Monday, March 31, 2008

We just got back in the house after taking our first foray into the outdoors with the bikes. Two kids on bikes who don't really know how to use their brakes, going downhill and crossing two (luckily) mostly abandoned street results in much hilarity. The kids would start going fast down the gentle slope and freak out. I'd have to run up to them (they really weren't going that fast) and calm them down... and then the other one would go flying by calling for help. They had no idea how to navigate the curbs. They are rounded, so its not like the kids would hit them and go flying. Its just bumpy if you don't enter at the right spot. Ethan went over the highest point on his first curb and was yelling, "whoa whoa whoa!" but after his initial fear was over, he was cracking up over the incident.

Note: this is not Ethan's fancy new bike. This is the crummy second hand one that he refused to touch or try to ride until Gwen got on hers and started. Now he only wants to ride the old one which is too small, and not the new one. In time he'll come around I guess!

We eventually made it down to the tennis court where they had lots of room to ride. I took a short video of them racing.

After they tired of that, we went a bit further to the tiny playground and they ran around for awhile, then in unison decided they wanted to come home. Going uphill with two kids on bikes, when they don't really know how to best power the bikes, is a lot of work for Mom! We made it though and they are currently recouping on the couch with crackers and hot chocolate. Ethan has already told me that "this was a good day". Geez, he's easy to please!
It looks like all of us are pretty healthy now. Still some sniffles and coughs, but mostly back to normal.

I need to blog more than once a week, otherwise these blog posts get enormously long.

Last Tuesday, Gwen had a very informal program for her gymnastics. VERY informal. But it was still really cute. Mom, Jenni, Shel and Jason were all able to come and watch her 10 minutes of glory as she did her routine. She loved having us there to clap and encourage her. Unfortunately my camera battery was pretty much dead so I didn't get any pictures, but Jas got video so we'll try to get that downloaded and compressed to ya'll can see it. Its only "maybe" 10 minutes long but real cute. They even got a little trophy at the end.

I made a boo-boo on Tuesday. I thought last week was spring break for Ethan's school. So I didn't take him to school but as we were driving to to gymnastics, I had noticed that there were cars in the parking lot and I realized that I must have gotten my days mixed up. As it turns out I did mix them up (and wasn't the only one apparently). Duh! This week is spring break, I double checked :)

Wednesday I had my dental appointment and that went well. No cavities and no problems. They did recommend that I wait until after the baby is born to have the teeth cleaned however, as it might be uncomfortable for me to sit there for a long period. This is true, so I'll wait.

Thursday Ethan did go to school and Gwen and I went shopping at Target and picked up some odds and ends. I got the schedule of events for the rest of the school year and I'm bummed that all the fun stuff happens in mid-late May. Right when I'm due! They are taking a field trip to a kangaroo farm, having a "read-in" and an end of year picnic on my due date! Hopefully I'll be able to make all those events, but at least if I can't go Jason or my Mom can take him.

Friday was MOPS and we had a speaker who talked about her trials and struggles. Man, was it emotional! She said some cool stuff though. One of her quotes (which I'm sure probably isn't something she just made up but used from somewhere else) was: God is more concerned about my character than my comfort, more concerned about my holiness than my happiness. This is true, yet how many of us (myself totally included ) get angry with God because we are not comfortable or happy? Anyway, it really has stuck with me.

Saturday, Becki came over to babysit while we did our Bradley class. We are half-way through! Just 4 more weeks. We talked a lot about emergency birth and communicating our wishes to our midwife and the hospital. It was one of the more informative classes we've had to date.

Sunday we woke up to about 1/2 inch of snow. The kids immediately wanted to go outside. Ethan was back in within 5 minutes, but Gwen spent about 15 min out there assembling this snowball.

She really wanted to make her snowball comfortable and keep him warm, so she covered him with a towel. I was telling my Mom about this and how it was kinda strange, but she said we used to tend to snowballs too when we were little!

