Thursday, April 30, 2009

30 months old

Emily is officially 2 1/2 years old and is as spunky as ever! She has become a recitation machine. She's always quoting lines from whatever book/song/video pops into her head. Whenever she disagrees or says no to something she says, "No, we're not!" or "Don't like that!" She definitely has "Please" down, but we're still working on "Thank you."

All four of Emily's 2-year molars are now popping through. I think they bother her a little bit because I catch her with her fingers in her mouth a lot lately, but nothing like earlier teeth.

Emily has pretty much mastered drinking out of a cup/glass without any kind of lid. I still use a bib as a precautionary measure because she dribbles a bit once in awhile. We've instilled the idea of "putting your drink up high" meaning placing her glass down at the top of her placemat in a less vulnerable position for accidental spills. She usually shoves it to the very corner edge. :o)

We are still working on a slight phobia with short-sleeves. After wearing long-sleeves all winter and refusing to ever roll them up except for occasionally when washing her hands, Emily is still getting used to the idea of not having full coverage on her arms. When I put a short-sleeve shirt on her she usually immediately asks for a "sweater" (i.e. anything with long-sleeves) to wear over it. She was okay on a couple of the hottest days, though.

In a related fashion matter, Emily is currently obsessed with putting on coats and changing pajamas. She pulls her various jackets/coats off the hangers in the front coat closet and models them throughout the day. She has also figured out how to climb up on her step stool to reach the pajamas in her top dresser drawer. Until I started storing the step stool in the locked closet she would be wearing a different top/bottom pj combo when I went to check on her before going to bed than what I dressed her in after her bath.

The April Winkflash pictures are uploaded and the updated video player is posted below.

2009 Goals Progress Report

My April progress report brings a lot of changes. Because of the plans now in the works for selling/building, etc. some of the goals have become irrelevant or nearly impossible. But here goes...

1. Potty-training: With all the probable changes that will be occurring in the next couple months it would be insane to even attempt to do any hardcore potty-training. However, Emily has successfully gone on the big potty for my neighbor a couple times while staying at her house. But not for me. Go figure!

2. Moving Emily's room by Easter: Check! :o)

3. Deep-cleaning one room: This goal has exploded into every room. I'm very grateful for what we have already accomplished this year. Every day I find something new that should really be cleaned. :op

4. Cutting grocery budget by 25%: I did better again this month. I think I was about $7 over my goal, but that included some meat stock-up (chicken, ham, ground beef) at the end of the month in preparation for easy meals after the baby comes.

5. Praying nightly over Emily: still doing it

6. Catching up on photo albums: For all my grand plans outlined last month, I haven't done anything. The house & baby prep has completely taken over on a much higher priority level. Someday!! ;o)

I'm sure as the next couple months come and go new goals will emerge. :o)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Heart Sonic

The brand new Sonic Drive-in just opened in Waterloo last week. My mouth always waters when watching their commercials, and I have always wished there was one nearby. I had a BOGO burger coupon from the paper, and we took a family trip to Home Depot after church today, so it was a perfect opportunity to try it out. It was so busy there weren't any drive-in spots open, so I ended up going through the drive-thru, but it was worth it. The cherry slush was everything I dreamed it to be. Emily really enjoyed her corn dog, too. :o) Although we rarely get fast food, Sonic will pose a major temptation every time I'm in Waterloo--especially with the crazy uncertainty of what life will look like in the coming months!

Working weekend

As mentioned earlier, Austin & I have decided to put our house up for sale. We haven't officially listed with a realtor yet, so if you know anyone who would be interested in looking before then we are highly open to negotiations! (I have a spec sheet and am working on a picture page.)

In the meantime, we have been using every spare moment to work on house projects to get ready to sell. Last weekend Austin officially eradicated the shag carpet that completely covered/surrounded the basement stairwell. Goodbye and good riddance! It has now been painted white, as well as some of the dark paneling and the cement block wall in the back room.

Austin's parents came up to visit for the day on Saturday. Even though they have also been busy with small house projects for the last month or two and just listed their house for sale last week, they graciously helped us out a bit, too. Austin's mom helped repaint the bathroom while Austin's dad moved furniture & plants for me and entertained Emily all afternoon--including a wagon ride in the rain! :o)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Surprise baby shower

The wonderful moms in my Thursday morning play group threw a surprise baby shower for me this week. It was complete with decorations, gifts, a fancy frosted cake and pizza for everyone. I am so blessed to have a great support group of friends! (Someday I'll remember and manage to get a picture of the whole gang!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Singing shopper

What better way to bring smiles to everyone you meet than unabashedly belting out somewhat mangled, random lines from VeggieTales songs and dialogues along with the occasional, "Merry Christmas!" stemming from a current obsession with VeggieTales' The Toy That Saved Christmas while rolling through the aisles of Super Wal-Mart. That's Emily! :o)


