Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tim's 'Heidi' Moment

I mentioned earlier that we played a few games over Christmas, one of which was Totally 80s Trivial Pursuit. There was a question in there that brought up a story by my Dad. I don't remember the question, but the story made us laugh and cringe. Before most of us were born (I believe Mike was alive then??), there was a Sunday night football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets, now known as the Heidi Game. To use a ka-ching phrase, basically what happened was that the game went on longer than expected, and when it was due to end at 7pm, NBC cut to its previously scheduled programming instead of allowing viewers to watch the end of the game. People were pissed. NBC got so many calls from angry football fans that the phone exchange crashed. I think the networks learned something that night: don't publish your phone number.

Cut to the Sun Bowl on CBS on Friday afternoon, a game between the Oregon State Beavers and the Missouri Tigers. Tim's a proud Beaver, and was super pleased that his normally 'doormat of the Pac-10' team was 1) ranked, and 2) in a bowl game. He came home from work at a reasonable hour (noon) just so he could watch his Beavers play some football. So we're watching the game, and things are close. The Tigers score, the Beavers score. It goes back and forth for most of the first half. Then, out of nowhere, Katie Couric comes on the screen for some 'breaking news'. CBS had just cut out of a bowl game to cover one of President Ford's funerals. Except that the news team was totally unprepared, and it was fairly obvious that they didn't know what exactly they were supposed to be talking about. There were cars driving up to the site, but that was about it. I assumed that the network would cut back to the game within a minute, after seeing that there was really nothing to see at the funeral. Nope. Katie and some other reporter stammered on for more than 20 minutes, finishing out the first half of the game. Tim was pissed. I don't remember the last time I've seen him that mad. He tried in vain to find CBS's phone number so he could help the rest of the Beaver and Tiger fans crash their exchange, but to no avail. He ended up calling our network provider, which gladly gave him their number, happy that he wasn't calling to complain to them. There were some colorful words that Kate did not learn that day, because she was napping. He never was able to reach CBS, but apparently some people did, because not long into halftime, they switched back to the game. And the Beavers won with less than a minute to go, 39-38. What a game.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

On the Verge

Snow, I'm talking about snow. Not babies. Yet.

It's been hovering around freezing all day and has been raining like crazy. We lost power for just a few seconds just a few times last night, and our yard looks like Dorothy's must have after the cyclone. The radio says it's snowing at Tanque Verde and Catalina Highway. That's like 7 miles from here. If all goes well, Jess and I are going to take Kate to Sabino Canyon this afternoon and see if we can get some playtime in the snow.

On a totally different note, it seems blogger has done away with the Beta version and has a new version out. I don't know if I can switch to the new version since I'm already on Beta, but this quote on their website made me laugh:

I am overjoyed to announce that today we have o’ficially graduated the new version of Blogger from “in beta” to “.” Why is this significant? Allow me to explain via analogy:
Battlestar Galactica with Lorne Greene : Battlestar Galactica with Edward James Olmos :: Old Blogger : New Blogger
Ha! I'm not the only geek out there addicted to the show. Of course, that was written by a website egghead...
Kate is napping soundly at the moment, so now's my chance to get some painting done.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Someone Stop Me

Christmas Eve dinner.

Bunny goes for a ride.

Little People Nativity set.

These bath toys taste great!

Exhausted. That's me, as I try in vain to get more out of every day. I'm 35 weeks pregnant now, and I swear this kid is coming out any time (I'll take your bet, James). But I'm not ready. I still have to paint the bathroom (I painted most of one wall last week, and have decided that the color is horrid and found a new color today. I know, I have a problem.), paint Kate's bookshelves, wash baby clothes, move Kate's clothes (and Kate) to her new room, put Christmas decorations away, find a futon cover, and the list goes on. Tim thinks I'm crazy. I know I'm crazy, but I can't stop myself. I did not go through this nesting phase when I was pregnant with Kate. Last time, if you stopped by my house, you'd see disaster, with me lying on the sofa watching bad daytime TV or napping. This time I'm frantic. I've probably started 8 projects, none of them are done, and I'm tempted to start more. ACK.

Christmas was great. We had a late breakfast and a late dinner. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams, the whole 9 yards. We played Totally 80s Trivial Pursuit and 24, the game (we have yet to figure that one out). We watched movies and played with Kate. Her favorite toys are her shopping cart from her Great-Gramma Donna and her My Little Pony singing book from her Great-Grandma Lorraine. We had a lot of fun with the shopping cart; Kate opened it at Jessica's house on Christmas Eve, and she was content to use just the yellow part as a push-toy before Tim put it together. Hysterical.

She is getting her first molar, and will not nap in the normal fashion. This is putting a serious crimp on how much I can get done each day. It finally cut through today, so I hope we're done with that for awhile.
Hope you all had a great Christmas! Relax, will you?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

We spent Christmas Eve at Jessica's house, and Kate got to open her first gift. We'll see how the rest of today goes, but I think it's destined to be her favorite Christmas toy. She pushes it around everywhere, putting things like shoes (she's starting early) and her bunny in it.

Jess and Mike and Dad are on their way over for brunch and dinner later, and gifts. More stories later.
How big is Kate?

This is the best!

Friday, December 22, 2006

So True, So True

I get these weekly emails from Babycenter about Kate's milestones, and what to expect each week of pregnancy. This week, I opened the email about Kate and read the following:

Doing errands around town is harder than ever with a pint-sized explorer in tow. Being strapped down in a car seat or stroller is the last place your toddler wants to be: Expect an earful — usually accompanied by an arched back and flailing arms and legs — when it's time to buckle up.

Ha! So true! That arched back, the 'outside voice' screaming in protest at the horror of being chained into a stroller. The glare I get for putting her in there. Now, just add an 8 1/2 month pregnant belly and the crabbiness that comes with it to the mix, and you get some fun shoppers!

