Tuesday, November 27

Wonderful Thanksgiving Break

I've really been neglecting the blog lately, so I guess I should update it at least this once before the baby comes (which has to be soon, right??). James's parents came to Knoxville for Thanksgiving this year and we had a wonderful visit. Laura and I prepped a few menu items on Wednesday then James and Laura cooked on Thursday. We had a wonderful late afternoon meal then headed to the Fantasy of Trees that the East Tennessee Childrens Hospital holds every year at the Knoxville Convention Center. Kate is always asking to go see the Christmas trees at Target, so I thought she would enjoy this outing. We all had a nice time wandering around and looking at the trees. Actually, Kate was more enthralled with each baby we saw than any of the decorated trees - even her favorite color the orange ones (and you KNOW there were orange ones!). Still, Kate's favorite part was probably the carousel ride, which she rode twice and cried about when it was time to leave.

(I have to make a little note about this photo - Kate never stands still like this for a picture or for any other reason, but there was a little girl right next to her posing for the camera, so she decided she could do it too - she kept looking over at the other girl to make sure she was doing it right and holding her hands just so - it was too funny to leave out)

Friday, we all went to cut down a Christmas tree. We did this last year and loved our imperfect, aromatic, locally grown Virginia Pine, so we decided to do it again this year and make it a tradition (at least for now). We wanted to have it done before the baby comes, so it was sort of now or never, as they say. At least it was chilly (it was in the 40's), so it didn't seem too early. Kate had fun running around and looking for stamps with Nana (they had placed 8 stations with stamps throughout the fields and gave us a paper to collect all 8). Hot chocolate and candy canes rounded up a fun little outing.

Saturday, Tom and Laura had to leave and James got to work putting up the tree. I think James would agree it was one of the least painful tree-standing experiences we've had in our ten years together. I'm sure that's because I was minimally involved (James was probably thankful I couldn't and didn't do much to "help" or "advise"). James and I strung the lights (again mostly James as I found the tree would poke my belly if I got too close!) and then we all decorated the tree when Kate woke up from her nap. Kate had fun pulling ornaments out of the box, unwrapping them, examining them, and hanging them on the tree. We only had to move a few, as she tended to put them all in the same area. I thought she would be wanting to touch the ornaments a lot, since she liked the Christmas trees at Target so much, but she hasn't shown much interest since we decorated it. And I think I figured out she actually prefers to see the fiber-optic village scene decorations with moving trains and ice skaters, which are right by the Christmas trees at Target. We've spent lots of time looking at each one the last few times we've been.

Today (well, once today actually begins), James goes back to work after a nice little break. Kate and I have gotten spoiled having him home so much. It was nice to have this extra little bit of time to get some decorating done and spend some time together with just the three of us before the baby comes and shakes things up. Kate is really turning into Daddy's girl lately, and I wonder if she somehow knows I won't be able to be there for her as much once the baby's born or if it's just a natural part of her growing up, which she is doing so quickly. Every day I'm amazed at the things she says, the observations she makes, and the independence she displays. The other night at bed time she wanted to brush her teeth all by herself and wouldn't let me or James even leave her bedroom or open her door to watch. She shut her door behind her and we could hear everything in the bathroom next door - her clambering up to the sink, turning on and then off the water, her little battery-operated toothbrush running for a minute while she brushed, and then she reappeared with a big smile, very proud of herself. She really is growing up so fast. I keep wondering what things this new little child of ours will be doing to amaze us and knowing that it will all be happening before we know it. Is there someway to make this whirlwind slow down? Cliche, I know, but ever true.

I can't even begin to express how thankful I am for all of the many blessings in my life. I just try to thank God every day for at least one of them.

Thursday, November 8

Four Weeks and Counting...

I am now 36 weeks pregnant and really ready not to be pregnant any more! For those of you who don't keep track by weeks, 40 weeks is the due date. I don't know if any of you check the time stamp on my posts, but they are usually some ungodly hour when I should be sleeping. My hands are so swollen and numb right now it's difficult to type, but the doctor said that's normal - sort of a pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. Great. It's better when I'm not lying down, so... here I am sitting at the computer.

I had a doctor appointment Tuesday with an Ultrasound to make sure the baby is in the right position for labor. None of the pics we got were worth posting here, but we did get to see the baby's face - so cute! Everything looks good and the doctor said at this point, if I go into labor, they won't stop me. That really brought it home that this baby could come at any moment. It's still not likely for a few more weeks, but you never know. Not that I wasn't aware of that already, it just got me in gear to really get all the last minute stuff ready. Kate and I went to Babies R Us yesterday to get a few things we've been needing for the baby (were newborn diapers always that tiny!?!). This weekend we will be pulling all of the "equipment" that babies come with (swing, bassinet, bouncy seat, bath, etc.) out of the storage room and finding a place for them in the house.

Whatever our preparedness level is as far as all of the stuff goes, it is just stuff and we're all anxious to welcome our new little family member. Kate can't get enough of the babies we see when we go out and is now asking if her baby brother is coming home soon. I really think she's getting this, though I'm sure she's not ready for the changes it will bring to her world. Nor am I, for that matter, but we'll all adjust and we'll make it through the difficult parts together.

Now, if I can just get my Christmas shopping finished before the baby is born...

Friday, November 2

Happy Halloween... Bgock!

Some of you have already seen pictures (I think James couldn't wait to send out pics of his little chickadee - I wonder who had more fun?) but I need to post them here too. I wasn't sure what to expect of Halloween with Kate this year. I was dying to make this costume for her, but was afraid she wouldn't wear it. Then, I had visions of my little brother as a toddler being spooked by all the ET costumes (remember those days??) and figured she would be too freaked out to enjoy the night. All that would be fine, I just wasn't getting my hopes up for lots of fun.

As it turned out, Kate did wear the costume I made (and had a blast making, though it had fallen apart by the end of the night...), she did some trick-or-treating with Daddy - two rounds, and was only scared by one gorilla costume and one inflatable jump-around. She even walked around the whole night wearing those silly chicken feet! She was a trooper! Hope you enjoy the pictures. By the way, to those of you who are aware of my level of creativity, I got the idea for the costume from the internet - props to Martha Stewart. There was also a comb to wear on her head, but Kate doesn't do things on her head, so we ditched it.
PS - Rebekah, do I look pregnant enough here?