Gotta Give Props

So, I have to give a shout out to Allen. We all know he busted his butt all year long on the exterior of the house. This left me exclusively to the kid raising and household duties. We had agreed to this plan and it ended up working out ok.

As we came to a close on the landscaping work, I was getting pretty far along in the pregnancy. I could definitely feel myself getting more and more tired and really wanting some extra help at the end of a long day. When Allen was in full throttle, that wasn't possible. There either wasn't an end to the day until we passed out in bed, or he was so dang tired from working, I didn't ask for much when he did join us again. I just pushed through the pain or fatigue.

After about 2 months of warning Allen about my increasing needs, they reared their ugly heads in a big way. I thought I had done a nice job of casually mentioning what I needed before it became a problem so we could avoid the whole anger-resentment issue. I have to admit, it still took a minor throw down for the message to make it to the receiver, but make it, it did. Since that fateful night - you all know the kind - the sobbing wife who's voice escalates to the point that only marine life can hear her while the husband looks on with total and complete fear -things have been great.

Allen has made a real effort to pick up where I can't anymore. He quotes me all of the time, "Allen, sometimes we have to do things, even when we're tired. Even when we don't want to." It's sad but true. So, he's engaged with Lexi tons more when he's home, he gets up with her when he is home so I can sleep in, he takes her outside or to the park, he gets her lunch when he's home, he calls in or emails to check on us during the day, he even took the day off of work last week when I was sick and had slept terribly. He's been cleaning the house like the Merry Maids, feeding all of the animals, doing all of the dishes if I cook, and all of the extra things that need to get done that I don't get to. Not to mention, he's finished all of the work in Lexi's room and the nursery and continued to plow through the last bits of work in the backyard.

This is not normal Allen, here, people. He never misses a day of work. It really isn't sustainable for long as he does have a regular schedule to honor at work and chores that take him away from the family. We know that, too. He did, however, work lots of extra hours and Sundays to try and save up time so that if he needed to or wanted to take extra time off to help me, he could. He has made a choice to put my comfort and happiness before many things, when reasonable, until the baby comes.

It's made a world of difference in my little world. As I get more and more slow, less and less patient, more and more uncomfortable all while becoming less tolerant, it sure has been nice to know that Allen will pick up where I'm letting off - and is doing a great job. I just want to say thanks for hearing and listening to me and trying so hard to make my life just a little easier. Thanks, Allen!


I was tagged by Laura a long time ago and then again by Shannon a little more recently. So, finally, here's 7 unique (or weird) things about me:

1. I put deodorant on before bed. Hey people, you do sweat in bed, you know!
2. Seeing people eating alone makes me very sad. Almost sad enough to cry. Seriously.
3. I LOVE to eat alone.
4. I learned to knit and crochet as a kid.
5. I used to be a band nerd. I played the flute.
6. I was in Girl Scouts for, like, 6 years. I will never make my girls be in Girl Scouts. Sorry, Mom, I know you were just trying to keep me well-rounded (but, you were there and I think will agree with me now).
7. I have naturally curly hair (no one here in New Mexico knows that and no one on the street can figure out where Lexi got her curls). I've been frying it straight for the last 5 years.


Giving Thanks

With much to be grateful for this year, we had a great time this Thanksgiving holiday. Some friends of ours invited us over on Thanksgiving Day. There were 19 of us total and gobs of great food.

Friday, we went to the mall (total chaos and a true miracle the whole event did not end in a mass murder with me at the helm) and I made a small turkey for us later that day. Being invited to someone else's place is awesome, but the leftovers are usually a little sparse. Plus, there's no skin. It's just not polite to eat someone else's skin. So, I made a big enough turkey to have lots of wickedly good skin and leftovers.

We also put up Christmas. We kind of feel like it's now or never. Last year, we had just moved in and didn't have the desire to do any type of decorating. With the baby coming (cross your fingers, people) in 2 weeks, we felt we should get it done while we had a few good days of down time. Lexi loved putting up the ornaments with Allen.

