec. 8, 2007

Today is an unexpectedly sad day in our house. My husband is cleaning our Peg Perego Pliko 3 stroller for *gasp* consignment.

I love this stroller. I have no good reason to keep it, we haven't used it in months. Belle will be 4 in January and Ariel is 2 1/2. Ariel is a big girl, and according to her, only babies ride in strollers. So the Peg is going where all good Pegs go, the consignment shop.

One of the benefits of buying a Peg is it's resale value, or at least that's what I told myself at the time. The real reason for the Peg? It's sexy, light weight, easy to maneuver, and frickin' cool. I was one of those mommies carrying a designer diaper bag, wearing makeup and working my designer jeans and impractical shoes. I didn't want my stroller hindering me in between racks of clothing at Nordstrom and Ann Taylor**. I had things to buy and other Mommies to strut my stuff with.

It really didn't last long. By the time Belle was 9 months old, I was pregnant with Ariel. Pretty soon my super sexy shoes were replaced by the comfort of Dansko. Not long after that, the jeans were stored away and I was donning maternity clothing. The stroller still rocked my world, but not because it was so cool, but because it was so easy.

I could put my baby Ariel in a sling, set up the stroller with one hand, put 18 month old Belle in the stroller and off we went. Except now we weren't strutting our stuff. We were rushing to the story time that had already started. We were meeting other overtired, rundown mommies of two at the park or mall play area. I was wearing a hat to cover my disheveled hair and sunglasses to hide my makeup-less eyes.

The true reason why I am going to miss this stroller is because it represents a short period of time when I was the Mommy I always wanted to be. The one with every hair in place, makeup perfectly done and wearing fashionable clothing. The Mommy who went to the mall to shop, for herself. The Mommy that didn't have to waste her time in a play area and wasn't negotiating with her restless kids so she could try on one article of clothing.

To me the Peg represents everything good in motherhood. A sleeping baby in a comfortable stroller while Mommy is shopping. Those were the days.

**Total side note: Did you see Ann Taylor makes maternity clothes?? Ann Taylor Maternity is a great reason to get knocked up!

Jeff and I were just talking about this stroller today. Now that I am knocked up (and not strictly for the Ann Taylor Maternity line) we are thinking about strollers again. We have thrown around the idea of getting a new peg. With our current lifestyle a durable, light weight single jogger with lockable front wheel and hand break would be ideal. I am not sure that one even exists. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday Makes Me Happy

Tomorrow I will be at the mall before the sun rises. I am so excited. Shopping on Black Friday is a new tradition for me. This is my third year. The first year I braved the stores with my mom, and it was fabulous. People were friendly, prices were good and I got to bond with my mom. Last year my step-mom went with me. After getting all our goods we sat down to a wonderful breakfast at the Nordstrom's cafe and really got to know each other. It was a turning point in our relationship.

Tomorrow my mother-in-law is waking up at the crack of dawn for some shopping and one-on-one time. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to it.

From a shopping standpoint I have made a very short list of things to buy. A few necessities for the girls and birthday shopping for my husband. The most important man in my life turns thirty-three on Monday. Happy Birthday to him.

Personally I love early morning shopping because my kids and husband are sleeping. No one is going to notice or care when I spend an hour in Gymboree or Old Navy. Usually I feel guilty about shopping because it is time away from my kids and hard working husband. Black Friday is perfect "me" time, guilt free shopping for the people I love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Everyone Grab a Rake

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Am Thankful For....

A husband who takes terrific care of me and our daughters.

A babysitter who comes once a week so I can date my husband.

Daughters who allow me to see the world with wonder and newness.

A job that provides for our family while keeping me occupied and happy.

A car that runs.

A house that is warm.

Clothing that fits, for now.

A growing baby who will add so much to our lives.

Friends, old and new, who share in life with me.

A God who has bless me with all of these.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ultrasound = Ultra Relief

I just got the results. No twins! I have one healthy baby who is measuring just under 10 weeks living inside a spacious uterus that is measuring just over 12 weeks.

