It's New Year's Eve! Hurrah! We'll be staying in tonight, eating some good food, playing some board games and enjoying each other's company. I will try *very* hard to actually stay up until midnight, but who knows if that will happen?
BUT, there is one thing I forgot about....
I don't know how I forgot. I mean, I have seen NO LESSthan 100 fireworks stands pop up in the last week or so, peddling their little explosives to every man, woman and child.
Why am I even mentioning this you may ask? Well, there is a certain little dog that I know of, who is TERRIFIED, we're talking DEATHLY AFRAID of fireworks!
He shakes, he quivers, he tucks his tail and his ears, and he follows you around like a miniature shadow for HOURS on end! This little man is petrified of these loud noisemakers.
We've all ready had some of our neighbors set them off in the last week. At first it was kind of amusing, but now we just feel bad for our little guy.
They truly scare the poop out of him!
So, tonight while you are celebrating with family and friends, think of all the little dogs out there who are scared to death of that firecracker in your hand. Maybe you shouldn't set it off, as somewhere in a house close by, there is a little dog peeing in the corner because of the anxiety your firecracker has caused him.
Yesterday we went in for a baby check-up. I'm 34 weeks now, so this was my first "every two weeks" appointment. I have another in two weeks and after that we'll start to go every week.
I had a Group Strep B swab to find out if I am a carrier of Strep B. If I am, they will give me drugs while in labor so that it doesn't pass to the baby. Hopefully it will come out negative. My uterus is once again measuring two weeks larger than normal! Eeek!
Our Practitioner is estimating that baby is weighing in at a hefty 4 1/2 to 5 pounds. I can't believe how big he/she is all ready! Also, I managed to lose three pounds since my last appointment two weeks ago, which is pretty darn impressive considering it was over the Christmas holiday! I've gained a total of 11 pounds through this whole pregnancy. I'm pretty proud of myself for that. Hopefully I'll be able to lose it easily after baby is born.
The birth plan is done (3 pages long... I may have gone a little overboard!) and so is my packing list... we just need to actually pack our suitcase(s). The nursery is starting to come together well, toys are put together and everything electronic has its batteries in place!
Our Texas baby shower will be next weekend and after that, the baby could be here anytime! We can't wait! :)
So, it's Monday. As in Not Me! Monday hosted by MckMama. Unfortunately (for you not me!), I don't think I really have too many not me's to report this week!
It was NOT me who spent her entire Sunday in pajamas... up until 7 pm when I had to head out to the pharmacy to get more prenatal vitamins. When I returned home it was NOT me who immediately changed back into said pajamas.
It was NOT me who has played Yahtzee for the last THREE nights in a row. I have NOT become slightly obsessed with this game of dice!
I am NOT one of the luckiest girls in the world because I was the recipient of some GREAT Christmas gifts this year! Said gifts included a video camera, a new TV and a Coach purse, to name a few! I feel very loved (and spoiled!) to have received such wonderful gifts! :)
And lastly, I am certainly NOT beginning to freak out about impending baby day. I am a *bit* of a control freak and am starting to worry that things are not complete and ready to go. Of course I realize that nothing in life is ever perfect and this little one is going to come whether I'm ready or not.. but obviously I'd prefer to be ready!
I know I have written about how much I love Christmas. How I adore the noise, the people, the chaos. But, I have to say that this year it was really nice to have a quiet, relaxing time at home with Jason. In fact, I wouldn't have had it any other way.
After evening Mass on Christmas Eve we went home and opened presents via Skype (gotta love technology!) with Jason's parents and brother. It was great to have that opportunity, and I'm glad we were able to exchange and open gifts that way.
(our Christmas tree!)
Christmas morning we slept in- even the animals! After rolling out of bed we grabbed some hot drinks for ourselves (cocoa for me and coffee for him) and with "A Christmas Story" on the TV in the background we settled ourselves next to the Christmas tree to unwrap more presents. We had a great time opening our gifts from each other, as well as from my family and our friends. The animals got to open their gifts as well. Boy did they get excited! Our cat Starr Kitty received a squirrel stuffed with catnip from Santa Claws and he LOVED it! He played with it ALL day! :)
Later on we took the dogs for a long walk on a nearby hiking/biking trail. It was probably the only time we will ever have that trail to ourselves and it was so peaceful! When we got home I cooked us a delicious Christmas dinner, which was followed by pumpkin pie!
Throughout the day we chatted with family and friends on the phone. It was nice to hear what they all received for Christmas, how they liked our gifts and to know that they were all enjoying the special day.
(the little Christmas tree in our guest bathroom!)
All in all it was a relaxing, low-key Christmas. Nothing too chaotic and the pace was just right for us. We had nowhere to rush off to or time constraints to worry about.
It was just perfect.
Now, as for next year... that will be an ENTIRELY different story!
Once again I'm participating in Keely's Sunday Funday Getting to Know You Blog Carnival. Whoo! That's a lot to write! Anyways, today's question is:
What was your favorite gift that you received this year for Christmas?
Well, I have to say that my favorite gift came from my parents. My gift from Jason's parents is a close second! My parents bought us a:
SONY Handycam DCR-DVD 650 Hybrid video camera! I am psyched! Not only does it take video, it is also a digital camera! They also bought us a case, extra batteries and a really awesome tripod for it. I am so excited to try it out! And now we can take it to the hospital with us and get video right after LBN is born... Yay! Perfect timing since our digital camera just broke!
Jason's parents gave me a very generous amount of money to buy a new LCD TV for our bedroom. We are going to wait until close to Super Bowl time when there are great sales to snag up a TV! I'm excited that we'll finally have a second TV in the house!
I am sad that the holiday weekend is almost over. Back to the grind tomorrow... but I only have to work Monday-Wednesday....And Friday is my birthday! Yup, I'm a New Year's baby! :) Not sure yet as to what we are doing for my birthday, I guess we'll find out!
This is a rather fragmented post... sorry! I just felt like blogging, but had no real direction as to what to blog about. :)
So, today I went to Honey Baked Ham to pick up our quarter ham for Christmas dinner. Jason REALLY wanted a ham, so of course I had to get the best! You really can't beat the flavor or the convenience of a Honey Baked! Anyway, I ended up waiting over an HOUR AND A HALF (!!) for the ham. When I got to the counter, the "smallest" quarter ham they had left weighed a little over five pounds! Yikes!
I am still really sore from the tumble I took over the weekend. I've been taking hot baths, but they don't seem to be helping. Also, work has been pretty crazy this week and I have been up and down and on my feet constantly. I can't wait for a little respite over the Christmas holiday!
Last night I finished up the rest of my Christmas baking. I made rocky road milk chocolates and peanut dark chocolates. They are delish! Earlier in the week I made peanut butter fudge, lemon cookies, chocolate cookies, sugar cookies and reese's peanut butter cup cookies! It's funny that I still make ALL of this baking goodness, even though I don't have many people to hand it out to. I ended up taking EVERYTHING to work, along with goody bags, so that my coworkers could take what they wanted home! I just love to bake, especially for the holidays!
