Tuesday, December 29, 2009

39 week OB appt and Christmas (with pics and a vid)

I'm still here...and I'm still pregnant. 39 weeks 1 day, in fact - 6 days till due date. I hope I have my baby in the next 3 days (read: before New Year's), but that's entirely up to him. My OB is willing to induce me, and I briefly considered it, but I know that's not the right thing for us. I tend to be anti-induction unless there's a medical reason. But the thought of guaranteeing the 2009 tax credit was pretty tempting. However, I feel like that's a selfish reason to induce (despite how much we really need the money) and I don't feel comfortable "playing God" in that sense. It's not my place to decide when my baby comes - it's HIS. Hopefully my little guy will decide to come out sooner rather than later! I've had some contractions off and on, so who knows. I think he dropped, too - though it's hard to believe there was anywhere to drop TO (and my OB commented on that as well LOL). He feels lower and I feel even MORE pressure than before.

Now for the possibly TMI stuff. If dilation and such gross you out, feel free to skip this paragraph. I got checked again today and am 3 cm dilated and it sounds like I'm mostly effaced (was at 50% last week). He didn't give a number, but he said my cervix was "very thin." I take that as to mean it's just shy of 100%? My OB would have offered to strip my membranes, but the baby's head was blocking access to them. Poo. Oh well, at least his head is down and in position to come out, right?

In other appointment news, I didn't gain any weight this week, so I'm still at a 17 lbs weight gain total. Sweet! Blood pressure, baby's heart rate, measuring, etc are all perfect. I have an appointment set up for next week (on my due date), but I'm REALLY hoping he comes before then! LOL, if I remember correctly, I think I had an appointment set up for the day I went to the hospital with Emma, too. But I don't want to wait that long! I think my prospects of having him sooner are pretty good, though. We're trying some of the more natural ways of kick starting labor (and they only work if your body is ready anyway). I refuse to try castor oil, though. Yuck. But if you have any good suggestions, I'd love to hear them. And yes, I know that what puts a baby there can help get a baby out;)

Oh! I keep forgetting! I wrote a fun little eviction notice to my son:

Dear Hyrum:

Over the last 9 months, your residence here has been challenging. You are hereby evicted for causing the following infractions:

- nausea
- vomiting
- frequent urination
- excessive heartburn
- extreme exhaustion
- insomnia
- sciatica
- swelling
- carpal tunnel
- hormonal mood swings
- back pain
- abdominal and pelvic pressure
- general aches, pains, and discomfort

If you have not moved out by December 31, 2009, legal action will be taken.



As far as digiscrap stuff goes, I don't have anything new to share. Life's been busy with Christmas and trying to tie up lose ends before the baby comes (like, oh, packing the hospital bag...and cleaning...again...). I made a super cute new blog LO, but the kit isn't set for release till the 1st so I'll have to wait till then to share. I still need to pick pictures for it anyway - and hopefully they will include a newborn baby boy!!

We had a FABULOUS Christmas. We all slept in till around 10:30 - though I couldn't get to sleep till 8:30, so I still didn't get much sleep. Ah well. Anyway. We started the day with our yummy traditional breakfast of crescent rolls baked with cream cheese and chocolate chips. While they baked, we read the Christmas story from the scriptures while Emma colored pictures to match.

Then we started on the presents. Oh my goodness. That took forever! For one thing, there were TONS - and most were for Emma. Grandparents like to spoil, after all! And the ones from John's mom are still on the way! My mom has a tendency to go overboard with gifts for grandkids. Also, Emma takes her time with opening gifts. She wants to play with each one. This is good, because it means she likes it, but we have to coax/distract her onto the next. With 20+ presents...it takes awhile! After a couple of hours of unwrapping (and getting about halfway through the pile), we were all getting tired and so everyone took a nice, relaxing nap.

After our much-needed nap, we got to work on the food (the roast was already cooking in the crock pot before we napped). Correction: John worked on the food. All I did was the gravy and roast seasoning. Cooking is really hard for me these days, what with my huge belly, physical exhaustion from standing for even short periods of time, and general discomfort. Emma and I worked on unwrapping more presents and got ready to go over to Nathan and Jessica's for dinner.

We really enjoyed our time over at Nathan and Jessica's. The food turned out great all around:) The best part of course was spending time with our family. We did a little gift exchange after dinner. We got Nathan a toy gun with those little orange plastic darts and a whoopee cushion - SO totally perfect for him! We gave Jessica some shower gel and lotion and we gave Noah a book and a toy tambourine. Jessica made us all really nice scarves. Well, John got his for his birthday, so he got a book for Christmas instead:) John's scarf is a Super Mario Brothers scarf - it's a green pipe with the poison flower guys poking out each end. Mine is a pretty purple girly scarf and Emma's is a cute cuddle-me bear scarf. I'll have to take pics of them sometime.

One of the funniest moments was when we tested out the whoopee cushion on the kids. Emma didn't seem to care too much one way or the other (though she pointed at Nathan when it went off, LOL). But Noah FREAKED out! It was hilarious! I got it on video:D

Of course, I didn't realize until AFTER we got home that the chair arm is blocking his face...oh well. You get the idea:)

We mainly just hung out over at their place and enjoyed our time together:) It's fun having a smaller Christmas celebration like that. We still got to spend it with some family, but it wasn't nearly as hectic as going home. It was just...nice. I like laid-back relaxing holidays:)

We unwrapped a few more presents when we got home and then put Emma to bed. We still had about 8 of Emma's gifts left to open! We had her open those later the next day after John got home from work.

Oh my goodness, we got SO much stuff! Well, mostly EMMA got so much stuff! I have NO idea where we're going to put all these new toys! We're working on figuring that out still. Of course, as soon as we get one type of toy organized and put away, Emma pulls it out again...so it's taking awhile to figure out. That and crawling around on the floor at 39 weeks pregnant with bad carpal tunnel while having mild contractions isn't exactly easy LOL!

Anyway, we have been SO blessed this Christmas. In our mystery stockings, we each got some clothes. John and I got athletic-y type pants and both kids got warm fleece shirt and pants sets. John also got A Christmas Carol DVD, an orange, and...oh I can't remember what else he had in his off the top of my head. I also got some bath stuff, slippers, and some candy in mine. Emma got a green ducky, cheese and crackers, a hat and mittens set, and...I think that's everything? Everything is spread out all over our living room, so it's hard to keep track! The shirt and pants set is even in her current size, though it looks a bit big so I may put it in with the next size up stuff - which is what we need most anyway. Baby Hyrum got a couple of baby toys (which Emma keeps trying to steal) in addition to his cute warm outfit. No food for him, cuz, well, he's just going to nurse for the first few months anyway;)

