Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gwen's First Gardening

We planted our peas and lettuce outdoors this past week. Eric worked hard at prepping the dirt, laying out the soaker hose, repairing a few leaks, and hanging up a new net for our climbing plants to use.
I think he was feeling a lil goofy after all that effort... :)

We started the rest from seed indoors. Gwen was especially excited about the flower seeds I let her pick out at Home Depot. She wanted to carry them around and was upset when I took them to a) read the directions and b) open them to get the seeds out. Gwen was a big help at planting the seeds, but for some reason didn't want me to take pictures of her. So, we had to sneak some. They aren't the best shots, but you get the idea.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can You Believe I'm 38 Weeks?

Well, I am. Today. Two weeks from today is my due date. I can hardly believe it. 2 weeks sounds like... any day... ya know? But, I am not predicting anything. I am prepared to go for a couple more weeks.
However, now that I've gotten both papers down to size (though it wouldn't hurt to come back in a few days and reread them just to have a fresh view), I feel comfortable with baby coming any time. After all, even if the papers aren't perfect, I know I can turn them in right now, as is, if necessary and still pull off at least an A- in both classes. And that takes all the stress and pressure off. I feel great. and relaxed.

and, lil girl, you officially have my permission to come any time you would like now. :)

Blooms and Butterflies

Gwen and I splurged and went to the Franklin Park Conservatory "Blooms and Butterflies" exhibit. I was hoping she would love it because she's been so enamored with The Very Hungry Caterpillar lately, especially when he becomes a beautiful butterfly... and I wasn't disappointed! She was very excited about seeing the butterflies and asked me repeatedly "Gwen hold them in my hand?" on our way there. When they landed on her, she was THRILLED!Totally worth the money, just to see the expressions on her face! She kept raising her arm and telling them to fly away. She also loved the fish. It was nice to have some me and Gwen bonding time!
One beautiful blue one from Costa Rica landed on my belly... Gwen was happy that baby sister got to see one too!
She also really loved the Chihuly artwork throughout the conservatory. She kept asking, "What's dat?"...and all I could say was, "pretty sculptures, honey...I mean, pretty round bowls and plates, just for looking." Well, whether or not she ever understood what a sculpture is, she sure liked looking at them. :)

Very cool, very educational, very fun... Glad we went!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Papers Finished....sort of...

Well, I finished both papers today...

but I suffer from the challenge of being verbose. Both exceed the page limits.

One only by 2 pages, but they are 2 full pages of already well-written and well-thought out points, which will still be challenging to cut back.

The other paper, though, I have currently written 37 pages for a 20 page limit. Hmmmm.... That one is going to be harder to work down. I will be cutting out entire sections, paragraphs, taking the AXE to it... a challenge, for sure, since it isn't just tweaking of sentences or paring down little things.

Then again, sometimes choosing to eliminate entire ideas completely makes for faster editing than the little 'how can I say this more concisely' kind of editing that the first paper will require.

Do any of you other writers out there suffer from my problem? Or is it just me who writes way too much...

The good news is, if I work really hard this week and stay on task, I should be able to get both papers completely edited and turned in by next Saturday... which will give me almost a full week and a half of breathing room before the lil one arrives! I am thrilled, let me tell ya! That way I won't be so stressed out if she arrives early...


Despite how busy I am with school, I've absolutely needed some "me" time on the weekends to unwind. That has motivated me to go ahead and do some projects for fun:

  • Gwen's toddler bed blanket, not pictured.
  • A baby blanket for my newest niece, not yet arrived, but I figured I had better do it before OUR baby comes or our niece might not get it til Christmas! Anyway, a rag quilt that turned out super cute, much easier after having done Gwen's, and well within budget!
  • found a deal online for a free photo book (only paid shipping on a regularly 40 dollar book!) and had a blast going through summer 2010 photos and designing the book. It has already arrived and Gwen loves it! (probably not as much as I do, though!)
  • A coupon organizer, sewn with fabric I already had and labeled with paper I already completely free (unlike the cute ones available on Etsy) and WAY cuter than a cheapo plastic one that wouldn't have enough labels/divisions anyway! Now I can coupon in style AND be more efficient at the grocery store!
    • And lastly, making a magnetic church book/kit for Gwen for Easter. Since it isn't finished, I won't show pics yet. But it has actually been quite relaxing to sit and color every weekend while we watch a movie or something.
    And those are the fun things I've been working on!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Big Week for Gwen!

