Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lunch if its a boy...

The day started fairly normally...except for the whole being nervous, and excited all at once...

Nervous because in the last few months I've had friends and people close to me find out about birth defects and illnesses in their babies at this particular ultrasound (the 20 weeker) and excited about the possibilities.

I may be a glass half full type of person, but when it comes to any situation, I tend to think of worst case scenarios...I don't know why, I just do. I guess its a coping mechanism I've developed through the years. If I prepare myself for the worst, I'm less likely to crumble like a dry piece of cake when I get bad news, and (BONUS) I get even more excited for good news.

We had to make a quick run to the store before we went to the doctor's office for DVD's (we were told if we brought one they could make a video of the ultrasound) So of course, (because I have an incurable case of punctuality) I made sure we left with plenty of time to spare. We actually made it to my appointment almost half an hour early! (oops..)

It was a nice time to sit and relax. Jeff and I snuggled up on a vintage looking loveseat with claw feet in the waiting room and talked. Jeff promised to take me to lunch after all was said and done because he knew I'd be starving (bless him...)

Darla (the ultrasound tech) came out and got us and gave us some bad news...the DVD machine had happened to break earlier that morning and was in the process of being fixed. It would be done later that day, but not in time for our ultrasound. Darla, being the awesome person she is, said that we could make an appointment and come back later for a DVD and 2nd ultrasound free of charge.

And the ultrasound began...(once I can get my hands on a scanner, I will try to post some of the ultrasound pictures). The first thing we got was a good look at her perfect spine (thank goodness!) Unfortunately, the baby was in a very bad position...poor Darla had to start thinking of clever ways to move the baby so she could see everything she needed to see (just my luck, the kid is stubborn!)

We did manage to see a few "Jeff" poses. We joked about how we definitely knew that the baby was his child (as if there was any doubt). Baby eventually moved to lying on its back with an arm up around its head and covering the face (this pose is actually very funny because that is how Jeff sleeps) Jeff also noted that the stubborn nature of the baby was another tell-tale marker of how much like him it is.

She moved around and got a few good glimpses of the gender. Right before she said what it was Jeff had said, "Lunch if its a boy, dinner if its a girl." Darla laughed and said, "It looks like dinner!" Jeff did a double take..."Are you sure?" he asked, somewhat surprised. Darla got another look and said, "I'm fairly sure based off of what I'm seeing. I'll put a 90% guarantee on that." This started Jeff's relentless questioning (which he was still doing this morning by the way...) "A girl? What am I supposed to do with a girl?"

Don't get me wrong...Jeff is in no way disappointed that we are having a girl. He is just confused. He hadn't really pictured himself with a girl, and he just really has NO IDEA what to do with one. I assured him that he could still take her hunting and fishing and camping (all things that I would do if asked) and he said, "Yeah, but I can't get her to gut a fish or fresh kill." I simply reminded him that we have no idea what her personality will be like...maybe she'd jump right in to something like that...

Darla had a hard time getting a good look at the heart, she said that when we came back she would check it again, but it looked fine. Other than that, she saw everything and kept saying how "great" baby looked.

We ended up going back to the waiting room after the ultra sound because they were having struggles finding rooms (I'm guessing there were lots of labor checks because I saw a lot of very pregnant women pop in for a minute and then leave looking slightly dejected) I ended up going back and having my vitals and weight taken, and then being put back in the waiting room.

My midwife's nurse finally came out exclaiming that they finally had a free room! We went in and my midwife Susan came in. She was super excited about the baby and was super excited by the ultrasound results. She explained everything that they had seen. Apparently, McMonkey McBean has very long legs like her daddy and a head that ranks in the tenth percentile (Susan said that the head size was nothing to worry about, and that this will be a big blessing when it comes time to deliver. I can't help but agree with her!)

After our regular Q and A session and hearing the heartbeat (153 again) we made another appointment and were on our way....well atleast until 4:30 when we would have to come back for the 2nd ultrasound.

