Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This week Lee is starting preschool. He had an open-house on Monday, and today he spent the whole day by himself with his class. He was very excited about starting school. His teachers are very nice and his classroom is lots of fun. I think it will be an excellent fit for him. Now I just have to figure out how I will survive without my handsome man for four hours, four days a week! :)

(Of course Annalisa wanted her picture taken too. And of course she wouldn't hold still. This one was my favorite.)

First OB appointment

This morning I went to my first doctor appointment for this pregnancy. I was so excited because usually we get an ultrasound and get to hear the baby's heartbeat. I've switched to my family doctor for this baby--which I'm very grateful for because he is way better than my last OB/GYN--but it means that he doesn't have an ultrasound machine in his office because it is a clinic. Anyway. So no ultrasound today. We scheduled one for a week from now at the hospital.

We also couldn't find the heartbeat. He said he heard it a couple of times in his poking around, and he's not at all concerned because my pregnancy symptoms are still very prevalent, my uterus is measuring just the right size, and I haven't had any signs of miscarriage at all. No worries--definitely still pregnant, just a shy little baby today. And probably kind of small still.

Fortunately, it was a very easy appointment. I'm already caught up on all my physicals and routine exams, so it was just a few pregnancy questions, checking the size and position of the uterus, and the attempted heartbeat check. Anna got a princess sticker and a sucker.

But THE best news of all was when Dr. Clark overlooked my previous pregnancy history and said, "You were induced twice for being overdue? I see no reason to make you do that again. We can bring this baby here on time." AAAAAAAHHHH! I knew I made the right decision to go with you, Dr. Clark! So, still pending the ultrasound, my due-date is March 17, and I now feel perfectly comfortable saying that I will indeed have a baby in the month of March! (Grandma F, want a grandchild for your birthday?)

Monday, August 30, 2010

A mega-fun day

Saturday we went to Mom and Dad F's day for a party day. (I heard on GMA that they added the word 'staycation' to the dictionary this year, for a vacation where you stay at home or very close to home.) We made amazing food--Eggs Benedict for breakfast, and Rotisserie Pork Roast, dutch oven potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans, and cucumbers for dinner. We went to the zoo and played in the sprinklers for about ten minutes. :) Mostly we just chatted, hung out, and laughed.

Oh yes. We also had a grape eating contest. That is, a contest to see how many grapes you can hold in your mouth. My mom had purchased two types of grapes--regular red ones and big black ones. Sara and Eric snuck in some teensy champagne grapes.
All the guys (we girlies opted out) lined out fourteen sets of grapes--one red, one black, one tiny. Then, if you drooled too much, if one came out, or you just quit, you were done. Eric won hands down, with all fourteen sets of grapes plus a few more just for show. We decided the ultimate key--beyond mouth size, size of grape, or ANYTHING--is the ability not to laugh.

Good times.

Craft time

I made these "Currently Celebrating" signs about three years ago for Christmas gifts--kept one for myself, gave the other three to all my siblings. I just have been enjoying mine today, especially the "Back to School" sign, so I thought I would post about it!

I bought all the blocks of wood at Michaels; although if I had had access to saws, I probably would have cut them out myself. The white sign itself is no bigger than a sheet of paper. After measuring, I painted them white and wrote the words "Currently Celebrating:" on each one. I also spray-laquered them for a little shine. Then I took smaller blocks of wood (had to just use my eyeballs when I was in the store) and painted them all different colors, some with little decorations, and wrote the names of different (color-coordinated, of course) holidays on each. I did an original eight: New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. A year or so later, my sister-in-law Kristin encouraged me to paint the backs of the signs too so we could have more things to celebrate. We did Birthday, Mom, Dad, "America/Heroes" (something patriotic for Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc), Back to School, Autumn, and a great general one simply labeled "TODAY." The new ones we painted really help through the long Easter-to-Independence Day; Independence Day-to-Halloween gap. Each little sign has a hole drilled in the top so it can be hung on a nail from the "Currently Celebrating" part.

