T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Circus Visit 2013

Yesterday we opted to skip naps and take the kids to the 2013 El Korah Shrine Circus. 

I worked four days this week which is a lot of our family. My usual schedule is two days in the week. However, one of our clinic physicians was on vacation and asked me to fill in. It was not problem working the extra days since that is how we'll pay for my maternity leave later this year (by picking up extra days in advance). I am hoping to avoid extra days those first several months after the baby is born. At least not, until she's starting to eat some solids around 7-8 months.

With me being away so much this week, the kids knew they had to be extra good for Nan and also their dad who took a day off to help with their dental appointments and hang with them while I worked. As reward for their efforts, we suggested a trip to the circus. I even rented Mr. Roger's Neighborhood: Visits the Circus from the library so they would be excited in case we decided to go. 

The big day was finally here for them to visit the circus. It was kind of a crazy place. First, walking up to the doors were animal cruelty protestors. That made me sad as the signs were quite graphic. Then, the seating and audio in the event center was also terrible. Still, though, the kids were all eyes and excited. I packed healthy snacks including home popped pop corn.

There was a charming band that played at the beginning but then it changed to regular audio music for the actual show. Again, I was kind of bummed about that. The animals were great. The tigers were awesome. The ponies were only used for rides at intermission and they are definitely not starved as they had very full bellies. My favorite was the dog act - there was a dog that climbed to the top of a 30 foot ladder and jumped off into the arms of his handler. The cute part was the dog was wearing a red cape (which, of course, T was also wearing his cape, too). 

During intermission we took the kids down to see the elephants but they were not interested in riding them. They did want to get in the bounce house so we allowed that. Except, they turned the bounce house off while the kids were still in it and I panicked for about a minute until they were out, worried they were at risk for suffocation.

So, maybe it was not such a great idea to visit the circus but at least the kids seemed to have an okay time. Not great. The only real time they smiled was during the dog act. The rest of the time they seemed really overwhelmed and a little scared. Mr. Rogers said that it's okay not to stay for the entire circus. We took his advice and left after intermission. We retreated to do our long awaited mall shopping trip (we avoid it as long as possible until we absolutely go). At least there, the kids enjoyed redeeming my 1 lb of chocolate gift certificate from See's candy (sigh, as I am on a chocolate aversion right now). One pound of chocolate is about 24 pieces. Lil Sister and Hubby are going to have to enjoy it for me. And I was finally able to spend my Dillard's gift card that I received from graduation over a year ago! Did I mention we avoid the mall as much as possible?!? But the pretzels (which we also watched a special on how they are made this past week) were most delicious.

It still ended up being a great day as a family. The circus may not have been this epic experience but we were together and had a nice day. And because we skipped naps, the kids were asleep by 8:30. That was awesome! It allowed me to make T's stuffed monkey a Superman costume. (I'll post photos of Superman Monkey and Batman Cat soon). For now, enjoy the circus and mall photos...

The tigers.

Trapeze artists.

Ring spinners.

More ring spinners - they were fascinating to watch.

Dog act - all our favorite. Lil Sister loved that a little girl was part of the act, too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

20 Week Ultrasound and Update

Today was our 20 week ultrasound. We are actually almost to the 21 week mark but it was the "big ultrasound" where all the anatomy checks are done. Everything looked really good on the ultrasound. The baby looks great - healthy and cozy. Things seem to all be checking out normal.

The kids were elated to get to see their baby live on the screen. They've been feeling her little tap, tap, taps of late and I keep telling them how she is laying (laterally with head on my left and feet on my right) but now they are able to visualize it.

The doctor asked if we had any names picked out. T immediately said he wants to name the baby Violet. I think that's a beautiful name but probably not going to be her name. He is referencing Violet from The Incredibles movie. Lil Sister wants to name the baby Rapunzel (really not going to happen), but it was still fun to hear them converse with Dr. L. T also mentioned he wants to have 5 kids to which the doctor replied, "T, grab my card on the way out. You'll need it!" Dr. L was good with the kids, especially since they were so calm and quiet during the visit - made us very proud parents. He even printed them out their very own copies of the 3D image of their baby sister. 

I seem to be doing better - not great. I still have at least one or two days during the week where I have to rest a lot. The vomiting seems to have stopped but not the nausea. Sometimes I just do not feel like eating and have to force myself to eat. That is a struggle. I take advantage of the times when I am hungry and stock up on calories then. At this point my weight gain is about 3-5 lbs and still taking antnausea meds. 

