Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We're not boring

Lest you think that the lack of posts lately implies that Alex and I lead boring lives, let me fill you in. We actually lead quite exciting lives, but I keep forgetting to take pictures and it just seems wrong to write a blog post without a picture or two. Oh well. Alas, you will have to suffer through yet another picture-less blog post for now.

Two weekends ago Alex's brother Matt came out for a visit. (for those of you keeping track, that means he has visited twice...ahem, Beth). He spent a couple of days at Wayne State University in Detroit doing research for his prospectus (the equivalent of a proposal for those of you who only know how PhD's work in Ecology departments), but the real reason for his visit was the Neil Young concert we went to on Sunday (for those of you keeping track, Alex and I have now seen TWO Neil Young concerts). I must say, I was a little nervous about going to the concert because we had general admission tickets meaning standing room only. You'd be surprised how much faster you get tired of standing when you're carrying an extra 30-35 pounds. Add that to the dire warnings posted above the table at the entrance to the concert where you sign the paper that says you won't sue if you die in "the mosh pit" and you make for one nervous pregnant lady. But, heck, I had two Mettler men to protect me, what did I have to lose? We got there in time to catch the end of the opening, opening band whose name I don't recall and to see the full opening band performance. Did I mention the opening band was Wilco? Yep. They put on a great pre-amble for Neil. In the lull between Wilco and Neil, the three of us had a powow in the middle of the mosh pit so that I could rest my legs and back. By the time Neil started playing I was ready to go. I must say I thought this performance was much better than the last one we saw. Maybe it's just because he played more of my favorites. It was so much fun to watch him up there. I can't believe he still sounds so good at that age. During one of his boring songs (yes, Alex, boring) I went and sat in some empty seats way behind the stage to rest up. I came back just in time to see Unknown Legend and Cowgirl in the Sand, two of my favorites. I can't remember the name of the song he played for his encore, but I do remember that he ended the song by breaking every single string on his guitar. He played for a little over two hours, a long time in comparison to other shows he's done on this tour. Yeah, it was fun. I'm sure Alex could give a much more detailed accounting, but since he refuses to blog, you'll just have to make do with mine.

This last weekend was a weekend of holiday parties. On Friday we went to the annual EEB Christmas Party in the Museum. Every year the department hosts a potluck/karaoke party in the Museum of Natural History. It's pretty darn fun. There are prizes for the best potluck dishes. I'm proud to say that last year I won "Best use of color" for my spinach souffle and this year I won "Best aroma" for my banana bread. To be honest, I think it's pretty much a fluke if you win (as in, I may have had four votes over the runner up with 3). But still. The best part of the party is seeing your professors sing karaoke. It's highly entertaining. And Alex always sings a few songs. Usually a Neil Young song or two. True to form, his first song was Harvest Moon. But this year I made him sing Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses as his second song. You really wouldn't believe what a good impersonation he does of Guns and Roses.

Then on Sunday we hosted a "White Elephant" potluck at our house for a bunch of our friends and all of their dogs. It was a rainy day so we kept the dogs inside--that made for a much more interesting party than normal. I think all in all there were 11 people, 5 dogs, and 2 cats in our small house. Well, actually, Rambo is half dog so let's say 5.5 dogs and 1.5 cats. There was so much good food there. I'm glad I have friends that know how to cook. Alex made halibut chowder with the last of our Alaskan halibut. I guess we'll have to fly back up to Alaska and catch some more!

