Saturday, February 27, 2010

memory lane

I was looking through our old pictures to find some good ones for Kara's baby book. I came across a lot of old ones, and I could hardly believe that was really us in those pictures. I can't believe I used to think Ben was so huge. He was really skinny in some of the pictures. These will be good to encourage us in our weight loss goals. (of course, mine will start after I've had the baby)
This first one is Ben throwing the javelin in high school. I actually used to look good in a bathing suit. I don't think I've been this tan since we've been married. This was the summer reight before we met, in 2001.
This is on our honeymoon in February 2003.
I think this was while we were dating, and went up to yellowstone. We were running around in those flowers, taking all kinds of jumping pictures. A few hours later, we ran into a couple, who said they recognized us from frolicking in the flowers. They were pretty excited to tell us they had seen us.

We were both so skinny. I could never dream of fitting into that size of jeans ever again! Of course, I probably shouldn't want to be that skinny again, everyone thought I had some kind of medical problem or eating disorder.

Ben lifting a really big rock to show off his strength in Salmon, ID. This was the summer of 2002, right before we got engaged. You can see why I said YES.

Another thing I noticed in all these old photos, I was ALWAYS wearing a cropped shirt. You'd think with how skinny I was back then, I could have found long enough shirts to cover my belly, but I guess it's better I wore them when I could. I wouldn't wear anything like this now.

We had the most fun weekend trips to Idaho while we were dating. Ben had to show me everything there was to see.

We both thought this picture looked like an ad for jeans or something.

I really like this one, how it shows off his arms. They were definitely the thing I always told people about when describing my new boyfriend.This was after we were married a year or two. We brought Nic rafting with us in Salmon. Ben wasn't as skinny, but still pretty ripped.

And remember when I was blonde? I know the roots are horrible. But I swear, my hair grows really fast.

Ben in Vegas. Both of us think it's strange he was wearing all black, since it was in the 100's while we were there.

This is in Idaho Falls when we bought our grand am. this one replaced the one I totaled a few months after we got married. I love Ben's bleached out hair.

And I also had to share this picture of Gizmo. He's Vicky's cat, but he stayed with us for a few days. He looks nothing like this now!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grrr! so mad!

I am so mad at the mom of one of Kara's preschool friends! She found lice eggs in her daughter's hair this morning, and brought her to school anyway. Of course, Mrs. Wright told her she couldn't stay at school, but the mom argued with her that it was just the eggs and they weren't hatched yet. Does she not realize they could hatch any time? or does she not care, since her daughter already has it anyway? For all she knows, they could have started hatching on the way to school. Kara's teacher was telling me that she felt so bad about not letting Maya in the play area, but this mom was just insisting that she let her stay. She said she has already used all of her sick days for the year and will get written up if she calls in. That's too bad, but not the other kids' fault. What a jerk. I think that is so rude of her to possibly expose everyone else's children and family to getting lice. I don't know of any school or daycare that would let you bring your child with a head full of lice. Mrs. Wright said that they were only there about 10 minutes arguing about it before they left. Maya didn't take off her coat or get past the front entry area, but we should still watch out for it just in case. She also told me that in a room full of kids, the lice prefers clean hair, so those are the kids who typically get it first. She wanted me to be aware because Kara is one of the kids that always comes to school with clean hair. My real concern, is that her mother found the eggs this morning, but she has been at school monday and tuesday, and last week as well. She could have had it already, and it could be in the classroom, or already spread to other kids. So for the next 14 days, I guess we'll be checking Kara's scalp on a daily basis. Thanks a lot, Maya's mom! If it were a situation where she didn't know she had it, and sent her in, I still wouldn't be happy, but I could understand how that might happen. But she knowingly brought her to school with it, and tried to insist that since she pays tuition, they have to let her stay! I would never do that, and I don't think very many people would. I felt horrible when Kara got pink eye. She had been to school 2 days before she got it, and I called the teacher to let her know. Kara was so excited about being class helper that day, but I made her stay home. She was so upset and it really broke my heart to see her so disappointed, butI felt like there wasn't any choice in the matter. If your kid has something contagious, you have to keep them home. Her teacher was scrubbing everything down when I got there, and said her hubby was on the way to help, so I just hope that is good enough to keep Kara's head lice-free.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