Ethan wanted me to take a picture of him since I'd taken some of Gwen. He wouldn't take out the binky, the little stinker.

We talked with my Mom and found out that they had nearly 5 inches of snow and weren't going to church. So we headed out there for some snow fun. On our drive out, we didn't see snow, in fact it was raining. As we got closer, Jason was feeling kinda bummed... that the snow had already melted or that my Mom had exaggerated. Yet as soon as we turned onto the long twisting road that leads to their driveway, it started getting colder, more snow on the ground, actual flakes falling from the sky. By the time we reached their driveway, it was clear that there was a bunch of snow! How weird their micro-climate is!

A picture looking back on their driveway.

My Mom had saved some little jobs for them to do. One was to empty out a bunch of eggs that had candy and change in them.

Then we went outside and played for a really long time. Everyone took a turn on the sleds and we had some pretty funny spills and crashes. Jason took video that we'll try to get up soon. We came in for lunch and then the kids and Ben wanted to go back out, so they did. Gwen came in soon after... her snowsuit hadn't been done up correctly and snow had gotten in her boots. She was icy cold! Her little feet were bright red. So we wrapped her in blankets and after telling us that she wanted to "lay on the floor", we placed her on the dog bed right in front of the fire. She ended up sleeping there for over an hour, even after her brother came in and threw peanuts at her!

We eventually returned home around 5 with some totally worn out kids. After dinner (stuffed bell peppers with roasted corn on the cob), we scrubbed them down in a bath, then sent them off to bed, where they slept like rocks the entire night. They even slept in a little for me this morning. Sleeping in, of course, meaning like 6:45 :)

Today we're just hanging out. The sun has made an appearance, so we're gonna get dressed and ride bikes outside for a little bit. Tonight I have a MOPS event at a spa/coffeehouse thing that should be fun.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

If you can, send a few prayers and good thoughts our way.

Gwen got very sick yesterday afternoon and through the night. Neither Jason or Gwen or I slept very much at all. Today she seems a little better, but we are all exhausted and cranky.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter dawned very cold and wet this year! We had planned on going to church, but I had a wee emotional breakdown and it didn't happen :)

Due to the weather, we didn't get to do frilly socks, dressy shoes or sundresses. However, I think the kids looked darn charming.

We headed out to my Mom's and had a big old party for a couple hours. There were quite a few people there, but it was fun.

Jason briefing the three hunters (my cousin Ben, Ethan and Gwen) on the rules of egg hunting. Notice Gwen's look. It must be hard being the smallest.

Ethan's first egg

Gwen's first egg

A clever hiding spot

Ben trying to get hints out of us on the harder to find eggs

Every egg discovery was a moment of joy

I just adore this picture. I may get it framed.

Ethan's face after his Aunt Becki jokingly told him he'd eaten an egg with slugs on it.

Gwen worked on peeling that egg for a VERY long time. She was proud when she finished!

My brother Michael. Isn't he cute?
Well its been a week since I posted, even though I've had plenty of blog-fodder.

I'll just put it out there. I've been in a depressive funk. Its very similar to how I was feeling when I had post-partum depression. I had been warned that this may happen (and studies have shown that PPD is likely to be worse with subsequent pregnancies), but I didn't expect it to start before the baby was born. Its rather pointless to explain how I'm feeling because it will likely sound stupid and minor when written out. Suppose that you feel stretched out emotionally and mentally and physically at 100% every day, regardless of how you're sleeping (or in my case, not sleeping... which is unusual for me) or how much rest or free time you get. You always feel at your breaking point. That's pretty much it.

Now, onto the fun stuff.

Tuesday I took the kids to their first dental appointment. We'd been prepping them for a few days so they'd know what to expect. As it turns out, one of the Mom's from Ethan's preschool works at this office as a hygienist so it was nice to see a familiar face. The kids did GREAT! They weren't scared or anything. No cavities, and the dentist didn't even say, "Get those kids off binkies NOW!". He just said that they have to be off by 6 or so when their adult teeth come in and the sooner we can get them off the better, but he has kids so he knows how it can be, especially with a new baby on the way.

