Thursday, November 26, 2009

Big Rocks

When I was growing up, our preacher always told stories to go along with every sermon he preached. Even as a young child, I would listen to those stories and pick up important lessons. One story was about a teacher who asked a child to place an assortment of items in a large jar: big rocks, small rocks, pebbles, sand, and water. The child tried but kept running out of room. The teacher then told the child, "If you put the big rocks in first then everything else will fit in the cracks left by the big rocks. Every day we are bombarded by heart wrenching stories or what happens when we do not put the big rocks in first: broken families, death of a child, health problems that could have been prevented, mental health problems that could have been small had they been dealt with earlier, etc. There are so many distractions in life that it is easy to become side tracked and forget to put the big rocks in first until the water starts spilling out the top of the jar. May I remember to thankful every day of the year for the "big rocks" in my life and not worry about the "pebbles."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So Tired of Being Homebound

I have been homebound for about a week with Jessica. Although I always test as an introvert and actually enjoy being homebound from time to time, I have reached my limit. I think Jessica has too. Thankfully, we are getting out tomorrow for my doctors appointment and doing a little supply shopping with some friends. That will be a nice change of pace! However, we will still be somewhat homebound over the weekend because David is still contagious. We are trying to keep our outings at a minimum in case Jessica and I are acting as carriers. I will be glad when Hand, Foot, and Mouth leaves my house!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Officially Potty Trained (around the house)!!!!!!

All kids have different things they tend to focus more on. With some kids it is very obvious, while other kids are more balanced. Most of Jessica's friends are very verbal. While Jessica falls well within the normal range of known words for her age group, she is much, much more interested in how things work. She could care less what its name is and what it says. She just wants to know what it does! I believe she got this from her father. Although I too enjoyed taking things apart as a child, I also loved to talk (that may have been an understatement)! At any rate, while Jessica does not talk as much as many of her friends, she has learned to do all kinds of things her friends can't do: climbing a wooden ladder to slide down a big slide, opening doors, and our latest potty training! We have been particularly anxious to get her potty trained because she has so much trouble with heat rash (for 6 months out of the year at least)!

Starting at 16 months we set out a potty chair and started encouraging her to sit on it. Jessica loves to be clapped for so of course we had to do lots of clapping any time she sat on her potty. One time she accidentally went to the bathroom on her potty which was exciting for us, but she didn't really make the connection. Then we didn't do anything for a few months. When we came back to it, we would take her to the potty every 15 minutes (which only lasted for a few hours one day). But we continued to encourage her to use it. Eventually this weekend something clicked, and she got it! She hasn't had an accident all week around the house!!! We really didn't spend that much time or effort potty training. We spent a couple hours on 3 different Saturdays, but I think the big thing was making her aware of the potty and nudging her without pushing her.

There has also been no expense in potty training her (Well, except for lots and lots of paper towels!!!). The potty chair is a hand-me down. I thought we would be using candy to encourage her to use the potty, but it turned out to be unnecessary! We also have not bought her training pants or underwear yet. Currently she just runs around the house in a short dress and turtleneck and goes to her potty whenever she needs to. (The awesome part is that I rarely have to ask her if she needs to go potty! She remembers herself!) Later I do plan to get her either some training pants or underwear depending on what we are ready for at that point. However, I am currently happy as a lark to have her potty trained around the house so we can stand to wait on the training pants and underwear a little longer! We will also be taking her potty with us when we travel for Christmas. We will still be using some diapers, but it should make cloth diapering easier while traveling! So "Yeah, Jessica!!!!!" 21 months old and potty trained (around the house)!!!

More Hand, Foot, and Mouth

As it turns out, it looks like David also has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease so there is only one illness for me to fight off! It also looks like I am immune to it. It is very rare to see Hand, Foot, and Mouth in an adult; however, my husband has never spent a lot of time around children so he probably never developed the immunity. The bad news is this means he is contagious for about a week; however, I think he may be able to go back to work once he feels better since he works around very few people with children, who are the ones he is the most likely to infect.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Long Few Days...

Today I loaded up the family and took them to the doctor. Jessica as it turns out has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease...again! Either last time she had something else or it was just a light case. However, her spots seem to be dissipating rapidly so hopefully we won't be home bound for too long! We miss our friends! David has a virus involving a sore throat, which looks pretty darn nasty I might add! The doctor does not think it is mono; however, we are taking steps to make sure it does not turn into mono! This will probably have an effect on our Christmas plans, but hopefully we will still get to travel to see family, maybe just not for as long as we had hoped. On the bright side we should be right as rain for Thanksgiving! Speaking of Thanksgiving, I am going to do some looking around to locate some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes to post later this week! Until then, I think I will be using my time to catch up on all the dishes and laundry that have gotten backed up as well as make some repairs and alterations to Jessica's wardrobe. I did not expect her to dislike wearing pants so much, so I am having to do a little work to alter her wardrobe a bit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Seeing Spots

Well, we are staying home and quarantining until we can get to the doctor Monday. Jessica's fever from earlier this week seems to be gone, but she has been fussy and has spots appearing all over her. Our neighbor across the street says it looks like chicken pox. I guess we'll have to wait till Monday to know for sure.

We have used a delayed schedule for getting Jessica's shots, saving the vaccines for less deadly diseases until later. Chicken pox is one of those. The reason for doing this is I just don't see any point in giving her a whole bunch of shots all at one time. While I do not believe it causes Autism (everything I learned in school and professionally tells me otherwise), I do think it may be possible to "overload" a small baby's system. All other kinds of things early on can overload them. Why not a lot of vaccines?

David and I both had the chicken pox as children, although we think I had the worse case. One of the benefits of us having had the chicken pox already is that we know 100% that our unborn child will be protected because of my immunity. With the chicken pox vaccine, there would still be some risk because it is not 100% effective for all people throughout their lifetime. Hopefully, if Jessica does indeed have the chicken pox, she will begin to feel better soon!

Friday, November 13, 2009

My First Kohls Experience

I don't ever remember going to Kohls, but David's grandmother had sent us a check with instructions to get Jessica "something cute" so off we went! If you remember, I have trouble pushing things while pregnant so Jessica did not ride in any sort of buggy or stroller for the entire trip. I must say that made it a rather memorable trip! First we went to the Infant and Toddler's clothing section and picked out an adorable sage green corduroy jumper with pink butterflies appliqued on it (which happened to be 50% off)! While there Jessica discovered the toy section so conventiently located next to the Infant and Toddler's clothes! She was rather taken with a laptop she saw, but I told her we were not getting a laptop today. She was less than pleased. I then carried her over to the shoe department where she found a wonderful pair of taupe heals on clearance that she proceeded to try on after wrestling in the floor to get her shoes and socks off! With much help from Jessica opening boxes, taking out shoes, and her occasionally running off, I found a pair of shoes 50% off that I believe will work nicely with my black maternity leggings! By the time we reached the checkout lane, Jessica wanted to read all of the books in the display and tried to run out the automatic doors multiple times! We managed to pay only to discover that she drank so much that morning that she had leaked through her clothes! I proceeded to change her diaper in the car and dress her in her new outfit. Finally we left!!

However, on the way home I decided to drop by and pick up something at Sears that David had suggested we get for Jessica if we had a little left from getting the "something cute" for Jessica. Once again carrying Jessica into the store without the aid of a stroller, we trudged off towards the bathroom because by this point I had to go! Well, I didn't have a stroller, there was no child seat in the bathroom to strap her to, and she has recently become interested in climbing under bathroom stalls so I set her in my lap against her loud protests! Finally, we went to the toy section where we picked up a My First Craftsman Mechanics Engine! Jessica and I played with it this afternoon. We took it apart, and I told her which pieces were pistons, spark plugs, etc. She seemed to enjoy playing with it. Hopefully, she will find taking it apart more interesting than taking our furniture apart! Currently her daddy and her are sitting in the den taking it apart and putting it back together. Now off to enjoy some family time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Today, I spent some time with a friend of mine planning a preschool curriculum for our daughters and potentially some of their other neighborhood friends! She is a kindergarten teacher who is currently staying home with her daughter. We plan to start it in January, and I am very excited about it! We are going to do it Tuesday mornings from 9:15 until 11:30. We plan to cover: colors, shapes, letters, numbers, early math skills, feelings, animals, plants, families, safety, health, calendar, and a wide variety of other themes over the course of the year. We also plan to take a field trip or two each month on a different day. The field trips will be related to the theme for the month. I plan to periodically post updates on what we are doing and how it is going, complete with pictures! Right now, I need to get some initial supplies ready and a couple activities planned for January!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crafty Christmas Gifts

My sister, Kim, is the craftiest person I know! She almost always makes me something for Christmas, and I always LOVE it! Here are pictures of my favorite three gifts she has recently given me. You can tell just how crafty she is because all three employ distinctly different skills.

An afghan Kim crocheted for me last year....isn't it cheerful?!?!

A gorgeous black skirt Kim sewed for me!

A pitcher she decorated for me!

This last picture I feel requires a bit more of an explanation. She took a pitcher she gotten at TJ Max for cheap and used some special pens to write the quote and draw the butterflies. The quote on it is, "Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it; the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things; it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." by Henry David Thoreau. I absolutely LOVE the transcendentalist writers, so it was the perfect gift! I told her she needed to make me an entire set, but so far I have not received any more pieces. :-( Don't you think my sister is one of the craftiest people ever?!?!?!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The First Trimester

We will be through the first trimester in about a week and have our next doctor's appointment set for next Friday. I must say I am feeling much better: more energy, less gagging, still a few odd food preferences, but on the whole a major improvement! Lots of gas though....very uncomfortable.....slowed digestion is a definite negative! Tonight Jessica and I both happened to look nice, so David took a picture of us! (You can also see where the new baby is beginning to protrude.)

Me and my babies!

On the whole, things seem to be going well, and we are very thankful for that. I am not one of those people who gets very excited about the pregnancy process. Don't get my wrong. I am delighted to be pregnant and am very much looking forward to this wee one joining our family. However, I do realize that pregnancy has its risks. My doctor said a quarter of his patients have miscarriages. I have heard that 50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. I have known someone who died from a c-section. I have known someone who was paralyzed from an epidural. I know someone who almost bled to death during labor and delivery. I read a blog where the mother died a couple days after birth from postpartum seizures. I have known several children who were born with heart defects, some of which died. I have known a baby who was born without a brain and died shortly thereafter. At church, I heard of a baby who was born without lungs and died immediately after birth. All of these things are rare in the United States because of our excellent medical care; however, they do still happen. Because of this, I tend to view pregnancy as serious business. Indeed whether or not to get pregnant in the first place is a serious decision. Can you support and care for a child until it reaches adulthood? However, there is nothing more wonderful in the world or as challenging as the responsibility of raising a child to adulthood.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another one bites the dust!

I have been slowly trying to reduce the number of toiletry items we buy. Not only does it save us money, but it also seems much more self-sufficient! Well, today another one bites the dust! I had gotten us down to: soap (now homemade), shampoo (the latest to bite the dust), deodorant, David's aftershave, and my hair gel. Those are the only things we use on a daily basis (outside of razors), and I think we look and smell just fine!

A bar of my homemade soap after curing.

For the last several years I have used only Dove Sensitive Skin products because Dove is the brand Ob-Gyns recommend to help avoid hormone imbalances. (Some people are more sensitive to them than others and at different points in your life.) I had tried to use their soap to wash my hair previously, and I was just not pleased with the results. My hair seemed really dry. Today when I took a shower, I thought "Hmmm, I haven't tried washing my hair with my nice, moisturizing homemade soap." I tried it, and it worked great! I couldn't tell a difference between that and using shampoo!!! David was pleased that it worked so well so he will be trying it in the near future. (Might I also mention that it is gentle enough to use on children once they understand to close their eyes.)

My hair by the end of the day (please excuse the poor evening lighting). Also, I decided that I cannot cut my own hair. David and Jessica's yes, but not my own!

Next on my list is deodorant. I have been doing my research on this one, but have not finished checking out all of the options. The hair gel is likely to stay because I have almost a lifetime supply from when I bartered School Psychology services for haircuts and hair products. The aftershave I have not found a descent replacement for yet either. It may stay as well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Outfitting a Little Girl for the Year

Every year about this time, I start thinking about what clothing items each family member needs because we usually do a little bit of outlet shopping after Christmas. The first year after Jessica was born I don't think I had to buy her a thing except a winter coat. The next year I bought her a pair of overalls, a couple pairs of jeans, several winter tops, a couple summer tops, and a white sweater. I felt like I did a pretty good job since I got everything for about $50 and I knew she would change sizes throughout the year. I supplemented her summer wardrobe with homemade items. However, this year I had an epiphany!

My first experience with outfitting a little girl for the year.

