Friday, May 30

Bugs

Raising a toddler is an interesting study of learned versus instinctual behaviors. Like dancing. Totally instinctual, lol. This girl just started moving one day without any coaxing on our part and hasn't stopped! Personally, I always thought that a fear of bugs was mostly a learned behavior. It seems that way at least- some families are scared of dogs, bugs, mice, etc., and others could care less. Well, Beth's fear of bugs has developed all on her own. And boy, does she hate bugs!

She will call me from across the room to let me know if there's a bug- dead or alive- and won't stop squealing about it until I pick it up and throw it away. Not only bugs though (it's not like we live in a barn!) but pieces of leaves or dirt that have been tracked inside. Anything that resembles a bug must be quickly removed by me. While playing outside, I'll pick up a rolly-polly bug (doodle bug?) and let it crawl over my hand while she says she wants to touch it but won't. On the bright side, it's helping me keep the floors very clean!

She also has become very nit-picky about things that are in the wrong place. Not toys (I wish) but something like a tiny speck of food or goodness knows what, she'll pick it up and bring it to me. Luckily it hasn't been anything disgusting yet, but even Ryan's aunt noticed this "quirk" last week when we were visiting their house. Again, I have to get up and throw whatever it is away (placing it on my plate or in a napkin won't do).

Tomorrow is an incredibly exciting day for me- we're going test driving for a new car!!! This will be my first time to do anything like this since my first two cars sort of just happened. Ryan and I are going to test drive a Mazda 5 and a Toyota Rav4. Depending on how that goes, we may try some other vehicles but right now we're leaning toward one of those two based on our research from Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com. For us, with a growing family plus a dog, the interior room seems acceptable (on paper- haven't seen them in real life!) up against the better gas mileage than some bigger SUVs. Initially we were going to check out a Honda Pilot, Saturn Outlook, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Taurus X, but with gas prices we just can't convince ourselves that 17 or 18 mpg is acceptable right now. We don't plan on buying until late September or early October, so I suppose something *could* change by then, but I doubt it! We're still not sure if we'll buy new or used, but we've generally been happy with my little Mazda Protege. We still may keep it also, as well as Ryan's truck. I can't imagine being a 3-car family but my Protege gets better mileage than his truck, so he might start driving that to work eventually. But it's really nice to have a truck bed to haul stuff when we need it! Lots of things for us to think about!

Here are some pictures of my little ham. Yesterday we were listening to some music, she was dancing and in a great mood so I grabbed the camera. I took a TON of pictures because she was being so stinkin' cute but unfortunately she likes to put her face right up against the camera so some are a little too close!




Wednesday, May 28

And finally...

We have a BOY!!! His name is Luke Michael. :-)

I went to pick up Ryan from work and while I was waiting I felt some serious kicks from the outside- he definitely knew we were on our way to see him! I haven't really felt kicks like that yet, only once about 2 weeks ago and Ryan was able to feel him move also (pretty cool). So we went to the OB, appointment as usual, we start the ultrasound and see the little face and then she moved the wand around and all of the sudden OH YEAH IT'S DEFINITELY A BOY! LOL, he wasn't shy at all. ;-) In fact we have a picture that proves it all, but I will save him future humiliation and not post it. Everything else looks great- he's measuring right on date and everything is developing as it should. I am so thankful! He was incredibly active during the ultrasound, he definitely flashed us a "Gig 'em" at one point though!

I will post some ultrasound pictures soon. I have to get them scanned (I don't have a scanner) so hopefully that will happen soon!


My next visit is in 5 weeks, when I will have the gestational diabetes test. I can't believe I almost just about halfway done with this pregnancy! Now comes the fun part- shopping for boys clothes!!! Wohoo!

Tuesday, May 27

Pool day

Today Beth and I went to the pool for the second time. Today was a much better pool day since it was hot, mostly sunny, and the water was a great temperature. Beth actually got into the baby pool today and started walking around- she really took off! She wasn't interested in holding my hand at all, and I think she walked rather well in the water considering it was up to her chest in certain parts of the baby pool. She even "jumped" into the water- I was holding her as she jumped in- but she wanted to do it over and over again. After awhile I got pretty hot so we went to the big pool and I held her close to me until she got used to the big kids and adults. Then I extended my arms, holding her underarms, and told her to kick her legs- she went to town!!! She didn't want to stop kicking, even when I brought her back to me. Next I tried to let her "float" on her back- she wasn't really comfortable with that but we'll get there soon.

