Thursday, February 25, 2010

Today's little thoughts

I find myself praying for two very important people today. My brother-in-law, Randy, is in the home stretch of taking the California bar exam. He's been studying like a fiend for months and I hope he is kicking that test's backside! The other person on my mind is my best friend's dad, who starts chemo today to fight lung cancer. Dick McEntee is an amazing man - he's one of the most spiritual, intelligent, caring, compassionate, and kind-hearted men I've had the privilege of knowing. The fact that he's now sitting in a chemo chair having massive amounts of toxic drugs pumped into his body is incredibly scary and unfair. Good luck to both of these terrific men!

Yesterday, I realized that we have about 5.5 weeks until the baby's due date. If he follows his sister's timeline, that means we have about 2.5 weeks until he arrives. ACK! All of a sudden, I feel like we need to scramble to prepare for him, yet there really isn't much to do. I need to wash the linens for his cradle and bassinet, get his clothes washed and put into drawers, and finish packing our hospital bag. I'm also hoping to put a few dinners into our freezer, but said freezer is rather full (greatly in part to the applesauce I made last fall). I think I need to organize our freezer and figure out how much room I really have to work with.

My van desperately needs a trip through the car wash. It also needs to be vacuumed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

1st Gymnastics Class

On Saturday, Annika went to her first-ever gymnastics class. We figured with her love of flipping over just about anything in our house, doing summersaults, and hopping, this would be an ideal outlet for her. I found a 6-week class for 2-3 year olds through Seattle Parks & Rec. Perfect!

We arrived at the class' location and Annika wasn't quite sure at first. It took her about 5 minutes of watching the other kids before she felt comfortable joining in on the activities and then she was HOOKED! She had a great time running around, walking on the balance beam, walking up the vertical mat and then flipping (with help) over the bar, climbing over the foam blocks, and jumping on the little trampoline. She had such fun, in fact, that she didn't want to leave once her 45-minute class was done. There weren't just tears, there were TEARS when I finally picked her up and carried her out of the room so we could head home.

The class had a lot more parental participation than I expected, but thoroughly enjoyed. One of the dads at the class asked if this was Annika's first class and when I confirmed that it was, he said, "Wow. She's fearless!" Yup ... hence, the gymnastics class. Much better than flipping off the side of the couch and jumping over the dogs! Summer Olympics, here we come. ;)

Up and over!

She made it from end to end on the balance beam all by herself

Flyin' high


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Valentine's Day

On Sunday, we went to a family dinner at Eric's aunt/uncle's house. Eric's cousin and his family were in town (visiting from NY), hence the family gathering. Eric's cousin and his wife have a little girl (Ella) who is a month older than Annika; the girls have only been together one other time, but play together like they're longtime buddies. They had a great time tossing Ella's blankie to each other and hopping over pillows. Of course, we all ohh'd and ahh'd over the newest family member (baby Jack), who was born in October. Annika was enthralled by Jack and wanted to hold him whenever possible. It was fun to give her a little baby practice and to see how gentle she was with Jack.

Not to be outdone by my doughnut experiment the day before, I made some cookie as a post-dinner treat for everyone. The little girls had an especially good time licking the icing from the cookies and walking around with red/pink smears on their faces!

Eric with Annika and Jack

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I made doughnuts

Just because I have gestational diabetes, that doesn't mean I've lost my desire to bake. Yesterday, I saw the Pioneer Woman had a blog post about her glazed doughnut recipe and I KNEW that it would need to become one of my weekend projects. We adore the Pioneer Woman's pork tenderloin recipe and I was quite sure the doughnuts wouldn't disappoint. I was right. Not only did I make doughnuts, I made doughnut holes!! The only change I'd made to her recipe is doubling the glaze recipe to accommodate that I wanted to dip the doughnuts twice to get them really coated. Check 'em out!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Baby Update

Yesterday, I had another OB appt and ultrasound to check in on the well being of our baby boy. According to the ultrasound, his estimated weight is 4 pounds, 2 ounces. He's measuring just about on track for his gestation age and appears to be doing very well. Thanks to the ultrasound, I was able to confirm that his feet are definitely what keep jabbing my right lung/ribs, his knee is what jabs me in the diaphragm, and his rump is what I feel under my left lung. It was really fun to feel him move while watching him on the ultrasound system's monitor. Pretty amazing! My doctor was happy with what she saw and thinks that everything is moving along swimmingly. Hurray! Below is our most recent profile picture of our little guy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tinkerbell ... my new work buddy

This morning, Annika had some Tinkerbell stickers on her arm. No biggie. Apparently, she put on in my hair without me noticing ... unfortunately, I made it out of the house without noticing. I also made it to work and was completely unaware of the fact I had a shiny fairy sticker in my hair until my manager giggled and said "did you know there's a fairy in your hair?" Oh goodie. Fortunately, my manager is a great guy and helped me laugh off the whole thing. Note to self - check in the mirror after departing child's company, before departing the house!

