Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

This really is the most wonderful time of the year. And yes, I realize I just quoted two separate Christmas songs in a row. I blame the all Christmas all the time radio station that I have been listening to since after Thanksgiving, and my ever increasing pregnancy hormones. We're a flurry of activity and there's plenty of flurries on the ground too, to help us get into the extra holiday spirit.

Marin is loving the Christmas season this year and I am loving watching her discover it. She points out Christmas lights wherever we go, and the trees. She has a small nativity scene in her room that my parents gave her and each night before she goes to bed she says, "Night-night baby Jesus." Marin really likes the snow on the ground although she gets frustrated that she can't grab it too well with her "mitties" (mittens). She loves her (hot pink) snow boots and shows them to everyone. She calls snow "Nos" much like the nose on your face, which she also calls nose, but when she says "nos" for snow there is much more emphasis on the "s" at the end. It's a complicated deciphering game that only Jason and I are able to depict dependent upon the context in which she is using the word.

Marin also loves Rudolph. She also calls him "Nose" after the song, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Although she talks constantly about Santa, (including excitedly shouting his name ("Sahnta!!") whenever anyone tells her Merry Christmas), she wasn't so sure about Santa when she met him last Saturday. Until Santa mentioned that he knew Rudolph, and then she changed her mind about Santa a little bit. Then she asked Santa if he knew Mitch. Cue the blank stare.

We've kicked off the celebrations with a wonderful Christmas concert downtown- a treat for all of us from my parents, as well by gathering with some neighbor gals over a fancy tea complete with a child free afternoon as we ate mini sandwiches from fine china and sipped tea from crystal. We also celebrated my mom's birthday "Martin style" (which means we had two parties together, and she had at least six in total), we have been getting together with friends- including a sixth annual Christmas dinner with Auntie Molly and Uncle Brian, and a fun chicken chili night with Aunt Erica, Uncle Craig and Kai (Marin's boyfriend who she talks about for days on end), and partying with Jason's cousin and fiance who are getting married on New Year's Day. We've been baking Christmas cookies and breads like mad, and dancing to Bing Crosby's White Christmas. Jason would tell you that he's also been shoveling like a mad man, and he hates it with a passion, but we just call him Scrooge and move on. :)

We've also tackled another house project- moving back a wall in our family room and downstairs bathroom to make a large family room space and turn a full bath into a powder room. It is going well, although extremely dusty. I have all of our Christmas presents wrapped and under our trees and I am finding myself blowing drywall dust off of the packages from time to time. So much for planning ahead. When this is all patched up we are adding a gas fireplace and a wall of built in bookshelves surrounding the fireplace in the family room. I can't wait for that phase. And then there's finishing Marin and baby's playroom, and the creme de la creme- moving Marin to her big girl room (and bed). The new year isn't even here yet, and Jason's honey-do list is already bursting. :)

In this wonderful time of year we find ourselves with much to be thankful for. The closeness and plenty of friends and family, the overall health and happiness of our loved ones, and our own growing family. We had our 20 week ultrasound today and as we saw our little baby wave his/her arms for the first time and kick its feet and watch the heart beating away, we were so thankful for the miracle of life. It was the best Christmas gift anyone could possibly give us. My Christmas wish is that you and your family are afforded the same joys and the same love all year round.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mitch and My Bitch

Marin is talking up a storm these days. Every day she says something new. She loves to sit at the foot of our Christmas tree in the living room and point out the objects she sees. "Oooohh, mommy! Pritty!!" I love the way she pronounces words with her limited audibility of all sounds and letters, but in her punctuated diction. "Sahnta" is santa, "stah" is star and of course, "lini" for illini, her beloved team. We have three "lini" ornaments, and she has found them all. "Oooh, mommy, lini! Oooh! 'nother lini!" She also points out house, shoes, boat and cah, for car.

But my favorite words that Marin has recently said are not found on the tree. One night last week, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas was on tv, so I tivo'd it and showed it to Marin a few days later. At first she wasn't sure about the Grinch, but she grew to love it. Problem is, she can't say the "Gr" sound, so she calls him Mitch. She loves Mitch and Mitch's dog, whom she calls Mitch Dog.

I had a craving for potato chips a weeks ago. Just plain old regular Lays potato chips. Of course I had to get a bag. We never have chips in our house, so it was a total treat for Marin. Problem is, she can't say the "ch" sound either, so she calls those bitch. And when she asks for them and I say no, she cries, "Mommy! My bitch!" A few days ago we were at the grocery and Marin pointed to this little old lady's shopping cart and shouted, "Bitch! Bitch!"

And thus a new kind of Christmas story was born... the story of Mitch and My Bitch.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Enough Whining..

Do you ever have those days when no matter how patient you are trying to be with your children you just want to scream "Oh for crying out loud! Quit your whining!!" I kinda feel like that with myself lately. And if I feel like that, I am sure you do, too. The fact is, we really have tried to make the best of it through my ickies.

Marin and I have frequently gone out to lunch together at Panera because I couldn't handle the thought of having to make and clean up lunch. Plus, for some reason I am totally okay with going there wearing a big coat with my pj's hidden underneath. Marin goes crazy for the yogurt that you can squeeze right into your mouth and the milk disguised as a juice box. Plus, she and I equally love the mac and cheese there, so what she doesn't eat, I always finish.

We have been going to the home Illinois games, although it is an ordeal and a lot of time in the car is seriously hard on my stomach so we skipped this last week. One week my father in law gave Marin, myself, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and my nephew tickets to the 77 club, which are the fanciest seats in the stadium, located inside. It is set up like a large box, but it's an entire section. There is free food and drinks and leather chairs and the bathroom is marble. Seriously different than Jason and my seats in the horseshoe with the epic bathroom lines tucked between the hot dog stands. It was fancier than any sporting event seats I have ever sat in anywhere, and was packed to the brim with local and Chicago celebrities. There were some very fancy men in front of us wearing sport coats (not the usual sweatshirt and jeans at a football game crowd). About half way through, Marin accidentally flung her apple sauce all over the shoulder of one of the fancy sport coat snoots in front of us. I was mortified and apologized profusely telling him, "I'm so sorry; she's not yet even two.", as if that would excuse her shaky hands. I'm sure he was thinking "what is your not yet two year old doing with a $200 ticket?!" The answer is that if you're under two you're free, but he didn't care. As if that weren't bad enough my maternal instincts kicked in and I literally scooped the applesauce off his shoulder with my finger. Ew. I don't think he was impressed. About an hour later Marin got excited about a touchdown and threw a bouncy ball right at the same gentleman's head. Luckily it missed them, but they knew immediately that the ball was coming from us as they begrudgingly bent down to retrieve the ball and return it to me with a half stern, half smiled face. I don't have any pictures from this particular day because I forgot my camera. Maybe that was for the better.

Speaking of the Illini- Marin is in love. She wants to read her Illini books, wear the clothing, and every time she sees football on tv she yells (and I mean yells), "Daddy, Llini!!" She knows to hold both hands above her head when there is a touchdown, and she ooos and aahs her way through every game, whether she is in the stadium or watching from home.

Marin loved helping her daddy rake the leaves in the yard this fall. Lucky for Marin, it seemed like there were always plenty to rake. And Marin decided that the broom did just as good a job as the rake. In Geneva, we just have to rake all the leaves to the curb and the city comes by and sucks them up. Marin loved watching that process just as much as the raking. "Oooo! Bg Tuck!", she'd say (meaning big truck).

One exciting thing is that Jason has a new job, that allows him to work from home most days. We have loved having him home more and having breakfast and lunch together almost every day! He was in New York on business last week, so Marin and I headed over to my parents house to take advantage of some extra hands. One day, we made cookies together. Marin loved measuring out the ingredients- scooping the flour and the sugar into the measuring cups and leveling them off- as well as eating the end result!

When Jason came home Marin was sure to give her daddy extra love.

So see, it's not all so bad. I'll stop whining... for now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Is How We Do It

I know; Montell Jordan called from 1995 and he wants his song back. Still, it's a good jam. It reminds me of cruising the town in high school with all the windows down. But I digress....

14 weeks pregnant and still not over the hump. I was sick with Marin until 17 weeks, but I was not this sick at this point. It makes me wonder if I'm going to be sicker longer this time around, or if I'm just going to be more sick for the same amount of time. The good news is that I have about 75% of my energy back. I'm getting out of my pj's before noon, I tackled the insane pile of laundry (nine loads later), and I actually picked up three months worth of acquired clutter strewn from corner to corner of our house. But I'm still getting sick morning, noon and night. It's better, but not over.

So you might be wondering, how do you do it? Good question. Staying home with Marin means she is my full time job. No longer can I sit at my desk in quiet "pretend I'm working" peace for a few minutes if I need to keep from getting sick. And as Marin nears two, she wants little to do with sitting still all day long just because mommy asks nicely. So how do I do it? Here's the answer: very poor parenting.

I'm not proud, but I have caught myself giving in to the "oh whatever" feeling more times than I know I should have. You want candy? "Oh whatever." Your hair hasn't been brushed all day? "Oh whatever." We have introduced TV before I said I would. One day I discovered that Sesame Street was a whole hour long, and I was thrilled that Marin sat there for every minute. She sat next to me on the couch and I fell half asleep for the whole stinking hour. Amazing. I have served yesterdays dinner for today's lunch one too many times- for one too many days in a row. And when all she ate was apple sauce for lunch I told her "Good job Marin; Are you ready for your nap?" When I realized that in the event of a fire I'd save Jason, Marin, the dog, and the microwave, I thought it time I back off the reheat. And when Marin started saying "Elmo" as clear as day, I thought it time we go back to reading more of our books.

Also key to my arsenal are my parents. Many days they have appeared at my house like little angels minus the white fluffy wings. They have brought food on demand, or out of the blue. They've whisked Marin away to Grandma and Grandpa land where she plays non stop (and I sleep for hours), and they have done laundry. One night early on, I called my dad and said, "I feel like chicken noodle soup." In about four minutes flat, he was at our house, chopping up carrots and celery and chicken and boiling it all for me in a pot. We had homemade chicken noodle soup for days.

I am getting better. In fact, all of these days are far behind us now (happy sigh). I am taking medicine that they give to chemo patients, and it is does help most of the time. And slowly but surely we're getting back to our old days of walks and trips to the park and play dates. Soon I'll be 100%. In the meantime, this is how we do it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giving Nemo a Run for His Money!

We're getting spoiled. Like last year, Auntie Molly volunteered to make Marin her Halloween costume. Of course, in typical Molly fashion, she completely out did herself. She totally designed the whole thing without a pattern and made it adorable, functional and honestly, the cutest costume of the night. And don't think she just threw this thing together. She worked on it for months. The extra details and touches that she included are extraordinary.

Marin is obsessed with fish. So of course she had to be a fish for Halloween. I'll let the pictures do the talking here, but they don't even do it justice. When she ran, all the little fins wiggled and bounced and the tail swayed from side to side. Nemo better watch his back. There's a new fish in town, and if you ask her mama, she's even cuter.

We had a great Halloween kicked off by a breakfast out at our favorite spot down the street. Never mind that I threw my swedish pancakes up in the bushes at the bank on the way home- we still had a great time! That afternoon, Auntie Molly stopped by to see Marin in action. And after a trip to Grandma and Grandpas to kick off trick or treating, that evening we went to a party at our neighbors house where we all had dinner together and then all went trick or treating together (road sodas for the (non pregnant) adults!). It was adorable. And hands down the very best way to do trick or treating. Kids say the most hilarious things, and I think it is only amplified when they are all together. After our buckets were full and the little ones feet were getting tired, we headed back to our neighbors for a night cap and some more Halloween crafts for the kids.

Marin really got into trick or treating this year, saying "trick treat" at each door, and then "tank too" after she was handed her candy. Then she'd bolt of at lightning speed to catch up to her friends at the next door. It was one of those priceless moments you imagine when you picture what it will be like to have children. Such a fun night. I've said it before and I'll say it again. We feel like the luckiest family in the world to have landed on this street filled with the very best neighbors on the planet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Number 2 FAQ!

When I was pregnant with Marin I found that I was asked a lot of questions, and most of them were generally the same questions. My solution last time was the Baby Patterson FAQ. It seemed a hit at the time, so I decided to "Play it Again, Sam" using the same questions.

Without further ado, Number 2 FAQ!