I could blame my enlarged uterus on my last child who stretched the darned thing out with her 9 1/2 pound body, but it is not her fault.

I could blame my neuron transmitters that failed to send the "We are shrinking down to pre-pregnancy size." message to my uterus. Thankfully the rest of my body got the message.

I could blame my AMA. For those of you too young to know what that means, let me fill you in. Advanced Maternal Age.

Goodness sakes people. I am thirty-five not forty-five. Thirty-five is practically median maternal age these days.

Regardless of fault, these are the facts. One healthy baby. One heart beating at 170 beats per minute. One enlarged home for said baby. One very relieved stay at home dad.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our Week - Fun with Leaves

Bury me!

Don't take my picture!

How cute am I?

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 22

It's Saturday, and I am only posting because of NaBloPoMo. I know you have better things to do on this glorious weekend than cruise blogs, so I am going to warn you in advance.... I have nothing to say.

Thanksgiving is in five days, the turkey is defrosting, I bought a pumpkin cheese cake from Costco today and I found a recipe for sweet potato biscuits.

My maternity clothes are out of the attic, because my belly is growing faster than normal. My doctor wants to do an ultrasound on Monday to look for twins.

What did I tell you? It is just a lazy Saturday with nothing to say. Next Saturday I will have much more to say, I am sure of it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flashback Friday: Babies

For the second week, I am republishing a post from last year and reflecting on it.

Hold Them Close
originally published on Wed Nov 21, 2007

Ahhhhh. A long weekend with four full days at home.

I am looking forward to cuddling with my girls. Ariel always gets the slightest smile on her face as she snuggles her head on my chest. I like to listen to her pacifier squeaking as she relaxes in my arms. Belle still lets me hold her “like a baby” and sing the songs that are so familiar to her. She doesn’t even mind that I sing out of tune and have made up the words. To her it is the same off-key melody that she has heard since birth.

I remember the late nights when my baby girls needed comforting. I would rock them well beyond their need to be rocked just because I loved holding them. We don’t get to do that anymore. The rocking chair is covered with clothes and isn’t used in the middle of the night anymore.

They are growing up and I am not ready for it. I look forward to these four days of snuggling, holding, kissing and playing with my children. Four days to be silly, dance, play and watch movies.

On Monday I will return to work with happy memories of a long weekend well spent with my girls.

My girls still cuddle with me. It happens more often with Ariel, because she is younger and still needs cuddles. Belle is perpetual motion, just like her father. When I get to hold he it is usually not for long.

I am looking forward to holding a baby again. My baby. I can't wait for middle of the night feedings and squeaking pacifiers. There is so much about having a baby around that I love. I feel fortunate that I will be able to relive the infancy of both my girls through the care of our new little one. Life is good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't Lose You

Cute boots, don't you think? They are Oh Mommy's latest giveaway. Click on over there and enter to win. Then come back here, because I have something to say.

Did you enter to win? Did you read some Classy Chaos? I want to know what you do to invest in yourself? As parents it is easy to let go of our desires and goals. Our children are a big priority, and they should be. But there is a happy medium that needs to be achieved. If we give everything we are to our children we lose ourselves. In losing ourselves we fail to reach our full potential as parents.

Exercise has always been a key component of my life. I am one of those strange people who loves the gym. If a gym is inconvenient I find a way to exercise. Biking, hiking, walking, running, tennis, basketball and softball are all favorite activities of mine. I exercised through my entire first pregnancy. I began exercising again as soon as I was able. At first I took my new born baby on walks. Soon I was giving up my lunch time at work to go for a bike ride. I have been a mom for almost 5 years and I have never stopped exercising. I can't stop exercising. It is a key part of my basic makeup. If someone told me that I couldn't exercise I would tell them where to shove their inane opinion and exercise anyway. Oh wait, I have done that.

When I injured my knee I had to wait five months for surgery. During those five months I was on crutches or limping. I was in pain all the time. I still went to the gym. every. single. day. After my surgery I returned to the gym as soon as I was given permission to walk. I rode the recumbent bike as such a slow pace that the darned thing would not even turn on. It was embarrassing, but I didn't stop going.