I have also been studying and enjoying the hypnobirthing book my neighbor loaned me. I think I really want to give it a try. There are classes at the hospital where we are going to deliver and I am seriously thinking of signing up and introducing Hubby to all the concepts. It sounds kind of weird and vodoo-ish at first but once I started reading and studying the concepts, I was hooked. The relaxation exercises have really helped me with some of the other not-so-fun aspects of this pregnancy. My last epidural experience was not a great one - more pain involved than I had experienced up to that point laboring (it took three tries to get it in, too). Plus, each time it seems I have low blood pressure issues and with T his heart rate dropped and I had to be given meds to speed it up which made me miserable. With him, though, it was worth it - 56 hours of labor, the 14 hours of epidural were heavenly. With Lil Sister, I had the epidural in for less than 3 hours. If things go like they did with her, I can do three hours of laboring without meds, especially if I master these hypnobirthing techniques. However, I am fulling willing to accept an epidural if we head down the back labor for 56 hours like we did with T. If not for me, for the sake of Hubby. 

I am including some profile photos - 18 weeks and 20 weeks. Just to document. Again, not looking too pregnant from the side but my staff at work says they are starting to notice more baby belly these days and my patients are being more forward about asking and less shy (and worried about asking a non-pregnant woman if she is pregnant). I am a little embarrassed about a couple of the photos from this series. I usually do not show bare belly shots but it is kind of hard to take photos of someone getting an ultrasound without having the abdomen uncovered. Yes, T is dressed up as Clark Kent/Superman - he insisted on being my protector. Lil Sister is wearing her Wonder Woman dress - see the stars? They were extremely patient as the doctor was running about 45 minutes late so I added a photo of their eager faces waiting for the appointment.

20 week photos

18 week photos

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pumpkin Planting...

For the past few years we have been fortunate that our Good Neighbors have invited us to the pumpkin patch at Neighbor M's parents' pumpkin/tractor farm. Her parents are spectacular people -  we cannot say enough about their positive, kind, matter-of-fact hearts. Hence, we know why Neighbor M is the way she is.

We started the spring by planting some pumpkin seedlings. The kids were really excited to plant seeds when it was still quite cold outside. We may have started them a bit early but we were not expecting it to still be freezing at night Memorial Day weekend. Alas, since then, most of the seedlings died. But we still wanted the kids to contribute at the farm where they enjoy so many of the rewards such as large carving pumpkins and tractor rides.

Hence, we asked Neighbor M is we could go out to the pumpkin farm and help plant pumpkins. Plus, T always says he wants to be a farmer and as romantic and fun as farming sounds, it is a lot of work. We want him to understand that. Thus, off to the farm for planting we went.

There were a few "volunteers" coming up from last year - from the pumpkins that were mulched into the earth. Still, plenty of room for laying down some more seeds. We also took our sunflower seeds hoping we could put a few of those around, too.

T went off and did most of the planting and cleaning on his own. After about 30 minutes he declared matter-of-factually, "Farming is hard work." Still, he pressed on not complaining until all was done. Lil Sister was happy to follow her beloved Neighbor M around and plant seeds. Their favorite part was stomping on the ground to cover them up. Hubby enjoyed contemplating the affairs and future of our country with Neighbor D and Mr. V. Me? I just walked around taking photos and soaking in the beauty of the day as it was a lovely afternoon - more of life's simple pleasures. 

Order of photos - starting seedlings in February. I should have taken more photos of them growing but I was in the very early days of being pregnant with 3.0 and I don't think the camera came out all that often. Note the tractor shirts the kids are wearing in the photos - I just realized they were wearing those. They were Christmas gifts from Neighbors D&M.

Planting seeds at the farm. Our seedlings were taking over the kitchen so we moved them outside. While we were on vacation it froze outside and they all died. The kids were not too sad when we said we would take them to Mr. and Mrs. V's farm to plant new ones. It will be really fun to watch them grow into pumpkins and then the kids can be proud when they pick their pumpkins this year knowing they helped plant them.

Thank you Neighbor M for setting all this up. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. V for always being so kind and welcoming to us and giving the kids this opportunity.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Twelve Years...

Yesterday Hubby and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. The week has been a bit over-shadowed with events around my Auntie Edith's passing. As you recall from the posting I did on her a couple weeks ago, I was quite close with my aunt.

