5 Weeks 'til D-Date!

I did this with Will, so I thought I'd do the same for this little lady, since, in general I'm significantly more terrible about blogging/documenting our lives these days.  She shouldn't have to miss out on everything.  :)


Mother Name: Amanda
Age: 27
Birthday: October 1st
Height: 5'6
Father Name: Geoff
Age: 28
Birthday: October 31st
Height: 5'11


Is this your first pregnancy?: Nope!  This is number 3, technically.
When did you find out you were pregnant?: This is a more loaded question than you think.  But, I took a test around May 24th that came back positive.
How did you find out you were pregnant?: I took a test - it was positive.    

What kind of pregnancy test did you take?: I don't know. Whatever was on sale at the drug store that week.
How many?: Just one.  I probably took another one a couple days later just for peace of mind.  Pregnant minds can go a little crazy.  :)
What were your first symptoms?: Not too bad.  I dealt with some nausea - certainly way worse than my pregnancy with Mr. Will, but very little vomiting or anything.  I was very tired, however.  Still am.  Ha.
Who did you tell first?: The hub!
Who was with you when you found out?:  Geoff was there.
Was baby planned?: Yes and no.  We weren't stopping a pregnancy, per se.  But, since the miscarriage in January and the recent move, it wasn't really something we were expecting or planning exactly.  But, we were delighted.
When was baby conceived?: Mid to late-April 
How far were you when you found out?: Just about 4 weeks.  I tested as soon as I was able. 


Due date: 1/30/14
Did you want to know the sex?: Absolutely.
Do you know the sex?: Yup!
If so, boy or girl? Girl!
Any names?: Yes.  Baby girl has a name, but I've been avoiding sharing it publicly.  But, it's not a big secret, so if you really want to know, ask me privately (or just wait a few weeks!).
Any ultrasounds?: I've had a few.  I had one at 6 weeks, one at about 10 weeks (after I fell down the stairs at my in-laws), and the big one at 20 weeks.  The doc mentioned they may do one at my next appointment (36 weeks), which would be AWESOME.  I'd love to see her.

Have you heard the heartbeat?: You bet.  That first appointment hearing that little heartbeat was the absolute best, especially after not having found a heartbeat with the last pregnancy.  Her heart rate has trended lower than Will's did, hovering between 130-140 throughout the pregnancy.
Who do you think baby will look like? 
I don't know!  Will came out such a blend, it's hard to imagine what this little lady will look like.  But, I'm certain she's going to be adorable.
Will baby have any siblings?: Of course, big bro Will.  It may take him a bit to adjust to her, but she's going to be lucky to have such an awesome big brother. 
When did you first feel the baby move? This chica has not been much of one for movement.  I think I must be carrying her further inside than Will because I don't feel her movements the same.  I felt her first move fairly early (around 14-15 weeks), but I really have to pay attention.  
When did you start to show?: I don't really know.  If you know me, you probably would have been able to tell around 17-18 weeks.  But, I felt noticeably pregnant long before that.  

How long could you wear your regular clothes? Awhile.  I think I had to abandon my pre-pregnancy pants around 13-14 weeks and the shirts closer to 20-22 weeks.  
Are you excited?: Very!


