Our Advent Calendar

The new Advent calendar has been a huge hit with Dianna this year. She totally gets it and loves opening a door every day.

This morning when she woke up, she said, "Daddy, please. Open 20?"

When they're older, I'm sticking little messages for them to read aloud to the family. For now, though, we open a door, get the candy and Dianna says, "Thank you, Santa!"

Graduation? Check!

Yesterday was a phenomenal day: my husband graduated. How amazing is that?

For days and days, I had been asking the Mr. what he wanted me to prepare for our little shindig, but it turned out that with family being family we just ended up flying by the seat of our pants. I was just folding laundry when the Mr. called and said we'd be having lunch with his mom and that he'd be home in half an hour and that I'd hopefully be ready. Just sayin', when he says he hopes I'll be ready, he doesn't mean just me. He means me, the kids, and the house (so that our dog doesn't ruin it because we left food out). So I rushed and, yes, I was ready. Kabam! I always feel extremely successful after hurriedly getting everyone ready.

We went to P.F. Chang's and enjoyed a lovely lunch. The kids were great and we had a very knowledgeable, attentive waitress. Did you know they have a dim sum lunch option for $8, by the way? Get on that. My fortune cookie: "A gift from nature is on its way." Oh boy.

Afterward, we went home to meet my dad, who very generously offered to watch the kids during the commencement ceremony. Then we were off! While I saved seats and got my hubby a lei (which was heinously overpriced, might I add), he went to meet his fellow classmates. At four pm, I stared at this for hour and a half hours of my life:

Now, I don't know about you, but these are good seats. My only disappointment of the day: no one threw up their mortarboards. I was totally waiting for that moment because I was in the perfect darn spot to catch that. What they heck, people?!
Hats in the air or not, the event was lovely. When the Mr. got called, we cheered and he waved and smiled right at us.
It took a while to exit the stadium and then exit the parking lot, but we got some good pictures in.

We met my parents at our customary Chinese restaurant where we've celebrated just about everything for the last 20 years that my family has lived in Las Vegas. And there, we ate away.

Chris and Dave hurried to Smash Burger for a shake...and drank away.
Happy graduation to my wonderful husband. He got it done with two kids, a mortgage, and several jobs. Now I'm next! Graduation Part Deux...in two years. Hopefully!


Christmas Time Is Here...

I was singing that out loud, just so you know.

We have everything up around the house finally and I'm ecstatic! I grabbed two extra stockings today, too, for our new roomies (aka Poppy and Uncle Johnny). I've got a forest on my mantel with six stockings, our beautiful tree, and festive kitchen. And among other presents that we've caved about opening, we decided to use our new retro radio/Ipod dock before Christmas so that we can play Christmas music from Sunny 106.5. I just sang that, too, but you only know what the heck I'm talking about if you grew up in Las Vegas listening to that station.

I've been feeling so festive lately, and I'm excited to get my bake on this week, and to spend quality time with the Mr. now that he's FINISHED, I repeat FINISHED, with his degree! Now that is an amazing Christmas gift for everyone. In fact, today is his ceremony. You'll hear about all that later. Promise. 

Fall is in the Air and Christmas Stuff is Already on Display

I actually grew up with a mom who would have liked to skip Halloween and Thanksgiving altogether. There were some especially enthusiastic years when she actually had the Christmas tree up inside when all the pumpkins and faux spiderweb were still up and All Hallows' Eve had literally not been celebrated yet. I'm really not exaggerating here.

In retrospect, I shouldn't be surprised, then, when I see Christmas everything stacked up next to the fall garland at the store. But dang. I am.

I feel like Halloween was just last week. What we really did last week, though, was go to a Harvest Festival at Tivoli Village. Every Saturday, Tivoli Village has a farmers' market. Last Saturday, was a farmers' market on steroids. On top of the usual vendors, there were food trucks, music, and a petting zoo. I think there was more, but we honestly didn't get that far.

Here's what the petting zoo was like, though. I'll narrate.


"And chickens!"

"It got me!"

I loved being able to show her all the animals she has learned about in person. As you can see, she loved it, too.

Oh Yeah, Halloween Also Happened!

While contemplating turkey pot pies and appropriate sides, I realized that I never mentioned Halloween.

