Sunny 9 for 2006

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[Comments] (2) Double Whammy: I haven't updated in so long, but I guess I better get back into the habit. We spent Christmas in AZ for a very long time. I was sick with something for all but the first 2 1/2 days of the trip. I lost my voice completely for 2 days and could barely talk a few days before and after. Christmas eve was very pitiful and miserable for me, lying on a blow-up mattress in the hallway upstairs b/c Lily was asleep in our room, trying to get some rest amongst the uproar of laughter coming from downstairs.

Back from AZ I think I got about 3 days in between illnesses. I guess my immune system was shot from the strep throat- or whatever it was?, because yesterday I spent praying to the porcelain god. I couldn't even keep Sprite down. However I feel better today with my Gatorade and Saltines, resting in bed. The timing for this stomach flu is bad because Aaron and I are housesitting for my mom and Ben while they attend a family reunion in Tennessee. Aaron is having to take up some slack, but Lily is being very sensitive because this morning she snuggled in bed with me and took a 2-hour nap with me. Even though I am not throwing up still, I was careful not to get too close to her.

I'll tell you what though, throwing up again like that did not make me want to think about getting pregnant anytime soon and going through all that again. I've put in my time and I really hope that my turn to get sick won't come up for another couple years.

Law of unintended consequences: While I was sick last week, one of the days I pretty much spent in bed while Lily wandered the room playing. When she became a little fussy I scooped her up and laid her in bed with me. She then proceeded to nap with me, and I was too desperate for rest and too delirious with uncomfort to realize the repercussions of my actions. Lily really enjoyed napping with me. I would look over at her with her eyes closed but she had this grin on her mouth. It was too cute, but I could just tell what she was thinking. She would open her eyes look up at me, and smile wide and lay back down and snuggle even deeper into the mattress exhaling a breath of elation. She was thinkin' "I could get used to this". Lily is not really a loner. She likes company, not necessarily attention but she wants to know I am in the room with her. So Lily took that two hour nap with me and loved every minute of it. That night she was not too happy to go to sleep by herself in the cold, lonely crib. She screamed like I had just given her eye drops and picked her nose at the same time.

It is pretty sad because I did like sharing that one nap with her. I like to snuggle. I just don't like it every night and naptime. I would like more opportunities to take naps with her but I don't want her dependent on me being there to sleep.

I did get something accomplished this week. Lily no longer uses a bottle. We have moved on to sippy cups, however she did protest. She doesn't like sippy cups as much as bottles but is getting better at drinking more. The first few days she refused to even drink that much from them.

I don't think I mentioned this, but Aunt Frances came to San Antonio for a visit during New Year's and it was very fun to be with her, hear her stories and laugh at her sense of humor. One in particular being "I remember one time praying for more faith when I realized, wait a minute...I don't want more faith promoting experiences. Scratch that one, God." I am glad she had enough strength in her to come here and back again.

[Comments] (6) Brought to my attention: Aaron and I watched Emma last night. I really liked it, and it was brought to my attention that Clueless with Alicia Silverstone was based off of Emma. My family loves Clueless or at least we did...I still do. It was the only movie at Uncle Justin's condo for the longest time and might still be. So every summer when we would visit we would watch it. I thought it was clever and funny, and now I know why. Jane Austen wrote the plot. I mean you can't go wrong with Jane Austen's writing. Who doesn't love her? After reading Pride and Prejudice recently I have fallen in love with Jane's characters and writing style. It was very refreshing to feel like a teenager again with all those romantic notions that I thought I had lost.

"In a world where...": You would recognize his voice over your own grandmother. I just found this interesting because I have never put a face to the voice overs. I even wondered if he was a made up person or computer automated voice because his voice is everywhere. How does he do all those tv show commercials and trailers? I guess if that is your only job to sit in a recording studio. Don't you just love the cadence in his voice though?

[Comments] (4) Kristen vs the pint: So I hear the ice cream in the fridge beckoning to me, and I say "not yet ice cream, it is too early in the day", but he won't stop. So I concede and say "ok, I'll have some", and then I find out he is playing a mean nasty joke on me and is too frozen to scoop out. So I taught him a lesson and ate the rest of him.

[Comments] (2) Temper Tantrum: Ever since we have been home Lily has been going through a clingy phase. She wants me to play with her exclusively all the time now. This would be fine if I didn't have a whole house to reorganize and clean from the holidays.

She has been pulling this drama move on me lately thinking that I will feel sorry for her or something. She starts crying and then she throws herself on the floor, couch cushion, or nearest surface with the fling of her arms. Then she lies flat on her tummy crying until I go get her up. One such occasion Alyson was able to witness. We had a blow-up mattress for them while they were staying here in the living room and that just happened to be the nearest surface. So when she dove for the mattress in despair she actually bounced off the edge and fell on the floor.

I'm sorry, I just can't take those antics seriously. I mean I don't know whether to laugh or ignore. And that is not the only time. She also aims for the couch and misses and tumbles to the floor. Then I imagine she really is hurt though. I just hope this phase is just that. I really hope she doesn't pull one of those dramatic flings on the sidewalk. Stitches, ouch!

[Comments] (2) MLK: I am so happy about my purchases made yesterday that I must write about them. We went to Old Navy and all their kid clothes were super cheap. I was getting fleece pants for $1.49 each so I bought like 6, and $3.00 jammies, and a couple cute nice tops for $3.00. I think I got a total of 22 things for $50. I love getting things on sale; it is one of the best feelings in the world.

We didn't do much anything else on the holiday except have dinner with friends and play games. Oh wait, I take that back. I got to have lunch with my long time elementary school friend Sandra at Olive Garden. It was fun and yummy since I hadn't been there so long.

[Comments] (10) Back in the day: I really miss when Lily couldn't walk and I could just stick her in her bouncy seat in front of a Baby Einstein movie while I took a shower. Or when I didn't have to have a children's gate to hike over every time I want to enter the kitchen, to keep Lily out of such things in there (trash, Tupperware, pots, pans, and cleaning supplies). I also miss when I could leave her in a room and she wouldn’t dishevel the book shelves and tear out every cd, movie, and book in it. Or one of my other fav's: throwing all her food on the floor, every piece, every spec, every time. I really miss being able to spoon feed her and Lily liking it.

She really tried my patience today when she pulled my hair… and pulled… and pulled and pulled despite all my efforts. I know she was being naughty because she pretty much knows now that it is a no-no. When I say "be soft" she stops pulling soon after and starts petting my hair like I showed her. Not today. She was being evil and kept yanking. There is something about getting your hair pulled that makes the survival animal come out. Especially since the scalp is so sensitive to it. Needless to say I slapped her hand--the first physical discipline I have used on her. It felt good slapping her hand right after I pried my hair out of her fist, but then the guilt set in. I don't believe in physical punishments, I don't think they work. I think it teaches kids aggression is met with more aggression to fix a problem...newsflash-it doesn't work. Being the product of spanking, I am here to say that it makes you want to physically cause others pain, and you begin to like it. To clear that up: I don't actually like to spank Lily, never have wanted to go that far, but relieving my anger with physical aggression felt good, but only for that second I did it. Plus it didn't work. Lily laughed in my face, obliviously oblivious to the reality of it all, thinking it was a game, and proceeded to try and slap my arm and shoulder. Nice.

It is days like this where the annoyance list hits the max and I feel like crap for not being a perfect mom because if I am not, then my children are ruined for life and become complicated adults with irrational feelings and pent up anger. If anyone needs me, I am at the clinic getting sterilized.

[Comments] (2) Fraud: Apparently, I just happened to be in Istanbul yesterday, buying furniture at furniture store. $1300 worth. That's what it said on my online account statement today. Luckily, after I called USAA they fixed the problem immediately. This is the second time credit card fraud has happened to me while living here...strange.

[Comments] (1) More words: Apple, cracker, and circle.

Oh yeah, and ahh dee (all done) and wa-wa (water).

Anniversary: 4 years! We went to County Line BBQ for dinner and the movie Fun With Dick and Jane. It was good. It is nice to go on dates in the middle of the week and not just the weekend. Thanks to Jake and Erin who babysat. Now...what to do for Valentines Day?

[Comments] (2) Pieces of April: Every parent should see this movie. I loved it.

[Comments] (1) A good read: Screwtape Letters. It sounds so simple, but emotions are so complicated. What a testimony builder.

Give me a break: For the past week, Lily has been waking up screaming as opposed to me hearing happy chatter and giggling. She proceeds to cry through her diaper change and then until she is in her high chair with food on it. After she is done eating, not without a tantrum being thrown again, she cries to get out and then cries until nap time. Then she cries and hour after she has napped, again a half hour later, and then cries to get out after she has been in there for 2 hours--if I am lucky. Then she cries until she sees her dad right before dinner. Then dinner and then a blood curdling cry when we put her in bed. The point is, I must be holding her or reading to her or on the floor with her at all times. Even then, she still reserves the right to cry. I know she is teething which is why I give her plenty of infant Motrin, (all four molars coming in and one lower tooth in addition) but Lily, will you puh-lease stop crying?

And to top it off, Aaron has been gone all day helping a friend, and I have been alone with her again oh my helpmeet day! I should take her to the doctor Monday to see if she has an ear ache.

In other news, I have started to paint Lily's room a pale butter yellow and it is almost done. Maybe sleeping in the office is why she is so mad all the time?

[Comments] (1) : Things are slowly getting back to normal. I am no longer sick- something that lasted like a month. Lily's room is done. Lily is happier. I got the house cleaned up a bit. And I finally finished Season 4 of the show 24. That kept Aaron and me up late nights with its very compelling storylines. Highly Recommended.

**Note to self** Lily loves yogurt covered raisins--just like her mama--but she cannot have more than 5 per week. She has been very regular the past 5 days and she only had them one day. We're talking like 4-5 times a day regularity people and the raisins just keep on comin'.

[Comments] (4) Explain to me this: Yesterday, while in the garage about to leave for church, the mousetrap went off. We have had a few mice so we have been catching them with the traps. It has been awhile since we last caught one, but sure enough upon inspection there was a mouse caught in the trap. It was a pretty clean snap. Right across the belly. It totally sicks me out to look at it let alone deal with it, so Aaron always disposes of the mice. We were about to leave so we decided to just take off and Aaron would deal with it after church.

When we arrived home, the mouse and the trap were nowhere to be seen. Aaron searched high and low and sure enough, the mouse must have dragged himself and the attached trap out of the garage, or a rescue mission was organized by the mouse's little friends. We still can't find it. I have no idea where a dead mouse could have gone in 3 hours. I am just waiting for the smell to come, which I hope it doesn't.

[Comments] (3) Toddler Lily: No one told me when your child turns 17 months old, it will seem like their understanding triples. It has been so fun and entertaining to watch Lily repeat the things I say. Half the stuff she probably doesn't understand, but it seems like she is learning a new word every day. It is funny to see how her brain works because right now she calls all fruit apple. I pull out a strawberry, "apple?". No, Lily, Strawhhhberry. An orange-"apple?". The same goes for milk and water...it is all wa-wa or 'agua' as I swear she sometimes pronounces it. And I have caught her many times on the dog page of her books going "meow", and when we see birds, she says "meow". I guess she likes to categorize things into one simple word. For some reason, she loves getting her shoes and socks put on...maybe because she likes to take them off every time we get in the car. She likes to say socks and shoes and pretend to put on her socks while I am putting on the other.

Lily also found out she loves toothbrushes. She carries about 2 or 3 around with her all day long. Whenever she sees me brushing my teeth she always wants me to find hers or she'd settle for me giving her mine. This causes problems b/c right now we are down to Aaron having the last pink toothbrush. So yesterday I let her hold Aaron's toothbrush until we were about to leave, them I took it away. She caught wind of what I was doing and gripped even harder, so I had to yank it from her. Well, you would have thought I told her she could only drink her milk in the kitchen because she wept and wailed and hyperventilated and was very angry with me for over an hour. It was the first time she really cried like "my life sucks, I hate you mom" sobbing with the shoulders shaking and the hiccups of gulps of air.

See, in the past, all I would have to do is give her two different toothbrushes...the ones already ruined. But she knew she wanted the other one...the forbidden one. See, she can tell the difference now and forget about distracting her with another toy...she can remember what I did to her. Mom said that we kids went through our terrible two stages early. So, indeed Lily, get this out of your system early so we can be over and done with it already, that is fine with me.

[Comments] (2) Groundhog Day: Who'da thought that I would ever wish for the groundhog to see his shadow and get scared?! Here in San Antonio, I hope to have 6 more weeks of winter. I am liking this. Today it got up to 85 degrees. Let's keep it cool, I don't want there to be an early summer!

[Comments] (2) I acted like that once?!: Today is Lorna's 14th birthday. Yesterday at school I went to surprise her with balloons and a cookie cake. I didn't know if she would get embarrassed or not, but it was all in good fun and she loved the attention and was not embarrassed.

Then last night, mom and Ben rented a couple hotel rooms at Riverwalk Marriot so Lorna and her friends could hang out and play. Aaron and I drove them there and hung out as well to score some pizza and swimming in the heated pool and hot tub. In the car on the way up I was reminded of just how 5 14 yr old girls act when they are all together. At one point I just wanted to scream for a moment's silence so I could hear myself think. With all this giggling and shrieks of excitement I was going crazy. I looked at Aaron and he had a wide grin on his face and just rolled his eyes. Yes, I too, acted like this when I was 14 and around all my friends all at once. I admit it, and I had the time of my life!

[Comments] (2) My baby is so cute!: I just love her so much.

[Comments] (3) V-Day: Aaron and I are so horrible at surprises. For this Valentines Day we already have the presents we are giving to each other, and we have already used them. It is like this every holiday. I don't know why we just can't wait. I felt like I made progress on our anniversary because I gave him his gift the day before, but only because he wanted it! I just don't know why Aaron and I are so impulsive. I would really be mad at myself if I didn't really think it was more fun to find things out early. Like why wait when you still get the same effect? I guess I look at it like when you are having a baby. Why wait to find out the sex? Is it more gratifying waiting out the whole 9 months? I don't think so. It is still a great surprise whether it is at 20 weeks or 40 weeks. So why go threw the torture on the "unknown"? Plus you kinda need those exciting things since pregnancy is so long...but that is another subject for another day.

Back to Valentines Day gifts. I like picking out what I get, that way I know I like it. Aaron and I got each other board games. Not just any board games. We went ahead and took the advice of some friends and family and bought the game Ticket To Ride. A game tried and true, and it is fun. We played it last night and the night before with Lorna while house-sitting. I also think it is way fun because I won 2 out of 3 times, and the time I didn't get first I was barely second. I love being good at games.

The second game we got was Tigris and Euphrates. We haven't played it yet because you need at least 3 players and it is kinda complicated for Lorna, so we can't wait to try that one out. Anyway, I love, love, love playing games. I am a big Settler's fan and anything like it. I could never get sick of Settler's because it is different every time between whom you play with and how the board is set up. You will never hear me turn down a chance to play it.

On a more melancholy note, Aaron has finally broken me down and he got his own Xbox 360. Just when his old one was turning out to be my friend and frequently over-heating. I'll guess I will just have to have fantasies of smashing the 360 with a hammer (I think stemming from my childhood) or hurling the console onto the cement pavement.

[Comments] (3) Trees! In color!: Well, instead of spending money on a Spring Break, Aaron and I decided that we would spend it on landscaping the backyard. Ok, let me clarify: I decided to spend it on the backyard, Aaron decided to spend it on an Xbox 360. So long cruise, maybe next year--which is a lie, because I know I will not be able to go in the next two years because of an expanding family by then. My window of opportunity will have closed, but that is ok because there is still NEW YORK!! this summer with JULIE!! Yay NEW YORK! and yay Julie! (Ever feel like someone is screaming at you because they use so many exclamation points!!!?)

Anyway, since summer is rapidly approaching already in February, and I am starting to think about what to do with my newfound hobby. Aaron and I went to an inexpensive nursery (ok, fine it was Walmart's nursery, but we got the same tree we paid $90 for on sale at another place for $30 at Walmart) and got 5 baby trees to plant, yippee. I love trees, flowers, plants, anything green really and I can't wait to see what we can do with our backyard. I am anxious to start a garden and be able to go out back and get everything I need to make fresh salsa whenever I want. Or make a salad whenever I want. Or put flowers in a vase whenever I want. There is lots of work to be done though because last I checked half our yard is still covered in hip high weeds. How I would love to have grass in my backyard so Lily could play out there instead of a front yard where she immediately runs off to play with the dead mice in the field to the left of us, or to our neighbor's yard on the right of us. What is so great about his yard? Ours is bigger and better. Why can't you stay in our front yard?