Everyone has something in their life that they feel passionate about. My advice to you is don't let go of it. Our kids are small now. They have a lot of needs and are physically limited in their capabilities, but some day they won't be. When that someday comes I want my children to exercise with me because it is something that they have seen me do all their life.

What is your special thing? What do you want your children to love as much as you do? Is it reading. Make sure they see you read. Is it sewing? Show them what you have made. Is it entertaining? Hire a babysitter and throw a dinner party. Is it gardening? Give them seeds to grow.

Children will spend more of their lifetime having adult hobbies then not. Wouldn't it be great if they enjoyed the same things as you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bun in the Oven: A Book Review

I want to thank everyone who left a comment on yesterday's post. It was very encouraging to hear from other moms.

Lately I have immersed myself in everything baby. For fun I am reading a pregnancy book and the handbook provided by the hospital. You would think I would have no need for such reading material since I have done this twice before.

I picked up the pregnancy book at the library. It was a recently returned book that I grabbed on impulse. The title is catchy, the content is humorous until you realize that the authors are stark raving mad.

Let me tell you a little about Skinny B1tch* Bun in the Oven: A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot (and Healthy) Mother! (*censored to maintain my PG blog rating).

It starts out pretty good. The first couple of chapters offer the good advice of eliminating coffee, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and soda from your diet. The authors provided compelling evidence and caused me to rethink my food choices.

Chapter Five entitled "Got Duped" talks about the dairy industry and had me somewhat convinced to cut back on dairy for both myself and my kids.

When I started reading chapter six (Secrets and Lies about Protein) I began seeing the authors in a new light. These ladies are not girlfriends just looking out for the best interest of me any my baby. These ladies are vegans who think I can survive without meat. You got to be kidding me! I am a meatatarian. I have been since birth. Coming home from kindergarten to find a cow being slaughtered in the front pasture right next to our driveway did not make me rethink beef as a very good food group. I quickly skipped over the next fifty-one pages of anti-meat propaganda and the next chapter aptly named "What the He11 to Eat". I know what I'm eating. I'm eating meat.

So if you are a vegan or want to become a vegan, this is the book for you. If you have no intention of eliminating meat and dairy from your diet and you don't want some crazy ladies telling you why your baby will be a deformed diabetic with a myriad of other problems then skip this book. It is a guilt fest for anyone who is not interested in a strict vegan diet.

Other than that it is pretty funny, especially chapter nine - Pooping.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Heavy Topic (part one)

Today I went to the doctor for a blood draw and to answer the prenatal questionnaire with the nurse. Thursday I will go back to meet with the doctor and hopefully hear the baby's heartbeat.

I knew that today's appointment would require me to get on the scale. I have been faithfully avoiding the scale for the last month. I decided that I am not going to weigh myself this pregnancy. Why? Because I gain a lot of weight when I am pregnant, so I am rarely happy with numbers on the scale. If I am happy with the numbers on the scale I tend to celebrate by eating, which makes me unhappy with the numbers on the scale the next time I get on the dreaded thing.

I am not weighing myself.

I even told myself that I would not look at the scale when the nurse weighed me. But I did. My weight was lower than I expected AND I didn't celebrate by eating. Yay me!

Now before y'all jump all over me saying, "You're so skinny why are you worried about weight gain because you are pregnant after all, crazy lady." Let me give you some background information.

Belle, my first baby weighed 7 lbs, 6 ozs. Ariel, my second baby weighed 9 lbs, 8 ozs. Do you see the problem with that? Now let's add this little fact, my darling husband is the baby of his family, his mom's fourth child. Jeff weighed over 10 pounds. Do you see the even bigger problem?

Giving birth to my second child was not a pretty sight. I am a small girl and not equip to deliver big babies without sustaining a lot of damage. After Ariel was born I saw a specialist who told me that I shouldn't have another baby. I didn't really like that answer, so he conceded that I could have another baby, but only by C-section. I was somewhat satisfied with that answer, but not thrilled with the possibility of a C-section. I spoke to my OB who spoke to the specialist and they decided that if I could keep my weight gain around thirty pounds and deliver at thirty-eight weeks, I can avoid a C-section.

