The Great Bloggy Holiday Card Exchange

I love this idea of Meghan’s.

I sent out our Christmas cards about a week ago. I’m thinking that the people who got them via snail mail have already received them, so there’s no spoiler by sharing my Christmas card here, right?

So, happy holidays to all of my bloggy loves. I hope this Christmas/holiday season is fabulous and magical for all of you.

Throwing rocks in the lake

Happy holidays!

P.S. For the record? This card required about 100 photos from two separate photo shoots. Three year-olds are not known for being cooperative subjects. Or at least mine isn’t. But I really love the way they turned out in the end.

Monday morning ramblings

Since the Plague wasn’t going away quickly enough, my doctor gave me a prescription for prednisone to help with the coughing fits. And it’s working, I feel SO much better. But the other part? Prednisone makes me HYPER. Like, oh hey why don’t I go run five errands and then come home, knowing full well that everything is finished, but still feel like I need to go-go-GO doooo soooomething! Hey, there’s 20 minutes until dinner’s ready, maybe I should put the crib together? You know, just so I don’t have to think about it for the next 6 months until this baby is due?

So, yeah. Fun with medical science over at our house, clearly. I’ve gone insane.

Other stuff: My mother-in-law has been here for over a week and I’ve taken a shameful amount of photos. Meaning, um, zero. I’m blaming it on my bronchitis, I just seem to keep forgetting to take pictures when Catie is all snuggled up on her Grandma.

But, on Saturday, we went to see “Toy Story 3 on Ice,” and my mother-in-law remembered her camera for that, so we actually got a few cute pictures there.

Dave & Catie, wearing her alien hat

Family pic!

(Of course, none of the pictures have my mother-in-law actually in them. Which would’ve been nice. But oh well. She was there, I promise!)

Toy Story 3 on Ice

And I have to say, we have been to a lot of kid-oriented concerts and shows – Thomas the Tank Engine Live, Sesame Street Live, Nick Junior Live, and of course, the Wiggles – and I must say, the Disney on Ice franchise put the rest to shame. That show was amazing. Those ice skaters were absolutely phenomenal. I’d highly recommend it to anyone with age-appropriate kids.

Other random stuff:
* We now have two Christmas trees, which feels a little bit pretentious, but I have to say that I kind of love it. I put our (fake) tree up in the living room, which faces the street, because it’s our pretty formal room and it’s the most logical place to have a Christmas tree. But Dave pointed out that we never actually hang out in that room, so he wanted to get another tree (a real one, not another fake one) to put in the family room. It didn’t take much to convince me – he just had to say that he’d be responsible for handling it and I was sold. It’s a very pretty tree, I really like having both of them.

(Also? The tree in the family room can’t be seen from our stairs, which makes it the more logical place for Santa to drop off his loot, to avoid little early-risers who might try to sneak a peek.)

* I haven’t cooked dinner since my mother-in-law arrived. It’s been heaven.

* Catie has decided that the Elf on the Shelf book is pretty much her favorite bedtime story ever, but she’s largely indifferent to the elf himself. I’m just rolling with it – if she’s fine with it, I’m fine with it.

* I’m finally healthy enough to go back to work! And I’m so excited about it! God, I’m a dork.

* The title of this post is a lie because I’m actually typing it on Sunday night. Thank you, WordPress scheduling feature.

Impending Doom = Realized

So, about this? The track record remains unbroken. Add to the list:

2010 – The year that Dave and I both got sinus infections. AGAIN.

Dave is mostly over his version of The Plague now, but I’m smack in the middle of it. I can’t breathe, I’m constantly sneezing and coughing, my throat hurts, and I’ve lost my voice. Fabulous.

Also? Knowing that a giant bottle of DayQuil is sitting right there in my kitchen cabinet, and knowing that if I took it, I’d undoubtedly feel better, but being unable to take it because it’s contraindicated for pregnancy? That sucks extra hard.

Dave got my laptop set up with a VPN client so I can connect to my work computer and still get some work done. So that’s what I’m doing, lying in bed with my laptop on a TV tray, and trying to concentrate on work. It’s awfully reminiscent of the last time I was pregnant, and not in a good way. At least this time it’s just a sinus thing that I know will probably be over in a few days, and not some Unknown Pooping Disorder that will rob me of all of my energy reserves (and a hell of a lot of muscle tone too). So, um, silver lining, I guess?

Another silver lining is that my mother-in-law is here, and she’s planning to make shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight. Comfort food = WIN.

Bad Track Record

My mother-in-law is flying in from England today. I know that the stereotype would be to have a difficult and strained relationship with a mother-in-law, but I honestly don’t. She’s funny, she’s an amazing cook, and I find her very easy to be around.

At the same time, though, I do feel a teeny-tiny sense of Impending Doom about her upcoming visit. But it’s not for any of the reasons you’d think. The reason is because every year since Catie was born, we’ve seen her at some point during the month of December, and every year, somebody gets really horribly sick.

To recap:
* 2007 – We all got the flu. And let me tell you, trying to take care of a sick baby when you’re sick yourself? Oh man. That was hideous.

* 2008 – Catie ended up in the hospital with a major asthma/flu episode. Because nothing says “Happy holidays!” like continuous albuterol treatments.

* 2009 – We went to England. Catie was spared, this time it was just me and Dave who got sick. Because of that trip, I have vowed to never go to England during the winter again. (It had more to do with the epic snowstorm than my bronchitis-that-was-almost-pneumonia, but still. Not fun on any counts.)

[Oh, there was also the visit – NOT during the month of December, oddly enough – where my mother-in-law herself wound up in the ER with a concussion after falling in the grocery store and hitting her head. That was fun too.]

And now she’s on her way here for 2010. *dun dun duuuuuunnnnnn*

It’s already starting. Dave got sick with some sort of nasty cold a couple of days ago, and today I woke up with a scratchy throat. Which is great, since you know, pregnancy keeps me from being able to take any of the good drugs. I’m basically limited to my Zyrtec and my neti pot. Fabulous.

Let’s just hope we can avoid any hospital visits this time, yes?

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

So… Thanksgiving happened. Here’s the mad-dash recap.

* Thursday – Went to my cousin’s house and had a lovely Thanksgiving meal with her family. Catie had a blast getting to play with her cousins all day, and we left feeling full, tired, and happy. I’d call that a win.

* Friday – Bummed that since we did Thanksgiving at someone else’s house, we’d have no leftovers of our own, I roasted a chicken and made some Thanksgiving-y side dishes, and we had our own little mini-Thanksgiving, just the three of us. It was fun, even though I had a really awful headache most of the day. (I have an OB appointment this afternoon, and I WILL be asking for a prescription for something I can safely take while pregnant, because there are some things that Tylenol can’t even begin to handle.)

Also on Friday: Catie and I put up our Christmas tree. I never thought I’d be one of those people who puts up their tree the day after Thanksgiving, but apparently this is what motherhood has done to me. We even listened to Christmas music the whole time! And I don’t even like most Christmas music, I just thought it’d be fun for Catie. What has happened to me?

(I didn’t put up the outside lights yet, just the tree. I might make Dave do that part.)

We also tried to take pictures for our Christmas card, with… mixed results.

big mug for the camera
I think that CHEESE was a little bit too hard, baby girl.

Frog Jump #1
Frog jump. Alternate title: Holy crap, look at ALL THAT HAIR.

(We actually do have some great pictures for our Christmas card, but you’ll have to wait to see those until the cards are shipped out.)

* Saturday – Catie cleaned up all of her toys all by herself (usually I have to help her), and by doing so, she filled the last square in her reward chart, which meant that I owed her a prize. Her request? She wanted a toy Rudolph and Clarice (Rudolph’s girlfriend from the movie). We have a Rudolph & Clarice Christmas ornament, but it’s a cheap piece of junk and the legs keep breaking off, so that wasn’t going to cut it. My sister insisted that she saw Rudolph and Clarice plush dolls at some drug store – she couldn’t remember which, but she thought it was CVS – so, we set off to hunt them down. Five drug stores and a trip to Wal-Mart later, we had a Rudolph, but no Clarice. Catie wasn’t happy because Rudolph would be sad without his girlfriend, but we found Rudolph another friend (a tiny plush cat wearing reindeer antlers that I found for $2 at Walgreen’s), so that worked as a consolation prize.

Besides, I hear that Santa may have found a lead on Rudolph and Clarice plush dolls on eBay, so no worries there.

* Sunday – I worked on my Epic De-Clutter Operation. My big Christmas gift to myself is that I’ve hired a housekeeper to come clean our house, and I am so excited I could cry. (She’s coming on Tuesday – TOMORROW. It also just so happens that my mother-in-law arrives on Thursday, and then my entire family will be here for Christmas, so it’ll be a huge relief to have a clean house before the family visits begin!) But before the housekeeper and her crew get to my house, I needed to get all of our junk out of the way, so they can actually… you know, clean.

The de-cluttering wasn’t too bad. Some rooms (like the kitchen) took longer than I expected, and some rooms (like our bedroom) took almost no time at all. I don’t know if I have adequate words for how happy it makes me to have someone other than myself clean the bathrooms and vacuum the stairs. But, OMG I AM SO EXCITED, I CANNOT WAIT.

On Sunday afternoon, Catie and I went to see Tangled. I thought it was a very sweet and clever take on the whole Rapunzel story, and I like that both Rapunzel and the guy/love interest actually have personalities. (Disney’s been getting better about that with their more recent movies; not so much in the really old princess tales.)

So, yeah, Tangled was cute. Catie liked it, but some of it scared her a little, which is unusual since she’s typically impervious to that stuff. (Case in point: she recently asked to watch Scooby-Doo before bedtime, and I said no because I didn’t want her to have nightmares. She gave me this exasperated sigh and said, “Mommy! It’s just pretend!”) So when she climbed into my lap during the movie and tried to hide her face in my shoulder, I whispered in her ear, “Remember, it’s all just pretend.” And it worked, she turned back around to face the screen and she seemed to enjoy the movie a lot.

Overall: it was a great holiday weekend. And I already can’t wait until Christmas.

oh that's right, I have a blog

While I’m trying to get my head together and think of something funny or profound or, hell, I don’t know, anything to write about, here are my favorite pictures from our 4th of July.

Catie & Elizabeth pose for me
Catie and her cousin Elizabeth. Those girls know how to work the camera.

Elizabeth & Catie, ready to see the fireworks on the 4th of July
The look on Catie’s face here cracks me up. She’s smiling, but there’s also a “what the heck is she doing back there? Is she touching me? Make her stop touching me!” kind of vibe.

the one halfway-cool looking picture of fireworks that I took
Pretty much the only cool fireworks picture that I was able to get. I need to figure out the manual settings on my awesome camera someday, because most of them were, uh, awful.

Hope everyone is having a great week. I’ll be back soon with something more.