So, hopefully I have convinced you that despite the dearth of blog posts, Alex and I do actually do interesting things. Next up is a visit from Olivia and D-ennis (for those of you keeping track, this is Olivia's THIRD visit...ahem, Beth). I will take pictures this time, I swear.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Self-portrait

I took this picture of my belly on a whim one day last week. I was planning to take a few different shots for a baby book, but after the first shot my camera battery died. So I didn't even get to see the results of my effort until just yesterday when I finally charged my battery and downloaded the pictures. I was pleasantly surprised...it's not often that I get a good picture on my first try, let alone when I am randomly aiming the camera and using the timer. Maybe that's how I should take all my pictures from now on!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holy Cow That's A Lot of Stuff

When Alex and I drove to Minnesota for Thanksgiving we took some clothes and a couple of dogs and a subaru. When we returned we took a ton of baby paraphernalia (a word which I did NOT know how to spell until just now) a couple of dogs, an end table, and a dodge grand caravan. I think we got a good deal.

Just check out this awesome pile of baby stuff:


I had so much fun putting everything away!

Oh and note that red and black gem leaning against the wall. That's A Chariot. Definition: The ultimate "stroller" for athletic parents, capable of converting from a running stroller to a bike trailer to a ski sled and more. I was looking at the instructions and I'm pretty sure I could rig it up so that Charlie and Ella could pull it behind them on ski trips. Wouldn't that be great? I'm almost more excited to use The Chariot than I am to have a baby. Almost. And to think that when Alex and I were drooling over it in the REI catalog we thought we were just dreaming.

By the way, for those of you who are confused by the fact that Alex and I drove back in a Dodge Grand Caravan, trust me, I'm confused too. We bought it from Alex's dad, and I was definitely involved, but I'm still sort of at a loss as to how it is that I was convinced to get a minivan! I never, ever, in a million years saw myself driving a minivan. Sigh. You move to the midwest and everything changes. On the bright side, it will be pretty comfortable for that road trip to Utah we're planning to do next summer...

Surprise!

That was the theme of my Thanksgiving weekend. I know, it's not really a traditional theme like "Turkey!" or, for my family, "Pie!" or, something more all-encompassing like "Weight Gain!" Don't get me wrong, those themes also ran through the weekend, but the over-arching theme was definitely "Surprise!"

Let me start from the beginning. You see, now that Alex and I live in Michigan, we are about an 11 hour drive from his parents house in Minnesota. In contrast, we are about a $500.00/person flight (on the holidays) from Utah. On top of that, if we fly anywhere, we can't take our furry children with us. As a result, we have spent the last two Thanksgiving's and Christmases with The Mettlers. While I looooove celebrating with The Mettlers (they really know how to do it), I also miss spending the holidays with my mom and sister. This year, for the first time, Olivia lives within a 10 hour drive from Ann Arbor. So I hatched a scheme to go down to her house for Thanksgiving instead of to The Mettlers and to convince mom to fly out to MN for Christmas. Well, the plan seemed fated to fail. Olivia had been invited by Dennis to spend Thanksgiving with his sister in St. Louis and accompany him to his cousin's wedding the same weekend. In addition, I could tell Alex wasn't too thrilled about skipping Thanksgiving with his family, making some lame excuse about the Subaru not being in good enough shape to do the drive down and back to Illinois and then out to MN for Christmas. And, after all, Barb had already bought us tickets to the dinner theater. I, ever the supportive wife and sister, told Alex we could go to MN and told Olivia it was more important for her to be with Dennis and that maybe we could instead see each other over Christmas. Meanwhile, I searched for Christmas airfare for my mom and was disappointed to find that flights to MN from Salt Lake were exorbitantly expensive for the dates that would work for my mom. Oh well, I said to mom, she'll be coming out to MI when the baby is born anyway. I'll just see her them.

Skip ahead now to Wednesday last week. Alex and I started our Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Minnesota at about 7:30 in the morning. As usual, I called Olivia around 9:30 for some entertainment on the drive. She was headed to St. Louis to go to Costco to buy more flooring for her house and to shop for a dress to go to the wedding in. We talked and talked about what she should buy and what the wedding would be like and how it would be to meet Dennis' family etc. etc. In the afternoon I called my mom for more entertainment. Her phone was off, but she called me back when Alex and I were about 20 minutes from his parent's house. She was driving down to grandma and grandpa's and couldn't talk for long. She had turned her phone off for a meeting earlier in the day and had forgotten to turn it back on. OR SO THEY SAID.