As some people have noticed at the top of my blog, I am having another baby! We are very excited, and finally decided we needed to make an official announcement, and share some of the pregnancy details. I am 20 weeks along, so halfway there! After having a miscarriage late this summer, I was a bit surprised to find out I was pregnant again so soon. I found out on Nov. 5, which was almost exactly 2 months after the miscarriage happened. So, not having quite gotten over that experience, and also being very worried that it would happen the same way again, we decided we weren't going to tell anyone this time.
Between about 6 and 9 weeks along in the pregnancy I had the worst morning sickness. It was way worse than with either of the girls. I admit I used to think some women were milking it when they acted so sick, or had those insane cravings. My pregnancies were nothing like that, and I couldn't understand. But now I do. I could barely eat anything, and when I did, it was a miracle to keep it down. Not eating much gave me the worst headaches along with the nausea. So I apologize to any women I have ever known pregnant, that I thought you might be exaggerating your sickness. It really does seem impossible to function some days when you are going through that! Ben's dad and step-mom came out for a visit during my sickest time, so it was pointless to try and keep the secret. Lana said all it took was one look at me, and she could tell I was pregnant. So they were the first to know.
We did a good job of not telling anyone else until Christmas. My doctor told me we would know at my January appt. if I was out of the woods as far as likelihood of miscarrying again. So I wanted to wait to tell the rest of our family. But Ben thought it would be hard to keep the secret for 10 days of being with both of our families in Utah. I was starting to show a little, and was still a little sick. He said my sisters and mom would probably figure it out anyway. So I grudgingly agreed to tell everyone while we were in Utah. Ben had these shirts made for the girls that say "big sister" and their names across the bottom. We put them on after we got off the plane, and agian when we drove down to Provo. I have to say we were surprised how long it took for people to figure out the shirts. Vicky saw Kara's and Ben pointed out Kiersten's, but she said, "oh. hers says little sister." So it took a little hinting for everyone to catch on. My mom, my sister Chris, and Ben's sister Katie were the only ones who saw the shirts and just figured it out on their own!
my ultrasound was scheduled for last week. We were really looking forward to it, when we got a phone call from the dr's office. I was told that my blood test came back with an elevated chance that the baby had spina bifida. So they canceled my ultrasound and rescheduled me at a different place with more sensitive, newer machines to get a better look at baby. I have been so concerned and worrying about this ever since. But having Kara around being so excited about the baby really helped. She predicted that the baby would be a boy, and also declared that it will be named "Punkin". She has been having a hard time understanding how much longer we have to wait before the baby will be here. The new ultrasound was scheduled for today, and finally the day arrived. I woke up totally nervous, and anxious to find out if the baby is okay or not. I had a hard time getting ready and pouring the girls' drinks because my hands wouldn't stop shaking. Our friend Jean was so nice to watch the girls for us. Ben dropped them off at a McDonald's to play and have breakfast. Then he met me at the ultrasound place. It was the longest ultrasound I've had, but it was fun to watch because we could see everything so clearly on the screen. We didn't get to see our other girls in so much detail in their ultrasounds. I tried hard to check out the spine, but didn't really know how to recognize an opening in the spinal cord, so I also watched the tech's face to see if she looked worried, since they aren't supposed to say anything if they see and issue. But she kept a straight face the whole time. Here is the picture we got of the front of our baby's face. She couldn't get a good profile shot, because the baby just wouldn't roll over. But I kinda like this slightly creepy, alien-ish picture. I did get to see a few cute profile shots during other parts of the ultrasound. We both got a kick out of the tech calling our baby, "punkin" like Kara has been for the last 2 months. Kara was really creeped out and confused when I showed her this.She couldn't get a good look at the genitals, as the baby kept closing it's legs. But when she came back in the room after going over everything with the dr, she decided to look again to see if we could tell. She finally got a few glimpses, and said she thinks it is a girl! She looked a few times, and never got too good of a look. So she made sure to tell us she might be wrong, but it looks like a girl. The picture she sent us home with does look very similar to Kara and Kiersten's "it's a girl" pictures, so I think she is right. I have thought it was a girl, but you can't really know. And all of our family has been guessing or hoping for a boy, but I'm solidly convinced now, that we are having a little girl! One of the doctors at my dr office said to me, "I hope you're having a boy, because I have 3 girls, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone." I thought that was pretty funny. But we are excited and happy to have 3 girls. I think she'll fit right in with our family.

