IT"S A BOY...Again!

We had our ultrasound yesterday at almost 22 weeks into the pregnancy. Dave and I were convinced this one was a girl so we were a bit shocked to see boy parts, very clearly might I add. I say shocked, but that in no way implies that we are disappointed. In fact, Dave is quite pleased that the males will be outnumbering the females in our household. We count dogs and cats in that equation. If not, then I am the sole female in this family. However, I still think that I will be able to rule the roost quite effectively. They won't be taller than me until they are 12 or 13...I hope. I am going to have to learn how to cook for an army by the time these boys are teenagers. Costco is going to love us!

When we left the Dr.'s office it had started snowing and there was already about an inch on the ground. Thank goodness for AWD. I am usually a little apprehensive when it comes to driving in the snow so when I say that I was the fastest car on the road at 30 mph you can guess how Coloradans drive in inclement weather. The nice thing about the weather is that Dave couldn't get back to work so he had a impromptu 1/2 day and we got some more Daddy time! Dave took Archie and the dogs outside to play in the snow. Archie didn't want to get his hands wet, but he cried when we brought him back inside. Dave just might have his little skier after all!

I cannot remember when I last posted, but we have done a lot in the last month and a half. We spent Thanksgiving week in Ft. Myers Beach, FL to celebrate my sister Mary's wedding John. It was a small and intimate ceremony that suited the couple perfectly. We stayed in a beach house one house back from the Gulf. Although Dave and I are not beach people, I am glad that we were able to introduce Archie to the experience. He loved playing in the sand much more than he actually loved being in the water. That will most definitely change the older he gets though.

In December my sister Amy had a surprise wedding to her now husband Chris. Mary officiated and said that the ceremony was very "Amy". I am presuming that means exactly the way she wanted it to happen! Now all my siblings have found and married their perfect partners. I wonder when Archie is going to get more cousins?

For the holidays we traveled to my parents house in MI. Dave and I each caught some sort of 24 hour bug one day apart from each so the actual traveling was not exactly pleasurable. Add that to me dumping an entire glass of ice water on my lap at the airport and we had a really fun day. Fortunately our visit was much more enjoyable. We saw friends, family, Ann Arbor, I got a prenatal massage from Melissa (website: http://www.meltannarbor.com/), and had an overall relaxing trip despite it being so close to Christmas.

Now it is New Year's Eve, Dave is at work and I'm still in my pajamas at 1 pm. We have no plans for the night and I will most likely be in bed before 10. I am planning on using our Cuisinart griddle though to make balsamic portobello mushrooms, roasted red pepper and goat cheese grilled sandwiches for dinner. I may bust out the new cookbook my cousin Lori got me for Christmas to make some yummy baked dessert too. We like living on the wild side here in our little abode.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope that 2011 is better than 2010 for everyone! Drink some champagne for me.


What does your car say about you?

Yesterday I was stopped behind a vehicle that had quite a few bumper stickers. Most were pretty typical of Colorado Springs. 2 Jesus fish, a McCain/Palin slogan, a Denver Broncos decal and then a nice one (note the sarcasm) that said "91101 Terrorist Hunting Permit". To me that last one seems to be a little oxymoronic considering the 2 Jesus fish. Then, after we had made our left turn, we both were turning right into the shopping center which clearly has the lines of a pedestrian crosswalk painted on the road with a high schooler getting ready to enter said crosswalk. Did the Jesus vehicle stop for the kid? Nope.

I guess I it just baffles me when people display their love for Jesus when clearly they are not following his message of love.


Just a little bit hippie

Apparently you can take the girl out of the co-op but a little bit of the co-op will always stay with the girl. I think working at Whole Foods for 5 years can also have a bit of an effect. There are things that I do in my daily life that are second nature to help nature. Recycling is a given. We do not have a compost pile, but all my food scraps do go outside for the soil and animals. We choose to cloth diaper our son. We have reusable shopping bags that actually get used. We replace our appliances with energy efficient ones. We switched all our light bulbs to CFLs, once LEDs come down in price and the CFLs start going we will use those.

Lately I have been starting to wonder what else can we do to become more green. There are some things that just aren't feasible for us at the moment like only having one car, air travel, and walking to my most frequented store but there are lots of small changes we could make that could be very effective. I have been researching going paperless in the kitchen. There are quite a few sellers on Etsy that have reusable paper towels. I am not sure how on board Dave will get with this, but I'm willing to try. I have some cloth wipes that we never used that could easily become reusable napkins. We already have tons of cloth dish towels. I don't think we will ever become a reusable toilet paper house but we do buy recycled toilet paper.

