Friday, June 25, 2010

Pregnancy Strikes Again

My neighbor said, "So was that your pregnancy oops?"  "Yes, I guess it was." 

On Tuesday, I backed through our garage door.  Seriously.  It sounds a bit worse than it was, because I only backed through part of it and I didn't tear the whole thing up or damage the car terribly.  I was so mad at myself, I boo hooed like a baby.  Did I mention that we just replaced our garage door complete with new opener not three months ago?  Our garage door had seen better days, rusting out, some of the trim was hanging off (we won't mention how it got torn) and the opener sounded like it could launch a shuttle.  So we upgraded the 1975 garage door with a new 2010 verision that has all the bells and whistles.  For one, it has the safety laser at the bottom.  Nice.  There are some other lovely features that I won't go into.  Regardless, I backed into it. 

My DH was just exactly that.  I called him, crying.  He said all the right things, took part of the blame, asked if he should come home and when I said no, came home anyway.  He used his man strength to get the door out of the way so I could actually get my SUV out of the garage, never to be entered again.  Or at least until this baby is born and I am not crazy lady. 

I DID NOT take a picture of failure as a driver.  I decided my memory was the perfect location for that image. 

The lower panel and the weather stripping was replaced today!  Thank you to the workmen who have been to my house multiple times to install the same door.  I truly will try and not damage this one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tomatoes Will Be Here Soon

The garden is coming along.  Lots of growth with all of this rain and really hot weather, I think the tomatoes like it at least.  Can't wait for the kids to be able to pick some veggies!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Camp Austin This Year

We have been known, in past years, to do this thing called "Camp Austin".  We no longer live in Austin and it isn't really camp, because it involves our nieces and nephews.  Here is the story behind Camp Austin:

Before we had kids, once upon a time, we went on a mini vacation with Jeff's sister and her family to Gulf Shores.  We had a great time playing with our three nephews in the sand and the surf.  We thought it was great because we were there with them for meals, downtime, play time, all of it.  On the plane ride back to Texas, I don't know which one of us came up with it, but basically we were worried that by living all the way in Texas we wouldn't have a relationship with our nieces and nephews.  Six of our nephews lived in Missouri and we had two nieces and a nephew in Pennsylvania.  How would we get to know these kids when they were so far away?

On the ride home, we schemed that somehow we needed to convince their parents to allow us to take their lovely children for a week in Austin, at our house.  It was actually very easy to convince them.  My sister came and helped out, we had them for five nights and we even employed a few of our Texas friends to help out a bit.  Jeff flew to PA to pick up the girls, their baby brother had just been born.  My sister and I drove to Missouri and picked up five boys under the age of nine, good times.  It was great, all of the kiddos got along and we ended up doing it again twice once we had moved to Missouri.  Last year, we opted out and instead spent some quality time with both sides of our family, parents included.  This year, we again opted out because I am prego and Camp Austin would have seriously exhausted me.

However, we did invite six of our nieces and nephews to our house for the weekend.  This proved plenty for the pregnant lady.  We hope to do a true Camp Austin again, at least one more before our oldest niece is out of high school and hopefully more for the younger kiddos.  But this year, we relaxed.  Here are some pics of our funny, bright, high energy and completely loveable group.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day and When A Three Year Cleans Up Her Own Mess

Father's Day was kind of confusing this year.  I kept calling it "Daddy's Day" and Mia thought that meant that she was going up to school to play with Daddy, because they have a day in the Spring when Dad's are invited to some structured activities at school.  She was very disappointed.  She really wanted a craft. 

Jac thought it was his birthday, which is coming up in July.  So there was a pretend cake and an exuberant singing of "Happy Father's Day" sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday". 

I need to show you the shot of Mia's clean up attempt.  Evidently she didn't make it to the toilet in time.....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's A Girl

At least that is what the ultrasound tech thinks!  Yay for baby girls!  Everybody is happy that it is a girl, no disappointment from Jac or Mia.  Although everytime someone asked which they would prefer they would switch up their answers, so I am not very sure they had an opinion. 

Everything is good with baby, she is growing right on track (so is the her mama).  All of the organs, limbs, facial features, etc are where they are supposed to be and appear to be functioning properly.  I have really started to feel her kick a lot, which takes a lot of stress off a pregnancy I think.  If you can feel that baby moving inside, you pretty much know all is well. 

I experienced my first 3D ultrasound.  It wasn't that great, I have to admit.  Pretty much looks like the pictures you see of 3D ultrasound, sort of tan with a funky baby in there.  Not too different from the standard ultrasound which is black and white with a funky baby in there.  But it was cool to at lease see it.  You definitely couldn't take a mug shot with that think, no way you would be able to pick your baby out of a lineup from a picture on there. 