After the ultrasound, we met with the genetic counselor, who finally told us that there were no signs of spina bifida! It was so great to finally hear that! For the last two weeks I haven't even been able to care about the gender, or think about anything other than getting that good news. Most babies have a 1 in 1000 chance of having it, but our baby had a 1 in 500 chance based on bloodwork. so although those numbers remain unchanged, the ultrasound has cut her chances of having it to 1 in 10,000, which is great! So we obviously turned down the option for amniocentesis. We both feel so much better now, and we can just be excited about the baby again, and look forward to July. I do need to have another screening at 30 weeks, to make sure the numbers aren't still elevated, but she said don't even worry or think about it, baby is basically in the clear now! Kara was pretty excited when I told her about her new baby sister. I thought she might be disappointed, because she has insisted it was a boy. but she didn't say anything except, "well, maybe we will have to name her Love instead of Punkin. Or we can name her Nice." That was super cute.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Field trip to city hall

Kara doesn't usually have school on thursdays, but her teacher was having trouble getting parent volunteers for a field trip to city hall to meet the mayor of Tacoma. So I asked if she would like me to come along and help out. Kara was thrilled, since she missed the library field trip in January, and was going to miss this one too. Here she is holding hands with her buddy for the day. She really wanted her buddy to be one of the other girls, but these two did pretty well together. Kiersten came along too. She didn't behave perfectly, but did pretty well for her age. Her biggest issue was that she wanted a buddy like the other kids had. I just wasn't a good enough buddy, I guess.
The kids waiting for the bus. Their teacher really has them in line. It was impressive. If someone started acting up, all it took was her saying their name and they were back to good behavior.
the kids all piled into the bus. I think that was their favorite part of the entire field trip.
Marilyn Strickland, the mayor of Tacoma. She was just elected in November, and seemed pretty excited to have the kids there. She said this was her first group of pre-schoolers to come for the tour. She let them play on the terrace outside her office, and gave them all temporary tattoos and pins to take home. She took us down to see the council chambers and held a little mock meeting with the kids.
All the kids got to say their name into the microphone and ask a question if they wanted. Unfortunately Kara's teacher got in the way just as I took this picture. The mayor had asked the kids if anyone wanted to be a mayor when they grew up. Of course they all said they did. When Kara got up, her question was, "Is it okay if I can be the president instead of the mayor?" we all laughed, and Mayor Strickland told Kara that would be a very good thing to aspire to. Then Kara leaned in again and said, "or maybe I will be a cake maker." Then she just went and sat back down. She got a lot of laughs.
The kids loved sitting in these chairs for the "meeting". They didn't want any of us adults sitting with them.
The class posing with the mayor. The man on the left is the other parent that helped chaperone. All the kids loved having Kiersten along. Kara got a little protective, and kept reminding everyone that Kiersten is HER sister.
It was a fun little outing, and I'm glad I went. I didn't really want to, but I knew Kara did, and I didn't want the trip to get canceled for all the kids because there weren't enough parents to go. Mayor Strickland was so nice and happy to have us there. I think that made it really fun for all of the kids. All of her staff was really cheerful and nice as well, so those kids felt like special guests. We did cause a few people to take the stairs once they got a look inside the elevator full of children. That was pretty funny to see the surprised looks we got from people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

St. Valentine's Day

On saturday, we went shoppping at Sam's club, and when we were bringing all of our groceries in the house, I saw Ben bring in a jewelry bag. So I hurried and got his gift from my purse and gave it to him a day early. My plan worked, and that prompted him to give me my gift early too. Of course after that we had to let the girls open their gifts as well. Here they are on the couch starting to open. Kar wanted hers, but didn't want Kiersten to get anything. It was a not very nice moment for her, but she got past it quickly once there was a gift bag in her hands.

