Monday, July 30, 2012

And whining wins July.

Well, it was news that pretty well took the wind out of my sails. 

One hurdle, and we were there.  One lousy little hurdle.  Unfortunately, that hurdle proved to be a 50 foot brick wall. 

It's been about 10 days, and I've thrown a pretty gigantic sized pity-party, complete with lots of self-medicating by eating more icecream than is good for me. 

Because, truth?  I'm heartbroken.  I liked the plan.  Liked it even better because it solved all my worries and truly seemed to come by way of divine intervention. 

Before the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news, I had honest intentions of actually finishing that photo challenge I started.  That project has kind of died.  I haven't had the heart to worry about picture taking, and frankly I'm not sure when I'll get back to it.  Maybe randomly. 

Aside: I signed up for the photography classes, which were finally scheduled after 5 weeks.  Guess when they take place?  August 12 and 19th.  Yep.  I RSVP'd: I'll be there.  Unless I'm birthing a human.  Raincheck?

So, at least for now, we're back to square one.  A gap I know for sure won't be bridged until after the baby is born.  At this rate, it could be a while.

Will we be home for Christmas???  Oh how I wish I knew.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thirty five, again.

Thirty five.

That's the number of weeks it took us to get pregnant. 

(And no, I didn't obsessively keep track of this information - I did have to go back and count, just for the record.)

Now, thirty five weeks later, I look like this.

Oh yes, I do believe I'm the epitome of the term "fat and happy."  I can tell you without any pause which one has gone faster and been easier to handle.

It's this resolve that's kept me going the last two weeks or so, as I've definitely developed some pregnancy symptoms that have been tougher to handle than ones I remember with Leah.  There are some parts of this adventure and the aches and pains and... other awkward things involving portions of my body I'm not willing to discuss on the internet... that I could do without.

And then I remember that all these aches and pains are what is getting me to meeting that beautiful little boy, and I have to stop my complaining.  Because, really, what I have to do for the next 5 weeks is joyful compared to where I was at this time last year

Thirty five weeks is a long time to wait for a baby.  I know, because in that same amount of time, I've turned two cells into a nearly-fully-formed human. 

But I also know that it's nothing compared to the weeks and months and years some women go through to meet their special little ones.  There are still women whose arms and bellies are empty for reasons so far beyond me.  Left hurting and longing and outnumbered by those who simply sneeze and get pregnant.  This week - the 70th of my own baby journey, which has a very happy ending - the ones whose endings are still up in the air are very much on my mind. 

Every time this baby moves, I stop what I'm doing to place my hands on my very swollen belly.  He's in there, and I am again overwhelmed by the love I feel for this life we've been gifted with. 

Another little miracle.

5 weeks is not nearly enough time to fully appreciate just how blessed I am, and how far we've come.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The poop on potty training

I'm always surprised by the way learning isn't a progressive, linear path. 

For example, my kid counts to 14.  She has been able to for a while... so why does she suddenly leave out two?  Did it offend her somehow?  Fall out of her head? 

Potty training has been a lot like that. 

She totally gets it.  Most days, she does beautifully.  And then, all of a sudden, for no particular reason, the girl is like Niagara Falls and can't keep a pair of panties dry for a million bucks. 

I'm not totally sure what can be done about it except for practice and patience. 

There are those moments that she tells me, point blank, that she doesn't want to go in the potty, and she proceeds to do exactly that.  Those days, I know we're going to have accidents.  At least I get what I paid for...

Most days, though, we've had many, many more successes than failures.  We still haven't mastered that dreaded number two.  (By the way, we're accepting suggestions on non-gross ways to get failed #2s out of Big Girl panties.  And, believe me, I wouldn't be soliciting if "just dump it" was an option.  Ready?  GO!). 

We were up to nearly three days without an accident (except those #2s, which I figure don't realy count anyway) when she had a set back day and had almost no success all day long. 

Overall, though, I'm impressed by how easy this process has been.  We're getting close to two weeks in, and I'm pleased by her progress. 

