Thursday, September 29, 2011


When I was in high school, I used to go grocery shopping with my mom. We'd stop by the freezer section at the beginning, grab a box of Dibs, and snack on them as we shopped. Ever had Dibs? They are little bites of ice cream covered in a shell of chocolate. Highly recommend them. So, here are a few bites of our lives, covered in chocolate (along with a few fab phone pix):

Carly had a small case of the croup. Or as Chris called it "the whoop". One night I came downstairs and he was googling info and he said "an estimated 300,000 deaths!" and I thought From the croup? and I went and looked and he had totally googled "Whooping cough". Oh, dear, I love him. Anyway. Sunday night she was all wheezy and doing that fabulous barking cough. She was making us mighty nervous, and I was about 30 seconds from heading to the ER, but instead we went for a misty night drive, gave her a steamy bath, and put her down with a humidifier. By Tuesday she was almost as good as new. Carly is just about the healthiest child in the world, and I'm grateful for that. Even when she is sick, its short lived. The only thing that makes me nervous is she is so stubborn and strong. She was wheezing so bad and we'd ask her how she was feeling and she'd say "no, I'm ok". Someday she is going to break an arm and I'll have no idea. She got a double bee sting a few weeks ago and barely cried and as I held ice on it she kept saying "I'm ok, mama." A week earlier Chris got stung and I didn't hear the end of it (ha! jokes, jokes).

[down with the whoop . . . I mean, the croup.]

We've been experiencing endless rain and a lot of exhaustion (ok, that's just me) so we've found a few indoor activities. Carly keeps asking to go swimming, so one day I put her swimsuit on and put her in the tub. Bam! Swimming! It has since become a favorite past time and I have one been required to join her in my swimsuit once. We also finally set up a plaything with a slide on it that Chris's parents got her for her birthday. We set it up in the kitchen with the intention of moving it outside, but it won't stop raining. And I actually like it in the kitchen because she plays on it while I do dishes instead of emptying the dishwasher as I load it.

[making mommy's bed. i knew she'd become useful eventually.]

She is talking in longer sentences and the other day used a very complex sentence where she got both of the prepositions right. I was impressed. And the questions are getting worse. If she fixates on something, she won't let it go. On an episode of the Bubble Guppies, there is this giant robot bunny. She has asked by 5 million times "Where big robot bunny go?". I've told her all sorts of places, and once said "the mountains". "The mountains?" she asked. Then stopped to ponder that. Maybe he really did go to the mountains. She also understands so much. On another episode (yes, we're still watching a lot of tv around these parts, but at least it leads to learning opportunities, right?) there is a giant squid that eats a turkey sandwich. We were sitting at dinner and Carly asked "Where giant squid go?". I said "He had to go eat dinner too, just like us." And she replied "Squid go eat a turkey sandwich!". I told you. Brilliant.

[blowing bubbles. good grief, look at those curls.]

As for me, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow and I'm excited. I'm pretty sure pregnancy is the only time anyone is excited about the doctor. I should be finding out when our ultrasound will be. That will be fun. I started out this week pretty sick, and the last 2 days have felt decent. I've even been somewhat productive, doing the dishes and laundry and what not. I still don't like cooking. Food, in general, is gross. But I did hang some things up in our kitchen that have been sitting on the table forever and it feels a little more homey. My parents got me this cute Michigan State whiteboard when they came. I hung it next to the fridge and every day have been doing "This day in history". I'm a massive history nerd, so its fun for me, and I try to pick one out from the History Channel website that might appeal to Chris too. I think it will be fun for our kids someday, and if its not, too bad. They have a nerdy mom.
[new kitchen decor.]

Chris is as good as they come. September 17 marked the 6th anniversary of our first date. I can't believe how much can change in 6 years. But I still think he is the cutest boy I've ever seen. We have both aged. Chris has these crows feet next to his eyes. They make him look older and I like it. The boy is aging well. But when he smiles his eyes scrunch up. That's where the crows feet are from. So they are really more like smile lines. I'm glad he has them. He has been getting the shaft lately. I've entered the phase where I'm still sick but also really hormonal and have a tendency to cry or get irritated. And I have a space bubble that I don't like anyone encroaching. Its not easy to be married to me right now. And Carly is in a "mommy phase", I think just because we spend an outrageous amount of time one-on-one. My poor husband. I don't know how he puts up with us girls. I can't believe he wants another one.

