Thursday, September 25, 2008

Serious Nesting

As my due date fast approaches, I've felt this anxiety to get everything "cute" and finished. I've been drawing up designs for the baby quilt I'm making. I made a sailboat blanket for Benjamin before he was born, so I'm trying to figure out what to do for this next little boy. I really wish I had endless supplies of scraps at my disposal like I did last time (thanks again, Grandma Cannon!), but I'll just have to get creative. It can get expensive to buy all the fabrics!
Mainly, I've just been finishing up projects that I know I'll never finish if I wait until after the baby comes. I don't have any idea what life with two is like, but I imagine any "me" time will be even further decimated, at least for a while.

The gourds that I bought with my birthday money last year (I'm a dork, I know!) got left out in the yard all winter to rot. Not on purpose, but that's just what happened. So this summer, a beautiful, healthy gourd plant started growing on the side of our house, and so far we have three mini pumpkins! Cute, huh? I just really like the fact that they came from our yard!

I saw these great fabric covered block letters at Anthropologie a few months ago, and determined I was going to figure out how to make them. I never did find any 3D letters, so I settled for these flat ones that I could hang on the wall, and affixed scrapbook paper with spray adhesive. Not the best quality picture, but they do have interesting patterns.
The St. Louis Cardinals pennant was left by the previous owner, and so we used it in Benjamin's room. Cute story: I checked out a Baseball ABC book at the library for Benjamin (which I subsequently had to renew for him), and he literally memorized what every letter of the alphabet stands for. So he has a pretty advanced baseball vocabulary now: "Autograph, Babe Ruth, Cap....Logo...Pennant...Vendor." He even points out the correct logo and says "St. Louis Cardinals." Too bad we never made it to a game this season! Hopefully next year.
Here is the cow jumping over the moon picture from "Goodnight Moon" that I finished a while ago, but never framed. It's just acrylic paint. He likes it.
Another bad picture with glare, but you get the idea. I finally finished "Drummer Hoff" and framed it to hang in Benjamin's room. It's cut colored paper and black ink. I think the original from the book is all woodcut. I love the illustrations from this book, so this was fun to do!
And here's the finished little corner in Benjamin's new room, complete with his big boy bed. I think I'm going to hang Drummer Hoff on an opposite wall. Oh, so since my last venting post, Benjamin has done considerably better going to bed and staying put. Paul carried him back without speaking to him one night and that was enough to shake him up I guess. He stays! We are still working on the other little issue however...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Going Crazy...

I don't know if any of you seasoned mothers have any advice to give me here, but I'm going crazy. Benjamin has been a great sleeper for a while, but recently has decided to push bedtime back father and farther with excuses from needing milk to going potty (again and again). Usually he's just running out of his room, finding random objects that he "needs" and then eliciting us to tell him to go to back to bed. I've given in too long, because it's only gotten worse and worse. I've tried ignoring him until he gives up and goes back to bed, but that's backfired too.
Benjamin is great at staying dry all day, but he doesn't like going #2 on the potty yet. He thinks it's gross. So we devised a sticker chart system to reward him for his successes. He's done it once. I guess he's scared of failure, because now he'll just go in his underpants or diaper without telling me, then take it off in the bathroom and dispose of it in the toilet before coming to tell me he needs a wipe. It's SO gross. Thank goodness for Clorox wipes is all I have to say about that.
So during the past few times that I've tried ignoring him while he runs around at bedtime, this is what happens. I really can't handle it anymore. Maybe I'm just an overly hormonal pregnant person, but it's starting to push me over the edge and I'm losing patience with him. I need help...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Unlikely Rock Concert

Right now, I'm the Primary Secretary, so I have minimal responsibilities with all the benefits of being with the kids. It's a fun calling. I don't do sharing times, I don't conduct, and I don't go to Stake meetings. But I do get to hang out every Sunday with an awesome bunch of ladies in the ward, most with little kids around Benjamin's age. Three of them have new babies that hang out in the back with us each week, so our new little boy will be in good company.

Today was our ward's greatly anticipated Primary Program. It's the culmination of the year with songs they've been practicing since January and lines that many kids have memorized. I was in charge of sending out invitations for the event. It's amazing how the stress level in the primary leadership drops after the program is finished. No more rehearsals, no more indulging strung-out kids with candy, and it's the last time we hear the songs we've all heard a million times.

