A quick update

We leave Saturday for a long trip to visit our families, so since I'm sure I'll be running around tomorrow like a chicken cleaning, packing, trying to make it to yoga, and worrying about the kitten, I thought I'd do an update now.

Last night I felt my first good kick from Blueberry. I've been feeling little "was that?" movements for almost a week but yesterday's was the first good solid kick. I remember thinking it was a little higher then I expected him to be and then when I was getting dressed this morning I looked in the mirror to notice my tummy has finally popped! Yep, he's finally above my pubic bone and just in time to maybe let me go a full 2-3 hours between bathroom breaks while we camp. That would be really nice.

I've also found the pattern for this babies blanket. Its so simple I will actually finish it.

And I swear I will recommit to crocheting more as soon as we get back. I always fall off the wagon in the spring/summer but this baby needs hats and such. Plus even though Zeke doesn't appreciate his crocheted blanket and prefers the one from Walmart I insist on each of my children receive one to ignore.

Wish me luck. On travels and crafts both.

Genius, A Trip To the Lake, and The Absense of Stress

This is going to be 3 blog posts in 1. I am a big multi-tasker that way. (Actually I am vehemently against multi-tasking in any form. I've long felt that it doesnt save time or energy and often results in many jobs half done instead of one job well done. Even if you are just vegging in front of the TV, to then add some sort of chore (like thankyou note writing) ruins BOTH efforts. You are no longer relaxing and paying attention to your show NOR are you focusing on your letters. Multi-tasking, to me, represents everything that it wrong with our culture. But lets not turn this into 4 posts, ok?)

So onto subject A. I have realized that am surrounded by genius.

Not only has my son proven his obvious above-level intelligence by successfully building a 4 cup tower:
But my friend, Kim, is a genius by solving my cat-cant-jump-over-the-babygate-but-my-one-year-old-plays-in-the-litter-box dillema. You see, you lift the babygate up a few inches so the cat can go UNDER.

I will admit, Kim, that Zeke did NOT appreciate your help. He near panicked when he realized he couldnt follow the cat into the bathroom that afternoon.
Ziggy may not fully appreciate it either. I'm not sure how upset he was by his feces spread all over the floor and walls but his expression during all the cuddles Zeke forced upon him when he came out of the bathroom was one of VERY tried patience.

Even the CAT is a freaking genuis! Or maybe this is another one to give Ezekiel credit for but I caught them actually playing hide and seek.

Hide:And seek:Seriously. Ziggy would run and hide someplace (but never so fast that Zeke couldn't follow) and then Zeke would run to find him. As soon as he did, he would sqeal and Ziggy would pounce on Zeke, run around his body a few times, and then hide in a different room.

(Another aside: Josh actually finds fault with me calling Zeke genius. Even if it was true (which its not) intellegence is not really the kind of thing we want him to find self-identity and pride over. It's too easy. How smart you are has nothing to do with YOU. We would rather praise a good work ethic, or trying again even when you've failed, or kind acts. It IS rather a habit, however, to praise a child for being smart or pretty or strong, even though its meaningless. I mean, wouldnt you rather your child think "I am a hard worker who practices contantly" then "I am good a sports"?)

Subject 2: Zeke and Preston hit the road again.
See? Proof. Although this time we didnt go nearly as far as Seattle. Truthfully, we just went about a half hour away from our homes, to meet our freind Kaitie and her kids at Waterfront Park in Medical Lake (which is an awful name for a lake, it makes me imagine all these nasty needles and gloves floating in the water...) And we didnt stay 2 nights. We just went for the morning and were home for a late 2 o clock nap.

But we picknicked (Like right away, I've learned the rule of motherhood that any eatable brought to any given location must be consumed right away, no matter the time of arrival or how much was eaten at home mere seconds before getting in the car), we dug in the sand, we swam in the surprisingly comfortable water, we enjoyed the sun, we made our mom save us from drowning while she still had her wrap on, and we played nonsensical toddler games that involve touching toes and then laughing hysterically.

All in all a sucess.

Subject III. I realized recently that I am almost halfway done with this pregnancy and yet I am STILL sooo calm. During my last pregnancy I suffered from almost constant labor nightmares and lots of panic attacks (which I am prone to). This pregnancy I have been having almost as many dreams about being in labor but they are always so calm now, and this weekend I had my first panic attack in months (and justified).

So much of it is just the plain fact that in the last year I've cut away so much of the stress-inducing fluff of my life; no more insecurities about my body, beliefs, and mothering skills, no more dramatic mommy groups, no more unrealistic goals and expectations for my home and family. It helps.

And a lot more of it is the fact that I cut out another big stress inducer for pregnant women: The OB. It's amazing how much less you worry about your pregnancy when you arent trying to fit in impossible to schedule and constant appointments, and waiting forever in waiting rooms, just to have your weight, blood and urine contents, ultrasounds, glucose test results, blood pressure, and whatever else contantly monitered and obsessed over by a doctor who is himself obsessed with catching any tiny abnormality in case he's sued. It's true that even with my last pregnancy I was with a midwife. And I really liked her. But because she was affiliated with a hospital, she had to play the hospital games, and I felt like I was in a constant battle to skip the tests I DID skip, and constantly worried by the tests I "couldnt".

My midwife this pregnancy, exactly because she is NOT affiliated with a hospital, is free to do whatever she (and I) believe necessary, and ONLY that, which given our personalities equals to not much. Mostly at my appoinments we just talk. Also she comes to my house, which is awesome. And even comes after Josh gets off work (which is double awesome because its hard for Josh to get time off but he's also never missed any prenatal appointment (for either child) and really hopes to never have to).

I think also there is a real psychology to going to the doctor month after month (and when you get far enough week after week), undressing, and being examined that makes a woman FEEL like she is sick. You are certainly treated as if you are sick. And I just dont think that is a healthy outlook for a state of being that is perfectly healthy.

So all in all even though I battle UTI's and havent gained a single pound, not to mention have absolutely no clue on my real due date other than January (maybe February?), I am one stress free pregnant lady.

(Although I will admit my mind is a little here and there and everywhere, as evidenced by these (and even these, which I suspect arent actually legit))

PS, I had a dream LAST night that I wasn't pregnant at all and had to tell all our friends and family that I was mistaken these past 17 or so weeks. I was so unnerved this morning that I actually took a pregnancy test. Never mind that I've been morning sick off and on, that Im an emotional wreck, that I've heard the heartbeat, and that I even felt some small movements last Friday. I needed that little plus sign.

In my defense I had a test laying around.

PPS, how come Zeke is never fully dressed in any pictures?

Zen Cleaning

In my frustration Friday afternoon I couldn't decide if I should zone out in front of The Nanny Diaries (which I had just gotten from Netflicks and haven't seen) or deep clean my house. I decided to clean and I'm so glad I did. Middle of the day vegging often just leaves me feeling even more moody and restless then before. Cleaning on the other hand, while harder to start, almost always picks me up and recenters me.

There is just something infinity calming to me about cleaning. Something caressing about dusting. Something decidedly Zen about sweeping. It's a small activity but it leaves the floor calmer than before and often you calmer with it. I think part of it is that I've always seen my home as the center and foundation of my life. It is the place I depart from, the place I return to, its the physical encirclement of my family and life. A cluttered home, to me, is a cluttered center, a cluttered mind, and cluttered emotions. When I make the bed I am not just bringing order to sheets and blankets, I am bringing order to a small part of my life. When I am scrubbing dishes I'm not just scrubbing glass and ceramic, I'm almost scrubbing my soul. A full sink is one problem out of so many in the world that I can solve. An empty, clean and dry sink is one place out of so many in the world where all is as it should be.

I read in an old Mothering Magazine (My fav. magazine by the way, I absolutely HATE Parents) that it is just consciousness that transforms drudgery into ritual. I love that and have carried it with me for a long time now. There is a lot of drudgery in the life of a stay at home mom, yet there is a beauty, a balance-bringing quality, to ritual. As we often say in my Mindful Mothers group, its all about Mindfullness. To be conscious, or mindful, in housekeeping, in mothering, in eating, and in living is a goal worth working for, I think.

So as I left to drop off Zeke to his daddy at Pizza night, and head myself to yoga, I left with a centered spirit and a clean house. Of course after class I ran out of batteries on my cell phone, couldn't find Josh and Zeke (and couldn't call because of my phone) and then got followed around the downtown park by a mentally insane (or maybe mentally handicapped?) man while he made rude sexual comments, did disgusting things with his tongue and hands, and tried to lick me. So I ended the day scared for my safety, disappointed that no one ever tried to help me (of course after this guy started following me I stayed in VERY populated areas until I could lose him), and worried about Josh and Zeke (who took a bus home after they realized something must be wrong because I hadn't called yet and been out of class for a while).

But at least my house was clean.

Frusteration level? 900

So I am arrived and ready at EXACTLY 9 am for the photo shoot. In fact I think it was even 8:58. Because I know timeliness for these kind of things is not only professional but just courteous. And it's not like it was some cake walk either, because that is EARLY (Zeke usually wakes after 8), the park we met at is a half hour from my house (the third location I had been told in the last 2 days), and Zeke and I both had to look pretty. Plus today itself had its own unique difficulties when Zeke barricaded the front door with his body in an attempt to force Josh to stay home and I burst into tears WITH him when Josh left anyways. (I'm an emotional wreck lately and just soo tired of being Z's second choice. I know its silly but Ive cried at sillier lately.)

So yeah, being ready and THERE at 9? A major accomplishment. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. And made phone calls. And fought with Zeke who wanted to play in the pond. At 9:30 Holly arrived. Still no photographer. Holly had been told 9:30 and even though Kim, Kaitie, and I all thought 9 that wasn't surprising given all the location confusion. So we waited some more. And tried calling more too. Kaitie (who set it up) wasnt answering, the photographer wasnt answering, and Kim was in a holding pattern while we waited to find out if the portrait party was even happening.

By 10:15 or so Holly and I decided to give up and walk over to the play area to at least let the kids play for a while before we had to drive home. And THAT is where we find the photographer. Playing with her kids. Her excuse as to why she said "lets meet at the pond" and then waited for us at the playground? She doesnt know the area very well. And evidently has a special kind of blindness that doesnt allow her to see GIANT ponds. She also pointed out that she was wearing a camera and thought that would help identify her. Yes, it would have, if you had been at the pond. Or if there werent 800 women at any given time playing with their kids at a park, with a camera on their neck.

She then proceeded to spend 10 minutes taking pictures of each of our kids. Mostly while sitting on a bench that happened to be close by. Yep, 10 minutes. MAYBE 15 if I'm being kind. And sitting on a bench. Holly was intellegent enough to bring a rubber ducky so Lily chewed on that for most of her pictures. Zeke just got to sit staring at the photographer. After a while I handed him at least a stick to play with.

In her defense she did bring a bucket for the kids to sit in. I think that was her only prop and her only attempt at any sort of ingenuity or creativity. All the poses she suggested were basic Sears or Walmart poses. I expected a natural light photographer, IN A PARK, to, you know, take pictures of the kids playing. Or running. Or in different locations. That's exactly the reason why I dont take Zeke into Sears. Because my child is not just going to sit perfectly still and smile for you.

After the alloted 10 minutes each Holly and I payed our 10 dollar sitting fee and walked back to our cars having learned a lesson. You get what you pay for. That is why amazing photographers like Jaidean have 100 dollar sitting fees and cd prices that cost more than the Queen bed I want to buy. Because Jaidean makes you look like a Victoria Secret model...except prettier, your children look like the kind of little angels that slept thru the night from 6 weeks on and never ever barricade the front door with their body, and Brad Pitt a poor shade of your husband. And that is on a bad day when the kids are screaming the whole photoshoot and your husband refused to shave and insisted on wearing his favorite t shirt instead of the one you picked up specifically for this purpse from Gap. Incedently, you also were not able to shower that morning. Jaidean is worth hundreds of dollars because the woman is magical.

Nicki was worth 10. Because you could have also gone to Walmart.

Anyways, I got Wendys on the way home to make me feel better. I am an emotional eater, give me a break. And to help calm down after blogging (which riled me right back up) I am focusing on this picture, which I took last night.
I am also strongly considering repeating this scene. Except it will be me devouring the cupcake instead of Zeke.

Failure Photoshoot

I dont think I ever blogged about the 1 year photo shoot I attempted with Zeke. Probably I skipped over it because it was a total failure. Not a single good picture in the bunch.

First Zeke would NOT stay still. He wanted to run run run all over the brick square we took him to downtown. After a while we gave up and thought maybe we would just let him chase Josh around since that's all he wanted to do. It might turn into a cute picture and we figured after some running he would get tired out and sit for a little while.

Well as you can see, it IS fairly cute, how can it not be? We are talking about my Zeke after all! But not portrait cute and not worth a half hour on photoshop making it better cute. But at least he got tired out and he would sit still. But then I realized that the sun was way too high and way too strong for good lighting.

This is the best one I got and as you can see the lighting is near unfixable. But at least he is kind of smiling. Because whatever faces Josh was making behind me at the block letters looks like they where more concerning then hilarious...

After a while Zeke just wanted to know what exactly we expected from him.

Oh well, you cant always win I suppose. Tomorrow we are going to a portrait party with some friends and hopefully a more professional photographer can get something out of my kid. Because I swear, he really is cute, and I would kind of like some proof for when he's say....14.

Then we will go home for a long nap because tomorrow night while I'm at yoga Zeke gets to go have pizza and beer with daddy and his friends (I'm actually hoping he just gets pizza...maybe I need to lay some ground rules before I drop Zeke off at Josh's work...)

updates all around

1. The best lunch ever: iced peppermint herbal tea and a bagel sandwich with avocado, cream cheese, fresh turkey, and at least an inch of clover sprouts. I know this to be true so don't doubt me.

2. I've been upping my protein intake this week a lot and it's really helping my headaches and my exhaustion. With Zeke I had a really hard time getting enough protein as well, honestly I had a hard time getting enough calories at all. Since I've been on about 3,000 calories a day for almost 2 years now I'm really used to the high calorie diet and barely have to think about it. In fact in another 2 or more years when I finally wean Blueberry and have to go back down to a reasonable intake of food we're probably going to have problems. But after my pregnancy with Zeke I allowed my protien intake to dwindle back to basically nothing so Im having a hard time with that again.

The problem is that not only do I really not enjoy eating red meat, but peanut butter and eggs make me nauseous when I'm pregnant. Josh jokes that protien must make me nauseous because it seems like most protien rich foods do. On top of that issue is the fact that I need the full 80-100 grams of protien that is recommended a day to even function as a person, to feel GOOD I need even more. So I've been doing a lot of sneaking. I eat a handful or two of almonds a couple times a day, I put protien rich slim-fast type powders in my milk, I sneak a boiled egg or even two on my salads where I dont really notice them...

Josh has also bought me a few protien bars to try out that he's heard come highly reccomended. I dont like the ones that he eats but they are like the highest protien count that you can buy. They dont taste necessarily BAD but they also dont taste good, and one bite tends to make me over-full.

Anyways, if anyone has any ideas on how to sneak in even more protien I'm open to suggestions.
I do like chicken and fish and have been making it alot for dinner but it seems like a lot of work for lunches and snacks.

3. By my calculations I am 16 weeks today and should start feeling movement any day now. If I don't at least this week Cathy and I will probably re-think my due date since its pretty fuzzy yet.

4. I took Zeke to the public pool on Friday and we had a blast. I think we stayed just under 3 hours, long after all our friends had left. We are definately going to go back soon. I wore my one peice swimsuit because I was feeling rather ashamed of my tummy since it's not pregnant looking so much as just bloated looking. I thought people would assume I was chubby and not just pregnant. It's getting tight enough that it's really uncomfortable though and by the time we left the pool I was really regretting the decision. I hate it when I let myself get ashamed of my body that way. I mean, honestly, who's going to be sitting around the pool judging other women's bodies? And if they are, why do I care what they think of me? I know I'm healthy and beautiful and that should be enough. I honestly have learned to love my size, and my shape. Of course there are things I could change but I am healthy and strong and the way God made me. Anyways, we are going to Kim and Prestons' tomorrow to swim and I am so going to wear my two piece so I can actually breath, tummy flab or no. Even if Kim is teeny tiny ;)

5. Zeke just fell asleep in his highchair. I think its nap time.

6. Ziggy is continuing to assimilate into the family perfectly. He is perfectly litter box trained and we've even been able to move it into the upstairs bathroom where it is more out of the way. Ezekiel and him play constantly. In fact, they want to play so much that both have ended up on occasion being punished for not allowing the other to nap. First thing whenever Zeke comes home or wakes up he yells "kitty" and has to find Ziggy to hug and kiss him. I've never met such a dependant cat before, though, he HATES being left alone in a room and if he falls asleep and you leave he will cry when he wakes up until he finds you. He sleeps all night cuddled right under my neck, lol. When Blueberry is born and he's kicked down by my legs he's probably going to be dissapointed.

7. I am realizing Zeke is truly a toddler and needs to be treated more like one. Always before when we disciplined Zeke we mostly just redirected. Sometimes he would get really defiant and keep going back and back to the naughty behavior and we would have to remove the temptation completely or even spank him if it was dangerous but for the most part his interest could be easily moved. Not so much anymore. He remembers now and he KNOWS what he wants. Redirecting is no longer enough.

Josh and I's new plan, which we've started implementing the last few days or so is really working though. At first offense we get down to his level and tell him gently that he can't do that, WHY he cant do that, and offer a similar activity that is IS allowed to do. Honestly, this is really working and a lot of the time it ends right there. Josh and I both feel like explaining to him why he can't do something, rather then just telling him no and offering him something else to do, is the key. Of course many other times Zeke decides that our reasons are insufficient and he will go ahead and continue whatever he was doing, at that point we physically remove him from the area he is being naughty in and tell him much more firmly that no means no and he will not do that. Sometimes he cries for a while and then moves on, and then other times he squares up his shoulders, gives us a nasty look, and runs as fast as he can back to what he was doing. This time he gets spanked. I hate spanking him but I also dont know what else to do and DO NOT want to encourage that kind of defiance. I feel like he is too little for time outs and that just removing him over and over again just puts me at his level, fighting as an equal.

Luckily it rarely goes that far. And often when it does there are outside factors contributing like over exhaustion, being overwhelmed by the day, teething, ect. If I think that is the case then oftentimes after the firm no step I will just stop what I am doing and have some quiet time with books or something. That way he doesn't do it a 3rd time and I am not forced to spank him when I know he is overwhelmed and unable to control himself completely, After a little break or nap he's often ready for me to go back to what I was doing and it's not really a waste of time because I would have wasted just as much if not more spanking him and dealing with the after-affects. Of course I will admit, he's not always over exhausted, sometimes he's just being stubborn and ornery. And sometimes I cant stop what I'm doing. So the spanking does happen on occasion. Probably every other day.