A thirty pound weight gain is a lofty goal that I have no idea how to meet. During my first pregnancy I ate what ever I wanted and gained seventy pounds. During my second pregnancy I tried really hard to eat well and only gained sixty pounds. I know that there are mothers everywhere who gain thirty pounds or less each pregnancy. I am not one of those moms.

Today I weighed in at 137 pounds. That is a 5 pound increase from my pre-pregnancy weight. I know that most of this gain is fluid. I am not too worried about it. I hope I can hold my weight at this level for the next month or so. I hope.

I will be talking about my weight for my entire pregnancy, but not because I am worried about getting fat. My only concern is keeping my baby's birth weight manageable so that I can deliver this baby myself instead of being cut open. I will not be cut open. All of you out there with a"C-sections are wonderful" story can save it for someone who doesn't have an irrational fear of scalpels. I may be irrational, but at least that fear will keep me for gaining too much weight.

I hope.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Don't mess with the pregnant chick.

It is not often that I come home from work telling tales that make my husband's account of his day with two preschoolers sound like a cake walk. I usually walk in the door with my work day safety tucked behind me while Jeff pours himself a beer and says, "Thank God you are home."

Maybe it is not that bad, but everyday holds at least one story of an hour long fit, or major misbehavior, or a stressful fight between siblings. They are kids, this is what they do.

Not today. Today the kids had a wonderful day. This morning they went to an exercise class at the gym for preschoolers, they had some friends over for a play date in the afternoon, and they were happily playing "tea cup ride" with our spinning office chair when I got home. The family had a great day while I was at work.

My day did not go so well. There is nothing worse than being pregnant and having to deal with office politics. I believe office politics have no place in an company with five employees, but some people have a different view on that.

You may be wondering about the effects of pregnancy and office politics. Maybe it is just me, but being pregnant means that I am more assertive and less complacent. I have seven months until my life is drastically altered, so I don't have time to deal with time consuming nonsense. My business decisions have one objective. Get it done. Once a team has sat down and figured out how to get it done, everyone should follow the plan. I don't have the patience for rogue team members who are trying to prove a point by not following the plan. It is that simple.

That was my day. This is my rant. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 15

This year I am participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). It is a wonderful concept designed to push writers to daily blogging. I am thankful for the commitment because it has encouraged me to get back into blogging. I am not excited about the fact that it forces me to post something when I don't have anything valuable to say. Like today. I have nothing, not ta, zilch.

So instead of reading what I don't have to say today, read what I had to say yesterday, Thursday, and Wednesday. Those posts are worth reading.

This is just filler.

Oh - and while you are here, can you do me a favor. I need some encouragement. I feel like my blog is falling on empty ears. I would love it if you could leave me a comment. Even if you just say hi, it would be really appreciated.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Flashback Friday: Growth

Today I am republishing a post from last year. This memory is one I reflect on often when I am watching my independent second born child.

Little Miss Personality
originally published Thurs Nov. 8, 2007

The genetic combination of my husband and I resulted in beautiful children who don't look like either of us. We often fail to determine who's nose they have or who's lips. Before we had kids, we thought we would know right away who the children resembled by their hair. My husband was bald until he was 2 years old, I was born with a elaborate head of hair. Our children have neither. They have a moderate amount of unremarkable hair. Go figure.

I have a much easier time finding which personality traits the kids have inherited from us. Our little one has taken after me in the most amusing way. She is independent and determined. This is how I describe her. My Mom described these traits in me a little differently, she called it strong-willed.

The words strong-willed still make me cringe. In my experience the term sums up everything that is wrong with a child and needs to be changed. Take it from me, the last thing you are going to do with a strong-willed child is change them.

My little one isn't strong-willed. She is determined, independent and 2 years old. So, I listen to her insistent words "I do it myself.", and I let her try. Last night she wanted to put her pajamas on herself. It was a complicated task complete with buttons. Whenever I would come into her room to check her progress, she would turn her back to me and mutter "I do it myself." And she did. The buttons weren't in the right holes. But she got the idea. When she was done I was impressed and she was proud. Those are moments worth being patient for.