I knew she'd be able to do it when she was ready.  And I couldn't love her timing any more; I'm seriously looking forward to having one in diapers at a time!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't worry, I've got this. -God


Typically, I feel like I have a strong sense of what the "right" thing to do in planning for our lives is.  I may not always be able to control the when's or how's, but I tend to know the what's. 

With this house hunt issue, I've been a complete and total wreck. 

Price point?  Location?  Size of house?  Number of bedrooms?  Schools nearby?

I've had no answers - none.  Each time I came up with a "solution" to one problem, it seemed to create three new issues in other areas.

Then, we came across what seemed like the perfect house.  It was HUD owned, meaning basically a foreclosure, but the bones of the house were awesome and the location was perfect.  Not to mention, our last house started as a forclosure, and for whatever reason, Casey and I really enjoy the challenge of renovation. 

We put in an offer ($20k above asking, no less), and were outbid.  Handily.

This was a pretty low point for me, because I wasn't sure where to go next.  That house just seemed to answer all of those questions on which I was totally lost.  It was back to feeling like I had no idea what the next step should be.

To my surprise, another HUD-owned property in the same neighborhood, just a few blocks over in fact, came on the market not too long afterward.  There was one catch, though: it's listing price was much, much more expensive.

Knowing that the house would need literally thousands of dollars in work before we could even move in, I put in a lowball bid that I knew would never be accepted.  I mean, really.  If we'd lost one at $20k over asking, what hope did we have when the offer wasn't even asking?  Casey hadn't seen the property, but a great house in this neighborhood was just too good not to try.

Over the next few days, I didn't think about it again.  I told Casey what I had done and he agreed it was a good move because we loved the neighborhood, but I assured him we'd never get it.  We kept looking, but only half-heartedly.  Nothing seemed to be right.  We finally agreed to give it up until after the baby is born.  It's just too much stress at a time when we should be focusing on our little family.

He had just e-mailed this very thing to our realtor when she wrote back with some unexpected news:

No problem if you're ready to stop looking, but your bid was accepted.

Um... whaaaat???  I was in total shock.

My mind immediately jumped to all the reasons we needed to be cautious.  With a decision this important on the line, I couldn't afford to be swept up in the emotions of wanting that house.  Not to mention, of course, my husband needed to actually see it...

So off we went.  Leah and I drove from my mom's, while Casey met us from the office.

As I have been doing over this whole issue, I prayed a lot of the way up to the house.  I just kept asking God to give me wisdom and discernment to know His will.  Not to be caught up in what I want, but giving me eyes to see what move He would have me make.  I told him that I trust him, whatever the answer should be.

As I was praying these words to God, and literally as we drove the last 3 minutes leading to the driveway, this song came on the radio.  I might add that it was the third time that day I'd heard the song, as if a very clear message were being sent.  The proverbial neon sign that I've prayed for, given my total lack of clarity. 

It played until I pulled into the driveway, and by that time, I was in tears, overwhelmed with what I felt was a very clear message.
The news once inside just got better and better with every breath.  Every potential pitfall that I had come up with to worry about not only melted away, but the deal kept getting sweeter and sweeter until it was absolutely clear (as if it hadn't already been): this was our house. 

I am still in awe at the way God moves, and how He delivers in ways that are bigger than what I could have dreamed.  The final hurdle is our inspection, which will happen next week, but if everything looks good, we'll be taking ownership in about 30 days, and moving in shortly after the baby is born.  WOW.

I feel blessed to have quite a lot of miracles in my life: my wonderful husband, beautiful daughter, soon to be son; among them I have to count this fantastic home in which to keep all those precious treasures. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 9: Something from your closet

Okay, so I cheated on this one. 

The assignment was something from your closet. But since we're still right in the middle of living in a temporary space, our closet looks something like this:

Now, it's not that my mom hasn't cleared out her closet for us to use.  It's more the daunting task of moving all those clothes from the garage where we stashed them to the bedroom, just to move them again in a few weeks. 

Also, you can't see it, but there is a sea of boxes and crates set up between the camer and the clothes... ahhh, living in transition!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 8: Flora or Fauna

I haven't quite decided what I think the role of a photographer is.

