Saturday, October 31, 2009

We're Having A....

...beautiful baby....

GIRL!!! Yes, I did just post a bum shot of our daughter to be. You must understand the humor in all of this...

When we first found out that I was pregnant, I really thought we were going to have a girl. My step-dad Mike even dreamt about her. At 12 weeks I went to the perinatologist after my pulmonary embolism (it seems like with a higher risk pregnancy the quality--and cost--of your prenatal care goes way up...). I had a great ultrasound and both the ultrasound tech and perinatologist said they were pretty sure that it was a boy. They could clearly see boy parts, but reminded me that it wasn't a for sure thing... so I spent the next 8 weeks getting used to the idea of having a boy. I even had talked Ryan into using the name I wanted to use (more on that later) and we referred to this baby as "HIM" most of the time. Ryan was relieved that we could just use all of Coleman's old bedding and furniture and that we could get away without painting the room...

..only to be told at our ultrasound yesterday that this baby is definitely not a boy (the perinatologist yesterday said she hates it when anyone names the gender at 12 weeks because they all look like boys). It's all good... we are thrilled, particularly Olivia, although we would have been equally thrilled to confirm that it was a boy. Coleman was a little disappointed but decided that he could love her anyway...

Aside from the startling gender news... the ultrasound went well. Our babe is growing and developing right on track and there is no evidence of any birth defects or other problems. My placenta had been low-lying (close to the cervix) at my last ultrasound, but has since moved away so there is no more concern for placenta previa (thank goodness). The perinatologist confirmed that my treatment (two injections a day--which to be honest still hurt as much as they did when I first started) is working and that the bruising on my stomach will go away, but the lumpy knots that are there might not. They expect the rest of my pregnancy to be uneventful, which is a relief!

So now, I have the task ahead of convincing Ryan that the name I want for our daughter is the one that he wants too (or at least agrees to)... and choosing the color for her new room... which will at some point be turned back into Coleman's room when this little girl gets old enough to share with Olivia.... no pinks or purples allowed, but it's time to say goodbye to the animal room with primary colors.

Return of the Jedi

Thanks to the brilliance and sewing talents of my sister Stephanie, Ryan and Coleman dressed up as Jedis and Olivia was a lovely Princess Leia for Halloween this year. I contemplated (very briefly) trying to pull off a pregnant Queen Amidala... but one look at her wardrobe and I decided to opt out of dressing up with the family theme this year...

In my defense, my t-shirt DOES say "Spooktacular" and I threw on a witch's hat so I'm not being too bah-humbuggy about Halloween :). We did some iron-on bags with Yoda and some kind of fighter ship to complete their look.

A few weeks ago we got together with Ryan's brothers and their families (thanks for hosting Tim and Laura!) for yummy chili and pumpkin carving. Ryan was a champ (like always) and de-gooped the pumpkins. Olivia and Coleman helped too, but Ryan was the one up to his elbows in slime. I was willing to help carve, as long as I didn't have to get too messy.

Coleman liked having a reason to wear the orange apron he got at Home Depot awhile ago...

...and Olivia liked digging in the pumpkin guts as much as anyone. Tim and Laura had the best pumpkin carving equipment... the scooper in this photo worked wonders.

Cute cousins and their pumpkins....

I must say (with all modesty) that the Yoda Olivia and I worked on turned out quite nicely.. the Imperial Tie Fighter (I just Googled it, I think that's what it is) that Coleman and Ryan worked on together looks great too!

The candles made them look so neat!

This is Ryan's X-Wing and although the photo is blurry the pumpkin was very cool.

Now, two weeks later, our poor pumpkins are wilted and moldy and you can hardly tell that they have anything to do with Star Wars... but that's okay. We lit the candles anyway (and I just watched a little boy almost catch his cape on fire from one of them... luckily it didn't!).

On a side note, I'm posting as I'm handing out candy to our cute neighborhood trick-or-treaters and I must say, I'm quite disappointed in the lack of "thank yous" that I have heard. Where has politeness gone? My kids BETTER be saying thank you at each house...

**What did you (or your family) dress up as this year?
**Did your trick-or-treaters say the magic words?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Giveaway Goodness

Hop on over to Ryan's photo blog to enter for a chance at winning a print of one of his amazing photos... just leave a comment on his post by Friday, October 30th at 12 pm MST. Be sure to look through past posts to see which photo you want to win!

Ryan Harper Photography

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Witches' Brew

One of our favorite Halloween activities for classroom parties is making a brew from all sorts of snacks and candies with gruesome names. We first saw it when Olivia was in preschool with Ms. Sherri. You can either ask the children to provide a baggie of one or two ingredients, or gather them yourselves and hand them out the day of the party. It's especially fun if you or the teacher dresses up as a witch and has a big cauldron to mix it up in. We usually do this at the beginning of the party so that while the kids are at their other stations you can bag it for them to take home. Little ones love hearing the names of things and adding it to the brew. You just need about a cup of the number of items that you have people to give it to... so if there are 25 kids in the class, pick 25 items and gather 1 cup of each.

