Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Hate Me...

I know that most of my readers hail from the Santa Barbara/Goleta area, and so you may be mad to hear that I came into town for the weekend...and I didn't see most of you. I was there for about 3 days, but spent the middle day in Orange County at my cousin's wedding.
First of all, please note the use of the singular. That's right, I came solo! It was basically my last chance to be a real person and not have a baby literally attached to me for way too much of every day. I spent the weekend being called by my first name and not "Mommy," and it was great, but I did miss my boys terribly.
Here's what I did while I was there: I had lunch with some friends from the Museum, since it was easy to find all of them in one place at one time. A special shout-out to my friend Dayli at Pizza Guru for helping me out with some super tasty pies. I helped my mom's youth group out with a sky watching party (twist my arm, why don't you, Mom?). I dropped by National Astronomy Day briefly to return a borrowed telescope from aforementioned youth group activity and got to see some astronomy pals for not nearly enough time. I went to the Spanish branch for church on Sunday because I had a built-in ride, and got to help out at the piano, which was good, because no one wants to sing along with a CD.
Most importantly, I went to Kris' wedding, which was fantastic. He looked so happy, and Nicole was one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen. She also impressed me by greeting me by name and asking about Kevin and Stellan. What a hostess! Also, it was so good to spend time with my family, especially spending time with my siblings. We hadn't been together since Matt left on his mission, and it was a blast.


Finally, if you've ever wondered what it's like to fly cross country at 32 weeks pregnant, stop wondering. Don't do it, unless you have to. Those seats have never seemed so small, the air never smelled so stale or stuffy, the bag of peanuts never seemed so empty. Oh, and squeezing through the aisles? I'll just leave you with that mental image.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We Lag, But We Care

So I'm a little behind in our blogging. While I was busy not blogging, I was also busy doing lots of stuff. For example, Kevin's parents came to visit for a week. We had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa Cook, and ended up adventuring more than we had even imagined, including a 3-day trip to the Keys. The weather was just about perfect, the beaches were beautiful, we had a blast.
In addition to the Cooks' trip-within-their-trip, they also went to the fountain park, took Stellan to our Mommy and Me class, stocked our fridge (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and even found a bit of time to rest. But not too much.

Oh, and a special video post just for my mother-in-law. Mom, if you're embarrassed, just think of how happy I am to be posting this video of me looking super preggo and awesome in my sexy maternity bathing suit!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You Are My Bacon

An open letter to my wonderful husband:

I don't love you because you don't mind doing the dishes. But I appreciate that. I don't love you because you always remember to water the plants. But I appreciate it. I don't love you because are a freakin' genius. But I appreciate it. I don't love you because you came to rescue me when I got the worst attack of "morning" sickness one afternoon a few months ago while Stellan and I were grocery shopping and I called you from the porcelain throne at Publix and you hopped on your bike right away to come save me. But I really do appreciate that.

I love you because you always know what I'm thinking, and you still want to be around me. I love you because you always know when I'm being sarcastic and when I'm serious. I love you because you watch Project Runway with me. I love you because you genuinely think I'm funny. Even when I'm pretty sure I didn't really deserve a laugh for whatever I just said. I love you because you are hot when I am cold and you are nice when I am mean and we always seem to balance each other out perfectly.

As a really smart, funny, handsome, caring man once said, "I'm like bacon. I make everything in life better."

Happy birthday, amor.

Friday, April 23, 2010

And The Winners Are...

Thanks to Random Number Generator, the three winners of our "Pay It Forward" contest are:
Tabatha (who squeaked in with less than an hour and a half before the deadline)

Congratulations, and look forward to something exciting sometime in the next 10 months!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wanna Be a Winner?

I have recently won a "pay it forward" blog contest. As per the rules, I posted a comment on my friend Chantel's blog and was selected as one of the winners. Look at this awesome homemade gift* I received from her!

Yes, it is a lap quilt with an alien print. Perfect for naps or hide-and-seek, whichever you prefer.

