Thursday, March 31, 2011

the price of the past

So Jess and I decided we needed a little road trip this weekend. Yes, even I decided this. (I'm customarily the one who's like, "I'm pregnant...wah...wah...I get car vomit...wah...I have to pack for a toddler...wah...wah.") But Moab sounds fun. Not really. Moab does NOT sound fun to a pregnant woman. Does anyone want to explain why people go to Moab? To do strenuous and/or dangerous activities outside. Which means pregnant lady is going to do what?

But actually it does sound fun. I just want to go somewhere. And plus there's always the Hole 'N' the Rock, and I challenge anyone to come up with a better excuse to not sweat than, "I'm pregnant." Jess can take all the photos he wants, Belle and I can play in the dirt for hours. Win win all around.

So anyway, yesterday I got on to check and see how much a hotel room would be. I was a little saddened to discover that there was practically nothing available. There were a few dumpy hotels for about $200 a night, hotels that would have to pay me $200 a night to stay there. We were considering other destinations when I realized that - because I'm pregnant and my brain is dumb (always the excuse) - I may have put in last weekend's dates.

In other words, was willing to charge me $200 a night for a hotel room in the past.

This has nothing to do was anything except for the fact that I'm still laughing about it. And I wanted an excuse to post some photos. So there. Honesty and a good story. You're welcome. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

over the hump

1. Jess felt the baby kick last week. With Annabelle, I didn't feel her kick til about 21 weeks (I'm 23 now and feeling really great about being over halfway done), and Jess didn't feel her for several more. This baby is nice and low already, often making its presence known in my bladder. Like Annabelle, this baby doesn't beat me up. Just calm, steady kicks and jabs. The temperament seemed to have transferred well after Annabelle was born; we hope it does this time too.
2. While I'm unbelievably grateful that I switched up my diet (whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies, and zippo cakes or cookies) because I feel, oh, I don't know, human, I seriously SERIOUSLY miss cakes and cookies. It's relatively easy to resist them as they just make me ill, but man do I miss them. (Also, at my most recent visit, my doctor practically did cartwheels at the success of this diet change. My weight's under control and everything looks really good.)
3. If I don't drink enough water during the day, I bloat like the Goodyear blimp and get a massive headache. Yet, I repeat this mistake often.
4. The pregnancy dreams have got to stop. They're ridiculous and literally wake me up (or does my bladder?). Last night, I dreamed that I left Annabelle in a locked car for hours. With her coat on. I remember how red her cheeks were and how she guzzled water once I found her. Horrible! I woke up in a panic and had to go check her immediately. And then I couldn't sleep, because how I could I leave my baby in the car that long? She could have died! It took like an hour to convince myself that it didn't really happen.
5. Every morning I have two pieces of whole grain wheat toast (the real stuff, not the stuff that has yummy white flour mixed in that makes it taste good) with Splenda (go ahead, judge) and cinnamon. It's actually incredibly delicious. Sometimes I have it for lunch too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

oh boy

I have a confession: I'm not sure what to do with a baby boy. I'm totally trained to deal with pink, but blue?

I guess that's not entirely true. The baby part doesn't stress me out. I mean, I will have to add some vehicular sounds to my vocabulary, and I see basketballs in my future if a little boy comes out, but the baby part doesn't stress me out. It's the teenage part. Ugghhhh. I dread it.

When I express this fear, people are always so quick to point out how horrible teenage girls are too. But here's the thing world: I'm the oldest of four girls. You can't tell me that we're all horrible. In fact, even in our moodiness, most of us are manageable. Trust me, I grew up with them! And not all of us are that moody! Plus, teenage girls don't smell bad (in fact, they usually take particular pride in their general appearance and odor, something completely lost on their male counterparts), their brains don't turn to a mush of fart jokes, they don't want to play video games, lewd comments generally don't escape their lips, and they generally avoid that awkward hair on the face stage. I'll admit that the worst thing about a teenage girl is the drama. Life can can get pretty dramatic when that time of the month rolls around and you can't find your favorite shirt. But after three sisters of drama, I can deal with it. Plus, it always passes. We find our shirts and then we return to our nice smelling, not video game playing selves.

I'm sure there are some teenage boys who defy this stereotype. But in my mind, it's inevitable. And it scares me. And I plan to give away any teenage boys at the age of 13 to the most willing grandparent.

NOTE: We do not know what we're having still. This is just me worrying about it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

no more!

The weather is threatening to do this again:

And while this little nut couldn't care less:

I, on the other hand, spent the morning practicing a very deadly withering stare 
while watching out the window as the clouds descended upon us.

