Saturday, December 31, 2011

potpourri post

this is the type of husband i have:  david brought home some flowers the other day for me, just to say thanks for "being so nice during peak".  i don't know what i did for him to say thanks, but let me remind you what peak is: it's the busy season for ups lasting from november until january; david works a minimum 12-hour day delivering boxes (even with a runner); this year he got his own route at the mall, so instead of one truck he was responsible for unloading, he got two trucks(!)--and when the mall was done, he got to deliver residential areas.  and after all that, he brought me flowers...i think i'm the lucky one. 

the other day pace very urgently wanted me to pull out the life-size human anatomy book.  i was so excited that my little boy was already interested in learning about the human body--i sat down with him and opened the book to a random page.  he glanced at the pictures, and then quickly ran off...

...coming back with his top.  he was very excited to have found the perfect stage to play with his top!

the next couple of photos i thought were hilarious.  i know it looks like a big mess, but after watching pace work, it really is a work of art!  i was doing dishes and told pace to play in his drawer (instead of pulling out all the dirty silverware from the dishwasher).  he was occupied for a good 20 minutes, going from the drawer to the cupboard and back again.  he spent a fair amount of time pulling exactly the piece he wanted out of the cupboard, and then stood there examining everything and going to the drawer and pulling out exactly what he wanted from there.  if you'll notice, he's starting to group things--all the bibs are together, the bowl and plate with the blue rim, the plastic colored bowls.  then on the carpet, he has a spoon and fork--the matching set--both pointing out toward the living area, almost like they are leading you to the treasure--the red plastic plate and bowl set.  he picked each piece individually from the drawer and ran it out to the living area.  my mom always asks me when i know a painting/project is done, and i really wanted to ask pace the same thing!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

expect the unexpected


  [bey-bee]  Show IPA noun, plural -bies,adjective, verb, -bied, -by·ing.
an infant or very young child.
a newborn or very young animal.
the youngest member of a family, group, etc.
an immature or childish person.
a human fetus.

just in case you need deciphering:  this is an ultrasound of coombs baby#2 at 8 weeks gestation.  the baby is the gummy bear-looking thing at the bottom right of the black oval in the upper left of the picture.  i am currently 16 weeks along and feel great.  i apparently don't get sick when i get pregnant, which would make some of you jealous, but let me remind you of the flip side--if you don't get sick, you gain more weight.  i don't know why it is such a struggle for some to get pregnant, and why it happens at the drop of a hat for others, but i do not take for granted the ease with which my body knows how to create this miracle.  david and i feel very blessed and we are very excited for this baby.  

i've been thinking about the first two months after having pace, and although this post maybe could have been written then, i think these reflections are hilarious...i hope you get a laugh out of them, too.  i remember loving everything about pace, but liking nothing about myself during those first two months.  let me preface the rest of this post by stating i do not suffer from depression, nor did i go through postpartum depression, or even the "baby blues".  i felt very emotionally stable the entire time (well, you know, as stable as one can be functioning on very little sleep); i had worked in pediatrics for five years, so i felt very prepared for the care and handling of a newborn, and knew exactly what to expect from the pediatric check ups, etc.; i was very content to stay at home with my baby--and was a transition!  i have a HUGE list of things that i simply did not expect.

i guess i am thinking about this topic because of the new little one we are going to welcome sometime the first week of june, and i'll be going through this process again.  maybe this time it won't be so bad because i know what to "expect"? here it goes:  expect the unexpected:  [WARNING:  there are Details with a capital "D" in the following list, so if you are not into Details, please feel free to skip to the next post.]