Is it to fake everything, and make it look like it was all taken in the bright, shining, happy sun?

Or, is it to set a mood; tell a story?

I had two things working against me when I took these pictures: 1) it was late afternoon, and 2) it was quite overcast.  I can't decide if I think they're a little too dark, or if they just reflect the atmosphere that was around them. 

Plus, I kinda like the colors when they're a little more subdued, which I think is probably not the "right" answer in photography.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 7: Your pet

You know you're getting to be a real photographer when even the dog gives you the, "get that camera out of my face" look. 


I got Eva in 2005 when I was still in college.  She was absolutely the cutest puppy I've ever seen!

She's gotten to be a bit of a cranky old lady, but she's still an awfully good little friend.

And, although I'm not sure the feeling is always mutual, Leah sure loves her!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 6: Something sweet

aka - Pajama run: The idea that sounded good and turned out kind of blah

I had this awesome idea.  It involved surprise icecream, which, in my world, is about the best kind of surprise short of winning the lottery. 

It also involved staying up past our bed time, getting ready for bed - BUT THEN... sneaky mom I am - going for icecream instead. 

I called it a Pajama Run (you know, on account of the running out and about in our pajamas?). 

It started out great.  Leah had her bath, put on her jammies and was ready to settle down for the night, when, instead, Mommy invited her on our first ever PAJAMA RUN!  Instead of going to bed, she would be getting a BIG SURPRISE!

Maybe I over-hyped it, because when we actually got to the froyo shop, she was... underwhelmed.

Although, the little army man in her icecream?  He was a big hit!

The icecream was good, but she still ended the night telling me she didn't really like icecream and she didn't have any fun.  She was also uber-cranky 'cause we were up past bed time.  Score.

Oh well.  Maybe next summer.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 5: Mother Nature

Have I mentioned how miserably hot it's been in Colorado this summer? 

And I'm not just the crazy pregnant lady - I've got stats to back me up here.  We've been under a state of emergency for weeks because virtually the entire state is either on fire or in a drout. 

So today's weather was not only a welcome surprise, but a great opportunity to practice.

The rain gives everything a blurry quality which I'm not totally sure how to compensate for.

But, particularly given the state of things in CO, and the fact that I'm living in a house with no air conditioning, I have to say: I'm pretty grateful for the beautiful storm. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

32 weeks

In my head, this is about the size of the baby in my belly.  One irrational fear I've come up with is that he's out of room.  From the way he stretches me, I keep thinking he must be.  Doctor says I'm still measuring fine, but I'm convinced I'm genetically gifted: not only was Casey huge, but my dad and my uncles were all pretty large, too. 

Ohhhhh, dear...

Not to mention that these days, I look like this:

We may have to go to belly-only shots, because in this picture I just look big and tired, two adjectives which, while very accurately describing how I've been feeling this week, aren't exactly becoming photographically.

Note to everyone: when you see a giant pregnant lady, please make no comments about how she looks like she's ready to pop, and definitely don't ask if she's carrying twins.  Yes, I'm huge.  But your shoes are ugly and your hair looks awful today, so we're square.  Hah.

Somewhere between longing for a squishy place to lay pretty much 24/7 and trying not to make beached whale noises while attempting to heft my huge out of said squishy place, I decided that I may not be so good at being pregnant this time around, even though I love it. 

I don't recall feeling that pregnant with Leah.  It may have resulted from the fact that, last time, when I was done, I got to be done.  I didn't still have to chase/care for/be patient with a two year old and all that implies. 

And if you talk to me and I can't remember what you said five minutes later, just know it really has become part of my pregnant lady MO. I really thought I was doing well this time; with Leah, pregnancy brain struck me in the first trimester and never let up. This time, I've been much more lucid and have been able to call things by their proper, given names. Up until the last few weeks or so.

Now we're back to the world of "thingies" and "whatdoyoucallits." My words are the first to go, followed quickly by the onset of "have you seen my..." syndrome.  Whatever anyone tells you, pregnancy brain is a real thing.  In fact... wait... what was I saying???