My friend said having a backyard is like having an extra room in your house. Indeed. So this weekend, hopefully there will be a little 'by the sweat of your brow' business going on with 5 new trees planted and the ground cleared and prepped for some grass seed and vegetable garden. Yee-haw!

[Comments] (3) What if the hokey pokey is what it is all about?:

Some offensive bumper stickers I have seen:

"Jesus died, get over it."--I mean maybe you think that, but why advertise it on a bumper sticker? You want everyone to know what a bigot you are? It's so thoughtless and tacky.

"Stop litter, get your pets neutered." I agree with the getting pets neutered and everything, but I wouldn't say an animal was trash. Sheesh, some people...

[Comments] (1) Tax Man: I just finished my taxes, phew. I am a pretty happy person right now waiting for my refund.

[Comments] (2) When you get a second: I love when Lily sleeps in. So I thought I'd update my blog with the extra time since I can't be on the computer when Lily is awake because then she wants to be in the room I am in and the office is on it's way to being more organized to my craft/scrapbooking room and she always comes in and throws pictures around and crumples expensive scrapbook paper and what-not. So when she is asleep I get to get on the internet which is Aaron's version of my version of Xbox for him.

I love, love, love, love getting on the internet and feeling a little connected to people, news, family, stuff! I thought I would lay off it a little once I quit work since I wouldn't be in front of a computer all day with stuff to come up with to do on the internet to keep from getting more bored, but I still do that. Granted not as much because I hang with Lily mostly, but every second I get...

In my defense Aaron and I gave up TV (not movies) so I have to have some sort of medium past time for myself. Speaking of movies, I have watched a few good ones which are becoming rarer and rarer. Maybe because few good movies really come out or maybe because with our Netflix subscription we have seen just about all the good movies out there. I was going through the list of top 100 rentals and Aaron and I had seen most of them. If not from there, then from Clean Flicks. Speaking of Clean Flicks, we have a free month trial there so we have seen some good edited ones. Crash was very innovative, "riveting", cleaver, and thought provoking. I liked it. I also watched The Chorus which is a French film with subtitles, but do not let that disinterest you. It was an excellent show. Not some Hollywood pile of garbage served in pretty packaging.

Didn't like Corpse Bride that much, it was ok. I surprising liked Elizabethtown a lot. Kirsten Dunst was very good in it, making me like her when I usually don't. The Island was ok, and I have watched a lot of IMAX/discovery channel documentaries because who doesn't like a documentary? Ok, Aaron's not so fond of them, but I like them.

It is kinda funny that I went off on that tangent because I was going to post about V-day celebration last night. It was early because Aaron has a few tests this week he has to study for, but we tried a new Mexican restaurant Chuy's, and loved the salsas. Everything else was fine. Then we went to the video store and rented 24 Season 1. We watched a couple episodes and went to bed. Exciting I know.

Lily is now awake, and probably hungry because she is saying to her self, "mmm, yum-yum". I'm off...

[Comments] (3) : I wonder what is worse. A weepy newborn or a weepy toddler? Well, I got the latter. Constant crying and whining all the time now. She wakes up in the morning and I put her in her highchair, crying of course, and sometimes she is so mad that she crushes the fig newton or Nutri-grain bar in her hand and it squeezes out in between her fingers. How and why could she possibly be this mad? I just don't get it.

She has done some cute things though. This morning she saw me putting on my shoes and she said "go walk", because she knows we go on a walk every morning.

And last weekend she wanted something so she was grunting "uh,uh,uh..." (those of you who have watched Series of Unfortunate Events are familiar with this next part) I said, "I'm sorry, I don't speak monkey." And she paused and pondered and then responded, "who-ha". Good job Lily that, indeed, is 'monkey'.

[Comments] (3) : It turns out all the FUSS was about an ear infection. Dumb mommy.

[Comments] (2) Rain, Rain, go away: It has been chilly and rainy the past couples days. I like rain, but when it is freezing outside and when it stops the next day. I guess it is good to get the moisture, but I just have felt so lazy lately. I hate that feeling where you are unmotivated, and you feel worse for not doing anything about it. Plus you can't really do anything outside anyway. Two more weeks before Aaron's spring break.

[Comments] (2) lol: Aaron: You know you are getting old when Willem Dafoe has better skin than you. (Re: Robert Redford in The Clearing.

Yay!: Happy Birthday Ethan. 3 yrs old.

Daddy's girl: Sometimes I feel like Lily takes it out on me that her dad is not around as much as me. Every morning now she wakes up and I go and get her, she will go to the door leading to the garage or the window and say, "Papa, daddy, papa." It cracks me up because we have never said daddy to her, and the very few times I suppose other friends and relatives have maybe said it to her, she has picked up on it. We'll see which usage she settles on. She definitely loves her daddy though.

The other day a friend came over to play. Her friend picked up Lily's book, and oh my gosh. You would have thought she kicked Lily in the teeth. Lily didn't want her touching any of her toys. Everything I did to help make it better was for not. She was not happy until 20 mins later I took them both outside. Everything Caylee touched, Lily would have another meltdown, throw herself on the floor and cry and cry. My child is officially a brat.

[Comments] (3) Doing my part: I just finished painting our crown molding that Aaron and some friends are going to install on Sat in our front room/kitchen and master bed and bath. All 230 feet of it and 3 hours worth. My arm and back are sore. I am also going to be watching 2 children (one of them being an 8 month old) of one of the guys helping out on Sat. I just hope those boys figure out how to cut and install the molding quick. I definitely feel like I am taking part in this project in a real way. I hope it turns out looking really nice, and I will be relieved when I can scratch this project for home improvements off my list.

[Comments] (4) My brain feels like oatmeal: I checked out at the library Season 1 of Lost. It is a week rental, not to mention free, but with all that has been going on lately this week (Spurs games Aaron has to go to, flag football games, crown molding, and tests) we didn't have a ton of time to watch all 6 DVDs throughout the week. The DVD's were due back Friday with a late fee of $2/day so today, after 8:00 am church; we put Lily down and watched about 5 episodes back to back. We took a breather and then finished up what was left. The show is awesome. I just feel like crap for watching so much of it at one time. It is fun to watch shows when they come out on DVD though because you don't have to wait till the next week to see what happens next, no commercials, plus your life is devoted to the show for a week instead of fall and spring seasons. That part is pretty nice.

Now I am trying to motivate myself to be creative and finish making my dad a mini scrapbook of Lily for his birthday.

[Comments] (2) Refresher: So the crown molding thing pretty much took up most of Spring Break for us, however Aaron and I did take time out for a little weekender in Houston. We actually left Thurs afternoon and got to Pearland to see my old roommate for 2 years, Roxanne and her hubby and cute baby Michael and Ethan.

The babies were so cute together, Lily and Ethan, giving adorable hugs and kisses on command. (Yes the moms were already planning the pre-arranged marriage making sure we took pictures of them kissing when they were babies for their future wedding video. Okay, that sounds sick and pathetic, we weren't that bad.) We haven't seen these friends since they moved from Utah 2 years ago. It was a trip put off too long yet well worth the wait. I don't think I have laughed like that in about a year, I don't know maybe longer. It was so fun to reconnect with these friends and re-establish our friendship.

We got to see the Houston Space Center and old command/mission control room and all the NASA jazz. We also went out for a night on the town minus the kiddies to Kemah, a fun boardwalk on the pier and a good ol fresh seafood place. We also made a trip to their IKEA and got a cheap little toddler table with 2 chairs for Lily because she has recently taken up the past-time of coloring. I didn't want to buy a booster seat yet because I won't have her at the table for awhile because the table is on the carpet. Not really friendly for Lily's eating habits.

So we are home safe and recharged to attack the rest of this semester of dental school which is about 10 more weeks.

In other news, Davey (Aaron brother, home from the mish) is here visiting us during his Spring Break. And David, my brother is engaged and getting married May 26ish in San Antonio. Yay!

[Comments] (9) My better half: Aaron and I have been doing things lately that really make me appreciate having a husband. It seriously is so awesome to not have to dig 5 holes in our rock hard ground to plant trees. That task would seriously give me blisters. And when we were doing finishing touches on the crown molding, Aaron got the least desirable task because he was taller than me and could reach better. Not to mention mowing the lawn...hey, I would if I could pull the string thingy hard enough to actually start the lawnmower. And the best part is I never have to assemble or install anything because Aaron is so good at reading instructions and getting it done. I love it. Things just magically happen and appear. It is like whaala. I leave the house and come home and it is done. Or done in 7 hours in some cases (when Aaron cut a hole in the garage ceiling and installed an attic ladder). Even if it takes a long time in some instances, it is still very nice to have a handyman around.

[Comments] (2) Lily's 18 month appt: Weight: 20lbs 6.5 oz

Height:30 3/4"

Head Circumference: 17 3/4"

[Comments] (2) Why can't I quit you?: I'm halfway through 24 season 2 now...I'm telling you if you want a good thriller, check it out. I can't stop watching.

A bird's best friend: Usually when I walk with Lily, I give her some sort of snack to keep her occupied on our trek such as goldfish, fruit snacks, or animal crackers. The couple crackers and crumbs left in her stroller tray I usually just chuck on the ground to feed the birds and ants. The other morning, there were old crackers in her tray that I didn't chuck the previous day, so on the ground they went. When I came back to the car an hour later to my amazement they were all gone.

See, I had thought that over a day or so these crackers were being taken bit by bit by an ant or bird, but little did I know that within an hour, these apparently ravenous animals clean up in a matter of minutes. Except the frosted animal crackers with sprinkles on them...you know the ones. They don't really eat those up. And they take awhile to decompose. Sulfuric acid could not get the grease spots off of the pavement from those babies. So I don't toss those or really buy them anymore. The birds love the goldfish though. Might have something to do with the fish part?!

[Comments] (6) : Only a mother would wipe another human being's nose with her shirt.

[Comments] (1) Party at my house. : This past month has been just a whirlwind of visits. First, Aaron and I went to Houston. When we got back, Davey was in town. Then Aaron's uncle Barrie came for one night. Then Michelle came in town a little over a week. Then Jose and Louise...and they are still here. Now Julie is in town.

I really do like living here because everybody visits and I get to see them. Yay! Time to go play.

Progress: I noticed for the first time today that Lily understands when the books she looks at are upside down. Several times today she has picked up a book, looked at it and turned it right side up. Another sign of understanding is earlier she was screaming at me and I told her firmly to stop it now. She stopped and looked at me like I hurt her feelings. Maybe she is starting to understand and is getting to the point where I can reason with her about things. Then again maybe not.

I remember when I had Lily I kept telling my mom, "I just want her to stay this way. I just want her to stay little and precious." My mom's omniscient advice was "no, you don't because then you will never get to be excited about her getting her first tooth, or her first step, or her first words." It is very true because a child's learning and growth are so fun to watch.

Lily has this song and dance that she puts on for all visitors that goes like this..."Lily what does a doggie say? Ruff, ruff. Kitty Cat? Meow, meow. Monkey? Oh oh, ah ah ah. Ducky? Quack Quack. Sheep? Baa. Piggy? tsk (trying to make a snort, yet not getting the inhale) Horse? Neeee. Cow? Neeee. (We are working on that one.) She does a spontaneous repetition of all these things on her own while flipping through her books or just sitting in her chair. The other day we couldn’t get her to quite down from sounding like a cat in labor after seeing a gift bag with a cat on it.

She says tons more words to even remember and will repeat any simple word. She says her own name "Nene" and can say her aunt's name Nahna (Lorna).

Some of my favorites are when she comes up to me and grabs my earrings and says "pedy" (pretty) or when I wipe her nose and she says "goo gurl" because every time I wipe her nose and it is done I say good girl. And maybe potty training is around the corner because the other day I was using the restroom and she comes in and lifts the lid on her potty and sits down. I hope she potty trains soon because she has a bad habit of sticking her hands down her diaper in the back. She does this all the time, and one time too many has pulled out her little fingers with a nice present for me to clean up.

[Comments] (5) Chop Shop: I went and got my hair cut a couple days ago. And highlighted. It is just below my chin now and a summer-y highlight of caramel. Aaron loves it which makes me happy. I like it too. It is fun to switch it up a bit.

Today Aaron and I took Lily to get her 18-month pictures taken. So she is 19 1/2 months, I'm running a little behind, but I have to say that I have the most adorable child on the earth.

[Comments] (1) Get a life: You know you have watched too many episodes of 24 in a row when...your cell phone says "Network unavailable" and the idea briefly flashes through your mind that there are terrorist in a five mile radius of you that have a scrambler blocking all communication signals.

Death and Dying: I finally finished Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven. I really liked them both; Mitch Albom has a talent for writing. I went into them thinking that they would be guidelines to help with the grieving process of losing a loved one. I didn't think it did that for me, but I think it touched on things that we know deep down or the feeling that you have heard those things before but can't place it.

Anyway, they were touchy feel good stories and pretty short and worth a look.

[Comments] (1) Loving Father: Aaron wanted the nurse fired who told me to wait another week to bring Lily in about a diaper rash she already had over a week and a half, and to put "Dr. Smith's" on it instead of Desitin. So she has been walking around with a yeast infection for over 2 weeks because she said to wait and see.

At first I let out a fake laugh, but there was silence. Aaron said, "No, seriously, did you tell the Dr. to fire that nurse?"

Geez, don't mess with his baby.

[Comments] (7) : If you want to see my new hair cut, it is on Aaron's blog now.

[Comments] (3) Happy Easter: Yesterday, we went to the Lunt's for Lily's first Easter Egg Hunt. She was able to find about 4 eggs with our help and opened them right away and began eating jelly beans. She loved all the candy that day. She walked around with that egg in her hand and kept on eating.

She had lots of fun playing on their play set with all the kids. We also found out she has no fear of the water because she walked right up to the pool and plopped right in. Didn't even slow down. Luckily Aaron and I were watching her, and Aaron was in after her immediately...LUCKILY! She was a little shaken up, just hugging Aaron and laying her head on his shoulder. Aaron's phone is ruined with water all in it.

Hopefully she won't pull that again, but with how curious a child Lily is, I bet she will. She "explores" everything, and is becoming quite the tomboy loving the outdoors and getting all muddy in the dirt. She would live outside if we let her. She is tough as nails, and the nursery leaders all say so. They say she is the smallest, but is the toughest sometimes falling or getting pushed down, but never crying.

Telephone Conversation:

Me: "Ahhh, she just took out everything in my wallet and is using my stamps as stickers all over her body."

Mom: "The same child that ate a plate last night? I don't believe it!"

Yes, last night as Lily was center of attention at dinner, she was laughing and smiling with her evil smile and scrunched up nose, taking bites out of the Styrofoam plate and spiting them out like an animal tearing flesh from the bone.

Oh, dear.

QOTD: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."-Dr. Suess

[Comments] (7) Let them eat cake: I have been taking a cake decorating class from Michael's every week for the past 3 weeks. I have one more class left and then I graduate course 1. I can't believe I did this, but I offered to make David and Ashley's wedding cake in 6 weeks. I hope they are satisfied with what little knowledge I have for making wedding cakes. By that time I will be almost done with course 2 in the Wilton cake decorating courses. I don't think it is as hard as it looks, but it is definitely time consuming. And I won't be able to go to Schlitterbahn with everyone the day before the wedding.

I remember going shopping for wedding cakes when I was engaged and I was very discouraged when the cost of a wedding cake was a large chunk out of my small budget. Not only was it several hundred dollars for the cake, but the estimates didn't even come close to feeding the amount of people we were inviting. Luckily, there was someone in my ward that made a beautiful cake that was inexpensive.

This is what I am hoping for David and Ashley...for them to get a beautiful cake that is inexpensive. Am I crazy??? YES!

Chilling: Capote. I wouldn't say it was enjoyable to watch, but it was interesting. I can see what all the rave about Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting was, though. He did really well.

: My days remind me a lot lately of a picture frame my mom used to have hanging in her laundry room. It was of a mother looking exhausted sitting with her hand to her forhead and kids all scattered around her feet making demands.

The picture read, "All Tired Out, and the days work is only halfway done." Or something like that anyway. My mantra is, "All Tired Out, and only one thing of the days work is done."

Happy Birthday: Michelle turned 19 yesterday!