My daughter still moves away from me when she is focused on a task and doesn't want me to intervene. Remembering back to the moment when she stubbornly buttoned her pajamas, even though I thought she was too young to do it, helps me remember that she is a growing person who's capabilities will never be realized if she isn't allowed to try. She tries even when it is inconvenient. She tries even when it is difficult. She tries even when it is messy. And by trying she learns, by learning she grows, by growing she blossoms into an independent girl that accomplishes more every day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What are we but our stories?

I am reading “Sam’s Letters to Jennifer” by James Patterson. Last night a passage from the book spoke volumes to me. I want to share it with you today.

“As I chiseled my column, the day disappeared into night. At one in the morning, I was still writing and rewriting about how lucky I was that Sam has put her thoughts down for me to read. How many of my readers were so lucky? How many of us know the true stories of our parents and grandparents? How many of us share the stories of our lives with our own children? What a loss to the children if we don’t. What are we but our stories?”

Whether you are a blog reader or writer, you know the power of the written word. My blog started with the desire to tell my story. I’m afraid that I sound very conceited in revealing this. The desire to tell my story is not based on an incredible fascination with me, but in the joy and wonder I felt when I read part of my grandparent’s story. Their story took me to Holland during WWII when they were dating. It was intriguing to have a window into their early life together.

I have no idea if my words will be poured over by my children or grandchildren. I am happy to know that if they want to open a door to the past and see what things were like for us, it is revealed here. I am revealed here.

“What are we but our stories?” - James Patterson

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Losing Something

This is my watch. I am very fond of my watch. My husband got it for me on my 30th birthday when I was three months pregnant with his first child. I think it is fitting to give your wife a diamond watch when she hits a milestone birthday and she cannot drink because you have knocked her up. I love this watch.

Every day when I go to the gym I take my jewelry off. It is a very nerve wracking thing to do. In addition to my beautiful watch, I own several Liz Palacios necklaces that my husband has gifted to me over the last 5 years. I love my husband. He adorns me with beautiful jewelry.

At the gym I place my necklace and watch into my gym bag which goes into a locker. I used to place my jewelry in the locker next to my clothes until I accidentally left my watch in the locker. I didn't realize my watch was lost until the next day. Luckily it was still in the locker where I left it.

Lesson learned. I now place my jewelry in a zippered compartment of my gym bag. I often forget to zip up the compartment, and I am sure this is the reason that I am missing one of my Judith Jack necklaces. Thankfully it was not a gift from my husband, but a gift from me to me.

This morning I opened the top compartment of my jewelry box to get my watch and touched the empty space inside. I immediately thought that my watch must still be in my gym bag. I spend the majority of the week only wearing my jewelry half of the day because I often forget to put it back on after my workout.

I reached into the zippered compartment of my gym bag and found it empty. At this point I began to freak out. It occurred to me that I could have placed my watch in the other compartments of my bag by mistake, so I removed everything from my bag searching for my watch. I didn’t find it. Not only did I not find my watch, I also didn’t have to unzip a single zipper during my search. I chided myself for my inability to zip anything up and thus leaving everything open to falling out. My mind ran through the multiple places my watch could have fallen out – the gym, walking back to the office, my office, getting into my car, the car, the garage, etc.

I am now significantly freaked out and wondering if I should tell my husband to keep and eye out for my watch. Part of me knows that he could reasonably find it because some of the places I could have lost it are in my house. The other part of me would rather hide my indiscretion until I can confirm that my watch isn’t lying safely in my car.

As I approached my sleeping husband something occurred to me. I kissed Jeff good bye and smiled. “I couldn’t find my watch.”

His eyes opened in alarm. “You lost your watch!”

“Well,” I said. “I thought I did and I was looking everywhere for it. But I just realized that it was on my wrist the whole time.”