This has been such a fun decoration! For people who don't have a lot of storage space for lots of decorations, this works well. I keep my exchangeable signs in my living room cupboard, and the kids love helping change it. We can change it as often as we like. Once Lee gets in school this week I'll probably put up "Autumn" for a month. Other than needing some painting time, they weren't difficult to make. Perhaps a little time consuming. But a permanent decoration? Totally worth it!

Oh, one small thing: since I made four sets of this originally, I gave away the best looking ones. The ones that turned out slightly less-than-perfect I kept for myself. Especially noticeable on the "Currently Celebrating" part itself, which I didn't like how I wrote at an angle on mine (Everyone else's is straight) and also the "Valentine's Day" sign, which had better handwriting on everybody else's.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

SSS: Zucchini bread

Something Super Saturday!

Yesterday I made Zucchini bread and we had it for lunch. I eat mine with a generous smear of cream cheese.

I just love the fresh produce during this time of the year! It makes the long, hot summer days *sort of* worth it. I adore the tomatoes, the sweet cucumbers, zucchini and bell peppers. I put fresh basil on just about everything. Peaches are coming on and there's corn on the cob. I love how my garden means I hardly buy any produce between August and October. And I love this slice of zucchini bread with cream cheese!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The phone story

Random story time:

Yesterday evening I picked up Cody's phone from the floor, where I was worried someone would step on it, and put it on the front room counter top. That was at about six or seven at night. Cody did not drive anywhere else--he was home when I put it there, and later last night we went to bed.

This morning he got up early to go do his horse training. I heard him thumping around calling his phone and searching for it. I told him where I put it; he left a few minutes later, never having found it. Oh well. But then I heard him adding a little air to one of his tires, and I got all worried that he would go drive half an hour away and pop a tire and have no phone to call me... worry worry worry....

At eight this morning, Cody's work partner gave me a call, with a name and phone number of someone who had found Cody's phone. My first thought was 'How in the world did Cody's phone get outside for someone to find it?' So I gave the guy a call and he laughed and said he found the phone on our street, ON the street. When Cody got home (no flat tire, thank goodness), we thought back in time and concluded he must have taken it outside briefly yesterday and somehow left it on top of his car, and when he drove away this morning it must have fallen in the road. We went to this random guy's house, picked up Cody's phone, and found it in perfect working order.

I'm so grateful to this guy who thought to stop and pick up the phone and call the last number dialed. How kind of him! We would have had to replace Cody's phone if he hadn't been so generous. Hooray! See, there really is good in human nature after all... ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

SSM: Catching up

I have been SO lackadaisical on my Something Super Saturdays that I feel bad. Today I will do Something Super Monday and put up several things to kind of catch-up from the recent inconsistencies.

1) Corn on the Cob! It is an official pregnancy craving. This time of year I always love corn on the cob, but right now I can't get enough. We had it yesterday and I am going to make it again today, because when something tastes this good--when food doesn't taste good at all--then I'm eating it in copious amounts.

2) Anna's new phrase: "I want-go poopy-in toilet!" Our daughter is literally potty training herself. I hadn't intended to start her until at least after her second birthday, but now at least once a day she asks me if she can go potty in the toilet. How am I going to say no to that? So she goes and tries, and quite often something comes out. I am letting her approach this at completely her own pace, and we only take her when she asks, or when it's diaper changing time and she has a bare bum anyway. It makes me so happy to have her take this natural interest in the toilet, and know that it will help her when we do become more serious about potty training.

3) Mockingjay this week! Remember my SSS on The Hunger Games? This week (Tuesday) the third book in the series, entitled Mockingjay is released. Cody ordered it for me (sweet wonderful husband) and it is being delivered to our house the day it is released (hopefully). I'm so excited!

4) Nap time. Since being pregnant I have been fortunate enough to get a nap nearly every day. After lunch Anna goes down for her nap, Lee has quiet time in his room with books, a movie, Starfall.com, or toys. That often buys me a solid two hours to sleep myself. I am convinced these naps have kept food in my stomach and sanity in my head.

Alright, I will try again to be better at Something Super Saturdays from now on! Although I still reserve the right to not put something up. After all, this is my blog. ;) Have a great, and Super week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lunch for a King

I've said before (and I'll say it again): Summer isn't my favorite. I do not like really hot weather. But there is one really good thing about Summer; or at least the end of Summer--the produce!