[Comments] (2) Family Fun: I talked to Alyson and Mom today. I'm beginning to wish I were in Bakersfield with everyone, hanging out and enjoying each other's company. I wish Frances was going to live longer because I was going to have her come watch when our second baby is born since she said she wanted to have that chance in this life. Sigh.

[Comments] (4) 'Tis true: As before told here, Aaron and I are indeed expecting. I am 8 1/2 weeks along. Mind the 1/2 week since every single day counts when you are pregnant. One more day you don't have to endure again.

However, I should not complain because this pregnancy has been merciful on me compared to my last one. Sick, but not too sick. I have been very tired and sleepy though constantly. I feel like taking a nap at 11:00 after sleeping 9 hours until 8:00. I'll take sleepy though if it means I don't have to be too miserable.

I had my first appt earlier this week. I took Lily with me because I didn't feel like calling for favors. Never again. She started crying because she thought the doctor was hurting me. I got an ultrasound and every thing looks good so far. You can barely see anything except a tiny little heart beating and a mass of a baby. It wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be for the ultrasound, because it really didn't look like anything.

My doctor also prescribed me meds for the nausea. I don't like them because they make me feel tired but not sleepy. Tired but jittery and restless. Not a fun feeling, kinda like you are on caffeine pills. I really like my doctor though and hope every thing goes smoothly.

[Comments] (2) Full Circle: There just aren't words to describe the loss our family has had with Frances' passing today. I miss her terribly and can't wait to read all the funny conversations she had this week before passing. She squeezed every drop of life out of her weak little body.

: It's amazing how many clothes you have that you think you don't have when you do your laundry after 3 weeks. I found jeans and shirts I forgot about.

[Comments] (1) Good thing for me: One of the greatest inventions for a pregnant person is the Flintstone’s Gummy Vitamin. It means that I can take my yummy vitamins and not have a tummy-ache afterwards. Why do regular vitamins hurt a pregnant person's tummy? I have no idea.

But, what is an awesome invention for pregnant women is a horrid idea for children. Having given Lily the delicious vitamin, she doesn't want just one. She wants more. Please. I really want to reward her every time she asks me something nicely ending in please, but I can't with these vitamins. A child just thinks they are candy, not something that you could o.d. on and get sick. And I get a sad face when she doesn't get another one. But she gets her daily vitamins.

I could get real gummy bears to give to her when she asks for more, but then she would only eat candy, which might be a step up from a dinner she had last week. We went to Arby's and she wouldn't touch the roast beef or bread even though it was covered in cheese. So instead she ate a couple of packets of ketchup and 5 curly fries to go with her ketchup. And yet this child has consistently had 3 B.M.'s a day for the past few weeks. There's a conundrum for ya, more comes out than goes in. Explain that one to me.

Personal slave: Today Lily obeyed my commands when I told her to, "go get me a diaper." She has been pretty good at picking up her books too when she is told. I mean I'll take it if she puts 5 of them away and then starts to play again. I mean, why should I feel guilty that I am making her do things for me when I have to change her stinky bum 3 times a day? Too bad she is not tall enough to reach the cups, because I get really thirsty when I am pregnant.

[Comments] (3) Nice gesture: You know when someone flashes their lights at you when they are passing? Well, it means you are either driving in the dark without lights or it means that someone is warning you that there is a cop out for the kill just ahead. Someone flashed their lights today to warn me about a cop hiding. I just thought it was really nice of them to do that. I wasn't really speeding, but I have been the victim of shoddy police work lately and I got a ticket when I wasn’t even speeding; so you can never be too careful.

[Comments] (1) Worst morning: This morning I woke up to not one but two smoke detectors going off...at 5:00AM. One of which was in Lily's room. It turns out the batteries were low, but why did it have to be 5:00AM? So Lily came in our bed to lie down and sleep because Aaron brought her in. She laid there quietly for about an hour, then she started fully waking up. She was reaching in the dark feeling my face and my arms eventually getting brave enough to start walking around on the bed, stepping on my legs. I know she is only 20lbs, but it still hurt.

Then she gets out of bed...great. First I hear this pop pop poppoppoppop. She found her little popping push toy in the dark. Nice, hopefully she will be fine just playing while I try to rest. Then I realized the gate in the kitchen wasn't up because we take it down when she goes to bed. So next thing I hear is Lily rummaging around the pantry, and I hoped she was not in the trash eating something that could make her sick. She came back into the room with a granola bar and a package of peanut butter crackers, which I know she doesn't like a lot. She only eats the peanut butter off the cracker, but won't touch a peanut butter sandwich. Won't even taste it. Strange.

So I open the granola bar for her and she gets down and eats it in the living room, but saves enough to throw on my bed and get stickiness on it. By this time Aaron's alarm goes off and he puts her in her high chair with breakfast. By now I have been awake since 5:00AM because once I am awake lately I can't get back to sleep. That is why I take half a Unisom, but I don't want to get addicted to a sleep aid so I take one every other night. I didn't take it to say the least last night. So I am fully awake and starving yet queasy and I knew if I didn't get up and eat then, the whole day I would be sick.

The one good thing about this ordeal was that I was able to go on my walk at 8:00 and it was comfortable, instead of later and dying from the heat. Did I mention it is already in the high 90's every day now? Geez, some Spring.

Tomorrow I am off to Utah with Ben, Lorna, Amanda, and Lily for Frances' funeral. It turns out we are able to go even though we will only have one day really there. Fingers crossed that Lily is good in the car for 4 days straight practically, and that I don't miss Aaron too much.

[Comments] (3) Sisters: I am so glad I have sisters. Otherwise, I would have the same old clothes. After going through Julie's D.I. pile I left with a suitcase that was literally 50 lbs of clothes. Granted I had clothes from when I came to Utah, but still. I went through and picked out about a 1/3 of what Julie was throwing out. I don't know what I would do without the shop of Julie, Michelle, and Lorna hand-me-downs.

[Comments] (5) Vacation--I think: I am glad I got to make Aunt Frances's (with an apostrophe s, as directed by whatever source it was Dave Matkin found proving Ben right that you do write it how you say it) funeral. Otherwise, I would have regretted it the rest of my life. Ben Taylor was very kind, and made sure I was comfortable the whole drive up to Utah. Lily did fine, she could have been a lot grumpier, so I am glad we survived.

Lucky for me, however, Ben insisted that he fly Lily and me back to TX. Maybe he didn't remember well enough just how much "fun" (my euphemism for just like a shotgun blow to the head) it is to travel with kids. Lily did act weird the whole trip, not really talking as much as she did and she was too shy to do her song and dance for everyone on demand, and she didn't stray to far away from me. She still is acting a little clingy.

I got to stay with Dad when I got there, and it was way fun because everyone stayed there the first night practically. A big slumber party. Dad had just gotten back from China from a business trip, and he gave the kids DVD's he had gotten for a dollar each. I got 25 of them and some of the movies I have aren't even on video. Hopefully they all work. I also had my fix of Cafe Rio first thing we got there in case the chance didn't come up again. The fajita chicken salad is something I wish I had here especially for my pregnancy.

The funeral was too good for words. Booner watched Lily graciously and met us at the burial then back to the church for lunch. Afterward, most everyone went to SLC to see Uncle Jon's banjo that is displayed in the Church History Museum for winning the best something award, but I was so exhausted I had to stay and take a nap. I had a relaxing night at Dad's with Alyson, Dave, and the boys, Michelle, Dad, Jan, and of course Winger's. The other thing I wanted to eat while in Utah. Winger's salad and wings. If you have never been pregnant, you have to realize a pregnant women's world revolves around food. In the mornings I have to force myself to fix Lily's breakfast first before devouring the 9 pieces of toast or whatever I eat for breakfast. It turns you into a moody bottomless pit.

The next day was Sunday, and I would have felt guilty missing church on Mother's Day so I went and came home early so Lily and I could get our beauty sleep. We had a BBQ for dinner with everyone and Rachel and Leonard came over for a bit. I am glad we got to spend some extra time with cousins because I don't get to see them much. Julie's boyfriend Ben came over too.

Monday I packed to leave, barely fitting all my *new* clothes in my suitcase, and having to leave my shoes behind for David to bring in a couple weeks. Dad and I met up with Dave and Aly and the boys at the Famous Red Iguana for lunch. Their salsa was very good. My enchiladas were pretty good too. Their famous mole was ok; I couldn't decide if I liked it or didn't prefer it. After having some of Aly's and burping the flavor up on the plane, I decided I just don't like mole. I guess that means I am not cultured. I almost had a heart attack because I was running late to the airport, but my flight was delayed an hour and 20 minutes so it turned out ok. After the first leg, I wanted to leave Lily on the plane, but then she made up for it the second (longer) leg by sleeping the whole time. I think I reinjured my tailbone holding her while she slept, but the pain was worth her being still and quiet for everyone else's sake.

After I got home Aaron took me out for a Mother's Day dinner and gave me a very special card. Aaron took his last final today and we have 2 whole months to relax.

[Comments] (1) : Yesterday, Aaron and I bought Lily a set of 10 chunky books from Costco for the amazing price of $12.99. We have already gotten our monies worth since Lily has not had any other book in her hand since 4:00 pm yesterday. She loves her new books and wants us to read them to her back to back to back. She is pretty good at pointing to everything on the pages. She is such a curious girl.

She is also not to be trusted in the mornings anymore. Every time we put her to bed in jammies that button, in the morning she has popped all her buttons open and taken her diaper off. This morning when I went to get her she had taken her diaper off, and to my surprise, yet I wasn't really surprised, she had laid a load on the left side of her crib. She didn’t get too much of it anywhere else, just a little on her toes and on her blanket "ainky" as she calls it. Oh well, she needs new jammies anyway.

[Comments] (2) : I remember thinking last time I was pregnant if I was ever going to feel normal again. After Lily was born, I did get to feel normal again, so at least I know I can. I just can't help but think that still when everyday I feel like external forces are controlling me and my body.

All in a day's work: I really like having people come stay with me because then it forces you to clean your entire house at once. You have to do it and you have a deadline.

Last night I found a scorpion in my kitchen. It ran into the sliding glass door frame and I thought I killed it when I opened the glass door. It turns out it wasn't smashed because I saw it again in front of my room when I was going to put away laundry. I trapped it under a cup and when Aaron got home he tried to make me kill it. I may kill the spiders for him but I will not kill scorpions. Especially two inch ones. So it is still under a plastic cup, now on top of a paper plate on our kitchen counter. Nice.

[Comments] (2) Evil wears pink: Today we went to Jason's Deli and after lunch they give you free soft serve cones. Well ice cream in a cone is one of Lily's favorite things. I tried to give her licks of mine but she wouldn't have it. She wanted her own. So Aaron got one for her. It was time to leave and Lily wasn't finished with her cone. She started taking bites out of the side and ice cream was dripping. We couldn't take her in the car like that so Aaron took the cone away saying "all done". She of course started screaming, and I saw how happy she was with her cone so I said, "Let’s just let her finish". So we give her back the cone and she starts licking it and let's out a squeal "heh-hah". Then Aaron mimicking Lily translated it as, "heh-hah, I always win".

I couldn't stop laughing. Isn't it the truth?!

[Comments] (3) Fruit of our labors: Aaron's garden has so far yielded 2 yellow squash and one cucumber. He is very proud of it. First he built the raised garden, then he bought 2 truckloads of dirt and spread it in the garden, and then he planted all the plants. Everyday he goes out to see the progress. Sometimes two and three times a day. So far we have growing one banana pepper, one bell pepper, one tomato, eight cucumbers, one yellow squash, and two heads of lettuce.

I am very proud Aaron's hard work to bring food on the table. I wonder how fast vegetables will be pouring in once the plants really take off. Unfortunately, the initial cost of the garden this first year (approx. $120) will be far higher than the cost of actually buying the vegetables at the store. Perhaps next year when we only spend money on seeds, we will get great tasting vegetables and save money.

[Comments] (1) Owie, bum: Lily has another yeast infection or at least we think. The doctor says she sees a little yeast, but she also has a really bad rash. We can never get rid of it too because she goes #2 three times a day usually waking up with a load in the pants. I have no idea when she first goes; I just hope it isn't in the middle of the night so she has it on her skin that long. But even if it is first thing in the morning, the girl just keeps going and going.

I am getting pretty tired of changing these diapers all the time. I wish it could be more normal and only once a day. I could handle that. I am beginning to think she might be allergic to something she eats. The doctor also said the long term solution is to potty train her so she doesn't have moist diapers and that she has sensitive skin that can't handle it. Potty training is not really in the cards right now. She only tells us about it after she goes because she is saying owie bum and pointing to it. Poor thing.

This is the month of birthdays by the way. Happy Birthday to Erin a couple days ago, Booner yesterday, Atticus and Chuck today, and Julie and Andrew tomorrow.

[Comments] (3) Somthing to write about: Lately, I haven't had a lack of things I could write about; I basically have had no desire to be on the computer with morning sickness and all. This is week 15 for me, and I am happy to report that I have been feeling better. I still have had trouble sleeping and a little bit of crazy hormones but my nausea is tapering off.

I just got called to be Laurels Advisor which the Bishopric probably did because of my recent spotty attendance to church. I am a little excited about the calling but mostly scared and the thoughts "Why me?" have crept in.

Also, this passed week we have had 2 new additions to the family. Jenni had her baby last Wed and she and Josh named him Austin Merrick. Then Erin had her baby on Friday and Jake and Erin named him Luke Thomas. They were actually in the hospital on overlapping days and were able to get a picture together in the hall with their little crib baskets. These are 2 out of the 7 new grandchildren coming in 6 months for the Smith family. They will be more than doubling grandkids. Melanie is pregnant with identical twin boys and Hailey is pregnant with identical twins, not sure what the sex is. And of course I am pregnant. We figured Christmas 2007 there will be 7 one-year olds running around! How crazy will that be?

Now that Lily is awake from her nap, I think we will go to Fiesta Texas water park and cool off.

[Comments] (1) Poor Baby: Lily is sick with fever today. It is her first one. She has slept a long time. The only good thing that comes from fever is a very snuggly baby. When I went to the store to get a thermometer and medicine, I laid Lily down by Aaron and when I got back I found them both asleep. Aaron said that Lily said, "snuggle...pillow". Lily never snuggles in bed and lies down quietly. She isn't too bad though so hopefully she can feel better soon.

[Comments] (2) First name basis: Lately it has been fun and interesting to try and decipher the new words Lily has been rapidly adding to her vocabulary. She parrots a lot of what we say, and she can even count to three now. I had to chuckle when I took Lily outside with me to see where Aaron had gone and I heard her call out, "Aurn". I don't know why I find it so amusing.

But then today when Aaron and I were out running errands, we were standing in line and Aaron was holding her. Lily reached for me and kept repeating, "dee-din". I thought, "hmm, I have heard Lily say that word before, but what context was it in or what was she playing with." I looked around me and thought about what I was holding thinking maybe I could find a clue as to what "dee-din" was. I asked Aaron, "what is dee-din?" and as soon as I said it out loud I knew exactly what it was. It sounded just like what Joe used to call me when he and I were little and what my mom sometimes calls me now. "Didden" actually is how he said it.

Lily was calling me by my first name. Aaron and I got a kick out of it, and we couldn't figure out how she knew my name since Aaron rarely calls me Kristen. I guess all the time we have been spending at my mom's and her and Lorna calling me Kristen maybe she figured it out.

Anyway, before I was a mom I kinda rolled my eyes at kids that called their parents by their first name, but now after hearing my name from Lily's lips, I think it is so precious. I guess it makes my heart swell that Lily is really getting to know me as her mama if that makes sense.

[Comments] (4) New Best Friend: When Jenni had her baby we got to have Caden come over for 2 whole days. Lily just loved playing with "Cay-en" so much that she talks about him non-stop. We have a picture on the fridge of their family and Lily always has to see and point to "Cay-en". They really did play well together. Lily didn't even get jealous when Caden played with her toys. I think it might have something to do with Caden being a boy and maybe she has a crush on him because she has a meltdown when her girlfriend Maddie plays with her toys.

The greatest gift that Caden gave to Lily though was about a month ago when Jenni, Erin, and I met at Pei Wei for lunch. Caden has his portable DVD player on and since Caden was watching Elmo it instantly became Lily's favorite show. (Another reason why I think it is a crush because she adores everything Caden does.) Even though Lily had no idea what this Elmo puppet was about and she had only see like 5 minutes of the show, she would randomly just say "Elmo". We would be driving in the car 2 weeks after seeing it and she still remembered it and would say "Elmo". Then we got cable a couple of weeks ago for the summer since Aaron was out of school and I am pretty much homebound from this pregnancy and the heat. We were flipping through channels one morning and there he was. Lily knew instantly that it was Elmo and she began squealing for joy, "ELMO!” Aaron even said one morning he opened her door and the first thing she said was...you guessed it, Elmo.