For the past three years, I have been a menacing witch in the Schulte haunted house that took place in my in-laws' huge courtyard in their equally huge home. We didn't do that this year. So for the first time as a family, we got to decide what to do on our own!

Growing up, my family were and still are devout Filipino Catholics. I make that distinction, because mixed into the Catholic culture in the Philippines is a whole lot of superstition (not that that little fact applies right now). So, my dad always made food for our little altar to celebrate All Souls' Day to commemorate his mom and in recent years, my other grandparents. He always made the same food: spaghetti and biko (Filipino-style sticky rice). He would then take a plate of each of the dishes and place them at the altar so that, as he always put it, "Your grandma can eat."

Faced with my first real Halloween at my own home, what else did I make but spaghetti and instead of biko, champurrado (chocolate rice pudding). Yum. That night when I parents dropped by to see the kids' costumes, I gave them some of my champurrado and felt a certain sense of pride when my dad said that he would put some of my food on the altar for grandma, too.

This was also a special year because it was Dean's first ever Halloween and the first year that Dianna actually had a clue as to what was going on. In the weeks leading up to the special night, I did crafts, read books, and watched Halloween-themed shows (It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown included) with her. I had Dianna practice saying, "Trick or treat!", which mostly sounded like, "Tri-tree!"

When the time came to dress the kids, Dean was in an awesome homemade Superman costume and Dianna was back in her flower girl tutu but with wings now included to be a fairy princess.

I've gotta admit that I was seriously nervous, because that little girl of mine is easily scared of people she doesn't know. But you know what? After the first couple houses, she sure got the hang of it. Walk to door, wait for Daddy to knock, door opens, hold up bag and say, "Tri-treat!" only sometimes, and "Thank you" every time. She loved it. And toward the end, "Trick or treat!" actually started to really sound like, "Trick or treat!"

What we found funniest was that for every home we walked up to that was the same layout as our own home, she seemed to just know that it was the same and walked right in. Cute now, but...we need to work on that one!

We already have a ton of ideas for future costumes: Dora and Diego for the kids, the Mr. and I as Dean Jordan and Cho Chang and the kids as Hedwig and Professor McGonagall in cat form, something Star Wars related...good thing we have a few more years before gently nudging their minds to fit our family-themed costumes just won't work anymore.

How He Worked for Nike for a Couple Weeks...and Some Other Stuff

In applying for several jobs at the same time, the Mr. inevitably got job offers at the same time: Nike Factory and Happy Feet Soccer (as a little kids' coach). So our conclusion to that was to accept said job offers. Duh, right?! No. Not really. Within two weeks, the jobs were clashing. Clashing with each other, with school, and daddy time. We had to choose one and hope for the best.

The Mr. has always been involved in sports, so both jobs were well suited. But we ultimately chose Happy Feet because of the flexibility and who would rather fold clothes than teach little kids how to play soccer? I actually think there are a lot now that I give a second to sink in, but for a father of two who loves every sport...there's no contest.

What does Happy Feet Soccer do as a company? Right now in Las Vegas, they are mainly operating their story time program that travels to different preschools and holds classes that imaginatively incorporate soccer skills into popular stories for a workout and introduction to the sport. The students use a smaller sized ball with a happy face on it and refer to it as "Bob the Bobcat" in order to make the ball seem like a fun, approachable friend. It's geared for kids between two and five years old. Chris and I do some of the exercises with Dianna often, and she now refers to all her balls around the house as "Bob". Ha! Later on, the company plans on having an office space and branching out into a soccer league for older kids as well. So far, the Mr. is really enjoying himself and gets to fulfill his love of teaching kids sports.

Another thing: Thanksgiving is one week away and I've just learned that it's going to be at my house.

Um. WHAT?! I need to clean, and shop, and make a menu, and did I mention clean?! Last month, we got to celebrate my little girl's second birthday. Again, WHAT? I know, right? Just a minute ago, we were at the hospital with her.

What I was getting to, though, was that I decorated and cooked everything: roasted chicken and carrots, bacon-wrapped asparagus bunches, three cheese bacon mac and cheese, apple brown betty, and super moist and delicious (if I do say so myself) pumpkin cake with Jack soaked golden raisins (don't tell anyone) and fresh whipped cream. BAM! Sorry, I felt that an Emeril-style celebration was needed at the end of that line of totally disgraceful bragging. I know. I'm embarrassed. Ashamed. But not enough to delete, because BAM! that was a freakin' accomplishment.

