Sunday, March 29, 2009

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack

When I was a kid, baseball was a big part of my life. I did play Little League, but what I'm really talking about is that I watched a lot of baseball and played a lot out behind our house. Somewhere in my early adulthood, I lost touch with baseball a little bit, and moving to England later didn't help. Moving back to Arizona, though, has helped get me back on the wagon.

Every year I try to hit a few Spring Training games. Last year, some friends of ours came down, which gave me a good excuse to hit a few. This year, my brother-in-law Carl, who (along with his whole family) is a huge baseball fan, decided to make the trip down this past week to take in some games.

We timed it around a Jazz-Suns game, so the two of us (along with Ray) hit that on Wednesday night (after a quick stop-off at Pete's Fish & Chips, one of the finer diner establishments, as the name would suggest). It was actually a pretty tight game, and both teams really needed it, but unfortunately in the end the Jazz fell short due to mostly to some very poor free throw shooting. Suns homes games are always a good time, though. An added attraction this year was a group of people across the arena who dressed up in retro Jazz gear and huddles around their own Jerry Sloan during time outs:



I always give Carl a hard time that he knows people everywhere he goes, and in my defense, he did run into someone he knows from Utah. I also think he must have known these two Suns dancers - they practically begged us to take a picture with them. OK, maybe not, but we thought it would be funny. Ray, ever the model husband, decided to stay behind the camera:



The next day Carl and I went to a Brewers-Rangers game at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix - my first time there:



It was by far the least attended of the three, but we had seats right behind home plate, and it ended up being a one-run game decided on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth after a big comeback by the Brewers.



The next day Ray rejoined us at Scottsdale Stadium for a Giants-Indians game, this time with about 11,000 other people there.





Last year's AL Cy Young, Cliff Lee, didn't look like a Cy Young winner, but maybe you can chalk it up to being Spring Training. Ray was happy, though - he's a life-long, long-suffering Giants fan.



We were up on the top row, along with Ray's new buddy with the handlebar mustache. Ray and Carl are two of the funniest people I know, so I laughed a lot this week.



That night Carl and I met back up with Karin and Matthew for In-N-Out (never get tired of that), and that night we introduced Carl to Billy Mitchell (if you don't know what I'm talking about, rent The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - you won't regret it).

Saturday was the last game of the trip, an Angels-Mariners game at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the closest one to our house. The weather was great all week, but it was particularly good on Saturday, and our seats three rows up on along the right field line made for a nice afternoon of baseball (that and the fact that the Angels scored like 18 runs).



Torii Hunter is on my bench in fantasy baseball this year - I should have let him know. I'm sure that would have motivated him.



I took a ton of pictures on Saturday, still trying to figure out how to use our new camera. Some shots turned out pretty well, and I'm a big fan of our telephoto lens:



This one is Bobby Abreu snagging a deep fly ball:



Saturday night we finished things off with a trip to our favorite family-run Italian restaurant, RigaTony's. My favorite moment from the dinner was when the waitress asked Matthew how old he was and he replied, "I want some milk."

We didn't get to see a few players we'd hoped to when we picked out these games, but all-in-all, it was a great week at the ballpark(s). Even though it doesn't really mean anything, there's something special about Spring Training baseball. It was also great getting to spend some time with Carl, a great brother-in-law and one of my favorite people. He was great with Matthew, too, and Matthew cried when we dropped him off at the airport. The only problem might be now that Carl set the bar pretty high in terms of having energy to run around with Matthew - I might need to get in better shape to be able to live up to the new expectations.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why? Why? Why?

I was really hoping we could skip this stage in Matthew's development, but as of yesterday we've officially joined the why stage of a toddler's life. I don't mind the 1st or 2nd why, but when I've already explained the answer and then he keeps asking why 3 or 4 more times I find it annoying. I guess it's good because he's wants to learn more about his life around him, but does every question I answer need to lead to another?

