Sunday, January 29, 2012

Best Pregnancy Ever

... for me.  So, that's not saying much.

Nick bought me some beautiful flowers when I hit the half-way point in this 40 week endeavor.  Look how the lily tried to open.  That's a lily, right?

Nick has been the greatest husband ever through this battle, and I really think that his efforts have made the difference.  For both of us, it has taken all of these pregnancies to learn how best to handle my various and extremes of symptoms, but I think that the very worst symptom of all, for me, is the mental hardship of not being able to act like myself.  My family culture is one of hard work and accomplishment.  Sitting on the couch doing nothing for months begins to erode my notion of who I am.  This is not good.

Through all this, Nick has never made me feel like I am letting anyone down, by word or deed or careless, disappointed facial expression.  Instead, he has found genuine ways to tell me how great I am and how much he loves and appreciates me.  He not only tried to pick up my slack when he got home from work, he continues to find over-the-top ways to do little things for me.  Things that I could have actually done for myself.  His eagerness to serve me helps me feel so much better about needing him to do the dishes and all the other boring things that I was not able to do.

Nick has always been a naturally great husband, but even from there he has stepped it up through my struggles.  When you add focused effort to natural talent, you get one fantastic man.  Thank you, Nick.  I love you!

Christmas Photo Shoot

Nothing formal about the pictures.  I just wanted to document how cute and festive we are together.
 Can you tell how special they are just from the picture?
 Look closely at the girls' dresses.  I bought them in San Francisco at the Jessica McClintock factory outlet.  It's one of the rare actual factory outlets - attached to the the factory itself.  Anyway, these two dresses were junior sized and I tried them on myself, thinking they'd be pretty hip with jeans, before realizing that I would never be able to zip them up, even though they are size 7 and 12.  So Curie got the 7 and Bethelle's is the 12.  Weird.  True, I did have to take out about three inches around each of them, but they were the perfect length.

 Rigby looked so dapper.  I wasn't sure how he would take to the bow tie...
 ... but he seemed to enjoy it.
I eat her regularly.  If you're a mother, you understand.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Bethelle is in Girl Scouts this year for the first time and is loving it.  She drools over any sort of organized, social activity, so this is really a perfect program for her.

It's cookie selling time, and I thought she could take advantage of the internet to get some of it done.  If you'd like to order any boxes, she will personally deliver to our friends in Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, and our current city, and maybe the cities in between, as well as at Nick's work.  If we get enough Bainbridge Island orders, we'll head out your way too.  Friends from Nick's work can see him to order.  Each box is four dollars and will be delivered in mid to late February.

Oh, she will only personally deliver if we know you.

Here are the flavors this year.  I personally suggest the classics, like Samoas, Tagalongs, and Thin Mints.
   Savannah Smiles (lemon with icing)
   Trefoils (shortbread)
   Do-Si-Dos (peanut butter sandwich cookies)
   Samoas (vanilla with caramel, coconut, and chocolate drizzle)
   Dulce de Leche (carmel chips)
   Thank U Berry Much (cranberry and white fudge)
   Tagalongs (cookie topped with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate)
   Thin mints (choc/mint wafer coated in chocolate)

Orders must be made by this weekend!  Leave me a comment including your full name and how many of each flavor you would like, or you can send me an email, call me, or order on my facebook page or by facebook message.  Just hurry!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

The holidays themselves finally came and went.  Christmas is my favorite time of year, but it really did wear me out this year.  Since last Christmas (yet another low-key event around our house), I have been determined that 2011 would be the year that Christmas returned.  It's hard for me to turn back once I have committed myself to something.  Not even pregnancy will stop me, though maybe it should.

Here is the house, decked out with Nick's hard work.  There he goes again, turning my dreams and ideas into reality.  That little patch of light that's out in the top left was a fluke, just for the picture.  Thanks, lights.
On my side of the family, Christmas Eve is the big event.  Nick says this is unselfish of my mother, but that's just the way life has always been for us.  Growing up, we went to Grandma's house on Christmas Eve.  That grandma of mine could really cook.  Christmas Eve will never be the same without her, but we still try.

