Monday, June 29, 2009

I am grateful . . .

. . . to General Mills for being totally awesome.
All these delicious flavors of Chex are now gluten-free.
Thank you General Mills.
You don't know what this means to me.
And my breakfast routine.
And my midnight snack routine.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Baby GAP

I need the wisdom of all moms out there. I'm having continuing crib issues, and need some advice/opinions. This will be the end of the crib saga. I've had enough.

So after a month, we got all the necessary parts. We got it put together, bought a mattress, and immediately found a problem. The crib doesn't hold a mattress properly. Its not that the mattress doesn't fit. Its the crib.

See, here is the bottom/base of the crib. It holds the mattress. The mattress fits perfectly into the base.

But the sides of the base are made out of really thick wood. Exactly an inch thick, actually, I measured.

This means that when you put it all together, that inch-thick wood creates a GAP between the mattress and the bars of the crib. A gap that is over an inch thick. A gap that scares me. A gap that I see little baby legs slipping down (the gap is still easy to access even with a bumper on).
All of the online literature says a crib mattress should fit perfectly snug against all sides of a crib. It won't really be an issue until she can crawl around, and especially when she can stand up. So, you moms out there, would you get a new crib? Am I being paranoid, or is the "baby gap" a dangerous risk after a few months? When your baby stood up in his/her crib, would such a gap have caused a problem? Chris and I both agree that her safety is, of course, most important. Even if it means buying a new crib. This crib can actually turn into a toddler bed, so theoretically we could keep it and use it for that purpose and have the new crib be passed down to baby #2.

Enlighten me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

1096 Days

That's 3 years.
Plus 1 leap day.

Our 3rd Anniversary was Wednesday.
We had lots of plans. None of them really worked out.
{Stupid Transformers knocking Angels and Demons out of every movie theater}
We are having 3rd Anniversary Part Two tomorrow.
That's the glory of eternal marriage.
You always have more days.
"Every man who truly loves a woman and every woman who truly loves a man hopes and dreams that their companionship will last forever. But marriage is a covenant sealed by authority. If that authority is of the state alone, it will endure only while the state has jurisdiction, and that jurisdiction ends with death. But add to the authority of the state the power of the endowment given by Him who overcame death, and that companionship will endure beyond life if the parties to the marriage live worthy of the promise."
~President Gordon B. Hinckley, who knows a little something about eternal marriage
I'm grateful, and lucky, I get him forever.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Baseball Fever and a Fatal Disease

Baseball fever is still severe at Our House.
We get WGN (Chicago), Cincinnati sports, and Sports South.
This enables us to watch a lot of Cubs games.
Its been heaven.
We often joke that the two sounds Lil' we recognize the most are
the SportsCenter theme music and the sound of a baseball game.
I don't see anything wrong with that.
Knoxville is actually home to the Cubs
AA team, the Knoxville Smokies.
Chris's parents' friends' son is a pitcher
on a team that plays the Smokies.
They hooked us up with some free tickets in a great location
(isn't that nice?).
It was a great time at a beautiful ball field on a beautiful night.
Chris loves when I make him pose by himself in front of things.
Here he is at the field.

Sights and sounds of summer.
The three of us. (Yes, I know I'm huge.)
Nothing says "summer" like soft-serve in a miniature baseball helmet.
Lil thoroughly enjoyed it. She applauded whenever the crowd did.~
The Fatal Disease?
Have you ever heard of nesting?
Turns out its real.
Horribly, painfully real.
The all-time best nesting story comes from my mother. She was a week or so away from her scheduled c-section with her second (my older brother, Jason) and saw a piece of wood lying around. "Hey, I think I could make a table out of that," she thought. So she started sawing the wood into pieces and hammering nails and built a table . . . and broke her water. So I figure if I'm ready to get Lil' out in August, I'll consider furniture construction.
I would love to be at home cleaning, washing clothes, and doing all manner of crafts. However, I'm blessed to be stuck at a desk 10 hours a day. This leads to an overwhelming desire to online shop: bows, headbands, curtain rods, changing tables. They are all a click away. I'm tres proud that I have yet to make a single online purchase.
The same cannot be said for shopping at an actual store. Ever heard of Hobby Lobby? It is my heaven and hell all wrapped in one. Heaven is the 80% off isles; hell is all the other isles full of delicious craft and home decor goodness that doesn't have a place in our budget (or our little apartment). I could easily drop $1000 in Hobby Lobby . . . per visit. I'm proud to say, however, that I've stuck to the 80% off isles and spent less than $20 total on these gems:
Haven't decided if this sign is referring to me or Lil; I'm guessing Lil:

