Friday, March 27, 2015

due date

March 28.  My due date.  A day I have been waiting for since mid July.  It's finally here... and thankfully, so is bub!  He came 11 days early, thanks to my wonderful Dr.  He opted to induce me early after I was dealing with severe pain for over 2 months, and was having difficulty walking.  Turns out it is a condition they call SPD.  Incredibly awful, but in the end it was more than worth it.

Introducing Easton Donald, our little leprechaun, born on St. Patrick's Day.  Seven pounds, five ounces, twenty inches of pure sweetness. 

We are all settling into a new routine at home, as a family of four.  Gunnar absolutely adores Easton.  I don't think there has ever been a prouder big brother. 

Gunnar wants to help out with Easton any way he can.  And he loves having "baby brother" come play in his room. 

And, of course, the best part of all is that Patrick was here, and not halfway across the world, watching on Skype. 

Oh, in case you were wondering, Gunnar and I did get one last photo shoot in...

And just for fun, here's a collage of all our special photos:

Stay tuned for more brother adventures!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

9 months

Since we last checked in, not much has changed.  I'm slightly more miserable, as to be expected.  Gunnar is getting more and more excited for baby brother.  He likes to give him kisses, and says "I love you".  Although I think he is becoming more and more aware that there will eventually be an end to baby brother's existence in my belly.  When we talk about baby brother coming, he now gets very concerned, and responds with, "Mommy I don't want you to break".

Yeah, me neither kid!  But seriously, isn't that sweet?  I love that little man.

And here we are, in our latest (and hopefully last) photo shoot:

Also, you may notice our sign says 9 months, and no, today is not my due date.  I still have a long 4 weeks to go.  How does that work you ask?  Well, because it's a dirty rotten lie when they tell you you're pregnant for 9 months.  You're pregnant for 40 weeks, which works out to be 10 months.  It was probably a man that came up with the "9 month" gestational standard.

This past month was also exciting because Gunnar started swimming lessons!  He goes twice a week, and he absolutely loves it.  He's very good at floating on his back, and kicking with his kick board.  He also "duck dives" under the water to get toys that are on the bottom… very impressive!  We got him a pair of goggles, but he prefers to go "au naturel".    

Which brings me to the next fun thing… He also started French lessons!  His school offers them on a day of the week he doesn't usually go, but we are still invited to attend the lesson.  It's especially fun for me because I get to see him in "school mode" where he sits with his legs crossed, hands in his lap, and actually pays attention!  The teacher sings a song about the French flag at every class, and he's remembered it and sings it on our walk all the way to and from the lesson.  He knows some colors, and numbers, and the difference between petit and grand.  We are working on animals, and she talks about a new one in every lesson.  As a self-proclaimed francophile, who took French for 10 years, it makes my heart melt!

Monday, February 2, 2015

8 months

So this past weekend we hit the 8 month mark.  It was an exciting month, full of mini holidays to make Gunnar feel special.  We took him to the zoo, to see a new exhibit, with one of his new favorite animals, the alligator snapping turtle (thanks to his new favorite show - Turtle Man).  We also went down to Gold Coast for the very first time.  And although it was quite rainy, we still managed to get a little beach time.  And then it was on to Wet 'n Wild water park.  We spent two, soaking wet days there, and Gunnar loved every minute of it.  By the time we were finished, he had lost any fear of the water he may have previously had.  He was going down every slide, by himself, standing under high pressure showers, putting his head under water to swim under "obstacles", and running into the wave pool to get pulled around by the waves.  While I wasn't a fan of being in a bathing suit at my size, it was all worth it to see the joy on his face.  Our tickets are good until the end of February, so I think we may have to take another trip down there.

We also took Gunnar on his first camping trip, which included his first real lessons in fishing.  He even caught the first fish of the trip!  And he caught 2 in all, and if you ask him how big they were, he'll throw his arms out as wide as they can go.  Typical fisherman.  We also got to see lots of wild kangaroos.  And since we went over the 2 hottest days this summer, there were lots of them jumping into the lake to cool off!