On a sad note, our camera broke! I have no idea what happened. One minute I'm taking pictures of some of the cookies I baked, and the next minute it won't work. Jason thinks that we are going to have to buy a new one, as it will probably not be worth it to fix. I'm worried because I am afraid we may not be able to get one before the baby is born! I would be devastated to not have any pictures of us and the baby in the hospital. Hopefully we'll be able to buy a new one, or find somewhere that will fix it for an affordable price.
Speaking of the baby, I am getting a little worried. Mainly because I am afraid we will not have everything in order/ready before the baby's arrival. Our next baby shower is January 10th, about 4 weeks before baby is due. I really just want everything put together, organized, and in it's place for the baby's arrival. I mean, God forbid, what if the baby arrives BEFORE the shower?! We still don't have a lot of stuff. I hate waiting until after the shower to use our gift cards to get the rest of the stuff that we NEED for LBN.
And finally, this little guy/girl can really move! The baby loves to "dance" and recently has taken a liking to sticking that little butt and those little feet up into Mommy's rib cage. Definitely NOT fun for me! I love feeling all of the movement, but I could pass on the intrusion into my ribs.
I think that's all for now! Happy Christmas Eve-Eve! Are you ready for the big day?
This week Elizabeth over at Confessions From a Working Mom posed a Truthful Tuesday question that I really liked! Check out her blog for other answers to the question:
Do you believe in Santa Claus?
Most definitely! I loved the thought of Santa when I was a little girl. We always left out milk and cookies for him and parsnips for the reindeer. We'd write letters and Christmas lists and wait anxiously to see if Santa would answer our requests. Every year my Grandma would take us to visit him at the old Higbee's in downtown Cleveland. (Ahhh nostalgia! Side note: For those of you who have seen the movie "A Christmas Story", it was actually filmed in Cleveland. At the beginning of the film when Ralphie and his friends are looking in the department store window at all of the year's popular toys, that is actually the Higbee's in downtown Cleveland. Unfortunately it is now closed. What a cool store it was! It actually had WOODEN escalators!)
My sisters and I would get up super early on Christmas morning (I'm talking 4 am) to go and look at the tree. We'd check out all of the presents, make sure Santa and the reindeer ate their goodies and then we would all go back into my bedroom and wait until 6 am (the earliest my parents would let us wake them up!) to open presents.
I can remember the EXACT moment when I found out there was no Santa Claus. My sister Elizabeth told me while we were in a fight. It was a Sunday and we were on our way to church. We were going under the first of two consecutive railroad bridges on route 303 in Hudson in the backseat of our minivan. I was only 8 years old. It was awful! I was completely devastated. To this day I still remind her that she took that away from me. That she stole Santa from me a little too early.
I cannot wait until LBN is born and old enough to believe in Santa. I love the innocence. I love the true belief that one man could deliver so many presents to so many people around the world. And I love the look on children's faces when they get to meet Santa. That pure excitement and joy that we adults are rarely ever privy to these days.
Santa conveys the message of Christmas....
Believe in what you wish to be true, what you know to be true in your heart. Even as adults, now that we know Santa is not a real living, breathing individual we can still carry this message with us and pass it onto younger generations.
So, yes I believe in Santa Claus and I always will.
Yep, you guessed it... Monday means time for my weekly "Not Mes!".... Luckily, I don't think I have too much to report this week. Go check out MckMama's blog for other Not Me! Monday confessions.
I have definitely NOT become hooked on The Sing Off. It's fantastic! So, I was NOT the one who voted *ahem* 10 times for Nota to win the competition! Nope, not me!
Yesterday I did NOT fall flat on my face while playing with my dogs outside. I did NOT get a huge rash on my chest and face from the grass as I face planted into the ground... and I do NOT have a scratch on my neck today as a reminder of the incident! (Don't worry, I did not land on my belly, just my knees and face! No harm done to LBN!) And today I am NOT extremely sore from my clumsy tumble.
Keely over in Mannland started this a few weeks ago, so I decided to participate today! (I'm also procrastinating because I have to go grocery shopping, and although the list is done, I still need to drag my butt of the couch, get dressed and make it to the store!) So, without further ad0...
*insert drumroll here*
These are one answer questions:
1. Middle Name Lynn
2. What do you think is your best asset? (physical) Smile
3. If you could only eat one type of cuisine for a year, what would it be? Italian (although I'd be a HEFFA' when the year was up!)
4. Walmart or Target? Tar-jay!
5. Favorite state beside the one you live in? North Carolina
6. What side of the bed do you sleep on, left or right? Right
So, last night Jason took me (and the dogs!) out to look at the Christmas lights.
I LOVE Christmas lights!
People get so creative and it gives me all kinds of ideas as to what we COULD do if we had the extra money to spend on outdoor lights for our home. Right now we have a bunch of icicle lights that my mom gave to us a few years ago, but that's it for our outdoor lighting department.
Anyway, I told him I'd treat him to a milkshake at Chick-fil-A while we drove around looking at the lights and listening to Christmas carols. (What a great guy!) We went through the drive-thru, ordered our shakes and went to the window to pay. They were having a slight malfunction with their milkshake machine, so they asked us to pull around front and they'd bring them out to us in a few minutes.
So, we pulled around and were just hangin' out in the car, waiting for our yummy treats to come out to us!
About five minutes later we see an employee walking thru the lobby with what we can only assume were our milkshakes. At that exact moment a teenage boy went thru the door, they spoke for a moment and she handed him the two milkshakes. This kid went BOLTING out the door like somebody had lit a fire under his butt and ran to his car. He jumped in and began to back up. By that time the same employee had come outside with another milkshake in her hand. She then stopped that kid in his car and handed him a THIRD milkshake!
We were both watching this with suspicion, as we knew by this kid's behavior that those were NOT his milkshakes.
After this scenario played out in front of us, Jason went inside the store. Turns out that kid had indeed STOLEN our milkshakes! The nerve! He paid for one and got three! What a little jerk!
So, the employees felt bad and gave Jason coupons for some free Chick-fil-A goodies, made us our milkshakes and we headed off to look at our lights.
Speaking of which, have you seen this house? It's not near us, but they always synchronize lights and music and it's absolutely amazing!
How the time flies! It's all ready another edition of Five Question Friday with Mama M! Check it out!
1. Which boygroup did you like most in your teens?
I was not a boygroup kinda gal in my teens. I loved me some New Kids on the Block when I was in elementary school. (Jordan was my favorite!) But, by High School it was totally NOT my scene. My idea of a boygroup in my teens would have been The Grateful Dead or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I still love me some NKOTB and Boyz II Men, though!