A good motto for us all:
Every princess needs a place to hang her crowns:
{I remember vowing I'd never use "baby pink" in my baby girl's room.
Obviously, I totally failed at that one.}
Lil's room is actually coming together nicely. It won't be anything super fancy, but we just wanted a separate place of peace all her own, even if she's sleeping in our room the first few months. I like to think we have the Spirit in our home, but the Spirit in Lil's room is something a little extra. Somewhere to put a perfect little spirit fresh from Heaven.
Just what we were aiming for.
Now we just need Ikea to sent us the rest of our crib.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tied For First

In this years race for #1 Dad, we had a tie.
My dad . . .
and Lil's dad.
We are a couple of very lucky girls.

Love you, Dad.
Thanks for being all a girl could ask for in a daddy.
Love you, Chris.
Thanks for being all a girl could ask for in a husband and soon to be daddy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

8 Weeks and Counting

So I've been doing official pregnancy updates every trimester, but decided this last time around to do it more often--maybe every 4 weeks or so. Mostly because I want to--there is little else going on right now other than sitting at work waiting for the hours to pass by.
As previously mentioned, Lil is still a girl. Thank goodness. We had another ultrasound yesterday and it was so good to see her. But she was huge! You could hardly see her because she just filled up the screen. I realized it was exactly 3 months since our last one. She has grown so much. She weighs 4 lbs. 3 oz., which is about average for 32 weeks. However, she slept through the whole thing. We could see her tummy moving up and down practicing breathing and we saw her taking some drinks of de-lish amniotic fluid, but she only wiggled a few times. The tech tried to wiggle my belly to get her to wake up, but she was out. About an hour later, of course, she started acting like her usual octopus self. And this morning at 5:30 I woke up to find her doing something akin to the Macarena. Silly girl. I always joke that she is shy, and she has done nothing to prove to me otherwise. Too cute. Anyway, her restfulness made it hard to get good pictures. Well, that and the fact that her face is squished up against the placenta (poor girl). But we got one good one of her face, and she has the cutest little nose ever. Ever.
Me? I'm doing good. I've found that eating a mini meal every 2 hours or so has greatly reduced my nausea. A fellow Celiac mentioned that lactose made her sick during her pregnancy only, so she cut out dairy. I'm terrified of even admitting that might be true with me. We'll see if I get sick of being sick enough to try it. Its also getting harder to get a decent night's sleep. I wake up with a numb shoulder and have to make the mighty roll-over to the other side. Other than that I'm trying to not go insane at my job, as the University scene slows down considerably during the summer. Preparations for Lil are on hold as we await 2.5 baby showers in the coming weeks (one from the ward, one from Chris's family, and a mini party being held at my office). We'll finish up getting the necessities from there. So it feels like one giant waiting game. Waiting for time to pass. As you can see, I'm working on "joy in the journey" right now.
We've been taking a 5 week birth class series at the hospital where Lil will be born. Its been quite eye-opening for me. The first week I saw my first ever birth video. We've also watched a real c-section. And we talked about what happens to you after birth. Yikes. Previous to this class, I knew nothing. And that's not an exaggeration. Chris is the health guy. He's taken several classes that discussed childbirth, including a women's health class at BYU. Me? Not one. And the entirety of my pregnancy I've been reading up on carseat safety ratings and how Lil is developing--not how she's going to get out. So its been good for me to be exposed to this now. However, I'm still a somewhat dutiful college student, so I take lots of notes and then take in a long list of questions to my doctor. He knows I'm somewhat crazy, and I'm sure he enjoys my lists. Yesterday he answered all my questions very much to my liking. Now I've gone from "she'll get out somehow" to having an image of exactly how I'd like the birth to go, allowing for considerable flexibility, of course. We also got a tour of the Labor and Delivery floor. Its so nice. So much nicer than I expected (for whatever reason). It was crazy to look in at the babies in the nursery and know Lil would be there (however briefly, I want her in my room) in 2 short (or long) months.
In preparation of Lil's arrival, we've been trying to cover our bases for when I (cross your fingers) quit my job. Did you know you can be automatically disqualified for health insurance because of celiac disease? No? Neither did I--until Monday. HIV, heart disease, diabetes . . . . and celiac disease. I have never, not once, had to see a doctor because of celiac disease. And they won't give me insurance? For reals? We had a list of insurance plans that were great and even affordable, and things were going perfectly smoothly until now. We have found a few companies who didn't have celiac listed on the "automatic disqualification" list, so we are praying for something to come through. I often miss the simplicity of BYU student insurance.
Chris is a rock and a superhero. He's working hard this summer, and doing really great things in his program as he prepares for next year. He's also getting so excited to meet his little girl. He's going to be one whipped daddy.
Don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying every step, every development. Something they gave us at the birth class said "You won't be pregnant forever". Could have fooled me. Sometimes it feels like that. But rumor has it, it comes to an end. I'm enjoying now, but I'm very much looking forward to that end.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

