Friday, January 27, 2012

Austin 3.0

I did a post like this when Austin was 2 and a half so I thought I would do another.  I know I'm a few days late, but for the record here is a snapshot of what Austin is up too:
  • He is such an active kid and always on the go unless he is asleep.  He LOVES physical activity and playing outdoors.  We had to ban playing our Wii boxing game because he was so into it that he wanted to "boom, boom" everyone in sight.  
  • He has completely mastered talking, it's like he went from saying not much of anything to speaking in sentences.  I think I remember reading that Albert Einstein did that, so maybe that is a good sign.  
  • Sometimes he says funny things. I of course am not going to remember every one, but 
    • he always says "Love you too Mom" or "Love you too Dad" even if we haven't said it first.  
    • He got a tricycle for Christmas, but he says "I'm gonna go ride my bike."
    • All fish are "Nemo" and Lightning McQueen is "Cars."
  • He is into emotions, mostly happy and sad.  He will say "you happy Mommy?"  Sometimes he will tell me what to be and go back and forth wanting me to smile then frown, smile then frown.  Lately too when we are disciplining him and using a stern voice he will innocently say "Be happy Mommy" or "Be happy Daddy."
  • He is 100% daytime potty trained and has been so since early September.  He is dry most nights, but since I am a slacker and he is still in the crib we still put him in a pullup.  I think once we get him in a bed he will be 100% potty trained all the time.
  • He still loves to read and will be set on a certain book for a period of time.  We always read before nap and bed and he will have his certain book that he has to read every night for weeks to months.  He will read others too, but there is always the one.  At least I get good with my memorization and can usually recite the book by the time he moves on to his next favorite.
  • For sleeping he still has his ducks- Lovee, Ming, Ming and Trey.  Last night when I went to tuck him in he grabbed two of the ducks and looks at me and says "where's another one?"  Yes, he has to have all three!  He also sleeps with three penguins- Bo Penguin, Coke, and Buca.  He has one pound kitty that was Dustin's as a kid, and the doggie Dustin gave him in the hospital. Lately he has wanted his Scout Dog to stand guard at the end of his bed.  And he has a mini-dog pillow pet.
  • He sings now and it's very cute.  He is great at singing the alphabet song.  I would like to say that I think his favorite song is a kiddy song, but honestly it is Soungarden's "Spoonman".  He always asks Daddy to play the video on the computer and any time we play Rock Band he wants "Spoonman."  He sings parts of it too which is way fun.  He has two Spiderman stocking caps and for a while he would ask for his "spoonman hat."  He loves Raffi music and will sing along to some of those songs, with his favorite being "bathtime." 
  • He can count to about 14 now without any help and counts everything.
  • He still loves to play puzzles and got several for his birthday.  He does about 20-25 piece puzzles with help.  He loves his power wheels and does a good job at maneuvering them.  He is loving his Leapster2 that Uncle Doug's kids passed along to him.  He has an I Spy Treasure game and he got a Go Diego Go Adventure game for his birthday.
  • He is not much a milk drinker, which drives me crazy.  Everyone in my family are huge milk drinkers, so it baffles me how he doesn't love it too.  At least he likes yogurt and cheese, and we give him a gummy calcium supplement just in case.
  • He is wearing size 3T-4T shirts and 3T pants.  Size 9 for shoes, but I think moving to 10 soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

OMG, I know her...

So I'm not a big fan of American Idol.  Up until last year I watched it a couple of times out of curiosity, but Simon was so annoying and even though I liked Paula Abdul's music as a kid, she seemed dopey and aloof.  I tried watching it once with Ellen, but she just couldn't carry her funniness that I was expecting in the negative shadow of Simon, so I gave up.

But last year, since Dustin and I are big Aerosmith fans, we gave it a shot again.  Now I didn't become a die hard fan and watch every episode, but I really enjoyed the freshness and lightheartedness that Steven Tyler brought to the show, and even enjoyed J. Lo.  So we were interested in watching this season too.