Here's to all the pregnant mommies out there, may your babies be healthy! 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sunscreen - The Latest Evil

I am tired of being duped. 

I am tired of relying on government agencies to actually do a job that they are seemingly either not motivated to perform or simply unable to perform.  They are the emergency exit row people, seriously FDA, if you are not willing to open to the emergency door for Americans than get out of that seat!  How many times will the FDA and the EPA fail us before we say, enough is enough!  Is it that they are corrupt?  This is what I believe.  I believe that Big Oil, Big Dairy, Big Agra, Big Anything have Big Pockets.  Bigger pockets than you or the dairy farmer down the road, or the farmer's market.  And with those big pockets, from my point of view, they are making some government workers very rich.  The are consolidated, aggregated, and evidently heartless.  Money is more important than your future or the future of their own children.  The latest offender?  Consumer Packaged Goods manufacturers who make sunscreen. 

Check out this link and look up your sunscreen that you just spent $10-$20 on for the summer.  We all knew that the SPF claims that they make are bogus (so why are they allowed to make them?)  But what you didn't know was that some of the chemicals and ingredients they put in them are unsafe, cancer causing and hormone disrupting.  Seriously, I am pregnant, I don't need anymore hormone disruptions.  Also, the powders and sprays, seriously damaging if you inhale them.  I think that if a product is "convenient" and it goes in, on or around your body you have to ask, what is the trade off? 

So check it out.  The Environmental Working Group has ACTUALLY tested hundreds of products for a couple of chemicals and how good they are at protecting against UVA and UVB rays.  I am not sure what their source of income is, they have a 'donate $5' section to help offset costs, why don't our tax dollars pay for testing of these products?  The one I use currently on the kiddos, is Banana Boat Free and Clear Baby, it is on the low end of the scale of toxicity, yay me, but knowing that there are better products out there make me want to go find them.  Also, the Neutragena Liquid Face Sunscreen is crazy bad for me - that was $12 for 2 oz.  Enough to really irritate a person.  So I am going on a sunscreen hunt today, I will update you on what I find and where I find it.  Here is the list of "good" sunscreens.

So if the FDA won't protect us, let's tell as many people as possible.  Sounds like the Enviornmental Working Group is my new best friend. They have an email that they send out on various subjects (food safety, environmental concerns, other products).  I signed up.  Hopefully I don't get bombarded hourly, although at this rate, that is what I would expect. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Marriage is All About Compromise


I have always said that the one thing about marriage that drives me crazy is the compromise.  That is the six year old in me coming out.  But truly, sometimes in life you just want what you want and you don't want anyone elses opinion; good, bad or otherwise.  In the ten years of marriage that Jeff and I have (what's the right word here?  lived through - no, blissfully skipped through - no, muddled through - perhaps, enjoyed - ahh there we go) enjoyed; we have really done a lot of growing up.  I think that goes with the territory.  We had five years with no children to learn a lot about each other and to mess up significantly without any serious fallout.  Compromises?  Oh, we have had our fair share of compromises. 

One of my favorites (or at least to tell) started with the wedding registry.  I had dreams of floating through the store with my lazer gun, zapping all of the wonderful household items that would truly make our humble Florida apartment a home.  Not to be.  HE had an opinion.  Are you kidding me?  I mean, yes we had been dating (and actually living together) for a couple of years so you think I would have been prepared for this.  But oh no, when he challenged me on my 'everyday' tableware I am sure that my eyes bugged out of my head.  I wanted to say, 'You are male, you don't get an opinion about the dishes!'  He decided that he liked an 80s inspired stoneware set that was truly awful.  I grew up in the 80s and it was still too close for comfort for a comeback to feel cool.  It just felt tired.  But then I was inspired. By this beautiful china pattern. 

A lot of my friends didn't register for china.  I wanted china.  I wanted to have it for Thankgiving dinner, for Valentines Day, for our Anniversary.  I wanted to have it for years and years and years.  Much longer than that stoneware could possibly last, especially if we ever got some nice granite countertops that it could be bumped into and dropped onto on occasion.  So I made a deal, a compromise.  He got the awful stoneware and I got my beautiful china.  Perfect.  In fact, who really kept their stoneware around longer than a few years, I could chuck that at the first opportunity.  Llittle did I know it might as well be called concreteware - the stuff seriously doesn't break!    And believe me, I have tried.  Regardless, at some point I will be able to replace it and I will still have my china.

This is the type of compromise that makes a marriage.  Both parties have said their peace, no one is willing to budge, yet somehow we are able to come to an agreement that we are both happy with.  It takes time, and loads of energy and patience; but in the end we are both happy and closer for the compromise that happened.