I've strayed yet again. To summarize: I need Thanksgiving ideas pronto. See you in a week...once I dig myself out of this planning, cooking, cleaning, and decorating hole. I shall emerge on the other side...to plan Christmas. Good luck on Thanksgiving to you. May your family disagreements pale in comparison to your post-feast waistline and ensuing drowsiness.

One More Week Left and Lots to Think About

The boys had an amazing time up at Mt. Charleston from what I've heard! Hard not to, to be honest. The first day up there, it was raining like crazy and turned out that the cabin they had booked had a leak. Lucky for them, the cabin right next door was vacant so they were upgraded from a king bed and sleeper sofa to a gigantic cabin with two kings, a full living room, and dining room! It was so spacious that the Mr. called to invite me along. I, however, did not go. It was a boys' weekend and on top of that, I was very clearly enjoying my quiet time.

They dirt biked until the Mr.'s bike literally blew. That night, they went on the night hike that I registered them for. Their guide made it an awesome experience. The next day they hiked two trails, one of which brought them to a "waterfall". I put that in quotations, because the Mr. gestured them as he told the story about a sad little trickle rather than a "waterfall". But as he put it, "It was more about the journey." By the end of the two days, all their feet hurt from the 11 miles they'd trudged. Their spirits were high when they dropped off Chris, though. Much of that, I think, stemmed from the adrenaline still in their systems. All the ache hit them the next day!

Now that the Mr. is back, we have this week left before the semester starts. This is quite possibly his final semester of school (thank goodness!) and it is, of course, a pretty hectic schedule. That said, Chris put his foot down and told his dad, who we work for, that he simply was not going to work during his last week before all the crazy begins. Mr. Senior understood, so we have daddy this week! Dianna got to enjoy a morning at the library for the first time in a long time. We have a few more things planned for her while we have this rare amount of unbridled family time. And now I have a helper to aid me in finishing the kids' room once everything arrives in the mail.

While the boys were gone, I was job hunting for the Mr. Due to an unfortunate situation with a past employee, there is trouble brewing in the family company that will very likely bring an end to it. We've always been blessed with such flexible hours by working in real estate and with your own flesh and blood. For more flexible hours, we're hoping to find a job in retail. Crossing our fingers on that one. We are so lucky to also have some extra to tide us over while we are job hunting. Thank goodness!

I guess we're in an in-between time, looking for a new start and hoping for an end to the Mr.'s college career. Once he's done with school and we've finally settled into a new job and routine, it'll be my turn to finish school. But right now, that feels so far away. Right now, we need a job. Hopefully one that he likes.

The Weekend of Nothing

The Schulte boys have just left for the weekend to Mt. Charleston. They'll be dirt biking, hiking, fishing, and all those other manly man things boys like to do.

The kids are currently with the Mr.'s mom. Tomorrow they will be with my parents.

That leaves me here at home. All alone. I mean all alone with Nike, our dog.

I can hear the air-conditioning turn on, and the sound of the fan in the laptop cooling its innards, and and and...I can hear myself think. Oh, it is shaping up to be a wonderful weekend.

Ya hear that? It's the sound of nothing and it is lovely.

Excitement Abounds (For Me, Anyway)

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about this news: we're finally able to do the kids' room!

All week, I've been brainstorming ideas. There is a whole lotta DIYing going on in my head.
I think our best bet is to give ourselves a deadline, especially since the Mr. is almost done with his last summer session classes.

So by the end of the week, I plan to have everything ordered and bought so that when it all arrives, we'll be ready to get down to business! I'm shooting to be done by the end of the month. That gives a week for online purchases to arrive and a week to really work on the room.

Here's a little idea board of what I have in mind. The large wave image in the center is a full wall decal. I'm so happy to have found it on Etsy; thank you, you creative people out there. Behind it, I intend to paint a very light blue. Like I said about the DIYing, I'll be busy making pillow covers, an upholstered headboard, a silhouette of both of the kids, a mobile, and repurposing a trunk and lamp from other parts of the house. On top of that, we'll be all over the place buying things new and also used from Craigslist.

