Saturday, February 28, 2009

Surprise Revealed!

So for over a month now I have been planning this big surprise. My best friend Karlena lives in Colorado. We only get to see eachother a few times a year - not often enough. She was in SD for a visit after Christmas but I only got to spend about 2 hours with her. She has plans to come and see me in May when the baby is born but a few days before my birthday in January I really felt like I needed to go and see her again.

I called Dominic and asked him what he thought. Of course, as always, he totally supported me and was willing to let me check into the flight costs!! I love my man - he is so good to me. I happened to find a GREAT deal on a flight out of Omaha to Denver and the only catch was that I had to fly on a Monday - Thursday. No problem!

So I called Karlena's MIL who also lives in Loveland and asked if she knew if Kar had any plans for the last weekend in February. I told her that I wanted to come for a long weekend but wanted to keep it a surprise if at all possible from Karlena. She said they didn't have anything planned and she would help make sure that I was picked up from the airport!

So for a month now I have been planning this surprise trip and Karlena had NO IDEA that I was going to be there! Melynda (MIL) arranged to pick me up from the airport with a bogus story about meeting a friend with a layover. We get to Karlena's house and I go in the door and needless to say - she was surprised!! :)

So far we have had so much fun together. This has been a very relaxing vacation for me and we have enjoyed just hanging out and talking and laughing together!! So there you have it - my surprise. I was totally excited about it and Karlena has been pumped too!

I just have to say that this wouldn't have been possible with out the support of my very gracious family who was willing to let me go away to play while "life" still happens at home. And also the support of Karlena's whole family who helped make this trip possible in many ways! I really am so very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life - God is good!

So until Monday morning I will be enjoying my time with Karlena and for all of those who support me and continue to support me in numerous ways - I love you all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Big Meatball

As this pregnancy progress I continue to have “growth” as well. Gabriel has never been very happy about the fact that my belly is getting bigger. Last night the baby was very active – to the point that you could watch my stomach move around. So I lifted up my shirt a little to show Gabriel and he started to whimper, said that he didn’t like my tummy to get big and asked me to cover “it” up.

Then this morning I was telling my mom about last night and she e-mailed back that last Friday (I was in Pierre), Beth asked Gabriel if his mommy’s tummy was getting big and he frowned and said “I don’t want my mommy to be a big meatball”.

So there you have it – I am starting to look like a big meatball and it is making Gabriel uncomfortable! I laughed and laughed when I read my mom’s e-mail. He has been talking a lot lately about a big meatball and we aren’t entirely sure where that came from. But we do know for sure that he does not want his mommy to be one! And I for one second that!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Super Surprise

Whenever I bring something home that is "special" for Gabriel he always says that it is his "Super Surprise". It is the cutest thing ever - except when he asks over and over again when I am going to bring him another "super surprise"! :)

So several weeks ago I mentioned that I had a really cool surprise to share. And boy do I ever! At least I think it is super and for today it will will have to remain a surprise! :( I know...I am still terrible!

But never fear - I PROMISE that I will be able to reveal this "super surprise" at the end of this week.

For now just know that I am having just as hard of a time waiting to share this surprise with you and am counting the days until the end of the week when it will be revealed!

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maternity pants – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Ok – so there are some definite benefits to wearing maternity pants, but there are also some negative issues too. Why do you need to know theses? You probably don’t, but I am going to share them anyways! :)

The Good – Having a large stretchy panel of fabric that easily covers the belly is not only comfortable but safe too. Safe you may ask?? Yes – for instance say a pregnant mom is sitting in a meeting, a meeting that extends on for 2 ½ hours. And during the course of said meeting the mom drinks down a 20oz bottle of water. After sitting for said amount of time it becomes quite apparent upon standing that the need to utilize a restroom facility has reached a level of utmost priority. Eliminating the need for the undoing of belts, zippers and buttons relieves a large amount of stress in an otherwise emergency situation. This benefit has become apparent to me on several almost unfortunate instances.

The Bad - The manufacturers of a large majority of affordable maternity pants seem to have an interesting “standard” when it comes to the size and shape of the average pregnant mom. It has become my experience after trying on a variety of different styles and brands that most women who are in fact pregnant must also be vertically challenged. No offence to a woman of smaller stature. But I am not an incredibly tall woman; I am only 5’7” – pretty average if you ask me. And I have found that most of the pants I try on are made with a shorter woman in mind. So throughout this pregnancy I have had the appearance of preparing for the next great flood. Fabulous.

The Ugly – And finally I have also come to find that these same “short” pants have an unusually excessive amount of fabric in the “rear” area. As a woman who doesn’t have assets in great quantity in that area, this is also a concern for me. So in addition to waiting for the floodwaters to rise, I often look as though I am carrying around a large diaper in my pants. Seriously – if I can grab several inches of fabric from around my backside we have a problem.

So there you have it – use it, lose it, never speak of it again. But now you have a glimpse of my world on a daily basis. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Introducing "Mr. Penguin"


I wanted to introduce everyone to Gabriel's best friend in the world right now. Mr. Penguin! Mr. Penguin became part of our family after our trip to California this summer. My dad commented after we had spent an entire day at Disneyland that Gabriel didn't once ask/beg/whine to have anything. All the little booths filled with toys etc., he never asked to have any of it.