What else can we do as a family to become more green? I think this is more important to me know because I am responsible for raising the next generation...well, at least a small portion of the next generation. My children could end up having a huge impact on the world though. Who knows? I don't what them to feel entitled, I want them to feel empowered. I have to lead by example though. These are just some of the thoughts running through my head these days.

Completely off topic, but Betty Crocker German Chocolate cake mix and coconut pecan frosting are such a great combo. Totally yummy! This probably is very hippie of me though.


The crafting bug

When I was pregnant with Archie I never really got the whole nesting thing. It was fun decorating his nursery and all, but my baseboards are still dirty, my cabinets never got a scrub down and I am not even going to talk about our bathroom grout. Yuck! What I did have the strong urge to do, however, was crafting. Making invitations, cards, scrapbooks, photo mats, photo books, etc... I think I am getting that urge again.

Today I made address labels. I got some nice chartreuse labels from Archiver's and then stamped little designs on them after I printed them up. I also want to make a calendar. I looked at some templates online, but didn't really find anything I liked so I am going to do this by hand. I have this great 11x17 ivory paper that I can really do some neat things with I think. I bought little hooks and hole punch reinforcers at Office Max yesterday and now I just want to dive in. Archie has other plans though. He is totally content when I am paying 100% attention to him, but as soon I try to do anything for me the sh*t hits the fan. Smart kid.

The last few weeks I have spent reorganizing our digital media on my desktop. We had folders all over the place with crazy headings and no order whatsoever. It had been driving me nuts for years! Now all of our pictures are organized by year>month>date on our external hard drive. Dave is also looking having them all stored on a server somewhere too. I reinstalled Picasa and now my pictures are in organizational heaven. Yeah!

I have been also been doing a belly book for our new little one. I used this journal for my pregnancy with Archie and it was a lot of fun. I decided to continue the tradition because each pregnancy should be cherished, not just my first one. I keep it right next to Archie's baby book so I can update them at the same time.

Well that concludes my crafting desires list. that's not actually true because I still want to create a year 1 Archie scrapbook, a dog scrapbook and a cat scrapbook. Maybe when all the kids are out of the house and we're retired!


I'm portable!

Having a desktop PC and a 1 year old really aren't compatible. He is not content to play in just one space for any length of time. All that changed yesterday though when Dave's new laptop was delivered to our front door. Archie wants to hang out in the front room? Great! Archie wants to go back into the family room? No problem! Archie wants to practice climbing stairs? Maybe I should actually set the laptop down for this one.

Anyway. I don't think I will be able to do a full recap of the last 4 months because too much has happened. Vacations, babies, pregnancies, birthdays, weddings. In a word, life happened. The biggest news for our family is the addition that is growing bigger and better over the next 6 months. We are expecting baby #2 in May! Sometimes I wonder how are we going to manage two under 2, but we will cross that bridge next year.

Archie turned the big 1 year old last month. We had a few neighbors over for a get together and had a great day! I think that was also the start of U of M's losing streak though so it was an almost perfect day. The obligatory give-the-baby-a-cake-so-he-makes-a-gigantic-mess was a success. Four colors of frosting all over his face, clothes, high chair and eventually in his eyes made some great photo ops. At his 12 month check-up he was also in the 97th percentile for height and his weight percentile went up into the 70th percentiles. He is definitely Dave's son!

Unfortunately I do not have any any photos on this laptop so this will be a word heavy post. We are going to get me a laptop sometime over the next 2 months though. Once that happens I will really be able to blog it up for real until the new baby comes. Well I've got a little boy who is showing signs of being ready for his morning nap. Maybe I will be able to add some photos from my desktop during his nap. We'll see!


How to stop breastfeeding?

WARNING! The word breast appears at least a dozen times in this post. Sorry.

I am seriously annoyed right now with the lack of information about how to stop breastfeeding. Every article I read is about making sure it is the right time and how to persevere and breastfeed longer. If I woman wants to stop breastfeeding she has to go through a major guilt trip first apparently.

When Archer was 6 months old, I cut out 2 breastfeeds a day and replaced them with formula. Archer was losing interest in the breast and had no problem switching to formula in a bottle. About a month and a half later, we cut out another breastfeeding session. He was being breastfed at morning and at night. For the past 2-3 weeks the night feeding has been going horrendously. He clearly was either not getting enough milk or not getting it fast enough. We were both not enjoying it.

