Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Gratitude

I just sat down with my cozy faux fur throw, after enjoying a busy morning and fun lunch with Scott and Pixie.
I made a quick vegetarian chili and some cornbread, I have regular bread in the oven right now and Pixie is 'reading' books in quiet time in her room.
I love the quiet in the house today. It's been raining out the last few days, which is so much better than ice or snow, and so we've left the Christmas tree lights on because it's so dark. The dogs are downstairs being quiet, even though cooped up due to the muddy backyard the last few days.

I decided to sit down to look up some craft projects I want to get done for Christmas, and look at some goodie recipes to make. I had this overwhelming feeling of happiness in my life.
I love my home. We've been here for almost a year now. A year ago at this time we saw it for the first time.
It's so wonderful to be in a house that you love, even if it still has many home improvement projects to be done on it. It's warm, efficient, cozy and roomy.
I love our growing little family. I love this little boy growing inside of me already, even though it has been more difficult to carry him. I had wondered if the second time around would be less exciting, but it's not. I think it's even more exciting. Maybe that's because Pixie will be getting a sibling or it is because we are more familiar with what having a baby around 24/7 entails. Hopefully it entails much more sleep and less stress than with Pixie. I think I've relaxed enough this time around that I 'might' be able to fall asleep reclining in our comfy new furniture, while holding an infant that won't let you lie down. Ever. :)
The prospect of getting the birth I'm comfortable with and want, is so awesome. The beginning of this month I found out that the birth center I wanted to go to had some fee changes that enabled us to go there. I was so ecstatic. We visited the next night and set up our first appointment. My first visit with them is on the 28th.
I just need everything to go normally and this boy to stay in for as long as he's supposed to, to have what I want!

I'm so happy for this Christmas holiday. I'm happy that we will be able to meet Scott (in between shifts on the weekend) at my parent's house on Christmas Eve. I'm happy that he'll come home Christmas morning to be with us for church and the entire day. I'm happy that he has work off the next day. I'm happy that even though we'll be spending New Year's Eve apart again for a few years in a row, he'll be home the next day and the next day after that. We are seeing more of him than ever and we love it, even if it isn't for full days. I'm happy that the new year brings the prospect of him being able to be home weekends, towards the latter part of the year. I can't imagine what that would be like.
Our whole family being home=happiness for all of us.

We've had many blessings come our way in 2011. Not that it's been easy, but it has let us gain experiences that are very valuable, and allow us to grow even closer together as a family unit.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Finished!

The barrier fence is finished! It took a while to do it. We started a few days before Thanksgiving. Scott found this way of making our own custom fence panels, so nothing can be seen through the fence. There is an extra panel on top of the seams. We made them all ourselves, and measure the slopes, etc. It would have been easier if it didn't get so dark so soon and if Scott were home on weekends. Also would have been easier if I could help lift the thing more! I took it easy, don't want anything to happen with this pregnancy. Which meant Scott had to carry the panels pretty much by himself off of the porch. They were VERY heavy, due to the extra panels and that they are treated wood.

So now instead of this: (Minus the other two barking dogs; a fat beagle and poodle-type mix. Plus it's really awkward to be outside in the Summer when the lady and her teenage daughter are sitting in the pool, right there next to us.)

We have this!

This view is from our porch. When you are down in the back yard you won't see anything, except the neighbor's porch. I'm sure some of them might try to bark at us from there. No more fence fighting and biting through the fence. Nova teased them, but after Perrin got under the other fence and almost mauled to death, he's become even more aggressive towards them and a shock collar doesn't even affect him when he's in the heat of the moment.
I also don't have to worry about Pixie going up to all four of those dogs, and risk getting bitten. So annoying when they stood there barking at my three-year-old, who was the only one in the yard.

Eventually I'd like the other side of the yard done, just to be even, but because of cost (wood is expensive!) and the major slope down in the back corner, we're going to wait a while or hire it out in the future. There is an easement in the back and on the other side, the other neighbors are a really quiet older couple with one little old dog and some cats. They keep their yard in pristine condition. The way ours will be once we get it the way we want it! I've already started to think about all the fun garden things I can do on this fence. A place for climbing plants and maybe installing some gutter gardens I saw an idea for. Who knows! I think my ideas are bigger than my abilities might be next Spring. You know, with a newborn and all. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Small Attempt at Family Christmas Pictures

We had about 5 minutes before leaving to our church Christmas party, so I decided to try and take some pictures. It turned out to be a little difficult to get anything good, but it was fun.

Here are our three attempts at getting a timed family photo, using Pixie's dollhouse as our tripod. It didn't work out too well. I have no idea what got into her and the faces she made at the camera. I don't think she was holding them while we were waiting....

And this is the best one....oh dear. Between Pixie's face and my glaring spectacles...yikes. I''m opting for contact lenses next year at my optometrist's exam. :)

Santa made a visit at the church party. Scott got to for for an hour, unexpectedly, before he head out for work. It was nice, but he missed Santa and the treats.
Pixie is old enough not to cry on Santa's lap (btw, our Santa was British!), but she's still not comfortable being there. He asked her if she wanted to get off his lap, she said yes. 