Seriously, whoever left us these mystery stockings was truly inspired (and I hope they read this so I can properly thank them and so they know just how awesome they are). How could they possibly have known I needed new slippers? I even forgot I needed new slippers! My old ones are in such disrepair that I never wear them, and therefore rarely even think about them. And the bath stuff? I have been taking SO many baths lately - and therefore using up more and more of my nice smelling bubble baths. Also, with my allergies, I have to be careful about which ones I use. Many of the floral ones are too strong for me, but then there are other floral ones that I absolutely LOVE. And they got me rose scented ones - my FAVORITE floral scent:D One I rarely have allergy issues with, too:) Also, Emma LOVES rubber duckies. Loves them. Bonus points that this one is green, too, since we're pretty sure it's her favorite color. And she loves those little cheese and cracker snacks. She also needed another winter hat, too, since the only other one she has is a bit snug and isn't nearly as cute as the one she got for Christmas. She's also obsessed with putting gloves/mittens on her hands. Really, everything we got in these stockings was perfect for us. So, to the sweet people who put them together, THANK YOU!!! <3

As for our other gifts, I got: a 1 TB external hard drive from my parents, a 3 cup food chopper from John (I asked for it - but it didn't work, so he took it back the next day and for only $7 more upgraded to a much nicer 8 cup food processor; after Christmas sales rock), pretty homemade earrings from John's sister Rebecca, the aforementioned scarf from Jessica, and more bath stuff. And of course, more candy than I need. I know my sister and John's mom have gifts for me too that just aren't here yet. But all in all, I'm very satisfied with what I got:)

John got: the first 3 Fablehaven books in a boxed set from me (LOL, and I'm now reading his present - he checked them out from the library over the summer and said he'd love to own them someday), The Tale of Desperaux on DVD (cute movie - I think we've watched it 5x or more already. Emma loves it), a green fuzzy blanket from Victoria (which Emma has completely usurped - she's sleeping with it now), a book from Nathan and Jessica, and a homemade navy blue fleece scarf from Rebecca.

And Emma. Oooh Emma. She got SO much stuff! From us she got: a bead maze, a homemade kitchen roll up playmat, homemade bean bags, 2 coloring books, a glitter baton (she picked it out at the dollar store), a toy baby bottle with the fake orange juice in it (which broke within 5 minutes of opening...it fell ONE FOOT onto the tile floor. Taking it back to The Dollar Tree soon), a tambourine, a couple of books, and a bunch of candy. Ok, so when I list it, it sounds like we got her a lot...but almost all of those gifts were a dollar or less. The most we spent on one gift was under $12. Yeah, we're cheap. Ok poor. Plus, I knew what my mom was up to...

My parents got her (you ready for this?): a TON of play food (which I gave my sister credit for), a little toy stove (which she LOVES - sadly, she doesn't seem interested in the one I made, though:(), lots of toy kitchen accessories, a twin baby doll set with lots of toy baby furniture (I think this is TOTALLY her favorite), 2 My Little Ponies (they look so weird now!), lots of books (including a potty training book that says "age 5+" on it LOL - sorry, but there's NO WAY she'll be in diapers that long!), a couple of play books with little velcro animals, a playable piano book, a couple of backpacks, a snap bracelet, 3 aprons (one homemade - I got a matching one, too, but we decided to do these early so we could use them sooner), some doll clothes, and Christmas jammies. Phew. See what I mean about my mom? And we've got another package in the mail from her with some PJs in the next size up (we desperately need them, though).

Emma also got an adorable homemade apron from Rebecca, some cute clothes from Paul Kari and Nason (and baby Hyrum got some from them, too:)), a scarf from Jessica (mentioned previously), and another play food set from cousins Rachel and Alex (and their parents;)).

Hm, did I leave anything out? I THINK I got it all; there's so much it's hard to be sure! In any case, we totally made out like bandits this year!! And Emma JUST had her birthday last month, too! We're seriously drowning in toys. Need to go through them AGAIN - even though we JUST did that!

But yeah, we had an AWESOME Christmas! Here are some pre-edited pics (what can I say, I'm feeling lazy right now. I'll edit them when I scrap them) for your enjoyment:

Emma and I in our matching aprons (while making/decorating/eating sugar cookies before Christmas):

Our tree and presents:

Our gingerbread house (made with a kit):

Our stuffed stockings:

Emma coloring in her Christmas PJs while reading the Christmas story:

Traditional Christmas Breakfast:

The aftermath:

I have an adorable video to post, but I'm having issues getting it uploaded. Grrr. It's 4 measly MB too big for Photobucket - and I have a Pro account. I know nothing about compressing videos, either. A friend recommended Vimeo awhile back, but I'm having issues getting it up THERE, too. Their uploader hates me or something. It's way too big for 4shared and blogger, too. Speaking of...

So for the first time ever, I used blogger's photo uploader to upload these pics...and it is a major pain in the butt! It sucks! It puts the pics up in the reverse order that I want them and sticks them at the very beginning of the post automatically! Grrr! No, it should post them where I leave the cursor, dang it - that's where I want them! And they should be in the ORDER I specify, too. Yeah, I'll keep doing the Photobucket copy link thing I've been doing all along instead. Sure, I can edit it, but I'd rather not have to when I already have the cursor where I want them anyway. And the reverse order thing? LAME. Good thing I know html well enough to move things where I want them. Their code is sloppy looking, too. And the "large" image size is 200 pixels smaller than what I usually put up. Lame. Blogger photo uploader = total crap. *ahem* yeah. Not impressed. [/end mini rant]

Anyway. If anyone knows about compressing/editing videos down to 300 MB or lower (for free), I'd love to know! My super cute video is 304 MB! It's SO adorable! And I want to share it! But I guess this will have to suffice for now;) Hey, at least you get some (unedited and way too small) pictures, right?

Now to end on a positive note. Life is good:) We had a great Christmas and we're having a baby very soon. Let's hope my next post is a birth announcement! Or at least an "I'm in labor and headed to the hospital" announcement. But most likely, it will be of the cute video I want to share once I figure out how to get it uploaded;) But that's great, too:)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm SO excited about Christmas this year. I hope everyone has a great day with loved ones and good food. For those who celebrate Christmas for its true meaning, I hope you feel the love of our Savior today and remember Him.

As for our plans, first we're going to have our traditional Christmas breakfast of crescent rolls baked with cream cheese and chocolate chips inside. Yum. So easy, but SO good! It's one of John's family's traditions and I have absolutely no objection to continuing it! LOL, in fact, I first heard about this tradition from John's youngest brother when we made magic bars on our first date - and his brother invited me over for Christmas so I could try it!! That was an awkward moment - the only one I had the entire date - and mainly because I wasn't sure how I should respond to it. I shrugged my shoulders and said, "hmm, maybe, we'll see" or something like that. I didn't want to say "NO" because, um, I like John and didn't want to be rude. But I also didn't want to be all eager like "yeah, I totally want to come because I'm majorly in love with your brother even though this is our first date" kind of thing. Ironically, we ended up getting married just 4 days before Christmas that year - so I wound up being there as part of the family!

Oh, and we had an awesome anniversary:D Everything went according to plan except for the watching a movie part - and several delays made everything take longer. It was just too late by the time we got dinner and everything. That, and neither of us really felt like watching a movie anyway. And John had to work the next day. But we did have a nice, yummy, and romantic steak dinner by candlelight followed by some relaxing cuddle time.

