Monday, March 31, 2008

The Electrical Gods are Casting Their Fury Upon Us

My laptop power cord is officially deceased. I just ordered a new one from Toshiba and it will be arriving in a few days. This is not a new problem. My first cord was damaged when H, and I'm sure others as well, tripped over the cord. So, I bought a generic one on eBay and that only lasted a few weeks before just conking out. A comp-savvy friend was kind enough to fix the first (original) cord for me, but something seems to have slowly killed that one on our trip. It even made a sad, little whine before it died. So, while ordering from the company directly will cost more, it comes with a one year warranty. So, hang in there, I will be posting about our vacation, complete with pics (that are currently on my battery-drained laptop) soon. Keep checking back.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that our TV and both vehicles are also dying. Yeah, we're in a prolonged state of mourning around here. When it rains, it pours.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm Baaaaack!

We're finally home. I have so much to write about and share with you about our tri-state trip. Unfortunately, luggage is waiting to be unpacked, some of us will be hungry soon, and I just wore out the power cord for my computer for the third time. I'm hoping it is a temporary problem. But I promise to be on again soon and post all the adventure and a lot of pics. Hope you're all well and had a great Easter week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fair Warning

Don't expect any new posts for the next week and a half. We're off to make the most of the kids' spring break. I'll post all about our travels and adventures when we get back, with lots of pics too. Hope you are all enjoying your Spring. Take care.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Updates, Cravings, and Shift Work with George

The weekend was a pretty mellow one. Friday, the kids had theater class and we didn't do much else since the brakes on our only working vehicle were pretty much kaput and it was snowing...again. Saturday, H bought new brake pads, rotors and a new caliper to fix the car. I had volunteered to babysit for some friends while they went out on a much needed date. Their kids and ours have always gotten along great. The only problem was their 7-month-old daughter that was unhappy her mommy wasn't there and uncomfortable because she was cutting a new tooth. After trying to appease her with any toy I could find, I fed her some bananas and rocked her until she passed out. Thankfully, she stayed snoozing until her parents came back. Of course, then she was all smiles.

During this time, H took some friends out to look at houses, and left two of their kids with me as well. In all, I had eight kids in the house. After H returned, he crashed for the night and I was worried that we wouldn't have a vehicle to get to church in the morning. At 2:30 a.m. though, he woke up from his looooong nap and got to work on the car. It was done and working great before church. I love when he gets mechanical. It makes me appreciate him so much. Sunday, we went to church, taught our lessons and headed home.

Big news this week: we had a new nephew enter the world. H's older brother and his wife had their first child on Tuesday and he was a big, healthy boy. He weighed about 8 lb. 9 oz. and was 20 inches long. Being born via caesarean, he was also a nice, plump, non-alien looking baby. It's amazing to look at a newborn and realize that they are so new and have just left heaven. Just amazing.

Spring break is next week for the kids and we are going to take full advantage of it. We've decided to head down to the Grand Canyon for a day (me and the kids have never been there), then head over to southern NM to visit my family for Easter and stay for about 4 days, and then head home via Colorado to visit my brother and his family for a day or so. It's a full itinerary, but we're pretty good at trying to keep things mellow and enjoying it. We also have about 10 days to do it all. I'm looking forward to seeing my family and to taking a good trip before the baby arrives. My mom is already planning to spoil us all with good food, shopping for the kids, baby clothes, and bedding for the nursery. The kids are excited and I can't wait to see them egg-hunting with their cousins.

So, back to daily stuff. I have only had a few cravings so far in this pregnancy. I have an ongoing taste for fry sauce that I don't indulge very often. A couple weeks ago, I wanted cheesecake from Costco because they put a yummy frosting on the top. So, H indulged me and bought one. The problem, however, was that I forgot how big they are and it took a week to eat. Needless to say, I am over that craving. And now, it's brownies. Homemade brownies. I have made a few batches already in the last few weeks and I could still eat more. 3/4 of the cheesecake having been eaten, it amazingly didn't reflect on my weight check at my last appointment. Hope that keeps up.
And now, a little sharing. Most mornings, I get on the computer, read the news, check some accounts, and read my favorite blogs. This morning, I went to Apartment Therapy The Kitchen and saw this delicious cake that made me pine away for Spring even more.