Josh and I are hoping it gets to be less and less though since our steps are so consistent and with both of us doing them exactly the same. I know having a game plan set of exactly what we will do not only helps Zeke make sense of what to expect but helps us to keep calm and avoid over punishing in the heat of frusteration.

Wish us luck with it.

he was the nazz

Josh bought me a kitty!

He was either A. more tired of me trying to force our wild outdoor cat into the house to become an indoor cat then I had realized. or B. more tired of my constant hints that I wanted a kitty then I realized. Or I suppose there is just always C. he loves me much more then I realize. Either way, I wasn't expecting it.

His name is Ziggy Stardust and he is adapting into the family quite well already. We were really careful to talk to the breeder for quite a while about the fact that we had a 1 year old son, and one that LOVED cats, as in loves to chase them and kiss them. She had 3 or 4 kittens available but she thought Ziggy would be the best match because he was very outgoing and loved to be around her kids. She warned us that he was "spunky" and liked to play and pounce but we really dont mind and so far he has been very good with his claws around Zeke.

Ezekiel is absolutely in love. He was kissing and hugging him like crazy as soon as they were introduced and even into the second day he will randomly yell out "kitty!" and go and hug him again. They play play play until poor Ziggy passes out on the rocking chair and I think even Josh is really starting to love him.

I will admit he was none too impressed when they BOTH decided that the sunrise meant they could get up and start playing. But after we got Zeke to understand that no, he wasn't going to be allowed to get up no matter how many times he cried "kitty" we got them both to cuddle in our bed until 9. It was so nice and made me think of 6 months or so from now when we will have yet another baby to cuddle with in our bed.. and then I wondered a little sadly how old our kids will be before they stop moving into our bed to cuddle in the mornings... and then I got to wondering if I could talk Josh into buying us a Queen sized bed for Christmas when we buy Zeke's big boy bed. Two adults, a toddler, a newborn, and a cat all together on a Full can get a little crowded I bet.

Anyways, here are some pictures!

This last one is so blurry but it really shows his pretty patterns and how teeny tiny he is with the book for comparison.
Here are a bunch of random pictures from the last week. Zeke hasn't been sleeping well at night, it's either a tummy flu, a head cold, OR teething. Don't you love that about teething? It can cause fever, a runny nose, a runny diaper, and irritability....just like every sickness known to man. Anyways, no sleep for Zeke means no sleep for me, which means I spend a lot of my day laying on the couch wishing I was dead, lol, and I've been feeling too sorry for myself to blog much.

Today he seems in a lot better mood though so I have hope for tonight. And even if tonight STILL sucks, Josh and I are going on a date Friday to see Harry Potter (sans Z, thanks Adria) so I will be feeling happy for myself tired or not.

Here is Zeke at Audobon park getting a ride from daddy. He loves being pulled around in his wagon and only daddy lets him ride THIS way so its even more special. I buckle him in so he cant stand up.
We picnic there a lot and surprisingly Zeke will almost always stop to eat, standing up of course but still he's eating.
This is the Audubon splash pad or at least the small corner Zeke likes to play at. It must have been a different day because Zeke is in another pair of swim trunks but that's not that surprising, we are at that park at least twice a week and often more.

This is the cat Zeke and I have taken in. She's looking a lot healthier already, although I think she's still a little bony. She is getting a lot less jumpy too and even will let Zeke pet her now. I'm kind of hoping she has kittens again sooner or later, lol, (she just lost a litter, which was part of why she was so sickly) that way I can have INDOOR cats. The chances of Josh buying us a kitten are rather slim so I think that's my only hope. He grumbles enough about poor kitty who doesnt even come inside the house.

Last but not least, here are some construction pictures from when we helped Brad and Kim set up Preston's birthday present.
Zeke has a screwdriver in one hand and a fork in the other...all the tools a man needs.
They were both very helpful. Zeke is ALWAYS copying Preston and as soon as P started hammering Zeke had to hammer too, with his bare hand.

Oh rain...how I loath thee

I used to hate rain. Its so depressing and grey...and it makes me cold even when its not that cold inside.

But now I know that my hatred for rain used to be shallow and silly. Because now I have a toddler. An active toddler. And whenever it rains now I have to deal with Ezekiel switching back and forth from position 1. Crying at the sliding glass door and trying to open it, if he see's our cat outside he will also let out the occasional longing "kitty kitty!" and position 2. Crying at the front door and demanding "go go go, gotta go!", bringing me my shoes, his shoes, my purse, and anything else he thinks will get me ready to take him somewhere. It's interesting that he seems so sad to not go into the backyard and so angry to not go out to the car... And the whole thing is probably hilarious to my mother, since I remember also being completely unable to entertain myself at home. Heck...I still am.

