Sunday, July 26, 2009

Beach Babes but no Babies

Well, our family count is still at four! I have just under two weeks to go and I guess the baby isn't done cooking yet! First, if you haven't taken our baby gender poll, it is posted to the right. We're curious to see what everyone thinks the next Petty Pea will be.
Eric was going to take Elia to the beach on Friday night, but we all decided to go (I know... it's a little crazy to be camping at 9 mo. pregnant), but we had fun... well, for the most part. After pitching our tent, we started our peach cobbler and then went down to the beach to catch some crabs (well, that was the intent). The kids loved playing in the warm water while Eric and I took turns throwing a line out with bacon attached. Eric and I ALMOST caught one. We reeled one in and saw it holding on to the bacon, but it escaped before we could scoop it in a bucket. We must have cast that line out there 50 times or more! We need more practice I guess. We returned to camp unsuccessful, but ready for some yummy dutch oven peach cobbler. We dished some for Ethan, Eric blew it off and then tested it with his lips, but when Ethan took the bite he screamed in pain... Eric tried to get him to spit it out, then he tried to scoop it out with his finger, but we couldn't get it out. We felt horrible! The damage had been done and Ethan spent the rest of the night and the rest of Saturday in pain. It was so sad to look at him. He looked like he was almost ready to cry the whole next day. He woke up numerous times at night crying and all morning he just put head down and held his cheeks out so he wouldn't feel the pain so much. I think his mouth and/or tounge was swollen. Poor thing! We went back to the beach after the cobbler to try and catch a crab. We never could catch one in the water, but Eric chased a sand crab and caught it as a consolation prize. It was very interesting. It could fold it's eyes in to the side and then pop them out again! The kids, who weren't interested in swimming stayed on the beach on our sheet. This is how we found them when we gave up fishing for crabs...
The morning was beautiful. We couldn't sleep in (like we wanted too) because it was so light, so even though we had gone to bed after midnight, we all woke up about 6:30. The morning was beautiful...
We went to the beach in the morning and Ethan just laid in the chair on the beach while we took turns swimming. I can't even convey how bad we felt for him!

Eric caught a dozen or so hermit crabs that we had fun watching burrow into the sand after we had collected them all in a bucket.
We left the beach earlier than we probably would have if Ethan was feeling better, but he just wasn't feeling good so we all went back home and slept for about 3 hours or so. In the evening I had fun watching Eric get a "spa treatment" from Elia.
He was well warmed with towels, got a "binky" (a cabinet knob) to keep him quiet while he got his hair "cut" with a hair clip, his ears cleaned with a Russian nesting doll and got to pick out a "hat" (those things in front of him).
He also got his feet rubbed with a water bottle and his big toes adorned with doll shoes...
She fussed over him for probably 45 minutes.
So, it's Sunday once again. I couldn't resist posting these pictures of Ethan. We usually have him eat breakfast naked so that he will go to the bathroom in the toilet if he feels the urge. I loved his little bum poking out behind his apron. (He thinks he is getting too big for bibs and resists wearing them every once in a while). I sensored it to make it more PC friendly.
And, finally, a random shot from the week. Ethan loves going to "work" dressed in Papa's motorcycle helmet and gloves and his own boots.
That's all for now. You will all be the first to know when the baby comes! Hopefully it will be soon, though I went to a store the other day and the lady at the store said I wasn't ready and would be going late.... see if I ever shop at that store again!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Historial Ranch, Photoshop Fun, and a Poll to boot!