I have been doing major nesting over the last few days. The crib is back up. Clothes collected from various sources have been sorted and folded or hung up. All the neutral blankets, burp clothes and towels are washed and folded in the dresser drawers. I have restocked other baby care items such as lotion, medicines, etc. I have a big box of diapers. All that's really left to do is pack a hospital bag and put the infant car seat in the van. Materially, I am ready for the baby to come any time. Psychologically and time frame-wise I am not. The time may come sooner rather than later, though. The baby definitely dropped this past week (why on earth they call it "lightening" I will never know because the added pressure down low feels anything but light!), and I can feel my hips getting ready to push the little guy out. Sometimes I almost feel like I have to hold my belly up to keep the baby in! The doctor will "check" me at my next OB appointment on Monday (37 weeks), although it really means nothing at that point unless I'm already in labor. Anxiety levels are starting to run high (even without everything else going on).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Certifiably Crazy

I've been holding off on this post for awhile until a few of the big unknowns became a little clearer, but I think it's time to officially announce that Austin & I are certifiably crazy! I know, I know--what kind of a DUH statement is that?!? ;o) This time it's really true. We won't make a 100% for-sure decision until after the baby comes, but we feel that we are entering a unique window of opportunity and will probably be putting our house on the market with a target date of Memorial Day. This decision alone has already resulted in numerous sleepless hours for me lying in bed staging and re-staging our whole house. We've watched enough HGTV and TLC programming in the last 5 years to know what it takes to sell a house for top dollar. Those of you who know me well won't be surprised at all to learn that I already have a spreadsheet with a room-by-room list of small projects and staging tasks complete with cost estimates if applicable. :o)

So where would we go? Austin & I have always dreamed of building a house some day. Right now we have a great lead on a prime lot location in Denver. We also have a possible floor plan picked out. We're currently leaning towards going with a panalized home that comes put together in pieces vs. stick-built, but we haven't made any final decisions. Talk about more sleepless hours!

Of course, all this means that we are almost certainly going to be looking at some kind of interim housing arrangement for late summer/fall. Oh yeah, and we're going to have a new baby in a few weeks, too.

So we are definitely crazy. If you would like to help us through the madness we would certainly appreciate your prayers. If you have a burning itch to repaint a room or two or five we wouldn't turn that down either. ;o) If you know of anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone (etc.) who would be at all interested in moving to a great family-friendly neighborhood in a nice small town, please let us know!

P.S. Does anyone want a dog? Seriously. I'm not kidding.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fashion Statement

This is Emily's latest fashion statement. Any time she finds a headband she'll put it in this way and will wear it for up to 15 minutes. The headband looks pretty cute if you put it in the correct way, but it never stays longer than 5 seconds. I attempted to trim her bangs again in the bathtub tonight. We'll see how they dry and look in the morning. At least I didn't cut my skin open this time! Her hair in general is pretty out of control, and I'm considering trying to trim it back to shoulder-length. Right now about the only option is to put it into a ponytail--an exercise I equate to goat tying. Plus she has started taking her ponies out again because she likes to wear the band around her wrist like a bracelet even though it's pretty tight and sort of cuts off the circulation. I'm not a "hair person," so my attempts at doing something with her hair are pretty sad, and it's usually a battle I don't choose to fight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

35 weeks pregnant

This is my 35 weeks picture. I'm definitely getting closer, although I'm not even remotely ready for the baby to come, yet. The carpets got cleaned last week while we were gone, but the crib is still in pieces in the basement. I did get a tub of clothes from Austin's sister, Brandi, and a few things at the consignment shop, but nothing is organized, so I really don't know where I'm at with that. I'm still feeling really good for being big and this far along. The baby still moves like crazy and makes me laugh when my belly ripples, but I haven't had any Braxton-Hicks like I did with Emily and this baby hasn't had the hiccups, which Emily did all the time. I'm also not really swollen like I was Emily, which is nice! I'm starting to run out of clothes to wear, though, and getting sick of the ones that are left. It will come soon enough!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We spent a very quiet Easter at home as a family. I was still recovering from our trip, and I think Emily was too. Here's a picture of Emily in her "Easter dress" while eating jelly beans after church. It was enough of a battle trying to get the still-too-big white dress shoes on that I barely even made an attempt on her hair. :o)

Farewell Tour of NW Iowa

Emily & I went on a "farewell tour" of NW Iowa last week before the baby comes. Emily was the best traveler she has ever been thanks to 1 1/2 hour naps and the DVD player. We saw lots of family and friends, including a visit from a good high school friend, Amanda Haverhals, and her 18-month-old son, Ben. This is a picture of Aunt Courtney reading to Emily & Ben.

Emily also got some fun Easter baskets with eggs. Less than an hour after we arrived she had found the one Grandma Boote had hidden in her room for later and was discovered gleefully tossing the shredded yellow Easter grass in the air, distributing it all over the carpet. Is anyone surprised?!?

I also got the chance to do some super shopping at a kids consignment shop and tour the new house another friend recently built.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Finished room

Emily's new room is basically complete. I have a pink & white CD player on order from Wal-mart yet that should arrive in the next week. Below are additional pictures and a video tour. You can click on the pictures to zoom in.

The "Arranger"

Sometimes I have to remind myself that Emily goes through fun stages/phases, too! The last month or two she has really been into arranging objects. Here are some examples: