Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Extreme Nesting - Part 1

Yes, the nesting has begun. It always starts way early for me for some reason. I think it's because I think "Oh, I'm 30 weeks! I'm so close!" But I don't realize that the last 10 weeks drag on like a horrible nightmare of bulging, Hulk veins and back pain . I feel more justified in my early nesting this time around because I only have 7 more weeks (maybe 6 if we are lucky!) Plus, 2 of those weeks we will be out of town.

Ever since we moved into our house 4 years ago we knew we wanted to get a nicer flooring. We chose the cheapest possible linoleum for the builders to put down and asked them to not use much glue (haha) as we were sure we would be ripping it up within the first month. Well, here we are 4 years later with the same flooring. It is not horrible, just ugly and abused. Apparently, I drop knives a lot because we have all sorts of inexplicable cuts in it. It never looks clean, even when it is, due to all the gashes. We had carpet in the family room, but it too was not the best and had some mystery stains that I would constantly clean, they would go away for about a week and then somehow appear again. This was baffling to me cause its in a place we don't even walk or sit on.

I finally found a flooring that would work with us, I liked, and was even below our budget. (we got a child tax credit from Will so we put the money aside for the floors) Since I work at a floor covering place, I got a very good discount and we are able to borrow the few tools that we need.

We started the daunting task of ripping of the old flooring and OMGoodness -they used industrial strength glue that will NOT come off without a fight. Josh and two youth worked on it a few days ago and got quite a bit done but still have quite a bit more to go. I can't do the scraping due to my back (I tried and couldn't walk for the next 2 days) so I pull out baseboard nails, clean, and patch the holes and cracks in the concrete. I also need to sand, fix and repaint the baseboards before putting them back on.

We hope to lay the new floor in 2 weeks - right before Josh leaves for Youth camp and I leave for my mom's. That way any fumes in the house can dissipate while I'm gone. I feel overwhelmed with the house torn up and several other projects going on at the same time but It'll be done soon and I will be SO happy to bring Peanut home to a beautiful house made possible by his/her brother Will.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beginning of the End

Hello 3rd trimester... So we meet again....

28 weeks
9 to go. (single digit countdown!)

You may recall that I did not swim last year because every time I did Will would turn breech. Well, this time, I just don't care and I am enjoying the pool at my mom's house.

I must say, that I am really liking this not-knowing-what-the-baby-is thing. It is quite exciting and after my last ultrasound which claims the baby is half a pound heavier and my measurements being larger than average, I am second guessing my beliefs that it is a girl. We have our names picked out and now that we have decided on a girl one that I am in love with, I can honestly say that I do not care whether Peanut is a boy or girl.

I am getting more and more anxious and stressed about the baby now that I am in the third trimester. I feel like with every week that passes I have so much more to lose. Thankfully, we are super busy in June and July so the time should go by quickly, but those last 20ish days in August are going to be a killer. I am especially thankful right now for my Sept 9th due date! God knew I needed it to help me through these last 2 months.

Oh yes, and hello all-too-familiar, debilitating back pain. Thank you for at least waiting this long to show up.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Claire and Dadda

Our traditional Father's Day pictures.This morning Josh left for Kids' Camp for the week. (thus the camo bandanna) Claire has been a daddy's girl lately so she was pretty sad when he left. She is just sure that "Dadda is crying for her". She and I are staying at my parent's house for the week so that has helped ease the pain of missing Dadda.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Claire Turns 3!

June 4th was Claire's birthday! She was so excited. We made a big deal about how when she turned three she would be a big girl so ever since her big day, she tells us she is big now and can do most things by herself. (She has learned to put her own shoes on so I am happy)

On her "happy day" We decorated the house with blue balloons, blue paper flowers, and blue streamers. For breakfast she had blue pancakes in the shape of 3's. Josh and I got her present at the youth rummage sale for $25 bucks. We didn't like the colors so we got that special paint made for such plastics and Josh spray painted it. I think the door and shutters still need a color update though. Later that day, we went to Nana and Poppy's to celebrate.

There was a lot of swimming, with Uncle Buddy,

with Dadda,

with Uncle Didi.
We are so happy that she can actually propel herself around in her floaty this year! What a good summer in the pool it will be!
We then opened gifts. Poppy's birthday is June 4th too!
Claire with her new baby doll.
Playing with some huge bubbles from Uncle Didi and Aunt Michelle.

Bubble Shower!
The next weekend we went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house where we had some delicious BBQ, and Claire swam most of the afternoon.
We talked Claire into agreeing to go underwater, you know, since she is three now. She said she wanted to, plugged her nose and closed her eyes.
Hmmm, maybe when she is four?
She was happy again a few minutes later and threw toys in the pool for
Dadda and Shelbe to retrieve.Grandma and Grandpa gave Claire a membership to My Gym! What a lucky duck! She has gone twice this week and is so sad when we have to leave. I'm so glad to have a busy summer, between parks and rec gymnastics, ballet and My Gym we have something to do nearly everyday!

Then we had Grandma's cookie dough pie for dessert. I was so excited that Claire could actually blow out her candles this year!
- Well, she is three after all.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Our Time at My Gym

At the beginning of the year I bought a Groupon for a month of unlimited classes at My Gym for $30. I put it off til the summer so we would have something fun to do when it was too hot to play at the park. We finally used it this past month (as it had to be activated by June) and what a blast we have had!

Claire's age group class meets on Thursdays and Fridays. She LOVES it. Each class starts out with circle time. The instructors treat the kids like the 3 years olds that they are and the kids are expected to listen, obey and participate with little to no help from the parents. (although many of them do not listen and it amazes me how the parents let them get away with doing whatever they want) The main instructor, David, goes around the circle and says "Let's see who came to class today! What's your name?" and points to the kid closest to him (which is usually Claire because she absolutely adores him) I was surprised when she actually answered audibly and then David says "Hi Claire! What's your favorite _____?" The first class he asked what her favorite song was. Being first to be asked, I didn't have time to tell her what to say or help her out. I was blown away when she said "Ring Around The Rosy", without missing a beat. It sounds silly but I was so proud. They then stretch and sing a song that requires some sort of coordination to dance to. Today was a special day because Dadda was able to come watch since it was the last Friday class for us.and then they work on a gymnastics skill shortly. This time it was a backward roll.After circle time, the kids can play on anything in gym. Each week the staff sets up the play equipment differently so there is always something new to explore. Sometimes there is a slide going into the ball pit or a parachute fort. This time the "big" trampoline was next to the ball pit and Claire spent every moment of free time jumping into the balls.
Sorry for the blurriness, I was trying not to be the obnoxious parent with the camera flashing every two seconds so I turned the flash off.Then the kids meet in the red circle in the center of the gym and David tells them what gymnastic skill they will be working on and splits the group in two. First, Claire went to work on somersaults. I love that the teachers teach waiting patiently and paying attention. The kids only get to have a turn if they are watching their 'friends' quietly and listening. Claire got to go first this time because she was paying attention when David said to do "goggle eyes".

Then she went to the low trapeze to practice balance. Every class they have learned a different skill. Climbing, balance beam,
spring board jumping, low bars and rings.

After that, they have more free play,They usually hang swings up for a little while during free play. The kids love them.
Each class ends with a surprise item and they do a ton of different things with it. Today's was a slinky and Claire was all into it. The slinky was a cup, a broken cup, a pony-tail, a pool, a rainbow, a caterpillar a lion's mane and as shown here, an elephant trunk. Then a short song and cheer.
We are sad that we only have one more class left but the price goes up to $55 a month now so that is out of the question. (actually even $30 a month would be out of the question as well) But, I highly recommend My Gym, we have had a great experience with it. If you've got the money and the time, it would be great thing to get involved in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Freezing Meat

Have you noticed the outrageous prices for ground beef? Maybe it hasn't been so bad at Fry's or Wal-mart, but to avoid antibiotics and hormones I only buy my meats from either Sprouts or Sunflower. They usually have ground beef on sale for $1.99 a lb once a month or so, but it hasn't been on sale for at least 4 months now and I have a really hard time paying $4.99 a lb for ground beef - the humblest of all meats. Anyway, it finally went on sale this week, so I stocked up.
This is my process whenever I buy ground meat:

I try to divide and wrap the meat as soon as I get home. If I put it off, I will forget until it is too late and I end up throwing it away. I clean my counter really well and accept the fact that raw meat and juice will get all over it. I first divide the meat into 1 pound chunks - or as close to 1 lb as possible. Then I want to form it into a flat square shape for easy freezing, storing and thawing. I found this tupperware container is the perfect size. Line it with wax paper, press the meat into it and then wrap it like a gift. Ta da! A 1lb meat sheet! (all my recipes call for 1 lb) Then I lay it flat in our freezer until it freezes and then put it in a ziploc freezer bag. Why freeze it in a sheet? For easy, fast thawing of course! If I were to freeze it in a round chub it takes 3 times as long to thaw.

I am so thankful that we have our chest freezer. It has allowed me to save money by stocking up on items when they are on super sale. Now I have 25 pounds of ground beef ready to go, in meal size portions.

Our other meat staple is chicken tenders. They also were on sale at Sprouts this week so I got quite a few pounds. (Again, no hormones or antibiotics) The freezing process is much simpler for them. Lay them individually on a cookie sheet, freeze and place in a ziploc bag. (I double layer the bag) It is so nice to be able to grab as many as you need and not have to thaw a whole package.

Because the chest freezer gets so much colder than our regular freezer, I have found that the meats (so long as they are packaged correctly) will taste as fresh as the day you froze them for at least 5 months.

I love the feeling of a well stocked freezer! I shouldn't have to buy meat until after Peanut is born!