Can't wait to get started! Speaking of getting started, I'm late for my workout. Catch ya later with updates on this development.

To Two Years

Happy anniversary to the love of my life. I'm so lucky to have found you. We have an amazing life ahead of us and I'm thankful to share it with my best friend.

We haven't had much time to ourselves lately with our schedules, but having a family day was so fun. We knocked two things off my list, too!

Bellagio fountains and garden. Seeing the look on Dianna's face was priceless!

Ten Things We Need To Do Before Summer Ends

With the start of August here, I'm feeling slightly alarmed that we haven't had much of a summer. At least as far as fun goes. The Mr. has been in summer classes trying to get through a slew of courses so he can graduate this winter. On top of that, we had a baby and now he's left to pick up the slack in the family business that I was responsible for. But Chris' last summer class ends in a week or so, leaving about two weeks before he starts the fall semester. So...we have a month to get this fun done!

1. Swim in the pool more. Yes, we have a pool and I can count on one hand the amount of times we've used it this summer.

2. Go to the beach. We live in Las Vega and the beach is only three hours away. This is totally doable. Possibly in conjunction with number three.

3. Visit the Cunicelli's in Bakersfield! They're the Mr.'s cousins who he has visited every summer since before he knew his colors, which Michelle taught him years and years ago.

4. See the Bellagio garden with Dianna. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time because she loves flowers. The first time she said "flowers" she also said "pretty!"

5. Go see the Bellagio fountains. This was what the Mr. and I were SUPPOSED to do on our first date, but never got to because the car broke down. That really did happen on our first date. And here we are over three years later and we still have yet to do this.

6. Spend the day at Lake Las Vegas. We stayed there last year for our anniversary and loved it.

7. Have a picnic.

8. Go on a hike. We used to go crazy on our hikes, climbing all over the place, but with Dianna I just want to have a nice little hike. We've never done this with her.

9. Have a Harry Potter day. This consists of us watching a few of the movies while munching on donuts.

10. Have a barbecue to celebrate Dean's birth! He was born just before the intended baby shower and I got sick the week of the second planned shower. This next one really needs to happen!

I think this is all plausible. I'm excited to possibly knock one or two of these off this weekend, because Saturday is our 3rd wedding anniversary.

We'll see what happens. Happy summer!

My Daughter, The Flower Girl

I never quite got around to posting about this, because it happened right before the little dude was born. Then I was overloaded with baby fever, then I had a real, very bad fever. So now that everything has settled down quite a bit, it's time to share some absolutely beautiful photos of my absolutely beautiful daughter. I'm partial, what can I say?!

Early in June, my little squirt (I guess she's the big squirt now) was the flower girl at my childhood best friend Taylor's wedding in Utah. Before you do the math, yes, I was eight months pregnant. I was a crazy lady. My only defense is that it was my childhood best friend's wedding! And how fitting and poignant for my daughter to be her flower girl. And how many times will she have the opportunity to be a flower girl? Still, yes, crazy lady over here.

We flew to Salt Lake (Dianna's first plane ride and it went really well!), rented a car, and found ourselves in adorable Logan, Utah. On our first day there, we went to a quick rehearsal then dinner with Taylor and her fiance's family. We found a great local zoo to spend the next day until the wedding that night. Our plan of attack was to tire out the little squirt so that she would nap just before the wedding.

As we drove to the ceremony, Dianna was in a good mood, but it was the Mr. and I who were incredibly nervous! We wanted her to do well and not cry and so on and so forth. Did she walk down the aisle? Yes, but not alone. Chris nudged her down and I coaxed her from the front with her favorite lamb and cookies. 

During the reception, Dianna walked table to table carrying on babbly conversations with everyone.

We had a good time! Taylor looked gorgeous, the venue was really charming, and the little touches were, well, touching. I really loved the little milk bottles with the paper straws. We had to call it a night early with the little lady. I didn't want to push her good mood to expiration! It was also awesome to be in a little town again. We love them and they remind Chris of Albert Lea, MN, where his dad is from and where he has fond memories of his grandparents.

Congratulations to the new Kameraths (who can now be found here on their new blog)! Thank you so much for inviting our little family to your lovely wedding.