20 days to go until my due date... though I'm hoping to go a little early as I did with the other two. Eric went to the doctor with me on Friday... hoping for some surprising news, but the doctor said, "You're a one... see you next Friday." He also offered to help me have the baby a little quicker, but I'm not in that much of a hurry. You all have to take the poll (on the right side of the blog) and tell us if you think baby No. 3 will be a boy or girl.
A few pictures from this week and some photoshop playing. The kids and I went with a new family in our George Historical Ranch which is down the road from us. We picked a great day considering it is July and most of it was outside. It was a little cloudy for much of the morning. George Ranch is a working ranch that has houses built as early as 1830. It was interesting to see the difference in the homes as time went by... and wonder how on earth people lived without air conditioning. We are so spoiled! Interestingly, when I went to my doctor, he said he remembered getting air conditioning in his house when he was five or six... so, although he's not young, it wasn't that long ago! It makes me realize how lucky we are and really how comfortably we live.
I thought this picture of Elia peeking through the slats at the pig was fun...
Cool treehouse...
So here is some other fun stuff. I got to playing around on photoshop today (which I try to minimize because it does get time consuming and almost addictive) and thought I would share some before and after pictures. Before I got into photography I always wondered what pictures looked like right out of the camera of professional photographers. And, of course, I wasn't trying to be professional on this day, but I thought it was kind of fun to share some of what Photoshop can do...
Before... blurry picture, but I loved Ethan's face.Water color filter in photoshop. Looks more artistic than just like a blurry picture...We were riding the tractor back and I saw this cool tree that I thought had potential. The light was pretty flat because it was midday...
A couple of color boosting layers and a vignette around the edges (also looks cool as black and white)... OK, these next two I know it will be hard to tell the difference, but here is the original...
I darkened the sky to give the clouds more contrast and lightened the fence just a shade...
So, that's the end of the Photoshop/Ranch tour. In other news, Eric hit a milestone on Saturday... 100 mile bike ride! He started at 3 a.m. and got done at 9 a.m. He was so excited to break the 100 mile point. He's gone a little over 90 before, but never to 100. Amazing as that is, the guy he rides with started at 9 p.m. and did 200 miles total! (He's training for a race). I'm glad Eric has found some great people to ride with. In other news... my first issue as editor for Sugar Land Magazine came out! As soon as they put it on-line, I'll post a link so you can see what it's about. It was interesting taking over mid-issue and this fall issue will be my first complete issue, but it has been a lot of fun. Ask me again how I feel about it in two weeks when the baby comes and I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I am really enjoying it now.
Hey, I know most of you don't live here, but if anyone has a story idea that we can localize for Sugar Land, let me know! It was a lot of pressure coming up with 20 or so story ideas for the magazine!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Cow"stumes and Maternity Pictures (not the same:)

OK, if you can't tell by the title of the post, my humor is sort of weird these days. I guess that comes with having four weeks to go until baby comes and really not feeling ready! I'm counting down and though I'm ready to be done with back aches and heartburn, I'm not quite ready to have a newborn. We've been spending lots of time at the pool which offers some relief, but the heat is killing me!
I've been doing projects here and there like putting scrapbook paper on name letters for Elia and Ethan and my latest project for "cow appreciation day" at Chick-fil-A. My cousin sent me an e-mail about the event. Chick-fil-A gives you a free meal if you dress like a cow. I had this cow material I'd bought for a couple of dollars at a garage sale almost a year ago. I decided to go crazy and make cow costumes. So, on Thursday night, without a pattern, I created a jumper for Elia and these cute shorts/overalls for Ethan. I was quite proud of my efforts (which is why you get to see a lot of pictures). I went with four other families from the ward and one of them talked me into submitting my picture into the Chick-fil-A contest, the link is: and if you could take a quick minute and vote for Ethan, that would be great. :) Of course, only if you want to, but consider it an early baby present for me :) The winner gets a free year of food, and if you ever come to visit, we'll share.
Ethan was being such a stinker... he did NOT want Elia sitting by him for a picture. After they first sat down (above) this (below) was as close as I could get him to her. She'd move closer to him and he'd get up and go to the other side of the step. Gotta love little brothers!
I do love the times when Elia is so sweet and caring to Ethan. Today she tucked him in for his nap and rested with him. When we made her leave and go to the playroom for her quiet time he yelled from the room, "I want my Ellie." I love those moments.
Eric went camping with the boyscouts on Friday night. They went to the beach. Eric had a great time fishing for crabs at 11:00 p.m. (he got snapped by a few) and then spending the morning "skimming" and boogie boarding. After working out Friday morning (he's started his exercise routine again and he always goes overboard the first couple of days), spending all day at the beach playing and getting sunburned on top of it all, he's having a difficult time walking today. I'd post pictures except nobody in the whole group brought a camera! I have to work on that boy (though I didn't remind him, so I guess I'm partly to blame)!
Finally, "thanks" (a lot) :) to all of you who have been bothering me about maternity pictures. Eric's been reading all of the requests and finally talked me into taking pictures. So, you can thank him. You even get two pics!
Well, now we're on to weekly doctor appointments. Our top two names are Claire for a girl and Will (William) for a boy. Hannah is a close second for a girl name. Happy week!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Home from New Hampshire

It's always hard for me to post pictures when I go on trips because there are so many and I want to post pictures that represent everything we did, so here is the brief about our NH trip. For those of you visiting Boston/NH look no further than this for your ultimate travel guide:
-New England Aquarium... I love the jelly fish and would seriously consider having a tank in my house if it weren't too expensive and if they weren't dangerous...
- Family get together. It was held at the same place Eric and I had celebrated our wedding with the family during our honeymoon. We were honoring my Nana and Grampy. Grampy Bud passed away in January or February. All of the kids and almost all of the grandkids were there. It was so great to see everyone. My dad's four littlest grandkids... -We took a great hike with the kids, my sister, dad and aunt, uncle and cousin. I remember taking the hike when I was younger. Such a great view overlooking the lake.
-The dock off the A-frame on Wakondah Pond. We took a canoe ride early in the morning with the kids and we saw one of the loons that nests on the pond up close. All the next week Ethan boasted, "I saw the loon on the lake." He loved it! It is just so peaceful out there. - Center Harbor beach on lake Winnipesaukee was where my sister and I would spend a lot of time during our summer visits. Our kids loved it as much as we did.
-Boston Children's museum... These pictures make it seem like it was empty, but in reality it was a mad-house of children! The best time was in the "art room". They only allow 15 kids (or so) plus their parents in, play classical music and let the kids (and parents) be creative. Who knew coloring could be so peaceful!-NH Children's museum in Dover. I loved this wall where you could make an impression on one side through the plastic sticks and it would come out on the other side.Ethan loved looking through their mask collection...
We also happened upon a variety show outside of the museum. I loved this picture of dad and Elia sitting together...One of my favorite places was the See Science Center in Manchester. It was small enough to not get overwhelmed, but still had a lot of great exhibits. The most impressive site was this lego replica of the mill district in Manchester. It took 10,000 volunteer hours and 3 million legos. It is the largest small scale lego display in the world. All of those buildings, the train, bridges, etc. are made of legos! The picture just doesn't do it justice.
A day at the beach... and the Hampton beach sand sculpting competition. Isn't it amazing what people can do with just sand and water?
I liked this next one because it was titled, "Bring your A game" (All of you Aggies should get this one). They had mentioned that the weekend before you could get free sand sculpting lessons. I think that would be cool to do sometime.
There were so many other things that we crammed into our visit. We had a great time! I took several pictures with my dad's camera that I couldn't post (I love, love, love the Squam lake science center)... and so many more memories that I don't have pictures of. The local libraries have free or discounted passes to several of the museums around so several of the museums were free or very inexpensive. Really though, it is just so nice to see family that we don't get to see very often, watch the kids interact with their cousins, grampy and yia yia, relax and enjoy having someone else do the majority of the cooking and cleaning, share the fun of goodwill and salvation army with my sister (who I think is a total convert now) and just enjoy nature. Oh, I forgot to mention the wonderful weather too. While Texas was having a drought and hotter than average temperatures, NH was cool and rainy... though not so rainy that it wasn't enjoyable.
But now we're back home and counting down the last month until the Petty Pea arrives! I can't believe how fast the time has gone!
Eric decided at 11 o'clock on Friday that we should participate in the Freedom 5K run on the 4th. Loving his spontaneity (which I joke is really just a lack of planning) we got up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. He ran the 5 K at 7 and then we did the family fun walk at 7:45. Of course Eric overdid it and is sore today, but I never expect anything else from him. I love that he just wanted to get up and do it on the fly.
After the race we found a group of people from church that also participated (notice all of the long basketball shorts:)). Eric's ready to make it a family tradition, but I'm pulling for the turkey trot race in November instead (who wants to be out in the Texas heat in July?). Maybe I'll feel differently when I'm not 8 months prego.

Well, another week's ahead. The days just keep coming and going. What can you do but make the best of them, right?