Kid's chilling in the dentist chairs.

Wednesday, Mom came and got the kids and dropped off Shelly. She went to my 30 week midwife appointment with me. All is well. Blood pressure normal, blood tests normal. Baby measuring exactly as it should and is head up. I need to start doing some exercises to make sure baby turns. We don't want a breech! I also found out that midwives will stay through the entire labor with you, as long as there are no other deliveries going on. If that is the case, then they split their time evenly, but basically they will be with you as much as possible. Another difference from an OB.

After that, we drove down to a restaurant supply store in North Seattle hoping to find stuff for Shel's wedding. Unfortunately we didn't find anything, but I came out with a commercial grade non-stick pan and a few other fun things. After that we headed to Alderwood and ate lunch at P.F. Changs (yum), then headed over to Michaels where we had much better luck at finding things. On our way back to Mom's, we stopped and ordered Ethan's birthday cake at Baskin Robbins. Holy cow, are ice cream cakes expensive!

Thursday, um, something happened. Oh, well I did register Ethan and Gwen for school. They just decided to offer a morning pre-K that runs during the same time as pre-school. What this means is that instead of doing 4 instances of child loading and unloading on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and 2 on Wednesdays), I'll be able to drop E and G both off at the same time on T and Th and pick them up at the same time. We'll just have an extra drop off/pick up on Wednesday. With three kids, this makes a huge difference.

Friday I asked my friend April if she'd like to go the Spartan Gym and let the kids run. She did so we met there. Ethan was like a madman. He ran around non-stop the entire 2 hours. The kid never stopped. He told me his legs hurt afterwards. April was trying to get a picture of Gwen and I told her to do her princess pose (as far as I knew she didn't have one... I was just trying to get her attention). She threw this pose.

I guess she does have a princess pose!

Saturday was busy busy and it was Ethan's 4th birthday! Grammy came and babysat while we did our Bradley class. We got home late due to traffic and hurried to put the kids down before Grandpa Les and Grandma Karen came. The kids dilly-dallied and didn't go to sleep so an hour later when our guests arrived they were raring to go!

We got Ethan a bike for his birthday. He was (and is) more into "fixing" his bike than riding it. Its pretty cute actually. One day he'll want to ride ;)

Les and Karen thoughtfully provided us dinner, but for dessert Ethan specifically requested strawberry shortcake. We put a candle on top and had him blow it out. He's not a very good blower... after about 5 tries he finally got it! He ate 3 bowls of shortcake!

One of his gifts was the Bumblebee Transformer. Speaking as one who has been wrestling that dang toy for a few days now, its HARD to transform!

Ethan still likes playing with it though.

Easter will be in my next post!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why are Sundays always the worst day of the week? Perhaps its God's way of telling us to stop being so lazy and get back to church. I'm only half joking. Maybe it is his way.

Anyway, the kids were up painfully early and after starting out our morning with a peice of apple streusel kuchen I'd made for dessert the night before and a big homemade latte (the kids got milk, not coffee), we decided by 8 that we'd better leave this house or we were all going to kill each other.

So off we went to Fred Meyers. We sized the kids for bikes (we'll buy elsewhere, but wanted to see what sizes fit them best) and then dropped them in the Playland while we shopped. We didn't really need anything, but we did need to do something. I ended up with another spice rack and a knife sharpener, along with two plain t-shirts for the kids that I'm going to use for a Yo Gabba Gabba iron-on transfer. Some groceries, some odds and ends and an hour later we picked up the kids and got ready to go. The clown person was still there for their grand opening and the line was short enough that we waited so the kids could get a balloon animal or hat. Ethan wanted a dog, which he got in blue and named "Tito". Gwen wanted a hat and the lady pegged her right off as a "princess" and made her a crown complete with a heart on the front.