I'm also much more eager to meet him this time around.  I'm trying so hard to enjoy this moment, because a) I kinda super, duper wanted him in there to begin with, and b) I know how much I'll miss having him in there once he's on the outside. 

But darned if I'm not excited.  Maybe more excited this time than last, because I know exactly how incredible it is to hold him in my arms instead of my belly.  To smell that tiny head and stare into those eyes.  To know that he is safe, healthy and happy. 

To let those other two special people in my life enjoy him just as much as I have. 

8 weeks - or less.  We love you, Baby Boy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 4: Something you ate today

Reason number 1,423 I love my husband: He makes Leah the best pancakes.

They're shaped like a bear.  Mine are just round, fluffy and delicios, but the special pancakes he makes for his daughter make eating fun

It's an event, really, to dismember and devour Teddy one piece at a time. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 3: Something small

I had a difficult time with this challene.  There were some obvious choices: Leah's everything is still pretty small, but that seemed like a cop-out.  We also have some pretty cute tiny things for Baby Peanut, but it still seemed too obvious. 

Then, while we were at the resevoir this afternoon, Casey discovered something absolutely perfect: a TINY frog!

I still struggled getting anything closer than this, partly because the froggy wanted to jump away and partly because someone else's little hands wanted in on the action. 

Happy 4th of July!


Time has that funny quality of passing us by so quickly without anyone stopping to take notice.

Our girl is no longer a baby.  I'm not totally sure how that happened, but she has lost those chubby, bald, tooth-less traces of her babyhood.  She's a bonafide kid - complete with big girl bed sleeping, opinion having and panty wearing.

It seems I've forgotten to document, so here are some things that she's been doing lately:

  • Potty training.  I knew it would go this way.  One day, she woke up and decided to go potty in the big girl potty.  It was moving day, so I didn't have time to commit.  Fast forward and now we're two days in, and she's doing beautifully.  I won't say that there haven't been accidents - mostly when she decides she simply doesn't want to go in the toilet - but she totally gets it.  I'll never be able to claim that I potty trained her, because really, she's just decided she's ready.
  • The other night at dinner, she hugged me close and said: "Mommy, you're my best friend."  It absolutely melted my heart.
  • Saying the alphabet in the car.  The whole thing, on her own.  I didn't actually know she could do that. 
  • Recognizing numbers.  Evidently, she now knows 4, 5 and 8.  Quite possibly more I'm not even aware of.  She pointed out 4 and 5 on an address recently, and she was totally right.  I thought she only knew 8.
  • Singing up a storm.  I adore it.  She gets the tune right and the key wrong, and she inevitably knows all the words. 
  • Dreaming about the future from her car seat: "Mommy, someday when I get bigger and bigger, can I sit in this seat?" (pointing to the front passenger seat).  I had to remind her not to get too big too quickly.  It sure seems fast to me. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Soooo, you guys? 

We have a house! 

A house that fits the family we hope to ultimately have. 
A house that we can afford on one income. 
A house that isn't in a crappy area. 
A house we're not going to have to move from in 10 years because the schools nearby suck. 

A house where the community pool is a block and a half away.

We're not totally through this process, and there is a giant part of me that feels like it's just too darn good to be true.  Most of me is absolutely over the moon; that skeptical voice is still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  The offer was accepted, and barring any issues on inspection, we should be closing in 45 days (!!!!!). 

A baby and our forever house, both in the next roughly 6 weeks.  Holy moly, we are beyond blessed. 

Day 2: Something with wheels

And, it doesn't have wheels, but I think it's pretty darn cute just the same...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 1: Faceless self portrait

30 Day Photo Challenge

There will be a photography class before the summer is over.  In the mean time, one of the things I've committed to doing in my effort to learn the basics of my camera is a 30 day photo challenge.  Now, I'm going to assume that the 30 day part is a little subjective, so this may or may not actually take 30 days. 

The important thing is that I learn to use this darn camera before I die!

I changed my font at