Getting Sick, Getting Better and Going Home

I've been writing this in my head for quite a while. Two weeks ago, I nearly died. No overexagerrating. I was transported by ambulance to a hospital, was in an emergency room with nurses rushing around me. I don't remember most of it, but I'm told that I had a temperature over 106 degrees. When the Mr. came home, firemen were surrounding me trying to revive me and I struggled hysterically as they tried to get me into the ambulance.

I was septic. Septisemia is measured by levels of lactic acid. Anything under four is fine. Four and above is considered septic and needs hospitalization. I was at a level ten. When I was told this, I was still delirious. The doctor who was telling me all this had to ask if I understood what he was saying. Suddenly, amidst all the flurry of needles sticking my arms and monotonous vital beeping, I felt dense. I hadn't felt just plain stupid in a very long time. I could feel my head spinning, and a part of me felt annoyed that it was. How was I to answer?

 It took me a few seconds, but I did understand and said so. The doctor continued with more medical talk about how they had to determine how I became septic and as I listened, I thought, "We could really use House." I spent that night in the ICU where I barely slept. I was still in shock that I was there. How could I be this sick? But at 22, that's how we think. As a mom, that is also how we think. We're not invincible, though.

On day two, I was transferred to Summerlin Hospital. Overnight, I stabilized enough to move and my vitals were able to be monitored with a battery operated pack rather than be attached to countless machines.

Day three was when my catheter was removed. Enough said there.

Day four was spent hoping to be discharged, but my fever had spiked the night before. My doctor wanted 24 hours of a steady temperature. That night my fever spiked again and I cried so worried and hopelessly saddened at the thought of staying in the hospital another night. Of being away from my kids another night. God, I missed them. Then I cried some more.

On day five, I waited for my doctor to come in to tell me I was staying longer. I felt sure I was staying and felt hopeless and doomed to more heartache and pricking and hospital food. But my doctor came in and said I could go home. My fever didn't spike high enough to alarm him. I was going home.

I think it was my excitement that did it, but that day my blood pressure was through the roof: 180/122. Scary. So, I was given a diuretic and spent the day peeing until my resting heart rate dropped enough to make the nurses happy.

It was heaven getting home to my family. My parents and Chris had cleaned all day and had dinner ready. That dinner felt like a feast. I don't remember what we ate. Didn't matter. Being around my loved ones and back home, I think, was the greatest nourishment of all.

Baby Baby

A few things about today:

I pulled an all-nighter for the first time in a long time last night waiting for Dean to wake up. He usually wakes up twice. Once at one and then again around four. My point in staying up was so that I would only wake up once and have my sleep disturbed only once. Kinda backfired on me. I did, however, watch a lot of Jericho. I now have a better idea of what I'd do in a nuclear war, but am now lacking sleep.

Today was my first official day of P90. I've been doing the videos for the past few weeks to acclimate myself to working out again. I haven't worked out regularly since I met Chris. Compound birthing two children on top of that...yeah. I've already lost over 20 pounds since Dean was born. 50 more to go!

Finally, this Saturday is our second wedding anniversary. What can we do to make it special?

A Baby is Born!

You'd think I might have died from the frequency of my posts! That's what my husband has been hinting at, at least. There is a lot to update about, but the news that is really pressing is that my son was born!

On June 15th, I gave birth to William Dean: 5 pounds and 9 ounces, 17 inches. Yes, he is a very little thing. Even smaller than my daughter was, and at 6 pounds we thought she was tiny! They were both born at 37 weeks. I wanted to make sure that Dean was term before we made any moves to try to have him come on out as that is the time that a child's lungs fully develop in the womb.

How did we coax our child out of my belly? We used what worked for us the last time around. On the morning of the 15th, we...um...had "fun-fun" times. I was then treated to a large vanilla iced coffee. For the rest of the day, we ran errands in the Las Vegas heat and the Mr. constantly made me get up and move needlessly for those various errands.

We were on our way to the Strip to do the last bulletpoint on our list when my water broke. Since we were only eight minutes away from our destination, I decided that we should go ahead and finish off our final errand. We planned to quickly go home afterward to pick up a few things before heading to the hospital. My contractions started right away and were five minutes apart. The Mr. parked in a loading zone and rushed inside with the paperwork he needed to drop off, leaving me in the car to count minutes between the roiling pain inside me. It was 2:35 pm, so getting to the freeway took longer than we anticipated--I was four minutes apart by then.

