Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Past Six Weeks

As you might imagine, after yesterday's announcement I've been trying to read and respond to as many "congratulations" emails as I can. I just love how much every single baby is so loved before anyone even knows his or her name. You mention the word "pregnancy" or "expecting" and people can't help but be spilling over with excitement.

I hope this news also explains why I haven't been the best blogger in the past month or so. My time has been consumed with naps and trying to keep myself still on the couch until the morning (all day) yuckiness has subsided. So far no vomiting but so far no desire for food or the smell of food either. Unless that food is a fruit. Then I'll take as much as you can give me thank you very much.

It was hard trying to blog about my life when most of my life, lately, was so much about this new little life. But I'm of the group that tries to wait until I hear that teeny tiny heartbeat at the end of the first trimester before I can share the news with the rest of the public. So that's where we were Monday morning and why I posted the news that afternoon.

I've been getting quite a few questions wondering if I was pregnant at my sister's wedding. The answer is yes I was pregnant but it was too early for me to know yet. Of course I had a hunch so I kept the wine and champagne to a minimum but I have to admit that the timing was rather genius. I was still able to have a good time but I didn't have to wait another whole month for something we've really been praying and hoping for.

The other question I've been getting is when I am due. I've come to not like this question very much. When I was pregnant with William I would quickly respond, "December tenth!" to anyone who wondered. William's birthday ended up being November 21 so I've learned my lesson that babies come on their own schedule not yours or your doctor's.

Technically speaking my OB chart says my due date is April 27. But because an early delivery the first time around can make that chance even greater with subsequent pregnancies I've been responding to those questions by saying "mid April" or "right around Easter." Of course now that I'm saying that this baby probably won't come until May. But for those of you who like more exactness you can always take a gander at the handy dandy gadget on the right side of my blog. It will tell you exactly, technically speaking of course, where I am in my pregnancy and how much I've got left.

Thank you so much to everyone for your emails, thoughts and prayers. They mean so much to us. And now that the secret's out, hopefully you'll be hearing from me a lot more often. Even if it is only to complain about how I haven't been able to get off the couch all morning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Too Smart

We're back at ECFE once a week which can otherwise be called the Germ Factory. As much as I love taking William to "school" it doesn't come without its drawback and one of those is picking up sniffle and sneezing bugs. To give William's immune system an extra edge this year I decided to start him on some immune boosting supplements. Brian and I swear by Emergen-C whenever we feel we're coming down with something so why not give the same boost to my son?

The bottle I found at Target gives him an extra shot of Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea. I really don't know if it works but I figure it can't hurt.

I figured William would love it because the vitamins come in the form of a gummy bear. What kid doesn't love a gummy bear? Well, my kid apparently.

When I first gave it to him he put it in his mouth for a little while and then spit it out and placed as far away on his tray as he could.

I thought maybe because they were vitamins they didn't taste exactly like candy so I tried it myself. They tasted just like your average gummy bear to me.

I handed him another bear and said, "Here buddy, it's CANDY!"

He handed it right back, "Here go mommy."

I sighed. "How about some sugar on it?"

I licked the back of the bear and dipped it in a spoonful of sugar. If it worked for Mary Poppins...

I handed it back to William, "Mmmmm..."

He inspected it closely. He then proceeded to lick the sugar off the back and hand the bear back to me saying, "More sugar please!"

Sometimes these kids are just too smart for their own good.

Thursday Night Recap: September 25

Eats: Homemade pizza at Brian's request. Except I didn't do the crust. No time for that. The toppings of our choosing were black olives, green peppers, mushrooms and of course sauce and cheese. William loved it!

Dessert: I had a small dish of Neapolitan ice cream.

Drinks: I think Brian dug around for one beer in the back of the frig but that was it because he's trying to save the rest for tonight when he has a few guys over to our house.

Entertainment: The season premiers of both The Office and Grey's Anatomy. I don't know. What did you think? We thought they were both a bit on the boring side. The Office was funny at parts but our biggest laugh came from Alex on Grey's when he told the woman with short-term memory loss that she was in a spaceship on her way to moon.

