Thursday, January 22, 2009

HAPPY THIRD TRIMESTER TO ME (as of yesterday)!!!

90 days (or 12 weeks and 6 days) to go until Perrin's EDD. That is so...unbelievable.

I gave Caspian some applesauce (which he loves) for lunch yesterday, and he said, "No, mommy. I'd like some real fruit from the store." (He meant whole, raw fruit.) LOL

Yesterday Caspian discovered an old wooden Disney puzzzle I'd put up for when he was older, and he mastered it right away! He likes to start with the middle pieces and work his way out, too, like he's challenging himself. Speaking of which, he also did it — without hesitation — with the puzzle base upside-down this afternoon (so, no outline for guidance). I'd love to get him some more jigsaw puzzles, now that he's beyond the peg-piece-into-a-single-shape-outline type. He could probably handle a 12-piece at this point, I think, since the seven-piece was a lark to him after just a few tries. Here's his upside-down puzzle play:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And now, a special offer (idea borrowed from Deb):
The first five people to respond to this post with a posted comment about this offer will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
  • I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
  • What I create will be just for you.
  • It'll be done this calendar year.
  • You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. I may draw or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure! However, I do promise that it will be more than just a handmade card!
  • I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
  • I have to know you — no stranger blog-stalkers allowed.
  • No, the baby I'm currently "making" is not up for grabs. Sicko.
THE CATCH: you HAVE TO put this in your blog/online journal/Facebook as well. We can all make stuff!

Lately we've been working on curbing Caspian's auto-toddler response of "Nonononono!" when we start to do something he doesn't like. We ask him to "use other words to tell us what he wants" instead. Praise God, it's been working well! Now, 3 times out of 4, he'll just tell us "Please don't pick me up" or "I want to do it myself" instead of "Nonononono!"

We're going through our board games to try to weed out the ones we don't like much. One of the games we "test-played" recently is called Lie Detector, which has a cool non-electronic "polygraph" that tells whether a clue-giver's clue is true or false. Each clue-giver's card has their picture on it, and they're labeled by occupation. Caspian is entranced by this game (it's got cards with different people, a polygraph that makes noise, a "pen" that pokes in holes, and a peg board for keeping score). He was testing different cards in the polygraph and asking me what they were. Some of the occupations were unfamiliar to him, as evidenced by this exchange:
"Mommy, what's that?" (holds up card)
(reading card aloud) a psychic reader
"What means psychic reader, mommy?" :)

Speaking of asking questions, Caspian totally cracks us up with his inflections. He's realized that we tend to raise our speaking pitch at the end of a question and tries to emulate it now. Sometimes he'll start out in a normal tone of voice and then speak the last word in falsetto while he raises his eyebrows, and other times he'll speak most of the question in his question voice. Something like, "Daddy, want some cookies TOO?" I have got to get it on video, as description hardly does him justice.

We got to play in the leftover snow this morning — I've already taken 267 photos today! The playground next door looked like a winter wonderland, but the camera batteries died before we discovered the kitty footprints. Caspian took this opportunity to use his garden fork for the first time, to dig through the snow and debris. He doesn't have any snow gear, per se, so I put a pair of my earmarked-for-puppets socks over his shoes and pant legs. It worked really well! After we came in, we had cocoa...although his was more milk than cocoa, which makes me think using a couple drops of Hershey's wouldn't be a bad way to get him to drink more milk... There were so many "must-see" photos that I created a Multiply album instead of trying to upload them here. Here's a teaser for you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

This is so funny, I just had to post again.

Caspian woke up from his nap hungry and asked for a snack, but I told him it was almost dinner time. He looked over to where my cell phone was sitting, saw the "M" and said, "M for McDonald's" (he saw the big decorative "M" on the wall at McDonald's last week). I explained that it was for Motorola in this case, which is a phone brand not a restaurant. Then he replied, "I want to eat at a restaurant for dinner!" LOL He said not at McDonald's, but at a restaurant "where the man cooks food." After a few more clarifying questions, I established that he meant Nagasaki Inn, where we ate at a hibachi table last month.
Oh. My. Goodness.

I don't know which spurred my "had me at hello" moment, the picture or the title: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.

And it's all from mixes!

Here's a copy of the Betty Cocker recipe plus the ganache recipe from the Bakerella blog (who took the pics).

You can hate/thank me later.

Here's my newest belly pic, at 26 weeks, 3 days:

Asbury finally fixed their pool, so I get to start water aerobics tonight! Hooray! That also means I get to use my maternity bathing suit for the first time since I bought it in 2006. My midwife wrote me a prescription for "water aerobics and/or yoga and/or massage as needed for lower back pain" so our HSA will cover the costs. Praise God!!!!!!!!!

I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but I decided to do a Project 365 like Kate. Unfortunately, I didn't decide to do it until January 9th or so, and I didn't take any pics at all on the 5th or 6th, so I can't go back and fudge it for the new year. It's a lot of fun capturing everyday moments that might not otherwise get photographed. Here are some of the photos I didn't use:

"toddler crack" (AKA bubbles) at library storytime

Caspian's 1st Mr. Potato Head experiment pitiful-with-a-hurt-knee banana-eater
(he twisted his knee in his sleep and it hurt for days; he started playing with Betsy again because he felt so pitiful) leaf collecting at Asbury in November
Where's the "m"? There! After I ruffled his feathers, I realized Caspian's rooster fro needed a trim.Caspian steels himself for his first trim by Mommy.
At least nothing started bleeding.
He lets me hold him when he first wakes up. (I'm 6 months preggers, here.) He rolled over into the void I'd left in the Snoogle. Here's my Project 365 Photo Album!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is from the Cake Wrecks blog.

Just for fun, I asked Caspian what animal this was. He thought about it for a little bit, then said, "It's dirty." It looks dirty? "Yeah." But what animal is it? After looking a little longer, he said, "I've never seen that." ROFLOL

Wanna go on a diet? Just look at the second cake in this post.

It's not Christmas anymore, but the third cake in this post is so funny.

Lastly, here's one for Duncan.

On Monday, inexplicably, Caspian completely switched over from saying "yes" to saying "yeah." I had never heard him say it, and he just woke up like that! He's so funny.

One of my favorite "spots" is the little divot on the back of Caspian's neck — right where his baby rat-tail ends. It's just a little indentation, but it is so kissable and strokeable! Sigh.

After his final diaper change of the night tonight, when he was just wearing his onesie, Caspian proclaimed, "I am not dressed anymore. I am half naked!" He is so amazing. Speaking of grown-up talk, he was carrying an empty laundry basket from his room and started to bring it into the office where I was. I told him, "That goes in the laundry room." He turned and headed down the hall with a resigned "O-kaaaay." LOL

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I feel guilty because a certain unnamed photographer who owns a minivan keeps harassing me for not posting more belly shots. Well, I feel guilty because I don't have as many of Perrin-bump as I do of Caspian-bump. Anyway, here is Perrin-bump on Saturday (yesterday) at 25 weeks, 2 days (6 months) along. (Click for a bigger picture.)

We were in Georgetown at a Mary Kay training event put on by National Sales Director Linda Toupin (third from left). I only bother buttoning the top button of my Red Jacket now, as it is not a maternity jacket. It's a little difficult to see where the bump is, since my black dress melds into Devyani's navy jacket, but at least it's a picture, right?

And for the record, HAH! Not only were the other belly pictures in my December 2nd post, you actually commented on it, Mrs. Minivanographer. At least you remind me to post. Thank you!

Oh, yeah. I saw Perrin kick from the outside for the first time last Saturday (January 3). It was pretty neat.

BONUS FUN: If you want to feel much, muuuuuch better about what you named your child, please visit this website. Some people are just sick.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This is really disturbing!
Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children's clothing.

The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger -- including clothing -- be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven't been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.
"They'll all have to go to the landfill," said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Assn. of Resale and Thrift Shops.
The CPSC has preliminarily approved changes that exempt 100% cotton and wood goods, but the current wording/impact of this bill still borders on the ridiculous. Think "no more Once Upon A Child" and "no more buying kids' clothes and toys at Goodwill" as of February 10.
Go to this link to have automatic e-mails sent to your local legislators:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Had my 24½-week checkup today. I gained 3 pounds in the last month (incidentally, I weigh now what I did when I got pregnant with Caspian), and Perrin's heartbeat is 154. She didn't even have to coax him into holding still — it was there, strong, as soon as she put the wand on my tummy! My next appointment is in 3 weeks, then I start my 2-week appointments! Glucose test next time. I did get a prescription for water aerobics, massage, and yoga "as needed for back pain" so my insurance will cover it. Praise God!

Couldn't figure out what Caspian was trying to tell me yesterday morning until he demonstrated — "I'm chuckling, mommy." When I didn't get it after a while, he went "Huh huh huh — chuckling!"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The September/October 2008 issue of Today's Christian Woman magazine featured an article (about using your spiritual gifts) which reminded me of my Mary Kay career. I'm sure these three excerpts will strike a chord with you as well:
When God empowers you to serve others through your spiritual gifts and you've found the places where God wants you to use them, you're more alive and fulfilled than during any other pursuit. You might even have fun!
When Mary Kay found me, I never really thought about serving or enriching others at all, but God has really expanded my heart through my Mary Kay experiences, to the point where I finally do think about making others feel important. It's amazing how He has woven potential for the use of so many spiritual gifts into this incredible opportunity (teaching, leading, giving, hospitality, administration, tongues, faith, healing, mercy, etc.). The next few sentences in the article contained some really interesting surprises!
The word passion is defined as "a powerful emotion." Its synonym is enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek phrase en theos, "with God." So, if you're enthusiastically pursuing a passion that God has put in your heart, you're doing it with God.
What a great reminder of how He guides us in our lives — and how ALL good things come from Him! The article goes on to say,
Frederick Buechner put it this way: "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." To search for this kind of passion isn't a selfish quest for fulfillment; rather, it's looking for the exact thing God designed you to do.
May the God of all goodness grant YOU an encounter with passion this week!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Here are some random time-wasters for you. Enjoy your day!

Interesting medical use for honey!

Just for the record, I was reading in Genesis a few days before Perrin's gender ultrasound — more specifically, about Rachel and Leah. As I read the last word of verse 29:32, Perrin kicked for the first time that morning: "...gave birth to a son." Very funny, God.

Here's the full story of how they did it!

Here's one more must-read.

HAPPY 22nd BIRTHDAY TO MY MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Just in case you haven't heard, we revealed Merbaby's real name at Christmas. Are you ready...?

(No, we haven't decided on a middle name, yet.) Perrin is another favorite literary character, this time from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. There are way more "Perrins" in the world than we realized, too, including Spock's dad's second human wife. I guess Star Trek gravitates toward Charlie despite my refusal to consider "Jean-Luc" as a baby name. LOL We decided to tell early this time because we figured everyone was resigned to the fact that we were going to choose a name we liked, regardless of anyone else's preferences. Plus Caspian talks about Perrin all the time, and we knew it was only a matter of time before someone heard.

For the Fiskeauxs, we put a notecard in the tree that said, "For Whomever Runs Out of Presents First" on the outside, and "You get to see Caspian's new trick!" on the inside. Caspian's new trick was that he had memorized all of our first names. I'll post the video as soon as I get a chance. He gets a kick out of the fact that Charlie and I have names besides Mommy and Daddy.

At the Fraser's house, we could be a little more cryptic since they'd read The Wheel of Time series. We put three notecards in the tree, and anyone could take a notecard instead of a present on his/her turn. All that was on the back of each notecard (numbered 1, 2, and 3 on the front) was a picture:

On subsequent turns, people could ask for clues, so eventually they ended up with "_ _ _ _ _" for card 1, "_ _ _ _" for card 2, and "_ _ _ _" for card 3. We played hangman (without the hanging part) to fill in the blanks, so they ended up with "wheel," "time," and "wolf". After that, they got no more clues — they just had to figure out what the point of the whole thing was, as a group. Eventually, they guessed that we were naming Merbaby "Perrin" and were really excited.

A slip-up was likely to happen on Christmas, too, since we did a homemade Christmas this year and some of the gifts involved pictures of Perrin (which might prompt Caspian to tell). We made framed name mats that spelled "GRAND" for both sets of grandparents and put pictures inside showing the grandkids. Several other friends and family received Raktajineaux Snickerdoodle Latte Mix. Years ago, Charlie received some storebought snickerdoodle latte mix as a gift, but the company went out of business. He painstakingly recreated the recipe himself, and we packaged some up for gifts this year. We decided to make it look "real," so we made up a brand name and a label and everything. Raktajino is Klingon coffee, so we Fiskeauxed it by changing the "o" to "eaux" (and added a tagline of "Almost As Good As Prune Juice!" as a nod to its Klingon heritage).