Thursday, September 6, 2012


Ellie started pre-school yesterday.  She has been looking forward to it ever since I mentioned the idea at the beginning of this year.  It was kind of a sad day for me...she's getting so grown up!

After we dropped Charlie off at school, she asked if we were dropping her off at pre-school then.  I told her that it wasn't until after lunch and she seemed disappointed.  I asked her if she would miss me and she said no.  So, when the time came and we arrived at pre-school, she didn't want me to go in with her.  I told her I had to go in to say hi to the teacher.  It's funny to me how Charlie was the opposite - he didn't want me to leave him.  I did feel better later, after I picked her up, when she told me she had missed me.  She's a funny girl.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Second Grade

Yesterday was the first day of second grade for Charlie.  We had a fun summer but he was ready to go back to school.  I'm so glad he likes school because I liked school too.  Life is just better when you like school as opposed to when you hate it.  There were some aspects of school, mainly social, that I disliked but on the whole I liked it because of the learning.  The love of learning has been a great blessing in my life and the older I get, the more I realize how rich my life is because of it.

Let me stop before I get too far astray from the point of this post...  I was really proud of both kids for getting ready without me having to do any yelling.  We were actually early!  What great start to the year.  :-) Ellie was excited for school to start too.  She is so ready for Kindergarten - even though it won't be for another year.  She will start pre-school next week and she is so excited!
In this picture, Charlie is making a silly face.  He does these fake smiles whenever I take pictures of him now and I don't know how to get him to just smile his naturally cute smile.  Oh well...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I love how my kids each have his/her own personality and make life fun.  One of the best things about being a mom is sharing those cute and/or funny moments with my husband at the end of the day.  Something I love about Charlie is how he communicates with us with notes.

Dear Tooth Fairy, I have to remind you that my loose tooth has a cavity. Love Charlie

Ellie likes to call Charlie different nicknames sometimes.  There was a period of a couple weeks when she called him Wyatt.  Wyatt is a character on the PBS program SuperWhy.
About a week ago, Charlie wrote a note on a sticky-note that said, "Very tired last night" and put it on his bedroom door.  This is an imitation on a practice of my husband's - if he was up in the night and had problems sleeping, he'd stick a note on the bathroom mirror to let me know why he wasn't up yet.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Morning

I'm enjoying a quiet Sunday morning before the kids wake up and the rush begins.  Ah!  There's nothing like sitting here and being able to think without interruption.  I didn't mean to wake up quite so early but maybe being able to soak in some peace is just what I need to start off my Sunday.  Who knows how many of these moments I'll get in the next couple of months?  At least ones like today when I don't feel exhausted... because I know they will be few and far between after the baby gets here.

Last night, we had a rainstorm which lasted hours.  The thundering and heavy rain started in the early evening and had tapered off to a drizzle by the time we went to bed.  Usually, the rain here lasts about 30 minutes to an hour and occur in the afternoon.  Dan had to go turn off our sprinklers.  I was glad for the shower which brought cooler temperatures and hopefully an end to the wildfires in this region.  Already, there have been reports in the paper that the lowering of the thermometer has had an dampening effect on the burning.

Well, I have lingered long enough.  Time to get ready for the day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

20 Weeks

I'm at 20 weeks now.  Last night, I went to bed very late because we were planning our vacation for next month.  I decided to skip my morning swim in favor of getting a little extra sleep, which was a hard decision for me since I haven't missed any days in the past few months.  I love my routine and hate to mess it up!  However, I've learned to accept that I need to slow down and not be too hard on myself for it.

A few weeks ago, I'd slept horribly but decided to do my regular 32 laps anyway.  Throughout the rest of that day, I kept feeling contractions - not a good feeling since I was only 14 or 15 weeks along.  I realized then that pushing myself so hard was not the best thing to do.

Learning accept that I can't be all and do all has been a lesson that I'm sure I'll still struggle with for the rest of my life.  I think it's just the nature of women to want to do more and more.  It doesn't help when you have things like Pinterest, other websites, and media out there seemingly telling us what we should do or be.  A few weeks ago, I read a couple of things that have brought home to me the falsity of these ideas.  Comparing myself to what I perceive to be the image of perfection is destructive and unfair to myself.  It's much more constructive to focus on what's important to me and my family than to chase after moving targets of what might be considered the ultimate thing of the moment.