Our weekend plans were a slight bust. I had hoped to go "practice camping", a 2 day ordeal just a few minutes from our house at the nearest state park to see how Zeke does. Unfortunately the state park was full. And yes, we have another state park only about 45 minutes away, but that one's campground is closed. :(

It's not a huge deal, as I'm 99% sure Zeke will LOVE camping and do beautifully on our trip in early August. The whole "practice" thing was really just a ruse to get Josh to agree to going camping last-minute. I actually just wanted to go camping. My house is dirty, and I think its lame to wait 2 whole months of summer to get away from it and spend some time in a place even dirtier. Especially after we never got to camp last year since Zeke was soo tiny.

Instead we spent a lot of Saturday at the park. Where Zeke stepped on a pine cone, cutting his foot up really bad, and I got overheated and almost passed out. Yeah...not really a trip to make me glad we didnt go camping. Sunday went off better. We found out our friends Kim and Brad were having trouble putting together a swing set playhouse they just bought Preston and we went over so Josh could help...and got fed as payment, which is always nice. Any day I dont make dinner is a winner in my book.

Next weekend will be better though. We are going to Prestons 2nd birthday party, and also finally getting around to Zeke's 1 year pictures. Then we have an empty weekend...hrm... Then we go on our 9 day trip to Boise, which will culminate in a camping trip with Josh's mom!!! If you cant tell, I'm REALLY looking forward to that one.

So that this post isnt mostly complaining I will tell a funny story about Z:

The other day I was folding laundry when I heard some dripping and giggling in the kitchen. I called out (nicely, because I wasnt sure of any fault yet) "Zeke what are you doing?" and suddenly he came running into the bedroom with his tippy cup and literally THREW it at me. The lid had come loose (it happens if you drop it) and was dripping. The look on his face was pure "its not my fault!" terror.

I am a resposible parent

I am a responsible parent.

For instance, when Zeke throws all of his crackers on the kitchen floor at snack time, I don't sometimes just leave them there...you know...in case he gets hungry later.

And I most definitely don't set an alarm some days for 5:00 so I can be sure to get dressed and do all the dishes before my husband gets home from work.

Nor have I put my son on a 2 outfit per day limit and just leave him naked for the rest of the day if he dirties that second outfit. I do as much laundry as necessary.

I also don't ever feed my one year old ramen noodle for lunch. We only eat healthy and organic thankyouverymuch.

And I certainly dont decide I can skip a bath, because after all, I just hosed him off in the backyard. I would never hose a child off in my backyard.

And I can GUARANTEE that I didn't do all of the above yesterday.

I am a responsible parent after all.

Blueberry updates

I kind of thought that now that I am 14 weeks and into my second trimester it was time for an update on our little Blueberry. It's strange to think that I am already 1/3 of the way there, this pregnancy hasn't really forced itself onto my consciousness like the last one. Maybe I have a little bit of a "been there, done that" attitude about it, and honestly it wasn't even that long ago. Sometimes I just feel like THIS pregnancy is just a continuation of the LAST pregnancy. True I had a good 9 month break but with breastfeeding the entire time it all feels like one giant hormone coaster.

I think when my hormones balance out Josh will fall in love with me all over again. Although who am I joking, does a woman's hormones ever really balance out?

Anyways, second trimester. My energy is coming back, slowly but surely, my nausea is fairly non existent unless I do something stupid like not eat all day and I feel a lot like this chick:

Because Im at that lovely stage where you dont really look pregnant, you just look like you've been putting on weight. Much like Zeke, Blueberry has been hanging out in my extremely roomy and apparently comfortable pelvis. Usually your uterus has popped over your pelvic bone by now causing your tummy to "pop". My kids like to just wedge themselves in there until they are forced out, though, causing me to pee everytime I sneeze. Yeah, you heard me.

Zeke lasted underneath my pelvic bone until a little after 20 weeks, at which point I could feel constant pressure at both hips and he was forced to sit in a more diagonal position in order to continue growing. And if there is one thing my first born loves to do, its grow, lol. Who knows how long this baby will last down there but he is wedged pretty tight as of last night. Cathy had to almost scewer me with her doppler to catch his heartbeat.

But he is healthy and lemony sized and being fairly kind to his mommy.

I better get offline though. I had a playdate planned for today, and when it was cancelled I got sulky and decided to stay on the internet all morning while letting my toddler drink a bottle naked in the livingroom. Yeah, I'm that kind of mom sometimes.

