Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daddy/Daughter Dance!

Almost caught up....

February 10, 2013 was the Daddy/Daughter Dance.  You have to be three to go, so it was a special date just with Daddy and Marin.  To Marin, it was just as exciting as Prom.  She was SO excited to go with her Daddy again this year.  We picked out a special boutonniere for him- red roses because according to Marin, "That's like you wear when you get married."  She wore her favorite dress and sparkle shoes and got to carry a special purse which had nothing in it up Ariel "lipstick".  Jason also picked out a pretty corsage for Marin which delighted her because it had purple flowers in it to match her dress.

Jason and Marin met five other dads and daughters at Cotto A Legna, a restaurant near our house, before hand.  All of the kids ordered Mac and Cheese, except Charley, an adorable three year old friend of ours who ordered Calamari.  Jason reports that all of the girls sat at the table with perfect manners the entire time.  The dads who also have boys, couldn't believe it, and swear 6 boys the same age would have done nothing of the sort.

When it came time for the dance, they joined about 1,000 other dads and daughters in the High School Gym for dancing, pictures with dad, punch and cookies.  When it came time for the hokey pokey, the DJ organized all 1,000 people to make a giant circle in the gym, and apparently Marin took it upon herself to lead it for everyone.  Ran right out to the middle.  It took her friends Chloe, Violet and Parker all of 4 seconds to join her.  Jason says it was hilarious.

Emilie and I stayed home to snuggle on the couch, watch the Grammys and order a pizza.  Which was special for us, since Marin doesn't like pizza.  Both Jason and Marin had a great time and can't wait until next year! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Marin turns 4!

Marin turned 4 at the beginning of February.  She might as well leave for college.  She's so grown up and she's certain she knows everything.

Marin is a great sister to Emilie.  She includes her in everything and the two of them want to go almost nowhere without the other.  They are very proud of each other.  Marin is a smart little cookie, and she keeps us cracking up, too.  She told me the other day that if our baby is a boy, "our bathroom is going to be peee-ewww!"  But at the root of everything, Marin is a very kind little girl.  And so sweet.  She and Emilie were having a love fest at the breakfast table the other day (as they do most mornings) and I ask them, "Are you girls best friends?"  And Marin immediately said, "Yes!"  Emilie followed with, "friends! best!"   I asked them if our baby is a girl is she going to be your best friend, too?  And without hesitation Marin said, "Yes, but even if it's a boy he'll be our friend.  Because that's what being a family means."  

The day Marin turned 4, we celebrated her wonderful girly spirit by a lunch date at The Little Traveler with Marin, Emilie, Grandma and myself.  Marin claims that they have the greatest grilled cheese in all the land there.  She politely ordered one for herself with a lemonade, and then ordered a "peanner and jelly for my sister, with lemonade to drink also."  They brought her a giant ice cream sundae for dessert and then we hit up the candy department on top of that, and of course, the kids clothes department for a few new dresses she picked out for Spring.  After we'd made our way through the Little Traveler, we headed next door to the Paper Merchant, (or, the sticker store as Marin calls it) for stickers to put in her sticker book.  Stickers are like toddler crack.  They can't get enough of them, and they always want more.

That night, we had Grandma, Grandpa, GG, OG, Uncle Jake, Aunt Katy and Aunt Lindsay over for a birthday dinner.  Marin chose the menu- her favorite, "Basketti".  And we surprised her with Graham's Strawberry Ice Cream for dessert, also her favorite.  She opened a lot of presents, and ended with her present from Jason and me, a new "big girl" bike.  She loves it, and immediately wanted to ride it.  And when your birthday is in the winter and you get a new bike, you ride your bike in the house.

It was a wonderful day of celebrating our sweet, sweet Marin Jane.

The next day, was Marin's birthday party with her 4 and 5 year old friends.  This year, we had a big kids only party (plus Emilie) at a little Art Studio downtown.  She chose a mermaids and pirates theme, and wore a mermaid tail to be in the spirit.  The kids all decorated treasure boxes, and snacked on goldfish, pirate's booty, sandcastle lollipops, oyster cookies, and jelly "sushi" rolls.  We all sang Marin happy birthday with cupcakes.  They kids all had a blast!  After their craft was complete, they all decorated a canvas for Marin that she got to take home with her.  It was a great mix of her neighbor friends, friends for school, friends from ballet and some family friends as well!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Baby #3 FAQ

Back by popular demand (not at all) is the Baby Patterson FAQ.  More so, I just feel like I have an anal tendency toward doing for the third one what I did for the first and the second.  It might make me go insane. For reference, or those of you who are really bored, here is Marin's FAQ and Emilie's FAQ. 

1. Q: When are you due?
A: August 13th

2. Q: Are you going to find out whether you are having a boy or a girl?
A: YES!  Can you believe it?  If it were only up to me, I'd wait to find out, but as you hopefully all know by now, it takes two to tango and my dancing partner wants to find out.  So I agreed.  And actually, now that I know we are going to find out ahead of time, I'm excited.  When people learned that we waited to find out with Marin and Emilie, they always said, "I don't know how you can stand to wait."  And I think that if you know that you aren't going to find out until they are born, you just don't have a choice, and it is easy.  But this time around, when I know that we are going to find out at 20 weeks, I can hardly stand the wait any longer.

I will say, if we were going to find out ahead of time on one, the third is it.  Because it will be nice to have everything prepared, and to be able to tell the girls what to expect.  But if Jason came to me tomorrow and said that he changed his mind and wanted to be surprised, I'd take him up on it in a heartbeat.  It is the world's greatest surprise. 

3. Q: Are the future grandparents so excited?
A: Yes, of course everyone is excited about a new baby.  But the third time around there is a little more hesitation from most people.  Like, "Wow.  Three kids under 4.  Okay.  You're doing that." 

4. Q: How are you feeling?
A: Two weeks ago I would have answered: "Horrid.  Absolutely dead to the world awful.  Pretty sure the baby hates me."  Although today I have almost a spring in my step.  I am nearing closer to 20 weeks which is glorydom.  Everything is perfect and beautiful.  You're not too big that you can't sleep but you're far enough along that you aren't sick anymore.  It's a good thing that it is impossible to conceive again at 20 weeks, because if it was, I'm convinced there would be a serious over population problem.  

5. Q: Where will you deliver?
A: Delnor, where Emilie was born.  I can get there with my eyes closed, and it is so close it almost wouldn't even be dangerous. 

6. Q: Have you begun thinking about names?
A: Of course.  We have some still on the list from my first pregnancy, and a few new as well.  If it's a girl, we're going to have a really hard time, because between Marin and Emilie we have had to agree on four female names, and if you're married to Jason, that is a feat.  Jason thinks like a 12 year old boy when it comes to names, so when I suggest one he automatically provides the most foul nickname ever and is convinced that she will be called that her entire life. And of course we'll keep the names a secret.  We can't give you everything.  ;)

7. Q: Do you think you will try to deliver naturally or have an epidural?
A: The epidural is my friend.  During my pregnancy with Emilie, my epidural actually came out in the night while I was asleep and long story short, I was 9 cm dilated with essentially no drugs.  I don't wish that on my worst enemy.  Natural childbirth is for superheros.  The epidural doesn't have a single chance of hurting the baby, and allows me to relax, which actually helps me dilate quicker, which makes me one step closer to holding that precious baby in my arms. 

8. Q: Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
A: I think it would be fun to have a boy, because we obviously have two girls already, but I think it would be easier to have another girl.  We already have all the girl clothes and girl toys and the kids bathroom is purple.  I also think it would be really fun to have three girls, although the drama would be insane in high school, I think that in the long run it would be really fun in a crazy way.  But I also really want to decorate a boy nursery, and although Jason claims he wouldn't know what to do with a boy at this point, I think he'd really love to have a boy.  Plus, this is the last chance to carry on the Patterson name.  Mostly, I just want a healthy baby.  And we'll be overjoyed no matter what. 

9. Q: Do you have a feeling about the gender one way or the other?
A: No.  I can't imagine anything but a girl, because that's all I know, so if this is a boy, I will be shocked.  And because of that I think I am assuming it's a girl.  I have had two dreams that it is a boy, but I also dreamed it was a boy when I was pregnant with Emilie, so who knows. 

10. Q: Are you nervous?
A: No, but I am prepared for chaos after it has arrived.  Total and utter chaos. 

11. Q: What do Marin and Emilie think?
A: Marin is very excited to be a big, big sister, and has told Emilie she is going to teach everything there is to know about the job.  Emilie is mostly clueless, although when I ask her if we're going to have a baby she says, "No." and snuggles in to me saying, "Mommy."  I am trying my best to prepare her, and make sure she knows how exciting it is for her so she feels included.  I am always telling her that no one can make me love her any less.  We'll get there. 

