Sunday, September 28, 2008

Busy, Busy Weekend

It seems like everything was happening this weekend. We had more stuff to do this weekend than we usually do in a month! On Friday, one of our friends from Seattle came to visit. John has known Kristin since they went to the U of M together in Minneapolis and I got to know her when we lived in Seattle. We had a great time showing her our favorite little boy, around our house, neighborhood and some of our favorite St Louis sights.
One of our first stops was the Gateway Park (the Arch). Here is William and Daddy holding hands walking into the park.
Holding hands and holding a stick. Sticks are fun.
The arch. This would be picture 45687651321968484 we have of the arch.
One of my favorite new pictures
One of the few ways he'll tolerate being carried these days for any length of time.
Kristin and William's first time touching the arch
Walking with Mama to our favorite picture spot by a reflecting pool.
See? So pretty!
Unfortunately, once William saw the water, all he wanted to do was swim. Not great when the water is yucky and there is no guard rail. Mama had a lot of work to do to keep everyone dry!
William and the arch
Mama and William

After the arch, we all went to dinner at PF Changs to try something new. Turns out Kristin has been there a few times and we weren't taking her anywhere new! Oh well... After dinner we went back to our house and put the baby to bed and visited for awhile. The other big news is Kristin was the first person to use our new basement bathroom to shower - no complaints!

Saturday was a full day. My club from the middle school I taught at was having a fundraiser and there was a huge garage sale I have had on my calendar for the last 3 months. So, I got up early to hit the sale early on and checked in with my kiddos. When I got home everyone was up and ready so we went to one of our favorite places to hang out - down town St Charles. We enjoyed the people watching (it just so happens there was an Oktoberfest happening - yes, in September, so there was a lot of good people watching going on). After wandering around downtown, we ate lunch at the Little Hills Winery and then checked out Oktoberfest.

William is always a fan of the choo-choos near downtown. The choo choos are in the background and there is a plane in the sky. Notice the shirts? We sure liked Newport!
Still checking out the airplane and holding hands with Daddy.
Trying funnel cake for the first time - he thought it was okay. He liked the German polka music a lot more though - he was dancing until we dragged him away!

We brought William home for his nap and offered to take Kristin to see some other interesting sights. However, we all were feeling a little tired and everyone opted for a nap instead. Kristin had to be back at the airport before dinner time. Which worked out great for us because we were invited to our neighbors wedding and then a birthday party that evening. We sure know how to pack it in!

PS Hey look mom and dad - we didn't even make her work while she was visiting! Amazing - it can be done!

This Kid Cracks me Up

We've had a good weekend. Busy, but good. I have some random pictures that I've been meaning to post and then a weekend update to post. I'm working my way through this new book so it will probably be quiet for the next few days or so.
I can't remember where we were going...but I turned around to find Mr Cool hanging around in our backseat.

William rarely picks up anything to take a bite using his front teeth. So, I've been trying to encourage him to start biting things more by giving him very soft foods in larger pieces. Here he is working a banana like it is corn on the cob.
And he still isn't taking a bite- he is trying to suck on the piece of banana until it comes off of the larger piece.
With all the moving and shifting of everything in our house that is going on, we are unearthing quite a few items from the past - for example the list of things I wanted to get done the first summer we moved into our house. Interesting enough, five years later most of the stuff is done.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Warning: It must be in the water

A whole lotta congratulations all around for so many people!

1. Our neighbors had a baby girl either yesterday or today. I knew it was going to happen, just not sure when it actually did. They are kind of busy right now or I would call and ask 'em how it's going.

2. My high school friend Robyn with baby #2 in February!

3. My other high school friend Jessica with baby #1 in December (she is lame without a blog...)

4. Our St Louis friends: Jenn, Chris, and big sister Charlotte are due at the beginning of March

5. My second cousin Kayleigh who is due any day now....

6. And then I guess there is me...

So, who else? Anyone else want to confess?

PS The only person who actually guessed my secret after the first set of clues was my WMS friend Sundi! Go Sundi - you win a....big hug!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why it is Awesome to be Married To Me

We all have our flaws, including me (I know, GASP!). However this week, I take the cake. Here is just a sampling of why it is totally awesome to be married to me:

1. I call you frantically at work to remind you about a doctors appointment you are almost late for. A whole 24 hours before you need to worry about leaving.

2. Nothing you suggest sounds good to eat. Ever. I don't want anything to eat, at all. Except for maybe a big brownie. With chocolate chips. Do you have any of those?