This month also marked an achievement for Patrick.  When I was pregnant with Gunnar, he deployed when I was 30 weeks and 4 days.  And it's nice to have passed that mark and still have him around.  I honored the momentous occasion by making my one and only ridiculous pregnancy request when I hit 30 weeks and 5 days.  It was about 7:30 at night, Gunnar was asleep, and I suddenly needed a banana smoothie.  Where we live, things tend to shut down around 5, so the time in and of itself was a challenge.  But I remembered a cafe down the road that made smoothies, and they were also open late for dinner.  So I asked Pat if he would go get me, not 1, but 2.  When he got home, I asked if he told them it was for his crazy, pregnant wife.  He said he most definitely did.  Who cares, because they were delicious!  Thank you, honey.  But I'm pretty sure if you can get out of 2 pregnancies with only that 1 silly request, you're doing alright!

And last, but CERTAINLY not least… Gunnar start Junior Kindy.  And he started scooting to school.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

toby cat

Today my family lost someone quite special.  Toby cat came to us over 16 years ago when my mom brought him home from work one day.  Now, I can't remember if it was an abandoned litter that a co-worker found (although this is how I remember it) or if the co-worker was giving them away, but that doesn't matter.  The tiny tabby kitten came to live with us.  For a little while he had no name, and I remember getting vetoed on my silly suggestions of Penguin and Schnurple.  We eventually settled on Toby and it fit him perfectly.

He turned into a rough and tumble kind of guy, who was very independent, but also the most loving, cuddly cat I've ever met.   He was so effortlessly cool, that Patrick (not necessarily a cat person) has said that the only cat we could ever own would have to be just like Toby.  He absolutely loved getting his chin scratched, and I'll always remember how he enjoyed it to the point of drooling.  He would nuzzle you like the best of them, and longed for adventures outdoors (of which he sometimes got).  On several occasions he brought us his "prized treasures" from said adventures. Once my mom found a snake in her room (a small one, don't worry) and another time he was kind enough to leave me half a mouse on my bed.

But Toby wasn't all hunter.  When we lived in MD he befriended a little chipmunk.  You may not believe me, but this little guy would wait on our front porch until Toby was let out, and they would play together.  Toby would mostly do the chasing, but he never hurt the chipmunk. In fact, one time, my mom (or maybe it was dad?) got in the middle of one of these games of tag, and the chipmunk scurried right up onto her (his?) shoulder and looked down at Toby as if to say "haha! I won!" only to run down the other side and they were off again.

In 16 years, there are so many memories… and with my current baby brain, the details may be a little fuzzy, but they will always be with me.  He will always be with me.  Toby, and his bright green, gorgeous eyes.  Toby, and his softer than soft gray fur.  Toby, and his constant meowing by the door to be let out and set free.  We didn't like to let him out, especially in NC where we had seen more than one coyote lurking about the property.  One night we couldn't be sure if he was in the house, so we even scanned the footage from the security cameras to see if he got out, or was just hiding really well inside.  He was (and is) so, SO loved.

I'll never forget how, in my teenage years, I had a mosquito net draped over my bed (I suppose it made me feel exotic), and if it was closed, and determined Mr. Tobe wanted to snuggle with me, he would scale the net until he found a way in.  Yes, it was shredded, but no, I didn't care.  In more recent years, I will fondly remember how he would nuzzle the camera over and over when Gunnar would FaceTime with him.

It's never easy to say goodbye, but I know you are resting peacefully my sweet Toby cat.  My ToTo.  I will forever miss your sweet face, and your snuggles.  Keep the crew company up there, I'm sure plenty more adventures await you.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

7 months

Another month down, another round of belly photos.  Now that I'm huge, I'm getting quite picky about the pictures that Patrick takes.  He's not that fond of me getting him out of bed before he's ready to take several rounds of photos.  A hormonal, pregnant lady, and a crazy, rambunctious toddler… we don't exactly make for the best models.  Oh well.  I must say though, because of my picky-ness, this month's lot didn't turn out too bad.

