T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Little Girl Playtime

To spare you from an extra profile shot (they are becoming less and less flattering) - here is some video from Christmas Eve. It was late and we were just getting ready to head to bed - that seems to be her most favorite time to "play".

I can tell that her movements are much more "baby-like" and less "fetus-like". What does that mean? Well, basically, I can feel coordinated movements versus random kicks and jumps.

video
This is what I see looking down so the right side is indeed my right side.

She seems to really like to hang out on the right side. The other day my mom said my belly looked like a peanut because everything was so lopsided to the one side. It's kind of uncomfortable when she decides to stretch out on just that side.

What does T Rex think? Well, he gives "Baby" pats and kisses every morning - in fact, he insists - sometimes waking me to do so. Now he's been giving snuggles. He does insist on skin-to-skin contact, thus, I probably won't be posting any video or photos of my bare belly. He seems to really like the baby girl in our playgroup - he will also give her pats and "snuggles" as well as put her binkie back in her mouth.

I have been in total "nesting mode". I finished a blanket for Little Girl last night and have another in the que to be knitted. That one is more time consuming. I also have all the clothes washed, folded, and in drawers - she has so many cute outfits! What a fashion diva she will be! (Most of which are used or hand-me-downs but there are a few unbelieable cute new outfits too! Thank you everyone for dressing our daughter!) The diapers are ready - both cloth and disposable. I purchased one bottle - we almost never used bottles with T Rex as he prefered the breast exclusively for 18 months. And "motherhood support supplies" (we'll leave it at that!) are being delivered soon! Bags are packed and ready to go.

If you are into space travel at all or ever watch shuttle launches the best way to describe what stage we are at is "No Go for Return" - which means if labor starts now, we don't stop it. Hopefully something will happen in the next few weeks as I don't want a repeat of experiencing 42 weeks gestation!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa Came and Went...

Christmas Eve...


Christmas Morning...


I am always so giddy that Santa eats the cookies and drinks the milk I leave for him. I don't know why. Yesterday my nephew brought over this special plate and cup for T Rex to set out for Santa this year (very sweet of him). We will use it every year from now forward.

We had a wonderful morning with our little T Rex. We wanted to enjoy one last Christmas just the three of us. Santa was very good to our little guy. We are not surprised by this. He is just a spectacular kid - we thank God every night for his wonderful spirit that fills our home and hearts.

I did not really want anything for Christmas - I feel like I have everything I could ever ask for. I only wish I could slow down time. I just know I'm going to blink and the kids will be grown and out of the house. I try to remember this on nights like last night when T Rex insists on sleeping cheek to cheek with me or giving "snuggles" as he says. T Rex Dad and I envision ourselves in an old folks home some day reminiscing about those days and wishing we could go back and experience them all over again. So, in the the mean time, we try to soak up every sweet moment.

Here was what Santa left for T Rex - you can see more photos of the morning at his blog.

Per his request from Santa - a balloon plus a few other items Santa deemed fit to leave - dinosaurs, Cozy Coupe car, and a Cookie Monster (the latest obsession).


I have it on good authority that "some assembly required" is an understatement - at least according to Santa's elf who assembled the Cozy Coupe - there was hammering in 12 degree weather in the dark, drilling through plastic, and several blisters involved. That's some dedicated elf!

Blessings to you and your loved ones this Christmas day. I hope Santa was as good to you as he has been to us!

Secret of Christmas...

Lyrics from one of my favorite Christmas songs...

The Secret of Christmas

It's not the glow you feel when snow appears
It's not the Christmas cards you've sent for years
Not the joyful sound when sleigh bells ring
Or the merry song children sing

That little gift you send on Christmas Day
Will not bring back the friend you've turned away
So may I suggest the Secret of Christmas
Is not the things you do at Christmas time
But the Christmas things you do all year through

If you'd like to listen to a wonderful version of this song, you can view the video below. Julie Andrews sings my very favorite version. Enjoy!



Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter Garden-a-Glow

Every year we make the trip to the Idaho Botanical Gardens. During December it becomes a winter wonderland of lights. Two years ago we made the trip while I was in early labor with T Rex.



I believe we picked the busiest night of the year to make our visit. We parked nearly a mile away and then had to wait in line for close to 30 minutes. However, we were not disappointed. And, T Rex got to meet Prancer - who, by the way, is a girl! I was surprised by how tiny she was. T Rex declined to see Santa again.

Here are some photos...


Bundled up and ready to go - it was a chilly 19 degrees outside.










Giving gentle "pats" to Prancer. One child in line asked where Rudolgh was. I guess we don't get big "headliner" reindeer here in our small city. But I have to admit, Prancer was pretty cool! Her antlers were in full velvet - gorgeous.

Merry Christmas 2009!!!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Cookie Baking Extravaganza!!!

It has become an annual tradition that my mom, sister, and I get together for Christmas cookie baking. And every year we try to plan and plan so we're don't over-do anything. Alas, that seems to be an impossibility with us. We always do way too much. This year we needed to make 24 plates of treats. Doesn't sound too bad, huh?

Some photos from the day...


T Rex insisted on helping - here he is helping Nan. I am checking the vanilla. My niece recently reminded me of the alcohol content. Yep - 35% alcohol! Indeed, we are a happy bunch here!


Auntie J giving T Rex a little help with some cookie stars. He proudly made three lovely stars.


My sis and mom putting together some of the cookie treat plates.


Works in progress...

The final yield - 10 hours later:

- 26 total boxes/plates/tins of treats

Finished plate before being covered.

- 1 computer virus

- 36 chocolate cake balls

These will forever be known as the "infamous" chocolate cake balls. Why? Well, a friend emailed me the recipe and when I accessed the recipe I was the lucky recipient of a computer virus. T Rex Dad is reloading and reformatting my laptop as I type.

- 4 dozen frosted sugar cookies


- 5 dozen biscochitos

- 7 dozen chocolate chip cookies

Biscochitos and chocolate chip cookies

- 3 dozen chocolate dipped pretzels


- 1 burned thumb

- 4 batches of fudge

Making fudge with me sis - just before the candy thermometer burned my hand. T Rex Dad put "liquid band-aid" on it - wouldn't even know it even happened. Kind of nice having someone else providing nursing care around here.

- 3 sore backs

- 1 VERY happy T Rex!!!

Playing with cousin Dede.


Kisses for cousin.


Relaxation after all the hard work - everyone sat and "enjoyed" Elmo together. That tells you how tired we were!

Do you do holiday baking in your household? What is it like?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stocking Traditions...

Results are in from the Stocking Poll - seems 50% of households participating in the poll report that both kids and adults get their stockings filled by Santa. In the other households it is split - 25% just kids and the other 25% anyone and anything (including stuffed animal friends) have their stockings filled by Santa.

In our household, anyone or anything hanging a stocking is visited by Santa - always. We open all our gifts Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas morning we enjoy the treasures Santa left. And, of course, we always leave cookies for him - he never seems to leave any for us to finish in the morning.

The photo to the side shows our stockings. From left to right: T Rex Dad, T Rex, and T Rex Mom. Yes, you can give me grief for having the biggest stocking but there is a good reason for it.

About thirty-something years ago I came home from the hospital in that stocking on Christmas day. I was not born on Christmas, but close to it. I actually had to stay in the hospital for a while due to some health issues. I was not premature but actually the exact opposite - my poor dear mother. T Rex was 2 weeks late - I can almost relate to what she experienced. I am really hoping Little Girl decides to bless us with an earlier appearance.

My stocking has been with me since I was born - literally. I don't ever expect it to be full. But it definitely has sentimental value for me and I hope to always be able to put it up.

Now, onto the giveaway winner...

This is someone who might actually get to wrap her newborn baby in a stocking on Christmas...