3. Although you have cooked 17 different things for me in the last week with a 19 month old underfoot the whole time, none of those things are appetizing any longer. For this reason we have in our refrigerator currently: half of a lasagna, a noodle hotdish, beans and rice, grilled chicken, and a huge pack of tortillas I talked you into last week at the store.

4. That huge Sam's club bag of lemons you tried to talk me out of last week at the store. Ummm...yeah, I won't be using any of them anytime soon.

5. I call you at work to tell you something important and can't remember what it is as soon as you answer.

6. Both loading the dishwasher and washing baby diapers make me gag. You inherit two new chores. YAY! (garbage and catboxes are still yours too. I'm not taking on anything new)

7. More than once lately, we've had to make a second trip to the store for the one item I went for. What do you mean we only needed milk? I didn't buy milk...

I'm sure there are more...but this is all I can come up with. Off to bed...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sleep Talk

Last night, I turned my light off after reading. It was late. Each night before I fall asleep, I always check the baby monitor and am lulled into relaxation my William (and usually John's) heavy sleepy dreaming. William is a wild man in his sleep and so it isn't unusual for there to be banging and rolling going on over the monitor either. However, last night William breathed a deep sigh and then in a very satisfied manner said "ahhh...trucks" very clearly in his sleep.

I had to giggle...and then I went to sleep.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hold my Hand?

William is growing and growing. Usually when we go somewhere, I take William out of his car seat and carry him into the store. As quickly as possible, I try to stow him in a cart before he either wiggles away of becomes so heavy I start paring my list down to the bare essentials (1 loaf of bread in any condition and a container of milk of any variety or size). In conjunction with the heaviness, he has also begun to entirely loath the riding in the cart. It is rare that he will park his behind in the kid section of the cart and allow himself to be buckled in without a sweet bribe to distract him (crackers anyone?). And there better be plenty of the bribe to make it through the store because otherwise he will choose an inopportune time to wiggle out of the safety belt and try to stand up almost falling over onto his head. Somehow over the last few weeks, he has become so much more heavy (I don't think it is all him. Part of it is me - I'm tired) that even that walk to the store is becoming a challenge. So, I'm letting him walk more - as long as he holds my hand. So far, so good. The cutest part is that he will stop and wait for me (I know that this waiting stuff is only going to last so long) with his hand outstretched. He'll say "Hold hand mama?". Very sweet - how can I refuse?

On Friday night, it was cool and we were looking to get out of the house for a little while. We elected to take a short walk through the neighborhood. We rolled the stroller out and locked up the house. William entertained us by attempting to put the brakes on the stroller while using his feet. Quite difficult when the brakes are at the same level as your armpits. We put William in the stroller where he proceeded to do his slippery fish/stiff as a board routine. After a few minutes of the neighbors discreetly checking on us, we gave up on buckling him in and started walking. He was thrilled to be holding John's hands and kept commenting as we walked "Hold hand Dada?" Even more cute was that when other walkers/bikers/scooterers needed to come through, John would move over to the grass to let them through. William would have none of it. If Daddy was going to walk on the grass, so was William. If Daddy slowed to look at a tree/car/something, William would need to stop to examine it carefully as well. I decided to push the stroller for the walk as I was certain he wasn't going to be able to walk the whole way. He sure proved me wrong! He walked the whole time - it probably took us an hour to do a 15 minute walk, but he walked it all without complaint, holding John's hand the entire time...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Unexpected Adventures

Our church does a group camp out every year. Last year we signed up, but chickened out the week before because we had company coming to town or some other excuse. Ever the optimist, I signed us up again this year, even though we've never actually tried camping with William. No time like the present - because as you all know, I love camping.

Now, to be truthful, we weren't really camping as we stayed in nice cabins with beds in them and everything. There was a kitchen with electricity, a stove, refrigerator, freezer, etc. So, we roughed it, but I don't know if I would classify it as camping.

We were about 15 miles away from the campground, the roads on our map were blocked by huge barricades marked "ROAD CLOSED". This was unfortunate because...well we didn't know how else to get there. We ended up taking a crazy detour through small town Illinois without ever really knowing if we were going to find our way to the park. I think we probably tacked on about 45 minutes to an hour of extra driving time - but proud that we figured it out using only my keen sense of direction and a small one page map of Illinois.

Our family arrived at the group site on in time for dinner. We grilled and set up in our cabin. It was warm - maybe in the upper 80's, which wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been 23847268734628% humidity out. Just sitting in a lawn chair watching John grill made me sweat. William, who doesn't believe in sitting in lawn chairs, was drenched in sweat as he insisted on running in every direction with his poor mama chasing after him to keep him safe.