Winter was hard on us last year and we had pretty terrible attitudes about the whole thing. What a difference a year can make! While we pitter-patted around this weekend, we took stock of all of the progress we've made in the yard, the closeness Allen and I have developed in our relationship, the miracle that is Lexi and the uber-miracle we feel this little alien is for our family. We are truly blessed and want for nothing.


Holiday Pictures

I took Lexi to Kiddie Kandids yesterday. Here's what we captured:




Ok, for real. We're here at week 37. It's pretty much the same as week 36 with more contractions. My next appointment is Friday so we'll see if there's been any changes then.
Allen and I keep quoting Nacho Libre when he says, "Sometimes, grown men wear stretchy pants!" because all I want to wear is my yoga pants anymore.

I do try to wear a shirt most of the time, though.

The Birds!

This weekend we went to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. It's about an hour south of our house. My step-dad is an avid bird hunter (and while you can't shoot the birds on the refuge) we thought he might enjoy a trip there when he visits in December. We figured we should scope it out first and make a family trip out of the whole thing.
Winter is the migration season for lots of birds and many of them stop over at this refuge. It's a really nice park. The actual tour is done mostly by car with walking trails throughout if you want to hike. Each look out has a dock and walk way so you can get out onto the water and see more birds.
This last week was the festival of the Cranes so they had special exhibits and tours, too.
Lexi with the giant Dragonfly.

Up close and personal with the white wolf.

While driving, we caught a family of 5 raccoons playing in the trees.

The 2 Bald Eagles.


More Lexi Quips

As she falls down while playing with Allen: "My arm! My arm hurts! I need a doctor!"

Without any prompting at all, Lexi says, "My teeth hurt. I need some Tylenol." (Um, could this be sign we've over medicated her?)

In the car, on the way to the store. I say, "I'm sorry I'm so tired today." Lexi: "You're tired? You need quiet time?"

As she walks around, with a funny look on her face and her butt cheeks clamped together, I ask, "Lexi, did you go poop?" She says, "Nope! Just a fart!"

Yeah Baby!

I had a dr.'s appointment today. This is what he said, "Oh my! The baby's head is right there! You're 80% effaced, 1 cm dilated, and the baby is in the birth canal."

Awesome! When he said the comment about the baby's head, I wanted to say, "Ya don't say!?!" since I'm pretty aware of where the baby's head is at this point. I was really pleased with everything else he had to say, though.

Now, don't go assuming I'm foolish enough to think this means we'll have the baby early. I had a friend who stayed at 3 cm for 3 weeks! What this does tell me, though, is that my body is doing all the right stuff so far. All of the contractions I've been having are actually doing something productive. Last time I tried having a baby, it took 2 days of pitocin to get to 1 cm! We're already leaps and bounds ahead of where we were when we went in with Lexi.

We've had so many issues with my body doing what is supposed to come "naturally" with regard to all phases of child bearing that I've lost the confidence in my body to come through when "push comes to shove" (really, no pun intended). I feel motivated, hoping that I will be able to work with my body this time around. It's always felt like we're always fighting one another in our efforts to bring people into this world. It's a relief to know that things are falling into place on their own!


Keepin' Busy

For the most part, things around here have been pretty status quo.

Allen's been working on the nursery on weekends and most evenings. Lexi has been ready to help at every turn. Sometimes, she's actually pretty good at getting him tools and what not. Other times, she's ready with the screwdriver to "fix" the exposed wiring behind the switch plates! And why wouldn't she be? Daddy just used the screwdriver to take the switch plate off, so why wouldn't Lexi want to make it right with her own "baby screwdriver"? We've avoided her taking 110V at this point, but she's pretty eager to get in there.


After we told her she couldn't play with the wiring, she grabbed Allen's hat and went to work on the entertainment center.

Lexi asking, "Where's my tools? Where's my hat? Where's my baby screwdriver?"

