Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Daniel is 30!*

In honor of my husband's 30th birthday, I thought I would share with you 30 things I love/admire about him. This list was easy and difficult to write all at once because their are so many great things about him - it's hard to narrow it all down. But here is a Brief Glimpse into Daniel:
  1. He's hot. Have you not seen his eyes or his fabulous smile? Either of them melt me, but combined I am a puppy dog. They're what caught my eye years ago - it was all the rest that intrigued me...
  2. His sense of humor. While it's quite possible that no one besides Zoe and I think he's hilarious... he makes me laugh like no one else can and so I consider him the funniest person I know.

    Photos by Danielle Radon

  3. His optimism. Invariably, when a situation arises Daniel chooses to see the lessons learned, the opportunities available and the light at the end of the tunnel. He is my light, and when he says everything is going to be OK, I believe him.
  4. His intelligence. Whether it's his aptitude for languages, his knowledge of politics and current affairs, or his uncanny ability to quote movies verbatim - I have always loved my husband's mind.
  5. He's a great writer. I can get lost in the words that Daniel writes. Adventure, intrigue, science fiction, fantasy, comedy - he draws you into the worlds and characters he creates.
  6. He's a talented actor. Although he never actually acted until he moved to Bakersfield, he has a natural ability to connect to his characters and fellow actors on stage and he is a pleasure to work with because of his commitment to his roles and the shows he chooses to do.
  7. He's thoughtful. This one seems so self explanatory, but let me give you some examples: When I was really sick a few years ago, he ordered plays for us to watch from home since I was too sick to go out. When we were first dating and I told him about how my grandfather used to take me to old Japanese films, he gifted me a Rashomon DVD. When he sees I'm completely exhausted, he takes over with Zoe and sends me to our room so I can rest. He's mindful of what I need to make me happy or feel better and he makes sure I am too.
  8. He's charitable/giving. Daniel is the guy who cannot turn away helping people. Be it someone on the street who needs spare change or someone he's only barely met (ME) whom he lends enough money to pay for a semester of community college and books. Where he sees potential and/or need he helps if he can.
  9. He's hard working. Whether it's a theatre production, his day job, his writing or changing a really horrible diaper, Daniel juggles it all and I am so proud of him.
  10. He's well read. I tease Daniel about our vast book collection that spans three rooms and 10 bookcases, but I adore the fact that he enjoys books so much and that he exposes me to them. Some of my favorite moments are of him reading Terry Pratchett or Hitchhikers Guide to me.
  11. He's open minded about just about everything. He's taught me to hear both sides and not necessarily come to a conclusion condemning the other side, but to try to understand it instead.
  12. He's always seeking more knowledge through newspaper articles, books, language courses, people, etc. Because of this, he is a great conversationalist.
  13. He's not afraid to be different and he embraces/admires people who do likewise. 
  14. He's creative. Whether it's creative problem solving, coming up with something to do, or making up funny songs to sing to me and Zoe - Daniel's creative mind is always turning and makes my life more colorful and enjoyable.
  15. His language skills. In college he took Japanese and Chinese and studied abroad for both. He has shelves of language books and tapes in Norwegian, French, Vietnamese, etc. He tells this silly little joke about a panda in Chinese - it's always a crowd pleaser.
  16. His laugh. Nothing makes me happier than hearing him laugh, except maybe hearing him and our daughter laugh together. It's infectious.

    Photos by Danielle Radon

  17. His dancing skills. He might not be Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, but he loves to dance and he's fun to watch when he does.
  18. His voice. It's been a while since I've requested this since we're always so tired by the time we get into bed, but Daniel used to give me these mini concerts once we were in bed and trying to fall asleep. Wonderful moments that I will cherish always. His singing voice has resonance and his speaking voice gives me chills of familiarity and warmth of comfort whenever I hear it - especially after a long day.
  19. His passion for teaching/informing. When Daniel and I first started dating, he was constantly drawing graphs and diagrams for me to explain what he did at work on a daily basis. I loved it because my talents lie in the creative/linguistic areas not the mathematical or scientific, but he still saw me as someone who had the aptitude to understand. I couldn't explain what he did to you, but he was able to give me a sense of understanding. He does this whenever the opportunity arises, whether it's helping someone with their Chinese pronunciation or explaining how a program works - I think Daniel's other calling in life is teaching.
  20. He isn't into football, baseball, basketball or hockey... but he does have an interest in fencing and martial arts.
  21. He's patient - with me, our daughter, the crazy dog children, the rude neighbors across the street, etc. While I can be a little "spirited", he approaches stressful situations with ease and understanding that everyone responds to.
  22. He's a true gentleman. I never thought I'd care that much if someone opened all my doors for me, pulled out my chair, led me into a room - but he does and it makes me feel special.
  23. He's articulate. Daniel is comfortable talking one on one and to large groups of people. I admire that he doesn't get all tongue tied like I do and that he can be so entertaining. He's a natural speaker.
  24. He's humble. I don't think Daniel fully realizes how amazing and capable he is - and if he does, he's certainly not smug or conceited about it. 
  25. He's never done drugs. I know that sounds a little odd, but it has always been very refreshing to me that my husband has never smoked pot or done any other drug despite being around people who did. 
  26. He's well travelled. Well, he's been to China, Japan and Belize... but this one time, he was left by a bus in Inner Mongolia. It's a crazy story that he tells with a great sense of humor... and how many people can say that? I look forward to less adventurous travels in the future.
  27. He's a loyal friend who calls some very talented, thoughtful, good people his friends. "A man is known by the company he keeps." I had the pleasure of first meeting some of Daniel's oldest friends a few months into our relationship when he took me to Texas to meet his family. I knew I loved Daniel then, but seeing them all interact as we sat drinking beer and coffee, witnessing their mutual admiration and enjoyment of each other, and getting a glimpse into who they were as people made me love him even more.
  28. His love for his family. I've been around people whose families yell and scream and there's always drama. That is not the type of family Daniel comes from and again, seeing him interact with his family in Texas made me love him even more than I did before we made our first trip out to San Antonio. Seeing him interact with my family and embrace them as his own - completely sealed the deal for me. He loves his family and it is clear that they all love him.
  29. He's a wonderful father. There is no one else I would rather partner with in such an important life step as having children. Daniel is the kind of Dad I think kids dream of having and I know Zoe and Finn are as blessed to have him as I am.

    Photos by Danielle Radon

  30. The way he loves me. Really, there's nothing more to say for this one.

Happy Birthday, love. The world is a better place with you in it. Welcome to your thirties!*

* - Well, tomorrow is actually your birthday but we have this appointment that probably would have prevented me from writing and posting this on the actual day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Top Ten of 2008:

  1. March 4th - My Dad getting a clean bill of health regarding his cancer. Best news ever.

  2. April 19-27th - Taking Zoe to Texas for the first time so she could meet her aunt, great grandmothers, great aunts & uncle and see her Grammy & Grandpa. It was our 1st big family vacation!

  3. May 1st - Getting an unexpected but welcome positive from a home pregnancy test and then having it confirmed the next day with a blood test.

  4. May 25th - Seeing Zoe take her first steps - at her 1st birthday party in front of an audience of at least 20 people. What can I say, she's a performer.

  5. June 25-29th - My cousins wedding which was a mini family reunion for my side of the family. Special highlights were introducing Zoe to some of my favorite people and dancing with Daniel & Zoe at the reception.

  6. July 25th - Having a gender ultrasound and finding out we're having a son!

  7. November 4th - Voting and then later finding out who our next President will be. 

  8. December 25th - While not planned, we celebrated our first Christmas just the three of us. I'm a firm believer in "the more, the merrier" but it was nice being our little family of 3....almost 4, well, 6 if you count the dog children.

  9. This year we cooked more, ate healthier, laughed whole heartily and made time/took every opportunity to enjoy special moments as a family, a couple and as individuals.

  10. It hasn't happened yet, but December 31st - The birth of our son/my husband's 30th birthday.

It was a great year! I'm looking forward to 2009 and all it has in store for us.

What are your top 10/highlights?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The 3 of Us

This last Saturday we got the family up and ready so we could have a family/maternity photo shoot. You know, to sort of document this pregnancy even further and have some nice family photos of us when we were a family of three. One of our theatre friends (Danielle Radon) who in addition to be completely lovely, and a great actress and writer, is also a very talented photographer.

What I realized from our shoot is that I'm no longer quite as comfortable in front of the camera now that I spend so much behind it. I got over that quickly though between Danielle making me feel at ease with me just being natural and Daniel making me laugh. What is very, very clear from the photos (I think) is that there is a lot of love and laughter in our family and I fully expect this to grow exponentially with the arrival of our son.*

Anyway - let me quit with my words and show you some pictures!

