Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

Every year in our area, there's a local Christmas festival held the week after Thanksgiving....it always strikes me as way too early in the year, but our homeschool group had a field trip, so I was able to take LB to see all the fancy trees and decorations.

LB took lots of pics

One of the two hundred pics she took :)

Posing with the decorations

Hanging out in front of the model train

Stuffed animal tree

Relaxing on the bench

I think this may be our Christmas card :)
Here are some great pics from feeding the geese and visiting the museum.  It's been such a busy month with work that I'll still be catching up - more pics of our latest adventures to follow this weekend!

Feeding the geese

A little exciting....

Rock climbing in CO

Rocking the sunglasses

Learning about water flow and erosion

Checking out meteorites

Posing with the rocks

Taking a phone call from the mine

This is what she looks like as a moose

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Flowers, All Saints Day and More!

Okay - time to catch up!

First, last month's Little Flowers gathering:

The girls playing a game

LB at work
Next up, our All Saints Day party.  First, let me start by saying our homeschool association is awesome.....seriously awesome; supportive, interactive, faith-filled families that lift us up in prayer and with whom we have such wonderful fellowship.  One of the many wonderful activities organized throughout the year is an All Saints Day party where the kids dress up as saints, we have a potluck and the kids play games.

Noah's Ark animal toss

Picking a prize!

Blessed Kateri Tekawitha showing off her prize
....and preggo pictures

12 weeks

14 weeks
Little Bean has had a hard time starting to read....the last couple months have been such a shift.  She has finally started reading for enjoyment and without fighting it (well, she still fights it sometimes).  Part of the blessing of homeschooling has been that we didn't have to force LB to read in Kindergarten like her traditionally schooled peers.  We've been able to allow her reading to go at it's own pace and I think by the end of this year, she'll be on par with her peers.

Caught reading....

"Mom, what?!"

"Shhh...don't wake him!"

Reading to her cousin
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I'm now about halfway caught up on pictures :)  My husband is down south for training this week, so it's been quite the hairy handful with the precocious puppy and two girls.  Whenever I stop to think about it, I am SO thankful that I haven't been sick this whole pregnancy like I was with LB!

Wishing everyone a blessed Advent season.  Prepare Ye!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

LB's First "Grown-up" Concert and other fun...

My husband's mother periodically gets really inexpensive tickets to events at our local entertainment center.  When she asked if we would like tickets to the gymnastics and ice skating spectacular, it was a unanimous "YES!" 

So, on a Saturday night, we packed into the car and headed out.  The billing for the show had ice skating and gymnasts with special musical guests I'd never heard of.  When we got the the show, it was clear that there were definitely followers of these musicals guests!  We saw many teeny-boppers in shirts proclaiming their fan-dom of the various singers.  That should have been our first warning.......BUT, we were still taken by surprise when they announced the singers and the many, many girls in the crowd SHRIEKED at the top of their lungs!  At first, LB covered her ears and was very unimpressed with all the shrieking....however, about 10 minutes into it, I found myself sitting next to one of the shrieking young girls in the audience - who happened to be none other than the non-shrieking child I had brought in shortly before!

About halfway through the show, I decided it was more entertaining to document LB than the show....as you can see, she wasn't a huge fan of that approach :)



It was a great night.  Near the end LB started to get sleepy.  There were lots of empty seats in front of us, so LB and I moved down at one point for a better view.  My husband snapped a shot of LB and me.