At the beginning of November, we had YW in Excellence. It's a formal celebration of the year's achievements and the personal progress program. The theme this year was to be "steadfast and immovable". We emphasized being prepared to be steadfast and immovable with the Temple as the crowning achievement. So, for YW in E, we had pictures of the Temple up, everything decorated in white, and a cake with a picture of the Albuquerque Temple on it. Each of the girls gave a short talk on one of the personal progress goals she completed this year. Two girls finished the whole program and gave great talks about what it meant to them and how they feel it will help them as they become adults. We have a pretty small group with about 10 active girls, but they are wonderful people. I'm sure their parents enjoyed hearing from them, too, since teenage kids aren't always quick to talk about stuff like this with their folks.

I made this bridal bouquet to use as the centerpiece for the head table. At the end of the night, each girl got one of the roses.



This used to be our 1 gallon container for OJ and Kool Aid.

I guess when they say "top rack only" they mean it.


I made this for a snack for YW a couple of months back and it was a huge hit. This last Saturday night, a bunch of us girls got together and I decided to give it a shot. Again, so yummy I just have to share.

White Chocolate Popcorn
AIR Pop 8-10 cups of Popcorn
Spread pop corn out on cookie sheets.
Melt one bag of Nestle's White Chocolate Chips in a double-boiler (make sure it's real chocolate, not that fake stuff)
Drizzle over popcorn and lightly toss till coated.
It looks just like regular popcorn, but YOU WON'T BELIEVE HOW IT TASTES!!!!
(recipe courtesy of http://www.ywconnection.com/)

I do it a little differently. I buy all natural popcorn that you pop in the microwave. I think you could use any kind, though, it would be great. I also melt the chocolate in the microwave. Put on high for 1 minute, stir, put on high for another minute, stir, repeat until melted (about 2-3 minutes, usually). I line my cookie sheets with wax paper and dump 1-1 1/2 bags of popcorn out on each cookie sheet (so it can make a pretty flat layer of popcorn). I drizzle the chocolate on the popcorn. Some spots have a really nice drizzle, some have a blob of chocolate. I figure who's going to complain about a big bite of chocolate once in a while? The first time I made this, I did stir it, but it tumbled all over the counter and I still had blobs so I ditched that idea. I let it sit out for a while to let the chocolate form up and then store in gallon size baggies. The last time I made this, I used one big bag of chocolate for 3 regular sized bags of popcorn.

For special occasions, you could add food coloring to the chocolate (like red or green for Christmas, red and blue for 4th of July, or your favorite team's colors on game day) or buy those morsels with the coloring already mixed in. You could do a black and white kind too, with both white and dark (semi or sweet) chocolate.

Goes over well with all ages and is quick to make. Also, I usually have popcorn and some sort of chocolate around so this is great "out of the pantry" cooking. Hope you enjoy!



So, here we are at week 36 in the pregnancy. This is, officially, uncharted territory for our family. At this point last time, Lexi was a week old and finally coming off of the ventilator. Since she never dropped, I didn't have the extreme pleasure of knowing that sensation either. Let's just say it this way: if your baby never drops, consider yourself blessed.

I've been having contractions about 20 minutes apart, but not consistently. Many a nurse has made the comment that we'll have the baby early because she is so low. She dropped for the first time about a month ago and has been getting lower and lower. I keep telling everyone who mentions us having the baby early to stop jinxing us. I'm convinced since we've made note of the possibility, we'll go 2 weeks past our due date.

Allen can really see the baby now and we can tell body parts when she's moving. That is pretty cool. Honestly, that's about the only cool thing at this point. Her head is on my nerves (literally) in my pelvis so when she rotates or moves, I get shooting pains. I'm sure most every woman has felt this if she's been pregnant (although I never had this with Lexi). When I stand up from sitting, I have really sharp pains all across the front (it's like my muscles -and don't say "what muscles?"- get bunched up and can't stretch out again so I can be totally upright, very odd) that prevent me from standing up straight. I do the "grandpa hunch" getting around until the pain goes away. It's really attractive, I'm sure.