Photography by Danielle Radon

You can see all the pics HERE:

*We're still set for 12/31... I've made absolutely no progress in the last five days but we're totally OK with that. My parents weren't able to make it because of the weather on the Grapevine (my mom is a wedding coordinator and can't risk missing a wedding she has this weekend) and Zoe's Cheryl and Chuck-Chuck are in Illinois until Saturday... so we're cool with waiting. Besides, this is giving us more time to relax and have some nice quality time just the three of us since Daniel is on vacation.

Alright. Now, I've got some Christmas Eve cuddling to do with my husband. Merry Christmas to all of you!

Cheers!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Randomness:

1. I'm still pregnant. Remember when I said I thought Finn was going to come early? Well, I've changed my mind. I think he's so darn comfy in there it's a good thing we've scheduled the doc to get him out because I think he'd live in there forever if he could.

2. My toes are pretty, pedicured and blue! The last time I got a pedicure was at the very beginning of this pregnancy 10 years 9 months ago, so I did not feel at all guilty for shelling out a little bit more for a "SPA pedicure". I'm partial to a pedicure where I get to sit in one of those fancy chairs and not have the entire salon talk about me to each other in their language or try to convince me that I really "need" my eyebrow done/legs waxed. Anyway, it was heaven except for the conversation:

"So, when is your baby due?"
"I'm having a c-section on New Years Eve."

15 minutes later....

"So, what are you doing New Years Eve?"
"I'm having a baby."
"Oh, yeah. I forgot. That's no fun... well, I'll drink some champagne for you."

Also, I narrowly escaped little baby feet on one big toe and "It's a boy!" on the other. It was going to be on the house, but no. Not my style - I politely declined.

3. I am CONSTANTLY hungry. Like, famished. Like, all I can think about is food. Even when I'm snacking on chips and salsa I'm trying to plan what I will devour next. That 5 pounds I lost last week? I think I might see it's return (and then some) when I get on the scale Wednesday.

4. My next check up is on Wednesday (Christmas Eve). Despite there being no real change last time, I am bracing myself for my doc to tell me to get to the hospital straight away. I think it's because I've accepted the 12/31 plan and fully expect something to alter the plan because that is life.

5. We might take Zoe to meet Santa tonight. It's still up in the air.

6. My parents still aren't here. They were supposed to come yesterday but my poor mom isn't feeling well. They were supposed to come today but she's still not 100% (let's face it mom, you're probably not quite 50% yet - but I love you.) and then there's that dreaded Grapevine that they have to drive over with threats of fog, snow, ice, wind (and lions and tigers and bears, oh my!). We're hoping they can get here safely tomorrow and that the extra day of rest will be just what my mom needed to feel better. I believe everything happens for a reason.

7. We are almost completely ready on the baby front. The changing table is stocked, baby swing built, laundry done and put away. I just need us to clean a bit more and then I need to rearrange the furniture and reorganize our massive book and DVD collections.... but then we are SO ready.

8. Fresh and Easy is my new favorite store. They really are fresh and easy!

9. Anyone in Bakersfield want to come help Daniel hang curtains in our bedroom? It requires some expertise, I think - and the ability to get on a ladder (which I'm not allowed to do right now - Waah!). The task looks complicated to me, and that may be why it hasn't gotten done despite my declaring it top priority as soon as we found out we were having another baby. Must. Block. Out. Sun.

10. I'm having pie for dessert tonight and I can't wait.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My love

Last night around 11, Zoe woke up in tears. We hadn't turned her humidifier on (which seems to be a must have these days) and she was having a coughing fit and trouble breathing through her nose. Daniel was in her room first (he moves faster than I do now and I always try to hold back just a moment because my first inclination is to run to her when she cries and she knows this). I followed quickly and just in time to see her projectile spit up in her crib (hey, being a parent is glamorous). The two of us cleaned her up, kissed and hugged her, and told her everything was going to be OK. And then I took her into our room while Daniel cleaned up inside her crib a bit and filled the humidifier.

I rocked her in the new chair that we got to use for Finnegan (the wood glider we'd gotten when I was pregnant with Zoe just isn't comfortable). The chair has since become the family chair and my favorite place in the house to hold my fast growing daughter. She had barely woken up during the entire coughing episode so she was very quickly in a deep sleep against my chest, laying directly on top of my belly with her little brother pushing gently (and sometimes nudging strongly) against her. Soon, I felt all three of us relax into each other. Zoe's breaths became less forced and she was no longer snoring, but sighing sweetly in her sleep. I felt my breathing fall in line with her as I rocked her and watched her. And then within moments, Finn's stirring ceased and I felt him relax under the weight of his sister. It was one of the most peaceful moments I've had as a mother.

And in those precious minutes I realized without any reservation that I am good at this. I have my rough days, we have our rough days, but I can do this and I do it well. I'm a good mother to my daughter and I will be for my son. I worried at one time that it just wasn't possible for me to love anyone more than I love Zoe, but as the "three" of us sat there I knew that my love for my kids and for Daniel is incomparable, immeasurable, and vast.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

13 Days or less to go!

I thought I'd share my view:

37 weeks/5 days....13 days or less to go!

I am HUGE! But I love it.

37 weeks/5 days....13 days or less to go!

And I am so looking forward to meeting Finnegan. Such a wild ride this has been!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SIXTEEN

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

I did this because I was tagged by some friends on Facebook and decided I might as well post it here too. I'm not tagging anyone here, but if you want to share I would love to read your answers.

Here's mine:

1. I have a blog, as well as Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and Myspace accounts so I sort of feel like coming up with 16 things seems silly because I feel like I've shared so much already.

2. I'm such a sap that sometimes I hide behind my sarcasm/humor/complaining to cover up how nervous, worried or scared I am. I worry that this coping mechanism sometimes makes me sound like I don't love being a mother or that I'm not enjoying my pregnancy. I do and I am - honestly.

3. Becoming a mom is one of the best things I've ever done. We'll see how things go, but I could imagine us having one or two more after Finn. I might be making up for growing up as an only child (I have two half brothers who I barely lived with as a kid) but the idea of having a larger family is appealing. We'll see what happens.

4. I'm a better writer than a speaker unless you're someone I know so well that I'm able to let my guard down and still be articulate. I get tongue tied in person and so I tend to enjoy emails better than a phone conversation - or even talking in person.

5. I behave like a hormonal teenager sometimes. If possible, I can find the sexual innuendo in nearly everything and I always feel the need to be inappropriate and share it with Daniel to make him laugh. I think it might be one of the things he loves about me. :)

6. Daniel's and my sense of humor is often not appreciated by anyone other than us. We're convinced that this is just one of the many reasons we're together... we just "get" one another. He's the funniest guy I know. :)

7. I have an obsession with buying cookbooks and cooking magazines because I imagine how great it would be to cook everything in them, but I rarely recreate the recipes I drool over. I keep telling myself that once the kids are older and I have more time I'll cook more.

8. I am an obsessive list maker. I type them up in Google Documents and highlight what I complete as I do it. It makes me happier than it should.

9. If we're expecting guests for dinner, to visit (or say we're about to have a child) - the first thing I go to clean is our bedroom closet. Daniel thinks this is crazy because who is going to look in our closet?! But I don't care... that's where the cleaning always begins. I love my closet. I should post a picture.... but I haven't completely organized it yet.

10. Typing up this list is making me think I sound neurotic. I'm not, truly.... but our Boston Terrier (Bailey) is. Bailey is a freak - I am not. :)

11. When our kids are grown and in college I really want to buy a motor home (something like THIS) so Daniel and I can live in it and drive around the country focusing on each other, our writing and photography. I also want to spend at least a year abroad exploring the world and learning about other cultures. I fantasize about all the adventures we'll have in our old age.

12. My other big dream is to have a photography business. I'd love to shoot weddings, children's parties, events and theatre productions. I prefer documentary style photography and feel good when I'm connected to my camera.

13. I'm not a healthy person and sometimes I feel like a burden or a downer to the people in my life. Every time I get sick, I struggle with how I'm affecting Daniel and Zoe and our support system of people who help us so much. Sometimes I feel like I'm too much trouble and everyone has to put up with me and that I have no right wanting all these kids and having all these big plans because I can't do it on my own. Then I remember I don't have to do any of it on my own and I'm grateful.

14. I love the Muppets - especially Kermit and Miss Piggy... and Animal. And Gonzo. And ALL THE REST. They make me happy and remind me of my childhood.

15. I used to sell mattresses. It was one of the worst jobs I have ever had and I do not miss it one bit. The people I worked for were bad people and the customers were creepy. I can't even count how many men (and sometimes their wives too) asked me to test the beds out with them. It was gross.

16. I cannot look at clouds, fabric or even a blank or color washed wall without seeing faces and designs in them. Detailed things like animals, faces, fairies, dragons, etc. My eyes just see these images without working to create them. Is that weird?

FYI - Suddenly feeling like a strange one.

Also - Go on, distract me from my list making/things I need to get done. ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pregnancy Update

So, remember how I've been going on and on about Finnegan being evicted on December 29th? Scratch that. Turns out that despite us telling them a month ago that this was the date we'd chosen, they got their wires crossed and forgot to schedule it with the hospital. You know what that means? That means that a very hormonal and unreasonably emotional Keely nearly lost it in the car after our checkup. Because unlike most pregnant women, I had gotten to form a plan. I had everything worked out perfectly in my mind. We were going to spend a leisurely early morning with our first child on Monday, December 29th before dropping her off at her Cheryl's (and Chuck-Chuck's). The "plan" had been to be at the hospital at 10:30 am for prep and Finnegan would be making his debut via extraction c-section around noon-ish. We chose this day specifically based on multiple criteria that I had in my head.

1. I wanted to make sure we got to spend Christmas at home with Zoe and my parents who will be visiting for the week.
2. I wanted the latest possible day (has to be a weekday for "elective" surgery) that would be before the New Year, because HELLO, tax deduction/insurance deductible.
3. I wanted him to be born and spend the prerequisite time in recovery (a couple days) and have us all be back in our home with Zoe for New Years Eve (and Daniel's 30th birthday).
4. My gift to Daniel this year (aside from nurturing his son in my womb for the last nine months) was getting to have as close to a comfortable nights sleep as he could get - with a toddler, newborn and wife recovering from surgery - in his own bed on his birthday instead of on a tiny, uncomfortable cot in a tiny, uncomfortable recovery room.

But, stuff happens. Who was I to think that this pregnancy was going to go according to my plans? What pregnancy and/or delivery ever goes exactly the way we want it to? Geez. I had some nerve. You know what I did by counting on the 29th? I tempted fate and that was just plain silly.

So with that in mind, it would be completely ridiculous to count on my son adhering to the schedule we agreed to this afternoon:

We've been scheduled for a 7:30 am c-section on Wednesday, December 31st (Daniel's 30th birthday). We've been told that aside from the possibility of us getting pushed back because of other emergencies, that Finnegan will be born on the 31st. And to that I say: If you say so. But I'm not holding my breath.

I'm still on alert for this kid to take everything into his own hands and come when he's good and ready. I'm no further dilated or effaced than I was last week, but I've just completely abandoned my plans and given up on guarantees.

And Daniel is (of course) the reasonable one who is game for whatever happens. He's never been the "planner" in our family (thank goodness, there really can be only one). He says that his son being born on his birthday would be a great gift. He keeps reminding me that it's only 2 more days and I know he's right... I just need some time to adjust is all.

So everyone, be on alert. If today was any indication, the next 20 days are going to be a roller coaster ride of "crazy pregnant Keely". Brace yourselves, people. And we'll keep you posted. ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Entertaining Myself:

Just make a guess, mmkay?



Here's some quick info to help you out a bit....

- Finn will be evicted via c-section on December 29th 31st* at the latest**. So don't guess after that date!

- Zoe weighed 8 lbs, 5oz and was 19 inches.

- My due date is Jan. 4th, 2009.

- At my last appt. on 12/2 - I was 35 weeks and 2 days, but measured 37 weeks.

- At that same appt, I was 25% effaced and 1 cm dilated.

- I had three hours of false labor on 12/9...

- And... Zoe was induced and then arrived 2 days before her due date, but I had no false labor with her and was not dilated or effaced at 35 weeks...

*- Yes. That just changed.
** - I'm not holding my breath about any guarantees regarding this baby from here on out. So, whatever. ;)

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Little Elf x 5

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


This video would not be possible had Jen not given me the heads up via twitter. I couldn't resist multiplying my little monkey by five too. Cute, funny and a little bit scary all at once, yes?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hair Thursday

Soon, life is about to get a whole lot MORE hectic and if I can manage to find a style that looks good without too much effort, that would be awesome. Who better to go to than the lovely and talented Whoorl?! She's featured me on Hair Thursday this week and it's perfect timing because I am just itching to do something with my hair. So, help a lady out, will ya? Go take a look at her suggestions, vote and give your opinion.

Thanks!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Four

Four years ago tonight Daniel took me out on a fancy date. We ordered great food, delicious wine and had wonderful conversation. Somehow, we decided to pretend like we were on one of our first dates and asked those "getting to know you" questions you ask at the beginning of a relationship. Never mind that at that point we'd been together for nearly two years, had been living together for almost as long and had a "daughter", our Boston Terrier, Bailey. We still behaved like a couple of lovebirds, leaning close to each other, holding hands, asking each other what our goals and dreams were. And then in the most perfect moment, Daniel looked at me very seriously with eyes beaming and asked me if I would marry him. There was no hesitation, "Yes!" We stopped pretending like we were on one of our first dates and spent the rest of our time in the restaurant laughing and kissing and smiling from ear to ear.

It's amazing to think it's been so long - that so much has happened.

Happy Engagement Anniversary, Daniel!

Finn Progress

I had my my prenatal check up yesterday afternoon and it looks like all those contractions I had on the way home from my parents house did *something*. Not much, (I'm 1 cm dilated and 25% effaced) but something is better than nothing in the grand scheme. At least I know all that pain was getting something accomplished, however a part of me says I'm having a c-section anyway so I wish my body could just relax. Whatever. :) The doc says he thinks I'll make it to December 29th.

Me: "Are you sure? I'd really like to stay on schedule"
Doc: "She likes to be in control, huh?"
Daniel: "She's a planner."

That might be the understatement of the year. What?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Zoe: Fashionista

On the mornings that I wake up Zoe and get her ready for the day, we have a little ritual. I give her a hug, she says hello to Bailey and Max (and is more interested in them, by the way). Then I go to her closet and pull out a couple clothing options for her consideration. I sing, "What are we going to wear today?"* which is received with big smiles and this twisty, kicking, dance move she does when she's happy (she does a variation of this dance while in her high chair eating something she thinks is particularly yummy). And then she points to one of the outfits. It's our thing.

Zoe is a Grabby McGrabbersons. Like most kids at this age if she sees something within her reach (or even not quite in her reach) she wants to grab it. She wants to touch it. She wants to inspect it and see how it works (I think she might get this from her father). But when we take her to a store with clothing (like, Target) this behavior changes a bit. She's more careful with what she chooses to reach out for. When she does find something to grab onto, she carefully inspects the color and feels the fabric. When we browse "her section" she is even more absorbed. She tries to pull outfits into the cart. If I let her choose between two outfits she will look at each of them and then grab one with gusto, hug it to herself and say "Thank you." very quickly.

Despite her obvious interest and enjoyment in clothing and shopping, Daniel and I opted to do our Black Friday shopping without her. We went to the outlet center in Carlsbad while she still slept in her bed at my parents house because the only thing that's worse than a crowded shopping center at 7am is being at that crowded shopping center with a toddler when you're eight months pregnant. And before you ask why we went at all, let me just tell you: they have a Carters store there that almost always has great deals. On Friday, the entire store was 50% off and then another 10% got taken off if you purchased more than $50 worth. We were on a mission, Finnegan needs clothes! So we grabbed some cute stuff and picked out some stuff for Zoe too and we were on our way. Until I found out there's a Gymboree there as well and then I had to check them out. Nothing for Finn, but a few things for our fashion plate.

When we got to my parents house three hours later, Zoe was sitting happily in her highchair, watching cartoons and eating apple slices. She glanced at me, but was very interested (her eyebrow up inquisitively) in the two shopping bags I had lugged in. I sat down next to her and showed her our shopping spoils: A hot pink tutu ("Oooh!"), a red dress with kitties ("Meow!"), a dress for the holidays ("Cute!"), etc. Every "Zoe purchase" was received with some exclamation of approval and little happy dances as she shoved apple slices in her mouth. Then I showed her "baby brother's" stuff. It was a parade of blues, greens, and browns. Little onesies, pants, pajamas and socks were met with the most serious deadpan I've ever seen Zoe give. She was unimpressed. Where was her stuff at? She looked over her shoulder for a glimpse of the pink and purple and red clothes I had just shown her. I held out something for her to touch and she politely pushed it away and her sweet little voice said, "No."

So there you have it. My little girl loves clothes, but is unimpressed with boy clothing. Let's hope she's more impressed with the little one who will be wearing them.

* - In our house, we opt to sing simple questions, requests, etc. It's the theatre people in us (we like to pretend we're living one big musical - LOL) and it seems to be making Zoe quite musical as well, since she's always singing lately. We love it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankful

It's a little late, but this is a short list of things I am thankful for:

Having a husband who I can't wait to see every day. He's everything I thought I would never find in one person and such a blessing in my life.

My beautiful, funny little girl, Zoe. I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I feel like I hit the parental jackpot with her. Every day is a learning experience and an adventure.

A healthy/happy pregnancy. It's hard to believe that in twenty-nine days or less our little boy will be here.

The roof over our head.

Friends and family, near and far.

Supportive parents on both sides... who get along splendidly. I cannot stress enough how nice this is.

Having people nearby who we can depend on and who treat us like family and vice versa.

Good health.

Somewhat well behaved dogs.

Creative outlets like photography and blogging. They keep me sane.

Cocoa Krispies, jalapenos, cheddar cheese and pie. Not all at once though. Although, cheddar cheese on apple pie is awesome.

Back and foot rubs.

Date nights.

The Internet.

Lazy days around the house.

Flannel pajamas.

Funny movies.

Music.

Completing all 30 days of NaBloPoMo! It was touch and go a couple days there, but I had my second successful go at it thanks to a somewhat well behave toddler and a husband who made sure I got some time every day to write. I'm not so sure I'll be blogging quite as frequently in December since Finn will be making his appearance shortly, but I'll definitely check in and keep you posted.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home

Daniel and I loaded up the dog children and Zoe and got on the road at 1pm today. In years passed, we've always stayed until Sunday morning, but decided that we needed to try to avoid the traffic and make sure we had a day of rest before we got into the week and it's demands.

It turns out there was a decent amount of traffic today, so we spent a lot of our time at a snails pace. Zoe was restless and a little cranky - she had a hard time napping. I was feeling especially anxious when my contractions got more painful and frequent - I knew they were just Braxton Hicks, but they can be absolutely unnerving when stuck in traffic with no clear path in sight. Let's face it, I have an active imagination and it tends to imagine worst case scenarios.

Somewhere around Inglewood, traffic came to a complete standstill on the 405. The two left lanes were closed, and eventually only the far right was open. Everyone was merging at once, trying to get ahead. I rolled my window down and tried to get peoples attention, tried to make eye contact since they were ignoring our signal and I felt people ignore me as well. I could see the determination on their faces. It seemed like they were focused on their task, where their final destination was without considering for a second any other vehicle on the road or why we were all in this situation. Some people looked at me without seeing me, like they were looking straight through me, actually. I know this is freeway driving, but I was frustrated. How can we be just two days after Thanksgiving where we celebrate all that we are thankful for: our families, health, etc and so close to the other holidays that celebrate goodwill, love, and new beginnings, but we can't take a moment to consider that other people matter? As we drove by the fire trucks, police, mangled car, the stretcher with an accident victim and the two ambulances I felt myself tear up. Maybe it was my hormones, but it made me incredibly sad that we can be celebrating the holidays one day and facing danger the next. I worried for the person on the stretcher. I worried about their family and friends. I thought about how jammed up traffic had been and how it got worse by people worrying about their own agenda instead of allowing some give and take on the road.

That accident brought things further into perspective for me. I wanted so much to be home safely with my little family, relaxing - but even now as I sit here after a five hour drive... all I can think about is that accident and wonder if everyone will make it home safely from it.

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving and that the meaning of it and this season stay with you throughout the year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

7am shopping at an outlet = 50% baby clothes for Finn & Zoe
Lunch with Zoe, Daniel and my parents at Kings Fish House = some frustration that I couldn't eat the raw ahi poke.
Spending some time at a deserted park = Lots of crazy, running around time for our little monkey.
Turkey leftovers = Turkey tacos. YUM!
Busy Black Friday without crazy spending = Fullfillment, and exhaustion without a tapped out bank account.

We've had a lovely visit here. The last few days flew by.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble

I could be doing a real post right now, but that would take away time from the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show on television, the snacking, the playing with Zoe and the hanging out with my Dad and Daniel. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you're all having a wonderful day with your friends and family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have Turkey, Will Travel

Well, we're in San Diego! Daniel and I dragged ourselves out of bed at 5am, and Zoe at 5:30. We'd loaded up our car last night with everything we think we might possibly need over the next few days (and more). We were on the road by my goal of 6am and I was quite impressed with all of us. It was no small feat - normally it's hard for us to get on our way by 10. My family, we enjoy our sleep. So, we got to my parents house around 11:30am, ate lunch, and then the three of us (and the dog children) all laid down for a nap. Kind of makes me laugh that we rushed to get here only to nap, but like I said - we value sleep.

We also value turkey. Man, I cannot wait to gobble up dinner tomorrow! But for now, I'm going to get myself ask Daniel to get me some peach pie a la mode. Between the Braxton Hicks and my sciatic nerve, I SERIOUSLY deserve it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Letter of the Day: D

I saw this on Jen's blog and thought I'd join in the fun.

The rules: You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

1. My amazing husband, Daniel. If I've said it once, I've said it a billion times: Meeting Daniel changed my life. With him I have found my best friend, my soul mate, my partner, and one great father to Zoe and soon Finnegan. I am so grateful that we both decided to do the show we met in and that despite neither of us wanting a relationship, that we took the time to discover we were meant to be together.
2. My daughter, Zoe. Zoe is the kind of kid that makes you want to have more. She is my sunshine, my monkey, my little performer extraordinaire and in having her I have discovered what it's like to see the world through a child's eyes. Life was good before she came into my world, but it's been even more amazing and fulfilling getting to share it with her.
3. My Dear Friends & Family. I'm totally stretching it with this one - but whatever. I've been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people in my life. Some of them are my family who I adore - and the rest are the people I have chosen - or they chose me - to be a part of my extended family. I've known some of them since the day I was born and some for only a couple of years - but they're all so special to me.
4. The Dog Children - Bailey & Max. Bailey was our first attempt at being "parents". We figured if we could handle her, a real kid wouldn't be that much more difficult. Um, yes. So anyway, with her we got an incredibly neurotic, loving, protective, little girl with some major separation anxiety. We loved her so much we decided to add to our family and ended up with Max who is precious, pushy and pudgy as can be. They were our first kids and I love them like they were my actual children. Shut up, I do.
5. I'm all about deliveries. Be it email, snail mail, or a package from Amazon left on my doorstep - I'm like a kid on Christmas. It brings me joy. Here is also where I sneak in how excited I am for a VERY special delivery coming at the end of December. I can barely contain my excitement for our son, Finn to arrive.
6. Drama. Not your run of the mill drama that makes life exhausting sometimes, oh no. I'm talking about theatre. I'm talking about getting to perform on stage and make people believe you are funny, horrible, mean, sexy, whatever. I miss getting to perform, but I have so many great memories of that time and hope I get to do it again someday soon. In the mean time, I love getting out to the theatre, movies or watching a good show on television.
7. My Digital Camera. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have the creative outlet that my camera has provided me. When I'm feeling down or bored all I need to do is pick it up and start taking pictures and those feelings melt away. I've become an avid recorder of our family and love getting out and taking pictures.
8. Decorating. I worked for years in furniture/home decor retail and still enjoy getting creative and making our home "just so". Truth is, I love a big old project that disrupts everything for a bit and then getting to sit back and enjoy the environment I've created once the project is complete. I'm chomping at the bit to have us own our own home someday so I can truly make it into our space.
9. Diabetes. I know it sounds a bit odd, but getting diabetes changed my life in a good way. Even if it is only gestational, it has instilled in me the importance of taking care of myself and has taught me a healthy way to do it. I'm looking forward to continuing to watch what I eat after Finn is born and becoming a healthier person.
10. Dining out. As much as I've grown to enjoy cooking at home, I still love a good meal out with Daniel. Taking Zoe with us isn't quite as fun or as easy as it used to be, but getting to go out just the two of us and just relax and enjoy each other's company and yummy food is one of my favorite things to do. I'm really hoping we'll get to do this before Finn arrives - I'm dying to go to the place where Daniel proposed to me: Mama Tosca's.

Monday, November 24, 2008

WHOA!

A few minutes after my parents had arrived Saturday afternoon my Mom sat on the couch with my Dad, looked at me and said: "You don't look nearly as big as your pictures you've posted make you look." I took this in and thought to myself that maybe the camera really does add more bulk than I realized. So I stood up for my parents and smoothed my shirt over my tummy and did the "pregnant pose" - you know hands on either side of my belly.

"WHOA! I guess you are that big!"
My parents laughed.
To really drive home the point, I lifted my shirt so they could see the belly and my pants barely stretched over it.
There was more nervous laughter. The general consensus is now: Yes. Keely has a big 'ol belly.

I've come to accept this and just embrace it. I'm making adjustments. My overalls are no longer an option because they make me look like the mayor of Munchkinland Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee (THAT'S what I should have been for Halloween!). My pants are working so hard to stretch across my belly that I might have to invest in some suspenders to assist them - this fight with gravity is becoming a losing battle. The good news is, there's not much time left. Finn will be here five weeks from today. I'm going to do the best I can to avoid having to buy more maternity wear.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Beginning...

To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Normally, I have a rule: No Christmas decorations or songs until the day after Thanksgiving. After years of retail, anything sooner puts me in a Scrooge like mood. I just like being able to focus on Halloween and Thanksgiving as their own special days and find that retail establishments pushing Christmas at us negates those days.

The thing is, I'm tired. As I get closer and closer to being full term, I find my energy waning. Between this huge belly (that measured 38 weeks* last Friday - I'm only 34 as of today) and Zo-Zo monkey I feel less and less motivation to take on big projects like decorating - and decorating for Christmas is always a big, fun project for me. I wanted to make sure I had the time to do it right, to make the first Christmas that Zoe is really aware of the festivities special for her. So, our tree is up now. My parents have decided to scale down so we traded them our 6 foot tree for their 9 foot tree, we did the trade this weekend. Our new tree is tall and stunning and warms our home with it's bright lights. Zoe is in absolute awe of it - which is a joy to see since last year she was indifferent to the fake tree in our living room. I still need to put our holiday knick knacks in their special homes around the house and implement some quick projects that I've been daydreaming about, but the bulk of the task is done just having things down from the attic and the tree decorated. I feel a sense of accomplishment (now I just need to finish Finn's nursery area of our room!) but I promise to keep photos of the Christmas cheer off of Flickr and this blog until after Thanksgiving. Oh, and just because the tree is up does not mean I'll be playing any Christmas music until next weekend - I have my rules!

* - My doctor assures me that measuring 38 weeks at my appointment is not a big deal. It doesn't mean I'm having Finn any sooner. What is far more likely is that Finn was just higher up at 10:30 am Friday morning. I don't know... the doc said something about my uterus being a swimming pool and my son doing laps. I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or not, but I've been told that my son is NOT huge and that everything is OK. OOOOOK. *Deep breath!*

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Phoning one in

It's been a busy Saturday - getting ready for our trip to San Diego this Wednesday, cleaning the house since my parents came into town this afternoon. Tomorrow we'll do more cleaning and I do believe we'll decorate the Christmas tree, too. It's usually something we save for the day or weekend after Thanksgiving, but I want to get it done while I'm still somewhat mobile. The mobility is rapidly lessening with this sciatic nerve issue and general discomfort - but it doesn't stop me from trying to push my limits whenever possible.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Being a Parent is Easy

So, the other night we're wrapping up dinner and getting ready to get Zoe out of her highchair. Daniel is clearing up her "dessert" and getting ready to put the remains of it back in the refrigerator for another day.

General freak out/fussy/woe is me/how dare you try to end a meal! noises come from Zoe. If she had it her way, certain meals would go on and on and on.

Daniel pauses and looks at me as I look back and forth between him and our daughter. I'm exhausted, lounging on our couch and completely letting him run the show, but I offer this:

Me: She wants more, honey.
Him: Should I give her more?
Me: Well it is apples, not.... CRACK!* (I had paused as I tried hard to think of something we shouldn't give her too much of. Didn't want to say something boring like cookies or ice cream.)
Him: You need to blog this.

So - she got more apples and she was thrilled - like we'd given her the best thing in all the world. What can I say, sometimes she's easy to please.

* - And for the record: I know to not ever give my kids crack. Just in case you were worried. Also, I'm slightly snarky at this stage in my pregnancy, my apologies.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Look how young I was!

High School version of Keely


As I was scanning photos in, I would show them to Zoe.

"Look at mama, Zoe!"

She'd stare very closely at the photo and then look at me for a moment. "Nooooooo!" giggle,giggle.

Like I had just told her a silly, silly lie and I wasn't fooling her. I know, kiddo. I barely recognize me either.

It sure was fun going down memory lane though!

1. High School Me's, 2. High School Me's, 3. High School Me's, 4. High School Me's, 5. High School Me's, 6. The gang - Senior Prom, 7. Me w/ my Sharon., 8. 15? With Ramsey..., 9. At a school show, 10. BFF from high school and me, 11. Silly Girls, 12. With one of my good pals

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pictures of Me

A couple days ago I told one of my high school friends that I was going to bust out some photos of us from our younger years and post them on Facebook so we could relive the memories. I had to search them out. They were stuffed in a box on the top shelf of our guest room closet and it was no easy feat to pull them down to sort through. But when I found them I was struck by our silliness, our innocence, our youth. As I looked at photos of me from as many as seventeen years ago, I barely recognized the girl smiling back at me. Sure, the blonde hair had something to do with it as did the svelte figure. The adult me is wanting to kick myself for all the times I called myself fat, all the nights I spent crying because I thought I was so ugly and that's why I never got asked to the dances. Maybe it's with my adult eyes that I'm able to see that I was perfect the way I was. I just hadn't reached my full potential - despite how I looked, I hadn't accepted myself for who I was and maybe that insecurity is what made me feel so distanced.

If I could go back in time, I'd tell that girl to be patient. I'd tell her that as insecure as she feels now, someday she is going to know true happiness. She's going to have the love and support of her friends and family and her soul mate. Someday, she will know that she is an amazing and good person and that the people in her life are there because she is beautiful inside and out. I would tell her that she is more than the clothes she wears and the weight on her body and that one very special man is going to see that and help her realize that every single day that they are together. I'd tell her to believe in herself and not worry so much about what everyone thinks.

I don't think that girl would listen to, or believe me... but I do hope that Zoe believes me when I tell her all these things someday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scenes From a Pregnancy

Act III


(The Act opens in KEELY and DANIEL'S room. KEELY is stretched out across their queen sized bed and there seems to be no room at all for DANIEL. A lamp R. of the bed lights the stage dimly. KEELY has a look of amusement on her face as she observes her belly. DANIEL has just finished brushing his teeth offstage and is trying to assess if there is any room on the bed for him to lay down.)

KEELY. Look. (Lights fade up slightly. There is a spot on KEELY and her protruding, bare belly. It is almost ominous.)
DANIEL. Heh. He's moving, huh. (sits on the tiny open space R. of KEELY on the bed.)
KEELY. Yes. But look. This is my pregnant belly. (Beat.) This is me sucking it in. (KEELY takes a deep breath in, looks at her belly and then at her tired husband.)
DANIEL. Huh. (He sees no real difference.)
KEELY. Pregnant belly. Sucking it in. Pregnant belly. Sucking it in. (There is actually, no real difference but she is clearly amused and still has not budged from the center of the bed.)
DANIEL. Yep. (He attempts to squeeze his entire body onto the edge of the bed and lay his head on the sliver of his pillow that his wife is also monopolizing.)
KEELY. Pregnant belly. Sucking it in. There's no difference. I'm trying as hard as I can and there's this slight difference and then it pops right back out. (They both laugh. DANIEL sighs.)
DANIEL. I love you, honey. (They kiss.)
KEELY. I love you. (She beams at her sweet, patient husband who pats her belly and kisses it.)
DANIEL. Goodnight, Finn.

(DANIEL turns out the lamp. As the spot begins to fade down we see KEELY making her slow move from C. to L. of the bed. DANIEL helps her with her large pregnancy pillows and covers her with the blankets as he begins to shift/claim his side of the bed. We see KEELY throw the covers off of herself.)

KEELY. Its so hot in here! (DANIEL sits up abrupty.)
DANIEL. Do you need the fan?
KEELY. No, thank you.

(DANIEL sighs, lays his head on his pillow and closes his eyes. As the spot begins to fade even more we hear the commotion of KEELY getting comfortable. There are many audible grunts and moans from her as she adjusts and tries in vain to get as comfortable as she can at 33 weeks. We see flailing and general movement and confusion. This lasts a couple minutes and then there is silence.)

(Pause.)

KEELY. I love you, Daniel.
DANIEL. (Muffled, half asleep already.) Love you.

(Blackout.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Proud Moment

So, apparently - I've been managing this gestational diabetes thing so well that it looks like I won't have to depend on insulin injections at all for this pregnancy. I'm thrilled because, hello! Insulin injections in a full, pregnant belly is no fun... and also, I'm managing it. I'm eating healthy and taking care of myself and I've learned from my last pregnancy - even if I did pretty darn good with that one too. I'm relieved because whenever I thought of giving myself injections this time, I imagined Finn kicking with such strength I could not get the needle to go in. The force is strong with this one. I am such a geek.

Anyway...The lady who counsels me has really gotten off easy with me because I'm so low maintenance. I go every couple months and she weighs me and looks at my blood sugar log - which takes five minutes - and then I have to sit there and make small talk so she feels like I'm getting my money's worth. If I didn't live on the other side of town from where my appointment is and I wasn't so darn uncomfortable lately, I wouldn't mind going but I thought I might lose it today when she said she'd see me in 4 or 5 weeks. Something tells me I'm not going to be wanting to make the trek across town to meet with her for five minutes when I'm just a week shy of having Finn extracted. So, she looked at my face and said "Why don't you just call me if you need me?" And then she proceeded in making sure I knew the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions. I know, lady, I know!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Quickie

Between not feeling like myself physically with this damn cold/flu/whatever and not feeling like I have anything more important to say than what I said yesterday... I'm going to just ask that you read the 2 posts below this one. I find myself complaining about my discomfort or stress sometimes and that all seems to pale in comparison to losing ones home in a fire. Clearly there are people out there worse off than me and I feel like I have so much to be thankful for.

Mmm. Future blog post that I'm NOT going to wait until Thanksgiving to post. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lend a Hand

Some family of my friend Missy lost their home and everything in it yesterday in the Santa Barbara fires. They have a 3 year old son and another son who is just a week old. Luckily, they are all ok - but they sure could use some help. Let me know via comment or email if you have any baby supplies or anything you'd like to donate to help them. I know they would appreciate it.

'Tis the season!

Thanks everyone!

Lend a Hand - Part 2

Missy posted a blog about her family who lost their home and everything in it in the Santa Barbara fires. You can read it HERE. Anything you can do to help would certainly be appreciated.

Friday, November 14, 2008

3076!

3076. That's how many photos I have taken of my daughter since she was born nearly eighteen months ago. Let's do the math: My little one has been on the planet for 548 days, so that works out to being about 5 pics a day. Except, I didn't take 5 pics every day - which somehow seems more reasonable. Instead, I would go days and days without taking a picture and then all of a sudden I was uploading 100 pics of her in the same outfit , each photo nearly the same except she might have changed expression/position a little. And while we're being completely honest here, I've deleted tons of pictures of her. There were the ones that just weren't flattering at all - why save those? And then there were the ones where the lighting was bad and nothing could be done to salvage them. What has become evident though is this:

1. I am clearly obsessed with my child.
2. There is no way I'm going to be able to keep this up. Finn, I'm sorry. There just will not be as many photos of you. I don't think.
3. I'm pretty sure that all this photographing of my child has made me a better photographer. If I can capture her cuteness with all her running around, than I think I'm doing pretty good. So, I will chalk this up as training not obsession.

Yesterday afternoon I organized all my albums in iphoto and then tackled my flickr account. I got rid of quite a few "Sets" and then added a few for organizational purposes. It was my way of taking on a big project without leaving the confines of my bed/or recliner. The sickness is still strong with me and I am miserable. Daniel is demanding much rest and I am obliging... but slowly going mad from not being able to run around and do all the things I want to do around here. I hate being sick.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I love Mix Tapes*

Thanks to ExEverything, I have found a new time suck/fascination: Creating online mix tapes! For my first go at it, I just chose the songs we had on the Mixed CD we gave guests at our wedding a few years ago. Some of the songs weren't available so I had to choose different versions or omit them completely, but you get the idea. Love, yada, yada, yada! :)

So here you go:


MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes


Now go make your own and let me know when you do. Fun, fun, fun! Come on, people. Entertain me. I'm wallowing in sickness over here and music makes me happy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whiiiinez

A couple nights ago it hit me hard. I went from feeling fine to instantly having a sore throat and sinus pressure. Almost as if a switch had been turned on to bring all the symptoms rushing at me full force. I was laughing with Daniel and Zoe one moment and then all of a sudden, "I'm sick. Really sick."

Now, instead of giving you a long whiney post about how horrible it is to be SWP - Sick While Pregnant - I'm going to show you something that makes me smile:

Surveying her "kingdom"

That's my munchkin playing dress up at her Cheryl's house. If the photo doesn't make you smile just a little bit, you are even sicker than I am and you should get yourself to a doctor, stat.

Alright. Back to sleep I go.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olbermann Speaks Out On Prop 8

Some of you aren't going to enjoy watching this video because you disagree with the points he is making. I felt like I needed to post this though, to continue to stand up for what I believe in:



The closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love."

Monday, November 10, 2008

All About Me: A Photo Meme

Meme

1. What is your first name? Keely
2. What is your favorite food? Sushi
3. What high school did you go to? Palm Desert High School
4. What is your favorite color? Red
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jack Black. And just so you know, this was the hardest question for me to answer. I almost went with this guy.
6. What is your favorite drink? Shiner
7. What is your dream vacation? New York.
8. What is your favorite dessert? Today, Red Velvet Cupcakes. (Tomorrow it will be different.)
9. What do you want to do when you grow up? Travel.
10. Who/ what do you love most in life? My family.
11. Choose one word that describes you? Thoughtful.
12. What is your Flickr name? KeelyE.

I saw this on Sarcomical and Jayesel, and just had to join in the fun. I know, I know - I JUST did one of these. Give a pregnant lady a break people. I've got actual posts floating around in my head, but I seem to lack the motivation to sit down and write them.

Anyway, the rules are the same as the last time:
Type your answer to the questions into Flickr search.
Using only the first page of results, pick an image.
Copy and paste each of the URLs in the Mosaic Maker.
( I suggest using tabs so you can go back and forth with ease.)
Let me know in my comments if you're choosing to participate!

Photo Credits:
1. Untitled, 2. Flickr Loves Sushi. Mmm., 3. Reflections, 4. Red blooded woman, 5. Tenacious D_5064, 6. after hard days of work......... have some shiner bock, 7. Misty NYC - Gotham City, 8. the little things that make me smile, 9. You travel far to discover home., 10. Daniel & Zoe dress up, 11. The Thoughtful Chimp, 12. Self Portrait | Keely has a Cold By KeelyE - Pixel Pimped by Zeon7

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Success!

Well, my little family was up and out the door this morning at 10AM for Zoe's first movie theater experience. The showing was at 10:30 and I thought getting there at 10:15 would be ample time to get seated and situated. It was, but Wow! I was so surprised to see the theater full! Silly me thought we'd be the only ones willing to drag our family out to the movies so early. We got seats in the last row on the floor instead of the stadium seating and I think that was probably best. There was no one behind us to be bothered by Zoe standing up in her seat and we were far enough from the people closest to us that she couldn't reach out and touch someone.

Zoe really enjoyed Madagascar 2. She's a big fan of animals in general and when they're singing and dancing - that is even more awesome for her. She was in awe of the large images and color and didn't seem bothered by how loud the movie was - which has always been a concern for me. We made sure to bring snacks and drinks for her and that helped immensely when she got a little restless and more interested in the newborn that was right behind us. Anyway, she laughed. She danced. There might have been some head banging.

Afterwards we took her to lunch at Johnny Rockets and that was fun too. We wanted Zoe to have a fun "date" with her parents as something special before Finn gets here and I think that's exactly what we got. I hope to do some more special outings before he arrives, but we might not to the movie thing because it's not cheap. $7 for a one year old's movie ticket seems so extravagant to me - but it was an experience we'll look back at with fond memories, I'm sure.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday

I've noticed it's harder for me to blog on Saturday's and Sunday's. Those are the days where I have Daniel with me and where I don't feel like I'm missing out on adult interaction. I feel less of a need to connect when I've got my favorite conversationalist here with me. Today I felt this even more because after a friend helped Daniel move Zoe's brand new and very heavy dresser into her room, we sat in our living room catching up with him and one of my favorite people - his fiance. We talked about weddings, theatre, Prop 8, politics, the environment, etc. and I felt happy to have them in our lives and friends who we can just sit back with and relax. I couldn't help but observe I am making lots of headway in my needing to have my house perfect when guests are over because I didn't even blink at the messy kitchen or the carpet that needs vacuuming. I mean, I'm freaking out a little about those things now, but for a time they were less important than getting to visit.

We'll be putting aside cleaning for important family events tomorrow:

We're taking Z out for her first movie theater experience. I think she's going to love Madagascar 2.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Talk About It

Early on in our relationship, Daniel and I had a disagreement that basically arose from us not communicating. I can’t remember the specific details now, but the situation became uncomfortable because we didn’t talk about it. I do remember sitting with him on the couch and telling him, “Wow! This is a bigger deal than it needed to be. All you had to do was tell me.” We talked about whatever that issue was – I can’t for the life of me remember - and Daniel immediately felt better. We agreed that for us to work, we had to have an open line of communication even if it meant we were momentarily uncomfortable getting “it” out there on the table.

As a manager I used to have all these catch phrases I ran my store by:

“You can’t find the answer unless you ask questions.”
“You can’t move forward unless you understand where you’ve been.”

I’ve adjusted those ideals to my personal relationships:

“You cannot expect to be understood unless you make an effort to understand the other side.”

Two days ago I did a post about something that is very important to me. It was a personal observation about my marriage, about my friends who had that right taken away from them, and what I plan to teach my children. I was absolutely delighted to see that my words had touched people and inspired them to join the dialogue about this issue. I’ve found the comments left to be very thoughtful and thought provoking and I invite you to join in.

I try very hard to be an open-minded person. I’m a good listener and someone who prefers peace to confrontation. I don’t feel like we get anywhere by pointing fingers, raising voices, or judging. I think that the only way to move forward, to create change and reach understanding is to sit down and listen to each other. We all come from different walks of life. Different circumstances and values have shaped who we are as people. We all want what is best for our families. We all think we are right. Sometimes I wonder if we forget that it is entirely possible that we can also be wrong.

I think communication and recognizing where we are the same and/or agree is a step in the right direction. Start on common ground and work from there. Is that just naïve or idealistic of me? Maybe.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Food Meme

I'm having a not feeling so good kind of day, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do this Food Meme I found over at Imelda's blog. Right about now, I could totally eat some of my comfort food: Chili Spaghetti. Check out all my answers below and if you decide to participate, let me know in the comments. I love talking food!

Type your answer to the questions into Flickr search
Using only the first page of results, pick an image
Copy and paste each of the URLs in the Mosaic Maker

And, of course, the questions:

1. What is your favorite restaurant? El Mirador in San Antonio. It's a shame that my favorite restaurant is so far away!
2. What is your favorite type of cuisine? Sushi. If only I could have some now!
3. What is your favorite comfort food? Chili Spaghetti. I can't get enough of it lately.
4. What is your favorite childhood food? Pizza, of course!
5. What is your favorite dish to prepare for company? Guacamole is always easy and Daniel loves it.
6. What is your favorite wine? Pinot Noir, always.
7. Who is your favorite chef? I had no idea how to answer this one, so I copied Imelda and went with a Muppet.
8. What is your least favorite food? Hard boiled eggs, blech! I can only eat my eggs scrambled or in an omelette. With Ketchup, tabasco, or some salsa.
9. What is the most adventurous food you’ve eaten? Frog legs when I was a kid. Never. Again!

Food Meme

1. El Mirador, San Antonio, 2. Flickr Loves Sushi. Mmm., 3. Close Up Of My 5-Way, 4. Pepperoni Pizza, 5. guacamole, 6. Pinot Noir, 7. 100-0089-1, 8. The Hardboiled Wonderland, 9. Untitled

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Marriage is what brings us together”

In 1996, I got married. I was nineteen. I was not as mature as I thought I was and despite what I said, I had no idea what a serious commitment I was making and to what type of person I was committing to. I got swept away in the idea of being married – I thought the wedding would be the beginning of my fairy tale and that all the doubts and problems I had would be erased with “I do.” I was young and naïve, and had no business making such a serious decision in my life when I didn’t even really know who I was yet.

But I had the right to get married.

I had the right to make my own decision and to do so without being judged. Well, I know I was judged because of how young I was and that plenty of people thought I was making a mistake but I was free to make that decision. It was my right. So before friends and family, I said my vows in a large Catholic church. I had the expensive dress with the long train and I looked like a princess all the while taking for granted my freedom to make my own decisions/mistakes.

When that marriage ended six long years later, I swore I would never do it again. I didn’t see why we needed marriage. My having been in such a horrible relationship for so long, had made me jaded and I lost my faith in those happily everafter’s… at least for me.

And then I met Daniel. We fell in love. We started to build a life together. We became a partnership. We committed ourselves to being there for each other for the rest of our lives and we didn’t make that decision lightly. Eventually, we decided that we wanted to share that decision, - our passion for our commitment and each other and our future - with our friends and family. So with great ease, we went to the Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas and purchased a marriage license. A simple piece of paper that carried so much levity to us because it was a symbol of the bond we had made, of the future we would continue to build. It was not a religious decision. It was not something we went into wondering how we would affect the institution of marriage. We did not get married in a church. We did not recite the “traditional” vows; we spoke words we had written specifically for each other. A friend officiated the ceremony because that meant more to us than if anyone else had done it. It was not about church or state. It was all about our love, and our commitment to each other and wanting to share it with the people who loved and supported us. It was one of the most important days of our lives and I am grateful for that freedom.

It is with sadness that I write that some of my friends do not have that same freedom. People just like me who want to make that official commitment to their life partner had that right taken away from them yesterday and for that I am ashamed of 52% of Californians. Who are we to judge someone else’s love? Why does who we choose to commit to have to be about anything but the people forming that union? Who can say what is a perfect union when we have a 50% divorce rate in America? How can we claim to be an authority on what is right and wrong for other people? What are we afraid of?

I’m sad that my kids are going to be raised starting out their lives in a world where this is legally accepted. I am angered that we are taking away rights. But I will not be deterred. I am not afraid that they will learn this ignorance and accept discrimination of any people because we will have an open dialogue that promotes equality. My children will be raised to not judge, to love, to be the change they want to see in the world. They will know that their happiness is my only concern and that whomever they choose to commit to will be welcomed whole heartedly as long as they treat them with the integrity, love, and passion that they deserve. The schools and government don’t raise my family, we do… Daniel and I take responsibility.

My marriage is no more undermined by the people fighting for equality than it is by the people who go into it without thought and who are not ready for the commitment. If anything, marriage is tarnished by those who think they have the right to decide on others behalf what unions are valid or acceptable. As I said before, with America’s divorce rate such as it is, we would do better to worry about our own marriages and families than the people who are fighting for their rights.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nurtured

I've had a relaxing day today. Zoe was kind enough to sleep in until 9:30 this morning so I was able to be lazy in bed for a while and then take a leisurely shower. When I did get Zoe up, we got her ready for the day and fed her breakfast. We played with the dogs and read books and cuddled. There were no tantrums, no freak-outs... just a lovely morning and early afternoon with my girl. And then shortly after Zoe's lunch, one of my best friends here in town came over with her seven month old and some salads. I put on Zoe's favorite movie: Annie while I got to sit back and relax while talking to a grown up and gushing over her precious little boy. Zoe, by the way, did fabulous with my friends' son. She gently pet his head and touched his arm and feet and you could see the glee in her eyes. She did not mind that I was giving him attention or that she was not the only child in the room. Frankly, she handled it all so much better than I thought she would. This gives me a great sense of relief. Besides just missing getting to talk to my girlfriends in person, this visit could not have come at a better time especially since I've been so concerned about how Zoe will be with a new baby brother. For the time being, my fears and concerns have vanished. I feel refreshed.

Days like this certainly do not go unappreciated. First of all, I am fully aware that my daughter's sleep behavior is out of the ordinary and that I am one lucky, lucky woman. Just getting to relax a little and have some alone time in the morning and in the shower is enough to make a normal day feel extravagant. Most days feel like they are focused on Zoe's happiness and I end up being happy because she is - but today I feel like we were both being taken care of/nurtured... and it was so damn easy I wonder why we don't make this happen more often.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm so Emo

For the past few days I've had complete emotional breakdowns where I just cry and cry and nearly hyperventilate from trying to stop the waterworks. It's not pretty. And it's annoying. When the waterworks start it's normal enough... I'm usually talking about my list of things to do before Finn gets here and freaking out about how fast the time is going. And then I start worrying about this big transition our family is about to go through and how it will affect our little ones.

Now, if you remember from last time - this isn't new for me. The day our doctor told us we could start inducing Zoe's birth, I had a mini-breakdown because I hadn't given Max and Bailey "kisses" and explained to them that we'd be coming home with a baby in a few days. In fact, on the way out the door I'd accidentally stepped on Max's front paw and made him yelp. All I could think was I'd hurt my dog and that was going to be his last memory of me before we brought Zoe home and his life would be forever changed. This time around I'm worried about who will take care of them. I don't want to send them away to a boarders - which they hate - and then have them come home a few days later to a new baby. I worry they won't understand. I know this is irrational and they will be fine, but still.

And then there is Zoe. I am freaking out about being away from her while Daniel and I are in the hospital. Even though I know she will be in good hands and I know she'll get to come visit, it is almost unbearable to imagine being separated from her for a few days. She has been so cute about my belly and loves babies so I know that she'll be fine with having a baby brother, but I can't help but worry. What if she feels like she's being replaced? What if she misses us as much as I miss her? She has been the center of our world and soon she will have to share that - will she be OK? And again, rationally speaking - I know that she will be.

I know that Daniel and I have enough love in us for Zoe and Finn and the dog children. I know that this will be an adjustment/transitional time but that we can do it just like all the other families in the world who do it. I think one of the most stressful things about my breakdowns is that I know I'm over thinking and worrying about things that are either out of my control or not even a real issue.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Supply & Demand

Last Tuesday I purchased a great big bag of Halloween candy. It was the good kind: Reese's Peanut Butter cups, Hershey's bars, Mounds, Milk Duds. It stayed sealed for about 24 hours while it was in our home, and then the baby in my belly told me I needed to rip it open and have some. Just a few, I told myself - nothing that would make a big difference in our supply. But my demand was very, very high and the candy tasted so good... so I kept going and going and going.

What's kind of funny about this is generally speaking, I'm not a candy person. I'm not a sweets person, really. Sure, I'll partake in a dessert now and then but my snack of choice is generally spicy or salty or both. I'm all over potato chips and dip and nachos with extra jalapenos. If given the opportunity I would go carb wild if it weren't for the gestational diabetes. Well, actually I did sort of go carb wild with the candy. It was a moment of weakness.

And I felt really bad about it and pretty much refrained from over the top candy eating on Thursday and Friday. But I worried that the precious little angel* neighborhood kids would not have enough candy when they came trick-or-treating Friday night so I got Daniel to buy some more candy. Daniel grabbed a two pound bag of candy to supplement our depleted supply.

And then Friday night came along and we spent most of the evening with friends, giving candy to their neighborhood kids while our candy was sitting safely inside our house. When we got home around 8:30, we realized that we'd left the candy on our entrance table within view of all the trick-or-treaters. I felt bad for a second, until I realized I'd had us buy so much candy because I was afraid the kids across the street were gong to pull another prank if they didn't like the candy we'd purchased.

We ended up not having a single kid come to our house while we were home and as I write this I'm feeling a little bad about that. But I'm also slightly amused by the plethora of candy we now have in our house that I'm no longer craving - at all.

* - Um, this is sarcasm. My neighborhood kids are not precious, little, or angelic. Hellions, they are!

P.S - It looks like I might participate in NaBloPoMo this year. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Photo time

I'm not sure if you noticed I'm back to not posting pics of Zoe again. No biggie, just a privacy issue.... I do have photos available to friends and family on Flickr. What I did decide to do was post pics of Zoe where he face isn't so visable... and I thought these were pretty cute:

Halloween Collage


Getting into character?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo!

Happy Halloween!

Honestly, I'm not really into today as far as holidays go... I ended up not getting a costume this year because the idea of dressing up as an oven with a bun in it or a pregnant nun just wasn't appealing. Don't even get me started on slathering my nekkid belly with paint so that it looks like a beach ball or a pumpkin. While I commend people for bravely sharing their pregnant bellies and using their current state towards their costumes, there's just no way I can hang with it. For one thing, I've got a toddler who would not be able to resist my belly with paint on it and two, I'm cool with just Daniel, Zoe and my doc seeing my belly. It's not that I'm not proud, I'm just modest.

Zoe on the other hand, does have costumes... and isn't particularly modest, but THAT'S another post for another day.

First, there's the "daytime" costume which isn't so much a costume but a festive nod to the day. She's got her stylish pumpkin t-shirt and candy leggings from Target and a chartreuse tutu... add pigtails and she's the cutest little punk rock girl/toddler/goblin you've ever seen.

We took her with us to our prenatal appointment in this outfit and she was a hit. The little stinker knows that she's cute, so she hammed it up for everyone in the waiting room, the staff, and the doc. When my doc came in the room she tried playing shy, but was soon reaching up to give him a hug - once she realized he was in there for me, not her - and then promptly said "Bye-bye!" before he could do the standard belly check. Looks like everything is still going according to schedule... and the doc is saying we can pretty much look at our schedules for when we want Finn to arrive be evicted from my belly. Because they don't like gestational diabetes mom's to go past the 40 weeks and this will be my second c-section, we get to choose a day between 38 and 40 weeks... not including weekends. So, we've chosen a tentative date. That said, something tells me this kiddo is going to be the one deciding when he'll be born - let's call it mothers intuition.

Anyway..... after my doc appointment, Daniel and I took Zoe with us to go do our early voting where she continued to flirt with and charm anyone who glanced her way. We're glad to have our voting done and will be happy to just sit at home on the 4th instead of dealing with the crowds of people at the polls.

And that's our afternoon. I'm off to go pick up some red velvet cupcakes from my favorite little sweet shop in town while Daniel works from home and our little monster naps. She's going to be a purple and pink monster tonight and I'm all sorts of excited to see her in her costume. We're planning on taking her to a few houses for her first trick or treating and then we'll take lots of pictures that I will post on flickr for friends and family to see.

I hope you all have a spooktacular evening. Bwahaha!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pre-registered

Well, it's official - I am pre-registered for my upcoming hospital visit! According to my packet from my doctor's office, I should have registered ten weeks ago. Since the paperwork and setting up billing took just under two hours, I am convinced that they want to get the pregnant mother's in soon enough so that they won't go into labor in Admissions. Seriously. Two hours seems a bit much, no?

I've set up a payment plan to pay for the birth and apparently, the hospital's new policy is to have patients start paying immediately. This seems super weird to me - like I'm paying for something that hasn't happened yet. I was told I wouldn't get a bill until months after Finn arrives and that they're only giving me an estimate on what the birth will cost because there is no way of knowing how long we'll stay in the hospital but that I have to start paying now. So we'll be making payments based on an estimate... does that seem weird to you?

Regardless, it was nice to check something else off of my "Things To Do" list. Not much more time before Finn gets here! I'm so excited.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Date Night

Daniel and I have it good - really good. We have some very special friends here who in addition to renting us a beautiful home, they also have become our extended family. These people are who we entrust Zoe's care to when I need a break or when Daniel and I feel like we need a break together. I am so thankful for them and am quite aware that this pregnancy would be so much harder if we didn't have them to lean on for support.

So last night we dropped Zoe off and Daniel and I ventured out for a nice dinner at P.F. Chang's. We had a leisurely dinner that included a calamari appetizer, crispy honey shrimp, and banana spring rolls... oh, my goodness - BANANA Spring Rolls... with coconut pineapple ice cream and caramel sauce! Heaven! We talked about living in Bakersfield, about Zoe, about how excited we were for our son to arrive. We flirted and beamed at each other, laughed, and we people watched. We made fun of our server who might have been the worst server ev-ar - he made a huge deal about me asking for spoons for our dessert. "I don't know if we have spoons." Seriously? Should we use the chopsticks or the fork to eat our ice cream? You were lame, Mr. Server. But my husband is so awesome that you did not ruin my dinner. We got our spoons, don't worry. It was a lovely meal.

And then instead of rushing off to see a movie and spend another $20, we went to Borders and just walked around. We looked at books, listened to Cd's, held hands and talked. We focused on each other. We got coffee and flipped through a cooking magazine and then we headed home where we spent some time on our computers... and used video ichat. Daniel sat at the kitchen table working on writing ideas and I checked email on our couch ten feet away, and we each had chat windows up so we could still see each other and flirt. We are geeks, but it was us and it was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I think I prefer this type of date to a movie night.

I realize that Daniel and I are extremely lucky. We get more date nights and see more movies than most parents of toddlers. We have been given so many gifts - each other, a beautiful daughter, a son on the way, and friends and family who love and support all of us. Getting the opportunity to take time for us is one of the things that keeps me - both of us, I think - refreshed, sane, and ready to face the hard days.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Zoe Says:

This morning I went into Zoe’s room to get her out of bed and get her ready for her day. As she lay stretched across her changing table she pointed at my t-shirt:

“What’s that?!”
“It’s a lion.”
“Rion?!”
“Yes! It’s a lion! Roar!”
“Rion!”
“Lion! Yes! Roar!”
“Rawr!”
“Roar!”


At different points today we have repeated this conversation about the lion on my t-shirt. Each time, Zoe seems to be filled with as much pride as I am. She’s learning so much everyday.

Here’s a list of the words that come out of our little chatterbox daily:

No.
Yes.
Please.
Thank you.
Daddy.
Mama.
Baby.
Bailey.
Max.
Chuck.
Ellie.
Nana/banana
Juice.
Cookie.
Bite.
Yummy.
Mmmm.
More.
Up.
Down.
Boom Boom.
Uh-oh.
Hi.
Bye.
Belly.
Bellybutton.
Nose.
Eye.
Head.
Hat.
Shoes.
Sock.
Dog.
Cat.
Fish.
Duck.
Quack.
Tweet.
What’s that?
Nigh-Nigh.
Ball.
Mine.
Bath.
I love Zoe!


As you can see, she’s got quite the vocabulary for an almost 17 month old. I also love that she’s starting to piece some words together. She’s also quite the little mimic, so there are plenty of things that she’ll just blurt out right after hearing. Some words stick, others not yet. Like the other day we were watching Degrassi Jr. High and after hearing a character call his daughter a slut, Zoe shouted out, “Sut!” Errr. Uh–oh. Looks like no more Degrassi! I glanced at her and then looked away without reacting to her outburst hoping I would never hear that word again and so far we seem to be in the clear. If we praise her for saying a word or react by laughing, it’s almost guaranteed that she’ll add the word of phrase to her repertoire.

And while I’m sharing her expansive vocabulary – see how proud I am? – She’s doing great at association. When she sees a monkey in any form she makes monkey noises. So it turns out, she really IS my little monkey. Cutest thing ever!