And then I went a bought a pair of these:

As if to say to winter, "Stuff it." 
(Also, this is a gentle reminder to my ankles 
to not swell quite yet as these shoes are particularly cute 
and might not be so with a bunch of water retention hanging out the sides.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

working hard or hardly working

So sometimes (read: many times) Jess brings his work home. We don't complain, however, because it means Daddy is home and not far away in law land. He takes periodic breaks to chase around his Midge, then resumes working. Often, his little bug tracks down her 'puter  (as she calls it), and gets a little work done herself. (It's a totally random toy I found at the D.I. months ago. Can't beat a $1 computer.)

Not only do they look ridiculously similar when they concentrate, but I think they're ridiculously adorable together as well. Even when one of them wears ill matching pajamas. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

word of the week

I'm not sure which is to blame - my artificial hormone I take for my broken thyroid, pregnancy, or the dry air of winter - but my typically pretty dry skin is like the cracked surface of the desert these days. (Not to be confused with the cracked surface of a dessert. Which sounds really good right now. Any dessert really. Cracked surface or not.) So I'm always slathering on lotion. Of course, my little mini me has picked up the habit as well (and sadly, I think her skin is more like mine than her father's so its probably a good habit to have inherited, along with my penchant for inhaling chocolate like it ain't no thang), and is constantly asking for some "yo-shun." When she "needs" to put some on her arms but her long sleeves are in the way, and she'd like some help pushing them up, she asks, "Open...shirt? Open?"

These pictures were taken after she discovered she could stand under the run off on our car port (when snow starts melting, it's a pretty good stream). She laughed and laughed her little brains out. So funny to get so wet. Cute girl.

Monday, March 14, 2011


1. So this cute lady at church "confessed" that she ate seven cookies. In one day! Bless her. I could eat seven for an appetizer before I ate seven more.
2. That was before I swore off of them for this pregnancy, which has been a genius move. If I think about eating one, I get heartburn. Or if I eat a turkey hot dog. Also gives me heartburn. But oh so good and a good fake out that summer is just around the corner. Yeah. Right.
3. Annabelle used to chew gum then spit it out (in the garbage) when she was done. Now she chews it then swallows it. My hope is that the gum makes the few morsels of food she consumes during the day really stick to her belly and make her feel super full. So she'll stop waking me up at random times in the middle of the night to inform me she's hungry. Really?
4. I think the face in the ultrasound looks like a boy. Also, I've thought it was a boy for a long time. But what do I know? Seriously. The lady doing the ultrasound made me close my eyes a few times so I couldn't see. I watched my DVD of the ultrasound anyway - like I can tell up from down, boy parts from girl parts.
5. We have no girl names. Luckily, the boy comes with a name. And we have a few good middle name options.
6. We still haven't found a house. We have an offer in on a short sale, but those can take months to close. As it turns out, we have about four. At the most.
7. The temperatures have hit in the sixties a few days. Glory glory. The funny thing is that next year, I'll likely be glorying in the winter. I'm quite bi-polar when it comes to being pregnant and being not pregnant.
8. I ordered a crib to St. George from so when I visit I have somewhere to pen Annabelle during naps*, and it had an estimated delivery date a week and a half out. Two days later, it arrived in St. George. I was seriously ready to marry Then my mom opened the crib. It had some serious damage. Dang. It. We're waiting for the replacement to arrive. Arg.
9. Our most favorite sandwich restaurant in Durham is coming to our neighborhood. There's actually a Firehouse Subs in the valley already, but a good distance away. We're more than thrilled that our carbs (their wheat bread is actually really good, and I'm "allowed" to eat it) are going to be in such close proximity. If you go, try the Engineer (my favorite) or the Hook 'N' Ladder (Jess' favorite). Oh, I'm salivating.
10. I'm really into Diet Root Beer these days. I think this is my attempt to pretend that because it is similar in color, it must be similar in function to Diet Dr Pepper. (It's not.)

*So Annabelle's a bottle baby. My boobs don't work; I pumped what I could for a month before I ran dry. And while this stresses out many people, we're totally cool with it, and strangely enough, Annabelle still bonded appropriately with her mother! Wonders! That said, she was addicted to her bottle. I loved it too because it put her to sleep. It made nap time and bed time a cinch. Seriously. She was out before her head hit her pillow (she doesn't really have a pillow - when do they get a pillow?). So with the sippy, she just has her milk, then we put her in her bed, sing a song, and say hasta. At night, she generally just goes to sleep within a few minutes. Nap times are another story, and I can usually hear her in there practicing her vocabulary and doing gymnastics for a good while, so having her penned is a must. Heaven help us when she learns out to crawl out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

my japan

Oh my Japan. My heart is with you.

I know most of you have probably heard about this already, but in case you haven't: during their Friday afternoon (it's night time right now), Japan suffered an 8.9 earthquake, plus the accompanying tsunami. The earthquake itself lasted five minutes. If you've been to Japan, you know that the country is crammed with people and buildings and boats and cars. The buildings are tall and sandwiched together. And in the countryside, areas largely affected by the tsunami, the homes are modest and meager, surrounded by rice patties, easily swept away by strong water. Every square inch of the country is used, and from the footage on the news, you can see how that affected the destruction. So far, hundreds are reported dead, hundreds injured, but thousands (literally) more are expected to be reported once daylight returns to the country.

Oh my heart. This place means more to me than almost any other place on earth. I'm just so sad.

I miss you Japan and send you my prayers.

I took this photo in the summer of 2008 in Ueno , a province in Tokyo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

things she says...

...that I don't want to forget. :)

1. If you tell her you love her, she'll say, "No! I lub you MORE!" or "No! I lub you lots!" or "Noooo! I lub you much!"
2. When she's looking for her dad, she says, "Fa-dough, where awe you?" Sometimes she calls for "Dess!?? Dess!?" (She has yet to call me mother or by my first name. We're not quite sure how she's figured out his additional titles, but it's pretty hilarious.)
3. When she needs my help: "Mommy do it." If she wants her independence: "Ah-Belle do it."
4. She's piecing adorable sentences together: "I need" "Black what, honey?" "I need" I love watching her brain piece it all together. (And yes, she's getting some colors right these days.)
5. When she's searching for something, she says, "Hmmmmm..." and puts her index finger on her cheek (she's copying what Grandma Christensen did when she was looking for something last time she visited). It's really adorable.
6. After the water main busted in our apartment (just a little flooding - no worries), she talked for days about it: "Pop! [the sound it made] Water. Carpet wet. Water carpet. Boys. Boys fix. Wall hot. Boys fix wall. Water. Carpet wet."
7. She was helping me fold some laundry and somehow a tiny sock and found its way into the batch. She tried to put the tiny sock on but was having a hard time so I casually (without thought) told her, "Oh, that's too small. We better buy some bigger ones at the store." She then proceeded to repeat over and over: "Bigg-oh socks? Store. Shop. Bigg-oh socks? Bigg-oh socks? Store." Over and over. So we went to the store. And when we turned into the parking lot, she started cheering and clapping and yelped, "Bigg-oh socks!!"
8. When she puts on a new outfit (that generally doesn't match or coordinate in any way), she walks out and says, "Cooooot!"
9. We went to the zoo a few weeks ago where we saw some really exciting things: a giraffe taking a dump and a big ol' ape taking a snooze. For the last few weeks we've heard about the following: "Raffe....poo....ha ha ha ha ha ha...raffe pooped! Poopy bum! Poop on floor! Raffe poo....ha ha ha ha." Or the ape: "Monkey tired. Monkey take nap. Rest. Monkey nap." We went to the zoo again today and she was sorely disappointed when the giraffes didn't have any bodily functions for her to giggle at. She got bored quick and requested, "Mom? Push stroller. Monkeys."
10. When it's time for bed, she drinks her last sippy of milk and whispers, "Bed?" As I take her into her room, I whisper, "I love you," and she whispers, "I lub you," back. It's maybe my favorite thing in the world.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Dear Baby Cheney Dos:

I feel like I've spent plenty of time whining and grumbling about being pregnant, but I haven't stopped to tell you something: I'm thrilled to be having you. Some little girls dream about being ballerinas or astronauts or doctors, and all of these are incredibly lovely aspirations, but the only job I ever wanted was mommy. Your big sister has been the dream come true that I'd waited for. And I want you to know that you are a dream come true too. When I whine and complain, it isn't about you. In fact, when I stop and think about you I get pretty giddy. The other day I stopped to buy a baby present for a friend and found myself getting all mushy about some cute gender neutral onesies that I was sure you needed. And somehow they ended up in my shopping cart, even though I have an abundance of gender neutral onesies already. These are for you, and I'm so very happy to have you tapping in my belly.

So someday when you look back at this blog and the things I've written, I want you to be clear about one thing: I might be a whiner, but I already love you more than I can say. I'm so very grateful to be pregnant with you, and I know I'm the luckiest lady around. You are my dream come true, and your very impatient mommy is counting the days until we can actually meet. I love you sweet little baby. You keep kicking, and I'll keep the Cafe Rio coming.

All my love,

P.S. You have a daddy who's pretty over the moon about you too. And a sister who has been dutifully practicing bouncing her dolls on her hips. In short, get ready for a whole lotta love to come your way.
P.P.S. Also, these photos are just the beginning. You should be aware that many more are in your future. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

the winter blues

So I customarily love winter. I could roll around in the snow and then have an ice cold soda. No, really. Summer is a long, drawn out period of sweating, endured only because I know fall will eventually come. But when I'm pregnant - and this happened the first time around too, although not as violently as this time - I seriously want to kill winter. Death to winter. Death to cold, frigid, icy, tundra gross blah. I get pretty irrational about it really. When it starts snowing outside, I throw mini tantrums. Annabelle, who actually loves the snow, starts yelling, "Kuh kuh! Zno! Kuh kuh zno!" whenever she sees it because, well, that's what I scream while I roll around kicking on the floor. 