She was happy to sit on the floor with her gift.

After I got home and got Pixie into bed, I decided to try and get a few side views of my pregnancy. I had a request from my sister, Amy, so I thought I better do it. I haven't had any pictures since Halloween I think.
So here I am, 22 weeks and 3 days pregnant with our baby boy!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!

 Here are the creepy witches!
We went down for the downtown business trick-or-treating, then we went to a few neighborhood houses. Pixie was pretty tired when we started the second half, she also didn't want to wear her hat, but she had a blast eating candy after we came home. I even got to hand some candy out. Our old house didn't get any kids coming around. It was fun!

Riding her broomstick...

I love her face in this picture!

Being creepy.

My 17 week baby bump...or lump. :)
I've been feeling the baby a lot the past week. That's fun and a little weird.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Craft

I saw this trick-or-treat bag at Williams Sonoma's online store and I thought it was adorable. I knew I could make my own! Well, I didn't do it until today. I was in kind of a hurry, so some things aren't exact or to scale, but I think it came out pretty darn cute! 

Here is my version:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It Feels Like Fall!

 Even though autumn has been officially here, it hasn't felt like it in the Midwest. Last weekend our weather turned from extremely dry and in the sunny 80's, to overcast drippy days in the 40-50's. Last night was our first frost scare, coming dangerously close to a freeze. Some areas did dip down that low. I harvested my bunches of green peppers yesterday (so sad leaving those little buds there to wither!) and will be bringing in my green tomatoes, all in hopes that they will ripen. I have plans for them all if they don't, however.
Since fall has fallen, Pixie and I have made two soups this week. The first, a vegetarian italian sausage tortellini soup, the second was a vegetarian potato 'bakon' soup.

Here are a few pictures with my tiny chef. She was in charge of tearing off the leaves of fresh herbs and putting them into the soup.

I know this picture might scare some, but the burner was off and I'm always right there with her. Pixie is seriously the most careful and calculating child I've ever known!

This is the first holiday we have decorated our front porch for. I finally got my candy corn decoration on the door!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Craft - Candy Corn!

Look at what else I did! Wow, I'm on a roll. Today has been the best day I have had in a long time. I felt a little icky here and there, nearly tossed my cookies when catching up on dishes, but after that I felt pretty decent. 

I saw this Halloween craft idea the same time as my luminaries craft. I decided that I could sew it out of felt (since I have a lot of it). I noticed that there was something different about her product, then googled an image of candy corn to be correct. Yes, I was right. The colors were out of order. I like to be pretty accurate when I make something to look like a real product.

Here's the finished door hanger! I cannot find either of my door hooks to save my life, so I didn't get to photograph it in it's proper place.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween Craft - Luminaries

I've been keeping my glass jars from spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, salsa, etc.. because our local recycling doesn't recycle glass. I use them to store things in or give food in to people. So I was pretty excited when I came across this tutorial for a fun Halloween craft. It was easy, which I need right now. I did it at the coffee table one night while watching The Biggest Loser with my family.

It's just glass jars painted with acrylic paints, then sprayed with clear gloss spray paint. And yes, I got carded for it. I think it's awesome I could still pass for being at least a decade younger than I am. :)
Here you go, drop a tea light in it and you have Halloween luminaries!

Yet Another Surprise Funny of Pixie

As I was typing the last words of my last post, I heard the sound of Pixie singing behind the couch. This is nothing new, she sings anything and everything...which sometimes includes songs on the radio I am shocked she knows. Anyway, first, a little background.
Our living room looks like a Halloween tornado came through it. I had Scott bring up the boxes yesterday, hoping I would be able to set a few decorations out before mutual. It didn't happen. Pixie was so excited to see all of the holiday decor and costumes, that of course every item had to be spread out over the entire room. I have picked up random costumes over the last few years at thrift stores, etc. I've haphazardly put some things back into boxes until I get a small burst of energy to deal with it, and all the  many other things that need to be done.

So while I was posting my last post, I heard Pixie singing "I love you, you love me..." from behind the couch.
Now, I promise, she has only watched Barney one time. She usually tells me when it comes on after her other show, so I can turn it off. One time I was outside gardening and I missed the change of shows. It was too late. She was already singing along with every song they sang. Great.

I didn't think much of her singing, so I didn't pay much attention. That is, until she came out from behind the couch, looking like this........



I then realized what she had been singing and what she was wearing. I burst into laughter harder than I remember having for a long time. She said a string of unassuming sentences that I cannot remember now, but they made me laugh even harder. Then she proceeded to point out the different points of the costume. "This is my brown tail. It's for my body."
I am so tickled that she has my sense of humor. She doesn't over-do it and has a pretty dry sense of humor for a 3 year old. I love it!