I've sang odes to BLT's before. And every year I look forward to them and miss them terribly when they end. Today I noticed a few red tomatoes in the garden and decided to make Daddy a very special lunch before his overnight business trip. We had BLT's (the fixings pictured above, except for the bacon which was on the stove top) and fresh corn on the cob (and a rare treat-chocolate milk). I loved watching Anna and Lee gnaw on their little cobs of corn. Anna kept laughing when she took a bite--she was so excited to have her own piece. It was a special little way of celebrating Summer and showing Daddy we love him. I hope all my green tomatoes ripen up soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pictures of the kids/Bad excuses

I know it's been a long, long time since I posted any pictures. Here's two I took this morning of the kids.

You may have noticed not just a gap in my pictures, but a gap in my blogging entirely. It is the 18th of August and I've only posted six times this month... definitely not my norm. I'm going to do something I don't normally do and break my "For Kicks and Giggles" mantra so that I can journal some of the past events.

First off, the kids are healthy and happy. They are so tough and haven't noticed the stress level in our house being higher than normal, which I am so grateful for. Lee is so sweet and kind and always says prayers for mommy and daddy, which helps immensely. Anna loves to put on shoes and wear hair bows, even though she hates getting her hair done. Her innocence is a wonderful example.

Now, don't think that Cody and I are having marital troubles--in fact, the stresses of the past few weeks have brought us closer together than ever.

And at last, on to the 'stresses' themselves. 1) Our landlords are mad at us. I think we must have bothered them some time in the past, maybe when we had kids, maybe when we picked apples, maybe something else...but I fear they've held a grudge against us ever since. We've never done anything in breach of our contract or anything illegal, and for all the minor errors we have made, we've tried to make amends. But sometimes people just are determined to be upset. I don't know what to do about it. When we told them we were pregnant again, they informed us that it is "illegal" to have three kids in this house, and we would need to leave before the baby comes. I have since read every renter's agreement in the city, our contract several times, and also housing laws and ordinances. I have found no such law; in fact, there are several protecting against discrimination of families with children. Quite honestly, I think they are scraping the barrel for a reason to kick us out. It makes me very sad. I love this house, and we have done everything in our power to be good tenants and neighbors. Our landlords have always been very good to us, and we've always paid our rent in full and on time. It is painful to have them suddenly turn against us, to the point of making up weird rules. I'm not sure now if I should fight the issue calmly and reasonably, if we should find a new place ASAP, or what. We're down to only about 6 months before #3 arrives, so hopefully we can figure it out before then.

Stressor 2) Cody had a big job interview on Monday. We don't know the full results yet. I hate waiting. ;) This is NOT an announcement of any kind; just an explanation of why I've been kind of distant. And, I wanted to record the date of the interview, because it's not one I want to forget.

Stressor 3) Baby #3! We are glad that I'm pregnant. But it has been challenging to be pregnant. I'm both constantly hungry and sick to my stomach. I've been lightheaded and tired. My kids are watching too many movies so I can rest, and my normal routine of making 3 meals a day from scratch has turned into cereal, peanut butter sandwiches, and scrambled eggs. Not to mention the hormones make me weepy and sort of depressed as is... All this lends to a general feeling of self-doubt.

But there is hope! Good things that have happened this week: 1) Our garden is finally putting on tomatoes! Yummy! 2) Annalisa has both pooped and peed in the toilet. Not with any sort of regularity... just like, "let's try to go pee pee before your bath!" and something came out a couple times. She is definitely showing interest in the potty, but I do not want to rush it. After all, she's not even two yet. 3) Yesterday Cody helped me get all the paperwork in for all kinds of stuff. It was a huge, busy project, but the deadlines were all drawing close and I really appreciated his help. 4) Most importantly, we have felt the Lord's guidance and know that His hand is in all this stress... in a very positive way. We know that He loves us and wants us to be happy, and that life will not be easy at all times. And that is the way it should be.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Never too late to learn...