We went to lunch at Applebee's and spent WAAAAY to much money (I think its the most we've spent on a meal since we've been married...and I know Jeff said dinner if it was a girl, but we were both STARVING...our appointment had ended up taking 2 hours because they couldn't find a room to put us in! LOL)

At lunch we decided we would have a big pizza party to tell our family the gender instead of calling all of them. Amber lamented that I wouldn't just tell her over the phone...but finally gave in and agreed to come. Kiersten was excited and said they'd be there and mom and dad were already going to eat with us anyway (since we live with them for the time being) so it didn't take much coercing there...

We ran some more errands and went to Papa Murphy's to get the pizza. We ordered one with GIRL written in pepperoni and sausage and 2 more. We ran them home and then back to the doctor's office for ultrasound #2.

This time baby was curled up in a ball...after some coaxing Darla was able to get a really good look at the heart and verify 100% that there were no holes and 4 chambers. She also changed her 90% chance of the baby being a girl to 95%... I tried to upload the video, but it was too long. Give me a few days to edit and clip it and I may be able to show you all or a portion of it...maybe...(no promises, but I will try)

After the ultra sound, we had some time so we went to the store and purchased the play yard I'd found to be the best option for us after LOTS of research. We rushed home, cooked some pizzas and only started the pizza party 30 minutes late...LOL

At the pizza party (sorry forgot my camera) and everyone was surprised. Only Addie, Raylee, and my friend Erica voted for girl. Everyone else was super sure it was a boy. Cute little Macee looked at all of the ultrasound pictures and had Erica and me explain them to her. She was very interested and surprised. She was super excited when we pointed something out and she could finally see it!

Then, after the pizza party, Jeff surprised me. He grabbed me by the hand and whisked me to the movie theater (well...AFTER we stopped at the grocery store for theater snacks are WAAAAAY too expensive) He took me to see a movie I've been dying to see since it came out a few weeks ago- The Green Lantern.

As far as super hero/comic book movies go it was really good. Ryan Reynolds was awesome and the story line didn't lag. I'd recommend it.

Jeff and I talked on the way home about how expensive movie theaters are getting. It cost us $10 a ticket to get in! (I know that isn't the worst price in the country as far as movie tickets go, but its still kind of ridiculous...we could have gone to the store and purchased a movie to watch over and over again for the same price!) It's likely that the next Harry Potter movie will be the last movie we see in theaters for a while (unless its the cheap theater at $1-3 a ticket)

All in was an awesome has been interesting...but that my friends is for another blog...

Hugs and hairbows until next time!

Monday, June 27, 2011



It seems like this first 20 weeks has gone so fast, and now here I am waiting in a painfully slow period of 2 more days we will know if McMonkey McBean is a boy or a girl.

Originally, we weren't going to find out the gender, but we decided that for finance's sake we needed to know. It will be much easier if we can gradually buy things as we anticipate baby than saving money hoping we have enough after he/she gets here.

Its times like these that I wish we had gone with the original plan...there wouldn't be half as much anticipation for this next appointment...and I wouldn't be going as crazy as I am now. Then, I remember how lucky I am to be living in the time that I do- we have the option of knowing. I imagine a young married couple in the 1800's or at the turn of the century and I wonder how they prepared for their first baby...

But then I remember that most of the clothing and gear that you needed for a new baby was gender neutral back then. We looked into gender neutral stuff...its way more expensive and much more difficult to find...

So, here we are in the modern world....I suppose we can assimilate...LOL

I guess I will just spend my time finding things to do to take my mind off of the anticipation.

For starters one of my favorite musicals "Gigi" is on TCM...that will kill about 3 hours of today for me...

My husband just brought me home a little baby pink rose that he picked for me...that killed a bit of time (what a sweet way to take my mind off of anticipation and the slow passage of time...I'm a lucky girl to have such a sweet husband!)

I suppose at some point I will have to take a shower and get ready for the day...