When we arrived at The Mettlers, everything was as it should be--Barb was home cooking lots of food, asking lots of questions, and giving lots of hugs. Then Alex's brother Matt and his girlfriend Meghan arrive. Everyone is chatting like normal, and about 10 minutes later the doorbell rings. When I go to the door, who should be standing there but mom! Woah! I'm shocked out of my pants! So mom and I and Barb sit down and are chatting away talking about their scheming plan to get mom out to MN and how cool it is that Olivia gets to go to a wedding with Dennis when Alex's sister Beth arrives home. At the same time the doorbell rings again. When I go to the door, who should be standing there but Liv! Woah! I'm shocked out of....my shoes!

You might think that's the end of the story (and maybe you're wishing it was). But it's not. Skip ahead to Saturday morning, two days after Thanksgiving. Alex's grandma had come down with a case of cellulitis below her ear. It was very painful for her and as a result, she wasn't going to be able to come to the usual Saturday family dinner. So Barb asked Alex and I if we would mind visiting her on Saturday morning since we didn't get to see her much on Thanksgiving. So we headed to Emily's house at about 8:30 in the morning. (Thank god I decided to shower and dress nicely, not something I do every morning). We chatted with her for about an hour and then headed back to the house. When we arrived, there were about 30 extra cars parked around the driveway and a suspicious pile of gifts on the dining room table (visible from the car). Yes, it was a surprise baby shower complete with a gourmet brunch. I guess I was shocked out of my hat?

Now, in hindsight, I should have been able to figure this out.

I mean, there was that email that my grandma sent out to all her friends and family that said "since Olivia and Bonnie are going to spend thanksgiving in Minnesota, we're going to celebrate without family this year." I, of course, assumed Grandma was confused. This assumption was corroborated by Olivia who reassured me that she had talked to grandma and straightened her out.

Then there was Alex's lame excuse for not wanting to drive to Olivia's for Thanksgiving.

Then there was the strange way that Alex kept pushing me to finish the baby registry and send it to his mom. Why on earth did he care so much that the baby registry be done now instead of in a few days?

Then there was the fact that Olivia was awake and driving at 7:30 in the morning. Olivia doesn't get up that early, especially not just for dress shopping, no matter who she's trying to impress (sorry Dennis).

And then there was the way that mom suddenly ended our conversation in the car, rather than chatting while she drove. She loves chatting while she drives, mostly to keep herself awake.

And then there was the shifty way that Alex went to answer the door. He kept glancing around at me like I should answer it. I never answer the door there because it's never for me. It took him several minutes to finally decide that he should answer it.

Then there was the suspicious way Barb prepared her turkey and stuffing on Friday night while mom and Alex and I worked on a puzzle in the next room. I don't ever remember her doing that before... And I don't remember the smell of sausage either...

Then there was the way Alex suddenly decided we needed to leave Grandma's on Saturday morning. When I asked what the rush was, he said "Oh, I just have a lot to do today" What? When we go to The Mettlers, we don't do anything--that's the joy of it!

But, I can't be too hard on myself. Those Mettlingers can be pretty convincing and conniving when they want to be. I guess I just can't trust them. Small price to pay for a really, really wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Little things are cute

I know this will sound silly, but little baby things are so cute and irresistible. I mean, who would have thought that just by shrinking something you can make it so much cuter? Someday (if you've never done so) you should just wander to a baby clothing section and look at the socks. Just look! Anyway, I've found that the miniaturization of things is a lot of fun. Not only can you make something cute, but it doesn't take nearly as long as it does to make big things. The most recent creation was a hat. I'm just dying to put it on something, but Ella and Charlie are too big and the cats are too small. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to wait.