This year, the event was at our home.  All the local cousins came.  They played and the adults ate.  I guess the excitement of Christmas got the better of the children's appetites.  Major props to my dad for coming over hours early to make the turkey, complete with stuffing and gravy.  Hosting is much easier that way.

Here are all the kids, ready for a brief Christmas story and game before presents are passed out.
 And here is the chaos, in all its glory.
 Our house survived the event.  We had never had so many people in our home and were pleased that we fit in fairly well.

Christmas morning.  The greatest day in any kid's life, and the longest night in any parent's life.  At least my kids have not figured out how to wake up at five am yet.  But we did have to do Christmas, eat, and get everyone bathed and dressed in their Christmas best for 11 am church.
 The present highlights were Curie's play kitchen,
 Rigby's array of Star Wars spaceships and characters,
 and Bethelle's longed-for sewing machine.

 Church services were sweet and simple.  And well attended.  In our area, I saw notices in the paper and on signs outside churches that church would be on Saturday that weekend instead of on Christmas Sunday, due to the fact that very few people were planning to attend on Christmas morning.   I am glad that they found a way to get people to church, but I don't understand going all year and then skipping on Christmas so that you can forget Jesus and open presents.  Just my little rant.  Sorry.

We spent the afternoon and evening at Nick's parents' home with all the siblings, cousins, and Aunt Violet and her family.  It's so nice to see them and celebrate together.
 Patsy's home always so beautiful at Christmas.  She has an eye and a talent for detail.
 More Star Wars for Rigby.  He was easy to please this year.
 This picture could be from any year, if it weren't for the kids growing.
 Dinner was again fabulous and over too soon.  At least I had a fridge full of leftovers from the previous night.  That may be the best part of hosting.

Santa himself made a surprise appearance with a bag full of presents.  No one seemed to mind that his mustache was hooked over his nose.  Not even Bethelle.  All the kids enjoyed the gifts, but I think Rigby's was the coolest: a husky in a can.  Go Dawgs!

Phew!  That's it!  Jammies on, drive home, and Christmas was officially over.  I told Nick that I felt like I had run a marathon and I could not catch my breath.  And the next morning was not any better.  I needed a vacation!  Stay tuned for the next post...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Little Goodbye

Almost since our most recent move, Bethelle and Rigby have been attending gym classes at our local children's gym.  It's been perfect.  I love the skills they learn, the playing that they do, the fun that they have...

And I love that it is located so very close to Costco, the store where I spend pretty much all our money.  I can drop Rigby off at gym class, which is during Bethelle's school day, and go have a nice hour of Mommy/Curie time at Costco.

Devastatingly, our beloved gym just closed its doors.  No more weekly forward-rolls or golf-prep or assisted back-flips.  And no more single-child Costco trips.

Here are some pictures of the last classes we attended.  Breaking up is hard to do.
 Curie is not officially a student, but she was allowed in with me on the last day of class.  I know she's not really doing anything in this picture, but look at that perfect face!

 If they gave out awards at the gym, Rigby would have received "Most Likely to Actually Be a Monkey."  The little man weighs next to nothing, so he can/does pull himself up all over everything.
 Curie on the (low) balance beam.  Not bad for two.
 Building bridges.
 Look at that grace!
 An attempted cartwheel on a balance beam.  Pretty cool trick, even if she would have fallen hard without those supports on each side.

 All lined up for stamps at the end of class.  The very end of class.  Sniff, sniff.

** According to Blogger, this is my 365th post.  That's like one post per day for a year.  I wrote my first post on January 4th, 2008, so this blog is just over four years old.  Now, I only minored in math, so kiss me if I'm wrong, but that means I average one post every four days.  That's more than I would have thought, but I'm in a maternity slump right now, so it's nice to know.  It helps me remember that I am actually a blogger.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Four out of Four

Man, I'm good at this stuff!

Yesterday was the big ultrasound appointment.  We are having a boy!

Before Bethelle ever even showed up, my plan was to have four kids: girl, boy, girl, boy.  Some girls just have all the luck.  How is it that I have gotten what I wanted every time?

Nick and I did the math.  We figured there was a 6.25% chance of getting the preferred gender four times in a row.  Yes, I'm still a geek.

Let the planning and organizing begin!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Getting Ready for Christmas

It's a bit ironic that I am blogging our Christmas prep on the same day that I am taking the last of the Christmas boxes back to the garage for storage.  But c'est la vie these days.

I've been hanging onto about 20 boxes of these Christmas lights since I got them for 90% off at an after-Christmas sale three years ago.  Nice to put them to use, finally.
 Rigby was an excellent helper, except that he couldn't keep from walking on the strung out lights on the ground.
 Curie couldn't avoid them, either.  Apparently, that is asking too much of a two year-old.
 Everybody took a stab at putting the star on top of the tree, but no matter how high Nick held them, they could not quite get it to that top branch.  Somewhere between short arms and fear of reaching very far from Daddy, they all gave up.
 And so the job fell to the man with the longest arms and the bravest heart in the family.  Good to have you on the team, Nick.
 Everyone was able to put up several dozen ornaments, so no hearts were permanently injured over the tree-topping matter.
 Decorating a tree may seem a bit mundane to some of you, but here's a bit of perspective.  For the previous two Christmases, we have been living in a frenzied state of storage and persistent moving, to the point that we did not decorate for Christmas!  A travesty, I know.  This means that the last time we had a full-blown tree with all the trimmings, Bethelle was only 3 and Rigby was barely 1.  Bethelle has listed decorating the tree as her favorite part of Christmas.  For us, there was nothing mundane about it.
 This is Curie's "twinkle little star."  It did not last long on the tree, as she wanted it with her at all times.  She slept with it most nights this season.
 These shots were taken at our church Christmas party.  Santa had a line of elastic across his forehead.  Bethelle was not pleased about this attempted deceit.  I was surprised to see that we got one picture of her where her expression does not look like distain.
 Rigby was too nervous to get closer than three feet away from him.  He even tried to fake that he was sick just before the party in order to avoid this moment.  But Curie loved him.  As instructed, she told him that she wanted a kitchen for Christmas.  Everything was wonderful, until we began to walk away from Santa and she still did not have a kitchen!  She had understood that he would give her one if she was a good girl!  Where was it?!  After more explaining, I don't think that she fully understood how the system worked, but she seemed to understand that time might still bring the gift.
 Bethelle performed the "Nativity Song" with other children from the primary.  They each had a solo line and a picture to hold up.  Bethelle sang about the stable.  It was a short part, but her voice was clear and strong and we were so proud of her.
Nick and I also performed the Barenaked Ladies' (strange band name, I know) version of 'God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen' with one other man in the ward.  I think it went well, though I joined the group about five minutes before the performance and can't really say.

All this was only the beginning of the greatest season of the year, which left me completely wiped out!

Monday, January 2, 2012


We spent Thanksgiving exclusively with Nick's family this year, as my parents were visiting my brother in Phoenix.  Everyone was there, including Casey who also lives in Phoenix and Kyle who is off to college in Idaho.  Having everyone in the same room is a rare treat.

Here are the cook and the sous-cook.  I was asked to bring the veggie tray and drinks.  I think they must know that I am pregnant.
I had been looking forward to Thanksgiving all through the roughness of my morning sickness.  The meal did not disappoint, and I was feeling almost well.  Certainly well enough to appreciate the dinner.
Here's the whole spread...
 ... and the little ones who had to be far enough from the white carpet, but close enough to be seen by those of us who were trusted to sit over the carpet.
 And the kiddie table.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Only a few months late, but I am catching up!