Wednesday, February 24, 2010

12 weeks

On Monday I had my 12 week appointment. Jason came with me as it was thought we should be able to hear the heartbeat. He also wanted to have a look around and get a feel for the place and meet the midwives.

Everything went fine at the appointment and after some searching, we did find the heartbeat so all is well. Jason is still reluctant about me birthing at a center instead of a hospital, but he’s willing to go along with it at this point.

Next appointment will be at 16 weeks and I’ll be able to schedule my ultrasound for a few weeks after that. I’m anxious to find out the gender!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This morning I got the rare pleasure of waking up to an almost empty house. Its just Jason and I. My parents took the kids yesterday so J and I could go out to dinner at Dahlia Lounge with some friends.

We had an interesting day yesterday. After dropping off the kids, we came home and decided we were going to head into downtown Seattle early because the day was so gorgeous and we haven't explored downtown in years. We wanted to stop and buy J a few shirts and then we thought, maybe we should look at a sports jacket and slacks because its something he's really needed in his wardrobe. So we stopped at Men's Warehouse in Lynnwood because it was the only place I knew of off the type of my head. An hour and a half later we walk out rather shell-shocked (sticker shocked?) at what we'd done! He ended up with a sports coat, 2 dress pants, 2 shirts, and 2 ties. In truth we only walked out with the shirts and ties because the other things were being tailored. That was the most money we'd ever spent on clothes and then we left with this tiny bag. Wasn't very satisfying! Oh well. At least we know he'll be very well dressed for any events that come up.

We got downtown and parked right by the restaurant, then walked to Westlake Center. I used the ladies room and while I was in there, mall security busted in to get a lady who was high as a kite and leaning in a corner. That was kind of interesting. We wandered around for a bit, then headed back to the restaurant and met April and Gregg and had dinner. We were there 3 hours and had a good time. Food was ok. Not amazing, but good and a little different. My favorite was the dessert of freshly made doughnuts with marscapone and jam. YUM!

Today I have some big yard plans, thanks to the really nice weather that has inspired me. I'm pulling out a big bush in the front yard and replacing it with my blueberry which has outgrown its pot. I'm also going start hacking back the blackberry bushes that have been encroaching on my yard for the past few years. They are now officially "out of control" and I'm out of time... if they're gonna be cut back, it has to be now. How I wish I had a goat who could come in here and eat them back.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


As of 2/13/10, we are entirely consumer debt free. No credit cards, no car payments. No monkey on our back. We are FREE! This is astounding. A little over 2 years ago we were putting $200 a month on the credit cards for essentials and totally baffled at why we couldn't live on Jason's income. My friend April told us about Dave Ramsey and his book, Total Money Makeover. I read it first, with a huge dose of skepticism. Budgeting was scary and we'd never stuck to anything we'd tried in the past. I didn't think this would work either. After I read a few pages, I knew Jason had to read it too. He started and got SO excited by it. We saw a far better future for ourselves and best of all, a very easy plan to get there. So we started and we stuck with it, like we'd never ever stuck to any other budget plan before. And suddenly, that very first month, we not only had enough money to pay for everything, we had extra left over. Why had we needed that $200 on the credit card every month? We were not shorted on anything. We could still get an espresso and eat out. We still went on vacations and celebrated birthdays. Our lives were not negatively impacted at all. And best of all, even then, we felt free. We didn't worry about having enough to pay the mortgage or groceries. We knew we had it because the cash was right there in the envelope staring at us.

So I would recommend this plan to anyone who wants to get their finances under control. How we wish we'd done this 5 years earlier. We'd be in a totally different place. Its truly changed our lives.

So... in other news, my commitment to only spend 30 minutes online did not work today. But, it wasn't pointless time killing internet stuff, but research, planning and investigation. I looked for some home organization for the kid's laundry (and found it!). I planned out my gardens and ordered some seeds and starts for delivery later this year (so excited!). I ordered a new cell phone. I am pleased at how aware I've been of my time. When I started just aimlessly browsing, killing time, I left the computer and did something else. Like plant my tulip bulbs... better late than never. Right? Right?

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I've been feeling very convicted about how much time I spend online. It never feels like I spend a lot of time at a stretch, but since I'm always popping on and off it does add up. Some days, bad days, I spend most of my day online just killing time and trying to escape reality. I end up eating my breakfast and lunch here, so I can read articles or my message board and my kids watch more TV than they should because Mommy gets caught up in something online. I don't want to be a parent who keeps brushing their kids aside because they are too distracted by the computer.

So, my new goal is to limit myself to 30 minutes a day. I suppose for some people that still probably sounds like a lot! But I will guarantee you that its way less than I spend online now. 30 minutes is plenty of time to check my boards, Facebook, email and read a few things online.

I want to fill that extra time with good, fun things. Not more housework. Nope. That's a sure way to send me back to the computer for an escape! I want to use that time to read for myself or to the kids, finally get back into sewing, work in the yard, or do one of the thousand and one projects I have in mind for this house.