Again we are not must-watch-every-episode-or-else fans, but we have seen a couple now.  Last night Dustin was looking for something to watch and saw it was on and then we were excited to see they filmed in Aspen, Colorado.  Now even though I am from Colorado, and know a lot of people there, I had no preconceived notion that I would actually know anyone auditioning, I mean come on there are millions of people in Colorado.

So I think she was about the fourth person to walk in front of the judges, but I immediately recognized Alanna Snare and said "OMG, I know her, she was in Sigma Alpha."  Dustin couldn't believe that I knew someone either!  Alanna was in my sorority chapter, but was a few years younger than me.  I met her in 2008 when I attended a National Convention in San Jose, California that happened to coincide with a work trip for me. 

Here we are in San Jose, Alanna is on the left, me on the right.  I know I look puffy, I was about 7 months pregnant with Austin at the time.

In case you missed it they asked about what she does for a living, which right now she is a waitress/bartender at Bruce's in Severance, Colorado, their specialty being Rocky Mountain Oysters. Yes I am proud to say I've been there numerous times, and yes I have tried the oysters, but would usually order up a cheeseburger when visiting there.  She educated the judges panel about them, which didn't really bode all that well for her image.  Then she sang Dolly Parton's Jolene, which didn't go that well and they voted her down. 

I am still so proud of her and am impressed by her courage.  There is NO WAY I could ever do that, nor would America like to hear my singing voice on national television.  Plus standing in the presence of Steven Tyler would just about make me fall over, let alone sing in front of him!  Way to go Alanna, you ROCK!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A little of this and that

I have been pretty wiped out since the birthday party, so I haven't been up to blogging :(  Here is a little of what is going on in my head:

  • I am 11 weeks and 4 days now.  I still haven't had very many symptoms.  Last night I got really lightheaded and dizzy, and I don't remember that from my first pregnancy.  I feel better from that this morning though.  I am to the point where my regular pants no longer fit, but I know that my maternity pants will be way too big.  I have two pairs of jeans that are bigger from when I used to be heavier, so they have been getting me by.  I am excited to get out my maternity clothes though, it's like getting a whole new wardrobe.
  • We are planning a quick trip to CO/IA possibly in a couple of weeks.  Dustin needs to go to IA to pick up equipment for a drinker that he wants to install out here.  His parents have one on their farm and he couldn't find anyone locally with the same technology, and the company that makes them in Iowa has never had to ship them, so he is just going to go and pick it up.  Since that drive will direct him through CO he invited Austin and I along, at least as far as to my Mom's in CO.  There is also a symposium in CO that we are contemplating attending, and my eldest nephew should be wrestling in the state competition that weekend, so we could catch his matches in Denver.  Still trying to figure out all the logistics though!
  • We decided that we are going to clean out our home office and make that into Austin's new room.  I don't like that it is way on the other side of the house from our bedroom, but he is a pretty good sleeper once he is out so I think it will work out ok.  Hopefully we get a new job and move before the baby comes anyway.  I need to get working on cleaning out all my junk though, it's my catch all and craft room, so a lot needs to go.  
  • We are trying to find a new bed for Austin.  He is still in the crib since he has never tried to climb out of it, but he is getting way too tall for it. He also pretty much stays dry at night now, so he could probably stay in undies if he was able to get up if he need to go to the bathroom.  We started shopping for a bed and went to a ridiculously expensive furniture place.  The least expensive bed they had was $350 bucks and it was plain Jane, nothing special.  And that was just the frame, the mattress was another $180+.  I know we can find something more reasonable, we just need to look around some more. 
  • Dustin thinks this baby is another boy, and I am leaning towards girl.  No real reason, and I thought Austin was a girl, so it's probably a boy.  The few times I have asked Austin what he thinks he says sister.  I am fine either way, a girl would be nice so we have one of each and Dustin would have a Daddies girl, but another boy would be great too since we already have all that stuff and I know from Austin that little boys wrap their Mommies around their little finger and I would love to have another little Mama's boy. 
  • On that note we have some friends who have 5 year old twin girls and they finally decided to have another and they just found out it's another girl.  It was plainly obvious that they are disappointed and I know they will come around and be happy about their little one, but it's just sad to see them bummed about it right now.  It will be exciting that our kids will be a couple months apart, and she recommended the OB that I am going to, so I hope we can coordinate some car-pooling for appointments since it is 75 miles away.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    3rd Birthday Bash

