Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Professor

Growing up there was always a chocolate Easter bunny left in my basket. The next day, this Easter bunny was always "put away for later" by my parents, never to return again. I think they usually put it in the freezer to "save it" and tossed it out once I'd forgotten about it. Nice trick Mom and Dad. My parents were pretty strict about candy in general. I was that kid whose Halloween candy lasted for 6 months because I could only eat 1 piece per day. I'm sure it was good parenting, and yes it taught me healthy habits, but it seems a bit shady. My mom was probably sneaking candy out of my stash year round!

This year my mom made an Easter basket for Eva and purposely put a GIANT chocolate bunny that came with him own name, The Professor. I guess now that I'm about to have my own baby she thinks it is funny to give me what I never had as a child. I hope she knows that this doesn't make up for all the disappearing bunnies of the Easter of yesteryear! (Although the cute baby outfits that were also in the basket have helped me consider a chocolate bunny truce with her.)

Last night Ryan and I decided to indulge in a little bit of The Professor, but thought we would take some memorable photos first. While he still had those delicious ears. Have you ever seen a chocolate bunny wear a bow tie better? He was even reading a book! How fancy.
And lest you think that The Professor was all fun and no games, I also wanted to include a picture of the woodland friends feature on the back of his box. I'm sorry for the loss of their dear forest leader.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hippity- Hoppity Easter Weekend

Happy Easter to all our friends and families! We hope that everyone was able to attend a church service this morning to celebrate that Jesus is risen and alive!!! I am thankful to worship freely when so many Christians across the world are persecuted. I'm also grateful for our church family and that my mom and grandparents were able to visit our church and be with us this morning!

Ryan and I have had a joyful weekend that included an all day trip to visit his family, starting with his sister's baby shower....
Me at 20 weeks (halfway there!) and Amanda at 33 weeks

I have been waiting for months to take this picture. Even though Amanda and I have many fun pictures together in our non pregnancy body days, I was looking forward to getting to take one together when we were both obviously pregnant. It has been awesome to share being pregnant with Amanda and I love that we both have our baby bumps together. Maybe one day Mallory and Eva will see this picture and smile knowing they were both there together.

Amanda's shower was filled with cute pink little girl things. I think she would agree that she was blessed with many great gifts and surrounded by so many people who love her and can't wait to meet Mallory!
My other sister in-law Melody did a great job with the food and cake. The cake actually matched Mallory's baby bedding. AND it tasted GOOD. So good that I decided to take some home and eat a few bites for breakfast today... I just wanted to keep celebrating :)
After the shower we went to Ryan's parents for more Bradley fun time. One of his aunt's brought a tray of Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets with dipping sauce and I believe that should become a new Easter tradition. Much better than ham, who are we kidding?
The little kids got to do an egg hunt. How many eggs can fit in one basket? I don't think Kayden and Kiersi will run out of candy anytime soon!
After the kid egg hunt, the "big kids" also had a hunt. Ryan's mom and aunts hid eggs that had secret code pieces of paper in them. Cindy, Ryan's mom, was smart and decided not to actually hide money in the eggs so that if they didn't get found, she didn't just lose money in the yard somewhere. I don't think I had a fair advantage, being pregnant and in wedges, racing against shorts and tennis shoes, but I still found 3 eggs. I also found a mean wasp attached to one of them! Thankfully I freaked out, screamed loudly and the wasp flew away without stinging me. Yikes! This is a picture of all the big kids holding up the money and other prizes that we won in our eggs.
Today we went to our church and then had lunch with my parents and grandparents. No pictures from that, just good memories. My mom even got an Easter basket with baby things for Eva. A girl can never start building her wardrobe too early! Thanks, Mamy! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

To my little girl

Dear Eva Kate,
We found out this week that you are definitely a girl!!! We are so excited to name you and know more about you. And I always knew you were a girl, if only just in my heart and my prayers. You were in such a perfect position that the sonogram woman was able to get a picture of your girl parts right away. Yeah!!!! While we were watching you on the screen you were moving around so much and already sucking your tiny thumb! During your profile picture you kept turning your head to the side and we joked that you were making sure that they got a picture of your "good side." You must be taking after your mama already :)