Aaaanyway. Back to our Christmas plans. While we wait for breakfast to cook, we plan to read the scriptural account of Jesus' birth and talk about what Christmas is REALLY about. Then we'll eat and move on to stockings and presents. Maybe it sounds mean keeping a kid from her presents right away, but I know that if we do presents first, she won't listen to the story. She'll want to play with her toys instead. I don't know how much she'll actually listen at 2 anyway. But I DID print out some cute Christmas pictures from our church's website for her to color while we read - shepherds, Mary and baby Jesus, wisemen, etc.

I'm excited to watch Emma open her presents:) Especially now that she's old enough to get what's going on. We keep talking to her about Christmas and everything and when we mention presents, she smiles and whispers presents with anticipation in her eyes. It's so cute. I think she'll love what she's getting:) I wrapped the vast majority of them (Mom sent her presents unwrapped because she knows I LOVE wrapping presents) so I know what most of them are, but there are a few things under the tree that I'm clueless about. Should be fun! LOL, I'm more excited to see Emma's mystery gifts than my own! But I only have a few presents under the tree and I know what most of them are anyway.

After presents, we'll just hang out and eventually start on Christmas dinner. Really, it all depends on what time we get up and started and such. And how long everything takes. Things always take longer than we expect them to. But we're going to Nathan and Jessica (John's sister)'s for Christmas dinner around 5 PM. We have a few gifts for them, too. We're all in similar financial situations, so we agreed to do really inexpensive gifts. Jessica made their gifts for us and we shopped at the Dollar Tree. I think they'll like what we got them, though:) TOTALLY perfect for them. Especially Nathan's:D

As for food, I'm making a roast. Yes, at 38.5 weeks pregnant. But really, it'll mostly cook itself in the crock pot anyway. Super easy. We'll also have mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, pies, etc. Don't worry, John and I aren't doing ALL the cooking! We've split things up evenly:)

And we'll play it by ear from there. We'll probably hang out with them over there for awhile and just enjoy being together and such. It'll be nice and relaxing. Maybe we'll go drive around and look at Christmas lights afterwards, since that's one of the activities I really wanted to do that we just haven't had time for yet. Though really, it depends on how late it is and how tired/grouchy Emma is by the time we leave. After Emma goes to bed, John and I might watch a movie. Again, it depends on how late it is and how tired John is since he has to work the next morning. Ah, the joys of retail jobs.

Oh, and once again, I'm almost a week late in posting about my last OB appointment. I have another on Monday unless I go into labor before then. Anyway, everything looked great. I gained 3 lbs since the previous week, but my OB said it's probably all just water weight at this point. I've still only gained 17 lbs total, so I can't really complain. I look and feel like a blimp, though! I'm definitely looking forward to no more swelling! I'd like to be able to wear my wedding ring again, thanks. I've been wearing a pretty green and silver Celtic ring I bought in Dublin back in 2004. It works, but it's just not the same. Anyway. I got checked at my appointment and it wasn't that bad. I guess I'm just haunted by the pre-epidural checking while in active labor from last time. As of Monday, I am 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Of course, that could mean anything! We'll find out more this coming Monday - or sooner if labor hits between now and then. His head is low, but I'm still pretty high. For those of you who want those TMI details LOL!

I have a sweet story to share. We have been incredibly blessed this holiday season by the generosity of others. Not just this holiday season, though - our friends and family are incredibly supportive ALL the time. But more on that later. I have a specific story I want to tell first. On Monday night (our anniversary), while we were baking sugar cookies for family home evening, there was a knock at the door. I got to the door pretty quickly, but no one was there. I looked down and saw a big bag with 4 full stockings in it! Each stocking has one of our names on it - including one for our baby who isn't even here yet! They're STUFFED to the brim. We have NO idea who left them, other than the fact that they know what we're naming our son - so clearly it's someone who knows us well enough for that. I don't know exactly what's in them yet; John said we should wait till Christmas. But I can see some of what's poking out the top and John got a DVD, I got some slippers (which I needed anyway - my old ones are totally shot), and it looks like both kids got some clothes and toys. We just feel SO blessed and thankful that someone thought of us and went to all the effort to do this for us. Isn't that just so sweet of them? And the fact that they gave them to us on our anniversary just added to the specialness of the day:D

Another awesome story: we got a package from Val (geniaBeana Scraps - I'm on her CT) FULL of little girl clothes and shoes in the sizes we need, and some little boy clothes, too! Kimi (recently retired Kimi's Kreations and very close friend) made me a Mei Tai baby carrier and sent it along with some cute baby boy clothes, too. Man, these girls are the best! I love my friends:) Thanks for being awesome!

Speaking of friends, my friend Vicki tagged me! I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy. LOL, I'm going to cheat and re-use my thankful list from Thanksgiving;) Hey, it's not cheating if it's my own work, right? And I put a lot of thought into making it in the first place. But I'll add some details to each one. I wanted to write more then anyway, but it wouldn't fit on the page without looking cluttered. Here's the page I posted for Thanksgiving, followed by a more detailed version of the list in text form:

Autumnal - geniaBeana Scraps
Wordart - Elegant Wordart

10 Things That Make Me Happy:

1. My faith and religion. I would not be who I am without this; I would not have the wonderful life I have if it weren't for what I believe. It is my faith and my attempts to follow my Savior that bring TRUE happiness to my life.

2. My sweet, loving, and supportive husband. I am SO blessed to be married to John. He is such a sweetheart. He makes me laugh and he always shows me how much he loves me. Being with him truly makes me happy.

3. Our beautiful little girl and our little boy on the way. Children are SUCH an amazing blessing. They definitely have their challenges, but every good thing in life does. Emma always makes me smile and laugh, just by being her cute self. I know our son will bring the same kind of joy to my life - once he finally listens to the eviction notice I wrote him! But in all seriousness, I know that he will add just as much happiness to my life as Emma does.

4. Loving, supportive, and generous friends and family. I am SO grateful for the love and support of our friends and family! Many of them have gone above and beyond to help us out when we needed it most. I only hope I can do the same for them.

5. The freedoms of our country. I love living in a country where I have the freedom to say, think, or believe what I want. The fact that I have all these rights makes me happy.

6. A warm, comfortable home. It is so nice to have a warm, cozy place to come home to - especially at this time of year when it's SO cold outside!

7. Food on the table. Who DOESN'T love food? Having food in my fridge and in my cabinets is such a simple thing, but such a blessing! I have to remind myself that there are others who don't have this simple luxury.

8. Clothing to wear. See above. Again, a simple thing, but so many people in this world don't have this. I'm abundantly blessed in this department - despite the fact that the vast majority of my wardrobe currently doesn't fit!

