Monday, September 29, 2008

Doctor Adventures

I'm officially past the 30-weeks pregnant milestone--31 weeks yesterday! So I'm down to going to the doctor every 2 weeks now. I had an appointment back on Thursday and everything is great so far. What was the most interesting for me, was right as I started thinking life was about back to normal around here, most stoplights finally back with power, and stores finally getting stocked back up with parishables, etc, I show up at the doctor's office for my checkup and they still didn't have power! They were running on generators, so there were a bare minimum of electricity running--computers of course, a lamp in the waiting room, a couple fans to keep air moving, and that was about it. Have you ever been to the doctor in the dark before? Ok, it wasn't completely dark because there was natural light coming in the frosted windows of the exam rooms, but not your typical standard lit doctor's office. I was very surprised because their office building is right across the street from the hospital, so I assumed that everything would be back over in that area. From what I hear, theirs is the only building that was still without power, though.

I'd been taking for granted the power we had at home. 5 days was long enough for me, but many of our nearest neighbors only just had it turned back on this last Friday and Saturday after a full 2 weeks! I guess there are still perks and blessings from renting because our apartments are a little nearer commercial areas than a normal residential subdivision is, so our power lines had a little more priority to be fixed sooner.

Anyway, despite the lack of power, doctor visit went great, my blood pressure is still at a decent level (my main worry because I had problems around this time when I was pregnant with Anna), and I got to hear a strong heartbeat of our little boy. That is always a very sweet thing to hear! I also get to have another ultrasound in 2 weeks to check baby's position since my main reason for a c-section last time was that Anna turned breech. So I get to see our little one again next week!

In other doctor adventures, I finally got Anna in for her 2-year checkup (only a month and a half late...) I missed all the appointment times right near her birthday because of everyone getting ready for back to school time, and then we missed our appointment a couple weeks ago because of Ike. Man, that hurricane really threw life for a loop. Anna played her part of a 2-year-old toddler very well and shrieked and screamed and cried anytime the doctor came near her. I still want to know where she learned to give the crusty she did! Made me want to laugh (bad mommy on my part) almost because she was so severe when she is usually is so social and happy. If looks could kill...
I hope she grows out of the fear/dislike of the doctor soon! We've been lucky enough to not need to visit a doctor visit since her last well-baby check at 18 months old, so it's not a practiced event yet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I've seen these things around before, but never done one. Kind of fun--thanks for the tag, Sarah!

5 fears, 5 joys, 5 obsessions/collections, 5 surprising facts about you. Tag 5 people.

5 Fears:
- cockroaches, creepy crawly things
- losing a member of my family
- driving in downtown Houston without a map or directions (I have no sense of direction!)
- living without power for extended periods of time--no desire to do that again soon!
- having 2 kids! I guess I'd better get over that one soon--I'm down to about 2 months...

5 Joys:
- Family
- the Gospel
- Music
- cool, early morning air
- reading--especially rereading some of my favorites!

5 obsessions/collections:
- books-I have way too many for the current shelf space we have
- fabric, craft supplies
- Internet surfing
- craft patterns (I have a queue a mile long of projects I want to do)
- sheet music (choral, flute, piano...)

5 Surprising Facts:
- I'm learning ASL since we serve in the deaf branch in our stake--actually getting close to maybe considering myself conversational
- I have a hard time spending money
- I'm a pickier eater than my 2-year-old (at least for now she's still pretty good, and I just can't bring myself to like green peppers, mushrooms, and olives!)
- I've lived in TX for almost a year and a half and have yet to get a TX license... oops!
- I still have some 4th of July decorations up and have some Halloween out already--really need to get better at my decor organization.

I tag: (if you guys are reading)
Carrie, Whitney, Jenni, Aubrie, and Lindsey

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Little Chef

Anna loves to help me cook. She's got the apron, mini wooden spoon, and mini rolling pin that she pulls out to help all the time. She gets to cook at the table while I'm at the "hot hot hot" stove. My little baby is growing up and always wants to be like mommy!

Pure Bliss

+ 2 minutes alone
+ an almost full scotch tape dispenser
= a very happy 2-year-old!