1. Q: When are you due?
A: May 9th

2. Q: Are you going to find out whether you are having a boy or a girl?
A: No. We didn't find out with Marin, either. And, while I admit that the waiting was a bit torturous (especially near the end) it made the day she was born a million times more exciting than Disney World when you're six. Jason was the first to tell me that Marin was a girl, and I hope that as long as I live, I never ever forget the look on his face when he turned to me and said with stars and tears in his eyes, "It's a girl!!!" Hands down, the greatest moment of my whole life. I have never been so in love with two people ever as I was at that moment. And right then and there I knew that I'd never find out ahead of time again.

There is one small change that I want to make from last time. After Marin was under the warming table and he'd taken pictures, Jason went to the waiting room to relay the news to or family. I wish I had their reactions on film. So this time, I'm going to beg Jason to take a video camera to the waiting room to catch their reactions. It may take me the remaining six months of my pregnancy to convince him of this, but I think he'll cave.

3. Q: Are the future grandparents so excited?
A: Clearly. My mom and I have the same excitable nature, so she's going cookoo for sure. My dad and Jason's are more calm, but equally excited. My mother in law left us a message after we broke the news singing "Rock a bye Baby" so I think its safe to say that everyone is anxious to meet the new bundle.

4. Q: How are you feeling?
A: Dead and totally out of it. Like I fell asleep in the mid 90's and just woke up. I haven't talked to my friends since at least the year 2000, it seems. At this rate, I may not have any left by the time the baby is born. I dare say that I feel worse than I did with Marin. But I may not totally remember correctly, and I didn't have to chase a toddler around when I was pregnant with Marin either. So, its all relative.

5. Q: Where will you deliver?
A: As it stands now, Delnor in Geneva. It is 3 minutes away during the busiest part of the day, so convenience is key there. My doctor also practices at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) which is only about 20 minutes from our house. That hospital is a little bit bigger, and connected directly with Children's Memorial Hospital, so if things look like they might be more difficult, I might decide to deliver there. Chances are though, as things stand now, I will deliver at Delnor. It's a great hospital and almost all of my friends from high school were born there, so they have a long history of delivery babies and I know I'm in good hands.

6. Q: Have you begun thinking about names?
A: Since about 2 minutes after I read the word "pregnant" on the stick. We had some reserved names that we liked from my first pregnancy, so we've brought those back to the table and have added a few more, too. We're keeping the final selections a surprise, so that's another thing you'll have to wait on. I know, we're mean. My mom literally can't stand this.

7. Q: Do you think you will try to deliver naturally or have an epidural?
A: I've said it before, but it bares repeating: As far as I'm concerned, if you deliver naturally you should be sainted. It just is not for me. I had an epidural with Marin and I was literally laboring while playing Skipbo with Molly, Jake and Katy. Um, yes please. I like it where I can feel pressure, but no pain. Although I do admit, being temporarily paralyzed from the waist down is a tad terrifying for a few minutes. Still, all you have to feel is one insane contraction to know that it is crazy, overbearing, excruciating pain that seriously needs some drugs to get through.

When I was contracting with Marin (before I had the epidural) my mom asked me what the contractions felt like. I told her that it felt like some monster with steak knife spiked hands ran at my stomach with all their force, jammed their hand into my stomach, stabbing as hard as they could, and then squeezed my insides and twisted at the same time, and then held it like that for a minute. I'm glad she asked me to describe it in words, because that right there is enough of a reminder to opt yes for the epidural- even knowing that it comes at the cost of a 3 foot needle inserted at the base of your spine. So worth it.

8. Q: Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
A: I want exactly what I wanted with my pregnancy with Marin: a healthy baby. I love having a brother, so I'd love for Marin to have a brother, and I always wanted a sister, so I'd love for Marin to have a sister. If we have a girl, we have all the stuff and it'll be our second time at the rodeo. If we have a boy, it will fulfill Jason's last chance to carry on the Patterson name (he is the last hope at a male Patterson). I just want 10 fingers and 10 toes, or as Jason says, "9 toes would be fine, too. "

9. Q: Do you have a feeling about the gender one way or the other?
A: Before I knew I was pregnant, I had a dream that I was pregnant with a boy. Otherwise, everything else seems just like my pregnancy with Marin. So sometimes I think its a boy, sometimes I think its a girl. The heart was beating pretty quickly, which makes me think girl. Jason thinks it's a girl.

10. Q: Are you nervous?
A: This time I am way more nervous about the pregnancy and the birth than I am about what to do after the baby gets here. With Marin I was mostly nervous about how to be a good mother, and how to raise her to be respectful. I think I am at least a little more confident in my child rearing now to not worry so much about that, and I am more focused on all that went on during the delivery that freaked me out. Also, my body is doing strange things. I must have noticed these before, but they all seem new. I'm constantly wondering, "Is this normal?" Some is and some isn't. The baby and I are totally healthy so I need to just relax. But it has resulted in me feeling a little more skiddish with this pregnancy than with the last.

And now a few additional FAQ's since the addition of Marin:
11. Q: What does Marin think?
A: She loves to kiss my belly and say "baby!" She definitely has no idea that there is another human (attention steeling) being coming to live in our home forever, but we have been talking a lot about "our family" and are sure to include baby, so hopefully we're laying a foundation. When we ask her if she thinks the baby is a girl baby or a boy baby, she is firm on "gwl" (girl).

12. Q: They say you go earlier in subsequent deliveries than in your first. Was Marin born on time?
A: Marin was born four days early. If this baby is also born four days early it will be born on Cinco de Mayo. Jason says that if its born on Cinco de Mayo its 21st birthday will be crazy. I say its 21st birthday will probably be crazy no matter what month it's born. But I do anticipate going in the beginning of May.

13. Q: How far apart will the babies be?
A: Assuming I go full term, 27 months.

14. Q: You had a lot of people at Marin's delivery. Do you want that many this time, too?
A: You betcha. I hope everyone will want to come this time around just as badly as they did when Marin was born. At Marin's delivery were: Auntie Molly and Uncle Bri, my mom and dad, Jason's dad, Aunt Lindsay, Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy, and Aunt Vee and Uncle Bob. It was just Jason and I in the room when she was born, but it meant the world to Jason and I to have everyone there for support. It really helped keep the day moving along for me, and it was fun to be able to tell everyone right away and to have them meet her right away. In the room after she was born were the most important people in her life, and I just think there is no better way to welcome a child into the world.

Monday, November 1, 2010

(Almost) Back in the Saddle...

I am slowly coming alive. After being sick all day every day for nearly 60 days now, I am slowly but surely getting my energy back and becoming human again. Don't get me wrong, my house is still a mess, my laundry is still stacked up in record breaking heights. But I am throwing up in fewer public places, managing to peel myself from my sheets in the morning in almost one piece, and have even ventured off the couch a few times. Yesterday I wore makeup and almost didn't recognize myself.

60 days is a long time to be sick. Think about that s-i-x-t-y days of basically the flu. That is a sentence three times as long as any that Lindsay Lohan has actually served. Next time she gets a DUI or they have to haul her out of some club, they should just shoot her full of pregnancy hormones and see how hot she feels then. She'll be begging for rehab then.

I'm keeping my eye on the reward here, and with each week that passes, it is starting to feel more and more real. There is going to be another little baby in our house in just six months. I can't wait. Marin is goo-goo for babies lately too. We've been talking about them a lot, and she's pointing them out wherever we go by saying loudly and proudly, "baby!" I got to hold a baby on Saturday; it did a pregnant body good. Every hormone was working on overdrive. I can't WAIT for our little bity snuggly new baby smelling bundle of everything wonderful.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Add one more...And now we're FOUR!

Someone pinch me.

Marin is going to be a big sister!

No lie. I'm 12 weeks pregnant; due May 9th. Can you handle the excitement? You probably can; because it's not your baby. But we definitely cannot.

I'll tell you what else I can't do: Keep food down. Can't even keep water down. It's ugly. My diet consists of white rice with a side of saltine crackers. Dry white toast on good days. And, since we try to eat all whole grains, we had none of this in our house, so we had to go out and stock up on it all. Now that I'm nearing the end of the first trimester, it is getting better... slowly.

And speaking of slow. I move at a snails pace. Literally. I have zero- and I mean z-e-r-o energy. I am completely debilitated. For a girl that hates naps, and literally never sits down, I am living on the couch and saying things like "I just have to shut my eyes for a few hours". I live for the minute Jason gets home so I can just go to sleep. I go days without showering, because I can't bare the thought of all the energy it would exert.