UPDATE FROM YESTERDAY'S POST: William woke up around 2:45 sleeping for his usual three hours. After that we scarfed down some lunch and we headed to the grocery store. The best part of his early nap? An early bedtime! This meant we were able to savor our Thursday night all the more.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Once in a Lifetime Occurrence

This morning Brian's sister Meaghan called from New York. She's a stay-at-home mom as well so we often call each other during the day to catch up. During the phone call William got a bit antsy (don't all kids do that as soon as you get on the phone?) so I grabbed his nukie and his blankie and settled into the rocking chair with him. The rocking chair is situated right by our bedroom window so he was content looking outside and sucking on his nukie while I chatted.

After a bit I noticed William's head start to bob so I turned him toward my chest so that he could lay his head on my shoulder; one of his favorite snuggle positions. A few minutes went by and I noticed William wasn't moving. Not only that but he was making the unmistakable rhythmic sucking noises that kids only make when they're fast asleep. I carefully stood up and turned to face a mirror and sure enough his eyes were shut.

I said to Meaghan, "You're never going to believe this but William just fell asleep on my shoulder."

I didn't even have to bring my speaking voice down or anything. In fact, I think my voice may have been what lulled him to sleep in the first place.

I hung up the phone and carefully tucked him into bed. His eyes didn't even flutter. That's how dead asleep he was.

So now for my dilemma. It's 12:30 and he's been asleep for about 45 minutes with NO lunch. This means he's either going to sleep for three hours and wake up famished OR he'll wake up in a few minutes to eat and then never want to go back down again--not enough naptime for my little guy. It'll either be a really easy day or a major struggle. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime I'm putting together my grocery list because you know what tonight is, right? It's the return of Thursday Nights! Tomorrow you'll get my full recap.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Breaks My Heart

If you've ever met my little boy you know that he's anything but shy OR quiet OR nervous or any of those socially anxious emotions. The one exception to this has been when he's getting his haircut. For some reason or another this process totally freaks him out.

We've tried bribing him with candy and cookies and we've tried distracting him with songs and antics but we've still never left without at least one crying outburst. And I think I've mentioned before that a high school friend of mine cuts all our hair so it's not like it's some stranger that's doing it.

So on Monday I decided this was going to be the day that we made it through a haircut without a fuss. All the way over in the car I talked it up.

"It's going to be so fun to get your haircut!"

"Yeah!" He replied.

"And when you're all done you can have a special treat!"


"But you have to be a good boy. No crying."

"OK, mommy."

When we got to my friend's house William ran to her with open arms. Good start, right?

Since he seemed to be a in good mood she decided to do his hair first. William sat in my lap and together we looked in the mirror as I continued to talk up how fun this haircut was going to be.

"Oh you're going to be such a pretty little boy when we're all done!"

He was doing so well just sitting still and looking at himself in the mirror. After I was convinced there was going to be no outburst we started to engage in our own conversations gossip. We became a bit oblivious to William mostly because he was being so quiet. But when I finally took a gander at him in the mirror the guilt hit me like a run away train.

He had the biggest, saddest lip I've ever seen in my whole life. It was the equivalent to the adult lump in your throat trying to hold back that cry that you desperately want to get out. He was scared out of his mind and wanted to wail but was trying so hard to keep it all locked in. I felt so bad.

I said, "Oh, buddy! What's the matter?"

And that was all the OK he needed to let it all out. He started to sob and shake and sob some more. We were able to get enough cookies in his mouth to get the rest of the job done but it wasn't easy.

I think it made me realize that sometime kids really aren't trying to be a nuisance. They really, truly are just plain scared. And sometimes the best thing you can do is just validate their feelings instead of trying to stuff them back in. Haircuts are not an option in this house but we'll just have to keep going about it in the most gentlest of manners.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ernie & Bert

This weekend we traveled to Grandma's house. Brian competed in a 5K fun run with some of my high school friends while I cheered from the sidelines. Well actually, I didn't even do that. I cheered in my head from my bed while I slept in. The start time was way too early for me and William.

William was a bit under the weather this weekend, nothing too serious, but still enough that we didn't venture out too much. On the way home we stopped at an outlet mall so I could stock up on some much-needed fall/winter clothes for my growing boy.