After that we stopped at the craft store so I could pick up a few things and then the badness started. J dropped me off and went to pick up a fast food lunch for the kids. I found what I needed but got stuck behind this ridiculous woman. Truly, ridiculous. It took me 50 minutes to get out of there. By then Gwen was asleep, Ethan was sobbing uncontrollably because poor Tito had suffered an unfortunate and untimely death by popping, my lunch was cold, the kids had wanted to wait until home to eat so their lunch was cold and my husband... my husband, he was not happy.

We make it home, bring everything in and a terrible stench greets me. Toby. Oh, our puppy-dog Toby. Leaving a great pile of vomit on the floor. I just knew when we left that I should have kept the back door cracked for him, but I didn't. The smell (along with my already woozy feelings from the day) made me start gagging, but I managed to scoop it up and get it out of the way. We all eat.

Then I start installing my spice racks and in the moment start cleaning out my pantry. Kids run wild. I'm knee deep in junk and spices and flour and ask J to put them to bed. They gave him hell, poor guy. I start vacuuming out the pantry (who puts carpet in a pantry but nowhere else?) and promptly get something tangled up and burn out the belt which I just replaced two days ago.

I hear barking and snarling... oddly, coming from the front door. There is my pup, sitting at the front door, barking at all passing by. At least he wasn't chasing. I let him in and continue my work. Then there is another stench. Oh, so much more vile than the vomit. I can't find the source, but eventually I do see it... on Toby. Apparently he rolled in poo. His or some other animal who knows. But it REEKS. Sigh.

Jason drags him outside on the leash and I hose down the affected area, soap it up, rinse him down. There is miscommunication between J and I and sopping wet dog makes it inside before I get the towel so now there is masses of water all over the floor. He runs upstairs. Water on stairs. Into the kid's hallway. Water there too now. Silently I follow and dry him off and hope the kids hear nothing. I take the dirty collar, towel, my clothes, the clothes he stepped on while making his desperate escape and start a wash.

I'm tired. Jason is tired. House an utter disaster. The kids will soon be refreshed and we will not be. Right now my prayer is that there will be no more stenches, no more poo or vomit, no more water disasters.

Next week we are going to church.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here I am at 29 weeks and 2 days.

It is QUITE hard to get a shot of oneself without these pesky little babes getting in the shot. However it can result in rather humorous shots, so I include the two best of me and the hijinks of the kids.

Now I can hear the judgment in your web browsing. You're thinking, "WHY is that nearly 4 year old using a binky and further WHY is that dear child naked?".

Well, we're working on the binky usage. And the naked thing... well, our kids like to be naked A LOT and as we're still working on consistent potty training (er, just ask Grammy who had a rough go this morning while we were at our Bradley class), its just easier to have them in their undies or as sometimes happen, nothing at all. They were very proud to show off their tummies in these shots.

By the way, I made that skirt... it was my latest sewing project. It fits elastic-wise around the waist, but it doesn't sit quite right because of the belly. Quite comfy though.

Friday, March 14, 2008

It was requested that I post a birthday list for Ethan and Gwen, since Ethan's birthday is next week and it kinda snuck up on me (whoops).

You'll notice that many things are repeated on the lists... this is because they have amazingly similar taste in toys and usually if one of them wants something, the other does too!



One of those babies that pee (a boy baby). Jason insists that he shouldn't get one since we'll have our own real life peeing baby soon, but Ethan is entranced by the idea of a doll going potty.

Transformers or Bionicles (the smaller, more hardy ones)

Fire truck or garbage truck

Clothes (5/6)

Geo-Trax (train sets)

Games like Memory, Don't Spill the Beans, Chutes & Ladders

Arts and craft type things


Roller skates

Movies (like Disney classics, etc)


Radio-controlled car, truck or animal

Magnifying glass

Ant Farm


Dress up clothes, specifically, "princess dress and shoes and crown!"

Also a peeing baby doll

Purse (they have ones that have little accessories in them, she's quite obsessed with those).


Roller skates

Arts and crafts

Movies (like Disney classics, etc)

Simple puzzles

Clothes (3/4T)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We are going through some regression with Gwen. It correlates perfectly to when I started really showing and our increased discussion of when the baby comes what will be happening.

Today she required that I carry her everywhere in a cradle hold... head on one arm, legs on another, just like you might carry a newborn. Last night her and Ethan found some bottles I'd brought home from my Mom's to use for pumped milk and she was really into using the bottle, and wanted Jason to "hold me like a baby" and feed her the bottle. Her binky use is WAAAAY up. She was never a heavy user, but trying to pry that thing out of her mouth for any length of time is real struggle now.

I know its typical for kids to do this, and I expect it might even worsen after the baby arrives, but it is kinda irritating. I'm hardly comfortable toting a 25 lb child around, there is no room on my lap to speak of, and I like to hear her talk, not binky talking.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I just put together a spreadsheet of 30 meal ideas for us to use until the baby arrives and maybe a little bit after. Generally I LOVE menu planning and searching through various sites to find things I want to make, but it takes up a great deal of time and effort and lately its fallen to the very very bottom of my list of things to do, resulting in rather aimless visits to the grocery store where I try to guess what I may want to make for the next couple days. This is not a good way to shop or to cook! So I randomly picked a small selection (but still big enough that we don't repeat often) different meals that I can pick and choose from. I'm sure I'll throw in a few last minute meals in there as well, but it'll make my lists easier to make.

I'm going to upload the spreadsheet here... its in very rough form, but useful for me :) My classifications may not be totally correct, but I gave my closest guess for ease of sorting by type and protein. If there is something you are interested and there is no link to a recipe, let me know and I'll send it to you. You'll need Excel (or something like it) to open the file.

30 meals

Monday, March 10, 2008

The recalcitrant blogger... that is I.

I'm still sick... sometimes better, sometimes worse. My voice is nearly all gone, and comes out as a gravely squeak. Sexy. If it keeps up for a few more days I'll go see the doctor because I'm winded so easily and I don't want to risk bronchitis or pneumonia.

Saturday we had our first Bradley class and it went well. We weren't sure what to expect as this was a private class in a private home. The lady was very laid back, not zealous (Jason was worried about that) and casual. We watched a birthing video first, which of course was filled with naked women and some rather uncomfortable scenes of labor and delivery. The lady, Hollie is her name, peeked in and said, "Just so you know, naked AND screaming... both optional!". While we obviously knew this it was reassuring to realize once again that not all women are naked and screaming during birth, not that there is anything wrong with that, but one could really get the impression from the natural birth books and videos that this is "the way" to do things.

We were given exercises to do every day. I have to practice relaxation twice a day for 10 minutes. This does not mean just lounging in a chair, but positioning myself in the ideal position for early labor and learning to completely and fully relax my body, ideally when given a command to do so. It takes practice! Do 10 pelvic tilts, 3x a day. 100 kegels a day (!), walk 10 minutes a day, sit crossed legged on the floor as much as possible (good for toning and positioning baby) and do something called the butterfly to strengthen my leg muscles. Its not overly complicated or time consuming, but honestly I'm already failing! Being sick doesn't make me want to do anything.

After the class we visited the new Fred Meyer in Snohomish. Its really nice and the kids liked all the clowns, mascots and balloons.

Sunday I went with my friend April and two of her friends to see The Other Boleyn Girl. What a disappointment! This is one of my favorite hisfic books and the movie did it NO justice. It left out enormous chunks of important info, had poor character and story development and even the costuming was unimpressive (though still beautiful). Sigh. It was the first time in a really long time I'd seen a movie and it was barely worth my $7.75.