The next thing is a merino wool baby blanket (Alex's choice of material, of course). It shouldn't be too bad. I made Olivia a scarf for Christmas one year that was probably 3 times the size of a baby blanket...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pros and Cons

So people keep asking me if I just love being pregnant. "Isn't it great?" they say. Well, that got me to thinking about the pros and cons of being pregnant. I tend to focus on the cons most days, so this is a good exercise for me.

I'll do the cons first:

1. I have to remember to cross my legs when I sneeze or blow my nose.
2. I have to stop breathing in order to bend over and tie my shoes.
3. My timed mile went from 6:20 to 10:00 and my max distance from 23 to 2.3.
4. My bladder is constantly under pressure.
5. The baby takes up precious stomach room.
6. My lower right rib gets no peace.
7. During meetings and seminars, especially after lunch or some coffee, my belly takes on a life of it's own. Not only is this distracting to me, but also for my neighbors.
8. I can't go grab a drink with my friends after a long week.
9. I have gained 25 pounds that I now have to lug around with me everywhere and I can't wear my favorite pants
10. I can no longer see my entire body just by looking down.

Okay, so here are some pros:

1. As it pops out, my belly button is finally getting clean.
2. I have a good excuse to "go lie down for a few minutes" when I get sick of writing or doing research.
3. Since I can't drink a beer, I have a good excuse to order dessert every time I go out.
4. No one can judge me for running slowly.
5. I finally have cleavage.
6. By lugging around 25 extra pounds everywhere, I'm surely gaining some muscle somewhere, right?
7. I have a new found love of baking. I can't stop baking things and they're all really yummy.
8. People buy me ice cream.
9. I have CRAZY fun dreams. You know, the long adventure kind that make you feel like you're in a movie.
10. I have a cute little girl kicking around inside my belly.

So, I guess if you take it all together, being pregnant is ok. I both love it and hate it. But when you consider that once the baby is born, I get to have something I didn't have before, then I'd say it's worth it. Of course, I'm sure somewhere down the line you'll see a list of pros and cons for having a baby in your life...

Oh, and here's a little time lapse series of the growth of my belly over the past few months. Amazing that your skin can stretch so much!



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Halloween

I know, Halloween was ages ago. But we weren't able to get the pictures off the camera because the batteries (both of them) died. Permanently. We finally got new batteries in the mail, so I can catch up.

At the annual EEB Halloween party this year Alex and I went as Juno MacGuff and Paulie Bleaker from the movie Juno (if you haven't seen it, it's pretty cute). In case you're wondering, that's Charlie in the lower left hand corner--he went as Richard Simmons. But I didn't get a good picture of him because the camera died. He was originally going to be Mickey Mouse but it turns out it's really hard to make doggie shorts.



Ella went as little red riding hood.



And in case you're judging me for making my dogs dress up--trust me, it didn't slow them down one single bit!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ode to Fall

I love fall. It's definitely my favorite season--cool crisp air, no sweating, blue skies, beautiful colors--what's not to love? Unfortunately, Fall is fast coming to an end here in Michigan. I meant to get out and get some good Michigan fall color pictures. But I haven't done it yet and am doubtful that I will get to it before they all turn brown. So in lieu, I am cheating and posting some pictures of fall colors that I took a long time ago...in Utah. Sigh. I wish it could last forever.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thank you to grandma and grandpa

I just have to say, that without grandma and grandpa my life would be full of bland and un-perfected food. I recently made applesauce, apple butter, and apple pie, all using recipes and/or instructions provided by my grandparents. I have been complimented on all three foods, and, if I may be so bold, I must say the compliments are warranted. So thank you grandma and grandpa!

Now I just need to learn how to make that bread...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Something to do when you're bored

It's all the rage...yearbookyourself.com.