"That's dangerous Matthew" Why? "Because you could pull that big chair on your head and hurt yourself" Why? "Because the chair is heavy" Why? Why? Why?

I actually reversed it back on him today and started asking why back and he told me to stop it. I said exactly, it's annoying isn't it Matthew?

My patience is non existent right now anyways and this might just drive me a bit insane. I'm just hoping we have enough for him to do these last 2 weeks so I don't go crazy. I've bought a couple of fun activities for him to do while we are in hospital with Grandma & Grandpa and his Easter Basket is filled and ready to go with some fun treats, books, and movies as more than likely I'll still be in the hospital on Easter Sunday unless my recovery goes really well (let's hope-I'd love to be home on Easter).

Wish us luck on the why journey...how long does it last?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Butterfly Montage


Original blog about a butterfly montage



Second blogger who was inspired by the first blogger



I saw these projects on a blog I stalk and really wanted to do a butterfly montage in the baby's room. I looked in my scrapbook stash for a butterfly punch-no punch, I looked in my cricut collection for a butterfly to cut out in different sizes-no butterfly. I really didn't want to purchase more things that are actual hard physical scrapbook items since I've mostly been doing digital scrapbooking. I remembered that my friend Kris showed me these digital butterfly stamps and I also remembered that Costco printed posters and an idea was born. I bought these digital butterfly images that can be sized, re-colored, and stamped endlessly and decided to do a huge poster 20x30 with the baby's name and butterflies matching the colors in her room.


I designed the poster a couple of weeks ago, but have had a challenge getting the colors to match the colors in her bedding. I've printed some smaller samples of colors and the actual poster at Costco before I wasted money by printing a huge poster that I didn't like. Today I picked up my last color samples and finally have colors that match the colors in her room. I am uploading one more small sample of the poster tonight to Costco to pick up tomorrow before sending off for the large one that will come in the mail.


Every color in Photoshop has a unique identifier made up of letters/numbers. I would print the sample color and identifier so I would know what to use if it matched the colors I wanted.

The Hammonds gave me a GC to Ikea for my birthday and so I used that towards a frame for the poster and it pretty much covered it-so thanks for the great gift Ray & Em. The Ribba frames come in a myriad of sizes and colors. We picked white and the 2nd largest size.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50161854

Anyways, thought I would share what the poster looks like sans the name....I'll post some complete pics of her room once she's home and the frame is up in it's place. Her room has turned out way cute and I love it! It's definitely PINK!


Her name will be at the bottom of the collage in lower case letters in the dark pink.

I really want to do a poster now for Mattew's room, but just need to decide what to do. He has a dot theme in his room in turquoise, dk lime green, and chocolate so it has to be something that matches that.

Soon....My Last Day at Work (for awhile)

My last day in the office is next Thursday and my last day of working for 3 months is 2 weeks from today. I'm really excited to have some time off, but have a ton of things to get done before I leave. I think my boss might have a cow, but she'll manage and make it through without me. I have a lot of responsibility and take care of a lot of projects that our team does and most of what I do I've planned and will be done before I go, but there are little things that pop up here and there that I do that she is nervous that no one will know what to do.

I've been working on training manuals lately at work for my new person that reports to me, for our International team and for my team. I'm confident that everything will be in good hands while I'm off. When Matthew was born we were 2 1/2 months away from our annual convention and I was the only one working in events. I took a week off from my emails after he was born and then pretty much was back on emails and working from home. I was probably back in the office 2 afternoons a week once he was 7 weeks old. I'm so grateful that I'll have the time this time to be able to adjust to 1 toddler and newborn without the stress of work.

My babysitter is going to come in twice a week for about 4 hours to play with Matthew so I can rest with the baby and he'll love the attention from her. He really loves their family too (they live down the street from us) so I'm sure he'll go over there sometimes to play with their son that's close in age to him or they might even go swimming.