I looked over at the Mr., having just gotten past another wave, saying, "I think we should skip going home..." He looked over at me and agreed. We quickly reconfigured our plan; we had our daughter and dog in the car and decided to drop them off at my mother-in-law's, who lives literally down the street from the hospital.

As we got off the freeway and dropped off our charges, my contractions reached three minutes apart and I felt myself panicking. No one, especially my mother who missed the birth of my first child, was on their way yet.

The Mr. drove up to the hospital, got me a wheel chair, and a nurse from urgent care brought me up to labor and delivery while the Mr. parked the car. At the front desk, another nurse asked me to fill out a form and I immediately regretted not pre-registering. When I was finally getting wheeled to triage, the Mr. appeared and I felt at ease again in spite of my contractions.

The nurse in triage, Veronica, took her sweet time. I have to say, though, that I also wasn't giving any huge signs that I was in serious pain or having contractions because I'm not one to scream. I was so thankful for Chris. He was my advocate during the whole ordeal. Seeing Veronica's calm demeanor, he pressed that I was very dilated and that my water had broken. Veronica still didn't take him seriously. "Well, we'll see," she clipped. "Lots of women come in saying they're in labor..." With that, she snapped her glove on and checked my cervix. "You're eight, almost nine, plus one!" she said surprised.

"Oh crap!" I said feverishly. "I'm not getting that epidural, am I? So much for the only thing on my birth plan..."

"I can still order it," Veronica said, suddenly empathetic, "but I don't think it'll help much at this point." With that, she rushed out of the room.

I lay on the bed incredibly upset about the epidural but moreso about my mom's absence. My contractions were coming almost constantly by then and I remember actually saying, "God please, wait a little longer, please! My mom's not here!"

And then, I felt the urge to push.

"Oh God, the baby's coming!" I panicked. The Mr. and I were completely alone in the room. No IV, my legs out of the stirrups that weren't even attached to the bed or brought into the room yet.

He ran out of the room and flagged down a nurse in the hallway, repeating my words. My cousin and aunt came in at that point and behind them flooded in a slew of nurses. Chris shooed my family out and tried to hurry Veronica, "My wife said the baby's coming!" She stood there, putting her gloves on. He looked at my cervix and saw me crowning, "She's crowning!" She still struggled with her gloves. One contraction. A head popped out. Chris yelled more. Another contraction, and shoulders popped out. Chris's eyes bulged and he yelled more. Contraction three, Dean literally shot out onto the bed and Veronica's gloves were still undone.

Despite all that, Dean was just fine. He had a little scratch on his eyelid from what we suspected was from his crash landing. But there you go, he was born on June 15th at 3:41 pm. A little over an hour after my water broke and less than 15 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

At least I had the baby on a bed and not in the car!


We just got back from Bakersfield last night and were so happy to be back home. We loved the trip, as we always do, but getting home for us is the best.

The four days we were there, I swear Dianna progressed a bunch. Being around so many kids, I knew she'd learn to stand up for herself. So she learned how to say, "No" and "Stop!" Pretty funny. But in that same time, she's also become much faster and I would venture to say that she can run now. Something awesome about our family in California is that they have a HUGE backyard, which our little girl thoroughly enjoyed. It was just nice to sit back and let her play with the many, many toys they had back there. No worrying about a pool or rocks, both of which we have in our completely unusable but large backyard.

I was also surprised at how easy she made it to put her to sleep. She is really becoming a big kid now and I guess I'm still in denial about it. This past weekend has convinced me that 1) she's ready for a big girl bed and 2) she's ready to start potty training. Oh boy. Dianna took to Anthony, her cousin who is a year and a half her senior. One day, Tony saw her after a bath and said, "Baby Dianna looks coot."

That same day Dianna gave him a bunch of kisses after dinner. I think Tony kept a safe distance from her after that!

While there, we enjoyed going to Camelot--a family place with go-karts, mini golfing, water bumper rides, etc. We spent an entire afternoon there, and Steve and Michelle had Dianna for that time. We got back to see adorable pictures of Dianna falling asleep with Steve on their trampoline.

