Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Toddler Bed and Other News

We were getting ready for the contractors to start our floors and we ended up pulling out Audra's toddler bed. A friend of a friend gave it to us, and we are very grateful once again for hand-me-downs! Anyway, we set it up in Audra's room thinking that she could look at it for awhile to get used to it and then we would switch her over. No rush on my part- but, certainly a rush on Audra's part! She fell in LOVE with it the second she saw it! She immediately wanted to sleep on it. We tried her on it for her nap and it failed- not surprisingly she just wanted to play. At night, she wanted to sleep there again. We put her down, and she actually fell asleep very well. But, she woke up twice- which is normal. She'll wake up and then fall right back asleep- no big deal. This time, however, she was disoriented and started whimpering and crying. Ben went in both times (what a good husband!) and she was standing at the door totally out of it. The second time he put her back in her crib for the rest of the night. Tonight, she wanted to sleep in the toddler bed again so we let her. I dare anyone to turn down this cute face when she says she wants the toddler bed!
The contractors started the floors today, and I have to say: We made the right decision! (Of course, Ben only said yes for the real hardwood because quote, "if I don't let you win, you will complain about the laminate everyday for the next 15 years"- oh, he knows me so well!). The floors look absolutely stunning- and they only have the front and dining rooms started- they haven't even sanded or done the trim or anything! I am so incredibly excited for the floors- they are just beautiful!

We live in absolute chaos- the piano is in the kitchen- but, I am sure in the end it will be well worth it!

Then, Audra and I went swimming today and guess who was swimming with us: Mark Koebrich from channel 9 news! He was there with his grandson- now I can say we've swum with a celebrity! He is very tall, by the way- and has absolutely perfect teeth!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Was It Worth It?

I first must apologize for putting that article on this site- I meant to put it on the Political Moms site, which is much more appropriate a setting- so I moved it there. If you want to comment on it, you can go there to discuss.

Now on to fun stuff. Yesterday was Audra's Birthday. She turned two- and she looks very cute telling you how old she is! Awhile ago a friend of mine asked if having a kid was worth it- all the tantrums, the messes, the lack of sleep, etc. If she had asked me that a year ago, I don't know what I would have said. That first year was really hard- and if you've never had a colicky baby with GERD then you really can't understand how hard it is. When I try to explain it, people ask, "Oh, did you have post-partem depression?" and I'm like, "no- I had a horrible baby." Anyway, that's a year I don't ever want to repeat. But, this past year, we have learned some fun things about Audra.
She LOVES shoes- mom's shoes, grandma's shoes, babies shoes- shoes, shoes shoes!

She is a total narcissist. In a desperate attempt to try and get dinner ready a couple of weeks ago, I put Cinderella into the VCR. Audra never watches TV, so I thought this would work wonderfully. WRONG! The cartoon wouldn't keep her attention for more then 5 minutes. So, I popped in a video of her- and voila! She was captivated. In fact, when the video stops, she cries. So the only princess being shown at this house is Princess Audra!

She loves climbing on people and large stuffed animals:

And, she is always the cutest thing in the world:

We've learned lots of other things as well. She is very shy and empathetic. When other kids cry, she wants to make them feel better and give them kisses. She loves playing with her Dolly- rocking it, putting it to sleep (and making her snore- so cute!), covering it with a blanket. If I am lying on the couch, she always goes and gets me a pillow and blanket. She is very good at cleaning up, and she HATES even a speck of dirt on her bib- as soon as she drops something on it, she says "eww! Yucky!" (two of her favorite words) and drops the bib on the floor. She will share just about any toy, except for Dolly and her stroller- her favorites. Everything is hot- even ice-cream (she can have vanilla ice-cream, that's the extent of her junk food). She is an excellent eater, and really likes this Indian curry I made. Everything has to be done in order- she is a little OCD that way- especially bed time rituals.

Some of my favorite things about her:

-She'll say, "please Mama!" and it melts my heart and she gets pretty much whatever she wants when she says that

-In the morning Ben goes and gets her and brings her into the bedroom while he gets ready so I can sleep a little longer, and she crawls up onto the bed, gives me a big hug and kiss and says, "HI mommy!"