Here is what she wrote about their Christmas Eve family traditions and who gets stockings:

The kids mostly...but I have in recent years decided...I want one too. Which means, Mr. Morten get's one as well.

We go over to my mom's and have and early dinner and a program with the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible. Then we go out and do a Spirit of Christmas service. Next we come home and give our gifts to Jesus. Open one present (pajamas). Watch a Christmas movie (the Nativity) sing Christmas carols..light candles and go to bed.

Or something like that! ;)

Thanks, Everyone, who participated and have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas...

I was tagged by Septembermom for this Christmas meme...

Have you started your Christmas shopping? Yes - it's done! (Maybe just part of that whole pregnancy nesting instinct.) Actually, most of the items I made. Here are some photos to show for all the hard work...

Remember all those shirts I made?

Photo from my high school/college friend - we're going on 10 years of gift exchanges between our two families. She's the one friend I have stayed in touch with all these years. It has been really nice reconnecting with a few other high school friends this past year, too.


The playgroup boys - some of the kids could not make it today but getting three toddlers to sit for any length of time to take a photo - challenging...(Left to right - Cooper, Joseph, T Rex)


T Rex showing off his shirt - it is a little different than the others - I opted to do buttons for the others as I was sure these mini-lights would be easily removed and choked on. He always gets the one first one of a project so I can improve as I go along.

Knitted Projects...

Pair of scarves for a mother and daughter.


T Rex's toddler scarf - he LOVES it! I already gave it to him - he badly needed it!


Pot holders - for my cousin and aunt - my aunt LOVES potholders - not sure why but now she'll have some Christmas ones to add to her collection.

Tell me about one of your special traditions? Here are a couple. Baking goodies for the neighbors. My mom and sis are coming over this weekend to do so. We always over-do things - remember the plum jam incident? So, we're trying to strategize a little better this time so we're not on our feet for 12 hours straight. As you can tell, I can't really see my feet all that much any more!



Another tradition, T Rex Dad and I have always watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" before we head to bed on Christmas Eve. We've also started watching "Polar Express" the week leading up to Christmas.

Are you a black Friday shopper? Depends. In years past I used to go with my sister and we'd leave early and be back before anyone was awake so we'd just go back to bed. This year, my mom, sis, and I went to the antique store on black Friday. We spent 3 hours there and then had a nice relaxing lunch. I must confess, I did do a fair amount of online shopping on black Friday, including taking advantage of an online cloth diaper company's sale - we're ready to give those cloth diapers a try now!

When do you put your tree up? Usually after mid-December but the past couple years have brought us putting it up earlier due to hosting Christmas gatherings. We prefer to wait until all of us have celebrated our birthdays before making the switch to Christmas.

Do you travel at Christmas or stay home? All our closest family live here so we never have to leave town. Nice...

What is your funniest Christmas memory? That's a tough one - probably the year my sister thought she broke her gift while trying to break into her gift prematurely.

What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time? A Charlie Brown Christmas

Do you do your own Christmas baking? What is your favorite Christmas treat? Yes, I do all my own baking. Favorite treat - peppermint bark - but I don't make it. I prefer to receive it!

Fake or real tree? Fake - I get really sad when it comes time to throw the tree out. And I'm totally paranoid about the tree catching on fire.

What day, as a mom, does the panic set in to have it all done? Never had this happen. No panic - yet.

Are you still wrapping gifts on Christmas eve? Generally not but it has been known to happen from time to time.

What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas? Christmas eve time with T Rex Dad's sisters and their families. And then the quiet time afterward. We enjoy the excitement but also relish the calm. We like to be mellow when at all possible.

What Christmas craft do you like best? I always have to do a gingerbread house. And I love putting together my Christmas baskets for friends and family. I wish I had a photo to show but they usually turn out lovely.