We asked Matthew last night something like if he was excited to meet his sister and he said "yep". Who knows if he understands the concept, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chicken and Mushroom Bake

Last year Jordan gave me the Rachael Ray magazine for Christmas which I love, love, love! He didn't renew this year but it keeps coming so I keep enjoying it.

I found a recipe in the most recent copy that sounded yummy so I made it last night. Really yummy and I think it will go into our rotation. It is a perfect recipe for using leftover chicken especially from a rotesserie. I simmered and shredded some chicken breasts since we don't currently have any chicken left over from anything.

Pretty easy and the only substitution I made was chicken broth for the marsala wine. I think next time I'll add 1 more container (for a total of 18 oz) of fresh mushrooms only because we both love mushrooms and I would have loved to have eaten more. The fresh parsley adds a nice freshness to the dish. I'm taking to work for lunch today-yum!

http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/chicken-turkey-recipes/marsala-chicken-and-mushroom-casserole/article.html

Also, yesterday I got the news that my C-Section has been moved from 8:30 in the morning to 7:00 am on April 10th. We have to be there by 5 which means we have to leave here by 4:20 which means I have to get up at 3:30 to get ready to go. I'll definitely be ready for a nap by the time all of you are getting ready to head to work or are at work. We're excited though and that just means we get to meet our daughter sooner.

Also, a shout out to my brother-in-law Carl who arrives tomorrow for some Suns/Spring Training games with Jordan. They are going to at least 1 game a day Wed-Sat. I think Jordan's excited to spend time with Carl, to get time away from the office, and to have a bit of a break before this baby comes. We're pretty close to having the old office changed to a guest bedroom and I just need to put away my crap on my scrap table. It'll be nice to have a guest bedroom again in the coming months with the visitors we'll be having.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sweet Matthew

We just love this kid to pieces. Most of the time he is so much fun and loving. He watched the Amazing Race with me tonight snuggled up right next to me. It's hard because when he gets silly he starts jumping on my feet/legs/body and being too silly around my belly. That usually ends the fun and he gets into trouble and then he can't sit by me anymore which puts him into tears. It's definitely going to be an adjustment with the baby and I just hope that he likes his little sister.

Anyways just a couple of fun layouts I've done of him recently. I can't wait to snap pictures of him with his little sister.


He makes faces like this on a daily basis. Like his mom you know exactly what he is thinking. His expressions are written all over his face.





Thursday, March 19, 2009

Willpower

Last night I (Jordan) was laying on Matthew's bed with him reading him books, and he kept kicking my arm for some reason. It started to hurt after a while, so I asked him to stop. When he didn't, I threatened to turn off the light and make him go to sleep if he did it again. As Matthew is wont to do, he thought about it for about half-a-second before kicking my arm one more time. Trying to be a good parent by following through on promises, I turned off the light and headed out of the room, with a teary-eyed, pleading Matthew calling after me as I did. He was tired, so he fell asleep pretty quickly.

One of the amazing things about kids that age is that they quickly forgive, but apparently they don't forget, and despite what you think sometimes, they do learn from their mistakes. I was already on my way to work this morning when he woke up, but Karin told me that the first thing out of this mouth when he did was, "I was mean to daddy." He must have been thinking and dreaming about that all night. Poor kid. Tonight, though, as I lay there reading him the same books, he started again with the kicking, but the moment I asked him not to, it stopped.

As a parent I've had to learn a new level of willpower - in a lot of ways, not just this one. I have a feeling I'll have to find yet another level soon, because three weeks from tomorrow our baby girl will be here, and I have no doubt that I'll be completely at her mercy if I don't.

Monday, March 16, 2009

www.seethebestyoucansee.com

About three weeks ago, I was driving home listening to my usual sports talk station, and they announced a video contest sponsored by the Suns' team opthamologist promising free laser eye surgery to the winner. I've been wanting to have my eyes zapped for a few years now that my prescription has stabilized somewhere on the precipice of legal blindness, but I admittedly have not made it a budgetary priority. Maybe I've been waiting for prices to drop like they would on electronics, although when it comes to having someone take a laser to your eyes, I'm not sure you should chase discounts.

