Friday, September 30, 2011

over the shoulder

She's at that squishy age where she fits just perfect right over my shoulder.
Indeed, she really loves it there.
If she had her way, she'd just bob her head on my shoulder all day long.
(And if I had my way, I'd be pretty okay with it too.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

a disease

Last night, as I lay in bed, aching with exhaustion, I said to Jess, "I think sometimes we forget that I have a disease. I mean, literally. I have an auto immune disease. And it's never going away."

I visited with my endocrinologist today (thyroid doctor). We're working on getting my thyroid back to normal after pregnancy. I really love this woman. I love her for keeping my thyroid steady for nine months while it shared with a baby, and I love her for being willing to fix it now. It will take some weeks, but it will happen. She did an ultrasound of my thyroid as well. It was kind of fun to see my missing half thyroid, and that other spongy gross right lobe that's just rotting in there. The good news is it looks disgusting, but normal for my disease. No suspicious spots this time.

She rattled off a bunch of symptoms she guessed I might be experiencing - exhaustion, anxiety, ravenous hunger, depression, tremors (my hands) - and explained that it was normal and that we really could get it back to normal. It felt good to hear someone say that all this nuttiness is normal. I mentioned that I was weaning Lydia (we're down to morning and night feedings and neither of us have been happier since she was born) and she actually responded with enthusiasm. Because doing so will just help rid my body of excess hormones. Right now I just want my body back. I'll always need help setting my body right, but I really want to get it there. I mentioned my low carb, no sugar pregnancy diet, and she told me that I'd do well to stick to it. Forever. Most bodies don't "need" excess carbs, but mine just doesn't deal well with them. I agreed with her and explained that although I snitch, I'm sticking to it pretty well. (Minus that baby shower weekend, when I got sick as a dog because I didn't just snitch, I became a glutton. Gag.)

Anyhow, this is just me rambling and remembering. My disease isn't a big deal. In the realm of physical ailing, it's pretty much at the bottom of the ladder. I mean it won't go away, but it also won't kill me. I'll be affected by it forever, I'll balance it forever, and I'll blame all of life's problems on it forever, but it's relatively mild. I'm so grateful it's manageable and that I can live a normal, healthy life. One with babies and a redhead. And chocolate. And Diet Dr Pepper.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

round and round

If you're from St. George, you're probably like me, and when people mention they're going to St. George for a visit, you're like, "WHY?" The city really doesn't have much to do unless you have a strong desire to golf and/or sweat. Seriously.

Until now. Now they have a CAROUSEL. Mock all you want, but this thing is seriously the best. Why? Because it's something to do. We took the girls on our last evening in St. George. It was still six hundred degrees, but Annabelle loved it and rode three times. And as you can see, Lou was totally into it too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

oh how tweet!

My sister Rissa - number three of four - is having herself a little baby girl in November. So I thought we'd have ourselves a little baby shower to celebrate.

If you know me, you know that I love spreadsheets and planning and bossing people around. So baby showers are right up my alley. Given the fact that I've given birth to my brain twice now and that planning had to occur in spare minutes when one tiny one wasn't screaming or one larger tiny one wasn't begging to play, I've been planning this shin dig for months. It actually worked out great that way, however, as I was able to just keep my eyes open for things that would fit our theme. And what a theme it was:
Not only am I obsessed with birds, but so is Rissa. Maybe not as much as me (?) but she does love them. I designed a few invites before this became the winner. And then everything else was inspired by it. I tried to do this on a budget, and this is how it broke down:

invites - Designed by me, printed at Wal Mart as photos - it's a seriously cheap way to print invitations and cards. That said, you have to get a few test prints done and adjust color and margins to fit accordingly.

decor - Because of my obsession, I've got random bird stuff that I was able to put to work. I found that {slightly strange} pigeon for fifty cents at the DI and spray painted him to match. The darling bird houses and bronze birds are my mother-in-law's. I'm completely in love with them and wish they could disappear into my own collection. :)