9. Good health. I know I complain a lot about the various discomforts of pregnancy, but I am SO happy and grateful that my baby and I are both perfectly healthy. The fact that I can even GET pregnant is a wonderful blessing - one that I need to keep in mind more often. I know many women struggle with infertility or miscarriages and I am grateful I have never had to experience that pain. We've also managed to stay relatively sick-free this cold and flu season so far - let's hope it continues that way!

10. Modern conveniences. You know, things like electricity, indoor plumbing, forced air heating, AC (well, in the car at least - that's the only place we have it), home appliances (fridge, stove, oven, washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, Kitchen Aide mixer, etc), computers, Photoshop CS4, internet, cell phones...basic "necessities" in our modern age. LOVE THEM. They make me happy:) And I'm hopelessly addicted to them.

And now I'm supposed to tag others. So many of my friends have already done this and I can't keep track of who has and who hasn't. Plus, I don't even know who I know in real life reads my blog here anyway! Sooo...instead of tagging specific people, I'm going to tag...YOU. Yes, you read that right - you. But here's the catch - you have to comment with a link to your blog so I can see YOUR list:)

Which reminds me. I added word verification to decrease spam comments. Sorry if that annoys you, but I don't really want the spam! Evil spammers...bleh. Anyway. It's 6 AM, I haven't gone to bed yet, and I still need to shower and make peppermint bark (with MILK chocolate because white chocolate is NOT chocolate). Hm, should prove to be an interesting day! But it'll be good because it's Christmas! I'll MAKE it be good - I've been looking forward to Christmas for too long to be a grouch!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Anniversary, Christmas Excitement, and Template 56

Happy anniversary to us!! John and I have now been married for 3 wonderful years. We've had our ups and downs (mostly ups), of course, but we've pulled through all our trials triumphantly - and as such, are stronger together than ever before. It's strange to think it's already been 3 years. And yet, at the same time, I feel like we've known each other forever. Maybe that's because I know we will:)

We've been having some challenges that test our patience lately, such as a teething 2 year old, the last few weeks of pregnancy, and finals week and its accompanying stress. But the semester is now officially OVER. Hallelujah!! Can I just say how grateful I am that I'M done with school? Because I can't even imagine the stress we'd have right now if we were both taking classes. Heh, there's a reason things happen the way they do. I wouldn't have been able to cope with the stress of being in school and a mom at the same time. The women who do both at the same time amaze me.

Anyway, total tangent. Since it's our anniversary, I want to share a little bit about how wonderful my sweet husband is. Warning: this will get sappy;) Words can't encompass his goodness. He isn't perfect, and sometimes his faults and shortcomings drive me crazy (I'm sure mine are MUCH more irritating though!), but he truly is the sweetest man I've ever known. He is ALWAYS willing to help, even when he has tons of other things he needs to do. He helps me with cooking, cleaning, and child care. Yes, he even changes diapers - more often than I do these days! He does the dishes, takes out the garbage, and cleans out the fridge - my 3 LEAST favorite chores - so that I don't have to. He loves me and treats me so much better than I feel I deserve.

Here's a recent example of just how awesome he is. Saturday night, John was asked to go help someone in need. While he was gone, I started giving Emma a bath. It was all fun and games...until she pooped in the tub. Ew. I pulled her out, drained the water, then thought, "now what?" We were home alone. I couldn't exactly stick her back in the tub until the poop got all cleaned up. But she needed to be scrubbed down cuz, ew, she'd been sitting in her own poop. I grabbed a clean wash cloth, got it wet and soapy, and started to wash her off with it. It was then that John came home. He got all the poop out of the tub and helped me hose Emma down with the shower head over the tub (nobody got in the tub, of course! Ew!). John dried her off and got her dressed while I filled the tub with a bleach and water solution to soak. Then, after we let it soak awhile, John scrubbed the tub and bath toys down. I was going to do it, but he didn't want me to be around all the chemicals:) LOL, now I'm glad I didn't clean the tub a few days back when I cleaned the rest of the bathroom! It would have been pointless!

John is sweet, kind, and loving. He always does little things for me, like leave cute little love notes on the bathroom mirror or rub my back or feet. He is very supportive and understanding. He is never upset about the house not being perfectly clean or dinner not being on the table when he gets home. He doesn't have unrealistic expectations for me. He understands that being a mom is hard work and constantly thanks me for what I do (even though 90% of the time I feel like I don't do all that much).

John is THE best daddy in the whole world! He plays with Emma, cuddles her, and still has patience with her when I don't. Emma just ADORES him. Other children are automatically drawn to him, too. Yeah, he's THAT guy that every child just loves and wants to play with. He loves kids, too. At church activities, every time I turn around he's holding SOMEone's kid!

But most importantly, John is spiritual and faithful. He truly lives his beliefs. This, and his kindness, are what attracted me to him. And really, his kindness is BECAUSE he lives what he believes. I am grateful to know that I can call on him to bless our family in times of need because of the way he lives his life. I try to live the same way, but I think he does it better;) He is a great example to me of how to be Christlike. He makes me want to be a better person. I am SO grateful I married John. He truly is the best man for me:D

As for our anniversary plans, John works during the day. He gets off at 2, but I have an OB appointment at 4:10. 38 weeks! Woohoo! They want to check for dilation, so that's not going to be particularly enjoyable. I want to know, yes, but it's just SO uncomfortable! Then, we'll all go to the library to look at the current books and movies selection. We have family home evening every Monday night, so we're going to do some fun things for that. The current plan is to make and decorate sugar cookies. Then, after Emma goes to bed, John and I will have a nice romantic steak dinner by candlelight with sparkling cider. Yum. I haven't entirely decided how I'm going to marinate the steak yet, though. Hmm. Any suggestions? Then we'll relax, probably watch Harry Potter 6 - our joint gift to each other this year since money is so tight - and then go to bed. Should be fun! I hope it works out as well in real life as it does in my head! Our anniversary last year was rather anti-climatic. We were snowed in at my parents' house...it was kind of depressing. So hopefully this year will be MUCH better!

Of course, our plans could always be changed by this little thing called LABOR...but that'd be ok with me!! I don't think it's very likely, though. But you never know. Our hospital makes a steak dinner for the parents after a baby is born, so either way, we're gettin' steak! And their food is actually decent, too;)

In other news, I am getting SO excited for Christmas this year! I love Christmas!! I've been planning for it since early October. Since I'm due so close to Christmas, we clearly aren't traveling anywhere this year. But that's actually what I wanted this year, anyway - even before we discovered we were having a baby. Last year was SO stressful when we traveled home and spent most of our vacation snowed in at my parents' house where we ALL had major cabin fever. I like that this year we'll get to have a nice, quiet Christmas with just our little family, followed by a yummy dinner with Nathan and Jessica. I'm really looking forward to it:)

Another thing that makes this year so fun for me is that Emma is now old enough to get what's going on. It's been SO fun picking out what to get her for Christmas! And decorating is always fun, too. Emma LOVES the Christmas tree and other decorations. And then there's all the wonderful music. But, of course, the most important thing is teaching her what Christmas is really about. I love that she's getting it - to some degree at least.