Christmas music - yes or no? And if yes, what is your favorite song? Yes - definitely Christmas music. But not too early - has to wait until after Thanksgiving. I love Handle's Messiah. I once sang it in youth choir and found it to be one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I also love "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" - I want to teach it to T Rex for next year!

When do you plan to finish shopping? Done. I've never been finished this early before. T Rex Dad is also finished. Could we apply nesting instinct to him, too?

(Don't forget to cast your vote in my pole and leave a comment on the "Stocking Pole" for a chance to win a prize. For an extra chance of winning you can participate in this Christmas meme. Prize will be something I've knitted - you can pick or I can surprise you! Just a few more days left...)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend Update...Three S's - Studying, Sleeping, and Snow!!!

We mostly stayed in this weekend as I was studying for my phamacotherapeutics final exam (it's Monday afternoon - send me positive thoughts). The exam is worth 40% of my grade so pretty much I have to do well on it.

Unfortunately, I woke up Saturday morning feeling very pregnant (tired, dizzy, weak, achy, nauseous, etc.). Thus , the weekend was devoted to sleep and studying. And while I did all that - it snowed...


After the initial snow fall - more was to come...


Syd - our ten year old Lab - she actually likes the snow and is kind enough to make paths in the yard so our little dog can get to the grass without being buried in the snow.


Our little white dog Anya outside looking in - you can really see how much snow was starting to accumulate.


T Rex asking to go out in the snow...


Ready to go out in the snow - of course, Duck and Elmo have to go too!

That was our weekend. What did you do?

(Don't forget to cast your vote in my pole and leave a comment on the "Stocking Pole" for a chance to win a prize. Just a few more days left...)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Over-the-Top Christmas Newsletter

This posting is prompted by:

Season's Greetings Family & Friends...

This has been a year of change for the T Rex Family Household.

We've decided to relocate to the Alpha Moon Base as T Rex Dad has taken a position with the US Department of Aerospace & Defense. He will be working on the elite "Red Squadron" flying combat team providing security for the helium 3 mining operation on the moon. We are very excited for this amazing career opportunity for him.

On Alpha, T Rex Mom will continue her research of Deep Space Radar Telemetry while continuing to care for T Rex as well as give birth to a baby girl in the new year. Her research has afforded her many opportunities that are of utmost importance to national security. Therefore, we cannot detail it further. And yes, the sewing machine will be going with us.

T Rex continues to be the growing and precocious toddler. He has completed his EVA training and is therefore qualified for off-world travel and can join us on the moon base. He will start pre-school on the base with special emphasis on ABCs, numbers, and colors. He has opted to take his stuffed Elmo and Duck with him. They will be in quarantine until we leave in January - this has been tough on him but they will all soon be reunited.

Despite being close to her due date, T Rex Mom's physician has okayed the trip to Alpha so Baby Girl can be the first baby born on the moon - a true moon citizen. However, the President has said she could have dual US/Moon citizenship - a revolutionary first.

We wish you well this holiday season - A very merry Christmas and much love in the new year. Come visit us on the moon soon...

I hope you all enjoyed my newsletter. Maybe someday that's what it will read!

(Don't forget to cast your vote in my pole and leave a comment on the "Stocking Pole" for a chance to win a prize.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stocking Poll...

The tradition in our household is that Christmas Eve night is time for just us to exchange gifts and celebrate the spirit of the holiday together. After gift exchange we watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" before bed.

Then on Christmas morning we open our stockings and the gifts from Santa. Santa visits all members of our family - adults, kids, pets - everyone. However, I know that's not the case for all households. Hence my poll...

Which stockings does Santa fill at your home - just the kids, kids and adults, kids and adults and pets, anyone and anything hanging a stocking. I am just curious. I'll leave the poll up for a few days. Make sure you cast your vote.

I'd also love to hear what your family tradition for Christmas Eve night is - leave me a comment. Who knows there might even be a prize involved!!!

(If you need a little more holiday motivation, you can see T Rex's Santa photo on his blog.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Multiple Personality...