Three days ago I decided we were done. I do not feel sad about the decision, but I am feeling annoyed by all the stupid articles out in Internet land designed to make a woman feel like crap for making the very personal decision to stop breastfeeding. All I want to know is how to help alleviate the pain of engorged breasts and how long to expect it to last. Is that really asking too much??

Vent over.


In the summer swing

Summer seems to arrive a little late in CO, but it is totally worth the wait. I'll take late summers that extend into October and give me little to no humidity. Granted, if I forget the sunscreen, 10 minutes outside can leave me a little pink. I guess that's what happens when you are 6000+ feet above sea level. The funny thing is, however, I would give it all up in a heartbeat to live closer to family. That is another blog post though.

The last 2 weeks have been full of firsts for our little man. On Father's Day we went to theCheyenne Mountain Zoo here in the Springs. Archer only seemed interested in a few animals, including the giraffes, gorillas and birds. He did fantastic though for most of the trip, only getting cranky while on the lift to the top. Have you ever tried holding a squirmy, crying 9 month old while on the equivalent of a ski lift? Dave was thankful that I had to deal with it.

Later in the week we finally gave Archie his first haircut. I loved his little tufts, but he was starting to resemble a flying nun or a creepy clown - depended on the day. I broke the first rule of haircutting by cutting horizontally instead of vertically. Now he has perfectly straight lines of hair on both sides of his head. Oops! He does look more like a toddler than a baby though. I cannot believe how fast he grows!

This past weekend we travelled back to the 16th century at the CO Renaissance Festival. There is nothing like a beer and Celtic music at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Who needs church? Don't answer that question please. Anyway, we had a great time and I got to indulge in a "fryed" pickle! Sooo good! We saw the Ded Bob Show, Hey Nunnie Nunnie, listened to the Carillon Bells, went to a petting farm, saw Celtic Legacy play and walked around looking at a bunch of stuff Archer will want us to buy him in 3 years. Good times.

What do we have planned in the upcoming weeks? Not much. We kind of take it one day at a time around here. I think we want to try and make it over to Durango, CO for a long weekend plus we are headed the Portland way in July. Until then, I am going to finish enjoying my free time until Archie wakes up.


Look who can feed himself!

but so can his son.

I think Dave and I have not given Archer enough credit. We talk about how he hasn't been hitting his so called milestones when the other kids in Gymboree have, but then we do everything for him. We knew that would be our biggest challenge before we had him though. He has to make his own efforts and mistakes and we have to let him. That is how he'll learn.

Anyway, the other day we decided to try and let Archer give himself his bottle. I put about 2 oz. of white grape juice in a bottle, let him taste it and then set the bottle down next to him. Essentially that is all it took. It also works with formula. What a smart kid!

What doesn't he understand yet? Finger food. He will pick it up, look at it and then drop it on the ground where Piper and Dewey snatch it up. At least the dogs have gotten the finger food concept.


iPhone to Blogger in one easy text

Trying to see if my text to Blogger actually works.

This is a picture of Archer feeding himself while barely awake!

The Weight Post

This post is more for me than you. It is about my weight over the last year and I want to put in out there to help keep me motivated. I have no real support system here in CO, sans my wonderful husband who thinks I am beautiful no matter what, to help keep me on track.

When I got pregnant with Archer I weighed 155 lbs. That was the most I ever weighed in my life, but still I was content. Over the course of my pregnancy I gained 40 lbs. and lost about 15-20 shortly after his birth. Being a new Mom I did not really concern myself with what I was putting into my body. I ate whatever when I was hungry. About 6 weeks ago I weighed 170 lbs. and decided that I needed to change a few things.

I started with an iPhone app called "Lose It" which helps me track my daily caloric intake. The hardest part in the beginning was being honest about what I was eating. It is hard to see that those 2 bowls of tortilla chips add up to a lot of calories. I set a goal of losing 1/2 lb. per week. which is a realistic limit. This allowed me about 1900 calories a day and would force me to really think about what I wanted to use them up on.

I got some new cookbooks to help me come up with healthy, low calorie meal and snack ideas. If we were planning on going out to eat I would look up the nutritional info of the place we were going to. I have spent more time in the last 6 weeks thinking about what goes into my body than I ever have in my life. I am not the most active person and no matter how many times I start going to the gym I always quit. Changing my eating habits has been the most practical avenue for me to help get healthy.