I waited until just about the last minute, to the point that Karin thought I wasn't going to follow through, but after camera/voice-over help from Ray during a lunch break, I threw this together. It's not exactly the work of Peter Jackson, but it might be on about the same level Dude, Where's My Car? (although maybe a tad better because the pain lasts exactly 60 seconds - due to the limitations of this contest - vs. 90 minutes).

video

Now I await the judges' ruling. Someone is going to pick a top 10, and then people registered on the site (www.suns.com/vision) will vote on the winner. I guess the top 2 will actually get the surgery, which gives me a sliver of hope given that I'm up against a firefighter who plays the "Would you want a guy with foggy glasses at night trying to put out a fire in your house?" card and kids wanting to give back to their selfless parents. I don't really have a good sympathy play here, so I'll have to rely on the Hollywood-quality production of my little movie. I mean, a lot more people saw Transformers than I Am Sam.

This is actually the second movie Ray and I have done and certainly can't hold a candle to the first. The Sock (written and directed by Ray and acted by me and an old sock), saw a very, very, very limited release sometime in 1996 I think and is now in the vault (OK, we can't find it).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grandparents & Great Grandparents

My maternal grandma is 96 and just had surgery on a blocked intestine. I guess it's a pretty simple procedure and she was in and out in no time and is recuperating in a full-time care center. I'm really hoping she can hang on until after this baby is born so we can see her this summer. I'm in no shape now to go up there if she passed away and I'll need at least 2-3 weeks after the c-section before I could even think of traveling. She's doing ok so far so I'm hoping she'll last a little longer. She is definitely one tough bird and isn't ready quite yet to give up on life even though she has demetia and doesn't always know what is going on.

My parents had to move her from the assisted living place that she was living in to this full-care center which will be great for my mom as she's the only biological child of my grandma's (she has step siblings) and most of the care has fallen on her shoulders. Grandma isn't too happy to have been moved and now has to have a roommate which currently is a 99 year old lady who loves living there. She'll have great care though and hopefully she'll adjust soon to her new digs.

Anyways, about 6 weeks after having Matthew we went to Utah to see family and both of my paternal grandparents were alive then and so I got some pics of 4 generations on my mom and dad's side. Little did we know that it would be one of the last pictures of my paternal grandma taken as she passed away suddenly that September and my Grandpa followed 6 weeks later with cancer unbeknowst to anyone (they were both in their 90's).

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to know my grandparents so well since my Grandma was always with us for major holidays and my dad's parents were mainly with us as well at all the family get togethers. We used to always go see my Grandma in Myton in the summers and she had this cute little house that was fun to play at. My dad's parents had a huge backyard full of fruit trees and an amazing garden. We would often end up there in the summers to pick fruit from the trees and vege's from their gardens. My dad's mom always had Nutter Butters in her cookie jar which were my favorite. I have some really great memories of the fun times at both of their houses.

Even though Matthew won't get to know his great grandparents I know that he is building memories and has a lot of fun with his grandparents (my parents) when we visit there and they come here. They are coming right before the baby is born and Matthew is going to have so much fun with them. He calls my dad "papa" which no other grandchild has and I find it so endearing and sweet. Jordan's parents are still tied down most of the time because of my MIL's job so someday they'll get to come and visit more often.

I'm so thankful for my heritage and the pioneer stock that I come from. I'm so blessed to come from a geneology that made the decisions they did to get me here today with my family. I'm equally grateful always that Jordan's dad joined the church and that his mom was a strong member under the circumstances she had growing up. I don't think we'll ever comprehend the sacrificies that all of our heritage made and one day we'll get to thank them on the other side.

Also, Matthew is the first born of a first born (Jordan), of a first born (his mom)...going way back. Cool huh!