Kate had her 15mo well-baby check this morning, and is doing just fine, despite my concerns that she had lost a lot of weight during last week's illness. Nope. She gained weight over the past month (she's now 24lb 14oz). Must be the Christmas cookies. She had her first lollipop this morning after her shots; I felt bad for the screaming child and let the nurse give her one. Wow, did she love that. I think I'm going to have to wash the stroller seat cover now, it's so covered in sugary goo, but she was sooo happy until I took it away from her.

As for us, the house is a disaster (dis-as-ter, no kidding). Mike is finishing up the bathroom today (I hope), and I'll get to cleaning this place as soon as he's done. Dad's headed our way tomorrow, Christmas Eve dinner is at Jessica's house, and Christmas day festivities are here, including breakfast, gift opening and dinner.

Oh, and the Ducks got spanked last night in their bowl game. Ha! So sorry, Dad. Tim says they were still getting over their loss to OSU in the Civil War. =)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nope, No Snow

Bummer. I was so hoping to wake up this morning to a light dusting of the white stuff. No such luck. But it was only 20* when I got up at 5:30, and even now it's like 45*. Mt Lemmon has snow, which I can see from my kitchen window - very cool. But Holy Mother of GOD it's still cold out there, with the wind whipping up a bit!

I think I am doomed to early mornings again. Last summer when I was pregnant with Kate, I woke up nearly every morning by about 4:30-5am and couldn't get back to sleep. Tim had to be in early this morning, and I couldn't fall back to sleep after he left, so I got up and puttered around the house. It's kind of nice at that time of day; no toddler pulling ornaments off the tree, no cat walking underfoot trying to kill me; just dark skies and a nice fire. Now it's noon and I need a nap.

I had my 34 week OB appointment today, and my doctor doesn't think I'm in danger of going into labor soon. Or, if he does think so, he's out of town for at least a week, so it's no harm to him if I do. He thinks I was just having trouble breathing yesterday because of the Braxton-Hicks contractions. Okay, I'll go with that. He did say that the baby had dropped, though, and she is head-down. So, my prediction is that I'll have her around 37 weeks, just like happened with Kate. Gawd, that's only 3 weeks from now. But! That means only 3 more weeks of heartburn! That sounds heavenly right about now.

Before I sign off, I must leave a note regarding the number of returned Christmas cards I have received in the past few weeks. People. If you're going to move, send out your new address. It's so much easier for you to receive mail that way.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


It's 4:30pm, 40* and apparently snowing in Vail and Saurita, which are very close to here. Jessica is over here, helping me bake peppermint chocolate chip cookies and is building a gingerbread house at the same time. Kate is playing with her Little People bus, as usual. And I'm taking deep breaths, glad that I have an OB appointment tomorrow. I'm only 34 weeks, and am hoping I have at least 3 more weeks before the baby girl arrives, but this breathing thing is making me wonder.

The shower is all tiled, and Mike will be back tomorrow to grout it, tile the floor, and work on all the plumbing. I think the new bath may be ready for use by Christmas day. What a great gift!

Monday, December 18, 2006


We now have new wallboard up in our shower, and a new vanity.

Mike is starting to tile, and I think he still plans to be done by Friday. Sweet.

We had a busy weekend of parties and shopping at Lowe's. The squadron Christmas party was on Saturday night and we had a pretty good time, although we left early. No dancing for me this year, thank you very much. That's the last thing anyone wants - a pregnant woman shaking her booty on the dancefloor.

Kate had fun this weekend, too:

My Daddy is cooler than Britney, Mom!

Red jello. After which she needed a bath.

We also watched the last episode of Battlestar of the season, and Tim found this video on the web that had me laughing outloud. It's funnier if you've been watching the new BSG, but check it out.

Friday, December 15, 2006

When You're Tired

When you're tired, I guess you can sleep through just about anything. I am surprised that Kate is not crying in her crib right now. Her bedroom wall, and her crib, are pretty much right next to our bathroom. Mike the contractor is in the process of chipping tiles off our shower wall as I type, and is making a horrible racket. Yet, the babe sleeps. Yahoo!

Our bathroom when we moved in. Vintage 1971.

Our bathroom today.

Stay tuned for updates on the beautiful master bath that will be, all before Christmas.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pavlov Visits the Hanoi Hilton, and a Casualty of War

Tim's war-fighting ammo.

We're done. At least, I hope we're done. Tim hasn't come down with this nasty bug yet, which means he probably will in say ... about 24 hours, right after he's done flying on Friday, right in time for the Squadron Christmas party on Saturday night, and right in time for us to start our latest project: Operation Remodel Master Bathroom.

But first. I did end up getting The Bug, but it wasn't nearly as bad for me as it was for Kate. I spent most of Tuesday night on the sofa so I wouldn't wake Tim up (little did I know he had no idea that I was even gone, he was so tired) every time I moved. I was in a sorry state until 4am when I finally got sick (sorry for the graphic timeline) and was able to sleep after that. I woke up at 7am, wondering if that was truly the time. Not a sound from Kate's room. Not a peep from Tim's room. I tried in vain to go back to sleep, and instead grabbed the remote and turned on the Today Show. Kate didn't wake up until around 8am (this from a 6:30am riser), and even then only wanted to lay on Tim. Luckily, he had the day off from flying, cancelled his 9am meeting and told me he could hang out at home for a few hours until I was better. Ha. He ended up home all day taking care of us.

We tried feeding Kate some breakfast, but she got sick. I called the on-call nurse and got in line for a call-back. Kate hadn't been able to keep much of anything down for more than 24 hours and we were a little worried. More napping on Tim's chest, and then she seemed a little better. Tim decided to feed her lunch, and I was down the hall getting dressed. I heard crying and knew what had happened. This time she got super sick, though, and Tim was overwhelmed by the amount of food that had been in her stomach. "Call the doctor back now." No messin' around with Daddy. I called. And someone actually talked to me, right then on the phone. I couldn't believe it. She told me that we weren't to give Kate anything for 2 hours, then start her on a teaspoon of clear liquid every 10-15 minutes. Then, if she could hold that down for 8 hours -are you kidding?- that we could start giving her small amounts of bland solids. Good God. That meant no solids until dinner time (later, really) and she already hadn't had anything to eat in like 2 days. Sounded like baby torture to me, but we decided that it was the only hope of getting Kate any better. And since there was only one pediatrician on base the whole day, we didn't have many options.

We put her down for a nap, and when she woke up, we started with the teaspoon every 15 minutes. She was pissed. I would have been too! She was starving, I was sure. Then, at about 4pm, I finally got a little hungry and made a piece of toast. I have never felt so much guilt in my life. I still feel bad, just thinking about how I was eating in front of her, and she had 3 hours to wait for a morsel of food. Mama Ho Chi Minh, here. When we finally got to the point where we could feed her food, it was a Kix every 2 minutes. Tim set his watch for 10 minutes, and everytime it went off, she'd get a teaspoon of Pedialyte and a Kix. I'm afraid she's going to hear alarms and think it's time to eat. Tim did such a good job with her, though, keeping her entertained while she waited for the next piece of cereal.

16 minutes worth of food.

The morning she got sick in her bed, she had all kinds of stuffed animals in there with her, including 'bu-eee' (bunny, duh). This is her favorite stuffed animal ever. My grandma got it for her when she was born, and it's super soft and plays a lullaby when you pull her string. I had to wash her the other day, though, and now I can't get the lullaby to work. Tim dissected her the other night, but to no avail. I stitched her back up last night and Kate hugged her and grabbed for her pull-string. Poor kid. But the bunny is as soft and clean as ever.

And, you'll be glad to know, after reading all this long-ness about Kate, that she is now eating many Kix at a time, and sucking down Pedialyte as fast as she can. And she's keeping it down. Whew.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Make It Stop

Many loads of laundry.

Warning: put down your muffin before reading this post. There will be a discussion of vomit, and it won't be pleasant.

Kate woke up yesterday in a pretty good mood. She sat down for breakfast and after drinking most of her milk, let out a horrendous burp and then threw up all that she had ingested. I thanked God that she was still in her high chair and that the tray caught most of the action. I'm still amazed at how big her stomach is. I calmly walked to the bathroom and started the tub, came back and undressed her in her chair, and took her to the tub and placed her into the water.

Last night she was having some trouble sleeping, and after she woke up for about the 3rd time, we gave her some Motrin, thinking she was teething. Tim rocked her for a long time, and then she fully woke up, good mood and all, wanting to play. We finally got her back to bed, thinking it was going to be a long night. She slept fine.

Tim's back on days now, and had to be to work at 5am. I heard Kate wake up briefly when he left, and hoped that she would go back to sleep. She did, and so did I. Then at about 6:40, she woke up and started talking. I usually can let her talk until about 7am before guilt sets in, so I pulled the covers over my shoulders and prepared to sleep for another 20 minutes. Then I heard crying, followed immediately by retching. Uh-oh.

Poor kid. She doesn't know what is going on. I ran into her room, saw the mess and went to the tub to start the water. She hadn't even had breakfast yet. Normally she loves baths, but I think she's starting to dislike them. She had a nice warm bath, finally cheering up towards the end. I got her dressed and fed her some breakfast. She didn't eat much, but seemed in a good mood. I thought I'd take advantage of this and head to the commissary because we were almost out of milk, and I was starting to think along the lines of 'saltines, 7-up and chicken soup', none of which we had. We got home, I fed her lunch and then it started all over again. This time with me in tears, dialing the squadron ops desk to tell Tim that he needed to not hang out after work (just in case he was planning on that) and needed to come home as soon as he was done. Line busy. Maybe that's when the tears started. Or maybe it was when Kate wouldn't stop screaming. Or when I walked down the hall to the tub yet again to start the water. Or perhaps when I realized that her crib wasn't made yet and I couldn't just bathe her and put her down for a nap. Luckily I'd had the wherewithall to put the sheets in the dryer before we went out. I gave Kate another bath, did a half-assed job of making the bed (do you know how hard it is to make a crib when you're 8+ months pregnant??), and got her down for her nap. I hope she gets better soon. Especially if Tim and I are both going to get it, too, like Katie's family did.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend Update

We had a busy weekend. We spent Saturday getting ready to have a few people over for games, cocktails and dessert, and since it was a Christmas party I wanted to have Christmas decorations up. We strapped Kate in the car and drove to a tree place that was advertising trees from Oregon. I think most of the trees here in Tucson come from Oregon, so we probably could have gone to Home Depot and saved $20, but the people at this one place were nice and they gave us a military discount. Kate loved wandering through the forest of trees and exploring the lot. She found a string of lights attached to a pole on the tent and stared at it for a long time. She loves Christmas lights! We drove home, put Kate down for a nap, and began decorating. We opted to leave all nice/antique/glass decorations above Kate-level, and so far we haven't had any problems. We'll see how long this lasts.

When Kate woke up, she wanted to help us clean up the house, so she grabbed the duster and started on the tree.

Right before people began showing up, Kate played a round of hide and seek with Tim under the table.

Where's Kate?

There she is!

On Sunday we went to base to see Santa taxi in on an A-10. Kate watched, fascinated, as the plane rolled up and came to a stop. She thought Santa was great, until she had to sit on his lap.

Mommy, I don't like this Santa man!

Last night I had Tim take a photo of me (just for you, Carrie!) and my 'basketball'. He thinks it looks like there really is a basketball under my shirt. I told him it feels more like an oversized beach ball.

33 weeks.

Oh, and Jess found out that they are having a girl! She also had her due date revised to 2 weeks later - early May. She seems fine with this. Me, I would not be pleased to hear that!

Friday, December 08, 2006

So That's How it Happens

Kate and I went to the BX this morning to get a few things and pick up a refill on her Tylenol. We ran into Dana and Eric, and decided to have lunch together. Dana's been busy moving, and we've been busy...doing stuff, so we haven't seen them much lately. We were supposed to have the mother's morning out group today, but about half the kids were sick so we cancelled it. Eric has had a fever off and on this week, and Kate's had some bug that's caused all kinds of fun. We sat them in highchairs next to each other, and set food out in front of them on the table. Kate picked up one of her Cheerios and fed it to Eric. Cute. Later in the meal, Eric decided he didn't like the quesedilla he was eating, took it out of his mouth, and handed it to Kate. Now I know how kids pass illnesses on to one another. Gross.

We put the kids down to wander about the eating area for a few minutes before we left, and they headed to the giant gumball machine. An older gentleman walked up and put a quarter in and turned the handle, releasing an orange ball of gum down the chute. Round and round and round it went, mesmerizing the kids. Another quarter, another gumball. "One for each of them!" We smiled...and looked at each other, wondering if we should say anything about how the kids were only 14 months and really weren't ready for gumballs. The man walked away, and we removed the gum and ate them ourselves. The kids shrieked. I don't think they wanted the gum, they just wanted to see the gumballs make their journey down the chute again.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I have gotten a couple of funny referrals from Google this week:

  • mistletoad
  • nighttime stuffy nose
  • egg nog being pregnant

I'm not really sure how Google does its searches, but that people are being directed to my website for these subjects amuses me. But that's what it's all about: my amusement. Woohoo!


December flowers in bloom.

Give me a June day when it's 108* and there's no chance for rain, and I'll tell you that living in Tucson is not my favorite thing ever. But this week has been gorgeous. Really, how can you complain about 75* and sun in December? Well, me, when I am hoping for snow. But the warmth has been great, and everyone seems to be enjoying it. Kate loves that we can go outside and play, Starbuck loves that the birds are ripe for the stalking, and my flowers think it's time to bloom.

All innocence.

Somehow, even with the warmth, Kate picked up a cold, and has been slightly miserable this week. Poor kid. I keep thinking that it's winding down because she acts so good for being sick, but then the next morning we get up and she's still got a runny nose. She's not eating much, which is hard for me - I just want to feed her and hope she'll get better, but food is not working. Juice seems to be a good thing, so we're doing a lot of that.

I got all my Christmas packages mailed out (sans sugar cookies, sorry everyone), which has been a great stress-relief, but found out that the place I ordered my crib from doesn't have it in stock either, and won't until February. Looks like we'll be hitting the baby stores this weekend in hopes of finding a crib that doesn't cost a small fortune that is actually in stock somewhere.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When Nights are a Good Thing

I used to appreciate Tim being on nights, when Kate was really little. I was tired all the time anyway, and when he was on nights that meant he could help out with her in the mornings before he left for work at noon.

Then we hit the latest round of nights at the end of October. At that time I was about 7 months pregnant and nights were no longer fun. Nights meant that I was the dinner-server and bath-giver. Dinner, fine. Bath, not so much. It's hard to lean over a tub with a toddler when your belly is huge. Now I'm 8 months pregnant and the squadron is still on nights. What the hell? Yes, that is 6 weeks of nights. A little excessive, if you ask a pregnant girl.

But last night was tough for Kate, and having Tim on nights was a blessing. Finally. Kate is sick with a cold, and she woke up every few hours until about 1am, I think. Since Tim was going to be sleeping in this morning, he took over helping her get back to sleep and I got to stay in bed. Heaven. With a little bit of guilt, but mostly just heaven. After all, it's after 9am and he's still sleeping. Bye-bye guilt. Thank you night week/month/season.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cookies, Gifts and Snot, Oh My

How did I do all the stuff I did for Christmas last year? Decorate the house, get a tree, bake cookies, entertain Kate, send gifts and not fall asleep at the dinner table? Oh, right: I had a baby, not a toddler. Kate is into everything, and it's putting a crimp in my desire to be Martha Stewart this Christmas.

I started out by signing up to bake cookies for the base Cookie Crunch, a cookie drive that collects homemade cookies to give to the airmen living on base over the holidays. Since I was already making a batch of cookies, I might as well just go balls out and make a double batch of Peppermint Chocolate Chip cookies, then whip up some dough for the candy cane cookies, find a recipe for yummy mint brownies, and make plans for oodles of sugar cookies. Right? Right. To add to this recipe for success, I thought, 'You know, we should have a little holiday gathering, play games, eat, drink and be merry.' Got to get the decorations all up before then, clean the house, make some food, buy some alcohol, rearrange the living room to accomodate people, blah blah blah. Am I stressed? No. Just waking up at 4am, wondering when I'm going to get all this stuff done.

And then there's the crib fiasco. Target. I love Target, but they are a Gigantic Corporation and thus have their problems. The one I learned about over the weekend: they don't have the crib I want in stock, none of the Tucson stores do, and no, they can't order one for me. What?! We went to Tar-jay yesterday to look at cribs, and to order one because I figured they wouldn't have one in stock. That's why I waited till now to get one. Because I thought they would ORDER one in for me. Something about central warehouse/delivery issues and no they cannot order one in, but I can surely call them every week to see if they got one in recently, right? OR, I could go online and order the damn thing on my own, which is what I did. So sorry, Target. Hopefully we'll get the crib delivered by the new year...

Saturday was football day; the last day of regular season play for college ball. We (really, I mean Tim - I ran around the house like a madwoman trying to make cookie dough, clean, etc) sat on the sofa and watched USC lose !, West Virginia beat Rutgers (I thought it odd that Tim wanted to watch this game, but apparently there was a chance his team would play the winner in a bowl game), and then stayed up to watch the OSU Beavers play Hawaii. Okay, Tim stayed up to watch, I went to bed. The game didn't even start until 10pm! I watched part of the first quarter and then decided it would be better to sleep. Then at 1:30am he came into the bedroom and gleefully claimed victory over Hawaii. I cheered groggily.

We decided to go to the late church service on Sunday, but then thought better of it when Kate appeared to be coming down with a cold. We put her down for a nap instead of going to church, and were so glad we did. She didn't sleep, but she did vomit all over her crib and we were happy that she didn't do this in the nursery at church. Poor kid. Poor parents! Gross, cleaning that mess up. Thank you Kate for doing it when your daddy was home!