2. Do you do Christmas cards, letters, photos, nuthin', all of the above?
I usually send out cards. This year I had my heart set on photo cards, but it has been raining here for about 2 weeks and we were never able to get our picture taken for them! So, I may send out some last minute cards if I get around to it. If not, sorry! There's always next year! :) 3. If you could meet one celebrity who would it be and why?
If you know me, you know there is only one man in the world that I want to meet. I would do almost ANYTHING to meet him. His name would be Jimmy Buffett. *sigh* I LOVE HIM! We would hang out in the Keys, drink some great margaritas and swap stories. I would marry this man. I mean, it's ridiculous! I am brought to tears every time he takes the stage at his concerts.
4. Favorite thing to cook with (i.e. stainless, non-stick, Dutch oven, microwave, debit card... or, perhaps a cauldron, etc.)? I love to cook! I don't have something in particular I love to cook with though. I use the oven (duh!) and I also have some really nice Wolfgang Puck stainless steel cookware that Jason's parents got us for Christmas a few years ago.
5. What is the one thing you wear the most, besides your unmentionables?
Right now it's the pregnancy jeans that I wear to work EVERYDAY. I am getting kind of sick of them! I still throw on my favorite GAP jeans on the weekends and hold them up with a Bella Band, but it's getting kinda tough!
Happy weekend to all! I'm ready to relax. (And shop, of course!)
Obviously, when I found out I was pregnant, I was ecstatic! I mean, who isn't excited about having a baby? During my first trimester, I spent most of my free time napping or feeling absolutely exhausted.
So, once I entered my second trimester, I was able to spend some time in front of the computer without falling asleep at the keyboard. That is, after I dealt with packing, moving into our new home, unpacking, etc... You get the gist.
I began spending a lot of time researching anything "Mommy and Me" related. I think I was a little worried. Afterall, we are 1400 miles away from family and I only have 3 friends down here with children. Two of them have 18 month olds and the other is the mother of four, ranging in age from 6 months to 6 years. I was really anxious to connect with moms, especially first time moms, who were going to be delivering around the same time I was.
I discovered The Baby Center Community. It's a great place to join groups and hook up with other moms and moms-to-be on message boards. I have joined three groups: Pregnancy, Houston Mamas and February 2010 Babies. It has been great to find other women going through the same things I am right now.
I've also looked into other various "Mommy and Me" outlets. I've found a Yoga center about 5 miles away that offers Mom and Baby Yoga, starting when baby is 6 weeks. I would really love to spend bonding time with baby and also be able to workout. Along the same lines is a great workout endeavour called Stroller Fit. These are all over the country and there are quite a few in my area. You take baby and meet up with other women to work out. They walk, and also workout with baby in the stroller. They also offer different cardio and pilates workouts. I think these would both be a great way to meet other mothers close by.
I've also found a few "Mommy and Me" groups on meetup.com. These are formed by mothers and other ladies join with their children. Outings, play dates, girls' nights, etc are planned by the members and it seems like a fun way to meet other moms and children. I've found a few groups in our area that I am interested in joining. I want to wait until I have the baby and he/she is a little older before I join a group though.
I am excited that there are so many options available for moms today. I have a feeling that many women feel trapped once the baby is born and need an outlet and outside support afterwards, especially when you don't have family close by to rely on. It's such a big change in our lives and it's nice to have others around who know what you are going through.
Has anybody else joined anything similar to what I have mentioned above? What did you think? Any other ideas or suggestions on ways to meet new moms and babies? I'd love to hear from you!
Monday again! Which means time for another confessional of things that I certainly did *NOT* do... Check out MckMama for other Not Mes! this week. It also means 32 weeks down and 8 to go!
Where to begin?
It is NOT me who now officially weighs more than she ever has in her ENTIRE life! Yes, I've only gained 12 pounds in 32 weeks, but it's still daunting to see a number that has never previously been on my scale appear there.
And, in another episode of "Emily's Pregnancy Follies" it was NOT me who didn't lock my little dog's crate all the way this morning... so that means he was NOT running around the house all day by himself while we were at work. Flippy did NOT spend his day chowing down on cat food, chewing his bone and lounging on the couch while Charlie most likely whined helplessly and jealously from his crate!
Jason and I did NOT forget to cover up all of our tropical/subtropical plants before the freeze last week. This did NOT result in our beautiful orchard, that I wrote and photographed about in this post, being destroyed! We will replant new plants in the spring, but it is a huge loss to us.
And finally, I did NOT go absolutely nuts this past weekend trying to get ALL of our Christmas shopping done in one day. Believe it or not, we almost did NOT finish it all! Only a few more gifts to buy and everything will be boxed up and shipped to our family in Ohio.
Now, for a quick baby update. We had our 32 week check-up today. I'm happy to report that baby is now measuring at 32 weeks and is no longer bigger than normal. He/she is also head down and the doctor is predicting the baby will stay that way until it's time for the big entry into the world! Jason and I were able to feel the baby's head and butt today. It was really cool! I can't believe how close we are getting.... only 8 weeks left! Jason is putting together the dresser and crib in the nursery as I type.
You have NO IDEA how fantastic this is! My Browns! They finally did it!!!! Yay!!!!
Now back to your regularly scheduled blog....
Well, once again it is Friday! I cannot believe how fast the time has been flying by. I mean, Christmas is TWO weeks away!
I'm not even done shopping yet, and we have a whole heckload of presents that need to be shipped up to Ohio ASAP!
Anyway, Friday also means it's time for Mama M's Five Question Friday!
This week's questions are:
1) Does Santa wrap the presents he leaves at your house?
Well, since there are no kiddos yet, that answer is no! I believe Santa Paws leaves some presents for our furry children, but not Santa Claus! Once the baby is born and other bambinos arrive, we will definitely be playing Santa! My parents did it up pretty good when I was growing up and I loved opening all of Santa's gifts! :)
2) What is your "big" Christmas celebration.... Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Tell us about it...
My family's big celebration is Christmas Day. As I have mentioned before, I have a lot of siblings and this is the one holiday every year that we are all together. We have a huge breakfast, crowd into the living room where my dad always "plays Santa" and hands out the presents to everybody. Chaos ensues. I love it! Then we all check out what we got, the boys go down to my dad's man cave and play video games and pool, while the ladies chat and help mom with dinner. My mom cooks a HUGELY delicious dinner! She is the best! All the while have "A Christmas Story" on TV all day. Later on in the evening we would always play games, our favorite being spoons! It's a tradition, although it can get dangerous... My sister Maureen has been known to hurt people- she's a *little* competitive!
We usually spend Christmas Eve with Jason's parents and his brother. A much smaller gathering than with my family, and much more low key. His mom makes dinner, we all open presents and then we watch a Christmas movie. It's a nice, relaxing evening! One thing that they do that I think is a little odd is that they only pass out one present at a time and everybody watches that person open their present. It always makes me feel a little strange... I have to admit! Jason agrees. But, his grandparents do the same thing at their house, so I guess it is part of their family tradition. I joke that if my family did that it would take about 10 hours to open all of our presents!