When I ran out of Facebook, emails, and news articles to read I lowered myself further by turnign to two of my absolute favorite wastes of time.



Nothing like bad family phtots and ugly cakes to while away my life...

A busy 3 day weekend

I love 3 day weekends. I love them more than anything else, except maybe the rare and delicious 4 day weekend.

THIS particular 3 day weekend was even better than expected. Full of sun and daddy time, equally warming.

Friday morning was spent at Audubon park. I forgot my camera, unfortunately, but Zeke took us from the splash pad, to the swings, to the slide, BACK to the swings again, with plenty of squirrel chasing in between. It's one of our very favorite parks, really close to the house and with tons of shade and Zeke and I go just about every week, if not a couple times in a week, but having daddy there made it extra special. Mommies just cant pretend they are being kicked in the face by your swinging legs as convincingly.

After the park we went home for a nap and spent the rest of the afternoon in a home-made tent. Or at least 2 members of our family spent the rest of the afternoon in a tent, one member was informed "no girls allowed".
We made home-made pizza and relished in the fact that all day had been FRIDAY, and a work day, except there was no work. Thanks America for being born!

Saturday was, of course, the 4th of July and as tradition holds we went downtown to Riverfront park to enjoy the sometimes bad live music, the horrendously thick crowds, the disgustingly greasy fair food, and the headache inducing fireworks. Just kidding, I actually love going downtown for the 4th of July. Even JOSH loves going downtown for the 4th. In our last 4 July 4ths (since we moved to Spokane) we have spent 3 down there (we went camping 1 year, a year I maintain HAD no 4th of July...even though it was an awesome camping trip) so it's officially a tradition. And a tradition I plan on maintaining.
Josh of course wore his 4th of July t-shirt. He actually insists that it is mere coincidence that out of those 3 4th of July's he has worn this same t-shirt all 3 times. I'm not sure if I believe him.

Zeke, of course had a blast. I think we were at the park for a total of 8 hours (we spend the whole day down there, usually arriving around 2 or 3 and not leaving until after the fireworks show at 10) and he was happy the entire time.

Riding on daddy's shoulders.

Flirting with various camera's.

Drinking strawberry lemonade.
Finding Crawdads in the river (Josh and I thought it was a lobster, lol.)

And of course playing in the fountains.

He was sooo brave in the fountains and he had such a great time that he wouldn't let us leave until he fell and bit his lip. Even then the entire walk back to our blankets he kept hugging Josh's head and kissing his ears. I think he was trying to say "thankyou".

He even stayed in a great mood all the way up to 10 when the firework show started, although I will admit he was getting really silly by the end there. You know the state when babies are so tired they just get really really silly and wont stop moving for fear of falling asleep standing? Yeah, we were there.

I think the fireworks themselves bored him, lol. He would look up from time to time but mostly he was just trying to get Adria to play with him. He also insisted that Adria hold his hand the entire walk to the car. He might be in love.
Sunday we RESTED. Josh and I were both soo tired. Zeke, on the other hand, was ready to go. As soon as he woke up he kept trying to lead Josh and I by the hand to the front door, "gotta go gotta go" he kept saying. Yeah right, kid. I think all this strawberry picking, seattle vacationing, and holiday weekending has gotten him a bit spoiled. And now we are thinking of doing a "practice" camping trip next weekend at the state park that's just 15 minutes from our house. I cant decide if I want to get rained out or not just so we can have a boring weekend, lol.

We DID venture as far as the backyard on Sunday, where Josh barbecued and Zeke rubbed dirt from an empty planter all over his naked body. Literally, he was rubbing it into his skin. Boys.
All in all an amazing weekend.

Ok I'm all ready to talk about Seatte

So we left Monday, probably around 11 I think. We had blankets, snacks, movies, and toys all packed up and we were ready to take on Seattle!

(arent their matching car seats cute? Kim and I have the same one, albeit in different colors.)

Zeke and Preston both had plenty of snacks to keep them busy for the drive and I must say it went better then I imagined it would. Zeke only slept about a half hour and he whined quite a bit at the end but never got hysterical.

Except I guess when he got scared of the shark, that is. You see Preston has one of those nifty DVDs that connects to the back of the seat, but Zeke has never actually been exposed to TV before. Well we put in Finding Nemo (Preston's fav) but then suddenly a half hour or so later Zeke is just screaming. When suddenly Kim realizes that the movie is at the scary shark scene. Oops. He also got a little upset during Cars when he's searching in the dark for Mac and cant find him. I guess Zeke isnt quite ready yet for the emotional rigors of Disney cartoons.

But all in all, an uneventful drive. I think it took us about 5 hours to get to Seattle. We checked into the hotel, went to a BBQ at Kim's sister-in-law's boyfreind's house (OMG the biggest most expensive house I've ever entered...with the best view of downtown Seattle not to mention the waterfront) and then found a park to play around in.