    We constructed her toddler bed last Monday for FHE... and she was stoked about it!... until she realized it wasn't just intended for her to pretend to be Sleeping Beauty for a few minutes before getting out of it again. What!?!? We actually expected her to sleep in it?!?! She was traumatized.
    The first two nights we tried to help her fall asleep by staying in there with her and singing her favorite soothing Primary songs. But when she was still awake 2 hours later, we ended up putting her down in her crib. Fail. By the third night we were both tired of the process and decided to have her tough it out a lil. Sadly, she cried at the door for almost an hour begging to come out... but happily, she found her way back to her bed, crawled in, and went to sleep til morning. After that, things have gotten better and better. The past two nights she barely even whimpered about it. I think she is starting to even be proud of herself for sleeping in a big girl bed. I know we are! And the best part is, she won't feel like the new baby is evicting her when that time comes!
    Gwen in her 'big girl bed'

    Most proud moment of last week, though, was when Gwen actually PEED in the big potty! She's been sitting on it every day for about 3 weeks, but only sits there for like 30 seconds then says "all done! I flush it?" and wants to get off again. Well, Friday, she requested to sit on the potty as usual... but then ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING while sitting there! We were proud parents, I tell you what, and had a royal celebration right there in the bathroom! She was really proud of herself too, kept saying "yay" and "I clapping!". Of course, she hasn't repeated the performance since then, but the success has given us new hope that it will happen when she really wants it to!
    and just for funnies: in Gwen's bath on Saturday night she proclaimed "I poo-poo bubbles" before leaning back, looking between her legs, and ripping a huge one under water so that she could watch the bubbles come up! She's such a crack up!

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Marc's Salt Lake City Wedding

    President's Weekend we had the opportunity of flying to Salt Lake City, Utah for a wedding: Eric's younger bro, Marc, got hitched to a gorgeous "Princess" named Rachelle! The weekend was too short, but filled to the brim with festivities and unforgettable moments. The best part, or at least ONE of the very best parts for me, was that Gwen took naps and went to bed when we put her down so that when she was awake she was always in a great mood. It made for a thoroughly enjoyable trip!
    Gwen wanted her giraffe and her princess water to have their own seats in the terminal.
    And unlike our last flying experience, she did a FABULOUS job allowing us to buckle her up--so long as giraffe got buckled in too. She kept telling him it was to keep him safe and that it would be okay.

    We got there in time for the family dinner the night before the wedding. We had a gorgeous view of the SLC temple. Gwen called it a castle.
    Poor thing, she was exhausted. Can't blame her. Between getting up 2 hours early to make our flight in the morning, the 2 hour time difference, and the start of the dinner...well, let's just say she started to melt down majorly around 8:30 pm (ie 10:30 pm here) and begged for her binkie, giraffe, and bed. Luckily, she is totally in love with her grandpa. He succeeded in getting her to --gasp!-- fall asleep in his arms! Which she NEVER does for us!
    Eric, Bryce and Collin serenaded the happy couple with Kiss the Girl. You will have to take my word for it, but Eric makes an AMAZING Scuttle!

    Day of the sealing: what a beautiful ceremony! I was reminded of how I felt when Eric and I were sealed, and of course that made for a very special, grateful feeling that stayed with me all day.

    Here's my knight in shining armor. I love him so much. Attending a sealing just brings all those feelings to the fore like they are brand new.

    Gwen kept repeating over and over and over again: "I wanna get married! I wanna get married! I wanna get married!"

    It was rainy and cold while we waited for the newlyweds to come out.

    Everyone sought shelter under umbrellas.

    Or coats if umbrellas were lacking.

    Did I mention it was rainy and cold? It wouldn't have been so bad, but in all the technical challenge of figuring out who went in which car to the temple, Gwen and I got separated from our warm coats. And that necessitated some improvisation. She was happy with Grandpa, once again.

    Elise was a lovely Bridesmaid, though the casual jacket hides the elegance of her dress--hand made by my talented MIL.

    Yay, Marc and Rachelle finally emerge, kissing photos abound, and the professional photographer pretty much took over from there.

    That evening, the reception in Provo at the library:

    color is bad thanks to the romantic lighting, but you get the idea.

    Gwen got some face time with her new Aunt, Princess Rachelle.

    Unfortunately, all of the photos of have of Eric and Gwen together are blurry like this one. They were so sweet, though. :) Eric's only complaint was that they never did a slow dance that we could dance together. They only did Mother-son and Father-daughter dances. Oh well, we both got plenty of dancing in. I think I was more sore the next day than I've been so far in the third trimester.
    Gwen looked lovely in her beautiful blue dress, hand made by the bride's mother just for Gwen. As soon as Gwen saw it, she said, "ooh, I wear Cinderella dress! My fairy God-Mother (she puts a long emphasis on the "ah" so it sounds more like "Maaahther") made for Gwen!" and she could hardly be persuaded to put down her flowers. She made exceptions for eating and dancing...
    And she did plenty of it. She danced with me (yes, this is a less than flattering photo, but it documents the crazy amount of dancing that my father-in-law feared would put me into labor)

    Rachelle, aka, the "Princess"
    Uncle Collin (who favored all of us with more dance moves than one might expect... I think he had some extra incentive. More on that much later from now)

    and of course, with Grandma. She also made her jacket. See, I told you she was talented!

    And lastly, aren't Marc and Rachelle so handsome together? Ah, I feel the love. :)