In the spirit of doing it my way and ignoring Pinterest, I'm throwing an old-fashioned birthday party for Charlie.  It's going to be at the park, so I don't feel like I have to make my home look perfect for anybody.  We're just going to have pizza, pop, and cake.  Last Saturday, we went to a birthday where one of the moms made rainbow cupcakes.  It looked really neat!  IF I have time, I might do that.  I'm not going to come up with any fancy games or elaborate activities.  We're going to let the kids eat, play, and have fun.  We might fly kites, play tag, swing, etc.  We're going back to simple and old-fashioned.  Oh, and, I'm not doing any special treat bags.  I think it'll be fun!

(By the way, I did have an ultrasound today.  I was leaning toward not finding out the baby's gender but my husband thought it'd been good to find out so I did.  But, since I won't be talking to him until tonight, I will announce the result after I've told him.  Sorry for the suspense!  ;-) )

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not Sure

Sorry for those of you who got a half-finished post about our spring break.  I will be finishing that up soon.  I just need to take some time figuring out how to upload the pictures from our new camera. 

Meanwhile, I've been just trying to keep up with everything while getting more pregnant.  I've had to pack away most of the clothes I'd been wearing and am wearing clothes that are one to two sizes bigger.  I don't really fit into the maternity clothes yet.  I'm hoping I don't have to buy too many new maternity outfits but I might have to since this pregnancy is during a completely different time of year than my other two.  Being pregnant during the summer is going to be interesting as I tend to get really swollen at the end.  Also, I remember always feeling so hot!

I'm still exercising and swimming (but I will need a new swimsuit soon as the one I'm wearing is getting pretty tight). I feel really good and whenever I'm tempted to skip a day I remind myself that that would just be the first step down the slippery slope of inactivity.  I can tell that I've been sleeping better and feeling more energetic than during previous pregnancies.

This is week 18 which means I can find out if it's a boy or a girl in a couple of weeks.  However, I haven't decided if I want to know.  It might be nice if it's a surprise.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Break

It's been over a month since we went on our trip to DC.  I was waiting for some pictures from my mom's camera but since I still don't have them, I'm just going to post this for now and put in some of those pictures later.

We had what felt like a whirlwind trip with something going on just about every day.  We left our house around 7 AM so we could get to the airport in time to catch our flight.  Even though our kids are a little older and travel better now, it still seems like such a big hassle every time we fly.  I'm sure it's a combination of the long drive (about 1.5 hours) to the airport, the hauling of the luggage from the parking lot to the airport, the getting through security, and finally getting to the gate.  Add in the bathroom stops and trying to get food, not to mention any flight delays, and it's really a pain.  I know I shouldn't be complaining because we always enjoy ourselves when we get there but the whole process of travelling is not enjoyable.  We've actually been pretty lucky with our trips in the past couple years since there haven't been any major delays.  So I wasn't surprised when our flight ended up being delayed - for the most unexpected reason: snow.  We've been having such warm weather that it took us by surprise to see snow while driving to the airport.

When we finally landed and got our luggage and rental car it was almost 9 PM.  We still had about an hour of driving to where we were staying so we stopped by Famous Dave's for dinner near the airport.  It was our first time eating at a Famous Dave's and it was pretty tasty!

We stayed at the home of some good friends since my parents have cats (Dan and the kids are allergic).  Also, Dan needed exercise equipment for his back, which my friends happened to have.  It was really wonderful of them to let us stay there.  Actually, it worked out that they were gone on vacation until about the day before we left.  The only downside to this arrangement was that we were 40 minutes away from my parents'.

On Wednesday, we went over to my parents' house, which they moved to last year.  We hung out there and then stopped by my grandparents' graves.

On Thursday, my parents and sister came over to my friends' house.  After my dad left for work, the rest of us went to Brookside Gardens.  There were two connected greenhouses with gorgeous plants and flowers inside.  Outside, the flowering trees, tulips, and daffodils were at the height of bloom.  The kids especially liked the turtles in the ponds.  We didn't mean to stay long but after walking around the gardens we decided to walk through the woods by a lake.  Then we saw a miniature train on which we've ridden during our last trip and... since Charlie still loves trains, of course we just had to ride it.  Also right next to the train ride was the carousel ride, which we also had to go on because Ellie loves that.  We took a different route back to our car which led us through some playgrounds.  The kids played there a while.  On the way, we went down a graveled hill and poor Ellie tripped.  So, that was the end of our perfect day.

