Thursday, July 29, 2010

I have learned that noises truly annoy me.  Not the little noises that go bump in the night ... not even the noises of my kids fighting with each other, or one of them crying.  The noises that annoy me are the white noises - the ones that are a constant background.  Even music, after awhile, becomes white noise that annoys me.  I've learned this more and more about myself recently and I have discovered just how much I love the quiet.  The problem?  My husband is just the opposite.  When he gets home from work the first thing he does (after he kisses me hello!) is to go and turn the radio on.  He LOVES music .. and noise doesn't really bother him all that much.  I'm one of those people who want the radio off in the car if we've been on the road for a long time and it's been going the entire time.  Thankfully, though, I am not the control freak who turns it off and tells my husband to deal with it!  He is respectful of me as well, so often when I'm feeling like the white noise is too much, we will just turn the volume down a bit and we both win.

So I'm wondering - am I truly a rarity in this situation or are there more people out there like me who don't appreciate white noise?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

While it can be said that both Monte and I have gone camping in the past, and the boys (Iain and Ellis) have technically been camping (meaning they spent the night in a tent), our family as a whole had never been camping together - so that is what we did this past weekend!  We packed our Suburban to the brim and woke up early enough to have our family out on the road by 7:00am.  Destination: Itasca State Park.  We made a few stops on the way, including one at my sister's house to pick up the things her family was loaning us for our camping trip (as they tend to camp quite frequently).  When we got there, I knocked on their back door and let myself in.  I was greeted by my brother-in-law, Martin, and my niece, Khloe, who ran up and gave me a huge hug the moment she saw me!  It was all too sweet! :)  So, Khloe in my arms, we headed outside to get the screen tent, grill basket, air pump and air mattress that we were borrowing from them (let's face it - while the thought of camping was great, the thought of sleeping on the ground when I am almost six months pregnant was NOT great!).  We packed the stuff, said our goodbyes and were off yet again.  We arrived at Itasca a little after 11:00am, stood in line at camping registration for about 15 minutes and were put on a waiting list and told to come back in an hour to see if they had a spot for us.  So we drove to the picnic site, took out our cooler and made sandwiches for the crew to pass the time.  Thankfully, when we drove back to check, they had a spot available for us.  Thus began our weekend camping adventure!

We set up the tent .. and the boys played in the boxes that the tent came in!

The boys played catch with the baseball .. and water bottles .. to keep themselves busy.

We then hiked down to the fishing dock where the boys enjoyed some time together.

We then set up the screen tent (the one we borrowed from Tanya and Martin), which we later found we were SO grateful for, as it rained quite a bit that afternoon into the next day, so it was a good place to hang out and play cards while we waited for the weather to pass!

We took a hike in the pouring rain to the headwaters of the Mississippi River.  Iain and Ellis enjoyed playing in the water while the rest of us huddled under a nearby tree!

Though it must be said that Iain and Ellis were quick to join us when we pulled out the snacks!

The next day we did a lot more hiking around the park, including this stop at Peace Pipe Vista.

We stopped and saw the largest White Pine Tree .. though I don't know if it was world's largest or America's largest or ... ?!

We also went to the fire tower, though once we got there I was the only one brave enough to climb to the top ... everybody else waited for me on the ground!

See the little red dot in the middle of the picture?  That's Claire waiting for me at ground level.  The white dot to her left is Ellis sitting on the bench!

Ellis enjoyed the breeze of having the windows open while touring through the park (as there were some sites that were more than 10 miles from our campsite, so we decided it would be best to truck to those ones!).

The rest of the time was spent cooking food over the fire, playing catch with the neighboring campers, playing cards, eating, and just hanging out by the fire ...