See...I can find things to do....really I can!

Well, the blogosphere and facebook are still open if you haven't cast your vote in the boy or girl debate. So far, girl seems to be eeking ahead as the winner in the opinion poll...

All will be revealed at my 10:30 AM appointment on Wednesday (we hope, sometimes babies don't cooperate)

Wouldn't that be ironic...I sit here in eager anticipation only to find out on Wednesday that we can't find anything out...with my luck it just may happen...LOL

Hugs and anticipation until next time darlings.

Friday, June 24, 2011

If I do say so myself...

Okay...I know that pride isn't necessarily a good thing, but I am seriously proud of myself right now and I just have to share...

When I was little I remember sitting on the floor and watching my great grandmother (who was completely blind) hand sew beautiful, warm, and wonderful quilts. I would ask questions about what she was doing and watch as she explained the different stitches she was using. I have always carried this memory with me. In fact, her lessons in hand sewing are likely the reason I can sew at all, considering that sewing in a straight line on a sewing machine is super hard for me...don't ask me why. In fact, using the hand sewing skills that my great grandmother shared with me I have been able to sew 3 Halloween costumes, a purse, and a couple of skirts through the years...but I was never brave enough to try making a quilt.

When I found out I was pregnant I couldn't kick the impression that I needed to sew a quilt. I was terrified to even think about starting one! Hand sewn quilts are a time consuming labor of love and I wasn't sure I would have the initiative to keep going.

However, I realized that through all the shaky times and fears of the first trimester, I needed something to keep my mind off of things. Finally, at about 9 weeks along, I broke down and asked Jeff if we had the money for me to invest in some quilting essentials and start the project. Jeff seemed kind of surprised that I wanted to take on hand stitching something like a baby quilt, but I think he realized I needed something crafty to do for my sanity.

Well, I am super proud to show you my finished product (and it only took me 11 weeks...LOL)

Tah dah!
It may not be perfectly perfect...but I did it! All by help, just thinking back and recalling how great grandma used to do it. I can't help but be a little bit proud when I think that I hand stitched every square to its neighbors...Jeff actually was a bit surprised that I finished it as quickly as I did....

To be honest, I probably would have finished it faster, but as our move to Idaho Falls approached I ran short on time and motivation so there was a span of about 3 weeks where I didn't work on it at all...

Jeff helped me pick out the fabric. Bless my husband. He spent probably 2 hours with me casing Jo-Ann Fabric for gender neutral fabric. I guess I didn't need his opinion, but it was nice to have it. In fact, he was the one that found this fabric when I was about to give up on my quest.

I think both of us would have to say that our favorite part is this crazy looking owl.
He just looks so shocked and confused...which is kind of how we were feeling as we were realizing the reality of our situation as we shopped for fabric.

Well darlings, I think its safe to say that I am turning into Suzy Homemaker...and I'm loving every minute of it...

Hugs and warm quilts until next time darlings!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Take a Wild Guess!!!!

Alright darlings,

We're here- the halfway mark! 20 weeks pregnant...

In honor of the fact that we are exactly a week away from finding out the gender of McMonkey McBean I decided to let people voice their opinions!

Do you think it is a BOY or a GIRL?

You can either leave your response here or leave it on Facebook...its your chance to let your voice be heard.

Unfortunately, as there is a 50/50 chance that everyone that guesses will be right, I can't offer any type of award for a guess well guessed...I suppose what I can offer is a chance for the people that are correct to have bragging rights on facebook, myspace, their blogs, etc...that's right, if you're right you get to KNOW you're right, you can even choreograph a little "I was right" dance to share with the world.