[she pulls out this adorable little move when she is pondering upon an answer to your question.]

When Carly naps, I try to, too. I've been finding I have a hard time actually sleeping, but it is important for me to lie down and rest. I have the Mormon Channel app on my phone, and I've recently been listening to General Conference talks while I rest. I always end up crying, because even though I pick random talks from random years, its always something I need to hear. The other day I was listening to President Uchtdorf give a talk from October 2010 called Of Things That Matter Most.  It was a talk about simplifying. He talked about trees, and when times are good, trees grow faster (I'm paraphrasing, obviously). But in difficult times, they slow down and hold steady. He talked about how we need to simplify our lives and when we go through hard times, we need to slow down and hold steady and just focus on what is most important. I've had a lot of mommy guilt since I've been sick. This summer I had a grand plan for things I wanted to do with Carly this fall, and every single one has fallen by the wayside. But President Uchtdorf reminded me that when things are hard, you don't have to do it all. You just have to do whats most important. Carly is fed (except those few times I forgot to give her breakfast), and safe (except that one time I lost her in Target), and loved. Oh, boy, is she loved. And she knows it. So I'm doing ok. For right now, I'm doing ok.

So can you tell I'm excited for Conference? When I was younger, I used to watch Conference with the expectation of some major life-altering announcement. But I've learned that much of Conference is things we've already heard or know. It all just comes out in new ways, so it can be replanted in our hearts, and so it can impact us in the way we need it to for each phase of our lives. What a blessing.

That's all I got.
Might have to send Chris out for some Dibs tonight.

Monday, September 26, 2011

one fine day.

Fall is in full swing here in the mitten.
We have sunny, crisp days and downright chilly nights.
It sure is nice to crack open the windows and enjoy the fresh breeze.

Michigan does fall very well, and as such, I have made it a goal to get a lot of Fall-ing in every year.
So on Saturday, we were off to pick apples.

We had a fabulous time.

Highlights included

-the choo choo: Carly loved the ride and afterwards kept asking "Where my choo choo go?"
-hotdogs: It may not seem like a highlight, but when Deux saw one of those he/she had to have one. It was pretty much the best hotdog ever.
-apple cider slushy: Carly and Deux were both huge fans, and I'm not usually a cider person.
-Oh, and picking apples, of course. Though Chris and I did the picking and Carly did the eating.

(I didn't bring my big camera because I didn't want to carry it around, and I totally regretted it. It was beautiful!)

[Carly and daddy on the choo choo.]

[showing off our apples/eating our apples.]

[Carly fell and instead of getting up decided to go ahead and eat her apple.]

[beautiful day.]

[Carly and Deux fighting over the cider slushie.]

[our apple eater.]

We now have way more apples than we know what to do with.
Luckily I've been on an apple kick, and Carly and Daddy have an "apple peanut budder" tradition every night.
I also see caramel apples in our near future (Conference is this weekend, after all), and I might even attempt apple pie filling (with store-bough crust . . . I don't mess with wheat).

That afternoon we came home and all three (or four?) of us napped.
Then we went out to Steak n Shake for dinner.
Yes, for reals.
We were living the high life.
And did you know if you spend $8 on a Saturday or Sunday you get a kids meal free?
Talk about a cheap dinner.
Which is good, because the Country Mill hotdogs were less-than-cheap.

The best part of the day?
Spending the whole day together.
No homework.
No meetings.
No chores (even though there should have been).
There wasn't even any puking.

It was one fine day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

a code yellow.

I had a mommy rite of passage experience this morning. We went to Target because Carly is seriously lacking in warm clothes that fit appropriately (the high-water look only goes to far). I was perusing, and often Carly shares in the shopping. I looked up . . . and she was gone. I searched the toddler clothes section. I searched the shoes, and the boys clothes, and the girls clothes. I called her name louder and louder. Usually if I "lose" her, I find her in about 5 seconds. She doesn't wander far. We are pushing probably 2 minutes at this point and I start to panic.

