Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Details

Now that you've had time to sufficiently recover from the minor heart attack I gave you yesterday, I'll answer some of the questions that I've received over the past few days...

What is the official due date:  The Official due date is September 8.  I will tell you here and now that this child won't come on September 8; it will likely be before.  Between the fact that my OB loves to induce and I like to plan, we are working on a late August timeline.

When did you find out:  The morning of New Year's Eve.  Good thing we didn't have big plans that night- no champagne cocktail for me!

How dd you tell Frank:  I took the test early in the morning, and propped it up on the bathroom vanity so he saw it when he woke up. You would have thought I could have come up with something more creative this time around! 

How are you feeling:  Fine.  I've been tired but not sick at all.

Doing this twice; are you crazy:  (This question was asked by more than one of my friends.)  Pleading temporary insanity. 

Do you think it's a boy or girl:  Because this pregnancy is almost identical to when I was pregnant with Jacob, I have to say Team Boy.  The Chinese Gender Calendar says boy, but it said girl with Jacob.  The rest of the old wives tales are all over the place. 

Will you find out whether it's a boy or girl:  Yes!  I am a planner, remember? 

Will you obsessively post pregnancy updates:  No, I promise.  I didn't post about it at all for 12 weeks!  I don't enjoy being pregnant, so I'm not very likely to chit-chat about the State of the Uterus.  That being said, I will give you some occasional gems.   We do have a couple of pictures of Baby 2, but he/she looks like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I think I'll wait until we get some good shots before I start posting photos!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Cleaning, Friends, and a Sunday Pic

I've been bitten by the Spring Cleaning Bug.  I've started on all those little projects that I don't do every week, like cleaning registers and ceiling fans and baseboards.  I even ordered new new wood filler and touch-up pens for the kitchen cabinets because all the little scuffs were driving me nuts.  Also on tap for this week- finding all the little pieces to puzzles- aaah!  If I could accomplish only that, I would be doing great. 

Last Saturday morning, we played with our friends Hamilton and Liliana while their mom got a haircut.  I'm happy to report that for the first time, I felt like Jacob was genuinely sharing his toys and making an effort to look out for Liliana.  The kids were all well-behaved, but I think two hours is about as long as I want to entertain two two year olds and a baby!

And just because he was so cute in his little checked shirt on Sunday morning...

Friday, February 24, 2012


When I was working in the corporate world, at the end of each meeting, we would analyze the meeting by using a Plus/Delta method.  (You know your organization loves red tape when you have to give an analysis of each meeting.)  Anyway, each person would state a Plus from the meeting, which was usually what he/she learned or found helpful, and then each person would give a Delta.  Delta is the Greek symbol for change, so the Delta would be something that he/she would change about the meeting; i.e. This meeting went too long. 

Which leads me in to my post.  Here is a Plus/Delta of our last few days:

Plus:   We finally had a Comcast tech come to check on the spotty internet service we've been having the last few weeks.  By the time he left, it worked great, and we didn't have to pay any additional charges.
Delta:  The problem with our service is our modem/router, which suddenly doesn't communicate with Comcast as it should.  It's a Comcast issue, and they're working on it.  In the meantime, we are left with a temporary modem without a wireless router. I know, I know, there are people starving in Africa, and I'm complaining about not being able to use the ipad.

Plus:  Jacob and I went to Peoria with some friends this week to an indoor play systems showroom.  Literally, it's an indoor park- so cool!

(I helped him rock climb.  I wouldn't let my two-year-old do this by himself, even though he wanted to, and it looks like it from the picture.)  We stayed for a few hours and even took a picnic lunch. 
Delta:  I left my grandma's ring there.  It has never come off my finger-- and trust me, my fingers are not getting smaller-- so I'm not sure how it happened.  We get to make a return trip to Peoria this weekend.

Plus:  I ordered Jacob's big-boy bedding!

This plaid bedspread

with this Discover pillow
Delta:  The bedspread is backordered until April.  I wanted to cry. 

Plus:  It's Friday!
Delta:  None!  It's Friday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Tropical Vacation

Well, sort of.

We went to Key Lime Cove Resort in Gurnee this past weekend.  Key Lime Cove is a tropical-themed, indoor waterpark, and it was totally what we needed to get our minds off of our cold Illinois weather!

We arrived around 1 on Saturday afternoon, and quickly changed into our swim suits and headed down to the waterpark.  The waterpark area is really amazing with several different pools, a wave pool, a lazy river, and lots of play structures. 

Yikes.  I didn't really plan on getting that wet-- I thought Frank could do the hands-on supervision, but between all the water and all the people, it took both of us, and I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked. 

Jacob had a blast!  Fortunately, he likes the water, and doesn't mind getting splashed.  When we went on vacation this summer, he wasn't a fan of the lazy river, but this time, he went around a few times with both of us.  (It's progress!)  We were only at the waterpark a little over an hour before he started announcing that he was, "Done!"  It was really crowded, so momma and daddy were ready to be done, too. 

We had a little downtime before dinner.

For dinner, we went to one of the restaurants on the property called The Crazy Toucan. 

After dinner, we went down to the arcade where Jacob practiced his driving skills.  Right now, he doesn't realize that the games would actually do something if we put money in them.  He's content just pretending.  So he's still a cheap date!

After that, we got some ice cream, which may well have been one of the highlights of Jacob's weekend (any maybe Frank's, too!).  Convinced we had sufficiently worn him out, we were back in the room for "quiet time" by 7:30. 