Now instead of spending Christmas Day evening at my parent's house we head over to Jason's grandparents house. His grandma is a killer cook and makes a fantastic dinner, and bakes DOZENS of delish cookies! His aunts, uncles and cousins are there and we all get to spend time chatting and opening presents! It's a fun night, that usually ends with some competitive euchre playing!
3) Are you big on keeping tradition every year?
Yes! I always want to be at my parent's house on Christmas Day. It's what we do! But, I do want to have traditions that are special to my little family as well. I know it will be hard since we will never be at our home on Christmas and will be up in Ohio. But, I know we will come up with something. Jason and I always open one present on Christmas Eve, and we always get presents for the animals. It's fun because the dog's get REALLY excited because the know that the presents are for them! :)
4) Do colored or white lights tickle your fancy?
I HEART Christmas lights! I don't care what color they are! I have colored on my tree, and we used colored and white for outside. I'm not picky!
5) Do you decorate outside your house for Christmas?
Yes! But, Jason has not had time to put our lights up yet. And no way is this preggo about to get on a ladder and string up those lights! I have a Christmas mat out and an absolutely GORGEOUS wreath that Jason's mom made me outside as decorations for now. Hopefully Jason can get those lights up this weekend!
So, in one of my recent posts I mentioned that it was snowing.
It's funny how a little bit of snow can cause such a big fuss!
There was massive anxiety, schools let out early, the news was on for 24 hours straight with all kinds of warnings about how bad this "storm" was going to be. They were predicting 2-3 inches! Panic ensued!
My manager actually had a talk the day before telling us that the weather would be horrible, and to keep her posted if we couldn't make it in to work. She didn't want anybody to get hurt driving in the terrible conditions. I was trying not to laugh at the seriousness in her voice. Come on people! TWO inches???
So, the day of said storm, I got up and drove to work as usual. Leaving at 6:30 am the roads were clear, but the thermostat read quite a few degrees colder than usual.
Around 8 am, the snow started. Actually, it was rain. Then it was sleet. Then it was a very wet snow.
(This is outside our front window. If you look VERY closely you can see the snow falling!)
It was great! I LOVE snow! It's something I have really missed since leaving Ohio. I miss those freezing cold nights, the mounds of snow in my front and back yards, drifts up to 8 feet that blocked my front door, you get the idea. I love snow, and lots of it! This "snow" did not live up to my expectations.
One of our clients actually took a look out the window and said, "OH MY GOD! Look at that BLIZZARD!" This time, I couldn't help but chuckle. Oh, if they only knew!
I know it's Texas. I know that they are not used to snow, nor are they even remotely equipped for it. But for a girl who spent her entire life living just south of Lake Erie and in the snowbelt, it was old hat! Nothing to be concerned about. And certainly nothing to panic about!
"It's not the snow, it's the ice. The roads ice over and it's very dangerous to drive on!" a co-worker kept saying to me. Uhhh.. yea, she is 30 and doesn't even have a license. I'm not too sure what she was worried about! There ended up being no ice anyway. It didn't stay cold long enough to be a problem.
Finally the snow began to stick! I had come to work wearing my winter coat, scarf and gloves. I wiped off a friend's car with my gloves since the snow had stuck and she couldn't see out her windows. I went outside and caught a few flakes in my hand, raised up my arms and looked into the sky, breathed in that COLD air and smiled. Fantastic!
When I left for the day, I had to wipe off my windows as well. It had stopped snowing though. By the time I got home, there was no snow left.
Jason had worked from home that day and managed to snap a few pictures.
(Our front yard with snow on the ground! It lasted all of a few hours!)
The ground was too warm for the snow to stick around for very long. It had fallen and melted in five hours time. The next day it was in the 50s. So much for a storm!
This week over at Confessions from a Working Mom, Elizabeth posed the question: What do you REALLY want for Christmas (or whatever holiday it is that you celebrate during this time of year)? If you'd like to read what others want for Christmas this year, head on over to her blog and see for yourself!
Well, this is not a hard question for me. This year there is not a whole lot that I want for Christmas. Not for myself. I really want people to buy things for the baby. Jason is kind of going nuts because I haven't really given him any ideas for presents! Did I mention that I am completely finished with his Christmas shopping?! I would go crazy if he didn't give me ideas! I guess I should return the favor.
The only thing that I really want for Christmas is something that I know I will not receive. Not because it is too expensive or hard to find, but because it resides in Ohio.
All I want for Christmas is to spend it with my family.
To be crammed into my parents living room on Christmas morning, oggling their beautiful tree with the giant mound of presents pouring out from underneath. Eating a huge Christmas breakfast that we all helped my mom prepare, drinking coffee and hot chocolate with a nip of Bailey's in it, (or if you are the men, probably indulging in some early morning glasses of Johnny Walker!). I want to be there for our family picture, all of us wearing the same holiday shirt! This year, I will wear my shirt here in Houston, but I will not be apart of that picture.
Watching my niece and nephews open their presents and to see the excited looks on their faces when they see what they have received. Seeing my sister Elizabeth freak out at yet another generous present she has opened from her husband (the man spoils her to death!). Talking, laughing, reminiscing, joking and just having a fantastic time. Watching my dad delight in playing pool and XBox games in the basement with the guys. As a father of six girls, he absolutely loves it when all of our men are together and he can spend time with them. Making pumpkin roll with my mom and sisters, eating a giant Christmas feast with "A Christmas Story" playing on repeat in the background for the whole day. Going outside and playing with my nephew Brandon in the snow.... I could go on and on.
This is what I want for Christmas. And there is no way I will receive this present from anybody. I am unable to fly, as baby is due to arrive in 9 short weeks. And it is impossible for us to drive home during this holiday season. So, as it stands, my Christmas wish will go unanswered this year.
I look forward to next year when our little one gets to experience a true Schroder Christmas. This little baby has no idea what he/she is in for!
I mean, it WAS snowing.... Not anymore. There is no sign that snow was ever here, to be honest.
But, it DID! I have pictures to prove it! (To be posted later in a different blog, of course!)
Anyway, now it's onto Five Question Friday hosted by the fantabulous Mama M over at My Little Life!
Here are the questions and my exciting answers to them! (Ha!)
1) Favorite gift you are GIVING this year?
Well, I am giving Jason something absolutely spectacular! I am SOO excited about it I can barely contain myself. I want to tell him! I NEED to tell him! But, alas, I cannot. *sigh* I don't think he reads the ole' blog too often, but I don't want to chance it.... So, I'll share it with you all once he receives his gift! Yay!
2) How many parties are you attending between now and Christmas?