4 generations on each side.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Krispy Kreme Adventures

Ahh...the smell of that place just makes you want to gain weight!

I've been craving their doughnuts for about 2 months but the closest one we thought was in Mesa-too far for a measly box of doughnuts. We have discovered since that there is one in Chandler not too far from my work. Anyways, I really needed to fill this craving lately and so last night we had a great time hanging out at Krispy Kreme. Maybe longer than we expected but the goodness there-so yummy!

We went to dinner with Ray & EmmaLee in Mesa at Red Robin and next door HAPPENED to be Krispy Kreme. Well, maybe we planned it that way since they knew I wanted to get some. After dinner we headed over and made our delicious selections and walked back to the car where they discovered that they had locked all of their keys in their van. We didn't have the kids with us as EmmaLee's little sister offered to babysit so we ended up back at Krispy Kreme to track down a locksmith and hang out until he came.

I think we ate more doughnuts than we originally planned while waiting, but their deliciousness filled me with happiness. A little bit of an adventure and we got home later than expected but now we have a great story. We picked up a hat for Matthew and he wore it for about an hour while we hung out at their house. Matthew loved his "bagel" treat-ha!

I do make a mean doughnut, but once the night is over they are no good. I think my fresh ones will rival crispy creme any day. They may not look as round and beautiful but their tastiness is almost the same. And no I don't want to make a batch while pregnant, I would rather be lazy and buy myself some that come in a pretty container.

Just a reminder that yesterday was Friday the 13th so it's no coincidence that this happened and to Ray & EmmaLee who seem to have worse luck than anyone I know.




Nothing beats a hot doughnut right off the conveyor belt. Melt in your mouth ooey gooeyness!

See practically fat free!

Friday, March 13, 2009

4 weeks to go

4 weeks today and around this time she should have already been here for a few hours. We are pretty close to being ready. I've completed her album, am almost done with my bosses wedding album, and we just have a few things to wrap up like our HUGE project of cleaning out the craft room and turning it into a guest room. We're tackling that tomorrow-I'm really hoping we can finish that project tomorrow and not have it drag on for a few more weeks. My brother-in-law is coming down in 2 weeks to go to Spring Training games with Jordan so it definitely needs to be done by then.

I need to get the baby announcement designed and ready to drop in her pic and all the envelopes ready to be mailed out and then a couple of additional things purchased and we'll be ready to go. I've already picked a couple of outfits and bows to choose from for her to come home in, have blankets and burp cloths ready to go. I just need to figure out the things that I am going to need for myself at the hospital. At least this time I have a better idea of what I'll need. I'm getting anxious to meet this little one and just hope I can remember how to do everything that I did 3 years ago.

I was working in the other room just a bit ago and saw Matthew putting all of these things together. At least he put his crackers in a box instead of putting them on the floor. So funny!


He has 2 green chairs from Ikea that go with a little table that he eats at, his squishy ball, favorite cardboard tubes that something I bought came in, and this little Christmas box that he got in nursery that he loves to put things in. What a great way to watch Little Einsteins.


He thinks it's really fun to come and look at the pics of himself after I take them and got his pillow to lay by me. It's hard capturing real smiles of his as he does his silly squinty eye cheese grin at me all the time.



He got a little silly and climbed onto the couch and then onto our coffee table that we use as a side table for now. He jumped from that into our rocking chair (his 2nd favorite place to be) and I caught the action. Also, see said silly squinty eye cheese grin. He does lay like this across the rocking chair quite often to watch his shows. How that is comfortable is beyond me. I guess little bodies are more malleable than us old parents!


He loves this little push cart that has two storage places and you never know what you'll find in there. He loves to run around the house pushing this everywhere. He stopped for a moment to keep watching Little Einsteins.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Like Mommy, Like Son

I came home from work early yesterday to take a nap since I'm still not feeling well and wanted to take advantage of having our babysitter still here to watch Matthew.