Lesson learned--no leaving tape out in the living room, even for 2 minutes, while I'm looking for construction paper.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alive and kickin'

And finally back with power! Who knew how much I could possibly appreciate electricity? I guess living 5 days without it really helps us appreciate it all the more, though. So we made it through our first hurricane! Hopefully our last for a very long time. What a crazy adventure. Luckily, we didn't suffer any damage personally other than having the power knocked out. But we have seen an awful lot of trees down, fences blown over, shingles all over the place, and just all around wreckage.

We went for a walk around our apartment complex on Friday evening as we were waiting for the storm to hit, and took some pictures of the sky.
It was kind of ominous-looking as we were out there and felt the mild wind pick up as the clouds were rolling in.

We stayed up through the evening, watching the news and all the updates about Galveston as Ike approached. Our power flickered in and out a few times through the evening. We started getting hit by rain and heavier wind around 11pm to midnight, but not really bad yet. I finally fell asleep around 1 in the morning, but Dan stayed up until the power went out around 2:30 am. I woke up around 6am to a pitch black apartment surrounded by heavy-duty wind and rain--that was probably the worst of the storm going over us.
The darkness really brings an appreciation, probably only slight I'm sure, to some of the darkness and storms we read about in 3rd Nephi, though, as I was listening to it all and couldn't go back to sleep for the next hour. I turned on Dan's cell phone radio and laid in bed listening to some of the storm updates for a little while til I fell asleep again.
It rained all through Saturday until about 3:30 or 4 pm when it finally let up. We took our umbrellas and went for a walk in the rain in the late morning and saw some of the damage to our apartment complex, and then also around the block to the neighboring subdivisions. The exit to our apartment complex was flooded, stranding us with our small Oldsmobile that we didn't dare drive out through the high water.
By 4 or 5 pm, we were walking through the neighboring subdivision and our kind friend from our ward let us use her cell phone that had service (score one for Verizon! Our T-Mobile took a while to get back) to call Mom and Dad in Utah, and Dan's parents in Kansas. Then after a dinner of cold spaghetti--had to try and clean out the fridge before everything went bad--we went over to some other friends' house to spend the evening with a couple families. Something about having people around really helped the dark, candlelit evening feel cozy. We all were joined with a common bond of lack of electricity and waiting. And Anna absolutely adored playing with all the kids! I don't think they appreciated her efforts in helping "play" Jenga with them, though...she knocked over their tower a few times.

Sunday morning, our home teacher lent us his cell phone (ours still weren't working) so that Dan could attempt to reach his boss and figure out what to do about his trip. Much to my relief, Bush Intercontinental Airport was closed all through Sunday anyway, so he couldn't have made it to Atlanta for his trip this week. I did NOT want to be left alone in Houston if he had been able to fly. Church for Sunday had been canceled prior to the storm hitting, so we spent the day trying to help neighbors and take stock of our own resources. Then our kind home teacher lent us his cell phone once more to keep over night and through the next day so that we could have some contact with the outside world.

I've been so impressed with the kindness and service that people are giving through everything. Members of the ward are all checking up on each other and helping everyone. I've met more neighbors in the last few days than I have in over a year of living here. Strangers are out offering food, ice, and water to others, and are cleaning up neighbor's yards and working together. I love how everyone here has this common bond that brings them all together to help restore life to normal. Even just a small gesture like a wave and smile as someone drives by shows how we all are connected as we're pulling through.

Today our power came back on around noon. Dan went back to work today, but Anna and I did some heavy duty happy shrieking, dancing, and jumping up and down. I'm so thrilled to have lights, phone, air conditioning, and everything back. And I'm feeling very lucky that it is back because there are still so many people that don't have power yet. I think the last update I heard today was out of 2.24 million customers, Centerpoint Energy had over 900,000 back in power (only 100,000 didn't lose it at all), but there are still over a million people waiting to get it back.

So now I'm catching up on almost a week's worth of laundry, vacuuming a horribly dirty carpet from all the debris we tracked in the last 5 days, and cleaning out our fridge and freezer. Luckily, we were able to salvage some of our meat from the freezer, but we did have to throw away a good portion of our refrigerator items. But it feels good to have a connection to the world again!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane Season

Don't you just love hurricane season? We're staring down the barrel of Hurricane Ike in the next couple of days. We've been anxiously watching the weather/news to see where the forecasts are, and they've gradually moved north until we are now staring down the center of the "cone of death". Looks like we're in for some big storming if this keeps up--eesh. Either this has been one hopping tropical storm season, or last year was really dull, because we've had a lot more storms to watch this summer! Dan is supposed to be flying out on Sunday for a business trip to Atlanta.... we're not quite sure how that one will play out now. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. But I must say, I miss my mountain home that protected me from major storms and tornadoes! Admittedly, ever since we moved there when I was 9, I heard about how we were living on a huge fault line for a huge earthquake, but I digress. Depending on how the storm plays out, we might take a little drive over to San Antonio and pay Uncle Mike and Aunt Dena a visit. But in the meantime, we're keeping the car's gas tank full, buying more propane for the barbecue, and making sure we're well stocked on batteries, candles, and water. Nothing like living here to help me feel the necessity of a good 72-hour kit!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Star in the Making

Well, maybe not a star, but I have a cute little girl who loves to sing on my hands. Her latest craze is watching the Little Mermaid, and I'm a little ashamed to admit how well that Anna knows that movie and all the songs already. But only a little, I guess. It is, after all, one of my favorite movies of all times. Dan put some Little Mermaid songs on his phone/MP3 player and Anna loves to hold it and listen to them. So this was our Family Night last night--playing and singing Ariel songs with Anna. :) She really surprises me with all the words that she knows. My favorite part: Anna always raises her hand up and brings it down closing it at the end of the song like Ariel does on the movie. Haha, 3 times through the song and Anna did it instinctively every time! Makes me giggle everytime too. It's not as dramatic on this video, but if you watch closely, you'll see it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And we're back again

On the couch, that is. Anna has had a cold/bug of some kind for the last couple days, and has been pretty miserable. Amidst the sniffles, coughs, and wheezes, she's been fussy and wanting to cuddle a lot. This is Anna on Friday. She loves her teddy bear and blankets--they make everything better.

She was happier by last night, so Dan and I assumed that we'd be ok to take her to church--maybe skip out on nursery and have one of us take her to class with us, though.
So we got up this morning, I got all ready for church, dressed Anna and fixed her hair pretty with curled bangs, packed the diaper bag, and we were all ready to head out the door when we finally realized that the fussiness from Anna that wasn't calming down probably meant she ought to stay home. So Dan's down at church right now, probably teaching his lesson, and Anna and I are relaxed on the couch. Well, we were, but Anna's headed down for a nap in a few minutes.

Well, so the hour I spent straightening my hair this morning wasn't completely necessary. At least I don't have the frumpy frizz going on for now! I'll have to turn on BYUTV and listen to some conference talk rebroadcasts, and maybe catch the afternoon re-airing of the Tabernacle Choir Broadcast to help me with some spiritual enlightenment today.

Sewing Weekend

After a couple trips to Joann's, Hancock Fabric, Hobby Lobby, and the local sewing machine supply store, I finished sewing the messenger diaper bag from this tutorial. I love how it turned out! But man, my fingers are really raw now. I really should invest in a thimble, or at least dig around harder to find the one that I did have at one point in time, to protect my fingers from pins and needles going through thick fabric. I think it will be easier next time to just use a plain cotton fabric for lining, but I used a waterproof vinyl to line this so I can wipe it out and use it as a diaper bag. I should also invest in better pins than my cheapo plain straight pins without the little colored balls on them. That would have been much easier. You'd think I'd have thought in one of my trips out to the craft stores to pick some up. Hindsight it 20/20, though. So here's my finished product!

Look at all the pockets! One side of the inside has 2, and the other has 3 elasticized pouches--perfect for bottles, pacifiers, diaper cream, etc.

A little difficult to see, but there are 2 velcro pockets on the front of the bag, and 1 on each side.

And last, but not least, a zippered pocket on the back.

I'm excited to use it! And the best part is when it's all said and done, it only cost about $10-11 to make--of course, not counting the presser feet I had to buy for my sewing machine because I lost my other ones (but I would have to buy those anyway if I ever want to hem or insert a zipper in anything).

Ok, now I can move on and make some baby blankets since I've gotten this one out of my system.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Or is it just my own thing? Whatever it is, I've been having lots of fun this summer sewing, crocheting, and coming up with lots of different projects to keep myself busy. I think I'm trying to soak up what time I have with energy before I get into the 3rd trimester and then have a newborn at home again.

I've been crocheting a lot lately after not picking up a hook for a few years. I have a couple big bags full of various odds and ends of yarn in all colors and sizes that I inherited from my Great-Grandmom Rice. It has been a lot of fun going through the little scraps and recognizing some of the unmistakeable colors that I remember having grown up with in washcloths and hot pads she made and sent at Christmas time. So here are a few of the things I've been making lately.

A few dishrags for the kitchen--I always am in need of more, and these are the perfect size project for the random odds and ends in my yarn bag. The orange, olive, and gold colored one on the right is yarn that I specifically remember being used for a set of hot pads that Grandmom Rice made. It will be fun for me to remember her in a small way like that when I use it.

I've also made a couple beanie caps for Anna--and I'm experimenting with different sizes so that I can make a little boy one for our new little guy when he's born. Anna was a reluctant model, so I'll have to take pictures of her wearing it another time. Color of the flowers is subject to change--I'm tempted to just make a few in various colors and then clip on different ones when I want them. Too fun to accessorize a little girl!

I've gradually gotten a little more ambitious and tried following a few actual patterns instead of just using one stitch in rows. Here's an afghan I made for Anna--she's all about the butterfies lately. (and I just realized that I've used an awful lot of pink for her--I think it's time to expand our color spectrum)

And a sweater/top that I attempted to make for Anna. It's too big on her right now, but is promising though and hopefully will fit her through the winter.

And some sewing projects I've had fun with this summer--
I found a tutorial online for adorable shoulder bag/totes that I wanted to try out. My first one is this pink one--made from (I love this!) one of Mom's old bell-bottom jumpsuits she wore in junior high! Grandmom saved several outfits of hers in with all of her fabric to use for projects and quilts, and I also inherited some of it a few years ago. So Mom, do you remember this material?

Anna is my little girly-girl and tried to carry around the new "purse" but it was much too big for her, so I made a matching Anna-sized version.

And because I thought they were so cute and I had so much fun making them, I made another one for Dan's sister Melissa for her 13th birthday this month.

So after that marathon post, that is my full crafty summer. Now I need to get started on my little baby boy blankets with the blue flannel that I picked up at Joann's Labor Day sale over the weekend before I run out of my creative energy rush!

Big Girl Bed!

We decided to finally make a transition into a "big girl bed" for Anna last month just before her 2nd birthday. I'm afraid that a change of some kind was long overdue since she's been sleeping in the same port-a-crib since she was born. I think she outgrew it by the weight limit about 5 pounds ago and was sleeping on a pretty flat foam pad/mattress. Mom and Dad were very generous and bought us a port-a-crib back before Anna was born when we were still in our little 1-bedroom apartment in Provo, and we didn't have room back then for a full size crib. So we decided to wait until we had more room to jump to a bigger bed. Then when we moved to Texas, Anna was almost a year old and we decided to just wait until we were ready for a toddler bed and save getting a regular size crib for the next baby. So another year passed, and it's been about time all summer.

After the first couple nights of unsurity at sleeping in a new bed--sans bars all the way around!--Anna fell in love with her new bed and the freedom that comes with it. We've been pretty lucky so far that she will stay in bed when we put her down, and she really loves being able to get up in the morning and come and find mommy--usually still asleep in bed. I must admit that I really love not having to wait to hear her distressed calling/crying/shouting from the crib to come and let her out. Oh, and I can't forget to add that I found the bed in excellent condition, complete with mattress, on craigslist for only $30--a nice steal! All around, a very happy purchase and transition.

And of course loving her teddy bears.