I would love to make sure I'm teaching her the right things regarding water safety and baby swimming. I know not to expect her to swim to me from the side or anything but it would seem to me that there are certain things she should know or be learning right now. I searched our library database and couldn't turn up anything on teaching babies to swim, so do y'all have any advice?

Also, overheard today while in the big pool-

Mom, to kid dunking brother underwater: "Tyler, don't drown your brother please."
Kid: "But mom, I'm baptizing him!" Both boys giggle.

I almost died of laughter!

Monday, May 26

19 weeks pregnant

Just a couple more days until we find out! Yikes! I dreamed last night about it, but my appointment was delayed and they were going to make me come back on Friday. I'm so anxious and excited!!! We have our boy name picked out but not our girl name yet. I'll tell you later. ;-)

a picture from pregnancy.org, a baby at 19 weeks.

And about my comment last week about the big sis or big brother thing... Our former neighbor had said that when her mom was expecting, about being a big sister or a big brother. It was so cute and it's stuck in my mind, so I thought I'd share. I didn't come up with it on my own, lol.

St. Louis, part 2

Tuesday morning we packed up and hit the road early. First stop was Louisiana, where Ryan's mom and grandma grew up. It was a beautiful little town on the border of Illinois, and we drove around to see all the sights.

This is the cemetery where Ryan's grandparents and cousin are buried. It has an incredible view of the Mississippi river, and we crossed over the river just to say that Beth and I had been to Illinois. ;-)

Next stop was the Henry Lay Sculpture Park, where we had lunch and walked around to see some of the sculptures. Of course, what would the day be without a picture of Ryan talking smack to a piece of art? The park was beautiful and I wish we would have had more time to hang out there, unfortunately we were on a schedule and the day was rather overcast.

After Louisiana, we headed south to Mexico, MO, where Ryan's great aunt lives. We visited with her just for a little bit, but Beth wasn't really cooperating in the nursing home so we took her outside to play. I took these pictures of her dancing and running around in the grass to stretch her legs before our final bit of time in the car!

Once we arrived in Lake of the Ozarks, Beth (and her daddy) were more than ready to be out of the car! It was a long day! We stayed in that evening and enjoyed the beautiful night by grilling and hanging out on Ryan's uncle's deck and screened-in porch. Beth slept beautifully that night (like all the other nights) and the next morning was completely energized and ready to go!

Beth's first boat ride- look how cute she is! The day was sunny but cool so we had a wonderful time cruising around the lake. Ryan and I both got a little much-needed sun, and Beth had quite a time trying to walk on a moving pontoon boat. That's Uncle Jimmy's house in the background-wonderful accommodations! Sometime over the trip, Beth learned how to "show us your teeth!" and it's made smiling for pictures soooo much easier! She also learned how to say "baby" and has added that into her rotation of mama, dada, ma! (more), hiya, and die (diaper).

Self-portrait on the boat.

Everyone has to learn to drive a boat eventually, right?

Thursday after lunch we drove straight back to St. Louis, a much shorter trip than the way there on Tuesday. We didn't do much that evening except hang out with everyone. I don't know why driving in a car makes you so tired but we were wiped out that night!

Friday was an exciting day for me! Ryan's uncle is a helicopter pilot and instructor, and he was able to figure out a way to take us up and give us an aerial tour of the outskirts of St. Louis. I had never been in a helicopter before and it was really cool! I was worried that I'd get motion sickness, being preggo and all, but I didn't! Actually it was pretty much what I'd expected it would be, except the motion was bumpier. But it wasn't bad- he said it was a good day for flying! Ryan stayed down with Beth while I went up, then we switched places and he went up while I stayed down.

It was a 4-seater copter so I went up with Ryan's mom and cousin.

I was in the backseat, this was my view straight ahead.

And here is Ryan practicing his hovering technique! A born pilot if I've ever seen one!

Our last night so we had another family dinner. Here's a picture of us with Ryan's grandpa. Look at Beth smiling for the camera!

That night was our last night, so what better way to spend it then out gambling? Since we don't have casinos, and since it's a secret addiction for Ryan, we went out with his cousin to the Ameristar casino. I wasted some money feeding the slots (I'm no good at gambling) but Ryan did pretty well at the black jack table. We went out for some drinks first (I was designated driver, of course) then stayed out too late!

The next morning we had just enough time to pack up and head off to say goodbye to everyone. It was a rainy day but our flight was delayed only about 15 minutes, wonderfully enough! On the flight home, Beth didn't start off so well but eventually fell asleep and slept until we pulled up to the gate!

(Not too flattering of me but I'm willing to suck it up because Beth looks too darn adorable!)

Needless to say we were exhausted when we pulled up to our house! It was nice that Ryan didn't have to work today so we could play catch-up on sleep and just hanging out around the house. We had such a great trip, I can't imagine ever duplicating the memories and the fun!

Sunday, May 25

St. Louis, part 1

We left on May 17 to fly to St. Louis, Missouri for some vacation! We stayed with and saw Ryan's side of the family, attended a high school graduation for his cousin, sight-saw in St. Louis, took a road trip down to Lake of the Ozarks for a couple of days, and flew in a helicopter (well, Ryan and I did-not Beth!). We had a wonderful time, and are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped us out on our trip!!! Beth met her great-grandfather and great Uncles and Aunts for the first time, flew on a plane for the first time, slept through the entire night on vacation for the first time... Well, there were a lot of firsts! I think I will let the pictures do the talking. We have over 300 so it was hard to narrow them down!

Beth did so well on the plane-there and back! We had packed a special purse just for her equipped with toys and books she'd never seen before that I'd bought especially for this trip. Awesome idea if I don't say so myself. ;-) She played just about the entire time with her new toys (little things- like her own wallet with photos, a travel-sized Magna-Doodle, some Mardi-Gras beads, 3 new books, some snacks) and barely realized we were on a plane. We had numbed her ears with some stuff from the pediatrician so there was no pain for her. She wasn't so interested in the people around us or even looking out the window, so we just played the whole time. This photo was taken right as we got on the plane, by the way, before the people in front of us sat down!

We arrived on Saturday and headed to the house to see everyone and all had dinner together. That night (all nights we were in St. Louis actually) we stayed with Ryan's uncle and aunt, who let us stay in their basement "suite". It was really nice to have all that space to let Beth play, and of course it was super-dark so putting Beth to sleep was a cinch! On Sunday we went to mass with Ryan's grandfather, who showed off his little great-granddaughter to his friends after mass. We had another huge family dinner that night, then Monday Ryan, Beth and I hit the road to sight-see in St. Louis. We went to the Arch then to the zoo, then had to make it back to the house in time to get ready for Ryan's cousin's graduation. She graduated at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, which from what I heard was absolutely breathtaking. I stayed home with Beth since the ceremony was in the evening, and we'd hoped to attend a tour of the Cathedral Basilica later that week but we just ran out of time. So it's on my list to see next time I visit!

On our way there- it was chilly! In fact, our whole trip was pretty cool, a wonderful escape from our usual hot and humid climate.

The view looking straight down from the Arch. Pretty intimidating!

Up inside the Arch

Beth had fun looking out the windows!

Ryan and Thomas Jefferson having a staring contest.

Our little family outside the Arch. We survived the trip up there in those tiny little pods!

At the St. Louis zoo. It was free to enter but we had to pay for parking. This was Beth's second time to the zoo and I think she enjoyed it more than the first time. We we able to get a little closer to the animals- in fact I was taking a video when one of the giraffes you see behind them came up to us and stuck his head over the rocks, inches from Beth. Some punk kid touched the giraffe's head and the giraffe sort of ran away- oddly the ostrich chased him away from us.

I have video of this encounter also- that's Beth's head in the corner. He was really checking her out! Yes, there was a thick wall of plexi-glass or something there, but it was really cool. Actually there was a boy (another boy, less of a punk) who was making faces at the gorilla and the gorilla made faces back!