She is still a girl.

Its a good thing.
These zebra-print shoes
wouldn't have looked half as cute on a boy.
(Thanks, Queenie.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm as big as a house.

This is what I've been told anyway.
However, that same person also called me "crippled".
So we'll take it for what its worth.
I prefer to think of myself as a 2 bedroom apartment
rather than a whole house.

Other tidbits for today:
Its the 12th. Ladies and gents, we are 2 months out from the due date. I would love an August 4th birth. Sound random? Well, for optimal insurance benefits I really need to work at least 1 day in August. So that's why. Unfortunately, I have a feeling this kid is in no hurry. I feel like she isn't going anywhere until she's "supposed" to, or maybe even a week after that. I have no idea, really, but that's how I feel. We'll see.
I love my doctor. Have I ever said how great he is? He is really great. And I think he appreciates that we're married and responsible and healthy--because I'm sure he sees all sorts of strangeness here in TN. He also thinks I'm totally crazy, meaning he knows me pretty well, because I'm totally crazy. But he is never in a rush to get us out and always chats with us about whatever. In fact, last night he flagged me down in Walmart (didn't know doctors went to Walmart). He introduced me to his son and we chatted. He asked me how I was doing and I told him about my recently increased nausea and vomiting activities (you'd think I was 2 months into pregnancy, not 2 months from being done). All right there in the check-out line. Anyway, the thing I was thinking about is we got him by total chance. When I got the Big Positive the first week of December, I just called around to the Doctors in my insurance book, looking for the soonest opening. He had the soonest opening. It was a HUGE tender mercy of the Lord, because doing this whole pregnancy thing is scary enough so far from home and my mom. I can't imagine having a doctor I didn't like and trust. He has been such a blessing.
I'm still angry at Ikea. They agreed to sent us replacement pieces for our crib for free. Great. Yesterday (10-14 business days later) the package arrived. It contained about 45% of the pieces we told them we needed. Alas, we are still crib-less.
We've been working on Lil's room. We have a rather small budget, but I pride myself on my deal finding, so its coming along. However: we have a giant blank wall that I can't think of anything to do with. A changing table of some sort will hopefully go against that wall, but above it is large and empty. I thought of a frame collage, but turns out frames are really expensive. Any inexpensive and crafty ideas?
Tonight my Pens play for the Stanley Cup Championship. They have to play against Detroit, in Detriot. Its going to be a tough battle. To have a little Cup Party, Chris and I will be making IHOP style strawberry whipcream pancakes and rootbeer floats. And possibly brownies. I'll make sure to get a workout in tomorrow morning.
Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A little humor for your Thursday afternoon.