The group camp site we stayed at in Pere Marquette State Park

Our cabin is the one in the middle...see how close the fire pit is?
Inside the luxury cabins - windows with screens! And a light!

Everyone else arrived and we had a nice time visiting and watching the kids chase fireflies as the sun went down. Someone built a campfire and we enjoyed some music and treats. The bigger kids were playing some version of flashlight tag/scream as loud as you can and run away game. Which was great fun to watch, but wasn't conducive to putting William to bed at him regularly scheduled time. The kids were hiding around the cabins and in the trees letting out terrifying shrieks every time someone ran by them. So, William stayed up pretty late. We finally got him down about 10:30 or 11 - roughly two hours later than normal. John and I went to bed ourselves shortly after when we discovered a problem.

It was still in the lower 80's and 50000% humidity. After listening to stories from last year's camp out (temps in the 100's during the day and in the lower 50's at night), I brought our super warm sleeping bags and fleece pajamas all around. It wasn't until I was laying on my cot trying to sleep that I realized how miserable it was trying to sleep. So, we made some changes including partially undressing William in his sleep and settled in for the night.

That is until about 2am. I'll spare you all the details, but William was awake from about 2am until about 6am - and mama with him. The poor kid was trying so hard to go back to sleep. I could hear him rolling around in his portable crib and then moving around trying to get comfortable. Several times, I pulled him out of the crib and put him in the bed with us. A poopy diaper, 4 trips to the bathrooom (standard pregnancy consequence for me), 15 kicks to my head and a total of maybe 2 hours of sleep for me made for a rough morning. But, the cabins are close together and when one group of kids are up....all of them are up. But! We had big plans for the day so off we went.
Saturday morning, there were kids events at the State Park. William would rather watch the boats go by on the river.
Suffering from lack of sleep. William was NOT happy to be pulled away from the highway and boat watching. Although it looks like he is just sitting there, this is the start of a tantrum....
William trying to run in a relay
Finally mama helps...
Found one! Yay! Here Dada..
More games...somehow all the little kids (under 7 ended) ended up on this side of the rope. None of the older kids could be convinced to switch sides, so John is trying to even things out. I think he is still sore - my husband doesn't do anything halfway! Also notice William trying to help...

Tug of war started and William is trying to figure out what in the world was going on...I was just as happy to have him out of the way so no one would step on him!
After watching several rounds, William finally gets the hang of tug of war - too bad everyone else is done playing!
William really thinks he is one of the big kids...these big boys were sure great with letting him hang out with them. Sippy cup and all!
After fun and games, our group went to the apple orchard to pick apples! We've never been with William because...well, we're lazy and didn't go last year. William was SO intent on the tractor that pulled the wagon out to the apple trees - he cried when we got off to pick apples!
So happy riding the tractor wagon!
Inspecting the apples before...
Tasting it!
If you look carefully, you can see he got several bites out of the apple - hopefully someone checked to make sure it was an okay apple to be eating....
Picking Mama a red apple from the tree with Dada's help

Saturday night we talked about packing things up and going home. None of us slept well (or at all) and we were worried it would be a repeat. Somehow we got really busy and never made a plan - we ended up staying. William got to bed earlier and went down right away. Even with kids screaming and adults laughing very nearby. And he slept all night long. He only woke up after we had packed most of the cabin up and were getting ready to wake him. He was SO tired!

Unfortunately, I wasn't as lucky. I was up listening for William, making trips to the bathroom and listening to the wind blow through the trees. Although it wasn't at hurricane levels anymore, Tropical Storm Ike started blowing over our campsite in the early hours of Sunday. It rained and was very windy. I did manage to get more sleep than Friday night, but it sure wasn't quality sleep.

Sunday morning, we got up and packed everything up. It was still raining pretty hard and we were anxious to get home. We went up to the lodge for a quick breakfast and to say goodbye to everyone else. However, after eating and helping with clean up, the ranger came in to report that no one was going anywhere - with all the rain a big mudslide had washed out the road. He thought he might be able to clear it with a snowplow or other machinery. But, he also thought we might want to get comfortable as it could take him awhile to get to the equipment and clear the way out of the camp. So, I sent John out into the tropical storm to take some pictures of the campgrounds.
Standing at the steps of our cabin. The distance from our cabin to the lodge up on the hill (all meals were here). The bathroom was to the right of the cabin on the right side of the frame. At the top of the frame you'll notice some pink. Yep, I sent John out into the tropical storm with only a pink umbrella to shield himself.