12. Q: They say you go earlier in subsequent deliveries than in your first. Were Marin and Emilie born on time?
A: Marin was born four days early. Emilie was born five days late.  Hopefully that doesn't mean this baby will be born even later.  Last time, based on the number of people who supplied evidence, I was sure this theory was iron clad.  So I was pretty much ready on pins and needles from May first, on.  Emilie was born on May 14th.  That was a crazy waiting game.  I thought I'd go insane near the end.  My doctor did tell me that as long as I was at least 3 cm dilated by 38 weeks, he would induce me, but I'm a little leery of asking my body and the baby to do something they're not quite ready to do.  So we'll just have to wait and see.  I really want my doctor to deliver this baby (he also delivered Emilie) so I might cave, as long as he thinks the chance of c-section are zero.  So we'll have to wait and see. 

13. Q: How far apart will this baby be from Emilie?
A: Assuming I go full term, 27 months. Which is the exact same distance between Marin and Emilie.  And no, that wasn't planned. 

14. Q: You like a lot of family at the hospital when the baby is born.  Do you want it that way this time too? 
A: Yes.  Less were there when Emilie was born than when Marin was born, because of schedules and Jake was in a wedding, etc.  But I hope that this time there will be at least as many as were there when Emilie was born.  Molly and my mom and dad have no choice.  They are required for my sanity.  (fyi, if you're reading this. :)) We'll probably bribe Lindsay to watch the girls again, and I think most of Jake and Katy's friends are married by now.  I hope no one feels like they've been there and done that, because I just think it is the very best way to welcome a child into the world.

New questions for Tres...
15. Q: Do you have any weird cravings? 
A: Yes, I want everything ice cold.   Iceburg wedges, smoothies, ice cream, salads, iced tea. And I want the kind of french fries that you get at an old fashioned deli.  Nothing fancy about them, just salty and bad for you.

16. Q: Will you go for a fourth?  
A: No.  Absolutely no.  We're done.   

Man Alive!

Soon we'll be a family of FIVE!  Jason and I found out that I was pregnant in the middle of December, and began to tell our families (and the girls) on Christmas.  I am 18.5 weeks now, so I am starting to feel human again.  If you have followed my other pregnancies you know that my body just does not like to be pregnant.  I basically had the flu for nearly 100 days.  Horrible, in bed, zero energy, throwing up around the clock... with two little girls in tow.  Yeah.

Still, we are thrilled beyond belief and know that this baby will truly complete our family. (Read: #4 is 1,000% out of the question.  Not gonna happen.  No way.  No how.)  The girls are excited!  Marin is anxious to become a big, big sister and to teach Emilie how to become a big sister too.  Emilie is still pretty clueless.  When I ask her if we're going to have another baby she just says, "No."  She's pretty attached to being mommy's baby, so this could get tricky.

I started getting sick the day after Christmas.  I started throwing up on the way airport on the way to Key West.  Luckily, the Keys brought round the clock relaxation and pretty much zero responsibility, so I was okay for the most part, although I did get sick almost every day.  When we got home, it got ugly.  And it stayed that way until about a week ago.  I am still getting sick most days, and haven't yet had two consecutive days of not getting sick, but my energy is back, and I'm starting to feel like a real person again.  I am fairly certain that I am going to survive, as opposed to a few weeks ago, when I was certain St. Peter had half checked me into heaven.  And yes, I fully believe that when you have morning sickness this badly three times, its an automatic pass to heaven. If that's not the case, it really should be considered.

Stay tuned for the ever popular FAQ for Tres.  You might be surprised! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

All things Christmas 2012

You literally might want to take a nap before reading this one.  Even I'm not sure that I can remember everything that we packed into the month of December.  But I do know that there were only about three days when we did nothing other than school.  Here are some highlights:

Mika hosted a Christmas cookie decorating pj playdate early in the month.  I have adorable pictures, but I can't find them. Ahhh!!  Mika had every different kind of sprinkles there are, and the kids had an absolute blast!

We visited the Polar Express to meet Santa, taking the train as a family and having lunch together with Christmas Carols and Santa crafts.  Marin wrote out her list for Santa and happily climbed on his lap.  Emilie excited waved to him and when we came her way, she shut down.  When she had to sit on his lap she screamed bloody murder.

The second weekend was Geneva's annual Christmas Walk.  Aunt Vee and Uncle Bob were in town, and Mika and Tom and Tess joined the fun as well.  We all watched as the grand tree was lit, and then Santa Lucia and Santa Claus arrived.  We enjoyed a live nativity and caught a glimpse of the candy cane pull as carolers sang and chestnuts were roasted over open fire.  The next night, Chef Roby at the All Chocolate Kitchen set the World Record for the World's Largest Candy Cane, shutting down the entire street.  It was a site!  Another highlight of the week: Santa called our house asking for Marin!