To be honest, that answer is a big, fat ZERO! I don't think my office or Jason's office will be having parties this year. You know, the economy.. yadda yadda yadda! (Thank you Seinfeld!) And nobody else I know is having a party, so we will be hanging out at home on our weekends. And to be honest, I could care less! We are not going to have much alone time once this little baby pops outta me in two months. So... Yea..! :) Plus, what's a Christmas party when you can't drink?!
3) What is your favorite Christmas song?
Oooh, that's a hard one! I actually love "Christmas Pipes" by Celtic Woman and "Wintersong" by Sarah McLachlan. I guess those would be my two "unconventional" Christmas songs. For classics I'd say "Carol of the Bells" and "Baby It's Cold Outside"... I just LOVE ALL Christmas music!
4) Who was your favorite elementary school teacher and why?
I do not know... Mmmm... Probably Mrs. Crichton in 5th grade. She put up with all of my antics in class even though I was constantly talking and being a "trouble maker". I was a GREAT student though, so she handled it well! She actually kept my name up on the board all of the time because she knew she'd have to write it on there atleast once a day anyway. But, she was a great teacher!
5) If you had a choice to live in any other period of time (other than now) what era would you choose and why?
This is a tough one! I'd love to experience so many different times in history.... I think a very exciting, yet turbulent time, would have been Ireland from 1910-1930. That would be pretty cool to see!
I settled down to watch myself some Biggest Loser. I love that show! It is very rare that I actually get to watch every episode of a show during the actual season it is on. I managed to watch almost every episode this season and was very proud of myself! I'm not a big TV person and neither is Jason. We don't even have cable!
Pick up your jaw! You heard me right...
Anyway, as the late night news came on (also known as "how many people were shot in East Houston today..") I began to ponder who I wanted to vote into the finale... Amanda or Liz?
What to do? What to do?
So, as I was thinking about this- as it is a BIG decision and I know my vote will be crucial to who wins! (Right?).... I began shutting down the house for the night.
Turn off the Christmas tree, blow out the candles, feed the cats, take the dogs out... You get the idea.
It had been raining for hours and thankfully stopped right before bedtime so the dogs could relieve themselves once more before tucking in for the night. Charlie came in and I started wiping off his feet, then it was Flippy's turn. I noticed he was REALLY wet, but Charlie wasn't. As I leaned in to get at his feet, I could smell it...
Flippy was saturated in pee- head to tail! Charlie must have peed on him while they were outside. This is NOT the first time it has happened.
Needless to say, I was NOT a happy girl. By this point it was after 10:30 pm and I had to be up at 5:30 am for work.
So, I threw Flippy in the shower and gave him a bath. Not something I had been wanting to do so late in the evening. Luckily he is very good about being bathed and it was done in no time at all. I even let him snuggle up with me that night (he was still a little damp!) because I felt bad for the poor little guy.
I know... I've been copping out. I've been joining in blog carnivals instead of actually writing a post of my own! I promise I'll write soon!
Anyway, today is Truthful Tuesday hosted by Elizabeth over at Confessions from a Working Mom. Her blog is refreshingly honest and I enjoy her Tuesday topics. Today's topic is: Would you get a boob job?
I laughed when I saw this question! A job? As in implants? My answer has always been NO!
I have a larger chest, and it definitely gets in the way! And it has increased in size quite a bit since I became preggo! We're talking DD's here people!! Luckily you can't tell how big they ARE because my belly is so big now, too!
I plan on breastfeeding LBN (Little Baby Norris) for about a year, if all goes according to plan. So I'm sure they will stay large. I've heard and read other ladies comments that after breastfeeding their ladies became smaller and saggy. To be honest, I'd love mine to get smaller!
The possibility of a C cup?
Sign me up!
Now, as for the saggy part... I would have a problem with that! I have always talked about getting a breast lift. I think it's the only "surgery" I would have to alter my appearance. I don't mind if the girls are smaller, but saggy is never a good thing! I want my chest to look good for me! And I'm sure Jason will appreciate it, too.
But, you never know how I'll feel after I have the baby and my boobs are devoted to feeding a little one for a year! I may change my mind....
Well, it's Monday all ready! I can't believe how fast the holiday weekend flew by! This also means it's time for another addition of Not Me Monday hosted by MckMama. Go check out her site and see who else is confessing all their "not mes"!
This week I definitely did NOT have some more "pregnancy follies" as Jason calls them. He did NOT suggest that we write a song about all the "stupid" things I have done while pregnant.
For instance, I did NOT put a large Yankee Candle on a candle burner and forget to take off the lid! No way! Luckily Jason saw the candle burning and took the lid off before it exploded. Whoops!
It was also definitely NOT me who, within five minutes, broke a glass while unloading the dishwasher because I missed the cupboard and then banged my head on said cupboard door.
Also, it was NOT me who was up at the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning making mashed potatoes... and during that mashed potato frenzy it was NOT me who burned her belly while pouring boiling hot water into the sink. It really hurt!
This pregnancy is NOT turning my mind to mush and causing me to be rather clumsy and forgetful!
And it was NOT me who got up early to go Black Friday shopping and scored some great deals, and then came home and decorated the WHOLE house and managed to wrap presents and put them under the tree. I'm NOT a Christmas nut!
It was also NOT me who lost her first Fantasy Football game in five weeks! I am NOT totally bummed about this!
And finally it is NOT me who is all ready 30 weeks pregnant as of today! Where did the time go?
Well, I'm going to take some time off from my busy Black Friday and answer some questions from Mama M's Five Question Friday. Check out what all the other bloggers had to answer to these questions over at her blog!
1. Do you do a real or fake Christmas tree? Well, usually we do a real tree. A Frasier Fir tree to be exact. We go and cut it down at this great Christmas Tree Farm in Doylestown, Ohio. Unfortunately they do not grow here in Texas. They import them pre-cut from North Carolina. I am not a big fan of pre-cut trees. They dry out so quickly!! So, last year I went out EARLY on Black Friday and bought a beautiful 7 1/2 foot pre-lit tree at Home Depot. So, that is what is up in our family room as I type.
2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition with your family? It's the one holiday where all seven of my siblings make it home for the day. We all meet at my mom's around 9 am and she cooks a HUGE breakfast! We then all crowd into her living room and open presents. It's a mad house, as there are usually about 18 of us in the room. I love it!
3. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods? And, if so.... how many calories do you think you consumed yesterday? We certainly did Thanksgiving up this year! I cooked enough food for 10, and there were only 2 of us! I don't even want to think about how much I ate. But, atleast I have an excuse since I am eating for two!
4. Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? It's all done! After my shopping this morning I packed up the fall decor and pulled out my boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations! The stockings are hung, the tree is lit, the wreath is on the door... You get the idea. The only thing left to do is hang up our lights outside. Hopefully we'll get it done this weekend!
5. What is your favorite Christmas cookie? Oooh.... That's a hard one! I love them all!! Jason's mom makes some FANTASTIC chocolates, and his grandma makes awesome anise cookies! I like to make an assortment myself. I don't think I can pick just one!
Well, that's it for this Five Question Friday. I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!
So it's early. And I mean EARLY! What am I doing up at this wee hour? That time before dawn is even thinking about cracking...? Well, I am making mashed potatoes! What?
Mashed potatoes! They're boiling as I type. You see, we're having a Thanksgiving potluck at work today. I'm bringing in pretzel jell-o and mashed potatoes! And, I couldn't bear the thought of bringing in potatoes that were made yesterday! So, I set the alarm early, bribed the dogs to be quiet by letting them sleep on the bed with Jason and tiptoed into the kitchen to start on my spuds.
(See, they really ARE boiling!)
Jason chided me the other day, wondering why I was ONLY making mashed potatoes. They're too easy," he said. "You always make more difficult things than that." I know he was just joking around, but it's true. I love to experiment in the kitchen. Although, there are a few things that are tried, true and absolutely fabulous that I make. Things in which I will never alter the recipe. One is the aforementioned pretzel jell-o. It has become a staple in my family. A dessert that is made for EVERY occasion!
Molly hit a mailbox? Time to make pretzel jell-o!
Dad got out of work early? Pretzel jell-o it is!
The UPS package arrived on time? Well, you get the idea....
Well, would you like my recipe for this delicious dessert? I posted it below for you lucky readers. Try it out, let me know what you think!
1 stick melted butter
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels (I smash mine with a rolling pin)
1 (8 oz. ) package cream cheese, softened
1 container cool whip (standard size, not the gigantic one)
1 cup sugar (divided)
1 (6 oz.) package strawberry Jell-O
1 regular package of frozen strawberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix melted butter, pretzels and 1/2 cup sugar together. Press into greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes.
3. Dissolve jell-o in two cups boiling water. Add frozen strawberries. Put in fridge to start to gel.
4. Combine cream cheese, cool whip and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat well with mixer. Pour over top of pretzel mixture.
5. When jell-o is starting to set, pour over cheese layer and refrigerate overnight.
You can find a printable version of this recipe here. :)
Isn't that SOO easy?
Try it out, let me know what you think!
Now, you might be asking yourselves, where did this recipe come from?
Honestly, I have no idea! We just started making. It could easily be somebody else's recipe that we stole and call our own. Whoever DID create this masterpiece should be given a medal. Oh, and P.S.- I love you!
I'd like to present it to them. It would be the "Best Combination of Salty and Sweet Ever" Medal!
Anyway, back to my spuds. I'm sure they're boiling over by now. Have a great day everyone! Try not to get caught up in that last minute mad rush at the grocery store!
This is my first time participating in Truthful Tuesday. Each week Elizabeth over at Confessions From A Working Mom posts a question for us to answer. This week's question is:
How early is too early to decorate for Christmas?
I love this question! I ALWAYS want to decorate before Thanksgiving. But, Jason and I have a deal that I cannot put up a single sprig of holly or snowman candle until Thanksgiving dinner is resting comfortably in our very full bellies! I really do not think it's ever TOO early to decorate for the best time of year... Although, I guess decorating in August may be a *little* crazy! Also, I am a firm believer that when it's over, it's over people. There are some who leave up their tree until February. Although by that time it is nothing but a crispy, brown fire hazard. By then the holiday is DEFINITELY over and all things Christmas should be back in their rubbermaid containers until next year. I can't wait for tomorrow! I begin my Thanksgiving baking... then on Thursday morning the parade will be on, the turkey cooking away in the oven and us sitting on the couch relaxing until we get to eat! After that my fall decorations are history and up go my MANY Christmas decorations! I will definitely be heading out on Black Friday to snag some great deals. Toys R Us at midnight, followed by Best Buy at 5 am. Okay, so maybe I am just a tiny bit holiday crazy! Great question Elizabeth!
There is a little dog that has captured my heart. From the moment I spotted his snaggle-toothed, little face peering out at me from behind kennel bars, I was smitten. His big, bulging, brown eyes melted my heart. I had just started working at the Vet Clinic where I am currently employed, and he was a dog rescued from the streets that was up for adoption. I started taking him for walks everyday, playing with him during slow times and then finally I brought him home on the weekend.
I told Jason that it was to foster the little dog. You know, until he found a REAL home with a REAL family that wanted to adopt the little cutie pie. We have fostered dogs in the past, so I knew I could get away with that line in order to get the little bugger into our home. When Jason agreed as long as it was ONLY to foster him, and that there was NO WAY that we would be keeping the little dog, I was ecstatic! Afterall, I knew it would only be a matter of time before Jason fell in love with the little dog, just like I had, and we could keep him forever!
Mwa ha ha ha!
My plan would work, I knew it would work!
The little dog came with a name, that name being Flip Flop. He has one ear that stands up and the other that flops down... so I guess the name fits. We started calling him Flippy, and that's what stuck. It only took two weeks and the little guy was ours. He got along well with our two cats, who enjoy beating him up. Flippy thinks that the kitties are playing with him, but really they are wishing that they hadn't been declawed so they could scratch out his cute little, bulging eyeballs!
Our big boxer Charlie plays remarkably well with him and they became fast friends. Flippy took to cleaning Charlie, mothering him if you will. They love to cuddle, chase each other in the yard and play "tug"... which really means they each hold onto the end of a rope toy and Charlie pulls Flippy around the house.
So, life is good. We now have two dogs and two cats. Everybody has a playmate; Jason and I are pleased with the new arrangement. Then, we start to see a different side of this new little dog. Yes he is cute. He does funny things like chase his tail and sit pretty. He also makes the cutest snorting noise when he is trying to tell you what he wants. He even lets me dress him up for Halloween! (Sitting pretty in his Halloween costume.)
But there is something else...
HE IS A PIG!
He hoovers his food in under 10 seconds. I swear it's a world record! Then he tries to stick his little face in Charlie's bowl so he can eat his food, too! After that it's off to the laundry room to see if he can score any cat food. The dog is hungry ALL of the time! I think that maybe it's because he was on the streets. Poor little guy. Maybe he thinks he may not eat again, so he tries to eat whatever he can. I feel bad for him. Wouldn't you?
This leads to Flippy gaining 5 pounds in 6 months!
This is not good. I am a bad mother.
For a dog who should weigh 15 pounds to gain that kind of weight so quickly is not a good thing. Are other doggie mothers judging me? Are those people we pass on walks looking at my little "tube dog", as Jason refers to Flippy, thinking that he is fat.
That his mother must overfeed him. That she lets him do whatever he wants. That a dog controls her life!!
The weight gain must stop. Flippy is put on a special prescription diet. He begins to lose weight. I am happy. Jason is happy. Flippy is NOT happy. We catch him constantly trying to eat the cat food. This results in him being put in timeout. He knows that timeout is in a corner in our foyer. He will go there as soon as he knows he has been caught.