As you can see, I tried to keep it limited to 3 every month, but there were too many cute ones this month.  In particular, the last 2.  I asked Gunnar for a hug, and then he took it upon himself to "kiss baby bwoddah", and Patrick caught it all on camera.

See you next month!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

6 months

Today marks 24 weeks on Little Roo's pregnancy calendar, and that means a new belly photo with my big boy.

I'm not a huge fan of this month's photo… But it's not really about me, is it?  :)

I feel like I'm as big as a house, and I recently got a hair cut that I'm not really liking either.  And if it looks like I'm tired, it's because I am.  Patrick was away all week, and being a single parent is beyond exhausting.  Especially being a single parent of a toddler, and simultaneously growing another human.  Anyone who has a 3 year old feel like they're stuck on a roller coaster?  The highest of sweet and loving highs, and the lowest, most stubborn and whiny lows.   

All that aside, I spent the week moving furniture in and out of Gunnar's room (twice), and organizing all his toys (twice), and giving everything in his room a very deep clean.  We're talking scrubbing walls, and furniture, and even washing the mattress!

Now I think it's time to join my little man in a nap.  Until next month… 

Sunday, November 23, 2014


This past weekend we trekked down to Canberra for another birthday ball hosted by the US Embassy.  It was held at the National Arboretum, which was beautiful.  And this year we were lucky enough to have friends join us so we actually knew other people there!  However, it wouldn't be a major event without something going horribly wrong.  Last year I got the dates wrong, and booked flights and hotel for the weekend before.  Luckily, someone informed me of my mistake the morning we were supposed to fly out, and for a few fees we were able to rearrange things very last minute.  This year, our babysitter was a no show…

I had booked a babysitter through a service over a week in advance.  I got a call the next day confirming it, with the name of our sitter.  Three days later, I got another confirmation in the form of an email.  Then the day of the ball I called a few hours before our sitter was supposed to arrive to check on everything, and it was all good.  And, we had even already been charged for the first 3 hours.  Well, our booking time rolled around, we were all dressed and ready to go, our friends were in our hotel room waiting on the taxi we booked, and NO BABYSITTER.

I gave her the benefit of the doubt, I know simple things like traffic can happen to the best of us.  After all, we were staying in the middle of the city, and it was Friday at rush hour.  I was apparently too kind, because 15 minutes into our booking I called their after hours line to find out what was up.  It took over 30 minutes for the company to get in touch with the sitter and figure out that she apparently never received the info on the job.  They were then blaming me for not actually having a confirmation.  In the meantime, every one left so as to not be late, and I was left alone trying not to cry (thanks hormones).

I did end up crying after I told Pat I wasn't going to make it.  Then I decided to make a last ditch effort and ask the hotel staff at reception if they had any ideas.  They were AMAZING and got online and made calls to track down a babysitter for me.  And when she couldn't make it for another hour, they offered to watch Gunnar so I could enjoy my night.  He thought he was so cool going behind the front desk and hanging out at the computers.  It was totally because of those 2 kind people that I was even able to make it to the ball.  (And when the babysitter had to leave early, the receptionist stayed after he finished work to watch Gunnar).  They were totally the fairy godmothers to my Cinderella.

However, the complications didn't end there!  I finally got a taxi, and hopped in.  I told the driver where I needed to go, and his response was "where?"  Awesome.  I didn't have an address.  He's the one who's supposed to know the city!  And we're talking a national landmark here!  It took probably another 10 minutes of us sitting in the cab, trying desperately to find an address (which didn't register in his GPS).  We eventually just started driving in the direction I knew the arboretum was, and we found it.  I was SO late, but security was kind enough to let me take my seat during the ceremony anyways.  And since I was in heels, I was very grateful for that!

All in all, we had a good time.  But, it was certainly a headache trying to make it all happen!  And I even made it home before my carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight ;)