Another day, we had a little camp fire where we played the story game. To our family, the story game is played with one person starting off a random story that comes to their mind. After setting up a general scene, the next person continues the story and it just keeps going around the circle. The rest of the weekend, we kept bringing up the ridiculous story we had created in side jokes.

Our last day was Easter Sunday, which was spent going to church, Easter brunching, and Easter egg hunting.

To our one-and-a-half year old, Easter egg hunting is all about putting the eggs in her basket then dumping them all and starting again, all while singing the clean-up song to herself. Michelle got a kick out of it every time Dianna started up the song again.

We had to leave right after the egg hunting, but there was an air of, "Ya know we're only a gas tank away..." With a baby on the way and due to arrive this summer, I'm not so sure we can come again this year. But the Mr. and I actually think about them whenever we do have time off. We'll have to take them up on the offer soon!

Easter Prep

I don't have much time today since the Mr. and I are hurrying this way and that trying to get ready to leave to Bakersfield for our annual Easter celebrations there. We really, really love coming home to a perfectly clean house with fresh sheets in the bedrooms and no dishes in the dishwasher. Needless to say, cleaning of all sorts has been in our repertoire for the past two days.

This is the first year that we'll be going to see our cousins on the Mr.'s side without his parents as they're going through a separation. While it is weird and a change, it's for the best and keeps a semblance of normalcy for my young brother-in-law, John. During long trips, our family likes to listen to audiobooks. So to prepare John, we've had him listening to Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Not much of a reader by any stretch, we hoped he would like that the male protagonist is his age.

In the spirit of all the grandparents being away from their little girl on Easter, yesterday we set it up so that both Poppy and Grammy (the Mr.'s parents) got to spend some time with Dianna. They seemed to really enjoy themselves. According to the Mr., both of them were all smiles from the few hours they got with our little one. Poppy just got a few new toys for Dianna and she apparently loved her todder-sized stroller. You can see the handles to it just peeking behind her head.

Tonight will be my parents' turn. Then tomorrow, we leave early in the morning on our adventure!

In Awe

There are so many days that I just sit and watch Dianna play. She's getting so smart, finally able to put her mega blocks together on her own, "counting" (which is really her mimicking our grown-up sounds), and really understanding what clean up means. It's just so exciting to see the wheels turning in there.

As I've been typing, she just grabbed a rag from the kitchen and started wiping the coffee table off like I do.

I love it!

For a lot of people without kids, I know it sounds ridiculous to just watch a little person toddle around. I'm sure it seems as boring as watching paint dry; however, I have to say that when it's your little bundle whose intelligence hinges on what you teach and expose her to, it really is fascinating to see what sticks with them and what they absorb in the everyday things you do.

Now we just need to get her vocabulary up! Days away from turning 1 1/2, she's saying "Daddy", "doggie", "Mama", "uh-oh" and "clean up". She's not shy of talking at all. She just needs to communicate  a bit better! Right now, her way of getting our attention is saying, "atch!"

I'm also enjoying the last dregs of having just one around. The coming months will be difficult for myself and Dianna. We're already anticipating a lot of poking and prodding of Dean. We're expecting a long bout of jealousy. But I'm sure when the time comes, there will be more. Of everything. Just thinking that this time next year Dean will probably be crawling is crazy! Oh boy, oh boy.

It's Been a While

Yep, I'm baaacckk! Lots has been going on in my life and in my head these past ten weeks and I guess I'm finally getting around to sharing about it.

I think the first and biggest thing I should share is that we had the ultrasound and (drum roll...) it's a boy! The Mr. was so happy to hear it and I was too. We've had the name William Dean in our heads since baby number one and it's so exciting to be able to put it to use. During the ultrasound, Dianna had a fit watching the technician mess with mommy's belly. It was hilarious and in the end, she only calmed down when she got to sit by my head on the exam table and watch the screen.

The Mr. and I have also been to a couple more Centering Pregnancy sessions, which is my prenatal class with other women who are also due in July. The sessions are getting to be extremely fun, because we're all going through the same thing. This last class, we went over breastfeeding and random questions everyone had. One of our ladies asked about hot tubs and we all had a laugh when someone asked, "Would that cook our baby?!"