I want to bake. I want to literally consume sunshine. I've described it this way: In my mind I can take the sunshine, make a cheesecake, then sit and eat it - rich, delicious sunshine, bite by bite. It seriously "sounds good," and I'm just counting the days until I can sweat. Yeah, I have issues.

Anyway, these are some of the incredibly beautiful photos that Jess snapped in Yellowstone (before he took a nose dive and crushed his sternum). I seriously love them. And aside from the fact that I missed the family fun, I love even more that I'm not in them. Holy frozen.

And a few pictures for Grandma. Hands on her hips. Yep, she's that big.

Also, she totally chose that outfit, including the sweet too small, backwards pants. And yes, that disaster behind her? That's what my whole apartment looks like when I'm pregnant. I'm over it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

twenty at twenty

 My Belle, at twenty months:

1. You love, love watching Toy Story 3. You request "Woooo-Deee" all day long. Although you also love Buzz, Jesse, "pig," and "frog" (Rex, the dinosaur). You also love watching Beauty & the Beast, although you just call it "Ah-Belle," because as far as you know, you share names with the main character. (You also call any princess appearing cartoon "Ah-Belle.")
2. You know the entire alphabet (uppercase letters). You can locate letters when requested, and you find them on products, buildings, during movies, anywhere you can. You know the sounds of some of the letters, and often call U "umbrella."
3. You can count to ten, although the numbers usually get mixed up, and nine is often totally abandoned. But you have on several occasions actually counted in order by yourself.
4. You know the circle (sometimes you call it "O," and why not), triangle, square, and heart. Sometimes the star.
5. You really stink at colors. :) I think you sort of know pink, orange, and yellow. But mostly you just call everything white, like your blanket. Which is actually really cute.
6. You love to sing. Some of your favorites are "Farmer in the Dell," "Old MacDonald," "Once There Was A Snowman," and "Itsy Bitsy Spider." You also love to sing Katy Perry's "Firework." We'll hear you singing "Boom boom boom...moon moon moon" all the time.
7. Thanks to a certain aunt (Don Don!) who showed you this random clip, you now ask for pumpernickel all day long. All four syllables - pump-a-nick-o.
8. You love peppered beef jerky. I'm kind enough to give you the least peppery pieces, but really? You also love Cafe Rio's black beans and rice, which can likely be blamed on your mother's pregnant obsession with the restaurant. And you love milk. Just like your dad. (Yuck. Not like your mom.)
9. You've had a cold every other week for the last few months. (It's getting old, not because you're difficult - you're not - but because I get the colds after you.)
10. You know the sounds of the following animals: dog, cat, cow, horse, bear, lion, frog, duck, bird, rabbit (scrunched nose, no sound), pig, turkey, elephant, sheep, monkey, donkey, bird, chick, rooster, turkey.

11. You sprouted three more teeth in the last month - two back teeth and one front, bottom. This may be why eating is getting easier.
12. You gave up the bottle over a month ago. It was completely easy, and you never asked for it after the switch. (In other words, your mom is a chicken.)
13. When you go to bed, you always request a song, which means you want me to sing "I Am A Child of God." Whenever I leave the room, you say, "One more?" You usually win, and I sing one more verse.
14. You're not really interested in potty training, but you often insist on trying out your potty. Almost always, you fake "use" your potty, then run away and pee on the floor somewhere. Among the many cute things you do, this is not one of them, and your mother is quite content keeping you in diapers.
15. You know the name of every family member on both sides, through the great-grandparents, plus our relatives' pets. Some of our favorites are: Don-Don (Danielle), Ki-Ness (Kristen), and Coke (Courtney).

16. You love to steal everyone's seat. If someone stands up, you start giggling and say, "Ha ha ha ha! Mommy's [or whomever it is that left] seat! Ha ha ha!"
17. When you want to be held, you say, "Hold you?" Sometimes you say, "Hold you? Me?"
18. You're stringing sentences together all the time. At the store, I hear a steady stream of, "I want it. I need it. I want it. Hold it. I hold it. I want it." When you're looking for someone, you ask, "Daddy, where awe you?" When you do something funny, you announce, "Siyee Ah-Belle! Cay-zee Ah-Belle!" And you've got the possessive under control: "Mommy's nose. Ah-Belle's shirt."
19. You love to help - in the kitchen, with laundry, cleaning up. If you hear me in the kitchen cooking or doing the dishes, you come running and say, "Helpin'?" Often your help is more messy than it is helpful, but we don't mind. We think it's pretty adorable.
20. When you drop something or mess up, you say, "Dang it!" No comment on whom you may have learned that from...


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