Saturday, September 27, 2008

No Baby Yet

This week was a pretty low key week. I was still not feeling over my cold for the better part of the week, so Keira and I pretty much did a lot of hanging out at home. We watched a lot more television that we probably should have, but it was nice to have an easy week.

Today was probably the busiest day of the week for me. I actually feel like I am over my cold, and got to sleep in since it was the weekend. We started the morning off at Maybury, where I felt more as if I took a nature walk than exercised. It was the first day that it really felt like fall, and the leaves have just started to change and fall. I took a few pictures of the trees while we walked, just because I wasn't sure when I would make it back. Hopefully the next time we go is after the baby is born! It will be interesting to see how everything changes over the next few weeks. This tree had just started to change. When I first spotted it, it looked like a green tree was in front, but once I got close, I could tell that it was only partially red.
Here, we found a caterpillar. Keira probably would have stared at it all day if it had not crawled underneath the leaf.
After leaving Maybury, we went to Parmenter's for some cider and donuts. Keira was excited about the apple cutout, and kept trying to look at it instead of at me.
Keira loves the train! The picture from the top of this post is also from a different car on the train.
Once we got home, the football watching started. OSU beat Minnesota, and Michigan had their biggest comeback in Michigan Stadium over Wisconsin, and it was also the 500th game at the stadium. BYU had a bye. Keira has been a big fan of sidewalk chalk this week, so we kept her occupied with it during some of the games. She gets sooo messy, but fortunately, the Crayola Washable chalk lives up to its name, and does not stain. Check out how messy she is!
Also, this is just a small portion of the week's worth of drawings. Keira doesn't mind coloring over her work, which is good because there is no more room on the front porch for drawings. The sidewalk art gets washed away periodically due to the sprinkler system, but it doesn't reach the porch.
During a break in the action, Ryan and Keira were able to doing some swinging in the front yard.
On Friday, I did get out of the house a bit, because Keira had storytime at the Novi Library. She is really enjoying this storytime, and even remembered that she would get a sticker at the end. She also was very involved with the class today, being brave and getting right up front.
She also did a good job at following along with the story of 10 Rubber Duckies and even returned the book to the instructor with minimal direction. They had enough copies of this book for each child to have their own while she read it. This also started a pigtail kick, and she has worn them since (even to bed). It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.That evening, we met with our financial advisor and CPA to talk about the pros and cons of building a new home and the deals the builder would be offering. Both had very different opinions of what to do, and we will sit on it until after the baby arrives. It was one of the many financial pieces that we had spent all week working on, and we just need to get a few more questions answered and then decide. We have been thinking about this for over a year now, so what is another month or two?

On Thursday, we were able to meet up with our friend, Richard, who was in town on business, for dinner and dessert. I had met his wife, Cheryl, when I hired into Ford in a training class, and then over the years, had grad school classes together, and then moved into her department prior to my departure. We have enjoyed mountain biking and snow sports (skiing for us, boarding for them) together. Cheryl and Richard moved to Washington to be closer to their family. We met up at Baha Fresh, which is a place that we used to go to all the time following mountain bike trips to Maybury as a foursome (before Keira was born). There were four of us again (Keira instead of Cheryl), but only Ryan was the one who had just come from riding. Things are going well for them in WA. Hopefully once the kids get a little bigger we can make it out to see them and get a taste of the pacific northwest. Richard should have trips here frequently, and Cheryl has a fairly flexible work arrangement, so hopefully we can see them both again soon. We miss you guys!

I didn't get any photos this week, but here is a shot from their going away dinner this past Feb.

The rest of the week was pretty much spent at home with Keira (or on the phone with mortgage brokers/companies and our association trying to forecast future increases), with a few essential errands and my doctor's appt. My Dr's appt went well, and if nothing happens tomorrow, I will be going in Monday for fetal monitoring and then go from there. Dr Davidson agreed that I should not go over my due date as far as I did with Keira, so I am pretty sure the baby will be here at some point next week.