Unfortunately there are sticking points in every marriage that don't result in compromise.  They become a battle.  Most big disagreements, money, kids, home buying, we make a point to work through it.  There are those little, seemingly insignificant issues that just won't go away.  Like the fan.  We have an oscillating fan in our bedroom.  Our house is pretty old, in the standard US definiation of old, probably my age; 35ish years.  I guess the builder back in the 70s didn't believe in overhead lighting, because none of the bedrooms are wired for overhead lights or fans.  We haven't taken the time or the budget to have someone come in and rewire for lights and fans, so we have a little fan that sits on a plantstand that runs while we sleep.  We have always slept with a fan, in the past it has been an overhead fan which really causes no complaints for either of us.  We like it. 

The problem with this little oscillating fan, did I mention it oscillates?  Well, to put a fine point on it, Jeff likes the oscillation and I hate it.  I guess he likes the creaking noises it makes, or the way it blows the blinds and makes them rattle every three seconds or the way it runs its little wind across your faces like a spider every three seconds!  I can't stand it.  I like the fan more for the noise than the cooling affect, the white noise, not the creaks and groans of a fan going back and forth and disturbing every little rustling object in the room EVERY THREE SECONDS!  So at night when I go to bed, which is probably six nights out of seven before Jeff; I stop the fan from oscillating.  Because, at some point, maybe it is after I am asleep; maybe it is in the morning after his shower that silly fan has been turn back to oscillating.  Really.  It is like I have a little elf who likes to mess with my mind and turn this fan from a still lovely beautiful thing, to a creature of torture who wakes me up in the middle of the night and torments me with tiny footstep like noises!  Enough with the fan! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ahhh Summer!


Please ignore the snowmen plates that they are eating off of - it is all about the corn on the cob!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blog Love - Raw Foods And Beyond Organic

I just stumbled upon this blog "Food Renegade" while doing research about agave nectar.  This is where I would love to be in say, ten years.  She talks about the benefits in raw milk, free range eggs, grass fed and finished meat, organic fruit and veggies as well as tons of other healthier foods.

I love her newbie page and the strategy she lays out (kaizen) to slowly move yourself into eating better food.  Kristen Michaelis is a mom, who lives in Georgetown, Texas (very near and dear to my heart so close to Austin).  She has a wonderful voice, that doesn't berate or make you feel bad about your choices, but she educates and shows how simple food should really be.  Please check out her blog!

I think this is a must and something to work toward.  Changing the way we eat is difficult, food is the most basic part of our lives and the most important.  When you decide to make a change it can challenge your digestion, taste buds, your marriage!, your pocket book and can really upset those little urchins we love so much.  But if we hold fast to a change that we make and know that we are making our family healthier but do it in tiny little steps, it can be done. 

Some of the changes I have made over the last year:
  • I buy white whole wheat flour to bake with.  It changes the texture of foods just slightly.  I have been doing this for awhile and even yesterday at the grocery store was tempted to buy the "all purpose" stuff.  But I didn't!  I held fast.  So it takes awhile to get used to the new taste.  I am sure that there is a better product that is healthier, but this is my baby step.
  • This is the second season of buying grass fed beef (although admittedly it is not grass finished).  I do know that we should move to the grass fed and finished beef, but all in good time.  By the way, this is easy!  You do have to research a farmer, but ask around and you would be surprised at how many people "know someone".  You need a freezer (or a really great mother-in-law whole will give up part of hers) to keep all the beef in when you get it because buying in bulk brings the price down dramatically.  I buy a quarter of a cow and it lasts about nine months with a family of four (really should say three, because of Jac and Mia I generally fix one portion and split between the two) and eating beef one to two times per week.
  • I have been buying the organic fruit and veggies that my grocer stocks.  I don't have the budget to go to Whole Foods and buy all organic.  But I do try and support my grocer with my purchase.  Vote with your dollars and the choices will broaden. 
  • I have devoted a portion of my yard to growing veggies.  This is more experimental than anything.  I hope to learn more and more every year and be able to grow more of my own food, at least in the summer.  Here is a post about my garden.
  • I dipped my toe into canning last year.  Craziness.  It is so easy!  It is definitely a two person job, though, especially if you have a couple of little ones running around under foot.  But I am definitely going to make more jelly this year and hopefully broaden that into some other tasty things that come out of my garden (pickles and salsa are on my radar).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Open for Business

We got the pool opened last week and by Monday had water that didn't smell, eewww.  We all enjoyed getting in, although it is a bit chilly.  Jac and Mia would get in everyday if I let them and they are doing really well with vests on.  Haven't conquered our fears of getting faces wet, but I am sure that will come.

Piggy back rides were given.

We hang around the steps a lot.

And Trucker was even coaxed in a time or two!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Training League


With all the rain this season we have only had one of Jac's baseball games.  So much fun in training league.  Everyone gets to bat and there are no outs - gotta love that.  I think I might even have fun in that kind of baseball.  Jac has a smile on his face the whole time.