This picture is at the hippo exhibit, where you can see underwater as the hippos swim by. Beth was more interested in the fish swimming right by the glass than the huge hippo that would swim by every minute or so, but it was really interesting for me and Ryan. The hippos are so graceful underwater, but their eyes sort of bug out funny.

Monday night we had the graduation party (Congrats Annie!) and hit the sack pretty late. Tuesday morning we were up early to leave for our road trip... Which will be continued in another post on another day!

Picture of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, courtesy of Wikipedia. ;-) The picture is cut off significantly, so I suggest you visit the site to see the whole photo!

Saturday, May 24

We're back!

We're back from our trip to St. Louis, Missouri! I will be uploading pictures tonight, we were gone for an entire week so there's a lot! I will most likely post everything in two separate blog posts, so check back frequently. :-)

Wednesday, May 21

One week!

Exactly one week until we find out if Beth will be a big sister or big brother!

Haha, just kidding about that. But really, one week!

Sunday, May 18

A bit of dancing


She gets her dancing skillz from her daddio.

Thursday, May 15

For Ryan

Ryan has been begging me to write a post so he can know what's going on in our lives, lol. So even though I have no pictures, here's the down low (low down?).

Beth has been doing very well lately about telling me when she has a wet or dirty diaper. She pats her hip (sign for diaper) and says "die?" and I ask her if she wants a diaper change and she nods yes. I don't know if this sort of behavior is normal for a kid her age- it's funny because just a couple of weeks ago she would kick and scream during a diaper change. So does this mean I have to start reading about potty training? I am soooooo not ready to even think about that. I plan on taking the easiest path when it comes to potty training, right now I don't care if she doesn't do it until the age of 4! I just don't want to deal with all the drama and messes that come with potty training. But if she's going to make this easy on me, I'm okay with that too!

It seems I forgot to mention my Mother's Day gift- the new Death Cab for Cutie cd. I am soooo excited about it, it's good so far. What I like about them, besides his fantastically normal lyrics and his great voice, is that they play music. Like, the intro to one of their songs is minutes of music before the lyrics begin. I haven't made it through the whole cd yet but I'm loving it so far!

In addition to the new cd, I have something else new in my life- rubber bands on my teeth. I am so afraid I'm going to hurt myself with them- yesterday while trying to put one in I lost grip and it shot across the room. Better across the room than on my lip I suppose! I really don't see a need for these bands, but I'm no orthodontist and while he thinks it's a little early for me to be wearing them, he understands I want to hurry up and get out of these things so he's trying to help me out a bit!

And for the final update, it seems one of our fish had babies. I'm not sure how (she must have come in pregnant because the fish store guy said they're all females!) or when this happened, but we now have 3 baby Sunset Platys in our tank. Being somewhat familiar with nature, and remembering the many fish tanks in my childhood, I'm pretty sure the others were eaten! These three have managed to live a couple of weeks though, so I'm pretty sure they've passed that critical, traumatic childhood phase of survival. They're still tiny but apparently smart enough to swim away when the adults (Sunset Platys or Dalmation Mollys) swim by. I really need to clean out our tank but I'm afraid I'll suck them up- does anyone know how to take care of a tank with baby fish?


The Sunset Platy- a beautiful (and cheap) specimen of fish.

Monday, May 12

Our first pool trip

Pointing to the shamu slide that she refused to slide down!

Today I took Beth to the pool for the first time this summer. It went better than I expected! She wasn't overly-enthusiastic about getting in the water (which was still pretty cold) but she wasn't afraid either. We walked around the pool, talked about the lifeguards, warning signs, pool chairs, plants... And of course the slide into the kiddie pool. She was all about climbing up the stairs but as I helped her down the first (and only) time, I could tell she wasn't ready for it yet! She did get into the baby pool for a bit, then we got into the "big kid pool" where we both got about chest-deep. She was very content with me holding her in the water, I held her away from me a little bit and told her to kick her legs. She liked that part! Then we sat on the steps and played a little bit until they told us to get out of the water for a safety drill or something. Everyone has to get out of the pool so the lifeguards can run drills for 15 minutes- sort of silly I thought. I mean, it was okay today when there were like 8 people there but what about in a few weeks when school lets out? How are they going to get a million kids out of the pool and make them sit out for 15 minutes?

cute baby! she wore her hat the entire time!