I hadn't noticed this, but when I thought about it I realized that he was right. A couple of days after Disney we went to Sea World. We spent the whole day there also and once again not a peep from Gabriel. One of the last exhibits we went through was the penguin exhibit. At the end of each animal exhibit they had a little gift shop. Go figure right?! So we are walking through this penguin gift shop and I see these penguins on a shelf. I picked one up and showed Gabriel and told him I thought it looked like Happy Feet.

Gabriel agreed and then said he wanted to have it. I looked and the price was $9.99 - not bad for a theme park toy. Grandma Johnson overheard him and took it up to the counter and paid for it. Since then penguin has rarely left his side.

It isn't as clean and fluffy as it was back in August, his white stomach is now a dingy grey. But Mr. Penguin goes everywhere with Gabriel. He brings it to the daycare in the morning. It always ends up in his box for the majority of the day - but Gabriel knows where he is and that he is "safe".

A couple of times Mr. Penguin has had to have a "sleep over" at the daycare because we forgot to get him from his box. Gabriel is always worried that he will be scared all alone. He has no problem leaving Mr. Penguin in the car when we go to church. This Sunday he left him at Grandma Smith's house to take a "nice rest" while we were gone. I think Gabriel gets some comfort out of knowing he is close by - even if he isn't right there by his side.

So that $9.99 was the best investment we could have made. He is Gabriel's buddy. He is covered in dirt, dried snow, dried dog slobber and has a warning on his tag that it can't be machine washed because of the beads inside. He is in desperate need of a cleaning - I know! But I am worried that if I try and wash him I might just ruin him and we would be in VERY big trouble.

For now we will just have to enjoy Mr. Penguin as he is. I know that Gabriel loves him just as he is and that is all that matters!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Did That Seriously Happen?

So this month has been mine to plan and run the Children's Church program at FBC. I really do enjoy the little kiddos and it used to be a pretty manageable group size. The praise is that yesterday we had a group of 14 2-5yr olds! Our church is growing and that is awesome!! But chaos can break out when there are that many little ones trying to do a project, playing with glue sticks - you get the picture. Even with 4 adults in the room it was still a little crazy.

One of the little girls Kaela had a birthday today and her mom called me at home that morning to see if it was alright if she sent some left over cupcakes from her party the day before. Of course right?! Play with glue sticks and fill them up with pure sugar and send them all back to their parents! :)

The project was completed and I make this big deal about Kaela's birthday and we all sing Happy Birthday to her and then I go in the kitchen to get the cupcakes. They are on this piece of cardboard on top of a black plastic base. So we get the cover off and I proceed to bring the cupcakes out to where the kids are.

As I am turning around to start handing them out the piece of cardboard flies off the plastic base - no they were not secured - and in one fell swoop the whole tray of cupcakes lands face down on the rug! I seriously could not believe that this was happening!

Of course the frosting - which is blue and green and yellow - is smooshed into the rug and the cupcakes are, well NOT going to be the treat for the day. I felt terrible. I went to Kaela and said how sorry that I was and that I couldn't believe that had just happened.

Kaela, being the forgiving girl that she is, just shrugged her shoulders and said "that's ok". She could have been so very upset with me and she was so gracious instead! What a sweetheart!

So I of course promise the kids that I will bring cupcakes next weekend to replace the ones that I destroyed. And they had to settle for 1/2 a Little Debbie cosmic brownie and some animal crackers instead.

What a clutz I am! And I know this because one of the other little girls promptly told me that her mom would NEVER do something like that! :) Yes you heard it right...I am the mom that ruins the birthday treats of another mom's child. Julie - thank you for laughing with me when I told you what happened!!

So there you have it - my week started off with a bang. Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gotta love My Man!

So I just had to take an opportunity to brag just for a minute about my dear, sweet husband!
It was my birthday on Friday and I was away from my family at a Partners in Policymaking session in Pierre. I was feeling a little sorry for myself that I couldn't be at home - but I was gone for a good reason and had a really good training session! Before I left the boys gave me this beautiful stone-like picture frame that says "Brothers" on it and I can't wait to get a photo of the 3 brothers together in May!!
But I assumed that this was all I was getting - and it was ok because I love the frame! So one the way up to Pierre I was telling my car/roommate that my husband isn't really the "romantic" type - that the whole flowers and card thing has never been his deal. Boy was I wrong and had to eat my words on Friday!
Little did I know that Dominic had purchased for me a Willow Tree angel - the one that is the pregnant woman holding her belly - and gotten it to Denise a month before our trip to Pierre and asked her to put it out for me the morning of my birthday!!
So I got out of the shower on Friday morning and on my pillow was a present and a card!! And he even went so far to write me this beautiful letter, which Gabriel had to sign as well! :) I mean seriously - isn't that awesome!! I was so surprised and excited I had to tell people at my traning all about it!!
Dominic - you found a way to surprise me and make me feel loved even though we had to be apart. Thank you for all you are to me! I love you!


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