So, in the spirit of being helpful, I will give you any clues you might need for any old wives tales you may want to use to aid in your guesses:

1) I have pregnancy acne- really annoying and frustrating- but I live...after all it could be worse...
2) The baby likes to sit low, right behind my pubic bone and enjoys using my bladder as a punching bag
3) The last heart rate check a month ago said that his/her heart was beating at 153 beats per minute, which is on the low side (160 is average)
4) I have heartburn after EVERY meal
5) I had morning sickness all day every day until I was about 14 weeks when I magically woke up feeling great
6) My hair on my head has gotten much thicker and longer very rapidly, however, my leg hair has slowed in its growth rate.
7) My skin is super dry
8) My nails grow really fast
9) I can't eat chicken, broccoli, rice, or salad and during the first trimester I couldn't handle meat period.
10) My cravings include: root beer floats (occasionally, for the most part this pregnancy I haven't liked sweets at all) cucumbers in vinegar, pickles, Cheez-it crackers, and cottage cheese with mandarin oranges

And, in an effort to further help you with your guesses, here are some current pictures:

One from MY perspective (i.e. Behold! The BELLY!)
and one from Jeff's perspective

(P.S. probably my favorite pregnant picture to date...after seeing this, I decided Jeff is a brilliant master of photography when he is feeling rushed...he was playing Starcraft when I asked him to snap the picture and was in the middle of winning... Oh and pay no attention to the fabulous laundry room in the background...LOL)

Just so you know darlings, when the time comes, I am trying to work on a give away that will occur once we're closer where people can guess the date and time that I will have the baby... (I still haven't asked the other person that would be involved in said give away so it is VERY tenative) it should be faboosh none the less.

Hugs and happy guesses until next time darlings!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life and the Pursuit of Patience


Time and life march on.

Sad news...Jeff didn't get the job in Las Vegas. He can reapply when he is closer to graduation, they were actually quite impressed with him, but have no positions that are guaranteed to be open in 6 months when he graduates- so right now its just a waiting game. There are plenty more companies that come recruiting at the College of Technology requesting to see ONLY people in their last semester, so we have some more options and more time.

I'm not going to lie...I cried...I was worried, and then I decided to get over it. I am operating on faith. I have faith that God has a plan for me and my little family and obviously Vegas was not a part of that plan. I have faith that because Jeff is a hard worker and is constantly on the job hunt that we will find the job he is supposed to have and be led to the place we are supposed to live for a while. God is good, he loves us, and as long as we are willing to do the work we need to do- He will bless us with what we need and guide us to where He needs us to go.

I just need to pull up my big girl pants and be patient. Patience seems to be the one virtue God is constantly trying to teach me to have...I have gotten better, but obviously if he continues to try my patience, I could still use some work. Hooray for the Refiner's Fire!

I feel kind of like a bad mommy...I realized that I hadn't taken any pregnancy pictures in 6 weeks! I decided since I had some time, I should take some today, and Jeff even got in on the action.

So darlings, I present to you the 18 weeks baby book page! (Even though I'm almost 19 weeks...Shhhh if you don't tell, I won't...LOL)
Hugs and loves until next time darlings!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So Lucky

Today is one of those days that reminds me how incredibly lucky I am. I try to remember this fact every day,but some days I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings that Heavenly Father gives me on a daily basis and the big changes he has made in my life.

I think Jeff may have food poisoning. We went out for date night last night to the Olive Garden, he had never eaten there, and he left less than impressed. About 20-30 minutes after our arrival home he was feeling pretty miserable. We snuggled up and watched Yogi Bear (we went to a Red Box and rented it) and then after that he decided to play Halo with his X Box online. I dozed off (I'm recovering from a mysterious rash that developed a few nights ago, I have been taking Benadryll at night-the only approved allergy medication for pregnant folks, and even a half dose of children's Benadryll, which is what I take, knocks me out.) I don't know when Jeff turned off the X Box, I vaguely remember him asking me if I was falling asleep, me saying yes, him turning it off and then rolling over to snuggle with me. (On a happy note, the rash is all gone, so I don't think I will need any Benadryll tonight.)