This past weekend was also my brother Michael's college graduation. Congratulations!!! He looked so wonderful and so old. Which means I'm older- it's wild how time just flies! The last time I was in that arena was 3 years ago tomorrow when I graduated!

And a happy belated mother's day to all of my mother friends out there. I hope you all had a wonderful day with your families! We spent time driving around after mass trying to find a resturant without a wait time and wound up picking up Sonic on the way home! Beth fell asleep during all that driving and of course woke up as soon as our food arrived at the car, and she decided that 10 minute nap was all she needed for the day! We had a nice afternoon that included a little bit of shopping for our upcoming trip and Ryan had some time to mow our lawn.

Congratulations Michael! Remember you have our laundry machine at your disposal whenever you need it during medical school! I may even make you a care package if you're nice to your new God-child. :-)

Tomorrow and the rest of this week Beth and I will be busy packing and preparing for a couple of meetings I have. We may venture out to the pool again on Thursday if we have time! I can handle a 6:45 pm bedtime on pool days! Wohoo!

Friday, May 9

Quick doctor appointment

Today I took Beth to the doctor because I was certain she had an ear infection. I was wrong! He said her ears look incredibly healthy, and he let me take a peek inside to see what he was looking at. I'd never done that before, I felt so special! He was really impressed that while we were talking, Beth took his ear-looker thing and grabbed it and put it up to my ear. Then she put it up to her ear. I told him she's really into mimicking our behaviors and he said that's really great! Then of course he made a comment about us having a future doctor on our hands. :-) Also while we were there, the nurse asked me "So do you know what you're having?" I was confused, I thought she was asking about Beth's sickness or something, then I realized she meant boy or girl! She's the first "stranger" who has asked me if I was pregnant- well she didn't even ask really. She said I was definitely looking pregnant with my little bump in the front. We joked about the in-between stage where you wonder, "Is she pregnant? Or just a little plump?" and I told her I was happy to officially be out of that stage thanks to her comment!

By the way, Beth weighed 24 lbs 4 oz. Last time we were there she was, I can't remember exactly, somewhere around 22 lbs? I feel like she's grown a lot in the past month or two- her face seems fuller to me.

She has a new talent now: "Pose." Her daddy, the male modeling expert, taught her this. When we say, "Beth, pose!" she tilts her head to the side and smiles. It's so stinkin' cute! I've been trying to teach her to "smile pretty" for pictures but she was totally not interested. By the time I realized tonight that I wanted to get a picture of it, she was already in the bath, so here it is!

Thursday, May 8

What's going on

So despite the fact that we've had a rather slow week, I haven't taken too many photos. Actually it hasn't been that slow I guess. On Tuesday, on my way to lunch with my grandmother my darned check engine light came on. And wouldn't you know it's one of the same problems as a last year that cost around $300. The good news is that Ryan has a buddy that is going to help him fix it, actually they just need to pull out something and clean it. Apparently it's really difficult to get to, but his friend has done it before so I have faith! On Wednesday I had a bit of "me" time since Ryan's parents came to stay with Beth for awhile- after I left the stupid car shop I went to the mall and Target DETERMINED to find a maternity swimsuit. I failed. :-( No department store carries maternity swimwear, the one at the maternity store didn't fit correctly and the one at Target wasn't the right size! I am so frustrated. I *need* a maternity swimsuit this time, Beth and I are getting pool passes and I need to be able to chase a toddler in my suit! So that whole process has been very frustrating for me. Today Beth and I went to my Regnum Christi encounter, where the most eventful thing was she smashed her fingertip in a toy and pulled off a little skin. Poor girl- she's okay but it looked like it really hurt! After that crisis was solved we headed to our local Fullness of Truth Catholic bookstore to meet Ryan for a talk given by the owner. Let me warn you, his site is very in-your-face and unapologetic about abortion!!! He really knows his stuff though (he is a convert), and everything he says is so logical. I really relate to that aspect of the way he presents material. Stuff like, if it's not true then it must be false. Or if you're right then I must be wrong. He's a nice guy and I think it's neat that we're getting to know him and his wife through these talks he gives. Anyways, tomorrow I think I will take Beth to buy our pool passes and maybe make a stop at the pool. It's been pretty hot during the day and I think she would absolutely love playing the water right now!