I have to tell this short story. While opening presents yesterday (we just had Ben's parents and sister come over for dinner, had cake and ice-cream, and openend presents- nothing big), I can't even explain the expression on Audra's face. It was the most beautiful thing- I hope I never forget it. She just had this look of pure joy- as if she knew how loved she was by so many people and she was glowing. I can't explain it, but I want to remember it my whole life. I have never seen her look so incredibly happy, which in turn made me so incredibly happy.

So, if I were asked now if having her was worth it, the answer would be a resounding YES! She is the best thing that could have happened to Ben and me, and we just love her so much! And, we know with baby #2 on the way, we just have even better things to look forward to. How did we ever get so blessed?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dance Dance Revolution!

Audra is really excited and wanted to show you all:

She absolutely LOVES to dance, and she is soooooooooo cute!!!

I am pretty sure she is excited about SB 244- a bill that would require insurance companies in Colorado to pay for treatments for autistic kids. This is so exciting, PLEASE call Governor Ritter at (303) 866-2471 and ask him to sign this bill into law. It has already passed in the House and Senate, he just needs to sign it. I have worked a number of years with autistic kids, and this bill would be so huge for the autistic community- please call! It only takes 8 seconds! Here is even a sample of exactly what you can say:

"Hi. My name is ___________________. I live in ____________________,CO. I am calling today to ask Governor Ritter to sign Senate Bill 244, the autism insurance reform bill, into law for my family and for my child. Thank you so much!"

Also, please feel free to pass this info along if you feel so inclined!

I hope to see you all at CiCi's Pizza tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Audra's Kind-Of Birthday Party

On Monday Audra turns two- crazy I know, she thinks she is turning 16. Anyway, we decided not to do a Birthday party because we did such a big one last year, but in lieu of a party and gifts and everything else, we wanted to invite everybody to come to CiCi's Pizza this Saturday at noon and help with a fundraiser for Matt and Jenny Fischer- read their story at http://www.colofisch.blogspot.com/. (For those of you in Seattle, this is a special invitation for you to come!) CiCi's Pizza will give 10% of all of the proceeds for that day to the Fischer's family (be sure to mention their name when you order!!!!), and we thought that helping them out would be the greatest gift for Audra's Birthday. I'll have a cake to make it official that we are celebrating a Birthday, but really it is about them.
The CiCi's is located just north of Hampden and Sheridan in the Kings Soopers/Home Depot parking lot. I hope as many people as possible can come, so put it on your calendar!!!! If you need better directions, just call.
If you happen to have a more exotic palate, there is also a great fundraiser at The Melting Pot this Sunday. Of course, it is all Melting Pot food and there will also be a silent auction. For information on this fundraiser for Matt and Jenny, go to: http://colofisch.blogspot.com/2009/02/tickets-are-on-sale.html
You can buy your tickets there as well as find out more about what is going on.
I should mention that all of the money being raised is going to alternative treatments for CiCi (pretty much all treatments for pediatric brain injuries are alternative, which means insurance doesn't pay for them), and that these treatments are working!!! She can now do push-ups and reach up to grab things- it is incredibly exciting, but there is still a long way for them to go.

I hope to see you all this weekend!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Declaring War- And Losing

Now that the battle of the inside of the house is almost complete, the war outside has begun. This time, Ben and I are on the same side- thank goodness. What is our common enemy? A common enemy that will bring us closer together as we battle ferociously against it? An enemy that is fierce and nearly impossible to beat? Perhaps the worst enemy any homeowner could contend against? The answer: The dreaded dandilion.

I was pretty certain the previous homeowners purposely planted dandilion seeds all over the yard because they were mad we got their house at such a great price. But then Ben told me he and Audra had fun last fall blowing the seeds off of the dandilions in the yard (and I thought we were on the same team!)
Dandilions have literally taken over our yard. We are the only ones on the street with dandilions, and I am sure they all hate us because we are apt to infest their yards as well. Not wanting our new neighbors to hate us, I have made it my mission to defeat these buggards- which means, by default, Ben has also joined the cause.
Photo #1: Unfortunately, this photo does not do the dandilions justice. You can kind of see that there are dandilions everywhere, though I admit it is hard to see. Just imagine that there are millions of dandilions all over the lawn and that half the lawn is completely yellow.
I have a routine that I have been following the past three days to try and get rid of them.

1. Mow the lawn (yes, at 8 months pregnant I am going out daily and mowing the lawn- I LOVE our lawn mower- I don't even break a sweat!!!)
2. Walk around the lawn and pick any flowers that are white and ready to spread their nasty seeds (I know it's best to pull out the weeds, but I figure I need to get rid of the seedlings at a bare minimum)
3. Start pulling the weeds. On day 1 I used a shovel- BIG mistake, it gave me blisters. Day 2- a screwdriver, which was much better. Day 3- today I bought a dandilion puller and that worked really well because it is better at getting the roots. I pull up a full grocery bag every day.

By the end of my routine, the yard generally looks like this:

Ahh...much better! Until the next morning when the dandilions come back with a greater vengeance and the ritual must start again. This weekend, Ben is going to do a lot of work and hopefully together we can get this under control!

I am hoping that the neighbors see this pregnant woman out in the yard working dilligently to get rid of the nasty ones and cut us a bit of slack!

Any other suggestions??? (Besides trying to convince America that dandilions are actually flowers)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Princess Speaks

It has finally happened- Audra's language is really blossoming. Here are some of my favorite phrases she has said:

Last weekend when it snowed I asked her, "What do you see?" and she said: "I see snow!"

When playing house with Daddy she said, "Come here, daddy!"

Then today she completely surprised me and said, "I don't want to take a nap."
I may be the only one who understands her, but at least she is talking!

I liked this picture- I know it's kind-of funny, but it just shows Audra and I lounging- I thought it was cute when she climbed up and slouched lazily like I was- she's such a cutie!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Some Decisions Made

World War 3 has ended and we have begun to make SOME decisions.
First, we (meaning Ben) picked out our door. It's an Anderson 200 series door, and is supposed to be the best you can get for rain protection. Ben cares most about the door, so I totally let him decide what he wanted because I don't really care about that. I care mostly about the floor. The door will take 4 weeks to come in, so we can't start our renovations until then.

Second, the floor. We have tentatively decided on hardwood- yeah! That's what I wanted. Pretty much Ben just decided to give up argueing with me and he realized that if I didn't get hardwood I would complain about the laminate for the next 15 years, so he caved. (By the way, Curt's comment wins- I think I will print it out and frame it!!!! Just kidding- everybody's comments were great!!!!) We now, though, need to decide what kind of wood. We liked the bamboo idea, but found out our climate is too dry for it and the bamboo ruins pretty quickly here. Oak and laminate are the same price right now because the price of wood has completely bottomed out with the economy, so we are lucky there. We like the look of the maple better, but need to figure out how much more that would cost over the oak. I am hoping our contractor will come over with samples that we can look at and then decide.

We did choose a contractor- our second guy's price came in about FOUR THOUSAND dollars less then the first, so we are going with him. Usually we would be worried and be like, "he must do a shoddy job if he's that cheap" but we have seen his work (he does all the work for the Engel's, for those of you who were in our old ward) and his work is impeccable. I almost cried, though, telling the first guy we weren't going with him. He was such a nice man and he reminded me of my father and I wish in this economy we had enough money and work for both of them, but we do not. When I told him the quote of the second guy, though, he said, "you have to go with him- I don't know how he can do it for that price, but if he does a good job- you have to go with that." That made me feel better.

How much to get done? That is still being debated. Because we are going with the cheaper guy, it makes it much more doable to do the whole main level just like we want it- but, Ben is starting to freak out about money. He's a guy, that's his job. I think that we are so incredibly frugal in so many ways that we can make up our savings pretty fast and might as well get it all done now. So, that's still being debated and we'll figure that out after meeting with the contractor again.

But, at least we are beginning to make some decisions! We are often very good at the research part, and very bad at the actual decision making and getting the projects started. At least we are getting somewhere!!!!

Thank you for all of the suggestions- honestly, they were great! We are excited for when this will all be done!!!!