First and foremost I learned this year that Jessica prefers light summer dresses to pants. With that in mind I realized that I could make her several classic summer dresses in a cotton/poly blend and buy some long sleeved shirts to go under them in the winter. This means that the only things I would need to purchase this year would be: some long sleeved white shirts, maybe a couple short sleeved white shirts, a neutral cardigan sweater, and a new coat. I would make her some summer dresses and maybe another pair of leg-warmers. It seems to me that this is one of the most economical ways to outfit a little girl for the year, and I should be able to pass these items on to a later child because they are all classic styles! What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for outfitting little girls for the year? What about boys?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Front Porch Friday: Thankful

This time last year, my pediatrician and internist was sending me to the dermatologist just as a precaution after delivering a healthy baby girl 9 months prior. I went in, and the dermatologist decided to biopsy two of them that they thought were questionable. Mind you, none of us were terribly nervous about this because they had only changed when my hormones changed, they looked nothing like the pictures you see online, and I did not have a family history. However, I got a phone call the day before Thanksgiving that forever changed my life.

My precious baby girl

I answered the phone, and the physician's assistant was on the phone. She said, "I am so glad you came in when you did. One of the moles we biopsied is a malignant melanoma." She didn't have to say anything else. I knew what malignant meant, and I knew what melanoma was. I had been to a visitation for my friend's aunt who died of melanoma. The rest of what she said was a blur. I fell to my knees and just stared at my baby girl sitting on the floor, wondering if she would grow up without a mother. The rest of the conversation was a blur. I think I managed to ask some good questions, but I am not really sure. The only thing I was sure of was that I would have to wait until after the holiday weekend to know how bad it was and what the prognosis was.

My neighbor Liza who always makes us feel like family.

The hours and days that followed were torturous. I called my husband and told him first, but we couldn't talk long because he was finishing some things up at work so he could go ahead and come home for a long weekend. Next I called my mother. I told her, "Mom, you can NOT get upset. I feel like I am going to throw up. The doctor's office called and said I have melanoma." My mom was also very familiar with what melanoma is. She had been to that same visitation and had watched her quick decline before her death. To her credit, my mom remained calm and got as much information out of me as possible before telling me to call Liza, my neighbor across the street that has a son my age. Liza came over, prayed with me, and took me and Jessica back to her house where her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were very kind and encouraging to me to until David got home.

My awesome Dad, who flew down for less than 24 hours to talk with me and do dishes, drinking "coffee" with Jessica at Christmas.

My mom got busy and called my aunt who explained that what I had been told on the phone actually sounded like it was probably a good prognosis. A friend whose dad has had melanoma multiple times called, and we spent Thanksgiving with them. Friends from church called as well, including a melanoma survivor. Up until Thanksgiving Day I had not known anyone who had survived melanoma. Now I know tons! When I still was unable to get out of my cycle of panic attacks, my dad flew down, and David took me to the ER. The hospital gave me some pills for the panic attacks. I took one, and it knocked me out cold for 6 hours. By that time, my dad was there - doing dishes, because that was the last thing on our minds at that point. I was rested. The chemicals in my brain had been reset, and I was ready, with the help of my dad and David, to start dealing with what we had been dealt.

Mom pushing Jessica around the hospital during the surgery.

As it turned out, I was in one of the earliest stages so I needed surgery asap, but I would not require any radiation or chemotherapy. They performed the surgery in office under local anesthesia. They took out both of them to make me happy. (I didn't want them accidentally taking out the wrong one! I am a little paranoid that way, but the doctor said if you can make a little paranoia work for you so that you are cautious but not controlled by it, then great!) The scars were about 4 inches long but not deep. However, I was not allowed to lift anything for 6 weeks after the surgery, and they told me to be very careful about bending my back. We did not want the stitches coming undone. My mother came down and stayed with us for a week until my sister and her boyfriend could drive down to get all of us and take us back to Memphis.

A picture of one of my scars 6 weeks after the surgery. Apparently, I am somewhat allergic to adhesive so we had a difficult time keeping me bandaged the entire 6 weeks.