Upclose-r picture of the 1930's lodge...very nice!

The one lane, uphill curvy road that leads out of the campsite...unless there is a mudslide.

Finally, the mudslide was cleared and our whole group drove out - no one wanted to be stuck by a second mudslide! This time we opted to try and take the ferry home instead of the crazy off the map detour from Friday. We checked and the ferry was still running in spite of all the rain - YAY!
The first ferry we took on the way home (Brussels ferry). These ferries are way smaller than the Washington State ferries we are used to. They looked kind of like a pontoon boat with lanes drawn on them. Maybe 20 cars fit on it? Not at all what I was expecting.
William's first ferry ride! 9/14/08. I wanted to take him out of the car and take a picture, but I knew he was going to throw a fit when I tried to put him back in his seat. So, in he stayed.
After the Brussels ferry, we took the Golden Eagle ferry. Again, much smaller than what we are used to, but it worked. That is, until we started driving! The Golden Eagle ferry dock is roughly 12 miles away from our house and we were very relieved to be almost home! When we got off the second ferry, there was really only 2 choices about how to get home. This area is really rural without a lot of cross streets or major roadways. Right or left was the only option, so right we went. Until we went to turn onto Hwy C...the road was closed due to flooding with emergency vehicles blocking the way. So, back we went past the ferry to make a left turn. The above picture is what we drove through for about 5 miles until we reached the interstate. All the cars in front of us were other members of our congregation. It was pretty stressful driving (me) and several times we almost turned around to go back to the ferry. However, we knew everyone in our car was getting hungry and tired - taking the ferry back would mean at least another 3 hours of riding in the car.
More flooded road. Boy, were we happy to see the the way, we are driving on the left side of the road because the water was more shallow there. You can kind of see the yellow line through the water on the left side of the car in front of us. Since we were driving super slow, John was able to lean the upper part of his body out the window to get this picture. We like to live on the edge :)

PS It was still raining when we got home. According to the weather reports and our own baby swimming pool rain gauge, we got roughly 6 inches of rain between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Luckily everything inside the house was dry and cozy because after all our adventures, I sure needed a nap!


I've updated the clue pictures so you can see what my hints were about:

Clues #1, #2

Clues #3, #4

Clue #5

Last set of clues

At the beginning, I was worried about being too obvious and giving things away too soon. John and I were trying to wait and tell people around the 12 week mark. He did a pretty good job...and I tried not to tell more than one person per day. So, if you haven't had a call or e mail from me, that is why. I've been avoiding you because a) I'm really bad at keeping my own secrets and b) I've been totally exhausted.

So, now that we have cleared the twelve week mark, I'm free to share some more information with you. Baby #2 has a due date of 3/29/09 - which we all know is just an approximation of the arrival time. We don't know the gender of this baby and we aren't sure we are going to find out this time. After all the trouble we had naming William, we've started compiling a list of name possibilities. However, I don't think we're going to pick anything final until after the baby is born like we did with William. Just fair warning: you can ask me what I think we're going to name the baby and I'll give you the pick of the day/hour/minute/millisecond (John will probably say "ask Kelly"). But, don't run out and get anything monogrammed until after the baby comes.

Now that the fog I've been living in has started to lift, I can honestly say that this time 'round was harder for me than William's pregnancy. I've been terribly nauseous for at least the last 6 weeks. Nothing sounds remotely appetizing and about 89.7% of smells make me gag. Even more frustrating is when something sounds like it might be okay - things can change. For example, two weeks ago we went out to eat at Applebee's because we had a gift card. I had trouble finding anything that sounded okay, but finally settled on some soup and salad. By the time it got there, there wasn't any way I was going to be able to eat it. John willingly (read: not happily) agreed to trade with me until I noticed he had broccoli on his plate. Then, he just ate mine for lunch and brought his home with him for lunch the next day. I wouldn't let him heat up the broccoli in our house - I'm super nice like that. However, as with William, I have not actually thrown up. Just felt like I might at any minute for about 6 weeks.