Jeff and I woke up around 8:15 or so. We snuggled for a little while, he joked with me when I asked if I could just snuggle with him for a while by whipping up out of the bed and saying, "Okay, all done." with the mischievous smile on his face. I got up to go eat some breakfast and made him some orange juice (which is one of his most favorite things on the planet) I love the mornings. I love waking up to my husband snuggled up against me. (Lucky Reminder # 1)

Jeff left for work. My mom was at my sister's house and I was alone. Then, it started, the annoying feeling you get in your eye when something is stuck in it. I tried everything to flush it out, but to no avail. I assume that something was stuck, came out and left a scratch so that it feels like there is something stuck. Just in case I am getting pink eye, I took out all my make up and brushes and cleaned and disinfected everything. A task that I actually don't hate. Yes, if I do have pink eye, it will stink big time, but how lucky am I to know what to do to avoid keeping it around?

I went to my sister's house. On the way, I lucked out and saw my husband walking to talk to my dad about something work related. I decided to follow him into my dad's office. I think he was pleasantly surprised. We smooched a few times (because I always want to smooch my husband) and I left him to finish his work (Lucky Reminder #2- we are so blessed that my dad fought to get Jeff a job, Lucky Reminder #3- I am so lucky that I have a husband who works hard to provide for us, Lucky Reminder #4- My husband likes to smooch me too- every chance he gets!)

I managed to time walking to Kiersten's place just right. Apparently my mom had invited Raylee for a walk so they could take my mom's Shih Tzu out. Raylee came running to me with all her 3 year old gusto and hugged my legs so tight that I almost fell over. "Aunt B. I love you so much! Its so good to see you!" She then proceeded to stick a leaf in my face (picking up "nature" is one of her favorite things to do on a walk. She loves leaves especially) "Here Aunt B., you can have this beautiful leaf, I picked it just for you." (Lucky Reminder #5- I have the cutest nieces and nephews on the planet and they love me with their whole hearts, Lucky Reminder #6- We live on such a beautiful planet, its great to be reminded that everything is beautiful in its own way by seeing things through the eyes of a 3 year old.)

We went up to my sister's house. We visited for a while, my husband texts that he wants me to come for pizza with him (apparently the assistant manager of the apartment complex ordered pizza for all the maintenance staff and was more than willing to let Jeff bring me along so she could invite her husband too.) I asked if he wanted to me to walk down or if he would come pick me up. No response so I continued my visit. Surprisingly, the door opens- its HIM! My hunky husband (Lucky Reminder #7- my husband is (as far as I'm concerned) the most attractive man on the planet) He whisked me down to the clubhouse for pizza. We had a nice visit with my dad and all the men that work for him and the assistant manager. However, the food poisoning from last night kind of reared its ugly head again and Jeff, all of a sudden, was feeling sick.

We excused ourselves and came home. Jeff decided to take the rest of the day off so he could try to feel better. We got back and Jeff tried to help me flush my eye out again (Lucky Reminder #8- My husband loves me enough to try everything he can to make me feel better even when he is miserable- believe me, the feeling is mutual). When that didn't really work, we sat and discussed what we could do to make him feel better. I suggested we go to the hot tub. I can't sit in it (when you're pregnant you're supposed to avoid situations where your core body temperature can rise about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.) but Jeff can sit in it, and I thought that perhaps it would make him feel a little less achy.

Jeff mentioned that the hot tub at the new clubhouse was still being fixed, so we walked across the street to the old clubhouse. I couldn't help it- I had to stick my toe into the swimming pool. It may not be the warmest day, but I had to see what the water felt like. It was warm. The crazed idea started forming in my head. I wanted so badly to put on my swimsuit, run outside and jump into the pool. However, my rational self won out, and I thought that maybe the baby wouldn't appreciate the impact that he/she would feel if I jumped into the water. Jeff sat in the hot tub against a jet. I envied him. I thought about how nice it would feel on my aching back, but I want to be good! I stuck my feet in the water and let the jets massage my calves and feet...that still felt good (Lucky Reminder # 9 We live really close to 2 awesome hot tubs. Lucky Reminder #10 We are so fortunate that my parents took us in so we could save money before the baby comes.)