We haven't done any of our holiday baking yet. Mainly that's because I was majorly slacking about going to the store. That, and our kitchen is a disaster area. It's getting better, though. We're going to make sugar cookies, peppermint bark (but with milk chocolate instead of white chocolate), and, of course, FUDGE. The Christmas season is not complete if it doesn't include fudge!

It's really fun to get to play Santa Claus this year. This is the first time I get to stuff the stockings and all that fun stuff. And I've ALWAYS loved wrapping presents. As a child, Mom would put me to work wrapping gifts because I love it so much. It's fun. LOL, she frequently had me wrap my OWN presents! At least the clothing packaged up in department store gift boxes - or the ones I picked out myself. I just love making presents look pretty. I like to use pretty wrapping paper and bows and ribbons and everything. It's just so much fun!

Anyway. All our presents are wrapped and under the tree - and Emma has been surprisingly good about leaving them alone. Our tree has been up since just before Thanksgiving (I know, I know...we were so impatient to get it up, though!). We have lots of other decorations up, like 2 nativities, stockings, block letters that spell JOY, a gingerbread house we put together, a couple of little houses and figures, and a few other random things. It's been so fun! Oh, and I made some cute snowflakes and snowmen for our front window. We'll leave them up all winter since we'll have snow until March or April.

Anyway, I'm excited. It'll be so fun to see everyone's reactions to their gifts! I have 2 gifts under the tree, and I know what both of them are because I picked them out (LOL, I even wrapped one of them). The only surprise gift I'll be getting is from Nathan and Jessica (as far as I know). But that's ok - I like getting gifts I actually want/pick out best anyway! It's more fun to get things for everyone else.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a Christmas card. Well, as cute as that one is, I decided I wanted to do another one instead! I wanted something more traditional and classic. Bright colors are fun and all, but I'm more into the traditional shades of red and green. So I made this card and letter instead and emailed it to friends and family:

Close up of the card pages:

Holiday Sugar Cookies blog train; portions by: geniaBeana Scraps, Shelleyrae Designs, Trish H Designs, Wimpychompers Creations, Wyld Web Designs, Color with Caryn, Bon Scrapatit Designs, Jennifer Fox Designs, and KimB Designs.

Didn't it turn out so cute? I'm happy with it, anyway:) The hardest part was getting semi-decent pics of Emma. That kid is SO hard to photograph! She always wants to see the camera. She LOVES seeing pictures of herself on it. But...how can I TAKE them if she's always coming around to look at them?! Gyah. Either that, or she's making funny faces or looking in the opposite direction. I have SO many back-of-the-head shots it's not even funny. Oh, and of course, when I finally DO get a pic with a cute expression, she either has food all over her face, red eye, or the lighting is horrible. Usually all 3...*sigh* Or worse - totally out of focus. But sometimes the basic shot itself is so cute I have to use it anyway. I want a digital SLR so bad. But that's not gonna happen for a VERY long time, so I'll have to make do with what I've got.

Anyway, today's template is based off the 2nd half of the card. Simple, but effective. Template 56 is a 12x12 template in PSD format. Here's the preview:

You can download it here.

*sigh* And Emma's awake again. I went to use the bathroom a bit ago and, while there, heard knocking. Sure enough, Emma was knocking on her bedroom door. It's the middle of the night. She should be sleeping! John's watching her for a bit so I can finish this post (I was almost done anyway). Time to go help him put her back to bed! Hopefully you're all sleeping better than we are!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Template 55, Scrap it to me Tuesday, and Happy Things

This post WILL be positive, as promised! And there's a free template at the end to boot:)

First of all, I had an OB appointment again today. I go every week now, so unless I go into labor between now and Monday, you'll likely be reading about another next week! Anyway, everything looks great. I haven't gained any weight this week, which is amazing considering how many holiday treats I've enjoyed! We have a lot of generous friends and family who keep bringing things over...and I end up eating most of them! So at 37 weeks, my total weight gain is 14 lbs! Awesome! Blood pressure was great and I'm measuring right on track. Baby is head down and I passed the group strep B test. I took it last week and got the results today. Woohoo! I purposefully did NOT get checked for dilation. It's not exactly enjoyable and I've had no indication of labor yet, so it seems pointless to put myself through the discomfort. Now all that's left is to have this baby! Oh, and I should start packing my hospital bag soon, too;) At least I made my list of what to pack. That's a start, right? ;)

But he can't come until Friday at the earliest - it's finals week for John!! Oh I can't tell you how much we're looking forward to the end of the semester!! Only 4 more days. John's going to be insanely busy this week while he tries to finish everything up, but we'll get there. Just 4 more days till freedom!! At least until classes start up again on January 5th - the day AFTER my due date. Please let us have a 2009 baby!! But he'll come when he's ready and not before. I don't believe in being induced unless there's a legitimate medical reason for it. Wanting the tax credit isn't a good enough reason in my opinion. But I'll try non-drug ways of getting him out before then;) Don't worry, I won't try castor oil - that just sounds nasty and not healthy at all. Blech.

I finally got a good look at Emma's teeth tonight. Not only is she cutting the top 2 eye teeth, but she's cutting the bottom ones as well! 4 eye teeth at once? No wonder she's been so cranky lately! The top 2 look like they've just started poking through the gums a teeny tiny bit. The bottom ones are getting close, too. As miserable as I'm sure she feels, I'm glad she's getting all 4 at once - just so we can get this whole cutting of teeth over and done with as soon as possible. With how late of a teether she is, she probably won't cut her last set of molars till she's 3 anyway. LOL, just in time for her brother to start getting teeth, if he's anything like Emma. Wouldn't it be ironic if Emma cut her last molars as her baby brother cuts his first set of teeth? Knowing my luck, that's how it will be!

I promised another cute Emma story yesterday, but I got so worked up over other things that I never posted it. So here it is! Because she was awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, we missed the first 2 hours of church - which is when Emma goes to nursery. Well, after church, Emma and I were hanging out in the building while we waited for John to do some financial things before choir practice for the Christmas fireside that night. Emma went down the hall and stood right outside the room where she has nursery! She even got the right door! There are several other nursery classrooms down that hallway (I think 3 or 4 total?) and she KNEW which one was hers! She very clearly wanted to go in. But there was another nursery going at the time, so of course I couldn't let her. She listened to them sing, though. Through one of the other doors, she heard them singing Popcorn Popping, which is one of her favorite songs. As they sang, she did all the hand motions from the other side of the door! It was adorable! I'm SO glad she loves nursery!! Some kids have a hard time with it and I'm grateful Emma has loved it from day one.

If you read the previous post, you'll know that Emma now freaks out if we close her bedroom door for naps or bedtime and that lately she wakes up when we try to close it after she's asleep. Well, for the last several mornings, I've been awakened not by her chatting to herself in her room, but to a soft little knock at my bedroom door! Thankfully, she comes to get me BEFORE she goes out into the living area. I know she comes to get me right away because sometimes I'm already awake and just laying comfortably in my bed.

Speaking of how adorable Emma is, last week someone on BAM (the mommy forum I frequent) posted a thread called "what does your toddler do that you love." She also had a "what does your toddler do that drives you crazy" thread, but I opted to only respond to the first since I really need to focus more on the positive right now. So, I thought I'd share what I wrote there with you here:) Here's my post:

I LOVE when she says in her sweet little voice, "love you, Mommy." It makes me melt every time.

I love her hugs and kisses. She also does the smacking "mmmmwa" sound when she kisses us and it's SO cute.

I love her smile. It's so sweet.

I love when she kisses my belly or points to it and says "baby" or when we ask her where her baby brother is, she points at my belly and says, "right there."

I love when she comes to sit on my lap (which is quickly evaporating), just to cuddle with me or have me read to her.

I love the way she says "please please" and "thank you" - especially when the thank you is a "thanks, Mommy" or "thank you, Mommy."

I love her laugh. It's so contagious and fun!

I love when she tries to tickle us and says, "tickle tickle tickle." She recently started saying, "No, I tickle you" when we tickle her.

I love when she points out colors and tells us what they are - "it's green," etc. (I think green is her favorite color, which is fun because it's my favorite too.)

I love how calm she (usually) is after a time out. She says, "sorry, Mommy" or "sorry, Daddy" and says she's sorry for whatever the offense was (hitting, etc) and then gives us a hug.

I love how sweet and sensitive she is. When she hears a baby cry, she says, "baby crying" and wants to go comfort the baby. When she sees that someone is sad or hurt, she has a concerned look on her little face and clearly wants to help them. It's SO sweet!

I love to hear her talk to John on the phone. She'll say, "hi, Daddy," "love you, Daddy," "bye, Daddy," etc. She also does this for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and for me (on the rare occasion I'm not there with her LOL) - when she's in the mood, that is!

I love how she ALWAYS wants to help with everything. She loves to help with the laundry, dishes, garbage, cooking, and cleaning up spills (which she's usually the cause of anyway).

I love when she sings along and dances to her favorite songs, or quotes parts of her favorite movies while we watch them together.

I love how excited she gets about simple things, like snow, going to the store, going to church, etc.

I love how she loves to play with other kids. We're working on the sharing thing, but she's getting better.

I love when she listens to us explain things and then totally gets it and follows through - from simple commands to explanations of "we have to carry you in the parking lot, but once we get in the store you can get down and walk."

I love how smart she is and how well she remembers people and things. For instance, she always points at the vacuum and says, "Tori vacuum" because Aunt Victoria comes over to vacuum for us (now that Emma has developed an extreme fear of the vacuum...). Or when we ate the last of the cookies our neighbor Nicole gave us and I told her Nicole lived in the apartment above us. Several hours later, at the tail end of a busy day, I asked her who lived above us, and she said, "Cole."

I love that she is a great sleeper (except when teething) and wakes up happily chatting to herself most mornings. I love that she sleeps in till at LEAST 8-8:30 (lately it's been more like 10-10:30, but we've had a lot of late/difficult nights with the whole teething thing).

< /end cuteness >

Isn't she just the cutest and sweetest little girl ever?! We think so! She definitely has her moments, but you know what, so do I!

I have some Christmasy stuff to write about, but I think this is plenty of reading material for tonight! Aside from the scrapping stuff, which is coming up next! I'll write about all our Christmas activities so far next time.

And now for Scrap it to me Tuesday! I missed out on it last week, what with all the craziness going on that week. I actually haven't technically finished a page since then, so I'll just post the ones I meant to post last week instead! I've done some scrapping since, but I'm not sure if the pages I was working on are complete yet. I'm still trying to find JUST the right picture for one of them and I may have to start over to get it just right. Taking pics of Emma is exceptionally difficult. More on that another day.

Anyway. Scrap it to me Tuesday is a fun thing Chanin is doing over on her blog. Click on the banner below to find out more!

Here are my LOs for "this" week:

I used geniaBeana's gorgeous new kit, Dream a Little Dream, on sale at both Elemental Scraps and GoDigitalScrapbooking.com for 30% off. Isn't it just beautiful?

For Sunday Nap, I also used one of geniaBeana's templates from her new template pack:

And now for a free template! Template 55 is a 12x12 template in PSD format. Here's the preview:

You can download it here.

Enjoy! I always love hearing back from you:) Now hopefully soon I'll be able to get some much-needed sleep! Night all!

Monday, December 14, 2009


First of all, in my last post, I mentioned my grandma had a stroke. Well, as it turns out, she did NOT have a stroke. But it totally looked like she did. No, what happened was she took a fistful of pills in a suicide attempt...to be honest, we're all kind of mad at her, to varying degrees. Our family has ENOUGH stress going on right now, what with my uncle's (her SON'S) cancer treatments and surgeries. She's clearly not in her right mind to pull a stunt like that - especially at a time like this. It's like she has to make HIS illness all about HER. She is currently in the psych ward for a 5-day evaluation, which will likely be followed by some time in a rest home where she can be monitored further. Personally, I think she (and Grandpa) should permanently be placed in a rest home...especially with all their hospital stays. But that's just my opinion.

I'm mostly mad at her for my mom's sake. Mom's been bending over backwards to help my grandparents and uncle for YEARS. LONG before we found out her brother has cancer (we found out in August). It's a 45-60 min drive to their house and she drives up there ALL the time. She cleans for them, she buys groceries for them, she does their laundry, etc. And she runs up there all the time in a panic whenever any sort of emergency occurs - often to find out there isn't any recourse for the wolf-cry. I can't tell you HOW many times Grandma has called Mom and said, "Grandpa is dying, Grandpa is dying!" and Mom has dropped everything, jumped in the car, drove all the way up there bawling her eyes out...only to find out he's FINE. Or at least, as fine as a 91 year old man can be. And for the last several weeks, my uncle has stayed at my parents' house post-surgery since he'd obviously get better care there than at home with his 91 and 85 year old parents. He wanted to go home on Friday, and despite Mom's protests that all they'd do is fight when he got there, he went home. And of course, she was right. Friday night is when Grandma had her little OD suicide attempt. Lovely, huh?

Aaaaanyway. I could rant for hours on this subject and it really wouldn't do anyone any good. So on to more positive things!

First of all, I am now at 37 weeks!! Woohoo!! Only 3 weeks till my due date! And, as I've said about a million times, hopefully he'll decide to come before then. Preferably in 2009 so we can get the child tax credit sooner. I honestly have no idea how we'll be able to pay John's dental bills without it. So really, we NEED him to come this year. Just not until Friday at the earliest, since this week is finals week for John! And not on Christmas or Christmas Eve. But any other time would be awesome!

I'm definitely ready to be done being pregnant. At least on several levels. I'm not sure how ready I am to have 2 kids to care for, but I think it'll be easier to take care of them when this little guy is OUT of me rather than still in! My patience has worn thin lately. The fact that I haven't been able to sleep at night is definitely not helping. That, plus pregnancy discomforts and hormones, a teething 2 year old, and the stress of John finishing up the semester.