John has been wonderful and amazing. He has come home early upon request to play with William while I nap. He is doing the majority of our cooking and cooks odd dinners with minimal smell without complaint. He has totally taken over the loading of the dishwasher and washing of our cloth diapers as I really struggle with the smells from both. He hasn't complained when everything around the house is sliding. Very little has been accomplished around here while John is at work. General cleanliness, personal hygiene, physical fitness activities, financial accuracy, blogging and fun William activities have all suffered greatly and in some cases been eliminated entirely. It is surprising how much parenting cannot be accomplished (well) from the couch. As William walked by the couch a few weeks ago, he reached out and patted my favorite spot and said "Mama, couch". Yes William, that is where Mama sits on the couch a lot these days.

To recap: We're pregnant and we're so very excited. We hope you're excited for us too. I think we've turned a corner in the total exhuastion and nauseua so hopefully things will be caught up to speed shortly. We'll see....

*Watch for the camping updates tomorrow during naptime....maybe! tired

We're home from camping in the hottest, humidest, stickiest weather ever followed by a night in the middle of a tropical storm. Although I had big plans for a big picture post followed by some big explanations, they are going to have to wait. All three of us are pretty ragged around the edges after a trip with all kinds of adventures we weren't expecting.

On top of it all, I'm currently have a quite intense visit with my old friend Heartburn - so the pictures, stories and explanations will have to wait until naptime tomorrow (at least)!

It'll be worth the wait, I think...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Last Set of Clues

If you still can't figure it out, you'll have to wait until Sunday evening (or later) after we return from are the final clues:

Last Clue #1: This is the ultrasound picture we got at our 7 week appointment with our OB. We got to see a very strong little heartbeat and our new little baby. John and I agree this baby was much cuter during the first ultrasound than William. Probably because William's ultrasound was at 5 weeks and he looked like a blob. This one actually looked more like a baby.
Last Clue #2: Another ultrasound shot from our almost 12 week appointment. There are not any concerns about this pregnancy that require these ultrasounds. The 7 week ultrasound is standard for my OB. The 12 week one was a bonus - our OB told us most of the time she can't find the heartbeat before 14 weeks and asked if we'd rather have another quick ultrasound. We weren't about to turn her down! During this ultrasound, the baby was very active and wiggling. Every time she had a great picture of it, she would freeze the frame to print the picture. In that brief second, the baby would move to another area for a less clear picture. It was still fun for us to see though!
Last Clue #3: William is going to be a big brother!

The very last clue I'm having trouble getting uploaded. But, I think you'll get it from here...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One more Clue...

Clue #5: Here is a sampling of the foods I had craving for when I was pregnant with William: Chilli's, brownies, oranges/orange juice, lemons/lemon drops, root beer, and fruit.

Here is one more clue. I think I'll post my last set of clues on Friday afternoon before we leave for camping attempt #2. That is, provided I can find one more prop that seems to have gone missing....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Daddy's Boy

William has always liked hanging out with his daddy. It's different than hanging out with me (which we do every day) and they play different stuff. In the last month or so he has really made his preference known: when Daddy is available, that is where he wants to be. It is so so SO cute to watch, my feelings aren't hurt at all. He'll follow John around the house and sit next to him, copying his pose exactly. If John leans against the wall, William will attempt to stand leaning against the wall. He loves to sit in Daddy's chair at the table and every morning asks me "Dada?" I reply "Dada went to work, he'll be home soon." In the last two days, the question has become "Dada, soon?" I feel like it is stretching the truth a lot to agree with this statement because at 7am, it isn't at all soon when Dada will arrive home again. But, I don't have a better way to put it in a one and a half year old's vocabulary. So, I am forced to agree "Dada soon." and try to come up with a good distraction.

This is where John spends most of his free time. In the box. Both William and John would like to thank Grandma and Grandpa for bringing another box to our house.
Peeking out the top (John is still in the box)Tonight we were working on building some shelves to organize our basement storage area. William always likes to be in on the action. First he helped by handing John screws and then graduated to scribbling on the boards with his pencil.
Helping - there are a lot of these because it was C-U-T-E!Watching Dada drill. I am always astonished by how long William will watch John work on something quite happily. Way longer than he'll watch me make him a sandwich for his lunch, that's for sure.
Checking out the square.
Here is a picture that William drew today. I'm posting it because it is cool. The squiggly set of lines on the left side of the page is what he drew first. He drew the loop-de-loop and pronounced it a "bee". I thought it kind of looked like a bee and made a mental note crossing "art prodigy" off of my list of possibilities for him. Then he made the second set of squiggly lines on the right side of the page. Again, he declared this a "bee". Curious, I asked William what noise a bee said. Confused, he looked at me and said "B". When I looked back at the picture it does appear the letter B is on the page. Twice. Do I think it means anything. Nope. But it is kind of cool...