I did something today that I have never done before. I used distilled vinegar to clean my bathroom mirrors and disinfect the shower.

I know, I know... I should have done this a LONG time ago. I've just had store bought cleaners in my cupboards for so long; things that I purchased in college, or were given as gifts, or just somehow accumulated... but today I couldn't find my window cleaner--not sure if it is gone, or if it is just lost, but I got brave and mixed up a little squirt bottle of vinegar and water and used that instead.

The mirrors are nice and pleasantly clean now. (and they were pretty bad, as Lee had climbed on the sink and rubbed a bar of soap all over the mirror...) I left the window open and had to leave the room fairly quickly because the vinegar smell was burning my nose a bit; but no worse than other cleaners. It was cheap, it was effective, and I feel downright homey. Just goes to show that it's never too late to learn something new!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

more of the same

I don't really have much to post about, but I really want to. So there.

The past few days have been much cooler outside. It feel good. It is supposed to heat up again later this week, so I'm relishing it while I can, and don't even have the swamp cooler running.

Annalisa has/had strep throat. She's on antibiotics now. I'm still praying the boys don't get it.

The morning sickness is pretty miserable. I keep trying to remember the other pregnancies to figure out which one this is more alike--maybe I can figure out if it's a boy or a girl?

I love having a dishwasher. So far the sink has stayed relatively clear of dishes, which means relatively clear of dirty dishwater, which is the #1 gagged-about item in my house. Aaah. So nice.

As always, we have lots on our minds. Some is listed above. Others we're keeping more quiet. But all of it is part of life! I vow to keep my camera on hand and hopefully find something silly and cute to post about very soon.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

SSS: Family

Something Super Saturday!

First a fast apology for missing the past couple Saturdays. oops!

I'll admit: this week has been pretty rotten for me. The morning sickness is here with a fury, I had strep throat including fevers and chills, a horrid sore throat (try puking on that! ugh!), and leaving me with all kinds of little sores in my mouth. But there were some shining moments that help life go on and bring a smile to my face...

I loved having friends over on Monday for the finale of The Bachelorette. Cody helped me make grilled pizza and it was yummy!

But my true Something-Super was all the help from my family, especially my wonderful mother--who brought us dinner before I even knew I had strep, and who called me a few times to see how I was doing--and my amazing husband, who did everything he could to give me rest time, including cleaning, childcare, cooking, and even a few massages. I doubt I would have made it through this week without them. Thank you so much! Your kind service was very much appreciated, and what was Super this week.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Daddy's Boots

Anna found these in mom and dad's bedroom, put them on, and wandered throughout the house saying, "Daddy's boots! Daddy's boots!' It was really, really cute. We're missing our daddy today while he is gone for work.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Good news/Bad news

Monday night during the finale of the Bachelorette I was cold. Shaking hard--and I started to get worried because it's August and I don't get cold. So I checked my temperature. Yes, I was running a fever of 101.

I got a blessing that night and had Cody run to the store for a fresh supply of Tylenol. In the morning I was still sick. I called the doctor's office, but they didn't seem too concerned (even though I felt like crud, and it was compounded with intense worry for the baby). But this morning even after a solid day on Tylenol, my temperature was still up and now had a swollen and very sore throat. I know those signs anywhere, and called the doctor back and refused to take no for an answer. (They didn't even tell me no, but got me an appointment right away and were very kind and polite.)

After a very quick and polite check-up with the doctor, and a swab of my throat, I got the bad news and good news: I have strep throat. Yes, it means I feel like absolute crud-o, but it isn't a uterine infection or something like that. It's completely treatable with antibiotics, which are perfectly safe during pregnancy. All in all, its one of the best diseases I could have gotten. I feel that sometimes we just get sick. It's part of life. No, I don't want it to happen, but now that it has, I'm so grateful it's strep and not something worse like mono. AND, thank heaven for good doctors and medicine!

I would appreciate any prayers on our behalf... I'm now particularly concerned about my kiddos and manly man getting sick. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Anna's nose

I love these little videos! I loved doing them with Lee and now it's Annalisa's turn.

And this is Anna trying to get out of it. :)

And this is just plain cute.