Other silliness from our house includes horse-riding and sprucing up jammies:



I'm doing well without injections and tomorrow will be the 12-week milestone.  Someone told me last month that having Sweet Baby would make this pregnancy go faster because she would keep us so busy....that has certainly been true.  Weeks have flown by like days!  The exhaustion is starting to ebb slightly and I'm looking forward to that 2nd trimester with an energy pick-up....hopefully Sweet Baby will be sleeping longer stretches by then too, so it'll be the perfect storm of more rest :)

Hubby's job is going well.  He's learning lots in training and showing lots of initiative to get things done.  Having watched his progress the last couple weeks, I am becoming increasingly convinced that his personality is ideally suited to a sales profession.  In a couple months, he'll be operating solely on commission, so prayers for success are always appreciated :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All in a Week's Work

I spent all of last week working out of town.  It was a late Sunday night drive, followed by five long days of working 10-12 hour days.  It was also an amazing experience.  Working from home, I rarely get such an opportunity, but my husband's new job didn't start until this Monday, so he stayed with the kiddos while I spent a week being the working stiff :)

I stayed in a beautiful hotel on the client's campus and had complimentary meals.....needless to say it wasn't the best weigh-in at my appointment this week :P

Belgian waffle with strawberries and blueberries

Sticky bun french toast with pecans and blueberries
The work experience was just as amazing as the breakfasts - I think I learned about a 3-hour graduate class worth of material.  I was there to observe a pilot training program and while observing the pilot couldn't help but absorb the great material.

The days were long and I worked into the night more than once, so Friday afternoon I was ready to go home and snuggle my hubby and babies.  On my way out to the car, I noticed one of my tires was a little low.  I went straight to the trunk where my ever-ready husband keeps an air compressor in both vehicles.....well, the box was there, but no air compressor.  I set my gps to navigate to the closest gas station.  It was a couple miles away, however, when I got to where it was supposed to be, no gas station....this happened TWICE!

On my way to navigate to yet another gas station, I passed a Jiffy Lube.  I passed it and kept going, but my guardian angel urged me firmly to turn around and ask for help.  I got to the service station, and asked if there was anyone who could put air in my tire or change a tire for me, since I have a full size spare.  The man was kind enough to offer to put air in my tire, but pointed out a nail lodged in my tire as the culprit.  I asked if anyone could change my tire out.  He said with great reluctance that he was on the clock and couldn't.  I was quick to ask if there was anything they could charge me for and get the tire changed (as I was standing there exhausted, in business professional clothes, 9 weeks pregnant and those tires are HEAVY).  He told me they could rotate my tires for $25.  I quickly told him to start the rotation!


After a quick wait, I had four good tires on the car and the man was apologizing for having to charge anything to help me.....I happily handed over my credit card and thanked him for his help.  I was so relieved to have my tires safe and ready to get me home.

I arrived home about an hour later than I had planned, but safe and sound.  Snuggling ensued shortly after :)

I'm glad to be home, although I'm still feeling the effects of my long workweek.  The combination of pregnancy and intense workweek has led to many naps in the last few days, but I'll be back soon with another baby/family update :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bucking up....

Wednesday I was officially 8 weeks pregnant.  I'm two weeks into my shots, and I have to admit, it's getting REALLY old.  It's hard to keep getting these shots that push me to the brink of blacking out and then end with dry-heaving.  Still, according to the doctor, in two weeks, the shots will be behind me and it'll be smooth(er) sailing. 

The problem I'm having is that it actually is a problem.  I HATE the shots and this makes me feel like a big whiney baby.  I have wanted another child and have been through so much to this point that I would've thought I'd be singing my way to the shots....not so....hence the guilt. 

This all brings me back to a truth I've known and forgotten a number of times.....you can see a blessing in every cross or a cross in every blessing.  So, it's time to stop whining (most of it has been in my head, but still) and buck up.  I offer my shots up for all those who are trying to conceive....this makes it a little more bearable and hopefully sends palpable grace to those who have been struggling with low fertility. 

So, this week, I'm going to focus on being grateful for shots that will make this baby strong and healthy.  I will visualize this baby growing and thriving with every shot I get.  This is my shot (haha) at having another child and I will consciously practice gratitude.  God didn't promise easy times....He promised to be there in the rough times. 

We are starting to celebrate in our house.  This last weekend, we went to dinner to celebrate the advent of a new addition. 