The next morning, we managed to squeeze in some additional pool time before checkout. 

The funny thing is that I knew he would enjoy some of the big things, like the waterpark and arcade, but I took for granted how much fun little things are when you're two, things like pushing elevator buttons, jumping on the bed, and running down looong hallways. 

I would highly recommend Key Lime Cove for a winter getaway.  We are talking about getting a group together to go next winter, so let us know if you're interested!

Friday, February 17, 2012

How to Clean Grates on a Gas Stove

I saw a tutorial on Pinterest about using ammonia to clean the grates on a gas stove.  It promised "no scrubbing," and I am all about no scrubbing, so I decided to put it to the test.

Here is a Before pic:

This is a 12-hour process, so that is something that needs to be taken into consideration.  I chose a day where I knew I wasn't using the stove that night.  Alternatively, you could just begin the process in the evening and let the cleaning happen overnight. 

I put the grates into turkey-sized oven bags and filled each bag with approximately 1 gallon of ammonia.  (Then I stuck my head out the window for a minute- phew!)  I just taped the bags closed, and the seal must have been okay because I didn't smell the ammonia after the bags were closed. 

After about 6 hours, I could see little pieces of yuck floating in the water.

At the end of the 12 hours, I took the grates out of the bags, rinsed them, and wiped them with a microfiber cloth.  I didn't do any scrubbing, and they look fantastic!!  There is a water spot on the picture below, which is kind of deceiving, but they really did look like new!

So there you have it:  an easy, no-scrub way to clean grates on a gas stove!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Working Girls (and Guys)

This past weekend, Frank and I worked for his parents at the ICCA Cheerleading State Championships in Springfield.  Frank's dad is the videographer for the event, and we take orders for the DVDs.  It's a "job" we do every year, but this year is the first since I've been in the family that Frank and I have worked both Saturday and Sunday. 

Fortunately, my parents' spent the weekend at our house, since getting a babysitter for that many hours would have been out of the question.  (Odd fact:  Since I've been an adult- we'll say 15 or so years- my parents' have spent the night at my house exactly twice, and both of those times have been within the last month.)

When I was growing up, we didn't have competitive cheerleading.  Since the season went head-to-head with girls basketball, there was barely enough interest for a squad, so these competitions are a completely different world for me.  I never thought my husband would teach me about cheerleading!

Our table was set up in a great spot this year (in front of the smoothie stand!). 

We took a lot of orders, answered a lot of random questions (Where are they selling sweatshirts?  Where are the restrooms?), and had a lot of fun.

Until next year!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Random Friday Thoughts

  • This week I've been able to begin my course prep for the class that I teach.  I have two sections this term, which is great.  I'm hopeful that by moving from an adjunct to a visiting professor, I'll have more steady work this year.  Class opens on Feb 26, and I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove.

  • On Saturday evening, I went to a (ladies-only) Winter Social as part of mom's group.  It was SO strange to go out alone on a Saturday night!  Frank and Jacob had "Boy's Night," which I believe involved M&Ms and a DVD of the Cardinal's 2006 and 2011 World Series Championships. 

  • It's been a while since I've posted a picture of the Queen of the House.  She is on our bed in this photo but only touching the outer part of the bedspread (not the part that touches us, 'cause that would be yuck.).   

  • We've been trying to eat healthier lately.  I think I've eaten more oranges, blueberries, spinach, and Greek yogurt in the past month that I have in my life.  Dinners are a challenge for me, though, because Frank doesn't like turkey or fish and only moderately likes chicken.  So if you have any healthy beef recipes, send them my way!

  • Speaking of eating, someone (okay, my mom) asked why Jacob was still in his high chair in a photo from the last post.  The answer is because he's scared of his booster seat!  He hides under his high chair and yells, "No boo-ser!"  Hopefully, I won't have a kindergartener who still uses a high chair.

He's having some hair issues this morning.

  • Why is it snowing today?!  Did Mother Nature miss my post about spring shoes?!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Normal Day

I wanted to document one of our typical days so that when I'm old and grey, I can look back and remember how we used to spend our time. 

Breakfast during the week is almost always Cream of Wheat.  I sometimes make eggs or pancakes for lunch, so I don't feel bad that his breakfast is kind of boring.

After Jacob's breakfast comes Mama's breakfast/computer time.  Our friend zones out on Thomas the Train during this time.  Parenting at it's finest. 

After some playtime, he gets a treat for using the big potty.  We're not in potty training, per se, but sometimes he wants to use the potty, and if he does, he gets a treat.  M&Ms are his favorite!

Around mid-morning, we meet some friends at the library for playtime and story time.  I managed to snap some pictures during playtime, but the twenty-minute toddler storytime was a downhill spiral for us.  You'd think he would be able to sit still for twenty minutes.  (Sigh)  He sat there, but it was only because I strong-armed him to his chair. 

Once we came home and had lunch, it was time for a nap.  Our naptime ritual is to read books and cuddle in the rocking chair in his room.  This picture doesn't do justice to the snuggly-ness of a warm, sleepy toddler under a warm blanket. 

The rest of the afternoon we spent playing with cars, trucks, and blocks. Oh, and playing the piano.  (You mean that's not how you sit on a piano bench?)

After dinner, Jacob and Daddy like to hang out upstairs in the playroom

and downstairs in the basement before heading back upstairs for bedtime. 

There you have it:  a normal day in Normal!