I went up to sit in the stands between two CTR 7 boys, one with autism and the other with behavioral issues, so part of my time was spent holding the seats so they couldn't bounce them back and forth during the songs, and helping them up to the stand for their parts. Benjamin, who used to freak out when I'd go up to the podium, was beaming at me from the audience the entire time. You'd have thought he was at a rock concert, getting to hear all of his favorite songs sung by all of his idols (a.k.a. big kids). I got to watch all of the nursery kids from the stand. All of them were attentive for a good part of the time, but Benjamin was especially transfixed. Some of his favorites were "Called to Serve" (the "Marching Song"), "Dare to do Right," and "I Love to See the Temple."

It was a really powerful program with several duets and family numbers that brought me close to tears. I love how the Primary songs teach the most simple, basic truths of the gospel. I love being in a position where I can serve these kids who have such simple faith. I am constantly reminded of how I need to become more like a little child- humble, submissive, teachable, patient and full of love. It's interesting to me how as teenagers and as young adults, we try to get as far away from being a child as we can. (Believe me, I AM old enough and mature enough to be the mother of this two year old AND have another one on the way!) As we attempt to convince our own children and critical observers of our right to authority, I think we lose the child-like qualities that we need to have. I guess most of us have a lifetime to work our way back to where we started, and I, for one, am constantly fumbling my way back to the beginning of that path. Maybe if they keep me in Primary for long enough, I'll figure it out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

IT'S A.....


We finally found out from the ultrasound today that we're having another little boy! Paul and I were shocked. All this time, we've been preparing ourselves as if we're having a girl, so it's a huge relief to finally know. He's already measuring at about 6 lbs. 4 oz., so hopefully he won't get too much bigger in the next 5 1/2 weeks! Now to actually think about baby names...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Emergency Preparedness

We are all so relieved. My sister, Rachel down in Houston got through Hurricane Ike relatively unscathed! Well, they still don't have power and likely won't for a few more weeks, but their situation is a lot better than most down there. I am glad they were so well prepared! They were able to secure the windows, have plenty of food and water on hand, power their fridge and cell phones with a generator, and cook on their propane stove. They even took in about 6 evacuees. Here's a picture of all the debris from their front yard. You're a rock star, Rachel!

On Sunday morning, the storm passed through St. Louis. It only lasted about 6 hours and resulted in about 2 1/2 hours of power outage and some minor basement flooding, but it was a real wake up call for us! We went to church as usual, except I had wet hair and probably looked like I had gotten dressed in the dark. My biggest worry was that the month's worth of groceries that we'd purchased at Sam's Club the previous day would go bad. But we were relieved to return from church and find that the power had returned and everything was fine! We felt so blessed.

I'm starting to realize that we'd be in pretty bad shape if we were to have a real emergency. We're starting to build up our 3 month food storage and water supply. But we don't have any way to cook food or power essential electronics should we lose electricity indefinitely. We have one flashlight and some propane lanterns. We also have plenty of blankets and basic first aid supplies. None of it is very organized. I guess preparedness comes with time and we're just getting started.

So, I want other people's thoughts about emergency preparedness. What have you done? What are you planning to do?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Recent Obsessions

A few weeks ago, I decided I'd had enough of Elmo's World, so it magically disappeared from Benjamin's world. He's funny. Almost every morning after breakfast, I'd get the usual visual examination, then Benjamin would point out a soiled spot (usually on my pajama pants) and say "Mommy so dirty. Mommy take a shower. Benjamin watch Elmo!" Well, actually nothing has changed, except now he inserts "Boo's Cues" in place of "Elmo." Yes, Blue's Clues is Benjamin's new found obsession. My friend mentioned to me one day that her daughter loves that show and actually interacts with it, so I thought I'd give it a chance.
He started pointing out clues everywhere we went once he started watching this silly show. A few Sundays ago, I put a little gray truck (that happens to have a tiny blue paw print on it) in the diaper bag. During Sacrament meeting, he excitedly pointed out that there was a clue on the truck! Then the usual dialogue that follows goes something like this: "So. A first clue. Find a nope-book! Then draw a line..." I found a cute "thinking chair" for him on Craig's List so now he has a place to figure out what his clues mean. I also made him a "notebook" that looks similar to the one in the show so he can write all of his clues down. So I admit I'm definitely indulging this silly craze, but it seems to be a little less mindless than Elmo's World.