I hope you are girly like me, but if you're not that's okay. Just know that your early life will be surrounded in pink and bows until you are old enough to say otherwise. Eva Kate, we are looking forward to doing all the little girl things with you. I want to dress you up and play dolls and make cookies with you. Your daddy wants to take you on daddy-daughter dates to the Ranger's games together. We can't wait to hold you and kiss you and tell you how much we love you every single day.

We pray for you every day and trust that God is creating you in a perfect way. Sometimes I get happy tears just thinking about you becoming part of our life. Keep growing inside me!

love, Mama

P.S. As soon as we found out that you were a girl we went to Target to buy you your first official girl outfit. I have wanted to buy this for you for months. It is so cute and I can't wait to put you in it!!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Big Question

Only 4 more days until we find out the gender of our little baby!!!!! What will it be? Even though I am looking forward to finding out, I also love the suspense leading up to any surprise. It's kinda fun not to know and be waiting to find out the answer to the big question. I'm also completely ready to know so that I can start to DECORATE!!!! And buy cute baby things! We already have names picked out either way so we can start to call it by its name!

What are we hoping for? A baby. A healthy precious baby that is doing well. It sounds cheesy, but ultimately that's our desire. It will be fun to dress up a girl and play dolls or it will be fun to have a miniature Ryan that plays sports and tells jokes. My intuition is that it's a girl, but that might be because I always pictured having a daughter. Who else will play with the Barbies saved in my mom's attic or appreciate my pink kitchen? We will have to WAIT and SEE!!!!

Hopefully, we will SEE SOMETHING. There is always the chance that we could go and the baby be in the wrong position. I'm trying to keep that in mind so I won't be disappointed if it happens. I want to be thankful to seeing a healthy baby even if it doesn't show us the correct parts to determine everything.

So, here is your chance to give us feedback. What do you think it is? What are your suggestions so that the baby will be moving around enough to tell the gender? We find out Thursday, so I will blog and post a new bump picture next weekend after we tell our family!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Say Cheese!

Warning: If you do not love dogs, you will not care about this post. You may stop reading and return to my blog another day. There. Now nobody can roll there eyes.

This afternoon I had to brush Cosby's teeth. Even I, a true dog lover, have conflicting feelings about this. It seems a bit weird and excessive. On the other hand, over the years I have put off doing this and every few years I end up having the vet money to professionally clean his teeth which in turn leads to them telling me that he needs several infected teeth pulled. And they never seem to want to do this for free. Also certain breeds such as Boston Terriers are more prone to dental infection. Plus the more teeth a dog has already had pulled, the less they can chew and the more specific their diet is, which ends up limiting how much dental hygiene the dog can take care of by itself. It is also worth considering that dental infection can quickly lead to fatal heart infections. Cosby has overcome a few near death experiences, so I probably shouldn't take a chance with his heart.

So that leaves me and Cosby stuck in a bind. I can ignore his teeth and pay money when something bad happens and risk death, or I can be a good pet owner and brush his teeth despite the awkwardness. I have chose to start brushing his teeth more regularly. He hates it but its for his own good. I've tried to make the experience more fun by singing the "Brush Your Teeth" song to him while I do it so that at least he gets to hear a cheerful melody. He has less than 10 teeth left in his poor puppy mouth, so it doesn't take too long. I love my little Cosby and hope that he lives a long time.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Una Fiesta Grande!!!

Tonight Ryan and I celebrated with una fiesta grande! Celebrated what you ask? Just life. And thankfulness. Yesterday - and the past 4 months- I was struggling with not so fun morning sickness that lasted most of the day. When that hits it's hard to get out of bed, much less cook dinner. But today I felt good, so I figured that was worth celebrating! While Ryan was out at a softball game I surprise him by cooking up a Mexican feast of chicken tortilla soup, salad, chips, and my favorite.... SALSA! I didn't cook the salsa, it was from Cristina's. I also put in a salsa music CD (you know, those foreign discs that look like a dvd but only have sound...) When Ryan came home we danced and dined, without the awkwardness that comes with a live mariachi band. We even said the dinner blessing in Spanish :) Ole'!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

At least I never wore a crazy teacher sweater.

Sometimes I find myself missing teaching. I have all of the class pictures from the years I taught hanging up at home in our office so that I can remember to keep praying for all the kids and teachers that I love. I know that I made the right decision to work part time this year so I could help Ryan with youth ministry more, and I probably won't go back for a while so I can stay home while I have little kids. But maybe one day??? We'll see. Here are the things I miss most about being a teacher:

My Classroom- I have included several pictures from how I set my classroom up my first year. These pictures were taken before any young seven year old ever set foot in the room. Back when everything was just a dream to be taken on. But even in the later years, I loved setting up my classroom. I enjoyed organizing and decorating and creating a welcoming environment.

Hugs - Everyone morning and most afternoons I gave my kids a hug on their way into and out of the classroom. For those non huggers, a high five or more mature handshake was also acceptable. But I miss the hugs the most! Especially from those kids who were SO EXCITED to see me and gave me one of those squeeze the life out of you hugs every day.

The First and Last Days of School - I enjoyed the anticipation leading up to the first day, even though it was hard work. I also liked the sigh of relief that comes when you've finally made it to the last day. I really missed being at school this past August. It was the first time since I was 3 that I hadn't had a First Day. Yes, the middle part between the first and last days is really important, but those 2 days are the best.

Recess - Who doesn't want to spend 30 minutes a day outside, especially when it is beautiful spring weather?

My team - I worked with some awesome teachers. I miss getting to have lunch with them every day, even if lunch only lasted 10 minutes.

Breaks - Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Spring Break, Summer Break. That was awesome. I will confess and affirm that teachers NEED those breaks more than most people will ever realize.

Fridays - Fridays at school are different than Fridays in the real world. You get to wear jeans and your school shirt. You are finishing up the week. I liked giving spelling tests. And the best part.... my class always did the Cha Cha Slide to celebrate on Friday mornings! It was a fun 2 minute way to motivate them to work hard for one more day.
Reading Stories - I love kids books and I love to read to kids. Here is a picture of my classroom library early on. I think by the time I left I had about 500 books. I kept some and sold the rest to the new teacher who took my position. I hope he enjoys my collection!

Teaching Reading - It is AWESOME to hear a kid learn to read and become a better and better reader. Reading is such an important skill and I really worked hard for my kids to be good readers. I was so proud of the progress they made during the year.

Teaching Math - I'm a secret nerd. I like to teach addition and subtraction. Also place value. I don't know why. I also like all the fun math games you can play with cards or dice. I hope my own little kids like math, because we will be playing these games at home.

Teaching Science - I never liked science in school or college, but one I started teaching, I LOVED it. Science is probably much cooler than most people realize. I like all the fun ways to teach and learn about the scientific world. One day at my current job I saw a squirrel run and jump INSIDE of a tree and I thought about its little squirrel habitat. Every year my kids researched animals and made a big final project that was really fun.

Hearing Kid Stories - Kids tell really funny stories. They are less censored than adults and will talk your ear off if you let them. If I could go back and change one thing, I wish I had found a way to somehow let kids spend more time just talking to me about their life. You can learn alot this way.
Those are my rose colored reflections. I also remember some things that I didn't love so much, but I would rather not reflect on those. It's sad to think that even if I wanted to teach this next school year, I probably couldn't because of all the teacher cut backs. I have several good friends who have already been let go for next year due to district budgets. So sad. Sad for the teachers who can't do what they love, sad for the kids who will be put into bigger classes and miss out on some important things. Hopefully I can make up for the things I miss when I'm a mom. And maybe education won't stay like this too long.