While Keira and I hung out at home, we spent a lot of time doing chalk drawings outside, watching TV, coloring with crayons, and potty training her baby doll, Baby Tina. At least I was able to sit while she played in the bathroom for hours, feeding Tina water over our toilet. She did require a lot of supervision, because there were many things that could have fallen into the toilet and she also kept wanting to bring the bottle onto the carpet. She was very excited about this, but only moderately more interested in using the toilet herself. She actually asked to have her picture taken, otherwise I probably would have skipped taking photos in our bathroom.
She also came across her winter hat from last year, and wanted to wear it after coming in from outside. We typically have had to undress her because she was getting so much chalk on her clothes that it was rubbing off on the couches and carpet. She had a great time running around in just her hat!
Also, as part of fall, our neighbors' crab apple tree has been making a huge mess. The condo landscaping company cleans it up every time they mow, but we have still had a major amount of crab apples accumulate in between. We are hoping that our site manager will deal with it in between, because the tree was put in by the association anyway. Keira loves it, and we do not. Fortunately, the only crab apples that make it to our walkway are the ones Keira brings over.
This next photo is just a cute one of Keira taken this week. It was actually very warm most days of this week, so Keira could get away with wearing her summer dresses comfortably. I let her pick out a her clothes to wear a lot, especially when the weather doesn't give us too many limitations. She would wear a dress every day if I let her.
More cuteness. When we don't do a lot outside of the house, I tend to take pictures of everyday activities just to occupy the time. Here is Keira with the flower arrangement that Linda put together for our open house last week. I just love fall flowers!
Here is Keira looking up at an airplane. I have always thought she has looked really cute when she is looking up in the air at something. You can see that our holly bush behind her is really on its way out. There is something up with that half of the flower bed, the hosta by her feet didn't get big either this year. We just replaced a juniper tree that we lost this year with a mum. We had a big dirt mess there with the mum in its pot on top until this week. We were debating just leaving the mum in its container and then getting rid of it at the end of the season, but figured we would take our chances with actually planting it. We will need to put some mulch around it to help it survive the winter. Maybe we will move before any of these plants need to be replaced again next year.
That was our week, not terribly exciting. Hopefully we will have a baby update for our next post! That should more than make up for this past week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tyler, Minde, and Chase Visit

We had a very busy weekend. Tyler, Minde, and Chase arrived yesterday morning, and I feel like we have been on the go ever since! To top it all off, I have come down with a cold, and am really hoping it will go away before the new baby comes.

Today was a busy Sunday. We started the morning off at church, and then went over to Kris and Linda's to eat a great meal prepared by Minde- pulled sweet pork with homemade tortillas, rice, and beans. Keira and Chase napped during our meal, and it was quite nice to have a meal without interruption. Once the kids woke up, we went into Detroit for an open house at the Detroit River Branch. The building was so beautiful and peaceful. It was so nice to see something great and new in the city. Our ward choir was singing in the chapel when we arrived, so it was fun to see some familiar faces as well as meet the branch members. Hopefully the city can continue to have people spend money to build new buildings to help bring more life to it. On our way home, we did a mini tour (driving) of the city for Minde and Tyler, and it is so different from NYC. Most things we drove by were closed for Sunday, and although the city does have some great gems, like the DIA, Ford Field, Comerica Park, the Fox Theatre, and some new businesses and condos, there are still many buildings abandoned and in disrepair.

We arrived back at Kris and Linda's in time to let Keira and Chase play outside while dessert baked.
Keira and Chase strolling around. They both love their strollers.
It was not so easy to get the two of them to sit next to each other. Here is the best photo I was able to get.
Hugs! Chase didn't seem as receptive to receiving a hug as Keira was to giving him one.

Saturday was even busier than Sunday. We had an open house in the afternoon, so the morning was spent doing cleaning and final preparations to get our place into its best shape. We actually did have a couple people come through, but they did not leave their contact info. It is always nice to have a clean house, though, especially with the impending arrival of a new baby.

During our open house, we met Tyler, Minde, Chase, Kris, and Linda at Parmenter's Cider Mill where we enjoyed cider and donuts. It worked out perfectly that they arrived just as we needed to leave our condo.

In a slightly backwards order, we went out to lunch immediately following Parmenter's. The donuts were so good that I felt like I barely ate any lunch at all because I was too full. Then, we took Keira and Chase over to Kris and Linda's to nap for the remainder of our open house. After their naps, we went to Kensington Metropark to ride bikes. We had been able to borrow an extra bike trailer for Chase, as well as bikes for Tyler and Minde to ride. You would think that with all the bikes we own, we wouldn't need to borrow any, but since ours don't have pedals, we were fortunate to have friends willing to lend us their bikes. Keira is a pro at riding in the trailer, however, Chase wasn't too excited about it at first, but warmed up to it. We rode from the East Boat Launch to the West Boat Launch, where we stopped to let Keira and Chase play on the playground. It is a nice small playground sized perfectly for younger children.
Keira and Chase both enjoyed swinging. Even though they were both contained, it was still hard to get them in phase and looking for a good photo.
They also would both not slide in unison. Getting a picture of them at the top was the best we could do. After we left the playground, we continued around the park to complete the 9 mile loop. Yes, I did bike the whole loop, only stopping for a break while the kids played around mile 2. It made me feel out of shape and in shape at the same time. It was difficult, which made me feel out of shape, but also, since I finished it, I knew I had to be in somewhat decent shape being that I was almost 39weeks pregnant. I was pretty tired afterwards, though.
Chase fell asleep in the bike trailer. Keira has done this many times, and was quite curious to see him sleeping.
Keira jumped into the family shot of Tyler, Minde and Chase. We also got one of us. Ryan got all geared up in his new road bike attire, and I rode my mountain bike because it is pretty comfy.