    Austin’s birthday party was today and it was a lot of fun!  The weather did not cooperate, but it is January so we knew that it was a long shot.  We had nine kids attend, three of which were here briefly and had other engagements. 
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    I was pleased with the way the cake turned out.  I hoped to finish it last night, but had a bought of “morning sickness” last night.  I did not throw up, but felt like I was going to.  So I finished the cake today.  I also made a bunch of cupcakes which were more popular last year, but this year the kids were more into the cake.  I didn’t get an up close picture with the candles, but I got a Cars set that had a Mater, a McQueen and a Piston Cup candle.
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    The kids had a blast playing with the balloons that Dustin blew up and were all over the living room floor.
    3rd birthday 017We ate some pizza for lunch.
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    The kids were itching to go outside and play, and it was drizzling so we thought, oh well, it can’t be that bad right?  So the kids went out, then the rain opened up and it poured.
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    Then we did a pinata while the kids were outside.  It was the toughest pinata I have ever seen.  We had the kids take three hits and went up by age.  We had to go through three rounds before they barely broke it enough to get the candy out.
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    After the pinata is actually when we did the cake, I just put the pictures out of order.  After the cake the kids played "tractor tippin’”.  I printed out pictures of the tractors from the movie Cars and taped them to water bottles.  Then the kids had to make a honking noise and bowl a ball and knock over the tractors. 
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    We wrapped up the day by having Austin open presents.  He was getting tired by this point so he was a little apprehensive at first.  He eventually go into it and he got a BUNCH of cool gifts.
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    All in all it was a great party and fun way to celebrate another year with our awesome little man!
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    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    It's my party and I'll cry if Mommy comes!

    Today I went to surprise Austin at the Learning Center by visiting for afternoon snack and brought birthday cupcakes for all his buddies.  I had such high hopes that it would be this great experience and a totally fun time.  NOT SO MUCH!  When I walked in the door Austin and his buddy F, pictured above, got excited and ran to get their coats.  Usually when I walk in it's time to drive them home and so they naturally thought it was time to go.  I told them to hang their coats back up, that it was not time to go, but we were going to have cupcakes. Austin cries "I don't want cupcakes, I go home!"

    I hugged him and he burried his face into my shoulder and sobbed "I go home, I go home"  We stayed like that for a while as the class gathered for rug time with a story and singing some songs.  The story got F's mind off leaving so he stopped crying, but Austin continued to hug me and cry.  After they sang a couple of songs he was finally ready to toughen up and join the group.  They sang him happy birthday, then another birthday song, and then for he's a jolly good fellow. 

    He then led the class into the snack room where they had a piece of cheese and an orange and a half a cup of juice for each person.  The kids washed their hands and sat down and I passed out the cupcakes.  From there it was fun and I think Austin enjoyed having me there.  After snack it was toy time, so Austin ran off with no problems, but F still wanted to leave with me.  I felt so bad!


    1. Where do you hide the reeeally good snacks?
    In my desk at work.  I don't keep a lot of snacks at home, but there is a Chevron conveinence store across from my office and sometimes I have very little will power.

    2. Do u keep your vehicle clean or am I the only one who has things falling out of their van?
    I am the Mom of a 3 year old (ok, not officially until Sunday) so no, my vehicle is seldom clean.  I had a tire puncture last summer and when I lifted my back seat to get to the jack there were about a million Cheerios under the seats.

     3. Have you ever been to Vegas?

    Yes, several times.  I actually live about three hours from Vegas so I go there often for business and it's our closest major airport so I have flown in and out a bunch of times.  I used to go for pure entertainment when I lived in Colorado and had a lot of fun, but now that it is a routine place to go it has lost its allure.

    4. Warm room light blankets or cold room warm snuggly blanket?

    Trick question!  See I like a cold room with warm snuggly blankets, and if it's a day where I theoretically did not have to get out of bed that would be awesome.  However, if I must get out of my bed the temp had better be warm or it's not happening.  So my functional preference is warm rooom with light blankets.