Now that I have won, it's my turn to pay it forward to you, dear readers. Please post a comment in this blog entry and you could be a winner! Here are the rules - read carefully before deciding you want to participate:

1. Winners, you must post this challenge on your blog, meaning that you will pay it forward, creating a handmade gift for 3 winners who leave comments on YOUR blog post about this giveaway.
2. The gift that you send to your three friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you have received your gift and have shipped your gifts. And remember: it's the spirit and the thought that count.
3. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate links.
4. [I added this one myself.] If you do not blog but wish to enter, please include your suggestion for an appropriate substitute for posting your win and future contest on a blog.

One final note: I will be happy to send a homemade gift, but if you know me at all, you'll know not to expect a blanket, quilt, freshly canned strawberry preserves or anything else along more traditional handicraft lines. If you are hoping for something a little "different," this is the contest for you. I promise not to disappoint.

Just for fun, and having no bearing on the contest, if you'd like to include what you wish I'd send you in your comment, feel free. One entry per blogger, please. A winner will be chosen via Random Number Generator after the close of the contest at 9:00 AM EDT, Friday, April 23rd.

*Super hot husband and adorable toddler not included. Cranky stubborn whiny toddler may be included, depending on the day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Too Good To Pass By

My friend Jeannie posted this amazing anecdote on her blog. You should read it. Especially if you are at least intrigued by flying rodents in a church.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adventures in Reading

Stellan has recently made the jump from short board books with mostly pictures to "real" books with paper pages and stories inside. This is a welcome development for us, and Stellan has been blessed with grandparents who have been more than happy to supply him with books on a regular basis. Our library is looking good, and Stellan enjoys reading time several times day.

Not too long ago, we read Dr. Suess's "The Lorax" for the first time. Stellan was devastated to think that all the truffula trees might be gone forever and he insisted that we plant a tree immediately. (That's my little conservationist!) Luckily for us, Kevin had recently been at a job fair where a recruiter was handing out business cards that are paper pulp with a tree seed inside. The card even includes instructions on planting the whole card to grow your own tree.

Stellan jumped on the job with zeal, and now we have a little pot out front with the seed card planted carefully.

With all this newfound book excitement, we have upgraded our reading venue. Instead of the couch, we have created a book nook in Stellan's room. We grabbed all our extra pillows and other soft stuff and piled in a corner where his bookcase resides. We also got a special basket for all his current favorites in the interest of easy access. Come by anytime and enjoy a good book in our nook!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

No, Seriously.

I just got home from Girls Camp, which is a week long church camp for girls aged 12 to 18. We do it during Spring Break here in Florida because it's not as hot and we're less likely to have to cancel for hurricanes.

I led the 4th year campers (15 year olds) on the High Adventure, an overnight expedition during the first two days of camp. This year we went to Keewaydin Island off the coast of Naples, which is this tiny little deserted island with no trees and few bushes, but mostly lots of sand.

As the weather reports came in the days before camp, we started getting worried. The outlook was lots of rain and wind. Sure enough, there were tornado warnings as we were meeting before dawn for departure. We loaded the gear in the pouring rain, drove across the state in the pouring rain, loaded the boat in the pouring rain, and offloaded our gear in the pouring rain. One boatload of girls thought they were lucky because they left late enough that the rain had slowed. However, they encountered 10-foot swells on their way to the island and arrived just as wet as everyone else.

Once the rain stopped around 2 PM, the wind became a real issue. Sand washed over us constantly, as we had no shelter or protection from the elements. No tables or chairs, no shade, no trees, no nothing. We experienced some difficulty setting up tents because they kept blowing over, even once we had put the 5-gallon water jugs inside them. The fire took an hour to light, even with the help of liberal amounts of Boy Scout juice (lighter fluid). By the time we finished eating, sung a few songs and had a quick devotional, the girls were ready for bed. And the scant shelter their tents could provide. It was 8:30 PM.

In the morning, we had the sandiest eggs I've ever eaten for breakfast. We broke camp, loaded gear and headed for home. The girls got back to the main camp with some war stories to tell, and they were really proud of themselves. It ended up being a great experience for them, and helped them bond with each other. So despite the many challenges, I don't think any regret having gone. Also, they didn't complain about it once, at least not to me. Then again, who's going to whine about how hard it is to camp in rain and sand and haul gear while you're hauling gear with a woman who's 7 months pregnant?

We're going to have to come up with a different name for the trip. The term High Adventure shouldn't be so true every year. Seriously.