Can I blame my pregnancy? The amount of time between when I “lost” my watch and when I actually put it on my wrist couldn’t have been more than three minutes. Only pregnant people lose things in a matter of three minutes.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hungry Like The Wolf

MTV's Music Videos are available on-line. This is great news, as it is day 11 of NaBloPoMo, and I am short on blogging material. So as a much needed break from my pregnancy posts, I bring you Duran Duran.

Thank you Stephanie for finding and posting your equally great vintage favorite.

What about the rest of you? Do you have a favorite vintage music video?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things that make me go blugh

Food aversions during pregnancy are normal and often times a source of good stories. During my first pregnancy I could not cook eggs or meat without feeling ill. I made my husband cook breakfast for me every morning. My day couldn't start without a fried egg sandwich. When he was out of town for business I ate frozen breakfast pockets that were terrible. I soon developed an aversion to those.

During my second pregnancy I was 9 weeks pregnant at Thanksgiving. I had no problem being around raw meat or cooking, but I was afraid that my aversion to raw meat would kick in on Thanksgiving morning as I was preparing the 25 pound turkey. I made my husband do all the cooking that day. Jeff did such a great job on the turkey that he has taken over as the official Thanksgiving chef.

Last month when I found out that I was pregnant, I immediately eliminated caffeine from my diet. The first day I suffered through a coffee-less existence. I was cranky, tired and short tempered. The next day I purchased some organic Swiss water processed decaf coffee. The world was a little brighter because I got to experience the taste of coffee, but I still missed the caffeine. Slowly my affinity for coffee faded. I started to make myself decaf tea in the morning. Over the last couple of days I have noticed a distinct aversion to everything coffee. The sight, smell or mention of it is enough to make my stomach turn.

I am happy that I am experiencing an aversion that is practical. It's nice to be disgusted by something that I cannot have anyway. Could you imagine living through three months of no pizza, cheesecake or ice cream. Those would be truly awful aversions to have.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Summer Memories: The Fair

Sometimes that best way to pass the time on a cold and rainy day is to look back on a sunny day filled with family memories. This sunny day was Sunday August 3rd. It was opening weekend at the county fair and the day before my 35th birthday. I treasure this day and all the fun I had with my family.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Making Christmas Memories with Halloween Candy

We have an abundance of leftover Halloween candy. I thought that since Halloween was on a Friday we would have a lot of trick-or-treaters. I was wrong. This is our leftover candy:

(This is just the top layer, there are 6 more inches underneath)

Earlier this week I had an inspiration. In a month we will be knee deep in Christmas decorations and traditions. One of our traditions is to make a gingerbread house. Every year we feel the stress of Christmas spending. Our tradition of building a gingerbread house begins with shelling out money for the ingredients.

This year I have eliminated that stress by going through our leftover Halloween candy and saving the items that are perfect for decorating a gingerbread house. The M&M's, Sweettarts, Now and Laters, and Skittles are all safely stored away for the day of gingerbread construction. Now the only ingredients that we need are assorted cereals and sprinkles which we will buy in limited quantities from the bulk section at WinCo.

Merry Halloween!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Might Run

In January I committed to running a 5K race before the year was over. I'm not one to set a goal and not reach it, but I can confidently say that this goal will not be reached. In the beginning I had a plan. I stuck to that plan. I was on target until a series of events starting with my Achilles tendon injury set me off course.

I am not one to quit. I did what I could over the summer, which consisted of putting away my running shoes and biking. I biked to work all summer long, sixteen miles a day, eighty miles a week with inclines that had me peddling past other cyclist who stopped to catch their breath. I am in shape.

But I still can't run. Mid-September I put away my bike and strapped on my running shoes again. I could run about a mile before the knee pain kicked in. Oh, my knee. The knee that suffered a torn meniscus at Alpine Meadows in 2002. The knee that waited five months for surgery. This is not a knee pain to be taken lightly.

Maybe it is my shoes, I thought. So I purchased new running shoes. I hit the track and ran lap after lap. I ran through the pain. I punished myself because my mind, heart and lungs wanted to run but my knee was holding me back. When I was done, I could barely walk. I limped home. Two days later I limped to the store and returned those new running shoes, limped to another store and bought a different pair.