Now, I'm still not sure if this is a cute thing or not. I am not the type of person that wants to deal with kids' TV withdrawals, and that is why before this Lily has never watched TV really. An occasional Baby Einstein video when I am in the shower once a week, but alas! In my moment of pregnancy weakness, aghhh what the heck.

[Comments] (3) Back to real life: We're back from our 10 day vacation from Gilbert, AZ and Zion National Park. First we went to AZ to visit Aaron's parents and his sister Melanie and Joe and their kids Collin and Kate. We hung out a few days in AZ before driving to Utah for Aaron's annual extended family reunion at Zion National Park. Here are some of the highlights of the trip:

• Food, glorious food that I did not have to make

• Swimming in Brammy and Ga-ga’s pool

• A relief from the heat

• Catching up with Mel and her pregnancy with twins

• Lily becoming better friends with Kate and Collin (no pushing down the stairs incidents)

• Near perfect weather at Zion (if you only knew how rare this is)

• Cousins, Cousins, Cousins (getting to see Aaron’s cousins and catching up with them)

• Not having to camp at Zion

• Game night, every night (one word: Werewolf)

• I was over my morning sickness, so I felt pretty good

• Melanie gave me maternity clothes she wasn’t going to use, and a lot of them

• Getting to see Ben, Hailey, Mila, Ethan, Davey, and Booner

• Ethan telling me I was his friend

• Mila being a great babysitter at times, and she, Lily, and Ethan playing together well

• Getting to find out Lily’s weaknesses: chocolate, chips, and the swing

• Not being one of the people who got food poisoning

• Lily perfecting her snuggle ability and being able to take a nap with me (I think this might be a bad thing too, I’ll get back to you on that)

• And one of the best things about my vacation is, I came home to a clean house that my mom had totally cleaned for me. She even hung a picture that we bought months ago.

[Comments] (4) Heinous Crime: A heinous crime was committed against me recently. Three days ago to be exact. Here's a review on the definition of heinous: Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable. It's that bad. You want to know what this heinous crime is, do you? Just ask Aaron. He is the perpetrator.

Aaron, without my permission, put Lily down in here big girl bed. To SLEEP. I am also holding other people responsible here. For one, my mother. She kindly cleaned my house before I got home on my vacation, and as I went room to room eyes wide open with tears coming down my face as I examined how every room was neat and tidy, we came last to Lily's room. Not much needed to be done with it, but she did make the twin bed that needed to be made after the guests of David's wedding left. She suggested in the way my mom "suggests", maybe you should teach Lily to sleep in her nice bed so you can finally put away the port-a-crib. I said, how dare you say such a thing, you want me to go even crazier? I am not teaching her until she can climb out of her crib even if it means I have to buy another crib for baby-on-the-way, because I love my sleep that much. Hindsight 20/20, it was at that point Aaron was cooking up his evil scheme.

Then the next day came and the other people to blame came over. Josh and Jenni told us how they had just switched Caden over to a toddler bed and things went amazingly smoother. Apparently, the idea turned into a plan of action for Aaron at that point, because just minutes after they left Aaron without being asked put Lily down for her nap.

"You're going to be really mad," he said. "I did something that you are not going to like." Then he made me play the guessing game. I don't remember if I guessed it or not because everything is just a blur from then on from the lack of sleep I have been getting. Sure Lily goes to sleep on her own, but somewhere in the morning’s tossing and turning she realizes that she doesn't have to stay put and gets up earlier than before.

Last night Aaron had to go up to the scout camp to supervise for a day leaving me home with Lily. I knew I could not do mornings without Aaron yet so I put her in her crib. I hope it does not ruin her chances of going from crib to bed, but I am just not happy about her not sleeping (or at least playing in her crib quietly) like she used to. I don't know what I am going to do when Aaron starts school in less than 2 weeks.

[Comments] (3) : So I am trying to grow out Lily's bangs, but I am going through the past 2 months of pictures and I am starting to wonder why I want my child going around looking like an orphan. It would be a little easier to keep her looking cute if she would only leave her hair rubber bands in. She sometimes throws a full on fit when I put her hair up to keep it from getting in her eyes.

An update on the sleeping in the bed thing...She took an hour and a half to fall asleep tonight and when I went to check on her it turns out she locked the door from the inside. Aaron is gone again at the scout camp and won't be back till morning. He is the one that knows where all the right tools are to open locks. Plus his cell phone goes straight to voicemail. Maybe when Lily wakes up she can unlock it again.

[Comments] (8) The results are in...: We are having a BOY. They say he looks healthy and right on the due date. We are very excited and Aaron and I even agree on some boy's names as opposed to when we were pregnant with a girl. Good thing too because I think Lily would have been jealous of a girl. We are very happy parents.

[Comments] (2) Cuteness: There is this really cute thing Lily has been doing for awhile now. I don't remember when it started but it has been since she has started talking. I may have even mentioned it before, but Lily will summon her toys by saying, "'mere" and open and close her little fist. "'Mere duckies" or "'mere Elmo". It totally cracks me up the way she does it. Sometimes she will just see her toy and get excited and say, "Hi duckies" and then she will wave her adorable wave that I also love. She keeps her arm still and straight out and will just flip her hand up and down.

She is quite the sponge now too. Occasionally she will repeat that last thing we say, especially if she is talking on the phone to you. "What are you doing?"

"Doing."

"Are you being a good girl?"

"Good girl."

"Are you playing with your new Elmo doll?"

"Elmo."

But Aaron and I have to be careful now what we say because I have heard Lily say freak and even in the right context. Could have been coincidental. The twin bed experience has been much better. She has resumed to making noise for us to come get her at the normal times again. Plus I never find her lying on the floor sleeping. She knows to always get back in bed and she can do it pretty easily. Too bad that mattress is really uncomfortable so it is hard to lie down beside her. She seems to love her big girl bed though.

[Comments] (2) : Every time I am on the computer in the office, Lily always wants to get on my lap and type. Just a couple days ago while I was reading Susie's blog, Lily climbed up and said, "dolphin". Of course Susie has a shark on her webpage and when I corrected her she said, "oh, du-nah". That's right, I taught her that a shark says du-nah, just like the theme music on Jaws.

Today I took her into the doctor because last night I was up about as much as I was when she was 9 months old. She would wake up every couple hours wailing and howling in pain. At the doctor's they said she had a raw throat and that it tested negative for strep so it was a virus.

It was Aaron's first day back at school again today too, so neither of us is happy with the sleep we got. Rick and Sherry left this afternoon, and now we are visitor-less. Summer is kinda over for us now in a way, but it was fun. I think I will go take a nap.

[Comments] (2) Terrible Two's: Truth or Myth: Wow, August is here already. I can't believe that we have lived here over a year now. This month Lily turns 2, and I turn a quarter century old! It is unbelievable how much Lily has metamorphasized into a walking, talking personality.

I feel compelled to let everyone in on the gold nugget memories Lily has left for me these past couple weeks. After being sleep deprived from Lily's illness (the one where she woke up every other hour screaming in pain from her sore throat) I really needed to rest a little bit so I could make it through the day. It wasn't quite Lily's naptime, but I hoped that if I turned on Wonder Pets that she might be occupied enough to let me lie down on my bed for a half hour.

In the next 20 minutes in 5 minute increments she would come to visit me, climbing on the bed and stepping on my hair saying "nigh, night...sleeping" and poking me, then suddenly her hands in my face smelled familiar. Actually they smelled pretty good. I shot outta bed when I placed the smell back to a lotion scent I owned. In the family room she had smeared lotion all over her tiny table and chairs set. Luckily, only trace amounts were on the carpet. The punishment does not end there.

Later on that day, probably while I used the restroom-who knows, but while Lily was unattended for a short amount of time, I returned to the family room to find Lily standing on her mini table with parts of the internal a/c temperature control in her mouth! She had broken the case off and opened it, ripped out the coiled wire that connects to a glass tube of mercury. The little pointy hand that tells you what temperature your house is set at, gone and irreparable. There is a bright side to this mishap as well. Along with the carpet being spared, the glass tube with mercury was not broken; therefore Lily was not poisoned and I did not have to call a repairman to fix it because this tube I guess is the thing that triggers the a/c to kick on when it gets too hot. Thank you for saving me some money, Lily. How very considerate.

It gets better...the same day after I put Lily to bed in her big girl bed for bedtime, I always have to check on her a couple times before she actually koncks out. I round the hallway corner to see light leaking out of the floor crack in the door. Hmm, how on earth did she ever turn the light on, she can't even open the door. I open the door face to face with the monster! She had climbed up her diaper changing table which is up against the wall when you open the door. Apparently, climbing her mini table gave her the idea that she can climb anything she wants to. Everything on top of the diaper changing table was flung on the floor and she had taken off all the pictures on her magnetic decorative board hanging on the wall and half of the magnets were in her mouth.

Nice ending to the perfect day. I scolded her and put her back in bed hoping that she wouldn't have the guts to attempt that climb again. However, my instincts were correct and I waited by the door to see the light turn on just seconds after I closed it. Now, I was mad. The heck I was going to be rearranging furniture after such an exhausting day. Besides, I had already been forced to move Lily's table because she climbed up on that. So I pulled out the big guns. I got Lily's port-a-crib out, which I had just taken down, and set it up. If she wasn't going to stay still in her bed, then I was forced to trap her in.

Wrong. I didn't see her do it, but I know she climbed right out of that crib and up on the diaper changing table and turned on the light. (Good foresight on Aaron's part that she was going to be doing this shortly and started training her to sleep on the big girl bed.) I wouldn't have minded so much that she was roaming around her room because she was doing it every night, but getting onto the diaper changing table was dangerous and high and I didn't want her falling and breaking her neck. So I did what I had to do in the past. When she kept taking all the books off the bookshelf cupboard, I had to move them somewhere else. When she kept getting into the kitchen and into pots and pans and getting them all over the floor so I had to wash the pots and tupperware again and again, I had to put a gate up even though Aaron and I have to hurdle over it and sometimes trip. When she kept getting into my jewelry, lotion, trash, and what not in my room, I had to keep the door closed at all times. I had to give up one more spot in my house that was mine and safe. I had to move her diaper changing table out of her room, which has all her clothes in baskets mind you, and put it somewhere else. I still don't know where to put it. I guess I have to find somewhere else to put Lily's clothes sooner or later with another one coming, but I would have liked to have done it on a less pressing schedule. I consider myself to be semi-organized with a place for everything and everything in its place, and I don't like things to be in limbo.

I can't complain about not having my things to myself any more. I mean I can't even use the restroom without an unwelcome visitor busting in on me or sleep in till whenever I want, but I did make this decision to be in this predicament. But I can warn those of what's to come when they have a very curious independent 2 year-old, and solicit sympathy from those who know what I am talking about. But there are some perks to the job. There are plenty smiles, tears of joy, and belly laughs when they learn new things or do or say something funny. Like who can get mad at a child who walks out of a room trying to be sneaky when they think you can't see them because they have a blanket on their head? Or when they say I love you it sounds like "hi lover".

Basically, Lily is teaching me how to not be so selfish, and I really need that lesson. So the moral of the story is I asked for it when I got pregnant, and I need it to make me a more understanding, patient, and less rigid person and one who is more fun to be around in the end. Looking back, I have come a long way since I got married on being a little less closed-minded and selfish, but I still have a long way to go.

[Comments] (1) Update: I took Lily's car seat out of the car because now that I am Laurel Advisor I had a youth temple trip to go on and needed the space for rides. I thought as long as I had the car seat out, I might as well wash the lining. I came out from brushing my teeth to get ready for the temple trip and Lily had ripped all the protective styrofoam lining, crucial to head protection. I was literally gone for only two minutes. Makes me wonder if she plans these things out on purpose. So now I have no car seat until the $10 ordered part comes in the mail. I guess all is well because I had to take the car into the shop yesterday and I won't get it back till tonight anyway.

Booner came into town for a couple days with a friend en route to Florida. We ate Rudy's BBQ and hung out. I got to see both babies and hold them. They are getting big and are so cute. I was pretty amazed that when Booner and his friend left, they left the guest room neater than it was before. The bed was made and extra sheets were folded nicely. Who'da thought two single boys could be so courteous.

I guess today I will be scrubbing bathrooms and the kitchen since I don't have a car to procrastinate the work. Our house was sorta volunteered for a neighborhood get-together with all the new people that moved into the ward in our neighborhood. It should be fun, hopefully.

[Comments] (2) Shopping Spree: Anybody that knows me knows that all I need is an excuse to go shopping and I am all about it. I am a very decisive shopper. I usually go to the mall with a purpose or a list of things I have been wanting. I walk into a store just glancing briefly at the front items while bee lining for the back where the sale rack is. I very rarely buy any clothes that are not on sale, and the feeling of getting something on sale is not easily duplicated. I have these crazy ideas that I can't afford not to buy whatever it is that is on sale. If it is a great deal, then I feel like the money saved is money earned. Money in my pocket. Like I didn't pay full price so that means I get to buy even more things. And heck, since it is such a great deal I'll throw in another one in a different color.

Lately, I can only shop when I "need" something, stupid dental school student loans. This past little while my needs have been new maternity clothes and new baby boy clothes. I like having needs because then it means I don't have to feel guilty spending money we don't have. Plus, I have not been shopping for a long time for myself or anything else really.

Going to the outlet mall has been on my mind recently, so when Aaron had Friday off (ok, he skipped one little class) I thought it was the perfect time for us to do something as a family that was fun. Lucky for us we went on the first day of tax free clothes shopping. There is no tax for 4 or 5 days a couple weeks before school starts so the residents of Texas are able to afford back to school clothes for their kids and school uniforms. It was a little crowded but not too bad and definitely worth the $30 we saved going this weekend.

First we hit Old Navy. Aaron found a couple polo shirts he needed for school, and I found some pretty cute things for Lily but only bought the ones that were really good deals and the things she needed like a new dress. For some reason Lily outgrows dresses more quickly than anything else, and she only has her Christmas one and David's wedding outfit that she wore. I found a few pants for baby boy Smith. It is such an eye-opening experience shopping for boys. I feel so bad for those moms that have never experienced the joy of shopping for a girl. Boys just aren't fun to shop for. I kept trying to get excited about it but I just kept thinking about going back to the girl’s section. I don't know if it is just because I am not a boy, but you can not get excited about seeing the cutest button up shirt and tie as you can for an adorable little jumper with a matching t-shirt that has scalloped sleeves and neck and matching little shoes. Nothing makes me want to say good-bye to my "do not buy unless on sale rule" like a precious little baby girl outfit. The other reason why I feel bad for those with only boys is because oh my gosh! every store has this gigantic section for girls and about a tenth section for boys’ clothes. There just isn't any selection. Hmm, what to buy: button up shirt with jeans or a polo shirt with jeans. Tough.

As you people can tell by the length of this blog entry about my shopping trip...I don't get out much. Feel free to stop reading if you are bored because the rest is still going to be all about me practically robbing stores of their merchandise. Ok, back to the baby clothes. Next stop was Children's Place. I really like Children's Place; it is probably the best store I can count on to find what I like for a really good price usually every time I go in there. Tons of things that were already marked down had 50% off on top of that. And this time, they really did have a lot of boy things that caught my eye. I got a lot of shorts/pants/shirts for baby boy smith (again, that's all your choices are with boys) and a few outfits for Lily.

Lily was screaming "hungry" and "lunch" while we were in line so we grabbed some lunch at Cracker Barrel. Lily has been quite the eater this week, it must be a growth spurt, and I am not kidding, she probably ate the same quantity of food as me. The girl really was hungry. After lunch we made our way to Gap and found nothing that I had to get for the baby. Gap is a little expensive sometimes when it comes to baby clothes. Then we landed in Carter's. When I was pregnant with Lily my first purchase for her other than a pack of tiny onesies as a present for Aaron when I told him we were pregnant was her baby blanket. She has slept with this blanket almost every night of her life. She calls it her "ainky" but is getting better at saying "blankey" and she loves it and her lamb. It is a really soft pink blanket with satin on the underside that I got at Carter's in the outlet mall in Park City. I knew I was going to get one for baby number two and was very happy to see that two years later, they still have the same blankets that they did 2 years prior. Aaron chose the green one for our little guy and it is so soft. Carter's probably had the most impressive sales. They had little overalls and button up shirt outfit for $3.99. Not each, the whole outfit was $3.99! So I bought ten different ones. Like I said, I couldn't afford not to get them. Plus they make great baby shower gifts.