So it goes with the last month of pregnancy, though. At this point, I'm still in favor of the baby going to term if that means a healthy baby. But, that could rapidly become "get out of there and I'll take the extra sleep while you're in the NICU!!!".


My Love Language

Today, I finally got my anniversary present! Allen got me a 60 minute massage and pedicure at the local day spa I like. Even though our anniversary was in September, today was the first day that worked out to spend the morning getting pampered. My hips are so dang sore; I've really been looking forward to today. I told the masseuse that I feel like one of those old German Shepherd dogs with hip dysplasia. Like, my backside is just dragging around.

I've seen this masseuse quite a few times. She's actually more than the usual "fluff and buff" you get at some spas. She's got 2 kids that are around Lexi's age, her folks head up the local rodeo association and she rides so we have some stuff in common. I also go to church with her sister-in-law. She's very much my vibe and knows exactly what it feels like to be pregnant. She's not preachy either, which I love.

While we were talking about what was ailing me (uh, everything!), she mentioned the appointment book noted I wanted my pressure points done. She confirmed my due date wasn't for another month and asked if I really wanted to be induced. What?!? Um, no. Not today, thank you. She figured it had been a mistake, but just wanted to check. I asked her about the whole process and she said she has a 95% success rate of helping women go into labor when the pressure point treatment is added to a regular massage. She's had 2 clients get off of the table and have babies 4 hours later. I told her I'd be back in exactly 3 weeks!

Allen took Lexi to the park while I was getting spoiled so she was happy when I got home which was another bonus. They had played hard so she took a great nap and we all put our feet up this afternoon. What a great day! Thanks, Allen!


The High Price of Beauty

Last night we were all winding down around 8 p.m. We had dinner, bathed Lexi and Allen was showering. I decided to put dinner away quick (we're talking 5 pieces of pizza into plastic baggies and then in the fridge) while Lexi played in the family room. When I was done, she wasn't in the family room anymore. She wasn't in her room either. I saw her baby stroller in front of our bathroom door. Allen was in showering and Lexi had gone in the bathroom with him. When I opened the door, she had a bottle of nail polish remover in her hands and was shaking it around. I grabbed it quick and found the lid loose and the bottle empty. I asked her, "Did you drink this!?!" "I drinked it!" she responded with glee.

Let me just say that I haven't used nail polish remover in at least a year. All of my other stuff that could be dangerous is on the highest shelf in the bathroom. The only stuff on the bottom shelf is towels. I have no idea where that bottle came from. It could have been empty when she picked it up, but why would I keep an empty bottle laying around?

I called poison control and they said to take her to the ER. They said they would call ahead to let them know we were on our way. In the mean time, Lexi was acting totally fine. She didn't smell like nail polish remover. She wasn't acting drunk (or more drunk than usual). But, it only takes 1/3 of a teaspoon of nail polish remover to be toxic for a kid. She had possibly ingested 6 times that! If she had swallowed some, it wouldn't have been obvious until she was really, really sick. It would have slowly messed with her blood chemistry and led to blindness. I really didn't think that was the road we were on, but we figured better safe than sorry with a quiet danger like that.

So, off we go. We went to the University of New Mexico ER. They have their own pediatric emergency room. That was awesome. We waited for about 5 minutes and went back to a bed. Lexi was happy, inquisitive and very pleasant. The doctor said we would be there at least 12 hours and they would need to draw blood every 2 hours to see if she had ingested anything. Rather than poke her every 2 hours, they decided to put in an IV. Lexi had been really nice until that point. I can attest: IV's don't feel all that great. The worst part was that they put it in her elbow area so they had to tape her arm to a board to prevent it from bending. She was pissed!!!

