Thursday, December 17

Voting on Names

Thank you all who voted on the name for our new baby. Evan James really seems to be the top pick with a vote of 65% (21 votes vs. 10). My pick of Brian James didn't make it with only 31%. It was fun seeing every one's response to our pick of names and what everyone else thought.

Although Evan James "won" we actually aren't going to be using either name! We really didn't want to settle on a name that the other person wasn't really happy with. We were fortunate with naming Brendan that we both loved the name. But this one was a little harder for us, I like the name Evan, but I'm not loving it. The same is true with Scott and the name Brian.

So, we have picked an alternative name that I think we both are very happy with. I'm going to leave you in suspense for a little longer! :) We go in for another Ultrasound next week where we will "officially" find out the sex of the baby. Because I originally found out so early, there is still a chance the baby is a girl (although I doubt it). So we will announce the name after the next ultrasound...Unless it is a girl, then we will probably have another month of discussing names since we have zero girl names picked out!

Wednesday, December 16

17 months!

It is amazing to me that my little baby is now 17 months old. Walking, Talking, basically - no longer my baby! I scoop him up all the time, cradle him like a newborn and ask "Where is my baby!?" his response is to throw his head back and cackle at me.

We are having so much fun with him. Although I miss the times of sitting in a rocking chair with a sleeping baby in my arms, I love to chase him around the house, giggle laugh and explore. Everything is new to him, and it is so exciting for us during this age.

Last night, Brendan and I had a "date night". Although it probably wasn't really his choice of events for the night, we did some Christmas shopping. We first started at McDonald's, I can't believe how big my boy is getting, he wont even sit in the highchair anymore but wants his own seat.

Brendan loves his happy meal and was eating his hamburger all by himself. Mr. Independent wants no help eating his food, no even the yogurt Mommy shared with him. I love that McDonald's has more choices for a meal. I asked for sliced apples instead of French Fries, which Brendan will actually eat better than French fries, and I can take them with me for him to eat later, they also gave me a carton of milk instead of sugary soda. Brendan also gets a Preschool toy for 3 and under to play with instead of the older toy that typically comes with the meal. For my meal, I replaced the fries with a Yogurt Parfait which Brendan actually ate most of.

After we spent almost an hour at McDonald's eating, laughing and playing, we went to the Mall. Brendan was so well behaved and mom drug him from store to store doing Christmas shopping and finishing Daddy's stocking. It is times like last night that I will remember and treasure. I'm sure he has already forgotten it, but I hope to have days like that at least once a month that is just Brendan and Mommy, even after the baby is born.

Monday, December 14

Humanities & The Nutcracker

During my Sophomore year of college, I took probably one of my favorite series of courses. Humanities I & Humanities II. Although I loved the instructor and how passionate he would get about ROME! I think that it was more of my classmates and our take on the course that bring back such fond memories.

We took our very first test for the course, and didn't do so well. From then on, we decided to have a study group the night before the test. Our tests were always at 9:00 on Thursday mornings, so getting everyone together on Wednesday nights were a bit tough. Being the young college students that we were, went to the only logical place to study past 9:00 at night - Denny's. We would laugh so hard during these study sessions, surprisingly, we actually would remember quite a bit. I will never forget that Alexander the Great died (when Sam?) 323 BC. And Charlemagne was crowned king in 800 AD on Christmas Day (even though he didn't want to become King). From Flying buttresses, to the dates of import people, we would find some little quirk to remember the information. Sam was always the humor of the night, and we usually had to call him at 9:00 the next morning to tell him the test was starting and he wasn't here yet.

One of my favorite memories of the course was completing our Cultural Experiences. We had to visit 3 a semester. Our last one of the Fall semester was seeing the Nutcracker. I found cheap tickets for the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. My roommate Shanda, Karina, Sam & I all got dressed up to go see the ballet. As I called Sam that afternoon to remind him he needed to look nice, he said that he was ironing him pants and looking forward to it. But as we got in the car to head to Hollywood he tells us girls "Someone told me there is no talking during this thing, did you know that?" To this day, I still crack up at his surprise that we were taking him to see the Nutcracker, with no words, but pure music and dancing. It's a cultural experience Sam!

Every time I see the Nutcracker has come to town, I think about our night out. I looked for pictures of the evening, but couldn't find any. I'm really surprised that Shanda & I got dressed up and didn't take any pictures. But the memory of that night, still makes me smile.