Much like the time Carly's face had a run-in with a jar of alfredo, my brain went into rational thinking mode. I can keep looking for her, and who knows how long it will take me or how I might miss her by just a section or so (the girl responds to my calling about 50% of the time, especially in a store). And while I was searching it would give her a chance to get farther and farther away, hurt herself, or, heaven forbid, give someone the chance to leave with her. So, instead I found an employee. Its not easy to say "I was so caught up looking at toddler jeans that I misplaced the toddler who would be wearing them" but I did (though it came out more like "I can't find my little girl!") and it was immediately apparent they are trained for this sort of thing. They called a "code yellow" and blocked the exits and sent out her description and about 45 seconds later, they found her. And I wanted to cry. I couldn't decided whether she should be in trouble or not, but I just gave her a big hug instead.

I didn't know where my daughter was for about 3 minutes and I never never want to feel that again. I will never again judge someone with their kid on a monkey backpack leash. In fact, I wonder how much those things go for.

Oh, and where was she, you ask?

Trying on sunglasses.
Yes, she had about 10 pairs on the ground and one on her face.
Can you say diva?  

But don't worry.
We got her some very cute jeans.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

hum your favorite hymn.

I was hunched over the toilet this morning, sitting on Carly's bathroom stool (why have I never done that before? way better than kneeling on the floor). Out of the blue, the words to a hymn popped into my head:

There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,

Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.

There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin.
He only could unlock the gate
Of heav’n and let us in.

Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved!
And we must love him too,
And trust in his redeeming blood,
And try his works to do.

I have no idea how or why or what that song has to do with puking.
But instead of feeling hopelessness, I felt hope.
And instead of crying, I laughed.

And I knew we'd be ok, even if we watched 3 movies in a row this morning.
And I knew that Deux is someone special.


Monday, September 19, 2011

carly at two.

Our sweet Carly turned two over a month ago. Her birthday was a particularly hard day for me. Chris's parents had come to town the weekend before. I was in bad shape, right when I was first trying out Zofran. Chris had a busy week ahead of him as the summer term was coming to a close. His parents offered to take her home with them for 4 or 5 days. I didn't want to, because I'd miss her birthday. But I was in bad shape, and it would be so good for her. So she went. Spending the anniversary of your child's birth without said child, feeling like you can't take care of her, is not highly recommended. Fortunately, a) she had a wonderful time and was spoiled with fun and attention, b) I kept reminding myself we are getting a second wild bundle of craziness out of this deal . . . and I got to sleep A LOT, and c) we got to celebrate her birthday the day after she came home. It turned out being a winning situation for everyone involved, but it was hard.

I've been getting comments lately on how much Carly has grown. I was out of the social scene for a while, so know that I'm crawling back in, people say she looks like a little girl now, and not so much a baby or toddler. Its true. She is so much little girl, and so little baby. She remains in her crib and in diapers, because I just couldn't deal with it these last few months. But my goal is to get her out of both before the baby comes. Ha! I know, right? Ok, at least out of the crib. I just love her in the crib. We all sleep so much better. Maybe we'll just buy a second one and keep them both in there until we move (when they are 2 and almost 5, good plan).

But I've been keeping a list of wonderful things I want to remember. Perfect Carly in all her two-ness:

Her beary best friend is a red teddy bear by the name of Red Baron (aka "red bear-nun" or "Carly's bear!"), which was given to her by Chris's grandma, Baga. She loves all her stuffed friends, but Red Baron is the king of the crop. He has been on airplanes, the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific, to the ER, on endless walks to numerous parks, and is by her side at every naptime. Red Baron is one of those things we'll keep forever, and when I think I've misplaced him at a store, I literally panic. He's a good bear.

She has recently started to "say prayers", where we tell her what to say and she repeats. She usually only repeats the last word of each phrase, and if we give her a phrase that's too long, she says "Yeah". So her prayers go: "Father . . . mommy . . . daddy . . . Jesus . . . yeah . . . AMEN!". There is nothing as heartwarming as watching your daughter offer up her very first prayers.