:: banners, cupcake toppers, food labels, etc. - Designed by me, printed at Alphagraphics - rip off - then a local St. George printing shop, Steamroller's - great deal. My recommendation is to shop around before printing instead of just using the closest place (like me). Alphagraphics was more than twice the cost of Steamroller's. I cut out everything as well, but using a cricut machine would be much quicker (I don't have one).
:: "feather" banners - I used this tutorial to make accordian streamers out of tissue paper. I used two bags of tissue paper (they're only about $1 a bag).
:: table runner - I bought two pink feather boas at Zurcher's ($5 a pop) and ran them lengthwise folded in half. It may be my favorite thing about the shower.
:: hanging birds - Spotted those lovely numbers in the dollar bins at Target.
:: food label clips - Dollar bins at Target. I found them just days before the shower and was more than a little excited.

food - I yo-yoed the menu around for weeks. Because the theme was "oh so tweet," I really wanted to do sweet treats only, but Rissa preferred to have more of a lunch spread. But then as I began pricing a real menu out, I realized that making just treats would save us money. And with a huge invite list (seventy people!), we needed a bunch. So we made everything (the day before, and wow did the kitchen get hot), and everything was "oh so tweet."

:: honey lime fruit salad - I make this recipe from Mel all the time. Kiwis, grapes, and strawberries are staples, but I also throw in random fruit all the time. It always works, and it's always delicious. We used half canned and half fresh and bought at Costco to save a little (and make a lot).
:: grandma's sweet rolls - These are my mom's sweet rolls, a favorite of our family. We tried making them tiny - and they are smaller than normal - but they turned out nice and fluffy and a little bit big. And a lot bit delicious.
:: almond Texas sheet cake - Many people are familiar with the regular chocolate Texas sheet cake (which I also love). This is the same, sans the cocoa and plus almond extract. It's one of my favorite desserts. And makes a nice big batch.
:: oatmeal chewies - This recipe is from Mel too. My Internet BFF. (But she said we could be BFFs so it counts. I love the Internet.) If you haven't made these, you haven't lived. They do have coconut, which some people balk at, but honestly, you don't even know it's there. It just makes the cookie moist and unbelievably delicious. (I didn't even use the word "coconut" on the food label so people wouldn't be scared.)
:: mint brownies - Uh, Mel's recipe. (Her recipes are my favorites, if you were wondering.) We doubled this and ate a truckload of batter.
:: mini cheesecakes - Oh hey Mel. Her recipe too. Rissa really wanted to make these. I'm so glad she did - they were delish. And so dainty and pretty.
:: orange-kissed cookies - These were made, but never frosted. We ran out of time and space on the table. But these cookies are honestly melt-on-your-tongue delicious.

It was super involved and a ton of work (and very little sleep for a few days), but it was worth it. Babies are so worth a celebration, and I wanted to make my sister's perfect. I think she liked it, and it's possible I loved how it turned out.

{Cue the truckload of photos.}

Photos by the youngest sister, Danielle.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

fall and a moose

It's heeerrre! We went searching for fall and found it. The leaves are switching. Glory, glory.
We went up to one of our favorite spots, Silver Lake, and as we rounded the first bend, bumped into this fellow:
Almost literally. There were groups of people standing around daring one another to run and catch him. Moosey ride anyone?
We just watched. And took pictures. And followed him around per the toddler's request. This was like the zoo. But real life. And she was into it.
And see that old man taking pics off to the left? He was a total crack up. He did indeed venture off into the marsh to see if he could cetch 'im a moose. He seriously ran around chasing a moose. Who does that? I think we mostly found it amusing because we knew that at least we wouldn't be the ones being trampled by a moose that day.
Oh, and please excuse the young one's apparel. She dressed herself. Just call her Little Orphan Annie-Belle. (I often do.) She's got the hair for the part in any case.

Oh, and the excuse for my look? That's called the I-don't-shower-on-Mondays look. You likey?
Welcome Fall!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

two months

I really don't have the words to say how much I love this little creature.
 And another month under her belt almost hurts my heart a little.
The time with her is passing so much quicker than it did with Annabelle.
That said, I'm so happy that her second month was a happier one for her (and all of us).
 Even more, I'm so happy we get to wake up to this smiley little gal.
The goos and the coos are like a drug - I seriously cannot get enough.
 This isn't her best trait, but it is rather funny sometimes:
she can go from smiley to screaming in two seconds flat.
I love her face when she sees me for the first time in the morning.
I love that she knows me. And loves me.
It's amazing how much love you feel from a little person who can't say a word.
And it's even more amazing how much you can love that little person.
So happy she's ours.
Here she is at one month.


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