Friday, December 24, 2010


Thank you dear Santa.  My heart is so thrilled you granted my Christmas wish.

Otherwise I would have missed seeing my sweet girl play Mary and my little boy play baby Jesus in our first annual nativity.

Or seeing my chubby little babe cooing in front of the Christmas tree.

Or missed seeing the stockings you lovingly stuffed for my dear ones.

So grateful we are able to celebrate our own little miracle on the eve we celebrate the best miracle in the world - the birth of our Savior.

Merry Christmas to all.  And to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Wish

Dear Santa,
My Christmas wish is simple.  I just want to spend Christmas Eve at home, with my family.

(Which would mean my sweet baby would be on the mend and no longer struggling to breathe from RSV in a children's hospital and that I would get a full night's rest without nurses and doctors interrupting my slumber all night long.)

I have tried to be good.  I promise.


Carsten chillin' in his crib at CHOC Mission Hospital.
He is a HUGE flirt with all the nurses here.  Even other 
nurses not assigned to us have come to meet Mr. Congeniality
and be awarded with his smile, belly laughs and coos.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fall Behind

Fall has come and gone with relatively very little posts, few and far between.  We did, however, celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Here are some pictures to prove it.

We attended the Pumpkin patch as a family.  

Elisabeth and Papa attended her Halloween party at her preschool.

We spent Halloween day having dinner at Elisabeth's BFF's home.

The Smemoes & the Riecks

Carsten was our little pumpkin this year.

Lance and Kristi went to see Beauty and the Beast at the OCPAC and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Grandma Becky babysat one night.  Kristi's friend Heidi babysat the other.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house and had Lance's brothers' (Loren & Chris) families stay with us for four days.
Elisabeth especially loved playing with her cousins and Uncle Chris.

Elisabeth loved matching her girl cousin, Arianna

We blessed our son Carsten and gave him a name at Church.  (This occasion deserves its own post. More later)

The Smemoes that visited for Thankgiving and attended Carsten's blessing.

Letter to Mom: Christmas Edition

A bell I with my mom's name on it. So she can be
with us in spirit every Christmas.
Dear Mom,
I baked cut-out cookies with Elisabeth today. Just like how you used to bake cut-out cookies with me every Christmas from the time I can remember.  I found a little cookie sheet, toddler-sized and showed her how to roll out the cookie dough and how to jiggle the cookie cutters so the cookies would come out easily - just like you did with me. You would have been proud.  And loved to see the look of accomplishment on her chubby little face when the cookies were on her little cookie tray and in the oven.  And just like you, I forgot to document it with my camera.

This is the season where I miss you the most.  I miss baking with you.  I miss seeing your boxes of cards and hand written Christmas greetings cluttering up the living room.  I miss your decorating flare and how even the window sills were adorned with Christmas nick nacks you had accumulated over the years. I miss spending hours in the freezing basement, wrapping the multitudes of gifts you got for everyone.  I miss your oyster stew and the lutefisk you made every year for Dad.  I miss attending Christmas Eve Lutheran service with you and singing joyous songs about our Savior's birth together with the rest of the congregation.  You were the epitome of Christmas spirit.  And we all loved you more for it.  You made Christmas special for us.  So much that I still want to still believe in Santa Clause and want my children to see the spirit, magic and wonder of Christmas - the same why you did for us.

I am trying desperately to create the same spirit of Christmas here in our home with our wee ones.  From the nativity scene at the base of the Christmas tree to baking so many sweets we are bound to be diabetic, you live in my heart and are part of your grandchildren's Christmas each year.  We love and miss you.

Your daughter,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Babysitting Co-op

Tonight we watched three other children that were not our own.  In our care were the following:  a 7 month old, a 13 month old, 2 two year olds and a 2 month old baby.  The night was utter chaos.  Between a teething baby who sobbed if he wasn't being held, crazy two year olds who are learning how to share and use the potty, a newborn that needs to eat every two hours and needs to be cuddled often and another little crawler who grabs and gets into everything, we barely survived.   At one point I was nursing Carsten and holding a sad baby in my lap at the same time.

As four children slumber peacefully upstairs and Lance snores in the Lazy Boy, I would consider the evening a success.  Despite having to get two babies down to bed at the same time, Elisabeth pooping in the bathtub while she was taking a bath with her best friend, and the 7 month old dumping a pitcher of water all over the table, herself and the floor during dinner time - yes, a success.  I still need to bleach my tub.  That will have to wait until tomorrow.

We are part of a babysitting co-op with three other families in our area.  Each couple picks a Saturday or Friday each month when they are available to watch the children of the other families.  If everyone participates on the given Saturday, there are 7 children total - two infants, one young toddler, three toddlers and one school-aged child.  The five hours we have these kids are probably the longest five hours in the month.

But having three date nights a month where we don't have to pay a babysitter - totally worth it.  The idea is actually ingenious.  Don't you think?

Lance amidst the chaos.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Carsten With Love - 1 Month

Papa's favorite - copyright Beatta Bosworth
Dear Carsten,
I can't believe you are already a month old (and then some).  The last few weeks have been a blur, the days melding into one as I catch hours of sleep here and there.  However, I can't remember being happier.  You are such a snuggle bunny, always wanting to hunker down against the chest of whomever is holding you.  You have such a peaceful and calm spirit about you and usually only cry when you want to be held or fed.

Here were your 1 month stats:

Weight:  10 lbs - 50th percentile
Length:  24 inches - 90th percentile

Long and semi-lean, our little green bean.

What I love best about you are the sweet cooing sounds (which reminds me of a dove) you make when you return our smiles.  Elisabeth has been heard to say many an occasion "Look Mama!  He is smiling at me!  He likes me!"  That you do - just hearing her voice makes you smile.

Wishing I could freeze this time forever - when your sweet little spirit is so fresh from Heaven.  We are so glad you chose to come to our family.

With Love,

Carsten John - 2 weeks old.  copyright Beatta Bosworth

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I am absolutely smitten with these little ones.  The older one makes me smile every day with her cheerful and full-of-life personality and her constant chatter.  She may not always be obedient but she is quite happy and excited about life.  Her personality is contagious.

The little one is heaven-sent.  I don't ever want to put this snuggle bunny down.  And he knows it.  He protests quite strongly when I do.  He has such a calm presence about him.  Something tells me he will be the peacemaker of our family.

Can't help but want at least two or three more of these.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Carsten's Birth Story

I am not sure what it is, but us mothers always want to know the details of each others' births.  Maybe it can be compared to military veterans sharing their battle tales or returned missionaries sharing their mission stories.  I think it is because all of these things become a part of who we are and say something about our character.  Carsten's birth was an experience I will cherish forever.  And for those who want to know the details, I won't disappoint. This is the "unabridged" version of his birth.


Preface:  We had decided about two months ago that I was going to do this birth naturally.  Not that I am against epidurals - In fact, there was about 15 minutes during my labor this time where I was begging for one.  However, I do believe birth is a natural process and that our bodies know what they should be doing.   I heard recovery was so much easier after a natural birth (and as my recovery with Elisabeth was quite difficult, this was appealing.)  But, most importantly something inside of me felt it was the right thing to do.  We have had so many medical interventions getting pregnant, having a natural birth was my way of reclaiming something we lost at conception.

We signed up for a 6 week Hynobabies class and spent time everyday preparing for Carsten to arrive by practicing relaxation, meditation, and positive affirmations.  You use a series of CDs that have tracks with relaxation music and a person speaking with a soothing voice along with scripts that Lance would read to me while I listened to music.  I will post more details about this childbirth program later.  I do have to say I know that it was because of the techniques I learned in this class I was able to have a natural birth. 

Wed., Oct. 6th - Pre-labor.  I had contractions on and off all day.  Sometimes they were close - like 7 minutes and other times they were a vast 20 minutes apart.  None of them were painful.  Lance stayed home from work and we spent the day with Elisabeth making rice krispy treats, baking brownies, taking walks and going to the park.   My contractions had slowed down so much that I encouraged Lance to attend a work dinner in Newport Beach that night.

I went to bed at 11 p.m., listening to one of my Hypnobabies CD's through the night.  I woke up about once an hour to a sharp contraction and then would go back to sleep.

Thursday, Oct. 7th - 2:00 a.m.  Woke up to really intense contractions that were close together.  After about 30 minutes of trying to cope with them on my own, I decided I needed Lance to wake up to help me.  We started timing them and they were 3 minutes apart and lasted 1 - 1 1/2 minutes long.