I looked out to the pool, longingly. I finally made up my mind. " I think I'm going to go try to swim." Jeff looked at me slightly bewildered. "Okay." He said and then he started getting out of the water. He was coming with me! (Lucky Reminder #11, I married someone who is willing to indulge my crazy ideas and even take part...I don't know if he'd admit it, but I think its one of the things he loves best about me.)

We went out to the pool. We slowly started to make our way in. Of course, because I'd had my feet in the hot tub the water felt much much cooler than it really was (its supposed to be 84 degrees) Poor Jeff started shaking like a leaf, but he willingly followed along with my crazy whim. We'd go in a few steps, get out and stand in the wind so that the water would feel warmer and then go in deeper. Jeff finally made it in all the way. He jokingly swam away from me and made me chase him into the deep end of the pool. He finally let me catch him and then teased me because I couldn't touch the bottom and he could. I wrapped my arms and legs around him tight and he walked around the pool for a bit. (Lucky Reminder #12, I love snuggling with my husband and he loves snuggling with me) Finally, Jeff had had enough and decided to go back to the safety of the hot tub. I decided to stay in the pool and swim for a bit.

Swimming while pregnant is definitely an interesting experience. I felt stretches in places that I had never felt stretching before, but it was a good stretch, you know? (Lucky Reminder #13, I have a healthy body. I think those of us that have whole, functioning bodies take that for granted a lot. Its nice to have a reminder like a gentle stretch.)

I went back to the hot tub. Jeff and I laughed about going into the pool and how surprisingly pleasant it actually was considering that it was only about 60 degrees outside. We then decided to call it a day. Jeff said he was feeling really tired. Instead of getting dressed, Jeff just started pulling his jacket and shoes on. "Are we not getting dressed then?" I asked, "I'm not. You can do whatever you like." Jeff said. I then dried myself a bit, put on my jacket and flip flops and we were off...that's right we walked back across the street in rainy 60 degree weather in our jackets and swimsuits. I got a kick out of people's reactions as they saw us (Lucky Reminder #14, my husband is just as crazy as me, and I love him for it.)

So far its been a pretty good day. I still feel like I have something in my eye and Jeff is back in the room recuperating (I really hope he feels better tomorrow) but its so nice to have a day where every little thing seems special. (Lucky Reminder #15, There is a tomorrow, and it can be just as wonderful as today if you look for all the blessings you have!)

Hugs, luck and loves until next time darlings!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homeschooling: The Practice Run


Some of you darlings may know about the decision Jeff and I have made to homeschool our kids once they are old enough. Considering that baby number 1 isn't due for another 5 months or so its safe to say that we have some time to prepare and decide what curriculum (or curriculums since you can use more than one program to achieve what you want) will be right for our family. I had been feeling overwhelmed by this decision, but after reading recent news headlines (a kindergartener brought heroin from home and decided to share it with his classmates, another kid commits suicide because of bullying, attempted school shootings, problems with the education system, etc.) I am feeling more at peace than ever with this decision.

My younger sister Kiersten has been eagerly researching preschools in our area and has found that the programs are either too expensive for her budget to handle or they require so many volunteer hours for a reduced rate that she is unable to register her daughter anywhere. Kiersten and I had discussed her preschool woes. She expressed how nervous she was that her daughter would be behind once she started Kindergarten if she couldn't get into a good preschool. The topic of homeschool came up and what had led Jeff and I to our decision to commit to homeschool before our first child was even born. As I had volunteered at several preschools while I was pursuing a music education degree, I told her exactly what a preschool curriculum most commonly consisted of and how easy it would be to teach her little girl at home and prepare her for Kindergarten (if Kindergarten even exists in the state of Idaho by the time Raylee starts school as our state superintendent has been pushing initiatives to get rid of Kindergarten) Kiersten was surprised at how easy it could be but expressed that she envied me and my belief that I would have the patience to handle something like that.