The house is a disaster. Bless Jason's heart; I think he's ready to trade me in for the updated model (and one who preferably showers and bushes her hair on a consistent basis) He works all day and then comes home to clean up after Marin and me, make dinner for everyone, give Marin a bath and put her to bed. Totally single dad'n it, but I am a big giant waste of baby brewing space. However, in the spirit of total honesty, as helpful as Jas is, he's no nurse. It doesn't seem that taking care of another grown adult who is otherwise totally capable, is high on his list of strengths. Point being: we all want me to be back to normal.

All that aside: We feel incredibly blessed and excited and just about everything else that you can feel. We decided to stick with the clearblue easy like last time and as soon as that puppy read "pregnant" we ran upstairs to wake Marin up and were sure she was the first we told that we would soon become four. She said, "Big Sis" when we told her she was going to be a big sister! I'm SURE she hasn't a clue what is in store for her next Spring, but I am certain she will quickly assert herself as boss as soon as the baby has one little bonnet in the door.

A Sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's!

Saturday was Jason and my six year wedding anniversary. After a treat to get a mani/pedi in the morning (and a daddy/daughter date for breakfast while I was away) we took Marin to the Morton Arboretum where Jason and I were married. We hadn't been back since (shameful!) and we were anxious to relive old memories and introduce Marin to the gorgeous trails and changing colors of fall. We had a great visit on a picturesque fall day- much like the day we had six years prior.

On the walk back to our car, we passed a bride and groom and their wedding party. Marin was in the middle of a full blown meltdown- she was tired, hungry, and thirsty. I felt like pulling the blushing bride aside and after informing her that I was in her shoes exactly six years ago, telling her to take a hard look at her future. But that would have been weird. And a little too smug for her occasion. Plus, like I once was, I'm sure she is under the impression that her children will never throw tantrums.

Marin did quickly calm down when she had a snack and some water. And her energy was back to 1000 by the time we pulled into Grandma and Grandpas house shortly after. While Jason and I went out for a quiet night together, Marin had a sleep over at Grandma and Grandpas. She wrote us this email the next morning. It's amazing how she learned to write so quickly, and does so so similarly to grandma, but it was clearly signed by Marin, so who am I to second guess? :)

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

I am having the best time!
Grandma and I walked in the leaves with my car while Grandpa made dinner.
Boy, was it good. I had filet, cauliflower in cheese sauce, potato, and best of all,
cottage cheese.
I had raisins for dessert while sitting in my green chair, feet up on coffee table, contemplating cooking with measuring cups
and measuring spoons, and watching a little 30 Rock. G and G didn't want to watch Dexter until I went to bed.
We read books, played with blocks, took a long bath, and I went to bed about 8:40.
They tried to put me to bed at 8:15 but I cried and Grandma said I could cuddle. It makes her happy and I love getting up and down from
the chair, I climb up on the bottom and pretend it's a mountain. I stand really tall, think I'm about to fly, and Grandma takes my hand.
She's so silly. Then I fall down on her tummy and she hugs me and says she loves me.
I cried at 8:40 a little when I left Grandma's lap. I put my head down right away and pretended to sleep. Grandpa took me anyway and said
he would rub my back. I was no more up there, that I just rolled over and went to sleep. Grandma was surprised to see him back downstairs so soon.
Grandma came up to make sure I was ok a couple of times in the night. She also left the living room light on. Grandpa kept turning it off, but she
won in the end. In case I woke up it wouldn't be pitch dark.
I'm still sleeping. Grandma checked on me at 7:15 cause she thought she heard me, but no, still in dreamland. I love my bed here with the cozy blankets
and animals and things. I forgot to tell you that I walked right up when I needed my paci that was in the bed.

I hope you had as much fun eating yummy pizza (did you save some for me) and the movie. Grandma can't wait to hear how you liked it.
I miss you guys. I will see you after church. We're going to sit way up front so I can see the priest and hear the music really well.
Grandma already packed raisins, cheerios, and a small water, but I'm not supposed to know. I guess it will be a surprise if I get a little ancy.
I love you more than the sky is blue in summertime. I've heard Grandma say that to you, Mommy. I like it.

Please don't call as I am still sleeping, Grandma is going in the shower, and Grandpa went to the store to buy white bread, to make French toast.
Do I like that? Grandma hopes so. It will be a special treat since I am here. :):) They never make it just for them.