3:30 a.m. - I had wanted to labor at home as long as possible because I was most comfortable there.  However, Lance started to feel that it was "time" for us to go to the hospital since the contractions were so close together.  After making the necessary calls to our "middle of the night" sitter, our doula (my good friend Becky a.k.a. my surrogate mom) and the doctor, we were off to the hospital.   (Dr. K's words to Lance when he called "You need to come to the hospital.  NOW." )  I listened to a Hypnobabies track on the way to the hospital and I felt very relaxed and at peace. 

4:15 a.m. - We checked into the hospital.  We spent about 45 minutes in L&D triage where they had me change, go to the bathroom and then monitored my contractions and the baby's heart rate.  I was already dilated to 7 cm.  Whoohoo!  I continued to listen to one of my Hypnobabies track the whole time and found it invaluable to helping me stayed relaxed.  I don't remember feeling a lot of pain - just pressure.

5:00 a.m. - I was moved to our Labor and Delivery suite.  No sooner did I arrive than I started to enter transition.  Because the nurse wanted to monitor me closely, I had to stay close to the bed. This was NOT helpful as I couldn't get comfortable. My contractions were right on top of each other, without a break in between.  My state of relaxation quickly dissolved as I couldn't find a comfortable position to labor in.  (Not to mention the nurse kept pressing on my belly during every contraction.  Once again, NOT helpful.)

The point of no return:  I am embarrassed to admit that I completely lost it for about 15 minutes during my transition - I begged, cried, and pleaded with Lance to let me get the epidural.  I kept saying "I know you are disappointed in me but I really need it."  Both Lance and Becky kept trying to get me to relax and kept reminding me that since I was feeling I couldn't do it anymore, the baby was almost here.  The nurse offered to check to see how far along I was and then let us decide what we wanted to do.  She checked - and I was at 10 cm already.  The point of no return.  I started to sob, remembering Elisabeth's birth and how long I had to push with her.  And the nurse sweetly told me "Kristi, you are just going to have to use your techniques you have learned to get through this."  I prayed.  Really hard.  And then, knowing the only way was forward, I started to focus on using the Hypnobabies techniques again and could feel myself relaxing again.

Moving forward:  The time table for the rest of the birth is hazy.  My water finally broke a few minutes later and then my body just started to voluntarily push and my contractions slowed down.  This was the neatest experience for me - when I had Elisabeth, I was told when and how to push and pushing lasted for about 1 1/2 hours.  This time, I only focused on what Lance was saying to me as he read the Hypnobabies script, and I pushed the way my body told me to.  And I continually prayed.  Five or six contractions later, my little guy barreled into the world.

And then the pressure disappeared.  And my perfect little boy was there, crying his little heart out. I had done it.  And surprisingly, it felt wonderful - empowering.  The doctors and nurses were  impressed with his birth and they kept telling us so.  I don't remember much of what they said.  I just remember holding my wailing infant in my arms, free of pain, and feeling like he was a gift from heaven.

Epilogue:  As I tried to fall asleep the day Carsten was born, I was just overwhelmed with his whole birth and couldn't stop replaying it in my head.  I couldn't wait to write down my feelings.  Elisabeth's birth was a miracle but it was not one I wanted to repeat anytime soon.  It was long and exhausting.  Carsten's was so different.

Was a natural birth painful?  During transition I would have to honestly say YES.  Oh, YES.  Carsten came so quickly I didn't ever have time to adapt to the hospital environment or get into my deep relaxation "zone" I had practiced at home.  Would I do it again?  YES, YES, YES, YES, YES.  I don't think I will ever have an epidural again. 

I can't justify my feelings with words but the having Carsten naturally was one of the most amazing, spiritual experiences I have ever had in my life.  Being at a brink where I felt like I couldn't do it anymore and then overcoming that, working with my body to birth a child, and then having the instant relief of pain being replaced by pure joy with the new infant.    Priceless.  Something about the experience is empowering and made me feel closer to our Savior.  I couldn't have done it without Him. Nor could I have done it without Lance's calming demeanor, encouraging me along the whole time.  Nor could I have done it without Becky's helpful hand, doing whatever she could to support us.

Life is good.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! - Illustrated version

Carsten John - How can you not love this face?