Like all our weekends have been lately, we've been nonstop. Is it odd that that happens once you have kids? Friday morning, the family got up early to get to the As They Grow Kids' Consignment Sale. They offer all kinds of childrens' goodies for low prices--everything from clothes to car seats. The first time we ever went was for Dianna, which was amazingly timed to be the week right after our baby shower so we had a bunch of spending moolah. I remember buying an entire travel system with two bases, a high chair, swing, car seat cushion, foot muffler, etc. well under $350! Since then, I have never missed a sale and I never miss a chance to tell someone about it. And while I haven't had to ever purchase as much stuff as with baby number one, it's still an amazing deal. In the two years we've been attending, the sale has grown exponentially. We first ever arrived a half hour before the sale opened at 10 in the morning. I'm glad that this time around we had the forethought to arrive an hour early! Even an hour before, the line was wrapping around the side of the building.  By the time 10 o'clock rolled around, the line spanned the parking lot and had reached the other end where a movie theater is located.

Since we got into the sale so early, we got a great selection of the few things we do happen to need for Dean: a bassinet and an extra base for our Peg Perego car seat. All under $100. I went again with my mom the next day for clothes for our little one and Dean.

The Mr. has this desire for his son to always look "fresh". He knew a kid who always looked "fresh" when he was growing up, so much so that his nickname through grade school and beyond was Mikey Fresh. For Mikey, looking fresh was characterized by collared shirts and polos, though not ever in a comb-over, uncomfortable-Sunday-best kind of way. So when I went to the sale, I had my eyes peeled for just that and oh how my hubby's eyes lit up when he beheld the "freshness" of his coming son's wardrobe. Wait til the next sale, when they're selling winter clothes!

While typing this post my daughter came back from her customary Sunday outing with my parents, who are referred to as "Lolo" and "Lola". Can she say that yet? Nope. But that is how to say grandma and grandpa in Tagalog. Every Sunday, she goes to church with them and then on a field trip somewhere. Today they went to the gardens at the Wynn casino. I got a picture of her smiling by all the flowers on a bench.

What a great way to spend the afternoon! And of course I instantly missed her. The Mr. and I planted some flowers with our time alone, so we were kind of with her in a way.

With the month winding down, I keep thinking about how Dianna will be 1 1/2 by the seventh of April. I can't believe it! But then again, I also cannot believe that I'm already 25 weeks pregnant. Time passes so quickly. I'm already thinking about the baby shower...

Another Semester and By the Way, I'm 15 Weeks Along

The Mr. just started school this week. It's gotten me thinking about how much I got used to him being home all the time with us and how much I had come to rely on his help with working and everything! This semester is going to be hard, and I can already see the huge change that my hubby is feeling about it.

During winter break, he began his coaching job at Adelson, a private school, where he is coaching fifth grade boys' basketball. Thankfully, he had two weeks of undisturbed work before his own semester began. He's loving it so far and I'm thankful he has the opportunity to do what he loves.

For the first time since I have known him, the Mr. is taking five classes. Add on the coaching job, which happens to jive perfectly with his schedule, and he's got a pretty full plate. He actually doesn't seem to mind being fully booked, though. It's teaching him to stay on top of everything, and I hope that same enthusiasm sticks through the coming months!

My only bit of selfishness I'm truly feeling is that we basically only see eachother for lunch and dinner. I know that's how most relationships work, trust me, I know! But I had become accustomed to our lazy winter days when everyone had sweats on and we just hung out all day.

See, like this?! This is nice!

But now it seems like our weekends are even choc-full of things that need doing. When did that happen?! And why am I feeling it all in one shot? One sobering, overwhelming, icky shot?!

Which brings me to my pregnancy.

I am 15 weeks pregnant and so far, no weight gain! Hallelujah! The only big difference between my two pregnancies right now is that my headaches are more annoying in my second trimester...oh, and that no weight gain thing.

Today is my first appointment for the new prenatal classes my provider is teaching. But that's for a later post. Suffice it to say that I'm really excited for this. Also, last night the Mr. and I decided that even though he can't come to all of it, he's coming to the first half hour to see how the class goes.

Also, I just scheduled my ultrasound for February 17th! I'm definitely sad that it feels so far away, but at least it's scheduled!

That is enough for now.
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