Speaking of comfy bikes, we spent our Friday night at a 40th Birthday party for our friend Kent, who is a friend from church as well as from road biking with Ryan. Valerie, his wife, is also my primary president and cyclist/triathlete. We had wanted to get Kent a bike seat with springs as a gag gift, but just ran out of time.
Keira really enjoyed playing outside during the party. She was able to have a turn on the trampoline by herself at the beginning of the party. It was a good thing too, because too many kids jumped on it at the same time later on, which led to the end of the trampoline (it had apparently come with the house, and the age was unknown, so it probably was mostly because it was old, and not because of the weight).

Keira was extremely upset by the demise of the trampoline, and mourned it accordingly with a huge tantrum. Her little friend Lizzie tried to comfort her by hugging her and pointing me out saying, "Keira, your mommy right there". It was so sweet of her. Fortunately, it was short lived and we were able to go inside and enjoy the rest of the evening playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

Earlier that day, we had made it to one of the Novi Library's free story times. Keira had a great time, although she was unsure at first (as usual). We will probably continue to attend these. They are nice because you don't need to sign up and they are age specific, so she was with other 2 year olds only.

That was our busy weekend. This week coming up will hopefully be a restful one for me, up until when the baby arrives! I have tried to not plan much in hopes that the baby will be on the earlier end rather than later since I am down to my last week. We feel pretty ready, so we are just waiting now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Congratulations Ellyn! Haircuts, and the usual

I am doing an interim post this week because I know we have a busy weekend coming up, even without the possibility of a new family member's early arrival. I just don't want to get too far behind or make the Sunday post too terribly long. The big news of this week is welcoming our new nephew, Lleyton Scott, to the world. Congratulations Ellyn and Greg! He was born on Tuesday, Sept 16th, and all are doing well.

Thursday was a busy day. We started off the morning running late to a presidency meeting due to Keira sleeping in, which was totally worth being late. Being this far into the pregnancy, everyone just assumed I had the baby, so I was sort of excused for my tardiness. Once Ryan got home, we headed out to Ann Arbor for the evening because Ryan and I had made appointments to get our hair cut-very important for me because who knows when I will be able to do it next. Whenever we drive out to Ann Arbor, we try to do at least 2 things and make a whole evening out of it, due to the high gas prices. Prior to the salon, we went to the climbing gym, Planet Rock, so Ryan could climb and Keira run around. The pictures of Ryan climbing are spotted due to the chalk haze. Keira likes to touch the holds and have us help her "climb". We were hoping to put her in climbing class this Christmas, but they have raised the minimum age from 2.5 to 3, so it looks like we won't be able to do it until next summer.

After the climbing gym, we headed to Salon Vox, where all of us got our hair cut. This was Keira's first "official" haircut. Brittany, who cuts our hair, had trimmed it up for use once over a year ago at her home, but we don't really count that one because Keira was miserable and we didn't accomplish much. Keira was very excited to get a haircut, and sat in the chair herself and even wore a cape. She mostly tried to look around at what Brittany was doing. I am glad I asked Brittany about the cut during mine (rather than just scheduling it), because she was able to give us a deal on the price because she didn't do the whole shampoo/blow dry treatment, and that probably wouldn't have gone so well anyway.

Tuesday night until Wednesday morning, Keira had a sleepover at Kris and Linda's, partially as a trial run for when I am in the hospital with the new baby and also because I had an early Dr's appt that I did not want to have to get Keira up and ready for. Everything went well at the Dr, and I go back next week. I was able to run some errands in the morning and then when Ryan got home, we went to Maybury for a ride/walk. It was finally dry enough for Ryan to hit the mountain bike trail. After Maybury, Keira wanted to "swing" in the yard with Ryan. Both got extremely dizzy!

Tuesday day was spent enjoying Kindermusik first, and then we met up with Lisa and Dominic and Emily and Brooklyn at the mall for playing on the play area and some lunch.

Monday we finished up the kitchen! Everything was dry, and we just had to rehang the vertical blinds and valance, which was no easy task. We had gone into the studs with the blinds originally, however, they were still pulling out prior to the painting project. A lot of drilling was required to make new holes, as well as work from Ryan to screw in some very long screws. We hope the next owners like the vertical blinds, because they are not coming off any time soon! Keira also enjoyed helping clean up with the swiffer.

We also learned that the builder, Winnick Homes, that we had liked for a long time had a new floorplan which was bigger and cheaper than the other floorplan we liked previously. Our dreams of building have been resurrected, and we have meetings set up next week with a company that may be able to help us unload our current condo if we are unable to sell it through traditional means. Once we meet with them, we should know more about about the possibility of building. If things go well, we could end up being neighbors with Lisa and Dominic! We also received the news of Lleyton's birth late Monday, but it was already Tuesday in Germany.

To finish out this week, we will be attending a birthday party, having a visit from Tyler, Minde, and Chase, and also having an open house for our condo. There is also the potential for a new family member for us, but I am mentally prepared to go the full length of time remaining.