When I was a student nurse, I was also completing my child psychology degree (I don't like to admit this all that often because it implies that I should be the perfect mom with the perfect child - neither of which is true but we sure try hard). Thus, my psych nursing professor thought it would be a learning experience to put in me the adolescent lock down unit to complete my psych nurse rotation.

This seemed to make sense as I was the most qualified student. Well, my first day there I met a young girl with multiple personality disorder. This is quite rare and I was most excited to get the chance to chat with at least one of her personalities. Well, evidently that day's personality did not like me and she attacked me when "red devils started coming out of my head". I sought refuge behind a couch until she could be restrained. I felt so bad for her. It must be such a frightening experience.

I often think of her when I'm pregnant. That's the closest analogy I have regarding what it must be like for those folks - like your body is responding in a way you cannot control. I feel like I have small version of multiple personality disorder when I'm pregnant. Of course, it's temporary, reversible, and the end result is a bundle of joy, but here's what I mean.

Top Ten Ways I Know I'm Pregnant...

10. Enhanced sense of smell - T Rex Dad cannot wear his normal amount of cologne or he can't come near me. Usually, I LOVE his cologne - the more the better.

9. First trimester fatigue - serious fatigue, like I'm falling asleep in the grocery store while waiting to pay. And taking naps - I have NEVER been a nap person, not even when I was little (my poor mother). However, needing a daily nap - a sure fire sign! And if I don't get one - grumpy T Rex Mom - serious grumpiness.

8. Daily prostration to the porcelain deity - not just nausea but full on vomiting all day - you get the idea. I've gotten really good at carrying an "emergency bag" with breath freshener and a sturdy collection bag. (This nausea/vomiting can last up to 7 months.)

7. Tearfulness. I am normally not one who cries all that much or that easily. That's a definitely change when I'm pregnant. A song on the radio might reduce me to tears - this happened the other day while listening to the Christmas song, "Mary, Did You Know?" I was in the car on my way to the store to exchange something. The sweet clerk thought something was wrong but I sure did get good service that day!

6. Clear skin. I've always struggled with complexion issues but when I'm pregnant, I have the most perfectly clear skin. Now that, I can live with!

5. Redistribution of body hair - I have the need to shave my legs less and less but then there are other areas (don't ask...) that could use a little more attention.

4. Clumsiness - dropping things for no reason. Two recent examples - I dropped my sushi roll during dinner right on the floor - it was like my hand had a mind of its own. Or, another example eating out - I had a tray of food and was pushing it along to pay and I slid it right off the counter and onto the floor - food and glass went everywhere. I could not even blame the toddler - he was already seated with his dad.

3. Looking like I haven't lost that baby weight leads to pride issues. A few months ago the grocery clerk was trying to pull the cart past me and it did not fit because of my growing belly. She remarked, looking at T Rex in the cart, "Oh, I haven't lost my baby weight either." I was not sure if I should take it as a compliment or insult. I actually worked really hard to lose the weight from T Rex so my pride over-came me and I told her I was actually 5 months pregnant. Then I felt bad because she was a little embarrassed. I really must work on my pride issues - they really manifest when I'm pregnant.

2. Fetal movement - yes, it starts out feeling like bubbling or gas but then I cannot deny there is someone in there - especially when she camps out below my liver. And fetal hiccups make me anxious - I start tapping my foot. Really annoying to my bed partner at night! Then eventually the movement progresses to where my abdomen will move on its own - like an alien is going to come out any moment. Even strangers will look at me and comment that my belly is moving.

1. Cognitive changes or "forgetfulness" - I recently studied anti-Parkinson medications and some actually do cause "cognitive changes" (a fancy way of saying forgetfulness) - yep, that's me but not from meds but from hormones. English muffins are now called "circle toast" because I cannot seem to remember the name for them. Or I will walk into the pantry and then completely forget why I went in there.