Monday, February 8, 2010

What the heck do I know??

Yesterday, Annika and I bundled up and went for a walk around the neighborhood. OK, I walked, she sat in her stroller and pointed out the scenery as I forced my round body up the hill next to our house. Annika loves to point out everything she can see - "car", "biiiig truck!", "bird", "tree". Yesterday, there were about 20-30 pigeons on a power line and I pointed them out to Annika. I said, "Annika, do you see the birds waaaaay up there?" She did. I said, "Look at all of those birdies. They're called pigeons." "No, chickens." "No, Sweetie, those are pigeons. Pigeons and chickens are both types of birdies, but those are pigeons." "No, Mama, chickens." Why do I bother debating things with a 2-year-old, when I know I won't win??

On a cute side note, Annika wanted my attention yesterday morning when I was doing something in the kitchen. Mind you, I was holding her, so it wasn't like I could exactly ignore her at the time. She decided I needed direction and proceeded to position my face directly in front of hers and said, "Look at my nose, Mama." I could feel my shoulders begin to shake with laughter. Hearing the words we say to her when we want her attention used on me tickled me to the bone. I guess she does hear a few things we say... at least some of the time!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pre-baby Pictures

Yesterday, Eric, Annika, and I bundled up and headed to Carkeek Park to have our family pictures taken on the beach by Jamie Neilsen. We frequent Carkeek during the summer and it is definitely a place that we have a special spot in our hearts for. Upon arrival at the beach, we quickly discovered that Plan A was going to be scrapped in favor of Plan B. The pedestrian overpass that enables people to access the beach was under some sort of work, which made getting to the beach impossible. Fortunately, we had a Plan B (mostly in case of weather), which was Golden Gardens beach.

We could not have asked for a better day to have outdoor pictures taken in Seattle. The sky was a gorgeous blue. We had the Puget Sound and snow-capped Olympic Mountains were in clear sight; they made for a stunning backdrop for our photos. Golden Gardens offered a variety of landscapes for us to use, which we hadn't expected. Some pictures had us on the sand, while others had us amongst trees, while others had us sitting on sand with a backdrop of tall beach grass. The only problem was the sunshine became quite intense as the morning creeped along, which made not squinting quite tricky at times.

The time with Jamie was very casual. There were very few structured poses. She basically told us to be ourselves and she would work to capture the real us. She took pictures of Eric tossing Annika in the air, Annika climbing a tree, Eric and me stealing a kiss while Annika sat on my lap. The little moments that are so rarely captured is what Jamied aimed to pick up with her camera.

We are very excited to see the gallery that Jamie puts together for us (should take about a week) and for her to visit our home within the baby's first two weeks, so she can photograph our newest family member.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baking away the stress

Last night, I decided to try baking sugar cookies in our gas oven instead of our evil electric oven that can't figure out how to maintain the right temperature. I gave that thing love and all it gave me in return was cookies with overly-browned bottoms or raw-in-the-middle food. The downfall of the gas oven is it takes quite awhile to preheat, but I was willing to put my patience to the test and give it a try. It worked BEAUTIFULLY! I am so happy with how the cookies turned out. Now, they're happily tucked away in Ziploc bags in our freezer waiting for me to decorate them for Valentine's Day. Nothing like having a stressful week and experiencing the serenity that accompanies seeing perfectly baked cookies come out of the oven. Ahhh... deep breath. It'll all be ok! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh brain, why won't you shut off when I want to sleep?

At 4 AM, it was time for my second bathroom break of the night. (Welcome to the life of a pregnant woman, people!) About 90 seconds later, I was back in bed. Pillow? Check! Covers? Check! Soundly sleeping husband next to me? Check! Sleep? Umm.... sleep? Hello? Where are you?

Unfortunately for me, my brain decided that was the optimal time to go into hyper drive and think about work. Not even projects I'm working on, but things completely out of my control. I told myself, "Self, you have no control over this. Go to sleep." Self laughed at me. Not just a little "tee hee hee" kind of laugh, but that maniacal laugh that is reserved for the really bad guys in the comics. I tried breathing exercises. No luck. I tried visualizing numbers that count down from 100. No luck. I tried begging. "Please, sleep, come and visit me! I'd really like us to spend more time together." Again, no luck. All I kept thinking about were strategies that I won't put into play because they wouldn't be politically prudent. Damn you, office politics!

On an up note, tonight is the premier of "Lost" - WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!! (Not that we'll actually watch it tonight because the premier is set to start right at our bed time - God bless DVR technology!)