Today we are at home. My original plan was to veg and do a bit of cleaning, but I reversed the two and did a bunch of cleaning and very little relaxing. I swept and mopped every room downstairs, including hauling out the floor rug and cleaning under there and under the couches too. It hasn't been done in a long time. My body hurts! The kids have been pretty good helpers. They love to sweep and use a washcloth to wipe things up. They helped me take apart the vacuum and replace the belt and do other little tasks. If I can motivate them, they are better and better at being actually helpful, instead of us letting them help for the experience.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ahhhhh! I'm sick. I got whatever the kids had over the last couple weeks. Lots of congestion in the chest, sore throat, stuffy nose, achy bones. Waaah! Last night I woke up at 2am with the worst sore throat and had to make some tea and watch TV until I felt ok enough to go back to sleep. That sucks.

Today I had to take the kids to the Everett Children's Museum because Ethan has been persistent for weeks about going. I felt like poo, but forced myself on for his sake. We were there for what seemed like an eternity, but was really 2 hours. It is hard work to keep tabs on two kids there, and harder still when you feel like death.

Tomorrow is our first Bradley class and I'm this close to canceling. But it took a lot of coordination to get babysitting AND we really only have about 8 weeks till I'm considered "full term" and the baby might come so we don't have that much wiggle room to skip classes. I just don't wanna go right now. Waaah!

We are trying to decide what to do about pre-school/pre-K for this fall. Registration just opened up and we definitely want Gwen to go to pre-school. She is dying to go! The real problem is the pre-K for Ethan. It runs 3 days a week, and two of those days it starts an hour after Gwen's class ends. This would mean on Tuesdays and Thursdays I'd pick Gwen up at 11, then be back at the church at 12. That's a lot of loading and unloading of kids. I suppose we could always eat lunch at the church or kill time some other way, but it would be a pain in the toosh. The other option is to enroll Ethan in something else during the time that Gwen is in pre-school (like she does gymnastics now while E is in pre-school). Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a day!

Whew. I'm glad this day is over. It was quite stressful from start to finish.

Monday, the contractor was supposed to come and prep for concrete, but due to the rain he wasn't able to do anything. Tuesday they came and despite the rain did prep the site and build the forms. I had a picture, but lost it somewhere :)

This morning, Michelle came over to babysit the kids while I went to my midwife appointment. All went well there... blood pressure was good, baby is fine. I forgot that I was supposed to do my gestational diabetes test today so I didn't watch my diet. So tomorrow Gwen and I will go over to the hospital while Ethan is at school and drink the icky drink and get blood drawn.

I came home to find the contractor and his assistant here, setting up their tools and laying boards to help them transport the concrete from the truck to the backyard. Around noon, the truck showed up and the kids freaked out! They were scared and awed.

Our view from the front porch

We ventured for a closer look. These trucks are bigger than they look!

The concrete started flowing

Ethan could not get enough of this process. He was out there talking with the truck operator for a very long time... over an hour probably. I'd check on him periodically, but the operator (who seemed bored) and Ethan got along peachy and he didn't mind answering the million questions.

The first loads go into the form.

All the excitement was too much for Gwennie-pooh. She'd fallen asleep on the couch, but I'd woken her for lunch. Yet as soon as I turned back around from making my sandwich, she was out again! Eventually she did wake up enough to eat.

Around 1:30, the concrete was all out in the forms and the truck left. We paid the concrete manufacturer directly and it was about $200 more than we'd been told as a rough estimate. Yowch.

The contractor and his assistant smoothed it all out, picked up some of their mess, then left for lunch.

Our yard, already soaked from the two days of rain, is torn up badly from all the wheelbarrowing and walking.

The smoothed out pad. The outer border is where our stamping and color would be put later.