Thursday, December 10

Positives to Pregnancy

When I began this post I started a list of things that I don't like about being pregnant. About halfway through my list I realized that I have been pretty negative about this whole pregnancy thing and maybe I should start looking at things more positively. Plus, I know I'll be complaining at the end of my journey so I'll save the list for then! :) For now, let's stick to what I do like, in no particular order, other than what came to mind:
  1. The excuse to get out of some housework chores: "Hunny, can you take out the trash? The smell is really bothering me."
  2. Being able to cry at sappy chick flicks, Disney movies, or The Biggest Loser, you know whatever. I just blame it on the hormones!
  3. Wearing a new wardrobe that you know you will only be wearing for 6 months or so.
  4. Having an excuse to go shopping for new clothes!
  5. Not really caring what you eat, you are gaining weight anyway!
  6. Eating dessert.
  7. Feeling the movement of the baby, knowing there is life inside you.
  8. The little milestones and countdowns. It helps to have something to look forward to. The next trimester, the next ultrasound, the first real kick, starting maternity leave…
  9. Having state paid leave from work for at least 8 weeks. Not quite a vacation, but still.
  10. Watching people watch me trying to decide if I just have a beer gut, or if I am pregnant.
  11. Being able to have a bad day and be grumpy while people just blame it on you being pregnant.
  12. Being able to share this time with other pregnant women/friends, having that common bond to share.
  13. Having an excuse to eat odd food at odd times. I don’t know if I just wanted a pickle last night or if it is a craving…either way my husband got up to get it for me!
  14. Watching the progress and changes of your belly growing.
  15. Planning for the future of your family.
  16. Trying to teach an only child that his world is about to be turned upside down! So far, Brendan can say “Baby” when he touches mommy’s tummy. No idea what it means though.
  17. Having other people carry heavy objects for you.
  18. Sleeping surrounded with pillows.
  19. Finding out the sex and being able to call your baby by a name while planning for the arrival.
  20. Finally, Counting the days/months when you will get to meet this precious new baby and hold him in your arms.

Wednesday, December 9

Our Biggest Fight

Scott’s and my biggest fight with each other is probably about movies. Okay, it may not be our biggest fight, but I feel as though it is our most regular argument, and the one I am just not willing to budge on. I tell people that I used to love movies…until I got married. I will completely agree that I am very difficult to watch movies with. I get bored easily, I don’t like to pay the high price of Movie Theaters to sit through a movie (especially one that I don’t really want to see), and I don’t like to compromise. I enjoy comedies. Romantic Comedies especially, but most comedies I will watch. I can watch some action, if they are like the Italian Job, Oceans 11 and Gone in 60 seconds. Otherwise I tend to stay away from action Adventure, but you are more likely to get me to see that kind of movie than a suspense or thriller. I don’t like to be scared, and images stay with me years later. For example, I still have images from the Sixth Sense that creep me out, and I only saw that movie once back in 2002. I’m don’t like dramas either. I don’t really like to cry. And I hate when the good guy doesn’t win or doesn’t get the girl in the end, I want to happy ending. The argument of “real life doesn’t always have happy endings” doesn’t do it for me. I don’t watch a movie for real life, I watch it to be entertained.

My poor husband on the other hand, grew up on movies and going to the movie theater, and is always trying to convince me to open up and watch one of his movies. I avoid going to Blockbuster with him as much as possible unless we have the movie already picked out. Because walking up and down the movie aisles only causes fights. I want to watch the “chick flick” and he wants to watch the suspenseful action movie with guns and blood, explosions and thrills. And I just don’t compromise. My compromises are the comic-book movies. Fantastic Four, Iron Man, X-men. Although I didn’t watch Wolverine with him and I won’t watch the batman movies either. I know he is called the black night, but his movies are too dark for me, it makes me uncomfortable. That could be why Scott is excited to have two boys when they get older, so he will have someone watch movies with him.

So that’s one area where I am not willing to change. I’m happy with my comedies. Anyone else have a similar fight where they know they very well could be wrong, but just isn’t willing to change?

Tuesday, December 8

Single Parenting

I am very thankful that I am not a single parent, I have a loving husband that is going through this with me. Because of Scott's work schedule, I feel as though I take the brunt of the childcare at home, but I think that most women, when completely honest, will say the same thing.

Last week, Both Scott and I had "plans" (although not yet discussed with the other yet) to hang out with friends. Being that Mondays are on of the only nights in which Scott and I both have free, we don't get a lot of time to spend with friends. Scott graciously agreed to have his friend come over to our house to watch a movie so that Brendan could stay home with him instead of me taking him out in the cold. The girls and I went to Downtown Riverside to the Festival of Lights. (You can read about it on Jenni's Blog.) It was a really great time that we could just enjoy each other's company and walk around the lights of Riverside. As I drove home that night, I thought about how lucky I was to have a husband to share the workload. We both do laundry (especially now that it is in the house with us and we don't have to cart it up and down stairs with a timer set) we both do dishes, clean the house, take care of Brendan. It really is a team effort and I know I could not do it with out him.

Last night, The girls hung out again. We had dinner at Olive Garden, just the girls. Scott once again, watched Brendan so I could have a stress free meal with the girls. Because taking an active toddler to Olive Garden is not my idea of a fun night! In fact, I wouldn't go if I couldn't leave Brendan at home. Scott is lucky enough to have guy friends that understand he has a kid, and some with kids themselves. I am lucky enough to have a husband that understands, I need time alone too.