Isn't it beautiful?
And after opening up some much neglected email, I found a notice from my university about a program I would loooove to enroll in. It is called Writers in New York and is offered through NYU. Aspiring poets and fiction writers can take creative writing courses at NYU while living in and experiencing New York. The goal is to encourage the writers to immerse themselves in the unique opportunity that is NY, while living and studying in Greenwich Village. It sounds like heaven to me. The program is four weeks long, and is ridiculously expensive, much more than my trip to London. But, oh, the experience and the writing and the creativity. I don't plan on this being a possibility in the near future, being that I'm carrying around my third bun-in-the-oven. But, hey, maybe in a couple of years. And with the whole family this time. I would love to experience NY with H and the kids. Did I mention that I've never been there before? But, hey, maybe this program will peak the interest of one of you.

Friday, March 14, 2008



Ok, we're not having that many, but it's definitely a boy! He was not shy at all about letting us know that he was a boy. H and the kids went with me to the ultrasound and got to see some great video of the baby. The office has a big screen tv on the wall that shows everything and it sure beats the heck out of those mini-screen monitors that they used to use. We were given a lot of the pictures and even a dvd of it.
I could tell from the looks on the kids' faces that they thought it was pretty awesome. They smiled with each movement of the baby and the tech pointed out each body part. And the baby had just woken up when she started the ultrasound, so he was moving around a lot and we got a great look at him. The tech and the doctor said that everything looks perfect and healthy.

I remember when I had my ultrasound when I was pregnant with Mister, I didn't get to keep a picture. With Tiny, I got a couple of pictures. And, now, they do a lot of pics and a dvd. Aaaand, I didn't have to fill my bladder to uncomfortable levels either. I guess they don't require it anymore. I'm pretty grateful for that.

So, we will be welcoming Baby Matthew at the end of July. I had a strong hunch that it might be a boy because of a dream. When H and I were dating, I had a dream that we had Mister (he was about 2 yrs old when H and I met) and a baby girl. Well, less than a year later, we had Tiny. A few years ago, I had a dream that someone asked how many kids I had and I told them I had three, and I then told them the names of Mister, Tiny, and Matthew. A few days after I had this dream, H told me that Matthew is the name he had thought of if we were to have another boy. So, I guess that these dreams are really something to pay attention to. I'm just so glad that everything looks good.
So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Matthew.

A pretty cute profile.

His face. A little blurry.

His little foot.

Yep, it's a boy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

World country song at a time.

About four years ago, I called in to a radio contest and actually got through. The contest was to enter a pumpkin drop competition (it was around Halloween) and the ultimate prize was tickets to see Toby Keith. So, I, along with the other contestants, dressed up in Halloween outfits and showed up at a downtown shopping center where there is a really tall water tower. We had to climb to the top of the water tower and each drop our pumpkin off the edge and try to land it in a cutout sunroof of a junker car. Whoever landed their pumpkin in the car won the tickets, or even the one that got closest to it, if no one got it in.

I was about the fourth person to drop my pumpkin. My kids had chosen the pumpkin from the store and painted it up for the contest. So, I took a deep breath and let it fly. AND IT LANDED IN THE CAR!!! I was shocked and let out a loud scream of joy and waved to H and the kids down on the ground. I was the only one to land it in there. It felt awesome! So, H and I got the concert tickets and, apparently, I was even on a short interview on the news that night, though I never saw it.