This part was difficult for me. Although I enjoyed having all of the quality time with my family, it was Jessica's first Thanksgiving and first Christmas, and it was not how I had wanted it to be. My husband had to stay home and work most of that time, and he has become a very important part of my support network. It was also so hard not being able to pick up my baby girl; however, I must admit she is now a very independent little girl and she figured out ways she could comfortably nurse even though I was rather limited in my range of motion. I was also difficult to care for because I was having a very difficult time emotionally and was in no condition to be solely responsible for a child. My mother was trying to let me be as independent as possible but realized towards the end of the 6 weeks that I needed someone to tell me what to do because my head just wasn't there. She probably bore the brunt of it, placing her life on hold to care for me and Jessica, both of which were quite a handful).

The other side.

At the same time, I also felt very blessed. First of all, I was going to be a melanoma survivor! Secondly though, I'd had yet another life experience, which taught me more about the world and the Creator who put it into motion. I try to remember to thank God for the "good" things and the "bad" things because we learn something from all of them. I now go to the doctor every 6 months for a full body skin check. At my first re-check which was only a couple months after I healed from the surgery, they found a precancerous spot that needed to be taken care of in the office. However, at my last skin check, I was clean! My doctors are wonderful, and I have so much to be thankful for this year: my health, supportive family and friends, and getting spend each new day with my sweet baby girl and amazingly supportive husband.

What more can you ask for? (Besides more children!)

Re-purposed Tights

I am really not that tall, but David was laying down when he took the picture.

I am planning to get some maternity leggings at some point in the near future, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. In the meantime I realized that I could probably re-purpose an old pair of black dance tights that I had left over from college! I cut the feet off (and made a cut in the waist band because it was too snug!), and then I used my all time favorite, Frey Check, on the cut edges. That's it! It ended up working out great, but I don't think I will be able to wear them for much longer as my thighs and lower abdomen keep expanding! However, it will work out great until I can manage to find a pair of maternity leggings!! (Yes, I could probably get larger sized tights but given that my weight gain tends to be limited to my thighs and lower abdomen, maternity leggings would probably fit better!)

They ended up riding up a bit during the day but not bad!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Let Me Be Critical For a Moment

Let me be critical for a moment of School Psychology, the Mental Health Profession, and yes even society at large. Perhaps we spend too much time focusing on what is "wrong" with children and trying to "fix" them instead of appreciating all of their wonderful gifts. I really think it would be better if we just recognized that all people are different and tried to be sensitive to those differences. There are so many wonderful, precious children out there with extraordinary qualities who only hear from others about what is "wrong with them." I personally choose to believe that God made all people with certain strengths and weaknesses for a special purpose. Shame on us for expecting children to fit into a box and labeling them as "disordered" when they do not!

That's How I Roll!!

David's mom and grandmother offered to give us some money to go towards a new stroller, which was very nice! I ended up finding a great deal on the Kolcraft Contours Tandem Stroller at so I went ahead and ordered it! We thought it would be particularly nice to have while I am pregnant because then Jessica and a friend can ride together while the friend's mom pushes! (I am having trouble pushing again this pregnancy. I have no earthly idea why.) At any rate, the stroller arrived yesterday and David put it together last night!! We ended up getting to take it for a spin today, and I am totally convinced that I got the best stroller and for the best price ($186 shipped)!!!

Aren't you jealous that we are wearing summer clothes in November???

Here is my review of the Kolcraft Contours Stroller. It is very easy to push and can go almost anywhere! My friend pushed the stroller and loved it! She could push it on dirt roads with one hand! You also don't have to air up the tires or worry about punctures. It folds down to be pretty compact. It will almost fit in the trunk of our Firebird, which is pretty impressive! I could probably make it fit if I had to, but we plan to use the umbrella stroller and Ultimate Baby Wrap for at least the first year. (At some point we will need to get a new vehicle, but we are pushing it off as long as possible because the Firebird is paid for!! For now I plan to use the stroller more around the neighborhood because we do A LOT of walking on mostly dirt roads; however, I think when the new baby is over a year old I will enjoy using it when going places as well.) The stroller is a little heavy to carry, but any double stroller is going to be heavy!

Nice big wheels. The perfect size for off-roading!

Another plus about the Kolcraft Contours Stroller is its versatility! One huge plus is that the kids aren't sitting next to each other so you end up with fewer fights. ("Mom, he's on my side. Mom, she's touching me. Mom, she hit me" ...I think you get the idea!) They can sit facing each other so they can play and talk to each other but still have their personal space. They can also be turned while in the seats to face away from each other, both face front, or both face back. I can see this working out great for time-out on the go! For even more versitility, you can also use up to two infant seats in place of the seats. You could also remove one seat to leave more space for shopping or equipment if you have a special needs child. For older children, there is a handhold on each side of the stroller.

In the sitting up position. Aren't you impressed with sunshade?

Another plus when you live in such a warm climate is that the sunshades are better covering than most double strollers. The seats themselves and the footrests recline, which is great for infants and tired toddlers! There is a parent tray that has 2 cupholders and a compartment for snacks, keys, phone, etc. The basket underneath is quite spacious! I could see myself walking to our vet with the kids in the seats and our cat on a leash in the basket! My only complaint about the Kolcraft Contours Tandem Stroller is that the child seats have a removable bar instead of a tray. However, I have seen cloth trays that you can buy separately and velcro onto any stroller. I may make my own at some point!

Obviously it's comfortable, and the sunshade does a good job even in the reclined position!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Christmas at Our House

Ok, now that it is officially November, I feel like I can blog more about Thanksgiving and Christmas! Previously I had eluded to the fact that (as long as we can manage it) we plan to make Christmas a mostly homemade affair for our children. I don't really remember how or why we ended up making that decision. Frugality definitely has something to do with it, but I think more of it is trying to avoid the commercialism that has become Christmas and get back to what is most important: an exchange of love, not stuff. I would like to see our children grow up to be fiscally responsible, to value relationships over things, to appreciate the thought and effort behind a gift and not how much it cost, etc. Can you accomplish all of these things while having a store-bought Christmas? Absolutely. In fact, our child(ren) receive plenty of store-bought gifts from our extended families. This may actually be another part of the reason we started doing homemade gifts.

Ready for Santa Claus!

With Jessica being the first grandchild, first neice, first great-grandchild, and first great-great-grandchild, she has many aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc excited about getting her something cool for Christmas, which is wonderful! However, as a parent on a budget, how do you make Santa Claus exciting when gifts from extended family are already pretty darn exciting? You give your love and your time, two things you cannot put a price on. It also makes our Christmas at home pretty unique and special, so it is not like we do the same thing about 5 different times throughout the holidays!

Jessica's first Christmas at our house.

Last year, we made Jessica a wooden shapes puzzle and a bag of wooden blocks. We also took one of my old purses and filled it with our old wallets, watches, fake credit cards, bracelets, lotion bottles, etc. (She has really enjoyed that!) We also bought her some books from an outlet and her first pair of shoes. Her stocking was filled with apples and socks. The only thing that really cost us anything was the shoes. Obviously, the shoes, socks, and books were not homemade. I tend to make an exception for books and needed items (like shoes or socks).

The unfinished product sitting on David's workbench.

This year, David made Jessica a play kitchen. He still has one or two things to do before I can start painting it. I also plan to make more felt food to go in her kitchen. She will also get a small stack of books, and her stocking will be filled with fruit, candy, a new piece for her Fisher Price Little People House, and maybe some more socks. I have been hopeful about finishing a new set of pajamas for her by Christmas Eve, but I am not sure that will materialize. We probably spent a little more this year, but she is also old enough to enjoy it a little more!

Jessica's picture with Santa last was a wee bit traumatic!

That is pretty much what Christmas looks like at our house, although David and I do not make things for each other. It takes enough time to make stuff for our child(ren), and there are usually some things that we would like that we enjoy doing together. Last year we each got some woodworking tools. This year we are getting the Star Trek Original Series on dvd. We both grew up watching Star Trek with our dads and now enjoy watching it together. We should have a little more down time this year as I slow down the later part of this pregnancy and while I recover from labor and delivery (and do a lot of breastfeeding)!

Happy Halloween

Last year we took Jessica to a couple friends' houses to trick or treat. This year we did the same thing, but we also went around the neighborhood a little with some of our friends!

Jessica was not quite sure what to make of Bella!

Jessica's friend was not quite sure about the dragon costume at first!

Jessica felt that he needed to wear his hat whether he wanted to or not!

"I can't get it on him. You'll have to do it."

"Why are all these women picking on me???"

We eventually go the hang of it and headed out trick or treating in the red wagon!

They really had a wonderful time once we got started! By the end Jessica was saying, "Hello. Thank you. Bye Bye." (over and over and over again!!) We also trick or treated a little more later once we got home! At the rate of one piece of candy every night after dinner, I think she will have enough to last until Christmas!