Saturday, December 31, 2011

Like It's 1999

Yes, we do love to party around here.  The girls have been really rocking the dress up and dancing lately.

So today, we got dressed up (even Daddy!) and had our special New Year's Eve party.

The girls got a few minutes to practice with our noise makers.

Then we did our countdown, yelled "Happy New Year!!" and went to town with the noise makers.

Who cares that it was only 7 pm?

They sure didn't.

We even finished off the party having a "toast" with our special "party drink" in fancy glasses.

The drink was sparkling cranberry juice.  The girls weren't really sure if they liked it.  Miss kept taking little sips and smiling, but then saying, "It's too spicy!"  I think they mostly liked the fancy glasses and having something different.

They thought it was all a pretty big deal.  Happy New Year!  I'm looking forward to all that 2012 has in store for us.

Friday, December 30, 2011

On Being Pregnant

Being pregnant is really an awesome experience.  There's no real way to explain how cool it is when you feel a little baby kicking in your belly and then get to see pictures of her like this:

Awesome is really the best word to describe it.

Little Sis seems to be growing well so far.  She's breech for now, just like her big sister Lass was, but I'm hoping she'll get herself facing the right way more quickly and easily than Lass did.  We've entered the third trimester and all is going well.  I'm fairly enormous, but that's okay.

I'm used to being enormous.  That's just how I carry a pregnancy I guess.  All way out in front.  It's not uncommon for me to look more pregnant at 6 months than many other people do when they deliver.  It's no biggie.  It's just the way I work.  It is funny though, as wonderful as pregnancy is, it also is an odd experience in terms of how it changes the way people treat you.  Of course there are always the ubiquitous "How have you been feeling?" "How far along are you?" and "Everything is going well, I hope?" questions and comments from friends and strangers alike.  People tend to be concerned with and interested in pregnant women, and this interest is very well-meaning, kind, and harmless.

However, there are times when I swear I must be wearing a sign on my forehead that says, "Hi, I'm Amy.  I'm pregnant.  Feel free to ask me very personal questions about my personal choices and bodily functions, tell me your worst labor and delivery horror stories, comment on how huge or small you think my belly is according to your idea of what size I should be, and/or give me unsolicited advice.  And sure, go ahead and rub my belly while you're at it."  Seriously.  Anyone with me here?  Here is just a small sample of some of the things that have been said to me or to others I know:

"Geez!  Did you mean to have them that close together???" - Said to me in a somewhat snide tone by a nurse practitioner after she asked me about my children's ages during an office visit.

"Oh my gosh!  You gained 10 pounds in a month?!?!  Wow, that's a lot." - Said to me by a medical assistant after taking my weight during a routine doctor's appointment when I was pregnant with Miss (I then heard her whispering to my doctor outside the door about how terrible my weight gain was.  To her credit, my doc never said a word to me about it).

"Wow, my daughter-in-law is at the hospital today delivering twins, and you're as big as she is!!!" - Said to a friend of mine when she was about 6-7 months pregnant.

"You still have three months to go??  Wow, you look like you're ready to pop now!" - Said to me this past weekend.

"Are you sure you don't have gestational diabetes?  I had that, and you look like you do." - Said to a friend of mine.

"You'd better be planning to breastfeed that baby." - Said to me by a total stranger in the grocery store when I was pregnant with Miss.

And my personal favorite:
"One on board and another in the oven???  Um, you do know how that happens, right?" - Said to me by a total stranger when I was pregnant with Lass and carrying Miss in a sling above my belly.  I have to say though, this wasn't as bad as my friend who heard, "You do know how that happens, right?" from an OB/GYN resident doctor while she was in labor with her third child.

And then there's the belly rubbing.  I hardly ever get belly rubs from people I am close to, but those belly rubs don't bother me anyway.  It's the people who are strangers or acquaintances who don't just rub or pat the belly but kind of, well stroke it, for lack of a better description.  I mean, that's weird, right?  Fortunately this has only happened to me twice.  Once by a friend of a friend, who started rubbing my belly right after she was introduced to me.  And then another time by an acquaintance who noticed I was pregnant very early on with Sis and started rubbing my relatively small belly as she commented about how exciting it was that I'm pregnant again.  This is not only weird, but risky too, don't you think?  We hadn't really announced that we were expecting, and I wasn't that big yet.  What if I was just gaining weight?  Very risky.  And weird.