We've all been sleep deprived around here lately. Emma, too. Bedtime and naptime have been so screwed up lately. She totally fights both. She's also taken to screaming when she doesn't get her way...we're working on nipping that in the bud, but it's SO hard to be patient with her when she's screaming at us! Especially when it's over something stupid like wanting water in a real cup and not a sippy. I guess I deserve that, since I had a super high pitch blood curdling scream as a child. But hey, it makes me a good soprano;) So needless to say, life's been stressful for our little family! But we're surviving - hopefully to the best of our ability. Trying to stay positive. Trying being the operative word here.

But yeah, the issues we've been having with Emma lately are making me question how we'll survive the transition from 1 kid to 2. And whether I even want to consider having more later. At this point, I don't even want to think about it. I keep hoping these issues are just teething related, but I don't know. I think they mostly are, but there's also the fact that she's a 2 year old and she probably also senses the impending change to our family dynamics. Once we have the baby, we can all adjust accordingly. Yet another reason I want him to come out sooner rather than later!

I also want my face back. I know I won't fully get my body all to myself until he's at least a year, since I plan to nurse him for at least that long. But I'm sick of having a puffy swollen face. I don't even look like myself anymore. My face was chubbier than I wanted it to be BEFORE I got pregnant - now it's even worse with all this swelling! I want my wrist to go back to normal, too. This whole carpal tunnel thing is getting old fast. I can't even wash dishes without being in extreme pain. Or change a diaper or give Emma a bath. Thankfully, I have a sweet husband who takes care of that for me:)

I want to be able to zip my coat up again. It's COLD here! We've had "feels like -20" days recently. And I can't even zip up my coat. Thankfully, I stayed home on the worst days! I also want to be able to wear my nice gloves again. I can't fit them over my wrist brace and the other only barely fits my other swollen hand. I CAN wear stretchy gloves, at least, but they itch so I only wear them when necessary. I can't tell you HOW grateful I am that I can still wear my cute flat boots, though!! A definite must-have with all the snow we get each year.

I want my wardrobe choices to expand. I'm realistic and experienced enough to know I won't get back to my ideal size right away (if ever). But as my belly gets bigger, my wearable wardrobe gets smaller. Since I'm due in 3 weeks, there's no point (or money) to bother with getting larger maternity clothes. I just have to make due with what I've got. But it makes getting dressed a frustrating experience. Thankfully, I don't have to go out all that often and I live in PJs when I'm home. Unfortunately, my PJ options are decreasing all the time. Just 3 more weeks, just 3 more weeks...or less, if I have my way!

Anyway, this was supposed to turn more positive LOL! I DO have some sweet things to share, so let's move on to those now.

Gotta give a little history on the first story. Back in October, Emma decided that she can't stand to be in her room with the door shut. It's not a fear of the dark thing because she does it for naps as well. So we'll leave the door open a crack while she falls asleep and then close it once we know she's totally out. Lately, however, since she's been teething and not sleeping as well in general, she wakes up when we try to close it. So most of the time, I just don't bother trying and leave it open. Fast forward to last night. As you probably know (if you read my posts often enough, that is), I haven't been able to sleep until some crazy hour every night since I hit 3rd tri. I frequently take relaxing baths during my late nights, which then evolve into showers for the hair washing portion. Well last night, I had just gotten out of one of these bath/showers and was drying off when I heard a soft tapping/knocking sound at the door. At 4:30 in the morning. I knew what it was before I opened the door. Sure enough, there was a wide-awake little Emma right outside the bathroom door. With a couple of bath toys in tow. It was cute, but it took us a good hour and a half or more to get her back to sleep...we missed most of church as a result.

*sigh* and it's around that same time now and I think she might be waking up. Oh please no. I already JUST found out about something that absolutely infuriates me. Like, while I was in the middle of this entry found out. I got auto-charged for webhosting that I am CANCELING before I could even get in the system to cancel it (long explanation, don't want to get into it)...and we set it up so that payment was supposed to be MANUAL, not auto. Auto-pay = EVIL. Called customer service (at 4 AM), getting refund, but I didn't have the money (one of the reasons I was canceling in the first place - that and I haven't used it in over a year anyway) so now I'm overdrawn...grrrrrrr. And have nothing to cover it with in the meantime. Refund is being expedited and they'll TRY to do so within 24 hours. But who knows how long it will REALLY take. Yeah, I'm MAD. I can't handle a cranky 2 year old in the middle of the night right now. But it's not like I can sleep right now, either. Too worked up over this mess.

LOL, and I WAS going to write about some positive things in this post. Don't think that's gonna happen now! I'm too upset about everything mentioned above. I need a vacation - and I'm a stay at home mom!!! Thankfully, John only has 5 more days of classes/finals before the semester ends. But then he'll pick up hours at work (which is a GOOD thing!) and we'll have baby and Christmas and and and...yeah.

On the plus side, it sounds like Emma is going to stay down after all. I certainly hope so! I need LESS stress right now, not more.

Next post will be POSITIVE, I promise! But I can't just sugar-coat my life and pretend everything is perfect when it clearly isn't. I DO have happy things to write; I'm just currently bogged down with some of the stressful things and needed to get them out before I can write about the happy things. Otherwise, any happy posts would sound fake. If that makes sense. It's 5 AM, so I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't!!

Now to find some food, de-stress, and hopefully get some sleep soon! OB appt in the afternoon, so hopefully I'll post something again very soon. Night, er morning, everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pregnancy and Sadness

It's been a crazy week. I meant to post for Scrap it to me Tuesday, but it didn't seem appropriate as John's grandfather passed away Tuesday night. I never got the chance to meet him, but I know he was a wonderful man.

And now, on Friday night, my grandmother had a stroke. She's stabilized as far as I know, but her speech is incoherent. Who knows if she'll recover it. I'm tempted to call my mom for an update, but it's 2 AM there...she's probably still at the hospital with her mom, though.

2009 has been a bizarre year for our family health-wise: grandparents in and out of the hospital throughout the entire year (on my side and John's), serious mental health issues with my cousin, and my uncle has cancer. And I complain about the discomforts of pregnancy...what an ungrateful snot I can be. My suffering is temporary and has the best end result possible.

Speaking of pregnancy, I now have weekly appointments! Which means I'll be done soon! I had an appointment on Monday and everything looks great as usual. I gained 3 lbs between that and my previous appointment, for a grand total of 14 lbs. Not bad for 36 weeks! I gained 3 lbs in 2 weeks, but you have to keep in mind what those 2 weeks covered: Thanksgiving, Emma's birthday, John's birthday, a Christmas dinner party, and dinner at Outback Steakhouse (thanks again for the gift card Marie!). When seen in that light, it's not at all surprising!