Friday morning we rode the Metro to meet my sister and aunt at the National Air and Space Museum.  My kids loved riding the train and the escalators.  We really didn't see that much of the museum except the exhibits on flight.  Then we had lunch at the McDonald's inside the museum, which was the biggest McDonald's I'd ever been to - it had about 10 lines and was two levels.

We then headed to the National Zoo, one of my favorite places to visit in DC.  It's near and dear to my heart because I'd spent one summer volunteering there during high school.  I have fond memories of riding back and forth on the metro several times a week and getting to see the non-tourist parts of the zoo.

The walk from the Metro station to the zoo entrance is quite long so I was surprised that Ellie walked the whole way without complaining.  We had a lot of fun seeing all the animals.  Most memorable were the pandas and the lions.  There was a long line for the pandas which for some reason were inside instead of outside.  The second panda we saw had just turned away from us when we walked up to look at it.  Ellie thought it was hilarious that it showed its bottom to us.  She kept laughing and laughing...  I have to say, going to the zoo with my kids is so much more fun than going with people my age.

One of the reasons we made this special trip was to attend the wedding of my dear friend Jaya.  She and I go way back to the fourth grade when we decided to be "best friends".  Even though we've taken different paths in life, she and I have always remained good friends.  I'm so glad we were able to be there for her and her husband's special day.  The wedding was beautiful as was the couple!

Another special treat was being able to attend church in my "home" ward in Laurel, Maryland.  Although I have been away for more than a decade, I love how it always feels welcoming.  Last but not least, we got to enjoy an Easter feast with some of my favorite people!

Monday, April 2, 2012


It's really embarrassing that I'm writing about this right now...almost two months later.

Ellie turned four in February and we had a birthday party planned for her.  Unfortunately, February was a bad month for sickness in our family and poor Ellie got sick several times!  We had to reschedule her birthday party twice.  But, I was determined she was going to have her birthday party because she was looking SO forward to it.  Every day leading up to it she would ask if it was her birthday yet. 

So we finally did have a birthday party for her at McDonald's and she was so happy!  It was worth the price to not have to clean up and decorate.

Ellie definitely brings a lot of joy to our lives!  Here are just a few things I love about Ellie:

* She has a great sense of humor.

* She makes everything fun!  For example, since the weather's been nice lately, we've been going on walks as a family.  Ellie started noticing all the fire hydrants we pass.  Now, she'll point out every single fire hydrant she sees.  She calls them "hire fydrants".  She's super adorable in the way she reacts when she sees one.

* She's very sweet and loving.  Her hugs and kisses will melt your heart!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Recommend This Blog

I like to read some blogs and there are a few that I read regularly.  Today I read a really great post at 71 Toes that I wanted to share because it inspired me and helped me feel good.  I hope you like it too!  This blog is so great and so is the lady who writes it!  In case the link doesn't take you directly to the post I'm talking about, it's titled "being enough".  I just love what she wrote because I'm always trying to do better and sometimes it's hard when it doesn't seem like I'm doing enough.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Yesterday, I went to see someone I hadn't seen in over four years: my obstetrician.  She did an ultrasound to determine my due date and printed out some images.  I was surprised at how far along she said I was - 12 weeks 4 days.  Because I'll be 35 soon, I have to decide if I want to have all those tests done to determine if baby has any problems.  Bah!  I really don't want to have go through with all that stuff but I guess it's good to be prepared mentally & emotionally.  Not that I think there should be any problems.

Baby is about 6 cm from head to bottom.  In the second image, you can see a hand.

I've had a lot more nausea than with the first two but otherwise I feel pretty good.  This will be my healthiest pregnancy yet since I've been eating healthier and exercising more regularly than during my previous pregnancies.  Yesterday morning, I did 32 laps at the pool.  I hope I can keep being physically active all the way until September 22nd!