    5. What is the worst airplane/flying experience you've ever had?

    Get comfy, this is going to be a long one!

    When I was in high school my eldest big brother took my to Hawaii as my graduation gift.  My Mom and I took a wrong turn while driving to the airport and were running late.  They would not let me check my suitcase that was big enough to hold a weeks worth of clothes, so I had to lug the thing on the plane with me.  I just made it to the gate and they literally shut the door behind me so I barely made it. 

    Then they moved us out from the gate and we stopped and we sat.  And we sat, and we sat.  At one point I looked to my right and there was a wall of white smoke coming out of the right wing engine.  Not a sight you want to see!  Eventually the Captain came on and said they were having a hard time getting that engine to fire up since it was cold and the lubricants were too thick.  The wall of smoke was from the heaters they were using to warm the engine.  After a LONG wait they finally got it going and we took off. 

    Then the Captain came back on and said "ok folks, I have some good news for some of you, if you are going to (somewhere in Mexico, I cant remember where) or (another city in Hawaii) you will be able to make your connection in LAX.  However if you are connecting to Maui unfortunately we will not make that connection, but you will be able to take a flight tomorrow."  Oh crap, here I am only 18 and I am going to be stuck in LA alone for a night because my brother was flying in to LAX from Phoenix and then we were taking the flight to Maui together, and they wouldn't allow him to bump his flight so he would have to go without me.  I was just scared and sick!

    A little later the Captain came back on and said there had been a correction when they realized that there were over 70 of us making that Maui connection and because it would be harder to re-book us they made the decision to hold the Maui plane in LAX, and they were going to change our gate so that we would be right across the portal from that planes gate.  He asked that when we landed everyone who was not on the Maui flight stay seated to let those of us trying to make the connection bust a move. 

    Remember at this point that I had to drag my big honkin' bag with me and do the flight of the bumble bee run through a busy LAX concourse.  When we got to the Maui plane almost everyone was scowling and looking totally perturbed as we rushed on the plane.  Of course my brother was ecstatic to see me and told me that he was the first at the counter to complain when they announced we wouldn't be making it for the connection. 

    The rest of the trip was fabulous and a fond memory!

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Photo shoot with my new camera

    I got a new Canon T3i for Christmas and on Sunday we headed to Zion National Park to test it out.
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    What a fun camera!  I have just hit the tip of the iceberg on how to use it and need to learn a lot more.  It has so many sophisticated features.  So far my favorite is the multiple shot features.  When you are snapping photos you can hold down the shutter button and it will fire multiple pictures until you release the button.  It also has a timed multiple feature where you can set it, have a 10 second timer, and then it shoots a series of up to 10 photos.  Both ways it really helps you catch that second of a perfect smile or expression.  It also has a super fast response time when you hit the button which is such an improvement over my last camera. 
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    While we were there we saw two cool interactions with nature.  The first I did not get a picture of as there were desert big horn sheep walking along the road as we drove into Zion.  While on our hike we watched these deer pictured above.  The first one walked up to the river and I said “oh look, she is going to take a drink” and then she proceeded to walk straight into the water and across the river followed by the other two. 

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    It's official!

    We had an appointment this morning now that I am over 10 weeks and heard the heart beat.  Our due date is August 12, 2012.  While my new OB is 75 miles away I am very pleased with how the appointment went and about how willing and supportive they were about discussing the possibility of VBAC.

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Ahakhav Preserve

    I have been playing catch up all weekend since I went on a short travel for work last week.  I attended a workshop at the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation in Parker, Arizona with my boss.  The purpose of the workshop was to showcase the Ahakhav Preserve at CRIT.  From their website:

    The 'Ahakhav Tribal Preserve was established in 1995 and currently consists of 1,253 acres of wilderness area and a 3.5 acre park. The preserve is centered around a reconstructed Colorado River backwater, which offers a variety of activities including fishing, canoeing, birding, and swimming. The preserve also maintains a 4.6 mile fitness trail as well as playground and picnic facilities located in the park. The preserve serves many purposes. One is to provide recreational and learning opportunities to the surrounding community as well as visitors. The other is to serve as a revegetation area for endangered and threatened plants and animals native to the Lower Colorado River Basin. The Lower Colorado is an area that faces many problems, from damming that causes changes in natural stream flow, to a variety of invasive species. The preserve is an ongoing project to study methods of revegetation and restoration that may be used though out the area.