We attended a dinner party for my dad who semi-retired as he stepped down from his role as managing partner of the law firm that he started over three decades ago and has grown to the largest firm west of Chicago.  It was a very nice evening with many nice tributes to my dad as a lawyer and a man.  I literally couldn't have been more proud of my dad if I tried.  

We hosted a fun dinner for our neighbors and bunco Christmas dinner party for 18- my mom's bunco group with which I played while I was living with her.

We attended the first annual Lion's Club Breakfast with Santa, a fundraiser for the Geneva Lion's Club, of which my dad is a member.

We took the train to the city to meet Nana at for lunch at the Walnut Room!

I hosted the second annual ornament exchange for about 20 of my Geneva girlfriends as a cap off to the year and a toast to good friendship. 

It was our turn to host the ninth (?) annual Conti/Patterson Christmas Dinner, and attempted our ninth annual "family" photo to fits of laughter and nearly peeing our pants.

We attended Finn and Tripp's 5th and 2nd birthday party where the real Santa comes every year much to every child's absolute delight.  As is tradition, he pulled out his giant book and called each family of children up by name, where he told them things that only Santa knows, confirming just how much he's always watching.  Emilie hated him.  Marin was enamored.

We hosted the Patterson Family Christmas at our house, but missed Brandon and Holly and the kids, who recently moved to Alabama.  We had a good weekend of shopping and spending time together.

Marin had her very first ballet recital, where she performed as a snowflake in the Nutcracker and did a wonderful job, even as one of the youngest performers!  We were sooooo proud of her!  And she gathered quite the crowd!  Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jake, Aunt Katy, GG, OG, Aunt Lindsay, Uncle Derek, Nana, Pappy, Emilie, Daddy and Mommy were all there to cheer her on!

We celebrated my mom's birthday party with a dinner at our house and family gathered to celebrate what a great mom, grandma, friend and person she is!

We baked Christmas cookies with extra sprinkles, of course.  Once, with my Grandma at her house, and once with my mom at ours.
We hosted a Christmas playdate after the last day of school before winter break with Marin's friend Joy.

We hosted the Hinrichs Family Christmas where we enjoyed time together and laughed hard!  Jason bought everyone a remake of the beloved waffle maker their Grandma used to cook up Saturday morning waffles on- Neal likes his burnt.  At dinner, Neal, remembering a story from the previous Christmas, boycotted my fancy salt and pepper shakers and thought ahead to bring his own, from Arby's.  But don't worry, he displayed it nicely by his placecard.  After a group bath, the kids all got into their matching Christmas jammies from Aunt 'Cole.

On Christmas Eve we attended church at our church, Old St. Patrick's Church in Chicago, with my parents.  Then we came back to our house and had fondue, our Christmas Eve tradition.  As the matriarch and patriarch of the family, we let my parents open the first presents of Christmas.  My mom's present was a baby carriage charm for her Pandora bracelet.  She said, "Awww, a baby carriage!  I love it!...Are you pregnant?!!!"  It was fun. That was also the first time that Marin and Emilie knew that we were pregnant.  Marin said, "Are you kiddin' me?!!!"  Both girls are so excited!  Later, the girls changed into their jammies, set out cookies for Santa (Marin wrote him a note), and spread reindeer food on the front lawn.  Then Jason read The Night Before Christmas, and the girls fell fast asleep.

Christmas morning was magical.  Almost 3 and 1 1/2 are such fun ages for Christmas morning.  Both girls were SO excited about their gifts.  Marin, especially was on cloud nine, that Santa brought her everything she had asked him for.  It was really special.  Jake and Katy and Grandma and Grandpa came over to watch them open presents in the morning, and from there we went over to my parents house for more presents from them.  Everyone was beyond spoiled.

After presents we went back home so the kids could have naps, and then we went back to my parents house for Christmas dinner.  Jason's Uncle Jim and Lindsay joined us for dinner, which was great.  We had a delicious dinner together and a great time.

Three days after Christmas, we packed up and headed to the Florida Keys.  Our neighbors, Web and Kristy invited us to join them as they were going to meet their family.  It was so warm and so fun.  The kids all had a blast, throwing nightly dance parties and performances and the adults had a great time too, playing games and setting off fireworks on the beach.  We were there for New Years Eve, and into the first week of the year.  Then we had to head back to reality.  And the cold.  But not before a 24 hour delay and an unexpected additional overnight in Miami.

The same day we returned, we had our Martin Family Christmas at my Uncle Reed and Aunt Jeanie's house.  It was great getting all of the kids together, and always great to have the whole family together.  What a treat- and the perfect way to end the season.