Mother's Day Gift that Keeps on Giving + A Pixie Funny

I've always wanted my own rose garden, with roses suitable for cutting. On Mother's Day, Scott gave me the most beautiful rose bush. He spent lots of time at a nursery looking for a beautiful, fragrant, cutting rose. How gorgeous is it? I love that it's still blooming in October, we haven't had any rain for 18 days and I haven't been watering a thing. It smells heavenly!

Completely unrelated, but Pixie just said something I thought was humorous. She cracks herself up a lot lately.
Here was our exchange:

Me: We really need to cut your nails.
Pixie: No, maybe later.
Me: No, we'll do it right now.
Pixie: How about tomorrow?
Me: Right now.
Pixie: (In a matter of fact tone) We can do it on the weekend.
Me: Did you say on the weekend?
Pixie: *peals of laughter*

I just love that she comes out with unexpected things. It makes me laugh a lot, which has been great since dealing with the sickness of this pregnancy. I love my little girl!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Update on the Last Few Months!

 I know I've been absent..a lot...from my blog lately. We had a pretty nice summer. I visited our stake's girls camp and went on the youth conference trip to Nauvoo, IL. Two days after I returned from youth conference, I discovered we were expecting baby #2. It's so exciting and I had high hopes of this pregnancy being different (better), but it has been exactly the same so far. I found out when I was less than 4 weeks along, so knowing for this long has been torture! Of course, I would have known pretty soon after that because around 5 weeks along, I started getting morning sickness. Which, I just call pregnancy sickness, since it's all day. I'm currently 13 weeks and it's starting to taper off. I hadn't heard about taking Unisom and vitamin B6 before for morning sickness, until the midwives/doctors at this hospital told me. It has helped greatly in the not actually throwing up as much part. I have actually gained two pounds in the first trimester, instead of losing 10!

Pixie is pretty insistent that the baby is a sister, but we're preparing her for a brother as well.
My due date is on Pixie's birthday, April 10th. Which is pretty cool I think! That will make exactly 4 years between them. She has been such an amazing child during all of this. She allows me to sleep in and is so sweet. She'll even bring me food (snacks or apples) and throw things away for me, without asking.
I can't imagine how much worse this would have been if she was a year younger!

Scott went in with his two siblings and we flew out his grandma. She's like a grandmother to me and I love her to bits. I never got to know any of my grandparents and they are all gone now.
We had SO much fun with her while she was here for a week. I wish I felt better, but it was nice to not be alone with Pixie all the time. Pixie just adores her great-grandma.
We knew we were going to have to get a big bed for Pixie, with the new baby coming, but Scott did it even earlier so that Grandma had a place to sleep. We found a coiled futon mattress with awesome reviews on Amazon, for a very reasonable price. Then Scott got lumber and made a platform bed. It's not painted yet, but it's cool! Now that Grandma is gone, Pixie has a full-sized bed to herself. I admit, I sneak in there and lounge on it quite often. It's firm, so it's nice on my back. I'm thinking a king sized one is in my bedroom's future. :)
During Grandma's visit I had a prenatal appointment for the baby's heartbeat. Grandma got to come, it was so neat. We had been preparing and explaining to Pixie what a heartbeat was, so she knew what it was when we heard it. It was cool. I don't think it's completely hit me yet, but there is a baby in there!

Here are some pictures from Grandma's visit. Pixie fell asleep on her one evening! It was adorable.

Scott took a day off of work and we went into the city. We visited a children's farmstead. This calf was only a few months old. She was cute. Pixie wouldn't pet her head because she was majorly licking my arm..almost gave me tongue burn! They're so rough. (Pregnant or fat? Haha...probably both. Pregnancy doesn't like me at all!)

For anyone who has known Pixie since before age 3 will be shocked and amazed at these photos. This is a child who would go up to almost any animal as a baby, but scream if a person approached her. At 2 we couldn't go within 20 feet of men in the store, without screaming. They didn't even allow parents to go up to the loading dock. She walked up and let the guy put her on the pony. AMAZING!

I just love this photo. Sorry, dear! Grandma and I were sitting down on a bench, a little worn out, while they fed the koi in the pond.

We took a trip to the new Trader Joe's and I instantly fell in love. I just wish it wasn't an hour away!
After that we visited a park in a very well-to-do area. We saw nice things and nannies. Then we went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. It was amazing, as always. I have to get the avocado egg rolls every time I go. I can make them myself, but they take quite a bit of effort. I did something different and got an alfredo dish. I almost never buy pasta out, but it was so good. Plus, there's no way I would add that much fat to my own!

We miss you, Grandma! We hope to see you in the spring, with a new addition!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Cinderella-esque Pixie

This happened a last month I believe. I heard some noise and went into the kitchen to see what Pixie was up to. She was sporting fairy princess garb that day and decided to clean my floor. She grabbed my spray bottle of All-Purpose Charlie's Soap and was hard at work. I took the perfect opportunity to snap a few photos.