After they did all of that, they told us we'd be going up to peds. I ran home to get the portable DVD player (best invention ever!) and some other things to tide us over. I also called about 5 people as Allen and I were supposed to talk in Sacrament meeting, I was in charge of the lunch for everyone in nursery and Allen was teaching in EQ. Go figure - the day we're like running all of the meetings, everything completely unravels.

Anyhow, I got back to the hospital around 11:30 and went in to find Lexi and Allen. They had been moved to the GPU (general pediatric unit). I asked for directions and head out. Well, 45 minutes later, I was back where I started. I managed to find them at around 12:15 a.m. I was so frustrated. The people in the ER told me the wrong floor in the totally wrong wing of the hospital. Turns out, I was about 100 yds. from the elevators when I was in the ER, but went to the old hospital wing and on 3 different floors there before coming all the way back to the new area only to end up going to 3 different floors there before someone finally told me where the heck the sick kids were kept! Ugh.

Lexi was wide awake and in one of those fancy metal cribs. At 1 a.m, I put on a movie for her and stayed up with her while Allen slept on the bed that was in the room. At 3 a.m., she finally nodded off. At 3:50, a nurse came in to take vitals and woke her up. She started crying and was obviously frustrated about her arm. I was in those really comfortable hospital chairs (read: heavy sarcasm). I held her a bit and put her back down. She slept another 45 minutes and woke up mad again. So it went until 6 a.m. when Allen woke up and I laid down. I tell you, that chair and my tail bone did not get along! Lexi was up before 8 so we all got some breakfast (they had room service) and waited for freedom.

She held her arm up like this quite a bit. She kept pointing to the little plastic outlet while telling me she had a "boo-boo". I said, "You see that plastic sticking out?" "Yes, my plastic hurts!"

I hate these gowns! They don't even close for a 2 year old.

We were approaching the 12 hour mark and really looking forward to going home at this point. So, we just kept asking every nurse we saw if we could go. Our nurse, who happened to be LDS, agreed to take the IV out and start our paperwork. Finally, at 10:30 the doctor came in and said Lexi was good to go. We left around 11 a.m.

Thankfully, with all of the blood work they did, they found no methanol in Lexi's system. It turns out she hadn't ingested any of the remover. I kept expecting to get a big talking to about home safety. I could hear them whispering as I walked the halls, "There's that lady who let her kid drink nail polish remover. Yeah, she's pregnant too. More idiots reproducing, huh?" Doctor reassured us that kids do this stuff, but we need to be more careful (duh!). We're just glad all went well and no one called child protective services! We're tired (as can be expected) and embarrassed, but I'm sure we'll be ok.


What We Do

Here's a few pics of what we've been doing to pass the time around here.

Lexi likes to play dress up with Mia.

Mia seems to put up with it. We think she actually likes it, but is afraid to admit it!
There's a new park in town. It has a great play are for the younger kids. Lexi can climb and do all of the activities without any help. It was really cold and windy today, but she still had a great time.

Waiting patiently for fruit snacks.


It's the End of the World As We Know It!

Barack Obama is our president.

(Just a thought brought up by an associate of ours - Why is he considered a black man when he's half black, half white? Couldn't he just as easily be a white man? Not that the issue has anything to do with his socialist politics and zero experience, right?)

In all seriousness, though, I never hope for a "bad" president. I don't think he 's qualified to lead this country and I know he doesn't defend the same principles I do. But, do I want to be able to say "I told you so!" when it's all said and done? No way! Even though Obama is not my pick, I will be praying for him and his chosen leadership. I hope in 4 years time, this country still defends and values the same things it has stood for over the last 200 years. I hope we are protected from those that seek to do us harm. I hope my children will be valued and their safety placed among the most important of issues to any leader in office. I hope those willing to sacrifice their lives to keep this country free and safe will not find their efforts have been spent in vain.

Without trying to sound too cliche, May God Bless This Country!