Opening for Toby Keith was Terri Clark. This woman is one of my favorite performers. Her songs are so awesome. That night, she performed a song that had just begun to get playtime on the radio, but was not yet released on CD. It was titled "The World Needs a Drink". I loved that song and was hoping she would play it. I don't think this song was nearly as popular as it should have been. Sometimes you hear a country song that is incredibly clever, ironic, or just catchy. And that is why I love country music...they really know how to turn a phrase.

Monday, March 10, 2008

LonDolls Update

Mody, Hobby, Birdy (me), and Nobby

Dinner with the LonDolls was great, except that we were without the wonderful Trippy because she got stuck at work. Hobby (blonde in the middle) took the opportunity to announce that she is ENGAGED! She has been dating the lucky guy for more than a few years and they will be getting married on May 3rd. We're so happy for her and hope to give her a hen party (bachelorette) she won't soon forget. Hen parties require a theme. With Nobby's party, she was an angel and we were devils and we went out clubbing in Denver. It was great and we actually went to a club called "The Church". The coincidence truly was random. One suggestion that I made for Hobby's party, and I really was just throwing it out there to be funny, was that she dress as Hugh Hefner and we would be the Playboy bunnies. Although I was just being silly, they loved the idea. So, I'll have to let you know how that pans out.
Another update, Mody is dating, mostly hanging out with, a new guy. He came by the restaurant after we had eaten so that we could meet him. It didn't take much for us to approve of him. He is a really sweet guy that seems genuine and treats Liz well. He got thumbs up from us all.
In other news, I had an OB appointment today and everything looks good. The doc listened to the baby's heartbeat and said it sounded good. I was a bit shocked that I have only gained 3lbs. in the last month. H brought home a Costco cheesecake last week and we've been working our way through it pretty steadily. I thought for sure that that would reflect in my weight. I'm working things out to have my sonogram soon. I'm just waiting for the insurance to clear it all and then I can schedule it. I'm thinking, if all goes well, we'll be able to find out what we're having this week.
Considering the fact that it's been almost eight years since my last baby was born, I am sorely lacking baby supplies. I passed our crib, swing, high chair, playpen, walker, and more to my cousin about 5 years ago. She has put it all to good use, but I was pretty sure that we would have to start from scratch. But luckily, my mom told me that when we visit at the end of the month, she'd like us to take back a lot of baby stuff with us. They had bought a lot for my brother's little girl and she has outgrown the use of it. So, now their room is cluttered with baby stuff. So, we'll be bringing back a swing, playpen, walker, bouncer, and a couple other things. Some friends have already given us a crib, so we are really being provided for. My family has always given us so much. I am incredibly blessed.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The term "sleepover" doesn't always imply any sleep will take place

Have you heard that constant exposure to any noise above that of a single person talking can be harmful to your ears? I heard this recently and am now a believer. Tiny had her first friend sleepover last night. Yep. Her BFF, Romy, is a sweet girl that is very articulate and quite bright. However, when you combine a 7-yr. old, an 8-yr. old, and Mister who is 11, you get quite a volume. Thankfully, they actually fell asleep about midnight, which is pretty rare at any sleepover. And then I was awakened bright and early at about 6:30 a.m. to laughing and talking. Our house may not be small, but sound travels really well through it.

In all the excitement last night, H and I retreated to the dining room where we spent the rest of the evening, having a pretty satisfying, uninterrupted conversation. We then holed up in the bedroom all night. This morning, H hurried off to a seminar for the rest of the day. I tried to sit in the living room for about 5 minutes until the noise was just too much for my apparently "too old" ears. I am once again hiding in the dining room. I will definitely need to remember all this if Tiny ever asks to have a full-blown, 10-girl slumber party. I think the only way that will be happening is if we hire a chaperone and H and I book ourselves into a hotel for the night.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Very Wonderful Etsy

My endlessly creative friend, Jen, over at The Laundry? It's Never Finished has opened up a new Etsy store, Bliss Home Goods, filled with colorful, whimsical art and crafts that would perk up any home. Some of her products include handpainted art, unique fabric, canvas bags and more. All items are handmade and beautiful. She is adding more items to her store each day and is filled with ideas for future products. So, please take a look and see if she has anything that would perk up your home or space. She is also open to new ideas, so if you have any, let me know and I'll make sure she gets them.

