Saturday, July 24, 2010

Remember me that way

Today I went into the depths of depression. As I loaded the new pictures from my camera onto the computer, I thought, "Wow, my face looks fat." Not just like I've put on a few pounds from pregnancy, but swollen and gross. Have I really changed that much? Do I really look like that? So I went back and looked at old pictures. BIG MISTAKE.

Look how cute I used to be! No swollen nose with fat rolls for nostrils, no giant ankles or sausage feet. That is my real face, the one I have forgotten. I knew I used to be able to open my eyes wider. And there's proof.

I really hate the last 10 weeks of being pregnant. I know I should think about the miracle of life and all, and that's all fine and good for some people. Good for them. But the only miracle I can think of right now is that I'm still able to put lotion on my legs without passing out. September can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nervous habits

I love this girl. I love (almost) everything about her. She is adorable and fun to be around and hilarious. But the last few weeks, she has developed a few nervous habits. Not a big deal, I thought, until yesterday. Her "habits" (clearing her throat) increased to once every five seconds at the longest interval. She was grunting ALL DAY LONG.
I was at a loss. I tried scolding. I tried distracting. I tried telling her to twiddle her fingers when she felt like clearing her throat. I tried giving her drinks. Nothing worked. I kept picturing her around other kids and having them make fun of her for being weird. I prayed last night that she would stop.

So today, the throat-clearing grunt is significantly better. But now she's doing this weird whisper of sounds thing. Like "rk-tch-ka" over and over. While I'm reading to her, while she plays with dolls, while she eats...I don't know what to do. It is a little less annoying than the throat thing, but still. Not very socially acceptable.

I am positive she got this from my side of the family - we Andersens are known for our strange nervous habits. So I feel partly responsible, at least genetically. But now, I'm not quite sure what to do. What would be the best way to get her to stop this?? HELP!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our first visitors

Last Thursday night, my sisters Cami and Kim (with baby Sam in tow) pulled up to our house. I was so excited to have people come stay at our house for the first time. (One of the perks of living here will be seeing family more often, I hope.) The first thing they said when I walked out the door was, "Man, it is HOT!" It was 11pm. I said, "Wait until the sun comes up!"

Aside from them hating the heat as much as I do, we had a great time together. We took the kids to see Toy Story 3 and went shopping at the outlets on Friday, and on Saturday we ate at a buffet and saw the strip. (What a disgusting place.) Saturday night I got a babysitter for our first time here and we went to a Minute to Win It party at some friends' house. Kim and Cami stayed for church on Sunday and left in the afternoon. I was sad to see them go and hope that they'll come back soon. Although I wouldn't blame them if they waited until winter.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pet owners once again

Last year my Mom came to visit us in Washington. It was the beautiful fall time, while Andrew was still deployed, and we went to the pumpkin patch to get some pretty gourds and yummy hot donuts. But a different day, we had to stop at Office Max for something, and while I ran in the store, my Mom took the kids next door to Petsmart.

Little did I know what a brilliant move that was. We have since gone several times - it's a great way to look at animals without going to a zoo, and the kids hardly know the difference. When Andrew came home, he started going with us. Even now, if the kids are good in a store, we sometimes reward them by going to the petstore afterward.

The thing is, this practice seemed to awaken in Andrew a desire to have a fish tank. He always wandered off to stare at the tanks and price them out. We both wanted a huge one (like the kind that take up a whole wall) but that was just a dream, obviously.

We went again to Pesmart at the very beginning of the month, and Andrew seemed more in love with the fish than ever. After so many times of looking at the fish, Andrew decided to, as he put it, "just bite the bullet" and get a fish tank. I was just happy he was finally communicating something he wanted to buy for himself, as that is a rare occurence in our marriage. We got a Biorb, which is pretty dang cool. Because of the ammonia levels in the water (or something) we could only get 3 fish at first and we can add one every 28 days up to 8 fish. We named our little trio Milton, Enid, and Molly. (Eva chose Molly - she's the black one.) They all look very distinct from each other so it's easy to tell them apart.

Andrew has diligently fed and cared for the fish morning and night, and I frequently find him sitting on the couch watching them swim. (Even when we are watching a movie, he watches the fish.) The kids think it's fun to feed them with Dad's help, and I'm just glad have a pet that I don't have much to do with. They are low-maintenance and relaxing to watch, so I'm one happy pet-owner.
Andrew jokes that we should just get more fish and have no more kids. Some days I'm inclined to agree. See? I'm not an animal-hater. I officially like owning fish.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A few messages, and St. George

This is a little message to the weird person who leaves Asian-character comments on my blog every day: PLEASE STOP. Thank you.
This is a little message to Blogger: You are so annoying how you haven't let me post pictures in my old, normal way for at least the last year. That is why I only put one picture per post. Sometimes I hate you and you make me not want to go to the trouble of blogging. Please go back to your old self. Thank you.

This is a little message to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: I love all your documentaries. You are awesome, and you make me want to do geneology. Thank you.

Anyway, here's a report on our fun trip to St. George. It was at Leighton's birthday party las Friday; we were all (us, the Culvers, and the Noyes') sitting outside eating cake and puddles of ice cream in the cool 105 degree evening, when Clay said, "Let's go to St. George." After all our initial reactions of laughing and joking about doing it, we all said, "Why not? Let's do it for real." So we gave ourselves an hour to pack and bathe the kids and be on the road. We got to Clay's parents' vacation house at about 11pm and went to bed.