Yesterday I tried on my favorite pair of pre-pregnancy jeans and they fit great. I stepped on the scale and I weighed 156 lbs. I cannot believe that changing my diet had such a huge effect in a short amount of time. I must have been eating like crap. Another good thing about this is that we are planning on expanding our family in the not to distant future and I would like this pregnancy to be healthier.

I really want this to be a life change and not just a post pregnancy trend. That is why I am putting this out there in the Internet world. I really want some culpability if I start to lose my motivation.

I have to go make sure my child eats now!


90 degrees and in a Sudafed fog.

Summer has descended upon Colorado Springs. Archie can finally wear his summer wardrobe before he outgrows them, Dave's allergies are acting up and I've got a cold. I think that our little man has inherited his father's allergies too. The poor thing keeps sneezing, but it doesn't really seem to bother him.

Our garden is looking fantastic this year. We've discovered that some of the plants from last year that didn't do so hot are now thriving. I also decided to make my own hanging baskets instead of paying $25/basket. I put some begonias and a red leafy annual that I cannot remember the name of right now. The nice thing is that I can reuse the pretty baskets so the cost will be even lower next year. Dave started some vegetable from seeds and we will hopefully get them in the ground this weekend. He is really the outdoors guy in the family, I just blog about it!

We had bought some ceiling fans over a year ago and didn't have them installed until after Archer was born. Now that the weather has turned hot, we are wondering why we waited so long. We do not have air conditioning so they are truly a lifesaver. Next up my amazing husband will be replacing our fence. He cemented his first post last weekend and survived. Now there are only about 25 or so 8 foot segments to complete.

Archer is still a wonder and delight. He now sits pretty confidently and has started to kick his legs while on his tummy. He really prefers bouncing though and will go to town while in his exersaucer. We walked to our neighborhood park last week and Archie went swinging for the first time. He just kind of laid back and took it all in stride. He only got excited if I made a fool out of myself cheering him along. My favorite though is when he just starts squealing for no apparentreason. This is not much fun while at the library, but all other times are good!

Other than that we are looking forward to the rest of the summer. In July the sisters, Archie and myself are making our way to WA to stay with Marlene and go to the Portland Brewer's Fest. Fortunately, Mary and Amy's plane has a layover in Denver and I got on the same flight as them. It will be nice to have some helping hands. I have flown solo with him once and we did okay, but it is still stressful. We are still planning on taking some weekend camping trips around CO and hopefully in September we will have a meeting of the college friends in Ann Arbor.

That's the digs for now. Archie is napping and I'm going to go get ready for the day. Enjoy the video of Archer's first swing time!

(Please ignore the Mommy voice)


I'm back....until I'm not again

Our laptop has been out of commission for a few months now. My desktop is upstairs in my study, which I do not get to retreat to very often. Needless to say this blog has been sorely neglected due to my lack of free computer time. Right now Archie is sleeping in his swing and I am ignoring the messy house and updating all of you instead.

Archer is 7 1/2 months old now and he changes every day. He can now sit up on his own although he would rather be standing. Every time I try to get him to sit he stretches out his legs and arches his back. I think he will be walking before he ever crawls, which he shows desire in doing. He loves to laugh and squeal. In our Gymboree class right now we are working on communication and he is the most vocal kid there. Dave and I still think he is the coolest and love every second we spend with him. Not that every second is easy, but most aren't too bad!

Since I have last posted we have taken two trips, one to Michigan and one camping in Colorado. In late March we all flew back to MI, but Dave only stayed the long weekend. Archie and I spent an additional week. We went to a Piston's game because my Dad had one a box in an auction. It was so much fun! Becky's baby shower was also that week and she made out like a bandit! Her little girl (BORN YESTERDAY!!!!!!) has enough clothes for the entire first year I think. I flew back to CO with Archer. It was my first time flying solo with him and I think we did great! He cried at the very beginning, but then slept for the rest of the trip. We encountered the worst turbulence I had ever experienced on that flight. I was holding onto Archie for dear life, but thankfully he slept right through it. I was definitely ready for a break once we got back to CO though.

This past weekend we went camping at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. We stayed in a cabin with a propane heater, which was a blessing since it got below freezing at night and we had Archie and the dogs! It was a lot of fun to get away for a bit and be in a forest. We don't have clusters of trees in Colorado Springs so I need my fix every now and again. Archer did fine on this trip and the dogs loved sleeping on the bed with their Daddy. This summer we are planning on taking lots of long weekend trips around the state of CO. We have lived here almost 3 years and haven't really explored our own backyard.

This really isn't a comprehensive update, but it's all I have time for right now. I will leave you with some pictures and hopefully try to update this blog at least 3-4 times a month for the time being. We'll see.


Solid Foods A-Go-Go

Archer had his 4 month check-up last week. Where does the time go? Sometimes it seems like he was just born, but then I remember what it felt like that first month. Definitely a huge improvement at 4 months! Anyhow, he now weighs almost 15 lbs, is 25.5" long and his head seems to be catching up b/c now it is in the 20th percentile as opposed to the 10th.

At the appointment our Dr. discussed teething and eating solid foods with us. Is he really already at these huge milestones? Apparently so, because that night we were all geared up for his foray into solid foods. I had read many different things about how and when to feed baby his first foods. Some sources said that he will give you cues, some said that most babies hate it at first, but to be persistent and some said don't even try until he is 6 months. As with everything else with this kid, feeding was super easy. Is there anything he doesn't make easy? He smiled, laughed and managed to keep some of his rice cereal in his mouth. He opens his mouth up wide when he sees the spoon and even tries to feed himself.

He has been on rice cereal for a week now. Today I am going to introduce oatmeal cereal and then next week we might try sweet potatoes or prunes. This is so much fun! Other than eating, Archie is showing so much interest in the world around him. He goes to Gymboree twice a week, I can put on his play mat for 20-30 minutes and he keeps himself entertained, and when in his carrier he just soaks it all up. We took a walk with the dogs the other day and Archie was enthralled. Fortunately our winters have plenty of 40+ degree, sunny days so we can take more walks. I do wish I had an extra $140 laying around for the Beco Butterfly II carrier (fabric: Grace) though. Our current carrier is nice, but it hurts my back after awhile. Oh well!

Later this month Grandma and Grandpa R. are coming for a visit and we are very excited! In less than 2 months we are traveling to MI and I cannot wait for my family to meet Archie! So far only my Mom and sister Marlene have seen him. It'll be weird not having Dave around for a week though. Let's hope Archie is good for Mommy that week!

Here is a video of Archer eating. Enjoy!



Last week we were fortunate enough to have 3 of our very good friends come visit. Jen came via Montana after moving Heather into her new place. A day later Natalie and Andy came via D.C. for a long weekend. It was nice to get out, see the sights and have normal adult conversation!

Jen, Archie and I went to the Air Force Academy before heading to the airport. Despite having done a training camp there in high school, Jen had never seen the chapel on the premises. We also looked out over the quad and I got a lesson in airplanes! At the airport we managed to squeeze 4 adults, 1 infant, 2 suitcases and skis into the Jeep. Who says you can't have fuel efficiency and space?

The next day Jen left and the rest of us drove to Cheyenne Park and Gold Camp Road. On Saturday Natalie and I headed to Boulder with the kid while Dave and Andy went skiing. We visited the Celestial Seasons headquarters and sampled a bunch of tea. The Sugar Cookie tea was surprisingly good and now I am wishing I had bought more than the one box. Afterwards we wanted to eat at Natalie's favorite restaurant in Boulder, but Kansas State alum had taken over the place. Oh well! On our way home we stopped at Crate and Barrel so I could get the other baking pan that I had registered for our wedding.

On Sunday we lounged around the house and Natalie made dinner and dessert! It was the best meal we had eaten probably since my mother-in-law was here. Now, however, it is back to the daily grind and meals that take less than 20 minutes to make.

Later today we are taking Archie to his first class at Gymboree. They are offering free classes this month and if we like it then we will sign up for weekly classes. It will be nice to meet other parents with children Archie's age.

Sorry I have been lax in my blog upkeep. Our laptop is on its way out and I rarely have time to sit at my desktop. There is also the matter of the almost 4 month old kid....


Tummy Time

In the past week Archer has gotten to be a tummy time pro. Here is a minute long video of him rockin' his neck muscles. One of these days I will have time to write more than a few sentences. In the meantime enjoy!


Video for the Grandmas

Below is a rather uneventful, but absolutely adorable video of Archie. He starts off grumpy, but then gets super cute and happy. Please forgive the camera women's lack of skill!