Now it's naptime and I need to get baking. Damn, there's a lot of cookies to make.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Getting to Know You

Welcome to the 2006 Christmas Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends! You know the drill. Don't be a scrooge!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog; I can drink hot chocolate any time of year. Unfortunately this year my egg nog will not be made with merry juice.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Um, hello. Isn't that part of the whole Christmas idea? Wrapping paper makes the season! Usually stocking stuffers are unwrapped, though.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I don't have a preference, but this year we have colored lights outside and will probably have colored lights on the tree. I don't know if we own any plain white lights right now.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I haven't found any in years. But Amy gave me this great gift many years ago: the famed Mistletoad. He gets hung with care every year. Sometimes we hang the Mistletoad Rules of Conduct next to him, but I think they need to be updated since Niki and I enacted them freshman year of college.

5. When do you put up your decorations? It depends on where we are living. Here in Arizona, you can't put a live tree up too early (see the pumpkin story) or it will dry out and is sure to catch on fire. I'm hoping we'll put the tree up within the next 2 weeks. Tim hung the lights on the house over Thanksgiving weekend, and we have some Christmas decorations up in the house.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Turkey and stuffing. Even though we have it the month before for Thanksgiving, it still rocks. I also love hot cider and egg nog.

7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child? So many memories, none of them so spectacular that it stands out. We went to the Nutcracker often when I was little, and although I liked the idea of going (maybe the getting dressed up part?), the ballet always put me to sleep. I remember going to the Domino's Christmas light show in Ann Arbor one year - that was pretty cool. It seemed that every year we saw our grandparents, though, and that was great.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think around 3rd or 4th grade, probably from friends.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, one.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? First we hang the lights, Tim usually following behind me and attaching them to the branches properly. Then we hang the ornaments. We have all kinds - some from when I was little and made ornaments in grade school, some from Beijing, some from many of the places we've vacationed together. This year will be interesting; will we be able to hang ornaments below waist-level? I'm starting to wonder...

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it, probably because I've never lived anywhere where we've had a lot of it. Driving in it is no fun, but it sure is beautiful.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Thinking...thinking...last year Tim got me an MP3 player. That was cool. Oh yeah - he got me a pearl necklace a few years ago. Very cool.

14. What's the most important thing about Christmas for you? Spending time with family and friends.

15. What is your favorite Christmas dessert? Christmas sugar cookies and Tim's cranberry bread pudding.

16. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? I love decorating, and picking out the tree. And seeing Christmas lights around town. Making sugar cookies with my sister is also a hoot. Oh, and watching 'When Harry Met Sally' is a must. In my 20s I loved going to midnight mass. I don't think that is going to happen this year.

17. What tops your tree? Aaah, I'm not sure. I'll have to get out the ornament box to see if we have something.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I love giving gifts! And I love the surprise of receiving gifts.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Linus and Lucy (Guaraldi) and Sleigh Ride (performed by the Boston Pops).

20. Candy -Canes! Yuck or Yum? I don't generally eat them by themselves, but I bake with them!

Broccoli and More

A couple of weeks ago I made broccoli for dinner and Kate started to try to say it. She's getting better at the word, but it still sounds more like 'braw-wi' than 'broccoli'. Still, we know what she means, and it's just cute to hear her say it. She loves the stuff, too. I'm not sure if she's using it as a butter/salt delivery device, but I'll take it. Braw-wi has now become one of her encompass-all words, meaning that she uses it for things she likes. Cookies, for example, are braw-wi. So is cheese.

One of Kate's favorites: Mom's Christmas chocolate chip cookies.

I've also started bribing my daughter to use her signs. She knows several, but refuses to use them. Except when she wants something very badly. Then, then I can get her to sign 'more', 'milk' (don't even get me started on what she thinks this sign is - I totally blame her Dad for the hand-waving that passes for milk), or 'eat'. We've been working on 'more' by using cookies. She only gets more when she uses the sign, and it's working! Isn't it great? I'm becoming one of those moms I swore I'd never be: letting my child have sugar, turning on the DVD player while I'm trying to make dinner (this still doesn't work; the kid has no interest in TV except to touch the buttons and hear me say 'no touch' repeatedly), and letting her play with my cell phone more and more, just to keep her from whining about it. I'm sure all of these things will backfire, but sometimes it's worth it to have some (temporary) quiet. Yesterday I think I let her do all of the aforementioned things. When Tim got home, she wanted to cuddle with him; I guess she's not feeling quite right, or maybe she just missed her Dad. It's so hard to tell.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Old Man Winter

Rain on the driveway! Snow on Mt Lemmon! In November!

I'm not sure if this is going to be the best we get this winter, but I'm going to enjoy it like it is. Just in case. It's crazy windy out today; our vintage 1971 windows are whistling, and the bathroom fan vent keeps opening and closing. It's in the mid-50s today, but with the windchill, it feels more like somewhere in the 30s, which - trust me - when you're used to at least 75* is cold. I love it! Oh, and Mt Lemmon got its first dusting of snow! It looks awesome out my kitchen window. Time to warm up some hot cider and curl up with a good book.

Except I forgot. I'm a mom. I have a toddler who doesn't know that cold and windy days mean snuggling up by the fire and being lazy. Kate wants to get into everything, just like it's any other day. Plus, it's nearly Christmas and I haven't done all my shopping! I haven't baked a single Christmas cookie! I have wrapped a couple of gifts, but somehow my type-A personality forces me to forget all my accomplishments and focus on all that I have yet to do. And don't even get me started on all the baby stuff I haven't done. Gah!

I tried to appease Kate's sense of adventure by taking her to Wiggle Bells, her latest class offered by parks and rec here. The first class was actually last week, but it was the day before Thanksgiving, right before the squadron's Thanksgiving turkey-gorging event, and I think Kate actually slept through the beginning of class. So this week was our first. I was hoping it was somehow related to the holidays - I mean 'Wiggle Bells' does sound vaguely holidayish, right? - but it's not. It's just at a different location than Little Movers and Shakers and it's a shortened class in that it only goes for 4 weeks. Oh well, she loves the adventure of it all. Mats to climb on, bubbles, songs, balls, toys, a parachute - what could be better? After coming home and having grilled turkey, cream cheese and cranberry sandwiches, we bundled up and went back outside. Tim hung her swing in the backyard over the weekend, and she loves it. I push her back and forth, we listen for airplanes, and then I tickle her with my hands making airplane diving signs. She giggles and snorts (God, she got that trait from me afterall, poor kid). Her eyes light up: More, Mama! More! Adorable. This wears her out suitably so that she's ready for a nap, and I'm ready to come inside and warm up. Time for me to go get some of that stuff done while it's quiet.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I ought to be in the kitchen finishing up my carrot souffle and making sure the gravy that I forgot to start hours ago is coming along okay. But I needed a break. Really. I've spent most of the morning in that room, rinsing a turkey, stuffing it with lemons and thyme, piling sage cornbread on top of white bread and herbs for the oh-so-yummy sage stuffing, trying to catch glimpses of the floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, feeding Kate breakfast and taking her outside to burn off some energy, and obsessing about how we're going to fit 8 adults at our table that seats 6. Tim's been a great help, playing with Kate, feeding her lunch and putting her down for her nap (she is now officially -?- taking 1 nap a day), playing poolboy, and cleaning up the yard. Now most things are done and I just have a few loose ends to tie up.

Kate slept in until 8:15 this morning. At least I think she did. That's when I woke up and heard her talking. She cried for 2 seconds at 6:30am, but seemed to go back to sleep, so I decided that was a good idea and did so as well. It was like the first real vacation we've had since she was born!

My sister wasn't so lucky. She and Mike live next to DV8 nightclub, a lovely Tucson establishment that frequently causes problems. I called her at 11am this morning to get a heads up on when they and Mike's parents might be headed over, and found that she was just waking up. "It's 11am! Sleeping in a little?" They had a rough night, as she put it. At about 2:15am when the club let out, they heard some noise outside, close by, and Mike got up to investigate. He looked out their front door and saw a big white SUV parked in their driveway. He grabbed his gun and walked outside, much to my sister's dismay. She thought it would just be a better idea to call the cops. Mike walked out to the vehicle and there was someone in it. And he was loading a shotgun. Mike asked if he could help him and the guy said, "No, my gun's jammed." Mike promptly walked back inside and called the police. They showed up minutes later, with a squad car and a helicopter. How Fun. So that was my sister's night last night. Oh, and they arrested the guy. Crazy, huh? Us, we just have barking-ass dogs behind our house. I'll try to stop complaining about them for a few days.

I realized that I haven't posted any photos of Kate lately, so here are a couple of her in San Diego. I'd post some of the 2 of us, but I think my face is starting to get that 'huge, I'm pregnant and retaining all fluids I ingest' look, and I don't want to ruin your Thanksgiving.

Standing at Mission Bay park.

I think I'll have a beer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I've been saying I've been feeling, um, big, for the past several weeks. I now have supporting evidence to explain this suspicion. Kate's little sister is what they call in OB lingo 'transverse'. She is lying sideways, and is not using her space, shall we say, wisely. Tight quarters in there, especially when you lie sideways in the sleeping bag, kiddo. My doc says she'll probably move on her own in the next few weeks, and if she doesn't he can try to move her by pushing on my belly. Wow, that sounds comfortable, sign me up for that appointment! If she refuses to move, or moves but then moves back or goes breech, I'll have a c-section.

Kate got to see her baby sister on the ultrasound machine today. I think she called her 'dada'. She did a great job while we waited for the doctor and while he did the ultrasound. She's going to be such a good big sister.

The poor kid is teething again. One of her bottom teeth is coming in; I felt it on Monday after she woke up in the middle of the night talking and wouldn't go back to sleep. We were all in the same room sleeping because we were in San Diego at my Dad's, and she woke up at like 2am and just started babbling. We kept telling her to be quiet and go back to sleep, but she wouldn't and finally started crying. I have no idea how long she talked before getting crabby, but she woke everyone up with her crying (read: screaming) at 4am. The problem? A soaked diaper and wet jammies. Aren't we good parents? "Kate, just go back to sleep." 'Course the tooth probably had something to do with the tears as well. She's doing a lot better now.

San Diego was fun for us (me and Kate). Tim had to do his CFII continuing education all weekend, so it wasn't so fun for him. But we did get to go see a movie on Sunday night to celebrate my birthday, which was fun. I'd wanted to see 'Happy Feet' but we were late, so we saw 'Stranger Than Fiction' with Will Ferrell. This is the movie where he doesn't appear in his underwear, and relies on 'acting' (his word) to supply humor to the movie. We liked it for the most part, but thought the end was a little choppy.

Monday's drive back took just over 8 hours. Normally it's about a 6.5-7 hour drive, but Kate likes to stop and stretch. I can only imagine how uncomfortable sitting in a car seat must be for 8 hours. She was a trooper throughout the whole trip.

Tomorrow we're having 8 adults over for Thanksgiving dinner. Kate will be the only kid this year, but will probably relish all the attention 3 grandparents, a set of aunts and uncles and other adults will lavish on her. So it's off to the kitchen for me; gotta make a bourbon pecan pie tonight and start brining the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

If You Give a Mom a Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three year old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do the laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook (101 Things to Make with a Pound of Hamburger). The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two year old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two year old. While she is changing the two year old, the phone will ring. Her five year old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

~author unknown
~sentiment not

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Love and Hate

I know some women who love being pregnant. I am not one of them. I don't hate it (for the most part), but I certainly don't love it. I don't really get into the whole "I'm pregnant so I can eat whatever I want for 9 months" thing, so that takes some of the fun out of it. It also takes some of the pounds off my hips that would otherwise be larger than they should be. I gain enough weight as it is; if I ate the way some pregnant women eat, I would be gigantic.

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude through this 3rd trimester, so I'm compiling lists. Love and Hate.

  • my thick, shiny hair
  • feeling the baby kick
  • the nest I feel justified in building in bed every night
  • the thought of another amazing life that I'll be bringing into the world soon
  • ultrasounds
  • the 2nd trimester
  • my new long-sleeved maternity shirts and my brown cords
  • changing the kitty litter: Tim's job
  • people who lend a hand opening doors, carrying things, etc.
  • the nesting phase that has lasted probably a whole trimester this pregnancy (man am I getting a lot done!)


  • pants that fall down
  • not fitting in spaces that I think I can fit in
  • low back pain when waking up in the morning
  • not being able to put socks or shoes on without huffing and puffing
  • the nighttime stuffy nose that won't go away
  • the 1st and 3rd trimesters
  • having trouble rough-housing with Kate, picking her up, putting her in her crib, giving her a bath, cleaning up after her
  • not being able to exercise like a normal person
  • not being able to drink wine (last year was perfect: Kate was born before the holidays)
  • heartburn
  • support hose
  • my limited wardrobe, and especially the stupid black pants I bought at Motherhood that fall down ALL THE TIME. Hate.
  • people who ignore the fact that you are hugely pregnant and have a toddler and won't lend a helping hand opening doors, carrying things, etc.
  • getting cranky for no reason, knowing you are being totally unreasonable and not being able to control your outbursts (unless it is at the dumb credit card company that calls me every other night to offer a "new service". Then I love it.)
  • water retention in my face near the end of pregnancy
  • not being able to work in the yard or go hiking during this fabulous time of year

It's the Simple Things

Forget about fancy children's chairs, board books with fuzzy kittens, or loud toys. Buy yourself some diapers, keep the box, and put it next to your magazine rack. Endless hours of fun.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Kate goes swimming

It was an eventful weekend. Not all good events, mind you, but eventful nonetheless.

Saturday was baby shower day. I left Kate home with Tim while I went to Deborah's and Darci's baby showers for several hours. At one point after I had been gone for awhile, I heard Tim calling on my cell and excused myself to answer the phone. He casually asked if I was done and when I might be coming home. I told him that I would be home within the hour, and he mumbled something about there being an 'incident' and that I should be sure to ask him about it when I got back. This piqued my interest, and I wondered what might have happened in my short time away from. Since I was missing the gift-opening and Kate sounded like she was having lunch, we hung up and left it at that.

Upon arriving home, I found both Tim and Kate in different clothing than they had been in when I had left. This is not unusual, but it caused me to ask about this 'incident' that had happened. Apparently, they had gone outside to play. Kate was on the patio with her toys, and Tim decided to do some pool maintenance. He was brushing out the pool when he heard a kerplunk and saw that Kate had snuck in behind him before the gate to the pool had closed. And she had fallen in. To the pool. Fallen in to the deep end of the pool, head first, fully clothed, into that freezing (70*) water. GAH! Now me, I would have freaked out. Maybe Tim did too; I wasn't here to witness it. But I guess he was close enough to her when she fell that he was able to drop the brush and grab a foot. She came out holding her breath, face scrunched up. I bet! That's one cold pool! The temperature probably helped her not breathe in while she was under. He cradled her, trying to warm her up and stop the shrieking that began soon after she was out of the water, and brought her inside to get her into some warm (dry) clothes. After her lips returned to their normal color, she started rubbing her belly telling him that she wanted a bath. Apparently she didn't like the one she had and wanted a real one.

Update: the pool is 60*, not the steamy 70* I had thought. Brrr.

Dropped to save Kate.

Which leads me to the next story....bath time on Friday night. Tim does bath time whenever he's home because it's hard for me to lean over with this big belly and give Kate a bath that she feels is fun enough and long enough. We do things a little differently, Tim and me. Me, I like to remove all of Kate's clothes while we're in her room so they can go right into the hamper. I leave her diaper on until right before she goes into the tub, just in case. Tim, sometimes he varies from this routine. For instance, on Friday night, he thought it would be okay to take Kate's diaper off before the bath was ready. Kate loves this. I think she likes being free from all restraints; no itchy diaper, no clothes, no shoes. Freedom! She went tearing around the corner down the hall (she does move fast, see above) to come show me that she had broken free of all bonds and was naked as a cherub, when wham! splat! wahhhhh! Tim and I both came racing down the hall from opposite ends to find out what had happened. See, we have tile floors, and when they get wet, they get slippery. Baby peeing on floor makes floor slippery. Baby falls. Baby screams. Daddy learns why we don't remove diapers until just before we put baby into tub.

Naked baby makes puddle.

Friday, November 10, 2006

back to tired, and rotting gourds

I hit the 28-week milestone on Tuesday and just like that, I'm back to being tired. It's like my body instantly realized that we'd come into the 3rd trimester and began crying out for mid-afternoon naps. 'Course it could be that I've been going to bed after 11pm and getting up at 6:30.

Last year we didn't get to carve our pumpkin.

At around midnight one night, as Tim was getting ready for bed (I was already sound asleep as Kate was just about a month old and I was always tired) he smelled a terrible stench coming from the front of the house. Our front door was open, the screen door allowing the cool night breeze to circulate through the house. He thought perhaps someone had put food in the recycle bin just outside the door and that it had begun to rot. Upon investigation, he found that it wasn't icky food, but a pack of about 8 javelinas snorting their way through our front yard. Apparently, they stink to high heaven, although they are generally gentle animals. This group thought it would be a good snack to eat my yet-uncarved gourd, and proceeded to gnaw away at it until Tim chased them away. He failed to a) wake me up to see these animals that I have (still) never seen, and b) take a photo of the incident. There was a tired post-partum reprimand from me the next morning, although at the time I probably would rather have been sleeping anyway.

This year, I did carve the pumpkin that we got at Apple Annie's, and following my sister's instruction I waited until Halloween day to actually cut into the thing. She told me last year to wait until nearly the day was upon us, or our pumpkin would rot. No way, I thought. She was right, of course. Living somewhere for a decade does usually give you some knowledge of the area. Yesterday I had to run for a plastic garbage bag after Kate and I went outside to play and she thought it would be fun to try to roll the pumpkin around. I had noticed the pumpkin had started to look a little ... dark ... but thought perhaps it was just shadows. Not shadows. Mold. Gross.

The black stuff is not tricky lighting, unfortunately.

Monday, November 06, 2006

bringing the circus home

Kate got this toy from her Grampa for her birthday and we just finally assembled it over the weekend. When I say 'we', I mean Tim stood with the foot pump, stomping away, for most of the Husky game. I sat on the sofa and sipped margaritas. Okay, water. Whatever. Let me live out my little fantasy, okay?

Kate loves her new toy. LOVES. 'Ball!' It actually sounds more like 'baa', but we know what she means. It's her own little haven, away from all but Starbuck, who follows her in all her toy-playing.

That morning, we tried Christmas photos in front of the A-10. We will be finding another venue for the Christmas card photo. See below.

Although cute, the football stance wasn't what we were looking for.

All shadow, no faces.

Most of the photos turned out like the one above. Dark, with not much A-10. Granted, I haven't even tried to lighten them, but there was so much sunlight that everything was backlit. Thank God for the golden hour; we'll be trying that out next.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

trick or treat!

Earlier in the day...

Kate helps carve the pumpkin

The Autumn Fairy Princess shrieked and madly waved her wand as we walked down the driveway last night to go trick-or-treating. What fun! I'm out after dark! Couldn't get any of those photos, seeing that it was dark outside and I was the only adult.

Whose idea was it to put glitter all over a toddler's costume? And why did I think that it was a good idea to purchase an outfit that had so much of it? Dumb. There is now red glitter all over our house, and I'm sure Kate will have glitter stuck to her body for the next week.

We only made it to one house for treats. We were going to go to 3, but one family went to another neighborhood for the night to spend time with friends. I told them that this reduced my trick-or-treating route by 33% but they left anyway. But then our other neighbors across the street, they didn't have their lights on! So we only went to our neighbor's to the west. They had us inside for a bit, but then when I put Kate down she started crying, so we didn't stay long. She did like looking at their dog Maggie through the screen, though. And Mama even let her try some Nerds, so it was a good night.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

fun with rocks

Kate got a new toy over the weekend and loves it. She loves to play outside and stands at the door saying 'bye-bye' a good portion of her waking hours. Now that it's cool enough to spend some time outside we've been doing more of it, even though it means dirty Kate and bug bites. (insert cute photo here. =P)

Tim's on nights and he had her outside yesterday before lunch. She'd been a little whiny most of the morning, so when I heard wailing I didn't think much of it. Then in comes Tim, carrying Kate whose face is covered in dirt with little rocks stuck to her forehead. I guess she'd faceplanted in the dirt while trying to walk from the patio to the yard. Poor kid. Of course my thinking was, "Thank God it was on Tim's watch that Kate's first spill happened."

Then, after lunch, and just because I had been somewhat full of gratitude that I was not the bad parent for letting my child fall down on her face, Kate again took a tumble off the patio and onto - you guessed it - her head. Even better, this one drew blood. More screaming. More crying. And no Tim to hold her while I tried to clean her off.

I think she was having an 'off' day, because the rest of the afternoon she was pretty grumpy. Could be she was just mad that her face no longer looked like the autumn fairy princess face that is supposed to go with her Halloween costume. But she wasn't adjusting to a change of routine very well, and was not in the least bit happy when she got down from her highchair after dinner and wandered off in search of Daddy so she could have her bath. 'Bath' is one of the signs she actually knows and does, so she wandered up and down the hall saying 'Daddy' and rubbing her hands on her belly. It was so sad. And of course there was no Daddy to read her a bedtime story, or brush her teeth, or tuck her in. And since Tim didn't get home until 4:20am (after going in at noon...aren't nights supposed to be 'good' in that you work less?) there was no awake Daddy until just about lunchtime. We'll see how tonight goes. Hopefully trick-or-treating with me and Jessica will help get her mind off the fact that Daddy isn't home. What on earth am I going to do when he deploys?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

here she is, Miss America...or Miss Germany?

Ms. Natalie, daughter of Kevin and Tabitha, born 18 Oct in Germany

Congratulations to you guys on your beautiful baby girl! We can't wait to meet her.

October 29. That is the day, this year, that we felt it was cool enough to light our first fireplace fire. We had most of the windows shut all night, and it was still 69 inside when we woke up, so we lit a small log in the fireplace. Kate loves it. Starbuck too. It's cozy and warm, and it makes me feel like fall is really here, kinda. Just don't look outside at the palm trees, the pool, or the temperature (actually at 0930 it's only 55 outside. Not bad, not bad.).

Friday, October 27, 2006

food for the masses

For those who wanted to know the recipes for last night's meal, here are the links!

Hot Cider

Deviled Eggs

Herb-Marinated Olives

Mini Onion Quiches

Tomato Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Bacon

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Bread - a family secret!

busy? naaahhh.

I don't even know what I've been doing for the past week. We had a garage sale last Saturday (made $50 - worth it to me), went to the OSU v UA football game that evening, skipped Mango's Halloween party because we were too pooped, talked to new mommy Tabitha for 2 hours on the phone, went to the zoo, and prepped for the Dragon coffee I hosted last night. I guess that should explain where I've been. My apologies to my 2 faithful readers.

Congrats to Kevin and Tabitha on their new baby girl, Natalie, born 18 October in Germany. The family is doing well, after a crazy birth. Tabitha, you're a trooper! (here we go again, blogger. I have a cute photo of Natalie but the website won't let me upload it right now - next post.)

This morning we had our first mom's morning out co-op. Eight of us moms have gotten together, and with the help of Dana have begun a babysitting co-op at the chapel on base. Each Friday for 2 hours, 2 moms watch all the kids and the rest of us go and do ... whatever we want. It's heaven. Today was not my day to babysit. =) I went to the BX (by myself, where I tried on every long-sleeved maternity top they carried and didn't like a single one of them), rode the road runner machine at the gym (by myself) and then went to the commissary (you guessed it, by myself). Kate was not as happy as I was (she had to skip her morning nap to go to MMO), but she survived, and even made her first piece of artwork.

Next Friday I will be one of the babysitters. We will see how that goes...

Here are some photos of days in the life of Kate over the past week:

Do these boots go with my dress?