Cute girl after our quick walk this morning!

Our first pepper! I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember what kind it is.

Monday, May 5

A quick one

Last night and today we got a whopping 4 inches of rain! Beth and I weren't able to do our typical Monday morning grocery shopping because of the rain, it wasn't just sprinkling but it was hard! I know we got 4 inches because I'm a nerd and have a water gauge thingy in our backyard. ;-)

Saturday we went into the city- I got my nightstand (wohoo!) and am now organized by my bedside. It's amazing how one little thing can make such a huge difference! We also met Ryan's brother Josh for lunch, and my former roommate to meet and catch up. We did a bit of shopping and then came home- both Beth and Ryan fell asleep on the way home. It was a long day!

Beth with Uncle Josh!

Playing a pink kid-sized piano at a toy store. She's had a lot of practice on her Fisher Price piano! She would not leave it, we had to drag her away to play with something else.

Beth and I had a really good day today. She's such a busy body now that I have to remember to make one-on-one time just for her, and I can tell that she appreciates it. We obviously already spend all of our day together, but spending time focused 100% on her is different than watching her play while I fold clothes or something. So we did some serious block-building and shape-sorting and had a lot of fun. :-)

Friday, May 2

And now, the text

I had a headache last night when I posted the pictures- looking back I think it was because of my stupid ponytail being too tight. Don't you hate that? LOL.

So a few things to discuss. First, Beth said "banana." All three syllables, correct pronunciation, just like you or I would say it! It was really impressive- Ryan and I were not expecting it and we both were shocked! Beth really likes to eat bananas (although not her favorite food anymore) and when I pulled one out of the pantry last night to eat it I said, "Beth, do you want a banana?" and she said "Banana!" It was so neat to hear her sweet little voice say something so perfectly! Some of her other words right now are "more" (mah!) and "night night" (nigh ni). She'll also say "hi da!" for "hi dog" (I guess "Finley" is too hard to say!) and mama, dada, bye bye.

And it's officially summer around here. I just got in from watering the plants and I have counted 20 fresh mosquito bites. I was out there for 10 minutes! And I'm wearing capri pants! They're all on my ankles and hands. I am going to have to start spraying myself with bug repellent even for the quick little trips, like taking Finley out. On a short trip like that I can manage 3-6 new bites. They really love this hunk of white meat! Another way to know it's really summer is that I took Beth and Finley for a walk today around 1:30 and it was definitely too hot. By 3/4 mile into the walk I was ready to sit down and pass out, but of course I had to turn around and walk back. So looks like we'll have to start walking in the early morning again- with lots of bug spray!

I have a tip for y'all- and you may already know about this but it was new to me as a new homeowner. Our electric company has "peak" and "off peak" hours, which means that during peak hours the price of electricity is easily quadrupled the price of off peak hours. Our hours change twice a year- there are summer hours and winter hours- so we just switched yesterday on May 1. This means I do all of my laundry and dishes and vacuuming before 1 pm now (or after 9pm, but who am I kidding). I'm not sure how many people can plan their chores around hours like that but I'd like to think I'm saving us some money by sticking to their schedule! It'll also be incentive to keep extra lights off during the day- although I'm pretty consistent about keeping our A/C at about 76. I can't handle it any higher than that! So if you can, check your electric company's plan and do your chores accordingly!

Thursday, May 1

Pictures

My head is hurting so no witty blog today. Just pictures!

Beth getting chummy with Our Lady of Lourdes. She had her arm all the way around the statue but I didn't get the picture in time!

We washed our statue and dried her off, then planted the flower. I caught Beth giving her a big hug. Then she tried to bit her head. I adore the look on Beth's face!

She ventured under her crib this morning. She hasn't done this in months, since we lowered the mattress all the way- you can see it's a tight fit!

Monday in the play yard thing at the mall.

Ready to support her Daddy's team. Super cute, now the trick is to try to keep the shirt white!

I finally got a cute picture of her in this rocking chair. It was her Daddy's chair!
 
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