So, I start tomorrow. I'm a little afraid to be honest. My computer has been an escape for years and years... even before I had kids! I'm sure there will be some withdrawal pains. But I'm not living in a way I'm proud of right now, and I know technology addiction is part of it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A beautiful story

I discovered this through a link on a message board I visit and it was too beautiful not to share. It really touched me. I think it may touch your heart too, so I encourage you to spend the 5 minutes to read through this mothers story.

The Birth of Nella Cordelia

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Funny & charming things the kids are doing

Just so I don't forget!

Elsa has moppish hair, so I often put it up in a spout on top of her head. Its a very tall spout. The girls have come up with a game where Gwen holds the spout and leads Elly around the kitchen-living room-office circuit. Around and around they go, Elsa giggling and Gwen gently guiding her by the hair.

Elsa really gets that Gwen is her sister now and "Gennie" is usually the first person she asks about when she gets up in the morning. I've noticed the last few times we've been out and about, Elsa has run up to Gwen unexpectedly, hugged her legs and said, "Gennie sis! Gennie sis!" meaning, of course, Gwennie is her sister. Its so cute!

Every night I pray with the kids before bed. Gwen always likes to follow up with her own prayer. Its so sweet because she always praises my dinners, even if she didn't like them, and thanks Jesus for her "bestest" Mommy.

Ethan has been  coming back with little statements that crack us up. The other day we were in the car and he was cranky. I asked him why he was so sour and he says, "Because I got up at 1 in the morning and ate a lemon". Too funny! When I was trying on my red lipstick for my sisters 40's themed party, he looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, "Mom, those are kissing lips, like in a cartoon!"

Ethan also has good reasoning skills. I have to be very careful to not let him reason his way out of assigned tasks or punishments because he will somehow always talk me out of them. Jason tells me that he did this as a kid too, so I guess E comes by it naturally. On one hand, I admire his ability, but sheesh, this will be a challenge the older he gets. Perhaps I will need to get him in a debate club!

One of the most charming things the older two do is snuggle on the couch and fall asleep in ridiculous positions or fall asleep on their own in ridiculous spots. Here are a few of my favorites.

Ok, they aren’t asleep in this one, but who can sit comfortably like this!


Ethan has special snuggling powers. His sisters can’t stay awake around him!


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Times of our life

Things have been so crazy lately. Seems every week or weekend has some event that takes up every ounce of available brain and body energy!

Last weekend we traveled to my Aunt Daralyn's house in Northeast Washington. Our journey was for two reasons. 1. A housewarming for my cousin Lindy who lives in that area, and 2. hooky-bobbing, which is basically sledding and then being pulled back up the hill (in this case, driveway) by a car.

Our trip out took about 7 hours and went fairly smooth, all things considered. My kids are not strangers to long car rides and they do pretty well. The DVD player helps a lot! As we got closer, we were skeptical that we'd have much snow to sled on as the roads and most of the countryside was snow free. However, my aunt lives on a mountain basically and there was plenty of snow for us! We navigated the somewhat treacherous driveway with ease (what a big relief) and settled in with the scads of other people there. I think at the fullest point there were 31 people in her house, and for 2 nights there were 27 people sleeping there! There were 11 kids under 9, and 5 of them were under 2 years. Oh it was a full house, but it wasn't all that crowded feeling and everyone was able to find a little space to move and breathe.

The next few days were filled with lots of visiting and playing. It was my first time hooky-bobbing and I had a BLAST! I so want to do this next year :) I have an album of pictures that ya'll can see here.

The drive home took about 7 hours too, but was more difficult because my cranky little sis, Jenni, was riding with us (sorry Jen, its true!) and the DVD player was broken. But we all survived and the journey was well worth the memories and enjoyment we had at Aunt Daralyns, even though we had to go to the bathroom in garbage bags the last day ;) Our poor hosts, the sewer pipe under their house was crushed (unbeknown to them) and the influx of all the people using the faciilites clogged it completely. Its freezing with deep snow outside and we are on a mountain. Not many options. So we did what we had to and lined to the toilets with garbage bags and tied them up and put them in the bathtub when they were full. It wasn't so bad. I DO feel bad that my Aunt had to empty all those bags when the sewer problem was fixed though. I have to say that I think it speaks highly of my family that everyone dealt with the issue with good humor. What else CAN you do in that situation?

In other happenings, tonight my sister Becki is celebrating her 30th birthday (technically her birthday was back in January, but we're celebrating tonight). She's having a swing dancing 30-40's style party at a gym. Its gonna be SO fun! My friend April is a whiz with hair and makeup and I asked her to do me up. We did a trial run on Thursday and she turned me from my everyday plain Jane into this. I was SHOCKED. It didn't even look like me! I've never worn so much makeup, but it was fun to do something totally different from the regular. I can't remember the last time I wore lipstick or got all dolled up. It'll be cool to see what it looks like when I'm in my outfit. Thanks April!

My goal is that it won't be 3 weeks until my next blog post. Lets see how that works out ;)