We left the conversation at that. I filed it away and kind of forgot about it. Then, a few weeks ago, Kiersten approached me and offered to pay me a certain fixed amount each week and for all the necessary books if I would be Raylee's preschool teacher. She had been stressing about it, and just knew that she couldn't afford preschool, or devote the necessary volunteer hours with another little one at home to take part in the Head Start Program of our local school district. I was delighted to say yes. Not only will it be an awesome opportunity for me to spend some wonderful quality time with Raylee, it will be a great opportunity for me to learn how to put a curriculum together.

I buckled down and decided to spend my morning today researching curriculums. I was actually inspired by a blog that I read. The amazing woman that writes it homeschools ten of her eleven children. She had written a blog asking for suggestions for new curriculum for the next year that would be affordable because they didn't like the curriculum they had tried this year. People commented in droves! I decided to follow the links that they left and check out the programs they suggested. Someone even pointed her in the direction of a free website that helps you build your own curriculum based off the Charlotte Mason method (Charlotte Mason was an educator turned homeschooling maven when she found that the local children were not excelling at the local public schools. She turned her home into a classroom and allowed her neighbors to bring their children to her for schooling. This occurred at the turn of the century. She stressed the importance of play in early childhood education as a means of teaching them what they needed to know and also stressed the importance of them being able to speak intelligently about events of their day. Vocal composition is a huge part of the beginning of her method.) Based off of my reading, and ideas that I have been getting reading about different homeschool curriculum programs you can buy for preschool, I'm pretty sure I can come up with a very affordable, very effective program catered specially to Raylee and her educational needs.

I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to gain the knowledge from the ISU education program that has made this possible. I feel so confident! I may not once we start...but right now Raylee is super excited that Aunt B. is going to be her teacher and that we will get to have some one on one time, and was eager to get a headstart. We even had a little mini lesson this morning on the number 1. Raylee can count and say her alphabet, where she lacks skills is in recognition of the symbols. That is easily fixed with the right approach. I found a great website with tons of free worksheets for preschool and kindergarten to help with being able to draw the letters and numbers, and while we're at it, we will work on phonics and sight words so that she can maybe even start reading in easy readers before Jeff and I leave for his new job (hopefully we find out soon if he got it).

I am so humbled by my sister's faith in me, and even more humbled by the love of my special little niece who is so eager to learn! I'm thinking we will likely start in July. Raylee is 4 and while she can count to 20 and say her alphabet there are other ways that she is behind and I figure she will catch up quickly. She is one smart little girl! She amazingly knows things that no one has made an effort to really teach her. Take today for example. A bee landed on a flower out on my parent's porch. Raylee shouts, "Aunt B.! Aunt B.! Look! There is a bee on the flower outside!" She watched the little bee fascinated by what it was doing. I said, "Raylee, do you know why bees need flowers?" Raylee smiled and said, "Of course I do silly, they use flowers to make honey!" Charlotte Mason method at work!( and on the first day that I read about it too!) I then said, "Yes Raylee, that is right. Bee's use the nectar from flowers to make honey. " She smiled and continued to watch the bee until it flew away.

She then saw the worksheets on my screen and shouted excitedly, "Aunt B.! I want to color that!" She pointed at a worksheet on the number 1. It had lines to trace the number, practice writing it, and then a caption about how there is only 1 boat in the picture. I ran and printed it for her, we went over the worksheet. She excitedly traced the number 1 and cried out, "Look Aunt B.! I did it! Its the number 1!" I then said, "Can you hold up 1 finger for me?" She held up 1 finger. She was getting it, and so quickly!

This is going to be fun.

Hugs, loves, and educational adventures until next time darlings!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Looking on the Sunny Side


Life and time march on and because life has been so seemingly "normal" (if there is such a thing) I haven't really had anything to write about.

I went to the doctor last week and everything is fine. The baby was moving so much that my midwife had a hard time finding a heartbeat on the Doppler. I told her I'd been feeling him/her all morning, for some reason he/she likes to sit right behind my pubic bone. It feels really weird to walk or sit when he/she is there, but that seems to be a favorite spot. She was surprised that I could feel him/her, but she on a fluke decided to test and see if the baby was still hiding there. Low and behold, a healthy heartbeat was clearly heard. She assured me that the Doppler could detect a healthy heartbeat, we just couldn't hear it. She said that she didn't envy me over the next few months as the baby gets bigger. She said she could hear a lot of movement on the Doppler and she said that usually means a very very active baby. She said for me to enjoy my baby free ribs now, because shortly, she was sure he/she would find new places to hide and annoy me.

We also had a good giggle. I have been having issues with heartburn, and family members and friends have been overly concerned, sharing their stories of women just dropping down dead, ICU stays after birth, etc. It hasn't concerned me much, I know that heartburn is completely normal, but it had been making my husband and a few other people close to me very concerned. I asked the midwife for a little bit of a soundbyte, just so I could have some info to sputter off to concerned parties so that they would know that my heartburn was completely normal and my newfound TUMS addiction was completely safe...she laughed and told me it was. She also told me that about this point in a pregnancy, she finds that a lot of her patients are receiving advice and being told stories from well meaning people about all the horrors of pregnancy. She assured me that for every one of those stories there are thousands of stories about normal, healthy pregnancies where nothing goes wrong and everyone comes out healthy and fine.

For now, I focus on being grateful for every little flutter and wiggle I feel and continuing to pray for all the best.

Jeff is coming home early today. The temperature is very warm today. Forecasts have it getting to 80+ degrees. I have no maternity summer clothes, so we are off to peruse the Ross maternity section and see if I can find anything reasonably priced to add to my slowly growing maternity wardrobe.

We're still waiting to hear back about Jeff's job interview last week. We are supposed to hear back sometime this week if he got it. I keep praying he does. Las Vegas may not be my first choice for where I want to live, it does feel right when we pray about it. We just keep moving forward with faith that if we pursue all our options, we will be able to find the place we are meant to end up. There are some pluses to living in the Las Vegas area. I could try to see about working adjunct for UNLV or even pursuing my doctorate there when I feel ready and recovered enough after the baby gets here. I could grow a voice studio or try to start some kind of after school program...the possibilities are endless. Make no mistakes, I am sure that I will find something fantastic to do. I already have Jeff's support for whatever I want, even if it means trying to get concert and oratorio gigs after the baby is a little older. Another reason I am so lucky to have him, he wouldn't change me or my expensive musical addiction...LOL!

I am still bummed about not being able to do the Met auditions this year. A little bird told me that they are considering changing the rules and regulations so this may actually be the last year that I'm eligible. Jeff told me that I should go ahead and apply if I'm still feeling good when the applications are due, and part of me was so tempted since I know an amazing accompanist. She's in my ward and she plays like a master...I'm also sure she would be willing to practice with me and I could use a staff accompanist at the actual event...but I also have to think about the fact that considering how I am carrying, the baby will likely be up in my ribcage making it very difficult to move my diaphragm down for a good singer's breath...curse me and my knowledge of the anatomy of the vocal system...C'est la vie...I'm on to other things, more important things, more life lessons and more fun. There are other competitions, and other years to compete and right now there is only one baby in my belly and only one time to be pregnant for the first time. Maybe its best that I focus on enjoying that.

Every day is a new adventure. I am so excited to be on the ride. My life is what it is supposed to be, I am where I am supposed to be. That is a very comforting knowledge. I can continue to dream and make plans, its so wonderful to know that no matter where you are in life there are always options, there are always dreams, and there are always wonderful blessings just around the corner waiting for you as long as you're willing to remember that God's will will always win out.

Well, my tired husband has just tromped through the door, and I suspect he will be ready to go soon.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings!