Wednesday, June 29, 2011

i love you!

One of the first phrases Annabelle ever learned was "I lub ewe." One day I asked, "Guess what?" as I often do. And she surprised me by taking the words out of my mouth and saying, "I lub EWE!" I didn't know I said that combination of phrases so often, but apparently I did. This was months ago, but I'm still so happy that one of her favorite things to say is "I love you." She now adds embellishments like, "I love you SO MUCH!" or "I love you MOST!" I think my favorite moments in the day are when she simply says, "Mommy? I love you." There's nothing that melts my heart more.
The last time Aunt Don Don (Danielle) was here, Annabelle saw the sign for "I love you" on her keychain. (Don Don is fluent in American Sign Language.) So Don Don attempted to teach her the sign. Of course, a toddler's fingers have a hard time obeying when some are supposed to stay up and some down, but she tried and tried. And after Don Don left, she kept trying. And just this week, she finally got it. She'll use all her energy to focus, get the fingers to do what they're supposed to, then shout, "I love you! The sign for I love you!"
I love that she knows how to say that all too important phrase in so many ways. Because really, it's a phrase that never ever gets old, no matter how she says it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

thoughts at thirty-six

1. I woke up at 4 a.m. (to tend to a sad girl and hey, while I'm up, take a pee). After she quieted down, I tried to go back to sleep but just couldn't until I had a handful of grapes. I sat in the dark devouring grapes. Apparently grapes are the new cantaloupe.
2. My little sister is expecting a baby girl in November. For months, we thought she'd have a boy and I'd have a girl. Perhaps we got it backwards?
3. I've had to tame down my already wimpy workout to save the groin/back/pelvis region. You can't imagine how ridiculous I feel dumbing down an already dumb workout. At least my arms still work.
4. Pushing a shopping cart or slinging a diaper bag is a physical form of torture. Seriously - I don't know what it is about those two activities but man the groin lets me know how awesome it is.
5. I'm so sick of whole grain toast with peanut butter.
6. I want to sleep on my stomach. I don't even like sleeping on my stomach, but I really want to now.
7. My Boo turns two on Saturday. What the heck? And tomorrow she'll move out and go to college. This blows.
8. I'm also sick of water. I didn't like it in the first place. I've been drinking a surplus of fizzy sans sugar drinks. I'm sure my doctor would have something to say about this. I'm sure I don't care at this point.
9. I have a perma pregnant waddle. And I like it. It feels better to walk like that. Seriously. The next time you have a fifteen pound balloon just chilling in your belly, try waddling. Makes the weight distribution so much easier.
10. Remember that I mentioned my eyelashes were growing back, right? And thank goodness because the success of every day is measured on how I feel about my eyelashes. (Things were looking pretty rough for a while there.) Well the new lashes are nuts. They cannot be tamed. They're like a wild bush on the end of my eyelid. Seriously cuh-ray-zee. Pluck those things out and turn a camera on 'em, and you'd have a decent reality show.
11. So I recently switched from Ajax to Comet for my cleaning needs. (Probably because it saved me two cents.) And I know this is a pregnant thing, but I seriously SERIOUSLY love this Comet potion. It's a good thing I'm hanging on to a shred of sanity, otherwise I'd be eating this stuff. Ahhhh, the smell. Cleaning toilets has never been more enjoyable.
12. I took my blood pressure last night to see if it would be assisting me in my early delivery again. No dice. Blood pressure is as low as ever. Dang thyroid meds doing their job. I suppose we'll just have to wait it out. Less than a month folks. LESS THAN A MONTH.
P.S. Taking pictures in a dimly lit bathroom of yourself (and your dirty mirror - whoa) is much harder than I thought it would be. Thus the black and white, to hide the over processing I had to do. Also, that t-shirt reads: "Go ahead. Poke me," with a picture of the Pilsbury dough boy. I feel like I need to preserve that little gem, thus the mention.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


We've hit that point in the pregnancy (as I did the first go round) where I start to get ridiculously antsy wondering if the baby is a girl or a boy. Not antsy enough to actually find out, of course, but I watch the 20 week ultrasound over and over, pausing in each frame that sweeps past the bum in any way, as though I really know what to look for. I'm seriously so excited.

And I think I've hit that point where I'm actually excited for Annabelle too. (Instead of just feeling guilty that my attention will soon be split.) Brother or sister, she'll get to know the kind of love and friendship that I know with my sisters. And it's something really unlike any other relationship she'll have in her life. Vital relationships, ones that will save her repeatedly, ones that she'll be able to count on no matter what. Who else will stay up til midnight with you eating cake right off the platter? Or maybe a carton of ice cream?

I think she's actually a little excited too. She talks about the baby that is "growing up" inside Mommy and how she'll love and hug and kiss the baby. She asks me regularly if today is the day I go to the doctor to get the baby out. (Mommy go to doctor? Get baby?) I started prepping her about a month ago in the hopes that it would help her when I suddenly disappeared for two days. As it turns out, we started prepping a little too soon because she's continually wondering when I'm going to get outta here and get that baby out of me already.

And so the countdown begins. Will it be Mommy and her girls? Or will it be a Mommy and one of each.

Seriously. Dying. So excited to find out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

homemade ice cream

 Last night in the bath, Annabelle gathered the soap suds into a cup,
took a dollop with her finger, licked it, and said, "It's-a-like ice cream!"
Listen girl, if it were really like ice cream, I'd be lapping up soap suds all day.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So there isn't a pleasant way to say it, but I'm pretty sure the baby is trying to escape out of me. I'm not even kidding. And it doesn't exactly feel pleasant. In fact, it doubles me over sometimes. But if that means it's getting ready to make a quick and smooth entrance, I'm game. But man my groin hurts. (Listen, the minute you become pregnant, everything TMI no longer becomes TMI. So I said it: groin.)

That said, my back hurt something fierce yesterday too. I did the pregnant woman waddle all dang day. But I believe I discovered the culprit. You see, for weeks, I've been sleeping on the couch. I always start in my bed, but then when I get up to pee two minutes later, I land on the couch instead. On Sunday night, I told myself to be a big girl and stay in her big girl bed. So I did.

I bought that mattress when I was single. So it's getting old, and the problem is the pillow top. When I bought it, it was a billowy, cloudy pillow of love. Now it's a big ol' mushy lump that swallows your body and demands that you pry your limbs from its cotton grip every morning. Apparently during my big girl night, it also seized my back. Because after another night of couch sleeping, I be healed!

Well, my groin is KILLING. But my back - the thing that made it hard to walk yesterday - is feeling A-okay.

Five weeks amigos. Five weeks until my groin pain becomes REAL groin pain. And I have a baby. Whoa.

A TIP: When the subject matter doesn't lend itself to photos, just find a really cute one of your tiny baby. Babies always win.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Before Annabelle arrived, I can't say I ever thought about how
important aunties would be in my girl's life.
As it turns out, they are all some of her very best friends.
Scratch that, they are her best friends.
And she's lucky because she has a big ol' handful of them.
Thank you sweet aunties, for loving my baby so very much.
And thanks to this aunty who came for a visit,
and left my house clean and my baby happy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

picked through

While at the grocery store, Annabelle requested some Marshmallow Mateys (that is, the cheap Lucky Charms). And since we pretty much feed her chili for breakfast (no really, just yesterday that was her request), I went ahead and threw some in the cart. The whole way home she talked about the "see-ul" she was going to eat. And when we walked in the door, she promptly requested a pink bowl with see-ul, sat down on the couch, and then proceeded to pick all the marshmallows out. Naturally.
Also, you might notice some strange redness on her face. Trust me when I say this is the least of the leprosy today. Our best guess is she took her dang blanket, whom {yes, that pronoun implies the blanket has human qualities} she loves with all her heart, and wrapped it tightly around her face while sleeping. I often check on her and notice the mummifying effect, so I unwrap her. But somehow I missed this time. So she literally cooked her face. She gave herself a ridiculous heat rash on her face because she loves her blanket that much. She's nuts.

Monday, June 13, 2011

born addict

First of all, just let me justify my filthy kitchen. Let's be honest - there's no justification. Let me just explain.

So in the first weeks - scratch that - months of pregnancy, I pretty much allowed my apartment to decay into a state of ruin. You never could tell how many people lived here, maybe a small village of miscreants, maybe a family of raccoons. It was bad. But I truly couldn't bring myself to care. Because I was busy dying you see. But then my doctor was all, "You're chubby. Stop eating good food," and I seriously felt better overnight. Since then I've been cleaning and organizing and actually hanging things on walls. It's beginning to look like home, and this little old apartment is strangely feeling kind of warm and fuzzy. And I like it. I even do my dishes on a daily basis. Not just when the raccoons start eating the leftovers.

But then the weekend hits. And we have swimming lessons (and the fat nap I need after swimming lessons) and errands and playing and hiking (i.e., walking slowly down the street) and "Daddy's home!" and things seriously fall apart. I mean SERIOUSLY. So I wait for Monday to start all over again and get things in order. Please note that it's 2:30 p.m., and I'm still waiting to get things in order. Hmmm. Interesting.