The cluttered backyard

Jason got home before the guys returned from lunch and was able to discuss a few concerns. One, we noticed a slant in the concrete. We expected some, to direct the water away from the house, but it seemed like too much to us. Its not the sort of thing that will affect how a table or chair sits, but to us, who saw it from start to finish, it is noticeable. The pad also seemed higher above the ground than we'd expected. We'd agreed to 1 1/2 inches above ground level, thinking it would be easy enough to add a bit of topsoil and grade slightly so that no one would trip. Our questions were answered, but we still feel like it wasn't done exactly right, or rather, the way we expected it. Perhaps our expectations were wrong, perhaps they didn't do it quite right, but in any case, its done, its in, its finished.

The last step was to stamp the concrete and apply the color.

Finished product.

Close up view. The border looks lighter than the slab now, but the slab will lighten as it cures and the border will be darker. The guy will be back in a few days to seal the border.

It was very stressful being here and seeing everything done and not knowing if it was being done right and if I should say something. I'm so naturally non-confrontational that the thought of saying anything fills me with fear!

Anyway, I think it will all be fine. It will be interesting to see how things change in the next few days as the concrete cures and sets. I can't wait to start working on the yard and bringing the grass up to pad level and planting grass. Our new patio is going to get lots of use this year.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Here are some pictures from our work day.

This is the deck, pre-demolition.

Dad and Aaron came with lots of fancy tools. Dad started with this battery powered saw, but it wasn't strong enough.

So he broke out the big one and soon the deck was being cut into neat little strips.

Prying the boards off the house. Man, was it DIRTY and icky under there.

This is where our hydrangea bush was. I dug it out myself with hardly any trouble. I also pulled out the bricks that had been lining the garden and the stepping stones from the deck to the hose. I used those stepping stones to lay a path from our back section and under the gate. It was poorly done and would have been hard for the guys to wheel concrete in, so I leveled it, set in the stones and packed in gravel and dirt around them to make it stable. It looks so much better!

Ethan caught throwing some stuff into the crawlspace. Luckily it was just some old toys, but he didn't realize that once they go in, they ain't coming out!

Had to put this in because his face just cracks me up! We had lots of pilings under the deck.

Gwen was cold most the day so she stayed in her rocking chair bundled in Daddy's coat.


Someone needs to analyze why I do this. After the event last night, then hauling and lifting and digging all day, I am sore from head to toe. I mean, I cannot take a step without some serious pain. Yet instead of crashing on the couch like I should, I make a pie from some frozen blackberries. I hope it tastes ok. I didn't have a recipe for frozen berries so I winged it. The pie has turbinado (Sugar in the Raw) over the top for a pretty and crunchy texture.

While THAT was cooking, I prepped a meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. The meatloaf is in the oven now, and I'll start the garlic potatoes in a second. And now I'm even more exhausted and sore! Why do I cook when I'm stressed or tired? I wouldn't say that I feel better after cooking. Weird.
We're just waiting for our helpers to arrive so we can tear down the deck. The kids are SO excited, they can barely contain themselves.

Last night was my MOPS table event... each table had to put on a social event and ours was a scavenger hunt. Instead of gathering items (well, we gathered a few things) we photographed them. For instance, we had to have a photo of someone holding a pet in a pet store, someone in a shopping cart, etc. I took on the highest point item and stood knee deep in Lake Stevens! The driver of our car was the leader of MOPS and she is CRAZY! She drove like a maniac and did all the craziest things, like dashing into Target and throwing on the ugliest outfit she could put together over her clothes for a picture and running (I mean, full out sprinting) into the Lake Stevens pool to find a teenager with an ASB card for a picture. I'm sure we frightened those poor teens. We also impeded two ambulances by blocking the emergency vehicle entrance at the fire station while two of our members were getting a picture with a fireman (luckily they were returning from a call, not leaving) and generally participated in totally un-grown up behavior for an hour.

I wasn't looking forward to going as I'm sick with what the kids have and I felt like crap. Gwen puked right before I left too and I almost bailed . I'm glad I didn't though. It turned out to be more fun than I imagined. Though I'm physically achy this morning from the constant in and out of the van.