  • i did not expect to labor for 35+ hours before meeting our baby.  i had zero complications or concerns during my pregnancy, and although s-u-p-e-r l-o-n-g and draining, zero complications during my labor.  every woman on the maternal side of my family had had very fast deliveries--between 5-7 hours, even on their first ones, so i totally expected i'd gotten that gene.  and i thought i'd had a pretty high threshold for pain.  i went to a prenatal class, practiced relaxation techniques and deep breathing, and planned on a "natural", drug-free birth...but let me tell you--there is only so much breathing you can do when you are in active labor (intense contractions every 60-90 seconds, lasting 60-90 seconds) for 30 hours before the hospital will even admit you because you aren't dilated to 4cm yet.  once i was finally admitted and got an epidural, i could relax, and i went from a 4 to a 10 within one hour.  pushing?  no sweat--30 minutes later we had a baby.
  • i did not expect to leave the hospital 20 pounds lighter and still have 40 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight.  that's right, i put on 60 pounds.  i am not one of those girls who can wear cute maternity skinny jeans and leave the hospital in pre-baby clothes.  i couldn't even wear cute maternity skinny jeans 6 months later.  if anyone can explain this to me, please do.  i exercised during my pregnancy, ate the same foods and the same portion sizes as before i was pregnant--i did not proscribe to the whole "eating for two" philosophy (medically you only need an extra 300 calories a day, which is a piece of toast and a glass of milk, right?).  i was obviously retaining more water than i thought, because pace certainly did not weigh 20 pounds at birth, but still...
  • i did not expect to wear my husband's clothes for 2 months because maternity clothes were too big, but my clothes were too small.  i felt embarrassed to go back to church until i could fit into a skirt, but david and i were still team-teaching gospel doctrine at the time, and david was tired of teaching isaiah all by himself.  so i went out to buy a couple church things for my new "shape"...8 weeks after pace was born and i had to squeeze into a size 14 (that was a shocker).  let me just tell you how jealous i am of all these girls that come back to church 4-6 weeks after having their baby wearing their pre-baby clothes.
  • i did not expect to go from a size 6 to a size 10, even after working out for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week.  again, i gained double the weight i thought i would, but before getting pregnant, i had a pretty good work out routine and trained for triathlons, so i thought i'd bounce right back.  once i got the ok from the dr., i worked back up to a triathlon training schedule: i combined one of the following: running 3 miles; swimming 1600 meters; or spinning class with one of the following: strength training video (arms, legs, core, etc.); cardio tae-bo; or cardio yoga.  i couldn't lose those final 10 pounds.  after a year, i gave up and went through my closet to get rid of everything labeled "size 6" or "small".  i was not going to hang on to those clothes like some skinny shrine.  and if my body is seriously going to hold on to 10 pounds with each baby, i can guarantee this one will be our last biological child.    
  • i did not expect to leak from places i didn't know i could leak from.  nursing was no problem--pace took to it naturally, and i'd basically turned into a cow.  but all the stuff that goes along with it?!  seriously?!  pads, new bras, new garments, new bust size, waking up feeling so refreshed after a full 5-6 hours of sleep, but everything up top soaked because you got a full 5-6 hours of sleep...oh--and don't forget to wear two sports bras when you work out!
  • i did not expect it to take a full 2 months before i could sit comfortably.  i didn't need to carry around a donut to sit on, but...
  • i did not expect the first intimate night after baby to be more painful than the wedding night.  i spent the night crying in the bathroom.  you kind of start running on auto-pilot, getting up to feed the baby every 2-3 hours all day and night long--you end up feeling sort of utilitarian.  so it's really disappointing when the night you try to feel a little more womanly ends up being so painful...that's all i'm going to say about that.
  • i did not expect to feel so annoyed at david when, after waking up to nurse pace for the third or fourth time, he was still snoring, warm and snuggly in bed.  why would i wake up at the slightest rustle pace made in the pack-n-play next to our bed, but david slept away even when pace was screaming?!
  • i did not expect to shower and brush my teeth at 4pm for pretty much the first month--and that was the earliest it was going to happen!  i don't know how some women go back to work after 6 weeks.

  • HOWEVER, both david and i did not expect to feel such a strong impression that it was time for another baby so soon after having pace.  after having pace i remember thinking, 'this is not going to happen for at least another five years!'  someone told me not to worry, that i'd want more kids. i didn't believe her.  and here we are--ready to double our family.  one more makes four.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

popstir tradition

i don't remember which year my dad gave me the "popstir" for christmas, but i know i've had the best-tasting popcorn ever since.  a little bit of oil, corn kernels, salt, and voila!--the best snack ever!

this year i decided to share the popstir goodness with our neighbors, and i think i've created the best neighbor gift tradition ever!  i've gotten the best reviews on this gift--and what's even better--it cost me a grand total of $7 for six gifts (i already had popcorn, oil, salt and sugar.  i bought more sugar crystals and bags to put the popcorn in).  i thought i'd let y'all in on the secret:
  1. kettle corn recipe, courtesy rachael ray.  the proportions are perfect!  it's the perfect amount of oil and popcorn for my pot--all the kernels pop, and none of the sugar is left over burned or caramelized on the pot.  the popstir is perfect for kettle corn, because once you add sugar, you have to constantly shake the pot so the sugar doesn't stick to the bottom and burn.  if you use a regular pot and lid, you're just going to get a good workout, that's all!
  2. red and green sugar crystals, to make the kettle corn that much more festive!  i added probably 2 tablespoons of crystals to the sugar the recipe called for.  i used up some crystals i had on hand, and when i got down to the last of it, i made one batch with half the amount of crystals, and the popcorn came out white with some crystals stuck to it, not the festive full red color you see below.  i also decided to try the jimmies sprinkles with a batch, as i was running low on crystals.  word to the wise:  spend the money and stick with the crystals--they're on sale at the grocery store right now, anyway!  the jimmies just melted and turned into a big greenish-brownish glob.  the popcorn looked "forest green", to be nice.  it would have been a more appropriate color for we ate that batch instead of sharing it...
  3. festive paper christmas bags--thank you joann's for having all your christmas supplies 60% off already!  i paid 60 cents per big bag (in the photo below), and 40 cents per small bag.  
i could make one green batch, and one red batch of popcorn, and then i'd have to stop and wash the pot out, just to make sure extra sugar or crystals weren't going to stick to it and burn.  after mixing the colored popcorn, i filled the bag 1/2 full, so one big batch of red/green popcorn filled two bags.  i made a total of 3 green and 3 red batches to fill all my bags, and don't forget--you're going to have to make an extra batch for yourself because this stuff is more addictive than potato chips!