Andrew and Clay got up early the next morning to go golfing; the rest of us slept in until 9am or so. After Clay was soundly defeated by my Tiger Woods of a husband, we all went to a late breakfast at Village Inn. The early afternoon was spent swimming at the local pool, which was awesome and so refreshing. During nap time, us girls took off to do some shopping and left the men home with the children. Kara, Stacey, and I hit up Tai Pan (where I spent the most money and got some awesome stuff for the house including a beautiful giant basket that has no specific purpose yet), stopped for refreshment at Arctic Circle, then finished off at the outlet mall where I bought nothing and Stacey bought a way cute black dress. (Maternity shopping is no fun, especially at non-maternity stores. I much prefer to watch skinny people buy clothes for themselves and dream of the day when I, too, will fit into normal sizes.)

Finding all to be well at home with the kids, we were glad we had gone and not shopped a bit for our kids. We went to dinner at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, where I decided that the fries are far better than In'n'Out's and the burger was awesome too. We finished off the day with Nelson's Frozen Custard and headed back home to Vegas.

Oh, but I can't forget how we drove home at the very peril of our lives. That's in bold because I am so serious, we could have died. Some freaky guy followed us for about 35 miles, flashing his brights and changing lanes right behind us. Clay finally called 911 as a precaution, we pulled off a well-lit exit, and the freak sped on by. 35 miles is a long time to not take a proper breath, I tell you what - I was a little winded from all that paranoia. I was so scared, but thankfully all was well.

This is a little message to St. George: You are beautiful. I want to live in you someday. (That's a weird sentence if ever I have typed one.) Save me a spot, preferably near the golf course.

Thank you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back pain

I don't know if I pinched a nerve in my lower back or if my belly just suddenly grew bigger and threw a huge curve in my spine, but I am dying.

It all started Saturday night just before we left to come home from our spontaneous 24-hour trip to St. George with the Noyes and Culver families. I got out of the car after the 1.5 hour drive and was in a lot of pain.

Yesterday it wasn't better. I woke up sore, bore it through church (even stupidly wearing heels because I had to give a talk in sac. meeting), and after church didn't do much but lay on the couch. Except for playing games with the Noyes family, where I just sat in a chair. Andrew gave me a good back rub (more like back push - I needed some serious spine digging) before I fell asleep last night and I thought today I would be fine.

But no. I woke up even worse this morning. I did a prenatal yoga video thinking it would work out whatever kink is in there, but as the day goes on I am steadily getting worse. I feel the same way I felt after my C-section, like I can't stand up straight. The more I try to act normal, the stiffer I become.

Does anyone have any back pain remedies for pregnancy? I don't think I can handle 8 more weeks of this without self-prescribing bedrest.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy birthday, Leighton!

Have you seen Brian Regan? There's a really funny part where he's talking about shopping for a greeting card in the store and making fun of the card section called "New Baby." He says, "Is there such thing as old baby?" And then pretends to be a dumb guy who says, "My friends had a baby...and I let time get away from me...and he's 12." It's hilarious. But that's how I feel. I let time get away from me. All my good intentions of frequent blogging last week were all for naught.
But I came to report that my baby turned two. You know, this baby.
All of the sudden he's looking like this
and causing all sorts of trouble. I don't get it.
But we celebrated his day with friends, hot dogs (his favorite food) and a basketball cake and ice cream. He got a basketball hoop, some blocks, and the Incredibles movie for his gifts and was thrilled with all three. It was a special treat to have Daddy home for most of the day. If you remember from last year, Daddy was in Kuwait; he's never been around for a Leighton birthday. He was especially glad to be there.
So happy birthday to my Bubba. I'm so thankful to have you. Even on days when you are violent and insane, I couldn't have asked for a better boy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blessed beyond measure

{For your viewing pleasure: possibly the least successful family picture we've ever taken. At least Andrew is smiling}
I feel blessed. There are so many things I have in life that I didn't earn, nor do I deserve. But there are a few blessings that, lately, I have been able to measure.

-12,000 lbs. of household goods. That is a mere 1,000 lbs. under our limit, so we scraped by. I blame it on Andrew's motorcycle, but he blames it on my craft supplies. (He's probably right.)

-2 months and 2 days of living in Las Vegas without a home. This is not so much a blessing as a trial, but they say that trials are a blessing. So what do I know? Maybe in a year, when I've forgotten how depressed I was, I will look at it as a blessing. It has been so nice getting used to living in a house, although very strange not to just throw clothes back in a suitcase. I didn't realize how foreign hangers could become in such a short time.

-30 pounds of weight gain in this pregnancy so far. (Holy stinking cow, Steph, what did you do? Eat out for two months? Yep. And it shows.) 30 pounds of healthy baby and really healthy me. I allotted myself 40 pounds total to gain during this pregnancy, so I have a mere 10 pounds left in the next 9 weeks. I hope I can stay within that range. If not, oh well. Jillian Michaels is waiting for me at the end of postpartum recovery, and she'll make it all go away. Pound by slow pound.

-4,107 miles. That's how far I traveled in June to visit both sides of the family and temporarily escape homelessness. It was so fun to be at my parents' for 2 weeks and then in Colorado for Webb Sisters' Week for 36 hours.

-5 profile pictures hanging on our wall. Andrew hung baby Dean's ultrasound picture in the lineup, and it makes it feel more real that we will very soon be a family of 5. Whoa.