It is now two weeks later. A lot has changed over the last two weeks. I am feeling the effects of my positive pregnancy test. I'm feeling icky, tired and weak.

Yesterday while I was lifting weights I considered the treadmill for the first time in two weeks. It was always my goal to run through my next pregnancy. It is not like me to give up on my goals so easily.

I decided to run for ten minutes and stop if my knee hurt. Baby steps. I made it through my trial run without incident. Maybe my running days are not over. Maybe I still have that 5K in me.

Of course since I am carrying a life, I will wait to test my theory. 2009 sounds like a good year, the year I give birth to baby number three and run a race. For now I can train. I will take it easy and not push too hard. But I will try, because if I never try I will never know.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It Started Like This

This picture was taken a year ago when blogging was just a faint idea of mine. The predominate thoughts going through my mind were:

How many clips can the possibly fit in my hair?
Why does this have to hurt so much?
I think Ariel has a future as a hair dresser.

A couple hours later we tucked the girls into bed and I sat down at the computer to create a blogger account. I'm not sure what I was doing or what I wanted to accomplish, but the experience started that night has meant more to me than I expected.

This blog is a year old. Like anything that runs the course of a year, my blog has evolved. In the beginning my voice could be heard on a daily basis. Some of it deep and thoughtful. Some of it drivel. Over the summer I wrote very little. Regardless of the frequency or quality of my posts I have recorded my thoughts, family and life for the last year. It is all here.

I can't say that I have a clear direction for the next year, but I can say that there will be another year of blogging. Another year of thoughtful posts and drivel. Another year of capturing my memories because without a place to write it down, I am liable to forget.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night Jeff and I went to Ben & Jerry's for our free scoop of ice cream. Afterward we walked over to Deschutes' Portland Pub so that Jeff could enjoy a beer while we watched the election results. At eight-o-clock when the west coast states on the election map lighted up in blue and Obama was announced the next president, the pub erupted with applause and cries of happiness. Jeff and I sat there in shock.

I can't say that I expected McCain to win the presidency, I just didn't expect Obama to win with such a wide margin. My feeling of disappointment at the election result was soon overtaken be a feeling of wonder. I watched the on-screen image of a black woman at Spellman College in Atlanta. Her emotion had brought her to her knees as the people around her celebrated. I looked around me and saw a pub full of white people giving each other high fives and hugs and I recognized that history had just been made.

I never thought of this election in terms of race. For some people this presidential campaign was about a black man running against a white man. For me it was a Democrat running against a Republican. McCain got my vote because Obama's platform was to liberal for me. It was that simple.

As I sit here today in a country where a black man has just been elected president I feel proud. I am proud to live in a country where the color of a person's skin does not put limitations on their aspirations. It brings me joy to know that people of color woke up today knowing that they could accomplish more than they thought they could two years ago. I have a feeling that when Martin Luther King said the famous words, "I have a dream." He was dreaming of today, and that makes me proud.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Five Reasons to Vote

Because these guys don't want you to:

Because Starbucks will give you coffee

Because Ben and Jerry's will give you ice cream

Because Krispy Kreme has a hot doughnut waiting for you.

Because this is how we the people speak to our government. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Go vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Pregnancy Test

In the spring I caught a little bug. Some would call it little, my husband considered it a "you are crazy, what are you thinking?" bug. I was struck with the desire to get pregnant. I wanted to experience the wonder of life growing in me one more time. I wanted one more child to throw our family of four out of balance. Jeff was not on board with this desire. I didn't blame him. He is the guy in the trenches. He commits his every day to the enormous task of raising and training our girls to be the people that we want them to be. He keeps the house clean and prepares our every meal. From my perspective, carrying a baby is the easy part. Caring for and adding a new person to our family is not a decision to be taken lightly.

I yielded my desire to have another child to Jeff's desire for sanity. I did this happily and with full trust that if a family of five was in God's plan for us, God would make it happen. So I patiently waited, content with the outcome whatever it may be.

In July, Jeff's said the words that my heart was eager to hear. He wanted a baby. He felt confident in his ability to manage all the chaos that a baby would bring, ready for the adventure.