1960 1966


1968 1982


1994

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Applesauce

Last Sunday I went apple picking with some friends. What fun! And what a good deal too. It cost $40.00 / HALF bushel for pre-picked apples and only $22.00 / FULL bushel of you-pick apples. I picked two bushels--half Romes and half Ida Reds. I originally wanted Jonathans and Golden Delicious as per grandma and grandpas suggestion, but those weren't available (already picked out or not yet on). It was a gorgeous day, probably 80 degrees and full on sunny blue skies--something I will miss here in Michigan as winter closes in. As we left the orchard people were staring at us and kept asking what on earth we were going to make. I guess applesauce making isn't that popular here.



We got back from apple picking around 5 and Rachel and I went to work.



Tory and Ruby cheered us on as we worked and Alex made salad and ordered gourmet pizza to feed our hungry mouths.



Several phone calls to grandma later, we managed to crank out 17.5 quarts of applesauce in just a few hours.



Canning them took a bit longer since we had to come up with some way to keep the jars from touching while they boiled. Several coat hangers and cuss words later, we had it figured out though.



Then last night I made up 4 more quarts of applesauce and about 8 quarts of apple butter (half of it is still cooking). Yummmmmmmmmy. I love apples. Be warned that some of you may be getting apple based Christmas presents this year!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trip to Utah

Last week Alex and I headed off to Utah for a too brief reprieve from the flatlands. Besides the mountains, we were also happy to see our friends and family : ).

The main goal of our trip was to accompany my mom to the top of Lone Peak on the fifth anniversary of my dad's death. Let me just say, I was not so sure I would be able to make it to the top. I was hiking with the likes of: Alex, who bikes 20 miles a day during the week and up to 50 on the weekends, Olivia, who hikes 15 miles regularly (albeit in the flatlands of Illinois), my mom, who had been training for 5 months by hiking 1200 feet of elevation almost every night, and Lindsey, who is just plain athletic. In comparison, I have gained 20 pounds, lost my ability to breath well and hold my pee, and have been running (in a good week) about 6 miles total. Thankfully, by ruthlessly taking advantage of the kindness of others, I managed to get out of carrying any kind of backpack. Poor Alex had about 6 liters of water in addition to my extra clothes, camera gear, and various other knickknacks on his back. And, well, you know the Messinger women. They didn't have to be carrying anyone else's crap to make their backpacks weigh well over the acceptable limit. As a result, I was in fact able to reach the top with everyone else. And boy oh boy, was it ever worth it.








At the top (11,253 feet)!







For more pictures and accounts see Liv's and Lindsey's blogs.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Today is my older sister's birthday. She has lately written two very nice tributes to my mom and I on her blog which have inspired me to do the same for her. Unfortunately, I am not nearly as eloquent as she is when it comes to writing. If I could, I would hire her to write this for me, or at least to proof read it like she does everything else, from emails to research proposals, but somehow I think it would defeat the purpose. The good news is that I think you all know her, or at least know of her, so if this turns out terribly, it won't reflect badly on her.


To avoid the death of many needed brain cells, which would certainly follow if I try to be eloquent, I'm going to resort to the old-fashoined kindergarten trick.

O is for Organized. I don't think I need to say much about this one. I mean, I'm kind of anal myself, but I'm nowhere near as organized as Olivia. She's always coming up with ways to be more organized. I think her biggest accomplishment was organizing the bee lab. You may not realize what a feat this was, but let's just say it's like climbing Mount Everest in nothing but socks and a bathing suit.


L is for Loving. I think loving encompasses what I want to say here. It sounds kind of trite, and certainly if I were Olivia I could come up with a better word, but it works. She is loving in the general sense of the word, but specifically, she is the most forgiving person in the world. If you ever want to do wrong to somebody with no consequences...wait, I don't want anyone to get any ideas here. I have given up on people in my life. Olivia has never given up on anyone in her life. Not anyone. I use her as my inspiration when dealing with people that I would like to punch in the face--I just ask myself "What would Olivia do"? The answer is nearly always smile and be patient. It works most of the time, but I still have limits that apparently don't exist in Olivia's world. Flashback to China when we were being bamboozled by a bamboo rafting cartel. Sus nearly punched someone. If Olivia hadn't been there she certainly would have.


I is for Intelligent. Olivia has an insatiable curiosity about everything. It started when she was very small. I remember laying on the top bunk bed at night, drifting off to sleep only to be interrupted by Olivia (who apparently had no need of sleep, even then) saying "What should I think about next"? I would always irritatedly reply "I don't know" and then follow up with a randomly chosen object like "magnets". I never asked her what in god's name she was thinking about magnets, for fear I would never get to sleep, but apparently there was a lot of stuff to think about. Some things were more thought worthy than others and every now and then I would hit on something that would occupy her mind for a whole 5 minutes (something like the Theory of Relativity), plenty of time for me to drift to sleep so that I could safely ignore her next inquiry. Even now, when we chat on the phone, she is inevitably asking questions, trying to explain some phenomenon she recently witnessed or read about in an article. I have to embarrassedly admit that if it weren't for Olivia, I would probably never even consider half the things I have.


V is for Valiant. Courageous and determined. Definitely Olivia. Determined in everything she does whether it be hiking or finishing her Master's degree. I recall some people questioned whether she would finish the latter, but I knew. I knew that there was no way in hell Olivia would let a silly piece of paper defeat her. Although there was that one time that she threw out her back while reaching for a piece of paper... Anyway, and courageous too. My mom and dad bought her a key chain that said "Steal my keys and I'll kick you in the balls" because when she was in grade school some older boys on the bus were harassing her. I don't actually recall if she had to kick them in the balls or not because I don't have the memory of an elephant like Olivia does, but I'm pretty sure she did. She's a tough cookie when it comes to fighting--I have the scars to prove it. Olivia is most courageous when it comes to defending people she loves. I remember one time walking home from elementary school with her and stopping to do a cherry drop on the playground. Some kids were making fun of me for some reason or other. Boy were they sorry they did that!


I is for Irresistible. Olivia is the one with the irresistible smile and laugh that are always a mere nano-second from rising to the surface and occasion. I say irresistible, for those of you unlucky enough not to have experienced them in person, because they are contagious. More contagious than any disease I've ever heard of. But maybe that's not a great comparison because smiles and laughs don't kill people. Anyway, the point is, that whenever Olivia smiles and laughs, other smiles and laughs are soon to follow. Even the grumpiest grump wouldn't be able to resist smiling when Olivia is happy. That's why she always has about 10 men fawning over her at any given time. Granted, some of them have been more annoying than others (I won't name names), but that's what happens when you're irresistible.


A is for Athletic. I know she may disagree with me, because she's always certain she can do better, but honest to god, Olivia has the most endurance of anybody I have ever met. Have you ever gone for a hike with Olivia? When Olivia hikes, she's not farting around (to use a phrase I inherited from my dad). She'll hike at a running pace (seriously, I know people that can't run as fast as she hikes) without breaking a sweat, often carrying a 150 lb pack. And she can go for miles and miles and miles. I never admit it to her, but when I hike with Olivia I'm often right at my limit.


So, Happy Birthday to the best older sister in the world.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Detroit Zoo

This Saturday I went with some friends to the Detroit Zoo. It was pretty nice--kind of small, but it had all the essentials. We were primarily attending the pet adoption event right outside the gates (no, I didn't adopt anything although I was sorely tempted), but managed to spend a good hour and a half or so wandering the zoo. I think we timed it perfectly. By the time the zoo closed at 5, we were clear on the other side of the entrance. We moseyed back as slowly as possible. There were very few people and the animals were all just waking up. My favorites were the Wart Hogs. Boy did they have bees in their bonnets.

video

video

Even the Rhinos were running around.

video

There was a cool butterfly garden,

tigers,


llamas,


and bears.


There were three bears in the enclosure. The one in the picture must have been centuries old. He had no teeth and could barely walk. Each step was a tender one. He'd put his paw out test his weight on it a bit, think hard about whether he REALLY wanted to take it, and then gingerly take the leap. Poor guy.

Apparently the Detroit zoo is best known for it's arctic exhibit. But when we were there it wasn't that exciting. The polar bears were asleep in the distance and the seals were asleep floating in the water.

I'd go back again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Camping in Michigan

I haven't posted anything substantial in a while, mostly because we haven't done many exciting things lately. Alex has night classes Monday through Thursday, so we definitely don't get to do anything exciting during the week. Last weekend was miserable weather, with 5 plus inches of rain dumping down over the course of Saturday and Sunday so we didn't do much then either. Finally this weekend we managed to get out and have fun. We went camping at the nearby Waterloo State Recreation Area with our friends Rachel and Dave and their cute dog Enzo.

This was our first camping trip in Michigan since we moved here. Crazy to think that it's taken us this long, but the fact of the matter is I've been spoiled rotten living out west. It's so easy to get out and get away from the general public in the west--it takes significantly more effort here. The northern quarter of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are the best places to go camping or backpacking, but it takes anywhere from 4-8 hours to get there. For a weekend trip, or just a one-nighter, that's a bit too far. In the lower half of the state, camping isn't about getting away from the general public but more about surrounding yourself with a different general public than the one you face every day. From what I can tell, campgrounds down here are typically huge (the one we went to had 136 sites), well developed (complete with playgrounds), and offer little in the way of buffers between you and your neighbors. And, there are relatively few of them. But you know, different as it is from what I'm used to, I found out it's still fun. All you need is good company and a nearby trail (Rachel and I hiked for nearly two hours on a trail--the only trail--that left from the campground without seeing another soul).

We left home around 3:30 and got to the campground around 5:00. It's only 30 miles away, but Rachel and I got a little lost and Alex and Dave biked out. We found the perfect site--only one neighbor and at least twice the room as any other site, including two picnic tables. Alex and I broke out our monster car-camping tent from Kirkhams--you know, the canvas variety that could comfortably house a whole army, or at a minimum, two adults and two big dogs. We used all our car camping gear that hasn't seen the light of day for over two years now. The lantern, the coleman stove, the plastic eating ware, the mismatched pots, etc. Saturday dinner was tinfoil stew, cooked over our carefully cultivated slow burning coals, with biscuits on a stick. Dessert was, of course, S'mores. Rachel came up with a new variety of S'more--a marshmallow and chocolate wrapped in Pilsbury homestyle biscuit dough, cooked in tinfoil. Mmmmm. So good. Breakfast was pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs. I mean, we don't eat that well at home. All in all, I would definitely do that again. Why did it take us so long to do this?

P.S. Sorry there are no pictures. I forgot to bring my camera.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Look!

I made a baby blanket!

Good news/Bad news

The good news: I can wear Alex's pants!

The bad news: I can wear Alex's pants!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Baby Pics!!

Last Monday Alex and I went in for our second ultrasound--this time at the appropriate stage of development (19 weeks). It was just as fun as the first one. And this time we found out the sex--it's a girl! And she's cute too. Just see for yourself.


She was very active and stubborn. It took the technician 20 minutes to get the right view of her heart because she likes to keep her hands up by her face and her arm was casting a shadow right over her heart. The technician kept pounding on my belly with the ultrasound wand to try to get her to move and she would squirm around and then immediately put her arms back up. At the end, she started opening and closing her mouth! It was so cute! I'm pretty sure she was complaining loudly about being jiggled around so rudely.


She's about 9 ounces which I think is crazy. In 5 days I'll be halfway through my pregnancy but she's not even close to half her birth weight. And I finally look almost pregnant on a regular basis.


It's actually kind of uncomfortable--all my other organs feel mooshed. I have the perfect analogy but Olivia told me not everyone would find it appropriate. Let's just say it involves roadkill. Anyway, the other drawback is that when I run my bladder gets beat up by my uterus and I feel like I constantly have to pee even though I really don't.