Last stop was Pottery Barn. It was at this point that I saw the most amazing deal that I started foaming from the mouth and twitching so much that Aaron had to shoot me with a tranquilizer. Right here was the cutest twin comforter that I had ever seen and had spent literally a year looking for something that was just right and at a good price. I love Pottery Barn's bedding. They have the cutest selection and all of it is good quality not like some other stores cheap and cheesy stuff. Plus it was 25% off all bedding and another 10% off everything in the store from an already marked down price. I paid $56 for it when it was regularly $159. Some may say that $56 is a rip off for a twin comforter, but I would say not for a Pottery Barn Kids twin comforter. I also got curtain rods for the front room because that is what I want for my birthday is window treatments. Now I just have to find the curtains I like that are just right which will probably take another year.

I will tell you, after so much shopping we were beat. Plus, Lily was exhausted and making every minute miserable so we decided enough damage done and that we better go home before we or shall I say before I spotted something we just had to have. Whoever came up with "shop till you drop" was being very literal.

[Comments] (3) No more excuses: It has been some time since I have been "sick", that is throwing up with this pregnancy. Thank heavens for that because with Lily I would have still been throwing up for 3 more weeks. I feel pregnant now in terms of the expanding midsection (not like I wasn't expanding ever since I was off contraceptives. I swear my body knows what is going to happen and starts to storage "energy supply" the minute Aaron takes his shoes off. I am just glad I didn't have to be pregnant the same time as Erin while we all knew there was a baby in there but couldn't tell until she was ohhh, a whopping 7 months pregnant.) and all the aches and pains associated with that. It became time that I needed to make some sort of effort to not get so huge and for me to start walking again. Plus, Lily needed to get out of the house and see the outdoors and not the next show on PBS. My dilemma was the heat, and it is not friendly here. So after picking Lorna up from her Cross Country practice at O.P. Schnabel Park I had an epiphany that I could walk on some of their trails that are stroller friendly and since it is in the woods, it is really shady.

I went to the library to pick up a book on tape. They didn't have much selection since the good books are always on hold and you have to reserve it online to get them, but one book caught my eye. It is called Raising Cain, Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. Since I am having I boy, I thought I should check it out. It is pretty good so far and very eye opening. It has made me more aware. One of my biggest fears is ruining my kids and them having an unhappy childhood. Hopefully, good ideas and instruction like this will keep me from being too clueless of a parent.

Also, my calves and shins are really sore.

[Comments] (3) Healthy Breakfast: This Saturday morning I was gone when Lily woke up because I had to give Lorna a ride because my mom is out of town. When I got home I asked Aaron if he fed Lily yet as I surveyed the kitchen. I couldn't believe it when he said, "Yeah, we are out of cereal but I gave her a waffle cone." Nice. Very nutritious and substantial. I know I need to go grocery shopping but there are things like oatmeal and eggs in the house for Lily to have a healthy breakfast. Sometimes I don't understand what goes on in Aaron's head. It's ok though, because I had a backup plan. On my way home I bought dough-nuts. So she had a chocolate covered dough-nut to make up for her waffle cone. Together, Aaron and I make a great pair. And I felt bad last night for feeding her a corndog for dinner.

Word of advice: If your two-year-old comes to you saying, "Mama, wash hands, ickies" while waving her hands in the air, you should wash her hands. Because chances are she stuck her hands down her diaper and found out it was poopy.

[Comments] (2) : Now I know why parents try to embarrass their kids when they hit puberty. It is to pay them back for all the embarrassment they caused them when they were little. For example, while visiting teaching this morning Lily, without provocation, kept hitting and pulling the other mother's 10 month old baby. I mean I can see why she would want to hit at that age if he stole her toy, but he was just sitting there.

First of all, I don't like being put in a situation when I have to discipline Lily in front of people. Secondly, it makes me look like a bad mother knowing there are people out there thinking 'there goes that bratty kid that hits...when I have kids, mine will never do that'. If only those people knew, but still now I think to myself instead, 'I'm glad my kid doesn't behave like that', so the syndrome never goes completely away.

Next embarrassing thing: going to lunch with my mom and sister. In between Lily taking her shirt off and screaming bloody murder if I try to put it back on to spilling her water all over the floor because she wants to be a big girl and hold the cup and take off the top to play with the ice to coloring on the table cloth to opening the sugar packet and dumping it all over the table and ground. I was in such a rush to get out of there that I forgot the extra pasta I saved for Aaron to eat for dinner.

Then at the store, Lily has to see what I am looking at so she takes a glass pumpkin away from me and drops it, breaking it to pieces. She also makes me open things such as her tooth brush before I have a chance to pay for it.

All I can say is when she is in high school, its payback time.

[Comments] (3) Unconstitutional: I am really bummed that cleanflicks.com and cleanfilms.com have lost their lawsuit and have been shut down. Aaron and I would rent PG-13 movies from there (as well as the R) because we liked not having to deal with swears and all the stuff that gets into PG-13's that never should be there in the first place. I especially liked to watch the R's that I never would have had they not been edited. Some of the memorable ones I enjoyed were One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Veronica Guerin, Ned Kelly, Charlotte Gray, Equilibrium, Quiet American, Adaptation, Born on the 4th of July, Perfect Murder, Unforgiven, Walk the Line, Family Stone, Usual Suspects, Insomnia, Elizabethtown, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Pieces of April.

Some of the ones I thought were just ok were Traffic, The Clearing, I Heart Huckabees (very bizarre), Garden State, and Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Some of the ones I just didn't enjoy were Constant Gardener (maybe because I was tired), Lord of War (too depressing and messed up), and I can't remember any other ones I didn't like. I can't remember ones I rented in Utah when we lived there, just the online subscription that we had in Texas.

Anyway, I am just sad that I won't be able to watch movies with all the 'stuff' taken out that I don't want to see. I guess it pissed off one to many persons like Steven Spielberg because they edited his Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List. I will miss you, movies.

The bright side of Terrible Two's: After all the horrible things I wrote about that Lily has done lately, I thought I should share some of the sweetness of my child as well as all the annoying things she does. I read this on babycenter.com, and it rings true to me: "Watch your utterly unself-conscious toddler twirl and jump and spin in the middle of the playground, and you'll discover the meaning of pure joy."

Maybe it hit me today after it being the same day she twirled in front of my friend's house today as if no one was watching and she hadn't a care in the world. Sometimes I miss that about life as a person over the age of 6 or 7. All you worry about is if there is any sweets in the house and what cool cartoons are on next. Hopefully I am more part of her pure joy instead of the person that prohibits her pure joy.

Addiction: I hope my mother-in-law doesn't read this, but I really don't think she does so hopefully it won't get back to her. Since Lily's birthday is coming up, Sherry has been buying her outfits on eBay. All the packages have arrived as of this weekend, but we got about 10 some with just pants or just a onesie or a dress and a couple with an outfit. All the clothes are adorable, as always, my mother-in-law really knows her cute kids clothing, and I mean CUTE!

So, a couple weeks ago, one of the first packages we received was this precious outfit from Gymboree. It was striped pinks and greens pants with a matching onesie that is themed tulips. The outfit was so adorable, I didn't want to wait for Lily's actual birthday for her to wear it, besides at her age her birthday gifts are not really big deals, they are more exciting for me.

So I put the outfit on and she wore it to a bbq we had at Josh and Jenni's with Jake and Erin. It was then, the partners in crime (Caden and Lily) were out of sight a minute too long and they both came down the stairs with Josh's black glue tar looking stuff he uses for fly tying all over them. Poor Josh and Jenni! The kids got it all over the carpet in their room and all over a couch cushion. Not only that, they had it all over them. Lily really just had most of it on her face and hands, but to my horror she had it on her brand new outfit from Sherry. Not just any outfit, the *cutest* outfit. It wasn't too bad and could have been worse. She had some on her pant cuff and spots on the onesie.

I have washed and washed and picked and scraped and tried to get the stuff off. It isn't staining; it is ingrained into the fabric. Some of it picks off easily, but most of it is really stubborn. The pants aren't that bad, she could still wear them, so this brings me to the second part of my story.

I have been perusing eBay for a replacement onesie. The outfit comes from the line 'tip toe tulip' and I have been finding some in her size. I have also been finding cute overalls that match and cute dresses in that same line. All of the items are in pretty good condition and relatively inexpensive for outfits not to mention they are Gymboree quality. Anyone who has eBayed knows the addictive powers that come with it. You add items to your watch list and it just grows and grows and grows. Then you find other cute outfits for really good deals and all of the sudden you find yourself hooked. You can't stop looking at them, seeing if the bids have gone up and what else is new that may have just been listed. All of the sudden you just have to have a dozen outfits and you find yourself having to go through detox and refusing to let yourself get on that website at all, even if your intentions are "just to look".

That is basically what is happening to me. I need to pry myself away from the computer and prohibit myself to not go back. But, of course, only after I win all the bids I have on my watch list. It's Lily's fault after all. She is the one that made me get on to find a replacement onesie so Sherry doesn't find out the gift she got for her was ruined after only wearing it once.

[Comments] (3) 16 more weeks!: Until I pop. Hopefully it will be more like 14 weeks. That sounds much better.

Short man complex: Oh sad, I bet the inhabitants of this planet are not happy about this. Stripped of it planethood.

[Comments] (2) Happy Birthday: To my precious firecracker of a daughter who is 2! today. I will never look back on this chapter as being boring. Maybe not all moments with the greatest fondness but I am so grateful for her amazing zest for life. I love all 22 pounds of her down to her little "piggies" as she likes to call them now. Hopefully she will let the next one survive to see his second birthday.

Lily's Party: We had a big day this past Saturday throwing Lily her 2nd birthday party. We had about a dozen couples over (friends/family) and their kids. We had polish sausage dogs and hot dogs with chips, baked beans, and potato salad and of course cake and ice cream. Basically, we all hung out and talked while the kids played.

Lily got a new swing set for her birthday. She loves it. She had all her friends out playing on it. I was a little surprised to find out how good she was with names because each time the door rang and she saw one of her friends she sees in nursery every Sunday she would say "Hi, Maddie" or whoever. I didn't know she knew everyone's name at church so well.

Anyway, she got a lot of cool gifts. The next day was Sunday and she just went from one new toy to the next and never got tired of playing with all her new things. It was really fun for her I could tell. She loves her new baby Elmo and Dora doll. She is really into dolls right now and pretending with them. She also loves her new puzzles. Just a couple months ago she has been really into the ones she got last year for her birthday. She finally gets them, so the new ones she loves to put together. She got a new Elmo DVD from Caden that she wants to watch constantly and Aqua Doodle set that she mostly just loves sucking the water out of the pen when I fill it up, yuck.

I would say her birthday was a big hit. It is kinda exhausting to put one together, but I don't have an excuse not to do something big...she is my first one and all the other kids need something to complain about when their party is not as big as the ones Lily gets I suppose. Actually, I think next year we will do it at Chucky Cheese because all those people in our little house, although it worked, it was a little crammed.

[Comments] (3) Happy Birthday to me!: At least yesterday, anyway. I am officially a quarter century old. Sounds old to me. I guess you could classify my age in the mid-20's now. It sounds so adult. I think next year will be even more strange since I will be "over the hill" for the 20's. Hmmm, I have been out of high school for 7 years. I guess I am where I thought I would be back then. Married with one or two kids. In fact as I recall, I wanted to have all my kids (4-5) by the time I was 30 because I didn't want to have them in my 30's so I could lose the baby fat easier. Nice. Well according to that I am far behind because baby #3 is not coming for another 4 years. I don’t think I want 3 kids while we are still in dental school, not to mention I am not sure I want 3 kids at all (half joking). In all fairness, I do want 3 kids; I just wish it was not so hard to get the kids here.

Enough about kids, now onto my birthday. It was a good day. I received lots of emails, IM's, phone calls, myspace comments, blog comments, and gifts unexpectantly. It is nice to know people remembered and care. Aaron surprised me with a gift certificate for a massage...just what the doctor ordered as I am getting sore from being large and in charge. He also took me to dinner and I was totally fine with Lily coming but my visiting teacher insisted that I drop Lily off to watch her. It was nice for us because we got to spend time alone, and when we went to pick Lily up, she had so much fun with her girls that she didn't want to leave. That girl is not afraid to leave me; she has quite the social life.

Aaron gave Lily and bath and dressed her for bed; it is nice to be able to say, "you do it, it is my birthday". And we topped the night off with the movie The Rundown with The Rock. I can't say I loved the movie but it was better than expected.

I am very excited for Saturday as we are going to Cheesecake Factory for dinner with the Smith trio couples, and Lorna is going to baby-sit. Plus dinner at mom's on Sunday with the family to celebrate. Overall, it was a good year to me.

[Comments] (2) Food for thought: Just like Jenni, I have some random thoughts going through my head lately. Some of them being :

Why is Lily having such a hard time going to sleep lately? The other day she would not take and nap and finally after 3 hours of her playing in her room I let her out. And last night, she sat in a dark room playing till 11:00PM by herself and not going to sleep. How can a 2 yr old enjoy 3 hours of talking to herself? After I went in once to check to see if she was poopy or something I told her to lie down and go nigh-night. I heard her two minutes later yelling at her doll, "lie down....no, no, no, lie down! nigh-night, no talking, no!".

It finally rained here. Even though the lawn still looks bad, it looks better than it did. I wonder if I put weed and feed on it now if it will hurt it?

Am I mean to go to the mother-daughter campout without my daughter? I am going with my mother...but I really don't want the responsibility of watching Lily run wild making sure she is not walking through hot coals or diving head first into the river. I can think of other ways to bond with her. I will just look at it like a daddy-daughter night.

Was I this uncomfortably big with Lily this early into the pregnancy? And I have how many more months of this getting worse each day? I swear I can not stretch any bigger.

I like bunnies, but I don't like bunnies that eat our entire vegetable garden that Aaron worked so hard on. Now he is discouraged from planting next year. He is going to have to build a wire fence around the garden so the animals can't get in. We seriously had about 30 tomatoes on the vine ripening and all of the sudden we were like down to five in one week. And all the new plants Aaron put in for the fall, the rabbits completely bit off. Some of them they didn't even like and left all the carnage of leaves on the ground for Aaron to see. Those were the green beans, and it was literally a day after he built an arbor or whachamacallit to grow up on. The only things they won't touch are the banana peppers, and we are getting loads of those still even with the drought. We just put them in the pickle jar or jalapeño jar and they are so good.

Why do people hit and run on our car? In the 5 years I have owned that car, it has been hit 3 times where it has caused scraps and dents not to mention all the bad door dings, the egging that left marks, and last summer when I got hit by the guy with no insurance. That poor car. The latest hit and run was last week in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I came out and I saw a big scratch going vertical on our trunk. I know it wasn't there before because I walk by it every time I get Lily out of the car. It was definitely in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Argh. It is pretty deep too. It must have been a trailer hitch when a truck was backing up because it was so high. Nothing on the bumper. Took the paint right off. It is so ghetto to hit someone’s car and not leave a note. Like I have said, it has happened at least three times to that car that I can tell.

What is Lily going to be for Halloween? We went to the mall last weekend and Disney store had totally cute tinker bell costumes but the dress alone was $40, then the wings, shoes, hair things, and everything else was too much. There was a cute chicken costume at Children's Place for $20. I think Lily would love being an animal seeing how she loves animals and hasn't really gotten into the princess phase.

Note to self: Buy Halloween costumes for next year, this year when they go on sale.

And that's all for now.

[Comments] (2) Camping: I went on the mother-daughter campout again this year. Yet again, I opted not to take Lily. And again, this year everyone asked where she was. If only they understood that Lily would not be fun to go camping with. She doesn't stay put, she is very curious and onto the next thing. I am sure she would have run into a fire or drown in the river 20 feet away. Plus it rained and it would not have been fun trying to keep a 2 yr old clean. Not to mention she would not have gone to bed without a fight. She is like her father, cannot sleep when everyone else is having fun. Always the last one to go to bed. I will for sure bring her next year. Then she will be able to listen and follow directions I hope.

Mom, Lorna, Louise, and I went. Lorna was forced to go, but I think she had an okay time. It started raining while we drove up there and it didn't stop pretty much. We had tarps up and stuff so it wasn't so bad. We shared a camp with the Lunts which was fun. Aimee and Natalie were in town. We had steak and potato dinner and smore's. I didn't stay up as long as I normally do talking to people and stuff. It seemed like everyone went to bed early. It was ok though because I need my sleep.

I had an air mattress so I actually had a decent night's rest. The big drama was the next morning when we woke up to find that the hot breakfast that the stake provides in the morning every year was just muffins and juice this year. We were all hoping for eggs, french toast, sausage, and hash browns but didn't happen. Luckily, I talked my mom into making her homemade cinnamon rolls that I had been craving. We ended up leaving a little early, around 11:30. All and all it was fun.

We celebrated Jenni's birthday Sat night. I hope she had a good one. Today it rained pretty hard all morning. Our lawn is actually looking like it won't die off all the way anymore. That is relieving.

I swear at my next appt they are going to tell me that I have a 6 pound baby cooking already. I seriously feel so big and stretched so early this time. I don't know if my back can handle it. He is starting to kick up into my ribs already and doing jumping jacks. I guess I just forgot how uncomfortable it really is to be pregnant in the end. I was spending all my thoughts dreading the first trimester. It feels like I ate Thanksgiving dinner, twice. I just feel full and I can barely move. I guess I just have less than 13 weeks left. Hopefully more like 10 or 11.

I better go and stretch out on the couch now, my back is killing.

[Comments] (5) Slap in the face: Literally, that is what has been going on around here. Today I hosted Midweek's play group at my house. I know Lily really enjoys the interaction and getting to play with friends, but I seriously am so frustrated with her. She made 60% of the children here cry by pulling their hair, hitting them, or slapping their face. I really do not understand why she is so violent. I never hit her, so where is she getting all this from.

I know that the other children were not hitting her. I just don't understand why she expresses herself this way. I am trying to nip it in the bud before the baby comes because from experience with Luke and Austin, she is mean and can really hurt babies. I have tried everything. I have put her in time out, I have tried staying really calm and explaining why we don't hit, I have tried being upset with her and showing her I am mad, I have even showed her in books where someone got hurt and that it is not nice to hurt others, but nothing seems to work. I just don't know what to do.

I mean when your child pulls another girl's hair so hard she has strands in her fist what are you supposed to say? I have just come to the conclusion that kids come with their own personalities and just because some kids are brats doesn't mean the parents are bad. You think your kids will never act like that, but then you have them and they do. I guess I will be the mom of the smallest girl bully ever until we can get this hurting thing under control.

[Comments] (2) On the road: This past Thursday and Friday I went up to College Station with my mom and Lily to visit Michelle and see her new place. I knew from the first hours of the trip that it was a mistake to have thought this would be a fun get-away trip with Lily. I knew that life is not there for me to enjoy when I am in a non-baby proof house. Nope, life is actually endured from the time you walk into that store, house, restaurant, church, etc. when you are with a two year old.

I did have some good times with mom and Michelle after the monster was in bed. For the most part, I never want to leave the house with Lily again. It was good to see where my sister was living, plus I never have been to College Station. To tell the truth I was not impressed with College Station though. The drivers are maniacs. I think all college towns, the drivers are maniacs. They do however, have something that San Antonio does not. A Jamba Juice. Now, I am not obsessed with JJ like Jenni is, but I have been craving their fruit smoothies since I have been pregnant. I really wish that they didn't close down the JJ we had here. You would think they could stay in business anywhere they are.

After the craziness of being out of town and sharing a twin bed with Lily, I was so exhausted. I barely dragged myself out of the house for the Elder's Quorum social Friday night. The next morning I had Super Saturday. I love Super Saturday's. I enjoy making crafts, and since I can't come up with cute ideas on my own, I like copying them. Saturday night Joe and Louise took me to Macaroni Grill for my birthday. It was great. I am glad today was low key because I was tired. Especially since Aaron and I have been staying up late watching Lost: Season 2. We finished it and I can't wait for Season 3 to resume on TV. I'm ready.

[Comments] (2) Last leg: I'm into the third trimester and last stretch. It seemed like the 2nd trimester went by fast. In some ways it didn't though. I am not only excited to finally get into the month of Dec, but I am so ready for the fall season holidays. I am so ready for the pumpkin scented candles to be burning and for the oranges, golds, and browns to be brought out with Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations. Probably after Halloween, I will be freaking out with all the things I need to get done before the baby comes.

Hopefully I can keep up my energy and be able to do the deep cleaning and organizing that needs to be done just before the baby comes because you can't really get to it afterwards for awhile. I remember when I was pregnant with Lily, just cleaning the bathroom would make me sick the rest of the day because it wore my body out so much and I was more prone to getting sick with her.

I am a little worried though, that I am not going to feel like putting any Christmas decorations up because I will be in the process of having a baby hopefully, or just had a baby. I guess if it doesn't get done this year then worse things have happened. It is so fun to be in the spirit of Christmas all month long. I need to get Aaron onto painting the room and fixing it up. It is a pretty nice excuse that I can't do it with the fumes being bad for the baby and what not. Every time I think about not being able to do things on my own and I think Aaron can do that like put the tree up, I am so grateful because I think there are a lot of women out there that are alone and have no man or person to help them through the very tiresome process of growing a human being in your body and sucking the life out of you, and taking care of the helpless baby afterwards making sure it lives to see the next day. It is all you. Having help makes me so grateful that I don't have to do it alone because that would be one of the scariest and hardest things for a person to deal with. It is up there with getting a divorce, being betrayed, or losing a close loved one.

I am not sure how I went from being in my third trimester to getting divorced but there you have it. I will be glad to finally meet this baby boy whose foot has certainly been acquainting itself with my bladder and ribs.

[Comments] (1) Happy Belated Bithday Susie!: Yay birthdays.

: Tomorrow I had an appt with JC Penney portraits to get Lily's two-year-old pictures taken. It is a shame I had to cancel it after church today. Apparently, Aaron picked her up from the nursery and she and another child got into a fight and she has a claw mark on her cheek. Supposedly, Lily did not cry though. It makes me sad that she got scratched but it makes me laugh inside a little. Two-year-olds getting into a cat fight. What am I going to do?

[Comments] (7) : Today at the grocery store Lily really wanted tomatoes while I was in the produce section. Since I want to encourage her healthy eating choices, I decided to just let her eat the tomato right then and there before paying for it. She then proceeded to eat the entire thing, brown spot from the vine and all. She subsequently asked for another and another. Girl likes tomatoes. She ate three whole roma tomatoes while we strolled through the isles. It kept her happy and occupied and pretty much covered her lunch. They say not to go grocery shopping while hungry but in this case it was great.

I have been known to open the fruit snacks box too or a package of M&M's or some strawberries to pacify Lily as well. Obviously, I can't wash the fruit but I suppose it is good for her immune system, right? Does water really wash all germs off the skin of a fruit or vegetable anyway, I wonder? The confusing part about tomatoes is it doesn’t come in a box like fruit snacks or strawberries. So when we got to the check out stand I just told him to weigh them and then take out another three to weigh since she ate them already.

Some of Lily's favorite past times lately have been watching “Dora”. For some reason she loves Dora now. It is interesting to see where her interests take her, but why are little girls so attracted to Dora? I don't know how many times I have commented to Aaron that I don't understand why they made her hair so blocky and ugly.

Lily also loves to color in her new coloring book and with her new jumbo crayons. It has been really helpful for her in learning her colors. I think her favorite color is orange for a couple reasons. When she was little, every time she saw her orange jacket she would demand that I put it on her. She points out random things that are orange. It was the first color she really recognized and knows. She even went as far as wanting to carry around the orange crayon while she was playing and while we color she frequently picks that one up. She has this outfit now that has orange lilies on the skirt and an orange shirt. Every time she sees it, she wants to put on the "cute". We have had fights over putting on this outfit on after she spots it in the dirty clothes basket.

Aaron and I went out to buy Lily's Halloween costume this weekend. There was the chicken costume at Children's Place that I wanted to get but also wanted to get Aaron's ok, so I waited to buy it. It was sold out at the store, so we bought the lion one instead. They only had 6-12 month for the biggest size so we tried it on her to see if it would fit. It did, barely. Snug, but I think it is cuter that way so the costume doesn't swallow her up. We put her up to the mirror and told her to say "roar". It was too cute. She loved it and of course was upset when we took it off her to pay for it. I am going to try another location and see if they have the chicken costume though.

[Comments] (3) Falling into the Season: To celebrate the cooler temps and now we are officially into Fall, I made a pumpkin pie. It has been the first time I can really bear to have the oven on, and for some reason pumpkin pie always sounds good in the Fall/Winter. I don’t really crave it in the Spring/Summer. I have already eaten about half of it now. If you forget about the crust, pumpkin pie is really not the worst dessert for you. Pumpkin after all is a vegetable with fiber. But I am sure it can't be healthy to put a big gob of Cool Whip on it.

All I have to say is thank goodness I am going to be pregnant throughout all the holidays, so I can eat guilt-free and worry about shedding baby pounds in January after all the food temptation is over.

This makes 3 and 4: I have new identical twin nephews! Congrats Melanie and Joe.

[Comments] (2) Pictures of both kids: Monday I went in for an ultrasound to make sure that the placenta had moved away from the cervix, and thankfully it did. No c-section foreseeable. It was fun to have one this far into my pregnancy because they measured him and we got more pictures. He is 3 pounds and 8 oz right now. Every thing looks good and he is still a boy.

Yesterday Aaron and I bought a recliner. I told myself last pregnancy I wouldn't make myself go without one for the second and subsequent children. It looks like I'm not. We got a steal of a deal. A tan leather rocker/recliner for $315 regularly $700. It was a floor model and that is why it was so cheap. We looked at 3 stores and all the leather recliners were at least $400 and up, comfortable ones starting in the mid $500's. I am pretty happy about the deal plus it will match his room. I remember last pregnancy I was sick like twice and all stuffed up and wanted badly to sleep in a recliner so I could breathe. I haven't been sick like that yet, so hopefully I won't need it for that.

I got Lily's 2 year old pictures taken today. I got a couple poses that were pretty cute. I hate waiting the couple weeks to get the prints in my hands. Getting Lily ready for pictures is a lot like going to church. I get her all dressed up and do her hair. The biggest stress is trying to keep her occupied while waiting for our turn at the studio. She didn't do too bad this time, but I don't know what I am going to do next time with an infant and a rowdy 2 year old. At least I won't be pregnant so I can run after her instead of cajole her to come back with chocolate.

This time I vow to bring the second one in for pictures before he is 4 1/2 months old like Lily was. I hope this recovery is smoother than the last one.

[Comments] (2) Difference of opinion: This week I have been able to hang out with my mom more than usual. Every Friday or every other Friday we usual go to Sam's and Costco together and grab lunch- with Lily in tow. This week though I have been able to tag along with my mom a couple days. Monday we went to Garden Ridge Pottery all the way in Schertz, and to a lady's house that my mom was ordering "yard art" from. Painted wood in different seasonal varieties. I really wanted to order the Halloween candy corn set. It was soo cute. It was 3 candy corns that were dressed in Halloween costumes: one with a bag over itself, one with a bandana over his eyes, and the other with the fake glasses and big nose and moustache schtick. They were about 2 feet high and all three for $40. The painting detail and shading was amazing for painted wood that I have ever seen. I didn't buy anything because we are still waiting for our reimbursement check to come from the military. Plus I have learned not to buy tons of things without Aaron. He likes to be apart of the buying process funness, and I admit, sometimes I can let myself get carried away spending money.

We also went to Chili's for lunch, mom and I sharing a salad, and Lily taking bites of her chicken tenders kid's meal in between coloring the kids menu. She is about 80% now with her colors. It is funny because to bribe her to behave I sometimes take a mini pack of m&m's with me, and sometimes when I give her one I ask her what color it is. Apparently she likes that game because if I don't ask, she gets it and says, "color?" and I then ask her what color it is and usually she is right.

Yesterday my mom picked me up so we could go get my new recliner I bought at Lack's. We also stopped by Wal-mart to get some milk and mom wanted to see if they had a brand of lettuce there. When we got home and got the recliner in the house (so far no premature labor from helping to carry it in) we decided spur of the moment to go by Hobby Lobby and a fabric store. They have a pretty good sale going on and plus mom is in search for 12 particular photo albums. Fabric store was on the agenda because every time mom comes over she suggests that I get new curtains. I recently bought these curtains I have now, but after putting them up to the wall, I don't love one color in the curtain with my wall color. I agree that they don't look the best, but they were cheap and aren't too bad looking. Plus all the other curtains I like are more than twice as much and we already spent a lot of money that I didn't want to spend any more.

My original hope was to have my mom help me make curtains that I wanted and I knew I would like because I would buy fabric I liked for them. Mom is often very busy and so I lucked out when she offered it as her idea that she help me just make curtains that looked good because being the master mind in all things home improvement, my mom was bothered to see those other curtains hanging that were clearly a fashion faux pas. It really is hard to find cute curtains that go well with your stuff and color scheme and that are inexpensive. I was delighted to find the perfect fabrics (and half the price of the curtains I have now) to make my own. I am really excited to see how they are going to turn out and Aaron is even more pleased with this new fabric because it blocks out the light so the glare on the TV is gone when he plays his video games.

I really like going places with my mom because I can barely wrangle Lily into her car seat half the time let alone lift her and carry her when she gets tired of being in the cart and run after her when she gets away. Mom is very helpful in holding her for me and doing the grunt work. She is so helpful that while we were in the fabric store (a very boring store for children-I know because it is the exact fabric store my mom used to drag all us kids into when we were little) Lily wanted me to hold her because she had had it with all our errands. Mom is good at setting boundaries for little kids so they know they aren't going to get away with stuff. I picked Lily up because the whole store was becoming aware of her wailing and mom offered to hold Lily for me and Lily said, "No Bam-ma, away," as she waved her little arm back and forth. I shouldn't have laughed just like I shouldn't have laughed when she told Aaron, "quiet papa," but you can't help it when you finally hear your two year old in their own words stand up to you. It is funny and almost cute.

Also, before we headed off to the stores, I went back in the house to grab Lily some more milk and snacks for the long journey. I was in there long enough that mom would have been able to get Lily in her car seat, but I was surprised when I came out to see Lily was not in her car seat yet. She had thrown herself on the grass and was throwing a tantrum and mom was trying to scoop the flailing arms and legs up. I asked what had happened and mom said, "oh, just a little difference of opinion." Apparently, Lily didn't want to get into her car seat, much like when she is with me. I literally have to wrestle her into her straps. I still snicker when I picture Lily running away from mom and mom catching her and mom nonchalantly describing the scene as a difference of opinion. So true.

[Comments] (2) Happy Windsday: Today is going to be a good day. Aaron has today "off". He still had to go to school to study for tomorrow's test, but he did wake up and give me a smile like he was up to something and went in the kitchen and started to make me breakfast. I love hot breakfasts. I try to drag him to IHOP at least every other month on a laid back Sat morning because I love their pancakes. It's the whole carb thing. I love bread.

Lily ate half a waffle. I put syrup and cool whip on it and told her it was cake and she started scarfing it down. She also loves bacon. She is getting good at saying "more_____, please". Asking for more and the thing she wants more of and then saying please. We usually have to remind her to say please, but she is getting better at it. When I get whatever it is she wants to her she does say "tank you" usually and then followed by a "ah-welcome, mama". I guess I am too slow to say you're welcome so she feels like she needs to finish the exchange, apparently.

Another good thing about today is that Lost is on tonight. The season premier has opened up so many questions. I would rather be watching it on DVD so I don't have to wait every week, but I also don't want to wait a year so I can watch them all back-to-back. Aaron also has a football game tonight. We shall see if I go with Lily since it rained yesterday and it might be muddy. Mud + chasing a hyper, very social 2 year old does not equal fun for a fat 7 month pregnant person. His team won the championship last year and so far they are doing pretty well. One of his professors is sponsoring their team and bought them all matching custom designed (by Aaron) orange t-shirts.

I put all my Halloween decorations up about a week ago. I don't have many but it is fun to see them all and get in the spirit of the season. Lily loves carrying my pumpkins around. These pumpkins are ceramic and I am running out of high places to put breakable things so she can't ruin all the stuff. She likes to carry around a mini real pumpkin that I bought for Aaron to make pumpkin pie out of. He likes to do it from scratch. She also loves to tote around a trick-or-treat pumpkin and put all her toys in it. She calls it "Wilwee's pumpkin" and the ceramic ones "Mama's pumpkin" because she knows she isn't supposed to touch them even though she does.

My goals today are to clean up the kitchen mess and mop the floor and get Lily’s toys organized and do some laundry.

[Comments] (1) Good deals: I found Gunnar's blessing outfit. It is so hard to find all white dressy outfits for boys without them looking cheesy and gaudy. I happened to find the outfit on PotterBarnKids.com and it is a two piece. The top was only $9.99 and the bottoms were $4.99. Not too bad compared to the $90 I spent on Lily's blessing dress. It was more fun picking out a dress though.

When I saw Lily's dress I knew I had to get it. It was exactly what I wanted. I knew I wanted a very long dress like I had for my blessing. So one less thing I have to worry about before the baby comes since we are blessing him when he is only going to be weeks old. Unfortunately for him I have to take him out of the house during RSV season in the winter before he is 6 weeks old because that is the only time most family will be in town.

The other day at Old Navy I found very cutie shark pj's for Gunnar for only $4. I am so excited to meet him and put him in all these cute clothes I am buying for him.

Friday the 13th: I knew something was up when I went to the store and the bank and Lily was good the entire time. Maybe I will survive the terrible two's and live to tell about it.

[Comments] (2) Fortune telling: I was walking in the store yesterday and was stopped by this lady asking me when I was due and if I knew what I was having. While I am not stopped everyday by strangers, it does happen sometimes and I usually smile and fake laugh. I don't mind it, but it doesn't boost my self esteem either. Yesterday was different. This tiny little mid-thirties Mexican woman kept staring at my bump and was asking me these questions and then all the sudden she said, "Go to a Mexican restaurant, full moon...the day before or the day after and you will have your baby the next day." Umm, ok.

I have heard when I was pregnant with Lily the 'eat something spicy and the next day, or eat a lot of garlic and the next day'. Trust me, when the girl was 2 days late I had tried everything anyone suggested except drink castor oil. Those things don't work. If they did, then I would have had Lily 10 days early.

This lady though kinda freaked me out. She started to say something in Spanish and then translated it to "kicks like a horse". She enlightened me that boys come with very painful deliveries (as if girls were a piece of cake comparatively) and that I in particular was going to have a very hard painful delivery. She was saying this while looking at my bump and it almost seemed like she was in a trance or something because one of her eyes was halfway closed. Little does she know I don't plan on feeling a thing with the cocktail I am ordering. She then went on to tell me that I was going to make it through it, just make sure that I keep on my feet and walking till the end. Shoot, just when I was about to put in an order for an electric wheelchair.

Anyway, it was a rather weird experience and the sad thing is if I get to the point where this one is looking like he wants to be late, I will be looking up when the next full moon is going to be and weighing between which Mexican restaurant I am most in the mood for.

[Comments] (4) : I have been having the sorest back lately. It is always sore in between my shoulder blades after I clean or do a lot with my hands and arms, and it sometimes feels like it is buzzing or vibrating. I get these sharp pains in just one spot. It has been like that for awhile. I wonder if it is because I sleep on my side and my arm is in a weird position. I probably have cancer or something like that.

[Comments] (2) very long post: Pretty much everything that has been going on with me lately can be read about extensively here. I have been bad lately writing about things, but Jenni describes things in great long detail that I feel like I already wrote about it when I read her blog so I don't have to.

Tis true...the highlights are as follows. Last week we took Lily and Caden to get their pictures taken at Target in their Halloween costumes. When we first put them on they were so excited they dashed off down the way laughing and squealing for joy. I am sure the scene was timeless. Two 2yr olds running in mid-October in a store with full on Halloween costumes on and Lily even had a painted face. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone while retrieving them. After that, there were no more laughs left. The idea of getting a picture of the two cousins in a professional studio with cute props in a package for only $5 per parent was a good one however delusional. Once we got in the inferno (a/c was broken) there were hardly any smiles left. The kids actually did smile, just not at the same time. We ended up only getting one shot that was not blurry and it happened to be of Caden smiling but looking off to the right and Lily starring blankly into the camera with her finger in her mouth. Oh well, it was $5 and we each got a 5x7, 2- 4 1/2x5, and 4 wallets with an 8x10 to give to the Smith grandparents. I actually got a free 8x10 of just Lily as well because when Jenni went to go buy popcorn to bribe the kids with, the lady asked if I wanted to see if I could get some with just Lily. We tried but by then she was done and the 8x10 is of her with each hand on a pumpkin to her side and again starring blankly into the camera. Maybe she was getting into character seeing as she was a lion and lions are supposed to be scary?!

It was all good afterwards because Jenni and I treated ourselves to soup and salad lunch at Olive Garden. The kids did behave for that, thank goodness.

This past Sat, I went with Jenni and Erin to Austin where there was a Scrapbook convention going on. I told myself I couldn't buy anything since that week I already went on a binge spending spree at Hobby Lobby. (See I told you my life is just like Jenni's right now. I should just copy and paste her blog here.) I did end up getting a couple cute things. Unlike Jenni however I just may not get around to using the dang stuff. I am terrible at scrapbooking, but I enjoy buying the cute things for it. I won a door prize too right when I got there. Unfortunately, some company was cleaning out their closet and gave me things that were from 1995. That's ok though, Lily enjoyed putting all the stickers I got for free on the free paper.

Afterwards we went to Jamba Juice and Schlotzky's. I really wish I had one in San Antonio for this pregnancy. I crave a lot more healthy things with this one than with Lily. Like I crave salads and fresh fruit smoothies instead of hamburgers and fries. We made a quick pit stop at the outlet mall and I practiced self control and did not buy too much. Just a sweater at the Gap for $4.88, the cutest brown shoes for Lily for $3.76, and a 3 pack of socks for $2.88. Everything was on clearance.

When I got home I went to see Prestige with Aaron and some friends. It had many twists and was very well done and a good movie going experience. The movie itself was disturbing in some parts but what do you expect with a Christopher Nolan show? Plus I really like the two lead actors- Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman.

As for going to the Apple Creek Orchards yesterday, I am glad I did it. Lily really enjoyed herself, and while there were times when I asked myself what I had gotten myself into (Lily running yards and yards away from me closing in on a big pond and me being 8 months pregnant not really in the position to catch her) but she settled down towards the end. Lily loved seeing the animals and getting to pet them. She was scared to pet the llama and turkey and goat which she called baby cows. She liked petting the baby chicks and seeing the rabbits in their cages. That turkey was gnarly looking. I don't blame her for being scared.

We got a picture of us on the hayride. The nice thing about a digital camera is you get to see the picture right away. I am fully aware of how I feel everyday. Tired, large, achy, sore, stretched, bloated, and uncomfortable but it is entirely different when you see yourself looking large, bloated, stretched, and overall non-attractive. I do own a mirror but pictures are different for some reason. I am just ready for this to all be over so I can get back to walking regularly and for my poor feet to not throb every time I stand up on them. I've said it before and I am sure everyone is sick of me saying it, but pregnancy is so hard. It is physically one of the most challenging things (since it is so long term) from being sick to getting gigantic. You can't even bend over to tie your own shoes in the end. I think about my mom having 7 and others having 12 kids. I have no idea how they were talked into it that many times. I have 7 weeks left and I just hope I can hold out long enough to where I don't require a wheelchair.

This nice rain and fall weather we are getting is mitigating the circumstances though. Aaron has a football game tonight but I am not sure I want to take Lily to it since she runs away a lot and it is muddy. What am I saying though, I always go anyway. Hopefully one day she can appreciate what I go through for her so she can have these fun memories of playing in dirt with her friends.

[Comments] (1) Gypped: I feel bad for Lily because the past 3 days have been the exact same Dora Halloween show. I imagine they will keep playing the same episode until Halloween is over. I think that it is kinda lame, but then again kids really like repetition. For heaven sakes, Lily has been making me play this Toddler Hits cd in the car since I got it like 6 weeks ago. I am so sick of the songs, but it is the only thing that keeps her from screaming after she has been in her car seat for awhile. The bad thing is she wants to hear it when we are in other people's car's too.

Happy Birthday Collin: How crazy is it that today is Collin's (my nephew) birthday on Friday, next Friday is my mother in law's birthday, the friday after that is Kate's (Collin's sister), and the friday after that is Samuel's (my nephew on my side)? Four in a row exactly 7 days apart.

E I E I O: About a month ago during dinner we were eating stroganoff. I think it was stroganoff but it was something with pasta and ground beef. Lily loved it and kept asking for "more chicken and pasta". Aaron told her it wasn't chicken it was cow called beef. She then said, "umm, yummy cow". That night she also ate her first helping of salad. I guess she liked it because it was the first time we put Ranch on her salad. She will always eat the tomatoes out of the salad, but for some reason doesn't even want to look at the lettuce. She ate it alright. I told her that the Ranch was white ketchup and she had no problem after that. The way we got her to try carrots was we told her they were candy carrots. After she tried them, she eats them all the time. Nope, I don't feel guilty lying to my 2 year old about this.

[Comments] (3) : I've said it once, I'll say it again. The month of Oct makes me want to read Harry Potter. Every year it this time of year reminds me of it. When is her new one coming out?

[Comments] (2) Weekender: This past weekend we went to Houston to visit my old roommate Roxanne and her husband Michael and little boy Ethan. Aaron skipped Friday afternoon's classes and we were able to get into town around 3:30. It was their ward's trunk or treat so we went to that. Their ward went all out with a cakewalk and tons of games for the kids. There was a little medical drama for Roxanne afterwards but it all got sorted out, and the next day we were able to play again.

Since both Roxanne and I are pregnant, we didn't want to do anything too active so we went to the mall and walked around and then went to Pei Wei for lunch. We then took the kids home for their nap that they badly needed. The babysitter fell through for that night so we just took the kids to the beach in Galveston and let them play in the sand and run around. It was nice and relaxing for us because Lily likes water but doesn't like to get in especially if it is cold. She didn't try to run in the waves, but Ethan did. Lily was just thrilled to play on the beach and run around having tons of fun. We hit a pizza/sandwich joint for dinner and I had a yummy calazone. Lily was a little over stimulated and wouldn't sit still so Aaron took her out to the car, and then I went out after I was finished eating.

We got home and put the kids to bed. We watched a little bit of tv, but there was nothing great on and they had early church so we went to bed around 10 or so. The more pregnant I get the less inclined I am to stay up late or go tons of places. We went to church on Sunday, came home early and had lunch. Had some more relaxation time and then left around 4:00 for home. So we didn't do a ton of stuff, but it was fine because I can't last too long anyway.

It was a fun last trip before the baby comes. I am not sure when we will be able to get out again after Gunnar comes. I am so glad it is Nov and I just have one month to go.

[Comments] (2) Poopy in the potty: So Lily has a potty chair in her bathroom that I bought about 6 months ago so she can get the feeling of going potty and so she can mimic me when I use the restroom. She has never really grasped it and yet tonight after her bath I dried her off and left the bathroom to get her jammies and she sat on her potty. I thought she was just playing so like I normally do, when she shows interest in the potty I said "go poo poo and pee pee in the potty". When I came back in Lily was grunting and to my surprise she actually went poop in the potty. Hurray. Maybe potty training won't be as hard as I thought it would be.

We made a huge deal about it and gave her a candy treat and I made a sticker chart for her to put stickers on to get her excited and want to do it more. Now I hope she magically tells me before every time she needs to go. That would make my year.

[Comments] (4) ABC, 123: Lily has this Mickey Mouse book that is a little too old for her text wise, but she likes it and wants me to read it to her so instead I have her describe the pictures to me like "what's this"..."a birdie" and so forth. I started having her count the animals too just to spice it up a bit. You get creative when you have to read the same book each day, sometimes more than once a day just to keep yourself sane. For some reason, books written for 4 yr olds is not intellectually stimulating for me (except maybe reading it for the first time) but I do enjoy Lily "sitting on my lap" as she calls it but she is really just sitting really close beside me and I love to see how her mind works when she answers questions and surprises me with how much she knows or how she thinks. I like that she likes to snuggle up to me and have me put my arm around her to "read to her" as she says exactly. I think it is funny she calls herself "her".

She has gotten pretty good at counting. She can go all the way to 8 then I help her with 9 and then she counts to 13. After reading the book, she was excited about "counting" that she wanted to count more. She went up to a picture I have of Aaron's family and she enthusiastically pointed and said, "One Brammy, one Ga-ga, one Josh, one Jake, one Booner, one Papa, one Mel-na-nee, one Ben." Just one of the many things that make me want to grab her and hug and kiss her.

Another cute thing she does is when there are multiple animals she will organize them into families pointing at each saying "Mama duck, Papa duck, and Wil-wee duck". And she will do it to size as well. The smallest is always her, and the biggest is always Papa, but if there are at least 3 of the same animal. Otherwise, Aaron sometimes gets left out if there are only 2. I find it interesting that she puts them into families and she will only put the same animal into a family even if there are more animals on the page. Pretty smart if you ask me...

[Comments] (4) Dental School Widow: Another day of Aaron coming home late ahead of me. Too late for Lily to see him, again. I will be so glad when his Pathology test will be over tomorrow. The second year of Dental School has really been harder than the first. And I hear the worst is yet to come. Supposedly, the second semester of the second year is the hardest and then they say the first semester of the first year. Whoever told me that the first year was hardest was maybe right, but definitely not the busiest. I agree the first semester was tough because Aaron had Gross Anatomy and was forced to go in on Saturdays to study, but not too bad. I mean I saw Aaron more then than when we first had Lily when he was juggling school and a part time job and I was working part time as well doing tag team.

I can't complain too much. Some people's husbands study this much every week. Every time I think about it, I am so grateful that I married Aaron who on one hand some would call lazy, but really he just likes spending time with his family more than being in the top 10 (even though I know if he really wanted to he probably could-but we would never see him). It is very busy times like this week when it is imperative he studies or fails where I am reminded how grateful I am to have him around more often.

[Comments] (1) Yes, no, maybe so: Went to the Dr yesterday. I hope I don't jinx myself by writing this down, but she scheduled an induction Nov 30th at 5:30AM. If all goes well, we will have a baby boy then. I feel like I am cheating getting to have him early and I am, but I firmly believe I deserve it. I still remember leaving the midwife's office with Lily so distraught when she said she wouldn't induce me ON MY DUE DATE. I had to wait. And Lily was a whopping 8# 2oz and apparently too big.

But seriously, when people you don't even know are telling you that you look like you are ripe and ready (nice manners) right now, and you feel it...well, you can imagine my joy. Obviously, I don't want to have Gunnar if he is not ready, but let's hope he is Nov 30th so we can go ahead with it. It is crazy to think I will be having a new life in 3 weeks. I am very excited and happy to say now that I am ready for it.

In other news, I am not sure if I mentioned how adorable Lily was on Halloween. We went to our ward trunk or treat and she was the cutest saying "trick or treat" and then saying thank you to most of the people. She liked everybody putting candy into her "pumpkin purse". We went to my mom's afterward for the annual doughnut night and I thoroughly enjoyed 2 of them. We still have tons of candy that I am contemplating throwing away.

Aaron and I have done some shopping too. We went ahead while Costco was having a Vita-Mix show and bought one as an early Christmas present to each of us. They are discounted when you get them at Costco so we went ahead and bought it this early since we would be saving like $100 to do so. That day we made like 4 different recipes they had in their recipe book to try it out and let me tell you: it is worth every penny. The Vita-Mix makes the best smoothies. It is the most amazing blender. It takes no time to make one as opposed to our other blender, it would take forever and start smelling like something was burning, not to mention the consistency was nothing like how you want it.

We also got Gunnar's crib bedding. We went to the mall and stopped in Pottery Barn Kids and found the most amazing sale on the At the Zoo set. $25.99 for the quilt and bumper each and we got the bed skirt and matching valance and crib sheets. We also got a steal on a 5x8 rug. It wasn't the pattern I thought I would get but I really like it and since it was a better deal than the Oliver set I want then I am ok with it. Now I just need to get Aaron to paint the room and turn it into the baby’s room and we are all set. Can't wait to see how it turns out. It is fun designing your own nursery for your little baby.

[Comments] (1) Getting a little tired of: Hot Flashes

Lily throwing a melt down tantrum 10 times a day

The fact that Lost will be on a 3 month hiatus, argh!