Dr. Kaminskas, Kristi and Carsten (center).  Dr. Kaminskas kept telling us she was so "proud" and gave us all hugs.
Elisabeth's first words out of her mouth when she met Carsten were "I want to hold him!!!"
Carsten's going home outfit.  Notice the smocking :-)
Carsten is so long and wiry - quite different than his sister was!
 Head-to-toe shot
Mama and the rest of the family were so happy to see baby Carsten!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

After a relatively short period of active labor and about an hour in the delivery room, we were happy to welcome a new baby boy into the world this morning!

I'll post pictures after I get home tonight, but in the meantime, here are the specs:

Name: Carsten John
Birthdate & time: October 7, 2010, 6:08 a.m.
Weight: 7 lbs. 2 oz.
Height: 20 inches

Mama, baby, and the rest of the family are doing great! It was heartwarming to see Elisabeth give baby Carsten a big hug this morning.
- Lance

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Waiting for the best things. . .

Love, love, love this picture.
One of the reasons I became interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a teenager was the religion's focus on the family.  Mainly, that families could be together forever.  What an amazing concept - to spend eternity with those that you love.

We were able to be there to witness when Lance's brother, Chris, started his forever family with my new SIL, Wendy, in the Salt Lake City Temple in August.  And it was beautiful.  And touching.  And exciting.  All at the same time.

We love Christopher.  It could be because he is so generous and selfless and cool and we spend more time with him than any of Lance's siblings.  Yet that isn't why he is pretty special to our family.

The happy couple with most of the nieces and nephews.

Lance and Chris
When we were struggling to get pregnant and have children, I felt like there was an unsaid connection and understanding between Chris and us.  He wasn't married.  We didn't have kids.  In a religion like ours that focuses so much on family, this is heartbreaking.  There are constant reminders everywhere that we either didn't have a spouse in which to share life or children in which to find joy.   Whenever we were together with Lance's growing, huge family, there was always a reminder that everyone was progressing forward in life without us - We still remained childless for 6 years while multiple babies were born and Chris still remained alone, while slowly everyone got married.  We never really talked about it (how awkward would that be to discuss my innermost feelings with my brother-in-law?  Maybe almost as awkward as me posting them here - publiclyLet me apologize publicly - Sorry, Chris.), but I always felt in my heart that Chris understood what we were going through in a way no one else could.

After we had Elisabeth, there was nothing more that I wanted than for Chris to find his special someone.  I didn't want him to be the only one "left behind."

So, with many tears and much laughter, we were able to witness him being sealed to one of the most intelligent and kind women I have ever met.  We couldn't be happier for them and even saying that doesn't justify how we feel.

Priceless.  We have the temple marriage lesson down pat.  Now to work on modesty.
The best things do come to those who wait.   Even better for those who wait patiently (which is NOT me.  Still waiting for baby #2 to show up.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

All's Quiet on the Homefront

Spent the day walking around the mall and running various errands due to an unseasonal rain.

Made the following eclectic purchases:
- two Thanksgiving placemats from Pottery Barn kids
- a Cinderella nightgown for one of Elisabeth's Christmas presents
- a box of See's candy to surprise Lance at work
- a bone for Sofi
- a birthday card
- two hot dogs from Costco

Guess baby is now technically "overdue" though I am still pretty calm. He will come when he is ready to come.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rocking Her World

I went into Elisabeth's bedroom last night and crawled into bed with her.  I scratched her back while she slept and couldn't help but feel a little melancholy.  We are about to rock this little sweetheart's world.  She is going to go from being the beloved, only child who has her parents undivided attention to having to share every moment with an incredibly needy, yet sweet newborn brother.  And that is just the beginning.

Many times these past few weeks Lance and I have looked at each other and asked ourselves (while chuckling) "What were we thinking?"  Of course we want our son to be born into our family.  But. . . I am not sure we are ready to enter into the world of parenthood for those with multiple children.

Ready or not, change is immanent.   And to our credit, we have never been ones to have lofty expectations for the future.  We just kinda jump into things, head first, taking things as they come.

I just hope this little independent girl will weather the storm of change with grace.

And this mom can shake the feeling of guilt for shattering the only life her daughter has known.


Note:  As you probably already guessed, no baby yet.  I am going to try to do a post a day so if you notice a day goes by without a post you will know I am most likely at the hospital having a baby.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two Nos and a Yes

No baby yet, for those who are diligently checking my blog to see what is going on.  Wait, is there anyone out there diligently checking my blog?  Maybe not.  I can only dream.