While we were there William got a bit antsy so Brian took him outside to see Ernie and Bert. When Brian ran to the bathroom I did something my mom never did for us. I stuck a quarter in it! Of course the only spectacular thing it did was rock back and forth but William thought it was riot. And I really haven't posted a cute picture of him in a long time so I'd say the 25 cents was worth it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What I'm Starting to Realize

I don't so much wipe him off after meals as I do give him a quick full-body sponge bath.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Dennis the Menace

As I foretold, the weather has decided to shake it up this week and allow the sun to shine down and the temperatures to move on up. I don't know about the rest of the mothers out there but it seems to me that the worst time of day is post-nap, which in our house is around 3:30 or 4:00, all the way through until Brian comes home and I serve dinner. So naturally I kill this hour and half outside when the weather permits. This week it has.

I have a lovely stay-at-home mom/friend next door who can usually be found out in her driveway as well with her three little ones. We also have made a new acquaintance across the street who works part time in the morning and therefore is able to join us with her son in the afternoons. We all have one common goal: Kill as much time and burn off as much energy in the kiddos as we can until the daddys come home.

It usually works out quite nice but lately (and by lately I mean yesterday and today) my little darling has decided to be somewhat of a terror. Examples follow.

I opened the garage door yesterday and let William run ahead of me while I continued to put on my shoes. When I reached the driveway I found him laying flat on his belly on the pavement lapping up a puddle of leftover rainwater. I was totally grossed out.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! GET UP NOW!!" I exclaimed pulling him by his arms.

His reply? "I puppy."

Later my neighbor mom/friend and I were talking. Both of us were slightly turned away from William and thus missing out on his naughtiness. I caught glimpses of flying yellow out of the corner or my eye. I turned to catch him plucking off every last flower head in my flowering pot. Keep in mind that until now we've gone through the entire summer without this ever being a temptation. I fear there's no hope left for those poor plants to recover and flower again now that the sun isn't as strong and the nights a bit too cool. Oh, I could just scream!

Other new naughty habits include, but are not limited to: peeling the bark off of trees, eating mulch (why oh why?!) and digging his fingers so far into ant hills that no nail brush could ever reach the dirt stuck under there.

I'm not quite sure what to do with these newly developed behaviors especially since this outside time is more of an advantage for me than for him. I fear I've entered the (terrible or terrific?) twos phase. With a boy. As proof by the dirt wedged under his fingernails.

As Requested

Here is the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe I mention below. Take note that you'll need at least a 5-quart slow-cooker. Those little round ones won't hold everything unless you half the recipe. My notes are in italics.

2 tablespoons butter
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1- 8 oz. package sliced fresh baby portobello mushrooms
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cans 14 oz. chicken broth (I used low sodium.)
18 oz. cubed roasted chicken breasts (I just bought about four frozen boneless, skinless breasts at the grocery store and cooked them over the stovetop, no roasting here.)
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained (I used one can, drained.)
1- 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained (found in the Asian section)
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups whipping cream
Garnish: toasted slivered almonds (I skipped this ingredient.)

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion; cook 4 minutes or until almost tender. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook 2 minutes.
2. Combine mushroom mixture, broth, and next 6 ingredients in a 5-quart slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours or until rice is tender. Stir in whipping cream. Garnish, if desired.

Makes 12 1/2 cups.

Source: SouthernLiving Slow-Cooker Cookbook

Monday, September 15, 2008

All Rained Out

We had grand plans this weekend to go to the Apple Orchard as a family, but the weather had other plans. It rained all weekend long. And when it didn't rain, it was cloudy, windy and cold. Boo hoo.

So instead I made chicken and wild rice soup. And by "I" what I really mean is that I told Brian what ingredients to throw in the slow cooker in the morning while he let me sleep in. But when I did awake I will take full credit for the homemade bread I made. Brian said he liked the bread more than soup. But William couldn't get enough of the soup. Another great way to get him to eat chicken!

Other than that we remained our boring selves sticking to too much college football on Saturday and an even lazier Sunday. In fact, all weekend we only left the house twice. Once to grab a cup of coffee and some doughnuts (a special treat for William) and then again for Mass. Like I said bor-ring.