I have some pages to post, but I'm too tired now. Will do so later. Time for bed. LOL, this is probably the shortest post I've ever had on this blog! Night!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Template 54, Christmas Card 2009, and Scrap it to me Tuesday

*sigh* Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to scream, run away, and hide? Especially from your small child(ren)? For me, today was one of those days. Emma fought me on EVERYTHING. I did a few productive things, but of course needed to rest, so I laid down on the couch...and Emma FLIPPED OUT. Like, serious tantrum and Mommy-hitting. Naturally, she got a time out. Heh, I think she spent like half the DAY in time out. And oooooh how she fought me at naptime!! She didn't nap AT ALL. But I'm a mean mom and made her stay in her room for "quiet" time anyway. Ha. It was anything but quiet...

Add to that nightmare the following "joys" of being 35 weeks pregnant: carpal tunnel, sciatica, lack of sleep due to insomnia, and, of course, the wonderful hormonal mood swings. Fun stuff. I had several crying break downs throughout the day...

What happened to my sweet little girl?! Is this because she's 2 now? Well...in her defense, she IS cutting 2 eye teeth right now. She's been working on them for oh, 2 months now? The dentist said they were coming in back in mid October (though, ironically, he said the bottom ones were a lot closer to coming in than the top ones, but she's cutting the top ones and NOT the bottom ones). But NOW they're actually visible just below the gums. I really hope all these issues, or at least most of them, are teething related and not age related. PLEASE let these teeth pop through tonight in her sleep! I don't think I could handle another day like today...

Oh, and I DO give her Motrin, Orajel, and teething tablets, but they only do so much. Especially since now little miss independent insists on putting the Orajel in herself - and of course, she doesn't actually put it on the places where it HURTS...but if I try to help, she freaks out even more. So I just let her do it herself. And she's NEVER been one for teething rings. Maybe I'll give her an Otter Pop tomorrow. Good thing I still have some in the freezer!

*sigh* Today is a chocolate needing day. Speaking of, have you tried those Hershey's mint truffle kisses yet? OH my gosh, SOOOO good!! Of course, mint + chocolate = perfection. In fact, I'm uh, finishing off the bag now...and I bought them yesterday:D No, I didn't eat all of them myself. We had friends and family over to make gingerbread houses last night and shared the yumminess with them.

There WERE some good things about today, though. Most of them are thanks to the sweet generosity of friends and family:) Thank you! First, Mom sent us money for diapers since the credit we had at Sam's Club wasn't going to work the way we thought it would (they're sending Mom a check for it, since she's the primary account holder and I'm just the secondary person on it). Then, John totally took over toddler care so I could get a much needed bubble bath - and he rubbed lotion on my feet afterwards for me, too. But he does that all the time; especially since I can barely reach them these days!

Of course, Emma behaved MUCH better for Daddy...but, to be fair, I got her calmed down before he got home. Until it was time to start the bedtime routine, that is! I could tell John was getting a bit flustered with her (so was I...) and I said, "THIS is what I've had to deal with ALL DAY." I'm desperately praying that tomorrow will be better - and that those teeth will pop through tonight! But she's a slow teether...so probably not:(

Also, John got his sister to babysit for us Thursday night so we can FINALLY use our Outback Steakhouse gift card. Sweeeeet! Again, thanks to the friends who gave it to us in the first place:) We SO desperately need a REAL date like that - especially before the baby comes, or we'd have a little need-to-nurse-24/7 tag along. Sure, we have a "date night" every week, but it's usually a stay-at-home-and-watch-a-movie-or-play-a-game-after-Emma-goes-to-bed kind of thing. And it's been slipping the last few weeks or so because he's just been SO busy with school and homework. It's impractical to find a babysitter each week, and we certainly can't afford to go out much (more like at all) anyway. Here's hoping Emma behaves for her aunt - and is fast asleep with no fuss by the time we get home!

And I got a PM today that I get something for free that I thought I'd have to "pay" for with a gift certificate:D Yay!! Thanks, Chanin!! You're awesome!

Which reminds me, I have a couple of other non-today raves to share. First, I mentioned that we were looking for boots for Emma. Well, the boots I liked at Payless are apparently only for kids with narrow feet - and Emma has wide feet, just like John and I. She freaked out when we even TRIED to get them on her (she was being difficult anyway, though). Well, geniaBeana's little girl is just a month or so shy of being a year older than Emma, and she still has a bunch of her too-small shoes - and she's going to send me some!! Thanks, Val!! We REALLY appreciate it! You're amazing!

Aaaand, last but not least, my parents got me something AWESOME for Christmas! It's what I asked for:D I'd heard from another CT friend that Target had an amazing Black Friday deal on a 1 TB external hard drive. The sale lasted 2 days. So I emailed my dad and told him about it (since Mom said I had to ask HIM instead), hoping for the best, but knowing that Dad is harder to convince than Mom, I didn't expect much. Plus, I knew that with the great sale price, the likelihood of actually getting it (even if I DID land Dad's approval) was slim to none. But my dad amazed me. Not only did he say yes, but he went to Target himself when it opened at 8 AM. MY dad. He's not exactly a shopper - unless it involves computers! For him to go shopping on Thanksgiving weekend when a store opens...yeah, MIRACULOUS. And it was NOT the Target closest to him, since we already knew they were sold out (thank you internet). Not surprisingly, this Target was out, too (the website said "limited availability"). BUT there's an AWESOME computer/electronics warehouse store next door to that particular Target and THEY had a 1 TB external hard drive for the same price!!! It's a different brand, but that doesn't matter much as long as it's not a dud. Dad's a programmer, so he did research on the brand when he got home and it's good:) So YAY, I'm getting a 1 TB external hard drive for Christmas!! I will soon have a GREAT place to back up all my digiscrap files! Definitely better than trying to burn over 100 gigs onto DVDs...;)

And on that note, let's talk about scrapping! Chanin just started this new fun thing called "Scrap it to me Tuesday." Click on this banner to check it out on her blog:

I made our Christmas card this week, so that's my contribution for it:) I know, it's technically Wednesday now. I didn't even turn ON my computer until 11 PM! Anyway, here's our Christmas card:

I haven't actually sent it out yet, though. I'm (supposedly) working on a letter to go with it to email to friends and family (haven't started yet...). We're just doing the digital card thing this year. We're too poor/cheap to print and mail it! Plus, this way, more people can get it:) Friends and family who read this: please make sure I have your email address if you want a copy! Anyway, I used Holly Jolly by geniaBeana Scraps and Dylabel Designs to make it:

Aaand it's currently 45% off, too! How cool is that? I used a few pieces of it to make my new festive blog background. I mostly used geniaBeana's and Kimi's Kreations' portions of the GDS December collab. You can get the whole thing if you spend $10 (excluding coupons and gift certificates) at GDS.

I have a freebie for you, too. I made a template of my Christmas card LO:) Template 54 is a 12x12 PSD template. Here's the preview:

You can download it here.

Well, now that I've ranted about how horrible my day was and then raved about lots of awesome stuff, I'm feeling MUCH better! Now hopefully I'll be able to fall asleep! And PRAY that tomorrow (ok, today) goes MUCH better!