Obsession #2: these adorable dinosaur books by Jane Yolen that Paul's Aunt Claudia introduced us to. She gave us "How Does a Dinosaur Clean Up His Room?" and Benjamin immediately loved it and wanted to read it all the time. He now wants to be a "good little dinosaur" about things like eating, cleaning up, going to bed, being nice to friends and behaving at the doctor's office. It's very much geared to little boys. And the illustrations are awesome!
I checked out "How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight?" and "How Does a Dinosaur Get Well Soon" from the library a few weeks ago, and those became part of his regular bedtime story line-up.
This week, Benjamin started to get a fever and a runny nose, so I found myself using lines from the book to help him understand what he needed to do to get better. "He drinks lots of juice and get lots of rest. He's good at the doctor's, 'cause Doctors know best...He take all his medicine without a fight. He closes his eyes. He whispers good night..." He has been totally cooperative and is almost over it.
Yesterday when I sat down to read with him on his bed, he said to me, "I LUDD (love) reading stories with Mommy!" Benjamin talks all the time of course, but sometimes he catches me off guard with his perfectly constructed, unprompted sentences. And this one was really sweet! I love reading stories with Benjamin too!

I don't think you have to agree with me politically to understand why Sarah Palin is my newfound obsession. She is awesome. Paul and I saw her on Glenn Beck three months ago, and loved her. When I heard the announcement that Sarah Palin was John McCain's VP pick, I was really excited. And I was not previously excited about John McCain at all. She is going to do great things for this country, regardless of whether McCain wins or not. Her speech at the Republican National Convention blew us away. She is smart, articulate, and fearless. She also happens to have great morals.
It's been interesting to watch how angry the liberals have gotten over her nomination. Paul's Dad directed us to this article about her and a little about the history of liberalism. We both really liked it. I believe in electing good leaders, and I believe she would be.

Another new obsession of mine is Jell-O's sugar-free Chocolate pudding. I met with the nutritionist this week who will be working with me for my gestational diabetes, so now I have a clear idea of what I'm in for for the next seven weeks. I have an eating schedule that I have to stick close to throughout the day, but it's almost exactly how I normally eat, so no major adjustments. I have different "carb choice" allotments for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Generally I have to incorporate a "meat" and "fat" into each meal or snack as well. I've started to pick up on what are good choices, and which ones are a waste. For example, fruit juice--as much as I love it--is not a good choice, because it's such a tiny portion. Not very satisfying, so I'll usually go with whole fruit. Sugar-free chocolate pudding on the other hand, is nutritionally the same as a glass of milk, and it indulges my need for something sweet. Good stuff.
The lancet that I use to prick my finger four times a day really isn't bad at all. It doesn't hurt, it's just a matter of remembering to do it at specific times. So I'll make it! I just think about people who have to go on bed rest for weeks or months, and I'm reminded that my situation isn't bad at all!

And last but not least, meet Paul's and my new favorite obsession: this mattress. When we first moved to Wymount, we needed a bed, so my friend told me she found a used one for $300 that we could buy from her. So we did. This was not one of our wiser decisions.
My Mom saw what we were sleeping on about a month later, and immediately went out and bought a piece of plywood to go between the box spring and mattress. It didn't improve the situation much. Much of our nights have been spent rolling from one side to the other because that side was numb, and each morning we'd wake up a lot achier than we were when we went to bed.
Well, almost four years into our marriage, and we finally decided it was time to do something about it. With Paul's bonus, we found an amazing deal on an AMAZING mattress this past Labor Day. OK, so it might have been a little over the top. When they delivered the monstrosity to our small bedroom, we looked at each other like we might have made a mistake, but then we laid down. It was no mistake. Yes, the mattress is 22" thick (our old one was 7", just to give you a reference)and we'll eventually have to find special sheets for it, but man. What a difference a good mattress can make! Maybe bed rest WOULD be a better option... :)