Kiersten was so excited to get a ni hao Kai-Lan see and say. It's amazing how just a few dollars can go so far to impress them. They also got some new barbie clothes. I have been having such a hard time finding regular barbie clothes. I've looked several places, and it seems barbies are just dressing slutty these days. So ben has been calling all the short strappy dresses pajamas. This inspired Kara's barbies to have a pajama party. it was cute, except when her "boy barbie", as she calls them, asked cinderella if she wanted to sleep with him. Of course Kara had no naughty intentions, so I just let it go, but said, "make sure they each sleep in their own bed". kinda silly, I know. Kara loves this mickey and minnie puzzle. She's already put it together several times.
They also got these cute suckers. They were soft marsmallow ones, kinda like peeps on a stick. The girls really liked them, but I thought they kind of tasted like play-doh.

my gift from Ben was a new pink saphire ring with small diamonds and heart shaped earings to match. I was surprised to get jewelry, and very happy. I totally just expected flowers or candy this year, but I love a good surprise!
a close-up. I know it's horrible my nails aren't done, but I've been really busy lately! I like to think the ring can outshine my dry, wintery hands, anyway.
Ben's gift was candy, and some new shorts. He also got to get some new shirts and ties at Van Heusen. The last few weeks, he kept saying, "we don't really plan on doing valentine's gifts this year, right?" or, "didn't we say we weren't really gonna do valentine's this year?" I realize he was trying to trick me, but I really did go low key because he kept saying that. And he actually was really glad because he would rather just spend money on things when he wants them, instead of hoping that I'll get him a gift he wants. So it all went well for us this year. And I have no problem with being the spoiled one, after all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

they're tutu cute

Kara and I made this adorable tutu together. It was fun and really simple to make. I totally plan on making more of them with her as soon as I get to the fabric store. I was trying to get her to put on some shorts under it, but she refused. It was kinda funny. at least she had on tights and underwear with it! she later took it off when some relief society ladies were over, and just came downstairs in the shirt and tights! taking a bow.
She has been begging to take another ballet class, but I want to wait til the summer. I told her she can take a swim class again, and now she asks me about it every day after school. I need to remember to get her signed up soon.
At preschool, they had a story book party. They brought in a book at the beginning of the week, and then on friday, they all dressed up like a character from their book. Wal-mart had this cute elmo costume on clearance for $3, so I sent in a sesame street book with her.
She wore it around for several days right after we got it.
Poor Kiersten was so jealous! who wants to dress up like a princess when big sister gets to dress up like the great elmo?
Kara loves showing off her new clothes she got for her birthday. This is the pose she does when she's trying to look "lovely". It's the funniest thing.
and of course, one of her famous funny faces!
She even asked me to get a picture of her on my lap. Good thing my camera has a timer so I can cave in to her demands. ALthough I had to be talked into it, I really do like this picture, and I'm sure it's one I'll always love looking at.
Kiersten is waking up with crazy hair-do's just like Kara used to. I love that she is following in Kara's hairy footsteps. Well, with the exception of the curls Kara always had, but Kierstens hair is adorable in it's own straight, messy way.
I went back for the cookie monster costume so they could dress up together. Kiersten was thrilled to get to be elmo! A few days ago I was in wal-mart, and these are not on clearance any more. Maybe the ones they have now are slightly different or something, but I'm glad I got these on clearance when I did. The costumes like this are $15 now!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


First, I just wanted to share this picture of kiersten in the bathtub. She likes to stay in until the last bit of water has drained so she can play as long as possible. Bath time is the happiest time around our house.The girls' new bunkbeds were delivered today! Kara has been asking all morning when they would be here. I told her to watch out the window for a large truck. They were about 20 minutes late for the time frame they gave me, but I knew the second they pulled up. Kara started yelling, "the bunkety bunkbeds are here!"
Kiersten checking out her new bed. She was going down for a nap when they arrived, so she was a little groggy at first, but soon got excited, and the nap didn't happen.
Kara posing on her bed. The delivery guys put Kara's mattress on bottom and Kiersten's on top, but niether girl seemed to mind. I plan on getting them some new bedding soon anyway to coordinate better.
they both love climbing the ladder. I let them play for a bit, then told them that from now on I don't want them playing up there during the day.
Kara keeps reminding Kiersten that the top bunk is hers. She was also really excited about the drawers. In the store, we had talked about putting their pajamas and socks in them. Kara immediately started moving her things over to the new drawers as soon as she noticed them. Then she helped Kiersten get her jammies out of her old dresser.

Kiersten looking down from the top bunk.

I also want to say that both girls picked out their own outfits today. I usually let them on days we aren't going anywhere. Just in case anyone was wondering about their less than attractive clothes.