He puts himself in timeout.
He will stay there for 45 minutes. He also has learned the words "cat food" mean he is in big trouble. When those two words are spoken he tucks his ears and rolls over on his back, letting us know that yes it was him, he ate the food. He knows timeout is next. He even puts himself in timeout when Charlie is in trouble!
We put the cat food up on the dryer, but one of our cats cannot jump that high. So the food is back on the floor. We can't win. Flippy is not gaining weight, but he is also not losing weight. He is holding steady at 18 pounds. He is chunky. People at my Clinic notice. "Has Flippy gained weight?", they ask me. "He looks thick", they comment.
I blush I make excuses. What can I do??
We go for more walks. I change his prescription diet to ANOTHER food. Jason plays with Flippy until he is exhausted and can't move anymore. The weight stays on. Maybe it's genetics? Who knows?? What am I going to do?
Well, I don't know, to be honest. We love him. He is sweet. He cuddles with us at night. He gives kisses. He is fantastic with children. He is my little kitchen helper. (Okay, he's waiting for me to drop food on the floor!)
(Helping me in the kitchen.. right at my feet!)
He is my little baby and I love him so much.
I guess we'll just keep doing whatever we can to help him on his weight loss journey.
Who would've thought keeping a dog on a diet would be THIS hard?
I can't believe another week has passed and that it's Monday all ready. Which means two things: 1) One week closer to baby! (29 down, 11 to go... scary!) and 2) Another edition of Not Me! Monday with MckMama. Check her out to see what others are NOT up to.
I am NOT becoming more forgetful as I become more pregnant. It's not me who leaves the pantry light shining brightly atleast once a day since I forget to flip that little switch when I'm done grabbing my goods outta there! And no way am I the one who forgets to lock her car in the driveway or tells Jason the same things over and over again because I just can't remember if I told him or not.
This weekend I was not pleasantly surprised at our Childbirth Education class to find that out of 15 couples there were 5 others there who were, like us, waiting until the birth to have the sex of their baby revealed! It was not nice to find out that we weren't alone in that decision and that others find it as exciting as we do!
Yesterday it did not take Jason and I almost 45 minutes to put our new Pack n' Play together. The directions and pictures were not completely horrible and could have been written by a five year old.
I also did not eat Panera for lunch THREE times this week. I guess those seven years of working there have not made me love it, even though I have to pay for it now!
And finally, I have definitely NOT been listening to Christmas music obsessively since last week. I am not super excited about my list of stores to hit and presents to buy this coming Black Friday. And I am certainly not excited about cooking a huge Thanksgiving dinner for Jason and I!
This is my time. My favorite time. The time when the stores decorate themselves in wreaths, snowflakes and lights. When all of the coffee shops advertise Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread and Peppermint Mocha Lattes. When people throw out those pumpkins and spend hours putting up twinkly Christmas lights, just to have them taken down in one month's time. And usually, when the smell of snow is in the air. When you can walk outside and see the tree branches blowing in the wind, bare of their leaves waiting to be weighed down by the impending snow.
Unfortunately, we don't have that down here in the land of Texas. It's something I'm still getting used to. It's now literally freezing up north at night. Freezing to Texans is 50 degrees! I long to wear my winter coats, to put on my ski pants, hat and gloves and frolic with my dogs in the snow. I want to light the fireplace, because it is actually cold enough outside that it's needed, and curl up in front of it under a blanket with Jason. There are still leaves on the trees. Yes they are finally changing color! It's like the seasons here (if you call call them that!) are three months behind schedule. By the time it *should* start to snow on the Texas calendar, the temperatures are rising back up to the 70s.
I think this is one thing I will never be able to get used to. People up north think I am crazy because I actually miss the snow! Maybe it's all of those years building snow forts and sledding down the hill in our backyard. Or the memories of my father pulling us on an old-fashioned wooden sled (with actual steel runners!) on the lake behind our house. It could be those mornings waking up with anticipation of a snow day! Or coming in frozen stiff and being warmed up by a big mug of hot cocoa, warming up your ice cold fingers and bright red cheeks. I love those memories; I want my child to be able to create those memories. This year, there will be no snow for us. Not with baby on the way in just 11 short weeks. But, I look forward to next Christmas. The first Christmas with our child! Where we get to go back north and spend it with those that we love most. We get to bundle up our little one in coats, mittens, scarves, and hats. Warm up those little fingers and toes by a roaring fire. And maybe share that first sip of hot chocolate together. I know that I can't wait to share that first snow together with our little one!
I recently started reading Mama M's blog, and decided to link up with her for my first Five Question Friday. If you want to join in just visit her page, join up on the McLinky and answer the questions. Enjoy! :)
1. Are you a Black Friday shopper? I never used to be, but last year I scored a fabulous Christmas Tree at Home Depot. I think the experience got me hooked, as I am all ready making my lists for what to buy at each store on the day this year. We always get a live tree, but since we were heading back to Ohio for Christmas last year, we had to get our first artificial tree. I was able to fight off some people to grab the last 7 1/2 foot pre-lit tree they had on sale that Black Friday morning. Yes, I had to get up at 5 am, but for the price it was definitely worth it! We are actually going to be using the tree again this year, as I discovered that our favorite live trees are not grown here in Texas and I do not want to get a pre-cut one that will dry out quickly.
2. What was your favorite childhood toy? (Think Easy Bake Oven, Cabbage Patch Kid, Shrinky Dinks, etc.) Hmm... I really am not sure on this one. Growing up we had a lake in our backyard, and that is where I spent most of my childhood. My parents were really big on us playing outside. We were only allowed to watch a small amount of TV a day, and video games were forbidden. Heck, we didn't even get cable until I was a senior in High School. I'd have to honestly say that my best childhood memories are of those playing cops and robbers outside in the evenings and spending my days at the lake playing sharks and minnows.
3.Favorite Christmas movie? Oooh! I think it's a tie between "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story". The first is a timeless classic that I love to watch every holiday season. The story is is a great one and can keep anybody in an uplifted spirit at anytime of the year, not just Christmas. The second is one that my family has embraced as our movie. Last year our themed holiday shirts were of different scenes from the movie. We have also visited the house that opened up in Cleveland and both my mom and brother have "leg lamps" as Christmas decorations.
4. What is the "must have" item on your Christmas list this year? I really do not have a must have item. I find that there are not many things that I absolutely *need* or *want* anymore. I love to just have things bought for the house and this year I really just want things for the baby. I guess the big gift that we are asking for is a video camera. My parents are getting us one so that we will be able to catch all of the baby's many special moments on film!
5. Do you go all out with decorations or do you keep it simple and classy? I have A LOT of Christmas decorations. I seem to buy more and more each year. I love to decorate my house and am excited to see how we will be decorating our new home this holiday season. I am unsure of how we will be putting up the lights outside, but I know they will look great! I really don't think you can ever decorate your home too much for the holiday season!
Well folks, believe it or not but we are now in the third trimester! I know I've said it before, but I cannot believe how quickly this pregnancy has flown by. It seems like just yesterday we found out about this little bundle of joy... and now in 11 1/2 short weeks baby will be here!
Baby at 26 weeks.
We had our 28 week check up this past Monday. Everything is going well. I passed the blood glucose test with flying colors, my anemia is under control and I've only gained 9 pounds throughout my entire pregnancy! We did discover that I may have a problem with my gallbladder. About twice a week I get a sharp pain in that area for hours at a time. Right now I have to monitor to see when it acts up, and if it may be food related. If not, an ultrasound may be done.
Baby is also still growing faster than normal. At our 24 week appointment baby was measuring at 26 weeks, and now at this last appointment baby is still measuing two weeks ahead. So that means baby is measuring at 30 weeks. Which means there is a 3 pounder inside my belly! It's amazing to me! I am not feeling as many kicks these days, but am constantly feeling baby twisting, turning and tumbling inside. I have also not had a full night's sleep in a few months. I always wake up to reposition or to pee... ha ha! I wouldn't change any of it for the world.
Baby at 28 weeks.
I am one of those people who loves being pregnant. I love feeling the baby move inside me and reading about what new thing baby is doing this week. Also, I think it helps that my pregnancy has had little complication or uncomfortable symptoms. Of course I have some pretty bad back pain these days, not to mention leg cramps... but it's nothing that I can't handle! It's exciting and also a little scary to think that in less than three months we will have a new addition to our family. I can't wait!
I would like to say a special thank you to my friend Melody over at Growing Up Riggs for presenting me with the Heartfelt Blogger Award. This is my second award I have received since I started blogging. Melody and I have known each other since High School and I enjoy reading up about her adorable daugher Cate and all of the goings on in her life. Thank you so much Melody for presenting me with this award! The rules state I must now pass it on to nine of my favorite blogs. I am going to take a few days to decide who to present it to, and will list them a little later on.
I know, I know... I've been a bad blogger. It seems life got pretty busy there for a week or two and I didn't have the time to sit down and write about it all! Things are back to normal now, so I have time to tell you all about it! Let's see... where to begin?
From November 5th thru the 9th we went back home, as in back to Ohio. That will always be home to both of us, even if we never live there again. It's where we planted our deepest roots and where the ones we love most reside. It was a whirlwind of a long weekend that seemed to end before it really even started. Visits were never long enough and catching up conversations weren't as in depth as they should have been... but that's life when you try to see as many people as you can in three days! The main purpose of this trip back home was to celebrate our expected little one's arrival in the old, traditional American way... a baby shower, of course! My sisters and mother planned a fantastic baby shower for us that weekend. It was beautiful- everything I knew it would be!
My good friend Ed who dabbles in photography came and took pictures for us. I had friends and family come in from over two hours away for the celebration and it was just perfect. Great food, beautifully creative centerpieces, a cake too cute to eat and only one game! It was a great day. Here are a few pictures from the shower (Ed took over 300):
Grama engaging me in a story.
My beautiful cake my sister Maureen had a talented friend make, along with little cookie feet as party savers.
Gorgeous centerpieces my sister-in-law Emily designed, complete with real carrots, radishes and cabbage. The theme was Peter Rabbit, based on the baby's nursery.
Me with my euchre partner Grandma and Aunt Tina.
All of the ladies in my family, plus my two nephews.
Lady and Lady.
Some of my sisters!
Friday was spent lunching at one of my favorite bagel places with two of my sisters (and one Berger!) and then hitting the movie theater for an opening day viewing of A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. The movie was actually pretty good once the ghosts came into the picture. To the side is a picture of us posing with The Chipmunks at the theater- I think they have a movie coming out soon! Also during our weekend we were able to spend a night of card games and laughter over at Jason's grandparents house. His grandma, my favorite card partner, and I challenged Jason and his dad to a rousing round of euchre. With the clock rolling up to midnight grandma and I lost by one point. I think she is still steaming about it! We were both able to spend time catching up with old friends, too. I had breakfast with two girlfriends from Junior High on Saturday morning. It was great to see how successful and happy each of them are with their lives. One a bubbly student, traveling all over the world to expand her mind and explore different cultures and languages. The other settling into a new home she bought herself and loving her job working for a county up on Lake Erie.
Saturday evening was spent with my family at our favorite local eatery, the Winking Lizard. Our party of 23 people was loud, chaotic and refreshingly normal for my large family! We ate, talked, laughed and took turns playing games with the kids. My nephew Brandon has become a pro at skeeball and had to challenge every adult he could! Afterwards we headed over to the bowling alley so Jason could prove once and again that he is the top bowler in our clan. I miss days like that.
Monday morning we went to breakfast with Jason's parents and brother. It was a nice way to end our long, hurried weekend. We were both sad to leave, but happy to get home to our boys and our new piece of land down in Texas. I should also mention that this was a special weekend for two more reasons. I met two new people this weekend. One is Ed's girlfriend, who is sweet, kind and a great match for him. I am so happy that he has found someone as wonderful as her! Secondly, is my nephew Tristan. He is eight months now, and this was the first time Jason and I have met him! He is incredibly adorable and looks just like my sister (his mama) when she was a baby. Jason made the comment that he is "the happiest baby I have ever seen."
Below is a picture of Ed with his new lady love!
We planned to go home that weekend because it was also the last weekend that I was allowed to fly (doctor's orders), so it was extra special for both Jason and I. It will be the first time we will not be with our families on Thanksgiving or Christmas, as well as my first birthday without my family. Needless to say this upcoming holiday season will be a little rough on us. We still have each other... so I know it will be a special time for just the two of us. I plan on making the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, decorating the house to the nines for Christmas, blasting my carols, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, sending out cards and cooking a fantastic Christmas dinner. No expense will be spared, and nothing will change for our holidays even if we are not surrounded by all of our family.
Jason playing with baby Tristan.
You see, my family is just a *little* crazy when it comes to Christmas. We. Love. It. There are even matching shirts involved... Yep... Matching shirts. I said it. I will definitely miss spending this special holiday with my family- it is the only one where all of us are actually together. It's a promise we have made our mother, we will ALWAYS be home for Christmas. Except for this one year when Jason and I tackle this extra special holiday with just each other, our animals and Texas weather.
I have many more things to blog about, but this post will do for now. Stay tuned for more updates, including one on baby! :)
Hi, I'm Emily. Proud wife and stay-at-home-mama to my two little men and one sweet baby girl. Etsy shop owner, amateur sewer, crafter, chef, and home decorator. Target and Pinterest junkie. Lover of animals, DIY projects, books, blogs, rocky road ice cream, movies and a good deal. Life is beautiful!