Nevermind the smoking. Those jackhammers are dangerous.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dream Vacay: The Erin Edition

A week or so ago Chris posted about his dream vacations, then challenged me to do the same. Here's the thing with me--I wish I could be a traveler. I wish we had the money, yeah, but I also with I didn't despise flying and airports with all my heart. And I wish I didn't love my own home and own bed quite so much. That being said, if we did have the money, I would love to travel. As Chris said, I've never been out of the U.S., and seeing the world is something I would very much like to do.

I would go anywhere. If I had the chance, I'd go anywhere. But if someone said "I'll completely pay for one vacation and you can do anything for any amount of time", there are two choices that I would absolutely not be able to choose between.

Behind Curtain 1: European Tour
I'm a big, dorky history buff. One of the places in the world I most want to go is the British Isles. I followed British royalty closely as a tween (oh, man, that's embarrassing) thanks to my 10-year crush on Prince William (finally got over him when I met Chris). Anyway, Ireland, Scotland, England, would all be visited, and we'd have an extended stay in London seeing all the historical sights.
Paris, of course. Interestingly, Chris has absolutely no interest in going to Paris, so we agreed on 1 day (1 day!). All I really want to see is the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre. So we'd better wake up early that day . . .
We'd need a solid week in Italy, at least. I really really want to go to Vatican City. The art in the Vatican and Rome is so beautiful and epic. I've heard its actually life-altering. Sounds corny, but I think such things can be life altering.
And we'd also to go Venice, as well as the Italian Riviera. Then we'd spend a few days on our way through Switzerland . . .
. . . and spend a week or 2 in Germany. This is where Chris served his mission, and I would love to go. In fact, if I had to pick just one place in Europe, this would be it, for that very reason (though Italy would be hard to pass up). A tour of his mission, including the cities of Munich and Vienna (Austria, opps), the Black Forest, and all the little towns. His mission boundaries also have a concentration camp from World War II, Dachau, which, as strange as it sounds, I really would like to go to (history buff, remember?). And, of course, the castles, including Neuschwanstein.
If you're going to see Europe, you might as well see Europe, right? That would be quite the dream tour for me. The one downfall? We would be constantly on the move. We'd need a vacation after that vacation!
Behind Curtain 2: Bora Bora
Random? Possibly. But Bora Bora (in French Polynesia) looks like the most beautiful relaxing amazing place on earth--in my opinion. We would snorkel, water activities, horseback riding on the beach, all that jazz. But I'm also the kind of person who could sit by the ocean doing nothing but hanging out with my husband and playing in the sand for 2 weeks. Easy. The major aspect pulling for Bora Bora is we could just stay in one place. No moving from country to country. Just stay in paradise.
Bora Bora has these huts off the coast that you have to ride a boat to reach. They are beautiful. Some even have glass floors, so you can see the tropical fish swimming beneath you. That, ladies and gentlemen, is paradise.
I would literally be in tears trying to choose between those two vacations. Luckily (or not so luckily) I'll never have to choose. Neither of those vacations would ever be in our budget! Though, we do have every intention of making it to Europe. I say 10th anniversary, but 20th is probably more realistic.
What is realistic? And soon? Charleston, South Carolina (or the general area). Next summer (yes, that's soon for us) to celebrate Chris's fancy new Master's degree, we plan (cross your fingers for us) to go to the beach for a vacation. We are 6 hours from the Atlantic and 8 from the Gulf of Mexico (I know, that's still the Atlantic, but you know what I'm saying). I love the beach. I could live on the beach easily, though Chris seems to think 4 seasons is important. Anyway, my original plan was Florida, but the Gulf can get kind of crazy, so we've been looking into the South Carolina coast. Its beautiful and rumor has it much more family oriented (since we'll have a 10-month-old!). Anyway, I'm counting down. I know its a long countdown, but thanks to pregnancy I'm getting good at long countdowns.

Charleston, here we come. Leave a light on.

Bora Bora and Europe? Don't wait up for us.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Heart Wednesdays

My Wednesday looked something like this:

Sleep in until 9:00. Needed.

Sit in bed and watch Chris and Lil' have a poking war. Heaven.

