Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Break

We're back from "Spring Break", which for me meant no work (besides the child-rearing) and for Karl meant a few days of a typical man's life - going to work in the morning/coming home in the late afternoon with no homework to do. It really is luxurious.

We spent the last half of our break in Pleasanton with my aunt, uncle, cousin and cousin-in-law. The day before we left my dad test drove my ever-failing car and said he wouldn't drive it anywhere but home and around town. I fought back tears at his words, since my soul was craving a trip out of town. After coming up with a few alternatives to driving our car, my parents decided to let us use theirs. Pretty sweet. The one down side was that my mom was side-swiped a few weeks ago and the passanger door doesn't open, so that made for some interesting moments as this pregnant lady tried to maneuver her body across the front seat of a Volvo sedan. All-in-all, it was no big deal and we were so excited to actually be getting our long awaited road trip.

When we got to Pleasanton, we met my cousin at her salon and she did my bi-yearly cut and color. I always love it, that's why I wait through some pretty terrible hair months until I can get up there again. There's also something particularly special about being able to chat with your cousin about everything instead of having to make small talk with someone. Her salon is fabulous too, so I feel calm and rich when I'm there - not things I usually feel. Ha ha! Soren and Karl walked around P-town and played at a park while I was there, having some much needed papa and son time.

The next morning we went to the Oakland Zoo. It was the first time Soren had been to a real zoo (Charles Paddock Zoo does not count) and although he was pretty stoic for most of it, he is still talking about the animals we saw there - including how many of them there were. This kid amazes me sometimes.

We had planned to head into the city after grabbing some lunch, but Soren and I were two tired puppies after the zoo. The rest of the day was spent relaxing by the pool, buying my much-obsessed-over Citizens jeans and eating out at P.F. Chang's China Bistro with my cousins while my aunt stayed home with Soren. A pretty wonderful day if you ask me! I don't remember the last time we had a "double date" with another couple. It was amazing!

The next day we headed back home after going out to lunch with the whole fam. It was a nice way to finish our weekend with them, despite Soren being wild from being kept up 2 hours past his nap time. We figured it was all worth it since he would for sure sleep for most of the car ride home - priceless. Well, he did in fact fall asleep as soon as we hit the road, but he woke 10 minutes later when we realized we both had to use the bathroom and we stopped at a gas station. He didn't fall back asleep the rest of the ride home. Stressful.

All-in-all, it was a very lovely way to end our week of normalcy. So, that's the recap...thanks for keeping up with this play-by-play post. Now it's "Back to life...back to reality..." (What would I do without hideous 80's pop songs to create part of the soundtrack of my life? I do not know.)

And no - no pictures taken. We forgot the camera. :(

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Soren has some obsessions. Like any normal* mother, I tend to worry that maybe he is stricken with some mental disability or social handicap. Really, I think it's just because he's part me. I get obsessive like nobody's business, and it's not too far-fetched to think that I passed this little gem down to my son. Poor buddy.

I've got to hand it to him, once he finds something to be obsessed about, he sticks with it. Since before he could talk, he would make the sound for a motorcycle while clenching his fists and turning them forward -- like he was accelerating. He hasn't given up on this obsession since then and talks about, thinks about and hears motorcycles almost all day long. Recently, Karl and I decided to buy Soren a toy, since it had been several months since we had last done so. We don't have the funds to buy toys that he'll outgrow in a couple of months, and we don't like chincy plastic things lying around our house. We saw the answer to all of our needs at our local toy store and had to buy it for Soren. The PlasmaCar looks an awful lot like a motorcycle (well, at least to a 21-month-old) and he will be able to ride it for the rest of his life. Now that's what I call getting a bang for your buck! It is the perfect ride-on toy for him right now and will be something he can race on when he gets a little older. Then when he's completely grown he can bend his body in half trying to ride it, like Karl enjoys doing now (it supports up to 220 lbs!)

The best part is, Soren is in love with it. He couldn't take a nap for two days straight because he was so excited about riding it again. Annoying, but cute. Karl said this was the best $60 we have ever spent on Soren. After thinking through that statement, we decided that all the food, diaper and clothing expenses probably beat out the PlasmaCar for that title. Nevertheless, we made a pretty smart toy buying purchase this weekend.

The only downside is that I picked out the color (yellow and black) because I thought it looked most like a motorcycle, but Soren wishes it was blue. Sometimes he just gets off of it and says "blue one!" Perfect. It hasn't seemed to affect the overall satisfaction rating though. Check it...

*read: crazy

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Important Things

I'm stealing the title from Demitri Martin - I know. So after you read this you should go watch his new show on Comedy Central. It makes me laugh sometimes, which is more than I can say for 98% of stand-up comedians.

First of all, I've got to say how much I appreciate having conversations with people that are willing to look at both sides of any issue. This is a difficult thing to do with most Christians, and I am so thankful for the few friends I have that are willing to talk about difficult things. I didn't grow up in a family that was able to do this, so in my adulthood I am trying to figure a lot of things out by talking with other people and thinking about it on my own. Recently, my best friend wrote a song that seemed to come right out of my brain. It's one of those songs that you wish everyone was able to hear. She said this song just seemed to come to her and begged to be written. I'm so glad she listened.

Speaking of songs - I am currently in love with the song, "No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses. It's one of those songs that has changed my life a little. The lyrics are alright, but I'm not going through a break up so the message doesn't really hit home - I'm just enthralled by the melody. I love this video too, it reminds me of the Beach Boys documentary I watched several times a day when I was 10. What really cracks me up is that Soren will watch it with me and sit more still than he will for any kids video. We definitely share the same taste in music.

I've got to get back to child-rearing, but here's a little status update on the Citizens Jeans I mentioned in my last post. I am half-way there due to a very unexpected, generous and incredibly thoughtful gift from a dear friend who is sort of a fashion icon of mine. I would share her name if I had the OK, but I'm keeping her anonymous because I'm not sure that she wants the attention. She told me she had thought about it and really wanted me to have the jeans. Amazing. Of course, I cried and had no idea why she would do that for me. I was so grateful nonetheless. That gift came at the perfect time, after weeks of going through some pretty stressful drama and I was feeling very lonely and completely run down. No matter how many questions I may have about God, Christianity, religion, etc. right now - there are things that I won't ever question, and that is that God loves us and he shows that love through people in our lives. I feel blessed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

On Being Tall, Poor and Pregnant...

Just days after I found out I was pregnant, I started searching the internet frantically to find out if there were any more options for tall women out there that weren't available when I was pregnant with Soren. I've always known that finding tall maternity clothes would be a problem for me. When I actually got pregnant, that thought became reality and I was constantly frustrated by the lack of options out there. Luckily, when I was pregnant with Soren my mom bought me a pair of Citizens of Humanity maternity jeans that were just barely long enough but oh-so-cute. I loved them, really loved them. I had never had a pair of designer jeans before and there was just something about feeling sexy and fashionable when I was feeling the very oppostite of that. It seemed like no matter what I was wearing on top, it would always look dressier and more put together with my great-fitting jeans to compliment them. Anyways, I wore those jeans for months after I gave birth because my over-extended belly refused to go back to where it came from. Then....I sold them on ebay. I know, why would I do such a thing? Well, the truth is - I needed the money to buy some non-maternity jeans that would fit me. I couldn't afford to have those designer jeans sit in my dresser while I had nothing to wear. I got a very decent amount for them, which is the nice part about investing in a good pair of jeans. Still, today I'm wishing I could pull out those Citizens and feel that cute again.

So, that brings me back to where I am today. Just totally frustrated by the lack of options out there for tall pregnant women. I usually buy my non-maternity jeans from Gap, at prices that most of my friends would gasp at (because they are short) but they are one of the only places I have found that carry 36" inseams in cute styles. Well, not even Gap has come to my rescue with the maternity issue. They only go up to 34" in their tall maternity jeans. So what is a girl to do? Drool over another pair of Citizens jeans. So that's what I'm doing. Here's my latest crush...

In a glorious 35" inseam (yes, that's what I wear), these jeans are the perfect solution to my maternity dilemma. They are a different style than my first pair of Citizens and even cuter. The price is steep, but I'm used to paying ridiculous amounts of money for my pants. You honestly have to pay more than short people for your pants when you are as tall as I am. That's why I'm probably always going to bitch about how being tall isn't all it's cracked up to be when short people tell me they wish they were my height. They honestly have no idea. Or maybe they are crazy rich and don't care that they'll have to shop designer and specialty shops for most of their clothes. Shopping sales is pretty much out of the question. Add getting pregnant and it turns the best of us into bitter people. (Trust me, I've been on all the message boards.)

Now, my next mission is figuring out a way to get my legs into a pair of these jeans that will fit me perfectly - everywhere. I'm holding out for birthday money, I think it may just work. Just 1.5 months to go!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Girly Girl

So, it looks like we very well may be having a girl in the family come August. I really had no expectations of what kind of child I wanted before this time. Given the 85% chance we have that the baby we saw on the screen yesterday is of female orientation, it's all making sense now.

Yesterday was a crazy busy day (sorry to any of you who wanted more info or a phonecall - it was just impossible.) I got up and got Soren ready for school, dropped him off at school, ran home and made a fairly complicated cake in just the exact amount of minutes I had to get back in the car and go to Cal Poly for the first appointment of the day. From that appointment we had just enough time to stop at Jamba Juice, pick up a smoothie to share on the way to our ultrasound appointment. From there we had just 45 minutes to get something to eat, open the card that told us what the tech thought we were having, talk about it and make copies of the ultrasound pics. We then got back in the car, headed to Cal Poly for the third time to have a Parent/Teacher conference with Soren's teacher. It went longer than expected, so Karl took Soren downtown while I rushed home, made the filling for the cake, frosted the three layers, garnished it with blackberries, got changed and rushed out the door to my mom's birthday dinner at the Apple Farm. We were there until 8:15, so by the time we got home Soren was a crazy tired child and we were both beat. We went to bed at 9.