About 14 years ago when hubby and I were just starting to date, Auntie and Uncle came to town to visit. They were considering moving up to Idaho. I really wanted them to meet this guy I was interested in because Auntie has always been an excellent judge of character. I recall being at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town - we call it the La Tapitia (joke that there are two the's). We were waiting outside for our table and Auntie looked at my sweetheart and frankly asked, "Let me see your shoes." I was kind of taken aback and not sure that was exactly what she meant to say. She repeated herself and he showed his shoes. She looked at them and replied, "Very nice, clean, tidy - a keeper". Of course, as the evening went on she really got to know him and when the night was over declared secretly to me, "You need to marry this one". I agreed but we were still in the early stages of dating so time would tell.

Fast forward a couple of years and we are getting married. I live far from most of my family but I really wanted Auntie, Uncle, and their family to all come up to the wedding. I had all the cousins as either brides maids or flower girls. It was awesome to we surrounded by such positive family. Auntie and Uncle funded a lot of the travel and clothing expenses so that everything would be just perfect. As I said previously, she was always a big supporter and cheerleader of mine. It was a beautiful event and one I will always remember because she, uncle, my family, as well as a few other key folks could be there on our special day celebrating with us.

I was so happy she and uncle moved up to Idaho several years back, along with their youngest daughter and her family. It has been so wonderful having family close by. Special family that loves you no matter what your race, religion, or creed and takes you with your flaws and gifts. They have seen me at my best and at my worst and no matter what they always keep loving me. I know that is because their dear parents taught them true Christ-like love and they carry the spirit of my Aunt who is truly the most positive person I have ever encountered. Real genuine positive energy. Not the Polyanna syndrome, I call, when someone can take something negative and turn it into a positive (i.e. "Oh you broke your leg - well, at least you did not break both legs" - gee that really helps). No, those folks annoy me. I mean, even when things are horrible she would acknowledge the bad thing and say, "It's okay to be sad, it will work out. In the mean time, you have my prayers" and insert her special hug. By the way, she and I have the same body morph so it was sort of surreal to hug her - I know what it is like to hug me but I still have a ways to go before I get that specialness added to my hugs. We were the same size, height, weight, everything. A gift from Grandma Zamora.

Auntie passed away just a few days before our 12th anniversary. Once again, all the family gathered together. However, as wonderful as it was to be with all the family, our hearts were heavy knowing she was not physically there. I could certainly feel her happy spirit in attendance, even the spirit my my grandma but it's just not the same not having them physically there.

All the services were beautiful. The day was beautiful. I know Auntie would have especially approved of her pink casket with bright red roses over the top. For Christmas last year she asked Uncle to buy her a bright red coat. My mom has taken this all really hard. She was closer to this sister more than any other. She knows she will see her again someday, as do all of us, it's just we will miss her deeply. I cannot explain how powerful her spirit was. Such a positive flow of energy that it is hard to not notice its absence. Does this make sense?

So, Hubby and I opted to keep our anniversary celebration a quiet one. Auntie's services were all completed the day before our anniversary but we were so tired both physically and emotionally from everything we took the day off. Actually, I was quite sick and slept about 18 of the 24 hours in the day - again keeping things in perspective. But it was still a lovely day being together and enjoying our children. The evening before we did not feel like cooking so we went out as a family for sushi. We toasted Auntie with our waters and said one final farewell to this wonderful woman. Then it was off for a walk to throw coins in the fountain and walk past the building where we had our reception. We especially felt safe having super hero escorts. 

When Hubby and I chatted last night about our simple celebration we were happy. We actually felt it was one of the best anniversary celebrations ever. We remember being at Auntie and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. In fact, they were just a few weeks short of making it to 60 years of marriage. I hope the same for us. If we continue as we are, I see no reason why not. This year, we thanked God for our beautiful family and the many happy years we have shared together. Simple times together. For I feel it is the every day efforts that are most important and make up the majority of our lives, not moving between special days and big life changing events.

Happy 12th Anniversary to my Dearest Love!!!

Kids dressed and ready for Auntie's services. I had to make Lil Sister a new dress with red edging in honor of Auntie.
Had to have freshly polished shoes for her, too.
Family sushi dinner to celebrate anniversary.
Super cool traditional Japanese dessert for kids - orange with whipped cream and strawberries. (No, T did not eat whipped cream.)

Fully restored classic VW bug parked outside - kids were awed and impressed there were no seat bets. Speedometer did not go past 80 MPH.
Wishes at the fountain - first wish I ever made here was that I would be the girl Hubby wanted to marry. Wishes (and prayers) really do come true!
Tall building to the right was where we had our wedding reception and spent our wedding night.
Best man at the wedding interviewing Auntie and Uncle for our wedding video - my heart still hurts too much to re-watch this yet.
We insisted Auntie and Uncle be in our official photos - true honored guests.