The weather is supposed to shape up this week though so hopefully I can get this kid outside to run off some of that bottled-up energy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Things I've Thought About Posting But Just Haven't Gotten Around To It

  1. William had his first day of school on Tuesday. Well, not really but we call ECFE school so it kind of counts. The class is a lot bigger than last year and I still haven't decided if that's a good thing or a bad thing. The teachers are all the same though so that makes it easier for William.

    Last year all the kids were within a few months age difference from William. This year the span is 12 to 24 months. William is on the high end of that span and I didn't realize until I walked in the classroom how huge that range is. Right away William pointed to a little girl sitting on her mom's lap and said, "Baby!"

    I guess he's the big man on campus now.

  2. Brian got William to eat chicken. This is huge. William refuses to eat any kind of meat. He even turns down hot dogs every once in a while which I think you can barely consider meat anyway.

    Yesterday on instant message I asked Brian if he could swing by Target during his lunch hour and pick up a couple of cans of soup for me. While he was there he spotted some soft tortilla shells that he thought would make a perfect dinner with some of the leftovers we had in the frig. My mom never made soft-shelled tacos or tortillas when I was at home so this is something I've never made before.

    When he came home I had to admit his idea was clever. I made a quesadilla for William and disguised it as pizza. I loaded it up with sour cream, mild salsa, left-over cooked chicken and sprinkled it with shredded cheddar. William ended up pealing the two tortilla shells apart and picking out and eating only the chicken! In a normal meal he would do the exact opposite. Even though he barely ate the actual tortilla we kept serving him more because he continued to pick out just the chicken and far be it for us to the jinx the whole project and just serve him plain chicken.

    I'm telling you, my husband is a genius.

  3. This morning after breakfast William fell down the stairs for the first time ever. I'm talking full out head to toe tumbling from the top to the bottom.

    I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes and watching a bit of the morning shows when he wandered upstairs. He does this a lot if there's a toy in his room he wants to get. On his way back down I spotted him at the top empty-handed and asked, "Hey buddy, what were you doing?"

    He started to answer but the heal of his foot slipped and before he or I knew it he was coming down. It felt like it happened in slow motion but I know it didn't because when I rushed up from the couch he was already at the bottom on the floor. He cried pretty hard but not for very long. That's how I knew he was more scared than hurt.

    It's the first time he's ever fallen down this or any stairs and I suppose every child is bound to experience it at least once. Now when we're walking up or down the stairs he reminds me, "I fall."

  4. I went to the grocery store this morning and I would like to confirm my idea that when you are shopping with a child there are some people that you could just kiss and others that you could just slug.

    I already knew I was pushing this shopping trip because we got there at 11:30. Lunchtime is at noon and naptime is at 1:00 so this was just on the brink of OC (out-of-control) time. But I had a list I was sticking to so I knew I could be in and out if everyone just stayed out of my way.

    So I'm wheeling down the last aisle which in our store happens to be the dairy/butter/cheese/ice cream aisle when I stop to throw in a bunch of containers of yogurt. William, seeing the yogurt, is reminded that he is about due for his lunch so he starts screaming for his yogurt. When I won't give in he starts one of those high-pitched toddler screams. You know the one, right? They're not crying, they just know exactly what to do to annoy you so that you'll give in to what they want.

    So three senior citizens stop in the midst of their extremely deep conversation about ice cream and start staring, whispering and rolling their eyes at us. I see them out of the corner of my eye and decide to do nothing to stop William's antics. C'mon, didn't they ever have toddlers?! I totally could have slugged them. They keep staring. Now I'm hoping William never stops. We turn the corner and they are out of sight and William stops his screaming. I almost want to high-five him.

    Now fast forward to packing the groceries in the trunk of the car. William is still crying for his yogurt. I put the last bag in the trunk and it rips.


    I scoop William out of the cart and try, with one hand, to keep the cart from smashing into the car next to me while I'm also trying to open the door to the car to put William in his car seat. A man, seeing my struggle, swooped in and said, "Here I'll take that from you!" He whisks the cart out of my hands so I am free to deal with the car door. It was such a small gesture but I truly could have kissed him.

Monday, September 8, 2008

'Cause It's Been Too Long Without Them

I'm dressing William before we go to the high school football game.

William: A stuck!