Anyhow, I've been snitching some trail mix for a couple weeks now. I figure one M&M to fifty bazillion {gross} peanuts is a good balance. And it's really not that good so I truthfully don't eat much. Just a small handful here and there when I have the sudden urge to EAT A CUPCAKE. (Six more weeks! Just six!) This morning, I left the opened bag on the {filthy raccoon habitat} counter. And when I walked in, I saw this little munchkin, blanket wrapped around her head - so as to hide, of course - picking the dang M&Ms out of the bag. Girl has my blood. That chocolate in the veins, gotta have it now, can sniff chocolate out of anything kind of blood.

And I say: HOORAY. Enjoy that chocolate my girl. Because it's seriously some of life's best offerings.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

things i'm loving

1. A baby in a white onesie. Even if it's a big baby. It's hard to believe I'll have a newborn next month. I'm sure it will seem so very tiny compared to my big baby. Either way, he or she will also be in a white onesie most of its baby life. There's just nothing more adorable to me. A white onesie is just quintescential baby, don't you think?

2. Dannon Vanilla Greek yogurt. So, I know I told you all to rush out and buy Yoplait's Honey Vanilla Greek yogurt. And it's still good. But Dannon's vanilla is sooooo good. I like to pretend it's ice cream. (Yes, I'm desperate.) Super creamy and delicious. We've converted over here.

3. My crock pot. So I'm a huge fan of crock pot cooking, especially on Sundays or otherwise busy days. But when I'm pregnant I customarily give it up because I can't handle smelling food cooking I also can't stand the way the food smells seep into your being. Bleck. But I realized last week I had an electrical outlet on my deck. And voila. Crock pot cooking in the out of doors. Sold. Today, we're having this. And here's a crock pot tip: When cooking chicken, trim the fat and nastiness off, salt and pepper the chicken breasts, and barely cook on all sides before putting it in the crock pot. It makes your chicken less "crock pot soggy" and burns of that nasty chicken juice.

4. Watching Annabelle learn. Last Monday, for Family Home Evening, we learned that we are all children of God. And out of the blue a few days later, Annabelle informed me: "I chi God. Mommy chi God. Daddy chi God." It really is amazing what these little minds comprehend and retain.

5. Sun on my skin. I'm not going to get as dark as I did when I was pregnant with Annabelle because I haven't the time nor have I been ordered to sit around on my duff like I was last time (I had eeee-shoes during my first pregnancy that I've thankfully avoided this time around). But boy is it lovely to ditch that whole I-live-in-a-cave look and trade it in for a little potential skin cancer.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

tiny shadow

So for the most part, I think it's fair to say that Annabelle is her mama's girl. And that isn't to say she hasn't always adored her daddy; it's more just a reflection of who she spends more time with (by virtue of Jess' job, she's obligated to spend all day with me). But in the last several weeks, I've watched a shift. She's still my girl, but man does she love that daddy. She follows him around from the minute he walks into the door in the evening until bed time, a chatty little shadow, anxious to help him with whatever he's doing. At bed time, she routinely requests that he give her a bath and her sippy of milk (formerly duties that fell under my job description and ones that only I could do). She simply adores him and loves to "nuggle a minute" with him the whole time he's home.

I realize that this could make me a little jealous and sad, but it truly doesn't. I'm grateful that the duties are already starting to divide in preparation for the new baby, and I'm also simply grateful that she has a daddy who treasures his tiny shadow and every minute he has with her. Some days when I watch the two of them, I just can't get over how lucky she is. Just as I hope she never questions my love for her, I'm sure she'll never question his. She knows she's got him wrapped right around her tiny little finger, and neither of them would have it any other way.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So because I stopped appearing in most photos pretty much the minute I found out I was pregnant, poor Annabelle is being photographed more than ever. We went for a little "hike" (it's a pretty flat paved loop) at the Temple Quarry Trail at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and Jess kept begging Belle to smile for a picture. Most of the time he got looks like the one above. But then sometimes she put her fierce on and started smiling with her eyes. You go girl.

Monday, June 6, 2011

heating up

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I'm having a love/hate relationship with the heat. On the one hand, I'm really ready to be rid of snow and rain and all things cold. When I'm pregnant, snow makes me cranky. (When I'm not, snow makes me haaapppyyy.) And although I'm a little annoyed that summer felt like it was more important than spring and just skipped right over that beautiful season, for the most part, I'm happy the sun is shining and the pools are open, and I can begin my pre-labor tan. (Because when I had Belle, the front side of me was nearly black. The back side? More on the white side as I couldn't really flip over during tanning. The nurses got a real kick out of this during delivery. I'd hate to disappoint this time around.)