Friday, December 9, 2011

made in china

the first year david and i were married, we got cute little "homemade" christmas stockings at a craft store in provo.  i'm pretty sure we had a buy one get one free coupon, otherwise we wouldn't have even walked into this particular store.  we thought it'd be fun to get pace a stocking this year in the same/similar style as our stockings.  we went to the craft store last saturday and, to our dismay, couldn't find any stockings to speak of!  well, there were maybe 5 or so, but they were all very cheap looking and obviously mass-produced somewhere overseas.  on the drive home, we thought maybe our stockings would have a tag inside, giving us a clue as to who made them, and maybe we'd be able to find them online.  we got home, pulled out the tags and found "made in china"!  we had thought we'd gotten "homemade" stockings, as this was a store compiled of many different vendors selling their homemade wares.  ha!  joke on us.  

so i got online to look at homemade christmas stockings for sale on etsy.  as i scanned various overpriced stockings, it dawned on me that i could make one for pace myself!  i'd just sewn two quiet books, for pete's sake!  i still have a ton of fabric leftover and a sewing machine i'm not so afraid of anymore!  so...can you guess which stocking was NOT made in china? :

yup, mr. elf himself!  first i cut up all the red and green fabric i had leftover, and sewed them together how i imagined a quilt would go.  then i cut out a green inside layer, and a batting layer, and quilted the individual stocking sides.  then came mr. elf, and figuring out how to put the cuff on top correctly inside-out-topsy-turvy so after sewing the stocking inside-out, everything would line up perfectly once turned right-side-out.  phew!
cost: $0
time: all together, from cutting to sewing, probably 10-15 hours, spread over 3 days.
reaction: we'll see tomorrow when pace wakes up!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

putting up the tree

pace really enjoyed decorating for christmas.  he is amazed by the tree--he loves the lights, the star, all the ornaments.  he is an incredibly obedient little one year-old, and doesn't touch the tree if we tell him not to.  but he is also very curious.  he found an ornament he really liked, looked at me to see if it was ok to touch, and when i said it was ok, he picked it up and walked around with his new little toy.  later in the day i noticed he had actually put it back on the tree, knowing it hung there somehow--he draped the little plastic pieces over the branch.  so adorable!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

david had a birthday

david turned 30 this year!  he's been gearing up for this event by going for 12 mile runs at 5am, you know, kind of dean karnazes style.  so, for his presents this year, he got totally outfitted for a good run--even if it's 10 degrees outside (like it's been all week).  notice the ninja-style head gear.  thanks, david, for taking care of yourself, working a 12-14 hour day at work, and still coming home with a smile on your face and ready to read to pace (if you get home before his bedtime, that is).  we love you! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

thanksgiving and other details

bob and eddie came down for thanksgiving again this year.  eddie found a great deal on a flight from salt lake to florida, so she went to spend thanksgiving with her family.  so with david working crazy peak hours all week (including black friday), it was just bob and me hanging out!  we did a little grocery shopping for thanksgiving, he did a couple of badly needed home repairs for us, and we went to the dinosaur museum at thanksgiving point.  pace wore his "department of paleontology" outfit for the occasion.  he was fascinated with everything in the "movement" room, and his favorite dinosaur by far was this little baby statue on the floor--he walked right over to it to pet it, give it hugs and even try to crawl on top for a ride.

bob very quickly became pace's happy little playmate.

i was showing pace all of the fruit in the fruit bowl one morning--naming each one, letting him touch it, smell it, even try to bite it if he wanted to.  when we got to the banana, he knew just what he wanted to start his breakfast!--he ripped it out of my hands as soon as i'd peeled it, and chowed down!

pace has also become a professional biped.  he first took steps on his birthday, and went from tentative steps, to screaming and plopping himself down on the floor refusing to walk unless i was holding his hand, to now wanting to run--walking isn't fast enough.  he's quite the little dribbler, too!  when david gets home from work he loves to take hold of our fingers with each of his hands and we'll run down the hallway as fast as his little legs will carry him.  he keeps up pretty well!  

one of the last few nice days we had before it got really, really cold.  we got pictures done, so everyone was dressed up for the photo shoot.  i always say i don't think a baby should have a haircut before the age of two--it instantly turns them into a little child and gone is the baby forever.  but pace's hair is getting kind of long...we may have to take action before his second birthday...

just a few photos from the shoot:

the best toys ever