Sweet Slumber

Yesterday seemed like one of the longest days ever! With everyone on sleep rations and the time change, it felt like the day dragged on and on. Plus, it was dark at 5:30 which made it seem like it was so much later. We felt totally discombobulated all day!

Well, around 8:30 p.m., we decided to put Lexi to bed. We had considered letting her fall asleep on the couch since she was pretty close, but knew that wouldn't create a very good habit. Just like regular sleep training, we figured putting her to bed awake would teach her way more than sneaking her in asleep and just hoping for success.

I was so tired I actually went to bed at 9:30 - and fell asleep! At 10:30, she started crying and Allen went in to check. She's had a stuffy nose and keeps telling us her ears and teeth hurt, too, so we had given her some meds, but with a sick kid you never know if they really need something. She was obviously still asleep and only took a minute to quiet down.

I kept waking up throughout the night, but only for a few seconds at a time. I kept expecting Lexi to pop into our room anytime. But, she didn't! She stayed in her bed all night.

What a great night! Will it last? Hmmmm.....I guess we'll just have to see.


Big Girl Bed

Last night was Lexi's first night in her big girl bed. Allen was able to re-frame the door in her room, put up wainscot, base, chair rail and crown molding over the last week and a half. We have to cut in some paint, putty and touch up, but for the most part her room is done.


We actually started painting in September while we waited for the well to be done outside.

Lexi had to help, as usual.

Allen's super nice blood blister. Lexi will never be able to say we didn't' sacrifice for her benefit, right!

The end of day one of of putting up wainscot, base and chair rail.

Yesterday, Allen put together all of Lexi's furniture, finished some chair rail and put up all of the crown molding. Since, Allen and I haven't been out without Lexi for at least 4 months, last night we decided to have dinner with some friends. We warned the babysitter that Lexi had no nap and would be spending her first night in her new bed. We kind of expected Lexi to be up when we got home, but she had conked out on the floor and was sleeping peacefully in the bed.

Allen went to bed around 11 and I tried to follow suit at 12 a.m. I desperately sought slumber, but to no avail. The TV had been off since about 1 and I just kept tossing and turning. Finally at 3:30, I felt sort of tired. I happened to hear a little chirp and see this person running past our bedroom door. Then I heard, "Mommy, Mommy!" as she comes into our room. I had nudged Allen awake and we were both laughing a little bit.

Lexi has a regular habit of waking up from around 2 a.m. till 4 or 5 many nights of the month. She plays happily in her crib with her babies and then sleeps until 8:30 or 9. The night before last was the beginning of another cycle of this habit. Not surprising this coincided perfectly with her move to a bed. I knew she would be up and out for at least 2 hours last night. So, we went into her room with her and explained she could read books and play quietly, but had to stay in her room. Yeah, right! After an hour, we decided we'd take our leave. I went first and laid down in our bed. About 45 minutes later, Allen came in. About 1 minute after that, Lexi came in, too. Allen took her back into her room. She was clearly tired, but not about to lay down. Around 6 a.m., she asked him to lay down with her. They slept for about an hour. Allen woke up and figured he'd make a break for it so she wouldn't get used to waking up with him in the bed. Naturally, she woke up.
I slept from about 5:15 to 7:30 (I really think I ended up getting close to 3 hours of sleep since the time change thing). Needless to day, I'm a little tired. Allen's feeling ok since he got about 4 hours but could probably sleep if given the chance and Lexi is exhausted. In the midst of our late night rendezvous, Allen and I decided that we'll be getting a baby gate in the next 2 days if she can't work it out.

The big girl bed.



Lexi as a butterfly.
Lexi and I ready to go.

Ok, so my favorite part of her costume was her butt in that little leotard!

I thought this pumpkin was pretty cool. They carved all the way around.
After the church activity, we went to the big neighborhood trick-or-treat. There were still quite a few people out. Lexi was getting pretty tired so we only went to 3 houses, but she seemed to have a good time. She collected lots of candy and loved being a "bupperfly".

About Me

My photo
What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.