Happy Anniversary Sunday,
Love, Hugs, and Kisses,
Your beautiful, talented, intellectual, modest, little daughter,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Fun!

Last weekend Jason and I stole away for a Saturday afternoon trip to the Cubs vs. Cardinals game. If you're just tuning in, Jason is a Cardinals fan (boo) and I'm a Cubs fan (yay). Cubs won, of course, although Jason was quick to point out that it doesn't matter since they are both out of it anyway. Three months ago, when we got the tickets with Jon and Lindsay, it was a great idea. Oh well, it was still a fun afternoon. I headed back home after the game to get Marin who spent the day ringing in fall with Grandma and Grandpa.

Grandma and Grandpa took Marin to the Autumn Festival in our town, put on by the park district. They held it at Peck Farm, which is a historic farm that the city purchased to maintain for historic purposes, along with acres and acres of wet land and prairie. It was the perfect place for the festival, which included pony rides, two uncaged calves that the children could walk right up to and pet, cows, horses, pumpkin painting and more. A child's paradise.

Marin had a blast, and has a beautifully decorated pumpkin to prove it. I'm told that she especially loved the cows, and seeing her neighbor Parker. But I think what she loved most are the people who dedicated their day to taking her there. Does this kid have the greatest Grandma and Grandpa on the planet? I think so.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We've got class!

Two classes, actually. Art and Music.

I signed Marin up for some classes through our Park District this fall, and we are having a blast at art class on Tuesdays and music class on Thursdays. Marin's the youngest in her art class, so I was a little taken back the first day when one little girl explained in perfect diction, that she was drawing a butterfly out of circles and it was pink! I looked down at Marin's page where she had scribbled a few lines with her marker and was one quick save away from eating her marker. We've decided to make it a great introduction to colors, shapes and art appreciation- even if most of our take home projects look like Jackson Pollock's.

Thursday are a little more our speed, and you know music is Marin's absolute favorite. She's one of the oldest children in this class and it showed the first day. All of the children were asked to sit with their adult (mom, dad, grandma, nanny- we have them all) in a circle on the floor. But as soon as the music started to play, Marin popped up to the middle of the circle and put on a dance show for everyone. This class stresses sharing, borrowing, rhyming, dance and music. Marin's in heaven. She really liked the week when we sang twinkle twinkle little star and she got to run under the parachute to put her star in "the sky". Thursday totally redeems Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lucky (In Love) In Kentucky!

Did you miss me? Come on; you know you did. :) I'm alive, just behind. I'll get you up to date lickity split, and it will be like we were never apart. Deal? Here goes....

Two weekends ago, Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy came to watch Marin all by themselves all weekend long, while Jason and I headed to Kentucky for Dana and Tim's wedding. Marin had a blast with Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy, and Jake and Katy survived the weekend unscathed. Marin received the royal treatment from Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy all weekend long. They went for walks, out for lunch, got new coloring books, and even made a craft for mom and dad- a ceramic hand print keep sake. How sweet are they? What's more, when we got home, Katy had completely scrubbed this place from top to bottom. How's that for free babysitting?!

Jason and I stopped half way through our road trip in Indianapolis to visit our friends Mike and Becky, and we had a great time seeing their new home, and visiting. Becky made a delicious dinner, and their son Joel is cute to boot! But it was a quick trip, because the next morning we headed to Louisville to witness Dana marry the "business man by day, cowboy by night" that she had always been looking for.

It was also great to be together with my college girlfriends- we were only missing two girls (one home with a brand new baby, and one celebrating Yom Kippur). And after all shedding tears of joy for Dana and Tim, we kicked the party off strong out of the gate and danced the night away! The reception was at Dana's parents horse farm, under a big white tent decked out with bright colorful flowers, and paper lanterns. There were touches of Dana at every turn, including a second gorgeous wedding dress just for dancing, capped off with to die for red heels. And, as Tim toasted to everyone, I think the day was what she'd always dreamed of.

At the end of the night, Sarah pointed out that this was our last family wedding. Of course that made me cry and beg everyone to stay until the very last possible bus ride back to our hotel. And so we did...

Congratulations Dana and Tim! We wish you oodles and oodles of happiness for many, many years.