I don't want to be mistaken, this is not a complaining post. I am truly grateful that I get this experience. Many women long to have this experience. No, rather, this is just my way of explaining why I am the way I am for 9 months at a time!

Can anyone relate? What odd changes have you noticed while you're pregnant?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Miscellaneous...Lots of Little Things...

There are a few small items to mention - each not necessarily worth an entire post but definitely worth mentioning. So, here goes - a bunch of small posting in one somewhat long posting...

First, this past week I hit the 33 week mark for this pregnancy. T Rex Dad snapped a couple photos before we headed out to celebrate his birthday. (I'm definitely not usually this dressed up with pearls and make-up.) I did not post a "T Rex Profile Pic" because he just posted his stats from his 2 year well check on
his blog.

My sister kindly loaned me this sweater - it's not a maternity one but she figured with it being long it would work and it does. I'm a fairly petite person so her size medium fits quite large on me - even being 33 weeks pregnant. Although, I can finally keep up with her in the cleavage department!

Next, we decorated the house early this year because we were hosting the playgroup Christmas party. (We usually wait until all our birthdays are past before moving onto Christmas but we had to make the house "Christmasy" for the kids.)

T Rex Dad actually did most of the decorating - I took off and went to the Christmas Bazaar to steal,
I mean borrow, some ideas for gifts for next year. It was nice to come home and have most of the decorating done. What a guy!


T Rex was so impressed with his "dada" that he started his own cheer for him - check out the video to see what I mean! (It's only about 7 seconds long but you'll get the idea.)
video

Finished Product...

We put our regular artificial tree on a card table to keep a little T Rex from pulling it down (and all non-breakable ornaments, too). It looks so massive on that table but really it's only a 6 foot tree. You can see Anya, our dog, lounging beside it.

A few other favorite decorations I put up...

My mini nativity scene - I don't know why, but I just love putting it out every year - it's the first thing I put out and the last thing I put away. And I always put this card up with it - it's Linus from Peanuts stating the "true meaning of Christmas". We always watch "A Peanuts Christmas" on Christmas Eve.


German Gingerbread House - T Rex Dad is mostly German so I had to do one this year to honor his heritage. Every year I do a gingerbread house (or train as I did last year). When I was really young every year my Aunt Grace would make me a gingerbread house. It was always hugely elaborate. I just remember wanting to put my dolls in it to play but, of course, it was too small. Ever since then, I just have to have a gingerbread house - even if it's made of graham crackers and hot glue (what I did during college)!


This is one of my early ornament creations. I ran out of beads for the eyes so I used a larger size. My gingerbread man is VERY aware. It's been a running joke with T Rex Dad and me for the past half dozen years or so. If this ornament could talk he would say, "HELLO, I'M Gingerbread Man..." - you'd have to hear the funny voice and see our wide eyes to get the full effect but it always makes for a great laugh. See why I have to go to the Christmas Bazaar?!? This ornament was pre-bazaar days.

Here we are on the day of the kids' party...
Preparations. I love all the counter space in my kitchen. It makes these kinds of preparations so much easier. There's just something about working in my kitchen (not someone else's) that makes me a little giddy. I'm not sure why.

T Rex and T Rex Dad took naps while I did last minute preparations - remember, T Rex Dad decorated the house the previous day so he was more than deserving of a nap.

Some of the crowd enjoying the gathering. That's T Rex in the red shirt putting a puzzle together and wearing his Christmas pants I made.

More from the party. I did not take too many photos as there was a lot to do preparing dinner and dodging toddlers. I certainly had a great time and I think everyone else did. It's a wonderful group. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful friends to hang out with. And it's also wonderful that everyone feels so comfortable with each others' kids. You can see T Rex in this photo talking with one of the other moms. Everyone just pitches in a helps with each others' kids. And, of course, the 4 week old baby girl got LOTS of snuggles. (I think T Rex Dad is now even more excited to meet our new little daughter!)

What miscellaneous things have you been up to?