No baby name yet.  Two names are high in the running - Carsten and John.  Elisabeth is partial to Carsten.  Lance is partial to John.  And I am stuck somewhere in the middle.  Carsten was my great-grandpa who came over from Norway to the U.S.  It is a strong, good name that means "Follower of Christ" and has German roots.  And it is very unique.   John was my grandpa's name as well as one of Lance's greats, and has a lot of meaning to us because that is what Elisabeth named her son in the New Testament after waiting years and years for him to come.   Besides, who wouldn't want their son to aspire to be like John the Baptist?   So, we continue to debate and hope that our baby will come home with a name. 

Yes, I am pretty much ready.  My hospital bag was packed just tonight.  Elisabeth's clothes have been packed and sent over to her friend's house where she will stay and the dog has been bathed and her bedding washed so her caretakers won't regret offering to take her too much.  And I have baked enough zucchini bread that if I don't cook for a week or so, we can live off of that.

Ready or not, our little boy can come anytime now.  We look forward to meeting him!

 Me at 39 weeks, 5 days.  He is certainly a lot more compact than Elisabeth was.  However, my arms have definitely fattened up a bit - making me feel like a beached whale whenever I take Elisabeth to the pool or attend my bi-weekly water aerobics class.

38 weeks pregnant with Elisabeth

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Good Work Ethic

I am all about teaching a good work ethic to my family.  Nothing bothers me more than people *without* a good work ethic.  Instilling this in my family is high on my priority list.  (As high as learning the art of relaxation is on Lance's.)

Papa has his work during the day and a small laundry list of household chores that belong to him and only him.

Elisabeth is in charge of setting the table, feeding the dog (yet another reason Sofi is overweight), picking up her toys, and unloading the silverware when the dishwasher is done.  No, we are not breaking any childhood slavery laws.  She enjoys helping.  So I give into her whims to always help me cook, bake, and set the table at dinner time.  Realistically, I only have a few years before she realizes that she would rather be playing than working so I am taking full advantage of the joy she receives from helping me out.

For me, my chore list is never-ending, just like the mountain of laundry that sits at the end of our bed waiting to be folded.  One can only do so much.

Sofi is the laziest member of our household.  She sleeps most of the day and night, only waking for food, a walk, a few minutes of play every evening, and to move from the sofa to her bed to our bed throughout the day.

We have decided she needs to be assigned more responsibilities around the house.

First chore - babysitting.  As you can see, the role play with dolls seems to be going really well.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When you're the best of friends

Elisabeth and Tutti - 4th of July, 2010
Elisabeth and Taylor are the best of friends.  They have so much fun playing with each other and as of late, getting into a lot of trouble - Like drawing all over Elisabeth's nice kitchen set with pen, finger painting with bright blue fertilizer or locking themselves into my car and pretending to "drive."

Elisabeth started calling Taylor "Tutti" for some reason and it has stuck.  Taylor doesn't mind, though only Elisabeth and Elisabeth's family can call her that.

They love having matching shoes and always have to wear similar clothes.  Elisabeth likes to wear dresses daily.  Tutti - not so much.  But, whenever we get together to play, Tutti dones a dress so she can be just like her friend.

Tutti's mom, who happens to be one of my best friends, goes back to work tomorrow as a teacher, meaning that both EB and I will not be able to spend as much time with our good friends.  I think we will both go through major withdrawal. 

Friends are a true blessing, no matter how old you are. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

At a loss

The terrible twos.  Or at least this is what I am hoping it is with Elisabeth because then that means there may be an end in sight for all the temper tantrums, incessant whining, and battle of wills we have had every day as of late.

I read this online today:
Conviction, determination, and tenaciousness are all as much a part of being strong willed as are incurable temper tantrums. So my 'parenting the strong willed toddler' tip of the day is to learn to look at these battle of the wills differently. Learn to see what could become rather than what is at the immediate moment.
Hmmm, sounds a little like me, minus the tantrums part. 

I keep praying for patience, but really, I would just like someone to tell me what I need to do to see more of the sweet girl I know is hiding down inside this toddler.  Anyone got some good advice?  Or at least some parenting books I could read? 

Terrified for when we bring the new baby home. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This time around

I can't believe I have less than two months before "Baby Brother" arrives.  With Elisabeth, I kept a detailed pregnancy journal.  With this baby, not so much.  Here is my attempt to start a journal for him.  Sorry, bub.  The curse of being the 2nd born, I guess.

  • Peanut Butter - Can't get enough of it.  That and watermelon.  (Not to mention smoothies and carrot cake.)
  • Where's the Beef? - Can't stand chicken at all this pregnancy.  I rarely make it and I will only order it if it is on a salad at a restaurant.
  • Laid-back personality?  - His heart rate is much slower than his sister's was.  My OBGYN always claims that he likes to relax when she finds his heartbeat on the doppler.  We are hoping she is right.
  • Fit Mama - I have consistently exercised three times a week.  Between Zumba, water aerobics, the eliptical, walking, swimming and prenatal yoga, I have tried to stay active.  As a result, I have gained much less weight so far than I have with Elisabeth. I think I might even be smaller.  (See picture below.  What do you think?)
  • Ouch! - Those are my ribs!  This baby LOVES to stretch out and hook his toes behind my ribs.  
  • Catching my ZZZZ's - I am utterly exhausted all the time.  I am convinced it has more to do with recovering from grad school, chasing after an active 2 year old all day and our recent move, but I am sure my gestating of another human being has something to do with it.  
  • Name Game - We haven't decided on a name yet.  We figured we would go to the hospital with a few names we like and then decide.  Three things we did decide on - all of our children will have one family name, their names will have meaning, and their names will most likely be classic, old fashioned names.  
  • Hynobaby - I am going to try to go au natural this go around.  As a result we are taking a Hypnobabies class.  Call me crazy, call me brave, call me whatever.  Let's just see how it goes.
One thing remains a constant.  I love being pregnant.  Besides the stressful first trimester when I am considered "high risk," there is nothing more that I enjoy than being able to carry and grow a miracle in my body for nine months.  Nothing is more divine or makes me feel closer to Heavenly Father.  I still feel twinges of sadness when I think of all of those women out there who want children and can't have them.  That is one question I am sure to ask after I die.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Putting off until tomorrow

Here is pretty how much every night goes for me. 

Around 7:30 p.m., I put Elisabeth to bed.
I then sit on the computer to check my email - saying I will only be on there 20 minutes.
An hour later, I start to visualize all the things that need to be done.
An hour and a half later, I give into exhaustion and decide it can all wait until tomorrow. 
Amazing how much stuff piles up when you put off today what you can do tomorrow.

But, we are moved into our new home.  Are mostly unpacked besides the non-essentials - like pictures on the walls, books on our shelves, and knick-knacks on the fireplace.  We finished planning and attended our family reunion.  Had a blast but glad to have that behind us.  And I've got 7 weeks to gather up enough energy to nest.  And dream about the relaxing vacations I can't wait to take again with Lance - like the one we took in May to the Central Coast. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moving, moving, moving

After a discussion with my SIL Lisa over the phone, she indicated she thought I liked to be crazy-busy after I told her all we had going on this summer.   I laughed.  Maybe she is right.  I don't know if I LIKE it, but I do know I am used to it.  I need to be de-programmed I guess.  Are there any self-help groups out there for people who are over-scheduled all the time?  If so, send me the info. I think I need it.

To spare you the lengthy explanation of all the balls I am juggling in the air this month and next, here is my check-list to give you an idea.  (Just so you know, it is Lance's and my turn to plan his family reunion so that is why our checklist is so long.)

Kristi's To Do List - July
Moving Stuff (To do before July 19th)
- Contact Movers to get quotes
- Arrange time to sign lease w/ new landlord
- Request packing help from friends
- Go through house to find stuff to sell at garage sale
- Price garage sale stuff
- Make signs for garage sale
- Create filing system & file papers in office
- Pack up the house
- List washer/dryer on
- Move over breakables/etc. to our new home July 17th
- Return the guest bed to our neighbor

Family Reunion Stuff (To do before July 31st)
- Make plane reservations
- Verify hotel reservations
- Order tickets for Silver Dollar City
- Pass on info to BIL to order t-shirts
- Reserve boats for boating day
- Plan menu for BBQ lunch
- Create food shopping list
- Arrange dinner for Monday night @ hotel
- Send out misc. cost info to family members
- Create reunion packets (Lance to do)
- Pack

- Send my bio/picture to president for website
- Schedule webinars for 2010/2011
- Create Google Calendar for upcoming events

Contract Work
- Finish reviewing two courses for Chevron's PTEC Phase IV
- Create Flash exercise for Chevron's Ross Hill contract
- Create TOC for Ross Hill Contract
- Bill Westmed for additional database support time
- Send in new contract
- Assist w/ four seminars at Coastline's Summer Technology Institute

- Plan and Teach Sharing Time for all of July
- Update rosters & rolls w/ new move-ins
- Update blog for July

- Sign up EB for swimming lessons
- Work out at gym three times a week (for sanity purposes)
- Reschedule teeth cleaning
- Take glucose tolerance test

Tired yet?  Here's to praying fervently I can get all of this done by August 1st AND that these happenings don't send me into pre-term labor! 

Fold your paws, Sofi

Though Elisabeth isn't the most reverent child during family prayer, she sure loves it.  She always calls the dog into the bedroom for family prayer or when we have visitors, such as Uncle "Wootie" and Ralphie Dog, they must join us as well.   "Family Pwayer Time"  She rarely keeps her arms folded for more than one second and never closes her eyes.  Nor does she sit in one spot - she is usually trying to jump on our bed or twirl the rocking chair around or even run down the hallway.

But she is the arm folding police.

Last night, these words came out of her mouth and are still making me smile today.

"Fold your paws, Sofi.  Come on, Sofi.  Fold your paws."

I can't help but feel sorry for this poor beagle.  I think it is possible to love a dog too much.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finding Joy

Having a toddler teaches me many things.  More than anything, Elisabeth has taught me to find joy in everyday life.  How much less stressed would be as adults if we. . . 

Wore whatever we felt like wearing, regardless of the occasion.  And sang uplifting songs like "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" whenever we put those clothes on.

Took our dog on a walk every day.

Stopped to smell the flowers.

And held hands with someone special to us.

Yup, I think she has figured it out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Because I just can't seem to relax. . .

Someone nominated me to be the VP of Programs for the MSIDT Alumni Association.  No worries, I think.  There has to be multiple candidates.  No one will vote for me.

Wrong, as usual. I am the only one up for the position.  Granted, the Alumni Association only has a few events during the year but . . .still.

My guess is it is one of these two - my grad school partners in crime, Randy and Tai:

Good thing I am so forgiving.

We also sent in our notice to vacate our lease this week.  We have been talking about moving to a smaller, cheaper place for a few years.  Last year didn't work out as we had guests the time of the move.  I know it is the rational and logical decision as we want to buy a house and that won't happen as long as we are paying as much as we do for rent.

Anyone want to explain to me why I haven't been able to stop crying since I sealed up the letter of our fate?  I seriously want to go back to that big, blue mailbox and somehow figure out how to rescue this notice to vacate from the letters inside. Or beg Lance to call our landlord back and tell him we changed our mind.  Major regret.  I do want to buy a house.  I do want to save money.  But I can't stand to say goodbye to this house.  We have lived here longer than we have lived anywhere before and I love it. Plus, I hate to say goodbye to the jacuzzi bathtub.  And, let's face it.  I loathe moving more than snakes.  Which is probably more than I loathe anything in this world.

Maybe we should just not pack up or leave and keep sending in rent.  Maybe they won't notice.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010


Graduation is tomorrow.  I can't figure out why everyone else seems much more excited about my graduation than me.  Then it occurred to me - I am just plain exhausted and don't have much energy to celebrate.  Between running after a determined toddler who has been out of her sleep schedule (meaning we get less sleep), to being 21 weeks pregnant, to trying to catch up on housework we have let go over the past year, to figuring out when in the world I am going to finish my internship and start my two contract jobs, I am just too tired right now to give my well-earned graduation the hoo-rah it needs.  Not to mention that I just finished my last semester of grad school.

I wonder if any other graduates feel this way.  Really, I can't wait for tomorrow to be over.  This is one chapter in my life I can't wait to put behind me.  Grateful I did it?  Yes.  Would I do it again?  Maybe.  Ask me again in a few months.

As for now, just put me in a hotel room, away from life for three days and I can guarantee you I will be sleeping.  A LOT.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Balance in the Universe

Our family of three (four, if you count the dog) will be welcoming another boy into the family this Fall.  Lance breathed a sigh of relief.  There is balance in the universe.  Or at least a little more balance in our household.  Baby Boy is healthy and growing steadily.  I can't believe we are half-way done!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Prodigal Dog

I had to have a talk with Sofi today, who ran away.  Luckily, the receptionist at the nearby animal hospital saw our chubby beagle non-chalantly meandering past their office and he pulled her inside and gave us a call.  Our guess is she was looking for Papa Johns, as we often take her with us when we go to pick up a pizza ordered. Her hysterical Mama was never more over-joyed to see her first baby safe and not in the dog pound or worse yet - dead on the side of the road. (The animal hospital is at an intersection of two of the busiest roads in our city.) After I loved her up and gave her lots of kisses and hugs, she was lectured on how good she at it at our house and how she should never, never, never, ever, run away again.  Seriously, Sofi.  You have your own room.  You have a big backyard.  You have a toddler that feeds you tasty morsels every day.  You are lucky to be alive. 

I think she was sorry.

Lance had to have a talk with Elisabeth today, who opened the front door to help Sofi escape. He warned her if she let Sofi out the front door that we may never see Sofi again.  She cried.  And then she went with Lance to help find our dog in her new Cindi-rella dress she got from her WV family.  She kept hollering "Sofi" in her scratchy, two-year old voice, in hopes Sofi would come back. 

I know she was sorry.  She told her Papa so.

Oh, the adventures we have.  I wonder how our next baby will fit into the mix.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I am officially done with the MSIDT program at Cal State Fullerton and in a week from Saturday, I will have a Masters of Science degree in Instructional Design and Technology.

Relief.  That is the only word I can find to describe how we ALL feel in this house.  RELIEF.

Now, let the celebrating begin.

(Elisabeth reading my Dreamweaver book.  Besides having an absentee mom, she got to learn about website design these past few months.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It'll All Be Over Soon

Ever see Titanic?  If you did, remember the line a panicked mom whispers to her toddler as she stands on the deck as the ship is about to sink into the ocean?

"It'll all be over soon."

That is what I keep telling myself every day, feeling something a little similar to what the mother meant.  No, I am NOT dying. Nor do I mean to compare graduate school to a tragic death.  But it is painful.  And somewhat of a nightmare.  It is more overwhelming than I can imagine. And so stressful that I can't wait to see the end of it.

29 days until my grad project must be completed and brought to the bindery at CSFU. 29 days until I am done with post-bac school forever. 29 days until I can breathe again.  29 days until my home can have some semblance of order and I can stop resorting to having my baby watching Disney movies.  Though I have to admit, Lady in the Tramp is quite a good flick.  Don't you think?

29 days.

Post script:  I guess I come across as complaining a lot.  Let me just recap the following two weeks so you can understand why my simple task of completing a grad school project has helped turn my life into a nightmare.

  • Horrible facial pain over Easter weekend that required constant icing of the face.
  • Two hours spent in Urgent Care on Monday, after finding out my regular doc was on vacation.  I was prescribed an antibiotic.
  • Facial and tooth pain that got increasingly worse throughout the day on Monday.  Enough that I called my dentist who told me it probably wasn't related to my teeth and more likely my sinuses.
  • Awake all night Monday with the worst pain I have ever experienced in life.  Much worse than giving birth.  Enough that I asked Lance to either a) take me to the emergency room or b) knock me out with a bat.  He did not do either, worried it would have a negative effect on my baby.
  • Almost passing out from pain while driving to the endodontist Tuesday morning. The Spirit whispered "Pull over now."  I did.  SCARY.
  • Receiving a root canal that took THREE hours to complete due to the insane infection in my tooth.
  • Finding out it takes 5 visits to the dentist to receive a permanent crown.  FIVE.
  • Also discovering I have to get another night guard once my crown is in place. AND my dental insurance has run out for 2010.
  • Realizing that my root canal and my crown will cost us $1000.  Good bye post-graduation cruise, my monthly house cleaner, and my babysitter for Elisabeth.  We just can't afford you.
  • Recently diagnosed with a UTI and blood pressure that keeps creeping up higher and higher.  Go figure.  My poor pregnant body can not handle all of this stress.  
The good news:  Novocain is God's nectar.  I almost kissed my endodontist when he took all of my pain away.  I started pre-natal yoga up again. Elisabeth is starting to talk in sentences. Lance has taken over doing the dishes. I get to go away for a weekend to scrapbook with my friends in April. Harry Potter #7 is supposed to come out in November. AND only 29 more days.  

I know this is what you all really want to see.  This is Elisabeth helping me make rice crispy treats. She and I have matching aprons.