Banana pancakes and chocolate milk. Yum.

Paint a shelf for Lil's room while watching Sabrina. Love.

Work out at the gym. Did I already say Needed?

Hot ham and cheese sandwich with honey mustard. Favorite.

Doctor appointment where my weight gain was minuscule, everything measured perfectly, and my doctor hooked us up with a second ultrasound--to take place in two weeks--after I confided in him my great fear of a boy coming out of me and having only a closet full of dresses to wear. Yay!

Swimming laps at UT's pool--after such weightlessness Lil' felt like she weighed 1000 pounds when I got out. Relaxing.

Down time with the hub. Wonderful.

Chicken tacos with lots of guacamole. De-lish.

Pizza (which I couldn't eat, but still fun) and planning night at Mutual. Easy.

Clean up the apartment. Quick.

Cubs win. About time.

Bed at the same time as the hub. Rare.

Its kind of messed up how much you can get done in a day when you don't have to work.

I heart Wednesdays.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dream Vacation - Chris

Hey everyone... Erin and I often talk about where we would like to travel to when and if we ever have a bit of extra money that isn't going towards bills, education, savings, tithing, etc. Its one of our favorite things to imagine since we would both love to travel and see the natural wonders created by divine power. Since Erin has never had the chance to vist foreign land, I feel it my responsibility to take her somewhere, someday. She concurs and has made me swear my life away that I will follow through with this. So that being said, these are my top 5 dream vacations that I would like to someday visit (in no particular order) with my wonderful wife...
1) Indiana/Idaho
Ok, I know this seems kinda weak to be on my dream vacation list, but there is no better place to be than Indiana or Idaho (our families being there might have something to do with it). Even though it has its "own beauty", Indiana is and probably always will feel like home to me . When we first moved there, I used to hate the fields and never-ending flat landscape. Its funny how these fields now bring a great deal of joy to my heart.
Before I met Erin, I had a hard time believing that two places can feel like home. When we were at BYU, Pocatello was our escape from school and other responsibilities. That's probably how it will always feel to me. Very quickly Pocatello has become my other home and like Indiana, it has this ability of eliminating stress. Its one of my favorite places in the world.

2) Ireland

My ancestors came from Ireland and I've always wanted to go back and see it. Green has always been my favorite color and so naturally I love how everything seems to be green! After seeing pictures like this how could anyone not want to go there?? Since I know Erin also really wants to go visit the British Isles, Ireland makes the list.

3)Pacific Northwest

These shots are of outside Vancouver, and the Washington and Oregon coasts. Probably most likely to be in Erin's and my budget in the next 5 years, I would imagine that few places would match the peace of this place. I'm a sucker for beaches, but particularly cool, mistly beaches. There's something remarkable in the calm but raw beauty of a rocky coastline covered with pine trees. Also, as we all know, this part of the world receives a good deal of rain... now one of the strange things about me is that I really like overcasts and rain. Its not that I dislike sunshine (MATT), but well, not half as much as an overcast. For some reason, I love to take a walk on cool cloudy days... especially if the landscape looks like this!
4) The Carribean

There is certainly plenty of sunshine here, but that's great if the water is that amazing aqua color! The first two pics are of Barbados and St. Vincint Island. I'm not sure where this third is from, but isn't it amazing? This would be my ultimate fun vacation... Erin and I are both very fair skinned, so we would get sunburned for sure, but (as previously mentioned) I love beaches and so the sunburn would be worth it!

5) Switzerland

This vacation would probably cost the most, but it would have special meaning to me. On my mission I went to Southern Germany and Austria and was able to see a few places like this, but I was never able to go to Switzerland, where I hear the entire country is actually this pretty. The towns nestled against the mountains.... the valleys and lakes..... even the cities (like the picture above of Bern) are breathtaking. To go back to a place so similar to where I worked, would be amazing AND since I know the language we are all set. From what everyone over there says, Switzerland trumps all. It's hard to not believe them after seeing landscapes like these.
So there you have it! We will get to these places someday and you are welcome to come with! Where would you all like to visit???