On the other hand, I forget that having a roughly three pound baby inside me, plus all its accessories (a much better word than all the gross technical words) makes me H-O-T. Holy smokes, I'm a sauna, a living sauna. Sleeping has become more ridiculous than ever, and even when the a/c is blowing on me, I'm pretty sure sweat is just waiting to pour from my brow. I'm just so dang hot. And no one needs to remind me that I have to make it through July. I have a mental calendar ticking the minutes at all times. And boy howdy.

Thank heavens for swimming, air conditioning, and shaved ice (yeah yeah, I have to eat the sugar free kind, I know, blah blah).

Also, I'd have made a crap pioneer. Although my incessant whining probably would've really encouraged people to run - not walk - to the valley. So perhaps I'd have been an asset?

P.S. Boo had her first "swimming lesson" on Saturday. Mostly, we just learned how to not be frightened of water. Although she got some good kicking, bubbles, and jumping in by the end. And more photos were taken; strangely, there's a large whale with her in most shots, so they didn't make the cut.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011


One month from today, my baby will turn two years old. And in the same month she turns two, she'll gain a sibling as well. Last night, as this realization settled down around me, I suddenly burst into tears. Because for the first time, I realized that my time with Annabelle - with just her - is rapidly coming to an end. Jess, Annabelle, and I all have something in common: we're all firstborns. And until I had my own, I don't think I fully comprehended how special that really is. I got my mom to myself - all to myself - for a few years. Of course, I don't remember minding one bit when three live dollies came to join our family, but how wonderful those firstborn years must've been for us.

These two years with my Belle have been unparalleled. We've been blessed with a ridiculously good little girl, one whose maturity and comprehension have always been far beyond her months and now years. When she was very tiny, there were two common compliments from strangers: (1) She's so beautiful! and (2) She looks so wise. Even strangers could see the wisdom in her eyes, the way she didn't just look at you, but somehow through you. She has an old soul, and watching her grow is a rather extraordinary experience. She's been the greatest joy of my life. Ever. Being her mother is unlike anything I could've imagined. I truly do enjoy every day shared with her. When I have to leave her for hours at a time, I feel a distinct loss, as though a chunk of me is missing. I ache until I can be with her again. She is my tiny friend, one who is always there. And I love her for it.

The irony of this situation is that this deep love that became rooted in my soul the instant I saw Annabelle is the same love that motivated me to have another child, this same child that will interrupt the firstborn years. And as I've said before, my worry isn't that I won't have enough room in my heart for this little baby rolling around in my stomach; indeed, I already love this baby to the depths of my soul, sight unseen. I just worry that Belle's equilibrium will become unbalanced, that in the whirlwind of diapers and burp cloths and spit up and bottles, she'll question my love for her. My hope and prayer is that in these two years, her daddy and I have wrapped her so tight in love that in the first weeks of adjustment, she'll still feel safely swaddled, that she'll know our love is constant and forever for her, that there is literally nothing in this world that can change the fact that we would do absolutely anything for her. Because I'm sure that's what made it so easy for me to welcome my first sister. I had no reason to question my mom's love for me, and so I simply didn't.

I hope Annabelle knows that her place in my heart is forever defined. There is a space all hers there. And I hope she knows that I will treasure every minute remaining of our firstborn time. And then the minutes after too.

Post Script: In a slightly unrelated note, I'm so proud of this, written by my mom. She is the most brave and strong woman I know, and I'm so lucky to call her my mom. I'm so excited for the road ahead of her, as unplanned by her as it may be. I have a funny feeling it's going to be amazing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

wash up

Yesterday was possibly the best day of the year, next to the day that this baby comes out, of course. Why?

This truck pulled up:
 This is totally my house.
And brought me these:
Which is amazing not only because I've been waiting to purchase them for ten months, but because we also scored a serious deal on the set (Memorial Day weekend sale). Technically, this photo features the current version, and ours is last year's model (part of the reason we were able to get such a good deal). But they're essentially the same. I mean, they wash and dry clothes, right? Because that's all I'm looking for.

Also, I feel like I deserve some credit for hauling truckloads of laundry up to my in-laws for 32 weeks of pregnancy (although I've made Jess take it up and down the stairs for some weeks now). And I feel like they deserve some credit too, for allowing me to occupy their machines at least once a week. In any case, I have my own washer and dryer! Bring on the massive amounts of spit up! And hey, throw in some excellent baby blow outs! Seriously, I'll have fun washing all that bodily fluid in about two months.

And one more thing. If you (like me) don't like baking bread because yeast is a finicky thing, try these whole wheat dinner muffins (from my BFF Mel, naturally). You won't regret it.


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