So here we are three months later. Three pregnancy tests later. God has called me to be patient once again. Our first two babies were conceived within a month of the notion crossing our minds. This time it was not so easy, but we trusted - confident that God's timing is perfect.

In October we got the answer we wanted. Our baby is growing. Our family is growing. Our love and fears and hopes grow right along with it. God willing, in June we will welcome a new member to our family. God willing.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Week - Halloween Edition

Enjoying a healthy snack
party #1

Bobbing for donuts
party #1

Face painting
party #2

Fun and smiles
party #2

Almost ready to Trick or Treat outfit number 1
the main event

Tickles make everything better
the main event

I wonder if anyone is home
the main event

Going home
the main event

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

How far does a dollar go these days?

The Dollar Store is a great place. Some of the merchandise is junk and not worth it, but other items, like toothpaste or a 2-pack of toothbrushes are well worth it. The nice thing about the dollar store is you don't need the cashier to tell you how much your total is going to be. If you have one item it will cost you $1.08. Two items cost $2.16, etcetera.

Jeff and I stood in line with our one item chatting about my day at work and what movie we were going to see that evening. When we got to the cashier I pulled out my wallet and Jeff grabbed a handful of change from his pocket. For those of you who carry cash, you know the art of getting rid of change is a priority. No one wants to carry around pennies, nickles and dimes. Both Jeff and I were laden with change that we were eager to get rid of.

Jeff's solution was that we split the total cost. Jeff put down two quarters, a nickle and three pennies. I contributed two quarters. When we got outside with our purchase I was giggling. "Do you realize that we just went dutch on a pregnancy test?"

It was amusing to speculate about how the people in the store might of perceived us. They had no idea that we've been married for eleven years with two kids at home. By all appearances we were out on a date and needed to stop at the store first. Did they think that my boyfriend was chivalrous for helping pay for my pregnancy test, or did they think he was a louse for making me come up with fifty cents. Maybe they thinking, much like you, "Wow, you can get a pregnancy test at the dollar store? What a great deal! I wonder if they are accurate."

Why yes, they are accurate. I have spent $3.24 on them over the last several months and they have been right every single time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today I clicked a button

Two buttons in fact. The first button marked my re-emergence into the world of blogging. The second published a post that had been sitting dusty in my drafts since July. You won't find it here on top. It is with the July posts as it should be. Oh... Did I say posts. Silly me. What I should have said is now I have a July post.

So what is this button that I pushed that will push me back into blogging? NaBloPoMo Basically I am committing to post once a day for the month of November. For those people (Hi Mom) who have been checking in here only to find a stale abandoned blog, this should be a real treat for you. For the rest of you, I hope you stay tuned, because I have some big news that could result in some fun and interesting posts. See you on Saturday November 1st.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Look Mom! No training wheels.

It started with Ariel. Ariel who just turned 3. Ariel who gave up her tricycle for a big girl bike less then a month ago. She wanted her training wheels off. At first we dismissed the idea, and then I said, "Why not?"

Jeff brought out the tools and went to work on her bike. At first Belle showed little interest in riding her bike without training wheels. She watched Ariel as she teetered and balanced. She watched her little sister do something for the first time, something Belle was not ready to try yet. It didn't take long before Belle wanted her training wheels off too.

One thing I learned today is that Jeff is an excellent teacher. The girls wanted their Daddy. They prefer Jeff's strong support, technique that keeps them balanced, and the soothing way in which he instructs them. Jeff was a superstar today. He gave each of the girls his loving support and attention. I watched as their apprehension turned to pure joy. The joy of growing up. The joy of freedom.

By the end of the day the training wheels were back on both of their bikes. I think they enjoyed the experience, but love the speed and stability that comes with training wheels even more.

Ironically both girls crashed their bikes in the late afternoon when their training wheels were back on. Ariel ran into a mail box, but absorbed most of the impact with her helmet. Belle tipped over and skinned both her knees. It goes to show - bike safety has less to do with training wheels and everything to do with watching where you are going.