7 weeks pregnat

Out to dinner

A fancy drink

Our silly dog

In other good news, my husband received a job offer yesterday.  He will be starting his first sales position November 1st.  After the first few months, it becomes entirely commission-based, so we shall see.....just one more step along this crazy path of life.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rice-a-Roni's First Ultrasound

As you've probably heard - we're having a baby!!!  Because of some previous health complications, we were blessed to get an early peek at our baby.





Before the ultrasound, Little Bean had no idea that we were expecting.  My husband and I took her with us to the ultrasound.

When the ultrasound technician began the process, LB asked if she was going to check to see if there were any babies inside.  I told her, yes, that's what we were doing.

Once the tech pulled up the image of the baby and we confirmed that the baby was in the right place, LB was ecstatic!  "There's a baby and it's in the right place!!!"  As the video continued, she went to the chair in the room and sat down with the proclamation, "I'm going to pray for the baby".  It was one of those sweet, heart-warming moments that are the reason I'm blogging to document this crazy life of ours.

The tech was also nice enough to let LB get really close to the computer monitor to see the baby up close.

After the appointment, I let LB call my parents to tell them the news, here's what her end of the conversation sounded like:

"Grandma! There's a baby in mommy's tummy and IT'S IN THE RIGHT PLACE!  I'm so happy I want to jump for joy and shout from the rooftops!"

It was a very memorable family day :)




Friday, October 7, 2011

LB Field Trip

September was not my month for blogging!  It's October now, and I'm going to get back on track with my entries. 

I have been meaning to share some pics my husband took on his iPod, and I've finally gotten the connector cables, wrangled his iPod from him and started downloading the pics.

Last week was a crazy week at our house.  I am an instructional designer and I usually work from home for a consulting company that my dad is a partner in.  Last week, I had the opportunity to be on site with a client as part of a pilot program training.  It was fun, exciting and definitely a change of pace from our usual family dynamics with me gone 10 hours a day. 

Two things I learned:  I enjoy working with clients; I enjoy being home too.  Seems like my arrangement of spending most days home with the kiddos and the occasional on-site is about right for our lives right now.

While I was working, my husband took LB on a field trip he enjoyed far more than I would have - a grist mill and fish hatchery (he actually sells baby fish from our fish tank - so it was right up his alley!)







video

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bean Posing & an Epiphany

I have pictures taken of LB every year.  Last year, I took the pictures:





This year, I went to a different park and took more photos:








I took this year's photos with a different camera, my old one broke, and I didn't like the quality as much as last year.  So, I've borrowed my dad's fancy camera and will be taking more pictures this week or next. 

I like to take pictures....as may be clear from the volume on this blog :)  When I grow up, a photographer is one of the things I'd like to be.

Things are going well with Sweet Baby.  It feels like being a new parent all over again.  LB was breastfed without pacifiers or bottles (not because I found this virtuous, but because I could NOT get her to take either).  SB is formula-fed and takes a pacifier.  It's a totally different kind of parenting....aside from the fact that we have no idea how long she'll be with us.

It feels like she's always been a part of our family and it still feels unreal that there's a baby in the next room, it's quite a dichotomy.  We will enjoy her for as long as she's here :)

My husband's work situation still isn't what we had hoped for.  We're in a state of limbo, waiting to see where our family will be led.  It's been a long 4 months of unemployment/underemployment.  The blessing has been that I have been able to do more consulting from home during this time to help fill in the gaps.  I've applied for a few jobs and continue to not be interviewed....with a master's degree and five years of consulting experience, I'm taking it that it's God's will that I be home right now.  Going back to work would require a huge lifestyle change for our family.

Last week I had an epiphany.  I was anxious about my husband's work and finding some security after 4 months of insecurity and I was watching a story about a military family; reality check!  It's true that our own crosses are nothing compared to the crosses of others.....my family has health and home......next time I think about complaining, I'm going to offer it up for all the families who are truly suffering right now - whether it's the family that just lost a  father overseas or the family that recently lost a 7 y/o daughter in our homeschool community - my cross is a splinter and I will pray for all of you carrying around true timber.