  • Ghost Guts (Mini Marshmellows)
  • Witches' Warts (Chocolate Chips)
  • Withered Animal Carcasses (Animal crackers)
  • Earthworm Knots (Pretzel Twists)
  • Hollowed Out Fish (Goldfish Crackers)
  • Bloated Ants (Raisins)
  • Bugs and Beetles (Bugs Fruit Snacks)
  • Shrunken Teddy Bears (Teddy Graham Crackers)
  • Candied Spider Eggs (Gum Drops)
  • Owl Eyes (Kix or Cheese Puff Balls)
  • Chocolate-Dipped Houseflies (Chocolate-Covered Raisins)
  • Compressed Cobwebs (Honeycomb or Chex Cereal)
  • Crumbled Bat Wings (Blue Tortilla Chips)
  • Dehydrated Dragon Wings (Doritos)
  • Flatted Slugs (Fritos)
  • Goblin Belly Button Lint Balls (Skittles or M&Ms)
  • Plops of Pigeon Poop (Yogurt Covered Raisins)
  • Rat Claws (Shelled Sunflower Seeds)
  • Shredded Lizard Gizzards (Shredded Coconut)
  • Vulture Toenails (Candy Corns)
  • Warts from the White Witch (White Chocolate Chips)
  • Dried Scabs (Craisins)
  • Caramelized Mothballs (Caramels)
  • Vampire Veins (Twizzlers)
  • Goblin Fingers (Cheetos)
  • Baked Skeleton Bones (Pretzel Sticks)
  • Bat Brains (Popcorn)
  • Splintered Turkey Bones (Shoestring Potato Chips)
  • Tasted Cat's Eyes (Blanched Almonds)
  • Dirty Shoelaces (Black Shoestring Licorice)
  • Dried Seaweed (Chow Mein Noodles)
  • Freeze Dried Drops of Blood (Red Hot Candies)
  • Roasted Eyes (Peanuts)
  • Boiled Lady Bugs (Red Jelly Beans)
  • Braised Beetles (Milk Duds)
Of course you can come up with your own spooky ideas if the foods listed above aren't found in your pantry... If you have kids in the class with allergies to peanuts or other nuts you'll want to avoid those things too. The kids love it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dear Book Donor...

Although I'm always grateful for anonymous gifts left on my door or in my mailbox, yours made me second guess all of the work we've been doing to plan fun and exciting activities for our ward.

I'm not claiming in any way that I have ANY sort of a CLUE... but maybe next time you could leave a little piece of chocolate to soften the blow...

Thanks for thinking of me.... maybe before the next ward activity you could leave me an anonymous note and let me know just what it is we should be doing differently?

Thanks so much,
Lisa (and the rest of the Activities Committee, who found your gift quite hilarious)

**Ever received a funny anonymous gift?


Lots of elementary schools have several fund raisers a year... selling candy bars or wrapping paper door to door... but our school has always tried to keep it to one fund raiser per year and we've tried to avoid having the kids ask everyone they know to buy something they don't need or want. Our school for many years has done a fall carnival to raise money, which has always been so much work and took 50 or more parent volunteers to staff (I can take no credit for having planned any of the carnivals, but I do know what it was to show up and take my turn at a station or two). The carnival was always a lot of fun for the kids, but it really ended up being a big candy and junk toy fest. Now I love candy with the best of them, I just hate to see it given so freely and so often to the kids at school. Last year when I was really active with our PTA I was thrilled that our yearly carnival fund raiser didn't work out because of construction on our school grounds. At the PTA conference the spring before we heard of a few schools that did a Walk-A-Thon for their fund raiser and we thought with the construction going on last year it was a good time to try a change. As the health commissioner I was glad to see the kids doing a healthy activity to earn money instead of paying for junk. The Walk-A-Thon was a great success and much less work, and this year I was thrilled to see that the current PTA brought it back!

Coleman and Olivia loved it...

Coleman was so funny... I went to cheer them on and walked a lap with each of them. About half way through Coleman asked if I maybe wanted to rest, so he could run again. Poor kid, his mom was slowing him down!

Liv had fun walking and running with her friends...

...but my favorite sight was the two of them walking together. I have loved hearing them talk about how excited they are to be at school together and to find each other at recess... I'm so glad Liv is willing to be her brother's keeper and watch out for him.

Both of them ended up walking over three miles in just an hour... pretty impressive!

**Aren't you glad we didn't hit you up for a magazine subscription, a box of candy bars, or some overpriced wrapping paper?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Funny Stuff from the ER...

During our stay in the ER last month Ryan and I saw some signs that made me laugh (I'm sure I had already had my first dose of pain medicine...)

How can you look at the above pictures and not think it says "Our SKULLS....?" I did several double takes each time I saw it on the wall (in the ER room, in the X-Ray room... and finally in the CT room).

This Pain Assessment Scale screams out "Say eight!" (and you can't neglect the awesome drawings on the bottom... are there really people who smile or frown like that?).

And finally, the best of all... vinyl lettering that says it all... only they left off the latter part of the phrase. It should have read: