Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My mom brought over this picture today. It's me, my cousins, and my brother when we were little kids. I'm guessing I'm three or so. Anyway, the point is my kid actually does look like me! Especially the pose. She totally stands like that all the time. And the cheesy grin. So there's the picture of me looking like her.

And for fun, here is a picture of her where I think she looks a lot like little me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Run Run Run! It's Fun Fun Fun!

So, this weekend's fun family time is spread out. Last night we went to my parents' house for my dad's birthday. It was a good time and my dad was in a really good mood. We are pretty broke what with Joe being on strike, so I offered to clean/organize my parents' garage this summer as my gift. If you've never been in my parents' garage, you probably don't realize what a crazy huge commitment this is. It's definitely going to take a few days. It pretty much looks like the opening scene to an episode of Hoarders in there. But it really needs to be done, so I'm excited to work on it during my maternity leave.

Today, we went to the Expo for the Glass City Marathon. Joe is running the half marathon tomorrow. We walked there since it was at UT and it's not far from our house. I read a couple days ago that they have a Kids Marathon, so we decided to sign Ramona up for it. It was ten bucks, and each kid could run a quarter mile, a half mile, or a full mile. Obviously the shortest distance was recommended for smaller kids, so we signed Ramona up for the quarter mile. It was really cute! There were quite a few kids and each kid got there own bib number, a teddy bear, a cloth bag, and a water bottle. If they finished the race, they got a medal. The UT football team was there and they signed autographs and led the kids in stretching, and they also had some dogs that work with autistic kids do some tricks. It was in the Glass Bowl, so the kids got to be down on the field (and Ramona really loved the colored astro-turf.)

Joe ran the race with her. At first, she really had fun with all the kids running, but about halfway through it they ran past the stairs she and I had been climbing earlier, and she wanted to go upstairs instead of run and threw a little tantrum about it, so Joe carried her for a minute, and I ran over there and made her get down and hold both of our hands and we all finished the run together. They had snacks after the race, which perked her right up, so I'm guessing she was just getting hungry and whiny. It was fun, and Ramona had a good time for the most part (she also got upset when she wasn't allowed to do tricks with the dogs when they were doing their exhibition before the race.) We'll probably do it again next year.
Finisher's Medal!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Times

We've really been having a pretty awesome time lately. As much as having Joe on strike has been not so good financially, it's been really nice otherwise. It's nice to get to spend more time with him, and it makes me less worried about how messy the house is and what to eat because he's there taking care of that stuff.

I've dedicated myself to try to do SOMETHING interesting as a family every weekend for the rest of the spring and summer. This past weekend we did the zoo. It was fun times. We went Saturday, when it was cloudy and overcast, but not raining. Ramona enjoyed jumping in puddles and running around (she only sat in her stroller when she realized it was easier to sit and eat popcorn at the same time. The rest of the time she was on the go.) I realized I'm to the point in pregnancy where I REALLY can't bend over, because Ramona kept trying to get me to go in the cave in the playground and it was not happening. But it was still fun.

Then we went to my sister's fiance's house for dinner, where we had smoked and then deep-fried turkey. It tasted even better than I thought it would. Seriously, it was so good. And Ramona even ate a ton of it. It was nice to see them and hang out for a bit, and Mitch's brother, his wife, and their kids were there, so Ramona got to awkwardly interact with other kids and I got to hold the smiliest, cutest baby ever.

Sunday morning Ramona threw up and then was fine (she does this on occasion) so we missed church. I wondered whether or not we should go to our mommy group meeting since she threw up and all, but ultimately decided to go since she was fine, and this puke in the morning thing but otherwise be completely healthy is a recurring thing for her. I don't think it's an actual illness, just a weird little kid thing that happens. So, we went and she had fun. Our group this time was me and three other moms with toddlers between 22 months and 30 months and all us moms are pregnant and due within the next three months. It's kind of crazy. One of the moms is expecting twins (a girl and a boy), one mom is having a boy, I'm having a girl, and the other mom isn't finding out until the baby is born. So, we have a pretty even split going so far. Anyway, our meeting was about adding more children to the mix and we had a guest speaker who has four boys (two of whom are twins) and it was interesting and fun to talk about all our different fears and concerns. I always have fun at my mom meetings but always dread going for some reason. Probably because I'm a lazy homebody.

Last night was cloudy and windy again, but we went to Wildwood as soon as I got off of work and flew Ramona's kite. She got a ladybug kite for Easter, and she had been out to fly it with Joe once before, but this was my first time going. Joe got it up in the air and then let Ramona hold it. She was into it for 15 seconds or so before she decided she'd rather play on the playground. So, we had fun, but had way less kite flying than we thought we would.

Then I did my last tax return for class. I have one homework and one quiz this week, one final next week and one the week after that and then I'm done with this semester. Thank God. The next one starts in mid-May, so I'll have to live it up during my free two weeks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Five Year Goals Revisted

I thought it would be fun to go back and see how many of my five year goals I've accomplished so far. I originally posted about them here. I definitely have a lot to do, but am pretty happy with what I've done so far.

Life goals-
Move back to the midwest- We did this November 2010
Get married- We did this September 2011
Have another baby- We will do this in June 2012
Finish the Brew Blanket- We're about half way done with this. I need to do a count and update on this soon.

Financial goals-
Buy a house- We are saving for a down payment and reading about mortgages and all that fun stuff now. Planning on actually doing it sometime late next year depending on what we find and how life is going.
Retirement Investing- I have a meeting with an adviser on Thursday, and am probably going to start doing more investing after we buy a house. Basically, we're investing, but not at an ideal rate at this point.

Physical goals- I have not even put a minimum bit of effort into any of these.
Run a half marathon in less than 2 hours 45 minutes-
Do a chin up-
Go ice skating-

Travel goals-
Cruise the Caribbean- Probably in two years
Go to Denver- Maybe next winter
Eat lobster in Maine- Definitely next summer!

Mental goals-
Finish my Master's degree- Supposed to graduate December 2013
Become CPA certified- Don't even want to think about this at this point
Work on my French skills/possibly Spanish- Maybe someday when I have free time again, which I doubt will be within the next three years. But, once my Master's is done, I could see me taking some language classes for fun, so who knows? I think this will be dependent on how dedicated to getting my CPA I am.

I think the biggest change in the next year will be a focus on financial and physical goals since my life goals will almost all be met and my travel goals won't be feasible until we have a bit more money and the new baby is a little older. I turn 30 in 2013, and I want to be in the best shape of my life then. So, I'm setting a lot of little goals once I'm done with this pregnancy that will give me a little over a year to get in decent shape. Hopefully, by that point I'll be able to cross off my physical goals. Or at least some of them. How hard is it to go ice skating?

It's kind of sad to look and see how few of the goals I've accomplished in the past almost two years, but I'm actively working on so many of them that I still feel good about it. I knew it would take awhile (I mean, I gave myself five years for a reason!) so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Kid Embarrasses Parent

I read over my last few posts and they were all pretty whiny, so I figured I'd give a happier one today.  My hormones went wacky for a couple of weeks and I was pretty much on the verge of crying constantly for a few days there, so there was a lot of feeling sorry for myself and being one big sad face. It was extra stupid because everything has actually been going so well lately. Good grades, easy work days, lots of family time- not much to complain about, but I found a way!

Ramona's favorite show is probably Ni Hao, Kai-Lan. I think it's a pretty cute show, so I like watching it with her. She is much better at picking up Mandarin from watching it than I am, and will often say things that I don't remember the meaning of, which can be confusing. She greets strangers in the park with, "Ni men hao!" She sings the songs from the show. If you're not familiar with the show, here's the basic premise- Kai-Lan is a little Chinese-American girl who lives with her grandfather Ye ye. She is friends with a tiger (Rintoo), a monkey (Ho ho), and a koala (Tolee). They sometimes hang out with a rhino named Lulu, who flies around on a balloon and lives in a cloud house. In every episode, the friends all play together, one of them has some sort of emotional problem, and they work together and solve the problem (usually with a little help from Ye ye.) When they're trying to solve the problem they sing, "We gotta gotta try- to find the reason why" and then they say whatever problem they're solving. For example, "We gotta gotta try- to find the reason why- Tolee is crying."

The reason I'm telling you this is so the following story makes sense. A couple nights ago, Joe and I were putting Ramona to bed. Usually, we lay down with her until she falls asleep and then sneak out. Joe usually works nights, so Ramona and I have our system and so I'm generally better at getting her settled down for bed, just because I do it all the time. But, since Joe is home during the strike, he's been doing bedtime with us, too. So, we all laid down and got cuddled together and did the usual bedtime stuff. Then (for your TMI enjoyment) I got a sudden onset of diarrhea. Awesome. So, I would get Ramona tucked in and cuddle up with  her and suddenly have to run to the bathroom. This happened like four times, and every time, Ramona would then get up and run around and refuse to lay down with Joe and we'd start bedtime all over again when I got back. The last time I got up, Ramona popped up and started following me.

Joe: Ramona, lay down. It's bed time.

Ramona: We gotta gotta try- to find the reason why- Fishie is going to the potty!

Joe: I KNOW why Fishie is going to the potty!

Ramona: (runs to the bathroom door and starts knocking) Helllooooooooo, Fishie! What are you doing? I can't open the door!

Me: (dies of embarrassment)

But at least it was just our family. Ramona has yet to embarrass me in front of others as much as Danzig. One time, we had friends over and Danzig came into the living room with a used tampon she had gotten out of the trash and was playing with it as if it was the best toy ever in front of everyone. It was disgusting. Actually, I think that was one of those things where I should have been embarrassed but I was laughing too hard.

Oh, and in other "things I'm glad she didn't say in public", Ramona has been really obsessed with the nursing bra I started wearing (because sadly, my boobs have gotten EVEN BIGGER this pregnancy). The bras they make in my ridiculous size are so sexy that Ramona refers to them as "seat belts" and it's a fairly accurate description of the design.

I've been wearing a lot of stretchy maternity tank tops because they're cheap and comfy. So, Ramona jumped on my lap and started pulling down the front of my tank top so she could see my "seat belt", which was inappropriate enough. Then she started pulling on my "seat belt" and yelling, "Hey, where's your nips?" Luckily this was in my bedroom and not in church or something. Joe has no sympathy for me on this one since I'm the one that taught her the word nips.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April Already?

Man, time is flying by. It's hard to believe I'm nearly 31 weeks into this pregnancy already. I had my glucose test recently and passed with flying colors, but my iron was low so I'm taking some supplements and trying to eat more iron-rich foods. Baby is doing well, and likes to move around a lot. I'm showing much more this time than I did with Ramona, which makes me worry how huge I'll actually get. I've gained right around 30 pounds at this point. Everyone at work keeps telling me I'm still small, but I don't feel like it. I'm already having a hard time bending over to put on shoes and whatnot. And I'm totally exhausted all the time. We've come up with two names for the new baby, and are going to decide by what day the baby is born. If it's an odd numbered day, it will be one name, if it's an even day, it will be the other.

I talked to the midwife about the hospital policies, when they want me to go to the hospital, and inductions. It seems like everything should go okay. I'm not going to be tied to the bed the whole time like I was with Ramona, they'll let me go to the hospital whenever I feel like it, and they won't induce unless something looks bad or I go to 42 weeks. We're going to schedule our L&D tour within the next month or so to see how everything works here and get pre-registered. At that point I guess we'll be officially ready for baby.

School is going well. The semester ends in a few weeks and I'm SO looking forward to it. I'm pretty tired of the classes I'm taking now and can't wait to change it up for the summer. Work is fine. It's weird because I neither love nor hate it. It's the most indifferent to a job I think I've ever been. The people I work with are pleasant but I'm not particularly close with anyone, the work keeps me busy but isn't particularly rewarding, and the morning goes quickly while the afternoon drags. It's right down the middle in pretty much every respect, but it's nice.

Joe has been on strike for a week and a half or so. It's kind of a bummer to not have his portion of our income, especially with the baby coming soon, but I also like having my house husband around. Joe has been cooking and cleaning and watching Ramona so I can do my homework somewhat in peace, which has been nice. I enjoy coming home to a nice dinner and a clean house every once in awhile. He also made caramel coffee creme brulee a couple days ago, which was totally awesome. But hopefully he won't be out for too long. The union made it sound like it might be a couple months, though, which isn't that great. We'll see what happens.

Ramona is doing great. She's still not quite understanding the concept of her baby sister, but I don't expect her to really get it until we bring the baby home. We got her signed up for a Child's Day Out program in the fall so she'll have a chance to hang out with some other kids since she's not old enough for pre-school until next year (by three weeks- stupid September 30 cutoff!) We've been going on family walks and playing at the playground a lot. She's still only sleeping in her bed about half the night before she ends up back with us, but that half of the night is pretty nice. I think we're about ready to try potty-training again. She's into the idea of it and talks about it a lot. She's to the point she can communicate pretty well about what she needs, so I think there's a chance we can get her at least nominally trained before the baby gets here. Maybe. We'll see.