Now, I know that for the most part the people who make odd and sometimes inappropriate comments to pregnant women are probably not trying to be offensive.  And usually I'm not even really offended by the comments (except the weight one, that one had me in tears).  I just think they're kind of funny and like a little puzzling social phenomenon - The "say anything" and "touch freely" policies that often seem to surround a pregnant woman.  I'm not the only person who has experienced this, and I've had many laughs with friends about the crazy things people will say to a pregnant woman.  I think people mostly are just interested in pregnancy and want to or feel like they should say something to a pregnant lady to show their interest.  Maybe.  It truly doesn't matter much anyway, as it's such a tiny part of the nine-month wonder of pregnancy.  But it does make me chuckle a little.  I love being pregnant.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Own Cute Daddy

A few months ago we got family photos taken.  I love how they turned out.

The girls' personalities just shine through in these.

Props to our photographer Tara.  You can check her out here.

Don't they look like little porcelain dolls?

Several of these photos were used on our holiday card this year.  The one below was on it.  When we were at my parent's house I gave my Mom her copy of the card, and Miss was really interested in checking it out.  She was so cute about it.  She pointed to my face and said, "Who's this pretty girl?" (pronounced "pwetty guhl").  Then she pointed at my husband's picture and said, "And who's this cute guy?"  I of course played along and said, "That's Daddy!" and she said, "Yep, it's my own cute Daddy." I could have melted it was so sweet.

These girls just make me smile.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa Came to Town

We were at the Farm over the weekend for Christmas with my husband's family.  The girls got to have tons of fun playing with their cousins.

The grown ups got to have lots of fun visiting.  This is a photo of me with my also-pregnant sister-in-law.  She is due about two weeks after me.  The woman brought O'Doul's.  Gotta love a fake beer on Christmas Eve.

And then of course, the Christmas festivities began.  We opened gifts with the family, which is kind of crazy since my husband has five siblings.  There were 14 adults and 13 kids opening and slinging wrapping paper all over.

It was fabulous.

One of the biggest gift "hits" was this "Rody" for Miss from my husband's parents.

Daddy blew it up and away she went.

It caused a bit of friction once Little Sister noticed it.

She was pretty upset at not being able to ride it right away.

But Big Sister is such a sweet girl, she let her sis have a turn,

hovering nearby the entire time, of course.

And, time's up!

It's a really cool toy.

Finally, Miss got distracted and Lass got to have a bit of time on it.  Oh, the holiday drama!

After family gifts, the kids all went downstairs to wait for Santa.  In my husband's family, Santa arrives on Christmas Eve before the kids go to bed.  They have to wait patiently downstairs for him (while the moms put out stockings and all the Santa gifts upstairs).

When he arrives, he makes lots of noise stomping around and "Ho-Ho-Ho-ing."  The kids scream and run up the stairs, hoping to catch a glimpse of him before he gets into his sleigh and rides off.

We all got to see him as he ran out of the house and back to his sleigh waiting in the grass.  Unfortunately one of the older cousins may have seen him a little too much.  He said to his mom something like, "I wish we got to have the real Santa, not the one with dark hair and eyebrows."  I guess the wig wasn't quite straight on my brother-in-law!

When we went back inside, of course the girls had a blast with all their presents.

Miss got the two Care Bears she asked Santa for, and they haven't left her side since.  Here she is reading one of her new books to Grumpy Bear.

In my last post I wrote about how Miss has been insistent about wearing her "ballerina costume" of leotard, tights, and ballet shoes.  The trip to the Farm was no different.  I told her she had to wear some nice clothes for Christmas dinner and family gifts, and we compromised by putting her nice clothes on over the ballerina costume (if you look at some of the pictures above you can see her little ballet shoes). After getting her Santa gifts, the "real" clothes were off and she was back in ballerina mode.

I finally got her out of the ballerina costume when we went on a treasure hunt on Christmas day.  I told her she needed to wear warm clothes and that her ballerina costume really needed to be washed while we were out.

The weather was chilly but beautiful, and as always the treasure hunt was memorable.

Lass was a bit like the little brother in "A Christmas Story."  she was so bundled up she could barely move.

Miss found some shells and some acorns for her "treasures."

She got to check out lots of interesting things, like this deer rub.

She got to examine some mushrooms growing on these trees

And look at these little berries.

Lass fell asleep during our walk in the woods.

Overall, the trip to the farm was a great time for all.  And when we came home, the girls found that Santa had been to our house too while we were gone.  He left some gymnastics mats, a balance beam, and a baby doll high chair (which so far has only been used to feed pizza to Care Bears).

Oh yeah, Santa left bubble wrap too.

I am still trying to get things back in order here after so much holiday traveling. Yesterday I folded six loads of laundry and I still have more to do!  The toys aren't all put away, but they've at least all made it into the house now.  The spare room in the basement still has wrapping paper strewn all over the floor.  But the traveling was absolutely worth it, and we had a magical Christmas.  I hope you did too.