Then we went to the hotel and Zeke stayed up until almost 10 playing happily and enjoying a sucker on our bed.

We woke up at 8 and Preston maybe 15 minutes later so we got some of the continental breakfast at the hotel and got ready for the zoo.

(here are the boys finishing breakfast and watching cartoons while the mommies got ready)

I think we got to the zoo around 11 but already by noon Zeke was getting cranky and didnt want to be in his stroller anymore and by 1 he was having the tantrum of his little life so Kim was nice enough to agree to leaving for a little while for a nap and lunch. Both boys ended up falling asleep in the car so we took turns running into a cafe and ordering food to go. When we got to the hotel both boys woke up in excellent moods and ate pretty decent lunches so we headed back.

From that point on they were both happy as could be and we ended up seeing the entire zoo and staying until they closed at 6. I think it helped that when we went back I let Zeke take his bottle. Because yes, I am the kind of mother that lets her toddler drink out of a bottle all day if it will keep him happy.

I think the ice-cream sandwich also helped. You know, the one I bought for myself.
THIS is the treat I had bought for Ezekiel. Apparently it didn't look as good as mine. And I can assure you, it wasnt.

Dont think we were the only ones to enjoy snacks at the zoo though. We were kind enough to feed this giraffe as well. Zeke loved his long tongue, he kept sticking out his own at it.

He also loved the little birds in this bird exhibit. They were letting him get really close before they would fly away.

But I think I have to say his FAVORITE were the fish inside the bear exhibit. You know, the fish they put in there for the bears to eat. He was CRAZY about those fish.

Unless it was that random turned on hose he found.
Or the stool at the flamingo exhibit with an egg carved into it.
I'll admit he didnt pay much attention to the animals but I think he had a lot of fun.

Both boys were so sticky from their ice-cream that we decided we had to go BACK to the hotel again to get them washed up before we went out to dinner. Thank goodness we spent the extra money to be able to stay inside the city, right?

They played a game I think Zeke enjoyed a lot more than Preston.
It mostly entailed Preston carefully filling up little cups with water and lining them on the side of the tub and Zeke then knocking them back into the water.

After they were clean we went to Red Robin for a late dinner where both boys behaved beautifully. And by the time we were back to the hotel for bed it was 9:30 and Zeke was so tired that I was able to carry him to the room, take off his pants and shoes, and change him into a night diaper without him even stirring.

The next morning was our last day so we packed up to go, and then went down to Pike Place for an hour or so since we both wanted flowers. Also I'm pretty sure its illegal to be a tourist in Seattle without going to Pike Place at all.

Then we went out to the Children's Museum with the plan of staying until one or prefferably both of the boys were stone dead tired and maybe even having a melt-down. Let me tell you the Children's Museum in Seattle is AWESOME. From my experience at the museum here in Spokane I kind of figured I would just stay in the small under 3 section because all of the other stuff is way to advanced for Zeke.

Well yeah, they had a lot of advanced stuff but there were also numerous other sections that Zeke really would have really enjoyed. I say "would have" because before we could get to many of them Zeke found this.
Yeah...that is a water table.
And he REFUSED to play with anything else the entire time we were there after he saw it. Oh I distracted him for short periods with other things, he especially liked making faces in this mirror.
But he always headed right back to the water after a few minutes, and if I tried to take him out of sight of the water he would climb out of my arms as quick as he could and RUN back.

He even got mad because he couldnt climb INTO the water.
Of course eventually another little girl wanted to play in the water. Zeke first politely moved her hands away when she tried to touch "his" waterfall. But after I explained to him that he had to share the water, and the little girl proceeded to play away in "HIS" water...well let's just say that Zeke got that very special gleam in his eye and I decided that it was best to remove him from the situation before I was explaining to some poor mother why her toddler was crying.

Luckily at that moment Kim found me with the startling news that it was 2 o clock and we better get lunch and on the road if we were going to make it to Spokane that night.

Neither of the boys had the looked-for meltdown but let me tell you after eating and getting on the road they both passed out cold for a good 3 hours, which left Kim and I to chat very happily in the car.

We made it all the way back without any tantrums or excessive crying and learned a few valuable lessons.

1. 5 outfits for 3 days is not enough. I could have used with at least 1 more.
2. 3 days to see Seattle is also just not enough. I could have used at least 10 more, lol.
3. Little boys will get very attatched, even after only a few days. By that last day Zeke and Preston were both getting quite upset whenever the other one was out of sight.
4. Little boys will also rub off on each other. Zeke learned quite a few...interesting...noises on the drive back. Much to everyone's hilarity, maybe the kids werent the only deleriously tired ones.
5. Preston and Kim are perfect traveling pals. Thanks guys for going with us!