Soooo, back to the ultrasound appointment. We saw the same tech who determined our first baby died at 14 weeks, and I was a sobbing mess on her table. She's also the one who told us that Soren was most definitely a boy too. Now she's the one who is giving us the 85% probability that we're having ourselves a girl this time. We've come full circle with this super sweet woman.

I found out that my placenta is on the anterior side of my uterus (translation for all you non-anatomy taking people...it's on the front of me) which makes TOTAL sense because the movements I feel with this baby are way different than what I felt with Soren. I was starting to think that my baby was paralyzed because I wasn't feeling any kicks yet. Turns out there's just a big cushion between my belly and the baby. She had a strong heartbeat of 145 bpm and didn't enjoy the ultrasound too much (who would??) She was moving a lot and kicking her little legs up - I must admit, pretty cute. She is lying sideways in my belly which is a relief since Sor-Dog was wedged head down at my ultrasound (17 weeks) and stayed put till he was born. Yeah, not fun. The tech couldn't get a great look at the genitals because she (we think) was curled up so tightly. She tried a few things and finally told us that she could only give us a percentage of how sure she was. That pretty much gave it away for us. We asked her to write her findings down on a card that I gave her so that we could open it during lunch. We got to our restaurant, ordered our food and I handed the card to Karl so he could open it. I saw the words right when he pulled out the velum paper...."GIRL!"

I guess this is why I have not been feeling so terrified of having a girl. Before I got pregnant the thought would almost make me sick to my stomach. I could not imagine having to raise a girl, which I know is unusual and not many of my friends understood this. I did not want a girl after I found out I was pregnant, I was just feeling like it wouldn't be the end of the world. Looking back, it makes sense that I was more sick if I'm pregnant with a girl. Karl and I talked about how this is probably the best scenario for the situation we're in. Having our boy first and girl second. They'll be close enough in age to have a good relationship but he'll be able to be protective of her. Plus, I feel like it's better for my heart knowing that this is a new kind of pregnancy and baby. Not like I'm just having to do the same thing times two. Also, we're realizing that this very well may be the end of our babymaking days so it feels complete to end with a boy and a girl. No matter what percentage the tech gave us, I truly feel like it's a girl now because of all the factors that are adding up (we still have to think of boy names just in case though.)

Sorry for the rambling, just trying to give details that couldn't come yesterday in the short time I have during a nap. Now I must feed myself and my little GIRL...yikes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Helicopter Mom?

About a year ago I heard the term "Helicopter Mom" and I thought it was funny that there was such a term. It means what you would imagine - a mom who hovers over her child at the park or wherever they are to assure they are always safe. I've been thinking a lot lately about what type of mom I am. Of course, I don't want to be an HM, but I think sometimes I might be.

I tend to change my parenting ways and I think this is one way that I have changed. I used to be super carefree about letting Soren explore and try new things, but there is something that makes me one nervous mom these days. Maybe it's the fact that my child has bitten entirely through his lips a few times and now has a scar that he'll probably have for the rest of his life. Or maybe it's because he has fallen 4+ feet off of a play structure and limped for weeks. Or it could be that I go in and out of feeling like I am going to lose him. OK, I do this more often than not. I'm sure having gone through a very traumatic miscarriage is making me this way with Soren. I always imagine worst case scenarios in my head as Soren is playing, and while I try desperately to fight this thing in me, in creeps up all the time.

Soren's teacher was talking about moms who constantly tell their kids to be careful when they're at the park and I realized that I was totally guilty of this. Soren now goes to the edge of a play structure and points to the ground and says "fall down." I feel relieved that he gets it now, but I feel sad that I've made him so careful. This parenting thing is harder than it looks. Is it really bad to teach your kids to be careful? Will you be labeled a Helicopter Mom if you do? Are you stifling their need for risk or are you just being responsible? I honestly have no idea.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Must Really Love Myself

About 3.5 hours ago, I started preparing a meal for tonight. I bought Foster Farms chicken yesterday for $.97/ lb (yes, I'm shopping sales these days) and planned to use them in a recipe I found on a cooking blog I read sometimes. I started brining the chicken while I was feeding Soren dinner and after he was done I had him help me pick some fresh rosemary off of the plant on our patio to make the rub for Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary Broiled Chicken. I crushed the garlic, grated the lemon, chopped the rosemary and put it all on my brined chicken while I cut up potatoes and cooked them in the skillet for about an hour. I then cooked up some garlic asparagus and waited for my chicken to be done in the broiler. At around 8:30 my meal was finally done. I sat down at the table with a wine glass full of French Berry Lemonade and marveled at what I had accomplished. Then, I realized I was having a date night with myself. Now I am going to cuddle up on the couch with myself for the night cause we're pooped.

Miss you Karl...come home sometime - ok?