Did you have morning sickness?: Yeah.  It hit me around 13 weeks and stayed until about 17 weeks.  It was never too unbearable.  I just really struggled making Will breakfast.  
Do you have any cravings?: Not really.  Occasionally I just HAVE to have pineapples or pears, but that's about it. 
Do you have any mood swings?: Oh, sure.  This lady was way worse than Will on my emotions, especially in the beginning.  I felt out of control!  As I've progressed, however, I feel like I've gotten a lot more stable and I'm feeling pretty good these days - albeit easily emotional.
Are you a high risk pregnancy?: Nope.  So far so good.  My doc probably loves it when I come in for my checkups because it's always by the book.  My BP went up around 36 weeks last time, though, so we are keeping an eye on those numbers closely.
Any complications?: Nope.
Formula or breastfeeding?: I will be breastfeeding.
Have you bought anything for baby yet?: Yes.  Although, I feel way behind.  We've got the cradle, crib, carseat (we'll be reusing Will's) and glider.  I had a friend gift me a bouncer seat, bath seat, and play gym (so grateful!).  I've got a few outfits and a pack and play, but that's it.  I haven't stocked up on diapers, I'm short about 20 outfits, a swing, etc... But, it'll all come as it's needed.  Babies need so little at first 
Who will help with baby after their born?:  Geoff will take a little time off and, luckily, my fam is close enough to help out!  My mom will be around a lot, I'd assume and my SIL will probably end up being a life saver.  
What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?:  I'm just in awe of what the human body can do.  I look at my little boy and just can't even believe that I MADE HIM.  I'm excited to meet my little lady and see her unique personality and get to watch her grow as well. 
What is the worst thing about being pregnant?:  All your other organs getting all squished resulting in heartburn, a never ending need to use the restroom, and rib pain - oh, the rib pain!
What's one thing do you miss doing since being pregnant?:  Same answer as last pregnancy: Diet Soda.  If you want to visit me and meet the baby after she's born, an ice cold 20-ounce Diet Coke will get you in the door.  :) 
Any days you wish you weren't pregnant?: Nope.  Pregnancy isn't what I would call easy, but I don't have really terrible ones, either.  I'll be okay with getting my body back when this is over, but I generally enjoy the whole experience.
Are you ready for baby?:  Just about!  I'm not quite far enough along yet to start wishing she'd be here already.
How many kids do you want?: I don't know.  Going from 1 to 2 is going to be a big change, so we're gonna hang tight at 2 for awhile before we make any decisions on future offspring.  
Do you talk to your baby?: Haha.  Not a ton.  Mostly just when I'm calling her a stinker (she stops moving the minute anyone else tries to feel her move) or when I'm asking her to please move her toes out of my ribcage.  But, Will and I talk about her all the time.
Do you still feel attractive?: Eh.  If I go to the effort to get looking cute, usually.  But, if I'm being honest, I very rarely make that effort. 
Have you had your baby shower yet?: Nope.
How far along are you now?: 35 weeks, 1 day


December Photo Essay

Wondering what we're up to?  Now you know!
Helping to decorate Papa and Dizza's Christmas tree.

Cole and Will were good helpers.

These poor reindeer never have their antlers on straight (lately Will has taken to just pushing them over altogether).

Felt tree - he loved it for awhile and has also since taken to throwing all the ornaments on the floor.

Laundry is fun!

Making Christmas cookies with Dizza (i.e. Grandma Gamblin, for anyone who didn't know).

32 weeks preggo (I'm up to 34 now!)

Pinterest helped me decorate with these DIY showflakes.

My nativity display.

Will at the ER after he cut his lip open.  No stitches needed, just glue and tape strips.  It's healing nicely.

Went to the local holiday parade and outdoor market (where do I live!!)

Presents are starting to appear!


So much!

So, I know it's been a long time since I blogged.  Every time I go to do it I'm overwhelmed by how much I have to say and how little energy I have to say it all.  I'm loving my Northern California autumn.  The only problem I have is that it gets dark so early - but it's still 60-65 degrees, so I want to go to the park or play outside with Will, but we can't!

We had Halloween - Will was a doctor, and an adorable one at that.  We went trick or treating at a locale shopping center and stayed in to hand out candy at night.  He liked handing out candy.

Will turned 2 almost a month ago, and he's just as delightful as ever.  He had a couple of weeks where I was concerned that he might be turning into a "two year old," but then he got sick and once that passed, he's back to his good ol' self.  We have a lot of fun.  He weighed in at 30 lbs 8 oz and 36.5 inches tall at his 2 year appointment.  He was 90% for weight and 95% for height.  So, he's a big guy!  It still makes me smile that Geoff and I are on track to have a son who is around 6'3"-6'4".  Not that I didn't think it was possible - we both have tall genes, but when you're average height, you don't think you'll make tall kids!

Baby girl is growing right along.  I'm just shy of 32 weeks now.  I'm doing good.  She sits a lot lower than Will did in my abdomen and she's not as big a mover and a shaker as he was (this can lead to scares when I don't feel her moving!).  But, everything is going smoothly.  I'm a little more nervous with each passing week as my blood pressure didn't spike with Will until about 36 weeks.  I'm hopeful we can skip all that with this pregnancy - but ready for it to happen.

Will is very much into the whole Christmas scene.  He LOVES Christmas trees and all the lights and isn't shy about letting you know.  "Big tree!" "More lights!" and "More trees!" are common exclamations around the house/town these days and he gives me the grins every time.  We went for a drive to find some Christmas lights last night, and he could have done it for hours.  "oooh, lights!  More lights!"

I'm feeling extremely blessed this year having a California Christmas and preparing for baby girl and enjoying my time with Will.  It's a good life I've got and I'm just working to live in the moment and enjoy every day because soon it's all going to change (in a good way - but still very different!).

Hope you are enjoying every day as well.


Tips to have a successful grocery trip

So, the other day I went shopping late at night since I hadn't been able to go on my normal Saturday trip and I wanted to avoid having to take a toddler after day care when he just wants to go home and play.  I've been disappointed in general by the customer service at my local Safeway, but I save a lot of money by shopping there, so I put up with it.

So, I'm cruising around the store at 9pm gathering what I need and finding, to no great surprise, that grocery stores aren't very well stocked at 9pm.  Many of the cheaper items that I was hoping to pick up were stripped from the shelves by earlier shoppers and their (slightly) pricier analogs were sitting there waiting for me.  Rather than causing a fuss over my 20 cents, I picked up the can of name brand chilies and carried on. 

As I did, I thought back to my experience as a grocery employee and thought I'd share my 5 tips to ensuring that you have a pleasant experience at the grocery store:
1) Make a list.  I especially recommend this if you have a toddler or child with you.  My mother taught me the life-changing trick of writing produce on one side, meat/dairy products in the middle, dry goods and frozen goods on the other side.  This way, you can see if you've gotten everything you need as you walk down each aisle rather than realizing you missed something and continuing to wander in circles. 

2) Fill your cart the same way.  Put like items together.  I put cans at the bottom/back of my cart and produce up front.  Eggs and bread go on top.  Then, when you unload your groceries, you'll already have them sorted for easy bagging - this will speed up the checkout process for you and ensure that your bread doesn't get bagged with your frozen veggies. 

3) Think about when you shop.  If you shop on Saturday morning (my usual time), it's going to be busier.  If you shop late at night, it's going to be quieter - but you won't have the full selection or ease in finding an employee to help you (if needed).   So, find a time that works for you and make sure you aren't expecting an experience that can't be provided at that time of day (like me just buying the more expensive item rather than trying to hunt down an employee and send them to the back to save me 20 cents - but, if having the cheaper item is important to you, shop at another time or be prepared to be patient).

4) Be kind to your checker.  If you've had a problem with your shopping experience - share it with the manager at the service desk after you are done checking out.  Getting mad at your checker, for whatever reason, isn't going to be productive.  It's just going to make you look like a jerk to everyone else in line.  If the lady on aisle 4 was rude to you or the line was too long, your checker won't be able to fix that for you.  If you are mad because there was no Chobani vanilla yogurt,
handle that in the back of the store with an associate when you notice it's missing, not when you get to the check out.  Your checker can call an associate to go look for vanilla Chobani, but now you are mad and delayed - and so it everyone else in line.

5) Be careful when you go express.  Unless it is a very slow day at the supermarket, don't go through the express line if you have a cart or plan to write a check (but, seriously, don't use checks at the grocery store).  If your items fit in your arms or a basket, you are safe to go through the express lane.  If what you want required a cart, you should let the people with fewer items use the express lane.  Odds are they are picking up that one item they forgot last time or the milk they need for a cranky baby at home or the dessert for a party and truly are in a hurry.

Bottom line, be considerate.  The workers (well, most of them) are really doing their best to get you in and out with what you need with as little hassle as possible. 

The grocery store is there to provide you with an important product.  Food.  If you are making it out with at least that much - then you accomplished your goal when you walked in. 



I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and I've decided that I really like my doctor.  He speaks my language.  This mostly means that he overuses words like "perfect" and "awesome" and, although I haven't seen his words in writing much, I assume he's a fan of the exclamation point.  For a pregnant lady who feels pretty exhausted most of the time, it's delightful to hear him talk about how great everything is looking for my little gal. 

We reviewed the ultrasound report in which everything came back "unremarkable" (which he assured me was a good thing, but I corrected him and let him know that this little lady is certainly remarkable).  The ultrasound report didn't include gender, but he was thrilled for me when I told him it was a girl - as he knew we had a son at home - and he remarked "You guys are living the American dream!"  That made me smile.  Two kids in your mid-twenties doesn't seem to be the American dream any more, but it is exactly what we want in our lives.  To have our little boy and, now, a little girl on the way - he was right - that is our dream.  We are so lucky to be living this wonderfully blessed life of ours with our awesome little family. 

Will is doing great.  He's learning new words every day and it blows me away how big he is getting.  I can't believe that just a couple years ago, I was still pregnant with him.  Time is an amazing thing.  He's just 6 weeks shy of of his 2 year birthday - and you can tell.  Just in the last few weeks, he's starting transitioning into a "two-year old."  He's still a really laid back and sweet guy, but he's apt to get a little more easily frustrated (and equally loud) when things don't go the way his was expecting.  Luckily we've only really had a couple of major meltdowns and as he gets even better at communicating his needs verbally, I think we're going to have a pretty good kiddo on our hands. 

Oh, and for anyone wondering, we won't be having the same naming dilemma with this little lady like we did with Will.  We already have a name all picked out - but I'll wait a little bit to share it, as we do want to share it with our families first.  :-)

Otherwise, things are going pretty smoothly around here these days.  Geoff got assigned "his" store, so in another week or two he'll graduate from "Manager in Training" to "Manager."  I'm excited for him.  He's worked really hard to get his training and certifications completed and it's going to be great for him to start managing his own store/team. 

The A's are getting ready to wrap up their season shortly and are in the midst of their last home stand of the season - so Geoff and I are going to head to the game on Friday (for Star Wars themed fireworks after the show as well!) to celebrate this great season.  There's also a chance they could clinch the division on Friday - so it would be awesome to be there when they do. 


Gender Reveal!!!: A Photo Essay

After the ultrasound, we joined the fam for Matt's birthday dinner.  And, a little gender reveal with these adorable cards.  

Everyone anxiously scratching their cards to see the results!
Mama G realizing what she might be seeing.
That's right, folks!  It's a girl!
Freaking out just a little - first grand dot.

Mama G was even prepared with gifts.  An ADORABLE, teeny little polka dot dress!


Busy, Busy!

So, somehow Geoff and I got busy!  I don't even know what happened.  I mean, we are typically pretty busy because of work schedules and a toddler, but our evenings are rarely filled with too much after Will goes to bed.  But, we've been having some fun the past week and upcoming weekend! 

Last week:
Playing at the Stomper's Fun Zone. Go A's!
  • For Labor Day, my parent's treated the fam to an A's game versus our division rivals (Texas Rangers).  For anyone who doesn't know, I'm a HUGE A's fan and it's so fun to be back in the Bay, especially for a pennant race.  It's also very stressful.  Every loss feels like the end of the world.  Luckily, the A's won on Labor Day 4-2, so it was even MORE fun to be there. 
  •  Geoff and I went to a surprise birthday party for our friend Danny.  He is married to my BFF - so it was fun to see both of them.  Mama and Daddy G watched Will for us while we went, too, so it was nice to be able to hang out kid-free.  Although, Geoff did spend the whole party holding Danny and Amanda's baby girl, Rylen.  He had the magic touch - maybe it's time for him to get a daughter of his own?
  • I went to the Backstreet Boys concert with my friends Amanda, Krista and Mia.  It was great.  So fun.  And especially great to get out with those awesome ladies.  Hopefully we'll find an excuse to get together soon.
Jam on 'cause Backstreet's got it.
I don't know why he's just chillin'.

  • 20-week ultrasound TOMORROW!  I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that this little one will cooperate so we can find out if baby is a boy or a girl.  If you still haven't voted - do it now! (You have to view it from a computer, not a mobile device, to see the poll).  Girl is winning right now by a teensy margin. 
  • Friday night we are going over to our friend's Robert and Melissa's house.  They are are first real "local" friends that we have made and it's so nice to have friends around.  They have a girl Will's age and they have a lot of fun together.  They also have a set of 4 month old twins - so that helps us be glad I'm only cooking one baby.
  • This weekend is Geoff's company's employee appreciation event.  So, we'll get another child-free evening to stuff ourselves with free food and I'll get to meet Geoff's coworkers.  It should be fun!
    Sliding!  Would you believe that view behind him?
We've been having lots of fun and are grateful to be settling in and able to make friends and plans.  Phew.  Now we just need time for naps.


How Pinterest-ing

So, last night I rolled up my homemaker sleeves and tried a couple of new recipes from Pinterest.  I've made Pinterest recipes before and they have typically been successful and delicious.  But, I've recently had a Pinterest reawakening, you might say, and have gotten really excited about trying some new things.

So, last night I hunkered down and made these two beauties (captions are links):
Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

No bake s'mores cheesecake

The casserole caught my eye because it didn't use any canned cream of "whatever" soups or mayonnaise.  And it was delicious.  I even cut some corners and used minute rice and wild rice in those Uncle Ben's pouches and it's great.  The sauce is cheesy and creamy, but not overly fatty or greasy as they can be sometimes. 

The cheesecake wasn't quite as successful, but it was still super delicious. I think my primary failing is that I don't have a food processor, so I was using my blender and acting like that's a suitable replacement for a food processor.  I should have just used my kitchen aid, but by the time all the ingredients where in the blender, I wasn't going to dirty another dish.  Secondly, I have no patience.  It wanted me to let it set for 6-8 hours.  "Ain't nobody got time for that."  :)  So, I may have snuck a piece after 3-4 hours.  It wasn't set up very well - and even this morning after setting all night, it's not a cheesecake texture.  But, it is DELISH.

Once we find out the baby's gender in 6 days (don't forget to vote!), I'll be starting a quilt I pinned, so we'll see how my continued Pinterest inspiration goes!

P.S. Sad (read: pathetic) Story: After I made the delicious casserole and sat down with Will to eat, he refused to even try it and ate grapes instead.  I asked him to take one bite before he got down from the table which resulted in him throwing his bowl and spoon.  I cried.  I'd worked really hard and it was really delicious!  Pregnancy with a toddler can be rough some days people. 

However, after getting down from the table and seeing me upset, Will brought me his blankie, climbed on my lap and proceeded to take my spoon and feed me my dinner.  He even took a couple bites.  I'm a lucky mama, even if a little overly sensitive right now.


Bouncing Baby...

Boy or Girl?

It's that time again!  In just 13 short really long days, we are scheduled for our 20 week anatomy scan of baby Parker.  And, hopefully, we have a cooperative little one and are able to find out if this baby is a he or a she.

But, before we do, it's your turn to weigh in.  Vote in the poll to the right whether you think this little nugget of love is going to need pink or blue booties!

To help, here are my answers to some of the common gender myths, if you feel inclined to make a more educated less random guess:

  • Baby's heart rate: 150 (at my last appointment at 12 weeks)
  • Morning Sickness: More than I ever had with Mr. Will (none), but nothing terrible at all. 
  • Carrying High/Low: I feel like I'm definitely carrying higher this time then last time, but there's still not a lot of bump to see.
  • Craving: I'm not really craving a lot.  Occasionally I'll really crave fruit or yogurt.  But I am STARVING all the time.  
  • Mood: I've been much crazier this pregnancy.  My mood is all over the place.  
  • My age + number of month of conception: 31 (odd)
  • Chinese Gender Predictor: Says boy.  I would have given you the info to go calculate that yourself, but it's too complicated.  haha. 
Good luck!  


CA Check-in

So, the Parker clan have been Californians for about 4 and a half months now.  I figure it's time to check-in on how everything is going for us out in the good old C-of-A. 

1) It is so beautiful here.  There's something magical about waking up to a hoar frost covered Fargo, but I am in awe of the North/East Bay Area.  Even looking out of the window of my house I can see 6 different types of trees with leaves in varying shades of green and red.  The water is minutes away.  There are bridges and redwood forests and beaches and lakes and mountains and so much to explore just around the corner.  There's so much diversity of landscape and beauty that I feel privileged to have so close. 
Just a 5-10 minute walk from the house.
2) It is more expensive.  This is not going to come a surprise to anyone, I'm sure.  But, our rent and grocery budgets have gone up (albeit, not as significantly as some might think).  Lucky for us, neither of us really have a commute, so we don't actually spend more on gas now than we did before.  I'm about ready to send Geoff back to school so we can't stop paying his school loans (ha, because MORE loans are the answer!) - but with so much to enjoy outside (see point one) there's more cheap entertainment for us. 

3) Summer is different.  When I was growing up, summer was warm and sunny while winter was chilly and wet.  It was that simple.  Summer storms did not register on my radar.  Then, after 7 years out of the area, I got used to hot summers with thunder storms rolling through and cold (frozen, really, in Fargo) winters.  I love that I can expect every day to be in the 70s and the skies to be blue and sunny during the winter.  We do get some clouds/overcast days (especially in the mornings) here and there, but generally we are mild and lovely.  I'd be lying if I said we didn't miss a good thunder storm every once in awhile, but we'll make do without them. :-)
Will's new backpack kills me.  He likes to make it fly and say "Buzzzzz!"
4) Work is going well.  For both of us.  Geoff just finished his manager training curriculum and completed his GIA (Gemological Institution of America) certification, so he's legit.  And things are going well for me.  We are both really happy in our current positions and are happy about the changes for us career-wise.

5)  We miss our friends.  Everything with our move happened so fast that I feel like we didn't leave things very "finished" in Fargo.  We had a great life out there and it's weird that it just up and ended!  This move has been good for us, especially to bring us closer to family and where we wanted to be long-term, but it's been a longer adjustment than expected because of the circumstances.  We had a visit this weekend from some of our best friends (who aren't in Fargo anymore, either), but it was SO good to see them and we miss all our Fargo friends.

Overall, we are trying to enjoy every minute of this new life we are building (and it's not hard to do so).  We are excited for our new little one to join us in January and are, admittedly, glad it won't be negative 10 (or colder) on the day our little one is born.  But, there is joy to be found no matter where you live - you just have to make sure to look for it! 


Ring on a String

So, at this point in pregnancy where you look like you've been eating far too many donuts, not like there's a squishy, awesome little baby growing inside you and when you still feel well enough to be with busy sewing projects and painting but don't know enough about the little one to get started, you have to find something to do with all the baby energy. 

Sometimes, this leads me to the internet.  And the internet has all kinds of funny things to say.

I got into Googling the good ol' gender prediction
myths the other day and I, of course, started toying around to see what the predictions are for this little one. 

So, I tried the Ring on a String myth.  I never did this with Will, so it was really freaking me out when I did it the first time.  I tied my ring onto some string and held it over my belly and it started moving!  So, naturally, I started walking all around the house holding it over everything to see if anything else made the ring move. 

I held it over my computer - stayed still.

I held it over my sink - stayed still.

I held it over Will's cars - stayed still.

I held it over the dog - stayed still.

I held it over my hand - stayed still.

Put it back over my belly again - whoosh. 

I don't understand the mystical properties behind this myth, but it's freaking me out.  

P.S. Don't you wish you knew if it moved in a circle or back and forth?  Well, you'll just have to wonder for now!  But, to be honest, some sites say that a circle is a girl and back and forth is a boy, while others say that a circle is a boy and back and forth is a girl.  So - who knows what to believe!



Interesting facts (or, perhaps, if you don't find them interesting, just some facts) for your Thursday:

1) I bought this for Will today.  He mostly just chews on his pacifier these days, and this seems like a better option.  I suppose it would be phase one in the pacifier weaning as well.

2) I'm 17 weeks pregnant today.  In 3 weeks I will be lying in an ultrasound room getting my 20 week anatomy scan and hopefully finding out if this little one is a guy or a gal.  September 12th can't come soon enough!

3) This is the most genius thing I've ever seen and I'm trying not to cry buckets of tears that I can't have one. 

4) The fruit fly infestation of my kitchen has completely diminished due to three factors: OCD cleaning and covering of food, a magical concoction of apple cider vinegar and baking soda down my drain, and a flying bug killer placed in my kitchen. '

5) School is back in session which means I don't need an alarm clock to wake me up at 7:30a each morning and it gets very busy outside my house at 12:20p and 3:30p each day.  On the bright side, I don't really need a clock anymore.

6) Thinking about baby names is stressful stuff.  I forgot what an ordeal it was last time.  Being responsible for someone's name is rough.  I think we have current favorites for a boy or a girl...but committing is downright impossible.

7) This is pretty awesome, too, as it will work with my current carseat.  Unfortunately, I've yet to see it anywhere cheaper than that. 

8) 40 days until my birthday!

9) 74 days until Will's 2nd birthday!

10) My Star Trek cross stitch is coming along swimmingly.  Be jealous. Also, I think I need this.


6 Years

It's a little hard to believe sometimes that Geoff and I have been married for 6 years! 

This year, we did things pretty low key for the Anniversary.  Our actual anniversary was on Sunday and we didn't do a whole lot to "celebrate" per se.  We had a nice family breakfast, went to church, and had dinner over at our friend's Danny and Amanda's place.  I told Amanda it was a delightful treat for me because I didn't have to cook on my anniversary! But, really, we had a great time. 

Then, since Geoff has Monday's off, I took off Monday the 19th for us to go out.  We started the day by taking Will over to ride the Steam Train in Berkeley.  It was a short, beautiful ride through redwood trees with views of the bay and San Francisco.  Mama G and Cole joined us for the train ride and a picnic.  It was so surreal to take a turn off one of the busiest freeways in the country and then find ourselves winding our way up a mountain pass.  The Bay Area is really an incredible place that in 15 minutes you can go from the city to mountains and to the ocean.

After the train ride and lunch, Mama G took the boys back home while Geoff and I took Daddy G's convertible back down the mountain and over to go bowling.  We found an alley nearby that had 99 cent games on Mondays and Tuesdays.  It was a blast.  We really enjoy bowling - we used to do it weekly (if not more) when we were dating.  We are both a bit out of shape for it now (after three games, we were toast!), but we had a really good time.  I even beat Geoff one game.

We had already made reservations for dinner at a restaurant on the Berkeley pier called Skates on the Bay.  We had requested a window seat for our anniversary and the views promised to be incredible (and they didn't disappoint!).  But, we realized we were both wearing shorts and weren't exactly ready for an expensive dinner on the water.  So, we spent the tail end of the afternoon doing a little bit of shopping.  Then, we head over the restaurant where Geoff had steak and I had a stuffed pork chop. 

At one point, when I was ordering the Salmon, the waiter mentioned that it was cooked rare and wondered if that was a problem.  I mentioned to him that I was pregnant and really didn't want to get raw fish, so I ordered the pork instead.

Later, however, when delivering some bread to the table, we had an amusing conversation that went like this:

Waiter: Congratulations, by the way.  Is this number one?
Me (assuming he was referring to the number of anniversaries): No, this is our 6th!
Waiter: No, way.  There's no way you are old enough...
Geoff: What she means is it's our 6th wedding anniversary, it's our 2nd baby. 
Me: Oh! Dear! Yes, we are here to celebrate our 6th anniversary.  We don't have 6 kids.
Waiter: Well, that makes more sense!  Congratulations on both!

Geoff was pretty amused by the whole encounter.  I blame pregnancy brain. 

But, it was a lovely day and it's rare that Geoff and I go out and do something just the two of us, so it was a treat! 


Life is Precious

Disclaimer: This is such a hard topic to put on my blog.  I feel like with such a sensitive topic, it's so easy to be misunderstood.  So, please read with an open mind.

So, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it was a little bit of a tough, emotional weekend for me.  August 11th would have been my due date for my little one that I lost in January.  I have a lot of faith that things work the way they are supposed to and there is no way I could adequately express (without sounding like a weirdo - yet, here I am, attempting it anyway) how much I learned from that little baby.  But I am truly grateful for the experience that I was able to have.  That little baby gave me so much in 9 weeks. 

So much more appreciation for my incredible little boy who I can't help by squeeze just a little tighter when I realize just how precious of a gift it is to have him in my life.

So much more determination to find a new job to bring me closer to family.

So much appreciation for my own body (which I give a hard time a lot) and the amazing things it can do.

So much more faith that there are far greater things than the life and death we experience here.

So much more love for those around me.

So much more compassion for those who experience issues with fertility.

So much strength I didn't know I had.

I'm so blessed and excited to be able to be pregnant again and that things are going so well for this new little one - one I wouldn't be able to meet if I had given birth a few days ago.  So, while it is hard to pass a milestone like this, I am so grateful for that little one and the changes that were brought into my life because of that little life, however brief. 

Note: I think I ended up sounding like a weirdo.



So, Geoff and I have been talking.  And Will is really the greatest kid you could ask for.  He's silly and smart and funny.  He's active and, yet, pretty laid back.  He's a little stubborn - but in all the right ways.  In general, he's done nothing by light up our lives for the past couple of years and we are delighted with how lucky we are to have him in our lives.

So, in recognition of all his great work as our son, we've decided it's time he got a promotion.  To BIG BROTHER.
Yay!  (Grandma is very excited, too!)
That's right, come January 30th, 2014, Mr. Will won't be an only child any more.  Little brother or sister is currently 13 1/2 weeks along and things have been going smoothly!


A bit boring.

So, I'm kind of boring these days. 

Boring in a good way.  Boring as in routine, I suppose.  Not as in "dull." 
His hair was getting so long, so I styled it a bit during bath time.  And, yes, the Mt. Dew bottle is a bath time favorite.
I've been a little overwhelmed my blessings as of late.  Last week I traveled to Minneapolis, MN for my work's "Pop-Up HQ."  Since we don't have a physical headquarters (yet), we have a quarterly meeting where everyone travels to one spot for a week of co-working and planning.  This was my second one with the company and they are always awesome.  It's so great to get together with the great team and refocus.  I really love my company and my job and I'm so grateful to be a part of this team. I am also so grateful to have my mama nearby now who is willing (and able!) to watch Will when it turns out Geoff and I were on business trips the same week!
Out for a walk in the neighborhood after a much-needed (and very traumatic haircut).
Will just gets smarter and sillier by the moment.  He likes to race.  We took him to the park last night and would have races on the grass.  We count...1, 2, go!!  He's a really independent little guy and if he can do it for himself, he'll find a way.  Nevertheless, when he knows he can't do it, he'll gladly hand it to me or Geoff and ask for help.  He still loves his "cars" has started referring to some of his other favorite things as cars.   The TV and remote are "car", my iPhone is "car", his stroller is "car".  It's cute.  He does say a lot more, too.  He likes to point out mail (mailboxes), flowers, trees (and cars, of course) on our evening walks.  He said bubbles last night for the first time while we were blowing bubbles.  So, that was fun. 
I was cooking dinner one day and I peeked into the living room to see what he was up to and found this scene.
Another dad we ran into at the park last night commented on what a big boy he was (Will was the same height and weight as his 2 and 1/2 year old daughter) but then on what a "great energy" Will had.  He went on to explain that lots of boys his age just seem so out of control and he thought Will was just a great little one.  That made my mommy pride beam a little.  He IS such a good guy.  Laid back and sweet, but still has some serious spunk and personality.
Playing Guitar Hero with dad. He plays half the time and dances the other half.
I'm grateful for California.  I often miss my friends from Fargo, but I know this was the right move for us.  I'm so grateful for a husband who has embraced this beautiful area in which we live and is willing to make a home with his little family - wherever that has taken us. 


Picture Overload

Rather than try to recap everything we've been up to, I'll do a little photo essay going back to mid-June when Geoff's family came out to visit and took us back to Utah with them up through the 4th of July. And, of course, most of the photos will be Will.  But, Geoff and I were around, too.  :)
Geoff and his family took the ferry from San Francisco - I couldn't go, but this pic makes up for it.
We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  This is me and Geoff's sister Steffanie.
Here is Steffanie and another one of Geoff's sisters Angelica looking lovely!
Here's almost all us ladies. Not sure where Becca is!  Left-Right: Jen, Me, Steffanie (quite pregnant for a 12 hour road trip!), Angelica, Shelley)
Jellyfish at the aquarium.
Will seems to have inherited my proclivity of squeezing one's head into banisters.  Luckily these ones outside the aquarium are too close together to get stuck. 
Walking back from the aquarium.
Will being quite a charmer at the Parker family reunion in Utah.  All afternoon at a park?  He was in heaven!
At the family reunion Will had a blast running and tagging all the bases on the softball field.
Back home and Will has finally embraced the joy of slides.
9th Street Park is about a 10 minute walk from our house and I just LOVE to take Will there.  I mean look at the view from the swings!
Into July now.  July 2nd - story time with Grandma and cousin Cole at Grandma's house.
Getting ready for the 3rd of July parade - kisses from Will.
Blowing bubbles at the 4th of July barbecue.  He won't let me do anything for him anymore.  Even holding the bubble jar was a fight.
At one point he got his sunglasses out and just cruised around the barbecue like the cool guy he is.
He thought the fireworks were AMAZING.