So Scott hung out with the guys and three kids, while I was able to hang out with 5 amazing girls. I feel so refreshed this morning. I am also reminded that even though I feel stressed with Brendan and the though of another on the way sometimes scares me, I know that I am not alone.

Wednesday, December 2

Festival of the Trees

On Saturday after Thanksgiving, while we were still in Idaho, we went to Boise's Annual Festival of the Trees. We took our Niece, Elyse, with us before she moved to California. She loves spending time with Brendan, and Grandma & Grandpa wanted to see her as much as they could before she left. So we bundled up and went downtown. It was very enjoyable, even though we didn't get to spend as much time there as we would have liked.

There was many, many trees; all being auctioned off to raise money for community health care. Some of our favorites (or the ones Scott took pictures of anyway, were the Soda tree, Thomas the Tank Engine, Tribute to Michael Jackson, the Boise State tree with the Broncos, and the Wizard of Oz tree. I love that the tree is upside down!

We also were able to sit for a little bit and watch some performers. There were a dozen different ballet/Jazz/Hip-hop groups that came on and preformed of all ages. Brendan sat on my lap with his juice and watched them intensely for at least 20 minutes. After a while though, he got restless and it was time to move on.

Overall it was a very nice experience, I would love to go back and be able to see more, there was so much more to take in!

I also have to share that Brendan's cute little "Hunter Outfit" was purchased by my Aunt & Uncle (My dad's brother) last Thanksgiving in hopes that he could wear it by Christmas, my kid was so little that I was afraid he wouldn't ever get the opportunity to wear it. Luckily, it fit this Thanksgiving! A year later! That's one reason why I don't shop very much at Gap kids, the size 6-12 months is too large of a gap for me!

Tuesday, December 1

Thanksgiving 2009

For Thanksgiving this year, we went to Idaho to visit Scott's parents. It was Brendan's first Thanksgiving being able to enjoy the food. I flew up on Sunday evening with Brendan to spend a few days getting everything ready for Thanksgiving and letting Grandma play with her Grandson. Scott then flew up on Tuesday evening after work to join us. We started Thanksgiving day with monkey bread. Scott and I work together to make it, although I ended up making too large of a loaf, it was so good! It was the prettiest one I have ever made, we were very proud. My Mother-in-Law thought it needed some frosting and whipped some up to spread on top. It was a great breakfast, Brendan's favorite part of the day I'm sure!
My MIL does not like Turkey, (neither does my husband) but she was determined to make a turkey for Thanksgiving. None of us had actually ever made a turkey before, so we bought the smallest one in the store, a little less than 10 pounds. With all of us together, we were able to pull it off.
Okay, so looking back on it, I didn't really help much with the turkey besides picking it out in the store. Great job guys!

Overall, this Thanksgiving dinner seemed to be pretty stress free, we even noticed about 2 hours before dinner, with the turkey in the oven "Shouldn't Thanksgiving dinner be more stressful than this?" But with the whole family working together, it came together fairly smoothly.
The table was set and ready, we had all the "Traditional" dishes: the Turkey of course, green-bean casserole, stuffing, sweet-potatoes with marshmallows on top, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, olives, pickles, bread rolls with butter, canned cranberry sauce (my favorite) and my mom's recipe of Cranberry Jell-o salad, which I had to chop all cranberries, apples, and celery by hand! It was a very nice dinner surrounded with family.
Scott's sister Brianna & her daughter Elyse
Brendan & Grandma
Brendan liked the Mashed potatoes the best,
but not as well as the Monkey Bread from breakfast!
The weather wasn't as cold as we thought it would be, we still had to bundle Brendan up when he wanted to go outside and play. I thought he looked so cute in his new jacket. His big cousin Elyse helped get him all ready to go outside to watch Daddy & Grandpa play a few games of ping-pong after dinner. After the dinner dishes were cleaned up and our stomachs had settled a bit, we had dessert. As we sat around the table with our pies, we went around the room stating what we were thankful for this year. It was a great time as a family to reflect on the past year and what Gos has given us.

This year Scott & I are thankful to have such great jobs in this economy, many teachers are without work this year, but Scott has found a great school to teach what he loves. I have a great job that I love, and that gives me the opportunity to have vacations and holidays to spend with my family.

We are thankful for our house that God provided at a price we could afford when we thought becoming homeowners was far into the future.

We are thankful that we have found a great church to attend and get involved with. We are excited to see the journey the church is taking and to be a part of God's plan with it.

We are Thankful that we have such a wonderful family. That we are in this together, Scott and myself. We are a team that works together. We have a wonderful and smart boy, and were given the gift of another on the way.

We are tankful that we don't have to face this parenting alone, we have many grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends to help us through it all.

We have a lot that we have been blessed with, and a lot to thank God for.