The rest appear to be funny things she says. Its funny how when they are younger you focus so much on what they do, but now her little personality is completely revealed in what she says.

When she wants to bring something somewhere (usually a stuffed animal), she looks up at you with those pretty blue eyes and sweetly asks "Red Bear-nun comin' wit us?". "Daddy comin' wit us?". And if she thinks she is going to be left behind, "Carly comin' wit us?".

She is very curious and we have begun the phase where I am asked "What are you doing?" or "What's that?" every 15 seconds. What are you doing? Washing my hands. What are you doing? Drying my hands off. What are you doing? Closing the door. I try to be patient and answer every single time. Its not easy. But she is so sweet because she also often asks, "Are you ok, mama?".

She also narrates her actions: "I'm running!" We'll ask her to come eat dinner and she says "No! I'm jumping!" Priorities. She also announces her presence with all sorts of gusto: "I'm here!!!" and "Look at me!!". These get lots of laughs at the grocery store.

[helping with pumpkin cupcakes. yes we bake on the floor.]

She has recently started calling me Erin. The other day she got up from her nap and started calling "Erin! Erin!" I went in and told her, You call me mommy. The smart alec replied "Whats your name?". I laughed and said, Well, my name is Erin, but you call me mommy because I'm your mommy. It was pretty funny, but the girl has got some spice. Not sure where she got that.

As she has been from the day she was born, she remains a lousy, picky eater. We are already to the point where we have stand-offs at the table insisting she have "3 more bites". It usually turns into "just 1 more bite." Without fail, she'll eat pancakes, fruit, tomatoes, and guzzle gallons of milk. I swear we go through milk like a teenage boy lives here.

She is still a great sleeper. She went through a phase where she was waking up before 7 and I just can't do that. And that's really not enough sleep for her. So Chris went in a few mornings in a row and told her "Its still night-night time". She went back to sleep almost every time, and now she is back to sleeping in past 8. She's always been a champ sleeper, and I'm hoping for another one just like her.

Last but not least, few fabulous one-liners:

"Cute bag, mama."

I put one of her tank tops on her monkey, named Green Ah Eee (she named that one), and it came down past the monkey's legs down to his feet. She was very excited and said "Green Ah Eee's a princess!".

She has two stuffed lions. One is big and she says he says "roar". The other one is David and is smaller. I said "David says roar too" and she said No. I said Well what does David say? She replied "mmmeeeeeoooowwww!". Poor David.

We came home from the store and Red Baron was on the living room floor. She ran to him and said "Red Bear-nun! Its so good to see you!"

I was sitting in the arm of the couch and she said "What you doing up there, mom?".

[chocolate chip sneaker.]

She just does so much and says so much and learns so much.
I can't believe what a little girl she really is.
But she is so so so much fun.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

man, i feel like a woman.

There is some good news coming from the C House.
From about 11 am to about 5 pm, I feel . . . alive.
As long as I nap during Carly's nap from 1-3.

I mean, this week I waxed my eyebrows for the first time in about 5 weeks.
My face looks brand new.
And I painted my toenails for the first time in two months.
And Carly's too.

And I took Carly to preschool skating with a friend.
She lasted a whole 45 seconds on the skates, and I snacked on a GF bagel the whole time, but she had fun running around the rink in the strobe lights, staring at the giant kangaroo doing the hokey pokey, and playing with hula hoops.
We'll have to go again.

And I went shopping with another friend.
I saw this little lovely and it came home with me.
Skip Hop diaper bags are way nice and cute, but way expensive.
But at TJMaxx it was perfect early-birthday-present price.
I'm sure Deux is thrilled.

 And thanks to my new flavor fav Pinterest, we're trying new things.

I made these today for our ward picnic.
Seriously yum and seriously easy.

And Carly had "lights" in her bath tonight.
It was a hit.

So while I don't expect to feel well anytime soon (according to the Carly-pregnancy timeline I've got a good 7 weeks of sickness left), at least we're no longer on the couch all day, every day . . . just most of the day, most days. Ha!

Hope you're well.

(Oh, and sorry for a post of blurry pictures. Cameras don't work well in the dark, it turns out.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the handygirl, the artist, the princess.

Carly has been expanding her horizons a bit the past . . . while.
I'm losing track of time.

But this past weekend, Chris finally put the license plate frame I got a while ago on my car.
And he wasn't short any help.

We replaced the Chicago Cubs frame, that broke quite a while ago and just read "Chicago".
I'm loving my new MSU Hockey frame.
Doesn't it look pretty?

Oh, but Carly.
Yes, she liked helping daddy quite a bit and carried the wrench around saying "Carly's wrench".
And she did it all in a dress.

My friend recently started doing a simple craft every morning with her little boy.
I thought that was a brilliant idea, and wanted to do something similar.
I'm not quite at a feeling-good-enough place to tackle anything major or do it every morning, this morning we sat on the kitchen floor and painted with water colors.
The girl loved it.
She was kind of driving me bonkers because she would put the brush in the color and then the water, so we painted mostly with water, but it was good for her to learn and experience something new. And she asked several times throughout the day to do it again, so this craft thing just might be a keeper.

I took an idea from Pinterest, but found two problems.
1) It is really hard to make a C out of tape.
2) When I peeled the take off it totally tore the paper. I was annoyed.

We're still calling it a success, though we both had paint all over our hands, and one of us had it on our nose.
Carly was very concerned about her dirty hands.
For how wild she is, she sure can be a princess.

Speaking of princesses . . . .

Oh, I introduced this girl to Tangled and she is a fan. And we happened to have a box of dress-up princess clothes that Chris's aunt gave her in July as an early birthday present. The first thing she asks for when she wakes is the princess dress. And its often a fight to get her to take it off when we go somewhere. She also likes her crown and her wand and necklaces and these little pink shoes that came with it all. And the best part? There are two crowns. So I get one too.

Last but not least: where has sidewalk chalk been all my life?
Why have I not been utilizing this tool all summer?
I just bought some yesterday and it has provided endless entertainment that requires me to exert very little energy. We are fans. Even though when I draw a kitty she calls it a pumpkin and when I draw a dog she calls it a "moo". And she just gallops through the hopscotch instead of actually hopping.
We're working on it.


Friday, September 9, 2011

the bitter and the sweet.

Oh, peeps. I've been holding so much in. It sure is hard to blog when you have one single thing occupying your mind and that one single thing is also a secret. Its also hard to blog when all you want to do is puke and sleep. But it sounds like my lack of blogging hinted at my big "secret" anyway. Looks like I blog too much.

I had a plan. As a second pregnancy, this one was going to be easier. My body had done this before, so it can't be as shocked as when I had Carly (which, for those of you who recall, was no walk in the park). And then I got called to seminary and, forgive my faith, but I thought if seminary and baby were meant to coincide, then I would be blessed with an easier pregnancy. But, as we all know, things don't go according to plan. We found out about Deux in mid July. One week later the nausea kicked in, and one week after that I was down for the count. I've never felt like this. One day I had a dear friend take Carly for like 6 hours and when Chris came home he found a shaky, dehydrated mess. I went on Zofran, and the side effects were so bad. I was shaky and dizzy and needed to puke but physically could not. I would just take the pill and go to bed for hours. Thank heaven this came at a time when Chris was able to help and his parents were coming to town. After a few days and lots of pain, I knew Zofran was not going to be the best friend I was hoping for. I talked to the doctor and he gave me another anti-nausea med. After a few days on this, I was able to function, eat, get up. It wasn't the miracle solution I was looking for, but it made it so I could exist. So there you go. I've been anti-social. I wear make-up about once a week and can't remember the last time I used my straightener. My parents came and I was good-to-go only about half the time, which was really hard for me, but good for Carly because she got lots of playing time. I've kept it classy, puking at Sam's Club (where I'm pretty sure I scared a teenage girl into practicing abstinence), and behind our parking garage while Carly ran up and down the hill. Oh, and the spit. Like last time, I make a ton of spit and have to spit it in a cup or on the ground. Its nasty, and I would give anything for the spit to stop. Anything. Unfortunately, my daughter is a little sponge these days and has started making spitting noises and saying "I'm spitting!".