Friday, March 2, 2012


Man, I'm terrible at this blogging thing!  I've been getting major insomnia now that Ellie likes to wake up at odd hours wanting to use the potty.  I don't know why I have such a bad time trying to fall back to sleep.  Part of the problem is I always end up thinking - one thought leads to another and before I realize it I've let my mind wander for two hours.

One of the things I usually end up thinking about is how I could write about this or that on my blog but do I ever actually do it?  No, because I always forget.  But, I do always think I would like to write more than just once or twice a month.  I'm not sure why I want to write more seeing as how my audience is tiny but I guess maybe if I did write more I might get more people interested in reading it.

Tonight my husband and I are going on a date!  We really try to go on them more often but it usually ends up being once a month (maybe twice if we're lucky).  It's really nice that we have a few baby-sitters to call on and the kids get excited about having a baby-sitter.  :-)

Our standard is going out to dinner and then seeing a movie.  It's pretty much the only thing to do around here, especially when it's cold and windy.  There are a couple of restaurants we really like - one is more upscale and pricey and the other one is cheaper and faster but still good.  The nice place was one we just went to on Monday night as a family (paid for by a work-related vendor!) so tonight we're going to the second one.  Yummy!  I can't wait to spend some one-on-one time with my honey!

If anyone has some fun date ideas, I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Change of Plans

Well, sometimes things just don't work out the way you imagined.  In my last post, I talked about going to grad school.  Having done it for about five weeks, I came to the realization that it isn't the right time for me to pursue that goal.  So many factors went into my final conclusion.

First, the time and energy necessary for my program was more than I could handle.  It was exhausting and stressful just to drive the 50 minutes to class.  You may think 50 minutes isn't too bad but you don't live in Wyoming.  The highway between Cheyenne and Laramie can be treacherous between October and May.  Even just a little snow can make the drive dangerous depending on the temperature and wind conditions.  Blowing snow is a common occurrence leading to low visibility.  Couple that with a steady stream of semis that regularly traverse this artery and you find yourself holding on to the steering wheel with white knuckles.  In addition, I was spending a huge amount of time studying and doing the assignments (okay, I only had one assignment at the time).  It was also affecting my sleep.  The nights before the days I had class, I was sleeping very poorly which was bad because then I didn't have the energy I needed to make the drive and pay attention in class.

This leads me to the second, and the most important factor: my family.  I was stressed-out and not having a lot of time to spend with my family or for taking care of them.  Sure I made sure they were taken care of but in the back of my mind I was thinking about when I could study and not really enjoying my time with them as much as I could.

In addition, I still had my calling and my PTA position.  So, after much thought and prayer, I decided it just wasn't the right time for me to go to grad school.  Maybe I'll reconsider when both kids are in school and when we live somewhere closer to a school or with more reasonable road conditions.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year, New Opportunities

Happy New Year!!  Last year was great and this year's going to be even better!  I know it will be.

I'm so excited for my goals this year because they're mostly extensions of my resolutions from last year.  I'd always been frustrated by new year resolutions because like most people, I would make them and by the end of January they would be forgotten.  Last year I changed how I made my resolutions - I made sure they were specific and achievable.  For example, instead of saying I would lose weight, my goal was: lose 1 to 2 pounds a week for a total of 15 pounds.  What really helped me with this goal was WeightWatchers.  (Note: I'm not in any way being compensated for this!).  I started this goal near the end of January and by May I had met my goal.  And, I have maintained that weight since!  So with that and some other goals achieved last year, I'm ready to commit to improving on those goals this year.  Bring it on!!!!

One very thrilling area I'm working on is getting my masters degree in mechanical engineering.  I'm starting a class tomorrow at the University of Wyoming.  Things are not quite official yet but I've been told I'll probably get in and one of the professors said he could probably find funding for me to take the class.  That means that I would probably not have to pay tuition at the very least and I might even be able to get funding for expenses like textbooks, travel, and babysitting.  We'll see.  I'm nervous about how much time taking this class will take because it's a 45-minute commute each way three days a week and I would have to carve out time to study.  Plus, my math is rusty so I will have to study more than the other students.  I'm trusting that if it's the right thing for me, it will all work out.

I will end here since I have to go work on another goal, get to bed by 10 PM!