Anyways, I thought Matthew looked a little weird and fat when I came home, but he was sitting down and I couldn't tell what was going on. He jumped up to hug me and that's when I noticed his big belly full of his newest squishy ball. My babysitter told me that he was being like Mommy and had baby sister in his tummy. He had kept the ball in his shirt for over an hour. He looked pretty good and similar to me! I was laughing so hard and had to get some pics of his big tummy.

This boy cracks us up daily. His latest thing is calling us "Hey Guys" and then proceeds with his sentence. My favorite is "Hey Guys, I love you!" So cute! He's really into his blocks lately and is always building and re-building "super swords" and making monsters, dinosaurs, and today rockets. His creativity amazes me on a daily basis. He has a really good imagination which I love.


Great side view-looks pretty much just like me and no, I am not a proud pregnant woman and do not look good while pregnant so you will not be seeing any pics of me or my belly on here anytime soon. Only just over 4 weeks to go and then hopefully this water retention will subside quickly and I can start feeling more normal as much as someone with a newborn can feel normal. Please oh please let this little girl be a good sleeper.




He was so proud of being just like Mommy.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Company Party

Today was our (Karin) Spring/Summer work party. To be honest I don't think I would have gone if I wasn't on the events team. I'm finally catching the crap that Matthew/Jordan had and am not feeling 100%. I knew though that Matthew would have a great time. We went to Kiwanis Park (in Tempe) where we had rented an area and played games, ate, and the park has an indoor wave pool so mostly everyone else went there for the rest of the day. I was not about to be a beached whale at the pool so we went and ran errands and then hung out at friends afterwards. All in all a really fun day!

Just a few pics of Matthew at the party. I had fun actually taking the time to play with our new camera. Jordan gave me a GC to take a photo class after the baby comes so I'm looking forward to doing that while on maternity leave (hopefully) or this fall if I don't squeeze it in. My friend Kris is going to take the class with me - RIGHT?!


His sword-This kept him entertained for awhile. We had a face painter clown and balloon maker clown. This was Matthew's 3rd balloon because they kept randomly popping. This one eventually popped too and then he got a fish! Who knows where it ended up at.


One of my favorite pics from the day.


We went down to the volleyball area and hung out there for awhile. I took out the camera and snapped a ton of pics. Most of the ones we got for the day were taken there.




Matthew wearing Jordan's shoes and walking around. Taken with the telephoto lens.


Tied with the other pic as my fav of the day.


This was my friend Danyell son's car and Matthew loved pushing it around.


My friend Danyell and her son. They are so cute!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Our lime tree

We planted a lime tree last Spring and Jordan took a really great picture of it the other day. He thought it was a regular lime tree when he bought it and only after getting it home did he realize that it was a key lime tree. All I know is once it starts sprouting real limes we can use I need an automatic juicer as those limes are teeny tiny.

We are quite surprised that it has thrived given our little knowledge of gardening. We are going to attempt to plant a small garden this spring in a raised box planter garden. We're hoping to at least do a few items like cilantro, tomatoes, and some jalapeno peppers. We are working on our research now on what will work here in the heat.

Anyways, just a quick layout I did today of our cute lime tree. It was quite easy working with a really great pic. I love our new camera!


I also am so close to finishing my baby book so I'll be sharing that too. My favorite scrapbook store that I haven't been to in ages since I mostly do digital gives me 20% off my whole purchase one time in my birthday month. I've been too busy this whole month and so finally squeezed in a visit late on Saturday night (just like me to wait until the last possible moment). My good friend Kris went too and helped urge my spending. :) I found some really cute papers and the album turned out really well. So excited to finally get it done. Hoping to finish this weekend. I just need to find some acetate that is buried somewhere in my scrapbook room to finish it off.

I also am going to make my boss a wedding album. She's getting married the day after my scheduled c-section. I really wanted to try and make her wedding but the date I picked for my c-section was the best one to work with my parents schedule, the Dr's schedule, and Jordan's work schedule. I know she understands.