Thursday, May 29, 2008

Twins?

So I went to my monthly OB-GYN check-up today to check on the baby. I told my doc that I had been super sick this pregnancy, and she said, "hmm... I wonder..." She then felt my belly and mumbled, "Hmm... you're feeling a little big for 13 weeks..." Then she got out the doppler and started listening for a heartbeat, which she found above the left side of my pelvis. Then for kicks she started listening for another heartbeat... WHICH SHE FOUND on the upper right side of my abdomen. I gasped, got teary, and looked at her like, "what just happened?" She asked if I wanted to get an ultrasound, just to see, and I nodded. Within a half hour, I was in the radiology waiting room telling my very excited mother that I might be having twins.

Kurt insisted I call him during the ultrasound and breathed a huge sigh of relief when there was only one baby inside. :) And I realized that I'm just fatter and sicker for no reason. Great.

Why he was relieved and I was a little sad and disappointed, I don't know. I mean, I'm the one who would bear the brunt of caring for 4 kids under 4. Being the romantic that I am, I think I just kind of fell in love with the idea for a few minutes. The ultrasound lady said, "twins always sound so exciting until you actually have them..." She's right. I'm sure I would have gone crazy, but it was fun for a few minutes to think about it!

My mom still thinks there might be one swimming around in there somewhere. She was quite disappointed that it was a false alarm. Our scanner's not working, otherwise I would have scanned in the quite cute profile shot we got of our babe today. Maybe another time... like when we find the other one hiding behind her at 18 weeks. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Caught in the Act...

Yesterday, we went to get the oil in our car changed. It was one of those drive-through places where they change the oil and check everything out while you wait in the car. Shortly after they began checking under the hood, I noticed the technician looking my way and laughing. Then she pointed to the backseat. I looked back and- to my horror- saw Madi LICKING her leg. Not just touching her tongue to her leg. We're talking long strokes from her knee to her toes, tongue curling around the toes, then back up again. It was alomst like she was a cat, cleaning herself.

So disgusting. I wanted to throw up.

I can just see her explain to a date in 20 years... "Oh, it's just one of those bad habits I picked up as a kid..."

A Memorial of Memorial Day

War creates such terrible nightmares. When I listen to veterans talk about their war experiences or read accounts of people who have survived a war, I always cry. Even when I'm not pregnant. I remember in college reading accounts of things that happened during the war in Somalia and wanting to vomit. I recently watched a documentary on Darfur, and I had similar feelings. How can a human being become so beastlike so quickly? What happens to conscience? At what point does a person stop seeing people as human and start seeing them as things?

I know veterans have to adopt this mindset to a certain extent when they fight in wars in order to psychologically survive. However, I have to believe that this does not make all soldiers beasts. I think veterans are the only people who come close to understanding the value of life the way a mother does. I also think that war's oppressive weight often gives birth to overwhelming goodness and peace in war's survivers. They are tired. They want rest. They know peace because they understand what life can become in its absence. I think many of them choose to find hope for a better world and then live accordingly. I have often wondered if all world leaders were mothers and veterans, would they be as quick to go to war when confronted with difficult situations?

Anyway, I thought about all these things this Memorial Day. I think this is the first time I have ever truly celebrated the intent of the holiday. :) My brother-in-law and grandfather both served in wars, so that also helped personalize my thoughts. Since Kurt was out of town, Madi, Max, and I stayed close to home. We went to the parade in Cambridge, and I cried and cheered and yelled 'thank you!!' to all the veterans who marched by us. I know I'm crazy, but I just couldn't help myself. It helped that my sidekick (Madi) was right next to me doing the same thing. :) Here are some highlight pictures.

Waiting for the parade to start...


Madi's reaction to all the bands and costumes


Max's response

First group of veterans. Sorry, Karl, I was too busy crying and telling Madi how great you were to get a shot of the Iraq group.


Cambridge High marching band


Cambridge City Police Force


What parade is complete without bagpipes?


And of course, no New England parade would be complete without people in period costume with bayonets. :)


The only group to throw candy... Madi was thrilled!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The girlification of Max... and his dad :)

I don't know why Madi and I get so much joy out of doing stuff like this, but apparently we do it a lot. This was our project one Saturday afternoon as Max and his dad were watching the Kentucky Derby. Madi was laughing so hard and was so excited when I suggested it (yes, I suggested it). I guess I do cave in to peer pressure... uh, daughter pressure?

Max thought it was funny that we were laughing so hard. He won't be laughing in twenty years. :) I mean, look at his dad.

I begged Kurt to let me do it so I could take a picture. He unwillingly caved, but you can see how enthused he was about having me put a ponytail on him and his son.... and subsequently publish it on the bloggosphere.
This is a separate occurrence. Madi takes all the blame for this one.

Max sometimes crawls one leg out of his pajamas, which makes it look like he has only one leg. This specific morning, with the hat on, and the positioning of the "empty leg," it made him look like a cheerleader doing full splits.

I suppose this will continue. I mean, I'm still laughing looking at the pictures, so I apparently like girlifying him. Poor Max.

Attack of the Cutlery

So one of Madi's favorite things to do is play with the plastic kid cutlery we (apparently) have in a kid-accessible place. One of Madi's other favorite things to do is play with Max (or harrass him, as the case may be... it's a fine line, you know). I came in to the kitchen one morning after only leaving for about five minutes only to find this:

I thought, "Hmm, Max is looking kind of...lumpy. What is that in his pajamas?" I unbuttoned them only to find this:

Madi had shoved every plastic fork, spoon, and knife she could find into Max's pajamas. she apparently started with his back, but then ran out of room, so she also put them down his front and up his sleeves:
At least she had the courtesy to let some of them hang out far enough for him to play with, which is what he was doing while waiting for Mommy to come rescue him. :)

I laugh every time I look at these pictures. It's a mixture of Madi's creativity and Max's mild temperament. I can't wait to see how they play together when Max can walk and talk. Watch out, Madi!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yup, it's true.

If you have seen me lately and thought, "Hmm, she's looking kind of pregnant-y...." then you would be right. Yes, I'm pregnant. I'm 13 weeks, and I'm already showing. Great.

And if you looked at Max, realizing that he's not even a year old, and thought, "Hmm, those two will be really close in age. I bet that they didn't plan it" then you would also be right. Max and the baby will be 17 months apart.

And if you were surprised, take that surprise times 100 and you will feel how we felt when we found out. :)

I am adjusting to this idea, and I'm actually kind of excited to have another baby. Babies are so sweet and innocent and pure, and they bring such a wonderful feeling into the house. I already feel peace and a little relief that I don't have to worry about deciding when to have another one; but I'm also still adjusting to the whole idea of having three children under 3.5. I know others have done it, and I'm sure we'll get through it, too.

I did not have morning sickness with Madi or Max, but have had it (all day) with this one, and am still in the thick of it. I'm starting to feel better longer, so I think the end is in sight.

If you are thinking, "Maybe she's having twins," then you would have the same thought that I shove out of my mind regularly :). Madi- who tends to be rather psychic when it comes to telling who has babies in their bellies- tells me on a regular basis that I have two sisters for her in my belly. However, she also just as frequently says that I have five babies in my belly, so then I feel relieved. :) She says the five babies are: Angelina Ballerina, Madi, Max (but he already came out, that's what she says), and some games. Yeah, I don't remember what #5 was. I think it was an animal.

So that's the news around here and part of the reason I've been really bad about posting, even though I'm done with finals.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Catch-up

It's sad to me that those "catch-up" posts are the only pictures I took in the last two months. I really need to capture all these great moments that seem to just melt through my brain when I try to remember them.

Madi and Max are growing up so quickly it astounds me. They literally seem a little more grown-up everyday. Kurt made me a beautiful photo montage put to music for Mother's Day (I'm trying to figure out how to post it- it's just great). I cried when I saw the first picture of Madi in my arms in the delivery room. I can't believe that my kids are growing up so fast! I just never realized how much activity happens inside of a person- especially a kid- in one day. I am really in awe of this every day.

Madi still has a posse of imaginary friends and loves to pretend. She still loves reading and playing on the playground and hugging Max (really hard!). She's also still really funny. I have a ton of Madi stories, but cannot recall a single one at the moment. I will conference with Kurt and try to post what we can remember. Madi's like a little light that just runs around, greeting everyone she meets with a smile and a "Hi. My name's Madi." She's still very brave and strong-willed, and creative, and just fun to be around. My favorite Madi-ism is when she says, "Mommy, you're my best friend." Ah, so nice. I think I'll record it and play it back to her when she's a teenager.

Max is crawling all over the place and just started pulling himself up on furniture a couple weeks ago. He is EXTREMELY curious and gets into everything he can get his hands on. This includes... everything, but especially anything Madi is using. He loves doing almost anything with Madi, but does not enjoy her "full-body press." He has learned pre-emptive crying usually helps get attention a lot faster than waiting until she actually attacks. Max is also eating anything and everything in sight. It is as if the last 10 months of hunger finally caught up. He's put on several pounds in the last month and I'm hoping he'll break the 10th percentile at his next appt. He especially likes crawling around the table, trying to find scraps of food to eat. He also loves to laugh and will sometimes laugh (with provocation) for like 5+ minutes at a time. Maybe he's burning too many calories laughing and that's why he's so thin.

Kurt has not traveled in the last 6 months! And we just found out that his newest case will be based in Boston! I'm so in love with the VP and manager on this case b/c they are SO family-friendly (this is the second case Kurt has had with them). We're excited about the upcoming BCG family weekend at Cape Cod and are looking forward to spending another year and a half or more at the company.

I just finished finals on Friday, and am now gearing up to start my thesis. I've been saying I'm going to start my thesis for over a year now, but this time it is real. I'm done with classes and have no other excuse to put it off, and have every reason to get it done NOW.

Kurt and I have also been working a lot with our church callings, all of which have been very challenging and very rewarding... as usual, right?

I think that's probably more than enough catch-up. I'm done. Hopefully, I can stay on top of things more in the upcoming months.

In the Dog House

So, one day Madi was playing and asked me to make her a dog house. So I gave her this:


She apparently asked Kurt the same question, because I came in a while later, and she had this:

We can obviously see which dog house won the Madi award, considering his Cheerios box-duct-taped-personalized-"Gilbert"-dog house is sitting triumphantly atop my laundry basket dog house.

I just love this story because it is a great reflection of how Kurt and I see the world. Me, very abstract. Kurt, very concrete. Which will our kids be? Confused? :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Boston, meet the Crocketts

Have you ever been around someone who just uplifts and energizes you every time you interact with them? If not, you should meet the Crocketts. They are pure gold. I met Julie Kaye years ago when we worked EFY together. We were instant friends. She also cuts my hair- STILL after six years (she lives in Utah and I live in Boston... it's a long distance relationship). I have yet to get a haircut that I don't like from JKC. I got to get to know her sister, Shawna, and her mom, Sydnee when they stopped to see me on their Boston tour. I LOVE THIS FAMILY!! Here's a few snapshots from our exploits.

DAY 1: Cambridge

Finishing a delicious breakfast at Z-Square, one of my favorite breakfast stops in Harvard Square.

At the Harvard Square T-stop. Unfortunately, you can't see Madi's french braid, compliments of Julie Kaye. She totally won Madi's heart with that, and Madi couldn't stop talking about Julie Kaye and her family for the rest of the week.

Echo Arch at Sever Hall, Harvard Yard. If you whisper into the arch on one side, the person on the other side of the arch can hear you, but not the person next to you.
I can't believe this is the only picture I took on our Harvard Yard tour. Sigh.

DAY 2: Boston

I didn't realize when the day started that I would be able to meet the Crocketts downtown. Julie Kaye called to let me know where they were going, and I just HAD to go. Who can pass up Boston in nice weather? When I turned around after hanging up the phone, I realized what Madi had been doing while I was occupied. Cheese piles. She was burying her feet in the "sand" (ie: shredded cheese). We were slightly delayed getting out the door. And yes. Cheese leaves grease marks on hardwood floors.

I love this picture. This is Julie Kaye's mom, Sydnee. Madi LOVED her!

The trashcan says "Butts here." When they saw it, they all started laughing simultaneously and they didn't even need to explain to each other- they just posed. :) I had to snap a shot of this in action. Too funny.

At the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. We sampled amazing Boston Creme Pie and the REAL Parker House Rolls. Yum.
Max fell asleep on our way back to the car, so I took Madi to play at the playground in Boston Common for a few minutes before heading home.

I'm so artistic. Look at this amazing photography. :) j/k Jen Smith, close your eyes.

Julie Kaye playing with Max. He was a good sport, even though he missed his morning nap.

Street performers in front of Fanuil Hall. Pretty cool dancing, I must say.

We miss you, Crocketts!

A Scientific Morning

Kurt has been able to work from home quite a bit in the last few months. It's been AWESOME to have him around so much. On on of these days, Madi and I took a Madi-Mommy date to the Science Museum and Kurt worked at home while Max slept. I'll tell you what- if you want a good time, call Madi. This kid is a blast! She's really just a hoot to hang around and you will never be bored, I promise you that.

For once, she didn't have to stick close by the stroller. We didn't have a stroller! She got to run anywhere she wanted and pick wherever she wanted to go. This included about six escalator rides, the reptile and amphibian exhibit, the children's room (of course), and anything that happened to catch her attention along the way. And we talked the entire time....well, at least one of us did. :)

It was a really fun morning.


The following is a series of pictures depicting how difficult it is to catch this creature on film. She will NOT look at the camera for pictures! I don't know if she does it on purpose or not, but it can be quite frustrating. Ask anyone who has tried to take pictures of her, including the recent professional we just paid to do so.
"Madi, look at Mommy!"

"Madi, look at the camera!"

"Madi, say cheese!"

"No, smile and say cheese. Look over here at Mommy."
Sigh.

Shadow room





Gotcha! Finally a picture of her looking at the camera!


Between the time my finger hit the button and the camera taking the shot, she crawled out from underneath the turtle shell and took off.