Me: What's stuck? Let me see.

William holding up his right hand: A stuck!

Me: No, I don't see anything stuck.

William pulling at his t-shirt sleeve: A stuck!

Me, getting it now: No, buddy it's not stuck. They're LONG sleeves. They're supposed to do that.

Football, Family and Friends

The title of this post pretty much sums up our weekend.

On Friday night we attended the Woodbury High School football game. The field is just blocks from our house. The air had a chill in it, which in my opinion is way too early, but I admit it was perfect for football. William really got into it. He stood on the bleacher seat in between Brian and I with both of his arms around us shouting, "Gooooo foo-ball!" I guess we'll get more specific about the concept of teams when he gets older. He also was a big fan of the marching band and all the little kids that were running around. All in all, a fun and cheap night out for the whole family.

On Saturday we watched eight, count 'em, EIGHT hours of college football. The Badgers were up first followed by Brian's beloved Notre Dame. Both teams won but Brian was still upset about the Notre Dame game. Isn't a "W" a "W"? Apparently not when you're playing San Diego State.

My sister and her new hubby joined us for snacks, pizza, bloodies and beer. Brian and Reid are two peas in a pod when it comes to Notre Dame. Breaks in the TV action consisted of them in the street with a football pretending they were Jimmy Clausen and Michael Floyd. Boys will be boys.

Yesterday we awoke to burned out eyes from all that television watching but we still made it to mass on time. We caught a quick snooze before our friends came over for dinner with their two kids. We had chicken on the grill with 'tators and 'maters -- perfect harvest veggies, right?

William crashed before 8:00 after all the action and mama and daddy followed shortly after. But first we caught a couple of repeat episodes of Friday Night Lights because we just weren't quite sure we had caught enough football over the weekend.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Those Big Sisters

As much as Brian and I loved watching Sarah Palin speak at the Republican National Convention last night, we both agreed that her youngest daughter, Piper, stole the show. Luckily we had our handy dandy DVR recording so we were able to do an instant replay multiple times.

In case you missed it, click here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


And just like that [insert snap of the fingers here] I'm scrambling to find long sleeves and long pants for both myself and William. I haven't looked in those drawers since May. Much to my surprise William can't even squeeze into his sneakers for just a few more days until I go buy him a new pair. He went up a whole TWO sizes. Crazy.

In case one was ever questioning the existence of relativity, all you need to do is ask a Minnesotan how 66 degrees feels in April and then ask that same person how 66 degrees feels come September. Five months ago I would have been begging for this weather. We would have been outside soaking our skin in the glorious sunshine. Today I find myself reaching for a pair of socks, an extra blanket and dreaming of a nice hot bath.

I'm not complaining. It is bittersweet to see the end of summer but I know if those sultry days and hot nights went on too much longer, I'd end up just taking them for granted. That is one thing you can say about Midwesterners: we love our seasons. Just when you're getting used to corn on the cob and watermelon, the calendar page flips and now you're craving apple crisp and football games.

Maybe we're in for an Indian Summer and maybe not. No one can quite tell just yet. But one thing is for sure. The school bells are ringing and that means the end of splashing in the pool, trips to the cabin, and messy ice cream cones on the lawn. It was a good one, dear Summer. We'll see you next year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cause I Just Had to Look

On Friday night I begged and pleaded with Brian to go out for a family dinner in downtown St. Paul. He thought I was nuts, what with the GOP convention in town. But my inner journalist/Republican was coming out and I just needed to see what it was like down there before everyone started spilling in. How often does St. Paul get to be in the midst of the National Spotlight even if someone named Gustav plans to rain on the parade?

Traffic was surprisingly calm and we even found a free parking spot on the street. We packed along the stroller so that I could drag my family behind me as I peeped through all the blocked-off streets surrounding the Xcel Center. Much to my delight Fox News had set up shop right across the street complete with a live shot and a jumbo screen. Here are my best photojournalist shots.

The Xcel all dazzled up.

The Fox News live shot. See the guy below and just to the right of the spotlight?

That's him on the giant, jumbo screen!

The rest of the less-than-Republican-friendly news organization just got small tents on top of a parking ramp.

And here's my posse waiting patiently for their crazy mama.

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