This new store is in addition to her Etsy fabric store, Jen's Bliss, where she sells a variety of fabric. She has added a lot of new patterns since I last posted on it. So, have a look and have some fun.


Not much new going on here. I had planned to find out whether we're having a boy or girl on Monday, but it looks like it will be later than that. I'm trying to work out our insurance so that it will be covered before I schedule the sonogram. I will let you know as soon as I know anything.

We're having our carpets cleaned today, in two rooms. The living room and dining/office were looking pretty sad and kinda gross since we haven't had them cleaned since we moved in two years ago. We plan to replace these carpets as soon as we can, but for now, we're making do.

Other than that, I have a pretty full day. We have the carpet cleaning going on, the kids get out early today, I have to sort out the insurance, the kids have theater class, I am meeting the LonDolls for dinner, and finally, I am picking up Tiny's BFF for her first "friend sleep-over". They should have a blast tonight. As will I. I haven't seen my LonDolls since New Year's week. I can tell we've all been going through withdrawals. So, tonight, we're meeting up at our favorite pub for some dinner and a lot of laughs. I'll, of course, fill you in on any major updates. I'm sure they will do their share of rubbing the belly, since I didn't have one yet at our last tea.

I hope you all have an awesome weekend, filled with a lot of fun and a little laziness.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Jeff Healy RIP

TORONTO (AP) — Blind rock and jazz musician Jeff Healey has died after a lifelong battle against cancer. He was 41.
Healey died Sunday evening in a Toronto hospital, said bandmate Colin Bray, who was in the room with Healey's family when the guitarist died. The Grammy-nominated Healey rose to stardom as the leader of the Jeff Healey Band, a rock-oriented trio that gained international acclaim and platinum record sales with the 1988 album "See the Light". The album included the hit single "Angel Eyes".

Healey had battled cancer since age 1, when a rare form of retinal cancer known as Retinoblastoma claimed his eyesight. Due to his blindness, Healey taught himself to play guitar by laying the instrument across his lap. His unique playing style, combined with his blues-oriented vocals, earned him a reputation as a teenage musical prodigy. He shared stages with George Harrison, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Bray said he and many others expected the guitarist to rally from this latest illness.
"I don't think any of us thought this was going to happen," Bray said. "We just thought he was going to bounce back as he always does."
Healey had undergone numerous operations in recent years to remove tumors from his lungs and leg.

Bray and fellow bandmate Gary Scriven remembered their frontman as a musician of rare abilities with a generous nature and wicked sense of humor. Healey's true love was jazz, the genre that dominated his three most recent albums. His love of jazz led him to host radio shows in Canada where he spun long-forgotten numbers from his personal collection of over 30,000 vinyl records. His death came weeks before the release of his first rock album in eight years.
Mess of Blues is slated for a North American release on April 22.

He is survived by his wife, Christie, and two children.
I first time I saw this musician perform was in the movie "Roadhouse" with Patrick Swayze. Although the movie was definitely not top-notch, this man's music was. Listening to him, you knew that he was born to perform, overcoming any obstacle in his way. So, to honor his great talent, I have posted some of his performances for you to enjoy. Rest in peace.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Rub the belly for good luck

I am now 4 1/2 months along now and things are growing well on the outside. The belly is getting big, but I have to say that compared to my first two, this little one is pretty docile with the moving around. But it surprises me every once in a while with a twinge or a body part trying to squeeze in a tight spot. We will find out if it's a boy or a girl on the 10th and I will definitely let you all know. We'll see which of those names we'll be using and which we'll have to save for next time. So, without further's the belly.

Now: 4 1/2 months

Before: 3 1/2 months