... and with Colin telling us it was time to stop taking his picture!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today is a very special day, because today we celebrate this man:

This very handsome man who has stolen my heart and will forever keep it as his treasure.  The father of our children, the lover of my heart, my very best friend.  Today we celebrate you, my husband, and the fact that it is indeed your birthday.  I love you baby!  I hope you're enjoying our camping trip and are in complete bliss as today is all about YOU!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Have you ever felt like your blog or even just your computer sometimes takes time away from your regular life?  Or to put it even more bluntly, have you felt like it takes time away from your family?  I'm starting to feel that way as of late, and when my husband expressed that he felt that his own time on the computer was taking away from time with our kids, we decided that we were going to do something about it!  I have already began my first step of spending drastically less time on the computer (which, unfortunately, also means that I'm frequenting your blogs a little less often) and the next step comes tonight.  You see, tonight starts our (Monte's and my) one-week computer fast.  For a solid week, we are not going to use the computer for anything (with the exception of accessing some recipes that we will be making for dinner that are saved online).  There will be no playing around on facebook, no writing blogs, no checking emails or anything of the like.  Instead, my time will be spent playing more with the kids, spending more time in the Word and in quiet time with God, staying on top of cleaning the house and spending less time with my phone attached to my hip!

So, blogging buddies, if you don't hear much in response from me in the next week, you now know why.  However, let it be known that I do have a couple of blog posts that I have scheduled to post later on this week, so you will still hear from me, but in a pre-planned manner!  My prayer is that this week will be productive and will lead to a more pro-active way of running our household with far less reliance on our computer!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I will admit that, while we don't necessarily need one yet, I have been perusing through Craigslist searching the ads for cribs for sale (preferring those that also include a matching dresser!).  While I have thoroughly enjoyed going through these different ads, I find myself frustrated by the time I walk away from the computer.  Why?  Well, the ones that I want to check out are usually $600+ ... and there is no way on God's green earth that I will be spending that kind of money on furniture for the baby's room!  The other thing that annoys me is when someone has their crib listed, and they show a picture of it completely taken apart and stacked against a wall, or they show a picture of just one side of it leaning against a wall.  C'mon people!  My thought is that, as a consumer, I would like to be able to see a full picture of what I may potentially be purchasing.  It's those ads that make me click the back button in a hurry, because I'm very unlikely to inquire about something that clearly shows that very little effort was put into placing the ad.  Is that mean of me?  I don't know!  I just feel like I've reached a point of frustration with the different Craigslist ads, and while I am certain I will continue to peruse through them, I do know that I will do so with a much different mindset.  You see, we have yet to even paint Claire's new bedroom.  We aren't planning on moving her into her bedroom until right before school starts.  That being said, her current bedroom is the one that will end up being our baby's nursery, so I can't begin to think about purchasing right now anyway (unless I happen to come across a REALLY good deal!), because it would just have to be stored until the move happens.

Agh.  The crazy that comes with planning for a baby!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We are officially 21 weeks pregnant, and my bump is officially growing!  Here are a couple of pictures taken this morning of our little guy growing inside of me.  

I do have to say that I think it's funny that my belly looks bigger in the second photo.  The only change is that I adjusted my shirt so it wasn't pulling down on me.  Silly silly.

Lately I have been feeling more and more of the 'case of the tireds'.  Afternoon naps are welcomed and being out-and-about exhausts me.  I also am realizing that I am no longer comfortable just sitting on the floor or laying on the beach (*sniff, sniff*) .. I have to be supported by a chair or my back is extremely uncomfortable.  However, on the upside, I still am feeling really great!  I'm getting more housework done than usual (maybe because I've made the kids play outside so I can get it done?!) and am enjoying whatever form of chocolate comes my way! :)

Thus far, 21 weeks is proving to be great!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Today I am feeling accomplished.  You see, in the last two days I have managed to complete five loads of laundry.  For those of you who don't have this task to do on a regular basis, that truly is quite a feat!  On top of that, I finally got my garden weeded this morning.  When we left for Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago the weeds were just growing in.  When we arrived home three days later, they were taller than the plants.  Suffice it to say that I hadn't found the time and/or the ambition to get out there and weed it until today.  I was out there almost three hours, all three of my older kids were out there talking with me (and Colin was drawing in the house) and the daunting task was completed!  On top of all of that, I managed to go through my clothes in my closet and my dresser last night and remove the things that just aren't going to fit me and replace them with freshly washed maternity clothes!  The great thing is that Claire was able to borrow some of my shirts and tops (as we are almost the same size) for this coming school year, since I won't be able to wear them.  We save money in a lot of ways by doing this, as she doesn't need quite as many school clothes, and the maternity clothes I replaced those clothes with are almost all donated from my sister-in-law or other friends.

Yes, today I am feeling very accomplished and life is good!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If you were to ask me how my opinion of Twitter has changed over time, the story would go something like this. When I first got a Twitter account, it was because a couple of my friends had one and I thought, "hey, cool, something new to try out".  To be honest, I didn't really "get" it.  It took a long time to get used to, and possibly because I have always used it through the computer and rarely through my cell phone (I don't appreciate getting all of those random text messages!), so it felt like a more difficult and MUCH less wordy way of communicating.  Instead of saying what I wanted to, I was scrunching down my thoughts into itty bitty little sentences that might fit into the character count.

It took a few months, but slowly I began to love Twitter.  I was enjoying getting the little updates from my friends and spent a lot of time in front of the computer communicating with them.  The thing I realized more than anything, though, is that I was spending more time in front of the computer than I was spending anywhere else.  It became addicting and thrilling all at once to be able to send quick little messages to my friends.

At that point, I decided I needed a Twitter break ... and I took one.  The problem?  I never went back.  I realized that I don't really enjoy using Twitter all that much - it's no more convenient than Facebook or my regular old email.  So, alas, I have come to the decision that I will be deleting my Twitter account (once I figure out how to do that).  Gone will be the little messages from people, hopefully to be replaced with emails and phone calls .. you know, the kind of things that I do make time for in my life!

Goodbye Twitter ... you will not be missed!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Today, my husband and I got a rare treat in the fact that we were able to run the many errands we had on our schedule together.  Claire stayed home and watched the boys, so Monte and I headed out mid-morning and ventured out to Costco, then to our apartment complex to fill the soda machine and collect rents, then to my appointment with my OBGYN, then to the bank and finally back home.

On the drive home, Monte and I were discussing possible names for our baby and the ones he was coming up with were just driving me crazy!  I'm uncertain if it was just my husband trying to push my buttons (which he does quite frequently!) or if we really are that far off on our opinions, but part of me thinks that my husband is under the impression that we're birthing an 80-year-old baby, because he kept suggesting names such as Roy, Jeff, Renaldo, Melvin or Albert.  After taking it all in for awhile, my response to his suggestions could no longer be held in as I looked him in the face and loudly asked, "WHY don't you like our baby?!"

I think he won ... in the button pushing war, anyway.

And, just in case you didn't pick up the subtle hint in here, my hubby was suggesting names for our baby BOY that we will be welcoming home in November!  We couldn't be more thrilled to add yet another boy to our clan, and I think Claire is secretly happy that she's still going to be the only girl.  Colin wasn't happy with me at all, though, as he told me that he wants a boy AND a girl.  I explained to him that I have just one baby in my tummy and I'm going to be bringing home a baby brother when he's ready to be born.  Colin's response: "That's okay, you can have a sister for me at the next baby!"


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just when you thought I was back on a good run of blogging .. I go and disappear on you yet again.  I'm sorry!  Did I forget to mention that we were headed up north for a family reunion, then immediately headed to Wisconsin for a few days of relaxation at our friend's cabin?!  If I forgot to tell you, then I am really sorry!  We are home now, just getting back into the swing of the busy life and getting ready to see some of our family for the 4th.  We celebrated Ellis's 9th birthday yesterday (June 30) and had a baseball and soccer game to head to shortly after we arrived back home.  We have been SO busy, but I'm not complaining!

We go in for our ultrasound tomorrow and should know whether we are having a boy or a girl!  I am so blessed that this appointment came when it did, as Monte has the day off tomorrow, so he will be able to attend this one with me.  I don't know what it will be like to have him there, as it is usually Colin who comes with to these, but I'm excited to have my hubby there!  I don't really feel like I've missed out on much not having him come to any of the previous appointments, just feeling excited that the news of boy or girl is going to be delivered to both of us at the same time.  My appointment isn't until mid-afternoon, and I won't announce it until we've told our families, but I do promise that I will get the announcement up as soon as I can!

On top of all of that excitement, I got to meet my bloggy friend, Pennie, in real life today, along with her friend (who I will now claim as my friend, too!) Shelly.  We met for lunch and it was such a wonderful time .. thank you ladies for the great company - I can't wait to make it happen again soon!

And with that, I'm out!