    The CRIT reservation community includes four distinct Tribes - the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo. There are currently about 3,500 active Tribal members. They have a substantial water right to the Colorado River and they have the first priority.

     The beginning part of the workshop was held at the Blue Water Casino/Resort where they had tribal members and an elder talk about the vision and purpose of the preserve.  They shared that the tribal elders got together and expressed concern to the tribal council because mesquite trees were becoming harder and harder to find.  They described the mesquite tree as the tree of their life.  As babies they use the root of the tree to make the structural part of the craddle board.  Throughout their life it provides food from the beans which are ground into a flour, it's super sweet and yummy, and provides warmth as they burn the wood in their fireplaces.  Then at the end of life they practice open air cremation and the ceremonial wood that is used is the mesquite tree.  Because of climate change and invasive species encroachement the mesquite trees have been dwindling.

    In the afternoon we went to the preserve and had lunch followed by a tour where we rode on a haywagon pulled by a John Deere tractor.  It was great fun and the weather down there was awesome, well over 70.  They have completed 9 sections of the preserve and have had great success in establishing all kinds of native trees including the mesquite, willow, cottonwood and others.  They have started the plowing and leveling process for their 10th parcel.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Is it too late?

    Is it too late to talk about New Years weekend?  I know I’m behind, it’s a combo of being busy and being in a bit of an emotional funk.  I’m ok, but you know sometimes life just gets you a little down and instead of being a negative nelly on here it was just easier to take a break from posting.  So if it’s not too late, we had a great weekend in Phoenix with my brother and his three kids.
    They decided to pass down their power wheels to Austin, but the twins had fun taking them for one last spin while teaching their cousin how to drive.
    Look out world, here I come!  He was really a natural and picked it up fast.
    Austin came home with the yellow Hummer and the blue Jeep.
    That night we watched the new Smurf movie and ate a ton of popcorn.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about Austin staying up to midnight, but didn’t know how it would be with the older kids there, so we just played it by ear.  At about 9:45pm he was so wound up and running laps around my brother’s house, so we decided it was time to take him to bed kicking and screaming.  Turns out everyone went to bed shortly after that and no one stayed up to midnight.
    New Years Day we soaked up some sun at the local park.
    Then we went home for lunch and a nap.  After Austin woke up we went to a timeshare resort that my brother is an owner at so that we could go swimming.  He has a pool in his back yard, but doesn’t have a heater yet since they just moved in last year.  I didn’t get a photos at the resort, but we all had a lot of fun swimming.  We dried off and then went out to dinner at Buca di Beppo and it was fabulous!  I love family style dining where you get to try a little of this and a little of that.  We also splurged and got a brownie sunday that was served in a huge martini glass.  This isn’t my photo, but you get the idea.
    When the waitress brought out the dessert there was the one cherry on top like in the picture.  One of the four kids goes “who gets the cherry?”  Before we could really resolve the issue the waitress came back with a bowl full of cherries, like seriously 20-30 cherries.  We all were able to eat our fill along with the brownies, ice cream and topping goodness.  What a treat and a really great way to ring in the new year!

    Park Time!

    We went to the park on Saturday, gotta love the balmy weather in January!
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    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    The Quilt is Done!

    I finished up Austin's quilt last week.  It is so nice to have that finished after working on it for soooo long!
    I put it on one of our full sized beds, so as you can see it's going to be big on a twin, and about right to a little small for a full.  I'm not sure why the batting I bought that said it was "twin" sized was so big, I even cut several inches off the sides.
    For the back I chose red handkerchiefs.  Since the front was all earthy tones I wanted something bright, yet masculine.   It was a tiny bit short so I sewed on a 4" band of the brown which is also the binding fabric.  The hand binding took forever, it's such a boring phase of the process.

    The label