Like I said, classy.

I know I don't have the worst pregnancies ever. And like I said with Carly, I'm grateful I get to have pregnancies at all. But it sure would have been nice for it to be a little easier this time. Or at least not harder. Just for the record.

My hero in all of this has been my husband. Let me tell you, I won the lottery with this one. He has had to work double time, dealing with school and all that stress and busyness, taking care of me, being pretty much mom and dad to Carly. He comes home when he can't afford to. He runs around with Carly when he has no energy. He cooks and cleans after a full day of teaching and studying and working and meeting. He has done so much and we would literally be nowhere without him. I love him. I can't say that enough.

And the big sis? This is the hardest part for me. I literally have tears in my eyes just thinking about what I want to write and share and remember. I hate hate hate not being able to take care of Carly like she should be taken care of. I hate that she watches so much tv. I hate that I can't take her outside very long. I hate that I can't teach her or play with her the way I want. I worry about her and pray for her so hard that she isn't hurting or wondering whats wrong with me or whats wrong with her. It breaks my heart. And when it comes to being sick, I can handle it (for the most part) on my behalf. I just need it to end for her. There is a good chance she is oblivious to the situation and just thinks mommy is lazy. That's fine. As long as she is ok.

In case you're wondering about Seminary, I went to our Bishop and told him the situation. He found a sub for my first two weeks so I don't start until October. I still don't know how I'm going to do it, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Fingers crossed for . . . . something. Something to work out.

Chris gave me a blessing near the beginning of this little adventure and in it the Lord reminded me you cannot taste the sweet without first partaking of the bitter. Those words echo through my mind on a regular basis. And right now I think I'm so consumed with surviving the bitter, I don't stop enough to think about this sweet thing joining our family.

So as for the fun stuff?

Right now my due date is March 25th. This will put our kids (eek! . . . kids) two years and seven months apart. It will also mean the bulk of my pregnancy will take place over the winter, which I'm already happy about after having Carly in August (even though I'm going to need a lot of new maternity clothes. nice.). This also happens to be my oldest brother's birthday, as well as the weekend The Hunger Games movie comes out. So really, I'm ok if this baby is a few days late so I can see it before I'm down for the count (is that the second time I've used "down for the count" in this post?).

We will find out if Deux is a he or a she, and that will probably take place the first week or two of November. We both want another girl, though Chris is dead-set on it and I'm more open to the possibility of a boy. Chris will hardly even discuss boy names! Needless to say, he loves his daddy's girl. But of course we'd still love a boy. Or at least try really hard to :).

As for names, like last time we probably won't share until the baby comes (unless you're a lucky immediate family member! woohoo!). I'd say we're already down to 2 girls names, because they are both names we loved for Carly and that hasn't changed in two years. A boy will probably remain nameless for days, as our boy name tastes are drastically different. He likes pretty traditional boy names, and while I don't like crazy names, I like something a little more modern. I love the last name as a first name thing. I tried to get him to like "Mauer" (rhymes with 'power') which is the last name of a super awesome baseball player. But he wouldn't go for it. Which is why I'm sharing it. ha!

Ok, there's my novel. We are excited and feel blessed, while still praying for a little relief. That's ok, right?

Yay for babies.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

here we go around again.

{oh, dear. someone come clean my mirrors}

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

welcome fabulous fall.

We spent the morning on a long walk through the trees
running down the hill at the park
pushing bear and towel in the big stroller
jumping off stumps
and mastering the art of blowing bubbles.

All in sweatshirts and new fall shoes.

See, I told you fall would be fab.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

do something nice for yourself.

Our Thursdays this Fall look like they are going to be long days.

The health app on my phone suggested I "do something nice for yourself" today.

Well, don't mind if I do.

I've been admiring this bag at Target for a while now, and since its finally on super clearance, I did something nice for myself and brought it home. I thought I'd need something new and simple for Fall, and I happened to have a cute pin that matched it perfectly.

And as a certified toddler-chaser, I've learned the messenger style is a must.

Happy Labor Day Weekend.
Do something nice for yourself.