[Comments] (4) My first surprise: When I went on Thursday to Johnny Carinos for dinner with Aaron and Lily ready to meet with Josh and Jenni and Jake and Erin, I hardly expected to find about 2 dozen of my friends and family waiting for me. Come to find out Jenni and Erin planned a surprise baby shower for me.

I was very surprised and touched that they had done such a great job throwing the party. We were in a separate party room for ourselves and we got to enjoy having dinner, and I got to open presents. What a fun girl's night out. I got some really cute outfits and baby things, but most of all I couldn't believe that Erin and Jenni did that for me. It was so nice. We even had a sheet cake from Costco. I have never had a surprise party thrown in my honor and let me tell you, they are fun.

With the clothes I got from the party and bought and borrowed from Jenni's "store" (I thought Lily had a lot of clothes) I think we are all set for the first 6 months. Now all I need is a baby to wear them.

Thanks Jenni and Erin for doing that, it was very sweet. And thanks to Aaron for not spilling the beans, although he is very good at keeping secrets so I am not surprised.

Transformations: I can not believe how much Lily is learning this past month maybe 2 months. I can see her getting more and more 2 yr oldish by the day. The sentences she puts together have more words now and make sense. She is such a vibrant spunky girl and if you have seen her piggy tails you would say they match her personality.

Apparently I say "oh my gosh" a lot because for the past couple weeks Lily has been going around saying "OH-MY-GOSH!" anytime something goes wrong or falls or anything. It really is funny to hear her say adult-like things in her little 2 yr old voice with her own fluctuations. She loves Mickey Mouse now, and any mouse she will call Mickey Mouse.

She has a habit of bossing characters in her books around. While I am reading to her if she sees something in a book that doesn't look right, she will tell it so. She has a book about how rainbows are made and each color has an animal etc. Well, the red ladybug was standing on the tail of the orange fox, and every time she sees that picture she says, "no bug, naughty, get down" I guess because she thinks the ladybug is being mean for standing on the fox's tail.

In Green Eggs and Ham there is a picture of a "Mickey Mouse" and she tells the mouse to get off the stool I guess because she thinks mice aren't allowed to sit on furniture. And when she sees a picture of someone that has their eyes closed, she always says that they are sleeping even if their eyes are shut because they are laughing or in the case of Lion King when Mufasa died. At first she thought he was sleeping and then I told her he died, and now she says “died” when she sees him. In the Lion King book, there is also a part when Nala and Simba reunite and Nala has Simba pinned. Lily tells the book, “naughty lion, get down” because it is not nice to pin another lion to the ground.

Sometimes Lily will suggest a "walk to get the mail". She knows when she get to the street that she has to hold my hand. She will say "remember the rule" because the rule is she has to hold my hand when we go in the street and she is not allowed to go there alone...So she is mildly obedient in some respects.

The other day we were in a parking lot and she saw some little boys a bit older than her. She said "look mama, friends". Just some random kids walking along. She wouldn't walk further until the boys met up with us, but then they just kept walking. I hoped it didn't hurt her feelings that her "friends" didn't seem to be interested in her and that it would squash her openness and friendliness towards children. She loves playing with kids, and today we were at one of her older friend’s house that was 5. She just laughed and played. This girl has a bike with training wheels and Lily fearlessly, with a little bit of help from her friend, climbed up on the bike and was trying to ride it. I couldn't believe at how brave and ambitious she was. She wasn't scared at all even after she was getting pushed on the bike by her friend and it gently tipped over.

Lily has such a zest for life but sometimes it is channeled in the wrong places. She got taken to me from nursery today at church because she kept pulling girls’ hair. I am not surprised, I am well aware of this flaw. The nursery leader said she would pull out chunks of hair, which was usual each Sunday but not as much as today. I too have seen her with strands of hair in her clenched fists. This is why she plays better with boys...they don't have hair she can pull. Anyway, we had to do "what it is we do" when this happens. She thought maybe we could get her to stop. Trust me, with a baby on the way, if I knew how to get her to stop pulling hair I would. Any advice is welcomed.

She is getting very much into her babies. And purses. Maybe she won't be a tom boy after all. Lately, I have been buying some baby chew toys for Gunnar and have gotten some as gifts, and I try to put them up so Lily doesn't get them nasty yet, and so she won't think they are hers when Gunnar comes, but somehow she always finds them and gets into them. I have two Baby Einstein turtles but they do different things and one is bigger than the other. She loves to have them together and call them the baby Lily and the Mama. I told her today that the turtles were Gunnar's toys and that she was going to have to share with Gunnar. She looked at me like 'what? how dare you' and firmly said "mmmINE!". She is in for a big surprise.

Lily has also been finding the spare binki here and there and refusing to give them back. She loves chewing/sucking on the binkis even though she wouldn't bother with them when she was born. Now she wants to have them in her mouth and steal her cousins' binkis whenever she sees them. I am afraid I don't want to play that game and so I think I am just not going to even offer Gunnar a binki. Maybe it is better that way I won't have to wean him off of one. Lily looks so dang cute though with one in her mouth, I don't know why. Maybe it is because she is getting so big and it makes her look babyish and part of me just wants her to stay little forever. Sometimes when she is in a snuggly mood she will come to me and say “rock-a-baby” and I will pick her up and hold her in a cradle position and sing rock-a-bye baby and then you are my sunshine. She really likes this, and so do I because even though she is so fearless and independent, she still really loves for me to hold her and give lots of hugs and kisses.

Right now the thought of having a boy instead of a girl is so foreign to me I just can't wrap my brain around it. I don't know why, it just doesn't seem possible for me to know what I am going to do with a boy. I remember feeling that with Lily but just with babies in general so hopefully after I meet Gunnar in ten minutes I won't remember what life was like before he was born.

Just what the Dr. ordered: I think I am ready for this baby as far as getting myself all dolled up. I got a gift certificate from Jenni to get a pedicure, and I loved it. I am thinking about getting another one in fact. Forty-five minutes of relaxation, back "massage" vibrations, foot massage, and my toes all pretty.

Then I have finally used the gift certificate that I got from Aaron on my birthday to get a body massage. I must say, it was nice, however getting a massage when you are pregnant is not as good as when you are not. This particular place has you lie on your side, as opposed to some places they have a foam pad you lie on your stomach because the foam pad has a giant hole in it where your belly goes in. Getting a massage while lying on your side is not the same. Plus I don't know if this is because I was on my side but she didn't get my neck or my head and face. That is almost my favorite part of getting a massage. It feels so good when they massage your head...you wouldn't think but it does. I am willing to give this place one more chance after I have Gunnar to see if they are as good as the girl in my ward back in Provo that I used to get massages from. She was awesome and the same price.

And now my hair is finally complete. I went for a hair cut and color almost 2 months ago. The hair cut was fine but when she dyed my hair, which was supposed to be a coffee color, not raven black mind you, my roots ended up being darker than the color it came out to be. So much for going dark for fall. But I went back to get it fixed and it is what I wanted now. So now that is done. Another thing I can cross off my list before the baby comes.

[Comments] (1) Happy Thanksgiving: I am grateful for Aaron, Lily, a healthy pregnancy so far, a nice warm house to bring our baby home to, a bright future, and all my family and friends (you guys!).

[Comments] (1) Winding down: This Thanksgiving holiday was very fun and enjoyable. On Wed we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the Walch/Taylor side. Michelle came in town and Leah and Derrick were there along with James Walker and his very fun wife Debbie. Aaron didn't make it because he was still recovering from food poisoning the day before. He was very ill, but luckily felt good enough to go to the Turkey Bowl and play football for 3 or 4 hours on Thanksgiving Day. I would say he is fully recovered now.

On Thanksgiving Day I woke up and started on my food assignments right away so they would be done before I was too wiped out to do any of it. Aaron's cousin Tyler and his girlfriend Andrea drove down from Houston and we had a party with them, us, and Josh, Jenni, Caden, and Austin. We opted not to go to Mo Ranch with Mom and the Taylor family because Aaron really wanted a traditional day instead of the buffet there at the ranch. He is spoiled like that, and when we found out that Tyler was going to make the trip we figure it would work out for us to just stay here.

I made sweet potato soufflé, corn casserole, one pumpkin pie, pistachio Jello salad, green bean casserole, and bought the turkey for Josh to fry which turned out awesome and very moist. Jenni made rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing (which I love), and a red Jello salad which is awesome too, and she made a berry pie and lemon cream pie which were both to die for. Jenni is quite good at baking. Tyler and Andrea brought a sort of Waldorf salad and ham. Between all of our food assignments we had TONS of leftovers which I have been eating all weekend long.

We had one glitch on Thanksgiving which was the turkey but it was easily remedied. I bought a 20 lb turkey and had defrosted it the day before, but when Josh called his dad for instructions on frying the turkey we found out that they can't be more than 14 lbs or they will explode from water content or something like that so Aaron had to run to the store and see if they had a small turkey that was already defrosted. Luckily, there was and the fried turkey turned out great. I really like it that way and it took like 40 minutes to cook as opposed to an 5 hours. I don't think it is that much more fattening if at all because you are pretty much left with the peanut oil you put in there. So today I am cooking the turkey I first bought because I don't want to refreeze it, I wouldn't have room in my freezer for a huge ol' turkey anyway, and plus with baby Gunnar coming I will have dinners frozen ready to be prepared relatively quickly with turkey leftovers, and I love Hawaiian haystacks and Shepard’s pie so it is good overall. And who can pass up a turkey, mayo, and cranberry sauce sandwich. Yum!

The day after Thanksgiving Jenni, Andrea, and I all got up at 4:30 AM to hit the shops for the good deals. Wal-Mart wasn't too bad, but the Best Buy was horrid. I thought Wal-Mart would be packed and it was but the line went by quickly. It was also 5 AM when we got there and 7 AM when we got to Best Buy. At 5 AM only the completely insane were out and about, but at 7 the semi insane and completely insane were out shopping. I got a good deal on an exersaucer/walker/activity station and a small TV and some DVDs, but I was pretty proud of myself for not buying too much. We finished shopping around 10 and I was ready for a nap. I only got 4 hours of sleep that night so I napped for a good 3 hours.

We went to see Deja Vu I think that night with Michelle, Mom, Aaron, and Joe and Louise. It was good. Yesterday was pretty low key, and today maybe we can get the house back in order from the busy week. When Michelle got here she cleaned my house for me as a present from David. As a mom your work is never done because it already needs to be mopped and cleaned up again. Agh, I will never be ready for this baby.

[Comments] (1) Recipies: I am posting my recipies for the corn casserole and sweet potato souffle because everyone loved them and I do have to admit that they are the best I have had. I am not a big fan of Yams but no one can say they don't like these. Plus last year with all the Smith's everyone loved them. I can't take credit for them though, they are not my creations, but I am adopting them as my small family's tradition along with my mom's tradition to have them every year.

Corn casserole- Thanksgiving dinner

Mix together:

-1 cube butter

-1 cup sugar

-2 eggs

-1 can corn

-1 can of cream style corn

-1 Jiffy corn muffin mix

-dash of vanilla

-8 oz of sour cream

-1 Tablespoon baking powder

Bake at 350* for 1 hour

-Sweet Potato Soufflé-

• 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (usually equaling 3-5 sweet potatoes)

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/3 cup melted butter

• 1/2 teaspoon of salt

• 1/2 can evaporated milk

• dash of vanilla

Combine ingredients then add 2 slightly beaten eggs

Put mixture in casserole dish and sprinkle on TOP:

• 1/3 cup butter

• 1 cup brown sugar

• 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans)

• 1/3 cup flour

Bake @ 350* for 20-30 minutes

[Comments] (1) First time: So I successfully cooked a turkey by meself for the first time. It was in the oven for about 4 hours and came out not too bad. Maybe a little dry for Aaron's taste which compared to fried turkey, yes everything else is dry. I got every bit of meat off the bone I could and saved the broth and skimmed the fat and even boiled the skeleton and got more broth. I freezed some meat for easy dinners later and am going to freeze some broth too. Not too bad for a first time. It is a good thing I have a mom that can tell me what to do, otherwise I would be clueless. I think I want a roasting pan so that I can make turkey more often (but not too often) because I had to borrow mom's. Seriously though, it was only $15 and I got meat enough for about 8-12 meals if not more. That is pretty inexpensive.

[Comments] (2) Mad dash: So my Dr.'s office called and they want me to come in at 2:00pm tomorrow to get ready for the induction and start me off. I will have to spend the night in the hospital until they give me the real stuff Thurs morning. I wish I knew about this ahead of time. Not really convenient having to find a babysitter even more than 2 1/2 days.

I spent all day cleaning and getting things ready. Some other accomplishments that are out of the way are that mom and I are finished making the curtains that we planned. The term "helping" my mom is used very loosely. I ironed a bit and cut a bit and she pretty much whipped them out.

Also, Aaron is just about done with the deck we started. The foundation, floor, and bench are done. All that is left is the railing. It should only take a good day's work left or two short working days. Aaron also put the Christmas tree up and some of the Christmas lights, however we still have more decorations and such to put up but I am not going to worry about it now. I have bigger things on my mind like having to care for another person in less than 2 days.....ahhh! I am starting to get nervous.

[Comments] (4) Tired, but drunk with happiness: Gunnar Walch Smith was born 11/30 weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. He has tons of black/brown hair and is very sweet. We got home from the hospital on Sat and are trying to get back to routines despite Aaron having tests everyday and finals next week. He will be gone a lot and it has been a little rough, but help from the ward and my family has been in abundance. Aaron's mom gets here Friday.

Lily was so nice to Gunnar in the hospital and even the day we got home, but on Sunday all the energy and excitement got to her and she gets the look in her eyes and tries to get a little rough. It could be worse. Her world was just turned upside down, but hopefully we can get through these next couple weeks until Aaron has Christmas vacation.

As for Gunnar, he is a good eater but maybe a little slow. He sleeps pretty well too, but he likes to stay awake a couple hours each night which I hope changes. It is so hard to change boys’ diapers. Between the circumcision and peeing on his clothes, I hope that gets better. This morning was a little challenging as we all got up at the same time and Gunnar wanted to eat, Lily needed breakfast and a diaper change bad, and I needed to use the restroom. Having twice as much to take care of makes me feel like I am running around like a chicken with his head cut off trying to figure out which thing needs the most immediate attention. Anyway, back to the kids. Oh man, I have kids!

[Comments] (1) D-day: Today was supposed to be the day. My little one is now 11 days old. Time has gone by quick, and I can't imagine how miserable I would be if I had to wait all this time to meet my Gunnar. He is such a sweet boy, and to be honest I was scared to have a boy because I wasn't sure I could love Gunnar as much as I love Lily. That also has to do with just having another child in general not just the gender, but it is true I was scared to have a boy because it was uncharted territory. Gunnar is so laid back that he has not cried once when Lily has scratched his face or pulled his hair or landed a little bit on him.

Poor Lily has been sick with the croup sp? and the medicine that the Dr prescribed her made her incredibly hyper. Pretty much unbearable today. She was very destructive trowing toys of the shelves just for the heck of it. Good thing my mother in law is here to help otherwise I am afraid someone might have gotten a dose of spankings today. Poor thing. She is going through a rough time right now. I can't wait for Friday when Aaron can stay at home and share in the fun.

[Comments] (1) A baby is a blessing: Today was a special day. We have had family come in town for Gunnar's birth and also for his baby blessing. Sherry has been here for over a week helping me out around the house and with Lily, and Rick and Davey came in town a couple days ago as did my Dad for the blessing as well. So there was my dad, Aaron's dad Rick, Aaron's brothers Josh, Jake, and Davey, my brother Joe, Aaron's childhood friends Aaron, Matt, and James, and James' dad, Ben Taylor, and I think that was it. It was a pretty crowded circle. The blessing was very sweet and touching. Gunnar was cutie in his all white pants and shirt and the green blanket that we bought him that is similar to the pink one we bought Lily. It was a very stressful morning for me having to wake up at 5:30am in hopes that we would be on time to church at 8:00 (I can't wait for the new time change next year). We were thankfully.

This week has been fun getting to be with family. Gunnar wakes up about every 2-3 hours so I have been trying to catch up on sleep as much as I can. Now that Aaron is home, hopefully I can get some good naps in and maybe even get him to take a feeding or two a night. Yeah right.

Tomorrow I am spending time with Dad going shopping with Michelle and Lorna and then Tues David gets in town. Still more fun to come. So far it has been a fun holiday season.

[Comments] (2) : Gunnar has a dimple on his right cheek that can melt your heart. It is so cute, I hope he keeps it.

Sunny 9 for 2006

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